Monday, June 9, 2008

Ice Cream With My Cake & Other Random Musings

More random journaling & assorted blather.
I'm getting more hours at work, which is by and large a good thing, although it would be a lot better
if they could let me know more than 12 hours in advance if an extra shift becomes available. I mean,
granted, i don't have much of a lifestyle, but there ARE other things that i'm doing (most seeming to
involve various levels of poetry, go figure) that have to be planned in advance. If i'm going to be at an
Open Mic at 9 PM on Monday, don't call me Monday morning and ask me to be in at midnight. I've told
people before that if my job and my VOCATION ever came at swords points, my vocation had to win
out. Otherwise, i'm sacrificing not just an opportunity to do what i love, but i am sacrificing a portion of
my belief in that thing. I know some people say, "You have to PLAY the game, but you don't have to
believe in it." That's crap. Maybe if some of the so-called "rules" were re-written. I know that a lot of
people have placed their chips on that game . . . i just hope that what they win covers what they lost
to start playing to begin with. If that whole thing works for you, great. Go to it. Just don't try to drag me
along because the fact that i'm NOT playing the game irritates you. IT IS NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN,
One of my Park Rat friends is working something i wrote into a punk rock song for his band. When i hear the
completed project, i'll try to find some way to post it here. Maybe the band has a website. I'll have to ask him.
No, i'm not getting paid for it, although i get album credit. It was based on a little quip i threw out, and it took
all of 15 minutes to write.
Lately, i haven't written much poetry (by that, i mean the past week or so). Mostly because for some reason,
right now, my thoughts seem to be coming broken up into chunks that are more like prose than poetry (I
guess a lot of people consider some of my poems prose anyway, because i don't automatically genuflect to
some form . . . but wild honeysuckle doesn't need a trellis, it gets right down to business without one). I suppose
i could try to "gather my thoughts" a bit and arrange them, but right now it seems more important for me
to hash out the ideas first, and worry about assembling it later. Also, some of the poems i'm thinking about seem
to be radioactive. By that, i mean that some of the raw ore i've been coughing up is dangerous to handle
(Pastor John always warned me to be careful about casting my pearls before swine), and when you've got
a handfull of radioactive jewels, you don't want to put them all on one piece of jewelry, because it's likely
to go critical and you're left with a slag pit. I've had poems self-destruct like that before. You have to cut,
polish, and pare down those radioactive jewels, and put them in a setting with some less harmless ones.
Sometimes i want to scare my audience a little, but i want to work up to it. It's all the difference between
cracking an egg as opposed to crushing it. "This is your brain. This is your brain after a poetry meltdown. This is
your brain scraped out of a frying pan with some bacon and a side of hash browns." Faugh.
I wonder if it's going to be Obama/Clinton on the democratic ticket this year. As i haven't signed online yet, and
am composing this prior to doing so, i might find out when i sign on. I wondered early on if Obama had the
strength to run as an independent. I guess that would be pretty unlikely. I still don't trust Obama 100%, although
i have to admit i haven't really trusted ANY politician 100%, but somehow he just doesn't sit well with me (but
i have to say that he is the best option we had this time around). But, since the elections are all rigged anyway,
just another version of American Idol where all the judges are Simons, or maybe a game show where Bob Barker
tells the contestant he likes what the right price is, this whole thing is probably a moot point.
I'm really amazed lately at how many of the Park Rats have no knowledge of the Bible at all. I mean, just the
basic stuff, y'know? But, bringing those things up in casual conversation has opened some doors . . . i've
turned several people on to the Message translation, since it's much easier for a layperson with no Bible
knowledge to get a handle on the thing with something that speaks the vernacular. There's a group of
folks who come to the Park on Friday and Saturday nights, permit and all, loudspeaker or mic, and "preach"
at the people (i'm not going to say "to," it doesn't quite work that way). I spoke with one of their members,
a young lady, and told her that while we were in agreement on the Message of Christ and it's importance,
their delivery was actually turning people off rather than on to Jesus . . . maybe not ALL the listeners, but
the Park Rats in particular have a habit of catcalling this group. I told her, "i can't do everything they do,
and they know that, but i can walk among them, and learn what's important to them. If you were in the
market for a new car, and some stranger walked up and told you they not only HAD one, but it was
custom-made for you, would you believe them? She was receptive to a point to what i was saying . . . but
i also sensed that she became "guarded," maybe wanting to draw a clear line between her and these
others . . . or just afraid of crossing into uncharted waters. Why not? It's a scary thing, and i know not every
Christian is cut out for this kind of strange mission . . . but i'm the only Bible some of these people read (and
i wish i were a more accurate translation). I just want other Christians to affirm the necessity of what i'm
trying to do. It's not an overnight process. I've had to be around quite a bit to work up the level of trust i
have, and then you also have to strive to maintain that. I know that God's mercy covers a lot of these
young folks, that He takes into account that a lot of the things they say and do they do out of a lack of
knowledge about Him. He knows He's been misrepresented to them by an establishment that seems to
reject them almost automatically. THEY ARE NOT "BAD" PEOPLE. Sure, they live on the fringes, survive by
hustling and running the occasional con, are mostly poor, from a wide variety of racial and cultural
backgrounds . . . sort of like Jesus' Disciples were. I mean, Matthew was a tax collector, which at the time
was a job FOR a con man. Peter and his crew were a bunch of wharf rats. Mary Magdalene was an
ex-prostitute. The folks who followed Jesus out into the wilderness just to hear Him speak were probably
mostly poor, people who'd been rejected by or turned off by the current establishment and were hungry
for some REAL spiritual food. There is an inescapable parallel here. There's so much blatant hypocrisy in
the way our corporate-led, money-hungry society has exploited God's name that it's no wonder a lot of
people immediately "tune out" any reference to God or Jesus. What else do you expect? It's like you want
all these "outcasts" to immediately acquire "responsible" jobs, clothing, and nice middle-of-the-road
"family values" like yours . . . and THEN come to church. You're basically a bunch of pig's ears under the
mistaken impression that you're silk purses.
A good friend of mine is coming through with 100 dollars for me, and as my hours of work are good now,
i've already earmarked that money for the printing of--you guessed it--a chapbook. I have the time, the
computer access, the printer and paper, and however many copies of the thing that 100 dollars will
obtain, i'll buy, and sell them for 10 dollars each. Then i'll use part of the profits (assuming i can sell any) to
print more. Wow, that sounds like . . . CAPITALISM! "Oh, the horror! One of these POETS is actually
trying to use our system to PROMOTE ITS DOWNFALL!" Well, it is WORK, no matter what these yuppies think,
and since they get paid so much to shuffle papers, at least the papers I'M hustling won't make the
brain numb, so why SHOULDN'T i get paid? In a perfect society, poets wouldn't need to get paid, because
we'd have the respect and support of the community in general for actively trying to broaden their
perceptions and give them more than a peripheral view of everything going on outside of their direct
sight. That's what we're FOR. So, i've been mulling over several cover/title ideas, and the one i like best is
"Savage Idealism." There's a Park Rat who does some wild, arabesque-looking designs, and i'm going to
pay him to illustrate the cover . . . i have an idea for it that i'm going to keep quiet about until i see if he
can execute it. I'm going to dedicate it to the Union Square Park Rats. That sort of makes them insiders
on a project, if you can dig it . . . because a lot of the inspiration and challenge i've met with lately has
been a by-product of my association and friendship with them. I'm sure the chapbook won't be an "overnight
success," but i do think it'll start to generate some energy, and build up a quiet little wavefront of fame
(or notoriety) . . . as long as i get those words out there, i don't care. If i can make a little side money doing
it, that's just like ice cream with the cake i've already got. seriously, being able to MAKE A LIVING WITH POETRY
would be just like that. i'm going to be writing poetry no matter what, and i enjoy it and love getting
it out there, so getting PAID to do it would make it seem almost too good to be true. Hey, i can dream,
can't it?

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