Sunday, June 4, 2017

the track

my life is full of joys and success
and i am hyper aware of just how much i am blessed
deep down in my core i am truly grateful
but here on the sun-kissed surface of my soul i am dispirited, depressed
by every traumatic event
by next month's unpaid rent, by every abuse, by every betrayal, by every injustice, by every bend in the trail that was almost a break

we're told that depression is a chemical imbalance
a physiological malfunction
but the truth is that depression is a psychological symptom, not a physical cause
it's "pessimism writ large", in one respected professor's opinion, although i think "optimism overwritten" is a sturdier conclusion
i've recently learned how my years of ptsd and burnout are doing the same sort of long-term damage to my frontal lobe as psychiatric medication
but without the benefits
that my personality has been gradually decomposing into a downward spiral stairway through the gates of hell
and as i circle around and around i see every interaction's intention as its dark timeline alternative,
i see threats in every attempt to bridge the gaps that have grown steadily between the orbits of our island soul galaxies
i wrap my anxieties around my sense of self's instabilities like a warm, electrifying blanket that makes my blood boil and keeps the cool, fresh air at bay,
that makes me stare at sunsets then quickly turn away before i have a chance to let the beauty stray to touch my heart and linger
that makes every smile fade too fast because it feels too good to be true so i overthink it away

but i do remember how to laugh sometimes, and not just nervously
and i do remember how to scan event horizons for capsules of goodness that have been frozen in time
i remember how to identify constellations in the tiny pinpricks of light that take eons to get through my dark nights and know that this lonely rock i'm standing on is just one drop in an infinite sea of misery
that we've all hit rot bottom collectively
and that our only hope is to remember that we didn't choose to be born in a world of outsiders and aliens while our ancestors' stories echo in our ears telling lovely lies about the old worlds, smaller, manageable worlds where life was simpler and people had character and words like "better" and "happiness" actually meant something
before we ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and woke up to see that we're a shame of cowardly lions scavenging the ruins of a paradise overrun by flying monkeys and small men hiding behind loud voices

that we're heroes-in-training
without swords
or shields
or training

that nobody ever taught us how to defend ourselves
or that we *could* defend ourselves
instead we've been raised to shackle ourselves in the miseries of our forefathers,
raised to repeat their mistakes by raising the stakes that our very lives are riding on,
raised to space out repeatedly tugging on one-armed bandits while praying for the money to pay overdue fees for our borrowed sins
but this house of god is just another casino and the house always wins

on my black days, with my grey underbelly of bloated clouds threatening a shitstorm and heavy with acid indigestion rain
with the leaden thump of my charcoal heart pumping polluted fumes into the rivers of toxic sludge coursing through my veins
my body is a reflection of the world outside, a world overpopulated with slaves to the cold and the cruel while we fuel the machines of our self-destruction with our desperate self-absorption
panicking our way from paycheque to paycheque

in our spare change time we build ourselves shrines and we tend to our tiny fenced-off gardens
we seek to find other strangers to invite into our houses in the hopes that they'll be of like mind
but every time someone craps on our carpet we become a bit more disheartened
we learn not to trust or take chances
we become shut-ins finding fortitude in isolation because it's only possible to maintain control of a social situation when we keep our own company

internal battles don't give black eyes, only black hearts

but this is the end
beautiful friend
i hear the alarm and i pull myself out of bed
i drink my drug to wake up and face the mourning
i spend dawn to dusk panning for the missed gold and precious stones that didn't wash up on the wall street banks of debt river
i spend long hours thinking upon simpler times
when we didn't matter
when our feelings didn't matter
when we held back and denied our pain just to get through each day
when suicide was a crime against god because it robbed the lord of his pay
and how we've still got one foot standing in that grave
but i have to say that in spite of all this i am grateful

i may be tied to the tracks and only questionably sane
but i can't save myself unless i can see the oncoming train

Sunday, March 20, 2016

the testament

long before our father died, the four us had already received our inheritance
we wouldn't need to find a lawyer because one had been provided for
almost by coincidence

to me he left one share of his single-mindedness
one share of the passion that goes with it
one share of his violence
one share of his fighting spirit
and the faintest glimmer of his gift of gab

to our eldest he left one share of his drive
one share of his salesmanship
the full share of his insecurities
and one share of his instinct to survive

to our younger sister
he left one share of his violence,
the full share of his madness,
and more of his rage than all four of us combined could ever have contained

and to you, my brother,
our advocate and the self-appointed manager of his estate
he left one share of his salesmanship
the full share of his craftiness
the full share of his miserliness,
the meanness of spirit by which to appropriate all four shares of his means
the full share of the cognitive dissonance required to maintain a self-righteous disposition
and its complementary share of judgemental hypocrisy
one share of his isolation
and the full share of his capacity to transform family into strangers

dear brother
you are a vulture who literally left his own mother to rot
but though you wear our peacock feathers that you plucked
you know
just as we see
that they will never fit

Friday, May 29, 2015

good mourning

last night you left us
and as with everything
you did so kindly
and gently
and with good grace

soon your ashes will be scattered on the shores that we called home
to be lifted on a sea breeze
to settle softly on the mountaintop
forming another layer of our history that we will look to for inspiration

this mourning i remember
with a heart filled with love
with joyful laughter and sad fondness
this mourning i know that everything i ever knew about you will never change
everything i ever felt and loved about you will never change
everything i ever learned from you will never change
this mourning i pick and choose my memories that will become my monument to you

your ashes will be scattered on the shores that we called home
while your essence crystallizes in the oceans of my soul
you will be rewarded
you will be happy
you will be at peace
you will receive your long over-dues

and you will watch over me
just like you always do

Monday, May 4, 2015

the age of the amateurs

this is the dawning of the age of the amateurs, age of the amateurs...

if i can write
then i can be published
if i can speak or sing you'll let me stomp on all your stages
art forms are now platforms
so if i can draw, my designs might bring delight through all the ages

in my movies i can direct, act, edit and upload each scene
so no producer can keep me waiting on tables,
keep my career locked in to their geographic stables
locked up by labels fueling fickle "you'll make it!" fables

i'm untouchable to the brick and mortar gatekeepers
no more need i heed the signs that say:
"abandon all hope, ye who enter here"
because the concept of "here" is primitive
barbaric
outdated, outmoded
and the time for our independence is at hand
it arrived just as mining bitcoins overtook second-hand-life's linden dollars as the loco-profit-motive being panned

i can market myself
build my own brand
flying spaghetti monster forgive me, but for a low, low price
i can now farm all my friendships
i can leverage my network
invest in instigation and control my communications
the medium is the message and i am ingesting the future one instagram at a time
i can language in all your tongues
swim in all your cultures
trade in all your currencies
the only master i need to please is the interface to whatever free tool serves me today

fools used to say that schools were only for them
but these days it's plain that our education systems are systematically tooling geniuses into dunces who can only function when provided with clear sets of instructions
and removing warning labels has been deemed a capital offense
as are capital letters and grammar which the old school can wield like a hammer but only their nails scraping down chalkboards leave any sort of impression

khan is our new teacher, just like in the jungle book
which is not at all like facebook
unlimited e-book access has retired my expiring library cards and i always make sure to keep a full set of wikipedia on me

games are the new examination center

now, anyone can wix a website and even my media feeds can reach a wider audience than those smooth-talking idiots on your tv
you see, i don't know of any "real" celebrities any more, but we've all seen that cat doing that thing
walmart buttcracks get more exposure than the models on fashion tv
the most significant wars being fought today are between google and bing
and what i choose to wear today for once might actually mean something

the industrial old-guard wants to keep our economies behind bars
but whispering cracks in our cage say that escape is simply a matter of knowing which way to face
while federal agents knock down doors, anonymous agents even the score
the right to bear arms has been transformed into troll armies and hacktivists protecting the weak
not knowing people who know people is no longer a barrier to entry when one needs to spring a wikileak

the degrees of separation that defined our disconnection are now rapidly degrading and converging down to none
slowly, but surely, we are becoming one

speaking up, speaking out, petitioning
these are a few of my favourite things

but what really rings my bell is the bling i can bring
it's an e-lance economy and resale values are skyrocketing
easy money's to be made by means ranging from high-fiverring to crowdfunding to dumpster-diving

cyberspace is the new frontier for thrills and spills
wins and fails
now we're all aboard the train from rags to riches and not even software glitches can send us off the rails
it's time to conquer our fears of the unknown, let go of legacy and leave the safety of our industrial misery behind
for the adventures of the future are now being forged in the factories of our minds and you would be blind not to find opportunities online

this is the dawning of the age of the amateurs, age of the amateurs...

and at long last
the time for separating business and pleasure
is PAST.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

from the corridors of evelyn's mind

a couple of days ago i came across the following poem from evelyn amber beltser, and was so moved i simply *had* to translate it:

.ככה זה טוב
ככה זה טוב -
לא פחות
ולא יותר
יותר, יותר, יותר" - ההד של הקיבעון" -
.משוטת במזדרונות של המוח
,אם הייתי בית מלון
המזדרונות האלו היו הקומה הסגורה שלי
.שהמעליות לא מגיעות עליה
.בכל סרט אימה מכובד יש כזאת
,לפעמים אני חושבת שלמרות כל הקירבה
אנחנו כל כך מרוחקים
שאם התודעות שלנו היו כוכבים
עדיין הייתי יושבת פה ומחכה לאור של אחרים
להגיע

that's good.
that's good -
no less
and no more
- "more, more, more" - an echo of fixation sails through the corridors of my brain.
if i was a hotel,
these corridors would be my sealed floor
that the elevators wouldn't reach.
every respectable horror movie has one.

sometimes i think that despite all the proximity,
we are so far away from each other
that if our minds were the stars
i would still be sitting here waiting for the light of others to arrive.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

21 gunmen salute

this just in: newsreel bullet-ins
showing mugshots and commemorations
while the world passes by on a ticker
focus on guns and films of blood
hyper-real news to reel you in

...

YOU tell ME who just shot up the room
and who's shooting up with needles prepared with a "threat level" of "doom"
who cares about children with holes punched in their chests
when dead-eyed delinquents get their faces in the press

the holy grail of fifteen minutes of fame
is the press pressuring our youth to show us more of the same
if you want to BE, you have to be on tv
for which you'd better have blood on your hands
so that we can see

the apocalypse is on, the four horsemen run the show
it's prime time now and they've primed everything to blow
we call them illuminati, but it's darkness they spread
we believe in our democracies but instead they dictate straight to our heads of state who relate to us through fox and cnn and bbc
the true terrorist organizations teaching you and me that we should NOT be free

you see, merchants of war are the ones laying down the law
conning chumps into believing terrorists are knocking down their doors
'cause you can't sell guns to people who don't want to fight
who aren't afraid of the sight of their own shadows,
who're not scared into becoming knights so brave that they'll save their loved ones
by holding them hostage,
protecting them from
the psychos next door
from
bombs and ideologies
from
conflicting philosophies
from genitalia,
and what genitalia make weak people do
after hearing their whole lives how they have to hide behind beauty products if they want to be loved
how they won't find romance without a hollywood soundtrack
how love can be earned through perseverance
how human beings are like vending machines,
if your coins aren't accepted then you beat them until you get what you want

and how if we don't let an industrial-consumer education lobotomize us, then we can't be heroes

so i choose to become a villain instead,
because i have to be the protagonist in my own head
and when death comes for me i don't want to walk out with best supporting actor
or just another lonely bum with thumbs down from the judges of x-factor
here's god - speaking to me! telling me to smash down american idols
from the mouth of a burning bush,
"we're gonna smoke 'em out," he said
lighting the way to a silenced majority with oil fires and gunpowder

we're a silent majority
sitting slack-jawed and sponge-like on our sofas
stupefied by the songs of slaughter sung in sensationally heartless newscaster tones

...

maybe - if you work really hard - you'll be able to buy yourself a bigger tv
and then you'll not see with much more clarity
why the gunmen
are you and me

Friday, January 30, 2015

incubation

i have spilled ink onto a pristine page
that curled around to form a cocoon to incubate my poem
my secret poem
i hold you up to the light though you are yet shrouded in dark delight
i mutter your name as if it's not a vain action to fantasize you complete
though your vocal chords aren't yet fully formed, the lines and folds of your letters direct my mind's eyes from the peaks of where yours will be to the troughs of answering whys
though you will question me more than i can ever imagine

the love i bear you is as much as i do myself
as you promise to deliver me from a shelved life to center stage
from a mixed metaphor to a saviour of an age
and i will watch over you
i will nurture you and hold you and guide you
and you
you will be better than me
you will be sharp and clean and clear and you will know no fear of facing the world
for i will weaponize you, a weapon of mass construction
whenever you play it will be to change the game and you won't ever leave people the same as the way you found them

least of all me

i eagerly await and anticipate your first howl, your first cheer, your first tear
the first time that i send you off to interact with your peers

you will represent me
you will be my consolation
you will be my immortality