Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The fear of Mannequins

Jesse S. Mitchell

previous part, http://santiagosession.blogspot.com/2014/09/vaudevillian-bombardment-fantasy-a.htmlhere

A long time ago, I taught myself to be afraid of mannequins.  All those hard plastic soulless things staring from behind glass.  Some slavery race, some mercantile tribe of awful dead-eyed creatures.  I confess at first, they did not fill me with dread.  In fact, I barely noticed them at all.  Like so many other things I am meant to have strong opinions about or on, feelings of, towards, love of…white wine, sushi, red-heads…they in reality have little to no effect on me.  But it eventually became apparent to me, that these immovable beasts of commercialism, being what they were, should be something I viewed with the most stringent of abhorrence.  I had set myself up to be a certain kind of man, with certain viewpoints and a particular morality, a strong if not different, code of ethics.  Mannequins, robotically appeasing, whorishly viable, ubiquitous, slavish, should be something of an enemy to me.  I should fear their gaze.  I should fear their appearance.  Endeavor to avoid them, to avoid being like them, shun being in places populated by them.
Now, I can barely sleep at night knowing the damned things exist out there somewhere, modeling board shorts or tank tops, bright neon-yellow low-top shoes.  My life is partially ruined having to share my space on this planet with their long polyurethane limbs.  And god, what they look like abandoned, broken apart, appendages slipped off, piled up in heaps, cast off into dungy trash dumpsters.  The coldness.  Brutal evil.
This is the life I have chosen to live.
My path.
Ah pedantic screwery.
Let us, you and I, freeze the blood then in the veins.  Throw up the barriers, and block the roads.
Let us clot the thoughts, and slow the words.  Let us expire as smoke and smoldering burns and not as fast fire.
Impetuous.  Petty impetuosity. Meanness.  That way lays death.  Rashness.  But fear not the dead, their ways are cut off from the living.
And then the sun retreats further behind the clouds.  Approaching storms.  The long gray overcast, under it, you can see the ghosts.  The phantoms hidden all the long bright days because those shadows do not show under the sun, the sun that can show anything but instead behind the gloom that can reveal nothing, nothing but them, the shades of things all long dead and supposedly departed.  And if you do see them, it is because you move quietly, more quietly than anyone else, or even the wind that wraps itself around you and all solid objects in the incorporeal lust of equalizing forces, no, you move quietly and you look quietly and you see… you see them and if you do, if you do see them then you can hear them also…the sounds they make.  The music, the symbols and little broken bits of harmony, of melody.  You can see them and you can hear them and you can watch them move, they won’t interfere… and you can hear them, then you can use their words, their words cut off from the ways of the living.  Speak their language.
You see, every moment in time is here with us.  Right now.  Everything is right now.  History, Immediate present, Science-fiction, we all stuck together right here, right now, and not moving, not one little bit.  Paying electricity bills, driving in our cars, serving rude businessmen lunch, losing our keys in the couch, stuck still and never ever removing a bit of ourselves.
And there are no such thing as ghosts, no such thing as illusions, phantoms or miracles.  That is just us.  Us seeing us.
Perceiving us.
Everybody just trying to make it.
Trying to survive.
But all we are is ephemera, everyone of us, everything we do, trivia.  Passing glances, something small, something slight seen from the corner of the eye.
In the great brave field of memory, something bold at first, writ large in gold glowing letters but the wilt and the fade creeps up behind the explosive and grand, and the colors run and the anemia sets in… and we all die by degrees and  gathering deficiency, we grow pale, we grow pallid.  So, long after we die, we die again.  But the joy in that is that we left behind the strength, strength enough to die again.
But what happens once, happens again, and there is no time, no nothing disappearing into the dark, climbing, clamoring over the horizon seeking to be gone and vanishing away.  You are watching a thing very different than any of that when you perceive the dying away of all your mortality. An evaporation not a casualty, a resettling of particles from one place to another, like flocks of birds that take flight from one tree top and land down in another. When the days escape you, they carry you away with them.  A second, an atom, an atom a second.  Falling off.
So what is it that makes a soulless thing such a monster, the immovability, the motionless frozenness, the staleness.  What doesn’t lie behind their eyes?  What is there to fear?  The certainty of never knowing uncertainty?  Mannequins.  Plastic brought halfway to life.    But not near enough.  But not near enough.
Us seeing us.
Perceiving us.
But not near enough.
But then, there is always that little light in the dark, low down, casting long shadows, flickering flame in our eyes.  Distorting all we see, confusing it for hope, for future, for faith.
And our hearts were formed in tempest, with wild winds all around.
Our bodies separately, far out in the calmer seas, ebbing near the shore with the tides.
And all that keeps them together still is the continual apprehension of storms, the amazement and appreciation of all those violent belligerent things.  Things destructive.
The  big booms.
The shaking walls.
But aye!
That’s the soul isn’t it?
All those can’t-be-forgot moments filled with tremors and grand mal, petite mort, vicious rush of blood to the brain, scary blurring of the vision, feckless, fearless, out-of-breath, speechless or over-speeched vacuums of space, abhorrent.
Believe me.
And I’m here with you still…
Believe me.
So, whispers and shadows and displaced minutes and sneaking away life, stealing confidences, weakening resolves, numbing sensibilities, and all the sweetest songs ever blown by winds or sung by lips, and all the wisest wisdoms, the grandest perceptions, the bitterest mistakes, and all the little words and biggest motions, belong…belong to us.  Stretch themselves long in our ever widening minds.  Nothing limited but by our imaginations and all our imaginings happen right here, right now, with us.
But the world is fucked
So, run amok.
No that isn’t advisable.
May be fun
But in the long run, hollow.
We don’t stand a chance.
Bound to lose.
Listen and I ramble on, some sort of suicide note, last will and testament of some old mythological god to my humble lot, worshipfully hanging on every word. I’ll rumble down the mountain, thunder bolts and lightning.
Well listen, my advice to you… What I’d to say is this…
I’d like to say, what an awful place this is, we all inhabit, a blood drenched sand ball, half-dead and the other half starving its way there.  Disgusting.  But it isn’t entirely your fault.  You turned out the only way you could have… You turned out the way you were made to be but I, I had no idea it would all come together this way.  But it did.  And it cannot stay that way.  Come on, you have to see that…I can’t let this go on forever.  I made you stupid and I made you smart and I made you tall and I made you ridiculous and powerful and ugly and wicked and I made you all good, I made you all good too.  But you have torn apart the world.  I did something wrong.  I meant for it all to be interesting, to be fulfilling on so many levels.  I meant for it to be a ’teaching experience’ for all of us.  But not to be broken and not to be wrong.  But it is.  My fault.
Existentialism isn’t you saying good-bye  to me.  It’s me saying good-bye to you.
But listen, at least do this…
Go out, scatter, every different direction, go everywhere.  Every corner and put your ear in the air, your hands on the ground, get a good taste for the place.  Get to know everything and everywhere that is beautiful and good.  But don’t ever take anything away.  Let it be.  Never take something beautiful, something good.
Make something beautiful and good.
Leave something beautiful and good.
Or at the very least
Do not distrub something beautiful and good.
A writer needs to say that to his characters.  I made you this way.  I wrote your little souls this way.  So if you disappoint me, it is my fault.  I didn’t refrain you.  I am still too rough.  Not good enough.  Wad up the paper ball, rub your forehead, toss the garbage away.  What on Earth is wrong with me?  Why can’t I get this right?  Just right?  Good and bad.  Wrong and right.  Heroes and monsters.  The ratios are all wrong.  The plot isn’t right.  The facts are all off.  Inconsistencies.  The characters don’t make sense.
Start again.
Sorry guys.
I can’t  believe any myth or any legend was ever born from a place of devotion.  Devotion deadens.  Takes away the human skepticism.  The flavor.
To write about gods, one mustn’t believe in any.  No story told in good faith has any life and no story devoid of life, captures, a story never heard never gets repeated.
You can never write about a thing you put any faith in, believe in…
Maybe you have a knowledge of it
Maybe you have an understanding of it
Maybe you even have a deep appreciation of it
But you never can be taken in by it.
Trust a word of it.
You have to be able to know when it bends and breaks, the lies, the embellishments, you have to be able to see it from the outside, all sides, the whole sphere, all the way around.  Not from the inside looking out, trying to perceive it all at once from down on the ground.  That’s how you get abhorrence of light, red shift, distortions, mumbles, slurs.
Further you can’t properly break the rules of a thing you reverence. You have to have a tendency towards anarchy… or at least treason.
That’s a thing that can’t be learned.
You have to be able to blasphemous, fearlessly blasphemous.
That’s a thing that can’t be taught.
Everything is a big damned lie and that’s what is so great about it.  Standing under this sky, populated with so many word-spun angels, those camp fire exaggerations, elaborations, tapestries, unwound and unfurled blankets filled with stars and lies of stars, constellations of stars, we know we aren’t under any titanic heavy weight but puffs and wisps and shadows of history…and not actual histories but the histories of total fiction. No pressure at all, no matter what we do.  All fictions and fantasies.  We made it all up.
 And nothing is ever all that important and nothing is ever all that permanent and it all changes and goes away and stays exactly the same and the only way into the perpetually of it is in the creativity of your storytelling.  In your lie making.
The only time any of those old stories matter is when you are trying to tell yours better.
Now, there’s a rock to build your church.
But settle down, all you psychotics, calm your minds.  All of that is history and history is gone or even if it is here, still with us, it doesn’t belong and we don’t feel it as strongly.  It is more the claustrophobic buzz you hear in the air anytime anything gets too near.
It is all biology.
Physical science. Properties of things.  Predictions.  Data.  And analysis.

Post hoc fallacy: latin, from ergo propter hoc. “After this, therefore because of this”.  it is the erroneous assumption that because something happens first, it caused the other thing to happen, or very leastwise directly influenced it.

Non sequitur fallacy: latin, “It does not follow”.  the linking of two or more ideas that have no logical connection.

Hikikomori: Japanese, “Pulling inward, confining withdrawal”. a psychological state of extreme reclusiveness and social withdrawal, to the point of an absolute refusal of society or culture.

But only memories left ever after, dried out tired old ground can only hold so much, and most of the best of it is reserved for the dead.  And we are left for ghosts, we who remain.
But it is the lifeless things though, it is all the lifeless unhuman things that really haunt this world. The unintelligible baffling roar of wild confusion, the struck-blind-bright emptiness, the huge rush static-loud of watery waves, the drowning in the unnatural plastic deadly-deadly numb of it.  There is the horror. There is the terror.
But we have control problems.
So, let’s invent the devil into it, into the whole thing.
Control issues.
Everyone of us.  That is what makes it so easy to believe all the stories.
We will accept anything.  Anything.  So long as it is about us.
Look, I resent it all too, the hate the power gravity holds over me.  Pulling on me, pressing me down, bending my knee.  I hate the feeling of being a chaotic whim of a super-big, super-massive mother nature, storm-head, invasion force, impartiality.
So we create something bigger than us, in case there ever is anything bigger than us, we won’t notice it and it will go away because we already have something bigger than us and we made it all up, so it isn’t scary and it isn’t threatening and nothing is wrong because we are in charge of it all anyway.
And that is why the multitudes of demons and scores of monsters and the countless books filled with them, when nothing of the sort ever existed but now, because of them, we have total power over everything, nature, storms, fires, floods, hurricanes, fear.  Perception.  We changed our brains.  We perceived.  And we became.
You will rue the day.
Paint it red on all your calendars, save the date,
You ever menaced a human being.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Vaudevillian Bombardment Fantasy (A.)

Jesse S. Mitchell

previous part, http://santiagosession.blogspot.com/2014/09/and-this-is-what-causes-us-to-imagine.htmlhere

Lithe, good on his feet, a song and dance man with a great sense of humor.  Used to keep 
Them in stitches, glued to their seats, all those long many summers in the
Those holy mountains,
Fasting basically, going without bread or wine
Living on his wits.
He moves with grace, run-walks, across this soggy polder land, trees lining both sides of him
Dappling and breaking the light like a giant mirror ball as he passes.
Early morning, new bright sunlight streaming through, here and there and then gone, shadow lines.
The smells behind him, he cannot ignore, scorched rubber, burning gasoline
But the sounds he drowns out, the sounds that vibrate off in the distance, he disregards
He plays music in his mind
A trumpet squawk, an organ swell, a screech of violin
Horse gut on four tight strings.
Sometimes full on orchestral blare.
Mad gas-men in pursuit, always in pursuit
Flamethrower arms, machinery legs, and camel backed
Awful women-and-children-killers.
The days are long.
Common fantasy, known to most men in times of distress, 
What would you wish for,
If you had the chance to wish for anything
And have it come true?
Common answer, a million dollars, all the riches in the world.
He is out of breath.
He can feel the blood in his lungs.
He can taste it.
Cold metal in his hands
Rubbing the side of his leg raw
From the swinging
From the running.
He won’t ask for money, he imagines.
He would wish for a million years.
One hundred-thousand lives
All that time,
He would go everywhere in the world once, everywhere, every town, every village, every resturant.
He would see it all.
Then he would go back and see it all again, learn everything you could learn about everywhere and everything.
The best answer to any question, the best way to do anything.
The best way to peel a carrot.
The best way to end a fight.
The best way to build a blimp.
And then, he would go everywhere in the world again
And tell everyone, everywhere, everything he knew.
Fix everybody right up.
If he just had the time.
Who wants a million dollars when you could have a million years.
Bend back trees and skeleton houses tremble as bombs after bombs
After bombs
After bombs
Do whatever it is bombs are intended to do.
But he is a graceful young man
With a good attitude.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Damnation Act 0ne, Scenes I & II

Jesse S. Mitchell

from the book, Sea Snakes (Hydrophiinae) a book of plays.

Act One
Scene one
Completely empty stage.  Dark reddish-orange glow/light over head.  Sitting alone in the middle of the stage, a young woman, one leg folded under her and the other splayed out in front. A dark red suit jacket or uniform jacket laying crumpled on her lap.  She has long hair but in her right hand she has a short bladed knife and she is grabbing whole handful of her hair in her left hand and cutting it off in chunks and tossing it down next to her. She should be on the verge of tears but not appear pitiful.  She is not to seem like a victim.  She isn’t one.

 Lelija:  “Not a sound in the whole world.  Complete silence.  Nothing but light.  I swear in the total stillness like this I can hear them, the spirits and the voices that inhabit this earth, I can feel them, vibrating and reverberating around me.  I can feel them on my skin.  I can see them in my mind, the ghosts that dwell everywhere, using my eyes, using my mouth, speaking my words, possessing me.  (pause)  With the intensity, with the focus of a million candle flames, glowing only for one purpose, not to illuminate, glowing only to burn but struggling to find the fuel, too much air, too much earth, too much water, and so expiring, extinguishing into a single strand of smoky steam pulled to heaven by the desire to fill it, to fill it and to burn some more.  But what if it loses its way?  What if the desire is not strong enough?  What if the burning does not satisfy?  What returns deflected, dejected back to here as a slow rolling fog, downward?  Voices?  Some essence?  Well I know it is here.  I can feel it…everywhere.  And I can hear what it says to me, what it means for me to understand.  (pause) Like witches, witches everywhere, priests and poets and creatures meant to speak to these creations, these cast off and ruined creations, these waif-thin things meant to drive the imagination…but to me, to me, they are all so real, without need of trance or emissary.  But this is not a sin.  To not need assistance to find one’s grief or guilt is no transgression.  In fact it is because of this dry land that we suffer, this parched land, this desert land.  We cannot sustain it, so it will not sustain us.  It is because we so require the arts of intermediaries and their supplications to bring to us the rain.  But these tears are mine, these pains are mine, these ghosts…are mine.  Or maybe it is the cruel seams of heaven that hold back the burgeoning floods of rain and other things and when it does finally come it only comes in torrents, as destructive as any drought.  Excess or famine, destruction.  (pause) But every storm matters, every gust of wind breaks loose something new, every deluge washes something pure upon the shore, every rush of blood fuels new thoughts or passions.  I am never too cold to be a proper part of this life and I hope never to be.  Every day, a new disaster, every disaster a new reason.    (Pause)
We are unruly.  We are vain.  We are venomous and vicious.  We are wicked, we weak people of this wondrous earth.  And perhaps we too quickly ascribe importance to irrelevant things.  Perhaps we see moral order where only chaos exists, borders and grey areas where only mountains rise and rivers swell. Anamorphic monsters, we put words in the inanimate mouths of stoic stone cleft from solid rock.   
But this is all delirium, it is reality and reality is nothing but delirium and dreaming.  When I sleep, I have visions and those visions too become real to me and everything near me seems a reality.  I would swear to it.  If while I sleep I encounter some ghost or otherwise apparition, my skin senses fright, hairs standing on end,  my eyes perceive it, its gauzy form.  Or any other physical sensation, at the time of my hallucination, it is sincere entirely to me.  If I dream of a fight, if a hand reaches out and grips hard my jaw, I feel its squeeze.  If someone spits in my eye, I feel it wet.   
But I have no reason in all the world to believe any of it is true.  And it shakes me to my core, not the nightmare of it but the ease…the ease I lapse into believing it.  How easily the mind is deceived.  It brings out a thousand million questions.  What is real?  What am I?  Violence?  Am I violence?  Violence to the system, to the waking world?  I have committed violence, acts of ferocity.  Is that me?  This is blood I still feel all over my skin, this much I am sure. Am I running?  Am I hiding?  Am I afraid now?  And if so, of what?  I am the greatest monster I have encountered, dreaming or waking.  Am I ashamed?  And if so, of what?  I meant to do the things I did, have done, believed them to be necessary…perhaps not purely good but necessary.  Does an essentially evil act carry with it the same obligatory shame or something random, something senseless?  Is there a turn of justice for the acts of a benevolent savage? (pause)  Is it justice I am attempting to hide from or is it simply retaliation?  Does it matter?  Is any of it real?  Is this just dream, just dream and delirium? (pause) Treason. (pause) (quietly, looking down) Have I been deceived? Even by myself?
And now I expect answers.  (She finishes cutting all of her hair off, leaving it short and uneven.  She stands up and begins inching toward the left, knife still in her hand)  Like a snake, open mouthed, poised, skin tight, at my heel, eager.  One more careless step forward and it will strike.  This is how we all imagine the secrets of life to be revealed to us and with the same apprehension.  One swift uncoiling of tensed muscles, like lightning from heaven, and into the blood, a life-changing serum.  Fight it off, if you can.  Knowledge, of good and evil.
(She picks up speed, lets the knife slip down in her palm until she is just barely holding it, dangling it.  Without taking her eyes off the audience she walks quickly, almost runs off the stage to the left.)

End scene one.

Scene two

Empty warehouse interior.  Dark with only soft white footlights and along the back of the stage a tall stack (anywhere from as few as six to eight or as many as twenty-four or more) of old-fashioned television sets all playing the same video loop of fires, volcanic eruption and flow, sparking lighters, automobile crashes and subsequent fire.  To the slight left of the stage a heavy dark wood table with four folding chairs around it.  Sitting in three of the chairs three men in dark red uniform or suit jackets.  Two blonde named Dain and Andrius on the sides and a third with darker hair named Jurgis sitting in the middle but leaning back in the chair, legs crossed, profile to the audience.  Dain plays with a knife and carves on the top of the table.  Jurgis smokes. Lelija walks onto the stage in the midst of their conversation and makes her way through the seated men to the back of the table and sits in the unoccupied chair (hers should be slightly taller than the others).  She faces the audience.  The three men are talking as she walks in and they continue without notice to her.

Only Andrius, Dain and Jurgis on stage.

Andrius: “Did you hear the news this morning?”

Dain: (without looking up from carving on the table) “From out west?”

Andrius: Yeah, some Nevada state trooper found the passport.”

Dain: “Relax.”

Andrius: “I told you to get rid of that passport.”

Dain: (looking up and casually pointing the knife towards Andrius) “No.  You told me to put the passport with the car.  And I said that would be monumentally stupid, if they find the car then they will find the passport…(He shrugs and goes back to carving the table.) …and then they would have almost everything.

Andrius: (looking off to the left, visibly nervous, speaking quietly) Jesus Christ, if they find out we have been to Syria…(louder and looking back at Dain) If they find out we got help from the Syrians, they will crucify us.  We will go to prison for the rest of our lives.”

Dain: “They would kill us.  But they don’t know.”

 Andrius:  (raising his voice) “They have the passport now.”

Dain: (smirking, waving his hand.) “Relax.  They don’t even know who we are.  They have no reason to even imagine we exist.”
Lelija enters and walks slowly to her seat.

Jurgis: (taking a drag off his cigarette and looking at Lelija as she walks by) “What did you do to your hair?”

Lelija looks back at him for a second, doesn’t answer, sits down, looks around.

Jurgis: (with a conciliatory and calm tone.) “Listen, they don’t have anything.  Relax.  They haven’t found Miller’s car and if they don’t find the car, they got nothing.  It’s fine.  (He stubs out the  cigarette on the table top and flicks the butt away.)

Andrius:  (looking at Dain.) “What did you do with the car by the way?”

Dain: “I got rid of it.  I wrecked it. It’s gone. Forever.  (Makes an explosion motion with his left hand and looks hard at Andrius) Boom!”

Lelija sits straight back in her chair, puts her hands on her knees and looks over the others at the table and speaks out toward the audience.  The others do not appear to notice her speaking.

Lelija: “And then when we were spiders on the web, moving carefully, spindly, without cohesion on this sticky trap, waiting, daring to act, we should have been leaping to the task with no apprehension.  And now, here where we should be so still, so quiet, we are flies buzzing frantic, too close to the gluey strands we ourselves have strung.  Some trap, this humanity, to feel things, to be compelled to act, to act from human compulsion and then to fear from human trepidation, tension, consequence.  All of it natural, leads you to destruction, gives you away by reaction, perfectly natural reaction. Some great vale, some great moment, some great fog separates what we do from what actually happens in this world.    But our fast heartbeats and flush faces give us away.  We can keep no secrets.  This is no universe for secrets. (pause) This universe is small.  And the part of this universe that I inhabited when I  (puts her hand to her chest) was small was tinier still and filled to its brim with stories, creatures, all the wild imaginings of mankind, demons and devils.  The devil.  My world was rife with the devil.  He was everywhere, hiding in cracks and crevices, in far nooks and crannies, around every corner, lying in wait to ensnare you.  He would trap you and ruin you, corrupt you, change the way you saw the whole of reality, take you to hell…in increments, in increments of sin and ruination.   That was the kind of monster he was, all the old people would tell you.  I can still hear the warnings in my ears.  The certain crisp fear of all modernity.  I can see their faces.  Glazed-over eyes staring at a world spinning too quickly away from them…and towards the devil.  And now I have seen that world staring back, the same glazed-over terrified eyes, not spinning fast enough…away from the devil.  And still everyone is frightened. 

Dain and Andrius continue their conversation.

 Andrius: dubiously  “You blew it up, is that what you are saying?”

Dain: proud  “I blew it up.  That is what I am saying.”

Andrius: “And the pieces?  Where are they?”

Dain: Shrugging “What pieces?  I blew them up too.  Gone.”

Andrius:  “Stupid, there had to be pieces, fragments, ash, things like this.”

Dain:  Smiling slightly “They are all gone too or impossible to find.”  He takes out a cigarette and lights it 
Andrius: Shaking his head  “Why?”

Dain: “Because when I blew up the car I sent it off a ledge, off the road, down a cliff into very deep ravines.  Gone.”  He makes a car flying off a cliff motion with his right hand flat and an explosion sound.

Andrius: Annoyed  “Like a Hollywood movie?”

Dain: Very large smile.  “Yeah. Like a Hollywood movie.”

Andrius:  Concerned, leaving the discussion about the car behind.  “Those others should not have been killed.  This is a problem.”

Dain: Smoking  “Fuck them.  They worked for that pig.”

Andrius: “They were just people and they had nothing to do with this.”

Dain: “They didn’t have to be there, it is not like they were (leaning in) completely innocent or anything.”

Jurgis: Suddenly  “Of course they were innocent.  We should have waited.”

Andrius: Turning toward Jurgis, also abandoning this discussion  “How are we getting out of here?”

Jurgis: Calm “Bus and then into Mexico…

Dain: Interrupting “Cuba?”

Jurgis: “No Cuba.  Separately on buses.  Each of us, finds our own way, Lelija first… and we meet up in Tampico.  From Mexico a plane to somewhere east of the Potsdamer Platz and then we wait…

Andrius: Also interrupting “And then to Vilnius.”

Jurgis: “And then to Vilnius.”

Lelija stands up but stays in front of her chair and continues speaking over/through the others toward the audience.   The others do not notice.

Lelija: “We will see how far we get.  Now comes the great face to face moments.  Not face to face with each other or with that reckless spinning world but face to face with ourselves, safely on the outside of butchery, safely disengaged from the sorcery (pause) but not really because now we are more tangled in the witchcraft than ever before, weaving too close to the web, disaster.  More in the eye of the hurricane than the storm has passed, more under a lying calm than out the other side.  (pause) These great wrestling moments, bit by bit, second by second, we pick an instant frozen in time and we stare long at it, we grapple it, we pull hard on it, clutch it, we pick a flash split second and we beat ourselves to the ground with it, black and blue, we beat ourselves to death with it, drowning in it.  So now, now that we are clear from all the dangerous danger, we will see how far we get. 

End scene two

Sunday, September 21, 2014

And this is what causes us to Imagine Lycantrophy

Jesse S. Mitchell

previous post, http://santiagosession.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-swan-song-of-all-remaining-original.html

And there is comes, booming over the tops of the hills, thunder.  Thunder and heat and dry crackle of light.  The swooping in dimness and shade.  Abrasion sky all contusion blue and pink, concussion rattling.  Tear my head out of dream, desire for more dream, desire for more desire for more dream.
Put my eyes toward the window and wait.  Anything could happen, sudden deluge, sharp penerating rain, hail, or all bluster and wind and nought anything else.  
There is nothing alien to me, nothing unexpected.  Rest my head on my hands, my hands at the ends of my arms, arms bend and elbows sitting rough on the window sill.  I hold my entire mind in my open palms, every thought I could think or have thought is resting there, I can feel it in my fingers.  A kind of surge, like lightning, running from the icy tips of me all through my veins to every spot in my body.  The power.
But it is so anxious, such an anxious feeling.  It is like I have exploded, sent every last part of myself flying, blasted all over the cosmos and now, I have to collect all the pieces back together.  But they fling further and further everyday and my arms get shorter and shorter, like some bizarre ironic Greek punishment.  Rolling rocks up the mountain sides, weaving shawls, sweeping back the ocean.   That is how thought feels, powerful but scattered, hard to reach, harder to control.
I am in the machine, the machine, I am in the machine, a part of it, moving, walking, talking.
It is grim feeling, the grim numb feeling of solid steel, little appendages stiff, openings frozen rusted shut.
It is the awful cold. The awful rain.  The awful wind.  The awful calm.
The black coffee depaysement of our righteous souls trapped within the robotic machinery that we can do nothing about, it is the angst, it is the bother, the annoyance, the deep deep itch at the backs of our minds.
The feeling that our lives are oh so meaningless, or that the best part of us is over and gone, the wave of frustration, the growing older all the time.  The feeling that we are merely accidently alive.  Random accidental death occurs around us every day, so can a person be inadvertently alive, simply missed, existing only by nature’s incompetence, we carry that anxiety around with us. When will the hammer fall, the blade cut, when will all our blood be finally spilt?  When will our Armageddon come? Because apocalypse  is always solitary, always personal, us against the evil world.
   It is the dark black clouds that color our skies.  It is the source of our dwindling sanity, our long steep descent into obligatory neurosis.  Wring our hands together and make a spark, start a fire, start a blaze, give up on the flame and shift though the ashes, cause a rattle in the lungs and a plume of acrid smolder cinder, this has become our lives.  Our eyesight. Our daydream.
We are a fingerprint smudge on the long pane of glass, the window we all see through, see through you, but wiped clean, visibility restored.  Prism light captured.  Philosophy.  Terrible mind wandering, wondering, speckles and spots, stars and atmospheres, here we are, streaks and stains galore.
But think…
Just think,
All those lustful insects that set in to devour us when our bodies are barely cold and dead are moved by nature no less than we are…
But no, they are the same.  The same as us, seeking to survive, to propagate, to divide, to be alive when being alive is a certain possibility.
But some would have us not animals, not beasts, not natural things at all but instead angels, seraphim, cherubim, diadem, some outpost of removed divinity and inexpicable justice.  A lost Roanoke colony hereafter on Earth of those higher realms.
Colonial wine is sour.
And colonial wool is rough.
And the days are long
And memories fade.
And most of our minds have had quite an enough of holding out, holding out and waiting, waiting for the rain.  Those toothless storms rattle their light-hook sabers and bastard noises of rumbling grumbling.  It grows and it grows and it grows. When does it end?  When does it pay off?  
Or so long and far away, that it might as well be never.  Suffice to say, we will all be dead before.
We have been having this war with ourselves for so long now, all these thousands of years, that a call for oblivion is simply a quest for mercy, and mercy is delight that the hungering for, nature will scarcely allow.  Not a thing that can go unpunished.
Waiting and knowing
Waiting to know
Knowing that we are waiting.
Or maybe I will make for myself an awful beast, a degenerate creature.  A man who feeds the lions the beating, blood-dripping hearts of saints, of innocents.  Some wild demon-worshipping sinner, some total monster. Yaa-whooo-ulu! Some giant gaunt and bony, terrible.  A Ymir, full of blood to flood the rivers below with carnage, trees and skin and bone of gooey cartilage things.  Or a Saturn, a Uranus, jealous devouring all it creates.
Something strange.  Something shocking.  Watch how it moves.  Observe it. Preserve it.
But I cannot stay the dying away.
Go back to the corpse.  Listen to whatever breath may still be in the lungs.  Wait.
This is war.  All out war.  
I cannot hold back a thing.  I have no powers here.  Only words.  Only words and the magical actions they describe.  I would do anything in this world.  I would do anything, anything I could…to stop the barrage, the leaking through, the ripping away from you and from me and from them, the ending of hours, the shortening of days, a wizard flick of wrist to undo the fading light, the slow soft careening of evaporating chance.  Life.  Oh, to be alive.  A kiss.  A feeling.  A second more.  Desirous.  Delirious.  Longing. Madness.  Insanity.  Aspiration, put your kiss upon my lips, a dream. Not a breath between us.  Not a length of shadow beneath our feet.  The sun directly above our heads.  Today.  But today is never enough.  Too much indifferent wind around us in our todays. But more, we need more.  Not a frozen moment trapped under hot glass, melting away.  Not a second that never ends but the promise of endless moments tripping one after the next, not enough room to jam them in. We need too many todays to live them all.  We need all the time in the world.  More years than we have cells or carbon or half-lifes for…  Not a berth of  unpleasant space surrounding.  Tomorrow.  Give me infinite tomorrows.  Give us faith in the possibilities of infinite possibilities.
But this is war.  All out war.  Every second losing.  A losing war against the disappearing away.  Lust.  Dust.  Fading.  Failing.  Flailing.  Going away.  A passing car.  Memory like light bending, fleeting, dissipating.
But go back to the corpse and listen, watch for any movement.
But surrender is surrender and surrender is ending and ending is final, finality is surrendering, sundering, cutting, severing, the gross and great stoppage of blood, the loss of surging, the freezing, the motionless petrifaction.  Putridifcation.   The uglification of everything beautiful.  The blockage.  The barrier.  The clot in the veins.  The finality.
The end of waiting.  The absence of the need of knowing.
Better to war on.
Better to war on.
The awful calm.
Rub my hands together.  Devise away conflicts.  Put thoughts in the heads of imaginary characters, put terrific walls in front of them, strengthen their muscles, shorten their stride, force them over their obstacles.  Jump.
I find wisdom hidden within their apprehensions.  I find strengths hidden within their despairs.  What part of me sings when I put melodies in their minds, songs on their lips?
Maybe I will make them all superhuman.  Not bound at all to any natural laws of existence.  Maybe I will make them all gods, as I am a god to them.  Maybe I will make them live forever.  Never dying.  Immortal.  What lies hidden in that kind of suffering, in that kind of existing.
But I cannot stay the dying away.  For they all owe to me, their continuation…and I cannot guarantee my own.
My own.
My own.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The swan song of the all the remaining original things, aboriginal and indigenous. And Shabbos Goy, the pocket novel.

Jesse S. Mitchell

previous post, Picadura, Picadura, Picadurahere .

 Believe in providence.  Don’t tell lies.  Respect your elders.  Pull over for emergency vehicles.  Make room on the pavement for others.  Smile at the postman.  Wave to the neighbors.  Always chew your food.
Be kind.  Be kind, babies, just be kind.
Here I am, a human being.
And in a split second it is all different.  Everything changes.  Look away.  It is a long long story, sit still.  Molecules breaking down, atoms smashing, I am not myself.  Perhaps you have more words for these things, more to say.  Life unwinding all around us, string by double helix string, unfathomable.  Look away.
To be someone’s slow demise.  To be the air leeching off this spinning world, roaming off into space.
But here, to be two hands in front, empty.
Cracked and bleeding.
To be the odd pulling, the trouble staying, the words remaining.
This is the feeling of obsession.
Find the answers, beyond good and evil and further still, to the bigger bigger
I will have my world filled with saints.  Genius saints, driven, on a mission.  Ambitious men and women consumed with selflessness and compassion and brilliance.  Then…
Then what?
You have to pull on yourself, question yourself.  Why?  Why am I even doing this?  What secrets am I trying to uncover?  And where to they reside?
Somewhere the ocean ends and the waves stop, breaking on some sandy shore and you have to emerge and walk slowly up that bank and breathe some air.  Somewhere in all of this, the sea finishes, the winds calm and dry land has to stretch out…like a patient etherized on a table. But there must be an edge.  Infinity is impossible.  Perpetuity a ghost story.  Eternity a myth.  So, what at the boundaries?  Me?  Just me?
I don’t think so…
And whatever can collapse will collapse, and the fragile things will break (happens all the time), and whatever bleeds through the transparent skies will fall out, dropping like rain, deluge.  I live in this flood.  The water is in my blood.
There is something frantic in the decisions we make, the paths we take, our judgment is random.
Seconds are ticking away.  We are closer to death.  Both of us, you and I, together.
There is something in the air, some power, some overriding voice, grabs you by the lapels, shaking yelling, screaming in your face.  Dead-deaf from the rushing water, the white noise wind tunnel.  Evaporating, dissipating, disintegrating.
And whatever will collapse can collapse and could all along, it is your confidence in it that has failed you and nothing else.
We never hear a sound.  But there isn’t any sound to hear.  It is dead silent.  We fill it with noise.  It is our noise.
We are the din
We cannot raise above.
We are the drowning ocean
We cannot get out of…
Save ourselves.
Shut our mouths
Open our eyes.
The problem is, we don’t need any more revolutions, we don’t need any more revelations, no more epiphanies.  We have all the information we need, we have wandered the wilderness long enough, and now we just have to settle down and get to work.  Nothing flashy.  Nothing instant.  No parades and no speeches.  But hard hard labor just being a real human animal in a great big beautiful aquarium, being the best and healthiest part of everything we can be…
But fragile things break.  And shattering makes such a racket, causes ripples, such a commotion. Little cyclones of lonely clamor, the empty clatter we all trapped by, whipped by the whirlwind gravitational pull of guilt and want and starvation and gluttony.  We are all just trying to make it.  Survive.  Clutching onto words like floatation devices, thoughts and flotsam, philosophies and old books we stole from someone else, ways of life, museum pieces, mothballs on the breath, perfectly preserved.  Ten thousand million little life boats adrift on the open sea, following the currents and streams.
And I am a hurricane. And I can wreck anything.
Believe that…
Believe me because I am alive.  The words I say are real. Anything could happen.  We stand on the gnawing, bloodied-gum edge of all evolution.  After us, the deluge.
And nothing moves, nothing budges not even a single bit.  We sit still in the midst of everything.
And here I am, in the painful process of ever expanding.  A universe, edges speeding away, flinging myself out into the open, hoping to fill in the vacuum, the empty space.  Rushing, like blistering wind, like coursing blood, like swelling, like increasing, like billowing thought.
And I contain everything.  Multitudes.  Contradictions.  Disagreements.
Wendigo-souled eye stalks all covered in thin epidermis, flimsy.  Two arms and two legs and one mind, but nothing to make us more human, nothing to make us more than any other animal.  Savage.  Driven to the ends of appetite.  And then consumed.  And not one step taken, not one move forward.
A jet plane inches itself way across the pale blue sky plastered across the horizon.  I watch it for a few seconds, trying to decipher the code of the chem trails, imagining the destination of the passengers.  Perhaps the thing is empty.  Perhaps it is a ghost.  Perhaps I never saw it in the first place and I just made it all up, but it remains real now.  It is real now because I have made it real.  I have given it flesh.  I have laid my eyes upon it, noticed it, concerned myself with it.  A dog barks, jars me, shakes my surroundings.
Further onward
Further onward towards the end of the world.
Hand in hand,
We begin again.
Chewing the tips of pencils off, gnawing up inkpens, crumpling paper, lifting brows, sweating blood.  Eyes in front.  Work mind, work.  Sweaty palms.
The sun shines. God bless the sunshine.  The soft nuclear glow, the thing that radiates around us.  God bless the impassive love of nature and all the life sustaining things it accidentally causes.  Breath taking.
To be so alive in the midst of so much chaos.  To form something, anything, new out of the void, the warm comfortable void, magnificent.  When it is so much easier to simply let the hollowness fold around everything, but to make instead the abyss, a cocoon.  A thing to emerge out of it, a place of release, but not just escape but also creation, so when one does flee and take flight, it is as something other, recreated.
Do you hear me, little worms?  We can do so much more.  Chrysalis-creatures, cacophonous, break out exquisite.
But we are translucent, you and I…and everyone else alive or ever alive on this rotating rock of Earth.  We are see through things and frail, whipping and shimmering in the breezes that blow from time, the changes in atmosphere and pressure that feed the fanning jumping flames, the things only growth can create.  Helpless against it.   Or we believe we are helpless against it, nothing but thoughts in our heads.  There are always maleficent tunes playing on the winds  blowing in lonely from future times, sweeping clumsily into our present fields, and we are are from day to day nothing but so much chaff, the slow decay reaping.  And it is not as if we hear the sounds incorrectly but just not fully, as if impartiality means malfeasance.  We are spoiled children.  And nature and nothing around us, truly needs our culitvation, our care.
Swearing words like incantations, prayers and supplications.  Witchcraft, industrialism, satin sheets, the body electric, cloudy skies, sun screen, automated traffic lights, power steering, incense censers, the grand Primate, Menzies and Curtain, end the war.
We are rolling rocks in an avalanche, everyone a boulder.  We are cogs touching and turning the next, each other. We are rusted shut metal gates, flies in a swarm, army ants on the march, seconds ticking away from the minutes falling away like ash from the hours we collect.  We are empty breath.
Close your eyes and see the light.
The flowing back and forth.  The sentences and heat of living blood, the conversation between body and mind, the candle fire almost smothered, struggling. The glowing growing fight inside.  The lonely eyesight.   Blind.  Deaf.  Mute.
So, what can we do?
What can I do?
I abandon you.  That’s what I can do.  What we all can do.  We abandon it all.  All everything.  All our ideas.  All our stories, legends, mythologies, our alleyways, bridges, notions, automobiles, houses, railways, money, coins, folded paper, our gasoline, classification system, dot matrix, dewey decimal, life and death, AD, BC, CE, PM, morning, noon and night.  Leave it all behind.  Never look over our shoulders.  It doesn’t matter how hard we have worked, what we’ve put in, first in, last out, seniority, the dues we have paid, we don’t need it anymore, any of it.  It isn’t just unessential, it is added weight, slowing us down, poison deep in our veins.  Killing us.
That is what we can do, forget it all.  Never touch it again.  Let it all fade away behind us like a rock dust vanishing trail.   A comet burning.
So, when you lay awake at night losing sleep over the problems of the world…and the ’what can I do?’s and the ’what is one person?’s.  Close your eyes, smile a little bit, and breathe a bit easier.  The trouble is easy.  It is you.  And all you have to do, is leave it alone.  Forget everything you know because obviously it is wrong.  The world is wrong.  We did that.  So, stop doing what you have been doing and go to sleep.  And sleep well, sleep good, there is quite a lot of work to do in the morning.
About eight thousand years worth.
My health is failing me.
Trees are beautiful.  The ones outside my window, doubly so.  Doubly so, I believe in part because I can see them, perceive them.  There is a crazy power in that, evidently.  If you can believe the theories of scientists, poets, painters, those kinds of people. People who make it their business to know things.
The branches, a dark coffee brown in spots with a peeling silver grey lacy caul, move in tiny bursts, creaking and then crackling, swaying gently afterward.  They are telling me the wind is gusty, strong.  The light is lemon yellow boiling up in pools on the surface of the thick clumps of dark green lobed leaves that bang into my window pane, scuffle and scrape down the that glacial glass and beat the window sill mercilessly in sheer frustration.  It is hot.  The sun unrelenting.
To be an Earthling.  A native born monstrosity of this world.  To be covered in skin and pores and sweat, eyeballs screwed in our heads.  We can see around and we can feel and we tell what it is we observe, what we can change.  What conditions can remain, what could make us more comfortable.  We can move the sun.  Stop the light. Start the rain.  Warm the air and we can freeze the deserts.  Atrophy the mountains and fill in the seas.
Nothing will last.
Don’t stand in our way.
My trees will seemingly never be able to invade my kitchen window with their abundance of growth, leaves, photosynthesizing bits, sturdy branches.  I can keep it out  indefinitely.  But watch what happens one hundred years from now and I am dead.  We will see who eats who.
Too many bones, the world has too many bones.  Too many strings and wires, too many tangles, sticks and bricks and stones holding it up, too many moving parts.  Too many things to rely on, to maintain, to many things to trust. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong or could possibly sometime go wrong.  It is all too heavy, too much to keep on the mind.  My god!  The wind is blowing.  The sun is shining.  Why can’t it all slow down?
But we will see what happens.
Who eats who.
Try not to think too hard, difficulty only begets difficulty.
But perhaps annihilation is no kind of an answer, perhaps obliteration is too much to ask, after all destruction only begets destruction.
We sleep to dream.  Or we dream to sleep.  either way we all need a rest.  A fresh bit of silence.
We live in a coffin.  Way down in a deep and muddy open grave.  We stare up into the universe-sky, telescopically, one hand on our heart, the other on the lid, pulling it closed.  We can’t resist.
So all we bow-legged souls, brow-beaten, bend-back saints asleep under the tyranny of night, minds aflush with scores of schemes and republican dreams, find ourselves so helpless, impotent, the second the rising sun begins to gleam over our horizons.
But don’t try to make sense of it, just keep moving, don’t let the rigor mortis set in.  It creeps up numb and slow at first but then, frozen solid.  Live a life.
Breathe the air.
Waste your time.
Watch the shadows on the wall.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Picadura, picadura, picadura.

Jesse S. Mitchell

previous part, And what they call reform . here

And then it is just me, me and it, nothing to slow or stop the constant flow of radiation or cosmic punishment or whatever reckless spilling over is always happening out there in deep space.  Everything hurled at me or deposed on me, leaked on, drained…
 just for having skin, just for being human.  No guard at all but some thin shell of atmosphere, always cracking and falling apart.  Nothing can stand the heat, nothing can endure being the thing stuck between it and me, between human being and aloof space deity, the distance is just so far. No advocate at all. Just dead bodies, canned meat, and ridiculous urban sprawl. Spirals of police cars and concrete bus stop benches.  Out of luck train depots been out of business twenty five years.  A lot of old rust from old factories now made of nothing but rust, piled up in unpretentious piles along the sides of the road.  Huddled in with trash bags waiting pick up.  Dead leaves and paper towels and broken up beach chairs.  You and me and the whole universe.  Energy that eats energy, of this I am sure.
  The pressure.  The exposure.
And here I am, in my yard, at war with the entirety of heaven and I’m admiring the greenness of the grass.  It is thick this year, the weather has been mild, wet.
A few nights ago, I dreamed that there were red mushrooms growing all over my yard.  And now, today, there are, legions of them.  Springing up in wild little bunches, clustered together in impressionistic dots and twinkles, collecting dew and mud and ugly dirt.
My dream world is invading my life.  Or I have developed second sight but certainly some new movable feast of un and sub consciousness has occurred, taken hold of my central cortices.
Here I am, a mass of cells and ganglia and only threatening to move.
But what does that mean?  And what am I even doing out here, in nature?  If you ever feel the stings of regret, of guilt…but of what?  What have we sinned against?  It is an old question but where do we stand in relation to everything?  What pulls on us?  What is the center of our orbit?  That’s all.
It feels so incredibly exhausting just trying to be a human being anymore.  But that shouldn’t be.  It should come naturally, it should be the easiest thing in the world.  You just fall right into it.  But you don’t and all I can do is wonder  why that is.  And it feels better doing that with a sunny morning on your back.  I used to think I could find some connection in nature but all these repulsive animals and birds hate us.  They ain’t talking to us.    I just like the sun.
Look around your horizons, and around each and every one, all directions, you probably see something happening.  Construction.  Airports and airplanes.  Huge buildings.  Billboards.  Busy busy busy human energy.  Not me.  I see nothing.  Every way, nothing, nothing but tree tops and low field hills that trail off forever.  And nothing but a leaf or clump of tall weeds ever ever moves.  I live in the forest.  And every thing is so very alive.  Nothing can fall apart so completely out here, so drastically.  Not having as far to go cushions some of the low parts and the high parts always feel so much higher.  It is out here in the wilderness that the laws of energy and motion are the most obvious, and pleasantly so.  Nothing gets wasted.
It is the patented awesome force of nature that keeps everything in constant motion, always driving forward.  Every bloody red dawn of morning the sun re-emerges from out the serpent’s belly, vomited up or eviscerated out, and the gods rejoice.  The rains come.  Wars are won. Praise the lords.
It remains,
It is the overwhelming strength of all things that surround us and yet are not us, but everything else, that makes this the home for us. A livable place.  The great blue planet.  An ocean.  A lung. Breathing.
 Churning the caldron, bottling the potion.
Or maybe you are like me and your skies are empty too.  No buildings, no signs, only big green lonely looking trees, tall purple topped thin grass. And don’t you feel glad?  Don’t you understand?
And here we are looking at each, a shimmery mirror reflection of the other, staring across the void.  Nature and humanity, some pandemonium, some pandemic schism, some rip deep down in our DNAs, a fissure from long ago embryonic days.  Healed together, an amalgamation, a scar tissue never quite repaired.
But here we are,
On this side
And them,
On that…
Never can the two match up,
The cloth is torn.
And we got our share to wrap ourselves in, to continue on with, to build with.  And now only we understand we and then only a little bit.  But we all share the same body, the same skin, the same aspersions, the same futures.   Going together.    
 And we all share the same nightmare, the one where we are blindly running down the road, a long empty run, when suddenly we are blocked.  Something hideous stands in our way, in my dreams it is a gruesome gigantic snake, laying straight across the way.  And you can’t go any further but only because of fear, the snake is not aggressive but it makes no sign of moving despite  loud screams and menacing actions.   You are stuck and it makes you think of eternity because it is in the middle of night when the dream happens and the sky over you feels so close and so big, so full that it seems an unnatural separation of pressure, the air around you so bare and then all that up there, suspended.  It makes everything shake, teeter, it is an uncomfortable atmosphere. And you know it is all symbolic and something probably stands for God but you don’t know if it is the road or the snake or the heavens above, the loneliness , the effort, or even yourself.  But you get used to standing there trying to figure it out and in fact, when I dream it now, I sit in a chair and the reptile and I hardly ever exchange glances. Time passes.
But I guess the whole thing matters more in relation to the contours of the mind.  What does a lonely road mean to you?  Why the running?  Was it fear?  Pain?  Running for immorality?  Or on a mad dash to see it all, while the light is still out, before we all get swallowed again by the Precambrian darkness and fossilize to the ground and whole eras of geologic time pass over us, our remains, our souled-out bodies, our kitchenettes and  plasma screens?  But that seems a bit much, wasn’t it for the fun of it?  Really? Who’s dying to leave something behind?  I don’t believe in immorality.  I don’t believe in an afterlife.  And I don’t want to live forever.  And I don’t want to go anywhere new.  I want to be left alone.  That is what I want from philosophy.
But then, a lightning flash and a thunder roll and a barrage of cold rain drops like bullets and still the snake makes no move.  And then the clouds die and the everything clears and sun comes breaking over the horizon and reveals a shadow retreating under the feet of  the-once-obscured tree.  No snake.
I don’t think we as a species can overcome thoughts like these, memories, fantasies, bad dreams.  They never mean anything.  They never lead us anywhere.  They are our the brain’s system check, our reboots, our power surges.  They are the things that break us, tear everything down, eat us alive and they never come from anywhere but glitchy circuitry, smoky connections, bad soldering.  
 And I am so filled with fire.  I can feel it inside, flaring up and lapping at my tender insides with its cruel tongues.  I can feel it, burning me, devouring me, leaving me to ash.  Leaving me all used up, nothing but wonder.  I can feel it, shooting back and forth, playing, swelling.  I can feel it in my pours, bubbling out, I am coming apart, boiling over.
 And built with such a mind with such a predisposition to hurl accusations around, levee horrible charges, predisposed to see and to charge the evil that everywhere abounds…and to make them hit, I mean really make them stick.  The complaints I have with life are oh so genuine, so legitimate.   To think I was born just a whisper, a quiet thing, weightless on the air like feathers or curly spiral shaped smoke, collected yellow and ugly with a tinge of acrid smells.
And Here on Earth
                                   is where I dwell, at least for a time and eventually I will lay down and die a cowardly old man all covered over in hoary wisdom and bleached out cuticles, paper cuts and tea stained hands and I will value peace above all else and I will not even try to make a sound and I will keep everything together.  The senses of urgency like dry wind will desiccate me, a soul searching for a heaven like a little mouse in search of a hole.
Gods forgive.
                      We will pray with our lips.
But tell the truth, that is life, that is apparently the way it is meant to go.  These seem to be the pathways, the avenues, human expression.  Alive.
But it looked good to me.
And that is what ‘s key.
It looked good to me.
All these people wandering down the streets all hours of the dark,
Looking for their homes
Sick. Frozen to the bone.
Like a mist.   Like a fog rolling in
Because it is humid.
Because it is night.
Because it is the humid night.
Wilderness becomes me.  As does multitudinous thought.  So much chaos like a billion billion strings and wires all tethered and tied to each other.  Random threads woven to another, tangled and divergent.  To collect them together and pull them to me is my challenge.  And I do so sometimes, successively but mostly it tires me so greatly, I give up trying to make sense.  To myself, to others, with words or with actions, I just let go.
But let me come to a sputtering stop.
I’m more connected to everything than ever before…
Like everything that desires obscurity becomes ubiquitous, the Buddha, (the)Elvis.
That is how this world works,
Ironically or cruelly, but either way that is the tiny touch of honey,
The sweet scent of life.
It is the wandering remnants of time broken into pieces stuck in the corners of your brain, moments happened, frozen sharp, bloody at the edges, most of them.  Things that stick out when you close your eyes but can’t help you predict your future or give you any solace, any peace of mind, just little glints of shattered minutes.
Everything you might do is a bomb set to explode.  Detonate by movement, solid thought, opinion, bloody gore and mess to have a mind.  Best to settle down and try to keep still.  It makes the hands ache and body tremble, the mind shrivel to be so alone. Alone. Alone in this big empty world, arms out grabbing at things.  Shrinking days, the shadows get shorter and shorter every hour past. And here I am.  Here I am.
 But life, life is…I mean, here comes another sting, you spend your entire awful childhood figuring out where you fit and what you want, hmm…but that is never what happens though is it?  You can never tell your future, give up on self-divination and all manner of preparation.  You are loose in the world.
Even me,
I just needed it to be dark.
I just needed it to be grey.
I needed to be able to sit still and not worry about the approach of day.  It would come and I knew it, no matter what, no help from me required.
I just needed it to be silent.
I just needed it to be nothing.
 And that is all I thought I was ever getting.  All I deserved.  And I would slip away from this life undetected, some far off moment.  Not even a rustle in the grass.
But instead life gave me everything.  Everything instead of nothing.  Tricky bastard.  I thought I had it figured.  Now, now I am gripped by fear.  Constantly in panic.  Hovering over an intense ocean of churning guilty and paranoia.  I am afraid that somehow everything will be ripped away form me.  It is all too good.  Too beautiful.  Not for me.  It seems a rouse.  I do not deserve any of this and that is how life is killing me, anxiety, fear, apprehension.  Ever been so happy you knew it wasn’t right?  Wasn’t for you?  And somehow I will be punished for even assuming to get comfortable in this charmed existence.
Everything is the end of the world.
Everyday, apocalyptic.  
So, even me.  And I just needed to be insignificant.  I just needed to be left alone.
Loose in the world.
 Grabbing wildly at roots and stems, tipping over the petals and pulling down those showers of light, immersed.  Tripping about giant’s feet and boulders, half-blind and groping.
Here on deep blue Earth all covered in skin, waiting on the sky to change, stars to move, we grow old.  We grow old and die.  Our bones disintegrate and our memory dissipates and nothing has ended, nothing has begun, nothing happened at all but the shift from one transparent transitory sliver of time to another.  A flip book flipping loudly though its pages, a movie projector.  
In between the wide dark green leaves of a low slung yard-plant, on the creepy crawly light brown dirt, ants walk single file.  Marching, devoured by a sense of purpose.  Amen.  They carry little bits of bleached out rubble-food and straw long building specks.  So industrious.
Me and the world
Nothing between.
They climb-crawl up the slippery slopes of a soft encrusted hill, little opening off center at the top.  They go in.    Their tiny legs knock crumbs of dirt tumbling down the sides.  Avalanche.  The clods stumble falling like left over words edited out.  Cut away to let other syllables breathe.
Me and the heavens above.
Whatever looking down on me.
And this is the way of it, this is the way it always happens, the end, the winding down.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

And what they call reformation.

Jesse S. Mitchell

previous part, The Laundromat here

At first he seemed like Johnny Rotten.  Blasting holes in everything.  every time he spoke.  He would open his mouth not like a cannon but like a handgun, two arms like machete.  It was impossible.  You couldn’t write words around him, nothing fit, every one of them burst into tiny syllables.  A mess.   And unacceptable.  I had to let him go.  So, he is out there free now. Sorry really, but you know characters never die, law of conservation of matter and energy and all of that.   And I can’t keep them all around, real people are dying everyday and my brain just aches.
My um
It rips your brain apart.
But bravery, bray-ver-reee.
The only thing ever lacking to anyone when they endeavor to take up letters, is a kind of bravery.  A sick masochistic courage like a gruesome curiosity, a willingness to poke your fingers into the deepest, goriest wounds.
That is what is lacking, lacking…that ole courage.  Courage and coldness but vulnerability too and long sight.  Good eyes and ears and a strong back.    
But I left him with the hair, close to the head almost shaved  but thick and bright red.  And with the eyes, big and expressive, like things that are alive.  Still alive… And with the slight but grimacing slouch to his shoulders.
Other than that, nothing the same.  A new person is coming.  They have collided.  And eventually they will fuse together like stars or atoms or galaxies in space and I’m just watching now for the explosion.  That explosion. When that happens, we will begin.
Not only, not only have I seen the shadows fall but I have watched them move.  The minuscule moment to moment movement, how they grow and shift from side to side and then die away.  I’ve studied them.  I know the importance of an hour of a day.  How we change as the hours decay and decline and go sliding away.  I know the differences.
We are naturalistic things.  Being a part of nature.  We let the seasons change us.  Seasons ghost me, they haunt my every thought.  Because I know, I know, I know that you are never closer to the worst greyest day of deep winter than on the high July summer after noon.  Right below you, beneath you, looking right back at you.  Every moment of your life is this way.  And what is more is that most of it is dictated by ancient primitive hormonal traits that only served to mark out zones of dominance, watering holes, toilet areas.  That sort of thing. You are mostly in control of nothing.  But everyone knows this, everyone feels it, the weightlessness behind your knees, the paranoia, so on with the runt.  Tusks to the ground.
A parsec from cosmic annihilation, a second away from respiratory failure, glimmer and then fade.  Now we are all gone.  Dead.
But I’ve gone berserk, left out in the sun too long.  Warped mind.  I don’t see straight.  Spent too long trying to tying together loose fragments, arms and legs, souls, too long cobbling men and women alive, all in my imagination. Brain as factory.   How industrious.  I mean, I can’t look down at my hands and not see a hundred different hands of hundred different arms, arms of a hundred different people.  People who all swung those arms for a million different reasons, they all need those hands of a million different reasons.     So, you lose your mind.
God is dead.  Fuck rock and roll.  Hold heaven for ransom.  Let it rain razor blades, screaming Jay Hawkins, Greta Garbo movies.  It’s the end.
And that is what it becomes a long rolling gasping rambling monologue speech given to yourself in the  mirror, with all the soap scum and speckles of toothpaste and shower fog.
But I would scatter it all to the winds, every bit, every bacchanal, every pandemic.  Every avenue, every Seagram building, every drug addiction, every war, every single last ugly festering word of it, I would scatter it all, civilization to the winds…
And let it blow away…
Hidden deep whenever it came to lay.
Whatever finds it, can keep it.
Forever and ever and ever and ever.
Or I take them from dreams, odd people with odd characteristics, little ticks and seemingly endless possibilities.  I take them whole cloth or bits and pieces from out of my slippery surreal slumbering imagination.  Souls who don’t belong anywhere, surrounded by events that should never happen, days that never should take place, wasted energies, empty hours filled with bizarre atonal moments.  Dead eyed dreaming, hands up to heaven, begging.
Or I make them wish for perfection, lust after it, I make them want things and that is how they are defined.
And then I disappoint them.
Or I make them believe they are Paul Newman, Steve McQueen. St. Augustine.
And then I disappoint them.
I take that away from them, I make them sinners and then force them to be selfless, or the any other way around.
If I had my way, I would find them, hidden away in my mind, and let them live.  Let them develop any way that the spirit moved them.  But that is not a possibility.  There are wild other compulsions at work.  Things must happen.  A kissing door between heart and head, a swinging pendulum that mark offs the rapid distinctions amid living and dead.
That is how I know I am alive,
The most alive.
And then I have to give him a villain.   Or a foil.  Or a sounding board.  An accomplice.
Some shogunate  sorceress, a fascist femme fatal.  Or maybe he’s the assassin.  Maybe he is a scoundrel.
And probably it is all my fault, beyond their control, for putting them in such situations.
Lift an eyebrow.  Take note of the time.
Because to be alive is to be full of possibilities.    Can’t commit to anything yet, you have to let thoughts just happen.   You can’t force it.
And you have to find some place for them and everything to exist.  Someplace real?  Too many details.  Someplace imaginary?  Too few.  But someplace else.  You have to build some other empire, new but completely out of old lumber, old brick.  You have to recognize it but it has to surprise you.  You have to know it by the creaks of the floor but still lose your way through the halls.
Or I take them from me, little pieces I rip away and roll between my fingers until pliable, like clay.  I have had no shortage of exposure to strong personalities, iron wills, awful abominable losers.  Lots of material.
And everything is like me, all mixed up, everything is loud, a lot of pushing and shoving, swinging legs, tapping feet, everything goes wild every minute on the minute, chaos but scheduled chaos.  Everything is always almost out of control, almost.  A spinning top.  A whirlwind.
Pull your balaclava down, more soul robbing to do, sit straight up and imagine.  Revolutionary.  Radical orphan words begging in the back of my mind to be written, something just to be uttered.  Silence is absorption of all the sound, like black devours light, to speak a single word is to make a tiny glint along the horizon-sea.  Watch the waves come up over it and drown it out, the dragon eats it, but you  saw it, you heard it, that slight momentary crackle, that lightning flash.  Wait.  Don’t think.  Wait for the effects.
Or I make them born pure animal beasts, milk-fed, all covered in hairs, just like me, just like everyone.
And then if they are monsters, it’s on their time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Laundromat as reading library for Nihilism and other personally pessimistic philosophies (or Who Will Lead the Charge? Not me).

Jesse S. Mitchell

first part, About the birds in the Airhere

Don’t break rank.
William Saroyan and Kurt Vonnegut, Virginia Woolf all sitting stacked on my desk.
I had to go to the Laundromat yesterday.  I am fairly sure that early trips to the Laundromat made me a nihilist.  All that bright white light digging into your skin, trying to eat out your eyeballs.  All those bleached rebleached chipped white vinyl tiles all stacked together on the floor with thick black lines in between, all running one way and then another until its all wavy and blurry, like forest fire and you lose your mind.  And in the front of the building a long big window with a elongated thick crack all through it.  Horizontally.  The crack was thick because the glass was thick and the very broken edge was clearly visible both top and bottom and you could see inside it a perfect reflection of everything happening inside the Laundromat and also everything outside the window, overlaid and hazy and flipped upside down, both ways, facing each other.  A provocative sight to a sensitive sort.  It is just this kind of thing that will make a person lose all faith in humankind. It sucks the soul away.
Yesterday, there was a new addition to further deepen the already sophisticated gloom and wretchedness of the place.  A television.  Not only a little grey box of blathering mercantile fuzz but a big one, a flat one, a loud one.  Loud enough to drown down even the mechanical hum of the tumbling dryer drums.  Some recklessness, some party political broadcast gone twisted and left to linger too long.  The kind of thing sensible minds are being made to endure all over this world since everything became merchandizing.  We got a file on you.   Know how you shop, how you vote.
I swear I heard a voice utter condemnation for every human ill, snake oilers, traveling circus tent preachers…, ears all piqued, all jealous.   Parasites.  I clearly heard that one.  I love the old chestnuts.  The swastika memories of these sad heathens that choke and surge down our streets, run long, they do…
It’s a fabulist’s  world anyway.  No one ever learns a thing, gets a punch line.
Like in front of the Laundromat, on the other side of a spiraling curve of the oddly circular road  between them stands a small globular park. Not a playing, bring the kids, kind of park, but one with neat lanes and short tasteful markers and one gigantic statue of a miner.  A coal miner in fact.  The major occupation of this area when it was still a job.  It is still around, in bits.  It is basically slavery is what it is…but not to the terrible limits, not yet.
But this is where I get off the boat.  This is where humanity and I usually part ways.  Because to most people, especially locals, it is some spot of at least half-hearted reverence and a little bit of pride.  To me, it is definitely in the running for one of the most legitimately depressing places of all the Earth.
You can walk up the sidewalks and paths and almost stand directly in the center. Past the scrubby boxwoods and quasi-feral rosebushes planted beneath the statue base and get yourself quite nearly smack dab in the middle, pause for a breath and look all around you, up, down, everywhere.
   But what does that tell you?  You are at the center of the universe?  Your universe?
And to most people who ever lay eyes on it.
How awful.
I have no pride in that at all.
I have no idea for sure where I was when I first realized I was all alone.  We are all alone.  I could have been on the cloudy banks of Iona or Skye, the ocean water mere inches from my feet, gray fog rolling over in billows.  Soundless.  On some solitary stroll when I first looked up and observed the heavens and noticed they were naked, devoid of any divine reflection.
I could have been there, quantum physically, but I wasn’t, never have been.  And a good thing too, I think it would’ve killed me, pulled me out of myself and left me like a fish to drown in the unfriendly thin air.  But instead when that realization came to me, I was surrounded by family and friends, in the normal course of my daily life.  This is the way such things should happen.  Such shocks to the system must be singular and must be buffered by stiff reassurance.  
It is also not wise to deal with life alone.  And I do not.  I have a large family.  A wife. Children.  All of them better and more talented than me.  More of that old time brilliance, glorious.   But far from threatening me, it relaxes me, relieves me.  I am free to be dimwitted to the very end, released.  Neil Innis singing in the background, playing the piano.
One should not look at life alone.  And one should not look at life from any bizarre angles or from afar. Not from top or from the bottom or sideways, glancing.  If you cannot look at life straight on, full on in the face, best not to look at it at all, keep your eyes off it.  Let it pass, like water, don’t bother.  Don’t make a splash or a sound.  Go your whole existence without, devoid of it.  That is if you can, if you’re lucky.
But there is so little life at all to see anymore.  The chance of a set of eyes mistakenly dooming themselves to a subsistence of introspection and insight is so mind bogglingly slight, so small, it is safe to cast about stares anywhere.  But be wary, lest you catch the old bugs of compassion or selflessness, both still communicable by way of hearing or reading.  Not that anyone listens, not that there is anything to read.
But it’s not so bad.  We are all alone together.  We sympathize.  We are in unison.  A lonely herd of ennui-beasts, blood red lips and weepy eyes, two long hands full of fingers slipping and probing into the surrounding everywhere darkness.  Shoulder to shoulder with each other.  We should understand.  We should.
I mean
Imagine trying to be a human being in this world today and all the multitudinous problems this age brings.  But you don’t have to imagine them, you live them, so just recognize them.  And recognition of what it means to be a living thing in a living world and empathy for its troubles, is all it takes to be a human being.
But like nothing more than zombies we wander over the surface of the earth, a cloud of caffeine, amphetamines, and television fumes.  Eyes eaten out by eagles.  Blind.  Groping.  Clumsy with perception and deficient of compassion.  We tear at each other.      
Imagine a thin magnetic film stretched over the surface of a tumultuous planet, pulled tight and held between Heaven and hell or between earth and sky, a translucent membrane, a continuous cloth, all woven together, a vast human field…of atoms and molecules, made of taste bids and finger tips, of the bottoms of feet and the corners of lips.  Just one thing, here we are, just one thing, a human race.
You can’t.  No one can.  We aren’t wired that way.  Not yet anyway.  We struggle and we grind our gears, the best of us even.  But something is amiss. Because as music is just one fire and each note a flare or spark, we too are just one ocean.  But it is tumultuous now, our sea.  That is what troubles me.  One note off and the fire flickers out of control or dies away.  
But enough about that.  In this window with the broken glass, the thick crystalline split makes a clear horizon but veers up into the high left and ends at the top of the corner.  And in that corner a spider had made a web, the web had collected all the sunlight, yellows and reds, like dewdrops and was reflected first in the top edge of the crack, reversed and then in the bottom, right side round but with a million strings of silk making a million lines and glares of refracted light buzzing over both images, everything tied together.  I saw that yesterday.
This is where I keep my fire-eyes.  I have them.  I can use them, see with them.
I use them for discerning.
Between right and wrong
Up and down
Left and right
Life from death.
I coil my fingers together in my lap and rock slightly in my chair remembering the sensation.
But recollection of sensation is not creating, is not writing...  
But it is a start, a solid start.
And imagine yet, me, in the act of creation, having to put my hands in all of that, make something of it, pull something out of it.  Into the swarming midst of it, the Jungian sub-consciousness, like diver bird and come out with a pebble, a rock.  And build on it.
That’s how it is done.  It is an exhaustive process.  An introspective one.  It is a rookie mistake to take too much, or choose the wrong things.  To make the stories too dark, the setting too tragic, the characters too complex.  Nothing is that interesting, so it won’t be real, and if it isn’t real, no one will believe it.  If it isn’t believable, it isn’t read.
So it is best to only scan the surface.  Not trouble the water too terribly, make only the slightest of ripples, observe them out the corners of your eyes, unassuming.  But don’t be boring.  It is just as easy to make a world so perfect and pure, so blue, you give in to all manners of lunacy.  Nothing ever bites back, there is nothing to fight back, everything is crystal clear.
It never ends.
I could have been in the Pampas grasses or on the Okavango or in Muscat under a hundred thousand layers of sky and atmosphere a tiny dusty mite-covered speck of life begging to reflect some light back to some unseen, unblinking eye.   Like a meteor falling out the sky, a rough collection of skin and bone thrown down to earth all alone, left to realize I was on my own.
I could have been anywhere.  I could have been anyone in all of space and time.
I can’t remember where I was when I first knew that I was it, the end, you and me, us, that’s it.  All alone.
But more than likely I was in a Laundromat.