Missing Flow

Loneliness Sunset
All image credit to this beautiful article and author.

I’m looking for a flow to spew,
to vomit pained fire in words and lyrical nonsense,
drench virtual paper in a cascade of feeling,
wishing for the release of a moment where my fingertips press
onto keys melded into an outpouring of something greater than myself.
I’m looking for a rhythm and a cadence,
and empty hollow to rest my eyes and heart within
where my brain can’t intrude or interrupt
where the language is something not of word
but made of a noise that comes from deeper down
primal and totally absent of definition.
I’m looking for a tapping of keys that harmonizes with my feelings
and that calms waters boiling over with discontent
where monsters lurk and playful creatures breathe imagination
as though it were the purest of air
carefree in their joy and hungers
contented to be their own masters and demanding nothing from anyone.
I’m shaking the trees of logic and thought
demanding that they un-fucking-root and get on with the business of dying
so that chaos can wash over me as a wind of compassion
letting me know that the madness is so very real
that anything else was a facade and an illusion
that its okay and I’ve come home to rest where I belong.
I’m lacing myself with poisons to calm the nerves
incinerating the memories of dreams never to be realized
in pools of chemical passivity
bleeding oil into my disquiet shores
where the glass and sand are never polished and always cut
though they shine like diamonds to lure you in.
I’m hunting for a flow,
that special moment when time collapses on itself and there is oneness
understanding, immutable confidence, and a distant stare
connection to more, recognition and awareness, centered peace,
consolidated thoughts, pacified emotions, acceptance, and satisfaction.
I’m looking for a flow,
one that tells me loneliness is temporary,
and that the universe is there in all its infinity and splendor
ready to skull fuck me back into joy when it feels fit
that reminds me there’s no point sulking and being miserable
this is the human condition in all its shit stained raimants
and that I could be grateful for the ability and opportunity to experience it.
I’m looking for a flow,
but right now I’m just writing, and there’s no flow to be found.


Impatient

I’m late for life.

Lick my frustration laden eye trails
with your feverish degree of need.
I’ve pulled apart my patience in brushstrokes,
and sit damming rampant torrents of greed.
Traipsing through a shutter-box as though
a thrown skein of glass trapped thoughts.
Spending words of do not try a thousand times
until they’re echoing so loud it hurts.
There is less difficulty here then meets the eye,
even when it’s filled with sorrow.
We’re on endless roads, journeying upward
on travels through time into tomorrow.
The final hurdle is simply to start the race,
get up off your ass and focus.
Move away from rabbit holes and wasted days
lest the world consume us as the locusts.


Clown Shoe Hustle

On with the show.

When I show up and use a prepaid debit card with borrowed funds and a big grin while spouting the sweetest “thank you” ever heard to the check-in lady–ignore the fact my clothes are second hand. Ignore that from a material standpoint, virtually everything I’m wearing is from homeless shelters, the YWCA, and the generosity of strangers and family. One of the necklaces I have on is from a cellmate when I was in jail, the other is a gift from my wife, neither ever comes off. A reminder of what awaits when my control slips, the other a reminder to be grateful for the people in my life who mean more than things–something I’ve consistently been terrible at remembering.

The suitcase I have has traveled more than 42 residence moves, endless hotels, the streets, and being encased in the coffin of my truck bed while filled with the only non-destroyed dress pairs of shoes I own. In point, the ones I’ll be wearing which are from a Goodwill purchased on my wedding day, another pair came from the local 7th Day Adventist thrift store on our bi-monthly free clothing visit. I once owned a brown, $700 pair of Italian handcrafted leather wingtips that fit around the cedar shoe trees as perfectly as my feet and sat in shoe bags so as not to be scuffed. These days, you’re more likely to see me wearing absurd Size 13 flip flops I accidentally purchased and for some reason couldn’t part with. I’m a size 10.5.

My bracelet was the first item I bought for myself when I moved to Oregon. It came at the same time as a pair of beautiful green earrings for my then new girlfriend. When I sued her for the return of my stuff it came to light that her mother had stolen them along with the cell phone I tried to return. That same woman kept my dress clothes and shoes I had put into storage, changed the lock, and had me trespassed from the property. That was a year ago and just like every other time I’d lost everything, I’ve gotten used to not having as much. The bracelet is banged up, missing insets and can be generally uncomfortable, but it’s mine and there are a host of memories attached to the feel of it’s rougher edges cutting into my wrist while I type on the computer.

That’s what it boils down to: memories–items, trinkets, keepsakes, notebooks, letters, a pair of socks, a favored t-shirt, a picture–everything is a memory unto itself in some sense. Those are what I miss more than anything as I find my recall to be less then lucid owing to the PTSD and schizoaffective bipolar. Like I’m fishtailing through a swimming pool of ideas more than memories in any sort of recognizable pattern. Concrete items help lock down specifics in a tactile fashion as though a smell conjuring up the taste of grandma’s sugar cookies.

Just like the suitcase I’ll drag to the elevator has the mental odor of a hundred hotels I stayed in with it when I was last a corporate man traveling the country by plane, train, and automobile. It remembers the blackout drinking, the shakes in the morning, desperate preparations in strange towns trying to banish the heebie-jeebies from my body in time to present rationally to the next client. New York City, Philadelphia, D.C., San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, Baltimore, Rochester, Binghampton, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver, and every damn city in New England to boot. My bag remembers a time when we stayed at nice hotels and flew 1st class because we were Gold Elite or Platinum mileage members and had a reason to be going from point A to B that didn’t involve simply surviving for another day.

It remembers being filled with the stuffed pig I would take pictures of in all those cities to send home to my son and ex-wife to let them know I was thinking of them. Being crammed with apology gifts for when I hit it too hard and forgot to call home because I was passed out or indisposed with a drinks meeting that night.

I’m sure it remembers being stuffed in with everything I was allowed to salvage from the house when the divorce started. That was the storage unit, 10’10’ space packed full, that I used to sleep in some days when I was too beat. I would lay my head on it like a pillow and bungie cord the door shut since there was no lock on the inside.

Because it remembers those things, holds them in the toughened fabric sewn to it’s exterior and it’s still rolling wheels, I can still feel those moments as vibrant as they were when they happened.

When I get to the room, you won’t see the mixed look of shock and delight on my face when I lay down in a normal bed, or take a shower with hot water and comfortably dry off rather than contort in the space available at home or the local truck stop. You won’t see the delight when I shave, appreciating the joys of a full mirror and a counter to lay things on. The last sigh as I close my eyes in a fully darkened room without dogs barking, goats bleating, and crazy midnight dazed roosters crowing away convinced the stars must just be confused suns needing to be warned away.

Next time you’ll see me is catching the 6:45am shuttle to the training center. You won’t know this backstory either, this is my life story and while I’ll share it with the world proudly, I know when to keep certain things under wraps. After all, I’m back to being regarded as a competent adult male who knows his shit, and you know what, I do. For every moment of doubt that might materialize, or second of uncertainty edge its way through to rut against the fundamental sense of confidence I have to nurture daily–for every one of those moments I can recover with a sense of gratitude and awareness I once lacked. I do know my shit. I’m grateful to be able to say that comfortably, though I will always remain open to learning more.

This time I’m not going to feel like I shouldn’t be where I am. That the world was just messing with me, getting my goat by pretending that I was a real boy and letting me play dress up as an adult. I’ve paid my dues, and I know my intentions. I’m going into this with knowledge of myself, the good and the bad. I have a partner/wife who is behind me and supportive as I have never experienced. She deserves my undivided time and attention, I will not slip into the mentality of unappreciative disdain for others in lieu of burying myself in the job. I will maintain the vicious degree of honesty by which I live my life and the understated fact that I don’t change who I am for anybody–take me or leave me, I am enthusiastic, creative, weird as hell, and 100% genuine. Let’s see how that shakes out this time as I step back into the corporate sales world.

You will see a big smile, teeth perfectly aligned and shockingly intact despite decades of drug abuse, hair combed, suit jacket fitted precisely, shirt pressed, bracelet and watch sparkling, shoes polished and clean shaven with eyes glittering a million laughs and adventures into the air between us.

I’m happy to be there, I’m thrilled to meet you, and I’m actually excited for this challenge. Let’s get this show on the road, because I have a wife and dog who deserve to not be crammed into a broken down RV missing it’s ceiling where the water damage was worst, someone who never asks for much but has earned the right to be supported as she pursues her own dreams in education and life. People who believed in me and lent hands to repay, child-support to pay and an ex-wife to sue for access to my children so I can try to set things right with the ones who never did anything wrong or asked for anything more than to be loved. Friends to show that anything is possible, that it can be achieved, you can change your direction in life no matter how low down the ladder you have gone.

I might even buy a pair of size 10.5 flip flops if things go really well. But I would never get rid of the old clown shoes–after all, they have some stories to tell.

Books, Booze and Blues

Boozehound image from dadadreams showing a dog drinking scotch.
Image borrowed from Dadadreams

John Lee Hooker says whiskey and women,
the blues man before asks for another pint.
Pour me a tall glass of that liquid summer
down the hatch and off into the night.
Pounding embers of wisdom shed into fluid form
its time to get wasted to the tune of a misfire
and the sobbing caterwauls of mans plight.
Joy measured into shared company is compounded
misery dissipates in that carefree state. .
Spider Robinson says that Callahan’s is the cure
that telepathic understanding would make us pure.
Three shots of jack and the curtains reveal
magic bullets in glass containers of sin.
Esoteric breakdown of barricades sitting strong
imagining the beauty in words as music hits the song.
Dusty lungs coughing out something foul
to the satisfaction of another cigarette horked down
sitting numb eyed in a daze that seems to follow.
Chest sits warm in dispassionate easy grace
somber living never gets you to these places
never breathing deep enough to indulge in phantom chases.
Down memory lane and into the brambles
a stumbling mess of skull fucked cobwebs
and woven disasters of recollection branches.
Drop those spiders on my spirit and proud face
its not for nothing that they call it a sad display.
But here I’ll sit until the noonday sun
calls out my moon tanned skin for daytime fun.
Polish the bottle child and don’t leave a drop
there’s a ride to be ridden this evening,
no conductor to guide us
and no idea where it stops.





Infectious

Infectious mood imagery.

Sardonic reserves of time kept patience
blending outward in rippling shades of hatred.
Baby, you’ve got that heart shaped gaping wound
says you’re bathed in longing for now not soon.
Nothing moves faster than a synapse firing off kilter
blistering brain waves melting downwind all splintered.
If the days were longer and I could taste your fears
all that we’d share could be understanding made clear.
So if you’ll touch your enthusiastic distaste to mine
lets go passe with anticipation and the cheapest wine.
Show me your ugly that I might gag and spew
my own redolent virus of loving life all over you.

Empathy

Blended souls.

Witticism fades on dribble soaked lips
caught halfway between quip and piss poor joke,
snagged in realization that the statement is not desired.
Flagrant display following an ineffectual attempt
to display the degree of empathy passed across,
mirror the affection and nurturing that is so foreign.
Scrub out those Golems whispering in thunderous tones
where they sit perched atop your clay built heart
you’ve deluded yourself into believing beats so strongly.
Open yourself to a differing of feelings,
a roughshod pillaging of your isolated innocence
protecting you as thistles would from the harm beyond.

I STAND WITH DARKNESS! – JASPER KERKAU — The Writings of Jasper Kerkau

Powerful writing in the vein of personal identity when faced with “to normalize or not” decisions like I’ve been wrestling with. One talented SOB and the grandmaster over at Sudden Denouement.

Brain Worms

All credit to Captain Three Leg for the image.
Image credit to Captain Three Leg

Wiggling brain worms of love
cross each other on withering paths,
laying out siege plans and more,
demanding the mind bow and be labeled a whore.
Tussling tatters of titrated remains,
their infection spreads softly
but fierce is the pain.
When all is lost to the annals of memory
(that malleable stuff made of thoughts stuck in entropy),
we’ll know not the beginning,
seek to suss out the end.
But by that point the parasites will be dug in,
they’ve rewired the hardware,
unfucked the program and rewritten the codes.
Their beautifully at odds with all we call real,
if God were a worm I might be filled with more zeal.
A zest for the unknown where dreams can take flight,
even a place to call home in the bitterest of nights.
But, here I sit.
Obliterated identity left off as a stain
to be cleaned by the new host
who’d prefer I be insane.

Parenting the Sin Monster

Abaddon by Eileen Understaalz

Watched from the outskirts all rimmed in love,
you gave over no safety that I could feel of.
Watched bygone while I struggled and spit
venom and vomit up until I was spent.
Watched while the waves came on moving higher,
swore I’d tell you to fuck off from my funeral pyre.
Watched while I grew sturdier before I faltered again,
lost deep in mire of life and filled up with sin.
Watched endless triumphs burned to the ground,
seemed life went crashing down even without you around.
Watched this final run at the finish line
with new eyes and a tone that said things would might not be fine.
Watched as realities melted and took rent in my head,
finally recognized that all wasn’t right for my seeming age.
Watched with compassion even from afar,
spent time learning rather than coaching a “star”.
Watched me enroll and hit the books,
instead of crack pipes and needles if you only knew.
Watched me change for ways in the better all dulled by the pain,
I walked through the fires in flames before I saw you again.
Watched me marry and find a good woman who’ll last,
she once told you to get bent though its all in the past.
Watched me grow up finally into something akin
to man racked in regrets and scarified skin.
Watched the people I’d hurt and sometimes you’d side,
with me over others, though it crushed my pride.

At the end of my days when I look on out to consider
how far I’ve come and whether I should be bitter.
You did the best you could with your view of the world
that you did what you could to help despite all the churls.
If it wasn’t for you I don’t know where I would’ve been,
maybe the futures changed are in respect to what you did.
Parenthood must not be easy I say as a father,
one seemingly absent forever trying to reclaim self enough not to falter.
And if my children one day come looking this way
I’ve got apologies, presents, and a lifetime to share—
I’ll do it different then you did, I want them to know that I’ve cared.
And if that isn’t enough and they hate on me still,
I’ll know that I forgave you for it eventually, even without a will.




Squandered Clout

Black smoke picture from Unsplash
Black Smoke from Unsplash

Hat trick pony across the line,
shepherded wisdom you felt was fine.
Triumph and fall away
don’t presume your sacrilegious idolatry on me.
Priming pumps at the Chaos Madcap
shoplifting tears having a panic attack.
Raze the Earth come all blue
destination choke back for our school.
Anti-hero rapture chord in flight
pulled on so loosely
now cinched up tight.
Bargaining with soul to sell
minister no more hearts and regrets in hell.
Hardcore stomps and tromps on you
confinement time in a human zoo.
We’ve got no more noise but slaves to quell
freedom squandered,
no one spent it well.