Hesitation on the edge of perfection while the wind whips back past the lips of despair and a trajectory that ends splatted on the rocks below. A momentary pause for God knows what reason, soliloquy rattling like unquenched armor inside a skull aching for reasons and meaning.
No jovial tone to be found other than the laughing hysteria that comes choked off with a seemingly endless parade of tears. Coughing, bawling, howling, begging, giggling into the yawning darkness and discontent of a reality set to dissolve beneath the weight of a mind misfiring badly.
The beautiful tableau awash in sunlight and a fucking million possibilities all riots against that creeping sensation that “all is not what it seems”. A centipede who can no longer walk because he thought about how he did it. Natural instinct sold out into chained slavery inside the boundaries of nothing and infinity. Conjured by poisons and released by fears it’s set loose as a hungry behemoth on the landscape of mind, the carvings of soul, the sculpture of heart.
Hesitation on the edge of perfection with the barest sliver of hope overcoming resignation. Nothing is ever as it seems, and the worst of the world today may become the most redeemed beauties of tomorrow. Shake off the terror and walk into the fire to be forged anew.
The edge of perfection recedes against hope. Time slips forward into the next scene.
I just started reading “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg and am already taken off my feet by the remarkably flippant and deep feeling fuck off embodiment of a massive struggle we/he face(d). I absolutely love the thick atmosphere of dirt riddled dis-ease and aggressively sexual overtones that demand I open my eyes and ears to the realism of what goes on beneath and behind the scenes. The title fits so perfectly as the first section seems to roil up a primal scream. A shout for attention to be paid to the damned masses and the rollicking unbridled injustice they endure and are forced to thrive within.
Fucking. Magical. Here’s a snippet:
Who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons; who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication; who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts
Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”
How vivid and intense are the words? How brilliantly anarchistic and rebellious is the feeling? How just, fucking, magical, are those words?
At least for me, reading Ginsberg is an unfettering of the constraints and standard normative I find in so much of my own and other writing. It takes me back to the wilderness of my own mind and demands that I purge the violence and sickness that resides there in some glorious fountain of verbal spew that it might infect the mainstream with decades of sweat and tears and failure and endurance and broken spirits and unbroken souls.
I am so glad I picked this up, and sometime in the next 30 days I might start an homage piece to what I’m personally characterizing as (with my limited scope of awareness to be sure) one of the most scandalously beautiful pieces of literature I have ever run across. Thank you for your pain and horror Mr. Ginsberg, thank you.
A sense of calm resignation is starting to settle in. So often shunted aside still for madcap panic and desperate flailing as this faltering shell of a body which carries an acidic sonofabitch that wants out while refusing to take pleas, no’s, or prayers as a hint to get lost. It’s there on the outskirts as the magnitude, the absolute fucking magnitude of how colossally I’ve screwed the lives of those around me up, while trying to ruin my own existence..
It always sat there just on the outskirts, even when it should have been blatant. The self concocted cocoon of ignorant bliss I had woven around myself to keep the realities of life and the need for growing up at bay made sure that even if I was looking at it head on, I wouldn’t see. I’d spin it internally, sometimes to deflect the judgement and actions needed, sometimes to punish myself further and feel so amply deserving of it while begging confusion to those closest to me.
God help me. I sat there blind to love, affection, nurturing, opportunity, friendships, my children, the actuality of LIFE itself.
All in favor of an endless repetition of the same monotonous actions. Awake, chase, get high, drink, crash, rinse and repeat ad infinitum, The same rhythm that most humans are going through their awake, cabinet, coffee, drink, functional, productive, competent portions of their day to day.
What has it cost?
I’m sitting in the mountains which are my peaceful place, body too exhausted to hike or sleep. Dimly aware that I’ve imploded yet another beautiful person’s life, tucked mine into an 18’ trailer, and spiraled into oblivion while desperately fighting a battle that can’t be won on my terms. Beginning to come around the edges of what that actually means–to be so viral, so toxic and caustic in someone’s life that you can literally see it reshape their entire being from what they were prior–knowing that even if it wasn’t intended, that’s what happened.
To know that the fiber of your being is so saturated in selfish self-hatred that it closes you off to the possibility of trusting and believing that anyone could actually love you for a person you don’t even know any longer, yourself? Knowing that sounds like Narcissistic Personality Disorder and digging around to see if there’s ways to be less of a screaming manchild asshole only to find that if it’s really the case, there ain’t shit to be done?
To realize that I don’t even fucking know what things I actually enjoy in life? To have focused so many countless hours on a single destructive course that it has literally obliterated all remnants of understanding about what joy means. How love is shown. What fun is. How to treat others or myself in any sort of a humane way laced starkly with the deep confusion of always being at odds with myself to begin with. That I have erased inborn gifts, destroyed my mind, poisoned my body wildly–that I will die younger than I had to and may never have the chance to see my children again. That my children have been growing up without their father.
Being aware now of the wreckage and turbulence behind my passing from those unlucky enough to have had me walk into their life “chaos incarnate” as I used to joke. To not even be able to apologize in any sort of a meaningful way yet because time and action is all that really will matter, could matter at this point. To not be able to say thank you sufficiently where I mean it within such limited scopes as I’m tooled to have the capacity for. The endless dreams that have died in lieu of one more hit, one more drink.The beautiful dreams that staggered onward beneath the weight only to have the carpet ripped out from under them again. The smashed hopes that held them aloft for so long.
It is seriously time for a change. So for the first time in YEARS, I’m throwing in the towel, surrendering, and just going with it. I have a bed at a program starting in a few days, a kennel for the dog, a storage spot for the trailer/home, and a hiatus from school while I straighten myself out and make some so critically needed changes. Peter Pan with a crack pipe and a 100u shot–fuck it’s old.
The next time I write will be on the back end the next 30+ days probably, so until then, thanks for everything and all the kind words, help, camaraderie, and digital awesomeness that is everyone else out there. Addiction’s a beast. Mental illness is a beast. But neither gives any permission to keep perpetuating that cycle endlessly or to inflict them on those around you.
Time to give up the fight and go back to the drawing board, starting fresh all over again.
Crazy dog on a leash nipping the beak of an Alpaca, a little bundle of terror–so damn happy. She’s out on four paws in the noonday shade, fucking with a goat-kid we saved from the grave. Throws herself carefree in the still biting grass, rolls until she can finally hit that perfect spot in need of a scratch. No shame in her game as those jowls go flapping, smiling like the devil inside, bounds off into the hills, roaming free now, ignoring all but her truest calling. Glinting light off one scarred eye, covers up the mysteries of whats come to pass, it’s always in the past, and we’ll know not why.
Give me back the good ole’ days, when I didn’t know I had been a dick, before my eyes got opened wide when I didn’t know I was supposed to think that I was slick. ’cause now there’s nowhere left to run, the drugs aren’t making new connections, copper wire all stripped bare and caked in black, who knew that feeling guilty wouldn’t be so fun. When disassociation was best friend, wide-eyed ignorance was true enough shame comes boiling on like napalm from the surface of a once forgiving sun. So self-important in critique that I’m burying the good parts inside the shit convinced that its still black and white and regardless of the truth, I deserve to be punished. for the right, the wrong, the sick, that stupid mindless babble even my well-intentioned songs. Keep it all so serious now, that panic seems always at the door, instead of basking in the freedom from that monster inside that damaged so much the world. Enjoy the chance to roll again, spin through ridiculously insane normalcy, let feet hit a brand new road and leave behind insecurities, all fallacies–
I’m terrible at formatting on WordPress, but here is a very succinct set of slides on the issue of the Troubled Teen Industry and my proposed 5-step process to mitigate the damage being done to thousands of children annually, prevent further abuse, and compensate the victims and families of those who have subjected to this type of malicious programming.
All thoughts and feedback are welcome, this is a very personal issue, but with movements like #breakingcodesilence, podcasts like #TalkTroubled and the involvement of the Survivors of Institutionalized Abuse – there is a real opportunity to shut down a deceptive, profiteering, and vicious industry that has taken a toll on so many.
Tongue twisting word misted lofty ethics suddenly shifted. Verbiage awry crooked context, sand quickens sickens the truth with maddening lies. Bullheaded bully vacuum packed morals gone dead done right presented cleanly above suspicion heartless lips soulless head. Accusations flutter steer recklessly fly rashly land poorly eventually die. Miserable life distorted denial avoids change ever always engarde tromping a perilously pointless and petulant hike. Existence’s trials trails marching for miles dust caked grins always grimy shiver obscenely spit softly back at ’em –shake the fear off and smile.
I’ve been on both ends of the stick I suppose at different points, something that I’m not proud of, but can admit readily enough. Whether it was spawned from fear, trauma, etc, doesn’t quite qualify as an excuse for how I behaved at points during my life, it was my responsibility to “not be an asshole”. Feeling someone play out their own internal sickness in the same way towards me is an eye opener.
Tattered, tired, and angry though someone may be, it has to be an echo of some truly painful and unresolved issues to advise an individual dealing with a mental illness that they are despised and everyone is in the eaves waiting for them to die. Shitty and deeply manipulative behavior,knowing that the recipient can literally do nothing other than just sit with themselves, absent means to defend themselves without seeming more culpable as a perpetrator of something justifying such vicious and cutthroat suggestions. There is no power in the words themselves other than what the recipient gives them.
Maybe though, in some ways, it might just be how a person deals with their particular brand of sadness and pain–the only way they know how, lash out. Go for the throat. God knows I’ve done it before more times than I care to think if not totally in that literal context. A whipcord reaction to hurt those that hurt you, even if it is based on incorrect judgement calls and assumptions.
Everyone heals in their own way, and while that doesn’t make it right, finally, I can put myself in the other pair of shoes and understand the feelings behind the words. Temper my own frustration and resentment at the unnecessary cruelty with patience and accept that it is what it is, and life will continue to move on. It’s not worth giving though or dwelling on someone’s words when they are bent on hating or hurting you, let ’em go by the side and don’t look back.
Someone once told me, if someone’s an asshole and lies or treats you poorly, at the end of the day, they’re the asshole, not you.I’ve been an asshole plenty across my life, and that makes a lot of sense.
We have only ourselves and our actions to control–for better or for worse.
I know a man who threw away 10g of meth. Down a toilet. Intentionally, during a moment of lucidity. He woke up from his dream. He didn’t do it for the posturing or the bragging, he did it because he had a fucking moment and things added up.
He saw his future was his past and all that was going to come again. The regrets. The broken relationships. The self-hatred. The loneliness and the pain. The body count and the desperation. The stagnation. The missed joy and thrill of life. The empty smile and the personal failings. The prayer for death unanswered.
It hit that water in the toilet and didn’t even stain the water with some indication of all the soil and grime that its brand had left over the years. All the marks on his morals. His appreciation of life. His awareness and understanding of the world and himself. His inability to connect and always be “other” – not in a way he was proud of, but in a way that left him sullied and greasy where it would always be felt most.
He wasn’t going to revisit and replay what had come before. He was learning gratitude for all the experiences, painful or pleasant, and that meant realizing that the pain had only needed to happen once. He didn’t need to put his hand back into the fire like always. it was still fucking hot and he was worth more than scorched flesh. He wanted to, could, and will become more. He’ll evolve, be seen in the mirror as true to himself, a good friend, an honest and genuine man, and as a survivor not an unchanging Peter Pan chemical fiend. Wreckage for decades as his only gift to the world, a Lost Boy playing pirate to his own loot.
He had learned, was learning, would continue to learn. He would grow.
I know a man that threw away 10g of meth. Finally took a dive and emptied a bag, got back on the horse, and welcomed in a change for once.
So often I would sit and wail about "why"? The frustration unending, the obsession ongoing, a gut wrenching demand to understand that in itself kept me from the knowledge, the peace I sought.
Sick in the head druggie, psychopath, crazy as a shit house rat, lunatic, insane, addict, "something's wrong with that kid" -
I tried to own those labels make them something to be proud of. I tried doing that, by doing all the things I imagined people with those labels would do. I followed that up, by demanding that I not be persecuted, not be judged, not be looked at differently, though I had just behaved in a way that demanded all those things happen.
Now I come to terms, sit with the idea of peace, find pride not in my actions but in the understanding that awareness and acceptance bring. To know that I am not an actor playing out roles, that I lost myself, but I am a survivor, no longer needing to play the role of victim or perpetrator anymore.
It's a small thing, Which means so much to me. To be able to introduce myself, engage in a conversation, with confidence. Know that I accept who I am as a being, that I no longer let labels define who I choose to see myself as, act as a script for my identity, or be my scapegoats when I screw up.
That like so many others, I am the hero and the villain, of my own story. That my abnormal mental states, my addictions, all the resulting experiences, are gifts to allow me opportunities, to shine my brightest against the backdrop of adversity, and decide just how much of it there would be.
To know that there are others out there gleaming, and if we encounter each other it could be in the form of respect and love, admiration for the battles fought, no matter whether they were felt won or lost, an opportunity to compare notes and grow.
I'm not ashamed of who I am, or where I am today, I am disappointed in many of my choices but they have been mine to make, and they were made. I used to have a vision of the perfect person, someone that I would measure myself to and inevitably fall short.
Today I am me, released on the world perfectly defective, beautifully abnormal, gifted with challenge and capacity for growth.
All of it, so that I have a chance to become an oh so slowly evolving, human being.