on my knees
biting a needle
pinching a cotton
I prepare to receive
my daily sacrament
communing with a false god
omnipotent for all I know
I pray that isn't so
This grin cracks
in the mirror
like an old plate
used too long
Ceramic teeth—jagged shards—
clatter-dance ‘round a blood-rust stain:
the drain agape and unsated—
a silent throat of slime
where a painted flower façade
finds relief in the breaking
I fly my love like a kamikaze
grasping at divinity through reckless devotion
knowing it always ends in flames
and smoking ruin
I wrote this January 17th, 2017, but I wanted to include it now because it is semi-relevant to the last post. Here ya go:
my god is a frail god and very thin-skinned and sensitive.” –David
have been or am a skeptic, an asshole, a solid cat, a childish prick,
an inspiration, and a disappointment. In other words, I’m just
another human like you, presuming you’re a human. I have my doubts
sometimes. And as said human (and skeptic), I’ve had a rocky
relationship with religion and religious folk. But I’ve recently
had several humbling experiences during which I was in the presence
of something awesome (that’s awe-inspiring to you slang aficionados
like myself, but whose intelligence I’ve just insulted—I warned
you in the opening sentence: I’m a dick.) That “something” was
sentient and terrifying and compassionate all at once, and I don’t
pretend to understand it, but it was definitely a higher power. I
didn’t expect it to be there, in fact I had my usual doubts, and I
didn’t “kind of” feel it. It was in my face like a celestial
gangster. And I’m not trying to convince anyone or defend it. It
doesn’t need defending. I’m just speaking with those who’ll
listen about something important to me.
Those who know me might understand how this shakes up my world view. And, this is me choking on a lifetime of rebellion, but Christ (as in Christ consciousness) refuses to be ignored, despite all my efforts to keep that troublemaking rebel out of my worldview. I think I would’ve liked the guy personally, but damn, I’ve had an ass-full of Christians. Not the good ones, you’re cool as hell, or, uh, heaven, but the others. You know who you are, especially the God Hates Fags knuckleheads. Enjoy your visit to Reno at my brother-in-law’s funeral? Thank you to the bikers who held up American flags at his veteran’s funeral to block the family’s sight of the Westboro Baptists, and revved their bikes loud enough to drown out those jackasses. All the lawyers in their stupid army didn’t make them feel safe that day. My heart and thanks goes out to you all, even the dude sporting the SS hat in the newspaper picture. I’m sure we wouldn’t see eye-to-eye on much, but thanks man. I guess God Hates Reno now, too. Who didn’t know that?
set out to write about a concept in martial arts called the
indomitable spirit, and this is what came out. I thought I was off
topic, but I realized I’m not. I recently lost that indomitable
spirit. I was real close to broken, on the verge of hopelessness,
consumed with apathy and barely able to function despite being
physically healthy. Having the experiences I did reached into me,
laid bare my deepest sorrows, and healed me with unrelenting and
unconditional compassion. Good news—I got my indomitable spirit
human, like most of you, so I’ll never be fixed, but I’ve been
able to start putting the past where it belongs, which, by the way,
is not in the future. And, like a cliché quarterback millionaire, I
have to say it’s all thanks to that God thing-whatever you want to
call it (I think God can probably take a joke, fuck he/she/it seems
to pull plenty of cosmic pranks…), and my family, friends, and
the point of all this rambling? I’m not sure, just some stuff I
wanted to express. I guess I mainly wanted to encourage people to
understand that the path they’re on is the only one they can walk,
and if someone criticizes you or doesn’t agree or whatever, smile,
give ‘em the finger, and let them trip on their own stones. I’m
sure you’ve got plenty of your own to deal with without their
judgement. I invite your comments or whatever. If you read this,
thank you. If it pissed you off, then at least I know it’s
effective art. Namaste motherfuckers.
Last time I wrote about DMT I had
nothing negative to say about it. Well, I feel I should amend that
somewhat; my second experience with it was nothing like the first.
had the rare privilege of being invited to several religious
ceremonies that were actually life-changing for me: I was a skeptic
going in and each time felt the presence of something divine or
awesome, definitely greater than me, sentient, and something which I
could not help but be humble before. A friend of mine, who invited me
to these proceedings, warned me against mixing medicines—a warning
I treated like most warnings and ignored. That, my friends, was a
met up with my homie and decided to partake of the DMT foregoing any
ritual. I hit the DMT, which tastes like the asshole of a burning
tire by the way, and immediately felt like I was completely naked,
exposed, vulnerable, vomiting, and dying. I fucking thought I was
dying, and I’m not going to lie, it terrified me. There were no
celestial beings to welcome and teach me this time. Luckily, I was
still aware of my trusted friend’s presence. I don’t know if this was
the case for sure, but it seemed at the time like the only way my
spirit could find it’s way back to my body and I could continue
living was by that presence guiding me back.
I came to I was fully clothed, and had not vomited, but was
definitely still reeling in the fear of death. Unpleasant as the
experience was, it was still informative. That little taste of death
made me, a somewhat self-destructive person, realize how much I
really wanted to live. It also taught me that these powerful
medicines and sacraments are not to be played with. They are life and
death and should be treated accordingly. I’ve done a great deal of
hallucinogens over my life, and I consider those separate drug
experiences. While the uninitiated may think these medicines are just
drugs, I disagree. They are literal sacraments; they plug you into
the divine, which has been rough for me each time, but completely
rewarding in the long run. They are not short cuts by any means.
About six or seven years ago I took my kids to see the fireworks on July 4th. Rancho San Rafael Park was absolutely packed. I had one child riding on my shoulders and the other, who has difficulty walking due to a stroke—especially back then, stumbling along beside me. The deepening nightfall made it increasingly difficult for my son to walk without falling on his face, so I finally found a few cubic feet of space and decided to stop before my son broke his ankle.
The whole crowd was standing, and I had my youngest child still on my shoulders so he could see the fireworks. That’s when I heard the mewling, annoyed voice.
“Thanks for ruining the fireworks for my family. Now my kids can’t see anything.” I was already irritated by the situation, and these complaints did little to alleviate that.
“You could just ask me politely to move,” I responded, making no attempt to mask my own rancor.
“My family got here early to pick out a nice place to sit so my kids could watch the fireworks, but you show up at the last minute and block our view. Thanks for ruining the holiday for my kids.” I turned around to face this woman, actually calculating how fast her husband might respond after I socked her in the face. I wouldn’t have done such a thing, most likely, but the fact that I thought about it at all shows I was not handling the situation or my emotions very well.
That’s when my youngest son intervened.
Perched atop my shoulders, he waved his hands over my shaved head, stared at it intently as if looking into a crystal ball and said, “I see…I see…an angry woman.” It took everything I had not to laugh out loud. He instantly diffused the situation. My thoughts of violence vanished and the “angry woman” even apologized and offered us cookies. It was a good thing there was someone present smarter than the adults to keep things from getting out of hand. One of the many blessings of children is that they remind us not to take ourselves too seriously.
I have a friend who is a hard-working carpenter. He’s compassionate and generous to a fault. He’s quick to laugh and easy to get along with. Because he’s dealt with a good deal of adversity in his life, he possesses empathy for people who walk difficult paths.
About a month ago, this friend of mine was shoveling sand into the back of his truck to repair a water line at his home so his family could have water. He was parked in an area designated for just this purpose—people come and get sand. I don’t know if the cops were called or just happened on the scene, but a sheriff arrived to investigate what the media described as “suspicious behavior”. The sheriff patted him down and discovered he was carrying knives—also known as tools. Carpenters carry tools; they’re weird like that. My friend was compliant and handed over his knives, and when he was searched the sheriff discovered my friend was in possession of small amount of narcotics. Due to the cowardice and incompetence of the sheriff, things quickly got out of hand.
The sheriff had my friend interlace his fingers and put them on his head, which he did, and the cop took hold of him. Back pain and construction go hand-in-hand, and the sheriff repeatedly forced my friend, who was being otherwise compliant, into a position that caused his back to spasm, forcing him to adjust his posture. My friend asked this thug to stop hurting him, and tried to tell him he couldn’t hold that position. The officer, despite being in no danger, felt threatened by this and took my friend to the ground and proceeded to strike him repeatedly. Perhaps he forgot his job was to serve and protect (and de-escalate), not pretend he’s a fucking cage fighter against someone who can’t even protect himself without risking great consequences. The sheriff punched him something like seventeen or eighteen times, and at no point did my friend attempt to fight back. All he did was try to stand up—a natural enough reaction when another human being is savagely beating you.
The media had a slightly different take on the situation:
That’s when, the deputy reports, the man became uncooperative, broke free and ran, leading the deputy after him. That led to a struggle during which the deputy was unable to free his hands to call for help.
“That’s when our Good Samaritan came to the rescue,” Sheriff Balaam says. “She observed the violent nature of the struggle and immediately called 911 so that dispatch could advise other responding deputies about the urgent nature of the situation.”
There’s several problems with this interpretation. First, my friend told this hooligan where he lived. His truck was parked there. Why would he run? Where would he go? The only reason this gangster in blue couldn’t reach his radio is because his hands were occupied trying to smash in my friend’s face. If he felt threatened, he could’ve asked my friend to sit down until other officers arrived, and he would’ve done so.
I’m not only sickened by the complete lack of the officer’s ability to control the situation while dealing with a compliant person, but I’m disgusted by the media and the police and the so-called “good Samaritan” damn near breaking their collective arm patting themselves on the back for averting near disaster. Fuck each and every one of you. All you averted was a working-class family man from providing water for his family. Yeah, he had some drugs on him. Did he break an unreasonable law? Yes. Should it be up to the government to regulate what we put into our bodies if we’re not hurting anyone? Fuck no. And should citizens be beaten instead of restrained by incompetent officers? I don’t think they should.
I recognize police have a difficult and dangerous job, but I also think that because of their position, they have a duty to conduct themselves in a professional and civil manner. An officer, like any human, should protect himself when in danger, but I would hope they would be able to discern the difference between a compliant person and an actual threat.
My buddy took it all in stride. Whenever people asked what happened to his face he told them the truth—not such good publicity for the cops. His sense of humor gave birth to the Sand Shovler—a heinous, dangerous deviant who should be avoided at all costs. Beware the Sand Shoveler. Luckily, we have the police to protect us from such horrors.
It’s been several years since I
posted anything new in this blog, and those years have not been easy.
I spent some time in jail, I lost custody of my kids, and until
recently, made less money than I did when I was ten years younger.
I’ve struggled with bi-polar disorder and the drug and alcohol
addiction that commonly accompanies it most of my life. Those
struggles have changed, and I think I deal with them better now, but
I don’t think they’ve lessened much as the years progressed.
hasn’t been all bad though. During the short time I spent in jail, I
forgave my ex-wife and my father, and in doing so put down a heavy,
burning hatred I’d been carrying around for far too long. Later, I
experienced God in an undeniable way for the first time while
attending a church the laws of this land forbid me to, and in that
place my broken heart was healed, returning to me the capacity to
love. The hardships I’ve endured have humbled me and instilled in me
an empathy for those whose accrue a greater share of suffering in
this life than most.
best way I’ve found to deal with life coming apart at the seams is to
keep a sense of humor about it all—as much as one can. Believe me,
I know there are times when one can laugh about as easily as he or
she can shit gold. However, a certain fatalistic gallows humor has
served me better than dwelling constantly in sorrow and hopelessness.
Things are looking up again: I’m writing, I’m spending time in the
dojo, and I’m staying as positive as I can. If you’re reading
this and feeling totally fucking hopeless, then I encourage you to
hang in there and maybe try cracking a few jokes about the situation
most people will probably find in bad taste. What people think
matters not, especially if you can find some way to smile, or better
I hate Valentine’s Day, and I’ll tell you why. When I was younger and thought what women said directly correlated to what they meant, I had a conversation with my girlfriend (or was it my wife?) that went something like this:
“Valentine’s Day is coming up,” she said.
“Yeah, I guess it is, huh?”
“It’s stupid. It’s just another day. I think it’s sad that companies try to make it something more than it is in the name of profit. If you’re in love with someone, you should give them gifts and kisses anyway, not just on Valentine’s Day.”
“Really?” Wow, I thought. My love for this person, whom I cannot now remember, seemed to deepen at the time. “So what are you saying? You don’t want to celebrate it?”
“No,” she said. “I don’t think we should support that kind of sham.”
“Well, great. Yeah, I totally agree. Let’s fight back against corporate America in our own small way. We’ll just completely ignore it.”
Now, those of you who are married or have some basic experience with women can see how terribly the naïve young man who was me was being set up. I figured she was speaking in a manner that represented her true feelings, the way I used to speak in relationships. I’ve since gained some subtle filters.
Valentine’s Day arrived, and I ignored it—probably going as far as to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in a sneering, ironic manner. I thought we were flying in the face of baseless Hallmark holidays. What rebels, I thought. This chick is great.
But she wasn’t great. What she was, was upset. Upset at me for being so inconsiderate as to not even acknowledge the one I love in a simple way on Valentine’s Day. I was even dumb enough to recall our conversation and point out that we’d both agreed to righteously ignore the day. I can’t remember if she gave me a card or not, but that hardly mattered. I had utterly failed the test.
As you might imagine, this soured Valentine’s Day for me from then on. I liken it now to a dirty trick, a “fool me once” kind of scenario. I’d encourage you, young men, to go out of your way on Valentine’s Day (if you want to be happy in your current relationship), and show her how much you love her with over-priced sweets and saccharine cards. As my divorce and general failure in relationships will attest, I’m probably not one from whom you should take advice on how to be romantic. But those same credentials do impart to me a special knowledge you might benefit from: I definitely know how to make a woman unhappy, and skipping cards on V-Day is a surefire way to do it.
Ah, feels good to be back in the blog-saddle again. My bipolar seesaw seemed stuck at sea level for a while there. Whenever I’m coming out of a funk, I find myself asking how I got funked-up in the first place. I don’t have cancer; I’m only mildly addicted to huffing paint; I don’t own a Chihuahua. What’s the deal?
I think one huge factor is my thinking, or rather not having proper control of my mind. Our thoughts and intentions create our reality (or at least our perception of reality), and if I don’t stay positive, my brain tends to babble like a hateful little goblin, assuring me that I’m breathing too much of the air that real people need to stay alive. Unchecked, my thoughts create spiraling patterns of negativity that suck me into an invisible abyss. When I emerge, I usually feel like the whole episode could have been avoided if I possessed more discipline. I wonder though.
I know it’s unrealistic, even foolish, to expect to be happy all the time. But I would like to at least even out the peaks and valleys somewhat, find a mental middle ground. I believe I can do this by changing or reducing my thinking, but this is a hard pattern for me to break because I’m flying in the face of a lifetime of negative conditioning. However, I don’t feel like I have any other choice.
I encourage you to smile a little more today, even if you feel like choking the person taking up your vision. Laugh a little more, and try not to take things so seriously. Don’t worry: I’ll grind my teeth enough for the both of us.