reporting on the condition of being human (in america) to the home planet: September

some people are on to me

the crank-wanker at the bus stop who repeatedly asked for change, and didn’t understand when i explained i’ll have nothing to do with his campaign slogans. then he stared at me and stared at me and said “who are you?” and smelled my undercover, and luckily the 20 arrived exactly then.

pamphleteers with their prophets, ornery white and usually dead and likely unable to speak the important follow up question: “Can’t you take a joke?” she cornered me on burnside with her fat stack and drowned expression and little dog occupying a baby stroller and announced her own salvation. hidden gills tickled and i scratched while her lips cast calculations so i slithered before her math found my matrix.

merry wanderers who notice the stars in my eyes and the eyes all over my body, iris to iris with other eye-pods accurately detecting the skipping spinning of my soft insides. we greet in clicks and shake mitts and post walk-away the hooks remain.

still: most are not on to me.

television is very important here

when the hovering ships the US government assures have never been identified arrive, many will be glued to their televisions waiting for someone on the other side of the mystical talking box to confirm the testimony of their senses.

while the nail biting meat is sufficiently occupied, those who have electrostimulated their unmentionables will assume the lotus position and levitate for entry. don’t worry: the few witnesses will likely be written off by uncolorfuls as white-light purple-shroud finger-twirl-by-the-temple acid-popping sky-is-falling psychonauts, or rambling hyperactive unmedicated children in need of a time-out and an older, more glasses-wearing therapist. In the morning those uncolorfuls code crazy will simply be gone. Poof.

television is very important.

day jobs occupy time

this joke is at least as good as the one that begins with a prophet and some pamphlets. after taking out fake money from fake government to go to real school to memorize faulty theories, individuals work meaningless jobs they attended college to avoid to make barely enough fake money to return to the fake government. because they owe them.

captured: a reflection in a pool of water. only the water is real. i tell them. they don’t believe me.

so i tell them it’s television, and if what they’re watching is dull they can turn it off. they say, “what else would I do with my time?” I’m not sure how to answer this.

television is very important.

sound is a strange thing

some humans restrict the experience to ears and fail to activate the sensors sleeping in exposed hair follicles. a cello isn’t simply drunk in a eardrum, it runs a track up arms and over skull and wraps string tight around throat until eyes water mercy. voice isn’t simply a means of message delivery, it’s the creation of a heart egg perfect and warm before slow hatching. each individual accent scaling jagged cliff sides and rolling down green hills and coyote hopping fences and dumping tea in harbors and dipping into great lakes and crawling off pan handles eating hotcakes and collared greens. every cracking knee and whispered judgment and falling down laugh presses me closer to overwhelmed, tips the scales a single weight further into wow.

when my own voice hunts for sound escape, words chosen so each syllable enunciated matters, it’s then i notice how few spend time on the business of listening. No, not until they’re aware of some absence, only longing activates neglected drums and the instruments that accompany them, and only then do they open a little for the greater a-ha.

they’ll never hear us coming.

crows continue to be a nuisance

closest to angels are crows, the closest to flying humans are pigeons. mating of these two beings produces a dumb crow, wandering into the road head bobbing to earth pulse. stand by for the coming 18 wheeler. a fellow other-thing asks if that’s what i am under this exoskeleton – a dumb crow. Gabriel assures me there’s a compliment in there.

two on the wire, waiting. mated for life, nearly toppling the upper branches of a nearby tree with the volume of their night time roost.

they definitely are on to me. good thing no one is listening.

americans like to burn books

words are sacred, pressed into the offerings of trees and preserved for some period of time before they are boiled down to catch phrases and pressed into pamphlets. humans show disdain for one another by burning their favorite books and melting words away. these humans don’t know the internet exists and the books they are burning have already been scanned and are being actively distributed for free, as we speak, by THE GOOGLE. some are very upset by this development. now they’ll never burn all the copies. it’s book immortality, until the internets fail us, and free knowledge until a student loan is required for access.

other ways to know immortality

across the street from the bus stop a black woman wearing house shoes and a long flowing skirt and a pink sweatshirt walks a slow procession on the sidewalk, cradling a life-sized doll dressed as a bride on her big day. each step fluid and perfect, dedicated transient approaches with extended hand to inquire about contribution. the doll, not the woman, turns into the outstretched paw and offers the soliciting an answer.

this is better than television.

my ears tell me to turn up the sound. she has opted for immortality, to color pamphlets conjured around book-fed bonfires by those too afraid to say her name seven times in a pool of water.

i listen, and the doll tells me it’s love of death informing every waking action executed with an eye on the end. informing disrespect for the ocean, a need to hasten the apocalypse so all standing around can see the spectacle. not enough to color it black with oil, why not drip it in blue paint so children wander our terrified and Avatar dyed? why not speed our evolution with skin burnt red and eyes stone flat?

she keeps walking, on to something and way beyond me. and i remember: nothing carries sound like water.

still: they are not listening.

love (1)

The house will never be clean unless we can afford a maid service, and we’ll only eat when we both remember to (not often), and we’ll both pull away just when we achieve perfect closeness and you’ll accuse me of getting the wrong cat food on purpose and I’ll say you know that’s a sore spot of mine.  I’ll get lost in the bathroom mirror and you’ll wonder what’s taking so fucking long, and I’ll say I’ve finally pinpointed the location of my superior self and I’m negotiating her release. This used to be the sort of thing to intrigue you but now you’re yelling about us having tickets for something, can’t even remember what but they were a give away and I shout that I’ve nearly talked her down, she’s smiling from the other side, so serene about something I don’t understand but she’s whispering directions. Just one sharp left and then two right turns, knock-twice-pause-knock, and when I arrive I’ll be naked and every inch of me will be slippery.

And then you say: do we have to be late for everything?

Drinking Games of the Future Part 4 – Present Tense

Sitting in my own lap, thumbing through messages dispensed from self ankle-deep in almost-sleep. Dreamy awake state summons her most dignified 1940s radio baritone and announces: Present. What about the present?

Hakim Bey and Robert Anton Wilson and Carl Jung and Frederik Van Eeden and a thousand philosophers and dreamers and writers and dead white guys have argued that there isn’t any becoming, you already are, as a means of pressing face into the dog pile of present.

Of course, reading is not comprehension (remember those separate scores on standardized tests?) and I’ve never been the sort inclined to let others figure things out while I take them at their word. Especially dead white guys.

So: 14 hours of trance space and free writing. 150 pages scribbled and scrawled reveal Not Much in the way of worldly reflections. Instead somber mug slapped by sitcom, MadLibs filled in with fart jokes, ancient gods warning the studio audience when to laugh or clap. Still I probed for something nothing to do with me or any BECOMING.

Myth figures are stubborn.

Presently, my dear, you’re supposed to have fun. Shenanigans and giggles, Sour Sally! Look, that trumpet was blown years ago. Made a sound like ArrrrroOOOOO. End times take time. Mind yours. All you can alter is your here and now. Yours. The star of handwritten myths.

Awake. Present. Now.

Now: pressing finger to swollen spider bite, the first of the season but not the last, angry against sun-starved skin. Eyes rise to giant trees with turned down tops circled by hawks hunted by a furious murder of crows.

Present: dancing with other women conjuring maiden-mother-crone, and feeling shoulders previously trapped in permanent curl mimicking Lake Erie’s summer storm waves release and puddle floor, feet stomping memory and mist. The alchemy of sound and internal waterfall frees golden wings, and in a burst my howl unseams. The whole room is active alive and partly cloudy, Oregon’s always skies.

Awake: interacting with Named Trees, skin meeting familiar/familial bark. A message from the sticky top branches: why should dead gods and fanatics have all the fun? There’s plenty of story. What is your super power going to be, maker of legends, creator of myths? What will it be, today, for me?

Dream: speaking an alien tongue punctuated by clicks and intentional stutters, sliced by extended hums and aums that roll teeth over tongue. Charcoal stained hands hover over a table while giant cards slide and form towers and pyramids of cups and swords.

Drinking Games of the Future 3 – 2013

Just like sci-fi authors thought cars would fly but mimeograph machines would crank out purple tinted sheets of paper forever, our predictions of maybe-tomorrow are likely wrong.

Envision the world noticeably not ending in 2012: hundreds of thousands of saluting citizens standing holding hands on the edge of a cliff, eyes closed and breath held, waiting for the kick from behind…only to find that time is passing and their hands are getting sweaty and they have to breathe and let go, and well…get some sleep. The alarm is going off.

The calendar rolls over into 2013 and everyone stands around, nail-biting directionless, hoping for another apocalypse promise potent enough to renew the tail chase. Monday morning splinters every survivalist dream: garbage trucks feed the landfill; mail trucks drop-off garbage; the bus driver is in a bad mood; the passengers stick plastic devices in ears and hunt for a glimpse of future happiness through the window; the passengers leave the bus and walk through doors that automatically open and tightly suck-seal behind them. Later the same passengers don’t enjoy a miserable ride home, where they log in to their computers and social network sites and update their statuses, maybe with a solid sentence of abbreviation. In 2013 words are officially inconvenient.

2013: an unended world leaves everything ruined. Hundreds of thousands of former college students receive love letters from the number one unstoppable apocalypse cockroach, Sallie Mae. Great Idol of Whoops-What-Was-I-Thinking, she hovers above the growing broke class with her hand out, the smirking Statue of Liberty officially christened her mascot. Boston Harbor fills with box upon box of useless degrees, delivered to students in unopened cardboard tubes. The government huffs and balls up tight fists, raping checking accounts and tax returns, directly docking pay. Former students fire back by paying off student loans with credit cards prior to declaring bankruptcy, or asking to be paid in cash, or ceasing work all together, electing to erect tent cities or be perpetually in motion, running away from the empty expectation that the dollar would ever inflate, allowing us to earn more or at least as much as our parents. Burn the whole thing down. Tent cities. Forest Park.

Meanwhile, somewhere on universe-earth, one or two rogue citizens stand on front porches, contemplating the existence of kindred spirits, or maybe wondering about the last time they physically touched someone in a way that didn’t feel hurried. Then it digs deeper and they wonder what it would be like to love without caution, and each thinks that they could probably do this now, because fuck it, what better use of time than that, exactly that. It’s the only thing worth throwing at the stars. Then each one of them sighs, and opens a battered library book to read until sleeping – both certain that no one else living and thinking could possibly agree with something so beautiful and reckless.

2013 could mean anything for me, perhaps sitting underneath a tree transcribing the events of the latest war between the angels, different sides this time, but mountains still tossed while the powerless messenger cries and outlines the speeches of Lucifer and the violent retort of a sword swinging Michael. I could be pushing a shopping cart stuffed solid with bean-guts stuffed animals and empty cans of whip cream, muttering about how something was supposed to happen, on August and the Day of 8, in the 20 and 10, the 20 and 11, the 20 and 12. In 2011 there was supposed to be a tsunami and a wave from an earthquake offshore, the dam was supposed to break and flood the river, Portland was supposed to be underwater. And the green turned brown was supposed to turn to ash, and all of the mountains were supposed to start speaking, these mountains that are really volcanos, seconds from being burped awake from some new magnetic pull, and all these auroras were supposed to speak to me, to wrap my head in a multi-colored cloud during some lost Sunday morning.

Or maybe I’ll have a family passing strangers label “nice” and someone somewhere will color me a “good person” over coffee and inside my burning ears will be the faint tingle of satisfaction. When my head hits the pillow I’ll summon sleep in an instant, and my dreams will be fields of flowers and a gentle hand tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear, in a sensation so far beyond soothing my deepest sound rings true, if detectable only by bats. I don’t know.

I don’t know.

Somewhere in 2010 reality revealed itself to be a system of mirrors arranged to pull me deeper into maze. In a blink I switched the maze to corn, so the aliens can leave a footprint, you know, if they want. Then I peeled off my skin to activate, to consider the possibility of love as LOVE, of human as super, to embrace what never comes next. The only thing worth throwing at the stars.

On Dreaming (1) – No Pilot

Waking hours I am conductor, coaxing independent instruments with wandering keys and reeds to crash into passable music.

Asleep my head is pure unfiltered noise, now with more pulp. Reckless unarmored, a slow motion owl-masked me stencils the first truth: hell is empty and all the devils are here.

No: come on baby light my fire.

No: so quick bright things come to confusion.

No: will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?

No: O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!


No, it’s not noise, it’s the complexity and conspiracy theory of a $20 bill, occult symbols clunking up against the head of throwback Jackson keeping scholars and hobbyists and anyone with a reliable internet connection busy for years. The decoding will continue until children are hatched, or a UFO lands and offers a cheap hands-in-the-air ride before fucking up LA, or they simply run out of time.

At night my head is two shotguns pointed at each other, distracted by a toddler with a fistful of daisies and a ring jumping dolphin that alters aim.

My head is a mirror in a mirror in a mirror, a single spinning prism twisting out rainbows and confusing the faeries operating (just) underneath.

My head is draped in white and black and purple and violet then white and black and purple again.  Seven veils, always aware of their presence and the buffer they grant my six eyes from the light of Waking World. Six and Seven is a Longish Story and zero is a better place to start.

Drinking Games of the Future Part 2: This is Not Awake

In the future we’ll name our children for colors and other things we used to know before everything greyed to ash.

We’ll throw invisible spears at visible gods asking why nothing was done to stop the burning of sea turtles back when all our gods were idols and our cars were filled with gods.

In the future tomorrow we’ll spend decades crafting time catapults to hurl unclaimed corpses back to good old days, because if we want anything in the now it’s the old good.

Fuck it. Let me stop trying. Stop sickle-mining underwater when this word shit begs for flame.

I’ve glued my chairs to the ceiling and glued bodies to the chairs and I’m Lord of the Flies sharp-stick pointing and screaming, “Pinata!”

Sour. I’m not sleeping anymore. Experiment unplanned. Efforts were made to exit awake, the assumption of a horizontal position, generous time spent on the tuck-in, a salutation to invading spirits that have their own ideas about chairs and glue. This, prior to ceiling stares with no reward, just aggravation from anticipation of dreams growing feet and pushing me up trees before dropping me back bark-covered. Instead I’m basket tossed (awake), scribbling tirades against an army of cats clawing new entries with loud single-tone language. Evolve. Grow thumbs.

In the no-sleep the now is Real, lost minutes tick-tock on metronome clocks I pretend not to watch or memorize each morning before flipping double middle fingers to my anime pop rocking dark-circled (and laughing) mirror selves.

In the soothing hum of pseudo awake shaved heads are beautiful, designed to activate human purr and every nerve ending from fingertip to clit until eyes turn fire mid flutter.

Pseudo awake I’m more than adored, shit-fit marinating bile dark into love and loving.

Pseudo awake he is the inhaled breath of a-ha, eel-eyed green pilgrim of the ocean’s ocean, alien device buried in a hand pretty enough to distract inspection and howl-spark me the adored. His hovering others may never land. He’s never landed either.

In the pseudo awake the War of the Worlds reading ends a bit different. A nation duped by a shot-charged radio reading isn’t duped twice by those eager to convince them they fell face over fist into processed panic. You know, like made up and put on the radio. That wasn’t real or anything. Ahem.

Silk static transmissions slide down walls, stumble over the philosopher’s knots of my word-angry hands, future fall apart escalated to giggle-splattered red-eyed now.

In the soothing hum of pseudo-awake Pan has no ick. He’s glued to a chair, and underwater.

Recalling Summer, 2009

Amish kids are eating sandwiches that taste better than mine, wrapped in wax paper and pulled from metal lunch pails they carried on to the Amtrak. They don’t have luggage, just the sandwiches on thick slices of bread, adorned with slabs of meat and cheese that smell curiously clean. They’re in the lounge car, waiting for daylight to fade along with the rest of us, anticipating the night time insanity of passed bottles of booze they won’t drink from and long-winded stories about the death of an innocence most of us never had. Four of them are packed into a single table, just barely men, wearing suspenders and collared shirts and sensible-looking shoes with bowl hair and bangs cut clean across. They have really earnest conversations with people of the same sex and women over 50. Their beards are like what I’ve seen on hipsters at recent music festivals, and the one with reddish brown hair catches me staring. I wonder if I brushed my cheek against his if it would feel less polluted than Portland beards, all gravel filled and pubic rough from too much bad attention. If I brushed my cheek against his would I pull back and know that his eyes weren’t blue but were piercing anyway, that his smile was endless and drawn from some serene place, that his hands and body were shaped by work and not sitting and thinking and wondering. And would he know in a single glorious second that all the thoughts he’d carefully masked and thought were his alone to die with were poised to unravel in the company of greedy me? No: I’m vulgar. He knows it. There’s nothing to explain.

The plot thickens when one of them produces a deck of cards, and an older woman with bright smile, age-faded eyes, and silver-rimmed glasses asks to get in on a game of Hearts. They nod and answer her politely and make eye contact and she’s in. Damn. As they laugh and listen the woman asks some of the questions I’ve written down in my head, but none of the good ones. If I only got one question I couldn’t resist: How do you react to someone saying “I love you,” having never seen it on television? Then before I can wonder and wander any deeper someone taps my shoulder with a whiskey bottle and I smile and refuse because I don’t drink anything brown, but still I retreat to the familiar temple of loud laughter and tales of travels unfinished, partners met, and how life is just long enough to assure us in an instant that our hearts will never stop breaking.