Monday, July 26, 2021

Homeless J Story -- Completely Edited

 Back in 2010, I wrote a story on this blog from the perspective of "Homeless J."  A lot of the writing in this story was absolutely hideous.  I just had to edit it, so I have.   I am still quite ambivalent, at best, about the project.  And yet there are some good points in it.  And some poetic moments.  It is not quite as hideous as before, at least ...   

Fly Well In The Dark,

Owl

PS:  The formatting is bad on some of the entries, due to changes in google-blog format over the years.  I don't know how to fix it.

PPS:  If you see any older entries you want edited, let me know.  A lot of them are awful.

=========


Part I

Part 2

Part III

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 15

Part 16

===================

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Poem: Night Window

 

Night Window


a dog whine wavers, riding whispery leaves--

such a howl-whimper rollercoaster,

 

nothing to hold onto,

not in this tortuous sound;

 

and yet who would admit, tucked in bed,

that it forces them to pray?

 

so late, and yet

there’s too much absence of quiet in the silence.

 

stray chirps; deodar and ash rustles;

a lone screech of far off rubber.

 

let’s just say

there’s too much pregnancy of risk.

 

of some ruttish cat’s minuet.

of some chuffing semi, some gruff jet plane.

 

funny how interlapping breaths,

easy as a purling river,

 

an anodyne measured in a rigor of lungs,

 

cannot override the night window’s

fascination.




================================

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Poem: Sturve Slough

 

 

Sturve Slough

 

fence posts list to rot,

chewed by pond scum,

a reminder of callous yet needy farmers

who first parceled the slough.

 

now it can relax,

perimetered by a shield of official gravel.

adored, no less, by a boxy plaza

with a Holiday Inn that hugs it

like a giant pink cheek.

 

before the farmers,

the slough was a sacred oasis.

food, water, animal visions.

voices of ancestry.

 

today,

it is merely primordial.

a curio for the tourists, and the sparkles

that scamper over its oozy flesh.

 

when the moon thrives high,

a babble of frogs blurt tepid moans.

ducks bob and flip,

silent, busy phantoms, nothing more,

 

gorging off the croaking fruit

in onyx water.


======================






Watsonville, CA

2002

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Poem: Abandoned

 

Abandoned

 

lost leaves reach out.

who can save

such a vast orphanage,

this forest of muted hands?

 

who discarded them

below callous lawyers who bark?

who abandoned them

to gutter rot and shadow?

 

who would do this?

clothe them in tatters,

leave them to crane, hungry,

for a sunny drop of rice?

 

beadles scuttle close,

possession in their gaze.

who left the fragile leaves

vulnerable to such creatures?

 

sold their innocence?



========================

Monday, July 12, 2021

Poem: Aria Of Was

 

Aria Of Was

 

fiery palms of leaves

clasp through long goodbyes.

my failures exit as well

yet cling with the audacity of tombs.

 

i will not kiss again,

no chisel to extend the was of my lips.

no pyramid of joys to reclimb,

though my face chances to form

on the crawl of weeping sands.

 

phrases of lusty rain

strum blue ocean’s breath;

so i played the yields of love,

blending heave and song. 

 

but mine was a music of solos,

and the ocean, in the end, stands alone.

the pas de deux of hearts in storms

cannot cure what caskets store

in their cold breasts.




=========================================

Friday, July 9, 2021

Poem: A Fair Morning

 

A Fair Morning

 

golden bees

and fuchsia rubies.

foxglove sways in lust,

while breeze strums by,

a lazy troubadour.

 

clover, so plush of scent,

feeds all morning

till stalks are drunk,

swards of lilliputian dancers.

 

brash gushes of sun

slant across a rapture of leaves.

how lucky they are,

worshipped and worshipping

the verdancy.



=======================



 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Poem: Global Warming

 

Global Warming

 

merciless sun, it curdles voices

before the first puff of the first phrase.

 

words of truth remain forgotten,

replaced by joints of ants

swelling, dutiful, aching

over sands that eat them as they erode.

 

lines and lines and lines

march through eyes and brains and breaths--

following all the other busy lies,

burning themselves out,

as redness chews on destiny.

 

those that serve the most know the least,

and in the duty and drone of their obeisance

never see the Greater Purpose

fry the wings off its creations.




=====================================

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Poem: Windy

 Windy

 

sighs sift through boughs,

swirl to soften willows,

lull fronds.

 

air purls as always,

trees as staves, the glade a stanza,

leaves as clefs.

 

the sky a vase

full of faint violins,

whispery with cadenzas.

 

the forest will remember

and rephrase arias all day,

fugacious


until crepuscular amethyst

and a coda

of moon.





========================

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Poem: Age

 

Age

 

wrinkles slither

over the desert of my skin.

so many beached eels

on a saggy road,

twitching in packs,

a seine no memory can evade,

not even a breath.

 

maybe i’ll try verbal cobwebs,

the art of weaving

creased old skin.

maybe i’ll hunker down,

crab-gripping pens

to copy the mayhem

on my neck.





===============================

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Regarding the Poems

 Thank you for looking at the poems!

A quick note.  I often edit a piece quite a bit after it goes up.  The more-or-less final version, the one that settles in, arrives after a few days of the initial posting.  (It's almost fair to say that a true 'final version' is like the Holy Grail and not likely to ever materialize). 

Admittedly, this is a feeble strategy.  I use it simply because it gets me to edit faster and more attentively than if the poems were merely tucked away in a folder.

The downside is that readers who visit right after a work goes up are often met with a less-than-stellar version.  For this I apologize.  Again, my only excuse, albeit feeble, is the quirkiness of my own craft.

If you have comments or suggestions, or potential topics you'd like to see, you can email me:

owlwholaughs@gmail.com

Fly Well in the Dark,

OWL


===========================

Friday, June 18, 2021

Poem: Malykatu

 

Malykatu

 

young cars and old clouds.

hills of secrets around skyscrapers.

No shaggy animals anymore.

Fire Bird blinked and the glaciers went.

Ant Spirit took over,

dominating the lives of the Two Legs.

 

the crowds are many.

the busy conquests and wonders

crawl thick over Grandmother’s skin.

the hunger, the lines, disrupt her face.

they unravel the baskets of animals, of plants

and the tales of kindness-in-life

she wove for us.




=======================

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Poem: Not So Great

 

Not So Great

 

the fathers invoked a heraldry of the linear,

eschewing the lessons of Creation.

the fathers crammed nighttime into a blue box

of corralled stars.

 

blood doesn’t flow so straight, nor ivory. 

beware those tongues and teeth.


beware the lunge below the glint of the square cyclops eye.

 

beware the cubic tyrannosaur of the-many-into-one.

 

imagine

if the whitewashed blood and fangs and dark gleams,

and the shallow sharp bursting bombs of light,

fell into a chastened pile.

 

all those vectors of Manifest Destiny

humbled to salute the coils of riverbanks,

and the curled claws of wild willow roots.

 

would the dark deeds eventually decay

through the soil toward those killed in their name? 

would the symbolism then

become a sediment of eternal regret?

 

would it even, finally, flower a decent destiny?

surrender to a supple, graceful peace

its indivisible bars?




============================

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Poem: Eagle Over Lake

 

Eagle Over Lake

 

shadow above aqua,

slow circle, a slash, a boomerang,

part current, part sculpture,

 

brutal,

 

fang of keen white head,

water the skin, a stray ripple

the jugular.

 

a silver spine wriggles punctured.

hauled, gripped.  

 

no reflection in water.

nothing but a wisp in a photo, 

 

unless

 

the sun comes too close.

brown flames then.

brown flames and ivory embers.



=================================

Monday, June 7, 2021

Poem: A Moment of Rest

 

A Moment of Rest

 

seconds dissolve

into universes dying.

we wear them in our thoughts like rain.

 

so many births

that struggle not to tire,

restless and relentless,

narcotic and aphrodisiac;

 

and yet completion evolves to resist

even as it tastes.

 

such explosions!  they seem inevitable,

passions gone, just like that,

obliterated on the canvas of the heart.

 

mind, all minds together,

configure the globe,

this harmony of similar originals,

 

this message: 

 

we cannot grip

the beckoning hand of god. 

awe is not faithful that way.

 

hearthstone, signpost, deathbed,

love awaits in all those places.

who will see?

 

some.  sometimes.

nothing less.  nor more.



==================

Friday, June 4, 2021

Poem: Gazelle (warning--triggering poem)

 

Gazelle

 

sharp shards of shadow

bind my shivering breast,

your tongue to slash my mouth

and slide to taste the fresh insult

of denial slain.

 

vicious tigers your arms,

they lunge grip drag

until i fall, a gazelle,

to stare up awkward

at the cutlery beneath

a relentless grin.

 

i tremble you feed.

you swell like my pupils,

even as your heart surges, a fang

to puncture my life.




============================

Monday, May 31, 2021

Poem: Stone Tell

 

Stone Tell

 

orion looked at me,

size of a pinprick,

from a quiet stone i had scolded with weeping,

cheekbone wet on mica flecks.

 

it was orion, all right,

chasing the pleiades

over millions of metamorphic years,

much as in astronomic night--

 

and yet flashy like adonis,

and not to ravish, not at all,

merely to scamper,

happy as sun-glossed quartz.

 

he danced with the sisters,

leapfrogging to twinkle

as i turned my wrist,

such lambent angles,

 

what a treasure!

to walk the beach

and find this constellation,

absolved by waves, this wisdom,

 

however violent or jealous,

however monstrous,

now peaceful and beautiful,

nothing more, disaffiliated,

only glitter and truth.



=========================

Friday, May 28, 2021

If the Big Lie Wins, We All Lose

 

If the Big Lie Wins, We All Lose

The presidential election was not stolen from Donald Trump.  Over fifty court cases have shown this, all the way up to the Supreme Court, including many judges nominated by Trump himself.  Numerous state-run recounts have verified it.  GOP Secretaries of State as well.  There is no evidence to support the claim at all. Still, the Big Lie remains, a battering ram to knock down the defenses of our collective rationality.  It has become the fault line along which our democracy will either persevere or fall.

This is a grave assertion, and yet it results from a simple thought experiment:  What if the GOP, promulgating the Big Lie, wins?

 In that case, a party that willfully trampled a court-backed truth will be in control.  They will have the support of a segment of the population that is outraged at a nonexistent deep state that did something that didn’t actually happen. 

Moreover, given the nature of the Big Lie, our electoral system will have been successfully impugned as fraudulent.  Without a secure means to vote, the will of the people cannot be ascertained.

At the helm will be the cultish Trump, a demagogue who incubated the Big Lie many months before the 2020 elections.  Sitting on an established throne of conspiracy theory, he need merely extend the Lie, or make up another, to curtail future challengers.

Trump refused to agree to a peaceful transition of power, both before and after he lost the election, saying only, “We’ll see what happens.”  Indeed, on January 6, after he gave an inflammatory speech, his fanatic followers stormed the Capitol in an attempted insurrection.  Nothing like it has happened since 1814, and then it was foreign invaders.

Trump’s rapacious need for praise is more important to him than the survival of the republic.  His niece, Mary Trump, published a book titled “Too Much and Never Enough” in which she calls him “the most dangerous man in the world.”  Experts in psychology nationwide published an anthology, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.” It diagnoses him as the most ruthless sort of narcissist, and warns of extreme peril if such a person takes over.

What happens if a leader turns a nation into an arena for self-glorification, regardless of damage to its people, traditions, and fortunes?  For starters, the loss of the ability to wisely adapt to change.  For someone who can never be wrong, there can be no error. 

Remember Trump’s absurd, contradictory claims during the pandemic, even as the death toll rose?  Now extend that to any sort of major challenge, whether crisis or opportunity.  Climate, tech, infrastructure, economics, cyberattacks, foreign policy and on and on.  There would be only the subjective, single-person strategy of someone focused on preening his own hungry ego.

When a constituency embraces their leader’s views, no matter how absurd, with the fervor of faith backed by a flimsy, deceitful logic of ‘alternate facts’, there is no need for competency, fairness, or accountability.  Corruption runs rampant, as we’ve already seen during Trump’s time in the White House. 

We have a recent historical example of what happens when god-complex leaders rise to power in the strongest countries.  That example is World War II.  We still ask today, “Why did all that awfulness and atrocity happen?”

Perhaps the answer lies in a perfect storm of dysfunctional swarm dynamics.  When you instill a worshipful mindset of black or white, good or evil, with us or against us, love or hate, then prudence, adaptive thinking and even common sense have no place.

 



==========

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Poem: Upside

 

Upside

 

light rays, 

ephemeral shovels, anti-cinders,

quick to plumb startled irises,

not-so-depthless pupils,

no aspect of the darkness flees.


spears of solar cleanse tarry wells

to impel a gaze so high,

above the truculence of roots,

above grey shamble-mumblings,

such daybreak!

 

glistens!


an incessant trickle through leaves;

a flutter of springboards;

hovers of the coruscant; serene

and yet hope climbs onward still.

joyous the erratic, radiant ladder.




=============

 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Poem: Rising

 

Rising

 

a clear blue eye with a cloudy brain

watches with patient logic

as we consume and build, argue and fight,

our neck veins like pythons,

praising flags on hills

erected next to brutal monuments.

 

rocks with the calm of philosophers,

sagacious trees, and idylls of sweetsonging birds

can’t believe we strangle love

while failing to extinguish

the fires of our rage.

 

the fires of our rage.

 

self-inflicted attacks,

as we condemn those who look like us,

have voices like us,

hearts and souls, like us,

and they cry out to pure gods, good gods,

like us,

 

and yet we need to destroy them,

to shoot and hate them,

to annihilate them with our bare hands,

and guns.

 

and guns.

 

and the grass watches,

and the leaves,

and all that’s left

of what is beautiful on this Earth.





========================



"We preferred to keep silent. We are certainly not without guilt/fault, and I ask myself again and again, what would have happened, if in the year 1933 or 1934—there must have been a possibility—14,000 Protestant pastors and all Protestant communities in Germany had defended the truth until their deaths?"

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Poem: Der Rosenkavalier

 

Der Rosenkavalier

 

four hours of geometric hats

wider than absurd:

clowns, dandies, maskers,

cutpurses dressed like prunes,

orbiting Alice Coote in the trouser role

while she kisses Sophie,

kisses the Marschallin,

sapphic pianissimo

cresting to arias on diva pouts.

 

the boorish Baron

galumphing after skirts,

froward madman,

cannot thwart the spell of the rose.

when it beams from tufted stars,

Sophie and Octavian blessed,

to emblazon their bosoms,

the frisson climbs in rapturous glee.

 

comical evil, orchestral sobs, 

garish menageries,

the opera reeks of farce,

and yet wilts in whirls

away from the rose.


without its effloresce, 

the plot languishes.

because of it, the audience

sighs on the way home.

 


 ============





Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, 2005

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Poem: Cookie

 

Cookie

 

a cute name for a snitch

in the business of human lust.

it goes right for Descartes’ bridge,

that most private pineal,

where secrets babble forth,

vulnerable and sweet.

 

a true coup d’etat for Toll House & co.

the gossip of the mind exposed.

all those palaces of personal pride

wheedled, invaded, taken.

 

on the lower floors, clerks giggle near admen

while they monitor, label and jar

so many deadly embarrassments

in gargantuan mainframes.

 

deep within the insatiable guts

of offices sectioned like tapeworms,

the executives map out a nation of evils--

every clue garnered from commonplace keyboards--

to marry the doll of each citizen’s demon

with voodoo pins.



======================

 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Poem: Unsettled

 

Unsettled

 

the dust had no color,

just the lost dreams of stones.

in every corner of the room,

where fate thronged thick,

the proof of it lounged,

looking back in utter absence,

 

style-less,

 

a stupid kind of trouble,

one unaware of its desuetude;

a negative optimal, inert,

and yet somehow still it crept.

 

in fact, everyone was there,

an ogle of eyebrows,

an audience of furrowed fuzz

from heroic to lewd,

so many ancestral verdicts--

 

a microscopic jackstraw puzzle

of interlocked taboos.

 

one breath would make them all dance.

violent tarantellas.  furious sashays.

afterwards they settled down,

dismembered, shrunken,

the opposite of dinosaurs.

 

 but the dust, actually, seemed much older than that.

it carried a primal fetus in its eddies. 

it bragged about how it had stolen

a flagellum  off the very first protozoan.

 

when lava cooled,

when the young flames sunk,

when fecund helices

swam in pregnable waters,

the dust was there. 

it started to nibble right away,

venturesome and avaricious,

multiplying its heads.



=========================

Friday, April 30, 2021

Regarding The Poems

 Thank you for looking at the poems!

A quick note.  I often edit a piece quite a bit after it goes up.  The more-or-less final version, the one that settles in, arrives after a few days of the initial posting.  (It's almost fair to say that a true 'final version' is like the Holy Grail and not likely to ever materialize). 

Admittedly, this is a feeble strategy.  I use it simply because it gets me to edit faster and more attentively than if the poems were merely tucked away in a folder.

The big downside is that readers who visit right after a work goes up are often met with a less-than-stellar version.  For this I apologize.  Again, my only excuse, albeit feeble, is the quirkiness of my own craft.

If you have comments or suggestions, or potential topics you'd like to see, you can email me:

owlwholaughs@gmail.com

Fly Well in the Dark,

OWL



======

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Poem: Fall To Winter

 

Fall To Winter

 

scholar profuse of stylus,

scratching wisdom in wind.

clouds scroll by, tablets of shade.

their renaissances baffle your earnest searchings.

you crave more, new poetry,

green and steadfast, arrogant and busy,

stuffing lessons into your old, rigorous coat.

 

in winter you pray, forelimbs to the ground,

arthritic, fingers translucent,

crown stark as no nimbus.

you hunch under ice far too smooth

for wood or skin, but still hum,

 

hum still,

 

inside this exoskeleton of celsius,

offering mobiles of small, icy gazes,

silver and bright, stoic yet gawking

at the moodiness of snow,

and the way that stones,

breaking through, cemeterial,

maintain their deathless grins.




==============================



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Interview With An Author

 

Interview With An Author

 

I:  Thank you for coming here today.


A:  It’s a big deal for me, thank you.

 

I:  You do seem to prefer to stay out of the limelight.  Does that create a tension with your fame?

 

A:  It does.  But … I get overstimulated around people, too much dopamine.  I live a lot in my own head.  Hence the worlds I’ve created.  … Plus, it’s painful.

 

I: Painful?  You mean going out in public?

 

A:  Yes.

 

I:  How’s that?

 

A:  There’s so much potential for flourishing and happiness in humanity.  But parasitic power structures shut the potential down.  I see it more, whenever I go out.

 

I: That sounds like Invasion of the Body Snatchers!  Can you give an example of that.

 

A:  Well, I don’t want to get too specific, as I’ll get attacked.  But we’re talking social control mechanisms.  … You know, as in ‘the future of an illusion’.

 

I:  Religion? 

 

A:  That’s one example.  Though of course religion and spirituality can be wonderful and healthy.  The parasitic control mechanisms are part of every institution, the very fabric of society.

 

I: This is an existential issue, then?  People being shallow and conformist, sleepwalking through their lives?  Or living in quiet desperation?

 

A:  That’s seems right.  But existentialists are often part of the problem.  Nietzsche’s misogyny is one case.  

 

I:  But Simone de Beauvoir wrote the Second Sex.

 

A:  Yes, she succeeds in challenging the social programs in our heads.  Also, W.E.B Du Bois.  He addressed racism, and related states of mind, such as his theory of “double consciousness.” 

 

I:  So racial and gender injustice are a big part of this parasitic power structure.

 

A:  Racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression are all around us, in ads, shows, bureaucracies.  They dwell in our own behavior.

 

I:  Is this conscious?

 

A:  Not often.  If it is, it’s horrible, of course.  But unintended bias can be just as bad.  So-called soft racism.

 

I:  And oppression helps those in power stay in power.

 

A:  The powerful make the oppressed groups a scapegoat.  That way they evade accountability.  And build a loyal following of the privileged group. 

 

I:  White privilege.

 

A:  Absolutely.

 

I:  So, when you go out in public and see--

 

A:  Look, it’s not just oppression that I’m talking about.  Say you have 1000 people who start out as equals, on a level playing field.  Now, some small percentage of them are going to realize that they can control the rest through manipulation, using fear to circumvent common sense and logic.  This small percent is also driven by their own fear and insecurity.  A need for approval, greed, domination, that sort of thing.

 

I:  Wow, and so that results in?

 

A:  The kind of parasitic power structures I mentioned above.  Fear controls people’s behavior and makes them serve unhealthy, greedy leaders.  When you are broken this way, well, you are harnessed, you are used by the parasite.  The vampire feeds.  It affects your entire psyche.

 

I:  Donald Trump is clearly on your mind.

 

A:  Yes, and isn’t it sad to go out in public and see--to just see it--right there.  The effects.  The rulership of fear.  The victory of conspiratorial anti-logic.

 

I:  But we also--

 

A:  Look at Xi in China, Modi in India, Putin in Russia, Duterte in the Philippines, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Chavez in Venezuela … in fact most of the world is controlled by fear-mongers.  And so it has been since the beginning of civilization.

 

I: That far really?

 

A:  How old is patriarchy?  It’s hard to even comprehend the crushed potentials of so many thousands of years, during which women were silenced and treated as property. 

 

I:  It is hard to fathom, but it is so true. 

 

A:  Fear tends to win.  It has won.  We humans have never lived in a civilization where fear wasn’t the dominant control principle.  We need to realize this.  The deck is stacked toward fear winning.  A change would be truly revolutionary.

 

I:  So, what is the solution?  Is there a way out?

 

A:  The solution … actually there has been progress since, say, the 18th century.  A combination of science and prosperity has led to enlightenment.  Major movements.  Still, we’re stuck in a catch-22.

 

I:  How so?

 

A:  Because people are more psychological than rational--

 

I:  And so get manipulated by propaganda.

 

A:  Propaganda, demagoguery, false advertising, and when necessary, enforcement by police action.  A citizen’s mind suffers a multifaceted control system.  Bureaucracies, religion, entertainment, everyday rituals, they all play a part in harnessing people for control.  Feminists have always known this.  They talk about consciousness-raising.

 

I:  Like what "woke" means for Black Lives Matter?

 

A:  I don’t want to speak for BLM, but I assume it is similar.  Realizing, well, that you’re in something like The Matrix.  Or Pleasantville.  Everyone is programmed to believe obvious lies.

 

I:  Obvious lies?

 

A:  Not only obvious, but you have to force yourself to believe them, or pretend to believe them extremely well.  It’s a loyalty test, this fawning subservience.  It breaks the soul and harnesses it to the dictator.

 

I:  And the solution is?

 

A:  In some countries, the brainwashing has been too successful and complete.  North Korean citizens cannot get free of the parasitic bond, I'd say, not without external help.  


I:  Why?


A:  Punishment is swift, efficient and vicious.  Sometimes the whole family of the offender is imprisoned.  Also, strict, efficacious regimentation ensures that most will internalize worship of the dictator.

 

I:  Surveillance technology is getting stronger, allowing Orwellian monitoring and loyalty scores.  This is what is going on in China.

 

A:  Yes. 

 

I:  And what about here, in the USA?

 

A:  First, realize this:  Trump almost succeeded in becoming a dictator.  He turned a large bloc of mostly White voters into a cult following.  He conned them into believing that everyone else is out to get them.  It’s the ancient strategy.  Fear wins out. 

 

I:  This is a dangerous time.

 

A:  Absolutely.  Those with ears to hear, listen:  democracy faces an historic threat.  If the USA falls to tyranny, the world is locked in a doom-spiral. 

 

I:  How so?

 

A:  When fear wins, it leads to war.  And the next large-scale war will be nuclear.  The USA has thousands of nukes.

 

I:  Okay, so, how does this end?

 

A:  Most likely badly.  And not because we don’t have great potential to live with open minds in wonderful, happy societies.  It’s not in our nature to go to war.  This is about the 1000 people scenario I mentioned.

 

I:  Where a few realize they can control the others.

 

A:  Yes, that is the way it happens.  A few people use fear to subvert the reasoning process and monopolize power. 

 

I:  It’s a con job.

 

A:  Yes, one that uses an exploit in the human psyche.  And the way out is pretty simple.  Just be able to recognize the con.  Realize that we are all better off if we work together.  That being motivated by fear and greed is not the best we can do.  We can be motivated by something higher, the Good. 

 

I:  Aren’t we motivated to do Good already?

 

A:  Yes, but that motivation is co-opted by the larger system of parasitic control.  For instance, Trump’s cultish followers think he is God's agent, when in fact he is conning them and fanning their racism.

 

I:  How does this relate to gaslighting? 

 

A:  Gaslighting has always been around.  Constructed realities that not only defy logic and empirical verification, but are immune to them. 

 

I:  Whoever controls Q controls the Q-anon crowd. 

 

A:  Right.  Or Q gives power to Trump, by declaring him to be a messianic savior.

 

I:  And the only way to be a climber in the power structure is to support the gas-lighter’s reality.

 

A:  Yes.  The climbers fawn all over and worship an Emperor who wears no clothes.

 

I:  While praising the clothes as the finest they've ever seen.  So, you said there is a catch-22?

 

A:  Well, education is the inoculant.  You know, critical thinking skills, science, emotional competence techniques.  Healthy ways to evaluate and work with our passions.  

 

I:  We don’t get taught these? 

 

A:  In college, maybe.  If you choose certain majors.  But the parasitic power structure doesn’t want wise citizens.  It wants insecure, vulnerable, ignorant citizens.

 

I:  So education is the way out--and yet few people get educated, at least not the right way.

 

A:  Correct.  In a nutshell:  to defeat the parasitic structure, you need education, but the parasitic structure controls the institutions of education.   A catch-22.

 

I:  What about people like Greta Thunberg or Noam Chomsky?  They challenge the power structures and have a large audience.

 

A:  Thunberg is a threat to the parasitic system, given our shifting times. But she, like Chomsky, is mostly drowned out by other more conformist messages, conveyed through mass media.   

 

I:  But it could get better? 

 

A:  Maybe.  The old ways are being seriously challenged.  Gay marriage is now legal.  Who would have thought that, ten years ago? 

 

I: There’s talk of a Universal Basic Income, which is like Social Security, except for everyone.

 

A:  Imagine a world with UBI, where robots do most of the work.  Humans could live meaningful lives, with dignity, instead of being stressed out all the time.  We could work on achieving our potentials, instead of working to make someone else rich, while we barely get by.

 

I: That’s a possible world?

 

A:  It’s clearly possible. And we can overcome fear-based ignorance.  No one today challenges a women’s right to vote.  Just one hundred years ago, it was still an anathema to a big chunk of the US population.

 

I:  Changes in culture show how we can change.

 

A:  How adaptable we are.   Prejudice and war are not foreordained.  We can steer culture, instead of it steering us.  


I:  It is an amazing time.


A:  As I see it, the future of humanity can be heaven, a UBI and eudaimonia, which is total flourishing.  Or it can be a totalitarian hell with loyalty scores and genocide, as we’re seeing with the Uighurs in China.


I:  What is the deciding factor, do you think?  


A:  Younger generations, maybe.  If they get the time, but ... 


I:  But?


A:  It could all end at any moment.  Civilization gone, just like that.


I:  We shouldn't give up, though.


A:  Never.  But ...  It’s just so sad that many people are still living in cardboard boxes, or literally must break rocks with hammers to earn enough money to pay for their next meal.   There’s so much that is …. so sad.  And I am quite tired of facing the ignorance.  It's all around.  Right outside my door.  The programmatic parasitic power structures ... the fear and hate ...  I … I'm just a thinker.  A puny, flawed one.  A copy of the weakest caricature of a prophet ... not even close to a Moses ... and he didn't even get to ...  

 

[At this point the Author requested a break and did not return to finish the interview]



=======================

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Poem: Red Light

 

Red Light

 

caught eye, night’s degenerate ring, 

stalking above the undercarriages of dirty thoughts.

do you see the worms stranded on the street by rain?

the nightcrawlers that could have been lips?

in the vodkas of passenger seats,

the lipstick smeared jugular tantrums,

the necking, the sucking sex,

 

you see it,

 

the kind of street drug 

that tears the shell off the crab in the hiding heart;

pulls its claws off as if removing splinters.

you see it, the intersection

of satin on denim, crotches obvious.

the seduced, the lust-bitten,

pretending under daily masks

to be acting now as well.

 

you hear the asphalt-burnt groans,

boiling up off the urban griddle,

to die at last as last sighs. 

they wave farewell, crooked fingers

clung to warped floorboards,

 

and

 

those gutted prom roses on wilted chests,

and the sadness of teenage char.

there, half alive, for just a moment, is death itself,

there, the outline of a skull,

pressing up under once-happy ovals,

bursting at the failed expression, breaking through,

testing the lie.





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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Poem: Boulder Hit By Waves

 

Boulder Hit By Waves

 

terra firma pilloried,

the condemned prone,

 

talons of water

worry its bared gut,

 

vultures of froth misting, a hover,

to devour slow.

 

so white their beaks

above the altar of basalt,

 

fate ensures the audience knows--

that Great Harm,

 

to invoke fire to forge rock,

 

to found a world

of crawling, walking, hungry blood.

 

Creation diverted

from ease and cloud,

 

chained to volcanoes.



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A poem of catharsis.  Not meant in resignation, but rather in resistance to injustice.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Poem: Pale Rain


Pale Rain

 

they wait like skulls

for liquid flesh, 

but the pale rain offers only 

a faint hope.

 

when lean droplets

scatter over their layers,

it seems they weep sparkles;

it seems, though impossible,

that they are glad to cry.

 

to weep is to live,

especially in a trench

that gnawed away purpose,

leaving only outcasts,

and heavy specters.

 

to weep is to live,

especially for worn out stones,

impaled on the fork of a gulch,

morsels for the desert.

 

================================

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Poem: One Soul

One Soul

 

yesteryear

not so climactic after all,

romps of drama on the ropes,

masks over a stubborn gallows

waiting, waiting, always waiting in the wings

as you parade

through all kinds of fantastical plays,

such prescribed mazes with cued lines.

 

and when you look back you see

plywood walls of fairy castles--

what can never be again,

no matter who you are supposed to be now.

 

all of it dancing along, singing,

through the hardships and joys,

near dooms sticky and brutal,

near monsters slayless and hungry.

 

always so close

and yet somehow, here comes love, yet again,

and so you dive again and again,

for the danger and the joy,

the honor, the wept kiss.

 

you do it because you’ve done this escape before.

even though it all ended forever--before.

 

you’ve seen the face of death.

so so so so so so so so so many ways.

 

all the games, though, and the laughs

and the lack-of-boredom and tears

they circle in the roundabouts,

and yes it’s always about that stage, 

turning, turning, till you’ve had so much,

and now you’re finally ready to leave.

 

finally.

 

that finale.

the inexpressible, the inescapable.

the burning of the script.

the act to end all acts, finally,

for the very first time.




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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Poem: Liquidity

 

Liquidity

 

lonely escherian skeletons

rib a lake into canters,

their bones complicate its old face.

 

they crosshatch into tigers,

trellis through pregnant angles,

a clash of stripes on curved stilts 

that somehow manage to glide.

 

these songful sways,

such curvy green-gold-blues,

tease the senses like a protean harp,

strum spine, gaze and chest.

 

you, too, they sing, a lonely skeleton,

footsteps that spread out, branching,

scions of symbol and deed,

to ripple the page.




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The sort of thing we ought to think on when we hear "liquidity."

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Poem: A Hummingbird

 

A Hummingbird

 

a hummingbird zoomed

two feet close,

thought a man a mirror,

but then saw he was too solid.

more trapped than alert.

 

a flawless emerald gorget sparkled,

while he played the numb ogre,

construct of a steel-and-street,

lawn-and-order colony.

 

the resplendent wings birthed incarnations,

slices of natural magic tricks.

they cajoled the well-heeled fellow,

but he blinked just once,

in a failure of apprehension.


the brilliant bird, though, wouldn't stop.

it hovered, flickered, prompted, offered 

a vanishing act of so many doors.


but the man was slow,

despite heaven and hope,

too preoccupied with his sod,

to entertain even one.



========================

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Poem: Stuck

 

Stuck

  

the dresser flaunted caterpillar knobs,

climbing as it was the walls. 

 

the mirror wore always only itself,

a coat of light too threadbare for warmth,

while the giraffe neck lamp

claimed curious, constant danger.

 

a few too many light sockets

had mastered their two-faced masks,

slits and half-circles in fine fettle,

caricatured to cry.

 

there were bears in the carpet,

wolves under the piles.

sheep hung in dark niches

from triangular gallows.

 

the creak of a hissy fan

ignored the stuck room,

antsy and efficient

from the blur of its guillotines.

 

not even cartoon guppies

could swim the oceanic wallpaper,

their hollywood smiles stuck,

shades of blue-going-grey,

though

 

if a forehead hit the plaster,

bashing the false depth, so hard,

surely the blackout

would hear the shriek.



======================

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Poem: Wylder

 

 

Wylder

 

inquisitive

in a world where tears bleed,

because few can winnow

sorrow from blood.

i’m skilled at reading

the swoopfonts of bats.

 

to touch a stump

yields circuitous crowns.

my masseuse wields such fingertips,

lilts of pine needles,

myriad in breeze,

 

a swerve of strums

across naked curvatures.

 

while the drunken moon

scrabbles in torn skies,

what a moody show,

my soles whiffle and jar

near the bed of dawn.

 

magus in a cocoon,

aloft in unstable bliss,

petals unfurl around me,

exposing themselves

to the last rose.

 

but the ribs below,

those i would not touch.

cages of bone, starved for breath,

never again to wake sensitive.



==========================

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Poem: Not There

 

Not There

 

noon found her frozen

in the snakes

of her own veins.

 

she had married her own medusa,

commemorated

the fatal event.

 

to look inside

and turn to shocked stone,

could any pain

 

squeeze worse?

 

to show in eyes

a wound so bright

that blood relinquished fire?

 

to go down, to seek

a twin in a steep pool,

unaware she is dead

 

until she kisses you.




===============================

Monday, February 22, 2021

Ethics Review: I Care A Lot

 

Ethics Review:  I Care A Lot

 

Welcome to my ethical reviews!  These reviews will focus on the underlying messages of a movie, series, book, song or other sort of artwork or entertainment.

I Care A Lot (ICL) is a Netflix movie release, currently on the most-watched list.  It is a comedy that attempts almost no emotional depth, and when it does the effort only makes things worse.  Cringe-worthy cheese across the board. 

Shallow is okay when you are going for easy laughs and slapstick--if there is nothing insufferably offensive.  But the plot of ICL is so vile, so abhorrent, that it practically shoves you into a pit of darkness, even if you are doing your best to tune out and just have fun.  This is the kind of movie that, if analyzed for what it says about us, shows a serious problem.

The protagonist, Marla Grayson, is a predator.  She literally enslaves senior citizens who have worked all their lives to get a home and amass saving.  How?  By having a doctor (who is in on the scheme) declare them mentally unfit and in need of a legal guardian.  Grayson, acting as said guardian, locks the victim away in secure retirement home (whose director is also in on the plot), takes their phone, has them medicated, and proceeds to liquidate their assets for her benefit.

All the while, Grayson pretends to care about the victim, lying straight to their face with a concerned smile.  Hence, the title of the movie. 

Yes, the title is an ode to a gaslighting slaver.

There is zero remorse and lots of scenes of Grayson enjoying time with her attractive girlfriend and generally living it up.  ICL takes seamless effort to make her look cool, sexy, confident and, well, what we all want to be, right!   More than once, to justify her vicious, parasitic lifestyle, she co-opts the ideals of feminism. 

Yes, feminism, which is about liberation and dignity for women, is used in ICL to justify slavery and degrade women. 

At this point, one might hope that the antagonist, the villain, is actually a true hero who will take down Grayson’s evil empire.  Nope.  He is just another predator who kills and enslaves the weak, someone Grayson accidentally crossed by enslaving his mother.  Just to show how horrible this villain is, we are shown, for a few seconds, pictures of women who look beaten, women who are his drug mules. 

Maybe the director thought these two seconds of shockingly brutalized women were necessary, to ensure that we didn’t get the idea that this movie could in any way validate a moral compass higher than slavery.

The rest of the movie is these two monsters battling it out, sprinkled with moments of ghastly violence, mostly against women, such as two black-clad thugs savagely throwing Grayson’s girlfriend to the floor and beating her in the face.  The female redhead doctor who assisted Grayson’s scheme is abducted and murdered.  The other accomplice, the male director of the retirement home, only gets stun gunned.  Poor guy.

Aside from the misogynistic violence, and the smearing of feminism, there is the one black actor in the movie, a clueless judge (described as “stupid”) who always rubberstamps Grayson’s court orders; and there is also, yes, the stereotypical dwarf who we are supposed to laugh at because, well, he is a dwarf in a position of power and authority.  Ha ha.

By the end of the movie, if you are hoping for some comeuppance for Grayson, or her equally loathsome opponent, well, no.  Grayson and her opponent call a truce, join hands, and combine their skills and assets to prey on the innocent.  They are both doing great!

And the moral of the story is …

Someone might try to defend this awful movie as ‘just kidding around’.  That sounds far too much like what people at a Trump rally say about his speeches.  In fact, this movie is basically a paean to someone like Trump.  Zero conscience, lie, worship greed, and prey on the weak.

 

Ethical movie score (ICL):  Abysmal.  No ethical message.  Promotes the worst in people.

(sexism, racism, mockery of dwarfs, praise of predators, praise of avarice, graphic gratuitous violence)



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