Sunday, February 27, 2011

and that's how i met jesus

I step in the church, head full of acid, full tripping. People like me are a church's wet dream. We babble in gibberish, trying to make our visions of God coherent. We are deeply spiritual people, religious to the core of our being, no funny business. I don't even know why I'm here. It seemed like a good idea several minutes ago, but these kinds of ideas are the most dangerous. It's like thinking breathing underwater is a good idea, or jumping off the tallest building in town because you think you can fly. As I open the door, my head's almost blasted off by the abominable chaos that's going on. The whole damn building's shaking with the pounding of the organ and the gyrating hips, wails, and screams of choir and congregation. I run down the centre aisle, trying to dodge the awful vibes coming off of the walls. This truly is a bad place for psychedelics.

Holy Jesus, it's an orgy in here!
, I yell frantically as I stumble into a pew, coughing into my sleeve what seems to be squirming coloured liquid. I'm going to get incense poisoning if I stay too long. I can already feel it seeping into my skin, making my churning blood evaporate.

A half-dead man looks down at me with vicious savagery and growls, I know. I wish they'd cut it out, it's fucking up my chi.

the true american dream

I always kept a copy of Fear and Loathing with me, in case I needed to hand it to some guy as I was blowing him.

It was a like a timer for me. Instead of a watch, I just carried that book around and see how long it'd take me to make him cum.

As I prepped him, I'd give him the book and I'd tell him to read it aloud. He would do as I say. After all, I wasn't asking to lick his feet, just to read.

It kept me going. I liked hearing deep, flowing voices interrupted by the occasional gasp or moan.

By the time he'd get to page two, he'd just give up and place the book over his face as he spasmed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

hurried fashion

She makes love with her voice, her lips barely touching the microphone as she sings.

Her eyes closed, she bursts her soul out through every pore of her being, the seams of her body widening, stretching.

I feel her in the core of me, her deep viscosity seeping down my bones.

We find each other through the crowds of people and intertwine ourselves around each other, damp, sweaty, full of passion.

We both peak at the same instant as she screams out her last notes and I exhale slowly, quietly smiling.

Monday, February 21, 2011

chloe

I remember when she stopped still when were walking one time and gazed at the ground for a long time. I didn't notice so I kept walking, talking to myself until I looked over and she wasn't there. I wheeled around and saw her standing, looking at the ground. I went back and mimicked her, wondering what she was so intent on. In the cracks of the pavement, a monarch butterfly was struggling to fly. Its wings were cut and its body was broken, and every few seconds, it would wobble and fall, only to get back to its insect feet and try to walk some more, all the while flapping its wings. I felt pity for it and so I picked it up, letting it rest in the cups of my hand. I quickly looked at her, face radiating with success. Instead of compassion, or pity, or some human emotion, she had a cold, still look in her eyes. She tilted her head and before I could react, she picked up the butterfly by one of its wings and slammed it in one of the books she was carrying.
After it stops moving, you can pin it and put it in a glass case. Monarchs are rare around here.

Sometimes I did acid and sometimes she did acid. But I really tried never doing acid when she was around because she was a horrible sitter. She'd always fidget around and end up tripping as well. One time, I had a horrible trip and I felt like spiders were burrowing under my skin, laying eggs and weaving their webs through my veins. All the while I was scratching at my skin, she just sat there, looking at me with an amused and curious look on her face.
That was a lot of blood, you know. But it doesn't stain the carpet that bad so it's alright.

I only saw her cry once. Her good-for-nothing slut bitch cunt friend had died of a heroin overdose. She got a phone call from the chick's boyfriend and when she had hung up, before she turned away from me, I swore I could see a tear hanging on the edge of her nose. I guess I was jealous because I knew she didn't care enough about me to cry if I died, even though I was always with her.

We weren't lovers and we weren't friends. I think we were something in between. We had sex sometimes, but it wasn't passionate and it wasn't romantic. It just was. She would get a quirky look in her eye and then I'd feel something soft and wet on my lips and a second of pain and then the next thing I knew, I was waking up to a bed of rumpled sheets and no note. The first time that happened, I cried for an hour because I thought she had used me. And she had. But I kept going back to her. There was just this infectious thing to her. She never stopped. While others stopped, she just never stopped.

She was dangling her feet over the bed, looking at me, again. She was always looking at me. At first, I told her to stop it because it made me uncomfortable but she didn't, and so I got used to it. That penetrating stare, or rather, the stare that looked through me, as though I wasn't there, as though I didn't exist, as though if I hadn't ever existed, she would not have been bothered. I was writing something.
You should be a writer.
You haven't read anything I've written. How can you say that? I'm a horrible writer.
Well, maybe. But horrible writers get to be the well-paid ones.
Why aren't you a writer?
Oh, I have no artistic talent at all. I just prefer to be.


The morning after she had staged one of her crazy, drug-filled parties at my house, I climbed over the mountains of half-naked bodies slumped over each other and finally reached her. She was underneath a rave girl who was moaning about having a hangover. I took her by the shoulder and asked her why she insisted on being such a bitch. She only half-opened her eyes and with stinking breath she answered,
Why do you insist on being such a coward?

You put up with it. Or rather, I did. Nobody else put up with her, but I prided myself in that I always came back. Even after the calls at four o'clock, even after the chlamydia, even after the yells and shoves down the stairs, I still came back. I was her true friend, and no matter what she did or what she went through, I'd always be there. And I thought that one of these days, she'd recognize that and say thank you.

It was the night she told me she was pregnant. She had been gaining weight and bleeding sometimes. She was nursing a bottle of Jack Daniels and a grin when she told me. She asked if she should go the hanger way or the scarlett o'hara way. I told her I would support her in anything she decided. And so she went the third way--the drug way.

She took some heroine and I took some too. When I woke up, she was gone, as usual. I didn't think anything of it until a month later when she hadn't answered any of my calls and I went over to her shitty apartment to find that it was all cleared out. She never sent a letter but I found out from a connection that she had died in a small town in Kentucky. The connection didn't know the cause of death but there was going to be a funeral, hosted and payed for by the mother.

I didn't go to the funeral. It was all the way in Kentucky and I had a deadline to meet.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

sunday

i wake up on a cloud-filled, descending day
eyes eager and mouth dry
fingers cum-stained and heart proud

stretching, my limbs creak from their sleep
and like a kitten, i jump from my blankets
and land on the cold floorboards

glory to god in the highest
and on earth peace to those
who have loved until their souls have overflowed

Saturday, February 19, 2011

stage 5: acceptance (iv)

i never said i was frightened of dying
i simply said i was frightened of not existing

but as i lay under my fort of covers
sweating out morning glory
and feeling the darkness of the day press harder
down on my eyelids

down

down

down

on me

i slip into a still yet spiraling abyss
where i don't need to breathe
and my heart starts beating slower
to the point where my limbs will scream
if i try to move my heavy plumb arm

and death seems like nothing,

nothing at all.

.

My phone rings in the middle of school hours, so I wait until the final bell has rung to return back his call.

What's up?


A pause. Trembling breaths on the other end that I can see curling into mist and sending their clamminess my way.

She's dead.

Why?

She od'd on heroin. I don't know if it was on purpose or not. But you know how she always was.


I didn't ask how. I asked why.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why Hunter S. Thompson's Vision of the American Dream Didn't Die in Vegas

Yesterday, I watched the movie Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson, a documentary about the author's (best known for writing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) life. Thompson is one of the United States' best contemporary writers, well known for his invention of Gonzo journalism, a type of journalism that weaves fact and fiction together and places the writer as a central figure into the news story. He is one of the most controversial figures in U.S. history--he was a notorious gun, alcohol, and drug fiend. He wrote scathing reviews of American politics. Overall, he was a driving force, and in my opinion, a piece of complete and glorious work. To me, he is the epitome of what man is--a combination of animal grittiness and rawness and a higher intellect that allows us a place above the rest of the animal kingdom. He was an incredible writer, a shrewd social critic, and a man who was trying to deal with the way America was heading.

Thompson was a patriot, no doubt. For all of his social critique of the United States government and its citizens, he loved his country. He was constantly searching for the so-called American Dream--not the one that immigrants come here for, the promise that if you work hard, you will succeed. He believed in the stereotypical American ideal, the promise of freedom, liberty, and rights that can not be taken away. Fear and Loathing is about searching for exactly that in Las Vegas, of all places. The novel is non-fiction (as non-fiction as Thompson could make it) and shows Raoul Duke (Thompson himself) and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo (Thompson's actual attorney) going on a drug-filled trip in Vegas. Most of the movie is painfully comical, but there are undertones of seriousness and a deep thought that's quickly fleeting throughout the scenes. Thompson catches it when he writes:

San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. But no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time in the world. Whatever it meant. And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

When I listened to that for the upteenth time, something clicked in my mind. Thompson had been searching for the American Dream and he had found it. In fact, he had lived it. His Dream had happened once, and only once in the history of the United States--the 1960's, the counterculture movement. That time was a period of free love, psychedelics, incredible music, Civil Rights movement, and Vietnam. It was a backlash against the strictness of the 1950's, so great that it changed the way that not only Americans, but the whole rest of the world viewed America. The 1960's was a period of freedom, in essence. Freedom to speak, to love, to write, to do whatever one wanted. Of course, that freedom came with a price--shootings, overdoses, sexually transmitted diseases, and more were the consequences of this movement. Yet, all movements that shake a country's history are extreme. And the 1960's were a perfect example of how freedom could be taken to a new level and what the risks of doing that were.

Yet, those times ended as do all times. Unlike other times though, the counterculture movement stayed in future generation's minds. Those who were present at the time were nostalgic. Those who heard the stories from their parents were eager. And in Fear and Loathing, Thompson desperately tries to cling to those memories. What happened at the end?

We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that 60's. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary's trip. He crashed around America selling "consciousness expansion" without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously... All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create... a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody... or at least some force - is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.

Yet, I don't believe that the counterculture movement is dead. Yes, the incredible music is dead (but only in actual physical form). But the idealism that was so infectious and that made that period so magical is still here. Here, with us. Not our parents, but with us. Teenagers my age, college students, even thirty year olds. We are the new counterculture movement. Because, you see, society is like a wave. The 1950s were a time of strictness, and the wave was back. The wave rolled in, beating the sand into submission, and those were the 1960s. Then the wave retreated again. And now, it's time that the wave rolls back in. The anti-drug movement is hardly working. The ideas of love and relationships are becoming much more accomodating. We are still idealists, persistent in our beliefs that we should have these rights, that we should protest if something is wrong and we don't agree with it. We are in the time period of LGBT rights. We are in the time period of increasing secularism. We are in the time period of increasing liberalness, not necessarily politically-inclined, but socially and morally inclined. We are freeing ourselves again, and though this movement is not quite so explosive and not quite so historically significant as the one in the 1960's, we can still see that it will definitely affect future generations.

So, no. I don't believe the American Dream died in Vegas or in any other place. It's still here. Perhaps not as monumental but just as powerful, just as important. And I have a piece of mind to dive right into it and to see what happens.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thoughts On How Promotion and Selling of Art Has Changed Because of the Internet

Recently, I've been thinking about the art business (not just visual art, but literature and music) and how the Internet has changed artists' careers, promotion tactics, and production. I've started translating and fixing up my grandmother's books, and have promoted one of her works on several blogging sites (if you're interested, check ileanatomatranslations.blogspot.com/ or ileanatoma.xanga.com/. (I haven't written much on it, but I promise I will catch up during the summer when I have more time). I've also been working to get her own site up. Also, recently, I was allowed to get my friend to allow promotion of her artistic skills (she's incredible, if you want to see her stuff go to endiryshade.deviantart.com).

Either way, I've been getting really interested in how artists have to change to get with the times. I watched this video and it really made me think about how people promote and sell their art nowadays.Before the internet (and really, before TV), to listen to music, you had to actually go and buy the band's CD. You had to pay money for it. If you wanted to see the musicians actually play, you'd have to wait until they came to where you lived to play live, or you'd have to travel to a venue. You'd actually have to make an effort and you had to pay money to see them. Once TV arrived, you could see their hit singles on MTV and such, but you wouldn't be able to listen to all of their music unless you bought their CD (or listened to them live), both of which takes money. However, now that the Internet's arrived, you don't have to get off the couch to go to the bookstore or the music store and buy music. You can download it illegally or watch it off Youtube. All the music you want, you can listen to for free. And that's really great for you, since you're not spending that money on music, but that's not the best for the musician. Now, if the musician is some major mainstream pop star, it's unlikely that they'll suffer too much because of the lack of money. But if they're some unheard of band, they will suffer. The CD you would have bought or the iTunes song you would have bought, though most of the money would have gone to their record label (if they have one), they would see a small portion of that money. And now, that you already know their music, it's up to you to decide whether paying the money to see them live or not is worth it.

The video that I watched that made me think about this is Amanda Palmer (the lead singer and pianist of the band The Dresden Dolls and a solo artist to boot) talking to students at Harvard about how the Internet has changed how musicians can now get their money. Her solution to the decline of the music industry because of all the free music is to "get back on the box" and to ask her fans personally for money, to go up to her fans and say 'If you like my music, then you'll give me money, not through a record label, not through intermediaries, but directly to me and you will help me make a living". The free music will happen and it cannot be stopped and musicians have to deal with that. They'll also have to deal with having to personally ask their fans for assistance and their fans to be devoted enough to give them that.

I think it's an incredible idea, personally, and I think this solution goes across the board to all artists, not just musicians. Before, artists could stay in their attic and compose or draw or write their work and they'd contact one person who'd promote it for them, and they would or they would not see the money that would come out of their work. They were not so connected with their admirers (fans), and artists could keep themselves at a distance from the world. Artists can still do that with the internet, and somehow with it, it's in fact, easier. But at the same time, it's harder. People can find you easily simply using the Internet. And you can communicate easily with your fans. So why not do so? Nobody has anything to lose, except you. The only effort you must make is to reach out and contact your fans.

The issue is getting a fan base that is devoted enough to make you a living. That's a different issue though. Your art has to be good enough as, Palmer says, for more than your mother to like it. That's an issue of whether what you write is actually good (or popular enough). How do you get a fan base? You promote your work. Visual artists and writers specifically have blog sites to promote their pieces on (deviantart, blogspot, xanga, livejournal) and can accumulate enough of an audience that might be interested in supporting and buying their pieces. By promoting your work in more than one place, you get a better chance at a devoted fanbase. For example, I've been recently considering writing as a part-time job and I'm planning to self-publish a book in early summer (stay tuned for that, for those who like my work). I already have three blogs where I post my work (xanga, livejournal, and blogspot) and though xanga is the place where I get the most views, each blog has a purpose (livejournal is more private, while blogspot is the "professional" blog where I post all my finished articles and prose/poetry pieces). I already have a devoted enough audience that's willing to buy a book written by me. And that's incredible, obviously. But honestly, it couldn't have been done without the internet.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

rock's not dead

It's 2010 and I'm listening to The Doors. I shake her when I see the lizard rippling on a man's bicep on the street. Look! Looklooklook! It's Jim Morrison! I am the lizard king! She looks at me with sad eyes and says Theo, Jim Morrison's dead.

Why do you write about the Kent State shootings? Write about Columbine. Write about terrorist attacks. Why write about a time period that's long gone and that doesn't have anything to do with you?


I'm not a political writer, mom.

You wrote about the Kent State shootings.

I don't have an answer for that. I make a mental note to write something about Columbine, even though I feel disconnected to what happened. High school kids shooting their fellow classmates...Tragic and something quite profound to write about, but I don't feel a connection to those two boys.

And terrorists? No. Never. I don't write about that.

I don't really know what I write about. I write whatever comes to my mind. Lately, I've been watching a lot of drug movies. Drugs come to mind. I've been trying to write lust poems, trying to get into the mentality of a needy lesbian. I think I might be getting somewhere.

But writing never did anything. They're only poems, only prose.

I'm stuck in the free love era, the counterculture movement. I'm stuck in Jim's eyes, spiraling down into a fantasy of huge orange transparent round glasses and the vision of drugs. I read parts of The Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test and watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas over and over again. I could never get tired of it. I research LSD and muse over Aldous Huxley's philosophies. What am I searching for? I don't belong here. I'm seventeen and decades late. How can I decieve myself into thinking that I could love Jim just like all those women did? How can I measure up to them? I can't even measure up to those my age who have done much more than I and who claim to have felt his true presence.

Who am I to want to know him?

You don't know what it was like. Your generation has nothing. No good music, no good writers, nothing. You're all pathetic losers with no good taste in anything and those who think they do are all lying. No one wakes up in the morning loving Dostoevsky.


We don't have the music and we may not have the writers. We don't have those memories tucked back into our brain, the skeletons in the closet. We don't have to shove the sex and acid under the carpet and pretend we never attended rock concerts behind our parents' backs. We don't have to write down the lyrics on our bedroom walls, listening with eyes closed and mouthing the words and crying and laughing at the same time. We don't have to read during class or talk about war and pretend we actually matter to the world. Because we're young adults and we have a voice, goddamit, and that voice will be fucking heard.

No, we don't have to do the things you once did.

Oh. Wait. 

God forbid we're just like you were.

God forbid you remember those times.

God forbid.

Jim's not dead. The lizard still crawls within. Me. You. Us. The future.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

death is not the end, it is the afterglow, life-hater (a collection of 19 poems)

i. purple in the morning, blue in the afternoon, orange in the evening

it never ends
eye dilations eye bursting through the colour
looking like gutted rabbits on the plate of a giant
don't look don't look don't look
behind just run
with breath too stagnant in the bottom of lungs
fingers twitch twitch twitching peeling skin off bone
teeth rotted with wheel grinding and white crystals that
shoot through a piece of paper green like bullets from a gun
just don't look behind you think of the
chaching
and the blood trickling down your nose

title

ii. depression

in this cage
the seventeen birds guarding my heart
desperately beat their wings trying to escape
the stench of rotting flesh permeating their nostrils
the copper blood turned black bubbling in their throats
all the lifewill oozing out their pores
dreams dripping off inky claws
that scrape the walls of this sinking ship
whose captain has locked the door and destroyed the key
left the lights off and turned the stove on
lain down while humming
if you want to sing out, sing out
and if you want to be free, be free
the notebook paper on the nightstand with the scrawled words
SING, LITTLE BIRDS, SING
            FLY AWAY


iii. between the click of the light and the start of the dream


between the click of the light and the start of the dream
the electrocution we undergo is astounding
the spark of energy coursing through our veins
crackling in our bones
bending our spines and tongues so far
the marrow turns to ash
the blood boils over our seams
and the threads that puppet our eyelids
start to dance
as we close our pandora's box of waking consciousness
and descend into the layers of morpheus' realm...

iv. and the angels shook their chains and cried 'turn back'


 sign over heaven reads:
SOMEWHERE, THERE IS FREEDOM
BUT GOING NOWHERE LEADS TO ANSWERS


would you rather have nothing to lose
or know everything there is to know

would you be wise, yet hated and feared
or be unknown, insignificant, living in misery and grime
able to feel the purest emotions

would you like to be perfect and cold dead
or terminally flawed and a heart bearing warm blooded animal

do you want to play god
or be human









somewhere, there is freedom
but it cannot be found here

v. i am the lizard king

i am the sun burning holes in the eyes of those
who have forgotten that my light will destroy them

i am the leaf on the ground, engulfed in sun
my veins and skeleton transparent through my pale green skin

i am the soul outside of the body
looking down at myself acting&reacting to life while on autopilot

i am the smoke curling out from my mouth
the sparks shooting through my body start the fire

i am lost in reality where real is not what you think real is
and everything i hold dear fades into the background as unimportant

i am god

i am life

death

the root of all things good and evil

i am it all.

vi. life after death


spread the ashes of the colours over this heart of mine
bury me in white satin under the peach trees, the same place
where my mother entered into this world, screaming and free
damned into this life by generations of women selfish enough
not to ask their developing fetuses if they wanted to be pushed
and cursed out into blinding cold light and air

carry me to the dried-up river and lay me down in its folds
stroke my hard, pale cheek and brush my dry hair from my face
reform my lips from their grimace to an expression of peace
breathe into me your life, your soul
so that i can cross the styx safely and arrive at the gates of hades
without the sightless stares of the bloodless rending me blind

dress me in white, the colour of innocence and purity
two things i never was, not even in my earliest days out of the womb
humans can never be innocent or pure once they taste
the unforgivable breath of terre or once they swallow the dirt
of life, their lungs heaving
their bones aching with the knowledge of the world

do not forget me yet, grave-digger
keep me in your memory, in one of the unused rooms in your mind
and once in a while, cross the dried-up river and the long horsetail grass
kneel under the peach trees and place a flower on my tombstone
send me hope in the form of a sparrow, to help me cross
the darkness to elysium.

vii. the death

i.
i stare at this button on the sofa
stare at it until all meaning of fabric and bone goes away
and the only thought running through my mind is

why must i die?

why must i endure this pain
this slow, agonizing, creeping pain
hour after hour, day after day
three months of spreading pain
drilling through the cores of my bones
a dull poignant ache that never diminishes
never grows, is simply there
there in the early hours of the morning
at three o'clock when i gasp out in fear
there in the afternoon when the slow lull
of the curtains mocks my position, still on the couch
there in the evening when the callers come
to play bridge and drink coffee

oh god what did i ever do to deserve this pain
didn't i live according to your plan
well and pleasantly with no conflict
conveniently and quietly, in my world
of cheap antiques and wailing relatives
my smirking acquaintances colleagues
my hacking wife and my whorish daughter
i lived with ease and well so why must you punish me so
with this pain this pain this pain

always there, always gnawing at me
wanting my body, my soul

take my body, take my soul
take them take them take them
cursed pain, take them
give me death, give me anything else except this

ii.
no! i see its face looming towards me
eyes glittering in the back of its head
chuckling and sharpening its claws that plunge
into the human's treasure and take out his prized possession
in bloody tatters while he screams in horror

my cracked dry mouth opens and my throat swells
my tongue hangs limply with my teeth and the dark abyss
of my body shows through and death comes with its silken grimy paws
smiles its cheshire cat smile and whispers in my ear

i have come for you

get off, demon! take your filthy body off my chest
your stinking breath of fear and hopelessness
i cannot bear you and this pain both within my frail mind
do not touch me with your curse, i have still yet to live

to live, to live, let me still live, i have done no wrong
i have done no wrong so why must i die, i am not like everyone else
i have lived according to plan, this cannot be my end,
bitter and unfulfilled, staring at a bone button on a sofa
you have no right to take this away from me
selfish god, you have no reason to snuff me out like this

iii.
yet i cannot remember the last time i smiled
nor the last time i felt truly good
save my childhood memories, those few snapshots
of nostalgia that flicker in my memory sometimes
yet i lived well and pleasantly, i cannot remember
the last time i was quite happy
not ambitious nor self-satisfied, but truly simply happy
my life, a sham nicely covered by the veil of attempted richness
those around me, deceitful liars, constantly saying that i'll get better
that i am not dying, that i will live longer

no, i am dying
i have not lived the way i should have lived
and now i must pay the price and die

iv.
but what if i can still make amends
and live in these last moments, these last hours
i scream my pain three days
i scream my anguish and my hatred for my wife
for the specialist doctors who told me to keep taking my pills
for my daughter who cannot understand my pain
i scream my pity for my son, too young to realize his father's death
i scream my useless life away

and finally, i scream for joy
because i have finally lived and been pressed down by death
so far and so deep that it has lost sight of me
it cannot find me here, bathed in light

oh god, i have conquered it
death is finished
it is no more

viii. ecstasy

if you see a shadow there's something there
between the ceiling and the dark spots of the room
under the bed and behind the wires of the tv
lodged between the cracks of walls and squeezed
through the floorboards and windows

i lift my head and the world whooshes in and out
my stomach turns over and my flesh burns to the touch
my heart's beating three times faster than usual
and in my mind the question am i going to die creaks
like a broken record

am i going to die

am i

am i going to

i am going to die

die

die

why









no, baby, you're not going to die
not now not yet
god doesn't let young fools like you off so easily
he's a sadistic bastard who jacks off to the idea
of bringing us to heaven once
letting us taste that indescribable joy
then plunging us back down again to earth
parched mouth, rolling eyes, crying throat

so hard and so fast
that we look around us in the morning when we wake
and instead of fearing death
we yearn for it with all of our being
because life is not enough

it is not enough

ix. how phobias start

you gotta give it time
she says, as she locks me in her owl eyes
opens her cherry lips slightly
as her snake tongue darts out
and barely touches the tips of my fingers
managing only to get the nails wet

you'll get used to it soon
she smiles as her hands curl behind my neck
and my hair parts like the red sea
as everything else in my body splits into the ocean
and her breath floods into my mouth
to the back of my throat, coats my lungs
and infiltrates my heart

long after she leaves, my skin still tastes like her
and she's left her temptress imprint on me
my sheets and my brain











i've washed these damn hands until they're raw and bloody
but i still can't get the smell of weed and cum off

x. theodora

in those days their blood was still warm
before i began to learn
how to mould them into perfect beings
devoid of all the traits
that had made their predecessors burn&crash

in those days their tongues were still alive
before i began to learn
that love begets jealousy begets hate begets pity begets
all that i had sworn myself to cast away
into the deep ends of the earth

in those days their eyes were still filled with fire
before i began to learn
that those bridges called beauty would erode
that the purest of all can crumple into the twisted of all
in one simple second

in those days i was truly happy
before i began to learn
that i was making an image of myself
looked into the mirror and realized
i had not met up to my own creation's standards.

xi. obsession ii


i've been learning how to know you
truly know you without touching you
without even looking at you
i can simply close my eyes and feel you
radiating before me, your body pulsating
across from mine and the distance between our flesh
thick with impenetrable electricity

i've tattooed your form on the inside of my eyelids
your autumn hair cascading down your curved shoulders
your green eyes taking ahold of me and drowning me
in the ocean of your enlarged pupils
your skin, white from years of sitting inside
and naming the sun your worst enemy

your fingers, long and fragile, quick and flexible from a lifetime
of piano and woman loving
your legs, stretched out before you, the feet pointed towards the floor
thighs open, pale neck stretched so your head lolls backwards

you are a goddess and i cannot help but worship you
i cannot help my eager and clumsy attempts to make love to you
true love to you and for you, and maybe you can love me too
maybe if i make you breathe fast enough
or maybe if i make the sweat pour down your breasts
maybe if i can get you to say my name or to say
'babe you were good' with that smirk that barely shows your wolf teeth

and maybe if i could become the best lover you ever had and ever will have
if i could have access to those lips
oh god, those lips that part ever so slightly
as the smoke that comes out curls over your chin and cheeks
and reaches my mouth and enters my throat and lungs
to coat my organs with tar and sex appeal

if i could swim in that smoke, if i could just conquer that mouth of yours
i could catch you, beautiful bird, and cage you in my heart
keep you there until you cried out that you'd had enough, but i would not let you out
because don't you know, when you love someone, they belong completely to you
and only to you

i swear that tonight i will make you mine
you will not escape until i consume you
eat you, drink you, and our bodies interweave
until i become you and you become me
and we burn up in flames as we consummate our love.

xii. once a groupie, always a groupie


keep the car running
and the windows rolled up
the cigarette butts in the empty coke can
and the key in the ignition
let the thick smoke clog up the stale air
and the syringes in the glove compartment sit

flaming pink fingernails obsessively tapping the wheel
while long, pale legs cross over each other
black, translucent dress beckoning a closer look
spoilt cherry lips popping piercing mint gum

break through the neon yellow barricade
watch the crack spread like spiderweb 'cross the windshield
say goodbye to this cruel, unforgiving world
pray to jesus that he'll make your body look sexy even in death
as the blood drips off the dashboard

for several seconds you are a bird
wind under feathers lifting you towards the sun
until you feel your stomach drop sickeningly
and you force out a laugh that sounds like a strangled cat
instead of a proud, fierce goddess








you crashed and burned, alright
but you're not a phoenix and you won't rise from the ashes to the papers
only because you're dead doesn't mean you're redeemed
it just means you're dead

you're still the crack whore your mother said you'd become
blowing talent, hoping something else besides stds would rub off
but only because you wore jesus on your necklace
doesn't mean he didn't think you were a poser anyway

xiii. if the neon bible is true


*for all those who have been discriminated against because of their sexual preferences or gender identity

if the neon bible is true
then let me breathe my last breath
and let me join the others below

let me stare down into the murky waters
feel my body plummeting into liquid concrete
if the neon bible is true

let me be left bloody and torn on the grimy sidewalk
in front of the flickering multi-coloured sign
and let me join the others below

mould me into clay and do with me as you will
for i am yours to take and destroy i am not human
if the neon bible is true

don't let my body be eaten by nature, for i am not worthy
proclaim to the heavens that i have damned a nation
and let me join the others below

tear off my clothes and consume me fully with your body
for in between my screams i will be grateful to you
if the neon bible is true
then let me join the others below

xiv. don't blink.

the sound is not asleep, it's moving under my feet
not a shout, but a whisper, hardly heard by the dreaming
it creeps on wispy heels, its fingers lacing 'round the earth
and appears in the shady corners of our trembling nerves

it inches slowly up our bodies, starting at our soles
shallowly breathing all the secrets of the world
speaking to us in the night, leading us through the maze
filled of dead ends and nightmares with sharp-toothed eyes

licking our bellies, it burrows into our soft moonlit skin
biting the ends of our flowing arteries and veins
feasting on our hearts, the blood giving concreteness to its form
stealing our sunken eyes and swollen eyes for its own

it seeps into our slumbering, unguarded minds
its fingertips bloodying the creatures it finds
its body swaying to the rhythm of dance of death
asphyxiating all that it steps underneath

it lays waste to what was before, quietly, unseen
and settles itself on the throne of our subconscious as king
gazing towards the rising sun and waits motionless, as stone,
and smiles as we wake to realize that we are weeping angels also.

www.youtube.com/watch

xv. the end of the world

the lions and lambs ain't sleeping yet
though it's falling dusk and the fireflies are flicking their lights
on and off, signalling the return of night

this is their territory now, no one else has the right to be here
you predators and prey, you have already had your chance
in daylight, you have staked your births and deaths
now it is time for you to sleep

the nighttime holds the space for the peace-bringers
the owls and bats, navigating through black limbs of trees
echo their news across the landscape
wings whistling sonar

the nighttime is when the cowards creep from under their burrows
the hyenas scavenge on the rotting carcass of antelope
the maggots and moss already breaking down life to continue life

yet the lions and lambs ain't sleeping yet
they howl their discord into the dark
opening their throats to wail out their dominance

and the creatures who own this territory now
look upon the scene that unfolds
with eyes full of the fear only animals can produce

the chase, over before the blink of an eye
shutter goes down click shutter goes up
and the squeals of defeat tremble in the air

we are not done yet we still have lives and lives to go
after what you did to us and our ancestors
we will cordially return the favour


said the lamb as he killed the lion and dug its teeth into the wet hide
blood boiling over white wool as the herbivores thirsted for flesh

your era is over
king of the jungle
and now we, the meek
rule this earth
xvi. salvation by death
we're still screaming
traumatized by our sudden change of environment
dripping in placenta and blood
we expand our lungs to take our first breath
of that sky earth life
that we will take for granted until we die
still screaming
dripping in cum and blood
the thoughts running like mice on a wheel
why didn't we take another look
why the fuck didn't we take another look
at the grass
at her eyes
at ourselves
we take our shrunken wrinkled souls in our hands
the souls that look just like we used to when we were born
the souls that we ignored for years because we thought
we could always use them later
now, we take them into our hands
we hold them carefully like something precious about to die
and we wait for the explosion to come and take us
we wait for the fire to restore us

xvii. morning glory
now i'm ready
to enter the space-time continuum
to be sucked into the whirl of ice-blue
and creeping velvet carpets

i'm floating
climbing towards myself
i am god
six arms outstretched
i am shiva
scaly, red, barely born
like a baby screaming out of its mother's placenta

and the blood red vines stealthily crawling up my legs
my arms, and the icy water hitting my bones repeatedly
like rain drip
drip
drip
ping
ping
creating a ripple effect
through my bones, flowing through my veins

i cannot move
yet i am already there

xviii. the best day of your life
i'm a modern man
i wake up in the morning at eight
bleary eyed, i stare at the ceiling and remember
that my wife has left me because she said
i was too boring

i look down underneath my sheets
and decide my erection is not that important
so i turn and set my feet on the floor
stand up and make my way to the door

i piss shower shave brush my teeth
put on boxers pants belt socks
undershirt buttondown and knot my tie
in a windsor

head to the kitchen where i make coffee
black coffee
and toast, only slightly burnt
look at my watch
leisurely eat my breakfast
while leisurely looking out the window
at the fluffy clouds and bright searing blue sky
that seem to say good morning you're awake live life today

i fumble to find my keys in my briefcase
open the car door
turn on the engine and back out of the garage

driving down the road, i clear my mind of all negative thoughts
remember my childhood my wife my aborted child
my parents who think i'm good for nothing
my boss who fired me for not responding to her come ons
my friends probably still unconscious at the bar

i close my eyes
take a deep breath
exhale and smile

it's going to be a beautiful day
the best goddamn day ever

and run that red light right into the line of traffic.

xix. 05.04.1970
i.
we are not listening, we are on the streets
walking barefoot on the pavement
watching the smoke curl from our lips
and laughing in the face of the jealous sun

we are still here, filled to the brim with love and acid
even with all the war and destruction in this world
and we will open the doors to your mind
and protest your way of harsh thinking

we will sing for you and we will make love to you
we will evoke the most intense passions
out of that shriveled soul you keep in a jar by your bed
and it will fill and grow and you will become human once again

we are a new generation
our parents, cowards to the marrow of their bones
afraid to live, selfish in their protection of our best interests
warning us not to try the things that would make us the happiest

we are the age of youth
and we shall carry on in the hearts of the next children
the petals of our hearts living in the souls of others
their skin pigmented by the guitar chords and the voices of greatness
their eyes bottomless with colours and visions and sounds

we are the music makers, we are the dreamer of dreams*

we will always be alive even when we are dead

we will live on forever, but you are only mortal

we will truly live, while you will simply exist

ii.
i saw hundreds of them coming at me with their long hair and coloured clothes. singing. swaying. holding hands. obviously intoxicated with drugs.

she came towards me out of the crowd, appearing like a ghost. she floated out in her dress and fixed her eyes on me. those eyes. even in my dreams, i can still remember those deep, bottomless, brown eyes. if i looked in them too long, i was afraid i wouldn't be able to climb out, drowning in thick chocolate. losing myself in all the pleasures of the universe. i could crawl into them and feel what she had felt, make love with all the men she had made love, hallucinated what she had hallucinated. i could share her dreams and her memories. i could be her lover. but that mouth. those full lips, curled up at the ends in a childish smile.  she must have been a child, seventeen at most. her hair, reaching down to her calves, wheat swishing in wind. so young, so careless, so free.
nothing to lose.
only death could touch her and i wasn't too sure about that either.

she reached me and slowly held up a chamomile. a weed. she smiled fully, showing her bright, straight teeth. looking into me, through me, as though i didn't exist, as though none of us existed, only she did, she put her flower in the barrel of my gun.

i still wake in the middle of the night, gasping in fear and sweat drenching my brow. my wife sleeping soundly by my side and the moon creeping onto the floorboards.

i still wake with the sound of the guns going off, a magnificent blast. i see the crowd in slow-motion, opening their mouths and moving their limbs, their animal instinct to turn and run, but their human mind telling them to stand their ground. they are conflicted, i see that. i see their doubt and weakness in their minds. i see their fear. i am blinded by spray of blood and the stench hits me. god, it's glorious.

i still wake with the remnants of the chamomile petals ingrained in my mind, falling leisurely to the ground. i still wake remembering that through all of the confusion, i could hear an airy voice whispering death is not the end, it is the afterglow, life-hater.

* from Music and Moonlight by Arthur O'Shaugnessy



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings

05.04.1970 (XIX)

i.
we are not listening, we are on the streets
walking barefoot on the pavement
watching the smoke curl from our lips
and laughing in the face of the jealous sun

we are still here, filled to the brim with love and acid
even with all the war and destruction in this world
and we will open the doors to your mind
and protest your way of harsh thinking

we will sing for you and we will make love to you
we will evoke the most intense passions
out of that shriveled soul you keep in a jar by your bed
and it will fill and grow and you will become human once again

we are a new generation
our parents, cowards to the marrow of their bones
afraid to live, selfish in their protection of our best interests
warning us not to try the things that would make us the happiest

we are the age of youth
and we shall carry on in the hearts of the next children
the petals of our hearts living in the souls of others
their skin pigmented by the guitar chords and the voices of greatness
their eyes bottomless with colours and visions and sounds

we are the music makers, we are the dreamer of dreams*

we will always be alive even when we are dead

we will live on forever, but you are only mortal

we will truly live, while you will simply exist

ii.
i saw hundreds of them coming at me with their long hair and coloured clothes. singing. swaying. holding hands. obviously intoxicated with drugs.

she came towards me out of the crowd, appearing like a ghost. she floated out in her dress and fixed her eyes on me. those eyes. even in my dreams, i can still remember those deep, bottomless, brown eyes. if i looked in them too long, i was afraid i wouldn't be able to climb out, drowning in thick chocolate. losing myself in all the pleasures of the universe. i could crawl into them and feel what she had felt, make love with all the men she had made love, hallucinated what she had hallucinated. i could share her dreams and her memories. i could be her lover. but that mouth. those full lips, curled up at the ends in a childish smile.  she must have been a child, seventeen at most. her hair, reaching down to her calves, wheat swishing in wind. so young, so careless, so free.
nothing to lose.
only death could touch her and i wasn't too sure about that either.

she reached me and slowly held up a chamomile. a weed. she smiled fully, showing her bright, straight teeth. looking into me, through me, as though i didn't exist, as though none of us existed, only she did, she put her flower in the barrel of my gun.

i still wake in the middle of the night, gasping in fear and sweat drenching my brow. my wife sleeping soundly by my side and the moon creeping onto the floorboards.

i still wake with the sound of the guns going off, a magnificent blast. i see the crowd in slow-motion, opening their mouths and moving their limbs, their animal instinct to turn and run, but their human mind telling them to stand their ground. they are conflicted, i see that. i see their doubt and weakness in their minds. i see their fear. i am blinded by spray of blood and the stench hits me. god, it's glorious.

i still wake with the remnants of the chamomile petals ingrained in my mind, falling leisurely to the ground. i still wake remembering that through all of the confusion, i could hear an airy voice whispering death is not the end, it is the afterglow, life-hater.

* from Music and Moonlight by Arthur O'Shaugnessy



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_State_shootings

A Personal Account on Depression

I just finished watching "Prozac Nation", a movie about a freshman girl's (Christina Ricci) year into Harvard on a journalism scholarship. She completes the fantasy requirement for college (losing your virginity, doing drugs, and drinking) and realizes that she's extremely depressed and emotionally fucked up. At the end, her therapist recommends she take Prozac to help her deal with her mental issues. Lizzie starts taking the pills and discovers that it covers up her personality, her life, everything. She feels "normal", but she doesn't feel herself. The most resounding quote from the movie is when she realizes that "Sometimes it feels like we're all living in a Prozac nation. The United States of Depression." 

After watching this movie, I was reminded of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, an autobiography of sorts and the most depressing book I have ever read. When I read it, I was going through my own depression of sorts, but it was nothing like what hit me last summer. I realized how easy it is to get into that kind of state, how truly scarily easy it is. How easy it is and how hard it is to get out: what it's like when you lay in bed in the morning and you have to go to school or work, or you have to do something with your life, but you can't. You can't get out of bed, so you just stay there. When even suicide doesn't sound appealing to you--too much effort. All you want to do is sleep forever. Not die, but just close your eyes and never wake up. It's not a violent action, it's not a selfish decision, it's just going to sleep. 

Sometimes, you think of killing yourself, yes. Is it a selfish thought? Perhaps. Think about all those people who love you! That's mocking. Yes, people love you but can they understand? Even if they do understand and empathize, can they stop you? Can they actually help you? Only you can get out of this shithole you've dug for yourself. And you've dug it so far and so deep that you can't see the light anymore. But you won't accept help because you can do it yourself. You'll do it, you'll get out of it. You can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, you can't see a moment when this phase will stop, but you're sure it will. 

You make mistakes, push people away. You'll make amends when you get out of it. They'll understand and bounce back. You don't care anymore about anything. It's all meaningless, it's all extremely hard to bear. One more day. And another. And another. How long can you live like this? One day, you'll just hold your breath and stop breathing. So easy. Too easy.

Some people get out of this. Some people don't. Some people opt to take pills, some people opt other choices. Forget about your depression, forget about reality, forget about what's inside your mind. Take drugs, alter your brain, get high and stay high. Come down and get sober for a few hours, it kills you. Go back into the vicious cycle and sooner or later, you're addicted.

I'm not even sure how I got out of my state of depression. I don't even know if I'm out of it. Maybe it was a mental effort of telling myself that I was going to get out of it, yet how I did, I don't remember. I'll get back to you on that.

Depression doesn't only happen to the "weak". It doesn't happen just to teenagers or young people in their twenties. It can hit you at any time, any age, any sex, anywhere. Your life doesn't have to be miserable for you to get depressed. It can seem perfect from the outside looking in. But the scary thing is, it can happen to anyone and it can happen to you. 

And please, don't look down at all those who have attempted or committed suicide. They're not selfish. They're not weak. They're just so tired, so incredibly tired. 

This isn't a call for empathy, sympathy, or help for myself or for anyone who's depressed/suicidal. I don't profess to know what's going to help you. This is simply a personal account of what's happened to me and one of my friends and a general musing on depression and suicide because of a movie I recently saw. If you have been or are depressed and you think this is a load of bullshit, you have a right to your opinion and I have a right to mine.

the end of the world (XV)

the lions and lambs ain't sleeping yet
though it's falling dusk and the fireflies are flicking their lights
on and off, signalling the return of night

this is their territory now, no one else has the right to be here
you predators and prey, you have already had your chance
in daylight, you have staked your births and deaths
now it is time for you to sleep

the nighttime holds the space for the peace-bringers
the owls and bats, navigating through black limbs of trees
echo their news across the landscape
wings whistling sonar

the nighttime is when the cowards creep from under their burrows
the hyenas scavenge on the rotting carcass of antelope
the maggots and moss already breaking down life to continue life

yet the lions and lambs ain't sleeping yet
they howl their discord into the dark
opening their throats to wail out their dominance

and the creatures who own this territory now
look upon the scene that unfolds
with eyes full of the fear only animals can produce

the chase, over before the blink of an eye
shutter goes down click shutter goes up
and the squeals of defeat tremble in the air

we are not done yet we still have lives and lives to go
after what you did to us and our ancestors
we will cordially return the favour


said the lamb as he killed the lion and dug its teeth into the wet hide
blood boiling over white wool as the herbivores thirsted for flesh

your era is over
king of the jungle
and now we, the meek
rule this earth