We respect the known, the definable. But we also hold this too tightly.
A stable foundation prevents total chaos.
But all that gives life so much meaning – exceptional meaning – comes by
We respect the known, the definable. But we also hold this too tightly.
A stable foundation prevents total chaos.
But all that gives life so much meaning – exceptional meaning – comes by
Part of the beauty of words is their definitions. But poetry understands definition to be a light thing. Lightness. An inexact art. Yet also a very precise art. But art requires flexibility, mutability, permeability, transformation. Art requires the flowering of unexpressed potentials.
Poetry is obviously the art of words. But because words are also useful, because they are also practical, because we associate them with a function, a very necessary and functional part of life, we want to understand them. We must understand them. We must, essentially, conquer them. Force ourselves upon them.
Poetry can not be forced upon. Poetry will always resist conquering. Not necessarily on purpose, but by nature. Meaning can be beautiful or it can be tyrannical. Poetry resists tyranny.
This is the problem with poetry. “America” does not like to think that there is anything that can not be conquered. Poetry is an unacceptable defeat.
Where we do not win, we reject.
There’s no real problem with words. Words are not the problem. It’s the meaning we assign to them. The values we assign to them. What we decide they’re worthy of. What we decide they’re used for. That’s the trouble.
Words are not inherently stupid. It’s opinions. Opinions can be so cheap.
Poetry isn’t cheap.
And we love cheap. We treasure the truly cheap. That’s the problem with poetry.
Poetry captures the invaluable. All that is invaluable.
All you could not hope to capture.
i find myself moving away from writing. but i will always write. but it’s not the grand central station of my imagination right now.
i am more interested in pictures. writing is too perfect, or mirrors all that strives to be so.
so often i don’t know what to say anymore. because in an odd way i think all opinions, even the smartest ones, are stupid.
my world is full of words. communication is easy. but also i need to create in a world beyond words. i need to express without words. i know my words can be stupid. and banal.
as all words can be. and this is why poetry exists. and one is not always equipped to write it.
words are to be respected more than they are.
A tea kettle whistling – someone else is up at 5:53 am too. A neighbor.
I’ve had a writer’s block and an artist’s block at the same time – I don’t remember the last time that happened.
I remember when I could claim that this never happened. I didn’t really believe in being blocked. And maybe that’s still true.
Or maybe I just didn’t believe in it because it hadn’t happened to me, which is how so many ill-informed beliefs are born.
Or maybe when you have little to no responsibilities in life, it’s easy to be unblocked. Adventure slips through your fingers.
I simply, chose other things to happen.
I skim through some old stuff. What was I even going on about? What was I doing? Was it good? Which direction now?
Who is even reading this? Why do I create a public stage, broadcast a public channel in which to hide?
Suffering gets boring. How much of it is worth expressing?
I don’t regret recording it.
Paralysis, though – that’s an empty space – but something happens in that.
In the space of doing nothing.
A mystery to us. It doesn’t always seem worth examining.
This mystery wasn’t, isn’t.
Consciousness needed to shift. Without analysis or interrogation.
I take out my pen, for something that can’t be erased. I prefer the hand just a little bit childlike sometimes.
Like what’s always come most naturally – a style mostly resisted.
What was wrong with that?
Why resist anything? Why resist anything?
It’s not always worth it to be so adult. What is beyond adult?
The struggle is too adult.
But artists aren’t childish, like they insinuate.
Art is ageless. Period.
He told me that some woman he’d almost-dated or whatever walked up to him in public and said, “You’re a VILE person.”
I had embraced him as he was. Because. After having appealed to our greater existence, or the soul’s source of existence – as in, whatever that thing IS that creates us that is bigger than us – I thought, there is no good and there is no bad in the highest level of consciousness.
Later, after exposing all our fragments of psyche to the real, appealing to the soul again and again, having it blown apart, and piecing it back together, I thought,
Still. There is still no good and there is still no bad. Good and bad is a useful construct for civilization. But it is also an illusion. I am only aware enough to understand it. But I am not aware enough to feel something else. Something outside anguish.
Sometimes words are a sixth sense.
And a message from a place beyond the conceived real. Even, a plea from this place. I thought, I don’t see it like her. But I know why she used that word.
“Vile” is a euphemism for “evil.”
Let them be afraid and reactive
Let that fear blind them
Let blindness make them stupid
Let them sell excuses
Let them have their stories
Let them bypass details
Let them dismiss insights
Let them trust their defects
Let them evade redress
Just let them be wrong
Let them be the asshole
Let them talk their shit
Let them act out
It is okay
Why? Why? Because I see all that shit and I just think, no no no, show me you. I want to see you, I want to see your actual life, I want to see how you see the world, I want to hear what’s in your head, I want to know you… I don’t want all this STUFF. Do we think it’s that entertaining? All of you diluted and filtered. All of you through links, images, stories, videos, even memes, even jokes, as if you yourself are a channel of electronic transmissions, a free mass media channel, why? you are dangerous. you are an adventure. you are a problem – is that the problem? is the beauty in you too much trouble, the complexity too distasteful. interiors of each other reduced to a business plan. like as if this messy exhausting disaster is so much more righteous. is that all there is to your perspective, who the fuck are you, i want to know you, i want to feel you, you are in the head, you are lost in the collection of crap, a range of crap so unlimited it will always take precedent, will always be more than you, is this valuable? subtlety and mystery give way to vulgarity. you are a medium for everything that’s a medium, do you exist? what do you exist for? look at us the advertisers. look at us pure entertainment. do you know why the world gets away with everything you don’t want? everything you hate? everything you have an opinion about? we do not see you. we do not know you. we do not feel anything much
the stuff keeps us cold. we do not need you this way. we like you, but we do not need you. we like you, but we do not love you
do something. fucking do something
the garbage is telling you that you don’t matter. that’s how garbage propagates more garbage. that’s how nobody knows you. that’s how to play it, fake. and make it, the rise of the lie so paramount and empty. the world doesn’t need it. the world doesn’t need more fake. the world doesn’t even really need your fucking opinions about everyone else’s opinions. the world doesn’t need you to share what it already has. the shit has already been shared over and over. it’s something else the world needs from you. it’s something else so figure it out. nobody will remember your opinions about opinions. nobody will remember it. what do you think people fucking remember? the world is begging you for the only original thing you have. we want to see you
we want to know you
we do not know ourselves either
we need to see you
we need to see ourselves. find us
or we hate and we cancel
that’s what it says. we are going to die one day. what did we do with ourselves? were we garbage? do you know what the fuck i am talking about? it is not your job. it is not your shows. it is not your porn. it is not your humor. it is not your opinions. it is not your links
who the fuck exists? who is a person today? what exactly did you create? what did you fucking create. what did you fucking create. what did you fucking create?
i am not just talking about art
We don’t really know you but if we did we would love it
i can’t find you
i want to know you
We were uncluttered yet impure,
now we are too pure
or we like to think so
Now we are cluttered
we are clutter
but we don’t think so and we
it is okay
this coldness will not last
forever, it is so young
My style or I guess you could say my interest is the total fullness of life. It is not look at this but ignore that. It is not, fall in love halfway. It is all the way. It is not, take only this but not that. Elevate this but reject that. It is the total fullness of a person, of life.
It is, if you’re going to do something—anything—do it it all the way. Commit yourself. But commitment also requires flexibility. I have not always been willing to take the bad with the good. But when I have I have almost never regretted it. At some point in the process, the self is exceeded.
Sometimes I have committed to misguided projects or the wrong goals. But I don’t believe I commit to the wrong people, insofar that I even could. They’ve been meant for me somehow, and I for them. Sometimes I did not succeed to love them completely enough. Often. I’ve only recently learned how to do this, or to focus upon it better. And I make mistakes. In better moments I own them now, even when others don’t. Apologize, even when others don’t. See someone, even if I am unseen. It’s not a weakness. It’s not a sickness. It’s a clarity I want to see more of in the world. It’s a humility. Not a humiliation. It’s an appreciation.
It’s an expansion of the mind and especially the heart. I want to be in a world with more curiosity and a willingness to grow. If it causes pain, it is more painful to live only for one’s own egocentric and woefully limited consciousness.
My love of art and poetry came first. But I did not love them all the way either, for a long time. I had some toxic influences. Art is a very difficult occupation. Yet an incredibly kind influence also. And almost like a force of nature.
Some will make you feel bad about what you have to offer, as if it’s worth less than something they do. Though they may feel superior, these people’s attitudes are as easy as they come, and not hard to find. Continue. Do it more. That’s the only way. Some do not understand that it is a useless enterprise to try and break someone down, who is not going to give up anyway. They will hardly know that their arguments achieve nothing. They think they know what they are talking about. But they do not know. Nobody knows what is really going on especially outside of their own little bubble. There’s a reason arrogance is unflattering – it can only serve one. It’s someone handing you shit on a silver platter, as if the packaging makes a difference.
People do not reject you when it seems they do. They reject a second-hand idea. They reject a part of themselves they don’t want to see, or would rather disown. Because they do not allow themselves the same freedom. Because they have a template in their mind, or a temple. Your piece does not fit perfectly into their finite puzzle. Because they do not realize that you can have that, and also this. Have me, and also have you. You can have the total fullness of life.
They want us to think we are single because we are crazy. Crazy is anything unique. They want us to blame ourselves. They want us to get plastic surgery. They want us to be “second-hand people” with second-hand ideas, second-hand appearances, personas, lifestyles, like Krishnamurti said but few people listen to people like him. We think we are too intelligent for that. We think we don’t need it. We think it’s not worth it.
We think we should mute our intensity. Because why take the word of a philosopher that the only way out of mediocrity, is to fully embrace the white-hot intensity of our consciousness. We think there is something better than that. Something better than the full potential of our own brilliance. Something better than the best thing you have to offer. “Mediocrity” used to be something that one would question. But now if you say the same word, you’ll probably only offend someone. In this way, we stand up for it.
We are single because we could never fit a pre-filled idea, and everyone knows it but they also don’t. We are single because we care about this moment right now more than about origins. We are single because origins are something we tear down and forget. We are single because options make us oblivious to options. We are single because we are not comedians, and we live in a place that just wants to be entertained.
We pretend that being different is something exotic, like it’s a value. But then mute our differences to make ourselves more desirable. And then push those same crap expectations on everyone else. But everyone else is corrupted except for us. Everyone else is brainwashed but us. We are free, but a lot less inquisitive than we believe. Brainwashed even by our own image, our own identity, thus rendered shallow. We pretend that we want something deep, yet deeply reject what that means. Crave the serious yet turn it down, staring us in the face.
We are single because we’re imperfect. Single because we are hurt. But this isolation is welcomed. This isolation is celebrated. Single because it is worth it. Single because we deserve it. For lack of imagination, clinging perhaps to a past we once had, an experience, but could never recreate. Single for lack of reality. Single because, even when not single, we think about what makes us so. Or what could.
We are small but we don’t always think so. Yet colossal for reasons we never asked for, and don’t want to be. Single because we have theories. Or for lack of curiosity. For lack of appreciation. And for lack of energy. For lack of creativity. Single for arrogance, intolerance, and stupidity. We are single for sensitivity. And more so, for insensitivity.
We are single for priority. We are single for lack of nuance. And literally, for lack of romance. We are single for personality. Single for lack of character. We are single for fear. Single for pride. And for all that’s petty. Single because we are better than them. But more so because we are worse.
We are single because there is always something better than the best you can do for someone.
We are single because we are singular. We are singular. Yet wary of true fragility and the total fullness of life, refuse to be so seen. We do not even think we are. Someone else is. Someone is whatever we define ourselves against. And this is how we define. Is to separate. We are single because each person we encounter is not worth as much as the pedestal we put ourselves on. Yet we quell our own fire. We are single from becoming, from embracing, the very thing we most admire, most strive for, here. Independence. Freedom.
And its own brand of rejection, for us to excel beyond. Disconnecting. There is a whole world inside a person. Then all its rivals. We are special, yet committed to normal. Our normal. Standards which can’t spark the will to grow. But that’s what earns the right to exist with us, to stay. If we can find it. The rest is a waste. We serve and take what we already have, and no more. All this, there is nothing more American now perhaps. But it kills us too. We die for it. Die for more. Die to be more. Bereft, for all that could be. We, die. We
die. We –
And then we tell ourselves this is courageous.
You’ve got to get past yourself, to love.
You have to get past your past.
You have to see good. ALL good.
i began to feel that home was not a place.
home was wherever my love was.
for a brief time, home was a person.
i want to say that the home i have now
is just as good.
“They took her baby away.”
He told me “Seems So Long Ago, Nancy” was about an acquaintance of Leonard Cohen’s; an early hippie who was the daughter of someone important. “And she went crazy.”
“She was from an important family, her father was a senator or something like that. I think they didn’t want her to be the daughter who had an illegitimate child. They took her baby away, and she killed herself. She was in hospitals, and she blew her brains out.”
-“That’s horrific,” I said.
“The mental hospital, that’s the ‘house of mystery’ I think.”
-“Hm. Well I think the reason it’s so relatable, is because we all have that place, inside of ourselves. A house of mystery.”
“A place that no one wants to visit?”
-But artists do. Art visits. That’s what artists are good for. That’s why people like Leonard Cohen are important. That’s why art is important.”
Everyone loves Nancy now.
Everyone cries for her. Now we understand, Nancy
And we are sorry.
THE LONG, SLOW SCENE
There’s a reason why, in popular movies, it’s rarely the moneymaker…
Time is work now, so time needs a reason. One way to sell the long, slow, or quiet is to use the word meditative, as if to assign a proper function to the act or experience. Otherwise the word used is boring. Meditation – an intentional act of focused attention – has a functional purpose, and more than that, an exciting one. Self-improvement, personal growth, etc.
For its existence to make sense, to have some value.
April 9, 2020
There needs to be a point. What’s the point?
Well what’s the point of anything, really. Can’t anything be considered pointless, from one perspective or another? How much is cheap, superficial, manipulative, etc., but is also entertaining? How much is considered valid, is considered a success, just because it makes money? Is that a good point to make?
If someone chooses writing poetry over television in the evening, if someone almost never watches television, are they just being an elitist asshole?
Who decides what is really valuable – the group, or the individual? It is a real question to ask, and difficult to answer. I speak for myself on clashing with enough stress and anxiety over the group, about being a worker among workers and the other roles I play, daughter, girlfriend, associate, fellow and etc, about not causing offense, I have to talk myself into being an individual also. That this is not only ok, but essential. This individual, the closet poet.
As an artist or writer, of course, function should not have to be the biggest consideration. Nor simply placating – another form of mere survival, of utility. This is part of the whole point of making art. If anything it is helpful to resist functionality which culture already boasts well enough of. Because there is more to life than functioning, plain and simple. There is more to life than spending time, energy, and effort only on practical considerations.
It seems obvious, until you have to fight for it.
May 12, 2020 – May 15, 2020
SELF-ABSORPTION, SELF-PITY AND BEING SPECIAL
May 14, 2020
The obvious part is the absolutely majestic creature gliding in the wind over the dark bay cliffs, rising and falling gracefully, confidently. Then there’s the subtle part. The feathers opening and closing slightly at times, partly by the wind, but partly, it seems, for personality, for fun, like dancing. Delicate details that need to be observed very closely to be seen. Or it might as well be a garden-variety bird in the sky. Kinda cool, nothing special. Nothing unique.
The time it took. The sense of space it created in the moment. I felt a brief sense of reverence, before going back to my urban life where I survive like anyone else by way of destruction of the natural because I’m no different in that way. Maybe I just take more time than the average person to watch, to see, to take in — before joining the crowds once again to the disposable lifestyle of take-out containers, fast fashion, high-volume traffic, smartphone apps. We won’t be getting away with this unchecked, as we’ve already begun to reluctantly note.
Now is the perfect time to regard nature, to recover a sense of respect for it within this sudden struggle to now survive the elements that we can not control. Now is the perfect time, because we actually have time, to observe and be with the subtleties in life if we want to, not just gloss over everything. Plenty of time. To appreciate its delicate elements.
We have been the most interesting species, to ourselves. The most worthy of survival, at any cost. Even at our own peril, we are too precious. This sounds harsh but isn’t it true?
Sustained attention to nature is more important now than ever. Nature has more than a functional purpose for us. It is more than just a physical resource, which most of us know, but we need to start acting like it.
May 2, 2020
_E_F-A_SOR_TIO_, SELF-P_T_ AND BEI_G _PE_IAL
May 18, 2020
That flap of roof
Just like a quail
This was taken from scraps. Cutouts produced incidentally while creating other black and white paper designs, extras tossed aside in the moment: the true first negative space of those projects, their waste, their remainder. Sifted through the pile of odd shapes belonging nowhere, randomly assorted without purpose. Four pieces chosen quickly, without thinking and no plan, without altering them further in any way, and within minutes assembled together and pasted up this leaning figure. Looks like a lot of things to me but speaks like an example.
Urging to make significant or even delicious more of those elements in us and in the world so easy to reject, to cast out, to trample on, or to simply pass by. Art and poetry are not luxuries but necessities for this reason. To allow the unattended or just what looks like refuse to be seen and voiced and appreciated rather than tossed a token now and again, hardly a crumb. The expendable, impractical, unnecessary – yours and mine too. With poetry especially we have a marginalized form expressing the marginalized in apt communion. To celebrate mystery, quiet amidst the noisy, or to place the unwanted or left behind because are we not all neglected or forgotten in some way and do we not all feel this. To serve the imperfect, the difficult, the unsavory or troublesome, even the scary at times. Our beauty does not exclude these flaws in a culture pretending to disown their existence.
What nobody would detect or consider without looking very, very, closely – art changing our minds about what’s beautiful and worthy, what we’re capable of discerning. Not just a world in which we consume choice fragments of one another relentlessly and treat ourselves so, but a hunger for the whole range and process of a more private experience admired, an intelligence beyond the conspicuous so that every day just a little bit, even just a little to be able to show up and not be afraid to look further. Since it’s the not looking – hiding – that’s more dangerous.
— And since culture’s infinitely richer than it could possibly be credited in any given moment — momentarily magnificent or bewildered or painfully plain. So are we.