We are single

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 shit 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. That’s what has 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.

And then we tell ourselves this is courageous.






Turn To the Quiet

 

It’s one of those mornings when I’m on the road again in my head.  Packing sleeping bags in the cold mountain air.  Blowing steam off my coffee in a circle of other travelers.  Packing up to leave, pulling on heavy boots.  Twelve thousand feet above sea level.  Hungry but exhilarated.

It’s easy to forget the struggle: what it takes to choose the adventure over the safe.  To get to those places and exist in them longer-term is mostly a matter of willingness to abandon fear, to detach from whatever status or position achieved, and then there’s the objects of our affections to be suspended or let go of.  An apartment, a car, a job, a semester, a social circle, a mentality, an ideology, a lover, a life dependent upon the comforts of the known.  Easier done when you have less to lose, but even then most will naturally balk.

For me, all this was nothing compared to what it took to return.  To reintegrate back into a culture built on and fascinated by the concept of freedom, yet embracing a type of freedom warped by comparison to the freedom you’ve just experienced on the road.  A freedom that almost looks like imprisonment – a rat race.  Yet this is the same rat race that gave you the road, the resources and privilege to earn it by struggle.  You yourself, you realize, love the rat race too.  Each day suppressing true feeling, true significance in order to keep up.  From time to time you wholly accept its superficial qualifications and you strive to reflect them, become them.  You get off on it, at least one small part of you feels this is natural.  Until the day that you just can’t take it anymore.  And then you turn to the few people whom you’ve ever really loved, in your mind.  You turn to the waves, the trees, the birds.  Sand, rivers, the clouds.  Tiny lights flickering in the shadows.

 

 

Come With Me

 

Yes I admit searching for your face in crowds afraid of what I’d see.  You came in closed the door leaned your bike against the armoire put your keys and wallet down on the dresser and stay

ed.  We listened to the same musical refrain over and over after the film credits stop

ed since you made it last

even long

er than needed that evening, years

your presence melts resentments and smile fades priorities then there’s only innocence in us.  I’ve felt long

ing and awe and dread since childhood toward everything in life and everyone I’ve loved.  This is why poetry picked me without asking.  I’d eventually tell the truth, sometimes incredibly pained and sometimes without flinching in a way that served an art.  I was less than eight when I knew I was alone.  I see her walking slow

ly

in memory, eyes locked down at the ground watching feet move mechanically, but once she stop

es to stare at a glow.  Strange.  A mesmerizing purple hue around a shadow, circling the contour of the dark form in the sidewalk – was this some prophecy for today?  Six brothers and sisters new lives pop in and out of dreams like a vague connective tissue.  Purple orchids sit in the windowsill wait

ing for water don’t need too much attention, bookshelves crammed with ideas and lyrics and pictures don’t make this old, maybe ancient ache better when it visits, or easier the exceptional courageousness it takes to care.  Beyond the selfish, superficial, convenient or practical no bar, text box, or website brought us together.  You said you noticed I always look at the poem during critique instead of up at the group, you stay

ed long enough to get to know me a little but not very deep.  My most entitled and arrogant phase featured this loss although I couldn’t explain how much loneliness this arose from and alienation.  I still can’t keep up with demands in all directions by myself but who really can or how long

can we pretend.  Later on we leave after a short time.  Except in rare circumstances when we see differently those places in them that we fear.  And those elements in us embracing those who just don’t want to know, and those who do, and we take all of that.  All of it.  A fantasy is not a knowing.  A knowing says, this does not have to be so exciting.  A languishing calls in all of us.  Saying stop

by, hang out we are just talking.  It is not about being so impressed, it is beyond bodies, and we are not rushing out of here either.  We are not on our way home because there’s nowhere really to be, nowhere like here at least because why not with you, why not here making something, building something beyond our outfit and our face and our credentials?  I am dreaming now.  But this is the future of our yearnings.  Why not the freedom in doing nothing also, to stretch out in the grass for hours or lounge on the patio quietly, why not cooking and talking late into the night, where are these people?

Those who don’t mind the time?

This does not have to be so exciting it just has to be true.  I want to go find them and set down my keys on the table, turn off the internet and TV, to tell me their stories or notice the majestic shape of a tree reach in every direction for the sun to form such pleasing angles, am I crazy?  I am angry because there’s no antidote to the recklessness of others.  To the tyranny of business, being busy and making things happen.  There’s no pathology in craving more significance to our company — is it so dangerous to desire this today, feigning instead to resist real feeling as a means of self-improvement?  I have feel

ings.  That need not be cute or palatable.  Take no hallucination of ideals, that aesthetic is so tired.  The end is coming soon, dears.  Come by my love because fifty thousand options, fifty million options are not you, because fifty billion other options are still not who you are and because it does not matter about tomorrow, even now doesn’t matter because there’s nothing to do.  In truth, there is real

ly nothing.

Drink tea with me, no pool, no bar, no fancy food, no nice clothes, no entertainment.  I’m up the mountain pass now sipping the tea, bundled in wool, iron and wood and smoke billowing from fires in the freezing cold, there is no service here, and everything is free.  I long for you here but will find somebody to come with me, somebody along the way who wonders what it would be like to set their keys down anywhere, anywhere, and love those you find.  I create no words, no art to sell truly, I make piece after piece for those I hold and a place for us to exist in is all the same affair I work for, beyond the obvious yet not beyond those held in the middle of the darkness because the only thing we have that’s free in this world is each other and we know it.  This is why poetry is not endangered.  Is this not the belief anymore, here – what happened?  Nothing is just only ours.  Everything is for each other.  This is one truth of mine among many.  I wish it weren’t so sometimes.  I’d like to need no one, but this contemporary promise is a false idol of sorts.  I unpeel bananas

in the kitchen for breakfast, oranges

in the afternoon and adore them in solitude.  I don’t really adore french fries, though they taste good —  body is treated like this too.  It matters how you see

things, when we unpeel and also when we don’t.  I’m still being with them, still in love irresponsibly on paper and on screens and whatever and it’s great.  For us cyc

ling colors through bay windows, stay

ing up all night.  I come here to write for tears of long

ing to watch icy blue rivers in us melt

from ancient glaciers — they need a job.  In this moment as with most that matter nobody knows this about me and it’s okay.  I am the same as everyone.  You who recognize this thing.

You, taking heart