Ears for Fears

No mandates

or prohibitions

No shame no blame

No judicial decision

no rhetoric can

ease the condition

Of people who kill

For a bit of attention.

Oh, So, now you listen?

Fed up being fed into

A perverted system

Drugs or detention in

Preparation for prison,

Scheduled to the minute,

But something’s missing:

Is anybody listening?

The way to stop people

Is before the decision

That life doesn’t matter.

Is it really worth living

Without the respect

we all fully deserve?

Before the trucks swerve

Down crowded streets,

is the drive for community.

Before the need to hurt is

The need to be heard,

And be taken seriously.

The cure in a word: listen.

Advertisements

(Not) A Review of The Merchant of Venice

Go see it, or don’t. Live your life. I’ve been living mine over here and frankly, it’s alright if I die tonight. I’ve seen enough to be bored by living and if it passes me by just one more time I’ll be just fine. It played on broadway, starring a famous person. Nothing matters unless you’re famous, or talented or beautiful or rich or powerful but what does that matter to me? All the millions in your bank are not as important to me as the $380 I paid to behold the spectacle of St. Alberto Pacinoni as the Blind Venetian. That was reason enough to be excited to see the show. I bought tickets and started planning a romantic date night with the wife.

The wife, who, for the week prior, challenged me to an epic transnational trauma cleanse, a pentathalon of sulking, screaming, smoking, drinking, and another-thing-ing. She was a champion in all such events, a test of every learned defense, redlining emotional resources across the board of benevolent directors known as my conscience. 

During a lull in the fracas, while the ingenue and her six pack of tall boys took several hours recess in our one bathroom, I stepped out for a walk around the block, blurring out my thoughts with the electric techno tourist mob of Times Square, shuffling past the theaters proclaiming the greatest shows ever witnessed, promising heart-pounding exhilaration and the time of your life. I scowled. Billy Joe, you’ve come a Longview from the Dookie days. 

As the quintessential American Idiot, on my way back to workshop the tour-de-force audience participation performance piece unfolding on an ikea carpet eighteen stories above these storied stages, I stopped under the makeshift umbrella of a marquee just around the corner from Studio Apartment Arena. 

I took out a brown satchel of tobacco, selected a wad of fragrant brown shreds and tamped them into the paper, placed a white filter tip a little bit off to the side, gently rolled thumbs against forefingers until the cylinder appeared, ran the tip of my tongue over the glue strip, pushed the filter flush with the roll, letting it hang from the precarious precipice of my lip as I tilted my head to the side to avoid a butane-torch beard fire or a seared schnozz. The invisible flame clicked on and I saw AL PACINO in glowing red. 

Something to look forward to, I thought. Wait, what day is it? 

I knew what fucking day it was. I knew before I opened the ticket confirmation email that I had flagged, or double checked the calendar app. I knew from the reminders I had ignored while embroiled in the aforementioned top-floor tomfoolery. I had to prove it to myself, I couldn’t believe it until I saw it. Was it distrust? Was it that I just missed the money? Was I angry over a petty loss or furious over the foregone failure of my future family?

Our godfather which art on broadway, dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Sicut in Carlito et terror. Lesson learned forever: don’t be shy, or locked. After all, nobody owes you a goddamn ounce of their skin, let alone a pound, and you don’t owe by the same token, no matter how much you think you need them, if this prayer means anything. Each play will have its run and fun, but with some productions the best seat in the house is out on the sidewalk, in my humble opinion.

Ignominious Rex

Emotional wrecks heap up on either side of the great divide of pride and point fingers at the other side. You lied no you lied no…

One finger shames, three point back to you. What you think it is is not what it is it’s what you say it is is not what it is, it is what it is and since it’s not a name, you’re not wrong all the way, since what you say is real… speaking of speaking, so to speak.

Why don’t we play a new game? Every one of us knows it by heart, you make the rules that apply to you, and tell the truth. But what if, you read lips and after taxes…

The fix is to do what you say, and say what you mean, because one thing leads to another, and the word becomes flesh and flesh becomes light, and steps on the stones.

Try to put civilization on skids, lay a new foundation and pray it fits, well, it sits but it’s the details we miss and we kiss our dumb asses goodbye when the big one hits.

We’re safe for a bit, but we’ve got to keep moving or call it quits, cash in your chips where the house always wins, be not afraid to step out of the valley of sins and repent, lather, rinse and repeat.

Do it for the kids. Oh speaking of which, Miss Givings and Ms. Carrage, have you been bullied and badgered and hounded, nagged and bagged on by a crowd of cowards, empowered by a pyramid scheme that stole all your spare hours, seized in a fever dream of eminent domain wolf blitz in sheep dip new media smoke screen?

No? Well it’s time for some answers, after these messages from our handlers: you cast the first stone, you rile the panthers, you dig in your heels, next come the panzers.

Mega Low Down Megalodon

Older than most dirt you see

I’m here to eat you

Make your arm

Into a soup

Hack at your roots

No telling what I’ll do

Or when I come for you

Great white devil 

Your worst fears come true

Defenses I get through

Think you’re safe when you wake

But I’m right behind you

⚪️

But why listen to me

I’m just someone who’s ruined it all

From day one

Just learn how to speak

Make melodies jangling keys

Open opportunity

Put in your time 

keep your head down

Get into the game

Capitalize on your youth while you can

Or remain in the dust

From whence you came

⚫️

You’re dark she said too dark for me

But it’s darkest when it’s deep

Life is teeming at the vents

Toxicity for you maybe

But it’s home to me

I thrive on suffering

I dive in willingly

It surrounds me

That’s when I stop noticing

Try it

You’ll see

What I mean

Baby

Spelling Be

I feel every day is a new world, shredded by a black hole, and does it even notice? The next day I’m the black hole, a bit stronger maybe somehow. Here are the blessings of brokenness. Christ. Zen. The beginning is the end.

Whatever, words are maps and not the places we live. GPS may say turn but there’s a wall it didn’t mention, intentionally or not and you find out soon enough unless you keep your head up. Look all around and what amazes and confounds you is the mystery you wish to solve.

So boil away the fat, separate the chaff, the flesh, the seed, the beast with two backs, the dirty deed. A social contract consent form must be notarized and faxed. What are you grateful for? What do you give back to the person who gave to you, or is the world a thing which serves?

What is it we allow, and what are we allowed? Who are we and what is now?
Is this a game in a patronizing tone?
Is this the way to build a home?

So let’s suppose we exist in words. But words don’t exist. Behavior is complex physics, there’s no such thing as luck. So why not fuck and feast and lie and retreat from every heart, alone in the high castle, atop the ivory tower, upon the iron throne?

In the midst of alchemy, distilling the essences of what words mean to me, whence your work is disturbed by the sound of horns, and you send the boiling oil, the flaming arrows and trebuchet, and all the swords you own over the fence down there into the vermin hoard, peasants, burn their homes if you’re bored! Those poor hungry creatures you’ve ignored, why not share, before it’s not yours to share anymore, before it’s pried from your cold, dead hand. I always win, she said. The mage replied, maybe you have.