WET FRIDAY NIGHT
Wet Friday night. Too beleaguered to paint. Don’t know if I can write. Want to. There’s a snake pit of muses in my gut trying to prohecy what I’ll do next. Enervated but enduring to get back to the bliss of the high mountain flower before the last avalanche came down on it like ten thousand Sisyphyean boulders to prove that even absurdity can fractally emerge as just another mode of redundancy. And I say to myself. Self, I’ve had enough of this. And Self doesn’t answer because it doesn’t exist. Only the rain on the black streets and the hiss of tires. And something bruised and battered like a wave that just washed the mermaids off the rocks. And I don’t care who they were singing to. I’ve heard it before. They’re just running an extortion racket like a juke-box. Put another nickel in the nickelodeon and I’ll sing for my supper. This must be the seven years of lean kind. Sickly cattle. And none of them have ever jumped over the moon. They haven’t earned the first and last crescents of their horns. Drugstore cows. Methane ozone grazers. Self, I say. Don’t take it out on the cows. Even the fat ones aren’t lithe enough to make it up to the Minoans. And we’ve all been stricken by a re-run of the same celebrity famine. Food got tired of being chained to the same old appetites. In the beginning was the mouth. The rest was food. As the young Korean Zen master with abounding squirrel energy snapped. The eye eats the picture. The ear eats the sound. Control eating. You control the world. As it is, I’m sitting here, nowhere to go, nothing to do, no one to be, witnessing my mind eat its own thoughts. Some taste like the ashes of moths that never made it through the window to be consumed in the candle of their heart’s desire and others are fresh water flowing into salt. Blood coagulating into roses on a garbage dump. Kites snapping off my spinal cord to trash themselves in the powerlines. Dorian drums but all the melodic syrinxes outlawed in the new republic like subversive theme songs. Look what Catholic bells did to the pan pipes of the Incas. The right era but the wrong octave. The hymns of the valley a voice too low to sing the paeons of the mountain. And it’s a violation of a copyright law to listen attentively to the echoes.
The warrior minstrel of the forlorn hope is doing a sword dance so that peace can be more than just the shadow of victory. So there is no taint of triumph or defeat in my joy. I could go get drunk if I drank. I could go rail coke with teen-age girls who thought I was exotically amusing as a living relic of the sixties enshrined in the design of their clothes if I did coke. Instead of turning out the lights I could start a bar fight after the music’s over. I could get arrested and spend the night sleeping on a newly enamelled concrete bed in jail without my belt to hang myself from the bars like Benjamin Chee Chee nobody believed until he was dead. Or I could shatter my knuckles against a wall in a ferocious moment of aggressive solitude and wait for an ambulance to resolve my confession medically. Or I can say been there. Done that. Boring. And look for life after theatre beyond the blazing of the hucksters on the midway. Seek the kind of darkness that’s suitable for stars. Deepen my metaphors until they can embrace my solitude without over-reaching themselves. I could taste the stars one by one on the tip of my tongue to see which ones were sweet and which ones stung like killer bees. Or I could find a moody place with an estranged mirror to give my lies the right kind of atmosphere to die in. Or revive more generous truths than these stingy delusions that pass for the facts. Not much of a life if all you’ve got to celebrate is the sum of everything you haven’t done. The summum bonum of your sins of omission. Not me though. I’ve never had anything worth living for that wasn’t the first out the door. Inspiration’s just an urgent sense of incompletion. I wonder if apples panic in the fall. I want to get down to the demonic details. I want thorns on my roses and horns on my angels. I want back doors on all my oxymorons. I want iron fire-escapes and inflammable geraniums to scare away the snakes and ladders that rise up like bannisters on the stairwells to heaven. Give me an August thermal and a flightfeather from a red-tailed hawk and I can make it on my own in an earthly kind of way. High wide lyrical and alive. I could be someone you couldn’t conceive of living multiple lives on myriad worlds simultaneously. I could be donating used afterlives like body parts to down and outers with expansive hearts who like to dress down in a state of grace and don’t have any misgivings about the space they’re in.
The stars keep to themselves and for the most part so do I. Spread the shining and keep yourself aloof. But there are moods that come upon me like Chernobyl or a Zen nuclear reactor melting down and I’m blinded by the realization of how irradiated you can be by the world until everything you think and feel seems like just another cliche of the same old fraud. Tawdry and doomed. A hundred billion tons of carbon dioxide rising up into the atmosphere every year and I’m sitting here smoking a cigarette. I don’t need wings or Spanish spurs on my heels to nudge my compassion into action. I feel more than I want to most of the time about the lack of a human condition to anything. I do. I act. I am. Spontaneously in that order. Is it otherwise for you? And every gesture that’s pumped out of my heart is as big as the known universe. The only way you can stay true to falsehood is sentimentally. But one of the hidden jewels of insight buried in the ashes of a burnt out childhood where no one ever recovers the body of their brother taught me it’s pointless to try to grind your knives on clouds. Switch blade lightning. A flash in the pan. Showboating in a parking lot. Too much lustre to be seasoned steel. And even now as I’m peaking at zenith in the sidereal immensities of my igneously imaginative intensities like a prophetic glassblower in a blast furnace trying to inflate the shape of space into a more habitable universe it’s still startling to realize that even if everything wilts like a daylily after its moment in the sun, it’s been as real as it has been delusional all along. First you hear the song. And then you hear the nightbird that’s singing it in the darkness for the best of reasons that are neither right nor wrong.