Monthly Archives: February 2012

Creepy Faces in the Woodwork

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something strains to be let in to our world from URL http://vals366.blogspot.com/2011/07/definitely-creepy.html

SOMETHING STRAINS…..IT GROANS…IT MEANS TO FIND IT’S WAY…..IN…TO…OUR…WORLD. Lurking about in the furniture. You see it in the woodgrain of your magnificent dresser. It lies in wait. For what? Our consciousness embraces the physical world in strange and inexplicable ways. Faces peer out at us from beside the bathroom mirror, you turn to confront your intruder and it is gone. Fleeting impressions prefer the borders of our perception. 

Are you scared? Does it trouble you that many things are unexplained? We still huddle down in our little huts, protected by our electric lights from the deep, dark depths of uncharted domains, just out of reach. They haunt us nevertheless, these faces. The remains of some of the victims of 9/11 are destroyed without honor or respect, and the faces grimace beside the stove. Bodies tossed down a well by a thoughtless killer. The faces scream. silently…..just past the back porch screen. And what of Hitler? you hear whispered faintly from beyond the grave. What of my mother, my sister? Gone now. Faces remain in the ancient stained wallpaper of the upstairs bedroom used no more. Faces.

Have you passed by faces in the strange little buildings in the odd little alleys where no one goes anymore? Except you.

Something’s speaking, lonely grieving for a world lost long ago. Just a flickering flame remains. Faces you cannot face. Faces that scare you to death. Such faces! Filled with hate!

I have seen such faces in the stillness, in the spaces between my thoughts. The faces are the traces of the lives cut short. In the lightning In the rain You see faces. Face the blame.

I cannot continue to write of such faces because the current is so dim. It is hard to make out the faces. We need to come to terms with the faces, for they are our responsibility. You must learn to love the faces, or they will give you no peace. Faces in the waxworks, rigid in their righteous resolve. Beyond this point, no more!

It is unwise to peer into the eyes of these faces, lest the faces pull you in.  A mind cannot bear such faces, it preys upon it’s roots. Faces know no truth. Only a vague and pitiful pout. The faces must go out. out of my miserable sight. Something creaking crawling, straining to get out. Faces implore us, faces implore us, oh please sir, is this death?

 

Don’t ask me what this one is about, it was written after midnight on the fringes of consciousness. Who is this gothic scribe that possesses my tired arthritic  hand so late at night?

Nightmare Scenario

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Have you ever felt like everything is closing in on you? It’s hard to concentrate on anything, you forget things, and something is looming ahead, and all you can do is stare into the headlights? Huh? You ever feel like that? Well, the entire world feels this way. My own uncertainty is mirrored by the uncertainty of the world. All of the crappy karma America has built up over the decades is coming back to us now. We ‘accidentally’ burn a bunch of Korans, and the Afghans go nuts! It was the final straw after the condescending treatment they have received over the past decade. They hate us, and it isn’t hard to figure out why. How would you feel if you had lost your son, or your grandparents because of a ‘mistake’, and receive some kind of official apology? You would just want the foreign army to get the hell out of your backyard. Wouldn’t you. Our situation in Afghanistan is remarkably similar to what we did in Vietnam. We had no rapport with the Vietnamese because we killed innocent people indiscriminately. Never mind that most of the killing was from the air. They hated us. And now we have many other native populations hating our guts. We haven’t learned how to respect other cultures. The people we send over there are rednecks for the most part, ultraconservative America first people who approach native people with condescension, if not contempt. The urinating on the bodies of the dead ‘Taliban’ is typical of American attitudes. This is doing us no good. No good at all. Now I understand how this sort of thing happens, both in Vietnam and Afghanistan, We cannot distinguish between combatant and noncombatant. They don’t wear a uniform, and even children and the elderly are potential enemies. Even women. But we still need to exercise restraint, and show respect. The native population is potentially the best asset an army can have. If you have them on your side. They can identify the enemy and they can drive the enemy out, much more effectively than we can. If they care to do so.

However things have reached such a state that I think our interests are best served by just getting the hell out of there. But no, we will never do this, because we need to save face. We can’t just acknowledge we’ve made a mess of it. The future looms before us like a curtain of fire. Iran is not going to be bullied. They will fight. In their eyes, they have little to lose. To fight and lose is more noble than to succumb to the West. This is a recipe for disaster for all concerned. We do not have the will or the resources for another war. We have painted ourselves into a corner with our inflexible and downright crazy alliance with Israel. Israel is going to have to fight for it’s survival, and we are wedded to them. If they fight, we do. We need to get out. Of everywhere in the Middle East. We have to stop trying to orchestrate events. It is creating a deep seated enmity towards us. It gave birth to Osama ben Laden’s jihad against us, and we are making fresh enemies every day. The people that are rising up against their oppressors aren’t risking their lives in order for us to show them the way. We must give up our arrogance, our belief that we are somehow wiser than the ‘backward’ people of these countries. Having the courage to recognize our arrogance and to stop our meddling would go a very long way towards avoiding the pending catastrophe. Unfortunately, none of the candidates for President, except Ron Paul, recognize this. Once again, we helplessly sit in front of our television sets as the world prepares for war. I hope that I am worrying needlessly, and that calmer heads will prevail, but it doesn’t look good.

No Shelter From This Storm

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I'm sorry, sir! You have to move on!

This is a sad post. If you prefer some pleasant distractions check out my other blog, russellpop. It is inspired by a sad little story in today’s SF Chronicle. Peter Cukor, 67, was brutally murdered outside his nice home in the Berkeley hills. He had spotted a young man loitering beside his garage, and went out to tell the man to move on. Given that Peter lived in a fairly secluded area, he undoubtedly thought the young man, Daniel Jordan Dewitt, 23, was up to no good. After confronting Dewitt, Peter Cukor went back inside and called the nonemergency police number. Dewitt must have been somewhat hostile, and Peter preferred to have the police handle it. He didn’t realize he was dealing with a mentally ill person, who could not control his rage. The police were busy monitoring an Occupy Oakland march, as usual. One officer noticed Peter’s call and planned to respond, but was told not to. Trespassing complaints regarding homeless people are a common occurance, and can be ignored.

Peter Cukor became more impatient, wondering why the police had not arrived. Daniel Dewitt was still out there. He may have been taunting Peter. I don’t know. In any case, Peter Cukor made the fatal mistake of going back outside to confront Daniel again. Daniel assaulted him, dragged him into the bushes, and killed him. The police found Dewitt nearby, and arrested him.

This is a tragic story on many levels. It is, of course, tragic for Peter Cukor and his wife. It is tragic for Daniel Dewitt and his mother. It is tragic for the Oakland Police, and Occupy Oakland.

People who have worked hard all their lives to spend their retirement comfortably in a nice house nestled among the trees on a steep hillside, feel safe from the random horror of the urban streets. But they are not. There is no shelter from this storm. The levees cannot hold. In the interest of free enterprise unleashed, our responsibility for the mentally ill, the homeless, and the elderly was abandoned, in the eighties under the conservative messiah, Ronald Reagan. He made the choice to throw the mentally ill onto the streets. Peter Cukor’s blood is on Reagan’s hands. Given the diminishing resources of government on all levels, this situation isn’t going to get any better.

We are all in this together. This is the message I take from such tragedies. The homeless and mentally ill cannot be shuffled from place to place, each person telling them to move on. It just doesn’t work. I do not justify murder, and I can certainly sympathize with Peter Cukor. But I sympathize with Daniel Dewitt as well. I can understand the rage that comes from being told to move on, move on, you are not wanted here. You are not wanted anywhere. Our foolish obsession with wealth, and security will be the death of us. The detritus of society will not and cannot go away. I believe that some of the obsession lately with zombies in our popular culture is a subconscious recognition of the zombie homeless and mentally ill. We must face our responsibilities, and take care of our own. In doing so, we take care of ourselves. We are all in this together.

A Young Man With An Older Body

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This is how I look inside

I am a young man with an older body. I am forever 21. I have never been married, and have no kids, so that allows me this luxury. Although it doesn’t always feel like a luxury. When I was younger, I never understood what older people meant when they talked about how quickly time passes. At that time in my life, it crawled. I was impatient to become…..I wasn’t sure what, and adulthood could wait. I had plenty of time. But your body can’t wait. It becomes an adult without your permission. It grows old without consulting you. As I grow older and suffer some of the physical and emotional consequences, it becomes even more important to remain young inside. I refuse to become resigned to my fate. You may as well shoot me if that ever happens. I can remember how I used to treat older people with a degree of disdain. What could that old codger know? He has probably lost most of his marbles anyway. I often forget how old I am, as when I am writing a fantasy about a relationship with a much younger woman. It is sad to write from the perspective of a 58 year old man, and even sadder when I am even older, I am sure. Because all the good stuff is in the past. It hurts to write about tender kisses that I felt thirty years ago. It reminds me that I have no one, except my cat, and I ain’t kissing him! I was still planning on what I wanted to do when I grew up, when suddenly I had not only grown up, but was past the point of being grown. I was beginning to wilt. Now I fully understand what my father said about his life lasting only for an instant. Now I am painfully aware of the passage of time, a week gone by in a second it seems, and soon it will be over. Not enough time, not nearly enough time, to live what I had wanted to live. All of the experiences I never had, and certainly never will.

A slow, mournful violin should be playing at this point. If not, you can at least imagine it. These are not an old man’s regrets, they are a young man’s regrets, who never had the opportunity to be a true adult. I never grew older inside, I stayed the young rebel, with his whole life ahead of him, and now I am paying the price. But I have no interest in dwelling on the past, like many older persons. I choose to be young in the present. I listen to the music younger people listen to, watch the films they watch, laugh at the same comics. I even talk as younger people talk. I want so much to be them. But I am not. I am much more than that. I can be them more fully than they, because I have 58 years of being young and can appreciate every nuance, every aspect of what it means to be young. They squander their youth, not realizing how precious a commodity it is. I would give anything to trade my body with theirs, and have that vitality, to be able to simply walk down a street without my body complaining. Maybe, if those who believe in reincarnation are correct, I will have the opportunity to do this thing again, and this time I will jump into life with a greater vigor, and seek out every experience in the little time I’m given. Or perhaps I would squander it yet another time. Such is the lesson learned by a young man in an older man’s body.

 

My Truth

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Ok, so after posting some really dreadful poetry, I thought I should post something better. I am in love and I am uncertain what I am in love with. Perhaps it is myself. I am filled with such love that I cannot settle down. My life is filled with an unaccountable urgency, and yet there is nothing whatsoever I can do. I can write. That is all. But rather than focus on that, I prefer to tell the real truth, something other than the dark and dismal world I become more acquainted with each day. There is another truth, my truth.

My truth describes a better place. We will not and cannot be defeated, none of us can die. We occupy a paradise beyond our sight, and have all the time in the world to set things right. This is how it feels deep inside, although it flies in the face of reason. I am afraid of the future and my own death, and yet this certainty remains. I am you, as you are I. All else is illusory. That unbearable love I feel is the love of all for all. It is how this universe feels from the inside as it is still being created, with each moment. This is who we actually are. But of course the self I know so intimately, who worries about his fate isn’t consoled by this, nor should he be. This is how it is, no matter what is written or said. I cannot account for this certainty. I make no claims to it’s veracity. It is simply my Truth.

However,it does intrigue me that my Truth coincides with much of what I’ve read, from Hindu and Buddhist sources. But here’s the thing, I felt and thought these things before I read those books. I write these things to comfort myself, I’m sure. Because, as I draw nearer to death, I am anxious to know the truth, and I desperately want to feel some sort of connection with  my fellow humans. As I said before, sometimes it is almost too much to bear. I wish I could, through my own magic, my own truth, transform this world, just as I would have my love heal it.

This is my Truth

Written from within the Darkness

One Clear Moment

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It makes absolutely no sense

and it embarrasses me to no end

unbidden sharp with a love so bright

how could I ignore such beauty

hidden within such a common sight

it’s silly it’s dumb and yet it’s right

The more I dig the greater the height

One clear moment

One certain refrain

And everything changes

Within the brain

Although my heart is uncertain

And my entire life feels like a lie

That one clear moment will not die

I cling to my own creation

And defy the ruthless claws

Which deny my right

To sight