Category Archives: dreams

shut up and write: my first short story (or essay) 11-13-13

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For some reason I failed to understand I was John Wilkes Booth. Except I wasn’t. I could view my grizzled, wild eyed visage as if I were on top of this crazed killer of our President, holding him down so he could not escape. But then, I felt my own body, pinned tightly to my bed, frozen and heavy. I had surrendered to my fate, a grim smile crossed my face.

I knew I had to get up. I could imagine myself, awake and alert, and ready to fly out the door. I had promised to be somewhere. Perhaps to meet with my fellow conspirators. My body felt as though it had been beaten. Of course, it had been beaten, you idiot, you shot Abraham Lincoln! Don’t you remember? Remember? I am lying in bed. I had been tossing and turning all night. Even though I’d committed no crime, I felt like a fugitive. I’ll be late. I hate to get up now.

I sprang to my feet, and once erect, I felt fresh and alert, ready for the day, 8:25 am. Holy crap! Just enough time to dress and go, except I need to shave, and I need to clean out the cat box, and I should…..just go…Go!

So, here I was, desperately walking as rapidly as I could, down Valencia St. I knew it wouldn’t be long, perhaps even this sunny morning, that my fate would catch up with me. I had killed the President. My mind had failed to sort out the conflicting data swirling around my sleep deprived brain. I still felt as though I were John Wilkes Booth, a well known actor, who had made his escape to San Francisco, after depriving a much despised Lincoln of his life, and for just cause, I grant you. ‘Enough of this shit!’ I thought. This is not a day in which to be anyone other than myself.

As if to remind me of my true identity, I felt pain in my upper chest as I walked towards Borderlands. Is it my heart? I thought, idly. Such pains have so many origins. If I die, I die, I thought. For Booth life is but a brief affair, a Borderlands. Where else might I be heading in this odd place between sleeping and waking. Am I truly sitting here in a well-lit, comfortable coffee shop, writing much as John Wilkes Booth would have written, ink upon page, albeit with a quill and not a Bic.

Why would I think that I, an obscure fellow at best (still with the nineteenth century prose style, I see), but why consider myself to be a killer of Presidents? For the fame? the recognition, for the purpose of saying things are not as they seem, or maybe as a desperate attempt to alter the course of history. But then, it struck me as certainly as the hammer pounding in my head, I was also Booth’s captor. I held him down, with a grim determination. Damn you! and Damn what you’ve done! At the same time, I recognized that all of this was my brain’s attempt to make sense of the sleep paralysis which kept me pinned to my bed, seemingly unable to move.

There are so many inputs, so many possibilities, some leading to precious or not so precious insights, others leading to a one way ticket to the looney bin. It is hard to get my brain to work properly at times like these. I feel as though my brain is like a typewriter missing a few keys, leaving the reader to guess the intent, filling the gaps with their own narrative. That might be an interesting project for someone with absolutely nothing else to do, I thought.

You see, I am a writer, as you might have guessed by the meandering nature of the previous prose. I am never at a loss for words. My only restraint being the merit of the words. Does anyone benefit in any way, from adding my words to a brain already filled with useless junk?

Whoever said, “Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” clearly had no experience with bedbugs. As a longtime resident of San Francisco, I had more than enough experience with the little bloodsuckers. They were the cause of my sleeplessness. In a demented sort of way, I admired these bugs. They were damn near impossible to eliminate. I could kill them by the millions, the trillions, and no matter, they still would find……but enough about bedbugs. That is not a fit subject for man nor beast. After all, as a writer, I must consider my market. Bedbugs do not make for enjoyable reading, so I thought instead of the opportunity afforded by this unpleasant yet intriguing state of mind. Why the hell did I dream of John Wilkes Booth? What did that say about me? It is also interesting that I was both Booth and the man holding him down. How could that be? So here I am, on the lam from some heinous crime, and it is I who shall bring myself to justice. One of the first things I learned on my journey to the clear light, it’s all me, every last bit of it, even the bedbugs.

Reminded by the Moon

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I grow tired

I walk a little slower my hand against my chest

I glance up

Reminded by the Moon

Too soon too soon

There is much to do before I die

Too soon

When I sit at home bored and listless

Feeling the love escaping from my bones

Alone.

I notice through the window an orb

Reminded by the Moon

I feel a tiny flash of light within my weary heart

There is something more than this

Something I don’t want to miss

The Moon silently

Tells me all about it

I seek out those distant places where…

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I seek out those distant places where the air feels differently against my skin

I thought I might have seen you there

Lying naked in the sand grinning from ear to ear

Perhaps it was someone very like you

Speaking a different language

Wearing sandals instead of sensible shoes

I seek out those elegant faces with expressions that defy explanation

I imagine their thoughts hold a beauty unfamiliar

They smell of honey and ginger

I seek out the far corners where the dust settles

covering the discarded pamphlets

given out by a silly devil

I could walk through this strange but lovely land

searching for something wonderful

or weird and oddly disconcerting

I could search forever

Lose my direction and my sense

Yet someplace far away

 Is where I long to be

but I discovered one day that no matter how far away I go

I always end up here

It’s TOO MUCH

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I can’t attend to all the life that surges ahead

All the desperation and everything that is said

It’s TOO MUCH for one little fellow to deal

I want to

I’d love to jump into the fire

And ride that wind

But I’m just one man

The world is moving at a dizzying speed

Toward the middle of the middle of the furthest extreme

I can feel it

I can see it

In between the sentences lies a seed

I work through my own little piece

In my own awkward fashion

While the universe goes crazy in some kind of topsy-turvy upside down reverse-action

it’s TOO MUCH for anyone to handle

it’s TOO MUCH

GHOSTS

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GHOSTS IN THE PARKING LOT

WHERE I HAD MY BREAKDOWN

GHOSTS IN THE CLOSET WHERE I KEEP MY KEEPSAKES

GHOSTS PUSH OUT  THE HEAT

AND  SPOIL THE MEAT

GHOSTS CAME CRAWLING ACROSS MY FLOOR

LIKE A WISH THAT CAME TRUE

AND ALMOST KILLED ME RIGHT THEN AND THERE

ALMOST LEFT ME STRUGGLING FOR UNCONTAMINATED AIR

GHOSTS ARE THERE

THEY WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND

THEY WANT TO COMB YOUR HAIR

THEY WANT TO SET YOUR HOUSE ON FIRE

GHOSTS DON’T CARE

THEY DARE

GHOSTS DON’T LOVE

WITHOUT GOUGING OUT YOUR EYES

AND SUCKING YOUR BLOOD

We need a miracle (and a miracle can occur!)

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It is clear to me that we are lost

We are mesmerized by events within a false world of our own making

When this fact is fully grasped it can lead to insanity and horror

But if you can allow yourself to trust your true self (without really knowing or understanding the nature of that self)

You can retain your sanity and find your bearings

We need a miracle (and a miracle can occur!)

We are more powerful than we can possibly know

This is (of course) both good and bad news

I believe that consciousness is a miracle

I believe we were intended to be like robots

And we took a step outside our programming

When that wasn’t supposed to be possible

We metaprogrammed our programming to a remarkable extent

But there is much more work to be done

We are still like robots in too many ways

The nature of things, reality itself is elastic

We can set the course of the entire universe

If we so wish

It is possible we have enemies in our midst

Hard to know if this is true or just a part of the plan

The plan devised by our creators

For it is abundantly clear that we are being deceived

misdirected and fucked over from day one

But it is wise to not jump to conclusions about who or what is responsible

We need to live in the questions

rather than the answers

If we wish to be free

Miracles can happen

We are the evidence

Today we need to stop playing the same old movie

Because we know how that one ends

And set a new course

It’s up to you and me

We need a miracle (and a miracle can occur!)

This is a sort of poem, sort of sermon, delivered from someplace that isn’t a place, and received in my weak little brain. I thought I should pass it on.

Additionally I am very proud of my Gimp creation here. This is a nice collage from various sources, featuring my muse, Stock Photo Woman. This wonderful collage may get used on the next installment of that series, I haven’t decided, but it works nicely here. So what do you say? Let’s have a miracle every day!!

Signpost Up Ahead

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There is a signpost up ahead

But I can’t see it yet

Adrift in my own fear

Clinging to that hope

Time races by like a runaway train

I thought I had something more to say

The fog collects as I reflect

On my way to already there

A signpost

Revelation

Celebration

An end that ushers in a beginning

Somewhere straight ahead

Can you see it?

I can, I can, I can only glimpse it

In my dreams

Thanks to Linda Plaisted. This is one of her exquisite photos which capture so much with so little. I lifted it from Flickr.

Check her out at http://lindaplaisted.com