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Spoken Word

SEARCHING (spoken word)

W.I.P. – super rough draft – just writing now

Sometimes you find what you are looking for in the most unexpected of places.

I spent most of my life searching, trying desperately to find something that felt true, something I could believe in, something I could sink my teeth into - that didn’t taste like rotten fruit, or leave me hungry again in an hour or two. Something that didn’t fill me in a way that I’d end up regretting my choice or feeling like I swallowed one of society’s sweet poisons.

I just wanted an experience that felt real, beginning, middle and end. I traveled far in search of that. God knows I traveled far.

First, I headed over to the college campus. Beautiful place, old buildings. The temples of our time. With high hopes, I knelt before the higher minds. I was more than willing to confess my ignorance, get their blessing. I couldn't wait.

 

Before long I settled right in & I was loving it. Had my quiet little room and my stack of books on the table. Staying up late at night devouring the words of the wise. But these weren’t the prophets of old, nothing profit-able about those guys. These were the modern messiah’s, the kings of commerce, sorcerers of science, wizards of Wall Street. The worldly wise, & finally, their words were mine - and I was eating them up - for a time, at least, I was eating them up.

But along the way something changed, a year went by, then two, and I had this growing feeling that the answers I was looking for, really looking for, weren’t in those books. The words were filling but they just didn’t satisfy. Like I was feeding my mind with undigestible food, or fattening myself up for a life of passionless pursuit. Either way, they’d lost their taste, for me. Like, whatever truth was coming down from the ivory tower, it seemed it was anemic by the time it got to me. I knew it was time for me to go.

By this time, I'd developed quite a thirst, so I sought relief on the seedy side of town. I wasn't planning to stay (long). I thought I’d just refresh myself and move on.

I watched the wayward wander the back alleys and cold dark streets. Trying to scrape up the currency to feed their raw desires, or be warmed by the flames of forbidden fires. I watched them chasing rushes & sporadic highs, trying desperately to escape from their pain, or to draw near to something that felt real, for a time. Temporarily true at least.

But the problem with that life, and those highs, is that nothing ever really changes. They might reach staggering heights, a cloud or two below where the angels fly, but they always came crashing down, landing on the same unsteady ground. Back to themselves, unchanged, apart from being a little worse off from the fall.

I have to admit, though, that their existence seemed more real than what I’d witnessed in other parts of town.  Less pretense. They weren't in denial of their darkness, they knew that was real too. They were feeling for the pulse at least, getting closer to the heartbeat of life, albeit on the shadow side.

The reason I could watch them so closely, is that, for a time, I joined them. (I lived that life too.) I had stayed much longer than intended. Whatever money I had, I spent it, chasing highs, taking those trips. But they just just led me lower, ‘til the vices had me in their grips. Sad to say, even when those rushes seemed to work, they never really satisfied, not for long, at least. I knew it was time to move on, while I still could.

I had to make a living & God knows I was hungrier then ever. So, I took my college skills to the plastic part of town - hung with the Park Avenue crowd - the jet set, we had no regrets about living loud. But I was weeping silently at night when no one else was around. When the emptiness of my life caught up to me. I had money,  but I still wasn't free. Facing the harsh reality that possessions are prisons if you pile them too high.

And I was hanging with the glamor gals, as we walked the crowded streets like they were aisles in a department store. Always reaching for more. Or at least something shinier than what we had before. And those ladies, they never left home without their high heels, elevating themselves just a bit, keep things a little less real, those couple inches just enough to keep them safely off the ground, undisturbed by the heart beating just beneath the city streets. And me,  I was looking my best, dressed for success. but really just insulated I guess. Seemed we were all separating ourselves, one way or another. Just another type of escape, in reality - this time I was out of touch, too. For many years, I lived like that. Had to find out that you can’t buy truth.

God knows I wandered into my share of chapels around that time. I sat silently on Sundays, listening to the priests as they preached to the flock from their little perches. I could tell that they cared, as they offered comforting words about the far side of death. Or whatever was coming next. But I had to wonder if they’d ever really lived. Had they died, inside, as many times as some of the folks they were talking to, or some of the souls down on skid row that I knew.

& These priests seemed to be speaking about the divine as if it was all light and love, all up above - separate and mostly silent these days.. Like He reaches down to guide us with his staff and his rod. (But) I don’t believe that. I’ve seen the dark light of God. I think he’s part of it all. Through and through. Down in the mud, in the middle of the laughter and blood, and stirring inside of me too.

As much as I tried to convince myself otherwise, it seemed like truth had left these chapels years ago. So, I moved on as well.

I started to think that maybe I wouldn’t find what I was looking for. That maybe it was nowhere to be found these days. I was losing hope, and faith in the promises that life had whispered to me in my youth.

But still, I kept on going. Held my head up and just kept walking. Then one day I met some artists. Talking to them I felt renewed. They seemed alive, curious, engaged, in a way I hadn’t been in years. & there was something different about them. You could see it in their eyes. I didn’t know for sure, but I sensed that they had suffered too, like I me, & had wrestled with the truth, been transformed by it. I knew I had to stick around and find out. And I did. I followed them wherever they went.

But these weren’t the kind of artists that you find painting pretty pictures in gardens or on a peaceful mountainside. I guess they might spend time there, but usually they’re closer to the busy intersections of life, or more likely still, camped out along the fault lines, the place where worlds collide. They’re hanging out, just waiting for the moment when all hell breaks loose, knowing full well that heaven is in there too. As the violent collisions are throwing off sparks, made all the more brilliant by the surrounding darkness, they're capturing this on canvass, blank page, or just strumming along. _______  But they're not just witnesses, they're also participants. Being torn and twisted by these same forces. Feeling the upheaval and extremes, the torture and ecstasy in their own souls. Being transformed in the process. 

It was such a sight to see & after that, it was the only place I wanted to be. I became a part of that world. Found a home there.

It’s funny, all those years I wandered, looking for the answers, searching the places where I thought they’d be, But, it was these artists who finally showed me the way. Helped me find my way.

They’re the ones who taught me to stay close to the ground, and that it’s OK if there is some chaos around; that's part of creation. If you push that away, you deprive yourself of something vital too.

It’s the artists who taught me about the mysteries of life. And taught me about death. They showed me that it was possible to die before dying, so at the end you can step lightly across, nothing really lost - while being fully alive on both sides.

But they didn’t teach me all this, by trying to teach me, they just lived that reality, they radiated truth, beauty. and life, and it reached me. It touched me - deeply.

And I live like them now. Feet firmly on the ground, feeling my way through this world. & I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so full, and so alive….. So alive.

Spark of Infinity (spoken word) super raw, unedited spoken word piece, in progress.

Adolescence was a confusing time for me. World wide open, instincts roaring, so many choices. So much changing. High school coming to an end, college on the horizon. I had my eyes on freedom, girls, and success. You know, normal guy stuff. I had to go out & prove myself, conquer the world, lose my virginity too. Not in that order,  necessarily. But I wish I would have been half as concerned about losing my little spark of Infinity, along the way - the light Inside of me. But I was. I don't think it was just the sin in my. I had a little help. It’s like the world was grabbing me by the collar and spinning me around; whispering in my ear, saying “it’s all out here. Everything you’re looking for. It’s all out here.”

And it seems like I heard that a lot in those days. I remember sitting in church on Sunday mornings, listening to the sermon. The preacher talking about heaven like it was some distant place, God's up on his throne, miles away, and the forbidden fruit was hanging on a tree. It seemed everything interesting was outside of me. So, what did I do? Naturally, I shuttered the windows, put out the light, closed up shop inside, climbed the spiral stairs, up into my head and out into the world. Never looking back.

And the world, man, it was something. All glitz and glamour. The place was shinier than a silver spoon at high noon. Amazing. And I was eating it up. Couldn’t get enough. Once I started on that broad highway, I was gone. & I remember seeing a sign that said ‘Consumer Nation’, population? Just an estimation ‘cause folks are flocking here all the time. Keep on moving, there’s someone right behind you. And keep moving I did. There was so much to get. The world was like one giant shopping mall, with carnival rides. & not the kind where you got to be this high (holding hand up). Everyone was welcome.

So, I wandered from store to store, arms outstretched, always reaching for more. Eyes wide open, enjoying the sights. But what I didn’t see is that just as I was filling my shopping cart, at the same time, I was emptying my heart. Like that little bit of symmetry was somehow lost on me. I was too distracted. Too busy.

I was busy grabbing at things, whatever I could get my hands on; big, small, short, tall, it didn't matter. if it was new I had to have it. I'd grab anything. And then gradually, those ‘things’ (well) (they) got hold of me.& we held on to each other tight. It was like some twisted, desperate embrace. We were circling round, like a dance. ____________ Sad to say, we went on that way for years, And I learned that you can dance long after the music fades, and everyone else has gone away. Deep into the darkness.

And in that darkness I stayed. _________________________.

And one night,I remember looking up at the starless sky, the place where my hopes had once hung so high, and there was nothing. It was empty. Just like the emptiness I felt inside. And I knew that the world had lied. It had looked me straight in the eye and lied.

But I had to keep moving. Emptiness: it really isn't empty.

[ ? As we danced on, I swore I felt something beneath my feet. & I heard a muffled scream. I knew what it was. Cause there’s nothing quite as sad as the sound of tender trampled dreams. My hopelessness was complete. ?]

Months passed, years passed, and nothing changed - Just more of the same. Disappointment, depression, unimaginable despair. Wanting to die, so many times but something kept me there, hanging on. I stayed stuck in that  place. I became resigned to the certainty that it would always be that way.

Then something odd happened one day. I don’t know if my partner fell asleep. If I loosened my grip, or if it let go of on me. But suddenly I was free. Amazingly. After all those years, all that pain, I was finally free.  

As I stood there, the fog gradually lifting, I looked around. Staring at the strangeness of the scene, and It just seemed so bizarre to me. So foreign. I don’t know why but for some reason I had this memory of that time, at the carnival, just after the crowd has gone home for the night, sad, heavy, silence hanging in the air. And those folks are showing up with their shovels and brooms - to collect the discarded debris; popcorn tubs, plastic cups, ticket stubs, mountains of useless stuff. & it’s crunching beneath their feet like fall leaves - as they come to  gather it up. Remnants of the ravenous hunger of society. It felt like that, somehow. My whole scene, the world I'd been living in, it looked so damn unnatural to me.

There, in that silence, not knowing what happened or what was next. I heard myself ask, “what do I do now? What the hell do I do now?. & I didn’t know exactly what the answer was. I just knew that the dance was done for us. I knew that part of my life was over. And just as I felt that, with certainty, I had a vision. I saw it, so clearly. It was that place, at the bottom of those spiral stairs. The place I had walked away from. It was still there. And the light, that I thought had gone out. It still burned. It had dimmed, but it still burned.

And I turned – and headed home.   

Come On Down, We'll talk About It

Sitting in my old recliner, got a full glass in my hand. Whiskey's about the only thing that’s honest these days. Never breaks its promise. At least not to me anyways. Not like most of the people I’ve known.

Looking out my window. Winter will be coming before too long. I can't stand the cold. But the leaves are turning now, from green, to yellow, to that hopeless shade of brown. Hanging on, knowing full well their going down. I know that feeling. The leaves are about the only thing that does change in this stagnant little town.

& I’m wondering why I haven't moved from this place. In this neighborhood seems everyone’s either a beggar or a thief. Got their hands out either way. That’s why I keep mine in my pockets, or just stay home, like tonight, with the doors all locked.

Then I hear a voice, rising up from the cellar below. It say’s "come on down we’ll talk about it. Come on down we’ll talk."

These crazy times we're living in. People say that the world’s going to hell, To me it looks like hell met it halfway, & just kept coming, It’s got the run of the place now.

& it seems like the whole country has gone mad. No one gets along anymore. Folks are at each others throats, or standing back & casting stones. Make the Hatfields & McCoys, look like a bunch of altar boys. It's all disgusting to me.

Like I said, don’t know why I’m still here. Sometimes it feels like I’m just playing a waiting game with death. I guess it’s running late & I’m getting tired of holding my breath. I’m just sick of this place.

I hear that voice again, rising up from the cellar below. It says "come on down & we’ll talk about it - come on down we’ll talk." It’s a voice I’d know long ago

Still, the world just keeps on spinning though, Another round, (of) this twisted (little) game

Suns comes up, tempts us again, with new beginnings. Seems like the story always ends (about) the same

Not sure why I keep playing.

"Come on down, we’ll talk about it."

I hear that voice again, rising up from the cellar below

"Come on down and we’ll talk," it says.

"I feel your pain, & hear your latest complaints

But you & I, we both know

That the wound - the wound is old."

It's Complicated

I have an amazing girlfriend

Crazy in love

Still, it’s complicated

But not in the usual ways

Not the kind going around today

 

She’s a mysterious gal, dark and exotic

& me, well, I’m just gray and neurotic

But things are moving fast, too fast

It's scary sometimes

I know you can’t go head over heels

& keep your feet on the ground

You have to fall in love

You don’t inch your way down

Love is messy, I get it

The whole situation, just needs some punctuation

We just come from such different worlds, though

She lives in the moment, likes to be free

& Me. I like a little more certainty

‘Cause I’m wound up pretty tight

I don't know how I ended up

With a wild-eyed Capricorn

& I tried giving her a ring

She just said something.

Some line about a saddle and a unicorn

Drives me crazy sometimes

I know you can’t go head over heels

& keep your feet on the ground

You gotta to fall in love

You don’t inch your way down

Works better if you let go, I get it

I just wish there were some guardrails

On the corners I didn’t see coming

But I guess it wouldn’t be love then

Finding My Voice

 

They say time will tell

But it don't know me well

So, I’m not sure about that

Besides, talk is cheap

It can't afford me

& Probably don't want what I have

I heard a lot of stuff growing up, but I had to find my own truth, my own way. Not listen too much to what others say. They’ll tell you things like -

Good comes to those who wait

& then they say I procrastinate

I wish they'd make up their minds

& Only fools rush in

That's why I'm late again

But I am never behind

Yeah, I had to walk my own path, & knock down some walls along the way. Cause the world wants to put you in a box, tell you to stay inside the lines. Or they say -

It's black or it's white

It's either day or its night

But I like it right around dawn

That's when I make my way

Through fields of grey

You won’t see the path that I’m on

It’s hard not to lose yourself in this world, or even know who that is sometimes. There are so many pressures and distractions. But eventually -

I had to cut through the noise

Find my own voice

Still wasn't that easy for me

Had two of ‘em inside

One of them lied

& The other was too afraid to speak

Really Prayed?

(Work in progress)

 

I don’t know if I’ve ever really prayed

I mean really prayed

Willing, honest, & open

It’s not that I don’t believe

Not at all

The truth is I’m just really afraid

Afraid of what it would mean if he's really there

It’s not a dread of his judgment and wrath

For all my faults and sins

I don’t think he works like that

I’m not afraid of what he’d do to me

But what I’d have to do for him

As long as I’m not sure that he’s there

Or if he’s just the man upstairs

Then, I have the rest of the house to myself

[I might have a few holy pictures on the wall

Some statues on the shelf] [Optional]

But I still have the run of the place, do as I please

But if let him in, open the door all the way

Some things may have to change

Furniture might get rearranged

And I’m kinda used to how it is now

So truth is, I like him distant and small

And I hang on to some of my doubt

Just another way of keeping him out

​​

Exploration In Three Parts.

(Work in progress. very raw yet, Just writing now)

PART I

​Do I really know why I do most of the things I do?

When it comes right down to it?

Am I largely unconscious of the deeper forces that move me -

The energy that animates as it flows through me?

I think I’m choosing my actions, but if I'm honest with myself how much of the time am I just reacting to life, to whatever's in front of me, crosses my path, or sneaks up from behind in the present or past. How often am I just reacting to the chaos inside/within. All those conflicting desires and drives. Feeling the pull of pleasure, but at the same time I'm just trying to stay alive, Life moves fast. Split second decisions are made. Then blood flows, muscles move, synapses fire and I end up do it again as I settle into predictable patterns. The oldest story around _________.

But wasn't most of that there from the start? Wired in? and just trained over time?

And beneath the surface, far beneath the surface, in darkened chambers, there are secret agents, hidden agendas, costumes & camouflage, schemes and self-sabotage. All that playing out behind a curtain that never goes up, inside of me. Who’s directing that show, and who is that asks, a spectator or just another character in the cast?

So much complexity.

Is it really any different on the higher shelves? In the upper rooms of my multi-tiered self, in the realm of soul? Do I know where the creativity comes from, what causes it to .flow? The ideas and inspiration that find their way onto canvass or empty page, do they spring up from someplace inside of me? Or do they trickle down from somewhere else, the south side of eternity, maybe a land that lies between.

Will I ever know. [opt/or skip - Can grab a hold of the mystery, get it to divulge its secrets, or be clever enough to crack the code, unlock the riddle of existence?] I haven't so far, and I doubt I ever will.

​​

Still, I have this mind that tries to convinces me, that I’ve got everything under control, it makes perfect sense, I can explain it all, my decisions, & actions...

(skip/or shorten -- I did it because. No really, the reason was. I just decided I must. Or the flip side - I won't do that again, I swear. God knows I’ll never do that again. Where there’s a will there’s a way, if there wasn’t why would they say that. I'm calling the shots here.)

Looking back at events, I’ll create a narrative around it all, a tall tale that I tell myself. (Fiction to treat the affliction of reality.) Just a bedtime story, really. & If it doesn’t help me fall asleep, at least it’ll keep me out of reach, out of the grip, of uncertainty. I can drift off in my little world feeling safe, & secure

But, still, deep down, a part of me knows, that’s an illusion. Thinking I control everything.

A delusion – of a puppet pulling its own strings.

Do I really know why I do most of the things I do?

How much do I need to -(pause)- know

​​

PART II

Billions of years ago, there’s a little planet, hanging in space, No one around, yet. It’s barren but beautiful, in a haunting, lonely way. Sleepy as a Sunday morning, & quiet as a tomb. Hardly anything moving, except the shifting ground & the restless wind roaming around looking for something to blow on. But there’s nothing – no one. It'll be a long time before eyes will see the light of day here. Millions of years before a rose will bloom. An empty canvass, just waiting.

But then clouds roll in one night, suddenly there’s a flash in the sky, lightning strikes form above. Strikes & stirs up the mud, stirs it up just enough, that something is happening. A chemical reaction that could change everything - if it can last.

Then gradually, over time, life emerges, it’s fragile, barely hanging on. But it does - somehow. & That life, it struggles, survives mutates & multiplies. It keeps evolving into higher and higher forms in this amazing, beautiful, treacherous existence.

Is it all unplanned or is there an unseen hand giving the marching orders? Either way life moves forward, from chaos to complexity. It’s novelty by necessity. & it keeps spreading out - spreads out across the globe. As far as the eye can see.

​​

These forces play out for millions of years, life acts, reacts, separates, comes back, tension releases, opposites attract. The wondrous dance of duality. You do that long enough, and you arrive at humanity. Then you get the dance within the dance. You know the one, she finds him, he finds her, come together, their union creating a third. It’s beautiful, magical, practical.

Then one day all these forces, these vast, magnificent forces, at work for eons, they’ve conspired, and converged, and now they come together again at the moment of my birth.

& it’s little me, in the big mystery.

​​

PART III

My birth -

There’s pain, confusion, struggle, surrender, as I emerge, moving from one world into another. Don’t know where it begins and I end. There’s body and breath, welcoming hands, mothers’ breast, & It’s all there, working together – it’s perfect. I have everything I need. It was waiting for me. I hadn’t done a thing to make it happen. I’m fragile, eyes barely open, no words yet even if I could have spoke them. All I could do is cry out. But that was enough. That was enough. Amazing, advancing life.

Fast forward a number of years. Curious kid, I take a step, deep breath, walk a little farther out into the world. I retreat a bit when I need to, but I keep venturing out into the wonderful, wide-open world. Full of Magic and possibility, I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. I’m experiencing, exploring, & expressing myself too, discovering who I am, who I really am - little creator within creation, full of ideas and imagination, driven by dreams and inspiration. It's pure and simple fun, cause I’m not thinking so much yet, I'm largely just carried forward, moved by those same forces that have been working in me, working for me, since I arrived on this planet. It’s wonderful, at least for a time.

​​

But, sad to say, that state - that state, didn't last. Along the way things changed. With each passing year, it became harder for me to stay open to life, inside and out. I started to close down.

It didn’t happen overnight – or all at once. But it seems the farther I got out into the world, seeing the immensity of it all, the mystery, the uncertainty, it was too much. As wonder came face to face with the harsh reality of pain, disappointment, death, suddenly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see what was coming next. Too much terror, too much beauty sometimes, I guess.

​​

I just couldn’t wrap my head around it all. So, I gradually stepped back, started to close down. Mentally, I reduced it to manageable proportions, built a shelter in the storm, hid out in the confines of my own mind, and the more I thought, the less I felt. Safer but separated as well.

​​

Eventually, I fell into a state of forgetfulness, falling under a spell I had cast on myself. I forgot those magnificent forces that had been working in me – the magic and mystery, I ignored them. I became my own person. I had to, I thought. The world demanded it. So, I took over, & grabbed the reins. I grabbed them & I held on for dear life. Damn, did I hold on tight - hands clenched in desperation, covered in perspiration, controlling every situation. I just couldn't let go. Even if I wanted to, I just couldn't let go. & That’s how I lived. I existed like that for many years.


But that grip, that desperate grip, it choked the life out of life - drained it of its vitality and it took a helluva toll on me. After a while, I just wandered around with my head hanging down. I didn't even bother to look up at the stars or sky anymore. Even the horizon was too much for me. All I wanted to see was the lock on the door. Safety and security, limited visibility, that was enough for me.

 

And the wonder and curiosity that I’d known, they were replaced by habit and routine. Daily rituals to keep the mystery at bay. But I was cut off from the flow of life, & my own soul. I was locking myself away.

If you asked me then, I’d probably tell you that the way I was living, that was the only sensible way to live, really. Reasonable, responsible, practical. That’s what a rational person does, right. That’s what I would have told you anyway. But the truth is, it’s not a choice I made consciously. I was just trying to survive, protect myself, stay safe. I didn’t know what it was costing me though, or how much I would pay.

​​

In those days, even as I was busy denying the mystery of life, saying it was all a random dance, blind chance, no real meaning beyond that - & life, it was just a lucky roll of the dice. It’s bound to happen if you do it enough times. That’s what I’d tell you. But at the same time, I had this undercurrent, this sense of longing, a feeling that there must be something more. It’d come rising up from the depths, from somewhere unseen. But it wasn’t something I could (quite) put my finger on, so, when it would come up, I’d use my whole hand, or both hands to push it back down – get rid of it as quick as it came. I’d think of how unreasonable it is, to have a longing for something that doesn’t exist. But I was fooling myself.

Those forces, they had always been around, whispering, pulling at the strings, influencing me. I could try to hide from them, but that doesn’t mean I was isolated from them. No, the more I tried to deny them, or push them away, the less independence I had, really. My hands were tied up in resistance. They still had me, those forces, & they just kept getting stronger. Getting bolder too. Eventually they came knocking at the door of the shelter I had built. My little shelter in the storm. They came knocking for me, soft at first, but they kept getting louder the more I ignored ‘em. I resisted but I was getting exhausted from pushing against em. A war of wills but it was a losing battle for me. Eventually, my will gave out and I just gave in. 

There we were face to face. Little me & the big mysteries, again. & they were big too. But they weren’t menacing, not mythical monsters or anything like that. No, they didn’t come carrying torches and clubs. They weren’t out to get me, not in a negative way. They just needed to let me know they were still around. And they arrived with an invitation, an invitation for me to come out - out into the world again. Nothing drastic. I don’t have to leave town. Maybe just take a few steps out & look around, try opening up again, a little more each day. Step back a bit when I need to but  keep venturing out into the wonderful, terrible, wide-open world. See what’s out there. That’s the message they had for me. That’s how I heard it anyways.

​​

& They didn’t lie to me, & tell me it would be easy. They didn’t sugarcoat it. They said there’s bound to be pain, that’s life. Your heart will get broken, there’s no way around that. But if you don’t turn back, if you can stay open, then through that wound will flow the fullest expression of you, and you’ll remember who you are again, who you really are. That was the invitation, the promise they had for me. & I heard it. 

​​

And then there was silence. & It was eerie, too quiet. I wondered if they were still around. But I just stood there taking it all in. My head was spinning but in the eye of that storm, it was calm, and clear, & I knew in a way that I’d never known before what I had to do. What I wanted to do.  I didn’t know how far out I’d go, or how much I’d open my heart, but I would take a step or two, that much I knew. I figured, at least it was a start.

Wrtr’s Blck   

Occasionally I'll get a vowel obstruction, but I always have constant consonants.

(Work in Progress)

Seriously though,

​For me, there’s nothing that compares to being in the creative flow. To be a part of that magic and mystery is what I live for. The inspiration that arises softly from its sacred source. The promise of those first words, often arriving unannounced. & Me, I’m welcoming them in with reverence, but at the same time cautiously looking over their shoulders, holding the door open, hoping that they haven’t come alone.

 

Then to watch as the words find their footing, shake off their sea legs & steady themselves with the help of those who’ve come before, & head down the page. Maybe nod with an appreciative metaphor. (Or a (just) tip of the hat & (just) leave it at that)

& To see it all come together, as the story takes shape, & unfolds, like it has a life of its own, like it already knows where it’s going, (And its) Letting me in on its secret, bit by bless-ed bit.

It’s so beautiful –

and I feel so honored when I can be a part of that.

 

Sometimes though, the creative stream, it just stops. It comes to a screeching halt or slows to a trickle at best. And I panic of course, & paw at the moist ground, scrambling around on my knees praying desperately to the muses. Maybe even offer up a sacrifice or try to prime the pump by throwing down some lifeless words, so lifeless it ain’t gonna hurt when they hit the page. But still, there’s nothing. The magic is gone…. Or so it seems.

 

Writer’s block. That dreaded disease - stifled creativity. There’s nothing more frustrating for me. I’ve learned it takes many forms. Has many causes too. But I’ve also learned that it’ll usually work itself out if I let it - If I listen to it and hear what it’s trying to tell me.  I’ve found that it’s rarely as it seems.

 

Sometimes, for instance, I think the flow has dried up, but it turns out that’s not really the case at all. The truth is, the words had been there waiting, inviting me, but on some level at least, I turned away. I wasn’t willing to follow them. I didn’t know where they may take me, emotionally. Pen in my hand but lead in my feet, so to speak. I hesitated, and the words went off without me. That’s happened more than a few times.

 

Sometimes, when things have stagnated, it’s not so much a block as it is a paralysis. I’m seized with a silent terror, feeling something stirring inside and sensing how beautiful it might be if it all came together, found its way out, and settled down onto the empty page. But I also know that it may never happen and that terrifies me. I can’t bear to face the horror of that scene - of possibility perched precariously close to the edge of the abyss. Realizing that, at any moment, it could go over, never to be seen or heard from again. Opportunity forever missed. ____________________

 

At other times, the words have stopped flowing because I’ve stopped growing. It’s as simple as that. Maybe I’m not as open to life as I had been, I’ve stopped taking risks, or there’s something inside I’m resisting, fighting with it instead of listening. Or else I’m stuck in my safe (little) routines, gotten comfortable in complacency. If I’m not changing, continually, then the words have nothing new to say to me - to say through me.

 

Usually though, if the words have stopped flowing it’s because they’re trapped behind an identity. It is writer’s block, but the block is me, literally. & my intentions, my ambitions, my attachments, even my desire to be a writer, it’s all getting in the way, choking the flow. & in my case, that happens a lot.

 

Don’t get me wrong though. The story does needs me, definitely. The creativity has to be anchored in duality. It needs somebody on this side of the fence, feet firmly on the ground, a little dirt on their hands from being down in the trenches, emotionally. It needs my humanity. The story would fall on deaf ears if the readers didn’t recognize characters like themselves looking up from the page, staring back from the mirror. There’d be no relatability.

 

So yes, the story does need me. A little me.

But if I get bigger than that. If I’ve grown beyond my role, forgetting that I’m just another character in the cosmic cast, then the flow is blocked, and the words can’t get past. Believe me, that happens a lot in my case, with my tendency towards inflation, & self-veneration. It’s not pretty.

 

But I’ve learned that it’s ok. It’s not the end of the world, creatively. It’s bound to happen sometimes.

I’ve also learned that it’s self-correcting in a sense. That the frustrating block that results, is just the universe’s way of letting me know I’ve gotten too big - of reminding me that just because I’m the one holding the pen, that doesn’t mean the story is mine. ______But If I get that message, and step back a bit, things will usually start flowing again, line by glorious line.

Monster Under My Bed

(work in progress)

What if the monster under my bed is me. And those voices & strange noises that I hear at night. What if they’re just echoes of screams from all the hopes and dreams that I strangled, silencing them before they could turn on me.  

 

What if the demon that I dread, demon with a capital D, what if I finally met him & (it turned out) he wasn’t who I thought he’d be. If I found out he hadn’t been stalking me all those years, sneaking around like a thief. What if he was always (right) here & I didn’t see him because I never bothered to look in the mirror.

 

What if the stories I tell myself, about my life, are just words (I’ve) woven together, a web to catch the unsuspecting truth that sneaks in through the cracks – not having a clue that it’s entered a dragon’s lair - just as surprised to find that I’m the only one there.

& The Garden of Eden, & that whole scene. What if the story is not what I’ve been led to believe. Maybe it’s not ancient history. What if it’s still playing out inside of me [Optional / and Adam & Eve, are just different parts of my soul, Maybe I didn’t know that because I’ve been divided, (unbalanced), one sided, running around looking for someone else to make me feel whole.]

& The Serpent, he gets a bad name, but what if the truth is more painful than that. Sure, it’s nice to have someone to blame, But maybe I didn’t get kicked out of the Garden with the rest, Maybe it was a choice I made. A choice I have to make every single day, each step along the way, to leave or to stay. Will I reach for the forbidden fruit, the hollow substitutes, & spend my time grasping instead of giving, lying instead of living. Or will I stay true to myself, my real self, no matter what it costs me.

If I had to face that, honestly. The harsh reality of it all, could I do it without turning away. & If I did, would it fade, & be replaced by something else? Would I become a higher version of myself?

End of Times – Dark humor - Work in progress

(Tom Waits Nighthawks style)

(whistling intro & outro?)

About an half hour after sunset this morning

A comet went streaking across the sky with a warning

It was pulling a banner or maybe it was a sign

Said something about the end of times

But I was catching season two of ‘I got shit to do’

& I wasn’t gonna pause that, I’m already an episode behind

& Now, I’m stuck in traffic, late for work, but I’m not worried

I hate my job, & I got some cigarettes, and a half-gallon slurpee

An ad just came on about a personal life raft, or something like that

Sounds like the one the guy has strapped to his roof a couple of cars back

Good idea, it’s been raining heavy for about 3 or 4 months now

Sloppy scene, but I figure, at least it’s (been) putting the fires out

 And I have an umbrella anyhow

News guy said a tsunami hit the coast of Alaska, or was it Nebraska?

I’d turn the station but it's just disaster after unnatural disaster

I wonder how long this is all gonna last

The writing’s on the wall, the preachers say, graves already been dug

And all this chaos is just Gods way of, pulling the plug

Might be, too, things are breaking down all over the place, can't deny that

But my body’s already shot, and I got bills to pay

I guess I’m too broke to break

So, I’ll just keep whistling away

Maybe it'll be OK

The Darkness in Me

(Spoken word - super raw yet, just writing)

The darkness in me has finally started to fade a little. (at least a piece/chunk of it (just went), anyways) It’s taken a long, long time but it’s finally started to fade (a bit). What happened? Well, I certainly didn’t (just) grow out of it like I thought I would. No, my demons, they grew right along with me. & I damn sure didn’t tame them, those devils. I tried, but I found they didn’t (really) respond to the whip. If anything, they got stronger from it. I couldn’t scare them away either. They didn’t fear me like I feared them. Even if they did seem to scatter for a time, they just came back around, sneaking up from behind, more devilish than ever. (I screamed, they laughed back, & that was the end of that.) I had to stop blaming them, too. I saw that that was just a losing game, at best. [They might look more monstrous with each go-round but I always ended up about the same. Nothing really changed.]

So, eventually I just figured (that) I’d stop fighting with them. I decided (for once) I’d (just) try listening to them instead - went down and had a visit with them, on their turf.  Leaning on grace all the way, I descended into the depths of the darkness, the world of the living dead. I toured that/the land. I explored it, consciously, (I) faced it honestly, the valleys and the forests. I saw the destruction first-hand, the toppled trees, the famine & disease, (the) pools of blood covering the ground. I took it all in (without fear or favor.) At first I didn’t seem em, the demons, but eventually I found them, they were huddled together. And & I witnessed the wound that they had gathered around. Sadly, I knew it well. All too well. But I honored the pain of it, just as it was, as it always had been. & As I did that, they all turned to me, forcefully, _________ and I knew it was time. So, I just (stood there, & I let them speak, say what they had to say to me. I didn’t dismiss their words, or (try to diminish their worth. I listened to them, every last one of ‘em, I heard their version of the truth. When they were finished, something strange happened. _______ They slowly started to fade, to melt away right before my eyes, disappearing into the night. With their energy released, intuitively I knew what to do. I stepped forward and absorbed it back into me, completed, knowing then that it had always been a part of me. Disowned, distorted parts of me.

& that was that. The end of my time to the depths. Of course, I knew I’d be down here again, this journey is one that never really ends. But for the time being, at least, it was complete. So I headed on up, surface side. And I made it back, fully intact, no worse for the wear. I returned from my own private hell, with a little bit more of myself. My real self. & with a story to tell, too.      

30-Second Charlie

 

The most dangerous dealer in these parts of town

Is 30-second Charlie, you might have seen him around

 

He might sell you a drug, might sell you a dream

But he does his dealing on the TV screen

 

Need more, need more, Charlie’s always got more

 

Feeling down, he’s gonna lift you up

For a limited time, he’s got just the right stuff

 

Here’s your lucky number, you’re a lucky guy

It’s 1-800, folks are standing by

 

Need more, need more, always need more.

 

Three easy payments, and there’s nothing down

But they’re not so easy, with no money around

 

Looked so tempting on the TV screen

Just leaves me empty, I aint buying his dreams

 

No more, no more, aint buying no more

 

The promise land?

Let’s get honest man

Selling your worthless junk

Like putting perfume on a skunk

And your cheap thrills are just roadkill

On the way to the garbage dump

 

No more, no more, aint buying no more

My Shadow

WIP - maybe lyrics

When your shadow is twice as tall as you, it’s getting late

When you don’t recognize it anymore, you should call it a day

Guess, I should have dealt with it a few minutes after noon

When it was still short and harmless, barely (out) past my shoes

But I don’t always do the things I’m supposed to do,

 

it could be that it’s not really my fault after all

The sun is the reason the shadows get so (damn) tall

At least I should get to spread some of the blame around

Maybe it got so disfigured because of the shape of the ground

That might have to do with the places I’ve been hanging out though

 

But who am I really, I mean I’m just a little hunk of flesh

Doing my best, & I’m caught up in this whole earthly mess

Or heck, I could even be a bit of a shadow myself

In a little game between the sun & the earth, heaven & hell

I probably wouldn’t be asking the questions though, if I wasn’t complicit as well

 

Maybe I’ll just go out later and have a little chat with the moon

At least it has an unobstructed view

It’ll probably say the answer is somewhere between the two,

Between the lies and the truth

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