Autodieography

– visiting dead uncles still attached by technology, distancing yet listening, detached from my mom’s oncology –

This unruly universe has a razor on which its decisions are made. Sometimes it chooses a sudden, delicate yet brash conception that wails into this world hungry, wet and magnificent, other times it’s a quick and brutal plucking of our family from our unwitting grips, leaving us humble, dizzy and vengeful.

We succeed. We own. We lose. We teach. We work. We enjoy. We die. 

There is no reasoning with a razor, only the awareness that such an edge exists. Like a horse not quite broken or a lover not yet trusted, its natural action is one that somehow always makes sense regardless of its seeming indifference. 

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Happiness Happens In Moments

it tastes like nighttime, like a cocktail whose dark wetness clarifies what you utter to whomever is listening. like the wind or a lover whose whisper washes away all you have fought for to get to this place. it is the sunrise over buildings and the easy morning cigarette, the road trip to strange towns and an ice cream cone on a park bench. these pieces of pleasure compose my universe and as long as there are fields to run in, rooms to kiss in, and streets to rage in, these vices will always be the fuel for fun. whether a warm tea between palms or a bottle dressed with a flaming rag, we all share an explosive connection to everything we desire.

The Taste of Music

My dad used to sing me Neil Young and Uncle Remus.

Then he showed me David Bromberg, The Rolling Stones and Tchaikovsky.

I was at my neighbor’s house when Black Dog gave my little boy body wide-eyed convulsions.

There was a Tuesday afternoon elective at my school called “Beatles and Drawing.” It was a half hour of listening to the Beatles and drawing whatever you wanted. I was 9 years old. MLC…sigh.

I was a 10 year old when my friend mentioned that his big brother bought Kill ‘Em All and it took me 2 more years of Madonna and New Wave until I finally understood what he said that day.

My first concert was George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers at Portland’s Civic Auditorium in 1986. The following year my dad took me to my first indie show, Screaming Trees with The Dwarves at Pine Street Theater. That’s how cool my dad was.

When my family broke up I moved schools and went from being raised among the culture of the city to now having to explore adolescence deep in the Eastside suburbs, my life took a serious turn. My lifelines were License To Ill, Legacy of Brutality, N.W.A. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, It Takes A Nation and in the 8th grade my friend brought over G.B.H., Jimi Hendrix, L7 and Slayer records and we played them all until the needle broke and my brain melted like soft ice cream.

I was neck-deep in a suburban white neighborhood and it was then that I realized I could either be a product of my bland environment or make a conscious decision to live and think for myself.

Anything that flaunted the system and mocked the establishment, the music that protested corruption, oppression and used passion and adrenaline to express their discontent was music I subsisted on, endlessly blaring into my Walkman. I was an only child who just lost his mother and was now living an hour-long bus ride away from the comfort of downtown. Music was the only thing I listened to because I certainly wasn’t hearing any of my teachers or relatives.

On those bus rides I understood why some people listen to bubblegum pop and others just…don’t.

I found this and this at the record store while dropping out of college. Twice.

My friend at Tower Records told me to buy Pretty Hate Machine. I bought it on title alone.

I showed my best friend the Marshall Mathers LP when it first came out and we played it continuously in his 88 Mustang GT.

A friend came to my house and she showed me Glass Animals.

I went to my friend’s house and she showed me 21 Pilots.

Though words and pictures are like my harem, it is music that leads my beautiful life from darkness into today.

Toast the Coast with the Most

windows to windows to light in the day
now when the wind blows I know what to say
hair falls, eyes sprawl, they shine so far away
while minutes brawl for more time in the day.

crimes commit while reason’s denied
uncertain decisions are reasons we hide
our faith is tested and always contested
by us crashing in the wreckage and the filth of our tide.

Random Acts of Rambling Both Nurturing and Damaging

I’m smooth today. A good razor makes the sun just float down my flesh like warm water along the skin of a baby softened by a dusk in July.

This past summer in my city was relentless in its heat and wickedness, an unbelievable onslaught of asphalt swelter that drove us all towards whatever wetness we could sniff out. Now in the midst of autumn the blue sky has become a true stranger in a land known for soft overcast and since up is now down and right has become wrong, no rule left holds water or carries weight.

There is no better friend than one that tells you you’re truly being foolish.
There is no better enemy than one that continues to behave purely foolish.

Is it yet established that Tool is one of the greatest bands in the world but one of the worst live shows in the universe?

My fanciest camera was stolen today. Though machinery can be replaced, the images on that memory card cannot be and that’s a far larger tragedy than the fact that some sad-sack douche bag lifted one of my most prized possessions. The crummy feeling of helpless violation is a nasty thing to try to shake off.

Why does texting stress me out? Why do I feel compelled to immediately answer and if I don’t the weight of anxiety presses my shoulders into a forlorn slouch that can only be remedied by me thumbing over my phone, appeasing each message with some obligatory vacuous  reply?

Purely rhetorical.

Grrr…Zzzz…

I haven’t remembered more than a half-dozen dreams within the last a year. That is far from normal. In the past I would remember nearly every dream every night, I would write them down just so I wouldn’t forget the exact feeling or moment in my subconscious that felt so real and true, feeling even more real that actual reality. “Reality” (which consisted of work, traffic, lines, banks, bills, sideways girls and unreliable boys.)

I need to remember my dreams, again. They’re amazing and beautiful, frightening and enlightening, clues to my hijinks and links to my past, they’re both poison and sustenance, confusion and clarity. Invaluable experience inside endless scenery.

Back to the point.

Meditation is a thing. A real thing. Breathing exercises, too. I’m studying much of it like I take vitamins and supplements, learning at the same pace that I’m living, about a million miles an hour. Yet I grasp so much but somehow cannot sit still long enough to take notes or absorb anything of import other than devising ways to get out of this town or out of that room.

Harmony, balance and contentment.

Regardless of how elusive those things may be, I believe that solace can be achieved when your chemicals, friends, lovers, family, diet and activity all occur fluidly. When one doesn’t outweigh each other but instead compliments each other, true peace will then be a part of life. My life. Our life.

Actually acting on desires and ambitions is a whole different beast.

Let us release this animal from it’s cage and see what achievements and damage may be left in its wake.

Let us see what art, connections, revelations, growth and actions will occur when we allow ourselves to absorb adventure and run with the wildlife instead of falling in line and sitting with the people.

Let’s.

Growl. Grow. Release. Roar.

Dream.

45 Years Ago Today

Beastie Boys, Rage Against The Machine, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix.

All else is just music. Background. Filler. These four saved my sanity and the streets of this town by allowing me to vent, reminisce, dream and plot and everyone should recognize the wonderful magnitude of influence of these four musical acts.

Jimi died 45 years ago  today

Most of everyone else on that list is still alive and well. Except Jim Morrison. And of course, MCA.

This world sometimes takes the most interesting people away from us before we can possibly comprehend how incredible they are.

Other times this world takes the most amazing and beautiful people away while they’re at their absolute height of pure talent and wondrous influence.

Dang it.