Free

devil

And maybe I just don’t see the reason

But in the corner of my heart

your

ignorance is treason

The Racontours

Shelly once told me, “Never underestimate the value of a man who will take you home and fuck you.” See there now, that’s why we’re friends. I’ll one-up her, though. Never underestimate the value of a man who will take you home and fuck you, and not make you feel stupid and used afterwards. Yeah, you know, it’s the 2nd part that trips them up. Silly, dull-witted creatures anyway.

I may be the devil; a lying, cheating, scheming, s’um bitch but I’m not indestructible. Actually, I take that back. My instinct for self-preservation will blow the skin off your face. Adrenaline pulses through my veins and dilates my pupils when the wind smells of bullshit. I’ll put a boot in the ass of anyone who dares to make me feel stupid for caring about them.

There’s a stream that flows past my house and on the bank there’s a sign that reads:

“No swimming. No fishing. For fuck’s sake, don’t drink the water.”

On the other bank is another sign that reads:

“Told you so.”

Coiled happily in the warm sand of the beach is a sleeping coral snake. It doesn’t care because snakes don’t. It doesn’t blink either. It sleeps with it’s eyes open.

The Universe has got my back. Shows me the future like a crystal ball. Shows me the content of your heart. Tells me what your mouth doesn’t say. Turns out the lights when the music’s over.

My love isn’t free.

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In the cards…

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Simple 5 card spread. I don’t write fiction.

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”

-Walt Whitman – Leaves Of Grass

I went back to Travis’s house.

Found the driveway on the first try.

Parked my car and went inside.

“I didn’t much care for us, minus you”, I said.

“But you were never far”, he answered.

There is no road here, no map and no landmarks.

Who we are in the present moment is all we can become.

“It’s like sight reading”, I told him, “we must live in real time.”

It’s not yet, but it could be:

complicated

Sheeple Listen

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The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth.

It happened again.  I heard on the news that “It is in our nature to demand an explanation”, so by all means, let the explaining commence.

Tell me how he was such a nice young man whose mother just so happened to purchase the very weapons that were later used to take not only her life, but the lives of 20 children and 5 other adults before her son turned them on himself.  I guess she got her money’s worth. I mean, killing human beings; that is what they’re designed to do, right?

Tell me how we didn’t miss the signs because there weren’t any.

Tell me how more guns equal less crime.  Like more vermin equal less disease?

Tell me how video games are probably to blame.

Tell me how a lunatic, is a lunatic, is a lunatic and will find a way with, or without, access to a gun.

Unabomber, Jeffry Dahmer

let us pray

for Timothy McVeigh

but god didn’t stop them.

Adam Lanza could’ve showed up with a car bomb or a pick ax, but he didn’t. The s’umbitch showed up with a gun, just like Jared Lee Loughner, just like James Holmes, just like all the other legally armed murderers who, in the name of self defense, purchased an arsenal sufficient to defend a small country, when in fact the killer was on the lawn the whole time. They outnumber Hanibal Lector a thousand to one and yet we look for explanations that favor insanity over weaponry. Brave Clarice. You will let me know when those lambs stop screaming, won’t you?

Tell me how guns are not the problem.

Tell me how pedaling fear is not the problem.

Tell me how the unabated sale of firearms to any deranged asshole with a credit card is not the fucking problem.

Go on now, tell me, I wanna know.

Tell me how this latest incident won’t incite scores of new gun sales.

Tell me how one of those guns won’t end up in the hands of a disturbed individual when they slip past the end of their rope.

After we rinse and repeat, you can tell me again.

Tell me about your 2nd Amendment rights.

Tell me how god hates abortion,

don’t tread on me, motherfucker.

Tell me why I should have to defend myself against a legally armed murderer.

But on second thought, maybe guns aren’t the problem.

Maybe YOU are the problem.

Maybe your tiresome rhetoric and psychotic, garbage-head paranoia are the problem.

Your back woods, snake handling revival, seventh grade ed*u*macation and “family” values just might be the problem. Trolling the floor of wal-mart, blind-sided by falling prices and high on Diet Pepsi; yeah….that’s you alright.

When Jesus talks, the sheeple listen.

Therein lies the problem.

Coffee Grounds

He wondered how many times I would pass his driveway so he stood on the porch to count. Somewhere around the 4th time I turned in and he forgot right away that he had been counting something.

I got out of my car and stepped over a snake that was coiled lazily in the sun. He didn’t see it but it saw me. It always does. Red touches yellow, me and this fellow.

Travis invited me in. He had survived the Leo, but the Scorpio is a different kettle of fish entirely. He was apprehensive about my visit.

Unusual. A déja-vu of sorts, like pulling an old book off the shelf. I should be a stranger here but I don’t feel out of place. I press my ear against history to listen for voices. Nothing.

But there’s my picture on the wall. Memories of me that I didn’t know existed were kept alive. I was here in a parallel universe, hiding in plain sight.

“You wear your clothes well” he told me and I remembered that I forgot he had a clothing fetish; an odd quality for a guy who hates underwear. I forgot but he knew all along. The things he carried were with him the whole time. I didn’t tell him about the times I would get up from the couch to cry alone in my bathroom. I couldn’t explain why I would do that. Nor did I mention any of the other things I did to forget him, to get over it, to cowboy-the-fuck-up and get on with the business of living. I couldn’t sit in his house and tell him about these things as I clearly had not done them with any measure of success.

Reality is an all or nothing proposition so I opt for nothing. The key aspect of any lucid dream is the realization that all the characters are you.

I thought I heard the devil talking. “Hey son, why ain’t you got no face? I could paint one on you, for a price.” I wondered which of us was being spoken to and decided it wasn’t me, or maybe it was me talking. My portraits have faces in any case.

“I liked it when you asked if I thought about you”, he said, “and I want you to know that I still have your filter and I use it every day.” He poured me a cup of coffee. I had no idea what he was talking about so my reply was only a quizzical look. “Your metal coffee filter”, he explained, and I still looked confused, “from the gallery“, he seemed to think it was so obvious and then suddenly I remembered and it was funny and sweet all at the same time.

This morning I woke up to find my kitchen floor flooded. I splashed up to the counter to dump yesterday’s coffee grounds into the sink and prepare to start over. Brewing coffee in the rising water: the way the world ends, the way the world begins.

Reconstructing Shelly

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She’s not wild about the name, Shelly.

I could help, I thought. We rode in the car for two days.

I spoke of ordering experience from a catalog and I wanted to know if she was happy with her purchases. “Will you spend the rest of your life this way?” I asked. It sounded like I was asking her but I was really asking myself.

We traveled to the land of technicolor mountains, we slept on a hard bed in a small room and sat at the feet of a yogi whom we both wanted to fuck. We walked in the mountains and swung on an ancient gate. We stepped on grave stones and sat under trees.

None of this is real, we agreed. But it doesn’t matter because it’s just as easy to create one illusion as another.

My Current Ex

There is a stream that flows past my house. It is old like the beginning of time and it flows into outer space.

Four years ago Travis dumped me for his wife. They were already married.

I visited their home once and his wife, The Leo, was not there. While I did not fondle anything that belonged to her, I left with a telepathic uplink directly to her scheming little head. She was a high stakes gamer. I guess it takes one to know one.

I am a formidable adversary but it wasn’t my fight.

I told Travis, “Your wife is having an affair.”
“No, she’s not.” he replied.
Yes, she is”, I insisted.
“No, she’s not, but even if she were I wouldn’t care.”
“Ok but, yes, she is.”
“No, she’s not. I know her and she would never do that.”
“Yes, she would, and not only that but she is.”
“You don’t need to say anything more about this”, he told me.
“Ok, but I don’t want you to get all pee-pee hearted when you find out.”

I don’t know exactly HOW, but I knew with absolute certainty that I was right.

Two weeks later, on Friday of Memorial Day weekend, The Leo went out of town and accidentally on purpose forgot to log out of her email account on their shared computer.

There is a stream that flows past my house. From time to time it turns rancid and kills all the fish.

The next day, while I sat in my car in the parking lot of a church, Travis explained to me all the ways in which he was to blame for his wife’s affair and how he would walk through fire to get her back. “What the fuck is wrong with you?!?!” I demanded. I hung up the phone and went inside to photograph a wedding.

That same day, Dean told me that he was dying. I had been angry with him but the sheer desperation of my mood as I watched the wedding ceremony and prepared to shoot myself in the head, I mean shoot the family groups, had driven me to reach out to the one friend who could calm my heart in a crisis. I thought he was being snarky, and he was, but I did not realize until almost a year later that he had just suffered a 2nd heart attack following the death of his fiancé. We needed each other but I could not reach further than one simple text.

The Leo, upon realizing she was caught, divulged only as much info as she knew was on the loose, which wasn’t actually very much. Then, in one brilliant stroke of table-turning genius, she convinced Travis that it was his fault. I pointed this out but he was not able to follow my reasoning. Well played, Leo bitch, well played…

The Leo promised she would end her affair.

“No, she won’t”, I said.
“Yes, she will”, Travis insisted.
“Whatever”, I said.

Two weeks later, The Leo accidentally on purpose came home with condoms in her brief case. Five years prior to that day, Travis had a vasectomy.

“I will try even harder to win her back”, Travis said.
“Why?” I asked.

There is a stream that flows past my house. It comes from nowhere and it goes nowhere.

The Leo continued to flaunt her affair while simultaneously blaming Travis and claiming to be unable to decide whether or not she could still love him.

“I feel so close to her now”, Travis explained, “because she’s being real.”
“She’s clearly fucking with you now“, I said, “because she can.”
“No…, no, she would never do that.”

Here we go again…

Travis remained tragically unable to grasp what was happening and I grew increasingly unwilling to explain.
“Seriously”, I threw up my hands, “are you retarded?”

This went on for months until finally I gave up and went away. As a parting shot to the heart, I told Travis, “When she finally gets around to settling for you, you’ll think you’ve won, briefly, until you discover that you don’t want her anymore and then you’ll see what a sad waste of time this has been.” Naturally, he didn’t believe me.

There is a stream that runs past my house. If you swim in it long enough, you end up where you were.

Three and a half years later Travis and The Leo are now divorced. Dean has left me to go to Memphis and Travis has returned. I don’t know why I am still drawn to him. It makes me nervous and I’m afraid of what might come of it. It clearly didn’t go very well last time and yet, I don’t send him packing.

The revolving door turns but I think the point is about something other than opportunity. Maybe I have something to teach him or maybe he has something to teach me or maybe I just want someone to play the part.

There is a stream that flows past my house but actually it’s only a mirror.