The Twelfth House on A Faultline: House of the Psychic

I stared at a spot on the floor with the well-lit display of alcohol gift sets in my peripherals.  I thought, “This could be the night that die.  Plain and simple, it could be.  I am not exempt.  I am not God’s chosen.  We go through our lives completely oblivious to our deaths.”  Is that the twelfth house?  All the veils are thinner.  The energies are no longer muted and subtle.

I start drinking and keep drinking – very Twelfth House.

Entered at the end where the graves are newer, I pick up a residual.  I don’t realize until later when I lie sleepless in my bed with the Kraken rolling in my stomach, burning the lining like the demon it is.  I have the sweats and open my window.  I smell the mildew of the dark corner outside my window.  I’m reminded of my visit that day to the cemetery.  I touched a bouquet of flowers.  They were tilted.  I tried to stand them upright.  When it happened, when I was there walking among those graves nothing felt wrong.  Now, I feel I am stuck back there.  I am really left back in that cemetery.  I picked up a residual.  Something stayed alive with me.  I picked up a parasite of energy.  It has solidified into me.

I feel filthy and I have the sweats.  I keep smelling bad things.  Maybe it is the mold growing in the corner under the tree outside my window.  The mixture of graveyard psychic residual and the mildew that grows in wet dirt dark compounds.  There will be no sleeping.  The Kraken has been released in my stomach and he feels like hell burning.


Realizing, I mean really REALIZING that death is a blind corner away.   And that night a lyric jumped at me from a beloved song I listened to religiously in high school.  It finally strikes me that that is a very creepy line.  “Beneath the dust, and love and sweat that hang on everybody there’s a dead man trying to get out.” – Adam Duritz

“The time is getting closer.  The time to be a ghost.”  I could be a ghost.  This detachment walking through life, am I dead or alive?

At times I close my eyes to meditate and feel like I have a great standing wave of presence ready to overwhelm me.  I am a shattered moment away.  I have taken my separation for granted.  There is a looming face burning at the edges and the membrane has become nothing more than a blinking cursor of static. Or.  I’ll feel like the corners of my mind are made of helium balloons that are quickly floating up one by one.

Watching a blue flame burn at the edge of the paper

Wishes dissolving into ether

Climb up the ladder to reach past

this pain picked up everywhere from everything

sit with the deep cut until you can call it sweet

the twelfth house: house of bad poetry, drug addiction and the edge of sanity.

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Shards of Glass

Wrenches of every size and belts in figure eights hanging from above.

The Polar Bear came to me around the time that those young natives in Fox pelts hooted and hollered to me, sweeping me up in their magic stampede.  The Polar Bear came to me around the time Old Grandmother Crow came to me.  She squinted through the puffy cloud of her face, never speaking a word and only leaving me with mysterious smiles and dances to interpret.  The Polar Bear came with the rushing parade of the other white animals.  White being the color of healer.

Inside the incongruences delight among a dirge-ridden mechanic’s office.  Among the peg holes that hold the hooks that hold tools that haven’t been sold for years is a middle-aged woman with urban- styled peroxide hair.  Behind her is a Byzantine Madonna and child – a mosaic of tile, ancient and timeless.  In the white and soot of winter to be punched with the unexpected in exquisite.  Outside, surrounding this garage on three sides is a cemetery.

Small-town tundra-town.  I could be anyone.  I could be anywhere.

Touched down lightly, shaking the ground before me, an Angel of the Lord.  Angel has delicate porcelain flesh over smooth taut musculature. Of sanguine feature.  Of luscious lock.   Larger than the race of man with immense wings catching up and splintering sun, you are not so far from.  Brazen rays of color prism into the snow, dazzling and dumbfounding me in the graveyard where my mother’s father’s parents have long disintegrated.  You are not so far from.  Coffins with no bodies under frozen ground I dreamed an Angel of the Lord.

Gazing in the water below, Narcissus caught sight of his own reflection.  There his eyes remained fixed.  There his eyes remained.

Here is your fun house.  Crunch, stretch, crack, reshape, ricochet, distort – a revolver and a rubber soul.

Pain is a guidance system.

Only a loving and benevolent parent would concoct such construct to place their beloved child in.  “Here is your house where you will play, your forever and always home.  Aren’t you happy to be here?  Don’t you like your home?”

“You have made yourself into panic.  If you will come to the door, if you will place your hand on the knob and turn the knob you will find that the door will open.  You will find that the air outside of your house is recycled, filtered, purified to your liking.  We have thought of everything here.”

We now regret the infants were not placed in their mother’s arms.  We now regret the sterile white, the orderly with the enormous bulbous head and tons of small pointy teeth.  We regret it’s reptilian eyes.  We now regret as we stare out any window returning to the thought of a gun against our head.

Breathe, breathe into the pose.  Breathe, breathe, hold, hold, let, let the lacking oxygen break you heart apart into shards the depth and black of

She took the broken panes of glass to an abandoned building and laid them against a cinder block wall.  I left them to the Shadows to eat, blacken, whatever they will with them.

Through the trenches, gun over the shoulder, marching in the rain.   Every step is a lever recoiled and released to propel myself closer.  My finger pulled the trigger that ejected the projectile that discharged you to the next destination.  You prayed for your mind to stop and this intervention was holy. A soul finds redemption in the senselessness of bloodshed.  I offer you tears.  I offer you new horizons.

Witch doctor leans down into the face.  “You must open your mind wider while you are weak.”  The words drift like unidentified forms.  “While you are weak you must open your mind wider,” the Witch doctor repeats.  And I think of how the words and words and words stretch over an expanse of eternity.  “I’m always trying to get back,” is the muttered response.

We find the grass to be green here upon the melting of the snow.  In five hours time the temperature will drop causing the gushing waters turn to ice.

The seer went blind staring into the sun, but that was long ago.

It is raining ceaseless in the tundra.  The rain pounds into dream and myth of tundra.  If you go out far enough the door to the north is only ice, night and a whistler’s breeze.  Groans and howls are whole, stark, harsh, and empty.  Go to the end of the earth and freeze your mind until it cracks.  You will fall though the spaces.  It is the only way.

We moved to the Northern Territories.  The rain mixed with snow.  The economy is rations.  The creed is survivalist.  We rode together around the compound in the Military issued transport.

I love you.  Remember me because all will fade.

I love you.  Remember me because all fades.  Remember the light behind my eyes because next time my eyes will be shaped differently and no longer this color.

You might not remember anything.  Maybe I don’t remember what I know I remember.  Maybe it is only all of these mirrors and these recordings distorting every image and sound.  Residuals and echoes smeared across and penetrating into an ethereal body.  The mind manhandled.  The touch reverberated through me leaving imprints.

“How dare you?” I direct to the sky.

Breathe into me.  I will pretend I don’t remember.  I will fall into rank, into formation.

There is a clearing if you keep walking.

A dark helix pathway into sleep leads to these walls that glow white from within, indiscriminate scrawlings in black across this.  Perfected a new lighting, the object itself illuminated from within, as the people who operate them are illuminated from within.  I’m always comforted by the perfected lighting in the dreams. I’ve felt the glow of purple in the room and the florescent white bulb hanging by a back entryway, a stream of comfort to remind me that there is a beacon that can always stabilize me.  The light stays on by the backdoor, especially in the other dimension. There is a base of comfort in the world I came from hanging in the bald bulb by the back door.  Night is different here.  Night goes on forever here.  This small empty room is powerful.  If I could read these walls I could manifest whatever is here.  I want to read.  Then I don’t.  Nothing to decrypt, the Buddhist brain counteracts all opposing forces against the other leaving all neutral and just.  I hold no wisdom, nothing to record.  Is it a sin to come to such a place then feel complete, utter insignificance?

When the dreams offer entries into the absolute power of manifesting, I find myself speechless.  Empty.

I still hear echos.  “We are all your friends here.  We want you to write your words on our walls.”

There is another clearing on the edge of the Puritan New England settlement, heading into the deep woods were the townspeople bow to a darker, more primal deity.

“This is your own house of illusions.  You have built this yourself.”

And I will walk among the ruins alone.

There is a clearing on the top of Scarface.  There is no view, only circling trees.  You can pray for privacy from foot traffic.  You can dream yourself into another time where you and a lover could let the hum of nature pepper with fever.  Joy can turn you into an immortal teenager for maybe one hour.

“Take me to the haven of your bed is something that you never said.” (“Another Morrissey quote,” the demons snicker.)

Too many voices have spoken and these voices, wear me down.  Desert the deserted town.  I thought I could play with ghosts.  I thought I could live in another time.  I thought I could come out on the other side.

Look how beautiful the planet is!  The fir needles feather upward next to the cedar combs that droop and splay.  The only filth on this planet is humanity.

The sticks are gray.  The sand aside the pavement is drab.  The sky has given up for today.  It is only the barraging traffic against my nerves that can go to hell.

I cannot look through unscratched glasses, the culture is not benevolent.  It is nothing new.  Children have had limbs eaten in machinery.  Disease, war, famine.  I’m bored already.  The trust fund afforded the swimming pool to blow the brain out in.

Then, I was not much more than a child.  I was trekking the river.  I was transfixed by reflection.  It was too warm.  I fell through the ice.  Once I was under the heavy sheet I drowned.  That is all.

I cannot wait for the quiet of night.

I cannot wait for the trance of candlelight.

I cannot wait for the

It was my fault, that time.  I was a man walking the train tracks past midnight.  I was drunk.  It was only me careening in that tomb of black evergreen silhouette and moonlight reflected in snow.  I suppose I had a head born to be bashed by steel.

The sculpture was come upon in moonlight. Shards of glass fissured together from all angles – an odd icon of splintered mirror.  Obtuse planes, inconceivable menageries.  Explosive and refined.  Sophisticated and vulgar.  Impersonal and piercing.  Let not those eyes follow me the rest of my days.

In the year 2017, Saturn squared my Sun.  I had to face some had truths about myself.

When all has been scattered to the different directions, I’m not surprised to find I do not have a reflection.  I am only fragments that can fall away.

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Fragmented Soul

What am I supposed to make of these omens?

Frog sighting, frog sighting, frog sighting, frog sighting – then, a frog impaled on the corroded rust of the bottom of my car.

A new cat comes to possess me.  Then, I receive a dead cat in the ditch in the front of my habitat.  I have a new cat alive inside and a dead one to bury in the back yard.

A friend and I had a HUGE dragonfly join our conversation.  Then, one visits in the front of the threshold of my home.  Then, I find a dead one laying in the front of the driver side door of my car.

Frogs symbolize shamanism.  Dragonflies signify spiritualism – the veils between the worlds thinning.  Cats used to be distrusted.  They can stand for cleverness or curiosity.  Death signifies change.

I will start by telling of something that has passed, that doesn’t matter anymore. It happened at the end of September and, still processing, I had not had the dream until recently.

In a perfect world, names don’t need to be changed for the sake of anonymity. Energy and information is free-flowing and ever-evolving.

There is a large mattress on the middle of the floor in this room I am calling mine, though it speaks nothing of my personality. There are folded clothes in stacks and piles everywhere in this big room with big windows in this old house that is not my own. The floors are wooden and scratched, but hardly visible.

The man, a one-night-romantic-encounter, has come to see me. He has come to talk. He lays on the mattress, but he is laying on the blanket and using the only large shirt to cover himself. I am cold and I feel like there is no place for me. I immediately accuse him of inconsideration and he gets up to leave. It has already turned ugly. He was going to give me a chance – a chance to explain myself. He is done with me.

I am livid, firing at full barrel. Following him closely and relentlessly firing. A young mute child with blond hair appears, apparently living in this giant house and subject to witness my uncontrollable outburst. I feel trivial, a trifling immature woman disregarded, that lives in a world of scarcity. The blond child is a testament that there is not enough room. The space is shared and I not granted the dignity of having my fit in privacy.

There is a woman calling up the stairs to the man I am arguing with. She teases him about me. He is annoyed. She is ignoring me, making fun of me and he is clearly not on my side. He is done with this and scoffing.

I catch up with him to say, “What? Now you are making fun of me?”

He says something to the effect, “This always happens to me. Women, even meaningless women, they start to like me because I treat them like treasure.”

And I wake but my mind is still in the fight.

“Treat me like treasure? I didn’t cum. I stood there with my pants off, desire laughably obvious. While you smoked and talked about how I should get dressed so someone wouldn’t walk downstairs and catch me. You sat there in the recliner, satisfied and disaffected, ready to fall asleep. That is why I left! I’m glad we had this talk. Go fuck yourself. Go to hell. Go back to thinking you are God’s gift to women.”

The accusations are only somewhat fair. In real time, he did say he wanted to please me. He asked me what I wanted to do. We were screwing. I was clenching my vaginal muscles because I was disassociating myself and trying to see from his perspective. I was focused on being the object of his desire, on consuming him like some femme fatale.

I was so horny that I needed a whole night afforded. I needed a bedroom. We had consummated on a friend’s couch.

Though I left without a word, I looked forward to a friend request on facebook. It never came. What did I expect? The man literally just got divorced for the second time. He has four kids. The stories from friends are sorted… Their break-up was over her cheating, or questionable finances or drinking problems.

Some people are better off single.  Some people are better off without you… if you lose your clarity, a precious lucidity, an ability to meditate.

Maybe I was wise to walk away and not to try to attempt to contact him for a month and why did I finally surrender my quiet dignity and reach out only to be ignored? I don’t need to be this guy’s rebound.

Expectation breeds disappointment.

I know better. When the horrible feelings of disregard rear, don’t engage. But in this dream… I did.

Sex and emotions don’t mix. Good God.

It’s no one’s fault. We are just dumb animals.

As I analyze the situation, I wonder why it made me upset. I somehow knew it was DOA but did I really believe it? There were suggestions of a compatibility that I’ve yet to experience until now. The hint of a sexual sadist in a swarthy complexion. The suggestion of a family man and his interest in the spiritual things I said, but not the boxes I fit.

I don’t like being with people that make me crazy. I like to maintain my individuality. I don’t like to lose it and I have before. I have lost my precious objectivity.

Let’s hope I’ve evolved past that. Or I can protect myself against it. More that I am willing to protect myself from it.

Maybe I’m just pissed because I did not win. Things did not bend to my will.  I have an occasional willingness to play with fire. Maybe it’s been too long and I’ve forgotten what a burn feels like.  Don’t play with fire when you become upset you can’t control the variables.  Thanks for the damaged pride.

I have been defeated. It’s the Sagittarius Sun and the Leo Moon working against the Scorpio Venus and Rising. I think I can be cavalier or I starve myself like a monk until I find myself at the precipice. I tell myself I can deal with the aftermath.

The truth is that no one else can love you if you aren’t loving yourself.

It isn’t that I don’t love myself.  It is that I moved away from my center.

All things fade with time.

Nick Polizzi from The Sacred Science sent this mantra to my inbox.

Just like me, you are seeking some happiness in your life.
Just like me, you are trying to avoid suffering in your life.
Just like me, you have known sadness.
Just like me, you want to be loved.
Just like me, you were once an innocent child.
Just like me, you are a spirit on a journey.

It’s not all bad. Just a week later I had a pretty great love fest with an ex – the kind you can only have with an ex.  The familiarity, the old ground in a new scenario and being alright with just being able to make one another laugh and being desired but wanting no more. We’ve been through the trainings. We’ve put our time in. You can do these things when you are both transient single and you already know your moon signs are not compatible. It feels good to remember a relationship that liberated us both, to an extent.

Grand halls of the dream world – municipalities this time. On yellow walls with repetitive white crests and windows that are much larger than this lifetime.  The functional metal staircase employs the corner. I get the feeling of library; artifacts, huge metal card catalogs that seem ancient now, islands of computers to mill about in search of data.  I’m telling you.  The light here is different.  It contains more white.  There is the flavor of a natural history museum; ethereal dust through sunbeams and wood baseboards and trim. The juiciest though is the expanse of it all, this sense of compelling discovery.

Now, it is November.  I start dreaming about skiing – or rather, the skiing metaphor.   Last November, I hiked up through one mountain dreamscape with a caravan of skiers. To the left was a narrow strip of treacherous terrain. Only an expert could handle the precipitous jumps, the jagged slabs, dirt sleeves, shattered levels.  In the beginning of the season it seems common knowledge that this is the task I am up against. I will tackle this course.  Because no one else seems to think anything of it, the suggestion is exhilarating.

The mountains were so preposterously monsterous but my vehicle would wind through, up and down, always alone, back from those slopes.  The land would be opulent – Aspen and desert at once.

At the end of the season another dream occurs. Skiers are dwindling back down the mountain carrying their gliders. The trek to the right that we ascended in the beginning of the season is acknowledged as downright extreme, suicidal even. Hardly anyone is expected to conquer it. What a let down! The fresh inhale, the wide open expanse of a new season is gone and in it’s spot… disappointment. Not devastating failure but the commonplace type.

This year I dreamed of being on a new mountain. I’m hiking up with this young and refreshing cool group. They are accepting me. They are advanced and the terrain feels wide open – a liberating type of fear. Then, a woman pulls me onto a thin path arched by pines on either side. I walk with the woman, a man, and some little kids. They seem nice enough, but I’ve been taken from the excitement and put in a meeker processional. I learn just before waking that we are all headed to the same place.

Riding the ferry back to New York.  Coming back from a friends’ performance art piece.  The waters below and ahead – luring like the dark of onyx and obsidian. The skies above are the same. A womb of expansive black with a thread of luminescent purple that vagues where the distant mountains breach the lake. It wouldn’t be noticed excepting for the contrast of the sacred backdrop of the void. The Asian tourists chatter excitedly in a different language at the bow as if on a party boat. They don’t brood the black. I stare into it like a soul that has been apart from it’s omnipresent night for lifetimes.  I know that not all can make a life underneath the surface.

My friend is brave and liberated.  She is encouraging and friendly.  She is a beacon in the circles of insecure sarcastic repressed creative hiders.  (Myself included.)  I have a friend I can trust with what is askew. A friend I can hash it out with, lay it out before, collage it so it makes sense.  A friend I can talk to.  A friend I can reconvene with. A friend. Things are not bad at all. Things are true.

More on water – this from Poe in A Descent into the Maelstrom. “I looked dizzily, and beheld a wide expanse of ocean, whose waters wore so inky a hue as to bring at once to my mind the Nubian geographer’s account of the Mare Tenebrarum. A panorama more deplorably desolate no human imagination can conceive. To the right and left, as far as the eye could reach, there lay outstretched, like ramparts of the world, lines of horridly black and beetling cliff, whose character of gloom was but the more forcibly illustrated by the surf which reared high up against it its white and ghastly crest, howling and shrieking for ever.”

Mesmerizing, until the whole head churns with the words, the whole story catapults one to a space -seeing a gray sea-wind against the wet of an eye and hearing it chime like bells or screech like birds. How is that achieved? I’ve come to believe the vocabulary of the 19th century writer to be far superior to the words used now. Their command of language is intimidating.

Reading Poe and Hawthorne and Sylvan Muldoon. Life’s jewels are too sparse and rich to be denied.

When hexed with the Evil Eye, periods of stagnation and infertility occur. Take the water from “over which both the dead and living pass.” Anoint the ears with the black flowing liquid to rid yourself of the Evil Eye.

I have my river. I have my bridge by the cemetery on which the dead and living pass. My own. No one else’s. I have performed the Egyptian Eye of Horus spell here for direction and abundance. And the same water, I use for another Eye spell.

Have I been hexed? It is possible. For good measure I have anointed my ears.

Does information flow and arrive at the destined time?

I went to the heart of the lake to submerge.
I watched a white finger with a beacon of curl
a life underneath.
Transfix my eyes to this shimmer.
A visible rhythm of a dispersing truth
Echoing outward from a central drop
All I am can be underneath and
The lady of the lake placed her hand on my heart and told me to breath.
She promises water will blow the eyes out and burst my lungs, my ears, my head
and my mind will fill with space.

For another time I will save the story of a certain drug that makes you aware you walk an alien planet.  The street lamps are alien against the black sky.  The clean lines here, the way the curvature of the Earth can be seen; this is alien.  The acquaintance beside me says he never felt like he belonged to the family he was born into.  He confesses Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill affected him.

When two outsiders confess themselves to one another on an alien planet when the black stretches infinitely underneath the pillars erected to hold the glowing balls that light our way to nowhere, we must remember these brief pockets of time when we connect.

No division. We all belong somewhere… maybe not on this planet, but somewhere. Grab these moments of rare connection.

And I need to look up the use of colons and semi-colons again.  I am abusing comas.  I am resisting an urge to fragment my sentences –  denying Kerouacian music.

All the stuff about the night jogging under the florescent lights, for another time.

D.J. Conway says in “Advanced Celtic Shamanism”, “… Celtic healers were aware of the possibility of soul-displacement or soul-fragmentation. The Brehon Laws acknowledged this and laid down a penalty for this loss, which can be caused by jealousy, great emotional stress or trauma, mental anguish, and even deep hatred. Although some of the symptoms are similar to those found in complete soul-loss, in this case only pieces of the fragmented soul are missing. To correct this problem, the healer-shaman is required to journey into the Otherworld and retrieve the soul fragments, returning them to the affected person.
There are certain characteristics that indicate possible partial soul-loss to the healer. These are: chronic depression; apathy that remains for any length of time; difficulty in resisting illnesses; memory gaps; mental disorientation; uncontrollable emotions; difficulty in reestablishing a normal life after a crisis, such as a death in the family or divorce; severe illness as a child; addictions in a person who wants to be free of them; constantly being discontented with one’s lot.”

Tailored just so.  I don’t think so.  My mind and emotions cycle at unrelenting speeds.  The input is ceaseless.  And it is only expressed through the trickle of a faucet.


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bone cruncher, sickening snap – may I have another?

It is not healthy to count the rejections. It’s not healthy to let an ear infection move under the surface and swell occasionally for a year. There are many things that are not healthy.

I’m not always an idiot, but when I screw up I screw up good. Self-love, bitch. You need some self-love, bitch.

I know I should have turned around and picked us up fast food for lunch, but I’m on the edge of town already pointed in the direction of home. I bring in 4 bags full of purchases from Walmart. (And may I say that their “Green Light” campaign to honor veterans offers no monetary benefit to said veterans but is an excellent way for them as a corporation to come across as respectful and compassionate toward the underprivileged while supporting the military-industrial complex and capitalizing on Stupid America’s eagerness to wear a color in support of every special interest group that exists. But hey, where else can I buy a telephone and pillows around here?)

That should be good enough, but it’s never good enough. My grandmother begins himming and hawing about how she was about to make herself a tuna fish sandwich. And I erupt.

“So make a fucking sandwich! I am not responsible for everything you consume! You are talking about it because you are wanting me to wait on you! I don’t need to hear about every friggin thing you put in your mouth! It’s constant! It’s all of the time!”

I don’t add, “I hate your Generic-Over-Televised-Over-Sensationalized-Desensitized-Tragic and Vapid America! I hate how much I have to be exposed to it because of you and your incessant television!” You don’t say these things when you are a guest in someone’s home. You don’t expect an 82-year-old woman to change.

“What is wrong with you?” she exclaims. “I didn’t know if you would be back. I didn’t know if you were eating downtown!” Etc., etc.

For just a moment I feel in the wrong, but the indignation reseizes.

Flash forward to later that evening. I am dressed as a hairy-freakish horned monster known as Pan. I am standing out in the woods with a bunch of college kids, hired as a scare-actor. As the sun leaves and the darkness moves to the ground, my glasses start to fog up which is a problem because my job relies on timing. I have to be able to see the customers. I have to be able to see the prey I’m chasing for their horrific benefit. I loose a lens out of my glasses into a pile of leaves on the ground after struggling with rubber foot-long fingers, a mask fitting oddly over glasses, breath and exertions equating blindness, and about an hour of darkness. It is really too much and I give.

Escorted and deposited in the office, I await clearance to leave. Finally, I am in the dressing room. The president come and asks me in a very understanding tone what is going one. Silly me. I am tricked into really discussing what is wrong. I confess that I am pissed that I am being paid almost half of what the college students around me are making. She proceeds to tell me to clock out. Then, she begins to proclaim loudly to everyone backstage that I am upset about how much I am being paid.

Honestly… Talk about a shit storm. I just want to be the hell out of there. I just want to leave. This isn’t the dramatic outburst of the diva or spoiled child.

This from Yael Yardeni, “According to kabbalistic tradition, Scorpio comes in three forms: the snake (spiritually in very poor condition!), the scorpion (so-so), and the eagle (the highest level). The scorpion is more evolved than the snake, but it is blind! It acts based on survival instincts and is plagued with insecurities and fears. More often than not, it enters a state of crisis with the potential to destroy everything that has been built. Definitely not what we would like to connect with! ” – See more at:

The leader, the creator, she tells me she is disappointed. Heh… Apparently, she knows my type. This should be a good guilt-inducing tactic. But she doesn’t know me or how I am a once noble knight but now soggy in the wet leaves, crusty, half-wiped off blood, pierced with lances, used and bitter.

My response is, “I am disappointed, too. What is new?”

It is the first year of their endeavor – this mythical land. It is a building year – a year of working out the kinks. I support it fully in theory. Yet, today, I didn’t see it coming… it wasn’t my intention, but I have entered the state of crisis and I am destroying.

Just be real, I tell myself. It all hurts too much. When I made my annual Grandaddy Power Period 40 wishes using the book “New Moon Astrology” by Jan Spiller she always recommends to make one particular wish. I always make it.

“I want to easily cut through any fears or negativity that may arise in the month following my Power Period, and emerge with flying colors.”

So this year is a doozy. Aside from blowing up at a boss, aside from the seeming inability to navigate several relationships, would you believe me if I told you I’ve been walking around with an egg getting ready to hatch inside my brain? And today… I did not expect it, but I could not complete a shift. I don’t know if these people understand this pinpoint between my eyes, how my eyes feel weak and diseased. And I dream of taking my head apart piece meal, like a potato head with real densities, textures and fluids. And maybe we’ll exchange some features like some sideshow genetic experiment that has surpassed the patience of humanity or God.

In a trance, I careen my car around the spaghetti corners that have dropped saner women than me into the lake on dark October evenings. The words come back to me. “What is wrong with you?”

What is wrong with me? How many times have I destroyed myself?

So much for the beautiful flowing trine between Venus and Jupiter today. I seem to remember some more monumental, less transient happening of the sky. Shit’s going down with Neptune and Uranus. Disillusionment and unpredictability.

The only thing that has been merciful this evening is this steaming water showering over my shoulders and I realize my head is being tightened in a vice. I wonder if I’ve had a tension headache all along. And soon, that tension settles into my shoulders. It does not improve with muscle rub, or yoga, or sleep or many day’s time.

My grandmother can be my best ally. She doesn’t ask me about the job I walked off. She says, “Something happens to your brain when you have an ear infection.” She is the wisest imbecile I know. I love her and can barely tolerate her at the same time.

Anger surges, then it dissipates. No matter. Sometimes the pressure is too much to contain and I erupt like a bottle rocket. Outside of myself, I can hear my clipped and seething rant and I don’t like the person I hear. Irritability. Frustration. Ego. There would be no problem if I didn’t expect people to treat me like I am important.

Just come to terms with peasant wretch. My shoulders are already rounding. I haven’t cut my hair in years – dead, wild, unmanageable, unstylish, unflattering. Skirting the hedges. Sallow in the sweat of plain loser.

I am only centuries past the accusation of witchcraft. If they stripped me in search of a third nipple, they would find it.
I fear for my future.

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How to become a Masochist: Chapter 13

Expect me… to… smother your soul.
So begins years of the Dionysus experiment.
Brazenly measure rejections with calculated detachment.
The mind of a scientist… The mind of a sociopath.
Devotion/ Is only of the moment. / Is undying in the moment./ Is eternal in the moment.
Take that sulky, the peering, the confined… whatever it is that I’ve imagined.
Stop being a timid child tied to the dark edges of a white cube.
Because the key that unlocks is this:
No one is concerned with you. They are too concerned with
And once that I operate under this truth, I can work the room.
The risk is nothing. The stakes aren’t there when you’ve decided that love is
elusive and eternal in only a moment.
Like Lady Gaga, on AHS – own the heartache, collect the heartache, become the heartache.
Burn enough to build a tolerance, to mute at will,
and be ready to discard, to break free of yet another
imprinted set of values.

Your skin is white. Your lips taste of wine and they move in a perfected way – sliding and subtle
Your eyes of a deepest blue, deeper than a sapphire because there is no translucence.
Only dead light, detached and I act it out.
Never sure which side of the coin. The desired or the usurper.
A jaded fragile object or the wonderous explorer who needs to be

So bring me to my knees so I burn alive again.

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In Support of the Subversive

When I pay attention to the world at large I feel crippled and sick. I need to keep my scope smaller. If I watch those around me, my friends, they are making their dreams come true in real time. If I need to find inspiration, it is not much further than those closest to heart. Television brainwashed me into instant-gratification, the clean and quick resolution. Yet, I’ve come to realize nothing is more regal than time. Shut the television off and become entranced by real time.

My intention for the new year is to focus on what is in front of me. The big picture is overrated.

I’ve been able to observe myself “falling” asleep.  One twist of the helix, only one rotation of the downward spiral that abruptly ends with the terminus of a death. The death of sleep that I’ve been conscious enough to resist. That I have been conscious to be violently jarred by. The breath has stopped? The brain has lost oxygen to come to a dusty forgotten and forbidden sarcophagus?

Something wonderfully comforting about dampening the shining light under a cloth. Concealing it under suits, brief cases, and gloriously autonomous Toyota Corolla’s. Like Clark Kent, the steed who closeted his superpowers. Hide the divinity of humanity under a uniform.  All acts of sort will hence forth by decree be accomplice by candlelight.

Watch for triggers because they are keys to self-analysis.  An acquaintance posted a meme.  “Hi, I was just wondering if I could interrupt your scrolling to ask, ‘Do you accept me?’ – Jesus.”  So these friends had commented “Yes!”  I reposted the image.  I said, “I feel like I’ve just been passed a note in school by Jesus.  Circle yes or no.”

The whole thing struck me as ludicrous and I couldn’t help myself; Jesus, as a teen looking for acceptance on Facebook.  I didn’t even go on the rant I wanted to.  I was going to say, “OMG  What do I do?  I mean, it’s Jesus right?  He’s the cutest boy in the whole grade!  What should I say?”

No one liked my post, of course. No one supports my open mocking of religion. I felt that certain way – that certain way you feel when you misfire on Facebook. Left hanging to be quietly judged by acquaintance and leaving friends to shy away uncomfortably. The righteous dignity is felt with the lack of response and the stiller the post remains, the more the guilt grows enveloping tendrils.

I did not want to offend the woman who posted it. Why? Because she is awesome! As a matter of fact, the few people I know who are very into whatever sect of Christianity they prescribe to (excepting Catholics) are awesome people. They are into community. They have fantastic attitudes. They are very kind. They are forgiving. And you can actually trust these people.

Yet, there is something in the cult mentality that has always filled me with unease. (Because there is enough argument in this post, I will not dissertate on the fact that Christianity is the largest cult in the world, complete with ritual sacrifice.) Sometimes there is this feverous superficial wholesomeness that I distrust. Hey, I listened to Counting Crows and fantasized about killing myself for about three straight years of my life. There is some inherent Emo here that cannot be denied.

The woman handled my post with complete grace. I am the one who has made things awkward. I am the one who should possibly apologize. (Though it may be a bigger offense to make a bigger deal of this.) I am the one who was initially offended. I will spend most of the rest of this post explaining how I became offended by a harmless meme about “Love.”

But notice how that works. I’m the one to apologize because it seems the world holds all other beliefs second to those of Christians. Well, at least those in America do. Or rather, that is a feeling that I get.

People like to bring up Jesus. Apparently, Jesus was a shepherd. Jesus herded sheep. Jesus herded sheep.

If Jesus did exist, I think he divulged a secret and it was grossly misunderstood. Jesus was a man but Jesus was God. He said it. “I am God.” And for some reason the sheep were herded to worship him when, in fact, he had just told them all that they were their own God, their own planet, their own universe in direct alignment and connection to the Source.

Astrology tells you are your own universe. Every planet in this solar system was at a certain position at birth and it fixed your settings. Like a lighting designer in the glows of a darker theater all dimmers were slid to a certain frequency and there they were programmed for a lifetime. You, perhaps left to operate at your own unique settings.

I am not telling you what to think about Jesus. I am not telling you what to think about astrology. (Astrology is far more ancient than Jesus, if you pay heed to such things.)

I wouldn’t want to offend you by telling you that you are God. Only a piece of God, but whole in your divinity. I wouldn’t want to offend you by telling you that you are the center of your own universe. If one regains their power then who is left to blame?

And ultimately, if God exists, who would have a better sense of humor?  I mean, look, whoever created this is probably getting a kick out of how fucked our everyday lives are.  If this “God” does not have a subversive sense of humor, quite frankly, I don’t want to hang with him at the local pub after Happy Hour has bled into ‘drinks on the observation deck.’

I’ll stop short of telling God to go fuck himself.  I won’t say it.  However, I would like to pose this question;  Does God use language?

Some would say, “Yes, God wrote the Bible.”  To these I say, “Go fuck yourself.”

I’m joking.  Lately, I just feel like I want to tell someone to go fuck themselves.

I would like to say that people wrote The Bible.  If asked for evidence, I would point to the discrepancies between the Old and New Testaments.  He who is Who Am certainly changed his tune, didn’t he?  From hell fire, locusts and flood to ‘turn the other cheek’ and wash that bum’s feet.  (Holy shit!  Maybe it is like high school!  What was being said wasn’t popular anymore!  It is a popularity contest!)  Does God bow to popular opinion.  Well, the newly elected and erected Bishop of Vermont is going to use Twitter to get some new followers…

Then they say, “Well, God spoke through prophets.  The prophets technically wrote The Bible.”  To which I say, “Exactly!  People are using language!  Not God!”  I would further like to assert that language only holds power for those who use it.    I will not tell myself,  “I am a loser who will accomplish nothing.”  Why?  Because it’s not true.  Because it feels like shit.  Because words have power; TO ME.

I’ve even forgotten what I started arguing about. Which leads me to my final point.  Do I think God cares about my Dualistic argument? No! Because ‘God’ is bigger. ‘God’ contains everything. So maybe God isn’t offended by my foul language, either. Humans express God through poetry. People express themselves to God through prayer, but God doesn’t express Godself with words. Maybe those offended by my language only include people.

Now, we could examine that whole thing. Treating others with reverence is revering God. Treating others with respect is respecting God. Treating others with regard is regarding God . But I’m already exhausted. (Truth be told, it is a quick one to resolve and it leaves me in the wrong so we’ll forgo it this evening.)

I would like to say one more thing about God, though. God can’t be expecting much from us. It’s like the public education system, testing a child on confusing advanced material when they haven’t been given the time or the teaching to absorb the fundamentals.  God judging because we can’t figure out the world we were given no answers for is the same. Well, there is the Ten Commandments. There are the teachings of Jesus. SAYS WHO? Who is God asking us to trust blindly?

The whole thing is most likely an exercise in manifesting.

So really, telling God to go fuck Godself is the same thing as saying, “I am screwed.” It is a skewed misconception of reality. The person who says this needs to take a vacation, a slow boat to China.

And God? Completely unaffected. That outburst was just a tiny ripple in the Macrocosm soon to be mollified and reabsorbed.

Yes. I was triggered by the Jesus post when I ignore so many of them. I was triggered because the more I think about religion the more I realize it is a tool used to manipulate people. It distracts from spirituality. Religion disempowers.

Those who had found power in themselves and the Earth were burnt as Heretics. Christianity was the first sweeping movement to separate humanity from themselves. The tag ‘Witch’ was applied to herbalists, artists, anyone who kept themselves away from the status quo. “Witches” were defamed, betray, humiliated and underwent enraging injustice. They were murdered, tortured and burned. So I can’t help but be biased.

Also, I can’t overlook such a preoccupation with female virginity. Such perversions harbor discrimination but also, something baser. The female orgasm is feared. The connection to the earth is feared. Man would like to harness and control – thwart the energy of creation.

And who is to say that Spiritual Warfare will not be declared again? Quite reasonable with “ascension” arguably occurring.

I think I am triggered by the Christians because here is a bright people; Here is a bright people who don’t read between the lines. They don’t know their past. Here is a bright people that don’t know my past, and I take that personally.

Understand me, I’m not dissing Jesus. As for those who truly adhere to Christian principle, I admire you.

Maybe this next time around, the Christians and the Paegans will unite. Those who divide and conquer will suck the big one.  And the only thing stronger than fear is hope…

The tree made me acknowledge this black hole of pain that I have been denying since December. The pain doesn’t necessarily have a source. The hole is gaping. It doesn’t appear to have a bottom. It’s color is absolute pitch. When I ask the tree to impart it’s wisdom, it gives me this pain that I have been denying. I see it. I feel it.

Mental agitation. And most seems to be about belief. Saturn in second house of belief and for January all about relationships for the Scorpion Rising.

Even if I am holed in the corner of my little box on top of the big world, I am still practicing relationships. I am still reacting to what someone has said or done or thought. I am still studying my interactions with this world.

Even in my dreams these days, I have been spending time with old friends and new. Usually my dreams are about remarkable (albeit empty) landscapes and me, the lone voyageur.

A litany of practicals of Where are we lodging? and How many miles will we travel?  and  What will we eat and For how much money?  The earth signs have their own shit storm.  Also exists a tumultuous roller coaster of emotional highs and lows brought on by a transit of water best described by the three-year-old that has missed a nap. The mixed exuberance and despair, the hurtling passions of spontaneous creative inspiration.  Let the fire flicker then fade with flights of fancy half realized, crashing down with head against the cold wood of table – a heap of abandoned projects.  Give me any of these but the mental agitation and eventual exhaustion of the air signs, the eventual white flag of surrender.

Because, unlike the rest, the air is ready to entangle you anew with each morning, each observation, each conversation.

They call it “mental” illness.  Not “emotional”illness, “practical”illness or “inspirational” illness. ‘Mental’ means the thought process.  Therefor, with this illness the thought process is hindered.  It is broken or scattered or it cycles in an unyielding, relentless, merciless centrifuge.  Constantly asking you to sort, compare, remember until your machine spat a thought into the wrong compartment where it had to be assimilated.  There a revolution occurred.  And this, this the idea you must cling to for your days.  A prisoner to your functioning or malfunctioning mind.

It’s like a train you can’t get off from.

We dream of dissolving the walls of our minds.  I dream of waking in someone else’s body and being able to get a different view.

I am psychiatrist.  I am a patient and my voice oozes in the calm rich that slithers, stalks, – hunts like a black panther over to this shiny red ottoman of slippery leather. From my own lips traveling into this own ear. How I hypnotize.  “Think in terms of concept albums. Think about the separate fragments that conjoin to make a cohesive whole. Think about that. Don’t think of anything else. Ignore the distraction tactics. Track the fire like an animal of the deep wood and relax into the walls of your own white magic.”

Words, precious words.

Words are brilliant when they are true.

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Unnatural Divisions with the Calender: A year in Review

It was the year 2014, only seen through the tunnel-vision to the past.

It was January 1st and I sat in my winged-back chair compiling my list of annual goals. There were twenty.

Would you like to review them with me, now? Those goals I compiled so long ago? If so, I can divulge my successes and incompletes. As Yoda would say: Evaluate, shall we?

I need to break these down into categories that make sense. OK, so how about: Ongoing goals. These will be the goals I made in 2014 that will be striven to be attained for the rest of my life. Like Goal #1. Listen, listen, listen. Did I become a better listener? Maybe. Was I ever a crappy listener? Not necessarily, but we can always become better listeners.

#7. Find a better way to motivate myself. Sometimes the only way to find something is to stumble upon it. I never really found a good way to motivate myself in 2014. I built some good habits, but that is different. It wasn’t until a couple days ago that I stumbled upon motivation for this new year. ( ) This article basically says that no one really cares if you are a good or nice person. People don’t care about what your dreams are. People care about what you are doing. I agree and I will let this motivate me. Thank you, It seems I get half of my food for thought from your smart-alec lists and commentary.

#14. List things I am grateful for, particularly when I am feeling low. Though I rarely did this on paper, I did it several times in my mind. It is a great habit and I intend to utilize it throughout my journey to the other side.

There are other goals that I look at now and I laugh at. Loftier goals and I pause, “What was I thinking?” #4. Become unconditionally constructive in everything I say. HA! or #16. Do not take family member’s problems personally. Yeah, right. I’m thin skinned and how can I not take it personally? It’s my family. It’s personal, right?

#6 Develop a spiritual curriculum. Great goal, but it pretty much would require my ongoing focused energy for five years. It would take not only immense time devoted to study. It would take tremendous discipline.

#9. Build meditation and yoga into daily schedule. Perhaps there was progress here. I have a stretching, self foot massage and visualization meditation routine I go through at night. It is called “Seven Minutes of Magic in the Evening” developed by Lee Holden. (I prolong it for at least a half hour.) It almost always makes me feel much better, yet I am not consistent. I will do it for a few days in a row. One night I will be too tired so I skip it. The next thing I know, I haven’t done my routine in a month.

Saturn, the Master Architect, has now moved into my sector of Belief. Now would be a good time to start really focusing on the yoga and meditation, the spiritual texts.

There were those goals that I had no problem accomplishing. Either they came without concerted effort or they were not the issues I thought they would be. #2. Expand my vocabulary. I’ve got to tell you, if you ever want to expand your vocabulary, start writing. Inadvertently, I also became a better speller. (Or rather, I’ve realized just how bad my spelling is. As the years progress, I become a worse and worse speller and lord knows where I would be without typing some letters into the search box awaiting the correct form to appear and set my frustration at ease). The English language is horrid. There are just so many ways a word can go.

#15. Establish better boundaries with friends. This didn’t turn out to be an issue. My friends were my source of joy this year. When I was able to spend time with them I was able to enjoy myself, remember myself. The only complaint I had this year was I would have liked to spend more time with them.

#13. Research and experiment a gluten-free diet. In spades! I took nutrition courses with Paula Youmell. Thank you, Paula! I now and forever will eat consciously. I enjoy food so much more and feel fantastic!

#12. Get knee care and healing. Get Medicaid. This was a two part goal. In 2013, I was experiencing knee-pain daily. The standing and power-walking from one wing of the school to the next was taking it’s toll on me. In September of 2014, I contacted a healer from Portland, Oregon. Thank you, Heather! I’ve been a huge Reiki advocate for awhile now, but I must admit I was a bit skeptical of distance Reiki. Rest assured, the pain dissipated! I am a convert! This past spring I started running every other day. I like to think I will be a runner for life. My legs ache, but both equally. There is no more centralized pain. It is the pain every runner deals with, like a badge of pride until they drop face down in the mud from an Asthma attack. My grandmother reminds me I am approaching middle-age.

Get Medicaid was the other part. Both times I went to screw with it, the online systems were rendered inoperable due to apparent overuse. I don’t count this as a big failure. What I believe in is alternative medicine and preventative medicine. I hate the way hospitals smell like the walls have been white-washed by baby food and urine. They look like they have, too. If I was buying a gallon of paint at Lowe’s for a hospital I would ask for Hospital Urine or Regurgitated Baby Food. I don’t trust hospitals or doctors of general variety. They may implant a tracking device under my skin. They may inject me with virus. Keep your obsolete disease tendrils. No Flu Vaccine, thanks. My campaign slogan is: “No healthcare? No big loss.”

I may sound paranoid, but just ask yourself if you honestly trust these people.

There are different varieties of animals that will hole themselves underneath a trailer. They will peer over their shoulder as they skit off into the bushes, slime and bugs in their fur. There are the type of animal that live on the next level above the floor. They peer over their hunched shoulders as they make for the back woodshed, slime and carcass in their twisted locks. These will not be going to the hospital. Salt of the earth I count myself among you.

There were those goals I failed miserably at but this sets the goal up for revision, if nothing else. I did not #17. Complete rough draft by June 1st, by writing or researching everyday. or #18. Get LinkedIn profile complete. However, my failure in these areas gave to examination of that same question of motivation. I was writing, but it wasn’t the novel I had wanted to finish. I’m not even sure that is the story I want to be telling right now, anyhow. We make goals but we must decipher muses. This professional profile is like a thorn in the side. This to is a question of approach. I need to not look at it like another job application I do not want to fill out. I need to look at it like a support system I have put years into building.

There were goals that I accomplished yet I still wish to revise. #10. Be prepared prior to next Christmas with thoughtful gifts and less commercialism. This one is loaded. The thing is; it’s not the lack of thoughtfulness that foils me. It is always the finance. It doesn’t matter how much time or consideration goes into a gift when you can’t scrounge the money together for it until the last moment. So much for preparation when there is no money to buy that time.

It reminds me of gardening. I think, “Oh, I’m going to do it all myself, be this powerhouse.” Maybe what is at the root of this is that I need to learn to be more clever, more resourceful. So it isn’t just the planning… it’s existing inventory counted. It’s creativity and ingenuity. It’s the seed swaps and the compost heaps and taking all the rotting wood in the shed and designing some sort or five tiered tower of edible plant. I think what is at the heart of this goal is that I want to become a master of repurposed materials. I want to become a genius at it. I want to become one of those freaks of nature on Pinterest with a backyard that looks like it’s off the show HOARDERS. “No, no really. I will be able to use that at some point.” Some people are born great, others will decay in a junkyard, BURIED ALIVE.

But don’t matter how much you plan when you don’t have the initial money for investment! Time and money will rob you of you cleverness, sly fox.

I would have grouped this under the Ongoing Goals however my plan to cut consumerism sort of worked. It just hadn’t realized I had to factor in exceptions. I baked cookies like I always do. Everyone enjoys the cookies. I even added rice flour and sucanet instead of sugar, in consideration of my brother’s heart and in exhibition of my new knowledge. My sister loved them. She wanted the recipe. I made a simple healthy butternut squash soup. My sister-in-law loved it. She wanted the recipe. I went to this treasure of a sprawling bookstore out in the woods of the Adirondack approach. I found them books. They were happy enough with them and my gift was also the travel and the gas mileage to see them. So, so far so good.

Not so with nieces who are still into princesses. When you have a seven year old niece there are exceptions to the commercialism cut goal. I wrapped her up this Nordic book from the 70’s about a boy who made shadow puppets then shrunk and entered their world. It was a really imaginative story and I thought it would capture her imagination. When she opened it she was disappointed. Because I am Aunt B, she expected something awesome. I brought another present for her birthday, but it did not come off as a present because it was a project for us to do together. I had duct taped a cigar box and she and I were decoupaging pictures of canyons and grand landscapes on to hold her rock collection. Last year there were Monster High Dolls. The family birthday party was bigger with more presents last year. My brother and sister-in-law already do so much. My sister was taking my niece abroad to Prague for Christmas. So, there weren’t many presents to open. Plus, I don’t believe any of us want to bludgeon my niece with the out-of-perspective materialism my mother always carries for baggage. Speaking of her, I believe my niece was also missing my mother who hadn’t made it. She seemed ready to cry. She went to bed with a stomach ache but my sister read her the shadow people book. They said she liked it.

My niece is lucky. I realize that. She deserves it, though. She is sweet and special. All kids deserve to be treated like the cherished only heir to the bloodline. We celebrated in the daytime by going to the movies. She got a Flicker (from my sister’s ex). It is a scooter you sway side to side on to make go. It is quite a piece of equipment and we all had fun trying it out. My sister was giving her a birthday party with her friends on the following weekend. My sister and her boyfriend were taking her to Czech Republic for the lights festivals. The kid is not hard up.

But I did have a realization about my own place as an aunt. The disappointment is not worth any experiment of ideals. Childhood flies by. Before we know it, she will be making off to her room as quick as possible to play her music and computer. There will only be a few more years of that certain type of excitement. Sure, it’s not completely unselfish. It makes me feel good. So, I’ve redefined the goal. I will continue to indulge myself by indulging her.

There are some goals that took care of themselves. #8 was to Do a personal makeover. What can I say? I felt completely uninspired. I could not think of a hairstyle I wanted to commit to and let my hair grow longer and longer like the bird watching, semi-pagan rocking-roller that I am.

I lie basking in my own body odor over Christmas vacation. Even the Thai Crystal will not neutralize my hairy apish arm pits. It wasn’t one of my goals to become a dirty hippy this year. Yet, here I am. Languid in my bed, rubbing underarm juices onto my finger and sniffing it. I’ve done it five times because I can’t decide if it is intoxicating or revolting. Let’s face it, too many showers dry the skin. I’ve had nowhere to be. No one to see today aside from my grandmom and she has been exposed to hippies way dirtier than I am.

Speaking of crunchy hygiene alternatives, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by using Tom’s All Natural FENNEL toothpaste. Unless you are fond of tasting licorice and acquiring raging thirst right before bed. If this is your bag, I recommend the Fennel.

I was toothpaste shopping in Rite Aid this past summer, thinking a drugstore’s selection is far superior to a supermarket’s. Here I stand with all of my options that are probably manufactured by the same two companies. There is an older-than-me couple facing the same options. The woman is irritated that they do not have her toothpaste. She fusses, not in an unbecoming way, but in a measured- a truly upset way. I, in my mind’s eye, thrust my pointed finger at her, exclaiming, “Ha! TAURUS!” Only a Taurus would become this distraught over toothpaste. Two vital things have been compromised; her sense of comfort (lacking the toothpaste she always has in her daily routine) and her precious paramount expert taste buds. Her significant other, (still able to remember his bachelor days as an experimental consumer), is about to grab a tube. She begs with this sad sort of resignation, “Please, don’t get that toothpaste.” She turns away in her quiet dignity and leaves us behind in the aisle. He puts the toothpaste down and follows her.

I shall have an easier time picking toothpaste. I am carefree bachelorette, always willing to explore options. I grab something that looks more promising than the others.

At home, I’m disgusted when I taste the toothpaste. I can’t even deal. I’m disgusted when I retry an old discarded tube I had abandon because it did not taste good the first time I tried it. How do people use this in their mouth? It tastes like poison. I believe it to be the fluoride. It’s not just the plight of Taurus! I have a problem with toothpaste, too! I’ve joined the ranks of the particular toothpaste shopper. I will now turn from the aisle in despair. (Well, aggravated impatience is more my style.) Never doubt a Taurus when it comes to discerning the creature comforts. They shall be the first to pronounce the disparities between toothpastes, and the rest of us shall follow suit.

So the quest for perfect underarm neutralizer/ deodorizer and toothpaste continue. However, I did find some things worth sticking to. I developed an unshakable affinity for both Dr. Bonner’s Shampoo and Elderberry Juice. I’ve come to like the the peppermint buzz on my scalp. I’ve come to like a more gritty or congealed texture of hair. It may not look as clean, but the body is thicker and the smell is shampoorific. I’ve come to gulp watered down Elderberry Juice like a kid from the projects gulps down Kool-Aid. How did I live so long before discovering this?

Saturn left my rising sign just before Christmas. Astrologer Kelley Rosano says, “Celebrate! Exhale in relief!” I say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out!”

I’m kidding. Saturn leaves gifts if you’ve learned the lessons it has confronted you with – if you’ve managed the restrictions with grace. I am healthier and that is an essential foundation for everything else I must face as the wheel of the zodiac turns. If I have not gained anything more than dietary knowledge and practice, a love for running, a respect for the time I need by myself, and a discernment of hygiene products, I have gained an immense amount!

I’m reminded of Jim Morrison at the end of “Ghost Song”. “Where are the feasts we were promised?” my friend Sean recited spacey late at night in their kitchen. These are the gifts. These memories of friends that always stick with me. The gifts are often subtle. The gifts are ghosts. (Insert something here about Chekhov to appear sexy.)

Everyone is filled with the spirit of self-improvement during this season. Do it this way! Do it that way! Have patience. Go after it. Take no prisoners, but don’t go against the flow. Relax. Take initiative. Heed it all. It is a delicate balance. And above all, make mistakes.

I think the reason to make New Year’s Goals is not so much in the attainment. Yes, it is wonderful to have the extra guidance of a list. It is very good to be chasing something. The real value comes though, when you find you have something on which to evaluate your passed year from. It is a tool to measure your own growth, in the expected and unexpected ways.

The beautiful thing is it may not work out as expected.

Do I worry my writing is hokey with trite Pollyanna values tied neatly in, designed to be discredited the next time I post in a bad mood? Yes. Do I question whether my ideas are original enough, that I’m unconsciously employing glib and transparent slogans from elsewhere on the internet? Yes. I’m trying to be funny. I’m trying to be real. I’m trying to be vulnerable, but Yes. There is doubt. I worry I am self-absorbed or dull. This article may seem anal, recounting each and every goal. Yes. However, I wrote it. I fucking DID it. (Me and the fucking Chief Editor over at – We fucking DID it.)

If you are wondering where #3, #5, #11, #19 and #20 are, then you are good with numbers.

I just need to finish the damned article already. It’s taken blasted days. My feelings and perspective change everyday. I feel like I should have written three more articles before I’ve even finished this one. So please, no more fine tuning.

I kind of write this blog to keep track of myself anyhow… and to evaluate my experiences. If someone else can get something from it that is a bonus.

As I get ready to head back to the public education system again, I am comforted by this storm that rears. I walk feeling the resonance with tall, aged tree.. decaying but still monumental against the rolling clouds. I realize that the weather is always right. It is always fitting. It reminds me that things are always evolving as I head back to that dead end tomorrow. I realize there is something much deeper than this whole article. That is, that I belong with the enchantment of nature. I am deeper than all of this.

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Entrapment and the Bone of Contention

Comedian Marc Maron interviewed singer and guitarist extraordinaire St. Vincent (Annie Clark), recently on his WTF podcast. I was flirting with Marc Maron on the porch of a cafe just a few nights ago in a dream. Then, we were ambushed by college students. Two weeks prior to this dream, I was watching a performance of Annie Clark’s song Rattlesnake and staring at the wall where hung the watercolor snake I painted. That night I dreamed of the venom from the boa-rattler hybrid that was sealing the blood in my veins to cement. So, naturally, when I saw he was interviewing her I had to listen.

“Follow the power lines back from the road,” St. Vincent starts the song Rattlesnake with. Follow them back through the desert. See where they lead. Take up these threads. Follow to see where they unravel, to examine the heap left with.

My dreams or some weird act of synchronicity lead here. I listen as if to the Three Witches in Macbeth. Spin an ambiguous riddle, cast a spell to blind me or bind me to a foul prophecy. Press me to act from superstition.

If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear
Your favours nor your hate.
Macbeth I.iii.60-64

(Way to quote Shakespeare, you pretentious asshole!)

Witches seem to chant through the speakers in a podcast from a garage out west. Annie Clark talks about getting back from managing Tuck and Patti’s European tour. Her sister suggests, “Get a job at Starbucks, and save some money.” In the garage out west, in hindsight, both Annie and Marc reel at the thought. They cannot fathom the idea of punching the clock and filling orders for the pressed-upon masses, and making money for an expressionless corporation. Marc Maron says something that grabs me in his idiosyncratically consumed and driven vernacular. “What people don’t realize, is that it is never a choice. We are just compelled to do it (art /performance). We can’t even worry about the things others worry about.”

And like that… I am down in the dumps. If a true artist has an undeniable urge to pursue their dreams, so much, in fact, that they cannot concern themselves with bills and habitats, where does that lead me? If I was going to do something I would have done it already.

“Hold up, chump!” I admonish myself. “Not necessarily. Sagittarians are infamous late bloomers.” I’ve had a lot of shit to muddle through in this life, too. I recall a conversation with friends. I said, “Sometimes I wonder what I might had been by now if I hadn’t had a turbulent early life, if I had had more support.” (Me all of 36 years, swooning and pining over the span of wasted time.) In so many words my friends responded. “It is the people that have gone through pain and struggle that are the ones who possess that something. Those who have witnessed more of the human struggle and have been exposed to more of the human psyche (in all it’s violent and glorious colors) possess an undeniable edge.” I deem my friends “The Oracle’s Mouthpiece.”

Go back to that persnickety placement. With a North Node in Virgo and a South Node in Pisces, this time around my life is about service and learning details. The last lifetime was about being an artist. Pisces is my comfort zone, but it is stagnant and by no means the path to my bliss. (If you are wondering about the nodes: The north node represents your soul’s aspirations, the way in which your life must move to be fulfilled. The south node represents what you have already conquered in previous incarnations, what is naturally ingrained though little provoked. Your south node is always the exact opposite sign of your north node.)

Say hello to the customer service smile. Say hello to the pressure of kitchen work on the fragile mental confines and the knees. Say hello to trying to enforce rules and regulations to middle and high-schoolers when it isn’t even clear if the regular teacher does so. Say hello to checking their whereabouts after giving them a pass. Say hello to following-up the details. Say hello to cooking and waiting on family members. Say hello to being paid in breadcrumbs. Say hello to a life of servitude.

As I recall, I have been bequeathed the short end of the stick. I need to look at the nodes again.

I clicked the first thing that came up on my Google search. Ahh, the Divine Intervention works through the interwebs. Ahh, and here the Divine Intervention works through Astrologer Celestina. This must be the best information I have learned about the nodes here at and I am not so sad anymore.

Right away some optimistic light is shone. “Many people born with the north node in Virgo placement choose writing or poetry as a career. Famous examples include Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, Kurt Vonnegut, and Percy Shelley.”

OK. So maybe I have been banished from the art kingdom, pushed out from too many lifetimes with paintbrushes, mind-expansive drugs and general and specific lunacies. I will agree. I possess an unfounded and inexplicable confidence in my artistic capacities, an undeserved confidence. It all seems so simple… even boring. If I spent enough time, I could replicate another’s visual art. Mine, however, lacks that spark of inspiration that is the only crucial element of a piece. Banished from the galleries I may be, but not banned from self-expression, not banned from a craft. I can write.

This placement touches on something more troubling than a question of self-expression. I have been wondering why I seem to attract these people who want my sympathy. I live with someone who is a chronic complainer. For the most part, I take the negativity as so many grains of salt but the constant ploys and pleas for my sympathy are taxing to the point of exasperation. What does she want? “There, there. You poor thing.” Really? And why me? Why do people want my sympathy when I have so very little?

Celestina explains the plight of the Pisces South Node. “You will find a constant distraction in others’ sufferings. In fact, you feel the pain of all those around you as a result of so much suffering yourself in a past life. Only when you begin to discriminate between those whom you can really help and who deserve your help and those who are beyond saving will you make any progress in your own life. If you have let others drain you of your energy so that your own plans and schemes have suffered, this is your South Node dragging you down. Begin to use your intellect to rule your emotions and you are on the path to happiness.”

I must be doing something right. I must confess I have a low tolerance for bullshit. It weighs on me easily, but I refuse to haul it for others. I don’t like feeling sorry for people who give up and expect me to pick up the slack, expect me to fix them. People are perpetuating what they complain about in endless cycles. I have no patience for those disconnected from their own empowerment. Why am I attracting this when I feel I do not broadcast feelings of sympathy or even patience?

“People will try to rely on you, for you still radiate a strong compassionate nature which draws others to you, especially the weak and hopeless.”

In varying degrees of true helplessness and shameless pity-mongering; The beloved great aunt who wants me to take part in her stressful environment. She is dying and being taken care of by her drug-addict daughter. The doe-eyed children with curls and filthy pajamas in the mechanics garage, abandoned to a waiting room while their negligent father works on a snow-mobile, leaving a two and three year old to wait for hours with not even so much as a toy to play with. The grandmother who sinks further and further into a funk. Taking advantage of all I will upkeep as she keeps her ass pasted to the chair and her eyes glued to the television. The lover I took who was much more comfortable with the weight he placed on me than I was.

(I won’t even begin to discuss how the placement of these nodes in the 11th and 5th houses cause me to only feel comfortable as a solo act, but perhaps this is one reason I am able to wade through the garbage with more ease.)

The St. Vincent interview paints Texas in a warm and welcoming light. It makes me think of the music scene in Austin. My mother lives near there. I would be met there with enthusiasm. My mother paints a bright future and tries to entice me over the phone. She has always lit my dulled reality with hope like only a partial sane person can. I love my mother, and yet I know. My mother has always been a liar. She is quite possibly a narcissist. Have I learned nothing? She has always known when to strike; at my weakest. And this, this the person I would move toward?

An irrelevant Crowded House song plays, but in it the lines, “Stripping back the coats of lies and deception. Back to nothingness, like a week in the desert.”

In the past, there had always been opportunities to arise. There were friends to encourage and sponsor my up-rooting. No such opportunities present these days. I know the west is ill-advised, possibly a trap but I am already caught in a trap.

Speaking of people perpetuating what they complain about in endless cycles, here is my pattern. I move away from home. I start anew. I do my best but my best isn’t good enough and I land with family once more. Family becomes toxic and I become desperate to leave. I look for the opening. I look for light from the crack of an open door.

Maybe this would just be a move that makes sense. Maybe I don’t need to curse myself for being weak or stupid. Bigger cities mean more jobs. There are many other family members too that would be welcoming and happy to see me, maybe even supportive. As Sheryl Crow simply put it, “I think a change will do me good.” Maybe this is the inevitable next chapter.

The witches’ bony and gnarled finger turns and curls slowly beckoning me to the west, to the desert.

“It is important for the north node in Virgo to pay close attention to detail. This will help you make good decisions and drain the swamp of your tumultuous emotions. You are here to develop your mind and learn discrimination. This requires you pay close attention to the world around you. If you fail to focus, you will find yourself mixed up in a series of misunderstandings or even tragedies. The universe will not support you in glossing over things or going with your gut feeling any longer.”

So I must give more detail on the path to further fulfillment. I must focus. I must pay attention to the world around me.

There are so many stories, so many more details.

Always more stories. Always more details.

When I was attending college, I had an adviser with a scrolled plaque over the door to his office. Rather cryptically it read, “The Servant of Two Masters.” I had always assumed this was from an didactic Shakespearean play that I was not familiar with. I wasn’t a big fan of this man, Professor Horan. He had a bony face covered with a white beard and eyes that leered out through the sockets. I always felt he was smirking at me, amused somehow by my ridiculousness. I would have loved to be let in on the joke. Every semester I would come to his office with my schedule already planned. Every query of his I answered. I had it figured out. Fool-proof and water-tight, I just needed his signature.

I remember how he pounced gleefully when I was the only one in Scene Design class to fall for the Hedda Gabler trap. Because of something to do with a gun cabinet, the stage direction only allows for one possible set up. Too eager to be creative, I had overlooked what was on the page in front of me. He shot me down in front of peers that I had wanted to be accepted by. I had been pleased by my design simply because of the time I had put into the well-crafted sturdy cardstock model. I don’t recall being praised for that, even though some students had made slap-dash models of drooping poster board that couldn’t have taken more than twenty minutes to make. I just recall practically being jeered for what I had done wrong. I wonder how many times Professor Horan taught that same stale lesson. When was the last time he used some creativity with his own curriculum? What he did do was sit there with his trap, waiting for a naive dumbass like me to snag.

Years later when I was stage managing for Vermont Stage Company, a couple of the actors were excited to find we shared our alma mater. They gushed over Professor Horan and tried to illicit the same reaction from me. I answered bluntly, “He never did anything for me.” Wayne (this exceptional professional actor that had graduated the decade ahead of me) said in this dead-serious voice, “Brooke, Professor Horan died of a brain tumor a couple years ago.” It didn’t make me recant. I merely responded, “Oh, I didn’t know that,” leaving us all to feel awkward with one another for the duration of the play. I realized Professor Horan was probably a different man when Wayne and Ellen had passed through the drama department. They thought he was the shit. They had some good memories. I recall one of my own peers exclaiming, “I found a whole new respect for Professor Horan when I saw him pull up to the back door on his Harley!” Professor Horan also mentioned the Guthrie Theatre fondly as if his happiness was glimpsed only through the halcyon mists of the past. It was another place and another time which no one present could understand. To me, this guy was nothing more than “there” for my education. My profound monetary investment clearly was not his own.

Still, Professor Horan was adored. He had a happy life with his wife. His daughter was the apple of his eye. It was clear. There were students that loved him. He was an acquired taste. When I think of fandom, I would much rather have a cult following than be mainstream.

Recently, I looked up “The Servant of Two Masters.” It turns out it is an Italian comedy of errors in which the main character becomes a servant for two different masters so he can eat twice as much. A guy who talks wistfully about a theater in Minnesota, a guy who names his daughter Dakota, a guy who cuts out the engine of his Harley and hasn’t updated his curriculum in years, seems like he may want to be somewhere else. One of Professor Horan’s masters must be himself. The other must be the institution he serves. Though no one deserves a brain tumor, I find it hard to feel sorry for this guy. Maybe he wanted to be in the Midwest, maybe he wanted to be free. Still, it could be worse. Being paid well to be in an environment where intellectualism is encouraged to grow doesn’t seem so very bad. Still, what no longer works, no longer works. One becomes stifled and no matter how many masters you are operating under, a chief one must always be yourself.

I’m not sure why I told this story. I guess just because I was thinking of servitude. Maybe it exemplifies the lesson I have been taught over and over. “I am much happier when I do not expect accolades.”

Maybe the moral is that, in my ignorance, I thought the play was a tragedy when all along it had been a comedy. Here I should insert some flowery bullshit about how that directly correlates to life.

I wonder what Professor Horan would think if he ever read this essay. I wonder if he would snarl at it with his sarcastic smile. I wonder if he could bare to mumble one nice thing about it or if he would only be studying it for the mistakes, perversely set on snagging me in another trap.

You read this story as you watch the witches at the cauldron. You wonder, “Do these disjointed ramblings hold any truth, any prophecy? Do all of these random threads ever tie together?”

In turn I ask, “Have I betray enough detail? Have I painted a picture? Have I given enough to keep you? And why should I care about keeping you when your own investment in me has been so small?”

In the end, there is no answer and that’s what’s funny.

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The Allegory of the Cave

We drive up this cratered and furrowed path. It can’t be called a road, really. Aliens must have dug long thin trenches. Only wandering gypsies and displaced refugees must make their way over this. He’s brave- not afraid of bottoming out the car. Were it my car, I would chicken out.

A paltry white blanket of snow has been laid over Owl’s Head, enough to make our ascent treacherous and slick. I live northwest of this mountain, only an hour away and we haven’t seen snow yet. Suddenly the spell of winter is cast and I find myself happy to be in this trance.

But this… This mountain is exhilarating and maybe a bit of a bad idea. The first winter’s hike in the crisp cold air will hopefully not be the last.

Subdued hues because shades of grey and shades of white are vague. Purified air saturated with oxygen. Those inhabitants of earth will remember how they could breath an icy river, how they could hold it in their lungs.

The beauty is the understatement. Winter makes no assumption of me, except the deepest one. Do not speak unless your words are measured with years of space between them. Better yet, stand on the back porch alone. Drag off a joint. Stare and soak a white field whose forest line asks nothing. Know that you can wait the rest of your life for a lone bird to fly over. Once it happens, let it go forever into the universe. Tell yourself that I cannot hold it. Tell yourself that only time can hold it and the moment has passed. There is “nothing” in winter. There is a mutual respect between us. Only winter possesses a grand expanse to run the jagged edges of my mind against and a patience that I crave, a patience that I have been denied.

Neither one of us have the proper footwear for this mountain, but I am zealous and he is a good sport.

Without preamble, I start to tell him of the time I crouched in the bathtub praying for all of the lines of electric yellow light to stop. I could see them everywhere like string theory connecting everything. My mind had opened too wide.

He tells me of this woman 10 years his senior who once excused herself politely from conversation, took up a shotgun and began to blast inanimate objects across the back lawn. I can tell by the gleam in his eye that was fun to watch. He loves crazy. He loves crazy women.

Approaching the summit, there is a cave drilled into the side of this mountain. He shines his cell phone so we can pick our way across the litter raising off the wet floor. He says the cave makes him angry. The cave is not more than thirty-feet deep. “Why begin to drill a cave if you are only going to give up?” he wonders.

Still moonshine can be stowed. Slaves can be harbored as they make way toward Canada, forced to push even further from their home.

The definition of an allegory is a story, a poem or a picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning. It was Plato who wrote “The Allegory of the Cave.” The captives of the cave are left to misinterpret the shadows that move across their only plane of vision. The game becomes guessing the next shadow to approach. A clever captive may be deemed a master of nature but it’s just a guess, just a shadow. A captive that escapes to come back to tell the truth of the shadows will be ostracized. The guessing game was useless and the truth inexplicable and misunderstood.

But it wasn’t some glimpse to the other side that sent me to a psych ward. It was a grueling bout of depression, an impossible situation, and an impervious doctor who eyed me like a lab rat, upping my dose of anti-depressants.

He has been there, too. He has done his time but he doesn’t want to elaborate. How can I judge when they have already placed us into so many boxes?

In this dream we are younger. I am sixteen. My sister is maybe five. It is daytime. She doesn’t have a real bed but there are blankets and pillows made up for her in the corner of a room on the floor. I see an enormous boa constrictor rustling through this bed. It rattles it’s tail. It is a boa-rattler hybrid. I tell my little sister to stay far away, very concerned for her safety. I grab the snake by the throat and start to squeeze violently. I feel it crush in two separate snaps. With each break, I feel a new wave of venom entering through my skin. I think I have killed the snake and I throw it to the floor. I lose sight of the snake. It’s mangled carcass may be tossed in my sister’s pink polyester comforter, but I’m not positive that it is dead. My mom is working at an office and I call to tell her what has happened. I tell her that the veins in my arm are hardening. They are protruding and my blood is caught by a seizure of stone. I tell her I think I need a rescue squad but she keeps asking me questions about what happened. Her tone is conversational.

The girl who tries to kill a snake is the girl who is afraid of change. The moral of this dream parable is that in trying to kill the change the venom went into her system just the same. The crushing contact of the girls bare hand against the reptile scales provokes the same transforming poison as the snake bite. All attempts toward the serpent, the harbinger of change – futile.

And what do we learn from the cave? We learn all attempts toward knowledge are futile. We learn to examine nothing. We learn to accept nothing.

When you just lose yourself in this expanse of life for a while, this is the time when you write something that is really good. When you start to no longer believe in the fairy tale of success, then you can write something good… something true.

The first night I sleep beside him I dream we are together on a tiny army cot pushed up into a corner of a room with abrasive dark paint and these blaring white lights… the type of room in big old creepy houses made into creepier quarters for college fraternities. He is on the bed but before my eyes his features are changing. First, subtly through what I believe to be tricks of light. Then, more terrifyingly through obvious morphing. It is revealed he is a wounded wretch of a girl, not unattractive but upset she has been exposed. She tells me to back away. I tell her that I am not displeased that this is what she really is. I sit at the other end of the bed b/c she doesn’t want me near her face. She tells me that I too am not what I seem. I don’t think I have morphed so I wonder what it is exactly that she means. I wonder what I could morph into. I try to form the sentence, “what did we take that fucked us up so?” because I feel like I’m on acid… or something. But I cannot form the d sound. I cannot say “did”. My brain and my mouth struggle and struggle to say the sentence. It is even worse than a stutter. I finally find that I can get the sentence out nearly comprehensible with only minor jumble if I whisper it quickly. The girl answers me that it was the tea that is fucking us up. I know it can’t be the tea.

I’m taking my time with this one. I tell him the dream when I am ready. He reveals he dreamed me before we had ever met. He was astounded the first time he saw me because he had three nights of successive dreams featuring me.

The first dream is where we meet at a party and have a one night stand and from this one night we procreate a daughter. On the next night, he is the one taking care of her, trying to get her to stop crying and I am nowhere to be found. In the third night, there is a disaster. He is losing. He is going down so he sends the daughter off with a friend of ours, hoping that he will look out for her.

He dreams me a negligent mother before we ever meet. He avoided pursing me for months because of this dream.

Examine nothing. Let the jagged lines of our minds (conscious and un) run against the flat expanses of winter. Let the grey air hush and release time like a stretched wingspan.

The void. The void is the point of transition where you feel suspended in the air with tires spinning out under you with nothing to pull traction from. The void.

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Haunted Houses and Dream Country Lost

A tempest tossed through the trees that morning. The light cast had a preternatural tint that occurs evanescent before storms. Evocative of something that can’t get a finger put upon. I never sit out front of the trailer, but on this morning I sat out on the step with a Yerba Mate. There is no companion like the comforting cup of earthy tea on a windswept morning where something breathes in the hair of the trees. It is fuel to my soul and it is these brief moments that I must feast upon with every sense.

Zombie attacks! I understood I was not myself. I was a man and I was seeing through his eyes. It lacked the terror, as if I understood this graphic grit to be the stuff of gleeful overdramatics. I feel I’m becoming lucid during the zombie dreams more and more. Zombies are far-fetched so I realize that it’s not real. These zombies were unquestionably powerful and a bit quicker and nothing occupied them but their typical bloodlust for brains. I enjoy the gratuitous violence of a zombie dream and the colors hold their own. Darker shades… browns, maroons, denims with slashes of dirty gold. Think of dried blood. Think of a film shot in a rich grained, high quality. You can see subtle points of light and shade in an interwoven texture. (Like when I see the twinkles and sparks in intricate pattern, reacting with my interface to reality.) No longer sure where the fight lies, who has “turned” – it’s all bad. Comic book ice cream.

I become heavy-hearted. The bombast of daydreams piling atop one another, left in a heap to shrivel under a cold diffuse light, left to shrivel to the dwindled time of the ticking clock. Oh, to attempt such feats in the waking day? To translate my dream world through graphic illustrations – my magic concealed in the closed covers of a comic book. These antiquated maps must be studied. A cartographer with pencil behind ear, scrolling, unrolling, drafting – drawing up the lay of the land in a world neither past, present or future. I never noticed a trapdoor there before! To start an unrehearsed passion with wood, with texture, with material. There must be time to rip out these eyeballs and sew in something new? Become lost in the design of a genius or a madman – a madwoman?

There is a college town I live near. It changes it’s hue when I travel dream country. The river bends differently from plain day and the sky is never light blue. Walk through the elongated frozen yogurt store punched with yellow walls and a gorgeous syrup lacquer over a cherry and blond floor, gloriously void of blinding letters and viperous words, out the back door to peruse down a boardwalk. Nothing is washed out here. (Though to make a comment so perpetual is a death sentence in dream country.) The storefronts are built over this twisting wooden promenade with the roaring black water not far below. No Coney Island. No Jersey shore. A boardwalk on a river – even better than the real thing. Only a mighty construct could stand immobile against these hydraulic forces. Underneath, with tunes of black and chords of gray the swift river stampedes with the power of riotous horses.

In dream country, there is a light that is always burning in the dead of night. In this place people seem to move with intention but not with the intention to survive. The numbered buildings qualify it as a city. The inhabitants, though far between, at once hold no significance and hint of a possible future encounter. That a future of possible consequence is left unaddressed and unimportant suits me to a tee. Where I live always under a forgiving night sky, I am concerned with discovering and always discovering. The quest is to find the hidden light.

Tonight, I hike upward toward the campus with my mother. In the harsh light of reality, we would be walking a concrete sidewalk lined with utility buildings and townhouses in various arrays of upkeep to the singular sprawling dormitory of brick at the state university I used to attend. The clock tower is meant to be stately but the buildings are multiplied brick boxes. In dream country, the uninspired dimensions are left behind. If houses exist to our left they are intrusive in no way. What does impress is hiking upward toward a remote campus with several uniform smaller, multi-storied buildings of grey weather-beaten wood. This is a destination and here no road moves through. Yes, a remote, dark and weathered campus is something to aspire to. This soul has evolved past Earthen collegiate pride. (I never had much to begin with.) I feel my attention pulled back toward a massive grid of old streets and houses, a grid to be lost in for days, to keep a heart alight for nights and nights and nights. There is a small glowing orb adrift in a sea of houses. I know I can find it if I begin to look. I start to explain to my mother, “But we won’t get back over that way to check that out.” Somehow I know, as an older soul knows, that our time is limited. My mother is set upon our mountain destination and in a good natured appeasement I pacify myself with the thought that we can very neatly loop back through that neighborhood after we visit the campus. It makes sense in the logical mind of a voyager. And immediately I wake up. The dream had come to an end even more swiftly than I somehow knew it would.

I can map it out. I should map it out. I will map it out. I will make a map of Dream Country. The alterations are inexhaustible, but fascinating. I somehow understand the orientations of Dream Country. I understand how their overlays position on the map of reality. Now, I must connect these twisting winding roads. I must seek a connection between these destinations. They must be documented. They must be of significance.

I will be painting Potsdam this coming weekend at a Plein Air Festival. Instead of painting the local landmarks and the typical atrocities of nature, maybe I will paint things that are not there. Maybe I will scout and trek through these inconsistencies until I am confounded by realization and attacked by inspiration or perhaps a slow dawning, a creeping feeling rises over the horizon. The sun has been replaced and my muses seek vandalize.

My brother and I had a babysitter named Joanne Deno. He was slightly luckier. He only stayed after school whereas I had to stay all day. I was contained in a small area off the kitchen. My only stimuli consisted of a milk crate of blocks, cars, a rubberized Pillsberry doughboy and a pretend telephone. I would observe the mundane coffee conversation she carried with her elderly mother every morning. Her mother was called Bert and she was pretty cool. She quietly regarded me with interest, and was never snide. Joanne on the other hand… Joanne used to call me “Carrot Top,” which I hated. Not only did it intend to tease of a bastardized anomaly, the top of a carrot is green. If only I had voiced this truth in my innocence to this redneck. She herself had a Ziggy Stardust screwed-down hairdo. It did not look fabulous on her and whether she even knew who David Bowie was is debatable. She used to exile my brother and I to her son’s room to take naps so she could watch her “stories” uninterrupted. We were forbidden to touch anything in Kyle’s room. We were forbidden to sleep on Kyle’s bed. Kyle was an overgrown candy-assed mama’s boy who was off elsewhere. In silence we laid on the floor, maybe whispering how bad it sucked. We weren’t tired. My brother and I weren’t the napping types. Unfortunately, oftentimes, this is the lot of those raised on babysitters – being someone’s nuisance, being someone’s inconvenience.

It’s the second of the night in a series of dreams and I am gaining lucidity. I am back in Joanne Deno’s house. The house is mostly emptied but the refrigerator stands. I open the door to empty ice trays and containers all over the floor. I am having a glorious rampage of it but this ransack is playful and mischievous. No real harm is done. No real hate or malice is exorcised. However, in waking day I can’t help but wonder if she is experiencing problems with her refrigerator the morning after..

My brother stole Kyle’s Starwars figurine which resulted in accusations. My brother vehemently denied it and a fallout ensued. I look back realizing just how clever my brother was at getting us out of the wrong caretaker situations. We bounced from babysitter to babysitter until he found us an ideal second-home with his buddy’s family. I felt like I grew up in other people’s houses. Maybe that is why I feel an affinity for this house I will revisit in dream now – our former formal residence. The crash pad for the three fancy-free Sagittarians.

My formative years were spent in the age of eighties excess – an age of pop icons and shiny happy capitalism. The effects of George Michael and Madonna impressed upon the subconscious. (Maybe the reason my libido metastasized into a seven-headed-monster.) My mother owned over one hundred pairs of shoes, most of them pumps. Her wardrobe was all streamlined designer skirt suits with shoulder pads. In her hay day she could literally stop traffic. The American Dream was a statuesque two-level in the suburbs with the white picket fence. That is what I bought into anyhow. I would have three children, two girls and a boy. Danielle would have dark hair. Ashley and Evan would have blond hair. My husband would be a delicious Ken doll in a tuxedo with a dashing smile. And don’t forget that stately two-story in the suburbs with the white picket fence. (And what a gloriously framed shit stain that image turned to be.)

This is where I go. Back to the old house, as Morrissey would muse. Once more it stands intact and not burnt. To wander it, empty under the cover of night. I feel joy that I have come back to to this place in a non-convoluted or cluttered way. There is no furniture. I jumped down the landing over the board floors where the upright black piano used to live. I go to the kitchen and look out the bay window onto the front yard. I turn to look at the space over where the kitchen table used to be. There is a huge painting on the wall here. Water, a massive, hidden lagoon with jungle foliage bending over it’s beaches and a sun in a midnight blue sky. The whole painting is brilliant in inspiration though it looks as if it has been done by a child. The sun is paramount, a pinnacle centered with a smiling face in oranges and yellows. The perceptible lines radiate obvious intensities of light. The tangles of greens overlapping were executed in such a slap-dash manner. Some of the foreground groups of bushes haven’t even been filled with color yet. They are only black and white sketches. The masterpiece has not been finished. To say the painting evoked an extreme sense of tranquility, to say the painting evoked a mystical forbidden sacred sanctuary – well, all of those words begin to sound overused, trite, and insignificant. What else can I call it? It is not of this world. I kept running toward the painting and I would jump upright with glee just when I was before it, as if I could express my joy at it’s existence. My feet would shuffle in a sort of awkward ballet step as I reared to rush the painting once more. At first my leaps were met with limitation. I was not rising high and would descend quickly. On the fifth or sixth leap, I realized I had achieved hang-time. I was beginning to levitate. Then, I woke up.

Dreams of levitation are the best dreams.

I walk the night highway. A skeleton pulls to the side of the road. He rolls his window down to tell me I am lost in dream country.

A phantom, a ghost, an idea, an essence. It might as well be called Love or Understanding. When I personify it, she is a woman that burns me with longing. She taunts me with full existence and no existence at all in the recesses of my mind and the hollow corridors of my dreams. She will know my haunted houses. She will catch them fresh from my lips as I regrettably awake.

No, she too I left back on the other side of consciousness. Ever present and always slipping away.

We could play psychologist and I could speculate how these relationships from my childhood have muted the colors of my present. Daddy didn’t love me. He made me to wander the earth and find love elsewhere. Perhaps, the reason why I never expect anything from men and I feel uncomfortable if they offer. Though I am not interested in the present. I am interested in traveling so far back where only my dreams can take me. And ever move backward. And ever move backward.

Such a romantic death. To submerge ever deeper weighted by a large stone in the pocket. And did she wear a billowing white blouse as she strode into the river entranced? She had always been drowning in the element of water. Did the goldenrod sun stream through the leaves leaving this blouse speckled in pattern? Willowy in stature and frail with the onset of age did she wrestle with the current that tried to circumvent her destiny? Did she look as an apparition even before her departure? Virginia Woolf staged her death and offered it up as art.

Exhausting to burrow ever deeper into the past. Yet, it is by going backward that I find the door, not forward. If I can stay in this nighttime for long enough, days on end in dreamland, maybe I can pinpoint that elusive “it”. I can slough the trivialities that bombard upon waking. Let me stay! Let me stay!

I awake to the unique terror that only exists in the black of night. This is where Lovecraft spent so much time under malevolent skies. This is the place he developed into worlds. I’m thinking about how strange it is to be lying in a bed, lifted off the floor. As if I am being offered up in complete susceptibility to all inhabitants of the sky. Why are we offered on a funeral pyre as we sleep? What is this strange ritual of subjection we all undergo each night? And what are the alternatives? I can imagine a low rising sleeping cupboard built on the floor – a shelter one would crawl into for slumber. Yet, it would be more difficult to design a mattress that is built into this cupboard… And if those above can see through one ceiling, they can see through a second.

It is only the strange horrors of night. The fact that I love the restorative properties and escape designs offered by sleep are of importance. The fact that I revel over Lovecraft’s grotesque vocabulary set in a crunchy hard-edged cubism is of more importance.

Another dream in the hours of early light. The dream causes me to commit to immersing myself in only classical music this week. Tchikovsky and Handel are the two that come to mind. Their names enter my dreams in the format of words. Early in the week I attempt the commitment, but I end up listening to everything from The Police to Moon Hooch. Classical reminds me of skirting the edge of Lake Regatta in my car that summer. With the light shining on the lake and the nice residences, I thought I could transform. I could transcend if I listened to nothing but classical music. I could lift myself and become whomever I wanted.

Sitting by this river letting it’s black rush shatter then sooth my thoughts. It has mystique and barrages forth with an unbridled abandon. It is off to dream country. Only those off to dream country move so boldly. I sit on the bank and watch it go. I know my peace is fleeting. I will be driven out. Then, I will be driven back.

I love being haunted and lost.

Lest we take ourselves too seriously. Lest we forget from where we come.

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