Source: When Dreams Become Dried Husks
Someone sang it once and they were right
“I only have to do it”
and I was a little fucker back then
when I heard it and I thought it meant
I was meant
for more than what
men are usually meant for.
Someone picked up a brick and
dipped it in cow shit and threw it
threw my dreams later
and it didn’t matter anymore.
Someone went away and
now the songs are even worse.
Anyway, I say this only now to you
because for one,
I wanted to know you loved me
enough to follow me down here,
and two, because you are just another
character who will either be
or not be
I wrote your name on beach rocks.
It took me all season but I made sure to cover
a decent plot of the summer-lands
so you would find it attached to mine.
You could keep your name, we could both hyphenate.
I wrote your name in swirling fonts.
I added hearts.
I was sick.
I knew we were never meant to be.
But I practiced the dangerous devotion
of all early love in a kid’s hands.
Just like when at 12 I knew
Steven King was meant to adopt me.
He just had to meet me, hear my stories, and
I planned it all out.
The T-bone over the high iron gates,
to distract his Rottweiler’s.
I buried a dream or too as well,
but they were mostly muffled screams
and kisses that got lost in the rain
on a night where a baby fox watched us
and it was too beautiful afterward
to think about more than once
after every new major life shift.
I learned the calligraphy of tired and high
and over-excited bodies in beautiful folds
and creases, sleeping in what is impossible
yet never even for an instant awkward.
I rolled a joint from a Bible’s page once,
with honey and desire.
I swore it was the last time
I lent out my papers at life’s parties.
I kept going.
I found new loves, new chains, new homes
and new rocks.
Watching the end of the movie
it rarely matters which one
I can always envision improvements.
Planning another doomed escape;
I’ve got a pocket of creatures who
vie always for my attention
(which is daily tighter
wrapped over the rest of my
Coming back to the ground
where all the first stories
dawned on me,
and dosed me with something to get
off the million wrong highways
I would’ve just died on,
have a back pack of note books
I’ll never put down, and gadgets
that I use mostly to send more
into the vault, now and later, too,
I’ll be reworking, rewriting all the
different ends, even yours, yes,
The ones you call skeet live deeper, more passionate lives than you think. Their wrecked, weekend-tweaked binge stretches into Tuesday and nobody tells a story like they do on Wednesday, cheque day, a day of impossible dreams made real again. And before you know it another hot minute expands out into the cheap air of some pizza shop or corner store, and another break up and curse words and sirens and rap lyrics on young flesh and beatings, jumpings, crying, broken bones. Angry actors replaying the speech for the thirtieth time that day.
I believe anyone who learns to be their own, however borrowed, absorbed, caught or struggling in the flux of, persona, is a human worth considering and respecting.
Because the cavern walls have stretched behind me so long now, from that very first taste of it, and my path has curved deeper and into multiple directions and winding, twisting moments…I have decided to travel again. First, to complete the novel, then, to travel with it behind me, in me, and to master it’s retell. Then, to see wild animals, monkey and all manner of bird. To master something else. To teach. To teach children to master something, and to learn from the people around me wherever I roam. I’ll slowly repay my debt; well no, not the student one, it’s gargantuan by this point, haha, but maybe, just maybe, with the will of my every story, which is really 87 percent other people’s gifting me with theirs, I can carve out a travelling, learning, teaching and feeling empire of moments, to wander through as it crumbles in my old, wise because still learning soul’s, final trek.
I always save something immediately when it’s good. This one is the one. As Beck, quoting in cut-up-Negativland fashion, once quipped, “Things are gonna change I can feel it!”.
To give a Star Wars theater experience to my boy, to make my sister cry at her wedding with joy, and Mom of course too. To give Gramps a star, and Mickey a sober, dry run of it for at least a year at a time.
And then to finish the book, to continue sending messages to the people I love, but to go.
I am going to abandon, for a time, all physical connection to my past. I am going to cleanse, to de-age, and to re-connect with this path. I got back on it. But that’s nothing compared to where I’m going. Out of the cavern and into the pan-every-land triumph. I’ll die broke and most likely in debt, but will not have lived, for a second longer than necessary, for Nothing.
In life thus far I have purposefully derailed my future enough times to cause a sort of series of changes to my perspective. By finishing a commitment to school, and actually embracing changes I had not thought possible, I have gained the confidence to really continue my quest. To actually occupy my moments. And to write for all who have inspired me, a thank you letter that explodes in a dozen mini-narratives, like a fractal of a human set of memories. I have personified the fool, I have shaken the dreams of my life into the rivers of my notebooks, I have panned for something to hold up, more powerful than gold. I have found love, like Burroughs for his cats, in the eyes of strangers, and I have crept into friendships so unique and varieties in their connection’s forms that I can honestly say I am ready to know all love. To know all of the forms of the language of human and worldly connection is my ultimate end now.
If it is possible I will give everything I have for my work, but I am no longer foolish enough to think that process is anything but a divination of truth through other people.
The dark, brooding years of self-derailment are over. For all they taught, I offer a work of that long period’s reflection. To myself I offer the following promise. I will go out in the world. I will share the story, and in doing so, build an entirely new one. There is an architecture to joy and I am learning it’s finer points lately. It’s a pretty fantastic existence.
I think I’ll have a time with it.
I think I’ll make graphic matches with the sky, the ocean and the people in the cities I enter like a ghost and leave like a child, sad but alive with movement within and without, more synchronized, less defeated.
It will never occur to me that I have gone astray or I am lost, except in that perfect moment, looking out at the moon in Thailand, dancing to the craziest music, and alive in the truest sense. And I won’t stop, can’t stop, until I get there. Until I reach the personal, solitary zero hour, and am a phantom of my earlier self.
I think the evenings of my life will fill with my words thrown down at all hours, and early jogging and loads of dancing. I want to teach the kids English, teach myself humility and self-love, and just go, go, go.
I Think I finally understand Neal Cassidy.
We’re all the same,
every body, in the dark.
It matters less who,
than how, you love them.
He had Saint Vincent in his ears.
Opening the door to the arts building,
his home for 5 years, and just another 2 weeks.
He talked to every professor who for
at least a semester had become a hero,
an ambassador to something he secretly
always assumed was beyond his grasp.
He sat in the light of room 3018.
It was his favorite room. He was
unsure, if this was because his arm
bore a tattoo that said “f8”
from his 18 year old
dream of writing in a few strokes
a masterful fate placed in canonicity
(long before he learned the term here).
He wrote that night all across the city.
He made the best of everything.
It was practically art, already.
He just had to kiss it off his palm.
This is not a poem (this is a birthday)
I don’t even know how I got here.
But here we are.
I think I remember you most from graphic memoir.
Which is strange because I was hate then.
I had no love for anyone.
I mean I certainly doodled it.
But I was wack.
I thought in tones of technicolour.
(I kept the U in there on purpose, btw)
I thought the world was Diane or Rebecca.
(Those are characters from Cheers. You’re too young to get it… maybe?)
The point being I was still hazy on women being anything but caricatures.
I got trapped in that male strip. (kept that joke in, intentionally)
I lived it over and over.
I got jealous.
Made up excuses.
She’s got it easy.
Because she’s pretty.
I knew I had met my match with that year.
I met a black radicalist, who taught me, finally, about my privilege,
male and white.
She echoed the power of my adult high school teacher,
who had taught arc welding, poetry, and even the children of schizophrenia.
She told me for every one frown you had to give 10 smiles.
My new friend was harsh on me when I needed it, just like her on my essays.
Neither of them saw me as anything but a chance to change,
however insignificantly in the larger ocean,
a single rivulet of a stream.
When I think back to it, Mom was the first rebel who taught me that power.
Before John Lennon and Morrison and De La Rocha.
(capitalize it on purpose, again…)
It makes little sense; this quest to understand real beauty.
To actually be a genuine soul.
Thanks for helping along that way; in no matter how insignificant a turn, blessed are any of us who learn anything that naturally.
And happy fucking birthday, kid.