Friday, January 8, 2010

The Gospel According to Peter


I spoke to myself of myself in the moments between moments that barely exist. Withered from time, like subtle decay, which one misrepresents as tarnish and flaw, these narrowly escaped moments draw out like fractions of pennies slowly accruing, but always forgotten! We speak the dribble as we walk our two step-day to day-rambling of foot before foot before foot! We quietly acquiesce to the passage of time as morbid fascination of a self euthanized death march. Why we don’t protest is less of a question than what would we protest against. And that we haven’t gotten that far in our thought process, or even begun to register what it is we are fighting against, is all the more reason why we bow down to the languid transgression of thoughts! There they go…and we breath, ahhhh, a long sigh of relief, at being able to get lost and finally numbed by our rapidly decaying minds. It’s not even that we have a rotting brain structure, but that our formed words, which create thoughts, and then sentences, paragraphs and so on…It’s that these then digress from their pages to paragraphs, to sentences, to words to letters, and then poof! It is a love affair, the neglected mind, growing further neglected; but we sample it, as a record is quickly sampled, each track tested traced by the fingers of our minds for a few lines, and then a quick switch to the next track! What of it, though, Matt, what of it! It is that I am slowly enlightening you, reader, to the mere fascination that is our thinking mind, and bring light to the misuse, the lack of use, and the fun we can have, sober fun, just thinking. (Segue)

I had a friend, still a friend, wrote a great line, and I will paraphrase, or simply plagiarize, or is it that when I quote I free myself from legal action, either way, “When you grow older you forget the way to live, how easy it is to function, get through a day of playing in the sandbox and eating a grilled cheese.” Oh, Peter, west coast Peter, always had the west coast mentality. I remember it would scare me when Peter got super serious. Because taking it light was my tag for Peter, loved him for that, for the ability around him, for me to take it light. Peter treads light! When he is drunk he acts a little heavy, and that Achilles heal of his makes him all the more beautiful a human being. Don’t worry Peter we will always have a doctor around if you cut yourself; even if it is a veterinarian! (finger gashed at my wedding) Back to the point though, Peter hits it on the head. Isn’t it so true, we get convoluted in our motions, so self analyzing of our motions, so aware of others around us, that we have to adjust our motions; whereas when we are kids, we simply do, and we do, most times out of instinct which, innately is possessed and kindled with love and compassion(or at least not out of disdain and fear). I think of the card I always buy for my wife at these moments: The Boy in black and white, sometime with a touch of color in a red bow tie, mini tux, kissing the black and white young girl on the head as she sits on stone steps, stone in the back ground, some forgotten Sunday. And this Sunday doesn’t end, this Sunday is the Plato’s Form for Sunday! à

(This is called inner (inner) thought, when the parenthesis come out. Within this Sunday, and I hope to make it to this Sunday some day, there is no tiredness, there is no true sense of time, it might be light or dark, it may start off light with shadow, soft idyllic shadows that bend around rolling shaped stone, circular and soft. This Sunday is not cold, nor is it hot, it is not hard, and never too quiet. Sometimes we get the two tone chirp of the birds in the near distance. Other times we get a rustle of tall grass in the breeze. These are the movie moment Sundays when voices seem to trail the actions, but I only hearken to that image momentarily because I don’t want to get bogged down in the images movies lock us into.***(stuck images with movies/books) I am free on this Sunday, and I am aware of an end and my responsibility on this Sunday, but I am never worried about what is next! It might be my death day even…)

à That simplistic image of the black and white boy, kissing the black and white girl on the head, a dash of color for effect is fueled by compassion, that that is what we strive for without ever having to try! So back to Peter…Peter says, within his quote, that we get derailed by age, by manipulation, by all the outside influences telling us what we need to wear, go, associate with, adore, emulate. Parent’s have the first say, but what they teach, impart, help their kids to imbibe is wiped almost completely from their memory on that first day of school, on that first day sleeping over a friends house, on that first night of hanging with a group of friends. At first we don’t know, as children what to make of this competition; how so many world views can exist at once and we slowly recede home each evening trying to cull our minds back into mommy’s train of thought. But each day we exit the front porch, first sign of foot hitting pavement, we embody new shoes, new views, and learn how to neatly cram our views in with each other. And these world views fight each other, mask themselves as other world views to infiltrate and rear their ugly heads at just the right time for them, at the wrong time for you!

Remember the first time something your next door neighbor, kid your age, different world view, remember when his words slipped out of your mouth in front of your mother! A racist slur, an insensitive comment towards woman, a talking down to your parents! My god, the look your mother had for you, followed by the wooden spoon in the top drawer to the left of the stove. My parents’ punishment for me was, in part, a deflection of their own pain; that they had failed! We hadn’t necessarily failed at anything, in fact we, as human sponges had simply taught them a lesson they had long since forgotten since the days of them being a child; that we are merely impressionable children. If we were to turn to face our parents, which we are taught in these times of their anger never to do, we might catch a glint of a tear forming, and watch as they sniffle it back behind an eyelid.

I recall an autobiographical moment in my child hood, one that sticks with me now because of the forgiveness asked of my mother by my mother later in life. That she had come full circle, or at least noticed in stepping away from the events that how she had acted was in total a reaction born of another soul; that she may have actually been possessed (and not in any religious sense of the word) in the moments that ensued from my actions à bike/key

(Possession here is very much a reality and I will borrow willingly from my fellow philosopher kings the ability to inject a term with yet another definition; much like we inject over stuffed turkeys with their savory juices until they are oozing with multiple meanings. We act many times because of others control over us; hence possession. But the intriguing part about this possession, the illusion, and it is seen many times in abuse cases, is that we have little knowledge of this possession. We walk around catatonic, questioning nothing, aware as one does who has the onset of the cold, that something is off, but not able to sum it up and express its function. It is not until we step outside of ourselves, away from the hazy laze that was once our clear sight, that we finally see the truth in the proper light. Again, a dream view ensnarls our sense! We think we see words and numbers and people, but our true view is distorted and we only see outlines, cloudy visions, and emptiness.

à This day was atypical, and much a dream, one I often dreamt, only-childness, just myself and my mother, very dream like (mom don’t cry)! I had the car keys to my uncle’s Alfa Romeo Milano, and my bike, that Black General BMX style (with pedals braking the bike when they were spun backwards) perched upside down. Treading the spokes with the key, creating a clanking sound, that was abruptly calming, as each spoke spun, and the key, oh that key, it’s flimsy metal’s molecules slowly being disrupted through every turn of the bike’s wheel, those infinitesimal cracks I was creating, conditioning the key for failure (my father always said that Italian cars were cheaply made) gave way to science. The brittle key began to split in my hands but did not succumb to the laws of gravity and physics and melancholy until it’s true test, living up to it’s purpose! As the key was being inserted into the lock outside that driver door, waiting for the large rectangular piece of plastic to rise up out of the door, issuing it’s orange red flag of warning (I am now open) behind the window glass, I heard it. The final clang the key would ring, having now been stripped of it’s ability to fulfill it’s duties, as it struck the always moist floor of that soggy wooded garage, was a death rattle and final toll. I fell silent, almost accustomed to these moments, where I, in the wrong, received the punishment. I would look down, conditioned to prepare for verbal onslaughts, those that hurt most, the non physical blows that slammed down upon ear drums! The rustling of little hairs in and around the ear canal, positioned on end, like tiiny soldiers awaiting the gust of sound waves to surf them straight to my inner ear. à

(Pushing past the present of this historic past moment, we celebrated Christmas, or Thanksgiving in the cramped dining room on Filbert Street! This would be my first confrontation with my uncle post cataclysmic event! I played rogue warrior, hidden among the patterned furniture, had picked my clothes careful to fit in and avoid conversation. I had killed, had performed murder, and was awaiting…something! I spent the day in terror, avoiding eye contact, which meant constantly eyeing to see if their was an attempt at silent attack. I centered that days world view on my failure of a former day, could swear I knew that this was the only thing those chewing lips preferred to spew forth other than gravy and cranberry sauce! I have since wasted many days acting in much the same way, rambling inertly, internally, of my pitfalls, and others minds exacting revenge; that their minds too could could only grasp the wronging I had done them.

à It came in many forms, but being banished to my room seemed most common. (room as poor punishment as I kept misbehaving) The room decision, always an awkward one, like I stated, was the most common, and therefore, as I became accustomed to my punishment, like any good puppy, I receded to my cell for moments of sobbing and solitude! My retreat sometimes gave way to my personal choice to lobby personal protest. I would spend hours in my room staring out windows and inciting morbid outcomes to seemingly dull events. The family car, the Subaru, yellow, dull, bleach stain in the trunk tearing eyes, would creak its way past the side of the house, and as it faded out of sight on Filbert St, the mind would unravel as gauze from a wound. Blood would spill into every scene; car accident, two of the four dead. I would day dream little to positive outcome and keep my darkest thoughts inward. Would imagine, down to minute detail, the remainder of my life if my brother and father happened to die, then my sister and mother, then mother and brother or father and sister! Would actually gauge the best of these worst case examples. Money seemed to be the current theme, and I always backed away from the free form though race of heavy imagination knowing that the worst case of the worst case would be the one, if one ever came true!

Scripture / Melody / Finale

Our actions become us, beguile us! We, trusting in their outcome, succumbing to their wisdom as age old sages, are constantly fooled but return for more nurturing. But their words are spoken of forked tongues and always slip away on the breeze with a lisp and fledgling spit. Action is our insider informant always speaking into our ear, tickling our thoughts with hopes of greater…As a child we may achieve action for action sake, but do not dwell so much in the outcome as the motions. The actual motion of things, and are interaction, keep us amused enough!

I need to center, to complete here, what was started out. Need to expel the treatise’s message written on a fortune tucked neatly behind two fused cookies. We need to embrace our simplicity and try to, just sometimes, act as the outcome means little and motions mean much. Don’t pump the swing to go higher pump the sing to swing. Don’t build the sand castle to completion, but always add another turret. Peter says play in the sand and eat the grilled cheese, bite through the grit of the sand in the bread, and swallow; Praise Be to Peter!

I ASKED MYSELF

Was it the air, swept in with sea salt that grazed your lips
Or the gentle breeze that caught your hair, tangled, blowing
Across your face? Was it that, or the way my arms went numb;
And circling all around, my eyes searched for place to rest,
My shoulder a post to lean, and my hand a hand to hold?
It could have been between Breaths, your arms stretched left,
stretched right, then curled down under your stomach,
where skin met white linen sheet, and hint of your lower back shown.
“I’m not gonna lie!” you said, your lips, formed, loosened
Then persed…and I don’t recall your words that followed, that
Distinct mumble that I mimic in your presence. Was it that I recalled
In a moment and forgot to say, “Almondy” may have been the tone
Of your skin, that it was so fitting; but lost the thought in your eyes?

There is a possibility, beneath the dock at Bowen’s Wharf, or
Bannister, beneath the sheath of barnacles, where tops of hands
Get cut, it may have been there? I wasn’t sure whether I reached
My hand through to see, to feel if it was there? My hand though cut
On the knuckle bore the scar that something had happened. Was it Fishnet
Or the drunken buzz of fiddle and banjo, acoustic guitar and Bodhran,
Was it on those notes, between them, sitting on barstools, was it there?
Could it have been that narrow pass at Spring St, where I bumped off the curb,
And swiftly back up, back next to you?

Was it Stonington, that hill at the end of the corridor of grape vines,
Or behind the vines, perched upon that table? Was it in the deep
Burgundy that filled our glasses, that cabernet grew legs, grew lips
And spoke? Was it in your squeeze, beneath a canopy of crab apples
Watching flies buzz by, was it then? It might have been between Westerly
And Mystic, when, we, quiet, sauntered down a side street, for a last
Drink. I shuttered in the bathroom as I pictured you lying at that pillowed
Bench, and wondered if it was here, now, could it be here now? I lowered
My head, mind blanketed with sleep thoughts and fought my shutting eyes,
And still wasn’t sure, if Newport had stolen my shoes, my watch, my keys,
My weekend, and you my lips?

Titles

I never really understood all the fuss about titles, and really never had the courage to be able to title myself with anything other than some verbose contrived, theoretically sound and grounded itemization of what I thought I should be conceived as...that is, until I decided (stumbled) upon my DOMAIN NAME!

Now really, domain, and all the silly seinfeldian notions of what is a domain, master of...cheesy double entendre of a fascination we have with the Washington Monument and how it moves us. Really, quite, quite silly...but then it happened!

ZoeAndUlysses.com

If ever there were a domain that I might call my own it would be in and around, under and on top of; hermetically sealed with; taking baking lessons with; flying silly octopus shaped kites with; scoring Yanni tickets with; handling precisous census material with; mucking through garbage with; cross country yak riding with; thelonious monking with; entering into a political debate against; firing friendly fire at; cahooting with and sometimes against... ... ...

Zoe and Ulysses. The goal for some is to stay cool and calm, and while I mentally subscribe to this tennant of radically diverse alternative thinking, my wiring was installed differently. I know what not to do, and yet as if not knowing, still do it. So too were my congruous canine cavalry the illustrious and good intentioned, if not oft times ill tempered and free willed, the unsatiable "Crime Fighting Dog Duo" of Zoe and Ulysses. If you know me, and in fact I have no proper way of determining whether you do or not...or whether my words can painstakingly steal away from teh canas the purity of it's blank nature to reveal "me"...you can call my cell phone @ 203-927-5920 and undoubtedly leave a message for Zoe and Ulysses if you press "1"!

Back to my wiring{+==---][]=-=} I imagine if I were to dive into my head via my ear cavity, or nostril, ala Spaceballs; or be injected into myself to probe my cerebral cortex and other vast galaxies of the body internal, similar to the now (supposedly) retired Body Wars, you would find the synapses shaped like grammatical symbols, and, undoubtedly they would be conversing with pregnant pauses and in the throws of some wordy rendition of what could be described as a verbal laser light show. Much like the Malkovich of my youth, doors fall prey to windows, fall prey to airplane cabins losing pressure, fall prey to trap doors leading to that wicker basket I suspect cradles the heady remains of the Enlightenment.

So my dogs, Zoe, female...one Black Lab, mixed with Chow Chow, curled tail and black tongue, "wrap it"(<--Glennwood reference for those familiar with the Hummel Hot Dog pushers of Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT) Ulysses, male...the cross between what some might refer to as the left overs (Twins reference, anyone?) of a American Staffordshire Terrier, Rednose Pit, sone of Blue, Brother of Symbiline and Nemo. I digress, what is the correct nomencalture, is it red nose staffy, is pit bull terrier, I say all of the above when describing him thus keeping up the legacy of others, nodding their head in approval of one or the other without correcting you or acknowledging which one is truly correct.

There you have it, Zoe and Ulysses, the demons of devilish delights, foragers of fountain st, elegaic angels of Ellsworth, Mighty Miscrients of Maple St. These two dogs, legends on earth, gods among mere mortals. My canine companions, wandering the earth, netherworlds, and outer regions of the flemish cap from 2003-2009! May your souls be cast seaward, to waver in the rising tide and rest valiantly in the watery grave with the likes of Mulcahy, Caspian, Icculus and Mr Palmer.

Though this may not be the beginning of it all, it certainly marks a point that can decidedly be considered a beginning. I loved my dogs, I lost my dogs, but always, and mark my words, always, I will be one with my dogs, whereever that may be. This inextricable link that is forged is no match ravenous winds of change which beat their sandy breath at the decay of time. And while we may not the best of all possible conditions, we most certainly are not the worst; and in this sentiment we wallow and take stock on what it is we may have had, if only for a brief moment. I Love You Guys!

A CANVAS CONCEIVED

You stole a glance, cheated its pockets and slid
swiftly between the lines below my eyes, there you
nestled, easing your legs to full extension. Your eyes
waned heavily as a moon’s, drifting slowly to crescent
eclipse, to be born anew as they swallowed
the sun of my eyes. From your distance, rubbing sleep
from my eyes, your fingers, scanned my cheeks as a brush,
painting roses’ tender maze of petals. Your brush dipped
again, strokes of cornflower blue, which faded to brown
as they dried in my eyes. Our canvas aged—paint-dried--
poked as rifts of mountain ranges, fading steadily
to the canvas edge and wooden frame. As you relinquish
you position, easing gently below my eyes,
I drift between dream, aloft on your breath…

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Prayer of the Wasteful

I left the page stranded, left handed with only a regular scissors to cut, disbanded as my thoughts curled up in an millennial flux. So I rebandaged, held hands with, the blank whispering paper, the maker of thoughts, helps find residence in the world, resonance to the swirled jumble of colors. Behold the allegiance of the bind that ties ink to page, blood to wars waged, father to son, needles to gauge. So when I faced the abandoned, left handed vacuum of thoughts, I apologized for all the time we had lost.

I begin again at the single press of the key, professing the mess of leaves as they begin to settle, nestled, jamming storm drains, clogging sewers as if warring mental strains, limiting my access to my own fragile remains. My bone felt chill as it whistled it’s way below cracked windows, caressing window sills in Siren excitement, mesmerizing, using, than enticing as it moves past the gate keep, and spills into the house detected, but unaffected. The chill rose and drove to the core, left bone aching for more as it coddled skin and rose follicles to begin their inner creep to revive heat, for vessels to survive. The chill settles and begins it solstice campaign, garnering votes from the republic for change, that Summer’s heat is in vein, all at once a ploy, to deter those from their natural state. I debate but have lost as cold numbs mind’s reason to cost it’s frosted flame now dwindles, flickers and chokes and coughs!.

I wake to a strain, to find warmth below sheets, that beneath them I bequeath an answer to this thin sheath, a holy prayer to invent warmer climates where there isn’t heat. A tropical mindset, left void of meaning like the empty set, circle with line passed through it like a one way road to the core of earth, to cook bread from the devil’s own hearth, the rebel of heaven, left starving in vein, now mainlining souls as he’s the only left to blame. When it rain’s he at fault, when their looting he’s been caught, when a riot ensues in the street’s of L.A., the devil’s been banging pots, unlocking locks, bashing window store fronts, setting back clocks, inventing hip hop, he coined alias before we knew it Beelzebub taught him how to do it. He gambled with Solomon’s marbles, and stole Zeus’s bolt, he taught English to behead and the colonies revolt. When it came time to nominate he stripped us the vote, told Katrina to strike, and the levies to bloat. As the French Quarter survived on the high road…

My Reuben & Cherise

The Ballad of Ulysses and Joan
(In 2 Parts)

Ulysses waltzed, walked the cobblestone way paved,
slightly worn and slightly aged; loosely loosely humbled
graveled ground. his words they grazed and tumbled down;
they tumbled down. The alleyway to which he waltzed,
he walking waltzed. To Joan who turned back, back to him.
He hoped she would now(not) reappear.
The dawning-down of sunset slightly slipped.
a pirouetting slipping stare, of darkness into blackest night;
a passing action they used to fight, they used to fight.
Tell me tell me, when would now be then,
the time to which your absence ends, your absence ends.
Wild eyed Ulysses slipped, fateful Joan had passed his lips,
had passed his lips, forging forth a new concern;
one that in his aching yearned, his aching yearned.
Waltzing walk Ulysses staggered through
the streets of evening's bitter hue
the blinding haze of dusk night's gaze;
of dusk night's gaze. Still he waltzed a walk of nighttime tread
in he sped at last he said; "Joan you cannot comfort here,
the lines a blur that's disappeared, that's disappeared.
When you double back and twist your hair,
for surely there's no other fare, no other fare!
But I will not, for sympathies sake,
blind an eye to past's mistakes, to past mistakes.
Forsaken which I know not who,
the pirouetting passing through,
a passing through. Of footsteps down an alley way;
where you left me and you should stay;
to pirouette in shadows thickening air;
to double back and twist your hair;
for surely there's no other fare, no other fare!

Ruby's Painted Mandolin
PT. 2
Frazzled hair has thrust air up
tangled mess and tumbled up
tightly tightly tangled mess of knotted hair
Joan she cast a gaze of eyeward stare
a worthwhile end to evening's air
as Ulysses played the painted mandolin
that Ruby had once bequeathed to him
bequeathed to him; Slowly slowly he strummed the strings
the strings of that painted mandolin,
the one he once bequeathed to him.
No words to speak while asleep now in the air
when choice is gone no longer there.
Where once was love and a lover fare; a lover fare
Truly Truly steal now fast my thought;
Purge erase and trample them; why not?
I said why not! For memories of her they only claw;
till rule followed now becomes law, now becomes law.
One like gravity I cling to tight;
the evening's passage they once fought, no longer fight!
Now tell me tell me truly true
is the one for me could it be you, could it be you,
or should I go on strumming, softly, strings
of my passed down and painted mandolin
till notes connected spread reason thin
and my memories of you again,
paint the face of this subtle mandolin.

Montana

We are the quiet fluttering hums of the world. Unimportant, unparticular, unimagined, listless and entirely unimpressive. Our foot steps leave no trace, leave no hollywood marker, with no names. We simply exist of the notion that we remember, and maybe one or two around us.

I approach this as I do a steep hill, just North of Montana. Later, entering through a rusted fence, it’s metals ties, jagged-rusted, at each point reaching gently to the late summer air. Past the hill now, under a braced back piece of metal fence, harboring, like a captured fugitive, a do not enter per order of owner sign, hanging half slanted, as if placed specifically at this 45 degree angle. I work past my swallows, my perspiration of what I am not supposed to do, and keep walking. The area that I open into–my eyes swimming as water into a new home, curling into every crevice, rejoicing in it’s freedom–slowly loses it natural feel. The feel of being transplanted into a National Geographic lasts only seconds before broken bottles, Walmart bags half ripped, and essence and traces of debauched remains come swirling into my gaze. At all times I keep moving, again now, like a moment of self awakening, I try to revert back to that moment of bliss, attempt to peer around the edge of the universe for a glimpse of the what-after. The hill raises and plateaus, stream gives way to rock, gives way to sand, gives way to darker dirt and finally brush and trees on either side of me. My goal: The Big Blackfoot.

I vaguely recall a forest ranger referring to a forest fire about 3 miles from camp. Acres being ravished and only the subtle hint of flame and burning ever greens. The trees here too, although mid west country trees bare a semblance to their east coast brethren. I breath to one conifer that I had his cousin over for Christmas, then apologize, as later I learned all Evergreens were Jewish; “simple human error the tree exhaled back,” correcting me; Christmas Tree eh?. These bouts of mindless internal jumbled stammering, lips bubbling with spit, are heaven. I speak to the trees, not as profit, nor seer, but as a lonely boy wanderlust for staying put. When the trees begin to grow tall over head, the canopy raises to a crescendo of green flickering light, blinding then dark and repeat. As the sun comes to my back at an angle, I catch it in my eyes from the rear and blink as sun’s soapy rays sting my vision over and over. It’s been ten minutes and I am still moving, now beginning to wonder how my campsite is doing. Is my wallet with me, where are my sandals, my good hat, the keys, keys?! It’s strange how we become accustomed to our property; that even keyless for weeks, I still revert back to that as my crucial belongings. I have nothing to open, nothing to get into. Further I have little to keep under lock and key.

As the canopy clears and I am back in a clearing I begin to glimpse a true desolate Montana. I learned early, leaving each state a bit of itself rubs off on the entrance to the new state. Colorado is not Colorado until an hour into it. Before that, for all intensive purposes it is still Kansas, claiming itself as Colorado due to state boundaries. You can’t fool a northerner I told those first hundred miles. Montana, though , from the south, takes hold early after Idaho. And even portions of Idaho trick itself, a sort of identity crisis if you will. Desolate Montana, green as the eye can see, pointed but not jagged, heady but not congested, spreads its fingers eerily through one’s soul. The apparition of it’s being, a green hearted giant hell bent on smiling, relays its nights in the wilderness, forming lakes like we form paths in the sand with our childhood hands. So unorthodox are it’s curves and bends, one might think Montana a child itself basking in its folly and forlorn of the approaching dusk. My first night in Montana I doubled back off the road to a campground, gathered wood and began to set up camp. As I rose from my tent, back out into the evening I swore a veil had been placed over my eyes. Green has the odd job of shadowing black, as no other color does it justice.