Monday, September 26, 2011

intentions, actions and consequences

Scenario: A thing is thought, in your mind, it is good. The thing is done. Then, catastrophically, the thing you thought was good is terrible and you are blindsided and unsure of whether or not you are suddenly in a sit-com. Then the clean-up ensues, apologizing, maybe rebuilding trust. Hopefully the audience will giggle without the laugh light blinking on and off.

Now, you knew your intentions were good. Maybe you were lying to yourself, maybe your honest heart did mean well and you were just being selfish and not thinking about how the other person would feel. Does it really matter? The facts are that when thought became action, the consequences were not good. The facts are that that hurt person will question your intentions and wonder if you are telling the truth about having meant well.

The fact is no one but yourself has access to your intentions.

Just as you have no access to other people's intentions when the scenario is reversed.

Intentions are an ephemeral wish that live only in the mind of the beholder. They are as intensely personal as any thing in our lives, and utterly unknowable outside of total blind trust in another individual, which is the rarest of things. If not a unicorn: imaginary and only told of in storybooks.

Therefore, I claim that intentions do not actually matter. To say "I meant well" is vapid. However, to do well is very important. Actions are facts. Everyone has access to facts, and relationships can be built from them without the perpetual wondering of what was really meant and is that person being honest. Actions are the real vehicle through which trust and love is made.

But more important than actions are consequences.

You intend, you act, but it is the consequences of those actions that inform you of whether or not your actions are in line with your intentions. The consequences reveal yourself to you in a way no hiding from the world ever possibly could.

Therefore, consequences are the most important of all three.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


paintings from the rabbit hole:

acrylic on canvas, 2' x 3' ish

Saturday, September 24, 2011


the words are funny
funny like the smell
of rotten food
or funny
like a good joke told right
something inalienable
or correct
or a way to turn
like a stomach sickening
or going from facing me
to walking away
which leaves me stunned
perhaps because
you were stunning
a breath of beauty
once lost and now
I’m shattered
(figuratively, not literally)
you retreat
which is both a giving up
and a sanctuary at last
last like the end
last like never ends

poem: I Would That I Might

I would that I might
be the water
that splits the mountainside
and scours the land
which cleans the body
and might still drown a man
undertow, airborne
rising from the ocean
and feeding the garden
raised by my own hand
would that I were
so dangerous and generous
which spills over eyelashes
when the heart sojourns
joy and loss and defeat
to be the water I drink
the storm above
dancing with the moon’s cue
ebbed and tided
to be so necessary, timeless
to take the path
of least resistance
but in the mirror
of the lake’s placid repose
is an animal, wild, mortal.

I am that Imight
let my desires rule me
eat when I’m hungry
take what I want.

When you are thirsty
you can’t drink me
and when you shine
your light upon me
I don’t evaporate.

poem: In The Small

in the small
of my back
is a pain
where I slept
too long
I fell asleep
of you
next to me
my head
over your
your hand
on my cheek
from the
and the pain
of old houses
and the songs
once sang
faded away
under closed
and holding
you close
and being
by you,

I slept
too well
not wanting
wake up

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Anti-Ego Poem

This is an invisible neck tie party
I model a collar
4 inches wide and 4 inches deep
made of buffalo leather
with alligator teeth
on the inside 
to bit me with
when I think of doing
the things I think of doing
and I have to jerk the chain
and say "bad dog"
to myself.

O yes, I have that kind of self-control
I spent years of self-flagellation
so I wouldn't have to apologize
so fucking much
and I keep that leash taut, bitch.

except, except ...
well you've prolly seen it
I become goddess
of the furrowed brow
teeth clench
feet tap
I try to look relaxed
do that desperate looking
around the room
for someone seeing
what I'm seeing
so I can hand the leash to them.

But not a soul, and wham
I'm picking up lost kittens
whose owners are looking
for them and making
them mewl for freedom
I'm shoving that baby cat
in the face of the person
telling lies to me
and calling it poetry
to show them what
honesty sounds like
this little furbag has more guts than you
and now all I want to do
is shove it up your ass
till your intestines
are lacerations
from a clawing beast
who's actually interested in freedom

"So go ahead and tell me 'bout your bad day"

snap. snap.
two jerks gets that leash taut
and now
I'm sitting
in a 
peaceful repose.

except, except ...
That beautiful girl is throwing herself
at every piece of man-meat
willing to buy her a drink
and begging her to meet his mother
which is what he calls his cock
and she's gonna fuck him on sunday night
because monday is trash day
and that's where she'll end up
with the shrimp tails,
cantaloupe rinds and junk mail.
She'll dig out her new shoes
and wipe the jism off the toes
before stumbling home
so she can wear them next week
singing: "I feel pretty
oh so pretty"
and I get out the straight razor
catch her on the sidewalk
shave her head, break her mirrors
and wash her face clean
make a fertilizer bomb
and blow up her make-up drawer
her wardrobe
and make her walk naked
for three days

It's too hard to be yourself.
Even I have this collar and leash
because otherwise I'm cliff diving
into limestone
toasting to clean living
with a bottle of turpentine
rebuilding broken eggshells
into whole chickens
and pretending I haven't walked
on those eggshells
until my feet were bleeding
and the shells were soft
as ancient river stones.
Because I'm always telling myself 
to stop talking
spreading my legs
for a certain limp member
being a fling
that believes she's loved.
I'm useless as a broken straw
cool as your shirt 
tucked into your underwear
I have no round squares
and I don't believe 
I actually exist
in the absence of change
and that makes me
more masochistic
makes me
want claw marks
and razor blades
and fertilizer bombs
for the cavity
I call
my chest
my heart

snap. snap. snap.
bad dog.
relax, baby.
slow your roll.
regain the blank slate
go watch Oprah or some shit
take a fucking chill pill.

except, except ...
I'm hellbent on headlong
I'm giving myself away
like you're all winners
on a game show
parceling out parts
of myself
trying to get empty

trying to get empty

trying to get empty

trying to get away
from my self-destructive ways
when I know I was born 
to annihilate this life
and what you see today
is a sand castle
I built for the beach to see
and the ocean to destroy.
These busy hands 
are in allegiance
with surviving, not me.
Hence the collar and leash,
hence the absence of knives.

except ...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

rabbit hole

“Absence is such a large house
that you’ll walk through the walls,
hang pictures in sheer air.”
                  -- Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XCIV

 So down the rabbit hole I went falling, expecting a wonderland and coming up lonely. I exiled myself for four days, didn’t change clothes, didn’t bathe, painted and wrote until my hands were trembling and my mind rebuilt the house of my dreams. I hunted music, danced with the hard wood floors, ate heart soup and learned that I irrevocably need you. You being someone I have never met, or someone I have but can’t spend every moment with, or someone I lost. You are everyone and no one and in the lank of the night my soul cried out your unknown name.

I couldn’t be alone for so long. I failed at this experiment. I had two visitors; I went out. Both my visitors have the unenviable job of holding my leash when I’m rabid. I can’t lie to them, and so when they are near I can’t lie to myself; they took my jaws and wiped away the spittle, held me down on the bed and marked me “abrasive” and “gentle.” She said, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” And now the tears are close to my eyelids, the terrifying need for … attention.

I want you with me so I know I exist. This is not flattering, I’m not proud; this is a simple truth. I went about arrogantly believing that I could be alone, that the only thing in my world was my paintings and my poetry. That idea was a crutch that let me believe I owned the world and myself and that I could do it all on my own. I believe in the power of myself, and it exists. I adore the void, chase it and cling to it like a life raft. And none of that self-sufficiency is enough. It was another illusion that kept me sleeping well at night.


Katherine Kiss Me                   Franz Ferdinand
Sigh No More                          Mumford and Sons
These Arms of Mine               Otis Redding
Ulysses                                    Franz Ferdinand
Bloodletting                            Concrete Blonde
Fight Test                                Flaming Lips
Missing                                    Beck
Porcelain                                 Moby
The Man’s Too Strong             Dire Straits
All Your Way                           Morphine
Do You Realize??                    Flaming Lips
Needing/Getting                     Ok Go
Lake of Fire                             Nirvana
Landslide                                 Fleetwood Mac
Imagine                                   A Perfect Circle
Swim Until You Can’t See Land           Frightened Rabbit
Bowl of Oranges                     Bright Eyes
Good Day                                The Dresden Dolls
Land Locked Blues                  Bright Eyes

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flight or Fight

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
                                                     --Litany Against Fear, Dune: Frank Herbert

Perhaps the most overwhelming and powerful emotion in our lives is fear, and oh the many  forms it takes: social anxiety, phobias (mine are pneumatic tubes and phlegm), public speaking, growing old alone, not being worth anything, the futility of life, failure. The panic attack sets in, your body is not your own, your thoughts become insane architects of nothingness. Your breath, quickening, drives the adrenaline through your body with the efficiency of evolution. The instinct set in: fight or flight.

This is the gift your fear gives you, and why you must not fear in those moments. The body tells your mind that you are in a situation that demands your full attention; that you are either colossally failing or on the verge of greatness. But our instincts are diluted with the spoils of society, we are taught to take a pill, a drink, a toke and to escape. We do not think ourselves through; we do not face Rilke's dragons to find princesses.

But to sit through that fear, to experience it and conquer it, to neither fly, fight or medicate, is to allow one's body and subconscious to inform the conscious mind of what matters most to it. Knowing this, one can decide in still silence and peace what the best course of action is. You become a maker and a doer instead of just another knee-jerk reaction. You being to set your own course through life; you can finally take responsibility for your actions.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Full Tilt

     “ if we could not, this afternoon
or some other, be happy, replete,
or harvest at least
some richness out of the native
                                    --Eleanor Wilner

The terrifying moment of commitment comes your way. You can’t avoid it by the endless litany of meaningless text messages asking what your plans are for the night, the tv is off, the bottle of scotch is empty. You are left as the husk of previous being, and must move forward or forever zigzag away through the boredom and pain. The act of caring for those you’ve hurt means you won’t make the same mistakes again. The cure for what ails you is recognizing you are ill. I’m sick, and now I have to take my medicine or be destined. The only way for free will to rise up again is to not take the same pathways again and again.

I’m committing, full-tilt. I’ve kept my art in a curio cabinet, in a secret compartment of my heart. I’ve protected it from the world, mama-bear fierce, behind the eight-fold fence. My closets are overflowing with universes of my adorations and fears, my bookcase is covered in paint, I sleep with my easel (and I mean that both ways). I will harvest the richness out of the native air and not let the grains grow mold and worms, but throw them out into the world. I am not fearless, I am soaked with sweat.

I shaved my head, I threw out the garbage, I live in the fantastical garden of my daydreams, I’m dancing again now that like a salamander my left arm grew back. I have totems, I see the singular moment, there is no never. Ask me, see if I don’t say yes … yes …yes.