Aliens, Oceans and Depression

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I’m gonna be honest with you, if aliens exist I am exceptionally mad at them. I mean I guess it’s important to be specific. The aliens I am talking about here are not the weird flesh eating stomach ripping creature of gore, nor are they creatures of the fungal family which periodically some delightful hippy likes to tell me are sentient consciousness brought to earth to teach us by the divine. (Personally I’m really into that idea, and I love the idea that mushrooms are really bizarre mind-altering creatures we can be in dialogue with.)

I’m mad at those aliens that people periodically say came to the Earth some time in the past and did things like help us build the pyramids before fucking off somewhere into the stars again, to, I guess, build more geometric shapes in deserts, simply because they can. I’m mad at them because as far as I can tell, we need a massive Deus Ex Machina moment if we are to salvage human existence on this planet and if they have come and helped us out once before, you think they could come back and help us again.

We need aliens with weird alien tech that can do things like purify the air, and cleans the waters of the ocean, that can replace our poor inefficient oil based tech with some form of brilliant solar paneled mech that can charge off a single afternoon spent basking in the sun.

We need it, because as far as I can tell, with out it we are doomed. People are very bad at being people, and our collective failure as people is quickly writing the death of, if not our species, at least most of our way of life. Its amazing how quickly knowledge can be erased, how quickly learning can be lost. trust me, Humans may be around for hundreds of years more, but will their humanity look anything like ours?

I really hope not.

Perhaps I have become obsessed with this question as of late, but if I have been, it is because I am depressed and I am not sure how to reason my way out of it. In fact this action here is an attempt to release myself of my own depression by giving name and logical form to my anguish. Not with the intention that some how my depression will disappear, but with the hope that in naming it, it will become more quantifiable, more known and thus I can better relate to it.

anyway, back to the discussion about the END OF DAYS!

You know, THE DOOM TIME. I mean sure this has been a popular topic for most of human existence, the impending apocalypse. But their seems to be a tangible difference between the old religious apocalypse where Jesus comes back and battles Satan for the souls of the dammed, and the Apocalypse which looks like five pacific islands sliding into the sea. Five this week, a few the week after, 93% of the Great Barrier Reef bleached. Oil spills all over the place.

It’s realities like this that make me confused as I look at the development infrastructure of the FIDI and laugh with nihilistic delight as I realize their preventative measure for global warming is a wall to keep the sea out.

A wall.

To stop the sea.

From ruining their luxury property development.

It’s not going to be the water levels that cause the biggest problems. It will be the numerous global refugees that the world will largely chose to ignore, (because we already do) forced into unsanitary living conditions as tent cities spring up to try and compensate from the numerous displaced people.

But these under nourished and probably under hydrated, (for let us be clear a lack of food and water resources will be a large issue for these displaced people.) people will become the true tide of destruction, for we will probably try to ignore them for as long as we can globally, until inevitable close quarters, lack of medical attention and basic standard of living and access to food and water, breed the true killers of humanity, super diseases resistant to contemporary medicines.

and thats when all the wealthy people behind their water walls in the FIDI should begin to become nervous. For diseases don’t care who you are, and while money certainly can help you stay alive, will they cure the disease fast enough to save you.

Probably not.

Wait wait… Let’s lighten the mood for a moment.

I forgot a joke I just heard. Want to hear it… It’s also about real estate. Of course you do… Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

A handful of buildings in New York have installed radiant heat in the Sidewalks outside of their buildings so that the snow melts in the winter! This way the snow falls from the sky, hits the nicely warmed concrete and presto it melts away. Amazing! what a joy! no more shoveling. But the problem is HOMELESS PEOPLE are apparently trying to sleep on the heated concrete during those cold winter nights.

And the problem is, when you pay millions of dollars to live in an apartment building with heated sidewalks you do it for the view, you do it for the bragging rights, you do it so you can wear stilettos in the dead of winter. You don’t do it to look at homeless people. Their are other bits of sidewalk which are not your sidewalk, and people can sleep their.

Poor people without homes trying to sleep on your patch of CONCRETE. HOW HILARIOUS. Poor people trying to have less than their basic needs met. People thinking they deserve to be treated like people. JOKES!!!!

Wake the fuck up.

How is it possible that the people who live in buildings that have enough excess capital, (not to mention disregard for environmental sustainability,) are not horrified by their own lack of humanity? How is it that we have found ourselves in a position globally where some people pay to have their sidewalks warmed so they don’t have to shovel them, while others are kicked off sleeping on that very sidewalk? BECAUSE THIS WARM SIDEWALK IS NOT FOR THEM, AND THEY RUIN THE VISUAL AESTHETIC WITH THEIR POORNESS.

Honestly how do these people sleep inside these buildings. Are they not disgusted with themselves?

Sorry… I think I said this was a joke, but really the joke here is more about how fabulously out of touch with societal needs the wealthy are. (well all of us really) 

Perhaps if alongside side their warm sidewalks they build some more walls to keep the tides of the globally oppressed at bay they would be a little bit safer.

Or maybe we all need to get louder. Or maybe we need to riot. I think we need to riot.

I’d rather like to riot. But rather then choose a singular cause to riot about, I just want to riot the whole system down.

Because honestly what are we excelling at as a global unit. (And DUH, strides have been made in many of these fields which have made the world a more pleasant place then lets say anything between 1200-1800 AD, but better than it was for some, and still shitty for most is not acceptable.)

education………………..……………… no

environmental protection……………… no

race………………………………….…… no

gender……………………………….…… not really

resource management…………………. HA

I mean netflix has really been slaying it with some exceptional programming the last few years. and I have to say I am pretty thrilled with some of the strains of pot I have recently smoked, It’s not all TERRIBLE, but to pretend it is anything short of globally catastrophic is just lying.

Please stop lying.

Because your lies are just killing us faster.

What is the point of human existence?

Theoretically, and as far as I can conceptualize it, it should be to leave the world a better place for those who come after us. To work towards creating and developing systems that can hold those who come after us and empower them to think better thoughts than we ever could. to achieve things we can hardly imagine, to build worlds that defy our thoughts of what is probable.

and maybe hug a bunch of people along the way.

Perhaps create some art

Share some stories.

Sleep under the stars and love the heavens.

And it seems that for a long time, far to few of us have been doing that.

But I know we’re not all deeply out of touch. We humans are creatures of the earth all the same and the poison and pain that ruins in her veins runs in ours as well.

That creeping depression that i’m watching slide up the spines and behind the eyes of my lovers and friends is the undeniable honesty of a system long teetering on the brink of devastation beginning to slip slide away into the inevitable realm of perpetual chaos. You can feel it all as much as I can. I know you do. We have been taught to not trust our gut and our instincts by the very system that enslaves us, for being critically aware is to step out of the system and recognize it as utterly catastrophic.

Hold your children tight now because they probably don’t have that cute of a future to grow into.

And I’m sorry about that. I really am. But it’s not my fault. and it’s not yours. and honestly its not even the fault of our ancestors.

Humans are relatively speaking not particularly brilliant when it comes to thinking in terms of temporality beyond their immediate future. (Myself included) we make stupid choices for today with out really interrogating the reality of tomorrow. and it’s landed us in this odd position where the tomorrows of tomorrow are becoming progressively darker and its becoming progressively harder to maintain a positive attitude.

Unless of course these aliens come and save us.

Right?

Because at this point I think without their help we have utterly fucked our selves.

Right?

Yeah… I think thats probably right… With out the intervention of a god like action, be it religious, extra-terrestrial or born from spark of human ingenuity we are fucked..

some large scale system change.

Right….

who knows, maybe we can all wake up on the right side of the bed tomorrow…..

Or maybe we can all just wake up and be authentically depressed. and look in the mirror and say “this world is fucked and dying and still I’m gonna try to save it. To bring a few more laughs into it. or maybe just some love.”

I don’t know… I just don’t know. But some aliens coming and saving us would be pretty cool. So for know, I’m gonna pray for that.

Back To Basics

A week ago I gutturally admitted to myself, that I don’t know myself. I have been in a hazy floaty state of indirection, sort of awaiting a catalyst to root me back in the earth. I have begun interrogating experiences in a new way, seeking some form of honesty in articulation.

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I love the hue of old blue prints.

The Question: When given a second opportunity to erect the architecture of the self, what methodology do you begin with?

I have chosen for the moment.

Investigation.

Yesterday afternoon a 5 year old boy got in an accident on the street and had to be rushed off by an ambulance.  Watching him be carried into the ambulance I heard this truth scream itself from my heart. ‘I never want to see a kid hurt.’

As I cried, I stood in the street, directing traffic around the accident. My arms got tired very quickly and upon reflection I’ll admit I was over gesticulating. Their is a certain sort of power in directing cars that I’ve never really experienced till that moment. It felt like voguing. The pleasure also derived from being able to be useful in a situation where I was entirely useless.

‘I never want to see a kid hurt.’ that’s true… I don’t… upon reflection I was also not entirely useless, I was just not integral to helping the kid. anyone could have directed traffic. but in not walking off I got to sit in that emotion, that place, and let the experience unfold around me, as a semi-detached observer.

It feels odd to have found something in the trauma of this kid and his family. (When he left it appeared he would be okay, might I add) I don’t want to admit that the reality of it shocked me awake, because that seems both a mixture of cliche and narcissistic. It also did not make me realize in a yoga inspired hallmark card, to remember to count my blessings. It was just a weighty embodied reality that last for a duration of time. 

I never want to see a kid get hurt.

(POLITICAL SIDE NOTE

That kid should be taken care of because he’s a kid. his family does not need medical bills, or insurance claims, they just need to help their kid recover. Much like no one should be debt ridden by an accident or illness. Vote for Bernie Sanders and let’s continue moving towards a more socialist system.

POLITICAL SIDE NOTE OVER)

I never want to see a kid get hurt, is a sentence, what was the thought behind it….

FEELING: My body felt like a shell, my bones and many inner organs turned to air, while my skin had the texture of thin diamonds. My mind let itself empty through my ears and on the wind, while my tears decided to run as if to acknowledge the trauma by proxy without having to be directly involved in it. My heart, which was the only organ I could sense, was a mixture of honey and stasis, as if ready to beat for some one else. the world collapsed in complexity. It was an easy calm in part because the father and the medic moved with such clarity it was infectious. the weight of their intense focus seemed to still the movements of everyone on the street. Time was certainly slower, but if it was bending, it was not adrenaline on my part, but the sure force of those men, pulling every second from the air in the interest of helping the kid/patient.

As I mentioned before. my arm grew tired. their were no bones, no muscles really animating it, it was mostly mental. a compulsive desire making me windmill my arms. I don’t feel as if i was not in my body, i just don’t feel as if I was particularly in control of it.

LINGUISTIC The expression ‘I never want to a see a kid get hurt’, is, i’ll admit, a poorly articulated feeling. My initial thought was not, I don’t want kids to get hurt ever. It was that I never want to SEE it. Catching the internal phrasing seems important. I never want to SEE a kid get hurt…

Which does not mean I want kids to get hurt as long as I don’t see it, obviously. It’s just interesting that it acknowledges the injustices of this world which is that kids are constantly being hurt. 

I: It underscores a pretty human reality of out of sight out of mind. I, the I at the beginning of that thought. I don’t want to see. I, primacy, me. Rooting everything in the self. Not within a collective. 

NEVER: The never. Admitting that I would like to remain ignorant about the pain of children. I mean to be a better person I probably need to understand the desires and needs of ‘kids’ in the abstract. But for now I can also under the never as a word that erupts to protect the fragile I.

WANT: The want is all desire. its basic, its directional. its pointed at the never. it’s a want for a lack of understanding, an intentional, void of understanding erected to protect the I, from the reality of pain.

SEE“Old English seon “to see, look, behold; observe, perceive, understand; experience, visit, inspect” Used in Middle English to mean “behold in the imagination or in a dream” (c. 1200), “to recognize the force of (a demonstration),” also c. 1200. Sense of “escort” (as in to see (someone) home) first recorded 1607 in Shakespeare. Meaning “to receive as a visitor” is attested from c. 1500.”

to live in the eyes, to evacuate the body, to connect eyes to mind, to un-filter the process and be connected with the object in order to hold it internally and inspect it.

KID: gender neutral term for youth.

HURT: pain…..

Anyway. Happy Easter. I’m gonna go make a mirror and stare at myself in it. and then reflect more on this and perhaps write more. 

‘Sunday in the Pub’ a short story, like really short.

Some Sundays I spend the morning hours drinking strong coffee made weak by an overly indulgent pour of milk and sit with friends in a delightful writing circle. We write for a period of 5-15 minutes, with no revision, and no edits based on a one line prompt that we then share with the group. I ADORE this practice. Here is my story based on the sentence prompt, “the only thing I don’t enjoy on a Sunday, written in about 7 minutes I think. Its one side of a conversation between and old man in a pub and the person who happens to be camped at the bar stool next to him.

Setting of sorts.

If you can please read it in the voice of a somewhat drunk posh older english man.

“The only thing I don’t enjoy doing on a Sunday my dear chap is not going to the pub. HA. ONE must go to the pub, it is the seat, I say, the SEAT of culture. And joy. AND love. Love of your fellow man, which in these the most trying of times we need more of. And PINTS, oh lord have mercy on the soul of our beloved Queen does the world need more pints, and glasses of pinot noir or perhaps a nice Malbec maybe one from the Estate of my dear friend Jonny DoGood, that’s his real name you know. Moved from the emerald island years ago, so I hardly ever see him but each year he sends me a case of his finest Malbec, he named the best vintage after him self even, the DoGood Malbec. HA, what a laugh that Jonny, old Johnster, J Bones, that’s what we call him. Went to Harrow together. Yes we did, and what Aaaa time we had together. Whilst we were in third form, we really bonded, you know, came to be each others best bosom buddies. I have always liked that phrase; yes we became each others best bosom buddies, whilst we were in Macintosh hall under the supreeeemly insidious tutelage of the Heinous Dr. Royal Mackenzie. Awful chap, lazy eye. Never liked him. Never knew where he was looking. Sort of chills the soul that… ANYWAY, HA, PINTs. Pints of cider, never of beer. Beer’s make a man lose him self and become all weepy around the middle, like his flesh is sagging in a desperate attempt to run away from its master. BUT CIDER, cider like the Cider of this here Pint, the Cider of Plum Valley, is the stuff that makes a man! LOOK at me 53 and I could be 40. Could be 40, Maybe I am, Maybe I can just start saying ‘I am 40 world. Look at me, in my PRIME.’ OHHH prime, the only thing that makes a Sunday in the pub better is ordering a PRIME rib. HA, Ribs. I could make myself an Eve if I ordered this prime rib. HA just kidding, you can’t make a woman from a hunk of meat. Obviously, I mean HA, the idea. Imagine a person made from a rib. What’s that Barkeep…. YESSS barkeep I shall have two more pints, one for me; BARON VON DISSAPOINTED IN YOU. Ha just kidding THAT’s not my name. But you know that Barkeep.… See Jimmy the barkeep here is an old friend of mine. known him since my days at Eatlin Hall University, this pub used to be my local when I read English Lit-ah-ra-touree here, what was it… blimey… Thirty-so-odd years ago…. But yes one more pint of Plum Valley for me, and oh… Sorry old chap old buddy old friend, what was your name again…. Oh you Ne-ver told me… Well that’s ok, names are so superfluous I find, why have a name when you can have an EXPERIENCE, right Barkeep,… See friend I could use his name but Barkeep why its better!… What… oh no don’t tell me, id rather not know your name…. ANYWAY one pint of Plum Valley for me, and one of what ever my friend here is drinking. So we can make a toast. A toast to this Sunday! May it be Sundays for eternity. HA. Well, I guess I can’t make that toast now that I have said it to you. Its bad form to tell a toast to a friend before you both have a drink to hand. Bad luck it is. And we Bard’s, for that’s my last name. Why we believe in luck, both the good and the bad…. Why… oh because it pays to be superstitious. One never knows what might be real. And let me tell you. I’ve seen some things in my time that make a man question what is really there… ah your interested… I can tell from the look in your eye, well ASK NO MORE. I shall speak. HA! Once, when I was just in the budding days of my manhood I went with my family. The extended family. All 17 of us, up to the middle of nowhere in the highlands, it was quite near Glasgow.”

and there time ran out, as did this tale.

a discovery of ancient poems

There was a time, when I, like so many who are youthful, took to writing poetry in order to escape MY FEELINGS. Granted being a relatively ‘late bloomer’ my late teens and early twenties, we hardly filled with the sort of experiences of angst that provide a strong footing for some good Sylvia Plath Poetry Realness.

oooohhhh Sylvia

I MEAN I WAS TOTALLY ANGSTY, it’s just I lacked a good deal of real world experience to know much of what I was speaking and while I spent a lot of time guessing at what ‘adult emotions’ were, I think I spent to much time watching Hollywood fluff pieces and I pretty horribly missed the mark as to the flavor of real emotions.

There are literally hundreds of APPALLINGLY bad poems hiding on my computer presently. Like wicked little word trolls I keep stumbling across as I read these gifts left to a future me from a long since past self. (I mean ever the rather tortuously bad ones I enjoy. I mean they are parts of me, my past, my life. I’m so glad to have essentially stumbled into all of these old words of mine.) See this quest began as I was trying to find a short story I wrote in college, but I have no idea where i saved in, (or if i even still have it) and all my folder have absurdly un-useful names such as FINAL-FINAL- THESIS DRAFT 3. you know the folder names of a boy/man living in Scotland and discovering that deadlines and due dates are not divine companions. My computer files are about as organized as the bowels of a hoarders den.

Honestly it looks organized

I’m semi-amazed that my computer files are in such a state, because they are immaterial, in a sense they feel as if they should be organized. But sadly they are truly a nebulous-quasi invisible mess of half started word docs, and a thousand drafts of every essay I have every written, pages of notes, and the wreckage of about 2000 ill attempted film scripts.

As I load the previews of some of the more esoterically named Documents like, DON’T DELETE FINAL FINAL 7, I have entered into a dialogue with a long forgotten self. So many of these poems, even if horribly written, explore the angst I was experiencing as I tried to come to terms with my rather apparent-to-every-one-but-at-times-myself gayness and gender. Lacking a community I felt I could really speak with, (which has more to do with my inability to speak about these issues, not the people around me) I took to writing them.

poetry by this guy.

poetry by this guy. 

NOW of course I remember in some sense writing all of these old poems, its just their purpose at the time was not to be read, it was to serve as a tool for helping me express my self. what is most haunting about it, is not what I say, so much as all the things I can see I was incapable of writing, even for my own eyes, and fingers, and sanctity of mind. The fear of naming my desires for instance was so strong, that it actually kept me from writing it. To name something is to define it, to think it was to be it. And of was I a master at self-subterfuge, refusing to acknowledge thoughts on my own faggotry in an attempt to cling to the vestiges of hetero/homo-normativity.

People Like the wondrous Maia B. were amazing at helping me come out of my shell... and for helping me style this look, which is. HAMAZING

People Like the wondrous Maia B. were amazing at helping me come out of my shell… and for helping me style this look, which is, HAMAZING. 

It’s not that I’ve ended up some where totally different from who I was then, the core of me is largely speaking the same, it’s just that I have begun to try and speak about the truth of myself, to at least myself, (if not others, especially Trouble and my therapist who are wonderfully encouraging) I sort of think and perhaps shall begin again this process of self-explorative poetry for a condensed period of time, and I shall leave these words, in hyper well organized files, until I am older still and can discover even more about myself in reflection.

BUT back to those poems…some of them I think are kind of cute and vaguely whimsical. There is an entire collection of poems i just discovered and forgot about writing where I took to imagining the lives of objects around me and providing explanations for their existence that were more in keeping with my ever present desire for the world to be a place filled with magical creatures rather than the agents of patriarchy. (Clearly these poems were written in the dark ages before Grindr)

In the spirit of sharing, here is a poem I wrote some years ago. I think it is of the utmost importance to write bad poetry. its liberating. Poetry is the conduit between language and the soul. It also does not have to make any sense. which is totally awesome in a world where we crave reason.

Ode to the Mile Markers

All those mile signs

That we leave hap-hazard

On the sides of our roads

68.7…. 68.8…..68.9…….

Forgotten and rather useless

they are

Like toothpicks

Thrown by giants

Into the earth

toothpicks

With the olives still on

Take

From

the dirty

Martinis

They ordered

In some celestial bar

To dull the pain

Of being

Alone.

And big

And really

Really

Close

To the sun.

to end it all here is a CUTE man reading Circe’s Power by Louise Gluck, which is a poem i love almost as much as I love watching this an STRETCH. OH MY GOD THOSE ARMS. AND WHEN HE STARES INTO THE CAMERAS EYE AT THE END. SWOON

What I’ve learned from death.

I recently lost a friend.

That makes it sound decidedly like I misplaced him. I shall try again.

Several months ago a friend of mine committed suicide. Several months ago, several full and pregnant moons. Not yet a hundred days, a thousand breaths.

Not long after a colleague died unexpectedly. August was also the anniversary of a dear friends passing. Thoughts of death hang in the air.

It is Autumn, a season for me which has always been marked by reflection. Being a child of the institutional educational system September feels much more like the start of the year to me, then January. As I watch the stars popup, crisp and early in the night sky, as I walk, the earth crunching beneath my feet as I tread on the dry and fallen leaves, as I wander the fields in morning fog pungent with the scent of rotting apples, a heady scent that moves about me like a vapor might, a scent that hugs me into feeling drunk, my thoughts are turned ever towards death.

Death in its expanded sense, death as in change, corruption, consumption, inevitability, fear, reality, seasonal, mine, theirs, his. I’m lost, I seek wisdom. I felt that writing out my thoughts might help collate them. Solidify them. Make them the body I can look at, probe, dissect, eviscerate for meaning. As if these words could become the bodies I could breath my dear friends life back into, These words are such a poor substitute for them but they are what I have.

Several months ago a friend of mine committed suicide. Last year a friend of mine died. All deaths are linked, when one person dies, they join others who have passed before him and I feel I can not speak of one loss with out all being present; death, the great unifier.

Mine. mīn/ pronoun “used to refer to a thing or things belonging to or associated with the speaker.”

I keep talking and thinking about him with this vague slant towards possession in my grammatical utterances. As if I know ‘own’ our friendship as I’m the only one left to have it. Our ‘friendship’ has become an object, a weight, something that I have, something that I carry. I speak and think of death and it is marred by expressions that use terminology and words that imply or state persons and relations as objects, possessions, things, that which is lost… our language, the phrases we use to talk about death, they seem stale. I don’t want to think of him, of our relationship as either an object or a possession. I want to think of him as… as… I’m not sure I know. My thoughts are occluded. It’s hard to see what is rage about him passing, what is fear about my own mortality, what is anguish about a culture whose very fabric, its language does not come armed with a lexicon of expressions to explore ones relationship to an experience such as death, and what is more theoretical, more textual, more about my relationship with me. I keep moving away from the real feelings to the abstract, to a place I feel safe, to distance myself from reality with words. I imagine this is, in its own way healthy.

Reflection. I seek reflection. Presently when I reflect on the language of death two things become salient points I want to address.

1) we speak not for the dead, but for ourselves. Death, especially when it is someone close to you is something that happens to us the living. Death is aftermath, death is the event that shocks us into remembering we are beings living within the fluid of time, death is waking up to the fragility of the world, death is longing without any hope of satiation. Death is something that only the living experience. When some one ‘dies’ that moment when life unbinds itself from the matter it has called a body that is not death. That must be something singular and hopefully beautiful, and unique, its some sort of probably bizarre mysterious magical event, some unique human fleshy experience, that is utterly ‘you’ the ‘dying one’s’ own experience. Something more like catharsis, or a state-change or freedom, that is not death. Death is a word we the living use to speak of void. We live amongst death. I live amongst death.

(Death is far different from dying also. I know dying can often be long and painful, but that moment, that almost infinitely small moment where life becomes un-life. Where thoughts cease to form, hearts no longer beat and lungs no longer sing, that moment, death, why the thought of it, brings to mind the music of a classical violin concerto played on a moon less night beneath the stars in some far of field of grains and wheat, heavy and expecting the harvest. It seems I want to reclaim death as a word from the clutches of heavy metal music and overly simplistic depictions of skulls and crossbones.)

(Sorry heavy metal music, I just don’t ‘get you’ at all. Maybe your brilliant, I just. Whatever, it’s a personal thing, I kind of hate you. But that’s not really the point of this conversation.)

2) When applied to the real world, this word is so wrapped up within a dialogue about what comes after ‘death’ specifically the spiritual dimensions of that ‘after’ that I end up tripped out on existential internal debates and forget to mourn. Oh the weight of death.

What is the word I should use to denote a state change. Death, seems so flawed, death seems to be a word that is all about my feelings, my experiences. I want a way, a word, to speak to him, and of him being gone. Dead does not work, it seems so final, and he lives so gloriously within my memory and the memories of many others. He comes to me in dreams. I don’t know how to speak of him. Perhaps it is enough to say that he is now lives within the fabrics of dreams, a resident of memory, a child of the ether.

Yet to depart from the language of DEATH and towards my experience, as a way of hopefully more fully interrogating the term I say: I’m angry. Which is an emotion I cling to for it feels safe, familiar, what underlies it, is something that scares me. It’s formless and ever present, it is the denial of justice, it is the cruel reality of the universe being not a place of equality but random and largely speaking grotesque movements. All of this, this culture, these words, are dressing we use to hide ourselves from the reality that life is accidental and that the fates are impartial to all of our protestations. I have no idea why he died, and the ‘why’ largely speaking is not particularly important to me.

What I mourn is his passing. I deliberately said passing.

Passing.

Passing,

Passing… It seems like a breath, a wind, a moment of cool air, a thought, ephemeral, transitional, almost infinitely small, the divide between living and dead. The dead, the dying, they pass, the living, do no such thing. We pull our hair, and scream, and cry and throw our lives into upheaval, ask a thousand questions and being creatures still made of flesh and blood, often forget the chaos that living through death can make one feel and we laugh, and get dinner, and cruise cute boys. We make jokes, we joke about death oft handedly, we judge ourselves, we smile, we drink, and we drink coffee. We do a bad job when it comes to collective grief. We judge ourselves for not grieving in the right way at every moment.

I’ve come back so quickly to this, words, again. Words. Death as the word only we the living use. I’m saying we, but I mean I. I don’t really know how other people process grief. I mean in a way I feel that happiness and perhaps love, are in a manner of speaking universal. But there is something about grief that feels personal, and vibrantly and differently hued every time.

(I miss him.) (and it tastes of tears)

My dear friend, my dear friends, though I don’t much believe there is anything beyond this fleshly existence, I hope your spirits are at rest, I hope your atoms have dispersed, I hope that all you are is everything you ever wanted life after death to be. What have I learned in death? That one death evokes all deaths, and that no matter how long ago, or how buried some one is, death the great equalizer, makes us remember them all. That longing for some one who has died defies logic. That death is a drug we the living take and feel oh so alive in its consumption. I can’t say what I’ve learned really. It’s not there to be rendered into words. Its emotions and experiences, mirrors, lenses, reflection, refraction, light. It’s mine, its multifaceted, it unfolds in complexity. It does not seek justification. It defies explanation.

In speaking of it, it talking around it, in trying to grasp it, in speaking my anger, in speaking my fear, in shouting inside the confines of my mind about the injustice about the failures of society, the failures of community, the failures of my community, in challenging my ability to pass judgment, in challenging my thoughts on salvation, I feel free. I feel I have escaped the shackles death has previously cast onto me. I have found my own road out in speaking to those people I am lucky enough to call my friends and family about how I am feeling. For it is ok in the wake of death to be selfish.

Death unravels logic. But this formless space, this place of fear, this place that death exposes, is only the embodiment of terror for I let it be. I slip out at night and walk the city streets where the trash blows besides me, ever my companion. For all the death and refuse around me, for all the injustice, for all the un needed drama. The world teems unexpectedly with life. And it is oh so much the material of miracles.

Life, I am terrified I squander you. Life, more precious than water, life which is but water. Water and fire and earth and air and spirit, Life. Life. You are chaos, you are primal, you are everything I wish to wed. As I step into Fall, I am off to make apple sauce. To take the flowers of summer, picked now as fruit and breath into them new life. To induce a state change, to boil, to package, to save, to consume.

To those that I have lost, though you are but dreams to me now, and what awaits the living, More Life. More life till death, more breath.

Faggots take to the beach

Somewhere between the sustained and off key rendition of PART OF YOUR WORLD, whilst waves thunderously crashed around me, surrounded by a sea of sensational homosexuals, Sunday became the best beach day of my life.

To explain, there comes a moment in every gay man’s life where he realizes his body is just not beach ready yet and it happens to be the very end of summer. Or at least for me this happens yearly and marks the passing of the seasons as surely as the equinox and solstices do. It’s a holiday for one and I celebrate with a moment of personal ritual; AKA I eat a massive brownie and whilst experiencing a sugar high, do five push-ups, pretend it’s the first day of the rest of my blah blah blah, all whilst listening to some Mariah track and then pass out whilst feeling both vaguely bad about my body and thrilled to have eaten a brownie. I adore brownies. Some how this year late August seems to roll around and I still in most ways seem to resemble a waxing moon made of melting brie.

(Granted presently it would be this SONG, I AM ADDICTED)

(Which is exacerbated by the fact that Sarah S. and I last weekend at the Wedding of Nicholas and Julian, ate the better part of a face sized wheel of brie at about 3 in the morning. IT WAS GLORIOUS. It was divine. It will be worn around my mid-drift like a hug for decades to come.)

I started googling ‘massive cheese wheel and ‘massive brie slab’ and well I lost about an hour of my life, and it was glorious

However, this year I really did think I was going to transform myself into some HULK of a man. You know the type who really only drinks power smoothies, or power milk, or you know, POWER something, like right from the source, sticks his tongue in the socket and drinks 120 volts for breakfast. The type of man who orders a burger between slices of TOFU. (I’m not sure that’s even healthy but it’s the sort of thing people with HUGE BICEPS eat in my dreams) I really actually have very little idea how people even get to be such HULKISH MEN and I’m moderately convinced that it involves Magic. This Magic I have heard is called the gym, So I joined, went all the time for a few months while I was doing physical therapy and then fled the city and my gym towards more cheddar and gouda filled pastures and any and all thoughts of beach body realness dissipated.

I’m not even sure I want to one. (OK THAT’S A LIE I DO) Especially when they wander up and down the beach in those swim suits which make me wonder if there is a shortage on fabric markets everywhere that I was not previously aware of. (I don’t shop to often so current trends to me are what’s in my closet and not dirty) How glorious it would be to resemble some Grecian statue.

Who needs a head when you’ve got those gutters.

Really I normally deal with these feeling much easier in the summer. These feelings specifically being that I fear I have a below-average-gay-body, which renders me all but invisible on the beach, or for that matter in main stream gay bars. This is not some sort of EVERYONE PLEASE TELL ME I’M CUTE MOMENT, it’s more a meditation on gay culture and body politics. Images of hunkish men are more or less pervasive and in not meeting those absurd standards of body beauty I do have to say I often feel shunned to the side of the gay desirability, something I at least try to combat in being if not muscular, at least overly well read. I’m not particularly expecting anything to change, I also ogle muscle studs, and fantasize about having those pec muscles that look like they might rip a shirt if I flexed. I just essentially lack the dedication to get that body. (or at least presently I do. Who knows, maybe gym realness lies in my future. I mean I try to stay in shape, I walk a lot, I only ever buy pints of ice-cream and eat the whole thing in bed while watching Missy Elliot music videos when I’ve had ‘one-of-those-days’. and those days are when ever I want a pint of ice cream thank-you-very-much.)

Sure I often worry that we are committing gay culture anesthetization in our collective pursuit of big dicks and great bodies over you know actual community. I worry that its just another moment of the capitalist machine figuring out how best to market ‘life’ to a specialized group of people and its much easier to sell gym memberships, protein shakes, trips to the tanning salon, and back waxing, then it is to sell community. (Cuz lets be honest, if back hair was something they could sell us then it would be in vogue rather than a sin to have it.)

But when I’m not freaked out about how seductive capitalism can be and how little of our conceptions of beauty are based and rooted from our own individual desire but that of society (Society as a product of the marketplace not of the community) defining beauty, I Find that I LOVE LOOKING AT ALL THE HOT MEN. Which always makes a beach trip enjoyable. Which is half the reason when Multiform invited me to the beach last weekend I was so excited. YAY, a day spent warm on the sand, staring at men who like to strut strut strut, while I lay caked in spf 50 in my pasty pasty glory.

I might be pasty, and i kind of look like i might be about to take Carlo's head as tribute but i love this photo

I might be pasty, and i kind of look like i might be about to take Carlo’s head as tribute but i love this photo (Photos by Wip)

I love the beach, so who cares if my abs lack definition the type of which I normally associated with dictionaries. As a kid, and then a teenager, and then a slightly younger twenty something, I used to be so embarrassed by my flesh, but I’m glad to say that’s largely speaking no longer the case. I mean I’m hardly proud of my muffin top, but its MY muffin top, and you know what, MUFFINS ARE DELICIOUS.

I love muffins that come in these BOOOOGIEEEEE paper dresses.

Which is not to say I don’t feel the eternal specter of body shame almost any time I pass a mirror, But its not as dehabilitating as it once was, I no longer feel that my body prevents me from being myself, as if only gay muscle hunks could ever have fun. Or at least it does not often in my daily life do so any more.

SO showing up at RIIS beach last Sunday, my first thought was I might want to consider not breathing and just flexing for the next 5 hours, if I was ever to even stand a chance of blending into the muscled habitat of the gay side of the beach.

Riis Beach back in the days when the world was in Black and White

My second thought was I think Sunday was also the first time I’ve ever gone to a beach, especially a gay section of a beach with a gaggle of gay friends. Perhaps going with a bundle of faggots was all I really needed to remind myself why I love beaches so. Well really to remind me that its OKAY to be yourself, even your not muscular self, when exploring the realm of the gay beach. A place I have often just felt as if I was trespassing through. THANK YOU, lovely Radical Faerie friends, for not judging me as I pranced/flounced around in my absolutely GARISH swim trunks, eating a massive sandwich and drinking Vodkas with the after-thought of orange juice all day. Thank you in fact for encouraging me, and for playing with me, and for generally also just being Awesome you rag tag crew of smokingly hot homosexuals.

In spaces like this I have often felt distanced or outside of the FUN TRAIN, because I would get all like introspective and self-judgy and stuff, but essentially I currently find that boring and I would much rather just have fun. If pressed to sum up the adventures we had over the 6 hours we were there, I would highlight our collective full body Smizing, the interpretive dance in the sand Isadora Duncan meets Paris Hilton Stars Are Blind style.

 + 

=

 

 The numerous sightings of the ass fish, which is actually not a fish at all but a mans ass, often my ass, cresting over the foamy waves. The in-depth class in Milkshake by Kelis studies, with a very detailed syllabus that included such classes as:

My Milkshake: I can teach you but I have to charge: How 21st century capitalism supports the commodification of previously community taught practices.

My Milkshake brings all the boys to the yard; Yard’s and the American pastoral, deconstructing American Relationships to manicured wilderness.

Lala-Lalala Warm it up: Global warming and pop culture

Lala-Lalala The Boys are waiting: Peter man Syndrome and the modern American masculine.

Milkshake; What the guys go crazy for: the invention of hetero & homo normatively and how sexual desire disrupts the boundaries of the normative socialized self.

There was even a rather epic snuggling session. Oh you know it was just really faggoty and beach filled and amazing. I’ve not yet been in America a year, but already this totally wacky country is beginning to feel like home. I feel a deep and loving kinship with the people here, and those beauties faggoty men and women and genderfull individuals I had the pleasure of sharing space with on Sunday helped me to truly feel and understand that.

YES KAWEEEENS

YES KAWEEEENS (Photos by Wip) 

I’d not planned on that beach day being simultaneously HUGE amounts of fun as well as some how soul feeding. Essentially GUSH GUSH GUSH it was one of the nicest days I’ve had all summer. And perhaps by next year I will have found the time to integrate into my life a more developed work out schedule that does not just look like dancing in my underwear, but if pressed to choose between a beach ready body and a day at the beach like I had last Sunday, it would be faggot beach adventure every time. Thank you all for helping me feel like I belong there, muffin top and all.

 

 

Gay Wedding Realness

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The most fantastic of Husbands (Photo by the Extremely Lovely James PB you can find more of his work here: http://www.saatchiart.com/Dappur )

So I just went to this wedding and it turns out it was totally not only Life changing but probably altered the state of reality to come. The realization snuck up on me some where in the middle of the service. I was standing there, watching Nick and Julian, the Husbands to be eloquently weaving words into vows when threw my sobs a realization most glorious descended upon me.

On that day I was a conduit for full body convulsing tears as I watched two fantastic men, surrounded by the people they love, Wed. Oh it was a Wedding dressed in more riotous colors then the spectacle of Heaven must be painted with. It was so vibrantly hued that the sky even grayed out of respect, to give us all a blank canvas upon which to spread our selves as visions. There was so much love in that field, not just for the two men on their plinth of wooden trunks, (though much of it was for them) but for all those whom surrounded them. It was a web of love, an interconnected nodal structure that combined community, expression and desire into one potent and heady mixture.

Talk about a venue. HELLLO farm house realness

Talk about a venue. HELLLO farm house realness. (Photo by Shaft from The Fabulus of Unicorns: https://www.facebook.com/FabulusOfUnicornsUnicon )

I have hardly ever been moved so in my entire life. (Maybe the first time I saw Judy sing Battle Hymn of the Republic sort of showed me that I was capable of such a depth of feeling) Nicholas and Julian, you two have moved far beyond inspirational to me, you are truly more iconic.

But back to the world altering realization, If you want an exact point, it was some where around the point where Nicholas started looking in the crowd for the person whose cell phone was softly playing music, (it was his own.) that I understood in a primal way that this, this occurring in front of me was the gay wedding everyone on the Right (From the overly religious straight through to the bizarrely political)  were worried about.

Lady Tamsin, one of the most beautiful people the world will ever meet. As well as a sensational Best Man

Lady Tamsin, one of the most beautiful people the world will ever meet. As well as a sensational Best Man

It must be.

It was so ferociously fabulous there is no way it has not altered the state of history, I’m sure people have heard tell of the coming of this wedding for ages, and that’s what prompted them to make artful banners, in block caps, campaigning against gay marriage.

I never really liked math that much anyway But bonus points for a great type face.

Demons… Really…

Because we all have a secret and let’s ADMIT IT. There is a GAY AGENDA and it’s to making everything GAY and fucking fabulous, and take antiquated systems of oppression and exclusion and radically transform and give them a make over. And this wedding, well, I’m pretty sure it was the Gay Agenda made manifest. It was on that hill, on that wedding day that we laid out our collective vision for a gay future, and OH IT IS GLORIOUS.

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These are some of the most inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Look at them! I FUCKING LOVE ALL OF THEM. (Photo by Shaft from The Fabulus of Unicorns: https://www.facebook.com/FabulusOfUnicornsUnicon )

I’m so sorry straight people. The transition into a FULL GAY WORLD, may be hard for you. Don’t worry, as a group we are pretty good about dealing with it, and this time there will be no one to oppress you because we will all be GAY. I for one am happy to help you deal with the emotions that come up. But don’t worry I’ll you really need to do is listen to Shirley Bassey’s Performance albumn and everything will be as right as rain. Gay rain.

(and here by gay I mean culturally gay, not just men who sleep with men. As far as care you can be a woman who wants to sleep with people of any gender and still call your self gay, because gay is a state of mind not a sex act. Gay at its best is love, and support, and sequins.)

(and yes I recognize that there are like a million definitions for gay and for me, presently in this moment I am defining gay as all those principles associated with Rainbows, and Sunbeams, Oscar Wilde and Neil Bartlett, Baby Jane, Judy, Cher, camp as a vacuous aesthetic, camp as an aesthetic brimming with substance, you know gay as happy and divine, Gay as freedom.)

(We could also have a conversation on weddings as form of patriarchal oppression or gay weddings and assimilations culture, or whatever, and I am happy to have those conversations with whom ever wants to, its just presently I want to revel in gay glory, which I have to say, is something I fear we don’t do enough. GAY CULTURE IS AWESOME. This wedding was AWESOME)

 

WHATTTTT inspiration for EVERYTHING. (Photo by James PB)

WHATTTTT inspiration for EVERYTHING. (Photo by James PB)

I imagine now pictures of the wedding will filter out into the world and then the great flood of change will be witness across the land. It shall, like all divine plagues come swiftly and with out warning. One moment, some poor un-expecting straight person is going to be sitting around doing the quintessentially straight thing of lets say having a meal, and the next think, BOOM just like that, it will be a full on gay meal. With two salad forks and a strictly speaking unnecessary number of small cups that look like some alchemical decanter set. I Imagine being that the change will be instantaneous to full blown gay, this man, lets call him Jim, Jimmy now, won’t mind. Perhaps there will be a moment of longing as he looks towards some heterosexists magazine that overly objectifies women, and realizes that what he really wants to be doing is having a good old ki-ki (rooted in I statements and feeling words) before going off to a fantastic club night with his fantastic friends, to have a fantastic time.

Thank you Nick and Julian for not only throwing an incredibly party, but for kick starting the Gay Agenda. AND OH WHAT A WEDDING IT WAS, Oh the dancing, the delights, the revelry, the connections, the conversations, the moments.

Romy, Sarah and I. Two of my most favorite people in the entire world. (Group Selfie by Sarah)

Romy, Sarah and I. Two of my most favorite people in the entire world. (Group Selfie by Sarah)

I’m sure I shall be thinking about this weekend for weeks. But for now, this is all I have to say. That and thank you to Katie Craig, for that dance with you to WHEN I THINK ABOUT YOU I TOUCH MYSELF, was life altering. Thanks for that unexpected primal scream therapy session.

Anyway, I’m off to be really butch and indulge myself in a hedonistic fashion.

Love you Nicholas and Julian, thanks for changing if not everyone’s at least my world.

WEDDING! (photo by James PB)

WEDDING! (photo by James PB)