motivate through cold water immersion

early this morning there were dreams of creativity
i was stuck in some kind of rut
failing to achieve goals i promised myself and others
passive and frozen when it is required to be active and fluid
so some kind of respectable man, a teacher came by
and told me he was going to pop in to my studio
unannounced and if i was caught doing anything but writing
i would have to throw myself into the icy lake nearby
and so i got on to writing poems and songs immediately
with a head full of anxious ideations and suspense
the teacher kept popping in it seems right when i was about to give up
move on, watch youtube, waste the minutes
and so i worked furiously and dished out beautiful lines
a fluid fully healthy and creatively responsible human being
then he disappeared and i woke up
after jumping into the lake for fun.

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this idea contains astounding resonance

when pressed orange juice comes out non GMO
when questioned the answer is yes
the idea pleads not guilty on all counts of mischief
there are so many other ways to say this
and they are all wrong.

in the manner of a heartbreaking work of staggering genius though with a minimized pretentiousness. i am not a hero. but i can say what i am doing is an overlooked indie gem. a reviewer’s paradise. i am writing this knowing no one reads my back catalogue. no one reads the present page. if you are reading this (96 words in) then give me a sign you gave me (106, now) words of your day. you aren’t. i know. there were tags or there weren’t and i was followed or unfollowed or the formatting was off on your tablet or the phone rang. or you liked it because the tag said anxiety or music or depression or comedy.

what i mean by mentioning dave eggers before diverted on the reality of an invisible impossible audience (you)… is that it clearly assisted him to write his stories with the injection of positivity with such a boisterous title. every page had to read against that title. it was a work of optimism and self-help and self-confidence. i do not think i have a point because i agree with max that dave eggers is a huge dork. nonetheless the semi auto biography is anxiously good. clearly an anxious creativity went through with it and decided on boisterous self-absorption over solipsism and negativity.

a college student had a chakra map in her hand. i asked her if she could tell me what kind of aura i am giving off. what am i exuding. she said orange. she said aligned with the spirits of water. she said you are elevated above most. i say you are kind but there must be some kind of mistake. additionally information my late gay uncle’s antiques collector acquaintance told me in my complexion, my eye color, my hair color, I should never wear orange and gave over four garbage bags of fancy clothes, all ill fit and there in that transaction with living strings to an uncle I never knew well and the clothes dumped without ceremony at a canoga park goodwill because i was disgusted in giving them to the ignorant sexist homophobic musicians i bedded with. so many layered stories.

 

the idea originally… the idea is to course through these and other writings. let little things stay little if they have a full point. let it be abstract. let it be observations with commentary. collect some of the best of these things and beginning piecing them together in a collage. call it a natural history of anxiety. intersperse weird and jarring passages with more essayistic pieces exploring the biological nature of anxiety. the necessity of anxiety. the paradox of guilt within and without.

K. said “I felt extreme anxiety for two years because I had an unfulfilling work/life situation. I went through cycles of paralytic anxiety with occasional attacks once every two weeks or so. This all mostly went away once I found meaningful work.”

Curious if there is a future in this.

 

wild dreams

no doubt so often i am consumed by ambitions the nature of which i never follow through

oftentimes i am paralyzed by assessing atrophied past projects~
passions never given enough blood to live
a life outside a mental life.
a frozen narrative of guilt for not-doing.

example: consistent input on this website
brief essays
paragraph poems
recordings of music
paintings
restructured paper collage
writing a natural history of anxiety
running up Queen Anne hill every morning
stretching the wrecked left shoulder and strained lowback every night
saving money by going out less
smoking
etc.

there are so many better ways to live. so much of this is habit. falling into old rhythms of dysfunction and malnourishment of the mind, the ambition still there in the bright eyed reflections when looking inward, but the outside, the real, is necessarily pushed aside. the weight of a catatonic depression lingering like a wet cotton sweatshirt in the lingering cold. the winter was fucking rough. i got into a habit of self-destruction in the sense of letting great ideas (art therapy ideas?) atrophy and turn ghostly. i got into a habit of setting myself up to fail rather than succeed. change the mindset now that tulips are coming up and it snowed yesterday.

more on this.

baby steps.

always moving through. always coursing through. stop staggering.

seatac airport after the holidays

Waiting Along With Others Waiting Also

 

There was a cutthroat, bottle-neck traffic
threatening efficient Arrivals pick-up –
like a fleet of ships in a bottle trying to get out
all at once – this is the meaning
of the bottle-neck. A constriction
where an open vista and the open movement
through the landscape
funnel together like a draining tub.

The flight was short and turbulent.
The cities seemed like other cities
from halfway between them and the jets.
All attempts at sleep were shaken awake
“like a baby in a crib,” she said.

When we hit the highway north
we were quiet
pinned down by unsayable things.

I am Not Considered a Local

Reading and writing are considered wintertime activities. In summer, the sunlight blasts life into the hills and valleys in 18 hour concentrations, filling out all the scraggly branches with green. Wildflowers pop out of the earth like slow motion fireworks. The growing season is short. Broccoli bursts into flower. Kale does okay. Everyone has a garden or a temperature modulated greenhouse and everyone has varying success. There are awards given to the best legumes at State Fair. Produce is expensive here and comes once a week on a barge from Seattle and from somewhere else before Seattle. Bananas are browning on arrival. Avocados quite ready. So on.

Everything comes alive quick and ready in the summer. The sun is here. The sun is flooding this place with light. This is not the time for thoughtful leisure, they say. This is the time to hike and slide and jump and play and boat and fish and fill the freezer with things to eat in the dark months, the months we won’t yet mention. No one who lived here in the winter spends these sunny days reading or writing music. They are out, social, impelled by the peripheries of those forever looming dark days (haunting their mortgage) to go out and act like the foliage in these violent, swift seasons of growth.

Bonfires with homemade instruments. Shuttle buses for bushwhacking hikes up unnamed peaks. Ferry rides around the corner into the misty fjords. Biking to Canada. Watching bears behave as unpredictably as wind on the water’s surface. Big shaggy things. Alarmingly huge, even from a distance. I don’t want us to frighten each other on the trail, bear. I don’t want our heartrates to peak at the same time. I want what you want and I want to live. You are a good analogy to the natural rhythm of the people in tune with these seasons. Hibernate, binge, etc. I’ll admit I’ve never taken more naps in my life than while up here. Some somnolent daze keeps me out of more youthful energies I’ve known. Can no longer be so reckless, says the future. You are approaching 30 faster than you thought possible. I don’t know why I’m so sleepy still in this Alaskan summer. Some part of the mind is stuck idling on something nonessential, burning up energies without me taking a conscious part of this fuel transfer. What is it I am so fixated on to keep me inside?

Summer works as a boost of adrenaline only for those who know winter. It is beautiful. Snow covers everything. No tourists other than heli-skiers. You must snowshoe or ski or snowplow to work or to the bbq. Huddled over a cup of tea with the frozen whipping wind outside. This is the time to write and to read. Going on into the snowy dark to chop more kindling for a fire in the rattling cabin. A guitar near the fire. You are looking deeply into your only soul and you see it multiply and you are terrified. The winter reverses the summer light with darkness. Nearly 5 hours of sun in the dead of winter, but much less depending on the angle of the Chilkat mts. from your home. The dark is what people are most afraid of during this time. Dark night of the soul. The northern lights streak across the brightest constellations as green smoke. You wait in your cabin with your books.

“Do you live here?” a guest will ask.
“Yeah, for now.”
“Oh so where do you spend winter?”
“Not sure yet. I have not arranged an exit strategy.”

Phantasms – Creating Characters

30 minutes sept 26, 2014
5:41 pm-6:14pm

When I come home to write, I can imagine words shaping themselves into ellipses and spiraling out of the air into my mind, and I, transcribing wildly, might glean some truthful version of the events of the day, the mundane observation mixed with truth of unsettling detail. The soul of the situations all spread out onto the operating table.

(I wanted to keep my sanity and write with method and patience and adequate timing, etc. Earlier, I avoided my free-write and have been a cloud ever since. No solid ground on which to stand. A downed bridge in heavy fog and the drivers are suspended through the crisp air above the ravine before plummeting.)

Mind wanders too far and it doesn’t seem to know how to complete a thought to place in the head of a fictional character. Hear the muddled advice of a number of authors say, “Every character you create is yourself, an extension of your own fears, desires, joys. These exaggerations are not lies, and bending through your internal vocabulary is a psychological attempt to make sense of the harder-to-cope-with parts of your personality. Through exaggeration, that time you overreacted to the spilled cup of coffee can be taken apart and examined as a fossil found washed ashore on some rocky beach… then, with horror, you find it to match with exactitude your selfsame DNA. You are the author and you are your characters. You have the power to resolve conflicts within yourself through them.”

I have tried to begin a sentence four or five times now and erased every word of it. This is not a free write. This is a sabotage of the creativity because of how self analytic it is. Of course I need inspiration to create the characters through which I can work through my paralyzing guilts and paranoid prosecution anxiety, where the characters are fucking real but heroic and never crack under the pressure that washes over me like a placid little flower being drowned in a heavy rain. Regret does not exist in the created world. Only in the terrible, depraved world of the creator, who creates nothing focused enough to share. Nothing nothing nothing. No combination of words from the ether can be shared reasonably or published or even re-read by me!

Negativity die. Give yourself some astrological free will advice to warm up the cooling embers of your heart, the tight ropes wound round the lungs and the curve of the spine as it is swallowed up by the orange chair, the apples on the table, the digging I can do, the excavating of stories, the wonderful images and beginnings, the mountain erased by clouds, the packs of roving imbeciles on a campus that fuels me with a kind of sardonic fear of emulsion, yet the cynicism is louder and yells longer than their voices…so many, many, many. So terrible too. Their faults numerous in their acceptance of the status quo as a way to exist so happily in bliss and with god and the ministers of peace and justice are always self-proclaimed and never secretly gifting strangers the elected spirit of a positive mindset at random, with strings and syringes, in red brick public squares, illuminated by a cross breed mutt architecture and the green distances all, all, all directions.

You are amazing, fantastic, great at knowing how to live. Creativity pours out of your eyes like tears of zeus. or lightning bolts out of thunderstorms caused by volcano eruptions. Yes! There are problems in the machinery. Your depression nearly laid you flat before you took a bus downtown to climb a 40 story building and investigate the public library. You wanted to sleep and in a dark place, it is understandable. You wished for an out at that point. A pill to swallow to paste a collage of smiling advertising faces on your self. No, no. What helped this time was velocity. Getting on that god damn bus. Looking out the god damn window at quickly passing sights and lives. Then wandering aimless through the downtown cluster of shining, majestic buildings, newer and fresher than Amsterdam canal water. See the sea down the hills while walking along 5th or 3rd. Dream of pods of orca whales. Becoming one of them, or building one in the laboratory, and procreating to save the species. Helping them avoid quiet ferries among the loud motor boats.

Velocity always seems to help. Drinking in a dark room as photographs of newly inputted memories are suddenly blotted out by a carelessly, mechanically cleaning bartender.. “oops, were these yours? sorry about that. another double?” and then drinking it down and feeling the world pass by with ambition and purpose as your bar tab rises and your depression surrounds your body like a snake skin too heavy for the poor little snake to shake off no matter how much writhing and rustling in the overgrowth, the undergrowth of forested lanes.

This blockage is nothing! It truly is not a blockage! You’re borderline personality disorder. Anxiety is one voice. Contentedness is a student who never raises his hand. Creativity is drunk and boisterous, yet always in the mornings finds himself a false promiser. Ambition is a kid who wants to be an astronaut but doesn’t want to do math, just wants to look at the stars. Happiness is a white tiger in a darkening twilight snowdrift, bear in a cave, hibernating. Sadness is an atmosphere.

hibernate

{originally drafted February 10th 2014)

We constantly have to make a decision between reality and oblivion. For me, this is oblivion. I exit reality in order to assuage my artistic yearnings for the production of things. Writing is oblivion because it is a rambling explanation of reality rather than the present experience of it. Reality is out there, beyond the window of my computer screen and the windows of this house. Snowflakes dangle on ribbons on that window. That is reality out there because I saw a confused young buck with enormous, growing antlers eating the brambles near the old haunted path. My life memories are out there. I could walk out there presently and put this whole writing idea in the can, exiting oblivion.

Marijuana is often a portal for people. If I am afraid or unwilling to live in reality to a full extent, I might smoke myself into the rabbit hole, from which communication with reality becomes difficult. Even now, without the guiding influence of any drugs, I am absent from reality and therefore distant from connected ties with it. I am presently absent. Gloriously vacant and ignorant of the conversations I must have with real human beings, my friends, my old beloved friends desire to hear from me in my cave, but I might hibernate awhile longer, only if my oblivion is productive, you see.

I owe many talks to many people. I owe it to myself to create. I owe it to karma to straighten this all out and balance between the absent minded daylight (however brief today, my god!) and the definitive absence while in dreams.