Hey, Brother!Good to hear a friendly voice. Yeah, I hear it ...
Shooting off fireworks with the kids for the first time, huh? I got your numbers, hang on - hmm hmm. Boy, I can just imagine. First thing I think of is their bright faces. Did you ever wonder what moments they'll remember? A thought we keep to ourselves - for want of appearing stoic or strong or unconcerned with personal trifles - the first thought always for our kids, always wondering if we're right or wrong.
I sure as Hell hope you got that camera rollin' now and then. It's aesthetically pleasing - if you're good or just a lucky fella you might even catch that eternal moment, if at all possible - depending on your attention to details as they occur. That other stuff remains unrecorded - some of it deliberately - if only to exercise the mind, maybe. Years later, even, to judge your character or gauge your maturity; a marker set like a guide stone along the roadway to note the advance of time.
And then? The thrill of the Fourth when I was little boy, in all its noise and fury, popped into my pumpkin head.
"I know how to handle fireworks!" The 10 year old me piped up, looking hopefully at my Dad.
"You'll know how to handle them when one blows up in your hand". He looked at me directly, a little sternly, no malice intended but like he knew something I didn't, part of the Pantheon of knowledge only Daddy's had access to - O', would we ever rise to that level? Still, it urged me to take caution, if more for the seeking of approval than anything to do with my personal safety.
I did pretty well actually, even after we returned to River City, the City of Thieves and the most boring town in America. Plenty of trouble for a lad to get into, times being what they were. Each situation to be challenged or just ignored, at the height of your fancy for mischief. Plenty of that to go around, all right. Pre-Urban Renewal, the kids near feral and the people as funky as that Old River that flowed past at the lowest points along the Levee. Yeah, the return was a retreat really, to my "home". My father's, really, while I remained a stranger. I been one since, anywhere I go. I'm about the same age as him now.
You know what happens don't you? That firecracker with the quick wick blows up in your fingers. FUCK! Hurt's worse than frostbite, god damn it, hurts like a motherfucker for a while. So what do you do?
You sure as Hell don't cry. Not in front of anybody at least. Unh unh. Shake off those tears and just keep going like nothing ever happened ... show off the mark it left maybe.
But, what about your Mama's?
a piece of string
to hold it all together -
traces of dreams
"If a verse stands alone then its structure is largely self-referencing. In the case of haikai this means that, other than for a perfunctory bow in the direction of two or three lines, we can do what the hell we like. Because we already know what our mission is (should we choose to accept it): to be absolutely unequivocal about getting the content across. And if that means working in a bit of extra context ... all well and good. After all the text we're translating was written as free verse in the first place, right?"
"Well, no it wasn't actually. But those funny men in skirts probably only spent so much time on things like metrics, inflection, assonance, consonance and blah de blah because they were too damn stupid to know better. Not like us intellectuals, eh?"
Carley's renditions bounce unerringly off the wall and hit their mark spot-on. A *must* read for haikai poets everywhere.
Simply amazing! What a month, a week ... ! I read this news and nearly couldn't believe it - I am still stunned by this move. Maybe because there were no notices given about it. Not in my back yard, it wasn't. Not in the news. Why not? Always, consider the source.
I returned to Facebook last week, too, you know. I'd been away a long time, a real gone cat. Throughout the past election I'd tired of the drone - the righteous vicissitude and malleability of opinion changing with each catchphrase the narrators of thought externalized, straight from the script, some of it so shrill you'd almost beg for the promise of reprieve and embrace the lockstep of Newspeak and its ascension. I was a hairsbreadth from just chucking it all in. I can see why some retreat to the taciturn safety of ignorance - I was even screamed at for agreeing with a person's position - did I detect a lack of concentration? Seemed Pavlovian to me. There was one person who I could actually debate these questions with, but even he seemed under the spell of some strange enchantment. Or, he was being paid. I didn't realize that many professors moonlighted.
Now's a good time to read up on subjects (or expand your list) and come up with some real answers - not meandering in and out of the page when it suits you or when argument demands clarification and inspection. Science is not achieved by projecting a sense of authority or indignation. At least, test your theories first. You don't know where I've been or what others have suffered - suffering, perhaps, the best teacher of all.
I returned, not to "cavort", mind you - after familiarizing myself with it, in short order I'd considered my Facebook account to be nothing more than a tool for promotion - I went back to infiltrate. How so? I would create a trend. A new meme; one with a hashmark, #, applicable to twitter, no strain on the nervous system or its ability to be comprehended, just a comforting conformity - pronounce "meme" out loud and tell me I'm wrong - with a gentle premise: #PostForPeace I would become an agent among provocateurs. You see, I'd gotten my hands dirty before.
Yes - my scheme - to manipulate public opinion. I'd tried it before, but in a direct manner. After awhile of that, no one wished to engage me. Seems they didn't care much for factual statement, or didactic prose for that matter. Too dry. Most don't have general knowledge beyond a gloss or headline anyway. What they did respond to was emotion, and, being part of a "concern" - a sort of like minded righteousness - at that. Ample opportunity to study the phenomenon - popular posts receive the most replies and encouragement, political posts ranked equally for being contentious, if you chose a "side", off the chart, others mining friends by the thousands - I decided to mimic it, shamelessly, with similar zeal.
Nothing better to do - the group of writers I came to join didn't write - I settled on using guile to skew the message, to interject subtle, repetitive information and claim it was knowledge, add some misdirection if necessary, gathering mindless followers (five in the first five minutes) along the way to display my propaganda until I had a million hits - advancing, in my opinion, my ultimate goal for an anarchic vision . . #AUMF . Authorization for the Use Military Force.
Well, some people think it anarchic. It simply doesn't follow the Narrative currently in play. I think it a means to gain citizen involvement in decision making, actually, if you're smart enough to take what's rightfully yours. A means to find peace, if we were ever so lucky to pass it. What is it, exactly?
A return to Congress' original constitutional duty; to debate and determine who is our enemy, threatening our lives and existence here at home, or, as has been for 16 years ongoing without, "who is the ghost out in the hall?" The boogieman. The false flag, good guy/bad guy vilification, the means to bully, seize and/or co-opt any opposition to our Military/Security complex, raking in your tax dollars, hand over fist, while robbing weaker nations for the stuff that they think they "Need" - with the aid of some past colonial masters at times, a malcontent agenda, and some arm twisting to drive them. The Coalition - old King Leopold would be proud. What's to stop them? The Commission, you'd reply - isn't the Commission just a buffer between the people and the the King? It isn't, or never has been, a tribunal, it's decisions only ceremonial in nature. When was the last time it supported restraint in things of a military nature? His Majesty or Uncle Sam, those are your current choices. Assuming anybody's actually taken notice.
You might argue "But there's still the movement", There is no Peace Movement - not here anyway. No. Don't kid yourself. 1970, maybe. Don't try to argue. You'll lose.
An unadulterated Peace Movement doesn't exist in the USA. Oh, you could go stand on a bridge somewhere, chatting and signaling your virtue on a cardboard sign. I know this, mulled it over and chewed on it for awhile - considered the viability of the energy behind it, and the capacity to escalate it, get beyond the noise of the "thinkers" with elaborate theories all too willing to espouse them, and combine with other organizations, the disabled vets, the nurse's organizations (noted for their solidarity in advancing medical insurance causes), preferably with track records of "action" - until I spit it back out. Time was wasted. Time was lost trying to find one organization not bent on advancing its tenuous connections to social issues or an underlying political agenda.
Barring that agony, there was direct activism. I've tried to coax, threaten, cajole or instill a following over the course of the last decade or more. Not a following, to be precise. Just attention and involvement, cause and effect, the latter, hopefully, for the better. But the dark side was strong in this one. I've lost friends on account of it. Most on Facebook, come to think of it; a telling sign.
And those lost, over disagreements attributable to the election, the most purposefully divisive circus presented ever, in my estimation. My activism rejected logical fallacy - it involved thinking contrary to accepted norms. Not a great venue to win friends and influence people, either. It hurt me, too, stoked my insecurities and threatened my self image. It probably even left a mark. I'd gone against the grain but hadn't time to check for blisters. It changed me. More people say I'm an asshole now than before.
Acting on a cause like this was like asking someone to be food taster for a tyrant. After all, this is a $trillion dollar industry$ - year after year after year ... but you say there is still? All right, here I am, you're looking at it. Think that preposterous? I may be all you got. What do you care - Well, what did you do in the war, Daddy? "I was scared" would be an appropriate response.
If you'd answered, with some care, you'd have acknowledged one and a half million dead non-combatants due our military adventurism, an amount our Secretary of Defense "Mad Dog" Mattis recently disavowed, Albright only partially conceded and Hillary cackled on about thinking no one would ever learn of her culpability - not one of them taking any responsibility, of course - that would be a start.
There was one little hitch in my nefarious plan though. Zuckerberg, the owner of FB, had just changed Facebook's mission. Oh - haven't you heard? Oh - did he ever. Not without a little help and guidance from his friends, I'd wager.
A few "shares" of my innocent meme and the omnipotent algorithms kicked in, cutting off any thing I attempted right at the knees. And that's how it stayed, locked tighter than a drum, forbidden to "share" or post for two days running until I gave up in disgust. I tried to end run it, even sending some brave volunteers to certain erasure - my account, which I'd abandoned for so long, had never really let me walk away. But for some recurring cookies, I've since continued our separation, opting for some remorse.
It's not a "dating service", by the way. It's a stockade for the lonely and for the willing - and those few stalwarts who don't quite fit in? Regardless, every user there is herded to one end; no squawk, no fuss, you will be only with people who totally agree, "we" will direct you, to disobey is to be ostracized - you can even block out voices that don't agree with yours ... Read the happy clip here. Then throw it up to a mirror to reveal what it really means. Cross yourself first. I was spooked for an entire week afterward. Pun intended.
As for Representative Lee, above? She was the only Congress Person in 2001 to not vote for military intervention. Who would have thought that? Nobody at the time. Someone, or some entity, had attacked, and nobody was asking questions. Certainly not the populace, stirred to a frenzy as they were. Even if someone had petitioned their legally elected representative - The President boldly stated he would proceed with or without the public's consensus. Do you get the point now?
No voice. No decision making or debate. Patronizing words, a bait and switch, do what you're told, with some willing already, whether or not they are able. None for The Others. Others just standing by while Others are dead. But how do you think your Representative or Senator, will choose to vote for an #AUMF, Amerikan? Who's whispering in his/her ear? To whom is he beholding? The biggest contributor to maintain his office? A string of promises on a golden thread dangled like a carrot from a pearl-handled stick ... doesn't anyone do anything for their own integrity? But wait.
Pardon my hashtag, but doesn't he owe his position to your informed decision? Alright, disregarding relative knowledge of the subject, or what sources provide it, a choice abandoned to convenience, at that; I'm referring to a vote cast to return to Constitutional authority, your vote, one that outweighs private entanglements ... wait, that's almost a dirty word now, isn't it? Only "liberty" freaks and knuckle dragging goons adhere to that. What is the actual purpose? The Constitution is the law of the land, its actors, essentially, the authority, yet its contents are severely self limiting in nature to prevent any oppressive rule. It offers only negative reinforcements further restricting Government's intrusions - all allowances, changes, state efforts, interpretations, misrepresentation and disrespect in general - we screwed those up ourselves. Isn't that our nature ... but to put aside the philosophical and directly promoting action; Didn't they take an Oath, and how did that image of citizen representation emerge? The usual methods, the usual suspects ... fuck 'em.
Direct enough? But, it's yours, if only you would accept it. Do with it what you will. I might even go along. Not for some overseer behind a curtain - Look, I don't even want to hear what you think. I barely found the time to write this. I'd rather you contact your Representative/Senator now, before they vote. Now go and tell them personally; visit, call, text, email, fax, harass if you must ... if you care about the consequences of not doing so. Be persistent. What was it ... oh, yeah, just type this . . #AUMF
A ‘flock’ of crows reside in the woods by my new school, or should I say I’m a new student? … they are obviously a family group, with their own distinct inflection of sounds when they call to each other. A bit different from the dialect of the city crows near my apartment, who have a hardened edginess to their communication. Are these city dwellers more stressed? Or is their stridency meant to overcome the noise and confusion of the humans rushing about beneath them? Perhaps they are a ‘murder’, a 'mob', or a 'gang' of crows?
I sometimes look for the Preserve’s crows as I cross the bridge by their wooded ground as I travel to and fro for a course in field biology. Even when I’m not thinking, trying to focus/not focus on my breathing, I can’t help but notice their antics or hear their friendly calls to one another. They happily disregard us, unlike the city crows, who seem to challenge us when Dottie and I take walks through the streets and alleys.
Dottie, Buddha that she is, remains unperturbed – unless, of course, the rabbit is about!
Were their lives prearranged, I wonder? But how might that be possible? I may or may not fear the truth. Actually, I don't feel much of anything at all. Not anymore.
Our fate, for that matter, may have been sealed eons ago, the turn of some monolithic, cosmic wheel the deciding factor. But, where's the point in dawdling in such metaphysical claptrap? Yet I still can't ... something in that moment I saw her the first time.
She was so young, in appearance, at least. Her face, set just so, affecting an innocence that mirrored the little boy's perfect features exactly. Once she was aware I was watching - I doubt anything missed her attention - the corners of her mouth curling, jawline raised ever so slightly to expose her flawless throat ... for a moment I imagined she meant to offer it, like ripe fruit for the taking. "This can't be," I thought, my cheeks flushed. "What the Hell am I thinking?" I hadn't looked away, however.
My eyes were captured by hers - crystalline, inescapable - no shame or remorse there. There it was again! I couldn't be sure. Some clever deceit? Imperceptible - I knew I'd aroused it - an intuition maybe, revealed in her best features; a consciousness, beyond her years, or even mine? An expectation perhaps - belying calm, and wisdom, yet an awful knowing.
Clumsily, I turned aside, made some excuse and walked away. Yes. Now I was certain.
the old school ground