How to keep on living through the end of days
How to not be crippled by the sadness of this age
The finitude of resources is purely material
For the wellsprings of our feelings there is no human gauge
To look at the world with open eyes
And have a tiny child
And bear the brunt of what awaits them
And do it with a smile
Is really all that any parent's ever done
The world was always gonna end
And everyone was always gonna die
And nobody ever really had any friends, for more than a minute
Because my happiness is your hurt
And all love entails betrayal
And no one ever had anything won
Without someone else cursed to fail
And part of me longs to embrace the dirt
Just let volcanic ash blanket me
Because no one ever felt anything good
Without someone else condemned to jail



Harlan Ellison is a piece of shit. No matter: I have no mouth and I must scream.



Schizophrenia. What to say? He had a mean streak, but there are reasons for that. It's just a bad combo. He wasn't an evil person, inasmuch as I don't believe in the existence of evil as an ontological thing. But we've all a capacity for cruelty, and if the entirety of human history demonstrates one thing, it's that all the intersectional cruelties we've dealt to each other, magnified by our own eternally-internal bullshit... well, life is a feedback loop of self-perpetuating war. Life is war and hell. Hell is subjectivity.

He'd become kind and gentle. I only ever visited his place once in my adult life, and he was super-stoked that I was into music. He lent me his Kiss "Alive!" double-CD. He was maybe a decade older than I was, and I remember when I first started going to parties, it was kind of an oh-shit thing when he'd show up. By the time I'd moved away and would occasionally visit my hometown, he'd mellowed with the help of both age and meds.

I know I knew him long before, but my first resounding memory of him is this:

My mom and I are alone in my grandparents' house. I think it's before my grandfather died? No, it's gotta be after. But still, for some reason it's already strange that we're alone in the house. Grammy must be in Miramichi. My mom grabs me unexpectedly and says "We're going for a drive." I didn't understand what was going on until I looked out the dining-room window, and there he was, pacing back and forth in front of the house with an axe in his hand. It was pretty scary, and I sure didn't understand it at the time. I don't remember where we went or what we did. All I can remember is how freaked-out my mom was, and this guy stalking the place we were staying, on a rural route, with an axe.

I came to "understand" schizophrenia much later, with the help of a few books and some real-life experiences. I put that in quotations because even cognitive science continues to misapprehend exactly what it is, or if it even is a unified disorder. A mind is just not a quantifiable thing.

In later years, he always called when I came to town. He spoke slowly and with a kind of slow-motion precision--an approach to communication I revere.

He died last night, in an altercation with some cops.



The other day I almost burst into tears on the sidewalk, just lamenting in my head the state of humankind. I walked a block and a half past where I was going, just trying to keep the sorrow internalized, before I even noticed where I was and what I was robotically doing. There seems to be a lot of this going around within my peer group. Maybe the world. I can't profess to know. Why do we keep this shitshow going? These continual cycles of horrid violence, of moral decrepitude, of malignant, poorly-judgmental iniquity; and consensus reality defines them as necessary, or even inherent to existence. Fuck that bullshit noise. Never let anyone tell you it had to be this way. We, as humans, have superseded nature. Point blank, case closed, and if you want to quibble about the semantics of that (because I'm aware they exist) you can either kiss my fucking ass or bomb it into oblivion with an artillery shell. Our unique, evolutionarily adaptive trait, as a species, is technology, and we have the technology to fix every single fucking problem on the planet, though the clock is ticking. Bomb another inch of Palestine, while polar bears scramble to find a surface upon which to even exist.

I was thinking about cruelty and kindness. I once told myself that the day I stopped walking up escalators would be the day I moved out of the city. But now I think up escalators, and it's not the time to move yet. When that time comes, I might have to find a horse. Both kindness and cruelty are so easy, so requisite of no effort, it just seems baffling, unreal, abhorrent to me that we systemically choose to be cruel. I mean, I'm far below the "poverty line" in terms of taxable income, which is still HUGE in terms of western privilege, but it still systemically forces me to buy my underwear at some big box store. And I don't even live in a small town anymore, where, even if I had the disposable income, I wouldn't have access to some kinda artisanal birch bark/ethically-raised chicken-feather Snuggie.

So on this systemic level we are forced to be cruel. To people we'll never see or meet. It's crazy. Like, that's not anyone's definition of sanity, right?

I was walking up the steps, coming up out of Metro Acadie, where you're pretty far underground, behind a struggling elderly woman. Since my grandmother's last years, I've continually had the impulse to offer my elbow, my arm to elderly people walking up stairs. I never do. Because that's weird, right? It's some unspoken social restriction, and if I were to offer my help I might well be met with consternation. Or--and even worse--it might seem as though I am somehow emphasizing their fallibility. But we all get old, and we all eventually die. I see no reason to pretend otherwise. I likewise see no reason to embrace abject morbidity as an aesthetic choice the way so many people I consider to be friends and peers have. There are no politics here, no stance to be taken: life is life and death is death. The line cut is sharp and inextricable. So be it.

I am not a religious person, not by a long shot, though as I get older I understand more and more the value and perhaps necessity of ritual and rites. Nearing the end of my grandmother's life, I chose to begin accompanying her to church on the rare occasions I was able to visit. It all seemed like such random, pagan bullshit, except that I was there, with her. Grammy was a person of words (and the reason I know how to punctuate, for example--no thanks, school system), but never a wordy person. So it happened, in unspoken but understood terms, that I became a churchgoer with my grandmother, for a time before her death. My mom, who raised me areligiously and holds a similar Catholic-damaged agnosticism to my own--she and I would stand together during that whole part where people line up to eat the body of Christ or whatever, and save a seat for Grammy. It brought us all closer together, so church has that going for it, at least.

I know I've written about this before, but in my mind and heart it bears repeating. I wasn't there when my grandmother died, but almost exactly one year prior, her system failed, and she may as well have died then. We signed the "do not resuscitate" thing.  It feels callous writing that, but I believe it to be true, and I say it with no complicated sentiment, only love. She went to that edge, and whatever effort her body overtook to survive brutalized her mind, leaving her demented for the last year of her life. I know this is better than the cards dealt to others. But on that early deathbed we had a moment alone, together, and while she held my hand I asked, childishly, "So hey, how's it going?" I kinda meant it in an "Is there anything I can get you?" way, but instead she answered, cutting through every layer of bullshit that ever existed with a voice that still quietly and with unflinching exactitude serrated the mountains: "I'm afraid."

You have to understand just how tough my grandmother was. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse when she was still in what we now think of as "teenhood". She married outside Catholicism because fuck you. To her last day she had what I would consider to be burnt toast for breakfast, and even throughout her mental degradation could impeccably recite the poems of her childhood. She was hard, but never brittle. When I, more afraid than she, asked, "Afraid of what?" she said, with a note of quiet internal revelation and a little bit of a question mark at the end, "Well, of dying, I suppose." No one else was in the room. It was a secret that I am betraying to you, and I don't exactly know why. We just kept holding hands.



I once saw a place so filled with abject, irrational beauty, that its inhabitants had scooped out their eyeballs to facilitate the bald blindness of their tears, in a ritual expression of the incompatibility of love with reason, of the paucity of plurality, and the wisdom of one thousand generations of systemic illusion with the chaotic, heterogeneous unity of the locust swarm.

In it walked a man so overburdened with sentimentality that his shoes rebelled against the loving abuse of his constant heavy plodding in cyclic, irregular systems of emotion, and eroded willfully until his gnarled feet were bare, and his clothes, whipped by the gale force of the lunatic storm erupted by the meeting of all feelings felt at once, fell away in tatters, until one day the man, naked to the bone, wept in a market square before a crowd of one thousand, not out of mere sorrow, but as an expression of the caterwauling simplicity and infinite simultaneity of the entire spectrum of feelings, like the waveforms of an oscilloscope expressing the madness and acute measurements of a broken, spasmodic God.



A youth spent as cultural decor. Capacity for love increased, functionality flatlining, dragging back into sepulchral order, with plain altitude and hopeless attitude. Lofty words skirt the fine and dead lines between clouds of love, burgeoning with rain and plenitude, and the sound of seagulls with no sea. Don't understand and I'll wish I could do the same.




I'm not sure if it's worthwhile or even not-hurtful to write this, but I got feelings too, ya know? With helicopters buzzing overhead and my uncertainty concerning my place in this whole burgeoning outside conflict, it's hard to keep getting repeated hug*sike*punches from you on the inside. Your desperation is the same as my own, with the difference that I don't keep changing the definition of what we want from or should or could give each other.

What do you want from me? It's a valid question, don't you think? Futile, too, perhaps.

I guess in some polyamourous polymorphous-perverse perfectiverse it's irreproachably sensible and not emotionally confusing to sleep with someone repeatedly, but only occasionally regard or be allowed to regard it as a sexual relationship. Actually, no, even that's fucked up: in the perfectiverse we would both have authorship in this.

I should never have slept with you. If you or anyone else can feel that sleeping in the naked intimacy of each others' arms is purely an act of celibate friendship after such a sexualized and asymmetrical history, I wholeheartedly endorse it. I don't think I can do that. Maybe I'm part of the old guard and need to die, I dunno. And, trust me, I am losing sleep over the glaring fact that this is, at least in someone's interpretation, some patriarchal bullshit where I'm trying to manipulate you into fucking me.

I am. Duh. Or at least partly; more accurately I think we just need one or the other, but not both. Sleeping with our crotches together between two layers of underwear is neither nonsexual nor platonic: it's a fucking emotional mess.

I know you are in a tough time right now. I want to reach out to you. I want to pluck you off the bad ride you're on and just show you that it can be OK. That getting a taste for bitterness and other acquired tastes does not entail BECOMING bitter. Don't do it. You keep reaching out to me and then retracting; I guess you can't decide where I stand for you. I'm standing right fucking here. Don't tread on me.



I mean by this that I am now feeling that I've exhausted my own potential in attempting to create unique parts that nonetheless individually both create and amend an homogeneous whole. That "whole" is still compelling, but it is an illusion. I'd thought it necessary.

Maybe it is. All systems require dialogue, and I am alone here. I am expressing myself poorly because I'm talking to myself.

I'm having a hard time explaining myself because my brain is creating a syllogism here between my lives creative and "romantic."

I want to make groove-oriented music, or art, or love. Or whatever. I'm running with this. Each part is simple, boring, even, but the whole is heterogeneous in the sense that it all works together, a celebration of synchronized, teleoglogical cacophony. This is not a new idea, but it is one that's never taken hold. The systems of love may seem irrational; they are nothing but; too often in the modern argument is reason confused with empiricism; too often in the postmodern argument are these things excused as phantasmagoria, simulacra, or simply fashion.

How to, how to. If we can't create a chord in passing, then I have failed. My dick has shriveled to a thumbnail. I bet Baudrillard never had a satisfying love experience either. If this is truly impossible, then I want to make parts that create a unified whole expressing this. What bothers me is that I must do it alone; I don't know if I have the wherewithal or the means to manufacture the incredibly simple music ? I hear in my head. It still requires the participation of others, but not in this same "band" way. I need to have clearer vision, a means of capturing it, and a legion of people willing to play individually mindless parts. Or I could just retreat into mindless visual art.




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