Friday July 28, 2017

A breeze kicks up in the hour or so after noon. It offers a sound that sucks me into the depths of my lawn chair, which, in its recliner position, allows me to float at near parallel to the horizontal plane. I picture an animated diagram of air masses circulating, their representations occupying different positions in space from one moment to the next. The world advances and retracts as a visual surface along an x-axis. I set loose my lugubrious retention circuit and begin to melt. Moving from a beginning, which is a “becoming,” we arrive at being. We are. But we also hold it. We put it away for safekeeping. Can I imagine saying “no” to writing, so as to just be? Let thought off its echo-chambered leash. Can you do that for me, reader? Plants are little alien lifeforms, stretching their many arms toward the sun. I can turn these arms to make them reach toward absorption of me, but only temporarily, against the plant’s own tendencies. I guess I feel both loved and unloved simultaneously. Like I’ve neglected the full use of my body. Go out, I tell myself. Consort with wizards and witches, slay dragons, journey. Or am I more of a static, long-take kind of guy? Frame the shot and then study it as life unfolds. Obviously the latter, no? As for the country and mode of production in which I reside, I regard these as sinking ships. I genuinely can’t picture any fix for the mess we’re in — at least, not within the relevant span, which is the lifetime of this guy right here (points downward), Mr. #1. Personal salvation, or at least the fantasy thereof, through the Zig Zag Zen of potsmoking and spiritual writing, is all I’ve got. I confess to suffering full-blown Left melancholia, and I feel guilty about it. I fear a cyberleft superego will come bullying me the moment I go public. Bathing me in insults. I’m embarrassed with myself, but it’s who I am — and so, on a deeper and more lasting level, I have to embrace it and perhaps even find a way to love it. A person’s chance at happiness is found here or not at all. I close my eyes and see Pepe the Frog and the spinning hand of a clock in the pulsing black-and-white face of a Hypno Disk. The enemy’s hypno-propaganda arrives like junkmail each day in my subliminal sense-perceptual inbox. My hatred of the Right, in all its manifestations, makes my blood boil. I’ll never reconcile with those fuckers. I’ll never come in from the cold. Yet even on the Left, I have no true friends obsessed enough with me, attracted enough, to want to read me like a book. I wanna feel as if, through my writing, I’m turning others on. In that sense, I “identify” with what I’m doing. I wish to share that which to me is of value, in the hope that others will find value in it as well. Speaking of which, I find value, too, in following the trail of clues that reality brings my way, like Inter-Dimensional Music by a New Age artist named Iasos.

Try listening to “Rainbow Canyon” while reading quatrains from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Reality can feel that good, assuming one has the right strain of pot. I can dictate suggested activities for readers and thus DJ or curate spans of experience. But wouldn’t that be a kind of fiction expressed as algorithmic essence? Command lines tell, they don’t show. And of course there’s still that suspicion, that worry of ours, that the world’s fate hangs by our concentration. We have to make our readers believe us. We have to show them that we are the kind of being that needs to be rubbed to be released from its bottle. I mean handled properly, we’re able to grant wishes. An observing goddess, turning and throwing her hands up in exasperation, says, “There he goes, off on another delusion of grandeur.” Jaw out, I reply, “I insist that I be allowed to realize my dream.” And with that, the dream unfolds. Perhaps what I lack is gumption. Pirsig calls it “psychic gasoline.” He writes in the character-ized voice of his reader’s always-still-absent Father. And as for you, the one reading this, go do yourself a favor and listen to Jacques Dutronc’s Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi, France’s reply to Dylan. And for good measure, throw in The Leaves’ version of “Hey Joe”: flower punk boiled down to its essence. Keep in mind, though, that flower punk as a genre can stretch even as far as the ethnomusicological exotica of Sun City Girls’s Torch of the Mystics, particularly their track “The Shining Path.”

Thursday July 27, 2017

I feel compelled to write my work this way, however crooked or stoned — for it needs to be written, and I cannot write it otherwise. A real act of hypnosis occurs. Hypnos is the god of sleep, whose abode is Erebus, eternal darkness. He carries his inverted torch when I lower my lighter-flame to my pipe. The circle within the triangle is the symbol that supplies a perfect field for scrying. But receptivity is not the same as submission. I suggest that you investigate the website of Ordo Astri: The Order of the Star. The central experience of the Initiate to the order is “the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.” The aim of this group is “Gnosis or Illumination, not belief.” Alongside my work as an instructor at a nearby university, I must also enroll in an Invisible Collegium. The faculty of this Collegium are Illuminated Souls who communicate through symbols. Ordo Astri itself is one such means. Their website tells me, for instance, to picture Horus as my Holy Guardian Angel, polymorphic and thus passing through many layers of form, these latter occasionally viewed out of the bottom of my eye all at once on a single plane. I’m disappointed, though, when the magical system introduces the need for adversaries, dwelling at the threshold between stages of Illumination’s unfolding. Of these stages, there are three: the Invisible Order of the Silver Star, the Inner Order of the Rosy Cross, and the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn. At that point, I lose contact: these man-made systems have too many rules. But what if, on second thought, I were to click on the link to their book, The Enterer of the Threshold? Nothing, as it so happens —  as one has to pay to read it. Robert Pirsig’s book, meanwhile, is oddly precise in evoking a scenario similar to the one I’ve arrived at with my courses on “Hip” — for the latter is a type of Quality, like the kind Phaedrus asked his students to write about when he was teaching up in Bozeman. This is just me checking in with myself about my emotions. Scanning into the silent interruption time of a streamed performance. The webcammer as stoned author of automatic speech. One who scans one’s contacts and selects inner voices at will. Perception’ll get blurry, you’ll start slurring “where was I?” Early onset Alzheimer’s. And the world feels like children playing games, some of them terrible and cruel. The sense Kurt Cobain captured with such economy in Nirvana’s “School.”

Psychedelia never included that skin-crawling sensation, that claustrophobia, that ’80s teenager unrest. These latter emerged only with post-punk, and its variant, grunge. How odd, to think of life or experience as anything but school! Remember the rich, psychological complexity of Michael Azerrad’s Kurt. A hero-character from childhood. Climbing out of windows. Up-up-up-and-down, turn-turn-turnaround: Azerrad’s Kurt was that kind of kid. The kind of tortured romantic personality that I admired in others, but never myself possessed. Imagine using lyric as a way to communicate with fans. Use your cosmic affinities to will bits of beauty into the minds of others. Imagine believing that, as an educator, you could actually shape the minds of others. Why am I not able to convincingly explain the relationship (for the many, not just the one) between language, consciousness, and media? My consciousness can manufacture, internally, cartoons against a dirt valley. A story that works out the ripple and thus contains a secret truth. With Game of Thrones, for instance, we’re processing allegorical impulses toward renewed alliance among former subjects of the Crown of England. That was a “game,” so to speak, that children in the universal playground were coerced into playing. A terrible way to put it, as the game was quite deadly — but the laws, the customs, the armies, all of it, were premised upon humanity’s propensity for social play. To perform is to act is to play. Given this line of thought, perhaps I should seek a copy of Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala’s Hermeneutic Communism. The goal, though, should be to construct a synthesis of Eric Berne’s Games People Play and Althusser’s theory of school as capitalism’s primary ISA.