Paint Me A Picture

Writing Practice 7/5/2019 – Paint me a picture…

Paint me a picture of the sunset. Use red, and orange, and yellow, and sunflower, and orange-red, and burnt sienna, and pink, and pink-grey, and blend the colors together with the last few clouds of the day, and have them standing in stark contrast to the deepening blue of the sky, as the sun sinks lower, becomes larger, swells with its pride of having performed well for yet another day.

Streak the solid blue sky background with the white-blend-grey tops of clouds filling the vision, hanging there suspended as if on strings, or a scaffolding, fixed, waiting. Use the leftover melds of yellow-orange and orange-red and yellow-red-burnt sienna to color the undersides of the clouds, creating that stark contrast between day and night, below and above, the opposite of the way we normally think of the setup. Day is below the clouds, now, at sunset, as Sol has burned himself out once more, performed admirably yet again in bringing heat and power to the world, as she has given of herself to the surface, has divested herself of all that stored potential energy she has, and, instead of keeping it for herself, instead of maintaining herself on it, instead of restraint and inhibition, she has blessed us, with abundance, with abandon, and in so doing she has exhausted herself, like the fat sturgeon fighting the currents to get to her nesting station, as she has deposited her brood in their rightful place, as she, then exhausted, collapses under the weight of the biological urges within her, and dies, to drift back downstream in renewal and in anticipation, in foreshadowing the life of her offspring yet to come. She is the embodiment of self-sacrifice, of service, of giving of oneself for another, and we see the parallel in the sun in the way that she, too, like that mother full of futures, has been filled with our futures, our possibilities of the day, and she, in her infinite patience, has disgorged herself for us. Has given us of her energy, her power, her life-blood, so that we may live, and breath, and drive, and fuck, and we repay not but what we ineffectively, insufficiency, proclaim of her beauty when we write an essay such as this, when we paint a picture such as that, when we sing her praises, insufficiency, inadequately, imperfectly, yet, we still do, we say thank you, we appreciate all you do for us, we spend our time as we rest in the evening with gratitude on our lips and in our hearts and in our notebooks, and we, then, refill ourselves, even as Sol has gone away to fill herself one more, to drink of the eternal spring of Natural Refreshment, to be the way of renewal, to capture and store up, for us, to build up a huge, vibrant, dynamic reservoir of power, and warmth, and inspiration, that she, in her infinite patience and goodness and mercy, will, with the coming of the dawn, once again choose to bless us.

Writing Practice 6/11/2019

The Good Sonpage 107 – The world spun around me.

I could tell I had been drugged. After so many years of intentionally setting myself in this state of mind, I could tell the different types of after-effects. This felt like an episode of marijuana laced with some PCP. I’d done both individually, before, and knew I was happy high, and paranoid while tripping.

This felt like the combination. I wanted to hold everything that came my way and make love to it, but everything I could see had suddenly sprouted heads, and extra butts, and now the leaves had turned purple and the squirrels were the size of donkeys and their eyes were bigger than my head, and that freaked me out a little bit, too. But still I loved those huge, ridiculous donkey-squirrels, and I wanted to take them inside of me and to blend them with me, I wanted to melt them with my stomach acid and to merge their flesh unto my flesh, to imbue myself with the essence of donkey-squirrel, to merge my soul with the liquified, purified, gelatinous donkey-squirrel-orange-leaf-green-rainbow soul, to become a harmonious being outside of space, inside of time, to become a melded, blended, homogenous thing that had no individual identity but only a one-ness, a universality, a connection to the electric underpinning of the universe tangential path out of the cosmos and into, through, above and below and beyond the ether, to lose myself and to gain the donkey-squirrel, to make our consciousnesses become greater than the sum of our parts, to be absent from the body and to be present with the spirit, the Great Spirit, the Greatest Spirit, the one who guides, who directs, who rules, who controls and yet still allows the freedom, a purpose, a will to guide itself, to explore itself, to see where this uncertain, undefined, infinite future may flow to, to be unceasing and incessant, to permanently and effortlessly turn in circles of being, to love and to want and to live and to be, to exist, to subsume, to control and release, to breathe and to be exhaled, to know and to forget, to live and live and live and live and live forever.

Writing Practice – 6/9/2019

Writer about a log floating in the water…

Can you see it? There! About twenty feet out, it’s longer than your arm – thicker than your leg. Do you see how that branch comes out from the side, and looks like an arm? Can you see how the fingers stretch and reach towards the sky?

I imagine most of it is below the water line. If there is one branch sticking up, how many more must be reaching down? Three, four maybe. Big, hairy, gnarled arms trailing into the water.

Do you think there are fish swimming in and out, like a playground? This is a pretty big lake, after all. I bet there are some bluegill down there, maybe a sunfish, or a bass. Have the Asian Carp made it here yet? They were all over in that last place we went, remember? Such a problem, though I didn’t understand why. Couldn’t we just catch a lot of them? Maybe eat them, too. You know hwy they’re always talking about starving children in Africa? We could catch those Asian Carp and send them over there so they could eat them.

Do you know how deep this lake is? I bet it’s at least like ten feet deep. I dove in off the back of my friend’s boat last summer, and I tried to touch the bottom, you know, like you do when you’re at the pool? I went down and down, reaching with my fingers. I knew I was goin to touch the mud, but I never felt anything. I felt my ears get tighter, you know, with the pressure and all, but it never stopped. I probably kicked five or six times, and when I do that at the pool I only need to kick two or three and I can touch the bottom. That’ about eleven feet deep. So this is probably a lot deeper. Maybe I was going sideways, but then the pressure wouldn’t have been getting stronger and stronger, would it?

I wonder if we could dive off this boat now, what we would see. Would we scare those fish away? Do you think they would let us touch them? I think it would be creepy to touch a fish. Do you think they can feel things through their scales? Do they have nerves out there? Can they move those scales? You know, like birds can ruffle their feathers. That would be cool! Imagine if you saw a fish, just swimming in its tank, and then it ruffled its scales when it got scared, or threatened. That would look pretty exciting.

Oooh! What if you saw a dragon do that? Can you imagine, a forty-foot long dragon ruffling its scales, and breathing fire, and flexing its wings, and clenching its talons? I bet you’d crap your pants, you’d be so scared.

Writing Practice 2/27/2019

What is this? See YouTube video:

Something Strange This Way Comes

This is a single sperm of a gigantic rubber monster. It’s about 600 feet tall, and it lives generally in the Amazon rainforest. Last month it was on a multi-national trek, on a press tour or something, and it got kind of antsy. The handlers realized something was wrong, so they jerked it off. These things are the result. They spew out ten million at a time, and when this one here was blown up into the air it caught the attention of an eagle, who mistook it for a fish. The eagle grabbed it in its talons, and returned to its nest, whereupon it found that there was no way in hell that that was a trout or a bass. Instead of returning to the jungle where it was caught, the Eagle simply dumped the rubber sperm over the side of its nest, where it fell to the ground a couple of hundred feet below, then tumbled down a hillside and landed in a stream. This is all in Mexico, remember, because that eagle has quite a wide territory.

Well, about three days of floating in this stream, the rubber sperm ends up in a larger river, which ends up in a larger river, which eventually ends up in the ocean, in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, this wouldn’t be so bad, except the giant rubber sperm got caught in a blue whale’s mouth as it opened and sucked in [illegible] to capture & eat plankton. That’s all well and good, and would have been fine, except that this rubber sperm didn’t dissolve in the whale’s stomach, and was, in fact, shat out by the whale two days later.

You know what’s gross? Sharks eat whale poop. Yeah, they do. Not on purpose. But they do. So there was a whole colony of sharks following our hero whale with the rubber sperm in its tummy, and when the whale had a massive bowel movement those dudes went crazy; They sucked up all the little half-digested-whale shit they could, and this thing ended up in one of them. Not that bad, really – we find sharks with license plates and buoys in them, for Pete’s sake. But anyway, the shark was going on his merry way, enjoying the Gulf of Mexico, when all of a sudden the producer of Sharknado decided they needed some realism. So they got an artificial typhoon maker and sucked up ten million gallons of water, including our friendly rubber sperm-infused shark. Then they took this artificial dumping ground to Nebraska, no, North Dakota, and dropped it into a tornado, and filmed SharkNado 5 – The SharkPocalypse.

All was well and good until the shoot wrapped, and then the sharks were free to go. One of them decided to make his way to New York to become a dancer, a few went into investment banking, and a couple got married. Our special little guy, though, ended up traveling down the Mississippi River, until he ran smack into Hurricane Ivan, or Whatever it was that hit Texas in 2017. This thing poured a Great Lake’s worth of water on the Mississippi River basin in a day, causing the river to flood. It overflowed all the banks, all the way, inundating all the places. Hell, even out by my house got a foot of standing water, and, unfortunately for the shark, she got caught up in that and stranded on Baxter Road.

She died about three hours later. It took six months, but the scavengers around finally picked off all her flesh, scales, and internal organs, leaving, you guessed it, one Rubber Monster Sperm lying in the gutter, just so I could find it. Isn’t that a coincidence?

Writing Practice – 2/17/2019: Imaginary Friends

Imaginary friends…

My imaginary friends are having a real war, and it’s taking a toll on my room. Last night Katie threw my Spider-Man across the room at Jacob. It missed him but hit the mirror and knocked it off the shelf.

Mom says that she doesn’t believe me, that it’s not me doing it, but Dad does. He always takes my side. I wish they weren’t so made t each other, but, sometimes I don’t get what I want.

Katie told me she doesn’t want to be my friend any more, if Jake is still coming around. She said I have to choose – who am I going to pick her or him? I told her I don’t want to pick. Why can’t I have both? Why can’t things be like they used to be?

It started like two years ago. Mom told me that’s when I started having nightmares, but I don’t remember that part. She says she would hear me screaming about monsters. She would come in and check on me, tell me it was okay, and leave. I didn’t remember that part. I do remember that a lot of times I would wake up and Dad was lying in the bed next to me, his arm around my shoulders.

“Hey, big guy,” he’d say, when I woke up. “You were having another bad night, huh?” I didn’t remember him coming in to my room, either, but i do remember when I met Katie and Jake. I was out at the swingset, no – maybe it was the little creek out at the community park – anyway, all of a sudden I heard two other voices and they were arguing, too.

I was able to stop them from that argument, and they made up. They were okay, and I was okay with each of them. I like Jake a little more; he’s about two years old than me, he doesn’t like to ride bikes like I do, so I have to play at the park when he’s already there.

We don’t hang out with Katie much any more. We did for a while. She’s a little younger than Jake so she’s just a little older than me. She likes to ride bikes, so we do that together. She says her grandma promised her a gear-shifter bike for her next birthday, but when ask when that is, she always says, “oh, in a couple of months.” I’ve had two birthdays since I met her, and she hasn’t had any.

I’m afraid if I keep going to like this that she’s not going to get any older, but I will. I might grow out of my imaginary friends. I grew out of my hi-tops last year and my older brother grew out of his shorts and that’s why I have his. I don’t want to grow out of my friends. I want them to stay with me.

But Mom says that I need to leave them behind. It’s not that they can’t help me anymore, she says. It’s just that they don’t need to be there every day. Dad says it’s okay. He thinks as long as I have a way to “process” those things it will be fine.

Sometimes, I wish I did just leave them behind – you know, go out and live by myself. But then I realize I’m only ten, and I can’t give them up that easily. Who’ll take care of me? I can’t get a job. Now way I could take care of myself.

Writing Practice 11/25/2018

Did you see that?

It was a clown riding by on a bicycle

No, it wasn’t. It was a Halloween costumed kid on a skateboard. He only “looked” like a clown.

No, you’re both wrong. It was Carrot-Top, and he was on roller blades, and he was drinking what appeared to be a pineapple smoothie. I should know, it was in exactly the same cup my grandmother used to get her smoothies in, from that place down on the corner, you know the one, where we used to go and get the three-dollar popsicles.

Oh yeah, those things were so good. I’d have like three a day in the summer. My mom always asked what I was spending my money on, and I would lie and say “Chicks, mom, I gotta buy them stuff to impress them.” And she believed me.

Nah, she didn’t believe you. She knew you were gay before you did.

Did not! Did, too. She even told me once, when we were like eight, not to pick on you because of it.

No she didn’t! Shut your fuck hole, asshole!

Guys! Guys! Hold on!

What?

What?

What?

Did you see that?

Nope. What was it this time?Don’t say another clown. I certainly don’t believe you the first time. I”m not gonna believe you this one.

Nope. Guess again.

Okay, was it a parade of pre-schoolers? You know, where they hold that rope and all walk single file and look like they’re preparing for five to eight at the State Prison?

Nope.

Was it a dog chasing a cat chasing a rat chasing its mate because it was horny and then hungry and then just having fun?

Nope. But I like your style!

Was it a skywriter in the blue, but instead of saying something like “I LOVE YOU HARRIET” or “EAT AT MACAVITY’S”, it was real big blocks, empty squares, kind of like an artificial algebra problem with geometric shapes instead of variables?

Nope. Getting warmer, though.

Was it a worm, shriveled up and hard and flat, squished by too many feet and left alone to rot by the birds because all the good parts had become toughened in the sun?

Yes! How’d you know?

I saw it on my way in.

Did not!

Did too!

No way! Me too!

Alright!

<high fives all around>

Hey guys?

What?

What?

What?

What?

Did you see that?

Writing Practice 10/30/2018

Poem a Day, page 150 (May 16)

The older women wise and tell Anna first time baby mother, “hold a stone upon your head and follow a straight line go home”

They give her no instructions on what to do after, how to hold it, how to nurse it, how to clean it, but she still knows it will be alright. She has seen dozens of babies born in the village, has seen many many women younger than her take care of their children well and grown them up to be adults too, so her, first time baby mother despite her grey hair and beginnings of wrinkles at her eyes, she knows she’ll be just okay.

Anna takes it home, holds it in the corner of her arm, not on her hip like she’s seen others do, but still tight to her, because those other babies were bigger, louder, pinker when they showed up. This one’s still quiet, kind of grey, and it don’t move much, but she figures it’s just sleeping. Babies do that a lot, they sleep a lot, and they fuss a lot, so she’s just happy right now that this baby ain’t fussing much yet.

She takes the baby, which was heavy and hard inside her and somehow feels so much lighter and softer now that it’s outside, she takes this baby and when she gets home, careful walk to hold baby in left arm and hold stone on head with right arm, magic wisdom ain’t to be fooled with, she takes the baby, still not fussing, still a good thing, still not trouble, still she’s better than all the other mothers, she takes the baby and wraps it, warm and tight and cute, into a blanket and lays the blanket beside all the other blankets on the floor, and she lays down on all those other blankets on the floor, for her place, her her home, is just a hut, really, no fancy doors or windows for Anna, the town stranger, the oddity, the outcast, who has lived over here at this edge of civilization for all of her forty-three years, first as a child with her own mother then with her brother who took care of her after mother left when she was six, then by herself when that older brother left a decade later.

So now she has some company, finally, someone who will stay and help her have a talk to, someone who will tell her stories, and look at the stars at night and draw water from the town well and hear her lullabies, and so she sings one to the baby, still, still, still lying in that blanket, still not fussing, blessing, and the tired from the birthing takes over and she sings softer and softer and then she drifts to sleep, lying on her pile of blankets, lying on the dirt floor of her hut, lying with a companion for the first time in a long time, lying to herself.