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These are the steps. They are sprawled out in from of of us. Why doesn't anyone move? All we need to do is take a step, just one small step. Inside, the eye does a dance. It carouses for a light that might provoke, a light that might intimidate, convince the brain it's best to stay put, best to keep to our schedules. It's important to make the meetings on time, give the reports. The reports are perpetual. Everyone on this side of the steps knows this, keeps this to their hearts and minds, as if a ravenous monster awaits.
I make it my day to burn for the eyes I find in the ashes when the end is seen repeatedly to be nothing more than a poorly painted road sign. Many have followed that sign to their detriment. I ignore it. I hear people laughing at me. No matter. There's a rising in the ashes. It's a fond thing. In the midst of it, I'm amazed how few understand its complexity. I dig my hands deep as I fall thru the flames. I find that funny. Few will agree. I'm not here for them or for anyone, but me.
We go on. We find a way. There's always a way. When a mind is truly set on a goal, a shark materializes. You are that shark. You must feed. You will feed. There's no other option. Odysseus. The die is cast, and the questions bloom. They scatter from the seed of intent, infections. They flower in your way. The flowers are no ally. Distractions. The sweet smell intoxicates. It is always the way. The islands appear. They bid you explore. Once, it was clear. Now, all is murky, indistinct, but necessary. Understanding will come. You will one day know.
I'm there. Our secret room. The voices are silent there. Stillness embraces it, as I embrace the heart of your soul. We merge in silent, still completeness. The room consumes and delivers. We are its children. We bond, as we belong. In the vestibule of its secret, which is us, we digress the patters of disbelief to manifest flight, even as we are still; we fly. Off the edge, on the edge of the world we deny, we fall. We rise as we fall. In the room. It gives up nothing but everything for us. So it goes. Our love.
I'm up. You're down. You're up. I'm down. The TV is on, but the picture is blurry. Static. A newscaster was telling a joke when the royal mother had her heart attack. Are you up, or are you down? The neighborhood pets went insane. They chewed off their owner's right feet. They were gathered in a large pile. Cub Scouts lit a bon fire, made apple smores. I'm feeling down. The pills were administered an hour ago. They should be taking effect. Are you up? The roads were cleared for the parade. I stepped outside. Blue sky yanked me up.
The bird mark was what I feared, what I felt when I closed my eyes. Anticipation kept it circling over my doubt, so the consequences might be as severe as could be. Then the boat left the mooring. I hadn't made my proper goodbyes. Above my mind I could feel it circling, waiting for death. I hadn't planned on leaving early, but the boat left anyway. It put me in a difficult place. Rectifying the situation meant a radical departure from anything familiar. Mark was made. It left a deep impression. Bird was gone. Perhaps it was never there.
It's in the down. My place is on a level with a strange accent. People have odd faces. They move strangely to a strange music I cannot hear. I'm in the down. Radical adjustments were made. I barely fit. They hadn't expected me, I guess. I'm learning slowly. It's a difficult thing. Everyone seems to be having a difficult time adjusting. Everyone is in the down. TVs are showing the latest news. No deaths. No bombings. No arrests. No crime. The screens show smiling faces, blue skies. A mother and her son walk hand in hand off a cliff. Laughter.
This is the way. They showed me the way. Long ago, a voice rose passionately. In its fervor, a story was told. I was the hero of the story and the villain. I was attacked by the villain, who was myself. In the scuffle, something dropped out the villain's pocket. I reached down to retrieve it. It grabbed me and pulled me down. I smiled up at myself who struggled, until I let go and ran away. This is the way. I'd drunk from the well. I sated my thirst until I was almost dead from lack of pure water.
Too much was given at the wrong time, so I didn't pay the bill. I hid. Creditors looked for me. They were relentless. I knew eventually I'd be caught and sent to the place where I would be told to undo the answer I'd kept for so long. The creditors held the question. They kept it close, while a cat and mouse game ensued. The answer kept me aloof. It kept me hungry for something else, but I was happy to feed off my own brain, the best fast food around. Then a voice inside said, "Time to pay up."
Awake and sing. You're in your own. Mind has dissolved its impediments. Variances of blood see no constituency in disease. Structure, sound, brain, a sparking flower of light, I am in the foundry where spirits are forged from the ancients. Stars peak in their race toward decay. I feed off this decay. I am in its core. What I see, I see for nothing said, for words are passing fancies without grit, without fodder for cyclical resurrections. I am above. I am below. I am inside. The whirlwind of your brilliant creativity keeps me on the path, my sweet love.
Pressing on my brain, the artifice of another kind of brain becomes the music behind the main action. I see the background as the foreground. We're in a dance. I divide my sight from within to without and the dilemma posed becomes funny, ironic. Can't even describe why. The irony is concealed, yet revealed in a most broad fashion. I see huge billboards on my inner highways. I trace the course within to the rest stops designated on the map, but they've all disappeared. There's an old woman where all of the rest stops were bearing a come hither look.
We've slipped slowly away from the original intention to bring the elements together. They remain disparate. I feel that's okay. I'm not anxious about that. What I am anxious about is the growing sensation of something getting nearer, drawing closer all the time. I feel its intent is to insinuate. I know all the players, or I thought I did. I feel a new player is in the game. The others are waiting in my inner green room. They seem very patient. I don't think they care about the slipping. I think they know exactly what's going on. I'm infected.
A life in the pit makes us hot, there's always a barbecue in mind, our prescription for readiness must hold as a fixture against the onslaught of the enemy, which is always inevitable. Air must be burning. You must always smell decay. You must see it in every face. Keep the people near starvation. Keep the system at the breaking point. Make it clear, it's always do or die. The end must always be in sight, devastation is the prick to sound the appetite for victory. Nothing else will suffice. Complacency must never occur. People must always be on guard.
I guess I'm the brown flower, bent over a swamp of many colors; serpents with divided ideologies keep to their moss and mud. I'm tendering the grist of their fluids running through my heart. I tend to its surging rhythms. In its music I am found to be lost over and over. Rising over the horizon in mind, I feel the sun on my petaled face. Reactions beyond calculation boil expectations to the precipitate it is, and in this murk I am completed, though broken while reacting, ever together and apart. I assemble, dissemble. So it goes. The emptiness sings.
Tolling the cost, it's not so high. The fall is worth it, for how high you go is how far you fall. In the middle is the judgment. We feed off that. It's a meaty meal. In retrospect, there's nothing better than to post it as a referendum on the mistake of ignoring it. All to often it sits in the craw of the mind that wields its worthiness only as a means to discard its worth. We pride ourselves on our stupidity. Grand, indomitable, riddled with reasons on how to embrace it, 'cause everyone needs a good, warm hug.
The doors might be closing. Someone is making a sign. There are already too many signs. In your face. Behind your face. In the mind, behind the closed eye. There ain't no more excuses. It's coming. You can feel it. But so what? So the doors close? Big deal. Yeah. You smile and smile, but trepidation confirms the inevitable surprise. It crawled in your mouth when you were asleep. You don't know, do you! That's the worst. If you knew, you'd go for it. You'd go whole hog. Why not? Pick it up. Cock it. Hold it to your head.
He tried. Yes, he did. The earth caved. A voice emerged. He was to go back and try again. An old woman walked into view. She carried a small bundle. I heard crying, but I couldn't tell where it was coming from. I thought about getting a fast food burger, but then changed my mind; I exited the freeway. Soon as I did, I started paying. Everyone takes freeways for granted, until they stop. The old woman crouched down. I knew what was about to happen, then it didn't. I kept paying. He tried again. Then the voice, "Try again."
I wasn't lonely. She bookmarked me. I started falling back into her rhythms, though I construed myself in a different direction. It made little difference. The raft I rode was built in fits through an eon of generative floods. It came together slowly. The sky felt no different than the earth. I hadn't learned why there had to be a difference. Then she came. And I learned. I was pushed out of frame as the lone particle and became construed into a queue not my own. Hers. Resentment keyed into the idea of love; now I can be lonely too.
I'm feeling inside a great fist rising up and down. The belly is turned. Fear pummels the mind. I stretch my gesture out, but nothing takes hold. The gesture is ethereal. I'm in a bed of nails pressing down to find the soft tissues promised, but I find the one who promised to be a liar. This is my battle, my bed. I lie in it to fete the swarm of biting fears, each with a face from the past. Blurry faces. I see smiles, frowns, grimaces. A wolf howls. There's no telling from where, but I believe, it's inside.
You may wish upon all the super novas, bedeck the burning dias with the greatest sorcerer, bleed Hades of his fire, digest the fury of the cosmos, draw Zeus from his mountain, as though he were a daisy, be aroused in all of your fire as one who creates as they are created instantly, being nothing and everything at once. In this place of being sighted to see all that could be yet never was, you are in your existence and all within you. You collect this eternity. It is you. You are it. Then shall your glory be known.
It howls, knows its place. It stays. Fear does not know it, nor does it know fear. The mind killer is mere dust of the distant mind that has no relevance. In this new awareness, there's nothing to be done but all that you wish. It howls. Such a music. Darkness smiles. This is its night. You may come to peruse, come to query, bow and bid farewell. Yet, between the bow and farewell, one feels something new has appeared, something new has taken root, a mystery to be solved. It will solve itself on you, and you on it.
Down to a strange opening where a grassy stand used to be, a city sat watching for us. I waited hours back when for the special meeting promised by a voice I can never recall. I met the one I should meet. It occurred on this stand of concrete. We spoke in long words with openings for feelings to slip through when we least expected it. I fell through that concrete stand. She caught me. I caught her. We hold each other now when no one else will. I go to that place from time to time. I give thanks.
It pulls, and you think you see it. You feel it back of your distaste as night collapses on yet another throw. You found the grist to try, but the volubility degenerates your attitude. There ain't no substance you can grab for the unseen pulling as it does; pulling ever harder. You rear back. The sight shrinks in your mind. You feel it's futile. There is another one, though, climbing up from the ashes. You don't see him. He sees you. He's been watching you your whole life. Now, it's time. It pulls to distract you. Such is the game.
I find it gone. It was there. This weight. Now it's gone. It lifted. It went somewhere else. I'm relieved, but it's not altogether over. The game's still on. Something else has just begun. Another wheel's turning. It ain't the same wheel. Wheels inside of wheels inside of fears of wheels. Turning the turning. There's no stopping that. Perpetual transformation. I'm waiting now. Should I leave, or should I go? Go where? Trouble infects my sensibilities. I haven't shed that fear. My youth bled into my life clumped together from midlife to now. I think my death will be comical.
You put all these things together, things you've determined are part of the solution, but I say to you, you've forgotten what the problem is. Everyone has; it's delightful how merry we go about the race without knowing how deep we're diving down the spiral. Bad throw. Misbegotten game. Someone needs to fire the umpire. No one knows who the umpire is, though. A funny race into a mathematical point, a converging series, not very funny, somewhat tragic, always entertaining. No one's turned the channel, though. Someone must love it. The ratings are the best during the darkest nights. 'Night.
Trickling. It does that. You can't stop it. When it's not there, you feel like you're only partly drawn into the frame, that the action is missing you for the gaps the artist left. The river flows on, but you can't feel it. Trickling not. In some ways, when the drawing isn't done, I feel more alive, grasping after a reality that's only partially real. The rest lives in the imagination. When it's done, and I'm whole, the river runs through me, and I feel it. Trickling. That which is necessary, stays, that which isn't, flows away. But I stay.
I stand on the sidewalk, watching. They all pass me without a look. I don't care. I'm glad to see them go. I never knew their names. They never offered them up. "No matter," I thought, "just as well." Day in, day out, it's the same. They pass me by. In the beginning, I would say this or that, mindlessly, self-consciously, not talking to anyone in particular, just talking. Now I say nothing. They pass. They go in. Doors are locked. I make sure no one's been left out. I stand back. I watch. The gas canister is dropped.
This is my choice. It doesn't vary with introspection or violations of fears from the side. Choice stays. I hold it tightly to my soul. In the fires of creativity I give this up for sacrifice. In these fires I forge myself anew. That is my choice. It fills me up while draining me of all the bitter ague once valued for its ardor, now vilified as the trash it is. I find the view clearing. It's bright in my head. What I desire digs the ground ahead with spectral claws hewing the way toward satisfaction. I will not yield.
Value. It's drawn it till it's stretched to absurdity, a meaningless tangle of ethics that mean nothing but to a schizoid fantasist. Lumped in a domain crammed of delusions wound about its soul like so many chains fitted to the unseen rocks, we are these modern Prometheus's. We cry out to the deaf skies for our dues, our just values. Yet, in the dim of our quiet minds when we've drained the energy from our hearts, we can feel the worthiness of that which demands no value but the intrinsic value of eternity, of which we are its animate children.
These frayed ends. Burning. Sky is lit up with the earth overturning her guts. A billion tortured cables, sparking, looking for its mate to contain the fury, make sense of it. The well is overflowing, mouths crane for a bigger gulp, forget to breathe, die in the grist of their panic, and the horse rears in the middle of the room where all the eyeless forms sit, waiting, for eons, waiting for the proper introduction. You might strain to make sense of it, but there's no sense to be made. It is the fruit of chaos where the sense lives.
I'm floating. Here is where I am, wherever. I've found myself here, but I can hardly believe this is where I am. I'm somewhere inside my sense of where I am, somewhere inside my idea of me, of where I should be. I'm never where I should be, or so I fear. I find myself making mistakes while trying to help. I reach for something. I make gestures. They're often rebuked. This makes me feel very small. I try and try. There is confusion in the sum of all the parts of me. I was hoping to be made whole.
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