Thursday, June 16, 2011

Frenzied And Insane

"I'm drunk and you're insane; who's going to lead us home?
How many times did they say,
'Drink just a little, only two or three at most.'?
In this city no one I see is conscious;
One is worse off than the next, frenzied and insane.
Dear one, come to the tavern of ruin
And experience the pleasures of the soul.
What happiness can there be apart
From this intimate conversation
With the Beloved, with the Soul of souls?
In every corner there are drunkards, arm in arm, 
While the Server pours the wine
From a royal decanter to every particle of being.
You belong to the tavern: your income is wine, 
And wine is all you ever buy.
Don't give even a second away
To the concerns of the merely sober.
O lute player, are you more drunk, or am I?
In the presence of one as drunk as you, 
My magic is a myth.
When I went outside the house, 
Some drunk approached me, 
And in his eyes I saw 
Hundreds of hidden gardens and sanctuaries.
Like a ship without an anchor, 
He rocked this way and that.
Hundreds of intellectuals and wise men
Could die from a taste of his yearning.
I asked, 'Where are you from?'
He laughed and said, 'O soul,
Half of me is from Turkestan and half from Farghana.
Half of me is water and mud, half heart and soul.
Half of me is the ocean's shore, half is all pearl.'
'Be my friend', I pleaded. 'I'm one of your family.'
'I know the difference between family and outsiders.'
I've neither a heart nor a turban,
And here in this house of hangovers
My breast is filled with unspoken words.
Shall I try to explain or not?
Have I lived among the lame for so long
That I've begun to limp myself?
And yet no slap of pain could disturb
A drunkenness like this. 
Listen, can you hear a wail
Arising from the pillar of grief?
Shams al-Haqq of Tabriz, where are you now, 
After all the mischief you've stirred in our hearts?"


-Rumi-

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sea Monsters And/Or For T.

Keeping a journal often feels incredibly time-consuming, whether I'm in the act of writing down the right-now, or reading entries from years ago. But going back and reading those old entries always reminds me how worthwhile - priceless, even - the practice is. I also find it interesting how with the passage of time many, if not all, of my entries eventually become something I want to share. Not sure what that means.

I posted the following on MySpace about a trillion years ago, back when MySpace wasn't a fossil. I post it here because...well, read it. It's fairly lucid and timeless. Why do aquariums make me think like this? The water, maybe? 

"Aquarium today. First time since I was fifteen. And of course I can't stop the discourse in my head as I stand beneath hundreds of suspended mobile-fish - silver pink-lit sparkle flooding down. Who was I? How was I? 

"Last time I stood beneath this simple hypnosis, I was silly and under the impression that my whole life spread ahead of me. I wore my hair cropped boy-short, I shunned makeup, dressed in plain sweatshirts and jeans, teenage fool, seriously high on life.

"Ten years later, I stand alone amidst the crowd of sullen parents, screaming children, and weary staff. I stand alone, back-lit in shimmer-pink flash: body hidden in a black hoodie and floor-length kilt, heavy boots under the hem, my annoying-today dreads pulled back under a bandana. The details tell a story, though some would argue otherwise.

"I feel a weird kinship with the little chestnut-and-tan-splotched sharks in the shallow touch tank: swimming round and round the same old loop, most of the aquarium din muffled (I guess) through the water, suffering endless pokes from thousands of fingers a day. It feels rude of me to dip my tattooed wrist in the cold! water, yet I feel like maybe my touch could convey my love to them through their skin, soft one direction and like a cat's tongue the other. So I do. Gently. 

"The Jules Verne gallery, well, I could hide in that red dark forever. Old-timey map-style sea monsters rampage on the walls; sad music fills softly. Jellyfish spiral endlessly in their glowing cylindrical tank that rises above my head into darkness, a glowing pillar of pre-complicated life. Over-sized portholes let you watch the glow shift over king crabs and a giant Pacific octopus. A really over-sized one offers the first view of the sharks gliding in their sweet machine silence. A bench in the corner with some pilings behind it, netted in the waving criss-cross light from the water, makes me want to not go a step more. Go to Long Boat Key and never come back.

"Life makes me sad. That doesn't mean I don't absolutely love it. Understand? Some parts of life are the best thing that you'll never have again. You want it forever, but forever would extinguish what it is. These brief shots live brightest in the loss of them. Some parts of life, that parts that make all of it possible, you underrate. You always forget your heart is beating. You whine and bitch and complain grandiose, but still your heart beats. 

"And life, the heart mixed with the burns mixed with the illusions mixed with the agony mixed with the agonizing joy mixed with the boredom mixed with the disappointment mixed with the storyline mixed with characters mixed with all the stupidity mixed with all the wisdom, is all one. One glowing spiral going nowhere. A universal heart."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Not Strictly Rational

I spent some time with a brilliant, formidable, and spirited woman yesterday. My love to everyone who helped that to happen, and to the weirdness of the universe. Again and again.




 Jai Ma. Om Namah Shivaya.

(Photo courtesy WEA)