Critical Secret

Critical Secret

Here is a secret:
Eat every criticism.
Bite into the outer layers
with your bared teeth, feast
on its soft vulnerable insides.
If the center is hard then suck it
awhile. Let unwanted pith dissolve
away in your strong acid. It’ll all soon
leave your body. Thank the ironic gods for
giving challenging nourishment. And go about
your work. Comments will keep til you’re hungry.

Stream – Morning Pages & stuck thoughts- 12/27/21

Part II of The Field Trip

The guy eats vulnerability like a military mission. You had to hand it to him. But with one of those “As Seen On TV” reachy sticks with a gripper you squeeze enough times to get your fist strength back. Sh, don’t tell em it’s a workout. Hand it to em like a nuclear hot potato. Good evening, ye self-absorbed, clenched megalomaniac. Got talent? Sure, sure you do, but it sucks all of the energy mustered out of the room, charges a toll, and wields a lazy privilege based on popularity—I never agreed to it. A delusional mod blink. Someone should stick it to Warhol and counter but anything fabber would be, what, a theme park animatron restaurant. 3D projection on a plate of ads and entertaining stories. Wait, tell me now how myths relate to greater human interest over 300 channels of protagonists yelling drama drama drama makes the world turn. Tell me your story next and make it good.
And hey, bonerfide poet, how’s this for
On my shopping list of prose, I noted to note
the function of imagery in a poem, which is to
produce imagery from a poem. That’ll be $50.
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Next we’ll learn what art is
by studying society,
superheroes, net worth,
pedigreed, the golden bough
of breakdown, negative capability,
and negative urgency.
Movements don’t get old, apparently.
That or postmodernism was the last
great lazy law of least energy.
Dark matter masters conclusion,
and don’t forget to touch on rhyme & movement.
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There’s a difference between hitting the same buttons every day and daily learning new buttons.
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Are we still investigating answers of contrastedly/ dark secrets smiled through Eisenhower era depression. Probably/ no big deal nowadays. My bank teller has blue hair and a tattoo of a symbol that means there must be something more to all of this/ Will counterculture deal with consumerism at last? Does it know what to counter/ or not to repeat
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Rude people throw around the word “honesty” way too much.
We can handle social media IF we don’t go online enough to rewire our brains for scrolling. Can you handle that, brain? Brain? Are you there?
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Hashtag hashbrown
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If someone is not helping you grow as an artist, you might want to rethink that lame relationship.
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Do you ever feel like you’re still that one sperm fighting with all its heart to get to your egg?
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The dogs got into the studio. The one place they’re not to be. Bluebeards.
I’m talking about dogs now so we can all relax. Motion detection on one of the security cameras reveals the most interesting dog in the world wistfully watching the front door.
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Some think After-Death Plan is the name of a metal band which is totally unfair because the fatalistic romantics had the good names before metal ever even came along with its louder tantrum.
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Closest I’ve read of people reaching the source without spirits or psychedelics is with lucid dreaming.
Harlow’s monkey, attachment styles, transference: forget about it. I’m the victim here.
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Holds a mirror up to society. Society: checks hair, takes a selfie.
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What you think is weight loss is just elasticity leaving your clothing.
To stop time, hold your body in a plank position.
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I never bought anything unless I had the cash but my credit score did not acknowledge that wisdom, not until I went into debt with a mortgage. Stupid system.
Please laugh at how crazy you are being.
Do break predictive text.
I am completely unaffected
by circumstance.
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That last part isn’t true
I am affected.

prompts: gravity mantle steeple constellations starved strings floated pause guide enemy risk

from the new moon to the full moon in Sagittarius

gravity mantle
Smoke & mirrors collect us
as royal subjects.
In imbalance of power,
lateral thinkers
bow in gravity

It is not weight,
does not dismantle
It attracts—
defines compromise,
value in effort—
Willing past the win
of resistance

Yet the planets seem lighter than this phone.


Imagination questions without fear,
for no one is listening with an ear to control:
to scold as parent or toddler,
to ostracize as jailers of faith,
or primitive posturing for rank;
to be revered rather than injured,
to be obeyed rather than swayed.

In our steeple of curiosity,
tolerance for ourselves and
tolerance for others
gains accordance.

constellations starved

She grew up playing in the woods, orienting by sun, trees, water, constellations; but was lost here, starved for organic connection. Many had no use for nature but to consume, & nature had no use for them. They’d gladly choose a virtual life if she could only perfect the forebrain.

strings floated

She sent vibrational
strings of thought
looping out
Tethered balloon animals
floated, reshaped,
and popped.
One transformed
into a dove
and flew away
on a silvery gleam.

She let it go.

paused guide

Trauma paused us.
We go back, reenact
where stuck. Neural arms,
flailing to connect, reflect
near easy lovers: fear,
primitive defenses.
Our scarry attempts
to block off, protect
Disconnect like cell death.

A plan will guide us,
laurel us through

enemy risk

The enemy-risk effect of the virus was isolation and inactivity. Productivity and trade slowed as the needs of survival shifted. But to Hunter, they were the real enemy and the prey. Meanwhile, all the predative profiteers laughed—a nervous laugh.

prompts: kind stuck spouse vulnerable worry journal conversations worry crisis worthy ribbon oracle rival

November 19, 2021 to December 4, 2021

from the full moon in Scorpio to the new moon in Sagittarius

Jake choked off his last shred of objectivity with piercing confidence and rode off into some kind of loner sunset, with only the curtains to hold his hand. Our shared wonder dismissed as magical thinking, wheeled away for correction, argued away as naive—just to argue.

Kill or be killed, child.
180 shots per intended minute.
Unregistered plastic bag.
Probable conclusion without a scratch.
Presumed protection with intent
to mutilate. Murdered property.
Hip-hop cowboy, good gang, posse.
Annie, Get Your Gun and a permit.
Marissa, the wall has rights.
Stand your ground unless stuck
interpreting the lunatic
interpreting the reason
interpreting the law

albatross photo

The wandering albatross bow,
widen their wings and scream
at the sky; they circle, preen
and snap at their spouse
in a mating dance for life.

Three million miles
of soaring the skies,
ever to return
to the island
of their love
and birth.

Vulnerable, the reliant pilot hides in a pride of clouds/
seen, the sun comes out/ the complex speaks to the complex/
lowers a bridge open to valuation, closed to faulted criticism/
subject and object scatter, hide in the mirroring sky/
light faces the page, not the eyes

Thanks giving:
Let the worry fall away
from your clear eyes,
For the world turns
and we are in it;
Should joy escape your mind,
allow release to recommit
compliments of reprieve
from lifelessness.

I am your cherisher
thankful for each
delicate moment.

journal photo

Wake and tell us what’s good, love, as the daylight
reaches your mind. Promise to snuggle in deeper,
cross the heart on your chest and hope to die.
Code your secrets in my journal
where I can read between the lines.

“I had conversations, but the upper hand of the masher, phlegm, and baffled stranger would not salute. And the agro. Everything I said was ammo. So I gave him ammo. All of it.”

Cere opened the lid to find furry teal blotches moldering the tops of the apricots.

Worry eats at your thoughts. I needed to be done with it.”

“Recognize crisis mode. Deflection is a way to cope, but it’s pretext. We eventually have to move past it to understand the dissatisfaction that leads to a major life change.”

“Huh. I’ll think about that,” Greg said. “You’re not mad?”

“I’m working on a new perspective,” she said, taping up the last box. The movers would be arriving any time now. “Ultimately, I’m on your side and hope we get to share a better future. Call me after you’ve answered your own call.”

two crows photo

You are shiny,
like teeth bared
through organic

Is it the love shown
or the love deserved
that makes us worthy?

Two lorn brood
in innate pattern,
their calls imitate
a wildish belonging.


If I were a ribbon,
I’d curl around your finger
to remind you
that I am always
there. In spills of ink,
siftings of sand, traces,
and twisted strands of hair
Snug between the wanton
hand of death steepling in prayer.

If I were your ribbon.


She placed her hand on the young king’s chest and closed her eyes: He floated in a river of blood, tethered to a casketful filled with paper money.
Fire cremated the land into black ghosts pillowing the lusty blaze. Through the roar, he heard his name as a boy dipped a toe in from the shore.

The oracle opened her eyes and locked gaze with the young king. “You have enough for now. Do not invade. Take a vacation with your son.”

In returning warmth
that refuses to leave
the season,
mistle breaks,
disturbs a winter silence.
Leave your contortions
where misery can find its
mirthless tune. I’m here
in life’s harmoniacal quietus,
a rival of the snow, parched
as the ground, threshing
its mortal boon.

Stream – Morning Pages 12/07/21

Mourning Wake of Advertence, December 7th

I was told I have a sharp and unforgiving memory on 2/1/21 at 2:36pm. How do you respond to that? Must have been there were things that needed forgiven, but I lacked information. I loved them; we visited maybe monthly and exchanged meaningful birthday gifts for years. I sent messages every few weeks to brighten the day, pop in as if to say, our friendship means a lot to me.

I stopped reaching out after asking why was met with a parent-child type of scolding that had nothing to do with me or what a bad tiddler I must be. Once I stopped instigating contact, contact stopped; that’d become my tenure and I decided to…take a hint? Uncertainty can lead to compulsion and the answer of not thinking about it is just a jab at weak intellect, usually by someone who definitely has not solved how to keep unresolved intelligence from the subconscious.

Du Champ called eye candy art that didn’t engage the mind “retinal.” I dig it. That relationship became pretty retinal. It took the time to reveal me then junked me for emergent popularity. Feeling disrespected by someone you think you’re close to is upsetting. I felt like that dog that gets tricked into chasing an imaginary throw, except the ball was stupidity and the problem was that I didn’t chase it. I felt abnormal, like I could not conceal my analysis to the point where it wouldn’t be suspect. Suffering for existence in the wrong crowd needed identified and rectified. But I learned from the loss that I belong where I can let my mind flow without leaking concern into making others comfortable by staying quiet on the playground. And by honing this practice, unhampered, I decide the connotation of the word incisive. My tone might even soften in this freedom into choosing the word insightful.

Where can the spectrally skybound go if the artists, musicians, and poets need the plainspoken; if they need a prescribed normalcy blanketing the arena. It feels like an exclusion that comes from slippery dreams; dreams not lost but slipping, wherein former dreamers frame the optimist as naive. While the non-optimistic spectrally skybound quickly go nose down when other artists engage in lazy bonding with herders of feelgood art that keeps all at an average level of consciousness. Feelgood goes for the pain and chaos seekers as well—it is not enough to act out primal frustrations for a different emotional bump. Both stylistic choices contain what in the species allows for an average. And here are the extra words to clarify what lazy bonding means: when people use negativity, disguised even as concern, to show others how another is to be treated in a postured hierarchy. It is blackball showmanship without connection and a counterfeit bond of happiness. It takes no responsibility for the energy it creates and the distance of the subject exploring the situation when their entrance is illumined by gaslight.

Don’t overthink it.

The answer to not overthink it, takes a similar amount of responsibility for figuring out nothing. And certainly not figuring out the causes of depression, nature’s gift for resolve that comes in forms of rumination—rumination that does not lay waste in blame or scapegoating. Nor does resolution lie in any kind of fight song, no matter how good that makes one feel for a moment before drowning solution.

I say to you, artists:
If they’re dumbed down, you’re dumbed down; bring your brain cells inside this winter for a nice book.

I say to you, thinkers:
If you’re dumbing it down for people then you’re selling yourself, not being yourself.

I say to you, lovers:
Children of emotional neglect usually have insecure attachment styles and do well in relationships with secure attachment styles. Also, they have to be careful not to lean on others in regards to their trauma as they are more susceptible to transference because of their unmet needs.

I say to you, visionaries:
Chase the ecstatic; just don’t do it through influencers.

I say to you, divinity:
Lordy lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot get jiggy with.

Human relationships are not navels. Gaze at these navels.

You do you and there will be applause; not thunderous live-in-front-of-a-studio-audience applause, but claps like sporadic thunder as mistle gives way to torrents of rain. If you want the droves to sleep or leave you be, talk about the government auctioning off white space and whittling away our spectrum. They’ll hear those words and think it’s perhaps conspiracy and run from the burden of thinking. Bank on it. Obtain a line of credit from said bank that lets you pay back $3.00 a day for whatever will make you good enough at 24% interest–maybe just a little tuck so some walking unibrow can grace ye with an inappropriate comment on physical worth, check the teeth for probabilities. Status elevated by what it owns and offers. Enjoy those possessions, death is still coming, until thinkers solve the body.

The Hero’s Gurney

Artwork by LAFogle

It was such a turn-on to have my subconscious hacked, being alluded to often but never directly addressed. You’d weave me in your fictive formula of taking bits from various people, flipping the POV like an atomized burger chef—or perhaps it was remiss unconsciousness steering—then I’d accuse you of witchcraft and here we are. I’m sorry about the knock at your door.

Knock knock knock!

“We know you’re in there! Come out with your pants up!”

But Jake, let’s call him Jake, had never done anything before with his pants up so that request fell on deaf ears, I guess. Jake did manage to get his pirate shirt on and one boot. He bounced and skirted across the floor on a single leg like a pogo stick while trying to put on the other boot. But he had that pogo shoe on backwards, you see—the wrong foot in the wrong shoe—, so with every hop on his left foot, he veered right. Until he bumped right into the windowsill amidst all of the confusion. The single fragile boot fell to the floor as Jake clawed desperately at the window frame. His hip had hit the sill, his weight thrown toward the open pane. She wanted to call out to him but that would suggest she’d been there.

Jake was a self-narrating fool, you see, so she couldn’t admit there was anything there or that would make her the objectified extra. She deliberated over whether this was fair. He hadn’t done anything but try to slip a bit of love to her. It’s just that the ending was clear. He’d ride off into a cardboard sunset, go be a hero somewhere new for a spell. Except he wasn’t a hero, was he? She’d have to write her own history. And while carefully deliberating, poor Jake had only the curtains to hold his hand. Out the window he fell with a final salute. Goodbye Jake, we’re proud of you. I just hope that everyone knew you were set on changing your ways. 

If Only

Wow, I held back for so long.
Shamed by how the depth of it
knocked me to the ground.
I am afraid of real hallucination.

Joy, I never gave up my heart to this
shit assessment—mentor delusion.
I’ve a governor. A sea of dead lovers
who speak to me; they say “if only”
from books where loneliest brilliance
never found its soul mate.

You grow better and, you’re welcome
I meanwhile do not have to sit
in the lowly status of idiom’s prowess.
It is miraculous to be heard by the living.

You were right that I am no one
to you—
gladly, to you, I am no one.