Mourning Pages 6/10/23 – Why can’t churches come clean with the back story?

It’s a known thing that writing letters you don’t send can help you get the block out. I have good relations with several Ministers, Pastors, and even a Prophet. This is through my audio/video production work. I did have to drop one client who pressured me about where my belief stood. It definitely wasn’t in their pentecostal sexist mess. I was raised Methodist and some of my kindest school friends were in the church. I wrote music with a friend who sang while I played violin. People told us we had the holy spirit in us and I found that cool but superstitious. Mostly because they had such a specific understanding in mind which was not mutual understanding. This friend and I would hang out without a mean word for anyone–no gossip, easy laughter, hikes through nature. But her father took a job out of state and she moved.

I tried hanging out Sundays with another friend at her Baptist church. Her grandparents were mean and severe and should be trapped in an American Gothic painting. They drove her to some stripper pole bucking come adulthood. But I found another friend who I didn’t have to do church weekend things with–we’d watch Dr Who and discuss adaptations to Dante’s Inferno. She made high school worth being in, though she probably had no idea what I went through at home.

I have had some conversations recently about about moving past passing discussions and joining a congregation or two. But all my shadow feels is a doomish end where my free will is bent into the shape of an existing community. Community just is not a dangling carrot for me anymore. I get along better with thought leaders than I do with herds of thought. I just cannot make assessment comfortable for people all of the time. And they do not buy the joviality I try to maintain. I think I’m chemically marked by heartbreak. Anyway, I decided this morning to write a letter responding to an invite; a letter I won’t send because it is too complicated:

Pastor David,

Good to hear from you. You should know that while I respect your faith, I am also into literature and history so will not likely pretend that the story of your religion was more than adapted during times of conversion. I wasn’t there but The Golden Bough is another good reference book; and I greatly know that there is no situational logic that multiplies free will by any amount of blind obedience or suspended belief. That has to be crowd control just as we should be miraculous beasts. 

Too much? I don’t know if you are a theologin or grew from a lineage of truth where openmindedness lets in devils—is there a word for that?—or other taboo: land mines, trap doors, s sounds.

But overall, I like the things you’ve said. Just want to put it out there that I feel no need to agree with your geospatial account of events. I can however see where we might agree on an end truth or two. Such as love is inherit and we should try to include our fellow [hu]man.

If that gels, then I will save my Zenner card cross jokes. And we can agree that the devil sprinkles in truths so that the truth resounds with you. While demons confirm that the evidence points to or unmasks you. As when tricksters take a joke way too far because power becomes a perverse goal once too much power has been taken away. The hurt hurt.

The hurt hurt.

I am good with this idea of grand intelligence and of healing fragmented consciousness. I feel the earth long to be within harmony with its fruit. But humans are not the grandest flowers here and show to be ailing with disease, while I for one root for her immunity. Heck, what if there was a whole core of failed higher species sinking under the eroding ground and feeding…sorry, that was a sci-fi tangent. 

Anyway, this planet was designed to be somewhat perennial and with as little or as much maintenance as desired. But the aberrant of our species keep taking the balances and I would like to revisit some theories, such as survival of the strongest. The fists of miraculous beasts are nothing compared to the strength of enlightened minds, like Einstein. I get why that transatlantic cable was revealed and how crowds jump upon technology within their coming-of-age stories while lumping older ages in with prehistoric zones. And meanwhile contributing by taking up 90,000 lbs of space on average per person with their leavings. While losing their shit over being forced to sip through paper straws. 

Oof, it is hard to talk about coming back to a youthful and naive belief that I’d gleaned as being important to my mom when I was wholly dependent on her and just wanted to see her rows of pearly teeth. It was a snug bubble to speak to the sky and think the trees and birds reacted to my sound. Childhood is magical like that. But as far as what you do, while I could understand need for shepherding, or for a bigger governing mystery, and that the surrender to goodness avoids obsession or compulsion in our short time before death, and that therapy moves only as fast as student debt, I don’t think humankind has earned continuance nor can this fruitful rock hold immortality.

Still want to hang out? Ha. I’m laying it on so feel free to be scared off or weirded out or uninterested in a conversation that might roll your ankle. 

For your elder, I recommend an rf blocker like a lined hat for electric workers. Whether dementia or a psychotic episode, all that matters is peace of mind. Be strong. She is in there but can’t come to the phone at the moment. I’d suggest friend 2 to go on a trip so friend 1 can have some freedom to her thoughts without too much separation anxiety that has no end in sight. Of course, the Creator gives better direction than me. Plus, I can’t step foot or roll my own ankle into your congregation. It houses too many judgmental conformists who pay to be absolved from their fear. I can’t handle that headache. I did check and the rf blocker doesn’t work for my rolling mind, nor do I have any kind of intrusive paranoia. I am one who will always investigate to make sure of a good foothold. I’m like Scully and Mulder became one. And I’m a fan of technology. Btw, never did understand the tin foil hat thing — wouldn’t that make you a walking antenna?

Ok, well, that’s enough. Well, one more thing. That cannibalistic reenactment ritual is some sophisticated bait and switch. Where did that come from? Did primitive cultures eat the dead? Was it like livestock profiteers who made that taboo? It had to come from somewhere. You don’t just eat a body or drink blood without some back story. Again, I am asking. And did not grow among too many taboos or too many elephants in the room. We were taught to appreciate the open think. 

So, yes, good to hear from you. I’m not asking you to expend any amount of effort or draft some kind of defense. God no. I am no homework monster, though do think that the written response can provide clearer careful wording. If it’s processed well as in reflected over. Should these thoughts be things you’ve perhaps already reflected on and you find it easy to reply to, I would appreciate understanding how to come home. If it is home. To come back to that place that made my mother happy in her faith. Though she made sure we exercised our greatest gift of free will and did not try to control our decisions of belief. So ultimately, I may not need much outside of the prayer closet aside from worry-free human interaction.

Mourning Pages 5/31/23 – Time to vamoose

I am pretty much recovered from surgery and about to head out a conference then to Detroit for a concert. Honestly, after seeing shows constantly for decades, I’d rather have a cup of coffee with my grocery clerk and hear them talk about the history of their neighborhood than hear about one more rocker’s music collection. At least cutting up tapes of old organ & calliope recordings, throwing them into the air and then editing the bits of tape that landed on the floor together at random to create the middle 8 of “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” has a good story to it. But this upcoming show is a nostalgic one. Suppose they all are these days.

It’s time for me to get back to work and put streaming time into bigger stories. Honestly, I piled so much on that I can’t tell what’s next, just that I’m in a constant fast flow. It is strange how little I want to see anyone these days. Back in Chicago, when I had to rebuild energy, I could always find something stimulating like the Humanities Fest or a historic graveyard, hop a train to explore a new part of town, or just go read in the library at the Museum of Surgical Science.

Now I am feeling restless like there is nothing left to see here. At least I can retreat into imagination with the writing space. It is called HOWL, which stands for Hidden Oak Writer’s Lair. It is in a duplex I bought about six years ago though it feels like longer. I was pretty grief-stricken around that time after my dad died and got this place to house my sister. It had been vacant ten years and was a bit wrecked. We spent most of our time refinishing about every square inch of that it. About the fourth time redoing the yard and remodeling the interior, I decided that was enough of moving three steps forward and one step back. Coincidentally, it was apparent that I was going to lose all of my marbles if I did not get some silence and uninterrupted time to read, think, write, and just be on my own wavelength for a minute or two or a thousand. My husband is likely the kindest person I know, and having family has been good and stabilizing for me. But it also means that my constant stream of consciousness and blatantly unconscious to conscious stream of thought gets tucked away. And I get very tired of being so got dang entertaining all the time while trying to set aside pensive thought and deal with not being able to pick up a thread once a train of thought is broken. I cannot help this current and rather enjoy it than feel neurotic about it or deal with people who think the solution is not to think so much.

My father was a thinker and we always had a very easy and interesting flow. Writing is a lot like having a conversation with him. Anyway, I decided we had put too much love into this duplex not to take it to its full potential and I needed a place to go and just be me, so decided to make the place a short-term rental. We added many updates. And I spent a lot of time making it a place I want to be in by doing the DIY work to stretch the budget with carefully selected furniture pieces, artwork, cartouches and trim, soft bedding, and inspiration. I even found church doors and architectural ironwork, so it will get better and better a little at a time. I spent a lot of time on the yard which was originally a dead space full of poison ivy vines. Now it is a sanctuary with an eight foot tall privacy fence and both a gigantic sugar maple and massive black walnut tree in the back yard. It took time to understand what thrived with those trees in that soil and I spent many a day tearing at the roots and laying walkways. The ever-growing library is my favorite part of the place. It adds a official layer to my ongoing book search.

A couple of weeks ago I went to an antique sale and scored Updike’s Rabbit Run and Rabbit Redux, Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems, Writing Down The Bones, Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and Patti Smith’s Whitt. I was very touched to read Patti’s longing and wrote her a response piece that may or many not see the light of day. 

HOWL has been booked every weekend since February, so it has been a lot of cleaning. But that means I have to make time and get to write there while the washing machine does its thing. Then I’ll take a break and mow the lawn or weed, sand a door or stain. Now people are starting to dip into the weekdays and it was just booked for over a week straight. Not sure how I feel about that. Though I love that one guest lives in town but wanted some writing time. That was kind of the point and I am happy to share the sense of peace I get from this space. Also, I have a lot audio work to catch up on, so my time will come. 

Peace and sayanara

Mourning Pages – 5/30/23 Oxytocin – OXTR gene

I have a visitor who likes to come here to collect my thoughts. The best I can figure is that this is payback for failed efforts to borrow my essence with a membership card. Fuel is expensive. You can starve if you don’t know how to generate it. Cannot see a world in a grain of sand.

Let me break it down now that I’ve seen the lament and nonresponse to direct candor combined with social media blocks. This is so he can continue to “muse” off of my work. I’m not a muse and not amused. And had enough triggering damage from trying to be his friend. Even if you are so careful, leaving references vague doesn’t work if you confuse which artwork or concept is known, like Albion, and which is specific to me. You could seriously damage a person struggling with mental illness with the degree of subterfuge I experienced, and it seems probable that this is why so many crazy lovers crowd the room and the landscape. If the door to the objective closes there could be no coming back. Read that again and tell me if you think you are creating mystery or magic for other people as a love addict.

Common manipulation tactics include inflating perceived market value, and framing oneself as a skilled lover, and inserting fear of other partners or options. That toxic bachelor stance of adults who live a little is literarily the serpent dropping down from the tree. If any of these seduction category tactics work, it establishes fast intimacy while the playing wanderer gathers intel like a vitiating scribe. The intel is leverage which can also be gained by going for compromised targets. Other classic power plays include love bombing, sharing too much too soon, coveting someone once you see that person has currency, ignoring their achievements, withholding admiration, isolating a person, and deflating their morale so they won’t share. For sensitized person(s), the confusion can trigger old trauma. If you can pinpoint that this person you trusted is not who you thought they were and you manage to escape the chaos, they might broadcast their lamentation in an attempt to garner sympathy from new unsuspecting women. This might look like vulnerability from someone who just really has a big heart and wants to love, which is hard to resist, so always listen to your intuition and know that healthy love is clear. It is not so confusing that you wonder if you might be snapping or enter some kind of protective dissociative state.

In this case that manipulating love addict is hurting and could likely feel all of these emotions. He’s not some kind of evil mastermind but follows a well-practiced pattern. This could be due to an aberrant oxytocin receptor and a non-normal pair-bonding pattern. Loop de loop. Oxytocin can surge with preoccupation on the uncertainty of relationships, while stalking bad relationships, during arousal, and during types of suffering such as isolation and high rumination levels. So lamentation on unrequited love or ruin increases oxytocin levels. In women, oxytocin drops from ovulation to bloodshed so that is when they will either cuddle with you or make a stew from your bones. Hold the marrow. The OTXR gene aberrancy has links to developmental insecure attachment bonding.

This is not the kind of thing you experience, struggle to understand, then keep to yourself. Identifying bad patterns and reasons means you can try to stop yourself in real time. Shrugging things off at the conscious level only works during high phases. Can’t escape that governing mind.

Oxytocin: figs, watermelon, avocado, massage, cuddling, yoga, music, love, intimacy, orgasms, touch (for some, that’s physical and emotional touch), lavender, jasmine, sage, sandalwood.

prose: cassia and the jackal. golden showers are not funny.

If you crush a cockroach, you’re a hero. If you crush a beautiful butterfly, you’re a villain. Morals have aesthetic criteria.

If you need a deep and poignant laugh, consider the Cassia fistula L, also known as the golden shower. C’mon, you know that’s funny. They sit valuable and innocuous, their little pinnate flappers eclipsed—you could almost say they are hiding—when the sun concentrates its long perpendicular smile and we feel the see, feel the shining; coaxes a bright waterfall of golden flaxen lemon blooms weeping from its arms that branch to enfold the spirits on the ground into its dilative physical range of glory. 

With such grace Cassia releases these offerings, attracting their companions in missive source of healing. The anti: diabetic, inflammatory, oxidant, and stagnant motionless and gastronomical space where wait is weight until you see Cassia and know pure bright healing love. Well this cannot be a bad world. It can only be an arbor of seering beauty and sheer grace.

Of course the container can’t be torpid. They tolerate a cold shoulder here and there but too much of that can kill them and why would one risk their own salvation. Even salt on it’s mighty shoulders is but dander of the environment: dry but but a humor and thirst is but to quench. Fistula is full of surprises with a heartwood more durable than yours or mine. 

One of the best—and I mean the very best—things about this golden shower is that the pollinating bees and butterflies have a strange and cunning ally in their fistula mission. Said ally is the golden jackal. I don’t know if I’ve ever observed a more beautiful river dog wolf, but I’ve asked it to come on in to a series I’m writing on our nation’s watersheds.  

This little furry tidbit is drawn to the fruit of the golden shower tree which it eats it with its soft wild fluffy mouth—whether the fruit just tastes good or there is a deeper medicinal need—then disperses the seeds.

LAFogle 5/22/23

A letter to Kenneth Patchen on his deathiversary

A few weeks ago, Erik Van Loon of LA Poetry Beach asked the poets of LAPB2021 to write a poem to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kenneth Patchen’s death on January 8, 2022. I had written a poem to him on his birthday with the theme of “Get Ready To Die” and felt that piece might be better served for a death anniversary. So instead of doing a second death-themed poem, I opted to write him a freeform letter. I think he would have approved:

Happy Deathiversary,

I imagine you’d like us writing poems for you. To shake the trees with the breeze of words read aloud. In this you never left. When the flowers return, I’ll pick a Tiger Lily for you. It is my favorite flower, as the symbology means “For once may pride befriend you.” Sounds sweet, but what of pride and tigers is nice? When respect teeters on arrogance, dignity on conceit; which angel became devil and how could that battle reward the meek until the winner was determined? Reeks of a propagandistic maxim to me. Behold! The tiger has no spots! Look on, Cheetah Lily. Look on, seed. You be the rain if we must cry. You be the thunder if we must roar. We be the laughter in this undead tragedy, watching trash TV, calling idealists naive and the hopeful prideful; but spare the stars not in the sky.

Ken, I like talking to you because what I just said was probably more freeing than odd. I too want to speak all the words; for the angels to be more than sightings of intrinsic phosphene firing from the mind’s magnetic sight. We ride in the hands of a godlike child flying ghost planes through a more visibly sick world. Each night, grown offspring fold their robe of slights in sackcloth palls and sheets of dread. Their causes have waned and with them go covenants…

follow the link to LA Poetry Beach’s website to read the full letter

Streaming in the afternoon – Dad’s birthday

My father’s birthday is in two days. I still can’t believe he’s gone and it has affected my motivation. Gatlinburg burned right after he passed. He took us there when we were kids and stayed there once a year when snowbirding to Titusville every winter in his retirement. That would have hurt him. Then Trump took office and the world burned a bit. It’s been civil chaos. Then this pandemic took isolation to a natural level. Right now I trying to understand when it’s safe for my family who caught Covid to return to their routines. Dad used to help me figure out logistics of things.

Harvard says, “In July 2021, the CDC recommended that anyone who is fully vaccinated and comes into contact with someone who has, or is suspected of having, COVID-19 should get tested three to five days after exposure. In addition, you should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result. If you are vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine, but you should isolate if you develop symptoms or receive a positive test result. Previously, the CDC had said that someone who was fully vaccinated only needed to get tested after exposure if they were experiencing symptoms. The change follows new evidence regarding the Delta variant, which shows that people who are vaccinated and then get infected (breakthrough infections) can spread the virus to others, perhaps to the same extent as those who are unvaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, a 14-day quarantine remains the best way to avoid spreading the virus to others after you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. According to CDC guidelines, you may discontinue quarantine after a minimum of 10 days if you do not have any symptoms, or after a minimum of seven days if you have a negative COVID test within 48 hours of when you plan to end quarantine.”

So, Dad, if my brother, nephew, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and stepson got Covid and got sick, then when can we see them? We were all together ten days ago. One got sick the next day, one got sick three days later, and one got sick four days later. I’m vaccinated, boosted, and have had no symptoms of anything (except a slight pain in my ass). I tested negative before contact, three days after contact and seven days after contact. I went to two places just yesterday and wore a mask. Your son-in-law has also been testing negative, but he did drop off an oxygen sensor to—

You know what, I figured it out. I just needed to take a breath and talk to someone rational. I’m going to write you a poem for your birthday this year. I still have Whitman, Sandburg, and all the books you gave me. And I even read the wild ones you warned me against, because what else would I do with her madness? It is in me. I’ve pointed the tips on her leash outward at least.

Dad, you would not believe this: scientists corrected a gene mutation in a live animal. My head is spinning, but no one I know really finds this kind of thing interesting, except my husband who marvels with me but you know how fast the marvels go. I can’t commandeer his mind with my associations. I read a cool piece on biocentrism and it reminded me of a song I wrote not long after you died called Hurricane Irene. I do wish I’d studied math to the extent that you did, but the logic equivalents of words has always suited me better. I’m sorry about my silence. I’ve been working on a formula. I need to keep Mom in the room, too. Early mom. Really wish you two had found a way to smile about your time together. I understand now why you didn’t smile more at us when things fell apart. We’re all human.

I’m going to read some things out loud to you just in case you can hear me. Of course you can’t, but then again, what do we know? It can’t hurt. And talking to you makes me feel safe, loved, and valued. I love you.