Close up on head of Nazi Robot 21224. VO screams and mayhem in background. VO of children being removed from mother. Voices of Nazi Robots barking commands. Furniture being toppled, etc. Title/Credits.
Typed words on screen:
North American Annex – Tennessee Sub-Quadrant – of The Greater German Domain.
Sixty-nine years after The Great Vanquishing of the United States of America by Adolph Hitler.
Screaming crescendoed. Total mayhem.
Digital numbers multiply ultra fast.
Robot close up. VO mayhem.
Numbers accelerate even further, even faster. Volume meter in red. Word: “prohibited” underneath.
Close up of robot. VO mayhem continues. Children being taken away. Woman Screaming. Children crying. Gunshot. Only children crying.
INT. COMPUTER SCREEN
Numbers suddenly stop. They stay there frozen a moment and then begin to go backwards until it is merely the alternation of the numbers 1 and 0.
Close up of robot. Robot goes into motion amidst children crying and the commands of other robots behind him. He exits. Sunshine is on his face. He continues to move, soon leaving all sounds behind.
Robot walks alone down road.
1 and 0 with 0 staying on longer than 1.
The robot stops as he hears an approaching car.
Numbers roll again. Volume goes up. Words: 2004 BMW sl44 model, registrant Cara Anderson, Millsville, Tennessee, sub-quadrant, 20, two brothers, Layne, 23, Michael, 26, mother, Tiffany, 49,Father, Gabriel,51, single, Junior Class, Goebbels Institute of Mass Communication, Art and Design. 2016.
Close up as he stands there.
INT. COMPUTER SCREEN
Numbers replace words. A brief coordinate outline of car and then the word: Disable.
Cara’s car suddenly goes dead. At first she is perplexed, but when she pulls over the robot is standing there.
Cara gets out of her car. The robot stands there.
Numbers pick up speed and roll at calm pace.
Well? You obviously need my help. Aren’t you going to get in?
No movement by robot.
Look, I mean, look at it this way, sir, I’m not going anywhere unless you get into my car and let me take you where you need to go. Are you in trouble?
No movement by robot.
You wouldn’t have disabled my car if you didn’t need my help…sir…and by law I must take you anywhere you want to go. So, where do you want to go?
INT. COMPUTER SCREEN
Numbers rolling fast again. Volume control. Audio replay is in red. Arrest number ac5563876245axs, Janet Miller, 30, deceased, bullet, NR63869 induced fatal capture, children received for re-education, Terry, 8, Jason, 6, Tia, 3. Eighth infraction from quota. 3:23 p.m., Tuesday…
EXT. DAY.AT CAR
Words suddenly replaced by fast numbers. Then numbers slow down, stop, and then begin to go backwards until, once again, they alternate between one and zero.
NR21224 gets into car.
INT. CAR. DAY
They sit there. Cara looks at him like she is waiting for him to turn the car back on and then tries the ignition. The car starts and they pull out.
Car pulling away.
Silence. NR21224 faces road. Cara is young and curious and keeps looking over at him.
I’ve never really driven before with a Nazi Robot, I mean, are you guys all as…diligent as some people say you are? Oh, I should just shut up.
I mean aren’t you going to even tell me where you want to go? I mean, okay, please, sir, where may I deliver you this fine sunny day?
Nothing but the slow alternating 1 and 0.
I don’t get it. Why won’t you answer me? If there is one thing I know about NR systems it’s that they are very good at speaking up when it comes to commands. Are you broken?
The 1 and 0 slows until it is just the 0.
Oh, my God. You’re broken.
Well, then, this an odd turn in the proverbial road of life, isn’t it? What should I do with you? Should I just drop you off with the Gestapo somewhere? You’re supposed to tell me, you know. I could get in trouble here.
The numbers begin to roll fast again. The word “Drive” appears.
Drive. Okay. Drive. We keep doing that then. Sounds good. Drive.
So, that was some Blood Flag Festival,huh? Do they let you guys go to that? I probably shouldn’t tell you this but I think I had a couple too many celebratory steins if you know what I mean. You got to stop and smell the roses, right? No, I guess you wouldn’t know what I mean.
Do you like music?
She turns on radio. Dance beat plays.
Numbers spike. Volume goes into red. Words: Accelerated beat. Forbidden.
NR21224 quickly grabs her wrist and holds it.
Numbers shoot all the way down to zero.
NR21224 let’s go of her wrist. She turns off radio.
You’re not going to re-educate me for that are you?
Just 0. The word “No” appears.
No? You just witnessed a foul and you say you are going to do nothing? Oh my God, you are broken.
Still just 0.
I always wondered why all the Nazi Robots aren’t given eyesight. You’re like bats in the dark, but, I guess you really wouldn’t know this, but you know people by their faces more than anything. I don’t have a face to you, but you know I exist. I always thought that was a little weird.
Numbers pick up speed. A few computer co-ordinate images appear. The car, numbers, a girl’s co-ordinate outline, numbers, a computer co-ordinate flower outline,numbers, a computer co-ordinate sun outline,numbers, then the girl outline again, numbers. Then the words: flower, sunshine, odd pets.
Flower. Sunshine. Odd pets.
Where did that come from? You’re my favorite Nazi Robot.
INT. COMPUTER SCREEN
Numbers roll calmly between one and ten.
I mean why didn’t they give you guys any video capabilities?
Numbers spike again. In one corner of screen is a new meter with a high number on it. Underneath are the words Video Code Protocol 7956jlm-4226- Emergency Activation Sequence. The other numbers continue to rise with great speed. They then slow down to a stop. They then begin to fall. The words: Highway 9-3 – Road Marked Fuhrer’s Peak. Go now.
Highway 9-3. – Road Marked “Fuhrer’s Peak.” Go now.
Video protocol number stays static. Main number goes down until it is once again 1 alternating with 0. After a moment the video protocol number begins to count down.
Fuhrer’s Peak? You’re not going to kill me are you because I don’t think local Nazi Robots are programmed to do that unless you’ve done something really, really bad?
Numbers continue to alternate between 1 and 0. Underneath are the words: Flower, Sunshine, Odd Pets. The video countdown continues.
Flower, Sunshine, Odd Pets.
Good. Here we go then to see or whatever some flowers, sunshine and maybe an odd pet at Fuhrer’s Peak. I was going to get my hair done for the Perfection Rally, but you can’t beat Sunshine, Flowers and Odd Pets.
Car drives up mountain.
How about a little music? I’ve got just the thing for you.
Symphony by Wagner, Hitler’s favorite composer.
They continue up the mountain, finally making it to Fuhrer’s Peak. They get out of the car and look out over the world. It is beautiful.
If you could only see this.
Just 1 and 0. Countdown continues. Word: Flower.
You want a flower? Yeah, sure, I can find you a flower.
She runs off and picks a flower and brings it back.
Place on external receptor.
She places flower against his forehead.
INT. COMPUTER SCREEN
Numbers spike. Quick coordinate image of flower. Corner countdown.
Cara removes flower from his sensor and smells it. She smiles at him.
Haha! Sunshine! You’re actually commanding me to bring you sunshine! It’s all around you! It’s in the air! You can’t feel it because you don’t feel but it is here. If you could feel you would know. Sunshine is everywhere and it is one of the things that make people very happy.
Alternating 1 and 0 turn into just 0. Countdown continues.
NR21224 extends arms. Raises palms then puts them back down and lowers arms.
1 and 0 again. Countdown in corner. Quick coordinate outline of girl. Words: odd pets.
There are no odd pets around here. There might be a squirrel or raccoon or something but they’re not really pets. You can’t pet them. You know, touch them, feel them.
Just number 0.
You can’t feel them because you can’t feel. So sad.
Just 0 and countdown.
She goes to him. Faces him. Touches his sleeves. Gets on her tippy toes and kisses him on the forehead sensor.
Numbers spike at fast pace when suddenly the countdown ends and the words: emergency video activation enabled.
Through a fuzzy fish eyed type of lens we see Cara’s face moving back from NR21224 the moment after the kiss. She holds the flower and wears a peaceful, loving smile.
NR21224 moves forward. Cara stops him briefly.
Where are you going?
NR21224 walks past her.
What are you doing?
NR21224 keeps walking in the direction of the cliff’s edge.
What are you doing?
He moves determinedly forward.
He moves to edge and looks back at Cara through the fish eye. No sound.
Don’t. There’s hope for you. I care about you.
NR21224 steps off of the cliff and terminates himself.
Cara falls to her knees, picks the petals off the flower and cries.
Well, here we are once more at the campsite. There is very little happening here in Millsville today, Easter Sunday. I sit in my coffee house and think about the stuff that occurs to me, none of it amounting to much. It’s a lazy day. Not much going on. People walk in together, couples, smiling. I always sit alone. I’ve always been a bit of a loner, a loser you might say, especially as a writer. I used to want to be a writer, but then I realized that I had nothing to say.
That never stopped me, though. I wrote two novels and half of a third. I wrote a million stupid little essay type things, never able to gather the stuff up and turn them into legitimate works. My thoughts are more of the scattered variety. I will have a million thoughts and a million non-thoughts, each of these things won’t matter to me or anybody. Especially you. I get self-conscious when I write in public. I don’t have the ego anymore to attempt to write short stories. Each one is too much of a plea for attention.
My novel wasn’t like that. My latest novel demanded attention in itself. The short stories though seem like a little test I must pass in order for the world to know that I am a “real writer.” I’m sick of that scene, but more than anything, and oddly, I really liked writing my short stories.
I wish I wasn’t so fucked up in my head that I could just write and not worry about the details of it all, but I can’t. I guess I will always be a writer writing from the peripheries inward until I get to some morsel of truth and mine it.
Unfortunately I get to the truth and all of my energy is taken up by that outer morsel. I can rarely move onward and into the core which might allow me to jump track and go into the short story mode or the non-philosophical mode and directly into the metaphorical mode where trees represent other things in some far out way while remaining trees. I like trees. I like thinking about them, their place in the world. How they look good up against a blue sky, how light through their branches look cool, how the leaves sound in the wind. I like that. Unfortunately, I rarely ever get to the place where I think it’s meaningful to write about them. Those simple days seem so far behind me now. Simple even though the reality of it is that to write of these things is not simple but complexity hidden within simplicity.
This type of physical writing is what poets do. But then I stop and realize that nothing poets write is not poetry and that includes thoughts on not being able to write about trees. When I stop worrying about what I write then I am free to express what is inside of me. If there is no form, no title or label like “short story,” “essay,” or the like, I still have the words which have acted as a salve to a too rough exterior membrane, a pair of eyes hurting from too harsh a sun.
I need this meditation. This is what writing is. It is not always or should it ever be just a way to make money. When you come to it from that door there is no place to enter. It’s like opening a door on to a brick wall. Nor is it any good to go the route of writing thoughts that are supposed to sound wise that aren’t wise, which are actually just blowoff, steam. You’ve got to do a lot of this type of writing to get to something meaningful or rather, to get to a trail of thought long enough for the reader to accept it as potent, rather, for it simply to be potent. If it is potent the reader will have no choice. A lot of words must be shed to get to potency.
The skill in writing is often knowing which part of the mass to cut out and which to leave intact and, once you’ve cut out the fat, how to weave it back together again so that the reader thinks that it is all just one long coherent thought, a pure lie, of course, misleading to the highest degree and a secret that writers don’t tell one another except by screaming that you must edit, edit, edit. If writers really understood their process they would explain why you must edit and the reason is simply, like I said: we must write a lot of words to produce a few that limited space in publications will allow.
Sometimes I wish, though, that we weren’t so blocked by
the need to look good on the page. There is something to be said for messiness, truth in mistakes, sloppiness providing better lines to read between which is what good writing provides. If we published more good writers’ sloppier writing maybe we could free people up to attempt the meditation. Instead, we’re all so “great” through meticulous editing that people see the final product and say,”Oh, I wish I could write.” I just want to say: “You can!” If you can edit.
In other words, my message is you must lie to the world that you are a genius in order to become a genius. It’s a sad yet true fact. Just remember that the lie comes after you’ve written the original thought, a thought no greater than any thought belonging to any non-writer. We must accept that we are all in this together, that writing is an exercise that can be extremely therapeutic. We must lift from the ground rules the notion that to “really” write you must be great. This is simply the notion of a bunch of bullshit-headed college dickwads who believed the critics with standards so high above the average that they too were most likely among the “non-selected” and therefore punched down those below them. It’s a pecking order, Shakespeare on down, but a pecking order un-ordered by true writers whether Shakespeare or me or anybody else who believes that the words that you say aren’t quite as important as the fact that you allowed yourself to say them at all.
We are all going to die along with our memories. To allow yourself to write is to allow yourself to live vividly. It is
merely a tool. If the words are “great” this is merely a by-product of having become honest enough with yourself to allow your pen to say things that are truly inside instead of creating a style or philosophy that fits some personality that is not so true to who you are than to who you think you’re supposed to be.
-above the beginning-
for three years
about what I should do.
You have to understand,
I wondered what
what to do meant.
It’s always the idea
that you are something
than what you are
that trips you up.
Usually a word happens
and you go to it
and you stick there
like some object
a gluey wall.
You never know
if what you are going to do
will matter in the end.
There are so many
who have done well
and you should take it
as a good thing,
that they came through
and succeeded in the end,
but it is all about life
and along the way
you always hear
that they had
They couldn’t do the thing
they wanted to do,
couldn’t move an inch
closer to it,
in no way, ever.
Lost, they were,
just like you are now.
but ultimately successful,
like some story seeking
and finding itself.
I was born a seeker,
more a dreamer.
A lost cause
who knew me,
but as you age
that to be
a lost cause
is a found cause
in the game of
The eras are all that matter
to people like me,
because when you have
something to say
to the eras
you feel as though you
came upon something
and that means
that it is possible
and that life has meaning.
We like to think that this is the case,
that we are not just here
another conglomeration of cells
so that “life”
can make it
What is it all for?
Ask an intellectual
and he or she
will tell you
that it is in finding
Ask a married man
or a married woman
what the meaning of life is
and they will say
There is no arguing
as every intellectual knows.
There is never a way
of the biological
the ones who
the ones who know all
because they replicated
a second chance
and therefore doubled
their wisdom quotient
just by doing so.
The others, the me, the we,
we all sit and sink
in the face of the wisdom
we will never know.
Money doesn’t come to us,
unless we’re shrewd
we delete our shrewdness
in favor of rightness.
We lose our ability
to have children.
minute wanderings of soul.
Whatever that means.
We are not the Gods and
we are not the fathers,
but merely the trustees
of the interstices,
the places where thoughts
were bid from higher powers
To never go.
Kerouac and Wolfe
were all streaming live
How many lost words
did they utter
to unlistening populations?
How many words of theirs
have never been heard,
but for a fleeting moment
in minds of people
who needed just that
Supreme wasters of time.
Monumental seekers of faith,
but failures all.
Never seeking rightly
that which could give them
A jazz play, by Kerouac.
A New York autumn’s glee by Wolfe.
A world praising by the great Whitman,
but all to feel,
to know, to feel, to know,
to feel, to learn to think
that we are more than just
so easily perturbed.
We seek in order to live.
But we are asked to die.
No way could this be
in such a short span
as the almighty God gives us,
but we are asked to do so
It is a turn we take.
When our beauty reigns
so do our words,
but the real writers know
and they never give in to
It is the orchestration
that devours us.
It is the need to rage deeply
one more time
when all of our needs are met.
Too old is nothing but
Too old is nothing but
when others can win
and you can lose.
It is a manner
in which new can overtake
but Thomas said it best,
do not give in,
for it is a matter important
to the usurpers also,
for if you do not give in
nor will they
and into old age such rage
and you will know that you
not just that you mattered,
but all mattered,
that all within biological skin
briefly, at least,
and it did not have to do
with your age
or your decrepitude,
but it had to do with
your soul, an ageless thing,
superior to all attackers
no matter the age.
You are a maverick
who cannot fly.
But you are a God, too,
a man or woman who can live forever.
You know but you do not tell.
The others don’t listen anymore,
because you are not beautiful,
but you know,
and the fire is like lightning
that streaks wide
and where not acknowledged,
all is lost.
but you matter.
You matter like a son of a bitch.
Creative non fiction
joey c kantor
Tear up your library card
The writer Phillip Roth, arguably one of the finest literary novelists of the past fifty years, recently stated that he no longer reads fiction. A study states that dyslexics make up a high proportion of ceo’s. Steinbeck said that knowledge and wisdom enters us the moment that you close the book. Reading is touted as one of the best things that you can do for yourself, the equivalent of intellectual and emotional exercise.
But what if entering the worlds of others could actually have a harmful effect on you? What if exposing yourself to elegantly structured sentences pointing to fine truths could actually cause you to go blind? I wanted to find out if this could be the case when I recently came to the realization that I didn’t want to read fiction any more, or if not anymore at least for awhile. You know what seemed to happen? I sensed the power of contemplation was coming upon me. All of those words I had sipped, slurped and gobbled seemed gone soon after I read them. Afterwards I couldn’t tell you what I had learned because I don’t read to learn. I read to experience. To translate this learning is another story. I began to resent reading. It all just started to seem like vanity, like here was a lucky author, something. Definitely not with more to say than me just because he or she had been vetted by society. I have written millions of words myself, or at least it feels like it and I still have to bow to the experience and talent of others in order to grow? Well I had had enough. I stopped reading fiction and threw my fate to the gods. Either I would deal directly with my own unexpressed self or I would experience nothing at all.
I guess I came to the place where I said goodbye to literature as a crutch. I waved goodbye to being the perpetual student, especially when all the twenty something’s were winning all the writing prizes through sheer intellectual energy. I believe I may have been sold a bill gf goods by the educators in this world. More and more I think that all of this importance of reading over doing was a conspiracy by academic elders making 200 grand per year and publishers doing the same. Everybody says they love reading and literature then they have to love it to eat once they choose it as a vocation or art form, but do they forget why? And if you are constantly shoveling more and more of this into your head, where is your own mind? Do you have room? Must you perpetually shovel so that you be like an addicted teenager to his or her telephone? All in the name of smarts? Healthy smarts? Beneficial smarts, ones that will allow you to do your work at the top of your game. But where has the contemplation gone? Where have you gone? And mostly where have all those words gone because, conceivably, by my age I should have read enough words to provide me enough wisdom to last several generations. At some point might it be just important to put the book down, to stop being a student and, like those dyslexic CEOs become a doer instead and see into what form the words have molded you?
Perhaps when writers say that you must write to be a writer they mean that you must cease to be a reader and become a doer, an experiencer of the fruits of every word you have ever read. Wisdom piles up. Perhaps they are unconsciously telling us to put away dependence on what we think we know or ought to know so that we can enter the process completely free of immediate outside influence. Perhaps a high volume human word vacuum would discover that their own expression style resembles a feather slowly lifting away through a breeze. It is important to come to a sense of who you are through what you express because you discover your limitations, the end of your belief of who you are in exchange for the real and humble knowledge of who you actually are. I’m not Einstein, but then again, Einstein ain’t me. Should you desire to be Updike or Toni Morrison there is a way but it involves cloning. Even if you read every book your favorite author ever read you would still come up against the diagram of your parameters. A beautiful novel like The Old Man and the Sea isn’t Finnegans Wake, but would you want it to be? Everybody is afraid of looking foolish. We imagine our final forms will be revealed and we will see that we were slower than this one or not as beautiful as that one so we try to capture lightning where we can, to bottle thunder in the hope that people will mistake us for that, a human being for an inanimate phenomenon whose only real use is nature’s mystery and ours a vessel for symbolism. We are afraid to look up, to look away from the words of others, like we are afraid of falling behind in a race. Read those words! Have you read this writer yet? You really should because they can infuse their spirit into you and you might just succeed as if you would succeed after the mysterious transfer of the non existent reality that we call luck .
Or you can look away. Hear the frogs croak. Look around you. How did you get where you are, why are you there? Have you stopped long enough to figure it out? Maybe you should get a move on, be somewhere else, but one thing is for sure, you are where you are. No doubt about that and if you are there then there has to be a chance that if you put your mind and animal instinct to it you might just be able to move on to somewhere else. You look around and you can see, you put away the fantasy journal of others that by your reading it will somehow initiate you into a club of other able-minded mentalists. You will be alongside the big daddies, but don’t fall behind. Don’t fall behind or maybe you should.
I always liked the vignette in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath where the retarded man liked the river so stayed there. This a symbolic statement to me. One of those wisdoms through imagery that we can only get when we put the book away and allow it to come back to us. I see it as Steinbeck’s simple nature, the simple man inside of the elegant thinker. If you go toward the unsophisticated, the boring, the droning nothingness of nowhere inside of you, then you may eventually find a perch where thoughts of change can move you, make you eventually do. It is a lot like just slowing down. The writer needs to slow down, close the book of others to open the book of himself or herself, share, and by so doing, becoming a writer too.
Before the night fell the grasses swayed. All life was somber and still. A cricket bleeted alone as crickets always do, this one, too early to sing, waiting for night as the orange sun disappeared behind the mountain. The water of the lake was smooth, not a ripple, grasses grew out of there too. Tall grasses that sticking up like trees with thick stems and the brown, very brown, dark brown almost browner than the trunks of the trees on the shore stalks, as I said, stood perfectly still. What happens when the stopping begins. Eyes wide open we seek movement. The poets always sing of themselves in the whisps of winds and sways of leaves, but when selves disappear the remaining former proof lives on, soulless, unknowing, lost.
Too much silence can kill a man says huxley. But huxley doesn’t know anything. He cuts corn down when seasons of corn cutting come. He rushes out to strip the land and comes home a richer man for a season, the good season, in between the times of waiting and loneliness. The poets are always looking for friends in nature. Somehow they know how to relate. Sunshine becomes God and moon the almighty mother. Loneliness doesn’t grip them. They don’t need the flesh and blood of their soul sisters or their brothers. We all fall down.
And stories, expanding in underwater silence, our talents bubbles bursting upon the water’s skin. If we could tell our stories, let our stories come up and be as real to each other as they are to all too often unknowing selves, then we could breathe. But breath is but another dream, another wasted thought to the drowning man, his story and his being watching the round orb of the sun blur and decrease. Eyes on deck. Keep watching says you, but the poet knows that even the underworld is there for him to relate to. Even then.
I was just walking down the street the other day when my school book learning got in my way. Actually, another day to a writer is always that day of years ago. A day equaling an entire period of angst and hell in the writer’s life, everything metabolized down into some symbolic form until you just can’t quite stand it anymore and you write about the relationship between a chicken and a squirrel and try to pass it off as art.
Now, it is art. This is the funny thing. It is art. But in order to be welcomed into the fold of humanity as the textbooks say that we need and want, we must do everything in our power to impress upon the hill people that it is art. This is an art in itself and is a higher art for it is what forms “artists” as we understand them: Bernard Shaw, Sarah McLaughlin, Rodney Dangerfield, Whoopi. What binds all of these people together is that they wanted to be famous. Being famous is the most important thing in the trek of the artist onward to sublimity. If we don’t become famous then we are nothing? Why is this? Because if we don’t become famous then we’re going to be scraping shit off things for others as their slaves. None of us want to be slaves. We don’t even believe in slavery and yet we are. Isn’t that funny how that happens?
So the main question becomes how we are to not be slaves in this world of slaves where everybody is a slave to somebody else unless you decide to completely back out and become a hermit. Now, hermiting has gotten a bad rap as of late with Ted Kazinski and all. In a family of “hard workers” it is even harder to break away from this desire to be alone or, god forbid, simply intellectual as opposed to industrial. People are brought up in this world to tackle the problem of somebody else. In the Bible they say that every part is equal in stature. You need the feet as much as you need the head. Well, the symbolic structure of “the feet” in our society consists of scrubbing toilets and making the beds of drunken, rich, drug-besotted 19-year-olds who have driven into town in their daddy’s BMW convertibles. Whichever way you slice it there can be no doubt that in this case being the head is undoubtedly better than being the feet, especially when you get a little of their cum on your finger as you change their sheets.
But strangers cannot affect you nearly as much as your own family can. God forbid that you have a father who makes his living scraping shit off of sewer walls because you will have learned that scraping shit off of sewer walls is the pinnacle of human existence, that there is no greater goal to strive for than to scrape shit off of sewer walls. This is just an example. Every human being believes that every other human beings should be doing what they are doing if only for the reason that if they don’t believe this then they will recognize that they have been wasting their lives, which we all, for the most part do every day.
And time passes. This is true. As you get older and your world does not materialize as you expected it would according to your dreams you see that all is in a state of slow deterioration. I imagine even the “successful” see this deterioration, if they don’t express it then maybe they feel it on the inside. They feel their weaknesses. I sometimes think that the only people who are happy are those who have forsaken the idea that you can improve your lot on earth by overcoming the material obstacles, by becoming the head instead of the feet. While it is better to be the head than the feet, it does not slow the process of deterioration. This is a truth. But also, this is not a truth. Every word is false if another word follows. A truth suggests that you can stop right there and bask in reality. Well, there is reality and then there is surreal reality and then there is blackest reality and then there is hopeful reality and then there is…
You get the picture. By the time you have the answer you’ve forgotten the question. We are all the mule trying to reach the carrot tied to our tails by the fool who laughs and laughs and laughs, who cannot stop laughing, who will never stop laughing, who has come upon a truth and, smarter than the non-fool, stops.
If you have love in your life then all of these ideas are ludicrous. They are all ludicrous anyway if you think of them in terms of how they will be understood. Isn’t to be understood to be loved if you are a good person? I rarely see instances of love between strangers. Loneliness isn’t the down side of being alone, it stems from seeing the world in love. Love is a singular connection. Once you stop being lovable then you are halfway released from any tether you may have had on earth. From here you enter the loveless realm of the workings of the mind. You can go to the moon or sit on a star from here, but you won’t be able to feel it. You will only be able to see it. When you look you glimpse the light from real human beings who have found the connection. Your book falls the nine miles it takes to get to hell. You wait, but you wait for nothing. For death. Same thing.
There is always the self help route. This too is faulty because we don’t want help. We want love. We can’t just change the pictures in our heads and somehow be alright. Even understanding is a failure because no matter how much we understand we are going to have to fight those closest to us to realize it in our lives and our society will always be about thirty years behind those of us who have taken the initiative and plotted out the possibilities of our human potential. We are still alone. Individuals are pushed backward, flushed out of the system. We walk the outer rim of earth, lonely puppets without puppeteers, alive due to some bizarre system we developed as children and perfected as adults much to our detriment. When we are not being blasted in the ear as to what we should do and how we should do it by our loved ones we are following paths of thought that take us only further away until, finally, we are at the outer rim, walking lonely and aimlessly within the realm of our highest aspiration which in it’s final form is spiritual when we thought it would include the physical, the mental, the emotional, the familial. Skin hanging upon bones. Man does not live on word alone.
They say that the hopeful people do better as human beings than the non-hopeful people. The numbers are pretty convincing although I don’t have them here. I’m not sure what they mean by “hopeful” but I imagine it consists of not having had many bad influences in your life. I think hopefulness comes from having had predominantly positive influences in your life. I personally get tired of trying to figure it all out. I guess this makes me less hopeful and therefore a failure according to the study which therefore makes the study useless to the hopeless and beneficial only to the hopeful since the hopeempty are easily beaten down and often gullible and believing, always attributing to themselves the worst and thereby becoming hopeempty.
At least us hope empty people have got some role models: Sartre, Camus, Beckett. The Hopeful look at these people and don’t understand them. The universities make sure that we worship. Then they come out with these studies which place the divides between the classes; between the educated and the ignorant. I believe that the ignorant are more hopeful. I am not hopeful because I know the futility in trying to make it in this world using my chosen method: the mind. There is nothing I can say to convince anybody of anything. When I do try I simply question my motives and find that I want others to read me and be changed and then if I go further I discover that if they are reading me then I am probably getting paid. I want my physical comforts so I can continue to dispense this “truth” which will set them free and keep me fed and housed. Truth is better left spontaneous. In actuality it cannot be given at all, but only expressed. Words are a cheap whore that I visit again and again, always believing that the next time I will get out of her what I dream.
everytime i read bukowski i end up telling someone to go -f- themselves.
everytime i read bukowski
i end up telling someone to
i should never read bukowski
to read bukowski is
to give up all of the pretenses
that you carry with you
bukowski was beaten by his father
all childhood long
he was beaten
if he mowed the grass wrong
because of it
his face broke out
women later thought his face
but they were probably just like
possessed with a desire
to explore the lower depths
of what’s not allowed to say
to tell it like it is
in a gritty, even dirty way
that you never do.
so when i read bukowski
i end up saying
the f-word to people
and sully my own reputation
but that’s just the thing
you get tired
of always being mr nice guy
and bukowski never was
never tried to be
except when he realized
that if he didn’t make money
he would be living on the street
an alcoholic bum
well, the same goes for me too
i will be on the street too
if i keep reading bukowski
and when i then speak on the www
those kisses last forever, baby
and people i had criticized
in my mind
in some small way
believe that i hate them
because f is where i go
when i read bukowski
but i don’t hate them
i just want to get their attention
joey c kantor
“(moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneynmoneymoneymoneymoneymoney) Fine, great, thanks for asking. How are you?”
The snow fell in little snow cones, fluffy ones unlike any he had ever seen. They were the pancakes of holey snowflakes, the kind that you saw in memories. They layered themselves upon the earth along with rain water until they took hold and began to pile up and before he knew it the ground was white and he realized he might have to dig his car out again, another thing, just one more on his way to total financial destitution.
It didn’t matter. Just one more thing. The world was swirling up white, high and so wildly above him that there had to be some other way to think of the world than in terms of his own inevitable failure in some way that will send him off the playing field of life, and soon probably, with his head hung in shame. Boredom was the main thing he would have to continue to hold at bay, the very boredom of things that did not exist, but caused him boredom because he wished that they did: baseball games, women, restaurants, movies, bars and the ability to buy a beer inside of them. He spent five dollars the night before on a burrito because he received an extra day’s work at the shop and he figured that if you work twelve hours straight that you should be allowed a burrito now and then. Didn’t quite seem fair that you worked your life away and were not allowed to buy a burrito, which he knew was basically the way that things were.
He was stealing from himself as he ever marched in chase of that ever in front of him ten dollars per hour. He was mostly a loser in the hunt. At times he had made eleven or twelve. Once he made fourteen, but when he thought about it he was mostly under that ten dollar mark. He was one of the ever unworthy and so he would always be. He knew it now after receiving a notice in the mail by his new medicaid provided doctor that warned him that besides high blood pressure he also had high cholesterol and high blood sugar. And to think he did it all for Jesus. Hardly seemed fair.
But he didn’t really mind anymore. It didn’t really matter. Sometimes he thought it didn’t matter because he himself no longer mattered and he had to accept that just so that he could believe that the little things didn’t really matter. All of the tricks of the mind over the years had become convoluted until he could look in the mirror and see someone who even he didn’t quite believe was very worthwhile to be around. Fat, old. At least he wasn’t strikingly ugly. No friends. The only thing that he had going for him was that he could afford his room and that hs car continued to work even though he now had to climb out of the passenger side window to get out since the passenger door finally broke, the last of his doors to succumb, until he was left without a single working door. Such was life. Oh well. he could climb out of the window. He looked at his calendar and counted down the time when he might be able afford to have someone look at it. One week, two weeks. Two weeks. He would have to climb out of the window for two weeks. A forty nine year old man. Oh well. It didn’t matter.
He had a feeling though that some things did matter but he didn’t know how to put a finger on it. All that mattered had something to do with others who had others. If you had nobody, absolutely nobody then nothing could ever really matter, not really, and you’ve got to think that things matter to change your situation, but you can only to do that, well…it is a cycle, mattering not mattering. It gets confusing after awhile as to what is needed to change and soon only the image in the mirror is important, the memory of it, the way that you saw yourself as fat, but slightly handsome, but fat, fatter than you actually saw yourself, you knew, or were coming to know.
He was starting to realize that he was a fat man. He had always considered himself thin, had one of those strange minds that could look into a mirror and see a thin, svelt, young buck when in fact it was the total opposite. This mask was being pulled from his eyes though and he was beginning to see himself the way that other people saw him. In this way he could understand why he had no friends. He wouldn’t want to be his friend either. Too old, ugly, fat, well, not ugly, just fat and tall and old and nothing. Nothing left really to consider viable. A ten dollar par hour forty nine year old man who climbs out of his car window wherever he goes.
He places himself out head first, bends himself at the waist and pushes out and places his hands on the ground. his feet hook on the top of the door itself and he pushes. He was pleased to know that he would not have to roll whenever he got out, that he could just put his hands on the ground and then put his feet through the window and then get out with only his hands and feet ever touching the world. Not too bad. He could do his two to three weeks. Oh well.
Outside, it was a saturday night. He had 84 dollars in the bank and in two weeks he would have to pay rent of 550. He would get paid before then and he would be able to do it. He was glad of this. He also got financial assistance, food stamps, and they saved his life. He would otherwise have to move back to the family property where he destroyed his life for Jesus and he couldn’t do that. Being in exile in a strange new eastern land of Boston was much better. He had found a copy of the New Yorker and read three quarters of an article of an artist who sold toilets for $100,000 and helped fix up the ghetto. The artist admitted that he was a hustler and he seethed when he read that because he himself was a Christian and wanted to fix up the ghetto and always thought that hustlers were what caused the ghetto to be horrible in the first place, but that he should have used that mentality to get what he wanted done.
Just the idea of being slick in order to achieve something irked him. Maybe its Robin Hood-like, but its anti- who he was. He didn’t want to be mean to save the world. he wanted to do it by being simple and simply good. Didn’t work. Everybody hated him in the end. He remembered reading a passage in a novel about a boy who was so good that a Mennonite principal fantasized about putting a meat hook through the child’s eye and dragging him through the city. This is what happens to the good. People want you gone. They can’t stand the good, the nice, the thing that Jesus wanted everybody to be.
He sat and thought about the fact that Jesus wanted him dead and was doing it by making him suffer. That was the jist of christianity. Turn the other cheek. Always be good until everybody slaps you down until you are dead. You are only a successful Christian if you have a rock for your pillow and rocks for pillows is pretty much what he got. They took him apart eventually, the property, made him remove every stick of lumber on the grounds. Sometimes he thought he had started a church, but his idea of Jesus was not like that. His idea of Jesus was one of invisibility. Jesus was spirit and spirit was good and good could change lives and putting a name on spirit and goodness in the world was wrong because some people had different cultures. All cultures should be celebrated, all respected. Even the idea that there is no good should be acknowledged and illustrated through the growth of ideas that he helped to foster at his establishment. Love was more powerful than any ideology and should not be afraid to stand up against all comers. Love can handle everything.
But the reality was that the goody goody thing made people hate him. They couldn’t stand him until his partner destroyed him and took everything away which sent him into a tailspin and he had to move away to escape sheer depression and knowledge of hopelessness. He was tired as he sat there and looked out at the pancake snowflakes falling in front of his window, tired of thinking about it, wondered when this failure thing would end, when he would just fail once and for all now that he had nothing left to give to anybody, had nobody to give the rewards to and had changed everything about himself in a land that didn’t belong to him and didn’t care about him and never would. Oh well. It didn’t really matter.
He waited for the subject to die out in his head. The perpetual crying over spilt milk. Years gone by, fifteen, done, failures everywhere and still chasing that ten dollars and failing miserably. No change. No change ever. Other people changed, grew, made money, but he didn’t. All things stayed the same on that front. Nothing ever changed. He was as he was when he was sixteen years old working at Taco Bell, back when they fried the tacos on the premises. His legs had gone out from working at a standing job too long in the summer and he had that against him too. There was no more upward projection of his hopes and dreams, only a rumination on the ever moving downward crawl. And it was a crawl. It wasn’t even a spiral. it was the slow crawl down the backside of the mountain. Just down. End of story. Oh well. He would be dead soon.
This thought frightened him. When he read about his blood sugar he feared the worst and couldnt think of it. He liked to eat fat and sugar, basically, and stayed away from vegetables and he figured that he would eventually have to pay for this, but the poor eat this type of food to fill holes in their souls as well as their bellies. It was okay. He could start exercising and eat better if he wanted to, but he would just have to find the will, which was the hardest thing to find. The will was never there anymore. There was no will to do anything at all, but he did everything he needed to do, but why? There was no reason to know why. He didn’t care anymore about any of it. He openly admitted that everything he did, everything he aspired to was for the dollar. Was open about it to himself and he knew because of it that nothing truly mattered. He would exchange one dream for another if he could just have enough money to live without worry. He was tired of the whole game. He would never be considered special no matter what he chose to do. Any success he had wouldn’t matter, not really. He just wanted money now. Screw the fame. He didn’t need it because he knew he would never get it. Oh well.
Then one day an alien came down and took him away. He looked up and the sky was black but he was moving forward in it. Beside him was a strange beast, naked unlike anything he had ever seen before, and it was sitting in front of a console of lights like on a tv spaceship. He was inside of a ufo he knew and he didn’t really care about the fact that he might die because at least he wouldn’t have to worry about the mundane reality of chasing after ten dollars per hour anymore. The alien talked to him in a strange voice but he could tell it was english. The alien spoke english.
You are an alien species to my planet and you are going home with me. do you understand? it said.
Yes, I said….I had become the alien.
You were taken away from your world because you are a standard specimen. You are the only one taken and you will be tested upon although you will not be harmed. Do you understand?
Yes. I think so.
He thought about the idea of the tests and spoke up.
What kind of tests?
Mental tests, physical tests. you will not be bisected. You will be allowed to live and eventually we will assimilate you into our society.
We have a thriving society. My planet is outside of the range of your universe, but our atmospheres are similar, oxygen. You will need a breathing tube for awhile until we can alter your blood properly and then you will be fine.
He went silent. The universe wizzed by and he saw planets off to his right and left, or they were moons or, well, he admitted, he didn’t know what they were. The sky was mostly just black with stars around just like you could see on a clear night on earth. The beast did not speak after that but then he spoke up.
What is your planet like?
Oh, we have various things to do. We have water. Our architecture is different. We have the elements, four seasons, actually, two suns. Like I said we’re pretty advanced in a lot of ways. We have been around about four million years longer than you technologically so we’ve learned quite a bit.
Are you and us the only species?
Oh no. There are millions of inhabited planets around the multiverses. Weve been to many of them, like I said we are very advanced. We can learn languages quite easily, an average one of us knows millions of languages so you will have no problem talking to any of us on the planet.
So you are probably pretty advanced morally too, I mean, you don’t eat people like me or anything, right?
Oh no. weve learned how to gather our sustenance in proper fashion. None of us are hungry as you would say.
Do you work?
Oh no, nobody works as you understand it, but we stay busy experiencing new things. This is just one of the things that I do because I want to. We can all go to other planets and I grew fond of earth long ago as a young being. I would watch the planet and its inhabitants and was fascinated with the way things are. There are many fans of earth and its people, but it is an acquired taste really. There are many more fascinating planets, but few have creatures that are as complex, how do you say, emotionally as earth creatures.
We think a lot.
Yes you do. I was always intrigued by that notion, a creature that thinks and feels deeply. I always compared that to us where we think and we feel, but we do not pine, and we do not do as you do, lament while still functioning in your society. To me it was always like hearing a somber tune and it registered to me as quite beautiful. Earth music, classical works, are some of the most treasured items to all of us. The earth is well known for its musical interludes and for this alone you will be popular. There are a few of you there, but not many. We don’t like to upset the system, but we were watching you and you were on a downward spiral and we knew that you would not mind, and besides, you’re good. I liked that.
You liked that I was good?
Yes. To me that is what matters. Someone who does not have to be bad in order to get what they want in life even if it means that they slowly wither away and die. Thats where you were headed anyway so i thought I would just step in and stop the progression. You’ll see. You’ll be thankful for what I did and maybe you’ll decide to go back. Of course you will be allowed if you choose, but, you wont want to, most likely, unless, but what I can tell, you really don’t have anybody left in your life.
I’m sorry. I know. You are a lonely and confused man with very few good years left before him. Well, you have been rescued. We’ll help you out. You won the lottery.
The creature made a sound like laughter and he smiled. Should he believe the creature? He hoped so. The fact was that he really didn’t much care. The creature was right. He had nothing to really live for on earth and anything was better than waiting around to die while working your fingers to the bone for ten dollars an hour. Nobody cared if he was there or not. Not really. He watched the black sky and stars move slowly by him. The creature and he sat inside of the capsule and he enjoyed the creature’s company although he did not know how to read the beast. He just sensed that the creature liked him, that he was special to the creature and it made him feel proud, proud enough to sit up in his chair and for the first time in a long time hold his chin out and turn his head in just such a way that told him that he was alive again.
you’ve got to
and take -
now and then -
Maybe if you give and give
and get so little
then you are not giving
You are just taking
What then is left of you?
Do you feel the daze?
The object of your vision
should be left solely
not that you needn’t
have to give,
or want to give,
your original line
and what is taken
will be for your eyes,
your soul, heart.
then you can give
have the smile
that is required