To isolate yourself within the moment of its falling. To press your ear closer to the window. To distract the mind from thinking about Ferguson, Mo. The death of Michael Brown. The grand jury deciding not to charge Officer Darren Wilson. To listen without offering words to their pain.
Mustafa rises from sleep called to morning prayer he spreads out his rug and closes Sally’s legs. Then he calls down for tea; she wakes as he is pouring it from pitcher to glass. Removing a mint sprig she takes a sip. Bonjour she moans and hands him back the empty glass before she lies back against the wall. Her heavy breast lay soft like a pillow; he stretches out a hand to touch: enough she bellows; he draws back to slap.
Dreams deliver us to dreams; there is no end to illusions. Lighting a cigarette, Sally listens. In Morocco to survive you must interview yourself. View of Tangier in the dark. To speak many languages is to survive.
Firstly, practice Ramadan, give alms to the poor, go to Mecca, pray 4 times a day. The sky is no longer red; the wind is as cold as the gun barrel blue of the coming night. The surf rolls and slams against the rocky coast. Mustafa pillows his head on Sally’s upraised thigh; feeling the bite of mosquitoes, he takes out his tan colored headscarf. We are living in Moroc in the modern middle ages; because we have now the year 1411. Always barking dogs and crying cats.
The Arab occupation began as a paint-splattered dream amid the sounds of helicopters and machine gun fire; the Dutch counsel announced that it was in league with the occupiers; a taut young Dutch official donning a black suit, white shirt, black tie leaps out of a hoovering helicopter onto the back of a late model Ford pickup truck fully loaded with a Gatling gun. Miles of razor wire spread across the Capitol while concrete blast walls cast shadows. I scampered down close by and scanned the blue eyed fellow punching his fist into the smoke clogged sky. Barefoot men, woman and children huddle around the truck. He shouts to the crowds gathering: More beautiful than life are these Apache helicopters; their rotors chop/chopping; we now rule the western world. from my hiding place I shout: lies! Releasing the safety, I rush out and pepper the truck with my M-16.
Not responsive to advise, authority or suggestions: unwilling: Sally was not governable as a woman to her husband.
There was in our world men that were concreted out of others; they dragged their feet along the way unaware that a dialectic is the apposition of opposites- thesis and antithesis- leading to a synthesis. For example I asked a Moroccan who was the most influential person in his life. It was Sayyid Qutb; back up to the year 1920 when Maududi began to participate in the Khilafat movement that gave the Muslim clergy power in the Muslim league, the bearer of Muslim Nationalism in India that introduced religious ideology in the politics. Muslim Nationalism was a movement of Muslims and not a movement of Islam.
In college, history was empty; 911 deconstructed western mythology; Gandhi is dead.
In 1996, I returned a bearded fundamentalist. three times a day they gave me bizarre drugs. I was taught how to make ricin- a powerful organic poison. I knew well how to make chemical bombs but I didn’t know the plans. I was arrested and a few days later I was in a two room ground floor apartment. Among my possessions was a list of 11 chemicals, as well bottles of sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide and glycerin. I read that in the Sunni tradition the religious domain is the domain of the of the Imam. But unlike the Pope, the Imam does not have any religious authority. Islam does not recognize any priesthood or Pope. It is a religion of individual consciousness. Imams are therefore essentially guides, persons who by virtue of personal religious perfection and excellence in scholarship come to be recognized as Imam.
I have taken as my model the Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh. Too few are his equal; his destiny is tied to his people; his boldness and willingness to openly challenge colonial authority attracted both peasant and aristocracy in France and Indochina to support his movement. At Versailles in 1919 Ho prepared an point petition demanding basic freedoms for the Vietnamese which he had planned to submit to President Woodrow Wilson. Freedom and self-determination had been his sole message; it was at this time that he altered his rhetoric from denouncing freedom lost to revolution. What is the primary requisite for a revolutionary? He must be thrifty, be resolute to correct errors, be greedy for learning, be persevering, adopt the habit of studying and observing, place national interest above personal…be little desirous of material things, and know how to keep secretes. The style and principles were gained from reading Confucius. On 2 September 1945 Ho addressed a crowd of 100,000 people: Our people have broken the chains which for nearly a century have fettered them; Vietnam has the right to enjoy freedom and independence and in fact it is so already; the whole Vietnamese people is resolved to bring all spirit and its power, its life and its possessions to preserve this right of freedom and independence.
Often art begins where we loose our grip.
We are holding tight to a branch dangling over a chasm. We live our lives smugly cocooned in denial of this impending doom
Understanding art for me begins when I connect the dots. My experience of listening to Beethoven’s symphony number six was elevated by reason of reading the background story, that he wrote this piece programmatically. The composer said that the Sixth Symphony is “more the expression of feeling than painting”, a point underlined by the title of the first movement: Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside.
My first contact with art begins with my five senses. I took visual delight from seeing John Currin’s canvases because he back-grounded pornography within a renaissance context. My first encounter, was a constant rifling through his images, each correspondingly collaborating my first liking. I was so struck I had to try to make sense, much the same way as having watched a moving film, or listened to a particular piece of music.
But in all these instances, I try not to read too much; desiring instead to let my thoughts be mine, my response not overly influenced by someone else’s words. And only later do I start digging for meaning. And being prone to a certain level of literacy, I usually consult the New Yorker. One such article gave voice to how he adopted his pornography theme, Lifting The Veil:Old Masters, pornography, and the work of John Currin.
It speaks of the headlines about riots in the Islamic world over twelve Danish newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. “The response to that totally shocked me,” Currin said at dinner that night. “That the Times decided that it was not going to show the cartoons—O.K., they’re terrible-ass cartoons from a quality standpoint, but the idea that those thugs get offended and we just acquiesce, that was the most astonishing display of cowardice. And also the killing of Theo van Gogh, the film director, by some jihadist in Amsterdam—all of a sudden the most liberal societies in the world were having intimidation murders happen. That’s when it occurred to me that we might lose this thing—not the Iraq war but the larger struggle.” When I asked how this tied into his making pornographic paintings, Currin talked about low birth rates in Europe, and people having sex without having babies, and pornography as a kind of elegy to liberal culture, at which point I lost the thread. “I know how right wing this sounds,” I recall him saying, “but I was thinking how pornography could be a superstitious offering to the gods of a dying race.”
At any rate, as he told me in a later conversation, when the cartoon controversy was at its height he started a second painting derived from another Internet porn site. (He was still working on the one of the woman in the corset.) The new one showed a standing nude woman and a clothed woman kneeling beside her, and it occurred to him to call it “The Dane.” “Like, when they’re not involved in cartoon controversies, this is what they’re doing,” he explained, with a laugh. “If all your freedoms are taken away, even sleazy porn becomes valuable. There are a lot of levels for me here—a parody of what I imagine Europe to be, a parody of my life before September 11th, of my life before I had children, and also a picture of a sunset, this failing light of liberty. I know that seems like bullshit, but I’ve always liked to impose meanings on paintings that can’t quite bear them. Anyway, calling that picture ‘The Dane’ and linking it up with the Muhammad cartoon thing was very exciting for me. It gave me a direction.”
A Frenchman, Maxime Hauchard, had been identified in the footage of a recent ISIS beheading, a 22-year-old from Normandy who converted to Islam at 17, left France for Syria in August 2013 under the false pretext of humanitarian work.
To study his face is to come up short. His could be an ad for a clothing design line of camouflage clothing. He must feel justified in their campaign. In my youth, I supported at least ideologically Ho Chi Minh. In college I wrote an essay stateing such an opinion. My professor wrote on my paper audacious. I remember looking up that word.
Are these two causes similar, or do they differ? But we would have to go back even further, with the initial communist tide that swept Europe with a sizable amounts of liberal adherents to communism. Though it seems as the Communist atrocities were reveal, these people started rejecting the cause.
For me the Vietnam war seemed to be about one man set to protect the Nationalist aspirations of his country. But ISIS they are not protecting, they are pursuing an agenda much like the Mao Zedong’s Marxist-Leninist doctrines.
I look at Maxime’s picture and think he could be my friend but just as well the dark hair fellow next to him. Before you as a reader are quick to judge him believe me when I say our hope lies with many more such young men as Maxime. Inside them they must feel that what they are witness to, what they are adhering to lacks of humanity. That they will come to see war less as an adventure and more of a disease. And by degrees they will come into the heads of those around them dispelling the romantic allure of war and sliding crab wise into their brothers thinking thoughts that lend themselves to peaceful resolutions. Brutes can only go so far. Looking at Maxime’s face, I see nothing brutish but only a sensitive that has to have limits.
Page 16 bad boy
Dawn was a foregone conclusion by the time these two woke up.
Bird call was wasted by the hot breath of morning.
And a river ran through it all as these two dreamed while unseen hands roved across their bodies, one particular rover stopping to taste. Like butter but it doesn’t melt. Her nipples pigmented pink to dark brown and encircled with goosebumps. The rover continues between her legs and touches soft skin, not skin but a strange fabric more like silk that parts and seemingly breaths air that would resuscitate the dead.
Pulling back Joe’s foreskin, another rover inspects a bulbous head purple with prolonged use and then allows the skin to assume its hooded aspect.
Everyone, I know goes away in the end, I will let you down. This thought wakes up Joe. Parting Sally’s lips with his tongue, ever so lightly he whispers I…
Sally’s mouth opens like a deep well and she taste the copper penny quality of his tongue dropping to make a wish. While Joe’s hand slip between the lips of a secret mouth.
My feel for you.
My feelings for you…
Look it’s light out side.
Stepping from their primordial dwelling and climbing back down the mountain they come upon a group of college age boys who invite them to eat and to drink. One among them is going to Iraq. The day increases and at the bottom of the ravine Joe finds a fallen tree. He returns to the gathering with the idea of toting that fallen tree up the hillside and dropping it off the bridge into the river below.
They are game and as one lone giant they amass around the tree and with a loud ready lets do this the tree is haul up and with one burst of energy over the top it goes and then as if suspended it hangs in the air. Then in one felled moment it plummets, as well their hearts. Sadness has entered uninvited as they watch the tree carried down the river.
Page Elleven of Tocksin: Overview of Zen
Rummaging for thoughts, ideal ways of seeing. Like the Japanese appreciation of the aesthetics in nature and their belief that divinities manifest themselves in certain natural places or things, including mountains and rocks.
I took a few rocks and placed them near my door. I sit and I sit while my mind laughs and dreams.
Marcel Duchamp bespoke between the lines, mixing, overlapping of forms, ideas and emotions: his large glass has been called a love machine, but it is actually a machine of suffering. The bride is hanging from a rope in an isolated cage; the bachelor remains below left only with the possibility of churning, agonizing masturbation.
Who is being marginalized?
People who belong to organizations in which orders are given and taken.
We are experiencing a cyclical crisis when customary behavior becomes expected behavior.
Sally had the habit of stripping naked when doped. She would slip off her blouse. The sight of Sally’s round and vulnerable shoulders, her visual, her shape, her form, her body- that which she gave off attracted the male gaze. She was one of those miscellaneous people who threw stones and fought the occupation. Hers was a quixotic wager. She didn’t eat, she only liked sex. Despondency has its own value, with all hope lost, Sally offered up her body like a catholic wafer.
They were driving stolen vehicles loaded with arms, ammunition and explosives; their criminal acts became increasingly brazzen. Buildings and cars were pocked by gunfire and the impact of rocket propelled grenades. It was as if we were a sailing vessel suddenly boarded by a band of marauding pirates.
Do you feel these complexities, these multiple locations and identities?
We tried to escape from the all too cramped conditions of everyday life; we tried to think about the future.
If you find my writing obnoxious, lewd, and obscene- check your assumptions. Sally was alert, thoughtful and observant; more than willing to be an active partner. I will attempt to describe the problem’s symptoms in temporal disorder; sometimes I asked semantically-null questions like: are you fucking around?
Are you fucking kidding? The unified dark energy/matter local zero was Einstein’s vision to explain elementary particals in terms of a local geometrodynamic field theory of spatially extended geon structures.
Of course this is interesting!
Yes, but it’s not controversial.
Mass without mass; charge without charge; spin without spin.
Not something, but not exactly nothing either.
Space time is curved; space is flat.
Think of a head with hairs with a marine crew cut. The head curves. You think you found a relatively minor flaw in some of the informal interpretive ordinary language of explanation of Einstein’s general theory.
No, it is a fundamental flaw.
Empirical predictions come from mathematics.
No, empiracal predictions come from pure formal mathmatics. The mathematics has to be empirically interpreted. This unavoidably involves an appeal to physical models; sometimes, even metaphysical models.
I view you as being troglodyte.
We have already thrashed over this; let’s talked about it in private.
Use your mentality; wake up to reality.
How come existence?
Why the quantum?
What sort of malfeasance have we elected to office, where do you stand? Yesterday, when we should have been listening we were killing our great minds: Malcolm X. Malefaction. What was his crime? Malcontent. Cilvil disobedience turned on its head.
Sally leans in close and whispers: you are crazy.
By degrees, we have allowed the rich to make a playground of this revolving planet. Gulf courses sicken me; homogeneity of choice; we don’t have to buy it nor live it nor take it.
We awaken before the sun. Gently we know each other, her breast rise and fall.
She opens the van door and I listen to her releasing a jet stream upon the rock face. The alpine air is chilling. Naked, I follow suit. A lazy moon leans on the shelf of night ready to give way to dawn. The sun etched in gold droplets dangles between my fingers tips touching pine needles. To know a thing we must do something with it. I will turn my gun on anyone who refuse to cede power to earth. I will use my feet to walk the earth and to make change come.
I speak to you of eternity. Her face wasn’t changed. Head against the wall, it hurts to remember. Do we reach the sea with clocks in our pockets? I creep slowly over every horizon. I am blinded to the dead.
Our endless solitude.
I don’t listen to monsters.
Look at their hands, look at their liquid eyes. This is the toilet of transience, the final flush of life. An ancient tradition of governance in the orient is the ruler never shows himself when his power becomes absolute. Our ruler spoke from his balcony to vast crowds. We lost the mandate of heaven. They carried out their policy of war without asking by taking those in power and publicly executing them. That’s when I sounded the tocsin and Sally followed me up into the mountains. But we argued about something I can’t seem to remember and she turned away from me and went back down the mountain. It came across me like a wave, a rush of air sending me to my knees clinching my hands to my head as to rip out my hair I tumble and rolled. All the while screaming: Sally. Sally. Then I saw the horizon bubbling, rising and falling were white puffy clouds. I poked my hand in my pocket and forgot that I was still screaming her name.
It’s too early to be drinking scotch in the morning, if you don’t want love what do you want? Sally tells me to forget everything I heard or thought and to simple touch her breast.
I am not sleeping with you!
That’s how I know you will!
We took the van across a suspension bridge, it was beautiful, light and strong. I watch as the cable stretched with late-afternoon light into the distance. She has a shoulder; it has a curve; it has a bow and a blade. Her throat I kiss; she taught me this. Sally is a woman with a hand. The hand to mouth. Her head moves up and down, side to side.
Enjoy, she said.
Sally has a vulva and an anus and she smells like cinnamon. We found a drug store and purchased syringes. My hand disappears into her slot. Besides sex we don’t talk much.
Five, six, seven, I counted.
Eleven, she said.
I had a dream where Sally was skeletal and helpless. She told me she was a lesbian first, men got seconds.
Oftentimes, I greeted Sally with rancorous thoughts as oil on water: incompatible. A habit is generated, patterns concur. Whores are too often inclosed in their own worlds. Do I confuse you by casting Sally as a whore? She is something used up, something done to, something over with, something tried and true.
Now as a away to escape, of finding out what the underworld is like I become liquid and spiral down into a syringe that goes into Sally’s arm. I am the occultist witness. I want to grasp things with the mind the way the penis is grasped by the vagina.
One weeps. One sleeps. One eats. One looks to the trees. One sees yellow leaves. Yellow lemons. Limbs blown bare. The sky gray-slate. Nothing is lost. Everything has a beginning. We know that things end. But we. But we. Weep. Sleep. Eat. But for the hand searching the key board. All that time in front and behind. Now suspended.
P.S. The latter tone poem came by way of not thinking through what I would write. This morning I stood at our back window that gives way to our property, a fine view it is of just mangled brush and shooting bamboo and oaks, aged oaks all gnarled and twisting, creating a canopy to see the sky through; well, this morning, under lowering skies with feet feeling the cold, hard floor and two things caught my eye both similarly hued, one familiar and the other gaining ground into my consciousness. Oaks are ever green and their limbs are massive structures that interlock, that web the sky and between them there are other more deciduous trees that loose leaf, but first that get sucked of their greening and this articulatory leaf foliage was a darkened, gorgeous hue yellow leaves that were gently spraying. This is where I felt helpless, I knew if I tried I could not put into words what I was seeing because what I was seeing was something that made me feel. I was moved. And this feeling was compounded when I my eyes followed the head down and there I saw that spindly lemon tree bare of leaf but dangling ten or more bright yellow lemons.
Not sure why I am adding to what was wrote, just maybe to indicate how I go about writing. I am of two minds. One writes like the latter while the other doesn’t bend to conform but only to state matter of factly the patterns seen.
Please read the latter three parts sequentially.
I screwed up and published part three out of order.
One moment you are this and the next you have become that which was this but is now that which you spend years sorting out.
I hate myself, the self that was blind. Behind words there are more words. Writing is anthropology. Where we dig up pieces of our past and try to tell a story from the scantest of evidence. Someone younger than me is not at this place where they feel a need to make sense.
What brought me here was to use terms in my love making that have increasingly objectified my woman. It’s like I have discovered a new found honesty. Afforded by my erectile being lodged in that place where she is at her best, having climaxed, having brought her there through multiple turns of foreplay and straight out fucking. Her sucking my dick actually works to slow me down. Otherwise, I would pound into her raised buttocks indefinitely. But it is our present habit now, that I stop and lay beside her and she proceeds to mouth me for some time. Like this is a shared work. I fuck; she sucks. But to fast-forward, we reach a place where her pussy becomes fat up inside her deep a place that wasn’t there when we began now seems to be squeezing the head of my dick, which has bottom out inside her and I am no longer pounding her. No, we are now meshed and kisses are like drinking from a well. And I can’t move like I was moving inside her. If I did I would squirt off inside her bring everything to an unfortunate end. But not all climaxes are unfortunate. I say unfornate because for me to climax is to experience a mini death. I am like a honey bee, I die when I release my stinger. When I do, it has to be some months having being graced with being able to stop at that precise moment. I say precise because it is out of my hands. When I stop moving and I alert her to stop. It is only by grace that I don’t explode inside her and I sigh a relief and say that was close and I let subside. But back to where we were with me lodge up inside her and we two kissing and smelling each other, her having diddled her clit and bring herself off with a bang and me just feeling that the waters have changed, this is dangerous now. This pussy wants me to come. And sometimes I do without even had moved. Her pussy chemistry can in itself make me come. I have learned to give it space once I bring her to this place. Slowing things down, not so animus driven no more myself having multiple mini orgasms myself. These episodes of not truncated coming, coming cut short. They are still very powerful and satisfying. I too at this point feel no need to continue the rambunctious fucking. And having not fully climaxed, I am still sex and exciting and wanting to change the game.
And I say things that reflect my deepest fears.