Saturday, November 29, 2008

Time's Up

The time to view the world with protozoan eyes
To balance our gait upon our knuckles
To grunt and snort monosyllabic responses to charismatic charlatans' fear mongered exhortations
To lasciviously lap clean crimson palms stained by innocent pools coagulating in occupied lands
To ignore our fervent dreams' rotting entrails while corporate willed solutions enforce through military commands
To suffer unredeemed agony's heartbeat longingly mourn
To rise above the clammy carcass pile now representing civilization
Yes even the time to ask forgiveness for desecrating this immaculate planet
Elapsed twenty minutes ago

Did you not hear the alarm
The echo screams even now in plaintive wails issued from the raspy throats belonging to starving children
In the final crystallized newly-etched fossilized tears from species rendered extinct with every additional breath you breathe
In engines' incessant whirring, painting the sky with a murky brown wash
While darting through streets and choking highways
In frightened eyes' furtive glances askance over hunched shoulders
For an unrelenting amorphous evil which only exists within ourselves
As we created all good and evil from our own fantasies and phantasms

Will you choose a dullard's cowardice not knowing when to discard
Life's training wheels or how to stop maniacally grinning
At Narcissus' lying shadow winking back from beyond the mirror
Where monumental edifices erect glorification to humanity's imagined supreme majesty
And mastery over a habitat which gave birth to us
Sustains us
And which will outlast us by eons

We cannot create a workable master plan
For subdividing the entire planet

No make-up brand
No matter how much collagen you use
No plastic surgery procedure
No architectural style
No designer label on our apparel
Can mask the decadent Hyde lurking within the Jekyll
Masking our desires and tainting all efforts to dominate splendor

We cannot make natural laws subservient
To economic models designed for wealth's centralization

The quality of mercy has been constrained
It drops down like acid rain
Waterboarding Western Civilization

Which writer calls the sky clear blue
It's brown by smog and hazed with gloom
Who sees the stars on moonless nights
When sight diffuses in city lights
Which wilderness helps wild to teem
In factory poisoned dying streams
The ocean's extinction we make
When plankton and reef's lives we take

Veiling screens reveal when parting
That all are one and one is all
Not bits of
Not imbued with
Just different branches
One solitary tree

Only one instant exists
Now's fleeting illusion
So fertile with options
Begging "Redeem
Life in this now
The only now"
As each new now passes to not-new now
Just more of the same now requiring
Not-yet now to slip
Through regretful fingers

He is I as I am you
We are they as she is free
Life's a maze though interlaced yews
Someone's the sky so anyone's the sea
The dog bear and hunter too
Eternally shine constellationally
Not life death nor sad adieu
Obscures cozmic Unity.

This is an edited version of a poem which was originally published by Eleventh Transmission on March 3, 2008 in their Vol II Issue 3. A link to the archived publication has been placed on the right column (8 poems on Eleventh Transmission).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Rant on Evangelism

"In Christianity, neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point." - Friedrich Nietzsche.

Decanted from Lourdes, an insipid, youthful fountain's liquid.
Oh, Christian Evangelicals,
As vacuous, ex cathedra tyrants,
You eviscerate humanity on inquisition's rack.
Why torch freethinkers as witches and sorcerers?
How can you repudiate civility
Within civilization?
With missionary zeal

Every culture you loot and rape!
God's glorious conquest provides
Your bounty. The compassionate
Christ, your very own loving Lord,
Vomits in organized, opulent edifices

To obscure hypocrisy's stench.
Moses sought not to obliterate Egypt
Nor to convert Pharaoh's loyal subjects -
His goal, liberation, retained modesty

Obeying the coming Commandments.
Respect and love others as yourself
Without limitation, and unconditionally,
Expresses the meaning
Behind "Do unto others..."
Can you practice what you preach?
Or do you use words only as devices,

Creating pretexts for aggrandizing conflicts?
Coveting anything, including souls - sin's commission;
Destroying cultures - the most grievous crime against humanity!
By demanding everyone succumb to your immorality:
Refusing to bless gay couples' loving fidelity,
Denying abortion as a choice,
Restricting access to contraception,

You flip the finger at God given Free Will!
But your ultimate blasphemy
Lies in breaking
The Commandment known as,
"Thou shalt not kill,"
Even more so by killing

In God's name.
War, mortal sin,

Just like capital punishment.
When Jesus says,
"Whoever is without sin
May cast the first stone,
Why do you all
Hurriedly cue to cast it?
"Judge not
Lest ye be judged,"
Means God shows less forgiveness

To those who are unforgiving.
Remember Jesus in Jerusalem
Cleansing money idolaters
From the temples -

Imagine his reaction to televangelists and hat passers today!
Vengeance is a sin - even for 9/11,
Or did Jesus err by suggesting we turn

The other cheek?
Preemptive war equals blatant murder.
Perpetual war reveals Hell on Earth:

Satan's reign.
Vitriol defines you
from your garrulous gospels.
How did love cease to be

Your religions' core?
Would you even recognize Jesus
If he did return today?

This is an edited version of a poem which was originally published by Eleventh Transmission on March 3, 2008 in their Vol II Issue 3. A link to the archived publication has been placed on the right column (8 poems on Eleventh Transmission).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

38 Autumns

A tiara woven
from baby's breath -
a luminescent shroud
glitters from behind
sparkling eyes -
Lake Tahoe's color
on September afternoons.
Natural child,
snow daughter,
barefoot goddess of ivied halls -
not Mediterranean,
Eirene, nonetheless.
Long tresses,
amber-honey hued
shimmering right
through closed
lids; outta sight.
Apricot lips part
with seductive grins,
ripely fragrant,
demurely inviting.
Unlit candles
illuminate a dove's nest
on starless nights
as olive branches
caress a frozen
pond's stillness.
"How can
38 autumns
pass without you
listening to even one
Neil Young song,
without me
your laughter
or feeling
your smile?
I'll share again
your whispers
soon enough."

Monday, November 24, 2008


Single tenement fluke
what remains.
Its remains
stain the ground
with a stench
from the decaying
agèd of the culture.

City dweller flies
buzz out a search
through squinting eyes:
narrowness of vision
is a proportionate reaction
to reading the good book.

Ignorowledge consumes and devours,
leaving a sand dune landscape
populated by the sad,
the homeless, the disaffected -
engulfed by incomprehensibility.

Hey evangelical assholes,
your reverences are misdirected
and selfish aims reflected
by cockroach infested
high tower edifices imaginatively erected
upon liquid foundations - uninspected:
superstition reigning supreme.

High prod tension entangles ganglia
until synapses are packed away
in a box somewhere - a safe
depository generates no interest
upon account ledgers or property
values, repudiating net worth.


Wharves of tears -
crystallized, echoed voices
of penguins - inflame
upon polar icecaps
to mere cries
of their hopeless


Borne indignity
is always
born in dignity.

This is an edited version of a poem which was originally titled Contamination and published with that title by Eleventh Transmission on March 3, 2008 in their Vol II Issue 3. A link to the archived publication has been placed on the right column (8 poems on Eleventh Transmission).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Song Lyrics: They Died Young, Ashes on the Sand, down home feelin's, and We've Got Tomorrow

I thought I'd share a little of my songwriting with everyone today. Now, it certainly is a little difficult to share songs in a format where the music is not incorporated. However, one of my compositions, "They Died Young," was recorded by a Los Angeles band called The Tooners on their "concept" CD, "Rocktasia." Their recording was originally released in 1994 and re-issued in 2006 (I assume I no longer own the publishing or writers' rights, however, I'm not sure who does or even if there is any value in those rights. Nonetheless, the song and the band's collection are available for purchase on the CDBaby site as well as on iTunes.) I've provided a link on the right hand column to a CD Baby site which details information on the CD and allows one to preview the songs, including "They Died Young." I originally wrote this song in 1984 and recorded the first demo of it that year. As is my custom, I've since slightly refined the lyrics. I'm providing the edited lyrics below.

They Died Young

The king went to battle and the nation's sons
Sitting high in the saddle with consequences shunned
Couldn't hear the rabble nor the carnage of their guns
They died young

The draft board called my name but I didn't hear
They shackled me with blame though I was in the clear
It's generals who gain fame while mothers shed more tears
They died young

Parents raise their sons for years
And teach them wrong from right
Giving hopes to quiet fears
Through love sons grow and strive
Suddenly a harbinger
A wire in the night
Now is known their greatest fear
Their son has lost his life
He died young
We died young
They died young

The nation saw the dying and it mourned and grieved
By bathing in its buying and genocidal greed
At gravestones hear crying for the waste of human seed
Who died young
He died young
We died young
They died young

Over the decades of my musical addiction and avocation, I wrote more than one hundred songs. Now, I'd never suggest that everything I wrote was good, or even listenable. However, a number of my songs attracted a following among those who heard them. I'd like to share a few of those, too.

"Ashes on the Sand" was originally titled "Ashes in the Sand." I wrote it in 1974, while on vacation and camping in Big Sur National Park. I used jazz voicings of minor and major seventh chords some friends had taught me. I recorded my first demo of this song in 1975, singing it copping an early David Bowie style. The song was recorded with acoustic guitar and maracas. The revised lyrics I'm providing are for the newly imagined, revised version of the song.

Ashes on the Sand

I walked a dream to the shore
Where we saw ashes on the sand
Then a mermaid handed me
Ashes she wept on her hand
Ashes on the sand
She wept ashes on her hand

Gulls flew above that windy shore
The wind whipped ashes on the sand
My hand caressed a golden face
Gleaming off ashes on the sand
Ashes on the sand
The wind whipped ashes on the sand

When leaves' hues begin to turn
What was is ashes on the sand
To find adventure around the bend
I'll wash the ashes from my hands
Ashes on the sand
What was is ashes on the sand
Ashes washed up on the sand

I originally wrote the lyrics to the next song while still in high school in 1969. Obviously, I've reworked the lyrics somewhat for this presentation. However, they retain many phrases verbatim from the original. In 1975, I composed music for the lyrics. The music was written in open tuning on acoustic guitar, and was very uptempo and energetic.

down home feelin's

sittin' down b'side a toadstool
wondrin' where mushrooms play
watchin' m' dog chase a cat
in back 'round a bale o' hay
skimmin' a stone 'cross the creek
in the shade of an ol' oak tree
stoppin' t' sip cool water
while m' dog bites at his fleas

takin' a long hay ride t'night
me an' m' baby side b' side
sittin' alone on the ol' front porch
strollin' along through the countryside
holdin' hands b' fireflies' light
stealin' kisses on a swimmin' hole's shore
playin' softball with m' friends
leavin' till t'marra a promised chore

things i've been a long time missin'
since i left m' home
goin' back ag'in someday
afore i'm left all alone
a nightengale's call awaits at home
wonder if i'll hear her singin'
goin' back t' where i b'long
where i'm called b' m' down home feelin's

I had all my music related possessions placed in a storage unit between 1998 and 2002. My musical and recording equipment, my instruments and all my demo tapes were stolen in 2001. However, somewhere out there, old friends with whom I have lost contact must still have some of these demo tapes.

The last song lyric I'll share here today is from a song titled, "We've Got Tomorrow." The chord progression was from a song I wrote back in 1972. However, in 1985 I was fooling around with a new acoustic guitar I had purchased (a brand new Fender Newporter). For whatever reason, I put a capo on the fifth fret and played those old chords with a changed tempo, removing the old hook and giving it a new one. A few weeks later, I wrote the words I'll close with below.

I recorded a demo of the song in 1986 with my cousin, Jeffrey Sullivan, adding a violin part to the recording. I added a synthesized piano and synthesized string quartet to the arrangement. It has a slow, moody beat with a soft, haunting atmosphere to the sound. The song came about because my Mom once chided me to write a song about my dog. Perhaps she was jealous I never wrote one about her. Well, I took her challenge as a joke, actually. The dog's name was Little Bit. Here's the lyric that resulted.

We've Got Tomorrow

A little smile is all it takes
A bit of talk and we will thrive
A little touch can help us share
This bit of time while we're alive
I've got tomorrow
You've got tomorrow
We've all got tomorrow too

A little light illuminates
A bit of offered kindness shared
What we have is all we need
Cuz all we need lies deep inside
I've got tomorrow
You've got tomorrow
We've all got tomorrow too

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Conflict between Competing Philosophies

Many philosophical systems posit right ways for living, each with its own determination for the right balance between fulfilling individual needs, wants and desires versus maintaining the safety, security and sanctity for the society as a whole. Many systems never relied on the possible existence of a god (or gods) to make their subjective determinations for right living, while others are intricately entwined with a god (or gods) at their heart.

One unfortunate consequence resulting from competition between philosophies has been conflict (whether through open war, lesser armed conflicts: sudden terrorist attacks, border skirmishes, blockades, or economic sanctions, financially undermining one another and even interpersonal hostility) between neighboring societies who adopt different models for their cultural ethos. The competition between philosophies often focuses on different religious beliefs, even though the religious beliefs' cores contain the same basic message. However, we need only look at the last century – which was dominated by the competition between Capitalism, Communism and Fascist-socialism – to see that religion is only one arena in which competing philosophies have raised the level of their competition to hostility.

Most contemporary commentators claim that the battle during the last century was the struggle for freedom over totalitarianism. The real battles were waged by economic systems, each seeking to dominate an imagined, future global economy with its particular socioeconomic paradigm at the head.

Hitler’s Fascism depended on a cult devoted to his personality and charisma, and tied it to an openly acknowledged dream of Empire, military invincibility and a social order with Germans at the head of all castes, social strata and economic prosperity. Hitler’s brand of despotism naturally led to totalitarian control, since, like Napoleon’s vision a century earlier, it was dependent on the imagination, will and authority of one man.

Lenin and Trotsky led a revolt against Czarist Russia’s Imperial Monarchy and its tyrannical rule. They sought authority through a group ethos as embodied by the Politburo, the voice of the Proletariat, and an attempt to dissolve all classes into one social unit in which all were equals. However, by the time of WWII, Stalin turned that experiment in the Russian Communist theory of equality into a tyranny of the bureaucrats (a new class created to move the party apparatus and define culture and society’s structure and goals) by focusing its economic intent away from an equal distribution of wealth.

Equal distribution was replaced by a two tier distribution of wealth, the first tier being the bureaucrats and the second tier everyone else. Stalin’s and Khrushchev’s USSR also devoted resources to a pervasive military-industrial complex, eventually becoming the Party and appearing to assure the Party’s continued rule. However, the expense of maintaining an arms race with the Capitalist United States broke the Soviet Communist bank because, unlike in Capitalist nations, the Soviets assumed responsibility for feeding, housing and providing medical attention for every citizen. The Americans were able to outspend the Soviets with that advantage.

All three were different kinds of systems, with different foci and agendas. Fascism and Communism only appear similar in the eyes of American Capitalists because of a narrowly defined perspective on both.

Hitler’s personality cult excited others with his Fascist appeal because it fed the public's neurotic obsessions. Hitler made people feel like they were participants in a grand cause, allowing them to regain national pride after the humiliations arising from defeat in WWI, the heavy economic reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles and the resulting economic Depression. However, Hitler also engendered elitist beliefs and dreams of grandeur which ultimately allowed the inner savage to let loose pent up hostility in revenge against Europe and Europeans with Jewish beliefs, many of whom worked in banking and finance and, consequently, provided a convenient susceptibility as en masse scapegoats by Hitler for all the ills facing Germany in the 1930s.

Meanwhile, the Communists gave the Russian people a sense of brotherhood and purpose through cooperative efforts. Their rapid industrialization through their Five Year Plans encouraged the broad, natural spirit of dedication to Mother Russia, once again, the common man perceived, and hoped, for everyone’s common benefit, which was the stated ideal and goal.

The Soviets did not escape the Depression’s hard times. However, because of socialism’s Five Year Plans and because the government was the national employer, the Soviets could, and did, “plan” growth into their economy throughout the Depression. Their industrialization fortified the cooperative brotherhood of the people with arms, communication and mobility. Each of those benefits proved as important as the cold, white Russian winter in denying victory to Hitler’s invading troops. That Stalin’s henchmen were simultaneously ethnically cleansing their population of Jewish believers didn’t seem to matter to other Russians living under an ethos which embraced scientific atheism at the time.

Americans don’t understand a population’s willingness to live under despotism, in part because Americans, once they forged their own identity by succeeding in a revolution against monarchy, guaranteed, they believed, that no American citizen would ever grow up in a nation dominated by a single autocrat. Americans teach themselves to believe that they persevere through a common spirit grown out of consensus expressed through elections without realizing they owe their entire lives’ futures to business and corporate whims. Consequently, Americans fall victim to a blind obsession with an economic system which promotes waste and encourages consumption in excessive quantities, both of which have lead to the doorstep of Climate Change.

Americans were just as captivated by the lure of a single man during the Depression and WWII years, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (in whom trust was placed through the common perception he deserved that trust), during the 1930s and 1940s. Ours was only a moderate dabble in the socialist experience to that which occurred in both Germany and Russia. Also, as in Germany and Russia, the economic climate after the stock market crash in 1929 led to a great backlash against people of the Jewish faith in America as well. Anti-Semitism was a nearly worldwide phenomenon during the Depression and for decades after it (let’s face it, anti-Semitism persists, even today, from roots as ancient as those recorded in the Old Testament, and will always be as reprehensible as every other form of bigotry based on racial, ethnic, national, religious, place of origin or sexual orientation differences).

The choices and investment of trust into single, strong, public figures who endured the Depression and WWII by separate populations in Russia, Germany and the United States in the ‘30s and ‘40s were a result of the precarious times and the needs of the public for a strong, father image to shepherd each nation through an uncertain economic future. None of these socioeconomic systems saw themselves as being dominated by anything. Each population vested its own belief system with that taught by the group collective. Conformity proved itself as the perpetuating inertial force for each and every one of those systems throughout the duration of its existence.

Conflict arises between competing philosophies for a variety of reasons. The primary one manifests itself in the outlook most competing philosophies maintain: that outlook is the narcissistic and intolerant view, “We are right and everyone else is wrong.

The ego tends to clothe itself with its belief system. On both cultural and individual levels, people have difficulty accepting being wrong. To admit error negates the vital personal need to believe in the intrinsic “goodness” of the self as well as the society within which the self resides and into which the self is integrally incorporated. Loss of certainty in one’s belief system infers one pursues life according to an incorrect premise of what right living both should be and is. Hence, the ego is slow to admit error in personal and group philosophy, slow to change opinions even in the face of irrefutable evidence regarding their error, and more apt to fight others rather than listen to detractors or discuss differences of opinions calmly and rationally in order to either compromise or, through discussion, come to agreement as to which point of view provides the best alternative.

The concept “we are right” implies that disagreeing others are wrong, since it would be illogical for both to be right given that most beliefs systems contain mutually contradicting specific tenets. Individuals tend to conclude both belief systems cannot be right in such a situation. To admit even the possibility that a belief held by a competing culture might be correct implies the beliefs of one’s own culture, and hence one’s own beliefs, are not absolute, hence not objective truths.

If one admits a mistake in one’s beliefs, or even the possibility of mistake, logically that indicates that on that level the individual either is or could be living their life in error because of one’s chosen mode of right living. That can shake an individual to the very core of the fabric of their being and the internal reaction to being so shaken provides the thesis upon which intolerance arises.

The more secure an individual is regarding one's self-worth, the more tolerant and open minded that individual will be. However, whenever such an individual has perceived their security threatened by the presence of others who thought, believed and lived differently, then conflict always resulted – inner turmoil over uncertainty and belligerence toward the perceived threat (the competing philosophy and its representatives who think, believe and live differently).

In any society which purports to be the product of an essential and fundamental cultural agreement, individuals invest themselves with an identification and subscription to the cultural ethos in the same way individuals invest in their own personal credo. That identification of the self with the group becomes enhanced by the natural tendency of the culture to maintain power for the purpose of propagation and continued cohesiveness through the powerful use of propaganda, whether unintentionally and benignly motivated, or intentionally and nefariously disseminated.

When the cultural credo takes the additional leap of imputing, “Only our view is correct and all others are false,” both the individual ego as a member of the cultural whole and the group mind as embodied by the state, religion, political system or economic system must, out of sociological and psychological necessities, assert the inherent correctness of their cultural ethos. Inevitably, competing philosophies determine that their interests, and hence also their credos, face a danger embodied by the competitor. That danger, in the case of a culture, is most often stated as the potential eradication of the group’s “way of life.”

History is replete with horrific examples which evidence the consequence of competing ideologies whose mutual intolerance gave birth to destruction. No matter what the cultural credo’s sphere of influence embodied, whether politics, religion or economics, each instance can be traced back to a single underlying principle. This underlying principle can always be seen in the narcissistic view stated above and it bears repetition because of the danger it represents to humanity as a whole, “Only my and our views and beliefs are correct; all others are wrong.

That cultural arrogance, borne out of the need for individual and group validation and the fear that chaos can only result from the failure to perpetuate my or our view, even if it means annihilation of any competing culture, or perhaps all competing cultures, is really nothing more than the echo of our genetically encoded survival instinct. This instinct served humanity well when there were only a few thousand of us on the planet and the survival of the species depended on group survival to insure perpetuation of individual lives and the propagation of the species. We weren’t fighting with each other then as much as with the circumstances of our environment, although, it seems probable this instinct led Cro-Magnon to eradicate Neanderthal.
Today’s world is actually in the exact opposite situation. Now, we perceive no threat from the environment (or, even in the face of Climate Change, the lack of alacrity in taking steps to minimize the effects of Climate Change together with the denial individuals express with regard to their complicity in creating, perpetuating and guaranteeing the increased severity of Climate Change, indicates humanity isn’t sufficiently concerned about the problem to act). No, the only perceived threat is hardly given any attention, and that threat is humanity itself as we fight with each other over economic resources, opening of markets, expanding spheres of influence, or exalting and spreading religious beliefs as we simultaneously pollute and poison the air and oceans, exponentially increasing the toxicity of the planet as we overpopulate, nearly doubling our census every 35 years. In the Postmodern world, any great clash of cultures is more likely to result in mutual annihilation. We sit on the precipice of such a calamity. The time has arrived to rethink this strategy, learn acceptance and understanding, and put them to use. We must do this, not just as individuals, but also as cultures.

Night Shadows

Given a moment
Without an instant more
Allowed a taste
From inside a morsel's core
Supplied a scent
That fragrant roses wore
Offered a glimpse
At all which came before
Soothed with the touch
That lovers' caresses bore
While sliding night shadows
Creep across subconscious' floor

Forever inching
Around every corner
Grazing lightly
Across the ocean's deepest depths
Through neurons
So deeply hidden
They etch no memories
Of the ever-present
Upon night shadows.

The rainbow in the prism
Refracts a woodland waterfall
Revealing the same colors
As sunshine through rain
Your belovèd's kiss
Tastes no sweeter
Than the ripest strawberry
Whose juice my lips will stain
Grasping to hold this moment
Encourages it's fleeting slippage by
While night shadows
Link the universal chain

This is an edited version of a poem (originally titled "Shadows of the Night") which was originally published by Blood Moon Rising Magazine in their June of 2008 Issue #35. A link to the archived publication has been placed on the right column (5 poems on Blood Moon Rising Magazine).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fight the Plight of Blight: The Postmodern World

Postmodernism is a difficult term to define. It means different things to different people and different disciplines. The word has applications in many areas, including: philosophy, critical theory, art, architecture, literature, music, theater, film, and culture in general. It is generally regarded as arising in reaction to Modernism. The term is also used with reference to late 20th and early 21st century geopolitical trends such as globalization, consumerism, and the counter-Enlightenment/anti-science movement, as well as reactionary critiques on rationalism and universalism.

Postmodernism, in terms of its artistic application, denotes no clear, central hierarchy or organizing principle. It conceives of the world and all its constituent elements as being comprised of extreme complexity, evidencing contradiction and ambiguity, all without any apparent foundation or purpose for existing in such states.

The term, Postmodernism, was first used in connection with architecture and soon thereafter found itself applied to music, as well. In architecture, Postmodernism reared its, quite literally, ugly head through a predominance of steel and glass, stark, geometric lines and dearth of ornamentation. In other words, Postmodernism subtracted individuality and aesthetic beauty from the landscape’s human revision.

In music, melodic beauty and integrity of harmonic structure were sacrificed to dissonance and atonality, both exemplary of community’s dissociation into competitive antagonism and antipathy.

Postmodernism’s broad effects find expression through the disintegration of the consensus-as-unifying-force into a divisive revision of everything that existed before. Proponents claim Postmodernism is a celebration of liberation from antiquated notions and structures of the past. However, the utter devaluation of the individual, together with rejection of the ideals of the Enlightenment and scientific progress, actually belie the intent behind the doublespeak of its proponents. Unlike the goals and values of the Enlightenment – that is, to lift humanity out of a morass of ignorance, subjugation and despair, and to broaden knowledge, re-forging it into a tool for universal emancipation – the real aim of Postmodernism is: divide and conquer by offering empty promises which are shaped to appear as the foundation for liberation.

Now, I do not wish to provide the reader with the impression that change has no value and that Modernism must be preserved intact on into the future at all costs. Certainly, there are elements of elitism and rigidity that should be discarded, and we can always find better ways of doing things as well as better things to do. Nonetheless, I would not sacrifice beauty and harmony, structure and form, integration and unity, or a conscious regard for natural splendor to effect a haphazard change which only seeks to enslave the entire world, converting humanity into a bland, unthinking homogeneous mass of automatons who will remain content to find purpose by mindlessly performing work in return for the rewards of consumerism, economic globalization, fascination with celebrity and the inhuman and inhumane excesses endemic to competition and waste.

There are approximately 6.6 billion people on the planet. As a collective, humanity allows a mere few thousand to both manage and manipulate the world’s governmental and legal systems along with the emerging global economy. In this manner, we cede control over our available choices and allow the palate of the super-wealthy to color our well being. Now, even the planet’s future as an ecosystem rests in the hands of these few thousand people.

Machiavellian politicians shape events, and the discussion of issues arising due to events, in a manner most conducive to consolidating and broadening their power. Corporations vie for increased profits, generally with little or no regard for the ramifications arising from either their methods or the effects their products will exert upon the welfare of individuals. They evince the same lack of regard toward the integrity of the societies and cultures impacted in addition to the quality of our environment and viability of our planetary ecosystem. The interests of corporations and the super-wealthy buy favors from politicians with funds that form the sinews of ever-growing and ever-flexing muscles of power, exercised according to whims that perpetuate industrial might and executive privilege.

Individuals feel powerless against the relentless tide of position and wealth as it erodes an inviting beach, the broad prosperity which life seemed to offer in youth's flush. The democratic republic, once conceived, devolves into an oligarchy controlled by the wealthy for its own interests at the expense of everyone else.

This teeming ant farm called humanity feels duty bound to follow the social order instituted by captains of industry, generals and politicians. We correctly accept the responsibility to assure our children are fed and our families housed. Needlessly, we seek to assure our social status continues to increase through owning the latest model of every product available.

Debt, accumulated from pursuing our misdirected consumerism, binds us to the socioeconomic order with only retirement looming as a redemptive reward. By allowing ourselves to be seduced by things, extravagances, appearance, status and position, we undermine our own basic security, repress our personal freedom and willingly become serfs in this new age and new world order – corporate feudalism.

No one dares rock the boat due to the uncertainty over whether they will drown in the backlash from the certain response the powerful are likely to wield. All social models on television and in other media, in concert with the inescapable bombardment of advertising's brainwashing, condition us to believe this world would be exactly what each of us wants if only we individuals each earned enough money to fulfill our individual fantasy of the consumerist dream. This insinuation extrudes upon us while simultaneously inferring that we fail to achieve that dream only through our own fault, due to our inadequacies and/or failures.

No one need accept the current modality as inevitable. While no single person has the power to change the world, collectively, the almost 7 billion of us can create a more equitable and compassionate future. We can demand that all wars cease, that governments stop holding secrets from us, that excessive wealth may not vest in individuals and corporations, that tens of millions shall not starve and live homeless, that people can feel free and safe from the intrusion of wanton, surreptitious government surveillance, and that no one need sacrifice health care due to a lack of coverage and funds. We are not required to live our lives nailed to crosses of duty, guilt, responsibility, remorse, desire and envy. We need not prostrate ourselves before the gods of advertising, net worth, celebrity, ostentation, physical appearance, peer pressure and might.

A more meaningful existence grows as fruit on the tree of life. Another reality is available in which we relinquish our pledge of allegiance to the nosferatu which reveals itself in the seven deadly sins as they are expressed through television, advertising, pop culture and the mass media induced cults of celebrity worship and consumerism. These channels for the expression of the self-destruction cultural and individual narcissism exert – through greed, desire, ostentation and insouciant luxury – find sustenance in the blood flowing from the veins which pump life into each individual’s every waking effort to win a game rigged against them. This other existence shines forth through the rays of a new dawn of love expressed through understanding, respect, acceptance, justice, hope and peace. This world glimmers like a rainbow, spreading out over fields of opportunity where everyone will find their needs fulfilled, unburdened by superfluous desires.

You have the power, collectively, to change reality as soon as you choose to exercise it. All generations, as they come of age, have an absolute right, indeed a duty, to confront the powers wielding influence at that time. No previous society is entitled to burden a new generation with debt, pollution, hostility or war. That is a fundamental right that is basic and endemic to all individuals and every free society. Freedom does not exist unless every person has the ability to live their life the way they choose, without having to inherit the mess made by previous generations and pay their overdue bills.

Let me offer some examples. It is a form of slavery to saddle future generations with the debt we accumulate today. New generations are never afforded the opportunity to co-determine with governments to what degree or for which programs debt may be incurred, resulting in a system perpetuating taxation without representation. The demanding and perpetually enslaving tax system which funds governments, mainly by spending hugely inflated sums to corporations who contribute to politicians’ campaigns and who lobby those same politicians, results from debt accumulation. The young have a moral, political, economic and self-interest imperative to raise the argument that they cannot be required to pay for the decisions made by others, only those others owe the debt, so only they may be required to repay it.

The same arguments can be made regarding wars and other hostilities between nations. The youth, as they come of age in any nation, really have no personal beef with anyone anywhere. If a bunch of old men want to fight about who gets the oil, let them fight it out. However, it is slavery for those old men to require the youth of their nation to wage war for them. The waste of lives is a tragedy. Soldiers witnessing the horrible and indescribable violence inherent in war doom future generations to suffer from PTSD inflicted first upon many of those soldiers, who cannot help themselves, but who often, later, bring the horror of war home by battering their families (physically, emotionally or verbally), insuring calamity into the future. Only when each generation assumes responsibility for the kind of world they leave to succeeding generations will expediency be seen in living in balance with nature, pollution free, in a world without conflict, without poverty, and where everyone is seen as special, unique, vital and valued.

Only the youth have the energy, the idealism, and the moral authority to rise up against any Establishment in place and hold their predecessors accountable. The process of holding previous generations accountable for the world they bequeath to later generations must be seen as more than a right and as a moral imperative in order to educate humanity regarding proper stewardship of the planet. Husband the planet’s resources, don’t consume them voraciously. Preserve the natural ecosystems which exist in each broad region to preserve genetic diversity.

Yes, you must rise, every one of you, and demand the world that you want. Don’t submit to the scattered crumbs left for you to collect. The only requirement is that you rise with one voice and demand change the same way Eastern Europe demanded to be free of Soviet control and the same way citizens of India demanded the British cede “home rule.” This change can only be accomplished with love, a non-violently expressed firm resolve and persistent, unwavering conviction.

A revolution of the people, asserting the primacy of individual rights, demanding fair and equitable treatment of all people, requiring governments to follow the wishes of the people in all decisions, honoring the basic rights of all humanity, and never breeding enmity, rancor, jealousy or bigotry between individuals, classes or other groups will break down the walls of this soon to pass era of privilege and authority. It must if humanity is to survive!

This revolution can see its seeds sprouting in the massing of migrant settlers for the right to remain in lands not native to them. Power cannot cage and imprison people behind imaginary lines drawn in the dirt of the earth. The poor, the hungry, the infirm and the oppressed have always carved hopeful paths to new homes out of the sere streets of despair. Nothing can stop that great human tide.

However, I implore one and all, every living and thinking mind on this planet, to please remember, any new order built on the corpses of oppressors only yields the rise of new oppressors. This has been the constant lesson of history, even taught to us by Fielding Mellish and Miles Monroe.

If we wish to erect a new world order based on love, kindness, equality, equability and understanding, we must each find the spirit of Quasimodo within our hearts and save, not ourselves, but others, out of pure altruistic love. Non-violence offers the only avenue.

Every moment offers an opportunity for self-expression. Every instant is pregnant with love. Everyone we meet can bring us joy as well as teach us something of value. Competing with others is divisive and prevents humanity from reaching its full potential. Only by working together, all of us as one interdependent world community, through love and cooperation, will we find meaning, value and purpose.


Although not strictly adoptive of the nihilistic perspective, Postmodernism certainly borrows and modifies the denial point of view into a contrarian perspective underpinning the narcissistic sense of grand entitlement to, and place in, the universe.

Tony Cliff calls Postmodernism, "The theory of rejecting all theories." Al Gore characterizes Postmodernism as being, "the combination of narcissism and nihilism…" Meanwhile, David Harvey wrote in his book, “The Condition of Postmodernity”, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989, that, "Postmodernism swims, even wallows, in the fragmentary and chaotic currents of change as if that is all there is." Noam Chomsky suggested that Postmodernism is meaningless since it adds nothing to analytical or empirical thought.

Fielding Mellish was the name of Woody Allen's character in his movie, "Bananas."

Miles Monroe was the name of Woody Allen's character in his movie, "Sleeper."

I am referring to the Quasimodo who was Charles Laughton’s character in the movie, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nutopian Creed

"Time wounds all heals." - John Lennon

Industrial sinkhole, bleak jobless bleat -
Plastic erections corrosively eat
Away at all the plans from youthful dreams
And jumble thoughts from consciousnesses' streams.
First morning light unmasks as rays unfold
Across a sweetly honeyed marigold,
As every dreamer opens, blossoms, yearns,
No government should dare suppress sojourns.
Who holds entitlement to any lands?
Migrations will not stop by despots' hands!

The natives in the western hemisphere
Allowed the Europeans coming here
To grow and share the bounteous expanse
Without demanding who would lead the dance.
But then a doctrine reared its ugly head
And manifest a westward destined spread.
In iron horses and covered wagons,
Careless takers uprooted native hogans,
Rotting meat from leather stripped buffalo
To starving natives dealt a fatal blow:
A sacrifice to leather goods that gold
Insisted must be made so they'd be sold.
Soon rights to corn fields' harvests whites usurped
By filling reservations on dry earth
With natives, owners' rights demurred to guns.
Religious freedom did not mean heathens -
Go onward Christian soldiers, convert more.
And those refusing? Lead them to death's door.

Soon even sovereign nation's land they wrest:
California, Texas, the whole southwest,
Were spoils to be bought or had by force!
This was, of course, god's manifested course.
Why did he care which Christian government
Should manage taxes on this continent?
From Jackson, Taylor, Seward, Roosevelt,
Men heard proclaimed this was the hand god dealt.
As Mexico receded in defeat,
So residents, subjected to deceit,
Found home, respect and honor sacrificed
To fleshy hues revealed as most white.
Indigenous: native and Mexican
They slurred inferior American.
Tell Debbie Reynolds, "How the West Was Won"
Was not by song but at the point of gun.

Potato famined Irish migrants came
As well as Jews who fled Hitler's endgame.
On Ellis Island dreaming dared once more
Imposed on huddled masses to explore
A path to freedom and equality,
But all were met by ethnic bigotry.

Show me a land where all can speak their mind.
One's thoughts even had to be the right kind!
If one was on a Presidential list,
Enemies, they'd extract you like a cyst.
But one refused to let himself be hushed
And spoke out that the rights of man are just:
That freedom from armed conflict is a right,
Correctness finds no measurement in might.
No harbor statue stands for liberty
When people are sent back across the sea.
For merely singing songs of love and peace
The Lennons were harassed by state police.

Indifference lives in all the attitudes
Which stand opposed to long held platitudes,
No selfish deeds will ever light a road
To any presumed heavenly abode.
Erecting walls will not keep capital
From oozing through your fingers, after all,
If all one does is save, economy
Will dam up into scum ponds stagnantly.
Americans cannot, by right of birth,
Too ostentatiously display net worth,
When poverty and homelessness abound
Migrations will seek out a higher ground.
One wants one's servants, gardeners and maids
But will refuse to pay a living wage!
Extol America, the paragon
As every hope, ignore "What's Goin' On."
Denying disaffected any hope
Just gives the terrorists extended rope
With which to hang you in the coming years.
Protectionism still allays your fears?
How do you think you will escape effects
From climate change as nations that it wrecks
Will mostly be in northern latitudes?
With technological designs subdued,
Which higher culture will survive intact
When humans cannot find food already wrapped?

All planetary life came from one tree,
The Earth's gene pool stewed from a soupy sea;
Every branch stems out from African skies,
With migrant footsteps, Earth, we colonized.
No one arose to bar us from pursuits;
Life wandered freely, tasting varied fruits.
No artificial lines appeared in sand
Demarcating regions to one command.
Behold order's nature expressing life:
No human alterations built by strife
Can interpose in permanence a scheme,
Since humans lack a universal theme.
No god, nor country ever has unslaved,
Believers march to their freshly dug graves;
In capital, humans misplace their trust
While capitol leaders slightly adjust
Their careful edicts, old myopia,
And fail to offer up Nutopia.

This is an edited version of the poem which was originally published by Eleventh Transmission in their March of 2008, Volume 2 Issue 3. A link to the archived publication is provided on the right hand column.

This poem pays homage to Pope.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Eyes in the night remain stickered,
Unremoved and mortis rigored,
Upon the candle flame flickered -
Lacquer liquored, wan night of black;
And as that candle flame flickered,
Sensations up our spine shivered
While inside our mind, it whispered,
Whimpered voice in the night of black.
Beyond our lips escaped, "Unknown."

On our floor we heard scampering,
Floorboards creaking, chains rattling;
Heart race, blind mind unraveling -
Salivating mouth - night of black.
Candle flame stobe silhouetted
Dragonsblood while coquetted
Maidens unveiled trills soubretted;
Unrepentant, spent night of black.
We heard the voice inquire, "Unknown?"

Across the floor footsteps pounded,
Through the room footsteps resounded;
It seemed like we were surrounded -
Dumbfounded, clouded night of black.
Cowering, eyes in crystals searched;
Chains still rattled as footsteps lurched,
Drops of sweat on our nose tips perched,
Those drops besmirched the night of black.
The derisive voice cursed, "Unknown."

Then from nowhere lunged the monster:
Wild-eyed, hairy, hungry killer;
Icy blade over throats slithered;
Vain-grasping monster - night of black.
We plead for mercy from our guest,
But unfathomed rage manifest -
We took the knife, thrust in his chest:
Unconfessed, incensed night of black.
As we collapsed, we gasped, "Unknown."
Obsessively grasped, night of black.
Exhale. We hear, "Now it is known!"

Black in this poem is a symbol for oil. The "night of black" is a symbol for the tyranny oil holds over our contemporary civilization. By that, I mean: corporate greed, wars to procure its supply, climate change influenced by oil's use, and the global economy seeking to build wealth which not only poisons our waters and air, but also strips the planet of its resources for our monetary gain and robbing future generations the necessary resources to sustain culture and civilization far into the future. These should provide clues to the meaning of the poem.

Obviously, I'm paying homage to Edgar Allan Poe.

This is an edited version of the poem which was originally published by Blood Moon Rising Magazine in their March of 2008 issue. A link to the archived publication has been placed on the right column ("Unknown" and "Wanderings" on Blood Moon Rising Magazine).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Breathing Her Scent

Two long-stemmed glasses stand
erect, beside pinot noir's nosegay,
blood-red dark against immaculate,
white linen. Rich and full-bodied flavor
perfumes a trembling zephyr breathing
in the space between two auras
listening to the dusk. As one lays two
long-stemmed roses before
the other, he opens the bottle,
and splashes a few wine sips
into the glasses. His eyes
never leave her gaze. As the man
hands his lady a glass, their fingers
linger close - static, electric. Drink's
first blush passes over her cheeks
before she even sips the crystal chalice.

Glasses clink.
Lips open.
Tangy flavors elicit
a chilling shudder.

The way he cocks his head in conversation
and her penchant for hearing more in his words
than he thought spoken, draws a warm bath:
a luxuriant reverie, laughter filling the night.

Warmth's glowing aura,
a surrounding steamy haze,
rises from their
conversation's spa.

Eyes sing in harmony, he grasps
her waist in an arm's crook,
whisking her onto life's dance floor.
Dizzily twirling, their hearts thump wildly
and they fall into night's embrace.
Stars surround them, winking approval.

A nightingale's soft voice
cuts through silence
with a soothing trill;
and silvery streams
falling to Earth from the Moon
glimmer upon sparkling eyes.

His chest wells up
a bloody bead,
the heart's teardrop;
and as she sighs, contentedly,
into his slowly rising and falling
torso, he circles his arms
around her silky flesh,
breathing her scent.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Others

This poem finds as root material the writings of R. D. Laing, his explanation of "the double bind," and especially his books, "Knots" and "The Divided Self."

The others - always waiting -
arise in every ripe moment,
a slight, a jab, an unintended
slam, any excuse readily at hand.
Glancing over his shoulder
for competing influences:
he wonders who really exists -
if the he he knows even lives in any.

One knows and understands way too much,
one's a frightened little boy, mad
at daddy - neither can deal with stress,
the hallmark of their childhood.
Only but not lonely child with a brotherhood
inside his head. Silent conversations:
little boy counseled by wiser he
from as far away as memory can reach;
even at two, wiser he was there.

Wiser he most often overruled
by mischievous he, who led wild-eyed
excursions, little boy always stuck,
caught and punished. Perhaps
little boy never grew up and older
brat grew emboldened, permitted
to lash out at any inopportune
moment. Wiser he, weaker
he, raised by a rejected model,
never rehearsed his play's role.

The others dwell in another
dimension. Mischievous
he leaves too many messes,
his call more tempting
than fate, but within him cries
all life's passion - living for experience,
no matter extremity's consequences.

Shock value's merits
wake up people!

Prepare for whiplash from backlash.
Require a stash. Reject Atlas
and Sisyphus just to sit waiting
for Godot. Catatonic three!

Ah, the conversations he weaves.
Today, he introduced them to one other,
wondering about perceiving he,
the thinking he, inhabited
by the others. A he unknown?

The essential actor, reading
the lines, treading the boards,
daring he - risk-taker, riddle-solver -
forever unwilling to integrate, losing
his monsters in the mirror, unsilenced
little boy, while also unleashing
wiser he. Competition grows more
fierce; all three in his head yell
all the time, none wins the shouting
match. Disquiet disfigures he
who watches it all, discerning
from among the choices, selecting
according to whim? Is that him? Who
observes, commentates?

Minds' subterfuge crafts
paradigms, sorted out
among and between the others.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


she floats across the rose
petals strewn upon the floor, toes wiggling,
surrounded by heavy, fragrant throes; a wink
glows upon her giggling, unblushing
face as fellatio's eyes extract;
she reaches out to calm my foes;
with fingertips' tracings exposed over shivering,
undulating flesh, she encodes my DNA as a snake
god wriggles up her ankle rainbows, teasing
tabbies and calicoes into leading a mouse;
holding a hissing hose
until a banker says, "foreclose," "sit still,"
she snickered; the snake posed with fangs
supposed upon my juggler, those balls
fell bouncing off strewn, dirty clothes;
haphazardly throughout the room, nose nostrils
flared when heavy fragrance chose to rise
into unending, ebonynight bellows' flames
heating beaus' passions for plowed
rows; eternal orbits compose mind;
trapped by stitched zeroes
as my monogram cries cock at sunrise,
a milky, lightning flood blows across
the land with immaculate dreams; bungalows
and palm trees showered silhouetted stilettos
when sunset surfer skies arose;

Friday, November 7, 2008

Human Intelligence

A seedling sprouts, upwardly mobile,
shooting through seemingly inert earth.
A kite languorously floats
upon nothing visible.
Water spills from the sky
without a sprinkler system
being engaged. Migratory
sparrows return to yearly roosts -
no Capistrano exit sign,
map or GPS marks the route.

Beavers build dams creating habitats,
assisting natural splendor and diversity.
Humans pour concrete for flushing and showers,
for water skiing and houseboat luxury,
sucking ecosystems dry - eradicating
whole expressions of life's currency.

No other animal defaces the landscape,
causes extinction,
or pollutes the land,
sea and air with its waste!

Others' refuse renews the land
and feeds the planet,
while ours chokes, stifles
and poisons our home.
Nuclear radiation threatens
playgrounds and backyards
with contamination.

Some proclaim humans
the most intelligent life form.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Forever, Ripples Echo

On the shoreline I have pondered,
watching wave after wave -
each rare, each undulating
against the moist sand
in unique arcs - and savored
persistent insistence underlying
individuality's eternal expression.

I only dared sneak
close enough to water's edge
and immerse myself in the icy
cold exhilaration tingling
within a few ocean fingers.

As the shadow across my sundial
creeps days' hours shorter,
my crystal ball exposes a time
when the waves will cease
lapping up near me.

What did I ever offer
any watery beachcomber?

Forever, ripples echo
from toes dipped
into the tide pool.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Helen of the Agora

Long, breathy moonbeam wisps
wind together, weaving honey into hair
strands, braided and cascading over porcelain
shoulders, shimmering an amber aura. Aqua
pools ripple upon opalescent gemstones,
hypnotizing, luring, like whirlpools which suck
down every revolving body drawn
into a magnet's pull. Caressing tones flutter
seductive silence from chords never drawn
too tightly, nor left limply hanging. Vibrations
insincerely whistle jingles in rhythm to veiled
partings which hide no iridescent
gems. Clandestine commerce inhales
amorous scents, inferring flesh is alive, arising
with goosebumps, copulations incites
lingering daydreams - sensuous onenightstands
and even soul mates' eternal monogamy. Eons
elapsed before spicy incense trails arrived
without dooming everyone to death
by ennui. Contradicting longings, induced
in sirensongs' temptations, uttered
incantations commanding no one can live
without them. Prim asylum guides the tillerman,
who steers his ship past rocky straits - navigable
only by the hearing impaired, sightless
connoisseurs of the most delicate flavors. Calm,
the still air blows, as rocky shores retreat
in the presence of bucolic, pastoral leisure suits
found moored in a leeward harbor
at twilight, after tempests fail.

This is an edited version of the poem which was originally published by Eleventh Transmission in their March of 2008, Volume 2 Issue 3. A link to the archived publication is provided on the right hand column.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Blistering Up a Longing

She arose to singing skies,
like a butterfly emerging
from a cocoon -
strawberry-blonde tresses
waved in the wind,
a tie-dyed rainbow.

She posed in cartwheels
for a painter's motionless
brush. Her freckle-faced,
alabaster flesh stirred tsunamis
from tremors and quakes
which shook loose reverential
ardor's stampede,
piercing the hearts
which beat
her clinging throng.

She glided upon the breeze
as if ice skating,
wearing Mercury's winged
sandals, eternally
under my skin -
blistering up a longing
time has never healed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Parched Lips

He rests emaciated arms
from shooing flies buzzing
near his face, crawling
across parched lips. Wide-eyed
expectation begs for so much -
really, very little to drivers
whose cars suck
the water and food
right off the earth.
Recreational golfers turn blind
eyes to everything but shooting
par for the course, while fountains
evaporate in Las Vegas
through an abracadabra
wink as Copperfield says,
"Presto," and water
morphs into the almighty
American dollar. A TV
flickers with images,
Madonnas and Jolies
whisking a child or two
away from everyone's
starving mother:
umbilical Africa. Even
Bonos and Geldofs
tell us to send the almighty
American dollar
to relief funds.
But the wide-eyed pleas
will not grant absolution
to overweight motorists
who drain drop after drop
from Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika
while they idle in drive-thrus
for another burger and fries.
The flies continue to crawl
across the parched lips
and into moist eyes, multiplying
with each additional car
started, driven and idled.
Take another trip
to the corner convenience
market, buy only a pack
of cigarettes or six-pack
of beer, adding to your obesity.
Then, blame oil companies
and car manufacturers.
The child sees you
grant absolution to yourself
as you tee up yet again
and idle in another drive-thru.
Every additional almighty
dollar sent to the child
evaporates another drop
of drinking water
and morsel of food.
The child cries in muted tones,
"Will you awaken
from dreams of bank account
balances, dates with boyfriends,
and the best sex in your life
long enough to save mine?"

This is an edited version of the poem which was originally published by edifice WRECKED in their October 2007 issue. This was my first poem published. A link to the archived publication is provided on the right hand column.