the mountain road pulled the sinews out of my bones, peeled back my winter scar tissue and bandaged up my bruised brains ; Vermont heralds like a parcel of parched mountains pointing the way towards the present : the prescience of the prescribed notion that I should piece together my inner peace and place it on the precipice of permanence // the open sky is a mural, a cotton-gauze remembrance of the moment just passing, just passing, just passed // my heart is a tower, escalating, forever young, forever soft marrow // the ancient rockface has a name I do not know, the supple leaves have secrets I cannot speak; the satin sound of the sun keeps surrounding me, I keep melting into the molten misuse of the midsummer heat ;; people in every direction pour patience back at me; purpose in every rock presses back through my toes :: the heat swelters around like a shelter , the bass pumps the through the thighs of the mountain – up the incline — we all camp on the side of the hill, sliding down in our little ramshackle tents, gravity and grace on either side holding us up straight (barely) — we do not all fall down the mountain – gravity maintains, physics maintains, our muscles grope the climb up and down like insects on a mound ;; small we are : the mountain pulls like a raptor, like a father, like a parapet – purposeful in its presence alone
i sat paralyzed through sunday, the wash of glittered june light through the trees a happenstance horror show in contrast to the reticent reality sitting around the edge of my line of vision. too close, too close to home. too real now, too real. a veil has been pulled off and i don’t know how to put it back on. something has been broken inside and i don’t know how to fix it. i don’t know how to heal. i’m not ready to focus on the positives yet. i can’t think of anything but trails of streams of blood flowing through our art gallery, splattered onto the canvases and casings lining the floor. still not okay yet. i’m still not okay yet. i feel gutted that people are continuing to live their lives.
i could feel the tension growing like a circus around me, i told my friends we had to go, i had no idea why, we just had to go. now. a few minutes more and we would have been there. but the carnival of careening and jeering and jolting and posturing and gang colors was flooding the streets, spilling around, about, hopping over cars, each and every side-street i sputtered over to get away.
i am angry at the wealth inequality in this country. i am angry at our justice system – because this man was in solitary confinement for 12 years, since he was 17 years old and it apparently affected his cognitive development. i am angry at our country. i witnessed the police doing the right thing. i want to talk in specifics and in nuance and i want the conversations to be about the right things. i want to focus and pinpoint the enemy at where it truly is – the systematic disenfranchising of the poor. the stratification of class and wealth and the inability to locate a coherent community. the posturing of masculinity, the toxicity of the patriarchy which seethes the need to be tough as a means to appropriate empowerment in a society which gives you no outlets for meaning, identity or empowerment. the glorification of gun violence, of war rhetoric, of violence in general, of solving problems quickly and acting on anger. the great holy upholding of anger and of violence. anything, anything, anything that glorifies or props up gang culture, gang violence. i am angry at the news, the media machine that keeps churning out tragedy porn. that keeps filling our psyches with horror and ratcheting up our minds away from peaceful and calm life-filled moments to the desensitization and normalization of horror and violence.
the next day our art gallery was a crime scene. yellow police tape stretching the entire perimeter of the block, closing off side streets. you couldn’t get anywhere close to it. you can’t pick up your art because now it’s part of a mass shooting investigation. and maybe it’s covered in blood. everything lay where it was precisely at the chaotic peak of 3am – shoes strewn about the block, trash, food, bottles. the scene of a grand party now an abandoned and haunted memory. the way everything changed in a minute. i’ve always thought about what that feeling would be like. because the media is always filling my head with it. the reality of it was ten times heavier than i imagined.
i am angry. i am sad. i am profoundly depressed. i have never felt what i felt yesterday. i have never lived through i what i lived through yesterday. i am angry that i had to. i am heartbroken, for our community, for this city, for people trying to bridge gaps, create art, come together peacefully. i am confused about reality, confronted by so many people’s daily reality, i feel difficulty living my own privileged life, i am at odds with the universe, i know not why humans are so blind. i am haunted by the feeling i had walking around that place just a half an hour before, as the walls dripped with a tension i had never felt before, an atmosphere that felt alien to me. i am grateful for my intuition, but it doesn’t make it better. i am grateful it wasn’t worse, but it doesn’t make it better.
there are so many problems in the world. so many breathed in and breathed out. we can’t hold on to these things, nor should we. but i can’t help feel the brush off; some gang violence happened in trenton and we all move on. this is the way it is. we can compartmentalize it. well i can’t handle it being the way life is anymore. i have no patience for violence. no patience for guns. we are all becoming too desensitized to violence, and we have to be, yes, because the news is too rough not to be…but we are too numb, too complacent, too conditioned.
get me out of this circus.
at the end of the play
I sit in the blue light cast shadow darkness gun fire smoke air pocket breath filled moment and I let the huge weight of emotion course through me like a fire / my focus is pinpointed ; I can see farther than the mountains and the horizons and the edges and the spectrums and geometries ; I keep rolling ; I let loose my head – I keep looking at the ground – boring a hole through it – sadness is in every cell of my body – it is not manufactured but it is not my own, it is a strange possession I have come to pick up and let go of again ;;
the strange and wonderful bizarre connection that happens between actors ; between a cast ; between people that meet each other in the dark twilight curtains of the wings ; of the strange breaths between words written by other men in decades past and the affection we have for story ; for meaning ; for the life lifted up ; for the life cast open like a splay of ribs ; the affections we have for one another’s honesty ;; trust and honesty we give to each other’s eyes ; to each other’s hands ; to our shoulders as they stand against one another; living inside of words ; living on a stage together inside of a moment that never happened in another perhaps-decade in an imaginary world just real enough to touch // and when you slide into those moments carelesly haplessly, hopelessly ; the moment between reality and unreality ; the dreaming and the awake ; the imaginative and the imagined and you are the breath between the words – and you are the text between the lines – when you find yourself inside of the stage light and you look back into your fellow actors eyes and you see them seeing you see the moment and when the emotions floods you after the gun shot and the audience gasps and your breath comes in rattled heaves and you splay your insides out like a strange bird caged-no-longer ; when we do this strange thing together ; when we choose this strange life together ; when we embark upon a strange observance of what it is to be human ;; and we are allowed to share that discovery with others ; when we let imagination carry us /
I do not know what it is that I care so deeply to do — I cannot describe this strange thing called acting or why I do it or why I like to do it even now after all these years , after all the moments spitting words out of my mouth like firecrackers; like a hornet’s nest; like a ruffle of birds sitting on top of my chest; but I know that I can’t stop doing it and that I don’t want to stop doing it and that the love I feel for those around me that want to ever partake in this strange discovery journey are the most wonderful strange birds I would ever like to be splayed out with // Courageous; raw; alive; miraculously strange // and these are the ones I want to find ; I want to laugh with ; I want to hold in the dark after we’ve just cried on stage and give them the touch of another on another ; there together testifying that we still exist — that humans are strange and miraculous and that life and the imitation of life and the observance of life and the portrayal of life and the imagining of life and the dreaming and the play is all worth it ;; is all somehow strangely meaningful ; somehow strangely beautiful ; even if it’s only a play ; even if it’s only a dream ; even when the curtain comes down – something has been stirred up by the words leaving our mouth ;; some vibrations in the air are still vibrating ;; some magic has been concocted ; leaves traces in the walls ; on the floor and the edges of seats ;; is somehow profound in the living moment of it all // and isn’t that life – somehow profound in the lived moment of it all that is somehow all of the moments all at once always playing all of the same time and reflected back like a dream given form that we can see and play over and over again for the joy of doing it ; the joy of feeling it ; for the joy of being alive ; of being a strange human experiencing life with others ; experiencing life through others and for others ;; giving the receiving and being alive and not being afraid to feel it ;; to play it
play it again
The point of the thing to play, of course; the point of the thing is to play — to discover; to experience; to taste / we are the universe experiencing itself, how many times do I have to tell you // we are experience machines — so experience: don’t categorize and don’t be afraid and don’t be afraid of sadness and don’t be afraid of sorrow and do not pride a lack of emotional life is somehow trouncing your human condition ; experience your human condition and love it and enjoy it and feel it all; That is the play of it all ; Separate yourself from the strange mysterious unfolding of life just far enough to see that and then dive back in to the dream // But grow emotional intelligence like weeds, hear what their roots tell you and watch what you learn from what grows and what stays and what is useless in this day and age and what is still meaningful and feel all the courage and connections and corners and spectrums ;; maybe we’re all on different spectrums of monogamy and traditional relationships and unconventional ones just the way we’re on a spectrum of gender and accept that different people want different things for different reasons and different conditioning and some of it’s logical and some of it’s illogical and some of it can be talked out and transformed and some of it is beautiful and some of it is deeply wired and deeply profound to your person-hood (or not) or your identity or guise of an identity // and do not burn yourself but let yourself burn, and do not learn the dogma but let yourself yearn, and walk not the straight and narrow, but tend the healthy garden that minds its own criss-cross neuron roots; let it be healthy ; Let yourself be healthy and catastrophic and a mess and a bundle of missfiring wires and scars and misinterpreted emotions and resolute consciousness towards becoming more conscious ;; towards becoming a better version of yourself ; towards becoming your whole self ; towards creating your whole self ; Towards forgetting identity ; towards letting go of ego ; towards living past the need to hold on to your ego ; towards acknowledging the beauty of existing inside of a form and creating an identity and create a piece of art and creating a self but also letting go of yourself but letting yourself let go of the world and letting the world create you and letting creation be your master and your masterpiece and your existence and your nothingness
Drive till you run out of fear ;; run till you walk yourself out of your patterns / sleep till you find no need to escape the illusion inside evolution inside the illustration of the dream of awakening ; life full of summer roses and June air breath – Be an escaped moment inside of a visionary animal ;; Be an animal ; be a creature ; be a stalk of corn ; be a human ; be a consciousness and the dream of an illusion of a consciousness that finds juggled up puzzles and maps and questions and answers and congratulate yourself if you can understand you understand anything at all ;; the blessing of consciousness ; the blessing of being intelligent enough to understand intelligence — how much deeper and richer life with knowledge, with questions ;; congratulate yourself if you are moving outside of the vicious cycles that have perpetuated and perpetuated ; bless the hard road of creating the new road ; The blessing of getting to be aware — all the agony ; all the vision ; all the tragedy ; all the creation ; all the courage ; all the fearlessness ; all the blame ; all the wonder that lies on the edge of sleeping and awake // be grateful for the opportunity to come awake / to see the world in 10,000 more dimensions and to understand how complicated and riddled with words and weary worry it is / to be able to understand that you understand more than you ever thought you would / to be walking-running down the path that is taking you where your parents never went; where your grandparents never went ; to be carving out the evolved, the emotionally intelligent, the progessive, the patient, the compassionate, the open, the aware, the conscious, the new path — that is flying you faster and farther than your feet were ever taught to run // the strange baffling courage of walking the new terrifying path towards the full-bodied Full-Life ; to be following consciousness to the edge of the water — and starting to swim
where do you go when the trees speak back and the sap seeps forward and the bridges and built and the bridges are built and the burned char of last year’s ashes have grown new poppies? and where is the light lingering and who owns the smell of the air on the last day of May and whose heart is ever ready for June or the bluster of a summer stinking towards you on the scent of the water — who forgives you and forgives you and who never can? how do you piece it together, and what is the peace for? i think about the end of the world all the time, nearly obsessively, nearly desperate for it / let us stop being afraid // let us keep creating, stop listening to the small voices, to the rage of rhythm not based in reality or reason /
i have difficulty telling children to do things i don’t believe they should have to do / i have difficulty procuring fake anger at a child because i’m supposed to as a teacher if i really think it’s just fine ; i think weening the wilderness out of humanity is one of the biggest things crippling us as a species ; i can’t do the things that we only do to keep humans in line, i can’t stay in the line, i hate the line, i have difficulty telling children to stay in the line — i can give them love, comfort, teaching, humor, explanation, patience, and discipline when i believe it, but there are so many things that i myself say fuck that too and i can’t understand why we tell our children to squeeze themselves through a series of jail bars and that they will find themselves on the other side “more whole” / i have so many questions, so many fine lines, so lack of respect for lines – but i trust my instincts, i really do, i have fine tuned my eyes and my senses and i have remained conscious in what i believe children need and don’t need – and i may be young but i really believe in my judgment — i need to flesh it out, flesh it all out, find the edges and grooves, learn how to talk about it coherently and specifically, and we need to stop desiring to turn wild beasts into mere line walkers – we need something in the middle
that’s my fucking motto isn’t it – something in the middle