Rest, it’s MADNESS not to

they’ve accomplished a lot

when they can’t give one more thing

because

they’ve given

everything

they are the dangerous ones…

because they want to take back

what they have given

they need praise

because they’ve praised

constantly

they need attention

because they’ve lifted

everyone up

they need smiles

because

their smile

is tired

they don’t know how to rest

not with people

in a crowded room

not on a planned trip

to the moon

but an afternoon nap

where they wake up

not sure if it’s morning

or just an hour

has past

they check their clock

they lost track of time

they aren’t its prisoner

anymore

the sunlight

set them free

rest

is a neutral

restart

there are things

that will fill you up

for me

it’s curiosity

a book that takes twists and turns

a bike ride

where I spot

what doesn’t belong

an imagination

like wallpaper

over moldy

splintering

walls

these things

keep filling

despite

a glance

that steals

a look.

Rest,

it’s MADNESS

not to.

A Bad Job Interview

What do you do

when you have too much joy

in a job interview?

You have joy

because

nothing you add to your life

will make it better.

Job interviews are so unnatural

I bore myself

talking about myself.

I feel sorry for the panel of evaluators

I wouldn’t hire me

it’s just too boring, to hire someone

I guess, being able to tell someone they didn’t get the job

is a bit exciting

it reinforces the belief that you have something

that someone else wants

and you can feel special

by giving it to a special person

and denying it

to most of the people who apply.

They said, “thank you for your time, and we want to respect your time”

but I was having a great time

and in my experience, nobody really respects anyone’s time

5 minutes of your time, is always a half-hour

the world doesn’t care

but because we live in an uncaring world

it creates unique opportunities…

If you can get people to care

or maybe they don’t care

but you still get what you want

because you don’t really want it

it is more of a spiritual experiment

to test your magnetism

or a complete mind f**k.

What is more satisfying…

seducing

a sycophantic admirer

or indifferent robots?

Who will fall in love with your life force?

I talk too much…

I bore myself, asking questions that I don’t care about

I read all of the head-researcher’s research

before the interview

and it was boring

the online advice told me to ask one interesting follow-up question

but I could not be genuine or sincere, in one question

as I get older, people become more boring, as they get older

something happens to their mechanism, inside

the gears get locked up

everybody becomes the same

standards and job performance

make people neurotic

I’m surprised I even get job interviews, anymore

My attitude is so far away from the masses

it’s a wonder

they consider me one of their own

when you don’t say the right things

and you close your eyes when you talk

and you dress how you feel

and you tell stories, instead of facts

professional people know there is something wrong…

Perhaps, when the gravity of your true heart takes over

you become poor, in the world

because you have a rich, unlimited gold mine, inside

where you spend all day

with glittering eyes

and joyful love

digging…

be a student, MAN

Life has something to teach you

and if it warps you

you’re probably a good student

most students don’t learn

they hate the school of life

they hate the idea that there might be patterns

Patterns never make a perfect picture

they create this haze of incongruity

a poor patchwork quilt that somebody forgot to finish

I hate teaching

but I love being a student

why?

because teaching rarely offers any insights

you’re so busy talking

and communicating

that the part of the mind responsible for survival

shuts off

I’m a survivor

I always have been

I am searching for a way to keep my body alive

my spirit alive

my mind working

so that it can solve the problems before they happen

so that I can stay out of the traps

so I know how to respond to stress

and religious doctrines

and 9 to 5 jobs

and parents

and siblings

and women

and bosses

and disagreeable coworkers who have boring lives punctuated by question marks and colons

where their crap pours out onto other people

I have found a way of looking at life

no longer seduced by honey

because it’s sticky

and it belongs to insects that sting

I have been careful in my decisions

and I usually cut-off every option

because I realize it’s almost all bad

for me

Few people realize the “for me,” part

they think… because other people are doing it

they should do it

what morons

how miserable they must be

I can see a problem a mile away

but they’re usually within 6 feet

I don’t hate humanity

I just keep my respectful distance

I even give to charity

but I never give a charity organization my contact information

Basically, the more you can do without

and live your life

the better chance you have of being happy

let the woman who collects problems, the way she collects kids, get the promotion, and advance

into the miserable swamp of prestige

How will you account for your life and the time you wasted?

When someone suggests you need more

walk the other way

In fact,

the best philosophy a person can have

is to walk the other way

walk in the opposite direction of the crowds

pay attention to the stragglers

listen to them

ask them questions

they will most likely be subnormal

but a few of them might have something to say

be a student, MAN

be a student

never be a teacher

I know these two roles seem the same

but there’s a big difference

learn it

never stop learning it

it will save your life

and you will have a life

that’s all your own.

Know your life

while you have it

cherish it

don’t listen to anybody who says you shouldn’t

they don’t have a life

it belongs to someone else

it belongs to the world

YOU

BELONG

TO

YOURSELF.

A Bad Trip on the Golf Course

I decided to play golf with some uptight people from work yesterday. They are so uptight, that when I talk to them, I can sense them shutting-down like clams. They think they are doing me a favor. I know these types, and people can’t stand to be around them, but I’m curious. What is life like to be a clam?

 It takes time to get to know them, as you jump through their hoops to gain their approval. You have to be an anthropologist and speak their lingo, to put them at ease. Don’t say the wrong things, and don’t give your personal opinions. It feels like your oxygen is being shut off, so you need to find a different source that will keep you alive in the meantime. They will try to understand your psychology and shame you, which is to be expected. They don’t give up anything real about themselves. Their questions always begin like this…

“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

“I have a sister.”

“What does she do?”

“She’s a manager.”

“Is she married?”

“Yes.”

“Kids?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“She has dogs.”

DISAPPROVING LOOK.

I have always thought of myself as a conservative, but maybe I’m not. Maybe, I’m not anything like these people, but the fact of the matter is, I’m interested…

We ran into a couple of buddies of mine on the golf course. They were plowed and having a great time. They remind me of a couple of Irishmen, old, short, and full of magic. Golf is their game, where they can be free.

“What’s wrong with the guys you’re playing with?” Frank asked.

“I’m trying to figure that out,” I whispered.

“Why don’t you play golf with us?”

“Oh, I will…I will…but not today.”

We played until we ran into a guy who was even more interesting.

“Can I join you gentlemen?” He asked.

“Sure!” I said. “I remember you.”

“Oh, that’s right. We played together last summer.”

He teed-off and laughed, 6 feet 5, greasy-black hair, tiny legs and a massive torso. “Man, I need to get high!”

He started eating mushrooms, and washed them down with beer. “Look at my legs…look at my legs. I’ve had eight surgeries! Played football in college. You know, I want to get my son a scooter. He got into an accident, so I got him a scooter. Say… do you have kids?”

He wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to my co-worker. They were of similar age.

“I have a boy and a girl.”

“Ahh, there’s nothing like when they call you daddy.”

I could tell the guy was tripping out. I felt viscerally repulsed being in the company of my co-workers, and the guy on acid was starting to have a bad trip.

“You know, I feel like you guys are dead or something. I need to get away from you.”

I understood what he was feeling. He left.  Maybe there is nothing to be learned. We should go with our gut. We don’t need to take psychedelics.

The End

the woman I will never know

she haunts me

like a pleasant feeling

like dew on garden flowers

as I walk barefoot

through the black earth

there is no hate within her

no pride

no hurt

a perfect flower

flowers don’t scream

or sulk

or spread nasty rumors

When they laugh

it’s beautiful

and not a sarcastic stare

this woman, and I

enjoy a cup of tea

late into the evening

sharing our favorite stories

there is no talk of other people

envious gossip

or trips we will take

it’s two young people, old at heart

enjoying each other

the morning dew

before the afternoon sun

I trust her

because I love her.

Unless, you want to eat carrots all day…

you can get divided

into 55 pieces

like a chopped carrot

cut down the middle

and pealed of flesh—

a trimmed ingredient

for a much larger dish

because, who wants to eat carrots all day?

they turn people orange

a mild form of arguing

an orange blush

an unhealthy

Donald Trump color

the point about carrots

is, they’re supposed to be healthy

so, you should eat them

even though, you don’t want to.

I have a carrot curiosity about people

I don’t eat carrots all day

because, healthy spice

in a toxic meal

makes it taste good

and I appreciate that

like, when I become cold

and I climb into bed

or,

that annoying person

that I can’t get away from

who always helps me

find

myself.

Some people want to eat carrots all day

because, it’s the healthy choice

but nobody can eat carrots for a lifetime

except Bugs Bunny

and unless you want to be a neurotic rabbit

I recommend

healthy spice

in your life.

You can know what you like

and you can like yourself

it’s true, the truth is pure

and a little truth

is a bunch of lies

but life is more interesting

with stories that aren’t real

religions can’t all be right

but I thank God

that people have faith

beyond flesh and blood

beyond, cut-up carrots

and we get to be

the spice in life

like a carrot crusade

for all the toxic meals

Unless, you want to eat carrots all day?

I sure don’t.

My Perfect Life

You can’t hide

in plain sight

if people look for you.

Please tell me how to do this.

If I blow through my nose

and laugh at the wrong times

I’m usually left alone.

I have a common face

like a common conversation

that I don’t want to hear

and all I see is a reflection

there.

We see so little of ourselves

No wonder

others see us differently.

I’m lying in a hot bath

steaming

raindrops

falling

from the ceiling

this is my eulogy

my perfect life

that only I know.

It gets lonely at times

I wonder why I read so much

and think so much

it doesn’t seem to serve any purpose

other than

painting a perspective that isn’t there.

My living spaces aren’t filled with appropriate things

there’s a white wall and no decorations.

Painting myself on the wall

would be like giving a piece of great art

to kids with crayons.

I paint inside

with what I know

and what I know

is for me.

Most people

collect art

to show it off.

I enjoy the beauty

only I can see.

Faith in friends is marvelous too

if their belief is deep enough

and that depth of faith

never needs

to be tested.

Chapter 4 Wooden Legs Run in the Family

Gregson’s family loved him for who he was 20 years ago. Now that he was 50, all that potential was gone. A man must choose himself; it’s a style that he puts on. Many men let their wives dress them. Gregson thought there was nothing more horrific than letting a woman fumble with his necktie—not that he ever wore one. What’s even worse, is listening to people who don’t see you. Their internal monologues keep them sane. They see themselves in everything.

Gregson followed his brother-in-law through the tall grass.

Their estate had a white porch overlooking the ocean. Gregson’s dad rocked in a chair like a metronome, staring at the waves, thin as a skeleton, waiting for something.

“How’s the cancer, pop?”

“Not so good!”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“What’s the matter, do you want me to die?”

“Of course not.”

“Well, I’ve killed the cancer with Vitamin C mega doses. The only thing I miss, is not being able to take a drink of Coke. Cancer cells love the stuff, and so do I. Maybe, we have something in-common—your mother seems to think so.”

“That’s because you smoke your cigars inside her house.”

“Well, you’re probably right. If you had been smart, you could’ve made police commissioner.”

“There are many kinds of intelligence—best to choose the one that makes sense to you.”

Pop rolled his eyes. “I’ve been working on my will— been getting my affairs in order. And no, I didn’t cheat on your mother. It’s the other kind. I’ve decided to leave everything to your sister, except my library. Supposedly, you can find the treasure, if you read every book.”

“That would take a dozen lifetimes.”

“Probably right; I tried, myself, and now it’s up to you.”

“I’m going for a run.”

“Enjoy your legs while you have them, son. Wooden legs run in the family. Your grandfather lost his in a scuba diving accident, and I lost mine in a hunting accident. The way you’re headed, you’ll lose yours because of your diet. Murder doesn’t sit well with you.

“I know pop; that’s why I’m going for a run.”

Gregson did his best thinking on the trail…

Living, was a challenge. Most people were not alive. Gregson watched the boys playing in the soccer field, as he ran past. They were growing like weeds, and fighting the crushing concrete. He knew the weed-killer would get them in the end. They would all identify with their jobs. Even he, didn’t like to call himself a PI. Once you give yourself a title, you can put yourself on the shelf, like a dusty trophy. When society can’t use you, it ignores you. Praise, is the best form of control. You learn that in school, if you stay in school long enough. It’s like a Ponzi-scheme. Teachers learn how to control kids, and they kill them with kindness. It’s worse than murder.

The trail ran next to the canal. Gregson knew where he was headed. It was the old Spanish mission. Being home made him think about being a kid, and being a kid reminded him of lost dreams and lost gold. The Father was still alive, and the Father understood him. Perhaps, a conversation would reveal a clue. Gregson’s best friend, Murphy, was always running his age. It was a line-graph, where the body slows down and the miles pile up. At 45, Murphy hadn’t failed yet. At 50, Gregson was running in reverse. He was nearly to the terrible twos, and becoming a toddler of three, which was beyond him. He needed to stop eating kettle corn! The trail took a dog-leg left, through the swamps, and there was a runner, lying in his own blood, with his right leg bitten off. The mission was 100 feet away, and Gregson ran on two legs to get help.

Unlocking Impossible People

there are

impossible people

to get to know.

Some, are locked down

like the dead,

unable to talk.

Others, can’t stop talking

higher than kites

flying in unfriendly skies.

Some, are down to earth

watching the grass grow

content, just to keep watching.

Others, can’t see themselves

or don’t want to

while everyone

is watching.

the loud like the loud

the quiet like the quiet

opposites attract

because there’s a difference

but their relationship

is often

negative.

Why can’t we understand people?

It’s so difficult to get inside

7 billion

on the planet

and all we think of

is ourselves.

Am I too fat

or thin

am I…I…I… interesting

ENOUGH

Am I right

or wrong

or just right

Do they think like me?

Which way is the wind blowing?

Why can’t I be me?

Why do I tell someone what they want to hear?

Why do I lose in the relationship?

why…why…why…???

Connection

is the key

and unlocking people

is the great mystery.

Old Friends

I met up with my buddy

on the golf course

He told me

he was moving to Florida

so he didn’t have to deal with the bullshit COVID restrictions

in Seattle.

We’ve been friends since 1st grade

How does that happen?

My best friends are like magnets—

some force

keeps us together.

Even 3,000 miles

won’t separate us.

As we played our round

I was barely coherent

I had my second COVID shot

the day before.

To recover,

I drank 10 shots of espresso

ate a meat lovers pizza

and took some vitamins.

Now, rather than my head and neck hurting,

it’s my lower back.

I’ve gained some weight

since high school, and I tell my friend,

“You look the same.”

We talked about the possibility of marriage,

and how we were approaching 40.

High school seemed like yesterday.

I remember the old guys on the golf course who were 40, when I was in high school

They wore polo shirts and fancy pants, and held middle-class jobs

Now, I was wearing a polo shirt and fancy pants, and I had a middle-class job

My friend has always been different…

I admire him

for this reason.

He works one day a week

and wears 7-dollar shorts

because he doesn’t care.

When other people are trying to progress in life

he knows…

there is no progression.

When I dropped him off

for the last time

the moment was special

life only gives us a few of these

I’ve had a few of them

with my friend.

Now, he is asking my advice

Friends do this

before they travel a great distance

I tell him

to love life,

to love God,

to love people.

Loving God is easy.

Loving Life is difficult.

Loving People is down-right impossible.

But I have faith in my friend

there’s only a few people like him

I feel lucky to have them

in my life

it’s magic.