Living in a Dream World

the park by the lake has been touched by Merlin

or so it seems

green and red lamps

the city of lights across the water,

like twinkling stars, pulsars, red giants, and a whole galaxy of twilight ages

the fog between the trees is a mystery

in the cold darkness, in the frosty forest

where people spend their evening, like tomorrow’s bill won’t come due

I walk and talk with my friend

who is recovering from a sickness

and getting outside for the first time, since he felt well.

“This job at Google might come through,” he said. “Look at us. We were so young.”

He shows me a picture from five years ago. “What do you want, next?” He asked.

“You’re gonna laugh,” I said.

“No, I won’t.”

“I want my imagination to become real.

I want to be a magician.

I want to have power that isn’t tedious or political–

a force of nature that comes out of me.”

“You spend too much time thinking,” he said.

“Maybe—but what if we could exert our will on the world, and the world would respond,

rather than just hoping for the best, and taking the best thing that comes along.”

“You’re living in a dream world, man.”

“Maybe,” I said.

the answer is right under your nose

If you imagine yourself to be someone,

you might become what you imagine.

In the same way that chasing after dreams,

has you running after them

but when the dream starts chasing you

it might become a nightmare.

People think they own their existence

but it has a mind of its own.

The answer is right under your nose

and you have a cold.

It is not enough to possess power

it must be expressed

and words seldom communicate

what needs to be heard.

Any deliberate action

to acquire power

usually saps a person of their strength

but discovery and acceptance

of this source

never makes you weak—it only grows

like a plant, climbing towards the sun

without thinking

like a boy, becoming a man

and a man

becoming something else

entirely.

My Feelings

the best of times is when I am feeling good,

and doing something that makes me feel even better.

this is rarely when I am in the company of other people

Sometimes, people are magical, but this is extremely rare

it seems that they are always trying to be somewhere else

and they want what someone else has,

or they want other people to want what they have.

Then there are people who make me feel miserable, just being in their company

and they think I should be okay with how they make me feel

but all I know is…

when I get away from them, I feel so much better.

Life is beautiful when you don’t have to react to other people

even if you don’t say anything, there is a gut-wrenching reaction

like I ate something that didn’t agree with me.

I wait for those special days when I feel on top of the world

and it’s rarely a feeling that someone else gives to me.

Often, I think I want to feel great, but it doesn’t happen

It’s the rare day when my feelings take-over

I think something, and it happens

My feelings are stronger than my thoughts

and it seems as if I am who I want to be

on that day,

despite all evidence to the contrary.

I feel victory in every footstep

confidence in each breath

no matter if the voices are trying to take that away.

My feelings are like a hurricane

among their eddies and whirlwinds, without much force

and I don’t know how these feelings come about

but they are worth more to me

than victory

they are like the weather

moving

between strong and weak winds

until a magical crack of dawn

breaks

between the clouds.

Death Wish in Maple Valley

I was low-energy for over a month

the kind of slow-moving slug that gets out of bed

and goes to work.

My clothes collected on the floor

My fast-food containers mounted in the sink

My weight increased by 10 pounds

My delusion that it was muscle, because I lift 30 minutes a day

Then I remembered… I used to take a B vitamin. So, I swallowed one

and I had instantaneous energy at 8 PM

I had to go for a run, or I would explode

I ran just as fast as I used to—and I felt like a black stallion at night

but then I saw unsavory characters

they weren’t there, last year. Guys in skullies and jean jackets

I went deep into the woods, on the forest path, in the pitch darkness

and when I turned around, I walked for a while, staring at the lights from expensive houses

enjoying the cold, crisp, clear night

with the stars twinkling overhead

Then I heard feet on the trail—it’s amazing what the night does to your other senses

and I made-out the black outline of a man in a sweatshirt and a hoody

Instantly, I knew he was a threat

It was instinct—how he walked, and he lined himself up to me, in my direction

He was coming at me, and fast

“Hey! Do you have cash on you?” He asked.

“Yeah!” I said.

“Well—give it to me!”

By this time, he was within a foot. I didn’t move, and I wasn’t afraid, but I was jacked-up on adrenaline. Being mugged was a new experience for me. I quickly thought of the movies I’d watched with this scenario. Act intimidating…yeah. And make him piss his pants…yeah. And do the unexpected. You have a right, because he came at you… okay.

“You’re gonna have to take it!” I said.

“What?”

“You heard me.”

Out came his knife. It glinted in the moonlight. But he backed up, when he pulled it out.

I took two steps toward him, and he backed up again. Then I lunged, and he ran. It was a bluff, on my part. It made me feel like a wild animal—the adrenaline kept me awake for five hours. I cleaned my apartment to perfection, and shouted, and smiled, and enjoyed myself—my life that was tested. Maybe I have balls? I thought. Then I went hiking with a co-worker the next day, and we talked about a lot of things.

“You ever been in a fight?” He asked.

“No,” I lied.

Chapter 4 “The less you know—the better.”

Gregson got out of the Hum-vi to the sound of Thunderstruck. Being 50 felt like he had crossed-over—it was more than a crisis. The typical anchors weren’t holding him down. It was maddening to know—whatever he did, would be lost in time. To go backwards, was to miss-out on the future, and to live in the present, was boring.

An agent was staring at him with enormous green eyes. His suit was baggy, his brown hair was long, his face was smart, and he looked like he had many things on his mind, but none of them merited much interest. Gregson, however, did.

“My name’s Dr. Stanley.”

“Gregson.”

They shook hands.

“Do you have a last name?” Gregson asked.

“Best that we remain anonymous. If you mess with the past, the past will mess with you. It will try to erase you.”

“Why?”

“Because the past is moving from order to disorder, and if you try to clean it up, like your apartment, the past will burn you down. It doesn’t want to be organized.”

“That’s why I’m the perfect time traveler,” Gregson said. “I naturally move from disorder, to a complete mess.”

“Bachelor, eh? Me too,” Dr. Stanley smiled. “You will be briefed for your expedition. Cornel Weathers will do it.” They walked through double doors that closed behind them.

“This is a clean room,” Dr. Stanley said. “We keep it static free. When you travel into the past, you’ll be dressed for the occasion.”

“What year am I going to?”

“1922.”

“A hundred years?”

“There abouts—and you’ll be trying to solve a murder, which will be a significant challenge. Not only will the past interfere with you, but those who killed Dr. Dorian, will.”

“Why is it important that we know who killed him?”

“The less you know, the better,” Dr. Stanley said.

Gregson wasn’t sure if he agreed, but it was the military, and not a community college classroom. They descended on a red carpet to a room, deep underground. There were scientists in white Hazmat suits inspecting artifacts.

“Is that King Tut?” Gregson asked.

“Yes—we borrowed him from Howard Carter. The scandal about artifacts going to the British Museum, was actually us, stealing them, into the future. Of course—we’ll replace them, in time, where they belong. Each time you journey into the past, the past resets itself.”

“Then how did the artifacts get back here, if Dr. Dorian is dead?”

“I told you he was sharp,” Cornel Weathers said.

“The less you know—the better-off you are,” Dr. Stanley suggested. It was becoming a mime, like in Hogan’s Heroes—”I know nothing.” But Gregson didn’t want to make waves with his opportunity to travel back in time.

“Now—look here—you’ll need a kit. Here is a World Almanac for sports betting—you can even bet on the weather—if you want to,” Cornel Weathers said. “But most importantly, your clothes. If you go dressed the way you are now—you’ll be socially shunned.”

“Oh—that’s alright,” Gregson said. “I’m socially shunned, already. Cargo shorts are not allowed on a 50-year-old man, in the past, present, or future.”

“That’s true, but this is a secret mission Gregson—and you need to go incognito.”

“If you say so.” Gregson tried on the suit. It made him feel successful. “It fits!”

“You say that—like you’re surprised.”

“Whenever I go shopping, it takes hours to find something in my size.”

“The suit is tailored.”

“How did you get my measurements?” Gregson asked.

“The less you know…”

“The better,” Gregson finished.

“Now—the last thing I’ll ask you to put-on is this watch,” Cornel Weathers said. “It will help you to keep track of time in the present, and it will draw you back to the future when you click this button.”

“How does that work?” Gregson asked.

“We are all made-up of particles, traveling through space. Your fatness is an illusion, Gregson. There is space inside your body—there is space between us—there is space between our planet and Jupiter. We are all like musical notes playing in time with the gaps giving us the score—a song of existence played backward one hundred years. This will deconstruct your physical body, and anything in your proximity, up to six feet.”

“Wow, that could be a Jenny Craig commercial!” Gregson suggested.

the tiger in the night

the fire in his eyes

is gone

the muscles have shriveled into prunes

the voice cracks and rasps for breath

the will is willing, but the pressure and changing times have lost respect

for the man.

the most expedient way to power

neglects the force of character

within

neglects the importance of the impossible

does not understand the rationality of the irrational

going someplace to die, so that he can live

man needs to dominate with his will

to exert his force, his god-like power, his destiny

on the world

not to be blown by the winds of chance

or accept his fate, given to him

like a hand-out

Man needs to feel his own power

as intimately as a lover

not to succumb to the domestic life

not to be trapped within four walls

to be his own creator

to express his own aims

to hunt with his own instinct

the trappings of this world, suck him back into society

he must desire something beyond that

he must possess and be possessed

with a belief that suggests

he is—

by choice.

He has brought his life upon himself

has the ability to change it

to form his own image

to be tested on the highest peaks of integrity

to understand what nobody knows

to triumph over his pain with passion

to drive home his purpose with zeal

to know

his life was not an accident

not a billiard ball

struck

by someone else

finessed

with his own feelings

awake—in the dark

not able to sleep

a tiger, in the night

in the jungle

of skyscrapers, and street-lights

a predator who prays

for a reawakening

the cage has made his lights grow dim

bars have contained his muscles

his roar is only a purring now,

silent, as the wind

his will

wants to be reawakened

to flex his muscles

and scream

to a higher being.

When You Overcome Yourself

What you hold onto

you have to carry

and what you think about

becomes you.

Can we trust in the experience of others

when they trust in the experience of others?

Should we place faith in our imaginations

when we don’t know the future?

The great thrill in life, is not to know—it’s the only way we can gamble

When we know the game is lost or won, we stop playing it

Energy is free flowing—concentrated inward, or concentrated outward

to concentrate energy outward, is to give up yourself

is to give up greed

is to give up lust

is to give up.

You will be surprised what will come to you,

when you stop thinking

It will be easy to engage with others

because others will want to engage with you

Many kinds of opportunities

will fall into your lap

because your energy is genuine

Sleep

Eat Healthy Foods

Avoid violence and sex

Purify your mind

Drink lots of water

Read wisdom

and sleep.

Addictions are a reoccurring drain on your energy

they are a false purpose

they ruin relationships

because they make you a slave to yourself

Truly,

the most profound happiness will happen

when you overcome yourself.

Chapter 3 Gregson Thinks About Time

It was a rotten trick—to die—while still being alive, Gregson thought. What does it all mean? We are only a splash in time—a raindrop in a puddle that evaporates. Being filled with thoughts of insignificance can be liberating, and crushing. Whatever we do, will disappear—so why do it? Our mistakes will vanish—nothing really matters.

“You’re doing a lot of thinking back there, Gregson,” Cornel Weathers said. He was driving the Hum-Vi, while listening to ACDC.

“What?” Gregson asked.

“You’re doing a lot of thinking!”

“Oh—yes—do we serve ourselves, or do we serve something larger?”

“You mean, like a grand plan, or the military?”

“A grand plan.”

“Let me tell you something, Gregson… our universe is about to collapse on itself because we sent a man back in time. Everything he does, is like a ripple in a pond the universe didn’t plan for. One man can change the course of existence.”

“You’ve thought about this…” Gregson said.

“No—I just have to listen to our physicist—Dr. Stanley. If you ask me, he’s the coward among the two we selected for this project. The one we sent back, was Dr. Dorian. We suspect he’s been murdered. Think about the implications, Gregson—what happens when you get murdered in the past?”

“This is all above my head. How did you even know that time-travel is possible?”

“Well—Einstein’s special theory of relativity suggests that it is. We’ve been able to go forward in time, but going backward is a whole different matter. Dr. Stanley proved that Time Travel to the past is possible.”

“How did he do that?” Gregson asked.

“He scheduled a cocktail party for time travelers, and didn’t announce it, until after the party. The catch is—the party already happened. If you can go back in time, you can attend the party. Four time travelers showed up. Apparently, alcohol is difficult to find in the future.”

“This is all a bit much,” Gregson said.

“Just wait until you see our facility. To go back in time, we send our traveler through a wormhole—similar to a black hole. Don’t ask how we found it, or how many time travelers got separated from their bodies, until we got it right. We think we got it right—Dorian went gradually insane—trapped in the past, but he was a little strange beforehand—bored all the time, you see, and borderline suicidal.”

“What about Dr. Stanley?”

“He’s happier than a clam to send other people to their deaths, and to take a government salary, while thinking for a living.”

“Where are we?” Gregson asked.

“Best that you don’t know that. Dr. Stanley will fill you in. Then you can decide what you want to do.”

The hanger housed an SR-71 Blackbird and a B2-Bomber. Gregson spotted a U2 Spy Plane. It was like driving into the past.

Be a Genuine Person at the Party

the roaring parties have exhaust fumes that can kill you

this energy is like a desperate dance with death

I’ve already watched this movie

about the rich and the beautiful

where social status is a currency

and the self-obsessed believe they can travel to far-away places

high, in the Andes Mountains

where death will never find them.

the party, is anonymous with laughter

We have to choose what will kill us

successful people die with their drug of choice

it’s all downhill, from their fame

like skiing on broken skis

their hair falls out

their good looks fade

their bones break

the party is over—it’s the dismal drudgery of existence

until, wrinkled with age

but the misery doesn’t have to be your own

you don’t have to stand outside of your mansion, like a crypt above ground

you don’t have to die, until your dead

I would rather be measured by

my own head

It’s not really about who’s listening

People only Pretend to listen,

It’s the sound of pleasure

that never satisfies

Thinking, someplace quiet

and not wanting, what others want

This is your own life—

don’t give it to the party

to the skeletons that dance until midnight

You are flesh

and bone

and spirit

You can save your own soul

if you dance

your own dance

when you make your own music

when you make-up your own mind

and you don’t wear it

on the outside, to look better

in a sea of clowns

who are sad when they smile.

Be a genuine person—it’s the only hope for humanity

it matters more, when you get close to death

and we are closer, than we know.

Unlocking that Special Feeling

Those who feel, that feelings are overrated

don’t know the power of a feeling.

We feel squashed by the vices of others—tightening, to control.

Feeling alive—is so rare a feeling—when we travel to unfamiliar places

or believe that we have magic at our fingertips.

Music and words come out of us like grandiosity

It’s a much-needed detachment from reality.

We have to believe that what we are doing is more important than decisions made by governments

because this significant feeling, is not so insignificant.

To feel that we matter, and to help others feel the same

is an artform—or a drug. It can’t be said plainly. It must be believed. It must be felt, to be real.

And for this feeling to be real—it requires significant proof—a major work.

But the trick is to hold onto this feeling each time you work—and there are many ways to access it

Sitting in a Ferrari, wearing a new suit, drinking espresso, enjoying a beautiful painting

and the more potent variety: playing Mozart on the piano, reading Nietzsche, exploring attitudes of the defiant and interesting

And lastly: doing it yourself, in all its glory.

If you feel like a rock star, when you are sitting in solitude

you have achieved this feeling

And it’s a feeling, I keep wanting to feel—like luck, or some mystical spiritual experience

that lands on me like a butterfly.

Success is a drug—but it’s not what we accomplish that gives us this high

It’s the feeling.