What I like about writing…

The only thing that can stop a writer,

is the writer.

Rejection, and Rock-Bottom

allow a writer to write what’s real.

Titillation for a Book Idea I’m Working On

It first occurred to me, to write this book when I was at my lowest point, working in an office, anonymous, disrespected, unappreciated, feeling dependent, and weak. I saw the opportunity, in the quiet hours I passed alone, doing paperwork, with seemingly no purpose or end.

With mundane tasks to accomplish and a tireless routine before me, I imagined who I wanted to be.

It was the inverse opposite of what my job expected from me—a charismatic cult leader, larger than life, having adventures, trying the limits of death, on the mountains of madness.

Quotations from my favorite movies entered my mind (a storehouse of over two decades of wild philosophies, espoused by dangerous men).

One of my most favorite quotations and characters is from The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Roland Tembo (a bounty hunter) is asked why he is there.

He replies, “Somewhere on this island is the greatest predator there has ever lived. The second greatest predator must take him down.”

Of course, the man he says this to, scoffs, and it’s a perfect example of the hidden differences that exist between men, seemingly doing the same thing. They’re both on a dinosaur safari, but one is there for money, and the other is there to hunt a tyrannosaur.

Fiat currency is worthless—except for the value we assign to it.

Roland Tembo invests in the hunt. That’s where his pay-off is. Most people save their money for a rainy day, because they want security.

Roland is doing what he wants to do. There is no greater pay-off than that. He is willing to risk his life, to hunt the deadliest predator known to man.

When asked about his strange motivation, Roland Tembo replies,

“Remember that chap about twenty years ago? I forget his name. Climbed Everest without any oxygen, came down nearly dead. When they asked him, they said why did you go up there to die? he said I didn’t, I went up there to live.”

We are all dying slowly, and we can only know life, when we recognize our death—to ignore it, is our own folly.

People spend their whole lives, living cautiously.

They save up wasted days for a grand moment that never comes.

All we have is the day, and the triumph of action over it—

the satisfaction of defining that grand moment.

My Ambition to Make My Art

There is nothing like this ambition

It doesn’t last long.

When I chase after it (as I inevitably do) I can’t find it.

It’s total peace, in the moment—

an understanding

of what I was meant to do.

It’s a process, that never ends.

If you are delighted with each word

each page, full of the absurd

and you throw it away

into the wastebasket

with laughter,

you have achieved

what most people cannot do.

Art is an expression

of the darkness

and the light

inside of you.

There must be more than one heaven.

The principal walked into my office.

“What happened?” He asked.

“I was in the bathroom,” I said, “Sitting on the toilet.”

His face was stern, but then, it smiled.

This could be, that I said something funny, or…

he finally intimidated me.

Truthfully,

he caught me off-guard.

The fact, that I felt

the least bit naughty

makes me sick.

“What are you going to do next time?” He asked me.

“I don’t know,” I said. Are you my dad? I didn’t say that.

“I was taking a crap, and I heard my name on the radio.”

“Do you have a radio?” The principal asked me.

“No,” I said. “It was the interventionist, outside. I called out—”

“While you were sitting on the toilet?” He asked me.

“Yes?”

“And you didn’t hear the announcement on the intercom?”

“No. It doesn’t work in my office.”

“Well, we’ll just see about that.” He left.

I breathed again.

There are so many people who suffocate me.

I have to sit on the toilet

to calm down

and the cycle repeats itself.

I flush,

and the turds go down,

to hell,

which is why I believe in God.

Heaven is empty.

I know there must be others like me,

but if that’s true

there must be more than one heaven.

Commander Johnson Gets Pulled Over

I walked into the cornfield.

The wind was rustling the stocks, as if, they had something to say.

I pushed between them, and there, in the center, was a perfect circle.

I stared into the clouds, and saw a silver saucer ascending.

I blinked, and it was gone.

It started to rain. I ran to the barn, and opened the double doors.

There was my red biplane, all gassed-up, and ready to go. I use it for crop dusting, but now, I had a different purpose in mind.

I wanted to see, if my eyes had deceived me.

I pulled the propeller, and took a swig of whiskey, I kept under the seat.

I put on my yellow raincoat, and pushed the throttle forward.

The buzz cut the humid air like butter, as I taxied onto the dirt road.

I went up.

It’s a feeling of power, when you become weightless, above the ground.

You could crash, and death would greet you, like a best friend, but nobody tells you what to do up there—aside from your radio. I turned that off.

My goggles were collecting raindrops, as I got higher and higher.

There was a strong cross-wind, so that I felt like an autumn leaf with a propeller, flying up, rather than falling down to the ground.

I went into the clouds, where a pie, was cut from the sky, but I didn’t see anything. I circled around, and came back down, into a dive.

The runway was where I left it, and I was getting ready to land, when I heard a voice.

“Commander Johnson—we need you, to lead our squadron.”

Was it just my imagination?

But then I looked to my right and saw the alien craft floating next to me.

The silver saucer was like a traffic cop, pulling me over.

I landed, and instantly felt better, being on the ground.

To be continued…

Earthquake!!!

If the ground isn’t shaking, I don’t go running out of the building, I guess.

I missed the last Earthquake Drill.

It was District-Wide.

They were calling my name on the radio—in a panic.

It was like I was backing-up traffic for miles.

Nobody could go anywhere, until they found me.

What’s worse is—that I was at home,

backed-up, on the pot.

I got a text

from my boss,

asking me where I was, and I called her

and told her, I was on the pot.

“Meet with me for disciplinary action,” she said.

When I got to central office, she was tense.

She didn’t know what I might say.

“You are stealing from the taxpayers,” she said.

“Oh—I didn’t mean to. I just ate some jalapeño chips that disagreed with me.”

“That’s no excuse.”

“I know—I tried to wash them down with ice-cream, but I think that made it worse.”

“That’s not what I mean! Do you think this is funny, or something?”

“No,” I said.

Most recently, they had another earthquake drill,

and I was on the toilet, again.

I didn’t hear the intercom.

Everybody remembered

what happened to me three years ago

so maybe

this will be how they remember me

when I’m gone.

What’s strange is,

I don’t like to bring attention to myself,

but in this instance, I did.

When the ground isn’t shaking,

I shake everybody

to their core,

by not following the rules.

The thing is—I’m a rule follower,

even though, I pretend not to be.

These hiccups, might be a subconscious rebellion

shaking me

to the core.

What Women See, when they look at me…

KNOCKING

She opened my office door.

The special education teacher with three stomachs stood before me.

“Did you get my meeting invite?” She asked.

“No,” I said.

“Well… I would like you there.”

“Okay.”

“You don’t need to say anything. All you need to do, is bring your handsome face to my meeting.”

“Okay.”

She left.

I exhaled.

The special education teachers have been torturing me for three years.

Now, they are trying to make-up with me.

It feels like rattlesnakes that want to cuddle,

but I keep doing my job,

just the same.

I read somewhere, that women can’t respect you, if you don’t have competence or ambition.

My ambition, is more subtle.

My competence, is understanding people.

I can’t put an airplane together, or save a human life.

All I do, is think about strange philosophies, and wonder why

I wound-up working

in public education.

The Art of Invisibility

The Dean caught me in the hallway.

He’s bald and has one leg—

a hell of a nice guy.

“How are you doing today?” He asked.

“Good,” I said. “I got a good night’s sleep.”

“Oh—that makes a difference,” he smiled.

“And fresh air—I play 9 holes after work.”

That made him jealous. “I get to spend time in the fresh air during lunches,” he said. “It’s better than being couped-up in an office all day.”

“Hey—that happens to me,” I admitted.

He smirked.

“Have a nice day.”

“Same to you.”

I made copies. Then the school counselor walked by.

“How are you doing?” She asked.

“Good,” I said.

This is coming from the woman who screamed at me last week.

“I’m just doing ridiculous tasks.”

“Ridiculous tasks?” She asked.

“I could use other words.”

She laughed.

I observed one of the history teachers sitting down with the principal. He was nodding, and hanging onto every word of instructional advice.

I thought about that,

and then went back to my office,

sat in silence,

and smiled.

They don’t know how freeing it is,

to go unnoticed.

My Prison Haircut

My haircut used to be 12 dollars

Now—it’s 25.

I’ve been going there, since I was 16.

Now—I’m 35.

They speak in Vietnamese.

“Would you like haircut?”

“Yes.”

“How do you want it?”

“Number 3 on the sides, and a trim.”

“How much off the top?”

“I don’t know.”

They pinch my hair and show me.

“Yes, that’s right.”

Most of the time,

I can’t understand their English.

Yesterday, I went inside

and nobody was there,

except a strange man

I’d never seen before.

“Would you like haircut?”

“Yes,” I told him.

“How do you want it?”

“Number 3 on the sides, and a trim off the top.”

He had a swastika tattoo on his finger—blue, like prison ink.

He cut my hair in silence.

I didn’t dare move.

My thoughts were running wild, like horses—

he probably styled hair in prison. His scissors were snipping.

“Did you watch the game?” He asked.

“No,” I said.

“What did you do this morning?”

“A bit of reading.”

“And writing?”

“Yes—that too.” I wondered how he knew.

Do I look like a writer? I thought.

I do it every day, so perhaps I look that way.

“What do you write?” He asked.

“I have a private detective I’m working on.”

“Do you think it’ll get published?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been rejected thousands of times.”

He looked at me funny. “Do you use psychics in your stories?”

“Side-kick or Psychic?” I asked.

“Psychic—you know the one who touches a person, and can see their future?”

“Oh. Psychic. Well, I think I used one in a story once, but I can’t remember.”

He was holding my head in his hands.

“You must have psychic ability,” he told me.

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“You know, I worked in a prison, don’t you?”

“No.”

I could tell he didn’t believe me.

He finished my haircut, and I gave him a tip.

I was thankful

he didn’t jam his scissors into my eyeball.

Swallowing the God Pill

I talked to some young men in bible study, yesterday

and they don’t believe in the power of God, today.

It’s like God used up all His energy,

making creation—

throwing a fireball down from heaven

and now, He rests, on His couch

and lets the devil run free,

tormenting lost souls.

Even I,

have my doubts…

but unlike most sceptics

I am searching

for that kind of power.

The world doesn’t seem quite real

to me.

Many inventions and medicines

are arbitrary.

We accept what we are told, but we don’t know how it works.

If you dig deep enough,

you start to find inconsistencies.

Most spiritual searchers are lazy

because they have given up.

God is a pill they swallow to feel Good

like morphine, that puts them under the sheets,

so they don’t have to be afraid of the dark.

Spirituality is about being Satisfied,

but too often, gurus lament their failure

and cling to what’s invisible.

Power and the Present and People

are real

and the ladders we choose to climb, or don’t.

If you can’t get up the ladder,

you may be tempted to sit on the ground and meditate,

but it’s unlikely you will reach God.

The same is true, for the towers we build

to heaven.

They go up high, but God is distant from our striving.

Frustration

is for

a prophet who believes in his own power

and his words

don’t make the mountains move.

“Open Sesame!”

His faith, is worthless

but he tries again

and again

because something inside him

needs to believe.