Now, I Write About People.

The story I am about to tell you

is only a story, but like any creative fiction, there is truth, mixed with lies.

I was a stranger to myself

So, I went to my adviser for help

“What do you want to do?” He asked.

“I don’t know.”

“What are you good at?”

“I can write.”

“What are you interested in?”

“People.”

“There you have it. Write about people.”

But when I tried, it wasn’t easy.

I thought about doing what he was doing.

I could get a cozy office in the education building

and ask students three questions

but when I visited, the second time

he jumped

splattering on the sidewalk

A suicide?

I told a professor

and when we got back

the body was missing

only a crucifix remained

I followed his advice, like gospel

wearing the sacred cross

while writing about people

and I stay away

from third floor windows

Two teachers told me, my advisor wasn’t real

I had discovered

and murdered

the stranger

inside

me.

Don’t let female psychologists inside your head!

Don wore leather jackets, and drove Mustangs

there were five hairs growing out of his bald head

When I got hired, he was the only male psychologist

then he retired.

I phoned Lorraine… “Central Services…”

“Hi Lorraine—I need protocols.”

“You are just like Don,” she said.

My first year, I was ambitious

My second year, I wanted to rule the roost

My third year, I was hen-pecked

My fourth year…

“You are just like Don,” the lead psychologist said.

Female psychologists can get inside your head

I got the feeling, I was male

and not much else

the lead psychologist was always helping me

while gathering information

to use against me

“Andy has a question…”

“You don’t know that?”

A man might say, “Not okay.”

But in the world of women, everything is indirect

When I was applying for an administrative job

the PhD psychologist said, “Oh—you should apply for the data analyst position—you would be perfect for that!”

I looked it up

15 dollars an hour—clerical

a slap in my face

Don talked about boats, all day

Now I know why

he was trying to stay afloat

after he pulled-out

his hair.

My Philosophy for Surviving a Government Job

You must know your business, to have a business

a job, is something else, entirely

Someone told me…

“You must do your job well, otherwise, you can’t be a believer.”   

I am willing to endure the flames now

there are no arbiters of truth

I answer, only, to God.

I am not an employee

my time belongs to me

After years of developing a philosophy

my Zen-mind-trick has me doing what I want to do

HR calls me, “Where are you?”

“Spending my time.”

Employees don’t know how to enjoy themselves

time-off, is a break from the job

Genius, might be the willingness to break the law

Nobody can give me power, but me

I don’t ask for it

I don’t acknowledge it

I have it

If you can’t become your own master, become an employee

“We all know about you,” HR said at my job interview

they thought they had evidence, against me

“You have been called-in for a disciplinary hearing.”

“And a job interview?” I asked.

“Sure—your attitude is all wrong.”

“Okay.”

“Don’t you care?”

“Of course.”

But the fear wasn’t there, and that’s what they wanted to see

You can drive people crazy, by not going crazy

And I got the job, with a checkmark on my record

I wear it with pride, now

like a general going to work

Most employees are tortured by what they are told

tell yourself something different—

a philosophy

and you can become better

than free.

I was 12, She was 17.

She slipped into her satin swimsuit

with spaghetti straps, so thin

they laced over her shoulders, tugging

on her smooth brown skin

She sat on the diving board, soaking in the sun

her chest, a gorgeous, soft mystery

inside her wet wonderland

her red bikini, showing off, her navel

an innie, I wanted to explore

She was 17, I was 12

I have never wanted a woman that bad

She had

curly blonde hair

two inches past her shoulders

an amber hair-clip

holding love, above her head

her whole body, tugging, on knots and bows

threatening to violate

a pre-teen boy

to be older

to hold her

to hear her laugh,

melodious, and cruel

her legs flowing, into the pool

her black sunglasses, cool

her crimson lipstick, wanting to be kissed

butterfly frills, dancing, on her bottom

as she walked, like a cat

unafraid of water

a woman of youth

a goddess

to worship

to have her at 12

is an old man’s dream

to be with several women

is to never know her

her blue eyes, bluer than the sky

her nails, painted by the pool

I never spoke to her

I had pimples

Years later, she married a man with an MBA

I watched him shaving, one day

when I was 16

tall, good-looking, and casual, in the mirror

admiring his appearance

He could not appreciate her, not like me

“Honey, breakfast is in two hours,” he said.

“I’ll be there,” she sang

It hurts me still, to want her

I cannot have her

only when I was 12, and she was 17

pain is better, than no pain at all

A boy must commit, a crime of passion, to know her

My hat goes off to him

it takes balls

then, she will never forget

she never knew me.

Love is Worth His Life

He holds his power inside

he wants to build it

enjoying, the many expressions of it

He does not trade his energy

in pursuit of wealth

an expression of his genius

not a static state

a priority, the way it used to be

for many men, who became masters.

He does not look to others

the way God looks at the world

He only paints

there is something perfect, in perfection

despairing, in the corporate drone

by not needing it, he will get it

the gates of heaven will open up

the lazy one will prosper, because he didn’t try

he only did what he loved,

not by quotas, or schedules

but by love

it’s impossible to keep a man from it

until he stops loving it

It must die, in him

and if it won’t die

it grows contagious

like a virus, everybody wants to get

born inside

seldom given

and less often, received

When he finds it

He won’t trade it

Love is worth his life.

Chapter 2 Gregson Infiltrates a Sex-Cult

Gregson felt hammering on his forehead, and an inability to think. His symptoms might’ve been demons knocking, but it was the Hot Tamales he ate last night. In the Middle Ages, he would’ve consulted a priest. His reaction was so bad, he wanted to die. Now, Gregson knew he had to eat healthy, which put his fat in jeopardy. Losing weight, made him fear, he might lose the best part of himself. His doctor would be happy though—and his mother too—he might out-live them both. That’s why Gregson had to test his life, like a thousand-pound test, to catch the criminals in the dark water.

He dressed for travel—putting-on his trench coat and galoshes, reaching for his wide-brimmed hat. Gregson glanced at his apartment. It was clean. Over the holidays, he had organized, while watching murder mysteries on TV. It was cozy now, with books arranged on his shelves. A personal library is different than a public one. A city library isn’t read—only checked-out. A private library holds sacred knowledge. A guest can look at the shelves and tell who lives there. That’s why, great thoughts are hidden, like secret light, locked away, in a forbidden study.

It was raining.

Gregson didn’t really want to talk to the President. Presidents are always acting presidential, like school principals… After talking to them, it feels like getting raped by a used car salesman, who tries to sell you on how good they are, but for some reason, you are sore, afterwards.

Gregson got onto a plane to D.C. The stewardess gave him 3 whiskeys because he begged. He was not going to visit the president, sober. The thought that an 80-year-old man could end the world with a push of a button…

Gregson got to the White House and sat in the red waiting room.

“He’s in the hot tub with two girls from Vegas,” a woman said.

“Are you the President’s secretary?” Gregson asked.

“I’m the president’s secretary’s secretary.” She looked plain, like a copy of a copy of a copy, in her black pants, and ironed top.

“Well, I need authorization.”

“Who made the request?” She asked.

“Murphy. I don’t know his rank or title.”

“Oh—we’ve been expecting you. Make your mark, and I’ll stamp it.”

Gregson did. With all the initials on the page, he wondered what else was going on in the world.

“That should do it,” she said.

Gregson felt like a checkmark. It’s the feeling one gets from working in a bureaucracy. At any moment, you can be erased.

Gregson collected his package, and promptly left for the airport. It didn’t make any sense, for everybody in the world to know where the president lived. Each president must have a body double who pretends to be the president. He’s the guy soaking in the hot tub with the prostitutes, and playing golf on the best courses. The real president gets into wars, gets his teeth cleaned (on a good day), and screws-up the economy. All the kids in elementary school want to be that guy. Gregson never understood it. Sure—your assassination risk is higher, if you’re the body double, but each day, you get to pretend to be the most powerful person in the world—without any responsibility.

Gregson checked his flight plan. It was South America—an island he couldn’t pronounce. It looked like a tourist trap, colonized by the French. The French put their name in front of everything, because they are egotistical assholes—French Fries, French Dressing, French Kissing—nobody complains. Without the French, there would be no one to make fun of.

Gregson listened to Chopin on the airplane. Each composition—a dream. Chopin was so shy, he performed in the dark. Gregson admired that—cowardice becomes courage, when it finds a way.

When he landed, it was hot. There was a man holding his name by a black limousine.

“Gregson? Me—no English. Me—drive you.”

The PI nodded, and got in. His driver was about four feet tall—barely able to see over the dash. When they got to the dock, there was a charter fisherman, waiting.

“So, you’re the fool, stupid enough to visit this island?” The man said. He reminded Gregson of Hemingway, but more macho.

“I’m Gregson.”

“Stephon.” They shook hands. “The island is by invitation only. Let me see it.”

Gregson pulled his papers from the manilla envelope.

“Okay—I’ll drop you off, but you’ll have to walk into shore.”

Stephon didn’t talk very much. He seemed nervous, so Gregson didn’t pry. You just never know about people—ever since the advent of the postal service. We are all trying to survive. Before there was mail, we had to fend-off wolves. Now, it’s boredom. You pray, the guy working next to you, has a reason to live—a wife, a family, or at least a hobby. That’s why people at the office ask, “What did you do over the weekend?” They are terrified of someone who can’t answer that question.

Stephon, looked at the horizon. “There it is…” he said. It was the source of his anxiety. “Take a life vest. I’m going to let you swim for it.”

Gregson didn’t complain.

“Don’t worry—the water is warm, and I haven’t seen a shark in two weeks.”

Gregson jumped, and swam for the beach. There was something moving on it. When he surfaced, he saw what it was—several naked women.

The blonde was wearing sunglass. The red-head was wearing sunscreen. There was a black-haired goddess with green eyes, wearing nothing. She saw Gregson, and puffed-out her chest.

“Did Stephon drop you off?” The red-head asked.

“Yes.”

“He doesn’t come around here anymore. We think he’s shy. What’s your name?”

“Gregson—and I’m not shy.”

Your Character is a Castle—Defend it with Your Life!

We build our character

brick

by

brick

like an invisible wall

that must be defended

not from enemies, outside

but from enemies, within

Character, decays, like bad teeth—

we rarely smell it,

until we put our masks on

We protect others, while suffocating ourselves

Why worry about character?

It’s invisible to those without it

Our heart is more than an organ

it’s the small decisions we make in the dark

that become our truth

There is a fear,

of being just as invisible as our character

The thought is…

no one will remember

me

isn’t working on my character, a certain kind of futility?

but there is the call to do what is right

and not to be fooled

by clever liars

a man cannot lead, when he does not know who he is

confusion, is to believe, there is no truth

and a religious war without reason, is a conviction, without knowing why

there is evil in this world

and your character is a castle

defend it

with your life!

A Neediness We All Need

I’m losing my soul.

It’s not enough, to make it.

You might say, “What would you need to make?”

I create my own life

It’s difficult to want, the high hanging fruit

if you don’t have a way to get it.

My competence is in decline…

the dream, is only a dream

With desperation, I control, only what I can see

me

My neediness is always in the background

until I want the fruit—

so far, out of reach

and then I rear up,

and give up

because neediness, needs.

I was not feeling well, by myself

And a helpful family-member told me, “You need to feel well, before you can spend time with others.”

So, I got to where I was feeling good—and then I didn’t need to.

The things that this life can offer

I don’t want

I am content to be dead

Is this what they were talking about?

The trappings of life, are bait, for traps

the pleasure wheel,

takes us

where we don’t want to go

All I want

is to be needed

it’s a neediness

we all need.

Chapter 1 Gregson Breaks His Diet

Gregson cracked his eyes. The morning had finally come. He checked his clock above the stove. It ran two hours fast— it was 8:07.

“Okay, that’s close enough to 6. If I lie here and drink coffee in the dark, I can expel the poison I ate last night, without too much pain.”

Gregson was doing well on his diet; it had lasted almost two weeks—13 days to be exact. They say 13 is an unlucky number, but Gregson didn’t mind being unlucky—it was a lack of luck, entirely—that got to him—like there were no spiritual forces that wished him well or wished him evil.

The doctor called it self-sabotage. Gregson called it self-love. He pulled a piece of pizza from the box, and ate it in bed.

The phone rang, and clanged.

“Who would be calling me?” Gregson asked the dark. It took him a moment to formulate his words. “Hello.”

“This is your buddy Murphy.”

“Buddy—you know how early it is?”

“Have you been eating pizza, again, Gregson?”

“Is that why you called me? To check-up on my diet?”

“Don’t get grumpy, Gregson. I have a strange case to throw your way. In fact, it has me a bit scared. What do you know about the occult?”

“Oh—that’s just a few insecure men who like to play dress-up.”

“I’m not so sure Gregson. I’ve been undercover for three weeks on this island, and the atmosphere keeps getting stranger.”

“What does intelligence have to do with the occult?”

“Occult, means hidden—and it has a long history with espionage. Aleister Crowley, L. Ron Hubbard, Jack Parsons—they all had a connection to dark forces that shaped history. I can’t tell you everything, until you are sworn in by the President of the United States.”

“Can’t somebody else, do it? I’m enjoying reruns of Poirot.”

“Sorry, my friend, but this case needs a human touch. We need somebody who can mingle with the locals. These agent-types have spent too much time in their cubicles—they’re rigid. You have resisted all of that. You smoke cigars at midnight, and enjoy violating society. We need you, Gregson. You’re the only one who can blend in, and discover the secrets of this secret society.”

“Let me guess—the fate of the world is in jeopardy, again?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t know, Murphy. I’m starting to think it would be better if the whole thing ended.”

“Okay—I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be telling you this, but this island…”

“Yeah?” Gregson asked a little bit more interested.

“Is a sex-cult,” Murphy said. He let out his breath.

Gregson did a sharp intake of air, like a drug. “And you want me to infiltrate it?”

The Death of Thought

In the deepest darkest night, deeper than death

because the dead, don’t have human cares, I write a story to myself

the plot, plods along

the story, takes twists and turns

I enjoy this time—not just to tell a story

but because, I love, spending time, in my own mind

when I can soak in it, like a hot tub, of words

the only light in my warm room, is the bright computer light

it’s a womb

Being born into this real story of bad ideas

that batter and bludgeon

my sacred space

is not my choice

it’s the rain,

that I walk-in

it’s the rainbow

that offers hope

it’s the beautiful stormy sky

that threatens to strike me dead

We are ready to exit this life,

but we don’t know what to do with it.

If someone tells us what to do,

we wonder if it’s true.

Thinking, is the great divide,

from the voices that won’t allow us to hear our own minds

Thinking, is dangerous

because of our dark universe

People like People who are like them

People like People who like them

I don’t like People

and they don’t like me

we think differently

Thoughts show up on my face

I like people who smile at me, like they really like me.

My favorite aunt died today. She died in her sleep at 90.

The worst part about this world is that it’s impersonal.

People aren’t hurt by physical pain,

but by being treated, like they aren’t people.

The impersonal nature of nature,

that doesn’t care, is worse than death.

I enjoy thinking… I can do it anywhere.

There are no prisons. There is no death; only the death of thought.