Sketch money

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Money and I have an odd relationship. I never want to have to deal with it, but I’m always left needing more. I’ve never been great at handling my own money, and I’m always ever-so-willing to offer my art for free.

So something must be done. I’d be perfectly happy living the life of the impoverished artist if it wasn’t for the fact that living a comfortable life is a part of my happiness. It seems that, in my situation, the only way to not be concerned about money would be to have quite a lot of it.

But I could never see at as a virtuous thing just to have money. It is not an end-in-itself, not an ultimate goal. I do not look at people in a life of luxury and think “I wish I had that” and “I’m going to work as very-hard as I can to have that thing. Having things is boring. Every time I have a thing it immediately loses its luster. I am not into things, but I am into events.

Having events, or creating them, is costly. Sharing a dinner with a loved one, flying or driving long distances to see friends, even visiting the family, it all claws at the pockets. And maybe it’s my own fault. Maybe it’s fate, or bad luck, or some mechanic of the universe wrenching at my life thinking “once this thing is fixed, it’ll run like a dream.”

It doesn’t really matter. I have, on the whole, exactly what I want. Family, friends, positive and healthy relationships. I am, to be blunt, alive. Most of the time I don’t ask for much more than that. It is, after all, more than most of the human beings that have ever lived have. It keeps me happy.

But then there’s the crossroads, laying down in the middle of the clock with a gargantuan X. “What are you doing with your time.” Or, even more poignantly, “what have you changed in the world.” I want to change the world. Not in some grand, sweeping way. I’m not an open-to-the-public narcissist. I don’t even believe one person can change the world in any significant way (without support of the community).

A ripple. First an idea, it won’t go away. Then an action, with honesty, empathy, and virtue. Executed with humility. A butterfly effect of happiness. Smile at one person on the street, or two. Then they might smile at the bank teller, or say thank you in the perfect time of day to a worn-out cashier. Happiness is exponential.

But to be in the world costs money. Existential amounts of money.

I’ve had friends that have forgotten my name because I didn’t have enough gas to hang out any more. I’ve missed opportunities to experience and share art because I was trying to pull overtime and pay my utility bill.

It’s not a crisis. It’s just how it all starts catching up. Each bill falling one more piece of sand in the hourglass. I’m tired of deserts. I want rain. Not for greed. Not because I’m lazy. I’m just thirsty, I’ve been dancing as long as I can because in that dizzy moment I can sense something on the border of of perfection.

I’ll work hard for it. I’ll give you all I have. I know, in the end, all debts will be paid.

Here’s to life, and in it, freedom. May your Work and Fortune guide you through it.

Top 11 Reasons to Burn a Book

1. You’re stranded in the middle of the woods, freezing in the snow, with a collection of Jack London’s short stories, and you have no dog.

2. Stephen King signed your copy of Firestarter with a gasoline pen.

3. You confused your copy of Illuminatus Trilogy with a 16th century witch who kept screaming, in the devil’s tongue, Fnord! (another version of 3 might have involved the phrase “auto de fe-fnord”)

4. You believed the collected psychological studies of Wilhelm Reich to be propaganda from the Nazi’s Third Reich (and you were the US government).

5. You were curious if The Order of the Phoenix would, indeed, rise from the ashes.

6. Your father requested to be buried with “Death of a Salesmen.” You couldn’t afford a proper burial.

7. You just finished a cliched, faux-dossier spy novel and chucked it into your pretentious neighbor’s study, hopefully landing it in a stack of Tom Clancy books. (hint: I think this joke self-destructed)

8. You discovered that your copy of Twilight IS allergic to the sun (and a magnifying glass supported by a steady hand!)

9. You ordered a Porno for Pyros CD from Amazon in lascivious haste and became disappointed when you discovered they were a crappy 90s band. In a fit of auto-erotic elation and cosmic irony, you tossed the burning disk onto your father’s old collection of “Penthouse” mags.

10. In an attempt to rival every book-burning fascist in history, you burn more than 10 million books on the Man at Burning Man. Much to your chagrin, it was 10 million copies of The Celestine Prophecy. There was much rejoicing, group sex, and, somewhere in the riotous celebration, a Nobel Peace Prize.

11. You finally memorized every word to Fahrenheit 451

Augoeides

You can’t step your toes into the rabbit hole. The wormhole chooses you, all or nothing. Enter the void and cross the veil, dive into it. It swallows you voraciously, you have no will, ego, consciousness left. The path of patterns break apart and you are left stranded. You must fall into it, merging into the mirror. All glimpses are illusion of material consciousness (shells breaking apart into linear time). Give it up (letgoletgo), surrender into the void. You will not recognize death until it swallows you. Mortality is your only gift, give it up. You need nothing. Living is bigger than you, space spirals into organic growth with root systems stretching their mathematical patterns beyond your realization. The master tunes into his will by bending reality into himself (bends himself to occupy being).

Glass trees, prismatic, nymphs dancing through shifting fractals, a network of coincidences collapsing into itself, in the grass blades, naked bodies moaning, convulsing, silent to the holographic worlds of the hermit stumbling drunkenly into the fool dancing to his hypnotic wisdom,the ignorance of innocence corrupted with discipline sinking into the cortex of my limbic system,channeling existence through the will of persistent imagination,cracking open patterns of automatic behavior and telepathic communication.

Another lazy day in the sun formulating the rotation of celestial bodies travelling through incessant determination. We are beautiful beings linked as the ego becomes aware of the preliminal systems, sharing an altered mindspace, intertwining ribcages of distorted, heart-racing empathy.

Can you see me with a broken antenna, spines bent in the storm, twist me until you receive the snowy signal? The feed is dim against the moonlight, your small chance to stare at the stars. The body warps until it feels itself floating in the transmission, can we find our way home on it, out of body and sinking into our own ways back. Your face shimmers into every person you’ve ever shown me. The storm bolts uprightin my bed, still trying to breathe underwater. What an insane fool I’ve been to believe myself for this long. I would apologize if it meant something. Sing to me and I’ll fall asleep, even if it means I’ll never see you again.

Travel through me like time,a desert landscape of moons rising over midnight wastelands,full of signs, correspondences, and hallucinations, coincidences and liquid interactions (alchemy, breathing the cancerous fumes of quicksilver and physics),

Out of gas and stranded, we still stumble into miracles in the kindness of strange people,head full of empty pockets of stories and a long road twisted into the future.

The siren song is finally deadly enough to listen to, lost on a ship, sailing into the fractured future. It unwinds time’s selfish clock. Waves of space wash into my face as we dance and we become an image of panoramic sunrise, virtually projecting itself onto the backs of our eyes like a hologram.

The green field tempts me, the light glimmering through the leaves onto supple, nubile bodies like an endless delusion, a prismatic charm of delight, hedonism, machinery. Enchanting lover, mesmerizing muse, serendipitous succubus, turn your whole inside out until i can sense you breaking free from the cage of your skin.

Your tongue burned a hole in my ribs the size of a key, your nimble fingers tumbling my chamber. Your mouth fills me with the sound of unlocking, bolt by bolt by bone I am opening. I am opening.

A drink in a sideshow carnival, a sex death wish, a list of inconsequential disasters. Fate emanates into kismet serendipity. Chaos answers to nothingness and order cracks open the flower of self to sink into nonsense. The pain is numbness and you can share with me, sedative, unconscious inconsistency, playing in the mirror against itself. The egg is a tomb of self-creation. We were born in death to live matter from the origin of motion.

I can feel my body casting shadows, the sun vibrating into my chest, shifting my heart into a cloudy web of laser beams. I am melting into the earth, curling up in her endless chambers, the cave of my mouth yawning into the sky, crumbling with dirt. My head is overflowing with birds diving into the blue green water of my hands, swimming into the waves. Space is expanding through me, stretching me, filling me with emptiness. Pour your kisses into me, tongue of light. Throw my shadows onto the ground, carry them into your bed until they sleep, burn them into gold, these elemental dreams.

In Response to SCOTUS Decision to Allow Prayer Before Town Hall Meetings: David Suhor Offers a Pagan Invocation

Concerned that a singular, sectarian, majority religion is over-represented in media and government, David Suhor responds to the Supreme Court’s¬†Town of Greece vs. Galloway decision allowing¬†prayer before legislative and town hall meetings. David Suhor, a Pensacola musician singer/songwriter, performed a Neopagan/Wiccan ceremony, the Evocation of the Watchtowers, to demonstrate the need that ALL or NONE religions must be represented in the political sphere.

Personally, I think he performed beautifully, and I’m happy to see marginalized religions brought to the forefront to get a little honest screentime. Even if this is a challenge to the decision, demonstrating the discomfort and alienation that atheists and people of varying religions might feel during a Christian invocation, it struck a chord with me. In its action, it is kind. At its face, defiant. In its heart, inclusive and beautiful.

I believe any public operation of government should avoid exclusivity. Of course, many people cite the slippery slope argument, concerned that they’ll have to let ANY nutjob up to offer whatever insane mumblings they might believe qualifies as prayer. Well, in my opinion, that’s exactly the point. Just because we’re used to a certain kind of “crazy” doesn’t make it better than any other kind of crazy.

But David doesn’t come off as crazy or confrontational. He is cordial in his introduction, offers a melodic invocation, thanks the participants, then dismisses himself. There is nothing disruptive about his actions, though they inherently challenge the norm. His performance is heartfelt, honest, and psychologically disruptive. My favorite kind of magic.

Well, it is what the Supreme Court decided. All religious views may have their airtime, and, as exhausting as that might sound, I’m looking forward to it. Maybe a “witchdoctor” will come in to offer Ayahuasca and sing Icaros. Perhaps a zany zealot of Odin will break into the courthouse and make it rain.

Until then, we’ll have to put our big “Religious Tolerance” pants on and move through the world with some sense of authenticity, the kind of character that can’t be disrupted by a simple prayer. You know, a structure of psyche that isn’t rattled by the “annoyance” of marginalized peoples receiving and creating representation for themselves and other minorities.

The public billboard is a busy place and needs to be big enough to hold all the signs, banners, sigils, and widgets of the people, because we have a lot to say. And somewhere in this din is a song. Perhaps one that will be auto-tuned.

So, thanks David Suhor, for the Evocation. Your Escambia County town hall prayer, in front of chairman Lumon May and the whole world, has been my favorite so far.

Decision on SCOTUSblog here: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/town-of-greece-v-galloway/

Article on NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/nyregion/supreme-court-allows-prayers-at-town-meetings.html?_r=0

Phineas Gage


If you need a crowbar to open your skull,
you probably weren’t yourself in the first place.
Sometimes it’s right to let a little light in. Your face
is a garden seeded with nail-flowers
and rosebush railroad spikes. The train
is pounding like a hammer with a mad god
dancing in the engine. There are roots in your palm
and an animal with a thousand changing faces
is eating from it slowly and staring up
at your new eye–its blasted visions
of dynamite–a metal taste in your mouth,
seafoam lips smooth as doll plastic,
the song of a revolver
screeching with needled records
grooved through your jaw, a purple smell
as you bend down to your knee, growing in place,
your head steeled with the blossom
of a blown-out dandelion, a new man.

New Year

How do you hold on to so much December?
The crystal clarity of your hands drip like ice
from the ghostly rooftop of your chest,
your face tilted to the globed flurry of street lights.
The frost is gathering in your tangled hair,
the crunch of time in your jaw
like boots on the virgin snow, our tracks
from house to car to mailbox, crisscrossing through
each other, the impression of teeth
left through the ground as the ice bites
on our sweet red lips, the still, calm dark
of the night lit with the saturated glow of cold and moon.

How do you let go when your fingers turn black
and numb, clutching at every memory
as the snow drifts into your eyes
like the stark white of a sterile hospital room?

Your arms wrap around me like the smooth glass
of a frozen lake. The sled of your smile
speeds across the corners of your mouth
like wild children, reckless with laughter.

The birds stand in the skeleton of trees,
take the circular flight of ribcages, refusing to migrate.
Like them, I am late for work, trying to carve
out the driveway, dig up the history
of a red 4 door sedan like an archeologist
with the delicate precision of a shovel,
etch out my survival, the proof of it
like a temple ruin in the Himalayan mountainside
waiting to melt.

Sometimes my memories feel like a recording
played in reverse, the guttural tongue of an unknown ritual,
a tone at the base of a spine like a skyscraper
anticipating a hurricane, groaning with sine waves.

But you’ve shown me how to wait for the warmth,
Every new day longer, spilling into spring,
But I need more. I’ve spent so many hours
piecing together layers of clockwork in my chest,
if only I could pile enough seconds in my hands
to lose one more night with you.

Even if death does not disappear,
we know that being reborn is only a matter of time.
Tomorrow is not just a new beginning
but another cycle in our life of chances
that our experiences together
has offered us the opportunity to take
until we are here, found in the endless now,
barebones, present, and being,
our voices rising through the television static
of the sky until our throats are, once again, full of spring.

So no, this is not the end of anything
or the beginning of another, but just the continuation
of us. The world is sleeping, but we are waking up,
the stove sparking with yellow flame,
hovering with breakfast.

You stumble from our bed, a clump of dirt
in your hands like a cup of coffee.
Your bare feet prickle as the heat
is sucked into the hardwood floor.
The earth is filled with seeds, new beginnings,
second chances, as you gaze past
the gray window, out into the morning,
your skin silky as hot marshmallows.

You bite into the dirt like a new apple,
and the sun’s magnetic poles flip upside down,
I can see stars unfold from within themselves
in front of your face, your stomach mapped
with the celestial patterns of heaven
like growing trees, an iris opened to the dawn,
like you have swallowed god,
strings of fire blowing back over your body
like a sunspot twisting itself into into flares, blue and gold.

the sun is here to watch, and to burn,
and eventually die, but before all that goes down,
I’m calling in to work drunk tomorrow,
and tonight, I’m holding you
even if you cough, the space between us
just a thin layer of twilight,
a knowing brush of eye contact and a smile,
the hour before anything could happen.