Cessation vs. Sensation

1/30/2011, 12:42 PM

Well, a return to Maine has occurred, along with compounded confusion. Twelve days in an unforgivably pleasant climate does things like change minds. There will, most assuredly, be more on that in future postings, but this time (i.e., now) requires a gesture of solidarity toward an old friend now suffering the throes of the
Mediocre Life of the Non-Smoker. I'll offer some pretext first:

Even though I "quit" on the 25th of May, 2004, I remain a staunch advocate of cigarette smoking, and my reasons for quitting were fairly obvious--with my MS, smoking a cigarette would cause instant paresis on the entire left side of my body. Yeah. Expletive.

While all sorts of impossible people will go on ad nauseum about conditions like cancer and emphysema, younger people tend not to give a care about such distant consequences. And I could never blame them--smoking is fantastic. However, the alarming proximity of my particular consequence did much to extract the carefree, yet intensely intentional, joy from smoking that I had always treasured. I had attempted quitting on many prior occasions, but this time really stuck, although I sometimes do indulge socially. My sons have never seen me smoke, and I prefer it that way.

This is a poem that I wrote in 2002, during one of my first bouts with quitting.

nicotine and my mind

i’m changing my relationship to boredom–
you’d think that we were sweethearts
if you weren’t always right

something something something
words like the big forever problem
to which i’ve possibly damn-fool sentenced myself
are problems

so let’s see i can get on with it or not
are those my only options?

day one
and another
day one and
another day one and another falling like dumb damn dominoes
they should give it some better or at least more-accurate names
like day in which you sweat all of the time despite temperature or
day on which you alienate all of your friends without even trying

and ouch are those things pricey
i mean, worth it
or, rather, deadly
and mysteriously beautiful sputum ingenious cancer phlegmatic wonder
i love to stink but not necessarily to smell and that’s just plain wrong or
i mean i love to smell just not with the
nose that i had when i was born but
i mean that everything that i say is
not true i love it i love it i’ll always
always love it
taking me somewhere while
killing my friends and
funding fascists and
looking at me loving it &
bemoaning its coincidences
cussing and kicking everybody
knows i’m deteriorating anyway
but i am standing standing strong
looking and acting like i actually know better
sopping with the snot of my suppression

breathe and pretend and
remember that it hurts


New Age against the Machine

1/27/2011, 1:36 PM

I've chosen to stop cusping. It's been ages that something of outrageous substance and/or significance has been "just around the corner," like anybody ever specified which corner, and imminence bothers me, and the things that have done have only been muted by comparison to how they feel in the intractably amorphous alchemy whence they originate. Where have the wires frayed? Is there merely a shyness of signal? I have innumerable carcasses that were never bodies of any kind, and it's a good idea to stop gathering (dust? acorns? senses?).

So, I'm forcing my own hand, and love not knowing what that means or if that means anything. Where do I begin? I was gonna, and have attempted to, write about how dog breeders should be prosecuted (which is true--they're a bunch of profiteering pervs).

Or about how a way to reduce unemployment while solving a myriad of infrastructural crises au courant would be to build an extensive and thorough cross-country network of underground trains, all with subway stops that are each denoted by a Subway™ shop (they already have signage, restrooms, and cash registers). 

Also, I was gonna write about my ages-old wannabe contributions to the Lexicon of Millennial Youth, now that they're older and their innards are rotting just like everybody else's always have (the term chilling like pie filling is the only reasonable antidote to the hopeless moronity of of chillin' like a villain and/or the obscenely insipid chillin' like Bob Dylan). But I won't get into any of that.

Instead, I'm going to celebrate my wife's birthday. She's absolutely marvelous.


Haven't You Heard?

1/7/2011, 7:59 AM

Friday morning. Epiphanies are so yesterday.

Were I at the helm of a class, I would use my fescue apparatus on a wall-mounted calendar to signify that "Here  [THWACK!] is where we commence the vertiginous slide into sub-Arctic delirium." 

The storm windows are covered with frost; this saddens me, as I've got a 9:00 meeting, and it's outside of the house. I will adopt an apocryphal optimism that will sustain me for at least the first 5 outdoor steps that I take.

In any case, I've chosen to post a poem here. It's old, but we're all aging irreversibly. At least winter ends, although it won't leave until you're absolutely certain that it's your fate to suffer eternally beneath its frigid thumb. And it's short.

Oh, shit--it's trash day. I gotta go. But first, the poem. It's called "Haven't You Heard":

Haven't You Heard

My memoirs are three sentences long. 
At least they're not two.
At least they're not four.


The Future Was Then

1/4/2011, 9:47 PM

Yikes. Sorry for my protracted and unexcused absence (inferring that it was notable, which is a mite presumptuous), but all of my fingers have been, and are currently, crossed about the possibility of having work. This makes a dreadful mess of typing; I am quite sure that you understand.

Welcome to 2011! This, my first post of this year, should tell you all that we are officially now living in a time to which I'd devoted no advance thought, at all. I mean, it was fun to speculate about the future when it was still the future, but my vision of life essentially ended around 2010not because of death or anything, but because it became hazy and/or I grew sick of thinking about it. 

As a youngster, the future bored me in ways that I could never explain, despite that I knew a lot about explanations and how to make them. As I've seen it (and I love being wrongheaded), one of the more frustrating qualities intrinsic to having been born fairly recently (I was born in 1978) is that my personal experience is, to some degree at least, inextricable from zeitgeist and cultural memory that wields roughshod authority to trump the subjective textures of my experience.  (Like, "Hey—that's not what this horrid slab of Hollywood tripe says you were doing.") 

Romanticizing in retrospect is easier than Sunday morning to do, because borne of the aforementioned trumping is a failure to recognize that the evolution of situational dynamics since that point for which you're pining has irrevocably altered the context of your saudade. When I was 16, I went to a show by the Dog Faced Hermans. They were, at the time, one of my very favorite groups, and I knew that they would be disbanding after their tour. Their show was mesmerizing, I say now, and I suppose that my feelings were largely consistent with that at the time, but I had this gigantor canker sore in my mouth that hurt like absolute heck. Subjectivity.

As I stood there, I made it a point to always remember that sore, because I suspected that the outcome of something so trivial (yet pivotal) would bear some amount of retrospective influence. (One of the openers, Helios Creed [formerly of Chrome], will probably remember that show as the one during which an audience member fell asleep on the lip of the stage. [If you ever read this blog, Mr. CreedI'm sorry. I have Narcolepsy, but nobody would've guessed it at the time.]) 

And perhaps it's always been that way/this way with memory and its inordinate elasticity, but when people begin (as they have) to self-identify by way of the media that they consume (or the things that they acquire), we're in for some lame-arsed vicarious nonsense in which very little is decipherable between people. The interval between an event and its imprint dwindles to the point at which we shit as we swallow. 

It seems that 2011 begins and ends more or less instantly, in accordance with news cycles and natural disasters that dare the collective disunion that is humanity to live at its pace. I'm too lumpy to consider trying, but I feel really good about that. So there, future—you'll have to make your way to my present.