NAUSEA

I felt dizzy today. I never get dizzy, I get nauseous, quite often, in fact. It comes from a place beyond my body, I won’t say my spirit but in that vicinity, and it travels inward and out at the same time. It tells me I might not be living, that part of me, a large part of me, is dead. And I walk around as this semi-corpse as if nothing is wrong and I say all the appropriate things and do all the necessary things even as I feel the need to vomit out disgust, (not despair) closer to rarefied revulsion, on my fellow passengers in our postcard voyage toward doomsday. And then I say why bother, it would just be a waste of fluids. Then I might eat a peach or tickle myself, or get to bed and steel myself against the impending darkness. I don’t have actual nightmares, but instead the dullest dreams imaginable that make me believe hell must be elongated boredom, an eternity of waste, a state of  neither pain nor pleasure nor feelings, and I must in the dream scream to get me out of this place. Of course, nobody hears me, mainly because everyone else is screaming the same thing, all silently in an orchestra of futility. The bars in my dreams are made of paper, yet I can’t leave, for some reason, I cannot relieve my sickness, my nausea. It is as if I were born to it, and I must survive. And always coiled in an anger that I do not discharge. I should have been…I think…I always thought I should have been a killer, maybe for profit, a gangster. a hitman that everyone admired for his smooth delivery. I imagine there must be a sweet cessation of pain at the point of murder for the giver as well as the getter and I could have taken either side enthusiastically. Kill or be killed. I would be comfortable in. Alas, it is too late for that! I am too old to whack anyone. And what follows in this confession? (It is bad form, after all, to inform that one hides a killer’s heart.) Let me add that I could blow away the human race in one breath if incited. I am a human atomic bomb. I should not be trusted with the Nuclear Code. As for this prevailing spiritual desolation, it is apt to inquire into a remedy, no? Is there one? People live with incurable illness all the time and do not resort to violence. It is perhaps a test of machismo that makes me think I can do the same. All manner of disturbance can be regulated to the degree that it is bearable. Most of us inhabit a frontier space between sickness and health. anyway. I might just be entertaining a mild cold as far as spiritual sickness is concerned. I might just get over it, in some future life, perhaps. Suck it up. As they admonish in the military. Am I that weak that I can’t take a spell of spiritual desolation?  Do I have the right to whine as a civilian? Yes, the questions, yes, the recriminations that go on, that never end, that latch onto each other like train cars, with no answers, no solutions, no sense. Until I realize the absurdity, that nothing is answerable, that our lives are made up of only question marks, not even periods, other than death, and the realization makes me laugh and laugh and laugh, and I am still laughing when I have my fatal heart attack.

CHARLIE ROSE INTERVIEWS JULIAN SCHNABEL AND DAVID BOWIE

https://charlierose.com/videos/12092

A man appears at a round table. He is long and wears a jacket tie and shirt. The collar is not the same color as the rest of his shirt, which makes him seem somewhat special. His face reminds one of a horse. He could be a supreme recluse. Another man sits facing him with a bushy head and beard. He is wearing a white shirt open at the neck, revealing a profusion of chest hair. It seems like there is a sad beginning between the two men. It could be dead time because neither of them shows emotion on their face. The man with the bushy chest says that he lives in a pink stable in Manhattan. He tells the other man that he is a painter and filmmaker and just finished a movie about a dead painter. They engage eye to eye seriously. A lot of information seems to pass between them. Their mouths move all the time. Who knows if they like each other or love each other. They don’t seem to be of the same tribe. Next a pop tart appears on the scene. He has hair the color of a carot that sticks up straight as if he is angry. He is very thin and would make a woman worry about him. He smokes a cigarette , but we never know where the ashes are going to land. Nobody seems to worry about it. Everybody takes on happy faces now and chatter abounds. Some important things are said by the thin man, which makes the burly fellow want to fight him. We wonder if burly man will sit on carrot boy and squash him. We don’t want him to because that would stop their conversation, and everybody would become unhappy. It doesn’t happen. Phew! I don’t know if I like these humans or I don’t. Does that make me bad, I wonder.  Will I have to go away and pray. It is not as if I should be called bad. They appeared like a vision on my screen and I looked. Will my eyes be taken from me? Everything went black at the end and disappeared.  I was left shaking my head.

https://charlierose.com/videos/12092

LATE SUMMER

The feeling of drowning in morning light, cloud power and the dreamy skull, the promise of the blues gone forever. In the blonde blondness of the day, the caramel coated summer passing in a slow motion mirror, the trees cheerful as they sink into a yawn. It is a famous present, whispering seasonal traffic, the angle of a sun-splashed brick wall. A cityscape delirium. I exit my closet, blink orange, and I’m there, Sunday Morning by Lou Reed, and I don’t know what to bring to this last gasp of summer. It is a little like being invited to a beheading. How long will it take, will there be neck tightness, bleeding colours? I don’t know. Nobody knows when it comes to transitions, nobody’s an expert. And I don’t want to know. I prefer my windowpanes vague. I hope we can cut to the chase with a sharp blade, avoiding the tangled up telephones, the exhausting positions, the gum ache. I might be doing something wrong. I wish it were not so.

A WINTER MIND

In frozen light there is nowhere to go. You have stopped and everything around you is static and distant. In this glacial landscape, you have been severed from all rivers of possibility,  from blood communion with the living, from breath itself, and there is the overriding sense that it has always been this way and probably always will be. It may be that you are already dead and that you possess only the critical awareness to monitor your state. You obviously cannot change anything about it. Your body still functions as always: you eat, sleep, defecate.  You speak, listen, and move from place to place, or rather you watch yourself doing these actions as if you were watching an actor on a screen , that the agent is someone else, someone you  hardly recognize. You feel nothing, except for the occasional stab of disgust, which is not even unpleasant because it fortifies you against any emotions. If there is desire, it is for oblivion. If there is a will, it is untouchable. There is nothing out there that beckons . And there is no inside. What becomes of a surviving corpse, you may wonder. This will one day be determined.

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UNEMPLOYMENT

Powder sky framing softly exploding bursts of whiteness and the cinnamon brickwork and the murmuring, grumbling city machinery and the empty stomachs and heart that cannot be sated and pains that have become housebroken and the boredom factor at high- grade fuel and the ever-present hunger for work, the peace that work may bring.      

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STAIN

You were so colorless before the event, so perfect that you passed through our field of vision unnoticed. You would always be there, though left unappreciated for the many functions and movements you performed in the world. Then the fire, then the blemish as an aftermath that put you on the map. You are now marked, dignified in your ugliness. You have acquired history, a sense of having lived and suffered, which we will exploit as an added feather in our cap.

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SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

The package wears a bow-tie. He smiles at the clock. He can’t go anywhere or do anything because packages don’t move on their own and there is nothing that moves him. Being self-aware, He observes himself as weight. Gravity is the rule that owns him. Repetition is the game that plays him in a slow, evenly paced drip that marks time. More accurately, it is the clock that changes position, and the smile indicates nothing because it has been pasted on, it signifies no particular emotion. It remains perhaps because it relaxes his face and has become a habit and habit is what keeps him. He notices his chest, a block heaving, and sometimes gets lost in its momentum. In moments like this he goes away and then returns . He returns to the same place, to his body, to the repetition, to the arena of pain. Everything is old, solid, unchanged. He listens to his body, to the noises that wash over it in a functional , predictable sequence- the passages, the objections, the causes and effects, the tedium. He tries to listen for something different and then concludes that it has all been done just the same as it always has, in eternal, concentric stasis . He remembers, he still can remember, the sun, the moon, their dance in light and darkness. The clock moves once again and the past spins out as well with all the unreality of soap bubbles. It could be another mind that invented it. The mind means nothing, can’t be trusted to produce anything reliable. He is his body: Limited. Immobile. Circumscribed, as if spirit has been extricated leaving a corpse that is watching itself. A stone watching a stone, watching the clock move over frozen time.

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