Deadwood Sermon

I cringe-watch this HBO show, Deadwood, no kidding I’ve probably fast forwarded through a third of the entire series.

But there is a really great moment when a character who is a drunken, racist horror-show finishes up a rant expressing his illogical judgment and condescension toward an entire group of people. And a man at the bar questions him for his own genetic history, making a suggestion his ‘nose looks a little broad’.

You’re not going to teach someone twenty years or older to start branching out beyond hate and judgment to search for an alternative source of self esteem. For a lot of these people, being White is the only thing they ever won outright. They hang their skin color on the wall like a diploma or a college degree, beside the flags and relics of an even longer heritage of losing.

You can hate someone, and still consider that any path to their subjugation or denial of their rights will never be exclusive. Any denial of any citizen’s rights is untenable, because down the line you will not be the right kind of White. If you accept a racial class system, then the burden is on each and every one of us to trace our own and impossibly produce documentation of our ‘purity’ and evidence of its lack of any corruption. Which you can’t. It will come down to DNA, and guess what, our ancestors were just as dumb, anxious and horny as us.

Hate. Hate everything. Hate your neighbor. Hate snakes in the grass. Hate love, hate hate especially. Not allowing your government and society to condone, propagate and operate under the principles of racism has nothing to do with who or what you hate.

Any path to taking away a citizen’s right to life is a path to taking it away from all of us.

On a long enough timeline, you won’t be the right kind of White, because White never meant race, it has always meant money.

And honey, if you’re still flying the Stars and Bars, you may as well be red and blue, because White isn’t you.

The Brightest Nights

Crackling polka dotted puddles beneath droopy pale underbellied leaves.
A true mess of mixed greens. Next time we’ll label the rows. Oh well.
Sharp and lacy and either rape seed, turnip, mustard or kale.
Cat ate some the other day. Elbow tap. Look at that. A fresh kale.

It is raining again. The dogs are up. Birds are silent.
Earthworms being suffocated up out of the mud.
Flat mirrors unwink unending misshapen silver dollars.
Money doesn’t grow from trees. The older I get, the more it grows on me.

Spring leak licks down upturned leaves like the cat uses its tongue to clean
every fuzzy inch of gargantuan body. Roots exposed. Line draped in clothes.
We never got to them in time. Always fresh out.
Gray cap set snug arresting a rat’s nest of tangled green.

Time is measured by line of sight.
Rainy days are the brightest nights.

The Meal from the Cub (2 of 2)

We all start like seeds in our mother’s soil. 

Eggs are like seeds. So are planets really, bursting with roots of starved gravity.

Electrons are like seeds, the universe itself, spreading out from a mindbogglingly finite point of spatial dimension into this immeasurable, mystifying massiveness. Biology mirrors chemistry like a face in rippled water. There is a God. It was speaking to us in our anatomy long before it ever engraved a tablet or plagued a city. Clearly there is a loosely defined polarity to the universe, a general lightness and heaviness, a fiery push and gravitational pull, a female and male with all sorts of hybridized relationships in between.

The breeding we do just to exist as individuals, this is like a love letter written to us about how power transfers and expands itself within this universe. How much more important and potent relationship is than isolation and independence and general lone wolfedness. Enough so that plants even pretend to care about gender just to attract and entice us. It’s coupling. It’s power play. It’s essentially what happens at the heart of every atomic endeavor, as clouds of swirling electrons push and pull and shape and squeeze protons and neutrons between them, little bonds forming between things being stretched apart to the point of almost bursting and then held here, sustained, unlocking the energetic outpulse that engendered the universe and ultimately led to us: physical conglomerates sustaining projections of consciousness for sustained periods. Awake is something so difficult to do, it requires us to sleep half of every day, and eventually ages our bodies to the point of irrevocable exhaustion. 

I believe electrons are seeds of consciousness. And I believe their nature is agriculture, cultivation, provocation, stimulation. They accomplish a sort of guided husbandry between fertile elements, measuring the couplings and overlappings that work against those that don’t. I believe we, our anatomy, our minds, our instincts, our entire way of life, are organized in a zombie-like obedience to the atomic relationships going on inside of us. 

We see what they want us to see, and remember only what we need. And wouldn’t you know, the light learned early on the added benefits of keeping us in the dark. 

 

#NCspring

Chainsaw carved horizons. Trucks glug
uphill with teenagers inside them.
Broke two different lawnmowers one afternoon.
Bought a twelve pack of beer. Cheers to the lawn.
Today. For now. It won.

The robins moved on.
Black faced bloodred cardinals in seas
of newborn limegreen poplar leaves.
Hearing woodpeckers never seen
hollow knocking water filled trees.

Detached campers eaten by dandelions
and sheer
unbroken
green

North Carolina spring.

The Daydreams of Electrons

We are so brilliant, and we are almost there, but essentially, we’ve calibrated our observational equipment around the assumption that we’re sitting still, measuring the movements of others, even on a base, visual level, when we see, we aren’t accounting for our own internal distortions. Objects appear larger in the mirror of self-image than they truly are. They had to, to get us to take our lives and labor here on earth devastatingly seriously. Enlightenment reduces the rate of survival for the organism that possesses it. They breed less, they’re less likely to fight to the death, less likely to be seduced by monetary gain and societal status. Knowing, not believing, or wishing, but knowing you are made of eternal material, really knowing that the life after death so many religions allude to is scientifically accountable. If you discard the seeds in every apple because that part isn’t sweet, eventually there won’t be anymore apples.

Your soul is the seed of you.

The sweet stuff and the tree stuff is too heavy to follow us where we are going. You are the voice of energy. You’re confused because you had to be. Knowing can be crippling. But there are depths to you far beneath your memory.

We are all the daydreams of electrons
born into reality.

Matter Farmers (part 3 of 3)

We do not have emotions, or any other experiences, accidentally. We’re the same stuff as stars, as oceans, as mountains, yeah we’re goofy and transient, but hell, we’re still here, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re pretty special. We’re storytellers. Our brains are like beehives for information we gather over our years. Electrons are using us to reach out to someone, to something. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but basically something cracked open and atoms started spilling out and over so much time they kept making choices until they became us. We study our anatomy, but we didn’t train it, or teach it. Electrons did that. Traded land and picked complementary crops and bartered harvests and shared labor. Farming. Growing it out to all the sweet stuff and pouty flowers and broad green spades in order to eventually cut it all down and save the only part the Great Farmer cares about. The soul.

The bitter part no one wants to eat. 

Eternal life looks more like an envelope of seeds.

Matter Farmers (part 2 of 3)

I love words, but I don’t care about words. They haven’t been around long enough to articulate what I’m saying here.

With no design or diagram, after so much, not actually that much, time, atoms have formed so many intertwining biochemical attractions that the molecules and organelle clusters developed autonomous motor functions, even such simple actions as swimming generally left, or right, and eventually, growing beyond osmosis, eating and digesting one another to feed the internal combustion fusion engine. After more time, those building blocks interbreed and intermingle to a frightening scale of complexity and independent decision making and unimaginable size and self-centered ferocity.

There is no thing alive that was not the daydream of electrons. Farming fields all on their own, splitting and tilling until it sustained a shadowless light that had only ever flickered on and off before.

Somehow, the dramatic complexity of our lives also exists on an atomic level.

Matter Farmers (1 of 3)

I have a theory. I am a stupid man. The only understanding I have ever glimpsed has been peering through the prism of analogy. Big metaphor. Dense simile.

Electrons are matter-farmers. 

Protons and neutrons only seem to exist in the center of a negatively charged cloud of frustrated energy, that has a pull, and a power, a gravity, and all existence as we know it, life especially, is a sort of sustained state of fusion. When we split an atom, the world will never forget what happens. Einstein theorized that if an entity could catch up to the speed of light, it would not necessarily feel like it was moving very fast, but more like time itself was standing still. 

That’s consciousness. The materials you and I are made of are moving at the speed of light. The energy we call our minds is as well, slowed through organic tubes and carbon based wiring inspired by them, but to the speed of light, nonetheless. Energy is motion. It is movement. Our thoughts are happening at the speed of light, at the very speed limit of time, yet it feels like we are sitting still. Feels like we’re not moving at all. We quiet ourselves to the rushing of the wind and slowly our senses are invaded by the ever flowing headwaters that fill our heads, and bodies, and the timekeeper ticker zapped by brain lightning into hyper dutiful obedience, all the way to flapping eye covers and growing new hair and salivating and literally every single internal life saving organ function.

Of Fireworks and Darkness

Where comets come from. Yes. You are brighter than stars
and have a magnificent tail. But we need to know where you dwell.
You should take someone there. Until then, you’re just an omen.
Of something. Beautiful. And terrible. All by your lonesome.
You’re a volatile couple. Ashley. Americanized Cinderella.
Do I know you hate that. Do we love you for it. Honey.
I need you. More than I ever let you know.
This has all been about you.
Give some back to us.
You’re American.
You’re British.
You’re Scottish.
And gypsy.
And arrogant.
You are America.
You are the cloth high up on the mast that catches the new wind first.
Before the sails that move the ship.

You are your own direction. Respect.
Head nod. Eye contact. Embrace. Stoic faced.
As streams rain down and embers soar sparks fly
celebrate no more than more light in the sky
sulfur in the air
no care
dressed eighteen hundreds
beaming red bursts with dazzling white gold finish
disappeared

smiling in the sporadic face
of fireworks and darkness.

The Wolf and the Earthworm

Evolution doesn’t mean progress. A species is as likely to evolve toward their own demise as they are to avoid it, and history might argue, more likely. So, if all our ‘advancements’ in technology, medicine, food production, hastens our ultimate extinction, well then, humans aren’t the most intelligent creature, are we? Common grass would probably outlive us. Trees almost certainly will. Nuisances like field rats and house mice and insects will benefit from the same circumstances that bury us. Worms for sure, licking their little imaginary lips at this moment. So fixated on the top of the food-chain we’ve entirely overlooked its bottom. Where decomposers make a buffet of predator and prey alike. Of course, we are all on course to be a course for bacteria, fungus, a trillion other pesky neighbors we’ve always put beneath us.

Language, considering how often it harms us, is not a positive advancement, it is a thick silence stuffed courtroom where the jury is still out and the judges are in their office pretending we can’t smell the cigar smoke. If the weapons invented last century end up annihilating us, we won’t be around to concede, but we will have lost this great argument that we are some divine, hyper intelligent transplant in this place, and common things, like houseplants, and inbred purebred dogs, and dung-beetles and dust mites, well, let’s just say they didn’t commit species wide suicide. So, the irradiated, zombie faced jury returns to their seats and the last one of them who can really stand straight enough declares the verdict.

Our kind is currently dumber than the very least of these.

Evolution does not stop with mutation, with innovation, or invention, or vagabond species escaping their nursery environs. Evolution is mutation plus time. Longevity. Sustainability. Evolution can only be determined on a timeline, and ours is frayed and wavering. We are so smart, so capable, right up until we threaten making our only world uninhabitable, and then we are so fucking stupid it hurts my stomach and makes it hard to sleep at night. We are a species plagued by emotions about which we were never given an education. Anxiety. Depression. Happiness. Fulfillment. Chemical cocktails that reduce truth to the bottleneck of our one particular, highly limited vision of ourselves. The idea that we would drop a nuclear bomb on another nation to save our own, as if that would not set a thousand wars into motion, as if our country is not floating on the same molten ocean, as if killing is not the seed of a gigantic, deep rooted, immortal killing tree.

I would sacrifice all of it, all the gadgets, the languages, the governments, the societies, for a good night’s sleep. I would turn off the lights on this moment. So that we could all see how much brighter and healthier our timeline could be. Two steps forward and one step back is still progress. And when compared to sprinting forward and never looking back, it is better evolution.

Our ancestors tried to explain this to us the best way they knew, with reductive, anthropomorphic stories, you know, our people’s preferred vehicle for deep instinctive truth. A tortoise and a hare racing toward a finish line. Spoiler alert: only one of them gets there.