jehovah witnesses at my door

jehovah witnesses knocked on my front door the other day.

two old ladies, sweet and pleasant,
with beautiful southern hats
were standing on my porch as
I opened the door.

hair disheveled, shirtless,
my tattooed body staring
at them.

they greeted me with nervous eyes
as they talked to me about their god.

they smiled, made small talk and
read their cherished scriptures
written by unknown authors.

soliciting their view of salvation.

it took all I had not to expose some of the
fallacies in their belief system. it took all I had not to remind them that
being devoutly passionate in their beliefs is not a measure of their accuracy.

but I was quiet. I let them read and I politely took their pamphlet.
I gave them a thank you smile,
figuring nice people are better off left alone in their fantasies.

as long as it gives them hope and meaning in this circus of life, you know.

as they left, I shut my door, tossed the paper into the trash
and headed out back to my patio.

I sat beside the dead ferns and the stale leaves
that have fallen from my backyard oak.
I subtly sipped my whiskey
and sucked in my version of salvation
through a cigar
and slowly exhaled it out to gods.

and as I sat back,
trying to find my place in the book I was reading,
my mind wandered and
I caught myself recklessly
bleeding nonsensical thoughts on
fate, eternity and immortality.

damn those sweet old ladies,

they got me.

shadow

DSCF2071

it’s rare to find someone real,
someone with intelligence
who can speak unfiltered
on the beauty and enigma
of life. and smile too.
it’s rare.

me and you
stardust messed together
with perfect elements of
chaotic wonder,
sitting on the dock
of eternity
drinking
consumed by the
epilepsy of the hour,
gazing up
at our dazzling ancestors
laughing, as the world
blisters
one another
with ignorance.

we remained radiant
among the filth
promising each other
to never catch fire
as we walk through this flame
and we accepted
our insatiable
hunger,
our unquenchable
thirst
to turn away
from it all.

And with your
midnight eyes
your red lips
your black nails
your black dress
& heels,
a graceful martyr
of the violent night
baptized in your shadow,
the one you’ve asked me
to surrender to,
many times.

in your dark
i see a glimmer of light,
your light
illuminating
that lost place
between
past and future.

untrodden

DSCF2073

there are no paths
that lead to truth.
that’s the splendor
and beauty of it. truth has
no set path. no absolute.
truth is alive, living,
breathing, meandering
through our cells, penetrating
our dreams. it doesn’t rest under
the roofs of mosques,
or temples
or churches.
it doesn’t die
in bitter hearts
or suffocate
in closed minds.
the truth is alive,
chaotically so,
and will continue to
thrive, whether we
want it to or not.
let it fill you with
vigor and passion
let it lead you
to say yes to it all.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

henri-de-toulouse-lautrec

Moonlit nights in Paris,
the artist, tiny, staggering through
streets, dragging along
an easel
he was to set up
in the Parisian brothels
to bring a light of humanity
to these gals of the night
that was rarely seen.

The wind, tainted
with the vices of the gutter,
splashed his face as he made his way.

And the thieves, pimps and
street-walkers lurked at all hours
of the seedy night.

The artist strolled on through.

Saturated with drink, 4 day
binge, no sleep
living out the fate that he’d excepted
long ago.

His paintings captured
the bohemian nights in Paris,
the afterhours
of the most essential era for art
and artists.

The glory of 19th century Paris,
he captured beautifully.

But the whores, alcohol
and madness
finally got the best of
this postimpressionist
genius.

As it usually does.

Dying in the arms of his mother
at only 36 years old
under the blazing sun.

The sun,
which he’d spent most
of his
short days
days cursing.

Attitude Adjustment and Enablers

DSCF2058

“There are soldiers that fought for our country that were hungry, tired, thirsty, and with pieces of steel stuck in their bodies, but somehow they were able to pull it together in combat. Why can’t you get your shit together for an hour and do a couple sets of squats?” ~Jim Wendler

There is certain attitudes out there in this world that needs major overhauling. One of the prominent ones is what I like to call the “poor-me” people. These are the ones who have an excuse for everything. “I just don’t have time to workout”, “I get too tired to read at night”, “I hate my job, but it’s a job.” There’s no fire, no soul, no guts in these types of folks. And they’re all over. Just read your Facebook newsfeed.

If these folks spent a fraction of the time doing things to make themselves better as they do on social media or complaining about outside factors, they’d rekindle that fire. They’d find that passion that’s been chipped away by time. But they don’t. They settle for their “this-is-the-way-it-is” kind of life.

Life is hard. It’s especially hard for those who think the world owes them something. You’re only on this planet for a limited amount of time, take advantage of it. Do what you fear, read 3 books a month, lift heavy weights, and sprint until you hear that thunderous heart beat again. Change the attitude and you change your whole life.

Here’s a little something Jim Wendler has written recently:

Enablers are people that allow you to continue your losing ways. They baby you and bail you out.

Fitness enablers allow you to continue making the same mistakes and never have the guts to tell you where you really stand, never having the balls to let you know that you’re screwing up or that you just might need to sweat if you want to lose a few pounds.

In the fitness world, enablers are most apparent in the mainstream. These are companies that promise a physique change with a five-minute workout gadget. Most of us recognize this. We all roll our eyes at the infomercials. We know it’s not about a plastic ab machine, and there’s a sense of pride in this because we aren’t getting duped.

Unfortunately, the enabler exists in the hardcore training world too. It exists within training groups: guys too scared to tell the “top dog” that he isn’t parallel when he squats.

This happens all the time in powerlifting. A strong lifter “runs” a lifting group with young pups that follow his program and make sure his bench shirts are pulled down just right. This is the guy that rarely hits depth at a meet because his training partners are too busy being cheerleaders and “yes men” instead of real training partners.

The enabler exists in athletics. The coach, agent, friends and hanger-ons tell the athlete he is “going to the league.” They keep his head full of dreams, in the clouds, and not in the books and the work at hand. Bad grades? No worries, you’re getting drafted, son.

Enablers exist as parents who never let the kids get hurt or fail. Welcome to the Participation Generation, now all grown-up and crying about how hard the world is. Sad. Go get a rake and a shovel and learn to do some yard work.

If you find yourself failing in any of the above, remember that great lessons can be learned from:

  •  Squats
  •  Prowler pushes
  •  Yard work
  •  Volunteering at children’s hospital

A couple of steady years of this would cure most of yeast growing amongst the swinging richards.

(You can read more from Jim Wendler at http://www.jimwendler.com or t-nation.com)

Perspective from Eternity

earth-48

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

7 great quotes that scream out “Fuck Black Friday”

20140527_cons1
7.  “You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

6. “The wild pursuit of status and wealth has destroyed our souls and our economy. Families live in sprawling mansions financed with mortgages they can no longer repay. Consumers recklessly rang up Coach handbags and Manolo Blahnik shoes on credit cards because they seemed to confer a sense of identity and merit. Our favorite hobby, besides television, used to be, until reality hit us like a tsunami, shopping. Shopping used to be the compensation for spending five days a week in tiny cubicles. American workers are ground down by corporations that have disempowered them, used them, and have now discarded them”
― Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

5.  “Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence—those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.”
― Aldous Huxley, Island

4.  “We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra…”
― Chuck Palahniuk

3. “But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They DON’T want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that, that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting FUCKED by the system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want OBEDIENT WORKERS. OBEDIENT WORKERS. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passably accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it”
–George Carlin

2. “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”
–Chuck Palahniuk

1. “If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”
― John Lennon