Run, Fight, Evade

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you traversed like an escaped captive
through the long cosmic night
only to be greeted by dawn’s dense
early fog, but you took it on,
wading wearily through the pale smog,
battle torn but alive, at last,
piercing through to the other side,
arriving on that lonely island of
self-awareness, smiling ever so gloriously
into the mirror of eternity as you start
to lead life on your own terms, leaning
ever so barefaced in the direction
of your own legacy.

you broke through.

but on the horizon you see something,
you see the belligerent herd approaching,
and they’re closing in fast, and they’re
coming for blood. Continue reading

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Violent Dawn

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fragments of a ravaged night
spiders across the sultry dread
as the lark harmonizes narcotic
hymns aloft the long time dead.

and there she is again
dancin’ barefoot in the
graveyard
with a bottle in hand,
gazing into the night
taking spontaneous pulls
to dilute the agony
of the dying light.

just look how stunningly mad she is.
look how she sways to the melody
of her own dark.

some say she made a pact with the devil
some say she has a fetish for the dead
some say she’s a witch, a whore,
a midnight tramp, a ‘crazy bitch’ adrift
inside her own shattered head.

maybe she’s all of them.
maybe she’s none.

but never could she lead
the kind of life like the rest –
masked, playing a part
untouched unscarred
cautiously intact
wretchedly dull
and oh so pathetically
predictable in their cutthroat
allegiance to the
white picket fence
monotony
of the so-called
American Dream.

there’s no thunder in their minds
no lightning in their veins
they love halfheartedly
they hate halfheartedly
they live halfheartedly
they lack the imagination
to question anything and
everything, particularly
the collective morality
that dictates their
brief little
inauthentic
lives.

unlike them
her soul throbs desperately
with the heart of the universe
oscillating
between rapture and rage
poetry and madness
life and death.

her internal living flame
glows like a lantern deep in the
caverns of a withering world
as the insipid moralizers
with apocalyptic eyes
look on from the threshold,
safe and sound, fearful of the sacred –
the kingdom within that only
the fearless come to know.

just a mere taste of her sensuality
ignites volcanoes of oxytocin –
sloshing splashing spraying
cascading into the bloodstream

and the great wars erupt
and the great empires crumble
and the great kings fall
and the world comes to an end.

with a ravenous hunger, she bites
forbidden fruit of serpent trees
in the luscious garden of unborn light.

in spite of her turmoil, in spite of her
desperate rage, she’s wildly alive,
unafraid, reborn daily into the night
out of a fierce suffering
as she dances in the divine dirt
trespassing in and out of time
under the swaying pines
above the forgotten bones
of a place beyond

forever nurturing her ardent dreams
never wasting the violent dawn.

Don’t Be Like Them

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Don’t be like them. They want you in the ranks,
the mob — the clan of dullards who want you
to live according their stifling ideals.

They want you brain dead and
soul dead like them. They want
you to work the 9-5. They want
you in a cubicle. They want you
to be a sitcom watcher. They want
you to pledge to their flags and
worship their gods. They want you
take a side. They want you to settle
with their politics and vote for
their two-faced leaders.

They need to be led
because they’re too weak
to lead themselves. Continue reading

Along the Western Front

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Christmas Eve, 103 years ago tonight,
the world burns burns burns like
the furnace it is, but a hard freeze
sets in after an agonizing week
of wind & rain 
along the Western Front.

Tired and ragged soldiers on both sides
of a senseless, brutal war
emerge, with hands up,
from the trenches
harmonizing Silent Night
in unison
as the snow begins to fall.

For just a few hours, these war-torn
adversaries come together
as allies, as friends, as brothers.

They defy the rules of war,
ignore commands from generals
and politicians, and chisel out
their own peace. A peace not granted
by their masters. Two enemies, together,
under a bleak sky in fields of blood and bones,
laugh and sip whiskey and smoke cigars,
while sharing gifts as the grey dawn
gives way to the bloodshed again.

But for one night, just one night, these
young soldiers escaped the cage of honor,
the hell of their undoing, and lowered
their guns, and their goddamn flags
and found brotherhood through truce.

Let every night be Christmas Eve night,
1914, along the Western Front.

 

The Most Frightening Thing In The World

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You know what’s the most frightening thing in the world?

I’ll tell you.

It’s the troubling fact that evil is brought into the world by ordinary people who think they are doing good. That’s terrifying because you can’t fix it. Or learn from it. Historically speaking, it’s our attempt to rid the world of a perceived evil that is in fact how evil is brought into the world.

For instance, take the Holocaust. It wasn’t homicidal maniacs with overwhelming hate in their hearts who murdered the Jews in concentration camps. No, no. Rather, it was the church-going, middle-aged, working-class family men. It was ordinary people like you and me who killed tens of thousands of Jews.

These people weren’t evil on an individual basis. They obeyed laws, prayed, loved & provided for their families. It was out of duty to their Fatherland and this misguided notion of obedience to authority figures that caused them to participate in one of mankind’s most atrocious slaughters.

How frightening is that?

Under the Communist experiment in the Soviet Union during the early part of the 20th century, the ordinary bureaucrats, under the false belief of the “common good”, went farm to farm confiscating properties. Families were driven from their homes and forced into the wilderness in below freezing temperatures with absolutely nothing to their name. Millions of people lost their lives in the process. Millions. The officials, working under the notion of the “common good”, truly believed in the virtue of their actions.

In our time, a good example is the “war on terror.” The United States’ unending mission to rid the world of terrorism is also the root cause of the growth of terrorism. This is why since 9/11 terrorism has grown exponentially in spite of the trillions of dollars and many lives spent to destroy it.

How can this be?

Most of the bombs dropped by the US in the Middle East kill innocent civilians.  In their eyes, they endure a 9/11 type catastrophe every single day.  So as we in the US believe we are right in dropping bombs in the Middle East, terrorists believe, on the other hand, that they are right by killing innocent people in the Western world in the name of retribution.

It’s an unwinnable situation on both sides and senseless deaths on both sides will inevitably continue for years to come.

These examples– and there are much more– showcase the extreme dangers of ideologies and the collectivist mayhem that usually spawns from them.

History has undoubtedly shed light on the perils of dividing ourselves into groups to give expression to our ideals. The danger lies in the fact that when we throw ourselves into group identities or hide behind a flag or a cause, it allows us to shed personal responsibility for our actions. “I was just doing my job” and “it’s the policy” becomes our self-justifying chant we use to defend our reprehensible actions.  And we believe it, truly.

Christopher Browning, in his incredible book on “how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews”, writes:

“I fear that we live in a world in which war and racism are ubiquitous, in which the powers of government mobilization and legitimization are powerful and increasing, in which a sense of personal responsibility is increasingly attenuated by specialization and bureaucratization, and in which the peer group exerts tremendous pressures on behavior and sets moral norms. In such a world, I fear, modern governments that wish to commit mass murder will seldom fail in their efforts for being unable to induce ‘ordinary men’ to become their ‘willing executioners.'”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a historian, and brilliant writer was thrown into a Russian Gulag prison camp in the mid 40’s for criticizing Stalin in personal letters that he’d written. Fortunately, he lived to write about the wickedness under the Soviet Communist experience and all the vile and debauched things he witnessed in the gulag camps. In his most intense and important book called, The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn writes:

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an un-uprooted small corner of evil.

Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”

So what is the answer to eliminating the amount of evil in the world?

There might not be one. But I think one of the main things we can do to start tilting in that direction is to strengthen the individual and stay away from the poisonous concept of group identity.  Self-development and a sense of self-ownership are, I believe, the first steps in overcoming the collectivist madness we see today.

We must learn to live well, live our own truth, take responsibility for our own actions or lack of actions, and quit cowering away from our own greatness.

Or as today’s unrivaled thinker and teacher, Dr. Jordan Peterson concludes – it’s the integrity of the individual. That’s the answer to the violent animosity that infects humanity. The integrity of the individual. He writes:

“We need to wake up, individual man and woman alike, and we need to do it now. Each of us must take the world on our shoulders, insofar as we are capable of that, and adopt individual responsibility for the horrors and suffering its existence entails. In that we will find the Meaning without which Life is merely the suffering that breeds, first, resentment and then the desire for vengeance and destruction. We need to take responsibility, instead of incessantly insisting on our rights. We need to become adults, instead of aged children. We need to tell the truth. We need justice and compassion, conjoined; not judgment and pity, which crush and devour.”

Stay Far Away from the Crowd

Can you imagine how beautiful the world could possibly be if people actually were wise enough to think for themselves as unique human beings, rather than kowtowing to the fuckin’ group they identify with?

This goes for politics, nationalism, race, religion, and yes, even a silly flag-waving protest. And counter-protest.

The crowd, my friends, is the gathering place of the weakest. There’s no truth there, no honesty, no integrity. You’ll only find such things in the individual; if, of course, they haven’t sold their soul to the multitudes of like-minded nincompoops.

Among the Daffodils

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My face is beginning to show
the battle scars of time. My heart
seems to care less for things
I once held as relevant. As the years
unravel, things make less sense.

The hangovers last a few days now
instead of a few hours. Beautiful
dreams once lucid are now blurred.
The idea of God weakens with every
atrocious deed I see in the world.

Politics is a hopeless endeavor
just like our obscene habit
of obedience. The debt bubble
we’ve swallowed as “prosperity”
is on the verge. The wars have
grown tiresome, nobody cares
about them anymore.

Everybody is trying to sell
a lifestyle; they want you live
like them; they want you to buy
their life-changing product
or get behind their great cause;
they have the secret, they say,
just follow them.

The church wants confessions but I think
we’re all out. The witless hipsters ride
vintage bikes on Brooklyn sidewalks
to coffee shops that were once
brothels and asylums.

Overmedicated & indebted men
find it difficult to have conversations
beyond their jobs or college football.
Women do yoga on weekends and gossip
on long walks about husbands
who’ve lost that intestinal fortitude.

The 88-year-old man, with his retirement
and dignity wasted away by inflation, bags
groceries at the corner supermarket
to pay for his myriad of medications.

The dogs have grown bored of their masters.
The cats gave up on us long ago. The sparrows
flutter higher in the sky than they used to.

The books of Whitman, Emerson
and Thoreau sit dusty on bookshelves
as the television scorches and burns.

Where’s the promise of victory?

We’re being led somewhere
by the outside far away
from the treasure inside.

As the tribes’ march in lockstep
to their ordered destination,
I lie in the meadow
just beyond the bloody streams
surrounded by golden daffodils,
as the rain rinses me of oblivion
I’m lifted from the hollow abyss
into the universal radiance
where the five senses
become one.