What madness lurks in the cranial expanse of a being
compelled to write? How intriguing that those who provide
the known world with insight and vision are at times the
very ones who themselves comprise the disillusioned,
unknown, and eccentric. We hear of the depressions of Poe,
the fatalism and mutilations of Van Gogh, persistence and
dogged pursuit of a gradully sight deprived Claude Monet-
More dementia from an alcoholic Hemingway, first class
pen and ink from a third class Langston Hughes, multi-
wived, multi-divorced pickled liver words of Lewis
Grizzard, one of my own late inspirations. I used to dig up
the Atlanta Journal every day as a child just to gaze in
awe at the witty words of Lewis and his counterpart,
Why do we do it? One can wrap their guts in the fish
wrappings of pen and ink, tie the very soul they possess
with a nasty, oily burlap string, knowing full well the
damned thing won't sell until worms and maggots are chewing
happily through their lifeless forearms.
Is it really so a teenage pimple-faced kid
will "discover" us in the back bargain bin of a decrepid
second hand bookstore?
Why, yes, that seems about right. Progeny. Offspring of
a divine function of thought brought into form from a
dismal sort of imperfect mind. Something to last, tickle
pink some broke black kid watching his mother scrounge the
last few coffee grounds for the morning breakfast, just the
two of them.
So some lackluster white trash mixed blood kid like me
can drink our words a century from now, exactly as I did,
being told they are nothing, will never amount to anything,
and they couldn't even if they tried, so why bother. So
many other fish are in the sea of global intelligence, and
although they can't be President, if they try hard and
produce the proverbial "Yes, Massa" enough times, they
might be able to become the President's fish sandwich. And
we, as individuals, as thinking, breathing, interacting
people disappear, like a tie stain in a drowning flood of
Money talks, bullshit walks. But amazingly, bullshit
also sells. Hence, the media system, and all of the
fiascoes, mindjobs, and pap we take, ingest, swallow as
truth. But what is truth?
I recall I once paid $110 for a 35 page book. "Rime of
the Ancient Mariner", by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first
printing. I paid a dollar for every year it was in
existence, in a tiny shop located in Seldovia, Alaska. I
still recall that day just as any other major event in my
life, and more vividly than some. The way the sea broke on
the shore, boats tossing lightly on a gently tumbling sea,
salt in the air with otters in the distance, and sun
tickling my hair. I looked at the brief, elderly tome in my
paws and thought, "One day this could be my book". Insanity.
Perhaps one day bottles of liquor will magically appear
on my grave every year from some miscreant that adores me
after I've been deceased 76 years.
Possibly my son will be seen 70 years from now saying,"
My daddy had all of his screws loose and a missing
screwdriver, and Momma was addicted fiercely to ketchup.
But they truly loved me more than any other single thing."
However, for every loved, adored, and faith instilled
brilliant little boy like him, there are a hundred Edgar
Allan Poes, a thousand lush Hemingways, and even an ornery
Carroll O'Connor or two, God rest his precious soul. He
died last night, you know.
So are we all ingrained with a reclusive seed of
depravity, or is this the single stroke of genious?
I sometimes think if Jesus Christ came back to the earth
as some no credential bearing guy named Bob Smith, with the
exact same message, Tony Robbins would smear his ass and
outsell him ten to one. Tony would be selling out Carnegie
Hall, and Jesus/Bob would be struggling to keep permission
to appear at the Shady Grove Blind/Deaf/Mute Retirement
Home. (No offense, Tony) It is sad, horrific, but true. We
want microwave results in a slow bake world of
relationships. Why is this?
If the world could learn to love one another like a
writer makes love to a pad of paper and a pen with his grey
matter, we'd be fine.
However, we all have our manifestations of psychosis,
and we all wear the necklace of doubt and shame of some
sort. We're all filthy, hungry children with daddy slaving
in the coal mine, and momma hanging on to a mundane
existence inside the shack we call home.
We aspire to be what we are not, yet what can be
obtained, albeit just outside of fingernail reach. Cosmic
joke? I don't believe so. I doubt God laughs about it very
much. The issue is attitude. We recant common intelligent
drive and creativity for pathetic sitcoms and half-
baked "entertainment". We tend to be lackadaisical at best,
braindead at the worst.
In schools we push conformity and protocol like dope,
pimping our 6 year olds away from a muse of creation and
subjecting them to their formal status as adult automatons.
Where are the Lord Byrons of today? Most of our Gabriel
Preils are hidden like hermits and nighttime cave dwellers.
The madness remains. It is a survivor trait, an Elie
Weisel component of humankind. The Cherokee survive, our
own blood lies in scattered drops on a white carpet someone
else calls America.
Sometimes destitution brings out superior traits. A man
that had nothing yet possessed all once said in
wisdom, "What does it profit a man if he should gain the
whole world, yet lose his own soul?" And yet we steal the
souls of our progeny with each passing generation. Whatever
shall we do with all of them? I can think of no useful
purpose. They should have them back! They will need them.
One of my great grandchildrens' friends will pay a
pretty penny for this manuscript - a babbling from a man
who learned to love the world without any good reason at
all. A very difficult lesson, at the least.
But then again, I am a writer and poet. We are all crazy.