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Over Shadowing Narcissus

Over Shadowing Narcissus

– On Black Reflectivity

I. And Sleep Defeated Blindness

Then Doondari created blindness and blindness defeated man.

But when blindness became too proud,

Doondari created sleep, and sleep defeated blindness;

But when sleep became too proud,

Doondari created worry, and worry defeated sleep;

But when worry became too proud,

Doondari created death, and death defeated worry.

But when death became too proud,

Doondari descended for the third time,

And he came as Gueno, the eternal one

And Gueno defeated death.

– Fulani Myth

i don’t always see myself in black movies.

what feels like hip hop to you – notorious?

straight out of compton? belly? the get down?

luke cage? for me, it’s the art of rap.

dear black people,

when do you feel represented? how can you know you are seen? daily, i question the value of my time- certainly

less than oprah’s. i didn’t grow up in a black house – or a white one, really. placing my identity in the rorschach

on the wall.

cue narcissus, transcendence of living echo over gristle and plasma – begging the question: did Biggie really die?

i’m sayin – are you an artist or a black artist. man or a feminist. liberal, democrat, independent – nah. peeping afro

-centric cinema recently – black films didn’t always feel like me – before the ruckus, lemme clarify. i got all the love

for spike, even when i can’t always make the journey – but there have been real serious gaps in my education.

here’s the thing – i never watched Roots. somehow 12 hours of whips and chains felt pretty optional, most negroes

seem to have indoctrinated their children in the flickering light of our limited representation – my mother showed me

the Wiz. blaxploitation, i sought out on my own, but a lot of nigga picture shows struck me as hastily, slapped together.

cosby & in living color, two shows with elements of black production scattered across screens of my childhood, reading

rainbow echoes faintly in the background – i wasn’t raised on tv, catching moments where i could, two and a half decades

projecting my own energy towards hollywood, from a distance i can’t argue as particularly safe.

a black story that represented me, seeking glimpses of myself as one of Ocean’s eleven- cuz cheadle can do no wrong.

never been black enough to see myself as Bernie Mac. i put on petey green’s documentary to witness a vision of the district

as it could have been – marion disappointed us and chuck brown never went global – petey stood up johnny carson and kept

it in the 202.

levar burton humming – butterfly in the sky, i can identify with your purgatory of transformation.

film editors sculpt story from abstraction, sight and sound combine to trick the mind. judy garland’s minstrel scenes struck me

as a perfect mascot for the spirit of hollywood. take what you want and leave the rest. and al jolson’s dim inverted gaze. amos

and andy as a funhouse mirror, distorting perspective and obfuscating the progress of african elevation.

optics of the channel fox, as we pretend Dionne was any more woke than stacey dash.

it’s a 90s thing, you wouldn’t understand.  that’s so Jim Crow– shout out to a disney dumbo? we grew up in the nick of time –

to see keenan divorce kel on his rise to saturday night. but all the black stories on snl got twisted. and we keep on dreaming:

if hannibal could do it, so can i.

Buress was the vortex who reclaimed cosby’s identity, refracting all the lightest coverage of the news into a narrative so dark,

we could no longer look away. ben carson in the limelight, throwing shade. i listened to shep gordon describe how he shut

down the chitlin circuit, apparently alone – with a deathwish and a client list.

i never ever wanted to watch the Gods must be crazy. & i straight up do not understand what tyler perry is doing. i don’t

fucking get it. but somebody loves that shit. i mean shit, people loved lost and the walking dead. my theory- that honest

representations of black fictional identity tend to demonstrate more sophisticated acting technique. then again, spike lee put

himself in his own films an awful lot in the 90s, which makes sense – to cut the budget, or make out with rosie perez.

i’ve been attempting to trace out the chiaroscuro of black identity in popular american culture.

there is a dinka tale of mortality – how a high god cut our coil connecting life and death, when a greedy farmer wounded his eye

with her hoe. try unpacking that. i’ve tasted the flavor of MTV and i don’t think it was love. call me crazy – i can only get with

dear white people, while i’m getting head. that’s the only time it makes sense. riddle me this – if Luke Cage is bullet proof, then

why all those plot holes?  did soul food nourish you? How Real are the Husbands of Hollywood? where’s my love jones for Love

& Basketball? why doesn’t my heart beat for kevin’s ebony empire? where am i located on the spectrum, channeling film and

television upwards of twelve hours per day.

i grew up in living color but my favorite wayans performance was in requiem for a dream. kevin spacey in 2000 was an american

beauty, but his performance couldn’t touch marlon’s. go back, rewatch & tell me different.  the projections of tinseltown, like some

Luyia myth- a chameleon, cursing us with death.

“nobody told me death was so damn fine,” quoth the poet Dante (Smith), roming this land to witness his Brooklyn inferno.

my umi says shine your light on the world… for the world to see … for black people to be free“. ad infinitum. BET’s shallow

reflection, reminiscent of a compact mirror – occasionally captured fractals of our diasporic lineage.

then again, if there was an academy award for titles – i would have had to cast a vote for Black Snake Moan.

sho nuff. bumping metal fingers on the way to catch the Man with the Iron Fist (as opposed to episode six of the – white

Iron Fist, directed by Robert Diggs for Netflix) it seemed like RZA had hacked the galaxy. i was less sure what to think on

my way out of the theater. certain sources i only approach with skepticism, but music television struck a chord with Hustle &

Flow – every so often, hip hop in cinema echoes my origin story as a master of ceremonies – i never really battle rapped; but

my crew felt the hunger of marshall on the 8 mile, straining to escape the shadow of obscurity.

to be continued…

On Black Reflectivity

– Over Shadowing Narcissus

II. Feather of Anubis

A Declaration Of Innocence Before 42 Gods:

“I have not defiled a god.

I have not worsened the lot of an orphan.

I have not done what the gods detest.

I have not calumniated a servant to his master.

I have not caused either pain or hunger.

I have not brought forth tears.

I have not killed.

I have not commanded to kill.

I have not caused anyone sorrow.”

book of coming forth by day

Osiris stole Anubis’ crown of death and left Anubis weighing truth against a feather

as we, the living, walk our Famished Road– shout out to okri. here, i am -watching

queen sugar, contemplating the fabric of my existence. summer light is on and life is

precious. Gabby Sidibe took sapphire’s story and ran with it. i could not figure out a

reason to watch Precious. some of these stories call me back to the spoken word era

and our exploitation of tragedy – who are these stories for? am i missing something?

i heard the media response to Push’s film adaptation & i’m all for Netflix & Depression

but i’ve never had a friend suggest we watch the film. i did see Antwone Fisher. certain

films aren’t optional- Denzel dipping back into an ancient well; raising his bucket from

a deep pool, illuminated by the sky. i heard a story about Amistad, Djimon Hounsou

sitting somewhere on a curb in paris – ashes to classy, from squalor to success.

and i got mad love for steve mcqueen, but my friend said his movie killed her mom. 30

Rock had a plotline where tracy jordan won an oscar for his starring role in a film called

Hard to Watch. we streamed 12 years over broken wi-fi in the kitchen, but i kept leaving

the room. black history is american history – these stories are for all of us.

but do i need to watch a white man’s version of my history? narcissus’ self reflection,

stirring up dirt – muddying perspective like the pregnant pause between Nate Parker’s

rape accusations and the birth of a nation. nothing compelled me to attend the premiere

of 50 years a Butler. with a black man in the white house, i couldn’t see the Forest for

the trees. “2016 on the curb of 1600 light up a burning bush”. they legalized weed in

the district but we could have had bernie sanders. i was born in the march like selma, in

shadows of our capitol- under threat of capital punishment. films about the civil rights

era tend to get a spit shine, but i prefer my bio pics with dirt under their fingernails.

Boycott. JFK. i couldn’t sit through all the black power mixtapes, but those nordic

documentarians distilled the alchemy of our struggle. i sampled angie davis and

switched back to edward thomas hardy. hasan minhaj just hosted the correspondence

dinner and he wrecked shop in donny’s absence. but watching keegan michael translate

president obama’s anger in two thousand fifteen transcended reality for me.

there were as many africans drowned in the atlantic from triangular trade as jews lost

in the holocaust. But we had obama in the oval office, barack between two ferns &

barry O dropping nigga bombs on WTF. Larry Wilmore lost his job for that shit in ’16.

i always dug the concept, but was torn about what sometimes felt like high-yellow

respectability. last year, he held up a barber shop mirror of our brotherhood to the

edges on his closing line, but he scared off the white folks at comedy central.

we were waiting on Key and Peele to make a film, from season one. i saw keanu as black

neutral on a clear day, like the sky over a lake at the family picnic. a flavor like clean

water – cool, refreshing with no after taste. it went down easy, but i can barely remember.

dan harmon theorized ICE T as a crystalline elemental spirit. what’s cooler than being cool?

i could never decide how i felt about idlewild. but nobody would finish this essay if i said

i’d never seen Friday. i ain’t got a job, i ain’t got nothing to do & it’s thursday – i should see

that shit again tomorrow. i really need to get some DVDs- you can find them, scratched, at

goodwill- for a couple dollars each; or a better way to bootleg. cumulatively, i must have

spent entire seasons inside of movie theaters, getting drunk, fucking- even toking herb,

waiting for the next token black actor to appear, and – often- die.

boyz n the hood. menace II society. i can’t remember which is which – blame the wayans:

Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood, actually

holds up shockingly well. hip hop, remixing itself into a vision beyond the boundaries

of our block. i was blessed to see Chappelle’s show at Lincoln Theater for my eighteenth

birthday and i knew something was happening that i could never lose. i saw my self on

that stage, as he laid on his back and gazed up towards the balcony.

that spotlight shown like dumbledore’s mirror, illuminating the path i wanted most to follow.

i went to see Sleight, based on a facebook ad, tracking my interests and likes to guide what

ever dollar’s in my pocket back home to the corporations where it, apparently, belongs.

they had me cold. do you ever feel that your phone may be reading your mind?

Sleight was a windshield, clearing space for a black story not bound by whiteness, or desperate

to escape from it. we can be our own heroes and demons- with a mirror facing backwards, but

both eyes on the road. i didn’t want to write a thinkpiece on Get Out – that shit was a cinematic

essay; Jordan said everything he needed to say. them crackers thanked him for taking their money,

but we knew who the film was for- a musical jewelry box, eerily playing out the shadows, reflecting

on some gem that time may have forgotten.

do the right thing. the invisible man. beasts of no nation. dogfight. the wire. go tell it on the mountain

slivers of a broken mirror, pieces of our story- they called it bad luck, but we carry our history with us &

it still cuts deep. i stare up at moonlight, down at the motion of light in water – discovering disparate

elements of my own cultural composition. we human beings are made of water, slowly drying up over

time, til we all eventually crumble. “i didn’t know you liked to get wet.”

i went from bourgeous to homeless, in the way of the prince & the pauper- a black artist in the cacophony,

like eric andre, destroying whatever i’ve set up around myself, broadcasting on the wavelength of a cartoon;

til the set returns to black, reflecting everything else in the room. David Bowie named his last record Blackstar

and I wonder what Mos Def thinks of that. the first time i heard sinead o’connor, nobody told me whose song

she was singing. memory can be funny like that. but, next time you’re on youtube – look up what etta james

did to prince rogers nelson’s masterpiece: a tear might fall in lucid puddles of the purple rain.

fin.


dates

date


introducing

 

baraka noel has been featured on pirate cat, fcc free radio, mutiny radio, wobc, oakland channel 5, OPB, Denver Open Media, slacker radio, livewire urban radio, savage henry magazine, the black juice, xmag, the hard rock hotel and casino in vegas, broadway comedy club in New York, berkeley city college, the drake hotel in toronto, Kenyon College, Liquid Comedy Club in Boise, Rooster T Feathers Comedy Club, Humboldt University, the comedy store in hollywood, the Grog Shop in Cleveland, Miami University of Ohio, Brandeis University, UT Austin, university of md, uc merced, uc santa cruz, university of arizona – Tucson, and at the Mocha Lounge in DC, Toronto Pride 2007, crossroads theater in denver, mister theater in PDX, Club 5 in DC, the Jokers Comedy Club, the sco at oberlin college, hawthorne theater in pdx, the green mill in Chicago, merchants of reality, brava theater, and brick & mortar in sf, the Oakland metro & all around the continent of North America.


Fresh From the Psych Ward, Buffalo NY


freelance

i write for xmag, the black juice, broke ass stuart & thsppl.com

*elegy for Hip Hop

Kool Hand Herc

smoke billows in my mind when i remember the sound of classic jazz, hip hop

or R&B – most of my favorites can’t be found in the top 40. but when i woke up

in sixth grade, radio jams would include some of the greatest of all time: jeeps the

lex coups the beamers and the benz echoes through sub woofers in my cerebellum.

‘member usher’s footwork in that first video like damn– i felt the foot steps of my

virginity walking away. meanwhile, jigga still sitting on jay elec’s debut and i’ma

keep bumping joey bad til the cows come home & settle remy ma’s beef.

remy kinda lost it. i have to be honest tho- 75% of lyricists don’t interest me. straight

up, i don’t entirely differentiate between emcees and comics. if you don’t believe me,

come thru the roast battle on thursday. everybody i know here straight out of fucks to

give, homie. for what? not for nothing, but i watched capital steez smile, taking shots

at the based god & remembered days when i had more on the line. right now, i can’t

think of nothing i need more than a black messiah. so when i receive photographs of

my friend’s slashed wrists i think back to the roots of Water & How I Got Over– cuz

music makes me high when alcohol seems to fail me. i remember when i used to

believe – now it’s difficult to stick around in rooms of excessive sincerity, especially

when i’ve heard most of the motifs and metaphors before: i pass around my number

hoping for a surprise inspiration; but i know it comes off as desperation. truth, i am

desperate – hopeful i may feel something unfamiliar, like interest in this current

moment (or the next). i’m down with slim k slowdown and the maad city but ya boy

more oriented towards flow. a nigga still waiting on monch’s record, even though i

can never really spell the brother’s name. pharoahe lives. i’m still thinking on how

abdul kenyatta asked me –what’s changed. the old heads are all i wanna listen to now-

old friends are all i have time for. motherfuckers keep praising timberlake but on the

real – gimme them diamonds in the back. i will say this about kendrick- i haven’t heard

jay z get so passionate in years as he did on the freaking Vibe remix.

i’m saying tho- i been out the circuit a lil bit. i ain’t heard the new blackalicious, Meow

the Jewels or what’s going on with Native Tongues. pretty sure Shadow dropped some

thing recently, i ain’t gotten my hands on. forgive me for chasing the past- i’m finna

figure out what the fuck Bronze Naz has been up to. by which i mean to suggest: ya boy

isn’t really a Drizzy fan. no offense or whatever. i won’t be able to care too much about

gambino or Bronson (RIP) until the Roc releases a couple Badu and Jay Elec collabs.

until then, i’m reminiscing on some family jams – erykah/3000, and whatever Ms Hill

got going on. cuz, the dopest emcees i heard in a minute stay mad underutilized in San

Jose, or slumber in the cut working most days in Oakland. i been around this nation; i’ve

heard the millionaires and town heroes; so i project with confidence which of these rappers

and stand ups may get the best shot. and i wish white folks would represent a little more –

the truth is, we need some prophets for these race wars. case in point: some of these legends

have stayed a little quiet. i’m here, waiting on the Trumpslayer to lead us home. shout out to

Cate Gary. i heard a little kid threw something at trump’s motorcade. everybody draws their

own line. after waiting for the return of Jon Stewart, hoping for Obama’s third term, thinking

Trevor Noah might save us- after congratulating Baldwin for his contribution on Saturday

Night; at some point, we have to recognize true revolutionary acts must come from us.

Cornel West is still speaking, Mumia still on Death Row and it’s on us. Chance the Rapper

buying tickets to Get Out like a mini lottery, Cheadle taking his shots where he can, but it’s

still on us. And ya nigga’s rusty, my sound equipment’s busted but we out here trying. i hear

vicious political analysis over stale beers in random dive bars & some days i can’t tell who’s

winning these culture wars but here we are.

i am so sick of shrinking myself down to fit inside a fucking cell phone. straining thru

the cracks to watch a victorious sound byte, bootlegging special FX over stolen WiFi.

apple tells me i can’t listen to music i made, as i slalom flagged emails from youtube over

sampled content – i used to admire graf artists; because, every word they write is illegal.

in 2017, half my thoughts are probably against the law. i considered joining the military,

not sure what my other options were – i’ve daydreamed of artist grants – honestly, i can’t

believe in anything more than the impulse of an unknown.

henry darger’s closet, stacked with an illustrated manifesto of his tortured mind; fiona

apple locked inside a hotel room, penning her Criminal masterpiece, Poe coughing up

blood on his manuscript. Andre screaming, “all of my heroes did dope” … i’ve pored

over the words of jimi hendrix seeking the cursive lines between genius and obsession

and all i can figure, from Hedberg, Ledger and Lucas is it’s possible for an artist to

outlive his brilliance. then again, since the millennium it doesn’t matter – they’ll dig you

up like vinyl crates and resurrect you as a hologram if necessary. in 2017, Hip Hop

manifests as time capsule, ballot polemic, nostalgic polaroid and pop culture motif.

but the last time i met an emcee on the street, he tried to sell his CD & forgot to rhyme.

***
*a piece on moonlight & anti oppressive art

i spend my days in empty bars, where piss has overtaken ash and cigarette smoke as the dominant odor. god forbid a bar

should smell of beer. people ask what i do for a living. favors, mostly. i’ve heard speculation that somebody switched the

envelope on warren beatty, just before he handed off responsibility to faye. the oscars have been white since cinema was

filmed in greyscale.  what moonlight thru yonder ceiling breaks? twenty seventeen is the era of black love. i heard an OG

ask why an award matters- some comic called out subjectivity- chance got the grammy; i been bumping joey bad all day.

and, um, white folks have been kind of busy. this is what i hear. caucasians be doing the most- just real productive, lately.

i kind of figured on Four Years A Nap; but i guess i better get on some of this cracker energy. i best be making moves.

what do i think of cosby and nate parker & the kimmel jokes regarding diasporic nomenclature ? i’ll be 33 in two weeks:

same age as christ, when he died. i tell jokes in dead rooms: sammy davis, jimi hendrix and bob marley walk into a bar…

here’s why it matters – i want black film makers making as many films as possible. and i’m not talking about epic homages

to the historical plight of negroes. i ain’t asking for nigga tales and bio pics. gimme stories of black love, glowing like moon

light amid the alabaster day. and all that jazz. what do i think? i’ve been grinding on the fringes of show business for too

long to believe entirely in accidental PR opportunities. what do i think? james kimmel told the cast of La La Land to grab

the gold and run. we’re still living in the shadowlands of tinsel town. plucking strings and bussing tables at the cotton club.

i’ve been wandering my neighborhood on foot, peering down alleyways and into bars or galleries- encased in brick, mortar

and glass; considering new orleans, contemplating summer on stages, clubs & couches all around new york. i have nothing

better to do than support the revolutionary love of black artists. the other day, i met a man- who played with fela kuti- who

was looking for a venue, which i mentioned to my friend. i’ve read semi esoteric mormon science fiction which suggested

that the bonds of love are not just metaphorical but sub atomic. stephen hawking implied there could still be pockets in our

universe of magic from the origin of life. donald trump is president and we’re still here. i read an article comparing jokes

from this year’s oscars, as opposed to last year- without mentioning that Chris Rock hosted in 2016. people still keep

straining to stay color blind; meanwhile the streets are running red: 2017 to me has felt the fascist overtones so many spoke

on during Cheney’s second term, before he shot somebody in the face. and you know donald was jealous, cuz he brought it

up – although Donald may not be the hunting type. Trump prefers to shoot somebody in the middle of the street – preferably

in New York. Shit, he didn’t even want to leave new york to live in the most famous house in the world, possibly because

they wouldn’t let him put his name on it. Do I Believe In Accidents? how magical that La La Land’s dream sequence could

extend a little bit farther into the spotlight: how long can you tell a story before it has become the truth? often, the arithmetic

of 3/5 person hood echoes to remind us we aren’t fully people – it’s rare i hear somebody mention what the tally was for; black

mark underscoring the opinion of a landowning white man. you may have heard of him – he sits on the electoral college, on

the board of directors writing memos to lobbyists; he chooses whose name goes in the envelope at the oscars- pens across maps, gerrymanders districts and decides which healthcare we can afford. here’s where y’all have it twisted – moonlight is not important

cuz it won an oscar. moonlight was too important not to win- they won before the venue was scheduled. here’s something about

art – you can burn a book or ban a film, but we remember. half the tuxes went back the next day; meanwhile black love keeps

on raging like the great Chicago fire, like devil’s night – like the blaze of los angeles in sixtyfive and 92, like the fire of

Prometheus who must have come from africa, like all of us, like the griots tending the ancient flames across pangea. bless.

***
*an article about black love
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*an article on Sex & Friends
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*a political article tangentially about pokemon go
 
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*an essay on a friend who died
 
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*a piece about the UN & Black America

straight outta geneva

this negro dreams of the benefit of the doubt. i bet it tastes like ice cream.

a few weeks back in portland – towards the end of summer heat – i ducked into a pub.

i’d guess i had a twenty on me. far as i’m concerned, water is a human right. i’ve been

known to invoke eleanor roosevelt, debating away dehydration at a lunch counter.

i asked for a pint of ice, because i’m a prima donna. when i could breathe again,

i returned the glass and thanked the woman. she glanced nervously at the corn fed

all-american across the bar, then looked back at me, and said “don’t steal the glass“.

my standard move would be to burn this mother down. i went with ‘fuck it‘. like, i don’t

even want to be here.  i need to get my Baldwin on. James. two years ago, on greyhound,

i read an announcement from the UN. well, i mean – they don’t send me announcements.

i read an article Straight Outta Geneva.

U.N. CALLS OUT U.S. GOVERNMENT FUCK SHIT .

i want to get the fuck out of here. last week the UN came back with a remix.

UNITED STATES OWES NEGRO REPARATIONS .

i’m paraphrasing – this shit hit me like a banger – United Nations, speaking my language.

hit a nigga wit a birthright. Who Wanna Be A.A. Millionaire. 100 acres & Eeyore. this

shit has me depressed, dog. i barely give a fuck if i get shot half the time. supposedly,

this is the Obsessive element of Pure OCD. fixating on negative outcomes. that all sounds

part & parcel of hereditary depression; but it’s arguably more tactful to call out diasporic

PTSD.  either way, i want to move to Amsterdam. so here’s my theory – holla if ya hear me

– i require refugee status. but i would settle for a mandatory minimum income. days ago,

i read about the Rauschenberg Foundation. an artist grant for one hundred thousand dollars

over two years, dedicated to dismantling mass incarceration. my friend, who’s probably

exhausted from lending me cash, suggested i submit a proposal. there’s got to be somebody

better suited. unless y’all want to rebuild Garvey’s Ark. i went to an open mic wednesday at

the Revolution Cafe, in the lower bottoms of west oakland. i used to chill there all time (after

the bedbugs, before the robbery). my shit’s been falling apart for a while.

the Revolution got sold and re-envisioned – by New Panthers, recalling oakland’s militant

legacy. their open mic, dimly lit and smoke filled, was everything you could ask of a venue,

excepting an audience and six feet of mic cable. before we got to the list, somebody threw

on instrumentals and called down the soul. it’s been a while since i felt like an emcee.

i never got to flaunt my niggas in paris. touring with a crew gets expensive as fuck – plus

equipment costs. that’s half the reason i’m pretending stand up comedy is a career. littering

breadcrumbs across the superhighway, calling out from obscurity. when you cross a bridge,

do you ever hear the call to jump? i can’t stop diagnosing myself – sex addiction, autism, ADD.

Depression. germophobia. Pure O. washing my hands until they bleed.

i need anxiety medication. or a living wage. i want a ticket to geneva. when i moved to

portland, i told myself i wouldn’t leave until i’d burned every bridge. my family is obtuse

as fuck. or does every wedding become a grudge match? i’ve learned to leave a room like

punctuation; the last time i got dumped, i wound up on a bus. these lower bottom cafe

revolutionaries told me we have an obligation to stay and fight. they recited their platform,

with out space for interruption – it kind of felt like i was in a cult. but, every time i find

my way down to a rally, all anyone can talk about is the protest next week. my liberation

peers out from shadows like the viet cong. i joke about wanting to kick off the race wars,

only because it’s so clear they’re raging on. i’m hearing frantic, whispered conversations;

searching for chris dorner – listing off murdered witnesses, recounting our laments for

the dead. i’m thinking suicide by cop could be an option. wondering who left that pillow

on Scalia’s face. with Republicans predicting armageddon and Palahniuk rebooting project

mayhem – i’m bumping Bone N Biggie, “let’s ride, let’s ride, let’s ride, let’s ride – get high”.

***

ten. a.m.
3.13.17

this room is in shambles and i can never keep the lenses of my glasses from blurring
& fog. my hands feel a bit better at the moment, which could possibly be the best i get.

i’m ready for another blunt. when i woke up, there was no alcohol around; no stores
were open and i hadn’t gone to bed drunk last night. i used to enjoy rolling blunts, like
the opening notes of a Luniz track – you knew what was coming next – today i am not
what i was yesterday. people keep telling me to keep writing which – meant as an
encouragement, at the least demonstrates an unfamiliarity. my second ex wife said
the same, somewhat recently – for the same reason i have been drinking; to remain un
familiar. my drugs haven’t been working, time to change them. i decided to keep a diary.

blunt 1- it’s my birthday, i couldn’t think of anything but champagne and citrus when i
woke, mimosas are my primary hydration oftentimes. by the time i got back from the
store for a third time, without success- the blunt was already burning. matt lillard keeps
trying to act like a normal person onscreen, which always disappoints me. i miss the old
lillard, tongue wagging and eyes ablaze, inked up- raving and ranting across salt lake
city, cyberspace & the landscape of suburban horror. i’m living my dream life and i want
to die less than i used to- i have a joke about this, about quantum and the fear of mortality.

eventually, we do what works. i was reading today about how black men fail to ride for our
women- and i had to think back on all the ways i haven’t managed to look out and protect
the concerns of my community. i’ve spent the last decade looking for loopholes in capitalism
and usually it’s the folks furthest away who appreciate me the most. wonder what that means.

that first blunt took the edge off, blur of tobacco- wet eyed, unprepared. music drifts around me
as i consider the steps Linking me, like Zelda, down the path of an adventure i seem to have
chosen. years ago, i mapped out five goals and realized – years later – they had all technically
come true. recently, my goals are less defined and as nebulously qualified. the pot still works.

waxing philosophically, craving that mimosa as my only source of fruit and water. do you ever
sit for hours, wanting to move- reaching out from within your mind but unable to articulate the
wail rising unspoken through your spine? some days i clutch my phone and stare, knowing a
monosyllable i left in someone’s text box will be mistaken for indifference- other times i have to
ask myself why i can’t muster the appropriate emotional response to trauma. i’ve been talking
friends down from suicide for years- perhaps the secret is i want it just as much as them.

mimosa one – i’ve become obsessive with regard to freezers, multi layered frozen drinks for
art and sustenance. you can skip this ad in 3 seconds. here we go- if you chill a pint glass for
half an hour, your beer will be the best you can imagine. i leave mine in for weeks at a time-
rinse as needed. sometimes i leave two inches of water to freeze beneath my beer, it looks
pretty cool: i’ve watched water freeze as it runs down the side of my glass. when i go to pour
the mimosa, i lose time for a second and spill it all over the counter and down the cabinets.

i do pretty much what i want, but sometimes it’s up to gravity. after cleaning the mimosa, i end
up craving a second blunt almost immediately – maybe, just to know i can. mimosa back in the
freezer – i roll one up and watch lillard lose his mind. citrus is my motherfucker – fools don’t know
about mimosas … i know how to drink them properly. the champagne has to be practically frozen.

sometimes i end up covered in champagne froth, the timing is delicate but completely worthwhile.

perfectly chilled champagne, with a hint of pineapple and approximately one third orange juice
is freaking inarguable. i also invented a vodka cocktail and a warm drink called Sweet Mary’s
Vagina. i’ve been fairly productive, i guess.

years back, i was in san francisco at this coffee shop and i asked for pineapple juice. the barista
laughed and told me about some movie i had never seen. long story short, she hinted that i must
have fairly appetizing semen. i didn’t get it until later. supposedly, she’s dating her boss. i should
start another business.

blunt number two i tasted briefly and then snubbed it out. i’m on youtube, cursing their algorithm
out, demanding deep cuts. a glass pipe lays out on the bed, along with this freaking campfire
lighter and a white midget bic, plus the game controller, some napkins and wrapping papers. no
sheet. i haven’t had an actual lighter in about a week. one i can use with young arthritic fingers.

lit the blunt again and it’s gone, oedenkirk rhapsodically philosophizing w/ tompkins over whiskey
on his webseries. i have to leave soon for this podcast, thinking about what’s going well and what
isn’t. letting things go. at some point matthew lillard said some bullshit about how easy it is to make
time for a child, which seemed disingenuous. i’m feeling pretty good but i can tell the high is fading.

it’s 10AM.


the Chess Game(s)


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