from & for sugar
because the light is beautiful
from & for sugar
(Reprinting this here because I’m still grumpy from making the mistake May 1 of descending into the pre-monolith political blogs, wherein knuckle-dragging screechers and screamers were, foam-flecked, furiously flinging feces at one another, as to whether anarchists, communists, or slow-moving centrist sloths, did first come up with “May Day.”
(All of them: wrong. So wrong. So completely wrong.
(For the day, outside this so desensualized industrial age, has never had anything whatsoever to do with anything so foul and filthy and sterile and impotent and neuter and non-productive and fleeting and impermanent and totally over as “labor,” as “work.”
(May Day: it’s a fuck festival. Always has been; always will be. Alpha and omega. Unto the end. Amen.)
Millennia before the political people got hold of it, May Day was for lovers.
Equidistant between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice, arrived that day when human beings participated in the seasonal renewal of life by themselves bursting into bloom—making love.
Or, sometimes, simply, easily, naturally: in “but” fucking.
Details varied. In some places, particularly in the Celtic realm, this day was known as Beltane. Sometimes a woman and man, recognized as particularly sympathetic to or skilled in the magic arts, would, representing the Goddess and God themselves, couple in a ritualized ceremony, either observed or alone, and most often in a freshly seeded field.
Very often, as it says here, “[y]oung couples were encouraged to test their fertility with Beltane trysts, and any babies born from Beltane were believed to be blessed by the Goddess herself.” Pretty magical, such witch children.
Too, “[t]rial unions, called hand-fastings (as the lovers’ clasped hands were bound by ribbon), were also popular at Beltane, committing the couple to each other for one year and a day in preparation for a marital commitment.” Such a ceremony is today popular among some contemporary neo-pagans.
Other places, on this day, there was a sort of relationship “time-out,” when the people of the tribe, in the interest of renewing the earth, could couple indiscriminately, and without consequence.
“I have this beetle here in one hand,” Aristotle proclaimed one day, “with a single oval shell and eight jointed legs, and I have here in my other hand this second beetle of lighter hue which has twelve legs and a shell that is longer and segmented. Can you explain the differences?”
“Yes,” said Plato. “There is no such thing as a beetle, in either of your hands. There is no such thing as your hand. What you think of as a beetle and a hand are merely reflections of your recognition of the idea of a beetle and a hand. There is only the idea, which existed before these specimens came into being. Otherwise, how could they come into being? And the form of the idea, of course, is always eternal and real, and never changes. What you are holding in what you think are your hands are shadows of that idea. Have you forgotten my illustration of the cave in my Republic? Read it once more. That the two beetles you have are different is clear enough proof that neither is real. It therefore follows that only the form or the idea of the form is susceptible to study, and it is something about which we will never be able to learn more than we already know. Ideas alone are worth contemplating. You are not real, my vain young Aristotle. I’m not real. Socrates himself was but an imitation of himself. All of us are merely inferior copies of the form that is us. I know you understand me.”
—Joseph Heller, Picture This
Testing and training are all to the good, but they take time. And time is short. All the powers are making last-minute overtures to one another. According to intercepted cables, the French ambassador to Germany, Coulondre, told Hitler than a long war could result in chaos and unexpected results: “You are thinking of yourselves as victors . . . but have you thought of another possibility, that the victor might be Trotsky?” Hitler jumped from his chair “as if he had been hit in the pit of his stomach, and screamed.”
I know how he feels.
—Richard Lourie, The Autobiography Of Joseph Stalin
A Manhattan court stenographer was fired after reportedly typing: “I hate my job, I hate my job” instead of recording criminal trial dialogue. Daniel Kochanski’s actions apparently also included simply hitting random keys . . . .
“I would prefer not to.”
—”Bartleby, The Scrivener,” Herman Melville
Horp jeem klob torm ahai vortyuoip. Klimoid shui shishl kleet.
“Orglieop norg ardog bannub,” kleuio frad af og klerd. “Dor agk fordelyk agoyu tert-ter.”
“Heamblow ferkmard glorb ahio iou sipl-sipl,” kord og af gleeb tortmla. “Chingalo naturlick roaden marchen bonen.”
Agoober dern-a-ler-den-dern, squeelinlikeapiggin panathema grandeochunder!
Hork! Hork! Gort lork ahiou whoiu hcduwe[yfiq[YIYFIO plert.
Pleebyuoir. Ghjkuiop. Frigih!
Maundy Thursday is the Christian feast, or holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus . . . Most scholars agree that the English word Maundy in that name for the day is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos.” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”)
I won’t leave the attic
and with apologies to Apollinaire I can smoke
while working. I’m doing it
I’m going to it. The jerks are working
empty handed and then they pick up
twigs. Now they want to smoke me
out, but I’m too bat-like!
too happy with my stash and rock and
roll. Unlike the souffle below
who intends to burst. Deep breath, funny air.
So apparently there is some rich-fuck rightwing racist shameless welfare-recipient Mormon-underpants-wearing rancher wantonly roaming his cows over public land for which he has not paid grazing fees for more than 30 years.
This nit-knock has deluded a Reality wherein the federal government don’t mean shit; only, so says he, shall he acknowledge the government of the State of Nevada. He’ll pay them, says he, the state people, to graze, his cattle, over land that don’t belong to him, but he won’t pay no feds.
Next, he’ll be raving on about how he gets to keep slaves.
‘Cause that is jist the sort of git, that this git is.
I am mostly— when not earning my crust in the folly of the law—painting oils, and planting seeds, these days.
Occasionally, I’ll peer into a tube.
That’s how I found out about this old nutbag Nevada sunburnt Mormon, who insists he can ejaculate his cows, for free, all over public land.
And my question, it is this: didn’t we already have the monolith?
Didn’t the true-life documentary film 2001: A Space Odyssey document the true fact that ape-men, they stood before a powerful passing planted black slab, millions of years ago, and thereby grew a brain?
So that we are actually millions of years beyond this yeehaw screaming till his lips bleed that he has a “natural right” to freely and flagrantly cornhole his cows on public land?
I am simply not allowing this crazed cattle-cornholer into my universe.
For he is like a species-appendix. Some weirdsmobile, completely shrunken and malfunctional organ, that may, several million years ago, have actually had a purpose. But, these days, we have no idea what that purpose may have been.
He is an old and desiccated desert rat, and soon he shall die. And, though his of-family people—who are many and manifold, because he refused in his lifetime to control in any way his loins—shall upon his memory weep, soon no one will remember anything about him.
Because, in the great wide open to come, all the land, will belong to everybody.
It is the bare beginnings of this, that this cornholing Rancher Retrovert, he cannot abide.
Too bad for him.
He’s already over.
We, of the seed people, we have gone long beyond all the galloping cornholing Rancher Retrovert horseshit that appears each day in the “news.”
This blah NSA blah Ukraine blah Nevada horse-ass blah blah blah blah.
Who gives a shit. None of them have ever once touched the monolith. They are so hundreds of millions of years behind the times. Just let them go. They don’t even actually exist. Close our minds to them: and they are gone. Willed-away wisps.
I am growing feverfew. Also, sunflowers. Moonflowers. Hot peppers. Potatoes. Some several different-one blueberries. I am growing passionflower—where it is not supposed to grow. Because I can, and I will. Dill. I am growing. Meadowsweet. Fairies. Magic. I am growing. Sage. Unto immortal May. I am growing. Madder. To dye all us good Celts red. As it has always been written. As even unto today it is done. I am growing. I am surrounding myself with garlic and arnica. I am growing. Buckwheat. It will be all and everywhere. I am growing. All the opium and wormwood: I shall plant thee: and then thee, shall, in vision, plant thyself in me.
I am growing.
I am no longer a sterile shrunken intertubes pod. “Living,” on a screen.
I am growing.
I am coming round here. Just about midnight.
were you ever driving at 3 in the morning down some 2 lane road in upstate new york & it was raining & the only thing you can get on the radio is some station out of memphis or someplace which comes in perfectly clear & plays great music like life is but a dream du wop du wop & you just turn it up & say to yourself “what the fuck, what the fuck?” well that’s how i feel walking to the post office.
and under the boughs unbowed
all clothed in snowy shroud
she had no heart so hardened
all under the boughs unbowed
Miep, you say:
Blueness, did you hear about that poor man who got shot down in the hills by the ABQ police? My other friends and I were all very upset. There are people trying to arrest the ABQ police department now. It’s horrible. Firing squads dressed up in police suits.
Blueness, he was just up there camping in the hills, because it got to be too much for him. And our delightful asshole culture sent a bunch of dudes up there after him with a trained attack dog and assault rifles.
And they murdered him after they escalated the situation. After he agreed to surrender.
He was just camping.
Fucking shot him down. He turned away. I’ve had friends who were that upset. They fucking shot him down. He could have been a good friend of mine from earlier back in my life. They fucking shot him down. “Firing Squad Dressed Up In Police Costumes.”
Who knows who that man was? He could have been a lover, a painter, an artist. He could have been our best friend.
Fucking shot him down.
I love how you hew to non-violence, Blueness. That’s a tough road to travel.
And I say: how can I not hew to non-violence?
If I do not, then someday, in spirit, or in flesh, I will be up there, down there, just like them, them ABQ law-jockeys, knuckles drug all the way into the ground, fucking shooting someone down, because s/he did, basically, not sufficiently walk, like me, talk, like me.
and i will hang my head
hang my head
And I cannot do that, because, all those other all and everys, they’re me.
I know this. Whenever I ever encounter any other being on this, or any other, planet—animal, mineral, vegetable—I know that being is me.
How can people not see this?
How can people hurt and kill themselves?
Beats me. Beats us all. All us all.
I have arisen not from the dead. But from the living. And I am not a voice crying in the wilderness. For there is no winter here. No dark. No despair. The lights are going on in my house. For there is no darkness anywhere. I have all my lights on. And it is my own face, I see in the blazing windows of all the houses on earth.
Once upon an all and every, we were all of one undifferentiated consciousness, spanning all of space and time. Anything we wanted to be, any place we could be, we would be. All and every one of us. And always together.
Somewhere along the line, it was determined—probably by somebody like Satan—that such shit was, well, boring.
It was all happy and wrapped and loving and snug and snuggly and all, but, like, where was the great wide open?
What might it be like if one could shed the other 400 trillion beings clinging to the brain-pan, and live a life just as a one?
It’ll be, like, fun.
And so, they—we—did that.
And, from that, is where we, here on earth, get terms like “shrieking,” “ululating,” “rending their garments,” “biting through their tongues,” “scraping the shit off their skin with pot-shards,” “screaming till their lips bleed,” “blowing their brains out,” and other pleasantries.
I mean: think: why is the first thing a baby born into this world, do do, is cry?
Because that baby being, having moved from the collective consciousness, to the trapped caged lonely consciousness of singular, feels that hollowness and estrangement and alienation and radio silence, and then realizes: oh shit. I wanna go back.
All life. Of every human being. On this planet. Is about wanting to go back. To the undifferentiated cloud. To the great wide open.
All of everything every human has ever been about, here, is about that.
“Love,” always and every acknowledged in every culture as some sort of misty grail, is so acknowledged because it is the closest the scraped-off individualized human loonily marooned on this planet can get, to what it was, all and always. where they came from, where all were suffused in one, all were in touch, all were one.
Miep: the download, to this planet, from the collective to the individual: in this there are variables.
There are, like, the fucking rawboned mutant ruined Bill Gates 666 Windows downloads, which result in monsters like those ABQ cops, who feel no kin to anyone, ‘cept maybe pit bulls, and so slaver to kill, conquer, subdue, smile, smirk.
Whereas people like you and I, we are more suffused with something like the Eden-promise of Apple, when it was still but the gentle dream in Steve Wozniak’s soul, there in the puttering Palo Alto garage, long before the grasping money-souled Steve Jobs seized hold of it, and transformed it into Product.
It’s all going to be okay, Miep. Because we really are all one soul, and one being. And this all is just a temporary experiment, one disastrously launched upon because, up there in “heaven,” we got bored.
That’s what all this all is all about.
In getting there, some of us incarnate as dumbshit pit bulls, like the ABQ cops. And some incarnate as people who, like you, pet tarantulas, and feel so much you can barely stand to wake each day.
We all, eventually, one by one, decided up there, that this was a good idea.
We have to trust that it really is.
I believe it is.
I believe we will all go again into the great wide open. And without bodies. Which is the way that we came here. But we will go back out with individual “minds.” Within the collective ones.
And I believe that, when we at last swirl really away, a la Childhood’s End, we will retroactively bring with us all incarnated corporeal beings ever sentenced to this planet.
Which is what, fumbling, people like Jesus and Buddha were trying to get to.
And now you know. Why, really, I no longer post on the cross of Daily Kos.
As neither do you.
you can take
all the tea in china
put it in a big brown bag for me
sail it right around
all the seven oceans
drop it straight into the deep blue sea
yet will I sing
bonny mad boys
bedlam boys are bonny
for they all go bare
and they live in the air
and they want no drink nor money
i went to pluto’s kitchen
to break my fast one morning
and there i got souls piping hot
that on the spit were turning
bonny mad boys
bedlam boys are bonny
for they all go bare
and they live in the air
and they want no drink nor money
“This wilderness has destroy me,” Clam de Paty mumbled. He felt too tired, too sad even to make his English precise. What he had mumbled was the truth: the American wilderness had destroyed him. He did not want to walk across it—not even one more mile. He did not want to write about its mountain men, its savages, its grizzly bears, its mountains. He had come to America a famous man, a veteran of the Grande Armee, a man who had won medals; was he not the most famous journalist in the most civilized country in the world? Yet now, thanks to his bosses—always greedy for new information—he was destroyed, broken, finished, ended, afflicted with a numb despair. True, they had found a good spring, had drunk their fill, had bathed many times, had rested. And yet, all around, the wilderness still yawned. Sante Fe was still hundreds of miles away. The nice young Monsieur Charbonneau could talk to him all he wanted about how easy the rest of the trip would be compared to what had already been endured, but young Monsieur Charbonneau was missing one big point: Clam de Paty no longer cared. The wilderness had finished him.
—Larry McMurtry, By Sorrow’s River
Rabbi Nahum said no man was beyond redemption.
He said redemption was established before the creation of the world itself, that’s how important redemption is.
No one can take it away.
“Noah was an asshole.”
“He didn’t argue.”
“Noah should have argued?”
Yakov explained, “Abraham argues with God not to kill everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses pleads with God not to kill worshippers of the golden calf. But God tells Noah to build a boat because He’s going to flood the entire world, and what does Noah say? Not a word.”
“Not a word,” said Bobby, “and saves the minimum. What a bastard.”
—Martin Cruz Smith, Wolves Eat Dogs
Being in the country in the vacation time not many years since, at Lindley in Leicestershire, my father’s house, I first observed this amulet of a spider in a nut-shell lapped in silk, etc., so applied for an ague by my mother; whom although I knew to have excellent skill in chirurgery, sore eyes, aches, etc., and such experimental medicines, as all the country where she dwelt can witness, to have done many famous and good cures upon divers poor folks, that were otherwise destitute of help, yet, among all other experiments, this methought was most absurd and ridiculous, I could see no warrant for it. Quid aranea cum febre? [What has a spider to do with fever?] For what antipathy? till at length, rambling amongst authors (as often I do), I found this very medicine in Dioscorides, approved by Matthiolus, repeated by Aldrovandus; I began to have a better opinion of it, and give more credit to amulets, when I saw it in some parties answer to experience.
—Robert Burton, The Anatomy Of Melancholy
standin’ on the corner
suitcase in my hand
jack’s in his corset and jane’s in her vest, baby
me, i’m in a rocknroll band
you know they’re sayin’:
ah, sweet jane
I dream a lot.
Yeah. Well. Obviously.
But, I mean, I also dream, when I’m asleep.
Like, this afternoon, I awoke—like any cat, I sleep, and wake, all through the day, and all through the night—from a dream where I was at Lou Reed’s house.
Lou was there; there in his house. In the age and incarnation of the photo featured there just above. Settled; serene. Aged: experienced: passed. Beyond all the bullshit. In the clear.
There, in his house, Lou, he slung over his shoulder a guitar, and, naturally, effortlessly, clear as pure water, played for hisself, me just there hearing, “Sweet Jane.”
Then, he unslung the guitar. And passed it to me. So I could give it a try.
I commenced to fumbling with the strings. Trying to get it right.
Eventually, I hit, more or less correctly, the first couple chords (and in “Sweet Jane” there are really only two chords). And so began feeling a little better about myself.
Then I noticed Lou had settled himself into an easy chair. Had turned on a TV (and the sound was pretty dern loud). And was eating something like popcorn.
I felt kinda forlorn. Left behind.
I was playing his song. But he was paying me no mind.
I pass through these dreams, and they pass through me. But generally I have no idea what they might mean.
Sometimes I pass some crippled day-time gibbering verbal accounting of these dreams on to the wise—and these wise are always women—and, sometimes, through them, the light, it do shine.
For instance, in re the above-referenced Lou Reed dream, after I had cripple-jabbered it onto her, AvoMayor, she did say:
i think that is a perfect Lou Reed dream. How many times do you think he played Sweet Jane in the course of his career?? But he’s retired and trying to just relax now, so he has given it to you..
Use it wisely : ) No pressure or anything………
and jack he is a banker
and jane she is a clerk
and both them save their moneys, honeys
all when they come home from work
sittin’ there by the fire
radio does play
a little classical music from
march of the wooden soldiers
you can hear jack say:
he says: sweet ukraine
ah now baby: sweet ukraine
ah: sweet ukraine
Ukraine is a little tiny baby country.
Appearing, under that name, within those borders, but in the afterbirth of the Russian Revolution of 1917.
During which Lenin & Co., in a new and dusky shiny Red way, carved out, and named, various territories that, for the most part, had been subsumed, some decades, and even centuries, before, into the Russian Empire.
What is today, in these 24/7 times, causing ape-men to foam, from sea to shining to sea, rattling all and every saber, over “Ukraine,” is about a dirt-patch that, for most of recorded history, for about 500 years, was part of Poland.
People, these days, because it is nearly against the law to know history, do not understand that long before these was any Russian Empire—or even any Russia—Poland, like a colossus, did bestride, all and every, of its nearby earth.
But then, in the course of things, like all empires, Poland waxed, and waned, and, eventually, crumbled into dust.
Until it was no more.
Until there became no Poland.
Until, in the late 18th Century, Poland actually ceased to exist. What was once “Poland,” was divided between Russia, Prussia (read: crazed Germans), and the doomed Habsburgs of Austria.
After WWI, to punish the Austrians and Germans, who had been defeated, and the Russians, who had gone wild and gone Commie, the allied powers decided “Poland” should be reconstituted.
They also Made a new and different-one nation, out of what was once Poland, known as “Ukraine.”
Which was, quickly, and in the course of things, absorbed into the nascent Soviet Union.
This “Ukraine,” it yoked together a “western” stretch of people on soil that had, for millennia, yearned towards the west, and an “eastern” stretch of people on soil that had, for millennia, yearned towards the east.
Everybody, west or east, who ever wanted to grow shit, has always liked “Ukraine”—and lots. Because it features deep fertile soil, unmatched, anywhere on the planet, except in California’s central valley. Deep, unbelievably rich topsoil, 20 feet deep.
Of course, these days, the soil, that everybody for millennia has fought so over, is all ruint. Because, there in Ukraine, in 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor erupted, and scarred not only the near and far, but all the planet.
There were forty-one official deaths from the accident, and half a million unofficial.
An honest list would reach to the moon.
some people like to go out dancin’
then there’s other people, baby, they gotta work
—you better watch me now—
there’s some evil mothers
they’ll just tell you that life’s just made out of dirt
that pretty women baby they never really faint
and villains always blink their eyes
that children are the only ones who blush
and that life—LIFE—that life is just to die
but i want to tell you somethin’:
Bobby Hoffman and Yakov stood in the middle of the road facing a security wall decked with shiny coils of wire. Each man wore a yarmulke and a tasselled shawl. Arkady couldn’t make out what they were saying, though they rocked back and forth to its rhythm.
Beyond the wall was another wire-draped wall and, fifty meters farther on, the sarcophagus, as stained and massive as a windowless cathedral. Dim security lamps glowed here and there. A crane and a chimney stack towered over the sarcophagus, but compared to it, they were insignificant. The sarcophagus was apart, alone, alive.
Arkady didn’t need to use his dosimeter; he felt his hair rise.
The chanting wasn’t loud enough to carry far. Bobby’s voice was whispery. Yakov’s was deep and worn, and Arkady recognized the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead. Their voices overlapped, separated, joined again. Standing outside the corrupted shell of a nuclear disaster, rocking back and forth like human metronomes and intoning the same verses over and over, “Ose sholom himromov hu yaase sholom.” When they finished the prayer, they simply began again.
Arkady moved into their line of vision. Each step brought the sarcophagus closer, too, as if it had been waiting for the right hour to leap the wall, a hard sight to face without a prayer. Yakov acknowledged Arkady with the briefest nod, to say not to worry, that he and Bobby were fine. Bobby clutched a list of names that Arkady could see because of a rising moon that spilled over the station yard. The list looked long. Arkady remembered Eva saying that a complete list would reach the moon.
I loathe that I feel I have to step-by-step. I just want to play the chords.
Russia, the one place it has warm water, the one place it can sail its boats, is on the Black Sea. And the one place it can access that sea, is through the Crimea. Little strait. Through which the Russians can sail, and sail and sail, from the sea of Azov, to the sea of Black, and then into the Mediterranean. Where it can feel, at last, like it is a Real nation.
Russia, astrologically, is a Scorpio. Which means, at root, it believes that all and every are always out to get it. Whether that is true or no.
Crimea. The Mongols swept into all and everywhere beginning in the 12th Century: no one, anywhere (except the Vietnamese), could stop them.
Centuries later, the last Mongol Khanate to be made to retreat was that in the Crimea, which was absorbed into the avidly advancing Russian Empire, only round about 1800.
Some of them, during WWII, allied themselves with the Germans.
And so, WWII concluded, Stalin decreed it was right and meet to export the entire population of the Crimea, to Central Asia.
When he was done, not a native inhabitant remained.
Stalin—heh—that’s just the way he be. A stone cold killer. With one hand on a vodka bottle. And another on a List.
I these days am only amused by those who burrow deep into dark and dank and-all-and-every all-encompassing theories. Where all is forever explained. By some nefarious puppet-stringing total control over everything.
The current ferment over Ukraine is a perfect example of how it is not so black/white, from however one approaches black/white, as it may seem.
Russia will never give up Crimea. That is the only place its Navy may flow from a warm-water port.
Crimea was part of Russia. Until 1954. When, Khrushchev gifted the Crimea to Ukraine. Why? Because Khrushchev was Ukrainian. He wanted to reward the homeboys. Against all logic. Against all history. But what did that matter? He did it. Because he could.
That’s all there is. There isn’t anymore. Except, again, I’ve wasted my time. I should, really, only have inscribed, these final eight lines. All the rest, in the long view, is either masturbation, or waste.
anyone who had a heart
they wouldn’t turn around and break it
and anyone who’s ever played a part
they wouldn’t turn around and hate it
they say: jane