All The Guns Are Gone

I write along a single line: I never get off it. I said that you were never to kill anyone, and I meant it.

 —Kenneth Patchen

Last year, round about this time, I broke.

A boy, so broken; broken from birth. So broken that, as he entered adolescence, he came to physically less resemble a human being, than a pop-eyed sketch of an extraterrestrial gray.

Ugly and strange and not-normal. And everyone always em,iliesaid: ugly and strange and not-normal. And they laughed—every one. And it became a torment, ever to, in public, even show his face.

So, through weeks, and months, and years, he closed himself off, from all the world. Eventually sealing all the windows, of his room, and of his soul. His room, he sealed with desperate scratchy black plastic, and duct-tape. So he could freely crouch. Ape-like. Masturbating. Before his video screen. His hands on the controls. Sealing the cessation of his soul. As he ceaselessly engaged, there on his screen, in killing. Killing. And killing. And killing. And killing. Killing. Killing. And killing.

Till, one fine morn, he awoke. Took a face from the ancient gallery. And walked on down the hall.

To blow, with her own gun, his sleeping mother, into bloody chunks.

Killing, this time—at long last—for real.

Then, the broken boy, he went to school.

And rained death down upon them with the second amendment freedom discharge of his god-given-right weapons unrecognizable some they had no longer any face what so proudly we hailed upon twenty little children in the twilight’s last gleaming they were five-year-olds they were of the age of fairies and fingerpaints and a broken boy because he could because any freedom git yer gun git yer gun git yer gun broken boy in America can freedom freedom freedom came to them with a gun and he concealed carry freedom second amendment blew all their faces and their brains away.

They were shot and they were killed and they were buried in closed coffins because they no longer had faces. Their faces splattered all about the schoolroom. Traces of blasted faces among the fairies and the fingerpaints. Five years old. Because freedom. Clap your hands. Because freedom. Clap your hands. Outta yer cold dead hands. Because freedom. Clap your hands. Sometimes. I. Feel. Like. A. Motherless. Child. Because freedom. Clap your hands. Hoo-rah. Semper fi. Aim high. Anchors aweigh. Because freedom. Clap your hands. Clap your hands. Clap your hands now.

I had no reserves, in my being, capable of dealing with the broken boy. Though I didn’t know that, until some time after he had blown all the five-year-old faces away. Because, among my many failings, is the failure to noahtrack my own being. Seems I had already spent it all, all of what I am, on Christina TaylorGreen. In allowing myself to, repeatedly, go all the way inside her, unto the moment of her death, and beyond, I had, I guess, behaved as if there would never be, such, again.

Oh, foolish. no-longer-youth.

And so, when the broken boy, he took his guns, and he went to the school, and with his guns, he broke the faces off all the twenty five-year-olds, there was nowhere for me to go.

But into the great wide open.

Where I saw it: humans are just not going to have guns anymore.

Guns are over.

That’s just a fact.

I see it. I see it, right now, as I sit here.

For I’ve been to the mountaintop.

In fact, I’m up there now.

And it is so fine.

And you can join me come with methere. And then, there, together: we shall look over.

My mistake (#36579.6) was, when, post-broken-boy, still rash and unevolved and dumby, I went out on jihad, and screeched “All The Guns Are Going To Go.”

This was Wrong thinking. For the true place is: “All The Guns Are Gone.”

Which means: they simply don’t exist anymore. Their non-existence, is something that has Already Happened.

Proper framing is of ultimate importance. My colleague taught me that. My colleague showed me videos of Chinese doctors, who, in approaching cancerous tumors, arrange their minds so that the tumors do not exist. And then, they “operate,” by standing over the patient, envisioning a tumor-less patient, and then envisioning, and chanting “already happened.”

And lo: it already happens. The tumor is gone. Never, really, was it even there.

Consciousness spirals. That’s the way it works. And nobody can fruitfully call the exact moment when will come the twist of the spiral that will wind no into yes, minus into plus, white into black. But it can be felt. A-comin. As it’s on its way. Until one day, it bursts into already happened.

Sorta like what Sister Re did know, in knowing what Mr. Sam did know: “I Know A Change Is Gonna Come.”

Spiral winding higher: example. In just the past five years, Americans have witnessed a momentous upspiral shift, in which the notion of gay people marrying, moved from the outre, to the mainstream. So that it is, today, an “already happened.” Unquestioned. Save by knuckledraggers. Who are laughed at. So much so, that when the scuzzy drooling patriarch of the nation’s top-rated cable-TV show, starts blowing fart-bubbles about how he don’t much like gays, his scaly pimply ass is yanked right off the Big Tube.

Similarly, in the wake of the broken boy blasting the faces off the twenty five-year-olds, all the three-inch-penies, fumbling with their guns, they have gone into deep psychological retreat. They are, today, on the defensive. The norm, now, suddenly, miraculously—sanctified by the splattered blood of those twenty blown-apart faces—is living not in fear, without a gun. The gunnies, they have been overturned. Overnight, they are now, as were the smokers, when that moment was reached, seemingly overnight, when smoking transformed from Kool and Klubby, to Foul and Filthy. The gunnies, the poor, sad, sadsack, shriveled-sac, knock-kneed-scared gunnies—they are over. They can frantically whack their two-inch second-amendments all they wish. But they are already done. The guns are gone. The spiral has twisted onward and upward. And they’ve been left behind.

Already Happened.

Just a matter of time.

And so: this is why I know all the guns are gone. They are simply no longer present on this planet. Creatures, here, on this planet, they no longer hurt one another. True: people like the poppies and the rabbits and the scrub jays, they’re a little farther along than the humans. But the humans, they’re catching up. They’re getting there. And, when they do, they will no longer even be chained, to living here. They will be high wild fine immortal spirits. A-sailing and a-sailing. Into the great wide open.

Don’t you understand? I have arisen not from the dead but from the living. I am not a voice crying in the wilderness. There is no winter here. No dark. No despair. The lights are going on in my house. 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.

 —Kenneth Patchen

there’s a man with a gun over there
tellin’ me i got to beware

it’s time we stopped, children
what’s that sound

everybody look what ‘s goin’ down

stop
look
what’s that sound

everybody knows
what’s goin’ down

stop
look
what’s that sound

everybody knows
what’s goin’ down

everybody knows
what’s goin’ down

everybody knows
what’s goin’ down

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6 Responses to “All The Guns Are Gone”


  1. 1 Miep January 5, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    The pro-gun argument includes the idea that a gun is just a tool, but many things in the USA are far too emotionally loaded to be only anything that simple.

    Guns aren’t neutral, they aren’t passive. Things happen around guns, bad things.

    I wish I could share your optimism. I expect collapse. I guess if it happens fast enough, my dogs and I will wind up getting eaten.

    But it’s community that keeps people safe, not guns, and if we can’t figure that out, all the guns in the world won’t do it for us.

    Nice piece.

  2. 5 Miep January 6, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Also, you’re right that “all the guns are gone” is a better frame. Some parties thought you were suggesting they would be taken away; this leaves things more open to the idea of the ultimate irrelevance of guns.

    The circumstances called for jihad. Don’t blame yourself.


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