Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Monday, October 30, 2006

Oh, Be Not Morbid, Demons Foul!



Particular are Autumn's worries
Spiders, bats and what's your hurry?
Dead leaves that skitter on the walk
Cliches of loss, the trade and stock

A skeleton, a severed hand
A jack-o-lantern on a stand
A witch, a warlock, a headless freak
All Hallow's Eve, come take a peak

Upon this night the children rule
While parents make sure all is cool
And bags and buckets are held out
For candy to be tossed about

And the masks of darker fears
Are reduced to empty sneers
The japes and jests bereft of powers
They now amuse where once they soured

Yet the elders nod their heads
With secrets of the living dead
We may defang the monsters, true
Though we yet live, we face curfew

On Halloween, our dread to steal
We put the demons on the wheel
And tickle them and make them hollow
Death is what we all must follow

So have some fun, go Trick or Treat
And breathe in deep and taste the sweets
Upon this night the ghosts will rise!
Them that lives is them that dies!

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Jesus Considering Dying For Your Diseases


Possibly Over-Medicated Messiah Seen Leaving Rave Concert

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(Jivester News, Lmtd.) After suggesting that dying for mankind's sins was too limiting, Christ Jesus has been speaking (off the record) lately to His friends and some--not all--of His neighbors, about His plans to return to Earth and "...dying this time not for sins per se, but for a litany of various maladies, diseases, nagging back aches and of course male pattern baldness."

Yeshua (his Hebraic name means "Canadian Drugs" in Pig Latin) has been studying medical reference websites lately, poring over materials related to genetics--specifically how heredity and bio-chemical variations affect millions upon millions of human beings on a daily basis. Moved by the plight of humanity, He has decided to de-emphasize the "sin thing" and focus more clearly on His healing talents. Recognizing that He's just "not into" walking around the planet and healing everyone He meets ("...it's like being a comedian and having to be funny all the time. What a drag. Bob Hope is the most miserable person in Heaven...") Jesus has decided to franchise His operation while retaining all ancillary rights.

Speaking on GOD News during a break from Eternity, Jesus said, "I thought about this issue during the whole Michael J. Fox/Rush Limbaugh story. I mean, here's a case where someone is practically on his knees begging for help just so some pre-emryonic blastocysts destined for the dustbin can be utilized by scientists in America to try and discover cures for Parkinson's and other crippling and fatal diseases, and Rush is jumping on him like he was a tackling dummy. It's not right--it's as wrong as anything I have ever witnessed--so I've decided that instead of waiting around for the electorate to pick through the blather and do the right thing, I will simply be born again and this time make it clear that my death at the hands of Big Pharma will be my guarantee to wipe out diseases, some lower lumbar ailments, and male pattern baldness for all humanity, for all time."

Asked by a gentleman who identified himself as a prosecuter for God to enumerate what people would be dying from in the future, Jesus replied, "I don't know. Probably drowning or radiation poisoning. Oh, and murder and car accidents. Ooh--plane crashes and earthquakes and..." continued Jesus, until trailing off as if lost in a really mysterious thought. When asked why He included "male pattern baldness" among the list of ailments He would choose to die for, Jesus took off His wig and pointed to His abundant lack of hair thereon, while shaking his head slowly--very slowly, very solemnly. He put His wig back on and said, "Verily, let us not speak of this again. Not kidding. I wouldn't press this point if I were you. Ix-nay on the ald-bay atter-chay."

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Image of possibly over-medicated messianic figure from here.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Helping Hand



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I wrote the story posted below (a truly true story) last August and sent it to Sun magazine (they have a Readers' Write section that is just plain wonderful). Anyway, I never heard from them so I have decided to publish it here, where the deer and the antelope play.

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At eight o'clock in the morning on Friday, December 8th, 2000 (the 20th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon) my wife lay on the floor of our dining room, wounded by the four dogs who were in a pitched battle on top of her. She was covered in a blur of violence but she herself was incidental to their conflict. She was half-sitting and bleeding from one leg and one arm, and her face was ashen. Having just finished my shower, and figuring that coffee and the newspaper were probably out of the question, I ran to her and tried to pull the dogs off, but in the commotion one of the Dogs of Blur ripped open my left hand along the fat part of my palm, next to my thumb. It was a large and frightening wound. Able to somehow grab the tail of another dog, I pulled off the last two fighters with my wife's dazed help. She ended up going outside with two of the dogs: their battle had ended just as my wife began to pass out.

Blood was smeared everywhere. I picked up a cordless phone and dialed 911. The paramedics were soon on their way. I waited, dazed...

To backtrack: my wife rescues dogs, and had recently introduced a smallish black Chow to the group, an ever-changing pack of rescues, mostly ad hoc in nature. The black Chow's arrival released every known tension the dogs had ever had, and suddenly the alpha position was apparently up for discussion. Our German Shepherd began to do battle with our Husky, and another street chow mix and a female brindle chow mix (Luna, a dear girl but full of piss and vinegar) would get caught up in the action--that morning's ruckus was not their first tangle, but it was their first fight with such profound collateral damage. On the day of the battle my wife had changed an entrance routine from the yard to the house, and a mad frenzy at the door escalated into the mayhem that would end up with both of us at the hospital.

The paramedics arrived, looked at my hand ("Dude, your hand is fileted") and tended to my wife, who when stressed often experiences a sharp drop in her blood
pressure, causing her to faint. She came around (with aid from the paramedics)
and we ended up being driven to the hospital by a friend. At one point that afternoon, as we lay in our emergency room beds (I with my "fileted" hand held aloft, her with her punctured leg pulled up near her chest) we looked at each other and laughed. On the speaker system in the emergency room "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" played without a single note of irony.

My wife was patched up within an hour or two, but due to the severity of my injury
the emergency room doctor wanted to wait for a plastic surgeon to treat my wound as he felt a specialist was necessary. I waited over six hours for the plastic surgeon, my hand held aloft, and I was not sure how bad the injury was. It didn't really hurt, as long as I held it aloft. Finally, the specialist arrived around 3:00 in the afternoon, and made short work of his stay. After determining that my hand was indeed still attached to my wrist he began to inject the area around the open flesh with novacaine--these pointed attacks hurt like a motherfucker, at least until the novacaine took effect, and while my hand was completely numb he sewed me up and I was free to leave.

Our good friend drove me back (my wife had already gone home by then) and we stopped and purchased pain medication (which I would need it for when the novacaine began to wear off). My wife had a job-related deadline (she works in television and film production where deadlines are biblical in their severity) and had to leave, but I assured her I would be fine. With my wife and friend both gone, pain returned to my left hand, and so I reached for the bottle of pills that would ease my discomfort. It was then that I discovered that, with one hand essentially useless, I could not open the safety-capped bottle.

Alone in my house, the pain in my hand increasing by the second, I began to laugh as if a secret joke held my life in its relentless grasp.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

FOUR VARIATIONS ON A THEME









All images by MJS

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Bad Magician in "The Aborted Quest"



First practice a condition. Then:

Cord, lots of it. Wriggling lengths of nerves, coiled for the descent, the myelin sheath of electrical bursts along the War Hawk. The Bad Magician sticks a claw hammer in the air and flesh is torn in dream tones. Pushing off the mucous, he falls above the angel depths--next he climbs down the jingle jangly of the white whale and into the heaviest smoke of sorrow. The Bad Magician does not want to be here. Nevertheless, the Bad Magician descends. Into limbo, into Limbaugh.

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A strand of hair is grabbed, the Bad Magician swings, and into the ear he flies. Deaf. Deaf. Deaf. The walls of the ear swollen, pink, sticky. Journey to the brain, empty bottles of dopamine line the streets, and wild children turn chiclets into the bump and grind. A pill is ingested and rabbits eat a little girl, then to the center we wander, and then to clouds, ether. Rush chortles into the mic and the Bad Magician dives between the cells. Down, across the mordant bellows, swinging, falling, to essence, the essence.

The Bad Magician came to attack. With instructions for gordian knots and a schematic of Limbaugh's nervous system, an Indian Rope Trick was to be performed beginning at the basal ganglia. But on the free dive, a horrible scream, and then arrival in a white room, empty. The secretaries (there were 12 of them, 6 male and six not-male) perfected their nails and yawned. Where is Rush? "That doesn't matter. Would you like a magazine?"

The Bad Magician sat, sinking in a fluffy bean bag chair--a white bean bag chair--and waited. A television screen showed a fat man pretending his body was suffering from spasmodic nerve activity, twitching and jerking. It played over and over. His face was bent like cheap metal. A thousand years passed. Still the room hummed, then cricket-burned tinnitus chased the silence. Nothing is here. Nothing will ever be here. Crickets rubbed elbows with the insect armies, and the Great White Room began to drift.

Forget it, said the Bad Magician. The secretaries already had. They were gone. The room was where anyone who could be entangled in neurons and synapses might invent a dance. But it was empty. It always was empty. Rush Limbaugh was an empty room where dancers smoked cigars and microscopic babies crawled liked tiny Jesus into hell. Forget it, said the Bad Magician.

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An extension cord, a battery, three short fuses and soon a hole was blown in the western bewailing wall. The Bad Magician whistled softly, and walked out of the project. Limbaugh was not the question. Limbaugh was an empty room. An empty room cannot be cured. We are occupied by the absence.

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Image from here.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

RIP Stay the Course



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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Zion National Park



















All images taken 9/23/06 in Zion National Park.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Evangelical Blues


When you give yourself over to a void, do not be surprised by the vast sucking sound you hear...

I wrote some lyrics about the manipulation of "true believers" (and yes, they usually give permission).

Clap your hands, rise up and sing out!

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Evangelical Blues

Let me tell you a little story...bout the children of the Lord, yeah
Let me tell you this little story, how the children lost their way...

They rise up, Lord, the congregation
They rise up to greet the sky
They will find their way to eternal grace
They will live after they die, Lord
Live in peace up in the sky
They will live after they die, Lord
Live in peace up in the sky

In the good book He spoke of the poor, Lord
The poor, the sick and lame
What you do to the least of them
You do to Him the same
What you do to the least of them
You do to Him the same
But they could not see God in everything
They were blind, they could not see
The Lord come a beggar, full of sores and woe
The Lord they could not see
When you cannot see the Lord
You are blind and cannot see

Be 'ye all fishers of men
Take charge of your own fate
Take the word to the people
And don't forget the bait
The preacher, he was a firebrand
He lit the halls aflame
The preacher told the congregation
The devil is to blame, Lord
The preacher told the congregation
The devil is to blame

The preacher, he had a friend in town
A man from old DC
He passed out candy for the little ones
He said God could surely see
God could surely see his man
Was chosen, one of us
Come on righteous followers
Climb aboard our bus
Raise your hands unto the Lord
And climb aboard our bus

Vote for the chosen born again
Vote for this man of God
We will give to you America
Vote for the man of God
We will give to you America
Vote for the man of God

Beware, in New Jerusalem
Burning in sacred light
They used the followers of Christ
They lied to them, they lied
They lied, and used, abused the Lord
And turned their hearts to stone
The poor, the sick were left to die
And God was all alone
And God was left upon the hill
And God was all alone

High upon the Golden Hill
What did it mean to die
Upon the cross a universe
Upon our knees to cry
The man in DC took you down
The garden path for sure
The followers of Jesus Christ
Traded poison for the cure
The heart of love forgotten now
Poison for the cure

You have been used
You have been wronged
The Kingdom is on fire
Jesus, He cried out to you
But you listened to the liars
Jesus, He cried out to you
But you listened to the liars

In the good book He spoke of the poor, Lord
The poor, the sick and lame
What you do to the least of them
You do to Him the same
What you do to the least of them
You do to Him the same
They could not see God in all things
They were blind, they could not see
The Lord come a beggar, full of sores and woe
The Lord they could not see
When you cannot see the Lord
You are blind and cannot see

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Image "Night at Golgotha" from here.

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More stuff along this theme can be found here and here and here and here...

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No Deities were harmed in the writing of this post.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Song For Buster's Face



Vinyl Shoes

Every one of us in front
Looking for what's next to come
Who is driving, who's in charge?
Is it all just river-run?

Something lays upon the tracks
Cannot tell if it can move
Train is coming down so fast
Like a needle in the groove
We are wearing vinyl shoes

And the chorus is
and the chorus really is
and the music is
all the music of our lives
all the music of our lives
all the music of our lives

And the hills go up and down
Did the forests all surrender
Did we stop to taste the tears
Or just head out on a bender

Is there really only one
Who is dancing in the all
Who is waiting on the tracks
While we're waiting for a fall
Like a needle in the groove
We are wearing vinyl shoes

And the chorus is
and the chorus really is
and the music is
all the music of our lives
all the music of our lives
all the music of our lives

Like a needle in the groove
We are wearing vinyl shoes*

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Image of Buster Keaton in The General from here.

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*Picture, if you will, a train circling on a vinyl record, round and round and round...

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