Archive for the ‘insanity’ Category

A Paean for Ganesh

November 5, 2019 Leave a comment

I have a handful of poems I’ve written over the past several years I need to get up here. I think this one might be the latest. I’m still reacquainting myself with WordPress and exploring its functionality on my phone and tablet. I hope to get back to blogging regular and having more photos, audio, links to media and the like. Just archiving my existent material will be a project. And of course it competes with all my other projects and responsibilities and my general commitment to keeping some slack in my life.

Anyway, I like this piece. I feel like I wrote it in the spring of 2016 which was an interesting time. I was struggling with Council and career and added a relationship which was a lot to balance and a bit more than I could manage as gracefully as I would have liked. There was a bit of madness to the whole thing and my filter went down completely. I tried to just be wiser and kinder instead of bringing it back. Although I didn’t quite pull it off out of that time a lot of good arose including, I hope, this piece.

A Paean to Ganesh in Gratitude for Blessings Already Received

An Elephant Never Forgets

An Elephant never forgets

When he is all alone

And often left at home

An elephant never forgets…

That elephants were made to live in love

Oh elephants were made to live in love

In a tribe I can’t describe

On a plane I can’t explain

Oh elephants were made to live in love…

Because elephants have strong moms

Oh elephants have strong moms

A matriarch to lead, caress, defend and feed

The little ones who came,

The sick, the old, the lame

Because elephants have strong moms!

So that elephants are made to live in love

Oh elephants were made to live in love

In a tribe I can’t describe

On a plane I can’t explain

Oh elephants were made to live in love….



Categories: community, insanity, poetry

the more you do the harder it is to sleep

July 19, 2012 1 comment

Its been a weird week here at Leslie Lane. City Council has slowed a bit and our meetings have been getting out at 9ish. There were some appointments to boards and commissions and I had done a bit of politicking and wrestling with all of the issues with their various players and demands on information processing and decision making it leaves me more then a bit spun when I get home. The last 2 meetings I haven’t had dinner before because of a big lunch and rushed for time so I’ve stopped at Taco Bell on the way home. Not a good habit to get into, I’m sure the soda is not helping the can’t sleep after Council phenomenon.

So didn’t really sleep Monday night, made it through a bustling and involved Tuesday. My Co-Occurring Disorders groups have gone up to another level. Its close to the only clinical thing I do and the clients treasure it because its the only time we get to interact and I have been a tour de’ force of random facts, inspiration, and some critical knowledge on getting better. Its been very engaging and very fun and was again this week.

I only had a 1/2 hour after work before my next thing but came home and Flow had made a nice dinner, ham and mashed potatoes with a pineapple/cranberry compote. Quite delish and very much appreciated. I ate that and rode my bike (I am still an every day bicycle commuter though I am close to getting Dad’s truck out of probate) over to Lange Middle School and met with a homeowner’s association. I was only marginally sweaty for day 25 of 90 plus temps (the record is 31 and we are going to crush it in the worst drought of my lifetime). I introduced myself and fielded questions. It was an older crowd and I am sideways to most of them with our job creation scheme that involves a blight decree of their really nice neighborhood and my unabashed support of changing the trash to a roll cart system. But I explained my rationale and listened and we had a very nice dialogue and I remembered why I got into politics and it was fun.

I got home and went upstairs laid down to read a comic book (early 80s MoonKnight) read a page and passed out. I overslept the next morning which was today. I had an all staff training on suicide prevention which went very well. This is how the universe watches out for me. I have done these the last few years and have asked around on a fresh angle with no response. I come home from Taco Bell on Monday and there is a talking head on TV talking in depth about suicide prevention. Flow has a little job teaching suicide prevention classes and had all the materials. I bummed her QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) booklet and taught out of that and our newest policies. I also told the story of the Golden Gate Bridge I had heard just as I walked in the door. 1,400 people have jumped off the bridge with 14 survivors. A pretty lethal attempt and survivor interviews gives us a little insight into “completers” a group we know little about. 13 changed their mind about dying immediately after jumping. It demonstrates the ambivalence of suicidal folk. I didn’t share the 14th jumped again.

After work today I was pretty cashed. Had leftovers, just as yummy and got caught up on my email correspondence, most of it. I may answer one of my troubling emails on that committee thing. I like time stamps of 2:22 am and such and I’m still a little wired. Putting it down on virtual paper helps me get rid of the stuff and I might get some more winks tonight. My laptop gave me the low battery warning and it does not fuck around. It will shut down and I will lose my shit. It feels good to swear, between work and politics I self censor constantly.

So went to bed early and woke from a complex dream. I had gotten a new apartment and married the co-worker I have a crush on but she was on vacation for a coupe of weeks and sometimes morphed into my ex-wife. I was trying to settle in, make plans with friends but managed to get nothing done beyond blow someone off. She got home and I had forgotten about it had other plans I’d blown and was generally befuddled. We lay down in bed, had our first chaste kiss and then I needed to get something out of another room which was a long slow muddle in the dark and down some stairs I had  forgot about. I had to be quiet as another co-worker lived next door and he has mentioned “sleep is hard to come by” for him. I ran into a female friend and we were making out until I remembered I had a wife in bed in the other room which is when I woke up. Weird huh? Well I’m getting low battery warnings better put this up. Good night faithful reader.

NA step 2 part 2

Hmmm, just tried to link to the cyber recovery page after writing a little intro but it just cancelled out my post. Dang. Well this is part of a project to translate the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous into simple concrete English with all hearing references removed. I hope to finish by Sunday in spite of being horridly busy. OK, there’s the link, it came up when I was trying to paste in the actual language of the step. Let me try that again.

“We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Some people say church is for people are afraid of Hell. Knowing God is for people whose life has been Hell. Faith is the gift we get for accepting the truth. If the second step is hard we should look at what we think is important or valuable. If we feel we are not getting important stuff or it doesn’t work well we should change. We want to change. Step 2 is about finding and using extra power to change. Believing is knowing what we think is important and what we hate. Believing helps us get what we want in the future. Being weak and feeling trapped makes us value not feeling pain. When we start to love and do God’s will we can still have bad things happen because what we think is valuable hasn’t changed yet. Changing what we think is right as God changes our life helps us “come to believe”.

One way to figure out what we really want is to put in words what we want in the future. It helps to believe in what will help us get what we really want. When we know the future can be good without limit it changes how we see. Many people try to clearly remember what they wanted out of life in early recovery. Then when it happens we will be happy. As we grow in recovery new dreams come. When we tell these dreams to others in recovery we grow and become stronger. Sometimes our dreams help other people instead of us.

We see more when we learn from what others have done. We become more free and helpful to others when we train, study, and work on what we are learning. A part of changing is enjoying how we have changed and seeing it help others. It helps when we can Give it up to God when we believe God can’t help us enough. The belief that God can’t help us is old or not thought out or only a piece of the truth. Most of us are surprised we can change what we believe about God. D0ing drugs hurt us more then health and legal problems but have hurt the way we think. If you put in wrong thoughts you get out wrong thoughts and actions. Because we were afraid we did not slow down and think clearly. We get used to thining wrongly and believing bad things will happen.

When we did drugs we thought the world was bad and we continue to think that. Healthy relationships are an important part of life. Being healthy means we have healthy places to go, healthy things in our life, and healthy people to be around. As we change we can feel weird as we change how we deal with people. Just because something feels uncomfortable doesn’t mean its wrong. We have to ask other people in recovery about stuff that feels uncomfortable. We feel uncomfortable as we change how we look at the world but haven’t gotten used to it yet. If we are sensitive and respectful to God we can learn to see things in a new way. We stop having beliefs that are to small to work.

Sometimes we make stuff by really believing things we knew were true but we couldn’t really believe. Addicts are sensitive to the truth even when they deny it or hide from it. Growing God shows us that we make ourselves and how we make ourselves affects other people. Staying close to God keeps us in our new beliefs. Our beliefs get stronger and more a part of us.

Things that don’t work for us take time to get rid of but beliefs won’t change by themselves. Its easier to go looking for a belief we may have been interested in for a while. We can try to find something that we feel good about and try to learn more about it. Many people find that what they believed as children will work now. Being confused by using drugs might have kept our beliefs from working good. Our new beliefs are not only easier but work better and we get more of what we want. The need for beliefs that work is stronger then being afraid. Once we belief this step it will stick with us and we won’t have to go back and do it again. Thinking about stuff all the time was a way we used to get stuff we thought we wanted. We had problems because we needed so much. Thinking about drugs all the time was about feelings and not meeting our needs. People could see we were crazy. Every time we give up an old fear our freedom and responsibility increase. As we give up our old fears our faith grows. Faith gives us more energy and allows us to do more with what we have. We are clear headed and relaxed.

Fear is false beliefs that we think are real and it is important to addicts. Fear keeps us from doing stuff that hurts us or makes our lives worse. When we are sane fear keeps us in a place where we are comfortable and our feelings won’t get hurt. When we were addicts much of what we believed was crazy. In other areas some things we think we know are not true but it doesn’t matter. Many things are in the middle and sometimes it matters if we are right. Figuring out what is true or not is a lot of work that we have to do every day. Freedom in recovery is comparing what we get to what we lost from being an addict. The longer we are clean the more important the truth is and that is why we keep going to meetings and working the steps. When we were using drugs we were afraid of getting caught and we may have continued to be afraid in early recovery. Maybe our real secret was we built our own cage out of fear? We replace fear with faith. We start to work the steps and we learn to feel pain without using drugs. When we remember the old craziness we learn to face the truth and get better.

Well that’s about all I have this afternoon. Looks like I won’t finish step 2 this week. I will try to get it done on my vacation. I am looking forward to not being maddeningly busy all the time. The only reason I could do this is I am supposed to be doing something else and I’m not. I’ve lost a little focus with a little “short term ego depletion” from all the challenging stuff I’ve been doing.

Step 2 part 1 

Cyber Recovery posts the steps of Narcotics Anonymous electronically. I have been asked by a deaf individual to translate the steps into concrete, simple English with all hearing references removed. I did this orally and it was immensely helpful and personally rewarding for myself to understand the material and to grow in my health literacy skills. Here is the first half of Step 2, I hope to finish by Sunday.

Step 2

Not seeing our life is good is like still doing drugs. We can focus to much on things that are wrong. We can focus to much on a thing that is good. We can look at the good things in our life to much and have an accident. Drug addicts look at the world in three ways. We can think things are to good and not pay attention. We can think the world is sad and unhappy and feel sad and unhappy. We can also look at the world with clear eyes and see thinking like a drug addict makes us unhappy. When we see clearly we can find a balance. We can see good and bad and respond like we should. Seeing things as they are is a gift. We can move forward without being afraid of a disaster. Life is not happy all the time or sad all the time.

Doing the same thing and thinking it will be different is what drug addicts do. We have to think about our old way of doing things to have a different life. If we don’t its still like when drugs controlled our life. If we trust enough to act differently we can see change can happen. We do something different and different things happen. We are moving forward. Knowing what real life is makes us sane.

Being an addict makes us obsess over stuff. “Coming to believe” lets us see what is real. Thinking can only take us part way to God. What we say to ourselves has to match what is real. When they are different we suffer. We have to work on this every day. We believe what we have done.

Faith is trusting without having done it. Belief can be what we have done or faith and what we have done. In the old days people submitted to a king. When we ask “is it okay?” to someone we are  submitting to them. We all have people and things we submit to. We submit to things we believe in. In recovery we look at what we believe in.

This choice is very clear in recovery. Early in recovery we can decide not to submit to things that make us feel bad. We learn to decide what it is to be sane. Choosing what to believe takes practice. Some addicts didn’t know they could choose what to submit to. Some addicts never thought to try and resist.  Submitting appeared like we had to.

Believing in something is giving up to that idea. Our seeing gets bigger when we look at things like other people do and feel. We talk to others about what we each feel and do. We can talk to others and read books to know how to stay clean. “Coming to believe” means we can stop submitting to bad people and bad things. We can ask ourselves, “Can I do better?” Looking at ourselves every day helps us see reality. We start to forget to worry about tomorrow and yesterday. The parts of yourself you don’t like are often crazy. We would not choose to do those things today. We have a bad life when we are not grateful.

Being sane in recovery must meet our needs each day. It is natural to feel confused as you change. When we are confused or upset it means we are changing. People in meetings and God can help us even if we haven’t worked all the steps or gotten very far in recovery. In recovery people are here for us and we are here for others. This is not true when we act like an addict to control other people. We can’t expect people to treat us better because we stopped doing drugs. We can treat people better who stop doing drugs if we want to. It is important to do it because we want to help or be nice and not because we expect something. What we do willingly is different then what we have to do. Being part of a group means we respect each other.


Its 2:30 in the morning and I have been up for an hour. I lay in bed and tried to sleep but without avail. Last night I took a sleeping pill and slept pretty soundly. I started to wake up in the middle of the night but couldn’t fully emerge out of sleep or really wrap my head around the thoughts that were trying to buzz through my head. I slept late and was tired most of the day. I struggled with creative tasks and decided perhaps Trazodone isn’t for me.

Trazodone if you don’t know is a tricyclic anti-depressant, a fairly crappy one but it has this side effect of making people sleep all night. It builds up a level in your system so less problem with tolerance. Its the only sleeper I approve of clinically. Been around forever, well tolerated, few reports of side effects except for grogginess in the am on rare occasions. I took half a 50 mg. Maybe I’ll try 1/4 next time.

If I am groggy I don’t see how it is really helping me. I am pretty focused on what I am doing, hence the sleeplessness and being tired in the day time is the thing that bugs me about sleeplessness. Why should I have that and not the extra hours in the day? So no sleeping pill. When my insomnia was at its worst I quit trying to make myself lay in bed and allow myself to sleep and got up and blogged for an hour and got tired, got some good sleep after, and that was the end of that little cycle. So trying it again.

Where to begin, the campaign goes well. Last week had several meetings including the Professional Firefighter’s Association. That went well my listening skills paid off as well as my knowledge of where the public is at from all this door knocking. I hit 1,300 or 1,400 total yesterday, I can’t remember. My numbers keep going up although I am no longer looking forward to the time change. That extra hour of canvassing not only means more doors it means one less hour to manage my life tasks. Soon door knocking will fade right into follow up calls. Alas.

If it were easy, everyone would do it. It is at least fun and exciting and I like pushing my limits and working hard. I like being outside everyday and watching the sunset. Got some talkers at the doors tonight. Fun older folks. Listened to their concerns, validated what I could and discussed some solutions a bit, mostly they wanted some company. Probably swung a couple of votes from the candy maker. They had signed his petition, hadn’t seen him since. I can’t imagine trying to do this even half way seriously being the parent of small kids. Bigger ones you can put to work. I guess you could strap em in a papoose and bring one along.

I’ve been thinking about some of the parents I met. One guy didn’t come to the door a few days back because he was holding a toddler. I’ve seen lots of don’t ring the bell, baby sleeping signs. I’m not sure its healthy for kids to be the center of the family universe. Your mom ought to love you but you should be kind of on the outskirts looking for your place not having everything revolve around you. You get an unhealthy sense of your own importance I think. My family certainly didn’t revolve around me, especially being 6 of us, 5 after Dennis died.

I am getting more awake, not less. This might be the beginning of my day. This week have a lot going on, next week it gets worse, and so on… Only four though and then the election, and then vacation, and then increasingly likely 3 years of service. A 65 hour week will look like child’s play. I haven’t totaled the hours yet but pushing well past 90 probably over a 100 now. Not uncommon to go from 6 and never get done before 10:30 anymore. All fun stuff though and you have to do one thing after another all day any day anyway. I don’t feel pressured, I feel present in each moment, I just miss the time to process. I think that is what generates the sleeplessness. I’ve never not had it. Never not been able to read the newspaper cover to cover. Today I looked at the headlines on the front and back page. Got to know what’s on people’s minds and follow the local news at least.

City Council was short tonight so stayed for the end so I could see what the whole thing entails. I am curious about the order of voting. I am nervous about my early votes. I will have time to study the agenda and read the materials then that I don’t now. I sat by one of the people who was nice to me at the Chamber of Commerce forum. She talked to me like I was going to win. I think that has become the common wisdom. My opponent who goes to these faithfully and has been as I’ve said getting ready to govern rather then campaigning looked pissed tonight. I heard him venting to the conservative candidate from another ward who I have been friendly with, I think about me. “Going all over town… even went to Jenku’s [longtime former council person from the ward and treasurer of his campaign]”.

Someone helping me experienced in these things said you end up hating your opponent by the end. I don’t. I feel a little sorry for him. Thinking its inevitable, spinning his wheels and realizing he is getting out worked, out spent, and out organized by some guy he’d never heard of who he didn’t think had a chance. He looked pissed tonight and didn’t stop by and pat me on the back and say “hi” as has been his pattern. Everyone is not going to like you and I am going to have to learn to deal with that.

Tomorrow is the EEZ informational meeting. Will be interesting to hear from the state’s perspective. May help me make up my mind on it. Strong reasons to be for it and against it but you can only vote once. Hate to miss an evening on the doors but seems essential. Will at least be back in time for follow up calls. Got a big pile of them now. Wednesday is my campaign event, that should be fun. Yard signs are in, that’ll be cool. Jeff was excited to show them off. I went from work, to doors, to council meeting; rushing to still be late to all 3 and couldn’t get over to get some and check them out.

Tomorrow is another day. I guess. Sometimes I describe my current life as one big day. Its a blur, for sure. We’ll see how I function today on 2 hours sleep. I suspect a site better then I did on 8 today. That way madness lays. But you only get to vote once and I can’t do what I want to do on Trazodone. My work suffered. I couldn’t write creatively for my latest concept paper. I need to do that today or call in sick if I can’t do my work.

Thursday the Home Builders have a Happy Hour. Not only am I walking into what could be a hostile camp but they will all be liquored up too. Fun, fun, fun. Actually I think I will be warmly received. I met a builder, Chamber member, and conservative guy on P&Z last week who was ardent in his support and he knew my positions well as he was at the Chamber forum and we were in a visioning session together and I spoke a lot. I also door knocked the extremely Right wing guy who was there and he also is voting for me and hosting a yard sign. Lives on a busy road too. Sidewalks and common sense no no party.

I had proposed jobs and we all want to live in a good community as our areas of shared interest to build a 3-5 minute speech on. Vicki suggested telling them how they can help me enact my neighbor to neighbor vision for Columbia. It was a great idea and its a beautiful speech. Would like to have it virtually memorized and give it with rhetorical flourish. It’ll be hard to hold a room in a sports bar so I want to boom it and make a clear difference with the other fellows.

Friday is the Mule Skinners Forum. It should be interesting being in a forum with my natural support. Its been a while since the last forum. I am a different person. Well think I will try laying down again rather then turn on the light to find the power cord. To sleep, perhaps to dream…or really, to dream, perchance to sleep. Goodnight faithful reader. Be on the lookout for a change of gears and the second step of Narcotics Anonymous in simple concrete English with all hearing references removed. Man does not live on politics alone.

good morning america

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve been spending some mornings with Good Morning America. Plus side I get a little national news, a lot of pop culture nonsense, and some local weather. I have trouble staying up past 10 to catch the evening news and so far haven’t found anything else worth watching on ABC. The digital 2nd version has some classic TV I’ve been watching a little of that when I want some background noise. The Odd Couple is as preposterous as I remember and without the gloss of nostalgia its probably as crappy as anything on now. It drowns out the sound of the woodpecker out front.

The campaign continues to go well. Hitting doors every day, people more tuned into the election as we get closer and the weather gets warmer. Sun staying up later each day so I can get more time in. Got caught up on follow up calls last night. three hour and a half sessions was all it took. Of course meeting tonight and tomorrow so I’ll be behind again. I still felt confident enough to get back into it to try to go out Friday or Saturday night.

Big day today. Housing inspection in 1/2 hour and going to have to jump in the shower momentarily. Last step before refinancing. Probably won’t lower my payment but taking 12 years off the mortgage is huge. Also getting my broken step fixed. They have a big lip so we are going to reinforce the others and make it more sturdy for the long run. Kicking myself now for not getting them all refinished when Jamie offered. To many decisions to make them all right.

The inspector is here now and after I outlined my modest improvements to the home, kitchen tile, 1/2 a kitchen counter, new windows, fence, and though you can’t tell it in February landscaping he is on his own, photographing my messy house for inspector posterity. After work I have the Labor Meet & Greet, knock on doors, and then I am going to a new group CIVIC. They have organized to oppose the blight designation of about half our city as part of this thing called an Enhanced Enterprise Zone to lure manufacturing jobs, which we desperately need, back to the area. I am still studying the issue so have a little trepidation. I have a meeting scheduled with REDI (public/private partnership that is spearheading the EEZ) next week so I feel I am taking a balanced approach to learning more about the issue. It will be my first vote as a council person.

The other controversy raging in the city is our 6th shots fired incident in recent weeks with the last one taking out a window at Chuck E Cheeze’s. That has our sleepy public up in arms. The police made 2 arrests last night which I am thankful for as politicians who pander to people’s worst fears irk me some and move us in a direction that is not helpful. I wish I could tell people we can manage every scary situation they see on the nightly news but we just can’t. Having some police drive by their house ain’t going to necessarily help. My approach to community safety is to increase neighborliness and “eyes on the street” by making our outdoor spaces more user friendly.

Shots fired though that’s different then the property crimes that more people keeping an eye on things can realistically help. That has more to do with the relationship between the police and the communities of people who have the information that allows crimes to be solved. I think our current Police Chief is on the right track with a scientific approach to police work and a policy of Unconditional Respect to generate trust and manage unconscious biases that can creep into even good hearts.

The real reason I am blogging even though the inspector has moved outside and I could go to work and attack a nagging project that came out of nowhere is I had my most interesting door knock ever last night. Ann was driving and I was door knocking in a pretty sketchy trailer park. We passed this bombed out trailer with the yard strewn with debris and a bird flying out of a windowless section. I marked it “abandoned” and we turned around to go to the next and Ann says “Wait a minute, I see a light on, you gotta go in and see what’s up.” “No lets skip it”. “Come on your a social worker for God’s sake he might need some help”. “OK”.

I see him laying in bed and almost just leave a flyer but I knock. An old guy, looks pretty good, comes to the door and starts rattling on that he is moving tomorrow to some senior housing in the country which will allow him to continue his academic studies of Amish life. He runs on a 10 minute stream of consciousness rant on the Amish, the CIA drug smuggling and pediphilia, his struggles with the publishing industry and their CIA connection, the documentary on his life “Conspiracy of Silence” (4 copies at the Columbia Library), and many other topics. Since he’s moving he gave me the flyer back but I give him a card in case he wants to contact me. My life can always get more interesting, but I hope never as interesting as Michael Zielinski.

Categories: books, community, insanity, politics


November 11, 2011 1 comment

Happy Armistice Day. It commemorates the ending of The Great War or the War to End All Wars, and if only it did, it wouldn’t have morphed into Veteran’s Day. I like the old version better, a day to celebrate peace which is a glorious thing and well worth fighting for. Today is an extra special day with the trifold elevensies. I was telling the agency psychiatrist that numerologically 11 meant “magic”. Kabbalistically 1-10 is a progression from the source at 1 (Kether) to the material world at 10 (Malkuth). Eleven is magical because it goes one further, “this one goes to eleven”.

I find myself with time on my hands because I called in sick today. I had tummy troubles and unsettling dreams and woke at one and could not go back to sleep. Don’t have it today and rest is obviously in order. I will attribute both to peperoni and sausage pizza perhaps, could be a virus or something as well as I’ve got a bit of scratchy throat. I hope to nap and feel better, read some more John Byrne era Fantastic Four maybe more of my Stirling novel the Peshawar Lancers which kept me company through my long night of stomach upset.

My dream was vivid, I have been having vivid dreams throughout the night with increasing frequency and intensity since I read a couple articles on dreaming in the latest Scientific American Mind. There are articles on using dreams to problem solve and lucid dreaming, which I was always doubtful of but they can see it in f-MRI so it probably exists. Its a useful technique for PTSD so I have been trying to learn it and have definitely increased my dream awareness, which has been largely cool. My dreams are banal things of petty frustrations, ennui, and little anxieties mostly.

Last night I dreamed I was visiting the homeland and was feeling very out of sorts. There was some holiday or parade or something and I decided I needed to go the hospital. I went to Boone Hospital and after a long journey through white tile corridors I ended up in this cafeteria and a psychiatrist invited me to eat lunch with him and we talked. He had a large platter of bacon, which was good at first but became increasingly cold and greasy (see why I think there was a pizza connection?). Before we were done there was some kind of break for prayer or meditation or something and everyone in the room got into a big circle and put their arms around each other and prayed or meditated or something involving droning and people rubbing other people’s heads. I found it all very weird but was glad to be a part of it and it broke up and the doctor and I walked down a long corridor and he asked more questions. He asked me what I was feeling and I told him that I felt like a large crystal a picture of this became the dream a complex crystal structure but that I felt very fragile. He surprised me when his tone went from a convivial camaraderie to the voice of authority and he told me he wanted me to go to University Hospital for an evaluation. I thought it odd already being in a hospital but I asked him why I needed to be in a hospital. He said because you said you were fragile.

Usually for dream interpretation the question to be asked is what was the overall feeling of the dream. Bewilderment. I chalk it up to being sick as any larger meaning, but its made me think. Which is one of the points of dreams to look at things differently.

In the spirit of 11/11/11 I wanted to share an older poem I wrote about Solomon, our preeminent magic man. It probably goes in a series with my Biblical Biopics with a Twist with the one about Jesus and John and Salome.

Wise Old Solomon

Wise Old Solomon was an old soul

Walked closely with the Lord

But he could still rock -n- roll

From time to time

He had a thousand wives and concubines

Was courted by the Queen of Sheba

He drank her wine

He was a wise man

He won the prize to understand

That if one is ever truly wise

One sees through child’s eyes

He knew the names of a thousand angels

Never known before

He knew the names of a thousand demons

And what’s more

He put them down

Into the ground

So they never got up again

He bound them for their mischief

He bound them for our sin

He was a wise man

He won the prize to understand

When one is truly wise

He can fell opponents of any size

Solomon built a house

Where the Lord did dwell

And the dead went to Sheol

They’d never heard of Hell

And the Lord won’t dwell in a house

Built by human hands

And what Solomon built with

Few can understand

He is a wise man

He won the prize to understand

That if one is truly wise

One never dies


Categories: books, insanity, poetry, religeon, the mind Tags:

sunrise war

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Watching some Two Towers, first time seeing the directors cut, because the one thing about those films is they just aren’t long enough. Its really a brilliant film though but not quite enough to hold my complete interest a third time through. Frodo is such a Christ figure as his heroism is to endure undeserved suffering. I love the scene where he eavesdrops on Gollem and realizes he was once a lot like himself once and calls him Smeagel. Embracing his shadow self, he opens his heart and learns what he has to learn to move him along on his journey. Man, Tolkien rocked. The return of Gandalf the sweeping story arc, its just a great tale.

My own tale has been more modest and my Saturday has been more relaxing then I had anticipated. A little sad it being Dad’s birthday but  glad for Fifth of November plans, won’t forget Guy Faukes day again. I saw Julie had written him a birthday note on his wall and since not even death will stop a facebook account I did the same. Been feeling it a bit with John back in California but being alone has its pluses too.

After coffee and the paper I hung out my laundry in overcast skies. The paper said no rain and ultimately the clouds broke and it got pretty nice. I went to the market and mostly realized that if you don’t cook you don’t get to buy produce. I got a nice head of lettuce and some green peppers and some ground beast but forgot to get eggs. The cold thinned out the crowd and the # of vendors. Now I wish I would have gotten a Patric chocolate bar at the book store yesterday.

I decided to make pottage for the potluck portion of Occupy Como. I had some spinach from last week’s market, perhaps even the week before that needed to be eaten and the kale from Sarah’s garden. It was a sizable amount so I decided to make it on the stove top instead of the rice cooker. I added a cup each of white and brown rice a cup of lentils and 6 cups of water. I added the little onions out of Sarah’s garden, another big cooking onion, 1/2 of a big head of garlic, a little less then a cup of olive oil, fresh oregano out of my garden, three dried hot peppers out of Trevor’s garden and 1/2 tsp of salt or so. Brought it to a boil and simmered the liquid of it. Pretty tasty.

Then it was time for Fido and I to hit the occupation. There was a good crowd with some speeches we couldn’t hear very well and maybe 100-150 people and a few other dogs. Fido was pretty chill but we stuck to the back. Saw Sharon and Megan but didn’t do much more then say ‘hi’ as the march was starting. I saw some other familiar faces but we never got close enough to say ‘hi’.

I was talking in my group on Friday about how there is very little difference between being a friendly and outgoing person and acting like you are a friendly and outgoing person. I decided today I am a friendly but aloof person because we didn’t really chat anyone up. Fido drew some admirers and got his belly rubbed more then once. He was also around some little kids which is good practice. He was generally admired and people commented on his good behavior.

We marched up to Bank of America with more speeches and I got to experience ‘The People’s Mic’ thank you no amplification at Zucoti Park, you’ve created a thing. Pretty cool but I saw a video bit with people doing it to disrupt a speech by the Wisconsin Governator that was very “Two legs good, four legs bad” kind of politics I find vaguely disturbing. As we were breaking up to go back to Liberty Square (the keyhole plaza in front of City Hall) Fido jumped on the brick planter without plants in front of the bank. I caught a flash and realized B of A employees were taking his picture. Fido was the only disruptive critter so I got him down and scolded him for his radical ways. Now he probably has a file with The Man.

So I didn’t have enough change to stay for the potluck which I wasn’t feeling anyway and I am as I said aloof so I left the pottage in the car and caught the scene for a bit. A guy gave me a flyer on why corporations are bad and said we needed cooperation instead of competition. I said we needed both but the pendulum was to far that’s for sure.

We stopped at the store so I could forget eggs again and pick up a few things. I was going to make a banana/squash bread too. Maybe tomorrow. I hope to get out to Lowes or someplace and get furnace filters and a programmable thermostat. Kevin and I are on the same schedule so I should be able to significantly cut back on the overall temps of the house and still up my critical 6:30-8:00 time when I might feel OK about putting the heat up a bit to Western standards of comfort.

I’ll also need to bring my laundry in since I didn’t do it today. I took a long nap which I felt was nice but sorry to miss the sunniest warmest part of the day. I did unload more horse manure and hope to have the main bed ready to go and get some garlic in. I don’t think I am going to put anything else in until i get the cold frame going, but that needs busting sod and double digging plus the manure bit, a lot of work and little daylight not sucked up by work. But one step at a time, do something every day, it’ll happen when it happens. The rest was nice though and well deserved. But the backyard squirrel has taken the trouble to get chubbier then I’ve ever seen him so he at least is expecting another hard winter. He must’ve heard about the La Nina sticking around for an extra year. Its a shame we broke the weather.

If I get through that Trevor’s going to see this Russian movie that looks pretty good. Its set near where Lisa is in the Peace Corps. Fido needs a walk too and Harry’s coming over for Walking Dead so we will see.

As part of my having a definitive list of blog poetry to add to now I am going to end with the second poem I wrote when I went mad in Amsterdam in 1996, which I’ve blogged about extensively. I had written my first one in an attempt I think to reach out and define myself because I was unraveling and my self organization was starting to flicker a bit, on and off. Everything was poignant with the intensity dial being set on 11, all day every day. Feeling a lot of stuff I had been stuffing. I blasted out my first pretty decent and emotionally honest poem.

I shared with the people I was with I think, all that was hazy but I remember them talking about Martin, the guy who owned the mind spa we were staying at speaking several languages and I said I could write poetry in any language. With a German dictionary I wrote a haiku. I gave it in German and English and the other to Jennifer who later sent them both to me when I was in my mad convalescence but I don’t know if I could lay hands them on anymore. When I wrote the haiku  I started with one I’d written years earlier when I wanted to write a series of 5-7-5s (haiku without a season) on the major arcana in the Tarot. I only got the first one:

The Fool

S(he) walks towards the cliff

Not hearing the warning cry

S(he) does not need to


Sunrise War

Sunrise War

Around dying Autumnal fires

‘Til sleep intervenes

Untitled #1

November 3, 2011 1 comment

Watching The New World, the only Terrence Malick film I haven’t seen. Its pretty good but i’ve been way to restless to just watch a movie for a while. At least one on the TV. I got a late start on it, as its 2 hr 15 min but I was still giving a crack at the novel in a month. Got discouraged  with my process. Might not be terminal but it sure ain’t healthy for getting a novel done. Maybe I’ll just have to try to publish a book of abandoned first chapters.

Maybe I’ll just blog. I was blogging every day most of last month and I rather enjoyed it. Managed to create a poetry page, which has allowed me to know for sure what I have up and gives me the chance to put up more stuff. It was fun reading a lot of my stuff too. Only found 2 duplicates.

One noticeable omission was Untitled #1 as I only had the second stanza up and that fairly recently. I wrote it as three separate pieces all in fairly quick succession as well as a handful more in what I remember as a red notebook maybe all in the same day. It was flowing then, I couldn’t contain it. I couldn’t get anyone to listen to it though. No one much wants to hear what a crazy person has to say. Definitely the worst part of a mental illness is how people treat you. fortunately I was protected by boisterous manic self confidence or I might have despaired not to create. I kind of wish I had spent more time writing, it was good stuff and am thankful for what survives. A lot of it I wrote and gave away so there might be more out there.

This one is three I pulled out of the notebook and put in my head when I was trying to sing with Milk Carton. It was a metal kind of song with heavy base and I tried out four as a spoken word piece. The first stanza was the most gothic and a lead in, the second I thought went with it and the third and a lost fourth verse I tried out and ended up keeping the third only as the song came together.

I used it as my first poem in the first poetry slam I was ever in down in Fayette Arkansas when I was visiting my buddy Jay with Rebecca in the fall of 1998. It was a gothic slam as it was near Halloween and I think people just liked it because it wasn’t as cheesy as the ghost and goblin stuff other people were doing. I also did” I don’t go to zoos” which I also need to put up, which scored a 9.7 from the English teacher judge and I ended up winning the slam and getting $25. Context really hit me, from the unlistened to ramblings of a mad man to getting 25 bucks to say it, context is everything.

Untitled #1

Slash, feint, perry

The mind is a weapon

Carving subject from object

Truth from fiction

The rational mind unleashed has become a threat to all life

And yet we still look to it for rescue

Salvation even

From the very problems it has created

Once there were alternatives

Other ways of knowing, of being, of caring

But those days are gone

Mowed down under the scythe of technological advancement

Until only It remains

Silent and gleaming

In the new darkness

Of unasked questions

Because there are no more words.

Spring can be as cold as winter

For the mind without purpose

The heart without love

New life is inevitable

But not your life

Not our lives

Our Acts of Being

Are as meaningful

Or as meaningless

As we allow them to be.

Spring can be as cold as winter

When we refuse to allow

The Life Force to shine out

Brilliantly and forcefully.

And what is to be done

With this world of ours

Seeingly able to absorb all of our passion

Yet rippling the missteps into torrents

The excuses mount steeds of excess

To ride over the backs of the innocent

The holy ones without voice

Watch and listen and learn

Categories: insanity, poetry

“From Here I Go Crazy-Come Down On your…”

David A. Smith friend and poet wrote me a cool poem and sent me the only copy back on 11-21-10. Its been sitting on my coffee table but looks like personal correspondence so no one has been reading it. Thought I would share it here since I am home sick today and feeling restless. Head cold I think, with my scratchy throat turning into a cough and my sinuses starting to ache. I caught it early and have been aggressive with rest and fluids but i have been under a bit of strain for a time so i shouldn’t be surprised. We still largely reap what we sow in this world. I was starting to write i’m putting it in as a prose poem and ignoring the original line structure but looking at it looks significant so i will keep it. Enjoy and thanks Dave.

From Here I Go Crazy – Come Down Off your…

Found you on the floor in an empty apartment

dark it was in there – Could tell you were the

color blue barely in this dream. I asked you what was

wrong as I could tell you were drowning inside.

How you come to be here alone, empty I wondered

aloud, you told me a full apartment in the building turned

on you. Said they’d kill you. But here you were.

they there, closed door; open door here, thankfulness

in my heart. Did’nt question. care, ask how you

escaped; only what happened. The we were in the

mist of manic you state how Jesus has nothing on

you; better than Budda in your non-existent mind

your body of flesh immortal; Mohammad a neo-phyte

who need walk in your shoes, all this as espousing


Categories: friends, insanity, poetry