Sunday, December 9, 2018

Some musings on psychedelics

Perhaps you're right in pointing out that they [hallucinatory experiences] are manifestations of the sub-conscious brought on by chemical change. Most won't dispute that. However, the reductionist idea of "it's just a hallucination" has always struck me a vacuous. The experience may have a physical point of origin. We may be able to measure it (to varying degrees of accuracy). To trace physiological changes in brain chemistry but that says little of the essence of the experience itself. There are many aspects/implications of thought and consciousness that are distinctly immaterial (i.e. once a thought is experienced, its nature then becomes a question of metaphysical speculation). Which IMO reveals the poverty of (to paraphrase Nietzsche), "scientism" in explaining the ontology of consciousness. Maybe these ghosts of the mind are representations of very real phenomena repeated endlessly through our shared history, deeply embedded archetypes recurring through myth. Maybe the reality we know is a simulacrum a copy of a copy of some some long lost original work of art, depleted of any resemblance to itself that we can only now catch glimpses of. Call it needless layers of poetic sophistication if you will but our own limitations blind us to the nature of being that we can capture through psychedelics (and mind altering substances in general) like we have for millennia. Personally, I've always found it interesting that we not only have the capacity to learn from these experiences but even more so, that the ability to have mystical experiences is hardwired into our evolutionary history. I think its rather telling that we are even able to articulate ideas like this. To catch such glimpses.





Art on Imgur #fleshgang

Some recent projects I've been working on (not of the penned variety, though I am hard at work on some new content/branching out a bit stylistically). These were made for fun with a deep dream generator. Hopefully they'll be appreciated by someone out there. 

https://imgur.com/a/TmMVloX

Friday, September 14, 2018

Exposition/Expiration

Microbiota, older and wiser than we are outnumber our somatic cells 10:1 watching from their migratory paths as the meat they travel through learns how to imitate reality. Conforming to cold laws of time and motion of God and government. Ambitions increase as the game of chess within our blood unwinds. Civilizations within a simulacrum built on the rot of its billions of predecessors. All is calm and still in the wake of self digestion (the most meaningful act of violence we'll endure) a shamanic catalyst for an afterlife torn from the pages of books we've written relished with the scent of coffee and cigarettes a world we can only dream of... I wonder how many of them have names? Can microbes dream of love and yearn for peace? Is there a spot in heaven for all the L-form bacteria that crawl through life with us? ... I wonder what they think of the mess we've made. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Another Statistic

July 2010

"So, what is this shit suppose to be?" Gerald asked after exhaling

"They call it V. Shit's like coke on steroids."

"Nah, more like ice." Jim chimed in (followed by the obnoxious fucking laugh of his "HEH HEHAH"). Scott, after fidgeting with his ever-present sunglasses, looked his way and shrugged.

"It's an upper man. It'll get ya there. Discovering how is half the fun."

I looked at Gerald hesitantly. 

"I asked if you were good on weed man. Weed, not fake coke cooked up in some Chink sweatshop." 

"You boys tryin ta get high tonight or what?" Jim asked sternly, not laughing this time. A hostile glare illuminating his dipshit, redneck face (I didn't care much for Jim if you couldn't tell by now).

"Alright, fine. How much?"

"$25 for a half G."

"All right, fuck it. Yo, you got that 10?" Gerald asked me.

"Uh... yeah sure..." 

My mind racing with possibilities. Unbeknownst to everyone else. I'd already had a love/hate affair with that "fake coke shit." Surreal, life-affirming feelings followed by spending the better part of 2 days in  hellish comedown had prompted me to stay away.  I had enough manic highs and crushing lows to deal with under ordinary circumstances Besides it was a 1 time flash in the pan sort of thing. Just another party drug; "Just trying it for the life experience man" but something had got the better of me. Peer pressure, curiosity, a growing fascination with what regular society deemed the most disgusting aspects of poly-drug abuse? Whatever you wana call it. I decided that one more time couldn't hurt.

September, 2017

"Gerald. I'm going out for a bit."

Gerald sat, bathed in the soft blue glow of his computer monitor. His facial features as flat as its surface.

"Where you going?" he asked after a longer pause than usual.

"It's Tuesday dear."

"Meds?"

"Yes... meds," Linda said shakily.  Forcing herself to swallow the lump in her throat.

"How... how have the voices been?" 

"Okay I guess... Mom," he said as Linda did a double take to make sure she'd picked up the spare key. Trying her best not to fixate on the clutter on the table, dried up dog turds on the floor and expired milk in the fridge.... Those are things that can wait.

"Yes?"

"Can you get me a pack of Newports while you're out?"

"Yes dear... I love you."

"Love you too," Gerald said. His eyes still fixed on his computer screen.

Linda, slowly shut the door behind her and lingered for one last look at the front door before starting her car. 

September, 2010

"You should slow down on that shit man," I said (ah the pre-junkie da(ze)ys. That awkward time in one's life where sound judgement still makes an appearance. 

"C'-C'mon (tweaker behaviors intensifying). Scott's got a fuckin ball of the shit... A ball! Maaaan, we could go in on that, dime it out and push it all around town. I know plenty of people who would jump all over that like a... like a fuckin dog in heat. C'mon. Please help me out!"

"Push it or smoke it all?" I asked. 

Gerald said nothing.

"I'm sorry man. I just started school. Can't be fuckin around with too much of that ya know?"

"Fuck! Fine." Gerald said while storming off to his truck.

"You can lose my fuckin number while your at it!"

"Whatever you say Gerald," I said letting out a sigh before lighting my first cigarette of the day.

"Whatever you say."

March 2013

"Hey, you remember Gerald?"

"Yeah, it's been a minute. What's up with him these days." I responded after exhaling, coughing and passing the blunt back to Dana.

"Damn, been a while huh?"

"What?" I asked

"I mean this is okay-tier shit but not that good. Wouldn't have thought that it would phase ya being a college student and all," she snickered.

"Gotta cough to get off," I chuckled.

"Besides it's not all coeds and vodka" I said after finishing my coughing fit.

"Midterms this week, have to buckle down and actually study."

"Suuure, anyway Gerald."

"Yeah, what about him?"

"Dude's a fuckin space cadet now. I was hanging out with him at Jay's a few weeks ago. He started going on and on about how he hears these voices sometimes but it's all good because he's just like on a higher level of consciousness or something."

"Wow," I said unable to think of much else to say.

"He was hittin that V pretty hard, even after Scott left town."

"I'd heard he was still doing it occasionally but... damn." 

"Well, I don't know for sure. Rumors are rumors. You're the psychologist in the making. What do you think about all that? I mean I've definitely met people who get pretty fuckin weird after messing with stuff like that."

"Hard to say. Could be any number of things really. I hope he's alright." 

Those words echoed through my head long after I made the (hour or so) drive back to my dorm.

"I hope he's alright."

October 2017

"911 where are you calling from?"

"Yes! My... my name is Linda Smith. I'm on 313 Lincoln Avenue. It..It's my son Gerald. He's having an episode or something. I thought he was better. Dr. Bernard from Behavioral Health told me he was doing so well with his new meds."

"Ma'am please repeat your location so I can alert an officer."

"Mom! Mom! They're saying... They're saying that you have to go." Gerald said with tears streaming down his face.

Muffled screaming... Call ended at 9:21 AM 0:47 seconds.


January 2018

Man Accused of Strangling his Mother to Death Found Unfit to Stand Trial

Gerald Smith (29) arrested on charges of 1st degree murder in October has been found unfit to stand trial after undergoing a formal psychiatric evaluation. Johnathan Sanders II public defender originally assigned to Gerald's defense filed a motion for a fitness evaluation following the events leading to the local man's arrest. Gerald was evaluated by Dr. Sharron Asad MD (state mental health services) and Jim Townshed Psy D (state mental health services). He'd had an extensive history of mental health issues which may have played a role in the charges he's facing. 

According to testimony of first respondents, a 911 call had been placed by Linda Smith of 313 Lincoln Ave at 9:20 AM on Oct 23, 2017 stating her son was "having an episode." Officer's arriving on the scene found Linda unresponsive face down on the kitchen floor of the residence. Gerald was pacing, appearing very agitated stating that "the voices made me do it." Smith's charges were indefinitely suspended by state officials but may be revisited if Smith attains fitness to stand trial. 






Thursday, June 28, 2018

That one time I tried crack

"You ain't tryin'a buy dope are ya?"

I found myself facing an older and if appearances were to be trusted (very speculative) balding black woman as I stood out front of the South End Tap mindlessly puffing away on a cigarette.

"Me? nah (burp) nah man. Not this guy." I lied, drunkenly.

Pale and lanky as I was strung out... I wasn't fooling anyone.

"I don't care if you doin dope, just be smart about it. Don't be drivin and shit.

"Oh, no no ma'am I would never."

She look at me and smirked. 

"Here take this, barely touched it. Seem like you need it mo'than I do."

She handed me a Styrofoam take out container filled to the brim with chicken fried okra. Three days ago, I'd been in detox (oops) and the food there had been as bland as my senses. As grey as the hospital gowns we shuffled around in amidst the back-drop of dying fluorescent lights. Alcohol and fistful after fistful of vicoden and lorazepam may have turned me into a zombie but there was nothing that made you feel quite as undead as detox. I snatched the parcel from this strange woman and scarfed down what I could, before tossing my cigarette to the wind.

"Thanks man" I mumbled in between mouth-fulls 

But she'd already went back inside. As lump after lump trans-fat drenched goodness made its way down my throat, I began to remember the reason I'd decided to venture out to this particular shit-hole bar. 

I'd tried just about everything else. Shit-tire whiskey and Steel Reserve had made up my mind a long time ago hell maybe even genetics had made up my mind a long time ago. Everything culminating to the moment where I finally score some crack rock. I'd done powdered coke enough to know that its glamour was illusory. There were darker avenues to venture down. Untold riches of arcane, euphoria lied there ripe for the taking and after epically failing at detox, it was my time to experience them. I'd been down and out for years, now I just needed to join the club. 

Later, (had no luck scoring at the bar) I found myself outside of a liquor store a few blocks down. I went in to buy some more beer. It didn't matter what brand or how much. I just needed a reason to scope out the clientele or... let them scope me out rather. A good dopeman knows the scent of desperate oblivion and I reeked of it.

"Aye," A voice called out to me as I was leaving.

"What you need my man. I got that good bud."

I looked back to meet his gaze. His gun the first thing I noticed and believe you me, I felt the weight of that gun through my eyes. His posture told me that he had no intention of using it now but wouldn't hesitate to at a moments notice. They say that if the dope doesn't kill you the lifestyle will... Now I understood. This palpable atmosphere of danger really was the great equalizer. Nothing imparted on me from my petty bourgeoisie upbringing could have prepared me for this. This was everything the 90's Drug Free PSA's and DARE programs had warned me about.

"You got anything other than weed?" 

"Yeah, what you need?"

"Rocks... a dub."

"Hold on a minute."

After motioning to another person I'd not noticed standing beside him he handed me a bag and I handed him a crisp $20.

"Aight, you good?"

"Yeah." I said mesmerized. The strained sound-waves echoing in the distance the further I walked.

My hands shook with excitement as I pinched the end of my cigarette, stuffed the rocks in and covered them back up with the loose tobacco I'd harvested. 

"3...2...1..." I said to myself bringing the lighter to the tip and the butt to my mouth I inhaled harder than I ever had before and then... Bliss. The infamous bell-ringer made itself known as every pore on body vibrated for a few precious minuets. I spent the next hour or wandering around aimlessly, drinking and talking to myself until the familiar shapes of my little suburbia came into view. I stumbled home and actually managed to fall asleep. Days came and went as they tend to do. I never did go back to that liquor store parking lot. I knew the age-old bedfellows of pain and pleasure. I knew that wherever angels tread, demons follow close behind... I had enough of those and wasn't ready for another quite yet.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I Have a Problem... I'm a Cannibal

A generation and a half
Force fed tragedy
Desolation festers beneath the shiny surface
Corupting the host(s)
Maddned by madness
Bound and submissive
Youth lies ripe for the taking
In a world (more or) less troubled

A lust for death sets in as flesh and bone fracture
Christ on a digital cross
Laid bare by the tools of His sinners (with each gnawing pain)
Releasing  a spray of visceral dread
To be consumed #trending
To be... eaten
#againandagainandagainandagain




Notes; The following was partially inspired by Stanley Dean Baker. A real life cannibal and feature of some true crime documentary series I've been wasting my time with lately. A fascinating read for anyone who may be interested https://gizmodo.com/the-heart-eating-hippie-who-admitted-i-am-a-cannibal-1724667829

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Traintracks

The barge passed, the draw bridge bending to the will of its gears, swung into place and I jolted back to reality by the grinding of the train and the scratchy sound of the intercom suddenly and without warning woke up... well as woke as anyone fresh out of detox could be...  

Week old sweat had stitched itself into the fabric of my DNA, I reeked of chemicals that reeked of piss. The junk had waged a costly war on my body. A good nights rest being one of the many casualties. The fact that I'd been able to doze off (somewhere around Iowa I think?) without the help of Big Pharma was shocking. This... was recovery.

"Folks we will now be resuming our route to Kansas City. 15 miles til our next scheduled stop in Acres Square. This will be our last stop until we reach our destination. If ya need to smoke or stretch your legs... this'll have to do.

"Fuck," I muttered under my breath. 

"Six hours between cigarettes."

Addict thinking is what the professionals call it. Always scheming, planning ahead. Trying (and failing) to save a few crumbs for the next morning. Passing your time making your way through an endless list of a dope-men (or women, hell even transwomen if we're getting all PC about it. I once did a stint in my local behavioral health unit with a lovely transwoman who used to shoot meth and talk to aliens... getting off topic. Moving on); who refuse to operate by the laws of conventional time and punctuality. The types who will always "be there in 20 minuets man. 30 tops.

"All aboard," the stern female attendant yelled.

I stomped out what was lift of my cigarette and left Acres Square behind.

I hadn't planned on going to Kansas. I hadn't really planned on traveling anywhere without my usual crutch, but plans like most other things often find themselves subject to change.

"So what now?" M asked. Putting on a strong face as she clutched my capped needle in her hand. Her still-lit cigarette dwindling away in the ashtray with each passing second.

"I don't know... A change of scenery might be in order."

"What? Like... rehab again?"

"Yeah..."

"You know what that means then... You promised it wouldn't get this bad again. You promised you could control it."

"I know. Bit off more than I could chew with that one..."

M's hand grasped mine... Dim lights were almost as good at subduing the colors of emotions as dope. Subtle twitches in the face, tears welling in the eyes become less real when half lights in your apartment complex are burnt out.

"Just... just get better."

"Is this seat taken?"

I turned and faced a short black woman who looked to be well into her 70's wearing more layers of clothes than I'd thought possible.

"Uh, no go for it."

"You may call me Ms. Pearson." She said before tossing her bags on the floor and taking a sip of overpriced bottled water.

"Okay Ms. Pearson. Where ya headed?" I asked trying to be polite.

"Ohio."

"What's the occasion."

"My son's wake... Only 34 when the Lord took him."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"Thank you... You know, when you get to be my age. Death becomes more... familiar. It don't get any easier mind you but it does become more familiar. I just never thought I'd see the day... No mama should ever have to bury her child.

"What was his name?" I (despite feeling like utter shit) asked. Genuinely intrigued.

"Trey. I take some solace in that he grew up to be a good man. Kind... He was always kind. Hard working... He gave me 2 grand-babies. I... made this for his youngest."

Ms. Pearson dug through her overstuffed purse for what seemed like far too long before she found what she was looking for. A plastic baby doll. Missing an eye and draped in the ugliest crocheted wardrobe I'd ever laid eyes on. At that moment, a reflex something long forgotten possessed me. I grabbed the stupid thing and started sobbing. Ms. Pearson put her arm on my shoulder and hung her head. Here I was having a real human moment after countless years of trying to rid myself of them. Fuck me... I guess this is recovery.

“Sometimes we have the absolute certainty there's something inside us that's so hideous and monstrous that if we ever search it out we won't be able to stand looking at it. But it's when we're willing to come face to face with that demon that we face the angel.”  - Hubert Selby Jr.