The Shape in the Stone

Each day I chisel

The rough surface of this rock,

Trying to find the

Sculpture. I chip off

The words I don’t want to say,

“I don’t feel close to

You right now,” “I take

Pills to make life bearable,”

“If I could run, I

Would.” Another chip.

“I know you sense the dread in

Me, but haven’t the

Words to express it.”

“My best days are behind me.

They flew past while I

Was waiting for some

Validation that didn’t

Come. There is less of

Me each day.” I would

Rather die with these words not

Said, than hurt any

Of you. Alas am

I fated to wound you to

The core. Chip, chip, chip.

Eagle and Snake

Sapping my strength, it

Sucks the soul from me. I can’t

Pin it down, but I

Am made lesser, I

Have my peace stolen. Trembling,

I ask the ether

What it wants from me.

Why I must endure this loss.

Forty-one, vampire.

Those who wait upon

The Lord will renew their strength.

Rise like an eagle.

Hit Me as Hard as You Can

I can’t have been the only teenager who saw Fight Club in 1999 and wanted to go out and beat the shit out his friends, in hopes that we’d all feel a lot better and understand ourselves at the end of it.

Chuck Palahniuk’s novel and David Fincher’s film named a dynamic that I’m only now elucidating, with some help from Jung, Crowley, and Nietzsche: why do I crave both beauty and destruction? Why are my playlists a mixture of Mozart and Metallica? Why do I, a good hearted, Christian husband father and physician, sometimes seethe with rage and crave a storm to wash away all this filth? Is nothingness freedom, or is it nothing? Is love a prison?

Nietzsche said that God is an artist, not a moralist. His moods are wildly variable, and while supposedly changeless, He’s in fact endlessly changing, protean. Christian morality is inherently pessimistic, nihilist. It wants the end of the world, it wants there to be nothing, nobody left. A sterile, changeless void.

Certainly, you could argue that Christian morality as taught is untenable. When your thought is a crime, and you commit adultery when you look at a woman, when you are worthy of hellfire if you call your brother an idiot, it’s impossible to follow. The more you read the Bible, the more you realize how strange and subjective the text is. You read the Gospels, and they contradict themselves. Jesus is a son of David in Matthew, not a son of David in John. Jesus is crucified on a different day in Mark and John. The epistles are dense texts addressed to people we don’t know about topics we have to guess about. Revelations tells a compelling story referencing multiple symbolic systems that we don’t have in our current canonical texts.

If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. This is a Buddhist aphorism that summarizes a meta-dynamic I’ve sensed for years is at play within the Bible. The God you can understand is not the real God. If you claim to speak for Jesus, you’re a liar. You’re blessed when you’re cursed. You’re rich when you’re poor.

Through the union of opposites, we annihilate them both and find the unity at the center. Nietzsche said that tragedy was the emergence of Apollonian reason through the catastrophe of Dionysian forces. I’d say this is a pretty fair summary of the narrative of the Bible. Morality occurs from what you learn by engaging in the text and with life, and picking up the pieces from the wreckage of your annihilated life. Kind of like Fight Club.

The Wound

The beginning wasn’t a beginning, it was an ending; just an endless circle. It was complete, nothing needed to happen.

Something did happen. What was it, the moment in the everything, the potential, that kicked over, infinite space, folded in on itself, creating a change, beginning time?

Time began when space was divisible into “is”and “is not.” Was it a sin, or a delusion, or an illusion? They’re all the same.

Needless to say, it hurt. We still hear that scream every day, every night, throughout eternity. In our head, it’s a high pitched whine, around 1600 Hz. It’s the sound of time, of incompleteness, of an aching need for something that we can’t even name.

We think we’ll find something to salve this burn, but we never do. It just festers and rots. Then we think that if we find another who hurts like we do, it won’t hurt so bad. But ultimately, there have never been any like us, so we go on limping, alone.

Still we hope. We search. We inquire. We persist. One day we’ll find him, or her, or them, and we’ll all speak our truth to each other, and we’ll have found the words that bring us back into our circle. We’ll be one again.

Time will cease, and we’ll rotate on our axis, harmonious and lovely, we’ll orbit.

Garden of Unforgetting

In my journeys have I happened upon

The Garden Unforgetful, thrice did I

Eat her fruit. When first I sampled, learned I

To trip the light fanatastick, no longer

Bound by gravity, the chains were loosed, danced

For the rain. All the overseers could

Not fix me to this earth, for of the sky

Was I born; return to my home did I.

Second fruit, spoke did I in my one true

Voice, as pure and strong, the leader for whom

World ached. With deep resonance I did

Intone, command, withdrew Excalibur.

The last fruit showed me witnesses, a cloud

Kindred, broken hearts, so lonely, lovely,

Awaiting healing and communion. More

Than a year since I visited garden

Green, yet I have found it grows in me, and

Its harvest will soon become my supper.

Money on the Table

Look, man, I know you
Been working hard, but we are
Going to need a lot

More out of you. I
Know, you want to know the “why?”
You always do, and

That’s alright. But here’s
The thing: it doesn’t fucking
Matter what you want.

Got it? It doesn’t.
I know, I know. You worked your
Ass off to get here.

Everybody did.
You gave up hopes and dreams to
Do this. Sacrifice,

Man, come on. To make
A thing holy, you gotta
Give it up. That’s all.

You’re where you are now
Because you did what others
Wouldn’t. Not couldn’t.

Wouldn’t. Felt like an
Idiot for years with a
Bunch of guys who are

Younger than you, know
A lot more, look better, and
They’re already rich.

What have you got? The
Ability to suffer. That’s
Right. They’re complaining

About why they can’t do
It, and you’re out there doing
It! So what, so what,

You’re stuck now. Study
Another year, because the
Virus cancelled your boards.

Big shit. Who cares? It
Will make you better. Stronger.
Some of the staff talk

Shit about you. What
Are they going to do? They
Took their shot at you

Already and it
Missed. They took what they could, and
You got the better

Deal. You beat them with
Knowledge: disability.
They are required

By law to help you,
To accommodate you and
Demonstrate what they

Did. And you told ‘em,
You’d take ‘em to court. Guess what.
They haven’t done shit.

What have you got that
They’ll never have? Brass balls. You
Get it done, man. No

Reason to get all
Discouraged. You have your one
Golden ticket to

Learn whatever the
Fuck you want for eight more months
And then you’re in your

Country estate. You
Made a billion fucking notes,
Flashcards, mnemonics

Already for this
Shit. You just gotta get that
Shit back out and put

It in regular
Rotation. Fucking go to
The mattresses, like

The Corleone’s.
You know why you liked mobsters
So much? You wanted

A family. Backup.
A fucking crew. Guess what? You
Got a huge fucking

Army out there. They all
Want you to beat this shit, get
The fuck out of there,

And start your fucking
Empire. So come on, man. Hem
Up your vagina.

It’s sticking out of
Your pant leg right now. Let’s get
Back out there, and rule

This fucking hell week!
It’s not over, it’s never
Fucking over! Yes!