Thursday, November 30, 2006

Michael Mack

I saw Michael Mack a number of years ago at the first Austin International Poetry Festival I attended. He understands schizophrenia in ways most people cannot. Before he went on stage, we had a brief conversation about paranoid schizophrenia, and how it affects me in particular. We didn't have a long time to talk, but the words we shared were meaningful. He performed a small bit of his play, and looked at me as if to say "did I get it right?" I simply nodded my head to say "yes;" he nodded in return.

Pay his website a visit

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Religion, Not Politics

I found this on a friend of a friend's myspace. I went ahead and googled it, and found that this image is approved by more than one person. Needless to say, I was offended greatly. If anyone thinks this country is a theocracy, they should take a hard look at a genuine theocracy. I won't talk politics too much in this blog, but I will never shy away from religion.

The event pointed to by this link is a genuine violent theocracy. Notice the removal of individual property, and teaching religion as an exclusive alternative to secular philosophy.

When I was in high school, I went to bat for my Muslim friends. I was called an imperialist by self-conscious atheists, and on many more occasions, a Nazi. I defended the rights of Palestinians in a community with a large percentage of Jews. There were a lot of Christians who liked to call me Hitler Youth, too. That happened a lot after I publicly disagreed with a gospel prayer-concert held in the auditorium. They called it black history month; I called it establishment. I still do. That stand made me very unpopular, but if you know me, you know I'll stick to my ideals until I independently determine those ideals to be wrong. Hurt me, go ahead. By my fruits, God will know me. He will judge me, not the rest of you.

I changed my ideals on September 11, 2001. I was three and a half years removed from high school, getting over a C-Span addiction, and had just been told by my brother that they took down our towers. Immediately, I looked around the Muslim world. There was no outrage. The mullahs were not disgusted at the despicable acts of murder perpetrated in their god's name. They were leading celebrations in the streets. Until confronted with obvious evidence otherwise, I considered Islam to be a religion with some good ideas, but some very deep flaws concerning women's rights. I thought that when push came to shove, Islam would own its mistakes, and make amends. Instead, at the first sight of weakness in what the cartographer at the top of the page calls "Jesusland," they took to the streets in celebration. That was when I decided to take a longer, harder look at the Koran. Read the ninth Sura. It pretty much says it all. I don't need to put words in Muhammad's mouth; he poisoned his opinion himself.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is the law I live by. I don't make a complicated scoring system based on 1/40th of the incomes of my neighbors that follow a different path, nor do I have a list of contracts drawn up set to expire and coordinated with my firearm. Let me go to church, and I'm cool. Killing in the name of the Lord is not something I find tolerable. If someone with different religious ideas wants to live next door to me, that's cool. I'm not going to interfere with his journey to and from God. I am not a minister. I am a poet.

Back before the State of Maryland decided to limit my driver's liscense, I drove past a mosque from time to time on my way to my brother's house. I didn't honk my horn, carry around a crucifix in front of them, or burn crescent-laden flags for their displeasure. I just kept on driving. That's what free exercise is all about. We have it here in "Jesusland" whether a bunch of inconsiderate jerks want to admit it or not.

After my change in opinion, I get called a Zionist and an American imperialist pig. I also hear a lot of people call me a "fundie," whatever the hell that means, and they use the word "Christian" like an insult. As far as I'm concerned, that just makes things clearer. I don't want to be a warrior for God; he doesn't need my help there. I want to be a good person with a good heart; I want to believe in the fashion I choose to believe. I want transubstantiation, public confession, adult baptism by immersion, and a place that lets me do all those things. Right now, I have that. So if I love you, and you call me a bigot, so be it. I loved you before those words left your lips, and I'll love you afterwards. If you're a friend from high school who practices Islam with or without your family, you're still a friend of mine. I had to be born again myself, and I was raised in the surroundings I choose now. My journey to God would be a lot harder and a lot longer if it hadn't been beneath my nose the whole time.

So what of "Jesusland?" Take a good look around, people. It's getting near Christmas time, and the Salvation Army is collecting money in buckets. There's no gun, bayonet, or even a sermon behind those buckets; there's just a bell. You can choose to give, or you can choose to keep for yourself. By those fruits, the Lord will know you. I'm not going to break open the bucket to dust for fingerprints and count, not even in "Jesusland."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Three Blog Night

Keep this in mind.

Something I stumbled over

How anyone can see Eddie Vedder as an "iconoclast" is beyond me. Perhaps I'm the only one who remembers his poser fans walking around in my freshman year of high school. They were so artistic, innovative, and original that they teased the baseball player who listened to country music. I was friends with the ball player; he didn't care much for those guys. Mostly, he just felt at home on the mound.

It's not just Eddie Vedder, either. Apparently there's a whole show of these phonies pretending to be iconoclasts. Fiona Apple? Quentin Tarantino? Dave Chapelle? These guys are the establishment, not the counter culture. I'm a guy that goes to Church, writes a blog, and wears expensive Portugese shoes because they're the only ones that help my knees get through another day. Even I can see through their self-promoting hype. None of these so-called iconoclasts have the courage to shatter icons of religion in the street. Every time they get close to upsetting the mainstream America that pays for The Sundance Channel, they back off and hide behind the first amendment. They have the right to say whatever they want to say, and even misrepresent their personalities to earn a buck. However, to be an outcast in America, you'll have to do better than irking a few bible-thumpers who themselves are a bit too eager to please the masses from the pulpit. We're a tolerant people. Making enemies with Jerry Falwell and Oral Roberts might be enough to impress socialist friends in Europe, but it's a long way from gaining my respect.

I listen to Robert Johnson sing the blues. There's more devil in his dead left hand than in Eddie Vedder's whole body. I can respect Kurt Cobain. That guy had pain in every note, and pain in every word. We would probably never see eye-to-eye on anything, but I would love the chance to try anyway. Unfortunately, he's gone.

Eddie Vedder, however, is still with us. He's even cool enough today to call himself an iconoclast. Fame is wasted on him.


I hate this. I'd say that I'll control it in the future, but that would be a lie. All I have left is my honesty. I promised not to delete posts. Peace and Love seem very far away; Understanding seems closer.


Today is a haze. I don't know what the hell is happening. I'm not mute

yo0u should know that by now.
tomorrow is today

no sleep can pace this hunger hjeaving refuse dry and cholic. hope? HOpe is a weaponh against tomorrow without the certainty of now

Saturday, November 25, 2006

50,000 Rounds

Boxers earn what they're worth, not a penny more, not a penny less. Jimrex Jaca fights Juan Manuel Marquez as I write this. Jaca started in the Phillippines for a dollar per round, not a thousand or even a hundred dollars per round. He fought for a dollar per round. Tonight, he's fighting for fifty thousand dollars. This guy can take a good punch, and fights with great courage. We're getting fifty thousand rounds worth of heart from Jimrex Jaca; even if he loses this fight, he wins my support. The fight isn't pretty: two head butts caused two cuts on Marquez. Boxing is all about performance in adversity. This fight is full of adversity for both fighters.

Poems I Wish I Never Wrote - Vol. III


i see you never in my dreams
when heavy eyelids come to close
around my drenching drowning globes
without the fire they once had

for you, you were my love
you were what i desired
no sex or blood or tears required
just words, that's all, and simple smiles

to greet me in this world i made
when i was young, and acted so
your face above, my heart below
a stalking figure in the grass

but now the years erode my spirit
there is no hunt, or clear blue sky
no simple smiles, no reasons why
to make my mind remember then

just sleep and dreams and dreary days
no light can shine into my eyes
for far above me something dies
i keep my head tucked tight and low

and now i see you never

I wrote this poem as the first manifestation of the Stitches character. I kept the lower case nature of the line for the bulk of Stitches, but ditched the odd rhyming pattern in the center of every stanza. This piece just doesn't work on any level.



It seems so dead, with grief at night I still walk
Down darkened streets familiar to my feet
Where voices choose to sit as peers and eat
Each word with poison feeds the next we talk.
Though shoeless, hopeless, wordless, I stalk
My toes feel grass where there is only concrete
And masticate these words with mind made meat;
I choke in silence while the neighbors gawk.
Take it from me. Nobody wants to share
This Legion of voices that lingers inside;
Those that know nothing have nothing to bless.
Everyone out there who knows me, beware
If you choose to listen, and in me abide,
My pain still rules lonely my clingy caress.

This is the worst sonnet. The third line of the sestet is horrible; I never wrote a worse line. To this day, I reference this poem as proof that a form alone can't capture a poetic cadence. I was going to read this one aloud in Austin the last time I was there for reasons I still can't fathom; I chose to discard it at the podium with three words: "this is garbage." I made the right call.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful This Year

When I count my blessings, I count them in two categories: long term and short term. Long-term blessings are sources for reasons to get up in the morning, and the short-term blessings are those reasons to get up in the morning.

In the long-term, I'm thankful for much over this past year. I'm thankful for my return to church; I feel less alone now than I felt even a few short months ago. A key part of that has been the awesome people I've met there. Andrew, Ron, Quiong, Amy, Jen, Jessica, Isa, Barry, Kara, Dennis, Charity, and everyone else, you've made me genuinely feel closer to humanity in general; that is important to me. I don't fit in well anywhere, but church feels less awkward than anywhere outside my home. I'm thankful for my old friends, too. I'm better for having known them. I'm thankful for my family; you make life worth living by supporting me and loving me. If I didn't have my family's full support, I'd probably be dead. I'm thankful for my blog; it's a good place for me to express myself, meet new people, and provide an organized forum for inspiration. Other Realms is a good place to hang out, even if I'm not there as much as I was in the past.

Recently, I've got more short-term stuff going on than in any time in the past couple of years. I'm thankful for my friend Andrew, who has shown me true friendship and genuine concern. I'm thankful for my friend Karen Scuderi, who thinks I'm interesting enough to pour my blog into a song. I'm thankful for my Brother, Gary; he's got me thinking about good food this afternoon. Nick Benz, you're my oldest friend, and I'm thankful for your friendship; I'm looking forward to calling you later today to check up. We both know it's been too damn long. Kristyn, you call me from Tulsa, and keep me in touch with Jason. If left to his own devices, I'd probably never hear from him. Kris, you're the man. You understand me enough to call at 1:00 AM. Ron reads my blog; I know for certain because he comments. Thank you, Ron. Saturday should be good, Nikki and Jaime, even if I don't fit in well with your crowd. Chris Lyons, I have three words for you because I haven't mentioned you yet: Joseph of Arimathea; we'll never forget that.

Damn, I've got a lot going on. I should try to spend more time awake.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Reading Exodus for Insight

Exodus 32:14 "And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people."

So I'm reading Exodus again, not for laws to obey, but for insight into the nature of our relationship with God. I struggle with the meanings of my own actions, so I'm looking for a spark from the books of Moses. I take this passage to mean one thing in particular to me: the struggle with God is real. Moses helps God change his mind just as the Lord helps Moses change his nation. Every time I see an agreement between men, power is given by both sides of the bargain to a common end. We give portions of our livelihood for assistance with the other parts of our livelihood we cannot handle ourselves.

Covenants with God are a little different; God can handle anything himself, but his measures are often harsh. I think God makes covenants with us to avoid this harshness for our own sake by trusting us, particularly Hebrews, to attend to portions of our own punishment. God destroyed all flesh with a flood, but attended to his creations through the duties of Noah: we are now trusted with the animals. That's a lot of trust. As a manner of exposition, I feel compelled to at least mention the other covenants in Genesis. The other covenants in Genesis are with Abraham; his requests for family are realized in the form of descendents: Israel and the Hebrews. They are trusted with much, but have many more direct responsibilities to God. God demands, and Abraham acts; trust becomes more important with each passing covenant. This is obviously Grace.

But there's more in Genesis and Exodus than pious requests and gifts for obedience. Cain kills Abel for inequities with God, then asks "Am I my brother's keeper?" This is the beginning of my insight: God protects Cain from harm at Cain's request. Cain asks for his own life, and is given it. Why? In Exodus 32:7-14, God allows Moses to persuade the Hebrews rather than smiting all but Moses. Why? God forgives us our sins, including the murder of his son. Why? I think God gives because we ask.

Every night before I sleep, I ask. I perceive inequities between myself and the rest of you. It's pointless to decry those inequities: we all know them well. My request is simple: take me Home. Every morning, I awake under a warm roof, with food at my fingertips, and people willing to support me despite the inequities. What more can I ask for and feel insulted if it is not given? God provides always what I need. He doesn't provide what I need when I expect it, nor does he give me everything I want, but he does provide. When I ask for a trip Home, I want a quick death and and to be in the arms of the Lord as I was when I was a kid, before this thing struck me. I'm schizophrenic, but I'm Home. I hate it, but I comply. I only hope that my talents and dedication are enough to fulfill my nightly covenant. My goals remain as always: Peace, Love, and Understanding. Those virtues aren't in my hands, but most everything else is, including sin and the thirst for my own earthly demise. I cannot promise, but I will try in exchange for Home.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Body Parts

When I saw the latest episode of "Dexter" on Showtime, I thought immediately that they'd dropped Zeus on a rope. Then I remembered that we'd been informed that the sister's boyfriend works with body parts, not whole bodies. The Ice Truck killer does the same. Furthermore, Dexter and The Ice Truck Killer share damaged girlfriends. It's obvious, and I wonder why I missed it. I might have to review the episodes to date; I thought the sister was the only one close enough to Dexter to pull off some of the Ice Truck Killer's maneuvers. It's obvious Mr. Freeze uses the sister to get close to Dexter.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bobby Pacquiao

Kenny Bayless acted two rounds too late. He penalized Pacquiao twice for repeated and blatant low blows, then gave him two additional warnings. I hope Hector Velazquez is ok; that was one dirty fight on Pacquiao's side with low blows and head butts. We should hope Manny Pacquiao acts more professionally than his brother Saturday night.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Going Back

I'm going back to sleep. I'm taking tranquilizers and doing what I have to for me to stick around as I promised. My claws are out; I can feel the breath of the lion on my neck. Everything spins, and all I can hear is the choir. If I sleep, I cannot plot my own demise, which is the only thing I want right now. If you're concerned, many of you have my number. I'm not waiting for you, though; that would be a fool's errand.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Persona Non Grata

I have my list. If you're on it, you probably know. There are three new members: an ingrate who brings pain to those he's closest to, an oath breaker who should know better, and a person I should have never let close to begin with. Cheers, this list is for me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006


Damn, I'm bitter. I need to force slumber upon myself before I post late. The blog is genuine, but the last post was unnecessary.

Not My Fault

Normally, I'd post a disclaimer of some sort up here. However, I'm so certain that the handful of people this entry addresses will not read that I've decided to pull no punches. If this post sounds like you, it probably is; I have a lot of former associates in the same category. After all, what is one of those associates going to do to me, bump it up from never talking to me to never ever talking to me?

I think I understand. None of it is my fault, but society, friends, loved ones, and lovers quite simply must treat me as though my symptoms are the most flagrant and intentional error.

What choice do they have? When I was in middle school, I was told "I can't be seen with you" on more than one occasion. That was before everything went mad. Who would want to be seen holding my hand at a shopping mall while I growl and prowl underneath the escalator? If you've witnessed me at my worst, you'd know this to be true. If mall security walked over to you while I am in the Void, how many of you would bear the shame of saying "he's my husband." Blood relatives have no choice; I am my brother's brother and my mother's son.

That's the difference between relationships and friendships, right?. We all have embarrassing friends; it's easy to write them off. If there's a relationship, we volunteer to a greater attachment. It's too cruel for friends and lovers to say "I can't be seen with you." What they can do is laugh about me when I'm not around, sharing stories about their crazy friend Thomas. It's all in good fun, right? The other thing you do is slowly back away when you get too close. Don't talk to me for a while. Slowly cut things off; maybe I won't take note if the increments are slight enough. It might take a few months, but I will surely be gone, and you'll think I didn't notice. You'd be wrong.

It's not my sickness, right? I've heard that many times, from many different associates. It's not the psychosis; it's not the depression; it's not the OCD. It can't be. Those aren't by choice. Instead, you always pick something that can remotely but exclusively be called voluntary. You can cite my Bible, my haircut, my clothes, my favorite music, my political leanings, even my poetry, but that wouldn't be true. All mentally ill people are ashamed of the things that separate us from the rest of you. However, the rest of you are far more ashamed of us than we could ever be of ourselves. Things would be much clearer through the mud in my brain if the rest of you were as honest with me as I am with you. I know the truth now: I am held responsible for my disease, and all circumstances surrounding it.

So what am I going to do about it? I'm too lonely to face the rest of my days alone, so I'll smile and nod. There's a new story about how crazy I am. Perhaps I'll tell you some day if you need a chuckle and a wild-eyed grin. I won't hold my breath.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rebirth of Jacob's Brother

I decided to bring back my gaming blog, Jacob's Brother. This time around, I'll probably update more frequently, and the subject will be mostly D&D. For readers of this blog, it will be insight into my distractions, the only events that keep me waking up in the morning.


I'm finding few reasons to wake up anymore. Here I am; It's one o'clock in the afternoon, and I've just emerged from a long slumber. The only course of action I want to take is to take tranquilizers, and return to sleep. I spent most of last night and early this morning fighting Legions; I'm still tired. The only thing that seems certain to me is pain. I'm sick of making every moment of every day pain management. Whether it's my ankle, my knees, my heavy heart, or my weary head, I just don't want to fight it anymore. I'm sick; I'm tired; I'm a damn fool for promising not to take measures into my own hands. Before I slept, Prester Bane taunted me. He begged me to go ahead and do it; he kept saying that if I did, that he would own me forever with no competition. What the hell am I supposed to do? I think I could deal with my struggle if I had an ounce of happiness, but that seems just as far away as sanity right now. If I had happiness, I could at least put some joy into my writing, and testify to love, but that path is denied to me. All I have to write, and all I have to live is pain. Who wants to hear more of that?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Desert Son

When stringing out the words
I weave about my verses,
A syllable goes wrong:
A word without its place.

My anger in the passing
Of yet another stanza
Leaves nothing more to say
Than stagnant little thoughts:

My love is worn and tired
To mimic my War Horse,
A cold and bitter stare
Too weary to bring fear,

A tired, old affliction
That struggles in the dust
While burdened with my Love
Unsought, unwanted, worthless.

I write too much these days.
I write until I'm dry,
A desert full of sand
And every grain: a poem.

So "Desert Son" they call me,
A rider through the dunes.
My horse is burdened down
With English that I use.

Verbose and lacking feeling
I just stick words together
Hoping for a difference
But knowing all the same

That heavy verbal hoof prints
Just trace my lonely path
Swallowed by the desert.
I'm sure that none will follow.

Uncertain of direction,
I know what stays the same:
I flee from presents past
To force my future shame.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I finally added a links list. If there's any friend I forgot, just send me an email, and I'll post a link.


This blog isn't a lie. It's all genuine. If you asked me how I feel, I would probably say something mildly dismissive like "I'm ok today." Unless you want to hear, don't ask; I have trouble sorting out those who genuinely care and those with a misguided sense of manners.

What am I supposed to say? What if I told you the truth: I lay awake every night searching for reasons to wake up in the morning, then I post them on my blog. Some of you might feign concern; more would probably be interested to see true madness intelligently described from the inside for the first time. For most people, I'm a sideshow act; the rest of you I call "friend." Friendship is wasted on me, I think.

I've yet to meet someone who can tolerate the same horror stories on consecutive occasions, much less meet someone who could hear them for the months and years on end that I deal with them. Like I said earlier: the same old wounds seek the same remedies. I'm interesting for ninety minutes; six months is quite simply too much to ask. Trust me, or trust the only one who tried; all roads lead to Rome, and they're all well accustomed to the bootheels of my Legions.