Bhudda in the Dark

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My extreme mood shifts are a real chore to deal with at times. This week I’ve been the calm and gentle Bhudda; at one with the universe, laughing and happy, everything seems as clear as a reflection on still water.

 
Looking over the last month or so I’ve been in a state of great agitation. Not that it’s all been negative. In fact most has been positive, yet it has still been a struggle to perform the daily tasks that need finished, organize my goals in an efficient manner, and keep the focus on the essential truths about life as I see them.

 

If I could lock my mind and body into the state it is in today I would live a better life. But it’s not as easy as flipping a switch. Or maybe it is and I’m just fumbling in the dark unable to locate it.

Where is Today’s George Carlin?

Where is this generation’s George Carlin? Richard Pryor? Bill Hicks? Lenny Bruce? Where are those raw, unapologetic wordsmiths that can ‘tell it like it is’ is a way that really gets the point across but also makes you laugh? Laugh at how ridiculous it all is? Laugh at yourself? Laugh at the world?

 

Don’t get me wrong, there are some funny comedians performing, and there are some ‘edgy’ comedians performing, but I don’t see anyone that rises above the rest. There isn’t anyone that can shock the world anymore, in a good way, and I don’t believe it’s because we’ve become so ‘desensitized’ by it all.

 
The problem is two-fold. The comedians, for the most part, are lazy. The game has changed. In the golden days of the craft you studied the language. You used wordplay, developed interesting dialogue, discovered your own unique voices if needed and developed characters. You worked the clubs and moved up slowly, always honing and polishing your craft, tossing off the slag, keeping what shined. Write and rewrite. Now it’s about youtube and getting kicked in the nuts. Five minutes of fame and out. So many flash in the pans and so many ‘big name’ comedians that wouldn’t have been able to open for some of the above-mentioned legends. Even the good ones, that I actually enjoy, are just shadows of what came before. Patton Oswalt, Louis C. K. etc… They suck. Sorry, somebody had to say it.

 
The other problem though is me, and audiences in general. You ever watch old films of live shows? What do you see? People that are engaged. People enjoying the world around them. People without the thing I’m typing this on in their hand, not ‘connected’ to anyone or anybody but those in their immediate vicinity. Whether it was a comedy show, or a concert, or a play the audience was there and they were wholly a part of the experience. Do yourselves a favor and leave that shit in the car the next time you go in somewhere. The world wide web will be there when you get back.

 
That’s not all though. People at comedy shows could laugh at themselves back then. They could laugh at their neighbors. They could laugh at ANYTHING. Why is everyone so serious now? Do you snowflakes need a safe space? Has everyone forgotten that, when it comes down to it, words are just wind. Unless you’re Zhuang Zhou. Cool guy, Chinese dude, a little before Jesus check him out. They aren’t going to hurt you. Fuck, we’ve known that since gradeschool, or at least I have.

 
Where is the next legend that’s going to do the work? The one that’s going to have the vision to put it all together, and bring us all together, over the ridiculousness of humanity? He or she is out there but some of that shit starts with you. Lighten up, buttercup.maxresdefault (1)

Focus (Shadeland Excerpts, Draft)

Sharp and clear he sees it.
Burning with his own sick confidence he steps forward, hand outstretched, a grin of agony upon his face. Expectation etched upon his brow. At long last the prize is within reach! Closer he steps, fingertips hovering mere inches away crackling with an electrical sensation. They shimmer in and out of view, seemingly unnoticed by this man, this… thing.
Curious.
He reaches to grasp, sure of his triumph in this moment, an exuberant cry upon his lips. The scene darkens, he grasps only air. Confusion, uncertainty, dismay, and, in the end, DESPAIR claims his mind. Everything goes black.

                 *Focus*

 
In the distance, through the dense foliage, through the lush canopy of trees I search. The colorful boughs and blooms, vines as thick as my biceps whip past my face. Drenched I shiver, the days when I had a warm bed and an office in New York are long gone.

 
The days when there was a New York are long gone.

 
A cry erupts from the thick brush on my left. Something ancient, something primordial, something I would have scoffed at had I been informed of just a few short years ago. In my world creatures that made sounds such as this either didn’t exist or were gone, long before man had left his cradle.

 
I ready myself, the sweet smell of the Gladionas filling my nostrils, and await the beast. If I’m to meet my death, I’ll stand ready.
I see a bit of movement from the brush. The leaves explode outwards in an impressive wave there it is! I leap to the side just as…

 

 

*Focus*

 
“Tyler! Hey Tyler, wait up!”
I turn and see my old friend David hustling to catch up with me, briefcase tucked under one arm, a Styrofoam cup in each hand. I can’t help but smile. Sometimes it seems some of my best memories start with Dave playing a game of catch-up.
I pause before the elevators, let one group go before me, co-workers, some I know, some just faces in a crowd. All of them rushing about their day delivering important documents or the next big stories. The glamorous life of a high-profile tabloid publication.
Dave finally catches up and holds out a cup.
“Hey, your favorite, coffee, black and cheap. Living large, just like we always knew we would.” He smiles.
Tyler gives a nod of thanks and takes the offered cup. He pretty much hates coffee but needs the energy so he doesn’t turn it down.
“Thanks Dave, you know me so well.” he says.
The elevator doors open and the two step inside. A minor miracle occurs and, for the moment, just the two of them share the car down as they depart the 23rd floor.
“So, does Bosman still have you writing up the Five Killer?” Tyler asks.
“Nope, you didn’t hear? They found him. Ended up being an EMT that worked over at Jacobi. Sick guy. He tried out some of his handiwork on a fella who was a little livelier than his other victims. The instead of his usual easy prey the guy fought back, overpowered him, and was able to hold him down until rounds came through.” Dave shook his head, “Real Shame. A few more bodies and I would’ve had the cover.”
Tyler gave him a reproachful look and shook his head.
“Hey, I’m joking, I’m joking! Relax, I’m glad they caught the guy. Still, I could’ve used the bonus.” Dave shrugged.
The elevator stopped to let a couple of people on then continued its steady progress.
“How about you? Anything good coming up in The Quarter lately?”
The Quarter. This was the nickname employees had given to a small section on page three near bottom right. It didn’t quite take up a quarter, but “Quarter” had a better ring to it than “Two-Fifths”.
In The Quarter you could never be sure what you would find. News about a “Miracle Cure” for whatever had you down. Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Erectile Dysfunction. Hell, the Quarter had solved those years ago, multiple times. Sometimes you’d get a story about a heinous murder, complete with a one inch grainy black and white photograph. Every so often you would get a history lesson on some schoolyard tale that just wouldn’t die. Cannibals that called the city home. There were murders, rapes, arsons, burglaries; the only requirement for The Quarter is they couldn’t be easily proven cases, or they had to be especially heinous. The more odd, shocking, and bizarre, the better. The Quarter focused on the fatal and fantastic, the grand and grim. With The Quarters one never knew quite what to expect but Tyson liked it.
“I’m actually on my way out to the next big story now,” Ty said “apparently, some asshole crashed his car, pulled a gun on someone, then caused a miniature earthquake in an alleyway.”
“Perfect man,” Dave laughed, “been a while since you’ve run a crackpot piece.”
The elevator reached the lobby, the few remaining passengers departed but Tyler held Dave back.
“This should be a little different. Multiple witnesses, in broad daylight, and the spot where the earthquake happened is still there.” Tyler tilted his head back and finished the last of his coffee. “I can’t wait to find the magician that pulled this one off.”
*Focus*
Screams reverberated down the dimly lit halls. Male, female, young, old, Tarvin couldn’t tell. Too many twists and turns, the walls themselves, crooked with age, unnatural in their origin, didn’t help matters. He kept low, pausing by each door, listening, careful not to make a noise. The lighting is the dirty yellow of an aging, near dead, fluorescent bulb that seems to seep from the walls themselves. It isn’t steady, but seems rather on the verge of extinction, dimming and brightening with an irregular pulse. Tarvin, though tired, is alert. The Gunstelings do not know mercy.
It’s been twelve days and nights since he’s entered the manor. So far, it’s been one never-ending corridor after another. The one door he had dared open contained but a single table, with a telephone on it. When he approached it began to ring, each clash of bells louder than the last. Try though he might he couldn’t reach the receiver, it seemed further away no matter how much he moved towards it. This was a place of enchantment and illusion. He knew what he needed was in here, he had the clues, but so far, the answers had evaded him. His supplies were low and soon he’d have to resort to guessing.
If it came to that blind chance was all that remained.
Another door, silence.
And another.
A dozen more.
Crossing corridors. Again, he held out his Stok, and let it choose the way. Straight this time.

After an hour he sees a door that is somewhat different from the others. The first of its kind, unique in hue and shape. Cautiously he approaches, pulling his pack from his shoulder. He listens and hears a quiet scraping sound from inside. The sound reminds him of tree branches scraping metal. He steels himself, grabs the knob and eases the door open.
*Focus*

Carry Me [Draft]

Well I threw it all away
As they knocked upon my door
No time now to be saved
No leniency here no more

The wind it blows out a name
But I can’t make out any words
I guess I’ll carry it to my grave
It’s more than I deserve

Oh carry me
Carry me
Carry me
Don’t let me fall

Well they’ve taken me far away
I lie bleeding on the floor
My crimes will follow to the grave
Soon my sorrows will be no more

They come and offer a last request
As I look for the sky
The noose is all that’s left
Alone I fall and cry

Oh carry me
Carry me
Carry me
Don’t let me fall

As they march me to my grave
Silence falls on the crowd
There’ll be no mercy on this day
And none should be allowed

The hood is drawn over my eyes
Yet my vision, still so clear
So tired of living with these lies
As I drop I lose my fear

Oh carry me
Carry me
Carry me
Don’t let me fall

Oh carry me
Carry me
Carry me
Don’t let me fall

That Don’t Bother Me

My mother left but that don’t bother me
She walked beneath the moon late in June
Laid a wreath that perished soon
My mother left but that don’t bother me

My father went to see what he could see
He sailed a ship from the ports in Spain
Down to the tip of Memory Lane
Yeah my father went but that don’t bother me

My sister hailed a cab and disappeared
Into the night a passing light
A question might explain the flight
But my sister dissapeared and that don’t bother me

My brother never was but that don’t bother me
A possibility that never came to pass
The others went and he was saved for last
My brother never was but that don’t bother me.

My house burned down
I’ve lost my job
I’ve never found love
I’ve never had a friend
And people are just so damned cruel
But that don’t bother me

They’ll find me hung from on this tree
From a wall, a cross, wherever I happen to be.
With a smile on my face because, of course…
Nothing bother’s me.

The Shadeland Sorrows (Excerpt)

The stranger sat in silence. The only light was an ancient hanging fixture that looked to have come from a rummage sale, covered in dust. It’s bulbs flickering uncertainly, bathing the area in a sickly yellow light. The room was a perfect square, just large enough for an extremely tall man to stand without ducking. The walls, ceilings, and floor were a uniform color of gray. There were no Windows but, perhaps more peculiarly, no doors.

The stranger was uncommonly tall, clad in a plain robe the same color as the room and resting on one elbow, the classic thinker position. The hood is pulled up the face hidden underneath. The figure move, there is no rising and falling as would be present in a normal creatures breathing pattern. Gradually a new light begins to shine, nearly imperceptible at first, from beneath the strangers hood. It pulses like the heartbeat of the dying. Like the rumble of thunder beneath the deaf and blind’s feet. It is faint but it is there and yet we still cannot make out what is beneath the hood.
There is a sound, gentle giggling like a child. It fills the room seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere at once, and a smell. Burning rubber like you might recall back in high school when someone had an especially fine automobile and wanted to show it off. Under this smell is a lighter scent, harder to describe but of a universal substance. A bit like copper. The medics and soldiers know it well.

Then the light fades, as does the smell. The giggling cuts off abruptly and we’re left again with the fluorescent flickering. But does it seem brighter?
The stranger straightens. The contemplation appears complete and either a decision has been made or the pursuit given over to something else.

A Poor Sonnet

Why should I judge others that don’t agree?
Nothing written truly gives me this right.
Though our eyes refuse even to meet.
This doesn’t mean we are lacking insight.

Reason is lost in arguments grown hot.
Logic cast aside as the tempers flare.
Cool, calm, and collected cannot be bought.
The love and joy of humankind stripped bare.

But know this in time can be overcome.
Logic recalled and tempers be restored.
Love and joy can thrive and recieve welcome.
Judgements cast aside prejudice ignored.

Perhaps it is hopeless optimism.
I believe peace a reachable vision.