‪#‎SayTheirNames‬ ‪#‎AltonSterling‬ ‪#‎PhilandoCastile‬

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, politics, race on July 7, 2016 by furious buddha

I have family members and friends who are police officers. Their job is unspeakably difficult and thankless.Nobody notices when they get it right and immediately second guess them when they get it wrong. Our society depends on all of us recognizing that police officers are fellow citizens who bleed and want to go home at night.

I have friends and colleagues that I love very much who are not white people. I studied African-American history and culture as one of my academic majors. I am sensitive to my privileges and the unspeakable indignities and endless second-guessing people of color endure in our society. I know they want police officers to recognize them as fellow citizens who bleed and want to go home at night.

I am sick over the videos of American citizens being summarily executed by men who are supposed to be protecting and serving them. I watched Alton Sterling murdered by a police officer. He obviously posed no threat and the way he was trying to cover his face with his arm as he bled out will haunt me for a long time to come; I thought of Caesar covering his face as he bled out on the Senate floor. I do not know how Lavish Reynolds managed to be more composed than the officers pointing the guns at her were while Philando Castile died beside her, but her dignity and courage is a reminder that when faced with terror we can still choose to retain our decency.

It is not an attack on police or white people to assert that‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬. When people respond by saying “All Lives Matter” they are missing the point; of course all people matter, the problem is that black folks in the USA do not receive the same treatment from the police as well as other social institutions. That is an inarguable fact; think of all the white people who point guns at the police and get sent home with a stern talking-to, then imagine any black person doing that.

The solutions and problems here are bigger than race. For one thing, firearms training for officers shouldn’t simply be a matter of how many holes they can put into a target but of how to react in stress situations. Subconscious reactions can be trained when they are acknowledged. There are studies that show that not only do white officers react more negatively to black individuals, but black officers do as well. Institutionalized racism is a bias within our society that affects everybody’s heads; this is why when we talk about race, nobody should feel guilt or shame about feelings or thoughts. We are, of course, always responsible for our actions and words; but by honestly acknowledging a bias we can compensate for it the way a glass lens can correct a weak eye.

I am young enough to have been born into a world where Dr. King and Malcolm X were historical figures and old enough to know how much resentment and racial rage is lurking in the hearts of my fellow humans. When I say this begins with honesty, I don’t mean just blurting out every hateful thing that crosses your mind. That’s not honesty, that’s narcissism. Honesty means getting real with yourself before you can get real with others; it’s more important to believe yourself than to believe in yourself.

I don’t know if any of this even makes much sense. I just had to say something.

Je suis Winston (((Delgado)))/ Elie (((Weisel))) has passed from the world.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2016 by furious buddha

If you don’t understand what the echo parenthesis signify, here is an explainer.

Let’s be clear about the cutesy term ‘alt-right’. Someone who identifies as ‘alt-right’ is signifying that they are a bigot and a racist. The growing boldness of white nationalists and racists is something for everyone to be concerned about. These groups have been creeping underground for years but now they are growing lushly and I fear that they will bloom a strange and nightmarish fruit this autumn. That racists and white supremacists have been energized by the Trump campaign is well documented, and an especially energetic one has murdered a Labour Party MP in the UK.


Elie Wiesel has died at the age of 87.

I began the above post a few weeks ago and set it aside and didn’t come back to it until just now. I was fortunate enough to be in the presence of Elie Wiesel several years ago at the dedication for the Holocaust Museum. His writing is very important to me; I have read ‘Night’ every few years for decades and discover more in the text every time. His was one of the great moral voices of humanity.

We are witnessing the passing of an age.




Cry Hoka Hey, Touch Faith

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2016 by furious buddha

Beloved Bookcharmer;

It’s so late but tomorrow never knows
the wisdom found in the pearly moonlight
so I will tell you of the brilliant light tonight.
The thought of your gentle heart touched by fear
is too much for my drowsy head to bear.

A guardian of civilization
you are & the library is your fortress
there is an oil painting in my garage
of Saint Cyril murdering Hypatia,
the last great mind of antiquity, she
was chief librarian of Alexandria
& the library burns around them still.
we stood there then against barbarians & lost
The worst thing has already happened &
the world rolled on
Martyrs will be murdered
again & their sanctuaries defiled
wait long enough & lightning will strike you
do not be afraid for I have good news

the world is vicious & cruel but love wins
there is gunfire and hot blood in the street
& we have to stare it down, clean it up
& begin again but that’s always true
The madness of fevered egos run amok
is nothing new; cry hoka hey, touch faith

courage is knowing you are going
to lose everything & keep on fighting
because ten thousand years from now
is as real as today
& then we’ll have different roles to play
unremembering this moment of time
& then you will have to encourage me
as the troglodytes close in hungrily

but until then my beloved sweet friend
don’t let the evil bastards make you bend

My unlimited love to you all




How Can You Lose Your Fire When Everything Is Burning?

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, days in the life, guns, philosophy, poetry, politics, race on June 16, 2016 by furious buddha

My Dear Huck;

I have tried three, now four times to write you since I saw your comment. That’s part of the problem. Julia and I have a four and a half year old little boy and a five month old Rottweiler running around, our jobs keep us on crazy schedules and some damn thing or another is coming up. Yesterday Julia needed to get a tooth extracted.

But that’s just short term bs. I am doing a lot of writing and creative work right now but I haven’t been blogging especially about politics because for the love of Christ, just look at it. 

I’ve been talking to you for a long time, my invisible friend, and you know me to be a sane and rational fellow, but I am empathetic, intuitive, and in touch enough with myself to understand other people in a way that almost seems eerie to me sometimes, and when I see Donald Trump these days, I…

Are you familiar with The Dead Zone by Stephen King? It feels a bit like that but worse.

******************TWO DAYS PASS*******************************

And just now today a British MP was shot dead by a man who shouted ‘Britain First!

Madness and horror, Huck. That’s what I see when I close my eyes and hear his voice.
Do you want an honest bit of crazy poetry that will unsettle and shake you? Read on,
I’ll tell you what jams my minds eye and floods my subconscious with static broken
recitations of the gibbering spittle flecked rants of the Alzheimer’s ward at Christmas,
the sound of something angrily pounding from the inside of an infants coffin
and  tentacles caressing snake bodies, cephalopods embracing reptiles,
broken nature recombining the recombinant into revenge upon the primate
and the guns oh the fucking guns the precious guns the giant steel cocks of death
worshipped by the cowards and closet cases not brave enough to suck a real cock
the equalizer that lets a lone mongrel kill a lion or every other fucking dog it sees
Mammon is shouting to the possessed, calling the demons to awaken among us
Mammon is shouting to the possessed, calling the demons to awaken among us
and I know that’s so crazy but that’s what it is: a nihilist narcissist empowered ego
calling the maniacs to serve it by any means necessary, that now is the time for all
madmen to come to destroy their country, and the grasshoppers are swarming
and metamorphosing into monstrous locusts ravenous for civilizations and
always the oceans are rising and the summers are getting hotter and this one
is going to set records, and I hear him laughing and something perfected
in the Cretaceous regards me with the mercy of a spider and I know that
Mammon is shouting to the possessed, calling the demons to burn it all down
Mammon is calling to the possessed, shouting for demons to burn it all down
and he sounds like maggots and flies buzzing in my ears everything is backwards
and nobody knows how it happened when it was obvious all along that it’s
what they had been asking for all along and there is the sound of bodies locked in
riga mortis falling to the ground it was over a long time ago except for the screaming
which is only getting louder as the weaklings join the mongrel wearing a lion skin
Mammon is calling the demons to wake you up and join his party (a monster’s Baal)
Mammon’s demons want to wake you make you join his party (the monster’s Baal)

So yeah, when I try to write about politics I keep getting stuff like that.



Friends Who Give Me Books

Posted in books, poetry on May 23, 2016 by furious buddha

Friends who give me books
gift me with worlds to explore
hearts and souls to adore
minds mine to peruse
& adventures to pursue

Friends who give me books
are so much more interesting
because they are always listening
& exploring uncharted depths
and seeing to infinite breadths

Friends who give me books
are friends I can trust
& appreciate them I must

Blues So Deep They’re Purple

Posted in poetry on May 12, 2016 by furious buddha

Everything is terrible
I know that it’s true
Everything is terrible
in a world without you

Her mother is terrible
and his grandma too
That baby is terrible
and that sky so blue
My breath is terrible
enough to set paint peeling
in this terrible room
with a hole in the ceiling.
This song is so terrible
that it leaves me reeling

Everything is terrible
in this world without you
Everything is terrible
under that sky of blue

This book is terrible
and the movie is worse
My day was so terrible
that all I want to do is curse.
& this song is still terrible
over in this verse
God is terrible
and so is the devil
but only one of them
is ever on the level

Everything is terrible
in this world of blue
Everything is terrible
you know that it’s true

The boss is terrible
and so is the job
but the economy is terrible
so suck it up, Bob.
The liars are terrible
but they still win elections
because the voters are terrible
at making selections
because they’re distracted
by someone’s complexion

Everything is terrible
this much is true
Everything is terrible
in a world without you.

And the struggle is terrible
but still we fight on
because nothing is more terrible
than giving up before the dawn

Purplelectric PassionRain & April WeepingSnow

Posted in music on May 3, 2016 by furious buddha

Every human being loves music; the way you can tell who the alien androids are is by their indifference to our rhythmic noises. We all love and appreciate it differently, however. My appreciation is for the singer, not the song, generally speaking. This is to say that I do not like a genre of music so much as I love an artist; that is, I’m not a fan of ‘jazz’ but I have every John Coltrane album. I don’t much like ‘country’ but I have all of Johnny Cash’s music. When I find an artist that resonates with me I cannot help but embrace them deeply and fully. Bowie was one of those artists that I followed completely, intrigued even by the turns and alleys the critics and public ignored or loathed; I haven’t written much about him because I put him onstage in my ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and that expressed my grief more eloquently than writing here could have. But I need to talk about this.

I’m listening to his last concert which is just him at a piano. It’s the tour I always wanted to see; my favorite part of any of his shows was when he would sit at the piano and play for twenty minutes to give the band a break before the big finale. Much of what has been said about him was his mastery of musicianship and ability to play all the instruments on his records but when you saw him live you realized that he was playing the whole band like an instrument. And just now I realized the reason he was finally doing this tour was because he couldn’t have fronted a band the way he had even six months earlier. He has just slipped from ‘Dirty Mind’ into an enthusiastic cover of Vince Guaraldi’s ‘Linus & Lucy’ that just broke into ‘Little Red Corvette’.

When he was twelve years old and basically homeless he stood outside of a McDonald’s to smell the food; he died forty five years later in the elevator of his mansion with an estate worth a minimum of $300 million dollars.

He’s doing ‘How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore’, a b-side from thirty four years ago and everyone in the audience is singing along. This recording is terrible, from someone’s phone in the crowd but I can hear the music and feel the show. And it’s such a great show. He actually just did ‘Girl’ earlier in the show (around 15:15 on the Soundcloud link above. Ahem.) and it blew me away. ‘Girl’ was the b-side to ‘America’, which was the last single from ‘Around the World in a Day’. I always loved it despite (or because) it sounded like a half finished demo track that escaped from the vault. But here, stripped down to its bright beautiful hook and his amazing vocal it sounds like a classic. Then ‘I Would Die 4 U’ starts and everyone in the place goes nuts.

The ten minute version of ‘I Would Die 4 U’ has been a near constant companion since I tracked down a German import of it on CD back when I worked at the Wrecka Stowe in the early 90’s. Back in those pre-internet days you had to put effort into getting music; it is difficult to explain to The Youth and even hard for The Olds to remember, but there was something very satisfying about tracking down music that you had only heard about as opposed to the empty ease of YouTube. When I found a copy of ‘The Black Album’ in a record store in Decatur, Illinois in the summer of 1988, I felt a little like Indiana Jones. I just spun it again on Saturday night at my little brother’s house at a rather terrific party. I had listened to ‘I Would Die 4 U’ on the way there. It’s a live studio performance of how he was doing the song as a closer on the Purple Rain tour; I’ve probably listened to it five thousand times and I always get chills from it.

He’s doing ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’ with Marley’s ‘I Don’t Want to Wait in Vain’. It’s seamless, like they were written as a pair. Everyone is talking about his guitar playing but  when the crowd is quiet the piano sounds like water on diamonds.

I discovered him when I was in junior high and that was it. My mom confiscated my ‘Dirty Mind’ tape but I just learned how to go underground to find Uptown. My father worried I was gay because I had his posters up in my room. I bought every album, single, and bootleg I could get my hands on. I went to shows when I could catch him and regretted every one I missed. As so many people have said in the past few days, his music is incredibly important to me.

Oh Jesus, he’s doing Sometime It Snows In April. When I was sixteen years old playing the Parade album for the first time sitting alone in my bedroom I broke into tears when I heard this song. It’s a sad song, but I was mystified by my own tears. Then five years later my best friend was killed by a drunk driver on April 1st and my memory of that time was tattooed with this song. It’s a great song but I rarely let it play if I was listening to Parade or if it came up on the shuffle. Then when I heard the news it began playing in my head on a loop. And it’s turning out it’s one of the last songs he ever played.

And then the first few verses of Purple Rain with Computer Blue & Diamonds & Pearls in the break and then back to Purple Rain and then the music is over.


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