Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Every Documentary Ever

"Look, we can't win without it."
"No one will even care!"
"Because? Because it ties the entire thing together!"
"Look;
first, we need a plain or sparse background.
A dilapidated brick wall,
an alley or street with no traffic,
a cityscape
a field
a couch with a picture on the wall that we can only see a corner of."
"It helps if the background is slightly out of focus."
"The person needs to fill the frame."
"Hey, you have to start with a full shot, then tighten
to a bust; head and shoulders man!
Head and shoulders!"
"It doesn't matter what you say, just speak slowly."
"No... No... Look Towards the camera, but not AT it!"
"To the side, at the ground, it really doesn't matter."
"...just keep filming for another minute or two of this..."
"Ok, it's coming..."
"Alright, now let your words trail off, and then don't say another word..."
"And... FREEZE! Remember, towards the camera, not at it."
"Now, tighten the shot so their face fills it... good..."
Okay! Now just say a few more words
and pause
but emotionally."
"I've told you, it, doesn't really matter what!"
"Here it is!"
"Now just stare off; ground, side, whatever...
remember, your too emotional to make direct eye contact..."
"...good..."
"Hey, shake the camera a little!
Make it try to auto-focus
zoom in and out a bit
come on, act like a professional!"
"Perfect!" "Now, slowly,
slowly, slowly...
look up
and look DIRECTLY AT the camera.
And just stare..."
"...hold...
everybody keep holding...
...keep holding...
and... cut! That's a wrap!"
"Best money shot I've seen, I KNOW we'll win again at Cannes this year!"
"Okay, now we just put that at the end of about
seventy-five
minutes of edited B reel footage
and we have ourselves a winner!"

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Relief


My grandpa was a child during the Great Depression.
He was the youngest of twelve.
His mother died after he was born.

In his early 20's; an alcoholic with what
would now be considered a sex addiction,
a wife, and a child.

He tried to kill himself twice;
once was with poison.
The other time he shot himself in the chest.
Aside from the alcohol.

Then he found god, returned home a saved man,
made a happy loving marriage. Had three more children.
Became a preacher. Devoted his life to god, family,
and the church, in loosely that order.
He died happy, an old man.

Nearly 100 years later, and yet another depression.
With each step I take forward, I slide back two.
Just like my grandfather did.

My grandmother died of Parkinson's disease.
My other grandmother died of Alzheimer's.
Even as a child, I always trembled and shook.
Going to sleep, I can feel the memories,
my life, my mind, slipping, slowly erasing itself.
It's worse every year.

But, I am grateful for being able to forget.
Because I have not had an honorable life.
And only recently have I begun to figure out
what it means to be a good person.

God saved my grandfather.
But now, a century later,
the echo's of the past grow louder.
In me, my genes, my life.
Their addictions, their issues, their legacy's.
But this is a different time;
there is no god to save me
from myself. And with each step forward
I slip farther back into the past
following in their footsteps.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Rant After A Long Day

Elbow deep in Ranch dressing,
hot sauce, mashed potatoes,
and pieces of crayon embedded
beneath broken finger nails
who juggle boiling plates of
molten mac and cheeses;
thee rising smell of a hundred
dieing meals wafts up from the
industrial sized trash can
where uneaten rolls, untouched
steaks, salads and leafy greens
in every hue whither and rot
before being thrown out back,
food now fit for the desperate
rats and homeless who shuffle past
at night looking up at the dark
unlit faux-industrial finish
before dawn arrives and the
lines of Latin American workers
form outside the kitchens and
wash rooms of every American,
Italian, French, Thai, Gourmet,
Japanese, Indian, Chinese,
Sushi, German, Breakfast,
Deli, Buffet, Lunch, Dinner,
Diner, and restaurant in town.

The flapping sole of over-worn shoes
cries out as slipping across lakes
of ice and water and butter and grease
and Ranch
we hurdle through dining halls without
regard for our own bruised hips, elbows,
and shoulders around the diabolically
placed and menacingly curved edges
of tables and chairs and doors as
the screeching of children too young
to be brought into adult company
is followed by another geyser of
Cheerios, french fries, and pasta
as on hands an knees I crawl beneath
picking up, with torn and tender
fingers, every last Ranch soaked
crumb.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Valleys

Stumbled upon this article today, it's interesting in how it relates to the Marxist concept of how superstructures can influence how a culture dictates an individual to be. In the article, it is like authoritarianism/totalatarianism vs capitalism or socialisms way of influencing... maybe more capitalism?
I started looking into it by brushing up on Marxism (via wikipedia) and this stood out;
"Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand."

— Karl Marx, Grundrisse, 1858
[Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy, by Karl Marx & Martin Nicolaus, Penguin Classics, 1993, ISBN 0140445757, pg 265]

In circling back to the idea of how these superstructures relate to the influence of culture on power relation in different social groups and how these cultures help dictate the clashes that occur when differing social groups come into contact and create superstructures of oppression [classism/racism/etc].

Central to understanding this seems to be getting a grasp of Marx's concept of the dialectic

This stems from Hegel's concept of the dialectic but with a focus on materialism, or, dialectical materialism .
Gould, the biologist contributes to this idea by using it as a heuristic for biological systems, their complexity, ecology, and interdependence. I like this idea, and it aids the philosophical to biological and sociological transition. [I should look up more of his work and philosophy; Gould, Stephen Jay (1990). "Nurturing Nature". In …. An Urchin in the Storm: Essays About Books and Ideas. London: Penguin. p. 153.]

This may relate to Noam Chomsky's work with linguistics as well; he talks about a deep structure and a super structure to grammar, is there a way this harmonizes which the deep and superstructures of culture from a Marxist perspective?

It seems that an emergence or connectionist theory, which would maybe be more in line with how the cultural model im considering works, but this appears to counter the ideas of language used by Chomsky. Is it acceptable to use only part of his work to connect it to the connectionist model?
The connectionist model may also work in the network modeling of the Framptom heart study; is this part of how the influence of social networks was partly analyzed? If this can work, then we can connect a long line of theorists and ideas from the linguistic level to the cultural; political and economic, and then use this column to run over a text like a grater, shredding the pieces to see how they fit to create a whole of oppression and how the cultural legacies are altered or maintained over time in response.

But I digress...

Returning to Marxism and base-superstructures, this seems to very an issue I have to pay attention to as it has come under criticism, I need to lookup Raymond Williams as a critic of this. He seems to have a school of theory called cultural materialism (and cultural studies ) which is, as I mentioned, one aspect of the thesis I need to cover. His bleedings of Marxism are worth paying attention to analyze texts seems worth pursuing. This seems to imply that I am conducting a neo-marxism literature review focusing on mexican literature. But the fun would be in adding a case-study or experimental element to the study which would involve real subjects. I worry about the language issues, and it looks like either way I will need to practice mis espanol.

I think this is where the research portion needs to come in. Now that I have a clearer idea of a topic and a philosophical basis to fill so many of those precious pages to explore, I need to see what has been done in this field, if anything (Fingers Crossed!).

Hegel
Marx

Gould
Chomsky

Althusser?
Williams

Stuart Hall [consumption (I need to consider this in view of Gould and Chomsky...hmmm)]

Terry Eagleton
Pierre Bourdieu

***that is a foundation, but I think the idea of change is complicated by the concept of a cultural legacy and cultural echo from the last post... I need to look at how the neo-marxist approach is used to get a better understanding of this***

Althusser's "levels" connect to Gladwell's Tipping Point, and seems to link with Gould's punctuated equilibrium and ecological theories. Althusser seems to be a key source I can use. Too bad he also strangled his wife...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mountains Beyond Mountains

In looking at topics for a thesis, I have been frustrated by the wax and wane of ideas; from looking at how cyberpunk and dystopia/modern literature posits the individual as in isolation while simultaneously allowing them to have and create or find meaningful relationships and communities; how modern web 2. technology has effected literature, writing, journalism, and educating by creating a new cultural standard for literacy, agency, and writing; to working with chicano culture and literature in a restaurant or professional setting to analyze how culture superstructures and the long term effects of cultural legacy in cultural collisions and classism/racism.

Through this wide range of ideas, a dominant undercurrent of influence has held sway. The works of Jarod Diamond and of Malcolm Gladwell have been strongly influential in changing how I perceive different settings. Against these post-structuralists theories, there is a counter-current of agency, a devotion to the existentialists philosophies/philosophers.

Does this then reposition me in the same place I found myself some four or so years ago, wondering what bridges are between these post-structuralists and existentialism?

"Guns, Germs, and Steel" is always in the back of my mind as a guiding ideology for understanding the broader place cultures have in history and modern society as a response to their environmental pressures. Recently, writing on Marx has rekindled too the class and socioeconomic awareness that underlies much of consumerism and American culture today. Gladwell, in his article in the New York, "The Revolution will not be Tweeted" made me skeptical of technology and coupled with a Marxist perspective allows me to view Cory's paper on Twitter in Education as increasing a class division. Gladwell's book "Outliers" helps position me in a better way to understand how this, cultural studies, directly effects the individual and can be determining (in a similar kind of argument that Diamond uses, which is why I consider both of these text to be post-structuralists ideologies.

But what room remains between these texts? How does an individuals statistical percentage, probability, challenge or confirm the concept of agency and the existential crisis?
I have three forays planned thus far; "Forms in the Abyss" has been sitting on my bookshelf for too many years, its purchase stemming from a similar vein of inquiry years ago, after being introduced to theory after my own previous obsession with existentialism in early college. Purporting to bridge the concepts between Sarte and Derrida, it promises to be a good jumping off point in looking for how both can speak to the same reality/experience and so address this returning curiosity of mine. However, heavily steeped in linguistics and semiotics/semiology, the text also appears way over my head. "Existentialism 2.0" may help familiarize myself with the philosophies current conceptualization, and finally reading "Curseo's Footprint" (another book collecting dust that has been unread in the 2 years that have passed since its lending) maybe help with the cultural perspective.

But I feel unprepared for the voyage and task ahead. The topics are not something that we have studied in any meaningful way in school. My bitterness at the educational institution increases daily as I look at what I have to do, what I have to pay, to finish, and how much of a waste it all is in so many ways. But I wouldn't embark on this without it, so, I jump, fiery rings and all...

All rivers lead to the sea" the saying, at least in intellectual pursuits, has always seemed to hold true for me. Idea pods upon idea, field leads to field, from general to specific and back again. One of my favorite illustrations is from SEED magazine,

What I take from this picture is the idea that all things, all information, is connected, the field we choose to explore is really a difference of scale, but each layer is connected to every other. So, if I try to explore several ideas, after enough time, maybe I can begin to see the connections between them in more detail, or at least have better questions...

So what can one do with all this, what are the initial questions?
When I drive, often my best ideas come to me, or at least I think they are my best because no one is there to disagree. I have taken to recording my rantings, so here are the questions I have a few minutes left to jot down (clarifications coming soon!);

cultural studies redefinies new fields and interdisciplinary work;
modern conflicts and paradigm shifts not taught in courses and cross-disciplinary not encouraged;
cultural studies of revolution? (kristena, feminism and civil rights movements- leaders through cultural studies lenses?)
restaurants as a illustration of opportunity based on cultural divisions and histories and influenced by racism/class-ism?
Correlation of studies on influencing qualities of application of 10,000 rule to literacy based on literature awards given internationally?

Two take aways from listening to those... I need to speak in a much more practiced way and I need to be clearer in my ideas, because I know what I'm saying and I can barley make sense of them. Explication coming soon...


Below is a running list of books I can pull from so far, I need to look for some chicano texts...


The Botany of Desire
Mountains Beyond Mountains
Sex at Dawn
Outliers
The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted
Collapse
Ender's Game
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
Love Medicine*
Wuthering Heights
100 Years of Solitude*
Anthem
Cultures Consquences* [power-distance-index's]
Albion's Seed*
The Tipping Point*
Forms In The Abyss*
Existentialism 2.0*
Crusoe's Footprint*

*to read

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Sorry.

We were riding.
The sun was
high, so were we.
I looked
back, entering
the palmed tree lane.
Sweat glistened off
her and the water.
Ducks, a mother,
five babies, walked by.
I pointed, she saw and
laughed, in delight.
I gave chase, hoping
to catch one, so that
she could hold it,
soft, young, beautiful,
in her hands.
Into the bushes, they fled
but I, fast and fleet,
swollen with love and
pride; they were not
fast enough.
Up the small slope
the last two ducklings
zigged and zagged.
But in the rush,
as I lunging towards
the one ahead of it,
panicked, it moved,
as reaching for its
brother, I stepped,
just the wrong way.
There was no crunch.
No feeling at all.
Just the way time slows...
It wasn't moving, I picked
it up. Alive in my hands
but hurt. Bad.
I remember her voice behind
me just as the mother
lunged out of the bushes
to attack.
"Don't touch it!"
But to late, later than
she was able to see.
I gently tossed the duckling
back, as the mother
lunged again.
It landed, in a heap, and
didn't move.
I backed up, terror gripping
me as I prayed, silently, Get
Up! Please! I'm sorry! Don't
let her see what
I have done! It rose, with
difficulty. It would soon
die, the damage to great for
its impossibly small body;
in another blink
it was gone, into the bushes,
with its family.
I stood, guilty sunken heart
breaking. She came nearer,
I smiled, dead inside, broken
as her innocent, naive, laughter
behind me asked, "If you touch
them, won't the mom not
take them back?"
But some things
you just can't
take back.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I am the drunken tirade
of a lonely hearted man;
I am the the bastard child
of whiskey smoke and sex.
I am the unremembered dream;
I am the unsung song;
I am the torn to pieces part
of a love that has long gone.

I am the sandy dusty boots;
the broken leather's creak;
I am the fading ember of a cigarette
flicked into the street.

I am the bottom of an empty glass;
the panties left behind;
I am the dirty powdered mirror
the morning after lines.

I am the broken typewriter key;
the ribbon out of ink.
I am the discord of a five string guitar,
where the one-eyed rat is King.

I am the Fisher, I am the fallen,
I am the fallow field.
I am the silty river bottom
where the blind bloated catfish feels.

I am the unmarked soldier's grave;
the hero left behind.
I am the click of an empty barrel
behind enemy lines.

I am the rejected marble,
I am the diamond's flaw,
I am the rising smoke that wafts
past the body after a draw.

I am the raven's rising caw;
the timber wolf's midnight bay.
I am the fear that haunts men's hearts
and stalks beside their graves.

I am moiling worm at night;
I am the undertaker's light;
I am the wailing widow's spite.
When you fall, I am the unseen height.

In your ointment, I am the rotting fly;
I am the splinter in your neighbor's eye;
Upon your lips I am every lie;
I am your empty stomach's cry.

I am the first stone thrown;
I am the sacrificed son;
I am the wish you should be careful of
and your regret once the deed is done.

I am the eye, I am the tooth,
I am the coveted bride;
I am the river runneth red;
and the golden calf you hide.

I am the slouching beast that creeps;
I am the riddle and the Sphinx;
I am the whip and the master's drum;
I am the binding chain and the scorching sun.

I am the cotton and the field;
I am tobacco's leaf and the poppy's yield;
I am the ship and the selling block;
I am the raping soldier's cock.

I am the diamond, I am the mine;
the infected blanket and the railroad line;
I am the fallout and the spreading sore;
the prison guard and the jail-house door.

I am the branch, I am the noose,
I am the guillotine;
I am the salty sponge and leather straps;
I am electricity;
the blindfold and the firing squad;
full syringe and open child-proof caps;
I am the razor's edge,
and the ambulance driver's lapse;
I am the oil soaked rags and
the accidental match;
the spoiled smoke detector and
the oven door unlatched;
I am the slick shower floor and
the left out drying mat;
I am the rotten brake-line and
the surgeons unsterilized hand;
I am the forgotten land mine and
I am the wasted land;
the armor's chink;
the broken knife;
the broken condom and
the reaper's scythe.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

When the bad outweighs the good,
the good are all gone or dead;
when a shadows stalks
the halls of mens hearts,
and sleep a synonym for dread;
when the guilty run free and wild;
when innocence doth fade;
the hazy hallows of fantasy
become where gallows are made.

In the absence of any eternal,
the fallen have become lost gods;
babylon the dessicated capital
swallowed by sweltering suns.
A moan the only breeze,
death rattles the only wind;
brackish tears the only rain
to fill the barren wells and fields.

Against the waking nightmare walked
as much a man as shade.
Trudging, dust envelopes him
as he stumbles upon the plains.
Cheeks dark sunken hollows,
lips cracked and coated white,
eyes a weary bloodshot hue
without color or light.
With a pulse of mostly whiskey,
each rattling gasp death and smoke,
skin a too-tight leather holding
together a bag of bones.

He stares unblinking and unseeing;
behind him, no footsteps last.
He follows no road or trail beyond
the distant glimmer of broken glass.
Around him the carrion-searchers circle;
rabid and wild stalking beasts bay;
the creak of each weary shuffled step
the only sound he makes.

babylon beats his heart,
babylon the wasted land;
the drums of human skin are sounded
with the sun-bleached femurs of men.
the salty tears are his alone,
the weep a lost memory, forgotten shame,
the barren fields of his loins quiver,
he is the shifting soulless plains.

Friday, April 01, 2011

f*ck'd

Fuck these winds of women and whiskey and weed that whirl around me like dervishes;
Fuck this sober societies discrimination of functional alcoholics and day drinking morning drivers;
Fuck the warring camps of consumption and anarchy that grip my desires for love and freedom and turn them on each other;
Fuck the demands to have a phone, have a mailbox, have a dog, have responsibility, have maturity, have goals, have dreams, have hope, have god, have family, have friends, have love, have appreciation, have respect, have a heart, have a nice day;
Well what if it's not a nice day.
What f today is a terrible horrible no good very bad fucking day?
What if today is just another same shit different shovel kind of take a flying fuck at a rolling donut sorta red headed stepchild of tuesday and thurs-fucking-day?
Forget yesterday. Tomorrow hasn't come yet. Live in the moment. Live in the now. Be in the zone. Find your zen. Find a way to unify all million little fictional piece inside you into some all-or-fucking-nothing resemblance of an "identity"; god, the devil, ra, nirvana, nothing, everything, the force, politics, narcissism, work, play, children, television, sports, money, love, drugs, dope, depression; just change! The anwser is that grass-is-always-fucking-greener easy. Happiness is in whatever you are not, spotlight offstage, its name always before, taking, overtaking, yours.
Fake it till you make it. Fake/real; procreation and masturbation, love and lust, blood and family, real food and processed, living and really living... so, are you really living? Are you really feeling? Is this your authentic self? Is this the real you? Is this the real life? Is this just a dream? Is there no day but today? Have you been all you can be? Have you just done it? Have you obeyed your thirst? Have you had your MTV? Did you eat your wheaties? Is a diamond really forever? Is this till death do us part in anything but paperwork and emotional wreckage? Have you found jesus? Have you been born again? Have you thrived? Is this your brain on drugs? Do you D.A.R.E.? Does money make the world go around? Did you have your break today?
Just another...
2,000 situps...
13 bottles of scotch...
5 ounces of weed...
16 eighteen-year-old-hookers (or 18 sixteen years old)...
3 hits of acid...
512 pull-up...
483 protein smoothies...
3 jobs...
2 careers...
4 marriages...
and 63 marathons...
Till I'm happy.
Miserable.
The same.
Older.
More immature.
Richer.
Poorer.
Dead.
Already.
Or just
maybe
finally
learning to live.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Just a man trying to hold it together while falling apart"

Midnight. Drunk. Weary from a day of not working, watching the sun rise and crest and set and make its way around again.
Should be writing my thesis.
Should be working on a rough draft of Dorothy closing arguments in the murder of Miss Gulch.
Should be asleep.
Should be sober.
Life stretches behind and in front of me as a series of should's:
Should have gone for a run,
Should have bought more cigarettes.
Should have drank enough that I'd be hovering face first over some toilet, my own or another's, praying for death or the oblivion of sleep.
Should have gotten high.
Should have filed for unemployment a week ago.
Should be looking for a job.
Should stop sleeping around.
Should leave the country.
Should have worn a condom.

Parallel, but equal in both length and girth, are the penetrating shouldn'ts:
Shouldn't have finished off half a liter of scotch.
Shouldn't have smoked a pack of cigarettes.
Shouldn't have gotten high.
Shouldn't have spent a weekend running with no sunscreen.
Shouldn't have spent that extra day away from home after a week of not seeing the inside of my apartment.
Shouldn't have spent an entire day watching tv shows and streaming movies.
Shouldn't have lied on government paperwork.
Shouldn't see a friends ex.
Shouldn't of unloaded the last of the Vicodin.
Shouldn't feel sorry for myself.

Should and shouldn't; I am a series of ties between these steel girders. On a bullet train called the present as these tracks race ahead and behind me across the west's wild cityscape of SoCal.

Another unemployed writer whittling away his time with a bottle and a blog; the stuff dreams are made of. A slice of humble, a la mode, from this fucked up american pie. If it wasn't for narcissism, then I would truly be lost.

But another day dicking around, wrapping myself in the warm post-coital blanket of self infatuation while vainly avoiding the inevitable encounter with the wet spot of reality. Hiding under the covers of any mind-bending mood-altering substance I can get my hands on to keep the monsters of feeling that hide in every dark nook, corner and cranny of the English muffin that is my unconscious waiting for the sheets to slip.

Monsters, wet spots; should, shouldn't. Flying down the line at 180 miles-per-hour each moment and decision and action and in-action a blur recognized in its glimmer on the horizon or in reminiscing about how I got on this god-damned train in the first place. A series of cherished regrets, all those experienced and all those still anticipated.
Should have finished my Master's.
Shouldn't have cheated.
Shouldn't have gone to jail.
Should have finished my cover letter.
Should have brushed my teeth.
Shouldn't have more coffee.
Should have washed off the shame.
Should use spell check.
Shouldn't write.

But you smile like a happy ass or cry till you die of dehydration. Fucking and punching or getting beaten and fucked. Wet spots and monsters. Scotch and cigarettes. Should and shouldn't. Story of my life.
"If you remember nothing else about me remember that I smiled"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I wait.
For what, what slouching beast towards Bethlehem slinks?
The burning blue sky of winter on a hot empty day on the coast,
Its oppressive expansiveness pushes down on the homes, hearths, and houses.
Alternating from coffee, to beer, to scotch, to cigarettes, and back to coffee...
Recognition, connection, false hopes;
we don't believe in soulmates, and we wait for them, like Santa.
Just as real.
Dream jobs, lottery tickets, death;
and endless list of future pursuits: travel, money, love...
Always in the tomorrow that will come once the sky has been burnt and blackened by the day;
tomorrow will be better.
Different.
But there are no differences in days or months or people.
No tomorrow; no soulmate; no Santa.
Just seconds and minutes marching in an endless line;
carried for the first nine months in a darkened train
we arrive, stripped, assigned, pretending that Belzec is the Balkans.

An easy metaphor; in an apartment, the air a sultry sink, it would be shame if there was any to be had. If you could still feel shame.
But we are born into shame. The rank mix of sweat and drugs and depression and desperation and dreams. Dreams like so many empty condom wrappers scattered on the floor; multitudes, hidden in wastebaskets, under beds, tucked away at the last minute... the unborn future sitting next to us, rotting in a haze of spermicidal gel in a garbage can under that selfsame sun as us. Whose condom are we in? We, the slowly coagulating present?
Our only freedom comes in desolation of our dreams, in our sacrifice of ourselves beneath that empty sky. No trumpet's blow will pull the scales off your eyes. We are blinded by birth. We are Abraham and Issac on that hillside, and there is no god. Just the same empty dead blue sky, the color of a corpses lips, above.

It won't care.
Scream, cry, rage; it will remain. The sacrifice is one of perception, just like the jailhouse, the stoic argument of virtue; easy on the agropolis steps, different in the lion's den.
Because there is no virtue.
But there are lions.

Creation and destruction are fantasies. Action; political, social, economic... movement is no more an anwser than stillness as the slightest blink, like a butterflies wing; your truck breaks down two weeks later. Unrelated?

We surround ourselves with each our own fog, hoping that cruel light of the world outside will not penetrate. Substances, hopes, dreams, plans, a future. Tomorrow.
A haze we hide ourselves in, hiding ourselves from the world, the world from us...
but the day burns on.
Born into Borges lottery. A complexity we can't understand, an absurdity that extends beyond laughter. Fatalism, nihilism... we march in step, aware or not. Each pace bringing us closer and farther from the cataclysm of the duel of the present. Turn, and you find, through the fog, that you face yourself. Look closer, and you see the fog is you; you are nothing; you face nothing; there is nothing. Gasping and bleeding, a shot rings out; your gun, your life, cold and flaccid against your hip.

A woman dies in the throes of passion, her safe word left unspoken or unheard. A senator assassinated. A person explodes. 10,000 people a year die from earthquakes. Markets bull and boar and collapse and stagnate in loose 10 and 20 year cycles. A DUI checkpoint. A bottle of scotch. Organic salad covered in the later runoff of bacteria from a neighboring factory farm. Hospital bills piling up from falling down with no one around to sue. Bounced checks from work; accounting errors that your bank and bills don't understand or care about. Cancer. Heart disease. Stroke. High blood pressure; high BAC's; just being high; to drunk, to sober, to alive, too filled with words to take action. Too many actions taken without words. Too many empty words used to justify actions, too many words used for inaction.
Too many words.
Too many tomorrows.
Listen close enough, and through the fog, you can hear the unsteady march of multitudes...
empty echoes beneath the winter sun.