If not, I would have cried myself to sleep - again.
(excerpt from Stratus Portal: a book by Matthew Bailey and Ryan Jerome Stout)
The path reveals itself, almost mystically - a slight tear in the space/time fabric, an interdimensional hangnail rift exposing the beginnings of whatever lies behind a canvas covering a nonexistent moment's prior dimension. Where the ornate wrought iron fence meets the concrete base loosens, as if a newborn poked its finger through the back of an Industrial Era American city painting. A warbled real time cityscape painted into existence by each accentuated brush stroke and its highlighted cats-eye color striations and their crepuscular phase shift dawning as it teases the viewer and reveals arcane information: I am not one of the lucky few in the know - just more data lost to history’s whimsy. Brush strokes like roundworm threads escaping a failing organism: they trudge with intransigence. A marauding meat grinder masticates their cellular composition into gelatinous garbles of tubular expression forced closer with each crank onto this tiny torn interdimensional canvas: this fabric, this theoretic space/time travel in literal application, this imagination gone wrong, this idea lost in convolution. Is this hangnail tear an entrance or exit?
A barefoot Central American boy wears dirty hand-me-down cutoff jean shorts. The shorts are light blue and cut just below the knee. A white v-neck tee-shirt two sizes too big covers his torso: experience and time have turned the t-shirt off white. The caramel skinned, green eyed boy, stands four feet high and outside the mouth of a sedan sized cave. A handmade braided rope holds a beat up flamenco guitar to the front of his supple body. He possesses an enviable contented demeanor, the kind of joyful contentedness only possible to poor guitarists basking in the sunset while playing music in front of an ambiguous cave: he plays and sings in spanish.
“...Trabajamos nuestros cuerpos cansados
Debe haber más para vivir
De nueve a cinco…”
In front of him, the sun’s posture exists in perpetual threat of hiding behind a beatific mountainous landscape. As he sings the chorus, an involuntary ebullience inhabits his body…
¿No me rendiré hasta que esté satisfecho?
¿Por qué debería detenerme hasta que esté satisfecho?...”
Byron comes to - shook into existence by large vibrating hands that vanish the moment his eyes open. He floats on his back atop an expansive body of water with no recollection of how he arrived in this precarious state. His last memory places him on a street corner. He recalls staring at what appeared to be a wrinkle in reality: he is aware of how insane that sounds. But he recalls his perplexity; this perplexity intrigues him; his intrigue excites him; his excitement inspires him; his inspiration motivates him to act upon his curiosity. His curiosity steps him through the space/time fabric anomaly: a seam caught by some pointy thing, a seam with a wrinkle, a seam in existence, a seam in a reality we abide, a seam in the canvas atop a space and empties our eyes’ attempt to gaze into beyond. There is light, generated by our god, the sun, and that light travels at speeds by only which numerical calculations can comprehend; that light travels, and it is everywhere; and our eyes widen their organic lens’ welcome god’s energy into the vessel containing obscura aparati. This ocular aparati connects more aparati, aparati beyond our comprehension, beyond our comprehension because our only means of recreating comparable aparati is to create machines capable of constructing such aparati. This light travels into lenses, illuminates visual cortices, illuminates our brains, and glands as separate from the mind, and embraces the souls yearning for enhanced connectivity. So we attempt to re-create our gods, but they are poor performances; they are all poor performances - for re-creation lives in the past. Every movement a copycat, a huxter, a charlatan, a sycophant…
(Byron stands at this the corner where piecemeal memory the wrought iron fence of electrified recall meets its concrete baseflashesinandout, and follows the spibabybreathstutterres to their conclusive arrow-shliapeon eyesd tips in ornamental diphantosplammemy oorf ballies and spears.)
He rotates his eyes to receive direct light from; his supine body adheres to water’s undulation. Large white cotton ball clouds float atop a blue sky foreground, and for no other reason than acknowledging the pure beauty of his seemingly conjured environmental circumstances, his mind eases. This heightened state of relaxation readjusts his eyes and quells his anxiety, and nestles into that mindless stare capable of conjuring invisible boats within geometry’s magical kaleidoscopic backdrop.
Maybe Byron gives too much weight to movements, thoughts, words, conversations, and any, and/or, all activities: perhaps this reveals a now realized personality flaw. Besides, it is the question behind the question that contemplates until detriment, and it is the answer to that detriment that breaks the heart to never heal. To assign such significance to minutia, quotidian or life saving, paves a road to distortion’s whim - a distortion mistaken for purpose; a distortion mistaken for progress, a distortion in guise of ability; and this distortion, once awakened and acknowledged as certainty, in proof of concept and application, is, at best, a grand ruse effused by the unsure fragility of the fractured ego’s grandiosity. The lie he assured himself and all others of - snapped clean from his inability to cease propagating self-deception.
Somewhere along the way, ideas moved towards belief, and the inherent dangers of belief were dismissed for the purpose of convenience. Whether this modal shift from idea to belief to floating, in a neither here nor there attachment style, to tethers thinning into nothingness like cotton candy or molten glass, one certainty reigns true: the overwhelming evidence of this thought’s ridiculous beginning can no longer be ignored; “At the end of the awakening come, in time, the consequence: suicide or recovery.”
And the awakening, this: Byron’s ability to architect, at times beautiful and elaborate facades (driven by his fear of spiritual inauthenticity and hopeful criteria of superficial inclusiveness) has expired - at this expiration - hope! And if satisfaction is the death of desire, then let us all die in ambivalent solidarity! Byron arrived at his jumping off point: continue to live in existential fear of failure until the inevitably of self-induced annihilation, or…change. No longer can he dismiss anomalous occurrences such as abarely visible rift in space/times otherwise inaccessible fabric guarding an invisible dimension underneath singular convolutions protecting the liar's prosperity, like using tissue paper to absorb the sun.
I put my dog down a couple weeks ago. He was old and in obvious pain. I probably let it continue for too long, but’s hard to let go, and it’s terrible to decide when someone you love dies. When a dog is euthanized, they are given a sedative. After it has taken effect, they are given an overdose of a barbiturate. It only takes a few minutes. I stayed with my dog through the whole process, petting him and crying as he slipped away. I was there when life left his body. At that moment the vet said what we always say…He’s gone. And he was, but every bit of his poor old body was still there on the table. The next day I carried his limp body up the hill behind my home to the grave I prepared. The thought that “there is no such thing as nothing” kept running through my mind. I didn’t want to think it, but it wouldn’t go away. Funny how some thoughts seems to have a will all their own. It is paradoxical for there to be such a thing as nothing, but a modern person can’t help but thinking they are being caught up in sentimental fantasy. I know his body will slowly become the dirt. It will mix back in with everything thing else, but what happens to his life, his spirit, the part that the vet said was gone? I don’t know, but nearly everyday since he died I hear him whining at the door to come inside, and the emptiness inside me left by his absence is as real as the table I am sitting at right now- though it is not a physical void (also impossible) in my physical body. When one can’t avoid thinking about death, when it lingers, we are forced to face how much we don’t know about the nature of reality, and how the patterns we participate in are made by hands that are not our own. Invisible hands. I hope that there is more for Argus out there in the ether. He was a good dog. The above song started coming out amidst tears on the morning of his last day of life. He had trouble walking in his later years, and “Slipper Foot” became his nickname. Thus the song title. In my household we make fun of illnesses and ailments. We’re not nice people.
Ten Speed Stick in Spokes
from Charlatan certainty -
So difficult to un-
wet baptismal skin.
(Who are you -
Bath in the Gray Sea
so its ambivalent waters
can fuel your contentments’
How does one
absent of self?
I am not certain -
For it is an impossibility.
Desolation Row written by Bob Dylan, performed by Ryan J. Stout
We’re trying something new this year (the RTD year starts in September). Sort of musical conversation that will hopefully become an album. The first track is this month’s installment. Below that you’ll find a mix of the entire album thus far. This month’s installment features dialogue from Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. Please see transcription below.
From Chapter II. The Old Buffoon 49
Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself. The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than any one. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill—he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so pass to genuine vindictiveness.
Snow and Cigarettes and a New Town...and now...a new town!
In between the crickets and fleas
Brumous - foggy
Orange - Blorenge (a hill in Whales)
Silver - chilver (a female lamb)
Jamais vu - reverse of deja ve -
Phantonyms - words that appear to mean one thing but actually mean something different
Enervate - to drain of energy/weaken
Noisome - describes something with an extremely offensive smell
Perfidy - a type of deception pretending to be something that is meant to be neutral, protected, or kept safe
Limerence- a crush
cenotaph - an empty tomb
I feel like a cenotaph..
“A non-sequential history of avoiding half-truths”
Long after the bugs…
I learned to stop crying about the bugs.
Once again I began to do.
I relocate to do the work: it is the only way I know how.
I pray for no new bugs.