I’m going to spend my lunch break freewriting instead of reading about kitties because I’ve been really lazy with the whole writing thing lately which I like to blame on the boys being silent but really it’s my own fault for just not trying, or at least not trying hard enough, putting sweat and blood and tears into it, I used to but I don’t so much anymore, not sure why, maybe just more things to spread the crazy over so the writing doesn’t get hit with the full force of an anxious, depressed, obsessive compulsive mind like mine, though it doesn’t help either that I’ve been doubting, wondering just how much of my belief really is that crazy mind just wanting to cling to nice ideas, goddesses that care and gods who exist outside of the chambers of my mind that is so many hallways and so many doors and so many rooms, it’s easy to get lost, equally easy to turn a corner and think you see something, someone, but probably not, they’re probably not really there, you’re probably just lonely or scared or angry, yeah, I can do anger well when I need, though these days the spark isn’t so easy to coax into a roaring flame, it’s more like a pilot light you forget about or maybe a lighter with no liquid left so you’re just flick flick flicking the switchy thing to no result, I wish I could be angry at a world that might not be as magnificent as I hope, that might honestly just be what you see is what you get, no magic or mystery, I wish that could make me angry but instead it just makes me, I don’t know, afraid I guess, but that fear that comes from not wanting to admit something might be true, if you say it out loud you might make it real but if you never say it, if you carry that dead coal deep in your chest maybe it’s not really real, not quite, and maybe one day you’ll have that experience that proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that everything exists, everything at all, but let’s be honest, probably not, that’s just a little too good to be true, not everyone can be right about everything, and anyway I guess the mystery is the point of it all, the not knowing, the believing despite the lack of evidence, but that’s stupid, honestly, that’s bullshit, what’s so bad about evidence? what’s so good about blind faith? and when some say it’s good to doubt and others say it’s bad to doubt, who’s right when everything right or nothing’s right or whatever, I’m losing steam here, and my train of thought, and really it’s only been like fifteen minutes, how did I ever do this before, this roundabout whirlwind wordvomit that somehow made sense before, had a point, seemed maybe even a little fucking profound, at least to the me that was writing it at 2 AM, and maybe that’s the problem, maybe that sort of thing can’t be written at 12:09 PM on a lunch break but I’m asleep at 2 AM these days and I like it, I like the not pacing and weeping and tearing at my hair, though I guess I do miss the result, haven’t really written anything I could call good in who knows how long, even stuff like this feels like cheating, just strings of words connected by the occasional swear because I’m edgy, see?, but I remember how it was once upon a time, the urge, the compulsion, the flow, fierce river of words that didn’t suck so fucking much and didn’t need to be framed in a haiku because otherwise there aren’t enough to make anything of any value, and yes every time I write a haiku I know it’s a stopgap measure, water on one plant in a desert of dying vines, wow, getting real poetic here aren’t we, maybe 12:12 is the magic minute, though probably not, this lunch hour might have been better spent reading someone else’s words, especially since I’m really winding down, no anger or sorrow or indignation or other words that would sound nice here, no, I’m down to one maybe every twenty seconds, twenty five at the end of a thought, the what now? with no answer, I guess another few words, I forget what I wrote about up there but it was probably stupid, this is too so I probably won’t do anything with it, I’ll delete it all in a burst of another word that I can’t think of, maybe I should take up nope don’t backspace can’t backspace here that’s not how it works, there are rules, stupid rules but if we don’t have rules then everything’s chaos or whatever, though then again everything IS chaos right now, isn’t it? so maybe no one would even notice, and honestly no one’s going to read this anyway, not even me on some far future midnight because ugh, what’s the point, why walk the same old same old same old circles, it’s 12:17 now, can I be done? I can manage to eke out a few more words if you really want, banana combine harvester ecclesiastical wow I spelled that right on the first try, oughta get a sticker for that, and oh hey stickers! maybe those would help, though I doubt it, but at least it’s 12:18 now, see how the time flies, here are a few more words for you or maybe not, maybe my mind will go completely blank like a thing that’s really blank I guess, fuck off simile, which I guess I can’t spell, some grade level teacher would be disappointed in that but you know what Ms I can’t think of any teacher names well they can fuck off too, I’ll spell all the words wrong if I want, not trying to get published anyway, just yelling into the void and I guess taking up some precious storage data or something but hey it’s 12:20 so fuck this
Don’t tell me what happened to Amelia Earhart, D. B. Cooper, or the crew of the Mary Celeste. I don’t want to know.
Don’t explain why there are stairs in the middle of nowhere or plane-hungry triangles out at sea, rows of lights in the sky or holy faces appearing in rock, plaster, linoleum, clouds. I don’t want to know.
Don’t try to convince me The Wreck of the Titan was just some crazy coincidence or that famous black and white picture just a grainy snapshot of a floating log. Let some of the mysteries remain.
Let people disappear without a trace; let the wilderness swallow up whole ships, planes, settler communities, and leave behind only a word carved into a tree to prove they ever existed.
Let Tutankhamen’s curse sleep in infamy. Let the Chupacabra skulk through Mexican jungles. Let the Flying Dutchman live to haunt another day.
Is it so bad, not to know the truth?
creature of shadow and ink, smoke and oil, slipping fluidly from jackal form to raven to snake to grasping tentacles, all the better with which to circle ’round, whisper in my ears, slip inside my mouth, my dreams, all the better with which to insinuate guilt and plant fears, I can close and lock the door but you slip like sand through the keyhole, I can demand obedience but you grin as you lay flat at my feet and I dare not turn my back, untameable beast, trickster with a subtle touch, I know not to believe you but you have been my constant companion all these years and there’s something comforting about your silken words, an old lullaby to which I can always return
The summer’s all forest fires and blood, drought and shitty poetry, but migrating geese offer a moment’s respite, a bleak surge of hope for approaching autumn.
Dua Anpu, Lord of the Sacred Land!
Dua Anpu, Guardian of the Dead!
I ask that You guide your kin safely through the trials to come
for their heart is lighter than any feather
and they have earned their place in the Eternal Land beyond.
[Name] is mourned and will never be forgotten;
may their soul find peace at your side.
Dua Anpu, Lord of the Sacred Land!
Dua Anpu, Guardian of the Dead!
[ I don’t work with Anpu but I’ve had need of a prayer for canines lately and I don’t think Bast wants me directing those to Her, so I tried to write up one for Anpu instead. ]
Like a sailor I should be able to learn the subtle signs that herald the approach of a major front, the faint whiff of ozone on the breeze, the almost imperceptible darkening of the sky, the half-a-degree temperature drop that would otherwise be overlooked but here warns of the storm to come, warns it’s time to hunker down because this tempest can’t be outrun, you can only fasten the sails and ride it out. As captain of this ship I should be equally attuned to my own vessel and the microscopic changes in wind and tide which on an otherwise calm, clear day precede the sudden hurricane, the darkness, the lashing rain and swelling waves. I should be able to see this coming from miles off and prepare myself; haven’t I weathered these storms before? Yet still they come crashing down upon me like freak whims of nature to leave me soaked and trembling in their wake, checking for broken bones and leaks in the hull. When will I learn to recognize the approach of these forces so I might make myself ready, to meet the storm head-on if not to beat it to port?
Get ready for some word vomit, ’cause I’m thinking about labels. About the people who say we shouldn’t use them. “Labels are for soup cans” and all of that. Um… no? Labels are descriptors. “Short hair domesticated cat” is a label. “Queer asexual” is a label. “HP Compaq LA2205wg” is a label. You don’t get to determine if labels are important because each label will be important to someone. My vet will care what kind of cat I own. My partner will care about my sexual and romantic orientations. The IT department will care what kind of computer is slowly dying on me. Labels are just words and words are kind of really important for communication and stuff. Without words, without labels, we’re left saying, “Bye honey, I’m going to that place that employs me now.” “That’s my car, the…that one over there.” “Hi, I’m a person. It’s nice to meet you, other person.” Oh, but I guess person is a label too. Well shit. Yeah. You know what count as labels? Adjectives. Occupations. Colors. Emotions. Names. Kingdom. Phylum. Genus. Species. Half of what we say every day probably falls under the label (hah!) of a label, and everything else is filler. So when someone says they don’t believe in labels, they’re not saying they disagree with language in general. That’s just stupid. Who disagrees with having words to explain stuff? No, they’re saying they don’t want to learn new words, because that takes effort, and they don’t care about other people’s labels enough to expend that effort. After all, when was the last time someone said “I don’t believe in labels, so I don’t learn anyone’s names”? “I don’t believe in labels, so I don’t pay attention to street signs”? “I don’t believe in labels, so I call every animal I see a dog”? Just admit it. When you say you don’t believe in labels, you mean you don’t believe someone’s specific label is important enough to use because it’s not directly important to you. Which, you know what? Is selfish. (That’s a label too.) Labels are words, and the more words we have to explain this weird fucking world we live in, the better. If you don’t complain about all the different names for bird species or cities or diseases or religions, you don’t get to complain about the different names for someone’s gender, sexuality, romantic orientation, or anything else that makes that person better understand who they are.