Stream of Consciousness

I had an interesting conversation Monday evening, during a marijuana break at the poetry reading, about stream of consciousness writing v. thinking about it and editing as you go, as I do, and I have to admit I should try the SOC method more often. Certainly as this blog is at least partially intended as a writing exercise it makes sense and also as it was a fairly uneventful day today in my real life, which is not a bad thing at all, uneventful means know special problems, it means that stream of events which is the backdrop for our consciousness is a lazy, broad, slow moving, unchanging river and that’s a good thing more than it’s a bad thing because any thing which is a survivable thing brings good along the way and at the end of the tunnel.
The stream of thoughts that goes into my writing can get a little bit weirder, there’s one girl in my gymnasium classes who loves to natter on sometimes it seems like stream of consciousness just because she talks so much and it sometimes seems to me like a class conspiracy, like the other kids in the class commissioned her to just talk a mile a minute, too fast for me to interrupt, so they can all sit around and play on their laptops, and today she was talking about remembering your dreams and how you could train yourself to do that by waking slow and that was an interesting thing, I guess that was my learnsomethingneweveryday moment.
Stream of consciousness can lead to beautiful things because your mind gets a bit detached in the rush and you don’t know where you’ll go but also it means the blog gets written quicker, much, much quicker.

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The Role of Accident in the Writing of a Poem

I had had this idea for a poem kicking around in my head for a couple of weeks but really left it till the last minute and got it written on the tram on the way to my poetry reading Monday night. Pressure means focus. This is good.
It’s a much darker piece than I usually write, but that’s O.K., a bit of dark among the rainbows and puppy dogs, some writers are constantly dark so it’s much appreciated when they have a moment of levity so I’m going the other way.
Anyway, it was handwritten, and I should add at this point that I have really bad handwriting. Always have had. It was a thing I was known for in elementary school, that my mother often commented on, that everybody who has ever seen it has commented on. That’s one reason I appreciate this modern world of ours, writing things out is becoming a thing of the past and my bad handwriting is not so much a factor as it once was, it’s certainly no bar to communication.
Here’s the poem, because the point of this story depends on it:

We are at a random place
in space and time, in time and space
and as we wander here and there
across this lovely planet’s face

We’re breathing in the sweet, sweet air
it doesn’t seem to be so rare
and it’s the same with time as well
it seems that there’s a lot to spare

But, beyond this fragile shell
is space, as cold and black as hell
Here, everything is nice and bright
but after that, we just can’t tell

As we stare out into the night
at emptiness, no end in sight
We know the nihilists are right
We know the nihilists are right

I got up to read it but in the first stanza, where I had written ‘this lonely planet’s face,’ in keeping with the dark tone, I read the n as a v and it came out of my mouth as ‘across this lovely planet’s face’ and it brought it back to sweetness and light for a second before that descent into the ‘we’re all going to die and none of it has any meaning’ ending, so as far as my overall body of work goes, it’s a bit of light in a dark piece in a light collection.
I’m taking it as an omen and leaving it this way, although it could have been the other and, in some alternative universe, undoubtedly is.

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Wrong Question

It seems that just about every day the last couple of weeks I see an article in my Facebook feed from the New York Times, or Huffpo, or theHill.com, or some other fake news site, offering up an explanation of how Hillary lost. Somehow, they almost never mention Bernie Sanders.
I think they’re asking the wrong question. Instead of asking ‘Why did Hillary lose?,’ they should be asking “Why did the Democrats lose?” It’s a preferable question since, presumably, Democrats wanted a Democrat to win, not just specifically Hillary Clinton.
Another reason it’s a preferable question is that once you ask it like that, the answer pretty much jumps right out at you. The Democrats lost because Hillary Clinton was the candidate. No matter what shit Donald Trump said or did, the argument was already about Hillary. He had scandals. She had scandals. He said self contradictory things all over the place. So did she.
Sanders did not have the same problem. He would have, therefore, coasted to victory.
It was clear at the time of the convention that she was a weak candidate. She was neck and neck with the short-fingered Caligula then, and her electoral record is not one of winning come from behind victories. Also, the cheating had already been exposed, to anybody who was paying attention. That made it real hard for Bernie’s people to get enthusiastic about her. Damned near impossible, in fact.
Those Hillary supporters who say “Well, I’m not sure Bernie would have won, either” are just clinging to their completely debunked ‘stronger candidate’ argument. Because Hillary lost to Trump, they’re assuming that any other candidate would have, too, which is nonsense. Trump was an awful candidate. Barely 25% of the country voted for him (about 50% did not vote at all). If the election had been between Donald Trump and “whoever is behind Door Number 3,” Door Number 3 would have kicked his ass.
That’s what a weak candidate Hillary was.

In other news: RIP Gene Cernan. You were a true hero.

Also, I’m glad Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence, but I don’t get the delay. How did he come up with the May 17th date? It’s like, “O.K., I’ll throw the liberals a bone, but make her suffer a few months more.” I mean, what was wrong with just saying tomorrow?

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January Alchemy, 2017

It was an interesting night. First, I printed out my poems for the evening, all four I had written. I had an idea for one more, and hoped to get it written while seeing the girls to their dance class. I actually wound up finishing it on the tram from Andel to Hellichova, but I’m glad I did because once I got to the NAPA bar, I realized that I didn’t have the rest of them with me. One short one was easy to recreate from memory and one I had, written out longhand, in a different notebook, and 3 was enough.
We had some new talent. The featured speaker I’ve seen there a couple of times at open mike and he was interesting, then a couple of women poets, the first had a very nice poem about the social life of butterflies, the second one was a “slam” poet which I guess means loud, fast, breathless and passionate, and she did a piece about waiting for a hurricane, about maybe seeing this house, or that tree, for the last time before the sea ultimately conquered the land. There were a few short stories, some comedy …all in all, a pretty good night.

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The Lure of Dystopia

I just watched a very interesting movie called, I think, Existenz, although I missed the first 15 minutes or so, and it was interesting because of the concept more than the execution. The basic plot was a very vivid, persuasive, virtual reality game and they were never sure if they were in it or out of it, if it was them or their character talking, and they went from dystopia to dystopia, from the time she got shot in the church, with the bone gun and bullet teeth, to the noir country store, to the trout farm, to the Chinese restaurant, to the battle scene, and on and on.
The idea of the blurring of reality and fantasy was interesting, but the problem with me is when I’m watching a film, unless it’s a truly great one and sometimes not even then, is that I keep rewriting the film, first of all guessing how each scene will end and when I get it wrong there’s a part of me that’s still following the other plot, but with this one it was more general, more tonal.
I kept thinking damn, why do they have to make it so grotty and gross, like all of the vivisection, the trout farm in particular but there were a few other scenes with cutting up frogs and lizards, and if you’re playing a game, how much fun is it to be an assembly line worker in a damned fish factory? Why not have some scenes in a beautiful forest, or on the high seas, or in exotic night clubs, and have some more glamorous people?
Everybody was sweaty, and diseased, and vaguely threatening, and they repeated themselves a lot. Is it that much more appealing to watch dystopia than utopias, or are they just that much easier to write?
Of course, a film has to have conflict so it can have resolution of conflict, but damn. Would it hurt to have a smidgin of fun in our fantasies?

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Intelligent Earth

Everybody’s heard of the internet of things, and despite the obvious sci-fi dystopian fantasies, you know, when people get killed by their fridge or showers in some freak way, I think it’s a pretty good idea. Personally, I’m not very up to date technically. but if people want to order pizza in everyday and have an intelligent robot who brings them beer, I’ve got no objection.
Some bemoan that this will make people lose their social skills and become vegetables, but I’m not too worried about that either. A lot of us didn’t have such great social skills to begin with and in cases like that, the life enhancement possibilities of the internet outweigh the human reaction available in real life.

Then, I am reading The Lord of the Rings now, for the first time in decades, and it’s great, of course. Haven’t noticed anything different about it, like how you’re supposed to react to books differently at different points in your life, but one point I’d kind of forgotten was the foreshadowing of the Ents when Pippin and Merry were captured by old Man Willow (which also may have foreshadowed the Whomping Willow in the Harry Potter series, come to think of it. Those Willows can be a nasty bunch.)

Then, I was smoking a joint, I believe it was the first one of the day today, and it hit me -the internet of trees. Of course, trees do have a communication network, root to root, leaf to leaf, pheromones on the breeze, I don’t know how they communicate, I’m not a Dendrologist (although I think that it would be a cool thing to be, largely because of the name)
No, this particular fantasy had to do more with installing computers in their trunks and monitoring devices all over them so they could be uploaded to the singularity, and we’d see what they see and they could think like we think and we could communicate and this could be extended to the birds of the air and the fish of the seas, and the seas, and everything. It’s more than just a small aritificial intelligence. It would be an Intelligent Earth. It’s coming.

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Booker Blows it Big Time

A lot of people are upset about the betrayal of old and sick people by certain members of the Democratic Party, and rightfully so.
Here’s the deal. Bernie Sanders proposed an amendment (his specialty) which would have allowed Americans to import drugs from Canada, where they are way cheaper, like half the price or less, because American drug companies are money sucking leeches. 13 Democrats jumped over and joined the Republicans and voted against it.
I repeat. It was in favor of letting people buy drugs, at a lower price, by importing them from Canada, which is a very nice place.
Now, I don’t know what this was an amendment TO, but that’s kind of irrelevant. Both sides try to attach amendments to bills they don’t like, bills they will probably vote against anyway, because then if the bill passes, it sucks a little bit less, and if the bill doesn’t pass, well, O.K.
Corey Booker’s (D- Big Pharma)bullshit excuse doesn’t wash, either, which is that he was concerned about safety. Yeah, right. That’s about as much of a straw man as voter fraud, with its 5 or 6 reported incidents since,like,forever. There has been no epidemic of Canadians dying from tainted medicine.
On the other hand, it’s not hard to find out why these 13 Democrats voted the way the did. Every single one of them- let me repeat that, every single one, without exception, has received large ‘campaign contributions’ from pharmaceutical companies. Every. Single. One.
Now, political corruption is nothing new, and it’s hardly surprising. The thing that amazes me, and depresses me, every time something like this happens, is how cheap they actually sell out.
The highest paid hooker in the whorehouse is, in this case, Patty Murray of Washington, who got a tad under half a million dollars. Booker was in the top 3 or 4, certainly. Poor Maria Cantwell, also of Washington, only got paid 59,000 for voting to let poor, elderly people die. I’m not sure if she was less greedy, more needy, or just later to the game.
Add all the numbers together, though, and you realize that it’s cheaper to buy the United States congress, like all of it, than it is to own an NFL team, or to produce a major Hollywood movie. Out of reach of the average person, of course, but withing the reach of hundreds, maybe thousands of individual Americans.
We aren’t just being screwed because Trump is going to be president. The rot goes much deeper than that.

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