Friday, December 26, 2008

all and nothing

i have so much to say ... i want, I need absolutely to reach out and not to be alone. Yes I am loved, but i can feel so alone, so empty, so superfluous. Why, how, can it be so hard to connect? Truth be told I probably have nothing to say and it seems no one to say anything to lately
Unfortunately I am not much in the way of likeable these days so it makes sense to be in this place even if i don't know how i got here -- it's always like this at christmas.
Empty is the worst place to be but tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's Important

"And still I would add - that health, that education and also the joy of that play –is the capital that must grow and spread. Then, only, will we reach up to more equal levels of development and opportunity." Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway

It's not a talent I ever really learned or developed, playing, but it does seem that more play can't be bad and more playing at all ages could be a force for much good. It is tired and trite to say children are the future but it is true, if only because we're bound to age and die leaving only the children to care for their fellow man. Still the sentiment seems aimed more at the breeding of children like so many commodities rather than the nurturing and loving of children that allows them the freedom to be, to explore, to see for themselves and in their own right their place in and relation to the wider world. This time of year (Christmas) the "news" is filled with stories of economic woes yet the adults interviewed frequently make clear the kids will not be "shortchanged."
Is this really what children want? I don't think so. I think kids want whatever thay can get (toys, electronics, etc.) because that's all they can get. Mom and dad are gone, no time to parent but only to earn paychecks. The more toys and games the better to sit for hours on end - eating mindlessly, playing alone -- no room or time to think or feel. Yep, these are the kids I want to attain majority and be given the right to vote and run the world further into the ground.
Do you think maybe God is somewhere crying about all this? Or is he just laying back waiting to see what's next?

Monday, December 8, 2008


In his recent speech to the UN Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg asked whether we are focusing on the truly essential, most serious issues of our times. He touched on many issues, from the world food shortage to climate change and maternal death rates. Pointing out that "leadership is called for" he wondered that there might be but a larger, decision-making crisis in the UN itself. "We have great institutional capacity. We discuss, we deliberate and we study. But we are too often unable to decide. Often, those countries, who want the least, those countries decide the most. Those who want the least change and progress, are able to slow us down and block decisions." This seems a natural segue into talk of the global financial crisis. Stoltenberg noted that "money doesn’t seem to be a problem when the problem is money." No, money is a problem when you don't have it and you can't get what you need without it. "Let us look for a moment on what is happening on Wall Street and in financial markets around the world. There, unsound investment threatens the homes and the jobs of the middle class. There is something fundamentally wrong when money seems to be abundant, but funds for investment in people seem so short in supply. The market mechanisms will not fund the schools in Afghanistan, the hospitals in Rwanda, the vaccines given in the slums and the ghettos."
So is this supposed to be news? I hope not - I'd hate to think we're so self-centered that we didn't already see these as problems. Here we're still recovering from Ike; piles of junk all over the place, blue tarps for roofs, crumbling, moldy houses. The closer to the water the more pungent the smell. Shreds of plastic grocery bags hanging everywhere, some deposited by waters and others blown there. At the same time, new construction spreads like a plague - ugly homes squeezed 2 and 3 to a lot and new strip centers rising next to empty ones.
To see and hear is not enough.
Money has become a weapon, a means of and reason for violence. We dishonor our better nature, we deny our identity as part of, and we lose all integrity by focusing on things, whether money or real estate or investment. We deal with each other as commodities -- what can you do for me? -- rather than on relationship. This life is distorted and I see no escape. I go to the rain forest and see not its remarkable beauty and diversity but only timber, coca, drugs, ores and other goods. Is this not elevating false gods, at least of a fashion?
What can one person do? I am not of them and do not do as they, but does that make me any less culpable? If I say nothing but live as technology and the century allows without regard to consequence I have made peace of a sort but it is not for the common good. But what can a single small person do? How do I remain in this world and acknowledge a higher calling?

Christmas Magic

Search for purpose
where there is none,
day wears out and night is come
it's Christmas cruel
more cold more than snow.

Really there's no snow to see
melted in the deep heat rage,
leaving only ice hidden 'way
to capsize the unwary.
I guess Norman Rockwell got all the snow.

At school they tell us children dreams,
but Christmas at home is nightmares
and screams
as he rips the ornaments off the tree
throws them across the room,
a million pieces of shiny glass
that glint and cut and hurt so good
when the red comes out like Christmas.

Holidays have longer nights
to beat and rage and cut and fight,
to pound and drink and kick and fuck.

Really there's nothing special 'bout holidays.
Probably I wouldn't know what to do
if they were different.

Now is different.

Accepted then
beaten, kicked, drunk and fucked,
small voices work the pen.
Pummelled and kicked,
writhing and twisting
to reject her truths.

She shatters to a million pieces
that glint and cut and hurt so good.
It's not so bad when the blood comes out red
like Christmas.

Christmas Memories

The loneliness of Christmas seems so much more this year. It's not the economy; Christmas has never been a really big material thing. Sure when you have a young child of a certain age it's easy to spend more than is decent and god knows, she never wanted for stuff. Christmas when I was a kid was an ordeal -- it meant for us what it meant for so many others, i.e., more family time, but that wasn't a good thing. I have two clear Christmas memories. One is that my grandad got me for Christmas a stuffed Lassie dog out of the Sears catalog. We would get that catalog and look and dream, but we knew we weren't getting anything. Somehow he worked it so I got that dog and what a dog it was. She had long collie hair and a plastic molded face, with a mouth slightly open so it looked like she was smiling. I wish I knew what happened to that dog. I took it to college, moved into my first apt, and I slept with that dog every day - either hugging it close and curled around it or under my head like a pillow. If I could find one I'd probably buy it but if I did that, well it wouldn't be the same. I never named the dog and I never saw a Lassie movie so who knows what drew me to that dog? The other solid memory isn't quite as nice. I don't recall us decorating a tree until much later - but I guess my mom did. One year someone got the bright idea to put foil-wrapped chocolate ornaments on the tree. Keep in mind there were 4 of us and we rarely had sweets. Is it any surprise they were eaten off the tree? I don't recall that I ate any but maybe I did - I had weird food issues and was afraid to eat anything at or from home. Well my mom must have called my dad cause I remember him coming home, we're summoned into the living room, and he rages, ripping things off the tree and throwing them, breaking them, yelling, who knows what. I'll decorate if I have to, if it matters to my family, but it's hard - Christmas in general is hard - i sure never bought any foil-wrapped chocolate ornaments and I think I never will.
Funny the things that stick with you -

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houston, tx, United States

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