Mush.

Thoughts I thought alone on Christmas:

Life is tension. It’s balanced on the strength of the arch that pulls against gravity, towards its own mass. You are a membrane regulating the diffusion of elements between the vacuum inside of you and the full-on world out there. The void that you are just wants, though the object of the want is arbitrary. You want symbols that are inherently meaningless. You want symbols created by past vacuums, reinforced by the inverted pressure of your vacuum peers. The symbols that you desire reflect the self that is pulling, pulling them in. You are just DNA, a code for a real, live human. You have to pull yourself together from the endless clutter and entropy to form a real, live human. Maybe someday I can be a real, live human too.

Reality is nothing. Reality is imaginary. In fact, the word shouldn’t even exist. If there was one truth out there, we would all see it. The truth would shine brightly like the sun and we would be united in growing towards it. Rather, we cling to concepts like family and art and individuality; concepts whose definitions are nebulous and truly don’t exist. Void. Chaos. The thin membrane in between.

So few things exist. Food maybe, sex maybe, warmth and cold maybe. The urge to move and stretch and press against maybe. The tube of you inches along, consuming and excreting, wanting, wanting. Everything else is just to distract from this base existence, to convince you that you’re not just a tube. We work so hard not to be tubes, then inevitably die and get consumed and excreted by smaller tubes and blobs. They belch out our gasses and ferment our insides.

We find meaning in love because we want meaning and if two people want something hard enough, it has to exist. It just has to. We are all born thusly. We are all born from the dialectic, the conflict between the reality of nothing and the desire for everything. We find meaning in those moments where we don’t exist, in those small deaths. In ritual, in the glow of self-sacrifice, in the unification of sadness we find meaning. Because in those painful and scarce and fast-moving frames we see the true nature of the universe. Because existing is loss, existing is nothing but an emptiness. It is a dull ache, the gnawing hunger of someone who has never eaten. A desire for a thing that isn’t real. That’s humanity, that’s your soul.

That’s the thin line between mania and knowledge. One dopamine receptor. One unanswered question. The patterns you see aren’t real but they’re extant if we all want to see them. Make the goal! Fuck the prettiest girl! Earn the money! It’s a schizophrenic world out there, self-reinforcing and hierarchical. It’s the gravity so strong that not even light can escape.

The things that you’re made of are falsehoods. You can only be your surroundings, the carbon and the electricity of the vacuums that came before.

 

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Softly.

A shitbeat about that special something. 12/22/2015.

When your mind is a vortex, spinning to no place in particular, spinning for the sake of nausea, a spiral of electric jitters, when your body is stiff as if with rigor mortis, like you’re dead already & you can’t let go, when it comes and makes every face into a mask, a distortion, a contortion, a caricature of hatred or disgust, a curled lip, a jagged slice of wet mouth leaking at the edges, lips cracked, tongue swollen & bulbous, slicked with white film, when your skin betrays you with cold sweat, when you can’t feel a thing, when you are ice, dirty ice full of silt and sand, granular, particulate, suspended, upended, when you can’t breathe enough, when you need to run away, when your legs won’t let you run away, when you have nowhere to run if they did, when you are shallow, when you are hollow, when your blood can’t reach to warm you, when you need something but you don’t know what…

She washes it out. She sweeps in on wings of an angel. She whispers in your ear, not words but a soft blanket of sound. She holds you in cool, careful arms and glides. She is a live weight. She grounds your frantic thoughts, though they are moths, tearing themselves apart to reach that impossibly distant moon. She fits exactly to your body like a puzzle piece. She fits exactly to your mind, plugging up your tears and blank spaces with more of her self. She pulls you into a gentle smile, lifting up your corners and softening your eyes. She comes between you and your skin. You feel her there, dissolving, sweeping up the dirt and grime, drawing it out of you, drawing it down the drain. She bears you a second time, a painless birth, unstained by sin, unpunished.

Welcome to the world, little human. Welcome to yourself, little human.

 

To a body.

A solitary shitbeat for the human form. 12/18/2015.

I love your undulating, rhythmic feel.

Gentle slopes, elegant twists,

The flattening of wrist to hand,

The dendritic spread of hand to fingers,

The patterns of the ends unknown

But to the most loving eye.

 

You tell and keep silent a story.

The layers of your solid being

Write it one word per day.

A story of deprivation, discipline, anxiety.

Sometimes of jags, binges, benders:

The feeling of feeling nothing

By way of feeling everything.

 

Warm rich blood under thin skin,

The purple webs spreading

Fire to, water to, wind to

Your farthest reaches.

Slowly, sadly pushed/pulled by a dead heart.

Dead lungs drain.

 

The solidity of bone, universal format,

Structure identical, pentacle,

Yours and mine and his and hers.

Skin is skin-deep.

X-ray specs, connect connect.

I feel deeper and you can’t lie.

 

 

Pen Pal.

A shitbeat taken from a letter to my father. We had a short-lived relationship as pen pals recently, the topic of this one was music.

Dear Dad,

There are a few directions I can go with this topic, I think. Music in what aspect? Listening to it? Singing? Dancing? Writing music? I love music. It does so many things in my brain, it’s emotional, instinctual, intellectual and physical at the same time. There is an ostensibly limitless combination of sounds and words and rhythms, histories and purposes with song. And each is unique in the way it affects the listener. There is no part of my human experience that the waves don’t touch.

When people ask me what my favorite band is, I usually say, the band that probably influenced me the most as a person is Radiohead. The first album I ever bought, when I was 10 or 11, was OK Computer because I liked the cover art and I liked the name Radiohead. I didn’t enjoy it at first, but it was the only CD I had so I kept listening. Like growing worms gnawing a decayed log, the syncopation, the pitiful-sounding lyrics, and the slightly sour harmonies crept into my little child’s brain and made their home in it. For a time, it was just about all I could listen to. All other music seemed frivolous. I don’t think I met another person who liked that album or knew Radiohead for the next ten years. In fact, I remember using the computers in my high school’s library during play practice to post on Radiohead message boards to feel some fellowship. One time, a poster asked how old I was and I said fourteen. He went on this rant of, “oh, great, now all the dumb kids are into Radiohead. There must have been a recent article in <insert pop music/lifestyle publication>.” But I replied in a mature and thoughtful way and all the other posters sided with mr. They said I was a really cool fourteen-year-old.

How validating.

My ensuing journey through each album they put out—Amnesiac, Kid A, Hail To The Thief, and In Rainbows being the main ones—was therefore always a solo one. Add to that the fact that the music itself is not even angst-ridden but often anxiety-ridden, to the fact of my youth being already kind of an anxious, angry, and insecure affair, and you get a clear picture of lonely little me as a teenager. I sometimes wonder how much of my feelings of isolation might have been because of my musical tastes. Music really affects the way I feel, which I now of course realize. I would never, for example, listen to A Perfect Circle before a first date. I would be weird and uncharming.

-topic shift-

The closest thing I have in my life to religious sentiment is music and dance. There is something about the way music is internally experienced that is so very personal and evocative, it touches a part of me that nothing else can. It makes me move, and that’s the sweetest feeling in the world. Being in synch with floating notes and wavering vibrations is meditative and beautiful. It’s like they get inside of you and have to work their way out through your fingers and toes and sternum.

I remember once you said that your personal proof that there is a God is through the beauty of music. I understand that. Sometimes I can hardly breathe from it.

And I have to tell you, though maybe you don’t want to hear it, papa, that the best amplifier for that feeling is LSD. Truly, a lot of drugs make music better. MDMA is great for dancing, marijuana is great for almost everything. But LSD flips the experience of life on its head, dissolves all that you think you know. It feels like being reborn as an infant or even as a floating nothing. I don’t use it much—wouldn’t want to use it much—but I did last weekend with two friends of mine and we simply melted together and separately to the most beautiful symphony of sounds. I can’t begin to describe the depths of the experience, the things one sees and feels in a way that just doesn’t exist outside of that drug-induced sensory state. I thought I was in so many different places, floating above them and living inside of them. I thought I was a vibration, a discreet wavelength or even a being with wave/particle duality. I forgot I existed each time I let go one little exhale further into the music. I cried at the crackling peaceful sound of a vinyl record, I strained every muscle in my body against the weight of it. It was all I could do not to implode.

Love,

Panda

And there was no poop!

Let me show you his Tinder profile first, then it will all make sense.

[Two pictures of a man, face not shown. One a torso in a white button-up and tie (see, I’m normal, I’m a white-collar worker!) one torso shirtless (see, I’m not fat!).

Stan, 28, “Long story short, swipe right if you’ve always wanted to fuck a guy in the ass with a strap-on.”]

Now, I can’t say I’ve always wanted this but I like to “swipe right” on new experiences. Life is short and most of it boring, and anyways what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

He messaged me and we chatted, I told him I’d never done this but that I would be very gentle. He told me he had the necessary equipment all ready to go. We set a date and I told him where to meet me—a pub close to my house that I’d only been to one other time. On that occasion, my partner and I were meeting with another couple from Tinder to have a foursome. So I guess it’s my local sexual experimentation pub.

I had a work party and four drinks before we met. I told everyone at work my plans for the evening, and each time I repeated the phrase “fuck him in the ass with a strap-on,” the reality of the situation gained a more apparent gravity. Tipsy already, drunk on white wine and excitement, I changed into a structured black dress and wiped on a blood-red lipstick. I wanted to look just on this side of dominatrix, not too threatening but certainly in charge, certainly capable of really fucking a person.

I entered the pub and saw him. He had dark hair and rectangular glasses which looked nice juxtaposed with his round, boyish face. He looked entirely normal.

“Stan?” I said.

“That’s me!” he said.

I sat down and tried my hardest to make a normal amount of eye contact, whatever that is. He had a beer, I had a gin and tonic. He said he was hungry so he ordered mac and cheese with mushrooms.

“The food here is really good,” he said.

The couple my partner and I fucked had said the same thing so it must be true.

I realized that I’d spent a lot of time thinking about how the actual fucking would be like and no time thinking about what the first meeting would be like. It felt exactly like a first date: we talked about our families, our hobbies, jobs. We had the same standard first conversations I have with any stranger I need to pass time with but don’t especially care about knowing. His mother was from Italy, he did something with computers. He liked Phish. I bit my blood-red lip a lot and looked up at him through my eyelashes. When his mac and cheese came I said, “You should send that back, it’s penne! There isn’t a single mac in that dish!”

You know, flirting.

Halfway through our second drink, I got up to use the bathroom. I was feeling bold and feeling done with small talk. When I came back, I took a deep breath, leaned across our sticky wooden square of table and said, “So, you wanted me to fuck you in the ass with a strap-on, right?”

His face was still turned towards me but his dark eyes flitted to one side, then to the other side and he responded, “Yes, that’s pretty much it.”

I felt at ease, settled into the shape the night was taking. We finished our drinks with less chatter, more like friends who don’t need to fill the void with the insecurity of words. We walked to his house. As it turns out, the pub was equidistant from our abodes, right in between them in fact. I took that as a good omen.

In his bedroom he took out a cardboard box.

“These are my toys,” he said, “This is the better of the two lubes so you should probably use it.”

Then he kissed me, then we squished our bodies together, then we took off our clothes.

“So how do I put this on?” I said, holding the handful of straps up like so much black spaghetti.

He helped me to step into the black tangle, pulling it tight at the waist and the legs. He attached the dildo and I looked down in awe at my new pretend body. A pinkish, silicone dick projected out in front of me. Pinocchio. I waggled it back and forth a little.

He handed me his anal beads, “Start with these,” he said, and he turned around.

He was on his knees. I pushed his shoulders and he doubled over low, not on hands and knees but a complete triangle. I knelt on a higher plane, back straight and looking down at the mashed left side of his face. The progress with the beads was slow going and I was gentle as I’d promised. Honestly, it was a little tedious. I slicked him up and worked in first a fingertip, then two, then one bead at a time until the full bulbous cone was inside of him. I hooked one hip-bone on the back of the beads and rocked into him, slowly. He made quiet moaning sounds and closed his eyes.

“Are you ready for my cock?” I said in a deep voice.

“Yes.” He answered simply and clearly.

I pulled the beads lightly and they shot out with an unexpected force, though I suppose I should have expected it just from the physiology. I was startled and asked if he was okay. His cat was startled, too, and I became aware of the presence of a cat in the room. He laughed at me and said of course he was okay.

For a minute I filled with the raw energy of something even before lust, something more basic than sexual desire. I felt a sort of ownership, a sort of control that was at once exciting and intimidating for its excitement. It was a feeling I don’t necessarily want to grow in myself, the power of it too close to violence. I felt an objectification of the human in front of me. I felt him become an extension of my own strength and movement, dehumanized, unreal. The shift in power, the tipping of the seesaw with vulnerability on one side and untouchable control on the other. But he wanted it, he wanted to be on the other side of it. He had specifically and in no uncertain terms asked for it. And so I gave it to him.

I eased my non-throbbing member into the awaiting anus. I knelt with one hand on his sacrum, the other hanging free and rocked gently as his breathing became vocalized.

“Do you like that?” I asked.

“Mmmhmm,” he answered.

“Tell me how you want it.” I said.

“This is good, it’s great, just like that.” He said.

He was touching himself. I’ve never watched a man masturbate before.

My strokes got deeper and deeper, then a little faster and a little faster. His breathing pretty closely mirrored it, this extension of my silicone self. I changed my hand position, holding him by the front of his hips. Men’s hips are funny and narrow, it hardly made ergonomic sense. My fake cock was giving my real pussy a bit of pressure which felt nice but I wasn’t very aroused. I felt like I was watching from a distance. He came, his lungs deflated in gasping sobs. I gave him one last, slow thrust then pulled out.

He collapsed on the bed and I went to wash my hands, still wearing the strap-on. Seeing myself in the mirror with a cock was surreal and unreal. It was very obviously not a part of me. I waggled it around some more, singing a little “a-cha-cha-cha, a-cha-cha-cha,” kind of tune like brushes on a snare drum.

I slept in his bed with him and the cat and left before the sun was up in the morning.

He texted me the next day to say, “I just realized, I left my penne and cheese at the pub :(”

Fascists.

It’s the kind of thing some frogs don’t notice until they’re boiling in it. It starts with dissatisfaction, confusion, a sense of displacement or not belonging. We humans tend to cling in desperate times; the masses need some opiate.

In this particular case the driving force is an outdated American Dream—a nostalgia for a past that only existed for the few. It’s a dream of white-picket fences, cloistering your women and children while you win the bacon at your office job. It’s a dream of the Black maid you pay pennies smiling graciously and bowing her head in delicate subservience. It’s a dream of your daughter’s virginity, your son’s freedom. It’s a dream of absolute power, of that magical time after the war and before the Civil Right movement when we were the only economy left standing and it stood mainly for white men.

The world has changed too much already, they want it back how it was when they were young and the world open before them.

They want to keep out the refugees with their sad eyes, the Mexicans with their rough hands. They want to re-domesticate women. They decide out of fear. They want the world on the other side of the glass. They want their Black men whistling as they work and their daughters pure as snow far, far away from the sweat and song.

They want guns so they can lynch.

They want a strong military to lynch on a global scale.

They see no subtlety, no granular detail. Only black and white exist on this old TV screen.

Free speech but the Bible in public schools.

They want you to say “Merry Christmas,” goddamnit.

 

Falling in Love.

Shitbeats about my soul mate (assuming we have souls).

 

2/26/2015

Right where I want you.

Daydreams of our first kiss,

I wonder how you’ll taste on that mountain.

How long will I wait?

I’m burning for your mystery,

For the blank spaces that make you

Light & shining in my mind.

It’s too bad they’ll get filled in heavy,

Dense with predictable detail.

It’s too bad I only like the beginnings of things.

For now, you are a beginning.

Filigree.

Gold leaf.

Pasted over who cares what iron.

 

3/21/2015

Nothing gold can stay.

All that we’re learning will become re-unknown,

Your smell, a stranger.

Your feel, your slow spiral, your shifting sunlight, gone.

Short is sweet.

 

I’ll think of you—or maybe not.

(There’s a strange part of me that loves so hard

And forgets so easily.)

I’ll think of you singing.

I’ll think of you laughing,

A sound that evokes

Empires, art for art’s sake, rolls of velvet, beating hearts, and big brass bells.

 

I don’t want this sun to fade.

I’m afraid of the coming night.

 

4/2/2015

I feel a start.

A rush of red heat to my ears & throat.

My vision taken over from the edges,

A golden sand, then darkness.

 

Make it stop.

Nothing is right.

If this isn’t death, give me death.

Sweat springs from skin and soaks the fabric sheath.

No control.

 

I make your lips into a swollen, vulgar brightness.

Their skin is cracked, your tongue always

Just inside the door.

Don’t speak,

I can’t watch.

 

Waiting for disaster because you’re perfect.

Craving disaster because

Perfect does not exist.

Can you be unblemished by this polluted world?

The edgy, bloodthirsty, the tearful, the grabbing hands,

The twin devils of want and pride?

I know I’m not.

 

4/29/2015

It’s not you that I love.

It’s the light sweetly reflecting on your skin.

Scattered beams of pearly softness invite my touch,

Bait for me but if anything, I’m the trap.

 

It’s not you that I love.

It’s the shift in the air that surrounds you,

A whorl of warmth, your dark animal smell.

It awakens the dark animal in me

And I can’t breathe enough, my chemical love.

 

It’s the shuddering, unbearable way that you feel,

The pressure of you, the friction of you,

I bend achingly towards it.

I exist for once,

I’m complete for once,

For an hour lying beside you.

 

You are the salt, I the sea.

With you on my lips,

I can taste life.

It’s not you that I love.

 

5/4/2015

My heart descends from the sky.

He lays his head with mine,

A puzzle of hard & soft, we are.

The only two humans out here, we are.

His animal beauty, the movements in his

Strong, young body and

Strong, old mind

Stir and create new depths.

Deep time, no time, this is the beginning.

Adam & Eve, we are.

Living & breathing, we are.

 

We draw from each other

Knowledge that together is greater than alone.

My love dives deep and

Draws ancient orbs of truth

From the grains of created significance.

His undertow revealing pearls & diamonds

Eve could never see.