To whom it may concern (namely the beloved followers)
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Exorcising the Animal: Why Hate Crimes, Racism, and Tribalism might actually be signs of progress


OK, stay with me, people: hate crimes, racsim, and tribalism are all some of the most disappointing and deplorable aspects of human nature. I think most people would agree with that. Because our human nature encompasses the entire spectrum of beautiful expressions of art, the power of compassion, and a tremendous intellectual capacity, it shouldn’t be hard to see that running people over with cars or marching around, yelling hateful things with swazticas and tiki torches in no way represents the pinnacle of human achievement (to say the least). Most of us are watching this all unfold with great consternation, indignation, and anger, and humanity deserves a little credit for this indignant reaction; it means that a significant portion of our species have made a conscious effort to resist our most base and primal behaviors. A significant portion of humanity actually chooses love over hate—in order to understand exactly how big a deal that is, we need some perspective on what humanity has been.
For FIVE MILLION YEARS, “humans” were just learning how not to be monkeys. That is approximately when the earliest hominid species appeared. And before that, it was only 50-55 MILLION YEARS ago that monkeys finally got their shit together and became monkeys… that is, only after a few BILLION years of, you know, being nascent primordial life and other scary things. We’re talking single-cell organisms. Fuckin’ amoebas. Fuckin’ fish and lizard things. HOW can any of us actually conceive of a million years, no less, a BILLION?! We can’t. Modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago, but most modern civilizations have only been keeping count for a little over 2,000 years; that’s nothing in the grand scheme of things. For MILLIONS of years, humanity couldn’t really even conceive of its own existence. We were busy eating shit off the ground and spearing mammoths or whatever—living only to survive.  I was watching a flock of pidgeons downtown the other day, and I watched them all peck aimlessly at the pebbles and cigarette butts, only narrowly avoiding getting hit by a bus. In their aimless pecking, I saw what must have been the human condition for millenia (minus buses and cigarettes, but same idea). We roamed the earth with no other awareness than the emptiness in our bellies and the fire in our loins.
And NOW, in the year two-thousand and seventeen anno domini, we expect everybody to be civil, compassionate, high-minded lizard-monkey-people. We expect that ONE war or ONE president or ONE political movement will exorcise us of the inherent animal nature within us all. The human species has made amazing progress, and they’ve done it really, really fast. We’ve found ourselves at the nexus of animalism and greater consciousness—and we’ve been here for thousands of years, and it might take hundred, or thousands of years to exorcise that viscious, fearful animal nature in all of us. The fact that we, too, are animals is a repressed trauma that we all push out of our minds… but it is still a fact. Hate crimes, racism, and tribalism come from our animal selves, and the fact that it’s even an issue how we treat one another in society is sign of progress. After studying ancient Greek history and Roman history, I’ve realized there’s really nothing new under the sun. We wonder why history seems to repeat itself ad nauseum, and that is because evolution takes a long fucking time. Let us continue to strive for more Love and compassion in this world, while also coming to terms with the reality of our animal nature. It’s the hand we’ve been dealt as a species, but that’s why humans are so amazing… we have been striving to overcome what we are. That’s kind of insane, if you think about it. The struggle of being human ultimately comes down to rejecting what we are, and what we have been, which means we’ve all felt—at some point—that there is something fundamentally wrong in our very nature. Humans are the species rebelling against nature. It’s hard. And it feels strange and uncomfortable, but we are making progress. And we will continue making progress for as long as we reach after something better than our animal nature; not everyone is going to be on board all at once, but collectively the rising tide lifts all boats. The horrible, tragic things that we’ve been seeing are part of the struggle for progress… and it could take a while to become the species we want to be.

Summer Rains


Summer rains are so easy to forgive

Not a hindrance, but worn as an accessory for the evening.

A soothing pitter-patter on the windshield

A slightly inconvenient sprinkling that only adds more character to the night.

Or a welcome gift to our lawns and gardens:

The hallelujah afternoon downpour:

All watered and cooled–

the air fresh with verdure and petrichor;

A passing spell,

The whisper of Nature’s mercy,

A moment of weakness in the heavens,

A minor fracture in the sky,

A brief, cathartic sob 

We receive with tempered joy–

Summer rains are so easily forgiven. 

Letters from the Poets’ Loft


Let’s wear shittier clothes
and drink more coffee

Let’s eat peanut butter
and dust the bookshelves haphazardly

Let’s define “darkened luster”
and bleed our hearts

Let’s lose another dulling pencil
and another night’s sleep

Let’s take a stroll around the block
and step in Siamese tandem

Let’s look for poetry in crowded rooms
and the unanticipated sideways symmetry of pinball flippers

Let’s fix our gazes no further
and retire to an away place

What Remains 


Is there any poetry left in you?

Do shadows of words still flit behind your eyes?

Or are the pills what make this shade of magenta?

Have you found every synonym for a good idea?

Where is the mile-marker for too far?

Was this July anochecer born of the bloody, nutrient-rich placenta of yes?

Blackened heels and soles trodden barefoot over someone’s unswept apartment floor–

Black coffee balcony nicotine mornings and

Half-watched movie, impromptu cider nights,

Black ring around the eyes, yesterday’s

Makeup precariously in tact

Tell me,

After one week of our Ted Hughes, shitty shoes, never lose synthetic Bohemia,

Do you have any poetry left in you?

Dandelion Love


I am the sun
I am canary song
and summer lawns

My core is fractal yellow
A cosmic burst
bright as the light on the other side

hollow-stemmed and soft to the touch

I am everywhere

and irritating

If you’re fool enough to love me
and tired enough to welcome me
I will only get worse

I propagate myself as a constellation corpse
and by the second-thought wishes of passerby’s

capricious winds
capricious whims

and before you know it

I am everywhere

It wasn’t supposed to end like this


It wasn’t supposed to end like this—
It was supposed to be a civil nod of the head
A conciliatory, halfhearted hug
And promises that we won’t forget—
because we won’t—
and that, in the end, it would all be OK.

Well-wishes for the next leg of the journey
with wistful smiles
and mutual respect—
Acting like the good people we both are.

It wasn’t supposed to end like this,
what sorrow.

Stories of Stability

life, poetry

When you woke up fifteen minutes early and sat down to a bowl of oatmeal and the morning paper,
noticed a chip in your favorite mug, and realized you liked it better that way
When traffic was slightly less horrible yesterday afternoon
and you saw a robin perched on the power line
When you got into bed with freshly-washed sheets,
and slept noiselessly, never getting too hot or too cold.When you laughed at the increasingly ridiculous tactics of telemarketers, and you told them how broke you were:

“Hello, is Robert there?”
“No, I think you have the wrong number”
“Oh, well maybe you can help me out; I’m calling from the fill-in-the-blank research foundation and we’re starting our annual drive…”
“I have zero monies”
End call.

When you finished all your reports and left work ten minutes early
When you listened to the silence of your still, unoccupied living room
and you found a popcorn kernel between the cushions.
When you decided that matching socks might be a good idea, and you matched them all.
When you smelled the potent, artificial meadow breeze of the fabric softener before you started that load.
When you sang along to classic disco hits on the way to your doctor’s appointment.
When you met your friend for coffee and struggled to find anything to talk about, so you both analyzed the complex body of your respective lattes.
When you took a walk around the block and waved hello to exactly three strangers.
When you watched a forty-minute eighth inning, accompanied by a cold coke.
When the ice on your windshield glinted in the morning light, and you remembered your gloves to scrape it all off.

When you finally called your sister and you took out the trash

When your parrot asked you earnestly, “Where Bu?”

And you watched her take a nap, before snoozing yourself.

Relentless Lent


I ended up in the desert for more than forty days
and I did face Satan and his servants–
My own inner-demons
who spin sad fantasies
Satan tempts me with guilt
and fear.
I was to be the bride of Satan,
I was going to commit my life to the worship of my neuroses and insecurities:
“I must be miserable as pennance for my sins”
“I have sinned”
“I don’t deserve to be totally happy”
“I’m getting older”
“I’m not attractive”
“I must be made ‘right’ by someone”
“I am deficient and lacking”
“I must be schooled in order to feel challenged. To feel alive. And I need someone who can teach me every single day.”
“To be schooled, I must be overcome, and be dominated”
“Suffering is the greatest teacher”
Leciferic inversions and almost-truths
I was seduced by the illusion that all suffering is virtuous,
That I would fulfill my existence by sacrificing joy—
Satan disguised my misery as joyous things,
attractive, desirable things—
and nothing was what it seemed to be.
Satan offered me all of these things if I got married to my misery
He impregnated me with these fundamental doubts and delusions I have about myself,
that I am deficient,
When in Truth, I am always whole

that I owe my progress to misery,
When in Truth, I make progress by the miraculous

These ideas began to grow inside me,
I felt my light dwindle.
I saw my life shutting.
My energy draining.

I gave it all up—
I gave it all away—
Everything I had
Everything I had clung onto
And depended on

To realize that I must refuse the temptation of misery
I must turn my sights upward
And resist the temptation of fantasies that require my misery,
That these wild fantasies must not overwrite my Self-narrative.

I am refusing.

My Easter has come.