Clear your head. There is only direct experience.
“Whoa, that we should imagine the pain of despicable work! Whoa, that we should feel sympathy for god, and forgive him his mistakes!”
“I forgive you, god, and all horrors you have wrought upon mankind!”
“I forgive you, god, and all your errors! Be there endless mercy upon you! Greatest god: you have my forgiveness!”
“No, NO! I love you god, for you are a perfect machine. All the horrors of this world are the manifest perfection of your design! Praise be to you, and to the horror of all your suffering!”
“God knows not what he does! You must forgive him.”
“God is perfect: he is unconscious and complete.”
…Is an unconscious god then not like the dark night, like the space around us, like the rocks beneath our feet?
And if if god is like the rocks beneath our feet…like the core of the earth, like its mantle, like its crust, like the earth itself and the atmosphere around it…like the planets, and the space between them…like the stars, like the universe itself…then what is the difference between that which is god and that which is not god?
Is god then not everything?
Is god then not nothing?
Is god then not simultaneously everything and nothing?
What does it matter, then, to speak of god?
“Where there is language, there is a place where god cannot be explained. All languages become a useless babble. There is nothing you can say, nothing!”
“Praise you ominscient god, oh conscious god! Your consciousness is crystalline, invisible, and all-encompassing. Praise you, for everything is your consciousness and your consciousness is everything!”
If you and I are conscious, do you and I not share properties with god?
“Wake up! Wake up you fools! ALL your thoughts form the opium smoke which spins in mandalas and eddies peopling our deep, narcissistic sleep! Consciousness is without thought or dream or the mechanistic spinning of wheels, the increasingly elaborate and populous machine-like destruction which is the world! Do not mistake thought for enlightenment; do not mistake thought for learning, clarification, or growth. All thought is elaboration; all thought is a virus upon this place, and makes us into a singular devilment, an ever-thickening mold upon the jewel-like fruit which is the earth! Yet if you mistake me and burn the books and theaters you will be an even greater fool! Do not think. Do not make unnecessary elaborations with your mind. And yet do not banish thinking…for thought is like food, which through its digestion replenishes the body as energy, and replenishes the earth as shit and loam! Thought must be consumed and destroyed…but in the bonfire of the blood and brain, and not the in witch-hunt fire which you build through weird delusions of your own! All thought is blasphemy! Or else all thought is worship and praise! Surrender now, for you cannot penetrate the riddle of thought which seizes your mind like the most vicious snapping-shut of a steel trap on the soft paw of an animal…”
Are we then not great egoists to think we may share properties with god?
What if you and I, instead, have nothing to do with god, with the qualities of god?
What if we are distant from god…as a light year…from a star?
And what if knowing god is in fact nothing more than perception itself?
Now…as to the matter of the identity of god (blasphemy! enigma!):
…if god neither chose nor agreed to his identity and role, we might ask what it is to be something which is neither agreed upon nor chosen?
Is this not a matter of one’s essential nature? ….a matter of features which one did not choose?
Is not choosing then not the key which will open the door to enlightenment?
And what of this not choosing? Are we not defined by things which we did not choose, and cannot change? Is not choosing then not the same as god?
Is it then not in god’s nature to be god without knowing beforehand, without accepting or choosing to be god?
“Yes! For god is a calamity which befalls you when you are least expecting it, a calamity which charges down the body like a waterfall, dismantling everything and carrying with it all the objects and false architectures of your life, a calamity which cannot be revoked! There is nothing you can do to prepare! There is nothing you can do to stop it! It will happen to you or it will not happen, and you have no say in the matter; it does not make a difference what you do, what you choose! Be you a massacre-er of babies or an angel upon this earth, you will receive god or you will not…and you have nothing to do with it. It is out of your hands entirely. Cease your thoughts! Acceptance cannot bring you closer!”
“You fool! You have misinterpreted the language and fallen prey to the corrosion of your agency! Stop reading now before you are buried in a pit of confusion and cannot dig yourself free! Go out alone upon the road, and walk this earth guided by your instincts and by your nature.”
And if it is in god’s nature to be a god, does this not imply that god is not the master of himself; does this not imply that there are aspects of god over which god has no control, aspects whose nature god must learn and ascertain…aspects which he must discover and understand?
“But heed! Heed, for god is all-knowing.”
“No! A false declaration! A ghost! For god knows nothing at all! Nothing! God is a dumb and simple witness! God has control over nothing at all; nothing!”
And if there are aspects of god over which he has no control, what is the origin of these aspects? Is the origin of these aspects not the true locus of god?
Is not the true locus of god not the locus of control, but the locus of things which cannot be controlled?
If the true locus of god is not the locus of control…
…is it not the locus of everything which cannot be controlled?
And if that which is essential is the same as that which cannot be controlled (as is the case with our nature, our essential features), is it not therefore inessential to control things…and is it not therefore inessential to act like god…is it not therefore ungodly to act like god?
Is god, therefore not in the least like himself?
And if god is not godly when he is like himself, is it not logical to look for god in ungodly things?
Is it then not logical to look for god where humans scrabble desperately for control, where violence rules, where the most awful things occur, where blood saturates the earth, where decay fills the air?
“Yea, for you have discovered that god is unlike himself, and where god is like himself, all is illusion, and where god is like himself, all is Truth, which is also an illusion, and a glittering lie against reality…for god is ever unlike himself. God is ever in disguise. Where you think you walk in a godless place, god abounds, and no double-thinking of yours can dissolve this rouse, for it is a rouse embedded in the fabric of reality itself, which reality is anyway a fiction of your mind…”
If god did not choose his role, and does not know, or is not able, to act upon his nature, is he then not a slave…is he then not one who is mastered?
And if we believe god must be enslaved by his duty, is it then not our duty to enslave him?
Are you and I not the slavemasters of god?
And if this is not the case, if god fights to be free, or stays quiet so that he may survive, is it then not our duty to emancipate him, so that the battle may be won, so that god may speak?
“Who are we to give voice to god?”
god is our master!”
“God is a benevolent dictator!”
“Ahh, such luck, that he is benevolent!”
“Whoa, that we experience the luck, sheer luck, of god’s benevolence!”
“God is elected.
…and all the world is political, and religion is politics, and politics religion, so that all is delusion, and emotion, entangled in relations of power…so that all is a labyrinth, so that all is intertwined, so that nothing is sound, all is a slick Truth that would turn our glances sidelong upon each other, our eyes warped in the twisted logic of judgment!”
“You are the master of god…
And you are sick, sick! Admit it; admit that you are the sickest master of god!”
And if god does fight his master, if he does struggle against his enslavement, and try to break free, is it not true, then, that we worship a god who is fighting against the way of the world, who is trying to break away from what we have made him?
And if god does not fight, do we then not worship a god who does not stand up for himself, who does not speak?
And if we worship a god who sings in lieu of speech, do we not worship one who sings so that he may survive the identity we have given him?
Does this not mean “god” is a prison?
Are we then not fools, for imprisoning god?
Does god then not master us, through the moral upper hand, through the masteries of a false and bitter karma; does god then not make fools of us…and therefore slaves?
And if god enslaves us instead, does this not mean that we worship a master?
Is obedience not frightening enough…let alone worship? Is it not foolish servitude to worship a master? Is the worship of a master not oblivion, and ignorance?
Is belief in god then not oblivion, and ignorance?
Is denial of the masterful god not the beginning of questioning?
“Fools! All is oblivion! Be you master or be you slave; ALL is delusion and oblivion! There is nothing here for you, NOTHING! Shut your eyes and quit this useless errand!”
Does god not disguise himself, in the end, as this thing we call “nothing”?
…and did god make himself god…
or was god made god?
…And if god is nothing…if he always was, and always will be, does he then not know his own true nature?
If he does know, has he not a concept of self; is he then not a figure of ego?
And what if he does not know?
…What is it to be ruled by an unconscious god?
(Back Door: Enter “Chapbook” into the search bar.)
Sailor lit a cigarette.
We were sitting on the stained concrete back step of The Palisades, a cheap motel in Calvert, Oregon, which is actually a cluster of trailers and a couple convenience stores way out on a state road that cuts northeast across the desert toward the turn in the Columbia River, just north of the Oregon-Washington border. The first few hours of hitching and hooking our way up to Washington were long for me because I didn’t know the landscape… Miles of power conversion stations and convenience store litter mixed with yellow-gray tumbleweeds. I’d never seen so much beige in my life, stretching from the roadside to the rim of the sky. I kept waiting to see the blue-green color of fir trees, the dark color of a deep river, lush grass, a change of scenery.
“It’s going to be desert all the way up,” Sailor said to me between drags. “Washington’s desert on the east side, too, part of it. We’re gonna turn hard for the east, though, at a certain point…get us up into the mountains. Harlin won’t follow us up there…and then we’ll be free.”
I picked a cigarette from the pack Sailor waved in my direction. She lit it for me. As she leaned over toward me her jean shorts pulled away from the underneath of her thigh and I saw candy-stripe underwear hugging to her crotch. A strand of hair fell out from where she had it pulled back into a loose bun. She moved it back behind her ear with her fingers.
“Try to get your cigarette where the fire is, honey-bear,” she said, almost smiling.
A wave of embarrassment passed over me. I pulled hard, exhaled, made a big deal of getting lit up.
I tried to flip things.
“Sailor,” I started, exhaling, “Is that your real name?”
“It’s real if that’s what I answer to, right? Why, are we on television?”
“What’s the name printed on your birth certificate?”
Sailor nodded ever so slightly. “Haley. Haley Minwood.”
“Hm. That’s kinda good. Why did you change it?”
“My parents had money. A piss-ton. A fucking pipeline. Dividend income. Trust funds, nine digit shit everywhere. That means you have two real options…anything else would be half-assing it. You can either have a pert, square-cut little girl-scout pussy, nod yes and be good and go to law school on daddy’s dime…or be a Lindsay Lohan snatch, a spoiled, take-the money-and-run little trust fund druggie pretender bitch. Both bad. Doesn’t matter how fine your relationship with your parents is. If you come from wealth, and you’re interested in personal integrity, annihilation of the entire construct is the only option… The only way to author a biography that has any stock or guts. Cut yourself loose. No insurance, no phone calls to mommy, nothing.”
She French-inhaled, looked at me with narrowing eyes.
I leaned forward a little, tapped some ash out onto the ground, took another drag. Sailor let one knee sort of loll out to the side, so now the gap between her jean shorts and candy-stripe underwear was in plain view. She was wearing one of Harlin’s old dress shirts, and some of her hair had slipped inside the collar. She’d left the first three buttons undone, so I could see where the silky piece of hair touched down on her collar bone, where the big tendon stood up when she dragged on her cigarette. When she leaned forward to ash her cigarette I could see her breasts, the way they were cupped by her bra, which was just a little big for her.
I pulled my head up, and looked into her eyes.
She was waiting for me to do just that.
I said, “And this all adds up to your choice of name in some way?”
“Yeah. Because I can’t stake myself on anything. I’m a lost soul. Out to sea. And Sailor sounds like a good name for a girl who’s all about her own skin, which is what you’re thinking about anyway…not listening to a word I’m saying…”
(Back Door: Enter “Skinny Haley” into the search bar.)
I woke up, in a bed high above the floor. A ladder led down from the bed, into deeper darkness. The sound of a passing car came to me from across the room. A grid of golden line segments moved at a diagonal path across the narrow band of wall before me. I looked across the room. I could smell dust. There was a large window, shuttered. The shutter’s ventilation holes let through hundreds of tiny ovals of golden light.
Where was I?
Was it morning? Afternoon?
Rooms I had slept in flashed through my mind. A foam mattress on a damp wood floor in a tenement in New Brunswick, New Jersey. A cheap hotel in the red light district of Frankfurt. A motel room rented as an apartment in Sacramento, California.
No. No. No.
None of them.
Then I heard a woman’s voice. Calm. Sensual.
It was my lover’s voice.
And this part is important: It was sound which oriented me. Not sight. But a human voice. I heard two words from her and I was home. In an instant. In the current year.
How long had I slept, I wondered.
“It’s the morning,” she said. “I went down to start some water but I got worried and came back up. You were starting to sit up, but it was weird. You looked like something was wrong.”
I laid my head down again. I looked at her. She saw something in my eyes.
“I feel crazy.”
“Go back to sleep,” she said.
I closed my eyes, listened to her voice…
She told me about how it can happen, sometimes, during a time of change…
…A person’s short and long term memory will come to stand at equal distance. A single thought of here and now will have even odds with thoughts of all other places, all other moments. In this state, a person will dream his way through his own biography, sorting everything… Whatever his dream, it will correspond to a moment in his life, to the smell of a room, the warmth of a sunbeam, the glow of dust in the air. His imagination will prepare him to waken in that room. The feeling of that room will occupy his mind at dawn, at the instant he opens his eyes. But the preparation will be false. He will feel one thing, and see another. And he will not know where he is.
This was how she explained it to me.
I wanted to right myself. “Can I just go back to sleep?” I asked, “Are you gonna be here?”
“Yes,” she said, “You need rest.”
“I know… I had a dream,” I said, my eyes still closed, “that I asked you something…You didn’t answer, and I asked again.”
“…and there was this bird, a sparrow, I think…”
I didn’t finish.
Sailor brushed the backs of her fingers across the side of my cheek. Then she disappeared down the ladder, into deeper darkness. I heard the roil of water on the stove. I was not confused by this. It is a sound I love.
By the time she was gone, I was asleep.
(Back Door: Go to the tab above marked “Entrances” and choose your door. All chronology is arbitrary; all memories stand equidistant in a time of change.)
9.21 He sits with you, by the nighttime river, and sings these tales over the babble of the rushing waters.
9.3 If, when you hear these singing tales, you become curious, or secret your feelings, it means you feel desire. And if you deny yourself, perhaps then you have handed down a hard line of austerity unto your mind, and, therefore, have suffered.
9.31 If, however, the river flows in you, perhaps you have forgotten everything already…
9.312 But the river is a riddle, and a paradox…for the defiled and damned have no greater desire than to ride its current, to rise and fall on the curve of a wave, to dissolve in the speeding waters…just as the enlightened are dissolved, and sparkle like the daylight which dances on the turbulence of rapids…
9.32 Here, on the river, now, the dancing of the lights is beautiful, and yet, on the instant, it is nothing…for it is neither the sun itself nor is it the river.
9.4 Feel no guilt for this pleasure of the eyes! When words dance on irises like the glittering of the lights!
9.41 Yes, fill yourself with with desire…then, when the sun sinks below the touch of skin, converse in the languages you know. Sing, dance, and rejoice in your heartbeat and your breath; rejoice that your skin retains the warmth of the day you set to pass, as you watch the sky go slowly out…
9.5 And know, that if you have danced, you have transmuted the contents of your feelings; you have signed the language of desire.
9.51 And know, that if you have sung, you have transmuted the contents of your feelings; you have spoken the language of desire.
9.52 Sing, and dance, and let sing your heart…and know that we are conversant in these tongues, and that these tongues are rooted in the darkest, deepest well.
9.521 We drink the waters of the well, and watch the waters of the river, and feel them flow free within us.
9.53 We know we want to ride the river…to feel ourselves drunken on the thrill-ride of our ignoble experience.
(Back Door: Enter “Chapbook” into the search bar.)
So this is me, Narc, talking to you straight up…
That cracker who jacked that Buick and porked Sailor those times in Portland…his name’s Harlin Coke.
Harlin-Coke-the-CrackerDrugdealerFistfighterStonerArtistShizophrenicPimp… That’s his full title. Alpha cracker mother fucker with a bad respiration problem. Said he’d been in some kind of accident when he was working in Northern Cali. He used to hock up plugs right in the middle of conversation; you could here ’em shoot through the tight “O” of his lips, Thpt!, little shuttles of mucus.
Harlin’s the one that pimped out Sailor and me after we left the city and landed back on the west coast.
Out of some sense of parity, I went in for it, too.
Parity… That means taking it in the ass for cartons of cigarettes. Once you get all lubed up and stretched out in the shower with a big dildo, it’s not so bad. I used to do pushups when I got up in the morning…that shifted to the dildo and steam workout once I punched in for the career change. And I’ll tell you this: it’s the people who fuck you; that’s what makes you sick in the cabesa…
Overweight white guys in their sixties with a bad diet and skin that smells like two-day-old Mitchum and Miller High Life…like fried onions and Chesterfields. Just take out their penis, semi-hard, and make you work to get it in there, just oil it in, them sweating it out, their double chins all red and folded up, huffing and panting, their eyes all yellow and puffy with their glasses off, like they’re some ghost of The Man that got shucked off by the wayside, still operating with a mandate to fuck everyone…’til the mandate goes sour…starts to rot. Embezzlement and kiddie porn. You know what I’m talking about. Old flabby white guys. Leftovers from the system.
I used to joke with Sailor about how I would crack up if I ever saw one of those guys show up with a hard, curved bone. I used to joke with her about how that would actually get me hot…about how I would draw a little face on it with a sharpie and do a puppet play where my hand was the dog catcher and I had to collar a rabid bulldog… …just before watching the old man bust a milk-rope onto my shoulder. Then there would be the cigarette afterwards, a Chesterfield; we would share it like two girls at a sleepover…and the old man would do a secret dance with his junk pushed back between his ass cheeks and then tell me he was Dick Cheney or The Reverend Dr. Schueller or something.
It was a weird triangle. We were always pretending we were friends, like Three’s Company on some bunny-ears T.V. set in a cockroach motel by the side of a desert road in Nevada. …and Harlin Coke, pimping both of us. And us, the two hookers, fucking Harlin and each other hard and wet every moment we weren’t doing it for money…trying to burn off the bad memory, change the channel in our heads…
It’s like when you’re so sick you pray for vomit. Not because you like vomiting, it’s just a needful thing…you’re just sitting there in a panic, waiting for the relief of cutting loose into the toilet with a good load.
(Back Door: Enter “Motionless” into the search bar. “Motionless” is the first post made to this page.)
He likes to take the emotional ride.
Yeah, you know what I mean…
When you stand close, take in each other’s scent…
…when on the instant of the first touch of fingertips, your sex grows full and warm under the crotch of your clothes…when you slide together, grapple, and your bodies lock…pelvis to pelvis, belly to belly, chest to chest…when he holds the back of your neck in the roughness of his hand and the two of you feel the pressing of your warm, clothed bodies, the pressing of your cheeks, arms, hands…even the bones of your noses, pressing, almost to the point of pain…softened only by the heart of your kiss…
when your hair mingles, when he loses his breath; when you inhale sharply and touch his back with your hands; when your tongue grows wet, and alive…and you grasp for him as if grasping for food…when your hands work quickly as the two of you speak in stuttering whispers, fumble with buttons and zippers…when you look into his eyes and feel the magnet pull of two dark whirlpools…when the clothes slip quietly to the floor, almost noiselessly, and you tread them with the gentle marching of your naked feet, forgetting what you wore, like so much strewn-out evidence…
when the sensation pulses in his body, and you cup his root with a low-slung hand; when the two of you linger there, for the sheer pleasure of kissing, of making out, your bodies naked…
until your own warm inertia turns you slowly, oh so slowly into bed,
and the hours roll by…
with your palms resting on the crown of his head as he kisses you, covers your sex with his mouth, his tongue darting and sliding under your nap, making you slippery, contracting you…until you say you want him inside you…
and he slides his verge balls-deep into your yearning, opening yoni…and your skins meld, so that your fuck is one body, one breath…your foreheads touching, your spines bent into a heart, your bodies sealed seamlessly together in a driving, railing fuck…so slippery you don’t know whether your yoni is hard or his verge is soft, so that you are simply coming, sighing, in and out of your skins…until time fades away…
and you fade with it, dissolving into the air with the first lightening of the sky…
when, ever so faintly, the color blue passes across the room, when you’re resurrected, and remember you’re awake again…
when the clock spins like a wheel in the sea, when a fist wraps his root and yours…
until the hump and thrum bends your two spines like willows, your yoni and verge, your two pubic bones, melting together so pleasurably as one,
the sheets wrinkled and warm beneath you,
while the room, small and tight, hot and damp, closes and expands…