some days I dream

some days I dream

In fact, most days I have the waking dreams. I read the mad things said by people who I know know better. In awful dreams I snap back, sharply, with tectonics-shifting rage. In those dreams, the long line of fools gawk in shock and city mountains move. And then I’m left with the aftermath.

About the current reality; prose scarcely covers it. So I turn to lyrics.

What a nasty protuberance

What a hopeless bit of detritus

What a sad, funny, fucked-up thing

To keep in my head, behind the eyes

not a surprise

but a shock to take the dripping thought 

from under the oblangata

where it hid then it emerged

glistening, squalid, slouching towards

a semi-divine destination

Just a thought on a waystation

invisible, seemingly invincible, inflexible

I thought then I didn’t admit it

I thought then I wallowed in it

I saw it plop fully formed

tasted poison on the front of my back teeth

then slithered, silently to the place

where it would be in place verboten

Damn! so broken

So not in touch with much. So in the lizard body.

Yet there are layers of something elastic

walls built between my heart and

my mouth and my eyes

needful in this absence of humanity

Your being is slippery

You’re causing the unsayable to make the unthinkable but

I’m possibly enough to keep all the best things in place in your face

To prepare for wholesome in the afternoon, y’understand

Yet to lift them higher in the midst of big pain will require many hands

So many hands

(writing prompt shared by Tokyo Writers’ Salon hanging off the tip of my tongue”)

some days I drink water (everyday, actually)

I like my water fizzy. Tap water is a little too blah.

My personality requires me to be just a bit ’extra’ so I can feel like I’m fulfilling the role my parents made me for, which is artist.

All things considered I haven’t done so well being an artist myself. I’ve supported artists, like the years spent co-managing Pizzicato Five:
(I was backstage breathing a sigh of relief)

I’ve fallen in love with artists’ work, like Neil Gaiman, who I’ve been reading since the ’Books of Magic’ days. And who I got to spend a little time with in Tokyo some years ago. And who is every bit the mensch he seems to be, and more.

And I’ve done forays into collaborating with local beloveds Sabolitai on a few things that are out in the world.

But what I realised, in the now time, is that I only grant myself the description artist when I publish something, anything, in the outer world. My inner gallery is filled to bursting, and all it means is clutter.

I’m trying to use the tools I have and publish a thing each day. I’m trying to balance the time I spend online fighting the American right with restorative creativity. As an artist, I am a citizen, and as a citizen, I am an artist.

If you’ve been thinking about putting something out into the world, the perfect time to do it is now.

some days I make green tea

some days I make green tea

There is the coffee I greet the morning with. Turmeric, pepper, nutmeg, a pinch of ginger, and Ceylon cinnamon, plus milk, and a smidgeon of Manuka honey.

Then there’s the green tea I tend to make when it’s around 6:00 (or 18:00 if you’re here in Tokyo). I look at how much I have achieved, and it’s so, so easy to just…collapse in on myself, like a decade-old exercise ball. But I am determined, in the midst of this particular pandemic, to sidestep Resistance, so named by one of my invisible coaches, Steven Pressfield:

Resistance Will Kill You

If you don’t believe me, look around at friends and family who have talent and ambition in spades … but are drinking, doping, abusing themselves and their loved ones, wasting their lives because they can’t get out of their own way and do the work they were put on this planet to do. Trust me: you will NEVER, NEVER achieve your dreams until you learn to recognize, confront, and overcome that voice in your head that is your own Resistance.

There is no good reason under the sun for me to ignore this. At 62, it’s more important than ever before that I sidestep, even perhaps honor, Ms. Resistance. She lives here with me as I shelter in place. She is relentless and delighted at my least effective impulses.

But I think she may be a friend in disguise. If I put my work out there, I am exposing my ego to…whatever. Since she knows that I am a genial hermit, she believes that she is my shield of armor. Don’t start none, won’t be none, so to speak. Instead, she is my obstacle.

So, I will sit in the chair each day, and do my work. I will wave at Ms. Resistance, smile, and let her know, gently, that I’m gonna do it anyway.

Then see what happens.