Wednesday, August 30, 2006

McCreesh's "The 2nd Coming, Part 2"...

And Good Luck Outrunning Our Primal Selves!

As can be reasonably assumed following SECOND COMING #1, I just don't see the value in being skull-locked into any brand of dogged, unyielding notion. At this point it would take an entire volley of warheads just to recalibrate the species and god only knows what to dig out the infected roots. Why believe in anything when believing means doing things unbelievable? Why believe in a god when believing means doing things ungodly? Why believe in justice when believing means doing things unjust? Why believe in humanity when believing means doing things that are abjectly inhuman? Better to place your unblinking faith in witchcraft, in voodoo, in genocide, in a final nuclear solution - this graveyard planet littered with only the shadows of its extinct blast-burned on building and boulder. Better the blade "quick and true" than to hear the tireless explanations; better the buckshot than entertain yet another ill-conceived filibuster of convenient intellection; better the rack than suffer case-by-case justifications for actions perpendicular to some quotidian philosopher's so-called personal compass; and better the crucifixion than the rhetorical longshot scenarios which condone hypocrisy and rationalize some phantom delineation between a proverbial inner "magnetic North" and an inner "true North" which the common rube uses to explain away any and all personal liability, excuses these humps use for their temporary dalliances from their otherwise "bedrock core beliefs" as if such extenuations plumb or hold up in the goddamned wash...


Convictions, rigidly held insist upon rules rigidly held: any room for interpretation is a chasm tailored for doubt - even a hairline fracture wherein seeps condensation, wherein it freezes then expands, melts, re-freezes, eventually breeches the hull. Hence, any belief - any TRUE BELIEF - is blind and cannot allow questions. Nor can it withstand them. They wilt flaccid to rudimentary examination. Any single allowance, any one semantic exception, any sniff that the world is not one of contrasting absolutes and the hypothesis is summarily rebuffed, the lords of ultimatum properly and riotously sacked. To say it another way: a black and white world must always disavow all greys, because the mere existence of any grey illegitimates all blacks and all whites.

So what does the color grey have to do with our primal selves? Only this: Let's quit pretending we're much more, as a species, than Pavlov's dogs, more than a grey, or that we're some sort of black or white. "What? Pavlov's dogs?" you say. I know, I know, pardon you while you scoff. "Man is sublimely evolved, the top of the food chain, supremely intelligent, a sentient being of the highest order," says you, "we're immune to such bestial wailings..." The works of Michelangelo and an honest mechanic or line cook not withstanding, I've seen grown men racing ride-on lawn mowers and other grown men recording this so even more grown men could telecast it for me, a grown man who sat watching the broadcast. This is precisely where we have put ourselves. Pardon me while I scoff back. We are all salivating at the knell of any and all manner of shiny goddamned bell. We're rats gone mad at the feeder bar. Higher functioning rats, perhaps, but rats all the same. Disagree? Then imagine the time-clocks we all punch as feeder bars, and imagine the generations of men that have powdered their knuckles punching them, all for a few meager moneypellets at the end of every other week or so.

Forget the circus of magnanimity, our main concern is of, for and about ourselves. Even our most altruistic philanthropy can be made to serve a primal need to either be hailed, appreciated, or envied. Rarely is it done with a pure heart. Our loins crave moist flesh, our innards meat, our bodies shelter, and our strangled spirits crave meaning. From these cravings - invention, innovation - all man-made and ridiculously imperfect. From all these cravings - conditioned, Pavlovian responses - we've indoctrinated ourselves to never be happy, to always want for more - what madness! We have engineered and manufactured every single ugly desire and ignorant lust, pounded it into each other's bent spines, we loll about in the stink of it like some fetid, putrid green pool. Our primal selves have forgotten how to be content, how to live simply and well, how to eat, drink and just be merry. We've forgotten how to be beautiful. And good luck outrunning our primal selves!

Abandoning just about everything we thought we knew & thought we wanted might be the only way back: lest the entire sky be wasted on us.

-- Hosho McCreesh

**posted for Hosho McCreesh by Christopher Cunningham**

Saturday, August 26, 2006

a year later...

I mean, really; you see that counter to the right? over $300 billion (a goodly portion of which is missing or stolen) spent to prosecute a murderously illegal war resulting in the deaths of thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqis as well as over 2600 American soldiers now caught in a bloody civil war while an American city, hell, an American region has been left to rot. how wonderful that small businesses have been wrecked, homes are being bulldozed and everyone is struggling while a government that did as little as possible, is still dragging its feet (and always spinning, spinning, spinning).

what have you done for New Orleans? have you helped? how about the New Orleans Musician's Relief Fund or the many artist relief links at the Tipitina's Foundation or (where my chapthology donation is going, and different from the previous NOMRF) the New Orleans Musician's Hurricane Relief Fund or you could Google your brains out looking for worthy places to put your time, money and energy (and this from below is a fun way to let the prez know you remember).

please do so. and in the comments, I'm interested in hearing your stories of New Orleans. thanks.


C. Allen Rearick mentioned collecting some New Orleans poems in the post below (and wrote a great poem) and though he is insane, sometimes madmen transmit a good idea. I am going to put a chap together that will blow your mind. then sell it. then donate $500 (50 copies at $10/copy). not much, but something, and more later if possible. and it will be the first offical release from Savage Heavens Press.

so if you are a poet (and don't mind potential rejection), send me via email your best Nawlins poems. lemme know your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

some "William Blake" poetry for ya...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

yeah, it's just like anywhere else, huh?...

UPDATE: via C&L, check this out. please especially note this:

Covington Peace Project:

We, those of us who worked for justice through the Louisiana Activist Network, lack the fortitude, at least currently, to suggest a vehicle of dissent without the help of many others.

Last night, in a reunion of Crawford/Katrina "survivors", we elected to seek nationwide support in an action to deliver a message to the government relative to its own failings to its people. In honor of the DEAD OF KATRINA, we ask that our fellow citizens please ship a bottle of drinking water to the president. We hope for an enthusiastic response to this simple and cost effective request:

Please send a bottle of water to:

President George Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Put your return address as:

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70130

I got mine already wrapped and addressed. hope he's thirsty.

okay, a bit of an addition (via the Rude Pundit) to my little diatribe/debate with our conservative/libertarian friend mr. tycoon on the ease of access and information at the FEMAville trailer parks in still-devestated New Orleans and the surrounding area.

read this and this link from the post. easy as pie to get information, huh? just go talk to someone, right?

simple. it's exactly like everywhere else. especially the part where even the rich people have had their lives upended by the complete lack of public response to the death of New Orleans on many many levels. and while things may be improving (according to some indices), they ain't great. all of this overshadows the larger problem: the American system of government, the "disinformation-of-the-day," Two Minutes Hate rightwing owned media, and the collectively amnesiac conciousness of the American people have all but abandoned one of our oldest, most beautiful, most unique cities: Nawlins, the fucking home of jazz for christ's sake, as well as the larger Gulf Coast region that is slowly struggling to its battered feet.

well, here is but a fraction of the New Orleans that I fell in love with:

rain in the Quarter

man, we drove up and down those
one way streets looking for anyplace
to put the old car. we smoked
joint after joint, listening to the jazz on
the radio. we played under the cloudy late afternoon
skies, up and down, Ursulines and St. Phillips,
over Dauphine and back up Burgundy, there was a spot.
we swooped in and nabbed it. the
girls wanted the river, and I wanted
Lafitte’s over on Bourbon, the
oldest bar in America; I wanted the brass top bar
and the oldest wood and a cold beer. we parked
and the smoke was still sweet next to the
fused together wood houses and their balconies,
the iron courtyards with thick hidden gardens,
the walls with broken glass set in the top, the
multicolored security, the long
hurricane windows covered with green and white shutters
where the old men sit and watch this old south.
everything seems the oldest.
we split up and I split for
the blacksmith’s shop. it sits on a corner and
is of course open to the street like most of the
bars here. a big mean stupid dalmation lay
half asleep on the floor; he growled as I walked in
and ordered a Dixie beer. the sun was beginning to set
over Bourbon as I sat and drank. it went down perfectly,
in crimson, coffee and indigo,
and the gas lamps came to life and New Orleans
held its breath for the coming night. I had one more while
the dog slept, and then met up with the girls back at the car
just as the threatened rain began to
trickle down from above. we hustled thru the streets past the
overgrown flowers blooming in yellow over the black metal sidewalks,
past the old wood of the south, past the fortune tellers running for cover
in the square, past it all and thru it all,
and when the rain really fell, it was all I could do
not to cry or laugh
at the magical sadness that peeked warily from behind the
closed shutters and from down the long dark alleys
as we hurried along, not missing anything
in the easy rush
of the warm
French Quarter rain.

but the city isn't just the Quarter, of course, it's all of it, the poor hard working citizens, the upper crust with the giant houses, the bums in the park, the old oak trees nailed into the sodden ground, the smell of food cooking, the taste of wine, the unrelenting buzz of insects over the tang of the river, the language, the faces, the urine soaked gutters and bead draped limbs and alleyways and cemetaries and love and light and hope.

the sound of a brass band dancing up to the edge of the grave and laughing.

and like the Pundit notes, it ain't the Sudan, but it is America, right? don't we expect more from the American Dream, from our leaders, from ourselves?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"rich" isn't any kind of measure...

an overcast day here in the ugly south. a warm wind blows, barely stirring the stagnant grey film that is suspended, like a body from a hangman's noose, in the thick moist air. there is the promise of storms and the whirring buzz of insects, and an uneasy feeling of weight upon the shoulders, a feeling of pressure from an unseen source. these days everything feels like a sign of trouble, even the trembling of curled brown leaves on sweating tree limbs. each conversation leads to contested definitions from flawed sources, each idea is twisted by ideology and agenda, each thought barely and rarely tested for truth. as the wind blows and the dark clouds gather every narrowing of the eyes is a call to war.

but there is still truth in the world, there do still exist honest answers, actual tangible realites that cannot be debated, cannot be altered to fit a predetermined purpose. there is the seeking nature of the human animal, desperate as long as his existence, to find meaning, to discover joy, to explore the mysteries of life and understand our purpose as concious, sentient beings on a glowing blue rock in the middle of a desolate black void. there is the desire for the bond between parent and child, the connection between man and woman, the coming together of good friends that can be called love, this selfless joining of humanity for something greater than themselves, something intangible.

throughout history, there is, and has been, much that drives us as humans. there is much that divides and seperates us as well. most of us want to "make a mark" of some kind, and if we don't, we are satisfied with merely passing thru, hopefully trying to do no real harm as we go (though there are always exceptions to anything). and we all define that "mark" differently; some of us seek a measure of enlightenment from our time here, a better understanding of ourselves and our place in a cold and uncaring universe, a greater depth of empathy and compassion with our fellow human beings and some hope for the future of all things. some of us hope to create great works of art that elucidate the complexities of the human condition, art that explores our suffering natures and our inextinguishable endurance in the face of our inevitable mortality, art that sets out into the desert with no water, confident in the inexplicable outpouring of creativity from the ether. some of us hope to raise families full of good people who contribute to society: tradesmen, craftsmen, teachers, leaders, police officers, firefighters, hard working men and women who make up the teeming legions that keep civilization functioning, who perform the necessary tasks to keep everyone safe, secure, educated and as happy as is possible.

and some of us, ridiculously, hopelessly, stupidly, desire to get rich.

now there are those out there who are going to immediately argue that getting rich is a boon to all the above activites, that money is a motivator in many many aspects of life, that we all have to make a living and pay our bills, etc. etc. endlessly. I agree with the premise that in the world as we find it, we do have to have some money, we do have to pay our bills. but getting rich as an end unto itself is a load of shit.

none of the situations above require an obscenity of wealth, and most of them require nothing in the way of vast sums of money, money that will be spent in the service of either consumerism or the generation of still more income. and what do we all want out of life anyway? happiness? safety? comfort? what? none of these can be purchased, even safety. hell, there is no avoiding death, no matter how hard we try, no matter the money we aquire, no matter the fortified walls we construct. there is nothing for it. so safety's out. comfort? sure you can buy a hundred soft couches but you can only sit on one at a time. anything else is for the benefit of other people, anything large scale is so others can envy your aquisitions, your things, your stuff. and that may satisfy in the short term, you can gloat about your "success," feel good about "making it."

but what happens when your wife dies? what happens when your kid gets leukemia? what happens when your livlihood is ripped from you by forces you can't control with any amount of money? where do you go for that comfort, that safety, that happiness? do you turn to your dollars, your investments, your property? will that bring any solace when your heart is broken? will a life spent in service to the concept of money be fulfilling if you've never experienced love? if you've ever sat in silence and marveled at the mystery and impossibity of each sunrise, vastly different from the one which preceeded it and totally unlike the new dawn to follow, how do you compare the gain of another dollar in the totality of your life to such an experience of actually living?

and for those who are unafraid of death via the religion gamble, you must be aware that money has NOTHING to do with why you are unafraid; you have a spiritual confidence in something greater than you, something that is outside the influence of men, and of human trivialities. like money. and money, throughout the history of organized religion, has been a corrupting force, not unifying, a force that makes it possible to control the message of a religion. and of course, numerous examples exist in the secular world of the leader/follower/innocent fellow just trying to get ahead being felled by greed and corruption, hell, just see ENRON for an example (if you need a link here, stop reading this and go away).

so what have I expended this much space to say? just this: there are measures of a life well lived, a life spent fully alive in service to the very mystery of our humanity, a life aware of the fragility of our perch here spinning around a ball of fire in the darkness. there are ways to recline on our death beds and be assured of that good life lived, and none of them include being "rich;" no one will think, "boy I wish I could have got one more dollar" or "I'm glad I spent every moment at my job" and you can bet if that is how they think, they lost a lot more than they gained. the old saw "you can't take it with you" is a cliche for a reason. but what you can take with you are the experiences, the memories, the loves that burned, the pain of loss, that hand you hold as you pass away from the material into the real unknown. these intangibles will be more real than any house, any yacht, any limo, more real than anything made and sold by men.

I know that money can do good in the world, just as it can be bent to the will of the savage. it's a tool that reflects its holder. that's not the point. the point is, being rich isn't any kind of measure of a life well lived. it's no "goal" to have. your goals may include family, happiness, safety, peace, long life, and so forth but again, money cannot be what defines your time here. we do what we must to pay our bills and keep ourselves alive, but is the pursuit of large sums of such a meaningless concept as money (I mean, under the right circumstances, wouldn't the barter of goods and services among dedicated craftspeople with specialties the others lack be just as effective for maintaining a community or a society? wouldn't you be able to eat and clothe yourself and your family, build a shelter, etc.? the necessities?) a worthwhile goal?

money is easy. ask any poker player. they'll tell you that money is just a stack of colored clay chips worth nothing. it is the life away from the table that is hard. and the most rewarding.

more later...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

for my conservative readers...

per the request of our conservative friend, Tycoon, who grew tired of the fat guy, some happy dogblogging...

we love everyone here in the Moonbat, er, Savage Heavens...

Monday, August 07, 2006

this in the United States?...

what the fuck. I mean, this is still America, right? I promise you one thing: there is no fucking "security guard" alive that would keep me from talking to anyone I goddamn choose. who the fuck do these people think they are? and what kind of cocksucker actually carries out this Geshtapo bullshit? don't they ever consider that someday they themselves might be on the receiving end of some kind of "camp?"

I mean, what the fuck?

good thing I got bellsouth...

sign of the apocalypse or reason to hope?...

greedy assholes or evil caribou?...

now, I don't know what to think...

could it be greedy oil company cocksuckers, making record profits thru a variety of means (including, maybe, just maybe, not spending that money on repairs to their own equipment, which later malfunction and cause supplies to decrease and costs to go up, further increasing their profits which go into CEO pensions...and repeat until the public is broke...), that are behind this "slight oversight" in pipeline maintenence or is it Rabid Islamofascist Caribou who hate freedom?

I'm real confused.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Background Noise #10

Artist/Album: The Mars Volta/De-loused in the Comatorium
Drink: Guinness Extra Stout

I'm not sure if anyone noticed, or even cared, but I didn't post an installment of Background Noise last week. I had been so busy working on the new website for The Guerilla Poetics Project that I didn't have time to organize my thoughts enough to write a full column. Sorry, if you missed it. If not, then we're all good.

But, I'm back this week to discuss something that is at the heart of poetry: the act of reading it aloud to a group of people.

Poetry began as an oral art. It was recited as a form of entertainment, and a method of history. Oral histories are common among all peoples, and most have developed a form, however rudimentary it may be, of poetry out of this oral history. Sometime, a few centuries ago, poetry suddenly became less about disseminating the histories or traditions of a people and more about describing the current world around us. Poetry moved from the oral to the written. But, even then, it was still read aloud. The meter and flow and rhythm of early poetry practically begged for oral treatments.

Then, free verse came along. Printing became cheaper and poetry became less about rhythm and meter. It was intended to be read and mulled over; devoured and contemplated. Still, poetry readings were important and popular. Ginsberg's Howl is an examples of a free verse poem meant for being studied, yet all the more powerful when HEARD as opposed to being READ.

Then, the last incarnation, was the slam poetry movement. It merged the rhythm and meter of the old poets, and the shocking content and realism of the new poets. To some, it was less poetry and more lyrics to a song with no music. To others, it was the pinnacle of poetic expression. I feel the truth lies somewhere between.

But, what of the rest of us? What of those who write contemporary free verse poems? Sure, they're lyrical and full of imagery. Sure, some are humorous or absurd. But, what is the point of reading them to a crowd? I don't know. I suppose the answer lies in WHY you are reading aloud (or want to) your poems. If you're reading to help sales of your latest book, then the reading is akin to a novelist reading passages from her latest novel; it's a marketing ploy. But, if you're reading because you want to sharpen your oratory skills, it is a lesson. Still, if you're reading because you feel you have something to say and want your voice to be heard, then the reading is a form of art in itself.

I will admit right now, that I've never actually read my poems. But, I have attended a number of poetry readings (open-mic style, slam style and marketing style). The open-mic poetry reading is probably the most accessible for the struggling, unknown poet who wants to give it a whirl. However, my experience has shown me that open-mic poetry readings are the WORST place for the struggling, unknown poet who wants to give it a whirl.


Because open-mic poetry readings are full of people who want to read their poems, and their friends who're there for support. There are very few (if any) "audience" members. And, the worst thing a poet can encounter is a room full of people who feel they are better – who are only interesting in WHEN they get to go on – and their friends and family, who are only interested in hearing what THEIR poet has to say. It's a dead room.

But, I'm sure these readings will help out those who are looking for experience in reading before a crowd, or looking to sharpen their oratory skills. But, if you're looking to connect to another human being on a fundamental way, then you best move on.

And as for marketing, I would really like to see what the numbers are for a struggling, unknown poet selling his/her chapbooks at a poetry reading. I would be very surprised if more even two books are sold on average. A one book average would shock me.

Remember this: If you're a struggling, unknown poet looking for an audience and having trouble finding one in print, I can guarantee you that you will not find one by reading your poems at an open-mic night. If you cannot gain an audience in print, you will not gain one at a reading. But, if you've already somewhat established yourself (after all, what exactly IS established?) and if you're having success in publishing your poems then it might be a good idea to give a poetry reading a try. Maybe you'll fail, but maybe you won't. And maybe, just maybe you can sell one more book. And, in the end, isn't that what we do all of this for anyway?

Lastly, I want to leave you with a poem I wrote after attending (but not reading at) a local open-mic poetry reading. The audience was full of the above-mentioned poets and family. At one point, in the middle of a poor poet's reading, an asshole received a phone call on his cellphone and answered it, talking loudly. THIS is the sort of shit you will undoubtedly put up with. Arrogance, rudeness, boredom and an inattentive audience. Anyway, the poem:

open-mic poetry night

halfway into the night,
and in the middle of
a poem i was reading,
this guy sitting up front
got a call on his cell phone.

he answered it and
proceeded to have a rather
heated conversation
with the caller.

at first this pissed me off,
but i soon realized that
what this guy was
saying was ten times more
entertaining and
vastly more poetic
than the shit i was
spewing, so i stopped reading.
in the middle
of a particularly dull
stanza and held the
microphone up to the cell phone.

the guy continued talking
and the crowd suddenly
became riveted.

he kept on talking
loudly, making erratic gestures,
using bold language;
and i kept on holding the
microphone to him.

when he was finished the
crowd erupted and i
gallantly walked out from
under the spotlight into
the windstorm of applause.

it was my best
performance ever.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the first wave...

of the GPP Subversive Poem Series is set and ready to roll.

if you've not visited the new site, please check out

we are excited about this. it's nice to see your children all growed-up and a-movin' off the farm to the big ol' city fer ta seek their fortunes...

and on a personal note, there are very few copies left of my new book And Still The Night Left To Go: Poems & Letters from Bottle of Smoke Press, so I urge you to support Bill Roberts and the small press. and get some damn fine poems while you're at it, punk.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

happy birthday, jerry...

"...all good things in all good time..."

" goes to show you don't ever know
watch each card you play
and play it slow..."

Thanks, Jerry...08.01.42 - 08.09.95