poetry

Riding Johnny’s Train



I’m on your train,
Riding through the lower melodies like
Cars crashing through steel
Leaving twisted steel in our wake.

The speed of thought is a battering ram;
It’s momentum builds mass.
The faster we think the thicker we get,
The heavier gravity’s pull.

Can we escape our bodies?
Why can’t we just take our bodies with us?
Eternity surly has enough room
Our bodies are vinyl cartwheels spinning after us,

The tails of burning meteors.
We burn atmospheres so fast and hot
We don’t even know we’ve arrived
Until after we’re long gone.

And now that we’ve arrived, we’re much too early
For supper.
For the show to begin.
Unless of course, it’s already ended and we missed it again.

Riding Johnny’s Train

TAKE A DEEP BREATH by Igor Goldkind and Frederic Iriarte


The Cure for Pandemania is Here! 

An Album of Original Spoken Contemporary Poetry and Music

– Making Sense Where Nothing Else Does –

Original poetry by Igor Goldkind
Music by Frederic Iriarte and Igor Boyko

Launching September 5th at The 2020 International Beat Poetry Festival (Normally in Boston, now virtually everywhere!) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCilhqGXf2CAARg7N7EjwNQg

The Festival Will be streaming 3 original music videos from the album for the first time.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH is available for download  exclusively on Bandcamp 

9 Tracks, 40 Minutes, $18.00   $15 EU

Original Words, Music, Video and Antidotes for Living With Uncertainty


Internationally renown fine artist and producer Frederic Iriarte and American Poet Igor Goldkind have collaborated on 9 original tracks of musical interpretations based on Igor Goldkind’s forthcoming collection of poetry also entitled TAKE A DEEP BREATH
The album of 9 tracks is being launched as a complete work at this year’s International Beat Poetry Festival and will be released for download at midnight  this coming Saturday, September 5th.

This unique multimedia work was written and produced during the pandemic in Stockholm, San Diego and Moscow.  It is intended as an artistic attempt to help us live with uncertainty and survive catastrophe living.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH is most important piece of Spoken Word Art to come along at just the right time: right when we all needed it the most!” 
–  Henry Rollins

TAKE A DEEP BREATH and step out of your comfort zone.
Just don’t look down.

2020 has been a year of both social, economic and psychological upheaval.   Humans have been required to adapt to drastically changing circumstances without forewarning and without certainty as to the outcomes. 

We are being challenged as a species to adapt. 
Adaptation is our genus but it is also painful  and exhausting. 
TAKE A DEEP BREATH is a guidebook:  a pause for a moment of reflection.   Take a break from panic and get a clear view of where we are as individuals, as a people and as a species.

Covid-19 has literally attacked our humanity however in doing so has done us the service of reminding us of our shared humanity, our common mutual vulnerability.  These are hard lessons to learn and uncomfortable changes to be made for us to survive.   TAKE A DEEP BREATH is a pause in the gloom  and a chance to regain our strength and resilience to  all carry on.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH is a step backwards in time when poetry and music were used  and appreciated as tools for contemplation, meditation and reflection on the most crucial factor in our lives.  Now that we are being confronted and overwhelmed with multiple catastrophes,  is the time to return to using  poetry for what it is designed for: 

Reflection, Meditation, Contemplation
Self-Healing and Recovery

We will survive.


On Poverty and Consciousness


A new acquaintance asked me why I endured relative poverty and uncertainty in California when I could easily take a tech copywriting or PR job and be living comfortably.

I answered, for which I’m sure someone reading this might wonder the same.

The answer is not simple and all has to do with my commitment to art and to the art of writing. It’s somewhat like a religious or spiritual calling; certainly as requisite of sacrifice and discipline as a monastery. (Read James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, if you need further elucidation on the subject). To become a great artist, which is what I believe I am becoming at this late stage of my life (or will at least die trying to be), takes total focus and constant dedication.

Not just to creation but to observation. Many of my best friends are not just poets and artists but scientists and mathematicians because they are processing their own observations through their own disciplines. When we talk and share words they read me and hear me, they comprehend how we’re all pursuing the same thing: the truth about life and the lives we are living.

Science and Art are really just two different vantage points in the same universe. During our Rennaisance there was no such separation between science, engineering and art. Just look at Da Vincis’s sketches if you don’t believe me. And this underlines the true failing of the formal education systems. No purely structured system can account for, much less process the unstructured data of experience.

But one truth I have learnt along this way is that we are all connected; both as a species and as sentient beings. Not just to those existing in the moment we all share but for all of us, from the very beginnings of awareness and rational self-consciousness. We are all brothers and sisters of the same mind, the same awareness that is awake and cognicent.

We all share the same biology of the mind.
I imagine that when extraterrestrial sentient life is contacted, it will be the poets and artists most open to the new who will not only best describe and communicate qualitative meanings with them but decipher their language(s) to communicate with them (more of “us”?), before the actual scientists can interpret their data and the military can rationalize the threat.

From the point of commonality; this sentience itself has a common shape or form in all of us throughout time and geography. It is our human nature.

My words try to sketch its outline.

Without needing to name a god, the Buddhists have been attempting to describe this commonality of all sentient beings, for thousands of years. In art and yes, in poetry too.
It’s what poetry is for: to describe the indescribable that is true for all of us, to all of us.

The known shining its single torch down a darkened corridor to the unknown.
The unknown (not the unknowable), has always been our mind’s final frontier.

We weren’t born yesterday. We did not just become aware of consciousness. The history of consciousness is the history of us, of the ‘you’ that is reading and comprehending these words.

You are no different in awareness than the Neanderthal who stumbled out of her cave and looked up at the stars in wonder. Every astronomer I have ever known harbors that exact same wonder. Our tools maybe bigger, faster and deadlier but our minds haven’t changed, just adapted to our tools. They’re physiologically still the same; and only enhanced by the evolution of language, both associative, symbolic and metaphoric.

This is where we alll connect. The commonality of our senses’ perception and their comprehension. This is what is meant by ‘realisation’. When we make the world real. When we realise that the truths we know from our senses connect us to the world as intimately as to each other.

These are the materials I use to create art.

But why not get a day job?
I will have to.
I have learned all I can stomach for now about the tangible reality of poverty. I have made some great and tragic friends outside my walls of privilege and comfort. But when I first detected my dwindling resources, I panicked. I borrowed gas money from friends, slept in beachside campsites for free and spent too many days in chic cafes nursing one cup of coffee and a refill just to write, just to connect with the non poverished. I. applied for every job I was qualified for and hustled my books even harder.

But this did not avert my panic and the fear, until it passed of its own. And you already knnow: nothing is ever as bad or as long as we first imagine it to be. That’s when I understood how many of my needs, weren’t needs at all and that I could live without the comforting requisites of a middle class existence, just fine. In some ways better.

Less consumption = less waste.

There’s what I want and what I can have and if I diminish my wants, I can have have everything I want.

When you don’t have any money, you don’t spend any money and that initself is a good thing.

The last argument that pursuaded me of the virtue of experiencing this lifestyle is that if I really wanted to write for wider audience in a profound and meaningful way, that I might need to understand and empathize with the truth of our human condition across the entire economic spectrum, not just those who can afford to buy books

And the truth is that the vast majority of “us”do not live a middle class lifestyle and that the majority of “us” struggle every day to earn what is called a living and yet seldom ressembles it.

I have met so many, so many poor people living on the streets in one of the wealthiest cities in the wealthiest state in the union, in the wealthiest nation in the world.
None of us can afford to rest within our illusion of justice and freedom until poverty is no longer the default state of the human condition in America. Remember, poverty is a prison from which escape is difficult. But if we truly want to say that we live in the land of the free, then we must free our citizens from the prison of poverty.

They are “us” as well. Not charitable”us”, not pitiful “us”, not lazy, drug taking, alcoholic “us”.

Just us.

I have talked in depth with enough of the so-called “homeless”. to recognize them for who they really are: The Poor. You know, those people Jesus was always talking about and Charles Dickens and Emile Zola wrote about? The idea that those without homes choose to live that way is a bigoted urban myth that need to be quashed.

Yes, may of the poor have real problems with alcohol, drugs and severe mental illness. But so does every other group and class of people I have ever known. The rich and the middle class aren’t exempt from alcohol, drugs and craziness; in fact they can afford more!

How then are we less connected as human beings?
Or is “humaness” only measured by level of income?

When I moved back to California to look after my mother, I was immediately struck by the avalanche of poverty that had engulfed my home town. As is every other foreign visitor to California, by the way. No tour of Balboa Park or visit to Sea World can eradicate the open poverty that everyone can see on the streets of San Diego. Which now more closely ressemble the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti or the extreme poverty that can be found in some places in Mexico, than any American city.

The first thing that went was the last vestage of regional or even national pride.
It is a crime against humanity for so rich a city as San Diego to maintain the level of homeless poverty that is evident to anyone who visits us. It is “our” fault. Because we are also connected to the impoverished and the socially weak.

You know, what Jesus was saying.

If I am to write the truth for those who want to read or hear the truth, then I ought to know what is lying outside the walls my middle class habits and worldview. What is it really like, not just for the impoverished but for the vast majority of Californians who also now live beyond the walls of middle class sensibilities, paycheck by paycheck?

Haunted by the memories of its long gone comforts.

What does it mean to be a human being living in America right now, in 2020. Aren’t we all supposed to have jertpacks by now?

What is the Truth of our American selves?

As Tony Morriosn said “The whole point of freedom is to free others”.

To my friends who have offered their support, I thank each one of you.
I will never forget your kindness and your humaness.


Yes I have a new book coming out in the fast approaching Spring.
It’s entitled TAKE A DEEP BREATH, A Book of Remedies and will feature much of the writing and accounts of experiences of truth that I have had living in California these last 5 years.

I hope that you will take a look.


Death in My Garden


Death is in my garden again,
Whispering to my flowers as he pulls away the weeds.
Plotting and potting each stem as it grows
Making certain that the roots are shaken of clinging regrets and life’s debris.
Only to cut my life short more easily.

Does death have a sweetheart? I wonder.
A beautiful woman who he woos and waters with my love?
He gathers my blossoms into a beautiful bouquet
Of lost souls and freshly cut lives.
To gift to the one who holds him closest.

She presses his dead heart to her breast with one hand
The bouquet that surmises my life with the other.
She holds his weight against her body.
Until death sighs and buries his head between her breasts
So she is certain that he will return to his labours in the morrow.


Go Fuck Yourself!


Go Fuck Yourself, you pathetic failure.
Leave the arts to the poets, the dancers and the painters
Go get yourself a real job, a real vocation.
Fuck off and leave those of us who fight for our culture alone.
Fuck off and stop leeching the creative spirits of the secular martyrs who have sacrificed their lives on the holy altar of Art, Truth and Freedom.
Go Fuck Yourselves!
And each other in your sleazy stinking orgy of self-gratifying bigotry and weeping pustule aesthetics.

Go Fuck Yourself in the Ass With Your Own Extended Nose
Go let yourself get fucked in the ass by all the bogus arts nonprofits that pocket tax money to further their own finances while cheating artists and reviewers out of their livings.

Go write yourself a grant.

Write up your mission statement in day-glow gold-gilded writing.
Put on your ‘supporter-of-the-arts’ makeup
Keep counting the coins in your bookseller’s till
While prescribing the rules that determines who is in and who is other.

Go Fuck Yourself and try reading a book for a change.
Go read Whitman, Bukowski, Anais Nin and Henry Miller on art.
Let William Burroughs into your dreams.
Go get yourself a self education.
In the meantime, shut up, sit down and just listen:
You are the enemy of art, the enemy of poetry, the enemy of life.
And we’re coming for you.
Because all you are is in the way.


What He Said She Said (v2)




She said Hii!
I said hello
She said let’s go for a drink.
I said sure.
She asked ‘what are you having’?
I said, whatever you want.
She said, thank you for thinking of me first.
I said your pleasure is all mine.

Later she sent me a text.
‘Have you ever tried phone sex’?
She said.
I said ‘Sure’.
She said how about now?
I said I need to go home.
She said she did too,
She sends me a naked picture of herself.

Are you hard”? She asks
‘Sure’, I said.
“I want you to fuck me”, She said.
‘Shall I come over’? I say.
“No”, she said. 
“Let’s meet and fuck tomorrow. 
But for right now, just this moment 
Can you just talk to me”?
‘Sure, ‘I said.

Right now I just want you to tell me how you’d like to fuck me.
‘Do you want me to come over,’ I said again.
“No,” she said, 
“Don’t come over 
Just talk to me and make me cum.
I just love the sound of your voice”.
‘Sure’, I said. And she did.
‘Are we still getting together tomorrow by the fountain in the park’?
I asked, after a while.
‘Of course’, she said.
‘Great’, I said.

The next morning she sent me a message:
“I’m sorry but your age is something 
I just can’t get past, 
I’m not meeting you next to the fountain, I’m sorry.
You’re just too old and I shouldn’t have let things go so far

I just can’t get past that; your age”
‘Sure’, I said. 
‘Neither can I without fatal results’.
She did not laugh
“I’m sorry, but that’s how I feel” She said.
‘That’s how you feel’, I said.
Later that morning I died my hair black

and left dark stains in the sink.


The Stars


There are few shreds of dignity left
When you drown face down in your own back street gutter.
You can cry out as loud as an archangel’s horn, if you like.
It won’t do you any good, or any harm either.
You still can’t silence the wind or turn back the tide.
Fate is nothing personal.

It’s just the universe catching up and then passing you by.
Your dream of yourself evaporates,
Forming clouds that obscure the night’s sky.
The stars are leaving you now, blinking out one by one.
This is the last moment of your own
self-awareness.
Your last chance to figure out what the fuck’s been going on.

It’s very much like the moment you first awoke
Although your mother’s smile is nowhere to be found
All that remains of her unlimited love is your fast fading memory
The sound of her voice calling out to you to come home now,
In the far distance,
From where the stars have gone to mourn your passing.


So You Think You’re Going to Shoot Me?


The real blood libel.

So you think you’re going to Shoot Me?
I got news for you goyim,
You’ve been shooting at me for 900 years
From arrows to bullets to canon and you still haven’t hit me.
Because I am no other than you.
How can I replace you when I am you?
Open your eyes, you are shooting the gun at yourself.

You don’t get it.
This must be the trick of the devils’ twisted tongue, right?
The one that tries to deceive you
With the facts of truth
Poured from the grail of reason.
Go on, have a gulpful .

No, you can’t shoot me, you can’t even aim straight.
Your hatred is so predictably boring,
Always looking for someone else to blame
For your failure as a human being.
Anyone should do, but
Just like a bad movie cliche, you pick the Jew.

How can you shoot me,
When most of us are already dead?
Replaced, misplaced, driven from your nations’ borders.
Baked in your ovens.
Never even pausing
To wonder what the difference ever really was.

Now we have nations, guns and missiles and
Our own black-booted armies, to protect us from bad shots like you.
To protect us from everyone but ourselves.
Now we can sip from the same blood cup,
While hating then shooting,
All of the Other Jews.


Our Lady





You are our lady
And now your dress
Is flames.
The beauty of your sunken dome from a drone
Is a poem in itself.
Written by us and
Destroyed by chaos.

This is what we do that rivals the stature of the gods:
To astound ourselves and each other,
With the wonder of
Pure enduring creation.
The sacrifice we all make to our better selves
Who gave buildings wings and
Lay the foundation stones of
Our own perfecting.

Epiphany is not found in the act of worship
It is found in the insight gained by a gratitude for the world.
Exactly the way we built it.
Exactly the way we know it to be.
Whispered prayers are but poetry
That none other than you will listen to.
It is good to talk to yourself,
To sing in harmony with all the selves who are listening,

Wearing
Not false, but true masks
Revealing the kind of truth that can only be told with a lie.
The subtler architecture that carves heavens into the spaces on this earth.
Reconstructing what can be seen behind your faces,
Behind all the saints who guard you,
Behind the divine grace of your stature.
The sensuousness of your catastrophe is breathtaking.


© Igor Goldkind 2019


Notes from a Facebook Exile


Once again the ghostly powers of Facebook have judged me and found me wanting.

Or wanting of the veneer of non threatening, amiable posts. Nothing that would offend a Humming Bird of nerve endings. A Calvinist shaking in their boots. I’m not a Facebook post, you don’t have to like me!

My grave offence was to post a photograph of the great American poet Allen Ginsberg standing naked on a Moroccan beach. The original naked poet; metaphor and literal combined into one. His words, not his images were deemed obscene way back in the last century. There was a public trial and unlike Socrates, Ginsberg (and City Lights, the publisher) were both found not guilty of obscenity. Howl was deemed a work of art and protected under the first amendment. Why doesn’t Facebook abide by the first amendment instead of hiding like a coward behind their Emerald City curtain of Community Standards?

And why don’t Americans know their own history?

I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Allen Ginsberg during my Freshman year, when he had come to do a reading and lead a group meditation paying his dreadful table accordion. Was I 17 or 18? I was studying Heidegger and Charles Olsen, the Action Poet; Kandinsky’s New York roommate right round 1959 thereabouts, when the photo of Ginsberg on the Beach was taken. But I knew all of his work, inside and out. I was never gay but Ginsberg made me want to be!

I had stopped Allen in an outdoor corridor lined by lawn between two campus buildings. I was armed with my copy of the first edition City Lights Kaddish epic that I had found by blissful chance in the long gone used intelligentia bookstore at the corner of College and El Cajon Blvd, in San Diego, over a lifetime ago.

Allen looked at my book and gladly signed it. “I haven’t seen a first edition of these in years!” I told Allen about the used book store in San Diego where I had gone through all of his poetry and Kerouac and Cassidy’s First Third and Dylan’s Tarantula, Alan Watts, D.T. Suzuki’s 3 volume Essays on Zen, all bought and consumed at this temple to beatitude at the cross roads of the world. I didn’t tell him how in high school we used to climb to the top of Cowell Mountain and howl the words to Howl at the valley unfolding beneath us. We didn’t know what hungry junkies were quite yet, but it sounded good and it was real. As real as the suburbs of San Diego can ever be.

In the past present, Allen handed me my book, more of a pamphlet, back and looked me up and down and smiled. It was a genuine smile and not the least bit lecherous considering what he said next.
“Would you like to come up to my room, it’s just over graduate housing? I can show you some poem books you haven’t seen. I knew what he meant but I was so stunned dumb by the proposition (Allen Ginsberg!). I stuttered something still trying to make up my mind before I spoke. But alas, fear of the unknown vanquished my curiousity or perhaps it was my vanity to be loved by a star that was defeated.

Nonetheless I must of said something because we went on our merry ways, my thanking him a little too profusely and the back of his bald head bobbing down the corridor.

So when I posted the photo a young Allen standing nude on a Morrocan beach, I kind of felt like I had earned the right to share his image, naked and vulnerable for the sake of a poetry reading which it was more than certain that someone would recite a Ginsberg-eque poem.

The Philistines may have conquered the machines but not me as of yet.

Allen Ginsberg 1959
The Eye Has It

One Without the Other


 

 

Life and death are dark and light.
Like black and white,
You need one to see the other.
For without the other, 
You will never see the one.


Being is Becoming Still


Image © Wendy Farrow

Existence is a limitless screen of emptiness
Vibrant with jubilant celebrations.
And gratitude for the joy in rolling a boulder blissfully up this steep hill.
Tripping over our own thoughts like loosened cobblestones,
We no longer see the reality directly in front of us.

The truth is a truce we struck with certainty ages ago.
After losing the desperate struggle…
To cling to some kind of hope buried deep beneath the root of ourselves.
I am fearful of fully failing myself and yet
I love myself best when I am alone with eternity.


This is What Happens After You Die


Down This Drain into Another One

This is What Happens After You Die

I’m still choking on my own blood.
As it slowly fills my lungs.
I am drowning inside myself
The blood is mine; 
the air is gone,
Now so am I.

After death, there’s nothing more than that same familiar empty space
waiting for your thoughts to refill it
Infinite & Eternal
in every direction;.
both up and down and beyond before.
encircled by the horizon.

This emptiness where your awareness doesn’t so much ‘go’ 
as recollect that it’s always been here.
Look through this persisting dream!
there is no afterlife because nothing, 
not even memory, is really destroyed.
just transformed.

Into particles
into wavicles 
into higher frequencies,
your mind no longer fathoms.
so you leave it,
your mind, behind.

Crystal
liquid,
gas,
plasma.
aware is the fifth state of matter.

Higher Frequencies


Facebook is Anti-Culture


Facebook is Anti-Culture

I’ve started this post after returning from a 60-day ban from Posting, Liking, Communicating, Joining, or Connecting with anyone else in the Facebook Community.

Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. ~ The ACLU

What Was My Crime?

My posting one of my own published poems from my book Is She Available? that had been posted in Facebook at least thrice before without repercussion. and is currently available in dozens of libraries and bookstores throughout California and soon to be released in the UK. The visual interpretation of a love poem by the Designer/photographer and internationally renown artist/typographer Rian Hughes entitled:

I Missed Your Scent in Paris

Although his image was a black and white stylized photograph of a woman where if you squinted and looked real close you could make out the shadow of half a nipple showing, (which is exactly what a Facebook employee would have had to have done in order to render judgement that Tian and my work contravened Facebook’s community standards.

Words by Igor Goldkind – Image by Rian Hughes
Censored by Facebook

The Poem and Rian’s photo interpretation of the poem were not obscene, disgusting nor gratuitously offensive in any way. Unless of course, you consider the human body in itself to be obscene, in which case I strongly suggest you seek therapeutic help as you clearly entertain unhealthy, self-hating, anti-social thoughts.

Instead, if not the poem, then certainly the photograph of the semi-nude woman is a work of art. It is obvious to anyone who reads and looks that it had no other intention. Not being able to distinguish between pornography and erotic art is one of the great threats Facebook’s dumbed down lack of discernment poses to the thriving of a culture.
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Art is the science of culture. Both are experiment–driven.
Igor Goldkind
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
As community-oriented and community-sounding Facebook professes to be (in its language and self-justifications of its censorship), Facebook is the enemy of culture. As well as the enemy of the community of humanity that shares the values that a free society comes hand in hand with expression free from censorship; as long as the expression poses no harm. Otherwise, it is not a free community.

“To destroy a people, first destroy their culture. 
~ Mario Torero

What is it exactly about the half shadow image of a woman’s left nipples poses a threat to anyone? The last time I checked, a woman’s nipple is the source of nourishment for all of us, male and female at one time or another.

To censor the image of a human nipple is to censor the truth of what it means to be human. How can I prove this? Look for yourself! Apart from a minority of our fellow hairless apes who have lost them in accidents or horrific burns, we ALL OF US HAVE NIPPLES! It is the truth of who we are and as an artist, as a poet, I am only interested in the truth of who we are. Not the twisted Calvinist attempt at reversioning a reality where angels never fart and genies have no belly-buttons.

We Must Protect You From Yourself

I know for a fact that genies do have belly-buttons, I’ve seen them with my own eyes! And as far as angel farts go, they smell better than your own.

Article 10 of the United Nations Human Rights Act protects our right to hold our own opinions and to express them freely without government or private interference.

This includes the right to express our views aloud (for example through public protest and demonstrations) or through:

• published articles, books or leaflets
• television or radio broadcasting
• the internet and social media
• AND WORKS OF ART
• The law also protects our freedom to freely receive 
information from other people.

The US The Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment’s protection of artistic expression very broadly. It extends not only to books, theatrical works and paintings but also to posters, television, music videos and comic books and personal social media pages including FACEBOOK — whatever the human creative impulse produces.

The right not to be censored by an arbitrarily superimposed moral hypocrisy of a minority…. is articulated in the Human Rights Act signed by the US as treaty and thus bound by US federal law in 1964. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the United States renewed its commitment to the international human rights system by signing, though not yet ratifying, several major human rights treaties.

Including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (ICESCR).

Liberty, Freedom & Justice
But Not From Facebook

These are the laws of the land that FACEBOOK has violated in unceremoniously and without warning censoring my work. Judgement without respite and only the cosmetics of appeal.

Facebook is not a community in any shape or form as long as its private owners impose their narrow, petty, puerile, and juvenile morals on us without listening to everyone, not just the complainers, who make up that community. That includes us good for nothing, when-are-you-going-to-get-a-real-job? artists.

There is no one to talk to at Facebook. No one to appeal to; no one to reason with and no one that takes responsibility for its actions. Human beings wrote the algorithms, built the servers and the browsers to increase the human bandwidth, not to distance us from ourselves!

There is no reason to fear the takeover of robots, algorithmic judgements and machines, for we have already surrendered.

Please repost this in part or in full on your wall and please share with your friends across all social media. Maybe Facebook will recall what it means to be a human with nipples one day and stop emulating the machines (who have no nipples).

Thank you,

Igor Goldkind
Still Human & Nippled

PS You think that I’m overreacting? Just another crazy, good for nothing artist making pointless noise? The Modigliani nude, the Picasso, the Rubens and all fell foul of Facebook and are all pictured as depicted after being defaced by Facebook in the name of their hypothetical Community Standards.


Suicide Note:





There are still a few options available to you still, apart from death.
Yours is a free choice.
Your death is yours.
No one is making you choose;
Death is after all, inevitable.

Not so much an option as fast forwarding to the point where there are no further options.
Living is dying anyway, so why speed up the process?
To stop the pain?
Many have endured much more
Still clinging to any delay of the inevitable.

Regardless, suicide doesn’t stop the pain it merely passes the suffering on to someone else.
Remember them?
They remember you.
They will remember you with pain.

You no longer feel of worth or of value anymore?
To whom, exactly? yourself?
Perhaps your judgement is drunk or wanting in discernment?
Perhaps your judgement is just wrong and awaits over-ruling by a higher judgement.
Who are you, really, to judge yourself so severely?
If you are worthless then your judgement is suspect and certainly not worth acting upon.

What if you went and saw a movie instead?
Or got drunk?
Or went to sleep?
Or made love until the dawn found another, better judgement to wake up to.
A truer, more temperate version of yourself.
One who can solve problems and get you out of the sweet jam you’re stuck in.

Do you long to die because life is absurd and void of meaning?
What took you so long to notice?
Does your slowness make you want to do things quicker?
Instead of death, you could seek laughter, which is really a form of dying;
A release from the known into the unknown by way of
Catching your breath inside its own rhythm.
Inwards and outwards.

What if you were about to hear a joke you’ve never heard before?
That made you laugh so hard that it woke you up into the wide-eyed, open world that embraces this one?
If you die now, you will miss hearing the eternal joke
That would awaken you to a world where you no longer wanted to die
Because you suddenly found yourself here,
Where you belong
Where you belonged all along,
Not living or dying
But blinking and breathing like this,
Like this, like this, like this…

©Igor Goldkind 2018


The Halo of a Hope


 

moon-halo-Aaron-Robinson-1-30-2015-e1422620675286

Hope is mortal, not eternal.
Though it may feel like eternity
Sitting in a chair by the window.
Gazing up and down the path that leads
Up the hill and down to the canyon on your doorstep.

Every morning, every evening, every day.
Waiting for an answer to your prayer for hope to be restored.
Resilience rewarded
Patience still burning brightly
Under your old photograph on the wall where you live now.

I’m not sad.
No, sadness is just passing rain to irrigate the eyes.
Instead, I’m a new planet
Ringed  by the last halo of hope
The one wrapped tightly around my head.

 

IMG_4798.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pebbles


 

 

Pebbles

Thoughts are merely pebbles
Being gently washed by a passing stream.

You are the stream.

Beach Pebbles

Thoughts are merely beach pebbles
Being gently rounded by passing waves.

IMG_3163

Pebbles

You are the waves.

Sand Pebbles

Thoughts are merely pebbles in the sand.
Being gently worn by the passing wind.

You are the wind.

Words are pebbles.

Words are merely thoughts
Being gently read by a passing eye.

You are the eyes

That can read my thoughts.

Soul1

Thoughts


Being is Becoming Still


human_soul_by_lumixdmc850-d48ee36

 

 

Existence is a limitless screen of emptiness,
Jubilant celebration
And gratitude for the joyous exhaustion in the rolling of a boulder up a steep hill.
Tripping over our thoughts like loosened cobblestones,
The truth is a truce we struck with uncertainty ages ago.

After losing our desperate struggle…
To cling to some kind of hope buried deep at the root of our own awareness
I am fearful of fully failing myself.
But I love myself best when I am alone with eternity.
Secure and supported by this very clarity.

Andrew-Ostrovsky_George-Redhawk_GIF


Being is Becoming Still


 

 

Soul1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Existence is a limitless screen of emptiness,

Joyous celebration,

And gratitude for the joy in rolling a boulder blissfully up a steep hill

Tripping over our thoughts like loosened cobblestones

The truth is a truce we have struck with certainty.

After losing the desperate struggle…

images

To cling to some kind of hope buried at the root of ourselves

Does choice invalidate certainty?

By undermining the sense, the unravelling of our story.

I am fearful of fully failing myself.

Although I love myself best when I am alone with eternity,

basicconceptsSecure and supported by this universal clarity.


Blue Notes




 
imagesDepression is merely an afterthought.

A reflection on deeds that cannot be undone
But our thinking is cut off from the action.
A circuit is broken in a chain that cannot be rejoined.
images-2We are slaves to our memories
Being tortured in real (not imagined), time.
We recall everything from our own anxious center of risk

Hiding the moment we know to be true;
From ourselves, yet again.
images-1

Image

A Short History of Poetry Therapy: Practice and Perfection by Igor Goldkind


On FaceBook, a discussion where questions are posed and answered:  https://www.facebook.com/realpoetrytherapy/

The healing effect of words has long been recognized. As far back as 4000 BCE, early Egyptians wrote words on papyrus, dissolve them in liquid, and gave them to those who were ill as a form of medicine. In more recent history, reading and expressive writing have been employed as supplementary treatments for those experiencing mental or emotional distress. Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital established in the United States, employed this approach as early as the mid-1700s. 565263b60c258b2297259258628f7262

In the early 1800s, Dr. Benjamin Rush introduced poetry as a form of therapy to those being treated. In 1928, poet and pharmacist Eli Griefer began offering poems to people filling prescriptions and eventually started “poem-therapy” groups at two different hospitals with the support of psychiatrists Dr. Jack L. Leedy and Dr. Sam Spector. After Griefer’s death, Leedy and others continued to incorporate poetry into the therapeutic group process, eventually coming together to form the Association for Poetry Therapy (APT) in 1969.

Librarians also played a major role in the development of this approach to therapy. Arleen Hynes, one pioneer in this area, was a hospital librarian who began reading stories and poems aloud, facilitating discussions on the material and its relevance to each individual in order to better reach out to those being treated and encourage healing.  In 1980, all leaders in the field were invited to a meeting to formalize guidelines for training and certification. At that meeting, logo-with-pegasus-and-sloganthe National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT) was established.

As interest grew, several books and articles were written to guide practitioners in the practice of poetry therapy. Hynes and Mary Hynes-Berry co-authored the 1986 publication Bibliotherapy – The Interactive Process: A Handbook. More recently, Nicholas Mazza outlined a model for effective poetry therapy, also discussing its clinical application, in Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice.

The Journal of Poetry Therapy, established in 1987 by the NAPT, remains the most comprehensive source of information on current theory, practice, and research.skeleton_hand

There is also a relationship between psychological healing and incantations; either repeated as a musical chant by the patient or in fact recited by the attending medicine man. Modern medicine and science of course scoff at the notion of magical incantations having healing or restorative powers as so much superstition. But this, of course, begs the question that if recitations and incantations had no evidential resort and no beneficial property then why would every single human culture have adopted the method and repeated it for several thousand years? Surely if there was nothing to vibrating air with the sound of one’s breath as well as the added stimulation of associative meaning being read cognitively by the patient’s mind; we would have given it and its sisters, singing and chanting aeons ago.

I am 30123926_10215993633815156_874551244336406748_nnot advocating a supernatural or spiritual causation for the effectiveness of poetry as a healing agent but rather the supra-natural mystical cause which is grounded first in human nature and behavior for which can be a myriad of imprecise explanations; none of which explain why it works.

Today, poetry therapy is practised internationally by hundreds of professionals, including poets, psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, social workers, educators and librarians. The approach has been used successfully in a number of settings—schools, community centers, libraries, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and correctional institutions, to name a few.

How Does Poetry Therapy Work?

As part of therapy, some people may wish to explore feelings and memories buried in the subconscious and identify how they may relate to current life circumstances.    Poetry is beneficial to this process as it can often be used as a vehicle for the expression of emotions that might otherwise be difficult to express

•Promote self-reflection and exploration, increasing self-awareness and helping individuals make sense of their world

•Help individuals redefine their situation by opening up new ways of perceiving reality

•Help therapists gain deeper insight into those they are treating

• In general, poetry therapists are free to choose from any poems they believe offer therapeutic value, but most tend to follow general guidelines.

It is recommended selected poems be concise, address universal emotions or experiences, offer some degree of hope, and contain plain language. Some poems commonly used in therapy are: “The Journey” by Mary Oliver “Talking to Grief” by Denise Levertov “The Armful” by Robert Frost “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman “Turtle Island” by Gary Snyder The poetry of Alan Watt, Allen Ginsberg and others.poem.brown_

Although the selection of material is often by the therapist, those being treated might be asked to bring to therapy a poem or other form of literature they identify with, as this may also provide valuable insight into their feelings and emotions.

My Technique in Poetry Therapy

A few different models of poetry therapy exist, but the  one I’ve had the most success with is a Four Phased Progression of Attention:

Recognition – Focus – Intention – Action

In the receptive/recognition phase, the poet therapist merely guides the subject to focus on their issue. The aim is to establish concentration and cognitive focus on the details of the issue which are not revealed to the poet/therapist. Only until the poet/therapist feels confident that the subject is cognitively attuned to and non verbally focussed on the problem or issue of concern that they begin to ask suggestive questions as to how the subject feels, not thinks about their subject.

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This provocation of emotion usually comes in three distinct phases of emotional content:

I. First is the one of the predicament, then the subject first becomes aware of the existence of the issue. This is the gateway phase where anticipatory feelings are registered and ideally conveyed through the prompting of the poet/therapist.

II. Then there is the full throttle stage when anticipation of the issue has given way to full experience of all emotions related to the issue. This is usually overwhelming (or it wouldn’t be “an issue” in the first place), and it is tantamount that the poet/guide leads the subject through distinct words to describe the layers of emotions experienced by the subject. Language and the use of the words is the key here because emotions always come in clusters of complexity that make it difficult for both poet/therapist and subject to distinguish and focus on underlying and suppress emotions.

“What kind of anger do you feel?”

“How would you describe your sadness”

“How much shame do you feel?

“What would you compare it to?”

IMG_433100l0l_kJFj2yv382Z_600x450

Are typical of the questions a poet therapist would ask the subject.

This is a sophisticated method of word association but rather than creating bridges between seemingly disparate words, the goal is to drill down to the core emotions about the issue by uncovering and refining the language the subject has chosen.

Achieving exactitude of description is the task at hand. The Poet/Therapist makes careful notation of everything the subject says towards describing their emotion. It is important to keep them focused and not to succumb to intellectual distraction. Thoughts are illusions, emotions are facts.

Getting the subject to correctly and precisely describe the emotional facts of the matter at hand  is the objective

III. The final phase is the exit strategy.

How do the feelings commence to recede? How does the issue recede back into the background? What are the parting emotions? Is there anxiety about the leaving? The anticipation of an issue yet unresolved? Or is the issue impermeable and subject to a rhythmic return?

Again, the subject’s wording, their adjectives, adverbs and phrases are the material of the poem.

At this point, there is usually a short break to give time for the subject to recover from the emotional transitions and for the Poet/Therapist to briefly skim their notes and begin to focus on the flow of adjectives. It is preferable if possible, to compose what amounts to a first draft, a flow of words which the poet can read back to the subject to confirm the accuracy of the flow.

At this first reading stage, it is possible to start interjecting logical bridges between the emotional descriptors. This is the creative factor unleashed. The Poet must be led by the subject to link coherent sequences between the emotional states. The poet suggests and the subject confirms or vetoes the phraseology, one line at a time.

Now we arrive at a second draft which is the property of the subject. It is their poem for which it is crucial that the subject now read the poem aloud and take ownership of its content. The subject can redraft the poem a third time in making it their own.   But the physicality of uttering the words they have chosen to express their emotional state is an act of ownership and closure.

The Poet/Therapist can either email the finished poem to the subject, hand them his/her notes or rewrite the poem into a legible form.  In any case, it is important that the Poet/Therapist ascribes the authorship of the poem to the client.  If the client is hesitant to put their name to the poem than something is lacking in the poem and must be redressed or indeed started over again.

The key to the entire exercise is freedom of expression, honesty and then refinement; exacting the poem.IMG_4323-1

Other Approaches and Other Models

The process of writing can be both cathartic and empowering, often freeing blocked emotions or buried memories and giving voice to one’s concerns and strengths. Some people may doubt their ability to write creatively, but therapists can offer to support by explaining they do not have to use rhyme or a particular structure. Therapists might also provide stem poems from which to work or introduce sense poems for those who struggle with imagery. A Poet/Therapist might also share a poem with the individual and then ask them to select a line that touched them in some way and then use that line to start their own poem.

In group therapy, poems may be written individually or collaboratively. Group members are sometimes given a single word, topic, or sentence stem and asked to respond to it spontaneously. The contributions of group members are compiled to create a single poem which can then be used to stimulate group discussion. In couples therapy, the couple may be asked to write a dyadic poem by contributing alternating lines.

The symbolic/ceremonial component involves the use of metaphors, storytelling, and rituals as tools for effecting change. Metaphors, which are essentially symbols, can help individuals to explain complex emotions and experiences in a concise yet profound manner. Rituals may be particularly effective to help those who have experienced a loss or ending, such as a divorce or death of a loved one, to address their feelings around that event. Writing and then burning a letter to someone who died suddenly, for example, may be a helpful step in the process of accepting and coping with grief.

How Can Poetry Therapy Help You?

Poetry therapy has been used as part of the treatment approach for a number of concerns, including borderline personality, suicidal ideation, identity issues, perfectionism, and grief. IMG_4328

Research shows the method is frequently a beneficial part of the treatment process. Several studies also support poetry therapy as one approach to the treatment of depression, as it has been repeatedly shown to relieve depressive symptoms, improve self-esteem and self-understanding, and encourage the articulation of feelings. Researchers have also demonstrated poetry therapy’s ability to reduce anxiety and stress in people.

Those experiencing post-traumatic stress have also reported improved mental and emotional well-being as a result of poetry therapy. Some individuals who have survived trauma or abuse may have difficulty processing the experience cognitively and, as a result, suppress associated memories and emotions.

Through poetry therapy, many are able to integrate these feelings, reframe traumatic events, and develop a more positive outlook for the future. People experiencing addiction may find poetry therapy can help them explore their feelings regarding the substance abuse, perceive drug use in a new light, and develop or strengthen coping skills.

Poetry writing may also be a way for those with substance abuse issues to express their thoughts on treatment and behavior change. Some studies have shown poetry therapy can be of benefit to people with schizophrenia despite the linguistic and emotional deficits associated with the condition. ravenskull_1x

Poetry writing may be a helpful method of describing mental experiences and can allow therapists to better understand the thought processes of those they are treating. Poetry therapy has also helped some individuals with schizophrenia to improve social functioning skills and foster more organized thought processes. It is important to note in many instances, especially in cases of moderate to severe mental health concerns, poetry therapy is used in combination with another type of therapy, not as the sole approach to treatment.

Training for Poetry Therapists Poetry therapists receive literary as well as clinical training to enable them to be able to select literature appropriate for the healing process. While there is no university program in poetry therapy, the International Federation for Biblio-Poetry Therapy (IFBPT), the independent credentialing body for the profession, has developed specific training requirements. Several studies support poetry therapy as one approach to the treatment of depression, as it has been repeatedly shown to relieve depressive symptoms, improve self-esteem and self-understanding, and encourage the expression of feelings.

Concerns and Limitations of Poetry Therapy

In spite of its widespread appeal and broad range of application, some concerns have been raised about the use of poetry therapy. Some critics have pointed out it is possible for people to analyze a poem on a purely intellectual level, without any emotional involvement. This type of intellectualization may be more likely when complex poems are used, as a person might spend so much time trying to decipher the meaning of the poem that they lose sight of their emotions and spontaneous reactions. Poems that are unoriginal or filled with clichés are unlikely to stimulate individuals on a deep emotional level or challenge them to think in ways that promote growth. Just always keep in mind that poetry therapy may have little or no value for those individuals who simply do not enjoy poetry.

The Advertising Pitch:

IMG_4325 copy

Words are the Most Powerful Magic There Is

Sometimes Your Mind Has a Will of Its Own

With PEGASUS POETRY THERAPY you can

Learn How to Read Your Own Mind!

Confusion bringing you down?

Is manic depression touching your soul?

You know what you want, but you just don’t know how to get There?

Poetry therapy is what you need when the medication, the yoga, the guided meditation, the crystals, the chakra alignment and other Somatic treatments just aren’t working.

Some things only work when you let them work:

• Restore Self-Confidence

• Achieve Closure from Painful Relationship Breakups & Lost Loved Ones

• Find a More Meaningful Direction to Your Life

• Get Unstuck and Out of Your Own Way

• Overcome Fears and Anxiety

• Control panic attacks

• Change  Addictive Behavior Patterns, like OCD

• Re-Write bad Scripts

 Recognition > Focus > Intention > Action

cc3a9851_origThere is no trick to listening to yourself and learning how choosing and rearranging your words can unlock darkened doors, de-clutter basements and clean out the attics of your life. Sometimes in merely one session.

Every Tuesday from 11:00 am until 6:30 pm at the

Inner Temple Inner Healing Center

at Eve’s Vegan Cafe 575 S. Coast Highway 101 Encinitas, CA

Contact:   realpoetrytherapy@gmail.com or

Call 858 349 6429 for an appointment.

$50- 1/2 Hour $80 – 1 Hour eve-logo

EXAMPLES & ENDORSEMENTS

PEGASUS POETRY THERAPY  has only recently launched its online version via FaceTime, Skype or Facebook video.   downloadJust add <poetry therapy> to your Skype contacts and schedule a date.   Payments accepted through PayPal or Facebook cash.  Here are some examples of the poetry achieved through PEGASUS POETRY THERAPY:

I.

Narcissus in a Nutshell

I’ve lost the person locked within the situation

Like a nut dwells within its hard shell of fearful anger.

Escaping vulnerability

Hiding from the unknown.

Hard shells, hard feelings, hardness itself

The excitement of living days in the present

Belonging to the past

I will not let go of what I can recall but not relive

My belonging to that which encompasses myself

Another nut within its shell.

To belong is to exist

Without belonging there is Nothing and

I fear nothing most of all because I do not know it

And I fear what I do not know more than

I would remedy the pain of this loss  with trustworthy tools

When two liquids are bonded  as one

A single drop of poison poisons the whole glass

And betrayal  is always poison no matter how little or how much

The glass of Narcissus’s tears is now empty

He has blinded himself rather than drink his own poison.

Instead he has left me to sip the bitter poison

Of fading better days.

Like a cat

Poised in stillness

Distracted by nothing

Ready  to pounce

I will not surrender the pain.

I will not surrender the pain.

Because the pain is my memory of the happiness

We’ve now lost

A sweet nut within a bitter shell.

II.

The Martyr

Last night I saw you beatify a martyr

With a magical brush of gold belief.

You were serious and determined

But your brush strokes were light caresses

On a sky blue span of canvass

As you gently coaxed another image into being.

You remind me of my mother earth

Stern in her compassion

Willing to tolerate just so much from me

Before reining in my love

With her brushes.

And where you have drawn your line

‘Be careful’, you said to me on parting

But all the care in the world could not stop

My bulb from bursting

Rendering me blind in the speeding night

But still seeing with the golden light

Of the martyr you have shown me.

III.

Snake Heart

This sadness, this hopelessness

Will not be swatted away

Nor drowned by the busy work

Of the day to day.

It persists

Even when I am submerged in my bathtub.

The warm water rising from the bottom of my lungs.

Until I lose the will to breath

And the sadness becomes anger

Rising to the very top of my horns

Of my red-hot raging exhaustion.

How good to be angry!

I used to be afraid of snakes but no longer.
I am hissing from the centre of my snake-heart

As you try and step over me.

Your eyes fail to see as you tread on my tail.

On my snake heart.

On my resolution without confrontation.

Without the owning of emotion

All that’s left for us is the hissing sound of machinery.


“We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names, of symbols, signs, conceptions,  ideas and numbers.”  ~ Alan Watts


The Numbers Game

In the end, it was the numbers that did us in.
They lined us up into military rows
And assigned us all numbers
One after one after one after one after one….
How many, nobody knows.
You see, it’s a numbers game
It’s all the same
You’re not your name
You’re your numbers.
Let me explain how it’s done,
And how this game can never be won.images-1

See, there are good numbers and bad numbers
High numbers and sad numbers.
Sometimes high numbers are good and low numbers are bad
And sometimes low numbers are good and high numbers are sad.
It all depends on who is counting.
Not you or me
Not the numbers either.
They don’t know, they’re just numbers after all.
Although…
The numbers are counting on each other.
Just not you or me

Because we will never be free
Of Big Numbers and small numbers,
Negative numbers and imaginary numbers,
You see, it’s a numbers game.
It’s all the same
You’re not your name
You’re your numbers.
Let me explain
How it’s done.
And how this game can never be won.
downloadPrisoner number…

Credit Score number
GPA number
SAT Number
Zip code number
Blood pressure number
Heart rate number
DOB & TOD numbers
House number
Gas number
Phone number
Electricity number
Room number
Water number
Dog tags number
Social Security number
Bank account number
Table number
Sibling number
Temperature number
Flight number
License number
Vehicle registration number
Alcohol level number
Height, weight and age number

I hear you scream:
“I’m not a number, I’m a human being!!”
Sure you are,
Now take a number.
It’s for your own protection
There’s safety in numbers.

Numbers can answer all of your questions:
How far, how long, how deep, how high, how many,images-2
How often?
Just not ‘how come’?
Anyone can count,
But you can’t count on anyone.
See, it’s a numbers game
That can’t be won
It’s a numbers game
It’s just how it’s done.
It’s all the same.

You’re not your name
You’re your numbers.
Now count to ten
And start all over again.

For Rob Thompson who asked me if Numbers occupy Space.


I Am A Paper Bag


 

 

I am a paper bag, I am.
I am only as good as what I can carry.

I am a paper bag, I am.images-1
I’m not the smart one,
I’m not the successful one.
I’m not the tall one who always won and
Then died.
I am a paper bag.
I’m only as good as what I can carry.

I am a paper bag,
I’m not plastic or burlap, not I.
I am paper: rough, brown and thin
I’m not waterproof, you know.
And I can’t hold any liquids or gases within.
I only have the energy for stuff that really matters.
I’m a paper bag.
I’m only as good as what I can carry.

I am a paper bag.images-2
Wrinkled and used and too often abused
Thrown on the floor.
Buried deep inside your drawers.
I am a paper bag.
I cannot ask you for anything more
I’m only as good as what I can carry.

©IgorGoldkind 2018


Nobody Talks to Me Anymore   


Has been entered int the Realistic Poetry Contest and thus is no longer available on my blog as it is defined as non-exclusive or previous publication by the contest rules.

Who knows, I may even win.

Either way, it returns once the contest is over in February
Tune In.

DLKBRPMWkAIXppy


A Drinking Song: The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present


 

Last night was kind of my XXXmas eve, being a Saturday night, with no ghosts to placate until Monday morning. So I took my Victory out for a long ride, 46 miles down to Chula Vista to drop in on my drunken-angel-poet-brothers Alex Bosworth and Chris Vannoy. As I told them, I’ve never stopped in Chula Vista before,  only passed through it; well on my way to crossing the border between Mexico and Madness.

Back in the Beatnik Days, when America was still a Great Shining Beacon of Golden Intentions and jail-breaking freedoms, going south of the border was a euphemism for leaving the straight rational world and exploring the psychedelic corridors and hallways of the unconscious mind, where the muses played poker to the sound of Gabriel’s saxophone under a streetlamp, playing for spare  change, playing for the end of time. Kesey, Cassidy, Timothy Leary had all spent time south of the border, hiding from the authority.

But I wasn’t going all the way south or crossing any borders. Instead, like a Boddhisatva practising the discipline of worldly compassion, I was riding south on the great American highway stopping just short of going over the edge. Stopping long enough for the rest of my sentient species to hop on board and cross over with me.   How long I gotta wait?   The blur of the wind in my eyes transforms Inter-state 5 into a two-lane river of white headlight diamonds on one end heading towards but past me and on the other end,  a torrent of glistening rubies speeding with me, flowing around me,  carrying me forwards in one high speed direction.

I was carried on a slipstream of glistening rubies last night.  Chilled legs wrapped around my angel in flight, carrying me aloft above all thought, beyond all hesitation, in that dangerous living moment when every half second of thought is solid and real with consequence; and any distraction is a trap door thumping open under the hangman’s rope.

That is the fury of mediation. That is my arrival in this moment that we all share. The calm at the center of chaos.  Join me, dear reader, at the centre of chaos.

So I’m heading south armed with an unopened bottle of rye, the spirit of the season travels with me. Good whisky is about as spiritual as I get these days.  It is my usual Xmas tradition to grab a bottle of good booze and head down to the Greyhound station, or the street corner, outside a homeless shelter or an alleyway or anywhere I can find and join a cluster of the disaffected, the homeless, the pointless, the ones left out of family portraits. Just to share a drink, a joke and the dregs of our mutual humanity.

But this year, not particularly in contrast,  I’ve chosen the company of Deadbeat poets, failed self-construction workers, mental hospital misfits, suicide skippers and gravel-voiced prophets capable of predicting the present with uncanny accuracy. Cassandra’s children muttering under their condensed breaths, scratching their prophecies from the oracle down for the benefit of anyone who still remembers how to read; or how to listen. Tonight these are my brothers (and sisters), in arms. Raging against a sea of struggles, believing that by opposing them, we will end them and wrap our soiled blankets of peace around this cold, shivering world’s shoulders.

Chris Vannoy &amp; Alex Bosworth

Dead Beat Poets

I make it to Main Street much too early and agree to meet my comrades in a bar called Sanctum. I have no currency apart from my still untried bottle of rye so I stand outside on the pavement near but not too near two young women smoking butts and laughing. ‘Merry Xmas’, I venture.

‘Merry fucking Xmas to you too’, is their reply.  So I listen. A skill I am still mastering.   The raven-haired beauty of the pair is recounting her love life to her friend. Telling her how she had met her intended’s eyes at work, a burning penetration in time and how happy she was that at least she knew, that she knew that she knew that there was an unstated passion, thrilling at the unstated, as yet unenacted attraction between them.
The bittersweet anticipation of passions yearned for but still yet to come.

I wanted to tell the dark-haired young woman how lucky she was to be free to express such yearning to another woman. Jealously,  I wanted her to pity my poor lame masculinity and the political mindfield I had to traverse to even come close to sharing such a pure moment of true emotion and affection.   But I didn’t. Who wants to hear another pitiful man’s story anyways? This was the year of raised female voices. Voices raised in anger, in righteous retribution for all the wrongs accrued., in demand of recognition. Voices of freedom insisting on justice, insisting on equal treatment without unwanted trespass.

Poor me, poor me, pour me another drink. . . .

So instead I pulled out my weapon of virtue, my great equalizer of man and woman, my bottle of rye from my bag and asked if ‘You ladies would like a drink”. “Hell yes”. And for a brief instant, I felt just like St. Peter patrolling the earth and giving comfort to lost souls.

This murdered the time until my wordly brothers finally arrived. We poured from the bottle into bright red dixie cups, swigging them down in the parking lot before entering the warmth of Sanctum Ale House to talk poetry, performance, and what we were going to do with the rest of our lives.  This was beginning to feel a lot like a rendezvous of fallen angels pausing for a drink and brief reflection before hitting Hell.

Beatnik Approved!

Beatnik Approved!

There was no reason to take a picture or a selfie or even take note of the time. We drank, we talked, we tried to make each other laugh and we indulged in our common humanity; a focus on what we shared more than what we didn’t.

My mind spun back in time to the many drinking conversations I had with my late great friend, the writer David Halliwell.   The only man I had ever met who had got drunk with Sam Beckett.   So David told this story of buying a bottle of good Irish whisky and taking the train to London, from Yorkshire. Easily a 4-hour journey.  On the trip, David got nervous opened the bottle and drank half the contents on the way down arriving completely cut up the King’s Road party where San Beckett would be.  He did find Beckett apparently and immediately sat down to finish the rest of the bottle he’d brought.  David got so drunk he couldn’t remember a word that Sam Beckett had said to him.

Last night, I told Chris and Alex about the year that David called me up to join him for a Xmas drink and The Bull Tavern in the little North East Oxfordshire village of Charlbury, whose village council insisted on calling it a town because it had 4 pubs, a pharmacy and a post office.

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_50

I walked down the unpaved bumpy road to the tavern, past the Egyptian cottage with the papyrus reeds of Isis, the Goddess, not the terrorists.  I reached The Bull pub and Inn, Opened the heavy oak door and walked into a movie. The pub was nearly empty save for the bar that featured David on his bar stool holding court with his mates. Only his mates were images burnt on my retinas since childhood: John Hurt, Ben Kingsley, David Warner, Freddie Jones and his son, then unknown now better known than him, Toby Jones. I remember blinking in disbelief. I might as well have walked in on Lewis Carrol, Tolkien and CS Lewis downing pints all who had also frequented this pub some hundred years previously.

I remember David smiling, laughing his phlegmatic cough and motioning me over to introduce me to these faces from the screen. “This is Igor, he’s another writer; he’s a Yank but he’s alright”. I was just another writer in the company of actors, everyday workers taking a break from toiling in the star-maker factories behind the popular film. I was handed a bulbous goblet of glowing ruby wine and the rest is hard to remember. But I do recall making them laugh and David Warner towering over me and reminiscing about his one appearance in a two-part Star Trek opposite Patrick Stewart that had earned him enough to comfortably return to the stage for 7 continuous years. Apart from young Toby, these were board strutting actors; indifferent and virtually contemptuous of their movie work save for the vast sums Hollywood paid them for peddling their trade of packaged emotions.

The next year most of them would be dead, David Halliwell included. I would empty his cottage with a Scottish actor of his while his Yorkshire sister wept inconsolably on his stairwell. In England, people let you weep and leave you to the dignity of your grief out of respect for the exceptional display of emotion. If you openly weep in England its because the pain is so hard that you really can’t hold it in.

Back in the Sanctuum, I explained to my companions how David had taught me the true meaning and value of the literary arts, which for David included actors who tell stories with their faces.    Storytelling’s  place in the human universe, keeping the stars locked in their firmament and the cosmic spheres in perfectly balanced and meaningful rotation. David Halliwell wasn’t famous. He died a virtual pauper, alone, estranged from his sister, a Yorkshire man with an RSC accent from wanting to be an actor, who wrote every day of his life before heading down to the pub to argue with me.

But he was a great success, albeit not by any kind of American Calvinist standard. Rather he succeeded in staying true to his art. He never sold out to better-paid mediocrity.  He stayed true to his art, to himself and he survived with the respect and admiration of his fellow artists. When he died, I wrote and read this eulogy at his memorial, after Harold Pinter came up from Hampstead to say a few words about his departed friend. As did Stephen Frears and Scott Hampton (author of Les Liaisons Dangereuses).

I read this poem to David to my friends Alex Bosworth and Chris Vannoylast night. And in my mind, I went hunting and visiting my own xmas ghosts to remind me of the true joys of this season.

Daedalus Afraid to Fly.jpg

 

Daedalus Afraid to Fly

David, you bastard, you’ve left me
Understanding here alone,
With only these words falling out of my hands
When it is yours I want to hear again.

Words of your mastery, not mine.
So what was all the swearing about then, David?
What were all those Northern fumes really burning from?
I told you the songs of Yorkshire would never play in LA

Or London for that matter):
Two cities equidistant from your Yorkshire mother.
Tell me, David, why didn’t you just sell out?
You could have bought yourself a much better pint of beer

With all that money for old knotted ropes and
Still, have coughed up the phlegm to laugh at us all.
Is death your idea of some kind of joke?
Did you finally track down the film rights to Malcolm, David
And cash them in?

Are you really, secretly living in Barbados,
Making beautiful women miserable?
To think of all this wasted sorrow and
Empty glasses of beer.

You did say that you always wanted to visit other places.
But Daedalus, you were afraid to fly.
If you had been born upside down in America
You would have been a southern writer living in some Northern town.

Spilling your southern drawl over a rum and coke in a New York City bar.
Sitting elbow to arm with Williams, O’Neill, Baldwin and them all.
Your America was always an America of the mind.
So why fear the flight?

Your America David was where Charlie Parker
was forever sharp shooting pool with Humphrey Bogart
in some room behind a neon-splattered bar
Where Chet Baker never jumped or fell but flew, man!

He just flew away.

Just like you.

So you’re off then, David?
Back up the bumpy road,
Turning the corner around the Little Egyptian cottage
Navigating the reeds of Isis, Long past the close of time.

A brown duffle coat ship, bobbing on an unpaved surface,
Weaving a few well-spoken thoughts into your
Captain’s cap.
Can you tell me, David:
Were you X-Centric, or
Merely Eggs Essential?

How about this time I tell you, David:

The spark was always there.
But not like Daedalus, like Prometheus.
The living punishment of Truth,
Chained to your bar stool,
That eternal pint of Carlsberg lager gnawing at your liver.

Like Prometheus David,
The spark is always here.

 

For the late, great David Halliwell; poet, playwright,

author of Malcolm’s Struggle Against the Eunuchs.

I can only miss you when you’re gone.

 

David Halliwell (replacement).jpg

 

 


Paris is the City of Light


Read This:  Paris is the City of Light


Insomniac Awareness


Recent rewrite. When I first wrote and posted it, no one seemed to know what I meant by it. But now it’s becoming a favoured read aloud piece:

 

Insomniac Awareness

We who are hiding in our second bedrooms,Image may contain: plant
Licking the silver from the backs of our screens,
Are living in a different time zone
Of Insomniac Awareness.

Sometimes two, sometimes three, sometimes four or more
Lives are lived and lost each night.
In our rooms, by ourselves
Sitting precariously on the edge of our beds.

This is our legacy
The lasting perpetuity of our sensory species:
The glow that contests the light that once shone from our eyes,
Right up to the surface of our understanding.

What is not yet known.
Or what was known and long since forgotten.
Dances across the screen you stare into.
Tripping over your coded memories; in Real Time.

Who are you reading this?No automatic alt text available.Do you know
What perturbs your sleep-walk into the night?
Or are you merely waiting for the screen to pull you through?

Into your own quiet world,
Where things that count never change.
And no one is dreaming you but your mother,
Who has left you now for another child.

©Igor Goldkind 2017


Death is in My Garden Again.


 

 

the-garden-of-the-dead-1896.jpg!Large

Death and his brothers are in my garden again.
Moving my plants around.
They tend to the growth quite delicately
Careful to not reap the harvest until the plants mature
And begin to lose their hair.

Death and his brother are in my garden again,
Whispering to each other as they pull away the weeds.
Poting and repotting each plant as it grows
Making sure the roots are clear of regrets and debris
So that in the end, it’s life can be cut short more easily.

Does death have a sweetheart? I wonder.
A woman whom he woes with words of love?
As much as death can love any living thing, at all.
He gathers my plants into a beautiful bouquet
Of lost souls and freshly cut lives.
To gift to she who holds him near;  squeezing his dead heart in one hand,

My faltering flowers in the other.


IS SHE AVAILABLE? Get My Book and FIND OUT.


NOTHING has prepared you for This.  Nothing ever will.

Because whatever is happening Now has never happened before.

This is  a web-nurtured collaboration with 27 artists, sculptors and musicians from the world of Comics, Fantasy, Fine Art and Jazz, including Bill Sienkiewicz, David Lloyd, Liam Sharp, Glenn Fabry, Shaky Kane, Lars Henkel and the cutting edge sculptural typography of the highly acclaimed book designer Rian Hughes.

IS SHE AVAILABLE?  Cover

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes ©2014

This illuminated book is a contemporary Dante’s Divine Comedy; a journey through the confessional landscape of a masculine identity. It uses poetry to construct a narrative that explores themes of death and loss, sex and love, and the modern American and Jewish identity design: by the UK’s eminent graphic designer, typographer, illustrator Rian Hughes.

The music is composed and produced by iconoclast, ex-Israeli, Middle-Eastern jazz virtuoso Gilad Atzmon, along with five other jazz artists.

Written by San Diego native Igor Goldkind, this illuminated book will revolutionize the way you view poetry by meshing comics, art, music and animation in a truly unique way. It uses poetry to construct a narrative that explores themes of death and loss, sex and love, and the modern American and Jewish identity. The book is available for download on the iTunes Store and Google Play, as well as in a 166 page,  fully illustrated in colour hardbound edition available  ORDER HERE.10689672_732000606836698_9129833884739632966_n-1Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_29

The eBook edition pushes the edge of what is possible with present EPUB3 technology. It is not an App, it is a true book that marries pop art, comics, avant-garde, jazz, spoken word poetry, video and animations, and type design in a manner that we have not seen before IS SHE AVAILABLE? has the feel of an artefact from the near future – a seminal work of a new genre-fusing poetry, graphic art, music, and animation.

Sample interior pages:

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_08

What We Do

IS SHE AVAILABLE? RRP is $34.95, SHIPPING INCLUDED
Educational Discount for Students and Teachers: $29.95

Both deluxe hardcover edition PLUS  animated and musically scored eBook App edition of Is She Available? bundle:  $39.95

Go to http://Paypal.com/issheavailable/ and place your order directly through PayPal with all Pay Pal assurances and protection.

Shipping included in orders within the US and its territories.

If you are in Britain and/or Europe, please contact my European wholesaler Fanfare Productions who will take your order and dispatch to your address the same day:  stephen@fanfareuk.demon.co.uk

Reviews ?  Sure We Got Reviews.  Why You Wanna See Them?  Be my guest.

“Igor’s “Illuminated Book” is like a new genre.  It is a wonderful ekphrastic expression; a fusion of the arts.” — Poet Mel Takahara

“His collection Is She Available? has the feel of an artefact from the near future – a seminal work of a new genre-fusing poetry, graphic art, music, and animation.”             —(San Diego’s) City Beat

“Is SHE Available?” is an experiment, and reading it feels more like an act of discovery… nonetheless there’s a thrill to scrolling through its pages. It’s an ambitious step toward what digital media can (and will) be.”—The Chicago Tribune

You Tube samples:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRnmT_aE0acoowdNBvFtK_VW2OkNN2wWp

SoundCloud samples : https://soundcloud.com/igor-goldkind/sets/is-she-available-spoken-word

The  166 full colour, fully illustrated hard cover deluxe  edition is available in discerning and eclectic independent bookstores everywhere.  Including Fahrenheit 451 in Carlsbad, Soulscape Bookstore in Encinitas, the Upstart Crow in San Diego, Verbatim Books  and Mysterious Galaxy also in San Diego, City Lights and the Cooperfields chain in Marin County and Sonoma County, amongst a growing number of independent book stores.

Order direct from PayPal and shipping is included!

https://www.paypal.me/issheavailable

PAYPAL

Https://paypal.me/issheavailable

images-4

 


Sleepy Mind; Awake Mind


And Zen-some!

The only way to explain Zen is by describing the sleepy mind. The sleepy mind describes a tree in terms of attributes and data: the number of leaves, the leaf shape, the number of branches, thickness of the trunk, the colour of bark. Which birds make use of the tree etc.il_570xN.270252441

All these observable and measurable attributes are assembled as data by the sleepy mind and voila! the sleepy mind thinks it knows what a tree is. The sleepy mind can give arguments with citations about the validity of its data. The sleepy mind works well with other sleepy minds.

And the sleepy mind isn’t totally wrong, the data it compiles in reference to ‘tree’ are all real and quantifiable features of the tree. But no matter how exact or comprehensive, the data is not the tree nor even the experience of the tree.

The awoken mind merely says “Look, a tree”, and points.
Because there is no data that conveys the experience of that tree in the moment of your apprehension. The awoken mind, sees the leaves, the branches, the colour of the bark, the thickness of the trunk, which birds fly in and out of the tree as much and as well as the sleepy mind does.

But the awoken mind also sees that the spaces between the leaves are part of the tree. The negative space surrounding the tree. The unseen roots spread beneath the ground are part of the tree. The sunlight reflecting off the green of the leaves are part of the tree. 4518466f7d0a7be63357a972e6f5fca6The seat waiting to rest your back against the trunk is part of the tree. The awoken mind ‘see’s the tree; the form of the tree; the tree itself in all its ‘tree-ness’, the tree as a child sees a tree; not what the sleepy mind contrives to substitute as its surrogate.

I think this is the closest I can come to describing the Zen disposition. I say disposition because too much is made of practice and the philosophy of Zen when all are merely aids to assist in the unravelling of illusion and self-deception. Zen is not an acquisition of skills, rituals, garments or ideology; instead, Zen is relinquishment. It is a reminder to keep paying attention.  Not acquiring but letting go: unravelling, stripping away layers of calloused skin, leaving your baggage behind and not looking back over your shoulder. In the words of the bard:

“My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step”.

Zen TreeBuddhists will talk about the Buddha-nature as universal, the same as our original nature. Don’t listen to them. The face that first looked up at your mother’s face is still there, submerged and (sometimes suppressed), within you. All that Zen suggests is that we are encumbered by needless worry, anxiety, expectations, daydreams and nostalgias that have buried your true self under the rubble of your crumbling castle and keeps you from seeing the world and your place in it, with any clarity.

We are all distracted by anxieties and worries about money, about jobs, about partners and children. That distraction is manufactured by the powerful in the society we live in to keep us consuming, acquiescent and very sleepy! It doesn’t matter if you meditate or not; if you read poetry or not; if you drink tea or practice martial arts or not. It doesn’t matter how you get there or what you wear; just that you wake up and experience the miracle of persistent and unwavering creation. The universe is created, then destroyed then resurrected millions of times a second, faster than you can blink; so try and keep your eyes open!
I leave you once again with the immortal words of the Nobel Prize laureate:

“Then take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind

Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves

The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach

Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free

Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands

With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves

Let me forget about today until tomorrow.”

– With Compassion, Igor Goldkind, 2017

Please feel free to share and copy this.

I’m just trying to help anyone who’s read this far.f4a36a1a7f69fa29bbd2d7bf3f66cdaa


Burt & Astrid


 

 

 

Burt and Astrid had sat down at one of the outdoor tables outside the  Encinitas Cafe along the Pacific Coast Highway.

I sat down at the single table next to theirs

Burt, from his wheelchair, had noticed the bundle of books

I had dumped from my shoulder onto my breakfast table,

Startling some spoons and a left behind saucer, and remarked:

“You’re an author, aren’t you?”

“Why would you think?”  was my reply.

“I don’t think, I know”.

Astrid tucked Burt’s napkin under his chin.

She was his nurse and his wife.

“Because nobody but an author would carry so many copies of the same book around”, Burt said.

“Burt used to write before he got sick”, Astrid explained.

Burt coughed long into his napkin.

“I’m sorry’, I said, just because I meant it.

Burt finished coughing and reached with his hand gesturing

To pass him my book.

 

I did and Burt leafed through the pages,

Feeling the clay surface of the paper with his fingers.

“You’re a poet!  Very brave.”, Burt pronounced.

And then we talked about poets ancient and new.

We compared reading Rilke, Neruda, Pushkin,

and others both living and dead

I felt like I was visiting my old college roommate

Who had studied the exact same subject as me.

We spent nearly 2 hours over breakfast

Until Burt began to speak Yiddish to Astrid.

Astrid replied in kind.

The moment we shared peeled like a bell across time.

Awaking the ghosts of my ancestors.

Astrid  rose from her chair to roll back Burt’s wheels

And then they just  left

With my book on Burt’s lap in his chair.

 

Hi Igor

This is Astrid we had the pleasure to meet you my husband and I in Encinitas this summer and had a most pleasant conversation.  You gifted us a copy of your book I just wanted to let you know Burt passed away August 23 We really enjoyed meeting you especially Burt….

God bless.

Astrid


The Third Act of Creation


 

 

 

The Third Act of Creation

When I sit at my desk in the barely blinking dawn,
I sit at the helm of a Starship.
Each dimension of time or space is available to me
To go anywhere I want to.

With the flick of a switch and a weird background sound
The course can be faithfully plotted,
At just the right warp speed to be there, be heroic and be back before dinner.
As safe as the hum of my engines.

When I sit at my desk in the mid-morning blue light that pierces
My east facing windows.
I pray that I can write something today,

Igor GoldkindI pray that I still have something to say.

My eyes are drawn to the street just beneath me,
That winds around the standing tree,
Just outside my window.
There is a spoonful of sunshine in my coffee.

When I sit at my desk in the midday sun
At the zenith of all of Creation,
I know that the bright light that now floods my room,
Will wash the shadows of doubt from these walls.

I  still hear that first sound,
The Bang! that expands the spaces around.

I can feel how the act of creation was never just one moment long gone ago.

But a circus of new sensations, an ongoing show.    images-3
Will too soon leave us behind sleeping eternity away.

When I sit at my desk in the mid-afternoon sun
And the light of creation slowly dwindles,
I can reflect on all the things that I’ve done
While counting the tasks that remain to lie in the sun.

When I sit at my desk at dusk’s twilight time
When light and darkness are twined,
Each wrestles the other to the ground.
I know that darkness will eventually swallow,

The fading strength of the light.
The time for my bed is just insight
And the twin brothers have given up their fight.

When I sit at my desk in the heart of the darkness      images-5

I know that death is hiding in my closet.
I know that the covers I wrap so tightly around me
Offer no protection from what time has brought (me):
The drowning of the light by the darkness.

I bury my head in the night and dream of the return of tomorrow.

© Igor Goldkind, September 25th, 2017


The Diamond Rain



imagesCaught in the Diamond Rain
Caught unawares in a diamond downpour.
When did Karma get so immediate and so personal ?
So judgment-like and familial?

When did I last escape from my room
And begin to orbit outside of time?
That vantage point that surrounds me,
Is not just this moment,
download-1But every moment you or I have ever lived.

A handful of jewels lie scattered at my feet.
Each crystal catching and tricking the light into
Reflecting each and every possible face of existence that there is,
All at once.

Each stone weighs down heavily on my stomach.
Forced downward by the sheer gravity of events.
When did I last step outside of myself again?th

I am no longer there.
Or rather I am here, just not in this world.
Instead, I’m living in a different world
built on longing, solitude, and reflection.

Two mirrors face each other
One rag wipes the dust and the sweat from both our dirty faces,
Go on, reach out with your finger tips to
Caress every surface of this jewel
We call living.

Can you see over there, that distant surface we exist on?
That reflects the face of every other face.
On all the falling jewels that surround us.
THIS is what it is to be caught in the Diamond Rain.

 

 

images-1


Diamond Rain


 

 

images.jpg

 

Caught unawares in a diamond rain shaking with cold

How did fate suddenly get so quick and immediate?

When  did I step off into myself,

And begin to orbit time?

The vantage point that surrounds us

Is not just this moment,

But every moment you and I have ever or will ever live.


A  handful of gems lie scattered like dust at my feet.

Each crystal reflecting every other facet of being.

Each stone weighs down heavy on my stomach.

Forced downward by the sheer gravity of events.

When I step out of myself,

I am no longer there.

Or rather I am here,

Just not in this world

In another that is merely reflection.

2 mirrors facing each other

A rag collects the dust between dirty faces.

This masquerade of illusions; bodies blocking light.

Will yield in the end to a more acute awareness
That is, once the eclipse we call our self has finally moved away,

I Feel Pretty, Oh, So Pretty, I Feel Pretty and Witty and Bright!


Here’s your chance to come and hear me read from my collection of Graphic Poetry IS SHE AVAILABLE?  and some new poems and a short story at ComicKhazi Comics Shop at Liberty Station, San Diego on September 1st starting at 6.00 pm.

I’ll be reading, signing and dedicated hard cover copies and generally corrupting youth.

Come and have a gander!

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

https://www.facebook.com/Comickaze2/

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_58


THERE IS NO ESCAPE!


 

There is No Escape

images-10

None of us gets paroled
From the prison cells we lock ourselves into.

So that we all can fit together inside
These jigsaw lives that we lead

Which  of course, eventually all blow apart.
We are merely the fragments waiting to be reassembled.

Every moment of thought is but a small drop in time.
Each piece fits the next piece.

Although we may try to avoid,
The murmurs of our own thoughts.

It is our hearts that yawn and awaken slowlyhearttbd
From their long winter night’s sleep.

You and I are mere mortals,
Who dreamt of a life without end.

We are the ones who make up immortality.
For the sake of seeking sweet comforts and sad joys.

This is the story we tell ourselves,

Whilst slumping back to our cells.neuron




Image

A Great Review of IS SHE? in Printmag


Beyond the Graphic Novel: Is She Available?

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You don’t need Seymour Chwast, Chip Kidd and other designers to tell you that cartoons and comics are vital sources of creative inspiration (although they do that here). So maybe you’re thinking about exploring the graphic novel realm, but you’d like something more exceptional than usual, more out of the ordinary. Well, here’s the first of a series of suggestions that either defy or disregard categorization as comics. And the first, Is She Available?, is an eBook that also challenges conventional book classification in the process.

Avail-00_MargaritaZuniga

As you scroll through, you hear 1950s cool jazz in the background. Then gunfire blasts out of nowhere. A choir sings. Dogs bark. Bombs drop from the sky. And all the while, letterforms unexpectedly appear, tilt, transform, and vanish while spoken words interweave with the music and sound effects. Is She Available? is a trans-media poetry collection, one that pushes at the limits of eBook technology. It’s also comics, kind of.

Its author, Igor Goldkind, is a 2000AD comics sci-fi writer. He describes his 50 or so poems as “a contemporary Dante’s Inferno… that explores themes of death and loss, sex and love.” He’s included a couple of standard, panel-sequenced comic book narratives, including one rendered by V for Vendetta’s David Lloyd. But the bulk of the book is enlivened with music and other effects that enhance the moody illustrations and minimalist animations from a diversity of other skilled artists. The lineup notably includes Judge Dredd’s Liam Sharp and Shaky Kane as well as Bill Sienkiewicz of Daredevil/Elektra fame. Most impressive is the overall design, by accomplished comics illustrator and self-described “commercial artist” Rian Hughes. With graphic flair and acuity, Hughes proves himself to be a worthy digital age successor to Stéphane Mallarmé and Robert Massin.

And for traditional readers, Is She Available? is also available in hardcover.

Is SHE Available?Avail-02_RianHughesAvail-03_ShakyKaneIs SHE Available?Avail-05_RianHughesIs SHE Available?Is SHE Available?Avail-08_RianHughes


S0553 (1)If you’re interested in comic books, chances are you’ve heard the names Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. After all, their partnership paved the way for the Golden Age of comics beginning in the 1940s. With The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio by Mark Evanier, learn more about the duo who invented noteworthy characters like Captain America and Sandman, conceived the idea of romance comics, and created a new standard for the genres of crime, western, and horror comic books. Take a look inside the various aspects of their career, and see some of the works that defined them.

CATEGORIES

http://www.printmag.com/comics-and-animation/is-she-available/


Confetti






There’s an emptiness at the heart of any space:
The air that escapes a room; an unanswered echo,
a vacant womb.
There’s an emptiness in my heart
That reminds me that
All of my ideas are empty.
Floating leaves from a fumbled folder.
Coloured streams falling from the sky.

This emptiness reminds me
How slight my desires really are 
How gently they fall from the sky 
A confetti of mercy and discarded emotions,
They are in the end
Compared to nothing, 
Merely the litter from an emptied mind.


Crime Against Our Own Humanity


People have been asking me why I chose the risk of first publishing a book of poetry before publishing my collection of short stories THE VILLAGE OF LIGHT and my first novel, THE PLAGUE.   Why launch a writing career on the back of such a neglected  and unpopular form of literature?

My first answer has been that as a keen admirer of the actor William Shatner, I wanted to emulate his career; first as a starship captain (in my mind), and second, as a genius of the Art of Spoken Word.

But the non comedice9f8b2ee6b99179e492b099e5d15cdc9 reason is worth explaining here: throughout every major epoch of human achievement and civilization,

Poetry has maintained a major position in the spectrum of human arts; true across society, cultures, oceans and centuries.

Until now.

This dawning century of technological, scientific and artistic achievement; this era we currently reside in, is the exception to the human rule.

We have exchanged our ability to appreciate Poetry for other more comfortable and lascivious sensations. We have unlearned the sensibility to immerse ourselves in the healing waters of an art that we, as a species have grown like a medicinal herb in the human garden, to salve the pains in our souls and our minds .

By turning our backs on those warm healing waters we have damaged ourselves. We are all in dire need of rehabilitation.

And that is exactly what Poetry mystically, delivers.

Poetry sets you free, for free!

If you know how to notice and pay attention to the subtler colors in the spectrum of your mind’s cognition.
Which is a Poetic thing to say in that it is both metaphoric and literal at the same time.

Poems allow the mind to synthesize (reconcile), apparent opposites and to understand the deeper resonances of our human experience, in the simplest of terms, arranging words like pebbles on a dry river bank and in the broadest, to enter the harmonic rhapsody of our humanity and its sense of rhythm in this universe.

That rhythm is the breath, which is true to us all who are living. Poetry is the sound of our breathing in this world. If you want to know who a people strange to you are, read their Poetry; the words they have chosen to express themes, that persist for us all: Birth, Death, Love and the swirl of illusions inbetween.Teimur_Amiry_Candle_Enlightenment

Poetry is a drastic intervention meant to make you better. Not just feel better, but actually see, understand and *be* better than you are, which may feel strange at first.

Only bad poetry is comfortable. Trying to be the best that you are, to overcome ones self, may take more than one lifetime to achieve. But so many Poems offer roadmaps of the soul. Guidebooks from which you can detect what is universal about humanity, about the human subjective experience, and your place in this present.

So that is why I chose to launch my writing career, with my current publisher (Chameleon), with a book of Poetry:

You can order a signed and dedicated copy of my book IS SHE AVAILABLE? directly from PayPal Here

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

I chose to publish Poetry first specifically because it is the form of literature that has proven to be least popular at the moment, as this marketing study details.

I’ve always stood up for the underdog, be it in life or publishing. I stood up for Comics when they were largely looked down upon as adolescent drivel. I just never thought to myself in all my years on this earth, that I would need to stand up for Poetry, because it had now succumbed to more dominant dogs.

This is a great shame to me, as a reader of great Poets from virtually every culture and time period. I mean with Poetry it really is where all of humanity meets, outside of time and space. The very center of our collective space, where language is. Each one of us is both here and there: at the edge of meaning. The words of the poem are are written by and read by the singular mind that spans all of us to that edge of comprehension.RumiCallig-250x431 Poetry is the very understanding that we seek, in our selves and in others.

It is passive crime against our own humanity to let this art subside, due to laziness, neglect and superficiality.

So do your soul a favour and read a poem. Not just mine, any poem will do. Any Poem will set you free, for free; or at least at the modest cost of your attention.

In My (always) Humble Opinion, ofcourse.

Igor Goldkind

Author, Igor Goldkind


INSOMNIAC AWARENESS by Igor Goldkind


We who are hiding in our second bedrooms,

Licking the silver from the backs of our screen,

Are living in a differently timed zone

Of insomniac awareness.

Sometimes 2, sometimes 3, sometimes 4 or more

Lives are lived and lost each night.

In our rooms, by ourselves

Sitting too close to the edge of our beds.

 

This is our legacy 

The lasting  perpetuity of our sensory species:

The glow that contests the light that once shone from our eyes,

Right up to the razor’s edge of our understanding of

What is not yet known.

The un-utterable.

What can barely be thought , much less said and

Yet still dances these words so merrily across this page.

In the ballet of silence that surrounds them.

 

Who are you reading this?

What perturbs your eternal sleep-walk into the night?

Are there questions you are pondering?

Or are you merely waiting for the screen to pull through for you?

Into your own quiet, private world,

Where  things that count never change.

And no one is dreaming you, but your mother

Who has left you now for another child.

© Alex Grey: Insomniac Awareness by Igor Goldkind

Pillow Thought

Who has left you now for another child.


THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: IS SHE AVAILABLE? AVAILABLE NOW ON iTUNES.


Date: March 31, 2015 at 21:38:22 PDT

Subject: To my friends: THIS is What We Have Done – Is SHE Available?

From: Amy Sterling Casil , Chameleon Publishers

I can honestly say, this is like no other book we have ever seen before; we think perhaps – like no other you may have seen as well.uc

31 March 2015

For Immediate Release

IS SHE AVAILABLE? PUSHES BOOKS AND PUBLISHING FORWARD THROUGH POETRY, ART, AND MUSIC

Southern-California based publisher Chameleon Publishing releases its first major publication: Is SHE Available? by Igor Goldkind April 1 via the iBooks store.

What We DoIs SHE Available? pushes the edge of what is possible with present EPUB3 technology and how books are created and made. It is not an App, it is a true book that marries pop art, comics, avant-garde, jazz, spoken word poetry, video and animations, and type design. Its creative journey was more than a year in the making, growing from the collaborative work of artists, musicians, editors, and designers on two continents.

The poet, Igor Goldkind, is a San Diego native who lived in France and the UK for two decades while promoting the work of today’s most notable comic and graphic novel authors and artists. As a teen, he was one of the co-founders of San Diego’s legendary Comic-Con.

According to Bleeding Cool, “It was Goldkind who popularized the phrase ‘graphic novel’ with the media and found that gave them permission to cover the previously-considered childish medium of comic books . . . . Now, Goldkind’s vision of what graphic novels could be, is returning.”

Is SHE Available? was produced using an international collaborative model, but the book is one man’s voice and one man’s story.  Goldkind’s words and voice inspired the art of over 26 internationally-known artists, including cover art and interior illustrations by Eisner-winner Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra Assassin, Daredevil and more), additional interior Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_76illustrations from other graphic novel illustrators and award-winners including Glenn Fabry (Hellblazer, Preacher), David Lloyd (V for Vendetta and many others), Liam Sharp (Judge Dredd/2000 AD/Madefire), fine artists and illustrators Lars Henkel, Mario Cavalli, Mario Torero, Wendy Farrow, and many more.

Music and spoken word were recorded in New York with UK Jazz Album of the Year winner, author and ex-Israeli Gilad Atzmon. A US-based jazz and spoken word tour is scheduled for July 2015.

The type design and hardcover book are created by the eminent London-based designer Rian Hughes (2000 AD, Vertigo, Dan Dare), who includes an afterward about the collaborative design process. E-book production, incorporating Madefire animations, audio and additional animation, were provided by Chameleon Publishing in Southern California.

Due to the inclusion of video, audio and animations, and fine type design, it is playable only on Apple devices, and available only through the iBooks store. The hardcover (without music, spoken word or animationAdvance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_20s) will be published July 15, 2015.

Other “enhanced e-books” have been produced with budgets of $100,000 or more, and few have sold well. The “wisdom” is: poetry doesn’t sell. Enhanced e-books don’t sell. Most jazz doesn’t sell, either. Comic and graphic novel artists struggle to show their fine art to the public. And what publisher would take on a completely unknown poet whose claim to fame was selling fancy comic books to grown-ups and co-founding a big comic/media/scantily-clad women-fest like Comic-Con?Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_39

Twenty percent of North Americans regularly buy and read books. Nearly a hundred percent can read. Chameleon’s mission is to make books for everyone, not just a selected few.

Is SHE Available? Yes.

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes   ©2014

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes ©2014

Published April 1, 2015, in honor of National Poetry Month.

 

-END-

For more information and to obtain a copy of Is SHE Available? eBook for review (EPUB3 only on iOS devices – iPad, iPhone and Apple computers) or an advance reading copy of the hardcover edition contact the publisher:

Amy Sterling Casil

Chameleon Publishing Inc


After Scrutinizing the Content for Possible Obscenity, Apple Approves My Book for iTunes. Download Friday!


Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_45March 27th.

It’s coming!


p=m√


This moment is dead.Momentum
But your life is momentum.
It’s the only life you know:
Everywhere you look
Is exactly where you’ll go.

(Paying attention like a fine,
Sniffing out the muddied footprints of the divine.)

This ticket that you’re riding,
Fare-less and Free,
Is merely the impetus of your Desire
Conserved, unaffectedly
By any other force or swayconservation_of_momentum_7
Upon your singular trajectory through time.

For Tatiana Iosifovna Doubro  who is ejected from planes and recites Pushkin by heart as she is flies through space.

df13


Bubbles


Life goes on without you
and within you:
shiney-wet-pebbles-bubblesRound pink pebbles
Polished by the constant flow of
Bubbles that burst like dreams
Just above the stream.
All I am is the movement in between:
The pebbles and the burst-bubble dreams.

bubbles-119-1


The Crashing Wave


dive! dive! dive!112-9851-I-G28

deeper than your heart can beat.
deeper than your soul can breath.

dive dive dive. 

down deep beneath the swell;

deep beneath your feeble gasp.
dive before your heart is crushed
in the curled fist of the crashing wave.

www.popphoto.com_1284054483685


A TETHERED CLOUD

IS-SHE-AVAILABLE.COM

I cannot escape my devices.

They are the chains that link me but hold me,

in place.

A tethered cloud that can no longer drift afield,

off field

IS-SHE-AVAILABLE.COM

image by Bill Sienkiewicz 2014 ©

Towards the horizon, unbound,

Unnoticed.

Without the cord that ties me to the ground.

the radar is much too low to keep below,

these days.


FOLLOW ME AND I WILL FOLLOW YOU IF YOU FOLLOW ME I CAN FOLLOW YOU


Yes, Available.https://twitter.com/ISSHEAVAILABLERaven and Woman Branch pencil


THE BORDER IS YOUR MIND

Yes, I am Available Now!

Yes, Available. 1267915_10152977966392755_3846847922395520293_oMicrosoft Word - New Poem-THE BORDER IS YOUR MIND.docx


LOVE IS AN ANGEL DISGUISED AS LUST by Igor Goldkind


LOVE IS AN ANGEL DISGUISED AS LUST 

Love is an Angel.medusa-on-the-sofa_for-Evan copy What is this thing that you can’t speak of?

This flirtation that will not hold its tongue but would rather hold yours between its teeth

And bite the thwarted anticipation of your mad fear’s confusion.

for fuck’s sake, what’s to choose?

Your body has already chosen for you

I hear it calling me on the telephone it anticipates my touch

it intakes your breath

it recalls my lips onto yours this tongue wets a damp crevice and summons the river

and it flows like no other desire from phone to train to bedroom

a churning current that carves out cliffs on the shoreline on the way plowing across the months and years exposing the bone and sinew of yes,

pure lust  

DESIRE!

Pure Beautiful Carnal Longing

that is the truthful stench of black damp earth pregnant with all of life;  pregnant with who you and I will become

when One again.

 When turning and churning, unraveling and raveling the bed sheets again.

The furious spinning of uplift resisting all gravity.

There’s a vertigo to our desire but no, I will not let you fall.

Recall, hear my cries of consummation in your arms, rising and falling, dancing between your upturned thighs

Recall your gasps of surprised delight

As the wings of a fallen angel unfurl to take in the return to paradise. You can feel this all again with me, baby.

There ever, ever was anotherLove is an Angel copy.                I’m just waiting to take you again.

Paintings of Medusa by Nancy Farmer © 2014  for the Poem in the collection IS SHE AVAILABLE?   (Chameleon)


THE DARK CLOUD by Igor Goldkind; illustration by Bill Sienkiewicz; music by Gilad Atzmon; Motion by Madefire.com


Deviant Art

Motion Book

ORDER YOUR COPY SHORTY @ WEBSITE:  IS SHE AVAILABLE?     $24.95
IS SHE AVAILABLE? Cover.logo copy 2


PLATO’S RETREAT by Igor Goldkind; Illustration by Rian Hughes


Plato’s RetreatPLATO'S RETREAT IGOR'S BOOK FLAT

I want to be just like Socrates,


Grow a long beard and

Do what I please.


And be asking you allot of questions….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates

And not know for sure
 If I’m really real

or merely an altar In Plato’s temple.

I want to be just like Socrates,


And stand in the forum all day.


In the blazing sun that surrounds us,

Under the azure Athenian skies.

And philosophize,

To anyone who bothers to listen….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates

Corrupting my own youth in a hemlock cocktail

Every Friday night,
 2, 4 1 before 7 ….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates,

On a Saturday night
…

Asking, “hey you, at the bar”:

What is justice?

And where can I score some tonight?

After hours
..

Long after the widening sliver

Of your mind’s eternal dawn.


THE WHEELS OF HATE by I. Goldkind (illustration by Mario Torero, muralist, teacher, poet)


  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • The Wheels of Hate
  •  
  • The Wheels of the Bus go round and round, round and round, round and round
  • The Wheels of the Bus go round and round, all day long.
  •  
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round, round and round, round and round
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round all day long.
  •  
  • The Wheels of Hate put niggers in the back of the bus, niggers in back of the bus,
  • Niggers in back of the bus!
  • The Wheels of Hate put the niggers in the back of the bus
  • Until we said: No Fucking More!
  •  
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round, round and round, round and round
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round all fucking day.
  •  
  • The wheels of the hate touched up the woman, touched up your woman, touched up our women
  • The Wheels of Hate touched up all women until they said: NO MORE, YOU DICKS!
  •  
  • The Wheels of Hate exploited the Latino, exploited the Latino, exploited the Latino
  • The Wheels of Hate exploited the Latino until we made the union strong.
  •  
  • The Wheels of Hate burnt all the Jews, burnt all the Jews, burnt all the Jews
  • The Wheels of Hate burnt all the Jews and now burn the skins of the schoolchildren of Gaza.
  • Those same Wheels. . .
  •  
  • Ohhh, the Wheels of Hate dug all the Killing Fields, dug the Killing Fields, dug the Killing Fields
  • The Wheels of Hate dug the Killing Fields until there was nobody left to kill.
  •  
  • The Wheels of Hate beat the Muslim woman, beat the Muslim woman, beat the Muslim woman
  • The Wheels of Hate beat the Muslim woman because she covered her face.
  •  
  • Yes, the Wheels of Hate took me for a fool, took me for a fool, took me for a fool.
  • The Wheels of Hate took me for a fool until I said:
  • Enough is Enough!
  •  
  • The Wheels of Hate make us all hate each other, all hate each other, all hate each other.
  • The Wheels of Hate make us all suspect each other because this way we are easier to rule.
  •  
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round, round and round, round and round.
  • The Wheels of Hate go round and round until we make them . . .
  •  
  •  STOP!
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Image

IS SHE AVAILABLE..? by Igor Goldkind A Collection of Poetry, Art, Music and Motion in eBook, Hardcover and CD Spoken Word Editions COMING FOR THIS XMAS!!!


THIS IS THE HOLDING PAGE FOR THE OFFICIAL IS-SHE-AVAILABLE.COM WEB-HUB LAUNCHING DECEMBER 6, 2014

On this page you will be able to order the book directly in time for Xmas; Download the eBook; pre-order the Wall Print Portfolio and the Music CD IS SHE?  

BOOK MARK THIS PAGE AND GET SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR BLOG-FOLLOWERS AND FACEBOOK FANS

CHECK OUT SAMPLE FROM THE EBOOK AT MADEFIRE.COM   HERE

THIS IS THE COVER ILLUSTRATION FOR THE BOOK AND THE POEM THE DARK CLOUD

by BILL SIENKIEWICZ  © 2014Copyright Bill Sienkiewicz 2014 for the collection IS SHE AVAILABLE? by Igor GoldkindI

am

the

Darkness.

I

am

the

Darkness.

I

am

Oblivion.

I

am

the

MeaningDK4

of

Meaning,

Which

is

Nothing!

I

am

contempt

incarnate

I

am

the

self-loathing,

the

wriggling,

The

squirming

of

your

soul

I

am

the

reason

you

are

suffering

Because

IDK1

enjoy

the

show.

I

am

the

Darkness.

I

am

the

Darkness.

I

am

Oblivion.

I

am

the

Meaning

of

Meaning,

Which

is

Nothing!

I

am

the

dropped

eyes

and

fallen

smile

of

your

mother

When

she

realizes

what

a

little,

masturbating

shit

you

really

are!DK2

I

am

sickness.

I

am

despair.

I

am

the

hope

you

hide

behind,

Strangled in thin air.

am

the

Darkness.

am

the Darkness.

am 

Oblivion.

am

the Meaning

of

Meaning,

Which is

Nothing!

You

are

the

particle,

I

am

the physics

You think

you matter?

Am the Matter,

Dark Matter!

I

am

where

all

energy

goes.

Entropy is my mistress

and

fuck her every day!

DK4

I

am

Where

you

come

from

Where

everything

comes

from…

am what comes to you all.

I

am

where

you

go

when

you

don’t

really

know,

When

you

can’t

recall

Who you are anymore.

am the Darkness.

am the Darkness.

am Oblivion.

am the Meaning of meaning,

Which is Nothing!

Stop

talking

now.

Stop

thinking

now.

Stop loving and living and dying.

Come with me now.

Come with me now.Raven and Woman Branch

Come with me now.

There’s

no

denying

what

you

already

know,

What you’ve known all along.

I am the Darkness.

I am the Darkness.

I am Oblivion.

I am the Meaning of Meaning,

Which is Nothing!

There’s

no

You.

There never was.

It was always

Me.

YouMan pulls cloud are just trick of the

lights that

own.

You are nothing,

You are the 

                                                                 Nothing

You are me

You belong to

ME.

Now come quietly now,

Come take my hand, now.

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Where you belonged.

Out of oblivion,

Out of the Meaning of Meaning,

Out of the darkness,

into your Light

And come

Home.


FLASH BACK ’78


Basking in the Broken Down Casino of Americana the grated dead reside in.scan0015

Reading the Bones of old contentions…looking up at primary  school-lights; the ones that never change…looking down at the floor tiles; an endless sea of wrinkled faces….too many people to breathe in…

where’s the Exit Jean mentioned?…

Sound…check…test…test1…test2…test3…

Now!

Go You Sun of a Gun!

Locomotive train thunders through your head…groping… stumbling…tripping forwards into that warm glowing rush of the great unknown.  There’s a tunnel!… there’s a tunnel…there’s a tunnel up ahead.  We’re goin’in…we’re goin’in…we’re goin’in.watch your head!

Watch: Your Head.

 Gone!   Washed away under the Lowest Bridge:

The consummation of illusion onto the lockjaw of your reality.

Still falling forwards…forwards with time…moving…with no body…no mass…no mind…beating…truckin’…making that Bend-On-the-Road…past the Dooh-Dah man….Right turn….left turn…back turn…back-where-you-started-from turn…It’s happening man…all around you…all the time…with you…without you…no-you..no- more…no-you-no-more….KNOW-MORE-YOU!..Don’t look left…don’t look right…don’t get scared…

Dawn follows the Night…head straight into the Light… up ahead…right where you came from…another train comin’ down your track…Head On Tight!grateful_dead_skeleton__pencil_by_frozenpinky-d2ek9j0

One More Stop….

Farther Down the Road.

Just keep on truckin’… don’t fall ahead and do not fail…one…two…onetwo…want-to… want-to …onetwothree..….chugga-chugga-chugga-chew-chew…One-Two Three….chugga-chugga-chugga-chew-chew

One-Two-Three….

One-Two-Three….chew-chew:

you’re dead.

For shaky kane,  you better watch your head…


THE BORDER OF YOUR MIND


Sometimes I just see patterns.

The field of endeavor; the day-to-day rhythm of endless steps towards complacency becomes too much for me.

Screens and chimes and pleasant bleeps lull me into mindless, not mindful sleep.

It’s then that the field breaks down.

into shivering, electrical abstract shapes.

Form with no narrative other than energy.

Images that just to seem to connect remote dis-relations into pattern and recognition.

The patterns, the connections; look for the connections.

Like Borders.  Lines.  Fences. Walls.

The bricks that must be removed one stone at a time.

In Gaza, along the Mexican/American frontier;

Borders seem to define.

Here’s my line:

1303941810-the_border-promo-web_2

THE BORDER IN YOUR MINDdesert.gi

by Igor Goldkind

 

The Border in your Mind,

The dividing line,

Between you and you

and you and me.

The Borderline we hide behind.

 b01_85427302

The crying child on the dusty road without clothes,

Heading toward you,

Reaching out to you;  Is you.

Don’t you see?  

Can’t you see?

What causes all this misery?070312-A-6950H-002:

 

The Border in in your Mind.

That’s the only dividing line between

You and you and

You and me

And me and me.

 

 la-oe-0402-selee-immigration-mexico-20130402-001

 

F8.large


THE GODS by Igor Goldkind


THE GODS

th-1In the trees, in the trees

I can feel them in the trees!

The Gods, that is;

The ones who prepare us for the Passage Out of Time.

 

We are Osiris, you and I,

Scattered fragments of Life’s desire;

Long ago recovered from the deserts shifting sands,

     One hour glass at a time.

 We are nothing but our longing, my friend.

We are merely the sum,

The cost of our own yearning

To be tethered to the Whole.

 

Meanwhile, Isis reassembles her lover,

Carefully locking fragments of memory back into time.

Interlocking the broken puzzle of our lives,

One piece at a time.


Image

I Once Knew A Woman Thrice; in Santa Cruz, Paris and Philadelphia


recently returned some poems I had sent her from far, far ago when we ere young and in lust and barely able to bare the sight or scent of each other without fainting into reverie and floating together; clouds that had long since let go of their rain.

It is a gift to visit ancient ports and distant shores.

Time is as big as the world it passes by.

So it is with words:


mad dog

hiding in the rain.

sharp stone

never show your pain.

some kind of innocence

is nourished in your fears.

you don’t know how much

I’ve tried just to hold you near.

(there is no way out-

-there is no way out).

the poet earns his keep

from reading the pain in others eyes

while his eyes are fountains

of tear drops and shattered sunlight.

Igor Goldkind 1983


You love me, I know with your own hands

For I am faithful to your fingertips.

When you pierce me with your wide-eyed glances,

I am stilled.

The earth grows roots around my calves,

And my body is made of branches.

Your gaze shivers their leaves like an Autumn breeze.

Igor Goldkind  1977



Zen

you are

the vessal

made usefull

by the emptiness

within

Igor Goldkind late 70’s


And then Paris,  1986:

10013981_10152778885237755_3592292321445791211_n


THE SEED by Igor Goldkind


I’d like to take a pause from buying things.

Not that I don’t like things; or buying them,

I like things, lots of things.

Not lots, but many things.

But I’d like to take a pause from buying things,

The Seed by Pawel Jonca © 2014

The Seed by Pawel Jonca © 2014

Or borrowing the money for the many things I must have

That I will never really own.

I ‘d like to take a pause from buying things,

Take stock of what I need;

I need to check my bank account and count the monthly leeches that I feed.

I ‘d like to take a pause from buying things until I know exactly what I’ll need.

Hey, would you like to take a pause from buying things,

Just to measure what is real?

Go ahead, take a pause from buying things;

Till you’re certain you have enough ground

in which to plant this seed.


CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY


My work in the late 80’sand 90’s in the British publishing industry led to the engineering and successful marketing  of the Graphic Novel genre; a new format of  hardcover and trade paperbacks of graphic fiction that bookstores would stack on their shelves.  It was my job at Titan Books to do so, for which I was paid some £7,500 a year by my employer Nick Landau, to do.

After I was given a raise by Titan Books to £8K per annum , I learnt solely by chance, that my work had increased the revenue for my employer by some 7 figure sums and that the rest of the publishing industry were all cashing in on the work I was doing in promoting 9-5, the new publishing category.   Cashing in, but not adhering to  to the implicit quality standards the likes of Moore, Gaiman, Morrison, Speigelman and other auteurs were actively pursuing.

The Medium, as we used to call it back then, had failed to live up to its own promise.

So I got out; for that and personal reasons.

Now when I read the interviews with my former partners in CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY crime in the press complaining that the industry had failed and that the term Graphic Novel  was just a manipulative tool wielded by the Moloch of Comics Publishing932f83ea7108237da3f82c1b8ec82261

(Batman in MOLOCH!  Wonderwoman in MOLOCH!  The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galazy, Superman and the Xmen are all drowning in the vomit of MOLOCH!)   

Which I believe, the premise of the new cross over series written for DC by Grant Morrison.Tree-Man-A-1000x1000

The most admired (and crafted), writer in comics ever, in particular; (someone I worked with closely with on the presentation of his seminal forensic crucification of the American superhero genre to a mainstream audience, refrains from even addressing me by name in print when he lambasts the CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY that still pays him a living), has repeatedly condemned the  publishing category Graphci Novel, as  effectively, just another  CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY from the publishign industry.

I have news for the revered scribe:  you may have relegated me to the dark side, but take a look in the mirror, man: you’ve been here with me all along.

[Added 9.18 for context], I realise now that the above might be interpreted as some kind of opening volley against the distinguished author.  Far be it.  I will always both  personally  and publically assert that Mr. Moore was the change in comics back in the late 80’s.  No single other artist in the medium at the time was so intelligently treating the medium like a literary and artistic platform for expression.  Most craftsmen (and women), I met at the time were desperaely trying to hustle their next wok commission.  Not Mr. Moore.  His posture was different:  he related to editors, collaborators and others  as an auteur sans pretension.  Intelligent, articulate and demanding of  ones wit and focus.   And from I observed, never intimidated or swayed  by the money or more often, the promise of money from publishers.

Just to make absolutely clear about my statements regarding this author:  I learned everything I know about comics by just listening to him, during interviews, casual conversations and direct discussions.  A the time, this man was a walking sandwich board for the the new comics,  the Graphic Novels, chiefly because it was only his writing (and that of a handful of there), that even came close to qualifyng as a novel or even literature.   I never was nor have ever been a Comics Fan (Senator and members of the committee), but I have always been a fan of literature, drawn or undrawn.    Which is why I cntinue to read, enjoy and learn from Mr. Moore’s work.

Although I do take exception (mildly, not really that seriously), to his most recent public damnations of the Graphic Novel, and it’s origins; it’s not that I object to his opinion as much as I question the accuracy of his recollection of events and of the times that he was actually there.    I don’t take issue either with Mr. Moore’s take on the industry  and publishing in general; in fact the more experience I gain the more my views align with his.

But regardless of the vocabulary used (or the fact that I was being paid a paltry wage at the time), I accomplished my task to his and his collaborator’s direct professional and financial benefit.  Not to mention the real world benefits: the successfull dissemination of the term Graphic Novel into the mainstream brought to literally thousands of other free lances in the form of royalty checks for the graphic novel edition of their work; a  now standard of the comics industry throughout the world.

I do not benefit from the use of the term of from the money generated by its use.

Bird-With-Letter-A1-1000x1000But I do not regret not hiring that CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY lawyer that would have secured my trademark on the use of the term and perhaps a penny off of every new Graphic Novel sale; which is what the business side of the industry tells me I shoudl have done.

I did not “create” the term graphic novel; as an outsider to the industry, I found the term on the back of a Will Eisner book and used it as the keystone of a campaign to bring new comics, well written, adventuerously drawn comics.    But yes, I coined the term Graphic Novel; having borrowed it from the back of a low print-run Will Eisner compilation of The Spirit.  His clever NYC publisher was struggling to get Eisner’s work into the bookshops too and had tried the term connotating Literary fiction: a novel.   My use of the term was different as messieurs Gaiman and Moore can both attest to; Grant got it about the same time but more remotely, in Glasgow.  Graphic Novel  was meant to mean  NEW Graphics, new graphic literature, new comics.

Coining, (in the sense of creating common usefulness; IOW: monetizing a vocabulary term into the common currency of language of transactional communication).  It derives from the coining of money by stamping metal with a die. Coins (also variously spelled coynes, coigns, coignes or quoins), were the blank, usually circular, disks from which money was minted. This usage derived from an earlier 14th century meaning of coin, which meant wedge. The wedge-shaped dies which were used to stamp the blanks were called coins and the metal blanks and the subsequent ‘coined’ money took their name from them.

{Coining later began to be associated with inventiveness in language. In the 16th century the ‘coining’ of words and phrases was often referred to. By that time the monetary coinage was often debased or counterfeit and the coining of words was often associated with spurious linguistic inventions; for example, in George Puttenham’s The arte of English poesie, 1589:

“Young schollers not halfe well studied… will seeme to coigne fine wordes out of the Latin.”

Shakespeare, the greatest coiner of them all, also referred to the coining of language in Coriolanus, 1607:

“So shall my Lungs Coine words till their decay.”}coin a phrase

Tree-Man-A-1000x1000

The NEW comics of the late 80’s and early 90’s that derived from Moore’s early work for DC, Spielgelman’s dabbling at biography in NYC, Miller’s pushing the edges out on Dare Devil and most of all (for me), Bill Sienkiewicz’s explosive rendering of ELEKTRA ASSASIN!  I had never seen anyone take the convnetions of comcis illustration like Faugere Egg and take a sledge hammer to it the way Siekiewicz did, literally splattering the edges of the pages and frames with the remnants of comics conventions.  Sienkiewicz brought commercial  art and later fine art sensibilities to Graphic Novels, something his admirer and pioneer in his own right Dave McKean would further in his career just like in a real popular arts medium.

These were the Makers of New Works.  I’ve forgotten everyone:  Brendan McCarthy, Jamie Delano, Pete Milligan, Frank Miller, Joe Sacco, Harvey Peckar, Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez . . . .  they all were making, new different work outside the stulpifying conventions aesthetic conventions.  So like superheros, they need a new name and Guardians of the Galaxy was taken, so instead you got Graphic Novelists.

I resent nothing.

It was my own fault for being more naive and less carnivorous than my employers.

So instead I have to work for a living; for which I have no complaint as at least I have work to do.

I did learn something valuable (whenever someone fails, they  always say that they learnt something valuble),  and that is to sell a product whatever it might be, you have to create a place in people’s minds and desires where they want that product.  The most intimate and subjective of products: the books we read, the music we listen to , the films we watch: you must give people a reason for looking an understanding for what they may see.

That is why a coded term like Graphic Novel works; it’s a cut through, short cut signifier that puts anyone who wants to know or needs to know in the picture immediately: you know what you know and now you know what it is.

In the case of Poetry, we have a different problem.

Everyone knows what  Poetry is, right ? It’s that stuff you had to memorize in school and  analyze with Mrs. Humphries who always crossed the naughty words out like ‘sweat’ and ‘blood’ and ‘toil’ with a thick, black, fascist marker pen.38_image_v2

Or it’s what you penned to your wife when you were courting her; or received form your husband, your boyfriend, you lover.  Anyone one of those people in your life who felt such passion, such ardour for you that they could not tell you, they had to find words from some magic place to convince you, to persuade you, to seduce you into the beauty of the passion they could see in you.

Perhaps a Poem was the only form your shattered thoughts could take at the loss of someone so precious to you that you would choose the pian of being hewn by swords than endure the truth of their permanent absence from this world.

Perhaps you have nearly gone mad and found Poems, like steps out of the abyss of self-loathing into the stark light of realisation and hope for your self.

There is no greater hope to lose than the Hope for Yourself.

So Poetry has a signifier, a pretty universal one; unfortunately it doesn’t point towards anything like what Poetry actually is.

Poetry is an art form, not a craft.

Poetry an aspiration to derive music and pattern from our deepest thoughts, the language of our dreams and the whispering, the lamenting, the singing, the moaning and the laughter of our souls.

Poetry is Liberation.  The words will set you free.

I am a Poet and to sell my ware  (my GRAPHIC POEMS ;~),   I must show people what it is that I do, that others do that is so far removed from the common currency of the term Poetry.   So this is not only a CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY, but a sinister sales strategy as well!   To get you to read my words, I must first who you what they are ouside the barriers of  your preconceptions.

So, come to a picnic and hear what Poetry is and the vital importance it has always played in our social and political lives.

*Poster for Marathon Rimbaud-100-THOUSAND-POETS-4-CHANGE-by-Henrik-Aeshna

September 27th, 1 pm Balboa Park, World Beat Centre/ El Centro Cultural de la Raza

Come One and All, Come All in One, Come to the 100,000 Poets-for-Change Marathon!  (Picnic & Reading)

79-penseefasciste-mauriziocattelan-fotopedia

It’s your duty ;~)


GRAVITY’S CONQUEST


This is from my upcoming  collection of poetry, art and music entitled IS SHE AVAILABLE?  (Chameleon; October 31)

Artwork by the incomparable Liam Sharp (an ostrich, a rhino?  a toaster?  a xylophone?  See, you can’t compare him.)

This image, conjured from his reading of the poem below, is  Copyright Liam Sharp 2014.  

The poem GRAVITY’S CONQUEST may be reproduced widely without restriction,  as long as it is intact, attributed and appears in a place likely to  incite civil and/or psychological unrest.  Please write it on lavatory walls and biology school books.

Don’t fall too far from your self.

Who else is going to bend over to pick you up?

Gravity's conquest low-res copy

 

GRAVITY’S CONQUEST

 

You know, you’ve already seen the inside of your guts
Looking for a way out.
You know, you’ve already seen what you’ve seen:
You know what you know.
You know the truth like an elder brother.

 

You know, it’s usually right ‘there’,
The last place you looked.
The last place you wanted to forget:
Your bare feet,
Pasted against the concrete;
Gravity’s Conquest.

 

Nailed through the heels.
Poised,
Gracefully
On the precarious cusp
Between this death and that life.


SUICIDE IS PAINLESS!


mash_-_suicide_is_painlessThis morning I did cry for Robin Williams.  Not for long, I didn’t know the man except through his acting and performance persona.  

But he was such a familiar fixture in my tube zone from the 70’s onwards.  First as the alien Mork who merely by being an SF element on mainstream TV made me an instant fan.  it was a silly show but reeked of that 70’s innocence I would pay hard currency to recover.  

It was a memory and then I grew older and so did Robin and he became a hyper-ventilated, hyper-active, hyper-real stand up and I related to him.

By the time of Good Morning Vietnam, I knew and loved Williams as part of the anarchic fraternity that embraced  him, Andy Kaufman, Eddie Izzard, Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx: that fearless plunge into the surreal.    Riding what we considered normalcy into its logical outcome: the absurd; he surfed that beach, skated that ice.   Late,r I grew to like him less but forgave the absorbing amoeba of Hollywood we succumbed to; he deserved success, what of it?  The drugs made him seem dangerous to me; that was atttractive once and then repulsive.  Now I’m more indifferent.  If I had been in his shoes, doing his career; sure, I’m sure I would have been a coke head too.  And the Alcohol?  I’ve got my own ghost stories to tell.

What made me cry for Robin Williams was that occasionally, during his film work or  talk show appearance, he would let the Harlequin’s mask slip and we would briefly gimpse this quiet, very contemplative man, honing his sense of attack, thinking his next line . . . the timing.  And I recall distinctly that look of vulnerable humanity and I felt touchd by him, like he would be someone I speak to if in the same room.  It was this Robin Williams I wept for, because I knew exactly what he was feeling as he took his own life.  

Or maybe it was nothing like what I felt when I took my own life at 16.

I felt  bad for Robin because I could imagine the moments as he decided, as his intent hardened to resolve, and the long run off the short cliff of the emotional, psychic plunge that he took.  I felt I was there with him like a ghost; out of reach, trying to connect—trying to just have a word with him.

I took my own life with  a cocktail,  over dose of my mother’s medications including lithium and barbiturates.  What my father’s doctor had prescribed her for her anxiety and perpertual angst from living in a perfect suburb.  

I say I “took” my life even though I am still alive writing this (barely).  Because the intent was there.  I was not pretending.  I was not seeking attention.

I waited until my mother had left the house to go shopping.  I crept upstairs to her medicine cabinet, took out all her plastic jars of pills and empied them into my mouth.  Just what the doctor ordered.    I then went downstairs to the den where my teenage years were to end.  Lay down on my bed, crossed my arms and prepared to die.  My typewritten note still in the manual typewriter on my desk.  I was prepared.

Then my mother came home.

She had forgotten something and then noticed that I hadn’t done the dishes.

Se knocked on my door.

I ignored her.

[I’m dyng here, for chrissakes!]

She banged on the door, yelled at me and then came into my room.  She wasn’t going to leave me alone to die or anything else.  I was still her child, her responsibility, her burden of karma.

She made me get out of bed and go do the dishes.

I did.

You had to listen to my mother or a metal spoon might find your bottom; or the back of  your neck might attract an open palm slap.  Once my other slapped me full in the face in front of others.  When I asked her why she told us that she didn’t like the look I had given her.  My mother has always lived the intuitive life, dangerously.

I started to wash the dishes, laughed and then woke up in hospital.

That’s what it seemed like at the time.

I survived.

And recovered.

It was my mother’s insistence on engendering my self-discipline that saved my life.    That, and the unwashed dishes.

I so deeply regretted my stupid, solipsistic, life-changing attempt to die, that I subsequently trained and worked as a suicide counsellor in San Fransisco in the early 80’s, while I attended SFSU.

A saw a notice on a board and I answered it.

I used to work shifts in a call centre-like set up near the Haight.  I would spend 4 hours taking calls.  Random calls.    Calls from women mainly, but then there would be evenings, usually Saturday nights when it would be nearly all male voices. Long, lonely voices.  Soft voices.  Tearful voices.  I took it all in.  I was a young man but I had been where they were and I figured I owed dues.  I owed dues to my mother, to my sister and to the ever loving pack of hairless apes that share my cage on this muddy spinning marble.  I oed dues to the life I had so nearly come so close to squandering.

At first I was shy and repeated the same “I’m Listening” cues, over and over.  But the one woman who’s husband came home each  afternoon and beat bloodly her in front of her toddler.  The patient dying of cancer.  The executive who stole money.  The teenager, like me: hurt, confused, in pain; not knowing where the pain is coming from.

Then, I got good at it.

I left the Suicide Center script behind and began to ask my own questions; harnessing Socrates and my own empathy and expereince of suicide to try and connect.  I spoke to suicides from the place of wanting to kill your self, not trying to talk you out of it.  When I left the center, the director gave me a certificate, a thank you and shook my hand in front of the team.  He looks like Alan Watt’s in my mind’s eye, but I’m sure that I’m confusing images.  He shook my hand and said “We are all fortunate to have had such an old soul amongst us”.  I had no idea what the hell that meant.

sisyphusIllustration for Sisyphus Shrugs (from IS SHE AVAILABLE?) ; by DIX

Suicide is never a cold, calculated choice.  But it is a choice.

I’m sure there as many reasons as there are suicides; but the step that one takes across the line from intent into action is a huge ascent.  It takes every fibre of ones will to align onesself to a task that goes against ones own body, one’s being.  This is precisely what is so incomprehensible to non suicides ; that the act of taking ones life takes such a great force of will.  If will is Life how can it will its own end?     Your body will fight you every step of the way; *it* wants to survive.  You, on the other hand, can think of better alternatives to merely surviving.  

There are classes amongst suicides and we don’t rate religious or insane self-immolators at all.  In fact we think they’re chicken-shits.    They tell themselves a story or someone does and next thing they know, they think they’re getting off at 25th street when it’s actually the upper east side.  KA-BOOM!!! 

No.  That’s not real suicide.  

Real suicide is when you know absolutely that you have no idea what happens next.  THAT’s the step into the abyss that takes a force of will.  A will, an intent borne into action more often than not as an alternative to the fact of ones existence:  A bully, a spouse, a bank statement.   How can I describe the agony of hating the world?  Chasing the orbit around the source of the confounding pain round and round like a mad dog chasing its own tail.   Try chasing your own tail for year, two years, five years in agonizing concentric circles of self loathing and pain and self-repulsion and then tell me how selfish suicide is; ok??

Most of us contemplate or will contemplate suicide at one time or another in our lives.

Fact.

But when’s the last time you shared any of your darkest thoughts with anyone?  What’s the matter, scared you won’t get an invite to the Prom?  Well yes, precisely.

You may be thinking about it right now as you read these words.

It can just cross your mind, a wandering Jew of a thought.   A casual, whimsical speculation that takes shape and form into something viable, no: necessary.  Necesssary to allieve the agony of this existence.

It’s time to speak out about this.

It’s a good thing.

it’s a natural thing.

Yes it is, it’s a natural thing to contemplate killing yourself; people have been doing it for thousands of years.

It’s part of the process we go through in becoming human beings, in gaining a greater depth of understanding of what it is that we are so willing to chuck away.  Life and Death are a mirage; it’s just 2 sides of the same deal, baby.  

But what exactly is the deal, huh?

Do you know?  

No, neither do I so who are you to tell me that you understand the value of my life better than I do?

I’m happy  to reveal what so many of us hide from their own polite eyes: that we are deeply unhappy with our lives, that we do not know why and that we are suffering, mostly in silence.  So many of us.  So many of us continue and persevere; so many of us don’t.  That’s the way the cookie crumbles

I am fortunate that I can translate some of these dark thoughts, impotent cries of anguish into words, poems that might invite you to open your heart and reflect: on your self, on your life, on your neighbor.  What’s his or her life like, I wonder?

But I am just one lonely poet.

An obnoxious one, at that.

This existential torment I describe is the privilege of the intelligent,  the sensitive, the insightful, the visionary, the artist, thinker, the Artist: All High Suicide Risks.  Robin Williams was an artist and an artist uses their metier not so much to exorcize their demons, as uncover them.    Williams crafted his art,  I’d like to think, as a shield, as his own private shelter against the raging cold of indifference that surrounds us.  

But we who lurk  at the center of the cyclone, where our care and concern  huddle at the tranquil center, are perplexed and confused.  “He had so much to live for”.

That is why I  try and describe these thoughts and  ideas and  sensations as best as I can,      I do so not out of exhibitionism; on the contrary, I’ve kept these facts about myself  secret for some time; I want to inform anyone who has been affected by suicide, either someone you knew or a loved one, or in fact yourself, what kinds of thoughts may cross your mind that make you want to take your own life.  If this gives some small respite or comfort to someone in their moment of profoundest grief, then it is no chore on my part.

It may seem displaced; it may even seem selfish and insensitive; but there’s an arrogance to the suicide  that does place us one step removed from the lives you are living.  Impulse and sheer clumsy stupidity aside, the intent to take your own life, with all the thought that that act entails, is not an easy course to stay.  

It is not, to the suicide, a real choice.  In the Camus-like sense of choosing every day to either commit suicide or NOT commit suicide as an exercise of free will.  To NOT committ suicoide is of course to choose Life and whatever else happens to you that day as something you have willingly chosen.  No, the existential blanket is often clung to but the act itself requires more desperation than merely a wanting to know how to live.

The same with the code of  honor or Bashido that motivated both Yukoo Mishima, Japan’s greatest post war poet and the executive in charge of compensation to the 400 families of the Japanese Boeing jet that went down in the water with no survivors.  The verdict was pilot error and the compensation payments were in the millions.  After filing the paperwork for the 400th claim, the airline executive neatly arranged his desk and then committed ritual seppukaas his personal apology to the families.  In this way the samurai, the man of honour makes his entire life a gesture, a conscious act of volition in ending it.  He knew what he was doing.

I did not.

I was a child growing up in 70’s San Diego.  Down the street from me was the school where the shootout that gave Bob Geldof Why I hate Mondays.  And of course there was Danny Alstadt.

Death-is-not-the-End_Wallpaper_1gtcz

I published my first poem entitled UNDER THE GIZMO in the California State Education Poetry Anthology describing my experience when my French teacher, a former Playboy bunny, discovered my poetry journal that had my imitations of Baudelaire and Nerval.   She called the school counsellor who called my mother who then got browbeat her into taking me to a child psychiatrists.  Upon the first ten mintues of meeting me and suggesting that a French Symbolist’s lifestyle was not compatibel with an academic career, he prescribed  medication.  Apparently, a 14 year old with a morbid interest in late 19th century French Symbolist poetry does not conform to the cirriculum standard and I was sentenced to be drugged.  

Fortunately my father had returned from his conference and was able to intervene where my mother’s English could not.

So I wrote a poem about the dehumanization of the state educational system.

So the state educational system published it in their journal state-wide.

My long term social alienation had been  augumented by my parents disintegrating marriage.

It was the summer of 1975 that my father moved out and it was later that summer that I took my own life.

When I went to 10th grade, before I was expelled for organizing a student demo (another story), I fell in with a group of older students who seemed to appreciate SF, poetry, classical music and art as much as I did.  They adopted me as a sort of odd mascot and I took pleasure in finally have found a social niche I felt welcome in.

B became my best friend  and it was B who enthisiastically invited me to the library after school one day to introduce me to S, his new girlfriend.  I had never met anyone like S before; half Armenian, half Jewish; S was the girl I had been dreaming of since I first started dreaming about girls.  And she was my best friend’s girlfriend.  And beautiful.  And intelligent.  And she new everything about Matisse!

Needless to say this fated triangle would not hold.  That summer was a Shakespherian torture of frustrated libido, yielding to honour.  Eventually B “gave” S to me.  It was during one of those ridiculous emotional roller coaster rides that S had called me to tell me that she had reached a final decision and was choosing to stay with B.  

We were all children at 16 and 17.  Children playing with fire.

I accepted this, hung up the phone and sat down to my typewriter to write my goodbye.

When I awoke in hospital, stomach pumped, having endured the enagelism of an all night Christain nurse wo kept waking me up to tell me how much I had disapppointed Jesus.  

[HE”S disappointed?  I would shout at her now.]

When I awoke to the pair of clear blue confused yes of my little sister looking at me, anxious and scared I realized like a freight train what my life was really worth.   At the time, it seemed like the only thing to do.  That morning, I hated myself and when I looked at the hurt confusion in my mother’s eyes, I knew that this could never, never ever happen again.

These days it merely takes a split second of my daughter’s face in my mind to assure my immortality.

But I’m with Robin Williams.  I know what that step entails.  I know what it means to make the final choice.  And it is something we must air out.  It is something we must allow to enter the public sphere.  We are all masters of our own destiny and the ability to choose to take our own lives is an act of assertion; an act of identity.  To label it as weak or sick or wrong is to deny your own awareness of your own identity and the need to control and detmin who and what it is that you are on your terms.  There are many things worse than death and there are at least a billion living it.  But is life is deemed to be precious, indeed the only value there is, then that value must be defined by its limits.

It is my life to choose to live it as I choose and to choose to die as I choose to.

Robin’s chocie may be tragic to us, but it is also a reminder that death rests waiting on all  of our shoulders.  There is no way out, is what we all share in common.   

Peace, and an ease to all suffering.


IT’S NICE TO BE 15 AGAIN . . .


hitchhiker. . . in nervous anticipation of the world.  Curiousity, tempered by peer acquired knowledge  butts against the barricades of adulthood.  We’re ready to storm the Citadel of your privilege!  We are the next generation and that world you’re holding hostage belongs to us!  (Now hand it over before anyone gets hurt.)

My daughter, Olivia is 15 and visting me from just outside Oxford, England where she lives with her mother and has never had less than a straight A+ report card.  She just took a flight by herself from London Heathrow to San Diego, at 15.

When I was 15 my parents were getting divorced, badly.

So I ran away from home.

I told my mom, my dad  had moved out, that I was going camping with my friend Barry Alphonso for a few days and I asked her if she could give me a ride to Pacific Beach where Barry lived and where his mom was driving us from.hitchhiking-1

I didn’t see my mother again for another 12 weeks. I met Barry alright in PB near the freeway on-ramp onto 5 heading north.  I had an overstuffed backpack, a golf club (for walking and protection), about $40.00 I had stolen from my mother’s purse: the source of all comforts.  At  15 I found myself standing on an on-ramp in Pacific Beach  holding my glof club in one hand and sticking out my thumb with the other.  Barry lingered, somewhat doubting I would hitch a ride and curious as to my sticking my toes over the precipace into the unknown.  Would I really jump or just go home?

hitchhiker-2

 

Me, all I had was the certainty I needed to leave my broken family behind.  There was too much incomprehensible grief, the loss of our house, our income, our home.  My mother and father’s loving looks twisted into evil eyes of anger, hatred and contempt for each other.  But me and my sister couldn’t help but suspect that we were the root of the problem.  After all, if they hadn’t had us; they could split up and both be happy somewhere else, with someone else.  Idiots think that children are somehow less responsible.

That’s not the problem.  A child is much too responsible, in our minds we feel responsible  for the world.

A delusion I have heartily welcomed back into my life at this late age.

At 15, I find myself standing on the verge of an open highway with my thumb sticking in the wind: the greatest gesture of hope and faith I have ever made in my life.  I had never hitchiked before and all I had were vague images of an Emerald San Francisco where my dad had driven us to years ago and near where my older brother was dodging tear gas on his way to class at Berkeley.  I had the swirling images of Bob Dylan songs and Paul Simon melodies to sing to my self on the side of the road.  If you really hit the groove on the song, you were always guaranteed a ride.  The joy of music and singing is infectous and hits the bubbled drivers like a laser, traveling 80mph!

This was also  still the time of war and the rice paddies and tunnels of Vietnam were making their way  underground into the California bread basket.

Hitchhiker JerichoLots of people I met on the road were veterans.  I hear its the same on the road today.  An army comes home to a lost highway.   Damaged souls with haunted eyes.  Hanging with  flea bitten ex fighting dogs and still wearing their green fatigues.  Some even still wore their dog tags that flickered in the sun and the sterno-light alike;  chained butterflies at the end of a beaded  neck chain .

Some of the sad were mad and would wander way from the fire or the on-ramp or under the bridge and howl at the sky.  No one ever paid them any mind.  it was impolite to comment on a soldier’s anguish.  These lost souls, these fragmented  men taught me so much about hitchhiking and rail car hopping, how to get a free meal at a road side McDonald’s in exchange for picking up the litter . . .  th

Which Jesus shelters were tolerable and which to steer away from.  (Generally, a meal, a sermon and a bed were tolerable.  Anythng more than that was considered risky.  I had a Christian woman visit me several times in one night in my bunk bed trying to convince me to accept Jesus while she  roamed her hands under my bed clothes.

Religion is allot like sex except that unlike sex, it gets it wrong.)

Most of all those lost soldiers, ghosts of events everyone wanted forgotten, they taught me how to forgive my father, another broken soldier who had taken out his white light rage on me and my brother, with his belt and with his fists.  Those men, may killers, taught me at 15 what I needed to know for real, so I could later tell my father what he had done to me  and I could look him I the eyes and forgive him because I knew and understood that  wasn’t his fault.

It was the War, the same fucking War that had crippled him.  The same War that crippled the ghosts from Iraq and Afghanistan.  The same War that is manufacturing new ghosts in Israel, in Gaza, in Syria.  It’s the same fucking War peeps, the same fucking War from the desert to the frozen tundra, through the jungle, to the rice paddies, to the streets of downtown LA.

It’s the same fucking War, peeps: when we going to call  it quits?

How much more do we have to endure of your arrogant greed, your inhumanity, your thoughtless disregard for Life?

I had adventures on that road to Oz.hitchhiking

Through the valleys of the Jesus people.

On the highway, pulling all sorts of motorised vehicles with my magnetic thumb.

Drinking beer for the first time at the cowboy ranch Bacchanal after the rancher’s hand picked up 5 of us hitchers in the back of his pickup truck, just to give us beer and music at the farm.  Being kissed by a girl who’s name I never would know, or need to,  for the very first time—There is no thrill greater than a fleeting one.    In the back of the Wizard’s goatee-ed van who dressed his poodle in a bright green doggy sweater and  offered to buy me dinner  later if he could show me his doggy tricks.

The biker under the bridge who’s hog had broken down in the downpour near the Oregon border.  And me, a drowned puppy carrying a golf club for protection, drenched to my bones and shaking like the Devil at Communion.

The big, bearded, bike-bear stared at me under the bridge for awhile and made me nervous.

This was his bridge.

HitchhikingAfter awhile, he broke his stare and waved me silently over across the road.  The only bikers I knew anything about were the ones that put Hunter S Thompson in the hospital because they didn’t like what he had written about them in his book.  Shit!

But ‘Lucky’ was a quiet mountain.  He gave me a green wool army blanket from his bike’s saddle bag and a Camel straight from his half empty pack; my first ever.  The rain was coming down steady, heavy and cold.  I had “smartly” chosen the month of November to make my break to freedom.  Lucky had a can of sterno, a metal cup and Nescafe.  There was water, water, everywhere and more than enough to drink.

Lucky didn’t say much but when I stopped shaking he poured from a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 into the hot metal nescafe cup and we shared it.  I did not know this quiet dark bearded man, where he came from, what his story was or even it was safe to hang  with him under this bridge in the rain.  But he was my older brother  in the moment we were in and when Lucky finally did say something to me it was a 3 word question:

“Do you play?”

I glanced down at the the minature wooden chess set Lucky had extracted from his saddle bag.

“Sure, I play.    I play ALL  the time”.

Paying chess with a leather suited biker under a bridge under the pouring Oregon rain.

That was what I was doing  when I was 15.

 

 

 

 


WIN! THE REVOLUTION IN ONLY 2 DIGITS


Last Minute Re-Versioning.  I think it works better now.  Soon we will be launching the animated version of the illustration for the piece by the intensely wonderful and visually lyrical Jeff Christenten.  Thanks to Evan@Madefire.  As well as an original composition for the entire multimedia piece from the  intense genius of Gilad Atzmon.  Please stay tuned.  Please enjoy.  Please comment good or bad.  What’s the difference dantes-hell1?

 

 

THE REVOLUTION IN ONLY 2 DIGITS

 

Home again.

 

Thomas, you were wrong to doubt it:

You Can Go Home Again and

Bask in the healing sun of Osiris

 

This isn’t home

This is recovery.

From the fevered scurvy of my own forgetfulness.

th-1

I eat limes for breakfast, lunch and dinner now;

My bowels move regularly now.

And I feel just like Thomas Payne

 

His bursting desire to model the ideal citizen

 

Not our uniforms, but our blood, sinew and muscle.

To present to the Crowning Glory and

To the Revolutionary Congress and

 

To the Revolutionary French Senate

Thomas and his Pain made the American struggle a personal fight:

The universal pull of the upright ape on the chains holding him down.

REVOLUTION in JUST 2 DIGITS

Chains forged by the forgetful hairless ones.

The ones we will overcome.

But we are not revolutionaries!

 

We are the Revolution.

We are what happens next.

The R/Evolution of our Selves: the inner/outer seeing through Alice’s mirror

 

Into mindful awareness

Into homage to our honored masters and their children:

The ever loving human race.

 

We have already won the revolution.

We have already won the revolution.

 

2 Shots were fired from far, far ago:

One from Lovelace’s boudoir,

Another from Giordano’s spinning wheels and the memory of his funeral pyre.

 

And from the bit of the apple Alan choked down,

We have already won the revolution.

 

We just need to take charge.

 

We have already won the revolution.

 

In only 2 digits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE REVOLUTION IN ONLY 2 DIGITS

 

Home again.

 

Thomas, you were wrong to doubt it:

You Can Go Home Again and

Bask in the healing sun of Osiris

 

This isn’t home

This is recovery.

From the fevered scurvy of my own forgetfulness.

 

I eat limes for breakfast, lunch and dinner now;

My bowels move regularly now.

And I feel just like Thomas Payne

 

His bursting desire to model the ideal citizen

 

Not our uniforms, but our blood, sinew and muscle.

To present to the Crowning Glory and

To the Revolutionary Congress and

 

To the Revolutionary French Senate

Thomas and his Pain made the American struggle a personal fight:

The universal pull of the upright ape on the chains holding him down.

 

Chains forged by the forgetful hairless ones.

The ones we will overcome.

But we are not revolutionaries!

 

We are the Revolution.

We are what happens next.

The R/Evolution of our Selves: the inner/outer seeing through Alice’s mirror

 

Into mindful awareness

Into homage to our honored masters and their children:

The ever loving human race.

 

We have already won the revolution.

We have already won the revolution.

 

2 Shots were fired from far, far ago:

One from Lovelace’s boudoir,

Another from Giordano’s spinning wheels and the memory of his funeral pyre.

 

And from the bit of the apple Alan choked down,

We have already won the revolution.

 

We just need to take charge.

 

We have already won the revolution.

 

In only 2 digits.