Piloting through mingled dreams
a body turning into paper
rising, skin mingling with space
floating, thoughts and arms and hands and fingers
a climber lacing onto the blue
a world inversed, head to toe, toe to head
I'm sailing downwards, upwards, sideways, 
painting an invisible canvas with chaos
kashmir in reverse, words 
on mute and people laughing
in vain like veins, shooting,
bloody but frozen from the wars
kashmir in reverse, desert
underwater, slowly rising,
arms swaying like fire,
you're back. 

Moses on the run

vines over arms,
emerald streaks trailing fingers
like thread
reaching towards the sky
smile sunshine, 
cry sunshine,
tickling childhood
tying hearts to the clouds 

wind through thoughts
strokes of love amuse
like words lost in space
with nowhere to be told
sun rise,
sun set,
burns the sky
time for Joan of Arc to cover 
her skin 
like ancient temples 

tip toe the water
Moses on the run
a prophet on the lose
high tide,
low tide,
under the ocean,
sails away on a rope
under streams and rivers
a deluge 
under traveled roads

earth's mountains, climbed
to reach a top
where volcanoes erupt

and magma flows,
                                  like tears.

[still being edited]

Do I dare to eat a peach?

I've wanted to get a tattoo for a while now, but I've been so indecisive about what [image or word] I'd want to have printed on me for the rest of my life. It's a hard decision- its consequence will dwindle down the years, the decades, from lover to lover, from country to country, from... you get the picture.  What concept will never die? Is there anything that will always hold the same value? And it's not just about meanings not fading away with time- it's also about finding that idea that is self-specific and pure, insoluble. It's not about the ego, and neither is it about self-definition. It's about timelessness. What is it about me that is timeless? Nothing. For the longest time, I thought I was destined to be the next Christian Amanpour. Today, I want nothing more but to be a roaming gypsy with excellent Tarot-reading skills. Maybe one day, I'll want to be a lawyer (I highly doubt it, but we all know that life takes very unexpected turns). The general doesn't work either (words like "love" lose their weight quickly and reflect an entire pool of experiences, which to me seems inconsistent with a tattoo's worth, its specificity). The particular is often regretted. It might be true that certain beautiful things have a timeless effect on us, but beauty seen from different places can turn ugly. For example, for me, ever since I saw the two angels in Raphael's Sistine Madonna, the image of angels has hit a soft spot. It reminds me of a time things were a lot simpler. But, it strikes an emotional chord, and if I play around with it, stare in at it from different windows, I might even recognize a melancholic stride to it, and who wants to have melancholy tattooed on their skin? Our emotions are tuned each and everyday, so they're something we should probably stem away from in regards to tattoos. 

Then there's words, or poems and stories, that are simply beautiful. But what if we turn our heads and clocks turn their beauty into an all-too-ordinary cliche?  What can make the ordinary seem unordinary forever? Nothing? Something? People marry the love of their lives, then get divorced. If soulmates can turn ordinary, how can words last a lifetime?  What bonds can't be broken, ever? Let's zoom in on the microscope. What holds two atoms together? Nuclear force, sharing electrons, and stolen electrons. Which one to use for a tattoo? A nuclear force that keeps me going from day to day such as music (this I'm sure will change with time), a shared memory (this one seems the most appropriate, but there's no experience that I currently feel strongly enough about to stamp myself with),  or something that doesn't belong to the present, like memories (but shouldn't the past stick to where it is?).

So the solution? Get something that I like, but not love, something that I relate with, but don't find tremendously exhilarating? Or wait for the bulb to appear above my head? Maybe I'll just get a tattoo of a lemon, because lemons are delicious, with everything and forever. No, the senses change with time too... our realities are like silly putty. Tattoos might best be left for spontaneous moments in distant lands. 

In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse
- From T.S Elliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" 

her name is ...

 I've been thinking a lot about why I do the things I do. Sometimes I do things because I want to. Sometimes I do things because I feel I have to. Is it okay to prioritize one over the other? I certainly have been lacking in my empathy for duty these days... nowhere in the natural universe are we told that we owe anything to anyone. I am trying to be an instinctual being, that's all. That doesn't make me a hedonist, just someone unwilling to compromise certain desires. Take babies (ok only one Freud reference, promise) - a complete manifestation of human instinct at its purest. They don't care about other babies. They want their mother's breasts to feel full and toys to keep them entertained, and that's pretty much the good life for them. And it's acceptable. We love babies.  We don't call them hedonists. We think they're the most perfect things that ever existed. Then they grow up, get "civilized" into constraining their desires and redefining themselves with the words of others. We have time and we have space. We ponder, we consume, we want to make the most out of them, but again, we follow what others have taught us to believe.... and we forget or never even attempt to find what it is we really want...

What is wasted time? When I sit in my room and play my guitar for two hours, I feel good. My voice doesn't make towers fall or angels sing, and my singing career is not going anywhere further than drunken nights singing a cold and broken Hallelujah, but when I sing I am alive, my voice reverberates through the millions of molecules in the air and I am everything and everything is me. Time not wasted. Then I have the time I spend at college (time worth well over $40,000 a year), trapped in the arms of a monster who wants to package me and ship me to some office job somewhere sometime. Man, when I think how much I could have done with those $40,000... Wasted time, money, and effort. Time passes and I'm losing brain cells, and I'm not getting closer to where I want to be. But where do I want to be? On the road with some gypsies somewhere? Why does that sound so appealing to me? Why do I like getting lost? I want to lose myself without a worry in the world, like in our dreams, where everything just feels like it's floating, like breathing and sensations are enough to make everything worthwhile. Or at least something makes everything worthwhile. Where you are connected, but disentangled. Will I ever have the guts to pack my bags and leave? Or will I go on eating and sleeping and reading about "The Best 500 places to visit before you die" over and over again until my body rots and my mind falls asleep for good? I hate familiar things. I want everything to be new all the time. I want faces to be kind, and people to be simple and untainted by what I know about them. I want to know nothing. I want only to live and sing and climb mountains all the way up to heaven. Even though heaven does not exist. But that is irrelevant. And so is life.

She pulls me down into the sand
and whispers into my mouth
all the vapor from her dreams
that she's been taught to forget.
It tastes so sweet but it burns burns burns,
like hidden pages in a book I never read,
with dragons and chiming clocks, SO LOUD THEY MAKE ME CLOSE MY EYES AND HOPE TO DISAPPEAR-
and witches cast spells to lure you to sleep...
and the wind, her love, runs because he is afraid..  
They are all afraid...
her name is Time, 
and she is trying to steal the air out of our lungs.

Manipulation, brainwashing, amen.

My room-mate goes to Korean church at least once a week. Sometimes two, sometimes even three times. She dresses up nicely, wears bright colors, puts make-up on like she's got a date to impress. She loves it so much that she refuses to go on vacation during break so that she doesn't have to miss the Sunday service. We've had numerous conversations about religion, me taking the Agnostic stance while she defends her own views, both of us at times doubtful and others, fully convinced of our own views. I try to bring some sense into her, not by trying to weaken her beliefs but by challenging what she takes as fact, by repeating, again and again and again, that there is a difference between belief and knowledge, and that although she may very strongly believe in God and whatever else she believes in, she does not know anything.  None of us do.

So anyway, I've been interested in peeking into her world for the sake of "stepping into her shoes" and joined her for an evening at a Korean church an hour's drive away. The pastor went on in Korean for over an hour, and while I was given a translating device to understand what he said, I decided to turn it off ten minutes through the sermon. He had started the address with "Some people think I'm a comedian, but really I'm a pastor." The crowd was entertained. I wasn't.  I am not a cynical person- if anything, I'm an idealist. But I saw an actor so convinced by his own act that he has let go of his own limbs to inhabit those of a stranger's.  He told the story of David and Goliath, of the battle between good and evil, and though the story works on a metaphorical level, ending violently with David's slashing off of Goliath's head, I wondered how all these people could be so fooled by these stories,  and who was the genius that was able to convince over two billion people that the right way to end a dual is by cutting the enemy's head off? Religion establishes so clearly what is right and what is wrong, but if there's anything human history has shown us, it's that there is no clear separation. And since that is clearly the closest to truth we will ever get, why don't we each try to draw our own lines, rather than let others (who's imagination might be fantastic, I have to say) to define our realities for us?

My room-mate once said, "It's not my life. Whatever God wants me to do, I'll do."  During the sermon, tears floated down pallid cheeks. Before it and after,  people sang with all their hearts to a man named Jesus.  Manipulation, brainwashing, amen.  People need something to hold them together, and I understand that, it's a pretty universal need. But I just think if people let themselves believe in something other than religion, other than false hope, things would be very different, in a good way.  If every person simply lived to love and just enjoy each other with no boundaries, with no limitations, no duties to country to government to whatever else we "owe" ourselves to, if we just followed our impulses like an electric shock,  there wouldn't be the need to be so disillusioned with reality, no need to build castles in the air, since we'd have our own right here on planet earth.

* Photos taken at the Renaissance Fair

three questions

I open my mouth to sing you a song, some solo with duende I heard on the radio, but gravity sucks all sound around us and we're left in a vacuum. My mouth is moving, but everything is silent, except for the wind blowing out of the mouth of some invisible giant somewhere. We're standing on the rails, and I hear the train in the distance, but we've always ignored these things, so it doesn't really matter. A dream that vibrates with our world. When we first met at the Guggenheim, two clueless corners of a room slowly drawing closer together like magnets,  paintings began to fall off the walls. It was an earthquake. You thought it was the drumroll in your heart that caused it, I thought it was mine. And then everything changed the new year's eve we set off the fireworks. They were illegal, and it was cold outside,  but the moon reflected off the lake, and since we had no watches, we relied on timeless beginnings. It started with your hands touching mine, then we got closer, and closer, till I could feel your breath on my cheek, and when you leaned in and whispered those fives words in my ear, I thought of U2 and their song "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" because this was exactly what I was looking for. Think in opposites, and thoughts come uninvited. When I asked you to describe a really relaxing day, you answered with five words: "Made me forget the others." When I asked you about the most interesting thing you've done, you answered with four words: "The mile high club."I laughed, you were intriguing. Then I asked you for three words, you said "knowing I'm loved." I said that was four. "Tea, brewing, pajamas." Sometimes I ask a lot of questions, but you were toxic, and I wanted to be intoxicated.

happy new year

If there's one thing I hope the new year brings, for every person on this planet, it's .... pretty clear.