The Artist’s Way Morning Pages 3/28/2016
“All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.”
“..there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon…”
“Benito was notoriously good-natured. People said of him that he could have got through life without ever touching soma. The malice and bad tempers from which other people had to take holidays never afflicted him. Reality for Benito was always sunny.”
- Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party waiting for my friend Liz to show up for a conversation about The Artist’s Way. She did not show up, the art’s way. Being an artist means being disciplined, you write in your calendar the next ice climb of spirit. What ice chute you going to risk your life to climb next? The Guardian has an article today about how America took pornographic photographs of terror suspects in their counter-terrorism efforts during the Bush administration. They wanna give me soma. Lithium to numb the pain of seeing America going to hell. Zyprexa for that feeling of seeing my step-father cursing Muslims. Risperdal for the fact that he listened to Rush and said Palestinians are baby killing child murders as one of the first things he ever said to me. Ativan for my father cursing the Jews. Those white Jews, Ayn Rand loving… White Trash. Bob “KKK” Stovall. Dr. Ahmet “ISIS” Erbil the Black hood nigga. I do not need soma for that, I need a pen and a microphone. I need a camera and a piece of paper. I need some red paint for my face. War paint. Peace. It ain’t no peace time my friend. On my electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP), my encrypted iPhone 6s, is Boosie Badazz. In “No Surrender, No Retreat”:
In the penitentiary…
I cannot afford living today. That man sitting next to me yesterday, as he was complaining about his violent schizophrenic mother. Never knew love ’til I found love in you. The schizophrenics are honest. They live in their own spirit worlds, somewhere in the Upper and Lower Worlds. For manic depressives like me, they give us a taste of psychic mania all the time, every time. I turn around and with a single icy stare say, “Have you ever been to a mental hospital?” I write, I cry… I ain’t trying to go through war no mo’. I ain’t gonna be no victim no more. I am going to fight. Yes, my friends, this is war. In World War II there was the French Resistance. They needed poets for sending cyphers, poetic cyphers to send across the airwaves to activate terror cells against the Nazis. Did I see that same spirit on Fox News this morning? Il Duce walking across the state the same way Erdogan and Netanyahu do? Do I look so crazy to American psychiatry in 2016 as I did in 2010? Here are the reports, the papers, the poems, read it all. Read it all carefully. … or else.
…or else what… you might write another poem? …you might write a novel about war? You might not trust me deliver you soma? Soma costs money. I know you want to help doctor, I know you do. However, have you been to war? Have you had your white daughter raped by ISIS or the KKK? Your precious ten year old white jewel, that angel you send to ballet at the Decatur YMCA. Have you seen poverty? Have you seen tha trap? Have you been there? Have you been attacked by a trap lords dog? I do not want to take my soma because I do not trust you. I do not trust American psychiatry. Restore my faith in you, the institution that is supposed to protect and help the weak and the insane. I give you my poems and my medical records on one condition. Read them carefully. Every fucking page. Tell me then, only after you have read my poetry, and my writings from the past seven years… take your soma. I would rather die than take my soma. Why do I say that?
What if I need to leave Atlanta? What if I need to get help? What if I run out? What if my kidneys fail? What if I gain weight? What if I need to fly to Syria to fight in the war for real? What if I want to die in war? What if I want to go to the east of Turkey and deliver aid to my people, the Kurds? Do you know what love for a bloodline is? Do you know what it is fight in world war? Have you read any novels about it? Have you felt it in your soul? The blackness of war. To hate everything you see in your country. To be crushed by debt. To see nihilism even in the Christians? Reading Revelation as if it were real. This is the end of an age. Fortunately, it is the birth of a New Age. Seven years of your soma and I am an anarchist. Seven years of mental health treatment and I am a poet. Seven years of the bullshit you have given me and I am checking out.
Death to America
Do what you can, and so shall we. Just wait!—we too are waiting.
— Qur’an XI. 121-22
1. The Great Satan
The inhabitants of the earth
With the wine of your fornications!
You have given birth
To terror, hatred, hysteria!
Your people are sunk
Darkness has come upon you.
You think you live in the light.
Your eyes have been blinded.
Your people stumble in darkness.
Greed has undone you.
Pride and lust are your blight.
God’s sees, and has minded!
Miserable crew, forever whining
About 9/11 and your precious virtue!—
As if you alone had known pain
And the world were under obligation
To kiss your feet and court you
And approach you with shining
Eyes—you blot, you stain!—
You object of utter detestation!
Country of murderers and thieves,
Bloodsuckers of the Third World,
Devils with smiling faces—
My curse on you for ever!
May your land be reduced to a wild
Desolation, may all that lives
In your tainted spaces
Never know peace—or joy—ever!
2. The Coming Doom
Where your people once lived
Secure in the illusion
Of their superior virtue,
There the bison will roam
Again, the frog spread confusion
Over the marshes, the vulture thrive.
There’ll be none to hurt you
There, buried beneath your slime!
Another people will possess your land
Taking your place, a race
From beyond the sea, superior
In virtue: one that practises
What you only preach, showing a face
Of kindness and compassion and
Care for mankind: a race far dearer
To God, and less prone to vices.
You brew trouble, you foment wars
So you can peddle your arms.
From the mouths of children so
That your hatchers of harm
Can trinket their whores
And live the American dream.
That way lies hell, and there you go!
You defile all the regions you rule,
You scatter your bases and rob
The lands you begrime and bescum!
Who helps to kill children for kicks
In Palestine? May Abu Ghraib
Gnaw away at your inmost soul
Like a maggot! The time will come
When your backs will be beaten by sticks!
3. The Holy Land
Israel!—an American colony
Disguised as a Jewish state,
Deliberately planted to destabilize
And drive entire races demented!
A country whose main product is hate,
Whose raison d-être is to make misery,
Where peace would be the only surprise!
A country not owned, but rented
From the Arabs temporarily, by force—
Where the rent is always in arrears.
America, the day will come
When the rent will have to be paid
With compound interest. You’ll reap in tears
What you sowed in joy! At the end of this course,
You will pick up the tab and become
Chief debtor for the monster you made!
See, the betrayer of the Jews—
The Jews themselves! Or rather
Those who call themselves Jews, the pseudo
Ashkenazi Jews with their blue eyes
And blonde hair! Could any race be further
From the true Semitic Jews whose
Blended blood has been poured into
Other bloods under alien skies?
These are the ones, the hocus-pocus
Imposter Jews, who now blow the trumpet
For Zion, stigmatizing
Their critics, and heaping abuse
On those who object to the rank armpit
Of Israel!—Oh, how we loathe these bogus
European Jews whose devisings
Were all learnt from Hitler’s hellcrews.
4. The Day of Reckoning
September 11? That was just
The beginning! Prepare for more
Of the same!—for further contingents
Of “cowards” hell bent on suicide
Flying in to your hated shores!
How can you win? You’ve already lost!
You’ve lost respect: the moral argument.
You are universally despised!
Invincible America, aren’t you glad
You’re so strong? What “courage” it must take
To skulk behind the clouds and rain
Cluster bombs on the weak, without peril
To your own skins! Yes, it’s a piece of cake
Killing women and children in Baghdad!
Congratulations, America! You win
First prize for shooting fish in a barrel!
Hear now my message: Depart
From our lands: you have your own.
Don’t steal our oil! It lies under
Our sands, and there it shall stay!
Get out of our sight! Leave us alone!
Practise the torturer’s art
On your own people! I wonder
What Christ would think of Camp X-ray?
Nation of impudent parasites!—
Supervirus of the world!—
So you think you hold all the aces?
Hear now my curse: May all your bones
Be broken, your ashes all whirled
To the wind! May you who delight
In sowing tares in all places
REAP, REAP, REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN!
Now, give me my soma. What soma do I try now? Mindfulness is a conscious awareness of being in the world. An aim of mindfulness is to be fully “present” in any action that an individual engages in during his or her walk through the day. Delivering a spontaneous honest talk about my struggle with bipolar disorder is an example of how mindfulness facilitates inner peace and tranquility. I would not have been able to deliver this address without the incorporation of the mindfulness practice of honesty. As a person of faith, I feel the presence of God in mindfully performed activities. Can you help me with that? I need some help with meditation. Can you give me access to the new Tibetian meditation protocols you have secularized? I want to learn it. I want to meditate and let the black bile come out. Lord God, doctor, help me. I do not want your soma. I want world peace. I will throw Bob “KKK” Stovall under the bus and send him into the cage against Dr. Ahmet “ISIS” Erbil in my new novel. Maybe just writing every day three pages of stream of consciousness truth will wake America up to realize that Bernie is not such a bad idea. Basic healthcare is more than soma. It means listening to the poor crazy poet sitting before you and realizing he is a prophet.