~ Ecstasy ~

Matilda green Frankenstein lover
spectacular aurora borealis

where do the colors fly?

in my eyes
in the sky
on lightning bolts like glorious steeds
they gallop through my mind

touching
feeling
sensing awe

wrapped in cobalt
blue steel grin
my powder keg thoughts release again

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alone in dark surpassing

focus on the butterfly
it’s teeth ensnared in blood
talons flash from velvet sheaths
lunar tilts the tide and mood

calm and quiet, the sparks that fuels
awake and last-gasp thrashing
someone’s face in nowhere now
alone in dark surpassing

brightness on the manic side
grit your teeth and smile
it’s how you wear the needful face
to please the masses mild

so pass along your stolen faith
epiphanies are solely centered
a fade to past will dwell in hope
the mercilessness now has ended

The Pledge

While Congress wrings it’s hands over Bill Barr, here’s an idea:

Why doesn’t every person currently running for President (regardless of party) make sure to make the following pledge in every speech, “My name is Blah Blah Blah, I’m running for President of the United States and I refuse to accept help from a foreign power to get elected to be your President!”

At some point, what will be most notable and newsworthy will be the candidates who don’t make that promise. And it doesn’t take an Act of Congress!

Hot Rats

I went to see the Bizarre World of Frank Zappa show in Boston last night. I was psyched when the show was announced and jumped on tickets, but as the shows began I read a couple things on social media that made me a little nervous just days before this show. Luckily, as it turns out I didn’t agree with them anyway.

Ahmet is a weird dude, and so was his dad. But it was obvious that some people were turned off by his antics, and some of the social media commentary reflected it. In my opinion though, I thought it was awesome. Some people might not, but I recognize that FZ fans are also a naturally jaded bunch, so there’s no pleasing them all anyway. And it seems like EVERYONE has an opinion on how Frank and his music should be honored (and for some reason they also all seem to have an opinion on Zappa internal family politics).

First off, the band was tight. There’s something about hearing the vocals of Frank, Ray White, and Bobby Martin (the latter two both still have excellent voices) that really made it fit like an old glove. The playing was on point! Some of Frank’s prerecorded guitar work was just phenomenal. And the band were such an accomplished group who knew the music and played it with obvious heart. There was plenty of ripping jams much of it demanding technical precision, and an excess of unbridled buffoonery.

For me I think the key was that I didn’t go into with a standard live performance expectation. Because it is, and it isn’t. It was a visual, audial, and eyebrowial live showing.

Do Dweezil and Co. play awesome music in Frank’s spirit? Yes. So did these guys. Is there some eyebrows present at a ZPZ show? Sure, but this shit was a step above.

If you liked the more avant-garde edge of Frank’s stuff, and some of the cringey weirdness of his shows (think some of the dance off and audience participation, but thankfully no panty sniffing party) then you’ll love it. If you enjoy spotlighting the funnier side of Frank’s music, you’ll love it. And if you liked some of Frank’s art, then this show is a visual smorgasbord. I laughed my ass off throughout. Sure, Ahmet’s antics could have been half as long, but you can’t tell me his dad didn’t have fun with some of the same kinds of shit.

I felt like the whole night was a homage to Frank’s sense of humor, his music, his creative spirit, and most importantly his ideas on art in general as it hit you with multiple mediums at the same time. I just felt like it had a lot of Frank’s spirit present for the eyes, the ears, and the eyebrows.

a small voice

secret stock in yesterday
pack it deep inside
cherished grudge and festerthought
unease and disquiet thrive

possession of the certainty
that they’re or then’s the balm
buried deep in cancer rot
nostalgic hues to warm

dislocated and blame direct
you manifest the cause
searchlight cast and scapegoat set
your doom repeats alone

thoughts and prayers, likes and hits
the void a tarnished spot
junk food diet of false concerns
emaciated soul of loss

set adrift in foul play
today’s forgotten ‘morn
it’s yours to choose and back to turn
the pain of growth is born

Spotlight Cast

Broken angel walking
loping footdrag hinder
his soul of doubt, reeks
sharp tang of slow decay

Hungry ghosts hunting
wander for want of the willing
clutched hand and finger claw
snatching hopes in tatters

Lightness of spirit
sweetest of flavors
patchwork self-penance
bitter on tongue tip

Scarlet vision target
intensity of beam
circle light spot
neglectful of rest

anxxxiety

biting into tinfoil
choking on a breath of air
belly thoughts & tingle touch
fretting in a square

happiness is fear sublime
conjoined so much confused
lightness shades the smile was brought
self-flagellating you’re the you

second guess with certainty
the laughter of a child
mocking on in taunting chant
stinking word & sadist style

abandon turning cross or criss
the compass points ’round
revel in decidelessness
a tomb of toothless clowns

Warping The Oval

manic madman rants and raves
then slinks to solitude
orange and rabid effacement
as spittle flies eastward

a longing for father
the seeking of love
and begs of papasha
to satiate the void

the oval noose tightens
in paranoid rapture
a pins and needles public
so salaciously waits

the tragedy is hidden
oblivious the cast
quagmired and weakened
constitutionally last

This is a repost. But since it’s 2019 and we’re dealing with a fucking measles outbreak in the United States, I think it needs to be said again!

————

There have always been those who feel that it’s best to allow our natural immune system to grow stronger by exposure to diseases and the like.

I agree. Kind of…

In fact that’s exactly how we ended up developing the concept of vaccinations. It was really based on the idea that limited exposure to the most virulent and deadly of human diseases could help the body build resistance to something so that when it was exposed to a full blown attack, it would now have sufficient defenses built up.

So far, so good. Right?

In fact it worked so well that within a number of decades many of the most dangerous and deadly diseases became controllable and some were even wiped out of natural existence. Ethics aside about the rights of the life forms themselves, it was a clearly a huge win for the science of vaccinations.

Then in the late 1990’s a fraud of a researcher named Andrew Wakefield released the results of a study that showed a direct link between vaccinations and autism. Since then his work has been completely discredited, but the false link between vaccinations and autism that he completely fabricated lives on in a lively group of followers, affectionately named “Anti-Vaxxers”.

Anti-Vaxxers believe in going back to the roots of our natural strength against disease, our amazing immune system. And in some cases, smaller and less lethal cases, they have a strong point. There is ample evidence that the more substances we are exposed to in our daily lives, the less allergies we develop. The more we live indoors breathing canned air, the less we tolerate those little bits of nature that irritate and bother us.

So what’s my point to all of this?

Chicken pox, mumps, etc. These are all things we dealt with in my childhood. There’s no doubt they made some people very sick, and were even deadly in some cases. But on the scale of virulent human diseases they were on the lower end of the scale, nothing like polio or even small pox.

I’m writing all of this because today I was visited by the memory of a man I knew when I was a kid. His name was Richard (Dick) Chaput. Dick was an author of the motivational/religious variety. He touched a lot of people’s lives, and was a bright light in a dark tunnel for many people who were suffering. He died many years ago, but even today there is a small blessing he wrote that stands outside of the little chapel at Storyland Amusement Park in Glenn, NH.

Why was he able to help so many who suffered? Well you see Dick was a victim of polio, a disease that we no longer see, quite simply because of vaccinations. He was confined to something called an Iron Lung, and spent his life without the use of his body, locked in this ancient machine that gave him the breath of life.

My friends and I used to love to go visit him and take him on a walk around the facilities he lived in. Since he could only be outside the Iron Lung for short periods, the nurses would load him on to a gurney and away we would go for a quick trip in the sunshine. He spoke constantly about God on these walks, and about God’s love. Dick saw God’s beauty in everything around him. I don’t care what your religious leanings, you can’t spend time around a person like that and not be inspired, even just a little.

And then there were the bells. He had a huge collection of bells all over his room, on shelves, in cabinets, just everywhere. He loved the sounds they made. I’m sure at some point he told me what they signified, and I could make a guess what it was, and I might even be right. But in the end he found joy in them. Simple joy in simple bells. To this day we have a strip of reindeer bells that hang on our door during the Christmas season that was originally meant as a gift for Dick, now it is a regular reminder of him for me.

But here’s the real point: Below is a picture of a man in an Iron Lung (it’s not Dick, I wish I had one of him). This is how I saw Dick every time I stopped by to visit. This is what polio did to him. Polio is now a preventable disease because of vaccinations. But it may not remain so. Just because something says “natural” or “organic” on it doesn’t mean that it’s superior. While there are a great many benefits to natural and organic things, science is not a fad. Vaccinations have done wonders for humans.

People used to have to live like Dick, locked in an iron prison in order to live. As time has passed less and less people remember these images, and the lack of memory somehow makes the history less real. But the diseases are real, and they can come back, and if they do they will kill.

There’s a limited amount of people like Dick out there, those who inspire. There are far more who prefer to profit from fear, who insinuate connections and conspiracies, and prey on our doubts. People like Wakefield.

So here is what I’d like: Just take a minute to look at the picture below. Does a vaccination with no proven link to autism really scare you more than living in a metal tube like this? Do you remember the real history of mortality in America only a generation or two ago?

It would be nice if Dick could somehow inspire people just once more. Even if it’s just to bring their kids in to get their shots so they won’t get themselves, and especially others, sick.