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“it’s never true that i regret i still love you”

i still practice arguing better
(giving way)
as i talk to you

(i wrote this to say i just did)
(because i pretend you read these)
(and every hit i see i pretend is yours)

(there are almost none, ever)
(so the lone one or two, that must be you)

which, i know …
but that’s the you
that you are now
to me

as what else can you be, having chosen …
made i’m sure the right choice …
chosen not to keep thrashing in the water
with someone chained to the bottom of the ocean

and if i do see you —
the you of you —
then i’ll see if i learned enough
to be good enough
and the first thing i’ll ask
is if you will marry me —
regardless anymore of the possible order of magnitude
feelings in the sway of your love

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I so deeply regret that I can’t fall out of love.

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“existential claustrophobia”

love is the unconditional God, and justice is the conditional God. i don’t want the injustice of first being broken inside to later found the justice against my involuntary hate. my purpose is not supposed to be a pressure cooker’s purpose (to not burst) especially if the lid is off and the pressure isn’t lessened.

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I’m What’s Known As A “Difficult Patient”

A baffled nurse from “Africa” (the, frickin’ … continent) said to me once, “Why can’t you be grateful? You have a bed, you have food, you have medical care.” And I said to him, “Because this isn’t where I live, and they won’t let me go home. They’re holding me, and I don’t need to be here.” Which, that’s true. But what he said to me has always stuck as a North star toward gratitude. These are low-paid, hard-working people, dedicated to helping the mentally ill.

One of my lines to them was, “No, you’re not underpaid. You’re getting paid one hundred percent too much.”

Bob was one of my enemies. The last time I saw him he was stalking through the psych dept lobby at the outpatient clinic, probably after losing his job for refusing my psychiatrist’s two attempts to get me back on case management. I had my one chance to echo back to him his infamous line: “That’s your choice.” But I didn’t. After all, I’d known the second request would be denied. I was honest with my doc, to a point. I needed case management. But I knew what had happened. Bob hated me. They all hated me. I’m what’s known as a “difficult patient”. I either wanted to destroy their insides piece by psychological piece, or fuck them, or both.

I let my psychiatrist put the request through because I knew that Bob would refuse again, and it’s totally not his right to do that. With anyone. He ended up shuffling me over to the “severely mentally ill” case management team. One of them called me up and said, “You don’t seem at all like you’re severely mentally ill.” I said, “I’m not.” She said, “We would only come by once a month to check to see if you needed to be hospitalized.” I was like, “Yeah, no thanks.” So that was that. But I’m still technically with SMI to this day, I think.

Bob was (or maybe is) the head of the ACT team. There’s been a lot of positive press of late about ACT teams around the country. It doesn’t bear up from the inside, though. In the traditional set-up of therapist and doctor, you have one person who gov’t insurance requires to be at least an MSW, and one person who is required to be both an MD and have a PhD. The ACT team is a way around that, sort of. Two nurses (who are both fully-qualified RNs), a therapist, a “peer support counselor”, the doctor, and the one who heads up the team. I could never get over the fact that I couldn’t place my trust in their therapy process. My college girlfriend had gotten her PhD in psych. She went to Columbia in NYC for her Master’s, and Illinois School of Professional Psychology for her PhD. And I’d been in therapy all my life. Private practice. I knew the experience of being able to communicate with someone who didn’t focus on the details of what you were saying, but on the gist. Someone who understood patterns, theories, best practices, etc.

One of my therapists was Dalton. The first time we met he drove me out to the park, and we sat on a park bench where he went through some xerox’d quizzes with me. They were quizzes from the back of Cosmopolitan magazine. “Picture a woman descending a spiral staircase. Who are you thinking of?” — “I guess I’m thinking of D—.” — “That’s the one that you’ll never get over.” It was clear Dalton didn’t even know what therapists did in session.

Like Dalton, Bob didn’t have the qualifications. He was another way that the outpatient mental health clinic could pay people who had less than the required MSW. He was making decisions about whether or not I would be stuck in the hospital, transferred to adult foster care (!), threatened with AFC, etc. And he only had a Bachelor’s Degree, in something he would never specify, but which wasn’t psychology. As mentioned, he only knew one bit of psychology: “That’s your choice.” But if I would end up in the hospital, it was ultimately his own choice that would put me in the adult foster care system for the three months that seemingly every ACT team patient had to endure once or twice. (My parents, at different times, had to pay my rent at my real apartment while adult foster care sucked away all my social security.) And the adult foster care experience is so gruesome that I always have to deal with nausea — even now — in thinking about it.

That food’s a challenge, man. Even though they keep you hungry. Can’t think about that.

The backbiting, childishness, stupidity, evil … residents and managers. Can’t think about that either.

Counting the minutes for three months. That happened to me twice. What more could I do to Bob than I did? Luckily I never found out. I never straight up hit that fuck.

Maybe they get paid too little, come to think of it. But trust is hard when you’re crazy. I know that.

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“i may have done my best”

i may have done my best
in a blackout
to fuck up your life
over the phone

and looked at the clock
every day at 12:34
awaiting your phone call

for all these years since,
but there’s always the hope
that something or someone
holds you back, and you
need to wrest forward and free
in a Victorian way, always
dreaming, and in that way we’re together, but
i heard your voice yesterday

on an old recording
and i couldn’t breathe
in the power of the need and grief
that i had created

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“Be An Optimist Prime!”

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RYM Top 100 Singles For 2016

RYM = Rate Your Music. This is the auto-generated list as of today (which, you know … I wrote it down).

  1. Radiohead – “Daydreaming”
  2. Radiohead – “Present Tense”
  3. David Bowie – “I Can’t Give Everything Away”
  4. Childish Gambino – “Me And Your Mama”
  5. Leonard Cohen – “You Want It Darker”
  6. Grouper – “Paradise Valley”
  7. Danny Brown – “When It Rain”
  8. Solange – “Cranes In The Sky”
  9. The Avalanches – “Because I’m Me”
  10. Radiohead – “Burn The Witch”
  11. Danny Brown – “Really Doe”
  12. Childish Gambino – “Redbone”
  13. A Tribe Called Quest – “We The People”
  14. Radiohead – “Identikit”
  15. Car Seat Headrest – “Drunk Drivers”
  16. Denzel Curry – “ULT”
  17. Kanye West – “No More Parties In LA”
  18. Kanye West – “Ultralight Beam”
  19. Grimes – “Kill V Maim”
  20. Kanye West – “Real Friends”
  21. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – “Skeleton Tree”
  22. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – “Jesus Alone”
  23. The Avalanches – “Subways”
  24. Xiu Xiu – “Falling”
  25. PJ Harvey – “They Wheel”
  26. The Avalances – “If I Was A Folkstar”
  27. Run The Jewels – “Legend Has It”
  28. Deakin – “Just Am”
  29. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Boy Problems”
  30. Lambchop – “The Hustle”
  31. Mitski – “Your Best American Girl”
  32. Angel Olsen – “Shut Up Kiss Me”
  33. Denzel Curry – “Gook”
  34. Frank Ocean – “Nikes”
  35. King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – “Rattlesnake”
  36. Kate Bush – “And Dream Of Sheep”
  37. Bon Iver – “33 ‘GOD'”
  38. Xxxtentacion – “RIP Roach ‘East Side Soulja'”
  39. Denzel Curry – “Knotty Head”
  40. Cigarettes After Sex – “K”
  41. Angel Olsen – “Sister”
  42. Disillusion – “Alea”
  43. Kendrick Lamar – “Untitled 07”
  44. The Weeknd – “I Feel It Coming”
  45. Bon Iver – “22 / 10”
  46. Danny Brown – “Pneumonia”
  47. Death Grips – “Eh”
  48. Death Grips – “Giving Bad People Good Ideas”
  49. Elbow – “Magnificent (She Says)”
  50. Beyoncé – “All Night”
  51. Eminem – “Infinite (FBT Remix)”
  52. Clarence Clarity – “Vapid Feels Are Vapid”
  53. Danny L Harle – “Super Natural”
  54. Ariana Grande – “Into You”
  55. Angel Olsen – “Intern”
  56. Jenny Hval – “Conceptual Romance”
  57. Xiu Xiu – “Into The Night”
  58. Vektor – “Charging The Void”
  59. The Avalanches – “Colours”
  60. Deftones – “Prayers”
  61. Hope Sandoval And The Warm Inventions – “Let Me Get There”
  62. Kero Kero Bonito – “Trampoline”
  63. Nine Inch Nails – “Burning Bright (Field On Fire)”
  64. Kanye West – “Father Stretch My Hands”
  65. Mitski – “Happy”
  66. Xxxtentacion – “#ImSippinTeaInYoHood”
  67. Kanye West – “30 Hours”
  68. Preoccupations – “Anxiety”
  69. Vektor – “Pillars Of Sand”
  70. Sigur Rós – “Óveður”
  71. Gucci Mane – “First Day Out Tha Feds”
  72. Joanna Newsom – “Make Hay”
  73. easyFun – “Monopoly”
  74. Run The Jewels – “2100”
  75. Kero Kero Bonito – “Break”
  76. Young Thug And Travis Scott – “Pick Up The Phone”
  77. A$AP Mob – “Yamborghini High”
  78. Death Grips – “More Than The Fairy”
  79. Xxxtentacion – “Look At Me!”
  80. Sun Kil Moon – “God Bless Ohio”
  81. King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – “Gamma Knife”
  82. Car Seat Headrest – “Fill In The Blank”
  83. Chance The Rapper – “No Problem”
  84. ScHoolboy Q – “Groovy Tony”
  85. Weyes Blood – “Do You Need My Love”
  86. Car Seat Headrest – “Vincent”
  87. Nails – “No Longer Under Your Control”
  88. Rihanna – “Love On The Brain”
  89. Grandaddy – “A Lost Machine”
  90. Anohni – “Drone Bomb Me”
  91. Preoccupations – “Memory”
  92. Charli XCX – “Vroom Vroom”
  93. Massive Attack – “The Spoils”
  94. Solange – “Don’t Touch My Hair”
  95. Whitney – “No Woman”
  96. Hannah Diamond – “Fade Away”
  97. Earl Sweatshirt – “Balance”
  98. Rihanna – “Kiss It Better”
  99. Mick Jenkins – “Drowning”
  100. Migos – “Bad And Boujee”
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The Dracula Had An Aardvark Theory

Which, see below.

I’ve started boiling situations into a +1, a 0, or a -1, and at rare instances a +2 or -2.

If the President is lampooned, for instance, about a third of the people will see it as a -1 (for not respecting the person), about a third will see it as a +1 (for not respecting the person), and about a third will see it as a -1 (for invective tone). So the minus and plus cancel out and you get a minus. A bad idea.

Cleaning up the desk right now involves a -1 (the fear of the labor), a +1 (the joy of the labor), a +1 (the joy of the outcome). So the minus and plus cancel out and you get a plus. A good idea.

Was thinking earlier that if I want to have a theory, I can pick a stupid name and force it on the world. The aardvark refers to the “spooky” creature we see in Dracula’s castle in the 1931 film. For no reason.

UPDATE: I believe I was thinking of an armadillo.

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All-Dialogue Horror Flash Fiction

“You’ll have to explain that concept to me again.”

“Okay. Listen. The desert is totally flat and free of obstruction between here and those mountains about fifty miles away. Not even a road. And there is no one out there. That’s why they do this particular thing every year. You just get on the bike, and you pedal in the complete darkness. It’s like a trust game.”

“Yes, but haven’t you just taken a large quantity of LSD?”

“I have taken the king of acids. Orange Sunshine. And yes, a lot. You can take that much if it’s so pure.”

“And this is safe? And you want to do it?”

“Absolutely.”

“Stevie, I wish you luck on your Burning Man journey this year. If I see you later, tell me how it all went down.”

“I will. I promise.”

“Do you want to say goodbye to Hank? Stevie? Hey Hank. I think you missed him.”

“Dude, I’ve been trying to tell everyone. Don’t go out there into the desert this year.”

“Why? What’s the problem?”

“It’s a big problem. Start yelling for him. Too much rain over the wintertime. Very large nests of very large spiders scattered all over the place like jungle traps.”

“STEVIE!!!”

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