There’s this, alarming awareness that we all feel at one point in our lives. Where our actuality, our viability, existence is very much on the precipice of departure. Many refer to these occurrences as “near death” experiences but aren’t they really “near life” experiences?

Don’t they make us aware of our animation in the greater macrocosm?

We approach death every second of every day. It’s an inevitability and as a culture, we’re paranoid, obsessed and completely and totally phobic and neurotic about dying. It’s going to happen to you, to all of us and we as a species or at the very least, a massive collective of livestock seem to focus half on one end of the spectrum and the other half on the opposite end

One long, chaotic game of tug-of-war and the verity is that no one is focusing on where the flag in the middle of the rope is. Death is not stronger than life. Life is not stronger than death. They are equally powerful but, neither force commands or even demands our obsessive compulsion.

A car accident, turbulence, a mugging; all of these things force us to pull harder toward life and sure, the flag may move but ask yourselves just how far it will?

While standing in my bathroom shaving I felt an overwhelming pull, bright light, a loss of all senses. I wasn’t going blackout or lose consciousness. It was a schism and I consciously knew that. I won’t bring in religion to this conversation with myself because it’s purely an existential, metaphysical one.

The alleged light we see at the end of the tunnel, in my belief, is not at the end of the tunnel. It’s us…leaving the body, this realm.

We are the light.

Where that light is going, I don’t know but I wasn’t ready to find out just yet and I focused deeply to bottle it up again but the point is, I could have. I could have just let my inner marrow give up the ghost and dissipate but I’m not interested in the game of life vs. death right now.

I’ve been close to death in a medical sense more times than I can recollect. A drug overdose, that my shit-sucking friends cared so much about that they left me next to a KFC dumpster in Arcata, CA. I’ve slit my wrists twice. I was stabbed in the neck in Biloxi, MS and I damn near jumped from a 4th story window of a building under construction in Bismarck, ND but I wasn’t seeking death. I wanted out of this body, out of this skin.

That was in 1998. Things have not changed…much. I still loathe being in this iron maiden of a body. Sure, I could change a lot…physically. But, that won’t change this body’s malformation, nor will it change the ugliness it masks inside.

What changed was this: I realized that it didn’t fucking matter which side the flag on the rope ended up on because there is no clear winner. Life and death are not a game and eventually, I realized the flag was the point, the answer.

It was right in the middle…where we all should be focused. Perfectly aware of death on one end and what really amounts to eternal life on the other. If the flag ends up on death’s side, you’re dead, gone, done. If it ends up on life’s side, well that side is a lie. Because that flag will always find it’s way over to death’s side. It’s just that death is patient, if not opportunistic.

Doesn’t mean you should be reckless, careless or stupid about living. It means relax, stop obsessing over death or the perfect life or even if you’re living life like you should be. Just be a good person, do the right thing and live by that code.

One day a proverbial gust of wind will blow your flag over to death but in the meantime…just exist in the middle. Be centered.

Wait it out…

This Is All I Have To Give…

Graffital Aorta
Gold keys, to a trap door in the sky
While anger keeps me warm at night
Self exceptions, to every rule, and I keep
violating all, and it is written in granite,
“He was laughing too much.”
This is all I have to give…
Spinning windows, reappear, lifts me to the
silo and returns myself to you.
Pyramid crystals, shimmer in the sun, terrify me
isolate myself from the truth.
This is all I have to give…
Suns rise and they will set, time disappears,
I sit here, and decompose.
This depression, is growing on me, like an infection
and I am scared of every mirror I’ve been shown.
I have nothing more to offer, out of options
and I have nothing else to give!
Dead end mazes, hole in the spine, better off dead
keeps eating me alive.
From the inside, this holy war, left disassembled
torn apart…I find myself…missing you.
Your deviant hundred proof, my sacrifice.
This is all I have to give!
This is all I have to give!
Held out your hand, I took a grip, the microchip,
I’m yours to wield as your device.
I took the pieces of your broken tribe and
and put them back in line.
Pieces of puzzles, mixed and matched,
Don’t think I’ll make it out alive!
Just like a reaper, on the shoulder,
you pretender, making sure that I had died!
I took the bullet, jumped in front, just like
I was taught.
Only with my last one breath, I saw the gunman
and it was you that fired the shot!
And this is all I have to give!

I lived across the street, literally across the street from a JW educational type place for about five years in Florida and I never encountered anyone unfriendly, pushy or bat-shit. I don’t know much about their beliefs but they were good people. I don’t know. There are a lot worse things one could be into. I have some serious issues and problems with Scientology. I mean, that’s just an opinion. Personally, they don’t believe what I believe. I’m Gnostic, however.

No, you can’t control it and, from my own experiences, having no hope and nothing to hold onto, not specifically talking about religion but something on the skyline, to reach for, it is beyond desolate and bleak and lonely. I’ll tell ya a quick story, which will end up long because I don’t how to keep things simple and short.

In 1996 I was 17 years old and living outside of Bismarck, North Dakota. I had just moved from Eureka, California. I spent a lot of my most impressionable years running between Eureka and Redding. Even when I was younger, I knew I was different. I was born in the south and as I grew up, I started to notice things that didn’t make sense. I just didn’t fit into country music and churches and all of those stereotypical “southern” archetypes. I liked Iron Maiden and Twisted Sister and the Beastie Boys and The Clash, Pink Floyd and I was into nerdy stuff like reading and comic books and that wasn’t what the “Country South” was about. So, when we relocated to California, that burden of feeling repressed and stifled because I didn’t give in to that lifestyle was totally lifted. There were mountains and the ocean and snow and everything was wide open and relaxed. Hell, right before we moved, a young black man was dragged behind a truck and lynched in a tree! Fuck that place. I will never go back there.

Not too long after moving there, I had a girlfriend, a small group of diverse friends and I started playing guitar and writing songs in a punk band but what went unnoticed to me was how that freedom opened the door for indulgence and before I knew it, I was on uppers and drinking heavily every day and every night. I started skipping school. Eventually, I dropped out to pursue music but instead, drugs, alcohol and eventually a few months in a juvenile detention center later and my Mother had seen enough. It wasn’t her fault. She set rules. I broke them. She had standards. I played limbo with them. She tried to get me help. I said “fuck you”.

I wasn’t a bad kid either. I tried to spare her from my addictions and disobedience because I KNEW it would hurt her. My Grandmother had died just prior to moving and I KNEW it would hurt her too, even though she was gone. Ultimately, her death may have been the catalyst but that’s another rabbit hole for another day. I was still a pretty decent kid, still intact and in-touch with reality. I had a job. I did chores. I didn’t talk back…but…at night, I was out the door. So, she did what she thought was the right thing. She moved us to North Dakota. She wanted me to reconnect with Nature and my faith and spirit and the Dakotas are a wonderful place to do that. Absolutely beautiful landscapes and a rich indigenous heritage that much later in life would bring me full circle BACK to North Dakota. Have I told you about that yet??

But, at 17, none of that mattered. I lost everything I had by moving and to a small town that, yeah, wasn’t Southern AmeriKKKA bad but it was its own form of repression and stagnation quickly set in. I still struggled with addiction and eventually I was back on the wrong track and on Christmas Eve at about noon-ish, I was high as a kite and all by myself because the assholes I ran with in Bismarck left without me. So, all of this hopelessness and anger and pain launched a piece of particle board through a window of an office-type building that they were constructing.

And that was it. I was done. So, sitting on the frame of the window, hands bloody. I remember it was really REALLY high up. Maybe fourth or fifth floor and the wind was just gusting these massive walls of frozen air at me. I still cared, but I was done trying. Ready to descend. End it all. But the sunlight’s shimmer on the shards of glass and the ice frozen on them ignited a process. I was tucking tail and running like some bottom-dwelling invertebrate. I was running from the truth and the truth finally caught me. I began to question if this was all I had to give. Is this what I was worth? And forged in those frozen crystals of ice were oracles. Every shape was different and unique. Yet they were all connected as one. Glimmering, almost a locomotion of function. It’s all about encoding your meaning, your thoughts, your feelings into something beyond recognition.

Then…epiphany. Vision. Clarity. If I jumped, I would never learn what singularity I was connected to. Much like an Owl and its prey. The prey sees nothing in the darkness. The Owl…sees everything. I had to stop running from the darkness and start learning to exist in it, love myself in it. Infinitesimal saviors. To think something so tiny as crystals of ice, frozen to glass and a beam of light illuminating them in a way that I may never have noticed until they were right in front of my face saved my life that afternoon and inspired me to find a way to cope. To search for hope again.

And no, it hasn’t been easy…at all. Clearly. But I think that one moment, that one rare instance that can never be replicated sown the seed of a mighty Oak Tree. And despite all of the stormy weather, the hurricanes, the tornadoes and volcanic eruptions, it has endured, the broken limbs and lightning strikes and toxins and insects boring into its core…it still stands. It still lives.

Told you that was gonna be long. My point is that when all hope is gone, when you have nothing to reach for, you wind up seconds from that darkness eating you alive. We must have hope.

I think confidence, in a way, one source of it, comes from not comparing ourselves to others. That’s hard not to do. I think it’s not so much who we are that holds us down, it’s who we think we’re not. And, as the saying goes, doubt, kills more dreams than failure. The fact that you are aware of your fears and what they specifically are is smart thinking. It means you have choices. Some people never identify their fears and they’re forever a slave to them.

But not to be a little indelicate here for a moment. You know what got you where you are. When you get that freedom, you’re certainly not going to make those same faulty decisions again, right? Right. You’re already rewiring the mainframe. The REAL failure is not even trying in the first place. So, that’s a piece of confidence right there, that you already possess. Now let’s build on it. We’re not perfect. We’re not always going to hit the nail on the head and sometimes we’re just gonna smash the shit out of our fingers but it’s YOUR house you’re building. So it makes no sense to lay the foundation, erect a wall and abandon that construction because you missed a swing.

But don’t get me wrong. I truly do know what that fear and doubt and lack of confidence and esteem is like. I know what I’m saying makes it sound easy but I’m not dismissing any of the emotions you’re feeling right now. They are all fully valid. They’re also totally manageable. I know it’s difficult but try to tell yourself that as long you give it your all, as long as you try, there’s no win or lose. There’s win or try again…

Be patient. This is necessary…

Because I Can’t Decide…

No. I don’t. I don’t have it under control. Is that what you want me to say?! That everything is fine?? When relapse and rehab are both laughing at me this time?!

Tearing myself down inch from inch with little bombs made of my prayers but you think God has me in mind??

Look at me in BOTH my faces when I’m not practicing what I’m preaching but I can’t quit and I can’t admit that the only way out is through an amber bottle of this shit and don’t fret about my future endeavours or love or bliss, this is agony and I’VE BEEN DEAD FOREVER!!

Up or down, inside or out, awake or asleep, permanence is the only thing that means anything.

And I gotta make that decision…

Shark Story…

Shark Story

So, when I turned 20, I started playing games on a website for shits and giggles. I began talking to a woman on there and things escalated pretty quickly. Now, my first red flag should have been that she lied about her age and was twice as old as I was but that didn’t matter to me because here was this older, beautiful woman who was totally interested in me and heaping all of this attention on me and so when I turned 21 we began planning a trip to meet up with each other.

Both of us flew to Orlando to meet before going to Ormond Beach where she had a condo. So we meet up, grab a bag of liquor and head out. The first night we were just tired and slept but the next day the weather was okay, overcast and rainy but we were sloshed and wanted to go swimming. It was windy and grey but we did our swimming thing for a while until she wanted to come out and sit for awhile.

I stayed in the water. It was at this point that I noticed I was in water so deep I couldn’t touch the bottom. So, I’m floating on my back and she’s just a little dot when behind me, this splattering rang out. I started treading and turned around. About a foot away were all of these small fish. Some were medium sized mullet breaching the water. It was kind of cool watching them but they were getting closer and closer until they were jumping all around me, some of them hitting me in the chest and face but then they just moved on and I started floating again.

A minute goes by and I hear this splash behind me. Harder than the little fish, bigger. I turned and saw nothing but when I turned around to face the shore a huge splash happened to my left and in front of me cruised a dorsal fin, about 9-10 inches tall with a black tip. I froze and it went under to my right as it curved around me.

This is the only time in my life where being drunk actually saved my ass.

I immediately start swimming toward shore when this massive splash happens in front of me and this time I saw its body all the way back to the caudal fin. It was definitely a shark and probably about 7-8 feet long too. I stop swimming as fiercely and start creeping forward.

And that’s when I felt the huge thud into my left thigh. It was rough like sandpaper as it slid across my leg. I then surfaced and circled me again but I didn’t panic. I slowly went back to floating on my back and started stroking forward to the shore. As I got to where I could stand, the water was still up to my neck and the shark surfaced again. Now I started to move with urgency because the shark was tracking me. It was stalking me. Getting closer to me, inch by inch at first. Inches became feet.

As I got to shoulder level water, my legs were swept from under me by a rip current. I tumbled in a cartwheel and I knew to just ride it out but I was being pummeled with a shark nearby. The rip current dragged me all the way to the shore and I came to rest right by a Horseshoe Crab. I was pissed at the current so I stood and yelled “Fuck you!!” at the ocean just as a huge wave crashed into me, breaking my nose. I had been swept a quarter of a mile down the beach by the current and had to stagger all the way back to her and she had no clue that I had just gotten really lucky. Although, in retrospect, the river of blood pouring out of my nose was probably more jarring and alarming.

So, after I went back home, I was watching the news and they were doing helicopter fly-overs that showed thousands, and I mean thousands of sharks swimming right where I had been swimming. In fact, experts named that summer the “Summer of the Shark” because of all of the attacks. And, to top it all off, there was a major tropical storm to the southeast of us at the time.

My own personal Perfect Storm.

I had a friend who was a Marine Biologist and she said the only reason that shark didn’t bite and tear me apart was because I was too drunk and they apparently don’t like the smell of alcohol and so it moved on.

This is the only time in my life where being drunk actually saved my ass.



I see dreams in a window, being rearranged.
Inside arcs of tingling bars, backlights a
palmate and I am feeling rather strange.

Feelings of raw percussion, cling to my skin.
And I was skeptical at first, until you took my
hand, assured me I wouldn’t feel a thing.


And away and in a second and in a fog.
A daze has left me weary of the talking
to the walls and myself.

Claps of starving thunder, filling my void.
Please, scrape away the tissue, every cell.
I am seeing stars. (But I am feeling just fine)

(Better than before)

Empty, by the here and now.
Even though they seem so familiar here.
Woven through my scars, dance like fireflies
in an esoteric light, there’s something
mystical here!

Reach out, hold the sky’s weight.
Numb to the core, but I do not mind.
(I’m getting smaller by the minute)
And every thought was intertwined,
with every fiber of my psyche and
as I rest my head forever and I
feel myself begin to dissipate…

The Alpha Chimera Scratch…

Yes, it is referred to as the “believing in what you cannot see” theory within my social circle. However, I believe that evolution took over once we were created but if science is correct, (and that can be a toss up) this planet and many others were here long before we were. Something, someone, created that. They didn’t just pop up one day. Yes, yes, Big Bang, I’ve heard of it…

I don’t believe in the effigy of God that has been bestowed upon us by the mainstream society though. The massive man with the white robe and white beard. That’s just people’s imaginations running wild, the same way they ran wild into the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy. Those are just incarnations of the comic, if not cartoonish kind.

If there is a “God”, then I believe it exists in the form of the pneuma. Residing within us rather than in the exterior beyond. Maybe, it’s that small voice that we’ve heard for years, the voice that we have named reason, or common sense. Or even gut instinct.

I’ve had this conversation many times over with my band mates. Our music is skewed in the direction of the mind, spirit, and celestial arena. They all have their opinions on the matter, but none of them, and that includes me, are content with just leaving things up to an omnipotent force. There has to be a level of responsibility and accountability that we as a species have to meet.

We can’t just put it all on “God’s” shoulders and hope for the best. I sincerely believe that is not we are here to accomplish. What would this world be like if we all just sat back and waited?

And I’m not trying to prove there is a God or that their is a heaven or hell. That type of journey probably is a big waste of time because if we were capable of finding him, then the allure, the luster, and the intrigue would, like you said, be kind of pointless. We’re not meant to know everything. A hard pill to swallow for some. Besides, if God wanted to be seen, then God would make that obvious.

However, this is where I and myriad others differ on the subject. I believe it is ok to ask questions. I’m not one to just sit and say “everything will be ok as long as I believe”. Sure. Believing, trusting, and taking those blind leaps of faith might earn my soul points, but to me I’m not sure I really believe in the heaven and hell part of it. I have recently leaned towards a “it’s all about now” belief and if they do exist, maybe they’re what our minds and souls make them.

We are here to live and that’s what’s important. How we treat our bodies and how we treat others. There are ten simple rules set in stone for us and if we cannot live and abide by those, then heaven and hell are the least of our worries. The body being the vessel that carries us around. I believe we are supposed to use this vessel for better ways.

Earthly/Nature? I define it as investing in what has been given to us. Nobody owned Earth, and nobody owns it today. This is not our land. We simply have it on loan. We should pay homage to nature, the ground that gives us life. Without it there would be no farming, no food, and about a million other things we wouldn’t have. Nature keeps the gears turning. Yet humankind constantly abuses it, and destroys it. It’s to me, like spitting in your landlord’s face after he allows you to live rent free, and when you do, you get evicted.

Once again, we can’t just sit back and expect God to replenish the forests and reincarnate the animals after they are extinct. We should learn to ration what is given to us and not overindulge, because one day we may have to answer for our crimes against our planet. It’s having a healthy, admiration, appreciation, and respect for the Earth and its Flora & Fauna.

The life givers…

The Vortex…

The Vortex…
March 1st, 2007

I’m not a person that has an easy time waking up. Nor am I someone that wakes up out of the blue…without provocation.

However, this morning was a different case. Shortly after 8 a.m. I was wide-awake as if someone had flipped a switch.

I knew today had the potential to be a very hellish day weather-wise but I had no idea just how bad it would be. I hobbled to the kitchen and poured my standard cup of black coffee and flipped on the television.

Today’s “Armageddon” was in full swing. Tornado warning number one had been issued. To the southeast of me, about ten miles, a tornado was spiraling in the clouds, attempting desperately to find its way to the Earth below.

To the southwest of me, fifty miles or so, tornado warning number two had been issued. Its path heading right for me. First things first. [I]Where[/I] is number one? Number one’s rotation was now just miles from my house. Time to take action…

Ok. Animals secured, spot in the closet prepared, panic starting to build…

Ten minutes go by and number one is still spinning in the clouds, yet to touch down. Number two is now 25 miles closer. To the northwest of me, tornado warning number three has now been issued and is tracking to the northeast.

My dogs have now begun to whine constantly and pant. From the sliding glass door I can see flocks of birds, Cowbirds, Sparrows, Doves, Crows, Vultures heading my way. The sky just a mere three miles away is pitch black and churning.

I’m spared from number one. However, number one went on to kill 15 people later in the day. Now, where is number two?

Number two is now just about 15 miles south of my house. Glued to the local news reports, I can see through my bedroom window the forest behind me beginning to whip back and forth. But as I’m preparing to hunker down in my corner of the closet, the meteorologist announces that this warning has been dropped. Within minutes, the rain had halted and the wind died down. Dodged another…

This afternoon, I had to pay a visit to my attorney. At the time, there were only two warnings, to the north and west of me. We set out in reasonably ok conditions but returning home was far less than “reasonably ok”. The wind had already picked up greatly in just two hours and as the highway took us past Mobile Bay, more warnings were announced. Number four was heading right for us…at 60mph.

Pedal to the metal and as the skies blackened, the rain came down in sheets, the warning expired, just as quickly as it had come up.

But not for long…

Fifteen minutes later, number five reared its ugly head. This one was a monster. Still racing at 60+mph. Dumping sheets of blinding and driving rain, whiting out everything, leaving you unable to see farther than 100ft. in any direction. The treetops whipped back and forth violently, cracking limbs to both sides of the highway. Gusts of wind blew what appeared to be hunks of trees and puddles of water across the road. The car shifting with each gust. Above us was a hostile and angry cell of rage and madness…tornado warning number five was growling and hungry.

Mile by mile we trudged, fearing that any second a funnel would appear to lift us up. Fearing that any second, debris might cripple the vehicle as tops of trees that had been blown down jutted out in to the lanes.

An experience I’ve only experienced once before while on the road. Taking place at night, the lightning storm was awe-inspiring but the enveloping darkness made it much worse than this. Two other times I have experienced such terrifying weather…

Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.

As a lover of all things Nature, even though being caught underneath a raging sky scared me senseless, I still am brought to my knees by the raw passion of this planet.

Nothing is subtle…nothing is without reason…everything contains beauty. Despite the casualties…it just goes to show you, just how insignificant we are to Mother Earth…

We just do not matter to her…