In The Now

In a voice reminiscent of Raymond Carver‘s minimalist realism, Charles Bukowski‘s raw journals of life’s underbelly and Alan Ginsberg‘s poet-political essays, Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized, short stories, philosophical essays, poetry and prose are funny, insightful and heartrending, describing often in non-linear dreamscape narrative with the liquid lyricism of a poet; the love, loss, joy and angst of the fascinating and often mystifying connections of men and women in the intimacy of their daily lives. His writing style is both Anti-Novel and Imagist; fragmenting and distorting the experiences of characters, forcing the reader to build a reality to the story from a disordered narrative, stressing economy of language; writing free; with precise imagery, clear, sharp language, clarity of expression and meticulous visual images in musical phrase. – Gino Rossi


To Be A Poet (by Aubrey Marcus) 

To be a poet is to wake up every morning and file the callouses from your senses. You scrub them until they are so raw that your familiar lover smells of lust and danger, a cup of coffee is like a warm hug from an old friend, and morning sunshine still tickles with the light of unmanifested dreams.

Stephen Dunn says, “All good poems are victories over something.” The poet trades 1000 days of idle leisure for any adventure. A chance at victory. A chance that their entire life can be an epic poem that echoes in the halls of eternity.

If on this path a poet suffers a tragedy, she does not claw in panic from the depths of despair. She breathes… and digs deeper. For she knows that her only salvation is on the other side of that hole, where there are no demons left unmasked, and no poisonous tears unspilled.

To be a poet is to have one true enemy with many names. Emptiness, numbness, apathy. When a poet feels these things he throws himself into a passion, a challenge, a fight, a dance, anything to make him feel. He despises those ameliorates that dull his senses, and heralds that which fuels his fire. And if that which fuels his fire is fire itself, he cares not. For as Soren Kierkegaard says, “A poet is not an apostle; he drives out devils only by the power of the devil.”

A poet can express unimaginable joy, but he never brags. A poet can express unimaginable heartbreak, but he never complains. A poet is a tuning fork that resounds the human experience, and Fortune herself, the striker.

The difference between a poet and a soldier, is that the soldier’s heart is full of scars armored in Spartan red. Whatever pain he might feel, whatever innocence he may carry is guarded by his impenetrable ethos. A poet goes to life without armor because he knows only when you are vulnerable to injury are you susceptible to bliss.

Walt Whitman wrote the prayer for the soul of a poet. “Sail Forth- Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all.”

What is life then, but one grand adventure, one epic poem? To be a poet is to embrace the story of your life as it unfolds. To play the hero, to fall in love, to have your heart broken, to fall in love again, again, again, to fail, to despair, to inspire… To be a poet is to live.

HOME (The Movie)

Word arrived from the oracle in Berkeley, CA this morning. A Link (shown above) to 90 minutes of truth. Contemplating the message I wondered: Will our story be; we arrived by chance through a miracle of evolution made possible by the extraordinary magical gift of regeneration and like a gluttonously species of self-serving greed on wheels harvested everything until it was finished or fouled; then residing over our own demise; vanished into extinction?

Have we, with egos the size of cathedrals, sharpened our greed to the point it can split atoms with our desire? Will we fiber-optically connect the world to our every eager impulse, grease even the dollar-green dream and gold-plated fantasy until every human becomes an aspiring emperor? 

As we scramble from one deal to the next, who’s got his eye on the planet? As the air thickens, the water sours, and even the bees honey takes on the metallic taste of radioactivity; we are on that runaway Amtrak train, jogging headlong into a slow down curve at 110 MPH, ready to fist-fuck our ex-planet, lick our fingers clean as we reach out toward our pristine, cybernetic keyboards for more; with our belly’s too full, our dick’s too limp and our hearts too empty. If so, where can you go from there?

Stealing Home

Pulled into Nazareth, feelin’ bout’ half past dead. Just need some place; where I can lay my head. Hey mister can you tell me; where a man might find a bed? He just grinned and shook my hand; “No”, was all he said. – The Weight – Robbie Robinson

Two perfect pre-pubescent tits on my breakfast plate this morning; soul-enriching farm-fresh eggs from free range chickens on the family farm of my soul-brother from another mother, the impassioned Braveheart; Double G. He snatched them warm from the chickens ass not thirty minutes ago solely for the enhancement of my morning sustenance. The yolks are as golden as an Arizona desert sunset; the whites as pure as the Virgin Mary’s nightgown – the taste; primal, life affirming; nectar of the gods; glorious.

The past six month blessing of organic food, REM sleep, exercise therapy and exposure to pure nature has soothed the savage beast anger; erupted in me from a nasty dose of betrayal trauma resulting from my ill-advised journey from the luxurious California Bay Area to Mayberry USA. I had hit, I’d thought, a home run, was rounding third for that imagined oasis, heading home; only to find when I arrived; someone had stolen the plate.

The key difference between traditional post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and betrayal trauma is that the former is historically seen as being caused primarily by fear, whereas betrayal trauma is a response to extreme anger. Fear and anger are the two sides to the fight or flight response, and as such are our strongest and most basic psychological emotions. A real grievance can be resolved; differences can be resolved. But betrayal has a special bite; it’s invades from inside a Trojan Horse using your trust to arrive with great stealth. It’s a wound from which the inflictor and the afflicted can never fully recover.

Neil Young famously sang “only love can break your heart.” Likewise, though less poetic, is the axiom that the path to betrayal is bricked with trust. Ergo; hypocrisy is the root of betrayal and the deepest wound because to be betrayed we must first trust.

As I watched my so-called family descend into a contorted kabuki dance of professional victimization and act out a formalized pantomime of faked sincerity soon after I arrived, I heard the echo’s of the REDBELT philosophy; “there is always an escape; insist on the move”. Heeding the call, armed with a lifetime of resilience training, I employed my flight response; disengaged, declare victory and departed the field.

I suppose mine was not as profound as the Jesus/Judas, Caesar/Brutus, Mafia/Valachi, Nixon/Nation, Japanese/Pearl Harbor, Benedict Arnold/America or Pederast Priests/Children betrayals, and to be fair one must decide to be voluntarily vulnerable to be betrayed; yet the moral and psychological conflict produced from this trust breaking violation realigned my allegiance of loyalty to that previously considered sacrosanct institution called family. It’s not blood that makes a family; its love, and for that, my friends and I, from here on; will provide for each other just fine.

Though this treason at first seemed a set back, when the clouds open to show the true sky; it always leads to a better place; freshly armed with the knowledge that we all must live with what we do. Maybe more importantly, the thing that makes my tribe most uniquely strong, resilience; will see this enlightening wound close, scarlessly, like water. Strike some men and all you do is hurt your hand.

Send In The Clowns

“They make a desert and call it peace.” Calgacus; enemy of Rome.

Officials in Baltimore today praise the results of their draconian collective punishment, a city-wide curfew, in response to the bursting boil of built up disgust with police brutality from high school kids rampaging after being pepper sprayed. The Governor crows “we have turned a corner” while residing over a police state. Ray Lewis, a one in a million prodigy, extols those same kids with his personal hard luck story while their unemployment rate hovers at 50% and their life expectancy is 20 years less than their white counterparts just a few neighborhoods away. Even my beloved president Obama, so far removed from inner city community organizing, chokes out the simple catch word “thugs.” It’s a clown parade of clueless elites.

I’ve got radiation burns on my eyeballs from watching wall to wall CNN coverage of the Baltimore riot but I’ve yet to see one interview of the people who rioted. If we want to know why it happened; ask the people who did it; not the cloistered city fathers or the cops who say they don’t know what happened to Freddie Grey. To not know is to not want to know. Set up your cameras in those classrooms of the high school where this all started. Send in your correspondents. Those kids will be happy to give us all an earful.

Police, charged with the duty to apprehend; not to convict or punish, but to act as guardians, protectors, until the courts can rule, should not be armed with any officials ad hominem like thugs or criminals. It is crime they interject, not fight; crime, not criminals. No one can resist the truth that police, the criminal justice system and prisons are being used to keep the poor in check. Can we at least test those we anoint with the awesome power of lethal force for drugs, alcohol and steroids. Have you seen the muscles on some of these cops? Still, cops complain they feared a handcuffed Freddie Grey would spit on them; so never seat-belted him in the paddy wagon.

Todays search for villains to execute or banish diverts us and perpetuates the circle game we are caught up in. Conditioned to respond to language we have allowed to creep in to our lexicon keeps the whirligig spinning. We no longer speak about crime to fight; but criminals to capture. It’s no longer terror we wage war on; its terrorists. Thus, in this process, make some people evil and some good. If we continue down that road; surely we are lost.

We’ve seen this movie before. It was made all the easier to first demonize and then dehumanize the Vietcong by calling him Charlie; by labeling him a Gook. Today insurgents, a strange name for indigenous folks, are Hadjis, (actually a term of respect for Muslims who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca), labeled terrorists; made all the easier to see as sub-human; and thus easier to kill without remorse.

Once conditioned to respond to these dog whistle phrases; dividing lines are drawn, separating us from them; sides are chosen. It’s no longer We; its Them vs Us. Once drawn the lines barricade behind their fears and see the “other” as enemy. The results of this vicious circle is what we are reaping today. So the arm that chokes the life from Eric Garner is as motivated and justified to act as the hand that violates the detainee and the finger that pulls the trigger that send the bullets that executed Mike Brown and Tamir Rice and the muscle-bound knee, hell-bent for leather, that crushed the neck of Freddie Gray; snapping his spine.

Americas children in the streets of Baltimore want to live. They watch those that look like them being brutalized, murdered in the streets by the most vicious gang, as they see it, out there; in charge of their streets. They have watched the wisdom of their parents, talk and talk, asking for justice; until blue. What they said last week was “can you hear me now”? The math on this problem is easy. Like the mechanic in the popular TV commercial said: “you can pay me now or you can pay me later”.

Tipping Point


Reblogged in memory of Freddie Gray

Originally posted on Nick Masesso, Jr.:

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, on the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all”! – Mario Savio – Sproul Hall, U.C. Berkeley: December 2, 1964.

Announcing the birth of Rap music in 1970, Gil Scott-Heron spit “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised; The Revolution Will Be Live.” Witnessing the radical experiment in empathy on our streets these days is what he meant; proof of the theory that when something becomes true for enough of us, a tipping…

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