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 this morning from the oracle in Berkeley, Peter Z; along with a link (shown above) to 90 minutes of truth. Contemplating his message I wondered; will our story be that we arrived by chance through a miracle of evolution made possible by the extraordinary magical gift of regeneration and like a gluttonous species of self-serving greed on wheels harvested everything until it was finished or fouled, and then, residing over our own demise, ignominiously vanished into extinction?

Have we, with egos the size of cathedrals, sharpened our greed to the point we can split atoms with our desire? Will we fiber-optically connect the world to our every eager impulse, grease every dollar-green dream and gold-plated fantasy until every privileged human being 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; are we are on that runaway Amtrak train, crashing  headlong into a slow down curve at 110 MPH, ready to fist-fuck our ex-planet and lick our fingers clean as we reach out toward our pristine, cybernetic keyboards for more billable hours 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.