If I am repaired, can we meet again for the first time, in all of the places I have feared to go, and then, again, in all of the places I will have forgotten, if I am repaired?



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"...like I wanted to go to Heaven anyway."

     I’ve been discussing God again with Bret. Not really a “both sides of the coin” kind of guy. I get in a ranting mood after talking with him. The blind... The sheep… They are frustrating.

     I was about to come on and just vent. But I calmed down a little. Very little. I think I’ll post a quick summary of my opinion of God instead, which, be forewarned isn't very high. So those of you who are thinned-skinned Christians, you might want to stop after the Mathew question. I’ll leave my organized religion vent for later.

     Anyway, I was thinking about this while in the shower…

     Mathew 10:25 NIV

     “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

     If in fact it is material things that we need to be rid of so that we can ‘enter’ the kingdom of God… Heaven… Wouldn’t it be more likely that Heaven is a state of mind, and the word experience, a better choice than ‘enter’?

     Just a thought.

     No, I don’t believe in a Heaven with streets of gold and pearl gates. Not any more. Wouldn’t even want to go to such a place. But tacky accommodations for my soul aren’t my beef with God. (Incidentally, I don’t believe in souls either).

     Thin-skinners, sensitive types, better stop here; I don't want to loose the few friends I have.

     I have a hang-up with the Exodus. More specifically the method God chose to finally convince the Pharaoh to let his people go. The good ol’ Archangel of Death, who, by the way, is speculated to have been Uriel, the same chap left to guard the gates of Eden... Bit of trivia for ya.

     It’s not like God didn’t kill thousands upon thousands of innocents, (2,270,365 recorded victims), but this little slaughter in Egypt chapped my ass. Enough to make me say, “F this Dude”.

     Look at it this way: You have Joey-Omnipotent who is perfectly capable (so he claims) to I Dream of Jeannie his people right out of slavery. Tinkle tinkle tink. You’re in the Promised Land!

     But that doesn’t happen. To top it off, it’s the damn Pharaoh who’s holding his people, and instead of snuffing the Pharaoh, what does Boy-Wonder do? Kills all of the first born. Animals too. What the hell?! These were probably people who had as little contact with or knowledge of Israelites as the people in the Twin Towers had of the Taliban. Yes, I went there. It’s the same damn thing. Murder. You are high if you can’t see that God made a conscious decision here to take lives over saving lives.

     And please, start with me on how we can’t understand the will of God. I understand this decision clearly…
     I better stop; I’m getting a little venomous. Besides, these days, I don’t even believe a God exists, so really this is a pointless rant… nearly pointless. It bothers me that people are so misinformed, so empty, so brainwashed, etc. that they cuddle up to this killer. Hell, that we glorify his "victories". It bothers me that I did that very thing for so long. What a waste.

     Pure Love and the God of the Old Testament cannot exist in the same heart. There is too much blood on his hands. A lot of wires got crossed, either in translation, or on purpose. 


     On the off chance that I am wrong, and there actually is a God, I’ll gladly stick to my guns and weather the fire, brimstone and my gnashing teeth, over spending eternity with a murderous scab.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Worms have eaten the meat from the Hollyhock leaves, leaving lace skeletons, ghosts bearing flowers to a grave.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tomato Juice

Tomato juice. You’d think, with all of the nurturing smiles, Holocausts and Tour-Buses available, a guy could have something better than tomato juice for his first memory. That’s almost pathetic.

     If the shoe fits... 

     I guess there was Mexico too. But hell, it wasn’t Playa del anywhere, no white beaches or crystalline waves lapping over my infantile feet, nothing spicy. My Mexico was a bon-a-fide shithole; the kind that attracts young, missionary types...namely my father.

     I don’t know much about memories—how other people see their reminiscences—but most of mine are snapshots, Polaroid’s, shot on Super 8, or some compilation of the three. There aren’t any dates, ages or names. I rely on my father to fill in the historical nonsense. Tomato Juice, my first memory, is kind of a flipbook of old Kodachromes; those four by four white-framed numbers, with that burnt orange tint that looks like they were taken in a stage four smog alert. Pops says the year was 1967. I was three years old.

     My father bought a new van that year, a Dodge. In those days, Pops equated weird and ugly with cutting-edge, especially when it came to vehicles. I think a lot of people did. That particular make of Dodge had plenty of both weird and ugly. A loaf of bread had better lines. Its face was punched in flat and its eyes bugged out like a Pug dog's. To top it off, it was painted sky blue and white. Refreshing.
We’d been driving along an inland stretch of Hell between TJ and Rosarito when Pops pulled the van off the highway into one of those ‘scenic’ turnouts. Pops got out and stretched. I followed.

     The scenic turnout was a plateau overlooking a deep valley and adjacent rise. Pops walked over to the plateau’s rim and stood there surveying the valley, a little like Moses looking into the Promised Land of Canaan, sans beard and crazy hair. I inched up beside him, leery of the edge.

     The view was a far cry (as my father often said) from scenic. Everywhere I looked there was scalded red rock and sand; not a bush one. We might as well have landed the van on Mars. There were stacks of car tires all up the valley’s walls, scattered metal, wood and cardboard. It could easily have been the beginnings of a landfill. When I looked closer, I could see paths, and people, moving in and out of the trash; that the trash was houses... homes. 

     This was a scenic view of rock bottom. Even a three year old could see that the only way these people were going to get any further down, was when they were buried. They might have been looking forward to it too. The valley had been burnt clean of all hope by decades of poverty, ignorance and whatever corrosive ingredients were leeching from the core of Mexico.

     Any other person would have been stunned by this display of squalor. But not Pops. Pops was smiling.

     You see, rock bottom, to the young missionary type, translates roughly into ‘ripe for salvation’.

     Pops had always claimed that Australia was his ‘calling’. I’m assuming he envisioned the Outback, something desolate, where he (and his family) could truly suffer for God. But Australia didn’t pan out. Pops couldn't drum up the money. We were living in Southern California in ’67, and I guess, after a year of unsuccessful panhandling, the Spirit finally led him across the border to the next best wasteland: Mexico.

     That doesn’t explain the tomato juice though. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would take a half gallon can of tomato juice on a road trip into Hades. But it was there. Pops swung the back doors of the Van open and produced the silver can. Then, like magic, he produced an equally silvery opener and pierced two triangles into the can’s top.

     “One for pouring, one for glugging,” he said.

     Pops tilted the can back into the blazing Mexican sun and chugged down a mess of the thick (probably warm) juice.

     I watched my father's Adam’s apple pump the fluid down his throat. I wanted an Adam’s apple, and tomato juice...everything my father had.

     “You ain’t gonna like it boy,” he said.

     I would like it. I promised.

     Pop squatted down and held the can out to me.

     In my memory, my Kodachrome flipbook, I watch my two tiny hands reaching for the enormous can of juice that my father easily palmed in one. But my little hands hesitate. There was a smile on my father’s face that I’d never seen before; slight, dark and twisted.

     "Go on, take a drink."

     I looked down at the ant-size people moving in and out of their trash homes. Nothing was getting them out of that valley, not even death. Pops wasn't going to make a damn thing better for them either.

     Maybe that's why I remember the tomato juice so clearly: Reaching for it, seeing that smirk on my father's face, my three year old brain must have realized that there are people the universe conspires against... toys with... simply because they're trusting, and that I was one of these people, my father a co-conspirator, and I'd always be the brunt of some cosmic joke...God’s Piñata.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Every year as summer approaches and the first hay is cut,
I search for the words to describe this...

Another try...

First cuttings lay in the fields,
Like slumbering ruins,
Waiting for Winter's long hunger.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I’ve used gardens, marathons and silence,

     God, words and charity.

I’ve used bicycles, music and knowledge,

            Art, food and booze.

I’ve used beards, cars and letters,

                   Nights, books and years.

I’ve used hunger, Vegas and fire,

         Strippers, diamonds and cash…

I’m a Cutter,

              Even this mountain I live on
                                                 Is a blade.