Thursday, May 24, 2012

Parting Words

The good ship Oggy is about to depart for unknown shores. A homeless street musician asked me for a ride to Austin, Texas and that sounded like as good of a plan as any. "I have no money but I sing for food," he said. "Let's go," I responded. Then he said, "Or Eugene, Oregon..." And I said, "Hush. The wind will lead us."
Oggy in the beatnik cafe

The words of Lyndon Johnson ring in my ear, "Is the world gone? We say 'Farewell' Is a new world coming? We welcome it - and we will bend it to the hopes of man."

Should we stand in the way of progress? I don't think so. Not as a rule. My quest to understand the human condition demands I slow down the eradication of our old ways, preserve them momentarily before they are petrified into designer engagement rings. But that's because I idolize Hermann Hesse, who did something similar for his generation. Hesse did not change the world and he was probably at peace with his legacy when he passed away. This is an elusive state because, in the words of another poet, "It's hard to be a saint in the city." The Boss understood that the City corrupts and the City presents a challenge. It grows and we aren't 100% it's a good growth, but it's too late to turn back and so it grows. The challenge is walking a razor's edge between the chasm of indifference and the pinnacle of success without every knowing which way is up.

Can you find the alligator?

What is progress? What is comfort? I wonder if the Kickapoo were concerned about 7 generations in the future because their population was so small. When your population swells to 313 million then it's safe to say that 7 generations from now will be around 500 million...and that many people will be able to take care of themselves with or without Bison or Koala bears. They'll have enough problems. You can be careless with lives when there are 500 million of them to consider and that's the attitude of today. If Americans can't even collectively care about the health of their own lungs and hearts then what chance is there that they will care about radioactivity in the oceans? The media had me fooled into the promotion of trending topics, the viral antidote to the ignorance of the dry mouth breathers of the Midwest. One piece of news gets reported on a dozen ways until Fox News actually starts to manufacture the news that Fox News will report on. "Earlier today on Fox...this amazing event happened...find out what it was in five minutes." (cue Ragu commercial) I'm going to try to stop doing that and start setting my own trends and I don't care if this means reporting on the temperature gauge of my van or tire tread depth, because the insignificant celebrity gossip and parasitic fame leeches that I have observed on television are so repulsive that I could report on a dog's bowel movements with more dignity.

Do these come in my size?

So, the summary of these last days of May 2012 are that Media outlets are like junk food pressuring the arteries of humanity with fabricated candy content. Yet, humanity plods on. Legless people walk. Private spaceships fly to orbiting space stations. Hydro-fracturing projects move forward in New York, Kansas, Texas, North Dakota, Canada despite all warnings of the doom they may cause. Tar Sands projects move forward in British Colombia though it takes more oil to produce the oil they find than the actual oil in the ground. Yet, wind farms, the industrial antithesis of tar sands, are developed in Texas and Kansas. Does one cancel the other out or is one enabling the other? Babies with holes in their hearts are mended and though their brains were oxygen starved and their lungs failed to develop, they live and their parents pray for miracles and the doctors provide them. Joplin was destroyed by Tornadoes and rebuild with a hammer in one hand and a bible in the other. Australian conspiracy theorists believe UFOs flew into the World Trade Centers and HAVE PROOF! This (humanity) is a circus act with center stage being shared by blind dogs that do back flips and prostitutes who bring down a nation with $800 blowjobs. The mistake is to try and make sense of it, but that's what Hermann Hesse did. Have ye read Narcissus and Goldmund?

“Because the world is so full of death and horror, I try again and again to console my heart and pick the flowers that grow in the midst of hell”

“O how incomprehensible everything was, and actually sad, although it was also beautiful. One knew nothing. One lived and ran about the earth and rode through forests, and certain things looked so challenging and promising and nostalgic: a star in the evening, a blue harebell, a reed-green pond, the eye of a person or a cow. And sometimes it seemed that something never seen yet long desired was about to happen, that a veil would drop from it all, but then it passed, nothing happened, the riddle remained unsolved, the secret spell unbroken, and in the end one grew old and looked cunning . . . or wise . . . and still one knew nothing perhaps, was still waiting and listening.” 

He tried to make sense of it and if I can find the cord that will inflate my ego's life preserver then I want to grab that torch and light the path that leads to my own books, my manifesto. It's there in the buried debris field of my memory and present self-convictions and if I can uncover it and set it free to fly in a world that may not be worthy of remembrance then that's the dream I want quoted in Passports of the future.
"The only people for me are the mad ones..." Kerouac
It's fucking damn near impossible to be a saint in the city. But it's not so hard to be a poet and if you will accept that I am no saint and that the robes I wear are stained and ragged and were once the curtains of a brothel and the long johns of a pretzel selling hobo, then I have my poetry that are a piece of the timeless cracked tile mosaic we're building toward an unknown height, covering up the drab cement of yesterday with mirrors and clay and tears of today.
City Museum in Saint Louis Welcomes A Gypsy!
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.