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November 4th, 1998

brittle attempt at humour @ 11:14 am

From: horsestorideon@hotmail.com
Subject: brittle attempt at humour
Date: November 4, 1998 11:14:55 AM PST
To: exit2k@hotmail.com, afw10@columbia.edu, mrvisible@worldnet.att.net, sowinski@inetdirect.net, sejohnst@midway.uchicago.edu, and 26 more…

i watched this movie last night.
these thoughts were written on my arm
i didn't get there...
not all the way there
but maybe later...
here's a bit.
it's part of the job, but i've got to say that i just don't understand your politiks..

i almost feel sick.

i used to say that writing is failing.
that is, if you push it all out instead of just trying to live it
you've killed off and put into words
you've failed and left behind a body of works...
exhumed from your own living shell
now tell me what you have left.

i used to listen to people talking about days that were better
and me
in my realm of speculation [books and films and]
i saw many things that seemed, if not better, purer.
maybe less comfortable
maybe less simple
less affordable...
but they had their reasons and they had their consequences
and if you took their reasons you took their consequences
and you knew what you were getting into as you did it.

you had a country and a name.
respected your father... who loved you even if he didn't know how to show it.
the people you dealt with may have been just as worried as you
but they did what they had to get along with you
as you were all they had
in the days of lesser transport.
shoes weren't as comfortable and many people still walked with bare feet in the grass; on the dirt...
they pants scratched your legs up
no deoderants to cleanse you
no sun-block on your naked-skin.

the rules of living were the hard-facts
or facts of life
and were never said to be easy...

those men who had to work knew the meaning of their work
they sweat and lifted and moved and pulled
their purpose came from their loyalties and love of their fellows

so it goes.

i wasn't there...
or, if i was
i left something un-finnished.

looking around me now i can take things in different ways:
i've learned the art of fooling myself so well that i couldn't really tell you if i wasn't.

if you pay no regard to the meaning or the message from the creator of the piece
you don't care about God anymore

and if you aren't interested in what's going on outside of your vision
then you've learned the rules of the nuclear family

if you lust what you can't see in yourself [anymore]
and take it in hand in an effort to hold it close
[close enough to be a part of you]
you've learned some excuses you know how to use.

i see it being cast off everyday, the importance of things.
it's like any other lubricant
keeping things quiet

the large of the world got that way from practice
here
it didn't happen because they needed it to move a plow or lift a pole
it was taken
hand in hand
as a sculpter
gleaned from magazines and co-workers
paid trainers.
men in gyms shaping themselves to the idea of what they want to be
with no idea why they'd ever use that mass outside of putting something back in the position they'd moved it from
[repition, like calendar days and alarm-clock settings]

i wanted to be big, once
i saw the strength in farmers in a rural town
and the movement of their swollen bellies under their shirts
the tightness of their shoulders as they lifted hay into the traughs
but i was so small then
and only trained in gyms
or on lawns, manicuring an exhibition of a some-dollar bill to the neighbours and strangers passing by in their cars
in these pointless acts [with out love, just the appearance of]
i thought of those i'd seen who carried around the burden of having prepared themselves through their everyday life
to live the next day
and week
and month
until it swallowed them whole.
they drilled late into the evenings, til the end of the year

so i'm riding around in a truck
and my feet hardly ever touch the ground anymore.
my jobs are less than sitting at a desk
speaking in a telephone
forcing the computer in front of me to think for the company that pays its wages

things are getting easier and softer and they fuzz out of focus before i can see them
it must be so hard
to pay all those bills
and swipe all those cards
and speak all those numbers...

i imagine why we're getting thinner...
some of us.
i think of what it's like when you start losing weight and you go about your business
when there is less and less of you touching the ground
your foot-prints get lighter past every sun-set
and you speak so little these days, sir
as if you had nothing to say to us...

the dreams of being in love with the world
of seeing those people
lush with life
with juicy arms you could dive into
shoulders made to swing up a lover onto a back
legs to go running to catch their desire
bodies alive in the air and the light
smiles with out pills and dentures and tooth-pasty grins
skin with out sores and bruises and
hair where there's hair and skin where there isn't
acceptance of living this life that they have

[it's yr one go, kid... make the best of it or it'll be hell]

it's so rare these days to see people who haven't given up
given in, to pay-checksand bills, medications and surgeries... nightly news and their favourite dramas
the excitement of lives that they'll never be living



if i took off my shoes now
and touched the ground
could still go walking here
or might i get shot by a hunter?
a land owner?
a security gaurd?
if i took off my clothes
is there a way i could keep from getting arrested and fined?

this isn't the life i signed up for.
i didn't want to have to do it by the book and by the numbers.
i didn't want to have to leave behind my body for pacemakers and prozac
i didn't want to have to be wrong for leaving my class
i didn't want to be so far from everyone else
to have to keep secrets
to have to say those things i'm not even thinking

i don't want all of my thoughts tied up in despair
but i don't want electro-shock therapy
and i don't want any drugs
and i don't want the radio or television or church to give me the answer
 
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