Staring into the void and getting nothing back

This is what we’re up against fellow blogging revolutionaries:

This has to stop! We have to resort to guerrilla tactics and use the big boy’s strength against them! Bloggers unite.

What if you looked inside and found nothing there? What then?

That’s what I feel sometimes when I’m staring into the void and find there’s nothing there. I scream into the void and hear only my voice echoed back.  There’s no-one there.  No-one to answer these questions that I have.  I don’t know whether I should look down, up, or in.

I’ve tried all three at one time or another.

Of late, I’ve been hanging out at the primal level little more than a beast.  Maybe that’s a bit harsh.  By default, I’ve been more embodying the image of man as painted by Hemingway that is “to do what men do – fish, hunt, fuck, fight, howl and die.” This makes life simple and easy to understand.

I’ve looked up. It was peaceful and very Zen.  Being one with yourself is nice, but it’s also very boring.  I feel much more alive when my hair is on fire (and yes, for those of you who know me, I don’t have any hair, well that’s because I burnt it all off!)

I’ve looked in.  The trouble there is you get lost inside yourself if you stay too long. Sometimes you can’t find your way back.  I’ve lost several friends this way.

As I write this post, I’m thinking maybe there’s something about a balance – that we need all three to balance.  I’ve been stuck in Hemingway mode for some time now having turned my back on any spiritual pursuit and run away from self-development. I’m out of balance.

There is a tide in a man
moves him to his moon
and though it drops him back
he works through ebb to mount
the run again and swell
to be tumescent I.

– Charles Olson

I feel drawn to my moon, but wary of the other paths. Either all good could come from them or none.  To sum this up, I think, if there is life after death, then pursuit of enlightenment makes sense. However, if there is nothing after they turn the light off, then it’s gotta be the way of the hedonist.

Until then, I think i’ll keep trying to push through the void…see if someone or something answers me back.

I think I’ve found the theme for this blog. It’s part journal, part diary, part love letter to you my friend.

I think I’m going to get back into doing challenges that are physically and mentally challenging.  I was inspired by the link my friend Cathy sent me.  It’s  something from the makers of the Art of Manliness called The Strenuous Life.  I don’t think I’ll join the program – ’cause that’s not how I roll – but the idea of doing stuff that taxes my ingenuity, physicality, mentality and practicality is intriguing.  And I have the perfect opportunity to kick it off.  One of army buddies is in-country in a couple of weeks and he wants to do some sort of challenge.  Open for ideas from you if you have any. My buddy will be in-country for 4 days, so the challenge has to fit in that time frame.

Ok, that’s it for today.  Until next time,

happy

trails

to

you

my

friend.

clay

Soundtrack:

I’m trying to be all Zen, but it’s not working

“If you’re not talking large numbers, what’s the point.” – paraphrasing Jay-z

I think I may have made the damn near perfect cup of coffee this morning.

Morning thoughts | #coffeetime #bw #photo

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I love Hunter S. Thompson’s flow. I don’t want to ape his style, but would like to adopt his flow.  His wordplay is tight, verb-centric and concise. His use of language is untamed and mad (at least in his earlier work like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Generation of Swine).  If I could learn to tell stories like him, I’d be happy.  It’s funny though, when you listen to him on tape (I have the CD boxset (remember those) of his recordings) he sounds like a babbling buffoon.  Maybe that’s why he was a writer and not an orator.

I spent the a day in a suit working with suits of the lawyer variety.

For lunch, I usually walk over to Costa Coffee.  I like the small setting tuck away at the top of Next.  I’ve come here so often that all the staff know my order and in what order I take things.  I start off with a ham and cheese panini, lightly salted potato chips, and a juicy water drink.  The staff know that I don’t like hot drinks with my meal.  They know to hook me up with a large black coffee after I’ve finished the sandwich.  As much as I moan about routine, there are some benefits.

Oh and while I was in Costa I composed this draft poem:

I’m dying for life.
I’m dying for a life
sitting here in this cafe
on an autumn afternoon.

Juice water
Raspberries and apples

“All you have to do is walk
out the door into life,” a friend said.

But I’m frightened.
I’m frightened of what I’ve become.
I’m frightened of what I can become.

I’m a bit miffed right now.  I can’t find my Apple Airpods. I’ve checked the pockets of the trousers I wore yesterday and today and nothing.  I’m trying to be all Zen about you know the old ‘if you break your favourite tea cup, you can be sad about or you can forget about and move on, either way the tea cup is still gone.’ As true as that is, it’s not helping me much at the moment.

The Airpods are a cool piece of tech.  They are lightweight, sound good, and you can tell your phone to do things for you.  I think Airpods bring me another step closer to the sci fi world of my youth.  Of course, the sinister part of this is we’re probably not too far off of becoming part person, part machine.

As we join the machine world, the machine world joins us.  You’re probably starting to see a lot of these floating bout the Internet:

Snapchat released the 3D Bitmoji. Btw if you like playing on Snapchat, I’m there too.  Hit me up.

Oh and I’ve just noticed iOS 11 is available.  I saw a demo of it a couple of months back and it looks like it will take the iPad closer to being a laptop replacement for me.

I have a bucket load of stuff to do and I’m running out night time. So I’ll call it quits here.

Soundtrack:

Do I dare disturb the universe?

Everyone gets everything he wants.
I wanted a mission. And for my
sins, they gave me one. Brought
it up to me like room service.;

If you’re into your war films, you’ll recognised that from the opening sequence of Apocalypse Now.  Martin Sheen, who plays Captain Benjamin L. Willard, A Special Forces officer, is in a hotel room in Saigon.  He’s been out of the jungle for a while and getting restless:

When I was home after my first
tour, it was worse. I’d wake up
and there’d be nothing. I hardly
said a word to my wife until I
said yes to a divorce. When I was
here, I wanted to be there. When
I was there…all I could think of
was getting back into the jungle.
I’m here a week now. Waiting for
a mission. Getting softer. Every
minute I stay in this room, I get
weaker. And every minute Charlie
squats in the bush…he gets
stronger. Each time I looked
around…the walls moved in a little
tighter.

And that’s about where I am at right now – these walls are moving in a little tighter – If I don’t get a mission soon well…

And it has to one that’s challenging and unlike anything I’ve ever done before.  I maybe setting myself an impossible task. How can I find something that isn’t just a variation on an old theme? If the writers of Ecclesiastes are right then I am doomed:

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Hell, it’s beginning to sound like I’m having a midlife crisis, but even that, I’ve done already.  Or is this a symptom of staring a half a century in the face and hearing that old Eternal Footman laughing loudly behind me and me knowing he’s laughing because I haven’t done a goddamn thing to disturb the universe yet? And I’m desperate too. Otherwise I am endanger of being Prufrock.  If I was honest with myself, I would go ahead and admit to you that I am Prufrock. But as I said last week on Twitter, we, as humans, have the terrible gift of being able to deceive ourselves most of all.

Excuse me, this domesticated primate has to go and make dinner now.

Listen to Mad Child and Evidence while I’m away…

And Shane’s going insane while basically in my prime
Can I rediscover my mind are we wasting each others time
I don’t cry I don’t look up at the sky and ask why
But sometimes I feel like I’m patiently waiting to die
Go thru the motions try to put the pen to paper with love
But I’m still holding back afraid of what I’m capable of…

OK. Back now.  How very routine of me.

Am I to seek and never see?  I had myself convinced at one point that my lot in life was to seek, that I was (am) a seeker seeking something I would never find nor wanted to find, seeking for seeking’s sake was (is) my fate.  But sometimes even pilgrims get tired.  And so I had to take a time out and rest but I’ve been resting too long which is what I think this about or  was I distracted?

Anyway enough about that, I’m back now. And I had the best news today.  One of my old-school blogging buddies has returned to the fray.  Shout out to Cathy, warrior-scientist and fellow New Jersey-ite… a Jersey Girl (although I’m not sure if she’d accept that title, but hey if Bruce Springsteen can be in love with a Jersey Girl, so can I.)

And here’s another draft poem for you:

I don’t remember touching her hand.
I don’t remember how I ended up
inside her waiting for the cigarette
to burn down. This is the way it all
ends. This is the way the world ends:

A frightened sob
A taste of regret
Fingernails in my palm

I only stopped by to say hello, we took
the book well beyond your silent song and
I learned, at last, my heart is dead.

I think I want to get a blogging logo made up, something to reflect the revolutionary, non-conformist, fuck the herd kind of attitude I have toward the current trend in blogging.

Viva la Blog

P.S.  Just as I typed those last words, the heavens open up.

P.P.S  I think I’ll power down now, read some Hunter S. Thompson and the sip whisky and watched the beginning of Apocalypse Now at least up until the two military policemen through CPT Willard into a cold shower to sober him up before shipping him out to the jungle.

Soundtrack:

Some would call that being jaded

My day happened in fragments.  I woke up with this question on my mind: What dream am I chasing now? One of the problems I’ve had over the past couple of years is trying to force myself to stay excited about the things that used to get me fired up like climbing mountains, and travel to different places experiencing new cultures, going to museums and art galleries among other things.  But there comes a point, or least for me it did, when I thought one mountain basically the same as another.  You find a trail. You struggle to the top.  Peer around at the view, and then climb back down again.  Climbing one mountain versus another was different in degrees, but fundamentally the same.  How many times can you look at old paintings, or artefacts from somebody who dies centuries ago who was in fact just another person, same as me, living his life day by day until he wasn’t.  And I could go on and on about the savage routine of my life in a society thats breed you to be a rinse and repeat warrior.

Some would call that being jaded.  I guess having done so many things and so many great experiences earlier on in life that, yeah, I’d become jaded.

And this morning’s questions came in good time.  One I need to spend some time with this week.  I have a feeling it’s going to be something that is real, that has heart as Carlos Castaneda would say.  It’s has to be real and it has to be full on, no half-measures.  I’m not jaded as such now, but I do need to shake things up a little bit, and Introduce a little chaos

Here’s a poem I started working on today.  It was inspired by Break On Through (To The Other Side).  If you know the song, you’ll spot the reference.

This is the first pass of it:

Resurrection is dead.
I think I want to cancel my subscription too.
I have friends on the other side, they’ve not
come back to tell any tales. There’s nothing on
Trip Advisor or Yell.com. I think I’ll go to
Greece instead.

Anyway, I’ll play around with it some more.

I decided to spend some time with Jim Morrison’s The lost Writings.  The poems in this book were published after his death from notebooks and papers from his estate.  I don’t like the poems in this volume as mush as do the poems found in his two published works – The Lords and The Creatures.

His poems in the lost writings have a psychedelic flow.  In these poems, Morrison the Shaman comes out.  I might try reading this volume in low light light, with candles and incense.

Soundtrack:

Not much music in my head today.

Our choices are half chance

I looked on my Goodreads app.  I have 54 books in currently-reading status! My reading goal this year is 100 books.  I’m on 19. I read according to mood or what I want to explore on any given day.  Currently I’m bouncing between the Olson biography and his Selected Poems and Ginsberg’s Journals and Jim Morrison’s poems, both the Wilderness Volume 1 and The Lords.

The Olson stuff is turning me on intellectually, while Ginsberg and Morrison are hitting the passion button and firing me up emotionally. Sometimes, like this morning, there’s a battle between the two – the head and the heart.  I want to read both at the same time!

I might have to leave this one up to the dice, which by the way I’m planning to put into play again. Dicing, as it’s called, is a concept derived from the Luke Rhinehart novel, The Dice Man. I first red the novel back in 2004. The idea behind dicing is that our lives are mostly governed by chance. And what the Dice Man did was to take chance into his own hand by using dice to make all of his decisions. On my very first blog, I wrote a post about it.

Dicing 101

When you have a decision or choice to make, pick 6 options and then let the die decide by assigning a number to each option. One of the options has to be something that is way out of your comfort zone or that you would never do. The ultimate rule of dicing is that you have to abide by the outcome of the roll, no exceptions. I once diced for a week. It was a very interesting week and i’m thinking about bringing the dice back into play, spice things up a little bit.  You can one or two die.  Or your can make two options and then use odd/even to make the decision i.e. if its’ 1,3, or 5 do X if 2,4,6 do Y.  I prefer to do the 6 options roll.

Try it yourself.  The next decision you have to make, big or small, let the dice decide your fate.

Some word sketches, Costa Coffee…

plotting, plotted plopped
down in costa coffee, where
i do my thinking sometime,
eat cheese toasties, fat
dude in blue, small white
coffee, he sits for a few
seconds, then out comes the iPhone
(jut when you thought it was safe
go back into the water
lady in green long sleeve blouse, her
little friend wth a pink uniform
dances about the place

Note to self: Don’t try blogging when you’re tired or have just come from a party feeling topsy!

Anyway, I wrote a micropoem – What Would You Do

I’m plenty tired right now, so I think it’s time i bow out.

Soundtrack:

Movement on my mind

The more you move the better you feel.

One of my intentions this year was to move more. I started off well, as you tend to do, but as T.S. Eliot wrote:

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

Now it’s time to shine some light back on the subject, get my ass in gear and move more!

And since movement was on my mind, I threw on my walking shoes and headed out the door and the Universe let me know it approved with this:

Some words from Thoreau:

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks — who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre, to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer,” a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.

I’ve been living in the UK long enough to know that the weather is a moveable feast:

I’m leading a rear guard action to bring back the personal blog – the sacred space to rant and rave and be yourself and express yourself.

So look, if you’re thinking about starting a blog, do it! You can be up and running in minutes.  WordPress.com is free and so is blogger.com.  Personally I’d recommend WordPress.  If you already have a blog and it’s been gathering dust for months, pull that puppy out of the mothballs and get back in the game.  In either case, hit me up with a tag when you make your first or next post.

Viva la blog!

Here’s micro poem I wrote today: We Could Have Lived

And now it’s time to get on with the weekend.  The tunes are on.  The games are out.  I would say the beer is flowing, but I ran out of beer.  I may have to hit the hard stuff.  I have plenty of whisky and gin and vodka and ouzo and all sorts of other spirits on the top shelf (not that to shelf).

Soundtrack:

To The Other Side

Let’s make a run for the spectators who hesitated at the moment of freedom, sacrificed all the books, all the paintings and the music. Burnt the old culture to the ground. It’s an impossible situation. The old gods formed a circle, held hands, sang Kumbaya until the lady with the insect eyes left the hollow vacant field. She wasn’t looking for this kind of exposure. She just wanted to escape the beast, get across the bridge to the other side.

Why did the chicken cross the road anyway?

We ‘dug our treasures there,’ but we can’t recall where we buried our pleasures. And even if we could, you wouldn’t believe us. You took a bite out of the apple and thought all life was rotten. The old gods settled down at dawn. You may never be happy again in our empty house of content. The DJ drops the mic.

Are you feeling ok?

I can’t believe how excited I get about a book. I found a package on the stairs that had this in it:

I could feel my face light up like a little school boy with a new toy. And of course I was suppose to be doing something else, but I had to stop and flick through the pages, turn it over in my hands and read the introduction.

After Morrison wigged out on alcohol and was on the run from music, he returned to writing poetry. And the two official volumes that came out of that were The Lords and The New Creatures, and Jim Morrison became James Douglas Morrison the poet. Of course the publishers, with one wicked eye on making money, wanted to capitalise on his rock star status and didn’t honour his request to keep James separate from Jim.

I feel a little back like that. I’ve been considering returning back to Clayton which is my real name. It was my friends who got tired of calling me Clayton and reduce me to Clay. I eventually adopted the name and started introducing myself as Clay. I think Clay and Clayton are fundamentally different. If you’ve met me in person, you most likely only know Clay. If you know me only through the Net and you’ve read some of my darker more introspective writing, then you will have had glimpses of Clayton. When nobody is around I’m more Clayton than Clay. I have to get into character when people are around. Every now and then somebody will catch me still in Clayton mode and they’ll inevitably ask, “are you feeling ok?”

I’m a little late to the party with Parks and Recreation. My son kept banging on about how I’m like the Ron Swanson character (when it comes to food) my wife thinks I’m unlike him (when it comes to handling tools and DIY). I see both their points. I think I’m like the Chris Traegor character (at work anyway). Parks and Rec is a great series once you get past season one, so if you haven’t watched it, do so.

Long live the blog.

Like rock and roll, blogging has died a thousand deaths, yet here we are.  I must admit, I don’t like the state of blogging today with it’s emphasis on listicles and usefulness and productivity and how to’s etc. I want to start a retro movement and bring back the blog as the place to dump the contents of your mind or rant about something only you care about or slit your wrists and bleed on the page (screen).  Raw stream of consciousness stuff, talk about whatever the freaking dog’s bottom you want to talk about, writing like nobody’s listening (’cause they aren’t), but who cares?!  If you’re reading this, God bless, and welcome to the club.  Say some shit as well (by that I mean say what you want to say in the comments (remember the days when people used to comment in the comment section of blogs, now a lot of blogs close their comments sections because of the spammers (which I never really understood anyway (now let’s see if I close all my parentheses)))) Hehe..

I want to bring back the personal blog, blogrolls and blog comments.  If you don’t have a blog, start one (WordPress has a free service and Blogger is still around). If you have a blog but it’s mainly collecting dust, brush that bitch off and get to blogging (ping me if you do).

On another note…

It was podcast day today.  We talked all about breathing.  Who would have thought there was so much to say about breathing?!

Ok so,

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, does the sound exist? By extension, if God speaks and nobody hears him/her…

And lastly, before I go watch the SciFi series, Zoo, here’s the draft of a new poem I’m working on:

She is beautiful.
Everything about her looks tasty.
The lips, the hair, the brown eyes
and small tits.

She’s not mine though.

But mama says I can
look at the menu so

I salivate (like Pavlov’s Dog),
rub my tummy and imagine
what she tastes like.

But mama I can’t get full
from a menu though.

You can’t get burnt either so

Look. See it burns if you touch.
She’ll cut your heart out and drink
your blood from a dark river.

You didn’t notice the wedding ring?

No. My lawless heart was hunting me.
A thousand deep kisses drowned
in self-pity. She’ll wake up tomorrow
and not remember how bizarre the
pills were we took last night.

Soundtrack:

Completely changed my worldview

Books are a habit worse than heroine for me. I can’t get enough of them. I read the preface of the Allen Ginsberg Journals this morning. I have yet to finish the Olson book, but I couldn’t help taking a peek inside the Journals.

Am I on a quest to find the self, dissolve the self, or to self-actualise and realise there is no self?

I read the preface and introduction to the Ginsberg journals and like an open flame to tissue paper my mind was set on fire.  I’m not sure how to explain it, but think of it like a puzzle you’ve been trying to solve and then you finally get the last piece that makes all the other pieces fall into place.  I feel like that happened to me today.

These six poets surfaced in my psyche:

I have to spend sometime figuring out how they relate to each other and how the story of my life intersects with these poets.  I know Eliot had a huge impact on me when I was 16.  Mister Parsons, my high school English teacher introduced me to him.  The first poems I read of Eliot’s was The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Hollow Men. I was blown away. Those two poems completely changed my worldview, and I don’t think I’ve ever really recovered from them even to this day, some 33 years later.

Sometime around 10:30 AM I crashed, that is I came down off of my caffeine and sugar high.  I hadn’t realised just much caffeine I’d consumed, plus a whole pack of Fruit Mentos.

What was I thinking?  The only cure for such a crash is to inhale peppermint until you feel the chill between your eyes in the middle of your skull.

“I might buy more gold.” I heard someone next to me say.

I gathered they were talking to their broker on the phone.  He was going on about liquidating some of his investments because of the state of the world at the moment.  He even enquired whether or not he could take physical possession of the gold if he wanted to.  I’m not even sure why that caught my attention.  I guess it’s not every day you hear someone talking about buying gold.

I saw a lady with massive boobs carrying a new born.  She sat down a couple of tables from me. I couldn’t help wonder how much her boobs must weigh and then I thought about the baby and whether these boobs posed a threat to it, like if they were lying on the bed together and one of those giant boobs popped out and landed on the baby.

Don’t ask. My mind has been like that all day.

Watching shadows on the wall.

Ok. Who spiked my coffee this morning?

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My computer is on 34% battery life left which is how I kind of feel right now.

The day has been long.

I better recharge.

Before I go dead, like a doorknob or fucking fried chicken as Jules would say.

Soundtrack:

I am doomed

I’ve been reading a lot of poetry over the past few months…Rimbaud, Robbins, Kaur, Broder, Addonizio, Bonta, Olson, Hanes, among others… what I am beginning to realise but have probably always known is that I like the weird and wonderful, stuff that’s offbeat and odd like neo-expressionism, real psychedelic mind fuck kind of stuff. I just read The Thing Was Moving, a poem by Charles Olson. It’s a beautiful long form poem about death, decay, and change and how we look back with nostalgia and long for how things used to be and how ugly progress is. Olson uses the imagery of a landfill dump that is growing in his hometown slowly taking over the spaces where he used to roam free as a kid, where he learned to hunt, where he spied his first naked woman in pond, where he learned to ride a bike and so on. Meanwhile this dump is slowly eating up the town’s space.

Now this is a wonderfully written poem and emotionally moving. I like it, but my little friend inside my head was like ho hum, where’s the weird shit like something Morrison and Robbins would write?

I also prefer the real low brow gritty stuff like Bukowski and Addonizio. Kerouac and Ginsberg.

And then there is the mind trips like Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell. I like swimming through stuff like that.

Meeting, meeting, training, meeting, meeting, home.

A whirlwind of day. I didn’t even have time for a coffee in the afternoon ( I usually have at least two) and there’s usually always time for a coffee. Hmmm a new way to measure my day – how much coffee have I had time to drink?

A lot of today’s story at work was the old classic called the left-hand doesn’t know (or care) what the right-handed is doing. I’m right in the middle of it so I know what both hands are doing.  Now I just need to get them to talk to each and everything will be golden.

Confession: I love days like this where I’m in constant contact, meeting, presenting, training, advising, solving problems and generally talking to loads of people. The intensity turns me own.

But enough about work. This came today:

Allen Ginsberg is another one of those poets who was a little out there in weirdville pushing the boundaries. I like reading journals and letters. You get right into the minds of great people. I find reading  journals and letters inspiring and reassuring, especially reassuring – because they remind me that people are people and there is no magical formula to success apart from hard-work, consistency, focus, a smidgen of talent (which can be honed), and a little bit of luck.

Oh and I am so close to buying one of these (if you’re feeling generous and want to gift me one, I’d be forever grateful:

The big news of course today is Apple revealed the latest version of the iPhone.  I haven’t had a chance to have a proper look.  I’m less interested in the hardware and more into what iOS 11 will add to the game.  From some of the early beta videos, it looks like iOS 11 is going to make the iPad Pro nearer to being a laptop than ever.  I’m also impressed by the Apple Watch series 3.  I don’t own an Apple Watch. So far I’ve managed to resistant my impulse to be completely fanboyed out with Apple products, but the latest watch is now a phone and music player and altimeter and so much more. Soooo…hmmm…

I may be doomed.

Soundtrack:

1

I had to find her the old fashioned way

5A.M Thoughts – We are all afraid to act like ourselves. I read that from a passage in Allen Ginsberg’s journal. That is so true.  Walk into a room full of people and if you’re like me, you probably size up the room before deciding how you want to show yourself.  If it’s a room full of friends, you’ll show one side of yourself; if it’s a room full of strangers, you’ll show another.  It’s even more nuanced then that.  Which friends are in the room will determine which side of you choose to show.  Granted, all these versions are you, but which one is the true you? Or do we wear so many different personas that we no longer know which one is the true version? The tricky thing with the mind is we can fool it into believing anything. So even though I might say I know who I am, do I really?

Continued on with the Olson book.  It’s easy to think that your literary heroes just pour great writing straight onto the page.  This is hardly the case.  I can’t believe how much Olson struggled to get his literary career off the ground.  The anxiety, the lack of confidence, the procrastination, even the greats suffer.  The only thing that can be done is to keep plowing away at it.

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men 
Gang aft a-gley. – Robert Burns

Yes old Burnsie was right, the best laid plans often go awry.  I had a plan for the day, but a quick phone call in the middle of my walk, ended that.

Question:

powered by Typeform

Well I was the recipient of the call to bring the mobile:

I had to find her old school.  I had an approximate location and a length of time she’d be at the location or nearby.  I found her without hitch.  I called an audible on the day.  Instead of doing admin in the morning, I worked on the chapbook at the place I delivered the mobile phone.

I also had the idea that this chapbook should be a collab with a fellow creative, someone visually oriented.  I dropped my dear friend Cherry Williams an instant message.  She accepted.

Afternoon. Admin. Done!

Finished the second cut of the new chapbook.  Settled on 26 poems.  I sent them over to Cherry to read.  I’m looking forward to seeing what images she comes up with to fit the words.

More admin to get through this evening.  I’m running a condensed team-building exercise tomorrow.  After my meeting with the manager last week, I got the impression that tomorrow might be a rough one.  Always hard work when you’re working with a team that has disengaged.

I’m fighting against the clock here and my body.  I want to curl up under my desk and sleep.  Actually I want to stretch out in my bed.

Actually there’s nothing to stop me.

Actually I think I’ll stop here, grab some Baudelaire, and hit the rack. Tomorrow is another day.  Did I accomplish everything that I wanted to do today? I think so.  That’s good enough for me.

Chow!

P.S. Did I mentioned I hate banks and governments and people who try to rip you off just because they can?

Soundtrack:

With no snooze button

I’ve got that internal volcano feeling again that feeling where all the ideas in my head come bubbling to the surface all at once. Now add to that the relentlessness of time…

Time past, time present, time future…

Time ticking like a bomb.

Time ticking, as in running out off.

Time ticking with no snooze button.

Oh! Time to feed the cats among a hundred other things.

I finally found the design I want for my Signifying Clay Tumblr blog. What’s that you ask, ANOTHER blog? Well yes. It’s a place to house some of my poems and documentary photographs without the distraction of the other stuff I post here that sits outside of those two categories.

I desperately needed to get out of the house today. I’ve been holed up here for most of the weekend.  With all the inmates away, the house was quiet.  Good for reading, but after a while you get tired only hearing your own voice.

I went to the food and drink festival in Leamington Spa. The weather wasn’t playing nice, but I managed to do a quick survey of the fest:

And then the rains came…

I retreated to a nearby coffee joint.

Sidebar: I wanted to try one of the smaller none chain coffee houses but all of them were full. I had to beat a hasty retreat to one of the big and familiar joints – Starbucks in the mall. The storefront looks out onto the mall, which is great for people watching, so it wasn’t too bad.  Also I needed to write.

In the spirit of working out loud here’s a draft of the prose poem I worked on in Starbucks:

Let’s make a run for the spectators who hesitated at the moment of freedom, sacrificed all the books, all the paintings and the music. Burnt the old culture to the ground. It’s an impossible situation. The old gods formed a circle, held hands, sang Kumbaya until the lady with the insect eyes left the hollow vacant field. She wasn’t looking for this kind of exposure. She just wanted to escape the beast, get across the bridge to the other side. Why did the chicken cross the road anyway? We ‘dug our treasures there,’ but we can’t recall where we buried our pleasures. And even if we could, you wouldn’t believe us. You took a bite out of the apple and thought all life was rotten. The old gods settled down at dawn. You may never be happy again in our empty house of content.

Soundtrack:

Addicted to the infinite scroll

0:514 quickly turned into 08:45. Time does fly when you’re self-absorbed…in reading and thinking, that is.

A couple of hungry cats reminded me I was still among the living and that had duties to perform like feed them. I couldn’t even be bothered to feed myself despite the low rumble of my body begging for food. Lucky for me Timmy and Cosmo are persistent.

I held out long enough to be hungry for pancakes.

My copy of Vasko Popa’s Complete Poems arrived today. I have more books in this house than I can possibly read, but that doesn’t stop me from keeping Amazon in business.

It’s easy for the day to slip by. My planned countryside ramble was aborted due to heavy rain and hailstones, which is just as well because I really wanted to continue reading The Allegory of a Poet’s Life.

I spent the afternoon doing exaxtly that, reading. I took a couple of breaks to finish watching the rest of The Tick, which I said I was going to do last night but didn’t.

Because well…

…I’m  addicted to the I finite scroll. I fell victim to it last night and have spent a good deal of this evening infinitely scrolling the Internet.

I did manage to get out for a quick walk around the neighbourhood with three questions on my mind:

1. Is what I’m doing now truly living? (Yes I know I’m alive but am I living…)

2. What’s a Life for?

3. What’s my life for?

The answer to the first questions is I’m not sure. I do have a pretty rinse and repeat lifestyle, which I can run mostly on autopilot.

I’ll have to side with The Red Queen for the answer to question two. We are pretty much slaves to our genes. Procreate to populate, keep the species alive, our prime directive. Everything else is a distraction until the next opportunity to copulate comes along.

And number three I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Completely on the other side of reality…

…I learned how to play Gin Rummy today.

Too much geekery going on here

Feet touched the ground at 05:47.

I know you’re not supposed to but I got sucked into social media first thing this morning. Linkedin specifically. Gary Vaynerchuk had a post up, 5 Best Tips for Salespeople. I read it and watched the accompanying 10 minute video. It was worth the time.

I only had time to read one of Olson’s poems this morning. Besides, mind was too full of frantic thoughts to concentrate on a poem.  The words clashed.  I went for a walk instead.

Post walk, ended up in a Zoom meeting which led me to Atlassian directly taking on Slack with their latest communication tool – Stride.  It’s an app formerly known as Hipchat as far as I can see.  But then again I haven’t properly given Stride a go so it’s probably premature for me to say that.  Stride led me to a very funny lady, Sarah Cooper and her blog.

I hesitated to post this audio from my walk. It’s a completely unedited stream of consciousness capture so listen at your own risk:

I spent a bucket load more time than I had intended redesigning the look and feel of the blog.  Changing a WordPress theme is supposed to be easy and there was a time when it was.  But lately, there seems, at least in my experience over the last 18 months, a lot of compatibility issues between WordPress plugins and PHP server side.  Getting hit with the ambiguous HTTP Error 500 is a pain. I don’t pretend to be a coder, but I have had to deal with stuff on the server side that I never had to do before.  In fact, I vow never to change the theme of this blog again.  It’s been that much of a pain.  On top of that, I now have to go through back posts to deal with formatting issues. Oh the joy of being a blogger! And I’m only just getting back into game properly.

I never did make it to the gym.

22:26 OK, I I’m going to close this entry out now.  I’m going to drink a coffee and read some more of the Charles Olson biography and then finish off The Tick series on Amazon Prime.  I started it over dinner.  There are only 6 episodes in the first season so I might as well finish it off tonight. I’m halfway there.

Soundtrack:

excuse the mess

while i get the theme sorted out…

Every day without hope

Inspired by Jason_Cobb of Onionbagblog I decided it was high time to get back into the blogging game and come back strong with running day diary style posts.

I fired up the Day One app. It’s perfect for this sort of thing. And hey, when I’m dead and buried, they can use this here soulcruzer blog as a testament to my time on the planet.

Once upon a time, I thought I would’ve contributed something a little more significant. I think my dreams of being a literary giant are dead. I’ll be happy just to pass as a minor minor poet.

Every day without hope; every day without despair.

Ace

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No corporate stuff today. Well a little bit. I had a call with the Clearvision guys and Clarity4D. Then it was off to hang out with Sarah and record the next episode of the Havana Cafe Sessions Podcast. We philosophised about Nature and the Great Outdoors.

Wrote two poems. Nothing and Full of Feathers.

Channelling Jim Morrison today. | #bw #coffeetime #photo

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I felt the spirit of Jim Morrison. Dipped into his collection of original poetry, The Lords. Two quotes of his got me fired up:

“If my poetry aims to achieve anything, It’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.”

and

“Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything; It just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through any one that suits you.”

And that’s the game for me in terms of my own poetry.

I also read some of Tom Clark’s biography of Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet’s Life. Also worked my way through a couple more of Olson’s poems from the Selected Poems of Charles Olson compiled by his lifelong friend Robert Creeley.

You know what? This feels good. Let’s hope it’s sustainable.

They came to talk

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Topped off the evening watching Zoo on Netflix.  The series started strong, but now it’s starting to drag and the mediocre acting and bad dialogue is getting in the way.

Soundtrack:

Archaic Values

As a poet I hold the most archaic values on earth. They go back to the upper Palaeolithic: the fertility of the soil, the magic of animals, the power-vision in solitude, the terrifying initiation and rebirth, the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe. I try to hold both history and wilderness in mind, that my poems may approach the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times.” - Gary Snyder

Rejoice in thy youth

This cracks me up:

Oh to be 25 again and have all that space and time to seek power and glory. Youth is wasted on the wrong people or so they tell me.  These days, I’m inclined to believe them.  I watch the youth from the sidelines and shake my head in despair.  You can’t tell them anything though. They won’t listen.  I didn’t listen.   25 years later, they’ll be the ones writing this post wondering where has the time gone.  I must be getting old…

C

Nothing else counts

“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.” - Ted Hughes