Only time will tell what future passages will dwell on the souls of men. I’ve written “I have a life loosely based on two men and the death of a superstar, who didn’t want to be a star, only super.” So many months have passed and I am now in the throes of 4 men, perhaps more, though with less intensity as previously announced. The superness of the star passing now only bears passing pain, the memory of magnificence, the whispers of his remnant soul.
I once drove through a graveyard slow, at night, with the deepness, darkness, headlights scrolling the dashboards of anchored stone. It was creepy. We were creepy: the brick road, the false flowers, the white shapes shifting. Souls! How long do we stay around for, I wonder this. I wonder what we have all begun to do, and become. I wonder the most banal things, about who smoked the cigars in the grass, what the fish who dives back underwater as I reach it sees when he swims.
I seek pleasures, and feel pain: I long for that which I haven’t. I stretch myself, and am caught on the stretching, exclaim at the pain of being pushed too far, too soon. I have so much joy for the unfolding of the nights when I sat at what was once my 7am, at an under-lit bar, slow motion brain folding, coasters ripped into tiny shreds, ice spilt. Breathing in an air that didn’t catch on my throat anymore: I am grateful for this clean lung, this purple walking sky, this fish tricking me when I reach the river.
My life is based loosely on four men: one a dream, one a scar, one a promise, one a prodigy, and many are more than one of these things. I adore them all, and yet worship one. He knows who he is. While I stay where I am for now, I long for the calm cool air of Big Sur, of Phieffer beach, the stilts of Nepenthe with its motorcycle road of apple crates leading there: Long sticks of wax drips in wine bottles, and great chasms of fire. I saw live footage of the Rockerfeller center tree today – cold people in winter cocoons passing by the grey dawn of evening. I miss that too.
Is the point of longing to spur one onwards to where one believes one should be? What is this should: I have never enjoyed that word. What of where I am now: It is quite magnificent. I suppose I want to be where I have always longed to be, even before I knew the city by name, even before it was shown to me, and marked on a map. It crosses my mind that life does play chess with all and sundry. This place where I wait for you, and wait to get back to you, is a gentle place, a noble point, the end of all compassed roads.
I’m not sure if it is as isolated as everyone makes it out though, this point at the end of all things. I know New York can be the loneliest place on the planet, too, even though its millions of people live on such a fraction of a million miles. I found out that if one was to put all the people in the West of this land on a kilometre of space on the state, they would apparently not see another person if they had pilot-perfect vision. We are too few, on too much land. It’s not surprising that I look for the most intensely populated points on the planet. There are 32 million people in California, and only 1.2 in Perth. I seem to feel the sound of them moving, when I am in that state, and in New York’s great City too. Here, it is very, very quiet. I am though, not afraid of my own mind; the silence, the waiting pauses, time dripping extremely slow. Sometimes rain drops in sheets here, and then stops, lifts the roof a little, throws a bolt, a slap of thunder right over the earlobe. It is alarmingly close, the weather, but the sky seems so far high, the clouds so tall while they run.
A good man in New York, a soul man & crispy calamari loving New Yorker told me in the back of a taxi cab once down the center of 42nd street, that he’d just come back from the country. This was the first time he had ever been to the country. Raised in the city, he stepped out of the frying pan and into the fire. He told me comically that he’d thrown his hands over his head when he saw the sky out there. In the city you see the clouds hang low over high buildings; either a dirty low yellow sky or a lilac grey one, and the buildings are so high you don’t really have much window for space.
The sky was so lofty, so open and full of pin pricks that the man had felt his whole body pulled by the gravity of a lidless sky with holes in it. New Yorkers are in a pickle see, they feel a great gash of humanity, but they don’t necessarily see the entire world. You can ask for everything, but that don’t mean you get it. I was born under stars like those holes. Conceived on the red dust of Australian desert, raised upon blankets in the dunes of Indian Ocean islands, felt my body suctioned to the sand as I fell into the endless expanse of possibility.
This is where I grew up: where I ran down yellow hillocks and cut my toes open on rust and the boughs of ancient fig trees with treehouses innum. This is where I made friends: through the unfixed holes of wooden slat fences and overgrown grass. Where we leapt boundaries, and dragged sheets of roof to vacant baseball lots. I wished everyday I’d find a puppy in the tumbleweed corners of my suburb to keep. Never wore shoes, hardly stretched my All Star converse playing American games in overalls with pockets deep enough for sling-shots across the road. We checked the hardness of our feet against our brothers, cousins, parents, sister. We prized the callouses which let us walk on black fire to the corner store, which stayed dusty when we’d drop on our knees to rake gold coins from under the candy aisles to buy icecream. Gemma could never decide which icecream to buy, and when she finally did choose, would still be slowly eating her win many minutes after our hands were half as sticky. That must have been the main thing that got on my nerves those days: That icecream didn’t last so long.
Back to the candy aisles! Back to the floor! I never thought I’d ride the streets from the pages I’d absorbed about the biggest candy aisle of all time. A few months ago I was rolling through Alphabet City and Chinatown on the island of intensity, listening to Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone and thinking “How does it feel?” It feels damn incredible, thank you Sir for asking (!) Dylan is another super person who doesn’t want to be a star, a hole in the fabric of black night. I have said that there is a great possibility that the darkness is just as real as the light, that, for example, to put it scientifically, “There is as much dark matter, substance we can hardly detect, as there is light stuff in the universe.” There are supernovae, sometimes strange planets like ours that just bubble into existence so far from all other reality, and sometimes you get planets that are famous for a bit then prefer to be not so nameable. Pluto is an example. Bob Dylan is another, and is really who I am alluding to, as well as numerous other “notable” persons who seem to infect our stratosphere for no other reason that they have something to say and people like to hear them say it.
People talk about timing, about luck, about history, but personally I think that you’re put on this earth to take care of all you can take care of, to expand all you can expand, to be doing what you’re doing when you’re doing it. I don’t think we are dealt anything that we can’t naturally, at least become capable of doing. I think we have such a disastrously immense history of experiments gone good and bad, that one can never if they tried, attempt to unweave them into the right way to do things. Spielberg didn’t like The Shining at first, now he counts it as one of his benchmarks. Twenty-five viewings later, things still appear.
Billions of years of existence, after ice-ages, dinosaurs (can you actually believe that giant reptilian creatures with real blood and real sounds, real footprints and saliva, were probably laying right where you are now?), after mushed-together continents, primitive man, walking man, dodos, tusked wooly mammoths, Sabre-toothed tigers and possible leprechauns, the Earth is still here, and nothing can dim the presence of possibilites still unfolding. Did a Sabre-Tooth tiger ever dream of seeing a human being land on the moon? Did a mammoth ever think that another mammal would perform open heart surgery on one of its own species using tools so sophisticated?
The Earth is an ancient ball, older, vaster, and more time-privy than we here and now realize. The piece of Earth I am on now, this curve of south-west land edging the water that hits Antarctica and India too, was jigsawed out of what is now Africa. I wonder how many people realise this. The coast of West Australia, so white with sand and red with dust, once did without the blue of ocean and was one land with the African continent. If you look at a map you can see the way they stuck together. I am on some of the oldest dry land on the planet. This rock and soil must have seen many, many tramplings before it was ripped from its mother.
Somewhat alarming and somewhat comforting is the fact that I will have a life shorter than most trees. In the span of all things, human beings have been on the planet for an incredibly tiny piece of All Time. If your wing-span (you never know when birds might learn to read) or arm span stretches from the beginning of the known Universe (pre-planet formation) at one tip, and the rest of time up to you at the other tip, the history of men on the planet would be the width of one cell at that end. We are so immensely rapid in our existence on the planet, as individuals, and who knows how long the reign of humans will be. Maybe we will destroy ourselves with global warming. Maybe we will be duped by the robots of our own creation while we tread into space. Maybe we will create new races of Frankenstein (now women) and there will be no daisies left whatsoever?
So, then, what ever you do, at the end of the day, does not really matter one fig in the greater stretch of things! You are an atom of an idea in the cell of the wingspan of a bird. That may be my best one-liner yet. No kidding: what does it matter, at the end of time itself? All I want is to make a difference to the people I can reach today, the people around me now, in the biggest circle possible, to impact positively in some aspect, the trajectories of people who do not realise a dinosaur once stepped where you stepped, that the noise of an animal nowhere to be found anywhere now was once heard by a tree that has a longer lifespan than you ever will.
To be honest, I don’t know why I write this, or where it all comes from, but it puts me in my place to be spoken through, to be, as I explained in my very first Long Open Gash post, that I intend, for my time on the planet as a maker of marks, (still puzzles me, what I am capable of doing here), to be a source of any kind of inspiration possible, a channel for the water that comes through the tap of my fingertips. Water water everywhere, and so many drops to drink. I encourage drinking! I encourage life affirming movement, in whatever way is possible as a human being, on an ancient and hardy planet, to the edges of human existence.
I’m sure fish swim in every way they are able to, before they leap out of the water to taste air. I want to see humans continue to do such feats, and not worry about making the marks they want to make, about moving in whatever way inspires them to be human. Dinosaurs were never given that gift. Inspiration is a potent thing. One must search for it and levitate your own existence into new channels, because trust me, your time up here is a short one, on the galactical end of things.