Inspiration

Inspiration.

It keeps me awake at night. Trips me up when I’m working out. Distracts me from real life. It is a whisper in my ear telling me what it thinks I need to know. Its message,  a thousand gentle fingertips brushing over my skin, raising each hair in their wake.

Call it a muse.

Paint an image of a woman in a flowy dress or whatever you like, but make sure it warms you on chilled days, lifts you on dreary ones, and dances with you when the sun is out.

I will not call mine muse, it is more like a scent on a breeze. A sprinkle of confection sugar, sweet on the tongue.

Hidden thoughts woven in air.

An enigma, a ghost, a jolt to my psyche. Arriving without announcement, planting seeds intended to devour me. Each spiky root burrows deep, claiming, consuming until I have no choice but to float on its rhyme without reason. For it has none other than to ignite.

I suppose there are things worse than being consumed by ideas, stories, images. Like, not being consumed by anything at all. A blank page, blank mind, the drab vortex of nothingness.

But I have my inspiration. It came calling like a rogue wave, washing over me when I had my back turn, pulling me into its folds. It has claimed me, uncaring of all those other things I should be doing.

I bend at its will because when it planted those seeds it has also molded me into what I’ve become. Thus proving, life without inspiration can only be death.

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On this day… Happy Birthday, Hank.

6940-charles-bukowski-quotes-on-love

One of the hardest parts of growing up for me was realizing that I didn’t have anyone to look up to. As a child I brought my gaze to Amelia Earhart, and I wish I could sit here and hand you a list of famous (or infamous) people who have brought change into my life simply by existing–but that’s not the case.

As a child, Earhart was this glowing icon that out shined everyone else. My fan worship of her lasted all of elementary and part of middle school. By high school I donned the moniker of “realist” and stopped looking at other’s success to inspire me. There was no point. I could never find one.

Now, as an adult, it’s even harder to wrap my mind around the fantasy of an idol. I see people doing things people do. This lasted until I met Charles Bukowski on the pages of PULP. I could lie to you and say the first Bukowski novel I read was HAM ON RYE, but it wasn’t. It was PULP. His last book. It’s even from Black Sparrow Press. My one and only book (of his) from them.

On his grave stone it says, “Don’t Try.” I’ve seen it in person. Buried in San Pedro. Visiting his grave was one of the first things I did when I moved to LA. There was a 40 oz and lots of other crap sitting on his black polished surface.

Henry Charles Bukowski Jr. “Hank” 1920-1994 with two other little words–“Don’t Try.”

I read it and laughed as I thought, “Screw You, Hank. Screw. You.”

Today Charles Bukowski would have been 96 years old. He is one of the few people I wish I could have met before they died. No, I don’t want to drink with him. No, I don’t want to sleep with him. I just want to talk to him. To see the beauty he sees in so many things.

Maybe you don’t like him. Maybe you think Miller was the “better writer.” Or maybe you’re attached to all the beat writers and wish you were on the road with Kerouac. I wish I was walking through Pershing Square talking to  Charles Bukowski about how cruel the world is–knowing it’s okay.

So, Happy Birthday, Charles Bukowski. I still plan on trying, regardless of what your epitaph tells me to do–because we both know you don’t mean it.

xxoo–Aryn

unnamed

Perishing Square–Downtown Los Angeles 8/9/16 (c)

One can only care so much

This is the truth.

One can really only care so much

Because reality won’t let you care about stupid for too long

If you do

You’ll go mad

If you think too much

You’re brain will fry

Most of the shit I see on the internet

Is nothing more than fodder

It’s trash

Basic lies created to make you feel something you shouldn’t

Ashamed

Angry

Uncomfortable

Everyone with a blog is a fucking expert now a days.

Guess that makes me brilliant

But then again, I know it doesn’t

Because at the end of the day, I know my limitations

When we spend our time caring about things

Other people think we should find important

We only waste our time

Time is precious my friend

It’s like land

There is only so much, and they’re not making more

Using it to get angry about the errant stupidity of the world

Will only lessen the amount you have

So care less, my friends

Care little

Save your energy for things that are important

Realize you are allowed to have an opinion–yet not allowed to shove it up everyone else’s butts

Life it too short for bullshit

But it’s just right for a nap

W.I.P.

My ode to writing and publishing…

W.I.P

nonsense

the words

the actions

the time it takes to get out of bed

yet here I am

unraveling a ball of twine

the chaos model of my life

the beginning

frayed

unraveling

the end

hidden

somewhere in the middle

suffocated by layers

its supposed to be something

when isn’t it?

I wrestle

submissive

my machete is to dull

for the war playing in front of me

what will I cut through the vines with?

sarcastic interludes

satirical fodder

“air quotes”

those aren’t a weapon

they’re the fuel

this is why I never look up

better to look down

blinders on

eyes on the keys

on the page

on the indelible black ink

that is my life source

better than coffee

some days

Champion

champion

 

In the house

There is a pony

A stuffed pony

Named champion

& on that pony

Is a boy

Who will one day

Be grown

& on that day

I’ll look back

To that stuffed pony

& wonder

How time went

By so fast

& the house

Won’t be this one

& the pony

Will be gone

& I will be

Someone I’m not now

But for now

In this house

There is a pony

& a boy

Riding him

Friday in Review: Ham on Rye

ham on rye

 

I visited Bukowski’s grave after moving to Los Angeles. It’s in San Pedro, about a 40 minute drive from my apartment. Better yet, my apartment is about a ten minute drive from the house he grew up in. Well, not better for Chuck ‘ol boy – it wasn’t really a happy home.

To put it mildly, I am a Bukowski fan and have been for years. Oddly, Ham on Rye is a book I’ve only read recently (because someone stole my copy). <- true story. The reason it is so odd is Ham on Rye is by far his best book. I liked Factotum, I loved Women and Hollywood, and I was even amused by Pulp (his last book published shortly before his death 20 years ago.) Say what you want about the man – hate him for all I care – but Ham on Rye is one of the most genuine coming of age stories I have read in a very long time. Starting from when he is 3 years old and ending at the beginning of World War II, Bukowski takes on his alter ego “Hank” and tells you his story like it was. (With a little embellishment here and there just to give it that extra flair.)

Are there women? Some.

Is there booze? Of course.

Why is this different from all of his other booze induced, women laced books?  Because it shows you the “why”. Why did he become the man he was? Why did he crawl inside a bottle? Why was he so obsessed with women and words? Every single answer is right there smashed between orange groves, high school angst, the great depression, and trolley rides to and from Pershing Square.

Loud, brash Bukowski is known for getting right in your face and saying, “What the hell are you going to do about it?” That quality is still there, but that’s not what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the spider. The small tiny moments that subsequently mould us into our adult selves.

So that’s why I pick this book. I pick Charles Bukowski for his poetry, for his soul, and for his courage to say out loud all those things that are very easily hidden behind booze and broads. Maybe you’ve read him, or maybe he is new to you – this is the place to start.

Ham on Rye won’t let you down.

“So, that’s what they wanted: lies. Beautiful lies. That’s what they needed. People were fools. It was going to be easy for me.”

 

Maybe it wasn’t always easy, but it was totally worth it.

 

Please feel free to recommend books below!

 

Beyond

windingroad-romeo66

Beyond

there is a life

beyond these walls

a world

a song

a light, so bright

it will blind us all

with one glace

but we hide

in the darkness

of mundane

hoping for change

wishing for it

but never wanting to

break the smallest sweat

there is a life beyond this one

& it waits in the city

& it waits in the pastures

& it waits in the gutter

on the side of the road

choices – all of them

even the ones

we pretend we never

had to make

they cry out in the night

and in the day

all hours

if only we would

stop & listen

out there

& it is not defined

by the shadow we

refuse to release

or the melodies that

illuminate favorite moments

it is pure

it is true

it is the person you forgot

you were always meant

to be

harmoniously, you

in all the glitter

and gold

there is

peace

There is a life

beyond this one

waiting, patiently

like you never knew

someone could wait

because it wants you

it wants you there

so let go of the anchors

& swim into

the abyss

always remember

that every moment is life

when you are grateful

you are free

Time Stop

Image

the rocket blasts off

in my living room

while I sit waiting

for time

misuse & mismeasured

it slips past me

as I grapple

with air

hindsight hovers

in my mind

mocking me

with how I could

have done everything

-yet didn’t-

& here I am…

 

a train barrels past

& a snail flies by

everything strewn across

the floor

heavy sighs

little voice

-time is subjective-

yet it weights on me

like a cinder block

pushing me down into 

the depths of life

drowning in a sea

of possibilities

that will look more

promising – behind me

they they ever did – in front

 

more rockets, an action figure

or two zoom by

sinister music – hummed

can only mean

pearl isn’t far off

& he jumps on me

little hugs

tiny kisses

& suddenly nothing 

matters in the

world 

Once upon a time… a poem

once-upon-a-time

 

[Once upon a time

is over played

we shouldn’t say it

or use it

ever

yet still...]

 

Once upon a time

there was a girl

who thought

too much

she was sure

sometimes

but the doubt

over turned

the truth

so she hide

in the recesses

of her imaginary world

inside her head

shadows

choked the light

ominous music

misheard comments

 

lies

hate…

loathing…

 

fear

Fear

FEAR

that if she

did it

“IT”

the big I-T

the scary thing

if she did…

the world would judge

and she would

fall

 

 

Once upon a time

there was a young woman

who moved past

all that

she “helped” anyone

she “helped”everyone

near or far

close enough &amp;out of reach

it distract her

and nothing

changed

shadows morphed

music swelled

voices clamor

growing so LOUD

sleep. never. comes

awake

 

lies

hate…

loathing…

 

fear

Fear

FEAR

It’s better to

not

be seen

ever, ever

never

ever, ever

ever

no

because…

 

Once upon a time

she grew older

a woman, I guess

she conquered it all

except…

for that thing

she refused to notice

feel

      see

               touch

                                    allow near her

until she was tired

unless she was drunk

depressed

alone

 

… alone …

 

the darkness

encompassing

the voices

butchery

she lay dead

because it is

it is..

it

 

the fear…

part of her…

lies…

hate…

loathing…

 

too late.

it is

what it

always was

how do you

change?

how do you

stop?

make it

stop.

Stop..

STOP…

 

Once upon a time

there was me

and I had to admit

to myself

what was wrong

and I had to

move out of the

shadows

stop listening to

the voices

and look myself

SQUARE

in the face.

 

I had to say:

 

SHUT UP!

 

Because the voice

is my own

and the shadows

I created

and the fear

is unfounded

UNFOUNDED

mendaciously

created by weakness

failure to see

me

as

me

 

and then I

realize

that

once upon a time

hasn’t even begun

…yet…

 

 

 

naked b/c I want too

Picture 257

naked doldrums

as winter winds

strip what’s left

of nothing

& I sit

naked, because

I want to, while

belts of calm

drift around

me, feathery

& light

as the sun sets

& rises & then

sets again

& I sit

naked, because

I want to, as

the world keeps

spinning, because

I can’t stop it

not that I’d

even want to

but it’s nice to

know you have

control

over everything

over nothing

& I stand

naked, because

I want to, before

I walk forward,

alone, & even

further into, everything

alone

we make promises

& we pass them

on to the next

like a proverbial fruitcake

chalked with nuts

& holes

a sanatorium wrapped

in decorative foil

& I stand

naked, because

I want to

carry me forward

please, carry me on

past the shadows

& the dust

into what everything

nothing

should have even

been / is

& join me

naked in front

of the world

accept the doldrums

& the calms

& the crazies

& the storms

that keep the world

spinning

as we pass by

as we pass on

exposed