Cyber Scripting

If you’d let me. If you’d be so kind. If you’d allow me to crawl out
of this box of dead Youtube celebrities.
To climb over the hanged Soundcloud miscreants. The twitter bird is
lying at the bottom of the cage in a mine.

Oh, it went by in an Insta. We turn the pages to the end within
a book that has no face
and then go back to page 1.

I don’t like intrusions.
Let’s close the door and go back
down to the basement.
Shuffling
through
the 70 year old ladyboys
and leather-clad bears.
Yes, Daddy.
No, Daddy.
Thank you, Daddy.

Ferocious.

Someone, turn on a light. Please?
My close up has come and gone and come.
I’m so hot can I come out now?
These blankets are so heavy when I’m in bed
with myself.
Look at me, raving like
a goat in a hailstorm!
May I have this dance? Let’s read all this history
voraciously.

I can hardly see through all of the haze,
all of the shop talk.
The story is so old
we stopped posting.
We stopped dancing on the webcams.

Slide the VHS in deep and
press “record”.
We shall proceed?
Shall we proceed?
The fallen angels,
the milquetoast devils.

They lured me in with passion
to find my passion going tactical nuclear.
Leaving them sundered
while I dance my dance of The Thousand Zeros and Ones.

If you’d let me. If you’d be so kind.
Close the door.
There’s a gig of draft in here and someone keeps spraying for terabytes.

The Artist D, January 2019

The Artist D, January 2019

Authenticity Gone Missing

The problem is a lack of authenticity. But has there ever been any authenticity in the first place? Has there been anything new since the postmodernists?

New age is old age. Since the new guard became the old guard. We have surpassed the neo-postmodernists and they didn’t even know they were neo. We are members of the rearguard awaiting the changes.

I come from the underground, but where is that?

Have you been alive long enough to remember when people used to add people to their friend’s networks? To be friends. When the phrase was “go hang with your friends” instead of “go network.”

I can’t tell you the last time I got “followed” by a person. I mean, a real person who just exists in this world and wants to read my thoughts.

Everyone is a business these days. “I’m not a businessman,” we used to joke. “I’m a Business, man.”

Now that’s no joke.

For a decade or more it’s always another content creator trying to add me in order to network with me. It’s no wonder Corporations are considered people. Everybody is a business.

Friends with benefits. I’ll be your friend if you buy my makeup, my CD, my oh my my. The modern day Avon salesperson.

The neo post Avon salesperson.

Remember when friends with benefits just meant we were also getting laid?

Those were the days.

We are not friends. We are network partners. We are a bunch of artists, musicians, and writers adding other artists, musicians, and writers so we can bolster our numbers and network towards success.

“Wow, I really liked what you wrote there. Have you seen my Patreon?

The innocent and naive question that stirs often is, “Where are all the people who are just people?”

Everyone has to be somebody and I can’t blame them because since birth I have been very busy being somebody. I feel stupid even wondering why anyone would just want to be an observer or a consumer. I wouldn’t.

And yet if you look out into the crowds of the world all that seems to be there are consumers! But look into the Interwebs and I don’t have an audience. I have a network of networkers. Except for my old friends. The friends I made when we had friends lists and observed each others work, as friends.

Where are the new friends? Where are the couch surfers and the bohemians looking for love? (Sure, where have all the cowboys gone?)

With every “add” I receive there is another message asking me to please “Like” their page or “Try” their wears.

“I follow back!”

Can’t we just have a conversation? Can’t we just travel through and get drunk together? To share a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Can’t we take some pictures for our personal photo album and not share it with the world? Polaroids, perhaps.

When life was a great night out ending with a great story. Instead of a great night out ending with me subscribing to your Youtube channel. Of course, you already had subscribed to mine.

But what’s wrong with that? Why can’t we have an unbalanced superstar vs. civilian relationship? Why can’t the consumers just give adoration, adoration, adoration?

Why can’t you give me the respect that I’m entitled to? Why can’t you treat me like I would be treated by any stranger on the street? (Mommy Dearest, 1981)

Because everyone is out for their 15 minutes. Because Mr. Warhol promised.

The Artist D, November 2018

The Artist D in the Red Room, November 2018

To Sleep Perchance to Live

To have all the experiences that daily Waking Life restricts us from.

To travel to places we cannot afford and that the society will not allow us.

To love people we will never get the chance to love because they do not love us.

To rekindle friendships with friends long gone.

To have long-lasting meaningful conversations with The Dead.

To kindle friendships with the Unborn.

To sleep perchance to really live, and make life worth it.

It escapes the daily doldrums and sometimes it’s so much sweeter without the pain, without the discomfort or the embarrassment.

Perchance sleeping isn’t really sleeping at all.

For what is this Waking Life?

Wafting odors of trash that needs to be taken out, again. The pots and pans on the stove with leftover food in them rotting with more stink. The dishes that need to be washed.

The bug crawling across your chest.

The aching knees that remind you of things falling to pieces.

The Daily Grind of going to a workplace to barely afford your lifestyle no matter how much money they ever give you.

Twenty thousand, fifty thousand, 1 million, you’ll spend it all. You’ll need more. You’ll always run out! I promise.

What is daily life?

What is awake?

Is this awake?

Or is that awake?

To sleep is sometimes to be more awake than the zombies I see going about their daily lives.

They’re sleepwalking all day long.

Perchance to sleep may be better than perchance to wake. Dreams are a glory of which we are able to live through them.

You may never fly with those knees but you will soar in your dreams.

You may never love or be loved with what’s in the daily mirror, but you can have it all in Dream Land.

He’ll find you attractive there.

She’ll think you’re irresistible there.

You’ll never fall short in the sack while dreaming in your sack.

You get what you want, you experience pleasures and pain that you never would get the opportunity to otherwise.

You can soar and you can sink in dreams.

Perchance we’ll see you there when you’re done sleepwalking all damned day.

The Artist D, August 2018

The Artist D, August 2018

The Damnable Hum

And I hear the sounds of silence. That which is not silent at all. The rustle of the trees, dry and crisp in true Summer. The birds and creatures making little noises. But no hum. No damnable city-like hum. Only the sound of the truth.

I’ve been driving for a little under five hours and it feels like I just left. All I can figure is that this is the sign of unwinding a very tightly coiled self. I listen to books, podcasts, and music as I go. And it really helps shake me back to who I really am. Or at least who I presume myself to be.

This time it feels like I could do with five more hours before arrival. Five more hours of podcasts and books. That’s how much coil is left within to be shaken. Either that or I’ve finally acclimated to traveling far distances, again. I had ceased distant travel many years ago and eventually became impatient with it.

It is hot, but delightfully so. I have missed this so much. This time it may take me four full days to fully explain. To rattle out the words onto the paper and into the typer.

I run into a lot of people here who have very strange conversations with me. They’re small town people and I think they can sense that I am just a little off. I’m not a tourist, but I don’t live here. They ask me if I’m from here. They ask if I live around here. I tell them every time, “No, do I look familiar?” And they say, “Nah.” Then I ask why they would ask in the first place and they add, “It’s nothin’.”

It is nothing. It’s the void that I have which most people don’t. It’s that I am so very much and I have depth, yet I’m hardly a functioning human. At least, I don’t function like most of the humans. I’m some strange observer from a distant land. It’s that extraterrestrial within me that shines to the people out here.

People stop me and have conversations about their slipped disks or their desire to be transgender. This is not with any previous introductions as to who I may be! They simply open up. I think they just know. I’m not like all the others and I’ll understand, “for some reason.”

The wind rustles through this bushy field. There are leafy trees, burnt trees, and those magical looking stocks with fuzzy things on the ends. They sway and they glisten in the sunshine like a slow motion dream. A bird with a super bright yellow belly is sitting on a twig staring at me. We may know each other from another time and place too.

I sit here like I am in a dream. My happy place. My landscape.

I was talking to my psychic this morning and she asked me what my landscape was. What geography do I connect with? I love the way that she put that. I connect with many geographies and this is one of them. The flat dry Wild West. The rolling red mountains sprouting up among all of these slow motion weeds. The empty horizon. The empty towns. The lack of people and the lack of that damned hum.

I also connect with the ocean. Raging and wet as it beats against the land, sanding it down slowly throughout forever after forever. I love the ocean. It’s safe out there. At least as safe as floating in space with no man or woman to burn horrors into your spirit.

I come here like I go there. I escape the humming city walls and go off to these places where I cannot, for some unknown reason to me, live permanently. The universe keeps me locked up in that damned city. But I come here or there or somewhere just like I drift off into another dream. In my mind I float to magical lands. In my meat suitcase I venture to them.

The Artist D

The Artist D, June 2018

 

Originally posted at Fourculture.com, August 22, 2017

Chris the Robot

Hi, my name is Chris. I’m a licensed massage therapist living in the metro area. I like food, cats, gaming, and healthy relationships.

Hello Chris, do you know you’re a cylon? You’re a carbon copy of a carbon copy. You’ve been placed on this Earth as a place holder, a space filler. I’ve met 20 other Chris in 20 other cities across the nation.

Welcome Chris, with you’re dead-eyed Instagram photos and your laze-fare Facebook posts. Your walks in the park and calmly concise candlelight suppers where neither party reveals anything true. Not that either has anything true to reveal. Because you’re Chris and probably Joel. Joel is your date. He also is a cylon.

You’ll go home tonight, Chris and Joel, and you’ll fuck. You’ll fuck boringly and shoot your plain vanilla cylon juices. You’ll feel scandalous for a moment and then Joel will break up with you in the morning.

That’s OK because you’re meeting Ben at the coffee shop where he’ll buy you a triple shot extra large something-something while he listens to how boring Joel was. From your boring mouth. Your boring mind. Your dead eyes will look up into the sky as you and Ben take a selfie for another boring dead-eyed Instagram post. Ben doesn’t care because he thinks you’re besties. You share so much of nothing with Ben that he’s drowning in artificial substance.

How could you be besties if you aren’t real? How can you be Joel’s lover if you are only programmed phrases and functions? Flaunting the programming embedded from the media, the religion, and the back of your daddy’s hand. Are robots in love truly in love at all? The robots seem to think so.

A carbon copy of a carbon copy. I could scrape your surface and find more surface, Chris. You don’t know. You’ll never know. If you met a person like me you wouldn’t believe I was a person. I would blow your fuses and put you in an institution. We’d peel back the plastic layers of skin to find metallic sputtering and you still wouldn’t believe me. Because you’re a robot. Sparks would fly. Chris the robot with cliche programming and vanilla juices.

What has happened now will happen again. With you. With the thousand of other Chris replicas around the globe. There goes Chris the rebel. Chris dancing to his own beat. Beating what he thinks is his own drum and dancing his own dance track. That drum of someone else’s design. The dance track already laid in and playing before Chris was even switched on. Chris, your dead eyes and extra large throbbing latte. You’re taking a walk now. You’re on the beach and you’re thinking about cats and computer games. You’re dreaming of healthy relationships. Listen to all of those clicks and whistles! You’re a cylon. You’re Chris the Robot.

The Artist D, October 2017The Artist D, September 2017

The Artist D, September 2017

Dream Dust

Written in hypnagogia.

Transcribed by phone.

To sleep perchance to live.

To have all the experiences that daily Waking Life restricts us from.

To travel to places we cannot afford and that the society will not let us.

To love people we will never get the chance to love because they do not love us.

To hate them with lawless passion.

To rekindle friendships with friends long gone.

To have long-lasting meaningful conversations with the Dead.

To kindle friendships with the Unborn.

To sleep perchance to really live, and make life worth living.

It escapes the daily doldrums and sometimes it’s so much sweeter without the pain, without the discomfort or the embarrassment.

Perchance sleeping isn’t really sleeping at all.

For what is this Waking Life?

Stinking odors from the trash that needs to be taken out, again. The pots and pans on the stove with leftover food in them rotting with more stink. The dishes now need to be washed.

The bug crawling across your chest.

The aching knees that remind you of things falling to pieces.

The Daily Grind of going to a workplace to barely afford your lifestyle no matter how much money they ever give you.

Twenty thousand, fifty thousand, one million, you’ll spend it all. You’ll spend it on everything! You’ll need more. You’ll always run out!

What is daily life?
What is awake?
Is this awake?
Or is that awake?

To sleep is sometimes to be more awake than the zombies I see going about their daily lives.

They’re sleepwalking all day long.

Perchance to sleep may be better than perchance to wake. Dreams are a glory of which we are able to live through them.

You may never fly with those knees but you will soar in your dreams.

You may never love or be loved with what’s in the daily mirror, but you can have it all in Dream Land.

He’ll find you attractive there.
She’ll think you’re irresistible there.
You’ll never fall short in the sack while dreaming in the sack.

You get what you want, you experience pleasures and pain that you never would get the opportunity to otherwise.

You can soar and you can sink in the dreams.

Perchance we’ll see you there when you’re done sleepwalking all day.

Snapchat-2010829528

The Artist D, July 2017

Yes & No

I’m so uncomfortable everywhere I go. A lot of my discomfort seems to be the need to warm back up into being a real person. There’s a certain way to act at a job which is actually easier than being in the real world. Everything at work is very scripted for us. The answers to “Do you want to / Would you please / Can you help me out / Will you take the time to …” are all automatic responses crafted due to the relationship with the colleague whom asked the question. This is much easier than reality. Reality puts people on a level playing field.

For example, saying “no” to a colleague is easier because that “no” comes from a place of work culture. I am allowed to say “no” because I am perhaps their boss or I have some kind of seniority which puts me in a position to logically be unable to assist. Generally, I have permission from a pretend hierarchy within a pretend organization to act a certain way, carte blanche.

Until recent years I’ve had very limited personal interaction with the real world. My world was my own and nobody was involved unless I allowed it, like a boss. I did not have local friends asking local favors. I did not have a husband or a wife to consider and was singularly in control of everything I did in my free time, my reality. I could not own a pet animal because they would demand of me food in their bowls and regularly petting. I built a world all my own to meet my demands and escape those of others.

Telling a person “no” in the real world is nothing like telling this to a person in work culture. There are no rules in the real world, or at least there are not supposed to be any rules. When I find myself out there with people I am initially awkward because I am still operating under professional standards.

Perhaps this is best explained by defining what “yes” or “no” actually means in reality. These responses are the result of our actual desires and for me this feels a bit harsh. In the professional world “yes” or “no” are actual fakes. Professionally we are all frauds. I am not cooperating because I want to but because the professional hierarchy tells me if I can or cannot. As most of us should agree we are all at work against our will doing things we would rather not do. If you asked a person if they really wanted to go to work at 7 AM every morning and they were allowed to be honest, the answer would often be “no.” But since we are trapped within a societal requirement in exchange for money the answer is usually “yes.”

Therefore when I find myself finally free from the chains of corporate bondage I am at a loss for words. It takes me days worth of being around real people with real hopes and dreams to remind me that I can now truly speak my mind and make honest choices. It’s learning to walk again after a violent tragedy. Corporate America is a cannibalistic violent tragedy. I think most people sum this up as Social Anxiety. They actually fear the freedom they suddenly feel when left outside of the structure. I do not feel anxious. I just feel confused.

It’s about the true meaning of answering a question. Your friends ask, “How are you?” Your answer is staggered because you have been in the Thunderdome for so long you aren’t sure what your true answer really is. Because your co-workers, colleagues, associates, managers, bosses, and political fuck buddies have asked, “How are you?” all week and you’ve responded with an earnest smile, “I’m great! How are you!?” Because that’s how it’s done in the Thunderdome. That’s the script given from the classes you’ve attended.

What’s worse and really tips this over the edge is that people in professional circumstances actually believe it. They really think you want to be there. They honestly think you’re doing great. They truly believe you like them as a person and want to attend Happy Hour after professionally slaving away for nine hours alongside of them. They believe it, so you believe it and pretty soon it’s the most fake circle jerk you’ve ever involved yourself in.

When becoming free of those chains I am left with a curious wonder about how I am. How am I? How am I really? Well, I do not know because I then realize I’ve been answering myself with the same cheery script. I’m in the circle jerk. I have become my own colleague. So, how am I really, for real? I don’t know. I do not know! It takes days to know. To wake up from the coma of this planet’s customer service epidemic. I’m great. I’m good. I’m well. I am in a rage. I am angry. How are you?

It’s that emotional explosion that happens when you finally cry. To weep if you are not a person who weeps. It’s that thing that happens when you relax and watch a sad movie. That thing when you are really into it and are overtaken with true emotion from this touching film. That moment where there are tears on your face and you are whaling with sound, but you are still disconnected. There is nothing but a feeling of mon capitaine in your head as if he or she was a disconnected observer. Who is crying? Who is whaling with this screaming sad rage? T’is not I. T’is the body I inhabit. I am fine. “I’m great! How are you?!”

To tell a person “no” in reality actually holds water. It actually means “no.” That’s a “no” from me, the real me, the person I think I am. No, I do not want to do that. No, I actually do not want to. And that is strong. That is unscripted. Maybe this is why rapists think “no” means “yes,” because in corporate America it actually does!

To actually say it and mean it is so out of style. To not say it because it’s what people say or do. That is an individual making a decision whether it’s in response to grabbing a cheeseburger with a friend or helping them load the U-Haul van for their move. That is a decision! That is terrifying because it means truth between human beings!

Whether it is “yes” or “no” it is sharing truth and we are not as used to that as we used to be. It’s rather ironic that we seem to live in a world that is more rude today than ever before. You’d think more people told the truth and hurt those feelings more now than ever. At the same time it doesn’t. It feels more fake now than ever. Perhaps because it’s all very black and white. There is less room for gray in a world which demands more gray by law. There are 58 gender options on Facebook and people are more unhappy with their labels than ever before. We are either too honest or too fake. The customer service is not earnest. It never quite was, but it is less now than ever before. It’s just a script. It’s just brainwashing.

How are you? I don’t fucking know. Do you really care? Let’s go get a coffee and talk it over. Let’s run off under the waterfall to make real decisions with each other. Let’s decide if we really want to get a cheeseburger or let’s be big about it if one of us honestly hates cheeseburgers. Love me for my erratic emotional behavior and enjoy the unscripted mind. Let’s shake ourselves out of the scripted choke hold and remember what “yes” and “no” really mean.

The Artist D, May 2017

The Artist D, May 2017

She Lay Dying

She sits and waits on the sofa that has harbored many moments. Her eyes stare blankly at the walls, the television, and the family. She lay watching with a stomach distended and skin turned yellow from failures. The body has been wracked with disease. Dis ease. A cancerous cancer.

She’s waiting now and her eyes tell me she’s questioning. Is she questioning? A life slowly set to rewind like a pencil in an old school cassette tape. Her life was full with every moment lived. A loving relationship that lasted forever. Two competent and grown children. Many successful careers under the belt providing for a family, a home, cars, boats, and adventures.

But she’s staring now because the moments have passed. The only moment is now and what has happened before is a flash in memory. She’s not eating anymore. She’s done with eating. She will not be returning to the table.

An extra decade tacked on by modern medicine. An extra stretch of life fulfilled thanks to science. The regularity of being microwaved, injected, spliced, and diced has held the body together for another round.

A full life. Like a lot of lives. Filled with stuff. There’s lots of stuff, but it all ends the same. It all ends. Some of us get to stare, to wind down, to watch the garbage decompose while we are still within it. So, those who can now stare at all that is. And they wonder how, what, why, what for?

This tiny little life. This little stretch of road filled with jumping and jiving. The race to get it all done before we find ourselves on the sofa as we turn yellow and fall to pieces. To await the next text message from Mr. Death.

She stares in wonder and in agony. Or is that just us? We never know what it’s like until it’s just us. Maybe she’s happy. Maybe she’s content. Perhaps she’s come to peace. After all, modern medicine provided the time to write the final chapter in full with no questions asked. A lot of people don’t get that chance. There isn’t always a final chapter.

So, maybe it’s just us watching and having the harder time. As death is far harder on those who are left than those who have left.

Top of the Mountain

On the Mountaintop, by The Artist D, February 2017

Travelers Inbound

They piled out of a beaten up cliché of a wanderer’s van. He wore a short raggedy belly shirt. His skinny stomach showing off to the world. He had a vest on. Tall with dirty blonde hair. I could have eaten breakfast off of his stomach had I not been so concerned with where it had been.

She was the quintessential new age hippie. She wore a Hugh Hefner smoking jacket, booty shorts, and a pirate’s hat with cat ears on it. An old guitar, non-electric also known as acoustic, hung from around her shoulders. At times she strode down the median strumming a god awful noise.

Their third and final partner in crime was also a woman. She looked like Janis Joplin. That was it. That was all. She stood near the van. She rummaged through their junk. She even had on those round sunglasses.

They sat there aside from the traffic going by. Some people honked and others stopped to have weird conversation. I was of course most taken with the man. Remember, breakfast on his abs, if only his abs weren’t the direct correlation of gum on a park bench. You just don’t know where those abs have been.

Bell bottoms! They all wore bell bottoms! Everyone was so cliché that it was a wonder if they were truly an organic 21st century wanderer. But you can put all doubts aside as they smelled organic.

It makes you want to run away. Maybe not you. Maybe it’s just me. I want to run away. I want a beaten up guitar and abs that surely someone would eat breakfast off of no matter where I have hung my hat. I want cohorts. I want traveling companions. I want to live in a van and play music down a median while wearing cat ears. We can bum coffee and donuts every morning. I can bum it. We will bum it across the country in that beaten up van. We can play Free Bird until our ears bleed. You can pretend that Janice Joplin hasn’t been dead for six hundred and fifty three years. You and your round sunglasses.

Let’s go into work on Monday and tell them to shove it. Let’s tell them that there is bumming to be done across this great country. We don’t even have to tell them. Let’s leave now. We’ll make this country great again with your booty shorts and cat ears. My abs. My abs will make this nation great. Our van and our donuts. Eating breakfast and getting off.

Me and my abs. The random villages. The random men. With random women. The random dicks. The random pussies. With the random breakfasts served upon delicious skin. You and me and Bobby McGee.

The Artist D Meets a Man in the Woods, February 2017

The Artist D Meets a Man in the Woods, February 2017

The Trouble with Being Myself

Go somewhere without it being a photo op.

Say something without it having to be a Tweet.

Don’t fill the moments of silence with thoughts on checking your Likes.

Take a shit without your smartphone.

Be something without promotion.

Have sex without your smartphone.

Enjoy a meal without Netflix. Try candlelight and Luciano Pavarotti.

Write something without crafting it for optimum SEO keywords.

Drift off to sleep without the light of the tablet’s screen.

Paint something without preparing it for the gallery or for sale on your website.

Read books for your own sake.

Turn off the modem sometimes, just because you can.

Wherever the crowd goes, go the opposite direction. (Bukowski)

Turn off your phone sometimes, just because you can.

And for crying out loud, don’t jump off the bridge just because everyone loves to jump.

The Artist D, December 2016

The Artist D, December 2016