I have nothing good to say, not after today. I don’t want talking. No. More. Useless. Talking.
They hinted, leaked, and made rumors, but today it became true. The fed does not want to protect women. The fed does not want to take responsibility. The fed does not want to enforce the same rights across the land. Now it’s a states-rights issue. And that is morally and legally repugnant.
But the people paying the judges aren’t stopping there. They’re coming for me. They’re coming for you. They’re coming for everyone who deserves privacy and autonomy by natural law. They won’t stop there. Rowe was the next domino to fall, and it clears the way for every domino down the line to fall onto the table of states-rights. This country is now riddled with land mines.
And our national enemies are laughing with tears in their eyes as we crumble from “one nation, indivisible,” into 50 territories squabbling as we figure things out.
Late post, but after all these years, last week I saw Puscifer.
I’m happy to report that it was an excellent show, despite having a nosebleed seat 5 rows from the back of the 2nd balcony. The sound in Bass Concert Hall was great, the staff was friendly, the seats were narrow like coach on a 737, and the view of the far back of the stage was limited due to angles, but otherwise it was great. And with my stupid eyeglass prescription, my experience actually improved once I put on my sunglasses.
The sticking point with the show was that the band, as well as the tour and venue managements, made goddamned sure that we all knew that cameras were not welcomed or allowed. Signage, ushers, bouncers, two PA announcements, hell, even a video with Maynard in MIB drag talking about SPAM being made from people who take pictures; it became abundantly clear.
I mean, it was kinda nice not seeing the glow of cellphones across the concert hall, and that we all were more engrossed with the experience than with the capturing of the experience, but still, there were a few things I would’ve loved to shoot. Oh well. At least they opened up the last song for photography. “You guys have been good,” beamed Maynard, “so this is the last song, and you guys can bring out your cameras.”
All-in-all, the vibe was light and funny, with Maynard’s humorous jive, the band’s funny costumes, and the choreography with Carina. There were actors in men-in-black costumes, alien costumes, and so on, and it kept the whole works from getting too serious. I don’t think Puscifer has ever been anything serious (except deep under the surface). Over the course of the show the vibe inched from paranoid delusion to ascendant and extra-terrestrial, to hopeful.
Tracklist was mostly from “Existential Reckoning”, the latest, but they did dig into older albums with songs like “Toma”, “Conditions of My Parole” (with lots of running around the stage), “The Remedy” which I really got into, and a handful of others with alternate mixes and takes that took my trained ear a bit to actually recognize (being confused is sometimes magical).
Several times I heard the word “trifecta” muttered around in the audience. That’s winning a horse race bet on win, place, and show, but in this case it’s people saying they’ve seen all of Maynard’s projects, from Tool, to A Perfect Circle, and now to Puscifer. I wish I myself could’ve said trifecta, but it was nice hearing other people bonding over a word. After 2 years of pandemic lockdown, any kind of enthusiastic society is welcome.
The show was also a great chance to hang out with my cousin Amanda and her cousin Christy from out of town. We caught up on family gossip and general bullshit. It’s always great to host family, which is a rarity even after living in Austin for 22 years.
To summarize, I had a super great time.
"Raise," he says, "raise your glass. "Raise your glass to our Our heterogeneity Our remarkable resilience to calamity."
I wrote a lot of poetry in my younger days. Like, a lot. It was my jam. Sometimes there was meter, sometimes there was rhyme, but I considered myself more of a free-verse poet. And most of it was terrible (bad poetry, oh noetry!). But I kept writing — so much so that my friend Pam called me a “closet English major”, which made me gush that she thought as much about me.
Here I am at 50 thinking back on the stanzas of my 20’s, and I wonder why I — why people in their 20’s — ended up writing so much poetry.
Best as I can figure, it’s that my fore-brain was still wiring itself together. The connections were still wet. And the intersection between words and ideas was where poetry happened. It’s how I tried to describe the indescribable. It’s how I made sense of the insensible. As my world expanded, out on the edges of the growing campfire light, where smoky shadows moved without proof, that’s where I tried to draw the shapes and forms with the big words and multi-line phrases.
And still, after years of the muted silence of not writing, I still think in rhythm and rhyme, in patterns, in ripples. It’s an important skill, even in writing prose, jokes, comments, posts. It’s in the cadence, in the flow. It’s not always the words that can rhyme; sometimes it’s the concepts.
I recognize that most of what I wrote was shit, and that’s fine. Michelangelo’s sketchbooks were filled with unusable scribbles and creative abortions, interesting only to historians and scholars, but that was where he tried his ideas, practiced his strokes, and perfected his craft. And so I find myself trying very hard to keep to that lesson.
I was young, and poetry was how I tried to grasp the dragon Life by the tail. It had value then, and I’m thankful for it now. I must not feel shame.
I survived COVID-19. But I have this anger. Muted rage. All that worry, all that preparation, all that precaution, all the vaccinations, all the epidemiological learnings, all the discussions and warnings and avoidance. And I still got COVID.
I just don’t understand. I tried. Honestly tried. But I got it from a place of trust.
It burns me. And I need to discharge this anger. Ground it out. Dissipate it so it doesn’t hurt anyone I love. I just have this muffled resignation sitting on top of it, this sense of maturity, of keeping mum and taking it in and internalizing it and doing nothing until it eats me up. I just gotta let it go.
Go touch grass. Let it go. Acknowledge that those precautions kept me from getting it earlier, when I wasn’t in a space to handle it with grace. Let it go.
Get back to myself. Back to where I left off. Let it go. Find the lost threads of my life and pick them back up. Let it go. Return to source.