Monday, October 14, 2013


It occurs to me that the Marquis de Sade has much in common with Hannibal Lecter: Just switch serial-killing/cannibalism for rape/theatre.

Each is violent, involving the thrill of the hunt and the pleasure of consumption simultaneous with a profound and pathological hatred of virtue.
Sadist-Lecterians [sic] achieve cerebral orgasm, what the French refer to as jouissance, when engaging their prey. The fashion, style, method of stalking and killing/debauching is primary.
Combine this with genius and excess libido on a societal scale and you get one hot mess.
For the moment, we have such a scenario with the Tea Party Republicans on Capitol Hill, for whom serial-killing/cannibalism and sodomy/theatre is transfigured into Armageddon/ideology. Seriously look in their faces, the true believers are really getting off on all this.
And don’t kid yourself about Ted Cruz. He is a genius, a term that originally referred to “generative power” then evolved into a sense of “characteristic disposition” and eventually became a “person of natural intelligence or talent.” Cruz’s father is an evangelical preacher who raised his son to believe that he, like himself, was on a mission from God to rid the world of communists. It’s been his family’s tradition to try and bring Rome to its knees and engender the Second Coming of Christ. Cruz is a genie out of his father’s bottle. Apocalypse is the family business. They’re here to wake us up.
Many of us rightly oppose Corporate Libertarianism and Wall Street, but where corporations exploit our desires the Tea Party dominionists want to consume them. They’re seeking a final solution to what they think is wrong with the world. They want to eat up everything we love and crap it out [so do corporate libertarians, but they don’t hate nature, they’re simply addicted to exploiting her].
As politics make strange bedfellows, Occupiers and such might consider supporting Wall Street’s fight against Right Wing dominionists. You can reason with a greedy person who believes in evolution and global warming. How can you even talk to a zealot who literally gets off on denying both?
If it’s not snuffed now, this particular malignancy in our society will continue metastasizing. The larger it grows, the more gruesome its treatment will necessarily be.
Drastic measures seem called for if we want to preserve a habitable world. There’s simply no room for the Right Wing dominionist menace in the 21st Century. We can’t let America’s version of the Taliban win.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


In a post-Westphalia era defined by climate change and ecological collapse, where the whole of life is being ruled with belligerent ignorance, drastic measures seem necessary if we’re to have any hope for a livable future.
How do we get there?
Maybe we should watch Obama. He’s been handing the Right Wing the rope by which it’s hanging itself. Corporate Libertarians and Christian fascists are at war. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, many claim that the empire will collapse. The troops will come home as our global interests shrink. The world will change what it expects from the U.S. government, which in turn will lower its own expectations regarding its greatness and the superiority of its people.
After this collapse, the Right Wing will likely be blamed by most of the citizenry and the government will feel empowered to permanently curtail the political influence of religious fanatics and greedy global corporations. Non-corporate libertarian corporations that focus on societal well-being and non-profit agencies will try filling the service vacuum. Things will be confusing, chaotic and downright excremental for quite awhile before they start getting better [ask yourself if you think things will improve, if the planet will start healing if a deal’s reached between Republicans and Democrats, and if not, why do you want one?].
What’s best is we might be forced to deal with each other face-to-face rather than through social media because few will be able to afford these gadgets.  Civilization as we’ve experienced it will likely collapse from too much complexity into a greater, more meaningful simplicity. Fewer choices might mean freer minds. Civilization might puke up its autocrats, democratically speaking.
If this pipe dream has any shade of truth to it, Obama will have succeeded at his primary goal when first taking office of changing the culture in Washington. And in the process, he will have freed the world and the American people of their U.S.A. burdens. Future presidents and government officials will feel less pressure to corrupt themselves for the continued survival of a cancerous political-economic system, and have the liberty to act on their conscience and not for some financier’s profit.
It seems pretty audacious to be hoping for a world free of right wing influence these days. It also seems downright ignorant to believe Obama has a secret plan…but remember how cool he was at the White House Correspondents Dinner as the SEALS departed to get bin Laden…?
One thing I do know, all the right people perceive him as an existential threat to their way of life…and that’s good.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The FBI defines terrorism, according to U.S. code [written while Republicans controlled Congress and the White House], this way: 

"International terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:

·         Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

·         Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

·         Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.*

"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:

·         Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

·         Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and

·         Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

 It would seem to me, based on the law composed by the right wing itself, that a case of domestic and international terrorism could be made against Tea Party Republicans, and that the Tea Party could be declared a terrorist organization. Their actions endanger human life and violate the law which requires the nation’s bills be paid and laws observed. Their actions are intended to intimidate the majority of Americans into accepting a whiter, more evangelical approach to reality. They’re willing to destroy the federal government to feed their irrational lust for power and glory. These Tea Partying Republican terrorists are also willing to bring down the entire global system to achieve their sadistically spectacular orgasm of grief and suffering, making their perversity international in scope.
If there was ever a time for a President to step up and kick ass domestically, it’s now. It’s the Administration’s responsibility to enforce the law. Wouldn’t the FBI, working for free, happily arrest these scoundrels? Do these scalawags not deserve the same treatment as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt or the Taliban?
Are we going to let everything slip away because we refused to see these fascists for what they are? It’s one thing to let them run for office and speak their minds, hold parades and have picnics, it’s quite another to allow them to hijack the government, our freedoms and the global economic system in the name of a Jesus few Christians would recognize.
I voted for Obama because I felt fewer people would die if he were President than Mitt Romney. It seems to me Obama’s failing to act now will result in more death and suffering than if he were to take charge and use the final three years of his administration to set the nation’s house in order so we can confront the challenges of global warming and the disintegration of our planetary ecosystem.
It’s now or never. It’s time to stop being nice, to end the politeness and get real before it’s too late. We’ve let the children scream and carry on enough.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Memo: Books & Labyrinths

If one were to ask Borges, Bolano and Dick to describe reality, their answers might astound.

Each man could express some version of a conspiracy involving us in a plot where we’re trying to get some traction in life.

Their books are labyrinths occluding the secret of a “god” wishing to remain hidden…of a demiurge whose name has no vowels…where creature would serve crtr if crtr had its way.

For Borges, Tlon’s “plan is…vast:” “…this ‘brave new world’ was the work of a secret society…under the supervision of an unknown genius.”

Dick wonders whether the labyrinth is real or not, believing objective reality’s impossible because such a reality’s dependent upon perception. He calls his idea of a synchronistic collective unconscious projecting a group hallucination VALIS [Vast Active Living Intelligence System].

One adjective describing Bolano’s search for visceral reality, after “savage,” might be “vast.” Some read his work as a new internationalism. It certainly eviscerates diverse human realities, covering a psyche that thinks and feels itself into being across space, time and scale.

For Dick, actuality’s a matrix emerging from dreams of selves in places at times. Reality’s the individual’s perception of it: “Matter is plastic in the face of Mind.” Dick’s avatar, Horselover Fat, believes a situation’s enigma’s whether time’s real or not: “…a layer of…what the Greeks called ‘dokos’ obscures the landscape…dokos [appears] the layer of delusion or the merely seeming.”

Borges views actuality as a “heterogeneous series of independent acts. It is serial and temporal, but not spatial.” He writes how one of Tlon’s philosophical schools has gone so far as to deny the validity of time altogether, conjecturing “that our planet was created a few moments ago, and provided with a humanity which ‘remembers’ an illusory past.” Later, he describes the “process” as “a recurrent one…stranger and perfect…the ur…[being] an object brought into [existence] by hope.”

Bolano considers the world a “Communion of Coincidence…the manifestation of God at every moment.” Yet his fictions yield casts of Earthlings lost on Earth, people for whom “the poem is a joke covering up something more serious,” hoping to find that “wrinkle, the moment of superlucidity.”

For Bolano, “The only thing that mattered, abolishing death,” involves a human’s obligation to write. “Amalfitano,” perhaps a Bolano self-projection into 2666, seems “a man lost inside himself looking for the magic that makes life worthwhile…,” discovering its “equation: supply+demand+magic…[where] Magic is epic and it’s also sex and Dionysian mists and play.” For Bolano, life weaves an arabesque—a funhousepaddling past the graveyard.

The essence of Dick’s syzygian VALIS is animus grieving anima’s death. Dick’s trying to recuperate the twin sister he lost during infancy, a death for which he blames himself. Dick’s VALIS trilogy shows a “perturbation in the reality field in which a spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex is formed, tending progressively to subsume and incorporate its environment into arrangements of information characterized by quasi-consciousness, purpose, intelligence, growth and armillary coherence"...meaning it makes sense in rings and spheres...being a twin trying to make sense of his twin’s death…It just can’t be real…this peeling away of the onion, these tears…

For Borges, his failing eyesight fuels his work. Ficciones strives for tangibility beyond the visible. The more languaged and imagined the universe is, the more objective and tangible it becomes. In Tlon, Borges imagines a planetary encyclopedia. And in “The Circular Ruins” he writes that “modeling the incoherent and vertiginous matter of which dreams are composed was the most difficult task that a man could undertake.” He fears this process will show us to be simulacra: “Not…[men, but] projection[s] of [an]other m[e]n’s dreams…”

The more each writer actualizes his reality in book form, the more that reality truly matters and the more precisely it [and they] can function within the world. They, like many of us, need to believe their work matters and will continue mattering. In other words, their books are being read—realizing—their labyrinths being traversed, and the material objects they’re perceiving transform over space-time because of a change in the reader’s mind while reading the text…altering the memory of the writer altering her text…in the future…

Borges’ universe seams together a “web of time—the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect or ignore each other through the centuries embracing every possibility.”

Dick writes “The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.” Jean Baudrillard says Dick’s universe is a simulation where “we can no longer move through the mirror to the other side.”  We are mirrors. We are simulacra…shhh…Bolano says “Only in chaos are we conceivable,” which is “…a tapestry burned by the fire of seeming.”

So Borges, Bolano and Dick write of living worlds living to their own ends, formulating their own agendas. Their interests, operating on other scales, are not our interests, yet we and they seem entangled in the warmth of signifiers, feeling our ways through the darkness toward something we hope is real.

The world changes as mind changes. No mind, no world. Reality is perception is mind. And then it is again and again and again, here and elsewhere, being plural…

Thinking ourselves differently this time and that…ever dreaming of neverness…never the same, every way yet again and again within the given parameters…


Baudrillard, Jean. “Simulacra and Science Fiction.”
Bolano, Roberto. The Savage Detectives and 2666.
Borges, Jorge Luis. Ficciones.
Dick, Philip K. VALIS and Later Novels: A Mazeo of Death, VALIS, The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Attacking Syria has nothing to do with It

Too big to fail is a euphemism for too corrupt to fix. It doesn’t matter if it’s an investment bank, an insurance conglomerate, a multinational manufacturer or even a national security state that calls itself “the one indispensable nation.”
This necessary state exists to protect the interests of that which is vital to its well-being.
The political-economic system (state) is on its deathbed dying of septicemia once its incompetence and debt incapacitate its ability to function and heal itself as necessary. In other words, when a state can no longer maintain its disequilibria, it’s dead.
Can the United States heal itself? What would the cure look like? How do we extricate Baby Liberty from its polluted bathwater?
Attacking Syria has nothing to do with it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Holy Ghost of Art vs. The American Political-Economy System (APES); or, Some Thoughts on Labor

One doesn’t perceive art looking for education. One seeks out education to perceive art and experience beauty.
Unless, that is, one’s living in a national security state. Here, the inhumanities of math and science for commercial reward and/or security, a pattern of behavioral psychology favorable to gluttonous automatons, is stressed, resulting in the brutal annihilation of rebellious [not commercial/popular] artistic impulses from the earliest conceivable age.
Trouble is only artists* can perceive when they’re living in a commercial political-economic system geared to the defense of elite assets before it expands into the realm of state as a whole, which is a bit broader than mere government. “Artists,” as Pound famously said, “are the antennae of the race.”
Some artists feel the system as a child under their parents’ rule.
An adult hatred for that subjection is sometimes manifest as a loathing for objectivity, authoritarianism, manipulation, liars, gatekeepers, official responsibility, etc.,  and seems a common “pathology” among many admirable artists…that is, artists whose playing is worthy of admiration in the astute eye of a similarly sensitive beholder.
Point is if you want freedom, become an artist. Be beautiful to yourself and others capable of perceiving that beauty. Be an aesthetic contagion. It’s truer than being moral.
And Gaia will likewise take care of herself…
As Bukowski famously advised: “Don’t try.”
Happy Labor Day sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?
*An artist is one who believes that art—a true pursuit of beauty—is humankind’s highest calling, necessarily replacing morality with aesthetics as the more honest approach to reality, which makes art more moral than morality, artists holier than priests. Homo economicus is beneath contempt and will not otherwise be considered.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Warming Calculations

While researching a novel I hope to write, which involves climate change among many other things, I decided to use the Farmer’s Almanac web site and do some investigating of my own. 

Let me state right off that my degree’s in English. What math I know I learned 30 years ago and the science is self-taught. Undeterred by these shortcomings, I wanted to see if my zip code had warmed at all in my lifetime and what I might be able to make of it, based on a very simple set of data over an admittedly microscopic span of time, geologically speaking.

The approach I took was necessarily simple: I looked up the pertinent weather history on the Almanac web site by entering my zip code and date and, in a couple seconds, the high, low and average temperature, dew point, wind speed, and precipitation—its type and amount—pop up. Also, in my zip during the winter months, it will tell you how many inches of snow were on the ground. 

Keeping things simple I decided to record the average temperature each year on my birthday. I gathered 52, and then broke them down into decades. 

Including the year I was born, 1962, the decade ending:

·         1971, the average temperature was 29.05 degrees Fahrenheit.

·         In 1981 that temperature was 29.58 degrees, +.55 over 10 years and accelerating at a rate .0275 over 20 years.[i]

·         In 1991, the average was 30.25, +.67 over the previous decade and accelerating at .0406 over 30 years.

·         The decade from 1992 to 2001 seems an anomaly, as the average temperature was 30.13, down .12 from the previous decade, and acceleration slowed to .0275 over 40 years.

·         The fifth decade, however, makes up for that with an average temperature of 32.54, +2.41 from the previous decade and accelerating at .0702 over 50 years.

It appears factual that the average temperature in my zip code on my birthday has, according to my English major math, risen at an accelerating rate over the course of my lifetime. 

I believed the science going in, but wanted to see how my own meager calculations might stand up against what I’ve been hearing for 25 years. I encourage you to do the same. Look for yourself.  Do your own math. Mine seems to echo what I've heard from experts over and over again. I was hoping to come up with something different, something to give my contrarion spirit hope...

[i][i][i] I’m sorry about my math and lack of proper terminology. For rate change I took the average temp of 1981, subtracted the average from 1971, then divided by 20. I followed that procedure to calculate the rate for each decade: 1991-1971/30=rate; 2001-1971/40=rate, etc. If my method’s incorrect—I know it’s crude—let me know in the comments.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chapter 1 of Does the Moon Ever Shine in Heaven?


Some say when you die you move toward the light. This seems dark for light. Perhaps I’m not dead. Maybe some didn’t know what they were talking about. What if it were me who misunderstood them? What if they meant that when you die you move toward lightness rather than heaviness…? But people talk of a bright light, right? Yet they’re also rising, as if they no longer bear the weight of their bodies. Then again, maybe, there’s a third kind of light that some meant, as in a light bulb lighting seeming a symbol for someone having an idea, the symbol being that in death one becomes omniscient…we’ll know when we’re dead, some say. Or some others might say light refers to goodness. All these people with near-death experiences seem like nice people. Like good people. Conrad doesn’t have Marlowe quoting Kurtz: “The light, the light.” Hell no. We don’t hear of cases of serial killers or mass murderers [there seems a difference] or pedophiles being brought back from drowning or a heart attack and how they saw a brilliant light and began rising up into it…as if being abducted by a UFO…and how when they came back felt themselves totally blissed out in their God-given lifestyles…I wonder what Charlie Manson will see? Did Jeffrey Dahmer’s light look more like a glowing gullet, as if he were falling into the warm, sacred effervescence of someone’s gastric bubble bath, of someone else’s acid reflux? Do we all end up feeling justified in the end, or just some of us?

I don’t know.

I think I’m dead but can’t prove it. To disprove it would require my being alive, which would mean people would acknowledge me, and I’d have some facility with tools and technology. Yet I haven’t been touched in days. I can’t Tweet. I have no face to book. Those same some sometimes say “poets don’t drive.” But I’m no poet. I’m terrified at being cut loose in the universe.

What if I’m not actually here? What if I’m only an idea? What if all this manifests the final dregs of my residual unconscious? If you’re reading this, could I be dead at this the time of writing? Well?  I can’t be photographed.

Does my enlightenment seem to haunt this page like a ghost? Maybe so, but my heart feels knotted. What I seem to see are memories of things I’ve done that have somehow tattooed themselves onto my mind, their ink permeating the membrane into my psychic genes, now forming these patterns of genetic memory dancing before my eyes—a whorl of genetic thoughts awaiting action.

How will I ever untie myself from this nonsense?  Does the moon ever shine in heaven?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Does the Moon Ever Shine In Heaven?

Available soon from BlazeVox[books]:

Experiencing the heart and mind of a suicided murderer, Does the Moon Ever Shine in Heaven?  gives voice to a killer’s disturbing passage through the Bardo Plane. According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bardo is the existential phase between death and re-birth where the soul confronts itself, trying to stave off its karmic pressure by confronting the active contents of its mind. Here, the narrator must go beyond the rage that would destroy him and everything else it can. The narrative voice must annihilate itself to make irrelevant that American way of life it once perceived as a legitimate provocation to violence. The narrator’s rage, at one point taking the form of Ayn Rand, chomps away at itself with the same ferocity as the bullets he fired. The perceived universe—a syzygy with the voices of Al Pacino as animus and Diane Sawyer as anima—sounds hugely compassionate, allowing for a kind of redemption beyond morality, where language itself carries the soul into the beauty and love it’s always wanted…Really
Does the Moon Ever Shine In Heaven? invaded my dreams…I loved trying to figure out how Richardson did that…it's the first thing I've read in a long time that kept me tripping over myself at every moment in the best of ways. At a technical level, I'm amazed at the way Richardson was able to narratively stay in an "interior" space like that without letting everything slide into stultifying abstraction. You know what I mean: when a person tells you about a dream in great detail—it's usually captivating for about three seconds. What I love is the way [Richardson] generates fluctuating levels of diction and cultural reference that produce a constant pressure of confluence. I find myself thinking of Dante in Hoboken—or of a prayer wheel being set out in a hurricane. Italo Calvino gets some of this effect in his books of stories Cosmic Comics and T-Zero, and I'm also reminded of Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel

Daryl Scroggins, author of This Is Not the Way We Came In and Winter Investments

In Does the Moon Ever Shine in Heaven? Chuck Richardson sends Dostoekvsky's Notes From Underground into the information age: angst goes surreal, beyond identity, meets pop culture in the form of Captain Beefheart, Diane Sawyer, Ayn Ran, Michael Corleone and the beat goes on. A rampaging rip of a book that throws all expectation out the window—including normality itself. If you can handle the raucousness Richardson throws your way, you will laugh out loud. I did.
Jefferson Hansen is the author of a book of poetry, Jazz Forms (Blue Lion), plus a novel ...and beefheart saved craig (BlazeVox). He edits


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Poems

These are the first five in a new collection of poems tentatively called "-Response."

Richard Serra

              king on mult
                                  iple scales
                                                        ient tri
                                                                            flu id
                                                                             ring                                                                                  obdu                                                                                                              rate buoy                                                                                                                                          ancy a
                                                                         cross scale
                                                            multi-dimensional psycho


Sally Mann

mom peculiar
mendacious ambiguous fun
dog bones
chewed John Wayne
Bobbits naked pictures
of kids/goats/making human
being family objects
subjecting family subjects
objectively naked evolving
wild landscape families being
wild objects subjecting wildness

why not
it’s not so scary
you’ll get used to it [and
be glad
when you do]
she’s kind of sexy
but married what
’s more i
portend the aesthetic and amoral

Margaret Kilgallen/Barry McGee

flat street folk
“beauty is where the line wavers” says maggie
while i’m watching her
paint on her ladder
she’s kind of sexy up there
but hangs with

a found
cluster of imagined scenarios
on the street and in
hear train graffiti
foklore managing et trois
realizing it’s all friction
struggling to occupy space:
open/free vs. closed/monetary

space things will open in time
when we’re found

on the line

Pepon Osorio

someone was
murdered hear
a sacred seen a
space of coexistent contradictions
displacing inside with out
beyond the yellow tape
behind it
moving the human
body composing
decomposing hub
caps and portraits

a corner prophet
speaking easily

at the barber
shop celebrating
becoming macho
his own diasporas
the ones inside
his self feeling
how art works
black Jesus

His intervention
screwing the Beautiful with Alien morality
and getting crucified for It

an invasive displacement
a transgression at the crime scene
violating sacred space to plant His flag

while getting crucified for It

move along, nothing to see
where this artist whispers
gunning for It


Human Beings

Evil=a sub- or meta-conscious motivation sabotaging processes of self-maintaining disequilibria…or any cognitive entropy that would disrupt an artist’s work…The tighter I squeeze, the more It behaves like water.
There ain’t no fun humping a flat line.