A Pirate Told Me This

There are legends about us you know- legends and knock knock jokes. What the fuck happened to piracy over the last few years? One day we’re boogeymen the next minute we’re movie stars and children’s attractions and hyperbolic comedy figures. Worst of all is now we’re fashionable.

I’ve read about all the greats that came before me, Anne Bonny, Mary Read… what makes them better pirate queens than me is that they had the good sense to come and go when it was still a man’s game. They had the novelty of being first, lucky bitches. If I had my say I would have been born in the early nineteenth century, when romantic meant gunpowder and adultery. I didn’t become a pirate to break copyright laws, goddamnit, I became a pirate for the sole purpose of being a pirate.

If there is any difference at all between terrorism and piracy, that’s it; terrorists have a motive, to spread terror. Pirates only see that as a fringe benefit of the job. We have no motives. We’re anarchists to anarchists, and we love it.

He said that about me? When? I wouldn’t put the idea past him, but I wouldn’t necessarily trust him with it, not him, not anymore. I’ve seen him staring through the threshold of the great be-damned, and not even give a shit enough to sweat, but something’s different now. Someone must have put the fear of God into him. Funny, that. Fear of God. You can know the devil all your life, shake hands with him, make him your friend, but one thing gets a little too out of hand and all of a sudden you’ve got the fear of God in you. Still, I’d see him again. If he isn’t too afraid of me.

Did I tell you I’ve been writing a very specific kind of fan-fiction where Ringo kills and eats the rest of The Beatles for making fun of his big nose so much? No? I’ll show you some drafts when we get back. I don’t want to say anything more, could spoil it.

He used to read to me a lot. No- not Ringo! We’d be lying under this big apple-suckiling tree and he’d read from an old tome that I think some wise-man had given him a while back. I began to love a lot of the poetry from those old days, and now the only people I miss in the world are people I’ve never met. Mostly dead, white, English guys. The exact kind of people I wish to avoid on the mortal plain. Maybe I miss him a bit, too. But fuck it. Let him come to me if he wants his whiskey.

He seemed pretty tired, the last time I saw him. He probably still is. I remember him best, being tired.

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A Cowboy Told Me This

I don’t fear the gun – a lot of respectable people get shot. I don’t fear the blade, it’s a coward, it’s ashamed of itself, it’s got no creed or conscious. I don’t fear the fire, if it takes me I’m sure it will have earned my life. I only fear the gallows. I only fear the noose. I fear their earnestness and their righteousness. I fear the justice they bring.

Don’t tell me what happened. I don’t want to hear about it now. Don’t talk to me about angels, I know about angels, I don’t need to hear what they do in their off-time. And don’t tell the others about my visions, it will only trouble them, they’ll take me right back to the church and I don’t need that most of all. If you can tell me one thing – one thing in the whole world. Tell me about her. It’ll do me some good, I’ll be the audience instead of the spectacle for once. Just don’t hold your hands out for any more, I won’t give you anything, least of all my hands. Seriously. Stop it.

Can I trust you? I mean, if there was a gun in my back pocket and you were starving, could I turn my back? Don’t give me that look. You don’t fear what I fear, we can never be that close. Fine. Fine. Your word then, that’ll do fine.

You’ve heard the one about the philosophers on the mountain? They debated the meaning of existence while the the world came to an end. I guess that kind of describes my relationship with women.

I used to be the type, you know, ‘Lord, I’m Discouraged’, but I figure the only thing worth praying to is the sun. It wakes me in the morning, when it leaves I know it is time to rest. It keeps me warm – when it can – and allows me to eat what it grows. It illuminates my shadows and guides my journeys. Its angels are the stars, they help me map my world. Its only son is the moon, and you already know how much that’s done for me. I pray to the sun everyday, but I never ask it for anything, no, that would be presumptuous and greedy. I only pray to it. Meditate with it. The sun is a very good listener.

To answer your question from before, no. I don’t. Mostly I just hope she stays alive.

I’d Rather Be In Africa

I’d rather be in Africa, arms swinging ‘gainst a crescent midnight sun, singing drenched in fearless freedom, Walt Whitman on my tongue, a beautiful woman on my mind, needless of either but excited from both, stripped to bare, bearing no weight beyond the words of my brothers and the actions of the immediate future, skin-kissed softness, espousing the earth and all its families, familiarity with anything willing to do like-wise, fertility fresh between my limbs, lying lengthwise on open-plain hills like lambs with happy, lethargic intentions, then without advance, running, sprinting, galloping, hurdling, charging, flying through the welcome landscape, trying to take a bite out of the backdrop, strands of purity erupting from my marrow, tomorrow never willing to show its face, tonight triumphant everlasting, boundless and infinite, fathomless  to the leaves of grass who watch and wonder as the wind through a pan-flute calms the ocean sky and I, child and lover to my contemporaries of the jungle, finding my place in the world, through all dimensions arriving there …  as a natural.

An Agnostic Goes To Church – The Final Book

Catch up with the first two installments here and here

My first assumption of the priest was that he had never met a microphone he didn’t like. Visions of an outdoor baptismal danced through my head as he pranced around the stage, speaking with that deliberate inflection unique to men of the cloth. Apparently the homily had already begun, the topic; rebirth. How apt; here I was, fresh from Cathoholics Anonymous, being preached about reentering the faith by a charismatic clergyman. Well played, God, you win this round!

Watching the priest, a few unfair words popped into my mind. Theatrical, I thought, showmanship, disingenuous. I retained the bias that ultimately these people were in it for some ulterior motive; this is common among us cynics, we can’t comprehend how the religious can dedicate themselves so fully to something we find silly, like when a normal person goes to a Star Wars convention and can’t believe so many people would spend so much time devoted to something that’s not relevant in the slightest. Still though, I was not impressed with the preacher, despite his charming appeal. He cracked a few jokes, waved his hands around and spoke intelligently, but about nothing concrete, like always.

I couldn’t resist

“Rebirth, as when Jesus conquered the grave and rose to seat at the right hand of the father. This was His divine right and he doesn’t ask any of us to do the same, not to rise from the dead, but to rise from whatever sin or debauchery we find ourselves in and become reborn.”

I held back the urge to vomit. Continue reading

An Agnostic Goes To Church – The Second Book

[Check out part one right… here]

My first impression of the Peace Portal Alliance Church was that it sure was a big sonofabitch. The parking lot accommodated enough cars to fill STM three times over, and the church itself towered over its followers like cathedrals of old Europe. The flock congregated towards their place of worship with quiet anticipation and my friend raced through the halls to get a good seat before the show started.

Having been a good little catholic boy for the majority of my life, I knew the basic ins and outs of a church service; but this one was Protestant. I imagined it couldn’t be that different from what I knew as a wee child, the only recognizable difference I understood about this denomination is that they thought the pope was just some old bastard with a pointy hat. The church I was familiar with was pretty small compared to this spiritual behemoth, and the inside was a completely different gospel.

Apparently they had modeled the building off of GM Place. Pews were a thing of the past; each seat was individual, plastic, and numbered down the aisle. I half expected the customary drink holder to be attached to the back of every chair, especially with the large number of fat white-bread people in the audience. My local pastor, as I remember him at least, would’ve called the Vatican squad if someone tried this at his church. Already things were different. I walked through the double doors and into the actual church room filled with Protestants. I didn’t burst into flames. So far so good. I decided I would keep track of all the sins I committed while in the holy house of God, just to get the virtuous perspective on the experience; who knows, maybe I could make a proper zealot after all! Continue reading

An Agnostic Goes To Church – The First Book

While voyaging through my back catalogue of pointless poetry and inane articles, I found this bad boy just waiting to see the light of day. I penned it an unspecified amount of time ago, and thought “fuck it, those bastards down at Grub Street can have it until Raihan ponies up and signs my new contract so I can get back to listing which songs I most want to hear while skinny dipping” …or something.

Please, enjoy.

Jostling back and forth in the beaten down Mazda I found myself wondering exactly how I came to be dressed in my, err, Sunday best, heading to a Protestant church I’d never heard of to attend a mass I feel no connection with. The story begins the previous night when my friend asked me to ‘tag along’ with her to her friendly neighborhood house of worship. My immediate answer was ‘no’; however, upon thinking it over, my revised answer was ‘GOD no!’ I hated the idea of waking up early, dressing myself in some uncomfortably unoffending attire, and sitting through at least an hour of fire and brimstone. If I wanted to hear paradoxical speeches about how I’m loved but at the same time I need to change everything I’m doing I’d start a conversation with my parents. (Ba-ZING!)

Continue reading

Poems For The Internet

Hi there. How are you? I’ve been good, just busy. Yea, I know, I should have called, told you I wasn’t going to be around the blog much, but I was concentrating on filming a little movie and it got away from me… I swear I wasn’t cheating on you with another blog! I’m not saying I don’t think about it occasionaly, I mean, don’t you visualize about reading better blogs sometimes, maybe ones with more insight and less immaturity? Anyway, I’m back now, for the most part, and I promise I’ll try to be around more often, you know, for the kids. I’ll write actual things later, but for now, have this.

A crying poet laid on my chest and told me my heart didn’t sound like that of the man she loved, that mine was louder, and it got me thinking of the girl I saw to get over you and how she will never know the difference between two men’s hearts, how the sailing man she’s seeing now will be as transient as I was, and how her mousy features and big tits will do little for her when she realizes the most profound effects of love will pass her by without recognition, leaving her withered and alone, but you and I don’t have to worry about things like that because we’ve talked, and I know you’re a real person in that you could never be written, you could never be the concoction of an artist’s mind or the creation of some fledgling author, your authenticities are etched into the ghosts of your face and the shape and form of your words, branded into how your laugh sounds like bounding down a staircase, how you pat your arms on your hips when you’re looking for a hug, or how you cry in front of  someone you care for the way most people cry with their faces buried in pillows, and that’s what makes you a person unlike so many people around me, and it’s probably what makes me love you but maybe that’s not a flight for my wings, not until I lay with you in a damp, laden field and get out of you all the misery, woe and heartbreak that makes you the kind of girl who defends the man who hurt her because she believes in first loves being true loves, not until I stand with you on top of an impregnable castle staring into the Pacific and spouting poeticisms written before we were born by men and women we miss but have never known, not until I see you in my dreams only to wake and see you in my bed will I ever be able to talk to you about time, about my time, the times I’ve stuffed into my socks or rolled up in wet newspapers and thrown to the dogs, the times that remain no more than half-memories I pin to the planks of wood above my bed, times I share only with phantoms and specters, knowing they’ll be all that much more spiritual when I give them to you, like when I left the girl that hurt me and went running through the streets singing born to run, only to fall on my ass, and see that I had bruised my knee, and from then on wore it proudly like the purple heart of a Vietnam war veteran who never learned how to properly fire his gun, or the time I told you a parable when I was without wisdom or ingenuity, and more, I’ll be able to tell you about all my times yet to come, the ones I won’t just give to you but dedicate to you, along with my words, my opinions, my reactions, my emotions, my sanities, my replies, my defenses, my sense of righteousness, my obligatory riddles, my meanderings through the past, my visions of a higher purpose, my incessant need to capture those goddamn moments when everything is alright, not just beautiful or perfect, but alright, and they’re mine and they’re no one else’s, yet I would do or give anything to share them with someone I could easily share those kinds of things with, and not wonder secretly to myself if they were just indulging me, no, but understand it’s as much for her as it is for me, and reach an unenlightened state of nirvana, the kind where the only knowledge you have is the fact that you prefer to love someone than to spout your declarations of dedication into a void, that it’s better to spin and circular and surge through the infinite night space with someone next to you

It’s good to be back on Grub Street