These Last Moments

Journal Entry: Fri May 2, 2008, 8:57 AM
It was the last falling.
The moments slowed to a crawl
much slower than the grass could grow.
I felt warmth finally
but only in my eyes and my groin.
A dampness with no stain.
Inside my shell going colder fast.
I would say this prayer she taught me
but I forgot to whom.
The quaint fairy tales I remember,
part of me deep, so deep
they lay partially submerged in green mist.
The rain was such a soft sound as it puddles on my side.
It washes my tears into fertile ground seeds they wait.
Will I disappear?
Will I be remembered for anything?
Does it matter,
I think not for these tiny organisms
reach up into me with tiny sting of longing...
for something I wasted so long ago.

Transactions from The Edge

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 16, 2007, 9:19 AM
These were days I could remember quite well.
Days when the doors were all closed and painted curious shades of red.
I couldn’t tell you if it meant anything because.
I don’t know if anything meant anything at this point.
It all pointed down. So I wrote it down.
Someone told me you could lose everything important to you in one split second.
And they also said he would walk again, even as his limbs withered.
There were bridges I would sit under to feel what it felt like.
Textures of darkness we all look away from, color we don’t want to see.
These others they go there, those girls they laugh and they spit and choke.
And the boys… well they were just strange Polaroid smears, close-ups without focus.
But it all stained the same and all felt just right when the lights were bright.
The fluids dried on your skin and in your hair that you could never wash off.
You shudder those mornings you awoke to stranger sheets hanging from rafter thoughts.
I recorded it all in detached sublimation, a job I was never paid enough.
Journalism was always my strong suit in these more erratic days.
Just reporting from the field I saw the grass die under my feet.
There were no more second chances, no more brighter days.
Our dreams and fairy tales peddled to the highest bidder.
We were much too young for these transactions.

A Soldiers Gift

Journal Entry: Mon May 14, 2007, 10:10 PM

This thing that does not heal.
This weapon I have become, it fires with no more home.
I could never find a place a dream could grow.
These dark seconds at that moment of my transformation.
You see these holes that have torn through me.
Those rounds burn through, cauterizing veins.
That that flows through my heart.
Never to pass through me again.
I feel less then myself.
Stranger I have become.
There is no home this sepia morning.
Last chance to see a fleeting me.
I will never remember as my past slips to flat line emotions.
I am here, weapon I have become.
Casualty in this second breath.
Enemy around these corners, place that we hide.
These trades we make for a freedom, last turn on my way home.
Things I wish I could remember lost in this dusty haze.
Sands of my time slipping through my fingers.
All these things for you, and I don’t even remember your name.
Something I knew in another life.
Galaxies that swirl beyond my grasp, just planets dancing in lost time.
Tears of goodbye on our last night, slow dances remember.
But not me… a moment of sleep without dream is all I wish for now.
Executioners last glimpse in my restless slumber.
If I could only dream of last kisses, blue eyed wisps of your hair as it touches my face.
Only the moon remembers and you.
Only you remember who I used to be, innocence turn, sparklers on a summer night.
Those picket fences I miss so much.
Symbols of this righteous fight.
Even if won I will never know.
For this thing I have become.
I give to you everything good and all the dreams of love and freedom and innocence.
And so, this thing that will never heal, a gift to you from me.
Sinking in this sand, someday I will see the color blue again.
Oranges will rise for me as gentle innocence settles in my arms.
Safe and free, do you remember me.

by Chip Marks
To all the innocence that fight even for lies, They are real and I am sorry.

Dreams Unfold into Nothingness...

Journal Entry: Wed May 9, 2007, 7:43 PM

These cross-town junctions bleed me slowly
Under these bridges dreams float and I know what’s real.
Total fantasy in glass envelopes of your liking.
Crystal green pebble for your enjoyment,
where we hope the sun never shines.
I hide in these deeper shadows in hope of
low level maintenance of these slithy addictions.
Sunlight does not visit us down here.
Inhabitants under ribbons of some childlike obsession
They made these for sun seers, for the ones who live above me.
Like he said the haves and the have mores, I don’t know those beings.
They don’t live in these regions, special dark spaces for our secret.
We bury our own down here while, they bury there dead up there.
In the last final seconds we both meet in the in between
I live under these bridges, places we feed,
dream and lights flicker in cannons of prayer.
Highways lost we come to our end of the roads,
destination final wave, classic goodbyes.
I wished I lived here but alas,
I live above in tinted glass realities,
These passing bridges fly by,
taking my breath away with flickering moments of darkness.
In these places my soul lives, light jitters,
blood flows, dark bridges mourning.
And in that moment in between,
I thought I saw you, pure ownership.
Godlike reverence to the power you hold, the power I give.
Then I am awaken on long stretches of highway
I do not know nor do I care anymore.

The Forever Word

Journal Entry: Sun Nov 19, 2006, 10:01 AM

You know the one that never goes away.
I have learned this lesson in slow motion time.
She told me words are eternal and now I believe.
Anger comes second to the demands of a greedy child.
Syllables split the air and pull silent endearment into dark pools of goodbye
Those words never disappeared, they never went away, but she did, forever.
And then there is the word that reveals something.
Those things I keep underground, verbs I have yet to throw.
This coldness goes very deep or maybe not but nevertheless revealing.
Timing is everything in comedy and in death down to the clock.
I fade away with tears that just seem to be there, not massive sadness, just dull loss.
And I am alone, and if possible barely known.
How many times alone in a crowd?
Doesn’t mean as much as it seems.
But that dull emptiness, the one you endure daily.
A gently melting of my heart.
They were just words, vibrations in sync with intellect and hatred.
Accidental sentences. All these thing I love and hate.
The elitism and intolerance I never want the world to know.
Who am I, let me paint you frescoes and portraits of shiny green
I am better then that, so you thought.
I am alone and there is a reason, and it’s not so hard to see.
I’m no one in this puzzle of simplicity.
Just a voice too stupid to see, and eye to blind too speak

These Hiding Places

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 14, 2006, 8:39 AM

I think about these new hiding places. Maybe they are not so new for a lot of us, these places we go to get away from all the confusion and insanity. It is these little nooks and crannies that offer us diversion and relief from the responsibility of living a caring, humane life. It isn’t always an easy task to care about others, especially when we want to and, considering that the need in the world is so staggering and that the haves and have-nots are so disproportionate.

We go to these places because they exist for us, or so it seems, for cultural, entertainment and educational purposes. We think we deserve this respite; it is our entitlement for living in America, this bastion of freedom and democracy and lord knows we work so hard building this country, don’t we. As Americans, we think that we are the greatest, most advanced country in the world. We take pride in living in a land where all men are created equal and it is our right to pursue happiness, and we would assume that that is true for all men and woman. It is also our freedom to have these places, these hiding places like MTV and E! Entertainment channels to see how the stars and the heroes of our world live their lives. We want to know about their cribs and their secrets and their loves, all those mysterious things that we wish we could live out in our fantasies. You know, how the other half lives.

We love their movies (more places for us to hide), and we love their music. For myself, I particularly love the old movies of the black and white variety. It is ironic that those stories are told in a cinematic style that suggests something different than the world we live in today, and I believe those times were different. In those days gone by things were black and white. Evil seemed much more definable, clear cut and obvious. These places we go to hide and immerse ourselves in, they comfort us from the confusing, insane world we perceive on the other channels. The channels that show us their “truth” whether fair or balanced or not, it is still filled with death and destruction on scales we can not seem to wrap our minds around.

In these vulnerable states of confusion and horror our minds are very fertile for explanations of “why”. Why is all this death happening? Our minds are ripe for the planting of ideologies with the soul purpose of giving us relief; like a drug they will give us hope, the hope that it will all be okay if we do not take action ourselves, but allow someone else to take action for us. Our proxies are ready, willing and able to meat out the punishment to the offenders and violators of our serenity.

It is so easy for a commentator, most with agendas either liberal or conservative, to give us a reason; a reason that, to them, explains the issues all in one fell swoop. I hear these reasons in my discussions and debates with acquaintances and friends. One such explanation from an example used to illustrate this is “they kidnapped those two Israeli soldiers”, obviously in reference to the latest insanity in the Middle East. Or “they lobbed some rockets into Israel and so Israel was totally justified in the complete and utter decimation of Lebanon’s infrastructure”, and more. It is not the purpose of this article to defend Hezbollah or any other group as to why they attack, or retaliate against powers much greater and well-supplied than they are. The whole “two soldier kidnapping” scenario does seem rather absurd and over-simplified in the light of a lot of facts that remain hidden or not reported on. Nevertheless, it is regurgitated at the water coolers and, in most cases, if any question arises about the US’s motives, or the US having played part in anything even remotely resembling terrorism, or US-sponsored terrorism (as many on the wrong end of the gun or bomb would describe it), most people will glaze over and display a look of utter disbelief at the thought that our country could ever have any part in a terrorist act against any population.

We won’t even get into the case of American sponsored actions (terrorism?) against Cuba (
[link]) as that has become a joke to the whole world. Here is a little-known fact: it illegal for an American to purchase Cuban cigars because of the embargo against Cuba, but it is also illegal for an American to even consume a Cuban cigar abroad.

The point here is that researching the truth is just too much trouble for most Americans, though there are a lot of people that will research to the point of maintaining their agendas. It seems that looking far enough to make your point is all that is needed, and that it becomes truth when they find it spun the way they want. I think an excellent tool for research is to find out the quantity of innocent people killed or maimed and then find a way to justify it. The results of such research and their reaction to it would be quite interesting given one’s spiritual or religious persuasion and beliefs. Morals get very shaky, and justifications weak when the dead bodies of children are lying in the sun.

Life is too fast these days for research. We barely have time for our own children much less to do the research that may give us a true soul. We must take the time to find the truth that might spawn us to action to stop such terrible acts being carried out today in the name of liberty and freedom, or so it is labeled. I will refer to the research model of innocent bodies versus justifiable political action or intent again.

Oil and other natural resources seem to be the underlying reason as to why we try to bring liberty and freedom and attempt to pull the yoke of oppression off people like the citizens of Iraq. Without Middle East oil, our American way of life withers. We would become like the rest of the world, heaven forbid. I realize we are told that our consumerism (greed) drives the economies of the entire world and brings the standard of living up for all peoples. This may not be so true of the countries involved in sweat shop style labor practices or countries where labor unions are almost non-existent.

There is a lot of capital that flows to these countries and it is lauded as progress for people and we trumpet our wonderful society for giving those countries the ways and means to start to realize a standard of living like our own. If we look deeper we may see something we do not wish to know about, and that is a small minority of people benefiting at the expense of many workers forced to work in intolerable conditions at pathetic wages. They live the life of our own country’s upper class. Some of our leaders would even try to tell us that this is a good thing and that those people would have nothing if they did not have this meager pittance tossed to them like a bone to a dog.

We won’t even get into the NAFTA mess and American corporations breaking strikes in America with the threat of moving their manufacturing facilities to Mexico or other third world countries. The whole UAW Debacle at Caterpillar (
[link] ), if you care to research it, is another incredible example of what is going on in the labor area. The new totalitarianism of corporations is frightening.

It seems these places that comfort us, especially in the media, are the same corporations that give us the “truth”, depending on the flavor of the truth we wish to imbibe. These megalithic conglomerates are so good at knowing what we need (considering they have spent billions studying exactly that, our needs), why should we not trust them implicitly? I am not talking about our needs for shelter and food, etc. I am talking about our needs for comfort and truth. They are part and parcel in the creation of these terrible inequities in all these “hotspots” in the world, and then, like a nurturing, protective grandfather they point the finger at the culprits and shape “the truth” for us based on demographics and focus group data. Too much of the wrong kind of truth may affect the buying patterns of a population, you know.

Scary worlds with scary monsters, it’s almost too much to take, but then they give us these hiding places where we can curl up and let Frank Capra mold a soothing story where there truly are guardian angels like Clarence helping the George Baily’s of the world against evil, corporate billionaires (ironic, isn’t it?) like Mr. Potter… and in the end, who would we rather have tell us it’s a wonderful life than the ever-honorable James Stewart?

It is truly easy to believe that motherly love is alive in the persona of Donna Reed, even if it is far away from the child who has lost her mother to the AIDS epidemic spreading through Africa. Surely those same corporations we trust with our truth and our comfort could not have had anything to do with such a horrible thing. (
[link] ).

I like my place, my comfort zone. I can laugh all alone and even cry when it all comes out okay in the end. It is truly an art to be able to flip channels with my remote and miss the “Feed the Children” infomercials. These montages and pleas for help would surely destroy these good feeling I have. The people of America are good folks; they truly are, in most cases. But truth is not given, it is sought, and it is not easy to find. A person has to be diligent and wary and persistent. FOX News is not going to just hand us the truth. CNN is not going to put it on a silver platter for us. They, like many other corporate news/truth vendors, have an agenda and it goes much deeper then we will ever know.

You will never see the hard truth about what you pay for with your taxes, such as smart bombs and the truth about what they do to a human body, or the truth that we fund the destruction of children as the number one exporter of land mines in the world. (
[link] ) I wonder sometimes about the person driving their Lexus with a portfolio full of GE stock ([link]) or Lockheed Martin stock, if they ever connect the dots. I wonder if owning stock in a company ([link]) whose business is about the destruction of the human body, especially a human body we do not understand, makes it hard for that person to sleep at night. I also wonder if they say their prayers at night before slipping into a blind slumber… “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take”.

God help them. God help us… to see.

We do dearly need monsters!

Journal Entry: Sat Sep 9, 2006, 9:52 AM

There are no monsters. As much as we long for monsters there aren’t any anymore. I really believe we NEED a monster(s) today. It may be the only thing that can save this country or perhaps the world.

The only monsters we get are the creeps on the news and the mundane warmongers who are hardly interesting at all. Though they are hugely destructive, much more than Frankenstein under my bed, they are banal beyond my comprehension, they hardly deserve consideration as monsters of the classic variety.

A true monster motivates a whole town, like in “The Blob”, or a whole country to unite to save itself. So many monsters, so little time. Some monsters are so wonderful they actually drive an entire solar system or galaxy to become part of a force for good. Ahh, The Force. Yes, Let the Force be with You.

It occurred to me while watching a movie with Molly in a theatre not long ago that there is no real mystery anymore. We go to scary movies and hope that something will happen. The evil little girl will come up out of the well and turn around in the seat in front of me and drive me to commit some act of good and protectiveness for all the people in the theatre, to save them all from this monster. I would do this of course with no thought for myself, only for the good people that so innocently paid the price of admission.

I think we all long for something to jump out and actually be there, a real monster. Something we can rally around and fight together. I can’t fight global warming with my neighbors. I mean, I can, but it’s hardly a good fight with laser weapons or pitch forks and axes. My God, I long for a torch on a stormy night.

We need something we can defeat together. Some way we can come together and find a way to love one another in our holy alliance to destroy the diabolical intruder who has disrupted our serenity or, more truthfully, our uninteresting banal lives and our mild hatred for our fellow man. This monster can not be human either, we are bored with human monsters, and we have all become calloused by Lt. William Calley crimes, My Lai? He lied? Who lied? Yes, yes I know. The photos were horrendous but I see worse every night on my plasma.

It seems there is a quiet monster in our midst, hardly even a real monster but a little pest, like those Furbies gone bad, that would have it that we should hate each other. Not that we should have a high grade hatred for one another but a mild “Class C” disgust with our neighbor. This little gremlin is so good at creating this simple jealousy for consumer items and wives and skinny MTV type children that we would do just about anything to get what we want including work in intolerable conditions for companies built around corporate totalitarianism for things we all know we don’t believe in, but must pretend we do.

I loved to watch “War of the Worlds”, what lovely monsters. We need monsters, we need zombies coming back from the dead. We need to have a nasty, stitched-together menace reach up from underneath our beds and grab us.

I used to think that something special could happen for some ethereal reason that would make this life something special like a dream, or that bad people truly would “get theirs” so to speak. “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” but damn it could he at least send me pictures?! Things do not work that way.

When I was a young lad I thought about the 70’s and the 80’s and, oh my God, the year 2000 was a dream. I was so excited at the prospect of all this, dream houses and flying cars, but the space age dream never came true.

Late at night with my best friends, in our PJ’s with popcorn and that old black and white TV, we would watch Universal Picture Monster movies and I was truly scared. I really thought that something could reach up and grab my foot and pull me under. Ghosts, surely they exist and would haunt us the way they do in the movies. I wait and I look around and I check under my bed now and then, but nothing. I walk out to the alley in the middle of the night to take out the trash, still nothing. I look to the sky… nothing.

I am in the habit of turning on the news every morning before I get up just to see if something horrible has happened, like 911, or maybe the saucers are here and we might have a fight with a real enemy, a real monster. Somehow a fight with a disgruntled rich kid from Saudi Arabia doesn’t seem like much of a challenge, plus he looks so sweet in his robes, kind of like Jesus’ uncle Saul with an AK; not a monster, even though he may be indirectly responsible for some truly horrendous acts against innocent people, but… a monster? Mmm, I don’t think so. Not the kind that can rally a planet.

If an alien with four long fingers had funded the genocide of the Kurdish people by the Turks well, hmm, maybe that would qualify as a monster, but alas, it was just the American State Department… hardly a multi-headed monster. Hmm, well maybe, but we will leave that for another day. Our corporate/business controlled government has carried out incredibly monstrous acts against so many countries either by proxy or directly in the name of raping natural resources, but it falls so short of The Mummy vs. The Wolfman. Now that was scary. I really was riveted to the TV watching these two beasts on that rainy night in the battlement of that old castle as they fought to the death.

It seems today I need a chainsaw hacking monster to make me sit up and take notice. I am bored stupid with smart bombs. I never see the result of these monstrous weapons. I feel cheated. My tax dollars pay for these weapons of mass destruction, you would think I would be at least allowed to see what a monster I am for funding the ripping of innocent (in most cases) flesh. I am only told how messy they are… and how right it was for my government to use these gifts from God against such horrible monsters. I begin to wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg, the IED or the mortar round.

I lackadaisically turn the channel to Nip/Tuck. Turn the monsters into beauties, please.

And so about that "Good Life"

Journal Entry: Sat Sep 9, 2006, 9:53 AM

Life in these United States is so wonderful with all of these incredible things and conveniences and stuff, stuff and more stuff. It is everywhere, and the comfort for those who live above the poverty line is like a dream if you actually can view it from a perspective that the rest of the world, or shall I say Third World, could see it.

Now for those lucky enough to be in the middle class, they are so much farther above anything known in third world countries, beyond what most villagers or your average Afghani child could ever imagine. I was holding Neo the other day and the blanket was so soft and he was in my arms so perfectly nestled and I thought about my existence. I thought about babies in Afghanistan or Sierra Leon or Somalia. I wonder how warm they are in the arms of those who love them? I think about these conveniences because it seems almost like a dream that my family and I have been so blessed.

But these things… it seems like overkill. Maybe they think that flooding me with all these consumable and by the sheer volume of it all that the odds are I will buy SOMETHING and make this blitz worth it to them profit-wise. I am sure that by the incredible penetration into the lives of so many consumers they are reaping a flood of profit. By now, maybe there is a different motive here. Five hundred channels of infomercials on things I NEED!?! Most of these things are so absurd anyway or have so little meaning in my life.

I become groggy just flipping the channels, and perhaps this is the intent, that I become more and more dull and unaffected by anything of any meaning (this will become clear later), nevertheless what concerns me most about all of it is not so much MY LIFE and what I have gotten used to as a consumer, and what it would be like if it was reduced to a reasonable level or for that matter a very low level. You know that big fear we all have of losing things like the E! Channel or Plastic Surgery stories but, at what true cost do we live this way?

The TV does not show me, after every Coke commercial or every Lexus ad, a child with a vulture lying in waiting for it to fall down unconscious. In the face of the AIDS pandemic and severe poverty, over 100 million of the poorest and most vulnerable primary school-aged children currently not in school cannot afford to wait any longer. Little known fact: the industrial nations have made a commitment to eliminate world illiteracy by 2017 (primary school only). The UK has donated already 1.4 billion dollars and committed 15 billion over the next 10 years. The USA has committed only 465,000; the USA share of the commitment is 3.7 billion.
[link] If all these commitments were made then the goal would be reached, but it seems there are much more pressing needs for the US. Third world countries and their resources are essential for the people in the west to continue to enjoy their “standard” of living.

The diamonds that have been extracted from the continent of Africa could feed all the nations on that continent for eternity. The diamonds that are advertised by DeBeers when they say “A diamond is forever”, well, that slogan takes on a whole new meaning. What an expression of love, I shall give the woman I love a diamond extracted from the misery of an entire continent.

Mexico's rich, ruling elite fantasize about being like American rich people. They do everything they can to mimic our way of life, while their poor rot and starve and struggle to feed one child. America supports this ruling class, giving them all the incentives to continue with no pressure to raise their citizenry to tolerable living conditions. The American public is made to feel that we should despise the people trying to sneak into this country to have a better life when our own government has supported the corruption of the government in Mexico. Of course they want to come here, what other hope do they have?

Behind every wonderful convenience we have here in America is the suffering of someone, the sacrifice of another. It is hard to imagine not having all these wonderful things and not building our futures around such a lifestyle, but when we realize how all this is an illusion and behind it is the suffering of others and we just let corporate proxies do our dirty work, it becomes much like a juicy steak; we enjoy eating it but don't realize the brutality in the creation of it. We would much rather someone else do our butchering.

Theory of loss

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 8, 2006, 6:31 AM

A mild-mannered milkman stumbles onto a career in the boxing ring.
Cast: Harold Lloyd, Adolphe Menjou, Verree Teasdale

I realize I am not very interesting anymore.
But why would you leave me this way?
Because I sit and stare at the TV while it is off?
Is that any reason for you to forsake me?
My canvas' are white, is that not enough?
I keep buying paint and paper, art supplies I so desperately need.
For I am an artist am I not?
You said so.
You said I was so talented, amazing was one of your words... and now?
Now you move on to others.
Ones that pale to my brilliance.
Past brilliance...
Now I watch and wait.
Wait for you to come and see me.
To see my wonderful creations... but you must look closer.
Deeper into this extraordinary crack that I have fallen into.
In here I have built these shining glass menageries filled with your favorite things.
The things I know you love so you will come and see.
See that I am just tosh... useless now