the great unknown

Mohammed Ali

FADE IN: woman and man.

She: I was in a Uber car, well, really Lyft but you get what I mean. Jamal, my driver, asked me what I do. I said nothing. No really, I said, “Nothing,” all nonchalant and shit. He took a second to understand, much like me, really, I mean who says that?
I said nothing. Ugh. What kind of despicable human, am I?

A week later, I’m at this yoga retreat and someone asked me again. I was just about to answer Nothing, when I stopped myself and took a gulp of my piping hot apple cider, burning my mouth. And I pretended I didn’t hear him, or maybe I pretended to react like I was still thinking about what we just talked about. I looked stupid, is all. Well, if I’m not sure what your intentions are, I’m going to blow you off.

[beat]

I know damn well who I am. Why is it hard to say it, “Who me? Oh, sure, I’m an artist.” Or, “What do I do? I do greatness. I am greatness.”

Mohammed Ali would say “I’m the greatest,” so why can’t I?

[she laughs]

Continue reading “the great unknown”

good will

good will life changes

FADE IN:

Good Will Donations Center:

“It’s getting really bad out there now. I was on the 405 the other day, this truck was right up my ass. And, you know, I can get heated sometimes, my emotions can get the better of me. So he’s pushing at me. I ease the break a little and it shocks him, it causes him to hit his brakes even harder and step back a little. He looked furious. But you know, who knows what kind of guy he is. He can have a gun on him, you know. These days, you don’t know who’s behind a wheel and what they’re thinking, what their story is.

Two Thanksgivings ago, we lost our cousin to a shooting. He went with my other cousin to get a special ingredient for my mother’s turkey — it’s gotta be a specific brand, you know, the best of the best that truly saves the dish. So he goes to a supermarket that has a line of people waiting out front. And some guy runs right up and shoves himself in line before an older woman. This guy just pushes his way in, no acknowledgment of his behavior, nothing. My cousin tells the guy, in a gentle way ’cause he was always gentle like that, “Hey man, don’t do that. She’s an older lady and has been waiting in line for a while. Come on, man.” Now this guy goes into the supermarket, gets what he needs to, goes back to a car full of other sketchy guys. They drive around the supermarket maybe a couple of times until they see my cousin walking to his car. They drive up to him, wind down the window, bang-bang!, shoot him two times.

How can someone get over that, you know? It haunts me. But it also stops me from firing up as much these days, you know. My mother always told me, ‘Mijo, be patient. Let them do what they gotta do but don’t let them get to you.’ She was right. And I’m trying you know. I really am.”

third eye business

outta whack

FADE IN: friends over tea.

A: She said my chakras are outta whack.

B: All of them?

A: No, the one’s that count.

B: They all count.

A: The fuckin’ crown chakra and my third eye. My third eye, man! That’s the whole enchilada right there.

B: How bad?

A: Well, the crown is half closed and the third eye is completely shut.

A: Let me repeat myself: it’s fuckin’ shut.

B: Wow. That doesn’t sound like you.

A: You’re telling me! How the fuck do I open it?

B: Wait. Do you believe in that stuff?

A: Well, if you tell someone they’re shitty at something, it gets them going. Especially when you’re talking about the third eye business.

B: But what does that mean to you?

A: Fuckin’. I don’t know. Like God sits there or some shit. It’s serious business. God, I had a feeling, you know.

B: Come on.

A: I’m not fuckin’ playing. I had a feeling, it’s like I new it all along.

B: Okay, so what else did she say?

A: She told me to do this: [raising arms and speaking to the sky] “I SEE.”

B laughs.

A: [Laughing] Daily. Do it with me. [Arms stretched] “I SEE.”

B raises her arms.

A/B: I SEE.

 

FADE OUT.

 

what will you see?

I haven’t seen you in 15 years.
To think. I bet you look exactly the same.
I find myself slipping back into a daughter role, aching for her father’s attention and approval.

Oh, approval.
God, I wish I was… I was… so much more.
I want to impress you.
To be a statue, shining its significance into your daily brain.
Like a quality stamp not worth much but in a book.
Permanent (which nothing is), all powerful (we all know everything has cracks).

What will you see?
What will you say of me?
What will you want from me?
How will I be?

what do you see?

Continue reading “what will you see?”

loose yourself

Loose Yourself, Hafiz

Leave the familiar for a while.

Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Continue reading “loose yourself”

who cares

Who gives a fuck?
What for?
What experience do you seek?
It’s been too long.
There’s a gap.
You’re on the other side of it.

Really? Why?
Move on.
You’re late.
You never arrived.
Everything everyone says is true.
Listen to them.

Continue reading “who cares”

how it comes out

on writing Alex Dinelaris
“Writing doesn’t come easy to me. I don’t know what all these other writers are talking about, “Oh, I have this routine or that.” For me, it’s a painful existence. I start with structure. Structure, structure, structure. And then it’s torture for the rest of the time. I wait to the last minute to get things done, the final day, the final hour. It’s awful. When something comes to me I start vacuuming. My wife sees me and thinks, ‘Oh, good, an idea is forming.’
I go to Puerto Rico, rent a hut – and I mean a hut, where there’s nothing. No computers, no internet, no nothing. Where I’m forced to write. It’s eat, shit and write. And that’s where it gets birthed and a first draft is born.”
__
Alexander Dinelaris, writer of Birdman