Flash Fiction: Tarik

This is the Rope;

30 feet long, the length of five good-sized men, 3/4″- 1″ diameter, thick, heavy manila hemp rope, boiled and stretched, taut, no give, waxed, soaped or greased

In the morning

His unheated cell

A hole in the floor

Years in prison

The beady eyes watch as the guards place him in the glass enclosure. That’s when he sees his children.

 

This is the noose;

A slipknot, coiled 13 times, thick, placed under the left ear to slide up easy against the flesh

The former prime minister

vanquished

How they’ve grown, he marvels, seeing them, his feet cuffed, his fight gone, the great mystery upon him. He wants to reach out to them.

 

This is the human neck;

Jugular veins, arteries, a portion of esophagus, vocal cords or larynx, cervical spine, muscles interlaced with seven cervical vertebrae and eight pairs of nerves

As he steadies himself, sharp pains run through his scrotum where for months they zap him day in and day out. When he shifts his weight, left to right, heat zings through his legs up and through the left side of his neck and, like a lasso, around to his right shoulder.

 

This is the Long Drop;

The prisoner’s body weight multiplied by the length of fall and the force of gravity (approximately 1,100 ft lbs), coupled with the slip knot against the left ear, jerks the head backwards and sideways violently with a cracking sound and fractures/dislocates the upper neck vertebrae, between C2 & C3, crushes and severs the spinal cord.

“Daddy,” Marseilles calls to him.

“My little M,” Tarik answers with lightness that surprises him. “My little M, you’re so handsome.”

 

In

khaki shorts

a belt

a freshly ironed

white shirt

 

His older sister, Bennie they call her, towers over him. She’s flowered, too.

 

Her

black hair long

to her

waist

her skin

bright

shining

her silky blouse

white

She studies her father. Anxiety lines her face.

The Drop

The compounded force severs the carotid arteries and the jugular veins and the neck constricts by as much as five inches. In the extreme, decapitation rips the head from the body which flops to the floor, twitching like a freshly caught fish.

The guards, his people, not the invaders who come everyday, who jeer and zap, step back, recede professionally. He gets to know them and they are all right. They have a job and he respects and understands their responsibilities.

“Daddy, when will you come home?” Marseilles says.

Bennie turns away, grabbing Marseilles, whispers something in his ear.

 

Resist or

assimilate

Tarik whispers

to himself

 

My boy who

Resisted

 

Marseilles

My girl who

Fled not

The bombs

 

Bennie

 

My girl who

Would not assimilate

 

Unlike the guards

who

live

 

Option# 1

Hood – when witnesses prefer not to see the faces and the eyes of those about to die and after hanging, their bodies suspended, the same eyes enlarged, popped out of the skull or in their heads separated from the body

The oppressed assimilate. Those who refuse, die.

We can’t

understand

who

we become

until

the end

 

Option #2

Pinioning – strapping or handcuffing hands and feet prevents the condemned from latching onto protuberances and/or straddling trap doors

“Can I touch them?” he asks the guards and reaches into emptiness, his wrists bound.

Marseilles hesitates, looks at his sister, who shakes her head. Tarik realizes the awkwardness.

One

of the guards

turns his head

Tarik rolls his shoulders.

“Sometimes,” he says to Marseilles, “I have to take one step and move my arm like this and then I feel better,” forcing a smile through the lightning pain.

Bennie bites her lip, presses her hand against her neck and the lower part of her jaw, traces a line under her left ear.

“I think we have to go,” she announces, tapping Marseilles on the shoulder. “We should go. We will wait for you.”

“Thank you for coming,” Tarik says to them as one of the guards steps forward.

Option # 3

Clothing – prison jumpsuit or white shirt

As they begin to dissolve, as Tarik loses sight of them, as the mystery approaches, the other guard comes alongside him.

“Your shirt, he says. “I will button to the top for you.”

Tarik listens.

“It is a white shirt” he asks, “isn’t it?

Marseilles and

Bennie

fade

become

wisps

as they slip

the black hood

over his face

as they button

the white shirt

against his neck

under the

slip knot

as he drops

as his body

flops hard

twitching onto

the concrete

The beady eyes gloat. As Tarik appears, Marseilles and Bennie shimmer with excitement.

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Flash Fiction: Lanky

you get crazy away from people, we make you crazy in this world

~ ~ ~

In the deep summer, everything dries out and the wood fear the fire.

With so much to tell, Lanky Everett hurries into town. A good six foot five, Lanky runs, half coobles up the small rise, thoughts a thousand miles a minute.

“Gotta tell ’em,” he reminds himself as images pour through his brain.

Lanky is country, born and raised northern Alabama, believes in the confederacy, flies a confederate flag over his mobile. Lives deep in the woods. Goes into town ever now and then to hear the old men tell stories at the pavilion near the courthouse.

Where they ain’t watching for him. Where they ain’t listening to him.

When it gets too hot, and this is one them days, there’s no cloud cover, they got to go inside to tell their stories at the lunch hour.

And they can tell stories. The best stories that people can ever want to hear. About the ol’ days and ol’ glory. Don’t let anybody tell you different about the South. Those were glory days.

Well now, he has something to tell. And when he tells, everbody will want to hear. Everbody will remember ol’ Lanky always wanted to do good.

“Gotta tell ‘em,” he says, breaking into a jog.

Lanky is all athlete growing up. But for one thing.

Throws a football spot-on, shoots basketballs all day, through the net with that sweet swishing sound, fires fastballs, curves, sliders, changes wherever his catcher wants and hits bottle tops, rusty nails or deer heads with any gun, rifle or knife.

Till that day the fastball came out of his hand crazy-like, like it had a mind all its own and went for Tommy Cryder’s head.

Even then, Lanky could never run worth a lick.

After Tommy went down and couldn’t get up, from home plates to first bases, from dugouts to pitchers’ mounds, from benches to center jumps, Lanky’s legs would get stiff like concrete like when he stood on the mound looking at Tommy Cryder’s bleeding head, until he could run no more, till he never wanted to throw or shoot anything ever again.

But today’s gonna be different. He’s not gonna be the Lanky none of ‘em sees, none of ‘em hears, anymore. Maybe, jus’ maybe, Tommy’s watching down on him. Maybe Tommy sees him.

He moves

He skedaddles

Keep the pictures and sounds exactly right, that’s what he’s gonna do. They’ll listen to him. They’ll listen to Lanky because he wants to do good.

Stars

so far away

telescopes

probes

They don’t come in peace. And they ain’t big and monstrous, that’s not what they are. That part makes him wild with wanting to tell.

All your life you live in the country, away from city lights and electricity, you see night things.

Floating

Darting

Hovering

Tommy’s eyes

That fastball

Eating up

On him

Outside his trailer, when they come out of the woods, he thinks they’re a trio of weird-looking, fatheaded June bugs, almost like round bloody baseballs on little insect bodies.

1

2

3

Strikes

 

You

Shouda

Been

Out

Tommy Cryder

 

Almost

Like that

Not

Bleedin

All

Over

The

White

Chalked

Batter’s

Box

 

But when

They

Lower themselves

Into the grass

Stand there

Upright

Wings flickering

He knows

These ain’t no bugs

 

These are

Tommy Cryder

Past

Present

And Future

Talkin’

Right

Out

Of

The

Grave

 

Not

Letting up

On Lanky

“Little fellers,” he says, twitching his head, bending his knees, salvation coming.

Like a heavenly choir, the sounds. The little one, there are the three of them, puffs up and the sound comes. First like a choir and then a terrible burning sound, like a forest on fire, trees crying, people dying, the other two puffing, getting big like.

Like they’re telling him something.

Like they’re telling ‘em

They come

to burn the earth

to get back

at all

the meanness

 

Lanky is

first

to know

knows first

 

Run

Lanky

 

Tell ‘em

You gotta

Tell ‘em

He hears himself

Say

Over and over

 

 

All his work

Done

 

As he nears

The

Courthouse

Like he’ll be somebody again. Before the crazy fastball. Before he digs the torches into the ground, before he soaks ‘em in gasoline and makes ‘em into a circle ‘round the courthouse, in the near dry forest. If they don’t listen, he’ll just have to lock the doors when they all go inside to tell their stories.

If they don’t know Lanky wants to do good, he’ll just have to make a couple of lines out the powder in his pocket and connect those powdery arms into the nearness of the forest whose dry, leafy limbs hover like birds over the courthouse, close’n to those fiery torches he’ll have to light.

That way, they’ll know Lanky wants to do good. If they don’t listen to what he’s got to tell em.

Run, Lanky, run. You gotta tell ‘em. Tommy Cryder knows you mean to do good.


Flash Fiction: Hollow Point

Too much and you know you’ve had too much, done too much, and you know you’re going to be sick. You hear yourself saying stop.

~ ~ ~

But sometimes you can’t. Especially if you fear you’ll never see her again, never touch her, never hear her voice because you carry that happening to you and now, when she comes close, you never want to lose her, never want to experience that again, not that kind of losing, again.

You’re on your back. Your head is heavy, your legs like lead. Someone nailed you to the floor, your shirt wet and sticky and something warm drips into your throat.

“Kiss him one more time,” you hear Gregorio say and you wish your head would clear and you could do something.

Everything comes back at you, piece by piece.

You followed her. You know you shouldn’t have. You know she is dangerous but you couldn’t stop.

The stars move, the earth moves, constellations move and you moved, went too far, kissed her deeply and couldn’t stop.

In the backwaters, time should be slow, rural and agrarian, not mules and jets, not DEA, not politicos, not black ops, not cartels and not you.

“There’s this one,” they tell you, “a million dollar mama. Stay away from her. She belongs to him. Remember this, she’s bored and she wants to play. Stay away. Go over that ledge and you will freefall. You’ll fall deeper than the Rio Grande.”

You go in, on guard. Play the fool, do the deal. Gregorio watches. You know he watches. You do the deal and the next and he relaxes. You plug his brother, his cousin. You ride in armor-plated limos, in his jet copter. You move up.

Until, he lets you have her. One time only, he says and then relents.

“Do this next one,” he says, “and you can keep her.”

Mountains shake, rivers run and she knocks you out. She blazes like the desert. Heat waves engulf you.

Watching him, this you do as you press the trigger, ripping through time and space, a hollow point that enters, expands and blows out his head. You kill the banker whose plans do not include Gregorio, who thinks with muscle and dollars, he can take.

You’ve gone too far. You know that. Gregorio smiles, says, “You’re my boy, now. You can have her. She’s yours.”

Days and nights blend, merge, become a single moment, never-ending. Somewhere in your head, you know she becomes bored, will want more.

When she does, when she does, you have a plan.

“Million dollar mama, you will be mine,” you echo.

You gather muscle, you gather dollars. Gregorio will fall.

Flies and ants gather, spiders spin webs.

You can never know, never in your wildest dreams that Gregorio is spider, that you are ant, that you are fly. Wings seek flames.

You make your move, take your cut and turn on him. “You’re finished,” you say. “She is mine and yours is mine.”

But muscle turns on you. In an instant, you know you’re in too deep, that the part you play he writes. All for shit. All for play. They warned you.

“Kiss him one more time,” you hear Gregorio say, and you know they were wrong, that this is why you played and lost, this last kiss, with you nailed to the floor, is why you played.

She kneels next to you. You cough up blood and wonder if there’s enough time.

In your head, the bullet expands, grows wider, presses tissue outward. You can feel the insides of your skull expand, push out.

She whispers. “Again,” she says but not to you.


Flash Fiction: My Father When He Dies

we’ll separate you so you lose yourself, lose your bearings, never find your way back

~ ~ ~

My father could never be who he was. Never could take what was really inside him and be that. Faker, he faked his life.

You get off track early, you build something that isn’t you, that becomes bigger than you, that opposes you, that confuses you, the real part of you gets left behind.

I’m at the funeral home. Stillness. In the back, a tall man and woman approach the Guest Book. I’m not surprised by the minuscule turnout. When the funeral director forwards the options, I take the smallest room.

In my business, I cut words and rearrange thoughts. To get a book into print, I watch costs. No, I’m not surprised by the turnout. Costs matter. My father matters little.

People avoided him, did not want to be around him, did not want what he was to come back at them. Why would death be different?

Heaviness permeates the air. Not like a metaphor.

When I attempt to move, something weighs against me, anchors me.

This heaviness is real, the result of a life that doesn’t fit. Of waste, of things made heavy that won’t budge.

Me and dad? Here we are, alone with one another. In death, he looks metallic.

I wonder if we don’t all become anchored beings. Routine and compromised, surrounded by things that hunt us down. Like a book that falls short, mangled by budgets, by fate, by inabilities.

For those of us that find our place, are we any better?

Why do we remember trips to the country? Why do we remember trees and woods, small streams?

Does something unknowable, something we’ve forgotten, call us?

My father felt that kind of heaviness. Lost in a blurry childhood, alcoholic parents. Not a day safe. Not a day without booze, without fallen bodies, purple bruises, broken bones.

He became a part-time novelist, day laborer, Ph.D. dropout, prof for hire, boxer, long-distance hiker, abuser, indigent, failed actor, unknown writer, small-time activist, misfit father.

Careening through life, discarding friends, families, being discarded, dying alone, his uneven accomplishment.

To have always needed help from others for the most basic, to eat, to feed himself, to keep a house, an apartment, a room, his failures. He could never earn.

To have provided for strangers, given to causes, loved animals, plants and flowers, to have walked off jobs out of principle, ditched tenure and to have worshipped women in the face of life-long failure, his disciplined character defect.

How many times did he invent himself? How many times did disappoint rap on his door, curl his lips?

The part of him that was real surfaced in small blocks, maybe in half days, mornings, in the dark of night, in the thinnest of veils between worlds. That part of him must have been unbearably small, must have pained him when the monster appeared.

I hate to think he thought of himself as small, that the part of him that loved me disappeared, even from himself.

He was like a cosmic current. Wispy apparitions hovered around him, upwards like steam. As a child, I could literally feel him float away. As an adult, I hated what he did to himself.

He was not a small person! My dad did not belong here, did not fit.

To him, the country was a company town, a corporate entity privately gained. In his eyes, The Stockholm Syndrome, prisoners in league with captors.

Crazy. At the end, paranoid.

Those things I promised I would leave behind. His craziness. That poor, pitiful side of him, my father. I would move on.

I think these thoughts when I feel a nudge.

“You must be his daughter,” the tall man says. He pulls on his sleeve, lowers his head, continues. “The New York daughter, the poet.”

I haven’t returned in years. Grandma and grandpa are gone. How would anyone know me?

“Early on, in my early days in New York, I wrote poetry. Years ago.” Uncomfortable, stepping away.

“And then you became an editor,” he counters, drawing me back.

“You knew my father.”

His wife approaches.

“Carla,” he says, “this is Duncan’s daughter. From New York.”

“The poet,” she says.

“No, I am an editor, not a writer,” I repeat.

My protest means nothing. “Duncan loved your poetry,” she continues.

“When he stayed with us, he read your poetry.”

“He stayed with you?” I ask.

“Only for a while,” her husband answers. “When your grandparents died.”

She takes my hand, draws me close.

“We lived across the way.”

The Horvills, I think. These are the Horvills. Drinking buddies with grandpa and grandma. They were there. They smashed bottles against the walls, they climbed backyard fences to get at each other, they wrecked cars.

I instantly want to pull my hand away. My father started his wandering to get away. Turned his back on early tenure, the start of his career. All to get away from the crazy drinking, from these crazy people.

“You ought to know something, sweetie,” she says, holding firmly. “You need to know this.”

I wait. Pain circles, approaches, crawls up inside me.

When she begins to tear, her husband wraps his arm around her.

“What she’s trying to say,” he starts, squeezes her, comforts her. “What we’re trying to say is your father never had much of chance. We know that.” He sighs, his face contorted.

“Things got tangled up and he spent his life running, trying to get away from all of us. We gave it up, the drinking. You need to know that.”

We huddle, my father’s body in front of us, shining in the late afternoon.

“And we want you to know that when he came, when your grandparents failed, he came and he read your poetry to them, your first books, as if there wasn’t any trouble between them. Not any trouble at all. And he called you a poet. And that’s why we call you a poet. You wrote true words. Everything changed when they died. The party died. The war ended. Your father was with them. You can let go of things you believed.”

He holds his wife and she nods.

Good things about my father flood my brain. I remember being in the woods with him and how he loved the trees and the colors of the leaves in fall and the space between us, between the Horvills and me, grows very small and evaporates and I sense the unexpected.

And I remember being a poet and realize that what is inside of me disentangles. Instead of floating away, instead of drifting away like a stream of vapor, instead of running and wanting, of oh so wanting in this instant to be small, of wanting to edit and to chop words, in such smallness that I tower over others, I see the steady, sure gaze of the Horvills and verse begins to form and I feel free.


Examining American Exceptionalism

On the surface, American exceptionalism appears to represent a boldly-stated concept but when contrasted to the subtleties of personal experience, the lessons and flow of history and individual geographically-rooted place, horribly small-minded and delusional, conceivable only as a statement by a crazed, power-hungry overlord to an underling.

Synchronized beautifully in 2004 by a senior aide to Bush Jr. to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ron Suskind writing in the New York Times Magazine, American Exceptionalism is,

”…an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do…” (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html).

To begin examination, let’s take a closer look at basic definitions (courtesy of Merriam-Webster).

Exceptional:

  • not usual
  • unusual or uncommon
  • unusually good

ism:

  • the act, practice, or process of doing something
  • behavior like that of a specified kind of person or thing
  • unfair treatment of a group of people who have a particular quality

Exceptionalism:

  • the condition of being different from the norm; also
  • a theory expounding the exceptionalism especially of a nation or region

Combining the above, we realize that exceptionalism equates to perception or a perceiving of self that endows the perceiver with uncommon power.

In the case of the United States, seeming high-level leadership self-perceives that the U.S. is “exceptional” (i.e., unusual or unusually good in possession of the ability to act) and does not need to conform to normal rules or general principles. In worldly terms, the U.S. exits the brotherhood of nations and is empire among middling servant states.

Voicing American Exceptionalism

U.S. President Barack Obama speaking at the 2009 NATO Summit, Strasbourg, France,

“I believe in American exceptionalism…we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional…”

U.S. President Barack Obama speaking to West Point’s graduating class 2014,

America must always lead on the world stageThe United States is the one indispensable nation…I believe in American exceptionalism with every fabric of my being…”

Then actor and to-be President, Ronald Reagan at the First Conservative Political Action Conference, 1974,

“…We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so. The leadership of the free world was thrust upon us two centuries ago in that little hall of Philadelphia. In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, ‘The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.’

We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth.”

_________

The City on the Hill: Finding the Roots to American Exceptionalism

First Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony John Winthrop (1588-1649) represented early American Puritanical Tradition. Addressing a bevy of puritan emigrants waiting to disembark the Arabella to create the first settlement in what would become the first of the New England states, Winthrop declared,

“…we shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies…for we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us…”

(https://thehistoricpresent.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/the-city-upon-a-hill-and-puritan-hubris/)

That forenamed city destined to be recast time and again by America’s political leadership and undoubtedly favored by those behind that leadership, first by Reagan in his same above speech;

“Standing on the tiny deck of the Arabella in 1630 off the Massachusetts coast, John Winthrop said, ‘We will be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.’ Well, we have not dealt falsely with our God…”

President-elect John F. Kennedy said, in an address to the Massachusetts Legislature on January 9, 1961,

“During the last 60 days I have been engaged in the task of constructing an administration…. I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arabella [sic] 331 years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a government on a new and perilous frontier. ‘We must always consider,’ he said, ‘that we shall be as a city upon a hill—the eyes of all people are upon us.’”

From George H. W. Bush’s “thousand points of light” to Bill Clinton’s “America has a special role in the eyes of God” to John Kerry’s “…we have moved closer to the America we can become – for our own people, for the country, and for all the world…”, to lesser weighted John Bolton’s “The most important thing you need is a president who is proud of the United States of America, who believes in American exceptionalism” to Condy Rice’s, “When the world looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful economic and political experiment in human history. That is the true basis of American exceptionalism…” special effort has been made to convince America she is biblically-blessed and exceptional.

A Truth Hidden, Half Told

But conviction does not always mesh with contradiction nor will those convicted remain so in the face of evidence, direct personal experience and the geography of place.

Alexis de Tocqueville was one. The son of Norman aristocrats, de Tocqueville lives a short life. Born in Paris, July 29th, 1805, he travels to America in 1831 and publishes the tome upon which his fame rests, Democracy in America, in the year of his thirtieth birthday, 1835 and in which he observed that America was creating ”…a distinct species of mankind…(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/american-exceptionalism/).

But in what ways distinct?

In Tocqueville’s eyes, Americans will be birthed first by mindset in the Winthropian, “… Puritanical origin…” and meshed then with “…exclusively commercial habits…”

And in what ways convicted?

The American, this distinct species of mankind, de Tocqueville asserts will become convicted, will become aware of their personal distinctiveness through uniqueness of place, through the,

“…country they inhabit which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe … to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward…” (http://www.visionandvalues.org/2011/04/the-roots-of-tocqueville-s-american-exceptionalism/#sthash.CIhYaf5j.dpuf).

And therein lies contradiction and echoes so much of what the world says about America, about despising the policies of a government etched in puritanical righteousness and commercial industry and imported inventiveness that exports war and fiat currency but loving a people contradicted and tempered by place, by the geographical, by the land, by windswept prairies, by three coasts, by 14,000 foot mountaintops, by desert, by waterways, by Great Lakes as big as oceans, by the echo and remaining presence of the country’s native Turtle Island, by the original earth-based inhabitants, by the combined sources of the continent’s non-corporate literature and artistic impulses and the unbidden anti-hero like suspicion, resistance and mockery at the everyday level to technological boondoggle and oversized government.

This Curious Exceptional Dilemma

In the hands of the few, trademarked American Exceptionalism acts as a battering ram, is a corporate brand name front that unites evangelism, militarism and Keynesianism, that installs dictators, that perpetuates privately-owned fiat currencies, that topples the same dictators to create in name-only democracies, that trains militants and insurgents, that funds gladio-styled terrorism, NATO, international banking organizations, the IMF, the World Bank, Export-Import Banks, that emasculates Europe, that fans and funds conflict between installed dictators and in name-only democracies, between insurgents and loyalists, this City on the Hill, these thousand points of light.

But below the surface, this thing about America that is exceptional but not distinct from other cultures, her land, her native roots, her resistance by natives long thought exterminated and to be made extinct by cavalries and cannons, by legislation, by armed men riding trains gunning down millions of bison, acts of terrorism and food and shelter-based genocide, by reservation life, this America inspired by the land, by her earthiness, influences this unexceptional America, is non-corporate artistic, makes small press literature, invents good things, does not war, combats big pharma, forced vaccinations, big ag, big biz, big banks, chemtrails, opposes GMOs, opposes false flags, staged shootings and propagandized media, billion dollar political campaigns and privately-owned, fiat-issuing central banks, hallmarks all of Exceptional Empire, writes songs, sings, dances, drums, shapes pottery, tears down pork barrel, fractionalized fiat currency hydro-electric dams, honors the sacred, loves animals, grows gardens, all as if a secret to celebrity-promoted corporate media but known by the hearts of many, by foreign tourists walking through centuries old Santa Fe, traipsing through Navajo country, watching salmon run, peering at petroglyphs in HOPI land, known by creatives, known by seekers, known by the evidence, becomes human, not exceptional.

And this America, besieged and overlorded, possesses a history rooted in global commonality and in a universal knowing and shared humanity that I seek to discover amidst the other, the Exceptional America proclaimed by the few whose uncommon power must wither upon observation and deconstruction.


Of the Spirit ~ Reflection of the Day:

In every step you take today, in every rest you take, beneath your feet, beneath your body, the soil …

Berry, Wendell, The Unsettling of America, 1977

It is the nature of the soil to be highly complex and variable, to conform very inexactly to human conclusions and rules. It is itself damaged by the imposition of alien patterns. Out of the random grammar and lexicon of possibilities – geological, topographical. climatological, biological – the soil of any one place makes its own and peculiar sense.

It is impossible to contemplate the life of the soil for very long without seeing it as analagous to the life of the spirit.


Daily Micro: Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World ~ Kali Yuga

Acknowledging Acknowledging Kali Yuga

For I am Kali;

goddess-kali

goddess‑kali.jpg

“My child, you need not know much in order to please Me.
Only Love Me dearly.
Speak to me, as you would talk to your mother,
if she had taken you in her arms.”

My Name: I devour Kala (time) and embody three gunas (qualities of nature);

Sattva (goodness and purity)

Rajas (passion and activity) and

Tamas (ignorance and inertia)

My Complexion: Deep blue, like the sky. As the sky is limitless, so I am.

My Crescent: I give liberation.

My Smiling Face: I am ever-blissful in my work.

My Teeth: I am sattva or serenity.

My Tongue: I am astonished in rajas, by my fearsome activity.

My Terrible Form: I am Goddess and Mother of the Universe and I am destroyer. I discipline.

My Necklace: Composed of fifty skulls that represent the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, the origin of sound. I am Shabda Brahman (Sound-Brahman) or Logos-the source of creation.

My Two Right Arms: My upper right arm grants fearlessness, my lower right arm offers boons. I protect My children from danger. I fulfill desires.

My Two Left Arms: I hold a severed head with my upper left arm. I cut human bondage with the sword of knowledge and impart wisdom and waste nothing with my lower arm.

My Waist: My girdle of severed human arms represents human actions. At the end of an Age, all souls merge with me. During creation, souls experience human paths.

Shiva under My feet: Shiva, the changeless aspect of the Supreme, is pure cosmic consciousness, and I am cosmic energy. Neither creation nor destruction is possible without us.

And this is my Age and your 4th World;

Satya Yuga (Golden Age): 4000 years + 400 years dawn + 400 years twilight = 4800 years/7400 BC

Treta Yuga (Silver Age): 3000 years + 300 years dawn + 300 years twilight = 3600 years/2600 BC

Dwapara Yuga (Bronze Age): 2000 years + 200 years dawn + 200 years twilight = 2400 years/1000 AD

Kali Yuga (Iron Age): 1000 years + 100 years dawn + 100 years twilight = 1200 years/2216 AD

And the end of your age in which I will separate you from your ego, in which you will connect with much sorrow to your source selves, in which you will experience error and conflict, in which misguided perception will accelerate disaster, in which your distance from source will expand and shrink, in which time will cease, in which I shall destroy, in which you will return to source, in which you will reconcile with pure cosmic consciousness and to me and in which I will console you and empower you to renew your human paths.

~ Stephen J. Bergstrom


Daily Micro: Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World ~ Howard Beale

Acknowledging Howard Beale

Was I real? Did Paddy Chayefsky create me or am I that pre-eternal spark that exists in the human heart?

 

peter‑finch‑als‑howard‑beale.jpg

Consider the words the actor Peter Finch emitted when he played me in Network, the 1976 film directed by Sidney Lumet;

“What is finished is the idea that this great country is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It’s the individual that’s finished. It’s the single, solitary human being that’s finished. It’s every single one of you out there that’s finished. Because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It’s a nation of some two hundred odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter-than-white, steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human beings and as replaceable as piston rods.”

See me. Feel me;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS4aiA17YsM

Hear the song that Whitman drew out of me;

“I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself/And what I assume you shall assume/For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you/I loafe and invite my soul/I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass/…Creeds and schools in abeyance…I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked…The smoke of my own breath/Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine…The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides/The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.” — Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, I, II, VI & LII

And now, I fade. I become less. I become system. I am xxx’d out. I am deleted.

In my rest, I am feared.

~ Stephen J. Bergstrom


Daily Micro: Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World ~ Hannibal

Acknowledging Hannibal

I cross the Alps, I use the weather. Italy can’t know I come;

 Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Hannibal Passing the Alps, for Rogers's 'Italy'’ c.1826-7

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-hannibal-passing-the-alps-for-rogerss-italy-d27666

I am Eisenhower. They tell me I have a 36-hour window to launch and I give the order and we go on June 6, 1944;

https://i0.wp.com/www.archives.gov/education/lessons/d-day-memo/images/d-day-memo.jpg

http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/d-day-memo/images/d-day-memo.jpg

I am Colorado and I am happening;

2013‑09‑14T024215Z_193094469_TM4E9

And I am your future;

Weather as a Force Multiplier:

Owning the Weather in 2025

http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/volume3/vol3ch15.pdf

A Research Paper

Presented To

Air Force 2025

by

Col Tamzy J. House

Lt Col James B. Near, Jr.

LTC William B. Shields (USA)

Maj Ronald J. Celentano

Maj David M. Husband

Maj Ann E. Mercer

Maj James E. Pugh

August 1996

Executive Summary

In 2025, US aerospace forces can “own the weather” by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications…

Table 1

Operational Capabilities Matrix

DEGRADE ENEMY FORCES/ENHANCE FRIENDLY FORCES

Precipitation Enhancement Precipitation Avoidance

– Flood Lines of Communication – Maintain/Improve LOC

– Reduce PGM/Recce Effectiveness – Maintain Visibility

– Decrease Comfort Level/Morale – Maintain Comfort Level/Morale

Storm Enhancement Storm Modification

– Deny Operations – Choose Battlespace Environment

Precipitation Denial Space Weather

– Deny Fresh Water – Improve Communication Reliability

– Induce Drought – Intercept Enemy Transmissions

Space Weather

– Revitalize Space Assets

– Disrupt Communications/Radar

– Disable/Destroy Space Assets

Fog and Cloud Generation

– Increase Concealment

Fog and Cloud Removal 

– Deny Concealment –

Maintain Airfield Operations

– Increase Vulnerability to PGM/Recce –

Enhance PGM Effectiveness

Detect Hostile Weather Activities

Defend against Enemy Capabilities

~ Stephen J. Bergstrom


Daily Micro: Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World ~ The Yaqui

Acknowledging The Yaqui

For in our own words we write, for we are the;

 

image003.jpg

People, Communities, and Indigenous of Baja California, Chihuahua, Sonora and Sinaloa who, under the thumb of The Requirement, and for more than 520 years have suffered in our hearts and in our lives the war of extermination, one of the longest and bloodiest wars of living memory, by the political and economic power in power today – molted and perched authoritarian misrule.

We are the The Yaqui.

Consider that we have inhabited this territory for 2500 years, a place where we were born and have developed our existence, where mother earth provides us with everything for our life and like all the world’s indigenous peoples live as brothers, with plants, trees, animals, birds, insects, the air, the heat, the cold, the sun, moon, stars, earth and water, of which is our home, food and healing, for we are the source power (Juya ania).

Whereas in the territory of the Yaqui tribe, our people, made of earth and water and all that comes from them, build our culture, create and consolidate our own institutions, in the vicinity of the river uu jiame today known as Rio Yaqui, the current powers steal the waters of the basin to try to exterminate us and to feed large transnational businesses, real estate developments and speculation.

 

rioyaqui.JPG

The Yaqui, indigenous peoples and the more than 50 million poor who inhabit the country, border extermination and the water of our Mother becomes privatized commodity.

 

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/sw/yml/yml03.htm

And we say, Stop, to our brother. Reconsider your ways! Remember who you are!

~ Stephen J. Bergstrom