Sunday, February 21, 2010

"i had a good time dying"

or as timothy leary said as he was knocking at the pearly gates, 'senility is underrated.'

these thoughts popped into my mind as i sat in front of a wwII table of memorabilia being sold at a gun show by my former boss. i tried to convince him to ingest medical marijuana as he goes through ten months of chemo. yes, a severe case of cancer gradually eating him alive.

i could have told him about the writer aldous huxley who died high on lsd as the news of jfk being shot came over the radio, the nurses' ears glued to the speakers. but, no, a writer not a good example. now, if it had been General Patton. (my own connection with the Good War and childhood didn't even occur to me. however i did leave the fairgrounds disquieted by guns, guys in beards, women encouraging them in this macho pasttime.)

maybe later, when he feels like hell, he'll take my advice.

then, taking a shower this morning, i thought of a stand-up comic who loves being booed off the stage, who loves to annoy the audience. (laughing, he tells his cronies at the green stallion, 'i really died up there.') can you find delight in failure? i think so. it's probably the ultimate nirvana. finally, you've given up pleasing anybody but yourself.

here's a poem i wrote sometime ago to console myself.

Failure has gotten a bad name,

hanging out in all the wrong places,

joining gangs of hoodlums, wearing

leather. Failure doesn't know how

to improve his image, even when

we'd all love to love him. I met

Failure last night playing jazz

in a seedy bar. I said to him,

"Failure, you've got a problem." Failure

said, "I don't have a problem, I am

a problem, my own worse enemy.

Everybody tells me. 'Get a coat and tie,

clean up your act. Even if you can't

be a success, act like one.' Do you know

how much I hate all those successes

driving their fancy cars, going home

to wives and dogs, loving their children

because it makes everything go so

easily? NO, I'm not about to get braces

on my teeth. I have no intention

of getting a shampoo and shave,

let alone shining my shoes. Failure is its own

reward, it gets you out of the game.

Now I can play my trumpet like nothing

else in the world mattered. I can search

for the perfect note in the void, having

eliminated all superfluous sounds." Yes,

I left Failure leaning up against the bar

with a smile on his face, and I felt

ashamed of myself. I still wanted success,

to be like everybody else, though I knew now

the true price that must be paid.

actually, allergies have had me on the ropes for the past couple nights and days. ('it must be spring') can i truly take my own medicine?

here are a few pictures reaching out into nature for support, even if the trees and flowers toss poison in my path.