Jun 122015
 

Come here, let me share a bit of wisdom with you.
Have you given much thought to our mortal condition?
Probably not. Why would you? Well, listen.
All mortals owe a debt to death.
There’s no one alive
who can say if he will be tomorrow.
Our fate moves invisibly! A mystery.
No one can teach it, no one can grasp it.
Accept this! Cheer up! Have a drink!
But don’t forget Aphrodite–that’s one sweet goddess.
You can let the rest go. Am I making sense?
I think so. How about a drink.
Put on a garland. I’m sure
the happy splash of wine will cure your mood.
We’re all mortal you know. Think mortal.
Because my theory is, there’s no such thing as life,
it’s just catastrophe.


Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides

Jun 102015
 

“We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

Plastic… asshole.”

Jun 012015
 

Said Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell,
My very young friend who is learning to spell:
“The A is for Ape. And B is for Bear.
The C is for Camel. The H is for Hare
The M is for Mouse. And the R is for Rat.”
“I know all the twenty-six letters like that…
… Through to Z is for Zebra. I know them all well.”
Said Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell.
“So now I know everything anyone knows.
From beginning to end. From the start to the close.
Because Z is as far as the alphabet goes.”

Then he almost fell flat on his face on the floor
When I picked up the chalk and drew one letter more!
A letter he never had dreamed of before!
And I said, “You can stop, if you want, with the Z.
Because most people stop with the Z.
But not me!!!
In the places I go, there are things that I see
That I never could spell if I stopped with the Z.
I’m telling you this ‘cause you’re one of my friends.
My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!”
“My alphabet starts with this letter called YUZZ.
It’s the letter I use to spell YUZZ-a-ma-TUZZ.
You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found
Once you go beyond Z and start poking around!
So, on beyond Zebra!
Explore!
Like Columbus!
Discover new letters!
Like WUM is for Wumbus,
My high-spouting whale who lives high on a hill
And who never comes down ‘till it’s time to refill.
So, on beyond Z! It’s high time you were shown
That you really don’t know all there is to be known.”

“Then just step a step further past Wum is for Wumbus
And there you’ll find UM. And the Um is for Umbus
A sort of Cow, with one head and one tail,
But to milk this great cow you need more than one pail!
She has ninety-eight teats that give milk quite nicely.
Perhaps ninety-nine. I forget just precisely.
And, boy! She is something most people don’t see.
Because most people stop at the Z
But not me!”

“If you stay home with Zebra,
You’re stuck in a rut.
But on beyond Zebra,
You’re anything but!
When you go beyond Zebra,
Who knows…?
There’s no telling
What wonderful things
You might find yourself spelling!”

“Like QUAN is for Quandary, who lives on a shelf
In a hole in the ocean alone by himself
And he worries, each day, from the dawn’s early light
And he worries, just worries, far into the night.
He just stands there and worries. He simply can’t stop…
Is his top-side his bottom? Or bottom-side his top?”

So you see!
There’s no end
To the things you might know,
Depending how far beyond Zebra you go!

The places I took him!
I tried hard to tell
Young Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell
A few brand-new wonderful words he might spell.
I led him around and I tried hard to show
There are things beyond Z that most people don’t know.
I took him past Zebra. As far as I could.
And I think, perhaps, maybe I did him some good…

Because, finally, he said:
“This is really great stuff!
And I guess the old alphabet
ISN”T enough!”
NOW the letters he uses are something to see!
Most people stop at the Z…
But not HE!

May 172015
 

What would it be like
to live in a library
of melted books.

With sentences streaming over the floor
and all the punctuation
settled to the bottom as a residue.

It would be confusing.
Unforgivable.
A great adventure.