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Fever

Whatever cycle it is I've been going through has come to the phase where I listen to old Ani albums at deafening volumes. And though the cycle itself is unknown to me---I have no idea what I ought to be thinking about the things that have been happening, what they will lead to, or what any of this means--I know that, at least, in this very moment; I've been here before. That is, just in the sense of the [singing] to Ani--nothing else--but in that sense, I've seen this place before.

I went on a vision quest through Vons last night. 11 PM, 3 days of high fever, looking for orange juice. Orange juice, and garlic. Orange juice, garlic and whatever else I need. In my altered state, it became epic. At first, the world could only be described as "complicated": after 20 minutes, finally locating the garlic in the pear section while listening to the elevator cover of "Hakuna Matata", just as I heard the thunder-like rumble of the lettuce showers comming on. But soon, I just started to flow through the jumbled store; walking--or rather, floating--to exactly what I needed; a far cry from my usual shoping state.

Of course, this round of listening to Ani is not exactly like all the times that came before. What--like 5 years I've had this burnt CD and each time I find need to play it, it seems to struggle more and more through its skips and scratches and less songs will even play at all. And, clearly, I am different too: each time I hear it less and less like poetry and more and more like life. Of course, both are just forms of truth-speaking, but experience seems to draw a line between what is pure magic and what just fucking is, was or isn't or never was---according to how much sugar you can still afford to taste at any given moment.

After finding the garlic and after a short conversation with the gods of the alter candles, I thought to myself, "this is how it always should be"..."If I just let go, things stay complicated, but they work themselves out". And then I thought, "I need bread" and I turned the corner, the aisles parted, and there it was.

"See! I just have to let go---join the flow and everything I need will flow to me! Again and again I choose these situations where I have to trust that the universe will provide, but I hold on tight...but it always provides...but I still don't let go...I just need to trust...trust...trust!... Goddamnit, there's no pita!"

And I know it comes down to how much sugar you are willing to taste and how much sweetness you are ready to feel---not whether these things are actually there or not. Art and life would taste the same if not for the momentary burn of disenchantment...but that burn is life too, and it's also poetry.

Of course, when I asked the man, the pita was there, right where I'd been looking.

I remember how in the past I have criticised poets whos words sound more like sweat than honey. Who speak of life in dirty words and don't let it be pretty or simple. But I know that the more you get to live, the more you get to see that the sweat is in the honey and the honey is in the sweat, but that the more that you have worked to get there, the more you have to work to remember that the two are the same. And that nothing is too bitter, and nothing is too sweet.

But, alas! the pitas have risen up against me and I have failed. Failed! Failed even at pitas in the midst of a monologue on surrender. And then, I watch my thoughts become conscious: they start to think themselves as if they want to be seen. As if by designing themselves as they've thought before they could teach me to think different. That instant when you notice conciousness and thus become unconcious...or vise versa...or---it's a trap? it's the problem and the answer. I steped back from the pitas and watched myself think. I looked to the tabloids for answers. I went to the check out. I spent 5 minutes looking for my vons club card. I saved 11 cents.

Hooray for fevers. They fry your brain to the point where you surrender normal processing. they send you to a degree of distance from the events of the world that is probably closer to where you always should be. It allows you to watch as someone does something to that "thing" that you would normally identify as being "you" and think in some distant, disconnected, nonchalant way: "fuck you" and yet do or say nothing and not get hurt. They, for a time, break open the fabric of reality so that you can watch your infinitely complicated and rich life pour through the folds of your memory--just for the time that something hurts so bad that you have no choice but to let go. And, for that time, watch your mind stream before you like a movie with the distant, disconnected, distant hope that, this time, when I do step back into it, it might really be more real in a really more real way.

Comments

pita is fucking good. Sometimes I like to line both sides with garlic hummus and a little bit of spinach...simple and fulfilling. Or if I need a heartier sandwich pocket, I use turkey and cheese with the same spinach.

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