Thursday, August 26, 2010

New (old) town

And in a fury of optimism, I am off.
March, the only reference to the clock,
Spinning, Sings:
“It is dark here.
There is newness where you cannot sleep.”

I am waiting.
For that sudden ease of optimism, again
With my coat on
My heart, sagging, like an old elephant’s face,
only just as grey, speaks softly
“It is dark here. You have slept here before.”
You can speak up now, I say
It is only me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


You blink hard, squinting to double-check what you’re looking at. You can’t believe your eyes. There is just no mistaking it. You are looking at the fossil of a house cat. At first glance, you believed it to be a Smilodon, or Saber-toothed Tiger. You and your colleagues had come to believe you’d made a startling discovery, changing the placement of the saber-tooth from the Pleistocene epoch to the Mesozoic era.
“My god,” you say. “Can it be? The saber-tooth first emerged in the late Cretaceous? This is revolutionary; this will change everything; this will make us famous!” But upon closer inspection it is revealed it is not the fossilized skeleton of a baby saber-toothed tiger, swallowed whole by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is a house cat. And what’s worse, you have reason to suspect it is your house cat. After all, you are a respected paleontologist and your cat is missing. You have many respected friends, in many respected fields, in many respected scholastic communities. Scientists. Physicists. Mathematicians. Surely, one, or all of them, could have broken into your home and played a practical joke on you, sending your cat back to the Cretaceous.
But why? You think to yourself. Why would they do such a thing? You tell yourself to be rational. After all, you are a respected paleontologist. You have done nothing wrong to provoke this kind of misconduct from your friends. You praise their accomplishments. You répondez s'il vous plait to their social galas in a timely fashion. You even gave one of their children an Iguanodon thumb on their birthday.
Surely, this cannot be the case.
But it is, and you realize this shortly after the X-rays have confirmed your greatest fears. This is your cat. There are fillings on the cat’s teeth from the time your wife made you take the cat to the cat-dentist. There is a sudden bubbling of resentment in your stomach. It rises up through your esophagus and seeps out of your throat, filling your mouth with a hot, sour taste. You try to place it. Your indignation tastes like asparagus.
Your first thought is to be angry with your wife for making you take the cat to get fillings in the first place. The bill from the cat-dentist was unbelievable. Who started this monopoly on cat fillings? And, of course, she made you pay for it. It wasn’t even your idea to get the cat; technically the cat belonged to her. This makes you even angrier. There is a second gush of anger. It fills your mouth with an even hotter, sourer taste. It is directed at your respected friends in the scholastic community. There is no longer any doubt in your mind. They are responsible for this. You are sure of it. This is the only explanation for the placement of your cat. By filling your T-rex’s belly with your housecat, they have completely overshadowed your fossil findings by unraveling the mysteries of space and time. They have time traveled your cat.
People will not even recognize the massive bulk of T-rex fossil that took you months to uncover, you think. Week after week of your sweating and scraping, your scratching and persistence, undermined by a Felis Catus! Anybody who lays eyes on this gorgeous discovery will immediately look past it and instead see a housecat named Wiggins, whose three back molars are covered with dull, metal fillings. Even your colleagues, those same colleagues who dug by your side for days and weeks and months, dusted and toiled and labored with you under that hot, Arizona sun, can now only see that stupid fucking cat.
“This is so exciting!” they say.
“Wait until people find out about this!” they say.
“Wait until we share this with the world!” they say.
“Now, now, now,” you say, trying to calm the hysteria. “There is no reason to get excited. For all we know this cat could have just wandered into the Cretaceous era by accident. Poor little kitty probably just got lost.” But you know this is a lie. The second these words dribble from your mouth and fall flat onto your shirt, you feel the same sensation you feel when you scratch sandpaper: agitated shivers. Your neck grows hot. You feel angry, betrayed. A few of your colleagues stifle their laughter at your wandering cat hypothesis. Maybe they’re in on it, too, you think. Maybe they all thought it would be funny to spoil your hard work in the desert. Maybe they all thought it would be hilarious if they cheapened those hours you spent in front of your dinosaur books as a child, dreaming about this moment, about this moment of yours they have ruined. You suspect your wife is behind this, too.
This her way of getting back at you for complaining about how expensive the cat’s fillings were, you decide. Maybe she’s sleeping with the Scientist. The Mathematician. The Physicist. Maybe she’s sleeping with all three of them. Maybe they’re all fucking right now, you think. Humping and groping and sweating and laughing, thrusting and coming and howling at your expense – at the idea of how ridiculous you look. You were a rational and respected paleontologist. Now you are certain of nothing. The only thing you can be certain of is this: no one will ever believe you when you tell them your cat sauntered in the Cretaceous era and was eaten by a dinosaur. No one is ever going to believe that at all. It is probably one of the most stupid things that any one person can hear. Telling somebody that your cat got lost, and was eaten by a dinosaur?

That’s just going to sound fucking ridiculous.

-Ian Rowe

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm (not) going crazy.

Me, me, me; me – me: me, M(e), [Me]. {ME}, and of course (me).

Infinitesimal: A summation of the concept of self. I (we); a meager stream of consciousness, taking up physical space, left to entertain the grandiose delusion that I’m (we’re) supposed to be important, that I (we) matter, that I’m (we’re) meant for something "bigger." At a young age, I (we) learned about and formulated a shaky comprehension of life’s briefness. One day, I will die. It was terrifying. Then I (we, still) got older, again, and accepted the fact that death was inevitable and universal, still terrifying. (knew it was coming, knew it wasn't about me anymore, about us!) So I ignored it and continued to waste my time as though I (We, we, we! Us, us, us!) had an endless supply of it. Someday I’ll (We’ll) get older again, and then (WE WILL ALL) die. I'm thinking about salt. Now the universe. Now, eternity. Infinity. Because they are one and the same. The universe is eternity, eternity the universe, infinite. Because eternity is everything and nothing all at once. Because eternity is God and God is both eternity and infinity, everything and nothing, simultaneously all at once within a consciousness(us); those of us who believe in something, the rest of us in nothing, because eternity is the only truth and the only one remaining constant because it is the only constant. And even then, it can't be real, because it will outlive us all and be a memory of an idea. You can try to concoct meaning from its abstraction, but in the end it will swallow you (us) whole. There is bigness that exists outside of self (outside of me! Outside of us!), but we don’t really look outside of ourselves long enough to get there. Or maybe we do. But just in case we don’t, take everything I say with a grain of salt, because I’m only an optimist, after all.

I (We! & You! & Us!)






Having spent time reading this, you’re already that much closer to eternity. We are (in)finite. We are all part of it right now. And now, and now, and now, and now, and always. But don’t panic, (Live! While there's still time!) because now is what’s important. Here is what’s important. The(y)re (You!) are!

And now

And now

And now

And now

And always,

I am happy. And I hope you (we) are, too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Jesús & Alma

And so it began with a spat of irreverence. They couldn’t believe he had said it. Or she. The story hasn’t gotten to a point where any kinds of characters have been established and there is no discernable sex for our protagonist, if the story even has one. After all, irreverence is just a word in the dictionary. But this is trite and circumstantial because the story is, after all, (indirectly) about Jesus, as he was a Nazarene. There was a great hullabaloo about his homecoming –given it was only his second time returning to this perpetually uninterrupted, spinning blue tear we call earth –and everybody was besides themselves with joy, and everyone could hardly believe it; with the exception of a young girl named Alma, who lived in the Port of Spain and didn’t believe it was Jesus at all.
Alma,” her Father said. “Why is it that you cannot see what’s in front of you? Why is it that you cannot see that it's Jesús who has come back for us?” Alma only half listened to her father while she drew circles in the sand using a stick. Without looking up, committed to her unremitting nonchalance, she said: “Pero Padre, it cannot be Jesús, because where is his great, big, round belly?”
Perplexed, her father cleared his throat and squinted at his daughter. “Alma, mi Dulce,” He said. “Jesús does not have a great, big, round belly.”
Pero, he does,” she said, looking up. “And where is his great, big, bald head?”
Mija,” her father continued, “Jesús does not have a great, big, bald head.”
Pero, he does,” Alma insisted, putting her hands on her hips and stomping her small foot into the hot, dry ground. “And where is his great, big, toothy smile!”
Mija, Jesús does not smile because he sees all that is wrong in this world, and so, for that, he weeps for us.”
“Than that is why it is not Jesús,” Alma said. “Because he is looking at all the wrong things.”
And with this, the little Spanish girl named Alma, who lived in the Port of Spain, put down her stick and ran laughing, carelessly and free, towards nothing in particular. Hence why it is that all children are Buddhists: because they are happy with nothing and believe happiness to be the only one true religion.