Thursday, November 15, 2012


Awakened beings seem to like this theme:  all One.

Someone might ask, that sounds nice, but how does it work?

Well, maybe like this:  those dishes you're scrubbing in the sink, those dishes are your lover giving you a soapy rub down.  That boy's hand you are holding, that is your grandmother's hand.  The clouds you are staring at in the sky, those clouds are the latest political scandal you've read about in the paper today.  That traffic light changing, that is your mother's smile when she first laid eyes on you after your birth into this world.  That step you are taking, that is your next big success. That breath your are exhaling, that is your next big setback.

Mothers, who may or may not be awakened beings, have told us repeatedly that we should do unto others as we would have done to ourselves.  Mother once told me "Be with others as you would be with yourself.  After all, you are others."

Sure.  I'll believe that when I see it.  You might say.  How does that work?

Like this.

That person you flipped off on the freeway is the pain in your neck.  Those people you are bombing are your kidneys.  Those people you are cheating are your heart.  Those things you are throwing away are your spine.  Those words your are speaking are your lungs.  That dog you are petting is your hand.  That car you are driving is your legs.  That television you are watching is your eyes.  That universe you have yet to explore is your mind.  That Beloved you have yet to embrace is your Self.        

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Seed of Sound

You.  Yes, you.  Rise.  Be light now.  Embrace homo luminous, the next phase of human evolution.  You needn't think about it.  You needn't resist.  Whisper to your left brain.  Now rest.  Shout out to your right brain.  Ignite!  Enflame!  The drummers, together, slam down their entire beings to the pavement.  Earth trembles.  Nothing doing, but Love, Love Love!  Wake at night and get yourself a glass of water.  You deserve it.  Water!  Miracle!  You!  All!  It!

Mrs. Halloway rises from bed.  The only other thing in the cell is her harp.  It glows.  She rubs the sleep from her eyes, sits down, snuggles up to the harp and fondles its strings.  The harp’s sound vibrates with the desire to be destroyed.  Destroy me, the harp begs.  Mrs. Halloway stands and says, I will destroy you myself.  She uses all her might to kick the harp to the ground.  She proceeds to give the harp a thorough beating.  When there is nothing left but a pile of dust and a few loose strings, Mrs. Halloway raises her arms up and roars.  Om!  The inmates in the next cell wake, open their eyes.  Purple beams of light shine from the sockets where human eyes should have been.  The prisoners try and fail to move; the shackles hold them firmly against the wall.  Is the wall breathing?  Has the floor dropped?  Does the universe punish light?  The entire prison starts to rattle and moan.  A bloodthristy insect creeps in through a crack.  After an eternity, the shackles dissolve; the prisoners bow down to kiss that crack.  By now, Mrs. Halloway has finished reassembling the harp again.  She strikes a chord that becomes the seed of sound for creating a new world.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Carmageddon Mantra

Radiant motorists celebrated the divine mother of all public work projects -- building the longest carpool lane in the nation!  Such a project involved closing the 405 freeway for a ten-mile stretch between the 10 and 101 freeways.  CHP Officers had warned all beings everywhere that during the freeway closure, authorities would not tolerate pranksters.  Still, gentle skaters were cited for surfing the pavement, as were playful souls who threw a dinner party in the Trucks Only lane.  While ecstatic newly weds found the closed stretch of freeway a fine place to fornicate, the officers who ordered them to break it up did not.  However, no one seemed to mind the shimmering green June Beetle that crept along free of anxiety.  So, this is what they mean by free, the bug thought as it enjoyed an entire weekend of freeway travel without anxiety about being overtaken or squashed.  Mayor Villaraigosa thanked L.A. for staying off the road, but refused to apologize to uninformed San Diegans who drove up to L.A. precisely to experience the nightmare gridlock that L.A. usually has to offer.  Contrary to expectations, all remained quiet, other than the Mulholland Drive Bridge collapse that nearly smashed beloved work crews.  Carmageddon II revealed that all city dwellers can endure the rising dust of construction with gratitude and awe.  Commuters honored the holiness that permeates the Sepulveda Pass of the Santa Monica Mountains.  Beloved work crews filled potholes with divine silence, trimmed trees into formlessness, repaved the infinite expanse of southbound lanes that extend into vast reaches of outer space.  Now, those cruising the new stretch of carpool lane have a steady, regal sense of resting in a perfect spot.  This has proven California is more than prepared for Carmageddon III, when the region will agree to shut down the 405, the 10, and the 101 freeways all at once and just for the fun of it.  Coping with freeway closures is sure to become the hot, new extreme sport in Southern California.  Drive on, radiant motorists, drive on!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Business Plan Mantra

Oh, Radiant Financial Advisor
how shall I move through this world in freedom?
Oh, Website Designer
do you know the real teachings of
Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Space?
Oh, Life Coach, if I pay your fee in advance, will you
teach me to be at home everywhere?
Oh, Beauty Consultant,
make my heart sing triumphant songs!
Oh, Fundraising Campaign team
reveal infinite spiritual energy surging into form.
Write me a Grant Proposal to
the magician who whirls galaxies of fire.
Give me a Promotion
sustained by infinite bliss.
Get the Publicist to help
delight in kinship everywhere.
Arrange for Product Placement of
divine lovers who are awake to intimacy.
Call on the Corporate Leaders in Investor Relations to
extend your awareness into the bodies of all living beings.
Get your Website Designer to help you
breathe tenderly as the lover of all beings.
Make Business Cards for others to contact
the Light, the Power, the Love.
Hire a Financial Assistant to help you
realize you shine forth from the Mysterious One.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ordinary Mama's Mantra

Divine saaaah awareness.
Divine overslept awareness.
Divine tantrum awareness.
Divine burnt toast awareness.
Divine pee pee accident awareness.
Divine trial of patience awareness.
Divine find matching socks awareness.
Divine running late awareness.
Divine plumbing crisis awareness.
Divine dispute over belongings awareness.
Divine kiss goodbye awareness.
Divine solitary moment awareness.
Divine haaaaaah awareness.

Dissolve into peace.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Being in the Bhav

The Prophet Muhammad is beloved and divine.
The Occupy protestors are beloved and divine.
Humanity is beloved and divine.
Mother Earth is beloved and divine.
The War-zone is beloved and divine.
The Light worker is beloved and divine.
The Four Directions are beloved and divine.
The hummingbirds are beloved and divine.
The yogis are beloved and divine.
The schoolteachers are beloved and divine.
The mind's inner thoughts are beloved and divine.
You are beloved and divine.
Politicians are beloved and divine.
Toddlers are beloved and divine.
Pain in the neck is beloved and divine.
So is pain in the ass.
Ecstatic whirling is beloved and divine.
Anonymous poets and alcoholics are beloved and divine.
Plaintiff's attorneys are beloved and divine,
but I'm not so sure about defense attorneys
(especially those defending banks like HSBC).
Aw, hell, they're beloved and divine, too!
Creation is beloved and divine.
It's easy.
Wake up!
There, consider yourself free and enlightened.
Peace!  Light!  Warmth!  Seed!  Be!  Breathe!  Sneeze!  Love!
Hare Hare Kiss Ya Kiss Ya Hare Hare Bum Bum!
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Ram Ram Hare Hare!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Your Second Amendment Spoils My American Dream

Here's the most idiotic thing I've heard today:

"If I don't have a gun to protect my family, I have nothing."

Now someone please assure me that the guy who said this was not the same guy who said, "The internet is a great way to get on the net."

You know what happened to me today?

A gunman wiped his feet on my Welcome mat, came into my home, and shot 36 rounds from his Semi-Automatic American Values Rifle.  Five rounds hit the vacuum cleaner.  Two hit my laptop.  Four hit the microwave oven.  One shattered the picture window.  Three hit my wedding and baby albums.  Eleven hit the HD TV during an episode of Modern Family. Four hit my book shelves, taking out all of The Classics.  And six disappeared, hitting random targets inside my very disorganized, California closets.

Gun Man did not come after me or my children.  In fact, he is a rather kind gentlemen, well-educated, wears shined shoes and pressed pants; he votes Republican and considers himself to be a level-headed gun owner.  He is my neighbor, in fact, and we've known each other for decades.  Who knows what sent him on his rampage?

After the smoke cleared, I offered him a cold beer.  Life goes on, after all.

I do not own a gun, but my neighbor has the power to destroy me and my home.  Am I going to go out and buy a gun to protect myself from this completely civilized idiot?


Why not?

Because guns are too simple, too stupid, too unsophisticated, and too motherfucking unimaginative a method for murder.

If I want to destroy someone, Words are my mightiest weapon.

Words, folks.

Beware of my words.  If I want to destroy you, my words will be enough to bring you down.

Just as the pen was once mightier than the sword, so too the blog post is mightier than the nuclear weapon.

If you still argue that you need to own a gun, or you have nothing, please don't forget you have a human spirit that is divine, eternal, and invincible.

I believe that.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reading Dante Micheaux

Boy desire.

This Conqueror bows down to his weakness.

My deepest imagination is a boy in bloom.

Across the waters, I’ve glimpsed the you
Who will bring me closer to ancient battlefields.
Search not for me, Love.
I’ve seen Allah’s frown, and will

Conspire to meet my beau,
will Tickle and Suck.
in this mutual flesh quest.

Transgendered Vishnu
Leaves me wanting Shiva to catch Vishnu.
I want Shiva and Vishnu to embrace again as much as I want you to 

Savagely expose Willy Laury's loneliness.

Oh Goliath, scorn me, if you must.  But do please chase me.

I feel the power of Big Pretty leaning into the mountain stroke.
Egoists do the mating dance any which way they can.

These poems make me desire you to suck my Adam’s apple.

What could be sexier than your "Tenor"?

Thank you for inviting me into the privacy of your moan.

Bewitched boy,
Your hands are an erotic poem.
Here, this room, is the universe—we, its ecstatics.

holy silence.

We agree it’s okay to pray for boys panting in your bed,
and the neighbors will praise the
unmuffled sounds of rapture.

Your poem “Pinyan” gives the reader space to contemplate 
the Enumclaw horse sex case without 
You give a reader the ecstatic vision of horse and rider as One.

We eavesdrop on Frederico Garcia Lorca speaking to his muse
and journey with Mariners and delivery boys.

You introduce me to Francisco Bosch
Who could have been the Eromenos of Alexander the Great;
his beauty serves, pays homage to fantasies.

If you are lovesick, dear, know that I am here --
A man trapped in a woman’s body.
Inside me, a boy in bloom awaits you
and your skills at Analingus
No shame in that!
My inner blooming boy child has a smooth, brown backside.
You guide me to discover him.
He’s a dancer who wouldn't give a flying fig
if he were to be exploited
by soldiers in the absence of women.

Would you allow me to introduce you to
The mother within you
The mother who always already commands in silence?

Oh, and please tell Venus Thrash I admire her smooth, and I desire she smooth me and Daddy me.

Ignore the gossip.  I want to read every book you’ve stored inside your head.
We’ll break curfew and play with all we find inside Constantin Brancusi’s toolbox
We’ll sculpt all that we see stretch naked in winter light.

Do you want to hear a story of the first time I saw an erection that was not my own?
We removed our black skinny-jeans.  We stood naked in an urban pasture.  
I could smell his pulse.   
We left the sheep alone and escaped to night the night.

Sita and Durga, dressed in Italian suits, are solving equations and practicing sissy Kung Fu.
Anarchy and Poetry are lovers who walk with
elusive muses who are not speaking to you because they’re making love
in the afternoon, like you do with your boy in that steamy apartment you don’t own.

Meanwhile, I go shopping for boots with Lawrence King.  Yes. His ghost wears go-goes.

Let’s sew a lolita gown for Achilles.

In your city, a dead haberdasher tips his hat to me
then shows me the nightside of joy.

I turn to him and to you.  
I say, our future, not yet deep, 
is growing.

Mister Micheaux, your poems sit upon my nightstand, so I can fall asleep
to the sound of your loud love.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


She saw a generous amount of female thigh on the the Rufus Lorenz bikini ad in the newspaper this morning.  The mushroom with goat cheese omelet received her spouse's generous praise.  After eating, he opened the paper, and she noticed him give those thighs a generous perusing.    

In another room, two guys were talking.   "Hey.  Have you heard they’ve just declared Generosity an Olympic Sport?"  "No shit!"  "Ya.  Iran's team leads."

Across the street, a girl thinks: The best thing anyone has every said to me came from my soul sister's mouth,  Girl, you are one generous genius.

In the Wheels and Deals World, someone says, "If you scratch my back, and I scratch my back, then you scratch my back again, I’d say that would be a generous use of your time."

Before Lady Mystery became president of the brokerage firm Terra Capital Group, the TC Group dedicated a generous amount of its proceeds to children left orphaned in Afghanistan; however, after Lady Mystery’s reign, all profits went straight to those with the greatest need all over the world.  

In the background somewhere, Newsman said, "Today, The Market endured its most generous plummet in history!"

At the ice cream parlor, Ice Cream Man shoveled me a generous scoop of chocolate ice cream.

In the background, Newsman said, "Today, they discovered that Mars is a generous planet."    

On campus, they're all nodding,  "Yes.  I’m reading a book entitled The Fifty Shades of Generosity.  So far, reading that book has inspired me to rush over to my mother’s house and give her a well-deserved foot rub.  That’s how eager I am to practice the art and science of generosity."
"Yes, and I am reading a book called Generosity and Chemistry, an Erotic Fantasy.  I thinks its a Gore Vidal posthumous bestseller." 

In an erotic book club, someone comments, "Lick me, with your generous tongue, sweet Reader."  

If generosity were an Olympic sport, my Lovers would take the Gold. 

Here, I've made this apricot pie; may I cut you a generous slice?

I just downloaded the coolest new Generation Generosity ap onto my device.

Percussionist, Barney Lazarro gives this spoken-word performance in which he drums and chants the word for generosity in ninety-three languages while an enormous, sparkling dancer spins and shimmies all around him.  He performs at Gif Ives's Club Bounty tonight at 7.

The Pennsylvania politician's remarks were generous in their stupidity.

The Guard gave the prisoner a generous beating.

The protestors shouted:  Yes to Generosity!  No to Corpocracy!  Yes to Generostiy!  No to Corpocracy!

The hero died a generous death.

I made a generous contribution to The Institution; The Institution made me Chief Generocateur.

In The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, I find the word generous between the words generic and genesis.  I study the word generous sitting there quietly on the page, and I say to the word, "You've got fine bedfellows."

In 1588, the word generous meant of noble birth, magnanimous.  Makes me want to end all this by shouting out to all humanity:  You've got a generous heart!



Saturday, July 14, 2012

President's Speech

The President clears his throat then speaks these words.

Today begins a new era.  Today begins a new world order.  Welcome, Lovers! 

Welcome to those who love to eat, sleep, piss, fuck, kill, pray, spend, save, misbehave, shave, lead, succeed, breed, bleed. 

Those who love to rule, move their bowels, dominate, submit, slack off, and sneeze, welcome to this brand new nation state.

Those who love the meek, the strong, the witty, the right and the wrong, those who love money, licking honey, and reading the funnies shall remain equals under the law and above the law.

Those who love me, you, him, her, them, and this and that, join this cosmic Mardi Gras!

Those who make love, ignore love, hate love, spurn love, search for love, betray love, question love, come join as we all feast on stardust.

And as for those who are Love--which pretty much includes all humankind and everything besides--celebrate!  

Then the president presses the hole of the flute to his moist lips and beings to play the ney.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gathering for the Fast

Evan Friedman, a charming International Relations student at El Cajon University, wanted to impress the beautiful, Turkish exchange student Afet Musa. 

They were both enrolled in Professor Khoury’s controversial “The Middle East Within You?” course, a course that was cross-listed to fulfill requirements in the History, Political Science, and International Relations Departments at ECU.

Evan was a triple-majoring, straight-A shooting guard who approached every task, whether on the court or in the classroom, with the same attitude: this is cake.

Evan noticed Afet’s soft eyes before he noticed her headscarf.  

Afet Musa came to The States to improve her English.  Plagued by homesickness, she couldn’t stop thinking about the tulips then in bloom around the Golden Horn.  She never felt at ease in the U.S.  The Americans Afet met seemed overly interested in sex, celebrity, and money.  She wished to be visiting a democratic society in which Populism actually meant that leaders heeded the concerns of ordinary people.  At home, Afet had always felt troubled by Turkish notions of Populism in which a benevolent elite supposedly took care of its people.  But living in the United States for eight months left her struggling with her attitude: this is disappointing.

Secretly, she also hoped she’d be lucky enough to find a marriageable, American man, someone like Eddie Vedder.

Evan felt attracted to Afet from the beginning.  He wasn’t sure how to approach her, and he wanted to leave a glorious impression.  When she spoke up in one class discussion, Evan got an idea.  

The students had been discussing the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.  One of the more vocal students, Bruce Caldwell, asserted that only the Israeli government needed to know what was meant by “administrative detention.”  He insisted that the international community should not intervene in this situation out of respect for Israeli sovereignty.  Afet did not agree.  She looked at Bruce with something like disgust in her eyes, “It is plain to me that Israel insists on a policy to imprison Palestinians because they are Palestinians.  This make me feel sympathetic of Palestinian.  I don’t understand why no one in U.S. has honest discussion about Israel.  If someone express sympathy for Palestinian in U.S., people call her Nazi.  The popular inclination in this country is to side with Israel, but I think that I want to hear the voices of Palestinian’s.  I want to hear their side of the story just as much as I hear Israel’s side of the story.  Isn’t that what Democracy is about?  Shouldn’t we hear what Palestinian people wishes?”  Someone else added, “Not if they are Jihadists whose sole purpose is to kill Americans.”  Some members of the class sniggered.  Evan watched Afet’s eye dart around the room, searching for the speaker who’d said that.  Though she’d felt agitated, Afet’s jeweled eye still held its quiet, a quiet that seemed to Evan almost divine.  Though he tried to make contact, Evan could not get her good eye or her false eye to remain trained on him.  The fifty-minute class ended, cutting off the discussion.   

Evan Friedman was smitten, and now he felt compelled to do something to get this girl to notice him.  So he started an organization on campus called Jewish Students in Support of the Palestinian Cause (JSSPC).  The statement of purpose of the organization is to show solidarity with the Palestinian plight and to write letters warning Israeli government that the lack of transparency in its justice system risks violating Palestinians’ Human rights, like a mini human rights watch. 

Evan wrote up a description of JSSPC, received reluctant approval from school administrators, and set out publicizing the organization’s first event.  JSSPC would hold a three-day fast to show solidarity for the hunger-striking, Palestinian prisoners.  The night before the event, Evan wasn’t sure anyone would show up at the assembly hall for the fast.  He hoped Afet would join, and the idea of just the two of them fasting together in the huge assembly hall excited him.  The next day, the strong turnout and enthusiasm surprised Evan. 

Students from all disciplines and backgrounds gathered for the fast.  Many brought guitars and drums.  They lit candles and burned incense.  Some students sat quietly in meditation while others chanted protests or prayers.  No one thought about food.  The college newspaper and the local East County News came to interview the students and write the story up.  Though the fast gained some local limelight, it didn’t attract the attention of the national press.  Evan kept a journal about the Solidarity Fast on a blog that gained a small international readership. 

Each day, Evan tried to approach Afet.  On the first day, he walked toward her, but a journalism student from the college paper stepped in his path and requested an interview.  After that, the local newspaper sent a reporter for another interview.  On the second day, when he was about to approach Afet, someone threw a stone through a window, shattering glass in the far Southeastern corner of the assembly hall.  Everyone feared that it was a threat or hate crime, but more information about the incident revealed it to be nothing more than a drunken college prankster. 

On the third day, Evan felt light-headed and giddy from lack of food, but full of confidence that he would finally get an intimate moment with Afet.  She looked sallow, almost forlorn.  As soon as he introduced himself to her, her eyes rolled back in her head and she passed out in his arms.  While waiting for the emergency team to arrive, Evan cradled Afet close to him.  Without knowing her fondness for Eddie Vedder, he just started singing a song they’d been repeating at the fasting rally—Pearl Jam’s Just Breathe.  The college emergency team arrived and Evan and Afet were separated.  Days later, Afet received a diagnosis of a severe brain tumor.  She returned to her family in Turkey.  Within three months, Afet Musa was dead.  Evan lived on thinking about her, wondering.

After that, Evan Friedman gave up political causes to pursue a law degree, eventually he gained a judgeship on the California supreme court.  He thought about Afet now and then, regarding her as the love of his life.  Though they barely even spoke, they had exchanged something divine.  Evan decided long ago that he would never date a girl unless she inspired him enough to start a political movement. 

Sometimes he told friends or colleagues the story, ending with an ironic sneer, “Let this be a lesson to you, Gentlemen:  No woman is worth your time if she does not inspire you to contribute to some radical, peaceful, political change.”    

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bearded Lady

The bounty on Zahra Amer’s head exceeds 10 million Egyptian pounds.  Her crime?  She wears a fake beard.

Under the old regime, she paid off police, and they let her go on with her show.  But new leadership demands new tricks.  On this evening in January, the 100th anniversary of the Revolution, Sacred Forces enter Amer’s home to detain her for impersonating a prophet, a despot, a foreign tycoon, and a poet.

Amer evades arrest by sleepwalking. 

Reluctant to wake a somnambulist, military personnel stand with weapons limp and mouths agape while the sleeping suspect proceeds to work in her kitchen.  Amer is worth more if they apprehended her alive, and the team fears that if it wakes her, she’ll die.  So the troops, trained to rely on patience in these matters, observe Amer while she stuffs dates with almonds then rolls the dates in a pile of coconut flakes.  The slow, mechanical movements of her thin fingers hypnotize the troops.  The men nod in admiration at the way Amer’s fingers work like the legs of a spider wrapping its victim in silk.  Their mouths water as she arranges the dates on a brass plate and offers the tidbit to her militant houseguests.  They accept her hospitality.  While the men feast on stuffed dates, Zahra Amer—suspected to practice black magic—fastens her false whiskers to her face and runs.

Still chewing, the men race after her.  Amer stands perfectly still outside a local shrine, posing as a statue of Hatshepsut.  The troops run right past her.

Authorities warn The People that Zahra Amer is a threat to public order.  Investigators use TV, radio, and the internet to broadcast warnings: “Amer is not armed, but she’s got legs and knows how to use them.”  Authorities remind The People of the fat reward.  Certainly, someone will cave into the lure of money.

But Amer’s got friends in NGO places, like Comedians Without Borders.  Though current leaders deem such organizations a threat to national unity, The People regard NGOs a vital part of civil society.  The People don’t want money for turning in fugitives. 

People want bread, individual freedom, and social justice.

Despite what The People think, warnings from authorities continue, “Do not try to apprehend this individual yourself, or you may die laughing.  Report her to the military police.”

Disregarding danger, Zahra Amer chooses to perform one last time in Tahrir Square.  Her show features shapeshifting stunts that make a mockery of the recent verdicts handed down by the makeshift tribunals.  Her fellow countrymen cheer.   

After the ovation, the military arrests Zahra Amer.  She will never perform again.  But her courage inspires the Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Womanhood, Manhood and even the Childhood to rethink their positions on freedom of expression.  Thanks to Zahra Amer, all embrace ARTICLE 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, defining freedom of expression to include the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas.  The article protects all types of expression and modes of communication. 

Beards or no beards, women will fight for human rights.   

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Egypt: an Epic, an Eclipse

Master ordered Rabia to leave California tonight.  She is to return to Egypt at once. 

During the flight, she closes her eyes.  She does not sleep.  She prays, chants, and dreams of the Rose Garden of the Beloved. 

For over a year now, Rabia has devoted every prayer to Egypt. 

Whenever she dances, she dedicates every motion of her body—every rotation of her hips, every roll or ripple of her flesh, every bat of every eyelash, every quiver of every muscle down to her deep, inner musculature; she dedicates it all to the divine strength of humanity.

Rabia has faith.  She has faith in human potential, collective human consciousness, and the inner workings of the silence within the Mind of Mankind.

For the past ten years, Rabia has lived alone in a villa on Cabrillo Beach.  She ate rice and lentils and contemplated her faith.  She belongs to a secret order of devotees to the Mysteries of the Sacred Dance.  Her story is one of cultural fusion and great daring. 

Rabia was born in Palestine in 1964.  Her father was a cleric; her mother made delicious taboon bread.  The family fled to Egypt before the Six-days War.  Rabia was three-years-old when her mother died.  Rabia's father sent her to an all-girls boarding school in Cairo.  Every week her father would take her on excursions, usually to visit their favorite orchard near the pyramids.  When Rabia was twelve-years-old, her father died and she was sent to live with an Aunt Rima who had immigrated to the United States years before.  Rabia lived in Southern California with her father’s sister throughout her adolescence.  In the U.S. Rabia discovered she had talent as a dancer.  She studied all kinds of dance: ballet, tap, Classical Indian, Belly, Salsa, Ardha Arab tribal war dance, Snake Dance, Disco Dance, the Charleston.  You name it.  Rabia could dance it.  

During this time, her doumbec-player boyfriend at the time (his name was Ibrahim) inspired Rabia to get a tattoo on her back—a phoenix with red and gold plumage; its wings stretched between Rabia’s shoulders. 

When she was ready to go to college, she yearned to leave The States.  She went to study in London.  There she enrolled in a course about Religions and History, and her studies transformed her.  She sent word to Aunt Rima that she was leaving school to travel to holy places all around the world.  Eventually, she felt drawn to the Sufi Fakirs of Bengal and took up the road with these ascetics for three years.

When she felt restless, Rabia left the Fakirs to roam other parts of the Earth.  On her own, Rabia visited as many sacred shrines throughout the world as she could.  During her sojourn, Rabia bathed in the Ganges, kissed the Black Stone, meditated before the Buddha at Wat Phnom, burned candles at the feet of Guadalupe, celebrated Spring at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, squatted before Sheela Na Gig at the Round Tower, laughed with monks in the temples at the top of the Mountain of Eternal Clouds and Mist, climbed the terraced gardens in Haifa to the Shrine of the Báb, and whirled before the shrine of Jalal-ud-Din Rumi.

She made her living dancing on the streets, in taverns and community halls.  Crowds of men, women, and children loved her and threw coins to her.  She sewed the coins to her belt.  They cheered her on because Rabia's dancing transmitted a feeling of well-being to those who watched her.

Rabia had disciplined her flesh, her bones, her breath, and her blood until she had become an embodiment of holiness.  Her human body—with all its potential—knows its place, its size, and its purpose in the cosmos.  Rabia, like Mother Earth, obeys laws of gravity, rhythm, motion, and silence.

Master and Rabia met during these sojourn years.  That day, Rabia was not dancing.  She was completely covered and performing the Hajj.  Master and Rabia merely made eye contact, but that eye contact was all they needed.  The two knew each other in other lifetimes; in that eye contact, they exchanged a silent, ancient promise.  But years would pass, and Rabia would need to return to California to care for her dying aunt, before she would ever meet up again with Master. 

Master is a black pilgrim, a survivor of genocide, a witchy wealth doctor, a scholar of the ancient religion of love, and the only human being Rabia knows of who has kissed every holy shrine on this planet.  Still, there is something about Cairo, or—to be more precise—the desert outside of Cairo, where the sky boasts a clear human view of celestial bodies in action.  Of all the places in the world, Master chose the Mother of the World for their honeymoon night.

While on her flight to Cairo, Rabia concentrates.  She imagines the leaders in Cairo and all over the world working hard to see to it that every person shall have bread, individual freedom, and social justice.

Rabia knows that today’s Cairo is soiled by the politics of power, but she doesn’t believe in modern politics.  She believes in people.  She believes in the seasonal rise and fall of the Nile.  She believes in fellaheen farmers and their local saints.  Nor is she too concerned about Cairo’s current transition of power, whatever happens there, the coral reefs will continue forming in the Red Sea. 

What concerns Rabia and Master most is what is taking place in the sky.  The sun is entering Gemini.  Election eve, there will be an annular solar eclipse with a magnitude of .94.  The moon will obscure 85 percent of the sun's surface. 
Master orders Rabia to meet him at a private, desert observatory where they will survey the sky.  While elections take place in Egypt, Master and Rabia sit and watch the sky.  Master plays the drum.  Rabia dances.  The stars burn through motion.  The Earth moves around the sun in its perfect devotion.  When Master rests, Rabia rests.  There is silence in the desert.  There is silence in the cosmos.  There is silence at the center of collective human consciousness. 

At around 5:30 pm, the Moon crosses the Sun's path and creates a ring of fire in the sky for viewers on Earth.  Master and Rabia witness the beauty of the alignment of Sun, Moon, and Earth.  When it is over, they ignite the funeral pyre.  

Finally, Rabia receives kisses--for the first and last time--from Master's lips, lips that have kissed a million shrines.  Their lovemaking, sacred and playful, fuels the blaze.  

In a tight embrace, the lovers throw themselves into the fire.  The fire consumes the lovers and dies out.

There is dust and silence. 

Some time later, a dust storm.  

One beautiful bird rises from the ashes.  

Phoenix spreads great wings to cruise the night sky above the Red Sea.

All along, coral reefs continue forming within the silence in the sea.  Reefs formed by Earth's plate tectonics.  The lithosphere moves; the African and Arabian continents slowly rift apart.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Voice of A Teen in Moscow

I live for the Friend, the Russian Empire that is within me. I explore and am guided by my rich inner life: my deep inner voice can echo throughout the Caucus range; my personal, intimate, deep, hot yearning can warm the Taiga forest in winter, swim the Shosha River in Spring, rush over tundra with wild reindeer in the white night of Summer, and outpace these high-speed cities over again in Autumn. Fragrant Moscow lilacs bloom deep within my core. My whole being contains every stroke of every Fedoskino miniature painting ever crafted by delicate hands. My existence conserves the entire history of the Russian language from its Slavic roots to Bulgakov, Bunin, and Brodsky. My mind, like a Zhostovo painting, demands energetic, firm strokes with a soft brush. I am the fall of Kiev and the rise of Stalin. I am 30,000 people linked arm-in-arm in solidarity around the Garden Ring. I am a daughter of Russia and a triumph palace. Russia belongs to me. I am her little girl and her ruler. I will become another Russian folk woman, a city woman, a queen, a queer, a quiet light in the Square of Europe, if only to spite this cruel world. I will live another day to hold up the sky over Eurasia.

And I am none of this. I am consciousness.  I am bliss.

The ancient mother. The stranger. One has heard my story and called out to me. Me! Russian girl. I am the mistress of the ancient and eternal. I live for the One and the many Russian girlhoods that will follow mine.  I will grow old and cold as the Arctic.  I am a rich resource eternally loved by The Mother.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A CEO Before A Tribunal

Warner Hurt is The Chief Executive Officer of an investment firm called The Love Group, Inc. Today, Mister Hurt must answer to a Tribunal of Judges who will question him about recent allegations of corporate deception.

Last week, a desires salesman by the name of Gore Styles resigned from The Love Group and publically accused the firm of lying to its clients. “Rather than investing clients’ assets in shares of divine love,” Styles admitted to a reporter, “The Love Group salesmen are required first to push the sales of cheap romance.”

A curious, suspecting public demanded an official investigation into the matter. Benevolent officials followed through by requiring The Love Group CEO to attend a hearing before three learned justices.

Judge Alif, Judge Mevlana, and Judge Rabi’a are seated at the bench. One ceiling fan turns slowly but does little to ease the burden of the desert heat. Everyone in the room sweats through his clothes. The judges fire away.

Judge Alif: Is it true that you would rather have your salesmen invest your clients’ resources in the vanity and cupidity of romantic love simply because romantic love turns more profit for your firm?

CEO: With all due respect, Sir, what is best for the firm is what is best for our clients. We do not distinguish between one kind of love and another. It is all love.

Judge Rabi’a: You would argue that a client who experiences a cheap romance is receiving the same profit as one who experiences divine love?

CEO: Through loving human beings, we access love for the divine.

Judge Mevlana: Mister Hurt. This may be so, but if your clients’ trust your firm to turn their investments into the profits equal to those one may receive through divine love, why should a client be mislead into cheap romance?

Mister Hurt: Your Honor. Divine love is much too complicated for ordinary clients to understand. Its benefits are not always understood as benefits by human minds. Sometimes the best access one has to divine love is through friendship, romance, marriage, or religion.

Judge Alif: This is not satisfactory. Are you suggesting that religion offers merely an ordinary love and not true access to divine love?

Mister Hurt: Correct. Religious love for any God or gods is not the same thing as Divine Love. One does not profit from Divine Love in the way one may profit from religious devotion.

Judge Rabi’a: You speak nonsense and have no authority to bring God into this discussion. Leave God and gods out of this. First, clarify your firm’s policy on the sales of desires.

Mister Hurt: Simple. A client may invest his desire in material things he wants, his worldly possessions, possessions that may attract a potential mate, friends, and admirers. In this way he is diversifying his portfolio. On the other hand, an investor may opt to place all his desire in One love interest, desiring One thing with his whole heart.

Judge Mevlana: Mister Hurt, can you explain to this court, what is that One thing?

Mister Hurt: Yes, Your Honor. Such an investor desires the collective expansion of wisdom of all humanity.

Judge Alif: That sounds like an unrealistic desire, Mister Hurt. Too lofty. Impossible.

Mister Hurt: That is why so few investors choose this option, Sir. The risks for grief are far too great. Divine love offers a painstaking path. We do have clients who are those rare mystics who bring us bottles made of colored glass in which they have collected tears.

Judge Mevlana: Tears? Shed over heartbreak?

Mister Hurt: Over soulbreak, if you will, Your Honor. This is the mystic’s investment. We make every effort to see to it that these mystics receive shares of divine love.

Judge Rabi’a: In what way?

Mister Hurt: Visions. Dreams. Ecstatic joy. Bliss. Musical or poetic inspiration. Moments in their lives when they see all things clearly. They see Love. The know Love. They are Love. Our firm would not play fast and loose with the mystics’ jars of tears, the sorrows of mendicants.

Judge Mevlana: Mister Hurt, if a potential client approached you with millions of these glass bottles, tears shed by entire cities full of desirous, envious, aching, heavy hearts, how would you advise this potential client? What would be the best investment your firm has to offer such a client?

Warner Hurt: A patch of dirt.

Judge Mevlana, Judge Rabi’a, and Judge Alif: (in unison) Dirt?

Warner Hurt: I would advise such a client to gather the bottles and clear a plot of Earth. Plant the jars in the Earth and let the land alone. Centuries will pass. Roses will grow. Millions and millions of roses will grow. Let children run loose in rose gardens. Assist the infirm through such gardens. Watch pink and pale cheeks rub against rose petals while the dispossessed inhale rose fragrance. This would be a message, a symbol, a metaphor, a blissful moment that would signal to human beings that the cosmos turns and turns only to seek expression for divine love. And I know this is beyond the scope of the question, Your Honor, but, Your Honor, I would be damned if I didn’t also advise all those who live with heavy hearts to lighten up. Lighten up!

Judge Mevlana: Fair enough, Mister Hurt. How would you explain yourself to the curious people outside this courthouse today, waiting to hear your reaction to the accusations from your former employee, Mister Gore Styles.

Warner Hurt: The Love Group has always promised its clients profits in love. Our firm takes that prepositional phrase “in love” and holds that as supremely important. “In love” is the bedrock of our global emotional system. The Love Group goal is to get people to fall in love with one another. We are less useful with regard to love as a verb, a noun, or—heaven help us—a proper noun. We negotiate romantic love because it yields more comprehensible numbers on the Nether Yahweh Stock Exchange. Sure, human emotion is frail, but collective human spirit is that much more unstable. If we start to negotiate in terms of divine love, we fear the system may collapse. We just don’t know. We cannot promise all our clients shares of divine love as Gore Styles had erroneously hoped we could. We were mistaken when we hired Gore Styles. He was not qualified to sell desires. He is simply one of those salesmen who himself lives uncomfortably with too many unfulfilled desires.

Judge Alif: Well then, Mister Hurt, this court advises you to take more care in your hiring decisions. Also, you must see to it that all your employees’ desires are fulfilled. Adjourned.

With that, the judges rise and return to their chambers.

Alone in the courtroom, Warner Hurt raises a glass of water, drinks one swig, and dumps what remains over his head.

Monday, March 05, 2012

My Policy Here is One of Love

An American, an Israeli, and an Iranian were invited to feast at the Table of the Beloved Mother Earth. When they saw all the options on the table, the Beloved invited them to “Dig in!”

The Iranian started by helping himself to the dish that was richest in Uranium. He took one bite, and the Earth shook, angry and violent, beneath his feet.

Then the American helped himself to everything on the table. A strange storm lifted him, spun him around until he was nauseous, and slammed him to the ground. Little tweeting birds and stars flew circles above his aching head.

The Israeli stood apart, amused by all their folly. When they recovered from their injuries, the Israeli said, “Hey guys, let’s just destroy the whole table.” The American and the Iranian looked at one another and shrugged. They asked, “Why would we want to do that?” The Israeli said, “So we can ensure that we remain Masters of Our Fate.”

Mother Earth witnessed all this and was not pleased. She said, “Darling children. You have soiled your missions. You shall have no pie! You all deserve Time Out while you give a close listen to All of Humanity recite—in unison—from the Book of Cosmic Prayer.”

(Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if foolish children did as they were told?)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Everyday Fishbone: A Skewed Story of Fishbone

In junior high school, Blanca Hernandez rode the bus to school with Angelo Moore. Later, Angelo Moore would become a vocalist in a punk-funk band called Fishbone. Later, Blanca Hernandez would lead an ordinary life but would always wonder what Angelo Moore had done with her Plum in Sunshine.

Blanca—timid, sweaty, and awkward—usually sat behind Angelo during the half hour bus ride from South Central to the Valley. He never noticed her, but it was impossible not to notice him. When he wasn’t sleeping on the bus, Angelo would slap funky rhythms on those green vinyl bus seats. He’d start with tiny, rumbling riffs that would grow until every kid on the bus had joined in a Ride-to-Fucking-School Jamboree. He’d lead some mix of happy-go-funky school songs, punctuated with grunts and ahs. Of course his music moved Blanca out of her severely shy self, and what started as a schoolgirl crush morphed into something more. To Blanca, forging a friendship looked hopeless from the start—Angelo was so much Louder-Than-Life, she, more into solitude—so she nurtured a sweet longing for his companionship. Whenever she worked up nerve to talk to him, it was always the wrong time; she said all the wrong things. She’d try to make him turn her way only to discover he was nodding off or snoring.

During one of these naps, Blanca noticed something crawling on Angelo. Could it be a giant, hairy Mojave scorpion? Now, how the fuck had that creature boarded the bus? Blanca remained calm. While the scorpion’s pincers sought out purchase on Angelo’s skin, Blanca quietly and ever so gently removed her thermos from her lunch and unscrewed the top. Angelo snoozed on. Blanca stopped breathing. She used a steady, quick hand. With the lid of the thermos, she silently scooped up the creepy predator and dumped it into the scalding honey tea that her mama had lovingly blended. Blanca shivered and swiftly dumped the entire contents of the thermos out the window as the bus raced North along the Harbor Freeway. She shared the incident with no one, but saved the whole story for when she was home with her mother and father.

Back in 1965, Ernesto and Liliana Hernandez had arrived from Guatemala. Thanks to the Watts Riots and the subsequent middle class relocations, the Hernandez couple was able to find an affordable, two-bedroom apartment just off Vernon and Central in South L.A. Blanca’s mother found work cleaning houses. Blanca’s father washed dishes at a bar & grill. Blanca told them about the scorpion, her fear, and her frustration, “Oh Mama, he doesn’t even know I exist.” Her mother said, “Child, all you’ll ever need is within you.” Her father added, “Blanca, just be glad that it is easier to find a good meal than a true friend.” And friendships proved hard for Blanca to forge throughout her academic career in San Fernando Valley. Perhaps in the 1970s there had been a feeble attempt to integrate the schools in the Valley, but that did little to integrate human beings.

Or did it?

Once. Angelo spoke to her on the bus. He noticed her reading Esperanza Rising and asked if he could borrow it for English class; he needed to do a book report. She quickly savored the last chapter of her favorite book and surrendered it over to him. She knew he would never return it, but she’d get over that. The important thing was that now she had the courage to approach him. She’d been meaning to give him something.

She worked up the nerve to give him one of her paintings.

In Ms. Rose’s 8th grade art class, Blanca discovered that she possessed modest talent for still life oil painting. At home, she would while away free time with brush to canvas, painting with pure love for her subject. She always attempted to make a piece of fruit look good enough to eat off the canvas. Her favorite work was one she called Plum in Sunlight. She saved up her babysitting money to buy an 8 X 10 inch frame for it. When it looked absolutely perfect, she wrapped it in yellow paper to present to him.

“Angelo, I like you. I want you to have this.” She was awkward, but she had said it. He accepted the gift with his usual good cheer and said, “I like you, too, Big Blanca.” The sound of her name off his musical tongue stunned her into awareness that he knew her name. What else might he know about her?

But when the bus rides ended, Angelo and Blanca parted ways forever. He eventually went on to pursue a rocky marriage with the music industry while Blanca pursued her education. She made a silent promise to remain a devout Fishbone fan.

One night, in 1988, a year after she graduated from Cal State, Blanca sat at a bar drinking gin when a stranger, a large, wheezing, first-time visitor to L.A. introduced himself as Sidney Spar. Sid hovered over her, a bulking monument to masculinity. He said, “Aren’t you a work of art? Well, I’m a dealer. I’d like to make an offer on those eyes of yours!” When Spar got a closer look, he added, “Whoo wee! Girl, you’ve got a surreal look that could fetch a fortune on auction at Christie’s!” His attention was enough to woo her. Initially, she didn’t want to sleep with Spar, but she couldn’t help wondering what sex was like. She had spent so many years secretly loving Angelo through metaphysical intimacy. Now an opportunity had arrived for real, physical intimacy. Though reluctant, Blanca’s curiosity got the best of her.

When Blanca discovered she was pregnant, Spar, who had never wanted a relationship, was long gone. She never searched for him. She didn’t need anything more from him.

During her pregnancy, Blanca was most grateful for her solitude and her library card. She was reading a book called Music and the History of Human Consciousness when she came across a story about the theremin. She was well-aware that Angelo Moore of Fishbone played that instrument. She learned that the theremin was the product of Russian government-sponsored research into motion sensors. The instrument was invented by a young physicist named Lev Sergeivich Termen after the outbreak of the Russian Civil War. After reading the part about the Russian Civil War, boom, Blanca went into labor.

Naturally, she named her son Lev. The name was on her mind from her reading and that name was associated with Angelo’s strange instrument. Blanca couldn’t wait to bring her boy home from the hospital and introduce him to Fishbone’s music.

Alas, Lev was born deaf.

Blanca’s stoic nature would not have allowed her to lament this condition except that she yearned to share Fishbone’s music with her only child. After crying over the tragedy for a few weeks, she summoned back her strength and decided to hell with ears! “Lev, you will listen with your heart.” She played Fishbone albums over and over while she nursed him, rocked him, fed him, changed him, and played with him. She pretended he could hear it, but Lev Ernesto Hernandez grew into boyhood never hearing Fishbone.

But that didn’t mean he had not been listening.

At an early age, Lev proved himself to be a genius. He excelled at Astronomy and built an instrument that could link up with the consciousness of other planets, stars, comets, nebulae, and star clusters. Lev’s accomplishments, at the age of nine, were making scientific breakthroughs in human understanding of cosmic spinning, breakthroughs as significant as Copernicus’s heliocentric model, Galileo’s telescope, or Nasir al-Din al-Tusi’s Tusi-couple. Because of the breakthroughs Lev was making, people asked more questions, not about life or intelligence, but about consciousness in the cosmos. Could what some mystics refer to as Divine Love have an eloquent scientific explanation that had to do with the spinning of the cosmos? Lev’s work penetrated the essence of spinning.

At first, his teachers couldn’t hide their astonishment. All too soon, the government found out about the rich resource of Lev’s intelligence, and the boy was treated with extra special, Official attention. When he was only fifteen, Lev was whisked away to a private school for Mensa International members where he could hone his intelligence for the benefit of all humanity. His mother yearned for, and savored, the holiday visits and daily Skype sessions.

Around this time, Blanca read in the newspaper that Angelo Moore had moved back in with his mother. To Blanca’s mind this was good news. The thought of Angelo and his mother made Blanca feel that much more tender toward him. She didn’t understand the mainstream attitude on this matter. Why should a grown man moving in with his mother be considered a sign of “failure?” Honestly. Weren’t Angelo and his friends influential to musicians and fans around the globe? That’s booming success. So what if it aint commercial? Besides, ain’t nothing wrong with a man and his Jehovah’s Witness mama sticking together in life, sorting things out. Hell, that’s probably the way things ought to be.

As far as her own Lev’s fame and genius were concerned, Blanca actually credited Fishbone. Had to be the Fishbone we listened to together that shaped that mind of his. Blanca explained it to herself this way: Yes. Dr. Mad Vibe medicated my baby boy.

If Blanca had an enterprising mind, perhaps she could have helped produce a line of albums called Baby Fishbone. Perhaps she could have sold the idea of creating high-quality, age-appropriate products that could “put the funk in the punk” of being a bewildered baby. It would be sort of like what had been done already with Baby Mozart. Blanca’s mind, however, was never consumed with consumerism. She never had her finger on the pulse of the market economy. But what she lacked in business sensibility she made up for in persuasiveness.

When she eventually moved to Westminster Terrace in San Diego, Blanca converted her well-to-do neighbors to Fishbone fans.

Blanca didn’t leave South L.A. for reasons people supposedly try to leave the “ghetto.” Yes there were sunless Saturdays in the hood, but Blanca always felt tender toward her neighborhood. (Besides, who is anybody to judge another’s nesting instincts?) Blanca viewed South L.A. an adequate place to live (though she never really had the L.A.P.D up her ass). She maintained a sort of aloof, peaceful demeanor combined with innate, worldly stoicism, an attitude that offered her self a kind of protection from ever becoming a hard-edged street tough. Despite what one may read about in the papers, daily life in the hood could get down right boring. When she could finally afford her own home, she chose a Spanish style bungalow in San Diego.

Why San Diego? Blanca had intentions.

Blanca Hernandez privately regarded it her duty and privilege (she’d never call it her Latina American woman’s burden) to convert the quiet beach culture of San Diego into a devoted Fishbone fan base.

Being a grown woman and a mother, Blanca had outgrown the cloak of invisibility she wore in her younger years. She’d grown more confident simply because she’d grown older, and it all had less to do with buying her own home or getting that offensive mole removed from her face than Blanca had suspected.

Boldly, she knocked on her neighbors’ doors to introduce herself, and they saw a bodacious woman with a fat grin.

After speaking with her for a moment, neighbors felt assured that Ms. Hernandez would be no trouble. One of her neighbors, the Mayor of San Diego, Christopher Petsle, was a left-handed, left-brained, left-his-ego-at-the-door kind of liberal who had made his success in the surfboard business.

Another neighbor, Perry Foster, was President of the County Credit Union and a total dweeb.

Nonetheless, when Blanca gifted them Fishbone albums at her housewarming party, both thanked her for the music, listened, and instantly loved it. So Blanca could play Fishbone on her Ohm Guru Surround Sound System whenever she damn well pleased. Her neighbors never complained. In fact, the Mayor threw his weight around with the local radio stations and soon Fishbone recordings played on Z 90.3, Sophie 103.7, 101KGB, 100.7 Jack FM, and Jazz 88. No one bothered to classify Fishbone; they just listened to Angelo and Norwood’s music.

There was one soul rebel whom Blanca wished she could have converted but never did. For years, Blanca had worked as an assistant to an overweight power broker by the name Albert Buckley. Everyone affectionately called him Fat Albert because he looked like that famous cartoon character. For his birthday, Blanca gave Fat Albert the album Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe. Buckley, though growing hard of hearing, had always been a devoted listener to speeches delivered by Heads of States. To be polite, he listened to the Fishbone album and reported to Blanca that he didn’t like it. His wife, on the other hand, played the music for their infant son, Fat Albert Junior, who suffered severe colic. Fishbone helped relieve Junior of whatever discomfort had been vexing him. The baby listened to Fishbone all day and slept peacefully all night.

Blanca even brought Mister Fat Albert Buckley to a screening of the kickass rockumentary, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Fat Albert ate a Pork Belly sandwich and drank a stout; Blanca drank an Avery White Rascal wheat beer. They enjoyed the film, laughed, and agreed that Fishbone really knew how to soul search, make music, and party. Later, as Buckley’s hearing abilities changed, Blanca taught him how to sign.

In Autumn 2017, Blanca’s health declined. Lev stayed by her. When he sensed she was near the end, he pressed “Play” on her stereo so she could listen to “Everyday Sunshine” while she held his hand and let go of her life.

While Blanca took her final breaths in this world, Angelo Moore, miles away, was reaching into a bowl of fruit in his mother’s kitchen.

Angelo’s eyes fell upon a painting his mother had hung up on her kitchen wall long ago, a painting of a perfect, purple plum lolling in the green grass, soaking in the sun. His mother confessed to Angelo that she didn’t know why that painting inspired her to pay close attention to the way she arranged the fruit in the bowl.

Angelo raised an eyebrow as if to say, “Uh huh!” He noticed sunlight bathing the skin of the fruit in the bowl, and words for a funky song came to his mind. Angelo sang the words “Fruit Loop Mama” in a voice as sweet as it was metallic and crazed. When Mama gave him that stare, Angelo bit into a plum from the bowl. Plum juice dribbled down his chin.

In the moments leading to her death, Blanca experienced an illusion that only a deathly ill person can—she heard her name in the Fishbone music. She heard Angelo singing her name. She felt her body tremble and rise. Then she saw this: Her corpse, naked, was lifted above everyone’s head. Her dead body was crowd surfing. At least this is what Blanca could make out with her skewed perspective. At once, she felt removed, watching from above her body as if watching the whole thing on film. She saw an excited crowd of music lovers tossing her wasted body from one place to the next. At the same time that she watched herself, she could also feel all those hands touching her, rubbing, pinching, grabbing, and releasing her flesh and her bones. She felt the strength in the arms of those people who were lifting her and tossing her.

She witnessed the crowd’s growing excitement. First, someone shouted, “She’s buck naked!” And that was followed by an excited hoot. Then someone else shouted, “It’s a fucking stiff!” And someone else shouted a deep, thunderous, “Oh, fuck yeah!” The excitement shook the earth. A naked, dead, fat bitch surfed a crowd that was partying on Freeway 8. This mass of party people occupying the 8 Freeway lifted Blanca from Windsor Terrace, through Mission Valley, all the way out to Ocean Beach. They passed Blanca’s corpse and chanted “It ain’t over. It ain’t over. It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady splash!” The chanting grew until the crowd was raging ecstatic.

On precise beat with a colossal cymbal crash, the crowd tossed Blanca over the ends of the earth and into a seething sea.

She turned into an enormous skinless, meatless fishbone; she breached thirty feet into the air, turned, and came down with a splash that sprayed the sweaty crowd.

Blanca Hernandez died of kidney failure on December 17, 2017.

They played “Skank & Go Nuts” at her memorial service.

Using sign language, Lev delivered a touching eulogy. For those present who were illiterate in American Sign Language, an interpreter named Laurence Fishfry spoke Lev’s signs with booming, gruff authority. Lev assured mourners that his mother rested now. Without fear or regret, she had taken full responsibility for every action, decision, and incident she ever lived through.

And about her last moments, Lev signed, “If you could only hear what I heard in my head as my mother exited this world,” Larry uttered Lev’s signs. “I heard a crowd of divine beings chanting, protesting, cheering, praising. I heard the sounds of their arms rising above their heads as they held my mother’s weight and carried her to Infinity. Divine beings, a crowd of divine beings, divine motherfucking party animals! The same divine animals who are campaigning, warring, fucking, protesting, cheering, shouting, tweeting, twinkling, procreating, pontificating, scheming, killing, cheating lying, voting, loving, and rocking out. Divine beings. One. And. All. In my head, I heard these beings roaring, like at a rock concert. And still, Mother’s last moments were peaceful.

With trembling hands, Lev continued: My mother’s exit from this world told me to learn how to joyfully embraced Death. Accept Death for what it is—the ultimate creative anarchist.

Death (Lev’s hands froze and seemed to form ice crystals on his fingertips) is the ultimate creative anarchist (burning flames rose off the ends of his finger tips).

The Creative Anarchist. Embrace the Creative Anarchist. Lev’s hands went wild with circular gestures that baffled everyone, even and especially Laurence Fishfry. The room started spinning. There was grief and ecstasy.

Everyone got funky.

Death! Uh! Funky! Uh! All right! All right! Hey! Death! All right! Don’t you want to funk up? Funk up. Funk up.

Hey! Woof! Woof! Bark! Bark! Yo Mamma Dead! Yeah! Keep it funky! Move baby! Move!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Today, a friend (Abdullah Rosie Saleh, a.k.a. Sheikh Sunshine, a.k.a. Rabbi Ayla, a.k.a Father Lollipop, a.k.a Buddha Potato, Mister Mystic, a.k.a. Jane Doe) and I were discussing how to remind friends of divine love. While suns rose over the horizons of our minds, we sipped jasmine tea and rewrote the headlines for the morning’s news:

Sudans’ Oil Love Risks Shattering a Fragile Peace

Traveling Light in a Time of Digital Love

Obama Love Lessens Focus On the Deficit

Obama Adjusts a Rule Covering Love

In a Mailbox: A Shared Gun, Just for the Loving

A Love that has Outlasted 10,000 Chandeliers

Turmoil in Greece Over Love Plan

Car Bombings Love Syria