The Good Hippie Volume 3 by Katie Wies

Its my understanding that numerous readers were upset by my statement about art is a negative side note of the ‘hippie’ mindset I am so adamantly bashing throughout my article. So, let us begin…

Art: It can be defined as anything found to beautiful or moving (in a certain state of being). Period. Defined more intensively, it can be a masterpiece, true innovation, something deserving of admiration. Taking a brief stroll through ones collective memory of artists, the years will show only a few of the great minds that walked the earth and did something worth remembering and holding onto. Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein. Freddy Mercury and so on. These people were pioneers of their artistic trade and utilized their gift for the betterment of the times they lived in.

In earlier years of our existence, artists were thought highly of and held a trade that the affluent and entitled people in society needed. Paintings of themselves, etc… They were put into a notable situation, where they would network and more times than not they would be held with great respect within the castes. For example, Da Vinci painted and studied everything under the sun. There are more paintings and sketches of the human body, birth, botany, architecture, machinery and inventions of all kinds than are even recorded in the study of art history.

As time went on we witnessed a drastic shift in the entitled mindset for artists and the idea of the ‘starving artists’ began to take hold. In my opinion, it was a fairly direct idea of no longer being original , as much as it was being overtly shocking or taboo with the chosen outlook artists presumed. Corrupt music, art, and ego, fully presented. Irony and emotion crept into the artistic picture and started a shift in the cultural outlook the artist adopted.

Today everyone I know calls themselves an artist. They hold their head high, way too high, and stand proudly behind some pretty awful art, music or spirit they are presenting. Today, why do we stand for a bucket of human shit to be something admired or applicable to art? And when exactly did we callously subject ourselves to the idea of art being something to enrich or enlighten the human spirit?

True skill can be argued. Some people can see a landscape, take a complete mental picture and then duplicate it in a colorful or abstract way. There is no denying that God given gift to the human soul. And expressionism. Who said expressing yourself was overtly wrong or abominable? I’m certainly not trying to (if I have). However, throughout my research and my jaded very of hippies, it goes back to the defilement and death of simple (sometimes looked at as religious) ways of perceiving and living life. That defilement starting with the largest ‘hippie’ movement in our history. The 1960’s.

The 1950’s aren’t completely exempt from my criticism. The angst provided from the oppressed black population that concluded into the jazz, blues, and beat-poet underground evolution gave way to this cultural conversion. As well as futile wars in the decades prior.

A deep rumbling shift within the spirit massed that we had possibly gotten it all wrong, and there was nothing more to do than express ourselves carelessly and crudely; Rather than rise up and be something worth calling yourself an artist for.

The nations situational coercion in that time and the increase of drug-usage to expand our minds (whether that was intended use by the adamantly as control, or simply by ‘the masses’ were generally weak with self-control) did in fact lead to just a bunch of shit in a bucket with fake intentions and people to stand behind it. That being said, history did not see an overt and widespread counter-culture until the 1960’s.

I used to be with the movement and the potential growth that could be viewed from elevated thinking and change in the ‘norm’. We unfortunately become dishonest with ourselves and unfocused from the message of art, peace and love.

In the words of David Forster Wallace, “Dishonesty undermines a work’s internal integrity — the only standard by which a work can succeed. If the work becomes a vehicle for one’s ego, personal or political agenda, self-image, desire for fame, adulation, fortune — human as these inclinations may be — the work will be limited accordingly. Even a desire to affirm human dignity and elevate the human spirit can be corrupted by dishonesty in the form of sentimentality.”

Stop calling bad art ‘art’ and let’s force artist to be a title worth something again. Original.

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The Wondering by ANONYMOUS

You are going to grow up.  You are going to have questions.  I have no doubt that the time in your life will come.

If you are anything like me or your father, you will get to the bottom of it; But I don’t want you to hide in the bushes, dressed in camouflage, waiting to uncover your answers.

I want you to be so secure in your upbringing that you confidently ask any question you have about your Custom Artists and their Masterpiece any time your soul yearns for the smallest gem of information.

Sure, it may feel scary, foreign, or weird.  You may even feel displaced.  Maybe even misplaced.

I hope you never feel that way.  I know exactly where I put you.  I’ll know where to find you.

Yet, I can’t tell you how to feel about this.  Your emotions are yours to create and cradle.  Know that my plan is for you to be able to discuss where you came from without ever feeling bad for it.  You were meant to be.

 

As a young girl, knowing I was adopted was as normal to me as riding my roller-skates through the local grocery store.  That means as normal as breathing or wearing pigtails in my hair.  After finding out I was adopted (at approximately 6 years old) it became a part of me.  My dad told me it meant I was ‘special’ after a nosey neighbor at the pool asked why I did not look like my family.

I was completely delighted with that response.

I am special.

 

 

About three years later, I found myself sitting Indian style in my fourth grade classroom; One piece of a seventeen part human circle.  We took turns reading a paragraph at a time as we learned about different kinds of families.

“Blended. Single. Extended. Biological. Adopted”

I knew that word.  That word had defined me for the last three years.  As a classmate finished the paragraph, I now had all the pieces of the puzzle that I never even realized I’d been putting together.  I was satisfied.  I was proud.

The very thing I thought to myself after the adoption section was:  “Well now it all makes sense.  I look nothing like the rest of my family.  Which is fine.”

In fact, I embrace it.

First off, I am a Leo.  We crave the spotlight, shaking our long manes proudly in the bursting sun at any moment possible.  Second, I loved who I was and who I am.  My entire family is tall, blonde non-curly hair, blue or green eyes, fair skin, and thin.  Then there is me: Short (not even 5 foot), olive skin, brown-curly hair,  and a muscular build (what I call it on a good day).  Looking different did not change the fact that I knew I belonged with my family.  I still do.

The only question I ever had that actually bothered and still to this does:  Does she think about me on my birthday?

I am going to assume she does.  I mean, how could she not?  The day I entered the world was the day we met.  I know she held me.  The nurses even told my parents that she was so brave to just say goodbye and never look back.

I respect her decision to keep the adoption closed.  If that is what she thought was best, I trust her.

This is where she and I differ.  I cannot meet you and let you loose to the world, knowing I will never see you again.

I must know there was will be no goodbye, just ‘see you later’.

When you wonder if I think about you, know I never stop.  I love you.

 

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Masterpiece by ANONYMOUS

Prigov stalin detail final_3

Beauty itself cannot be created. It is the semblance of potential that reaches out to a mother and extends to us The Hand of Life.

Along with such a blessing, arises a responsibility: Self-actualization. A mother must posses the conviction to realize herself, her capabilities, and the dedication necessary to care entirely for life: The Star of Potential.

Within paper-thin walls, The Mother conceives a child and if given the gift of divine connection. Envisioning purpose, hope, the future… The best path possible. Not for herself. For the child.

 

I found out about you five days ago.  I had a feeling, literally and figuratively.  I know how you got here.  I suppose you were invited.  Well, not exactly.

Like there was a big sign that said “do not enter” with cement boulder blocking the door-way, even though the door was wide open: perhaps even removed from the hinges.

I love you.  I love your other half which helped in the design process.  I love him more than I am permitted.

I kept my last creation of this kind.

The difference… I’ve never loved a co-creator the way I love yours.

Yet I could marvel at my previous creation without a second of hesitation.

It may sound selfish but I prefer honesty… I know this masterpiece we have created through countless creative differences holds majestic wisdom and beauty than any of its kind.  I will never destroy, erase, or throw you away.

I made the decision to have two perfect beings take you home and build the perfect life for you.  The selection will not be an easy one, nor will it be made without investigation.  Your bold and mysterious nature is far too much for my walls.

You are my masterpiece and you are going to change the world.  I will visit you every moment I can.  I will allow loving arms to hold you, as long as it is agreed that they send me a photo every time the sun shines through your brilliance at a different angle.

I was someone’s masterpiece as well.  I went through the same things you will.  The only difference… I will never stop marveling at your everlasting beauty.   I made you, I love you.

You weren’t meant for me, you were created for someone else.

 

 

The Good Hippie Volume 2 by Katie Wies

 

Hippies- You either love them or you hate them.

I’ll precedent this statement with the fact that I have several close hippie friends of my own and could be labeled a ‘hippie’ based on a few of my lifestyle choices. One being: I am handwriting this installation for The Writer’s Block on recycled paper. I obviously have a strong opinion on the culture pulsing through the community I choose to call home… Akron, Ohio. The lifestyle I perceive to be a predominantly ‘hippie’ based culture;One that is catered to our individual plot on the map. First, let us ask ourselves to make a precedent- a textbook definition:

‘hip·pie noun \ˈhi-pē\

: a usually young person who rejects established social customs (such as by dressing in an unusual way or living in a commune) and who opposes violence and war; especially : a young person of this kind in the 1960s and 1970s’

(Merriam-Webster Inc, 2014, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hippie)

Let us create a definition for our humble individuality: Self-absorbed and in most-cases drug-addicted people, willing to give free love and free sex at a moments’ notice. People that live there lives by a veiled standard yet have no substance within. Rotted by drugs and deceit. This is our ‘hippie’.

Hippies in the 1960‘s and 70s were changing their world. Huge culture shifts took place. Such as woman’s rights, black liberation, protests of war, and freedom of expression. There was a solid purpose for a change in traditions, a change in simple-mindedness. Nothing was wrong with “tuning in” as Timothy Leary put it…but the impending issue was the conclusion of “dropping out”. I believe in a time where we had the world at our finger tips. Things were changing and people were coming together as one. The government was so powerful that something had to destroy it. Although we can quickly delve into government conspiracy territory here (And will quickly get away from it) you may agree that as a human population we have been controlled and manipulated by higher authorities.

The innate human drive to rebel and not be structured gave way to opportunities to dull and numb the minds of the masses.

Take their message of stillness, compassion, and community and turn it into chaos, free sex, and drugs.

Knowing this whether it be true or not, makes my stomach turn. I devoured this lifestyle as a way to run from truth. Truth of spirituality and a community of religious ideals. Sounds crazy, huh??? I thought so for a long time.

Hippies received their name from the word ‘hip’, which means to be in the know or aware. In an age where anyone has the ability to be educated and incredibly involved, why are we pacified with drugs, music, festivals, self image and art?

Why aren’t we throwing away old ideals that obviously haven’t worked? Apply new innovation to simple human characteristics! Such as hippie ideals of compassion, peace, love, and expression. I’ve seen so many capable people, including myself, sleep for too long hiding behind the lie that the system is far too gone and the only way to rebel is to counteract.

I say the opposite, getting involved, preserving your mind and being in the know is the best thing one can do. By what standards are we basing ourselves on? We think remaining in an old mindset and refusing to mold and grow into a new like-mindedness (one that doesn’t reflect to far from religious ideals which we will touch on later) is going to produce anything more than what we have already gotten? I want to live in 2014…not 1969.


In talking with various people about my chosen message, I’ve run into criticism regarding my choice to remain stubborn on the fact that the focus of this column will remain on hippies, rather than make my message somewhat broader to include other subcultures. i.e. hipsters, punks, or anyone presumably disrupting the socially accepted way of life.

My response is this: I am not above any human beings or any group of people. But I feel strongly about what I consider to be the lies that I have experienced from this culture and the very real things I have come to know about truth, love, and self-knowledge.

I am humbly expressing an opinion that WE HAVE GOT IT ALL WRONG!!

Or not so humbly… crying out for a change! For us to turn around and stop using these gateways of free love, art, and drugs to define our existence. Everything in moderation, right? Until next time….

 

The Good Hippie Volume 1 by Katie Wies

For what do you live for? The quick satisfaction of a fuck?  Or the short length of the artificial high?

What does that mean?  Who will you become?

What will your impact have on the next generation or the next 100 years from now!?

Think about it.  Art, drugs, sex… dead end, masks of reality.  None of these things are overtly wrong, evil, or immoral in any way.  it is what our actions that have turned these beautiful gifts into; Dead ends!  Our actions that defile a gift from God.  Our actions that throw away any form of respect and achievement to be gained from self-control and dignity.

What has turned beauty into the quick tricks of low lives?

I see so much potential in these people!

I live in a community of lovers and believers, yet I only see pain and false action.   A reaction–to what each past unfolds.  A reaction to volatile action and reaction- A cycle! Of pain.  A cycle of sex, drugs, and art.  Art being expression, drugs being impairment, and sex being true love.  Expression, impairment, and love, why must we defile them?  Victimization.

 

I deserve something…me…I…want….need…NOW!!!  The indulgent lifestyle I have come to know as the free love culture.   Something that in my opinion, has corrupted a very positive image of stillness, compassion, and community.  Will we ever stop ruining what is meant to fulfill a renewable life source within our very souls?

Will we ever stop running the opposite direction of the very message we claim to live by?  I fucking hope so….Stay Tuned.

Dusana by A.Zahorcak

They do not fear the heavy rains yet they grasp at the idea of survival with withered hands, reaching for the pleasures of earlier times.

When the men have come back from the hunt, they receive the praise from their wives: “Like a military weapon!”

The children know whom’s head was struck with an apple and they fear the hands of God (like good little children should).

They will run to the isle of modernization each morning: the sun saturating their skulls by high-noon.

Beneath their fingernails they water the seeds of unrest and pray the garden will wilt.

Like a military weapon!” The young girls follow, chanting behind their mothers.

Desdemona rose from her daffodils.

She felt the gallop of rising pressure welling up from within her fruitless chest.

Their side of the east had not been won.

They saw the lands that surround engulfed by the pioneers of religion and wealth.

They will never reach us!

They can never reach us!

We are God!

Begrudgingly, she rioted against her being

And dove back into the daffodils.

A rusted stranger! With flocks of gold around his crown

Rolled into the town with diamonds in his sleeves.

His language was unknown and cross to the ears;

More intimidating than his physique.

Like a military weapon!” The girls cry from the foyer of the town.

Peering from her precious perennials,

Winds gathered around her handsome face.

Break the barriers,

The gentleman of the compound ushered him to Congress,

Two tables and two chairs. Brushing their bristles they advanced at the rustic,

Let us give you our culture!”

We are God!

Again she rose, rubbing her eye with two hands.

She will wander down the street, the worry brewing in her chest.

Sampling the riches of community,

The gentlemen bellow meaningless grunts, in an attempt to communicate.

The rustic smiles a gentle devious grin, reflecting on a finer paradise.

He summoned a parcel from his chest and laid it across the table, “Let me sell your culture!”

Into the window she peers, and from her position

She can see the water rising on the eastern shore.

Like a military weapon?” The gentleman cry across the table.

Perplexed by progression, the white-washed men

Gather like hungry dogs waiting for a morsel.

Coiled tightly with aggressive ambition,

They foam at the mouth with desire: Fill us with the erotic disease of luxury!

We are God!

Such a wicked smile, Desdemona decides.

This stranger is the pressure in the wind.

Back to your daffodils!”

Like a believer, she returns.

A grizzly muzzle with a clean barrel,

Steel receiver and coiled grip.

Is your blood born with passion?

Rival your emotions with power.

You are God!” The stranger explains in broken tongue.

A military weapon!”

Desdemona exclaimed as she peered from her dune of daffodils.

I am a military weapon. I am God. Lay your hands to my feet!”

It was then that Desdemona began drooping with dread,

Struck by damnation!

The day my dainty daffodils dropped dead.”

classic-red

An Ice Sculpture by David M. Myles

I caught a glimpse
As the light hit your face
In just that way

As sunlight through ice

Bringing to mind
Roses and chocolate
Love’s enticements
Like your eyes
Reflecting all
Drinking the day
Shining with joy
Dancing with mischief
A portrait in blue
Almost a song
A moment frozen
In the depths of my soul

As fleeting as memory

Ice sculptures
Melt away
In the days harsh light

I have lost the ability to be embarrassed by emotions

The nice thing about having words …
is you can actually express to your
self what is going on inside your head…

What’s wrong with tears?
Sometimes they are my
only friend.
I used to hate crying
Especially in front of people
the ability, or indeed,
the opportunity to
feel that deeply should
be respected and honored
but it is where that
embarrassment comes
from, others seeing you
genuinely feel
and I never got that
I always found it beautiful
even while feeling the
odd shame of seeing
someone else feel
and give in to it
for them I weep
for joy

and…

I have been an anarchist
back when I was kind
and the sun was a little brighter
I wandered but not lost
just looking
I found kind people picking through the trash
for something to eat
old friends in a dry wash
completely out of context
looking for wood for a cook fire
new friends hiding their children from
your society’s grasping fingers
All on the edge of things
where piles of tires burn
black smoke into the air
shacks in the desert
with the floor dug out
so if the random shot were fired
it would be occasionally
over head so you can
sleep safely
barring ricochet
This is America
freedom isn’t kind to the truly free
it’s not even really free
that is a dream
like believing in god
a thought barrier
you need go no furthur
you’re free
don’t even think about it
no reason to
it’s a base notion
from base men
so few people actually build their world
most move into a vacancy in
the no tell motel
with vibrating beds
and a hourly rate
and a two dollar deposit on the towels
I just use the shower there
while the whore rifles my wallet
and slip out the back window
looking for an honest hot spring
where I could actually feel clean
I can do liberal
As long as I get to keep my rifle
a man’s gotta eat
out here on the edge
of America

 

 

David M. Myles describes himself a poet philosopher and gentleman adventurer.  He is a practiced poet and advocate of the arts but most importantly: a kind soul.

“U” By Don Shump

So they say that youre insane
and theyre all kings
they hold the reigns
they never aim to refrain
from transferring their pain to you
these faceless theys
poisoning your precious brains
until youre changed
for ever
ive grown to like these chains
for ever

No lies of my denying eyes are
tremblin, trippin, traumatized,
and i am asking, why?
i know im gonna die
why should i care?
i know im gonna write
i shouldnt take it there
but you just sat, and stared

I didnt wanna be a writer
i only tried to write her wrongs
no sappy song or smoke a bong
could undo all the awful things i put you through
but, i hope they made you strong

well, i give up. it hurts too much.
i know ill never be enough for you.

No crying eye of mine will close tonight
i shudder at the sight
of all this darkness, adamantly pretending it is light
its not right
but we are bound to die if we fight it
so lets not
lets smoke pot
lets all drop
make it stop, make it stop, make it stop

Wont you recognize? i was traumatized
by you trying to marginalize me
and everything
i somehow fertilized into this lame disguise
and its never enough
its always changing and stuff
scratch all you want. i am too hard. my skin is rough.
but i am not tough
i am a helpless, pitiful, little hu-man
like you

if i get too hot
im sure ill be shot
i hope you watch, my friends
i would die for any one of you
i will find another pot
it may be in a different spot
but i have died for my words before
and i would do it again
only for you
my friend

stone wall so strong
wont be upset
all this pounding hurts my feets and fists and teeth and head

i bled so long
youre smoking wet
i have no pillow
but ill get to bed
or better yet
ill get to sleep
with you
i hope you let me sleep, know what i mean?

FEED ME ALL YOUR CHAINS
AND ILL SWALLOW THEM WHOLE
WE’VE GOT SPOT RIGHT HERE FOR YOU
AND YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR ROLE
BE THE GUY WHO MAKES THE CASSEROLE
I DONT KNOW
LIFE ITSELF SPELLS FREE
DONT YOU SEE?
WE BOTH CHOSE TO COME HERE
I CHOSE TO SING
WONT YOU SING WITH ME?
YOU KNOW YOU KNOW HOW
ITS EASY

IM SINGIN OUR SONG
EVEN IF THE WHOLE THING COMES OUT WRONG
ILL SIT WITH YOU AND SING IT ALL NIGHT LONG

BUT MAYBE YOURE THE ONE WITH ALL THE WRONG-SONG SINGIN
I HEAR IT
COOL BEAT
WHEN DOES IT START SWINGIN?
I HATE
WHEN ITS ALWAYS STRAIGHT
it is so strange

dontchaknow PERFECT LINES ARE WHERE EVIL GROWS
BEAUTY MAKES BEAUTIFUL EBBS
AND AWFUL FLOWS
WHEN WILL THEY STOP? I NEVER WANT TO KNOW
ILL JUST KEEP ROWIN AND ROWIN
TAKE YOU WHEREVER IM GOIN
WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE SKY AND THE SEA
I WILL FIND YOU THERE IF YOU WILL FIND ME
ONLY US AND GOD WILL SEE.
OUR ECHOES RESIDE IN THE TREES
WHERE WE ARE FREE

I AM NOT PROGRAMMED FOR EFFICIENCY. I AM ALIVE
I AM NOT A MACHINE FOR YOU TO TWEAK WITH
I DONT WANT TO EAT THIS SHIT
I AM NOT A FUCKING SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
BUT I WILL NOT RESENT YOU FOR ALL THESE AWFUL THINGS YOU DID
YOU DIDNT HAVE A CLUE.
YOU WERE JUST A KID
LIKE ME ONCE
GOT LOST IN FABULOUS FANTASY ONCE
I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING
BUT LISTEN, O NOBLE KING
YOUVE GOT TO SEE
YOUR KINGLY DECISIONS KILL THE TREES AND THE SEAS AND THE BEES AND COUNTLESS UNTOLD BEAUTIFUL THINGS, ALL OF THEM ARE JUST LIKE ME, TOO.
GOD GAVE NO RIGHT TO TAKE IT ALL FOR THE GAIN OF YOU AND ONLY YOU
YOU FUCKIN FOO’
MAKIN ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE
DIAMOND HATS AND GOLDEN SINKS
AND SUPER FAST RUMBLE MACHINES
ALL THESE THINGS I GUESS I NEED
THE TV CHEESE PLAYER SOLD ME EVERYTHING

AND SOON I WILL BE GONE
WHEN YOU DELETE ME WITH YOUR THUMB
BUT ILL SPRING UP AGAIN SOMEWHERE AND SCREAM THE SAME LESSON
CHERISH THE GOOD. REMEMBER THE BAD.
AND KEEP DREAMING THOSE DREAMS I KNOW YOU HAVE.
THEY ARE AS REAL AS HOW WE FEEL
ILL NEVER FEEL THE SAME AGAIN

…… THE FLEAS! THE FLEAS! I AM DISEASED!
…did that thing just hop off of me?
i cant untangle these things for you
but i never will ignore you
even if you ignore yourself
i wont put you on such a shelf

you are a blessed creature like me
beauty so simple, blissful being
seeing the truth that flies deny
those flies are lies
let em all fly away
go bother someone else today! go bother someone else today.

i made a poison for those flies
they go right in
and then they dies
they dont feel sad
they dont feel sin
they just go right in

i mixed up soap and wine and lye
a little cup, i cleaned those flies
right up. one by one, their little lives undone,
unraveling, unprepared, but never scared.

this disease, it lives in me
i feel it bubbling and growing every day
make it go away
why cant we make a poison that poisons pain?
even the wine ends up in the drain
and when i said that they said i was crazy

my dad once told me why write?
its all already been written
and i said all right so thats the opposite side of some fence that i finally figured out you must be sittin across
cuz clearly, that is not me, i write because fire inspires desires outside and inside, see? it is exactly what you are hearing or reading.
can we just be done with this meeting?

you all will die somewhere. think about that place
think of the last expression to ever cross every humans beautiful face
and come to terms with it
direct aggression off into space
that place is insane and the other way is so draining…

eventually, everyone will stop giving a fuck.

LET THE LIES BECOME TRUE
AND LET ME DIE FOR YOU
I WILL NOT LIVE TO WORK
I LIVE TO LOVE AND TO BE FREE

I AM A DISTRACTION
AND I DEMAND THAT YOU DEMAND ME SEEKING YOUR SATISFACTION
PLEASE DONT STOP ABUSING ME
JUST SAY POWER AND ILL TAKE YOU AWAY
IM THE BEST THING IM TV

SO WATCH ME
SO WATCH ME

YOU NEVER HAVE TO STOP WATCHING
YOU NEVER HAVE TO STOP WATCHING

Crimes//The 3rd Wheel// by Kenneth Lee Averiett

We felt unstoppable. We were human caffeine pills sporting black sweats bearing tiny cuts, dried blood, and bits of shattered glass. My friend Hermes and I, we were wielding serotonin levels like flamethrowers. And this is the third time this week we’ve gone on a night raid.

What’s a night raid? I’m honestly quite flattered that you asked.

A night raid is an evening trip out somewhere, usually abandoned & unexplored. Fueled by a bottle of Jameson, & the need to sidestep practical ethics, we would tell you to your face its just urban spelunking. Between us though, it usually involves gross levels of civil misconduct. Defacing public property, private property, theft. Grand gestures of vandalism.

And then we hunt down news articles of our work to hold as souvenirs.

A night raid is what happens when you want to rescue yourself from the fatigued day in, day out tradition of maturity, when nothing else does it anymore. Falling in love doesn’t do it anymore. Roller coasters, drugs, all that stuff just gets exhausting after awhile.

When you’re committing highly illegal shit, you can’t help but catch a natural high. It’s escapism in it’s purist form. A desperate swig from the fountain of youth that gets you so jazzed, you’ve been instantly relieved from the tired routine of adulthood, back peddling into the perpetual hair-brained episode of adolescence, multiplied by 10.

We feed off of this. It breaks the monotony of pretending to care about our jobs, our acquaintances, our social media profiles, the law…I could go on forever. Most of all though, pretending to care about not caring.

It’s a chilly 3am, and we’re free in ways you’re too scared to be, sneaking through a broken factory window with a bottle of liquor in tow. We’re acting out our own half-assed, half thought out version of a heist, giggling like 12 year old’s.

One of these days, you might catch us at Aphrodite’s, a local bar everyone hates, but goes to anyway, over zealously recalling our high jinks in a fit of drunken bravado, exaggerating a few details, like how I used poor Jameson to shatter the left most bottom window, destroying the bottle, wasting its contents everywhere, and bloodying my hand in the process, or the part where I dove head first through the window, and slurped the whiskey off of the factory floor, covering my face in dust, and cutting my lips.

Hell, I might tell you anyway, with flailing arms and expressive gestures, I’ll blame that fountain of youth-whiskey cocktail. You’ll get an earful of “You should try it sometime, dude.”

And you, you’ll sit and judge us, all high and mighty, like you’re too good to be this dumb/reckless/brave. You get to count yourself fortunate that you only experience this misguided display of rebellion vicariously.

Or you might feel left out, the kind of envy you get when you realize you’re too old/fat/responsible to feel alive the way we do. Anything short of falling in love won’t cut it anymore for most people. I’ve already told you this. There’s a threshold you have to meet before you get to chug from the fountain of youth nowadays, and this is the easiest one to cross.

In all honesty, you would only catch me exposing my crimes. I’m a social butterfly. I don’t mean to brag, but I get a kick out of peoples reactions, the faces they make, the judgement’s they draw. Me, I talk too much. But my friend Hermes here, hes my social opposite.

Hermes, you could call him the unlikely male equivalent to the infamous “cat lady”, with all the alarming mannerisms of a middle aged recluse trapped in the body of a 20 something year old man.

By day, you can catch him working at The Artemis Spa. It’s sort of a pet vacation center where rich people take their toy poodles for pampering. He’ll be grooming an actual cat lady’s prized trophy, snapping selfies in his apron with the caption “pussy game strong.”

You could try and tell him how funny you think he is on the internet, but face to face, he’ll fall to pieces. He avoids real human interaction like your both SARS infected amputees. You’d assume he’s just a snob, but he’s just a dude who’s not good at people. It’s not like he’s alone, or doesn’t have any friends though. Hardly. There’s almost two entire generations of boys who were raised on Playstations and free porn. Xbox live accounts, “friends lists” and followers will give you all the social validation you need. His social life is literally a click away.

By night, he’s a domestic crime lord. A human molotov of urban terrorism, and modern genius, with just the right amount of chemical imbalance. He’s got his own section in the paper, and you have no fucking clue. He’s just living his own real life video game.

Whereas I’m socially equipped to engage in an ill conceived conversation about what it’s like to operate a forklift and go on a “factory cruise”, he wont feel inclined to share with you that on this particular night raid, we uncovered a vast amount of useless junk, or urban treasure in our dilated eyes; magazines and comic books that date back to the 50’s, blow up dolls, something that resembles a hydroponic grow kit, wooden swords, a real battleaxe, a movie projector, etc etc.

Me, with all the conviction of a man-boy who’s always wanted a battleaxe, will let you know how powerful you would feel holding onto one. I’ll place my hands on your shoulder’s, look you square in the eyes and say “You have no idea how much I wanted that fucking battleaxe.”

And you, if you’re sincere enough, you’ll remind me that I was drunk, and I don’t need one. Hermes, he tells me the same thing. A battleaxe he says, is impractical, but this movie projector is something we could really use, never mind the hydro grow kit.

So it’s decided that this movie projector is one of our prized hauls for the night, and my delusions of toting a battleaxe victoriously are shattered and replaced with semi-industrious blue prints of a movie night in the alley behind Aphrodite’s with a gang of 40OZ bottles clanking merrily.

I’m worked up at this point in the story, because despite Hermes and I swearing not to tell anyone about our night raids, I can’t help it. So I might let slip how curiosity got the best of us, and we decided to scale one more floor up because rumor has it this place is an under cover drug operation, and after weeks of scouting it out, we knew that no one is in the place after 3am.

We didn’t make it past the second flight of stairs before we tripped an alarm that filled the entire building with a shrill, piercing wave of fear. Fear so sudden and acute you could have heard it from the streets. The kind of fear that caused us to drop our flashlights, plunging us into darkness as they shattered.

We just ran.

“Shit Shit Shit…”

I remember sobering up almost instantly. That’s what happens when your adrenaline mixes with terror. It suppresses any alcohol in your system. Your arteries start working overtime, pumping so much blood, it pretty much drowns it all out.

It was so dark in there, but we ran anyway. This wasn’t our first rodeo, so we knew to keep one hand on the wall to lead us out the whole time. Hopefully back the way we came. But this place was a fucking maze and I won’t lie, I thought we were fucked right then and there.

Luckily, we had red and blue flashing lights illuminating our means of entry and escape, because I guess the cops had this place on watch every night for the past few weeks too.

And that’s it. That’s all I would tell you. You, in your self-righteous, law abiding pretension would be stuck with a cliff-hanger. Because if I kept going, if I kept exposing the truth, you would know that it wasn’t just Hermes, myself, and the cops there. Someone broke into that factory with us that night. A third wheel.

Me, I’ve got a big mouth. But even I’m smart enough to omit the cold hard facts.

I’d verbally pencil out how we summoned the third wheel when I foolishly smashed open the window with the bottle of Jameson in an outburst of stupidity and self realized invincibility. And it wasn’t really me that dove through the opening and drank the alcohol off of the factory floor like some possessed alcoholic.

We ventured that this guy was already lit because when he ran up on us, he was already gone off of something. He spoke too loudly, stood to close to you, always touched you when he was talking, kept asking for more liquor.

To be completely honest, when he ran past us, and dove through that window, we should have booked it right then and there. But he came right back out with uncommon dexterity.

I don’t know why we let him tag along. Maybe we were scared he would expose us. Or maybe we just wanted to keep an eye on him, because something was just off about his…vibe.

Either way, it didn’t matter.

Hermes and I, we hid out behind the row of forklifts and machinery, but this guy, he didn’t run or anything. He didn’t budge, he was just so damn casual about the whole thing, whistling and exclaiming “Oh I guess we’re havin’ bacon for dinner tonight!” He was clearly toasted on God knows what because he was making so much noise, & I was sweating bullets at this point scared sober and shaking with fear. For sure Hermes was too but I couldn’t tell because it was pitch black, or maybe I was closing my eyes.

I was holding my breath.

The cops, they were so fast. They dashed into the basement in no time. I don’t know how many there were. What seemed like 50 beams of light coming from 50 flashlights being held by 50 cops descended into the basement, and for sure I might have prayed for the first time ever.

Walky talky noise and handcuffs jangling and the thunderous “clop clop clop” of police feet composing the chorus of our freedom as we know it being taken away.

But you’ll never hear this part of the story from our mouths.

You might have read in the The Maia Tribune, that on this night, two people died in that factory. One police officer, and one methed out junky wielding a battleaxe.

I’m reluctant to recall this part of the story, lest my hair starts turning gray and falling out.

The sharp, sliding sound of metal scraping against concrete, followed by a loud wet meaty thud, a half grunt/half scream, and the inevitable storm of gunshots and shouting.

When I opened my eyes I counted 13 bullet holes staring back at me.

I swear I was in that forklift compartment for about 60+ straight hours, starving, but too panicked to notice, daring not to fall asleep while the cops figured out what the hell to do with this massive meth lab they just found. Biggest meth operation they’ve busted in the history of meth busts, they kept saying. And it’s all our doing.

We never got our thank you letter from the police department, but I’m sure it would’ve come with a hefty criminal trespassing charge. The framed article hanging neatly on my wall is enough.

Hermes never told me how he escaped. I waited for what was maybe the third night cycle by my count to slip out of the window and into the darkness. I ran, tears streaming down my face, like someone was chasing me, like if I stopped, I would drop dead right there. I ran for miles. I ran until I couldn’t run anymore, because after 3 days of not eating, or pissing, it’s really fucking hard. But I kept running anyways. And then I sobbed like a baby. Openly, without care.

We are unstoppable. We’re human caffeine pills wielding serotonin levels like flamethrowers with reckless abandon, and this was the most successful night raid we have ever been on. We didn’t accrue anything. We didn’t get the projector. We sure as hell didn’t get the battleaxe. No material possessions, but the mental, physical, and emotional resolve we discovered in ourselves trumps all of that. The bond we formed, iron-clad.

I don’t mean to brag, but I get a kick out of peoples reactions, the faces they make, the judgement’s they draw. I get to relive the rush of lawlessness over and over again, and maybe inspire your own brand of rebellion.

Live a little.

 

 

NIGHT RAIDS

The Commute//Disjointed by Kenneth Lee Averiett

I imagine, this is what I’ll trademark
The impossibly early morning commute
I’m still drunk
It’s 6AM
And I’m still wearing my shoes

My phone sings with an urgency
It ferries the exhausting burden of responsibility

It’s 6AM
I’ll keep reminding you
Or myself
Because I have to

*sigh*

FUCK

I have to make The Commute

6am

My body hangs from my brain
In a disjointed way
A detached manner
Like a consciousness manifesting through a coma

If I could forge the willpower
Gather some strength in my arm
To push my phone off of the desk
And silence the alarm

I’ll regret it in some way
Not even a second thought considered
It wasn’t even a hard decision

7:20am

As I inhale, and sigh
For maybe the seventh time
I’m suddenly aware
That in this very moment, I’m being held prisoner
I’m being forced to make a choice
I’m being forced to consider

My mind is awash in the buzz of last night
And the fade of this morning

Austere
Varying shades of whites & greys
Ohio in December
Ohio, the way I’ll remember

This is bleak
Wearing all of my previous evening
Inside and out
I feel like sandpaper
I smell like 3am
Friday night
Saturday morning
It’s Monday morning
And its a dreary 7:30

7:32am

I’m wearing this to work
This is how well I wear exhaustion
I’ll flaunt it in a professional setting
In a professional manner
A white collar show & tell

I’ll groom the bare minimum
But I MUST shave my face
Just to save face
So it doesn’t look like I have a drinking problem
Because I don’t
I just like to party

I treat my body like a machine
It’s regarded like a car I can’t afford to keep gas in
But I can afford to drive to New York at night and explore

A special kind of neglect

7:35 am

A single apple
A bowl of cereal
A bag of chips
Some energy to pursue The Commute

Literally, running on fumes
Literally, every morning
Between 6am to 1pm
Literally, running late
Everyday

Responsible living escapes me

7:41am

GO! GO! GO!
I hit the basement
I braced my knees
I covered my hands
Adjusted to bike the streets

Covered in gear
Drunk and exhausted
The idea of just staying here
Is so attractive and real

I can taste my doggedness
I can still taste the air in my bedroom
While I’m in the basement
I can also taste….unemployment
So, I go.

7:45am

Bleak
Varying shades of whites & greys
Ohio in January
Ohio, all the time really
Atleast it has the feeling
Biking in the elements

The air I breath stings something awful
In my chest
Ice cubes
In my breath
Snowflakes

The blue collar effort
Two feet of snow
And its still coming
This workout//THE COMMUTE
For a white collar job
Dealing with billing disputes
The upkeep of my finacial cause

I’m a pest
The snow is deep
Almost up to my knees
I’m a menace
I’m an obstacle among perpetual obstacles
And we’re all just trying to avoid each other

MARKET//MAIN ST.

As I start to pick up speed
My body begins to adjust
My senses waken up
And narrowly avoid
This, assaulting Mack truck
Speeding on a 10speed
Down the wrong side of the street

Whoops.

I’ve got no choice really
I can’t see or hear what’s behind me
Behind my own panting
And Kendrick Lamar’s ranting
So down the opposite side of the road I go
Around Mack truck smoke & mounds of snow

I reach the edge of the street
And depending on the day of the week
And how generous those patrons are, of St V
I could exercise the sidewalk

No such luck,
So, fuck it
I’ll fight traffic
I’ll keep to the streets
And dogde the fleets

This is the real challenge
This is the adventure…
Side to side with traffic
Hand in hand with danger

Car horns & headlights
This lifestyle might really kill me

7:42am
Oh, hey look
Another middle finger
Middle aged driver
Righteous anger
Righteous motorist

STOP!
It was on Old Main St.
At 7:47am
I was almost on the news
This is a stanza of dediction to the man in the grey Toyota
I’ve developed wonderful instincts
I almost died
This man sped through the incorrect traffic light

So I stopped!
Or else I would’ve been on the news
At roughly 8:38am
Vehicular manslaughter would probably be the charge
Probably a hit and run
I would not have stopped either
I’m this asshole in the middle of the street
On a bike
I’m an early morning, urban menace

I hit the pavement

Desolate
Varying shades of whites & greys
Ohio in February
Ohio all the time really
Atleast it has the feeling
Sprawled, laying in the elements

My mind is awash in the buzz of the night
Before
And the fade of this morning

GODDAMMIT!
I’m shouting now
On the ground, at the sky
In the snow, to the ice
At these fucking motorists, at my goddamn bike
A special kind of entitlement

I was born in the wrong state, in the wrong place

I hit the pavement
I skinned my knees
And scraped my hands
Numb & exhausted
The idea of just laying here & giving up is so attractive and real
But I can’t…because bill$

I treat my body like a machine
I regard it like a toy I can’t put down
Even if I choose
If afforded the chance, I wouldn’t know what to do

Dreary
Varying shades of whites and greys
Ohio in March
I won’t even fucking start

8:01am

I show up to work
Half drunk and overworked
Sleet and snowy down my side
And rehearse this white collar ritual
After my blue collar effort
I’m so goddamn tired

Living on the edge has this embrace
Like something most people couldn’t stomach
Most people aren’t built for it
Most people aren’t meant to

Don’t take this as a challenge, gentle tweeter
Or take it as one
I’m not saying it can’t be done
I accomplish this, twice a day, four in a row, and roughly an odd fifth one.

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