How To Get Through Life
Jul 2, 2022
Some Suggestions Are Much Too Vague To Help
Cave painters like to keep it real by repeating the same or similar observations every 15 to 20 million years because they are not painting for us. They are painting for generations yet to come who might eventually become intelligent enough to perceive the brick wall that stares back at all of us from the first moment we open our doomed eyes.
In my own ludicrous lifetime, I have routinely circled the drain that hides the answers to all our #ExistentialTrickQuestions, having failed at suicide so many times before graduating high school that I just gave up & accepted that energy and matter are equally unimportant.
I quit the Boy Scouts, giving up weekly blowjobs from my Christian role models, and said: “Fuck it. I’m gonna die anyway. I might as well embrace any drug I can get my hands on between this shit show and the ultimate shit show we’ve been promised in Revelations, assuming there is such a thing, or else why did God put me upon this meaningless planet full of passionate idiots?”
This is not a healthy position to take as you navigate American freedumbocracy, unless you are me, which you are not. Don’t you feel much better now? I do. Consider it God’s gift to you. That’s the last one you get.
I was searching the other day for something to hold up my pants and came across a file from an earlier digital cave painting experiment, back when I was already an old hand at getting banned from electronic forums for refusing to “stay on topic.”
Staying on topic is code, of course, for being a good little Eichmann. Eichmann was nothing if not a binary moderate. If moderation made anything worthwhile happen, why haven’t we seen evidence of it after several thousand years of terrible human behavior?
One note of clarification: Miller Williams was still alive and as usual full of bullshit when this post originally appeared, and he was notified by e-mail of its ugly existence, but I never heard from Miller again, not that either of us matter or were particulary energetic.
So without further ado, here is how I prefaced my only sincere advice to my fellow lifeforms before I quit loving poetry and embraced the bomb:
Posted to Fuck You & Your Omniscient All-Powerful Vengeful God, January 7, 2008
I have no idea why I haven’t already posted this poem on a blog so obviously devoted to sweetness and light. I was trying to link to it on a forum that I have subsequently been banished from, and I couldn’t find it on Google. If you can't find shit on Google, you should probably call the Portland Pataphysical Outpatient Clinic, Lounge, & Laundromat Suicide Invention Tip Line. I did.
I originally finished this poem in 1971 while at Arkansas during a flurry of misguided creative activity that produced several hundred poems, two novels, dozen of playscripts, and thousands of pages of notes, most of which I have burned. I couldn’t afford fire starters.
I think I began the first draft in 1967 when my old man was getting screwed by his employer in such a way that 26 years of seniority eventually translated into $30 a month in retirement.
It wasn’t until I met Bruce Edward Taylor, who could get really intense playing board games, and even more intense if you simply gave up, conceded, and admitted you'd rather get drunk and stoned than waste time staying sober enough to act as if you gave a fuck about a board game, that I finally felt I had a reason to finish it.
By then, my old man had begun almost to embrace my cynicism, although our relationship was thoroughly doomed and would not be renewed until I pulled the plug on him in Virginia on a date I do not remember. So it goes.
Everything in life is a game, and like life, most of the games mean nothing. Gordon Osing liked the refrain, understanding the obviousness of what playing ball means.
I think this poem is included in Stinking and Full of Eels, Some Accident Between the Grass and My Feet, and Disturbances.
It is NOT included in Contemporary Poets in America, which was edited by Miller Williams’ (you know, Cindy’s dad, who read that whatever-the-fuck-it-was at Slick Willie’s inauguration), although, to be fair, none of my poetry is included in that anthology. I’m cave painter, not a poet. If YOu don’t believe me, ask Ralph Adamo.
I guess this is because I never graduated from Arkansas with an M.F.A. and published a book of poems by a reputable toe-jam publisher.
But I don’t think so. Miller was always a lying sack of shit. And I’m sure you didn’t see that old news here first. And if you did, that’s your problem, you uneducated asshole.
If you want to read the poem, I just posted it to Substack.
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