Serial Installment #12 of “On Rainy Days The Monk Ryokan Feels Sorry For Himself”, Pages 220-240


I have notified my publisher about demand skyrocketing within next few days. Buy now to avoid warehouse depletion.

I want to write about Oswego’s physical beauty. The lake, the river, the trees—there’s even a teahouse in someone’s backyard. Oswego is a beautiful place to live, in summer. Just around the bend are some cheerful thoughts about the flora and fauna of my fair city. However, presently I am unable to write about the crackle snapping at the raindrops without including wet sheets of plastic wrap, a beer can, and a torn piece of stinky milk carton… I would like to wait until the ugly wears away completely before I attempt to write about the real beauty Oswego hasn’t destroyed yet. By July most of man’s winter litter is sufficiently hidden by things that actually thrive being seen alive. Why waste words writing about a lake if the lake smells like dead worms? Why sit through an afternoon of fog to watch a river flow gray and muddy when you know at its end swirl a hundred small pools of floating garbage?
There’s a book in print entitled Paddle-to-the-Sea. Once I took it out of the children’s library to read to my daughter. Recently I bought it for myself to call back some forgotten or non-existent wonder of my childhood. Paddle is a carved wooden indian sitting in a birch-bark canoe. A Canadian boy made him and set him atop a mountain of snow. The snow melted into a stream, the stream into a river, and the river into Lake Superior. That spring, Paddle set out to have many adventures, caught up in the zig-zag currents of the Great Lakes. This book expresses the true, innocent goodness of man coexisting with the hardy rough beauty of nature. With cheerful determination they work together for as long as it takes Paddle to get to France.
Paddle-to-the-Sea was published in the 40’s, before science got devilishly curious enough to ruin our lives with its half-life testings. The author is proud of men and their machines. The moose and bear, the tanner, commercial fisherman—Here is a book about the state of the Great Lakes as seen through the eyes of a healthy mind seventy years ago. It’s like reading about an alien’s description of his planet of plenty.
A very clean book. I suggest that all Great Lake locals read it and wonder why a man can no longer make his living on the lake’s bounty beneath. Set the book down. Take a walk to the lake. Stand on the edge of the bluff. Sit on a large flat stone. Look out to the sea. Since 1940 man has managed to give all the fish cancer.
Seventy years have passed. Duluth, Detroit, Chicago, Oswego. Death to the largest fresh water lake chain in the world. Deep delicious water teeming with billions and billions of creatures. Every single living thing breathing the water that rolls over your toes, was poisoned for the next twenty thousand years so mankind could have its choice of laundry detergent.
Now it remains a surface visual beauty that I promise to write about once the weather improves. “Fish at your own risk,” the government tells the man. “Salmon not good for nursing mothers. Neurological disorders to the newborn. Child grows up wanting to eat carcinogenic fish.” Yet how regularly every season the fools line up along the riverbank for their catch to bring home. Bad time of year for me to take my walks down there. Men from New Jersey drive up to Oswego by the truck-load to catch horny salmon. One could dangle a rubber girl salmon five feet above the water and catch leaping fish all day long. No. These misogynistic sportsmen would rather stand together in the river with the best equipment fishing magazines can offer. I could live for a year on what one of these guys paid for his gear. He could buy twenty years’ supply of unmirexed, farm-raised salmon if he’d sell that goofy truck he loves more than his own wife, wearing nothing besides rubber thigh-high boots.
A walk along the river in November rekindles my cyclic winter bitterness. For now let us be content in the knowledge that your parents and grandparents poisoned an entire lake and river in less than seventy years. We shall rejoice in the present acid elimination of all Adirondack fish! Neighbors and friends, let’s put our hands together and pray to God for the strength we need to kill every swimming underwater thing in existence. First the sissy Canadian fish. Then those greasy Mexican fish. I got enough boxes of All Tempacheer to devastate Lake Chapala in a day! Stand together my friends. We need to buy all the plastic we can stuff into our homes at once. More stuff we cannot eat. More factories. More oil. Drill in sensitive areas. Down two miles, three miles, down a thousand miles, why not? Suck out a trillion gallons into the sea! More hazardous materials. More radiation poured into steal mesh balls and rolled into a coral reef. More nuclear testing. A lot more. Blow the fish sky high! Indiscriminately launch our entire arsenal on the oceans of the planet. I want proof that every swimming thing is floating dead by next week. Hurry up. There’s so little time. Someone quick, get down there to Florida. Poison that pompous pricey pompano. You, to the sharks! You to the flounders. I don’t care how you do it; I just want every fish dead by this time next week. Stock your chlorinated pool with a thousand guppies and goldfish. Everyone piss in the backyard stream. Pump anthrax off the shores of Newfoundland, ignite an oil rig—more mercury, aluminum, liquid copper to melt all the fish brains in the South Pacific…
Who would have guessed that the wrath of God was going to begin the moment man morphed from monkey? It is so clear to me that we are now in control of our own demise. Eager to be created to begin destroying. How easy to forget what we have been born to do. We are sent reminders of the encircling doom. Yesterday God sent a memo through the mail. Just another one of his pocket blueprints of destruction. Open up to page 3 in your Oswego County Emergency Planning and You booklet. Look at that face. Ring a bell? Isn’t he one of the antichrist’s smiling helpers? Mr. Almustead, Chairman of the Board. The most comfortable man in Oswego. He owns a couple classic cars, a pretty wife, and a pretty little camp set up along the Salmon River. He looks happy and content being a helper to the mass murder of you and the fish. He fries the salmon fresh out of the river. You can see for yourself the tumors pushing out from his neck skin. He sure knows how to groom himself for a snapshot before the blood-dripping human organs hit the fan.
Turn the page, and another happy helper, holding a pointer against a blackboard, looks like he’s counting out loud the number of fish he can kill in a day. There is even a list of radio stations that one can tune in on to find out the exact time the earth will begin screaming. On page six some jolly firemen helpers get ready to release more radiation into the atmosphere. More black and white photos showing exactly where the wrath will be unleashed in this region. “In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, some residents may need special attention because of their physical impairments or transportation problems. Please fill out and mail the following card so we can make it look now like we won’t be laughing later, as you struggle in your lameness to get to the designated evacuation site. Wait all day if you like, crippled Sally. That bus ain’t gonna come. You can wait until the sky turns puke green and you cough your body up into a cloud of dust. Trust us. No bus is coming.”
Oswegonians must think “Chernobyl” means “go out and play darts ‘til a quarter to three.” Ask the first five pot-bellied men slurping bacon fat at the Ritz Diner where they earn the kind of money that can afford an omelet a day for the rest of their lives. Three out of five will say, “I work out at the plant.” The plant. The plant. It pays well. If they didn’t have the plant to pay well, every man with his cup of coffee would be a dishwasher or a janitor mopping floors. If the plant wasn’t there for eighty grand a year, Oswego might improve itself into a proud American hometown. Unfortunately today townie pride remains whatever Ford or Chevy built tough this year. Security guards making eighty thousand dollars a year on fire watch? What is fire watch? You sit in a room and if it catches on fire, you run screaming out of the room. What if a van load of determined jihadists break through security (which they could do with balloons if they wanted to), and jog straight into the reactor core? They will confront the janitor, my chef from the restaurant. He’s down on his hands and knees waxing tile while talking on his cell phone to Ron Throop, the ex-cook/writer of ill repute. The chef was not qualified to wipe down walls in a reactor core. He applied anyway, after being fired at the restaurant for keeping a loaded gun in the file cabinet. “What?” asked the boss. “I got Wyatt Earp to braise my chickens?” He called up my chef and told him to 86 the gun and himself from the premises. My chef had a temper tantrum but thank God he didn’t shoot anyone. Within two weeks the plant hired him to wash the walls of the reactor core. Presently he’s on a six week stint for eight grand.
That’s a lot of money for an itchin’ trigger finger to pick an ass with all day long. It’s hush money. So many of us got our dirty fingers on it, that it’s bound to be respected. The chef mops walls and wipes floors. What do you think the smiling antichrist with the fat neck makes? A million maybe? I don’t know for sure, but it’s enough to sedate the obese electrician who just got hired at the power plant. He’ll make twenty thousand during the next six weeks. That is cash for darts and beer on Wednesday nights and a custom built snowmobile to breeze through the powder this winter, even if his autistic kid drinks a gallon of lake water a day and miraculously grows a third hand.
Oswego County has the second highest cancer rate in the state. The number one county was once the world’s leading producer of asbestos. Why should that matter to anyone as long as they’re getting their fair share? Always death by long illness to end a poorly-lived life. A hot dog and beer benefit to help pay the exorbitant sums the doctors demand to care for another human being. And not a soul is getting angry (besides the cancer patient, maybe). We know what carcinogens are. It’s like knowing the murderer personally. Yet who’s got the big salt potato balls to deliver the antichrist’s ears to the benefit? Impossible. The antichrist is a standing army of every one of us, eating the “best grilled chicken we ever had!”
What is cancer? Are we too afraid to demand the truth? “Ah, Dick’s got cancer.” Then the funeral. Then everyone back to work. The eulogy was short and sweet because Dick’s best friend was working the shutdown at the power plant. If he missed just one more day, he’d have to go on unemployment and make only four hundred a week. Dick is dead and the crow caws. No one thinks Dick’s best friend is septic-sludge, because they know that Dick would have done the same. What a fool Dick’s friend would be to take such a drastic cut in pay just for mourning. A waste of time. That won’t bring Dick back. Anyway, the best friend has two other mouths to feed and raise insanely. Go back to work, Dick’s best friend. You have already replaced Dick. We understand. We are exactly the same. Anyway, in a lifetime, what did Dick give? Dick gave to Dick and Dick got cancer. Those who loved him had a benefit. Everyone gobbled up hot dogs. No one besides me felt sorry for the pig. I know there are three stations set up for the proper processing of a dead pig. You need ten clean sheets for the blood alone. What do you do with a pig’s freshly slaughtered heart?
Let it bleed.
And then?
Eat the hot dog. Eat the bun. Eat the ketchup, the mustard, the gun. Eat the car, eat the wallet, eat the kid’s new clothes, eat the meat, all the meat, eat anything that grows. Eat the earth, the sky, eat the other guy. Eat motor oil, and gunk if it’s good, or potatoes, eat more potatoes. Eat four things on a plate, no, five—eat your mate, eat the stars, eat a book about cars. Eat cancer. Eat your friend who’s got cancer. Eat the cancer before the cancer. Eat cancer’s cancer. Eat all morals for dessert. Eat more, never less, and never ever gobble up the middle best.
Cancer is you and me. Childhood cancer? Unexplainable? Cruel? Yes! It scares the bleeding stools out of me, too. I love. I am no different from you. But admitting dying children into a Ronald McDonald House is insane. Do you know what Ronald does to cows? Have you any idea? And you’re sending his children into your giggling grease trap? Don’t make your child crazy and sick because you allow that clown’s CEO to bulldoze dead cows into a gigantic cow chipper. We are so desensitized that I feel silly and beyond naive just writing this down. “They’re just cows,” I am thinking. It’s not vegetarianism I am asking for. It is wisdom-ism. Wasn’t it Eisenhower who warned us about the malignant growth of the Industrial Guilt Complex? How can a man close his eyes to the way in which his food is prepared, and open them, just briefly, while his baby girl dies of cancer? His eyes will close in a silent agony after she is gone. Opened to drive to and from work, or to eat the saltiest carcinogens off the aluminum tray a lá Stoeffer or Swanson. He’ll want to hate himself for her untimely death. Why? When we all know that Ronald McDonald is the most guilty one. If Dad could see, and was not afraid of seeing, he would publicly accuse the clown of child murder. Tobacco companies are liable? Then so are clowns who sell us poison to eat. Ronald stripped her land to raise cows for slaughter. How does that give a little girl cancer? Look for yourself. They keep adding another billion sold onto that sign. I know the creator takes five hundred of ours for every million of theirs. Flesh-eaters buying their meat from a clown. Top of the food chain? Absolutely not. Cancer rots our flesh. It chews our meat. It purrs with satisfaction, then settles down to savor the delicacy of our organs for dessert. Cancer is king and we are its servants.
Now, how to avoid this hungry predator…
Don’t buy a Big Mac. Do as the Buddhists, who have known all along that cancer is a stupid, impressionable beast. Lay off the meat! There is a balance, whether we like it or not. One cannot eat up all the non-human death, and not get it back eventually. All she needed was to be born into excellent loving care. What is the best that you can give? Right now. Without waiting for the invisible scientist to tell you. The new wildness is human indifference. Clown apathy. The persistent hum of mellow heartbeats from delusional humanity. Its motto? To kill and not suffer.
“Eat your burger honey. A pothead in Oklahoma works very hard pushing dead cows into a grinder.”
“Daddy, I don’t want to eat the happy cow.”
“You eat it right now, missy, or no Hot Apple Pie for you! What, did you expect me to do everything I do, and prepare your dinner too?”
Fast food should be emergency food only. The rancher leaves an ax against a fence post along the highway. The children are weak from hunger on the drive back from Fort Lauderdale. It’s okay. Dad can get out of the car, take the ax, chop off a piece of the cow, and leave a twenty dollar bill under the rancher’s bleeding ax. Otherwise it’s more cancer at McDonald’s. And some more at Burger King, since their CEO was not crafty enough to set up a charity house in the name of their ridiculously dangerous, cancer-wielding mascot.
I will set the record straight. The death mess is everywhere, and unavoidable until we avoid it. Ronald McDonald is just one evil clown. There are more. The Burger King and Wendy, the Pippy-Longstocking look-alike. Any fast food cancer hole that markets its death-in-a-wrapper to children under ninety. In fact, don’t eat any place where profit is the first concern. These clowns play Russian roulette with our children because we invite them to. Can you slaughter six thousand cattle a day? If you’re a multi-millionaire you can. Or if you are a pothead in Oklahoma, you’ll bulldoze the dead heap for the promise of more pot and one kickass wage. The clown will do almost anything to get them to digest his cancer. Shall we continue until the moon crashes into us out of disgust? Are we feeling alive? Sometimes I feel like I am writing invisible letters to stones. Ronald lives in McDonaldland with the Hamburglar, the Grimace, the goblins, and a horror-house stuffed with a million other fast food monsters. They’re on the take. Their hush money infects humanity. Corporate executives in private jets have cocktails while discussing the clown’s next funny television commercial.
“Hey, how about this: Ronald can take the Grimace by his purple flabby head skin and bury his nose into the dirt of a child’s grave. All of the sudden like, the Hamburglar pops out of the ground, juggling a cow’s vial organs.”
“That’s not funny Ray.”
“No, but it’s true, ain’t it boys?”
“Yea, you got us there. Here’s to you Ray!”
And the happy executives toast each other’s greed while flying off on their mission to destroy faster than the creator creates.

Never has life been this ready to poop out. Is this not the age of doom? I have no exact hour and minute to certify my prediction of the end. I’m not sure how exactly we will get to the end. I know Jesus won’t come. If he was the least bit interested, we would become extinct the moment he saw three rubber tires left in a swamp. But we are finished, of that I am certain. The age of doom can last until the next millennium. Or it can begin the exact moment the last poet gets killed by a hit and run grapefruit truck out in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere is where I like to go to see man’s life falling apart. Even in the boonies it is apparent that Americans are not interested in the beauty and freedom of life. The police will want to make a report: “Looks like a drunk got hit by a grapefruit truck, Sam. Oh my Lord in heaven Sam, look at the sky! Run!”
But it is not Jesus and a biblical armageddon. It’s a nuclear bomb. It’s China finishing off the day’s doom. Early this morning they got the big cities. At lunch all the suburbs and outlying school districts. By twilight every farmer and his cow. Tonight when the moon is high and those lucky few left are having a very hard time falling asleep, great China will blow the final death wind over our land to erase all flora and fauna, and the few humans still breathing. And why not? A walk in the country should never ever stumble upon a blue heron standing on a tire behind a Winnie-the-Pooh mailbox. But it does. And uglies like that must be a harbinger of doom. A rusty trailer with a fierce dog on a chain. A line of broken down cars, taken apart for parts to make one loud, big ugly car. Litter par excellence. A refuse ranch. You know the scene. Our noble country dwellers. Living away from the madness of civilization to watch television programming caught from a satellite dish big enough to swim in, make country crafts, and never know their neighbors well enough to play games with them. The husbands work in Fulton or Oswego. The wives believe in God and Winnie-the-Pooh. China will clean up the mess if we’re not going to.
There is no freedom in America. There is posted property and greedy, angry farmers. I could not build a Buddhist temple in Meridian, N.Y. The farmer boys with their manure bombs would terrorize me night after night. Call the police? You know you’re kidding. The cops are even more crooked in the country, where nobody would see even if they were looking. Freedom in America is a freedom to fear, never complain, and be extremely careful about what we say to our neighbors. It’s their word against yours. And if you happen to be one who yearns for freedom, you will be found guilty always, since it is the opposite of freedom which represents the law. So I got the temple finished last Tuesday. That night a group of farmers stopped by the well looking for my cows.
“You milkin’, plowin’, or selling meat?” asked the head farmer.
“No, nothing like that. Just a small garden for my family and an hour before bedtime to meditate.”
“Where’s your dog?”
“Don’t have one.”
“Nope. Got a bicycle though.”
“You plan on collecting broken down cars to take apart, part by part?”
“No, actually, I am planning a Japanese garden, and a teahouse by the stream. I’ll have my hands full cleaning up the mess the last tenants left. What are all these rubber tires I see everywhere?”
“We put ‘em there.”
“You’re going to terrorize my life aren’t you?”
And that is why Buddhism will never flourish in Upstate New York. Christianity rules the roost here. In fact, all the farmers are getting ready for the big Easter celebration this Sunday. Time for farmer Jim to wet down the head and join the folks dressed in his finest church clothes. There can be twenty in a room before dinner, each with his own robin to peck out the eyes, and not a meaningful peep out of any of them. The dead have risen. That should scare the crap out of Farmer Jim. Make him leap from his chair, run screaming out the door, and hop up and down like a monkey on the new grass. Jim is the first to talk—a new tractor, the weather, or maybe a television show he saw last Thursdee on NBC about five new lawyers fresh out of law school. He sat down with his cow shit smell to view it with the wife and kids. The kids didn’t want to watch the lawyer show. The Grammys were on and Junior’s favorite inner city, cop shootin’, coke sniffing rap murderer was nominated for best new video for his song entitled, “Watch Nigger Cut Up Copper.” Welcome to America, Christ. Easter time. Glad you have risen. No one cares. It doesn’t matter what form you take, they ain’t looking for you. Anyway, if this is the mess you’re watching over, then by Christ, you’re one of them and will never convince me of my salvation! What a hateful, careless little American boy God you are, driving the speeding white car full of drunk farmer boys all over the county. Out hunting for poets taking twilight walks through the American wasteland. You find one, stop the car, and get out. You walk over to him hiding a bat behind your back. You mock him. The other boys push him around. Then you start to get mad at your own made-up images of him. You dance around his frightened body, poking him with your finger, and spitting with anger. Suddenly you fly into a rage and crack open his skull with your bat. “Drag him over to the bog, boys. Bury him in the sludge!”
What is our future? What would you call an age of doom if this is not? I will offer a random current event to help the reader understand the hypocrisy of Easter and the lie it means to be a United States Citizen. This is not separation of church and state. This is the total inclusion of church in state. Not all churches though. Just the American Christian church. Something disguised. No registered denomination. No deacon. No bishop. No rabbi. No priest. Not Catholic. Not Protestant. Not Orthodox. Not European. Not the African church of white rolly-polly missionaries sent from Arkansas and Tennessee to teach jolly Africans how to despair. This is the American Church of Nuclear Holocaust with Jimmy Swaggart as President. All citizens must participate like members of the KKK. Only the dirty, white lady rapin’ Negro is everyone of us. We’re the hooded, self-righteous, murdering thieves too, hiding our heads with hoods, and stalking the countryside to bash in any face that doesn’t look like ours. The President supports the wrath of God, wholeheartedly. He is its messenger, and will announce it with glee over the radio, through the TV, into our cars and our homes. The situation is hopeless. We are helpless. You don’t believe me. Write a letter to the President to tell him you are not happy and that you would like to punch him in the nose. Wait a few days, and see who stops by. Oh look, men with sunglasses and guns. Now tell me you’re not helpless!
One man is nothing. All men must accept their small helplessness. Those who do not are marginalized for life. Freedom in America? I think this will be the last generation to perpetuate that fat lie. The following is a true story about a current event in man’s embarrassing and very dangerous existence:
An American Navy spy plane was nicked by a Chinese patrol plane in mid-air. The Navy spy plane was forced to make an emergency landing on Chinese territory. There are over one billion human beings breathing in China. There were twenty-eight American spies in the spy plane spying on China. They got caught spying with American tax money, and not one American knew about the American spy plane spying on China.
Spying on China. Spying on China. Spying on China. Is that enough? Are you sure? Okay. Concentrate really hard. Try to remember that an American spy plane was spying on China.
President Swaggart was notified over the intercom while wiping up after his toilet. He’s a sucker for Texmex cooking. Chimichangas and lard cakes for breakfast. Consequently, the first duty for all Secret Service jobs is to scout out any unknown perimeters for the nearest toilet. It must be secured in the event of an emergency. After that it’s a green light go to search and destroy all unlikely assassins.
President Swaggart has never been to China. He remembers when his Daddy used to call them the “little Chinese”. They are not little. With over a billion strong, even if they were two feet tall, they’d still be bigger than America. Who are they? Nobody knows. President Swaggart doesn’t know. Not even his specialist on Chinese culture knows. And he’s third generation Japanese! No one will know China until China blows her black cloud over America. Then everybody will know China.
Publicly the President is mad at China today because Chinese officials boarded the broken spy plane and won’t turn over the spies to the American embassy. Personally, Mr. President was in the throes of diarrhea at the time and could care less about the little Chinese, even if their police were torturing the twenty-eight paid killers. However, his aides, all of whom are without mommies and daddies who love them, told the President to make a public announcement denouncing China for their mishandling of “the situation.” Bad China. Very, very bad China. A serious matter. Something better be done about it soon, or the President might gobble up another oily Enchilada.
Who is this idiot we hire? Are we going to let him threaten the Chinese nation of a billion and more because they want to deal with the paid killers in their own way? Was it last year when America had the most difficult time giving back to Cuba the boy who was stolen from his father? Little Cuba had no say, because their bombs weren’t big enough. Now Mr. Pres and his aides are going to threaten my existence because twenty-eight paid killers got caught peeping their perverted equipment into other people’s business. If anyone poked their dirty face in front of my window, I’d punch my hand through the glass, pull him into my home by his hair, and beat to a pulp the bloody face lying on my floor.
Who are these aids American voters do not hire? Why do we trust these faceless pushers who instruct our idiot President? Whose money supports them? Our tax money? Yes. During an election, neither candidate will talk about the huge fortune to be spent on the President’s helpers—the veritable army of imbeciles hired to act as his brain. We allow it. We elect one man to have fifteen hundred men make life and death decisions for him. We don’t know China. We don’t know America. A man can be alone with his wife and baby, telling the baby in baby talk that “bunny day” is coming. That a happy bunny will bring Easter presents and hopefully a sunny day for the American President to flush his toilet, walk out into the West Wing and begin the chain reaction leading to all out nuclear annihilation. That means a man picked up his laughing baby and both were melted in the time it took the President’s brain to realize that he just shit his pants. A spy plane got caught spying and twenty-eight paid killers got the whole world destroyed because, after the final analysis, they just wanted to snuggle up next to their mommies. I say to the Chinese government—No, I won’t say that. It is not my intention to be political. I want the truth so I can be free to pick up my baby and tell her that it’s “bunny day”. And then I want the morning to come and Peter Cottontail to hop out of the new spring forest like he used to before nuclear weapons. Like long ago, when Easter dinner came, and the excitement at the table was never Jesus, but talk about the spy plane that went down in the South China Sea. War with China could be heroic without nuclear weapons. One of ours to every five of theirs. Bodies to fall apart, piece by piece; they’ll get charred and eaten by worms—but that’s okay if those who die volunteered their lives for a paycheck. Death is always a fair and proper end for the man who volunteers to kill another man. This Easter after the ham, the farmer will talk about a new TV show. Lawyers fresh out of law school. If he didn’t talk about TV, he would have to think on how he gave up the earth and his children for some hush money and a new tractor. He knows Jesus ain’t coming. There is no Jesus, no Easter bunny, no nothing but a radio to tell him he better kiss his ass goodbye if the President has a bad shit that day. If his father could not stop nuclear proliferation, how was he going to? Would he have to be a hero to his own sons? No. He will help kill his sons. Grandsons too. Great grandsons. “Thanks for the chocolate bunny Dad. Now let the skies light up and melt me and my baby sister.”
Doesn’t it feel sunny sublime this spring morning, knowing that we’re all just a big bunch of dumb slaves to the American lie? And it’s only a matter of time before we get to watch our babies burn up to ash instantaneously. Will we do anything to stop that horror in the gut of the death wielders? Not a lick, I’m afraid. Pass the ambrosia.
And have a Hoppy Easter!

Woke up to the first thunder and lightning of spring! The flash in the windows. The roll of the thunder. All is perfect. The cycle never screws up!
Is it Franklin Roosevelt’s birthday, or deathday? How do I know of either? Why should I know? “Because the brain is the bane of mainkaind.” Oh well, not to worry my pretty face about it. After the sun falls up, we’ll get the green grass. Men are silly. It might take the small fear I have for my own life during a thunder and lightning storm, to appreciate the good I got. I am in love, and there is evil. But it is not my evil, and I don’t need to expose the evil in order for me to love.
So how come these little fear jolts?
Our cats leap up onto the pillow and purr their fear up close to my ear. They need to be reassured that the master is still the master. Beany the dog fell down the stairs last month. Now I must carefully coax him down from the very top stair. He stands looking straight ahead while I turn in circles. After each turn I expect him to follow me down. He might fake it with a flinch, but no, it will take a while. Sometimes as many as twenty turns—first thing in the morning, in the dark. I am a very patient man.
There is much to love in Oswego if a man is not afraid. Emotions are very disguised here. Tears are difficult. Wailing is a no-no, even if your best friend dies of cancer. It’s like this everywhere. The seasons pass with little or no notice. I cannot easily hide the joy of my pantheism, especially during this drastic change of season. Winter to spring? It’s like being alone an entire lifetime and then having a baby to love. I over elaborate in the fall, when life is at its most vulnerable and wild.
Pantheism. Life in all things. But humans will put a negative sign at the end, expressed as an “ism”, to finalize their disregard of life, and never to show their tears. All things have spirit. Buddhists call it sentience, but limit themselves to what they believe are living things. All things are alive. Yes, even rock—no matter what the human scientist says. I am the fool to block the scientist. I am what keeps him honest and working overtime. The tree, the rock, the blade of grass, a grain of sand. I say that everything is alive and thinking. Why not? And what’s the difference if I am wrong? Will it stop us from polluting and killing? Absolutely not. Believe in the rock with a spirit. Why? Because I told you to, Mr. Rock!
The wonderful thing about being a fool is the freedom to express the most profound truths and embarrassing wrong information in the same sentence without damaging his integrity. A fool is a fool. There’s no going up or down. The fool can say, “The tree is a squirrel,” and be absolutely correct, provided he expresses himself not to other men, but to the 74 trillion other living beings occupying the big planet we know so little about.
Nobody knows. Each man could very well be alone, and every one and every thing else a dream. Our chemistry is completely wrong. Why not? It is to the fish. Don’t they get a say? There are seventeen zillion sentient beings breathing water in Lake Ontario alone. This does not include the uncountable anaerobics. Will man take notice? Not if he’s busy. He is always busy. He’ will be busy being about nothing. Nobody I know in Oswego would weep for the dead seagull floating beak down in the sludge. If a man can skillfully suppress emotion, then where do you think truth lies? Bingo! Truth lies. And anyway, what truths actually waste their revelations to the man who must use isms to describe peculiarities? Why won’t he admit the futility of speech? He will have to one day, when the world is too weak to speak. The nearly dead might think twice about using an ism to label themselves. What was the ism after all, but a smart place to stop thought? A period to end his sentence? A “God bless you” after the sneeze? Yet some men spend their entire lives fighting to get their names typed down with an ism. Why?
A man should stop for fifteen minutes to observe his own thoughts. Then jot them down as quick as they come. He could tape his voice struggling to keep up with his busy brain talk. After a few seconds one realizes the impossibility of translating thought’s language into speech or the written word. Thought’s language is an unsolved mystery, even to our true selves. The selves existing inside us without language. Our sentient selves. The vision in the brain has no ism to speak of, absolutely no conformity to speech. Put a color in your head. Name it NOW! And describe in complete detail everything surrounding it. Ooops! You’ve changed your mind. Anyway, you probably said “red” when it wasn’t really red at all. Is that a giraffe? No, but it looks li—Damn, it’s changed again! Don’t bother attempting to get your immediate thoughts down into your mouth and out of it. Impossible.
If a man can’t say what he sees, but says it anyway, all is fine and wonderful with the world. When a man believes in the things he says but does not see—that is the time for everything else around him to run like hell. A lucky man will understand his awesome helplessness in the unknown. He must be able to say the thought he feels while noticing a lone goose on a hill, or feel enough to remark on the mole’s black terror felt beneath the grass while the point of his shovel stabs through its passageways.
Men are so close to the permanent elimination of outgoing sensitivity. They will feel pain, always so well aware to the pricking of their own nerve endings. But never a breath of compassion for living things not man or man-made. Man has become oversensitive to himself on the inside, picturing all life in motion from inside his brain, as if he had the first power to put life into action, and to therefore cease its action if he chose to. A murderous robotic monster of his own creation, man. A Mr. Hyde without the Jekyll to feel guilt for each innocent creature that his monster murders.     Speciescentric. Now there’s a new word for scientists to talk over and write on sticky labels for their Ball jars. Mankind has numbed his senses to pain and pleasure of all things not man. He acts as if all life was his to waste. Sounds juicy. It just means that man is the earth’s asshole.

Back to reality. Dawn in the warm middle of spring. No leaves but the skies have the look of a subtropical paradise. The tops of trees set before the sky. Could very well be Jamaican trees. Am I in Singapore?
I think writing is dead. This small book must have some worth though. Desperation? Of course! And hope too. I hope one man, preferably a young one, who is still capable of feeling, lays down in the grass today with hope and bitterness, holding tightly to my book of mixed-up confusion. I want one good reader! One reader would be friend enough to help me understand my own garbled and confused word-speak. I want my world to provide fifty more winters to read over what I wrote and laugh at the words laughing back at me. I want to invest in the company that makes hollow cardboard tubes for toilet paper. I want to help the world turn. I want to be proud of the work I do. I need to feel useful. Sewer clean-up? Hell yea! And a cold beer after work!
This is not good. Nobody is interested in what I am doing. Why won’t one man look at me the way I need to be looked at? Here is the intermission when I build up an even stronger more devastating disgust for my human surroundings. Now is the time to let loose! I am crazy. I need to be alive. I cannot hide out. Are you telling me that my work of art won’t inspire you to give me a little shove away from the deep fryer? Do I have to go back to line cooking to save my sanity? A hundred years from now I want the people to know the truth. Art in America received its final death blow this morning in Oswego, NY.
But the last artist did not go down without a fight.
The money is gone. It’s either dog food or a job. I don’t like you. You are wrong. I don’t write for you. I am writing for the man a hundred years from now who has a sick feeling in his gut every morning while the fortune dwindles. Hey future fella, what are you hoping for? Freedom? You found this book in the wall where I hid it. I published a hundred. They bought seven. Six of them went to my family. The one stranger thought there might be a rape to read about. My family put them in a box, said they were proud, and told me to get a job. I burned ninety-two and stuck this one behind the sheet rock that I put up to disguise my desire for all things not sheet rock. I tell you it is not constipation. It’s gangrene. They have gangrene of the vital organs. All their fluids are stopped. Nothing flows. There is no more beauty. Beauty has become gnostic, and the gnostics treat it like a wall-hanging to uncover during break time and then, “back to work!”
I want to be free! I want men to come to my door and talk about revolution. After that I want to play catch with them in the yard. I need to talk and play with them while our wives and daughters cook dinner. Okay, okay, I’ll cook the god damn dinner! I just need to be among thinking people. It’s all crap, future fellow. The grown men are tuning in on Radio Disney in their cars, for the children. The children are killing each other. Hollywood is trying to get the children to want to fuck and then kill each other. Dear future man, I cannot even imagine the horror movie you walk into after getting up from the grass stuffing my book in your back pocket.
I am alone giving you this true account, so you can smirk at the historical lies they tell you. If you are so unlucky to have my book, you probably don’t believe a word they’re saying, anyway, and you are frightened. Go to the river. The cool flowing water. Find a favorite spot, and get to it as often as possible. Watch the seasons turn, the leaves turn color, fall, rot, and come back to life again. Watch the animals look at you. That is wisdom. Don’t step into the mantrap. Keep your eyes wide open. They are watching. Be careful what you say. You have got to be so alone a hundred years from now. There can’t be anyone left. I think that even you might be a traitor to me.
Future fellow, I am finishing this book for you. It must be for you. When they read this, they won’t understand. I’ll be properly placed back into society by the time I save up enough money to publish. I will publish it for my friends who don’t even care if I die trying. I want to beat my best friend to death to get him to wake up for the next life. He should already be beside me, helping to plan our next move. He comes over to plan about how he’s going to make more money. I don’t have a best friend. Everyone is in hiding. Do you believe that illusion is death? It is. First comes illusion, or a soldier with a machine gun, or a get up to shave and shower and drive to a meaningless occupation every day, but making enough not to think about how cleverly illusion’s world enslaves the life of every single man, woos him with money promises and payoffs until near complete coma, and then slices his entropically depressed balls off.
There are so many mad images passing through my mind right now. All of them an example of man’s hypocrisy. It’s okay to be a hypocrite, the word has no meaning anymore since everyone became one. Two hundred years ago “gentlemen” would duel to the death over that insult. And then the victor would go home to ask his overseer which nigger picked the most cotton that day. Man is a dirty hypocrite too in 2001. How is he on your side of the river? What’s it like in Oswego in 2101? Are you born with a bag of Sakrete for a pillow? Or do they just break it over your soft newborn head and mock you if you cry?
I tell you it ain’t getting prettier. I’m shot. They’re winning. I got to move to the woods because men make me sick to my stomach. I want men! But they don’t want the man within themselves that needs to be seen. I want the Oswego man to love his children enough not to put them in school. They must stop faking love. It’s making me sick. Who is teaching? The children are neglected, unwanted. They know evil already, before puberty. The men here, out of laziness alone, do nothing but push them to impossible goals—always a cruel, confusing lie about happiness and money. Do you know that I know that by the time of your reading this, something had to give. By now man’s brain has undergone a permanent particle change. Or a plenitude of hydrogen bombs detonated in your mom and dad’s time, and you’re down by the river, stark naked reading my book, while choking up pieces of radiated lung. Evolution kept good to its promise to take man to his desired end—the violent, red-hot hatred of life. Beauty is dead. Words—gone. You can read. But what did they have you read? Treasure Island? It? Poems by Anne Bradstreet? Of course words will have to be dead. I cannot be a friend to you, future fellow. You scare the shit out of me. I am looking out my window now, in the know that no matter how many words I put to paper, they won’t be enough without the power to inflict mortal fear, to scare men into self-constructing a loving, happy home. I know the failure stuffed inside every American house. Absolutely no signs of it changing for the better, either. Man is not happier than he was a hundred years ago. Quite the contrary! He is more afraid and more dangerous. He can tie his shoes and drive a truck, but strip him of all comfort—ALL COMFORT— and he will cut up his neighbor’s children, rather than go a day without novelty groceries. In 1901 ice cream wasn’t invented yet. In 2001 a twelve year old boy killed as many children he could see in fifteen minutes. Once in a lifetime would have been a very sad tragedy. Once a month could have been corrected with the discriminate slaughter of our modern economy. Once a week is human insanity. Ice cream… Murder.. Gee, I wonder what twisted, freak mother tucks you in at night, future fella.
We are all nuts. I am trying to save what sanity I have left for my children. I need to write about why I think it’s all cuckoo. You still don’t understand the positive good of home school, and every quarter expect a report on her progress. What? Can’t you read the paper? She didn’t kill anybody. Is that not good enough? Can’t that be progress? No? It’s queer that Daddy should want them beside him. He’s going nowhere because he knows our world cannot and will not even try to protect his children. This realization has bored deep into his psyche. It will have its effect on evolution. God future fella, I doubt you got even one fertile sperm left in a million. Psychologically it’s ruined, and probably wise enough to commit suicide before ramming into her greedy egg. I hear that’s the way the dinosaurs went. Polluted themselves to the point of their own lizard sperm getting smart enough to quit.
I believe in the wonder of my daughters. I believe in the spring robin, the blue sky, the chance in a lifetime to be alive. I believe in the naturalness of all things. It’s true, I even believe in the beauty of man. I believe in hope future fella. You better hope too. For without my belief, you do not exist.
I am the last living artist in Oswego, America. I am not afraid to believe in the truth.



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