Connection is the electric pursuit

Geoff (@gplewis), sometimes g.p.L
29 min readMay 22, 2019


“You think…that my life is shameful because my encounters are. And they are. But you should ask yourself why they are.
Why are they — shameful?
Because there is no affection in them, and no joy. It’s like putting an electric plug in a dead socket. Touch, but no contact. All touch, but no contact and no light.”
― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

real life is the electric pursuit

(GPL 10/8/22) what are you doing with your greed and presence, your hunger and rage—yes, dialed all the way up and breaking the nozzle and the seepage (ha! Become words, images, conjurings ~ better than being your unbearable self! Be the lion so you can be the lamb you really are! Life a constant evasion of what we are; we travel to new cities and look around, hoping the looker and the looking changes; landscape and scenery are simply versions of the same old mirror in, the unchanging one; all this is right and doesn’t matter, another tale told by an idiot signifying nothing and there will be more, so many more


you are who you’re waiting for

(GPL 10/5/22) still here (so?) (again, dialogue with yourselves; there is reaching out, it only costs Going instead of not. Simple: action is good but whatever’s gonna happen will; let go enjoy the ride the plane flies itself it’s a dance party just like old times

(GPL 9/3/22; how i sign my additions to documents lately; three-line break


“Once we’ve made enough money, we can rest.”

i love how sad this is, but i don’t know where to say this to make it matter, so it makes the impact it should — her wanting to be loved through the numbers, through performance, is heartbreaking and beautiful (and turns me on—she’s attractive, but lately sex has seemed to be like drugs and alcohol: not the place to go ~ sobriety may be the cousin of abstinence; maybe i’m not interested in “getting on the apps” because I know I (lol alert) don’t have the money to date, but I don’t have the money to date because I don’t have a reason to put my life together — surely my gift is that my life is a shambles; surely the poet Robert Bly was right when he said

i once wrote about the sadness of Elon Musk, man with unquenchable hunger who works to fill the unfillable hole, the gaping maw of the not-yet-done, refusing slowness, asking Why, Why, Why aren’t we going faster?

oh how we long for concrete to fill us up

maybe the closure of aloneness requires listening which reminds you your language and openness (your sensitivity, your serenity, your heavy past, your dreads, worries and anxieties) are not just yours ~ though i often criticize this as weakness, as liberal tears cried by the formerly gifted who wanted sweaters and calendars and to be celebrated for being genius visionaries who now find a world of millions of writers and artists each tearing themselves open onscreen and letting the juice run and there is no reward but becoming the verb you love to do; there is no reward other than continuing to go into what you say you love, to say Yes what you’ve already said Yes to

i suppose a connection is sought between one’s silence/the unsaid and form, being formed; making the unsaid said, the unconscious conscious, the conceptual concrete

“Romanticism: thoroughly saturated the discourse of modern thinkers…can you totalize? Can you make things whole? Can you create harmony? If you can’t? Disappointment. Disappointment is always at the center, failure is always at the center.” (7:40)

am I trying to connect my heartbeats with my income?

am i trying to engineer my way to financial security and a future in which i don’t have to fear doing what i don’t choose to do?

am i trying to be free of slavery? am i seeing things clearly? do i need an intercession from…a woman? Someone wise? A guide or mentor, a coach or guru, a boss or a father? Yes, but I won’t get it, I have to Be it myself, so I can be it for others, and tell them they have to do it for themselves—and this shall be the new cycle we perpetuate, rather than the old one.


Maybe worthiness comes first, then connection; or maybe they happen at the same time. Describing things and explaining them to yourself alone is so boring yet noble, such a time-suck yet such a high calling; a man obsessed with Maybe, always has one hatching all morning and afternoon, monitoring the birthing and gestation of feelings, thoughts, memories, relationships, correspondences in flight and twitching, girls

I can understand the bitterness of Thomas Edison now and why he might have murdered someone in the way of his professional rise; there is nowhere else to belong for the viciously competitive man with a glowing chip on his shoulder than the scoreboard, the ranks, the names in lights. But now in 2022, it’s permanent nighttime—the LCD screen of laptops and smartphones replaces the fire, the nighttime gathering of the tribe while the men were in the outer circle at war … the point being, his rage would make murder make sense; why wouldn’t he? A man’s career is worth everything, worth destroying the world, to overcome loneliness, to cure the hole in his soul

I try to make this about love, I can’t soon enough, never now, always later, at night, once life has claimed another day from me, death nibbles me down to the studs one inch more…love and death, always I can hold you here and whisper about it, I’ve been hurt enough and won’t pass that on

maybe I don’t need to drag anyone else through my creations; maybe doing it is just the shadow side, and life is lived above the art world, the digital and legible, all of this land a springboard to the place where time is timeless and there are no bounds

it’s always about a girl, my friend said, he’s right, but nothing ends except nerves—sensitivity and mapping it in pixels, words and musical notes is an infinite game I give myself to easily, easily it stokes memories, the pen need never catch up But inking my place on the earth Seems urgent to the Man ready to Destroy everything holding Him back ~ isn’t it God inside the neon of the bulb? It was never about man but Him, God — I delayed and denied for so long! A glorious start, no choice now but to yield, the God of money and war, of love and lust, sorrow and wounding, injury, the land piled high with bodies hurting, life difficult for countless people of all nations on this rare globule of atoms in the vast blackness of space, and now I’m just another man talking about it, it is pleasing to join the dead ancients, the robe and the guest room shall find me or not; the world is my home, my end and beginning, nexus of doubt and deception, a place to be wrong about everything and show up again to get it right, polishing off the places in me resistant to joining.

the sensitive photographic plate inside us each gets populated with certain images we never forget; the plate just gets dug into more, becomes more specific and non-rewritable

we are like children learning again the art of life from scratch; we are always just beginning and I don’t know how to profit off it or make it art or make it infrastructure for my safety; I suppose I will have to talk to someone, which probably won’t involve them reading my Medium posts. So it goes. Writing was all practice for living and it can be abandoned, yet daily I find my way back to living in the legible world for half the day…and the older, more aged adults I hear talking on podcasts don’t sound much different from me ~ it seems there isn’t other space to advance into except Being Here and patience and playing the game and obeying, surrendering to public life, the government, politics we’re all tired of. So we retreat to arts and artists

always it is about some woman since we all come from a woman; always there is a reverence

enough years pass and we end up settling on a short list of people to quote

but the years aren’t done yet

we can’t force finality (am I beginning at the end, before I’ve even started? Maybe I am not qualified to write my stuff anymore…I only make it less accessible, but the future in which someone cares about what I’ve done will have to be lived into…it will have to flip from imagined to real ~ and maybe, probably, I will have to write more, muddy the road for a reader to get to the good stuff [why? Do I love not being discovered? Does that ensure something to complain about? If only I had an editor to fight me who loved me more than I can])

playing with editing the story and Saving and publishing; learning how much control I have, and how light the touch can be — how much I can feel and think and not need to bring a hammer down, not need to “change” the environment, push Send on another thing, disrupt someone’s silence

a woman I loved’s new partner: there’s a concept that breaks everything open. luckily i don’t cling anymore; i can be happy for her, and my work is a place where i put the latest progress; it can never be honored fully because it’s a codex that can’t be monitored, unless people read my tweets — wherever i put what i am is a magical place; maybe social media is meant to be grown away from. But everyone tries to connect with others somewhere; everywhere someone is trying to be seen, seen through, picked up, 1+1=3'd…this desire for cooperation is human nature, I’m wired for struggle and disappointment and silent typing and trying to suture and singe, sinew, sign…surely I need an etymology dictionary, but more than the thing, I want the person, the mentor — all these words to hold our wanting, that thing we think could be there that maybe can’t be there.

…their astronomers won the Nobel Prize for empirically validating the Big Bang Theory, and perhaps most important of all, their physicists invented the transistor.

“At a moment where we are collecting, computating and representing almost any natural, social, economical and cultural process through digital technologies, how is it possible to even do serious media analysis or critical thinking without having at least some basis of computational science understanding? Every layer of hardware and every layer of software is ultimately language, and language is — as thoroughly proven by Derrida and co. — in every way deconstructible in all its cultural, aesthetic and political dimensions. It amazes me sometimes that so many media or social scientists can still disregard the fact that the formal structure of a transistor or the formal structure of a programming language contains the political, aesthetical and economical forces of the world we are living in.”

but i don’t wanna have to learn Python! I wanna speak *my* language and be embraced, protected, as I necessarily stumble headlong all day, all career through — who will make the fear of loss hurt less? how can my fear be quelled such that i actually fulfill my purpose? ah, a lust for completion, continuity; this is a practical matter, a matter of neurochemical engineering [ha, I added ‘neurochemical’ to the dictionary … locally on my computer? Within my settings? the Geoffrey P. Lewis login to this Apple device, or Medium account? oh, it’s true, one only makes it in one’s mind—book sales, awards … a formality, a nuisance ~ there are still more keystrokes to do; it can all be undone. ANYWAY, my point was about there being no arrival, no safety, no legitimate judges; writing and knowledge-making being an adventure of research and development hiding a child’s lust for redemption and understanding one’s role and origin, mapping the gods, aligning the statues — the images [oh, is it true what a man said to me, the Jewish tradition begins with the premise of banning idols? Still life doesn’t talk back, can’t hear your cries, it doesn’t register for the statue, whereas a real person is aware, awake, growing, remembers yesterday—the power of a church {the building itself} is it doesn’t remember yesterday; oh! but wait! it does have an intelligence! Adding this to the official record 1/6/22, insanely noticing the years will just keep piling up until Jesus Christ is unseated and purged from the vocabulary, and the English-speaking world agrees on a new clock and calendar, new methods of timekeeping; now, do I the poet have the administrator’s endurance and strength to charge into the seminar rooms and board rooms to try and change hearts and minds? I don’t know; some failures and rejections would certainly help “my case”, which is not just mine …

Surrealism + computers = culture
pushing against one’s limits of 150 meaningful relationships
forming a violent mix of a sense of what people are and therefore, what to do next ~

This is the most important decision in your career (or even your day).

It didn’t used to be. What next used to be a question answered by your boss or your clients.

With so many opportunities and so many constraints, successfully picking what to do next is your moment of highest leverage. It deserves more time and attention than most people give it.

If you’re not willing to face the abyss of choice, you will almost certainly not spend enough time dancing with opportunity.

listen to yourself always wins

have you caught up on your email? Who do you owe mental firings, breath, speech, attention, worry?

trying to figure out how to “make it”? It has nothing to do with the external, what anyone else can see and tell you. Is this the greatest finding of “my writing” since 2014? That was the first time I had the gall to “do it full-time” and not justify

have I won? I’m not afraid to lose; I happen to think LIFE IS LOSING

full citizen of loss and disappearance

“…all of us are struggling to be here. One of the great theological questions is around incarnation, which simply means being here in your body — not anywhere else, just here with life’s fierce need to change you — the fact that the more you’re here and the more you’re alive, the more you realize you’re a mortal human being and that you’ll pass from this place. And will you actually turn up? Will you actually have the conversation? Will you become a full citizen of vulnerability, loss, and disappearance, which you have no choice about?”

there is no loss in going for it


belief and faith that yielding to freedom and letting the sword slashing for it enter any place in the work in progress, cutting the whole thing to ribbons dyed with the color of your most advanced passion, betting that if you tap into this voice and let your true colors bleed out into a visible form, it will resonate with someone who needs it, someone who’d been waiting for permission in the shape of your utterance: I just believe in silent honesty so much, using your best effort daily for creativity, confrontation with your true self, questioning obligations and habits, reforming the story you tell about what you have to do today and why

do I dare to keep thinking in form, making everything I do modern autobiography? Could a reader keep up? I ask where they’d go otherwise: service the economy? So what? What if you ran out of money? Are you avoiding that conversation? Maybe our helplessness is exactly where we should want to go.


make this about me or make it about the external world? Is this a report on electricity, computer science, media, media companies, finance, law, engineering, programming people via an educational system? Isn’t it about the iPhone and freedom and fathers? Couldn’t I just rewrite this all night until I collapse and then sell it all morning, all so I can maybe find the knowledge and the guts (and the confidence) to reply to my landlord and say, clearly, how much I can pay and when I will pay the rest? Isn’t that the hardest writing assignment I’ve ever had? Doesn’t everyone else have pain? Isn’t it going to be OK? Why isn’t life less difficult? Where can I register my complaint and concerns about America? This piece of user-generated content? Isn’t the problem that no one can help?

“a retired Army colonel named Dave Hughes who wanted to hook up all 5.5 billion brains on the planet. No farmer’s kid need ever be lonely again”

“the world” might be the most overused, misused term in the culture
but not here:

“Creativity is how I share my soul with the world”

“So much of the stuff that keeps people from making creative work is fear, fear of being vulnerable, fear of being exposed, fear of being rejected, fear of the shame that can come along with trying to make something and somehow feeling like it didn’t come out right”

“If you asked me five years ago what creativity meant to me, I would say ha, that’s cute, that’s fun, I don’t really do a lot of A-R-T ‘cuz I’ve got a J-O-B, so you go take your paintbrush or scrapbooking and you have a great time but I’ve gotta get shit done. If you ask me now, right now, what creativity is, it is, for me, the way I share my soul with the world, and without it, I am not OK. Without having access to everyone else’s, we are not OK. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is the only thing, the only unique contribution that we will make in this world will be born of creativity.”
— Brené Brown

I think I am yielding to the feminine rather than the masculine


if making art is teaching me anything, it’s that you must continually become a stranger to yourself.

i come back to familiar places but find myself speaking in a new voice.

i have unsubscribed from companies and traditional employment. horror stories from friends confirm my righteousness in this choice, however risky, uncertain and unpopular. i don’t need to be 35 with an entrenched identity…except in freedom, creativity, following my fancy…this is my job; i couldn’t imagine dedicating the seriousness I possess toward anything else but the discarding of spiritual gunk, useless memories…and instead tightening up those concepts that are useful, perennial, essential to human flourishing: love, patience, right fury, weaponizing anger into social change…calling out bad leadership and training wise leadership.

“Most people think that if they work hard, they should be able to master a handstand in about two weeks. The reality is that it takes about six months of daily practice. If you think you should be able to do it in two weeks, you’re just going to end up quitting.” Unrealistic beliefs on scope — often hidden and undiscussed — kill high standards. To achieve high standards yourself or as part of a team, you need to form and proactively communicate realistic beliefs about how hard something is going to be — something this coach understood well.”

sometimes I still miss corporate, think it could be a home for me

“I miss having a job”

that craving for structure, for a place to not take full responsibility…to let someone else bear the load…to rely on some faceless brand designed by interoperable designers

the only question remaining is where will the money come from? Readers? Subscribers? The community? The doubt is that I’m worth sponsoring, good enough, committed enough (this is all the daily getting over and out of the monkey-mind; and to think, many people drop their thinking-minds into the soup of other people’s thinking minds, company announcements, pics from their weekend jaunt, links to the President’s latest gaffe, charts, analysis

is “having quit Twitter” my new personality? Maybe

I was about to lecture on the importance of volume of work, frequency of work, dailiness of work, pulling the work into your innermost being

“Like Miles Davis, Stéphane [Grappelli] was continually developing, right into his 80s. I’d always find him listening to modern stuff, like Herbie Hancock: he was aware of it and knew how to respond to it. Great jazz cats don’t ever reach a comfort zone.”

Miles Davis is someone I quote all the time:

you have no idea how long it’s going to take
but you have no idea how much time there is in a life
all old models of what you should have accomplished by 25, 30, 35 and 40 are now moot — all barriers have been erased, all stops have been pulled out.

Now anything is possible so long as you spend 16 hours a day intentionally making each day your masterpiece. And you’re going to become something no one’s ever been.


how do you describe yourself if you’re not a professional?

“It’s hard to have no shorthand with which to explain yourself”

it takes great courage to live there, to not bother selling who you were

so what is it to be modern? how to exist without the language of product and marketing taking over your soul? how to compartmentalize the business of you? Writing about it > reading other people on Twitter retch and vomit about it; staying ahead of the herd, or at least apart ~ I don’t want belonging but I need it — this has been my struggle my entire life; why? What was I ashamed of? Why did I need to be apart? Why have I spent my adult life the way I have, foregoing and eschewing mortgage, marriage and employment and instead riding the rails, living for the blinking cursor, giving all to my relationships and creations, training my ear and eye ~ yet one cannot avoid sales; one has a Social Security Number, one is an American, responsible for and participating in war and foreign policy through decisive inaction, choosing to write about myself

“I grew up in Miami reading obsessively about the Holocaust and imagining how I’d have behaved in 1940s Europe. Now that we live with the coronavirus, a gangster president and impending planetary disaster, I know exactly what I’ll do when faced with catastrophe: practically nothing. I’ll refuse plastic bags, retweet scary articles and continue to write about my own life. At least in 25 years no one will condemn me for this, because they’ll be living on rafts.”

the question remains: do we want to pay the cost (of surrendering our dearly held grievances and superiorities) in order to make life possible on this planet? Who wants to lose their wealth? Ha; I laugh about pearl-clutching, about the physically weak and digitally desperate property-owner class; I like being an artist, being here—

Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind then that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. –Eugene Debs, 1918

“amateur” is a French word, meaning “a lover of”, and for years it was worn as a badge of pride

“amateurs have a choice, professionals don’t”

what do we love?


up or down from the infinite C E N T E R
B R I M M I N G at the winking rim of time

the voice in my head said




then I saw the parade of my loves

those PERFORMERS comics actors singers

forgetful of my very self so often I
desired to die to myself to live in them

then my PARENTS my FRIENDS the drained
SPECTRES once filled with my baffled infatuations

love and guilt and fury and
sweetness for whom

nail spirit yearning to the earth


then the voice in my head said





that was Frank Bidart, a poem called “Guilty of Dust”

we are guilty carriers of cosmic space-dust; there is maybe a deep-wrought urge to GIVE and FORGIVE and BE WORTHY, give money to God — this gets back to my Sociology degree and Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism—we are so guilty so we work, we wring ourselves out

addicted to making art, to being worthy,

it becomes as easy as breathing: having the faith required,

it’s so easy when there’s no other path to follow but your own

the unknowable path, the unfillable hole

ya know, this essay was originally supposed to be about electricity and connection being the electric pursuit — from a Tumblr post from a female author I adore(d)

oh, a man’s sensitivity to light

“Isn’t it remarkable to be quieted by something as routine as the sun rising? That was Kiarostami’s — not gift — but eloquence. How the prosaic, when given time to breathe instead of rushed into action — like chatter between two characters, for instance — can disclose life’s most electric pursuit: connection.”

surely I throw this in somewhere down there

but he wasn’t a good father according to Alexander Calder

though my fuckups in love aren’t that epic, I did write about them; luckily I think that’s over: now I respect the ground on which meeting between two people occurs, that electric space of fusion ~

am I trying to, as the song lyrics say, “pay for my successes with all my defeats”?

[deleted lectures about five hours a day no matter what and if you wanted to be a writer, you’d find a way to write 2,000 or 1,000 words a day and you’d be a critic and consumer of your old work and you’d not talk about it, you’d get down to work and it would be serious and you would be far away and silent and your life outside the tractor beam of your vision of the cosmos and infinity through the material of your writing and the force of you being there attending to silence…see? I can go on like this a long time,

is this success?

“An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.”
— Charles Horton Cooley

is “being” all it takes? Being yields to doing; for me on this day July 13, 2020, being and doing have not led to having, all I have is shame of having to ask family and friends for money to help me pay my rent, taxes, grocery store, cellphone, electric, internet and some subscriptions I could live with having cancelled (The New York Times, $17/mo; The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Art of Gig (Substack newsletter from Venkatesh Rao the unhinged thinker who’s monetized his point of view and executes it like a real professional in real corporate settings, really running meetings in glass rooms with a dress shirt rolled up to the sleeves drawing on a whiteboard real problem-solving for real business problems that real CEO would be able to see as his company’s work…), nice coffee (Counter Culture Coffee)

but/and I can lecture about quantity and five hours a day no matter what; about having to be the noun by doing the verb — how doing is everything…

repetition does not diminish the prayer


without having to answer to anyone since no one else can really care about you, your work and your progress as much as you can; we can barely get each other’s attention over the tall barrier of each other’s busyness and how everybody is remiss and behind and preoccupied with their own downfall and unsafety and needing to shore up defenses and protections, taller walls, bigger locks, lock down safety harder and under more layers of reinforced steel

how will it be that I can just keep writing and making more blocks of text that might not have a reader? Can I really keep becoming myself? Can it be true that I don’t have to “have a job,” that terrifying prospect of “what I do” being controlled and dictated by somebody else? My internal voice is too strong! I can’t give up being locked into this thing I am mentally! And if I resist and protest enough and work enough, make enough, commit for long enough, the other options (like the author Geoff Dyer said in the quoted tweet above) dry up, and all you can do is write freely, inventing the form you need as you put down stuff that wants/has to be contained.

Photograph July 6, 2010, of a page I hand-wrote November 26, 2008

Now, I could write the story I’ve been trying to tell; I’ve been trying to be a god above my pages and organize myself, take a high-resolution picture of my story and my progress, and ship it to the right person, the right guru, the right screen, the right lunch between media or publishing professionals or literary/poetic talent agents ~ but I suspect every member of my generation wants to get paid to self-actualize through self-guided and self-medicated personal productivity on whatever intuitively comes to mind, an automatic therapy of sorts, surrealist or dada indulgence, improvisation, therapy like jazz, tearing layers of sediment and human tissue and shame, epic release, a thrashing bird phoenixing out of the fire into free space ~ and it’s all recorded, it’s all content, it’s live video…and people tune in. Of course the hard part is audience: of course people don’t really care that you’re honest; there’s no market for it. The truth is not profitable, so we’re waiting for the dying of the addiction to profit, we’re waiting for justice to become the external reality, we’re waiting for structures and systems to be filled with love and music instead of selfishness, resentment, judgment, impatience, racism, sexism, fear, superiority…there’s always other humans to work on, but who are any of us to judge? especially the educated well-heeled liberal elites from name-brand institutions who have friends on Wall Street continuing the lineage of days of worship of stock prices and executive offsites (now I’m just leaking from the brain…is it art? Austin Kleon said, just keep calling it art. I’m gonna — but it’s just nice, good for you, Geoff, have fun with your memories and your ambitions while you get bankrolled by your parents, ah, the haters stick around in your mind, don’t they? But it’s good they stung, and it’s good I’ve dedicated by working life to art, writing and singing, photography, curating others’ knowledge and style, becoming unselfish (but also selfish) in that I am egoless, headless, not very interested in Geoff Lewis or Geoffrey Lewis except insofar as he can be a vessel where thoughts and feelings mix in new, surprising ways that might mean something, might mean everything, for what any of us think we are doing here. Don’t retreat and yield just yet to your more familiar mental dwelling-place of work email and social media, keep going down the rabbit hole of a wildly original and unstoppable creative personality, keep going! Keep coming! Where else is there to go but the wilderness of you and computers, your destiny unmade but trying to come through?

do you really have to be a professional something, or is it a trap to avoid, a lifestyle brand to avoid steering your car into the pit of? Who are you trying to appease? Who do you have to be for? Who wants you to be a certain thing? Aren’t professionals just chained trophy tigers, stuck in a game of mediocre minds’ political games? Low-level apes not using all their faculties? I don’t want to smell ape. I also don’t want to read or listen to the speech or writing from people performing their role out of necessity, because I know what they’re gonna say — I know the calculation they’re making. Workplaces, towers, hierarchies…they’re places to go to get away from home, marriage, children, parenting or taking care of one’s parents — “work” was always a place to get away from harder work, whereas Rilke was right (something I write quite a lot, and wrote in the “link about love” above which I’ll say here again because it’s that important:

“To love is also good : for love is difficult. Fondness between human beings : that is perhaps the most difficult task that is set us, the ultimate thing, the final trial and test, the work for which all other work is only preparation. Therefore young people, who are beginners in everything, cannot know love yet : they have to learn it. With their whole being, with all their strength gathered about their lonely, fearful, upward beating heart, they must learn to love. But apprenticeship is always a long, secluded time, and therefore loving is for a long while, far into life — : solitude, heightened and deepened aloneness for him who loves. Loving in the first instance is nothing that can be called losing, surrendering and uniting oneself to another (for what would a union be, of something unclarified and unready, still inferior — ?), it is a sublime occasion for the individual to mature, to grow into something in himself, to become world for himself for another’s sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him and summons him to a distant goal.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To a Young Poet

makes me think loving well depends on solitude, and how/what one does in the time apart is as important as what occurs/transpires/accumulates/sparks in the lovers’ time together.

three wires in an electric cord: the positive, the negative and the ground

the ground is what makes the cord not light on fire
in times of surge


an unrelated glimpse of my love life, if you’ll let me tell it:

2013 was momentous, perhaps because it’s seven years later and the cells in my body are turning over

Eating a microwaved plate of leftovers at a standing desk in the middle of the open-office floor plan, reading with headphones on

I geotargeted this as a post to the New York area

I got no Likes and comments
but she saw it

funny how Facebook only tells you what people clicked, not
how your post made them feel


Thursday in Manhattan, an evening after work,
a calendar event with food and wine (some girl’s birthday? a startup launch?)
common weeknight fare for the dark-jeaned digerati, striped shirts and skinny ties out

I was leaned against a pole, staring down the rifle’s spiral of the Manhattan Bridge

♫ pour your life down the rifle’s spiral / and show us you’ve earned it ♫

after leaning against a pole and crying about old friends
I wiped the tears off and entered the venue up the block

caught eyes with a springy blonde, Romy
from South Africa, we flirted in the darkest corner we could find then turned with smiles toward the dance floor,
joked with the DJ (I signaled my taste) and took six-second videos of our careless, reckless privilege


we dated, if only for a Saturday
her lobby had these bronze Chinese statues, intricate carpets of read woven with gold
We smiled when we saw each other
then joked all the way to Starbucks
where standing in line was fun, a joy, sunlight
suspending specks of dust in their celestial beams
We pushed inside Grand Central’s golden gates then took the escalator down to the trains. Just before the subway turnstiles with wallet in hand and father on my mind, I showed her how I organize my wallet, how I take the time to interleaf the twenties with twenties, tens with tens and how I arrange my primary cards

In Williamsburg at an artsy food fair, we sat on a log on the beach and made our legs touch
We found a little Italian cafe; ordered salad, the appetizer with red pepper
we filmed each other and posted the Vine together
she wrote by hand in my journal:

is sunshine
in a house

And they fell into the beautiful moments of life like a sponge in a bathtub and absorbed as much as they could every second. And still they could never know all the possibilities of moments that lay in the rest of the water. But that is life, isn’t it — depends where you land and what you choose to absorb.

^ and I wonder if I need to delete that, see any story I could tell as the size of a comma, and seeing that as a choice of what to include and leave out, and make you ask yourself all over again what you want to happen? And it’s true that we’re all just out here and private accumulation and victory over one another is not a sustainable thing —

ah, and that reminds me of something else:

(what was it? Well, I’ll have to wait and remember something else; ah, here’s one:

the point there is John Cage’s form of poetry ~ it makes anything possible; it’s a flexible form whose boundaries can always be pushed to accommodate the thing coming up right behind, rear-wheel-drive poetry where the thing pushing from back there moves the whole car out ahead

if you have the guts to go on a remembering spree, someone will join you; if you tap the wellspring of the universal inner voice, it will draw other people who will follow along and learn by your example how to do it themselves. All that’s required is total faith in your inner voice & the wisdom of the human body & the willingness to be in solidarity and to realize all we have is each other

if you build your dream, there’s nothing to fear — build your dream until you snuff out the voice of reason that says “you can’t afford it, wake up, be practical, you need to make money.” The people who follow that are dying to see/read/hear/watch someone who believes in themselves.

“People pay money to see others believe in themselves.”
― Kim Gordon

Maybe you’ll only do it when there’s no other option.

…I remembered something else

maybe the final work appears when everyone else has forgotten about it

maybe I just don’t want to lose you

no, no, you’re permanently lost or married entrenched in contracts and promises you sort away from the sweet girl with wanderlust — adulthood happens; we’re reborn in the 50s, i’ll be here, different hopefully, dressed, owning, having become who i hated and despised as overeducated liberal laptop addicts do; maybe a new form will have been churned out of this bile and retch, a way of being something i don’t hate; is it possible? to go beyond—now it’s poetry, the life nobody can afford, the one impossible to finance because it’s disobedient; yes, my righteous war against the world…could never have fit you, could it; always i was blazing a tirade into the dark seeking ever stronger, more entrenched assholes to fight; you watched, i barely managed my role at home. one day (maybe today) i am ready for what was called love, marriage, maybe i could overturn the whole urn of shards and shake it hard like i shake the bars of my psychic cage, spun up everyday like the global grid of trembling obedience, selling anything one can, every door-knock embarrassing, a reminder of our sanity’s wretched disfigurement…but i’m still talking to you, the one who i pushed myself away from. i’m in the middle of nowhere now, the upper echelon of the path i chose to be chosen by 💔🖤⚔️



Geoff (@gplewis), sometimes g.p.L

curious about the soul in the media environment, marketing self-actualization, purpose, being an intellectual and critic in capitalism via product and marketing