some recent paragraphs

Geoffrey Lewis
16 min readFeb 16, 2024

i’ve been feeling bad, flattened, lazy, useless, a pile of flesh and bone forgotten by most who knew me; failing in adulthood, so here’s what I did in private:

fake and earnest girls selling their time on a sliding scale, looking for someone to dream
with and make it legitimate under capitalism until they fail to pay rent and some man rescues them and permits them to not have to make money, to just go play with your friends, but then the girl wants it to be serious — the arbiters of seriousness have already grown a new generation of obsessed writers and defenders of the timeline; so it’s just going to be more of this, this is the world and i see it clearly because i understand breath and time, longing and images, never achieving, being together, failing — what will life have to be for me to continue?

*

My house kinda sucks at the moment, two girls having breakdowns, one selfish another insane, liar, ; I chew gum and pee in an old water bottle, whatever, don’t look at me, fine look at me, lost a day napping and walking around, slowly; no need to name it anymore, dissolve into the landscape, left “tech” and maybe even talking about large language models or Apple buying clean data and training humanity on images, but control and power are lonely, so maybe we do revert to literature and the arts and I am vindicated and anointed queen of the selfish bitches lol, drifting and dreaming like David Lynch wishes to do ; how long can I go in a day without naming names? Like Carla reaching for “if capitalism, then patriarchy,” I try reminding her no man is in her way, it’s all selfish mediocrities which can be overcome with judicious application of probity, care, slowness, surrender, acceptance; I would have thought I who use these words would be wanted and famous; no, there are dozens of us, each one more unnecessary than the next, wise justice warriors becoming inspirational media; other people will not satisfy me; I thought I would have a longer life journey of normalcy before I realized this, but no it is thrust upon me early — so God remains, and Nick Cave, and the years

*

only in sleep and creation am i free; death is nice because there’s no real life, no laundry, no failing technology; Bible offers great hallucination, but life is with father and mother, friends and nations, men and their limitations; so Nick Cave loses and keeps writing songs and singing songs, he pissed off his audience when he spoke rather than sang and came to them asking questions and having dialogue rather than staying distant — maybe we don’t want to know our artists; how does it work? I wonder — I am not a wunderkind, I am annoying; I want to destroy the game lol while also preserving it; so the heartbeat is conflicted, there’s no escape; marriage and voting conservative solves this; it will be an insane year, 2024, and the future won’t arrive soon enough to make it the past, so we have to live through it with no recourse of retrospection — now, 40 years later, women will read this and tweet sections of it, underlining and highlighting; I am already gone, barely here,

*

Absorbed into the angel, life is a dream of individuality, identity and continuity; blessed nonsense swirling down at all angles, no need to be relatable, no mistakes; another set of cobbles one could follow — raw me, no sales, no coaching being sold, no future container to join, all is here and now already and free — yet I must sell, get, earn, be believed, be supported, and I have not yet, and I must, so I will, and I and the other person will change; but why? All seems to depend on why money is given; who deserves it, what’s it for; girls’ education

*

ultimately she’s polishing her rose gold collection
girls like nice things
they want protection, guarantees, certainty, stability, consistency
from a man who goes out into the world and wins
who must divide his love between the domestic and public sphere
failed fathers love their customers and fight the regulatory environment and the competition
they have little left over to give attention to the fluctuations of the women in the household
the wife, the daughters

I guess I’ve been writing a lot about girls lately, women, mother, the angel, the hole into which I could be absorbed: is it effectiveness? Reality? I feel like I’ve lost the language of reality; I lack the language to see myself, to live

*

everyone is on their phone trying to park and not appreciating the carnival jubilee billboard, the gas station or the google office or my hair romantically blowing out the window as i determine i must become the most famous and beautiful man ever in human history only because it would be funny to nonchalantly achieve then legitimately laugh off

*

I struggle with things, that’s the job I tell myself I have; we tell ourselves stories in order to live; we dip our brains in containers of time and media that confirm these stories ~ the iPhone may be making us sick, post-human or genius, it’s impossible to know, we won’t know, we’ll never get to the future soon enough; the challenge will be getting to the future so we can look back, but that (the next 10–20 years) will be our lives, and if we wait until then it’ll be too late, so the advice Baldwin gives in that speech (quoting Henry James) holds all these years later: “LIVE, live all you can, it’s a mistake not to.” However, life is awfully simple: eat, sleep, work, work out; in the cracks in between you have style and conversation, meaningful relationships (oh, meaning is such a burden, and maybe it’s best not to read too widely — maybe it was reading so much that ruined my life, made me a zero always starting over, always the phoenix; God it’s boring being a professional phoenix. I have to ask you for money and wonder aloud what I should do; I have to be seen wondering and planless; is my failure state beautiful? It’s also the beginning of a rocket ride. I’m so open, but luckily am now very normal in real life, don’t beat people over the head with my stuff, have a realistic sense of how much others care (zero [0]); I’m a nice-to-have, nobody’s priority, it’s a blessing and a loneliness, a strange choice that I think made itself. I’ll be your child, a practice disobedience, a disobedience doll, lol, I can say this and put it under my own name and call it legitimate, what kind of sick freedom is that? It’s fun ~ I forget how fun it can be to be me; could I be a coach offering a container to help you achieve the reckless abandon and spiritual mysticism I have achieved through (using the French symbolist poet Rimbaud’s words) a long, sober derangement of all the senses, including my own identity? I am fire; I have a war in my mind; constantly changing yet always the same…I am having to embrace being profoundly disliked. Jealousy is love and hate at the same time. Caged birds have a complicated relationship with free ones; I rest in music and am carried away, always have access to it, like talent. Mastery. Did I master myself? I think what I’ve achieved is being able to explode in little containers like this but stay sane about it, not (like suicidal genius Robin Williams) leave it all on stage and be loved for his inventions, then return to the silent hotel room unable to breathe or bear the silence of night and the long duration of time, and the voices that continue. I’m a professional maniac. Supposedly organizations and teams have use for me, but I’m lucid and dangerous as a manager, I demand a lot, and people who meet and work with me soon realize they don’t want to have to live up to my standard of connectivity and speed, so I return to the launchpad to wait and hope that one of you or someone else will see me and open a door, give me an opportunity. I am showing you my wanting to live; you don’t know the quantity and quality of the times and feelings where I didn’t want to; we can talk about that — I think of suicide constantly; I think of coaches coaching coaches; I think of what’s being sold. I try to live beyond selling, yet remain amused by the language of business; I wonder what people want. A leader? Security? Directions? A father to boil the ocean and lead day by day toward a more peaceful, restful horizon? I see my peers heartbreakingly trying to give to the world what they never got and still want so badly. I don’t know how I’ll make it to New Years Day 2025. Do you?

*

It’s 3am, I’m well-rested and I can’t make a mistake — language fills the void; everyone’s staring at the screen and breathing, exhaling, making their little castle (caste) in the cloud, cloud caste, CloudCast, amusing — where the pools of light gather of the attention of those who make a difference; “the few, the proud, the Marines” and also the few whose passion hold the world together according to James Baldwin. Are we meant to live so other passionate changemakers say our names after we die? There are enough people to remember already; so live for pleasure? I have gotten “mad” at gay men for living for pleasure (hedonism), not responsibility (fatherhood, difficulty, order, children, women — not just lube and drugs in a container like an Airbnb, duplex or hotel room ~ living in a luxury high-rise and never seeing a bill in my life sounds nice; I would be a good husband to a cold and calculating shiny bitch of a wife, and my life would be half about her, half about my art; maybe later I have kids — maybe she and I are middle-aged together (can this woman really not want kids, and instead settle for those corporate forms of domination which make the world a repeat of yesterday and last year, because…lack of imagination for what to do with our power and capacity to see, recruit, commit, abstain, command, obey, search, refuse, deny, rebel, question, destroy, blow up, nurture, seed, water — break down a barrier, expose roots to sunlight; haven’t I written about this very thing before, on an early morning exactly like this one? Repetition, cyclicality,

*

The sun is the great force, I harness and navigate a disc (no) I rotate a reflective dish and roast enemies, melt down doors, creating alleyways, singer with a hard G, singe, sergeant, Sarge for short, Serge from Chrono Cross, his alt/foil Lynx, wasn’t Gary a character too? So many gringo names, Christian said last night: Kyle, Geoff, Ben; tired of it; sueño, suerte, Amen; Austin, Texas — Tehas means know your history, the land you’re on, the dirt, wind, mountain; nature man, ancestor, aboriginal; abhors original — young urban inventors screen-addled believing their auto-populating myths

*

Complaints are just creativity unbound — each individual is the universe, so between experimentation and self-promotion, the internet is a flood zone of pros, each worthy, each seeing if You/I the reader are a qualified lead who’s ready to play in their container: you pay them to become more like them, then you go back to getting others to pay you to be more like you. Maybe paying will fall. This sounds sweeter in retrospect. You could say I’m on the cutting edge of bitterness.

Could professionalism save this? Could I just say who I am? Broken, tired, unsure I can push the needle and make the human condition better; I don’t know if I want to be human; I don’t know if this world is a place I want to live. Adults. Defensiveness. Selfishness. My own weakness, my own reluctance to take my own medicine: discipline was always my salvation: excellence and perfection, giving it all up to God and the page and the community of other readers and writers, the extremely online weirdos who hold strong, feet planted, not giving in to the forces that want to make you like everybody else…

how can I put my hands on the system? Is it a problem of being an outsider? No one listens to me?

*

Raphael, God’s physician, cleansing the corpses of the drug addicts, snuggling them in their beds and printing off their PDF instructions and packing their lunch, mommy, milk, supply chain, the mommy milk supply chain is the guitar I strum as Vishnu fingering some of them playing two-tone and five-bar and twelve-tone blues reds greens, Blue in Green ~ now is where my (*) poetry gets twisted beyond return, a sigil imprinted to mark the angelic turn of dynasty and vision — Ezekiel-pilled

*

May be in hug trouble because I did not write freely on the laptop this morning, went to the roof to stretch to hang out with girls instead; divine, sure, as the Calendar fumbles and erupts, sunshine, bagel poising on copyright, at war with the seated lawyers, make them dance and worship women; oh, this war in my head, never once inspected; a madman on a mission, no suicide or murder in sight, no police lights, no sirens except crunchy granola earthy girls and my feral feline body ready for fellatio and anal, pleasure priestess forgetting money while reigning hard with a sword and shield, crowbar and crossbow // things are useless without a pretty girl in my corner; kissing Tesha’s neck before she is a combination of evicted and gives up and goes into drug treatment; kissing an addict; to be an addict is human; there are no police for the crimes of light transgression I commit // with no money is pretty cool, means you’re not subject to anyone — no one gets in your way. The barista cries out Monica; yes these are my dreams — oh that smell, perfume; sensitivity and readiness is all I am — now, how to enrapture and ensnare with profit: generating business comes from conversation, encounter, impression, hearing, seeing; jealousy, envy: stoke a fear of missing out and that buying will solve it; now I make marble mountains

“Calendar fumble” is what I saw in that one ~ I’m not being aggressive and coastal elite like I used to be, a douchebag in New York, writing, wry, clever, all-seeing; what am I now? Nice? Slow? Nothing? Maybe you can honor me for trying, for wrestling, for the attempt to problem-solve my way out of being me without losing myself; I have thought of dying, of ending my life, of bowing out of the race for clicks, for attention; attention cannot save me, only I can—I have to want to; it has maybe never been more difficult to want to live, to want to survive

*

philosophical romantic, photographer and vocalist, film and culture enthusiast, public policy and government intrigue, intrepid, lover of language and possibility ~ probably in my fuddy-duddy loop and routine, happily, serenely, on fire in mind and spirit, contemplating infinity, freedom and human encounter, the space between silence and action, the nature of choice, vertigo, eye contact, stares, computers, data, parenting, history, hope

I don’t know if I am these things reliably anymore. I am sometimes; sometimes I am on fire; I am a worthless pile of problem when I am not on fire, not in ardent pursuit of some vision, some North Star, some goal, some satisfaction; these words are all common, words we all belong to and struggle beneath while they pump through us; I am saying nothing but I am etching the rock around me as I fall down the bottomless pit and learn again how to fly

*

like a shadow but this is like in the foot because sometimes we make the wrong pattern. I’ve got a friend in San Francisco who is a comedian musician and we talk a lot about how you can’t make a mistake and a lot of artists will say like the person genius cannot make a mistake. The mistake is a portal of discovery, yeah an interesting thing is a lot of times it’s abstract is a metaphorical death. It’s an ego death that happens, at least in my line of work rather than a like risking your actual life we think in terms of survival and reproduction fitness evolution works is that at least the terms of natural selection the fitness individual survives that doesn’t mean like the most athletic it means the one is basted adapted to their environment, and one aspect of that is overreacting to things that could potentially harm us because if you Overreactsurvive so if we’re

*

The hunger is gonna take on the form of many words it’s going to proliferate into the shape of a beast, hopefully into the shape of my beating heart with all its tendril of memory reaching down, and all I can offer is the soul dance and spirit dance in the longing dance, and trying hard to thrash to somehow create safety and security, and tap into the abundance that’s there and shatter my fearanxiety and keep turning the ship around always turning the ship around

Fear and anxiety is the game; the old salvation techniques don’t work, because nobody’s listening, because another person is not a place to belong, unless of course you ink the deal with the state—marriage—which makes you be good; oh Saturdays in a relationship, sweeping the cobwebs off her front porch, in solidarity with other Texas homeowners, real men with lives, which might just rest on addiction to the screen/work, then alcohol and television, ignoring the Israel-Hamas war, not daring to make a statement, but instead culling and archiving your email inbox perfectly,

*

Did the ol’ 9–2 nap after a phone call with my father about nothing, him exasperated by the lack of a playbook of how to find my place in the world. “Do you want to be a storyteller?” I sigh and say fine, that term is an OK start to begin articulating what I do. “What do you want to do?” Turn the camera on and force integrity, force reinvention and recommitment, burning off all the peripherals, subjecting others to my mode of clarity and precision, punishing silence and incoherence // I want to do it my way, however that coincides with what others will pay for; I will go anywhere to be embraced: I beg for protection and also tyranny: the camera shall set you free, giving all to the world // writing is a place/chance to imagine each other

*

during hypnosis trance I walked hand in hand with Ansley down North Loop Blvd., kissing her hand; my hand is hers, one “I” in two bodies, loving and accepting the world and both playing our independent part in changing it for the better, opening opportunities, making decisions for others’ benefit and welfare — putting our hands on the spigot of human flourishing, perceived publicly; maybe this is my fantasy; Kiana is so capable, amazing, fully realized, happy as it is, work and friends, being in Austin, helping her family, owning a house, working on a second house; winning is just being on the right team, committed and devoted to drinking and spilling each other’s Kool-Aid

There are girls I like who are in my heart. I can listen, I can attend, I can magnify, I can witness; does it make money? Do I make money? I swim forever in my hell of dreck, my backwash of the black river in the underworld; you know me, reader, and I am destitute, somehow approaching the end of this month and beginning of the next, which costs money to continue; is money everything? Who sees me? Who would forgive me? I am trying to get somewhere, to lift myself up off the floor of myself in this nice script; it keeps coming; I can trust the hours and the work; I don’t mind sending you one (1) email as proof of my trying to swim up

*

The touch of your lips, the presence of your body, your surrendering into this space, making the limited map in your head about this place, where you’ll lunch; no wonder you’re stranded and anxious, babe: you have no way to get to the future via beauty and work, you have to wait on something you can’t make happen yet, not with sheer grandiosity or concentration alone; yesterday won’t work and all I have left is the image of you and hope for a future; nothing else is real to me. Love letter to Deirdre Coyle from divine morning hypnosis; my mornings would impress you; I’m not like the stereotypical, quintessential, self-absorbed stay-at-home poet free to not make money; I maintain the toughness of needing to do something

*

But everything is clean and available for use; sighing in the kitchen as a fork falls, clangs against a plate, flatware drawer rummaged through while the washing machine churns; new jacket, I shop while high, won’t buy essentials unless I am so; refill at the pharmacy, hopefully, need to call ~ not my kind of Saturday, worrying about what needs to be done, Saturday the new Monday for parents with their next 500 Saturdays booked; clean lines, clear road to Good Parenting, while we have blogs like The Last Psychiatrist still terrorizing young minds; what ready-to-wear fast fashion do I offer as a writer? What’s good to go? Rather than deep dark chocolate that takes you to hell; is there a silly love song in my arsenal?

Good parenting. That would be a worthy goal. Make family what it should be. Union, trust, commitment, devotion, never to divorce, to stay together, to share a voice;

*

Just wanna fall in love, not worried about my work, will keep finding interesting things to do — the drama of making or not making money is always there, growing more tepid and less intrepid by the post // Deirdre, a nexus of perfect longing. Smoked weed so writing slow; watched football, “went out” three times today, Epoch has been too busy and trendy lately, Double Trouble has been solid; Saturday 1/20/24 so packed with hipsters talking about school districts, housing prices and what they watch on TV, no shade at all, just continually open to going where my people are; a good woman becomes more and more “everything”; someone who will drink your Kool-Aid; am I longing hard for it? Not really; happy to wait/stay healthy/make art and enjoy life. Did my complex heart become so simple a life? What have I been saying if not this? Honesty and longing ~ how could it not be enough? Do I wish I hung out with people more? I have celebrity-ish friends. One can always go out; I like not making plans, observing people in the raw. // Perhaps not knowing what I’m going to do makes me stronger, more of a threat — being for justice is easy; I don’t really stress over work anymore. It’s just always there to do; I know what I’m doing and who I am. Letting God do it through me in His time is better anyway; it’s also the only way, the real way.

I guess this is cute.

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