artist

The Artist’s Dilemma: When The Music’s Over

Photo of Jim Morrison

You know the feeling. You had a great night. You got the job done. You closed the deal and now you’re lying next to someone you thought you could never get. (more…)

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Writer’s Block: Finding The Elusive Muse

writers+block_fed465_5042647You thought you had it. Last time you did. Now you got nothing—just booze and chocolate and that asphyxiated worry clutching at your throat.

What the hell happened?

You were on a roll. You had invoked the muse. You had the ever-glitter of fire, gamma and lightning of insight, and the opal and tourmaline of imagination. But now, like cutting a candle’s wick, you suddenly find yourself sitting in the dark. (more…)

Fear: A Moment Of Clarity

 

city3

The city is at its rush hour plight. Everyone is out and about, going where they’re supposed to go. You see everything in solar salience—from parrots to canaries, vultures to pigeons, crows to eagles, circling above you in skyscraper altitudes. There they are pandering and advertising, sampling and soliciting, compensating, violating, enduring, hunting. Then you realize something. You’re getting older by the day. You can’t read two pages of a book without getting tired, and your only bff in the last few months has been Jon Snow. Every night you can’t wait to pass out so you can stop feeling sorry for yourself, because you know that all this time you have been wasting your life away. Trapped in a fate of your own design, you have been doing what you don’t want to do each and everyday.

And yet you still do it. Defensive and evasive you circle the drain for the hundredth time just like everybody else. Why?

You know why. You’re afraid of leaving your job. You’re afraid of leaving your house. You’re afraid of leaving your husband, your girlfriend, your friends. You’re afraid to forsake your relatives, mortgage, cars, school, loans, and everything else you don’t necessarily want but just happen to be stuck with for a long time. You argue that this is normal. You pretend that you don’t want power. And you say to yourself that only a handful make it anyway. Why try? Through the years you made yourself believe in the funnel factories of aggregate potential and the virtual rabies of self-doubt. Then somewhere along the way your eyes dimmed and lost its fire. Now, you’re even afraid of leaving your own miserable self.

But then ask yourself: what are you holding on to again?

Perceived risks and neglected opportunities, secondhand knowledge and firsthand misery, these are the nature of modern fears. But wait a minute. This is actually good news. Dying slow used to be a luxury. Today, in the developed world, you are more likely to die in the poison drip of depression rather than in fatal, catastrophic social conditions. That ain’t too bad is it? Unless of course you want a better way.

And there is a better way. Getting intimate with your fears has always been a good thing so long as you learn what it is trying to tell you. Physical fear warns you of physical harm. Emotional fear warns you of oncoming emotional tragedies. You just have to learn to adjust to it. Life has never been about sedating or eradicating risk. The people we herald and idolize are all residents of fear. What you need to do is listen to it. A true examination of your own fears will provide a reality bath, an undiluted self-appraisal that will take you to another level. Because despite what you’ve heard or what you’ve been told, you are not enough.

You have to change, to dare greatly, and to act with courage. You have the human raw materials to succeed and you must forge something stronger than yourself to barrel through. Do not erase the warpaint of your tears. Do not suppress the drumbeats of your heart. Do not wish to delete your past failures because without them, you wouldn’t have access to the wisdom you have today. Smile in the face of your demons. Be happy that you heard its whispers and screams instead of the other way around. Because only when we master our fears will we be able to master our lives.

 

Ray Bradbury

 

 

Roun’s Rants Vol.5: Bitching

Panda-Jerk

“Declaring intent is not execution.” —Mark Twight

The other day I found myself bitching again. I didn’t know I was doing it at the time, but I knew something was wrong. A girl that I was trying to seduce was not responding to my advances. Try as I may, the pimp juice just wasn’t working. But that is the canary in the coal mine, so to speak. The girl was trying to tell me something, but she was trying to be nice to spare my ego. Nevertheless her actions spoke loud and clear.

Why are you acting like a little bitch? (more…)

The Inequality of Art

Notworld in my eyes all art is created equal; just like not all men are created equal. Amongst us, there will always be those who succeed and those who will remain on the couch.

Not all art should be free; just like not all rights should be free. Some rights are given willingly because of its worthlessness, and some rights you have to fight for because of its potential for real change.

Now among many of our modern, comfort lies, there is a saying that never fails to bring out the inner serial killer in me. And that is the saying that, “art is subjective.”

What a load of dirty dicks! (more…)

Baby, I’m About To Blow

Tom-Waits-by-Kirk-West

I knew you’d slow me down with your pinky in the air,
but I knew you’re the one when you dipped down with your sable black hair.
I swear I hate this town and that’s how the story goes,
we got fifteen minutes before this goddamn place throws up and blows.

Moonshine, shoeshine, thirty-five dollars for a thong,
drinks on credit and I’m in the gutter singing this song.
It’s past midnight blues and you’re wearing shadow and lace,
but how can I say I love you when you’re sitting on my face? (more…)

Learning to Unlisten

sweetmadness2We live in a noisy world and a noisy time. Even the silent moments of today are filled with noise—filled with a stream of videos, podcasts, blog entries, updates, tweets and texts. Most of our everyday lives are guided by councilors, classes, and curriculum. Our outlooks are influenced by forums, workshops, groups, guides and gurus. Our decisions are ruled by opinions, options, suggestions, and education. There’s all sorts of schooling, training and guidance out there. In fact, there’s an instruction manual for everything even on how to live your own life.

The only problem is: it is written by someone else. (more…)

The Fundamentals of Failing

kumite2Edward backhanded me in the face, making me step back. I was stunned but not because of the blow; rather it was because it was illegal. Hitting in the face during sparring was not allowed because the school was afraid of parents suing them (which didn’t make sense since tournaments allowed a good bashing in the face).

I looked at the coach but he didn’t see. He was too busy looking at the other fighters who were also sparring.

“You sonofabitch!” I said, smiling in surprise and anger. I felt a twinge of self-hate for looking to the coach as though I needed help, as though I was a rat. (more…)

Generation-R(onin)

city samurai

Gone is the age of Kings, of Royalty and Executives. Gone are the days of being tapped on the shoulder and becoming “discovered.” Gone are the studios, the record labels, and the idea of Hope because now man can lay claim on his destiny once more.

Free of institutions, titles, and guidelines, the ronin wanders as a rebel and a vagrant. A vagabond in the eyes of many, he has long ago thrown away the dagger and the plate, and now carries with him the strategies and tactics he has acquired from his former academic lords. Masterless and socially adrift, he climbs heavenward into the clouds on the back of the serpent—the ancient star-spangled snake.

Hurled into the centrifugal force of Wall Street and cyber space, he is instantly met by a stream of dedicated non-thinkers on TV: the depraved and debased cynics, the bile-faced despisers, the castrating thundercunts, and the love anorexics who sell confidence-boosting suppositories to the masses of the walking dead. (more…)