When you are on a planet in space

It's only when the closest star is out of sight that the others come into focus. So that's the lesson: let go of what keep you warm, and the whole universe is waiting.


Everything is Connected to Everything Else


When I was a kid I kept saying it. "It's divine! It's divine! Everything is connected to everything else." But nobody listened. My friends, my teachers, the kids at school kept on being themselves, like little locked safes inside of locked houses. "Let go," I begged. "Open up."

"He's so spiritual," they said and left the room.

So I spent a lot of time in the backyard. There were oak trees, and a blue view of the harbor between the leaves. It was a good place to practice what I preached. I breathed the air, which was molecules, into my lungs, which were molecules, and if I pictured it just right the boundaries between me and the world blurred and I felt an electric tingling start from the base of my spine and spread up and across my shoulders, tiny electric wings, until I exhaled:

Everything is connected to everything else.

Sure, it was lonely sometimes, and sure, I didn't have sex for a very very long time after all that, but at least I had something important, even if no one else wanted it.


And now you're sitting in here, and you're telling me, you're asking me, "Did I know? There's a divine connectedness in all things!" You have the science to prove it. All the Buddhists agree, and certain mystical sects of Judaism do too. They've been meeting with the scientists, and everyone is starting to get real excited about this, I mean it's a real breakthrough, you tell me:

Everything is connected to everything else.

"Aren't you excited??" you ask, and I have to admit, I am a little bit, there is something like excitement or maybe the shock -- of recognition, like picking up the newspaper to find a story about your cock on the cover -- sure, excitement, yes I'm feeling something like that. And I am very glad this is common knowledge now; glad you found it, proved it, no faith required; glad that this makes you happy and isn't that what this was about all along, you being happy?

"You're so spiritual," I said. "And beautiful." So you blush, little molecules come to the surface of your cheek, and later in your bed you do it again and I get that feeling again, those little wings and I think to myself, Oh yeah, I forgot what this was all about:

Everything is connected to everything else.


The season was all wrong: icicles forming under the edges of roofs, the feeling that we were all very far away... it was too soon. October hadn't let go its leaves yet and already there were outbreaks of loneliness amongst my friends, I'm sure amongst strangers too though I didn't ask. The subway moved slowly, I had dreams of glaciers inching back and forth.

But when I was little, there was bright cold air, the subtle turning of sunlight as the planet moved. Do I miss it? I do, I do I do

into where (dublin!) resists -- you werent woods to come out of

His growing presence, certainly, admits, (enough) concedes: the task force revamps its rights to interrogate, just a pleasant introduction, of course (for clarity suggestively interject in the closed forumn), to increase the saddened state of heathens. They have closed, at a most convenient a speed, and joined, quiet estatically, the disjointed, mismatched, and ill-advised conversation, a most unsuitable synopsis of progress, indeed, and, throughout, with little thought to presentation (bewitched!--she is agog!), but most careful consideration of rhythm, yes, my the celestial fog of this meekly mistated glory, you wretched hooker! (alas, it is her suited role, though unsuited as she may be--naked?), yes, she, the poisonous conductor, a mere and meager wimp, frightened, I dare admit, by that which, through (aghast, she stumbled, quite white, into her hands, her watered and filthy hands, they were inside that!), yes, through her ever meandering explanation, like she was witless, with the owner of a lone saloon, belching (just perchance) by mediocrity, confusion, and that, that sense, that, yes, I suppose (I? again, the seldom yet acquired dignity in dismissal, in adherence to normative definitions), without will, without much sight, against, supposedly, merely supposedly, meagerly supposed ha, against, she insists, for she is most poignant a jelly, without much sight, no sight, just purely anectodotal inference, hmph, against his better liking, his more appropriate liking, he is chosen (she defers, yes, later, like a bug, to the quick and crude nature of that boar), deference, my dear, intrigued, at last, but initially, oh how out of sheer steam, that beast roared, quite magnificiently, though unprotected and unwarranted (an attack?), certainly against, again, I must deny, against the general flooding rise of such a morose and dull and (bland), a rise, indeed (nonetheless), but cruel to the hobo, oh my sire, he rose, again, out of that great monstrous, yes again again!, I cherish again, he rose, and then, oh, how could I be numb, no, you silly panderer, the lout he rose and (ah, dear, my dear), he--A most rambling, a most inconsiderate fool.


Progress [a song without music]

when the scientists found a way
to make life last forever
I picked you up
and drove us down
to the clinic
near where you grew up

"this place has changed so much"
you said and touched your face
I know I know I know
what that means
I know I know I know
what that means

you did the same thing
in the kitchen when we first fought
it was snowing outside
light came through the blinds
like tiny hands like tiny
light came through the blinds
like tiny hands like tiny
the light came through the blinds
like tiny hands to touch your face
tiny hands to touch your face
tiny hands touching me touching you
touching your face

and now the scientists found a way
to make that last forever


The Singularity is Near

The issue of soul's precise location in the body came up at dinner and everyone was angry and disappointed. Angry, because everyone else was wrong, and disappointed because we hadn't seen each other in such a long time, not all together, and it seemed like a waste of an occasion. After dessert, no one stayed for coffee except for Anne and Patrick, who although not in total agreement at least believed the corpus callosum played a central role in the soul's organization, which gave them some comfort. It figures, everyone said, they're both libras, and later we heard that anyway after they had sex Patrick got all upset when Anne said it would always be a physical impossibility to relocate the same soul to a different brain, which Patrick vehemently denied and apparently even went so far as to mention Anders Sandberg and whole brain emulation, which is certainly a post-coital faux pas if there ever was once, as far as everyone else is concerned.

Still I get a chuckle out of imagining him shirtless and sweaty, hurrying to put on his pants and talking about Sanderg's computational assumptions while Anne sat up and pulled the covers over her breasts, which I've always admired, and were my vote anyway.


Or put another way, a guy we knew in college asked us, "Do you ever wonder if everyone is a robot but you?" We had to laugh at the time, and secretly think well he didn't mean us of course, we're friends, but come a year later when a girl accused him of sexually assaulting her after a party, well, you can be sure we thought of that remark again. After that blew over, we walked with him across the campus. It was a fresh snow on the ground, icicles hanging from the buildings, and while he was talking about something a snowball hit him square on the shoulder. We all looked back, but there was no one in sight, no buildings near enough, in fact no one at all but what seemed to be an extremely old man walking with great care and deliberation through the ice. His head down. Now, we are not the type inclined to throw snowballs at old men, but the guy, our friend, he looked at us with wide eyes and we looked back and had to admit, yes, it definitely seemed like this particular old man had decided to throw a snowball at our friend. There wasn't enough time to think it through -- our friend wanted revenge. "Should I do it?" he asked us as he reached into the snow. "He had to have done it, right?" We sort of agreed, though not without a funny feeling creeping along the edges as we watched him pack a very dense, very excellent snowball and launch it full force at the old man.

Did we think he was right? No, of course not. Did we stop him? It all happened so fast -- that's the expression, but well we could have said, "No no, it probably just fell from a tree," which of course it had, it had in fact fallen from the branches of the oak above us and that seemed obvious no sooner than our friend's snowball hit the old man right on the top of his bare bald head, and when he looked up shaking with cold or anger and began asking us why it was very clear at this point that our friend, who wondered about robots, and us, well we could only laugh though years later what stands out most is not that we didn't stop him but that we didn't because we were friends, which we're not now, no falling out just time, and though he of course has new friends who must like him it still makes us wonder a bit, wonder

Not like their blood

I been all over it, again, just all over it, you know, back and forth in my head, like they been telling me I got to do, like they saying to me, over and over, that I got to remember, I got to remember what it was like, just like that, in that room, exactly what it was like, you know, with all them walking in and out and them other ones lying on their backs staring at the wall, real dumb like, you know, like they couldn't even talk or nothing, that was it, really, I don't remember nothing else, nothing about any of them other faces, them other faces coming in and out, it was real tough to see them, it must have been tough, like they was all shaded, or covered or something, but I been over this, I been over it with that other fellow who come down here asking all these questions, like he was real serious and he was gonna get to the bottom of this, like he was gonna find some answers, shit, like he was the law or some damn thing, but he just like the rest of them, just as dirty like the rest of them, stuck his face in that mud, right about then, and he don't like what he see, he can't like what he see, there ain't nothing to like what you see, not like that, and then he just left, all mighty and shit, he just left and I never heard about this thing til now, and I been over it, I been over it then, I been over it again and again, you know, sitting out here, just sitting out here thinking, really thinking, like how is it that they come to be all looking dumb like at the wall, with all them people coming in and out and nobody not even thinking anything about it, not wondering if they was gonna do anything about it, just like they don't even see them there, but I been thinking about it, I know the rest of them aint thought about it, cause I know they aint got no cause to think on it, but I been thinking on it and I been thinking they had no cause to be there, none of them had no cause to be there, not like that, not like they was all dumb, lying there, just like that on the floor. Not with that blood that was in the place, not next to that place where they slaughter them herds, not like that, they had no place being like that. I been thinkin on that, sure, but you'll see, you just like that last man, thinking you all like the law, when out here, it just that some people, you know, like they weren't ever here, like they don't never want them here, some people, they just don't care for other types of people, not out here, and they just don't think on them like they do their own people.


I thought about what you said

all air is actual air
and no relationships are just "in our heads"

so don't go down that road unless you are ready
to shut all the windows and close the blinds

in a sensory deprivation tank
even the dumbest people hallucinate
the busy galaxy of the mind has all it needs

and if it what goes on between people
is only in there

then so is the air and the dust,
the blood, the tall buildings many people made

once breathing now gone

actual people

they don't belong to anyone


weather report

but then again sometimes these days

when the clouds arrange themselves into a wrinkled brain

and it is partly cloudy in my head with a chance of rain

electrical storms

striking thoughts

little needles

wired to my heart



i thank you god for most this amazing night
to be alive in october
to be alive

i am 30 years old today--
30 years of gifts from you wrapped up in skyscrapers, trees--
and what am i to do?

what else am i to do but give myself back


Reductionism, II


There are a countable number of possible universes but an infinite space to cross in each one. Why do it alone? you might ask.

But there is no one there.


And why not? When everything done is done, and all the new things have started themselves up, single finite cells of infinite depth, will that be a good time to talk about God? There never is, lately, unless you happen to have a magnetic resonant imaging machine, several underpaid graduate students, and a Lonely Planet's guide to the human brain. Then you might hit on the g-spot right in the center of that old wrinkly white and gray mass, the God spot, and when you do it will light up the charts.

"There He is": a functional MRI of self-reported religious experiences.


Still in the end the alligators will blink their complexly-lidded eyes; the flies will live so fast if you were them then this morning was childhood, tomorrow you die. What then? Fly heaven must be an infinite space too, and if there are particles there (mustn't there be?) you can bet they contain a whole heavenly depth of their own.

Ruth was right: better stick close to the surface of things. Everyone who's everything is there.