Bigsley the Oaf

April 19, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 19, 2010

Abigail wears her nakedness like a gown
Instead of rings she wears a frown

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March 1, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 19, 2010

you are far
you are abstract
the moon is far and abstract
you are made of pictures and sounds
you are the moon
you are fading, in theory
you are distinct and supernatural and fern
you are green and dewy and abstract
you are unfinished and distinct
you are overwhelmingly colorful
the moon is a white circle
you are a blue circle
the moon does not turn blue when it appears twice in a month
your face appears once in a while

i am separated
i am particular
i am particulate
i am overwhelmed

still life

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 19, 2010

I think that I have not written much, lately. I have not written in the way that I used to, occasionally: freely, honestly.

The reason for this, I think, is that I’m not capable of writing about my relationship with Jen and the fact is that this relationship has become a startlingly large part of my life. Perhaps these facts are related; perhaps for some element of one’s life to become a large part in the way that Christianity or Work or Entertainment or Love do, one must attain a sort of distance from it. There must be some assumptions that are not challenged. Whether it is the existence of God, the importance of Progress, the disappearance of the Self, or the permanence of the Relationship, it’s best to take these things as sacrosanct. It’s necessary to take them out of the sphere of “acceptable discourse” and into a private, experiential realm, to make them Ultimate and therefore impossible to challenge.

But I think that my life has become a still life, with this Relationship at its center.

It’s not as if I really chose to make this topic off-bounds. There are real reasons that I can’t discuss it in a public forum such as this.

For one, Jen will read this. It’s difficult to articulate the reasons that this makes me uncomfortable. I think that I largely use this written space as a place to play with my thoughts. I realize the publicness of it and this is key – I do not value self-expression for the purpose of self-consumption. I need the public eye to keep me honest. I may write something crazy, but I will not write something dishonest. But if I write something here which I have not said to Jen – perhaps this feels dishonest.

For instance, suppose that I wrote that I hate Jen. I don’t. But let’s suppose that I wrote it. I wouldn’t be writing it because it is true – I would be making an assertion in order to play with it. It would be my way of asking “do I hate Jen?” I would almost be taking on a character, asking “if I hated Jen, what would that feel like? what would that mean?” The fact is that I have the potential to hate anything. But, that this assertion is so heavy in this case, that it has such dire practical consequences means that I wouldn’t even consider asserting it. I can consider hating anything else, I can write “I hate X” with respect to anything else, because X will not read what I write. This space is safe, in that way, and it lets me explore my emotions experimentally. Not so with Jen.

Another reason that I find it difficult to write about my relationship is that I think of it as an intensely personal, private matter. I generally have some clue as to how people will interpret what I write here, but in this case it’s entirely unclear to me what others would think of my thoughts, how their perception of me, of her, of our relationship and life together would change.

In short, I find it difficult to write about and thereby explore topics of such intense connection to my practical life. Is it a lack of courage? Perhaps I’m afraid of what I will find there. I suppose that there are some consequences which I would prefer to avoid – a breakup, for one.

What’s more, my assumption is “I love Jen.” To say “perhaps I hate Jen” would require that I drop that assumption. This is not something that I am readily willing to do, this is a possibility I would rather notexplore.

This is a strange type of dishonesty. It’s as if I’ve taken this Love and put it above myself. I can’t even consider whether a breakup would be a “good thing,” I shy away from it like death.

And it’s this form of dishonesty makes my life still. It’s the lies we tell, or rather the potential lies which we don’t dare face lest we find out they are lies, which fix us in place, which make us “who we are.” A Christian won’t really ask “does God exist?” because they couldn’t stand the answer if it were “no.”

Thinking about this, writing this, makes me feel weak and pathetic, like a child incapable of looking under their bed for fear that a monster lives there.

wing (c. Jan 9th, 2009)

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 19, 2010

there are some number of ineffable somethings stood
just at the periphery of my touch-
currently dreaming of those things in their kinked mist

the imagining of a drone extending indefinitely
into a life continuous and dusty, thorough

the looking up from a book on a Spring day to see
a butterfly wing just off and to fix a look
back onto the thin pages

the remembering of the butterfly wing when
she whispers velvet nonsense across the skin of her lower red lip

the abstracting of the wing, the relentless
“what was the wing, could I really see it?”

the drowning out of all content but the wing
the framing of the wing: “one glimmer of Spring hope”
the philosophizing of the wing,
the meaning of the wing,
the wondering of the wing,
the cataloging of things associated with the wing: the wind, the butterfly, the butterfly body, the lip, Spring
the collecting of wings
the drinking-

the forgetting of the wing, the droning

Marketing Mediocrity

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 12, 2010

I just watched this video by a band called “Paramore.” It’s extremely boring, though it inspired me to write this blog post, so there’s a silver lining for you.

Marketing is the creation of a space in which to sell X. Most of the power of this definition lies in the meaning of the word “space.” I’m imagining something protected; you must be able to create the impression that nothing else is like X. I’m imagining something with hooks to bring in buyers; you must create the impression that X is worthwhile, that the space is a nice space to be in.

Mediocrity is a particularly nice thing to market. For one thing, the space that one would create to sell mediocrity is especially soft and cushy. There’s nothing extreme or jagged or painful to drive away the weak and soft. In a society that is increasingly childish, mediocrity is especially appealing.

But notice that I stated two properties of markets – they must be nice, but they must also be protected. So how do you protect mediocrity? Product that is unique is automatically protected – but mediocrity by its very nature is common. To protect it you must then control the entire space. You must not allow competitors to emerge. You must be brutal.

Contrast that video by paramore with this. Now, I don’t know if you like Joni Mitchell – that’s not the point. The point is that the woman has range, she is talented, she is unique. Her voice is, to some extent, challenging – her voice is shrill at times, biting. Given that this used to be popular music surely you’ll agree, at least, that things are changing.

Are they changing for the worse? Perhaps it would seem that I’m trying to construe things in this way, but I don’t think so. I think we are just getting more childish. We live in a prolonged state of childhood now, which extends beyond the point at which our bodies mature. People don’t have values, they don’t believe, they don’t do real work until they’re quite old. They’re getting married later, they’re having children later. There’s no commitment – no need for commitment – to anything.

This music is childfood for the soul. It is desirable because it is easy, accessible, pre-packaged, well-formulated, smooth around the edges. We are not men and women seeking release in a beautiful foreign voice, we are boys and girls looking for lullabies and fantasy. We want someone who we might be able to sing like, someone who will lull us along, not someone who will challenge us, someone who will fill our souls up with warm nourishment.

God help us.

Wonderoaf

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 8, 2010

I will keep updating this blog, but I have a new blog at http://wonderoaf.wordpress.com/ in which I will be asking some questions.

circle serpent

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 7, 2010

Ice island breaking off of Greenland glacier reminds me of life’s fragility.

At any moment an alternate universe could come crashing into ours at high speed, erasing life as we know it. At any moment the ice caps could melt, or wild fires could run through the countryside, choking us with their smoke.

Such thoughts drown me out. White noise descends and I start a go game. I want anything but to think about these stark realities. Anything.

People have all sorts of theories about what causes adults to become lame as they enter their thirties/fourties. Kids, job, bodily/mental deterioration. My theory is that fear of death begins to set in. Older men and women begin to realize that nothing special will ever happen. Perhaps they begin to understand their place in the universe – a speck of dust on a lonely planet. Really coming to terms with this realization – living with it, examining it from all angles – the only conclusion that you can reasonably come to is that your effect on the universe is abysmally minimal.

So OK. I know this. I believe this. Then why do I complain about not having enough friends? Why do I whine about work? Why does this intellectual nihilism not release me from values I see as empty – learned – artificial – historical accumulation – trash?

And here’s where the serpent bites its own tail: I am compelled to detail all of this in this blog, right now, but why? If I truly believed that my death is certain and that it will seal my life as meaningless, incidental, nothing, then why do I try?

The sad truth may be that there is no escaping my values. I am a machine just like you. I can’t just stop caring about pussy and beer. I can’t stop seeing patterns. I can’t stop thinking about tomorrow and yesterday. I am a serpent clamping down with all its might, unwilling to let go, to unwind into the void.