Chapter 2 / Before N.Y.C

Chapter 2 – Before N.Y.C

When I posted chapter 1 on my blog, a person who I had been chatting with on Facebook showed an interest in this story. She called herself a “red diaper baby.” A red diaper baby is a kid raised by a political activist and I suspect I am one of those. She also mentioned that she thought the blogpost post showed “moral courage.” I asked her what she meant by that and she said it was courageous to be openly talking about mental health issues.

We chatted a bit and somewhere in the digital exchange, I mentioned my wife. I always mention my wife, especially if I am chatting over the internet with a woman. I also mentioned my mother, thusly the red diaper comment. My mother was my rock and moral compass. I told her that my mother was a political activist. My Facebook friend, wanted to hear more about my mom, Glenda the good witch.

My mother was the reason I ended up in the care of Central State mental hospital on a three-day self-imposed mental inquest warrant and property of the state of Kentucky. I freaked out. I yelled at her and accused her of brandishing a weapon. I left the house, I guess you could say I ran away to the loony bin by way of a teepee.

I had been living in her basement for a year, slowly slipping into a deep dark depression. I was suffering from the breakup of a two-year relationship. My life was collapsing. My girlfriend, who I had met at the food co-op where I was working several months before, cheated on me with a friend in our circle. I was also suffering heart problems.

My heart was skipping beats. Panic attacks were a daily event. Every day I walked across the park, that was my 46-acre front yard as a child, and go to the store and buy tons of junk food. I ate tons of sugar and tons of salt and then went home and slept for hours. My body was rebelling. I was getting fat and more and more in my head.

I was reading, listening to music and sleeping for hours on end. Sometimes upwards of eighteen. I was reading the Sufi books that I had been turned on to by the manager of the food co-op. I was reading Black Elk Speaks and a book with speeches from Native American Chiefs called Touch the Earth.

I was a young hippie, deadhead. The medicine man manager at the co-op, the teepee connection, had turned me onto a Sufi guru from Philadelphia named Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. I was deeply getting into the Sun Ra that he had turned me on to. I was listening to Sun Ra and reading all his poetry on the CD covers and starting an impressive Sun Ra collection.

Bawa’s books are deep! The idea of killing my self was on my mind, but not that kind of killing. I was deeply thinking about who I was. My friendship with my long-haired hippie herbal Sufi manager was deep. He is a very humble person and was always saying something that I thought was something I needed to think about.

Sun Ra, well, ifin you ain’t never heard of Ra, best be firing up that Google machine. My little trip up the river of life was starting to come to a delta. All my problems seemed to be rushing in on me. Over the course of eight months I had gained one hundred pounds. Something was going to break.

One morning, after one of those long dark days and nights in the basement, I had a crazy audible hallucination. I thought I heard my mother run through the house and get her .38 and pull the trigger back. I ran up the basement steps and told her that I had had enough. Then after a short freak out. I left.

She would not let me come back. She had had enough and didn’t know what to do. I am sure she was hurt, terrified and lost as to why her little Johnny, was so sick in the head. I didn’t have a plan as to what I was going to do. I was ready for some help. Several of my friends were on the crazy check. I knew that was an option. However, I didn’t think that I was that kind of crazy, so, I phoned a friend.

The friend owned a delightful home out in the south end of Louisville, had a nice family, who were then celebrating Thanksgiving. He drove all the way across town and picked me up from the Walgreens drug store where I had called him from a payphone. I stayed in his backyard teepee overnight. He built a fire. I had a big plate of food.

We talked about me being nuts and then, after a long night rearranging all the dirt, sticks and staring at the fire burn, I knew I needed help. I was not going to get this crazy out. I got a ride downtown and somehow ended up getting ready to have the meeting with the woman who handed out gum at the co-op, who was the mother of the young woman, who set up that table on Christopher Street that you were reading about a minute ago.


 

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The Most Important Paragraph Upton Sinclair Ever Wrote … IMHO

Especially with the rise of the new socialist movement of today! Upton Sinclair’s conclusion to his book, Profits of Religion, gives folks a very important warning to what the movement may suffer from.

The full audiobook is posted below.

This book was self published in 1917.

I have known hundreds of young radicals in my life; they have nearly all been gallant and honest, but they have not all been wise, and therefore not so happy as they might have been. In the course of time I have formulated to myself the peril to which young radicals are exposed. We see so much that is wrong in ancient things, it gets to be a habit with us to reject them. We have only to know that a thing is old to feel an impulse of impatient scorn; on the other hand, we are tempted to welcome anything which can prove itself to be unprecedented. There is a common type of radical whose aim in life is to be several jumps ahead of mankind; whose criterion of conduct is that it shocks the bourgeois. If you do not know that type, you may find him—and her—in the newest of the Bohemian cafes, drinking the newest red chemicals, smoking the newest brand of cigarettes, and discussing the newest form of psychopathia sexualis. After you have watched them awhile, you realize that these ultra-new people have fallen victim to the oldest form of logical fallacy, the non sequitur, and likewise to the oldest form of slavery, which is self-indulgence.


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Tapestry – Joe Hill’s last words


 

Dance This Waltz – I heard about a contest where the descendants of Joe Hill, the I.W.W. songwriting organizer, were giving away a gorgeous handmade guitar. Contestants were to take one of his two poems that were found in his apartment while he was imprisoned and facing a death sentence, and put them to music. Since putting poetry to music is my jam, I jumped on it.

I looked at the two poems and knew immediately which song I would do. As usual, I sat down and fiddled on the guitar and the song melody poured out. The words are truly beautiful and I wrote the melody and arrangement at a very lonely time in my life. My husband was working for the railroad and union organizing all the time and I felt very estranged from him. I was deeply longing for his love and connection. It is a very hard song to sing. It’s filled with a dream of freedom and longing. Joe Hill would be executed before ever dancing that dance or experiencing the etheric magic that he describes, in what can only be a love poem to whoever held his heart at the time. dw

Look for a studio recording of this song to be released soon.

So, you think I am crazy?

Please watch the video below … and, read along … thankx


So, you think I am crazy?
Have you ever asked what I think after i play the Djembe?
Being trained by the best … 
some famous and revered in their countries.
And, this is the Just Sayin’ post.
I am trolling myself.
Doxxing my mind.

So, you think I may be a liability?
Have you ever asked what Sun Ra used to tell me
when I called him on the phone?
We used to talk for hours … I mostly listened, he was the elder,

I, the faithful dervish.

And, this is selfish talk.
I can only keep quiet for so long.
Boxing my soul.

So, you’re afraid to include me?
I would be afraid too, I have exposed myself freely;
what you got?
Have you ever talked with God?

Met Rumi in the mosque on 4th street? 

Me neither, i did meet with Shams.
He was on the public bus.
Spitting dope verse.

So, you have a PHD and a MFA.
I have also Piled it High and Deep and have
a Masters of Absurdity.
I guess you’re going to be critical of the institutions that
named you now?
And, I would too.
Be Careful with that.
Biting your own hand.

So, you think I’m nuts?
I have been in the State Mental Institution, and to the end
of the darkness some speak of.
I killed myself more than once.
Sufis do that, so do buddhists and Catholic monks.
And this is egocentric!

Death is nothing to play with.

I have friends who are ghosts.

So, you think I’m nuts?
So, you have a PHD and a MFA?
So, your afraid to include me?
So, you think I may be a liability?
So, you think I am crazy?

Well,
If you are offended, defensive
or questioning why i might suggest
this verse or you feel guilty …

That is why we are not getting anywhere.

I know the taste of my own foot.
I and I
Rasta …
This is a prayer.

Like Job, Like Jesus,
Like Joe Hill … Noah
Eugene V …
Like
You.

Amen and Women too …

Dear Wendell Berry, Again …

Dear Wendell,

Well …

I am on a mountain,

far away from my place.

Like a fisherman,

boat captain,

gone out to an unknown

part of the ocean.

I fear the storms and depth –

fear for the crew.

I know water, tradewinds –

storms and fish!

This isn’t my first rodeo!


 

You told me to tell people you –

were an ordinary man. So …

I do!

I speak of your work, often.

About how you walk the walk

and talk the talk. 

Your work is hard to explain!

Like how the sea-captain laughs quietly

when the river boat deck hands

are nervous, when small waves

breach the bow.

And you laughed with joy,

after I sang to you!

You said, “yep! you can sing!”

That was all I needed to hear!

I was looking at your work boots

so neatly placed next to your rocking

chair.

I knew they were used wisely

and could tell they were

taken care of.

My work boots,

are wearing out,

but thank God

for strong hands

and solid ground –

and

I am thinking

of you!

Sincerely,

John Paul

 

Bye Louisville!

Bye Louisville.

What did you ever do

with that Bingham fountain?

I’ll never forget when y’all tried

to blame that accident on the

worker who sank the Belle.

You only like that boat when

you use her in pictures, to lure

people here for your big party.

And you know what Louisville?

Look what we can do …

we still don’t have a citizen’s

review board, and your boys

in blue need a lesson on

what you are using as

an excuse …

Compassionate city?

Give me a break!

And let me tell you a story!

Once I was just a little boy,

sitting under the Thinker

statue … worried to death

that my Mom and her friends

were going to get arrested –

because they had occupied

the Dean’s office. Me and

that thinker guy had a lot

in common that day. He was

frustrated and alone, I was

listening to everyone call

my mom … a loser!

But we won that fight!

Even the security guard

gave up to our side

when we shut down the

information station!

He told the CJ, that

he was not working,

on Papa’s farm no

more and was going to

protest with us!

And I am sorry Louisville …

but I stopped going to your

big fireworks party when you

turned it into a big commercial

for whatever war, we were in.

I’ve talked to some UPS workers

and sometimes, they wish those

cool planes would crash into

the Ohio River.

And hey babe, Louisville, you

sure look good draped in those

fine French clothes, but York and

Sacagawea are my heroes.

Lewis and Clark were employed

by a government that was looking

to do the same thing you did with

your parks.

Once, black people

weren’t allowed in Cherokee!

You’re never going to live that down!

Now, your Boone hero stands

erect, with gun, at the entrance.

Too bad the 74’ tornado didn’t lift

that perversion and take it away.

And let me tell you one more story!

When Muhammad Ali died, I was

moved to tears when they stopped

on I 64 and my Belle gave her whistle

salute! She was all steamed up and

singing the old man river

blues to her native son, who had

been treated just like her, by a city

who really only likes her …

when she

makes money! SMH …

So, see ya’ later, babe! My home

is not across the Blue Ridge

Mountains! I am doing what

those Kentuckians did when

people got too close. It’s time

for me to leave.

I’ll never forget …

when I was a kid,

playing in the

spray pool,

and somebody

wrote,

 “no niggers

on the roof

at George Rodgers

Clark Park.

That was my front yard!

I can still smell the walnuts

on my fingers as me and my

friends built forts

in her woods

.

We were playing in the waters

that the so-called founding

fathers drank! The capillaries

of the Bear-Grass that you shit in!

And yes, that is a shame!

That creek runs in my veins

and I still can hear all

of Audubon’s birds!

You don’t want to know

what they told me about you!

But now, I am leaving

with a heavy heart

and a worried mind!

So, let me set the record

straight …

There is a tree in that park …

And if you ever cut her down,

I am going to come back and

tan your hide.

I spread my mother’s ashes there.

My mother’s ghost haunts

that park, just like the

Indian stories haunt that

majestic tree, see …

Once upon a time,

an Indian woman

was dying. Her husband

had been shot by one

of your buddies, and she

sat in that park, holding

her baby, grieving!

She cried so much

that her tears watered

that tree and it grew up

around her! And to this

day, you can still hear her

and her baby crying when

put your ear to the

trunk.

And you and your buddies …

still don’t get it! The ghosts

dance in that park, and I,

used to roam that place at

night! They told me all your

deepest dark secrets.

They told me Shawnee,

Chickasaw, Seneca and Slave

stories.

And I danced with

them under your pink,

hot steamy summer

polluted skies.

so, buy Louisville!

Keep it local

and weird …

 

I’m sick of

your bullshit.

Love,

John Paul.

P.S.

When Mark Anthony

Mulligan dies,

it’s gonna be your

fault, not mine! He

loves you more

that I.


Morning Report

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Early to rise –

we spoke last

night of possibilities

and venture.

I suggested that

my mind was clear.

My labor temple

cleansed.

When we first

met, i spoke of a

farmer and a poet.

One, quite connected

the other searching

for foreign mystery.

I made resolution –

that we could talk like

that!

They called themselves

distant neighbors.

(So, these days

folks start their

sentences with a

word that starts a

long winded story.)

A mention.

– comma,

means pause,

wait –

Stop.

I brought you

here

by way of a place

that tore me down

to a place where

i was made.

Look around

this is all i care

for.

My Father made this

place to escape –

to come together

as family.

… to sit around this

table and fall in love …

The ones i spoke

of – were pen pals ..

nothing special …

it was what they

didn’t know

they made their

conversation…

advice

comes from

a place some

have already been

i am looking even

further …

you mention

that you wish to

convey certain

perspectives – generally

we speak in stories –

with morals and lessons –

long winded explanations

and (long- reads) that we speak

in kind.

Paying attention?

… our treasures  are not

for sale to the

highest bidder …