Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dollar Tree Balloons

Dollar Tree Balloons

My roomie and I recently went to the Douglasville, Georgia Dollar Tree. I needed razors and shaving cream. I settled for a few cheap bags of double-bladers and some raspberry foam—both of which are terribly nasty but cheap, and they will get me to my next pay day (my room-mate picked up the tab).

Of course, it is February, and so, at the front of the establishment, there are four rows of Valentine’s Day items. I am still hurting over a break-up, and suddenly, I see myself

Tie on a red RAMBO headband, strip my clothes off, M-60 the shit out of all of the rows of Valentine’s lies running towards the carnage as streamers fall and fireworks explode and go-go zombie hookers gyrate and I start fornicating with the debris of shrapnel and shredded Valentine’s merchandise emerging covered with dripping melting and boiling bubbling chocolate screaming like Wolverine coming out of the vat where they filled him with adamantium…

Ahem…(brushing flowers and chalk hearts off of my shoulders…)…

What really happened was I looked from the Valentine’s display to my right to a balloon stand. Then, I looked up—

There are all of these jettisoned balloons hanging on the ceiling of the Dollar Tree. No, not just like a regular place that sells balloons--not even a Party Central—there are dozens of them.

I started thinking about how they were really trying to escape—some of them were even in a child’s hand at one point and then got set free, right? Some of them untied their own knots? Some of them got away from an employee while he or she was trying to tie them properly to the display? Some of them are just A.I. balloons?

There are:

Get Well Soon
Just Because
Best Wishes

Balloons up there.

Balloons all stuck in the metal stitchings of the rafters, hovering there over the check-out area.

These balloons were making their escape and got caught by the ceilings.
Still, they were still breathing up there, like strange sad Hallmark card jellyfish, and they were holding their own!

I wonder if they cried out when one of their brethren made it out the door…is that freedom when the child gets out there? Because if the kid lets you go out there, you rise into the infinite abyss—is that freedom? Is that the balloon Valkyrie moment?

Or, did these trapped balloons weep when one of theirs made it out the door just to deflate in a corner of a toddler’s bedroom? Or deflate by a graduation gown? Or get accidentally popped by a pen in a pocket or a nail on a wall?

At night, when the Dollar Tree is shut down, the Valentine’s Day balloons start making love until the Birthday balloons come over. The Get Well Soon balloons hovel with the Christmas and Easter balloons. The Halloween balloons scare the shit out of the Just Because balloons. The Congratulations balloons just jack each other off. The Best Wishes balloons sigh over the Marriage and Pregnancy balloons with disdain. The Graduation balloons stare in abject horror at all of it.

I am going to sneak in there one night and set them all free with my knife.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

On Partially Watching LOVING VINCENT, the film

I was really just enjoying the rain that just stopped this morning. It tied into my partial viewing of the film LOVING VINCENT last night. There was a scene in the movie that shows, in Van Gogh brushstrokes, which are hyper-animated, Van Gogh painting in the rain—there is a lightning flash—as if to denote the inspiration, and I woke up to the rain falling this morning and felt like writing. The rain, as an ablution, has most likely always been associated with writing in that it could represent a cleansing or baptism or acceptance of the procreative soil and everything organic. Just thinking of an image of raindrops falling off of giant petals or leaves of rain forest plants is indulgent and fertile. I think that painting in the way that Van Gogh did was also a lot like “rain”, and I feel that maybe the emotional tumults he had were like storms, as such. Of course, the rain also brings flood, cataclysm, death, and possibly overwhelming psychological issues which can result in suicide.

The first time I ever went to the Art Institute of Chicago, I saw several works of Vincent Van Gogh. I remember I was in this one gallery space, and I was surrounded by thirty-or-so Japanese children, maybe a bunch of eight year olds (?) and their teacher, and I was staring into a small painting of his, and I just started crying. I am not sure where this impulse came from. I think that a lot of it had to do with the fact that I had only seen his work in art journals, textbooks, online image searches, etc. However, when you stand in front of one of his paintings, and it is small enough to fit under your shirt (because, you DO want to steal it), it becomes a very ominous and emotional stimulus. You can see the frenetic pathology in his strokes. The thickness of the paints and the textures in some movements versus the subtle moments as well. I wonder if he ever thought that little kids learning about art from Asia would be running around a room talking about his art (I think they were?) while some guy from Alabama, USA was crying over it? I have thought over the past few years about why I had that reaction. I went there to see Sigmar Polke and Jackson Pollock, but those guys did not make me weep.

The movie reminded me of this moment, which occurred I think around 2005. I think part of it also crushed me as a poet and aspiring writer. How you can just start off with a sketch, a note, a few small lines, but, if you stick it out, you end up with a lexicon, a book, and if nothing else at ALL, a new shaping of your cerebral cortex. Of course. Many “artists”, myself included, can get caught in a loop of patterns, but these patterns can also become our signatures. It is hard to figure out how not to stagnate and also how shredded your tether is to this world while you create so that you don’t just fall off of that edge.

If you watch this film, pay attention to the stars, the street lamps, the oil lamps in the rooms, the way light and shadows play on wine bottles, the way the sun plays on the painted oils on wheat fields at Arles. The over 100 artists who put this film together really captured the energy of this man whose ultimate fate is still up to debate according to the film—I have not finished it yet as I type this—so I do not even know the ending.

Ultimately, this is pathos, and what a pathos it is. In the wake of the growing transhumanist movement, and in the attempt for Van Gogh to leave Paris, for a variety of reasons, and try to heal in the countryside, I think that this movie, and his work, are metaphors for trying to hold on to the human ability to transmute or translate passion into an artifact which continues to deliver true human passion over centuries. Of course, I must acknowledge his so-called “mental illness”, and possibly he was just experiencing heavy metal poisoning from his, most-likely, lead-based paints and from malnutrition and alcoholism; however, he created delivery devices from the screams of Edvard Munch—don’t get me wrong, Vincent’s paintings still scream at times, but not with hopelessness under an exploded colonized psychedelic sky—they scream at YOU—they scream at you to experience your environment again beyond the paradigm of Modernism.

They scream at you,

“Why are you not painting?”

They scream at you,

“Your insanity is there whether you realize it or not, and if you do not embrace it, the world will exploit you for it until you become the worst kind of crazy…”

The kind of crazy where you no longer own yourself.
The kind of crazy sold back to you as a commodity by a culture that might only see you as an economic slave to a final actuarial table or data base mining exhibition.

And not even close to seeing you EVER
As a beautiful painting.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017



A simple hallway of a home. A son
We never had. A son we did have. A
Place to call our own. A place to
Make heavenly or hellish. A simple
Tunnel of a home. Two rooms blooming
To the left. A kitchen full of great
Smells. A place where we could forever
Dwell in our heart and mind. A place
To burn down. A place to be flooded.
A place to cry in pleasure and pain.
It was real what we had, no tile left
Unturned in that hallway of a home.
It was not big enough for us. We were
Too big for us. The gods could not stop
Watching our basic days; they experimented
On us, just jealous, I guess. You made
A hallway into a home. A heart was its
Mouth. That door whose keyhole I would
Stare through waiting for you to finally
Come home. Why don’t we just go back home?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Critical Analysis of Car Seat Headrest's Song "Fill In The Blank" As Suggested By Cody Lumpkin With Appearances From Sarte, Kafka, Munch, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and The Velvet Underground

I'm so sick of "Fill In The Blank"
Accomplish more, accomplish nothing
If I were split in two, I would just take my fist
So I could beat up the rest of me

Obviously, our protagonist has come to an existential crossroads where apathy is threating to create a situation of ennui or stagnation—a paralysis, much like the tale of Buridan’s Ass, the donkey who starved to death because he could not choose between two identical bales of hay to eat from. Being sick of everything (where you could just put anything in the blank) is a symptom of Modern living—at least Munch’s “Scream” painting expressed terror at this thought. However, our singer here, despite the driving and illuminative guitar licks and upbeat percussion (thus creating an internal irony in this anthemic song’s progression), is caught between a duality which is in conflict enough for its dominant half, should it choose, to violently attack its other half…and the debate between what can actually, or actually should be, accomplished is in its own slacker cultural ideology, which is problematic. If all progress led us to this world, is progress really that great? Still, the problem here, mainly, is that the singer knows he is possibly about to be split in two, which acknowledges the lack of unity in being, or that self-actualization has revealed the binary, and the singer was not prepared for the revelation…

You have no right to be depressed,
You haven't tried hard enough to like it
Haven't seen enough of this world yet
But it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts

Although the singer is still in this chorus (he is singing it), it is seemingly sung to the speaker of the lyrics above. Basically, the chorus says “stop your whining, bitch”. If there is more in this world to see, which there most likely always is as long as you can’t breathe underwater and survive the pressures and immense depths, then you can’t make an educated decision about when to “stop trying”. If your one self does punch the other one, as in Stanza 1 above, hopefully, it wakes the comatose other side with its violence so that forward, lateral, or any kind of motion can then once again occur. The declarative “You have no right” is interesting—this suggests an existential responsibility, on a level of Sartre, to the human condition, so to speak.

Well, stop your whining, try again
No one wants to cause you pain
They're just trying to let some air in
But you hold your breath, you hold your breath

“Linger On”, by The Velvet Underground is playing while I write this. It’s 5:02am. I am wearing an old-man sweater and drinking Mexican hot chocolate. In the above stanza, the lyrics address someone who is drowning in isolation, and the possible pain-bringers are really angels and not demons. The healing or transformation is painful, but it must be undertaken. One must “Try again”, or the metaphysical deaths will occur. 

You hold it, hold my breath
I hold my breath
I hold it

The protagonist here, the singer, and the one being “sung to” become one in the same so that the meta-content of the composition is sanctimonious in that the singer does not place himself above the “sung to”. Then, the mirror of shared human experience becomes complete in front of the fuzzing and feedbacking amp as the common garage pumps out its indie rock for the troubled masses (as it should, amen). Also, the implication of “holding one’s breath” is also a metaphor for “holding out for hope”, but waiting in a state of hope too long without action can also drown and kill you. On another note, I could not find the damn marshmallows here for the hot chocolate at my friend's house, and I know I saw some last night—

I've known for a long time I'm not getting what I want out of people
It took me a long time
To figure out I don't know what I want
That's why will be no answer
Then you'll ask for how long? And there will be no answer
Then you'll ask what can I do? And there will be no answer
And eventually you will shut up

And so Sarte said, “Hell is other people”. The protagonist/singer is now realizing the ultimate loneliness of “being with others”, so to speak--the gap which can’t be breached even with the best communication in symbols and language. The irony, as well, of taking a long time to figure out that one does not know because this in itself is a type of knowing. Then, the acts of asking “why” or “how long” or “what to do” become daunting to the singer in the midst of this crisis. Then, silence ensues as a possible answer to the crisis, but this is limp and impotent, and also ironic because the silence being spoken of is being sung to us in the anthem. Also, consider WHO the singer must be expecting an answer from? That could be his problem right there—the answer is most likely intrinsic and not external, if there be an answer at all.

You have no right to be depressed,
You haven't tried hard enough to like it
Haven't seen enough of this world yet
But it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts
Well, stop your whining, try again
No one wants to cause you pain
They're just trying to let some air in
But you hold your breath, you hold your breath
You hold it, hold my breath I hold my breath I hold it

Repeated reminder—see comments above—nothing seems to have changed just yet…

I get signs from the cops
Saying "Stand the fuck down"
I get signs from the audience
Saying "Stay the fuck out"
I get signs from all
Saying "Stand the fuck down"

Now our speaker is being more specific as to why he feels a lack of access to the answers. In this Kafka-esque stanza, we find the singer expressing isolation as a societal imposition—this is more problematic because the weight of the struggle is from sources beyond the singer’s perceived power to overcome. He also refers to the communication method of those paralyzing him as “signs”—he is almost meme-ed into complacency, but at least, in this stanza, there is angst and anger, and where we find that, there could be hope because possibly it is arguable, in the case of this singer, that misplaced energy or negative energy is better than none at all. Still, the child-like tone of his voice and the sunshiney guitars could be asserting a resurrection of sorts—as if the music of the song itself does not want to die with the ones playing it in their descent into malaise.

I've got a right to be depressed,
I've given up all I had to fight it
I have seen too much of this world, yes
And it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts
And I will start see the light
That I've seen shining in your eyes
You just want to see me naked

Now, this is interesting—the singer OWNS the experience. This is the responsibility of self-actualization which I mentioned earlier. The sacrifice is alluded to of the fight against depression, and it was ultimate (“I’ve given up all I had”), and the whole world has not been seen but “too much” of it has. Now we are getting more specific; now, we are getting somewhere. The last three lines of this stanza are particularly interesting. The “other” becomes a bit more specific—the “you” is the song’s audience of all of us, but it is also (most likely) addressed to a particular individual—the specific mirror. To say to this “mirror’ being that “You just want to see me naked” could indicate a number of things. 1) It could just be paranoia caused from the psychic break. 2) It could be the singer acknowledging that his confession was elicited from the other. 3) Or, it could be that the other desires to see the singer’s true self, and thus is authentic, and the singer understands that shedding artifice is ultimate trust in the other and maybe a means of salvation (or, in my experience, marshmallows or not, it can also be ultimate destruction).

So I'll hold my breath I hold my breath,
I hold it
Hold my breath I hold my breath,
I hold my breath,
I hold my breath,
I hold my breath,
I hold my breath

Although this holding of the breath would physically or literally result in death for our singer, it is repetitive in such a way that it suggests this particular being can hold its breath for a very long long time—this is a type of anti-heroism and determination, although in the nether or noir sense, like a character in a film who has been poisoned and only has so long to live in the plot but keeps going, but the singer ends the song still alive, albeit not yet functional in terms of completing or participating in the metamorphosis required to leave the state of complacent orbit and enter the realm of explorative propulsion. No more whining, just turn up the amps. There’s a show to be played, always, somewhere.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

OVER THE NEPTUNE/MESH GEAR FOX Interpretation By A Guided By Voices Novice—To Be Totally Destroyed By Cody Lumpkin

Traveller's diagram
For where I am, for what I am
Check the provisional codes
It overloads, it all explodes

Interp: So, here we are—trying to decipher a Guided By Voices Song. I will do my best. Please comment, lol. Our singer here has a dilemma—he is being forced to look at diagrams and provisional codes in order to define himself or the situation he is in—I do not think that this is working because it all ends up exploding, and this leads our hero into a self-destructive party-mode…

And hey, let's throw the great party
Today for the rest of our lives
The fun is just about to get started
So throw the switch, it's rock and roll time

Interp: Rock and Roll time kicks in because the burden of self-actualization in the midst of the simulacra of the codes and diagrams force our hero into “epic mode”, and he has to go Dionysian in order to escape the sterile loop of corporate evil…

Special elixirs flow
And then the onion lady blows
Kisses to the crying cooks
With baited hooks and lady looks

Interp: The elixirs come from the endorphins and carcinogens and pathogens and hallucinogens which the hero imbibes to escape the status quo. The “onion lady” is the ever-unfolding Sophia who lures us in as we cry towards truth which burns our eyes, and the truth is a root—the earth chakra which we have indulged in in our hedonism…

And hey, let's throw the great party
Today for the rest of our lives
The fun is just about to get started
So throw the switch, it's rock and roll time

Interp: And now, the party is a bit more cloudy…it’s not the same or as fun as the first party…the irony is seeping in and the mortality and so is the “rock and roll time” a bit more sardonic? Yet still, we must throw the switch, Odysseus—what else is there left to do? 

You must be willing just to ride along with me
You must be happy just to do the job for free
Yours for the taking if you follow simple rules
Such acts of subservience were never taught in schools

Interp: Now, the hero has met his companions—us, who are complicit in the journey through the song, the tale, the campfire dirge. We must be willing, whether we are henchmen or lovers or both, to give ourselves to the vision of the hedonistic purger and splurger who might actually be gaining a sacred shamanic wisdom which we could be privy to….

Spit me out from your cosmos
Draft me into your troops
Set me up for the knockdown
You can watch, come watch
And I'll be back when it's over

Interp: Then, suddenly, he meets his Poseidon and tells him to fuck off! He will be back, because the cycle, god and man, needs this energy to make its Ezekiel wheels spiral at the country fairs of the Annunaki!

I'm much greater than you think
I'm a swimmer in the drink
I'm much greater than you think
I'm a swimmer in the drink

Interp: Then this—the poem—the manifesto—the declaration—the gods fucked up this time! They made “a swimmer in the drink”—the Great Flood can’t drown us! We are formidable! We breathe underwater! Under your catastrophe!

And oh, mesh gear fox
Put out another bag of tricks from scientific box
Time's wasting and you're not gonna live forever

Interp: A mesh gear fox, if you ask me, is an inhuman smart-machine hellbent on technocracy. However, our analog intrepid HUMANIST hero knows he can outlast this A.I. singularity with the olden ways.

And if you do
I'll come back and marry you
No use changing now, you couldn't anyhow and ever

Interp: However, our hero is open to the singularity, in the lyric sense, at least. If the way of the machine works, maybe he is open to the singularity? The gods need him? The machines? Is there a difference?

It's not the way that I feel, that I feel
It's the way you act
It's the way you look when you're near me

Interp: Then, as the hero arrives home, and drops his keys to oblivion in the bowl on the shelf by the door he just closed, he remembers human love, and nostalgia kicks in hard. Machines hum in the background.

It's not so hard to conceal, to conceal
It's the things you say
It's the things you do, go right through me

Interp: Then, as we end our odyssey, the hero, who is YOU, sinks back into the loveseat sofa cryogenic pod luxury smartbed and closes the glass dome with a telepathic command because it has all gone right through All of Us. Then death or star travel in the fading feedback.

On Flipping Randomly Through Who’s Who In Classical Mythology, Bought For $2.50 At A Library Sale

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with Greek and Norse mythology. Of course, this would eventually fuel my addiction to comic books, then to literature, then to teaching and writing literature (if you will please forgive my hubris in calling what I write “literature”, or even “literate”…). My grandfather, Papa Joe, would take me to the local library and turn me loose for hours. I was obsessed with books about ghosts, dinosaurs, the Loch Ness Monster, mythology, space travel, fantasy, Arthurian legends, samurai, Celtic runes, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Genghis Khan, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Magritte (I found the images by accident but never understood his art until later…hell, still don’t understand it…), and I remember a particular obsession with Jacques Cousteau for quite a long time. In any case, I had no idea, until college really, how amazing and deep myths were, and until I had to teach the Iliad and the Odyssey, on a collegiate level, I did not really understand the depth that I had been barely delving into for thirty years of my life. Myths, especially the Greek ones, were not just entertaining “cool” stories—they were the fabric of what it meant to be human. Now, before you think I am going to go all Joseph Campbell and Jung on you, and then you click off of this page, don’t worry—I know all of that ground has been covered. I am, however, going to flick randomly through the Who’s Who In Classical Mythology and see what strange things I find which I have never heard of. This text is organized alphabetically…here we go…come with me…

For example, the name “Agenor” means “very masculine”, from the Greek “agan” (very) and “ager” (man). Poseidon had a son bearing this name. If you meet a manly-man, he is an “Agenor”. Or most likely, a bore.

Boreas was the god of the North Wind—son of the dawn and the stars—“boros” (meaning devour) plus “oros” (meaning mountain).

Cinyras had an incestuous relationship with his daughter Myrrha, and she subsequently gave birth to none other than Adonis. Because of this “crime” of hers (really?), she was turned into a myrrh tree.

Deino, whose name means “terrible”, was a sister of the Gorgons, of Medusa fame…

Empusa was a shapeshifting beautiful female monster who devoured her sexual partners (her name is said to be derivative of “insert”, or insertion…you fill in the gaps…).

Faustulus was the shepherd who found Romulus and Remus in the she-wolf’s lair. His name means “lucky little fellow”—yet, those who would then experience the ROMAN EMPIRE may have not been so lucky…

Glaucia was the daughter of a river, Scamander.

Hemera was the daughter of Erebus and Nyx (Darkness and Night)—the word “ephemeral” derives from her name—a combination of darkness and light which only lasts a short period of time…

Ialysa means “wailing woman”—perhaps a Greco-banshee? I mean, this name even seems Gaelic to me…

Jocasta was the mother of Oedipus (more incest…ugghhhh).

There is only one “K” word in the Greek that we apparently have—“Ker”. This word means “destroyer”, and it is linked to the ValKERies, or “choosers of the dead”, apparently. Ker was born of Nyx—the abyss, without a father actually, and she was a female spirit much like one of the Furies. Scary shit.

I must say here, though, before I proceed to the “L’s”, that there are a LOT of pissed-off and monstrous female entities in the Greek pantheon, but rightfully so. The male was not kind to anything female very often in Greek culture, it would seem…

Laverna was the Greek goddess of thieves. So, if you name your daughter Laverne, she might be prone to getting into a bit of trouble…

Marsyras was a satyr who challenged Apollo to a musical contest—flute versus lyre. He lost, and so Apollo flayed him alive and hung him from a pine tree.

Nephele’s name means cloud. She is a daughter of the ocean, Oceanus.

Ophion was a Titan, and his name derives from “ophis”, or snake. He was known to be covered in scales and to reside in Arcadia. Arcadia, like, I don’t know, Eden? And this scaly thing…? Sound familiar?

Phemeus was the minstrel at Ithaca in the house of Odysseus (just a shout out here to minstrels and poets, etc.).

There is only ONE “Q” word in the text in question here: Quirinus. This is the name Romulus was worshipped under, by the Romans, after he became a God. His name is a derivative of “quiris”, or spear, which was a Sabine word. We all know how it went for the Sabines, of course…

Rhexenor means “breaking through the ranks of warriors”. Apparently, this guy was a battering ram.

Sciron was a notorious thief and charmer—he would lure passing travelers up to a cliff and make them wash his feet—once satisfied, he would just kick them right off the cliff. Then, a giant turtle would devour them. Eventually, the Greek hero Theseus showed up and kicked Sciron’s ass into the sea. This is the moment in the movie when the pervasive asshole finally gets what is coming to him.

I just love the word “Terpsichore”. She loved to dance, this one. She was also the Muse of lyric poetry, which, to me, epitomizes the link between physical and intellectual expression in the act of poetry, which I associate with a type of meditative breathing. “Terpo” means “to delight”, and “choros” means to dance. Then, as “choros” becomes “chorus”, through history, we see the link between sound and what the body does with it—poetry!

Udaeus means “of the earth”. If a man is salt of the soil, tried and true to the land, he is an “Udaeus”.

Voluptas was the daughter of Cupid and Psyche. Need one say more? I recently broke up with her. Actually, she dumped me. Volumptuous.

Xanthus is associated with the color of a Palomino horse, especially the mane.

There is no “Y” entry here to speak of. The Greeks never said “you”, apparently, lol. They avoided the second person—it was only “I” and “We”. Interesting…

Zeuxippe was a river nymph, or Naiad. Her name means “yoker of horses”—she had twin sons who tended to misbehave.

So, this book in front of me has myriad things to present, but I just wanted to revisit with you all my obsession, and maybe your current or revitalized interest in myths. I remember what the library smelled like. I tend to stick my nose in books, into everything really. My ex, Voluptas, always made fun of me because whenever I encounter something new, I sniff it—I actually hold it up to my face and smell it. The word “smell” is an Old English one derived from the word “stenc”. Stench. I know that the sense of smell is tied into our memories more powerfully than any other sensory experience. We are all searching for the birth and death stench of our timelines, I think.

Maybe my whole life has been a chorus of sniffing out the ancient inside of me?

Maybe I am trying, through writing and my senses, to smell some origin inside of me closer to the people born of gods, rivers, gorgons, trees, winds, oceans, journeys, tragedies, quests, and horses than I feel as a man born of my own biological parents?

Of course, this is grandiose—I was born of man and woman, all flawed, all tragic and comic. I study the Asclepius, but I am mainly just an olive tree who hopes to give. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lucid Classroom Dreaming, Centaurs, Podcasts, and Onset of Winter

I just woke up a few minutes ago from a pretty strange dream.

I recently accepted a new teaching job in North Atlanta, and I think that my dream is a combination of being anxious about that and also worrying about the dependability of my crappy car which I just purchased a few months ago, for cheap, from an old friend.

Hell, the car is paid for, so I should not complain, right?

In any case, I was walking into my classroom, which is what I will be doing tomorrow morning for the first meeting of this one particular class which I am facilitating--a simple ENG Comp I (ENG 106). I've taught this class dozens of times over the years, but I have never taught it at the new place, and it is a private college which does things a lot differently than what I am accustomed to, but hey (gabba gabba hey), I am happy to be back in the classroom after teaching primarily online for the past few years.

Well, in the dream, I can not get the students to do a damn thing I ask. I am writing on a chalkboard, and there is a big screen TV above and behind me in front of the class whose content I can not control. It is playing the World Series of Poker live from Vegas, and many of the students are enthralled. There is a strange host of students in the room, and the demographic is pretty well-represented, but odd. The lead guitarist of the band Chavez is there. There is an African-American female ballerina who insists on dancing during the whole class. There is this guy Lou who my ex in Savannah left me for, and he is getting frustrated about the dancing girl. There is this seven foot tall jock who reminds me of a guy who wanted to kick my ass in high school--a quintessential redneck. There is this tiny little white girl who looks like a pixie and is constantly applying her glittery lipstick. From "dream memory", which is like sand in the wind, I do remember that there was a random host of other students, all of whom would not pay attention to a damn thing I was asking them to do or not to do.

The general din of the class keeps getting worse, and when I try to raise my voice in the dream to reprimand them, it will not work. It's like sleep paralysis of the vocal kind. Then, I feel a draft across my crotch. I look down in the dream, and I am a centaur.

I immediately think, now while typing this anyway, that the famous teacher of Hercules, Chiron, was also a centaur.
Image result for Chiron centaur

I am wondering if I made this association in my dream or not because I have not thought about this mythical figure in ages. I mean, according to the Greeks, Chiron taught Patroclus, Actaeon, Theseus, Achilles, Ajaz, Jason, etc., just to name a few. If you are abreast of your Greek myths, you know what a big deal this aforementioned list here is. However, why would my sub-conscious conjure up me as a centaur? According to one dream site I visited, the centaur could actually represent a need for me to find union between the male and female aspects of my psyche.

In any case, I think that the centaur motif in my dream, which the students did not even seem to notice (the fact that I was a centaur all of a sudden, that is) might be more about me worrying about transportation to work (as a centaur, I would be my own vehicle) than Classically training a group of students to prepare them for epic and heroic deeds or the Trojan War. Also, I am a Gemini, so I LIVE constantly with my dueling female and male aspects. I am used to it (whereas many around me are not, lol).

So centaur dream leaves me awake at 2:23am, and there is no way I am falling back asleep. I get up, check my classes, do some freelancing, and start writing this. The room is cold, and I am acutely aware that winter has ensued. Am I still just recovering from daylight savings time? I am still up and that was 8 hours ago?  So I guess that counts as insomnia.

I am listening to a podcast about Skinwalker Ranch and the crazy shit that goes on there. I think about the nature of the skinwalker, which is a type of shapeshifter, if you did not know, and the nature of the centaur. When the class got out of control, my animal nature kicked in in the dream, but my voice and power were still suppressed. The skinwalker, on the other hand, is a terrifying creature which can rip you apart with psychotic fury and powerful and proficient ease. These two creatures of primal energy, the skinwalker and the centaur, represent, to me, the transformation some part of me is trying to achieve. Of course the skinwalker could epitomize the dark side of this and the centaur more of the Appolonic or positive aspect. However, at 45, I am not so sure how much more change is in store for me. I can just try to be a better person, but my metamorphosis days are over. Still, in dreamtime, and accidentally by podcast, I am being reminded that some part of me really desires change. I don't really think I want to be young again, but I damn sure don't want to get any older.

Being middle-aged in the winter and having paralysis centaur dreams. I know, First World problems, right? Chiron lived somewhat vicariously through his epic hero students. He was even killed eventually by a poison arrow shot by one and then placed into the night sky by Zeus as a constellation, but I will let you look that up yourself. I wonder if centaurs sleep standing up? Rambling at this point.

All in all, I will have to transform into the good professor by 8:00am tomorrow for 29 students. May the insomnia and the winter bite just abate tonight, because I have to brave Atlanta rush hour all the way to Dunwoody. The third piston is mis-firing in the old wreck, and that needs to be fixed, but I think I should be able to make it up there, Zeus willing. I am hoping to exhaust my mind sufficiently today through writing and class prepping to the extent that I can properly pass out tonight.

Let's hope none of the students bring any poison arrows. Hell, unless they can find an app on their cell phones for that, I should be just fine...