Smoke Rings of Time

This post is a sequel to my (arguably better) recent post “My Psychedelic Experiences“. This is a republish, although this time I decided to start with the journal entries and end with the “poetry”.

When reading my “poetry” – bear in mind that I was between the ages of 21-24, and was high for 18 hours a day on strong Alaskan Thunderfuck weed.

Some of my attempts at poetry approached something almost good, while others are comical. Ex. “circles dancing on the road to fear” – like – wtf? Haha. It is pretty clear that I was a big fan of Jim Morrison and The Doors. Like many young rock n’ roll women.

I often wish I had written more journal entries from this time period. Unfortunately, I was often just way too stoned for something as organized as journaling. Seeing Ani DiFranco in concert pushed me over the edge…. to the point where I was so damn inspired that I just couldn’t help but journal about the event soon after. And then, of course, something that destroyed my world happened later on – and I had no choice but to write about it.

*

March 2004

Ani DiFranco performed Saturday night, downtown at the Atwood Concert Hall.  Kat and I passed around the side of the building to the front entrance.  As we turned the corner, it was Wyatt I first recognized – leaning against one of the pillars, guitar flashing as he strummed. 

He was surrounded by a group of kids I soon recognized as my friends.  I laughed, seeing them before they saw me.  I approached, watching them immersed in their dream together and existing in the space of each other.

Jake was singing and playing.  Wyatt accompanied him on rhythm with a sly smile.  Nick stood, Eddie sat on a skateboard.  Crystal sat cross legged on the cement. 

Their faces broke into smiles as they heard my laughter and saw me.

I was laughing because on Friday night I had suggested that we go down to the street and play for change.  Jake had said yes, we should play for the crowd outside Ani’s show.  And here they were.

Wyatt wore his green robe with some kind of Egyptian looking design on the cuffs and edges.  He looked like Dylan in Greenwich Village, which he would have thought a flattering observation if I had actually said anything.

Jake said his fingers were cold, but he kept playing anyway.  A bum came over, stumbled over drunken words, and then pulled out a harmonica and played a solo for us.  We stood watching awkwardly, glancing around at one another with smirks.  After the bum finished playing, he wandered off and said we could find him a couple of streets over.

We went inside and they announced the show was beginning.  When Ani began playing, the moment came alive beneath the stage lights.  She poured manic acoustic soul-energy onto our heads as she sweated out images through poetry and rhythm.

After the show, we all went to Jake’s apartment for some drinking.  Wyatt used his beer bottle as a guitar slide.  After a while Jake suggested we walk over to Wyatt’s house to listen to a new recording of Crystal reading poetry over circuit-bending sound effects.

I noticed everything on the walk.  A parade of sensation danced before me; the tall streetlights bathed the street orange.  As usual, I made some remark about the beauty of the moment.  As usual, Jake and Wyatt both called me a hippie.

*

Wyatt’s room is an incredible escape.  For the past few years, Wyatt’s place has been the place to go for green, good company, and the constant flow of never-before-heard music. 

In this room, we listened to Crystal read poetry, and also Wyatt and Jake’s band recordings, The Crooked Toys.   Sitting on the bed, the bookshelf was five feet in front of me.  It was full of vinyl records and subculture novels written by guys like Burroughs and Kerouac.  The top used to be filled with empty Southern Comfort bottles.  Each one stood like a memory in a cloud. An evening in which fun was poured out of the bottle like a hazy genie.

On this particular night, in post-concert excitement, the conversation played out as though we were in a documentary.  Jake brought up an observation or a memory.  He talked about summer 2001; the summer when I first met them.  Back then they were loud, music-playing mohawked punkers living next to me – a never ending stream of rowdy energy.  They were up all hours of the night partying.  First they annoyed me, but soon I became intrigued by them. 

Jake reminisced about the wildness of that summer.  He would pause in a story-telling kind of way, and Wyatt would deliver a thought or memory in his quiet voice; measured, on the verge of something new. I never remember every single detail because we’re always stoned in Wyatt’s room.  I stared down at our shoes as I listened.  The carpet appeared to be 10 feet below.

November 2005

I’ve wanted to dive into my memories for some time now and write about them.  I wanted to tell the story of the crowd and write about the last few years.  I never got around to it. 

But I never wanted to write about this.  I never could have anticipated this.  Wyatt killed himself on the 5th of November.  Nick called me Sunday and broke the news.  To use Jake’s word, it was “surreal”. 

Shock penetrated every fiber of my being, as it did for everyone.  Nick’s voice broke into sobs as he told me. I had to call him back because my throat ached so much that I couldn’t talk.  He called back later and I told him I was coming over.

Nate and Ida came over to Adam’s house to join us that night.  Nobody directly talked about Wyatt, although it hung over the room unmistakably, a dark cloud.  It was awkward at times; the undercurrent of shock and sadness was so thick.   But on the surface, it wasn’t doom and gloom the entire time.  There was subtle laughter over a pool game and Nick’s cats. 

Ida made strong white Russians for everyone.  Too strong.  The night ended in a sick haze of throwing up outside where the frozen air felt relieving on my skin. I stood with my arm against the wall, glancing up at the moon, thinking about how Wyatt had stood where I was standing.  I crashed on Adam’s couch and woke up in the cold sunlight.

Driving the streets of Anchorage, all I could think this whole week is he’s not here.  It goes around in my head like a mantra. 

Everything is colorless, white noise vibrations like the feeling of being at work on a Monday morning when you are sleep deprived.   Almost every night I’ve woken at 5:00 in the morning, thinking of him, having memories of all the interactions we’ve ever had.  Remembering things, he said to me, said to others.

Work was awful.  I made the mistake of showing up Monday.  I had known Wyatt before I knew any of these people.  There was a time a couple years ago when all I had in my day-to-day life was them… the kids, the artists, the lovers of visual art, of poetry, of reading, and above all music.

Wyatt was a uniquely important part of this scene, a huge part of that flow and now I see more than ever how he brought his influence to everyone. 

Last night Wanda mentioned a few bands she would never have appreciated, if it wasn’t for him.  Bob Dylan, Modest Mouse, Radiohead, to name a few. 

Kat has a hand-drum sitting in her room.  She sought it after Wyatt brought back a similar drum from India.  A couple weeks ago I was thinking of getting a harmonica.  Wyatt and his harmonica.  Last spring, I wrote that I wished I could invade his book stash. 

“Incredible” – that was Wyatt’s word, a word he used to describe things he loved.  Wyatt was beautiful. Apparently, he was extremely unhappy sometimes.  Despairing as all of us were and are sometimes.

He was always mellow, and now I realize his mellow nature was a deeper sadness.  It goes without saying that all of us wish he would have seen things through that night so he could have had the opportunity to feel inspired again in this up and down roller coaster maze that is existence.

*

Undated

Euphoria madness, gates to openness

Rising falling reeling in time

Sneaky shadows cross the sunrise

Sadness darkens the path to your mind

Circles dancing on the road to fear

Leaving judgement to the blind

Triangular moods fade in the distant sky

And then appear next to you

Sometime in 2003

Everything is interesting on this drug.  Memories are interesting.  Music is beautiful, but then it always is.  There are few things like the feeling of chills that you normally get when you love a specific song, combined with LSD.  My Bloody Valentine, Jefferson Airplane, Radiohead.  Where did this come from, and why does it make so much sense!? Matter and chemical. We are nothing.

heh heh heh heh. The one time I wrote while on LSD. Yes. So very insightful. heh. We are nothing, people.

Undated

Throw back the door

We lie in wait here

Marveling at the bottom of infinite possibility

Glancing upward toward a feast of language unwritten

Locked in the cell of our cells

And the guardsman say to Stay Put

The one standing at the entrance

Throws imagination at them

Like stones piercing through the night sky to the target

Of those who would block the glorious exit

Deliver the allies into enchanted places

Seen and unseen

New strange sweet open

Exerted expounded existing

heh heh heh. Nevermind my terrible fucking handwriting. It’s generally a bit better when I’m not high as fuck.

Spring 2000

If I could have illustrated it, I would have drawn the music in physical form, drifting from his instrument into my body. And the lighting would be an extension of the sound and emotion.  Several times I felt my eyes becoming moist.  If the true audience are those listening, I was the only audience.  Only a few other people sat in the old coffee house, they were scattered and involved in their conversations.

(I am so glad I wrote about this – it was a solo guitarist doing a lot of Cat Stevens covers in a little coffeehouse in Wasilla, Alaska. Due to my choice to write, I can remember this incredible musician like it was yesterday. I was about 20 years of age at this time. I sat facing this acoustic guitarist and behind him were the most intricate and beautiful stained glass hangings against the huge windows, the best stained glass art that you can possibly imagine. This is a lesson about how you MUST write about experiences in order to remember them.)

Undated

Outside the window, staring at the ground, I hear it.  A shimmering echo of ascending and descending busyness.  It travels in a solitary way outside the limits of human understanding.  Before hearing this well-crafted magnificence, I wanted to wander to the edge of my world and jump off into the black.  Then suddenly I heard it. Combined with caffeine, it enchanted the colors right back and it deepened the hues, and it opened up the drive to create.

Undated

Momentum

The moment lies trapped

Inside the cruel

Unrelenting fist of time

You must peel the moment from time’s grip

Cast all doubt aside

For time is a universal illusion

Only distance is real

And distance doesn’t end

Undated

We put candles out to mask the other side

They wouldn’t know couldn’t know

Don’t step through the shields

And so, the scent flows

Vanilla, rose and the candles burn

Thru the haze that crows the space and reluctantly

Reaches toward the window

Eager to stay

And dance around the flames

Absorbing a new consciousness into fractured minds

Suffocated by too many dealings

In a world of thousands of universes

From their lost sea of ideal visions

But the sea roars on

And cannot be held back by futile barriers

Or hopes of retreat

It waits to break and roll back

Leaving beneath it a smooth new surface

Upon which minds bask, dance and receive

Masked activities are windows to the sea

And the candles burn on

Undated

Unharnessed illusion of a heightened perception circus

The ringmaster grins

He watches the walls and stairs breathing alive

As though

His eyeballs have been turned around in his head

So that they look upon his brain

And the strobe light flickering

Trance of neurons going haywire

Fields of red and blue explode randomly

Is the door raining drops of paint?

Of course not

The ringmaster reasons

But then

If he can see it rain

And watch it do nothing

In what he thought was reality

What is it really doing between the two opposites?

Perhaps there’s even more happening

Undated

Sweet haunting love

Chasing invisible muse, never catching

Elusive and beautiful

Eternal and mysterious

Everywhere

Undated

Where do the voices come from? 

A thought asked

But was met with only silence

And the dark that soon gives way to dawn

Until we meet the light

The candle of her voice

Will refresh our souls and bodies

Winter 2001

It’s been too long since this invisible ghost has unleashed the tidal wave of uninhibited thoughts freely. Still, something is lost between innermost articulation and the stage that is paper.  Wandering, wandering, wandering.  Wandering through the black. There is no tomorrow and hardly any yesterday in times like this.  Only the forward momentum of now.  A stared into space filled with shapes, but a transcendent stare that moves steadily beyond it all.  Craving a deep breath of release.

Stepping forward on a slippery stone and claiming a new voice unheard to vacant ears.  Spinning, spinning, spinning.  Fireworks streak down and fade in her mind.  Unknown places that she might never go, but in solitude and half in the ground beneath the stars and trees, she builds a bridge of images. They call subtly from the distance when she’s buried in the squares and circles, far away, wound up all the way and clicking fast like a wind-up toy operated at the hands of another. 

Traffic jerking, splashing puddles, city buildings grey and humming.  The bridge calls out from the distance, layered with a translucent silvery charm, stretched comfortably across her mind like skin across a hand-made drum.  Where does it go?

To oaks and willows swaying gently.  To a sidewalk at dusk a child sees the blinking lights of what he calls a spaceship.  He needs nothing more than his imagination and physical surroundings to lift him into the realm lying between. 

The bridge travels on to a concert where the vulnerable empowered sway together.  A few thousand or more separate universes unified, even with their divisions of countless complications, united into a common sound that somehow uncorks every individual. The bridge fades away, silhouette falling away with the disappearance of light.  Back to the squares and circles.

Undated

At home again, looking up at the power lines.  The sounds carry up to the cables and sing to ring forever from there.

Undated

Water and bread never got them thru

They carried a flag

For otherworldly consciousness

While the hermits of materialism stashed their goods and held fast

For something they didn’t know

“It’s all about reactions,” she said, “and how groups of earthly beings

In reality react to the nothingness they want to be somethingness”

Undated

Welcome to the haze

Come inside the maze

Brush strokes and patterns

Of words and intervals

Numbers

It’s all language

But

There’s no way out because

It shifts in cycles

So that

You hit a wall

When you believe you’ve hit the exit

Or the entrance to a new place in space

Where you want to be

So you linger on the path

Content to make the travel

Because you think you see

The closure just up ahead

Around the corner and beside the

Neon glowing scene

Of your dream

And then it shifts and you scream

Was a lie and you cry

But here comes the next optimistic bend

And you’re at it all again

Undated

Lie cry die

Keep it all inside

Fight lost try

Losing losing losing

Time

Work struggle lie

To gather a dime

Hide hide

Break slowly

You’re on the wrong side of life

Winter 2004

(Grace Slick Girl-Boner prose)

Blue green eyes, the color of ice and azure

pierce into you

She grips the microphone in her hand

She wears a dark towel with a belt wrapped around her waist

She sings so loudly, so passionately that the veins in her neck rise

As the muscles strain

Her hair is dark and long

Her voice is deep and low

Contralto

Winter 2004

A long time ago, jake sat in his living room leaning over the cd book, flipping through it and trying to decide what to listen to.  Someone suggested The Velvet Underground.  He said he didn’t like the because they didn’t give him “that rush”.  I remember being intrigued and amused.  Because I knew exactly what he was talking about.  We all did.

Winter 2004

In a long slow dream, you thought you had immeasurable time and distance.  It was illusion.  It was the bending mirrors of a wishing pond.  It was your swan gently gliding on golden conscious.  It was images sketched in silvery hope and intertwined with a tunnel made of iron sound and whispered resolve.  Cynicism descended like a poisoned waterfall drowning the universe.  The curtains fell slowly and the darkness is still blinding.  Now is the time again to reignite the fires, burn passion with the light long into the eve.  Energy creates energy.  Acceptance of their reality is the conspiracy of lost flight.  Leave the hollow gutless growths in their lifeless forests.  Rise instead to the shimmering echoes of the moment where genius awaits.

Spring 06, Fridge Magnet Poetry

Spring full wander

Evening black wild

Autumn Mushroom

Early morning breath

Yellow dandelion dream

Stream, harvest grass

In my blue winter thought

Summer dawn road

Must be here

Garden life thru roof

While I leave

Almost journey

Between sound

Rain Child Field

Watch this cold shore

We live

Laugh Shiver Cry

Drop Fall Stand Cry

Thereafter listen

Why

*thanks for reading

Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have. Mmm, LSD. Elementary as these little drawings may be, don’t dare think for a moment that I could draw even that much without a push from LSD.
This was written on the back of the psychedelic spider-angel-bong thing. Too lazy to type it up at this point.
“Take me back to the caverns, crystal light and reflection. What is real is only what you feel”
Another LSD inspired drawing.
Wyatt circa 2004.
Nick circa 2004. My closest friend of them all during this time.
Wyatt and Eddie. Circa 2002 or 2003.
Jake and Wyatt, circa 2002. The kids were always happy as fuck in each other’s company. Beyond measure. And I was lucky enough to be a part of that for a few years. As time goes by, I realize it wasn’t just the weed. It was love.
A few ofThe kids, circa 2002-03. Nick is that errant little bastard throwing up a middle finger. He couldn’t ever pose for a picture without flipping the camera off.

*

Thanks for reading.

If you liked this, you might also enjoy:

Music Under The Moon

Zerospace Plays Some Guitar

5 thoughts on “Smoke Rings of Time

    1. It actually is now. It used to just be called alaska thunderfuck casually and when went legal, now you can find it literally sold as a brand name. Sometimes called Matanuska Thunderfuck. It’s a very good strain of weed.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Just wanted to say I seem to have been having some problems with my WordPress comments going missing. It seems to have started around the time I switched to the Brave browser and set stricter privacy settings. Just wanted to say I’m not ignoring you, I think of you often and will keep trying to get my comments to stick!

    Liked by 1 person

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