One in the mind. One on the plate.

Our consciousness developed while food and environment were synonymous.

We did the same thing to ourselves that we do to animals on the farm. We built social structures between us and our food. And we’re only given access in amounts appropriate to how much we do. Now. We earn our living.

My point is, these are not the conditions consciousness developed in. That little ineffable something missing from life, well, its a long story.

We used to have so many stories along with every meal.
Every meal was a vast narrative. A novel.
And in that way, we consumed two meals at once.

One in the mind, and one on the plate.

Dry Hill – new poetry book – INTRO

Don’t read these words like you actually know me. No. Pretend I’m a stranger. Make believe these are pages you found bound together on the street. Please. I am lowkey begging you. Give me that grace. I’m asking for it, even though I know it can’t be given. An impossibility. Grace just is. By no work or deed of your own. The hated are loved. The weight of full hearts breaks others.

I just want to write my way from beginning to end, birth to death. Things I can own and those stubbed toes and stumbled steps I might in the long run rather omit. I am going to write it down. For myself. For you. Though I recognize you didn’t ask me to do it. For my son. For Ashley. For the kids two thousand years from now, for when they fight through the fray. When they ask, I don’t need to articulate what. Just, when they ask.

Is why I write.

 

 

Finished

I had done more in the two and half months prior, walking, living, writing, talking, seeking, growing, changing, than I had ever done before. But finished? Nowhere near even close to there. More than miles yet to do. I have lives yet to live, universes yet to contemplate, distances to be lost to and revelations like mountains stacked like blank pages in an empty journal. Not to flip through, but to write on, and permanently stain, and make it so that no one will call it empty again.

No matter what it contains.

Easy as a bullet

There are mountains behind those mountains. Behind those clouds.
On the other side of that rippled river. The sun is set to be delivered.
Every day not Sunday. Ironically. Ironclad igneous and soil.
Beyond a wall of water vapor. Fish in slivers still at the warm belly bottom
not feeding. Not needing. Water kneaded. In the translucent finger grips of wind.
Mountains that we know are there. Hidden, like eyes behind long hair. Obscured.
Like the tilt of the earth. Like all flying birds.
Outer space and stars and satellites shot at like skeet by shotgun eyes.
Twelve gaze. Double barrel. Vision. If I can see it, I can behold it.
Fire on distance and watch limp geese drop like slick dishes shattered to the tiled floor.

The word know.
The word no.
And mountains.
That can’t be seen.
Veiled by what morning missed and hidden behind that obstacle we call distance.
We believe. There is more left to see.
That it can be overcome.
By binoculars. By walking feet. By eyes.

Easy as a bullet from a gun.

Blue Mountains

The mountains are two dimensional.
And blue. And minuscule.
Rock mounds bound behind clouds.
Sound. Muffled in a muffled room.
Ends too soon.

Almost didn’t start.
I might not be smart.

Mountains might actually be massive.
Clouds could be vapor. Lighter than air.
Ridges more red-white than blue.
Who knew. Clear as a bell windows.
Still aren’t see through.
No matter what lies on the other side.

You see a window too.

There are no such things as mountains that are blue.

“I really don’t care. Do you?”

I’ve been calling them shakedown years since about two thousand and fifteen. It feels like the tipping point between words and reality finally took a topple toward words. We’re supposed to listen to and respect someone’s right to conversation, in complete deference and willful ignorance of all their words definitions. You can tell it, yell it, scream it in my face, but if I don’t see conservation in your life, in your philosophy, decisions and actions, I am not going to call you a conservative. If you pull into my driveway and explain how you’re a christian as you apologize for calling me a waste of life and telling me I’ve disappointed my deceased grandparents, you may not actually be living up to the definition of the word Christian.

I hear you. I probably smiled, nodded, maybe gave you an ‘I don’t know’ headshake, or a ‘let’s agree to disagree’ grin, but I saw you. I see you. And the day will come that you might ask me to read you. And I won’t paraphrase. Your complete way of life is beside the point.

I don’t care about your opinion on abortions. If you wanted me to, you needed to go to school, and earn that right.

I don’t care your opinion on illegal immigration. The end result of that line of thinking will have us walling off our states, standing in line outside of our own hometowns providing bonafides and credentials just to be let in. If I drew a line in the sand and said no one could cross it, I still wouldn’t be surprised when someone does. Such is the nature of lines drawn in the sand.

I don’t care that you dislike black people. Or that you would like to casually comment degrading, disrespectful remarks about people who are different than you, in every way except their willingness to suffer and die for their identity. That, you have in common with everyone.

I’ll care when you give me something worth caring about. When the issue on your lips is one we all need to pass over ours in order just to maintain not caring for another day. Our society skipped right over any form of discussion about the basic daily life essentials we’re all scrambling to acquire. Our society has slipped its way between us and our earth and is selling it back to us piece by piece as we grow up and recognize our needs.

Government is crushing farmers, because government does not want us to farm. It wants major corporations to take up those arms, and they’re hesitant. Because growing food is hard. Keeping clean water, and more animals than you can count in your own backyard, is expensive. And, farming has this neat effect on the human life. It gives us a different, more dutiful, dependable and fair master over our time and labor. Nature. And government does not want nature to be anything more to us than a recreational activity.

Well. I am done. Done pretending this is the way it is. The founders of this nation had nothing even remotely similar with which to compare our current way of life. The fact that almost all of us would start to starve the instant grocery stores stopped filling up. The richest aristocrat of George Washington’s era still had chickens in his yard. Still used horses for a car. Still knew the soft snap of green beans and the smell of soil turned over for the first time after winter.

A farmer is a producer. And a producer makes an inconsistent consumer. And our society, our government, in no evil or malicious manner, simply doesn’t benefit so much from a population of producers as it does a system filled with poorly educated, ravenous consumers. That’s as simple as it gets.

If you want to talk about freedom, there has to, I repeat, has to, no option otherwise, be a way of life at the very base of our system, in which a person can eat good food, sleep safe and warm from the weather, and drink as much clean water as they could ever need, without using any form of currency. Apart from their humanity. And whatever morning choring those things require.

This idea. What is freedom without forty acres and a mule? Perhaps that should be our golden rule. Before we sail off into this corrupt, divisive, consumption based, product placed future, we all need to know there is a piece of land set aside for us. A way of life fruitful enough to provide for us. A simple, quiet life in the country.

The economy of want is not appropriate to manage the economy of need.

I refuse to talk about building walls, renovating bathrooms, or putting in a new kitchen sink, until the foundation of this building has been surveyed and repaired.

I am not saying anyone is right or wrong.

I am saying that until the conversation includes providing a base level of survival resources or environments for every citizen in this country, it is my right not to care.

You’re Home

So. What can I call you now. Jeremiah? Jeremy?
I hope hey you will do. Hey. You.

Aren’t you ready to wake the fuck up just yet?

Take a breath. If you can exhale it away, don’t waste any more of our time writing it.
Settle. I know the coffee isn’t helpful. Wake up, little brother. Arise, newborn father.
Come back to earth planetary lover. And be where you are. Here. In the now.
How is it we can be so sole defined by what comes out of our mouths
and disregard what we feed into them? Do not trust that definition.
Or any that tells you the one that wins is the only side of the coin.

Yes. We all know you write, Jeremiah. We recognize your loud voice and broody
demeanor make you want to be an actor. We see you farm a little on the side.
How nice. But you eat like shit. You drink too much, and not the good stuff.
Your money goes into piss. You lack discipline of any kind, let alone your lonely mind.
And you can be quite a dick, especially to those you love. Who have known you.
Shared in what you call home. You treat them like they found your favorite hiding place.
And now you’re it. My turn to go out looking for people who do not want to be found.

What a game. This life. And Jeremiah. You are too often in your head.
Too dependent on your voice, when your choices should speak for you instead.
But that is hard, isn’t it. To outperform and outshine before there is an audience.
No one around to cheer and look out proud and clap their hands.

But absence of a sound is not the same as silence.
Being alone is not synonymous with loneliness.
And Jeremy, my friend, you are neither.
You are not. And will never be. Alone.

So. Stop hiding place to place.
Hey. You.

You’re home.

That Germ

When you plant a seed, nothing happens. When it comes time for that end of the year test, one of the questions is what happens when you plant a seed, nothing is the correct answer.

Except, it isn’t. Every farmer knows what work patience does that they can’t. Now if only we followed farmers as often as political science majors. We’d think on timelines, we’d question our initial bias, we’d work with systems far more powerful than we will ever be, more powerful than any machine. Still, nothing like a seed.

You want to talk about life after death? You want to talk about transfiguration, or transubstantiation. Don’t talk to me. Talk to a tomato seed. Barely a little flaky kernel to the naked eye. Unending possibility, fruit, food, and life to the earth. But if you sat in a classroom and studied it, you’d think nothing of it. If you had never planted one in a well-destroyed field, and come back to it, for no reason other than sheer, titanic, monumental faith, you would pass the test. You would select the option ‘nothing’. And you would fit in so fine with humankind, and live in constant conflict with the planet.

What is truth? Better question. What is truth without patience?
If only I knew. I’d do just one thing with that germ.

I’d share it.
With you.

The Definition of Simple

Flat winds rattle doors and whistle hum outside the window. In fact, about ten or so windows. These Carolina room layouts. Traced along ridge lines just across the river. Bought for the view. Built for it too. The grass crunched like summertime this afternoon. The air only cooled around four o’clock and even then, not much. High of seventy five. What a time to be alive.

There are not enough words to describe the universe.
There aren’t even enough to describe us.

I want to be a writer.
And I am telling you to be wary of words.
Not of any one in particular.
But just feeling like there are already enough.

And that if words fail to describe something, it isn’t in existence.
Which is an irrational and divisive and intentionally manipulative position.

This whole mess is clay, right up until we cook it.

And it will become anything we make. So long as we keep cooking.

It has been raining for just about a billion years. But dirt still behaves as if it never saw it coming. Now that is love. Or at the very least. That’s something. Mud sliding down mountainsides and rocks choking valleys and water swallowing high school gymnasiums.

How has it all not settled down by now?
After all of this time, how is the definition of simple
still changing?