Mind Fields – People Are Crazy

Mind Fields

People are crazy. Many people who are crazy don’t know they’re crazy. They think that they are right, and that their form of crazy should be everyone’s crazy.

That’s crazy. Right? NO! We’re all wrong, most of the time! It would be nice if people could admit this fact. If we examine the history of human beings it looks like a traffic jam of midget cars where everyone jumps from the cars as if they got caught stealing them. They shout “That’s not my car! I’ve never seen that car before.”

This is not my planet! I’ve never seen this planet before! The very nature of life on this world is that humans get the wrong ideas about things that should be easy to understand. Those who don’t recognize their instability are dangerous. People who don’t recognize their craziness have few brakes. At some time or place such people can do terrible harm. They harm people who are crazy in a different way. We can inquire about Germany in the 30s and 40s. In today’s world Germany is known as a refuge for the dispossessed, a humanitarian engine of liberal democracy. Eighty years ago Germany was in the throes of a mass psychosis that turned the state into a killing machine.

This form of psychosis is always available to cultures. It’s there, waiting for the right conditions. It will burst forth and flourish for a while as it does its murderous business. Then it vanishes, only to revive in another time and place. Cultural psychosis is part of the human condition; it’s an undercurrent that feeds on poverty and distress. It thrives on income inequality, builds on the resentment of disenfranchised classes.

We’re ripe for another one. God forbid, as my grandma used to say. God forbid we should replay genocidal brutality like Nazi Germany, or Cambodia, Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia. The United States with its native Americans, The Turks against the Greeks. God forbid. I pray that I’m wrong but I feel that looming presence, that evil spirit that is like a parasite fattening on its millions of aggrieved Americans who have not a single clue that they are insane. They have nothing to complain about. They are housed and fed, they have health plans, the very poorest of them are better off than anyone was a hundred years ago. You can’t convince them that they’ve got a good deal going. They’re certain that they’re being screwed. We sit atop a festering insanity that has been in America since before its founding, when vast crimes by white Europeans were enacted on the whole population of the western hemisphere. 

God forbid. It’s a comfort to think that things have changed, that maybe a threshold has been crossed by human nature itself, that we’ve learned from our past sins, that we have EVOLVED. Isn’t that possible?

I don’t know. I won’t pronounce this salvation as a done deal. Something IS different. Our children are different; they do things that were impossible. They move their bodies in new ways, they think in new ways. I don’t regard myself as a cynic but I am jaded. I’ve seen too much horror. 

It isn’t one thing or another. We’re neither saved nor doomed. We are continuing the story of life on earth. The planet keeps turning and it will turn for another several billion years. The drama of human life unfolds in its many chapters. Yes, we are crazy. History is a book of insanity, a review of the irrational.
Good judgment and reason break out in little pockets. They seldom last long.

The United States Of America is ripe for deep horrible craziness. I tremble for my children.

__________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

_____________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “Mind Fields” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


Mind Fields – Overdose!

Mind Fields

I didn’t think one could overdose on cannabis.

I was wrong. You can. I did. 

I use tincture that I buy from a local grower. It wasn’t the tincture’s fault. I made a mistake. The bottle comes with an eye dropper for dosage measurements and this particular bottle was so low on tincture that I couldn’t fill an eyedropper. So I simply up-ended the thing and poured it down my gullet. That’s not even a dose’s worth, I thought, and proceeded to add another half dropper from a new bottle.

Uh oh. 

I’ve been a hard core doper for much of my life and cannabis didn’t scare me one little bit. The most egregious overdose I ever had was with pharmaceutical Ketamine. Oh lord, that was dangerous. I made a perilous mistake and measured out a decimal point one too many after reading the Physician’s Desk Manual. I guess I wasn’t tracking too well even before taking the drug. That decimal point represented a ten times overdose.

After taking that stuff, I became completely dissociated. I was alone in the house. I sat in front of a candle, too terrified to move, while the candle burned down from its top to a mere stub. It was dark when I took the ketamine. It was light by the time I recovered enough to take stock and shake myself out of the trance. 

That was my most profound and wretched experience in a lifetime of drug abuse. Until yesterday.  I didn’t have enough awe for the cannabis tincture. I should have known better.

I proceeded with my normal day of chores and piano practice until I was pretty bone tired. I retreated to the bedroom, where I joined my wife for some late afternoon TV watching. 

I began to roll around inside my body. That was very strange. I felt VERY STRANGE and somewhat close to a state of panic. My cognitive ability retreated to a little corner of mind. About ten percent of me was still present. In that corner I recognized that I had taken too much THC tincture. I could use that ten percent to get out my tool box for the treatment of anxiety. Deep breathing. Yoga. Everything. The alternative was simply panic.

My wife recognized that I was in an odd state. She is forbearing and reluctant to interfere in my escapades. I had to slide the words out of my mouth. “I am feeling very dissociated.” 

I was confused. Where am I? I had to ask of myself. What is that? I was referring not so much to the TV but the programming that was on it. I recognized one of our favorite shows, a veterinary adventure, but I couldn’t connect with the content. I wanted to. It seemed petty and ridiculous in light of my emergency. I tried to explain it to Fox.

“Too much THC”. I struggled to form the words. Fox got the message.

“Can I help?” I didn’t know what to tell her. The idea of food crossed my mind. It might dilute further enhancement. It might bring me down. I wanted to come down. “Can you…banana dr…drink?”

“Don’t move from there,” she cautioned wisely. I didn’t move. I felt the urge to get up, but I listened to what my astute partner said. 

It’s easy to say, “I was sooo fucked up!” What does that mean? There are a billion versions of “fucked up” and some of them are not great. I was so fucked up that my very consciousness was tied in a knot. I didn’t know where “here” was. I didn’t know whether or not I was “here”. 

For further reference, it’s a good idea to know that you are “here”. Not knowing is a weak place, it’s ghostly and things can knock you over. I don’t want to ever get knocked over by anything.

I am HERE.


The Many Faces of Poetry: 74

The Many Faces of Poetry

74

November 13, 2021

Old.

I am old. 

Why is that so good?

I have a lot of experience. 

That’s part of it.  Experience

gives perspective.  The mature mind

knows how swiftly things change,

how needless is the stress we impose

upon ourselves.

Old

means closer to death. Thoughts of death

sometimes visit.  I have no problem with

death.  Once, I would have raged at the prospect

of dying invisibly, and all my creations vanished.  Never mind applause.

I don’t need that.  It would be embarrassing.

The universe is vast and varied.  My bit of it,

my earth landscape, has been just as varied and strange.

Every person is a universe; we live in a universe of universes that never end.

Old?  If I could live another hundred years

I wouldn’t want to.  These times are terrible.  Humans

have multiplied without limit, till the earth groans.  Why is it that only humans fuck up?

Whales don’t fuck up.  Elephants don’t fuck up.

It must have to do with free will. Nah!  It’s just stupidity.

It takes a lot of work to be smart.  And even more work to be wise.

To be smart and wise, it helps to be

old. Whales and elephants: they’re old. 

They’re old enough

and smart enough

to die off before the world becomes so miserable

that it’s no longer a wise place to live.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “The Many Faces of Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


The Many Faces of Poetry: November Poems

The Many Faces of Poetry

Volcano

October 2021

If words can be so beautiful that they

whoosh you from your body

into a place celestial

a paradise that’s not a myth

but a living world inside which

we dwell as though we have forgotten our own

eyes and our stomachs rumble

waiting for a meal that nurtures souls

by the trillions,

by the trillions, and what we call souls or spirits

can be called ghosts or intelligences

or French fries

no telling what they’re  calling them ten billion light years from here. 

It’s the same damned thing

so bright that it lights the stars

as if from the eternal birthday candle

or the scattering of cinders from a cooling volcano

filling a lake bed with red light and heat light

and heat

sustenance light. That’s how beautiful

words can be.

Late Stage Capitalism

Oct 20, 2021

Is this late stage capitalism?

People watching endless commercials disguised

as content, watching hypnotized

as the reasons to stay home multiply Covid

the madhouse of freedom, that’s America

where Freedom is ridiculous

and everyone’s opinion

matters, such a big deal, (your opinion)

I can give you a break, (I can I can), I can let you

go on about nothing, walk the streets with a sign

saying nothing, late stage capitalism

manipulated and focused greed,

through the screens, on the devices

helpless to disengage (what am I doing?)

late stage

helpless to engage (I’m doing this is what I’m doing)

capitalism, schism, minimism, monism

monetism, hypnotism, religionism

late stage catechism

I’ve run out of ism, run out of my ism, don’t even say it

cuz I’m old and getting older at the same speed as

everyone else.

This is late stage capitalism.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “The Many Faces of Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


Mind Fields: The Dollar Store

Mind Fields

Last week I ordered a case of Nutri-bars from The Dollar Store. You know, it’s the candy bar that doesn’t want to identify itself as a candy bar so it hangs out in the hypocritical Health Food energy bar section. I ordered a whole case, that is, twelve little boxes of six bars each, because I like these bars and they’re healthier than my go- to candy of choice, which is White Reese’s Pieces. Nuh uh. I can’t eat White Reeses’ Pieces. I love them but they’re poison!

God damn. Now I want one. I got an email from The Dollar Store requesting that I review my last purchase of their nutrition bars. How many stars, from one to ten? The Oat Nut Bar is a ten for sure; but to be asked to leave a review of the oat nut bar on The Dollar Store website…? Well… it was just a bit much. I know there is a universe of reviews online, reviews of everything from sex toys to nose plugs to laxatives. 

What am I doing? I asked myself. Am I actually going to take five or six minutes out of my life and do a review of an itty bitty candy bar in an itty bitty store in an itty bitty suburban American shopping plaza? We all know these plazas so well. America IS itty bitty shopping plazas separated by hundred mile stretches of Nothing. Except in  Texas, where a three hundred mile stretch of Nothing is just that: Nothing. Between Walmarts. Nothing.

Here are some dumb ass things I do.

I spend the entire day watching Youtube videos of towns that I’ve lived in. I get on Google Earth and look at the current state of the houses in which I grew up. One house hasn’t changed at all. One has been torn down. And one has been upgraded with new construction. The trees are fifty years bigger. They were saplings when I lived there. Now they are mighty oaks.

I sometimes drink five large cups of coffee for breakfast.

Frequently, I forget I’ve taken a laxative and take another dose before the first dose hits.

Indulge in THC- saturated tincture so that in an hour my mind feels like it has spawned a trillion other minds which are active and full of neuron tendrils and contacts with unspecified regions of Buddhist utopias. Uh oh. See what I mean about THC?

Eat a whole bag of monukka raisins and THEN eat a bunch of white Reeses Pieces. I thought the raisins would quell the sweet tooth. They didn’t. Blame the THC.

What else did I do? 

Back out of the Safeway parking lot and forget to look in the rear view mirrors. Thank god no one was behind me. Sometimes the universe protects its holy idiots. Again, blame the THC plus a large dose of poor judgment.

If I think of more ridiculous/foolish/dangerous/wacko things that I do you will be the first to know.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

___________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “Mind Fields” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


Mind Fields: Human Times

Mind Feilds

Are we living in a creative golden age? Is there an explosion of artistic expression happening, or are there simply more people around who have better tools? I think the answer lies in both directions. I can spend entire days online investigating any subject imaginable. I can revisit my childhood, walk the same streets. I can go to the same school again, throw baseballs from the outfield. I explore my memory without needing to go to those places that are thousands of miles away. 

It’s a truism that the Arts thrive during troubled times. Of course they do! Nothing drives us to greater self inquiry than social turbulence. Art is built out of the bricks of self-inquiry. There is nothing more comforting than making beauty when there is wreckage all around. Human beings are talented at making messes, at leaving and repairing wreckage. 

During my lifetime the world’s population has doubled. Now there are seven billion people to make messes and I can feel it in my guts that things are getting more and more strange. There’s an antic quality to the upheavals of our time. The world is populated by failed standup comics, obscure book writers, cowboys, aging ballerinas and kids. Lots of kids.

When I was young there was more room. Today there is a squeezing quality, as if the entire world is a photo of that numbing rocket block of apartments in Hong Kong, with their laundry drying on thousands of railings and TV discs perched like gargoyles at every angle and corner. I’m tempted to call them Living Legos containing numberless thousands of other humans. But I won’t call them that: Living Legos. I’ll call them miserable sub-par toxic environment overpriced low cost housing. This stuff wouldn’t exist so massively in a world with half the current population. 

What are we going to do? I think “we” won’t do anything at all. I think the spirit called Gaia, in which I believe, will take care of this problem by killing off a few billion people before the end of the 21st Century. This is going to be a lethal century. It will recall The Black Death of the 14th Century. 

Gaia has a contingency plan. You may ask “What if I don’t believe in a thing called Gaia? What if there is no Gaia? 

It doesn’t matter what you believe. We will lose three or four billion people regardless. Earthquakes, volcanos, floods, hurricanes, plagues: no fun at all. If I were twenty and not seventy I would be pissing my pants.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “Mind Fields” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


The Many Faces of Poetry: More Poetry From 21 Jumping Off Street

The Many Faces of Poetry

Fleas

There is a flea that alights on me;

former citizen of dog land

it got lost and is attracted

to my hairy arms.

My first instinct is to crush it

but some fleas are crush resistant and

it is futile to try, so just brush

don’t crush and allow the flea

its tiny attempt at life. I’m indifferent to some

creatures

unless they irritate or distract

and that is the flea

whose brotherhood is apparently immortal.

The host, too, is immortal, so

there is no way to be rid

of fleas.

Forgetting

“We haven’t earned the right to forget”. Guy Le Cuerrec – photographer

IF you think the gate is in front of you

look to the side.

If you think the gate is behind you

look ahead.

If you think a window is closed

in your room, it may be open but

hidden inside the closet.

If you think there is a closet

think again

there is a closet.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “The Many Faces of Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


Mind Fields: People Are Crazy

Mind Fields

People are crazy. Many people who are crazy don’t know they’re crazy. They think that they are right, and that their form of crazy should be everyone’s crazy.

That’s crazy. Right? No one is right all the time; not even some of the time. Everyone is wrong most of the time. We should assume that immediately. If we examine the history of human beings it looks like a traffic jam of midget cars where everyone jumps from the cars as if they got caught stealing them. They shout “That’s not my car! I’ve never seen that car before.”

This is not my planet! I’ve never seen this planet before! The very nature of life on this world is that humans get the wrong ideas about things that should be easy to understand. Those who don’t recognize their instability are dangerous. People who don’t recognize their craziness have few brakes. There are not enough forces to slow them down. At some time or place such people can do terrible harm. They harm people who are crazy in a different way. We can inquire about Germany. In today’s world Germany is known as a refuge for the dispossessed, a humanitarian engine of liberal democracy. Eighty years ago Germany was in the throes of a mass psychosis that turned the state into a killing machine.

This form of psychosis is always available to cultures. It’s there, waiting for the right conditions . It will burst forth and flourish for a while as it does its murderous business. Then it vanishes, only to revive in another time and place. Cultural psychosis is part of the human condition; it’s an under current that feeds on poverty and distress. It thrives on income inequality, builds on the resentment of disenfranchised classes.

We’re ripe for another one. God forbid, as my granma used to say. God forbid we should replay genocidal brutality like Nazi Germany, or Cambodia, Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia… The United States with its native Americans, The Turks against the Greeks. God forbid.  I pray that I’m wrong but I feel that looming presence, that evil spirit that is like a parasite fattening on its millions of aggrieved Americans who have not a single clue that they are insane. They have nothing to complain about. They are housed and fed, they have health plans, the very poorest of them are better off than anyone was a hundred years ago. You can’t convince them that they’ve got a good deal going. They’re certain that they’re being screwed. We sit atop a festering insanity that has been in America since before its founding, when vast crimes by white Europeans were enacted on the whole population of the western hemisphere. 

God forbid. It’s a comfort to think that things have changed, that maybe a threshold has been crossed by human nature itself, that we’ve learned from our past sins, that we have EVOLVED. 

Isn’t that possible?

I don’t know. I won’t pronounce this salvation as a done deal.  Something IS different. Our children are different; they do things that were impossible. They move their bodies in new ways, they think in new ways. I don’t regard myself as a cynic but I am jaded. I’ve seen too much horror. 

It isn’t one thing or another. We’re neither saved nor doomed. We are continuing the story of life on earth. The planet keeps turning and it will turn for another several billion years. The drama of human life unfolds in its many chapters.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

______________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “Mind Fields” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


The Many Faces of Poetry: Poems Never End

The Many Faces of Poetry

Safecracker

The woman is talking to her shopping cart;

or: she’s talking to the stuff IN the shopping cart, it’s hard to know.

She doesn’t have a home.  Maybe she’s talking to her home, that makes

a bit of sense.

I was there, for a part of my life.

I didn’t know where I would sleep. 

An unlocked car or truck, maybe.

It was horrible; I was always scared.

I had a friend, one friend.  You’ve got to have someone

at your back

when you’re low on the pole. If you’re lucky

that person won’t take your stuff

and vanish.

My guy was an ex and future con named Roger.  We liked the same drugs.

If I scored, Roger scored too.

You’ve got to have something to do

when you’re homeless.  Copping drugs

fills the day, occupies the role of job and family.

I was better at copping than Roger.  For him, I was a profit taking venture.

He probably wound up in jail again.  He did time at Arizona State Prison

for cracking safes.  He was bound to get busted again.

I wasn’t. I didn’t.

Photography

“We haven’t earned the right to forget”. Guy Le Cuerrec

IF you think the gate is in front of you

look to the side.

If you think the gate is behind you

look ahead.

If you think a window is closed

in your room, it may be open but

hidden inside the closet.

If you think there is a closet

think again

there is a closet.

Surprised

I didn’t expect

to have to be this brave

to live in the world.

I had no idea.

I didn’t know what I would need,

how much strength it would take,

how deeply I would fail,

how inadequate I would feel.

I’m not ready.

I look at ways out;

I look at death,

I look at drugs,

I use every excuse

to flee.

I do it every day.

I didn’t expect it

to be this hard.

My imagination was not prepared

to encompass the misery,

the sheer strangeness

of what happens,

what has happened,

what I can’t make un-happen.

I thought I would be protected.

I thought it would be pleasant.

I thought it would be okay,

that I would have a good time,

be satisfied, get away free of entanglements,

leave a nice footprint

that could be seen clearly

down through time.

I am surprised by the mud,

appalled by the blood,

angry with god for letting this happen

to anyone, let alone people I know and love.

I didn’t expect to have to be this brave.

I didn’t think I had it in me;

I still don’t.  But I persist

in spite of every difficulty.

I don’t really know why.

It’s not a matter of a foolish belief sustaining me.

My belief is not foolish.  My belief is my survival.

There simply is nothing large enough,

only God the Unknowable

can hold the grand squalor,

the screaming birth,

the wriggling, enduring heart at the center

of this beleaguered world.

I have no strength, no courage,

I have nothing but strategies to avoid

agony, and they don’t always work.

I survive, for a time,

while the world survives

forever, stronger than

I can be, deeper than I can fulfill,

more powerful than my will,

defiant in the face

of my disappointment in myself.

The world and something loving that redeems

all torment,

survives. 

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “The Many Faces of Poetry” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.


Mind Fields: A Summer Of Love

Mind Fields

A Summer of Love

or

On The Horns Of A Dilemma

1967.  Muir Beach, California

Robert had taken LSD three hours ago and now he was trapped in the bathroom. It was a small bathroom in a small beach house. The place looked out over the Pacific Ocean and could only be reached by climbing a hundred wooden steps or riding a cable-driven cargo trolley. The place belonged to Linda, Robert’s acquaintance, a woman who made tie dye and batik clothing.

Robert wasn’t a casual taker of psychedelic drugs, but he was with good people: yoga practitioners, Tai Chi enthusiasts. He felt safe. His friend Pam was at the party, and his room mate Steve.

It was an intimate gathering, about a dozen people agreeing to share an experience in a beautiful setting. Linda dispensed a tab of LSD to each arrival. Now it was getting towards evening and the group had settled into serious tripping. There was a bit of talk. Some giggles from a couple on the sofa. It was quiet.

The sound of the surf tumbled in the background.

Robert was hallucinating but when nature called she could not be denied. He viewed the act of taking a shit as a comedic episode, a meeting of the sacred and profane. He made a little mantra from it, mentally chanting the words to a samba beat: how could a thing so huge still have to take a poo. He danced a little samba step as he crossed the room to the bathroom. How could a thing so huge… still have to take a poo. The Huge was himself, in his expanded universe, the hyper-galactic infinite divine. And yet, way way down there in the microcosmic world, his body still had to eliminate the dross from his intestine. It all came down to the most common things.

The bathroom was a cubby hole. It had a toilet, a small window and a wooden stand that held an incense burner and a couple of magazines. An old tarnished mirror hung on the wall opposite the throne.

Before the toilet episode began, Robert had been watching Linda move about, with her bun of blonde hair trailing cute little wisps. She wore a sleeveless batik dress of luminous green and a necklace of silver and turquoise. Robert liked the shape of her. She was well toned, contained in a nice little parcel of soft firmness. Her breasts lifted the neckline of the dress and the effect was mesmerizing. Linda was single, Linda was beautiful, and Linda had given him a smile as she dispensed the tablet of LSD. Robert interpreted this smile as an invitation. He thought Linda was conveying a message. “Ask me to make love,” he thought she was beaming at him, “ask me.”

The problem…. that is, the problem before getting trapped in the bathroom, was working up the nerve to ask Linda to make love. Other couples were pairing up and vanishing into various nooks on the property, riding the sound of the mighty surf into psychedelic splendor. 

The party’s social math, the indices of affinity seemed to put Robert and Linda together. Robert had never done this kind of thing before. He had never approached a woman to ask if she wanted to “go somewhere quiet”. The complexities of an LSD high built a scaffold atop Robert’s shyness. How do I do that? he wondered, how do I come right out and ask a woman to make love? He wondered and feared, and wondered and feared, and tried to engage Linda in pleasant conversation but an acid conversation can be very weird. There are multiple interpretations layered on every word and phrase.

If he said, “Hi,” well, okay, there you go. Was he greeting her or was he making an insipid observation on his state of psychic elevation? 

“You’re beautiful” he said, at one point. “You look stunning in that dress.” That was not ambiguous. Linda merely said “Thank You” and the conversation jumped off a cliff and went splat. If only she would make things easier for him! Maybe he was wrong. Maybe she didn’t send the signal he thought she sent. But her fingers had lingered on his hand as she offered him the white tablet. She had given him a deep soulful look.

Then his stomach sent him another kind of signal. The bathroom was directly off the one large room of the house. The room was virtually the entire living space. There was a counter, a kitchenette, and a short fight of stairs that led to a loft bedroom. A thin plywood door separated the bathroom from everything else. 

Robert’s poo was a loose disgusting mess and he was about to turn the flush handle when the thought occurred to him: what if the sound of the toilet flushing sends someone into a bad trip? Or worse, what if it sends everyone into a bad trip? 

The house was high on the bluff and the toilet flushed with a distinct sound as the water forcefully drained. Sploosh! it said, splodda splodda splodda splodda, and all the pipes in the house rumbled and whooshed for what seemed hours.

Everyone is so high! Robert thought. If I suddenly introduce these sounds with all their associations, they will drown out the Ravi Shankar on the record player and they will enter people’s LSD-saturated inner landscapes as a downward spiral that will carry them into the underworld! People on acid are so suggestible! I’ll ruin the party!

He couldn’t look at the poo. He had closed the lid and was frantically using a National Geographic to fan the fumes outside. He was on the verge of puking, which would add another dimension to his problem. There was a box of incense and a pack of matches, which he now used as he attempted to work his way out of this mess.

What am I going to do? What am I going to do?

Another part of Robert’s psyche was laughing at him, saying, oh this is pathetic, you’re wasting your whole fucking trip on idiotic paranoia. Robert fought back. It’s unselfish paranoia! he replied. I just don’t want to send anyone down the toilet. Acid’s unpredictable. It can be a catalyst for deeply buried psychic material. I can’t take that chance!

It seemed that hours passed. Robert fanned fumes out the window, lit incense, lit matches until the pack was gone. There finally came a breaking point.

Fuck this, Robert decided. It’s inevitable. I have to flush the toilet. He reached out and touched the cold metal handle with its contoured shape. He caressed it for a moment. Then, in an act of passionate courage, he pressed down and released the water.

Sploosh! Oh god it was deafening! Splodda splodda splodda, down down and down into the depths of the underworld. The pipes went Whhhsssssh like Boeing 707’s lining up on a runway before takeoff. There were at least eight people just a few feet away from this sonic pandemonium. They might tear him to pieces when he emerged. He, personally, had bummed their trip! They might ostracize him forever, banish him from other weekend retreats at other beautiful houses full of beautiful women.

His heart was beating frantically. Okay, he decided, let’s face the consequences of my irresistible evacuation. Robert turned the knob and exited the bathroom, closing the door with the barest of clicks.

It was almost dark. Sitar music came gently through the speakers, playing an evening raga. Candles were lit and most of the group sat rocking to and fro, lying on beanbag chairs or prone on yoga mats. Nothing had happened as a result of Robert’s flush. Nothing at all.

A candle had been set in the middle of the room. Linda was alone on a cushion, sitting in yoga posture, meditating on the flickering light. Her eyes were open and appeared radiant and enormous. She glanced at Robert without reproach. The whole episode had passed without a ripple, it was a product of Robert’s self-conscious agony.

What the hell, he thought, just do it. He found a cushion and sat next to Linda, replicating her full lotus, displaying his credentials as a yogi. His feet rested easily on his thighs and his spine straightened as he gathered the nerve to approach this gorgeous woman.

Linda’s shoulder looked velvety in the candle light. Robert gently put his fingers on her body, just the four tips of the fingers of his right hand, touching her oh so lightly. He watched Linda’s response. She didn’t flinch or move away from him. Nor did she move towards him. She was set in her own center. That’s okay, Robert thought. That’s okay. Again, his heart beat fast, his stomach turned over with anxiety. I’ve got to do this, he urged himself. I’ve got to break through my fear. You get nothing when you don’t ask. So just ask while you have the chance.

“Linda,” he said, “You’re beautiful. Your skin is amazing.”

She smiled a subtle little smile but remained facing forward. Robert was about to commit himself but he realized that he hadn’t prepared his words. How should he put it? “Linda, will you make love with me?” Or more commanding. “Linda, make love with me.” That might seem too aggressive. How about “I would love to make love to you, Linda.” Oh, that was clumsy. Love to make love. Oh fuck it. He leaned close to her and quietly spoke into her ear.  “Linda, love make me, oh, uh, you know, I really dig you, um, um, this is hard. What I mean to say is I want you to make love to you. I mean me.. I want.to make love to you. There! Whew!”

Linda’s head turned with agonizing slowness. The huge shining eyes rotated until they met Robert’s eyes. She was a sacred dakini, a deva, a goddess!

“Robert,” she said, “you’re sweet, but you’re just not my type.”

Robert squeezed the pillow, almost pulling it out from under himself. “Okay, okay, that’s cool, I understand that, it’s just that, well, okay… thanks.”

He stood up holding the pillow in front of his body, then dropped it back to the floor and walked onto the deck. He could see the last of the sun’s rays as they vanished into the starry night. His vulnerable heart opened and wept. After a time, as he watched the sky, he realized that at last he was free from all the ridiculous bullshit he had just put himself through. He didn’t have to hook up with Linda. He didn’t have to hook up with anyone.

The Milky Way was alive, writhing with creative force as gods and Buddhas contemplated the infinite void. The sky was the most beautiful thing Robert had ever seen. 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.

Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.

More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com

Photos at https://500px.com/p/artsdigiphoto?view=photos

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “Mind Fields” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.