Spill the blood on me, adieu


December 31, 2008.


It was a Wednesday. I had lunch with a special someone after work. It was bad enough working on New Year’s Eve, we solaced ourselves by reliving memories. It was a commemoration of sorts. We ate at a Denny’s near downtown in the shadows of the County jail. This Denny’s was the scene of many a furtive liaisons sneaked in the brief moments after work. Before rushing home. There was an inhospitable memory flickering in our heads that we sought to capture. Funny how the human mind works.


On this New Year’s Eve, we ate, sat in the car and watched as freeway traffic boomed by. The rumble of the world thundered outside the closed windows in the squalid parking lot. Sitting together in the car, the menacing world seemed removed, inadvertent, but always, the spell would be broken. We would release our embrace and escape to our own lives.


In 2008, after our reunion, I went on a photo adventure.


What was so special about this day? This specific day?
I couldn’t really begin to tell ya. Don’t know. Do you ever have those days that linger in the hallways of your soul for no apparent reason?


I tend to get maudlin every New Year’s Eve.


It’s just another stupid day, right? Here in Los Angeles, December 31 tends to be be a brilliant, ethereal day sunlit day. New Year’s Eve always seems to fall in that precious window of cosmological beauty which makes for a great (gag) Rose Parade every year. The sun shines lucidly but diffused through a shrouded pall of winter reticence. These are the only times I will admit Los Angeles is worth it.


New Year’s Eve!


We got out of work early and we met at the Denny’s. We ate lunch/early dinner and prematurely rang in the New Year’s over some Denny’s grub. After we ate, we killed time in the car and then departed, going our own ways. I was on my own. The day was so nice and I needed photos for a blog I had started a couple months previous. My masthead sucked, I wanted something more “L.A.” This is a sampling of what transpired that late afternoon.



This is the idyllic Los Angeles Winter Wonderland.


After the “photo shoot,” I came home. I had my son this New Year’s Eve. His mother and I alternated year to year. He was “young” at the time, compared to now, but aren’t they always young compared to the now? Aren’t we old compared to never?


I was looking for the perfect photo for that old blog. I had another blog, yes, it’s true. From October, 2008 through October, 2009, I had a blog which was focused almost exclusively on news. The singular focus proved too much for me. Lingering on news completely sapped my mind.


Of course I read the news and keep abreast of it. I try to have a good, working knowledge of current events, but for me to write about that shit all the time just deflated me. I began to deconstruct the local news, but still, I realized painfully that every little thing you write can be uncovered and your opinions can unjustly be called out. I wrote a few posts about local stories that people posted angry and threatening comments on after discovering my writings on Google.


In typical fashion, I took it more seriously than they. I shut that blog down when the contract expired in 2009. I wanted to start from “scratch.” I was ready to branch out, expand my horizon. See…I’m a maniac. I fixate and am undeterred. It was late in 2009 and I was feeling that revolutionary inner yearning stirring in my heart. One night, while walking, the name “Phoenixism” just appeared in my mind. I thought of the Phoenix mythology, of death and rebirth and thought that might be a fitting tribute to myself and what I was attempting to accomplish. I was looking to find a new way. So I started this. I was a sophomoric blogger because I had a modicum of experience from which to draw upon, but didn’t really have the concept, or nuance, down yet. I knew the mechanics, but that was it.


Toward the end of my previous blog, I began veering into gender dystopian commentary and it flourished on Phoenixism. This was my new expression. Anti-consumerism, anti-capitalism, anti-corporatism…all of it. I was infuriated and opinionated and as I tend to be, I became very self-identified with my ideas. Sometimes my posts still ring with the reverberations of these ideas. Still, it preoccupies me too much. Blogging is a wonderful tool and many have used to a wonderful effect. I fear that in my pathological compulsiveness, I’ve allowed blogging to slowly devour my psyche. This is my problem, my issue…not the medium.


My last blog became excruciating and I felt as if each post became a tooth extraction. This was my own doing. of course.


I’m of the personality type that expects too much of myself and is also quite capable of running myself sadistically into the grave because of some bullshit vision.


Thomas Mann’s Venetian vision had nothing on me.


However, fuck his homo, pedo vision. Any literary connoisseur worth his weight knows that was a story of being drawn to a vision at one’s own peril. And such is my predicament. I will blog myself into a watery grave if I don’t breathe now. I had my Phoenixism vision and it was threatening to cast me to hell. And it still is. Because Phoenixism is ultimately…me.


I write all this because on Saturday, the URL known as www.phoenxism.net was 3 years old. The terrible three’s.


This blog has frankly been a running Michael Bay-type of “destructionist” mayhem. My vision shifts monthly, weekly, and even daily. I’m constantly reasserting what it is I need to say or want to say.


I haven’t the slightest fucking clue where I’m headed, or coming from, most of the time. This blog has become the fruition of some serious mental hangups. I’ve tried to maintain, but the stability keeps slipping away. I’m the type of person who will not stop a project just because logic tells me it is done; I am the type who must feel its end, even taste it. I’m a sensually reactive person. I reach a point where I feel and cognate the end of something in order to be impelled to actually end it. I won’t stop doing something until a pail of blood is spilled over me.


If you point a finger at me and tell me to stop, I will laugh. If you throw a dart at me and it ruptures my eye…I will think about stopping.


If I decide that something is detracting, killing, or squashing. I pause. In a word, I think the concept of “blogging” is killing me and my life. Not because blogging is evil. Blogging in its purest form is the future of Man. Blogging will mutate and evolve, but it will nurture the need we have to share a commonality among others. This is a fancy of modern man. This self-endowed measure of belonging. The blogging I practice is a conscious, visible written form of direct expression, but blogging in its most disconnected and misappropriated form, the one of the future, the one in which all people will discover their community, has exceeded my limits.


I am not bidding farewell. A lot of long-time mainstays have vacated the scene completely. That is not me. No way. I am an evolver, not a deserter. I’m not leaving, but I am shifting.


I am first and foremost, a writer. An author, goddamnit. I am a thinker. Blogging was a convenient outlet for me and it allowed me the expression I sought. But after 3 or 4 years of this harsh, self-induced military-style avocation, I am ready to wander free again.


I am a writer!


I will write again and let the cards fall where they may.


Perhaps one day I will return to blogging full-time. For I am not leaving, but I am distancing.


I am the type of person who is wonderfully capable of eating myself alive. I will do this! I will singularly focus on an object while discounting my well-being. Which is cool, if it’s something you really want. I like blogging, but it’s not that thing I want just now.


I want to write stories.
I want to conjure imaginary wonderlands.


This is not a farewell, but it is a transmogrification.


The new way:


I will not post very often
I will not write much about my old themes/motifs/causes
I will be much more philosophical and detached…basically, me!
I will still post and read blogs I enjoy and in fact, I may become more of an involved commentor.


Earlier, I browsed through old emails and dug up old calendars.
There is nothing like the march of time to make you realize just how foolish its invisibility truly is.



Cult of Careerism

I was reading one of those ambitious-minded msn.careerbuilder.com articles yesterday which proved to be typically annoying as far as career advice crap tends to be. Annoying because most of the stuff you read on “Cult Of Career” websites, such as careerbuilder and say, Monster or Linkedin, is sophomoric drivel perpetrated upon legions of up-and-coming soul-trading aspiring robots who simply believe that the key to happiness and fulfillment in this life is measured in annual income, random “investment” debts and retirement packages. These are people who begin emulating the Cult Of Careerism quickly and hurriedly don the habits and appearance of the typical modern consumerist cog in the capitalist wheel. The Cult of Careerism has created a rabidly conformist and self-absorbed mindset that values self-advancement to insane levels of compulsion. Some of the crap you read on these sites sounds like HR-spewed scripts. People who clutter the corporate byways of modern America love to recite all the trite trendy phrases which seem to spread across the workforce like a vapid wildfire of mimicry. I decry the loss of individualism and unique boldness in such herd-like behavior. The Cult of Careerism erects an edifice of artificiality that becomes the paradigm and value system which those who wish to join and partake begin to assume as their elemental character which seeps into all aspects of their life.

The article I read was “You don’t have to be a CEO to act like one” and it represented the normal pile of career-advancing and striving refuse that celebrates formulaic corporatist thinking and goal-oriented worship. The “CEO” mentality draws such aspirants like moths to light. Anything laced with the “CEO” moniker is worshiped with a religious fervor. The “CEO” is what these people want to be, how they wish to think and live. It’s a masquerade they seek to earn the privilege of wearing.

The first paragraph and first bullet point in how to “think like a CEO” was some pedantic Kool-Aid-style mindless rote.

Hire to your culture, and be hired by a culture you respect

Each company has its own ideas and values that promote the company’s vision. Successfully joining a work culture means better working relationships, increased productivity and a more enjoyable work experience. “Our culture is based on ethics, value creation and innovation,” says Robert L. Johnson, founding CEO of the Black Entertainment Network. “Culture is fundamental. People have to know how culture functions, what is OK, [what is] good and what is not done, or tolerated, in this company.”

When a company finds people who share their ideals, they create a strong cultural force that can push ideas forward. Whether you’re a part of a company or looking to join one, study that company’s culture and determine if you’re a good fit.

Who the hell talks like this?

Every stupid company in this land will recite the same boast. Perhaps the adjectives change slightly, but it’s always the same whitewashed, Stepford Wives banality that guides its presentation.

“Ethics, value creation and innovation.” Wow. Impressive. Still, show me one company that does not outwardly pride itself on similar values. This is stupid. These are empty rah-rah cheers and sentiments that mean nothing. People, especially workers, don’t give a shit about such company-wide proclamations. They just want their paycheck and to enjoy a pleasant enough work environment. Especially in today’s employment climate, more often than not most people are happy simply to have a job. Screw the flowery “company culture.” Worrying about the “company culture” is hardly a pressing factor if you’ve been unemployed for 2 months. “Company culture” is a hollow First World problem that is nice to think about but grueling to uphold as some kind of meaningful principle.

The CEO types and Career Cultists need to get their heads out of their collective ass and actually talk and think like real workers. But you see, this is all thinly disguised elitism which exists in abundance within the corporate ranks as witnessed by the inconsistent standards of accountability that permeate all levels of the normal corporate vertical structure.

*NSFL* I have no mouth and I must scream at my Third World doctors

Sometimes you just want a little peace and quiet. Some rest. Away.

You had a bad day.
Your face is…uh…missing, but you happen to live in some bumfuck Third World country.

And you find yourself living a strange, Alice In Wonderland, backward rendition of Harlan Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.”

You just wanna die or sleep, or forget this mortal toil. Life sucks and now you are bidding it adieu way too quickly and a bunch of two-bit medics won’t stop pointing at you. The more they point, the more it becomes apparent they haven’t the slightest clue what to do to fix you up. For there is nothing they can do because the depth of their medical supplies are boxes of bandaids.

No one should be able to say “your face is dangling” while you’re still alive to hear it.

Life has no meaning, does it?

We are born, we cry, we suffer, we laugh like fools at nothing, and then we suffer, we cry, and if we’re fortunate, we die before we cry again.

“Alarm clocking” the Russian bitch

Wow, so when I watched this CNN/Reuters video report about an “art exhibit” at the Ukraine National Art Museum, all my illusions about virile, masculine, Alpha Russian men took an awkward dive. Seriously, in this blogosector, Russian men are portrayed as the unadulterated no-holds-barred male specimens of the modern world. Whenever someone (usually a liberal chick) talks about how “manly” and “Alpha” Barack Obama is, an opposing crescendo rises mocking the ludicrous supposition. Everyone just knows the penultimate representation of a national Alpha-leader on today’s global stage is Vladimir Putin. There is no question about it. This is an outgrowth of the popular imagery of Russian men as the embodiment of masculinity. Perhaps it is so. But from judging the men that visit the Ukraine interactive art exhibit which features a succession of 5 pretty models who play the live role of “Sleeping Beauty” by laying beautifully on a bed for 3 days while a parade of men kiss them (while their eyes are closed in keeping with the legend), the state of Russian masculinity is not quite what it’s trumped up to be. All male participants must sign a “contract” before they kiss the model. It states that if she opens her eyes, he must marry her. And thus begins the foolishness.

One of the participants, Anton Markov, who incidentally reminds me of Mikhail Baryshnikov with a mousy mustache, stood moments before the exhibit model before walking away like a frightened boy without a kiss. He later explained to the camera, “I wanted to feel her [the model] with my heart, but I just didn’t feel it…” OK, Anton dude. When it comes to joining your lips, or any other physical appendage, with a girl, your heart must be kept as far from the scene of the crime as possible. Don’t listen to your heart. Your heart is the buzzkill. Your heart doesn’t care about pleasure or sex. It cares about itself, not the rest of your physical experience. Your heart is very self-absorbed and short-sighted. Your heart does not have your satisfaction in mind. If the opportunity to invade a girl’s pleasure space is in proximity, you must lock that heart up well until you are done. Once you have concluded your dastardly deed, you can let it out again. It might be angry and resentful that you did not consult with it. Too bad. Anton, you acted like a woman in the face of a certain artificial kiss. You thought too much. Don’t effin think, ever. Thinking is the weak man’s escape. I’d hate to see how Anton acts when he actually has to earn a kiss. Every first kiss I had was of my own accord. I never asked, I never consulted: I just did. And never got slapped.

And then the next Russian pansy waltzes up in a blue blazer and pink shirt and a strange page boy hairstyle. Wait, what the hell is this? A Russian hipster or a Russian Austin Powers? Oh my tired head. At least he had the balls to kiss the girl, but that is about all the credit I can summon for him. What kind of kiss was that? He bowed more daintily and meekly than Barack Obama, and his “peck” literally lasted 2.8 seconds and appeared to be all lip. There wasn’t a Siberian snowball’s chance in hell this Sleeping Beauty would rouse from her sleep for that.

Strike two for the Russian men. Hmm. Maybe the sample here is biased because the majority of male art museum patrons are decidedly not the “he-man” type, but still. Some of the greatest rakes of all time have been artistes.

I noted sadly that there was security presence which might have repulsed my initial plan. I thought it would be cool to sign up, lean in and give the model some nice, wicked tongue while simultaneously lifting her gown and engaging in some concurrent invasive genital “alarm clocking.”

Open your eyes now, bitch!


I have an interesting story.
It’s the God’s honest truth. Really.

It’s based on a true story. True! Actual events! The character’s identities have been kept anonymous to protect their sanity. Or at least one of them. The other is already insane. Straddling the maw of madness. One foot in, one out out. Not pleasant.

They dated. They were an interesting and strangely complementary couple. They had many differences, but lurking in their union was an oblique spiritual glue which bound them so tightly that most couldn’t understand because to see the bond was ultimately to be extraneous to it. The bond was like a very strong adhesive that works optimally in very small amounts. To experience it as the man and woman did would have required one to be a part of it, which of course was impossible since only the two shared it. Part of the precious union for two which no one else could experience, and thus understand, least of all the man and woman themselves! They were frequently puzzled by their own inexplicable attraction to the other, but they stopped questioning it after a while and just enjoyed it, but as all good things do, they must come to pass.

Whether in death or through the clumsy maneuvers of human machinations, all good things perish ignobly.

Everything the man and woman did that was part of their relationship made up a sum parcel of their union. When they were together, it was zero sum. They both brought just enough, and never too little, to the relationship and it always fit masterfully into the truncated, singular cohesive ONE that was their intermingled union. Never more, never less. It was just them in totality.

But all good things must pass.

Their good thing began to pass because people will be people. Love of the purest, highest, order deserves better vessels than our egotistical, stubborn and ignorant physical bodies can provide. We do not serve love well.

One night, the man had an unusually vivid (for him) dream in which the woman was stroking his face and whispering that he was the sweetest person she had ever known. The dream emanated such warmth and closeness that when he woke up, he still felt the bliss of the moment the two shared in the dream. He felt happy. He wondered if she had had a similar dream.

The next day, it turned out she had in fact dreamed the night before as well. Unfortunately, her dream was disconcerting for it was the disturbing return of an old dream she had in their early years of courtship in which she dreamed of him, but in the dream, he was not really him, but a previous boyfriend she’d had years previous. After they overcame doubts and insecurities of the young relationship, she begin having the dreams but now the man turned out to be in fact her present boyfriend, not the past one who symbolized doubt. She interpreted this to signify that the insecurities were gone. But insecurities had returned, and on this night when he was dreaming of their intimate moment, she was having the old insecure dream again in which he was actually her old boyfriend. She was chilled and bothered at the subconscious omen.

Even in dreams of death, they dreamed the yin and yang complementary scenes of the other, creating a single shared dream of dissolution.

All great things must perish because we are people. All we create is destined to follow the fate of our mortal bodies.