Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Schizophrenic Oracle

Buried in the mental core:
Seeds of something more.
Singing in the mental sky:
Birds asking why.
Swimming in the mental sea:
Something more than you and me.

A schizophrenic oracle
Told me to spread the word:
The anti-money system!
You will be free once you have learned.

To know the truth you can't be whole
You have to crack up to escape your hole;
Stand in the rain 'til you learn it's not blood,
Then learn to swim within the flood.

My will and testament, he speaks:
If I go crazy put me out in the streets
Until I learn how to survive
This is my dream, business secrets for life.
I refuse to be enslaved by medication
I take my pain to the streets in celebration.

Where all your logic fails,
Where all your reason ends,
Waiting off your trails,
Beyond your highway's bend:
A schizophrenic oracle
In a schizophrenic world
Within which all is shattered
Around which all is swirled,
A schizophrenic oracle
Locked up behind the glass
To keep society safe
From walking with bare feet on grass,
To keep the sane secure
From inspiration too pure,
To spare us all the pain
Of getting soaked in the rain,
To save him from himself!
And his subversive notion of wealth,
Whereby you get rich in a matter of days
Simply by giving your money away.
To save ourselves from his prophecy
Of a radical gift economy,
To save ourselves from his freedom
To live outside our kingdom,
We lock him behind the glass
And hope his storm will pass.

He created a system to not be enslaved
But nobody listened, so he ranted and raved,
And we buried once more in our mental core
Seeds of something more.
And we shut out the singing in the mental skies
Of birds asking why.
And we stick to shallows of the mental sea
And shun the depths beyond you and me.

by QMS, summer 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Wild Wonder

by qms, december 5, 2017


The City Soars
The Furnace Roars
Power Abhors
A Vacuum.

The Mountain Sleeps
The Glacier Weeps
Nature Entreats
A Plenum.


The valley dreams
The tower screams
The gutter breaks
The summit wakes
The sky is swept
The soil is kept
The sun blazes
The moon changes
The road goes on,
So does the song:

Through towers and cities filled with light
Through fields and forests just as bright
In purest black and blinding white
In flowing day and burning night,
The Wild Wonder flares and fights!
Your destiny is in its sights!
It aims for your frights!
            for your delights!
            for your rights!


The world was not always the world we know.
Something people did has made it so, so
Something people do can make it go, so

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Elections After the End of the World

(from Caracas with love)
Quincy Saul, November 8, 2016

There is no alternative, only the election. Pig versus lizard. Racist clown versus sophisticated assassin. White supremacy versus world domination. Dirty old man versus heartless old woman. Lecher versus sadist. The Koch brothers and the police unions versus Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations. A proxy war in our hearts and minds between rival factions of finance capital. CLUMP 2016! Welcome to elections after the end of the world.

The world as we knew it is over, and these are the morbid symptoms of its aftermath. This is the only way to understand the colossal mindfuck called the 2016 presidential election.

Every four years the USA and the world at large consent to lower all levels of intelligence in order to discuss the presidential elections. Mere resistance is futile. Like a retrovirus, the machine assimilates all attempts to analyze it. The election inserts itself through our psycho-spiritual membrane to commandeer our consciousness and produce replicates of itself. To comment is to be complicit: every critique or condemnation, including this one, fuels the engine. Until there is no clarity, only constituency, no politics, only polls, no ideas, only the cuisinart of idiocy into which all noble and creative participation is fed.

All that is old news. But this time around, a qualitative leap has been taken into a new dimension of delirium and degeneracy. Trump makes Dubya look disciplined. Hillary makes her husband look humane. At some point each of us has paused and pondered, is this really taking place? We´re in free-fall. There´s no way out of this election, no exit strategy. The light at the end of the tunnel is a TV with endless channels and no choices.

The complaint that “the media is destroying the election” is redundant and becomes resentful. Its plaintiffs equivocate, swishing the bitter medicine around in their mouths, instead of swallowing it: the media didn’t destroy this election, they created it! How else would we even know it was happening? It’s all about publicity, and there is no such thing as bad publicity. “It may not be good for America, but its damn good for CBS.”

As the impossible contradictions of imperial democracy unravel, greater and greater advertising is needed to keep up consumer confidence. That’s why they had to start promoting this one years in advance. Just like all useless or dangerous commodities need extra advertising, so the cost of an election is inversely proportionate to its content. The media really pulled out all the stops on this one! They even risked putting the crumbs of socialism on the table in last-ditch effort to arouse the voters’ appetites. They are the high voltage pouring into the tortured corpse of democracy. The candidates are the monsters, and we are all cast together as Dr. Frankenstein.

Aside from this screenplay, there are some notable curiosities in the campaign cabinet, which deserve a spotlight.

(1) When all the celebrities, up to the President himself, have to go on TV to say “your vote counts,” you know subliminally that something is suspicious. Greg Palast has painstakingly chronicled the “lynching by laptop,” and other preferred methods of rigging “the best democracy money can buy.” This is the most important story about this election. If your vote counts, then for how much? And who counts it? And if you study this seriously, then you have to answer. Your vote counts an average of 6/7 unless you’re white, and it is counted by such trusted defenders of democracy as the Diebold corporation. 6/7 may be a step forward from 3/5, but the technical integrity of the electoral apparatus may have actually regressed since the days of Jim Crow.

(2) Over the course of the last few decades, elections became inseparable from television. Now they have become indistinguishable. It’s not only metaphor, but also concrete political economy. It’s one long infomercial for empire, alongside a sitcom about its indecent demise. At least since Bush and Survivor, the US election has been a reality TV show. So it is no surprise at all, and in retrospect it seems inevitable, that a reality TV show host would eventually contend to be commander in chief. This explains the ease with which Trump trounced his rivals for supremacy in the society of the spectacle. He is playing home field. They are pretending not to be charlatans, he only has to be himself. Trump is a rabid attack dog, whose leash the Clintons let loose to scare us into their neoliberal protection racket. It was a dangerous gamble and it has had uncontrollable consequences. He now has enough lead to turn on and maim his masters. He has mobilized centuries of racist heritage, whose primed constituency is the impoverished rust belt.

(3) Bernie Sanders rewrote the rhythm and the lyrics of the campaign trail, opening tactical and ideological windows, which had been long barred shut and believed forgotten. Predictably, he dropped the beat. With noble exceptions, his followers fell in lockstep with the Democratic Party drummer. His whole purpose has been reduced to promoting the Party and its platform. Unpredictably, the specter of socialism has been unleashed.

(4) We finally learned why the Democratic Party never contested the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004. Voter suppression works for them too! Their top leadership prefers a Republican president to a rupture in their machine. Fascism is safer than socialism as far as the financiers are concerned.


Only US citizens get a vote, but the whole world is watching. This election holds the planet captive with screens, ransomed with dollars backed by military bases. The outcome of this election is likely to affect those outside the borders of the US even more than those within them. So I’m writing from Caracas with love, to beg the people in the country of my birth to see this election from an international perspective.

Who should Palestinians prefer, who should Libyans like, where should Syrians stand? Who should Hondurans and Haitians hurrah? Who should China cheer, who should Russia revere, who should Brazilians beware, who has South Africa scared, and why does India care? The answers aren’t easy, they’re sleazy and greedy, and old and cold – just like the candidates, packaged and sold.

We are not the world. It’s a big world after all. This land isn’t my land, it isn’t your land, and it wasn’t made for you and me. So I’d like to share a true story from South America, and the country from which I’m writing. We have something important to learn about elections from Venezuela.

In what seems like ancient history here, but which ended only a few decades ago, the ruling political parties in Venezuela made an agreement. Their leaders signed a pact in a fancy building called Punto Fijo, agreeing that they would share power by rotating rulers alternatively every election cycle. They would provide a pretense of participation and rivalry, and promise each other a common purpose of corruption and control. This went on for decades. Sound familiar?

In 1999, Hugo Chavez ran for president on a radical platform: he wanted to call a constituent assembly to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution. He was elected in a landslide. The Pact of Punto Fijo and the two-party system bit the dust. Chavez went on to win over a dozen elections before his death. Since then, in less than twenty years, the Venezuelan state has been transformed via the ballot box.

Of course, a full-scale media war has been unleashed to make you fear and/or hate the names of Chavez and the Bolivarian government. Obama has decreed Venezuela to be a threat to national security. You better wonder why. But don’t believe me: read and review the data on health, education, housing and poverty in Venezuela over the last twenty years, from the United Nations, the FAO, or even the World Bank. Listen to what Jimmy Carter says about their electoral system. Read the corrections section of the New York Times. Think outside the box that sold you the bailout and the war on terror.

Venezuela is so demonized by Democrats and Republicans precisely because it is a democracy and a republic – not the bogeyman of communist conspiracy, but the precarious promise of a peaceful revolution. John F Kennedy insisted that those who make this revolution impossible, make another one inevitable.

This election is a global bait and switch to immobilize us, to keep us guessing and away from grasping. Our only consolation is that it’s over at last. The only thing truly at stake is finding the stake that we need to drive through the heart of this two headed monster. “Its after the end of the world,” Sun Ra sang, “don’t you know that yet?” We are witness and warden to the birth of a new world. It’s time for a constituent assembly and a constitutional convention.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


by QMS, Miami Beach on a 12-hour layover en route to Caracas, October 2016

Marvelous Miami! Miami is better at night, mostly because you can't see as well in the dark. It is a city built for nighttime. The lights disguise the prevailing shabbiness.

Seen from the air its truth is revealed. It is a city of squares. It is a flat city. Even its skyscrapers are flat. Even its voluptuous sexuality is flat and square, in the sense that it is designed and destined for billboards and screens, made in the image of the image.

Miserable Miami, stumbling towards oblivion in the reckless pursuit of happiness. When I mention my final destination, my taxi driver bemoans the terrible things that the socialist government is doing to people in Cuba. To challenge his attitude would be as useless as explaining how much the music sucks in the clubs on the beachfront. Culture is concrete. The conservative politics of this place are as solidly entrenched as its physical infrastructure. To speak to this working class man about inequality or imperialism would be like trying to talk to its commercial real estate developers about climate change. Both the attitude and the infrastructure are invincible, centimeters above sea level.

Hard to overstate or underestimate just how sketchy the motherfuckers who run this town must be. The hardworking women redeem it every day, but they are no match for the storm surge.

From the air the city already looks half underwater. When the tide comes in the attitude and the politics, along with the sexy parties, will flounder helplessly and pitifully and desperately. The revenge of the everglades will be silent and soaking. It seems only seconds away.

Of all the cities which climate change will wipe off the map, Miami will be among the least mourned, and its disappearance will be among the most geopolitically progressive.

But in the meantime it reigns supreme. Far too many beautiful women to refute with mere reason. Far too much money pouring in to think about alternatives.

Murderous Miami, what does it know about the Seminoles? What memory remains after centuries of bad architecture and music and politics, of the ancestors who gave their lives to prevent this kind of nightmare? Forget the Seminoles, what does Miami know about its homeless, chewing each other's faces off under the highway overpass?

This corpulent calm conceals corpses. I sip my Panama water and swallow my oversized paella, and wonder what I or anyone is supposed to do.

Magnificent Miami; multicultural and toned, having fun and seeming so free, even if it is so expensive. But this paella is making me sick, and my churning stomach reminds me that I am surrounded by water and a wasteland of flat squares and flashing neon. The marvelous has never been so miserable. Death has never disguised itself as something so alive. The execrably expensive has never been so cheap.

What I'd like to explain to the taxi driver, and to the infrastructure, and to the pretty hostesses, and to the whole culture, impossibly, is that it's not too late for humanity and history.

Here at the extremity of the American dream, the pursuit of happiness attains a seductive and protracted climax. You can walk away, though. If you can recognize how miserable this place is, then you are in on a secret about the whole modern world. You can invest your your busqueda, your buildings, and your beauty in a place with more memory and less mendacity, more depth and fewer squares, farther from the shore line and closer to the heart of all things.

The light of the world isn't neon. The cup of life isn't frosted.

Let Will Smith keep on going to Miami. Let's go to Caracas.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Village at the End of Time

(Surregionalist notes and reflections from a tour of lower Manhattan
by Evan Pritchard, author of Native New Yorkers, on May 7, 2016
compiled and recomposed by Quincy Saul on September 24, 2016)

Let us bless this land before it is reclaimed by Mother Ocean,
Let us bless the landkeepers who pledged to protect it,
Let us bless the ancestors who made important decisions here under the tree,
Let us pray for wiser decisions.

The West Village was already a village,
Broadway was a hunting trail, heading north into the the forest,
Route 9 is a continuation of that trail all the way to Montreal.
27th street was a fur market – it hasn't moved;
Roasting nuts on the roadside, also an ancient practice.
Tammany Hall was named after Chief Tamanend,
It was Liberty before it was Zucotti; Occupy made it Liberty again.
There are 80,000 Native Americans living in New York City:

Everything, encoded and hidden, is the same as it was.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Is really a Native American story.
The Dutch copied the natives at the button tree.
Thoreau learned everything he knew about civil disobedience 
from the Penobscot (The Way of the Heron).
Wampum beads were accepted on the Brooklyn Ferry until the 1720s.
You'll never hear about the Munsee.
Or the Kapsee, guardians of the points of rocks,
Sharp rocks which used to stand out in the harbor,
Preventing waves and storm surges from reaching shore.

Hurricane Sandy:
a 30 foot wave,
and a 14 foot wall of water
on Wall Street.

The origin of modern city planning!
The colonists built themselves a massive church
Which blocked their windmill
And people starved.
In 1811 Manhattan was flattened,
Forests, waterfalls, houses destroyed
As a real estate marketing scheme.
Cherry Hill was the original White House.
Then it became a whorehouse –
They built the Brooklyn Bridge to bury it.
(Archway 6; the sign was removed.)
Broad Street – the New York Stock Exchange –
Was once a river,
Polluted until it smelled so bad
They paved it over.
The wall that's now Wall Street
Blockaded Broadway.
Stone Street was first paved
So the state house wouldn't get so muddy
As politicians walked back and forth from the taverns:
The place of general inebriation!
There are no deeds to Manhattan 
Except for small parts of Harlem
And no receipts.
Yeah sure, Brooklyn was "deeded” –
“Safe as stealing home.”

Lobsters in the bay here used to be seven feet long,
Lobsters don't grow past five feet in captivity.
We're in the same boat; we used to live 112 years.
25 Broadway was the first house on the continent.
“If you ever feel like a slave now, maybe it started here.”
The birth of the multinational corporation.

Quetzlcoatl crushed under the foot of the stone sculpture
At the doorway of the Museum of the American Indian,
Crushing the spirit of Mexico to build a new America.

Do you know where the Golden Bull came from?
It was a sharp trick
In 1614, that won the first Dutch corn field,
And the bullshit still stands, in the same place;
No way it's a coincidence.

The Dutch masterminded a lot of the “American revolution,”
Invented the Marines;
Fort Amsterdam was the original Pentagon.
The New York flag is just like to the Dutch Flag:
An Indian with a bow but no arrow. 
Scalping was a business decision,
It was an efficient genocide.
The Dutch did much worse than ISIS on Bowling Green.
A pile of 80 severed heads survives in legend
And in the unblinking eyes of the stone heads
Along the side of the customs building,
Staring through the veil of time.

The soil is full of crystals, considered very sacred.
And the word for corn means
The great mother –
Please pass the great mother!

A white moose was murdered,
Which brought us signs from the creator.
The killing of the manitou was also sign, a warning.
They gathered and decided that we were being warned about

Let us bless this land before it is reclaimed by Mother Ocean
Let us bless the landkeepers who pledged to protect it
Let us bless the ancestors who made important decisions here under the tree
Let us pray for wiser decisions.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

El cuento de dos rocas que abrieron un hueco en el cielo

por quincy saul, cocuy, diciembre 2015, corregida gracias a diana quintero

Estábamos caminando atraves del páramo, hacia la cumbre del Ritak'uwa Blanco, y desde cielos poco claros, empezó a caer lluvia. La cual rápidamente se convirtió en granizo. Cayeron gotas mas y mas grandes que llegaron a ser tan duras, que hasta el perro ladraba, pero yo tenia la sospecha de que era un tipo de buena suerte. (Los que tienen corazón, laten.) De repente, confirmando mi presentimiento, un granizo cayo exactamente en mi mano casi cerrada. Agradeciendo la Pachamama, lo puse en mi boca para saborear su vuelo vertical y su perfección esférica.

Pero después de un tiempo de cargar mochilas pesadas en senderos inclinados, cuando estaban llenos de granizados los frailejones, y no se veía muy bien el sendero, pues la oscuridad, el viento, y la lluvia dura congelada desaniman un poco, entonces de repente y al azar, no se si por cual instinto o conocimiento, seleccione una roca bonita del barro al lado del camino, y mientras caminaba la limpie con mis dedos y hable con ella. Le dije algo así:

  “Saludos amiga, compañera, estimada roca, eres una belleza. ¿Puedes preguntarle a tu hermana, a tu abuela la montaña, por nuestra parte, que haga un hueco en las nubes y en los granizados?
¿Puedes pedirle que abra para nosotros una ventana hacia el milagro común del cielo? En retorno, te voy a limpiar y a poner en alto sobre una roca mas grande, otra cumbre; por que al igual que tu, nosotros tambien vamos para la cumbre; lo que ambos queremos quizás no sea tan diferente. Te voy a limpiar y poner en lo alto, para que cuando la abuela montaña abra un hueco en el cielo, tu puedas ver y ser vista por tu bisabuela la luna, y tu bisabuelo el sol, y también por tus otros relativos; los planetas y las estrellas, para que tus primos en todo el cosmos puedan verte directamente y conocer tu belleza que ellos comparten.” 

    “Y ademas,” yo dije a la roca, viendo otra roca linda en el barro al lado del camino, “te voy a presentar una pareja para ti. Ustedes son muy distintos y muy parecidos, muy parecidos y muy distintos. Siempre estaran separados y siempre estaran juntos. Les pido a los dos, que pueden sentir el amor de mis dedos, que pidan a su abuela hermana la montaña, que dirija sus vientos para crear un hueco en las nubes, para que la luna y el sol y las estrellas puedan verles a los dos, la pareja de dos seres distintos y unidos, o de dos no-seres unidos y distintos. Les voy a poner en la cumbre de esta gran roca aquí, con otro hermano, ahora que están limpias y brillantes, ahora que todo el mundo les puede ver.” Y les puse allí.

“Entonces me despido de ustedes, estimados maestros y estudiantes, cada uno y los dos tan sencillos y tan complejos, y si me haces este favorcito de hablar con tu abuela la montaña por nuestra parte, te prometo que voy a escribir nuestro cuento, para que no solo el sol y la luna y las estrellas les puedan ver, sino también nosotros, los extraños seres humanos. Les despido a ustedes, hermanos, pero no me despido, porque mientras ustedes están y mientras soy, estamos y somos conectados siempre por nuestra búsqueda mutua, de pertenecer a nuestro mundo, que habitamos y somos cada momento. Gracias y que les vaya bien!”

    Y resulto, que menos de media hora después, se desvanecio el granizado, poco a poco. No despejo por completo, pero bastante. Y por los próximos tres días, en la montaña de Concavo también, muchas veces abrieron huecos en las nubes – ventanas alucinantes al azul y al cosmos, a estrellas y a horizontes. Huecos en las nubes que te hacen pensar en saltar (¿afuera o adentro?) del mundo. Siempre parecían estar justo arriba de nosotros. Quizás el cielo colombiano siempre tiene huecos. Tal vez es pura coincidencia. Pero en castellano tenemos otra frase – tal vez abrieron huecos por causalidad. ¿Y por cual causa? ¿La mía? ¿La montaña? ¿La roca, la pareja? Lo he pensado por varias semanas, es decir varias y distintas eternidades y momentos fugaces, y creo que la respuesta, la causa, es la nuestra.

    Lo escribo para que se aprenda. Vale la pena conversar y incluso hacer tratos con las rocas. Con una roca en las manos se puede conocer también sus relaciones; se puede abrir un hueco en el cielo y saltar hacia las estrellas.

    Quizás estoy loco. O quizás estoy apenas despertándome de un mundo sin alma.

(foto del cumbre de ritikuba blanco, por qms)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dancing with Extinction

By Quincy Saul, August 2016

Based on, in response, and with thanks to the book: “Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind,” by Carolyn Baker and Guy McPherson, 2015

It's after the end of the world, don't you know that yet?”
-The Sun Ra Arkestra

We are living in the midst of a great dying,
Living with death every breath,
Growing up with extinction,
“Living with death in mind.”
But death is not only in mind,
Also in heart and hand and nose and mouth too,
Burning in our imagination and stomach,
An electric black cloud of death
Which covers the dreamscape.

It seems scientific reports
Which always begin “Abstract”
are rarely read or reflected upon.
Perhaps a poem
Can move feelings
Where mere facts have not.

Up against the climate apartheid wall, motherfucker!
You've got a clathrate gun cocked at your planetary temple.
The rape of Mother Earth culminates here,
The bloody and poisonous climax has arrived.
12 Hiroshimas a second, as methane seeps and spurts to the skies,
3 watts per square meter per hour of hot smoke, soaking in,
Somewhere between 400,000 and 5 million people a year, killed by climate chaos,
And 200+ species go extinct every day.

How many heartbeats to a life?
How many feathers to a bird?
Don't be fooled by the dryness of numbers, the grayness of theory,
Feel yourself caught in their sensuous and grotesque gravity.

Industrial civilization has become meteor, destroyer of worlds!
We face now a greater danger than the dinosaurs.
As some of them saw a giant burning streak hurdling through the sky,
We see methane plumes,
Melting ice, growing deserts,
Earthquakes, fires, floods,
Hurricanes and tsunamis,
Fracking and blasting and
Drilling and killing.

The X factor,
Our wild card in the wager between extinction and evolution:
What we call our intelligence.
How much smarter are we than the dinosaurs?
As deserts grow we organize elections and build detention centers,
As glaciers melt we perfect targeted assassination and particle accelerators...
Science is slow, conservative, often soporific, sometimes cold-blooded.
Plenty prediction, little conviction, less prophecy.
Yet these are prophetic times, even on the time scale of geology, writes Scribbler in 2014:
“The time of dangerous and explosive reawakening increasingly seems to be now,”
A vast microbial universe surging to life after thousands of years of hibernation,
Steaming their hot celebration from the sea and soil to the sky.
We may be smarter than dinosaurs,
But can we evolve any faster?
Catastrophic climate change doesn't really select for vertebrates...

The Greenland ice sheet is a firing squad sliding at attention,
The Gulf Stream and then the whole hemisphere is the firing line.
Try to get a feeling for the feedback,
The cumulative comeuppance, the hatching eggs of roosting chickens:
The warming that awakens more warming,
The melting that means more melting,
The burning which brings more burning,
The earthquakes whose ripple effects trigger more earthquakes,
The deserts which drive more desert,
The storms that spawn stronger storms,
The dying which sets off greater chains of dying,
This is the feedback which is slowly but surely
Burning off the clouds.
A distant relative of the feedback which boiled off the oceans on Venus.
The symbolic deadliness of the dark ice and the dark snow,
Forming and falling and faster as the temperature rises
Signals the scale of the changes upon us.
Hotter and steamier the cycles go, until it's
Up against the wet bulb effect wall, motherfucker!
Try metabolizing at 95 degrees and 100% humidity.
Heat waves already wash away thousands of lives every year,
The gases released by retreating glaciers reinforce their retreats,
And with every catastrophe the stock market soars;
Shipping and drilling in the Arctic,
Big growth rates in guns and oil and drugs,
Soaring surveillance states,
Mass extinction and mass incarceration.

Up there in the vast reaches of the atmosphere
The future is forged, on molecular timescales.
The smoke works its silent way into the fabric of the sky,
The warmth from the fire you burn today will return as temperature in 20-40 year's time.
Today's joy ride, your children's Mad Max.
Climate apocalypse, prime-pumped in the pipeline.
If the causes are complex, the effects are dead simple.
What methyl isocyanate did for Bhopal, perfluorotributylamine may do for the biosphere.

Make no mistake, they're planning for it,
The same ones who got us into this mess,
First the masked gods and disguised kings,
Now the unmasked gods and naked kings, as Abdullah Öccalan tells it.
The emperors with no clothes
And their more-or-less loyal 20% of the world who generate 80% of the emissions.
They are planning in secret and supremacy,
They are planning more madness, more feedback;
Blasting off to Mars, engineering the seas and skies,
Creating higher walls and deeper prisons, smarter phones and dumber people.
The big conservative corporations,
BP, the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations,
Are predicting weather that humans cannot survive
In their end of century forecasts.
Some say sooner.
No surprise perhaps that the politics based on positivist science
Culminates in nihilism at the planetary level.
(I think therefore I die, says the last Enlightened Man.)
Don't ask a climate scientist or a policy person to unite or defend or lead a community.

Nothing of what we call politics today is ready for this,
What we call politics can't even think or speak rationally about this.
“What we have come to think about as politics is,” says Amitav Ghosh,
“In a sense, actually a great distraction from all that is really important in the world.”
Hence endless painted chains of mind and heart-numbing conferences and summits
Chanting incantations to exorcise the collapse and the abyss.
Forget 1999!
Party like it's the End of Time!

In 2012 enough ice to cover Canada and Alaska melted,
This summer for the first time we glimpse the ice-free Arctic, folks.
Methane plumes in the Antarctic too;
Picture 150 kilometers cubed,
Melting each year off the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
And how! 2 times faster from 2010-2013 than from 2005-2010.
When you shiver into the polar vortex, it shivers back.
“One result... is boreal peat drying and catching fire like a coal seam,” writes McPherson in 2015.
This much forest hasn't caught fire for over 10,000 years.
The ocean hasn't been so acidic in 300 million.

And the color source of the blue planet,
The oceans we know less about than the Moon or Mars,
There the fabric of the life web is fraying.
The specter of the jellyfish haunts the currents,
Messengers of a planetary restart,
Re-preparing the pre-Cambrian.
The age of coral is ending and the reign of the jellyfish begins.
And plankton, to whom we owe about two of every three breaths,
Locked in epic struggles for survival from shore to acid shore;
Our entwined fate is playing out from the molecule to the mesosphere.

Yeah, “it's time for a jailbreak,” write Baker and McPherson in 2015,
No coincidence that this book was recommended to me in a prison,
By a man named Maroon, who knows what time it is,
Time for psycho-historical-spiritual breakout/break-in,
A planetary proof by diagonalization.

But it's after the end of the world. Don't you know that yet?
Time to build arks, not tombs,
Time to mourn, but also time to manifest,
Time to organize the exodus from the coastlines,
Time to save seeds and tend soils,
Time to rally to the watersheds;
The end can be predicted, but the beginning must be prophesied.
It's time for the Evolution Dialogs!
It's time for the Emergence Analogues!
Not a dialog of finding deliverance in defeat,
But a manifesto of revelation amidst apocalypse.
To live with LIFE in mind!
Live without death time!
Time to be free of both illusion and despair,
Time for the vision we will perish without,
Free of hopium and hopelessness,
Free of the empire outside and the ego within,
Time to think and work in timescales that span generations,
Time for a prefigurative path to free life
Through the gauntlet of mass extinction.
Time for Pachakuti consciousness,
Time for a 5,000 year peace plan
To follow the long arc of the rainbow
Whose warriors gather on the horizon.
There is a hinge between prediction and prophecy
On which the revolving door of history spins.
Time to decide what we value most.
Time to fight. Time to fly.

"I just want to ask a question
Who really cares?
To save a world in despair
There'll come a time, when the world won't be singin'
Flowers won't grow, bells won't be ringin'
Who really cares?
Who's willing to try to save a world
That's destined to die
When I look at the world it fills me with sorrow
Little children today are really gonna suffer tomorrow
Oh what a shame, such a bad way to live
All who is to blame, we can't stop livin'
Live, live for life
But let live everybody
Live life for the children
Oh, for the children
You see, let's save the children
Let's save all the children
Save the babies, save the babies
If you wanna love, you got to save the babies
All of the children
But who really cares
Who's willing to try
Yes, to save a world
Yea, save our sweet world
Save a world that is destined to die
Oh, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Oh, oh dig it everybody"

(Save the Children
by Marvin Gaye)

Also referenced/related:
Space is the Place, directed by John Coney, 1974
Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization: The Age of Masked Gods and Disguised Kings, by Abdullah Öccalan, 2015
We are living our lives as though we are mad,” Amitav Ghosh, 2016
Maroon the Implacable, by Russell Maroon Shoatz, 2014
Manifesto of the Island of the Sun,” Evo Morales, 2012
The 500 Year Peace Plan,” Vinya Ariyaratne, 2000

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Manhattan Streets

by QMS

It seems that all these streets are paved
To hide from sight the bottomless graves
Of the hands that laid these stones
And the hands that defended their homes;
These towers soar over both sets of skulls and bones!
It seems the towers try to flee,
Seek refuge in infinities,
Climbing because they can't atone
For the sins of their foundation stones.
It seems we walk these streets so fast
Because we fear their silent past
Which lingers still around every stone
Laid by hand of skin and bone.
We close imagination tight,
And limit it to simple sight,
And so we rarely hear or feel
The ghosts beneath the pavement,
Real! And so we rarely touch or smell
The timeless tolling of the bell,
Resounding through the pavement stones
The silent song of skulls and bones,
Flying between the towers high,
History that does not die.

The cosmic conscience is resolved!
History shall be absolved. 

Let your imagination open,
Like one who has awoken,
And pause upon the pavement stones
And think about the skulls and bones,
And all the past we walk upon,
And of the earth to which we belong.
Those skulls and bones are the same as ours,
A difference of mere measurable hours --
Think of the hands that paved these streets,
Of the murderous history underneath,
Which buried its builders just the same,
Often the streets bear the murderers' name.

Be deafened not by misery,
But hear our absolution's plea:
Live with those who lie beneath,
We are as fish upon a reef.
Do not let their memory die,
We are as birds within the sky.


by QMS

From these city streets we'll steal
Hearts of iron, minds of steel,
And in a village garden tend
To seeds the soil will transform,
To hearts and minds from earth reborn,
Together in the green we'll grow,
Together in the garden tend
The child's birth, the empire's end.

Then from these village lanes we'll steer
Hearts of envy, minds of fear,
And in the city's furnace fuse
Ingots of a greater soul,
Elements of a wider whole,
Together in the flames we'll fly
Together in the city fuse
The damned of the earth and the sacred muse.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The origins of what we call madness

The origins of what we call madness:
the infinite potential, born beautiful
in every being, every balance of heartbeat and mind,
surging in every child.
The same excess that makes us
marvelous and remarkable, creative and kind,
sacred and silly, giving and glorious,
wild and wise and wonderful.
It is born in all of us, differently
and divergingly; the cosmic principle
burns more hotly in some than others.

In thousands of small actions and inactions
of fear, or envy, or pride, or regret, or repression,
the infinity of the individual is bordered,
channeled, corralled, enclosed,
this deemed necessary: to tame the wild
chance of being human, to domesticate
the danger of the child's beauty
(for in the beauty of every child is that plasma of infinity
which can turn the world upside down).
Dams are built, walls and towers constructed
to control the uncontrollable nature within us.
The forests of inspiration are clearcut by the chainsaws of instruction,
the oceans of prophecy are acidified by the hurricanes of profit-seeking,
the visionary deserts are paved with prefabricated virtues.
A system to bind the mind, a mirror of a system that binds the body.
When a storm strikes against the walls, they are reinforced, built higher,
the inner cosmos is confined at all costs,
so hearts and minds become the froth
in the surging waves, beating against their boundaries,
the child the patient the inmate is locked up deeper,
and the ledger of unlived life piles higher.
These are the origins of what we call madness,
surging the same as the stars and the springtime,
feared with reason in our winter of civilization's discontents.

by QMS, May 16, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Julian Spitzer RIP 25/1/2012

The line between life and death
is thinner than any hair
and deeper than any chasm,
as thin and deep
as the crescent moon he didn't see tonight,
and as close and far away.

If life and death are as one
as full and crescent moon
then all is well. But alas,
this is a thought I cannot believe.

He is gone. What remains
inside all who knew him
are his shadows
both bright and black,
and as close and as far away
as the ones on the crescent moon.

Folding and unfolding, eventually,
we will join him in the modular origami
of oblivion. 

by QMS

Monday, February 15, 2016

For the Glaciers


Who will speak for the glaciers?
Who will try to understand them?
They are not alive, but they are dying.

They are not mere rock and ice -- they move, they listen, they speak.
Let us try to understand them and learn from them,
Like the little bird we found awaiting the sunrise at 15,000 feet,
Like the insects which somehow find their way up there,
Like the leopard which climbed Kilimanjaro.

The perspectives of glaciers are not human or animal,
They know no pity or remorse. Their crevasses swallow souls like scree,
Yet without them, where would we find breath for our morals?

They are the greatest life givers,
Reservoirs for future flowers, fish, and every fiery passion –
When they are gone and the mountains are naked
Maybe then we will wonder about the wondrous ages of unmelting ice.
Maybe then we will understand their lifelessness as the cornerstone of our life.

When the rivers stop flowing,
Will the people make pilgrimage
Up through the long glacier graveyards?
Will the urbane civilization
Which fears, rejects or ignores what it cannot control and use and sell and
Convert to its comforts – will it pay its respects before it dies with them?

The future is scree:
Wastelands of scattered rocks left by avalanches.
I have seen it and walked along its growing edges.

While you sleep the glaciers melt,
By trickles and torrents preparing
A future more bleak and lifeless than the glacier,
Whose snows sparkle like stars,
Whose crevasses guard the most ancient secrets,
Whose movements sculpt horizons,
From whose lifelessness flows life,
From whose melting flows deaths,
Futures of scree and screaming,
Avalanches and then eternities of silence and stillness.

The future is scree and in avalanches, the biggest rocks come out on top --
There is no hope in this kind of apocalypse for the underdog.

So I am asking for your strongest emotion;
Your grief, your rage, your love, your fear, your readiness to sacrifice
For the dying glaciers, flowing swiftly to the ocean,
Never to return.

poem and photos by QMS 
Colombia, December 2015

Friday, January 15, 2016


Odzihozo, I recognize you for the first time
before a biting cold glorious sunset,
floating, doubled in reflection
above the still waters that dance like flames on the horizon
in the time of greetings, alamikos, the month of January.

Great transformer,
you created yourself from dust,
and then you created all this land,
a miracle without equal which goes on,
inside us and all around us.

And this lake and its nest
in these grand and gentle mountains,
the elders say you created this last,
your final masterpiece.

And now you rest,
reflecting forever
in your floating throne of rock
the sublime, serene, spontaneous spiraling
of the patterns still emerging from your original design.

Perhaps the famous battles caught your eye,
or perhaps not –
maybe the motions of the clouds
mean more, in the long run.

You must have sensed the plague,
the pestilence and poverty
which fell upon the peoples who first recognized you,
the centuries of conquest, ongoing.
Today you must sense the poisons
seeping from land to lake,
the acid in the rain,
the erosion of the shores,
the warming of the skies,
the sickness of the soils.

And yet you float upon and above
the churning liquid horizon,
and yet this lake is a shining jewel
precious to the preservation of all the world,
and yet your transformations bloom within us still,
calling us to dance and rest upon horizons,
to reflect ourselves over water and fire,
to be buoyant in bitter cold
for a beauty that burns like a sun within the soul.

I am writing this to you and to me and to others,
as a prayer and a poem,
as a message and a manifesto,
as prose and as a petition
for your recognition:
A reminder that you are watching,
not in judgment
(you are the transformer, not the redeemer or the revelator)
but in patience;
for the ultimate glory of your creation,
which is you,
which is us,
and all of this,
nestled in the mountains,
upon this lake once known as bitawbágw, now named Champlain
and this land once known as ndakinna, now named Vermont.

by QMS, January 2016