Anthony Frisina's Blog

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we reap what we sow

The lady who runs the cafe down the street asked me during one of our conversations about alternative ways of living and my preference for voyeurism when it comes to this particular collapse of western society, “…but don’t you ever feel guilty for not doing anything?”  I appreciate her because she is honest, and curious.

“I do not because what is happening cannot be stopped.  I look at the world historically, not presently.  This collapse needs to happen because it is what the people have chosen.  Remember, not all choices are conscious.  Most choice we make daily are simply habit.  And, because it is what we all have chosen, have sown, whether we want it or not, it is what we will reap, it is what we need.”

To me, the gun debate we are having is a trite exercise of our limited will to demand change.

To me, the presidential nominating process could not have chosen two more picture perfect candidates for which to portray in total exactitude the modern day teams of the “left” and the “right”.

To me, the terrorism argument is utterly and abhorrently riddled with hypocrisy among our obsessions with what it means to be at war and peace.

To me, anytime anyone says, “How did this happen?” or, even worse, “I cannot believe that this happened!”, it furthers the notion of our willful ignorance by believing that all things in this world are a result of random factors rather than a blatantly predictable circumstance due to every single decision we have ever made, whether singularly or collectively.

Tightening OR loosening gun laws will not end the deaths.  Other major countries have more guns per capita than the States and they do not use them to kill each other.  It is not about guns, it is about the accepted hatred and suspicion of each other, it is about locking ourselves inside out houses with our televisions and our safety and our comfort and fearing everything outside of those doors.  It is about the glory a killing receives, the media, the movies, the restructuring of our entire legal and constitutional system because of the actions of one, single person.  It is about a medicated species who has intentionally, deliberately rewired its own brain without accepting the consequences of doing so.  It is not about guns.  It is about the vitriol we have for each other; and, somewhere deep, for ourselves.  Guns make for great headlines.  Guns make for great TV.  Guns get our adrenaline going, then gives all sides a voice and an outlet for our rage.

I sit in the corner and watch it all collapse because why should I help something I do not want?  I didn’t prescribe to the hatred, to the righteousness, to the greed.  I do not prescribe to the above.  I was born into it, beat into it, spent my entire youth memorizing the patriotism.  I was fed credit cards and student loans and by 18, I was completely obligated to this standard of life, this system.

I have asked the questions and I have seen the answers for myself.

So, I watch it, as I would watch a building collapse.  No amount of effort by any amount of people can hold up a stone civilization once gravity has taken her command on it.  But the sight of it is, in a literal sense, awesome, and quite rare, especially if this is the generation’s-long process of creating a new world order or the rapid natural selection of the human extinction.

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Who We Americans Really Are…

 

I am not one who thinks favorably of voting in the traditional sense on a national scale.  For many years, I have felt that it is a waste of energy, excitement and effort in this particular country given the structure regarding voting.  In my country, our vote does not count, never really has and most likely never really will.  We are not a direct democracy.  I can argue the semantics of that statement with anyone (and I know that I am right) but, there is no point to do so.  The reason I say there is no point is the very same reason I am writing this at this moment.  The reason is because we the people are helpless and will hold onto any belief that makes us feel that we matter, so we refuse to accept otherwise.

I was discussing this with a friend, expressing my disappointment in the rise of Hillary Clinton, and in the sad ignorance of the liberal minded, the cowardice of the libertarian and the inaction of the anarchist.  “This is a political revolution,” is what I have been hearing from people who are in support of Bernie Sanders, but, all this “revolution” really has become is a match that sparks but never lights.  It’s a tale as old as time.

Then a good friend says to me, “The closest thing to a real revolution right now is Trump.”  Because of my disdain for Donald Trump,  I initially disagreed with that statement, but the next comment he said changed my mind.  “He is almost the perfect representation of the American society: Greedy, disconnected, self-interested and shallow.”

The revolution we may want (we being the fiscally-conservative-socially-liberal) is not the revolution we have because the revolution we want takes work, investment and above all, personal sacrifice.

Trump and Sanders are the so-called “outsiders” representing the bookends of the two sides of our personality.  They are supposed to be upending the government to bring about the country that we have wanted, not the one we have had to live with for all of these decades.  However, Trump is clearly going to win the nomination and most likely the presidency; Sanders’ match is refusing to light.  I thought about my belief in voting and my friend’s deduction of Trump and that is when I realized that perhaps I am not entirely correct, because he is absolutely correct:  Washington IS a representation of we the people, and Washington is an indictment of our laziness, of our lack of self-sacrifice, of our passionate and willful ignorance. THAT is what Trump’s revolution represents, taking the veil off of Washington as an entity of parental responsibility, breaking down the courtesy of politics and exposing the reality of what people in the United States are truly willing to work for (or not work for).  The rise and popularity of the popularity of Hilary Clinton is no different, and someone like Bernie Sanders might inspire, but ultimately will not endure.

Ideologically, most humans can simplistically be placed within the categories of the selfish, the selfless  or the apathetic.  The fact that a man like Donald Trump is much more popular than anyone else in this election cycle is truly representative of the majority of the people he will be representing (even if it IS a slight one).  The selfless are too few in number and the apathetic only bolster that “self-interested, shallow, greedy disconnection” that the modern-day American has come to embrace and become.  Our vote does not matter because, for whatever valid reason we might give, we are never willing to dedicate all the energy and resources of our lives to work to support that vote.  Simply speaking, we are not willing to be the change we wish to see in this world.

Of the people. By the people.  For the people.  When you look at this election, understanding who The People are is quite clear.

 

 

af

a different perspective

Today, three lives ended, dozens more were maimed and thousands were changed.  I read the news and everyone proclaims such shock at unspeakable horrors; Click onto Facebook.com and endless statuses are speechless, except for the thought of “how could this happen” or “why would someone do this”.  I sat on the train as the news broke and all I heard was cliché after cliché, catchlines of disbelief, astonishments of vain suffering

It is so difficult to be an honest voice in a moment of tragedy.   Because, when I hear about a Boston marathon, a Newtown senselessness, a September eleventh catastrophe, I don’t wallow in the pity of the subtle suffering of American tragedies, I immediately force myself to think in realms of global perspective.  Because I think that it is sweet that when a few of our own die, the viral nation comes together in mock solidarity against unspeakable atrocities, but the truth is that our fallen are but a microcosm of the realities facing a world we so easily exploit yet take no responsibility for.

Today:  Fifty-five killed, 300+ injured in a series of explosions.  Forty civilians killed in targeted attacks by a corrupt government.  At least twenty-nine dead and fifty-eight injured in one suicide blast.  Twenty-five children dead in targeted air and chemical attacks.  Thirty-seven killed and hundreds injured in yet another earthquake.

The numbers above are only a small amount of those taken daily around this world yet only today do I hear sorrow on the tongues of those who are crying and hearthbroken over three individuals who share the burden of the rest of the world.

I do not condone nor make light of the events that occurred hours from my hometown, in a city I have often visited and often loved.  But what I do condemn is the shock and disbelief of a righteous people who habitually acknowledge only that which occurs at the tip of their nose yet hold no true regard for the lives taken as a result of that righteousness, as a result of the greedy necessity of our comforts.

Personally, I am neither surprised nor distressed about the events of today, though I am saddened.  But, most of all, I am angry…in a complex way that I cannot seem to comprehend.  Any senseless loss of life is just that…senseless, and stupid.  What I cannot understand, and what I fear I might never will, is how can the people of this nation claim to bleed such compassion towards humanity and the atrocities of our commonplace habits yet often know nothing about and care nothing about the real perils the bulk of mankind must live with daily at our expense, at the expense of our luxuries and greed, of our obtuse obsessions?

What truly bothers me about the events in Boston today is how we could, still, be so collectively ignorant to our hypocrisy.

ART, NOT DEBT is Launched!!!

Hi there everyone.  So, I would like to believe at least one of you has been wondering where I am and why I have not posted in a while.  Well, I have been working on a new project called ART, NOT DEBT.

It started like this.  Years ago, I was watching a football game and thought, If 1/3 of the people there gave me one dollar, I’d be debt free.  After years of not having the nerve to start asking people for a buck, a really close friend of mine pushed me over the edge where logic meets insanity.

$15,000 in debt; 15,000 people; 15,000 poems.

That’s right.  I am asking you for one dollar.  And, in the realm of paying it forward and re-creating a world where art and not commerce is our major influence, I will dedicate my life for the next few years to doing the most soul-satisfying thing I do…Writing Poetry.

$1.  That’s it.  Won’t you help??

http://www.artnotdebt.com

http://www.facebook.com/artnotdebt

 

THANKS and See Ya Soon

Anthony

Coming Soon…

Hey everyone,

 
Just wanted to drop a quick blurb to let you know the reason I have not posted in a while is because I am working on a crazy new social experiment.  I will be launching it within the next month or so (and will still try to post some old poems now and then here) so hang tight…

So, until then, scroll  down to read some of my thoughts and poems, feel free to comment and drop me notes and I will be back shortly to let you know about what insane wackiness I’m working on next.

 
Anthony

 

My Mountains

I always seem to convince myself that my resources are tapped.

I always know I am great

I just believe I am empty.

I often find the courage,

it’s the confidence that seems to hide.

So, I tend to do what’s necessary…

trust in the simple fact

that life just keeps on going…

it’s been here before

it will be here after

one step in front of the other

when eventually, moments arise

moments when I am out of body

moments when I am away from home

far from my country

wandering strange mountains trying to befriend strange people

Read the rest of this entry »

Farewell Poem (23 July 11)

It seems that all the ghosts are coming out for a haunting…

The chaos is creating pressure

testing us for what we stand for

and we are crumbling;

I am running

you are pushing

and it feels like everyone else is just laughing.

 

We are both stranger than truth

but we seem not to care;

no effort to hang on.

 

We used to be romantics and dreamers…

When did we make love a consolation prize?

 

I’ll be flying over this great country soon

not knowing where I’ll be going

preferring to remain ignorant about some things.

I know another adventure is beginning

and I wish you were going

because somewhere over the past year

we both offered up our selfishness for unity

combining our energy to experience life rather than society;

to climb low and fall high and fly right beside God’s endless land.

 

I have seen my dreams and I miss making them real;

they become a burden when held in only two arms

and I suppose that is why we live…

but how sweet it would have been

if you were willing to trust

and stuck by me

along side me

and chose life over labor.

 

 

af

i remember

I remember the way it was

I remember feeling like I did not matter

I remember becoming a number

 

I remember that day

I remember all of the days

I remember the arrogance

I remember the smirk

I remember the proof

I remember we the people not caring

 

I remember the smoke

I remember the anger

I remember the loathing

I remember the hatred

I remember the world pleading for unity

I remember the defiance, the solitude

I remember the lack of remorse

I remember, over and over, “with us or against us”

I remember the disgrace

I remember the declaration

I remember the pictures

I remember the lies

I remember the second declaration

I remember pitting citizen against citizen

 

I remember the closed door, the back door

I remember the surveillance

I remember bill after bill stripping my rights naked

I remember the scandals

I remember the torture

I remember the division

I remember the collapse

 

I remember the acceptance of social sin for the safety of the voter

 

I remember schools getting packed

I remember jobs being lost

I remember bombs being made

 

I remember staring at the blank television screen where the coffins draped with American flags should have been.

 

I remember zero sense of sacrifice

I remember never being asked

I remember being encouraged not to

 

When you ask me about my bias and my scorn…

When you mock me for being too angry in this life…

When you question my honor and my motives…

When you remind me that it is all in the past…

When you scold me for recalling that past…

 

I remember

 

I remember the cowardice of this citizenry

I remember no accountability for our current condition

I remember the people of the republic accepting no responsibility

 

Take off the masks

Understand why

Question instead of answer

 

Until that time

I will keep remembering

I will hold strong to my beliefs

 

I was there…

I remember

 

af

 

a short one-act

ONE

The “Devils on Horseback” arrived.  One of the first things I read this morning when I woke and bought a paper.  Generally I skip past this part.  It’s been happening for so long that it’s always going to be there, so tomorrow I’ll check it out.  They’ll be something about it tomorrow.

Of course I’m concerned.  Of course I care.  And I plan on doing something about it…to help in some way (give a donation, maybe volunteer, have a fundraiser).  You know what I would love to do?  To get out and travel too?  Save up some money, raise some also (it’s for a good cause), and go there for a couple of weeks.  Go there, join some organization, and get hands on.  It’s time that I do something about it.  No one else is.

When, though?  When?  I guess in the Spring I can do without work for a few weeks.  That just means I have a lot of work to do now to cover my ass when I’m gone…bill-wise and stuff.  Shit, that’s a lot of money, though.  I know, I know.  Let me get some research done.  In the meantime.  Start reading up, talk, organize a group…Just need to…Just need to smoke first…

TWO

Now why are you getting so hard on yourself that you are smoking right now?  That you did?  You keep on saying, “Well, I would do that if I didn’t smoke.  I am a hypocrite, I am this, I am that.”  But right at this moment you are sitting at your computer writing thought after thought…CREATING, right now at this moment, and you turn it into something that is evil, complacent…Find excuses why it isn’t good enough and why you should quit because of your family or your brother, or these girls you don’t want to date or this or that.  THAT is the hypocrite, my friend.  THAT is the one in your mind.  Not you, not you soul, this little monster you’ve created in your mind that keeps on telling you it’s bad it’s bad it’s bad…Is it bad?   It is not bad and you better shut that pruned fucking face up right quick before we are getting it on.  That’s right, little white boy can get Miss Harlem Ghetto on your ass too.  Cause we building an army too, and no matter what, we are winning.  We got a lifetime ahead of us and we are winning. Do you mind that?

THREE

We are the controllers of our own destiny.  We are the people responsible for the other people in the world.  We are to hold ourselves highest and understand that each and everybody else is doing the same.  I am not the center of the world…I am a part of it.

These thoughts are not unique.  These words are not original.  The motivations, the insults, the ignorance, the education, the dreaming…we’ve all heard them, known them.

That’s not what this is about.  This is…

Today I went searching through magazines I have, papers I’ve saved, the news fresh off the press.  This is about us living so far in our worlds that we have lost the sight to see that we are nothing, our struggles are nothing in comparison to what our lifestyles are creating in places that, to us, are merely recycled paper.

FOUR

“When the [Devil’s on] horseback arrived…Jidah Zakaria had no where to go…SO the 80-plus-year-old woman remained inside her hut and prayed [they] would overlook her.  They Didn’t.  Zakaria’s straw hut was torched while she was still inside.  In an instant, the burning structure collapsed on top of her, searing the flesh off of her arms, legs and back.”  (Rich Schapiro, NY Daily News, 16 Dec 06)

I picked up a magazine with a famous funny-man on the cover and back on page 342 of 363 pages, there is an article about one block, in a torn city down south, that hasn’t changed on bit in well over a year.  There’s another magazine with pictures of that same town, same area, a year ago and discussions about them and still, there is nothing, NOTHING different about this amazing little village.  The consistency in their lives are amazing…praiseworthy.  Then again, it’s easy to be consistent when you have no home, no faith, no hope.

THREE

We are the controllers of our own destiny.

TWO

Now, why are you getting so hard on yourself.

ONE

Of course I’m concerned.  Of course I care.  It’s just…

FOUR

Something.  It’s always something.

XTRA

You need to take care of yourself…It has to be about you first.

FOUR

 Always something.

TWO

Enough to make us ignore that we are not the center of the world…only part of it.

one year ago, today

One year ago today, I moved back to New York.  Three hundred and sixty six days later, I still do not know if I left my life or began running towards a new one, both statements being equally hyperbolic; It is impossible to leave part of one’s life behind because it will always be engrained in the memory, in the emotions and every decision and moment are permanently attached to time in order for life to continue pushing it all forward.  Same goes for starting a new one.

Last year on this exact day and around the same exact time as I am writing this, I sat across a table from the most beautiful woman I have ever known.  We shared breakfast together.  We tried to talk and it all ended up as small talk.  It was very difficult to breathe the entire morning.  I ate and felt more sick with every bite.  I stared, during the drive there, all during the meal, on the drive across the street then standing outside of the airport as I stood there with my bags ready to leave her.  I finally smelled her hair one last time as I grabbed her and almost crushed her with my embrace.  Then I turned around and walked.  I had to just go.

Last year for my birthday, I was on the beach with her all day.  It was simple and perfect.  She was the only person I talked with, the only person I saw and my life consisted of myself, her and whatever was a part of us at that moment.

Then I blinked, took a breath, got scared; One entire year now gone. For the past year, most of the moments that have filled my life have been moments of want, whether it be for a job, a reason, a purpose, love, companionship or answers.  I have wanted.

I often get annoyed with people who say that it doesn’t matter where I am but who I am inside.  I do not agree.  I believe that where I am is often a reflection of who I am inside.  I am here in New York because I have been too scared to stand on my own and accept that sometimes, good things end.  I have seen a year flash by as fast as a day because I have wanted, because I have had and am now without and refuse to let go.  I am here because I left my life in LA to come back to the life I had originally left to go there, and now I have two to contend with.  I came back here because I dove back into the trash to find the diamonds I lost, and I am afraid they are gone.  And it all keeps moving forward.

There was a time when I lived here and New York City was something else to me.  It was friends, it was the theater.  It was expression.  It was an endless family with the rest of them close by.  It was thirty years of all I knew, thirty years of development, of ideals, of education, of experience, of the entire colorful scale of emotion a human being acquires and lives through.

I find myself stuck now.  Stuck within rhetoric, stuck in fear, stuck with the reality of mortality and the want for either something more or something different.  I am stuck with ghosts, memories and the hindsight of what could have been done with second chances.  I am running in place fueling a machine that I do not believe in but I do not want to break free from it alone.

I know what is out there.  I know the endless nature, the bottomless quantities of cultures, the perfection of life just outside the traps of society; I have experienced a lot of it.

It’s been a year, and that’s all the time a person needs to give up and give in.  That’s more than enough time for the weak to succumb or the vulnerable to be broken.  I know, somewhere deep, that the time I needed for closure is nearing its end, that it is time for me to leave this place that now has nothing to offer me on a life path I once pursued and desire to get back on once again.  A wanderer, a journeyman, must continue moving.  When I tasted the food in Italy, it paralyzed me, but I eventually left.  When I swam in the middle of that pristine lake in El Salvador, I swore I’d float there for years, but I got on the plane to leave.  A year later, the smell of her hair still infects me, but I must learn to take it with me.  I must find a way for it to not strap my feet to the ground but to lift me up onto the wind to float me around once more.

I don’t know where I need to go to next, but, I never really did.  And I have the confidence and ignorance to not ask why or how.