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Category: Inspirations, Thoughts to Ponder, Digging Deep

You´ll get there…

what’s that real voice i hear inside?
the one sneaking through all the other ones…
You´ll get there

when i am walking down the street, intense, in one of my
mentally deranged arguments with myself,
when i question if i am able to decipher that voice from the rest of the chatter,
i feel the words…
You´ll get there

wondering where that voice of Om went,
the same one that whispered to me many years ago,
getting me started on this journey
with the encouragement…
You´ll get there

and now that i am here,
with my ultimate manifestation at its peak,
i try again to hear it,
to remember how to feel grateful,
because it is too easy just to be grateful, just to say it,
And then suddenly it washes over me…
You´ll get there

and among the voices that recall
the nightmares i used to fear as a child,
bobbing alone in the middle of the endlessness of the ocean
and watching myself from miles up,
how small i was, how insignificant I felt on this earth,
it tells me as i lose my thoughts and spiral into habit…
You´ll get there

staring out at my red clay veranda
the crystal blue skyline of Aveiro in the background
me, here, somehow, at my glass desk, writing,
still searching,
still reminding myself, constantly…
You´ll get there

and then, suddenly, it emcompasses me
takes over all the other noise:
life, and all we do in it,
is not about where we are going
There is not a goal, a result, a destination
life is a process, here
living is the process, now
and just like that
once again
i am no longer striving to get there,
because I am already here

af

trust myself

From now on, i trust myself…

“You are stupid,” they would always say.
“Educate yourself before you open your mouth.”
So i read and asked questions
So i learned and learned and learned

“You think you are so smart,” they would then say.
“What have you ever done? Where have you ever gone?
You are all talk.”
So i left and traveled across countries, lived in the slums
So i started experiencing what life was elsewhere

“You are so righteous,” they would say to me then.
“You think you are better than me? You consume just the same.”
So i purged and purged, let go, released
So i began to live off of other´s garbage, their clothes and leftovers

“You are still a hypocrite,” they then lashed.
“How have you made the world better?”
So i dedicated my life to helping those my culture has destroyed
So i submerged myself in death, deformation, disease and desperation

“You are just angry, now, all of the time,” they condemned.
“Just be more like me. Let go. Take care of yourself.
So i found inner peace
So i learned to live in balance, serenity, agape

“Have you ever made a difference,” they then mocked me with.
“Will you ever make a difference?
Have you accomplished anything?”
So I decided, finally, once and for all, to bury
it all, them all, from my past, from my present, from my future
So now i sit here, in glorious, rich mourning,
grateful i am no longer one of any of them

So now i understand wisdom
So now i ignore the devil´s ignorance
So now i continue on my pilgrimage…

and from now on, i trust myself




af

the era of masks

I used to ask if there was a place for dreamers in this world,
if a literal poet can survive,
if anyone really cares and suffers as a result anymore?

Now i ask…
Has the era of the romantics really come to an end?
I sit on the front porch watching the rain,
live oaks drinking it all in before the summer droughts.
In the background, people coming and going coming and going.
We have figured out the game, hacked it
and now we are bored
coming and going.
Everyone has seen behind the curtain now
and so we have stopped believing in magic.

Those who claim happiness are delusional.
It is an ideal as dangerous as depression.
Happiness ignores the sad pain that wraps her arms around this world,
prevents us from feeling actual reality,
ignores the mix of hunger pangs, nausea, and marshmallows
all someone caught in the throat.

My life is not a movie, or a book, or a work of art.
My life is minutes through air and words on a page.
No one is going to see me, nor should.
No one is going to read this, nor should,
yet i have been conditioned since birth to be on display.
They forced my skin to be thick,
but the skin never heals the branding.
My scars are forever.

Allow me to hide in here, please.
With you, give me a home for this moment.
The world hurts too much.
Noise keeps coming from all sides and i talk and talk and talk
because it is the only way for me to not hear it all, feel it all.
I blast metal and chaos into my ears, as loud as I can,
trying to drown it all out,
the pain and the rhetoric and the righteousness.

Some of us just feel too much.
Some of us feel everything,
and are surrounded by suffering and hopelessness
and this false myth of happiness everyone is hopelessly suffering for.
I believed it all was going to change,
but the era of masks has outlasted the era of the romantic,
and us few empaths scattered among the masses of your society
are helpless against your onslaught;
We are alone throughout the night
hearing, listening to the weeping sobs seeping from our earth
feeling, like buried splinters, each and every out of tune frequency
knowing how to give what is needed
knowing only how to give, and never to receive.

We are a one way door with endless hands waiting to grab what they can from us…

We few bear the burden of the denial of those delusionally happy…

I understand that all of these sentiments might simply be
a passing feeling, a storm to weather,
but it really does seem we all work from home now
(The Era of Practicality)
and we are proud to be individuals
(The Death of Romanticism)
as i watch the sun rise behind the rain,
dreaming, absorbing, crying,
surrounded by walls of mirrors,
wondering too much, gripped to deeply,
typing away in the grey sadness that is “America”.




af

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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.

Common Sense

I am an adult.  All the people I associate with are adults.  Yet, I seemingly find myself in the most interesting situation of needing to explain common sense (with or without logic attached) to most of those adults that I am in frequent contact with.  It’s a phenomenon that completely confounds me.  Whether it be friends, ex-girlfriends, people I work with, it is always the same.  I’ll ask something, they will ask what it means, I explain it and they ask what it means.

“What I initially asked or the explanation of it?”

“Your explanation.”

“Well, my explanation was explaining my original question, which you didn’t understand.”

“Well, what was your original question?”

“First off, I just asked you it 26 seconds ago, so, surely you remember.  Second, regardless, you originally asked what the original question meant, so don’t bother worrying about the original question, just my explanation.”

“Well, what is your explanation?”

“I just told you my explanation right before this round robin of redundancy.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Redundancy?”

“No, I’m not an idiot.  What does that comment suppose to mean?”

“Well, if you know what redundancy means, than the comment should make sense.”

“Are you being an asshole?”

“No, I’m just trying to ask you one question and now, 3 minutes later, we’re talking in circles about nonsense.”

“Well, you don’t have to be sarcastic.  Just ask what you want to ask.”  “I Already Did!!!”

“Well, I don’t remember what you asked.  Ask me again.”

To which I usually answer, “Are you an adult?”

“What’s that suppose to mean?”

“You clearly are not an idiot, because we wouldn’t be friends.  Did I make a mistake?”

“In being friends with me or did you ask the wrong question?”

At which point I end up telling the person, “You’re a fucking idiot” and they get mad at me for being an asshole and giving them the run-around with all these ridiculous questions which, mind you, they have been asking ME.

Now, here’s where everyone (anyone) reading this will begin to hate me because, though I have no intention of stereotyping, I find myself usually having this type of a conversation (if you could call it that) with women.  I am not ragging on women, because I love women.  And, for some reason, I also subscribe to the theory that although men are the stronger of the sexes, women are the more intelligent.  Which then gets me thinking and makes me want to ask, “Women, do you just not listen to us or have I been wrong all along?”

I am being completely serious.  Men, on a whole, have such a negative perception of women.  Men look at women as sex objects, men look down on women and, being raised around women, I am always the first person to come to the defense of women.  But you make it so damn difficult sometimes.  Help me out.  Help yourself out.  Don’t go getting all pissy and defensive.  Take criticism, because I write this with honest and open intentions.  When I ask you a question, that question means EXACTLY what the words within the question, when put together, mean.

There is a quote from the movie AS GOOD AS IT GETS.  Jack Nicholson’s character is getting into an elevator at his agent’s and the receptionist stops him and asks, “How do you write women so well?”  He answers with, “I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.”  Maybe I  am just stubborn, but I have refused my entire life to believe that this statement is true and yet, example proves, time and again, that women are intent on proving that line right.  What’s the deal?  I’m on your side.  Just use your common sense, please…

Why I Left Facebook

We need, we consume and then we need again, in gluttonous amounts, until we are ill, worn down and putrid.  We then want someone else to fix it.  Personally, I am exhausted by need, my organs ache, my mind is filled with chaos.

There’s an old term that addicts refer to.  The Click.  It refers to not being settled or content until you consume enough to give you that feeling of settlement, of euphoria, of having enough.  It literally feels as if a click is set off inside of you allowing you to feel comfortable knowing that you have finally had enough.  Problem is, the more you consume, the longer it takes for that click to happen.  After a while, you pass out before it happens because you are just too far gone.

I have no major addictions in this life.  Still, most times, I feel so unsettled, waiting for that universal click of life; That moment when I receive all the clarity I need, that moment when I cross into bliss, into euphoria, and life never goes back to the troublesome questioning and frustration it often becomes.

Though not a monumental feat by any means, I have chosen to close my Facebook account and move on with my life.  For anyone who cares, here are my reasons why.

Tools like this site, and tools like the internet, are intended to be used to open our lives, to expand our worlds.  Trouble is, now that we have everything accessible at all times, our lives, as a result, have become smaller, more exclusive.  Based on the basic algorithms on which sites like Facebook and Google run on, websites often track what we like, what we focus on and rather than challenge us with new information relating to these interests, they feed us more of what it is we already know and believe in. The sites reassure us that we are correct.  When I finally (reluctantly) began using Facebook, it was such a cultural awakening for me.  Yet I have noticed over the past couple of years that I never really see the opinions of those I disagree with show up on my account, even though we clearly are still “friends”.  My world, as a result of this expansive technology, has become narrower.  I have chosen lazy comforts over mental expansion.

In plain terms, though, this site has served its purpose for me and now it is time to move on.  I was alive when life was much simpler (relatively speaking) and I realize now that most people who are more than two to three years younger than I will never have a concept of that type of life.  True, I was raised on computers, but the age of the internet brought changes to the world and brought with it access to a type of endless knowledge not seen since the Industrial Revolution.  Well, I, for one, miss the days of not knowing, I miss not being connected because being without made me more curious, made me strive more and made me earn what I know and have.  Now that everything and anything is all so readily available, life has become about consumption; More friends, one-liners of mostly useless information crammed into my mind, endless news, endless endlessness.  One of my favorite quotes is “We were so preoccupied as to whether or not we could that we never stopped to think about whether or not we should.”  I am over-saturated and ready to be empty once again.  After all, knowledge never made a man wise.

Why have we become so obsessed with being loved by everyone?  I learned at a young age that friends don’t come easily and the few that stick around as we age are the ones who transcend the thousands who pass through.  Those who we lose touch with over the years disappear because either or both sides took no interest in remaining in each other’s lives.  Over the last few years, I have reconnected with hundreds and hundreds of people and I, too, became obsessed with how expansive and important I assumed my life had become.  As a result of sites like Facebook, I have also personally seen most of the close friends with whom I had remained in contact with succumb to this now endless world of so-called community and acceptance.  We grew apart because they could not understand why I placed more value on our tangible friendship as opposed to the virtual ones that were more gratifying and equally less challenging to them.  A message replaced a conversation, a “like” replaced support and a funny picture replaced the human element of being present for the laughter and joy of a friend.  I realized that through sites like this, I have ceased living in reality.  I placed my trust in apparitions, and when I was in real human need, I often found my life was empty, void of real people.  What’s worse, I started doubting myself when times got really difficult and I could find no one offline to be there for me.

There’s yet another old saying, “We are the reflection we witness through the eyes of our friends.”  Facebook, and as a matter of fact, most social networking sites, is a community of self-glorification.  It is used to promote, ponder and proclaim all that is perfect and perpetually disastrous in our lives.   Say anything, and it is immediately condoned or condemned; sometimes both together.  There is no privacy, no personal space.  Therefore, over the years, an unconscious assumption is grown within the psyche that all thought is wanted, and that either justification or damnation is necessary for all thought.  Well, for me, this gives me a false notion of myself.  I have always been a very private person.  Facebook, however, runs completely counter to my belief of how I would like to live my life.  The basic principle behind it was to have a completely open and shared community online.  For someone of a private nature, this can be a dangerous path to trod down.  In 2008, an old friend finally convinced me to try the site, and I have since forced myself out of my shell.  The result of living counter to my instincts is that I have become dried & burnt, righteous & entitled, now finding myself floating in a dead sea that won’t allow me to swim to shore.  I want to get back to the quiet, reflective artist I once was.

Psychological and emotional rationale aside, there is one last reason why I am deciding to close my account.  In my quest for honesty and integrity, I have often rallied against hypocrisy.  Although it is inevitable at times, I try to make choices whenever I can to eliminate hypocritical actions within my own life.  As someone who has been a major critic of the financial system of this country, I cannot look past the fact that Facebook is currently involved in one of the largest insider trading scandals of the year, while being primarily underwritten by an institution, Goldman Sachs, that was one of a handful of companies responsible for the near collapse of the entire world financial system.  Facebook, now a public company and not shy about its corrupt privacy policies, has now become no better than the financial Wall Street filth I have long despised and protested against.  I have not supported Google for years now because of those same reasons.  It would be hypocritical of me to continue to support Facebook now.

The reasons are not perfect, but, they are my own.  Perhaps I am making a much bigger deal out of this than there needs to be.  I just see how much this one website has transformed the world, for good and bad, and I felt it was time that I address the issue.

I have had a lifetime of being surrounded by people (friends and family included) who would always choose their self-interest over my best interests; who would never grant me the respect of the standards they demand for themselves.  I suppose I don’t need an imaginary website to remind me of that daily.  I’m ready to get back to living a real life again.

 

anthony frisina