Mike Rot (Clever Beast)
Mike Rot (Clever Beast)
Mike Rot (Clever Beast)
I wrote a book, it’s worldly famous. It’s called Melancholics Anonymous. Below you will see my son reading it (Hayden calls it a “taut, tour de force ” – at least I think that is what he said)
Those of you following me will have seen much of the rough drafts that are herein polished and properly realized. There are pictures, poems, rants, prose all about and for melancholics. Not the romanticized genius nor ostracized lunatic of popular lore but a type far more common yet underrepresented. The character that, as if stirred from some biological revolt, flees the maddening crowds, compelled by what Max Pensky calls a “resigned interiority, brooding over the very conditions of the impossibility of action themselves.” I wrote this as a call out to the Bukowskis, the Pessoas, the underground men, and too, the Plaths, the Sextons, the adaptless women, in hopes to draw them out and, in the confines of a book, briefly forge a loneliness together.
Now most importantly: how to buy a copy or six…
It is published through Blurb so click the link: http://www.blurb.ca/b/3981803-melancholics-anonymous
You can purchase e-book versions for $4.99 and softcovers for a little more, and while the option for hardcover is listed, I don’t think it is necessary. I mean they look swell and all but, let’s be honest, this is no Tolstoy epic. Melancholics Anonymous is a kind of lean pamphlet manifesto (albeit a plump pamphlet at 92 pages!). Best to own it light and keep it handy in your back pocket for constant access. Finally, audio-books wherein I narrate the great adventure are extra and far too costly for the likes of you.
All proceeds go to the philanthropist fund, Leave No Blu-Ray Behind.
If you reblog and tag as melancholic or melancholy I would appreciate it.
Onto the new year and the new language.
Thanks to everyone for all the support, you have no idea what it means. It is a cruel world out there.
P.S. I’d rather be read than make money, if you are on the fence, curious but not sure you want to pay, just private message me, I am more than happy to send a free one to you (what can I say I am a lousy capitalist). Follow the link you can preview some of the book if you need more coaxing.
Or, I language myself into bondage. The found words worm their way into my mind, self-replicating a meaning thought to be there all along. A meaning that tightens a hold on my chest until I relent to its eloquence. A meaning that spreads like a simile. The wholeness of words are institutions-in-waiting, treatises, decrees, commandments. Or like the corpuscular fact of a suicide letter, solicited by the very flesh it promises to punctuate. I fear there is a case for blood in every prophecy.
I am not made for this world. This is not a threat, merely an observation. Whatever mechanism exists to keep the mind turning over, emptying and filling, and tackling each new problem without the weight of consciousness perpetually halting the means of production, whatever mechanism that is I am not in possession of it. Maybe none of us really have it, just some are better pretenders. I write a lot of about self-configuring and modular thinking and I speak from a place of longing. In university I wrote essays long before they were due; since discovering fundamental flaws in economic theory and resource shortages, I have taught myself how to garden and preserve food and exact an exit strategy. I did these things not because I am particularly keen and motivated, but out of an awareness of my shortcomings. To get a running start.
So why am I this way? I kind of wish I had some lurid tale to tell if only to have something to hold onto for myself - an explanation gives one a fighting chance to encircle and dominate that which hurts. I have no story. My mind works (sometimes too efficiently). Were I to console myself with heroics, I would liken this behavior to the Icarus myth. I could see the way others cope as a gift of ignorance, flying at such low altitudes. Or there is the old Thoreau chestnut, all people live lives of quiet desperation, and in that I could begin to feel normal. I don’t feel normal.
I have been good for years but the pressure has come back, not as bad as before, but each new time hurts more because it undermines everything I thought I had gained. The experience is fuzzy, I shut down, I lose interest in everything, I feel paranoid, lonely. The only plan of attack I can formalize is that I need to get ahead of it, that if I let this feeling steer I am done for. Most people, if confronted with this, would talk it out, have a good cry, and get over it. I feel like I need to make seismic changes just to be able to breathe easier. It is a struggle for me to claw back to being normal. I had a temporary drinking problem when I was younger but I never adhered to the adage: once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic… the liquid itself holds no power over me. But once a melancholic, always a melancholic, I do believe. For I let the darkness in once and it never left.
Ah yes, this is what it feels like to be down.
There is no pressure release and every decision, every path, feels equally devoid of possibility. You feel a fool for thinking otherwise, for knowing how to once walk the path. The mind clumps together and overpowers all marvel in the universe. The body rushes to heal a wound, but with the mind torn there is no such instinct, the ripped part flaps in the wind and the noise drowns out all calls. There is just this boat adrift, the thickness of life around it, a distant panic that this -despite all prior efforts- never really goes away. The lessening of obligations did not do it. The enchantment of parenthood did not do it. The rhetoric of seasons, while right in its own universe, has no meaning in this one.
The first to shore up is my ability to communicate. This is taken by some close to me as a tactic to spite them, to inflict pain. Oh were I thinking of anybody else to have such spite. To think of anything else at all.
The problem is not knowing how to proceed in the face of an unassailable hollowness. When you drain the significance from all things it becomes futile to respond, without meaning embodied whether fictitious or genuine, it ceases to be a matter of choices, of strategies. You just wait for the moment to pass. Wait for meaning to spill back in as mysteriously as it left. The universe breathing in and out through you. The thingness of being, felt.
Living with the threat of quicksand, it is always there waiting, the absurdity we must reconcile. An agile mind can dance around it frequently enough so as to not feel paralyzed by this inching up of reality. It is the one thing that ought to be taught, or rather arrived at by undoing the habits formed through the caked-on negligence of present day cultural drift. We must reclaim the individual and the power of belief, to smash all belief-structures, and not just the easy ones like those of ghosts and angels, but of the firmer kind, the still revered kind, the kind of angles and probabilities and assertions of power and fair play. There are always going to be transitions, the vulnerable stitches of life caught between make-believes, where the emptiness of all positions seeps in. In one respect this is a good thing, the habit unstuck, we are allowed to start again and pleasure in the renewal. I have experienced the reboot more times than I can count, and at first it is hard to swallow, things feel senseless and small but before long I feel full of new air and buoyant because of it. If one clings too astutely to the importance of identity, that one is valued according to how resolute this identity remains in the face of all obstacles, if one adheres to any philosophy too passionately, this rebooting, which I come to think of as natural as bowel movements, will wound more than it should. There is no shame in being absurd unless you hold fast to that idea.
The strange confluence of these moments make for some interesting experiences. One dreads them, longs to be free of them, but at the same time they bring with them the opportunity to start again fresher, they reaffirm the virtue of play and distilling life to what you want without being dependent on some outward system to measure up to. Without God, without peers, without the authority of ideas, you are left to your own devices, and in that comes the dread, the dread of having to be responsible for your own happiness. But when you see that clearly, see the happiness as yours (at least for awhile, for nothing lasts) than you may let go with every morsel of your being and delight in the life you got. Nobody really wants anything forever, it is an absurdity of the mind, a damnable tic made up by advertisers to sell product. The fleeting is more enjoyable, the threat of losing it all gives it value. The reboot is your salvation. Feel the dread, the sadness, the loneliness, the absurdity of everything, knowing it too is fleeting, and the possibilities are endless if you give it a chance.
Where I lived when it all went down, Beaches, 1996.
[probably the ugliest poem I have written, 1996]
feeling too much i don’t want the world
i guess i want your love but like that it sounds
viciously plain. i don’t want to be a part of this
program. i love you. i’m like a pathetic animal
a mongrel. i need you, more than you.
i can’t breathe, no time to hide my eyes.
this world is crumbling, inside out, peeling back
layers of lies only to find more, to rise above
clouds only to see the tops of clouds
i don’t want to die. apathy is looking good.
somewhere stepped through a dream coated
in slime. i am waste.
i don’t want to die stop bringing that up
this has nothing to do with other people’s
solutions. this is love. its coming out everywhere
i want to hold you. everything could be better
if you were here. i need to be healed and now
i’m asking, now i’m saying i need help.
small problems the world gathered up left for me.
day makes me sick. carpets. numbskin. womb.
moisture. mist. i hate pictures of places i want to be.
silly people not people, not solid people. they hurt me.
i don’t want this tired routine, hamster wheel. voice byte.
i can’t be what you want. what do i want?
i want to be saved.
[and a poem closer to my own depression, less eloquent, but fisted out all the same]
thought i’d just leave
as if the wall was any invitation
as if the carpet hadn’t stained
thought i would just relieve the passengers
in relieving me
i just want to disappear
lying here, on the pier
why can’t i just disappear?
instead i am left with a sour hate
in knowing of the film creasing on my skin
in knowing of the debts scabbing up my knees
nature’s way has orphaned me
inside a revolving door
i feel your eyes on me
not always when you are near
you’re like a proud carpenter
carving out new veins
but i need more than veins!
softly you leave your impression
giving me a minute to fake a reply
swallowed a lullaby
your suicide excites me
i’m crippled on forever
c’mon baby it’s now or never
let’s just disappear
[a poem I wrote in the late nineties, about a suicide of someone I had never met but whose act triggered something I needed to get out]
In your mouth
a comment of
all spaces I have rent
For how many years
when we realize
it was unnecessary to even hold a conversation
with me. To love me, the fingerprints
are left everywhere you touched me
and I was beautiful.
I cry when I know my name is yours
that for how many summers
I was yours
But I am not so beautiful anymore
now wombed in my mother’s kitchen drawer
tangled up in
sucking on the knives
as if impaled on you.
I’m more vampire than any daughter
than any priest, teacher or father
ever knew. Perhaps they will never know
What a calendar means to me
a classroom clock
a daydream, in the absence of ambition.
For how many times must I play with surivivors
and come out the same?
I only wish I had your talent
your lovely choice of words
that can make us sound so
[a poem I wrote in 1996]
in my room
a patient, undressed
i step into the morning
calmed by the emissions i ingest
!a shard of love forcing out before i can even pretend
this is your nightmare:
(the cathedrals, like a lunatic, i wet)
i’m behaving more like a habit each day
and who has the patience to worship me?
made of sticks and paper the offerings
all costs of an imaginary life
all possibilities made weightless like a crown.
i’m 20, with no vaccine.
i stay awake
long enough to consider sleep
1 second before the child has been realized i
detonate a worse fear:
A planet static
pixels of me
You with me?