For the Stalkers ūüíč

Let everything that’s been planned come true. Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions. Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy, but just the friction between their souls and the outside world. And most important, let them believe in themselves. Let them be helpless like children, because weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible. When he dies, he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it’s tender and pliant. But when it’s dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.¬† Andrei Tarkovsky

Stalker_poster

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Love and Happiness,

Jloz

Navy Sky

The moon was a perfect sliver in the Navy Sky
As I look up for a moment 
My hands release my head
I'm dizzy. Spinning. 
I look back down and sob
into my hands
as my tears drip softly down to the ground 
thru my long fingers
making little puddles next to my shoes.
I made a mistake
I made a mistake
I am in pain
So I drink
and I drink 
and I drink
and think about what I've done
Over and over like a spinning wheel
I can't stop
Thinking
Thinking
Thinking
I am melting into this bench
wishing I could be this bench
so I don't have to be human ever again.
It seems I never learn
My heart burns
My stomach churns 
and hell returns to me like an old friend who is 
softly tapping me on the shoulder
and whispering in my ear
sweet nothings 
of what could have been.
How sad. 





 

 

 

Barbed Wire Soul

You know as I continue to watch this ridiculous political race unfold in front of my eyes and continue to watch the way the world is going I  continue to kind of scratch my head and say why?  Why?  You know growing up,  I always kind of felt like when everyone else was admiring someone I was the only one admiring the other guy. I never liked the role models my friends liked;  I was different that way. But there was a underlining thread in my role models. they were usually  honest, had integrity and they were usually the underdogs. I feel the same way now.

‚ÄúIf there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg. Why? Because each of us is an egg, a unique soul enclosed in a fragile egg. Each of us is confronting a high wall. The high wall is the system which forces us to do the things we would not ordinarily see fit to do as individuals . . . We are all human beings, individuals, fragile eggs. We have no hope against the wall: it’s too high, too dark, too cold. To fight the wall, we must join our souls together for warmth, strength. We must not let the system control us — create who we are. It is we who created the system. (Jerusalem Prize acceptance speech, JERUSALEM POST, Feb. 15, 2009)‚ÄĚI look at what¬†America¬†puts on a pedestal. It seems like we want¬†shallow, we want liars, we want vacant. I don’t get it. I have to be honest, I felt hope with Barack Obama. I thought it was a step in the right direction. I still feel that way. I think¬†OUR country needed Barack and Michele and I think the African-American¬†citizens¬†¬†needed Barack and Michele. Why are we going backwards?

Why is this country so shallow? Why is this country so ready to praise the Kardashians and all this nonsensical reality stars or the Trumps of the world. Why are they media’s sweethearts? And nothing against the Kardashians but why are these people even in demand. I don’t get it. Why is the media talking about the Kardashians every day? Big Business? ¬†Why is Trump in a presidential race.? He is a known racist and misogynist. He isn’t good, he isn’t a leader.¬†Why would¬†ANY woman VOTE¬†for that?¬†I know the world is corrupt but the people of this country could make a difference. Why are we dumbing down our country. I mean I guess our country is probably the most informed it has ever been because of the ability to share information so quickly and wide spread so I get that. But why is the media feeding us such bullshit. I feel like we are the watered down USA.¬†It reminds me of when the waitress in you local diner waters down the catsup¬† and thinks no one notices.

So as I was watching the debate I kept thinking of something I read a while back. One of my favorite movies is HUD, with Paul Newman. This was one of the few times Paul played a really bad guy. No Morals. The tag line was A man with the barbed wire soul. Melvyn Douglas played his father.

paul_newman_and_melvyn_douglas_hud

I will never forget what Melvyn Douglas said to his son. It was heartbreaking but it was memorable. https://youtu.be/1gVa4FAikBghttps

You don’t care about people Hud. You don’t give a damn about ’em. Oh, you got all that charm goin’ for ya. And it makes the youngsters want to be like ya. That’s the shame of it because you don’t value anything. You don’t respect nothing. You keep no check on your appetites at all. You live just for yourself. And that makes you not fit to live with.¬†

Little by little the look of the country changes because of the men we admire. You’re just going to have to make up your own mind one day about what’s right and wrong. — Homer Bannon.

Sounds Familiar. Why do we continue to put the bad guys on a pedestal? Why do we continue to admire them?

Even Paul Newman was surprised that so many young¬†men had posters of Hud in their rooms after the movie came out. He¬†couldn’t ¬†understand the admiration¬†HUD received¬† from the movie goers.¬† He actually was quite spooked by it.Why would they love a guy¬†that was a cad, a narcissist, a Liar,¬†dishonest and a rapist! Paul Newman said he didn’t like it at all. It was unsettling to him.

Even in the Movie Midnight Cowboy Jon Voight had a picture of Hud Bannon in his room.He was admiring himself in the mirror with Hud as inspiration. Maybe that was a telling scene since Jon Voight continues to endorse and side with Trump. Hmm.

Anyhow it always stuck with me. Little by little the country changes because of the men we admire. Still rings true.

1969-midnight-cowboy-02

hud

Two Women in Town

The other night I stopped to get some beverages at the local convenience store and two women decided that they wanted to start a fight with me.¬†They kind of parked behind me and waited for me to come out so they could start some stuff. Whatever.¬†They said something to me and¬†seriously I was like really, were doing this?¬† I didn’t fight back, I blew it off but I wasn’t in the mood for their ¬†bullshit. ¬†I have never done anything cruel to anyone in my hometown but for some reason there is some serious hate coming my way. It is fine…I can handle it but you have to wonder why?

Now these two women didn’t say much but it was¬†more about¬†the way they insulted me¬† ..¬†like they actually knew me. I didn’t know them. How dare them!. My anger grew as the night went on. Then I thought to myself how easy it would be to fight back and just maybe make a tragic mistake that could affect me and them for the rest our lives. That’s how it happens. It can be that quick. I am not a confrontational person and I am a non-violent person. I know myself. But they better watch out because you can start a fight with the wrong¬†person and well..you never know. You here about Road rage all the time.

I always wondered how someone could get to that point where they would actually cross that line.  I would never kill anything or anyone but the anger I felt in that minute gave me the insight, I mean I would never hurt anyone intentionally,  I will always take the highroad and walk away but I am ashamed to say I fantasized about taking a knife and stabbing those two women in the neck.

Now it was just a harmless fantasy but it made me think about people and  how someone could lose themselves if enough shit happens to them over their lifetime. I remember thinking that no matter how hard I tried or how kind I was to people bad things kept happening to me.

Now there is a lot of great stuff happening too so I am so grateful for that.  I have now learned how to ignore the negative stuff and will not let it affect me anymore. My hard work has paid off and I know I am where I want to be. I was angry but I let it go fast.

I refuse to let it affect me anymore.

Every time I watch Dateline I sit there and wonder ..how the hell could she kill her husband like that or how could he kill his best friend like that? You know, it was always inconceivable for me.

I’ve thought about this often. It fascinates me and frightens me at the same time. The human condition I guess and how easily a life can change over one bad decision.

After I saw Eugene Oneill’s Play, Hughie, on Broadway¬†I was reminded how much I love his work. I was always attracted to his¬†plays because he wrote about people on the edge. The depressed, the addicted , the night people. The darkness of his work and the darkness¬†of his own life always kept my interest. I went back and read some of his plays recently.¬†I re-read¬†his most popular play Long’s Day’s Journey into Night.¬† I even love that title and completely understand it.. There was a quote in that movie that I was familiar with but I think for the first time I really understood it to the fullest of its meaning.

‚ÄúNone of us can help the things life has done to us. They‚Äôre done before you realize it, and once they‚Äôre done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you‚Äôd like to be, and you‚Äôve lost your true self forever.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night¬†¬†¬†

The saddest 48 words ever¬†spoke in my opinion¬†…. but nothing could be truer. I know this happens to a lot of¬†people and they have no idea how it happened.¬†It’s like a rolling avalanche, once it starts moving you can’t stop it and it keeps destroying¬†everything¬†in its path. That very thing almost happened to me; losing yourself forever;¬†but¬†a little luck, strength, resilience and resistance¬†was the key for me and so I was saved. I remember thinking how did I get here? This isn’t who I am.¬†For some there is a turning point and they are saved, for others there is a turning point of no return. My heart breaks¬†for the latter.

I understand how easy it is to end up there.  The unfortunates in the world, prone to addiction or mental illness or violence or bad luck.

Maybe they were born poor or have no family. Maybe they were abused and cast out into the night. Maybe they just made one bad decision. Maybe they trusted the wrong person. Some people have to pay for that one bad decision for the rest of their life.

That breaks my heart. I can’t help but think about them. It reminds me of a movie¬† I love called¬†Two Men In Town.

It takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I think it’s a great movie with a powerful message. Forest Whitaker and Harvey Keitel are reunited again in this film, whenever they work together poetry happens.

I loved them both in the movie Smoke. Harvey Keitel was a¬†cigar shop owner and a Poet in his spare time. He took a¬†photograph of the corner where his store was located¬†every day at the exact same time of the day, every day. ¬†He¬†kept a photo album of his life’s work. I loved that. So Poetic. Great Movie.

Anyway in Two Men in Town Forest’s character (William Garnet) was a murderer who got out of prison after 18 years of serving his¬†sentence.

He was¬†model inmate that tried very hard to control his anger and become a peaceful person. Forest Whitaker was incredible in this movie by the way. I saw it when it first came out but watched it again¬†recently….a few times. I know I’m a super fan but no one can deny the brilliance of his performance in this movie. There was also this bad ass parole officer¬†Emily Smith…I loved her in this film. Imagine this scene..so she sits listening to¬†I think , Edith Piaf, ¬†¬†while cleaning her guns in the desert night under the stars. That was probably a nod to the French Director; Rachid Bouchareb¬†in this movie.

That scene sets the precedent for the whole film. Dark vs. Light, Good vs. Evil, Love vs. Hate, Beauty Vs. Beast. She was the female heroine trying to help Garnet through the whole movie. A tough but fair ethical parole officer with a heart. Brenda Blethyn was the actress. I also loved her in the movie Secrets and Lies; another great movie. She is an incredible actress.  So like I said, the movie takes place in Albuquerque New Mexico. Some scenes are breathtaking while others are just dust and ashes.

Walls and Borders are a big part of this movie too; geographical borders and emotional borders.

After Garnet served his¬†18 years¬†sentence the sheriff (Harvey Keitel) in town wouldn’t let¬†Garnet alone. He had an old score to settle with Garnet¬†and had no forgiveness¬†towards him.¬†The¬†sheriff¬†kept harassing him, and no matter how hard¬†Garnet tried to turn his life around¬†Agati¬†( Keitel) was there to derail him every time.

Every step forward was a step back. The heartbreaking scene between Garnet¬†and his adoptive mother (Ellen Burstyn) is heart wrenching. While she speaks with¬†a¬†almost detached¬†and disappointed voice about a scorpion that was loose in the house (symbolism) I understood Garnet’s frustration because he just wanted his mother’s love; love she couldn’t afford to give.

This movie makes a huge statement about redemption over a Dark Past¬†and ¬†working¬†toward New Beginnings. It seems we don’t like to let people have new beginnings. We don’t like to let people forget their past. For example; We don’t let prisoners have a second chance in this country. We let them out with no money and let them fend for themselves. It’s tragic on so¬†many levels because so many prisoners are locked away too long and the crime doesn’t fit the punishment in the first place. It seems to be getting even worse in this country . People are going to Jail for thirty years for minor Crimes because of Corrupt judicial system. Three strikes your out? There is Big Business in putting folks in prison now a days. The increasing stats are overwhelming. ¬†It is very sad and unjust.¬†The song Let my people go comes to mind, Paul Robeson https://youtu.be/gtLcELU1brA

There is a lot of symbolism in this movie as Garnet washes his hands of the past. Not letting someone start again, and live their life is a sin. You can watch the movie and no matter what your beliefs are about prisoners and murder you have to appreciate this well-acted story about new beginnings, redemption, and the tug of war between good and evil.

So..when those two women in town started with me at the convenience store it reminded me of a fight¬†I got in when¬†I was about ten years old. Now that I am back in my home town¬†I am reminded of childhood memories. You can’t help it, there are reminders everywhere. So I was ten and me and my best friend were walking down to the same store that¬†I was just talking about. It had just snowed and my friend had a snow pants on. I was dressed in jeans, These two girls, older but still girls, bullies, started to make fun of my friend in the snow pants. Back then¬†snow pants weren’t cool at all. lol.

Well I thought it was important to protect my friend ( I¬†am very loyal)¬†so¬†I told them to stop and to leave us alone. Well because¬†I spoke out they decided to turn their attention to me and¬† left my friend alone. They then started to jump me and I remember them slamming my face down into the snow and punched me a couple of times. I heard my friend start to cry ¬†because she got scared because she saw blood. My nose started to bleed and there were little rivers of blood oozing into the snow…like a bloody snow cone. The two girls saw the blood and they got scared as well and ran off. I still know one of the girls names. I ended up working with her at a restaurant when¬†I was sixteen and she played on the same softball team as well, she picked on me there too but decided after a while that she liked me and left me alone. God, I couldn’t get away from her.

The other night when those two women in town started fighting with me in that parking lot it reminded me of that day in the snow,¬†I was ten again and I had a bloody nose. The snow was red and my face was covered in ice. Its funny the things we hold onto. I could have fought back or even went further and caused physical harm. My life could be changed in an instant. So when I got home¬†I decided to write some words down to shake off the anger¬†I was feeling, first¬†I vented to my friend, god bless her…and then wrote a poem about how¬†I feel about some of the people¬†I have come across recently. Anger is something¬†I’ve had to¬†deal with and try to minimize. It has¬†been a work in progress but I¬†think I have mastered¬†it. I am sick of being accused of things¬†I never did. I am sick of being mistreated.¬†I am sick of being patronized and ¬†I am sick of being misunderstood but¬†I know how lucky¬†I am to be here to write, love,¬†work¬†, sing and laugh. I am making¬†my comeback. My turning point was in the direction of up; not down and¬†I am so grateful for that. Don’t look back don’t look back don’t look back, only forward. The ten-year old is now fifty looking forward to love and light. Your perceptions of me cannot and does not matter anymore. I am only feeling the love coming towards me, the rest will be ignored, no more anger, no more violent fantasies.. only love and light. I can no longer care about the big hoofed herds and their opinions of me. They are wrong but¬†I know longer need their approval. I¬†will only let the light come in. I have washed my hands of the past, scrubbed them clean.

Blue-Collar Asylum

 

Small town Small minds Mean Bastard Bigots of all the same kind.
Can’t wait to leave, don’t want to stay, born here but not from here, always on my way. Gossips liars and fakes walk the streets in big hoofed herds. Spreading their truth ,¬†their so¬†called motherfucking righteous gospel word.
They act high-superior while their insides slow—ly die.

Living their Inauthentic miserable cookie cutter lives.
They Sound the same Look the same …Smoke their Marlboro cigs.
High School, Marry, Buy a house2.5 kids.
Drink your Beer, Vote for Trump, Drink the worm at the bottom of the Rum
I need To leave, I can’t breathe here, it’s a small town Blue-Collar Asy-lum.

 

Jloz.

FACE VALUE

I have been thinking about something for a while. It has been on my mind and there are many reasons why it keeps coming back to the forefront of my mind. I used to be a huge Phil Collins fan when¬†I was younger and that¬†originated from my love for Genesis. Or maybe it was the other way around, I don’t know. When¬†I was in high school two of my favorite bands were Genesis and The Who. Face Value was one of my favorite records and I used to listen to it all the time. Especially when¬†I was jogging or working out at the gym. That music had a quiet fierceness to it that motivated me.

I happened to see it the other day in a box and decided to listen to it. It brought back a ton of memories but mostly it reminded me of a conversation¬†I overheard when my mother and her friends were playing cards. Now they are Octogenarian’s. The Greatest Generation¬† according to Tom Brokaw.¬†So one night my mom and her friends were playing cards and they started talking about how different it was from the way it is now.

They said that back in the day, people said what they meant. They took people at Face Value. There was no innuendo or sub context or hidden messages or agenda’s that they had to sift thru.

This meant¬†This and¬†That meant That. We didn’t have to worry about the stuff you younger folks have to worry about. Think about that. They took people¬†at Face Value. Back in the day people just said what they meant. Hmmmm….It made me think.

Ok¬†I know. I¬†know ¬†There were hucksters, hustlers and Snake oil salesman and con men,¬†that generation had them but they were the exception not the rule.¬†What my mom and her friends were saying was it was just easier. There were no games, you didn’t con your friends. You said what you meant and you did what you said and you kept your word. A handshake was a handshake.

People don’t even handshake anymore; the fist bump is now more the norm. I wonder if that is a sign of today’s unwillingness to trust each other.

So they believed what people told them. WOW! What a concept.

If you were lucky enough to see the Movie Nebraska you would fall in Love with Woody and his son.

Well I did anyway.

Slowly. You fall in love slowly. They aren’t lovable characters at all but if you just keep watching….

They are lovable in a less conventional way. If not love ….your heart if you have one will melt at the end of this father and son movie.

Woody, the main character was a man that was going to get his Good Housekeeping Million dollar award before he died. Everybody told him is was a farce of the most common kind, the biggest most obvious scam around but he insisted on taking the Pilgrimage miles and miles away to get¬†his millions. ¬†He believed the letter he received that said he was a millionaire. It’s one of those movies that you know will have a beautiful message with a sad twist. When the son couldn’t change his father’s mind to abandon his misguided dream he decided to go with him. He unexpectedly learned some interesting things about his dad along the way.

He became aware of why his father might have drank so much over the years. A strange and sad childhood. A bad marriage and a wife that really didn’t love him. He did meet the woman that really loved his father and still did from the longing looks she gave as she reminisced about him.¬†But mostly his sadness stemmed from a characteristic flaw in his personality. He believed what people told him.¬†WOW. Here we go again. That same theme. He took people at Face Value.

He never got the respect or the courtesy or the friendship he deserved because he was a sucker, the lame duck, the na√Įve loser that kept falling for the same¬†tricks and lies.

Woody was the but of all the jokes.

He drank to make all his bad decisions, including his choice of the wrong woman¬†a little bit easier to swallow. His son slowly started to understand. Woody’s life started to unravel slowly like a ball of yarn in a kitten’s command.

So they finally make it to the prize office after many miles and adventures along the way. He is finally at the place to collect his million dollars prize and the secretary is more than shocked that someone actually showed up for the prize and she says;

Receptionist: Does he have Alzheimer’s?

His Son:   No, he just believes what people tell him.

Receptionist: That’s too bad.

 

 

 

I won’t tell you the ending but its a great Movie and I highly recommend it. So after watching Nebraska¬†and listening to my Mom and her friends I realized we live in a time where the snake oil salesman is the girl next door and the Con Man can be your priest or Minister and the Hucksters and Hustlers are all around you including people with authority. Who should you believe? Who do you trust?

It makes it really hard, everyone has an angle, a scheme, a get over, a hustle, an agenda. American culture is made to be a game and those who win do not win on their Face Value¬†skills. It’s one big poker game and the guy with the best¬†Poker Face¬†wins. They win on the ability to¬†get¬†over¬†more than¬†their peers do. It’s a big game?

Those that live like Woody, the Na√Įve Slow unsophisticated losers are losers and deserve to lose. The qualities that made people great, integrity, salt of the earth honest folks are now looked upon as almost a flaw. The suckers, Losers in Life.

Someone called me Na√Įve the other day. I’ve been called a sucker too.¬†¬†Someone¬†said I had no people skills. I disagree. I think I have amazing people skills. I think It’s¬†called emotional intelligence.

I admit it. I do not always read between the lines well. I do like to take people for face value. I am a lot like Woody that way. Shame on me.

I see the good in almost anyone. Is that a personality flaw? Probably Yes. So be it.¬†¬†But the ¬†whole “me and mine’s” mentality sucks. I hate when people say that. I believe in helping people. Am I a sucker? Maybe sometimes and sometimes maybe I am not. I look after myself and have learned some hard life lessons that go along with having a big heart. I get it. But I also know¬†I can sleep at night. If¬†I had to be the con man or the¬†mark I would go with the mark every time. I sleep well.

I just really want to see the good in people and I just really want the good to be there. If that makes me wrong I don’t wanna be right. If that makes me lacking in “People Skills” well then so be it. I know there are people that feel like me, that want to imagine the good in people and sometimes if you¬†imagine the good in people you find the good in people, like a beautiful¬†self fulfilling prophecy.

Virtue and generosity will be rewarded in ways that one cannot know~ Nelson Mandela

I would never believe in the Good Housekeeping— you are a millionaire letter like Woody¬†did but I consider him a compadre,¬† a throwback¬†when kinder gentler souls existed and could exist without getting swallowed up but the fast and furious.

Remember Freddie in the Curtis Mayfield Song. Yeah, Freddie’s dead.

Everybody’s misused him
Ripped him up and abused him
Another junkie plan
Pushing dope for the man
A terrible blow
But that’s how it goes
A Freddie’s on the corner now
If you want to be a junkie, wow
Remember Freddie’s dead

To all the Woody’s and Freddie’s out there,¬† The Losers in life, Compadres and Gentle Spirits…..¬† I salute you.

 

Love and Happiness,

Jloz