Soldiers Home

I've lived in the past. I've been tucked into the neat folds of time. I've torn myself into pieces making bullet points on this display. Line after straight line I spread out whats on my mind. And endless array of disarray, squinted tired eyes scan the pixels of the screen searching for the next step or just the meaning. The smiles and the laughs, the lifted eyebrows and gentle hands. You speak away and point to me, the tide rushes in. I stand in traffic with spite for every car, every light, everything. Wailing clocks and cool clear windows are everything. Placement, predicament, pattern, and persistence, life has lost it's luster, the brave are too brave to weep. No clouds, no stars, light the empty sky wrapped around jagged corners and man's venture to the sky. No soul, no love, slip through the spaces of darkness surrounding me. I might as well be back there fighting for my life, I don't want to leave my brothers behind. I want it to end, this cycle of pain. I want to feel useful, and whole once again.


Treating the symptoms of war

The Vet Art Projects New Artwork presentation has finished. My journey and creative expression has not. I am proud of what I'm doing. I feel like life has a direction and there is a need for this cog in the machine. Although my view and beliefs of life and the system we live in are dark, dismal, and full of anger, I find comfort in the work that I do and the interesting people I meet. It makes me wonder with this many fantastic caring people who are doing amazing things, how our country even became what it is now. We are a country that freaks out if personal space is invaded, yet we let our government invade countries, peoples homes, and almost every facet of our lives. Look at your hands, because they are stained with the blood of dead civilians, enemies, and soldiers protecting you. If you choose not to take a stand and help to end this war you are enabling the people who want to invade, kill, and destroy. So many of us want to avoid confrontation in our lives, why not let our country take that stance. Are we too proud to end something most of us know little to nothing about. If I spun a globe would one in ten Americans even know where Iraq or Afghanistan were? Probably not. There is one thing we all have though, an opinoin of beauty. If I can make images in peoples heads to show them the evils of war and the beauty of peace maybe I can make a change. I will fill in a small gap. There are millions so there have to be a lot more artists to help me. We will fill the gaps between what we see on the news or in movies. What the military advertisements tell us or the left wing/right wing so called talk "news" hosts guide us to believe. You want an end to soldiers pain suffering and suicide. You want to treat post traumatic stress disorder? Then start with the root of the problem, war. I listened to Dr. John Fisher tonight tell a group of us about his journey in dealing with his ptsd and all I could think about was how he was right. The military, the VA, and doctors in general are treating the syptoms of PTSD and not getting to the root. We as a society are not getting to the root! We need to embrace our pain and let it become a part of us so it can spread and the feeling that war is wrong and devastating is shared among us as a society. Don't wait til your children, brothers, uncles, or cousins get drawn into the endeavors of beaurocratic despotists before you act to prevent the loss of more souls. In time all systems fail. War can not be the only means of solution in our country.


Dead Lines

I'll start this post with a little quote from Ayn Rand's epic Atlas Shrugged.

"Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil? "Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth. But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think."
This is so true and I believe it very much. I am still very poor. Maybe the world has become so corrupt and out of control that the great thinkers among us don't stand a chance to the great networking, dishonest, and inhumane robots that control business. Everything in this country has been outsourced to other countries there is no way to compete with slave wages here in the states. Just a thought.
Well other than that the Vet Art Project is coming up very soon, Monday night in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center. Starts at 7pm and you can reserve your free seat through the website.
So I've been watching this great Japanese tv show from the 90's called Denpa Shonen. Thank god for the Japanese. I Never thought I would like a reality show again until I saw this. I'm suddenly underlined. Not sure why but I'll roll with it. So it's about this guy who thinks he wins a contest but ends up getting thrown in a room naked with nothing but postcards and magazines. He has to win everything he lives on until he gets to 1 million yen. It's great. It takes him about thirteen months but he does it. The way he goes through it makes me think of how simple life is then and little things like rice really keep you going. I hate the complexities of reality sometimes. I would say I miss companionship but I didn't have much before, and I don't have much now. I wish I had a dog.
Tuition was due today. I couldn't pay it. I can't even buy a sandwich or a stick of gum, let alone pay tuition. I don't know what will happen, I hope I don't get kicked out of school. What a waste of time, energy, and motivation to get here in the first place. I miss home. I probably should have went to a state school, but this place is so prestigious I thought it would be my only chance to become a respectable artist. Maybe it doesn't even matter though. Lots of artists didn't even go to school and have made it. I look at a lot of the art here and I think it sucks. I want to improve everything and be the best at everything I can. I don't want be like some of the kids here coasting through and getting fucked up all the time, I'm serious about this place and it's hard when it's a joke to these rich fucks who don't know or care what the real world is like. I hope things get better. Karma should be turning in my direction soon hopefully because right now it seems like everything is getting worse every day. In the words of John Lennon " And we all shine on".



Hearts that harvest empty fields,
from seeds with unprotected shields,
our lonely arms hold onto nothing but,
the weapons that this wartime wields
the loneliness that depression brings,
across the shore of imaginings,
it breaks the waves of deep concern,
as I float away from everything
In its pure untainted form,
honesty keeps me warm,
I struggle with the words to say,
and so I'll sadly fade away
Terror strikes with speech so sleek,
there's hardly time to even blink,
as you race to prepare yourself,
the ships already began to sink
Yellow, pink, and blue pills,
control the way your body feels,
glossy eyes and calm breathing,
as your emotion flees and stills
Ever far from ourselves,
we drop our wishes into wells,
so distant from what we know,
we plant the seed that just won't grow.

bloody stumps waving goodbye

I cut my finger. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Stupid wax, it's all shot to hell. I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't play guitar, I can't finish my sculpture. My lawn has been shitted on. I was thinking of writing something earlier so I guess I'll go ahead with that since my other crap is shot. Here it goes.

Experience is the creator of perception. Perception controls experience. Experience creates hope. Hope is a dope, and the scope of the dope that we call hope is only in my head. It's funny that the presidential campaign was run on the word hope. Is there really hope for America? Could you call the amount of change required to bring us back from the wounds of the Bush administration hope? I think it should have been called desperation. We are a country very close to bleeding out. Look at all the people losing jobs every day. When I was at the hospital today I walked by as a doctor was telling a man he had prostate cancer. I couldn't imagine how horrible the news would be and I felt immediately sorry for the man. I wondered if he had a job. If he could even begin to pay the bills to rid his body of that cancer. I think this is where capitalism has really failed society. I'm no socialist, but I think doctors are perceived as the great healers. They went to school though, and they knew the occupation would bring them wealth and respect. I couldn't be a doctor. I couldn't call people like that to tell them they may die if they go without treatment, then let my employer put a price tag on that treatment. I don't think we are a compassionate society any more. I thought that was why we were such a great nation, spreading freedom and goodness across the planet, saving the trees, not eating meat, because we were compassionate. I don't think a man with a cancer eating him feels compassion from a distant society. He may receive kindness from individuals, but this is fleeting I'm sure and the few people that care can only do so much. We used to have communities, people cared about each other. I don't see that anymore. Maybe I'm just a different man now and I'm jaded by society and it's processes, it's lines, it's costs, it's lack of care. Whether a sickness has fallen on you that modern medicine can stop, or a war wound that could have been stopped from even happening if people spoke up. Your words are weapons, weapons that will never kill or destroy the innocent, weapons of hope and change, weapons that represent the light, whatever that may be for you. So don't cast your prayers into your hands, or books, or your deaf walls, speak to be heard and take the hope out of your mind aim with your eyes, project with your lips, and strike with your tongue. Change does not end at the voting booth. It can only happen in the streets, in your community, and in your home.

The Art of Control

We have lost concentration and health. We have lost humanity and concern. We have lost peace and innocence, virtue and justice. This is the land where plasma and LCD control what the minds eye sees, where the body is ravaged by chemicals and biology. I feel like a stone in a deep lake. Where the waves of existence pass by me. Where life is centered around the lake and everything inside is living. The moss grows on my smooth weathered face and I don't need to eat, breathe, or sleep. The sun flickers through the surface heating me. The Carp spawn and stir the calm clear water in a turbulent dance of Darwin's dreams. The Catfish lay low in the pool harvesting the deceased. The turtle grabs air with calm fluidity. People on the streets and in their homes, on the bus, or on the phone think only they exist at that time and I suppose it's true. Their lives are only a flicker in the candle of eternity. We all get turned into the same soil, push back the air we breathe. If I could stand up and brace against the waves of harsh reality I don't think it will cause any friction in the scheme of things. My words of honesty and my poetic thoughts bounce off the walls and echo away into nothing. The punctuations lose meaning. In all the beds and in the heads of the busy busy people, no one hears the scribbles on the paper made by me. Thoughts seem endless although life may not be. That mossy stone in the water could really just be me.

Work in Progress

Quantum Mechanics tells us that we create the world around us. I create things and I can't say where they come from. As I'm forming these faces out of wax I wonder who they are, if someone somewhere has this face and I don't know it. I've been working on a lot of stuff lately and it's good for me to stay busy doing things I like. If not then I just end up missing home. So as you all should know by now I'm a broke college student who is struggling to make it in Chicago. I stooped low enough to put ads on my page at the bottom so please click on them if you feel like helping me through school. I'm struggling to find any way to make money at this point, sorry I'm shamefully tainting my page with advertisement but it must be done. Hopefully the beauty of my art can make up for the ugliness of advertisement. Thanks all.


Valentine's Daze

I've been so busy lately. With school and the Vet Art Project I'm feeling tired and down. It's Valentines Day and I can't be with the ones I care about. I spent so many Holidays in a war zone or just in training this should not affect me any more, but it does. I feel sad every time one of these days comes along. I'm sure I'll post plenty of stuff today in the haze of loneliness. I've been working on some wax sculpture and hopefully tonight I will finish one. I'll put a picture up when it is done, so everyone be on the look out. Oh and I'm going to record some new tracks next week so be on the lookout for some higher quality music than usual. Happy Valentines Day.


Step Back

For some patience is excrutiating. Waiting, forever waiting. In lines backed out doors, on street corners, and always for something. Waiting. I've waited for a lot of things and patience doesn't always come easily. You start to find yourself irritated with the smallest things at first. When time progresses and you start to lose track of just what your waiting for the mind delves it's way into the past. You start to wish you could change it, change you, what you have done, and where you went. I don't know where I'm going but I know where I've been and I can't say it's been so good. I can't say I've been good. I have no higher ground, I'm lost in the canyons created by the rivers of my destruction and sorrow. I'm tired and the worlds colors have a faded finish. Nothing seems to really matter anymore. It's all the same and the more we try to change the more we are reminded we are the same. The hope that carries people I don't think it carries me. I look at the ground when I walk and sometimes just don't want to speak. I don't want to touch or feel or care about anything. Seven years ago when I was merely eighteen there was more joy in the world and everything was exciting. I've put that version of me away, now you have what we see. I'm a man of constant anger, and distress, it's not so easy. This journey of mine is filled with pothole ridden roads, battles, and retreats.


Dude Where's My Soul

I'm lost in the city of broad shoulders. I'm poor and creative. When I walk down the street I see i-pods in ears and hearts tucked away and held tighter than purses in the subways. When I call or email people I don't really know and ask for help they shrug it off and think it's ok. I throw my heart into the world with the work of my mind and my hands and there is no echo, no karma payment. It's hard coming back to a system of chaos from a chaotic place with a system. I have more headaches here than I ever did there. I had more friends there than I think I will here. In the fuzz of exhaust and rainclouds my eyes trace the sides of buildings and Lake Michigans smoothly transitioned shore and I wonder how I made it this far. From the land of mountain and gorge to the city of angles and slopes. I look out to the city from my big window and I see the dancers in the buildings and the people exercising across the street, I wonder how their lives led to this point, where they hide their souls. I don't know where mine is. It keeps coming up, in the past and in my head. If I lost it, I don't think I will get it back. I'm blank as paper fresh from the store. I've been hollowed, hurt, and full of remorse. This lonely path has taken it's course, and I feel death looming on the sidewalks and that lakes tan, tarnished shore. I feel red and I see red, the skies blues nevermore.

Freedom to Financing

Frontline Finances

2009 will be a fantastic year for veterans who served after 9/11. Last year congress passed the post 9/11 GI bill which will give some veterans much more compensation than the meager funds the previous bill allotted. Being one of those veterans I know $1320 a month is definitely not enough to obtain higher education at a reputable institution. I’m looking forward to the new bill, which pays up to the amount of the highest costing in-state institution. It is also providing a housing allowance, and book stipend. Unfortunately the government isn’t expediting this process and leaves me wondering how I will make it past this semester. The reasoning behind waiting until this August to put the bill into effect is because the VA computer systems need updating. Myself and other veterans are put into predicaments, especially those of us attending private institutions because you cannot enroll for another semester if you still owe from the last. I’m living of Ramen and trying to save every penny in this weak economy so I can hope to follow a dream. It will be most likely that I won’t even be able to finish the semester before I am kicked out unless I can find a full time job to cover the rest of the tuition and fees where the ridiculous current GI bill falls short. In a time where we are bailing out CEO’s, banks, and automotive industries you would think there would be some kind of help, but the only answer I have received is taking out a personal loan. Good advice, dig yourself another grave kid. How about this stimulus plan? It has earmarks for everything under the son but do you think it is going to help me stay off the street and on the right path. It’s hard being an art student not going to a state funded school in Illinois, or probably anywhere in the US for that matter. So if your reading this and you want to help me and help vets like me then write your congressmen, senators, and the president for god’s sake. Write the schools and bring up the issues with others, spread the word, and please make a stand to help vet’s in any way you can.