Wings of Destruction

I am a killer. I have destroyed lives. I have made acts of violence against people in defense of myself, and my brothers in arms. I am a gear that turned for the agenda of the rich and powerful. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I buried the poor, the zealots. I am sorry I fought for nothing. I am sorry my people don't have the power to fight those forces that are so willing to continually destroy life. What happened to society progressing, technology becoming so advanced, and helping the world? I am sorry that I cannot change the way the world works. I am sorry I cannot stop the killing, the dying, the sickness, the desolation, the desperation, the starvation, the dehydration, the battle for power, or human greed. I became a warrior to help battle these things, I only ended up propelling them further. Once I escaped the hand of the government that pulled my strings in directions with no explanation I found myself in society again. I see everyone with a different hand up their backs and over their eyes. I see television, advertisement, Internet, books, blogs, radio, and mental separation from the world we live in. They use the body rhythms, the natural attractions, the instinct, the emotions of the mass to guide them through a maze. I see the elderly of my generation culturally extinct, reminiscent of trivial things, and with no real concept of meaning. I see that now in the world around me. I have lost cultural identity, i have lost purpose of being. The overpopulated world does not need my children, my grandchildren, when it does not need me. Success in the American mind is wealth or recognition, that is not what I need. I don't need a house in the suburbs and an SUV. I can not have that. I don't know if I can be happy. Guilt, remorse, loss, envy, anger, and pain destroy me. They are who I am, I am not me, I am these things. It may sound as if I want pity, I do not. I hate pity. I don't want comfort for nothing can comfort me. I don't want closeness, closeness will never be the same. I want to disappear, to live at the bottom, in the gutters, only living in dreams. Things are better when they don't make perfect sense. I'm sorry.


your the salty ocean

Bail me out.
Obama spoke today and I'm not sure what to think about it. The ideas expressed sounded good. He is an energetic president. A little positivity couldn't hurt too much could it. In a world of arms and gold a mans worth is his soul. I think they should take the bailout money back from the people who ran the company to shit. The banks should pay too for conspireating with the fed, the corporations, and wall street. This is against the capitalist system I have been so adamant about for so long. Maybe it is time these policies change. I could use free health care. I don't want to open up a business. I want to live. I don't want to be in dead end jobs hating the upperclass for having motivation to do things I don't care for. Not everyone can be happy, but if the playing field was level we would all have a bit more chance. I don't want to be a millionaire. I don't want to live in Beverly Hills, or rip people off to get what I want. I have worked hard for a long time and I have less now than I started with. I am not lazy. I am not going to be a doctor though. I will not care to ever be a banker. I would like to be a politician but that field isn't so level either. You have to be in business. You have to finesse and scheme and scam. My mind would be too busy reading all the laws and regulations that I couldn't even try to get people involved. No one cares anymore anyway. Unless you have connections in media or a huge bankroll, you will not get the coverage you need to succeed. You have to affiliate yourself with some political party to rally your constituents, otherwise you fail to flourish through your beliefs and personal moral standard. As I write this dozing off, I wish you all the best of luck this year. May your coffers be overflowing, your eyes shine, and your heart be content.


Carrion's Joy

The dead leave scars on the brain of the city
Through the fog and the rain and the traffic
A thousand unseen eyes circle the sky
The concrete and windows
The steel and the tar
Can not let us escape the futility of living
The dead bury us with them
We sink into the soft earth
Shame, depression, and guilt escape
Tired lids waiting to be closed
Flitter and still on dry corneas
You can't take the internet to heaven
Blackberry's will not hold your soul
My ipod has no use in my funerary case
Your draining occupation will never make you whole
We dance on the train in shoes to big for our feet
The ground shakes as if it's possesed
By some foreign beat
Kachook dum dum Kachook dum dum
I've worked hard lord!
Kachook dum dum
Oh, I've held on strong!
Kachook dum dum
Aaaaa my baby! Lord, my baby is gone!
kachook dum dum
OooOoo Oh! In this cold world my love
kachook dum dum
yeah, you know you've got to carry on
kachook dum dum
OOOh Iiii know, even when I'm right
kachook dum dum
Every little thing can go wrong

The song fades, the lights dim
After momentary introspection
Thoughts move to another direction
Avoidance, annoyance, clairvoyant ly
I see where this path leads
blah, blah, blah, on and on
two minus one is one
get a little scared and you run

The cold windows don't care where you go
the ghosts follow, they walk, run, or float
they breathe and smell your emotions
they ride on your coattails
they hold on to your heart and your head
every empty bottle
holds the spirit of the dead


Tectonic Fate

I shouldn't be writing today. It's been non-stop school and work, struggling and striving. I am sad. I can't stand most people. The world is screwed up and no one in charge seems to have true intelligence, compassion, or care. I'm sick to my stomach. My heart hurts. My eyes are tired. I have no good words to say today, I just needed to say something. MONEY MONEY LOVE LOVE FEAR FEAR DEATH DEATH



I was walking with like four or five Afghanis. Waheedullah, Aqmhedzia, Sahim, Ali, and Jon. We were carrying something and Waheedullah was joking. I looked back and laughed. Uh, Wally let out a grunt and looked up. My face went still and I listened. The distinct sound of a rocket was coming into our ears rapidly. Then boom a bunker about 200 yrds away crumbled. The concrete making a grave for whoever was left inside. I looked back and the Afghanis are gone, and it's just me. I get in the bunker and wait. Fear builds and I don't want to die. In the darkness I look for god, but I don't think he is there, and even if he is I don't think he will intervine. I don't have my helmet, flak vest, or weapon, I feel naked sitting there exposed. My ears catch the boom in the distance and I get tense. I start to hear the piercing terrifying wooooooooo of the rocket as it is coming down on top of me. Suddenly the electronic noise of my alarmclock breaks in and I wake up. I hate dreaming about that shit. It's nothing really horrible and it's actually good to see some of the people I met but it always ends in rockets. It's been almost two years since I got back and I still have these god damn dreams. I hate war.


Christian Health and Economic Stimulus

Rep. Danny K. Davis of my district whom represents me in the House of Representatives has an earmark in the upcoming stimulus bill. It is 1.3 million dollars for a christian medical center. Now it sounds good on the outside, if your not me I suppose. I think about the fact that it is a "christian" health center. Separation of church and state should prevent stimulus money for our economy going towards something with such a blatant religious base. Why are we using money to create jobs for people in the medical field whom I never thought there was a problem finding jobs in the first place. There are so many opportunities for people going into the medical field in Illinois. This makes me wonder if Davis rode into office through health care dollars. I could think of a lot of other things that 1.3 mil dollars could go toward which would benefit the demographic of the unemployed much more. I don't believe this project will do much for our economy.
If anyone has watched the news lately they see the new "war at home" with the Mexican drug cartels. This is a result of our countries narrow minded action in the "war on drugs". Drug use has been demonized in America even though the deadly use of alcohol and tobacco is rampant. Our prisons are full of non-violent drug crimes costing American people millions a year. Imagine a world where you had the right to consume what you choose without threat of the strong armed government. I think drug related crime and violence would dissipate overnight. What is there left to fight over if there is no underground drug problem. Drugs are never going to go away. People don't change because of the legality of a substance. Your life is yours and if you are not hurting other people then you should have the right to do as you choose. The government lets us corrode our livers and blacken our lungs and make money off of it. They imprison people on the basis of laws started in a time when the world was afraid of everything. It is said the war on drugs was started because Nixon didn't want people protesting the Vietnam war. So a crackdown on drug users to him was a crackdown on the opposition.
MDMA also known as Exstacy is now being used to treat people with treatment resistant PTSD. The drug was originally a prescription drug used for counseling between couples. Some kids started abusing it as kids tend to do with anything just look at alcohol related deaths in teens. Therefore to protect people they took away something that could be a valuable tool in therapy. Now it is a nother substance demonized as well. Mushrooms, another evil substance is now being proven to help with spirituality, and gives a sense of completeness, something I believe we all lack. Regardless of your views we have a constitution which states that anything not outlined in the constitution is decided by the states and the people. The war on drugs is in direct defiance of that, and is used as a political tool by politicians and pundits.


In my own words

War is hell. A soldier in every war in history must have uttered these words or soemthing similar. I've said it more often than not. When I was in Afghanistan I made a mural on the wall of my straw mud hooch and it included a peace sign with horns on it, and around the ouside of the ring it said L'WAR'A IS HELL. People are too ignorant to have peace, at least thats what I believed then. I can't say I'm sure about anything anymore. I know it's been a strange road back to life in this country. I've been coming to terms with what they call "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". Why the name as softened over time I don't understand. I actually prefer "Shell Shock" but I'll save that argument for another time.
Since I came home I've been divorced, but the marriage was over while I was in Afghanistan. I came home and it wasn't there anymore. I did not and could not feel the same way I did before. I was changed forever by war. I lost my youth and a big part of my personality. I had talked to behavioral health while in the Army, hell while I was in Afghanistan. I don't like pills. I do not like the way I feel or think when taking pills. This makes it difficult considering I don't really like being analyzed or sitting in groups talking about my problems either. Breaking away from the friendships I had in the army and a divorce that hurt took me even more away from the world. I was depressed, anxious, happy and sad all at the same time. Loneliness led to depression, which led to alcohol. One thing about booze is that it may smolder your emotions temporarily, but as soon as your done consuming it's even worse than when you start.
I started working harder at my job in a hotel restaurant. I started playing more guitar and eventually going to more and more open mics. I met a girl and finally had someone not affiliated with the military to tell my stories to. After a deep crying session, I think I started feeling a little better. I applied to art school, and I got accepted. I got scholarships and some hope. If war is hell then anxiety is a bitch. It hits you anywhere any time and hits you from all sides. Things may be going good but all you can focus on is the negative. I battled doubt in myself for months and finally decided to pack up and go regardless of the consequences. I needed a change.
Here I am in Chicago. I'm doing good in school and I've proudly been a part of the Veterans Art Project. I've found a community of people who care that I didn't have or even know existed before moving here. I've been putting out endless amounts of music, words, drawings and sculpture. These may consciously or unconsciously conveying my experience, but I know it helps. It all helps, and this helps too. I think more vets should open up to art and educating their community about the views and experiences of war. I am not a man who sugarcoats anything and I don't think any soldier should. People should see the blood and destruction waged by war if they will ever understand what it is truly about.
I don't look for help from God, psychiatrists, or prescription drugs. I try to balance myself. One thing that I noticed is really helping me is this stuff called 5HTP. I read about it replenishing seratonin in the brain. It does not directly tell your body to produce more, instead it gives the means for your body to create more itself. I feel the depression setting in if I stop taking it, but otherwise I feel a lot better and more confident than before. I mix this with St. Johns Wort and multivitamins to keep my body and mind in balance more naturally.
I hope to use this blog for many things and one of the most promising is as a natural guide to healing for veterans like me. So if your reading this and you feel hopeless, and you think like I think then try some of what I have said. I'm hoping to start a section of the Veterans Art Foundation here in Chicago and work hand in hand with the Vet Art Project spreading across the country. I want to make a real change, unlike the VA who can't even file medical records because they are busy shredding them.


I am the darkness. I am the shadows cast by fire on your bedroom wall. I am those memories. I am those pictures in that box. I slip an slither through your mind impossible to catch. I can't be pointed at. I can't be removed. I am the dreams that keep you awake and afraid at night. I am the tightness in the chest, the constricted throat. I am your shame, you guilt, and your cowardice. I am your empty bank account. I am the craving for escape. I'm the drug, the drink, and the sex that gets you by. I am the anger that rises when you see anyone who might trigger something inside you. I am the hate, and the disgust for the meaningless world created by simplicity and technology. I am the adrenaline that pumps without want or need. I am the anxiety that creeps. I am the pain that can't be killed. I am emptiness in your core, I make you want to hurt your self and create a means for the emptiness to escape. I am upturned noses and grimacing face. I am the deaf one that can certainly hear, but I just don't because I don't care. I am the end.


Who Cares

Not sure if anyone does anymore. When a bum comes up to you drunk swinging a belt around with bloody holes in his face what do you do? I gave him a knuckle pound and told him to stay safe. If I had some medical stuff I might have tried to fix him up a bit, but I still doubt he would take care of himself at all. Doubt. I doubt so much. Such a strange word can be very powerful.
People doubt themselves. They deny what they see. They pass and powerful images become usual things. The ugly truth of society ingrains itself and you pass without caring anymore. I am the same. I think I have problems. There are always people who have worse. My land is a land of waste. You should stop reading right now and go look for youtube videos of Louis CK on Conan O'brien. He is a neo-Carlin style comedian, and this bit is a great view on the worthlessness of our generation.


Tortured Souls

So the Obama administration released documents showing the Bush administrations violations of constitutional rights. I doubt the mass public pays much attention to these things, although I'm sure there are some of us who do. It is not any surprise that these things happened and I was an advocate of Bush impeachment since I was in Afghanistan. The whole country should have been riled for impeachment if they had any interest in freedom, liberty, and the safety of our nation. I wish that I could make everyone get involved with government overnight, but I can't. I think we honestly have a great nation, and a great people when it comes to serious situations. I think the only way for the soul of our country to shine lies in taking control of the government. We need a large scale reinstatement of our wonderful constitution. We need to revise American law and instill the ideas of our forefathers into the hearts of all men. Until then we head to the depths of loss, sorrow, and painful dilution of freedom.


Hail to the Chief

I watched Obama speak at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina today. It made me wonder what my service would have been like if I had the confidence that soldiers now must have in our government. I felt like a weapon being used by tyrants during my service. I do not support Obama but I think I would feel a lot better about what I was doing with him as my commander in chief. Something about a businessman from Texas with multiple failed ventures and hazy military service history makes you doubt the intentions and direction of the government.
When they said there was going to be a pullout in Aug. 2010, I was momentarily excited. Then they said 50,000 troops would remain and forces are still being increased in Afghanistan. Somehow I do not feel that these soldiers need to remain. Islamic extremism and terrorism are cancerous, and contagious. It is bound to spread, but our gone friends and family can never be replaced. You can not stabalize that which has no flat surface for stabalization. There is a reason we have a seperation of church and state here, and it is because religion is not bound to reality. When you have a society that only has religion to believe in you are doomed to never have true liberty.
John McCain tells us that we need to take care not to withdrawal too soon as our acheivements will be reversed. I don't believe the things we have done in either country will stand regardless if we were there for a hundred more years. Until the people have real schools seperated from religion, honest people coming forth to take the reigns of responsibility, and an Army with a sense of dignity and pride, there is no chance of progeress. American has no morals for any other country to follow anymore. We teach greed, we teach egotism. In this country we can't even take care of ourselves. Our government runs rampant with no guidance from the people. The system is corrupt, the people have become docile, and our hearts are broken as we walk down the streets in the shrouds of media, and life. We don't care anymore. Nature offers no guidance to the rapers of the planet. I don't even think evolution can instill us with a sense of self worth in a world that does not need us.

In Other News
I created a Contemporary sculpture today. I filled bland clothes with sheets and towels and made it look like a homeless person. I placed it outside of a subway stop in downtown. I made a sign and it was a poem called Solitude:


Ella Wheeler Wilcox

LAUGH, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of it's own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

It was a good time and I actually talked with a few homeless fellows who were some of the few that read the whole thing. I'm working on a blog about combating PTSD naturally so look for it very soon, also on Wednesday Chicago NPR will be playing a portion of my songs from the vet art project in a story on the event. Be sure to check it out here.