Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Dreams of Hammond Schuster

They lived in the shadows and fed on dreams of light seekers. From behind concrete boxes they watched and whittled, watched and whittled, until they had crafted a manuscript out of the cumulous dreams that billowed into thunderheads from humid brain clouds. And people bought and read the pilfered dreams, never realizing they were stolen from their very thoughts.

An entire society of shadow creatures formed, thrived even, and laughed raucously together over late night martinis while wallowing in tidbits from their swipings. They began to believe in the dreams they had stolen, as if they were original thoughts rather than lifted from the collective virga. With each martini, they anchored the belief that they were above the spidery truth of their existences.

All except one.

60269 rolled out of the bar at 1pm and covered his face with his hands while his eyes adjusted to the mid-day shine. The fog in his head was thick pea soup. All the dreams he had ever taken were swirling in a vortex and he was certain a vicious tornado was going to blow the top right off his head.

At the corner a few yards down a man with a giant bottle of helium was blowing up balloons. 60269 walked over to the man and gave him a buck for a balloon. A swirling vortex moved with the force of a hurricane as every dream he had ever stolen blew right out of his head, through the rubber and directly into the balloon. He felt something he had never, ever known in all the years of thievery — absolute emptiness. 60269 took a pen from his pocket and scribbled some words onto the balloon, released it, then stepped off the curb directly into the path of the 41 Union Express.

 Hammond Schuster knew something was off. He sensed the lack of memory. How do you put your finger on something missing when you can’t remember that something is missing? He couldn’t, and yet it bugged him — it ached, the not there/there thing. He began to search the rooms of his home for some kind of clue, something that would point him to beyond the empty cloud that had meaning with no meaning. All he found within his house were blank walls and minimal furniture. There was nothing that could give a clue to anything beyond the mundane and grey that was his life.

 As he walked through the empty halls, an orange object outside the glass wall that enclosed his living room caught his attention. Given that Hammond lived some 100 miles from civilization or neighbors, it was odd to see a foreign object in the yard. He stepped outside onto the cool grass and picked up what appeared to be a deflated balloon with the words “I can’t deal with it. 4Realz” written on the rubber. As he picked it up by the attached string he began to feel a flood of memories returning. Pianos, music, voices, poetry, dreams — so many dreams — he dropped the string in a shock of knowing.

Emptiness… he couldn’t remember what he had just remembered, he just felt so horrendously empty.

Again he picked up the string, again the memories began, but they were formless, clues without a strand. He needed a map to the there place in the stratus fractus of his mind. He brought the balloon into the house and set it down on the table.

Again, empty, and wondering how a balloon got onto the table, and why it said what it said.

He shrugged and went to lie down on the sofa, deciding that he would read rather than deal with this mystery that he had no hope of solving. Besides, his brain was thickening to a greenish fog, he couldn’t even remember his name.

The book on the coffee table had no title. Hammond picked it up and rifled through the empty pages, then resting the book on his chest, he fell asleep and began to dream — a canvas appeared in front of him...he picked up a brush and began painting... from out of a fog of strokes the piano he played as a boy began to play itself and he saw himself sitting on the bench struggling through the years of lessons, choirs of voices grew to a crescendo of glory then melted away and a poet appeared with a pen and poetry began to flow and the words were sumptuous and full of passion, metaphors which faded into fractured sense as garden after garden filled the canvas — so much color — the entire world was in front of him, so many strokes...each stroke was a lifetime of dreams... a wife, or was it two... children, friends, explorations, passions and desire... oh... and the women, and the choices, he could do anything he wanted to on the canvas of his dreams — and so Hammond Schuster never woke up.

The cops found him in a sea of flies with an open book on his chest. The bright orange words on the cover read The Dreams of Hammond Schuster by 60269.
Note: The balloon really did appear on my lawn the other day so it seemed appropriate to give a story to its possible circumstance.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finding a Focus — A Creative Midlife Crisis

 (Ed note: I reposted this because somehow it got tweaked in Google and was not possible to click to.)

The Glass Vortex — one of my favorite curiosities.
Something I’ve been thinking about a whole lot lately is the idea of narrowing down my creative pursuits and really mastering just one thing. I apologize in advance if this post feels like a selfish digression into my confused state of mind, please feel free to stop reading here if that bugs you, I don't mind.
I’ve been accused of being somewhat of a dilettante — burdened with some kind of creative A.D.D. is more like it. I am at the point where the many things I like to do are all demanding that I give more to them if I’m ever going to improve and master them. I’ve already retreated greatly from my creative writing, and part of the reason for that is that my job at the paper requires my efforts in editorial feature writing. Since that writing is my main source of income and often the place where I feel the frustrated pressure of meeting deadlines and being a slave to my computer, I don’t seem to have any desire left for creative writing. Obviously my blog here suffers from this neglect.
I feel a bit of a heartache that the writers and writing circle that were fostered from blogging efforts of a couple of years ago (as a friend said recently, during the “…glory days of blogging”) have continued pursuing their finally focused efforts to improve and build upon their writing skills and I am not a part of it. I don’t know how to explain this heartache, it is most certainly my choice not to be focusing there…but it brings to light part of a point that I feel whenever I fall back from a craft. I feel like I’m missing out on something important. My friendships with fellow bloggers have also fallen into a kind of limbo and I miss those relationships. So there’s heartache there.
And yet that time of glory days of blogging was also a very lonely time for me. At the time of posting daily and spending hours a day reading and commenting on everyone else’s blogs, in the offline world I was a stranger in a strange land. I knew very few people in the community outside my front door. Now the opposite is true — partially due to my work at the paper, I socialize with a large number of people right here in the hood of my small town. It’s a trade though…and a harsh reality, but I can’t be online and offline at the same time and do friendship well. I don’t believe anyone can.
A complete digression — I think it will be interesting to watch what happens to society with this online computer addiction thing. Will society completely fall apart as everyone becomes so engaged with their computers, tricking them into believing they have a social life, tricking them into believing they are making a difference politically, tricking them into believing they are getting their work out there?
Who knows? I often wonder if computers are numbing people horribly and causing them to be useless as citizens and participants in the greater culture. Whatever the greater culture is, the computer is surely harming it, despite its very obvious good points.
But back to the track here. I have to align myself with Parsifal wandering through the mists seeking the Chalice. Sometimes I think about what it must look like online, my claims to be a photographer, painter, musician, writer, bla bla bla. And I feel like it must seem like a real ego trip. That’s not it at all, believe me. I do all those things but not necessarily all of them very well. Creative A.D.D. — I seem to travel in circles, not taking any one thing all the way to the top. I know this is a part of my personality — somewhat butterflyish, seeking the various nectars that each craft has to offer — yet truthfully, perhaps delineating a deep lack of self-esteem. I know and willingly admit that I’m left in these mists with a real lack of satisfaction and a general feeling of depression for what seems like no reason.
So here I am trying to brush away the mist for a minute, realizing that I need to find the stick-to-it-tude to take a thing from hobby to an income.
Here in my offline life, I used to focus on music as a source of income. My degree is in music, I was once a real life Diva and made a nice supplemental income singing for churches, events and California Wineries. Since moving here to North Carolina, music has become my outlet. I’m playing old-timey and bluegrass music with a bunch of other music hobbyists and with no expectation of an income, I really enjoy the fun of it. Although I might teach it at some point, just for the cash — and it is so satisfying to be a part of someone else's learning, to see them get a thing.
I no longer have of the luxury of just playing around, I truly have to make whatever I choose to focus on make money for my existence. That certainly does lift the mist a little bit and give the kick in the ass a girl needs to get in gear.
So… I’ve been dabbling in painting over the last couple of years, and I’ve invented a technique for texturing and colorizing that is unique. I’m accepted at a couple of juried art shows and one of those two has expressed a keen interest in what I’m doing. These shows are my last hurrah in painting, either they will be successful and I’ll sell stuff and I’ll continue or they won’t and I’ll quit. Or at least it will be relegated to hobby status and I’ll make them for my friends since my walls have no more room. And I like to paint, it’s relaxing…Although will I be happy painting the same kind of thing all the time simply because they are popular? We’ll see… It scares me that if I do make it sell, the painting will go the route of the writing, it will be what I do for money but not for expression anymore.
Can I digress again for a minute? Expression is part of why I started painting (and creative writing, and music). For me, art was therapy. I painted really weird stuff and it made me feel so good to paint, a true release. But that kind of painting doesn’t sell so well. Who wants to look at dark twisted art hanging above their sofa?
And yet dark and twisted art makes me jump for joy to paint. It’s hard to explain. Yet I do enjoy the peace of painting these textured paintings, and I love to play with light. So if it does make money, I can see doing it repeatedly and that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
And all my life I’ve dabbled in photography and I do mean dabbled. I have not learned much about this craft, and as I look online into the window of possibility, I see that in order to really get good at this lifetime passion of mine, I’m going to have to go to school. I do have a good eye, of this I’m sure, and I have a lot of fun experimenting with options, but I’m lacking the basic understanding that I need to take it to the top…
The other day a friend of mine challenged me with a choice, that if he could wave a magic wand and give me glory, fame, income all of that with just one of my hobbies, which one would it be — at the moment of asking I had to choose photography. And I certainly have been investing in this option lately, getting set up to be able to offer portrait taking.
But will it be the Chalice? I tire of Creative A.D.D. Yet the rebel in me cringes at the thought of choosing any one thing.
On another note, a more positive note, another highly creative friend, Stephen Parrish — who knows his focus well — wrote this book which has just reached number one in mystery sales at Amazon.com. He’s a major inspiration and a fabulous writer so go buy his book and read it because it’s awesome. (And Steve, thanks for the introspectiscope. ;-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Where did all the words go?

It’s not that my brain went silent
Seems the opposite is true
It’s not that I don’t have opinions
I have many, yet don’t have a clue.

I tire of ultra soapboxing rants
Get mired in shoulds and woulds and can’ts
What’s real flies by without a glance
As I watch the world dig itself blue.

If I turn it all off and imagine
I could wipe it all down with a glove
And surround the world in white lights
With my magical powers of love,

I’d submerge the pain of seeing
Obliterating being
Essentially fleeing
Into soft pink clouds above.

Perhaps I should take a small pill
A dose that would give me a smile
So I’d laugh off the drama around me
And pretend that I don’t taste the bile,

But then I wouldn’t see trees
That bring me to my knees
And so I’m praying, please…
Help us move beyond denial.

But praying involves belief
In what? I do not know
And hoping is a fairy tale
As rusted stories show.

What else to do but stop
Like fish from water, flop
Take sponge and then a mop
And let the water flow.

A flood, perhaps is needed
To purge the grime involved
To clean the slate and start again
Zipped up now, problem solved.

Ha, not my jurisdiction
My job’s to feel the friction
I have no inner witch-dom
To make this world evolve.

And so I’ve become silent
I watch as words go by
And feel my heart that’s breaking
While tears gone numb, run dry.

I take me to my tasks
Put on a loving mask
And hope this will not last
While clinging to the lie. 

©2011 Catherine Vibert

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You Never Returned

It's been a long time since I posted in this blog...however, I'll be returning to the place that inspired this prose-poem next week, the land of the Cherokee, the rivers of the Tuckaseegee and Natahala. It made me think of this prose poem I wrote a couple of years ago and so I thought I'd bring it up to the top.

It was there in the misty mountains where my life began and ended. You left me at dawn, promising return by nightfall. I waited for years in the meadow of songs where we had built our love on pledges of golden sun and milky starlight.

You never returned.

Only the music of the storm was my solace. Shattered by the force of time and weather, I became blind. On my knees and with fingers numb from cold, I tried to find the path before me and stumbled into the dark echoes of the woods to seek shelter. Finding comfort on a bed of hemlock, I slept next to the gray wolf who consoled me as I wailed, holding me in his paws and licking my brow.

You never returned.

Only the laughing crows and battle cries of raptors could be heard in the forest. Songbirds fled to sing their cheerful melodies in less mournful places. My tears became the creek that flowed from the great mountains into the Tuckaseegee. Beyond an eternity of hope, shards of my crystalline heart can still be found.

You never returned.


Dedicated to those left behind on the Trail of Tears.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cat of Arc on Power

Hi, Cat of Arc here.

Here's the thing, there's no point in harping on things that everyone knows already. As an entity from another dimension, it is clear to me that everyone actually does know the truth, they just look the other way. So why go into a big long discussion about nuclear power and how horrible it is in every way conceivable? This is obvious. The bottom line is all the plants need to be shut down now, and all nuclear things need to be disbanded and safely disposed of. (Good luck with that).

There is not a single being on Earth that doesn't know this at a cellular level. The issue of why it still occurs is the bigger nebulosity.  That's due to another kind of power altogether, but I didn't come here to talk about that either, because you already know that.

No, I came to discuss another kind of power. The kind of power that you use to activate your muscles, go out into your yard and plant food and the kind of power that gives you. But see, I don't even need to tell you that because from my all knowing perspective, it is clear to me that you already know that too.

I can already hear those voices in your head complaining that it is not possible in your particular circumstance for one reason or another.  Well here's my answer for that — know who your local farmers are and be their friend. Support their CSA, yes if you read my earlier posts, you'd have noticed this isn't the first time I've mentioned those letters while extolling the virtues of Community Sustained Agriculture.

Or help out at the local community garden. Find a way to be involved in the sustainable, organic and locally grown food chain. That is true power, and you know that I am right.  Because I'm an entity from another dimension and can go anywhere at any time and inhabit any body— animal, bird, sealife or human, even plants, rocks and the interior of a supernova — I am always right. But I really don't care whether I'm right usually, I just want to see you evolve to know the possibilities of your potential. In my quests through time I see different possibilities, many look quite bleak.  I hate to be so dire but what can I say?

Cukes, not nukes!

Cat of Arc, signing out.

PS, you really gotta get a new government, and I'm not talking about the other party.  You guys are toast with your lack of ability to sway the decisions toward a pro-geosophic and human evolutionary possibility. Yeah, Earth will be here for a long long, time, that is true in all the possibilities I've seen, but you? Not in very many...but it's still your choice, for now...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cat of Arc on Enlightenment

     Ok, here’s the thing…maybe some of you remember me, I’ve been here before — I’m an entity from another dimension and I have possessed the body of the owner of this blog in order to speak. Usually she doesn’t know what happened until the article is posted and then she might remember vaguely that she was used for my purposes, but in this case I don’t think she’ll mind.
     In fact, she has barely been using this blog at all so she shouldn’t mind. The truth is she hasn’t had anything to write about lately, nothing is personally troubling or upsetting to her which is usually what inspires her poems, her various relationships are all pretty much in good standing and life’s pretty good, so she hasn’t had anything to complain about. She writes for the paper, and she has her Facebook presence for her artwork, and she keeps busy doing other things like gardening and playing music so her blog suffers. Not that a blog has feelings, it doesn’t, it really doesn’t care whether it gets posted to. All this to say that I don’t think it matters that I am now usurping it in order to do my entity thing and tell you all the truth as I see it.
     And I see the truth from a different perspective than humans — because I am an entity I have the ability to go anywhere without the burden of the time concept and I can be in many dimensions simultaneously, all of them actually. This doesn’t mean I think I’m better then a human, it’s just that I remember what you forgot…in fact a day will come when you will all realize that you have this talent as well, but for now I know I have it and I’m going to share it with you. Essentially so you have the opportunity to evolve because currently, it’s not looking good on the evolution front for the humans. Or for many of their animal companions and fellow wild creatures and other living things on Earth, which is itself living and will continue to live, but quite possibly without you.
     See, the humans are still living in the dark. And because of this they have an insatiable need for light. Humans are capable of projecting their desires onto things that look like the real thing, but are actually a false thing.
     You’ll notice that most evolutionary rhetoric has to do with the word light:
“Seek enlightenment”
“Illuminate me”
“Love and Light”
“Come to the light”
“The darkest hour is before the dawn”
“Let there be light”
     And humans are all seeking that light, and looking for it so hard that they are completely blind by how bright it actually is all the time. And so, in their infinite capacity to look right past the obvious, they misplace what light actually is for something else. Something THEY created, a construct, a made up thing, they call it a Light Bulb, and in order to keep that thing shining, giving them the illusion of light, they created something else and they called it Power and they plugged into it and that’s pretty much when they completely forgot who they are. I say they because I hate to offend YOU in case you actually remember, but I do mean YOU.
     To the humans, power is a drug. I don’t think I need to explain exactly how you are all addicted. But you are so addicted that you have forgotten how to survive on the most basic of levels. Because the Earth is a garden you know, and gardens need tending, or at least basic understanding of what is food and what isn’t. And that’s important because when you become unplugged — and you will the time is coming for that, and soon — knowing about that tending will become far more important than any light bulb or plug in options.
     Yes, it’s ironic that I am usurping a plug in option right now in order to say what I have to say, laughably ironic, no doubt, but that’s the great thing, we entities can take what went wrong and use it for good, and all of you humans can do that too. You can use what you have now in order to prepare for what will be, and I strongly caution you to do that now, while you still can.
     I’ll leave you with those thoughts for now, but I will be back. Back to talk about specifics, I realize this article was a tad general and perhaps vague, but rather than bombard you with my opinion on how things should and shouldn’t be, I wanted to give you an opportunity to think about your own addictions, and why the humans have fallen to a level of complete complacency about this very dire situation. And what are you going to do about it? Think about it…I’ll be back.
Signing off,
Cat of Arc

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wedding Day

Self Portrait - Wedding Day Valentine's Day 1980

A nervous smile paints her face
Her hand grabs the folds
Of satin and lace
Of unicorns and white steeds
How much you thought you knew
Once upon a time
Dusted, rusted and yellowed
A photo in a box
Claire Claire Claire de lune

Monday, January 31, 2011


Deep in the cave
In the hollow empty places
Stagnant air caresses the skin,
A thousand velvet tongues.
How long have …
It doesn’t matter, can’t remember.
Hands mingle with a shape
A box … a secret … rusted shut,
A key … washed away
Sometime long, long ago
In a tide of floods passed?
There is a path, a way out
But once this room is abandoned,
The secret may be lost forever
Is it worth it to stay
When tongues turn to flame?