Category: Essay

How to be Raw: a Poem

There are Raw Poetry Contests afoot, so I aims to enter them!


How to be Raw: a Poem


Decipher the code, she said to me.

And I found it came in a set of three.

A man in a glass box, an empty picture show, a lens.

I found it tricky because we think with thoughts but write with pens.

The glass box was perfectly clear. No reflections or marks. An Anti-mirror.

I saw the man shed two of his skins. But you don’t understand, it still wasn’t him.

I asked him why he’d killed the boy. He turned and spoke, empty words bereft of joy.

It’s okay, he said. That wasn’t the real me. This is the real me. I’m sincere and gay.

But it’s the same you. You haven’t changed at all, I say.

He sheds again. I’m sad and lonely, not deranged, he said.

But I can’t hear you, I reply. Defense against Change, the glass box read.


Unpuzzle the puzzle, she suggested next.

And determined, I dove twice as deep into the text.

The picture show was empty except it wasn’t, because I was there.

She sat alone, but apparently she didn’t care.

There was a gap in her smile, almost as big as the one in her soul.

She said it’s not that I can’t be filled, nothing fits my want to be whole.

I tried food and sex and drugs.

I tried movies and Netflix and hugs.

I know I’m not the smartest or the prettiest.

I’m definitely not the most patient or the luckiest.

But I got it where it counts. At least I’m not a child murderer.

I ask her why she’s alone. She says, the same reason you are.

I’m not alone. I have friends.

Are they real, or just means to ends?

I didn’t like that, but she didn’t see.

She pulled out a pipe that smelled vaguely of tea.

Will this get me high, I asked.

No, it’ll get you fucking high, she rasped.


Know thyself, her final command.

And then, only then, did I understand.

The lens is the way that I see the world.

I hungered for knowledge, for secrets unfurled.

I looked through the glass, hoping to see the universe.

Instead I found the inner stitching of my mini purse.

That’s it? This is all I can witness?

What does this say about my mental fitness?

So small, I bellowed. Why is the world so small?

Oh my dear student, you’ve learned nothing at all.

She took the lens from my hand and tsked tsked my conclusions.

She asked how exactly I’d earned these confusions.

I told her the answers seemed simple enough.

Like the man in the glass, he wasn’t too tough.

He can see out and people see in.

Yet he thinks he can hide again and again.

He represents a man with poor self-awareness.

He killed his inner child and thought we wouldn’t notice.

The picture show was harder, but I think I cracked it.

The girl all alone was a shallow meth/crack head.

Her bottomless hunger was a strangely shaped hole.

She numbed it with pleasures but it just left her cold.

The lens is what stumped me. I thought it’d reveal

The world as I saw it, but instead it stayed sealed.


No you fucking idiot, my instructor chided.

You got it all backwards, my teacher derided.

The riddles were clues, my Maestro invited.

That it’s not about you, my sensei confided.


The glass box is your identity. Paper thin, artificial and see-through.

You can’t make human connections because you’re stuck in a prison made by you.

The picture show is the story you tell yourself about yourself.

You’re the main character, everyone else are props on a shelf.


That’s a terrible rhyme, I said, pouting.

Shut up.

Finally, the lens is the world you see as you may.

The problem is you have it pointing the wrong way.

She flipped the lens over, and suddenly I saw

The whole world was people. Humans all.

Of course, how could I be so stupid!

I’m too self obsessed. Self absorbed. Self-


Stop it. Just stop, my mentor instructed.

The problem is you, but the solution is not, kid.

Don’t wallow in grief like a narcissistic douche canoe.

Stasis is death, so try something new.


Break through that glass and get out of that theater.

There’s people to connect to. So go forth, dear reader.

So, it’s come to this…

I would like to take a short break from this blog’s usual subject, being a portal to strange, wonderful, fantastical fiction, to examine something that I think is important and relevant and a little depressing. Though perhaps not that surprising depending on your own level of cynicism. For anyone who isn’t aware or is reading this a hundred years in the future; on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon a man shot and killed 9 people and injured 9 more. It is the latest in a series of mass shootings that has been plaguing the U.S. for years if not decades. It is terrible, it is a tragedy, water is wet, the sky is blue, etc. There is nothing I can say about this that hasn’t already been said by people way smarter and more qualified than I and after the seemingly millionth one of these, there really isn’t much else that can be said. BUT. There is another angle to this to be discussed that isn’t getting a lot of attention. An angle that may disgust you, may leave you in disbelief, but is most assuredly something that happens regularly. I was sitting on the couch with my fiancé watching the news the day the shooting in Roseburg occurred. I don’t know why, but I had this feeling I needed to look something up. Something I had seen before in regards to tragedies like this. So, I pulled out my phone and googled a few key words. I found this.

For those who can’t open the link or don’t feel like giving the site another click, it is a website called Before it’s news which decided, mere hours after this horrific event, to publish an article calling the shooting a false flag operation. My first thoughts were, “what in the actual fuck?” I mean seriously, what the fuck? I couldn’t believe it. It normally takes weeks, sometimes days for this kind of thing to appear and here it was just hours, HOURS, after the killing stopped. This brings me to two questions. How and why? More specifically, why do people think a false flag school shooting is even a thing and how did conspiracy theorizing get this bad/insane?

I thought I’d lost my faith in humanity enough watching the events in Roseburg unfold but this article was a punch to the gut I wasn’t ready for. I mean, what drove this meat harvesting robot pretending to be a person to write and then publish this? Was this sewer receptacle shaped like a human being just sitting next to his five TVs tuned to different networks, waiting for a mass shooting so he could pound out an article telling us ahead of time, before it’s “news”, that this was a fake shooting we had here? What in the holy blazing fuck? It takes a special kind of person to shout “conspiracy theory” before the bodies are even cold. I mean how cynical do you have to be? Has the conspiracy sphere gotten so bloated that it’s come to this? Are Lizard people too passé now? Is there nothing safe enough to believe in? Not according to these guys. Oh, did I mention this person isn’t alone? No, this isn’t a lone wolf howling conspiratorial cries into the aether of the internet. There are tons of guys like this out there. You’d be surprised how many.

False flags have long been a staple of war. Real life historical examples include the Gulf of Tonkin Incident which sped us into Vietnam and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion which was supposed to make it look like Cuban Counterrevolutionaries were overthrowing Fidel Castro. Now, for some reason, the phrase “false flag” is popping up all over the conspirasphere. Add hoax and the numbers sky rocket. Real people are actually for real getting hurt or killed out there and these people aren’t convinced. I mean what? Where is this coming from? You may be wondering how I even knew to look for this sort of thing on the day of the shooting. It’s because I’ve seen it before. (Blood and gore warning for that last link.)

Just days after the Boston Bombing, people were already doubting the official story and looking for the truth of the matter. It was surreal, watching people piece together the “real” story from pictures and news coverage and such. Mostly they were pointing out inconsistencies with the reporting (which happens every time a bomb or automatic weapon goes off by the way) how the numbers varied wildly and how the things the officials were saying didn’t match what witnesses reported. I’ll admit there were some valid questions brought up (like how the back pack the bomber used was different than the one recovered at the scene and pegged as the source of the explosion) but the stuff about the “crisis actors” and how the victims were planted and faked the whole thing to drum up tears and sympathy and all that junk just sickened me. This was real human suffering we witnessed. Calling it acting and faking is just a monstrous thing to do. Seriously.

You think these are the only examples? Just Google “false flag shooting” and see what pops up. Every single major mass shooting event of the past few years are all there, one after another being “exposed” as lies and hoaxes and false flags by the savvy investigators and internet video experts that know better than to trust the Mainstream Media. Remember the Virginia shooting in August where two reporters were killed? These guys do. Apparently the reporters were paid actors who faked getting shot so the gun control types could take people’s guns away. This isn’t a joke website. Read the comments. These are real people who really believe these things. Remember Sandy Hook? The shooting at the elementary school? With the kids? Yeah that one has its own Wikipedia page.

The point to all of this is that people, real people that you and I know and see on the street, believe these sorts of things. Even people in charge of important things, like, oh I don’t know, the sheriff investigating the shooting in Roseburg. This is not a small thing. There is a whole world of people that think the U.S. government actively plans and executes false flag operations in schools, movie theaters, churches, army and navy bases and so on just so they can get a little bit more of that sweet sweet gun control for their gun hating boners. Sometimes these folks mix with the Jade Helm/UN Agenda/FEMA concentration camp types, but not always. It’s the weirdest thing to see those two fight. They fight over whether something’s a hoax or a false flag. It’s sad and depressing.

This brings me back to my original two questions. First off, how did this happen? Now, look, everyone has their own theories about the way things “really are”. I know I do. But this isn’t your garden variety Moon Landing Hoax or JFK conspiracy theory. This is on a whole other level. It started, I think, with the 9-11 Truth movement. Everyone remembers the Loose Change video or at the very least how many times they were e-mailed a link to it by that one uncle. You know the one. This video was more than viral. It had an impact on the national psyche. It was one thing when conspiracy theories were relegated to X-Files style UFOs or shadow governments hidden in Cheyenne Mountain. This was like the reality TV version of conspiracy theory.

It didn’t help that this was around the time that we all started wising up to the fact that there weren’t WMDs in Iraq, and maybe oil was the real reason we were there and maybe we had been lied to about why we were in Iraq? I mean, what happened to the manhunt going on in Afghanistan? Wasn’t catching bin Laden supposed to be priority number one? It all just seemed to make a sort of sense and for a while a lot of people, even me, believed that 9-11 was an inside job.

Here’s the thing though. Hurricane Katrina came the same year as Loose Change, 2005. When we saw just how terrible the federal response was to the hurricane, it should have collectively dawned on us that there was no way these incompetent clowns could have thrown together an operation like 9-11 and gotten away with it as clean as they would have had to. That should have been the end to any and all truth movements. Instead, people doubled down. Bush doesn’t care about black people, y’all. That explains it. Not nepotism or being severely unprepared for something on the magnitude of Katrina. The conspiracies could continue.

Jump to 2013 and here comes a bomb in Boston. By now, truth movements are a well oiled machine. People were standing by, ready to analyze and scrutinize every piece of film and reporting and witness interview with the intensity of an electron microscope. Is this too far? Is this too cynical? A certain amount of skepticism is healthy if you want to live in a functioning democracy, but calling victims of a terror attack “crisis actors” with “fake blood” and “staged photos” is a bit much.

As for my second question: why? That is a whole other can of onion layered worms that will require another post. But for now, ruminate on all this and tell me what you think.