Message from the childhood abuser

“No one in your family gives a shit about you anymore. Get over it.”

Of course, to get free of an abusive family, is success.

Happy Fall!!!

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Don’t Play Cards with Satan…

He’ll deal you an awful hand.

That’s a song by Daniel Johnston that I love; you can hear — no, scrap that, you can experience it here. Also, I heard on Christian Radio today (I live in a Christian area), that one must never argue with the Devil because the Devil will always win.

This is an experience I have found to be true. I used to worry that knowing , in advance, that another person would outmaneuver me, meant that said person was stronger or mentally quicker than I, but really, it just meant that they were crueler.

Half of life is knowing when to walk away. There is dignity in walking, and humility and peace. Know when to cut and run, friends. The life you save, as they say, may be your own.

I heard the voice of Satan crying in the woods…  

Did I ever stop and tell you I am a desperate man… a desperate man..

Daniel J
Daniel when young
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TED in Gargoyle 69

An audio reading, by me, of my short story Ted is out this summer in a new issue of Richard Peabody’s lit anthology Gargoyle 69.

Ted is the story of loving someone you are not meant to love and how that love will fail — yet there is no real failure in love, is there? Because you always have those first feelings, that attempt, that empathy, and knowledge that you once, at least, and hopefully many times thereafter, lived well enough to throw logic, caution and other people’s judgments to the wind. (Living, it should be called). This is available on a CD here. The beginning lines, I post below:

We drive north, past nursing homes and hospitals, through tunnels in a hillside, alongside the wall of a town, yards full of bikes and clotheslines that spin in circles. He has a place to show me: the air leaden with bottle bushes, pines straight as toothpicks. It is a swimming pool, not tepid, but warm: the way a body is.  We swim naked and alone, the alone is what we like.

Gargoyle 69
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Who are you and why are you here?

Resentment, the monk Thomas Merton wrote, is the means by which we separate ourselves from forces meant to constrain us.

The means by which we separate ourselves from those meant to constrain us

I begin with my family of origin and a recent song that keeps playing in my head:Father’s Song by Celeste. Let go of those who are not like you and you find those who are.

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There are such unfortunates. They use their one-side unanswerable writing to put forth a theory of victimization and shame/pity. I have known a few. Hopefully, I will never be one.

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Going Backwards

is always useful, in term of relationships, because — so it seems to me — whenever one goes back to the past in hope of creating a new or different future, one finds that there is no new future, that there is only a repetition of the past, that caused one so much pain, friends, for a reason, not a mis-step or mistake or misjudgment. But a reason. One need only to accept and inhabit the reason. This is the only way forward. And if you think there is no reason, you must do nothing but wait — for it will come. As Denis Johnson told me at a reading the year he died, “Give it Time.”

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Once, I loved and I gave so much love to this love, you were the world to me.

Once, I dropped down to about 100 pounds, at age 35, from the stress of a relationship, and when I left the relationship, I collapsed and had organ failure and then for no good reason, back pain so I couldn’t walk and had back surgery, and 6 years of violent pain — and through this, I suddenly began to be fired from all the jobs I tried to hold, because I was so weak and in so much pain I would lash out or cry.

I shook like leaf for six years… and I will never again be the person I was. So if someone is rude to you, or missteps, consider that they might be in the midst of something they can’t even put words to — the way I was. And hold back from dismissing them, or striking back, as that is not the way. (not that I am anyone to tell another what to do.) x

Let us seek neither to run nor to retaliate…

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Supporting girls

Time to Ask

Friends, please support Season 2 of my podcast. A percentage goes to the Silver Hill Foundation for their work with girls (including me, once) who have been sexually abused as children. We also support PAVE, and all girls and Women Telling Stories about Men

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Linda Gregg, who knew how to live

Linda Gregg, the poet, died a few days ago. I met her once at an arts colony where I was working. Instead of having her sit inside and read pages, I took her on a walk. We went up the hill and into the woods where we got lost. We sat in a ravine, with broken black trees and white water flowing, and we each had a cigarette. Or maybe we shared one. People still sneaked cigarettes back then. She told me how she loved a man — not Jack Gilbert anymore. Jack Gilbert was in her youth, when they lived, famously, on a Greek island. This other man was also a poet, but married to another. I too had had a great love, who had been married to another. We compared notes. She told me that no one had ever loved her the way this man had loved her, that she had been astonished at how he much he loved her, and the words he had said to her. Words she couldn’t get over. Or chose not to get over, there in the ravine in Vermont with her long famous ginger-red hair and her beauty and her seriousness. Linda was a woman, I thought, who knew how to live. She had given herself to words and to beauty. She was a also a horse rider, I believe, in California where she grew up. She is the kind of person you picture as always on that horse. She led a life few dare to these days. A life of devotion. R.I.P Linda Gregg (September 9, 1942 – March 19, 2019

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Athens in April

“The Shipping Tycoon,” a story from 52 Men about my excursions with the late yachting magnate risen from donut shops in Greece, will appear in an exhibit by Creative Process at the Byzantine Museum in Athens, beginning in April 2019.

Here is Andreas below, on his yacht The Rosenkavelier.

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