Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Borderlands Cafe, Part Three

This story is the final installment of Brother Gypsy's Dance with the Veil between this world and the next. Where do we go next, and what do we do between now and when we get there? This story is the third part of the tale of The Borderlands CafĂ©; the space between here and whatever awaits us in the future, as told in Brother Gypsy’s words:

I danced with the Veil again and came back. No, before I walked across the veil, walked through and came back. The time before, I just sat there. I didn't walk it. This time, I rode the boat from the River Styx, except this one looked like an old wagon from a 30s movie, like I told you. And some old black lady in the back of the wagon didn't like me being there because she knew I hadn't paid the fare. I didn't pay the Ferryman.

Maybe that's the ticket. Maybe if you don't pay the Ferryman, you don't get to stay over there. They bring you back. That old black lady, she didn't want me in the back seat of that taxi, that horse-drawn taxi. I don't even know if she saw what I saw. She could have been seeing something altogether different because she wore a black funeral dress with one of them cookie-box hats with black lace. It was the kind of hat that women wore in the sixties.

I can't tell if she was seeing what I was seeing, but she didn't want me in the back. I hadn't paid the fare. That or maybe she just didn't like the fact that I was in her car. I have no doubt that somewhere tonight, an old black woman crossed the River, past the Veil.

She was sitting all proper like you would expect an old black woman to do, with her purse all tucked up in her lap, one of those hard-sided, patent-leather purses with the strap and the clasp, and the above-the-knee skirt, you know, that one-piece dress from the sixties. I have no doubt that somewhere out there, an old black lady died tonight, May 15th, 2011.

Yeah. I hope she finds her way. I hope she finds her way to someplace jubilant for her. Some place where she doesn't have to be proper. A place that doesn't have discrimination, because she was from that era. I don't think she saw me. I think she saw what she expected to see: not a white man invading her territory, but another woman. In the back of the bus, crossing the river, or going down that dirt road in a Lincoln Continental.

We all choose what we see when we look at the River Styx. This time, it was done in thirties movie props. I don't know what it'll be like next time, but there will be a next time. Wow.

I could be mad. It could just be the metal poisoning. I'll let you be the judge of that because you're of sound mind and body. But you saw my eyes. You know my heart, my mind, my spirit. If I'm mad, you'll never take this anywhere. But I'm not mad. Maybe You'll make us famous. Yeah. And of course, I'll never know because you'll never tell me if you did think I was mad. (Chronicler: Yeah, I would.)

You'll just sit and ride with me into the madness because you love me, hoping that I come back, saying, "Yeah, Gypsy's having delusions from the metal again." Anyhow, I'm gonna have a smoke.

#BrotherGypsy, #TalesoftheRoad, #dancinwiththeVeil, #JackKerouac, #roadtramps, #deathanddying, #dreams, #acceptance, #crossingtheVeil, #Jungian archetypes, #dancinwiththeBeatBoys, #rappinwithKerouac

The Borderlands Cafe, Part Two

With a nod to Carl Jung, here's Part Two of a Tale from the Road as told in Brother Gypsy's words, about his dance with the Veil that separates this world from the next, while Kerouac and the Beat-boys do their thing. Was it real? What is reality?

I'm stone cold sober. Not a drink for weeks, except for the metal that's coursing through my veins, the metal that's killing me. And I want you to make the annotations as the writer of this, the condition I was in when you came to wake me up, and what you saw in my eyes. Did I come back from the Veil, or am I mad? (Chronicler -- You're not mad.)

The wagon, the set, those were all props that my mind provided. But I have no doubt that I danced with the Veil with Kerouac and the Beat-boys. The last line for me, for my gravestone: "One Should Never Fear the Veil."

Tell them about me not breathing, with the red eyes and non-reactive pupils, the low body temperature. Tell them I answered after sixty seconds of not breathing, that I told you I had lunch with Kerouac and my mom, that you had to ask me who I was, who he was.

Most of America, when they looked at the book "On the Road," they saw a man with his hair all long, and a beard, and they saw a bum, a homeless wild man. It's lucky the book ever sold at all. Truthfully, he'd just come in from the wilderness.

He'd been sitting in a fire watchtower up on a mountain, alone in the woods writing for like, a couple of months. And they didn't see his eyes. But I saw his eyes when I saw that book. His eyes were all shiny and alive, and he had Knowledge, knowledge not many have: what it is to be truly alive. Not many get that.

They think they know. They mouth the words. People will think they understand, but they don't. You can't understand till you've been there. The way some might convince themselves that they understand the desperation and hope of tumbleweed coffee. But unless you've been there, you don't get it. You totally don't get it.

Just like someone is going to think they know what it's like to dance with the Veil, but when they get there, they're going to sit in their wheelchairs and eat their slop, or whatever symbology presents itself. They're not going to get the fact that Kerouac and I went to this place where everyone was at the border of life and death and started doing what we do, we Live. Even when our bodies give out, we live.

That's it. That's the story. I danced with the Veil again and came back. The last time, I walked through the Veil and came back.

#TalesoftheRoad, #BrotherGypsyandtheVeil, #KerouacandtheBeatBoys, #deathanddying, #symbology, #dreams, #Jungianarchetypes

The Borderlands Cafe, Part One

With a nod to Carl Jung, here's a Tale from the Road as told in the words of Rolyk Waylander. formerly known as Brother Gypsy. Rolyk has danced with the Veil that separates this world from the next several times. This time, he meets up with fellow road tramp, Jack Kerouac:

I've been across the Border before, and I’ll go there again. We'll all be there eventually. Traveling across the Border between here and the Veil is serious biz. Real life, real death. Crossing this way is freaking wild, not some stupid game, but wow. Real wow.

I jumped on the back of this wagon, and there was this old black lady in the back of it. A carriage made from a Model-A sedan frame, horse-drawn, driven by an old man. The harness was crazy at best. It was haphazard.

We were pulling from the main road to a dirt road when the wagon almost went into a ditch. Haphazard all over this bumpy dirt road -- crazy. And somehow we ended up on a paved street in front of some building, boarded up or something. I was sitting by this kid. It was raining, and I was talking to this kid -- I thought it was Kerouac. I said some things to him that only Kerouac would understand to make sure it was him.

Yeah, it was crazy, and I reached out cuz I knew it was him, and I shook his hand. I knew it wasn't any dream. I knew I was shaking hands with Kerouac. He was young, like 17, and I said: "See ya later, Mr. Kerouac." And he said, "C'mon, let's grab some lunch. We ain't supposed to be here."

So we went in the building. That was the funny part. He pointed at the building. There were all these sick and old people milling around in hospital robes in styles from the thirties to the fifties. They had lunch trays with some slop on them, but Kerouac, and I weren't all about that.

So we went poking around the place instead. And there was this room with this sheet over it, and Kerouac said: "Let's jam in here." No, it was "Ain't nobody using this, let's jam in here." And there were some boys with him. And Kerouac started talking, and I started dancing and the other boys, they started making music, but I don't know what they were using to make it.

And Kerouac was doing spoken-word, and I was dancing with this sheet, the sheet that was over the door. And the sick people started joining us. That's when the jock-boys -- those traditionalists -- the same ones you see in every fifties movie -- clean-cuts -- started getting upset. They wanted the sick people to stay where they were.

They didn't want us in this unused room, even though nobody was in it. You know, cuz that's the way they think things are supposed to be -- sickly and crippled and freaked up. They think you're expected to be that way to cross the border. That's where you start freaking with me with mundane crap when you start calling me back.

I wasn't dancing with a sheet over a door in an unused room. I was dancing with the Veil, and I didn't know that. All those sick people were there, and those traditional jock-boys were there, and they didn't know that when you're dead, you're allowed to do anything you want. And that's why all those straights were being all freaked out. They think they're supposed to be all cool and clean, and that Granny's supposed to be all messed up in her deathbed, but they're not right. You can do anything you want to do in death.

This trip, I chose bad black-and-white movie props from the thirties to forties vintage -- the wagon on the road, made out of some old model-A sedan frame, with an old nag pulling it, and freaked-up harness -- rickety. The thing is, I did have lunch with Kerouac. We didn't eat that slop, though. He did spoken word, and I danced, and the Beat Boys, they made music. They didn't have any instruments, but somehow, they made music.

This trip wasn't my first time through the Veil, and it won’t be my last. I'll be going back as frequently as I can because this toxicity ain't going to last forever. I'm going to get better. But the thing is, I got things to learn. I never know who I'll meet next.

But Kerouac taught me to dance with the Veil as he did spoken-word and the Beat-boys made music without instruments. Yeah, and I'll dance with the Veil again. Hell, yeah.

#BrotherGypsy, #TalesoftheRoad, #dancinwiththeVeil, #Jack Kerouac, #roadtramps, #deathanddying, #acceptance, #crossingtheVeil, #dreams, #Jungian archetypes, #dancinwiththeBeatBoys, #rappinwithKerouac

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ultimate Blog Challenge: Day Nine: Extreme Decluttering

Saying goodbye to the past by releasing objects, emotions, and experiences lets you take charge of your future. Whether your clutter is physical, emotional or spiritual, it can block your path and prevent you from molding the life you want. Today, I gave away Rolyk's wheelchair and walker, with his blessing.

I felt elated and apprehensive as I loaded them into Zach Sayre's SUV for him to take to Rebel and Divine UCC, along with some gently used clothing, shoes, and about 120 pounds of canned food that my coworker, Ruth "Ollie" Hood, and her fantastic anonymous neighbors had collected. Zach Sayre is the Sunday Dinner Coordinator at the church. Rebel and Divine UCC serves QUILTBAG youth when they age out of the foster care system or get tossed out of their homes. QUILTBAG stands for queer, unidentified, intersex, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, asexual and gay. Rebel and Divine UCC also serves everyone in the neighborhood surrounding East Sheridan and 10th Street in Phoenix, Arizona. Rebel and Divine UCC has an upcoming all you can eat Waffle Brunch Fundraiser on Saturday, April 16, 2016, between 9 AM and 1 PM. Tickets are $10.

I told Zach about Rolyk's recovery from long-term illness and told him that the wheelchair and walker come with a blessing of healing and renewal to whoever receives and uses them. I hope whoever receives them recovers fully, just like Rolyk has.

For anyone who cares for someone with a long-term illness, hope can seem foolish, but hope keeps you going when everything else fails. When things were at their worst, and Rolyk lost the ability to stand and walk, we found motivation in music, movement and inspirational videos of other people who had gone from being invalids or near-invalids to full recovery. Rolyk found bodybuilder Kai Green, on YouTube, and I had already come across Arthur Boorman, a disabled Gulf War veteran who had used yoga to recover. We also came across a video by Within Temptation called "The Whole World Is Watching," about a motorcyle rider's recovery from a severe accident. Once he saw those, Rolyk got up, one small change at a time, started doing chair-based exercises, then graduated to a heavy bag workout, and finally, what Rolyk calls Free Movement, which is acting like a kid, waving your arms around, dancing, playing ball, and just having fun. Rolyk lost over 100 pounds between June 2015 and March 2016. Rolyk's diet plan was also a big part of his recovery: little to no animal fat or animal protein, and eating only healthy things, and only as much of those as you can stand. Find our other recipes at Heritage and Home or Tempe Frugal Life

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ultimate Blog Challenge: Day Seven

I missed days five and six, but here is day seven. This poem is a response to my good friend and fellow traveler, Cher Guevara, who wrote "Damned in Dixie Blues" as a response to several pieces of hateful legislation passed recently in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. You can find "Damned in Dixie Blues" on Facebook.

Everyone is so busy protesting for or against the bathroom portion of these bills that no one has noticed that several of them also include language that forbids communities from raising the minimum wage, providing paid sick leave, or giving workers other rights that will enable them to lead more stable lives and keep themselves off assistance programs.

They Want Us to Sing the Blues
by Jack V Sage

They want us to sing the blues
so we don't notice
what they've done:
the poison pill they hid
in their stinking pile
of hateful exclusion.

"Looky here," they say,
pointing at their brandy-new signs
telling us to keep out.

They don't want anyone
looking past the line
at the bathroom door,
or we'll notice how they've
locked us all out: trans and cis,
gay and straight:
taken the food right off our plates,
making sure none of us
can afford a roof over our heads.

Divided, we stand at the bathroom door
while they line their pockets
with our blood, sweat and tears.

"Oh, Looky there," they shout, "another queer!"
And we all turn and look, but no one sees
the line that they use to determine our worth
has grown shorter.

We're too busy looking for dicks on chicks,
imagining perverts in every stall
to realize that the truly perverted
are those in the Capitol buildings and pulpits
all across this land, selling their brothers and sisters
into slavery for the sake of the almighty dollar,
and an hour of power on the airwaves.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ultimate Blog Challenge Day Four: Oops!

Friends Forever by Jack V. Sage 04/19/2015

Funny how Saturday's post was "Distraction." I got so busy doing a transcript of Rolyk Waylander's "Fun" video on YouTube that he made for his Rolyk Fitness page on Facebook, that I forgot to post anything here yesterday. So head over to Faeriewynd, watch the video and make a comment. 

Today's topic is "Reunification." On my Facebook Memories page, I saw a comment from someone who is no longer on my friends' list for some reason. I do not remember having a falling out with them, so I messaged them and apologized. I said that I no longer remember why we stopped being friends and asked forgiveness for whatever it was. I also said that if it was something they did, I don't remember why I might have been offended, so let's get back to being friends.

Do you remember why you stopped talking to an old friend? Call them up, write them, email them, send a text, whatever. Tell them that you remember your friendship, not the reason it ended. Let's all renew an old friendship today!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ultimate Blog Challenge: Day Two

I have participated in the Ultimate Blog Challenge many times over the past few years. The idea is to post something every day for 30 days and to read and comment on at least three other people's blogs every day for those same 30 days, with the idea of increasing traffic and creating and strengthening bonds in the artist, creative, writing and blogging communities. I do not always succeed at posting every single day, but I find it fun to interact with fellow writers.

I am also participating in National Poetry Writing Month. Each post will have a writing prompt. Today's prompt is "distraction." Tell me what distractions you fight. Which ones do you think provide inspiration for your writing or other creative efforts?