Wild Powers Muldoon




some guys never give up. some guys never come close to stopping believing. they walk thru' fire like other guys fall off logs. yes some guys are tougher than the rest. harder and faster. it's an unfair world. some fish never fly and some birds never swim. some of us are born to be wild and some of us hide from the moon. some of us sail paper boats. some of us spend too long in bars. and when we wake up we find our lives are gone.

some teeth never bite. some hearts never break. some poets never write. some leaves refuse to fall. some ghosts never smile. some ghosts never come. some flowers only grow in the dark. some addictions live quietly inside themselves while others scream. some truths are difficult to hold. shadows come and go, winds blow and then cease to blow. fences can be torn down, walls can be breached. there are no such things as boundaries or endless night or endless sleep. and anubis god of death in jackal form waits in a cold shed for the night's work to begin.

the night's work is painting angels in a cold shed. angels that nobody wants but him. angels that one day will serve and save the world. angels with two heads. sometimes with four, sometimes even with twelve. he's been doing it for years - painting angels in a cold shed. he wasn't much good at it at first but he kept at it and it kept him out of trouble - or so he thought. his work was considered crude and naive but he comforted himself with the thought that william blake and van gogh too once upon a time had been considered crude and naive. he felt safer painting angels in a cold shed rather than invading germany or belgium and if his work was even half as crude and naive as blake and van gogh he would indeed be happy in the end. in his mind he'd give his left arm if his work was even half as crude clumsy weak and graceless as blake and van gogh. for as long as the gods spared him he would paint angels in a cold shed. and in time when the darkest hour came his angels would come alive and serve and save the world. that's the way it was inside his head.

inside his head was a wasteland where an army of mechanical toys ruled and pulled the strings. and he had become their slave. he had become a mechanical toy - run and operated by other mechanical toys. in the wasteland inside his head flowers grew in the dark. in reality it was the flowers that ruled the wasteland but for the sake of peace and harmony the flowers permitted the mechanical toys to think otherwise. in reality it was the flowers that grew in the dark that ruled the wasteland inside his head. the flowers were masters. the toys were their servants. and the flowers were tended by ghosts. and the ghosts tended them well.

our painter boy continued to paint angels in a cold shed unaware he had become a clockwork toy controlled by other clockwork toys. and the clockwork toys continued to rule the wasteland in his mind blissfully unaware that they were in fact servants of the flowers that grew in the dark. blissfully unaware of the dichotomy between rulers and the ruled, servants and those that are served. and nobody asked who was fooling who. and the ghosts tended the flowers well asking no questions and offering no answers. the ghosts were like poets in as much as questions and answers were way beneath the lofty heights of the their intellect and ambition. the ghosts liked to dress prettily. they liked silence. they liked to serve the flowers prettily and in silence. they rarely spoke and when they did it was always a pretty, witty, ridiculous and totally inconsequential remark. often in private they would squabble and bicker gently amongst themselves regarding who could produce the most ridiculous inconsequential and meaningless remark. the rules of this game were simple - the winner was always the most ridiculous, prettiest and most totally meaningless remark.

the winner of this game was always the same ghost. and the name of this ghost was wild powers muldoon. muldoon was a dangerous ghost. he had the soul of an elephant, the courage and heart of a lion and the wit of an astonishingly sharp broadsword. according to muldoon rapiers were for girls. his was a gentle soul but his mind was a thousand times faster than he looked. muldoon looked kinda slow but in reality he was the fastest ghost on the block. muldoon was the undisputed king of the fast, stupid, pretty, elegant, vacuous and totally meaningless remark. in short, muldoon was a poet, popular with kings and princes, popular with our friends the ladies and an absolute hoot at parties. something to do with his irish blood i guess. the real deal, the secret key to this game was the ability to come up with something fast, pretty, romantic, poetic and elegant, sophisticated and sharp but also dumb and stupid and totally without meaning or relevance - totally without even the remotest practical application. in short, something both wise and dumb and always entertaining. and at this game muldoon was king - an undisputed master. he was king of the swift, off the cuff, fatuous remark. even ghosts need entertaining now and then. he was well liked by all in the wasteland inside our painter boy's head and he tended the flowers that grow in the dark assiduously well and with much tenderness and sensitivity. but for now enough about ghosts....

our painter boy is painting an angel in a cold shed. he is painting stars. red stars. and red flames shoot from the hands of the angel. it is 3am and our painter boy is following assiduously well the instructions of the mechanical toys that live in the wasteland. the flowers that live in the dark watch the painter work in silence and they find that they are pleased with his work. the ghosts tend the flowers as best as they can and muldoon clowns around and plays the fool doing his best to keep everyone happy. a gentle rain is falling. and tomorrow is another day.

ghosts are like artists. indeed they tend flowers well but they have no time or respect for rules or structure. none at all. and believe me you don't want to hear anything from ghosts regarding modern technology or social media. trust me on this if you want to keep your hair.

in a cold shed the painter continued to paint assiduously his two headed angel with hands of fire and in the wasteland mechanical horses run thru' mechanical fields towards a mechanical beach where paper children sail paper boats on mechanical waves. and a hundred years from now almost everything will be exactly the same.

beautiful liars. a lonesome road. distance, separation and pretence. each moment the start of something and the end of something. death flies in and out of each moment. and sometimes lingers. poets tell lies and sad stupid jokes to mirrors. the mirrors refuse to listen or reflect and they decline all invitations to dance. and when the poets leave to scratch their sad verses on city park benches in the rain the mirrors dance and laugh amongst themselves telling and re-telling the sad jokes of the poets and reciting every word and verse the poets ever wrote - from here to infinity. and no matter what happens or doesn't happen the poets will never know or learn or win the secret love of mirrors.

all over the world poets scratching their beautiful sad verses on park benches in the rain. poets scratching their beautiful verses on bar tables in kool new york bars and in san francisco coffee houses. never knowing the secret love of mirrors. never knowing how they dance. never knowing or understanding that mirrors like to keep themselves to themselves. mirrors are shy cautious and careful creatures. mirrors never dance with strangers. they are cautious and particular in the extreme regarding the where when why and how of what they reveal and what they conceal. they dance alone. or only with other mirrors. too shy, too cautious, too fearful to ever reveal their secret love to the poets. so the poets dance alone. and no matter how elegantly or poetically they dance - they too dance alone. thanks to the mirrors.

time smokes a cigarette and death takes a holiday. sometimes we need to be alone. sometimes we are scared to be alone. sometimes we need to sleep and sometimes we are too tired and scared to sleep. sometimes we need to dream and sometimes we are too scared to dream. sometimes we are visited by ghosts and healers and sometimes we are visited by demons. the words of the poets are indeed scribbled on the subway walls. i am not this body scream the poets. i am not a mirror whisper the mirrors. poets dream they are hung on walls like mirrors. mirrors dream they are sitting at desks writing verse. then both dreams collide. sometimes we are scared of every little noise and every distant movement. i guess that's why god sent us jesus - to give us courage.

jesus sits in a san francisco coffee house writing poetry. but nobody apart from poets and mirrors and flowers that grow in the dark reads poetry any more. even in san francisco. maybe jesus has come too late. these days it's all about fast cars and guns. sport and mindless television have become gods. jesus packs his bags ready to go home. and the poets wonder if sometimes even jesus is too scared to sleep. the poets watch jesus leave the coffee house and the mirrors watch the poets. now jesus is hitching a ride on a lonesome highway on the edge of town in cold november rain but nobody will give him a ride even tho' the reward is eternal salvation. yeah guns and roses, mindless television and cold november rain. if there are three words that sum up my life said a poet in the coffee house it's cold november rain. oh yeah said another poet and he wrote down the words cold november rain just as a trucker stopped on the highway on the edge of town and gave jesus a ride. and at the exact moment jesus climbed up into the cab of the truck all the mirrors in the coffee house smiled and winked at each other.

you might be too scared to sleep said the first poet but i see you're not too scared to write. yeah said the second poet. then they ordered more coffee and sharpened their pencils. then they both opened a fresh page in their notebooks and all the mirrors in the coffee house sighed and smiled and winked again. they wrote poetry because they liked to write poetry. they weren't trying to sell anything. they weren't trying to please or impress anybody. they drank coffee because they liked drinking coffee. they dressed like poets because they liked to dress like poets. they liked a little bit of style. the first poet looked a lot like the ghost of jack kerouac and the second poet looked a lot like the ghost of richard brautigan. also at their table was the ghost of robert mitchum. at another table bound and gagged and weeping gently sat the ghost of oscar wilde. wilde just wouldn't shut up so brautigan kerouac and mitchum shut him up - tied him up and gagged him for a while. poetic champions compose. they were fond of wilde of course but sometimes oscar was simply too fond of the sound of his own voice. there was a theatre next door to the coffee house but there was much more theatre with the poets in the coffee house than ever there was next door.

most of those who frequented the coffee house were either actors, ghosts or poets. sometimes a combination of all three. but it was the poets that the mirrors loved. their wits were sharper, their hearts warmer. the actors were vain and shallow, empty and hollow, competitive in an ugly way and much too full of their own importance. the ghosts were dangerous and elusive with a cold deadly and devilish sense of humour. but generally they were an ok bunch of ghosts - but nothing like the ghosts that lived in the wasteland in our painter boy's head.

where, when does this story start? fuck knows. who's in it? the usual stuff - ghosts and poets, mirrors and fools and mechanical toys. what's gonna happen next? fuck knows. maybe a few kings playing poker in a hotel bar where all the staff are red wine stained wolves and the hotel owner is a pine marten. maybe the story will take us to the firebird school of poetry. or even to the wrong hospital. who the fuck knows? it's just a story, it's not even half started. we simply don't know who what how or when whatever it is - is gonna happen. the future is a long way off. and we might never get there. one line at a time please.

the ghosts in the wasteland liked pretty things. the coffee house ghosts didn't give a damn. our painter boy often played poker with the ghosts and the poets in the coffee house and more often than not he won. and it was during these games that wild powers muldoon started to plan his escape. it was during these games that the feeling that he could no longer tend the flowers that grew in the dark for all eternity started to grow and grow in muldoon and he waited patiently for a spark. like joseph knecht in the glass bead game sometimes we simply have to walk away and feel the rain and wind on our faces and in our bones rather than inspect assess and analyse such things. he didn't know it yet but he wanted to be a writer. he wanted to be a poet. and he wanted to paint. muldoon was not undemanding of himself. and after he had produced a body of work to his satisfaction, paintings and volumes of verse, it was his plan to become a leaf and then an ocean wave traversing the world from pole to pole. but what he really wanted was to be a child again, to hear again in innocence circus trumpets and the ever comforting sound of his mother's voice. his was a romantic and sentimental soul and he missed his mother more than he knew. but as the boys played poker in the coffee house these thoughts were only unformed seeds inside his brain. and light was a limited quality in the wasteland. bridges to be crossed. bridges to be burned.

muldoon was sharp. but he only had two speeds - super fast and super slow. the spark arrived in the middle of a winning hand of three jacks. and the name of the spark was texas rose. quit your job at the gas station and come with me said rose. muldoon left the card table and sat with rose at a corner table. texas rose was tall and beautiful and her legs were long and ran from her ass all the way to eternity. i am your salvation said texas rose. i don't have a job at the gas station said muldoon. i know said rose.

you already are a painter and poet said texas rose. you are not a ghost, you are not the servant of flowers that grow in the dark and you are not a prisoner of mechanical toys. you are a flesh and blood painter who has lost his mind to alcohol and drugs and excessive gambling. i am your salvation said texas rose. then she placed muldoon's hand on her thigh.

i don't have a job at the gas station said muldoon. i know said rose. there was a cheap hotel opposite the theatre and as they crossed the street hand in hand in the cold november rain bobby womak's across 110th street was blasting out from an upstairs window. they took a room on the third floor and there they fucked non-stop for a week like rabbits tearing out the hearts of red wine stained wolves. the beginnings of something resembling order and calm were being restored to his mind. something vaguely resembling peace presented itself to him. but the flowers that grew in the dark did not want to let him go. the cure is not instant said texas rose - salvation often takes a long long time. flesh and blood fucking is the only cure. we might have to fuck for centuries before the flowers and the mechanical toys will let you go. sounds ok to me said muldoon and as cold november rain continued to fall both inside and outside room 306 they continued their work steadfastly and assiduously towards a cure.

love of self is no love at all. hatred of self is less than a dream. painters all over the world painting angels in cold sheds. millions of them. angels that in our darkest hour will save the world. all across the world poets scratching sad beautiful verses on bar tables and on park benches in cold november rain. millions of them. poets in love with mirrors. mirrors in love with poets. poets and mirrors no longer dancing alone - no longer crying alone. it's much better than war. it's better than starving, fearful and alone, in a fridge on a long forgotten island. and you don't need a sword or a gun. just a little patience and a little imagination.

listen to your heart. when we forget to pray for the angels then the angels forget to pray for us. and please remember to be kind to flowers that grow in the dark.

august 2014