Entropy (8/10/04)

Fresh start?

Who are you kidding?

This is not going to work

You can’t make something new work

By running away from what has not

You need to hunker down in therapy, heal the old

And pray that somehow that will make some difference

 

It’s entropy, man

It’s all winding down all the time

Don’t you see it?

You can’t start something new at all

Just struggle mightily against the dissolution of the past

A virus will take your computer

And a virus will take you

 

Face it

It’s not working, hasn’t worked, will not work

Bottom line – you don’t work

And that’s what you will carry with you

Wherever you go

This is what therapy cannot fix

What no number of geographic fixes will ever mend

Well, but”

No well but’s – it’s just the truth

I say it to you for your own good

 

But, I think new things have happened –

Sometimes life feels new”

Bullshit – what happened to it?

What do you have still to show?

Where is all that newness now?

 

Well the very fact that I want to go

That I could somehow emerge a vision of something new

The part of me that believes I could

Take off without a plan and trust what is ahead

The part of me that sees you

This voice within me that

Certainly speaks for entropy

And is not totally cowed

That yes has feared you

Has feared, does sometimes fear

But will not live in fear

Will not back off from my truth just

Because you say ‘face it’

 

Somehow ‘face it’ from you does not really mean ‘face it’

Does not mean look at the whole truth and take it straight

It means, ‘listen to my right-now mean and nasty version of the truth –

Listen to my painful, limited, destructive picture of the real,

Emerging honestly from my own pain’

 

OK, I’ll face it – on my terms

I’ll face your despair – and mine

I’ll face the call of the new

Which comes to me from more sources than I will ever know

I will face the love of those who love me

Which I know that I would sometimes dodge

I will face the energy and aliveness

Present in this world in more forms and places and people

Than there are words to tell

And I am going to go see some of them

And see what they do for this aliveness in me

Which, yes, has suffered its share

The slings and arrows

And all manner of psychological crime

Which sometimes therapy can help

And sometimes maybe not

I will go face this energy outside of me and inside me

Why might not some new place

Help me find and see and face

That source of new life sleeping always within me?

Perhaps this is my testimony of faith

That there is something new

Over that hill I have not yet crossed

Something might be calling me that I have never seen

And that things are present within me that perhaps

Can never find life except in that next place

 

Or not –

But if I do not climb that hill I will never know

And so I gotta go

And that voice inside of me and you

And in the air we breathe, it seems

That says that change can’t happen

That risk is wrong

That I can’t, we can’t – and shouldn’t try

I love that voice, because it speaks so poignantly to

So much of what we have suffered, do suffer

But I gotta respectfully submit

Entropy this!”

 

“How Can I Write of Transformation” – need a djimbe tonight, 9:30 open mic, Jack of the Wood

Gonna rock this poem at Jack of the Wood tonight – 9:30 open mic.

John L
Wish this guy was in town – he rocks the fuckin’ djimbe.

But it really wants a djimbe accompaniment – and so far I only kind-of have one. This guy at THE BLOCK off biltmore Friday night said he would bring his drum, but he’s not too confident of his skill level and I’m not sure he will actuallyshow.  I’ll do it without – and will totally blow it out by myself – but without the drum I just can’t take it to the total fever pitch it is trying to reach.

I put out a call to the guy who helped me with the poem at my poetry concert last spring – and that worked real well for both of us.  (Him, after: “there was one place where I kinda lost the beat, but then I got it back.”  Me: “I never was aware of you losing the beat – you pumped me up just the way I wanted you to.”)

The djimbe part is really easy – see the yellow-highlighted djimbe cues.

Intro

Back in the Spring, Lynn Rosser asked me to write a poem for the Singers spring concert. I was honored – and asked her about the theme. She told me that it was, “Transformation – Awakening to the New Consciousness for Our Time”. I said, “Cool” – then went away and realized that I didn’t have anything to say about transformation, or about consciousness, old or new. So I got back to Lynn and said that, for me, the theme for the concert and the song list were just a little too relentlessly upbeat – and that I would need to contribute something that would be more “grounding”. Lynn had the intuitive wisdom to not immediately warm to this idea: “Uh, OK.” Then I went home and proceeded to completely act out: I wrote the darkest poem I could possibly write – and had a total blast doing so. Needless to say, you did not hear that poem at the concert. I think Lynn might still find it horrifying, but I still kinda like it. It’s called “How Can I Write of Transformation?”

HOW CAN I WRITE OF TRANSFORMATION? (Majo, 4/28/09)

How can I write of transformation

When I am so angry?

How can I speak of

My better angels

When today the demons run the show?

(Djimbe enter, softly)

Life,

By beating me into submission

By a thousand humiliations

Has lowered the bar for me

So many times

And I still can’t help but to

Keep going under

How can I speak of expansion,

Of transcendence

When I am so contracted,

So depressed?

I want to expand within, not without

To go to the dark heart

Of that black hole within

Which is not just mine

But a human thing

How can I speak of my higher self

When I have just screwed up again

And hurt you as I did?

And then you told me how that still somehow worked for you

The sweet thing that for you happened next

(Djimbe picks up pace and volume through whole rest of poem, until right at the end.)

May I screw up in all the just-right ways

If I must be an ass

Make me Life’s holy ass

May others ride on my mistakes

To where they need to go

Lord, help us –

Make me an instrument

Make me an instrument of your divine chaos

Let me surrender any claim

To be evolved, to be further down the path

Make me Life’s great

Role model from hell

If others may not want to be like me,

Then let my screwed-up example

Make them want to be

More and more like them.

If even he can keep moving,

Can put one foot in front of the other

And trust that they will take him somewhere

Then so can I”

May I lead the troops

Further into the swamp

Than man or woman has ever gone

And trust that somewhere

In this gooey, putrid mess

There lies an orchid

A magic jewel that transforms

The mud in which we are encased

Into the heavenly armor that allows us

To fight our way to the gates of hell

Crash through

And be burned alive

Into the phoenix we were meant to be

If my road must be the low one

May I not settle for just

Both feet on the ground

Life, make your drill bit

To the center of the earth (Djimbe quits)

It may hurt like hell going down

But I want to see what’s there

The perfect Christmas gift!

The perfect present for your loved ones or special friends – a gift they will treasure forever.  A custom poem – just for them!  Have they ever had a poem written for them?

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TWO OPTIONS:

Poetry on Demand – can be done face-to face, or over the phone, Skype, email.

You give me a topic: their (or your) dog, grandmother, career, dream job of the future, perfect lover, the key to success of their marriage, most valuable focus for your spiritual life, etc.

I ask a couple of questions about that topic, to get myself focused.  I clear my mind and surrender to Spirit, which writes the poem while I transcribe.  I read the poem to you – and arrange to get a copy to you.

You are completely amazed – and pay me some amount that feels right (recommended $10-20, but no one turned away for lack of funds).

Will read the phone to your friend or loved one over Skype or phone for $10 – in person somewhere, charge according to where.

My specialty is affirmative poems: you or your loved one will feel fully seen – and powerfully validated (Healing validations blog).

Commissioned poem – you and I dig deep and come up with a finely-crafted jewel.

I interview you for 40-60 minutes about you (if the poem is for you) or your friend/loved one.

I go away and spend as long as it takes to come up with a poem I am happy with.  I read it to you, send it to you, read it to your giftee over the phone or Skype for no extra charge (but an extra charge to meet them somewhere).

$100 when poem is commissioned (rate after 12/22)
$80 Christmas rate (until 12/22)

typing in EFR cafe, with Pancho

I will be writing on-demand poetry face-to-face at Earth Fare Westgate (in the Cafe).  Call for an appointment.

  • Tuesday, 12/17: 5-7 p.m.
  • Friday, 12/20: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Saturday, 12/21: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Monday, 12/23:  5-7 p.m.

Reach me at:

  • phone or text: 828-582-9822
  • email: heymajo@gmail.com
  • Twitter: @MajoMadden

 

Gift certificates for a poem

Write Me a Poem gift certificates are great for lovers of poetry, for friends or family with a special creative or artsy streak, for people who are hard to find a gift for – or just for that last minute gift or stocking stuffer.

GIFT CERTIFICATE: One “Poetry on Demand” customized poem from Write Me a Poem! by Majo John Madden, Ph.D.

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Here’s how it works – or actually two ways it can work:

  1. You buy the poem, tell me the topic (“my sister Louise”, “my brother’s dog woofy” – whoever) and a couple words, sentences or paragraphs about that person, dog (whatever, but I do specialize in dog poems).  I write the poem and send it to you through some medium – or meet up with you and give you a hard copy (or mail it, if time is on your side).
  2. You send/give the gift certificate to the receiver. They get together with me – in person, by Skype or email, whatever – and tell me what they would like the poem to be about, and I write it for them.  Then I read it to them and follow up by emailing it to them.

The cost is whatever amount over $10 feels right to you – something that reflects the value of the poem for you.  Keep in mind that these poems regularly make people cry and can significantly shift how they think about something in their lives – or how they think/feel about themselves!  So far this holiday season, the rate people have paid me has ranged from $10 to $60 (for his troubled grandniece – he just knew it was going to be helpful to her).

Call or text (828-582-9822) or email (heymajo@gmail.com), Facebook (heymajo) me – or catch me at church or something – if you are interested or have questions.

Opening the heart (poetry on demand for VR, 11/21/18)

When to come and when to go
Who to let in when they knock on the door
These questions can perplex a woman
Answer them wrong and you can get hurt
And hurts to the heart can take a long time to heal
Can make it hard to open up again
So how to reduce the chance of getting hurt
While keeping an open heart?
You need to know who is making the choice
The head or the heart
The head is notoriously unreliable
It fancies itself completely accurate
It prances around the stage like a peacock|
But it’s all empty analysis
And terribly fallible with affairs of the heart
Which it understands not at all
The heart is not about feelings –
The emotions reside in the gut
The one feeling the heart deals in is love
It trades on love
The most love for everyone concerned
In all cases
The spiritual heart wants love
Everywhere and always
And wants everybody to be safe
No injuries, no trauma
The spiritual heart knows what it’s doing
Has an uncanny sense of right and wrong
Not bad and good
But what’s right and wrong for you
So how do you tune into this spiritual heart
Not the analytical mind or the mindless emotions?
Love, love
Love is the answer
You must practice love
Not wait around to fall in love
It’s not about falling at all
It’s a practice of love
You must start by loving yourself
Spend five minutes a day for starters
Thinking loving thoughts about yourself
Wrap yourself in white light of protection
Write down five things that you like about yourself
Call a friend who likes you and ask them to tell you why
Take a bubble bath
And when the analytical mind comes in
And tries to tell you what’s good and bad
Tell it to take a hike
Or when your emotional belly
Says “I’m scared”
Or “I’ll never love again”
Just love her
She needs love more than anybody

You have a bright future, VR
This is not rocket science
You can learn it
Though it will take your whole life
To master it
Start now

How can I write of transformation?

Intro

Back in the Spring, Lynn Rosser asked me to write a poem for the Singers spring concert. I was honored – and asked her about the theme. She told me that it was, “Transformation – Awakening to the New Consciousness for Our Time”. I said, “Cool” – then went away and realized that I didn’t have anything to say about transformation, or about consciousness, old or new. So I got back to Lynn and said that, for me, the theme for the concert and the song list were just a little too relentlessly upbeat – and that I would need to contribute something that would be more “grounding”. Lynn had the intuitive wisdom to not immediately warm to this idea: “Uh, OK.” Then I went home and proceeded to completely act out: I wrote the darkest poem I could possibly write – and had a total blast doing so. Needless to say, you did not hear that poem at the concert. I think Lynn might still find it horrifying, but I still kinda like it. It’s called “How Can I Write of Transformation?”

HOW CAN I WRITE OF TRANSFORMATION? (Majo, 4/28/09)

How can I write of transformation
When I am so angry?
How can I speak of
My better angels
When today the demons run the show?

Life,
By beating me into submission
By a thousand humiliations
Has lowered the bar for me
So many times
And still I can’t help but to
Keep going under

How can I speak of expansion,
Of transcendence
When I am so contracted,
So depressed?

I want to expand within, not without
To go to the dark heart
Of that black hole within
Which is not just mine
But a human thing

How can I speak of my higher self
When I have just screwed up again
And hurt you as I did?
And then you told me how that still somehow worked for you
The sweet thing that for you happened next

May I screw up in all the just-right ways
If I must be an ass
Make me Life’s holy ass
Let others ride on my mistakes
To where they need to go

Lord, help us –
Make me an instrument
Make me an instrument of your divine chaos
Let me surrender any claim
To be evolved, to be further down the path

Make me Life’s great
Role model from hell
If others may not want to be like me,
Then let my screwed-up example
Make them want to be
More and more like them.

If even he can keep moving,
Can put one foot in front of the other
And trust that they will take him somewhere
Then so can I”

I want to lead the troops
Deeper into the swamp
Than man or woman has ever gone
And trust that somewhere
In this gooey, putrid mess
There lies an orchid
A magic jewel that transforms
The mud in which we are encased
Into the heavenly armor that allows us
To fight our way to the gates of hell
Crash through
And be burned alive
Into the phoenix we were meant to be

If my road must be the low one
Then let me not settle for just
Both feet on the ground
Life, make your drill bit
To the center of the earth 

It may hurt like hell going down
But I want to see what’s there

Terry’s task

Yesterday my fabulous friend Terry Mueller49864926_2201556843222091_5875307174057476096_n, back in Chicago (Oak Park), gave me a wonderful assignment:

“I won’t be with you in Asheville tomorrow to go for a walk with you and Pancho, but I want you to walk with me anyway.  Pretend that i am with you and ask me any questions that you want – whatever is on your mind – and listen to what I have to say.  Then report back to me.”

Terry is a real wise-woman – she’s been around the block, she’s suffered, she’s learned deep truths.  She is a teacher and practitioner of Process Painting – inner directed expressive painting (sorry, Terry, if I totally butchered that).  I did some of this stuff back in Chicago, before I moved here 14 years ago, and it’s really good work.  Terry’s total devotion to the creative process certainly shaped the conversation I had with her in my mind’s eye today – what she had to say to me – but I totally trust what came out.

My question for Terry was immediate, obvious, easy.  “Right now, having just come out of the hospital and being the focus of so much loving connection from my friends, I’m having all this fabulous connection with people.  The amazing Karen Vickers,Karen Vickers Facebook friend I’ve been seeing at Jubilee for years but never said hello to, called out of the blue and said ‘Let’s go out to coffee.’ She’s wonderful.  Donna Glee Williams told me about the ‘Fun and Foolishness’ playshop at Jubilee tonight, which sounds like just what the doctor ordered for me right now.  I had amazing phone conversations with Jenn Garrett, Jenn GarrettTom Kilby, Tom KilbyKathy Poling Terry and kathyand my sister-in-law Lesia.Terry family  I had so many wonderful exchanges on Facebook and email.  I scheduled visits with Frank Marshall, Terry Poling, Jenn Garrett, Karen Vickers, Meg Moss, Laura Hunter, and Michelle Baba Raiford.

But my fifteen minutes of fame will pass and isolation – part of the human condition – will start to slip back in.  How do I prevent myself from coming right back to this place of terrifying loneliness and hopelessness?  I asked Terry, “What’s the next step in healing from my isolation?”

Her answer was immediate and clear as a bell.  “Keep doing all that you have started to do in connecting with your friends.  But also – and maybe even more important – you need to connect with Spirit, your essence, your creative spark.”

“How do I do that?”

“You know as well as I that your real pipeline is your writing.  You wrote two pretty good pieces in the hospital – on typewriter paper with that little golf pencil that was the only writing utensil they would give you.  Now you have been out of the hospital for two days and you have all but forgotten those pieces.  But they are your thread – the writing that is on your plate right now.  You will write better things eventually, but right now they are what the Muse has given you.  Honor them.  Word process and edit them.  They will make good blog posts – and good performances at Jubilee, more connection.”

“I have several blogs going – which blog shall I put them in?”

“I think not the blog you were working on before you went in the hospital – ‘Majo’s Last Blog’.  It’s probably a good time to let that puppy go. I have an idea for a new blog that we can talk about tomorrow.  Post this in ‘Write Me a Poem’ – that blog still has a lot of aliveness in it.”

I can hardly wait to see what Terry has to say tomorrow.