Love, blood & pumas

I’m in the middle of a very interesting book titled, prosaically but accurately, How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan. The subtitle is What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence.

Apparently, psychedelics are making a comeback or at least coming out of the shadows where they never really went away after being made illegal decades ago, in no small part due to the endless antics of Dr. Timothy Leary.

There are indications of legal openings for some uses of these incredibly therapeutic materials.

Leary’s main thing was LSD, a chemical compound developed in the first part of the 20th Century, but entheogens — my preferred term for the various mind-expanding compounds — have been known and used for centuries in various cultures around the world.

If you know little of entheogens, I highly recommend this book.

I dived right into the sea of entheogens in 1997, and I swam around for a spell. It helped me immensely in the wake of a divorce that left me in an exceptionally bad place.

In 1997, I ingested psilocybin mushrooms twice and LSD twice, all under the guidance of a kind psychologist who lived in the woods outside Tallahassee, Florida. I have written about this previously, but many years ago. Perhaps this is a different take.

Between 1997 and 1999, I also took Ecstasy five or six times alone in my Houston condo. Lovely material.

And during an entheogen conference in Palenque, Mexico, in 1999, a year before I moved south, I inhaled vaporized 5-MeO-DMT. My final entheogen experience happened in Florida about a year after moving to Mexico. I was up for a visit.

That time I drank a chemical analog of ayahuasca.

During the ayahuasca experience, a voice spoke to me loud and clear: You don’t have to do this anymore. And I haven’t.

All the experiences were stunning, but it seems that some of it, important parts, had faded from my memory over the two subsequent decades. Pollan’s book brought them back.


Here are three

First: Dancing with love. This took place during the second psilocybin experience. If you state an intention before doing these things, it often will affect the experience. I said I wanted to dance with love, something I was feeling an immense lack of in the wake of my divorce.

What I imagined would happen was that a loving woman would appear to me, and we would dance. But that did not take place.

I saw nothing. There were no visuals, quite the opposite of what had happened during the first psilocybin excursion when the visuals were incredible. Instead, a sea of love enveloped me. It was sheer feeling and nothing like I had ever experienced in my life.

It was how you might imagine being embraced by God.

Second: Sea of blood. This one was a mix of LSD and psilocybin taken simultaneously. After the experience ended, the psychologist told me I had been laughing the entire time, which was strange considering what happened. A flood of blood from above had poured all over me.

Think the final scenes of Carrie.

While this sounds horrifying, it was not. Quite the contrary. While this happened, a voice told me it was time to grow up and become a man.

Third: The black panther. I remember this best of all, perhaps because it happened after I thought the experience had run its course. I was with my helper in his dark living room around midnight. It’s ended, I told him, and I decided to go to bed.

I felt totally normal.

I went into the bedroom, got undressed and lay on the bed in the dark. And I turned into a black panther. Just like that. My tail swished. My whiskers twitched. It was real. An incredible feeling of power. I don’t know how long it lasted, but then I became a woman.

I felt an extreme need to be cared for. I don’t know how long that lasted either, but then I drifted off to sleep.

Prose, poems & age

My father was a newspaperman, a soldier, a chicken farmer and oft-published short-story writer (simultaneously, those last two), a newspaperman yet again and then a poet.

I was a newspaperman, but never a soldier, a chicken farmer, a published short-story writer or a poet. I did write some short stories, but they were not published on paper as in the Good Ole Days. I just wrote them and hit a key on my computer keyboard.

Some would say that doesn’t count. I would say sometimes it does. I’ve been writing here almost 17 years, primarily because I get a kick out of it. I wrote in two areas. First, my new life in Mexico, but the life is not new anymore, so that spring has kinda dried up.

Second, very short fiction, shorter than my father’s stories that he sold to pulp magazines in the 1940s.

I’m reading a very interesting book about sleep and dreams by a neuroscientist. It’s more about sleep than dreams, what happens to us while we sleep. It’s titled Why We Sleep, and the author is Matthew Walker who keeps it fascinating.

Creative types often get creative in the middle of the night, in the middle of sleep, and on waking in the morning. I wrote my fiction almost entirely in my 60s, and the ideas usually appeared as I woke in the morning. The ideas literally just came to me out of the proverbial blue. It does not happen anymore. I am 77.

Muses, it seems, prefer younger men.

Here is one of my favorites. I woke one morning about a decade ago, and there it was.


The Broken Staircase

Five steps rotted and collapsed in the middle of the staircase, and that’s how it all began.

Alcott was upstairs. He never left his home again.

He decided to write a history of mankind. It would be thorough, but due to having no reference materials upstairs, it would be fiction by necessity, a history of mankind as it should have been, the perfect people. He liked the idea, and dedicated the rest of his life to writing fictitious history.

. . . which should not be confused with historical fiction. No, he wrote history hidden by a mask, creating a dream world, but really, after all, it was not so different from actual historical writing at times.

But first there was the matter of survival. For that he turned to his old friend Beaman whom he had known since boyhood.

Beaman lived nearby.

There was the question of food.

Beaman tossed up a rope, and that was how Alcott received his daily meals, a basket connected to the rope. Beaman’s wife, Aldyth, simply made a bit more than she and Beaman ate each day, and Beaman took the leftovers to Alcott.

We should mention that Alcott was married too. His wife was Godeleva, but Alcott had not loved — or even liked — Godeleva in many years.

As luck would have it, Godeleva was downstairs when the five steps rotted in the staircase. She noticed the problem even before Alcott. She smiled, walked into the downstairs bedroom, packed two bags, and headed to the beach.

. . . and never returned.

* * * *

Alcott was not a social man, so the upstairs isolation suited him, plus there was lots of time to invent fictional history.

Luckily, there was a bathroom on the second floor of Bockingfold and an antique typewriter.

Bockingfold was the name of the home, which had been in Alcott’s family for generations. Godeleva had always found it dreary.

About a year after the five steps rotted in the staircase, Alcott awoke one morning thinking of Godeleva whose body was as fine as her personality was foul. That afternoon, during their daily chat through the second-floor window, as warm stew was ascending, he asked Beaman for a woman.

Man does not live by stew alone, he said, or something like that.

There was an obstacle. The rope was medium-weight, and the basket had been bought at a discount outlet that imported from India.

The woman, they concluded, must be lightweight and short, a wisp of a girl. This was acceptable to Alcott, desirable even, because Godeleva, although quite beautiful, was big-boned. And Alcott was ready for new adventures.

Find a mini-version of womankind, Alcott said to Beaman, but she must be over 21 because Alcott wanted no problems with the police.

One week later, Beaman stood beneath the window with Vulpine, which means like a fox. She said she was 26. And she was quite small, a midget actually, which should not be confused with a dwarf. She was well-formed, firm and fine.

Her hair and full lips were flaming red.

She fit perfectly into the basket, holding the day’s stew in her lap. Alcott, with a bit of extra effort, hoisted both dishes to the window sill and inside the room to which Vulpine hopped effortlessly and looked up at him, smiling.

* * * *

Vulpine did not speak much about her past. There was something about a circus, a prison and horse rides through the mountains with a man named Smoke.

Alcott and Vulpine hit it off immediately. She liked the security, the daily stews, and he liked the look of her, the red lips, the hair blazing like a bonfire.


And that’s how it stayed. The years passed, and Alcott wrote. In time there were 35 volumes of fictional history. He grew old and gray and stooped. But Vulpine never changed a bit.

She was like magic, and that was what he wanted. No one ever repaired the staircase of Bockinfold, and when Alcott died one day, Vulpine kissed his cheek, shimmied down the rope like a child and walked off into a sunny winter afternoon, her hair lit like Christmas candles.

Stormy memories

I moved to New Orleans in the summer of 1965. I was 20 years old. A couple of months later, in September, I had an experience of a lifetime when Hurricane Betsy hit us head-on. Betsy was a Category 4 when it reached Louisiana, and it was a religious experience of a sort.

I was living with my parents on the top floor of a duplex in Uptown New Orleans. None of us had experienced a full-blown hurricane before. My father left his Nash Rambler parked in the driveway. Later, we found what looked like bullet holes in the car body.

Stones had blown through.

Betsy passed overhead in the dead of night. She did sound like a freight train. Trees were bent over. Electricity danced up and down along power lines. At times I crawled to a window to look outside. I could hardly believe what I saw.

In the years that have since passed, I’ve seen videos of hurricanes, but none ever came close to what blew over our house that night. They would show some flapping street signs, etc., at most.

I always supposed that the lack of accurate videos of hurricanes at their worst was due to the fact that only a lunatic would go out to film it, or even approach a window during the height of it. Well, that has changed. There are cell phones, and there are lunatics.

When a hurricane approaches, there are always people you see on the news who say, “Oh, we’ve been through hurricanes before. We’ll be staying at home, like always.” These people have experienced glancing hurricanes at best.

Just four years after Betsy, Hurricane Camille arrived a bit farther to the east, which was good for New Orleans. The west side of a hurricane is the safer side. Camille was worse than Betsy. Yet again, there were people on the news declaring their intentions to ride it out.

Camille wiped entire homes off their foundations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. People simply vanished forever. Plenty of them. The video below provides a good idea of what these things can do, especially at the 0:08 point.

You do not want to stay home.

Speaking of lunatics, here’s another video of what appears to be one of those wacky groups who drive toward tornados. Looks like they also drive into hurricanes. I hope they have life insurance.


(Aftermath: The day after Betsy landed, I was able to drive north to Baton Rouge where I moved into a LSU dorm room. Damage in Baton Rouge was far less. Like right now, power was mostly off in New Orleans, and my parents lived with that, in the dark, for more than a week.)

Buttcrack baby

(Viewer discretion advised. Video includes appalling moments.)

As has been mentioned here previously, my child bride has turned to other activities over the past year due to the Kung Flu hysteria, temporarily halting her sidewalk pastry sales. She has turned to crochet.

Up to now, she has created elephants, Rotweillers, unicorns, lions, camels and so on, but now she’s tackled the human form. Some of you might want to avert your eyes from the video. You’ve been warned.

The dress is separate and removable as are the sandals and panties.

The child in question is named Matilda. She is a white girl, which means she was born with privilege, giving her a pass through an easy, blessed life. Next on the crochet list, however, will be a chocolate child who will, of course, be oppressed.

I am not making this up. Stay tuned.