Lone Wolf Poet: Episode 38

essay cover chalice

Your Average Douchebags

Armed as it is with a barbed remonstration against complacency, the inquiry assaults imagination daily: will Chalice Sinclearly’s soul ever spinster away from this inclination of his to under-skin his own defenselessness to the notion of death? The confliction dawns within random moments of Chalice’s, positively sickening in its repetitive surprise, much like the emergences of open sores during a VHS porn’s over-muffed surge to climax: When will be my moment to cancel out – in a split second collapse with the life crushed out of me like a spider intentionally stepped on? What if it’s just a thing of utter absence, this thing of death? Absence. Holy hell, I am going to die! My God, there is no fucking choice! Chalice’s fear of death is unrelenting, often demanding that he forks from his spooning in the wee hours to pace the wife’s century-plus-old home with an anxiety that borders on what today’s MFA candidates can only suppose the brown acid hallucinations translated to for the sonnet-building underground of the SLA years.

Chalice understands there is a certain element amongst us who remain unthreatened by death: them who daytrip into diverse culture from their egocentric earmarks sprawled throughout the domain of high school massacres, and struggle to parallel park while keeping their cells to their ears, chatting-up fellow adulterers over how to remain emotionally vague – them who never once in their days, not even in the winter evenings after their suppers when they sneak to their backyard porches with pours of middling, shitty Scotch and with flakey stogies, possess the self-deprecating wherewithal to strive for the humility of purpose (rather than the conceit of success) in the endeavor to build an intellectual essence up over their families’ heads.

Well, such are your average douchebags. …

Them who understand nothing about their heritage, a generation or more already beyond the correct pronunciation of their last names, they can see no further back into history than their last brag about how many hours they work; them for whom the advertising world’s promises of sustained youth and endless health and perpetual wealth are tangible, “revolutionary” notions (remember things like Tiger Woods for American Express: “Boundaries are for golf, not life”); them who while seated across from husbands who keep their ball caps on backwards at the dinner table, announce to their pre-school offspring, “Me and this man here who has long ago been ousted from the cast in my masturbation mind-screens moved down here from Cleveland or Michigan or wherever it was to become Cubs fans, and that’s why we’re here today in this vastly overvalued home in the heart of ever-gentrifying Logan Square. We’re here to make the city Whiter and more anti-Union for a while, all while feeling like we’re brave, adventurous, liberal, since we’re now into our 30’s and still living, after a whole decade now, in this massively Brown and Black and mentally-ill populated city. But don’t worry, there is a ‘burb out there with our unhyphenated name on it, and just before we need to enroll you in the education system, the same education system this thickening man here and me got nothing out of but the complacency to accept the realization that our imaginations are doomed to be collectively mini-vanned, we’ll pull out there to where the American Dream is embodied in a videoed meeting between a school psychiatrist and a bed-wetter in which a discussion of asparagus verges on inappropriateness. And there’ll be so much heroin out there in suburbia for your teen years – we’ll never need this city again! We’ll never need this Illegals-packed city ever, ever, again! We’ll start going to church; we’ll start voting; we’ll still never, never, need newspapers or journalists—we got Facebook! We’ll be Friends: you and all your junkie high school chums and your mid-forties, hip, hopefully divorced, MILFy mom; all of us sharing our moods and distrusts in Posts of all-consuming-love-of-self. Now let’s eat this wonderful frozen Whole Foods thing before your empathy gets cold, which it will – O, thank God it will!”

Being unfearful of death: this is a notion that can easily be confused as being a formidable attribute, a strength. But what this notion actually transmutes into is the characteristic known as complacency. Complacency means being OK with the present – means living unmoved by the past, unmotivated by the future. Complacency is anti-Moment 101. To exist inside complacency means to exist in the constant act of surrendering. Complacency is the characteristic of those of a generation (any generation) who tender no ingredients, bestow no measurements. They are hollow. They harbor no imagination; whip up for our records no challenges from scratch: followers of recipes; they risk nothing. They are based in the cosmetic, not in the gutsy.

In this basemented reality wherein resides one Chalice Sinclearly there is the constant challenge of living under a constant fear of a surprise attack from his fear of death. He exists inside displeasure, meaning he exists in the constant act of persevering. And it is this devouring invasive awareness that drives his judgment, tempers his choices: it is the perception of this trembling existence that the Lone Wolf Poet searches for through his art; it is by the perception of this trembling existence that the Lone Wolf Poet catches whiffs of bad art, calls out the douchebags who pass them.

 

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