For a famous nihilist, Eric Jarosinski cuts a rather unassuming figure: He’s a young-looking 42 with delicate features and a quick smile. He is exceedingly mild-mannered, and finds it unbecoming to talk and eat at the same time (as a result, the eggs he orders at the Upper West Side…
my witty and adorable friend, eric.
you close your eyes to a room
of clean linens, electronics, a carpet, a couch.
society has caved you. it’s dripping.
you’re curling under covers to hide
under pillows, flea-free,
how you lived
among the dying?
shuffling on dusted roads
dirt caked between toes.
holes in the tin roof.
and the swell. dripping.
burnt tortillas and burning trash.
the water pipe’s out again
no shower. use the buckets.
curling under cold concrete walls.
This hair, it’s grease.
flea-bitten skin. knees red and black with dirt.
9 travelers sharing the sink and beds on the floor.
dying dogs at the door.
you blocked it out.
you contemplated the sun.
we don’t curl in deserted lean-tos.
or watch grandmothers with crackled toes. twisted backs.
pounds of corn on shoulders, the feet like crackled brown leaves,
varicose veins, scrapes of red blood, limping up endless winding dusted roads.
Fidelia hangs the water tumbos heavy, on a stick.
She coughs a fit.
you’re watching while you play jump rope with your hermanita but she’s only two and she walks with mama to the market. she sets up the comida but no one buys. frijoles spill through her tiny fingers and weigh heavy on your head as you strain your neck to carry them.
You don’t eat more than 2 tortillas for three days––what’s a year?
until the next mercado where tía sells limonada
but it spills out of the wheelbarrow–hermanita ran in the street: ‘¡hija, cuidado!’
When you see a movie on the one TV at El Quetzal you think that there’s something missing––
the light skin, blonde hair?
where do they get those walls, so white and smooth?
and those cars, all those little doors on the walls in the cocina, the tile, and metal machines?
what is the soft stuff on the floor?
eyes of sorrow
she birthed 2 children––seven lost
a womb that will never heal.
red blood vessels cave while she crowds on a bus
and makes sure her baby has at least half an avocado for the next meal.
snatch it off the dog.
watch your pig squeal–
in the mud outside the shack where the light dims in the evening on the stove where you itch every evening from the fleas and your drunken father’s breath as he curses the small room you all share with the bucket in the corner, dripping. and the worms squirming under your one quilt. your mind’s dying off but the rats will have to be fed to the chickens tomorrow and there’ll be worms squirming in the butcher’s meat; too many families made their own cuchitas. only a boney meat they needed; no one could afford to buy the squealing pig––they sliced its throat, burnt it on the stake and fed it to the neighbors.
is it pretty fucking pathetic how you sat on a street corner, weary-eyed and worn,
only because you were alone, had a guitar and a traveler’s backpack
you felt free.
you didn’t eat more than a tortilla for 3 days.
your mind’s dying off––but!
you contemplated the sun.
you starved smiling.
it’s Monday again.
you return to the world of over-baked possessions. caving in.
You curse your fucking latency. your privilege. your audacity.
the books adorn your shelf, hearts cut in the side,
Amish-carved cabinet, circa 1995.
a poem? does it matter?
all your 20th-century literature watches and waits.
you pace, a gaze burning at this place.
you’re home again, everyone says.
their money reeks in their wallets
what is it they see?
where you can go on Facebook all day and call it a job because
your children are fed and you’re watching Netflix, the kids whine; the DVR doesn’t work,
you’re complaining about reality TV.
The bills aren’t paid and yet you shop online to your heart’s content.
security, in this country, beckons for the next paycheck .
and the dependency, dripping.
the sentient satisfaction of a shiny car, a fridge, and the internet on three devices?
and you breathe. lift your eyes to a room
with those walls, so white and smooth,
the soft stuff is on the floor.
you close your window to a room.
you don’t contemplate the sun.
The mail with come.
the bills will be paid. you will wake up tomorrow and nothing will change.
there will be food in the fridge. and water in the pipes. it runs hot, dripping.
In my years of mentoring Old Souls and helping them through their spiritual development, here are 10 universal problems I have witnessed, and experienced.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
— - Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
I didn’t learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn’t a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativity is defensible and attractive. It’s also a source of hope. It means we don’t have to continue this way if we don’t like it.
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative, work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it’s normal and the important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way through.
"I’m just excited to be a part of it. I’ve never seen a film like Wild where the woman ends up with no man, no money, no family, no opportunity, but she still has a happy ending.”
—Reese Witherspoon on playing an “unsympathetic” female lead in Wild at How Wild Saved a ‘Lost’ Reese Witherspoon — Vulture