people work better when driven (insane) -iv)

No, don’t be scared. Just pay attention, brush your hair out your eyes. Sit up straight. This is the haircut we have been waiting to get you, I mean, the cut you wanted. Listen to your heartbeat for a minute… see? Just talkin’ about it turns us on. Everything changes. You are not who you thought you were. You have been touched! You can’t tell? That’s just because you’re still waking up. Come on, we can urge it on, ourselves! Purchase that fresh electroshock device on tv. DIY brain fry.  Sanctioned by many, legal in a half dozen states, yours included! Just send that self-addressed, self-licked envelope to the Pharmaceutical Brain, Newark, New Jersey. If you postmarked it yesterday, we will send you a bunch more. Paid On Delivery. That’s if the FDA doesn’t intercept it, on its way from our factory on Better Buy Island, never heard of it? A landfill we filled off the west coast of Mexico. Not anywhere near the other one, Narco Domingo.

Wait, if your’e a superuser you can skip all that nonsense! Download the mobile app on your rooted phone. Make sure you pay some dude on craigslist a couple of bucks to root it. Or your favorite tech-savvy son or daughter, of a friend of a friend. Or anyone on a subway under 40 can do it. Probably before you reach your stop. Go ahead! You can super-use someone. It’s not against the law! They might even decide not to bitchslap you with their skateboard. Kids these days. So likable. So unlovable. Figures. Their mentors were people like me, genXers. We taught them well. Everything they haven’t learned from that show I(Almost) got away with it. Props to the discovery channel and subterranean skies. Thanks to the exorbitant cost society pays, to distribute unprofitable PR department lies.

Anyway, about that haircut, the perm. The DIY brain fry, I mean. You just have to agree to the terms. You don’t have to read them, silly. Touch your touchscreen. Swype the bitch. Come on, now, let what’s left of your imagination run wild. Anything goes! Twinkies and Michael Jordan just came out of retirement. Well, Twinkies did. MJ must be next. They didn’t go nowhere. Just waited for folks to miss them enough. Peek-a-boo! We missed you. Okay okay! Yes, I will do it, stop begging. I shouldn’t have told you my age, I suppose. Just be aware, I have boundaries these days. Don’t think I will troubleshoot right out of my clothes.  Story of my life. But I have started a new chapter. Okay, now listen, take your android and bump mine, just do what I say. Otherwise this download’s gonna take you all day. Hey, step back! I don’t need to smell your breath. Just the phones will touch, that’s as close as we’ll get… and Boom! FEEL IT?!? the shock? Works off the same principle as static electricity, I suppose. I’m not a scientist, exactly, not at all. I met a few of them, though, in Evanston sub-basement tech halls.

1359206653204

katya (blue#8)

So now you got you’re app on this icon on your homescreen. 4 whenever you cannot see straight. Hair in your eyes, resentments and lies. Commuting home, next to thighs, legs and thighs. Google it, if you want, there’s no user manual. All i know is this beats your average triple shot machiatto. Here take this gravity brush. Your hair is standing up. Won’t do for the interview. And welcome, sweetie, welcome to the clear full of light. You heard me. I can be trusted. Pro Bono. All right? The clear full of light. Three i-sheets to the wind? Just touch your pretty icon, and then think of me, or someone sweet. Your i-sheets will be reconciled. Virtually, in a moment. Better than a half-litre dry gin, to dissipate a heavy London fog.

I know it seems like some kind of fancy new perversion of reality. But reality and virtual, makes some sweet virtuality. To be driven. To tears. Motivated. No fears. Insane, but not crazy. What we would pay for such a fresh way of being? And yet, I hasten to say – we give it all away!  The only thing to do. The only way to be. No impediment. Not anymore. Not like you. Not like me. About time we insourced our own change wrecking crew. Refashioned our images. Pulled out the memory foam and replace it with goose down. Airbrushed our waterlogged decaying fuckin’ attitudes, man. Photoshopped for body parts, hearts, minds, and soul. Took the noise out. No more or less deviation than extreme. Left the ranks of the thundrous wonderbread, of regimented, swing shift disciples. For the graveyard shift.

A federated gang of the driven insane! The formerly motivated, headhunted, cubicled, well paid soldiers of fortune. The Dr Whos-Who of timestamp travel efficiency. Clocking in and out the central artery. Before and after a series of bypass surgeries. Endless summer construction. Parking our asses irreverently, in the very middle of the street. Former pretenders, talking heads, Wall Street cutouts and stitched material. Whatever. Today we don’t think first. We take our shots through farmers market produce. Filtered water, front and back. No hangover necessary. Please and thank you very much. Long the long stretch of endless paper pushing. Short the short life of rigorous dreaming.

Katya Mills 07/13  katyamills.com

Patriot Act has turned! [snowed in and data mined -fin)]

Yes, I want that old thing back. The time when we weren’t being snowed by our own intelligence community. The time when we were not snowed in by the Patriot Act. Forced to be incommunicado on the subject of our own constitutionally-granted, legal, tender freedoms. The problem with the Patriot Act is not that it was legislated. The problem with the Patriot Act is that Congress failed to stamp it with the born-on-date .

I want that old thing back. When we did not have to worry the government was listening in on our calls and data mining our texts and photos, without telling us. When we would not have to fear being branded spies for having allegedly exposed some egregious violation of our constitutional rights.  When the intelligence community was less focused on apprehending a single fugitive  than on addressing their in house blunders. Was their such a time? I guess you can’t blame them for the bias. After all, the Patriot Act has been their cash cow. Putting our tax dollars to work, no matter how the color of our threat level is coded. Nobody wants to have their steak and potatoes pulled out from under them.

Some things were born to die! The cola in your pantry. The eggs in your fridge. And the Patriot Act. It is illegal to sell eggs and soda and food that has no born-on date stamp. Vendors will not receive produce that has not been stamped. Vendors are not supposed to sell produce whose born-on date has expired (although I could rat out a few cornerstores in west Oakland or west Chicago). The FDA (another government agency we fund with our tax dollars) is supposed to (and does) police this law. Agents go out to the manufacturers and the vendors and the retail stores, and throw out products that are missing stamps or expired. They write out code violations, etc. But the FDA cannot police the Patriot Act, because it has no born-on date at all. Yet its still on the shelves for mass consumption! The Patriot Act has turned! Yet we are still pouring it over our cornflakes, and scooping it into our mouths.

Somebody was asleep at the wheel. Inspector #9 perhaps. I haven’t found his little slips in the pockets of my clothes in a long time, though I usely shop thrift. Inspector # 9 let the big one through the filter.  Inspector #9 was apparently relieved of his duties without us knowing. Or maybe things got overwhelming and he quit? Maybe he took early retirement on that big fat government pension, on advice of his lawyer. Maybe they dug a ditch for him in the desert, or had him dig his own ditch and take rest. Maybe he got paid off and looked away? Who knows? The damage is done. The Patriot Act was put out on the market for our consumption, without a born-on date stamped on its ass.

We don’t need to ask why? Just remember all the poor souls jumping out of their bodies on nine eleven, 2001. Scary. We needed her, then. Sure. But not now. Now we find ourselves in the midst of what is apparently the largest compiled electronic database of our personal conversations, located somewhere in Utah, sponsored by the NSA, mined from the behemoth telecomm industry bluechips (ATT, Sprint, Verizon, etc.), legal under a clause in the Act which loosely interpreted permits full government penetration of any businesses conducting any sort of international conversation whatsoever, and beholden to no one.

Dear Mr. President, can we please correct this? Take it off the shelf? No matter whose to blame, the Patriot Act has turned, and it stinks! The elephant is in the room and we see it. Now will someone please lead it away? So we can get back to all the wonderful things we were doing in this country? Please? Superman?  If you have finished courting the network morning show circuit, would you have time to help out? On behalf of good citizens everywhere. Someone forgot to take the trash to the curb, and now we have a problem.

We just want that old thing back. I know I’m not the only one. Turn on the tv, the radio, it’s circulating everywhere. Call it what you want. Our privacy. Our birthright. Full assurance that the conversation we are having today, whether it concern our political preference or our preference in whitening brand toothpaste, is not being collected and stored in some hard drive for future use, for or against us, whether it be for some company’s marketing database or in some court of law. Even if it’s not ever used, at all, for any purpose. The Patriot Act has turned. 

by Katya W. Mills  06/13

snowed in (and data mined) -iii)

Being snowed in had a magical quality. The sun hit the snow and reflected light to warm the air. The icicles formed in and around the rain gutters as the snow melted off the roof. Some large enough to knock you out. I remember kids trying to lure other kids they didn’t like below these large icicles. Keep them there with some sweet, long-winded filibuster of a story. Wendy Davis style. 

I often wished for the larger stormfronts to come over us those winters. I loved the early morning moments when my brother and I hung by the alarm clock radio, listening to the announcements of school cancellations. Waiting. Holding our breath. And the incredible feeling when our school was announced.

A blizzard can be a joyous occasion. You feel protected. Insulated. You don’t really know what’s going on around you, and you don’t care. Neither does anyone else. Sure, after a few days like this, you might get a little stir crazy, like Jack Nicholson‘s character in the Shining. The blizzard of ’78 was one such opportunity. I was too young to remember much, but where I lived the snow banks surged to eight feet high. School and work were all called off with a one-liner over the radio. All recreational events, suspended. Excepting procreation. The zoo was closed. Or just confined to your own home.

Imagine, no contact with the outside world. Power lines down. Incommunicado. You lit candles off gas stoves to get around your house. All was so quiet, inside and out. Introverts threw a party and no one came. Everything stood in stark contrast to the usual. We built fires. Watched the light and shadow play. Rituals were fresh and wonderful, except shoveling snow. Alot of people who had become plants over time in their homes (planted by the television),  lost their lives trying to shovel their way out of their homes during blizzards. Heart attack city.

With television disabled, loving, mindful family interaction was again possible. For some. Hateful families got to go back to hating. Stress often took a back seat to more significant feelings. What could you do? Nothing. You were snowed in. You had to feel. You got an opportunity to feel. This could last for days! I must admit that, after a while, I wanted the old thing back.

I am grateful to have safety and security of my home, my village, my city, my state, my country, my world. insulated from the wars being fought across that Atlantic, across the Pacific. My love of country is easy to see, in the transparency of my gratitude for what my country has given me. I have been free to follow my heart and my passion and my conscience to great lengths. Yet still, I can see it slipping sometimes. The great freedoms we have been blessed with in the USA. Homeland security is one thing. But sometimes, I must admit, I want that old thing back.     (…tbc)

by Katya Mills,  katyamills.com  06/13

them (us)

Union. Ivy. blueblood. aristocracy. old money. brownstone townhouses. this my inheritance.  lakes region retreats. soft, sensitive, privileged big feet. don’t require a crosswalk to get across the street. just a cashmere wrapped waist of floral watercolors would arrest them. skidding to a stop to let them pass by. i guess to let us pass by. nobody could replace them. nobody could replace us. in the history books all over the many and diverse states of america, no uprising, uproar nor campaign could erase them. erase us. not now, atleast.

So privileged yet diminished was i, young, with a voice not yet heard, and when heard, silenced often if not quickly. youngest of my tribe, i would need evocative presentation to capture their imagination. early on i learned needed to grip their hearts with fear. not only would i come out liberal, i would also come out like fluid on identity continuums.

Halloween? easily my favorite of holidays all year. tp the trees. smashing pumpkins all over the place.  stealing candy left out in trays by out-of-towners.  upscale hoods. haunted houses get egged. fake cemeteries. blindfolded with hands in spaghetti in popcorn bowls we took for nightcrawlers. for goodness grace. i took it all in, the freaks in the streets. the costumes. on any other day, the question would confront me. Why or how was i so out of place?