SEX WITHOUT THREAT
In 2008, Obama’s campaign is spring-boarded with Hope. A graffiti artist makes a woodcut into a poster done with a form of restraint, not a total endorsement—just a silhouette.
Hope, its etymology is recent, Christian. Threaded through the mind like the rash of shingles, or in German, Gürtelrose—rosebelt, the invisible nerve-endings shaped like roses swell into large inflamed skin lesion-flower tattoos, recurring in the nervous system to underscore a recent relived trauma, tension, or difficulty.
In 2016, I travel with two women to Mount Shasta, which within America sigils Hope, of the New Age. A large crystalline mountain-volcano lords over a village destined to credit card fraud, tourism, and healing. Women arrive here from broken marriages, from abusive relationships, from breast cancer without medical insurance and incompetent doctors, and they find hope. In the workshops on visualization, they find hope. In the extraterrestrial identification workshops, they find hope. In the kabbalah workshops, they find hope. In the possibility that their bodies are like caterpillars—the afterlife, a butterfly—they find hope.
We drive from Los Angeles. We take the 5. The agriculture route, the route belonging to those brave enough to drive boring 2x a week to see their families, the route of idiocy and love.
Hope is beautiful at the gas station
Faith and Hope
Hope at the stall
A Kenneth Cole bag
A Film she is making
Two motorcycles in her pick up
High on meth
Faith behind the red counter, apologizing for Hope,
In perfect mascara,
Eyes like spiders with sapphire abdomens
We wind the redwoods. Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s voice drifts from the radio. From his Plum Village in France his voice lifts into California snow—hope— he says—
And I wonder about Obama, and now Bernie + Hillary + Trump, and if their earbuds on an airplane somehow could transmit the following tape from Thich Nhat Hanh, as if dead-air for 15 seconds could be replaced by Hanh’s voice and an attention-span that approximates faith, as Apollo’s mythic serpents reach drugged politicians, in between their cocktails of ambient and speed:
Hope can create an obstacle for you, and if you dwell in the energy of hope, you will not bring yourself back entirely into the present moment. If you re-channel those energies into being aware of what is going on in the present moment, you will be able to make a breakthrough.
Hope Love Faith. To use these to persuade for political purposes is a distortion of their code, a bastardization of their purity. Hannah Arendt: “Love, in distinction from friendship, is killed, or rather, extinguished, the moment it is displayed in public. (‘Never seek to tell thy love/ love that never told can be.’) Because of its inherent wordlessness, love can only become false and perverted when it is used for political purposes such as change or the salvation of the world.”
In Delphi, I write to Kassandra,
Python snake vapors
Induced the Pyhia to foretell
She was huffing methane gas
From this hole
And then add, “direct quote from tour guide.” Later, Kassandra was high and had a tremendous idea for a tattoo. I try to tell her about a woman in Florida, who walked out into the blistering sun, touched the pavement with her bare hands, ran one acrylic nail over sticky black tar, not knowing that later that day she would shoot a missile, the same missile her neighbors kept, in case of revolution in Florida, which was not strange, considering the history of the magical state, oranges a decoy for its hedonistic past, replete with angels of eccentric wars.