Thursday, January 26, 2012


        The School For Mystics started out as light-hearted fun, because I wanted to discuss a whole bunch of experiences I've had all over the world in my private search for the meaning at the core of things.
         The truth is, I've never gotten used to this astounding world we live in, which came as a hell of a surprise to me.
          Maybe it's because I was a premature caesarian birth, and I awoke in amazed shock, shook my head
and I'm told  I gave out a loud cry meaning something like: "Who turned on the lights?"    As I was untimely ripped from my mother's womb.
            And since I've grown here and managed to visit various countries, with their various outlandish beliefs,
and since I've studied a a number of so-called outstanding universities, where I've studied certain nonsensical
views, and other views that seemed obvious to me:  I still can't get used to the idea that we're all living on some cooled rock, still molten at the center, which is moving through space in a circular pattern at the speed of something like 18,000 miles per second.

          After absorbing this basic reality, I've had trouble addressing myself to financial concerns or
politics. Because my basic reaction is still: "Holy shit! Have you taken a good look around you?"
          The fact of this bewilderingly beautiful planet still stops me for hours at a time. The other day,
for example, I sat for several hours on a rock. The snow was melting all around me, and I could hear
water dripping from tree branches. Occasionally a hawk would sweep by; I could feel it's shadow.
Or a raven would caw and hoot in passing, flying in an unruly way, like some intoxicated bikers I know
being forced to leave town.
           Then something shot by with a ear-shattering roar, and I saw a light flash by, and my reaction
was, "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?" It was either one of those jets we get around here, guarding the north east sector, or a hellish dream because my pants were wet, or Tinkerbell dashing past, or the Wild God of Bananaland  shouting, demanding a name. But that is another story for another time.
            So I had a chance to travel a bit around the globe, and so I did, and I visited a number of religious
shrines, and other places that weren't shrines but seemed mystic to me... And what next?
             Well, what was next was some of these Roving Reporter articles. Most of the early articles
I started in the spirit of hilarity. One beginning I loved was, "I was going to send this story in by story in
by pony express, but they shot all the ponies."

             In the stories I pretended I was drinking whiskey even more than I actually was, and the editors of the paper started getting letters saying things such as: "This isn't funny, this man should be institutionalized!"
So I made the stories more and more extreme, which wasn't difficult because my life seemed to be getting
more and more extreme all by itself, without any help from any writer or editor.
              More and more letters were sent to the editors, and even a protesting woman's group occupied
the office of the Chief of Police. (Because they thought an article I'd written called, "Pussy Chow" was a total allegory, when in fact it was the story of a bush cougar attacking my log cabin on a cliff. I had to nail the plank doors closed and light a fire in the window. And fire the odd shot with an M-1 rifle though the glass of the window right in front of me.
                By four thirty AM, I was whispering to the cougar and I could hear her clawing the oak logs just
below my one unshuttered window. I hate to mention this, but the big cat also seemed to be purring.(I don't
expect you to believe this). But I could hear pretty clearly - no lights, no electricity. And she was only five feet away from me through the wall.
                 I knew the cat could hear me and I knew we were getting pretty close. If I had stepped outside, she would have torn my head off.
                 It turned out it had been 20 to 30 to forty below zero all week on the cliff face and the cougar
was starving. And since my secretary had left a bag of used tampons outside my door, the cat had developed
a powerful taste for human blood. And so the attacks.
                 In the morning, heavy claw marks were found in the logs below the one exposed window. The cabin was just a hut, really.

                 After that, I wrote a bunch more stories and I indeed was institutionalized more than once, and the editors had to bail me out, and your Roving Reporter has always felt a compelling need to get to the heart of the story at all times.

                  Out of this came the beginnings of the School for Mystics.

                                                                                               Earlier articles will follow.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


        I woke up the other morning on a strange couch. There was a bright winter grey light coming in through 

 the blinds. Actually, there were no blinds. Some fool had pulled them down in the night. Some fool had

taken all my clothes off as well. stripped me right bare, no dignity whatsoever - somehow my jockey shorts 

were around my neck. I'm thinking, "Oh God no! Not that routine again! And who  was my audience?"

        I picked up a fuzzy pink blanket and wrapped it around me. Now at least I wouldn't get arrested if I

stepped outside for a newspaper, anything to get me oriented. I needed the date, a sniff at the equinox, a

sense of what the sun was doing... the percentage of oxygen in the upper atmosphere.   Hell, I needed some

air! Clear my mind, find my clothes. See if some malevolent force was doing this to me, or was it just my own


        I needed some food! Maybe peer over the fence, chase something down... breathe, baby,

breathe! I needed to be less irritating.  Hung over like heavy bombers cruising under an overcast sky.

             Stop the madness!

             Quit this gibberish!

              Silence please!  Clear the horizon of your own head...  Sleep.

          There are some things none of us should drink.

           I have an unfortunate tendency to start climbing. I mean, some atavistic urge overtakes me and I climb

lamp posts,red pine trees and  bell towers. Unfortunate legal  circumstances sometimes follow..

           I didn't know where I was. I didn't recognize the people in the hall who were waving at me and

bringing the coffee. I looked in a hand mirror without recognition.  The name written across the glass

 was,  "Johnny  Rock It!"

           Now this did bring a shock and some horrors. I  used to play music under a similar

but different name.
           "What day is this?" I asked the  woman  who straightened the back of the room.

I looked out the big window over the street.

             "Day?" .she answered..

            Hungover, but very relaxed, with just the odd shudder and shake. My limbs were very

loose... as if I had been dancing for days. And not to some nasty club-footed heavy four-four Moloch music

either. I could feel Caribbean rhythms had passed through me...Maybe some early calypso:


             "I wonder why nobody don't like me

              Or is it the fact that I'm ugly?

              I wonder why nobody don't like me

               Or is it the fact that I'm ugly.?."

               What was the name of this song?  It was circling round my head. Constantly.

               Aha! I had it!   It was Lord Melody from Trinidad! What a song!  The original

highly sexy "zoom! zoom! zoom!"  version.  That was great growing up there!  On the north

coast of Jamaica from the age of six to fourteen, on and off.

               I'd been thinking I was sick. I felt such heaviness all around me, a feeling of doom. But this morning

waking up I realize: "This whole country is depressed all around me! Everybody feels that there's no 

hope, that  the future holds nothing. That all there's going to be is more aggression and violence and 

mind-numbing death until we kill ourselves!"

             Once I realized that,  I just wanted to go back to dancing.


              "Hell!" my father once shouted over at me, "That's why they call it a DEPRESSION!

Get it right, boy!"

                Well, Wild Bob's got it right this time. I'm going back to that funny, story-telling music of my early days.

                 "The whole country's going through a nervous breakdown!" Hunter S. Thompson says.


                   Now, once again...   what was that song?  When was the last time we laughed?

                                     *                            *                            *


 THE HOWLING HIGHWAY H0NOURS HUNTER  S. THOMPSON!                                                                         

         I don't care what the fuckheads and fruit-bats say about his "demeaning focus on drugs." Fuck them! He's a great humorist and an intense defender of  the Constitution and human rights, when he was forced to train his finely-honed mind on such legal matters, he rose to the occasion....


               A general feeling of doom. A sickness and horror at all the violence. A nausea....

unsavory taste in the pit of the stomach.

             A feeling that the future will certainly be worse ---- more concentration camps. More horror.

More death.  More guilt, more shame...

              I miss Hunter S. He was the master of the quick shift... writing from

horror to humour and back again.   My God!  I miss that omnivorous prick already.

            I miss the explosions.  I miss the intricacy of his insults.

            We almost came to blows over my use of the   "..."  system. He called it lazy and offensive. I called

him a pig-fucker, can't exactly remember what kind.. I loved the homicidal look in his eye. It was

so completely  genuine. One freezing ice-lashing. toe-snipping night in Toronto... In the back of an empty

theater,  we nearly came to terminal blows. Canadian rye will do that to you pretty quickly.

              It was a moment of  pristine clarity and silence.  I'm  certain he enjoyed

the moment. I know I did.  It was the still place they always talk about,

in the midst of the turning world.

             You can't really kill a man like Hunter. You certainly can't kill his Spirit, which has grown by several

megatons since his death. I can feel it rattling, gearing up, blasting up and down the highways of both our

coasts, east and west... from sea to shining sea.

              I can still feel him looking over my shoulder as I'm writing this. And I'm

being careful because the masterful teacher of vicious insight seems to be watching as I write this.

             . I hate being careful when I write. (That's for editing one week later) .My eyes are as sharp as

Hunter's. I'm a better shot than Hunter, though there's no way he'd agree But I don't have his fine gift for


              I keep losing my sense of humor, something he rarely did in print.

             He's welcome at my table any time. And I'm honored if her wants to look over my shoulder

There will always be a strong cold drink, waiting for him here.

          Let's be honest. He's an American hero. He was not afraid to speak up in these decades of Fear

and cowardly, willful blindness.

                This pervasive feeling of fear...

                "There's nothing to fear but fear itself." Roosevelt said this. He helped people out of the last depression.

                  I wonder who will help us out of this one.

                   "The definition of madness is loss of a sense of humor." Hunter S. Thompson.

                                                                      Carpe Diem
                                                                      _____ ____        

                                                                       Discard nothing. Everything may serve.

                    What was the name of that old calypso tune?