I’m a hedonistic ascetic, an ascetic hedonist, irreverently reverent, a healthy skeptic with a hankering for transcendence.
I’m an OG tripper.
Been spinning in circles
to make myself dizzy
since I was like, 3.
My first album,
(grabbed from the “Freebie Basket” at Booboo’s Records,)
was a scratched
copy of Sgt. Pepper’s.
I was 7.
The pre-teen me and my
coven of reincarnated witches
would choke each other out
until the thrumming rush
of checkerboard fuzz
I voluntarily spent my
in the library,
poring over the PDR and Encyclopedia
of Psychoactive Drugs.
Before I was even legal,
I’d already ingested all manner and manifestation
from ridiculous to sublime
in the name of research and exploration,
and here I still am, y’all — to my own amazement.
I have sat for weeks in silent meditation.
I did a medically supervised water fast where
I ate nothing for 28 days,
and lived to tell the tale,
all in pursuit of a head change.
cried until my eyes swelled shut,
been smudged by medicine men,
drummed the scorched earth beneath the rising sun,
I’ve taken back my mother tongue,
each letter more humbling than the next,
breaking myself open against the words of sacred texts
to let G!d part my lips and
tongue-kiss me alphabetically.
Deep in my all-too-human bones I know
that lowly exile
Holds holy redemption.
My point of reference is shackles, chains, abuse and starvation.
I claw my way from bondage to liberation on the daily.
I step into the sea, then pray that it will part for me.
I cross the desert,
not knowing where I am going,
I stay rolling in clouds of glory,
I arrive at Mount Sinai
to tell it I survive.
I am alive
to the realness
that animates this fleshly spacecraft,
the little teeny infinitesimal limitless me,
in the cockpit
of my body.
And it’s almost too much.
I can barely take
the onslaught of glorious information.
I am undone
by the spectrum of reality
narrowed to a shaft of light
from behind the cracked-open door of perception.
It’s all I can do to stay sewn into my sack of skin
as it is.
This existence is an embarrassment of riches.
Hey, Persephone! Just one pomegranate seed
is enough to send you careening into orbit
if you stay present to it.
Let the ruby beauty flood your senses.
Let yourself be consumed with the consuming.
I come to unclog the dogma.
Can I kick it scientific?
If north is not actually up,
and south not literally down,
then where is high, exactly?
The world is a rotund love muffin,
a spherical miracle,
a magnificent magnet,
and the energy is
curving and swirling.
Our planet is enacting
he holiest holy of holy pole dances.
So: reality is round,
space has no up or down,
the universe is a circular tube unfolding,
unraveling, and ever expanding,
yet already all of everything.
The universe is everything.
The universe is an everything bagel:
That is the shape of things.
So, “Get high” really means “Get off”
as in “Get off the planet; defy gravity.”
So, “Get off” really means “Get out”
as in “Get out of your body, get out atmo-sphere-ically.”
So “Get out” really means Get Free.
Your unconscious is constantly
organizing a 3D version of you in time and space
so you can proprioceive your way through reality.
Neurologists call it The Body Schema.
Mystics call it The Astral Body.
Now, pardonnez-moi for getting all “chicken or the egg,”
I mean, not to be all “apple or the seed,”
Forgive me for pointing out “reality or perceived…”
…but what all of this means
is that your brain is creating
Precisely so that your consciousness,
will not dissolve
What immeasurable providence.
What would any angel
give to simply be able
to pull a chair up to the table
and break bread?
And meanwhile, I hunger
to Get High Get Off Get Free,
The holy sensation
of total liberation
brought on, paradoxically,
by being fully
present to this present.
the three-year-old me spinning in circles
answers to no lesser G!d than
the whirling dervish,
one palm turned celestial,
one palm turned earthbound,
invoking a rising spiraling
answers to no lesser G!d than
the quantum physicist,
unraveling the spiraling helixes
of the heavens
of the everything bagel of reality,
answers to no lesser G!d than
Well, it’s enough to make you blow a gasket,
if you know what I mean.
It’s enough to pop your consciousness right out of your body,
into the rega,
into the space-between,
You are more than the
little bit of
consciousness sitting in
of your carbon-based human starship.
In fact, your entire physicality
with its gracious plenty of nerve endings
is actually the fleshly cockpit of your
This existence is just the tip
of an upside down iceberg
expanding ever higher and wider,
unraveling into unbearable beauty.
And that division between you and me?
Simply a persistent illusion,
a by-product of our feeble non-bumblebee eyes’
inability to perceive the atoms dancing!
It all seems so solid, so heavy,
and yes, there’s all this
this is mortality,
the beauty of duality,
the sweet severity of the material.
This is the way of our earthly playground.
You’ve got to get down
to get up.
if you don’t bend your knees,
how will you ever jump?
Oh, what a gift!
to go out—
which, according to quantum mechanics
and ancient sage’s wisdom—
is the same as going in,
to be able to put out our hands and spin,
to unfold mathematics
and bask in its tenacious elegance,
Glory glory to
me and you in
Let us all rise.
Let us Get High Get Off Get Free.
There’s no place on earth I’d rather be.
I’m so high right now.
Oh my G!d.
I’m so high.
Generally speaking, I have a personal guideline to post brand new pieces here. I’m making an exception because I have been wanting to debut this piece, (which has never been published in written form,) on Hevria since before we launched. I was waiting for the right moment. Lo and behold, it has arrived! Here’s my thinking on the synchrony:
*I will be sharing this poem live Sunday, 2/22/15, at Wisdom Tribe: SoCal Sessions in Los Angeles. Think of it as a Jewish TEDTalk. Here’re links for tickets and info if you happen to be around. I’d love to say hello in person!
*The posting date just happened to fall on Rosh Chodesh Adar. (The beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar.) The Hebrew calendar is lunar as opposed to solar, and months start on the new moon. This is a sacred time aligned with the feminine aspect of divinity and true power and celebration for women. Adar is the month of strength, good fortune, joy! Great joy. It is a time when what is possible far transcends what we can see. “Get High” was written last Adar, in that magical temporal passage between Purim and Pesach. It is my wish that this poem brings you great joy.
I also want to give credit to Stan Tenen and David Sacks, whose teachings inspire me immeasurably. This piece owes them a debt of gratitude beyond. Check out Stan Tenen’s Meru Foundation and David Sack’s podcast, Spiritual Tools for an Outrageous World, and come see David on Sunday. He will be presenting at Wisdom Tribe as well.
And now…your EMOJI DVAR TORAH! Special Adar/Dream Edition:
PHOTO CREDITS: Spinning Girl by Molly Sabourin Boo Boo Records by Jeremy Brooks Torus by D Zucconi Everything Bagel by John Fowler Whirling Dervish by Neil Banas