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Oh you of unrivalled faith dancing madly into your graves. I’ll need some kind of miracle drug to get me through this two minute hate. Some sort of personal jesus to tell me heaven is not a place and it will not be okay. Please cut my head clean off and serve it on a silver plate to Herod. Because if the voice in the back of my head is right then I’ve learned all this theology from ted talks and pop songs and it won’t matter where I’m headed now anyway...

So take your snake oil back with all those personal opinions I couldn’t give a **** about. I’m done with worshipping a filtered image of myself. If this priesthood of millennial deceivers is what heaven looks like on earth I’d rather vilify my reputation and take the fastest way out.
Andrew Maitland Dec 2019
The sky is dark. Hazy. Dark. A crack of thunder interrupts the sound of rain penetrating a collection of lonely pines near the edge of a cemetery. It guides an unescapable moment of numinous silence. For one single instant the sky ignites. Hot, bright, white. Just beyond the long shadows cast upon gloomy trees along Locust street a figure comes into full view. Mary dances capriciously upon the grave of her unrivalled faith.

For them, it was a happy day. A ****** trip upstate for an ivy league education. A proper baptism for their eldest granddaughter among waterfalls channeling the firm redemptive grasp of the finger lakes. Before these days of welding fumes and urban decay.

She hid among the books. Projecting her unstable mind upon rows of cast iron shelves to watch them fall three floors below. Her safe existence dissolved slowly while the pages called forward the thrill of pure undefiled truth. And while her peers were busy building an empty cardboard box container faith she slipped from her own eschatological resting place.  

She vanished desperately into an ethereal fog that night. A divine curtain culminating her ignorant adolescence and prophesying dangerously about the upcoming winding Pennsylvania interstate.

She wiped her face and pushed through the dark with nothing in her grandparent’s 4-Runner but a hastily gathered selection of clothing stuffed into a black garbage bag. She spent months watching her fragile soul become slowly crushed by the weight of an immovable system, fraudulent and morbidly obese. She had often contemplated an effective means to quicken her own spiritual suicide but as long as this 4-Runner was moving she would press on.

The state forrest mocked her as she drove. It called her a fool as she began to second guess the decisions she made which led her deeper into this self imposed exile. As her mind began to wander from a state of useful diagnosis into the depths of self deception a white tail flashed quickly across the front of her windshield. That was all it took to bring her face to face with the gravity of her situation. Life and death intersected ten miles beyond the intersection of Windy City Rd.

Mary pulled glass and blood from her hair and struggled desperately to turn the key as if she were running. Not running away from but toward something. Running headlong into a redefinition of life as she believed it to be.

She ran headlong into the temporal seduction of looming blast furnaces beside the rivers of steel. They would drag her search for authenticity through an unholy descent into the lasting clutches of addiction.

Now through abandoned lots Mary walks. Every morning. Every evening. Up steep forgotten streets. Crumbling asphalt, red brick and stone layered inappropriately upon each other. The decay revealing a necessary and unmistakable ode to generations of forbidden deconstruction. At Electric Avenue she would often rush to cast her sins upon the curb of the Hollywood Show Bar.

Day after day this perpetual state of filth quickly stained her hands black. Tar black like the God ****** wasteland she suffered for every day. Maybe a heaven doesn’t exist? Is this is all there is?

She turns the key. Guiding an unwelcome wave of optimism toward the rusted grey Toyota 4-Runner parked in an empty lot beyond the edge of the cemetery.

Through another strange land of death could this rusted out faith still carry her away?

The starter clicks rapidly in anticipation of a crack of thunder, interrupting the sound of rain penetrating a collection of lonely pines near the edge of the cemetery. Just beyond the long shadows cast beyond gloomy trees along Locust street a figure comes into full view. Mary dances capriciously upon the grave of her unrivalled faith.
Andrew Maitland Jul 2019
I'm tired of kicking this horse. Its already dead. It can't hear me yelling anymore. You all know I hate this horse because I kicked it to death. I kicked it to death because it refused to take me to the destination on my map. I realized that it couldn't take me anywhere because it had no eyes but it also had no will to follow my direction. My eyes are quite good and make up for the weaker parts of my body. So I jumped off and began kicking it. I kicked it for a long time but it would have died anyway on its own because it had no eyes and would have wandered off into the ocean and drowned eventually. In a way, this horse may have been already dead.

But like any good (very bad) story (?) it was all a dream.

I only fantasized about kicking my blind horse to death. When I fell asleep (dreaming about kicking my horse to death), it wandered off. I looked over to see it it standing in the water. The water was up to its neck. I think it must have fallen somehow. What kind of dumb horse would walk out into the water and keep going if they knew they were going to die. Thankfully I jumped off the horse before I fell asleep. My arms are weak and I cannot swim. I would have drowned beside that wretched beast. What an awful way to die. Death by association.

What I didn’t tell you before was that I actually rode that horse for quite some time. Through the flat lands. You don’t need eyes if you begin your journey in the prairies. Just wander the right direction. You’ll get there. But as we worked our way diagonally across the hinterland I began smelling salt water. I knew we were getting too far off track and I got nervous. How could I trust a blind horse this close to the ocean. What if I fell asleep? I already told you that I can’t swim. I already told you that it won’t listen to me. I jumped off and began walking beside it. Thats when my mind drifted off and I began thinking about how nice it would be to kick this foolish thing to death.

The tide was rising. At first I left it alone. My mom always said “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all”. I looked around and realized that my fellow travellers were yelling out, encouraging it to keep walking. Coaching it along as if they were oblivious to the rising sea water. I kept silent. We walked like that for quite a while.

From time to time I would run over and try to guide it away from the water that was rising higher and higher up its legs. Every time I did it would kick me away. A little harder each time. It kept walking. Drifting off toward the ocean. By now the water was up to its neck and the waves were beginning to pick up momentum. My stubborn young horse was no longer walking. It was thrashing wildly against the waves that were beginning to pull it under. There was nothing I could do. How can one man save a full sized horse from drowning itself. Especially if it kind of wants to die?

I eventually allowed myself to cave to my surroundings and joined with my fellow travellers in cheery encouragement. “Keep it up! The best is yet to come!” we would shout. I fully realized that by shouting life into its bleak situation I was positively damning my horse to its watery grave. It was in up to its neck. Besides, it seemed to enjoy hearing the positive reenforcement. It was doing exactly what it needed to be doing, it just needed to keep on walking...further and further out into the ocean. It was nice but it was unhelpful.

I turned around and walked away. I left it standing in its grave. A blind horse isn't worth saving. Useless creatures like blind horses should be encouraged to wander off into the sea where they belong. Where terrible beasts prowl the dark at depths so bleak and depraved that innocent men cannot put images to the tales they’ve been told. Where the terrible waves of culture capsize well constructed personality cults full of innocent people and devour them whole. Where a man can be a fully actualized individual free to choose any and every path laid before him with no consequences or purpose.

Maybe we should euthanize blind horses so they don't hurt innocent riders. Maybe we should educate travellers about the dangers of stubborn, useless handicapped horses. I sure would dislike seeing any innocent soul perish because they jumped on the wrong horse.
Andrew Maitland Jul 2019
Life is so simple without you and me, life is so easy
It's so good to be free.

Now I've moved away, so happy I did it
Though I'm all alone in this city.

I'm buried in my anger, no way out but down
And I'll keep chasing danger until I'm found.

I’ve run out of patience, everything here looks the same
I know I’ve been here before but I forgot your name.

So why drag me along? You're only wasting your time
Looking for something I'll never find.

And I'll keep fighting you just to feel the pain
Please don’t leave me here feeling the same.

So simple so divine, Your love can be my guide.
Your love keeps me alive.
Andrew Maitland Nov 2018
They've commissioned me to sail the great ocean sea. Land is out there, somewhere. It has to be...

Black Death has decimated the path we've beaten down for years. We've enjoyed the wealth as much as we've enjoyed our blind certainty. And we, oblivious to our close-minded state called this prison "our Mongol Peace".

...The Cape Route. Reason tells me to sail south. The coastal waters will keep your mind at peace BUT THOSE SHALLOW COASTAL WATERS WON’T PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH!

So from the port of Palos I've left... Riding the trade winds west. I've pushed off. To find the eastern route. Oh my God.

For six weeks I've been at sea. Without sight of land I’ve begun doubting the brisk westward wind that once kissed my cheek. How was I at fault when the maps we relied upon turned out to be vague? Truth be told, I lost all hope of finding land after only 29 days.

My magnet no longer points north and Celestial navigation has become my only friend. Have I created my own truth? I left to join this Age of Discovery but to what end?

What if I wake one morning and find land is within reach? Does that really make me a Great Admiral of the Ocean Sea?
Andrew Maitland Nov 2018
Her steps filled the air with pure seduction and every step that followed left us with sweet destruction. Smoke & flames painted RED. On her lips, British Columbia is burning and we don’t give a ****. She sunk so deep inside our plans ...

(the lust that led us inside with our oil stained hands).

Lights staring deep into our eyes of sin, the same ones we hid where the damage started within.

Money passing through our worn out hands, the same ones that pulled trees from this native land. If everything was about love we could just buy it all again.

...Though her attention was far too fragile to sustain within this hazy room thick as fog, this club they built once a swamp.

Where dreams went dry. Where our world still comes to die.
Andrew Maitland Oct 2018
I watched the water rise. Creeping down the muddy street. As if a divine force was attempting a stealthy act of insurrection. I didn't have the heart to fight it. Had I only known.

I watched Hell's Half Acre silently succumb to the whimsical (however so pleasantly devastating) path of Gaea. Through this empowering incident I felt redemption like I never had before.

I jumped down from the platform of the livestock pen to personally welcome the satisfying force of nature's purification. The water lashed out and grabbed my leg. At that moment my jubilate spirit spoiled to uncontaminated terror. It was not a redemptive Spirit winding its way through the rail tracks but the serpent Lucifer. Had I only known.

And so in the West Bottoms Tavern I found myself under the ***** shoe of The Machine. A wayward phantom rising from our precarious Kansas River. It drifts through the sweet Midwest like the coal black locomotive smoke that paints a suffocating thick haze above the Stockyards.

A welcome slate of provision. A shelter covering us from the racial tension and poverty smothering the outside world. To those in the Bottoms with unruly desires, a saviour. To those at City Hall with loose morals, the messiah.

And it was at 1908, I nervously pulled the covers over my vulnerable body and sealed Satan's foul kiss with a diabolical red scrawl. We skipped hand in hand through the freshly paved streets of our "wide open" town. I always tried my best to look the other way but I knew full well that I travelled with a gang of thieves.

Nonetheless, everyone votes in our town. A brutal party whip keeps the Jackson County Democrats in line and "Charlie the ***" prevents any Rabbits from multiplying.

But I've been working from within the belly of a "whale" for years and I fear we've now run out of ocean. Our arranged marriage has robbed my capacity for faithful navigation. I'm seeking a radical divorce from The Beast, the cost has become inconsequential to me.

So I found genuine redemption. Finally. I closed the driver side door to my sedan and walked out to the edge of the bridge. The water below seemed whimsical (and so pleasantly devastating) in nature, much the same as it had 36 years ago. I pinned this note to the window, and with a Ready-Mixed Concrete block tied around my waist I watched the water rise.
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