Poison/Honey

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… the dose.

2017.12.6- Poison Honey.jpg

www.linmtba.com

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Building Pyramids

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This is the last month of Noose Ends, and I’m planning the next movement now. I’m excited to finish this year. It has been full of love and joy and excitement, rife with sadness and pain and I have come out with so many beautiful stories to tell. I’m excited to bring you into the following year with me.

I can’t explain much in this life, I can tell you with certainty though that the stories we are writing are all worth it. I promise you that much. I’ve wasted a lot of nights worrying and fretting about things that aren’t real, that won’t happen, that don’t even exist. When I was younger I first heard this rumor about Stephen King. That he hired bodyguards to stand outside his bedroom at night when he sleeps so that the things that he created won’t be able to get to him. It was a silly rumor and maybe it is true, couldn’t tell you. Don’t honestly want to find out about it because if it is true it will invalidate everything I’m about to say.

Oops.

The point is, I’ve spent hours of my life worrying about fake scenarios in my head and things that don’t matter in the long run. I create these monsters for a living and it has become my go to for real life scenarios. A while back I was panicked about something and talking to my mother, who grabbed my head and whispered to me:

“Chaim, you need to go to sleep.”

Referencing Chaim the Writer, a Seraphim from my novel universe, who writes the aspects of the story down and is sort of the main force in my writing. I’ve often joked about him living in my head because of the frequency that I will have story ideas for myself to write down. We all do this in different ways, I happen to make stories out of my fears. I haven’t gotten so proficient at writing just by luck, I’m constantly telling myself about things that don’t exist. I haven’t gotten good at the whole happy endings to the silly stories thing yet, but I’m working on it.

I like to think about things in triangles, by that I mean there are three angles to every scenario. The first, is my point, which can range from totally factual and honest to completely made up and panic stricken fairytale. Then there is the second point, the other party. Whatever they feel or think, which can stem from fairytales like my own to nothing but hard hitting facts and logic, then there is the third point which is the outside influence, what do others see and say about things? This mentality affects everything in my life from my personal relationships to my business. There is what I want, what others want, and what the world thinks I want. The important part of all of this is that there is another aspect that I don’t’ think about often. All of those points are valid and need to be examined, perhaps not all of them taken seriously, but at the least need to be seen. Then there is one more aspect in the center of it that sits at the root of the diagram I draw in my head.

That I am in control.

I may not control others actions, or thoughts, but I can control my own and I will continue to do so for as long as I live, because why would I let myself live without control over my own mentality?

So, with that said, it brings me back to the Stephen King rumor I brought up. I am great at making up scenarios that don’t make any sense or that just simply aren’t true. As a matter of fact, I’m so good at it that I’ve done it for a living. I’ve only recently been better about calming down and not letting those scenarios freak me out, I’m looking at the whole pyramid, not just the base triangle. Hanging above every problem in your life, real or imaginary, there is something you should keep in mind. The point above all of the other three is that you will always control your reaction and your own actions, there is nothing else you can do at that point, so don’t let it rib you.

You built the pyramid, after all. No monsters will get inside. Just lie down and sleep soundly.

www.linmtba.com

Ex-Death

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A short piece today, The blog is going to get pretty experimental for a while, I want to try some new things as you’ve seen with Pollyanna + now Snake Charmer Snake Eater, I’m going to put some more effort into the blog and try to single out my audience. I’ve been just writing shit aimlessly for years now + it is high time that I get something more manageable and focused figured out. Also, welcome back to the YouTube channel as of like… tomorrow or something.

I’ve climbed out of my own coffin and I’m back to swing for keeps.

I feel a bit warmer all over than I used to. My fingers aren’t shaking independently from the rest of me anymore, which is nice. I can breathe in a full set of lungs now a days which hasn’t happened since I was roaring a chorus in New York City. My mind is clear and I am focused, yet I would still stab someone in the chest to get a guilt free puff of nicotine.

Isn’t it funny how powerless we can feel sometimes? At the hands of such silly things like plants and people.

I’ve been a hard headed lad for as long as I can remember and I have had a penchant for finding new ways to strengthen my own resolve.

Simply put:

I have more willpower within my soul than five men do together. Which is a wonderful attribute to include in my invisible societal resume, but that also means when I have a break down or when I fail it wasn’t because I was under the influence of something else. It was a direct result of a choice I made consciously. Because I am so hard headed and my will is my determinant factor in all scenarios, it can really cause some damage to my mind when I know I screw up, which, let me tell you, is often.

If I make a choice it is rarely influenced by something other than my own decision. So when I choose something that kills me inside I have to live with it and accept it regardless of the outcome. That really sucks, cause I don’t like consequences for things.

Like turning down a girl I really liked because I didn’t have time for her.

Like turning down a job that would give me good money because it would kill my time.

Like staying somewhere I don’t need to stay just to force myself into a break.

Like crawling out of my coffin and waiting around at graveside for someone to come feed me some brain.

We as humans switch back and forth between alive and dead without even knowing it, I think. Obviously not truly. Most of us only die once. Unless you’re Eminem but we likely aren’t going to be that lucky. We have one shot at life and on the way to the great beyond we will switch back and forth between feeling the warmth of a brand new day and feeling the cold claws of the earth. Our choices dictate everything in this life. Our reactions are our own. If we are upset because of an outside occurrence, it is because we allow ourselves to be.

If I am angry at a coworker for how they behave or act, it is because I allow myself to care enough about how they can affect me.

In this moments I think we slowly kill our spirit, our willpower, our hope, our soul. I’m by no means admitting defeat and saying that we should give in to negativity, which is not my intention. What I am saying instead is that perhaps we could watch our own corpses bounce back and forth between warm and cold and stay warm for a while longer.

We could use out powerful will to stay happy for a few more seconds, to stay calm, to breathe in deep, to smell the flowers that are growing out of our chests every once and a while.

After all, the coffins we are building for ourselves are going to get pretty damn hard to fit inside of if we let our ego grow any more.

In The Ring

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The first blog post of February! This week I’m talking a bit about being angry, fighting, and fighting back. Make sure to check out the recap of the blog that will be coming out tomorrow on my YouTube channel Dyzygy!

I was once under an oath of peace. I took it first on a summer day after I had gotten into a fight with a coworker and told him I’d kill him if he continued acting in a way that would piss me off. The next morning when I rolled out of bed I realized that I was too comfortable with using phrases like “I’ll kill you.” And “I will beat your ass.” I was a person who would make empty threats. I rarely meant what I said, there were only a handful of situations over the past few years which would have pushed me to actual violence, still, I spoke as if I was always ready to fight and in extreme situations, ready to kill.

It didn’t sit well with me. So that morning I sat down at the foot of my bed and really thought to myself about who I was and what I had become. I had allowed myself to turn into the wrong kind of person. I was someone who would resort to violence rather than solving the problem. Then, after two years of my life had gone by in which I never hurt a living being. I didn’t step on bugs, or kill spiders, I didn’t hit my friends when I was playing around. I kept my hands and more importantly, my heart, to myself.

Then in the same day, I stepped on a bug and punched someone in the jaw. After I had broken my oath of peace, I grew bitter because I couldn’t uphold my own virtues. Forget the fact that I had gone two straight years without intentionally harming anything. Human or otherwise. I spent a few months in a dark place because of how hard I was on myself after the fact. The punch I threw was justified. The guy definitely deserved to be hit, but I realized after a while that I didn’t need to be the one to hit him. It sacrificed everything I had built my life around. So a couple months after that I went out to the canyon with my friends and adopted that oath of peace for a second time.

I lasted a few weeks that time. Eventually I had allowed my anger to take control of me and I slammed my fist against another living, breathing human being. That time, because he was “arrogant.” I take these things seriously. So when I hit the next guy, I began profusely apologizing. I had done so well for so long to control my anger. I would vent it into everything I could. My music, my books, my poetry. Somewhere in my storage unit I have a box full of bitter and angry poetry that I used to subdue my own hands and stop me from lashing out with violence, be it physical or otherwise. Somewhere after the second oath, I had stopped venting that anger. I let it consume my heart and eventually it began to show. There was nothing I knew to do outwardly to stop the sudden outbursts and the moments where I lashed out at loved ones.

Around this time, I grew disheartened because a musician who I have looked up to for his positivity for years had changed his style of music and had altered the way he behaved. I put so much weight into who he was to me that it actively changed the way I was behaving. I believed, however foolish that belief might have been, that because he didn’t portray positivity or happiness anymore then I didn’t need to either.

Then someone punched me in the ribs.

I was talking shit to someone and assumed we were having fun, when I said something that was over the line and a friend of mine wasted no time to deck me in the ribs. I doubled over because it had been years since I’ve really been punched. Plus, he was strong as an ox. It set my mentality into the correct scope.

I want to tell you that I am fueled by love and happiness and good thoughts. I mean, all of those things propel me forward. I know that I can utilize the feelings that I get from all of that positivity and it is certainly what I want to spread into the world, but it is foolish of me to think an oath of non-violence can be the magical key that makes me suddenly peaceful and happy. It takes a lot more work than that. There is much more that I am made up of than the desire to be peaceful and happy.

To tell you the truth, anger is the root cause of my passion.

I write because I am angry in the moments I have nothing to say.

I play music because I am angry there are so many ugly things in the world.

I write these blogs because I am angry that some days I feel lost, that I don’t know where to go.

Life constantly feels like I am in a boxing ring, getting my cheeks and jaw slammed into the ground by the heavy gloves of responsibility, creativity, duty as a citizen and so much more. I sometimes feel that power that comes from anger. I know that I am left with one decision.

I can either lay on the ground, sad because I have thrown my own arms to defend myself.

Or I can get up, brace myself for the swings I won’t see, and keep fighting back. I will take all the anger I feel for how unjust the world is, the anger for how broken I can feel some days. I will take it all and I will continue to repurpose it into something greater.

I don’t need an oath of peace or non-violence.

I need an oath that I will always give everything I can for everything I can. I will stand silently, and if in the future I am called to fight.

I will fight like the hell has broken into our world, I will fight like a bear protecting its territory and its children. I will fight.

I will fight for everything that reassures me the world isn’t as dark as it feels sometimes.

If you liked this, be sure to check out my website http://www.linmtba.com for updates on new poems and blog posts! (Along with tons of other stuff.)

Anchors + Wings

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This blog was supposed to be out on the 9th of Dec. but I was returning from my trip and hadn’t really processed what had happened on my trip yet, this is a compiled story with many edited parts about the thoughts in my brain after having met the most important person in my life.

This past week, I was travelling around the country meeting all kinds of people, advertising my upcoming book and meeting family members for the first time all over again. I shook hands and prayed with men I will never see again, I spoke kind to people whose lives I knew nothing about and I saw brilliant things everywhere I went.

Among those things, I was lucky on this trip to get to venture into Alabama and visit a friend who I have had for years. When I was much younger, I was a part of a Christian social media site called Shoutlife, which I’m not even sure is in existence any more. Because of the nature of this site, I came to know so many people. I gathered a handful of great friends and as a group we shared so many experiences together though we had never met one another face to face. I loved these people, and many of them are still in my life to this day as passing glimpses on Facebook walls or Twitter timelines, but by and large they have drifted on to their own lives and we have lost contact. Some of them for better, some for worse, but all of us are moving forward.

One of these friends in particular, has stuck beside me for a decade, and I have loved her since the beginning. Though our lives have changed dramatically since we were kids, she has remained a large part of my life. Each season that passes we have maintained a friendship in which I have grown through and come to learn so many things about myself. I had grown tired of not really having met this friend and so on our trip I made a point to go see her.

So as the sun rose on my mother and I in Georgia on a particular Saturday, we stepped into the rental and headed west to finally meet this girl who has lived inside of my head, and across the country for years. When we arrived, we had lunch and spent the day together. I won’t disclose much beyond that to you, because that is not my information to share. As we ddrove around seeing the town she lived in, we spoke and I got to meet her daughter.

I’ve always had a problem with babies. Kids under five just have a tendency to dislike me for one reason or another, perhaps because I am so quiet around them or because I have scary long hair and a halfway deep voice, I don’t know.

Regardless, I met this little girl and she changed the way I see so much. We had gone to walk around in the cool air and as the four of us crossed a bridge she grabbed my hand and I had to fight with everything I could to hold back the tears that had formed in my eyes. There was something magical in that one moment, as if ten years of my life had built themselves up and finally exploded from my heart. So many highs and lows and changes of feeling.

I wanted to open up my heart in this post and share with you the magic of that moment, but as I’ve written it I came to realize something. The magic that I felt that day can’t be written into words or explained through speaking. It was something I had wanted since I was a boy and that wish had finally come true. I can’t bear my heart to you truly, because there are so many emotions inside of it that spilling them out of me would never end. I can’t tell you exactly what I felt in that split second, so I am going to tell you instead what I decided afterwards.

We had driven around the city and spent time together, talking and joking and finally seeing each other face to face, but before long our time came to an end and my mom and I needed to get back to Georgia and back to my grandmother. So we parted ways with hugs and gifts. She gave me a drawing her daughter made and two pinecones that she had picked up as we were walking around. Those items were the only things I cared about getting home safely. My laptop could have been completely destroyed and I would have been less upset than I would have if the pinecones had been crushed. As I have written this blog post, those cones and the picture are sitting in my room in a special place reserved just for them so I can return to that memory whenever I would like to and feel that magic once more.

As my mom and I drove back to the place we were staying, we spoke at length on the three hour drive about the meeting and the trip as a whole. I began to consider my own place in life, where I sit and where I have fallen stagnant. If I were to undermine what this trip really was to me I would say that it was fulfilling and brought a new kind of warmth to my heart. It was so much more than that, but among all of the things it had been to me, it was a catalyst.

After we had gotten back to GA I was filled with joy and determination. The rest of the trip was spent by me with thoughts swirling around my skull like a hurricane. I couldn’t focus and I couldn’t sit down to write, because I couldn’t write what I was feeling.

Now, after having made it back to my home and getting a good night’s rest, I realized that the trip to AL was exactly what I needed in my life. I realized then that things don’t always go the way that we plan for them to. Of course, I knew that before, but there is a lot in my head and lessons will sometimes slip between the cracks of the ever moving skull.

There are people in our lives who come for a time, and there are some who come to stay. I don’t have much to say to you in this post, but I want all of you to consider something. Get out of your house. Go do something that terrifies you. Do something that shakes you to your core. If that is meeting a woman you have been in love with for years, or if that is hiking a specific trail or trying a burger. It doesn’t matter what that thing is, but I want you to get up, get scared, and watch what it does to your mind.

If you aren’t scared by anything ever, I don’t think we are truly living. There is so much in this world that we don’t understand and can’t explain. We are just fragments sliding through space faster than we can comprehend, and for that I am forever thankful.

It does good to remember to appreciate those that we have, for a moment, at least.

Thank you for reading this post! New content comes out every Wednesday + Friday. I am honored to have your eyes for a while.

For updates and information on blog posts, follow me @alvatobiasbooks on Facebook + Twitter!

Mean Shadows releases on Dec. 24th. You can pre-order here. (Orders before Dec. 18th will arrive before Christmas!)