Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homocide (Mature)

Mature Content
--

what do you see in me that's so different and dangerous?
my skin is your skin
   and
my blood is your blood.
we share,
we grow,
we learn,
we study,
we hope and we pray that our families will survive the night.
we pray.

we open our eyes at the beauty that is
each and every
Brand New Day
and close them every evening to
Hasten the Arrival
of the next.

we breathe.
my heart pushes the same blood through my veins
   as
your heart pushes through your veins.

we hold our truths to be self-evident.

we extend our arms to those we find dear to us.
but I reach a little father
but my arms spread a little wider

and yours don't reach me at all.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Totems and Concepts

As I brought up in my previous piece, "Dream Signs vs Totems," totems can be very simple things, nothing magical at all.

The hard part to remember in this world, in these dreams that they are creating, the characters are trying to recreated the World As We Know It as closely and perfectly as possible, so to have a "magical" totem is to bring unreality into the dream and attention to yourself from the projections.

I've been puttering around with ideas for totems, and have come up with this short list below. You folk are welcome to use them under two conditions:
1. Give me credit. Somehow, someway share that you've gotten them from divBy0 on deviantart or provide the link, or something.
2. If you come up with any spin offs, let me know. I'd love to create a list of concepts if for no other reason that to help people understand the concept of totems.

-> Chess piece that falls in only one direction (weighted on one side, off balance) [this is NOT my idea, this one is actually in the movie]

-> Mini inflatable punching bag that doesn't stand on its base (weight inside moved or removed)

-> Ring that pinches uncomfortably when put on, taken off, or spun on the finger

-> Water bottle with pinhole under label or at bottom that leaks slowly when the cap is removed (no magic here, just simple physics)

-> A pen with an unusual balance point (most pens have balance points in the middle third)

-> A top that doesn't spin on its tip (off balance, or spins on a different point)

-> A coin with a non-obvious typo, misprint, or the wrong number of hashes around the edge.

-> Random flavor candies that are a predetermined flavor (compare to "mystery flavor" gummies)

-> A puzzle box or ring that's solved in a unique way (if the architect doesn't know it's a puzzle ring, it will apear as a regular ring in the dream)

Dream Signs vs Totems

I'm looking at information about totems as I'm slowly coming down from this glow that I have after watching such a fantastic movie, and finding a lot of people talking about them.

And I am seeing a lot of holes and misconceptions.

First of all: Cobb's totem is defective, or, more soundly, ineffective.

For a totem to work, only the owner can know of any special properties. Everybody knows that his totem spins forever in the dream and falls in reality. Since they all know this, when they bring him into their dream, his top might stop spinning.

Second: Totems don't have to have any "special" properties.

I'm looking around at some people's concepts of totems, and they're making up fantastic possibilities:
-fishing lines catching certain fish
-card decks staying in certain orders
-and so on.

In truth, totems are nothing so complicated. A totem is simple something you can carry with you in a dream and only you are familiar with. Presumably the pawn is weighted on a certain side only, and is easy to topple only in a certain direction. It's the same property as the weighted die. The only catch is, no-one else can know the special property. This is where Cobb's top fails.

A totem can be the simplest thing in the world as long as you know it intimately and no-one else does. Even though Ariadne hasn't spent much time with her totem, the pawn or bishop, as the others have, the simply act of making it is a familarization process. Anything that you making lovingly and uniquely becomes part of you, and the balance of the object, all of its flaws and perfections, is burned into you, into them. This applies especially to people who commonly use their hands to create art.

Third: a lot of people are confusing dream signs with totems and vice versa.

A dream sign is something that you can look at within your own dream to be certain whether you are dreaming. Depending on the skill and experience of the dreamer, this can be a broad range of things. I've listed some of the more common ones below:
-Clocks and watches: Look at them, then look away, and look at them again. In real life, they run sequentially, systematically, and logically; in a dream this may not be so. In real life, only a few seconds may have passed, but in the dream it may show a completely different time, it may have changed between being digital and analog, or the face and/or number may have completely disappeared.
-Light switches: In reality, throwing a light switch causes something to turn on or turn off. In dreams, very often, they simply don't work.
-Mirrors: Look into them in reality and you see your world, reversed and reflected back at you. In dreams, mirrors sometimes don't reverse the images, and occasionally turn into windows or doorways. Go ahead and try to touch the surface of the mirror. Don't be afraid, those of you who have watched "The Matrix." Remember, the worst thing that can happen is that you wake up.

With all of these, however, depending on the degree of experience the dreamer has with lucidity and control, any of these tests may fail. More experienced lucid dreamers will have personal and more extensive dream signs to look for in their own dreams. Those new to dreaming are encouraged to stick to these.

Totems, on the other hand, are an object that you always keep with you, and only you are intimately familiar. The effect this brings is if you are drawn into someone else's dream, they may have tried to recreate your totem so it feels like you're not in a dream at all. Since they don't have intimate knowledge of your totem, it is impossible for them to recreate it perfectly.

Totems are used to identify you're dreaming while inside someone else's dream. Dream signs are used to identify you're dreaming while in your own dream. On top of that, totems are useless while you are inside your own dream. Since you and you alone have intimate knowledge of the totem, there's no reason you can't recreate it perfectly within your own dream.

This is one of the reasons of the debate over the end of the movie. If Cobb is trapped in his own dream, the top will fall even if he were in reality. On top of that, so many people know of the top's properties, it would be child's play to drop him into a dream world where his top does fall.

Totems and dream signs are two very different thing with very similar uses but only within their own separate and very different contexts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

When The Gods Stop Crying

I can see them spinning, the world sifting, shifting, and when the night grows so long, I can do nothing but try to add a light into this world.

Climb to the top of my lighthouse, and find the shining light. Try to climb down, and the stairs just go 'round and 'round. It may be a paradox or just trick of the mind. I could pinch you, but even in a dream you'd feel it. You know you climbed these stairs and made it to the top, but to descend... these are not the same stairs.

If you're tired, I left snacks under the lamp for you, and maybe more than that.

There's a dumbwaiter in the wall, and it will take more than your leftovers. As the doors close, it hardly feels like a dumbwaiter at all, as it plummets past depths you never could have reach on those stairs. You know it's descending, but there's no lurch in your stomach: you can breathe, you can swallow. It feels so real but some sensation is missing: the discomfort.

What is that in your pocket? I've never seen it before, and as you pull it out, I feel a strange presence, one that wasn't here before. What is that in your hand? I didn't create it, so you must have brought it with you. It's so bright, and I can't touch it, but I want it gone.

You toss it up in the air, and I reach out my fingers to catch it, but it just slips through my fingers as if I'm not really here. I'm worried it might taint my design, and you reach out your hand to catch it, but it just hangs there, spinning still but slowing, until there's a small full moon shining down on you.

A smirk, and you reach up for it again, and it becomes a coin once more, and this time I see her face, her name, in a glimpse before you slip it back into your pocket. Lady Liberty.

The doors open, and you're surprised. Good, I like that. You didn't notice when the elevator stopped descending, but you aren't startled when you step out of the old tree and into the broad field. I'm disappointed.

A rope snaps above your head, and you glance upward into the tree suddenly. A man hangs there, and I know I'm still in control. I know his face, since it's not much different from my own, though aged and wisened beyond what you ever perceived in my own.

Blood drips from a gaping hole in his side, and it slides down the tree, but he still breathes. You turn away, and look across the plain, though I wish you would return to him, you have places to go, miles before you sleep.

A farmhouse is on the other side of the plain of gold, wheat waving at you despite no breeze, but neither of us is bothered by this phenomenon. You start toward the farmhouse.

You're going to reach it faster than you think, for as lovingly as I built this landscape, even I can appreciate it for only so long. But, if you turn back to return to the tree, you will find the same trial as the staircase in the lighthouse. Still, there's no reason to try that: the farmhouse has all the answers you'll ever need.

The paint, once red, is peeling, and the wood is long dead and dark beneath, but the door opens without a squeek. A faint smell of long gone manure permeats the building, but it's not uncomfortably strong.

In one of the stalls, third from the back on the left, if I remember correctly, there's someone I want you to meet. Yes, there she is.

You'll perceive her as them, but it doesn't make any difference to what she is. She holds a cup while they lean over a trough, but they're both filled with the same water.

There's no reflection, but then, you weren't expecting one. OAR starts playing in your ears, and you dip your fingers into the water. She-They protests as you bring your fingers to your lips.

Friday, August 20, 2010

DMT: Two of Wands

harvesting my hard work
is work all the more,
but reaping all the benefits
is more than just a chore.

using all the tools
I've been keeping close at hand,
keeping active is keeping happy--
part of the master plan.

DMT: Nine of Swords (Mature)

Mature Content
--

sitting here always worrying,
while the devil does his perching,
on my shoulder always whispering
    too scared to leave my bed.

keeping all I need here,
as long as my dreams are near,
larger than the world out there,
    so why do I still feel dread?

Perception Deception (Mature)

Mature Content
--

how many times can I look at my shadow,
how many times can I dream I'm so hollow...
who would have thought the night was so damn long,
why did I think I would be strong enough...

I gotta keep on turning
   searching for that pattern,
I gotta keep turning,
   searching all for you...
I gotta keep turning,
   mistakes I keep making,
but I gotta keep working
   doing it all for you...

all these dreams I keep having
showing me things I tried to keep saving,
leaving me cold, sweating, shaking,
   to build a world for you.
all these troubles I keep having,
showing me I'm barely deserving,
leaving me hollow, crying, breaking,
   to make a home for you.

how many turns must I keep on making,
when my world just won't stop shaking,
it feels like I keep on faking---
   I'll always be turning back to you.
how many times can I lose and not shatter,
when it rains cobblestones 'til it's my blood that splatters,
it's too cold for my teeth to chatter,---
   I'll always be warming up for you.

keep nesting in the visions,
keep pacing through the night,
keep hoping, keep praying
   that all will turn out right.

the time keeps drawing longer,
my projections growing stronger,
the night keeps going on and on...
the blood is seeping faster,
and there's one thing left to ask her:
how far will we keep this going on...?

      maybe we should turn this thing around
   I think I'll turn this car around
I'm going to turn us all around.

--
Some lines borrowed from OAR's "Shattered." I claim no rights to these lines.

Monday, August 2, 2010

DMT: Death (Mature)

Mature Content
--

the end can be so attractive
as we're rutting in the sand:
the end of innocence and lonliness
as long as you're holding my hand.

the end can be so merciful
as we push against the grind:
the end of pain and suffering...
in these death is kind.

I'm finding death so beautiful
I want to hold it in my arms,
strong and subtle and lustful
disregarding logic's alarms.

it's pulling me in closer,
and I don't want to resist.
there's no panic in my eyes
when clothing ceases to exist.

I'm finding I'm growing harder,
to rutt between its legs,
I'm finding myself on my knees
and I didn't have to beg.

Death lays there presenting,
waiting for my spear.....
she's so tight within her hide,
but I feel as if I'm the one to tear.

she is clearly bearing
a baby in her inside.
it screams pleasure as I stroke,
it strokes my piercing hide.

there's nothing quite like coming
inside the belly of the beast---
but, to the unborn monster,
I was quite a feast:

it drank me 'til I bled,
though all felt like come to me.
I fucked Death, but instead
the mother devoured me.

it felt like an orgasm
when it ate my soul,
and I left behind no carcass---
playing the monster was now my role.

now I lived in Death,
it fed nutrients to my core;
I swam inside her ebony,
all the bliss I could endure.

This Is My Life

sitting 'neath the night sky,
throwing out these bones,
reading out my fortune,
telling the new and the known.

drawing out my life--
all I survey, all I see:
I see some hope, I see some strife,
and none surprising to me.

maybe I know where I'm going,
but I'm certainly getting there,
I dreamt my legacy so clearly,
I danced and fought and well-fared.

she stands there so stoic
and never needs to lean;
she once did support
a decent rapport,
but now I'm broken, bruised, and mean.

she's too much like a coin:
two sides: face and ass.
once I thought this was my place,
but I since flunked her class.

one sun, at least, shines one me
though sometimes beating on my back.
long will I toilm strong will I coil,
and success will lay on my track.

love is a long and rocky road,
but every journeyman still hums and sings,
he knows the dance and sees the dreams,
and one day will meet his wings.

and the future is always uncertain,
sometimes lonely in your dreams,
but you'll always have somewhere to stand,
the pain won't last as long as it seems:

the cards still promise me home,
someone to share with my life,
through the dreams and successes,
through the stumbles and the strife.

they promise nothing more
than what I can achieve,
but also nothing less
than what I dare believe.