“When reason fails”
An intelligent people who see wrong and horrible things happening and know that others are blind to that will use reason to try to convince a person to open their eyes. It seems around the world that people have been trying to change others who cannot or for their own gain wish to turn away from the truth. Weapon Magazine is precisely that. A weapon against dullness of the heart, against the numbness of life, against the thing that turns a person away from all that is sacred in this life.
“breathed upon” by that something which I care not to define for fear I will trivialize it. Fundamental change can also happen in the person who experiences the fruits of the creator. Just as the food nourishes our bodies, creativity nourishes our heart and our souls if one wishes to believe in these two unseen components of the human form.
one heart at a time
When all is provided to us and diversion from our own bodies and feelings is the menu of the day we sink into a morose dullness that we are constantly told IS life, is the GOOD LIFE.I never wished to see this magazine become a political vehicle at least in the traditional sense, but underlying all creativity and inspiration is change, change of the heart and soul of the person channeling or being Welcome to the first issue of Weapon Magazine. Oh my, sounds scary doesn’t it. A lot of the first reactions to the name of this magazine were that it would be considered negative by a regional area much known for their political views and deep history of anti violent protest against many horrible things that were happening around the world. The last thing I wanted to see in MY particular vision was for this magazine to become a political vehicle; a “he said she said” finger pointing call for accountability from the city councils to the heads of state. It has been in my view largely a waste to try to make major change at any noticeable level and especially when very few people are informed on the topics of the day. It seems the real issue for change has been inner growth and understanding. It is hard to care about our environment when we are thinking about what is going on in our personal world of prosperity and financial security. Or the dullness of a constant assault on our sense in a ultra commercial world. It has always seemed that the moments of true seeing and growth came out of the experience of creating. Creativity aside from the joyful or painful experience of the doing is a moment when we are actually producing something for no other reason but to allow another person to experience something that we have no control over. We hope this experience will be, in some way like what we are seeing or feeling when we were creating or
when we were truly inspired to create. Inspiration, literally, the word means “breathed upon,” Some believed, inspiration came to a poet because the poet was attuned to the “winds” and the soul of the poet was able to receive such visions. In the many views of inspiration it is something beyond our control and comes from outside ourselves. All I know as an artist is that when I see beautiful work I want to create beautiful work. A day at the gallery is one of the best attitude adjustments I know. A week in Santa Fe is akin to a life changing experience. So back to Weapon, is the word negative? Lord knows we have had it in our vocabulary in a negative way for so long how could it not be negative. Of course it is! Is a weapon not ultimately a device or system to bring about change or destruction of a belief system that is at odds with our own, or maybe that which keeps us from experiencing true freedom. If a group of people had eyes to see but they did not would we not want to devise a system to destroy that which kept them from seeing?
en reason fails
This weapon, this seemingly negative word is here to liberate, to liberate a heart of one who feels alone, to one that has become so numb to life that they no longer can take meaningful action in their lives. Welcome to Weapon. Be a part of Weapon and save the world one soul, one heart at a time.
Of Easy Chairs and Warmer Places By Chip Marks It’s actually quite a comfortable easy chair, that 06 Civic of mine, purchased in better times, when the American Dream seemed a bit more alive and real for me. As a photographer here in Kansas City, I drive around a lot photographing people and places. I find myself drawn to the places that are a little more run down, a little more forgotten. I pass by the usual places where they stand with their signs of need. If I have any spare change or a dollar handy I will look at them, if not I pretend I am very busy and have places to be but really I just don’t have anything in my pocket. It is difficult to see these people and not give them something. Even half of what I drop at the coffee shop in the morning would be welcomed with gratitude. Driving down 8th street that day the sun was on its way out and I saw a man lying against the wall of an incredible old church. Its days of glory long since past. It didn’t seem out of place for him to be there, he actually fit the scene. The church was so beaten down and it was obvious it had been quite a creation in its day, much like the man lying there, I suppose. The man almost seemed to grow out from the cracks in the sidewalk, much like the weeds that soften the blow of concrete under our feet. He was part of the landscape, part of the church landscape, a tug that calls out to the part of us where compassion and caring are buried away. That part we don’t want to show too much of these days considering how many people of questionable need have their hands out. He did not have his hand out. I wanted to photograph this man, who was either passed-out or half-asleep, though I was not sure how I would do it. I tend to feel like I am stealing something from a man by taking his photograph when he is at his lowest. This man’s name was Carl. I went around the block and parked my car, pumping the meter full of change. The amount could have easily fed a man, woman, or child living on these streets for a day. From across the street I tried to access the scene and how to shoot a meaningful picture of Carl, when two African American men walked by, oblivious to me and heading down
the street towards Carl. As they got closer to him, I turned and shot some photographs from a distance. It seemed a strange scene and I wish I could have heard these men and what they might have said as they passed by. Carl clearly had nothing they wanted, but as they approached, he perked up and it seemed clear that they had something he wanted. I wondered what it could be: a buck, perhaps, or just an acknowledgement that he exists. It reminded me a bit of the old woman who goes to the beauty shop, not because her bluish hair needs to be cut but because she just wants someone to touch her and let her know that this is all real and she does exist in this world. The world she was once young and alive and attractive, where she danced and celebrated the end of world wars and celebrated Christmas with the ones she loved now scatter to the four corners of this American Dream. Alone, with no one to help, winter is colder than she ever remembers. The two men passed Carl with a nod and I saw him sink as if all the air had been let out of him. From across the street I could almost feel his loss, my loss, our loss. I walked south past the church, trying to find the best way to approach Carl, to get a more personal picture of him. I looked around me and I saw the wonderful architecture of Old Kansas City. These buildings, once so amazing in their dreams of greatness, now stand empty, just a future condovision in a developer’s head, fit for the wealthy who wish to live close to the culture and the nightlife. I shot some of the buildings because they moved me in their beauty. I panned across the street and saw a bank. There was a single window, perfectly framing a lone businessman sitting inside. I wondered who he was and who he had waiting for him at home. It was a stark contrast to Carl slumped in the alley. Somehow, though, there was a thread between them, and it could almost be physically seen. I photographed the man through the window, his hand on his chin, immersed in worries I could only imagine. I turned back again, and before approaching Carl I stopped to take a peek in the window of the old church. I wondered what was
happening inside and if anyone in there was aware of what was happening outside. I was startled then by a man who asked if he could help me. I told him No, I was just looking but actually, I did wonder about this church. He proceeded to tell me about how the pastor helped the people of this area. He said the church was a women’s shelter at night and provided a warm meal between eleven o’clock and one o’clock every day to people with nothing but tattered clothes and the cold sidewalk. I told him my name and he said he was Tim. He looked through his sunglass at me and told me how the pastor said to the police that the perimeter around his church was protected and that the people could sleep there if they wanted to or just take a rest from what I imagine could be a very long day for some of them. Tim proceeded to show me a secret place that did not seem to be much of a secret until he showed me the small heating vent there that could save a person’s life on one of these cold February mornings. He told me some nights he actually woke up sweating and that he was okay out here. In fact, most of the people he knew out here were okay. We discussed the economy for a bit and Tim said, looking up at the ornate buildings, that he expected people to start jumping from those windows one day soon if the market kept sliding. It seemed reminiscent of when President Hoover told the good bankers and investors, in 1929, that the market would straighten itself out very soon. I wasn’t sure about all of that but I did think of the businessman in the window, and again I wondered where his mind was, moreover where he stood with his mortgage. His window was on the first floor, so I imagine he wouldn’t have much more than a broken ankle if he jumped. It would be just as easy to escape down the rabbit hole of Vicodan, Ambien , 12-year-old scotch or even T V these days. I told Tim that I had hoped to take photographs one day that might move people to look beyond their lives of security and truly see the people out here and maybe help, or at least try to. And yet it is interesting to realize that these people on the street are not affected by today’s economic tsunami that we are all preoccupied with. They have lost it all already and they are the ones watching us now, shaking in our boots. They will be okay long after the markets have recovered and the bonuses are taken in
the millions. I glanced at the warm spot Tim he had just shown me and I realized it didn’t even matter. I thought of Edward Steichen, the great photographer from the forties who tried to show, through his photographs, the horrors of war in hopes that maybe he could change something. Steichen realized back then, that people turn away from such horrifying images. Today, the marketers that sell us our shiny cars and diet aids cannot show us the cold truth of what happens on the ground in Iraq. Or the reality of what bombs and bullets do to innocent woman and children who somehow have gotten in the way of our righteous plans for their country. If we saw these things, the truth, we would be aghast and not have the stomach to buy any products. We are the engine of global prosperity. How many will starve if America’s appetite is spoiled? We must not be horrified. Mr. Steichen decided to photograph the uplifting Family of Man series instead and hoped that the joy of living and the connection of all men to each other would elicit the change he desired to see. I am not convinced that either extreme was correct, but perhaps a subtle mix of the two would be just fine. I asked Tim if I could come down here sometime, maybe buy him a cup of coffee or a burger and we could talk some more. He said absolutely and smiled broadly, and I wondered what the weather forecast for tonight was going to be. I handed him a fivedollar bill and thanked him, he nodded slightly and thanked me and we turned and went our separate ways. Just as I turned, there was Carl. I went up to him and stooped down to talk to him. I introduced myself and asked him how he was doing. He smiled as if it was just another day and said he was very good. I handed him some bills and asked him to please, stay warm tonight. His smile and thanks were genuine and I saw a grateful man, a man that would be okay tonight, with my help or without it. I said good-bye to Carl and walked back to my easy chair, with way too much time left on the meter, wondering some more about the pale man in the bank window. The man with the worried look on his face.
By Chip Marks
We had been down these roads before, my friends and I. Drinking sprees dragging our passed out brethren to the Oldsmobile after they puke all memory of the night along the side of the road. Not a bad choice when you missed all the fun because you could not control your urge to bury it all. I had many nights like that and many chances and dreams swept away in a tide of vomit and rolling eyes, those times never to come before me again. Pools of stench I just as soon had been too slathered to remember.But this night was different, one of alones and cold, blowing trees and sounds. Sounds one doesn’t look forward to at least not when one is alone. As if the source of the sound knows what you have done and it follows you just beyond the last few footsteps in the snow. Horror movies in the cold
I remember hiding under beds, footie pajamas shiver. Still miles to go before you can wash off the stains that you know will never go away. The kind you think people can smell when you enter the room… not foul but frightening to the souls. Inherent primordial fear they smell from a past that comes down from caves of anger, firelight rages, fur and clubs blood and bone. They smell there end even if they are not in your sights, they smell what only you know the truth
the color of fear
about. The guilt could push you over the edge but you know better. You can only be guilty if you gave a damn. But right now you just need to make it out… out of the cold away from the trees. Still miles to go and you can taste someone elses soul as you long for warm liquids that burn away memories of flowing color, color that no man wants to see… the color of fear.
That Little Light That Twinkles
Taste of Souls
I thought it was much darker then but, when I awoke I could see it was much more than just a subtle change. There were color shifts that being the busy person I used to be I would have never noticed but now. Well now remembering my name has gotten difficult, much less slipping into that busy façade that makes us all appear to be more then we know we really are. But now the truth it seems is more like a blunt instrument causing hairline fractures in my reality. Through those tiny fissures slip more and more intense flashes of things I have never known even though I pretended I knew everything. These were not things I wanted to know especially since they revealed the true nature of my pathetic little existence. Could it be that I had fooled myself this long? Or heaven forbid the people around me? Had anyone else seen through the absurdity of my ruse? My luck would be that it was only me. Somehow that was much more frightening. That no one around me had seen all that was revealed to me in this moment. This elaborate joke that I had played on them but moreover that I had played on myself. But now as the sky clears in this twilight life I am left with a cold desolate field. Like a crisp winter night when you run out of gas thinking you could make that next gas station miles down the road. In the distance a twinkling light coming from a farm house you would never dare approach. Deep down you know no one will come this time to rescue you, as that moment slips away. You realize you are much less in this world then you really are… to anyone.
Dreams of Port Townsend A Sleepy Victorian Port on the Puget Sound Slips Back In Time.
A photo essay by Chip Marks
Transactions from The Edge These were days I could remember quite well. Days when the doors were all closed and painted curious shades of red. I couldn’t tell you if it meant anything because. I don’t know if anything meant anything at this point. It all pointed down. So I wrote it down. Someone told me you could lose everything important to you in one split second. And they also said he would walk again, even as his limbs withered. There were bridges I would sit under to feel what it felt like. Textures of darkness we all look away from, color we don’t want to see. These others they go there, those girls they laugh and they spit and choke. And the boys… well they were just strange Polaroid smears, close-ups without focus. But it all stained the same and all felt just right when the lights were bright. The fluids dried on your skin and in your hair that you could never wash off. You shudder those mornings you awoke to stranger sheets hanging from rafter thoughts. I recorded it all in detached sublimation, a job I was never paid enough. Journalism was always my strong suit in these more erratic days. Just reporting from the field I saw the grass die under my feet. There were no more second chances, no more brighter days. Our dreams and fairy tales peddled to the highest bidder. We were much too young for these transactions.
By Chip Marks
Anomalies Of By Chip Marks I’ve know they were there since I was a child. From those lazy afternoons when we could not go out and play because of inclement weather... though rain or snow or those winds that I could discern dog like voices in never scared me, in fact it was my favorite weather, far from inclement. But anyways, I would sit by the window sill and watch the beads of water form and slide down the glass as if they were running for home, or a place to hide. The wind pushing through the old window sill and invading the warm cozy feeling that my mother insisted we must have to complete her fantasy of home and family. To me the sounds and the
cold rain were portals to places mysterious and foreboding, quite perfect in my opinion. A cold howl or a crack of thunder snapped me into a dream that somehow felt much more like home then my mother’s dreamverse could ever be. I would sit curled closely to those portals and chase the dust particles on my eyelids until I slipped into a dream or maybe into reality. The world I lived in was so mundane and lackluster, no monsters, no evils, no heroes or slayers. It all seemed more like a dream then the moment I would feel myself falling off a cliff through clouds and flashes of light. Rushing towards worlds I knew existed underneath the veneer of security my mother so desperately tried to maintain for her children. As she slowly slipped towards insanity and eventual suicide I felt these other worlds closer and closer. The day I went to visit her and saw the sores on her wrists from the belts holding her down I knew I could never go back to her arms. I also know I was more alone then I ever could imagine. I liked the best of both worlds, but as they closed her box and I saw the dark sky writing spelling the end of all I knew, I felt the rushing images of trees; you know the ones when you are riding in a fast car on a dark night towards your bitter end. I believe that was the time I said goodbye to my family and friends and was greeted quite coldly by the night.
I don’t know roads. Only ditches that are left I don’t know paths only the weeds where stolen innocence ferment I don’t know highways only cold shoulders where a lonely heart dies We could say there were much brighter days now if it would in some way make you feel better, if hope will spring, but the grass greens, only from tears that never hide, in pretty dances, of your last sight, these eyes remain open, not to fear or fright, only to see that which, will never be the same, in the perfect moment, of this silent movie frame
I Don’t Know Roads
It seems there is a quiet monster in our midst, hardly even a real monster but a little pest, like those Furbies gone bad, that would have it that we should hate each other. Not that we should have a high grade hatred for one another but a mild “Class C” disgust with our neighbor. This little gremlin is so good at creating this simple jealousy for consumer items and wives and skinny MTV type children that we would do just about anything to get what we want including work in intolerable conditions for companies built around corporate totalitarianism for things we all know we don’t believe in, but must pretend we do. I loved to watch “War of the Worlds”, what lovely monsters. We need monsters, we need zombies coming back from the dead. We need to have a nasty, stitched-together menace reach up from underneath our beds and grab us.
We So Dearly Need Monsters By Chip Marks
There are no monsters. As much as we long for monsters there aren’t any anymore. I really believe we NEED a monster(s) today. It may be the only thing that can save this country or perhaps the world. The only monsters we get are the creeps on the news and the mundane warmongers who are hardly interesting at all. Though they are hugely destructive, much more than Frankenstein under my bed, they are banal beyond my comprehension, they hardly deserve consideration as monsters of the classic variety. A true monster motivates a whole town, like in “The Blob”, or a whole country to unite to save itself. So many monsters, so little time. Some monsters are so wonderful they actually drive an entire solar system or galaxy to become part of a force for good. Ahh, The Force. Yes, Let the Force be with You. It occurred to me while watching a movie with Molly in a theatre not long ago that there is no real mystery anymore. We go to scary movies and hope that something will happen. The evil little girl will come up out of the well and turn around in the seat in front of me and drive me
to commit some act of good and protectiveness for all the people in the theatre, to save them all from this monster. I would do this of course with no thought for myself, only for the good people that so innocently paid the price of admission. I think we all long for something to jump out and actually be there, a real monster. Something we can rally around and fight together. I can’t fight global warming with my neighbors. I mean, I can, but it’s hardly a good fight with laser weapons or pitch forks and axes. My God, I long for a torch on a stormy night. We need something we can defeat together. Some way we can come together and find a way to love one another in our holy alliance to destroy the diabolical intruder who has disrupted our serenity or, more truthfully, our uninteresting banal lives and our mild hatred for our fellow man. This monster can not be human either, we are bored with human monsters, and we have all become calloused by Lt. William Calley crimes, My Lai? He lied? Who lied? Yes, yes I know. The photos were horrendous but I see worse every night on my plasma.
I used to think that something special could happen for some ethereal reason that would make this life something special like a dream, or that bad people truly would “get theirs” so to speak. “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” but damn it could he at least send me pictures?! Things do not work that way. When I was a young lad I thought about the 70’s and the 80’s and, oh my God, the year 2000 was a dream. I was so excited at the prospect of all this, dream houses and flying cars, but the space age dream never came true. Late at night with my best friends, in our PJ’s with popcorn and that old black and white TV, we would watch Universal Picture Monster movies and I was truly scared. I really thought that something could reach up and grab my foot and pull me under. Ghosts, surely they exist and would haunt us the way they do in the movies. I wait and I look around and I check under my bed now and then, but nothing. I walk out to the alley in the middle of the night to take out the trash, still nothing. I look to the sky… nothing. I am in the habit of turning on the news every morning before I get up just to see if something horrible has happened, like 911, or maybe the saucers are here and we might have a fight with a real enemy, a real monster. Somehow a fight with a disgruntled rich kid from Saudi
Arabia doesn’t seem like much of a challenge, plus he looks so sweet in his robes, kind of like Jesus’ uncle Saul with an AK; not a monster, even though he may be indirectly responsible for some truly horrendous acts against innocent people, but… a monster? Mmm, I don’t think so. Not the kind that can rally a planet. If an alien with four long fingers had funded the genocide of the Kurdish people by the Turks well, hmm, maybe that would qualify as a monster, but alas, it was just the American State Department… hardly a multi-headed monster. Hmm, well maybe, but we will leave that for another day. Our corporate/business controlled government has carried out incredibly monstrous acts against so many countries either by proxy or directly in the name of raping natural resources, but it falls so short of The Mummy vs. The Wolfman. Now that was scary. I really was riveted to the TV watching these two beasts on that rainy night in the battlement of that old castle as they fought to the death. It seems today I need a chainsaw hacking monster to make me sit up and take notice. I am bored stupid with smart bombs. I never see the result of these monstrous weapons. I feel cheated. My tax dollars pay for these weapons of mass destruction, you would think I would be at least allowed to see what a monster I am for funding the ripping of innocent (in most cases) flesh. I am only told how messy they are… and how right it was for my government to use these gifts from God against such horrible monsters. I begin to wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg, the IED or the mortar round. I lackadaisically turn the channel to Nip/Tuck. Turn the monsters into beauties, please.
LastLast Drive Drive Wet wi n d s h i e l d, sl i ppi ng f ast I dri ve al o ne T h o u g h t I w a s c o m i ng t o a co ncl usi o n t hi s l ast ri de L o n e r o a ds i n a curt ai l e d f o re ve r A ga i n s wi r l i n g t h o ught s f ram e y o ur i m po rt ance i n t h i s cascadi ng f at e o f m i ne A m b i en t v i b r at i o ns f i l l vo i ds l e f t i nco m pl e t e T h es e t h i n g s appe ar as t h e o nl y re al i t y S ph er es o f o p po rt uni t y o rbi t ch ance s de cl i ne d N o v o i c es r i n g t o ni ght , o nl y t he t rut h o f so unds E t er n a l v i b rat i o ns, no t h o ught di st urbs Wo r d s h ave run past t he re pri m e C u ps em p t y i n t he co rne rs o f m y ro o m I do n o t wo r r y t h i s e ve ni ng, e ndi ngs co m e so f t and w e t E t h er ea l r u m bl e s t e l l m e w e al l w i l l re duce O n e c h a n c e t h i s t i m e , be f o re de rvi sh be gi nni ngs W e s m el l t h i s l i f e bu t o nce , be f o re t h e st ars pul l us back ho me E t er n a l v oi ds o urs pi o us be gi nni ngs I kn el l b ef o r e your dre am , m y asce nsi o n sl i ps by O m i n o u s e f f e ct i n t h e t o l l o f m y l i f e I w i l l gi ve y o u e ve ry t h i ng t hi s t i m e O p en c h a n n el s f l o w f ro m t h e cri m so n f l e sh t hat f e e ds L a s t f l o wi n g m o m e nt s o n h i gh w ay s go ne by
Penchant for evil, drastic measures drawn on thin lines. Seeing slow movements inside, I know love is all there is. Prayer on last chance knees, saints wash there hands. The sacred ones look away, disdain for the useless. Nevertheless, we walk on, forest left for cold dreamers. Stalking the hell we long for, places in our hearts crucifixion. This is the final dream, warm veins flow. Pools of me look up to see your hunger. Manic seconds before our consuming greed. This is how we love, no spaces between lines of fantasy. You enter this last room, white pasts, red stained beginnings. Knelling to the inevitable sound of your silenced breath. Your eyes look past my pale lies, resting places, green goodbyes. Fields of our losses, stains of our beautiful damnation. Glorious killing floors we inhabit, darker moons set before us. I stand this last time, over you in profuse flowing seas. Sinking below me, faces slip away in this crimson stain. Sacrificial bloodletting in our decimation sacrament. White planets above, tears fall on this dark world. Below this world of mundane inhabitations, grey sentences left to crowds. We pander to your empty worlds, bodies washed of dream. Prey you are, pray we will that you will pass this dark night. Cloud crossed moons hide these places our hearts do spill. Spinning insane, gentle feeding this part we play. Actors in this endless phantasm, I follow you to never in every breath I take.
Th es e thi n gs we co u l d hav e f e l t Warmth of t h e one s , the co m p l eti o n i n ther e e y e s Fanta sies in m acabr e o r bi ts , wo r l d s c o l l i de
These things that will never be tears falling, sheets salt dry All of the stains center into one, blood pools in organs of the dead I look away again, these losses mean little, it was never mine anyway Planets of these wishes, moments that never were Creations of mine that do not breathe, but exist in the emptiness that is me Colors with no saturation, scenes bring forth tears in my locked rooms They will never come, there sounds condescend, then fade in darkenss dissolve Your worth was not in this moment, and not in the last but only in memories Visions of what you could have been, in your eternities of just deserts Had you only listened, music of our voices, of holy ones that now forsake you There are pieces that never matter, lives that never come to fruit That are never seen but as players and sacrifices to the stars You are expendable in the cosmic spin, goodnight red and blue Purple is our sacrament, earth prayers to the mounds of the lost Children whose eyes will never shine, there burning smells you turn away We walk on fragile bones, layers of the lost, given in meaningless ends These crafty words spoken with tears deliberate my fate No judgment in final moments, much too late in final sunset cycles I stand on grey horizons again, no details only silhouettes Far from you, from you preying eyes, farther still from your help or comfort Darker days are coming in our last seven, skin grey torn away I fade from you in these breathes you take in rooms you design None of it was what you thought it was, children sit in empty rooms These lasting mistakes feed on what was, devouring today, future consumed.