Currents

  • Quad Skating on Mountain Highways – Journal 11/19/17

    I don’t roller skate as well as I used to. Within 10 minutes of showing up to the roller rink for a college event, I fell directly onto my ass hard enough to register on the richter scale. Which is fine. I didn’t need an intact pelvis anyways. All it did really was limit my capacity to lay down and sit at certain angles. Such as when driving for long periods of time. Lesson learned? Maybe not. A pair of inline skates sounds pretty good right now.

    I have other things on mind, too. Actually going to be doing something pretty cool, but I can’t really document it anywhere quite yet. It’s called Project Truth. The nature of this project is going to be the achievement of tangible freedom, and I’m going to need a lot of help. That’s all I can say for now.

    Writing is slowed down at the moment. There’s a lot of stresses from a bunch of different sides of my lives right now. I’ve got a lot of moving stuff to work with and work itself and school wrapping up and this new  project.

    As such, some of my spare time has been spent following EA Games’ wonderful downward spiral with Battlefront 2. I’ve also been playing a lot of For Honor lately because they released a character that’s a batshit crazy viking witch chick that eats people. So that’s good. Stock playing has also been pretty good lately. No music finds recently, but I’ve been listening to Light Control by Solar Fields quite a bit lately. Highly recommended.

    If you’ll notice, I’m trying to expand the longer-form sections of the site ever so slightly. Reviews, rehashings, and journals (to their own credit), are starting to get a little more standard. They just take a while to put out.

    I’m enjoying rehashing my old work with a more experienced eye. Some stuff, like Virgo Olympus and Jolokia Simulair, can be interpreted to be a lot deeper than when I wrote them. There are more meanings hidden in some of those poems from a year or two ago than there are from anything I’ve written within the last week. It’s funny how that works out.

    This makes me wonder if maybe a little subconscious trickles over and makes things more complex than they have to be when I wrote stuff a while ago. But then thinking that would be pretentious of me. If it’s self-aware is it still witty? Who the fuck cares, at this point.

    “Things look brighter when you stop looking internally.”

    If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll find that my username is jakefuckingshaw at the moment. That’s part of the not looking internally, being so happy that you’re not concerned about yourself. I think that’s part of it, at least. It’s a kind of zen, but another kind is to be just enjoying living, not just being happy with yourself.

    I was present at an Eagle Scout ceremony yesterday, and I have to say it gave me some flashbacks. When I was a boy scout, nothing about the state of the world was visible to me yet. But the scouts have their internal values and laws and I could see how these organizations become so prolific. They have some very hard and fast rules about specific things, and then there’s a grey area of where you can use the skills you obtain.

    Boy scouts and their ranks are inducted into the military all the time. They “achieve”, as the ceremony was quick to remind everybody of the statistics of this. Am I just a statistic because I was in those shoes once? Did the color guard, been a part of such ceremony, camped out, got merit badges, and everything?

    I couldn’t help but think of it as achievement hunting. Yet with a purpose, nearly.

    Yet here I am torn between to lines of thinking. On one hand, I love the idea of people being taught how to be pioneers for a society. I really do. How to survive, create a community, and have it persist. But on the other hand I think the idea of societal wholesomeness is incredibly unfounded.  Goodwill as a whole is in short supply, and I think that’s the way of the world. Another headline comes to pass and some of us think “How could somebody do something like that?” Yet we all know the answer, and it’s easy to figure it out.

    You really have to be happy with yourself and your current status to be a happy person in society. Maybe that’s what these wholesome organizations teaches people, how to be happy with themselves. I could name a few off the top of my head that seem to work, but the problem I encounter there is an entire culture behind it. Associating.

    Boy Scouts was plagued by scout moms, lifers, and overtly lazy scouts. It made the experience rather dull after Weblos, since Eagle ranks were rather easy to obtain in my troop. And then all the scouts who ran the place, older than me by about 2 or 3 years, clearly didn’t care about being present at meetings. Once I felt that valor but now I really don’t want to.

    I’ve never been a fan of pageantry. I didn’t want to go to either my prom or high school graduation. There will be no associates degree graduation for me, since I don’t want one. I just want it to be done and over with.

    So to me, it’s not about affiliating yourself with an organization, or a need to fulfill yourself by being a part of something larger, it’s about building a sense of positive self-satisfaction through your means. For some, this is religion, For others, this is sports. For me, it’s writing.

    It can be hard not to judge people for being different, but just because they didn’t find happiness the way you did doesn’t mean they won’t do their part to make the world a better place for the both of you. These words getting thrown around like “bigot” only serve to widen a gap between individuals. It’s as if nobody looks at someone with an opposing perspective and says “hey, I wonder why that is, it could be interesting to learn about”. Usually, it becomes an us-versus-them mentality.

    And this mob mentality that arises sometimes is in the name of goodness. When EA fucks over a potentially-amazing product in order to appease its shareholders, and people say something about it. When internet is about to be stripped of its neutral status as a utility, and only Reddit is batting an eyelash. When money is an object, but ideas can be chastised so much more easily when they’re different.

    That’s why this world is savage. We don’t fight for ourselves, we fight for our groups.

    We only fight using alter egoes.

    Right now, that’s reality. This is the host, saying the truth will be revealed.

    Consume reality. Radio Reality City!

    Thank you for tuning in to this rambling-as-fuck journal. I promise, I’m not always like this. But I can get there. Hey, and it’s time for work! Maybe I’ll put a photo up later on as recompense for putting a bunch of heavy thoughts out right now.

    Anyways, thank you for tuning in. Maybe look through some poetry and keep up with the waves! https://radioreality.city


  • Numb Content

    A slow beat of drum
    Defibrillating
    The murmurs of
    A heart happy

    Waning

    Happy in its vehicle
    Content at rest
    No rush to wax
    This numb protest

    Lying in motion
    While space moves
    And iron lungs fade
    Away from view

    Time in slow drags
    Like savoring cigarettes
    To make numb the
    Knowledge of context

    Floating on the Amazon
    Of fitted sheets and
    Goose-down feather
    Filled pillows

    Pressure makes buoyant
    Drum beats and thoughts
    Rewaken while
    Palpitations grow

    Numb and content

    From lips flow
    Relaxed breaths
    Of losing awareness
    To bathe in water

    Like the briney beds
    Of depriving chambers
    Let slip toxicity
    And let murmurs rule

    Content

    Over a willing vehicle
    Numb to the cruel
    Beating without reason
    To the drum beat tune

    Not rising
    Yet falling to new heights
    Numb
    Content

    Detoxifyed


  • White Noise

    white noise.JPG

    Shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS; f/5.6; 1/100; ISO-400; 155mm. 11/5/2017 1:12 PM.

    Silence.


  • Open Mics and Leggings – Journal 11/16/17

    Last night I delivered “Ghillie” and “Thumper” at Pierce College as part of an open mic! And heeeeeere is the performance!

    It was so much fun! My god, it only reinforces my desire to get out and go get heard! Every time I’m up on a stage it feels so good, like a mixture of anxiety and happiness. You might be able to see me still shaking a little bit.

    Ghillie is a poem I previewed in a previous journal, and Thumper is one I put in that packet that I was quite proud of, which consisted of “Amoral”, “Hoc Etiam”, “Alter Egoes”, “Ghillie”, “Thumper”, and “Round 3”. I had a time limit of 5 minutes or so, and I went with my gut when I wanted to close with “Thumper”. The laughter was palpable.

    The event was pretty cool, on its own. Of the 6 or so reading events I’ve participated in, this one had the most energy. There were 16 performers and a full audience. It was relatively well-organized, there was incredible talent, and hey, I was there! Made for a great day.

    And now I’ve caught wind of a Button Poetry chapbook submission contest that’s open until early January, so I get to put together another manuscript! Can I make it 2 for 2? Lithium Autumn and… [?]. I’m already gathering ideas for themes, and I’m severely tempted to used Thumper as one of the entries.

    In hindsight, it makes me happy that I’ve had the self-publishing experiences I have. With the first Radio Reality City transmissions came more knowledge of word processors and formatting and style and all that good stuff. Here’s to using that knowledge for more valiant efforts.

    And maybe this last open mic will inspire me to seek out more opportunities to use one of my few true talents, my voice. People since middle school have said I sound like someone on the radio. That’s part of why I’m The Host of Radio Reality City.

    These events are coming more often and it’s great. I think this is my third one of the year and it keeps getting easier.

    Short update today, from yours truly. Just some cool stuff going on. So thank you all for continuing to tune in. It can only get better.

    Consume reality! Radio Reality City!


  • Radcliffe Tea House

    A lounge to sit with
    Old couches and
    Red paint peeling like a
    Being ebbing feeling
    Losing the mysteries
    Its history kept secret

    When you pour
    Into porcelain
    Liquid medicine
    Cut tea

    That breaks the rim
    Of fine china where
    Your lips meet
    And invoke the dream

    Following the Vale of Tears
    To the infernal train

    Hopping aboard and getting
    Your ticket punched
    And a tea bag issued

    The conductor knows
    What you want before
    You do and knows how to
    Brew when you come through

    On coach and you’re speeding
    Down the rails
    And the sipping
    Warms you up

    Third rail is screaming
    And your imagination
    Is seeming
    To fade back to

    The couches in the room
    Surrounded by books
    Brew
    And honey and sugar

    Welcomed back
    Like you never left
    And no one
    Noticed


  • Shine

    When I die
    don’t let it be in cold blood.
    Don’t let it be in vain.
    Don’t let anyone scream

    my name when they hear the news.
    Don’t let my funeral be
    without good happiness.
    Don’t let my thoughts be worthless.

    Don’t let the silent pictures
    of my life fade away.
    Don’t let the noise of my voice
    burn from memory.

    Don’t let my legacy die.
    Don’t let me die.
    Don’t let the crows in the sky
    stop when I die.

    Don’t let the flow
    of my favorite city streets halt.
    Don’t let the ones I love be
    ignorant of the things I’ve felt.

    Don’t let the strokes
    of a guitar make you cry
    when you think of me.
    Don’t let the battles I’ve fought

    be without victory.
    Don’t let the times where I was sad
    overwrite what was happy.
    Don’t let the finality of this

    leave you yearning. Don’t let
    the supernovas among the stars be too much.
    Don’t let the asterisks
    at the bottoms of pages

    in your story make you miss too much.
    Don’t let the definitions
    of the words I’ve made
    be rewritten by others.

    Don’t let the ink of death
    stain the paper of life. Don’t let
    the last word be weak.
    When I die don’t drop

    to your knees and sink to the ground.
    Listen to melancholy songs
    and talk to me like I’m still around.
    Remember me like I was never gone

    and enjoy the memories. I’d say
    I’ll soon be gone but you know
    I’ll never leave.
    When I die I want you

    to think of autumn because
    I loved it so much.
    I want you to miss me
    as I was and will always be.

    I want you to think
    so I can be back again.
    Alive in the memories, promise
    you’ll think of me.

    Don’t let my silent pictures
    in dusty reels lie.
    Don’t let my asterisk
    cease to shine.


  • Light Control – Journal 11/14/17

    Tomorrow is an open mic at Pierce College and I intend to go. I’ve edited and prepped that poem “Alter Egoes” I mentioned a bit ago, and I must say I’m increasingly happy with how it sounds. I’ve said to death: political bullshit is way too easy and at the same time way too difficult to pull off these days.

    If you’re picking on Trump, Putin, the CEO of EA, Kevin Spacey, Germany (still getting hate over that Nazi business last century), and North Korea, you could find that you have enough material to work with to be done with everything else that comes with writing political: subtlety, satire, nuance, all that jazz. And on the flip side of that coin, if you stay too subtle, you come out with something nobody cares about or understands. But stuff from Voltaire, and papers like “A Modest Proposal” hit their mark all-too well. Makes a hard act to follow.

    In the scope of political writing, I used to swing towards Hunter S. Thompson’s view that the American Dream is dying. No longer what it used to be. Nowadays I’ve found that I’m developing more interests outside of purely writing, and with that comes a bit more awareness of the system I’m operating in. Some artists, such as Rage Against the Machine, exist in a weird grey area where they sound like whiny pricks while at the same time putting out really good messages like “Testify”.

    This world is a real pay to play one. I’ve heard it described as dog-eat-dog, but I don’t believe it’s that cutthroat. There are clear cut boundaries of things you should fuck with and things you shouldn’t fuck with. We’re not as savage as to be permanently in a ‘kill or be killed’ scenario. But you put in your dues and get a seat at the table, where all the fun stuff happens. But “writing political” these days is either: “fuck the right” or “fuck the left” or “fuck libertarians”. It’s not complex.

    I still think it is an awful idea to associate with any one group, to let your representatives champion a cause you agree with into oblivion.

    With such, I’ll use all this when I deliver my short little poem Alter Egoes tomorrow.

    I’ve written political before, but it’s either too vague or too blunt. No in between. My poem Blame Me didn’t exactly hit the mark I was going for, and it warrants another look later on. Other poems veil the issue I’m trying to discuss behind layers and layers of metaphors, never really touching on the issue that even I’m too afraid to directly speak about.

    Radio Reality City believes in expression over censorship. So I’ll be tackling both, and talking political. It’s actually quite a thing for me, because usually I’m too absorbed in things fantastical or unnatural. A lot of my poems tackle some very peaceful things. I’ve never been so content to rock the boat, and maybe the political climate is the cause of me wanting to adopt and announce my views.

    Everybody else is. Why should I feel the need to stay quiet?

    I’ve talked with my dad about this at length. He’s got a lot of differing opinions when it comes to stuff like this, but we have some lively, rather scholarly talks about it all. The consensus among the two of us is that there’s a fear of simply becoming someone who is loud and has an opinion: at best ignored, at worse chastised.

    Today, with the light control and random Fridays, I’ve decided It’s far worse to not say anything at all. Why exist if I’m not going to communicate on the grandest scales I can? I’ll leave it up for worlds to interpret what I say and what I mean.

    There’s a fear of being called out, being challenged, being taken to task, and in this day and age even more so there’s a fear of physical injury if words reaches far enough. When I changed every username I have online to JakeThomasShaw, I decided that I was worth my life in words.

    Not everybody wants to die for what they believe in, however, and I wholly agree that willing to do so is a much more intensive thing. It’s really easy to yell agreeable things into the void, but disagreeing is dangerous.

    There are things in this life that are strange, that are bizarre, that are completely out of the question, and individuals act like it’s all too common.

    Equifax is a recent wound inflicted by the system, but we’ve sort of forgotten about all that already haven’t we? I might have just reminded you that over 10 million people’s personal data has been compromised.

    There’s so much to cover. That’s why I write. I write to remember the things worth having experienced. Maybe one day when I’m 60 I’ll start looking back at all these poems, all this writing and all these op-eds, somewhere far in the future. Where now I have no idea what I’ll be doing next week, I’ll be 60 years old looking back at today. So much space and time gone by. 40 years later, it’s 2057. So much has changed. 9 more presidents. My 22nd Century Group stock will probably be worth something by then. And I’ll be looking at these poems. About relationships that even now I’ve forgotten the point of, about political events that in months won’t matter, about scenes in nature and in cityscapes that I’ve experienced and thought them too beautiful to ever let go of.

    The truth is, you should be, so that in 40 years you can look back and be proud of something.

    What will I have covered by then? This is Jake Thomas Shaw, The Host here at Radio Reality City. Thank you very much for tuning in, and hopefully you left with something nice in your ear.

    Consume reality. Radio Reality City!

     


  • South Sound Idyll

    south sound idyll.JPG

    Shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS; f/6.3; 1/1000; ISO-400; 80mm. 10/23/17 3:48 PM.

    Peaceful, idyllic, wonderful home.


  • We Are Virtual (2015) – Criticism/Review

    I’ve decided that for the first album I’m going to look at, I’m going to take a closer peek into Xilent’s debut album “We Are Virtual”, released May 17th, 2015. Since I’m a huge fan of Xilent, following his work since 2012 or so, I thought it’d be appropriate to choose this album over Kauf’s album Regrowth, released last month. I’m going to look at every song on the album and give my rankings. So let’s get into it.

    The album is up for free listening on Xilent’s official YouTube page here.

    It’s a 15 track concept album all themed around the idea that the title of the album resonates with. “We Are Virtual”. It’s a journey from Connect to Disconnect, and all the more sensible seeing as this is an electronic music album.

    The first track, Connect, comes with rising tones not dissimilar to the feeling of summiting a mountain. It’s powerful, triumphant, and serves as a nice hot open to the next song. On its own, it’s definitely a little weak to be put on its own level. You wouldn’t put this song on repeat and listen to it over and over again like you could other songs on this album. Connect shows off the setup Xilent works wonders with, in setting up the entire album’s expectations. We even hear a countdown that anchors in newstations would expect to hear before the cameras begin broadcasting. It fades from a nice melody into the next track.

    Revolution. Revolution is much more abrasive. The intro is a 4-set electronic beat that drops off into a build up to a drop. “We are the ones you cannot see” is a vocal sample repeated throughout. These trail into a wonderful drop that I would again describe as triumphant. It just makes you feel good. The progression into higher pitches makes this song have a very “I can do this” feel to it. The secondary drop after the breakdown, where a vocal for the single word “Revolution” gives us a hint as to what later tracks would sound like. The drum breakdowns and supersaws are all very much Xilent’s calling card, and they are used to a pretty restrained effect here. Not like some tracks later in the album, but they each have their charm.

    Shadow Of You is the next song on the block. Starting with heavy synths and starting out chords that lead into a very strange song. Each verse has a very fast set up and breakdown. Like there isn’t one single peak in the entire song, but there are about 3 or 4 moments where the sounds rise to a very very sudden peak and then the melody is taken over by irregular electro. Once again we hear the title of the song spoken as a vocal track, and distorted heavily throughout. Compared to all the other songs on the album, I’d say this one is lower-tier.

    Animation is the next song, and the 2nd single to be released before the album itself came out. You looking for drum and bass? This is the song you’re looking for. The transition from Shadow Of You to Animation is one of the best on the album, and Animation picks up the pace from the moment it’s introduced. This is the point where the album takes off. The beats per minute are much higher the tracks before it, and some vocal work by Diamond Eyes keep the fire burning in this track as long as it’s being played. Something about driving on the freeway with this blasting is so satisfying. I would compare it to the impact that Choose Me I had when it came out back in 2012, though Choose Me I still has the crown when it comes to the melody and progression. I’d say Animation is a close second when it comes to Xilent’s D&B performances.

    To The Future is the 5th song, and I have to admit this one took a while to grow on me. There’s something very basic and primal about its opening all the way to the drop where the line “Take me to the future” There’s a background bass that echoes the coming drop, and then delivers with a muffled explosion of a chorus. This breaks down into slightly more complex and once again rising with a sort of triumphant air, like you’re surfing a growing hurricane and being picked up into the storm to do tricks. That’s what the primary and secondary sub-drops in To The Future feel like. Unlike Animation, this one is very much pulled back, to a slower BPM of Revolution even. All the momentum that Animation gave us is now tailing off as an afterburner, and the second major drop slowly burns up in the atmosphere until all of the elements of the song are in pieces. It’s not my favorite from the album, but it is right behind Animation.

    Trance-Position is next up, and probably the weakest track in the group. It opens up with sounds of the ocean, and at about 41 seconds in, the bridge to the next song has already begun. This song doesn’t feel like much but a transitory track, and that’s okay, but even listening to all of these now, I couldn’t find myself picking this one out of the album to listen to by itself. There’s probably a deeper message to it that I’m missing.

    This Life was the song in We Are Virtual that I was looking forward to when the teaser was released. Sitting in my high school class that let us have laptops out, I watched the beat to This Life more times than I could count, on repeat, just this 8 second sound byte. This one is up there, definitely upper tier on the album, but I have a nitpick. The drop is great, the first sub-drop is great when some snares are added, but Xilent has a tendency to add in incredible irregularities to his songs. To me, this is a high-risk/high-reward behavior. Not to say that is a bad thing, but the drop on This Life is incredible. There’s a breakdown soon after than I can’t get behind, really. When the tempo ups thanks to the addition of more drum. The second overall drop is great, though, it’s got the tune and the vibe that the beginning carries, and throughout the whole thing Vicky Fee’s vocal work stitches it together.

    Infinity was the first single to be released from this album, way back in 2013 as well. I’ll be reviewing that version since the version in this album has the transitions. Infinity has a good message behind it. The intro vocals are, I think, masterfully executed. And this was another track that had to really grow on me, because of the Xilent irregularities present. Infinity’s drop can be classified as anti-trap, in that it’s very trap-like, but instead of being so dreadfully unsatisfying Infinity actually makes effective use of amazingly hard-hitting base. The weird part is the chorus sounds like it’s always trying to interrupt itself. Sometimes when you listen to his music, he’ll throw in a kick here a note there and it’ll all be just perfectly off that it’ll catch you off guard. One-two three foooouuuur, in very deep tones, is how the beat goes in Infinity, and it makes you accustomed to it over the course of the song. Not the one two three four that normal tracks would have you used to. This one is up there in the higher level, but I have to be in the right mood for it.

    Falling Apart was released as an EP before We Are Virtual, as parts I and II. This song blends the two together, for a first drop of a slower more serious kind and a second drop of a more frantic variety. Grimm’s vocals tell the story of a relationship perhaps falling apart, or a life crumbling. The sounds are slightly deeper than the rest of the ones in the track, and I think that points to its more serious content. The thing is, I’d rather turn to one version on the EP rather than the two blended together. On long drives when I throw this album’s continuous version on I don’t mind it, but when I’m scrolling through iTunes I look for Falling Apart I or Falling Apart II. I’d call this one of the more mid-levels on this album, and I’ll explain why later.

    Chemical with vocals by Five Knives is the 10th song, and Xilent has done a remix of Five Knives’ The Rising before, so I’m assuming they’re familiar enough with each other’s musical style. This song has a lot of laser-y sounds that Knife Party’s Destroy Them With Lasers popularized, making up most of the primary chorus, which isn’t my favorite choice. The vocals describe electricity and breaking apart, circuit boards and malleability of the speaker. The second chorus is I think where the power of the song is at. “Here we go, here we go, here we go, it’s chemical”.

    Is There Time. For a very long time I avoided this song because the primary chorus sounded very 2010’s dubsteppy to me at first impression. Then while listening to the continuous mix, I heard the build up from Chemical into Is There Time. The once upbeat, high pitched air descending into a pit of eerie growling and ticking clocks. It took me for a spin the first time I heard it, and the build up of ticking with the rise into the drop is a concept I haven’t seen executed as well. “Standby”, the lead into the drop says, and then we’re introduced to world of glitchy chords and a guitar riff thrown in the mix. This song is definitely in a league of its own when it comes to electronic music as a whole, since it’s got nearly everything you need. I keep using the word ‘triumph’ to describe some of the sounds in this album, but I think it’s apt. Is There Time makes me want to get up and do something. It makes me want to action. It makes me want to count the seconds until I can do something heroic. This is in the upper echelon of music as a whole.

    Hysteria immediately follows, and this is the second-strangest track on the whole album. Maybe I really don’t get it, but Hysteria includes a very maniacal drop and build ups. This is full irregularities on, although it initially seems grounded in normal patterns. It kind of vortexes around glitching as the song continues, until it’s a mess of sound and then it dies out to transition to the next track. I don’t know when I would ever listen to this song besides while fighting in my giant mech suit like I do so often. It doesn’t seem like any situation I’m in ever fits this track. No mood has ever seemed ready to receive it as it is, so maybe I just don’t like it. Or it will take some time for it to grow on me.

    Vital is 13th on the board, and this is one I was drawn to after listening to This Life and getting my fill of it. It’s got a very nice and rather peaceful first build-up into a hectic drop, where I think the Xilent irregularities are on point. My first impression of Infinity wasn’t great because of the way his irregularities manifested, but that’s exactly what I liked when I first listened to Vital. The irregularities make sense, and the mid-point breakdown gives me a sense of achievement. Like something great is happening. This song has a very good background, and I tie it into This Life specifically because the sounds are so similar. Vital is a great song for messing with your own expectations and being pleasantly surprised by what you really pick up on.

    The Place was the 3rd single to be released in the run up to We Are Virtual. This song sets up the ethereal noise from the beginning, and that’s what the theme is. The Place is graced by Sue Gerger, and her vocals tell a tale of being satisfied in your place. The Place you got to by living and making your choices. “Till I reach a place where I belong”. Almost like Xilent’s earlier Gravity, the drop is assaulting and oppressive in the best ways. It approaches the intensity of Revolution while maintaining the balance of irregularity of Vital. In comparison, those two songs seem like prototypes of The Place, with their fundamental ideas blended together. I enjoy the former two more, however, as I prefer to listen to the fundamentals instead of their combined versions. Something about the raw, singular idea in a song or work of art piques my interest more, personally.

    Disconnect sets us off as the 15th track. “We Are Virtual”, it says, as it fades to white noise and finally cuts out.

    Overall, I don’t think this album is a collection of Xilent’s strongest work up until that time, but there’s something in it for everyone. It tackles the tastes of anyone in the electronic music genre, and doesn’t let up. It’s the story of how quantifiable humans really are, on the smallest of scales. We Are Virtual. I can only hope my first showing as a poet is as powerful.

    Power rankings from least favorite to most favorite:

    1: Hysteria
    2. Trance-Position
    3. Disconnect
    4. Shadow of You
    5. Falling Apart
    6. Chemical
    7. This Life
    8. Connect
    9. The Place
    10. Vital
    11. Infinity
    12. Revolution
    13. To The Future
    14. Animation
    15. Is There Time

    Is There Time takes the cake for me, since it’s perfectly predictable, with enough little knocks spread along the way to keep it fresh every time I listen to it. If this puts it into any perspective, two of my favorite Xilent songs of all time are Beyond, from the Ultrafunk EP, and Breakage, from the Out of Body EP.

     

    That being said, I am absolutely hungry for more. Your System EP and three singles in two years isn’t exactly gonna tide me over. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Xilent’s next outing, and am excited for every new unexpected twist and turn I might be taken on. I’ve loved his stuff since I heard Evolutions Per Minute, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.


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  • Neighborhood in Puddle

    neighborhood in puddles.JPG

    Shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS; f/5.6; 1/320; ISO-400; 20mm. 11/12/2017 3:50 PM.

    The upside down is always more interesting.


  • Hoc Etiam

    I write poems
    Because
    Long works
    Drain me

    To think wit’s soul
    Is brevity

    But in books
    A plot mechanizes,
    Every poem is up
    To interpret

    And some see
    What they want to,

    Clearly,

    And everybody
    Who reads my poems
    Walks away with
    A reflection

    Is there music in
    Rhymes or ciphers

    Sometimes
    I waste time
    And then
    Try later

    After my mind decides
    How to write it

    And there it is
    As a savage burn
    A sprint to see
    Who’s closest to figuring

    I am
    Radio Reality City

    It doesn’t matter
    What I mean
    When I write about
    Thor and Lorelei

    No catalogue matters
    By its references

    So long as the content
    Is artful as a poem
    And another project
    Looms over the city

    If I live to capture memories,
    Watashi ga nani ka

    Experiencing for its sake
    And intending art to slake
    A need for me to tell you
    Of obscured Reality

    And I don’t know which
    Memories are cheating

    I know my mortal fleeting
    Coil longs for a legacy
    Of the things I’ve done
    And passions I’ve had

    Maybe you know
    Who I am

    Or have been thanks
    To two too
    Interpretive and seeing
    For four

    I am Jake Thomas Shaw
    I am Radio Reality City

    I write to remember
    With a small hope
    That when I’m gone
    Beautiful still is November

    And someone can see
    What is Reality

    I am destined to live
    To interpret simulacrums
    Of others’ expression
    Into autoquixotics

    We are yet so blind
    To any other

    Too different to live
    Too unique to die
    As we quietly wonder
    The question of: why

    Are we all here?
    This is…

    A poem of memory
    Interpreted by a
    Synthetic android
    For all I know

    I hope what happens
    When you fix this is see

    Is that

    It’s not just about
    Obscura and confusion
    No tangible codes or
    Abstract fantasy

    All things than can be
    Are Reality


  • Words Over Inches

    Distance makes and breaks a lot of things
    It chains our reach and clouds our heads
    For there was that Bellingham girl
    Waiting for me it seemed no matter what

    We exchanged letters of love
    Across distance
    Where messages lost in translation
    Delievered mixed messages

    Distorted words to a person unnerved
    Every day one received and one sent
    To a girl I thought was beautiful
    But the words were wind-whipped

    They had to walk a hundred miles
    And by the end the words were tired
    Distance makes and breaks a lot of things
    And it broke the words that made us

    If only I could have held you every night
    Maybe things would be different
    And words over inches would mean more
    Than the ones who’s feet were always sore

    Restraining energy to make the voyage
    They were never meant to be hitchhikers
    But they did anyways with head held high
    And I thought I was savoring this life

    Words over inches
    Wax sealed with a red fleur de lis
    Was always
    What was better



  • Mt. Hood from the Sky

    mt hood from the sky.jpg

    Shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS; f/8; 1/1600; ISO-200; 160mm. 10/23/17 1:38 PM.

    Over Oregon, within view of Hood, Adams, St. Helens, and Rainier. Quite a sight, seeing them cascade.


  • Jolokia Simulair – Rehashed

    Today I’m going to be cracking open a poem I’ve once used to describe my abstracter works. One of my secret favorite titles I’ve ever had of all time – possibly deserving a follow up just for the sake of having another poem with a similar title.

    As usual, original text of the poem can be found here.

    Let’s first unpack that title: Jolokia Simulair. Some of the titles I come up with are portmanteaus or include root words where they ought not to be, and this one used a couple of odd conventions to get to what you call the entire piece. If you open up Google and pop in the work ‘jolokia’ you probably arrived at the bhut jolokia pepper, the ghost pepper. This was intentional, on my part, and I’ll explain why later. Simulair is a bit of a different story, as it is a sort of compound word I came up with. Simul-air. Simulated air. Simulair. Jolokia Simulair. Ghost pepper simulated air. Spicy!

    What follows the title are 5-line stanza sets with irregular rhyming patterns and syllable counts, meaning the whole thing is unstructured. Off to a good start.

    Stanzas 1 and 2:

    “Electric charged
    Processed water
    Ran through rubber
    Pumps and plumbing
    Now seeps from vents.

    White knuckle on a wheel,
    As if gripping tighter
    And tensing on pedals
    Would make it easier
    To see lanes in the road.”

    So there’s already electricity, water, rubber, driving, visibility concerns, and a road to worry about. Like I said, unstructured. I could have made it much easier to communicate to the reader that these stanzas are about driving in low visibility, but I was really stuck in an age of being vague back in May of 2016. I think I found being vague charming without realizing that it made things hard as fuck to focus on.

    The next 11 lines:

    “5,280 feet.
    80 miles per hour.
    422,400 feet.
    3,600 seconds.
    118 feet per second,

    39 in a blink.

    Gold grains in the wind,
    Less than dust,
    Blinking away in lanes
    Hundreds of feet
    At a time.”

    The first stanza and its envoi is about how far you travel when you blink while driving 80 miles per hour. This second stanza of the 2 is a little deeper, and I’ll say what I think it COULD mean, since it could mean two entirely different things. The overall effects of consuming a ghost pepper product (spiciness effecting bodily functions) was something I was going for with this piece, so it is possible that the “gold grains” are literal grains of ghost pepper salt. “Less than dust” makes me think that it might be rain, and if you’ve ever driven in a hard rain you can figure how low visibility factors into this poem. It’s hard as hell to see when you’re on a freeway rolling along at 80mph.

    Stanza 5:

    “Beside, kicking up mist
    To the windshield,
    Raging metal bulls
    Surround and charge
    In a blinding stampede.”

    Here we compare the car to a raging bull. Pretty apt, I’d say. The allusion is to when you’re driving behind a vehicle in a previously described hard rain, their tires kick up water from the roadway onto your wind screen. So this “blinding stampede” is really the fury of tires on a freeway.

    We’re going to look at only a few more select stanzas because high word count is not what I’m going for right now. That being said, the stanza following the previous one takes a break and gets really strangely wordy. Stanza 6:

    “Chlorine in the pipelines,
    Quaking relative to
    Parallax rocket jet frames,
    Tilted relative to angle a
    Sunroof open to storming.”

    Since it’s taken that we’re talking about bulls in reference to automobiles, I’m not sure what the hell to do with this stanza. Like I said, maybe I just wanted to throw a bunch of words as part of an excuse to flesh out the scene? But nothing’s really getting fleshed out besides “chlorine in the pipelines”, since I could see that as being some kind of caustic blood that makes such a beast run. Because of chlorine gas and all that fun stuff that melts your body. If I made Jolokia Simulair 2: The Simulairing, I would definitely be a bit more strict with my wordiness. Usually I reserve that for a comprehensible part of a poem, not a mini rant.

    We get a lot more detail and good scenage in the following few stanzas, but stanza 12 is where it’s at:

    “Gold dust dunes kicked up
    In wake of rushing aurochs
    And their blood as it spills
    From the wounds
    Driven through typhoons”

    This is probably the single clearest stanza in the entire poem, and to my eyes the most powerful one. In retrospect, this is what the entire poem should have been built around. Let’s see, gold dust (see: rain), and rushing aurochs (see: raging bulls). But what about their blood? And wounds? And typhoons? Typhoons because of the weather, and because it rhymes with wounds. Blood? That might have to be explained by the end of the piece!

    “Steam wrought warmth
    By hooves as they take form
    As pistons of velocity,
    After torn to leak and bleed
    And spray flash vapor seeds.

    Ghost pepper spice of a meat
    Vehicle melts permafrost and
    Runs between gold dust lanes
    Over new jungles and careens
    After others in blinding steam.”

    While it seems pretty vague still at first run-through, the ending stanzas here can be put together if you’ve got everything else so far that I explained above. Blood being the mist, ghost pepper spiced bulls shattering through hoarfrost and roads on their way by way of gold dust lanes. In my own canon, I saw the bulls as ghosts first and foremost, and the ghost pepper was a device to explain how they look when they run through mist. Jolokia, ghost bulls, and Simulair, blood and speed.

    That’s a mouthful. So… backstory? Backstory!

    This poem was written after my first visit to North Bend, in the era of Bladed Pens. It was rainy as hell on the freeways, and this entire poem was inspired by elements of my visit. Ghost pepper salt was something I tried, since I had been staying in a house where the owner was into butchery and grillmastery. Got me thinking about bulls when I saw the steam kick off of tires on the road back last May.

    So that’s Jolokia Simulair! If I had another shot at it I would definitely tighten down the diction and not have stanzas where it all gets away from me, but hell I can’t really be mad about it as is. Together, I think it still stands. My favorite part is still the title.

    Thanks for tuning in to this rehashing! It’s been fun!


  • Solar Flytrap

    Withering noise
    As you enter a void
    Full of concrete
    Floating on black streets

    As you pass through a portal
    Through a shield
    You emerge in a meadow
    Dead, yet an oasis of brick

    Water flows in a single river
    To cut around features built
    Into the dry ground
    And lonely town

    It sits in its own dimension
    Nourishing Kittias
    And feeding the valley
    Where they do not but sustain

    Themselves for what?

    Just to prevent decay
    To never wither past the sword
    And take blows upon the chin
    Of the shield so they may stay

    At no cost but isolation
    Do they do and sustain
    Around the river and stave
    Off boredom by living

    With the only goal to exist
    They resist decay and let
    Their minds play around water
    In a valley of dead grass

    Beyond the pass
    Beyond the shield
    Unto dawn they cut
    Their teeth on the field


  • Bare Bones

    Let me taste your cyanide
    Intimate garden between your thighs
    So wet from rain of aniticipation
    So wet as you descend from the sky

    And I glaze my tongue
    In your viscosity
    Your love and lust
    Your drive to rain

    Grasping for you
    Wanting for you
    You stifle the sentences
    Streaming from my mouth

    And siphon the words
    Into nothing but ecstacy
    For your garden
    And what lies there

    What intimate
    Flagrant things
    You silence me with
    Making me mute for you

    Let me open my mouth
    And have your reign
    Rain down onto me
    Like a wayward hurricane

    As your garden consumes me
    Your eden becomes my breath
    Between gasps of poetry
    And gentle motions

    I want your world
    To come with my words
    Spoken softly
    As your wetness
    Enters my mouth

    Let me be the world
    Where your constellations
    Tell stories of heroes
    And legends

    And your clouds cover
    My conscious so that
    I move and live and connect
    With you

    Let the taste of the eden feast
    Never leave my vocabulary
    As you kneel unto me
    And you come cyanide

    Kill what was before
    And from your thighs
    My conscious emerges
    So I may make love

    To the sky


  • L^2 (Linux Latitude) – Journal 11/8/17

    I always seem to start these journals with what irritates me, or I start out writing these by having on mind something that grinds my gears. Sometimes it’s really easy to ignore those and just focus on me and what I like. But other times, like the past few days, the things that irritate me seem to be all I can focus on.

    Anything from content mill writers using their platform to talk about how blessed they are to be dating military, to YouTube ads, to current events. A lot of things about the amorphous entity that is ‘today’ annoy the fuck out of me. In brief, they all concern identity.

    I’m finding that the things I’m concerned about keep circling back to that: identity. Your place, as you see it, as everyone else sees it. Everybody in the world has their own special struggle with themselves over this, and increasingly I’m becoming interested with the idea of representation. This has led to a poem titled “Alter Egoes” that I’ve recently written. I never really touch political/current events stuff, but I hit it pretty squarely with this one. In a world where everyone is a super hero, and must form leagues to uphold their beliefs as their identity, yet hiding behind their masks. Should sound familiar.

    But enough about things that annoy me, let’s talk about stuff that’s good for once! After all, it is most certainly the season in the Pacific Northwest to be thinking about what we’re all thankful for.

    Honorable mention to Kirke, you phantasmagorical thing, before all else.

    I’m playing the hell out of Titanfall 2 again, that’s a lot of fun. Destiny 2 has somewhat let me down like the first one did before its first big content drop so I’m seeing a similar trajectory here. Even as I get older, acquiring more fun responsibilities and with less and less time to sit down and game, I have to somewhat appreciate getting out of classes at 8 PM and have the night to kill if I want to.

    Shout out to $AMD for picking up 60 cents since last week, that makes for part of a delicious can of Arizona tea. I should mention that neither AMD nor Arizona sponsor my website. Nobody sponsors my fucking website.

    While we’re at it, I’d like to say thank you to the corner store by Pierce College for cutting my lunch run time in half. Little known fact about me is that I religiously time my activities. Kinda like how I’m concerned with identity, I’m very much concerned with time and what it does. So I always leave my home 30 minutes before I’m expected to arrive if I’m going someplace in the city. Makes sure I get there early.

    Along the same vein, I’d like to thank Megadeth for Countdown To Extinction and Blood of Heroes. Good damn songs to listen to on the drive back from Bellingham.

    I’d like to thank biology for making sex a thing. Sex is pretty great.

    The heater vent connected to my room is now uncovered and blows hot air into my freezing room. Used to be, my mattress sat directly atop it. It wasn’t as much of a fire hazard as you’d think, but what it did was essentially prevent that heat from travelling anywhere but the bed. So my bed was REAL fucking hot while the rest of my room was reverse-puberty cold. I’ve since rearranged my room so I can get warm, safely and effectively!

    Oooh! Oooh! Rhymes! I love rhymes. Even if at first I listed ‘time’.

    And I love November. Oh, man, we got some snow a few days ago, which must mean it’s going to be a very silvery winter. Very cold, very long, and very yes. Yes yes yes, I love winter A L M O S T as much as I love fall. The transition between the two is when some real magic happens.

    Camera’s been out and ready to shoot all season, and now that winter’s back I’m getting some good shots of snow. Which is sort of a weird subject for photography, but hey it’s definitely SFW.

    What else is new since the last journal… oh yeah, that thing. Got a new laptop. Latitude E7270, with the catch that I’m trying to learn the newest iterations of Linux instead of sticking with Windows like the laptop I’m currently writing this on is. If you’ve never tried Linux before, don’t! You’re probably expecting a slightly more technical version of Windows XP, and you’d be wrong. So that’s a thing, increasing my net worth but not my stock portfolio worth since $MAT has dropped two dollars in a week.

    There’s that poem I mentioned before, Alter Egoes, but that will not be the excerpt this journal, since it’s going to be from “Sweet Business”:

    “‘I love
    My job’
    They
    Say

    Happy to be
    Surging up
    And onto
    New horizons”

    About my first experience with flying, when I went to Cali this past month. My political stuff like Alter Egoes and to a higher extent Blame Me are ignored. Just as well. Just gathering more steam for some kind of poetic rupturing.

    That stuff to write always puts a bad taste in my mouth. Nearly like I’m ashamed to feel like I’m thinking the way I am and committing to paper or binary code thoughts of mine that might not resonate with others. I think that’s on the part of a very sensitive population that makes me worried I’ll offend somebody.

    Which is a shitty thing. Today r/incels got shut down on Reddit, and I do not in any way condone any of the awful, vile things people said on that subreddit, but I also don’t agree with it being shut down. I’d rather people be loud, be judged, and let the rest of us move on. If you haven’t noticed, I err more on the side of expression than censorship, that’s kind of my whole thing.

    Hiding isn’t reality, until it needs to be, it seems. Well hopefully talking about what I’m thankful for lessens the irritation that’s consumed some of my writing recently. I’d like to return back to romantic/abstract/fantastic writing, thanks.

    Jake Thomas Shaw from Radio Reality City, saying your titan’s ready to drop, pilot. Standby for titanfall!

    Consume reality! Radio Reality City! Thanks for tuning in!


  • Radio Lens Flare

    radio lens flare.jpg

    Shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS; f/22; 1/200; ISO-400; 34mm. 10/21/17 3:53 PM.

    Broadcasting across the desert, from a golden, bronzy hill.