Unforgiving Places – Sky to Falling Sky

End of another Day - The Barn at Soergel Hollow - Evans City, PA

End of another Day – The Barn at Soergel Hollow – Evans City, PA

Time for me to get out of this unforgiving place…
Sun on my back and the wind blows on my face…
Time to run from the never ending pain…
Four hours till darkness and no sign of rain…

Under the full moon I quietly hug the end…
A law is to be broken and rules will bend…
Stars brightly shine from sky to falling sky…
Sobriety is low and the good memories high…

Windows cracked open to let in the warm breeze…
The ground settles down as the trees lose their leaves…
Distant train warning approaching with speed…
Another soul in back while the others take the lead…

How long must one wait to understand paradise…
The breeze through the trees is my only advice…
Heavens gates separate the mighty church and state…
When the trees lose their leaves we will understand fate…

Broken branches fall in the storm of our existence…
Life is of hardships and death is of resistance…
Mountain sides slide into the shaded valleys below…
A swamp simply sits while the great rivers flow…

To give is to practice empathy like planting a seed…
The poor become flowers while the rich nurture weeds…
Into the forest a mother chases her one and only son…
Only after death do the different function as one…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Memories in Orange – Yellow and Blue

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“Yellow Skeletons on Distant Blue” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Standing on the side of a mountain… Photograph of the trees…

Excuse me while I slip out the door…

Memories… Memories of another time…
Memories of my darkest hours… Days… Weeks… Years…

I have been to the end before… A land of perpetual night…
Even in the darkness we must strive to see the light…
Self inflicted pain hangs from an orange extension cord…
Surrounded by needles… Surrounded by rotting boards…

Fate is an excuse we blame when life has got us down…
Heaven is alternative to our souls rotting in the ground…
Experience is relative… Darkness is a state of mind…
Walk across the dirty water and you are who you’ll find…

Blood in the water… Muddy sewers mainline to nowhere…
Mind like a pantry… Shelves empty and the fridge is bare…
Alone in this nightmare because no one knows the lie…
If a junky dies in the city… Does anyone care if he cries…

Orange street light reminder of the places I have been…
When you fight a dragon choose a sword over a pen…
Frost falls on the minds of those who lay out in the cold…
Every one of us dreams about the rainbows promised gold…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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In the Dark – Stay Outside and Play

Ramp

“In the Dark” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

I am but a tiny being on this massive rock… I am a rock…
I am but an observant soul… Lost… Looking for a way to be found…
Looking for a way to ask for something I can’t define…
Looking for that elusive sign… Looking for myself…
Searching through the darkness…
Realizing I am of the darkness…

All is well… Everything is just peachy…
My lie of a smile denies you the real me…
Blue skies combined with yellow clouds in gray…
Evenings approach ushers in another orange day…
Another day of labor… Another day in the heat…
Another day I didn’t wave the white flag of defeat…

Ninebark

“Ninebark at Night” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

I am a fighter… I am on the outside one-percent…
And I have no desire to come inside…
I have no desires because my addictions took them away…
Fingerprint ID and the mug shot to display…
That is why I garden… That is why I plant seeds…
That is why I consider you when figuring for my needs…

I am not equal to anyone… I am six-feet below you…
I am staring up at the ground looking for a new view…
Looking for a way to erase these horrid memories…
Looking for a way to find peace with my enemies…
Looking for a way to find peace with myself…
With my memories… With my past… With you…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Dreams of Paradise in Orange

Pinkish

“Perfect Fleabane” – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Beauty in the ordinary… Hope in the gutter…

Orange glow from the buzzing street lights…
Shining through the blinds of my broken windows…
Cool air sending me off to honeysuckle dreams…
Cool air coupled with the full moons beams

My body is in paradise… But my mind resents…
Among the sleepy trees and urban spring scents…
Surrounded by the energy of those who no longer…
The ability to perceive will only make us stronger…

The pain in your mind is probably a product of me…
Close all the windows… Light a candle and see…
I am still standing… I am a ghosts from your past…
I am a green thumbed vagabond and I expect to last…

Despite your best attempts to silence all my voices…
Talking trash and stacking shit to take away my choices…
I still have a voice… I still have a mind… I still have you…
I still have what most people consider a deeply flawed view…

Reality is relative… Reality is individuality…
Reality is a fucked up place you’d have to cut out of me…
When my mind is idle I dream of the most messed up scenes…
Heroin memories in the gutter dissolve into lucid dreams…

All encompassing reflections of pure misery and pain…
When I’m down I swear needles fall from the sky like rain…
Needles always land with their point to the ground…
Every day I try to scream but can’t muster a sound…

I feel so lost… I feel alone… I feel destroyed… I am beat…
If I had a white flag I would wave it in defeat…
Memories flash through my head like brilliant bursts of light…
Realize I’ve lost my mind but at least I have my sight…

Take me to a greener land of Goldenrod and Ironweed…
Take me to your gardens grand and show me to your seeds…
Show me all the secret places that you find so grand…
A warm embrace is the only way to settle shaking hands…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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A Little Help from my Friends

This gallery contains 8 photos.

The following post was not easy to write… before the emails and comments start I have to say that I am alright… I won’t be accepting comments on this particular post… Read it for what it is… A deeply personal piece of art… Enjoy… plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello This work is licensed […]

Slaying Dragons – Felon Dreaming

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“The First Rays of Sunlight” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – An older photograph… But perfectly suited for this poem… This cairn is a representation of how I want to feel… I want rays of sunshine… Not the black cloud often seen following me…

Eyes on the ceiling… Back to the ground…
Rain drops drop in a rhythmic sound…
Thinking about how my life would be…
Living without heroin and a felony…

My arms show the scars of a million pricks…
Result of a mountain of heroin bricks…
Experience that only earned me a fight…
Desire to live lies in my will to write…

Writing is my last shot at redemption…
Art and photography my only salvation…
The few worlds where pain gets you paid…
One of the trades I bring in spades…

No options but to carve my own path…
Stand up and give the haters my wrath…
Take away my voice but can’t take my pen…
Thanks to God I still have a friend…

My only option is to continue writing…
Accept reality and continue fighting…
I will never be a part of the white-collar crowd…
Searching for a way to make someone proud…

Looking for a reason… A will to live…
A continuing reason to charitably give…
Locked out of opportunity… Left alone…
Societal failure… I’m on my own…

Can’t look down I gotta keep looking up…
When my glass is half empty I’ll hit you with my cup…
The world always seems to be pushing me down…
The jokes on you… My best work is on the ground…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Sculptural Energy

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“Abstract Stack” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – I wish I could take a photo of how I see a landscape… Of how I see energy… But until then… This digital edit will have to do…

I long for the energy of the forest… It occupies my mind when I am not in her presence… I draw my energy from her… And In turn… I give that energy back… In my own way…

Our surroundings give off energy… Pulses and waves that are only visible to those that are willing to take the time to observe them… I consider myself one of those people… Not because I am special… But because I know how to listen…

You see… Energy is all around us… We may not physically see it… But we all feel it… Sometimes… The energy can be so strong that I have to drop everything that I am doing… Just to stop for a moment and listen… To understand… Because when I stop and listen… I always learn something… I always come out the other side in a better place… Regardless of content…

When I find a place with positive… Or negative energy… I tend to gravitate towards it… I long for it… Not long ago… I was a source of negative energy… Even my positive energy was nothing more than a farce intended to draw your mind away from the fact that I was in a great deal of pain… I believe that this is part of the reason I now see everything as energy… I was exposed to so much of the bad stuff… That when my mind awakened enough to feel again… I was completely overloadeded by the good stuff… Once I figured out a comfortable balance point… I have been able to balance the feelings out…

Now… When I walk… Or meditate… I rarely see the physical as the primary element in a landscape… I observe energy… I harness the energy… And in some cases… I attempt to channel that energy through my sculptures… My sculptures are intended to be a beacon of energy… They are the X on my map… These are the places where the earth either sings praise… Or screams bloody murder… Where the energy is good… My sculptures channel that energy… Only releasing it when someone is willing to observe… On the opposite end… When the energy is bad… My sculptures absorb it… Channel it… And by the simple act of drawing attention to a specific area… Converts the negative energy to positive energy…

When I don’t have a chance to go out and work in nature… My spirit hurts… The simple act of making my little stone sculptures… No matter how irrelevant people think it is… Is a requirement to my spiritual well-being… It is now a part of me… It is my little way to affect my surroundings and make my world a little nicer… And hopefully… Make your world a little nicer in the process…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you are interested in contributing to a struggling artist trying to find his way in the world… Please consider purchasing a print of my work… Available online here – www.society6.com/chriscondello

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Scribbles from the Mind of a Struggling Soul

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“Sucked Dry” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

Before you read this… Allow me to add a bit of context… These poems were scribbled on whatever I could find over the past week… When I work… I meditate… Although meditation usually takes me to a good place… It doesn’t always…

This week has been filled with triggers… And I have been emotionally struggling… But I am ok… I am stable… I am writing…

Higher Power

Staring through the waves of light…
Energy from the heavens…
Power from the mighty earth…
The source of my confidence…
The creator of me…
My higher power…
Apparently has no power…

Let it go…

Confidence lacking… Earth shattering…
Life scattered around me…
No idea where I’m going… No clue where I’m at…
I need to let it go…

Hunting for a dream… A direction…
Constantly avoiding my own reflection…
My back hurts from all this baggage…
I need to let it go…

Meditation reflects harmony and peace…
Hate absorbs hate… Anger attracts anger…
Bottled up… Ready for market…
I need to let it go…

My past dreams amount to cons and schemes…
Just another sad drug addict theme…
Spirit like Swiss cheese… Soul like a fallen tree…
I need to let it go…

Carrying the weight of my world around…
Thoughts simply add to my load…
I need to let it flow… I need to let it blow…
I need to let it all go…

Away…

Searching for a direction…

Every street looks the same…
Every fucking sign says stop…
Every corner I turn…
I see a fucking cop…
Standing here on the corner…
Surrounded by used needles and empty bags…
Shaking… Scared… But surprisingly strong…
I know what people expect…
Fuck… They tell me all the time…
They think I’m still a user… Loser…
A worthless drug abuser…
Let’s get something straight…
I don’t care about you… The haters…
You’ve left me no choice…
And this choice is mine…
I may not have a worldly direction… Yet…
I’m definitely not like you…
And I really don’t like you…
Though I can be kind…
I will never be your kind…

Thankfully…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Call Me Crazy

I think you should probably go now… There is nothing to see here… This is my secret place—not yours!.. The occupancy permit only accepts one… But if the fire marshal asks… Please forget about all of my personalities… Because although I never invite them… They still manage to crash all of my parties…

I am well aware of the toxic cocktail that is my mind… Any person that has the capacity to do good… Also has the capability to do evil… Evil is easy… As humans I am starting to think evil is second nature—It’s hard work to do good…

Sometimes my thoughts scare me… I actually have to take a moment and give myself a “reality check”… Every person I meet is not against me… You are not plotting my demise—or are you?.. I must be able to read your future thoughts through this keyboard… I feel like you are plotting to lynch me while you read this very sentence—are you?.. Don”t answer that—I wouldn’t believe you anyway!..

It’s interesting that after shutting people out for so long… I could possibly think that I know what you are thinking before you do… It’s so easy to draw conclusions just by the look on your face… I have been told my entire life that I look like I am up to something—I usually was—but that is besides the point… I used to hate that about other people… Now I hate that about myself…

It’s odd how paranoia takes a hold of a person… My paranoia is no longer about your thoughts… Mine is about my own thoughts… You don’t want to know what I am thinking most of the time… My mental jokes are to dark for the general public… I find your misfortunes to be curiously amusing… I have been my own personal lab for years now… Now I want to do experiments on you… How much can you take?.. How do I compare to that?.. I know how much I can handle—how much can you?..

My breaking point is definite—as I believe yours is… Test me… I dare you… Every landmine you lay down… I will step on… That’s just how I roll now… Call me crazy—please—call me crazy!.. Call me anything… Just don’t you dare call me normal… I am an outsider… I do not fit in… I am beginning to accept this about myself… I am not a dinner party kind of person… I don’t really do bars… I am not social…

The first time I meet you—I will most likely mentally reject you… No offense to you—I just don’t “trust” anyone… I love people—But I hate meeting people for the first time… I no longer have any faith in my ability to read a first impression… I have made to many bad decissions as far as friends are concerned… It’s not so much that I don’t trust you… What am I saying—I don’t trust myself—why in the hell would I trust you?..

peace – crazychriscondello

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Biohazardous Waste and Folgers… Not the best part of waking up!

Hot cup of coffee while the sun comes up… The first sign of morning is the laser beam of blue light that is enhanced by the cigarette smoke that accompanies my coffee… My body is still numb from the sleep… But my mind is electric from the lack of rest… You see… My body may have been asleep… But my mind wouldn’t shut up… Maybe I can focus for a few…

Let me see here… I just can’t seem to get my mind in order to write… Concentration seems to elude me… Blah!.. Seems to be the only complete thought I can generate… Nothing… Nil… Nada… Zero… Just sit and watch the news… With a cat… And my empty thoughts… Thoughts of nothing… Thoughts of everything… So many thoughts… I can’t seem to be able to put them into words…

Is it possible for the human mind to think nothing?.. Because it’s a very common answer to the question “what are you thinking?”…  I mean… Who in the hell actually thinks nothing?.. Even when I rest… My mind seems to just roll forward… From one thought to another… My mind weaves in and out of mental traffic… All that I can usually do is hold on… And hope for a red light…

Sometimes my thoughts are dissonant… I wrestle with the daily struggle that is the symphony of my mind… I struggle with every choice I have ever made… Sometimes it feels like a prison… As it does today… A prison that won’t let you write… Or display any kind of emotion… Emotion is nothing more than a sign of weakness—what a stupid statement…

Sometimes remembering something is worse than forgetting… My desire to be a socially sentient being has led me way off the beaten path… It’s amazing how many mistakes you can make in the name of friendship… But at the end of the day… I still have ten years of nothing… A million “exp” points and no gold…

I long to forget so much… And I hate to remember things… You could almost say that I have a fear of my memories… The dominant memories are drug related… A daily struggle I will never get used to… A struggle that at one time left me hanging by an extension cord… Even death is a feeling that I vividly remember… And every thought leading up to it… Save that for another time…

Recent memories are of a guy I used to hang with… He lived in a cold basement with his fiance… Junkies… Like I was… Held together by a parasitic bond… They seemed to feed off each other… Though in reality she fed off of him…

In this damp hell of a basement the only available light came from a candle… And a small glass block window that let the cold in through what I was told was a bullet hole… The lack of light was a good thing though… Not really much to see… A soaking wet mattress sans box spring on the floor… Two garbage bags of clothes… And an assortment of drug paraphernalia that would warrant a biohazard sign… Everything else was darkness… The penetrating sound of dripping… And nothing…

It was a rare thing for me to say I had a friend while I was still using… I guess we weren’t so much friends… But we had history… I went to school with him… And he always looked out for me… He hung himself in a jail cell… For reasons I actually understand… Oddly enough I was the first person his fiance called… At the time… I was the only person she thought would care… But I wasn’t sad that he was dead… I was sad that I lost my hook-up…

That is the kind of thought that predominately occupies my memory…  Everything I see reminds me of painful times and places… I find it very difficult to be positive… Though I try… As a writer I am trying to explore subjects that aren’t so doom and gloom… I hope this post puts my writing into a little  perspective…

Peace, love and happiness are feelings I am now attempting to explore… But given the fact that as an addict the only times I ever felt these emotions was when I was sky-high… You can understand my fear of the relation…

emotion is nothing more than a sign of humanity – chriscondello

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