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Bipolar Cowboys: Noah Cicero in conversation with Juliet Escoria photo

In December, Noah Cicero announced on Facebook that he had finished a book of poetry, which Lazy Fascist is publishing this month. We started chatting, first about poems -- we are both primarily fiction writers who have recently turned to the dark arts of poetry -- but the conversation quickly turned to our mutual struggles with mental health. Both of us have been diagnosed with bipolar, we’ve both had serious mental breakdowns, have both had to come to terms with medication and treatment and all that being mentally ill entails. I thought our conversation was interesting enough that maybe it might warrant a more formal discussion, hence the following co-interview.

Bipolar Cowboy -- the aforementioned collection of poetry -- was something I read over the course of two nights. It covers a wide range of topics, from mental health to breakups to being an outsider, and, like all the best pieces of writing, is in turns hilarious and heartbreaking. I had intended for our conversation here to focus more on his poems, because they deserve it, but mostly we just talked about being crazy.

-- Juliet Escoria


JULIET ESCORIA: There's a hell of a lot of good poems in this book. There's a big range in terms of style and emotions covered. Which of the poems are you most proud of (from a stylistic level; from an emotional level)?

NOAH CICERO: I really like the Valley of Fire poem, I like how I use "sometimes" to start off the first two stanzas, there is Latin in it, I love Latin, it reminds me of the Catholic Church, Popes and Saint and Ancient Rome. I think poets should always use other languages in their poems, to ensure to never make complete sense.

I also really like the George Jones poems, there are three George Jones poems, George Jones is a country-western singer from the 50s and 60s. He was really miserable, he had a buzzcut, he sang a lot of super sad songs about women leaving him. George Jones couldn't keep a woman because he drank so much and and then started doing coke. One time his girl took his keys so he couldn't go to the bar, but George Jones is smart, he took the lawn mower. George Jones' most famous song is "He Stopped Loving her Today," it is super miserable and lovely. But he also has other breakup songs that will make a human cry, his songs have no redemption, there is no catharsis, you are drinking and pining at the beginning, and when the song ends you are still drinking and pining-- nothing changes. Here are some lyrics from "If Drinking Don't Kill Me"

As I trip on the floor/ And lightly touch down/ Lord it's been ten bottles/ Since I tried to forget her/ But the memory still lingers/ Lying here on the ground."

It is so miserable. My favorite George Jones song is "Right Hand Won't Touch." When I wrote the poetry book, I would drive the streets of Las Vegas listening to it over and over again.

I think there are a lot of people, we see them everyday, they might be your divorced mom or your co-worker. People that said, "I am not going to try to love again, I just can't do it." They go to work, they are even successful, but there is no redemption for them.


NC: Yesterday a problem happened in my life, like something happened that was mildly urgent, and I could feel my mania start. When my anxiety mania starts, it feels like my body is making a superabundance of energy, like I am in Dragonball Z and I'm Goku going into Super Saiyan to like Spirit Bomb the world away. When I'm happy, it is like when Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon, everything lights up, beautiful colors everywhere, I am naked then put into a beautiful outfit, I feel really badass, at the 1:19 point, that's how I feel when I'm happy and set on happy-mania.

Now that I'm on medication and I'm starting to understand my nature, how I react to things to stimulants, I am almost afraid of having emotions. Lately I've been obsessed with making my reality as boring as possible, to ensure I never have emotions. Because if things go wrong, if I feel like I've lost control, I turn Super Saiyan, which leads to nothing but self-torture for no reason. Then if something happy happens, then I immediately get so excited, so consumed with the possibility of 'happy times,' that I end up getting myself into trouble in another way, because I run at happiness, I run screaming and dancing, and get all wrapped up in happiness and go nuts. I think normal people, who don't have super emotional problems, go to happiness and have "How much it cost" "Where did you get it?" conversations -- because most people only care about how much things cost and where did you get it-- then they settle into their price-correlated reality and feel okay. This might sound insane, a controversial psychological view, not presented in the DSM-V -- that the difference between normal and abnormal is the difference between people who talk about “How much things cost" and "Where did you get it" and people who don't do that, who instead lose themselves in the emotional.

How would you describe your ups and downs? If you were a psychologist how would you describe Bipolar in the DMS-V?


JE: I think maybe in some ways I am the opposite of you, in that after going on medication and getting off drugs, I became afraid that I would become normal and boring and the kind of person who was concerned with where you got things and how much they cost. I think part of this has to do with me growing up in coastal Southern California, which is a very materialistic and “everything is chill” kind of place and I hated it and hated everyone at my high school. So I would do self-destructive things to ensure I wouldn’t be normal. The first couple years of my sobriety, I would “forget” to take my medicine or only take half the dosage, because I was afraid of life feeling too safe. But eventually I realized that this wasn’t actually fun or interesting at all -- it just made me say and do dumb shit that I felt embarrassed about later. Finally I kind of realized that I could be “happy” but I will never fit into the “bell-shaped curve” (as my mother would say), and that is OK and good.

These days I am pretty even unless I don’t sleep enough or take care of myself, and also I have PMDD to the extent that it kind of brings me back to pre-medication days. On those days it kind of feels like going out on a high precipice or something, and the precipice might crumble at any second, so I have to be careful not to chase any one emotion or feeling too hard because if I do, it will definitely crumble. Sometimes it feels too unsafe to do anything, so I will just give up on whatever I had intended to do that day and turn the lights off and get in bed and do something passive, like read a book or watch a movie.

I was put on a medication in early 2013 that made me go into a manic state that at one point reached psychosis. It started with me being on a too-high dose of an antidepressant which was making me suicidal; it felt like the suicidal thoughts were implanted into my brain. Like one day I was in the grocery store and I got an urge to go into the razor aisle and rip open a pack and break off the head of the razor the way I used to do and slice my arms up. It was really jarring, because I didn’t actually want to die and I didn’t know where that thought came from. So then my doctor put me on an antipsychotic called Saphris. Immediately, the suicidal thoughts went away. Two days into it, I started to feel really really good, like I felt super passionate about everything and wanted to do lots of things and I had so much energy and I felt very outgoing. Then I started to feel my heart beat super fast and I lost the desire to eat or sleep. From past experience, I know that those are real warning signs for me. From there, I slipped into full-blown mania, which involves hallucinations, delusions, and just generally unsafe behavior. So the manic side of the DSM would include: extreme enthusiasm, unusual extroversion, high energy, a lack of need/desire for food and sleep, a feeling of rapid heartbeat, visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions of grandeur, paranoia, risk-seeking behavior, etc.

Depression, for me, is just really boring, and involves me not caring about anything, not wanting to do anything, not wanting to speak to anyone-- just a general state of being a lump. Doing anything at all becomes a chore, even the kind of things I generally enjoy.

Nowadays, I sometimes get anxiety. Sometimes I don’t feel the anxiety until it gets really bad, but the most obvious early symptom is a preoccupation with death. I will fixate on what it would be like if someone I really love died, I will have nightmares about them dying, I will become afraid when I am driving because I am convinced I will get in a car accident, I will become afraid of going over bridges because I am convinced I will fall off, I will get thoughts in my head like “I want to die” and “I want to kill myself,” I will get inundated with grotesque images of people rotting or my veins being cut open -- that kind of thing. So preoccupation with death is a warning, and if I don’t take care of myself I will likely end up having one or more full-blown panic attacks in the near future.

Do you think there is a collective/evolutionary benefit to being crazy? I kind of think there has to be, or we would have all died off. Sometimes I think that people like you and me do the feeling for all the people who care about prices and where to obtain things, so that they can use their lives for practical  applications, like reproducing and working at banks, so we can do dumb shit with ours that require intense emotions, like writing books that only a few hundred people will read. But that is kind of fucked up thinking, like super grandiose and martyr-like, so sometimes I change my mind about that kind of logic.


NC: Before 200 years ago, bipolar or schizotypal people were made shamans or priests, nuns and monks of all cultures. In 2014 we have this idea of religion where it is dumb TV preachers, because America doesn’t have a monasteries and convents that are visible, and the dominant Protestant religion doesn’t have monks or nuns. But in the Old World of Europe, Middle-East and Asia, Holy sites cover the landscapes. The clergy in all religions and in tribal shamanism were made up of bipolar/schizotypal people. I imagine a man who is trying to farm standing behind an ox crying having an emotional moment and the dad comes over and says, “Maybe you should be a monk, son.” Or a young woman not wanting to have children or being forced into an arranged marriage, the parents coming over to them and saying, “How about you become a nun, Catherine.” The monasteries were a place where the weird could go and be really weird, it was allowed, you had to pray a lot and do the rituals, but we have a million rituals still -- we just don’t call them rituals.

The monastery was a place where a schizotypal person could go and paint pictures all day or sit in a chair and copy the bible over and over again, or just sit in a room by yourself and stare at the floor repeating some prayer over and over again.

Think about it, if a schizotypal person can’t emotionally handle our very loose culture, how could it handle a very regimented and controlled feudalistic culture.

Look at the art of Buddhist monasteries, look at Tibetan art-- that is the schizotypal allowed to explore itself to an extreme. In both Catholicism and Buddhism they have stories of people sitting in caves for years on end -- who else would do that but a schizotypal person?

Look at shamans, tribes native to the Americas had the Shamans go off into the forest for months at a time to learn the ways of the nature -- who else would volunteer for that but a schizotypal person?

Take you for example, you get the idea in your head that you need to cut yourself with razors in a consumerist society, but in a tribal society you might have decided to paint yourself, purify yourself in a local stream, prayed to the gods, and then took eagle talons and hung yourself from a tree. Because it is all about feeling ‘real’ and being one with oneself.  

But yes, the world demands a spiritual side, food, water, shelter and music. Look at the world around you, everywhere you go music is playing, music at the store, music at work, music at Starbucks. All the engineers, factory workers, school teachers, politicians all run home to watch ‘their shows.’ Everyone loves a beautiful building, a big giant well-made bridge, everyone knows Michelangelo, all my 14-year-old Korean students knew that Michelangelo created David, painted the Sistine Chapel and sculpted the Pieta. No human can look at the Pieta and not spiritually fall to their knees and cry knowing that is what means to be human. We can’t even speak or give an opinion on the Pieta, our voices are too choked with tears. Then we find out the story of Michelangelo, a poor unmarried man who slept in his boots surrounded by war, and having crazy friends like the Medicis. He gave away his whole life for art.

I don’t know if I am here for a reason, to help people via literature and text. I think 500 years ago someone with my genetic code would have ended up in a monastery, and if they were lucky and literate got to work on some artistic endeavor. But I don’t know.

Here is a question, I am male so I can see the male value of schizotypal and bipolarism, which is extreme concentration and obsessiveness, and at times a lot of energy focused into rage. When I played football and baseball when I was in school the coaches loved me, adults were surprised at my ability to be aggressive and violent. When I played football I would throw my body at my fellow humans without inhibition, I would start screaming before the play started, then run like a maniac into whatever was in my way. When I first started playing baseball I couldn’t hit or catch the ball, so I would sit for hours upon hours bouncing a tennis ball off the chimney wall of my parents’ house perfecting my hand-eye coordination, just throwing it up and catching it over and over again, even after the sun went down I would keep doing it. I would make my dad throw balls for me to hit for hours. I believe my obsessive genetics would have worked well in a hunting or warrior situation, I think if I was raised in a tribal or pre-modern environment I would have been good at hunting or being violent in battle, I would have practiced a lot and been good at obsessively hunting animals, and would have acted like a maniac in battle.

But as a woman, how do you think bipolarism would have affected the ancient or tribal woman?


JE: I don’t know. I used to do the same kind of thing as a child-- I was really obsessive about sports and also academics. It was useful for me to learn how to kick hard or jump high or run fast because being good at sports enabled me to get out my aggressiveness in a socially acceptable way. I could channel my obsessiveness into being the “best” at things, like if there was a prize for whoever could learn their times table first, I would have to win that prize. I was raised in a household where I was encouraged to do whatever I wanted, even and maybe especially if it was a “boy” type of thing to excel at. So I always identified with the “male” role in things, as the warrior, as the hunter, as the hero. I’d like to imagine the bipolar ancient or tribal woman as someone who was this badass hunter warrior sorceress -- like Kali or Diana or Lilith. I’d like to imagine myself as this badass hunter warrior sorceress. It seems stupid to make it a gender issue.


NC: Sometimes when I’m in a grocery store or in a casino and I’m in a good mood, things are flowing well, my mind isn’t going nuts, but then a song comes on, an emotional song. And boom, I can feel the wave of emotion surging in my body, overtaking me, then I’m lost again, thrust into a wild state, torn asunder, then the day is lost to the emotions. Does this or something similar ever happen to you?


JE: I don’t like casinos because they make me want to drink and smoke and I have quit both of those hobbies and hope to stay quit. Grocery stores are all about making small choices and the lighting in them is super bright and both of those things really stress me out. So I generally don’t listen to the music in either.

Sometimes my emotions change dramatically due to seemingly small things, like listening to music in the car, or a small interaction I have with a stranger in a public space. This is okay, to me, and although it is sometimes disruptive it is not in itself troublesome. I would rather have mood swings than be dead inside.

I also don’t think the mood swings are indicative of me being mentally ill. I am bipolar and I am also moody. Bipolar and moodiness are not synonyms, and one is not always evidence of the other.


NC: DFW said in his Kenyon college commencement speech, “It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger?” Do you ever feel like that? I feel like that a lot. Sometimes my brain shoots out an image like in the movie Pi, where the guy screws into his brain to make the math stop. Sometimes I see myself in my brain using an electric drill screwing into my brain. DFW didn’t shoot his brain, he hung himself, I don’t think he owned guns. Ned Vizzini didn’t shoot hit his brain, he jumped off a building. Ned Vizzini had the same problem though, he was obsessed and couldn’t stop the obsession.

But it is so odd and hard to understand. Because I am really really lucky, I am an attractive white male with blue eyes and a Mensa level IQ in the richest country on the planet, I grew up in a peaceful town, I was never raped, which sadly happens to a lot of people. When I got arrested when I was 12 for vandalism I didn’t get shot by the police, they didn’t even press charges, they let my white ass go home. But I am a bagboy at a health food store, I can’t do anything.


JE: I really like that speech but I think that quote is stupid, in that it assigns meaning to something that isn’t meaningful. People shoot themselves in the head because a brain injury is easier to die from than a leg injury. People shoot themselves in the head because it’s a lot easier to be accurate than it is with a shot to the heart.

I think that people look at suicide in an inaccurate way. We see it as something that should always be preventable, but sometimes it is something that is just inevitable. Suicidality is a symptom of a mental illness. A heart attack is a symptom of a cardiovascular illness. There are things you can do for your cardiovascular health, like eat Cheerios and work out or whatever. There are things you can do for your mental health, like go to therapy or take medicine or call a suicide hotline. But sometimes, even if you follow all the advice, you’re going to die of a heart attack. Sometimes the suicidal urges become so powerful that we can’t help but follow them. I feel like I have gotten a pretty good grasp on my issues with suicide, but I also wouldn’t be that surprised if you told me that in ten or twenty years, I would die from suicide. I hope this isn’t true, but I think it is useful for me to acknowledge that my mental illness is a very powerful force, something that is potentially fatal.

I feel incredibly lucky to be alive. I have done so many things that make me shocked that I am not dead. I am on a much safer, less destructive path than I once was, and I like to think that this is because of hard work and insight, but maybe it’s just fucking luck. Maybe it’s just a fluke that I haven’t yet shot my master.


NC: Do you feel in competition with your mother? From what I can see as a 34-year-old (I say my age, because I don't think books or stats teach this) but a lot of people feel competition with their same gender parent.


JE: No, I don't. I think that might be because our lives are so different in shape. Maybe if my mom wrote, or was in some other branch of the arts. But she taught elementary school. And maybe I would if I felt more strongly about wanting to have kids -- my mother was the age I am now when I was born. But I don't know if I want kids.

You know who I'm jealous of? My stupid-ass husband. I wasn't working this past semester, and he needed an updated CV, so I did that for him. I'm a very competitive person, and it really "chapped my hide" to list all the fancy places he's been published, and all the fancy places that have written articles about him. I kept on having to tell myself bullshit like, "Well, my first book did way better than his first book," and "Well, he's been working his ass off for so much longer than I have." But at the same time, I felt very proud of him. It was strange, to have all these conflicting feelings about someone I love so much.

I feel like we should talk more about your poems. Let’s do that now.

You said that poets should use foreign phrases in their poems to ensure that they don't make total sense. Is that something you find essential to good poetry? Is it essential to good fiction, or art in general? Does this have anything to do with the imprecision of language, or a bucking of our base-human need to categorize and make logic out of uncategorizable or illogical things (such as love, desire, mortality, etc.)? Or is it something different entirely?


NC: Language is not what we are feeling, language comes at the end of who we are. Let’s say, as in the poetry book I wrote, it is about a couple breaking up. That couple dated an X of amount of years, during those years, they exchanged a thousand looks, back massages, going out to museums and parties and walking along the ocean, even different oceans. They watched movies cuddling, they got into fights over silly and big things, they listened to the same songs, they saw the other one cry, they saw the other one have anxiety, they had a lot of very real experiences together. And these experiences involved every sense, hearing, smelling, taste, etc. There is no way to describe the feelings you had, to reduce it to words, seems to belittle the whole event, the power of the event. But there are ways of saying something about the event.

Either the audience has experienced the event described and they know. They read the language and say, “Yes, that is it, I wish I could have said it that way.” Or the writer has to create a memorable feeling in the audience, an ability to have empathy for what is being said. And one day when they experience the event themselves, they will say, “Oh, I’ve read about this.”

The game of poetry is tough, you have one or two pages to create a concrete emotion the audience can play with, but at the same time you don’t want to write cliches about fallen leaves or use the word heart or something. You have to find new and different metaphors to create what is inside you. In Bipolar Cowboy I wrote, “I’ll meet you in Munsan.” The audience doesn’t know what Munsan is, they know it is probably in Japan or Korea, but they don’t know if it is a coffee shop or a city or a subway stop, but the audience does know when they loved someone, they met them somewhere, or they went somewhere and it is special to them. And the thing is, the two ex lovers will never meet in Munsan again, that day they had is over, it will never return, Munsan becomes transcendent like a song in the mind of the participants, a song only those two have, a very special little song. But we all have that place, I could tell my first girlfriend, “Meet me on 18th Street,” she would know exactly where it was, at an apartment complex in Eugene,Oregon where we spent a crazy summer together in 2001. She is married with a kid now and we will never walk that street together again, and who we were in 2001 doesn’t even exist, maybe it is trapped inside Silversprings by Fleetwood Mac, but there I go again saying things that don’t make sense.


JE: When you are talking about George Jones's music, you said that some of his songs don't have redemption or catharsis. Over the holidays, I asked my mom if she wanted to go watch the movie The Homesman with my husband and me, and she said no, that she had read reviews and they said that it was depressing and there was no redemption at the end. Which annoyed me, because who the hell said that a movie (or a song, or a book) about suffering needs redemption to be any good? It seems, to me, to be similar to why people feel the need to believe that there is a heaven-- that this life is full of suffering but dying and going to heaven makes it worth it. Which is understandable, but I think ultimately it's a pussy way of thinking. Besides, sometimes there is beauty in the suffering itself, beauty in the lack of redemption. At the end of The Homesman, Tommy Lee Jones's character has lost everything, and the final shot is of him on a riverboat, dancing to some music and shooting his gun off at the townspeople, which seemed to be a celebration of a lack of redemption, a celebration of one's lack of a need for redemption. So what do you think? Is redemption necessary for a work of art to be "good" or satisfying? And the Noah of your poems is lonely and heartbroken -- do you think he has found redemption by the end of the book? Was that something you had in mind?


NC: The masses seem to prefer redemption, the thing about the masses, about the great majority of humans who do and love mainstream things, is that they think they are the only people on the planet, and they should get what they want, they should have it now and they should be fucking comfortable all the fucking time, and people should kiss their asses. This is what marketers play off of, this solipsistic aesthetic (I don’t say worldview, because a worldview demands a premise, and for the most part they have none.)

The heaven thing from the bible and Koran is crazy, Jesus never mentions what heaven is like and the Koran just says it is has food and water, which to a desert people, probably sounds great. But then virgins and ‘bliss’ and happiness got mixed in, if you asked most people what heaven is, most will respond with the most selfish thing they can think of, “I get to fuck Brad Pitt” “I become Lebron James” “Something obviously racist” “I’m skinny.” It is just narcissism.

I watched Homesman, the Mary Bee Cuddy character is perfect concerning the suicide case, the deluded person demanding that reality just give her things she wants. Mary Bee Cuddy has this idea about herself, she is convinced she has to be married and have children, she decides to sacrifice for God, she is going to bring three crazy women across a river like Moses. But God refuses to give her a husband, which is not how the bible works at all, in the Bible you are supposed to lose all faith in everything but God’s Will. You don’t “do things” and get “things.” I actually know someone that gives money to homeless people thinking she will get good Karma and get a nice boyfriend. This is not how reality works. Jesus does everything for God and then God stabs him with a spear and then hangs him from a tree. How obvious does it need to be for everyone? Life is a series of debacles. And you don’t even die, your death is a debacle for everyone else but you.

George Briggs is different than Mary Bee Cuddy though, for some reason he knows that life is just a series of debacles, he really has no strong of idea of himself, except as a selfish person who wants 300 dollars. I think we are supposed to assume he is bipolar, which is why he left the army and his wife, and wanders the West, because to a bipolar person the West would have been exciting, constantly in a state of danger, everything being an emergency, it would have been perfect for a person caught up in a lifelong psychodrama inside their head. George Briggs knows, there is no redemption, we all just keep living, if I don’t die, I keep living. It is really the idea of Karma, not the phony idea Americans get, but real one. Karma is not a law or how things work for human interaction, there is no karma currency. Karma is the Nature of Reality, Karma means this, I am 34-years-old, I wake up thinking 98% of the same thoughts I did yesterday, I wake up with 98% of the same things present in my life, and every once in awhile we move, fall in or out of love, have kids, get a new or lose a job, and a large chunk of our thoughts change. But for the most part, we gradually change overtime. In ten years I’ll be 44-years-old and the 98% of the things I thought about today won’t be thought about then, and probably 90% of the things in my life at 34 won’t be there at 44. (This includes not only people but furniture and if there is still your favorite restaurant on 10th Street. And your favorite coworker Lisa. I mean ALL of it, every tiny bit of your life.) Basically who you were at 34 no longer exists at 44. And this applies to everything trees, fish, cats, stars, a rock in a stream, etc. (This is why people like to OWN things, because they believe it locks them down, and makes them like an object, that will last forever, or at least gives a ‘forever feeling.’.) It is weird though, everything you do and don’t do, makes your future ten years from now, you can’t skip out of reality and come back in, you are existing along with everything else. But what is more funny, is that when I’m 44, I won’t remember all the little debacles, waiting in line too long, speeding tickets, small fights at work, feet hurting, that day my back hurt, when I got the flu, the two times I had to change my tire on the side of the road, when I’m 44 sitting at a Starbucks probably, I won’t care about those silly stupid moments. So like, why not just stop caring now, you know. That is what George Briggs kind of did, I think. I believe that is what Zen is also, he is saying, “Okay” or “Hmm” or “You know what, this might be cool” in the face of things that normally make us uncomfortable.

The Noah character in Bipolar Cowboy doesn’t get redemption, the Noah character in the book is an idiot, he is a debacle that can’t let go, because there is nothing to let go of, he just has to let himself keep living, and if he doesn’t become a shut-in-hoarder and keeps going out in public, says hi, shakes hands, interacts with the world eventually a new crazy development will arise, but that development won’t have anything to do with the last one. The last debacle led to the new development, but the new development has no relation to the last one, only if the participants demand it, but they can choose to let go, and just let things happen.

If you want, you can go real deep with this: there is no self, we are creating ourselves as we are being destroyed, we are destroying ourselves as we are being created. To bring this back to heaven, someone said to me something about reincarnation and I responded, “I am not the person I was when I was 12-years-old, nothing remains from then, I have already completely died in this life without even having to die, and I am okay, so why wouldn’t I be okay then?”



(Everything I wrote is very transitory, even though I might have wrote something very sad or happy sounding, two hours later I might have a completely different view on that subject depending on how I am feeling. I am not one person, I am multiple waves of philosophy, relations, experiences, feelings, and those multiples become something different everyday.

LOOK! When you look into the mirror, that is what the world sees, the organism that is you. You as physical organism changes at a rate slow enough that everyone recognizes the mathematical pattern that you are, you as a mathematical object.

But on the inside, the waves and strings of your mind, there are many of them, coming and going, flying in and flying out, one minute we are thinking of when we were twelve, the next we are in the moment doing something that requires our attention, the next moment we are thinking about the future and how we need to call someone to make sure the documents arrived on time.

The Noah Cicero who answered Juliet Escoria’s questions, he is already gone and to take it farther he wasn’t even there before he answered the questions. The Noah Cicero that answered the questions was only that Noah Cicero. But at the same time it took the experiences of all 34 years of my life to answer those questions. If I answered Juliet Escoria’s questions right now, three weeks after I answered them the first time, I would answer them differently, because we aren’t a stagnant creature, we are beautiful swirls, strings dancing, a thousand people incapable of marching in time, our minds aren’t metronome perfect symphonies but cacophonies of everything we have ever experienced.

LOOK! When you look into the mirror, I hope you see, you are all there, every experience you ever had, every feeling you ever had, and everything you will ever be, and every relation you have with other people. And that’s why it so disquieting sometimes when we look in the mirror, because we need to take that extra step, to see that we are everywhere, spread across the universe in infinite leaping colorful twists and whirls touching everything.)  

JE: That is very beautiful, Noah. I agree.