Meeting the Shaman in My Head

by Joe DeMarco

Siann grabbed the bottle, tossed two back and pocketed a few more for later. The boat still felt like it was going to shatter and splinter into pieces, but Siann no longer cared if it did. Poseidon himself could have busted the hull with a trident and Siann would have yawned and shrugged. Still she could not sleep. She turned on her reading light, and was back in Hawaii with Joe Kaye. The water was blue and tepid instead of black and ghastly.
She was reading a poem Joe Kaye wrote when he believed he was the reincarnation of Jim Morrison. The poem was called “Meeting the Shaman in my Head.” Here is a copy.

Meeting the Shaman in my Head

Beyond the invincible Death,
Past the infectious Icons,
The ever-winding spatial staircase,
And the crack between Time and Space,
Lies the unconscious mind, the ethereal plane, and the land of the lost.
I have traveled miles to be here,
And there are miles to go before I wake.
On a vaguely familiar cracked playground,
Where weeds grow wild
Between fences, bleachers, and tents,
At the crossroads of interconnectedness
I will be meeting him,
He will be meeting me.
I notice distinctly that
It is light but there is no sun in the sky.
There is something non-real, yet realer than existence, about this setting.
On top of the bleachers a small black child beckons me
Toward him.
His face reminds me of my childhood;
His smile reminds me of my long lost home;
There is something both wise and foolish about the way he smiles.
He strides back and forth across the top bleacher;
As I get closer he informs me,
“Animals are the dead coming back to communicate with us.”
Some of what he says doesn’t make sense.
“Mij saw I,” he chants.
He informs me that if ever I want to see him,
I am to come to this spot.
As I try to look at my hands,
The child drops off the back of the bleachers,
Disappearing into oblivion.

During the time when Joe Kaye believed he was the reincarnation of Jim Morrison, he had several shamanistic dreams. In these dreams he claimed that he had met a shaman in his head that taught him things. Joe Kaye also firmly believed several of Morrison’s songs, “The End” and “The Celebration of the Lizard,” were shaman spells put to music. He believed the songs were spells meant especially for him. So when Jim Morrison sang about the “house upon the hill, moon is lying still,” he was not only singing about the subconscious but about both his and Joe Kaye’s long lost home. When Morrison sang, “The blue bus is calling us,” Joe Kaye believed it referred to a specific place in Alaska and the call of the wild. There were many more references; Joe Kaye kept them in a notebook. In the poem the “Mij saw I,” which is I was Jim backwards, refers to the fact that Joe Kaye believed he was Jim Morrison or had been the Lizard King in a past life.

Blind Savior, False Prophet

Joe DeMarco's picture

Joseph DeMarco was born in New York City; he grew up in Buffalo, NY. He has taught seventh grade on the island of Oahu, Hawaii for the last ten years. He is the author of the novels Plague of the Invigilare, The 4 Hundred and 20 Assassins of Emir Abdullah-Harazins, At Play in the Killing Fields, Blind Savior, False Prophet, and Vegans Are Tastier. He is currently working on several new projects.

Last updated September 04, 2015