psypress2014My previously unpublished tale, Fireworksis featured in the latest edition of psychedelic magazine Psypress UK. You can get a copy for just £5 plus shipping (in the US, it comes out to $17 total, but it’s well worth it).

Other featured writers include Dale Bewan, author of Dropping Acid, Ross Heaven, author of several books on shamanism, and Neil M. Goldsmith, author of Psychedelic Healing. Plus ten other submissions with titles like Myco-metaphysicsThe Dogmatist’s Debacle, and Reigniting Awe. And check out the cover art by Jeremy Beswick on the right. Intrigued? So am I — I can’t wait for my copy to arrive in the mail!

My submission, Fireworks, is about a transformative experience I had while tripping at an Independence Day festival. The fireworks have never carried such deep meaning as they did that night.

An Excerpt from Fireworks:

Just as we reach the top step leading to the plaza, the first firework explodes with a bang, its red tendrils flowering slowly, almost tentatively, across the sky above the river. We join the crowds, bustling for a position near the fence where we can see the show.

I am surrounded by so many people speaking different languages, wearing different clothes and bearing unique personalities and attitudes about the world. We left a thousand different homes this evening, closing behind us a thousand front doors of every shape and color, and took a thousand routes to get here. But we all arrived at the same place to share this common experience. Here on the plaza, looking out at the cosmos, we are one. I begin to feel that I am part of a celebration both timeless and universal — the celebration of ourselves.

 I begin to feel that I am part of a celebration both timeless and universal — the celebration of ourselves.

Words enter my head unbidden, as though scrawled directly across my consciousness by an unseen force: Festival of Humanity. That’s exactly what this is. We gather tonight, as people have gathered since time immemorial to observe their sacred ceremonies and rituals. This is the American sacrament: we honor our values and our ancestors by blowing stuff up in the sky.

The fireworks explode between the river and the watchful stars, leaving rivulets of color that drip like melted crayons into the water below.

The scene is visually spectacular, but what is the point? What does it mean? I immediately reject the conventional symbolism of Independence Day as too narrow in scope. America’s Independence is just one battle in mankind’s ongoing civil war for freedom, one mark on the pages of history. I stretch for something more universal.

The meaning suddenly becomes clear. The fireworks embody our struggles and our triumphs, blossoming in living color before us. Each burst represents one member of this human society — sublime, transient, and exquisitely imperfect. Everyone in my vicinity makes an appearance. Parents and children, boyfriends and girlfriends; Latinos and Indians and blacks and whites; people talking, laughing, even fighting. All leave their mark upon the canvas of the darkling sky.

Want to read the rest? Go ahead and order yourself a copy of Psypress UK 2014!

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