Book Giveaway and Excerpt: Mescalito Riding His White Horse

Dear KOM-ers!

We’re so happy to feature a new book giveaway!

Please enjoy this excerpt from “Mescalito Riding His White Horse by Mike Fiorito.

There are 2 ways to enter to win a FREE hard copy :

  1. Leave a comment below with your email address (so we can contact you)
  2. Email us at with the Subject: Mescalito Riding His White Horse giveaway entry

The winner will be randomly selected on 2/27/23 and announced on our website and social media. *


Mescalito Riding His White Horse was inspired by several interviews conducted with Peter Rowan, a legendary bluegrass musician, over a period of a few months in 2021. Peter never really followed the path of rock superstar – he was more interested in the alchemical process of music. In discovering this magic, I have felt myself projected across time, place, and identity and tried to put that experience into words. Except for the quoted interviews, which were transcribed as spoken, what follows is a combination of autobiography mixed with my visions and dreams. Some were imagined. All were real.

Excerpt: Chapter 4 – Vision of the Dalai Lama

Before I began writing this book, I had a vision that I was visited by the Dalai Lama. Unlike the Dalai Lama I’d seen on television and in media images, this one wore a crown of jewels. He was enveloped in a dome of rainbows. He was bedecked in a bright red robe, studded with sparkling rubies and diamonds. He held, in one of his eight hands, a white-spotted red umbrella that looked like a mushroom. The scent of sandalwood filled the air around him.

The Dalai Lama gestured towards me, his eyes opening wide. Our eyes met.

“When you look at your ten-year-old son, Travis, do you see every single moment of his being?” His eyebrows arching while he spoke.

I was surprised he knew my son’s name. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“Which version of him is true?” he replied, holding his hands in a prayer. When he stopped speaking, I noticed he was reciting a prayer to himself. He had a slight smile on his face.

When I didn’t speak, he clarified.

“Is it the moment he was born, or his present state of being ten? Or is he always becoming? Like when you look at any object—are you seeing every instance, every permutation of that object? Take, for example, when you look at your wife’s wedding ring. Do you see the millions of years it took to create the diamonds? Or do you see the history of the white gold on her ring? How the gold was mined from the ground. How it was separated from the other sediments. Do you imagine the instruments used? The labor it took? The life of each worker, from birth to death? How it was transported from one location to another? Do you see the gold, or the diamond, at the atomic level? Or, going smaller, at the subatomic level? Which version of the ring do you see? Or do you see them all?”

I didn’t have an answer. My mind raced thinking about the onslaught of questions. As I contemplated his queries, the Dalai Lama’s face morphed into my mother’s face. This made me soften. He smiled my mother’s smile. Her skin was young, unwrinkled. She was happy. I had forgotten how much I had missed that smile. Her smile said, I’m looking out for you. I love you and will always put you first. I felt her love wash over me.

Then his face changed again. Now he looked like Peter Rowan. Peter winked. Then he was Harry Smith. Next, me as a baby. Then Yungchen Lhamo. The transformations sped up until they happened every tenth of a second. I even saw the faces of monkeys and reptiles. Then the transformations stopped.

I sighed, then all the faces sighed in unison. I yawned and they all yawned. We were caught in a moment when the paths and places of the universe—the multiverse—were revealed. Like I was staring into walls of reflecting mirrors.

The mirrors folded into a single diamond. Above the gem’s multifaceted surface was a shimmering pink glow. I instinctively understood that the diamond would enable me to travel across galaxies, worming through time and space. I could see different periods and places on various facets of the diamond. On one facet, I saw a young Peter Rowan sitting on his porch alone. Looking across the meadow from his house, he watched the flickering lights of a carnival in town. I could hear a calliope in the distance. I felt Peter’s loneliness, the yearning in his soul. I felt his heart pumping, his blood rush through his veins. I called out to him across the walls of time. He looked up but didn’t see anything.

In yet another facet, I saw a bodhi tree, surrounded by a clear blue sky. The tree gently waved in the wind. The tree’s motion slowly increased. Now swaying hypnotically, its branches curled like snakes. I could hear a song emerging from inside the tree, as if from its inner soul. The song was deeply moving. I couldn’t understand the words, but I knew the feelings it conveyed. Like a million saints sweetly singing, the song’s melody told the stories of people’s lives, their sadnesses and joys. Tears ran down my face. Like the great Mother who loves us all, the tree loved me. Her song told me that she was here for all beings. The tree didn’t expect to be heard or understood in a commonsense manner. She spoke across eons. To piece together her message, you had to listen for centuries upon centuries.

The tree’s honeyed tune took me on a journey. I was now beneath the ground, traversing the vast mycorrhizal network below it. I could hear animal noises. And the sounds of insect mandibles scraping against each other. I could even make out the delicate sound of plants unfolding. As if from miles away, I heard a sparrow delicately drinking water from a river. Moving at the speed of light, I witnessed the decomposition of animal skulls, ancient tree trunks, oak, ash and pine, and even buried boulders. As the white foam of decay swarmed over them, I saw new life sprout. Delicate birds alighted on the newly sprung ocotillo plants, drinking nectar from them. There was a profusion of birdsong. The air was drunk with the fragrance of piñon.

This vision evaporated.

Now only the Dalai Lama remained, holding his hands in prayer, chanting without opening his mouth. His chanting was thunderous. I could hear chainsaws, lawnmowers, trucks, and the groan of dying stars in its drone. It echoed throughout a billion universes.

Presenting a holographic rainbow triangle on his palm, the Dalai Lama then chanted into the triangle. Like an alchemist’s magical instrument, the triangle transformed the chanting into birdsong, revealing its holiness. I realized or recognized that the tree’s music, the birdsong, and the chant were all the same.

The rainbow triangle exploded with a flash of lightning bolts that struck the ground next to me. The Dalai Lama was now draped in a white banner.

“Practice charity without holding in mind any conception of charity, for charity is after all just a word,” he said.

Now the Dalai Lama was sitting high atop a winged white horse, which appeared out of nowhere. The horse dashed away, the Dalai Lama’s banner flapping in the wind behind him. I watched the Dalai Lama slowly disappear into a swirling cloud of red mist in the distance.


* By entering this contest, you give consent to Kind Over Matter to use your name for promotional purposes on our website and on all social media. 

NOTE: You can pre-order Mike’s book from Hunt Publishing or on Amazon.

mike fiorito
Mike Fiorito is an Associate Editor for Mad Swirl Magazine and a regular Red Hook Star Revue contributor. His books include: The Hated Ones, Sleeping with Fishes, Falling from Trees, Call Me Guido, Freud’s Haberdashery Habits and Hallucinating Huxley. Mike lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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