Wednesday, December 23, 2009

details of a relationship. from a year ago.

There was a fold in her closed eyes from drowsiness. We had boarded the train silently, and had remained silent after I had given her my social status update. She had her way of skewing stories and asking irrelevant questions when she did not know how to relate. Or perhaps it was her way of averting confrontation. I was still learning how to make small talk. She liked to imply that my problems were trifles, and I would learn she was right in doing so. I looked over at her. She opened her eyes and stared back. She always knew when I was watching, whether I had eaten, and when I was struggling. She had taught me slowly to limit my trust. The train crept on.

When we reached the lobby, after having climbed two deserted flights of steps and passed through empty, empty hallways, we sat and read. I felt a crippling numbness crawl through the veins in my right arm, as if it were trying to slowly secede from my body but was stuck. "It's a good thing you're scared now," she said, "you wouldn't want to be overconfident." I was not, and I did not exactly feel comfort, but knew it was there. The interviewer called my name as she entered the small, silent lobby. I was ready. She smiled and let me go.

I talked as we headed out into the newly November air. Thick asian noodles sat between us as she listened to every detail of the interview, interposing now and then to ask one of her badly-crafted, badly-received questions. The thing was over. We smiled.

The subway train lurched forward, and we moved on to a new adventure. She was wearing tapered khakis that hit above the belly button, Dad's sweatsocks and sneakers. On top, a thin, see-through beige shirt with metallic gold stripes and a khaki faux suede blazer, sleeves tinted with age and wear. This was all I noticed when she told me my car had been hit while it was parked on our street and that if I had taken it into the house as she had asked me to do before, she would not have to pay for the damage. Human error. The train stopped for whatever reasons trains stop when we most need them, and we lost ourselves in thought. I wrote her a message with my naive hands that even if she lost it all, I would still be there for her. There was a way to feel something when it was written down and could be seen for what it was.

We got to the train station, and she stared in blank indifference at the train arrival times. We were being plagued with bad luck, and we knew it. "It's not that I don't care about your problems," she said, "but these are adult consequences." I saw her eyes but this time they did not stare back. Her nose was puffy and red, but I couldn't tell if that was from inner turmoil or her sinus infection. She took a receipt for the MetroCard she had just purchased, crumpled it, and threw it at the small black hole in the big trashcan. It hit the lid, and fell down against the floor. We walked on.

On the train home, I wrote. She asked if it was in my secret language again. "No," I said. "I think that habit is bad for me."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

retina detachment.

she waited around all the time for the moment when she could start seeing spiderwebs in her eyes. for she'd been told, warned, not to be what she was or it would go to her head and come out her eyes. oh she valued them. and from then on everything was spiderwebs. words became thin lines that forced into one another and stuck together like strings of glue. like the hair of a mammal that did not unstick itself. like the little strands of a spider. like that. she would have to watch out for a sudden lightning bug that was really her vision playing tricks on her. she had to learn how to breathe better or it would surely happen. surely. the words were thin and spiraling down the page. was it beginning? she tossed her fingers through the lines and they did not dissolve. stupid, stupid girl.

ernest.

"It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing."

-ernest hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

inspiration comes like a disease.

in the way you catch it. in the way it grips you and refuses to let go. you have it and you want to capture it so that everyone will know, everyone will feel some portion of what you felt. so you let it smother you and eat your brain and you believe what it tells you. because, after all, it's there and you need to remember. need to understand why you have been chosen to receive it rather than the innocent ones. you need to understand why it bangs around inside you. but to do so is to control it, to channel it, decide what it can be. the only limitation is this: once you are in control again, healthy, it has fled. and that part of you has gone missing, too.

evolving.

we chose our proper dimension and abandoned it.
every buzz i hear reminds me of that old feeling,
the time i lounged on a stiff bed,
begging the stars that you'd please fall in love with me
and i woke up dreaming faster than i ever could
donating my coins and my time to your eyes
in hopes that they would not forget--
but the thoughts are not cohesive
the next dimension is unfriendly,
the last was gone too soon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

dissension.

[response to Walt Whitman's "Reconciliation," a love of mine]

your words come to him as air he cannot breathe
as he's caught eternally under the sky.
war is a word, and carnage--
but the dead man knows neither anymore.
beneath the earth, a man divine as yourself
knows neither death nor night,
nor does he touch his cold fingers to those of the sisters.
the white face in the coffin
cannot see you bend to him now,

cannot feel your lips
touch against him.

Friday, November 20, 2009

SPOTLIGHT.

ten-minute reading tomorrow at 1:40 pm.
The Goods student arts festival etc. etc. at TCNJ.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

after seeing the whales.

in response to michael dickman's "seeing whales":

enclosed in the forest of thought
the skin is tickled by deep
sheets of thorned branch on pine.
made up of specks of dirt that
cluster to form blankets that warm--
hide, abandon.

and when the tent of reason appears
all the world can see
the camps huddled outside,
waiting for their tickets to enter,
they wait forever.
they wait for the
flowers to bloom.

social sciences building at sundown.

it was dark in the atrium
the night my finger slipped.

it was a pain i
hadn't known.

i was,
the night of the accident,

Brutus.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

bosie.

there will never be
a synonym for
your face
BECAUSE--
it's created this
vernacular
of mine.

when the words begin
to copy themselves
you know
i have gone back
in time.

tumor.

they said too much thinking
could cause it.
they said they could tell from
the way she slept.
or didn't.
it was the lingering on things
the way her neck strained too long,
in consideration of one thing,
in watching

something stuck--
growing in a blob on the back
of her neck.
something on which
she could never focus her eyes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

june 4, 1925.

"Treat it romantically if you will, be as formless as you please, disregard chronology if you desire, weaving your story backwards and forward, but however you do it, I am certain not only that you can write a beautiful book, but also one that will sell."

--Carl Van Vechten, in a letter to Langston Hughes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

words, words, words.

the thoughts work like writing in the dark, turning on the lights to realize the pen was never on, the words came out invisible. and it's up to you to pin them down again.

you don't know home like i do.

like having a favorite song to which you can always come back when you're tired of new inspiration.

i can dissect the song and learn how it works but i'll never know the why of words that rest inside, coolly aloof.

there are so many things to like; i'll like you and maybe the moon.

two-dimensional comic book windows.

2087 854 1.

cut out your mind and it splattered blood on my eyes the way rain throws itself onto my window, begging for my mercy.


a couch at the end of the day. swallow my limbs and steal my mind through maroon velvet cushion. wait for the world to stop moving before i begin. i'm on a movie screen, i'm on your movie screen. a sofa at night when no one's looking or considering anymore. sink into plush arms, lose your mind to its blind head. soft as the dry, dusty taste of a storm beginning in your mouth. comforting as the waves that pull you. you don't need to force, exert. you don't need to push. do not push, it comes naturally and perfectly. the stuffing is absorbed at the lightest touch. let it take over now.
gothic.
subconscious.
meditation.


now that we're not connected anymore, we meet through glass as if you are the prisoner and i am the memory coming to visit now and then to taunt you until your sentence ends. until my sentence ends, i think it through to the last curve of the last letter.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

current looooove.

T.S. Eliot -- "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

shakespearean slip.

from months and months ago.

1. Is it cute when guys kiss you on your forehead?it's like stepping out of a bathtub of rainbows.2. A big poofy dress or a short party dress?only if the short party dress is somewhat poofy.6. Are diamonds a girl's best friend?only if wack-wack is made out of diamonds.12. In your purse, what are your must haves?my barnes and noble planner, my notebooks, too much music to handle, my mobile phone, and probably lots of gunk.15. Do you text message a lot?only to one person. madame noaman disapproves of this. she sits behind me when we watch movies in class and eyes me because she's jealous.16. What would you do if you got pregnant?well, i'd start off with a lot of kegel exercises, eating a lot of tuna with jalepenos (which i guess i already do), and hire a good lawyer.17. What's your favorite color?i like all the colors, so i wrote a play about colorful dragons and magical kingdoms. that shit got mad performed.19. Did you ever cry during a romantic movie?only when i see leo start crying. that's depressing.21. Walmart or Target?target, for all my awkward flimsy smelly fashion needs22. Do you wear collared shirts?i like hiding in them.23. Do you like preppy boys?OMGHOT.24. Do you think lip gloss is the best!?am i that obvious!?!? well, actually, i think gay men are the absolute best!25. Do you own any big sunglasses?no, they detract from my big, sad eyes.26. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?a really long time, considering i have to accurately smother my luscious locks in sweet-smelling soapy goodness and then wash my blemished face with alcoholic substances.27. Do you like to wear band-aids?i like putting them all over myself, especially the intriguing glow-in-the-dark spongebob ones.28. Do you like skater boys?only if they're really, really emotional and wear vans sneakers.29. Do you often wish there was something you could change?no! everything is absolutely perfect in every possible way, because everything is apparently an enigma, anyway.33. Do you dress up for the holidays?yeah, i sport elaborate costumewear as well when necessary and flaunt my wild party side in sequens and stilletos.35. On a scale of 1-10 how much do guys confuse you?what happens when you realize you're just a nihilist, obsessiving over a new idea of aestheticism, and they're all really just... an enigma?? well, in that case, a three maybe.36. In the last 48 hours have you hung out with a guy?i think i only hung out with a guy in the last 48 hours, except for right now because he made me do this foolish survey thing instead. as my dad says, hgib, baby.37. Would you date a guy shorter than you?no, then i could never wear my sexy stilletos and short shorts and look so cute every day according to eye-numbing-optomotrists38. Do you like to hold hands?yeah, because they're twice the size of mine so i just end up walking bewildered and looking down from time to time to make sure i'm not just some small person who ended up on an island of really big giantpeople who measure land in units of glonglungs.39. What is the youngest you would date?leo, when he was eight. that's as low as i go.40. What is the oldest you would date?oscar wilde's dead, rotting decaying filthy disgusting homoerotic corpse.41. What do you notice when you first meet a guy?his eyeliner and skinny jeans.47. Did you ever spend all day/night getting pretty for a guy?i spend my whole life doing it. it's a fine art.48. On a scale from 1-10 how fun is shopping?shopping is like trying to take a picture of oneself, and then realizing that one looks exactly like leo. and i also tend to steal people's clothes so i don't really need to buy anything anymore.49. Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show?no, because i'm a futuristic american with a recording device that would be so handy if i watched television.50. Do you yell a lot?only at the most inappropriate times, such as screaming "dingfong" repeatedly in choir whenever there is a pause in the lesson.51. Do you wear sweatpants/pajamas to school/work?no, that's only allowed in my dojo.52. Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy?i don't really even know who i am so when i dress unlike myself, i'm dressing more and more like someone who may or may not be me, which may or may not be impressive.53. Do you write a lot of mushy love poems?yeah, in the fixed-form villanelle but usually free-verse. the boy provides the sonnet but they're not usually mushy enough.54. What makeup could you not live without?cover-up, obvi. for vampire scandals.55. Do you fall in love easily?not at all. but sometimes people just make it easy for me to do it.56. Do you have cramps?NO! WIN!57. Do you think you have the bestest friends ever?hahahahahaha no. not really. well...

why do i keep drawing these stupid flowers?



The fact that things were always just slightlyoff made me become more aware of little details, always searching for something slightly more accurate than everything else, and that's what began the mixing of the conscious world with my big, dreamy head. Perhaps I needed to be type-A, otherwise I would have gone off the deep end, since I couldn't find the boundaries.



Monday, November 2, 2009

more, unexpectedly.

"No great poet has ever been afraid of being himself."

"An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose."

"We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. ...We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves."

-Langston Hughes, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain"

don't look.

i never thought i could get into langston hughes, until...

Better.
Better in the quiet night
To sit and cry alone
Than rest my head on another's shoulder
After you have gone.

Better, in the brilliant day,
Filled with sun and noise,
To listen to no song at all
Than hear another voice.


Suicide's Note.
The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.


Ways.
A slash of the wrist,
A swallow of scalding acid,
The crash of a bullet through the brain--
And Death comes like a mother
To hold you in her arms.

- Langston Hughes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

the state of things.

When she got up that morning, it was no longer because of fear or threat. She was not worried about her robe, whether to wear the blue plush one or the simple yellow one. She could face a sun, twelve suns, a world of fire. There was no more loneliness because her heart was true and her head was right. Creation was pure, and she created thoughts of birds in blue skies. So she was solitary -- she left the house in a determined state, determined to live on. She knew what she wanted, and she wanted nothing. Her hands were cold and fumbled, but they were still perfect art, all hers to adore for once. Her mouth stretched out the word "amen" and it felt right to be alive and to know. The hurt, the pain, the loss all flipped over and she strangled them with significant force. She wanted to sink, but not into sadness; into peace with the world. It was alright, always had been, things just changed. She woke up to realize that she could never get a case of the yesterdays, that the reprise was the better version. She woke up to realize her love had died the day before.

transition.

Autumn trees, leak your leaves.
Quicken the equinox of knowing—
For something is growing
In the void where once my foot held firm—
Now my feet are chilled.
Rain golden teardrops down,
Litter a masterpiece of reds,
Could I but stick out my
Tongue to taste
Understanding and fate,
I would welcome the
Stripping of trees,
The disrobing of time.

All these images mingle – mindless
Is she who creates them,
Blames them,
Becomes them.

read this to your children.

there was a girl who could take off her head. when emotions overloaded between her ears she scooped it all up into a little ball in her brain and tossed it in the garbage. at first she didn't want anyone to know so she kept it from them and felt even more special because she had a secret. then one day she got lonely. she got lonelier and lonelier because everyone could cry but she didn't know how. she stopped removing her head because she wanted to fill it up with catastrophe but it wouldn't work. there were days that went by when she didn't know if she was happy or sad and her emotions began to dry up. one day, she went to a little white flower who say thinking by the lake. "little flower," asked she, "do you know what i am?" the flower responded with a little quiver but could not understand the girl so she walked away. then she went to a man on the street and asked him, "sir sire, do you know what i am?" the man stared for a moment at the slit in her neck and widened his blue-green eyes. a moment later he cried, "Epiphany!" and all the world went wild. for a time after that the world was in love with the girl, but "what happens after love?" she asked. the world had no response and seeing the matter helpless, left her to her sighs. that night she cried, and cried, and cried and felt the salty mess stick. "dear me," said she, and went back to her bed, "if this is all I have missed, I won't have it in my little world." and she quietly unplugged her eyes and removed again her head and drifted away to sleep.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

music for baby.

The father turns the key to the safety of quiet
He has installed for the house, and with a kiss
Consoles the birthing mother without riot
Of hospital or other strange abyss.
The window, not sense, will teach the child trees.
Storybooks will relate the warmth of June.
Her mindless teeth mush the easy peas,
Her mother munches a soft-sinking prune.

For she remembers when the days were crystal
She wooed this man who cried outside the bar.
Her life then fled as though – from a pistol.
Weeping, she strums her thin homemade guitar,
With eyes that never had time; never brooded,
But found the effortless path and concluded.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

new prose poem.

Before she was old enough to write, she taught herself to draw stars. Before she could discern, she drew houses on the backs of compact discs in permanent marker. Connecting the squares to the triangles, she taught herself the meaning of home. Before she could marry, she fell in love with her own script and practiced it nightly, stringing together phrases that just looked nice together. She found her mates in dusty books and carved their names into her palms with ink. Through ink, she taught herself honesty and became a mute. Through the window, she memorized the world. Then they took away her hands. And she became the grass.

Friday, October 16, 2009

things of today.

I compete with cacophony
for your attention.
I want to resemble this
sleek thin black pen.
How easily it
makes words and writes.

stumble.

“Put that into your brain when you think.”
--Professor Robertson. 16 October 2009.

the way they were.

What did the river do to you, she asked. He answered that it made him dark, dark with all the colors of his reflection. There were places to go always, but he never could stop wondering why his image had gone black, why all the colors met and liked each other and mixed and stayed that way. It made him so angry he remembered his flimsy notebook with the pages torn out. He opened it in front of her and wrote a lullaby. Write, she told him, do not compose. If not compose, he answered, then why use words? Words break, the way surfaces do, she explained. They break like oceans, like papers, like hands. Do not compose. Compose with your eyes and write your words to match your face with the river. Make them black and bright. I will play in them. Child, child, child, he managed in the February moonlight, you stun me.
Deep purple, you could be, then, she cried. His eyes wrote: Thick purple, do not turn from me. You may harm me, let it be so. Violet confusion of serenity and rage, swallow your flowers and paintings and shirts. Artifice as the moon you are, paint me a picture to identify me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

haven.

Burn the dust off these words
with your dark November voice.
Apply them to the sweet
season of my youth
until the purpose is born
between my ears.

i.

can't escape the two "who i am"s.

444.

It feels a shame to be Alive --
When Men so brave -- are dead --
One envies the Distinguished Dust --
Permitted -- such a Head --

The Stone -- that tells defending Whom
This Spartan put away
What little of Him we -- possessed
In Pawn for Liberty --

The price is great -- Sublimely paid --
Do we deserve -- a Thing --
That lives -- like Dollars -- must be piled
Before we may obtain?

Are we that wait -- sufficient worth --
That such Enormous Pearl
As life -- dissolved be -- for Us --
In Battle's -- horrid Bowl?

It may be -- a Renown to live --
I think the Man who die --
Those unsustained -- Saviors --
Present Divinity --

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

erasure.

I am
there
at night
Breaking off pieces of
protection
numbing
The disease
under
your beautiful lines.

I can't stop.

I was, the night of the accident,
Brutus.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

jottings-down.

if i could be human with you, i would.

Monday, October 5, 2009

1472.

"To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie--
True Poems flee--"

Emily Dickinson.

the rock outside cromwell.

all the coffee and this day are done.
what purpose have i reached?
names i won't remember,
faces that burn
cannot lift this stone,
cannot pry it loose.
where is the shelter i've lost?
where is the peace of mind
i've forgone?
if anything, where is the
packet of sugar
to add to this cup?

Monday, September 28, 2009

exercise.

"up"
He meets me easily--
simple, sweet day
begins.

"down"
Though dozing, you
only know
cold.

"reversed"
here's a sweet mistake--
blame the people
you make.

more...

Purpled by the color clear,
I snuffed the fire
of the drink of fear.

People cheat the things they love,
perhaps I love nonchalantly enough.

The poison peeps between her eyes.
Calling for quiet, she sits and cries.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

artist.

My mother spoke silent poems
in her office
when she wanted to create
a life for us.

2 truths 2 lies 2 made-up facts 12 random words.

Before I leave, erase this stain,
join the quintillion clouds in the sky,
I’ll thank my mother, who let me
live in Staten Island
‘til I was old enough to write,
to mismatch my clothes,
and who sent me off
to work the cog
and be a woman.
Before this wheel ends up a rock,
I can see how things will
happen before I begin.
Though my favorite color
is that of dust,
I must absolve myself before
I end up a beak-less balloon.
I paid a nickel at
the cinema today.
I whistle my pride
in this shack.
I’ll forget all these words
when I go,
but thirty percent of scholars
have already
forgotten how to read.

free-write.

Another orange day
is released from my hands;
the familiar and the
unfamiliar each
sift back into their worlds—
another orange sign
in my path,
colors mixed from
fury and energy,
or the ketchup in which
I told you your mother
must have bathed you.
I pull chilly sheets over me—
an orange head,
stuck
in my mind.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

i.

shot your head
beside the lamp

with my cold, steady
camera.

bungalow.

Could I but keep these little rooms,
adorn them forever with delicate furnishings,
hang the rest of my life on these walls,
and sit the rest of my days on these thick,
plaid chairs,
I could be happy.

Had I the time to fix
every broken frame, so that no more people would fall out,
the lifeless clock that has run out of time,
the flowers gently wilting,
enjoying their last,
I would fix all I could
and be happy.

Were I alone the solitary owner,
the solitary dreamer, and duster
and companion to these plush bedfellows,
I could plant my plastic flowers
throughout this den
and be happy.

But the regal dust on my security blanket
suffocates me--

These rooms of antiquated wood and lace
need no master,
and surely I will find
myself here again.

But the water in the little glass kettle
boils its simple hymn
and the tiny ticks of the round, white clock
propel me forward,
and I must go.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

out on my own.

had you told me
in Gotham
that these worlds don't collide

i would have been set
for the worst.

re-confirming my love for will.

"If this stuff is not, in truth, infinitely amusing, it still can generate chuckles after four hundred years, and it would have served to lighten the burden of an exceedingly long school day. But it is certainly not the glimpse of a lost vocation. Ben Jonson wrote scholarly footnotes to his Roman plays and his classicizing masques; Shakespeare laughed and scribbled obscenities."

excerpt from Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

don't get swine flu.

even though,

ERNZ0A (8:43:45 PM): it's kind of hot actually
ERNZ0A (8:43:48 PM): to be that untouchable

Monday, September 14, 2009

is it bad when...

when you become your own character?
when you can talk about yourself as a character?
...when you can write about yourself as one?

what are you then?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

ink.

Dunk me in ink
Watch me feel my way out
I drip and I sweat
And I’m covered
Inspiration chokes me
I need to leave—
We need to leave
But I can’t swim toward you,
I’m stuck
In ink.
I gasp for life
At the top of a well
I’m drenched in
Clear liquid
Now
I know what must be done.

sestina.

Captive

Something like life watches from the window,
analyzes this portrait of woman and man.
Touching the frame, his hair is a sunset of red
in what is left lingering of light.
She wraps around his tender throat a scarf,
and this is the lover’s triumph.

They’re lonely in a crowd of triumph
that sits outside the window.
He stands and hides inside his scarf;
this perfectly structured man—
or maybe it’s just the light
under which they both once read.

She stares and feels and knows the red
hair that takes her silly life captive, triumphs.
And now the heavy things are light
as they sit beside the curious window
that reveals the room of another man
in another plaid and perfumed scarf.

Her man sees the otherworldly scarf.
In it, no hint of red,
just a piece of fabric on another man
who is her eye’s triumph.
They consider the man in his window,
his face drifting from darkness to light.

She is not in favor of her little room’s light
that sleeps above the soft, calm scarf,
but she cannot leave the stubborn window
that distracts her, like a poem she read.
She knows she must stay, that the glass will triumph,
and she’ll fall back into the arms of her man.

She exists here, her breath is this man
whose foamy-white skin, and light
caramel eyes are her heart’s triumph.
She purchased that complex, knotted-up scarf
and cries out ink that is red,
two feet from the parted window.

Separating light from the red
in the scarf, of the man,
it is the window who triumphs.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

i'm not sure why.

"...she is in love with the skinny kid who sold her cigarettes at the 7-11,
and if the world had any compassion
it would let the two of them pass
a Marlboro Light back and forth
until their fingers eventually touched, their mouths
sucking and blowing.
If the world knew how
the light bulb loved the socket
then we would all be better off..."

excerpt from "Love," by Matthew Dickman.

reading.

I go through the pages of a life --
clean edges of blue, lined with words that
tremble under the reality
of the present,
the promise of my fingers
to lift them up, my voice to
breathe
their existence
into this life.

My hands grasp
the metal ring,
and all the writing now
is gone from the pages.

Catharsis.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

don't stop here.

"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labors to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."

"The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters is simplicity."

-Walt Whitman, Preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass

Brilliant. Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

tuna and onions.

Where am i in the schism that exists? The introspective torrent of a life of thought and passion clashes with the desire for a life of understanding, snug relation to my fellow humans, and, above all, unself-conscious connection to their words and ways. How do I live both lives? Must one be foregone? Who lives in this head that searches indecisively over my shoulders? Whose thoughts compose this body, forces breath to its core? When will my two selves coexist? When will I be definite?

i really like magritte.






inspired by french class.

Monday, August 31, 2009

synesthesia.

There are rainbows burning under this chandelier, playful as lemon, shouting through the evanescent smoke.
There are words that drip from cuts and clouds, sugared as roses, singing as they sweat from the earth.

quotes.

"[Most people] gaze at the world through the clear window-pane of language; poets are those strange, socially dysfunctional creatures who never cease to be fascinated by the minute warpings and convexities of the glass itself, its coolness to the forehead and slithery feel to the fingerpads."
-Terry Eagleton

"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with words."
-W.H. Auden

and, of course

"All bad art springs from genuine feeling."
-Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"net" poem.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to
remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the
star to every wandering bark,
Whose Worth's unknown, although his height be taken
.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his
brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved
.

inspired by http://www.conjunctions.com/webcon/bervin.htm.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

man, i love college.

and reading ahead on the poetry class syllabus.


That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

--sonnet 73

Thursday, August 13, 2009

best day ever?

soooo this was sitting on my doorstep yesterday, in some rain-drenched cardboard:


definitely the best going-away present i've ever bought myself. i'm taking it with me everywhere. everywhere.

actual summer reading is done.

"She was history knocking on the door of the heart, and when she came knocking, her message often was opaque, symbolic, evocative. I was left to make of it what I could, but I could not escape the intrusion."

"Don't get too attached to places in life, Peter."

"You see, my dear, the poet has taught us that the abyss is the gateway to man's imagination, and it's imagination which gives us power over ourselves."

"I believe that Saroyan, like all Armenians, was a natural utopian. We have a dream instead of a country. Because territory has eluded us, we have a freedom to invent that most people don't. The more our geography shrinks, the more our imaginations expand, the more we're like owls flying in the dark."

"Because totalitarian regimes always find poets the most dangerous of people, they are often the first to be executed."

"True forgiveness can be granted only after the perpetrator has sought and earned it through confession, repentance, and restitution. If the perpetrator government stalks the victims in an effort to prevent the victims' acts of commemoration, there can be no full healing. The victim culture is held hostage in a wilderness of grief and rage, and is shut out of its moral place in history."

"Numbing, Robert Lifton suggests, is a process by which the self distances itself from traumatic experience. It is not repression, which excludes and denies the past, because in numbing one still has the potential for insight and some reclamation of the nightmarish past."

"But the old mind would not smolder in ashes. Once on safe ground, the old mind would reemerge with new vitality."

Black Dog of Fate, Peter Balakian

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ode to bagelboy.

Stomach to stomach, heart to heart
Breathe in my passion
Trying to live, breathe, feel at once
Wonder if you can see where my eyes are
Stalking the clock, not looking down
I smell of your hands
I shudder and look down
Where is my heart at?

Friday, August 7, 2009

summer love.

"There's no art
To find the mind's construction in the face."
-Duncan, I.iv

"Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see."
-Macbeth, I.iv

"False face must hide what the false heart doth
know."
-Macbeth, I.vii

"O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!"
-Macbeth, III.ii

"We are yet but young in deed."
-Macbeth, III.iv

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
-Macbeth, V.v

--MACBETH

Saturday, August 1, 2009

so long ago.

The bright tin cover punctured, and offwhite goop gushed forth. Surprisingly, the odor was not unpleasant. I'd become used to the bittersweet taste of natural yogurt, so I actually found the whole thing undaunting, except for the fact that the chunky smooth dairy juice stuck to my hands and to the grocery store floor. She cleaned it up herself. She was a good sport, even though she knew it was my clumsy hand that tipped the little carton over the belt, causing it to splatter onto the ground. Just one of the exciting perks of being a cashier.

time capsule.

I don't know what's been lingering up here for all these years, besides our memories, of course. The pink flowered quilt is still the same, with the comforting lumpy patches of soft cotton. The select stuffed animals have lasted the true test of time, not having been donated or handed down. Everything has happened as we said it would. I'm here now, ready to tear into the bright red wrapping paper in which we strategically snuggled the box containing our deep secrets and creations. Yes, everything is in place now, and I eagerly eye the parcel, not knowing how to start. I've waited for years, always peeking, always tempting myself to peer inside the little compartments, but never actually doing it. We were so young when we put it together. It was in your room, and then I transported it safely onto my old bunkbed in the storage room. I've always had the nervous thought that some strange person might impinge upon our creation, that unknowing eyes would prematurely reveal our secrets. We were inventors then. We were true artists, each putting the important pieces of ourselves into one creation. The date so neatly printed in our best lettering once seemed so foreign, as if we never actually knew it would come. The days have been passing so quickly though, and the mysterious numbers crawling past me finally have significance. I've caught up to them. The green card declares: "Open on 1/16/09 - To future Us - I love you - Good luck." Yes, everything is still, surprisingly, the same, although the hands that reach for it now have been broken in with experience. The box sits inside the only home it knows -- the red wrapping paper, with the green pieces of construction paper taped to the sides as compartments, the crumpled purple ribbon around it that has been flattened from the long anticipation, the two still sparkling bows, and the green construction paper card. Everything is in place except, of course, You.

--

"Do you think we'll still be friends in four years?" You asked as we sat on your carpet, throwing all our precious memories together. Writings, pictures, drawings, letters, anything we could find.
I had what I now call trust issues, and you were the best friend I had at the time. We were underdogs, but we had each other.
So I answered, "of course."
And it was easy for a while, communicating as frequently as possible, going places together. But eventually, the hallway greeting transformed into a smile, a smile into a nod, and a nod into some indistinguishable glance that was barely acknowledged. You'd gotten your nose pierced, I had found out. I had been with my share of silly boys. You had the same group of friends, always growing. I had myself, and I was happiest that way. I often wonder if you remember anything about that day, those days, this day. But it doesn't matter now. I tried to have someone else take your place today, because this is still weird for me. What if I've been expecting too much? What if there are no secrets of the beginnings of an artist or philosopher? Yes, those are lofty expectations, but it's been so long that all I can do is make my own fancies about what this box may contain. Fancy... that was our word. And so was "awkward." And we were awkward, pretending we were fancy. I saw You today, but I still wonder if you saw me, too. You were laughing. Maybe I just dreamed you up. Anyway, I think I'll do this now.

--

The paper ripped, and the crackling noise tore the space between fancy and reality. I wanted to cry to feel something again, but, simultaneously, I made myself sick in the stomach and shivering in the hands from anticipation. I carefully released the letter, and all its secrets. It was written on floral stationary, addressed to "Your one and only Me." The language was simple, the simplest I'd seen, and yet it moved me more than any bombastic prose could. You wrote things like, "I'm so glad we're friends," "God, I don't know where I'd be without you," "You've changed me as a person so much," "You are such a great writer, singer, and one of the best friends anyone could have." But the part that really struck me was where you wrote, "I want you to know that I'm always here for you. I love you. You’re an amazing person. Don't ever change!" And the last part:
"I couldn't ever imagine life without you. When we get old and have children, I hope that we will still be as close as we are now. There are no words to describe how much our friendship means to me! I'll always be here for you."
(Was it all true? Did you really change, could I have really meant all those things to you? I suddenly find it difficult to imagine your inability to express your love in words. Is it because it didn't exist, or was your sentiment merely a stale form of expression used in place of accurately describing some higher emotion?)
But now, in your place, I'll read the message I wrote to you, lost eternally in my hands only.

--

I remember my fourteen-year-old lips pressing against the back of that sweet little envelope, then my attempt to draw those lips and write "sealed with a kiss." I remember. Mine was more difficult to open, the glue stuck more firmly, perhaps because it knew it was not meant to be touched again by my fingers.
The first thing I noticed is that we both used the word "journey." When did our journey end? Now I remember all the things I ever wanted to say to you, written down and sealed. I underscored the "always" when I told you "I'll always be here for You." Yes, that guy is still on that show. He's not as attractive, and he's not married. No, our fantasy games never caught on, yes, I found some good boys, you've found one, and no, I can't say we're still friends. I told you to change for the better. If only you had read my letter years ago. I listed my promises, and when I shifted to cursive, I knew I was winding down my final thoughts, so I ended by telling you, "This time capsule is a promise. You have my four-year promise. You have my forever promise that I'll still be here for you." Well, I'm still here. It's just a little more silent on your end.

--

At first, I thought you looked the same in those pictures as you do now, but, upon reflection, I realize that you've grown so much. You're not that little girl anymore. I'll admit you're much prettier now. I still listen to the same music; according to the CD we made and stuffed into the back compartment. I wonder if you're predictable now, also.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

relinquishing my lameness.


buy_me_this.
i_love_blink_almost_enough_to_be_this_tacky. =[ =[

summer reading for myself.


uhh, i'll get there.

about to pour forth.

unfortunately, the full text of oscar wilde's De Profundis, the current love of my literary life, is not available online. a good chunk of it can be found here (it actually comes in at page 46 of the printed version, which is appalling, as wilde would have deemed it). though i underlined half the letter to save quotes from it, it would be pointless to type them here, so i'll share the most thrilling ones:

"One half-hour with Art was always more to me than a cycle with you. Nothing really at any period of my life was ever of the smallest importance to me compared with Art. But in the case of an artist, weakness is nothing less than a crime, when it is a weakness that paralyses the imagination."

"Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation, and conversation must have a common basis, and between two people of widely different culture the only common basis possible is the lowest level. The trivial in thought and action is charming."

"I reply by a letter of fantastic literary conceits... The letter is like a passage from one of Shakespeare's sonnets, transposed to a minor key."

"You did not realise that there is no room for both passions in the same soul. They cannot live together in that fair carven house. Love is fed by the imagination, by which we become wiser than we know, better than we feel, nobler than we are: by which we can see Life as a whole: by which, and by which alone, we can understand others in their real as in their ideal relations. Only what is fine, and finely conceived, can feed Love. But anything will feed Hate."

"The fatal errors of life are not due to man's being unreasonable: an unreasonable moment may be one's finest moment. They are due to man's being logical. There is a wide difference."

"Don't you realise now that you should have seen it, and come forward and said that you would not have my Art, at any rate, ruined for your sake? You knew what my Art was to me, the great primal note by which I had revealed, first myself to myself, and then myself to the world; the real passion of my life; the love to which all other loves were as marsh-water to red wine, or the glow-worm of the marsh to the magic mirror of the moon. Don't you understand now that your lack of imagination was the one really fatal defect of your character?"

"[Love's] joy, like the joy of the intellect, is to feel itself alive. The aim of Love is to love: no more, and no less."

"The great things of life are what they seem to be, and for that reason, ...are often difficult to interpret. But the little things of life are symbols. We receive our bitter lessons most easily through them."

"Sorrow is the most sensitive of all created things. There is nothing that stirs in the whole world of thought or motion to which Sorrow does not vibrate in terrible if exquisite pulsation. The thin beaten-out leaf of tremulous gold that chronicles the direction of forces that the eye cannot see is in comparison coarse. It is a wound that bleeds when any hand but that of Love touches it and even then must bleed again, though not for pain."

"Literature is, and has been, and always will remain the supreme representative art."

"There is a tact in love, and a tact in literature; you were not sensitive to either."

"Nobody, great or small, can be ruined except by his own hand."

"I made art a philosophy, and philosophy an art: I altered the minds of men and the colours of things: there was nothing I said or did that did not make people wonder: I took the drama, the most objective form known to art, and made it as personal a mode of expression as the lyric or the sonnet, at the same time that I widened its range and enriched its characterisation: drama, novel, poem in rhyme, poem in prose, subtle or fantastic dialogue, whatever I touched I made beautiful in a new mode of beauty: to truth itself I gave what is false no less than what is true as its rightful province, and showed that the false and the true are merely forms of intellectual existence. I treated Art as the supreme reality, and life as a mere mode of fiction: I awoke the imagination of my century so that it created myth and legend around me: I summed up all systems in a phrase, and all existence in an epigram."

"If I may not write beautiful books, I may at least read beautiful books, and what joy can be greater?"

"The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at. My gods dwell in temples made with hands; and within the circle of actual experience is my creed made perfect and complete: too complete, it may be, for like many or all of those who have placed their heaven in this earth, I have found in it not merely the beauty of heaven, but the horror of hell also. When I think about religion at all, I feel as if I would like to found an order for those who CANNOT believe: the Confraternity of the Faithless, one might call it, where on an altar, on which no taper burned, a priest, in whose heart peace had no dwelling, might celebrate with unblessed bread and a chalice empty of wine. Every thing to be true must become a religion."

"If I can produce even one more beautiful work of art I shall be able to rob malice of its venom, and cowardice of its sneer, and to pluck out the tongue of scorn by the roots... The only people I would care to be with now are artists and people who have suffered: those who know what Beauty is, and those who know what Sorrow is: nobody else interests me."

AND OH MY GOD SO MUCH MORE... that was already way too much.. oops.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the most charming men in my life.


oscar. francis. william. ernest. james.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

mccaffrey's values every day.

i think i like today, i think it's good.
-AvA

Saturday, July 25, 2009

from a ship.

I'm thinking about things the way I would like to see them. A cage of empty subconscious rattles and rolls before me, luring me to enter. So I lean back into this cushy seat that steals my head and forces its warm breath along my spine and into my thoughts. And suddenly there isn't anything I'd rather do more. I'm leaning against a stone window through which no one can see me. Eyeing the shapes and figures around me, I construct them into words and passages. Am I pathetic because the waves dash around me and I want to be alone with them, to breathe them in as religion, praying to my own senses? This is a world as I see it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

another way.

I'm in a stationary vehicle, my love and I. My soul and head are here. Suddenly I feel the urge to live as something so overwhelmingly forceful. I consider all the books I've yet to read, all the important people I've yet to meet. I have hoped and feared of finding myself in this position, of lingering in one spot too long with my own thoughts, my own soul, of falling in love so deeply with my heart that I feel so one-sided. And yet, I don't want to open the door, don't want to whisper the fatal word I know I must utter. He stares at me and we are both paralyzed in a heavy, sultry nothingness of time. My throat has been caught in my breath and I feel as if I should never speak again. Unlatching the door, I step back onto the earth, all at once realizing that I must say something another way. Inspiration expands in my lungs but does not permeate my oxygen when I attempt to say goodbye. I know I must tell you, tell you, some other way, but not here, not on this day caught between two schisms.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

i can't believe i just read it.

"Broaden your minds, my dears, and allow your eyes to see past the mundane!"
-HP3

"The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing."
-HP5

"Never trust anything that can think for itself, if you can't see where it keeps its brain."
-HPsomething

transformation of bernard.

"Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and fall and rise again. I am a poet, yes. Surely I am a great poet. Boats and youth passing and distant trees, 'the falling fountains of the pendent trees.' I see it all. I feel it all. I am inspired. My eyes fill with tears. Yet even as I feel this, I lash my frenzy higher and higher. It foams. It becomes artificial, insincere. Words and words and words, how they gallop -- how they lash their long manes and tails, but for some fault in me I cannot give myself to their backs; I cannot fly with them, scattering women and string bags. There is some flaw in me -- some fatal hesitancy, which, if I pass it over, turns to foam and falsity. Yet it is incredible that I should not be a great poet. What did I write last night if it was not poetry? Am I too fast, too facile? I do not know. I do not know myself sometimes, or how to measure and name and count out the grains that make me what I am."
p. 83

"My book, stuffed with phrases, has dropped to the floor. It lies under the table to be swept up by the charwoman when she comes wearily at dawn looking for scraps of paper, old tram tickets, and here and there a note screwed into a ball and left with the litter to be swept up. What is the phrase for the moon? And the phrase for love? By what name are we to call death? I do not know. I need a little language such as lovers use, words of one syllable such as children speak when they come into the room and find their mother sewing and pick up some scrap of bright wool, a feather, or a shred of chintz. I need a howl; a cry. When the storm crosses the marsh and sweeps over me where I lie in the ditch unregarded I need no words. Nothing neat. Nothing that comes down with all its feet on the floor. None of those resonances and lovely echoes that break and chime from nerve to nerve in our breasts making wild music, false phrases. I have done with phrases."
p. 295

-Virginia Woolf, The Waves

two more thoughts.

There was always yesterday, too, and that is what creeps up on me when I think about tomorrow. It could have been this uneasiness that prevented me from scratching my pencil into the earth and publishing something... groundbreaking.
If one thinks he or she is great, that is fine and great for oneself, yet if one shares that thought with the world without sufficient proof, one will end up shouting obscenities on one's bed in the dark at two in the morning, hoping the stars will hear.

inspired by The Waves.

Early Morning.
The sun now rises later, and somewhere in the cloudy mass, is still preparing for his daily journey. He is perhaps too burdened by having seen all to come out today. This is the hour when periwinkle and rose whisper their last goodbyes, and their interlocking fingers pull away to let emerge the clarity of daybreak. The pink fades white, an evanescent cloud-shifter, and disappears for now, awaiting somewhere the evening embrace with her blue lover atop the clouds at sunset. The glory bird chirps alone to her, saying "adieu." His comrades leap from branch to branch, one by one, each scattering his appearance among empty tree branches of hideaway. Lady birds join his song in dainty harmony, lamenting the hidden sun this morning. A strip of golden sets on the weary uppermost branch tips as the sun finally makes his appearance. They bathe in his warm embrace, bow to him, and extend their fingertips for a dance with his highness. The waters are still now, except for an almost imperceptible tremble with the slight breezes. The things it has toppled in the night still remain in a state of upside-down confusion, but the wind feels no regret. The pond's calm being serves as a reflection pool, a looking-glass for the naked trees, to admire their appearances in the first hints of light. A lonely streetcar passes down a road of blue, its presence hushed and stilled by the nature around it. The simple bird calls again in alarm, for he discovers his morning has broken.

Afternoon.
The sun is high in the sky now. He yawns and stretches his gilded rays, pushing into the faces of houses and causing passers-by to squint. Cars pass two by two, drifting casually to their destinations. The lampposts droop their heads in indifference, enjoying their dreaming hours. Branches converge and part, converge and part, bobbing together in rhythm with the gentle stirring breeze. This is the hour of blue; his plentiful body stretches hue and shade widely over squinters and streetcars. This is the time of periwinkle-white, golden blocks of glare supporting and contrasting the embrace of pale azure. Bits of star bathe on their bellies on windows and other glistening surfaces, having fallen from heaven to celebrate this joyous hour. The waters giggle directly under the sun's glare, push each other around and create undulations of sweet content. The people are scarce, they remain in buildings or in moving vehicles, perhaps playing or working or singing sweet songs to one another. They cannot, then, feel the tingle of warmth and breeze, smell the perfume of sunlight that makes drowsy tree and petal. But it is consuming and they feel it through brick walls.

Late Afternoon.
The sun has pulled his lacy blankets of cloud over him and has submitted to early drowsiness, leaving a legacy of soft hues on the last few tree leaves. The waters rock themselves to the wind's song, making baby waves and reflecting the dangling trunks with nervous, shaking hands. A definite coolness has arrived here, and dries the drooping, gaunt fingers of the treetops. They break off in millions, as dancers in still-life, slender branches dripping down over the water, while the tall, fine trunks stretch upward into the sun's secret hideaway. Unfaithful he is today, in a most dreary, crisp day of grey-blue smudges of sky caressing the coarse, sinewy heads of the trees. A silence ensues, a reminiscent muteness of ended travels and day's play. The simple cars make their rounds on smooth, grey road. Leaves and lights droop and tremble, for they have no purpose for now. Brownish leaf-piles rustle and break apart and transform into a couple of baby deer who are merely caught behind a fence. The sun, the stillness, leaf and sky, all are caught somewhere in late afternoon lethargy.

Night.
The sun has set definitively. All that is left in the sky is a patch of amalgamated blues snug between the tree branches, as if leaning closely into them to hear their analysis of the day's affairs. All is secret now. All is a dwindling cave of deep hue, all melting into the matter next to and surrounding it. A pale strip of yellow road is the only distinct form. It stretches a horizontal arm eternally into the trees from opposite ends, as if also digging for their secrets in the night air. Now and then a twinkling streetlight appears behind immense gathered trunks, gathering all the eye's attention, a brilliant contrast to the thickening void of black vertical lines. It is apparent only at the proper angle, at the proper head's turn, apparent only to the seeker who wishes to seek more, to find something vivid in this deep shade of sleeping forest. It lights the way for the street-car, which makes its last final push down the road, maybe home, maybe away. He is ubiquitous at this hour, obvious and now all are aware of his passing. He is out of sight, and the waters wave him goodbye, lit by the edges of sandy beige ground that illuminates in the light of the streetlamp. They ripple goodbye, and die into the night as the lamp flickers out.

monologue inspired by lucky.

Though Oscar Wilde once said that it is perhaps better not to put one’s worship into words, when one worships words, it’s easiest to worship with them. It’s a fine art, fine, fine art to speak without looking, to observe without understanding. Maybe I’m too too good an artist. And the erratic consciousness that accumulates is my shrine of seemingly nothingness but makes a little bit of sense when I think about it because I will remember the small things, the little things such as names and things, sounds, winks, colors, notes, letters, hair, structure, smell, scent, shapes, pattern, shiny things, and not shiny things and the little things may one day be big things and maybe I’ll collect them and try to remember everything I’ve remembered and worship them with words and phrases and sentences and punctuation marks that make pretty little lines of understanding and consciousness. Maybe we’re superficial because our thoughts are too big to be expressed correctly or maybe we’re all artists and we’re undercover in this world because we’re here to make something bigger and more wonderful from it. But maybe we just speak and talk and make lots of sentences a lot that may or may not make sense. But when they do, it’s poetry. When they don’t, sometimes it’s still poetry. And our words are bundled in time but we don’t know where time is or what it is or where it goes, but that it goes and we place our blame on it. But maybe it’s hidden from us and we make numbers because we are frustrated because we don’t know what they mean so we make lots more of them and then numbers and numbers but we still don’t feel closer to anything but science and science may or may not be true. Words are real, and time may or may not be. We can go on a quest for it. Perhaps it is the forbidden fruit but we should destroy all the numbers and try to feel it instead. Worship the world. And make words and phrases and sentences and punctuation marks and make everything we say pretty or not pretty and poetry or not poetry. Concrete things keep us up at night: the dripping sink or nose or the monster, but the feelings and things we say and write keep us up always and conscious of things always and we feel and feel until we feel no more and we die but everyone else feels for us. The modern artist sees imperfection and beats it and attacks it in abstract ways to make it beautiful or understandable, with the first impulse to destroy and the second to re-create. This may or may not be true. It gets old, but we are old souls.

inspiration.

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."

-William Wordsworth, "I wandered lonely as a cloud"

monday.

this always ending feeling
feels to me a beginning
all fresh-faced students
scurry to their sheltered worlds
and say "not on monday"
shunning the days that keep them alive
but we're alive, and at the beginning
we are the stars flying to the earth
but feel like asteroids; plowing and burdened
and so we begin

poking fun at ap lit.

"on observing the carrot" - march 1, 2009

she injects half the carotene into her face
and destroys it by crunch and peculiar space
cold and tangible rays, a small sun 'twixt her fingers
imperceptible veins, those on which her eye lingers
grow unsettling edges dark into the air --
orange, black, then gone, and he falls in despair

barnes.

In any life, there will be a lull -- a time for action without meaning. HOW UNINSPIRED WE ARE TODAY.

unspoken.

unlikely thing, the sun.
for though he calls and bothers,
the day is almost done.

fear.

like a string of floss
that pulls infection from the source
do my words enter new
atmosphere
dangling together like
an ornament of thought
to decorate the grim room
they want to hear my
diseases, hopes, virtues
well, it's new
but it's their world

dual imagery.

he's hooked up to a beeping device.
the wrong finger flick
and he's out of life.
one slow reaction is all it takes
to end the gamer's game.
the lines flash in time,
his breath pulses with the
beeping booms.
high blows to her ears.
his coma seems endless until --
his stirring fingers race for life,
tapping out the quickening seconds
hot breath, be still, she pleads.
demented thumbs pulse,
press, push, play, plead
oh, give me life, he cries at once --
then
no breath
no words break the air
a streaming line, endless ringing,
symphony of defeat
and the game stops.

**Dedicated to the inspiring boy who sat in front of me in study hall and played video games all period.**

little thoughts.

You're a comfort in the strongest sense.
I hold you in and smell safety.
He was right in a way, though I take offense.
I was crazy for what I did.
In your scent are houses and chairs
and bright yellow kitchens.

girl in french class.

She was a bore, an absolutely vapid character, but when she spoke french, she became beautiful, delightfully invigorating, intimidatingly distant. Her words meant merely nothing, but they would plie and prance in a string, as a gauze mobile over a child's cradle. I'd stretch the time, embrace her inflections in my amorous ears, a secret affair of sounds and senses. Perhaps this is because she would then silence herself and retreat back into her pale, stained wooden desk with the metal legs and yawn. The dainty rush of air that escaped her lungs sunk densely down around her, irritating my now offended ears. It meant nothing to her, she didn't want any of these subordinates to hold her as highly as she held herself. This cool feast of air led to a fit of coughing but she'd never exit the room to soothe her throat. On she continued in spondaic rhythm of illness, patiently waiting for a queu to leave. I wanted more, wanted it as a sickness, needed her to stop this fit at once and bring back melodious vocals. A word of English breaks the curse and I am immediately out of love with her. I no longer feel the twinge of sensation that breaks over my skin when she utters the romance language. Opening her mouth as if to speak once more, she feels my presence and retreats from the phrase-maker. I am angry with her and my passion reddens, then dies.

summer goal?

create worlds and words -- connect them and rip them apart again until you find yourself in the schism that remains.

pictoblog.

she scopes the sky
with little eyes,
wanting her silly surprise.

refresher.

silver-laced moon,
smiling secrets onto the darkened faces
of mothers
crystal sun, inescapable

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

what happies me

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd."

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

"Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is the madman; the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear!"

"No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed."

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream."

-A Midsummer Night's Dream

Monday, June 22, 2009

more from ayn

"XI.

I am. I think. I will.

My hands . . . My spirit . . . My sky . . . My forest . . . This earth of mine . . . .

What must I say besides? These are the words. This is the answer.

I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.

It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears gives its song to the world. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgment of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect.

Many words have been granted me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy: 'I will it!'

Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the loadstone which point the way. They point on in but one direction. They point to me.

I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it.
My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.

Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars.

I am a man. This miracle of me is mine to own and keep, and mine to guard, and mine to use, and mine to kneel before!

I do not surrender my treasures, nor do I share them. The fortune of my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.

I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others. I covet no man's soul, nor is my soul theirs to covet.

I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grant my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish to claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned.

I shall choose friends among men, but neither slaves nor masters. And I shall choose only such as please me, and them I shall love and respect, but neither command nor obey. And we shall join our hands when we wish, or walk alone when we so desire. For in the temple of his spirit, each man is alone. Let each man keep his temple untouched and undefiled. Then let him join hands with others if he wishes, but only beyond his holy threshold.

For the word 'We' must never be spoken, save by one's choice and as a second thought. This word must never be placed first within man's soul, else it becomes a monster, the root of all the evils on earth, the root of man's torture by men, and an unspeakable lie.

The word 'We' is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages.

What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree, and to obey?

But I am done with this creed of corruption.

I am done with the monster of 'We,' the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame.

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.

This god, this one word:

'I.'"

-Anthem, Ayn Rand