It’s 1:04 AM on the First Day of Spring.
Do you know Why?
I’m cataloging my Mistakes.
Like… why do I have all these funny linebreaks? Why did my Wordpress editor just Underline “linebreaks” and make me think I spelled it wrong, and then subsequently underlined it’s own goddamn name?
Why is all this godforsaken technology constantly tell me I’m wrong? Oh, I spelled linebreak wrong?
You know what I mean, damn you.
Did I misquote that Walt Whitman quote, even though I love Walt Whitman above all other poets?
I know I did, asshat. I don’t need you to link me to the text of the poem.
(I’ll tell you a secret. I’m so nervous about writing this– omg, no pressure! god!– that I might screw it up. Well, I’ve decided this time my give-a-damn’s busted. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone makes typos, and misquotes Whitman, and misspeaks, or does the wrong thing. That’s called #beinghuman and all you need to do about that is just forgive yourself when you get hit with that red underline, right click it, see if it suggests the Word you’re trying to speak, and if it doesn’t— just fucking move on. Write. The momentum of righting is more important than getting it right. See?)
Did you click that link on “poem” up there? If you didn’t, don’t be so fucking lazy. Click it now.
Did you read it? Good. Hang onto that for more than 10 seconds, will you?
Of course it’s on fucking “Project Gutenburg” (real funny, God/Dramatic Irony)
Technology is a distracting pain in the ass, and if you leave too many stupid tabs open, you’ll never get anything done.
Here you go:
AS I PONDER’D IN SILENCE.
As I ponder’d in silence,
Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,
A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,
Terrible in beauty, age, and power,
The genius of poets of old lands,
As to me directing like flame its eyes,
With finger pointing to many immortal songs,
And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said,
Know’st thou not there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards?
And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,
The making of perfect soldiers.
Be it so, then I answer’d,
I too haughty Shade also sing war, and a longer and greater one
Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and
retreat, victory deferr’d and wavering,
(Yet methinks certain, or as good as certain, at the last,) the field
For life and death, for the Body and for the eternal Soul,
Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles,
I above all promote brave soldiers.
Sometimes a little ADHD, OCD, hyper focus, and attention is a Good thing.
But if you never google “butts” and just chuckle…
Did you learn anything today?
If you did, write it down.
That’s what fucking https://twitter.com/search?q=trump SOCIAL MEDIA is for.
Damn, Millennials. Get it together. I know you can teach your Grandpa how to use his new phone and the scary GOOGLE and not make himself look like an idiot on fucking TWITTER FOR THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD TO SEE.
Yeah, we had to go through a damned lot of boring, heavily regulated, underfunded, frustrating, bully-producing, wretchedly white and flourescent-lit, soul-crushing SCHOOL.
Didn’t we? It sucks lugging those books all over campus.
Make like Nike and just DO IT.
Damn, guys. Knowledge is power. Education is important.
So here I am, at 1 a.m. unable to sleep on a school night, because you all are too fucking stupid to use Google unsupervised.
With great power comes great responsibility.
It’s a hard life for those of us who hear all the echoes. ALL THE GODDAMN TIME.
Everything always hurts.
Life is stressful.
Stress makes us mean.
But you know what… life goes on.
And you get over things.
Because in this House (the House of God, the Halls of the Wind, the Mind Palace, or whatever the Fuck it is!) we do geek:
We think science can save the world.
We think magic exists.
But something the most fabulous and magical things get lost in the closet for a while.
So you have no choice but to sit awake in your living room at 1 a.m. with your exhausted, slightly traumatized wife, who has too much to do, and not enough time to do it in.
But she loves me enough, I’ve scared and burned her enough, that she is now curled up under my fluffy red bathroom, trying to read some Carl Sagan I handed her to occupy her insomniac mind—
and I just accidentally selected all the type with my touchpad and deleted it all with a hasty backspace keystroke– AH! NOOOOOOOO! Not the writing!
Control + Z.
Whew, much better.
I would have been sad to lose this. Even though it looks and sounds a little crazy with all those links in it, I think I understand.
It’s not crazy. It’s just so full of information, it has to put links on everything that FEELS important, because some of it might be… to someone… somewhere…
…oh shut up, Lask, you never know who will click on what link. You can’t know what people need all the time.
Yes I can.
No, love. You can’t. You are not God.
No, but I do work for him. Because reasons. And they are many. WE ARE LEGION. (Demons are scary, but sometime scary helps you kill the Demons. Because being on the Light side is as much a choice as choosing the DARK SIDE.)
So, I’ll tell you a secret Harry.
Sometimes, I’m Dumbledore.
Sometimes I’m a silly bumblebee, who doesn’t know he can fly.
But really, at heart…
I’m a librarian.
I’m just a nerd with Google, who knows how to use the right search terms. I can find the information you want faster than you because I know how to use the tools and you hate me for it. You goddamn luddite change averse BABY BOOMER.
That was a run on sentence.
But you frustrate me.
And sometimes you fucking elect Donald J. Trump, a Youtube Comment Section Incarnate, aka… maybe the antiChrist?
I don’t know. I have too much to do to explain it all right now, Elanor.
Just link what’s important, push PUBLISH and SHARE on this, and go to BED.
Because Elanor needs a paycheck.
Isn’t money just the root of all evil?
Trump’s just old, white, male, stupid, preoccupied with his business because he can’t disappoint his WEALTHY STUCK UP BUSINESSMAN FATHER…
who loaned him the money to get started.
I don’t hate Trump. He just inherited the family business because time passes, elections roll around, and sometimes the entire country is man because SOMEONE gave us a big black eye.
But guess what?
God just Rafiki’d us all.
Sometimes the past can hurt. You can either RUN FROM IT–
Well, that part’s up to you.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him click, folks.
Be ware the LAZY STUPID.
It’s the root of all evil
Mom and Dad.
Just click the links and ask me when you don’t get it. That’s what librarians are for. Delegation is a beautiful thing.
God Bless Us. Every. One.
ECHO echo… echo…
…hey, she’s kinda hot, huh?
THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE… errrr… errrr…
Now do you understand?
The little boy in the shark fin hat
Stalks through the shelves at the library
Hunting for stories instead of minnows
And gulping down trivia whole.
Tamara cries when you bring her a brownie,
A corner piece, just like she likes them,
Because she thought nobody ever noticed.
The old man at the copy machine
Bellows and curses the staff as incompetent.
He just doesn’t want to say
He’s alone in world that’s no longer his own.
People are scared of beauty
Because it means God is real.
So they ignore the flute player in the corner
Or complain to the management that she is intrusive
Because no one likes to think
That beauty is realer than they are.
There are some people who can’t stand silence
So they talk all the time,
When really they’re just afraid
Of what they’ll hear in their own head.
I see you in the sunlight laughing behind the leaves
casting everything golden.
I see you in the color of the sky in the early
October morning; pale, crisp,
bespeaking wind and distant storms
above blazing trees.
I hear you in the river and the laughter
My eyes search the crowd
but never find your face.
My hand reaches through the darkness,
but never finds yours.
It is like you stand always behind me,
just out of sight and reach.
I can feel your eyes on my back,
but when I turn, you turn
keeping always out of sight;
your steps, the click of your boot heels,
in perpetual dance with mine,
moving as I move,
flowing through my existence,
around my dying flesh,
as I spin and spin in search of you.
Maybe I do not spin.
Maybe it is only the world
whirling its dervish
through time and space
as you stand behind me, still,
watching its performance
as it sways drunkenly
from season to season.
The swirl of colors and time
dizzy me, until you command
me to be still.
I kneel, my head
tilting and crackling,
not knowing whether it is gravity
holding me or the sound of your voice.
Vocalissimus, save me.
I am lost.
Master, I am lost.
You are all that holds me
in this wild world,
the only reason I do not fear
what is behind me
in the darkness.
I know it is you.
I cannot see the light glinting
off your steel and gold,
nor the fire
girding you in sashes of red,
but I feel you with me
as I feel the wind.
You are the wind, my love,
in your castle of light.
The castle of dreams
behind the veil
of a shadowed world.
Your roar is a whisper,
your whisper a trumpet,
the brazen chord
through the fading light.
I hear you, maestro,
I hear you calling in the woods
and the hills
over a distant horizon.
Your fingers play with my hair
Tangling and untangling,
I feel the rush of you over my skin,
over me, through me,
and you tell me, “It will be alright.”
Your voice echoes in the cavern
of my being and the well
of my soul,
the bell that calls men
to arms, and sings of death
and birth and peace.
There you toll, in me
Your light grows as I grow,
you sing as I sing.
And all is well
in the halls of the wind.
What do we do with an entire life?
What a vast ocean of time
In which to do nothing.
And what a glorious revelation
To know that nothing is at the core
Of all our ambitions.
The voice of God
Is in the creaking wicker
Of a porch swing swaying in the wind
With no one sitting on it.
Is there anything more inviting?
Is there anything more lonely?
The raindrops play on my window pane
And gossip about the old days.
One was a river, another the sea,
And one once played as a tear.
The sky is just a reflection of us.
All those stars are just mirrors
For all the souls looking up and dreaming,
And all those worlds we think are out there
All exist in us.
There’s a pebble on the shore of Rehoboth Beach
That came from one of Jupiter’s moons.
But nobody knows it.
And it would rather be part of a sand castle anyway.
[Notes of the Day are short poems or a few poetic lines, kept together in a single ongoing poetry document.]
The most real things are the most unseen,
they swirl and eddy in little small laughs,
for anyone who has seen leaves swirl in a courtyard
will never say the wind is not real.
The leaves are green again.
Funny how, in winter, one forgets
what the color green looks like,
and in the summer, the skeletal
silhouettes of nude branches
are nothing but fading dreams.
Day by day, the sunflower sprouts,
and turns toward the sun in jealous admiration.
And day by day the blossom feels inadequate,
until it bows with the weight
of everything it achieved
while striving to be something else.
No one knows what the color black looks like
because it hides behind everything else,
and sits in the dark where no one can see it.
If only it were the same with the little dark fears
that try to graffiti black all over my brain.
There is nothing so graceful
as a feather falling.
It loops and glides and skis its way
down to the earth on little ribbons of air
because it served its purpose
and now knows what it’s like to be free.
We walked among the trees together,
hand in hand, in slow synchronized steps.
The trunks rose like columns in some ancient temple
and the leaves glittered and shone with gilded edges.
These are your trees, and you know them
as well as your own children. You know
the paths among them well enough to walk them blind,
and no matter how far we wander,
I never fear getting lost as long as you keep my hand.
We walk along the riverbank,
and swirl our bare feet in the clear water;
it rushes over our skin like cold satin.
You settle at the base of your favorite tree,
resting among its labyrinthine roots like a king,
and you watch me, silent, with eyes more inviting than fire.
I obey and join you there, leaning my back
against the smooth grey bark and turning my eyes up
into the boughs, catching flashes of sun through the wind.
Your pale fingers work over my knee,
as if you were strumming a mandolin on my leg,
while you confess all the things you have seen,
all the roads you have ridden, and the lives
that you took. A soldier’s regret, a conqueror’s pride.
My small life must seem petty compared to yours,
but you ask about it anyway.
There’s such a quietness in your hands,
and your voice is as soothing as ocean waves;
it is hard for me to imagine how you can roar,
and snuff out a man as easily as a frail flickering candle.
You are the wind and I but a leaf,
but the trees have proven that the touch of the wind
and the movement of leaves makes a whispering choir
that puts angels to shame. And there in the shade,
you look up to say you are closer to heaven
when you are with me.
A response to English 295: Intro to Literary Theory
A story isn’t meant
to be taken out of its comfortable pages
and reprinted a hundred times
on clinical white paper.
A story isn’t meant
to be captured, beaten
and pinned down to a desk
with pens and cut open
with the razors of analysis.
You cannot slice it apart
and rifle through its entrails and syntax
and hope to cut the heart out of it.
You can, I suppose, do these things,
if your goal is to kill a story,
for nothing kills a story like
a magnifying glass and a roomful
of literary “experts” with their
red pens, critical theories, and cheap wine.
There the story withers away,
sitting awkwardly on their tables,
naked, vulnerable, exposed and anxious,
like some terrified patient who
watches the physician snap on those white gloves.
How would you like it if someone
grabbed you off the shelf that is your bed
tore off your covers and hauled you, naked,
out into the cold air and glaring lights?
Would you want to impart your secrets
to someone who would treat you that way?
If you want to know a story
and the secrets that it holds,
you must woo those delicate pages.
You must approach it gently
with tender hands
and carry it home with you.
There you must make yourself vulnerable to it,
settle down in a cozy place,
perhaps a chair by the sea, a chaise by the fire, or even your bed.
If you read with sincerity, the story will not recoil from you.
Instead, it will pull you closer
with inviting lines of fine-penned ink.
And as you lie together,
the story may rest its head upon your shoulder,
and whisper a meaning in your ear.
Tell me, love, where does the sun go when it’s dark?
Does it go into the sea, where all the lost embittered tears have taken rest?
Does it go beyond the veil of life and death,
perchance to shine upon the dead while all the living sleep?
If I could chase that drop of light over the edge of the world
what would I find? Would there be trees, rivers and grass?
Butterflies and sunflowers? Another world beyond my own,
that knows no time or pain? Who would await me on that shore?
Would it be you, love? Is that the place you’re calling from?
I have heard your voice so long, sometimes I forget
it does not come from here, but there.
Perhaps you are Apollo, and ride the light of my world away
into your own. What do you see there? Who do you meet?
Have you seen my grandfathers, my mother’s grandmother, or
my great aunt who was famous for fire? Do you see the children
of my children, yet unborn and waiting, eager, for their time
to burst into my world? Whomever you see, I ask you only:
tell them I love them, whenever they are, wherever they are,
whoever they were or yet shall be. I love them as I love you,
as I love my mother and my father, my cousins and friends,
as I love God Himself. My heart can feel the pull of their love
through the whisper of yours. Perhaps that is all we are,
just drops within an endless ocean made up of love,
forever shifting, pulsing, melding in the existence of each other.