I’m migrating to a new blog where I can house my portfolio(s). I may still post rough drafts here, but I think the new site will be more of a finished product sort of thing. Without further ado, check it out: link.
the sun sets some lovely golden glow
casts it’s last rays of the day in
a shade unmatched
except by moonlight at midnight
peering through a light fog
in a clearing of the forest at the edge
where the trees meet the sand.
we sit and drink coffee and muse
about the absurdity of humanity.
the wasteful despicable creatures whose often unfortunate traits
we too possess —
superceded by our self-proclaimed
beauty, intelligence, and insight —
but the coffee is good and the night is alright
and we have what we have to work with.
let the night be good
the worrie worry themselves away
and our faults heal our graces.
I’m listening to a Pandora station based around “classical interpretations” of Radiohead songs and Chopin. I just drank sixteen ounces of orange juice preceded by a few slices of pound cake, something I thought, only very briefly, was a strange choice of desserts. All of this is supposed to incite a response in my brain, to throw it off for a moment and shake loose thoughts which haunt me when my own daydreams show me things I was unaware that I was thinking. Lately I’ve found it difficult to put anything of substance into words, though this doesn’t as words tend to ebb and flow like the waters of an estuary. The photographs I took in the last few weeks are (among many other things) something of a representation of my inability to pen anything of note; a little spooky, a little trapped, a little beautiful.
There will be more of these coming up. I found, sitting in an ICU room for hours, that these rooms were some kind of desolate train station for the body and the mind, some waiting room fogged, confused and troubling. It reminded me a little of my experience in Romania and the slow, spiraling chaos that pervaded my trip to the country (more on that story some other time).
In 2007 I took a two week backpacking trip to Switzerland with my friend Jason. After traipsing about the German portion of the country we headed toward Liechtenstein and eventually to Austria. Jason headed to Linz in order to teach English to Austrian schoolchildren who, as far as I could tell, gave him hell and I ended up living in Vienna for a month or so thereafter thanks to the gracious accommodations of my friend Jeff. I needed to get away from everything, to get out of the country, to go on a grand adventure. On my return trip, as all of my options whirled about my head, I began a journal in a 3.5 inch, grid-divided, hardcover moleskine (until recently my standard). I intentionally left the uppermost line of every page blank to reflect upon my journey from here to there; wherever there might be.
It’s almost mid-way through 2010 and I’ve finally finished the journal as well as the rough draft of the poem running the length of the book. I decided to neglect my photography somewhat to allow myself a little time to work on this project. The following poem is the first draft of what I came up with. I would appreciate feedback and I intend to revise this later on.
A strange star years ago
anxious anticipation weaves its way through my bones.
I return to a home no longer mine
and endless cycles.
Warm gin is an awful drink
but trees growing through houses
calm my mind.
Far too cold a winter was upon us
4°, four degrees.
Old Jack still plays well
what a longing he instills
in the starry-eyed love-struck.
These lists we make
searching for fulfillment
shake loose the lone promises we never keep
but wish we could.
In the big city nothing stops
long enough to see through the cracks
to see the faces in the rain.
Jazz at a jazz bar and grand murals are solace enough.
yet again criss-crossed missed connections.
The brothers’ bar kept us safe through storms.
I left to sullen whirlpooled rain clouds which held
unimaginable feasts in their midst.
Flitting back and forth
a see-saw of manic flurries
chained cross-continental trips.
I fell apart
rattling into a barrel
like change in a jar.
The compass spins
unable to point north.
I slipped into a tumultuous dream
uneasy nursery rhymes, dinner parties.
I hold out for fair weather
but a roar of thunder wakes me
and I cannot sleep
I write lists instead
as the world pulls at my limbs
as summer rises in my chest
as I am submerged in the “long, dark teatime of the soul.”
In the south it was a different turbulent ordeal.
I came to town and found myself faltering.
yet too far away from home.
Glimmers of hope slipped
through my fingers.
Mirages and the frustration
at my inability to grasp the hand extended to me
drove me to the ground.
If I were free
I would ride a bicycle to the wine country
and be merry.
It is the breaking point
at which rash decisions are made
and new beginnings are insinuated.
My shadow knew what I myself would not admit;
that heart strings
and snap and
cannot be bullied.
once over my head
drowning me in droplets
began to recede
I began to breathe
awash in memories I could not make sense of
(Still) I flailed my limbs
and with new eyes
blinked away the brightness.
Ich nahme die Sonne ein,
auf der Wiese sitzend.
Sollen alle Tage so sein
schön und hell und voll mit möglichkeit
So fantastisch würde es sein,
wenn alles ruhe ware.
unsere tägliche Leben geht ein,
was in frühere Jahrhunderte
Zauber gennant würde
und darum mit der schrecklichste Ermordung
The folk songs softly sung in dark bars
pare down the aching, shifting tendrils
the heart lets explore.
Off in the distance the run rises
a terrible, beautiful red.
We run around
we go dry
and suddenly winter asks us questions
with barbed diction and tones revealing
My old friend drops by for tea
stays late while the snow dusts the pines.
Later I do not sleep
for fear of forgetting past revelries.
My favorite color is:
The golden glow of sunset
the eager wish of midnight
and the sweet, exhausted sunrise.
The blizzard with its snow
covered all the city over night
and when he awoke in the morning
he made coffee
and stepped outside to listen to the
great quiet that snow bestowes on cities
unaccustomed to its grace.
He looked back at life
that year, he thought about
the glorious times and good friends
and the little things that got smaller as larger things grew bigger.
My, oh my.
He sat and sipped at coffee and
read about places far away.
I see now
things impressed upon my mind long ago
and the distance from these memories only serves to
intensify their importance.
I examine their importance.
I examine my cracked and drying hands.
They have played a beautiful tune, but now
I cannot remember how it goes.
I was here
now I am lost
in a great forest.
Loneliness and darkness fill me
so quickly on evenings in late summer
where I can sense that it is all flying so quickly away from me
slipping through my fingers.
She takes me places in her home town
decaying city with so much life I can barely understand it.
cold and without snow
I do not sleep well
I cannot sleep right
I do not sleep.
I stay awake and listen to traffic.
This does not last
I make use of the momentum that arises through insomnia
I lay in wait.
These songs which pour forth let me dance
and revel in such awful solitude
What I create shines with such fury that no thing could hold up in its path.
I hope that it does not so well pursuade
that I cannot escape from its allure.
A fantasy in so many chords
becomes reality and reality
is some sort of dream.
I find comfort buried in words
Oh the smell of old print on pages in a dusty binding!
I write a pillowbook:
Spring rain on warm air
Puddles running into drains
The clickclickclick of a bicycle wheel.
I look to the furtive glimpses of in-between-dreams for inspiration
little hints at what goes on inside my brain.
Stand on your toes.
My ideas still float around
unable to settle
even for a moment.
With all of this newfound time — the sun sets around eight-twenty now — I’ve found more and more ways to make it disappear. Mainly I’m trying to rest my brain a little bit from February’s mad-cap song rush. I’ve taken a few shots of the sunset, none terribly epic, but I think they adequately describe that subtle transition of spring into later spring. I’m excited about what the summer will bring.