A Few (876) Words On Sexuality and Self-Discovery

I went to the post office yesterday and noticed that they now offer Harvey Milk themed postage stamps. Maybe they have for a while; I don’t know. I rarely go to the post office because I rarely send packages, because I don’t have any friends.

Forever_Alone_(God_dammit,_Ross)[1]

I’m kidding.

hqdefault[1]

Half kidding.

Okay, I’m done with that.

We’ve been progressively prying our minds open wider and wider in favor of same-sex marriage for years. Earlier today, this wonderful little bit of news popped up in my Facebook newsfeed:

10550986_1011589755537144_3229231895171870851_n[1]

Way to go, Fourth Circuit! Blue and yellow have slowly but surely been wiping the board across the country over what once was red. I hope I live to see the day when same-sex marriage is so common that it’s naturally accepted, much like interracial marriage has become.

But that begs the question: Why is sexuality such a prominent thing in our lives? People assign a public label to the most personal human capacities. What’s more is that society places a label of importance on them, as well. This has led us to believe that we have to exhibit perfection in every aspect of our personal lives for the sake of the opinions of others.

If you aren’t a size 0, you’re urged to cover up, because somebody might not like it.

If you’re not white, you’d better not move into a predominantly white neighborhood, because somebody might not like it.

If you’re a practicing Christian, take note to use discretion when you go out to spread the word, because somebody might not like it.

Similarly, if you’re not straight, you really should take caution while publicly displaying affection with your partner, because somebody might not like it.

No matter the circumstance, whatever you do, whoever you are, whoever you love, somebody might not like it. This ‘somebody’ always seems to take precedence over your own convictions. This world is far too caught up in other people’s business; that’s why tabloids are so wildly successful. I can’t speak for other countries, but Americans are too eager to learn what goes on in the bedroom of celebrity couples, or which famous person has been charged with tax evasion, or which celebrity chef may or may not be plagiarizing recipes. And it’s all the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever witnessed.

That’s why the ‘issues’ of same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, or age disparity in relationships are even considered issues. They really aren’t problematic. The people are problematic. They cause more roadblocks on the way to personal happiness and contentment than anything else on the planet. They’re concerned more with preventing other people from doing things that go against their personal beliefs.

There’s a proverb that suggests to live and let live. So why can’t we do that? Let other people do what they want. Remember that what you believe in isn’t what everybody believes in, and that’s OK. That’s what makes this world beautiful: it’s a gargantuan melting pot of colors, sizes, shapes, cultures, languages, belief systems, lifestyles, and practices. I’d rather recognize the beauty in the difference than fight for unanimity.

Ever heard of the Self Evident Truths project by iO Tillet Wright? Check out this video:


 

Whatever rules you live by, please be aware that the same rules do not apply to everyone. If you’re a strict vegan and don’t ingest any sort of animal byproduct, that’s absolutely and 100% fine. But your neighbor might not feel the same. Your parents and siblings might not, either. As long as they support you, what does it matter if they don’t share in your convictions? I know how easy it is to be so passionate about something that you just want to spread it around. Excitement is infectious, this much is true, but don’t be disappointed or feel obligated to ‘convert’ other people to your side.

Going back to the prevalence of sexuality, I tend to feel that too much emphasis is put on sexual preference. To explain further, I don’t consider myself a gay man. I’m simply a man who happens to be gay. Sexuality is a single facet among thousands of others. There’s no need to treat it as some outstanding anomaly; treat it as you would anything else. Who you love does not define you; there’s no reason to accentuate it. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have pride or that you should hide it, however. That’s also not to say that your right to marry shouldn’t be fought for. Press on, and the battle will be won. It’s sad that it’s become a dangling carrot, of sorts.

But being anything other than straight is a mere part of who you are- it isn’t all that you are. On a broader scale, there are so many layers and complexities to every human being that it’s impossible to define by a single attribute. You can pick and choose which aspects of your life you want to represent you, but it’s counterproductive to try to define yourself. To define would be to squeeze inside a box, and we thrive best outside of it.

Do whatever makes your heart content; so long as you are kind, the rest shouldn’t matter.

Be who you want to be. Know that you’re limitless. Preach love, not hate.

Advertisements

An Open Letter to a Nondescript Entity

You

whom I’ve not yet met

Where will you be 
the day you’re to meet me
at eleven
but will not
show up?

Who else
will you be you loving?

Who will be
catching your eye
over the counter
at a greasy
time-sensitive 
oil-glazed bodega
at the corner of 
dalliance
and indiscretion?

Who else
will you be
defaming
under the shroud
of the canopy?

Whose sheets
will you be staining 
beyond 
repair, and
whose screen door
will you carelessly
leave
ajar
allowing the household
cat to
escape? 

The guilt
you should foster
will evade
your ego
which will have gotten
its boost
the night before
from a shadow
on 
the 400 block

Whose palms
will you be burning
with matches
you weren’t 
supposed
to have access to
on the day
of your determinative 
bar exam?

What else
will you be learning?

Your ability
to empathize
will be
latent 
but the sprout 
may wilt
before reaching
maturity 
and you won’t
be able
to cry with
your family 
when the youngest
is to die
prematurely

Whose history
will you be rewriting
to better suit
your own? 

Who will
have called you
in the wee hours
of the morning
just to weep
at the sham
of the life
you’ll have been living? 

To whom
will you owe restitution?

To whom
will you owe money?

To whom 
will you owe time?

To whom
will you owe credit 
where credit is due
for your existence?

Will it be 
blood, or
synthesis?

To you
whom I’ve not yet met

Steer clear
of me
and everyone
that I know
at all costs

Six degrees of separation
will be 
too few 

Please,
you’ll know too much
you’ll be too
familiar
you’ll hit 
too close to home

So save me
the expense
and make
your presence scarce
in mine
for the sake
of me
for the sake 
of my life
and of
my future

Much obliged

Out of Focus: A (Blurred) Look at Bokeh

‘Bokeh’ is a term in photography which describes the aesthetic quality of the blurred parts of an image. It is decidedly defined as the way a camera lens renders out-of-focus points of light.

Here’s an example:

"Christmas Tree Lights Bokeh" by Rushilf - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution
“Christmas Tree Lights Bokeh” by Rushilf – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I do foster a love of photography and photographic techniques, but it’s less of a hobby and more of a viewing pleasure, if you will. I particularly enjoy the different kinds of blurs and blurring effects. I’ve only ever managed to successfully take two photographs featuring bokeh:

431107_10151394774090188_234294472_n[1]

and

420897_10151394774185188_1076764050_n[1]

It’s minimal at its best, and it was purely by accident when I was fooling around with my camera’s different features and settings. I was pushing buttons and turning knobs and poking things without knowing what I was doing, and I ended up with those two results. Pretty cool, huh? But more importantly, how cool is my sweater?

158045-spongebob-square-pants-not-lame-spongebobpluspatrick[1]

The word ‘bokeh’ simply sounds fun, doesn’t it? Due to my love of it combined with my passion for music, I’ve produced a song dedicated to the concept of ‘bokeh.’ It’s fun, bouncy, and influenced by 8-bit beats. You can listen to it here:

This was really just an excuse to gratuitously share some of my music with you. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂

What are some of your favorite types of photography? Any special techniques you employ or enjoy? 

9 Things I’ve Learned The Hard Way

Today marks the 8,541st day that I’ve been alive. That makes me 23 years and some months old. What am I doing with my life? Working a couple of retail jobs and trying to get by, like countless other people that I know. And that’s terrifying.

I’ve been out of high school for five years. In those five years, I’ve managed to try my hand at a college education three times. Immediately after high school, I attended CCNY in New York City for an academic year. I was 18, reckless, and enthralled with New York; my studies took a passenger seat, and by the end of the second semester I had failed every single class I’d registered for. The second time around, I enrolled in SUNY Potsdam for all of a month and a half. Before the semester completed, I realized that my fate was to be the same as it was in New York- I was going to run out of money and I couldn’t seem to secure a job. I withdrew and moved back home to save myself the hassle. Attempt number three, I finally reasoned that it would be smart to stay local. I studied at a community college for two additional semesters before realizing that I had no direction. What I wanted a degree in was still unclear, and so my drive and ambition began to lull. I couldn’t even find it in me to finish out the semester, and I stopped going to my classes altogether. That was in the Spring of 2012; since then, I’ve been languishing in a period of dormancy. The only thing I’ve managed to gain from those five years of indecision is an obscene amount of student loan debt.

To reiterate: I am 23 years old. According to society (and my father), it’s crucial to enroll in college immediately after high school, because otherwise you’ll never go. You’ll get lazy. You’ll enjoy the lack of mandated education so much so that you’ll fall into a groove and you’ll never come out of it. Believe me when I say this: that’s bullshit.

I felt pressured after high school to attend college for exactly the aforementioned reason. I really thought that if I didn’t go straight into it, I would never go. Maybe that would’ve been true. But if I’d never gone, at least I wouldn’t have upwards of $10,000 in student loan debt that I can barely afford to pay. At least I wouldn’t feel that I’d wasted all that time. At least my options would be less limited.

I really envy those who know straight through high school what it is that they want to do with their lives. They go right into college and graduate four to five years later with a degree in their field of interest, land a job, and the rest is history. Obviously, it isn’t so cut and dry. But unfortunately, I am not one of those people. I have a wide array of interests spanning the spectrum of creativity: I write, I produce music, I draw, I cook, I bake, I read. At one time, I wrote screenplays. I even dabble in role-playing game creation. Granted, there are a select few of these things that I am better at than the others, but they’re all passions of mine. How am I possibly expected to choose? What if I chose to go with a degree program in creative writing, but halfway through I realized I didn’t want a career in it? I would switch majors and prolong my college education, thereby accruing even more debt in the process. That doesn’t sound appealing in the slightest. My point here is that you shouldn’t go to college until you’re sure of what you want to do.

Sure, that’s why you’re required to take a variety of classes, just in case you change your mind. You may be taking up English Literature but you still are required to take classes in science, math, and history. It is to prepare you for the possibility that you might switch paths, and that’s OK, to an extent. But when it’s not okay, is when you’re sure of the route you’re taking. It’s your money after all, and there’s nothing more frustrating than having to dole it out on classes that don’t pertain to your interests. Even if you’re convinced that you know what you’d like to pursue, it may still change before you graduate. I had a friend who enrolled in college under a Childhood Education major; she initially wanted to teach little children. But by the time she graduated, it was with a degree in Fashion and Textile Technology- a complete 180. If you have the time and money to be able to change directions, then by all means, go right ahead. But if you’re like me, and you don’t, and financial aid is limited, then every decision you make is incredibly crucial. Note that certain fields don’t even necessarily require a college education to thrive in.

medium_6219725962[1]

And what if you make it to graduation, you finally have that measly piece of paper that carries so much weight, and you can’t find a job? I’ve heard several times before from waitresses or store clerks that they’re months or even years out of college, and they’re still waiting for a job in their field. I think if I were to ever make the decision to go back to school, I’d need to be guaranteed upon enrollment that I’d find a job within a year after graduation. After all, I would not have wasted all that time and money to work waiting tables. That was not part of the deal.

Now that we’ve covered potential educational deterrents, let’s discuss how emotionally draining it is to be aimless and wandering. I’m invariably unhappy with my life as it stands. Upon hearing that, most people would probably say something along the lines of, ‘if you don’t like your life, do something to change it.’ I see those words plastered all over irrelevant images on Tumblr and Facebook all the damn time. Golly, I never would have even thought to try to change my life if it weren’t going as planned.

That’s sarcasm.

You honestly think that anyone who’s unsatisfied with their life hasn’t considered doing something about it? Yes, there are people out there who whine and complain and have the means to do something, but don’t. But there are also plenty of people who may be in a position that doesn’t allow them to make any changes. More often than not, those types of circumstances revolve around a lack of money. I’ve been there multiple times, and I wish there were an allotment of unnecessary bullshit that could be expended. But there isn’t. Sometimes, it keeps happening. Most times, it’s unexpected, and every time, it really sucks. You just have to weed through the rubble and you’ll always make it out alive, albeit with a few less fucks given each time. Contrary to popular belief, when you’ve hit bottom, there is elsewhere to go than up. You could also continue straight ahead, along the bottom.

stress-word-blurr[1]

Let me begin to tie up these meandering, loose ends.

At eighteen, nobody knows what the hell is going on. That’s the irony of it. That’s the age at which you think you know everything, but in actuality you know very, very little, about anything. In the past five years I’ve changed a great deal; I’ve matured, I’ve begun to care less about the opinions of others, and at twenty-three, I’ve finally learned to like who I’ve become. I’ve only just managed begin to hone in on an inkling of what kind of career I’d like to have. At twenty-three. That said, why was the world convinced that I was capable of making such huge, life-altering decisions when I’d just entered into official adulthood? I think it is safe to say that most if not all 18 year-olds are ill-equipped to do so. I certainly wasn’t ready, and I wasted a lot of my time because of that.

In the opening paragraph, I made mention of being terrified at what I have [not] done with my life thus far. Usually, when I am having a discussion about potential careers and uncertainty with a family member or friend, the response is almost invariably, ‘you’re still young yet; you have plenty of time.’ This is only true in theory. That phrase would have given me hope a few years ago. But when I hear it now, I disregard it. It seems to be universally acceptable to be working in retail or in the service industry while you’re in and out of school in your late teens and early twenties. It seems to become less acceptable as you get older. As you reach your thirties, forties, fifties, people assume you should have your life together and it’s frowned upon if you don’t.

Personally, the idea of having plenty of time since you are young is very misleading. First, youth does not equate a long future ahead of you. Your life could end later today, or in a week, or in 4 months, 2 days, and 16 hours. How much time you have on this earth is not a constant. It is a variable, and there’s no equation to figure out the value. Second, believing that you’ve got plenty of time causes you to use that as a crutch. You think, ‘that’s right, I am only 23, I don’t need to decide right now.’ But before you know it, you’re 33; ten years have passed and you’ve accomplished nothing. Then you’re scrambling and wondering where the time went. That’s an entire decade you could have spent doing something you absolutely love, if you’d worked a little harder when you were younger. I would rather be spending my days as a happy and healthy individual, and living out my passion full-time now, than convincing myself that I have time to decide and put it off. Instead, I’m finding difficulty in scraping by, putting on airs for the sake of the consumers’ happiness and being miserable. Nobody was born to do that. Some may be exceptionally good at it, but customer service and its counterparts should be a phase, not a career. I’m not saying that you can’t love it. I’m saying that it should be looked at as a steppingstone, and not a destination. (And I’m not referring to corporate positions. I’m talking about menial, dead-end day jobs in which you struggle daily to bite your tongue.)

0a51755543561374037c2193271d8576e2fa5455849a7ca0402fa9639536e180[1]

Morals of the story:

  1. It’s OK to wait to go to college. In fact, it’s better that you wait until you’re sure of what you want to pursue. Some career paths don’t even necessarily require it.
  2. A college education does not guarantee that you’ll find a job.
  3. It isn’t always possible to change your life if you’re unsatisfied with it.
  4. When you’ve hit bottom, just keep going. You’ll eventually make it.
  5. At 18, you don’t know shit. If you’re 18 and reading this, you’re probably rolling your eyes and scoffing, and that’s exactly what I’d expect. Thanks for proving my point.
  6. Being young doesn’t mean you have a lot of time.
  7. Jobs that challenge your self-esteem and ethics are not careers and are not worth it.
  8. Never settle for mediocrity; always strive for more until you’re happy.
  9. Corey Stoll is the most attractive actor I’ve ever seen and I want to have his children.

Corey_Stoll[1]

Those eyes. I die.

7 Creatively Inspirational Songs: Playlist 2

Remember that time, two weeks ago today, that I said I would blog biweekly about seven songs that inspire me? I’ve actually still maintained an interest in doing that.

Remember that other time, when I said I was going to participate in NaBloPoMo for the month of July? Yeah, not so much. I took part in day one and then decided I’d much rather write about other things than what was suggested by NaBloPoMo’s prompts. I told you, I’m a bit noncommittal. Leave the judging to the courtroom.

This time around, I was smarter about the process. I listen to music every day, and in doing that, I’ve progressively collected seven songs to comprise this week’s playlist over the past two weeks. So without further ado, here is the second batch of seven songs to listen to when you need some inspiration.


 Mariachi, Ani Difranco (from the album ¿Which Side Are You On?)

How can I not love Ani DiFranco? She’s originally from my hometown. That aside, her politically-charged lyrics combined with her finger-picking and indelible voice make for some very influential music. Her self-titled debut album from 1989 is one of my favorites of all time.

Mariachi is the first song I ever heard from her latest record. It’s got a peppy beat and is very typically Ani (if you’ve been a fan for a long time, you’ll know exactly what I mean).

Line(s) of resonance:

You brought lyrics and you / handed them to me / and you said / ‘you’re the only one who can sing this’ / and I felt kissed / and I wonder / if it was just me / just me

Other recommended songs:

  • You Had Time (from the album Out of Range)
  • Cradle And All (from the album Not a Pretty Girl)
  • Pulse (from the album Little Plastic Castle)
  • School Night (from the album Revelling/Reckoning)

5 Years, Björk (from the album Homogenic)

During my freshman year of college, I told myself I was determined to get into Björk. At that time, I just starting to become more progressive and open-minded in terms of the music I listened to. I knew that Björk would be an acquired taste, and after downloading her then most recent album Volta, my belief was confirmed. It took some time, but after a few months, I came around. She now ranks in my top five favorite artists of all time.

Two of my favorite things about 5 Years are the 8-bit synth throughout the song, and the hard-hitting, slightly distorted drumbeat. She assumes a position of authority in the song, singing lines such as; I dare you to take me on / I dare you to show me your palms. She follows that line with her proclamation of boredom due to cowardice in others.

Line(s) of resonance:

I’m so bored / of cowards / that say they want / then they can’t handle / you can’t handle love

Other recommended songs:

  • Play Dead (from the album Debut)
  • Alarm Call (from the album Homogenic)
  • Unison (from the album Vespertine)
  • Desired Constellation (from the album Medúlla)

Dementia, Owl City (from the album The Midsummer Station)

Owl City has always had my attention since Fireflies first hit radio stations back in 2009. Though it’s taken me a bit longer to get used to his more recent, less ethereal sound, I still think everything he puts out is great. For someone who started by experimenting with music on his computer in his parents’ basement, Adam Young sure knows how not to disappoint.

Dementia is an alternative track featuring Mark Hoppus of Blink-182. This song particularly hits home for me, as I lost my grandma to dementia in early 2013. Though I don’t think the lyrical content refers directly to the disease, it takes on a more personal meaning when I listen to it.

Line(s) of resonance:

This is love / this is war / this is pure insanity / dementia / you’re driving me crazy

Other recommended songs:

  • Tip of the Iceberg (from the album Ocean Eyes)
  • Angels (from the album All Things Bright and Beautiful)
  • The Yacht Club (from the album All Things Bright and Beautiful)

You’re The Only One, Maria Mena (from the album Mellow)

Considering the manner in which I raved about Maria Mena last time, it’s no surprise that she made it into this week’s playlist as well. As I’d previously mentioned, You’re The Only One was her breakout single here in the United States back in 2004. I was immediately intrigued by the quickly spoken verses accompanied by the sung refrain, both backed by a fun, alternative, guitar-laden melody. Take a look at the playful video above; how can you not love this song?

Line(s) of resonance:

I guess there’s just a part of me that likes to bring you down / just to keep you around / because the day you realize how amazing you are / you’re gonna leave me

You’re the only one who / holds my hair back when I’m drunk and get sick / and you’re the only one who / knows exactly what I mean

As a bonus, check out this live, stripped down version of the song:

Other recommended songs:

  • Free (from the album Another Phase)
  • A Few Small Bruises (from the album Mellow)
  • Internal Dialogue (from the album Apparently Unaffected)
  • Power Trip Ballad (from the album Cause and Effect)

 

Prime, Allie X

Allie X is an up-and-coming synth-pop artist hailing from Ontario, Canada. She has yet to release an official body of work other than a single. Prime is heavily synthesized and that’s what I love about it- that, along with the simplicity of the music video’s looping GIF image are what make the song charming. The lyrics as well are different, and they’ve pulled me in from the very beginning.

Line(s) of resonance:

We are in the prime of our existence / we are running blind with no resistance

Why not give it a try? / Be a beautiful monstrosity / when you’re just getting by / and happily terminal

Other recommended song:

You can read more about Allie X here.


 

Golden Thread, Joy Williams (from the album Songs From This EP)

Joy Williams is a contemporary Christian artist, whom you may know as one half of the duo that is The Civil Wars. I first came across her song Say Goodbye on Pandora when I was in high school, and fell in love with her music instantly. Though she hasn’t put out a full-length solo album since 2005, her since-released EPs and the work she’s done as part of The Civil Wars are equally as pleasing to the ear.

Golden Thread describes a situation in which you’re losing grip; a circumstance where a sense of control is evading your grasp, and you’re barely hanging on. The first verse gets me every time (see the first line of resonance below).

Line(s) of resonance:

I’m holding on for dear life / it’s not looking good / is it now?

Slipping through my fingers / watch it go / out of my hands / out of my hands / all over again / I’m hanging on / just hanging by a golden thread

Other recommended songs:

  • Stay (from the album Genesis)
  • Say Goodbye (from the album Genesis)
  • Hide (from the album Genesis)
  • Silence (from the album Genesis)

 

Legendary, The Summer Set (from the album Legendary)

I didn’t start to really pay attention to The Summer Set until the release of their most recent album, Legendary. I’d liked a couple songs from their debut record, and when I saw that there was a deluxe version of Legendary (which was full of cool things and signed posters), I immediately bought one. I would classify Legendary as a power-pop album, and every track has something to offer.

Legendary, the title track and album closer, tells of the universal desire to be grandiose in some way, and that with a little help, we’ll all get there. It’s a song I hold dear to my heart, and it has several lyrics that really speak to me.

Line(s) of resonance:

When I was a kid / I’d fly around and Peter would mention / don’t be afraid to die / because to die would be an awfully big adventure

We all just want to be legendary / yeah, we all want to be legendary to somebody

I swear that I could be amazing / I just need a little help

Other recommended songs:

  • Jukebox (Life Goes On) (from the album Legendary)
  • Lightning In A Bottle (from the album Legendary)
  • Where Are You Now? (from the album Love Like This)

 

This has been week two of seven songs to hopefully jump-start your inspiration tank. Thanks for tuning in. Check back in two more weeks, Thursday, August 7th, for playlist number three!

If you have any songs you’d like me to listen to, post a link in the comments. I may even review them in a future playlist. 🙂

Rose Garden

rose garden


I’m experimenting with new ways of writing poetry. Instead of the typical stanzas on paper, this time I’ve elected to do a poème sur un poème, if you will. That is, a poem on top of a poem. The idea is to write a concise, single-line poem, and a more story-structured poem. Then, combine multiple layers of the latter so as to skew perception of the words (seen above). The ambiguity and the individual phrases you may be able to pick out lead to different interpretations. Finally, type the single-line poem on top, making it bold enough to stand out and be legible. Does any of that make any sense? I hope so. I am bad at describing things, sometimes.

I’m not sure if this has been done before. Maybe I’m the first, and if that’s the case, I think I will call this ‘mash-up poetry.’ Or maybe ‘crowded poetry.’ I can’t decide. What do you think?


Underlying poem:

He saw me out
but I couldn’t explain
before the untreated,
accusatory words came

He saw me as
a painting now,
my colors smeared
in an offbeat way
my hues
turned to grey

He said, ‘the bristles
were tough this time,’
I agreed

‘But they were tougher
on you,’ he hissed
I grinned while I cried

He can’t see me now
as he once did;
That’s the hardest part
to miss

I exploited his weakness
when he sought me
for strength

I stowed his trust in the attic
let it collect dust;
Leave me, if you must

C’est La Vie

I want out
of my lease on life
It isn’t as glamorous
as it’s shown in the brochures

I’ll pay the early termination fee
if it means
I’ll be less hard-pressed, and a bit
more
free

For all intents and purposes
I’ve been plagued by
constant listlessness
and a thirst for creativity
that’s insatiable in this
stop-go
over-caffeinated
too-slow-moving
often captivated
under-appreciated
unalleviated
headache and
heartache
b-movie scene

Pedestrians on parade
looking to take left-hand turns
but to the left,
there’s no city shade
nothing but
self-activated hand grenades
and past life urns
that were never spilt
over any other body of water
than the blood of a
fallen
brother
who sacrificed himself
for the good
of the salvation
of the upper class wealth
that never did for him
what he
had done
for them
a thousand times over,
and then
another

It’s not that difficult
to relate
if you’d just
broaden your scope
tear your view from
the pennies fallen through the grate
and look up
and look around
but don’t
look
down
because you’re teetering
on a tight rope
and you’ve got choices to make
your family down
below
waiting with bated breath
to see
which route
you’ll take:
will you press on
forward,
or fall
to your death?

The latter
will flatter you,
make you feel
great
since you’ll have died
while you tried
to make the best of
the matter
only sometimes
will you be granted
a new start
a blank slate
because the rent
was too high
and you were often
quite late

So they
canceled your contract
earlier
than you expected
since you were
too inconsistent
to remain
unaffected
and you couldn’t be trusted
to renew
once again

Then your legs
gave way
and you didn’t
even blink
lost your balance
much faster than one
would think
and you smile
because in your head
you know
that you cheated the system
that you left
all you owned
in the sink,
and turned on the garbage disposal
because the melody
reminds you
of the life you’d lived
before

But you got out
of the lease
because ‘c’est la vie’
was a piece
you couldn’t stand to hear
anymore
and the life that you led
wasn’t as glamorous
as it was shown
in the brochures

We Are Nomads

I was raised

with the notion

that mediocrity

is acceptable.

That without

a torque applied,

I’ll sear my mind

on plans unfeasible.

They swore to me

they’d hold my hands

across the bridge

of wood and wool.

That if it shakes,

it’s good to fall.

That else opinions

are void and null.

But in this way

they’ve set me up

to tread on eggshells

in the rough.

The green is better,

but we’re not worthy;

so we feed on what they tell us,

and we live on what we see.

We’ll never know the opulence

or the wealth, or the luxury.

But we are nomads in our dreams,

and that’s all we need, really.

Struggle is no stranger to us;

it casts an unflattering light.

They push their noses up to us;

let down their walls to fuck with us;

say we’re welcome anytime, then

move further from the central line.

We’re ordinary at our best.

Our rivalry has reached its height.

Now it’s time to come to terms

that they are left.

And we

are forced

right.


Photo credit: Ben Heine.

Click here to see the full view and check out his other work.

What Comes Next?

Ink blots
Kumquats
Tell us what you see
Painted in artifice
Bled from saccharine

Look now
In doubt
Intervals at best
Hard shine
Blind eye
Turned to what comes next

What comes next?
What comes next?

Rapport
Cold sore
Bowing skyline
Graced with your presence
Endurance undermined

Is it he
whose name
is sleep-spoken?

Is it he
who projects
the scenes
You dream
upon the foreheads
of the people
you wish
you couldn’t see?

Is it me?
Is it me?

They Will Have Circled The Earth

By the time
morning comes

the lightning bugs
will have irradiated
their last
full jar

They will have
circled the earth
en route
to the other side of the world

Where they will
liven up the eyes
of those
who need it more
than we do
over
here