Dull grey sky devoid of fireworks
Soggy mindset pairing with the deluge out there
Hard to know elsewhere old chums and loves are
enjoying themselves, celebration as intent and consequence
It’s not an easy task for the social owl to hold back
from hooting and communing and doing nothing
And there is always so much to be done
even if the sun shines and the ramparts stream.
An overdue entrance to a bed
where your old dorm blanket
and hand puppet stuffed hippo
serve as comfortable reminders
of days lived and time served.
Sometimes you share half
with a seed quartz crystal
others with a steadfast woman,
both heal with magic and mystery.
The sunlight plays on rock and iris,
as it fails to rouse you before noon.
I wanna live where the wind blows
through open windows onto lace curtains.
Where red lipstick stained glasses,
napkins and shirt collars lay.
Where beauty shapes every nook and
cranny and long hallway and high ceiling.
Ceilings so sloped and wonderfully high,
I can hear all of my cries and laughs at once.
Where we can stomp and swing dance and
slamdance and slide across rosewood floors
on wool socks we knit together. With the city
full of sounds, action, and the people we love
surrounding the elevated front porch and
a backyard of willows and crickets beneath
a silent and star soaked sky,
miles away in wild seclusion.
I meet each green day with a roar
composed of all that’s come before.
The chair I sit in is the lion throne
and it’s the truth I wish to know.
Got a tightening grip on my phone
when that song plays painful and slow.
Long sighing through an arid throat,
I download things I feel and know.
Condemned to the perpetual
insomnia of controlling controls.
Open sky space underneath,
everything calling you at once.
The only clear eyes on the train,
red and puffy are their minds.
They lag and refresh to escape
the hunger beyond hunger’s pain.
In mad sick sniffling smog night,
the girls with their onyx tights and
malachite handbags and garnet boots
are looking for some recognition.
The boys with their kyanite jeans
and ruby ties and tourmaline hoodies
are dodging tradition.
Little children awake past bedtime
act out their Nintendo worlds with
spinning sword slashing leg sweep
combos,battling our lingering
demons too close for us to know.
Heading to where it’s going down,
I’m walking as fast as the clouds.
Streetlights blur into long streams
as I blow words like a puzzle.
Sometimes the syllables fit snug
sometimes its a stuffy struggle.
I figure, that if it defines you,
then you shouldn’t hide it.
Even the misdoings and the losses.
Learn to embrace these aching faults,
because our humanity is frequently validated
by our experience and adversity and difference.
The delicate dreams you wish to attain
and exalting successes you wish to make
will not be without hardship and
ownership of all that you are.
Know that fully,
beyond an inkling,
There’s no rest for the wicked
and the road is habitually hard.
“I vow to stay sharp and woken,”
these words must remain unbroken.
A series of breaks lead up to a vast opening,
the entrance appears only when it should.
Do all that you can to tenderly
mold the clay of your identity,
then toss it quickly into the kiln
and watch it harden.
Always all these ways to live.
Gotta make decisions with precision.
Fantasy and fiction addictions.
They watch and claw at the options:
“Maybe I could prowl seedy pool halls reveling in nose candy and brutality.”
“Pretty sure I could lead the confident and cushioned life of the 401 k crowd.”
“Perhaps I could tote semi-automatic rifles and an invincibility complex.”
“I bet I could download Ableton and produce music that I give to the world
and make fame appear on my own terms.”
“I’m sure I could be a disciplined athlete sponsored by Vitamin Water.”
“I’ll just be whatever antagonistic outsider whose own poverty
or homosexuality or musical obsession or political belief
or religious belief or inescapable past
dictates my entire identity
as I remain on the defensive,
fighting the world.”
And we could give up all this “ME”
that we have tentatively built in the shadows
of our families and peers in order to chase a new identity
or join the Cause, be it anti-cronyism, anti-Capitalism,
anti-immigration, anti-GMO or
pro-narcotics legalization, pro-globalization…
I’ve spent my time unsure of its absolute value,
seconds towards a feeling, minutes on a conversation,
hours in a classroom, months in a relationship, years at this job.
Dead in the end. Mixed up til then.
Mixed up in a fist fight between
this fleshy lonesome you
and this projection of imaginative ambitions.
Been missing countless toasts with friends,
skipped a thousand ciphers, it aint easy.
Paddling the big river in a solo kayak,
past the alluring rapids and unconscious beaches.
Is every daybreak your life or death knocking?
Well yall, I’ll tell ya I’m clocking light years
rocking, popping and locking everything I am.
Chasing cheers, re-writing jeers,
forgetting beers, staying in the clear.
I’m country, I’m urban, I’m EDM,
I’m jazz, I’m punk, I’m reggae,
I’m tired and amped, I’m wise and clueless,
I’m exiled and home, I’m traditional and revolutionary.
Be easy on me, take me with a grain,
we’re all just waiting on a slow train.
Some of you are fighting potential,
maneuvering around this future destination
escaping yourselves yet to be made,
as if its going to be fucked or shitty or bad.
Its going to turn out as you will it to be.
Believe it blindly if you must,
but don’t for a second put down the oar.
This week, my geographical location is keeping me
from my best friend’s wedding, a neighbor’s funeral,
and my aunt being placed on life support.
It’s a discouraging existence…lots of potholes,
lots of losses at the buzzer, lots of re-injuries,
lots of insomnia, lots of wet socks,
lots of “No’s” and “Fuck you’s” and “Sorry’s”.
And its only the beginning.
And its been this way since the beginning.
If it’s not Malaysian planes disappearing,
it’s trains derailing.
If it’s not typhoon hurricanes on the attack,
it’s Mayor’s governing high on crack.
If it’s not the “new cold war”
it’s a whole lot more
waiting to shake our cores.
I wish everyone would move at my pace
and nobody would give me an ugly face.
I wish my questions would be answered directly
because my grief is not as transitory as the minutes and the hours.
I’m re-reading emails for offers, re-reading messages from missed lovers,
making risks with money and regretting the hand’s not taken.
We lean so far over our phablets until we are swallowed whole by growing gorilla glass.
Everyone has their own fucked perceptions of social class and what it means to have some.
House of Cards and True Detective anxiety attacks leaving me as negative as the windchill.
And I get my thrills staying up in a sugar coma until I can’t help but question myself.
And the siren song of a sudden significant memory
lures me away from the sea of the moment towards an island of sorrow.
And I wonder what our place would be like if I could shake my past, dig up these roots and tell ya it would last.
And if I had the album linings for everyone’s lives and login for everyone’s heart,
I think that I would still be ignorant to their essence.
My own nucleus keeps me guessing, keeps me on edge, gulping and sweating.
We are so alarmed and firmly carved into bluffs of concern and consternation,
yet all the issues and the protests and the uproar has a short shelf life.
How quickly we are distracted by the plight of a family member,
the changing leaves of a spouse outgrown,
the prospect of an unpaid FASFA loan, the next Netflix season drop,
the fear of a hip and heady boat missed, the sick satisfaction showing everyone up,
or the song or painting or poem left unfinished.
Pull back black elastic and creak open this forgotten Moleskine. Old revelations and acid-induced trails traced on thick browned paper, not so familiar. Excavation of caves of thought and heart, left tentatively in the Trash folder, yet to be emptied. I remember writing, “If you always assume that you are moving too fast, and moving tooooo fast causes loss, than always remember while you assume and never lose.” All lowercase letters, slightly italicied, pen ablaze with synaptic dances and a feeling like I figured a puzzle in a unique way.
There are themes we play on that are a part of our soul’s anatomy, they ain’t going no where. Hold fast to things that seem important, avoid destroying a good thing in reaction to the harsh realities. Preserve the best we can, it’s imperative, though the “point” is relative to our fear of the closing bell. I’ve got boxes and notebooks and piles to disseminate whenever I can break away from these time-sensitive engagements and Facebook messenger team management. Goddamnit. I may have a 750 score, years off the bottle, better sex, more followers and all happiness signifiers popping off, but I’m just biding time and building things before I attack the ‘skine with sharp swipes of the mental blade, filling pages that way I once did after takeoff on airplanes, on the eternal Commonwealth avenue, in a lover’s passenger seat, in duress and in need of teary relief.
The psyche is a continuous film reel, spliced with single cell memories that we sometimes question or chase down, but often are oblivious to. These sephia cells, dusty and stark, are what I work to dredge up and examine for research and exegesis. Sorry boss, sorry darlin’, sorry dad, you’ll have to excuse my absence, I’m busy shaking down the past for change and philosophy.