Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hail C(^2)aesar of the Kingdom of Pythagorean.

Two Trees Touching At The Tips

Sometimes when I cross campus lost in solitary thought,
I use properties of triangles to find the most express
routes to where I want to go from where I begin,
and despite my affinity for physics, and fervid
weakness for stimulation, it still takes me forever
to get anywhere at all. And, for no particular reason,
I always end at the same pair of tangled trees--
the ones whose tree-tops touch at their pinnacles, like
they are forging a secret nature-bond. I pretend
they're telling secrets in tree-speak, secrets about all the
people below and how the one girl's boots are dainty
and did you see how amiable that boy was, picking up
her books for her. Underneath those trees, masses of
people often linger, like a soup that congeals and
hardens, under the membrane of innumerable legions of
leafs. Sometimes then, I often pretend it is just me
and the two trees, touching at the tips, telling secrets,
while I pretend not to listen, and for some reason,
knowing that I'll not know makes me feel earthly
and blissful in my ignorance.

Monday, November 24, 2008

There is a common view that poetry gives a person fufilment and nurishment. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.

I Cannot Tell You Stories

If you ask me, I cannot tell you
whose face peeks behind those sepia-soaked
bushes, although I seem to have his same nose
and shape, but five inches smaller.
I also cannot tell you who is settled
by his side, with hands as slender and
delicate as my own, with the same smile
lines and shifting eyes that I scrutinize
each morning from the silver looking glass.

I cannot tell you stories because they,
they never told me stories, but I can tell you
their ages, approximate weights, heights and
perhaps even medical conditions, and maybe, if
I'm lucky, I could guess their favorite colors, too.

Blue, red, or brown for the man,
and I can deduce that the woman
would choose purple in a blink, but I cannot tell
you the former and the latter from memory,
much less entertain your simple question.

I do know for a fact that they do not
believe in anything, especially vows,
and although they might stand side-by-side
in a beige and chestnut candid, their eyes
no longer meet nor do their voices
croon the lyrics to my nightly lullaby.

And I do not know whether to blame love
or responsibility; to claim that she had it all
planned, or to know if he thought the
spooning of her belly three-and-a-half
years in was headline news. I do not even
know if they ever read the newspaper,
in which case I do not know who planted
this fondness for words and confession.

And when my children point and ask who
are those figures standing in the khaki-colored
thicket, I will tell them what I see and think,
and maybe I will pretend to know the truth.
I only hope that they may turn to another bookshelf,
and see albums upon albums filled with multi-
colored pigments, and I will smile as they smile
at their Father's stories, and savor the atonement.

A Herbaceous Memory-Producing Plant of the Genus Musa; or My Running Commentary is an Overripe Banana, Solid on the Outside, Squishy on the Inside

It started with the peeling of a banana, and
friends telling me it was upside down, and I said
No, it wasn't, Inebriates, That's how bananas look in
all the pictures in all the magazines I've ever seen.
And then out of no where there was you, in my brain.
There you were, sitting in the driver's seat, that damn
Oldsmobile, with the windows down and the sub woofer
booming so loud it shook my seat, my hand, my heart.
Turn it down I'm scared shitless, and feeling the
cold wind streaming all around me like pouring rain,
I lift my leg from the sticky leather seats, my hair's a
mess, and I think of the supposed to's and should of's,
and the Chinese fire-drills and crusin' The Ave, and
what it would mean to see the pyramids. I thought
of the last time I saw you, which will always be
the last, and it is this last one that reminds me
of the peeling of a banana, and how it is not upside
down, and how it looks in all the pictures I've seen.
Like the picture on the 99 bananas bottle. I know once
I take that first bite, once I focus on its subtle-sweet,
then your memory will be lost, and everything will
be the same as before, no sub woofer booming or cold
air around my face, and it will not matter which end
of the banana I've pried open, or what my fellow sots
think of the proper form for decorticating. Because
either way, I know the bananas will taste delicious.

This is correct:

This is incorrect:

See Also: How to Peel a Banana

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Time I Kidnapped My Friends And Put Them in Phrases and Meter; or, How to Party Like Edgar Allen Poe

A Young Lady Spied Upon the Sea Shore

White by the moon, the seething shores rise--
shifting stars for two eyes of blue.
Ocean in motion, mirroring night skies,
as a Lady enters Babe's view.

The moon lingers, black and blank above--
midst click-clanking of good -night shoes.
Eyes tinkling tired, thinking thereof,
as Lady bequeaths parting dues.

White by the moon, babe hides in a blink;
To the shore, the Lady does fly.
Cold and brisk winds shade the Babe's ears pink.
Lo' the Autumn frosts of July!

Lady then leans before white water--
supplying her face a wet wash.
Not a Mother, surely a Daughter,
the Lady, now one with sea-slosh.

The ocean that--though in sky--reflects,
a picture for the Babe to see,
shows expression and facial effects--
rolling eyes 'long side angered plea.

Then Lady adjusts her composure--
stomach constricted and tightened.
Readying wits to face exposure,
her stance is forcibly lightened.

As Lady treads away from the shore--
a child's mind is left to thrive.
Shown, she was, how to cope from one's core,
to react else feel half-alive.

A Boat, a Boat, a Lonely Boat

Far far away, see the torrent wave--
a fretted wall of silver concave.
Crash crash with wild weed overgrown
upon shooting cliff and crumbled stone.

But right to the right, see the ripples still.
In waste wood, a boat; by its own free will.
The loneliest lonely, a boat afloat.
In water of wild, a boat remote.

No mast, no sails, and nothing atop--
not even a paddle or oar.
Seemingly anchored beneath water's top;
no one and nothing to explore.

A boat, a boat, a lonely boat,
it moves but it can never moveth on.
It welters like a human thing--
wants to sail, but is still in the dawn.

A Warning For You Who Will

Shh! Listen carefully, you who will.
The cold wind blows like wolves on a hill.

See there! Look carefully, you who will.
The ivory trees have been frozen still.

Ahh-hah! Yell carefully, you who will.
Snow leopards listen for their next kill.

Brr-brr! Touch carefully, you who will.
Glistening ice will give you a chill.

Beware of the Winter, you who will.
It brings discontent and makes one ill.

The Picture of An Hour, Fixed In A Frame

A single grain, fixed in a frame, falls though the hourglass--
Till by a billion others it is swallowed.
Grain by grain, the sand shimmers and shines as it makes its pass;
picture of an hour, no others followed.

About The Poems:

A Young Lady Spied Upon the Sea Shore, A Boat, a Boat, a Lonely Boat, A Warning For You Who Will, and The Picture of An Hour, Fixed in A Frame are all original compositions of mine written during the my Spring 2008 semester of my senior year at Truman State University.

A Young Lady Spied Upon the Sea Shore is a poem that was inspired by the unfettered spirit of a near-and-dear friend of mine at Truman State University. In fact, I'm sure that her shrewd understanding of civility coupled with her passion for theatrics is something will continue to delight and inspire me for years to come. The setting for the poem is a place from my childhood; a vast ocean-like shore on the banks of Lake Rhinelander in Wisconsin.

A Boat, a Boat, a Lonely Boat is a somber poem about depression, loneliness, and apathy. I was inspired to write it after failing desperately to help a friend of mine through his or her healing process with depression, using knowledge from my own experience. The ship bobbing on the water is representative of the human heart beat, and the poem suggests that one must look to their own heart in order to brave life's turbulent waters.

A Warning For You Who Will is simply a whimsical poem that I wrote in an attempt to author my dislike of the winter season using various senses.

The Picture of An Hour, Fixed in A Frame is a poem that I started when I was in high school, but didn't finish until college. I have a natural curiosity about physics and time, and as such, own a small collection of odd time-measuring devices. I would give myself exactly one hour of free time each day in high school to do whatever I wanted. Most of the time this was writing, reading, or drawing. I used an antique hour glass that my father gave me to keep me on time. One day I decided to write a poem about the object that I spent an hour with each afternoon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Intellectual purging" according to Elaine; Hybrow Syndrome according to Dove.

Some spur-of-the-moment free-writing because I need to update my blog:

Today it was suggested--for the second time this semester--that I have the tendency to "care too much about what people think."

I am aware of the caprices and idiosyncrasies that I maintain which advocate for what others may see as over-sensitivity (although if they believe this, they obviously subscribe to superficial postulations.)

I've ruminated about this coping mechanism of mine (because of its resurfacing in my social circle,) and I remain firm in my original assertion. After reflecting, I still deduce that that my desire to understand the motives of others (via the means of showing my genuine care and concern for their likes and dislikes) is a positive attribute.

Not to sound bull-headed about the matter, but I honestly believe that self-actualized individuals are nourished from the roots of objectivity in one's perception.

I've spent many years attempting to improve my emotional intelligence; it has, in fact, been one of my life's greatest struggles. I think that I was born with a brain that has a tendency to rely heavily upon intellect and logic rather than instinct and feeling. I, like most humans, have a sense for both, but I sometimes don't trust my instincts and feelings because I can understand their flaws. Ergo, increasing the breadth of my emotional intelligence has been a goal which I have exercised a great amount of effort towards. I truly believe it has been instrumental to my growth and maturity.

The older I become, the more I realize the whole spectrum of objectivity. By attempting to eliminate my individual perceptive observability (or by playing "Devil's Advocate" in my mind, if you will) my cognitive processes certainly uphold a great deal of indecision and changeability at times (which could undoubtedly be considered by society as two personal vices.) And when I'm not making a concerted effort to be more balanced I certainly fall prey to the consequences of these negative extremes. Despite this, I am firm in my advocation for objectivity, because it serves as a check when one's emotions and instincts threaten to lure his or her rationale and intellect into a bear-trap of ignorant subjectivity (which inherently masks one's personal desires as fundamental needs rather than personal wants.) Sure, one must understand when and where to trust their instincts. But I think, in general, that the rationalization of feelings is a worthy path to tread. Besides, I would rather have a balanced critical faculty and possess the ability to stand back and look impartially upon matters which call for impartial judgment than torture myself all the time with subjective guilt and/or criticism.

Thus, I postulate that "caring about what people think of me" isn't really a negative attribute, but rather, a stepping-stone on the path to progressivism (which is a historically positive ideology--despite its synonimity to political liberalism.) It's the catalyst for self-improvement, which is the ideology behind self-sustainability and societal evolution. And I don't feel silly arguing this, either, as I believe the world to be fundamentally dynamic; a versatile, breathable, permanently elastic fabric in the tapestry of human existence.

I would go as far to say that I regard my sensitivity in a positive light. I tend to think it more of a gift than a curse. It is, after all, what allows me to meet the needs of my companions with my own type of innate optimism. And who doesn't deserve to feel good about themselves?

^I really do believe that.

As such: I can deal with having my personal wants put on hold for the greater good. I don't mind exercising patience in that way. In fact, I actively do my best to cooperate and compromise with all that I encounter for that purpose. I can tolerate interpersonal failings... to a fault, actually. In fact I sometimes struggle rhetorically with how to be assertive with my personal views while still remaining mannerly. I am the type of person that despises cruelty, viciousness, and vulgarity. And I detest conflict between people (because I actively try to objectify my perception and hence enhance my abilities to empathize with other's pain. So, for lack of a more humble phrase, I feel your pain.) Subjective afflictions in abundance are no good, I do declare!

I realize that this post makes me come across as a self-important perfectionist who is more-than-a-little insecure. And maybe I even look perpetually bull-headed, for I can see how it might appear to readers that I am hasty with my conclusions and tend to see them as self-evident... (And sometimes this is true-- in fact it is the cause for my impatience with people. Sigh.) Please forgive me if these assertions come across that way. Alas, perhaps I lack the eloquence to author my inner monologue effectively? But at least I am satisfied in my knowledge that if I do come across this way, it is a superficial quality produced by my ego that is correctable with time. And it comforts me to know that the people worth knowing won't care about those things. To quote a friend, the people who you want to know "look past people's veneers."

These thoughts make me wonder if perhaps my cast of mind is actually more artistic than logical? Or maybe I'm just a walking contradiction; a teeter-totter of emotions and intellect...

But then again I'm too moderate to be considered avante garde in any artist endeavor (much to my disdain!) and too chaotic in my thought process to be considered analytical. Sigh. At least I've got integrity-- that's the result of being able to rationalize my subjective perceptions and compare them with the efforts of others. And because of this, I can certainly say that my close friendships are unions of true minds and true hearts.

I personally think empathy mollifies hurt and smooths over tiffs. And that, folks, is one of the many values of compassion and Truth that has to be experienced to understand. Well, what I mean by that is that experience leads to knowledge. And knowledge is power, they always say. Lest we not forget the old proverb that compassion (and therefore, empathy,) is a worthy endeavor.

I've just re-read this and I think that perhaps I tend to over-think things. Yes, that is certainly an honest justification for all of this loquacious mumbo-jumbo.

That reminds me. The other day I received the best advice of my life. It was from a Dove chocolate wrapper. It said, "don't think about it too much."

Point taken. I'm going to go ahead and check the
la tee dah now.

...Hail the profound wisdom of the Chocolate-Sage.

In which a shadowy freedom fighter known only as "E" uses intellectual terrorist tactics to fight against her totalitarian society.