Cross My Heart and Hope to Write


Friday, November 25, 2011

Shogyoumujou and Photos

Hello all, and Happy Thanksgiving to everything. I find it rather curious that we have as a nation designated one day to be thankful for a plethora of things when it only takes a moment each day to meditate on what you have and to give thanks to whatever circumstantial entity has gifted you with it (God, fate, luck, etc.). The very fact that we are conscious creatures, able to experience this existence, all its pains and pleasures, tears and smiles, is a miracle. My challenge to each of you is for the next week, just take one moment each day to reflect on all the things you have been blessed with in this life. That can be your gift to me.

Anyhow, we have a considerably long poem in this post. The rhyme-scheme per stanza is sort of wonky (ABCDABCD-EE-FFGHHG-II), but I enjoy playing around with rhyme-scheme to see how thier affect changes. The name is a Japanese term for a Buddhist concept that says that all worldly things are transitory and impermanent. The poem tells the fictional story of a girl with thorns for hair who wanders around an arid world and, well... I'll just let you read on. I'm very proud of this piece and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it.


Locks of thorns
The sharpest type
As long as limbs
That proliferated
Curled and scorn
That made it hard to bite
Without scaring the lips
They lacerated
Naked as the earth on which she walked
Never knew another soul, and as such, never talked
The sun seared
For three hundred years 
And yet her skin remained as white as a lotus
Her fingers bled
From running them through her hair 
However she remained too mesmerized to notice
For her eyes had been bleached every color ever known
And with each sweltering day that passed her compassion had grown

Just beneath the thin flesh she wore
Pulsed a massive heart
That had pushed all the other components aside
To make room to beat
It had sieved away her ability to abhor
And left nothing but perfection wrought
And of that space that remained inside
Scuttled a rhythm that was erratically sweet
Abusive, elusive and catatonic
Loquacious, gracious, and cacophonic
It was all of sound she understood
And she danced and hummed as anyone would
To the music of the celestial organ
Swooning with every step she took 
Chills she attained, under goose bumps she shook
Barbs were to her as snakes were to the gorgon 
Tears rolled down her cheeks, overcome by a mercurial bliss
That can only faintly be challenged by the taste of a kiss

Until inexplicably
On the eve of a storm
Lightning struck at her feet
Before the sun was consumed
Hitherto cyclically
As all things in the universe conform
On this eve she would meet
The perpetuator of why flowers bloom
Within the matter of several decades
The rain thereupon began to cascade
Dousing her in a strange sensation
Far beyond her instigation 
She bathed for the very first time
She danced as lightning struck the ground
And thunder abounded all around
Giving plot to her idyllic mime
Her chest tightened and made every breath a cherished one
As the sky continued to hiss, spit and fire like a gun

She fell onto her knees
Anguish sprayed across her face
Yet a smile painted her all the more
A glistening nirvana shone in her eyes
Her lips refused to bleed
Her fingers no longer grazed 
Her muscles flexed and nearly tore
As she screamed back at the sky
Her gauzy flesh was a window now
To her veins within, splaying out 
They twitched and flickered
As she cricked and snickered
Her heartbeat fighting against the roar of the squall
Her organs contorted
To the bone she resorted
As her tongue seemed to cramp into a great knotted ball
The tumult, the torment, the torturous ecstasy 
The gamut, the gambit, the ungodly euphony   

With a surge of expurgation, her wrists tore open
And the veins and capillaries from within were freed
They flailed like feeble tentacles
Slashing at the brainsick ether
Tears continued to roil, but in her eyes they were a heavenly token
Her tubular extensions groped the ground, as if reaching to lay their seed
It was the most wondrous of wonderful spectacles
The lightning stopped, as if it knew it was too late to reach her
She fell further into her stupor and heap
As she laughed wildly and continued to weep
The veins in her back, chest and face,
From her legs too, unraveled in a horrendous embrace
They stretched toward the cold, coral colored earth
Her voice cracked and ceased as her tears stopped flowing
The clouds seemed to thin, the wind eased its blowing
The only disturbance then was her still beating heart in the forsaken mirth
The capillaries were like root hairs, the veins burrowed further
As the heart was revealed, still enraptured in fervor

Her fists still clutched muddy soil
Her ribcage fanned outward and dipped in the mire
As the spider webbing of internal transit
Pulled the heart downward bellow the sand
Thunder cracked above the blue and red toil
As the coiled capillaries fidgeted and perspired
Only the ragged and tattered skin on the surface now sits 
Limp and monotonous, in lumps, ribbons and strands
The zephyr had cleared and the sun still endured
Yet no life now existed for it to scorn
Then came with a burst and a drivel anonymous
A strange noise that was secular and autonomous
The unresponsive husk flinched and showed a dim glimmer of survival
It jumped and frisked, and made some attempt
Gave indication of life hence no longer preempt
But within moments that assumption was naught, for the body was desecrated by a 
new arrival
The once pale and flawless flesh shattered into dust
And where it had fallen stood a magnificent tree, arborous

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Far Afield and SBU Poetry Slam

Tonight, I had the wonderful opportunity to perform with fellow poets at the second-annual Stony Brook University Slam Poetry. I was unable to attend the past two semesters and nearly missed out this semester. The coordinators were kind enough to allow me to perform, even though I did not attend rehearsal. I performed "Early Girl" and got a really nice response from the rest of the performers. I want to thank them for the support. I handed out some fliers, so hopefully some of you will be stopping in.

Anyhow, I have included with this post an excerpt from a rather extensive short story I wrote that has been received wholesomely by those I have shown it to. It's called "Far Afield", and concerns a gentleman named Elmer and his interactions with a young girl named Amber. The best way to describe the story is the juxtaposition of an older man who has reached the end of his journey, while a young girl has only just begun hers. It is a woeful, sobering examination into the nature of human existence and how two people, in hopeless circumstances, regain control of their lives in the midst of giving up on it. I implore you to contact me if you feel compelled to read the rest. Enjoy!

Far Afield

"I’d partaken of it all, every backwater pastime imaginable and every festive, edacious celebration under the sun. I made moonshine, saw auroras, climbed mountains and started bar fights. I’d scaled redwoods, sailed gulfs, attended raves and churned butter. Rendezvoused the whores of Vegas, stood in the shadows of the monuments at D.C., traded with the dealers of Hollywood and trekked the scenery at Yellowstone. But for what? What’d it all amounted to? Emptiness – a deepening gorge in my spirit that consumes every attempt at filling it. After all the experiences, the motel rooms, the bars, the nightclubs, the cabins, and the convention centers, I would always walk away with a sense of unfulfilled desire, not anything sullied sex or controlled substances could satiate, but a longing to finish something I never started. Perhaps it was life itself. Ha! I couldn’t stop myself from laughing, laughing at this scene, this endgame. Standing smack-dab in the middle of some boilerplate nowhere, laughing myself near to tears. It made the firearm feel warmer in my hands.
Yet I could not stop my heart from racing. As welcoming as the solution once seemed, an anticlimactic, romanticized conclusion to a no doubt disappointing double feature, the stigma of my stubborn neuroses still prevented me from surmounting that omnipresent instinct they call life, a restraint I’d underestimated. That distant glory they call happiness had long ago abandoned me to fend for myself out there, dashed away when hallow love was hollowed out and left a crust for me to dine upon eternally. Perhaps that was its last spiteful aggrandizement – leaving me to seek nourishment from those things I once held dear, never allowing me to walk away, always tarring at its coattails for a scrap of that which I once cherished. Yet I still held on tactlessly."

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Hearts Series and Heidegger

"The poetic projection of truth that sets itself into work as figure is also never carried out in the direction of an indeterminate void. Rather, in the work, truth is thrown toward the coming preservers, that is, toward an historical group of men.""Truth, as the clearing and concealing of what is, happens in being composed, as a poet composes a poem. All art, as the letting happen of the advent of the truth of what is, is, as such, essentially poetry." "The nature of art is poetry. The nature of poetry, in turn, is the founding of truth.""Poetry, however, is not an aimless imagining of whimsicalities and not a flight of mere notions and fancies into the realm of the unreal. What poetry, as illuminating projection, unfolds of unconcealedness and projects ahead into the design of the figure, is the Open which poetry lets happen, and indeed in such a way that only now, in the midst of beings, the Open brings beings to shine and ring out. If we fix our vision on the nature of the work and its connection with the happening of the truth of what is, it becomes questionable whether the nature of poetry, and this means at the same time the nature of projection, can be adequately thought of in terms of the power of imagination."    

"If all art is in essence poetry, then the arts of architecture, painting, sculpture, and music must be traced back to poesy. That is pure arbitrariness. It certainly is, as long as we mean that those arts are varieties of the art of language, if it is permissible to characterize poesy by that easily misinterpretable title. But poesy is only one mode of the lighting projection of truth, i.e., of poetic composition in this wider sense. Nevertheless, the linguistic work, the poem in the narrower sense, has a privileged position in the domain of the arts."  

"Art, as the setting into work of truth, is poetry. Not only the creation of the work is poetic, but equally poetic, though in its own way, is the preserving of the work; for a work is in actual effect as a work only when we remove ourselves from our commonplace routine and move into what is disclosed by the work, so as to bring our own nature itself to take a stand in the truth of what is."

"Language itself is poetry in the essential sense. But since language is the happening in which for man beings first disclose themselves to him each time as beings, poesy - or poetry in the narrower sense - is the most original form of poetry in the essential sense. Language is not poetry because it is the primal poesy; rather, poesy takes place in language because language preserves the original nature of poetry."
"Poetic projection come from Nothing in this respect, that it never takes its gift from the ordinary and traditional. But it never comes from Nothing in that what is projected by it is only the withheld vocation of the historical being of man itself."   

 All horribly positioned images aside, I have here the newest additions to The Hearts Series. It has been a while since I last updated the series, but rest assured I have been collecting many specimens of said phenomena - there is no exhaustion of hearts out there! Keep your eyes peeled for what I'm talking about, and, as always, feel free to contact me if you'd like to share them. In addition, I have a link to an article I recently wrote for The Roads Scholar, a newsletter catering to commuter students at Stony Brook University: The Stony Brook Identity. The article is called, "The Stony Brook Identity: An Issue of Presence and Stigma"and represent my theory on why the general student body of SB considers commuter students to be "under-involved". Contextually, the article may not make sense to some, but it represents my skills in presenting and defending an argument. At any rate, these photos and the link are the extent to which I have included my work in this entry, the rest I've dedicated to the brilliant philosopher, Martin Heidegger.
              Being a Psychology & Philosophy double major, I have been reading excerpts from Heidegger's "Origin of the Work of Art" in my aesthetics course. The work is absolutely incredible, though admittedly dense. In it, Heidegger examines the nature of art and what it is that makes a work of art a work of art. The last chapter of the work, entitled "Truth and Art", concerns art's relationship with truth. Heidegger eventually makes the assertion that all art is essentially poetry. Naturally, poetry being my principle means of expression, I was highly aroused by his claims. I have included here several passages scattered about the post that I personally feel are wonderful, informative, articulate, and to a certain degree true (though certainly in lieu of the Heideggerian notion of truth). Enjoy!

"It is due to art's poetic nature that, in the midst of what is, art breaks open an open place, in whose openness everything is other than usual."