Cross My Heart and Hope to Write
INCLUDING ORIGINAL POETRY, SHORT STORIES, ESSAYS, AND NOVELLAS, ALONGSIDE ARTWORK AND PHOTOGRAPHY
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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!
"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."