Cross My Heart and Hope to Write

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sandy Hook Reaction: Tête-à-tête UPDATE

There is a tragic epidemic spreading across the United States. I'm not quite sure where it began or how the infection started, but it appears to be growing. It is characterized by intense violence directed at your fellow man.

The atrocious events that took place a week ago in Newtown, CT have brought to the fore issues that have been teeming at the heart of this outbreak for quite some time. The brutality exhibited is tied into other circumstances surrounding American culture today. Why, with so much technology, are we so alienated from one another? Why do we choose to communicate through a screen rather than face to face? Bullying is nothing new, but when it is exhibited on the internet, it becomes property of the world, leading to an all new breed of anxiety. Suicide runs rampant. The pathways in place to keep us connected have drawn us apart. An older gentleman told me he used to hitchhike everywhere in the 1970's, but now he wouldn't dare set foot in a stranger's car. What the hell happened to us?

The politics in place on the television and on our radios only mask the true issues at hand. The way in which media networks have reported on recent events attests to our addiction to entertainment. We are becoming crueler and further alienated from one another. We are surviving off of stigma, force fed dramatized reality, being lobotomized by primetime televised genocide, and it is corrupting our genes.

We must, together, persevere to reverse this growing calamity. No amount of diplomatic bickering and institutionalized rights can alleviate the American people of responsibility. We must collectively embrace our identities as human, as American, and work together to save each other, from each other, from ourselves. There is a civil war occurring in our hearts and it is spilling out into the streets. The only way we can win this war is through love - Love for ourselves and our fellow human beings.


Tête-à-tête: A Reflection on School Shootings in Two Parts 

I.
There are few things that I hold unjustifiable.
Few acts persist with purity
As inarguably heinous
As the senseless murder
Of the innocent…
The helpless and
The defenseless
In public places.
A mall,
A movie theatre,
A church,
But none more despicable
Than a school.
There is nothing more tragic
Than when utmost ignorance
Conquers a safe haven of education,
As if chains had suddenly conquered their keys.
The only time books and bullets should share the same space
Is in a social studies book;
The only time a child should have to smell gunpowder
Is on the Fourth of July.
No one should have their innocence
Ripped away from them;
No one should have to die
In a classroom.  
I sympathize with the mentally ill,
The delusional,
The misinformed,
But I cannot sympathize  
With those that deliberately take the lives of students  
In a violent act of self-aggrandizement.
I cannot pool my pity
For this monstrosity;  
For the purity of evil it distils.
The thought processes required
To compel a human being
To massacre children and young adults
Is an infectious adulteration
That strikes at the crux of a person’s humanity,
Transmutating them into something
Far more vile,
More disgusting than I think any one of us is capable of conceiving.
But anger…
And vengeance,
And hatred
Are not the answer.  
This is not about gun control
Or mental health issues,
This is about the worth of the human character.
This is about the need to act,
To quell the spread
Of this infectious disease.
To save the lives of the innocent
We must save the lives of those who seek to kill them.
We must stop the beasts
Before they feed.
Realize that
The shooter was innocent too once.  
We must learn to support each other,
Through love and acceptance.
We must learn to read the signs of danger
And to act on them,
To save the perpetrators from themselves.
They will thank you…   
We can no longer be afraid to help one another,
To fear the stigma,
The backlash.
It is a chore that must be undertaken by each and every one of us,
To winnow out the demons that possess our fellow man.
Build a gun that shoots bullets of compassion…
And we can blow away this mess. 

II. 
I am so sorry
For what has happened here…
So sorry
For what your fellow man has done.
The love that binds you
To the loved ones you have lost
Binds us all together
In the wake of this tragedy. 
The memory of their beauty,
The grace with which they have touched our lives,
Will no less persist
In my mind
And heart
Than in yours.
Let us,
Together
In our collective sorrow,
Reflect on them
With the confidence
That their death  
Will ensure the world is made
A better place.
I am so sorry
For your loss…
For my loss…
For our loss,
For the loss to humanity.
I am so…
So sorry
That my poem
Cannot bring them back.   

This poem is dedicated to the memory of all those who have lost or given their lives as a result of a mass shooting. My love and my words go out to the families of those lost and anyone else who is connected to or has been affected by a public shooting. 
God Bless America  

UNDATE
A recording of this poem can now be found on the ReverbNation profile. Check it out and share it with your friends! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Call For Submissions to "The Hearts Series"

I need your help. 
Some of you may have noticed, here on the blog and on the Facebook page, that I have a photo series entitled "The Hearts Series." The purpose of the series is to capture heart images in everyday life so that we can each learn to appreciate the little miracles that surround us. 
I am calling upon my readers and fans to become a part of this lovely project. All you have to do is take pictures of hearts that you find in your day to day hustle and bustle and send them to me at licardist@gmail.com. Picture quality does not matter, iPhone or Canon, as long as people can tell what they're looking at. The only requirement is that they have to be FOUND: They can't be made by you just for the sake of taking a picture. A few of my friends have already contributed to this project, and now I'm opening it up to everyone!



Email a copy of your pictures to licardist@gmail.com along with: Your name and a short description of the photo (what it is of and where it was taken). I will desplay the pictures on the Facebook page along with the name and short descriptions you provide.   

I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys turn up, so get out there and find those hearts!   

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What's the Harm in Fantasy?: Concrete Balloon & Cloud Cover

To be a good writer, you have to know how to pretend. You have to be willing to talk to yourself, to act out a scene, to think abstractly, and to experience things that cannot be experienced. You have to be an expert in the world that you create. You have to be its God.


For the most part, life isn't very concrete, if you think about it. Certainty is, itself, a fantasy. It is the illusion of certainty that keeps us comfortable, but every so often something comes along and jars that comfortability. I think good writing taps into this uncertain aspect of life. That meager "What if?" that persists is played upon in the act of reading, and a good writer can make it feel real. Indeed, sometimes, the more abstract something is, the more concrete it feels. We can impart onto it any meaning we want and make it a part of ourselves. The more ludicrous the premises, the more attractive the conclusion.


A good story gives us the gift of flight. It gives us the ability to fly to someplace beyond our everyday existence. It is a vacation taken between two flyleaves; page trekking, if you will. And the writer is your tour guide. No one should be punished for daydreaming a little - That's how writers workout! The mind is a xanadu, if you furnish it well. We need fantasy to set goals. Our ideas of the future are constructions of something that doesn't yet exist. And I strongly believe that to reach for the stars, you have to put your head in the clouds.      


Concrete Balloon

When you fall into my eyes
I feel like I can fly,
As if awakening a sleeping dream
Inside a concrete balloon.
Beestings hold my soul together,
But I've been pruned.
You plucked my final feather
And how my wings will carry me now,
I can only assume.
My shoes are coming loose,
While these fragile wings flicker,
To be harvested from my back
And chewed.
I curl my limbs in
To stretch the skin over my eyes.
As gravity absconds me
And leaves the ambiance to hang like a noose,
I drag my concrete balloon.
Drowsy eyes you tumble through,
Shattering and smattering
My mind with you.    
Shards of glass protrude
Through perfect skin,
Through blood and bruise.
Outstretch your hands to catch
The ground and drown in the swoon.
Let the sky dilute
All of you.
You and I
We fly like concrete balloons.


Cloud Cover

There is an endless sea
That lies beyond the sky
Where every little mistake
And hurting
Are cast aside
Where the wooden hulls of happiness
Never crack
Where the heart-shaped waves
Never break
Where the shores of pain and longing
Are never met
And where the highflying sun
On the wings of love
Never sets

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Learning To Appreciate Things: I Am Thankful

How often do we stop to be thankful for the things we have? The simple things, like four walls, a full fridge, and a cat. But even simpler things, I think, deserve thankfulness: Like this computer or phone screen, or the shoes on your feet, or the paint on your nails, or even that bruise you got the other day. Why be thankful for a bruise? Why be thankful for a scar? Why be thankful for heartache?


Life has a silly way of being precious. There are things we take for granted that, even when we think of the things we take for granted, we don't think about. Like... solid ground... or birds singing... or being betrayed. A lie can even be cherished. What if you had ended up with that boy or girl who broke your heart? The childish love that never was - what if it had been? Maybe if you had you would have never learned to love yourself. The good and the bad, in time, are equalized.


I had the idea for this poem two years ago, but finally got around to writing it this year. It's meant to be a Thanksgiving poem, so I wrote it on Thanksgiving morning. Hopefully, in reading it, you can learn to appreciate things you hadn't before. Its purpose is to remind us that, even in the darkest moments, there is something worth being thankful for. In the end, everything has a silver-lining.  


I Am Thankful 

I am thankful
For eight fingers
And two thumbs
I am thankful
For two legs
And two arms
I am thankful
For vision
For sight  
For foresight
I am thankful
For taste
For smell
For touch
For speech
For an intact mind
I am thankful
For an empty stomach
Because it reminds me of what real hunger is
I am thankful
For a hungry mind
For curiosity
For inspiration
I am thankful
For ideas
For convictions
For concepts
For virtues
I am thankful
For fear
Because fear gives us something to conquer
And something to keep us in our place
I am thankful  
For tears
I am thankful
For mistakes
For being able to make mistakes
For being able to learn from my mistakes
For being sorry
For my mistakes
I am thankful
That I am not perfect
Because if I was
I wouldn’t need a reason to strive for better
I am thankful
For strife
I am thankful
For struggle
For hope
For faith
For being let down
I am thankful
For pain
For pain
For pain
For pain
Because when pain comes
It makes you want to forget what it means to feel
Because when pain comes
I want it to leave
And when it leaves 
I am thankful
Because pain reminds us of the beauty of contentment
It reminds us of how petty some things are
How real some things are
How fake some things are
I am thankful
For loss
Because it reminds us of what we still have
I am thankful
For memories
For being able to remember
I am thankful
For being able to forget
To forgive
I am thankful
For forgiveness
I am thankful
For love
The ability to love
For unrequited love
For lost love
I am thankful
We never were together
I am thankful
We couldn’t make it work
I am thankful
You didn’t love me back
I am thankful
For loneliness
For giving me a reason to listen to myself
For loneliness
For teaching me to love myself
I am thankful
For words
For language
For expression
I am thankful
For your attention
For your eyes
And your ears
And your tongues
I am thankful
For community
For friendship
For family
I am thankful
For my companions
I am thankful
For my mother
For my father
For my brother
For my grandparents
And my great-grandparents
And my great-great-grandparents
I am thankful
For my blood
I am thankful
For happiness
For humor
For laughter
Because the only thing stronger than your will to live
Is your laugh
And I am thankful    
For the stars
Because without them
The chemicals in my DNA
Would have never been
Because without them
I would have nothing to reach for
I am thankful  
For breath
For existence
For consciousness
For life
And all the baggage it comes with   
I am thankful
That I have been given the opportunity to exist
And to be thankful
I am thankful
I am thankful 

BRAND NEW 
Check out the all new ReverbNation page. Including exclusive recordings of such poems as Dust, Reality, the song Halley, and now I Am Thankful. Keep up to date on venues, shows, and new audio files by becoming a fan. Ask me a question, leave a comment, and download some of my MP3's. And remember to share it with your friends!   

Saturday, November 17, 2012

STEVEN T. LICARDI FEATURES AT THE POETRY PLACE IN PATCHOGUE, NY ON DECEMBER 15TH @ 7:30pm

Join myself and Pramila Venkateswaran on Saturday, December 15th at 7:30pm at The Poetry Place in Patchogue, NY for a lovely evening of poetry and expression. We will each share their work for approximately fifteen minutes, after which there will be a short period mingling, followed by an open mic. Bring your own work, share with the crowd, and feel free to invite others.

or simply mark your calendars!

And, as always, spread the word!
I look forward to meeting you all there (:

Religious or Spiritual?: Antidisestablishmentarianism

I can't claim to be religious. Then again, what does that even mean, "to be religious?" I have heard people talk of frustration when inquiring the same of others, only to be responded with, "No, I'm spiritual." What does that even mean? I talk to God (though I can't say I'm certain who or what I'm talking to). I pray. But I don't adhere to a particular discipline. Though my weekend yoga routine may be somewhat regular, that's the closest I come to Sunday Mass. Yet, I feel comfortable in any religious setting, be it a Baptist church, an Islamic mosque, a Hindu temple, or a Catholic cathedral. Indeed, I indulge in such eclectic participation, though I respect other's potential abhorrence of such activities. Sure, the community created by organized religions is beautiful, but I think the point of "worship" runs far deeper.


I'm not bastardizing routine religious and/or (as I see no concrete discernible difference between the two) spiritual adherence. Quite the contrary - I'm aggrandizing the personal experience of engaging in religious and/or spiritual activities. It is the personal component that is key. No organized religion or sect can certify for you the correct way in which you should perform your adoration to whomever or whatever you wish, unless of course you feel that religion/sect fit. You have the choice; you always do. The divine acts in ways that I cannot see rulable by man. The powers that exist beyond have bestowed upon you the gift of worship in any way you deem practical, even if you choose not to worship at all.    

             
Antidisestablishmentarianism

All the Rites of Day and Night
Bestowed upon my temple
Of clockwork switches and capital heights
With spires and sconces in marble
Bury your teeth upon the alter
Be faltered by the depths of the murals on the ceiling
Rest your head on the granite floor
And ignore how you think the priests and nuns are feeling
There are staircases in hidden corners
Horns are grown, and groaned, to boast
You'll learn the points are sharper and stronger
To lobotomize and inoculate the ghosts
We baptize with bullets here
Neither our sheep nor goats
Lazy linens
And tenant tents
Swaddle our brethren and our hosts
Sweeping away the regurgitation of the day
When night comes knocking
You learn the flowers are not quite so gay
We're stripping the tires
Offering justice
To places who wish it, but find it not
On the map of life and luxury
We'll help you to erase your dot
Drones of clones and matchmaker weddings
Pending address to mail us a claim
"We're sorry for all the happiness,
"We'll be glad to blot out your name."
The seats sink in like an elderly mattress
To clasp you tight and let you go
To free you from commitment
(Your reluctance will let you know)
Blessed upon the brow
A sacrificial cow
With smoke
And glitter
And mint oil
Kicked in the back of the knees
To bow
Dogmatic
We must be the dogs
To bay by doors
Gilded
Black
Denied the right to be a scoundrel
Denied a meal, denied attack
Water laced with plasma    
Quarried with salmonella hands
Bottled up for firmament
In barrels with steal bands
We will drink to the sloth
A company of gluttons
Introverted stomachs
Keep our petticoats and suits still buttoned    
Hear our choir illuminate
The darker parts of the mosque
When we pass around the hallowed skull
Its time to empty out your socks
We can raise the dead with the Rites of Day
And make you forget you passed away
Reanimate the potpourri
With an ungodly euphony
We can bring you to the edge with the Rites of Night
And make you forget you ever were alive
Disintegrate your spirits spine
Leave reality behind
Come together in our mass
Of abandoned monotony      

Saturday, November 10, 2012

After Sandy: Chawdron

I live on the East Coast. As such, we have experienced a lot of destruction and uncertainty lately. The New York area I think is fairly well known for its ego and hubris. We're always bustling around, rarely thinking of our fellow man. "Frankenstorm" Sandy (and the nor'easter that followed it) has been a humbling experience, returning people to the things that truly matter and making our collective humanity far more real. Though tragic, I believe life sends us harsh messages to remind us of the things that transcend the material and revamp our awareness of the deeper things in life.


The destruction brought by Sandy has compelled some in my community of poets to take action. The Bards Initiative, a local poetry organization on Long Island, has banded together to create "Songs of Sandy (SOS)," a collection of poetry and reflections on the events of the storm, and other hurricane related subject matter. The anthology will be included in a disaster relief bundle, consisting of SOS, two ebooks, four poetry collections, an indie album, and recordings, videos, and performances from poets (myself included) and artists from around New York and abroad. 100% of the proceeds from the selling of this bundle will go toward disaster relief efforts in the wake of Sandy. For more information, and to learn when the bundle will become available, check out the official Songs of Sandy website. Interested in contributing? Submit your recordings, poems, reflections, videos, and/or performances at songsofsandy@gmail.com, but act fast! The deadline is November 13th (this Tuesday). 


One cannot help but think of the worst as we look at images of the damage on our laptops, TV screens, and phone (if we even have access to those things). Our own destruction looms in the back of our minds and is brought to the fore in gazing at such vivid imagery. Our things are temporary; the memories they carry are temporary. We are temporary. Hold close to the preciousness of this life, and don't let it be flooded beneath the weight of petty things. 


Chawdron

When the entire world has fallen away
You’ll find me steeped in rust,
Attempting to keep boredom at bay
By sifting through the dust.
Squalor to riches,
Night to day,
Death, the common lust;
Love asunder,
Knowledge astray,
And only a sliver of trust
Remained.
Blood soaked into the smattered loam,
Like decadent red velvet cake,
Arsenic had seized the foam
Of the sea, turned to bile, and ached.
Mud,
My tux,
A ghoulish husk,
Of what once claimed this dank mirage,
A lasting hush,
A creeping gust
That sluggishly patrols the hodgepodge.     
I toil to find
The remnants of mind,
And where the body lay
To rebuild Fate
From humdrum waste
And the world’s newfound decay.
I wish to confine 
What’s left of Time
To reclaim that soiled day.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Importance of Knowing Who You Are: Stigmata

Who are you? 
Who are you really
A better question to ask yourself is, "Who am I?


After all, we are not automatically obliged to divulge to others who we truly are, but I think it is necessary for each of us to know who we truly are for ourselves. It is one of the most important lessons to learn in life, to discover the real you for the sake of no one else but you. You can be whoever you want in public, but you should know who the real you is - honestly, completely, and confidently - and to not be ashamed of it.

People falsely believe the self is stagnant, unchanging, one, and complete. But I think it is a sign of health to have a dynamic, flexible, fluid self, changing to each of life's silly turmoils. We should actively decide on and commit to core essentials of ethical and moral absolutes that we should attempt to abide by, to establish a foundation, unshakable and secure, but flexible, for no one else but the self. Having gelatinous keystones, for lack of a more poetic expression, provides a steady grounding and a sense of immunity from tragedy, from change, from other's cruelty.

To think, the only thing each of us has from the moment we are born to the moment we pass is ourselves, and if we can't learn to live with ourselves, life will be... unlivable. We must learn to accept the discoveries we make of ourselves, even the ones we didn't expect; to take what we've amassed and what we've lost, where we've been and where we're going, and to accept them as our own and use them to make the person we've always wanted to be. You have and always will have that power.  


Stigmata

Sip blood with sick knights
fighting for a crown;
a black jeweled ornament;
a crimson shroud.
I filed my teeth down with a spoon
and bathed my blood in a storm cloud;
washed out the needles,
and liquified the dreams;
found the dust I lost long ago.
It seems
as though
the weather in my heart is snow.
When you pull back the bow and release my vision:
Twain the jury,
kill the music,
and shoot down the pigeon.
It was a lake -
a dark lake -
I dipped my feet into
and let the tentacles drag down what I thought I knew.
Tore out each hair like a petal
and made a wish,
tied a noose out of the fibers
and with the stragglers I stitched
back together all the valentines,
made a sail to fly me back to a better time.
I walk the streets at night
screaming...
Singing songs the Devil taught me while I was sleeping.
As a child,
I made a crib out of ouija boards,
tied a string to my finger
and slit my wrists with a deck of cards.
Cleft tongue,
no eyes,
no speech,
just fucked up
and out of reach;
weighed down by gravity,
trapped on my knees
and short of breath,
I believe...
Bring on the machines -
the lights and sounds that protect me!
Candles in a dim room
casting shadows that I talk to.
Third person intuition
vague view
of fuzzy memories that appear true.
Building games with no winners.
Traversing a maze with no escape.
I raped my youth when I found out I was a sinner.
Surgeon of a masked future,
cutting up the past,
tape it back together
on a reel to be reviewed;
previewed;
I knew you -
recalled and bequeathed -
a toy chest for Death,
regressed into a chicken heart
snapping wishbones and cupping eyelashes
blowing flowers apart.
A skeleton clad boy;
a glass-wrapped McCoy;
a match in a windstorm of my own ploy.
It was a white day,
a black day,
a day of deceit.
It was the day I found the holes in my hands and feet!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Uhane

The Hawaiians have a word for soul: Uhane. It also means strong spirited and is often given as a name for girls. The human heart is pretty resilient, if you think about it. It goes through a lot - falls in love, out of love; frets; skips beats - all while providing the body with its propulsion. This precious internal combustion engine of ours is like a bridge between the material and the spiritual. There's a reason why every culture, no matter how remote, revels in the symbolism of the heart. The Greeks thought it was the seat of consciousness, a notion contemporaries reserve for the mind, while the soul has stayed firmly  housed in the heart. I'm sure ancient man was aware of the heart as an organ - surgery is nothing new.


Falling in love with someone, particularly, does something to the heart. I don't think you ever really fall out of love with them. You move on, but you hold a part of them within forever. They contribute to the overall you; you are incomplete without them, as little as you would like to admit it. I kind of envision it as a graveyard, without trying to sound too macabre. Everyone we have given our heart to is buried within us, and every new love that is lost is laid to rest. The image itself got me to thinking, "If the heart really is like a graveyard... who tends to the graves?"    

Uhane

Purging the plots marked up on this heart,
Moist soil on the shovel tip, 
I brush off my overalls as I walk across the dirt 
And flush out my fangs with a toothpick.
My footprints will be washed away
Once the angel tears come flying,
But the grass will never reach far enough to overgrow these names.  
Sarcophaguses of beloved lay just below the surface, 
Tombs and relics scattered like arrows in a manmade forest. 
My feather duster serves me well
In this paradise or private hell,
My keys have kissed each lock quite well 
And I'm waiting for bones to break me.  
Built a castle of skulls 
To sit on a throne of cartilage, 
Humming oldie tunes 
And tending to my lineage. 
Prune the arteries, 
Leech the valves with these pipe cleaners; 
My knapsack is overflowing
With the artifacts that make me keener.  
Oh, what a meandering 
Atop this sullen, sunken wreck,    
Suspended in antiquity 
With no tongue or lips to peck.  
Oh, wouldn't it be grand
To band or bouquet, 
Like a barrel of whisky 
Or a bundle of Mrs. Sam McGredy 
Just one 
Of those that have come and gone? 
A smoldering ambition.
This is the intermission,
The space between the spinal chord
And the beat you wish to listen.
Listless melodies 
Pepper scattered wreaths, 
Slight of hand, erroneous 
Bathing beneath their sheaths.  
You will come to find me napping 
With my hat tucked way down low
Over my drooping brow, 
Cradled on the bridge of my nose. 
A hammock to catch the wind at dusk, 
A windmill to blow away the dust, 
A corner for the slime and rust 
To collect until they're beauteous. 
Crouching on a willow stump, 
My rake not far from reach,    
Hands folded over, twice; 
These limestones still left to bleach.   
My eyes may be closed,
But the work is never done
Surviving and utilizing 
All the strength without the sun.
Chancre carousel cadaver, 
The maliciousness of the endeavor. 
Surgical serenity, 
Beside a wilted flower.
Plant my shovel in the grass
Propel my hovel, full and fast, 
The space is perpetual and vast 
And there is much still left here to vacate. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Glitter And Anthrax

Reality doesn't run on reason. The cosmos doesn't know logic - logic is manmade. Fate, irony, destiny, luck, and chance are all composed of randomness. No matter the probability with which we may determine the exact location and velocity of a particle, it is never without an air of chance. With so many independent systems with their own "order" working in tandem throughout the universe (and beyond), when they're multiplied together and taken as a whole, it all just seems like one big rigmarole with no coherence whatsoever. Yet, the interplay seems undeniable. The result, strangely legible.
The iconic question: Why do bad things happen to good people? is not easy to answer for many reasons. For one, what exactly are "bad things"? How can we be certain our notions of just and right are... just and right? Once we bring into the picture the synthetic ideals of mankind - our predisposed perceptions of what should and shouldn't be - the overarching sovereignty of the cosmos (God, if one feels so inclined,) is nullified and ungraspable. No matter how abstract or cryptic our assertions may seem or how much logic tells us things are true or valid, in reality everything in no holds barred. 

I think, for that reason, all art and expression is without restraint. 
For the universe is the grandest of all works and all works have their place within it.      

Glitter And Anthrax

Choke hold!
Fork in the road to eat my words again

(Glitter and anthrax)
Breaking down
Breaking me in (inside out)
Breaking this poisoned disposal of tissue
The reaping is feeding a purging the need
Cutting and mincing, transversal disjunction
(Anthropomorphic)

Oh, humble creatures of the night
Embrace this corpse
And make me worth fighting for
Twisting and turning
Been gobbed up inside too long
Oblong
Seeping through the cracks
The egg you cage me in is starting to cave in
And I find it hard to question why
Hard to pass the time

(Antifreeze and ice cream)
Breaking down
Breaking me in (inside out) 
Breaking this spiked incomprehensible migraine 
This tumbling illusion has grown too weak 
The floodgates are meek, imprisoning Liberty's eyes 
(Legerdemain) 

Zephyr 
Humor me a while 
Capture me a gust 
And help me to turn dust from dust 
I'm finding more than milestones 
Corner stones have been laid to waste 
I'm seeing more than fireflies tonight 
The stars are in a heap 
And it's difficult to separate the stardust 
From mine 

Flapjack
Upturn the stones I've skipped away from here 
I'm catching breaths
But never finding the words you need to hear 
Euthanized
It's kind of odd to dry my bones beside this riverbed 
Where we used to spend our time and dine in summer time at picnics 
Childhood hideaways decay while I swim my way through the milky-way
Chewing off the memories of destiny I thought I saved  

No shoebox was ever able to hold all the lies you knew 
And however many trinkets survive I doubt I'll ever know the truth 

(Cyanide and sprinkles)
Breaking down
Breaking me in (inside out) 
Breaking the portioned secrets coveted  
Wrapped in plaid and decadence 
Margarine and petroleum condense transitions of the path 
Bugaboo, bucolic crave seems locked behind a crimson door 

(Soft music plays)

Dormite
Let me treat you to a cryptex:
There's a scroll I tossed away when I withdrew my Solomon ways
Frankincense was sent astray when three wise men came to save the day
But each were blind and bleeding on the inside
Carnal knowledge was to blame
You see, the things we've come to do, and set like clockwork, have passed the tide
Daylight savings came and spent, and still we couldn't catch the ride
The rise and fall, the come and gone, the now and then are nothing new
Because everything that's happened once, we still have left to do

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Hands and The Hearts Series

 Hands really fascinate me. In fact, they have inspired a poem series. Of all the gifts of nature, of all the wonders of the body, I find our hands to be the most incredible. No mechanical device or prosthetic has ever been able to achieve the elegance and fluidity of our hands. They really are miracles. The thumb alone is an incredible invention of evolution. The separation of one bone into two and suddenly the entire course of the mammalian species is forever altered. We are here because of our hands: Hands built the world around us, built our society, built our humanity. Don't take them for granted; appreciate them! Examine them, cherish them, and respect them for their grandeur.    

My Hands 
     Arranged loosely and unclenched on the desktop in front of me, as if cradling sand, my sullied hands, curled up fragilely in an elderly claw, reveal nails that have been bitten down far too low. These sweaty palms, turned upward nakedly to my tired eyes, glisten in the lamp-light with unease. I observe the gorges and valleys that crisscross them like dried and withered riverbeds, the tips of my fingers red and tingling, cuticles gray as if stained with chalk. They are bent in heavy angles, stiff and unresponsive.
     Turning them over, I find the other side bored with tunnels, blue veins twitching under the pink skin, the tendons tightening and snapping. My crimson knuckles turn white when I squeeze them into fists and listen as the bones within ground together. I look closely at the blotches and cicatrices that mark them, the brown discoloration on my little finger from where my tissue had mutated into beauty mark. The scars twinkle as I turned my digits in the light.
I wonder what my paws will look like in twenty years or so, overgrown with advancing hair and worn, callused, resembling a log of cheese. How many lacerations would they sustain, and how many blemishes will they gain?
     Sliding the juice drenched pad across the lacquered wood of the desk, recalling the feel of it, I try to reminisce about the many things I have touched in my young life, the many things I will have touched, and try to vindicate them. I bring the tender tips up to my cracking lips and taste their saltiness, wafting the scent of a long-forgotten lover. 
     With age, like wine, they will grow wiser, and neither arthritis nor amputation could claim the experiences for their own. These two dissimilar tools that God has so graciously bequeathed upon me, that I have used so thoughtfully to shape my being, move like spiders, monotone, across the surface. However shaky and unsteady, bearing witness to them conjures the life I have commanded, and I am not disappointed or overwhelmed, content and rather blissful, remembering the warmth of the many cheeks I have caressed. 

     But what story is written on yours? Do they reflect what you expect? Or are they sickly and covetous, cradling anger instead of pride; grimy, dry, and cold? Don't overlook how they have shaped you and the power they possess. The healing and Herculean clout, bestowed with such simple innovation, such dexterity and compassion. Melodically and mechanically inclined, able and strangely natural, vaiglorious synthetics of some alien building blocks. 
     Whatever map or recipe those faceless eyes read each time a new life is conceived, it is always revised, but places in the hands the will to change completed delicacy. We each have strength in numbers - ten - so keep them clean, and remember there is always time to finish what you started.        

I've included some new photos from The Hearts Series, photographs documenting hearts found in everyday places.
You can see the complete collection of them by going to the Facebook page. Feel free to Like it while you're there! Enjoy! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

When We're Born We Forget And When We Die We Remember

A few years ago, on Christmas Eve, my family engaged a discussion on the nature of the afterlife. My uncle memorably suggested, "I believe, when we're born we forget... and when we die, we remember." Though perhaps not an entirely unique proposition, the nature of what it means to be alive (or even Being itself) and what it means to cease existence has been the pensive essay of nearly every great mind and man alike.


I have always been struck by the strange kinship between things in this world. Everything - from the tiniest cell to the tallest mountain - seems to possess a token of being traceable to me. As if we equally share in this existence. Indeed, it seems undeniably so. In relation to our observation, the web of the spider appears quaint against the anatomy of the bicycle, with little explanation as to why.


But from what do we come and whereto do we go? We are each constructed from atoms concocted in the hearts of nubile stars that emerged millions of years after the Big Bang, or so the accepted theory goes. We are, therefore, recycled. In this regard, ourselves, the web, and the bicycle are equals. And what becomes of the us once the atoms fall away, to become other things all together? May the memories of a stone or an insect somehow find their way, however subtly, into our minds? Do the emotions of a long-since moldered tree contribute to your overall disposition? How many lives do you suppose exist inside you?


Perhaps, when everything is said and done, we each revert to a primordial spiritual gumbo from which all that is has its emergence. Not in a physical sense, but a transcendent one, in which all that may be comprehended resides - all truths, all knowledge, all understanding. Perhaps that is what it truly means to remember.      

When We're Born We Forget And When We Die We Remember 

Curious
This here flesh
This touch I've here received
Why do I feel as though I've awoken
From an endless sleep?
The world is filled with something dull
A light
Not quite as bright
My eyes are having trouble adjusting
To these curious sights  
Deja vu
Is that you I'm feeling?
New faces I've never seen
Yet I could have sworn I passed you
In an endless dream

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