Thoughts 01/28/2017

It’s come to my attention (rather recently, in fact) it is the popular opinion that I am considered by many to be a ‘dark-side’ writer. You might have figured out by now that I’m not one to let thoughts go lightly, so I’ve been allocating some headspace to this one. I’m a little surprised that I’m believed to be so shadowy. Most who meet me in person during my day-to-day comment on how cheerful, light, and funny I come across. Let’s delve into a public analysis, shall we?

It’s true that I don’t shy away from darkness. Why would I? Some of my most potent emotions and ideas are born in the realm of the unseen. They very word ‘dark’ implies a sense of mystery and the unknown—stuff that is difficult to make out. Existing solely under the bulb of an omnipresent illuminator strikes me as an incredibly boring way to live. Beauty is cached everywhere. This is true for the things we can’t (or don’t want to) look toward for inspiration.

Darkness is the uncharted. We who examine it are Old World explorers, tracing out the coastline of a foreign and foreboding across-the-sea continent. We stray far from home, and often wager much to do so—sometimes we may even lose our way. We press on, though, always seeking to uncover the ripe, aromatic bodies of the fresh and the new. These are invaluable commodities to us. They are the currency of raw experience, unfiltered and unabashed.

Writing about love, hope, and inspiration are all wonderful endeavors. In fact, we need those touchstones to which to return after our sojourns into the wild. We may spend years feeling out the black, but we make our homes under the rejuvenating glow of the sun, where we recharge our psyches as we prepare to set out again.

‘Going dark’ is about expansion—it’s about regularly embracing concepts and feelings that most people would rather avoid. I don’t believe there’s much to be learned from living in comfort and ease. All that is lit is already known; it has already been explored. Anguish and discomfort are poignant instructors from whom we learn to grow as humans. When we are content, our primary concerns generally center around remaining content. This is a kind of pleasant stagnation. We don’t feel the need to better ourselves, because we’re all right where we are. If that works for you, I think it’s marvelous. It doesn’t work for me. I am constantly driven to push beyond what I already am.

I write not just to communicate. I write to expand—to discover more about myself, the world, and my relation to the others caught within this deafening wind storm. Sometimes that means diving blindly into the night. And, sometimes it works.

Horns Blast Down the Walls

I slithered to this swivel chair by means forgotten—
the one with the flattened padding, fatigued
like a smooshed Atlas, muscles turned to jam under the
near-constant weight of my ass and my troubles—its
patterned pleather armrests, cracked and peeling in broad
strips, like elastic, translucent skin, dead shedding
from too long spent in the sun—eroded by years of my sharp
cogitating elbows, that nursed my bulging brow more often
than not, during mystical solstices of intuition and
nameless mundane mornings, when the remnant booze
steamed out of my pores through sweat-stiff denim,
as I would attempt a ritual self-resurrection, praying to a
miracle carafe of black coffee and one too many cigarettes—
the casters at its five-pronged base, like a star, still wound with
fur from at least three housedogs, old-age dead a while ago—
yet I have had a constant companion in the inanimate, as I sit
and sit, and still time creeps away in lurching tectonic slips—
my brain gone water-mad from too long spent staring into
life’s funhouse mirrors, lost in hallucinogenic nostalgias,
and my heart is parched and porous from this unending
drought, where the only nourishment is the white-hot
bead of the eternal star above and the dust of undertowing dunes
that shift beneath all things I have shaped, swallowing whole
the hollow pumice casts of every gemmed soul who’s drifted
through me, like an instantaneous disintegrate, cascading
down the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, leaving desiccated soup bones
of my many-peopled life—the buildings, art, gardens, stories, and
music now a skeleton village of ghastly reminiscence, frozen
in the instant I lost my population—so I kick their skulls down
its narrow streets of harsh abandon, poking my head
into the open-air houses and greeting the stillborn
figures of my friends, left standing upright, stuffed
and mounted by the divine taxidermist—and of course
I slump into a chair that’s just about ready to gasp its last and
give up the ghost, and I wonder if that might not also be
the most humane tack to set for my own internal fission—
to fling myself into the out-back dumpster and sledge
down the ruins of this decaying urb, clearing ground for
a new developer who’ll lift up some high-rise apartments—
this seat and I (and the universe) think it probably for the best


Some stream-of-consciousness trash for you. I was apparently too lazy to punctuate.

Wake Me When It’s Over

A link to my latest poem, published on Sudden Denouement. If you aren’t familiar with the poets on their site, please take the time to get to know them—they are some of the most talented and beautiful people I’ve come across.

“Wake Me When It’s Over” – Nicholas Osborne

-Nick

Plucking Strings

This is the first in a series of misplaced poems I’ve recently rediscovered. I wrote this one on March 13, 2011, while hung over on my friend’s couch, waiting to forget the day…


lithe, we play
that banjo

twang-twing as
night echoes of semi-
unfulfilled lovemaking
perpetuate our sweatlets—
blood-warm breezes
rake the deep ravines
craters and sinkholes of
your tree-bark skin

sing loud your
thick waves of
margarine, while we
churn, in turn—
a slick-cheeked commingling
born of striped beer
cans, dead music, and
fancy pressed-collar
shirts

a voice of clobbering
wagon wheels on your
prairie plain—rotating
in rivulets, down your
corridors, flesh walls, and
plush cotton fibers—soft
hot, electrostatic pops

I taste the way you
travel, dull bird
and I know better
because they believe you
a brilliant pink flamingo—
more pigeonlike
to me

so, I will carry
your secret, as I
would an ugly babe

even as your breasts
deflate like holey
innertubes—flat flaps
that could potentiate
to plump casks ripe
with fertile milk

twing-twang
the banjo plays
with noxious verve

then falls
mute

Thoughts 1/1/2016

The year ends, and so also ends this black-checkered composition book I’ve been scribbling in. Coincidence that the final page is filled on the last evening? Maybe my subconscious drove me to it.

Either way, I am still here—still writing, though you may not know it. I hope that what I have produced is meaningful and satisfying for you. I write for me, but also for you.

I want to thank you all for bearing with me this year. It’s a doozy for the record books, I think. Your readership, love, and support has gotten me through many more difficult days and nights than you will ever know. You have given me a reason. For that, I thank you.

Here’s to fresh starts and bold undertakings.

 

-Nick