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.

Thoughts 12/17/2016

Friends,

My recent silence has been caused by a fundamental reexamination of both myself and my blog—what purpose I want the two of us to accomplish together. It has been a semi-productive reflective exercise, and I think I might have shaken a few buttons loose and stitched a hole or two back together.

I’m steering this rusty tub in a different direction.

My primary focus here is poetry. I may dabble in short fiction, but stories are something you sit down to read, not posts you flip through on your phone before work. I’ll still extend thoughts (like this) from time to time; it’s fun for me—I hope it is for you. I’m only changing my approach.

Quality and purity:  that’s where we’re going. Sometimes, I’ve been known to blow my nose onto a piece of paper and call it poetry. It might be poetry, but it may very likely be just an uncontrolled expulsion of repulsive bodily humors. Who’s to say?

So, I’m going to cinch things up. I’ll likely post less often, but what I do post will be fully revised and edited. We (my blog and I) will endeavor to better ourselves for you (the ambiguous “you” that is the Internet). You are why we maintain this place, after all.

Can you live with that?

-Nick

Late Night Thoughts 12/5/2016

Everything I’ve written here—all the past loves, hopes, sadness, and other expressions—is still as true as it was at the moment I penned it. I still love. I still feel. I am still here. I am an organic entity lost in an infinite universe, one who’s desperately trying to understand his place and his purpose. These words are the travelogue of my journey.

I love all those I have lost. I look forward to the loves I have not yet met. I love life and I love creation, and my life is dedicated to exploring everything I can in my limited time with this consciousness of mine.

I believeI believe in decency and rightness. I believe that we can all improve ourselves. I believe in selflessness and altruism. I believe in forgiveness.

I believe in you.

Same Trip

love me without water
walk that desert, sans canteen

travel caked bleached flats
sand that crunches like snow
under your slender heels

leave a wandering creek
a sad map of footprints

wrap that black-and-white
patterned scarf around your face
so it ripple-whips your neck
in the high blue wind

and take your salt tablets

remember about mirages:
if you see a flock of pretty faces
keep moving

because not one heart beats
in that terracotta army



This is an older poem. Stylistically different, but I think it deserves a home here.

Earthprints from Before

All is fog over a field.
Amid the dewy afterbirth of yesterday,
the dry tan shoots spring in clumps
like shocks of untrimmed beard
from this dense and loamy ground:
the ground that sucks at my feet,
pulling without hand or finger—
needing me closer.

A garden of skeletons and of what was—
and what could again become—
a green and swaying meadow,
whose lush stems and porcelain wildflowers
would twist and bend in mass undulation
with the sighing currents that plied them.

They would laugh and dance here—
those yesterday-people with their colors and their dangling hair,
when the ether between us was close and intimately warm;
“acceptance” was the closed-mouth word—
the unsaid that needed no saying;
“family,” the idea that needed no imagining.

Gone now, all those bouncing bodies,
with their eyes and hips and lips that laughed.
All they’ve left are ruts—
deep and hollow gouges in the soil,
trailing from their erstwhile caravans.
They’ve picked up; rolled onward
and forgotten this place—this field
where I remain.

All is mist-obscured now—
Elsewhere owns those smiles;
elsewhere owns that springtime.
Elsewhere in some other field,
floating in their helium heads,
those caravanners have abandoned the memory
of what and who were left,
in this field
where I remain.

How to (Not) Forget

Forever in a cube:
a lonely square on the snow-crusted peak
of nowhere,
with words for solace,
and thoughts to sustain
whatever living creature yet nests
within the rise and fall of my ribs.

Palms drip;
imagined clocks tick.
Time rolls intangible.
By breaths, I chronicle—
a moment, an hour;
a day, a single degree.
Sameness drives the brush strokes together,
and the paints on this canvas
smear into one brown blob.

Where have they gone?
The people.
Scurried back to normalcy?
Dropping amnesia-inducing pills,
to forget all but the nectar taste
of gratification:
that wholesale consumption of the self?

Somewhere here
exists the real—
within this nothingness of space-time.
It is love
and it is hope
and it does not forget.
It longs and yearns
and bellows in the silence.

It is me.
And I am it.