For the text: “Pillow Thought”
For the text: “Pillow Thought”
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.
For the text: ‘Flightless Birds & Fireballs’
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.
Somehow, the link to this recording got lost in the shuffle. Thought I’d post it again.
My attempt to give voice to another poem. You can find the text here, on Sudden Denouement.
Mumbling into a microphone from yours truly.
Plucking Strings (text)
I’ve just uploaded a reading of my poem, “A Book for David” on SoundCloud. Play here, play there, or play nowhere at all.
A four-month space.
Same ratty college sweatshirt.
Same shitty room.
Same camera lens.
Same human being?
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?