The Way She

Lasting press
The rain comes down
I felt that dew drop on the ground
Up she comes
I see her now
The last one left for Kingdom’s fell.
I don’t know why
She speaks here now
I’m lost as lost and lost is found
Help me please
I’m doing well
When I’m lasting press
Upon the ground

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“So what do you do?”

What do we all want? Purpose, right? Meaning. I feel I got freedom when I did not deserve it. Get a job so you can have an income. For many people, money is the purpose. Or what you can do with it– things, status. Maybe travel. People are lawyers or real estate agents or go career military. They go to graduate school and get engineering degrees and doctors. I see a lot of people become teachers by default. It seems a difficult life– little pay, long hours, high stress, no respect.

People, adults, seem to become things. They are metamorphosed into their careers. A student becomes journalist, an actor, an anything. I’ve watched the odd social transition from college parties to “adult” parties.

College parties are defined by booze, largely– exhibits of excess and hedonism. You have loud music and shouting, most people you don’t know, drinking games, the members there are looking for release and testing limits.

“Adult” parties, at the most basic level, people actually bring food. It’s quieter, more social. There’s people uncomfortably making smalltalk. There’s alcohol, certainly, but it’s not the kind of consumption steeped in ritual and maximizing the shear amounts one can take before breaking. In adult parties, people get drunk more subtly, and if they do reach a level of sloppy, it’s something whispered and giggled about later and not in the open.

It’s at these adult parties where I am now asked this odd new question:

“So what do you do?”

I know what it means. And I know why the question exists. It reminds me a bit of Taylor Mali’s slam poem, “What Teachers Make.” I still mostly find slam poetry annoying since they seem to be delivered with identical candace. But I like the reevaluating of words and the meaning of making, and well as it being a rousing anthem for teachers, like a three minute “Dead Poet Society.”

What do I do?

Well, you mean what is my career. How do I make money. What have I been transformed into. What am I?

“Oh, I’m a…at… .”

“Oh, alright. Cool.”

I suppose it’s not an offensive question. It is not strange to me because I don’t know how to answer? What job do I have that defines me as a person and my place in society? What title have I achieved?

“I used to be a theater reviewer.”
“I studied Creative Writing and Astrophysics.”
“I’ve been tutoring and working on the big education project.”
“I act. I’ve directed before. I have an eye and instinct for visuals.”
“I’m musical. I have timing and rhythm and a good ear. I sing alright. But I don’t play any instruments.”
“I love boardgames. I’m excellent at teaching and communicating.”
“My tabletop roleplaying games are the best there are.”
“I’m a writer. But I haven’t really been paid to do it yet. So it doesn’t count. But I’m really, really good with story and character.”
“Do? Nothing, really. I’m depressed most days and struggle existentially with what to really do with my future. I feel I lack purpose.”

“…oh.”

I think mostly I’ve learned I don’t like the system. I don’t like capitalism and I don’t like rat races. I don’t like being in a little box and I don’t like being told what to do. But I need to eat and I need to pay rent. I’ll get a purpose. And then maybe take it from there.

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I am a slave to nostalgia

I cannot live in the present moment.
My mind drifts away and I drift with it.
I am carried from the here and now and disappear.
Memory binds and lifts me.
The past never seems to leave me.
I am a slave to nostalgia.

Motionless, I move through endless lives.
Moments snap, I live forever.
How did she speak? What did she say?
They are gone forever, but always I return.
A blink, a breath,
I am baited, I bite.
But the timbre breaks.
And I return.
I am a slave to nostalgia.

The past is dead, but I grave rob.
I mine the cold earth again and again.
I squeeze my fists til they hurt.
The dirt falls through my fingers
And flutters to the ground again.
And again and again.
I am a slave to nostalgia.

I fill the empty vessel in my chest
I let it overflow
And slosh from the sides
I soak up what I can
That washes along the long edge
I want to be myself again
But I can’t remember
that I am a slave to nostalgia.

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Rose

Just as the temperate warmth of thou’est divine embrace,
With my stony moths that flick and float about the fear I face,
I’m left to wonder if the cool slips of dripping dreams,
Hold ‘gainst swirling darkness wither it is as black as it seems,
Who takes a chance on one small sliver of spirit piercing long enough to,
But a sudden smooth grinding stops fluid and feeling that falls further through,
A glisten and glint of gold flutters settling icy and cold,
Then the tongue tastes flesh, restrained but bold,
A fire and blast boasting hot air,
The fierce vibrating tangle of skin, breathe, and hair,
The cry, then a sigh, feeling the night as it goes,
A final glass whisper, the one I chose.
So lo, here I lie. But the truth now knows,
Yet I long for her lips, and to live in my rose.

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Remember

Remember the friend who stands up for you,
When no one told them what to do,
Don’t forget to remember that one time,
They walked with you at the back of the line,
First at the front, their placing was tops,
But when you fought the robbers, you were the only cops,
Trapped under fire, your whole team left,
The war-starved bandits cooking the mess,
Your safe home base was under attack,
You knew the others weren’t coming back,
But your friend stayed through the raid and fought to the end,
You were cornered and butchered, but the sun danced, kid!
Seemed all you could do was laugh and grin,
You both stood together and that’s how you win.
You remembered that feeling you don’t often get,
With just any ol’ person who you once met.
There’s something grand you can share,
With someone else who’s willing to bare,
Remember that everyone wants one too,
Humans need love when friends are few,
Remember to keep their secrets near,
For what all humans share is fear,
No one wants to be lonely, they all want to belong,
To get people to like them, people sometimes do wrong,
So remember that friend who understands,
What you truly love and still holds your hand,
Remember their gender, how it doesn’t matter,
There might be six or seven on Saturn,
Though adults like to know,
And say that it’s so,
Remember to mind and trust your gut,
And life’s not always so clean cut.

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