Another Facebook post of which I am proud

It’s true, if you look far enough ahead, you will find certain things end or change. But the arbitrary nature of what you may consider to be a good or bad event is being ignored. Since an arbitrary standard can only exist as long as a person holds it, it is both nothing and everything in the breath of history. A mosquito that is crushed after a satisfying bite has lived a fulfilling life. Humans are genetically unique, so artificial standards of perfection or “good” are also illusory. If we are trying to be completely honest, it’s important to acknowledge that anything we believe involves a large amount of faith that our understanding of our lives and world are correct. But most things we learn are outside of our direct experience. So there is little we actually can base directly on our direct understanding beyond personal experience. That is not the only relevant factor in living in this world, but we deny our personal experience at our folly. In other words, worrying about events we cannot effect is sort of like assuming the stars effect our fate. That should include things that happen in the distant future. We can change our own course, but the amount of possiblities, “good” or “bad” along with “arbitrary” is completely beyond human understanding or control. Too many factors to consider. Since to some extent our personal experience is limited, we must start from where we are, not where we would wish to be. That’s reality. Being disappointed that reality does not match our personal fantasy of how humans and the world should be is a self-inflicted wound. It is also what most of us do. Humans generally improve to some extent over time, and so has humanity. No one said it will last forever.

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In which I reconsider what my blog is for

Of late, I have become acutely aware of what I have produced over the past few months. I’ve worked on my life steadily, laying a path that will make my options and skills grow and develop.  I haven’t knocked out a lot of product, and that concerns me a bit. I’ve got a short list of projects that is growing into a long list. Not exactly the growth and development I had in mind, but vital. Periods of being alone is good for producing new work, although I can’t pretend the recent unwelcome duress was particularly fruitful. I did get some valuable work done, but I’ve started more projects than I’ve finished. I’ve also regained some balance and structure in the midst of the tumult. I don’t regret the way I’ve spent my time. Once again, I went through a period when my plans and dreams were yanked from me, and I had to reboot. While that went on, I was reminded what was most important to me, and how much can’t be taken away. Like Popeye, I am what I am, no matter the situation or what others may think. My skills and abilities are earned, and I am capable of even more that I have done in the past. My wife and kids are the ones I love, and they love me. When I have presented others with my person and my skills, I am validated. When I examine the breadth and depth of my efforts, I am proud and confident. When I consider the future, I hope I will be able to continue caring for my wife and kids, teaching, and creating the work that is mine alone, good or bad. I am ready to move forward.

So what were my plans? What is on that list?

First, I would like to become more skilled at my job, teaching English.  I want to master grammar and learn how to teach it with full understanding. I want to make my students better writers and readers

Second, I want to finish writing my poetry collection. That means I need more poems. That generally does mean more alone time, since I write the best and the most when I am alone. It also means a short essay about the work, photos, and editing it all together.

More poetry published online.

Videos to finish: Alice Train Scene, Down the Hill, Pueblo Short Doc.

Videos to start: More Electric Gauchos videos, PICO movement score

Begin training.

etc.

Third, I http://www.openculture.com/2012/02/23_free_essays_stories_by_david_foster_wallace_available_on_the_web.html

Outside the Windows

When standing outside the windows

Being that dark coated stranger in the shadows, expect

The rain, expect

The enchanting mélange of alcohol, flop-sweat, perfume and dumpster, expect

Crumbs, expect

A Balinese puppet show of

Manners and melodrama, expect

Corners and edges, bookmarks of familiarity, expect

Shards of scintillating conversation, expect

Lies and insincere promises, or not, expect

Political dilettantes sparring, missing, expect

Those shadows unaware you want them to turn toward you, they won’t, expect

Some will, but none you know, expect

You are outside for reasons:

  • You know the main ones
  • A few more that don’t matter
  • Others you will never know

Expect

The sadness is temporary and the loneliness is permanent, expect

The rains are temporary and the tattoos are permanent.

It’s time to come in uninvited and drink something you didn’t expect (and are not so sure about),

Be mysterious,

Ignore that you are dressed wrong and you don’t know so many people

Ignore the ones who stare like you have stolen their children,

ignore the laughing giant, the posing doll,

the lost drunk, the angry cynic,

the cheerful mute, the sad flirt.

You wrote their scripts and discarded the wasted time

The rhetorical small talk, unintelligible.

Leaving a Trail

Snails leave trails

Shiny slimy paths lain across rocks

Spending their damp like they were swimming in it.

I am looking for my path, but it’s more like a chemtrail on a windy day

Fading into the clouds, larger than my steps, evaporating into loss.

Tomorrow’s agenda is like an arthritic hand reaching into a goldfish bowl

Of fortunes without cookies:

Pulling out the lucky winner, written in Chinese.

Each day collapses into hundreds of new faces and voices, but

I am always the stranger,

Always moving forward into the unfamiliar and pretending

It is familiar.

The pretender, asking for respect and pretending we

We

Are all the same, we can all understand what this is like,

Crossing the land like S cars go

No snail could imagine

How quickly we run away from every minute every place every person every past

Dragging our things with us.

The yesterday I see looks like millions of trails,

Crossing, tangling, crashing, ending.

My sundry odds and ends that made sense once,

Had value and attachment, were vibrant and important

Faded newspaper yellow and began the tattering disintegration in boxes that dismiss them with a word.

As soon as I stop, I gather all that I was running from around myself

Form it into a shape the strangers can pretend to understand

With easy to find handles and a zipper in the back, covering

All of my strangeness

And pretenderdom.

The best part is when someone locks my eyes and really sees

The raw material and ignores

The shell.

Pay Attention

Simple ways to pass my days
I’m a snail, I never fail
To derail, then I sail
Let me show you all the ways
I leave my slippery trail.
Tuesday at the coffee place
No one’s moving
They’re all dying
Face into the latte bowl
Bubbles rising, biscotti flying
Silently I hold them down,
Check my watch
A little longer
No one’s soup yet.
When you swept your hair away
I could see  the story play out
Your eyes could see me coming
Your mouth was ready to pout.
She’s trying not to notice me,
I flip my chair and light the curtains
No one seems to care.
Walls fall down all around
Pipes are broking, I’m not joking
Water’s everywhere.
Frozen in the flames and smoke
Fear lets the witnesses thaw
They’re scooting away
stuck to their seats
Eyes on their screens
I make a beeline to the spot
She waits because she knows she’s caught
“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
Yes, I’m using that line that’s right.
She crumbles like ashes in the firelight,
I look for someone to wink at.
You feel like you’re a victim
Oh baby, I’ll show you victims!
I should say I’m sorry
But this time I wont lie
You wondered what my story is
You should have wondered why.

My Feet Are Ugly

Choked with richness
Overwhelmed mid-breath
Inspiration of whole moments
Of feet
In even numbers
“Waiting for the gift
Of sound and vision”  no longer.
Hitching to a fidget
Dancing on a pin
Breaking every gadget
Wearing every welcome
Trying not to trash it
Tasting every sin.

Here I go, quoting myself….

You can’t diminish love. There is more or less, deeper or lighter, but it all fluctuates, is immeasurable, changes nature, loses context, is sublimated, eclipsed, deepened, cheapened, forgotten, tainted, romanticized, normalized, made weird, and made legend. I love the first potato chip, I love my Dad. Too subjective to be measured, too ubiquitous to be judged, too mercurial to be taken for granted.

Down The Hill

Like water running away

From your mountains, from your lush little groves

I’m hanging out in my t shirt, shaking my spray can

Your hidden brother.

If you want to hurt your hand, try punching my arm

Try punching my chest, try punching my face

If

You want to hurt your hand.

‘Cause while you were talking to our sister up in Denver

I’ve been down here working

No one bothers me down here.

We are all family down here, and we work.

We lay rails, we roast chilies, we make brick.

We wash our faces in the Arkansas and get strong.

We paint our dreams and nightmares and get strong.

We fight and drink and eat and love and get strong.

We write the stories and play the music and mold the bronze and brush the canvas and get strong.

We almost forgot you were up there, brother.

See, you can’t look down on your brother Pueblo because

We don’t see you.

Those mountains are the back fence.

That’s the place we threw our rocks and trees

They were getting in the way

Of our work

That levee is our canvas

That’s where we put the dreams that were too big for anyplace else.

Who else could dream like Pueblo?

We clear the deck and lay out the material

We look around for the plans

We start building.

Those stacks are still here, so let’s smoke.

‘Cause where there’s smoke, there’s fire and we are burning

So where’s the ash? Look for our dusty winds

Where’s the spark? Look in the eyes of a Bojohn,

Where’s the blue flame? Look in the halls of Central High

Where’s the red flame? Look in the rooms of Centennial High

Where is the tongue of yellow flame, or the blackened charcoal?  East and South high schools are there.

We are forging something new, brother.

If you think your streets get hot, don’t walk on ours.

We are forging something strong, brother.

If you think we are waiting for you

You are wrong, brother.

We know you won’t wait for us

So we go ahead.

Maybe you can catch up later.

We are forging something real, brother

Because our Mineral Palace is gone

But the gems are buried underneath the ground

Because we didn’t leave Union, but the union

Left us

Because when everything gets taken away and life gives you a hard kick,

All you have is you.

So you limp your way up the mesa

Park your butt on the hill and look at what our Pueblo was

All day, looking out on that vista, day to night.

A song of blue and rosy clouds painting the sky

At sunset; making everyone believe

Then when the dimness seeps into

The edges and corners, then when the darkness begins to flood the distant places

Until we are submerged in night and the lights of the people are

The same as the stars in the blackness that in our night

The horizon is erased by smudging the lines with our thumbs.

And we sing and cry and laugh and climb into our beds,

We dance to the guitars and shake our bells and feathers

We feel and are hurt again.

In the morning, we are still sore.

Our ribs were cracked and our breathing ragged

Our tongues felt around for missing teeth.

What we lost we must have swallowed.

(Those precious stones are buried.)

Nobody came running to pick us up, and you seemed pretty busy, so

We had to make our way.

We had to hunker down and gather up

We had to get our steel and find some flint

To get the friction started

Within our own hands.

Keeping some water nearby because things can catch on pretty quick

At times you don’t expect.

You don’t walk down our streets without

A look in the eye; and if you are lucky, a strong handshake

Trust is easier than you think, brother,

If you come down the hill

Doggerel

Majesty will fall,

but they more quickly than us all?

Is it time for the sublime to crumble, or will we fumble the reins?

History marks the stains  of past rules.

Well, our heads cannot swell from the sudden weight of the yoke

for a duplicate of the past is but a joke

of great stature and will be ignored.

For, as history students all, we should not be bored with that which we create…

Perhaps we should wait…