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Posts tagged “poetry

An Impasse, but a Wub – 13 July 2014

I’ve come to an impasse in writing my novella—a bit ‘o the old writer’s block, it seems. It’s probably the dozenth time it’s happened in writing the beast. That means it’s time to take a step back and use this time constructively, polishing and rechecking and polishing even more.

And that’s okay.

Last week, I stumbled upon an honest-to-goodness wub (refer to my first post if you’re confused as to what a wub is). It’s something very, very precious to me—a flash drive, a 1G piece of plastic and stainless steel I’ve had for five years, and thought was lost to me for good. It’s full of un-revised short stories, and haiku and sonnets and free-verse poetry I’d scrawled down in the margins of class notes, sometimes in lieu of class notes—but only when the lectures became insufferably boring, of course. And even though most of the stuff on it isn’t anything special… (yet), it’s important that I came across it again. It’s a litmus test of sorts, a watermark that shows me where I’ve come from, but also where I want to go. I thought I’d share one of the more interesting pieces with you all.

It’s an experimental piece—something I’ve termed a haiku cycle. It’s something akin to an outline of a scene in a short story (and I’m pretty sure the idea began as a short story), but it’s told completely in haiku stanzas, three to a part. Now that I’ve read it again it may be a format to revisit, I think.

 

Queen of the Subway—Haiku Cycle No. 1

 

I.

Sunshine streaming in,

And a line of blind-shadows

Slices the air. Their

 

Slashes line up in

A neat row. They draw my eye

To their marching, and my thoughts

 

Again return to

The “what-might-have-been,” though it’s

The why that stymies

 

II.

I spotted you on

The rush-hour J train. It

Was your hair, lifted

 

In an afro, the

Queen of the subway. My gaze

Traced your length, along

 

The hem of your tight,

Clingy dress, down to your hand

Steady on the pole

 

III.

Three weeks pass. Not once

Do you desert me. You pulse

Through my muscles, my bones. My

 

Mind fogs over, my

Spirit is broken by mere

Thoughts of you. I knew

 

That you were meant to

Be mine, and mine alone. I

Needed to find you

 

IV.

Again I see you

On the J, queen regent of

Brooklyn, and as sure as we’re

 

Magnets, as sure as

Two always comes after one,

We are drawn across

.

The space, together.

Mixed in amongst the Others

A burning will lies

 

V.

I steel my nerve, and

Push my way through them to you.

We’re finally there.

 

The crown up close, it

Draws breath, quickens pulse, distracts.

Advance arrested.

 

Then I find your hand.

I reach out for it… but an

Other gets there first.

 

 

Sunshine streaming in,

And a line of blind-shadows

Slices through my heart.


“A Syllogism” – 11 May 2014

A little bit o’ silliness. But perhaps valid, depending on your interpretation.

 

A Syllogism

A. At any given time, there is someone underground in New York City.

B. Trolls most often inhabit dark places, like those underground.

C. Thus, at any given time, there are trolls underground in New York City


A Story: “This Pen” – 14 April 2014

This is a story of what happened to me when I landed in London nearly a month ago, the first of of many I found there.

 

This Pen

 

I got this pen at Heathrow,

trying to get through the

humidly uncomfortable line

that always seems to exist at

crowded Customs counters.

 

I was to fill out the entry form

the stewardesses—

sorry, flight attendants

give you when you’re

“ten minutes out” from your destination

but still jostling through

the lingering effects of

low-altitude turbulence

in a holding pattern

high above

the runway, down which

we were to taxi.

I brought that rumpled form with me,

still blank,

into Terminal 4.

 

This guy—

an American, white… Mid-forties, maybe?—

gave me this one, and said

(not in these exact words but

pretty close)

 

“Keep it. It’s just a forty ‘p’ pen.”

 

Yeah. He actually said forty ‘p’.

I remember that part.

I also remember thinking

he was a tool.


“At Five” – 3 February 2014

Just a short post this time. I’m sitting in a booth at the restaurant where I work, and I just remembered that I had a sonnet on me that many of you haven’t had the privilege to read yet. It’s called “At Five,” and I wrote it a couple years ago. The original title was “Carnival Robot” but it just didn’t fit the sonnet, hence the title change. I’ll use that title for something else, though.

I remember when we were five, when the

World was still fresh, still new. Life was timeless

Then—when we were five. We were bonded, free

To discover and explore the mind this

Life was meant to nourish. Yeah, I know—what

Five-year-old knows what secrets the cosmos

Holds? We did. The sky itself was ours, cut

Into a map of our own design. Toss those

Stars on the fire, so they might know all-

Consuming, pure true love! Our moon, mistress

Of that which was (and would be), stood so tall,

Dragging our dreams up with her. And that kiss,

Our first (at five) would sustain us—But we

Were five, and now, fully explored, aren’t free.


Late-Night Strolling – 29 May 2013

Just got done with studying, and homework, and decided to do a bit of late-night strolling just for the hell of it. Its been a while since I’ve posted something, so I’ve decided to put up a few poems I wrote some time back, under various circumstances – for class, during a boring lecture, because I couldn’t sleep, because I was high, etc., etc., and so forth. In any case, I’m posting three poems this time – “Sonnet Written to Fill Time,” a blend of a Shakesperian and a Petrarchan sonnet; a free-verse poem, “One Thousand Lifetimes;” and a piece of free-writing called “The Machinery of Night.”

It makes me happy that I have a place to post these, as they would most likely go unnoticed on Facebook which, if I may be frank, has become a forum of petulance, a sea of horrific spelling, contextual, and syntactical errors, and just downright boring status updates.

Maybe this will shake things up a bit.

 

Sonnet Written to Fill Time

Singly, doubly, triply! Long have I thought
Of what the ease of use of heart-wise wond’rings
Really is. Again, and again, a fraught
Mindset have I. Is it worth it? All things
Considered, is it really better to
Have loved and lost? I don’t know. The thing is,
The hurt, the shock – it burns me; and stings so
Sharply, sweetly. Still, sustained stings miss
Their mark. They hurt, they humiliate. And –
I ask again – are they worth it? As one
Practiced in such time-wasting thinking, I
Am… not sure. Singly? Doubly? Triply? Stand
As I do on uneven earth, the sun
Passing overhead through gray sinks of sky.

 

One Thousand Lifetimes

If I lived a thousand lifetimes –
One thousand births and one thousand deaths –
Would I live the next as I did the last?
Make all the same mistakes and learn from them
One thousand times –
Probably.
Fall in and out of love so fluidly, easily,
One thousand times without fail?
Most definitely.
But a thousand childhoods, adolescences, senescences
Could not possibly be lived exactly the same.
People will be different, experiences will vary
And circumstances will change.
If I lived a thousand lifetimes –
One thousand births and one thousand deaths –
Would I really be any different?

 

Machinery of Night

Howl, the engineer said.
Gears grind, pistons pump, and the guts of the Machine
Crank out their steady rehearsed droning.
The engineer watches his ward work, moving along the path set out for it.
The Machine operates for a singular purpose –
To keep night away from the people of the Hinterland, of Thule, of the caverns of Hades
itself:
The City.
The engineer fancies himself Heaven’s earthbound emissary, a sacrosanct extension of
Providence’s influence.
If he wasn’t there to maintain the Machine, who could?
Nobody. He was sure of it.
Howl, the engineer said.

The Clade is watching.
They see the engineer, and monitor his ever-worsening Deus Complex,
Invariably the consequence of years underground, isolated with only the Machine
for company.
This has happened before, and will happen again –
At least, until escape from the Hell-bound tunnels becomes a possibility.
Until then, it is the Machine
That will nourish them, illuminate and comfort and provide succor for them all.
The lone caveat:
It cannot take care of itself. That task falls to humanity.
The Clade is watching. The Clade is evaluating.

The engineer knows every inch of the Machine’s entrails,
The size of every cog, the placement of every screw, the function of every switch.
The Machine is him, and he it, two indistinguishable halves of a most vital whole,
Analogous to God Himself.
He observes his significant other close-up, checking and rechecking, listening for
irregularities in its heartbeat.
As usual he finds none. He is whole. He is perfect.
Suddenly, a switch is thrown.
Where our engineer once saw harmony, he now sees discord. Where he heard
consonance, dissonant whining takes its place.
The Machine has become a competitor, an adversary, a flawless artificial soul,
The gears and pistons sapping him of his humanity, his individuality, his true soul.
The machine rules the world, and he is forced to be its handmaiden.
Why should they both be divine
When he could be the Almighty of the Hinterland?
The world – indeed all of humanity fits into the palm of his hand.
They depend on his brain, they need his knowledge, his expertise, his skill,
Not this machine’s.
Howl, the engineer says.