The Writer in Him: A Poetic Question

Anyone ever date one of those pretentious writers who likes adventures because he wants to write the next-great-soul-exploring-eye-opening-bestseller/moneymaking/famefanning novel? Well, I did once. Alas, the old adage rings true: This too shall pass. Although I think the memory of our parting stayed with him for a few weeks after… In any case, happy Friday WordPress. I’ll be trapped at work tomorrow (yes, yes, it’s terrible), so really I’ll be reading your wonderful posts to break up the monotony. Have a lovely weekend!

 

 

The Writer in Him

 

 

 

It was the writer in him

Grimacing and grinning

Sowing and sinning

Insinuating beginings

That didn’t have endings

Sending false signals, pretending

It wasn’t a story

When that’s all it was to him.

 

And it was the writer in him

Blubbering and blistering

Broiling and brimming

Flaming and kindling

A fire kept from dimming

By his constant fingering

Lingering glances my way

And eyes meant to say

It wasn’t just a story

When that’s all it was to him.

 

But it was the him in him

Who said he was sorry

The party was only partly

postponed by his metaphorical farting

the rest by the writer

Edward scissorhandsing inside him

Skipping and thriving

Stretching and writhing

Looking for stories in young girls eyes and

Saying he loves me

When it’s more than fiction,

It’s lies.

 

But then, my ultimate question:

Was he or the writer in him

Whose balls, when struck with force, I kick in?

Black and Blue You: Poem

Black and blue you

my black and blue you

my sugary buttery

burnt piece of cutlery

bent by the burden

of mild monotony

and black and blue moons

and high browed buffoons 

and the hot air balloons

you imagine popping 

among the clouds.

 

black and blue you

my black and blue you

troubled by hazy afternoons

a slimming concoction

coming to auction

Soon this June

when the fairies forget caution

in applauding the tune of the moon.

 

black and blue you

my black and blue you

who doesn’t know who gave you the bruise

who lives life with the snooze button brew

coffee and lattes and the light of living rooms

illuminated manuscripts that cover the truth

and a black and blue bloom

of what could have been you

in springtime

awake and do

awaken and be

awakenings await my burnt piece of cutlery.

A Man About A Dog: A Poem

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Hello WordPress Community!

About a week ago I chatted with a friend from the states who isn’t the brightest of kids. She said, “You live in Scotland, right?” I answered yes. “Did you, like, know that they’re thinking about getting independence from Britain?!” I work in politics. I was aware.

But it made me wonder how much the international community knows about Scotland’s bid for independence. So, here’s just a few basic facts followed by a poem: Scotland is not a colony. It joined the UK in the Act of Union some 300 years ago following some financial gambles that didn’t pay off. Since then, Scotland has always acted somewhat autonomously with representation in British politics. This has allowed the nation to retain a sense of unique culture.

In 1999 the Scottish Parliament came in effect with powers over devolved areas (eg education) while Westminster still controls reserved powers (eg Foreign Policy). Right now, the majority party in power in Holyrood (Scottish Parliament) is the Scottish National Party (SNP) that has aimed for independence since its creation. Alex Salmond, First Minister, has set the date for an Independence Referendum in September 2014, wherein the Scottish people will decide.

It’s a complicated situation with valid arguments for and again. The Guardian has a great article explaining a lot it here.

The following is a short little poem I wrote based on someone I’ve met through work. Enjoy and keep updated. It’s a really interesting situation and worth following.

“I’m to see a man about a dog.”

And then he died

To see the man with the dog in the sky.

We huddled round the table to cry

And agree

Alas, it was his time.

I think about him when I pee.

No one here know what that phrase means but me
and the children of the Isles who took to the sea

And came here to be

Part of the remains of the American Dream.

I’m a child of the Isles

And a child of my father

Who told me to nae bother

When I said I’d come home to hold

His hand while he died.

Fifteen years ago he asked

Why I was to go,

Why the nation that was my own

Was not where I felt I belonged.

And I told him it was for the

American Dream.

He asked what that was,

And I said freedom

to be who I want to

Be.

And now the year 2013.

I believed my father still had a distaste for me

Because I could not love women the ways I should.

And I left my nation, not because it didn’t understand,

But because he didn’t.

And he was Scotland to me.

But I came home to fulfill my duty

To hold his gaze as he melted into sleep

And weep at his bedside despite he and I

Being as we were.

And the day he died,

Right before he went to see

the man about a dog in the sky,

I saw the Yes sign

And it was my turn to ask,

Why.

“The Scottish Dream,

The American Dream,

There’s no such thing,”

He said.

“Every man’s dream is

the same—just The Dream,

Freedom

To be who we want to

Be.”

And that was enough of an

Apology.

For me to mourn his death

To cry for his empty eyes

And not feel a part of myself

To be false.

I’ve returned to the hills

Above the border where the rocks

Stand still

Keeping watch on the children

Like me.

And in 2014,

With my father’s memory,

I’ll vote yes for uncertainty.

I’ll vote yes for his dream.

I’ll vote yes for my dream.

I’ll vote yes for The Dream

For Scotland.

Meta Metamorphosis: The War Against the High Brows Rages On

A little while back I wrote a poem raging against high browed buffoons (see here to read) and it felt DAMN good. But how do on earth do you burn an intellectual snob in a way that hurts, I wondered? I can’t just rant about them. They don’t speak spoken English… So I wrote a little poem in words they (may) understand–big words. If anyone’s ever taken a writing class with one of those post post modernist idiots, you’ll understand. I understand too well. This one day we walked into class and the professor said, “Today, my children, we’re going to get meta with metamorphosis.” Cue eye rolls. And the idea for this (poem? short story? unkilled darling?) was born. Ugh. Humanity may, in fact, be doomed.

Meta Metamorphosis

Meta metamorphosis, the words put forth this round to the young and impressionable ne’er-do-wells who rip holes in their clothes because being hungry is sexy.

“Cute, isn’t he?” The one with half a brain asks the dreads to her left, deft at eyes that flit and fly and land with intent. “The one with the sunglasses just a little bit bent.”

Meta metamorphosis, the guy who runs the course puts forth, letting the words linger in the ether, neither making any sense nor trying to. But everyone knows he thinks he does. And they think they understand, too.

“Totally cute.”

Change is the progress of the day, change from the way you dress and talk and act and walk and think most importantly, open your mind and shine a light on whatever killed darlings float down in the pit of your throat. Smoke them out and try not to choke.

We’re going to change as we change, and talk about change, and in the end we’ll be the same, but not the same.

Yeah, it’s bullshit. But they, like, get it.

“Still think he’s cute?”

“Naw. I’ve moved on.”

She hasn’t, but she doesn’t want to appear unaffected. A spectacle, peer pressure hasn’t progressed but is just a little less obvious to the flitting, flying eye. Down in the pit of her throat are plenty of true killed darlings worth half a damn that the shining light passes by in preference of monotonous lies.

Meta metamorphosis: think more about the Thinking  more than the Why.

Sympathise: A Poem

I was thinking a bit about scary cults the other day and I decided to try a poem from an insider’s perspective. Enjoy.

I had always sympathized with fanatics–addicts in alleyways, preachers and prayers. The types no else really cares for. I had this tendency to stop breathing. Reading pamphlets, I felt more amplified in print than in living.

Then I found it. It said, Living is a sin. Don’t be what you’ve been. Cast away those former days and join the reformation. We will redo that which undid you, rebuilding the temples’ steeples. People of the world–parents of the boys and girls–we face you open-hearted to propose a toast to progress started when martyred marksmen missed their true targets and left a generation wanting. Yes, we’re just dreamers. But our dreams, whispered in the right receivers, could revive the world’s true believersSee. Can’t you see?

He lifted up a book of leather binding, blinding us to other thoughts. We flocked to follow the man standing solid and never looked back on what we soon forgot.

Oh, what a magic thing, our backwards king

Oh, I learned to sing that summer in a commune by the sea, even in the fleeting moments when those whispers were on the wind of future summers and survivors in trash bins. He had us reading kool-aid romances and dancing to manic musical numbers. We stomped our feet furiously, a chorus of drunken drummers in a circular line around the spires of his blazing fire.

Somewhere in there, I was told the origin of sin: not god or government or gin, but my own being–betraying me to eternity. Hissing at the sky, I knew why I stopped breathing sometimes: Attempts to make all life right and rid it of me–of the disgrace that is humanity.

Had I been a braver girl I would have run into the sea and swam until I lost my feet and sunk into that cold, that wet whispering breeze. At least I would have had the responsibility, not the man standing solid with leather binding and ranting pamphlets. But I was and I am me, and alleyways led to that place that appealed to me more. A backdoor that lead to no more.

Pinkyless: A Poem

I’ve been away for so long, wordpress! Here’s a weird little poem about who knows what from the back of my brain to the disturbance of yours. Enjoy and happy weekend!

 

My mother cut my finger off

when I was six years old.

 

It wasn’t painful.

I don’t remember screaming or

crying or even being upset.

I just remember a thud and splat

as the finger fell to the floor

and splashed the white linoleum 

speckles of spectacular red

ruby jewels amidst pearly white

and my right pinky a pale paisley 

pointing towards the window

where a blueberry pie cooled.

 

My mother had cut my finger off

and my father wasn’t home

and she was standing over it

immobile, the knife pressed

slanted between her fingers

which were still on her hand

because it was my finger

she had cut off.

 

I’m not bitter.

It wasn’t painful.

I don’t remember screaming or

crying or even being upset.

I don’t remember my father coming 

home and bringing me to the hospital.

I don’t remember the doctor telling me

the finger couldn’t be reattached

without the finger.

But I’m not bitter.

I was six and she was sick

and her laughter made the pain feel better.

And my pain made her pain feel better.

And it didn’t occur to me

to think that it was strange

for her to say, “I’m hungry,”

and cut off my finger

for a new pie.

A pinky pie.

Smoked: A poem

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He’d say he needed his damned cigarettes

and I’d wonder how he wasn’t dead yet,

but a daughter’s got duties–and plus it was my head

that’d be walloped if he didn’t get them. So I’d drop

my schoolwork and run to Dickies. Somewhere

in there I met my Mickey

I thought myself a fish

in the stream of Daddy’s brimstone misery

but at least I had someone keeping me.

Eventually I forgot about algebra and Daddy

blazed until he did die. By then I

was working on my own hellfire suicide,

with a baby inside my belly

and lungs the color of my late beloved

Daddy’s belt.

Charlie was born on the fourth of July

and I was fatter than Mickey. If he loved

anything, he loved my shoo fly pies.

No one paid me much attention

when I started to cry. Mickey

just told me to wipe my goddamned fish eyes

or he’d hit me blind. Charlie would forget

algebra and run to Dickies and we’d be one big happy

fucking family under the watch of my lovely

Mickey’s belt.

And that’s what it is folks.

I got old–got addicted to smoke

and I don’t blame Daddy or Mickey

because life’s a joke and the punch

line’s got a habit of clutching your throat

and squeezing like’s the devil’s finally

got his hold on Eve. She was always the one

he wanted, wasn’t she? Charlie’s got a life

I wouldn’t wish him, but the ways things are, that’s all

I could give him. I feel like a fish, just swimming

up that river, prematurely delivered by the sweet

swinging rope.

Wishing Wells

Hello Blogosphere! Best wishes from Barcelona, Spain. I have 2 weeks off work and I’ve been on a nice little Euroadventure. Rome, Perujia, Florence, Barcelona–FANTASTIC. Pictures will arrive shortly, but for now I’m stuck in something of a poetry rut. I don’t really consider poetry my strongest work, but I enjoy writing it. So here’s a very short something/nothing from Spain. Unkilled darlings. It’s all unkilled darlings.

This is all there is to tell: A boy and a girl and a wishing well, with everyone hoping she would grow to be someone else. But the fountain fell and the seasons changed. He left her bleeding, scarred and stained, while he went on to shine. She’s not bitter that he forgot. She didn’t grow to be what she’s not–quick to lie and slow to punch. She paid her pennies for something better, but the wishing well melted into summers, swept away the lovers that weren’t him. And isn’t it easy to imagine? It’s all too easy to imagine.

This is all there is to tell: A boy and a girl and a wishing well, buying dreams it couldn’t sell and tomorrows that couldn’t be. So easy to imagine.

Another Piece of Small Town Blues: Poetry

Mother dear told me not to worry,

life’s a crap shoot, there ain’t no hurry.

Better slow down, you’re kicking up dust.

No need to cry, making a fuss.

But this small town

with the boys and their eyes,

rolling in and out with the tide

and that one boy

who knows what to say–

too proud to say it and too in love to stay.

He fixes cars in the garage.

Greasy hands and junk in the yard.

Got a tattoo of a woman he loved.

Bitch took to drink and he just gave up.

But that one girl

with the waves in her eyes

showed him some big city surprises

and that summer

when everything changed

hurt him even more when it all stayed the same.

It’s a modern age with big bright lights

single parents and poison delights.

We were raised within broken dreams

patching up holes and sowing seams.

But that one night

in his truck’s backseat–

a girl from away and a boy in heat.

Learning to rise and fall with the sea.

Learning that nothing can be what it seems.

All forgotten dreams.

To all those high brows: GET YOUR BROWS BACK WHERE THEY BELONG

Recently I had a friend go on a rant against blogging as some kind of mutation of the writing art form. I disagreed. Quite strongly. Blogging gives a platform to share, be inspired, and collaborate. You don’t need a degree to produce something incredible. You don’t need to be published to be validated. And you certainly don’t need to spell correctly to say what you want to say. The whole situation reminded me how much I dislike high brow literary folk. So, here’s a little satire. My not-so-passive aggressive response. Enjoy.

High Brow Buffoons

Tommy Tundra liked Sally Sandra, but alliteration felt out of place off the page and he couldn’t quite convince himself it wasn’t all a faze—a healthy experiment with slant rhyme and unmetered timing.

So he called a guy. You know the guy. The one with the answers and a preference for endings that fit the sentence. The one know knows where semicolons go, unlike the rest of us; unlikable, but useful.

The guy answered the phone because he’s always home, gazing out windows and rubbing his chin stubble, troubled. He has a lot on his mind because he puts a lot of stuff there.

So, Tommy asked the guy if it was alright to like something trite and the guy took the query seriously, as he was taught to do in coffee shops and independent movies.

“I’ll get back to you,” he said. Keep them in anticipation, waiting and patient so the belated response is treasured, measured, and taken without a spoon full of sugar or any such helpful balance. The guy had many talents, mostly dicking around.

Tommy Tundra waited and Sally Sandra faded into cremated pages, killed darlings floating on the waves.

And then the guy called Tommy.

“I’ve considered your query most seriously,” he commenced, dancing the tip of his tongue on the receiver, hoping to be put on speaker and heard louder, farther, everywhere.

“And?” Tommy was no wordsmith, but a regular man trying to understand the intricacies of diction and alliteration and love, as if the three were one.

“And, no.” The guy replied. “Your brow is too low, Tommy. Swing ‘em up high and choose someone more exotic.” Toxic, dialect didn’t die but got appropriated into being insightful.

“Alright.”

And that was that. Tommy moved on and Sally never knew she was a muse for a day, or two. She grew her auburn hair long and started smoking cowboy killers while Tommy learned to stare out windows and rub his chin stubble, troubled and faking it until the end.

Isn’t it sad to think they were soul mates?

Humanity may, in fact, be doomed.