Monday, October 17, 2011

Some Dusk

   It's not the act of getting my thoughts out on a white blank page that drains me of whatever pressure builds up in my brain over time. It's simply the feel of this undersized netbook keyboard under my variably calloused fingertips that keeps me where I belong. The brain melting sounds of dubstep upstairs are clogging my sinuses, but by sitting here and accepting these external influences with no filter, I slowly realize that the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach is remembering what I need to be doing. I don't think there's a word (at least in my vocabulary) for the feeling that is, quite literally, the opposite of satisfaction. There are other words like discontent, or hunger, or need, but these are all connected to other networks of emotion and this is something else entirely.
  Still, I do feel content in knowing that this will be over soon. Not like any actual event, that is, but the lack thereof. The space between. (eye of the storm?) It doesn't matter; it feels empty, and I'm just biding time in the end. Thing is, I'm holding myself to more commitments nowadays. Do normal people ever really have nothing to do? Even the internet is really not that least not for me. You can only go lurking so far before you fall back into the same places you've aways been anyway. Everybody's looking for the same thing in different directions.
Something about David Foster Wallace is affecting my ability to see straight. Nasty book. I'll never finish it, but I'll keep trying.
I already feel relieved. Something wicked this way comes...the near-night outside is getting darker and more charismatic every chance I get to look out into it. I can feel a chill so strong that there's hardly any resistance from these walls and windows between us. Trees too far away from their home are quivering in the grey ghetto twilight. Eventually I'll feel the need to turn this light on; to re-establish some sort of serinity. But not right now. Right now, I want to let this moment be what it is without any custom ROMs and open source adjustments. No light switches, toggles, dials, or tweaks to improve on the imperfections. Just cold being slightly cold, wind being mostly wind, and night being an almost half-assed night. Just like me, it's waiting on it's own transformation through the passage of time. It wants to know what it will be capable of when the time is right. Night itself has seen some nights worth remembering, to say the least. But will it be able to repeat itself now? Somehow, I doubt it's completely sure of itself. But night will once again give us all it's effort, and do the best it knows how to do. And I'll just rest in the knowledge that it will be...sufficient...for whatever that's worth.
By the way,
I found this in a journal. I have no idea what state of mind I was in whilst writing it, and I honestly couldn't tell you what some of it even means. But I liked it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

All the Trees of the Field

Isaiah 55:12.

"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

I heard from the trees a great parade.
And I heard from the hills a band was made.
Will I be invited to the sound?
Will I be a part of what you've made?
And I am throwing all my thoughts away.
And I'm destroying every bet I've made.
And I am joining all my thoughts to you.
And I'm preparing every part for you.
-Sufjan Stevens

Friday, October 7, 2011

Life from Decay

I've been having trouble maintaining clarity of mind lately. It's been honestly quite pleasant.
Back to work.

In order to justify running a blog,  I guess I have to eventually post in it every once in a while. I've recently been exploring my own unpolished, untrained thoughts in the form of poetry, or at least mimicry. Unfortunately, there really aren't a whole lot of references I can make to the Great Poets of Our Time, because frankly I just don't know them very well. Maybe I've come across a handful in the occasional English textbook, but these have been relatively infrequent. My contemporaries are my inspiration more than anything else. This may or may not be healthy. I'd be a pretty poor judge of that.

So I paid some attention when Billy Collins was mentioned on campus. Apparently he was the United States Poet Laureate from 2001-2003, and the New York Laureate for some time after that. I have no idea what this means, but it's impressive to me that someone could make a living off of poetry. He'll be giving a presentation next Wednesday, and so I picked up his book Horoscopes for the Dead. It's incredible. I will be there. And I'll bring all my friends, relatives, and oxford commas that are into this sort of thing.

On the subject of inspiration, I've been looking up to a few new faces to feel my own thoughts. I'm not looking so much for the sense of "Yes...I've been there, I know this..." anymore. These are new thoughts, new emotions. They are difficult and weird.

First name on my list is David Foster Wallace. This one came about in an unconventional fashion. I was having an impromptu conversation with a man that I never saw again*. He claimed to have just given up his addiction to hallucinogenic drugs last summer. His coping mechanism to control relapse was to read up to 3-5 books a week since. When I told him how legitimately interested I actually was, David Foster Wallace was on the top of his recommendation list. Apparently this particular author made the biggest impression on his desperate mind. Almost 1/5th into Wallace's magnum opus, Infinite Jest, I'm beginning to get discouraged with his writing style. It's also likely the longest book I've ever picked up. Wallace has a certain intentional lack of appeal that I've never seen an author use so generously. I realize it's probably just masterfully written, because the emotional distance he places between me and his characters is...effective. His strange vision of post-consumer depression is doing it's job on my attention span, but I'll push through if for nothing but the experience itself.

Of course, Billy Collins. It's hard to really say I've been taking influence from him already, but I am definitely inspired by his style as well. This one isn't so mentally challenging, but it is complex. I guess I might call it a very 'masculine' style of writing, in that all the emotion, no matter how powerful/subtle/deep is implied instead of addressed. He writes about his thoughts, his actions, and his experiences, but never emotions. This are the most powerful part of his poetry, because you literally have to fill it in with your own exact representation of what he's feeling. You fill in his little boxes with yourself. And then he has you completely captivated.

There's another name on my list tonight. Been up there for weeks now, actually. I doubt I would have initiated this blog without her indirect influence...but I'll get back to that later.
(Hi there)

Also, as far as visual arts projects are concerned, I've decided to pick up where the artist Casey Murphy left off.
Amateur taxidermy.

You see, Casey Murphy was an artistic fellow who occupied the halls of my college right before I came in. He was a big contributor to the magazine I'm working with now, and some of his art was a bit...controversial. For example, he had a piece titled The Sounds of Nature that seemed to set a good amount of people off. It was a photography piece, showing a good sized stereo speaker on a wooden table. Crucified to the speaker was a squirrel with it's midsection split open and it's various organs spilling out onto the table before it. It looked like there was an input/output jack fed into his intestines. That would explain the title, anyway. As strange as this piece was, I know for a fact it was art like this that must have caught my eye at some point during my first semester at the college, and thus it was art like his that caused me to join the magazine team in the first place. So I've had a thought in the back of my head that I might someday to a tribute piece for him.

It came to me during a contemplative walk; I found him in a woodchip garden by the sidewalk. He was posed in a perfect dive; his wings folded against his back in the most natural, flawless curve, as if he had sustained this free fall for miles before the ground found him. His head was bent back in grimace, in the experience of pain that inevitably took his life, but at a closer inspection, it was seemingly cocked in some sort of final defiance as well. His little muscles were tense, easily seen as a flex of whatever authority this creature could muster, as if his death was his first and only act of rebellion and he wanted to savor (or at least experience) every millisecond of it. I found him upside down in this agony/pride, his rigor mortis forever preserving his emotion.

So in classic Casey Murphy fashion, I put him in my freezer in a brown paper bag.
 I think I'll call him Testa.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

no such thing as an empty field

Last night I walked to the fire.

In the center was the fire;
my brothers were all around it.
Together we surrounded it,
together we stared into it,
yet I felt my eyes were dimmed by its light.
I said nothing.

I walked off into the field
and I stood in the wet grass.
The clouds of autumn were restless.
The sky behind them glowed pale and red
with the city I belong to miles away,
illuminating the air itself.

I heard a voice out in the field
It was asking for honesty, openness.
I could see it was a small, white light in the distance;
The florescent glow of a phone call, just visible above the wheat.
On the other end of the line were fortresses and demons,
but there the voice stood against them, in the open field.

I saw that the voice was alone.

I realized then that we were standing under the infinite;
The field contained us, the land, the sky, and the Lord.
In the grass, in the shadow of the trees I knelt and prayed.
I prayed that the field could somehow conform itself into this voice.
I prayed that those omniscient satellites could somehow transmit the glory around us.
And I prayed that the power we speak with could overcome the evil we speak to.

After it was over, we walked out of the field.
We walked over to a fire,
my brothers were all around it.
Together we surrounded it,
together we stared into it,
yet I felt my eyes were dimmed by its light.
I said nothing.