May 31, 2006

A Cycle

I stood behind the house-like building where I work, silently, listening to the language of wind whisper through the trees. Just to my left, out in the lawn, a great maple had rooted itself many years ago. The breeze coaxed hundreds of the tiny, helicopter seeds loose from the branches, sending them spiraling towards the green, water-soaked earth. It looked like large colony of moths in their descent towards the ground, such a unique and beautiful sight in the sunshine. Dead moths, riding the uneven current of the wind, resting once again in the earth in order to create new life.

No More Loss, No More Love

After work Sunday evening, I got together with Sam, a good friend of mine. We came back to my place, had some drinks, sat around, played Nintendo (yes, that's right. Old School). Around two-thirty in the morning, there were three sharp raps against the plastic pane of the storm door. Five seconds later, the same three raps. It happened a third, then fourth time. I couldn't imagine who it could be, as no one had called. When people stop by, they always let me know. I offer my friends the same respect, normally, and I require it, given where I currently reside.

Timidly, my heart for some reason racing, I moved towards the hallway just in time to see a dark figure pull open the door and enter. In less than a second I recognized the outline, the silhouette of a good friend, Steve, also a former band mate. This occurrence was highly unusual. Since I'd known him he'd never done anything of the sort.

The three of us headed out back behind the house, where I found out why Steve had dropped in. The night before he and I went out; we hung at a bar in town where his girlfriend worked. Everything between them seemed normal. They smiled and played around with eachother, and I was simultaneously disgusted and envious. I told him so as we walked down a hall together, with a smile of course, but at the same time acknowledge that I'd never seen them as happy together as I'd seen them in the last few months.

Steve and his girlfriend had known eachother for years, had been on and off before. But for the past three months, they'd spent every day, every night together. This brings me to why he appeared on my front steps at nearly three in the morning that night. Despite his efforts, which had worked in the past, she told him to leave.

Having had a couple of drinks, I'm sure I wasn't as responsive to the situation as I could of been. The guy needed me in a way that was familiar to me, though it wasn't on my mind at the time.

When I awoke the next morning, I went into the livingroom where both Sam and Steve had crashed. I found Sam in the same place he'd laid down, but Steve's spot on the recliner was empty. However, I got the sense he hadn't gone home. Maneuvering through the house in a sleepy haze, I found one of the bedroom doors wide open, one that had been closed the night before. Half-expectant to see Steve crashed out on the bed, I entered, and the scene that greeted me for some reason was jarring. There sat Steve at the end of the bed, his hands folded in his lap, his eyes angled down towards them.

There seemed something supernatural about the entire scene as he sat there motionless, speaking no words in the yellow room, seated on the mattress. I remember asking three or four questions, and felt alarmed when he wouldn't answer or look at me. All I got from him what a quiet, "it sucks," and then some silent tears. I thought he may have been drunk, or hung over. No. He was crying. The first time I'd ever seen him cry.

I told him to let me know if there was anything I could help with, then exited to the back porch for a cigarette. In that moment, as I stepped out into the blinding sunlight, it hit me. He had passed his first evening in an unfamiliar bed. He'd awaken to a hot, sunny morning, woke to face it alone. Something he hadn't done in months.

The feeling is one all too familiar to me. For most of the last nine years of my life I've had someone, never really having to face the day alone, until last summer finally. Going to bed alone. Rising alone. There's a huge difference that I experience when laying down next to a warm female body, entangled with a warm female body.

And Steve and I shared the similar history. We'd both messed up greatly in the past, acted selfishly towards other people, wronged them. And we both learned from those mistakes, mistakes that pointed us in the right direction when it came to what was important, what was really needed in a relationship. And he had given it his all, took off the lenses that projected the view of the past, and simply looked forward. To no avail.

Once back inside, I found Steve in the kitchen, staring out into the northeastern skies, car keys in hand. He turned towards me.

"I think I'm going to go."

I'd had five hours of sleep, and he had even less. I felt it necessary to escort him to the front door, follow him out partially, but he seemed to take no notice of this.

"Let me know what's going on," I said.

No response.

"Give me a call later," I tried again, but no response.

I sighed, and ended it with, "hang in there, buddy."

He did not turn around.

The incident rattled me, and I began to think about my own future with the greater sex. For the first time I saw nothing. Not a prospect or a desire for prospect. To make a connection with someone around here would be nearly futile; I leave this town in just over year for a destination far away, yet unknown.

Steve will be fine, I decided.

As for myself: no more loss, no more love. For now.

May 30, 2006

Love and Loss

Such a beautiful weekend we were graced with here in Wisconsin over the holiday weekend. During the day it was mostly a soft-blue, cloudless sky, roughly eighty degrees. At night clear, scattered stars and a crescent moon the hung low on the northeastern horizon.

A beautiful combination I wasn't much able to enjoy.

Sunday at the gas station was one of the busiest, crappiest days at the station. Sometimes I wonder if people can't feel complete when there's nothing to complain about (as I sit here and complain. I'm addicted to irony and paradox). Outside, as I looked over the expanse of asphalt, people scurried in and out, exclaiming to me upon entrance, "Oooh, it's nice in here," a reference to the cooler temperature inside the station, or "it's too damn hot out there." If it ain't one, it's the other. Never sated.

Is it? I wondered to myself, cause I'd have been happy to trade places with any one of them. But instead I functioned as the guy who sold them all beer on this Sunday-before-the-holiday. Since most of the nation (myself not included) had off from work the next day, many of the folk in the small town began their alcohol-fueled festivities in the early afternoon. I will swear by the deduced fact that 2 out of 3 people over twenty-one years that came in bought alcohol from me that day, and out of those, half had already consumed enough, if I were to be the judge.

There I stood, behind the counter, gazing out towards the west, admiring the clear horizon. Interrupting my thoughts, a clean-cut gentleman in glasses a grey golf shirt came in shaking, talking rapidly. He stumbled to where I was behind the counter, a move which made me instantly defensive. He moved towards the back room where I had 1200 dollars sitting on a table.

"Whoa, wait, just sit down there," as I pointed to a place on the floor, next to the counter. I wasn't sure of the full situation at that point. I wasn't so much concerned about the money as I was about him passing out where he stood, cracking his head up against one of the pointed, blunt edges of the counter.

In a matter of moments, by assessing the man's behavior and language, I decided that he wasn't under the spell of any sort of drug. There was a major problem. The man complained about how his arms had gone numb as he drove down the road, and about how his eyes seemed to be dancing in the back of his head.

Acid? Alcohol? No. Too coherent.Cocaine? Possibly, but in too much despair. This was real. I asked him a number of questions about what he'd eaten, if he was hydrated, and how much time he spent in the sun that day. He offered up an explanation the dealt with his personal life, something I would have never though to ask about.

He was going through a divorce, the man who I guessed was no more than thirty-five years of age. He explained it all to me, and winced as he said it as if he were in a physical pain. But the pain ran much deeper. He moved his head from side to side, a slight frown on his face, his legs and arms shaking as he sat. The reason that he was out driving that day was because the movers had gone to the house to take his wife's possessions; she was leaving him, and he had no desire to be there, but the combination of the anxiety and his dehydration sent him into an attack.

After two ambulances, a first responder, and a cop showed up to check him out, they wheeled him out on a stretcher, destination ER. I felt sick. At one time they both loved eachother, the man and his wife. I'm guessing he still loved her, given his reaction to the entire situation.

After everyone had cleared out, the adrenaline flow shut off and I suddenly felt exhausted. I didn't feel like smiling at the customers, didn't feel like interacting.
I felt for the man. I'd transferred his emotions onto myself, and almost felt sick.

About two hours before my shift ended, he returned minus the shakes and rapid speech, accompanied by his father. Both of them offered thanks a number of times.

"Let's go, son," the father said, adding much emphasis to the word "son." I saw them both at that moment, but twenty years younger, a teenager and his middle-aged father. Carefree, the prospect of a romantic love and loss not held in the mind, happy as kin, contented to simply be alive.

May 24, 2006

This is an Alarm

So I noticed something odd a few weeks ago: there is a lump inside my left pectoral. Right behind the nipple. The awareness of it has kept me awake on certain nights, my mind set upon it, bothered by it. I lay wondering whether or not it's growing, spreading inside me.

The odds of breast cancer in men are 100 times less than in a woman; also, men most at risk are over the age of sixty, though it can happen to anyone.

I mentioned something about the abnormality to my mother, and she immediately jumped on line and did some research. Thank God, since I knew I wasn't about to do it anytime soon. Since I don't currently have insurance (one of the perks of being a graduate), I'll have to pay for my own policy, most likely one with a tremendously huge deductible. She wants me to get is as soon as I can, then go straight to the doctor. I already fear that day, no matter where it may loom.

"You might need surgery," my mother said quite matter-of-factly.

Or chemo, I think to myself.

Just after I retruned home from work, I decided to take a nap. There's something about this room: one wall is painted an aqua blue. The other three walls are bare, but it is this wall that I face when I do my writing. I call it a pacifiying blue, because it seems that when I stare too long at it, I feel like taking a nap. Today I did, and was plagued with vivid dreams.

In one, a professor of mine whom I haven't with in quite awhile approached me brandishing five old, leather-banded wrist watches on his left arm. I made a joke to him about how he looked like a street salesman, and he walked away laughing. The other dream that I remember was about a baseball game with many spectators in attendance. For some reason, I was on one of the teams on the field, even though I haven't played baseball in over ten years. Our team had just come into the infield after getting three outs; I was up to bat. That vision, however, was cut short by the ringing of the phone. It was my time to wake.

If twenty-three years of life on this earth filled with joys, sorrows, fuck-ups, and lessons, has left me with cancer, well, I'm sure there's another lesson in that.

May 23, 2006

Get Out

Before I left work I sold myself two large cans of beer. I had a feeling I'd need at least one of them tonight. And I was right. On the way home I got a call from my sister, home from school out west for the summer. She's in an abusive relationship, abusive in both ways.

She asked advice, and I laid it all out for her. How did I know what to say? I used to be that guy. The one who'd flip out at the mention of another male's name. The one who would dish out twenty barbed questions whenever she'd walk through the door any amount of minutes after I'd expect her home. The one who'd constantly accuse her of infidelity; the only one who committed the infidelity.

No more than ten minutes into the conversation, I could tell that she was crying, though she was making a satisfactory attempt to hide the fact from me. I quickly detailed the demise of a four-year relationship that ended mutually because of the fact that I was not right inside. Her man has the same problem, and more often than not the path to cleansing is only wide enough for one.

The story appealed to emotions deep within the well of her soul and she soon could no longer mask the fact that she was crying.

"I think I need to go to bed," she said, though I wasn't sure she meant it. However, I decided not to push the issue. "Thanks for talking with me."

"It sounds like I didn't do anything but upset you."

"No, that's not it," she said. "It's just difficult."

It is difficult.

"All right," I said. "But if you change your mind and don't go to bed, I'll be up for a while. Give me call."

It may have been right after I told her that I simply didn't want to see her get hurt: I didn't want this guy messing her up physically, nor did I want her to have her mind dragged through the muck.

We all have our issues. I'm sure we can all trace lines back through our pasts that point to the source of our own inequities, but that mind exercise is simply a waste of time. To dig and sweat and toil through the murky shit that comprises the summation of all bad things done by and to me makes less sense than trying to raise to life a dead man. Take the lesson, then leave. The future is in the sculptor's hands, ready and able to deal with the difficulties that may lie ahead; be a sculptor.

May 22, 2006

A Clear Night

I crept up to the edge of the woods. With each step I could hear the rustles and murmurs within soften, then die out completely. An eerie feeling. It reminded me of that book "Where the Wild Things Are," where there are dozens of pairs of eyes staring out at you, disembodied eyes. It sent a shiver up my spine.

Nevertheless, I inched closer to the trees, and soon stepped underneath the great drooping branches of a giant weeping willow. Leaning back, I arched my neck as far back as I could in an unsuccessful attempt to glimpse the stars through leaves. Nothing. Complete obstruction. I moved towards the trunk, and swear I felt a warmth emanating from it, like a body. The leaves painted black by the night in my peripheral left me with the sensation that I was standing underneath the head of a giant, yet beautiful long-haired woman.

May 20, 2006

Water Color: "Dominionistic" by Steven Bossler

I got a beautiful deal on the original 24x24 watercolor. Steve's a good friend of mine; he recently graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, one of the top five art schools in the nation.

"I love watercolors," Steve said, as he lined up the series of paintings for me, all which centered on insects and a unique looking woman. He'd gotten the idea off of writings by a professor of Yale, who wrote a thesis which argued that humans have lost touch with their roots. One of the ways he related his theory was through insects, and nine different modes.

"Dominionistic," the painting above was the first he painted in the series. The other eight are just as cool. You can contact Steve through Green Seed Studios.

May 15, 2006

Here's One to Meditate On

The skies have been a dull grey for the past week. It can take the motivation right out of a person. But earlier this afternoon, the clouds parted in just the right spot, an event which allowed the sun to shine on a lucky square block of town for about thirty seconds. I'd almost forgotten how sunlight looked against the face of earth.

After the drive home, I stepped out behind the house with one of my roommates for a smoke. Out in the northwestern sky I saw the faint glow of two stars. Again, the cloud cover had parted. I decided to head into the Grether Woods for a walk, unaided by the beam of a flashlight. Just a winter cap and my cigarettes.

I made the trek across to the westernmost side of campus where it borders with the woods. Families of geese camped around the pond noticed my presence much earlier than I noticed theirs; most likely it was on account of my shoes crunching along the gravel, squishing into the waterlogged earth.

When I reached the mouth of a path that forked and snaked deep into the woods, I had to stop and allow my eyes to adjust. I turned around, and saw that there wasn't any way to avoid the light from the orange fluorescent flood lights that illuminated the entire place. Again I faced the trees, and after about ten minutes I was able to see a ways into the woods. A small brook gurgled to the left of me, it's pace quickened by rain we've been having for days, though I could not see the water; there was no moonlight to reflect it.

The soft, muddy path forked only a short distance in, and the ground was uneven; puddles had gathered the lower areas. I wouldn't be able to walk. So I stood there, a took in the sounds. Random squawks from the geese; the running water; bats, tearing through the air in near silence. From time to time, a car driven down Country Road M. When I took a few steps in, I found a place where the sound of vehicles on the road diminished, and became overpowered by the sound of water.

It made me think of times where my friends and I would be playing music in some tavern, and having to compete with the jukebox. There was always a strip of two feet the extended from wall to wall in the middle of the bar where it was an auditory cluster fuck, mass chaos with the duality of the sounds. Take a step forward, and all one hears is the band. Take a step backwards, all one hears is the blaring of the jukebox.

Still, I could not see the brook, but when I looked up through the trees, I could see that the clouds had continued to scatter while I stood there, leaving an entire stretch of the northwestern sky naked; entire constellations became visible.

It seemed like a good time to turn back; walking back to campus on the gravel path, I suddenly had the urge to sing. Settled on a bluegrass tune, sang it unapologetically. There was no one in sight. Most of the students had left campus for the summer already. The only people out and about at that time would've been one, maybe two security personnel.

When I reached the parking lot by our athletic center, my gaze was drawn towards the small, A-frame chapel. A beautiful piece of architecture: there is a wide, wooden ramp leading up to a small landing--some might call it a porch--that extended the length of the entire church. Inside there were two rows pews, but it was quite small, and had room for less than a hundred people. Directly in front of the double-doors leading inside there is a metal cross that towers over the church, reaching nearly two-stories high. Out in the lawn in front is a fluorescent bulb that casts light on the cross, as well as the face of the church.

This seemed to me like a good place to have a cigarette. It's been a while since I've been in or near a church for more than five minutes. I nestled up against the cross. It felt cold. I was also surprised to learn there that it was crafted out of a heavy metal; it was cold, and it appeared to me that it had been fashioned from the same steel beams used to construct large buildings.

I looked back at the shadow cast against the face of the church. I wore dark clothing, and most likely blended into the enlargened shadow; from a distance it probably appeared as if a twelve-foot tall man had huddle upon against the side of the cross. Again, I was moved to sing. Again, I began, unapologetically, in a soft voice. I chose Mother's Only Son. The words naturally of relationships. A few faces floated through my mind as I made it through the first couple of verses, and then I began to think of my relationship with God.

It hadn't been a good one for years. The orthodox Christianity I had been exposed to for all my life had left a bad taste in my mouth. I had too many questions, but they didn't have answers for me. I disagreed with my church on the dogma, the rituals, even some of the teachings and beliefs. If God was up there, I didn't see Him or Her in a way that my family, or my church did. This dictator-type figure that demands daily maintenance via attention, respect and devotion. And if they weren't taking the Jesus, route, they were going to hell. Don't get me wrong: some Christians aren't that rigid, and think in a fashion similar to mine.

But I was unable to feel the presence, and trying to converse with God seemed a bit futile. Maybe we don't speak the same language, but either way, I loathe one-way conversations. I hate them in life, and I'd sure expect more from the Guy I'm supposed to pay daily tribute to. Based on my experience, I would not vote God for president of the United States. I didn't vote for Bush either, but I got nothing on God. At least I know enough about Bush to not like him.

In that moment I thought, as I had many times before, about how I didn't see it the same way as did a vast majority of people on this planet. It was somewhat of a disheartening epiphany, the first time I settled on the thought. But that night, as I leaned against the wooden railing, against the cross, I felt something different in there air. Not the dampness, nor the smell of wet earth, fresh rain. This is where I feel the presence. Outdoors, in nature, or when playing music, communicating on with people.

Is this God? I wondered.

I got to the line which started the last verse, singing "I swear the whole world must be blind." In between the end of that line and the beginning of the next, which spanned less than one measure, a drop of water that had collected atop the cross during the afternoon fell two stories, and landed squarely on top of my head. Tears came to my eyes, but my cadence was unbroken, and I sang with that much more passion.

In the distance, near the middle of campus I could see someone walking towards the Campus Center. Most likely it was a security guard. For a brief moment I swear I saw their stride slow down. Had they heard me, or was it the image of my shadow against the church that caught their eye? It was impossible to know for sure.

At the close of the song, I felt renewed. I decided to into campus where I could find a computer to put down a few of my thoughts. Had security accosted me out there at the chapel, or on my way back in, and asked me what I was up to, I might've said to them, with a slight smile, "Worshipping."

May 14, 2006

Hope, Hidden with the Sun

Managed to return to the abode last night, the place where the previous post originated from. Managed to not piss off some "enhanced" football player, managed to not almost get my ass kicked. Was a rather pleasant night; some girl tried to kiss me in my stupor but it was mainly to keep me from lighting up another cigarette, and this was quite difficult for me to comprehend at 3:24 in the morning.

The awakening today was an abrupt one, with the immediate realization that I'd have to deal with eight hours of gas station clientele, the other job. Ick. But it's all good. Even though it feels like someone attached tiny ball bearings to the bottom of my shoes during the night, the day must go on. Hope's been hiding just above the slate gray clouds, where the sun's been sitting for the last couple of days. Point is though, it's there, whether visible or not.

May 12, 2006

Hope Recedes with the Sun

One thing I hadn't mentioned about graduation is that I nearly got punched out. That's right. Fist fight. Except there wouldn't been a fight. It would've been comprised of a blind-sided punch and my head hitting the concrete; if I were fortunate I'd have woken somewhere on campus, but otherwise, it'd be the ER.

A female friend of mine congratulated me that night outside of a party with a giant hug and kind words. This football-player guy who's using her didn't like what he saw. One thing came to another and I found that if I hadn't been warned by her, or if the other guy hadn't stepped in the middle of us, I'd of been in one of those two places mentioned above.

Words wouldn't sway this guy. I tried. He'd decided upon what he saw and his gut reaction was to sprint outside and "knock my muthafuckin' ass out." Neither punches nor words got through the guy who saved me from him, and I went inside, awestruck. My hands shook, though not from anger. I was crushed. How did that happen, I wondered to myself.?

Those inside tried to calm me down.

"I can't believe he fucking did that," one girl said, referring to the footballer's reaction. "What a dick."

I couldn't be calmed. I stood there in a state of shock.

"I need a cigarette," I said, moving towards the door; someone tried to stop me, but I wouldn't let them.

"No, seriously," I maintained, "I just need a cigarette."

I stepped outside the front door, lit a cig, and cried. Uncontrollably. I couldn't have possibly imagined graduation night ending like this.

The entire year before had been a tiring one, much aside from schoolwork. The overall state of humanity seemed to have regressed. I saw an example of that in being stunned week after week, day after day, when I'd read about more and more people being shot forty-two miles south of me, in Milwaukee. Why was this happening? Where did this reaction come from?

I held certain faith in academia. The place of higher education was one of solace to me. Therefore I cannot reconcile why the individual who attempted to attack me was in school, at the college with me. How had he made it that far? If beating the shit out of me was his initial reaction, caused by an imagined infraction, really, what had things come to?

After finishing the cigarette, and wiping my eyes, I headed back inside, but could no longer hold spirits high enough to enjoy the atmosphere. I quietly excused myself, assured them all that I'd be ok, and made the long walk home. Haven't heard from any of those who where present that night since.

Welcome to the real world.
At 8:45 AM, the phone rings.

"Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyy," says the voice on the other end of the line. By looking at the caller ID I know it's J., one of my superiors; a call at this time of the morning can only mean one thing.

"What's up," I ask.

Half-teasing, he asks, "Are you sleeping?"

I toy with the idea of saying no.

"Yeah, I am. I don't come in until ten o'clock," I say.

"I know, ok. Then I'll just wait till you get here at ten."

"No, no," I say, "obviously you got something special going on, otherwise you wouldn't have called."

And that is how I was called into work earlier this morning. After five hours of interrupted sleep, I couldn't locate an inch on my body from head to toe that felt remotely well-rested. I even had a dream last that I'd overslept, waking first at 3:00 in the afternoon, meaning I'd missed my entire shift.

"Fuck. Fuck. Fuck," I said aloud, still in bed. My head felt as if it were stuffed tight with cotton balls. I needed to slap a sticker across my forehead that read "Contents Under Pressure." After the shower, I did the daily gas station run for cigs and caffeine; a glance in the rear-view mirror told me that I should also pick up eye drops.

It's been raining heavily, blowing violently for the past couple of days. It is a rain that one cannot escape, on account of the winds. It seems to come at you from every angle, stinging like a swarm of bees as they converge upon one point. I tried each exterior face of the house--north, south, east, west--as a barrier of protection against the weather, but to no avail. There was no avoiding this one.

Examining the grey horizon through the rising and falling of windshield wipers, I forced myself to find something beautiful. Because of the constant precipitation, the earth has greened nicely; the soil looks that much darker, richer. I lifted my mood with some good ol' bluegrass.

There is a reason that I am out of bed this early today.

Winding pathways, blind-sided fools
How could you let them get the best of you
Stumbling footfalls, someone calls your name
They're calling you, stay just the same, just the same. - YMSB

"If God hadn't invented bluegrass," I told B. once I arrived, "I'd be in a crappy mood this morning."

Turns out that J.'s student wasn't coming in any longer. Her car had overheated, then stopped enroute.

Why did I get up so early this morning? The grey clouds now hang low across the horizon, and the whispering winds brings the trees to life. Sometimes you do things you don't always want to do; other people call upon you to serve. I answer, seeing the sunshine through the rain.

May 8, 2006

The Morning After Burn

Just before I hopped into the shower yesterday morning, I moved about my room, gathering the white shirt, tie, black pants and socks that I would wear underneath the graduation attire: A black robe with a blue and gold hood, with a stripe of brown to indicate the division of my major. Both writing and liberal arts fall into the Fine Arts category, so that strip, as well as the tassle were a deep brown, the color of the soil out in the farmer's fields after fresh spring rain at dawn.

It was then that I realized that I would no longer have the opportunity to sit in a classroom and learn from the brilliant faculty at this college. It will also be difficult not seeing the faces who've become so familiar to me; they are a part of my waking life that I will miss most dearly. The small exchanges and conversations, through the good times and the bad, I've had so many people to turn to. Now we were to scatter in different directions, with a myriad of purposes amongst us.

The ceremony was surreal.

The Dean called my name, followed by "Magna Cum Laude."

I didn't hear it though. When the entire program had come to its close, the recessional march brought the graduates outside, where we were blessed with a blue sky, sunshine, and cotton ball clouds.

"You look taller," my grandmother said.

A joke was then made about the fact that it might be directly related to my new status. The Graduate. Great movie. Check it out if you haven't already.
Anyway, I didn't think I was any taller, but she did appear to be shorter. Strange.

May 5, 2006

Sometimes... (Proof I Shouldn't Blog if I've Been Drinking)

It's the right time and you decide that you needn't be fuckin' around with this apartment even though it works and gets you by. But the point is that this is just a stage, a place, temporary state of time where you were there were here simply because that's what had to happen in order to learn and now it's time to buy the house and the one you've got your eye on yeah the one with the blue and the other color out in the front in the lovely garden 'tis out of the range that the pocketbook has set forth and the only thing left to do is to concede the victory to someone else more deserving and admit and accept that it is possibly the frame and structure that you might adhere to, but at another time, with another vision.

Just Two Days

I wanted to post this tonight. I feel like I need to post it as I write this. An urgent need, a desperate need. The type of need that maybe the youth can relate to, and those who are older, who have gone through more of life’s trials, might remember from years ago. The feeling of alienation. The desperate search for someone to connect to. Someone to be with.

This will undoubtedly be the longest, most random and self-conscious piece that’s ever been posted at Controlled Burns, and quite possibly it will forever stand as so.

The way the light reflected off of her golden hair in the pulsing lights; like sunlight radiating from the center of a thousand raindrops.

“Don’t rule out writers,” the good professor tells her. In her eyes he might see an acknowledgment. Maybe not.

Earlier this afternoon I sat in a room with three others who I will be my colleagues and it was outlined how much my world was going to change into something I hadn’t fully realized; no longer will it only be the physique, the mystique, and the beauty that I see, but also now the innards: guts, veins, blood. Ends.

Sunday I walk. I’ve played the scene over in my mind many times before. I float across that stage, shake hands with the president, walk down the stairs on the other side and then it hits me. It is finished. When it really hits me, I will be by myself somewhere. It will bring me to tears.


The girl tells me something tonight at the campus pre-gradation celebration that turns my feeling about this whole situation on end.

“Oh, yeah,” she says with hesitation, “Karl says he’s not going to make it.”

Not going to make it?

“He loathes graduation,” she says.

And my something feels like the heart within my chest drops into my abdomen.
The actualization of it all has taken place this evening. Her words will haunt me, among many other things.

“You never know what can happen,” she said.

May 4, 2006


How can I move
if there can’t be a poem
that in the most subtle
of ways expresses how I
feel when the only
thing pouring from the
pot is sorrow as black
as coffee in the moonlight
or an extinguished face
after the light from a
cigarette ember dies
with the cessation of a

I wonder which southern wind
we’ve ridden
here to this
instant where we decide
that the loss and
our failure
to express it is
worthy of deeming
this worthless.

May 2, 2006

Locked, Loaded

The still night air tucked itself neatly in my wake as I walked back towards the graduate housing. (Someone in this place just blew their nose, loudly, like my father does, the method I inherited. It's a comforting thing....)

Anyway, on the stroll back I thought about how the night lay open ahead of me, and how I'd fill the hours by leveling up Lanadra in Silverpine Forest (a World of Warcraft reference for those of you who don't know). Once I reached the house, a couple of the other guys were outside attempting to build a fire. Apparently, it wasn't working. I thought I'd set myself down on the livingroom couch and read the paper, making myself available for socialization with the other GA's, since I'm the new guy. Dan came in, saw me reading the paper, and asked if I had finished with any of the sections so that he could throw it in the fire.

"Front page," I tell him, and motion with my hand towards the table. "Burn it."

Shortly thereafter I headed out to the backyard to see how things are going. The fire was a poor site, lapping in weak fire-tongues at the wet wood. As a former boy scout, I knew that this wasn't how to go about building a fire. So I set to it.

Soon enough the fire was actually burning, and producing heat. As each of the GA's arrived home, they joined us; then, two of my professors showed, as well as some other people. And I felt like I was supposed to be there. I realized that they wouldn't be sitting around the same fire, the mood wasn't going be the same, if that fire wasn't constructed in the way that I had done it. It all finally seemed right.

They had a 2x4 set diagonally against the other logs, and being wet, it smoldered on one end, slowly burning through the middle to the other side.

"Slide that piece underneathe the fire," I suggested.

The piece fit.

And God Bestows Upon Me The Internet

After two days in the GA housing, I have finally been able to connect to the internet in my room. Whew. Warcraft is beckoning from a place deep inside me and it is quite difficult to not heed the call. If it wasn't two o'-freakin'-clock in the morning I'd definitely get on for a couple hours.

The crappiest part about it though is that tomorrow's when Blizzard does their weekly maintenance on the game, meaning I most likely won't be able to get on until after noon. All the more reason to get my ass to bed so I can rise early, shuffle myself to work, and return here with fingers crossed in the hope that there's still an internet connection waiting for me.

If that is the case, the good news is I can stay connected with the world and dumb my mind from time to time by running around and killing orcs, ogres, sorcerors, etc.

And to the people still stickin' around and reading, well, things are going to get a hell of a lot better real soon. Content wise.

Still writin'. Still strugglin'. Still movin'.

Stay tuned.