Archive for September, 2012

bullet jewelry

Sep 26 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Grace and class be with you
as you go through these vagrant days
that which will come up to greet you
won’t always offer a better way
so you must be the one to teach it
or be dragged down to an aimless haze
when everyone hands you bullets
make a necklace, catch their gaze
so grace and class be with you
as you go through these vagrant days
perhaps no one writes your biography
but you leave stories in your wake.

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The Ontology of Place

Sep 24 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Pulling a geographical
means hoping that a new place
will make you a new person.
I want to pull an ontological;
hoping that being a new person
will help me find a new place.

I can describe the humidity
and the lucidity of the
Alabama pine, almost surreal
in that I have always imagined
pine in a permanent December,
just as Australia is always June
in my mind.

But my June; the Oklahoma June,
perhaps even the Alabama June.
You can expect eight degrees celsius in Sydney that month.
They don’t even keep temperature the same as us.
You are not my June, 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
But neither is Alabama my June, and I live here.
And no longer is Oklahoma my June; it was.
I do not know if Oklahoma Junes are like the ones I knew
but I know that the Alabama ones, and the Australia ones
are not what I knew.

So much of a place is knowing it, claiming it
wearing it, like shoes with holes we made ourselves.
I claim what I knew; it stops me from claiming a place now.
I don’t know this place like I knew that place, and I know that.
And therein lies my ontological:
if I could wash this already-lost history,
then the place I am could, be my own;
no barriers to overcome,
just an open mind, a tour guide
and the aching smell of pine.

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Sep 23 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Slightly ill, tired out,
I took a second day off.
Finally trimmed the beard,
had a haircut and a nap.
I still felt uneasy,
deadlines looming.
The harder it is for me to rest,
the more I know I need the pause.

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Bay Windows

Sep 22 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Auburn, Alabama.
When I drive by houses at night,
I look in the bay windows
and covet the other lives inside.
I would like to learn someone else’s space,
because mine is worn.
These are the people I know,
these are the things I do,
these are the places I go.
Life’s bright flashes of color
are gone; did the light stop shining
or did the glass get dirty?

Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The stately lanes feel familiar.
As I try the city on, I realize
that UNC is someone’s place;
someone I’ve never met.
Suddenly, everyone takes up real space.
Moving through the world, each person is
a whole world unto themselves,
a whole history untold as of yet,
a collection of the same sorts of things
that I keep inside, not less than mine
but different, not just that they like
baby blue more than I
but that this person graduated high school
and is now here at a university
wanting people and things and a place
in the same way that I want people and things
and a place. The spatial awareness is overwhelming.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
It is easy to get used to that which recurs
but the rupture of repetition points out
that Auburn is not the only place,
nor is this the only time;
and worlds upon worlds upon worlds
pass by each other on the sidewalk
of a university where someone lives
and someone visits,
and someone wants to return to.

Auburn, Alabama.
Someone sees my porch as they drive by,
golden glow laughter-pocked, and I know
they wish they had my bay windows.

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Sep 07 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

In this moment,
time is distended.
pressing madly against the walls
an exceeding yearning.
“I’m sorry, ma’am.”

Time bent and warped,
a year telling me that a day is wrong.
Why shouldn’t I take joy in a day,
even if it will all be different in a year?
Time presses through the walls,
changing the present.
“Let’s do this.”

The result of these actions
could be avoided by never taking an action.
Is it worth it to still try, even when
the doctor says it isn’t?
Is there value in knowing, and doing anyway?
This is why we cut watermelons,
and hug family who worry us,
and sleep one person in a double bed.
Hope says yes; this is worth it.
Even if the answer will be no,
having the hope was worth it
all by itself.

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Sep 07 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Games, and fantasies, and fiction
A remarkable amount of real life
is dedicated to things that aren’t.
At least, aren’t economics, or
politics, or feeding the hungry.
Some say that this is the tragedy;
not that these things exist, but
that people exist who don’t care
about those things, and instead,
care about Josh Freeman’s fantasy
production, and Dr. Who’s conclusion
and Stephen King novels, and music
and the whole other world that lives
completely in the mind, unaware of
not only that which is being said
subtextually, but explicitly.
This episode is about the hunger
of a world; it is like our world.
But nothing changes. “That was fun.”
We built literary theory for that.

Other find this a tragedy:
that there is not art for those
who are deepest in need,
that expression will heal wounds,
then bring peace, then fill bellies.
This art, about the same things,
invested deeply with meaning,
that meaning called to attention
by virtue of who made it.
“This is a refugee’s painting.”

But the deepest tragedy, to me,
is a whole world invested in
one or the other, this or that
meaning vs. enjoyment,
sport vs. art,
heart vs. head,
beauty vs. intellect
telling vs. fixing
money vs. money.

These are false dichotomies;
choosing a side is a lie.
Both, and many, and all;
a world making, then responding,
then making again.
Fiction is in books: books are real.
Real men with hearts and brains
make money entertaining us with
dazzling displays of artistry
in the 60-yard touchdown run.
This is all real; no less a part
of this world, and how it should be
than feeding the hungry, and justice
We should work for justice,
we should seek peace.
But to appreciate and enjoy and know
that the mission is not all
and there are mountains beyond mountains
even if we climb this one right now;
that is real as well.
That is real.

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Sep 01 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

It’s easy to destroy something huge.
Far easier than I expected, actually.
When so many people are invested in it,
It’s really a matter of numbers,
and not of actual damage done to it.
or us
A car, a bike, a house, a life
so many people with ledgers
that must add up, that must quantify
that must make the best deal
Not for the thing, we are thing agnostic
this thing is like that thing
it’s a newer thing, and it would cost less
so get the newer thing.
Here’s a check for that new thing.
But what about that old thing?
I had history with it. It is mine.
This new thing will not be mine
for a long, long time. Yes,
it will be in my possession soon
But when will I love it?
I loved that old thing; it was mine.
And how long after I love the new thing
will someone with a ledger
sweep his arm across the full frame
and say, “this is not worth repairing”?
I don’t believe you.

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