Something Was There

Something was there and I killed it with words.
My poetry is a genocide of moments whose beauty is rendered flawed by description.
The pains of the world are the paints of the artist,
And I draw blood from you just to make a piece whose artistic equivalence lies somewhere alongside a child’s amateurish finger-painting.
Look, I’ve done it again.


Nothing I Write Matters Anyway.

A blurred world turns outside the taxi cab, transposing concrete landscape into something more abstract. A stop light grinds things to a halt; liquid nature sent relapsing into its habitual rigidity. Watch the weave of pedestrians thread the needle along the crosswalk. These scenes play out a thousand times irrespective of an audience. This is anywhere else.

And so the conversation slips: “Why are you afraid of me?” Jacqueline inquires, her head tilted at a 45-degree angle resting her line of sight along a horizon toward his discomforted face. The autumnal fade casts flickering shadows upon her cheek from the car window. It is the afternoon, mind you.

“A Thousand Times” by Jinsang

Something Less Than

Whisper your shades of chaos into the sky
While I shoot the breeze
And surely you’ll want something more.

So, where to begin?

With your beauty wrapped in synonym,
My plastic savagery of words is thrust upon you.
You, whom my pretentious
Nature hangs like dew on morning’s sleeve
In forests where diaphanous woods bleed
Down rivers whose tears still scream
Past thickets from knotted dream…

You let me talk over you.

But, I let you drown in my wreckage.

See, my ‘comfortable’ is the sound of you waiting for my finished sentence.
See, my ‘comfortable’ is a conversation between both me and myself.
See, my ‘comfortable’ has no vacancies and since you’ve only just arrived I’m afraid there is no room for you.
See, you haven’t said a word and I’ve already heard far too much…

So, where to end?

You’ll whisper your shades of chaos into the sky
While I shoot the breeze
And surely you’ll want something more.

And even if your face changes
I’ll swear the voices were the same,
For how many people can share your name?
Wait, “What was your name again?”

Rimbaud, etc.

“But do you know anything?” Someone should have asked.
They took the man’s words for their own and never saw they were born orphaned.
He gave you water and told you it was wine.
And you believed him.

“But do you know anything?” Someone should have asked.
We never knew him, though we know him so well.
We welcomed him into our hearts, the poet he proclaimed himself to be, and we felt what he commanded us to feel.
And never did we ask.

“But do you know anything?” The question which would extinguish the fire of his answers.
You take the man’s words for your own and never see that they were born orphaned.
You drink his water and tell me it is wine.
And you believe yourself.

Fault him as I may, he was no idiot.
Only an idiot listens.

Been a While (Late-Night Quick Sketch)

In her eyes, I saw the world.” Max’s breathy voice swells with a marketable romanticism found in images of first kisses, long walks on the beach at sunset, and couples lying in bed staring into one another. Sean only sees the glowing scalp of the elderly woman’s head in front of them. Split ends haphazardly rappelling down the wrinkled mountainside of her neck via tenuous gray strands. Age leaves grace at the door, he thinks.
“This morning I awoke and, for a moment, I felt her in my arms once more. I could feel her tender cheek pressed against my chest, a warmth I have not experience in a very long time. But, alas,” even ‘alas’ veered on the side of “a bit much” in the face of Max’s usual blend of forced poetics and clichés. “I looked to my side and what do I find but my pillow!” While Max erupts into a hearty bout of laughter, Sean’s brain is struggling to process whether Max’s use of the word ‘alas’ is permissible considering his focus’s insistence on being fleeting given the captivating nature of the head and everything. “You could imagine my dismay!”
After feeling prodded by Max to return with some sort of verbal confirmation, Sean returns a hoarse, “Yeah.” There was this quality about Max where if even for a second you decided to think about what he said, Max would flood back into the conversation and prevent you from ever looking back. This was all the more complicated by Max’s usage of over-the-top aesthetics in his speech. So even if his message was relayed with coherency (which was atypical), your ability to construct a thoughtful response required game-show buzzer timing. Naturally, almost 85% of people’s responses to Max consisted of: Sure, definitely, yep, yeah, cool, of course, okay, fine, I have to go, I really must be going, I would love to talk more but I have to be going, look at the time I’d better leave now while I can, we really should meet up again sometime but I better be going, I have your number so I’ll call you.
“My chest burns with an insatiable love for her.” Sean suspects each of the woman’s gray strands to be moving of their own accord. He is not entirely sure, it could be the wind, but there is something unnatural in their movements. Hair, when full, or at least concentrated, moves in ways that are agreed upon. This woman’s hair moves like the dispersing of a school of herrings. Sean weighs the curiosity of placing his hands on her head and performing massaging movements against the woman’s possible irritation when having her head handled in such a grotesque manner. But was it really all that grotesque?
Joshua, who has been silently mouthing the word “insatiable” since its birth from Max’s mouth, is becoming impatient. “Can’t believe the line is this long just to get a slice at 1 am.”

Probably (Enough definition)

Though on the horizon, tomorrow is never. Monochromatic shades of moonlight pierce the window of a slanted ceiling overhead. Outlines of the room persevere against the colorless push of night into day. Nora lies somewhere between, her body rounding the edge of a swirling landscape of blankets, pillows, and sheets. Stranded on the shores of consciousness, her state is a matrimony of asleep and awake. Waves recede and her thinking becomes unmediated. She feels, somehow, less alone.

Crashing down from far away, “The voiceless contemplate the prospect of what their voice may one day sound like.” “So much time wasted thinking about what it means to think rather than to engage in the activity itself.” “The recursion spelled out so clearly, thinking about thinking about thinking about thinking…” “One could lose themselves in such a loop for who knows how many years?” “But would they be able to tell?” “The real question being whether they would even want to know?” They call asking for her to let go.

Her eyes open and she finds herself staring up at a window. There is a great comfort to be had in these pauses of consequence. Whether she returned to sleep now or later, there would be no difference. Five minutes of awareness would be compensated in the years of dreams to come. Arms and legs blooming, she stretches towards the corners of the bed. She feels at home.

“Would you?” Faded conversations from days past mesh and coil like ivy along her internal narrative. One moment she is embracing how soft her bedding feels, the next disembodied voices sputter like contorted voices grinding against the static of a poor radio signal. Nevertheless, she thinks she would.

Still holding. A consuming bundle of vertexes and apexes upon a mountainside wrap into a cerebral fold; her mind rolls back and the rip current pulls her under. Her thoughts drown in the voices from before and she ceases to remember herself. She lets go.

Portrait of the Artist and a Young Man

Words breathe life into a world otherwise unrealized. A city, a park, an afternoon. In terms of emotion, the setting draws heavily from Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, but the details are decidedly more American in essence. A pond serves as an opportunity to flesh out the scene later. Look, a child toddles over into the arms of his father where he is lifted up in the air. Central Park, a familiar location for any audience and a wise choice. We come upon a park bench seating two artists, one younger and one wiser. Action.

“What do you wish to write?” The wiser brazenly asks, both catching the younger off guard and serving as an awful transition in conversation from their prior remarks about bipolar weather patterns as of late. As the younger searches for an answer, he sees the wiser’s patience declining at an exponential rate.

“Well, I think a lot about the meaning of everything,” the younger’s eyes drift into that no man’s space they always do when he’s trying to speak in his writing voice. “Not to sound cliché, but my focus remains intrinsically bound to the questions of what ‘this’ is all about. With regards to art, socio-economic hierarchy, solipsism… I am talking serious ontological navel-gazing here.” With the younger’s line of sight perpendicular to the wiser’s, there is a great deal of eye-rolling on the wiser’s part missed by the younger during his soliloquy. “I know this all sounds strange and forced on my part, but as technology advances I find myself connecting less and less with our ideologues of years past. The world feels cold even when it looks most alive. Why am I here?”

The younger brings his eyes back to the wiser’s and is heartbroken to notice the wiser was not paying attention at all. In fact, the promise of a return is kept as the wiser watches a string of ducks navigate to the pond’s center. “See, and I am unsurprised this has yet to occur to you, the only person who gives a damn about your understanding of the world is yourself.” The ponds of central park are both cute and iconic in their presentation. “People want a good story, something they can take in with their own understandings of the world. What you are talking about,” the fountain of the pond turns on and the sight is something to behold, “Is crafting their understanding for them. People want to be told what to look at, not necessarily how to go upon looking. As a writer, you present the ‘what.’ If I were you, I would leave behind your notions of grandeur instead of continuously failing in some attempt to formulate a panacea for mankind’s understanding of itself.”

The younger is staring down at his shoes feeling most humbled. Scans of any semblance of a counter-argument are interrupted by the wiser. “Before you go and try to ‘win’ back this discussion, it is critical that you understand this: You know nothing. You know only what it is like to feel confident in your beliefs and not even know with certainty what those beliefs really are.”

Has someone ever rejected you so heartlessly that your ego evaporates and your esteem becomes a cruel punchline and your emotions are no longer felt but recalled? The wiser saw such anguish in the eyes of his younger and felt half-assed remorse. “You’re something else though, I’ll give you that kid. Can’t say I recall meeting a fellow like you in a while. So terrified and bold in your naïve attack on the world at large. Reminds me of my own youth, to be quite honest. And still to this day I know nothing. So perk up, enough of the long face, you still have time yet. A virtue not all of us have.” And the man died right there in that very spot after finishing his last “have.”

Unfinished until the End (6/9/17)

An impressionable kid looking to be impressed: An oversimplified, though valid, summation of my high school experience. Since I have moved on to college, my nostalgia has been coated in a bitterness I have since been defensive about. High School was fine, nothing more nothing less.

*Disengaging guards now*

If we are going to dwell on memories whose reservations are not dated until far later, (Who knows, maybe my thirties will provide me with something of an objective perspective) we might as well try to snag a table while we are here. Whether the view will be adequate, I will let you be the judge.

So I’m walking through some throw-away ‘hallway trip to class’ and I can feel a knot in my stomach. It must be my senior year, the height of my angst and need to be validated, and I recall having a deranged fondness for this knot. I felt time was slipping through my fingers and in some kamikaze-attempt to hold onto something, I remember tying that knot even tighter hoping it would not undo.

This type of behavior led to a two-year post-high-school long-distance relationship that ended up folding just in time for my transfer to another school. It’s funny how things work out that way–I guess I regret nothing.

This is unfinished, I really don’t know where to go from here. But that’s the point right?

To Bed (Late Night Quick Sketch) (Working on Characters and Dialogue)

A hand on her shoulder. “Sonia, my dear, are you still drunk?” Glenn asked, assured she was, but unsure whether she had been kept up to date. The apartment has emptied out by now. Sonia breaks out of a slurred murmur.

“I don’t know what it is, but there is something undeniably sexy about curvy Hispanic women. The low to the ground, big-bottomed ones. That’s not to say,” burping under her breath, “that other women aren’t sexy. I’ve dated plenty of White and Asian women in the past.”

“I know you have, but–”

“But a thick senorita. There is just nothing like it. Their hair so lush and their skin so soft. Their…” She is reaching for the bottle of tequila when Glenn grabs her by the forearm.

“Sonny, up here sweetie. Look at me, Sonia Carter listen to me.” Shaking her back from her fading existence. “I think it’s time you went to bed.”

“Went to bed? The night is still young!” She holds up her drink in celebration to a room of empty red solo cups and unclean dishes.

“It’s 4:53am, our party ended nearly five hours ago. You’ve been drinking yourself to death watching old episodes of Breaking Bad for I don’t know how long now.”

“Say my name!” She leans back in her chair trailing with a cackle.

“Sonny, I love you. I am your bestie, always have been by your side haven’t I?”


“Alright, come on, let’s get up. Time for bed.” Cradling her arm around his neck and onto his shoulder, he drags her out of the kitchen.

“You’re the best, Glenn.”

“I know.”

“Do you happen to know any short curvy Latinas, Glenn.”

“There’s one who works in human resources at my office, her name is Darlene.”

“Darlene, I bet she has some exotic South American last name like Gueverra or something. Could you be a pal and give her my number?”

“Do you need to use the bathroom before bed?”

“Nope, I should be fine.” She waddles to her bed and lands face-first into her mess of blankets. Glenn collapses next to her.

“Time for bed.”