"When I begin to doubt my ability to work the word, I simply read another writer and know I have nothing to worry about. My contest is only with myself, to do it right, with power, and force, and delight, and gamble." 
— Charles Bukowski

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I've always been an extremely approachable guy. For as long as I can remember, all the friends I've had have all had one thing in common, no matter when I knew them or what walk of life they came from. They always felt they could come to me; they felt comfortable around me. I'm what is generally considered a "nice" guy, which is great for building strong friendships, though it does present problems in the dating department. Anyway, over the years a lot of my friends have come to me asking me for advice and I've always done the best that I could to help them in any way possible. There's this one guy though. He keeps coming to me with problems and asking me for advice, and everytime I tell him something he never listens to me. He goes off and does his own thing, and then keeps coming back everytime there's a problem, and then doesn't listen to a single thing I say.

That person is me.

I can pontificate with the best of them about loving your life and being blessed and loving everyone and everything; but when the only people in the room are myself and the darkness, I become Ernest Hemingway or Ian Curtis or (insert famous artist that killed themself). I spend hours thinking about what's wrong with me, why whats-her-face doesn't like me anymore, why I should give up trying to write, why I haven't gotten a phone call all day, etc. I always feel like an ass after the fact. I have a pretty good life, I've never experienced real hardship, I've never not had food or a place to live or anything of significance. I don't really know what my problem is, I just hope I can fix it. I should be in love with my life. I'm twenty-two years old, what in the hell do I have to worry about? This is prime time for me to enjoy freedom and recklessness, to travel, to experience everything.

Here's to hoping my heart catches up with my brain.

Last night was one of those nights I was talking about. I felt shitty all night for no reason. Luckily work wasn't very busy, so I was able to be by myself for most of the night. I got a pretty decent poem out of it though, despite the morose subject matter.

It Takes The Best Of You

It takes the best of you


To get out of bed in the morning
and fight in the darkness

It takes the best of you


To finish your breakfast
sitting at a table for one

It takes the best of you


To look her in the eye
without spilling your guts

It takes the best of you


To keep a smile on your face
so you can pay the rent

It takes the best of you


To go to bed content
with waking up in the morning

And it gets the best of you


*For those of you that don't know, my friend Jesse Godbey and I will be doing a split chapbook. Should hopefully be done and available at the beginning of the year.

*Apparently I look like a condom when I wear a toboggan.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A quick one

I'll have a proper blog update soon, probably tomorrow or so. Until then, here's a short poem.

When you are alone
the trees are alone
and the stars are alone
and the walls are alone
and the food is alone
and your clothes are alone
and everyone you know
is in love.

And when you are in love
the trees are in love
and the stars are in love
and the walls are in love
and the food is in love
and your clothes are in love
and everything else around you
fades away, dissolving into space
like the sugar in your coffee.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Warrior Of The Light

Sometimes it takes the impeccable wisdom of others to spark something in ourselves.

Today was one of those days.

I have had a lot of things hanging on my heart lately. Actually, these things have been scratching and clawing their way up the mountainside, refusing to give up and fall. It's a lot of different things, spanning a wide variety of topics. Things as broad as fear, loneliness, uncertainty, and self-conscious; and the other things are as specific as career path and unfruitful crushes. They're silly things. Most of the time I feel silly even acknowledging them, because in reality I'm quite blessed and these things are absolutely trivial. However, they still flare up from time to time and I have to deal with them.

I had a really great conversation with Jenny today. It probably didn't seem like a very interesting conversation to her, but without her really knowing, the conversation was addressing a lot of the topics that I needed to talk about most. She is really great about that. I'm sure I am not the only person who feels incredibly blessed to have her in their life.

A little earlier today I went to Books-A-Million before I got some food. I went mainly to check out the books by Paulo Coelho. This also was Jenny's doing. I found this book by him that I knew I needed to buy. I have kind of believed in signs in my life, and this one in particular was much too big to pass up. The book is not a novel, rather it's a companion book to his novel The Alchemist. It's called Warrior Of The Light and the tagline on the book says "Short notes on accepting failure, embracing life, and rising to your destiny." I came home, sat down, and read it cover to cover. It was a really powerful experience. It was exactly the right thing I needed in my life right now. Obviously with a book like this, anybody who reads it will feel like it was written for them, but I won't let this deter me from feeling completely moved by the book. One of the pages in particular hit me really hard.

"A warrior of the light often loses heart.

He believes that nothing can stir in him the emotion he desires. he is forced to spend many nights feeling that he is one of the vanquished, and nothing seems able to restore his enthusiasm.

His friends say: "Perhaps his fight is over."

The Warrior feels pain and confusion when he hears such remarks because he knows that he has not yet reached the place he wanted to reach. But he is stubborn and refuses to relinquish his aims.

Then, when he least expects it, a new door opens."

When I finished reading the book I felt a funny rumbling in my chest near my heart. I grabbed my cup of coffee and walked outside. The sky was pink; it was sunset. The feeling in my heart intensified. Finally, when the pain was unbearable, I felt the skin on my chest begin to tear. I looked down and a tiny bird was pecking its way out. When the hole became large enough, the bird pushed its body through and flew away. I stood there, shocked, and watch the bird as it flew towards the setting sun. I watched it until I couldn't see it anymore and it disappeared into warmth of the sun. I looked down at the hole in my chest, but I no longer hurt. I reached over and pulled at the skin. The skin began to peel off me like the skin of an orange. I tugged and tugged and peeled all of the skin off my body into a pile on the porch. What was left of me after the skin had been removed was not just a skeleton, not just muscle and bone, not just a skinless man. It was something quite different.

A warrior.