"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, December 21, 2008

If Ever You Wake

If ever you wake with
a sparrow's head (clutched

between meaty fingers)
and your eyes purple and green;

baptize yourself in sleep,
bathe in the warmth of new dawn morning.

Loneliness is a black abyss, but
there is light to be found in your heart.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Life Is A Delicate Negotiation

Yeah, I know that blogs about feelings and what's been going on in my life are stupid and lame and nobody really cares anyway. But, I've never been a guy that knew when to shut my mouth.

I've been thinking a lot about the end of the year. I like to think back on the year and reflect on what I learned about life and about myself. If you're not growing, then you're dying. This year, the end of the year revelation has been a bit bigger than most of the ones prior.

I rely too much on other people. I don't mean that I ask them for things. I mean, I judge myself and measure my self-worth by other people. For instance, in the past I felt bad if I went a night without getting any phone calls. It's silly, yes, but it felt like there was a reason behind it. I understand that I'm not the center of anyone's life, nor should I be, but those nights my mind would race with thoughts questioning my life and my friendships. It was extremely pathetic and unfair to the people that I care about. I can't say that I was being very rational.

I also had the privilege of dating an amazing girl this summer, and when she didn't want to continue seeing me I spent some time feeling that I wasn't interesting enough, attractive enough, smart enough, or good enough - for her or for anybody. (HUGE ASIDE: I'm sure she'll read this, so I need to make a note. All of these thoughts and feelings had absolutely nothing to do with her. She could not have been more wonderful. In fact, I liked her TOO much. I thought she was perfect. Hell, I still do. She is an unbelievable woman and I absolutely meant the word "privilege." I am very lucky to know her and have her friendship, I even consider her to be one of my best friends. I don't know where exactly I rank on her totem pole, but I do not mean that in a self-deprecating way - she is just a girl who attracts many special people into her life that are much more wonderful and interesting than myself. I don't particularly care either, all I know is that I care a lot about her and love her dearly as a friend. I hope she knows that.) Maybe those things are true, maybe they aren't. Either way, I can't keep living my life taking everything like a shotgun blast to the chest. It is unhealthy. Sometimes things just are not meant to work out, that is life. Being alone doesn't reflect on me as a person, it doesn't make me a failure.

There is a Pedro The Lion e.p. that was originally titled The Only Reason I Feel Secure Is That I Am Validated By My Peers and as you can see, that title couldn't be more true for me. My goal for 2009 is to be the strong confidant man that I know I am. This fear of being viewed as a failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and I'm tired of it.

There was this really great hardcore punk band from Massachusetts named Last Lights. Their singer very recently passed away. He was 24 years old. I never met the guy, I never got to see the band play, but I was a big fan. I was reading about the guy by some people that knew him and I won't lie, I got a little choked up just reading all the wonderful things people had to say about him. It's such a tragedy when young people die. But, the part that got me was the passion and intensity for life and music and art that everyone said he had. This guy was such a stand up guy and extremely passionate, he was everything that I want to be. I think I AM all those things, but I let fear and rejection get in the way. I am stronger than that. No more. I've got miles left to go, both literally and figuratively. I hate myself for not coming to these realizations sooner. I am young, so young. I have passion in life, which is more than I could ever ask for. I am doing myself such harm by being so slothful. I have this passion and I'm letting it rot. No more. There is no worse death than being young and feeling old.

From this day forward I will never slow down. I will achieve all the goals I set for myself. I will not let myself live on this Earth without seeing everything I've ever wanted to see. I will never go another day without writing, or doing something that gets me closer to my goal. I will not let loneliness and fear dictate how I live. I will not rely on other people to make my happiness. As Bukowski says "There are worse things than being alone..." I will follow in the footsteps of strong people like Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Paul Newman, and the punk rockers of the 70's and 80's to whom I am forever indebted.

Some people only dream of destinations.

I dream of the journey.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Death To Poets

It's all a damn
rat race
everyone trying to
each other
trying to be more ironic
trying to get published
in The New Yorker
or impress Harold Bloom.

Save the bullshit
Please God
give me a
punk rock poet
with a little soul
with an honest pen
and some hurt in his fingers

no amount
of wit
and teaching
can replace
make up for
hollow words
after all

Harold Bloom
and the rest
of the critics
can fuck off
and get back to
to a
Robert Frost

Friday, December 5, 2008

words as breaths

when the ghosts leave
is when I leave.
when the words end
is when I end.
living with
words as breaths
is something
that I have God
to thank for
and I do.
I do.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Like Clockwork

Ever tried.
Ever failed.
No matter.
Try again.
Fail again.
Fail better.
-Samuel Beckett

Like Clockwork

The months pass by like minutes
when what seems real isn't
and never to have been at all.
Time passes through your fingertips;
sand flowing from one end
of the hourglass to the other.
And like clockwork, people change
like autumn leaves and leave you
behind to freeze in the snow.

Shed your skin, leave it behind
buried in the Earth for the Devil to find.
Grow thicker skin and leave that too.
Never stop moving, not for money, not
for love, and not for the countless people-
the happy and content- with their death
painted on their faces. You are the
canyon walls, and life is the river-the
cruel, unapologetic, never ending, unmerciful river.