"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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Secret Handshake

there are
50 muscles
in the
and a thousand
smiles and frowns
and bedroom eyes
I've cracked the code
I've solved the Rubik's Cube
I've found
the perfect
heartsick smile.

they say
the body
will manifest
the caldera
of feelings
that boils beneath
the surface
I know
that to be true
when she asks
"How do I look?"
and I feel
my face contort
as if to say:
You look beautiful
I curse every
day and night and
question God
because you are
two feet in front
of me but
could not be
farther away
none of your boyfriends
deserve to be called
that isn't going
to stop me.

that smile,
it's a
secret handshake
you've got to
join the club
to learn it
if you already have
you know
what I'm talking about
all I can say is

you poor thing
I am so

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Decline

The Decline

How did we get here
so fast?
In less than
a hundred years time
we went from
punk rock
the greatest generation
the "I'm the greatest" generation
a lost generation
a generation lost.
Gone are
cafes of artists
discussing society
writing letters
to one another
instead we have
text messages of
"oh my god
kids throwing out Shakespeare
to make room for
Chuck Palahniuk
and books filled with
dollar store words
as deep as
a birdbath.
What caused
such rapid atrophy?
Cliff's Notes
text messaging
every shortcut you took
every book you didn't read
every girl you tried to impress
every boy you thought you had to
dumb yourself down for
every escape you took
instead of dealing with your
fucking life
if you think
I'm talking to you;
I am.

oh my god

Friday, January 16, 2009

Revisionist History

I've spent a lot of my adult life feeling embarrassed.

Years ago, it was because of my weight. I eventually got over that, then I got rid of the weight.

Since then, I've spent a lot of time feeling embarrassed about things that I've written. Well, not so much specific things that I've written, but about the nature of the subject matter. I am overly sensitive, overly emotional, and frequently overly honest. I don't know when to hold back. Hell, I wrote a girl a poem after three dates. Pathetic, right? You see where I'm coming from now.

Even on this blog, there are some older posts where I basically just let loose how I was feeling at the time, and I've seriously considered going back and deleting them.

But then, a funny thing happened.

A friend of mine emailed me and told me one of my blogs really resonated with her and helped her get through a situation she was dealing with at the time. That meant so much to me.

I felt embarrassed about writing those things because I worried about people coming to my blog and thinking less of me for being so open. I worried it might turn them off from reading my work. However, after that email, I realized that I didn't care anymore. That I could have an impact on someones life for even the smallest amount of time means much more to me than the opinions of strangers and potential readers. Yes, I want people to read my work, but I will let the work stand for itself. If someone decides that my personality turns them off from reading, then just as well, there are thousands of other writers for them to read. I'd much rather share my experiences with people and develop relationships with them, because we are all in this together.

I saw Michael Caine on the Tonight Show once, and when Leno asked him how he got into acting he said something to the effect of being in school and signing up for drama class because there was a ton of girls in there. I've always said that I think a lot of mens professions at some point or another have something to do with trying to impress a girl. I am no different. I've been writing since I was in middle school, but honestly, one of the main reasons I started writing so fervently and trying to get published this past year was because I was trying to impress an English major that I had a mega mega crush on. (again, pathetic, right?) However, as silly a thing as that is to admit to, it worked out for the best because I unleashed a furious passion that I might not have had the guts to follow earlier.

Basically, what embarrassment boils down to is the need to impress people. I've spent so much time feeling embarrassed because I worried so much about impressing people.

I am a much different man than I used to be. Now, I feel embarrassed ABOUT feeling embarrassed. I have made mistakes. I have regrets. However, the past is not a tangible thing, it is not something to be fixed. The past is just a collection of moments spent living in the present. I have learned, I have grown. The past is not a sheath in which to rest, but rather a whetstone to sharpen our knives on so when life comes at you in a dark alley you are prepared to defend yourself and stab that son-of-a-bitch before he gets your wallet, or worse: your spirit, your heart, or your courage.

P.S. - I cannot stress enough how amazing the new Animal Collective album is. Please go buy it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Zen Of Mechanics

The Zen of mechanics
and fathers
is in their tired calloused hands
that shovel food
into their mouths
before they fall asleep in the recliner
(watching the golf channel)
and get up the next morning
stiff and sore
to go to work
and do it all over again.