Stargazing

To be lost and to have lost
Such a slight difference in semantics
Spans experiential orders of magnitude

To seek or to find
Lost in a sea of strangers
Small cities pulsing to these rhythms

To relate those tones
Sounds of PA systems
Cheering crowds in abandoned Theme Parks

To the passing touches
Shared hazily in the dead of night
Sleeplessness bred with anticipation

A sweaty, lazy day spent skipping work
Dreading the cross-country drive and uncertain
Outcomes of distance and time and space

Shared wonder at a connection
Unlike no other we’d ever felt
So brief and overwhelmingly deep

Staring into your eyes
And feeling your soul
Waking others in the process

Unexpected
Spell-binding
A sentimentalist’s dream

Wishing to go back
To that day or any of the minutes
Desperate to relive them

The distance spanning
Between those moments
And these desires ever-growing

Thousands of miles
And untold existences in between
Unknown yet so painfully present

The space between conversations
Lapses between laughs and smiles
How it carves itself into my chest

Emptiness returns
To fill that space, humiliation
At yet another failed attempt to love

Telling friends and parents
It was a false alarm, the girl in Kansas
Might have only been a fantasy in real life

Cursing changes
I can’t quite place
Guesswork at what separates hearts and souls

To go from promise
And ecstatic futures to dark
Sullen disappointment

Fumbling to understand
What one can do from world’s away
Or how there can be nothing to do

Read receipts weigh
On the mind, lack of responses
Build a new sort of anxiety

Things don’t seem fine
The future fades
Along with aspirations of a greater intimacy

Wondering now what you knew
Whether you were sad to leave
Or sorry I didn’t know it would end so soon

Thoughts drifting through the days
Hopelessly away from this life
And toward fleeting caresses and kissing your neck

While you moan and dig fingernails
Into my arms and back, cursing pleasure
And muttering my name

Locked eyes giving way to goofy smiles
And loving, tender kisses, which give way
To intense rekindled ecstasy

It sweeps over me
And I’m drawn back into despair
The thought that I’ve discovered a new loss

The cruelty of life seems evident
In how hard I’ve tried to find you and finally did
Only to have you wander wordlessly away

Suddenly no reply
Suddenly no photos no sound of your voice
In the middle of the night before trying to sleep

Shame at feeling so lost
Over a false discovery
Made by a weary adventurer desperate for a new homeland

Unable to reconcile
The surety of our hours together
With this certainty that they have passed

Struggling to handle
Such a remote isolation as this
No way to confide meaningfully

To share with another
The depth of this perceived loss
The extent of this water crushing me

To be lost and to have lost
To be losing and having lost
To kneel before magnitudes I can’t fathom

The sea of strangers rages on
The swells unrecognizably arhythmic
And this struggle to be lost continues

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Work haiku

Lunch interrupted
And a missed call, voice message
detailing email

Explain exceptions
to set true expectations/
damn no good fraudsters

Defining limits,
separating unity/
harsh parameters

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Entire days spent chasing suits
that don’t exist
and serve no purpose,
Tearing money out of pocket
just to find
door-like cable box––
A bleary disillusionment
sweeps like ice
across kindled hope,
And each bit of anxiety
falls away
and turns to anger
At wasting days under pretense,
swindled out
of dear volition

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The Pythagoreans

“It’s never a good idea,”
they told him sternly,
“to urinate towards the Sun.”

The forms are inverted,
flipped on themselves
to reveal untouched states

Breaths in deep cold splitting
like fractal patterns
in frost spanning the windshield

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Thoughts on Biographies about Salinger, Beethoven

Striving for greatness,
or an inner peace;
Dreams of creation
versus an actuality
of their destruction?
Nature carved to fit
the shape of minds,
the form of transience––
raw intangibility
etched into granite,
like a perversion
of entropy:
endless impermanence.
The quest for recognition,
or its avoidance,
is a clash between
opposite poles
of the artist’s psyche,
North and South
oscillating wildly,
setting moral compasses
spinning like cyclones
of self-doubt and
self-aggrandizement.
In the confusion
of roaring winds
a deafness sets in,
exposing the shrill
sound of passion,
oblivious to worries
of fame or fulfillment,
its steady tone
calling for resolution
and restlessness,
exerting an indifference
to existential dread,
that pointless question
formed in a world
of absolutes.

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Thoughts, 1/2/14

No apparent change
beside the calendar page/
renewed urgency

Cloud like tidal wave
sweeps over rivers, pastures
bringing wind and cold

This year will be
more even than last, riddled
with odd imbalance

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A Timely New Years (P)review

I can’t believe it either––an update, by me, about the new year, right on New Year’s day? Impossible! Oh, but the world shifts ceaselessly, and anyone seems early once he’s late enough. So here’s a quick review of my year, and perhaps a prediction or two about what might happen in 2014:

As I recall it was a good, if not antisocial start to the year. A former coworker was having a party-slash-new job celebration, but my girlfriend and I fell asleep at something like seven-thirty only to wake up a half hour before midnight, so we stayed at her parents’ house and went to sleep shortly after breaking into the year. A couple days later we made the drive back to Florida, driving all afternoon and night, finally hitting Sarasota sometime in the afternoon. Later in January we went to Disney World, where I lost my mostly filled notebook, and then I started working at the art museum founded by John Ringling with his wife, Mable, coincidentally called the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. It was probably one of the quietest experiences of my life, and I’d certainly never stared so long at Renaissance art before. In March we went swimming with manatees in Homosassa. Despite a more than well worn wet suit with no neoprene in the chest or underarms, it was magnificent. We decided manatees are the lap cats of the aquatic world. A calf even nose bumped my face.

When April rolled around I made a seventeen hour drive starting in torrential Floridian downpours and ending in a chilly Texan Spring evening. Neither I nor my big orange and white cat ever want to undertake that drive without companionship again. I spent a few months reading inane essays written to inane prompts and living in makeshift quarters or other people’s houses, and began a semi-public haiku study.

The end of September saw our family’s last days in the Austin townhouse. A few weeks later, as Texas slipped into Fall, I traveled to Indonesia just in time for the start of wet season. It was actually the first time I’d been outside of the US, save for a long weekend in Baja a decade ago. I mostly spent the month eating all types of food, traveling to nearby places (including Singapore), missing my girlfriend and cats, and learning to scuba dive. Much of this is chronicled in my posts from November, check them out on the right side of my page.

I came back to the States at the beginning of December, just in time for an In-N-Out to open in Austin, and for a month of scoring STAAR tests. So my year boils down to a few paragraphs and thousands of omitted details.

I would talk about the events of 2013, but, save for some incremental progress on social issues, the most memorable were abysmal, depressing or tragic, so let’s spare ourselves.

My life is somewhat disjointed as the year begins. My years of travel and transience have ended; now it’s time for a satisfying job and a nice place to live. It’s also going to be a watershed year for my creative endeavors: I plan to start freelance editing as well as finally assembling some large scale works and increasing my poetic presence. Keep an eye out!

Well, my time’s up, and the year won’t pursue itself, so I’ll end things here. Happy New Year!

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