Monday, February 28, 2011

Old Poems

I wrote the following poems during high school back when I thought Emma (see Nov. 8 and 10) was perfect, through discovering she was not, and wishing she could see me as clearly as I did her. I will post my new poems soon.

"Good Memories"

It was that red sky in the Appalachians
Burning the stretch of healthy trees—
so easily forgettable.

It was your eyes, icy pools of water—
converting to ugliness.

—my mind forgets everything beautiful.

"A Trip Back from Music"

I am a writer but you don’t read my poems
they are not close enough to your melodies
the lyrics are too lonely, naked, and dry
can’t you see how I make the words wobble
with vibrato, how I make sentences progress
like chords and how people dance under the
influence of the themes, cry with the climaxes?

You have missed the connection
out of O’Hare
but fail to see you can
still catch the Wolverine
all the way back to me
in Ann Arbor tonight

"A Trip to the Heart and We’re Both Coming Back in Coffins"

I devour you like ice cream.

I break the ice-shield around our Oldsmobile
chip at the windows, in negative degrees
no gloves, no hat, breaking plastic, big breaths,
red, raw, pry door open, out on the ice-roads,
slide towards incoming traffic, park at the store
to buy you ice cream.

I prey on you, swallow you whole, for my satisfaction,
but not my nourishment.

"When I Am Tired My Mind Works Better"

because I understand better
that I don’t understand anything at all.

Like when I stumble through endless
responsibilities that make meaning
and put to death the peace of a
filtered mind.

There is no perfect balance of
energy or sliced up pie-chart time.

And I wonder why my girlfriend
doesn’t cry when I talk about sad things
but the girl who won’t let me touch her does.


I am talking to you.

My words splatter
cough up dark red
my throat constricts.

I breathe and say:
I had a bad day.
I was alone and selfish and
I don’t think
I’ve ever had joy in my life.

Why can’t I tell you these things,
my darling,
without you thinking they have
everything to do with you?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Alexander Supertramp is King

So here we are all back home. Lester had to switch his phone number because Tobias kept trying to call him and whenever that happened, he wouldn't answer, but always looked horrified. When I asked him if he enjoyed the trip he said, "I think it was adventure enough for me for awhile." I'm glad I could help him feel better and give Tobias a better story, but I must confess I felt no better myself. I thought I might get something from the big trip, but I was too busy helping everyone else. Now that I am back at home, I don't feel right, and maybe it's Cormac McCarthy, but I feel lonely.

Not that anything is different now. I have Lester and Anna. I have the animals at PetSmart. I guess I realized how much I am alone and I used to be okay with that. I had my movies, I had my music, I had my books, I had you readers of my blog and that was enough for me.

That was enough beauty for me. Now I'm not sure, but I sure hope it is. I'm scared that if I go out and try to look for anything else, I will find nothing.

I want to be okay alone.

"It is true that many creative people fail to make mature personal relationships, and some are extremely isolated. It is also true that, in some instances, trauma, in the shape of early separation or bereavement, has steered the potentially creative person toward developing aspects of his personality which can find fulfillment in comparative isolation. But this does not mean that solitary, creative pursuits are themselves pathological. . . . Avoidance behavior is a response designed to protect the infant from behavioral disorganization. If we transfer this concept to adult life, we can see that an avoidant infant might very well develop into a person whose principal need was to find some kind of meaning and order in life which was not entirely or even chiefly, dependent upon interpersonal relationships."
-Anthony Storr in A Return to the Self

I am going to write some poetry.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Invitation to a Journey Pt. 3 (Actually, we are on the journey at this point!)

I haven't written in a long time to give you time to digest my Gothic story. And because I've been busy with my new girlfriend: Cormac McCarthy. His books take some time getting through, and I don't recommend reading them unless you want to get a headache. I also don't recommend getting a girlfriend unless you want to get a headache.

I was right. It was a long and unhappy trip. By the time we got to Hollywood Tobias completely changed my story into some sort of cheap horror flick with a lot more blood than necessary, I vowed never to consume another energy drink in my life, and Anna did the most mind-boggling thing ever: she actually used an obscenity! Fuck! I can use those kinds of words. Lester can. Tobias certainly can and does. But Anna? I've never heard her say anything like that in her life, though to be fair that minivan did come very close to cutting us off of our only way forward while she was driving. And it's not as if the stress level in the car wasn't already thick as cream.

As we passed through states, as the sun became more prominent in the western skies, we shelled layers. We were too cheap to pay for any motels, and so we rotated driving through the two nights, forgoing beds and showers. We stopped only to micturate and to purchase the necessities for our diets: corn nuts, granola bars, and beef jerky.

Los Angeles greeted us like an in-law: any excitement of seeing them or the city quickly evaporated into boredom as the traffic jam stalled us for hours, spending way to long on any one subject or skyscraper, praying our exit was soon.

"Anna," I said. "Don't you think this is just so horrible?" She turned around to look at me, but said nothing. She was not smiling. "If you could describe how you're feeling right now with one word wh-"

"Long car trips are stressful," she said.

"At least we got the screenplay finished," Tobias added. None of us said anything. I didn't ask Lester or Anna, but I'm pretty sure they weren't pleased with it either.

Finally we got off 101 and onto Vine and I had an epiphany. "Tobias," I said. "We're not going to waste money on parking. We'll drop you off at your connections' and drive around. See if we can spot any celebrities. Call Lester when you're done and we'll pick you up."

"Alright. Just drop me off there. His office building is just across the street from Trader Joe's."

We all exited the car. Anna handed Tobias the new manuscript we printed out at a library the morning prior and Tobias took it as if he were accepting the One Ring from Elrond at the council. He stood, staring at us, squinting in the sunlight as it haloed his shaggy, blond hair. He looked excited, as if he really was in his element. He looked as if he belonged to Hollywood. I thought it was appropriate to make a speech. I shook his hand firmly and said, "Tobias, your fate was in our hands until today. Now we pass off responsibility to you. Use everything you've got, grab a hold of your fate. Go on. Win this thing. Go on, and good luck." I thought it was a pretty inspiring speech and Tobias must have thought so as well because he saluted me, and without words, darted into the office building.

"Anna," I said. "Switch spots with me in the back. I'll drive."

When the doors were closed, I drove South on Vine, turned right on Sunset Boulevard, and then right on Cahuenga Boulevard back north. "Where are we going?" Lester asked.

I waited a few seconds before laying it on them. "Home."

"Home?" Lester asked. What do you mean?"

"Ray, you can't!" Anna looked like she was about to cry.

"We did what we came here to do. We set Tobias free. We gave him a story."

"I won't let you, Ray!" Anna said. "We can't leave him here without anything, with no place to stay, with no way back. I won't let you do this!"

"How are you gonna stop me?"