Tag Archives: life

Lost Highways and Exit Ramps

I hear Odin drives an old beat up Ford
Primer for paint and two coon hounds chasing smells
From one end of the truck bed to the other
Howling something fierce the whole way down the road
On that unknown highway, chasing dreams, booze and ass
Trucker’s cap tiled to one side, shaded eye
Long Beard
And Mother Mary stands with thumb 
outstretched looking for a ride
Joseph got old, and not with age, baby Jesus come and gone
The excitement a blasphemous memory
We all chase the faith just the same
Even if it ain’t faith we know it by
But some other name

I’ve been down some of those exit ramps, they always
Say, speed up near the bottom, on these darker roads
Construction zone signs are a given, only the danger
Is the drive
Been down them exit ramps on backroads 
In places I don’t know
Chasing the saga of some elder mythology
Some broke down, lint in the wallet, college student dream
Like Poets and bards of yesteryear

But by God, look at them stars, stretching out, teasing fingers
Like man and God, the constellations touch ever so lightly,
Separated by a billion million years
Made in their image, our atoms see their reflection
And in the black void of our being, big bang lets loose
Her sweet song of chaos coming down the turnpike
Promising a chapter two…or is it three?

Let’s hop in the old car, two door handles missing, one
Window doesn’t go down, and see what sights there are
Chasing campfire trails and the thick smoky promise
Old stories, time travel, adventure and a warrior’s game
I know your soul smiles, I see it through your flesh
You remember the old gods well and the rush
That was pagan magic and runes and circles and dances
Wilder days are imprinted on our being

I hear the whispering sound of your life living out
Loud poetry has called, but something more
You’ve awakened what amber promises and beer bottle hope
Was only the first baptism of, what those other things
Teased and promised,
Poetry has revealed.

The lost highways are haunted ways
Of hunger and never being satisfied
Of living best after you’ve died
Not to flesh or paper thin realities, but to concepts
Windows down on that older road, listen to the tree frogs
Hear the wind singing her song to the rhythm of pine trees?
Smell the pond thick with stagnant green algae
The creek is calling, her melody your melody, poetry
Alive. Glory to the gods, a being come alive
Haunted ways are calling
Who will you be?

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Don’t Think, Dead Poets, And a Slice of Cheesecake

Today was a good day. Only in Kentucky can the weather go from the upper teens and mid twenties one day to a spiraling almost comfortable mid fifties with sunshine and a pleasant wind the following. The grass was green, the smiles bountiful, and the day productive.

My family came to visit—I wouldn’t be who I am without them, a simple, but very honest truth—they helped me with some things around the apartment, and then we had dinner together, and went out rummaging for odds and ends at a thrift store. Of course I spent my time in the books (I came back with no books, but did find some binders and a new portfolio and some paper, winning).

Tonight, after they left, I sat down to one of my all time favorite movies: Dead Poets Society. It seems that just lately my life has been complimenting my mind, as I have been very reflective on the themes of what it means to be a writer, a reader, and a person striving to live life on purpose. One of the things played out brilliantly in the film was the essence of seizing one’s moments in life. But more than this there was a deeper truth very pertinent for writers. In the words of the late great Bradbury, “Don’t think! Write!” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what I picked up on when I watched the movie tonight.

There is more than one scene that builds this brilliant theme, but one of the best is when a shy character who up until the moment he was literally forced to center stage by his professor, he barely has said a word or revealed any stirring of life inside his head or soul. He is first told to yawp a barbaric yawp before his classmates and then is told to close his eyes and together he and the professor (through questions, nudging, curiousity, and determination) build a masterful work. What does the professor continue to say over and over? “Don’t think! Say whatever pops into your head. Whatever the first word is, it might even be gibberish, just say it, speak it aloud, say it.”

That is what I’ve been hearing lately from nearly everywhere I turn. My Poetry Professor, youtube, books I’ve been reading, my own deep mind, and intuitions. From everywhere, the deeper drive, and ancient instruction: trust your gut, don’t think, write—speak, cry, paint, play your music, dance, breathe, live, by God Live!—seize your moment and share with the world what only you can, your soul.

I think we’ve been taught too much that giving our soul away is a bad thing, a damnable thing, a deadly thing. And perhaps SELLING it is. But GIVING it? I am not so convinced. When we fall in love, do we not, in some small part at the beginning at least, share our deeper selves, our essence, our passions, our dreams, our hopes, our great joy? You see, I think that maybe, just maybe, art is made of the same substance as soul. We lose ourselves when we pretend that what we are making is art, but instead is some cheap knock off item we really just hope to sell. Not GIVE to the world, not defy the status quo with. God no! Why would we stir up such waters?

But I challenge you, if you wish to make something worth calling your legacy, then by God make something worth calling your legacy. Bleed your soul into that thing, sweat, cry, laugh and joy. That is what you and I have to offer that no one else does: ourselves.

In other news, I currently have a cheesecake cooling in the kitchen, and a great hen thawing out in the sink for a dinner I’m cooking tomorrow. Excited.

 

When I began writing this piece, Lindsey Stirling was playing in the background. I am a huge fan of her work, she makes poetry with her violin.

 

What roles does music play in your writing life? Reading life? Life in general?

 

In what ways can cooking be likened to writing a poem?

 

Don’t think, write.


A Thousand Pains (Rough Draft of new Poem)

I could describe for you in a thousand ways, a thousand pains

But what a waste of such a day

To spend it sharing sorrow and pain

And trying to find some flowery way to say, from my eyes

A bitter rain

Oh fucking pain, leave me!

To happiness, once more, let me be again

I’m tired of missing her

Who deserves nothing of kindness or such compliments as this

If there be such a hell, it is nothing compared

To the abysmal fire of the lonely one’s personal pit

Always smoldering, rising high a damning smoke

To an always eternal black sky

 

I sit upon a throne of broken memories

And set sail my ship upon a sea built of tears

I am my own worst enemy

To feel such bitter pain so open and honest time and time and time again

This is the sound of sorrow come to steal from one who might be happy

All chance of rising higher

Let me loose you fucking nightmare!

Let me be once again, with someone worthy, a happy pair

Curse you memory for all the smiles you bring forward to my mind

All the road trips and laughter and in both symbol and literal the travelled miles

Curse you

 

Tired of sitting here, being here, pacing here

Tired so damned tired of perpetually feeling such a feeling as this

Is there no such thing as happiness for one such as I, who though she deserve it not, damn it if I don’t miss

Looking, hoping, searching for that one new smile

To turn it all back around, and give me something, some higher promised beautiful ground

To go and look upon the world new, and feel that feeling of love once again whole and true


Unending Night of Cold and Loneliness

I am the tossing and turning, trying to sleep, the blankets kicked and pillows pulled tight, the sweat upon the brow and longing ache of a lonely heart.

Unending.

I am the smiling face, with frowning eyes, their window open upon a brutal scene of empty rooms with scattered pictures, a soul house filled but vacant and abandoned.

Night.

I am the watching TV alone, checking the blinking command of every txt message, comment on facebook waiting to be read, picture uploaded waiting to be seen, the tweet on twitter waiting to be retweeted, the post on google waiting to be liked, search engines reach out with your crawlers and find me.
Cold.
I am the table with one empty chair, seldom used except by the mail, cooking meals too big for one, the face in the mirror, the bare places on the wall, the hollow sound in the open space, the single seat on the front porch, the slow motion gazer upon the fast moving cars.
Loneliness.
I am the laughing mask, the easy going friendly one, active and talking and yet still and silent, the voice of hunger, the face of thirst, the hand outstretched, the empty seat in the crowded room, the conversation soon forgotten, the vanishing puff of breath, the soon to fade memory.

What is Love?

What is love?
I know not, I know not
I know only the pain it has brought
And the joy
In the moments between the pain
The joy

The smiling face and angel eyes
The happy laughter
And in love making
The sweetest song of bedroom sighs
I have tasted deep this thing called love
And have felt its hellish flame
Whether it be a heaven thing
Or a nightmare wasteland
I know not, I…I simply know not
I have loved
I have
But it has been taken from me
In her parting my company
And now my cracked heart
The bleeding is starting
And some gentle hand I long for
Soothe me
Heal me
With some kinder Love’s healing salve
Won’t you?
Where are you?
Come my dear and love me
Back to life
Take from me
This jagged pain, this loveless knife
Ran deep in between my ribs, piercing my heart
Oh dear heavens ever watchful
And blistering hell, always hungry
Now, the blood, the bleeding out,
My life was only at the start
And from me, she as cold as cold can be, has taken
And from one love to another love, and onward still, I must depart
I am not my pain
I am more
I am love waiting
On some distant shore
Waiting for new love
Waiting for love and more

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