I would like all my readers and fans to know that I have a self published book for sale, please contact me for details!
Untended hands bold door
on Whatever open sky
Crushed those flowers’ backs
Watered by storm clouds’ unwoven
Silver threaded deluge
Sprinkled blue tourmaline dew
And broken sparkle
Resevoired The sticky sap
A beaded flood
For bore or overflow
Have you heard
of the inflamed
On heights above flotsam
Creates singular contrast:
Crystalline ink cliffs
Scarlet tides overlook-
A sunrise landscape,
The settlements of age
Steal crimson luster
Solid walls crumble
Grant wider borders
To moments territory
Across this world’s body-
A sunset landscape
I started writing this strictly as a poem about tattooing, but I started thinking about how the life of a tattoo isn’t that different than the life of our bodies and really how neither is that different from the life of any physical structure.
The passion of youth, like the pain of fresh ink which is slightly raised like a newly erected building-that’s an example of the kind of connections I made when writing this piece. As a tattoo ages it is no longer inflamed and often the ink lines will widen, just as castle whose walls crumble from age creating a wider area from the debris, just as our age, usually makes us more prone to consider the complications and motivations behind a conflict, rather than just reacting; to get to this last idea I’m building off of the image of the fortress as the citadel of a territory, where “wider borders” in relation to tattoos mean the thickening of lines it means a greater no man’s land between territories.
I feel like I probably tried to do too much with this piece and I don’t spend nearly as much time as I should on these “about” sections, so I’m under explaining the overly complicated. I’m in the middle of getting new ink. So I thought I’d dust this off, I may even start working on it again.
If anyone is interested, I have self published a book of my short stories and poetry. Just send me a message and I will send you the details! Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!
Who am I?
Am I the convicted murderer? The comic book geek? The weight pit junkie? Am I the college graduate?
I admit it!
I am not the person I portray. I am not that person I want to be. Not exactly. I am not as strong, or fearless, or as selfless as I would like. Sure I try, but I am prone to profound despairs. I so very often want to surrender.
I never do. I always conceive some new ploy or stratagem. Some false hope. First I convince myself I am backed into a corner, bloodied beyond saving, then I come roaring out ready to fight. I hate myself for that sometimes.
Can any prison sentence rehabilitate that?
Am I my desires?
I would like to laugh more. I want to regret less. I want to live up to more of my ideals. I would like to impose less on the people I love. I want to be just as difficult to deal with as I’ve always been, Maybe in different ways. A little more inspired, a little less foolish. But only a little. I wish I weren’t so crazy. I wish, for just once in my life, someone would love me enough to not leave. No matter the obstacles.
Think I can fantasize that away?
Am I my own creation?
I have worn the skins of so many hastily scribbled characters. I have peeled each off, scrubbed and scraped each away. From each I kept something, clung to some aspect I could not simply cast aside. The faint lines left after erasure. Am I the sum of these collected pieces?
Am I that small core which decides these parts are worth preserving?
The distinction sounds academic, but to me it seems deeply important. Though I cannot articulate how. Or why. Does considering these questions determine who I am? Am I no more than the questions I ask? Am I the answers I come to?
Am I strong enough to lift that off my shoulders?
Am I a work in progress?
I learn. It takes awhile. I am learning that as I strive and sacrifice, I am, in fact, surviving through insanity. I have found that sometimes, with perseverance, I am, in fact, the hero I hope to be are not all that far apart. Sometimes. I have discovered the path to wisdom is paved with perpetually broken hearts. I am learning that the only fate worse that death is a perpetually broken heart. I am learning that my past and my loneliness are as inescapable as this cage.
Does a degree open these doors?
So, who am I?
An untethered island forever floating around the edge of the archipelago. Some flightless creature leaping from cliffs. A poet, writing with razors across wrists. Just some faceless specter passing through your life. The mixed metaphor which explains nothing and means everything.
A character study carefully wrought from chaos.
About “Character Study”
At some point when I first decided I wanted to write, I figured out that I would have to be willing to reveal painful and embarrassing truths if I was ever going to write anything worth reading. Character Study is a kind of self-portrait, intended as a way for me to understand how I saw those truths.
Character Study can be found in my collection Oubliette and in the graduate issue of Writers bloc.
I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on this piece in the past and I decided to post it here to see what you all think and because it’s how I’ve been feeling this week.
If you would like to purchase a copy of my book Oubliette please contact me.
(For, Russ, Jodi, Eric, Vinny, Tom, John, Mikey, Brian, Steve, Amos, & Kim)
My mind is a cemetery
These blue-gray eyes regurgitate
Whose lives I’ve swallowed
And held inside for so long
I’m swollen with every death
Except my own
My thoughts slide across
Floors greased by blood from
Your slit wrists
And I wonder if I had enough
Spread this hand for you to hold
If I’d tried
To slam the door on the car
That became your coffin
If I’d been there
Could I have cut
The noose before it was tied
To connect bars to your neck
If I’d just kept
My temper and some patience
Would your bones have come to rest
In some unmarked bush
Left by vengeful fingers who
Couldn’t reach me
From the dumpster where
They dumped you
Carved open and squeezed
Dry of every heart drop
That’s when they killed me too.
Yet I linger mausoleum-like
Shoving ancient remains from shelves
To make room for new vacancies,
Your tongue less skulls
Crowd my shoulders crumbled façade
Which leave me empty
I have memories of fun and laughter where I am the only person still alive. So many of my friends are gone now that I often wonder how I’m still here; I, the least deserving of them all.
The original versions of this piece are longer, sometimes much longer, but I had to cut it down to approach something good enough for those it’s dedicated to. There are more names which deserve to be on that list, more stories that deserve to be told, I’m working on it.
It shines inside.
By threadbare cap’s brim
It spreads heat barely;
Still it lures
What would fly,
Elude the dark.
It’s light bounces
Around the walls and walls
To do any good.
It’s skin brittle,
Its filament thin-
A tiny shake
or slight crack
Could end all brilliance;
Blind to any
But these confines
Just beyond senses
The Cornell Prison Education Program has a kind of literary magazine called Writer’s Bloc and this piece was written in response to a prompt asking us to write a poem about an object in our cell which is a metaphor for our life (full, disclosure, I wrote the prompt).
Anyway, “Luke” means illumination and the poem uses my clip-on lamp as it’s symbol. I wrote the piece with the idea that I am never able to fully express the things I have inside me, I always fall short, and yet some people seem drawn to me-sort of pulled into orbit-but those people never seem to understand how very fragile I am.
I’ve never understood the strength people think they see in me or the light. I know I have beauty inside, I see a world much better than the one we live in and I try to impose the one onto the other. Is to try and fail continuously a kind of tragic virtue?
If I have any light worth sharing I suppose it’s my vision of that better world and my resolve to love sincerely. My sadness is the ever-present shade which caps my dreams and leaves me longing in uncertainty and self doubt. I am confined by more than concrete and steel