a walk in late summer

I step outside. I hear voices singing. I see something I haven’t seen before. I look down. I write about it. I read what I wrote before. Which version of me was that what was the mindset? The passage of time without memory. I’m blind to all I’ve seen. I look up. The trees tell me it’s late summer, and that only the nights are chilled. There are still cars lining streets, and cars are parked in driveways. To each I grant a place to park his v own escape, and it’s free for you to buy. But I am lying, that was a lie, and so is this, that’s all it is. Cleveland looks like the scene of a city pre and post disaster. It’s empty save for sadness. I see it written on walls I see the way the rust bleeds through. I walk on. Off-color paint that covers canvas signatures. Sheets of cement turned to rubble. Ten different ways to get to a place to be alone. I am alone here. I am alone. I hear voices singing. I see cars where they line up at stop signs, still far enough away from toxic fumes. Potted plants digging in, unaware of terra-cotta. Ivy stenciled on a wall that was also painted over. Looking down and seeing water colored from a sewer, I wonder if it’s better to sink or to swim. I wonder what I am missing I wonder what I’ve forgotten and what’s holding me to indecision. The noise. The nonsense. The lack of weight and pressure. I will not be forced first, I will only pull back. I wonder what will happen before I make an exit. I wonder how the end plays out.

balancing act

Good news is no news at all: it’s quite a tragedy. Happiness is thought a right deserved, not something free to pursue, and not something that exists independently of other people’s points of view. If you polled a billion people, in aggregate: a stable state. But individual’s individualism fills headspace with malformed omnipresent mass-deafening complaint. 

Happiness is an ideal told to children, and it is nothing to hold onto, but rather something to personally strive for when circumstance permits. Happiness is with counterbalance, save for in poorly-written stories of some individual’s utopic twist. The stability found in nature is a fundamental balance of positive and negative; it is light and dark, and it is black and white, but it is not cut and dry: we have too many equations and not enough constants for one solution alone to, in and of itself, satisfy.  

The stability found in nature is a lesson in taking the good with the bad as they exist because they both exist, simultaneously. It is a lesson in why it is the ground on which we all stand. It is fundamental. But it could also be a lesson in division and in how to stand divided and in how to pick a side and to put yourself on one too. Remember how leverage works before standing too close to an edge. Remember that fractions are parts of one whole. Remember, always remember, what it is you know. 

Think about the counter-intuition of existing on opposing sides of the same perceived problems. Think about being given different directions on how to satisfy your same drives. Think about the guidelines: pursue happiness although it is not explicitly given, raise your hand when you need to speak, and inhale when you require oxygen to continue to breathe. Think about having individual instructions for an assignment and being graded, alongside others with the similarly individual instructions, according to the same rubric.

We know everything. We have all of the information. We have forgotten. We have different instructions for the same assignment, which is to live just one life and to pursue the minimization of its frustrations. The unintended interpretation: to judge others as you, yourself, would not want to be judged. Knee-jerk reactions, in their numbing half-aggregate, are waiting for the opposition to be forced to budge.

We are not going anywhere. There are no sides, just balance. We are not going anywhere: we are waiting. Waiting for a shift in abstract tectonic plates to push and to shove and to force a newer brighter shinier steady-state. But newer isn’t always better. Recenter your gaze: focus, and remember, always remember, what it is you know.  

The sky above is blue beyond the fog, and the grass is always green, at least from where I am still standing: on the ground.

bystander

those tears in those eyes
they burn worse
– trust me –
salted wounds
in witnessing eyes;
they have nothing to do
with the repercussion stare

that smile burns too
it is an unbroken secret
sworn to silence
speaking volumes

 

everything we ever wanted

well this is all a handwritten message to him if i am being honest and i am not sure why i am doing it other than i want to and yes that likely makes me the kind of person who would do those kinds of things but what else would be true? nothing else would be true. nothing else; it’s in the realm of things i do.

ignoring advice

The truth doesn’t matter,
just what does it feel like?
It feels like your hearing
is two steps removed.
The truth doesn’t matter,
just what does it feel like?
It feels like taking outside advice in matters of internal decisions
would be the same as listening to static and dancing to its tune.

The truth doesn’t matter,
what matters is how it feels,
and an outside perspective is too acid-etch obscured
with too many broad assumptions and too lacking past regrets.
The truth doesn’t matter,
what matters is how it feels,
and to explain that would be to malconstruct a memory
where it exists in perfectly abstract formlessness.

The truth doesn’t matter
in its weighted aggregate,
but it feels exactly as it should
when I know it to be true.
The truth doesn’t matter
in its weighted aggregate:
it lacks the beauty of a well-crafted fiction
written by a single author,
using eigenwords without abuse.

The truth lacks
the the twisted interpretations
of a soul-searched history;
it lacks the rewritten meanings
of a thousand words
previously defined insufficiently;
it lacks the trust that I have in myself
to know when to say ‘when’
when it starts to feel wrong.

The truth doesn’t matter,
just what does it feel like?
It feels like I should step outside to start my life:
like I should step into the sun.
The truth doesn’t matter,
just what does it feel like?
It feels like I should throw away my interpreted mistakes:
like there’s no point any longer to consider them.
The truth doesn’t matter,
just what does it feel like?
It feels like life could be futile, but it could also be fun:

I considered your voice
I hummed my own tune
I picked up my scissors to run

show your teeth

I walked out. I see myself staying post-marriage and post-children, but still walking out. Becoming someone else’s shitty father. Leaving handwritten notes. My hand is already tired; I am already tired. I take another sip from another glass of a familiar drink. I become a modern-day version of my heroes – still present; I’ll let them find their own. Just like I did in the presence of my father’s absence. Did I select incorrectly/did I make the wrong choices? Do I give in too easily/do I submit myself to losing? My mother learned shorthand in school; one day my already weakening skills will become relics of the past as well. The wrinkles in my forehead: the imprints of my own frustrations. The lyrics I’ll remember from forgotten nights: sung in a slightly different time signature. I obscure all that I reminisce. I drink another sip. It’s not too late to walk away: I’ll wait until it is. A wide-eyed deer standing in the line of fire: too tired of choosing any one direction to take a simple step. I stare down the barrel of a loaded gun: waiting for the end to come: to be placed carefully over a mantle as a pretty prized possession, with only a molded grin to show my teeth.

people

The people congregate to talk about the things they don’t know much about, but want to seem like they do. The people stand in circles counting pieces of bubble gum by pairs of shoes. The people are grouped into discrete anger classes, within which they raise their concerns. The people light matches, flick them into community parks, and watch them while they burn. The people are texting the people on their phones while the people around them are texting the people on their phones and the people on the phones are answering the people who texted the people on their phones. The people forget how good it feels to be in a public place and completely alone. The people practice facial expressions proving happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, and indifference in a mirror after a hot shower. The people vote the people into office with individual misinterpretations of what it should mean to be in power. The people cleanse their sins by pointing out the sins of others; the people point out fatal flaws. The people think about crashing cars into 10,000 different monuments, each representing a no longer supported cause. The people don’t have to listen to reason; the people don’t have to believe. The people have the right to chatter, the right to bicker, and the right to be deceived. The people watch their televisions to learn how to behave. Some people learn when it’s too late and take their lessons to their graves.