conversation with a ten-digit number

I want to know who this is and I think I do but if I am correct it is no one I was ever friends with or (if I am honest) even liked and purely out of my own disappointments and dissatisfactions I do not like it when people I was never friends with and honestly never liked text me since those seem to me to be the only people who do text me all randomly while the people I was or am friends with or did or do like don’t bother and I’m all eclipse triggered to begin with and therefore as a baseline underappreciated and misunderstood and rambling and I woke up startled to start this day and week by Walter scratching plastic boxes that contain multiple shifts in thought. I shift my thoughts.

The number tells me I should study cryptocurrencies the number tells me it used to be just like me the number assumes it knows me the number tells me in response that it also hopes I never change. But its words its next words are still suggesting taking an interest in interests I do not and do not want to have regardless of their potential.  I have interests: they consume me. I have beliefs: I hold them dearly. I have the idealistic thought of a world where individuals value the exchange of ideas, as one would a currency. I am idealistic. I believe in the importance of the cultivation of a cohesive point of view before advocating for opinions. I am trying. I am against technological advancement for the sake of providing too many unimportant choices. I say this. I am against mindless consumerism for the sake of today’s entertainment. I am repeating still unaware of who, if anyone, is listening on the other side.

The number tells me there is good and bad and in response that those are not purely human constructs. But look at everything else We have constructed and don’t stop there but look at all We have destroyed. I have the feeling this stops at the agreement to disagree I have the feeling this stops with me not answering I have the feeling of being just like this number but before it decided to gave up and move on and learn about the future as it is already written and as it will take over if there is no one holding onto the past. And I do hope that I never become like this ten-digit number if to become like that number means to make suggestions to someone who is trying to hold onto all that is being let go of in the present for the future’s presumed sake. I hold onto the past.

individuality

I raise my hand.
I have something to say.
I open my mouth to speak.
Attendance is low.
A shout goes unheard.
The rest are half asleep.
It is criminally crazy.
It borders self-defeat.
It enterains our non-misgivings.
To share in the leftovers.
And claim you’ve naught to eat.
But I’ve been there and done that too.
Confusing cares and growing pains.
Eyes, face, spirit: Bathed in blue.
My own self sought a selflessness.
And found a selfish crying shame.
But who is to blame? Who is to blame!
We each have ten fingers to point.
The I, the You, or the Other Many or
The We lost to Individuality.

we talked about the weather

The forecast is a scattered mess,
and the Cleveland skies are bitter.
I flip the coins held in my hand,
still jet-lagging,
to look for a familiar face.

A weighted series of facts
don’t sum up to what’s deserved.
I blink to clear my murky vision,
but the faces staring past
are still too bleakly blurred.

I took the first extended hand,
and I gripped it far too tightly.
I thought there’d be a shutter
before the final gasp of air.

Compared to what I’m standing for
where I’m sitting’s all the ways away,
and I’m thinking flutter-thoughts of what
I’ll never catch my breath to say.

But I’ve said it all
I’ve said too much
I’ve negotiated with no one
for nothing in particular,
as a heavy-handed optimist
is unwatching hardly waiting
for another steep decline
internally conflicted
by the existential crisis
of learning how
to gratefully complain

No optimists in present tense
just pairs of eyes turned to the ground
My eyes are down and the sky is blue
and there are footsteps stomping overhead.

But I wouldn’t won’t can’t tell them
what choice they ought to instead choose.
Bring marshmallows and your popping corn
We fight fear and hate with firewood.

I want to live a billion years
but I only get a few.
I want to learn a thousands ways
to do what I will never do.
I want to stand my ground and
walk a mile in your shoes.
I want to forget far away and
remember the untruth.

I want what I will never have:
I want the right to choose
from options carefully curated
by those who know
someone always has to lose.

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.

fresh starts

I woke up this morning with a more positive outlook than the one I took to bed with me, and I think I have all that I need. I am going to make some tea and I am going to get a little high and I am going to be 25 and I will not die soon. I woke up this morning to a kitten’s meow directed at a chirping tree and a breeze too chilly for August to remind me that this summer is passing too. I am inspired by my own personal eclipse. I am inspired by time as it is passing: too slowly and all at once. I am inspired by myself as I move on – as I take small steps like leaps and bounds and construct a plan from my last one’s dust. I am a stereotype for myself.

I woke up this morning, and I am ready to move forward. I am growing bolder, and I am ready to let go. I am sitting in a room I am sitting at a desk I am writing – no – I am typing. Typing like I live my life: with a general direction, but as I go. I hit the keys I tap tap tap I forget how to form my letters by hand. I pause. I remember how my mother taught me. I remember when I learned it all. I hit resume. I feel the familiar feeling of marks on ‘f’ and ‘j’ that tell my fingers where they are that help me place my hands – where they dance over words already forming in my head on my tongue – no – on the tips of my fingers, like the backs of my hands. Not known well enough, not well examined. I’ll never know it all. 

I woke up this morning and I went back to work, and I thought about the things I am grateful for. I thought about how I am grateful for the things I have, but too often find myself waiting for too much more. I woke up this morning tired of waiting, and ready to take too much more. Maybe nothing more, but a different current happenstance: I am aiming for direct exchange I am aiming for renewed wide eyes focused on another fresh start. Every time I open my mouth, I am scared I will complain. Every time I open my eyes, I see I have enough, I see I have today.

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