We don't talk,
but I'm quietly watching you,
so when you make eye contact shyly
it's easy to know what we are doing.
You approach me,
sanitizing wipe, Band-Aid, and mic
(complete with wires)
and peel the plastic.
Swab my cheek gently,
and I smell the alcohol
but it's a pleasant
Put the mic over my ear,
position it against the side of my face,
tape the Band-Aid to my cheek,
fingers brushing my skin.
You send the wire down my dress,
pull up my skirt and reach up for the end,
soft fingers lightly skimming over my back.
Adjust the mic in its belt, and lower the fabric.
Tell me in your sweet voice:
I do, "oh, hair", you say, and I pull
my ponytail out of your way,
thinking of your soft short hair.
Then, "Look straight"
and as I do, and you tape the mic tape
against my neck, I'm thinking
Backstage I think to myself
that you haven't done anyone else's mics,
and this makes me feel good.
I know later I'll be watching for you
to be free, so I can feel your hands
near me, watch your eyes rimmed
with liner as they study the mic
hooked to my face.
Crouching slightly as you are up
on tip-toes, and we can communicate
silently once more.
The Tuner's Turn
he's tuned them all it seems
most of the 12,5oo different brands
he has tuned them even in his dreams
in damp basements and smoky band stands
Ballwin, Steinway, Schimmel and Mason
the very best there is to offer
Irving Strausser is the one to hasten
he is the master you want to proffer
a fine tinkler of the ivory in his own right
but never really ever given the chance
he practiced until dawn's early light
the best was a Holiday Inn wedding dance
he was in attendance that special night
at the Radio City Music Hall
he came to see the maestro's delight
but alas had tripped and fallen against the wall
the audience was antsy whistling and clapping hands
the producers were anxious not knowing where
they spotted Irving in the aisle hearing the demands
they begged him play they were in despair
he shook his head saying no certainly not me
I am just a tuner an amateur at best
they begged and pleaded for his sympathy
and well you can guess the rest
he finally took the stage the crowd settled in
he graciously bowed his head and explained the situation
after a few nervous moments he finally did begin
he played oh did he play to a standing ovation
his fingers flew over the keys like magic
this was the tuner's turn to take his place
some of the audience may forget his name
but they will always remember his face
I just don’t know where to start
Its like I love you
But I hate you
I want to be with you
But I know I cant
Yet you’re terrible
You made me so happy
But still wounded me so bad
Why did you do it?
Why’d you end it?
Were you not happy?
Was what I was going through too much for you?
When you were all I had
When you were the only thing keeping me sane
It makes me mad
It makes me sad
It makes me want to scream
How I couldn’t keep
Let me lay in your arms
Let me hear your laugh
Let me feel the way I used to
Just let me be yours
I just wanna go up to you and scream
Let you know how badly
You mutilated my soul
Let you know how
Bruised my heart is
Let you know how
The words you said
Manipulated my mind
I just know looking at you
Ill fall right back into your eyes
All the these thoughts
These painful memories
They all came rushing back tonight
And I sat in bed
With my eyes closed
And dreamt of you.
All we were
All we could of been
I messed up
And you phsically just gave up
I cried for days
And here I am still shedding.
I get my hopes up
Just to get hurt
So I try to say I don't care
But you know what
And about us.
I try to say I'm done trying
But I'm not!
Im going to fix this
If It break every part of me
I know this is the right thing
Cuz I am going to prove I love you
And I always had. ♥
Your words calm me
Your hug warms me
Never get tired with this suck girl
Never get bored with this boring girl
Always make things right when it's going wrong
Always be through thick & thin
Having a wonderful love-travelling together
Just for both of us
I love you more than I says
train of thought or loosely structured essay? it could be either...
i’ve been watching interview after interview and thinking gratuitously as a result. imma try and sum this up as best i can because i think it’s an ambiguous topic at times that we actually have at our fingertips and yet don’t really always address, understandably though. culture is something you’re entrenched in, inescapably at times, and when you’re in the middle of it sometimes it’s hard to see the way every day and everything is a possible opportunity for affecting the main narrative.
first thing i thought of when i started listening to eddie huang and heems discuss growing up in the 80’s and using their forms of media representation (blogging, food, music, etc) to introduce different ideas to mass audiences, was that kids in the 80’s and 90’s have really been given a valuable (though sometimes harsh) lens to view the world through. in that two decade time period media gained fuel and tech rapidly increased, and we had this rare upbringing of being detached enough from media and technology to develop authentically within our environments, learn to think critically and observe what was going on around us in the world, and yet also had enough exposure and time to evolve with the rapid change of technology to understand it better, and learn almost by necessity how to utilize it to our best interests, ration parts of our identity from it, and share parts of our identity and contributions into it.
we grew up in this transitioning time, when technology and social media hadn’t yet taken as rooted a role in life yet, but were still a big part of our lives, and where we harvested some, often much, of our values and ideas from. people began realizing soon that we had access to mass information, and the spreading of. this was a tool our parents hadn’t had at our age, so we were kind of the pioneers w/lotta internet frontiers and subcultures.
for instance, the internet has managed to foster a subculture of kids and teens finding and learning about their identities. before the internet, queer was a slur, some older people still think it is, but now it’s being reclaimed by the community, and there’s a widespread narrative from queer folks addressing their identities and re-purposing what ignorance made a weapon.
before the internet, there was no mass outrage being sparked over rape being brought to justice or innocent POC behind bars or the quality of education, or culture and global issues, these are discussions that have emerged from the information at our hands paired with our world views and personal struggles to navigate that world. and in it’s own way that’s power. we have a form of mass media where, if we try hard enough, our ideas, influences, power to empathize and communicate to spread ideas and educate on a widespread basis, can be influential. we made it what it is, and we mold it into what it is going to be and the ideas it will spread hereafter.
what’s interesting to me about this power of the internet, is dominant vs subversive narrative. 80’s/90’s gen reached teen/adult years as the US went into a period of political confusion/a dominant media main narrative of misinformation. hearing eddie and heems talk about what it was like to be a POC after 9/11 at that time was intense. eddie talked about rich white 1% kids in florida displaying an unfiltered level of brutish animosity after the event, being that many of the people they knew and their families’ claims to wealth were being threatened.
he seemed mostly horrified and interested simultaneously in the way they simplified “their problem” to a sweeping generalization; people of color, similar to reagan’s own scapegoating of POC in his personal secretary’s diary. obviously that’s wack. but what he said about these kids really intrigued me because i felt like he put words to what i’d observed myself about many middle class and upper class kids, and recently been contemplating how to get around; “these kids are like…media-trained by their parents. [meaning those who benefit from dominant/oppressive culture use the confusion tactics the media uses to run people in circles about issues to avoid actually discussing them] you could talk about these things with them forever and you’ll never have a real discussion with them until you stop taking them seriously. they understand exactly what you’re saying, they just don’t give a fuck.”
it’s compelling that 9/11 created this thought point for both of them, born in the same era, that caused the incubation of ideas surrounding dissemination of tolerance and thoughts about avoidance of discussions surrounding racism/classism/oppression in the US, and how to use education and communication to change it and repurpose allocations of power taken from cultures by the main narrative.
recently, i’ve definitely been aware of these points eddie made, in that i spend less time responding to others’ thoughts that come from ignorance or anger and more time building my own. less time responding to trolls and more time trolling trolls because i just don’t have time to waste farting around with dipshits when i could be reaching and talking to people who get it and also want to engage in discussions and environments of tolerance and respect instead of more ignorance. social media gives us that horizon of expansion, those resources, and hopefully that ability to recognize that despite the people that make us sad and cranky there are all these people still to be heard and to hear and to respond that we can reach, and the power is in our hands, it’s just about how we allocate it.
when i was about 17 i met a guy who really changed my perspective on what you can actually do to make your own voice. he had a successful career, he was a natural with business, well known for his graffiti, and pretty much lived and dressed well for free because of his social reputation and involvement in menswear. all these different factors of his individuality came together to form a career and reputation he was able to live…better than most people i knew, off of. and he had dropped out of school before he’d even walked across the senior final stage. that impressed me. who knew you could be that successful without a high school diploma? pretty fucking sweet.
we now know how to utilize social media and work your way up based on who you are not what job description you fit. how to create forms of representation and send a message through art, and actually make a living and have everything you need through applying social media to your pursuits. with the unstable economy and prices of school people began to become more aware of how they could get educated outside of an institution, get a job they loved without going to school for it, have a career because of who they knew and their networking abilities as opposed to their resume. and with how much a lot of us have to say and contribute that’s a valuable venue when used correctly and used as a vessel for the right message.
and i think, this mixture of being connected but not completely has given us a rare perspective and ability to contribute in many different ways, with many individual voices, to the narrative. we have the ability to, essentially, drown out the main narrative which we all know is a bunch of bullshit.
look at the way we even just use social media like tumblr and facebook to fuck around with advertisements and different perpetuations of culture in media, like those gifs of billboards that have a picture of a cat on it instead of an advertisement, or clipart that has been fucked around with. how, for fun, some people fuck with facebook and click on ads that don’t apply to their interests to confuse the site when it tries to collect their personal web browsing data.
in such simple ways, we tweak and rewrite the main narrative. and then we can share that with millions of people if we want to, and they can all share that too and so on. social media can be such an amazing tool. because someone can share a post on tumblr saying “does anyone else feel like…” and 50,000 other people can reblog that and suddenly the idea that you’re not the only one with this running around their mind is planted in 50,000 different minds at once. that’s basically creating awareness in a way.
i’ll stop thinking, but i still have tons in my head in response to all this stuff. just wow, really interesting. i’m getting all inspired by these 80’s babies bringing the power back to the people by dominating media with their insights on how to use it as a crux to transition into change via widespread communication of ideas. this is kinda a crucial point in time when we have an advantage and weapon, to create the world we want to live in, with.
I went on a grunion run
With Dad the other night.
He showed me how to do it,
But something wasn't right.
They moved so quick between my feet
I couldn't catch a one.
And I'm gonna be quite honest.
It wasn't all that fun.
He said he'd caught a bucket full,
Enough to make a stew.
And though that made him happy,
I cringed and echoed. "Ewe..."
And I said I wouldn't go again,
Because everybody knows
You just can't call it fishing
If you ain't using poles.
Copyright © 2013 Richard D. Remler
"If people concentrated on the
really important things in life,
there'd be a shortage of fishing
Time is something that is always changing; yet it always moves at a constant pace. My story includes such a small period of time. In one day, there are twenty-four hours, and somewhere in those few hours of January 15th, 2011, my life changed in the blink of an eye. Within seconds, someone I love stopped breathing. It changed everything. But, my story begins a few hours before that.
Wake up. I always have to tell myself to wake up. I wake up and it is a beautiful Saturday. I walk into the living room of my house, where the sun is shining bright through all the windows and I feel like it is going to be a good day. I usually wake up on the weekend home alone, but this time I walk around until I find my dad and my little brother, Phillip.
Dad: “Phillip and I are going to a Valdosta State basketball game later today, if you would like to come.”
I immediately think of my best friend James. James is a part of my family. He got along with my dad and brother better than I did. The basketball game with them would be a lot easier to endure if James went along. He is the older brother I never had.
I pick up my phone and call James, to invite him to join us. He doesn’t answer. James always answers. His phone goes straight to voicemail. I remember a time in the past that I called James with a stupid boy dilemma. James was in the middle of football camp, but he called a timeout. He picked up the phone for me then. I am always James’ first priority, so something seems wrong. I call Drew, James’ best friend, and his phone goes straight to voicemail as well. Something definitely seems wrong. I try to convince myself that I’m overthinking. I always overthink and I always worry too much, so this could be nothing. James is just busy. He’ll call me back later.
An hour or two pass by without response from either James or Drew. As I am cleaning up my room trying to keep my mind busy, I receive a text message from my friend Emily.
Emily: “What’s wrong with James?”
Emmaline (me): “What are you talking about?”
Emily: “I see on Facebook that many people are writing on James’ wall, saying that they are praying for him. Why are people praying for him? What happened?”
Little did she know that I was asking myself the same questions. What in the world is going on!?
Emmaline (me): “Umm, I’m not sure. He hasn’t been answering my calls. I’ll try to find out.”
James was a huge part of the church community. He was the first person that brought me to the church I’ve been attending for the past three years. He was a mentor to me; if it weren’t for James I would not have found the faith that has saved me. After those texts messages, I decided to call someone from the church to see if they knew what was going on with him. Mackenzie answered my call.
Mackenzie: “James and Drew went out duck hunting this morning at a place called Ocean Pond, and James is missing. Drew is fine, but he doesn’t know where James is.”
My heart immediately dropped to my chest. The gut feeling I had been experiencing all day that something was wrong was rapidly increasing, and I suddenly couldn’t keep still.
My thought processes jumped to visualize duck hunting. I thought, when you go duck hunting, it is a little different from hunting ground animals like deer. When you hunt ducks, you spend the entire time on a boat. You don’t go missing on a small boat. James wasn’t playing hide-and-seek. James being missing meant that he was lost somewhere in the water. The odds weren’t looking very good. Maybe I’m worrying too much, but I’m being rational. Right? I put my phone down and slowly slid out of my chair onto the floor. I lay on the floor for hours, crying. My brother came in from outside and just stared at me. My chest was on fire; I have never felt so much pain in my life. The amount of emotional pain transformed to a physical pain that I felt in the pit of my stomach. The sun that made me happy when I first woke up now began to burn my eyes. I felt like I was sinking, but in reality the only person sinking was my best friend, drowning in icy water.
When I could finally stop crying enough to talk, I call my mom. My mom was not home this weekend; she was at the beach with some of her good friends from college. She did not take the news as heavily as I did.
Mom: “He’s just sitting somewhere in the marsh where the water is really shallow. Someone will find him. He’ll be fine, I know he will.”
I begin to feel somewhat better. I tell myself that this does not have to be a death sentence. James could be fine. I decide to call Mackenzie from church again and invite her and her mom to my house to keep me company while we wait for news.
Hours and hours pass by, yet still no news comes. The church and community decides to hold a prayer session at a local park for all the people worried about James. Mackenzie, her mom and I drive out to the park. Hundreds of people were at the park. All of them were there for James. All of us stood in a circle, teary-eyed, and prayed. I have never seen my community come together like that. Rival schools and teammates, people old, young, and teenage. Teachers, preachers, friends, athletes, fathers, mothers, so many people were at the park for James.
We went around in the circle and each person told their story of how much James meant to them. James was a brother to many. He was a mentor, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a pal to laugh with. James was the one person that convinced a girl to graduate from high school. James was the friendly face that ate lunch with a boy that was alone and contemplating suicide. I had no idea that James meant so much to people other than me.
All it took was seconds, maybe minutes for James to drown. The water was below freezing. The gear that he was wearing was built to weigh him down in order to be able to wade in shallow waters. In deeper waters, he would surely and quickly sink. He drowned quickly, and within seconds he stopped breathing. However, it took search and rescue a month to recover his body. Days of worry and prayer turned into weeks. I had to return to school and try to go on with my life, as if I didn’t feel like it was all falling apart.
Finally, one crisp February morning, a search dog found my James’ body.
I was in my Advanced Placement Environmental Science class, and my phone rang from a number of different people. I went to the bathroom to return a call and found out that someone found my best friend’s dead body. I knew it wasn’t smart to hold on to any kind of hope that he was alive, but knowing he was actually dead made the situation suddenly very real. I tried to return to class, but I ended up sitting right beside the door, crying harder than ever. I had to go out to Ocean Pond, where I spent most of my time for the past month watching divers search for him. I had to go out there and see it.
By the time I arrived at the site, there was nothing left to see. James’ body had been recovered and I would never see him again. All that was left was a teary funeral, and abrupt good-byes that I wasn’t ready to give. To this day I don’t know how to say good-bye to James. I visit his grave, and I don’t know how to leave the picture of his face.
Losing someone you deeply love so quickly is probably one of the most difficult things to experience. I am so thankful that James left behind such a beautiful story, and such a wonderful legacy. The first day I met James, he told me, “Hey girl. You know, I love you. I really do. I would take a bullet for you.” When someone says those kinds of things to you without even knowing you for twenty-four hours, it feels strange. But, James knew time meant everything. He knew that all it takes is minutes, seconds, to change someone’s life forever.
The thing that is so astonishing about James’ story, is that he understood how quickly everything can change. When James was alive, a fellow student of his died in a motorcycle crash. James was devastated that he had not reached out to this boy before it was too late. That night, in a note on Facebook entitled “The Clock is Ticking,” James wrote a short paragraph that showed the depth of his understanding of life. He wrote, “Take time to love someone. Today, Tomorrow, For the rest of your life. Because when that unexpected day comes that they pass on, you'll be left wondering what you could've done better. How you could have made them feel more welcome, and show that you do care for them. Don't wait until it's too late like I did. Show the love that Jesus has for you to everyone you see. Let your heart break for what breaks His. Christ is enough. Let Him show you life. You never know who He may touch through you. It is so sad that it takes a tragedy like this to comprehend how our days are numbered. Only He knows. Keep your faith in Him. He will bless you beyond belief. Our job is right now. This very second. So often, God gives me a little nudge towards someone.. and I put it off until the next day.. and then the next and then the next. Stop stalling. God put us on this earth for HIS glory. Not ours.. and so many times, the things I do always point back to me and my stupid self righteousness. So do something with me. Everyone. If this just touches one person, I will have done my job. Don't stall. Judgement is a heart beat away.”
you know, most doorways don't choose to open
and computers identify themselves as the insane ones,
though I don't think so. Rockland! you are my friend,
ally of mechanized shortcomings. what is a flame held
capture by water other than a current in the wind? Testify
our eyes, bathe them in glass, the kind that is without a
vampiric vein! take time, it is out, afraid and away from
eternal longing. here we are in technique, tearing glue against
that same glass, to treat the ego right, a stoic hand of stone.
Socrates is a lot of people, and we hear symbols speak to
each other. in birth we know the most, i am Socrates. the
Universe is struggling to separate itself from indigenous
stars, Freud is still/after all these years/grinning with a cigar.
Rockland, i am still with you! what is alone when you can't read
Neruda? when trees fall, why are there no funerals? when
the doors don't open the game is too close to the brain—
there are times when we think our sun is the only star in
the Universe. if God is water, we are oxygen and the soul
is a moony moth, a winter lantern. Socrates had wings! In
death, the ego cannot survive The Chair. Birthday letters
are burned and the saints are shot one by one. ya know,
somedays doorways die and stay dead. Fuck the cave
when humans are born blind anyway.
When there's snow on the ground,
you are the ocean
you are too large,
for frost to move
more than polar parts of you.
You will struggle to swim to the equator,
but once you get there
suns are high,
and you will be warm and cozy;
But, more than once
the tide will drag you to your arctic.
and I will kiss you through your shivers
but nothing I can do
will stop your blood from running cold.
but baby, it will pass.
You are the ocean,
and ships have recked
to kiss your curves
and love has been made
inside your blood
and one day
you will love the way
you shudder without cause
and you will find beauty
in your hurricanes,
even if that day is not today.
I could right a thousand sonnets
about the way it feels
when your blue hands hug my hips
and your salty lips brush my neck.
So when your lost
in your dark blue,
remember that there are those,
dreaming of your turquoise.
and I am wading in your shallows
to brace your raging torrent,
and remind you
that baby, you are the ocean,
and the storms will always pass.