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Odysseus needs a job he calls pima community college art department chairperson sends her his resume she does not respond after a week he catches her on phone she says he lacks proper credentials laughs to himself his whole life never worked lucrative or reputable position gets job working at thrift store wacky group of coworkers customers store frequently smells like public latrine job expires after 7 weeks he gets better paying job working at record exchange Odysseus always loved music everyday he learns new artist or band his coworkers are at least half his age they pester him about being slow on keyboard he never learned to type neither he nor his generation could have foreseen future would revolve around keyboard he plods on register keys people smile politely kids he works with fly fast making many keyboard mistakes November 29 2001 george harrison dies of cancer he is 58 years old Odysseus recognizes he is from past world different era of contrasting standards ‘80’s behavior is totally unbefitting let alone ‘60’s beliefs it is 2002 and one badly chosen word is sure to send someone flying off the handle he watches his language carefully co-workers mostly born in 1980’s grew up in 1990’s they live indifferent to hopelessness he struggles to bear none of them believe in higher power music is their religion he wonders what their visions concerns for humanity are? they seem addicted to consumption as if it is end in itself he questions what is hidden at root of their absorption? loneliness? despair? apathy? absence of vision? where is their rage against social conversion current administration? he warns them about homeland security act privacy infringement increased government secrecy power they shrug their shoulders why aren’t they looking for answers? why don’t they dissent? do they care where world is going? he realizes they will have to learn for themselves few coworkers read literature or know painters philosophy their passions are video games marijuana “star wars” most of them are extremely bright more informed than he often Odysseus needs to ask questions they know answers to right off the bat he is like winsome uncle who puts up with their unremitting teasing “hey you old hippie punk rocker get you fiber in today? stools looking a little loose! peace out old man” in peculiar way he finds enough belonging he so desperately needs they tell him stories about their friends *** addictions eating disorders futile deaths he is bowled over by how young they are to know such stuff job includes health insurance which is something he has not had since Dad was alive having some cash flowing in he buys laptop computer with high-speed connection cell phone trades in toyota for truck opens crate of writings he abandoned in ‘80’s begins to rewrite story sits blurry eyed in front of computer screen his motivation has always been to tell truth as he knows it he wonders what ramifications his labor will bring positive or negative results? he guesses his story will sound like children’s fable in stark brutality of distant future october 2002 3 week ****** spree terrorizes maryland virginia  district of columbia 10 people killed 3 critically wounded police believe white van responsible october 24 man and 17-year-old boy arrested in blue chevy caprice juvenile is shooter assailants linked to string of random murders including unsolved shooting of man at golf course in tucson Odysseus mentions incident at work speaks of prevailing terror madness in america co-workers kid tell him he is crazy “did you see a white van parked outside the store Odys?” they seem desensitized to increasing national atmosphere of anger panic or perhaps they are overwhelmed by weight trauma of modern life lie after lie prevailing  havoc slaughter make for dull numbness in world they know suicide is compelling option december 22nd 2002 joe strummer dies from heart failure at age 50 Odysseus’s eyes wet he adored the clash everything they stood for loved joe strummer and mescaleros he plays “global a go-go” over and over listens sings along with first track “johnny appleseed” march 2003 president bush launches attack against iraq united states seems drunk with “shock and awe” zealous blind patriotism many people politicians countries around globe question unproven line of reasoning saddam hussein possesses “weapons of mass destruction” Odysseus gripes “not another **** vietnam” record company allows employees to check out take home used product Odysseus stopped watching movies in 1980’s he has lots of catching up to do particularly likes “natural born killers” “american history x” “american ******” “fight club” “way of the gun” “******” “king of new york” “basquiat” “frida” “*******” “before night falls” “quills” “requiem for a dream” “vanilla sky” “boys don’t cry” “being john malkovich” “adaptation” “kids” “lost in translation” “25th hour” “28 days later” “monster” “city of god” “gangs of new york” “**** bill” list goes on perfect circle becomes his favorite band followed by tool lacuna coil my morning jacket brian jonestown massacre flaming lips dredg drive-by truckers dropkick murphys flogging mollies nofx stereophonics eels weakerthans centro-matic califone godspeed you black emperor magnetic fields fiery furnaces dresden dolls smog granddaddy calexico howie gelb sufjan stevens warren haynes dax riggs john vanderslice alejandro escovedo sean paul elephant man bjork p. j. harvey ani difranco aimee mann cat power sophie b. hawkins kathleen edwards mia doi todd kimya dawson regina spektor carina round neko case fiona apple nina nastasia beth gibbons mirah rasputina dr. dre talib kweli immortal technique murs slug atmosphere trick daddy eazy-e tricky list goes on october 21 2003 elliott smith commits suicide stabbing 2 wounds into his chest Odysseus thinks about music when jimi hendrix stood up at woodstock deconstructing national anthem on guitar it took courage when punk emerged with ugly screechy sounds attempting to divorce itself from melodious harmonies of 1970s complacent crosby stills nash  the dead kennedys and *** pistol did not pander to conventional commercial success what they performed were desperate gutsy songs trying to reclaim music rock’n’roll is no longer about inventing instead it imitates its glorious past hip-hop and rap come nearest to risking rebellion but are caught in gangsterism infantile self-adulation no longer does music offer vision of what is or could be instead it conjures looping escapism from hopelessness of modern life he continues working at record shop for several years store contains every genre of music cinema he grows weary of retail sales weary of higher-ups constantly changing rules dictating what to do head manager is manipulative drama queen thrives on crisis once in private admits stealing from company Odysseus nods not knowing what to say head manager works Odysseus hard keeps him down atmosphere of conspiracy betrayal hang at start of each day assistant manager routinely taunts berates bullies teases regularly calls Odysseus “dumb-****” or “****-up” other times laughs after goading Odysseus to flinch eventually bully backs off and they become friends retail pushes Odysseus to brink of misanthropy corporation requires all employees to exercise overt courteousness while serving a public of disrespectful gang bangers demanding “show me black market brotha lynch mac dre why ya godda keep dat **** behind da counter? dat’s ****** up hey old man i ain’t got all day” it always amazes him when shoplifter is caught with product stuffed down his pants thief blatantly states “i didn’t do it i don’t know how that got there” thanksgiving through christmas to new years is most swarming stressful he feels like automaton greeting customer scanning product looking at screen to see if price agrees with product typing money amount counting money into drawer counting money out handing change to customer handing customer product receipt next customer cockroach capitalism packs of masses line up in endless stream of needs stupid remarks job also involves trade appraising condition value resale probability of cds dvds video games tapes vhs vinyl news of  iraq war gets dismal mounting civilian casualties suicide bombers hostages beheadings beginning of 2004 reports of torture ****** psychological abuse **** ****** ****** of prisoners at abu ghraib prison guantanamo bay white house cover-ups denials growing insurgency increasing u.s. body count other costs he thinks about men and women who are so much braver than him then comes re-election and lavish republican parties parades cheney rumsfeld tom delay and whole regime smirk portentously on tv none of it makes sense anymore “we the people of the united states” what does it mean? the dreams and aspirations of his generation have long since faded away he is citizen of forgotten past current world is barbaric place he barely recognizes there are real pirates with machetes rocket launchers on the seas big drug corporations hiding harmful findings kidnapped children abandoned children crooked politicians corruption at every level of society horrifying stories daily ******* priests slave markets extreme heinous cruelties abruptly everyone is acknowledging society is worsening life is not the same he does not understand people and certainly does not understand america or the world he remembers when all could be so good modern existence has turned everything into madness what happened to lessons of history? it is as if Odysseus fell asleep and when he woke everything is changed he is mistaken about what he thinks he knows feels pity for people america pity disgust sorrow he misses his dog
samasati  Nov 2012
I believe
samasati Nov 2012
I believe in smiling at strangers. I believe in saying hello. I believe in shyness. I believe in fear of rejection. I believe in the need of affection. I believe in the need of reminders. I believe in candles, especially those that smell of vanilla or christmas. I believe in wearing small crystals around my neck. I believe in energetic vibrations. I believe in colours - I think each person has their own colour. I believe every feeling is valid. I believe in chapstick and I believe in mascara that doesn’t clump. I believe in nail polish - every colour of nail polish. I believe that the only reason we lie is because we fear something. I believe in poetry. I believe in bluntness. I believe in the intention behind words, but I don’t necessarily believe in words. I believe in travel. I believe in travelling solo. In fact, I believe in travelling so much that it is pretty much all I want to do. I believe in music. Boy, do I believe in music. I believe any kind of musical composition can change a person. I believe music can cure depression. I also believe music can feed depression. I believe a melody can say more than lyrics and I believe that lyrics can be what someone couldn’t put together themselves to explain exactly how they are feeling. I believe anyone can create a song, even though they believe they cannot. I believe a single note can sound like the most beautiful sound in the world. I believe if someone records a song when they’re in an ugly mood, the ugliness emits to its listeners and can drain them. I believe in art. Of course I do. I believe in acrylic paint. I believe in oil paint and watercolours, but not as much as I believe in acrylic. I believe in fingerprinting. I even believe in painting with your toes. And I believe in dancing; even if it looks weird. I believe in flailing your arms even, as long as it feels good and right. I believe in dancing ‘til you sweat, though I don’t like that icky feeling too much. I believe that a babe can be a very ugly person and a physically unattractive person can be a very beautiful person. I believe that people who smile are beautiful. I believe that people who frown are beautiful too, just in a different way. I believe that there are sincere smiles and there are manipulative smiles. I believe that some people just know how to use their eyes well. I believe in eye contact. I believe in engaging. I believe in listening and dropping everything else that is going on in your mind just to listen to what a person is trying to share with you. I believe in sharing - sharing cookies and sharing love. I believe in the frosty cold. I believe that it doesn’t have to feel as cold as it really is. I believe that people complain a lot. I believe that people often have too much pride to be happy. I believe that we should embrace our discomforts and shames, that we should welcome them wholeheartedly so that we can be happy. I believe in honesty. I believe in empathy. I believe in tea. I believe in jelly donuts but only on certain occasions. I believe in quirky bow ties. I believe in knit toques and mittens and scarves. I believe in dresses. I believe in flirting. I believe in coffee in the morning. I believe in big comfy beds. I believe in walking around your empty house in your underwear or birthday suit, singing loudly. I believe in singing in the shower. I believe in singing on the street. I believe in stage fright. I believe in meditation, though I don’t really strictly set times to do it anymore. I believe mundane activities can be done in a meditative state of mind. I believe in clarity. I believe in not judging people because everyone is human. I believe every human has something very interesting about them. I believe in boring people too. I believe in christmas music - not the radio kind, the choral kind. I believe in cheap sweet wine. I believe in Billy Joel and I believe in The Beatles. I believe in Regina and Sufjan too. I believe that the ukulele is a very overrated instrument. I believe in having healthy hair. I believe in moisturizer. I believe in getting to pick a coloured toothbrush at the dentist. I believe in thick wool socks. I believe in baggy sweaters. I believe in yoga gear but I do not believe in sweatpants. I believe that yoga is one of the healthiest things for a person - ever. I believe in buying a friend drinks or dinner once in awhile. I believe in collecting shoes and scarves and rings. I believe in chords but I don’t really believe in jeans. I believe in hot chocolate with whip cream but not with marshmallows. I believe in dorky Christmas sweaters. I believe in baking cookies instead of cake. I believe in eating disorders - I do not support them, but I do believe they are much more severe and various than most people think and I believe there should be better/proper help for those who suffer instead of the usual cruel inpatient/outpatient care. I believe in trichotillomania and I believe in dermatillomania and the severity and impact it can have on its sufferers. I believe in gardens. I believe in every single flower. I believe that everyone is always doing their best. I believe that most people love to struggle. I believe in hope. I believe in having faith in yourself. I believe in iPod playlists. I believe in gym memberships in the winter, not the summer unless it’s to swim. I believe in matching underwear every day. I believe in Value Village. I believe in singing in bus shelters when you’re waiting for the bus. I believe in dressing up according to holidays. I believe in Grey’s Anatomy and I believe in Community. I believe in skirts and dresses that twirl like the ‘ol days. I believe in longboards more than skateboards. I believe in plaid like most young people do. I believe in bows in my hair, but not as much as I used to. I believe in foot massages and hand massages. I believe in reflexology and reiki and essential oils and chakras and crystals and holistic nutrition. I believe in anxiety; even crippling anxiety. I believe in awkward romances. I do not believe in flip flops. I do not believe in Beatles covers unless they are really insanely good; then my mind is blown. I believe in having long enough nails to scratch someone’s back appropriately. I also believe in biting nails. I do not believe in telephone calls unless I am extremely comfortable with the person. I believe in blogs. I believe in journals. I believe in naming special inanimate objects like journals, instruments, technology and furniture. I believe in the idea of cats more than I believe in cats. I believe in sharpies or thin pointed permanent markers. I believe in temporary tattoos. I believe in streaming movies online. I believe in royal gala apples. I believe in avocados. I believe in rice cakes. I believe in popcorn. I believe in airports but I hate the LA airport. I believe in openly talking about *** but I don’t believe in making it seem shameful and gross. I believe there should be no shame regarding sexuality. I believe in reading some great books more than once. I believe in laying on the couch under cozy blankets, watching a great suspenseful tv show or movie. I only believe in having a couple bites of cheesecake. I don’t really believe in lulu lemon. I don’t believe many people can pull off the colour yellow. I believe in buttons over zippers even though zippers are easier, they just look kind of dumb and cheap. I believe in the sun and the moon equally. I believe in closets over dressers. I believe in staring out the window for a good hour or so.
May Elizabeth Mar 2018
Oh, to see without my eyes
The first time that you kissed me
Boundless by the time I cried
I built your walls around me
White noise, what an awful sound
Fumbling by Rogue River
Feel my feet above the ground
Hand of God, deliver me

Oh, oh whoa whoa is me
The first time that you touched me
Oh, will wonders ever cease?
Blessed be the mystery of love

Lord, I no longer believe
Drowned in living waters
Cursed by the love that I received
From my brother's daughter
Like Hephaestion, who died
Alexander's lover
Now my riverbed has dried
Shall I find no other?

Oh, oh whoa whoa is me
I'm running like a plover
Now I'm prone to misery
The birthmark on your shoulder reminds me

How much sorrow can I take?
Blackbird on my shoulder
And what difference does it make
When this love is over?
Shall I sleep within your bed
River of unhappiness
Hold your hands upon my head
Till I breathe my last breath

Oh, oh whoa whoa is me
The last time that you touched me
Oh, will wonders ever cease?
Blessed be the mystery of love
This poes is actually a song by Sufjan Stevens, and I hope this doesn't get copywritten, but I credited the original artist. I just think its a beautiful song, and sounds like a poem, and I love it a lot. I did not write this.
Jennifer Weiss May 2015
It wasn't long before He sent you a helper,
and you knew it right away.
But what if we just made
a mess of the whole thing.
Made just for you,
but you missed the boat
did ya?

Noah said this ride is only for two,
and He left you there.
And boy, I miss ya...
Almost all the time.
But He told me to keep moving,
I just wonder why you're always on my line.
But I don't like this kind of losing...
Maybe that's not my place.
But He and you both see it in my face.
So I try to learn to bite my tongue.
And I'm not sure how it got so deep...
But it isn't up to me,
And no, it never was.

Except when I loved you only for me,
then got stuck loving you because
you set me free...
it'll probably haunt you or something.
Sankalp Dharge Jan 2018
It was nightfall whilst I commenced
Howard and Sufjan resonated my head
Heart was thumping against my chest
Slightest of drizzle varied my eye
Psyche was sketching days to the fore.

Plunged dead to the world midnight
Came vigorous next to the first light
I felt the caring wind filled with bliss
Resembling a mother’s kiss
The western sky sparkled surpassing dawn.

I was drunk on the beauty of this world
The sea still, tranquil and cavernous
Ignoring the horror, it formerly heard
Shortly I glided forward and beyond

Draining my past behind...
I wrote this while travelling in Mumbai.
It was an amazing tour. This city never sleeps.
I feel nostalgic.
Lyra Brown Mar 2013
i simply cannot fathom
going out every single
saturday night
the world is cold and vicious enough as it is,
and we all know
that nighttime is different universe,
alcoholics covering up their scars with the slogans like
"i'm young and i'm allowed to have fun" or
"YOLO!"
bars full to the brim with
**** yous and what's your numbers and i'm-in-the-mood-to-start-a-fight-bro
don't  get me wrong, it is fun
to go out sometimes
but after a while it gets old
because the world is cold and vicious enough as it is
i much prefer sleeping or
curling up with a book and a blanket and a hot mug of tea
cuddling with solitude while listening
to Sufjan or Regina or Elliott or Joni
or watching a disney movie,
where i feel safe,
clinging to a place
where the world won't ruin me.
Gita Sep 2015
It's 12:29.
I'm thinking about the moon.
It's one of those "Sufjan Stevens" nights.
His music always manages to perfectly translate my befuddling feelings and thoughts into rhythm and beat.
If I rest now I will miss out on what the night has to offer.

It's 1:07
I'm lying in bed.
I hear my mom on the phone with grandma.
They always manage to keep the conversation fresh and perpetual despite the 8,096 mile distance.
If I let my eyes close now morning and work will arrive faster.

It's 2:03
I give up on homework.
I open the laptop to watch Netflix.
I re-watch a show I've seen a dozen times.
If I escape to dreamland, this sense of knowing of what is to come will be stolen by the uncertainty of the subconscious.

It's 4:32
I'm filled with sadness.
I have procrastinated badly.
I abruptly jump out of bed and head downstairs to brew coffee.
If I go to sleep, I will regret it in the morning when I will face the consequences of my laziness and late night reasoning.
Salil Panvalkar  Sep 2015
Youtube
Salil Panvalkar Sep 2015
My playlist on Youtube writes itself into a poem
It elicits Love, Lust, Loss anger along with a few other emotions
Ratatat takes me on a tour of Rome
PHOX shows me how to dance in Slow Motion
John Denver joins me on the tour of Country Roads

Highlight Tribe encourages me to Free Tibet
Bioshock Infinite do I dream of with Schyman Elizabeth
Kavinsky with his beats, urging me to Outrun
Lose Sight now and again with Andrew Bayer and Ane Burn

Abandoned Pools take me down the memory lane in Clone High
Foo Fighters whisper in my ear that I too can Learn To Fly
COCAINEJESUS, Akira, beats and samples; I have PINEAPPLEKISSES
Cloud Nothing reminds me that I should Stay Useless

Discover A Little Opus as I take a ride on Little Comets
Sky Rabbit opine and observe the present In Our Times
Joey Badass shares with me his funky ideals of World *******
Coheed and Cambria describe brotherhood in Key Entity Extraction

Geroge Ezra sings an ode to fathers in Listen to the Man
Perfect shows me the other side of the coin with Simple Plan
The Peppers tell a story of starting over covered in Snow
Shakey Graves says takes a chance and Roll the Bones

John Wayne Gacy Jr. the serial killer is immortalised by Sufjan Stevens
Imagine Dragons, the subconscious and fears come alive in Demons
Owl City tells a fantastic fable about insomnia in Fireflies
Ellie Goulding finds sweet slumber even in dark times in *Lights
One of those days when you want to do nothing but to feel.
And nothing makes me feel like music.
Lucas Jul 2018
it's the caffeine making dark crescents undereye
not some divine enlightenment
(there might be a dash of soul-searching though)
low, glazed limbs are frozen still

a frosted flurry of flakes falls
relieving my concentration
returning me to the road
to the pale glow of white snow
silhouetting the bare oak grove
hefty adumbrations emerging
charcoal on unblemished canvas

"Harden your heart, grow up"
"Harden your heart, grow up"
I repeat over and over
click
I get a different result
Real insanity would be conversing to myself, not chanting: pshaw!

My insides now cold as ice
open windows, abrasive breeze

I don't have a seat warmer

don't need one when everything's the same temp
I've hardened my heart, my groovy slouch recedes
jaw set and stiffened
Sufjan and Novo Amor siphoning my hope
tears become stalactites

"I have loved you for the last time"
pulling me back into colorless pensiveness
matching the steadfast sentinels blurring by
I took a lonely drive down a wooded highway during a depressive episode
I remember winter, when we first met
at the coffee shop in town. How could I forget?
I didn’t think you were interested,
even though you sent the message.
Stayed on your phone, barely said a word
while I tried to get your attention by being absurd.
I felt like there was something just beneath the surface
but I couldn’t quite tell just what it was.
As the weeks passed, you’d open up a little.
I tried so hard to hide how you made me so brittle.
And when you kissed me at the library, I remember trying to hide my smile
because I was so happy, and your beard tickled. I was so glad to be worth your while.
You played Sufjan Stevens and held my hand real tight
when we went to our spot for the first time that one night.
Then the next day, you threw me away.
I guess you were scared, didn’t trust me, and I didn’t know why. It drove me crazy.
For three straight weeks I didn’t see your face
and I was so depressed, thought I had been replaced.
You blew me off, so I moved out to Little Rock.
Tried to run away, but I can’t seem to ever forget you.
So, I came back, and then you left me again.
Said you thought we should just be friends.
And then summer blossomed and you came back around.
My heart was ablaze with the joy I had found.
So many summer nights with you in the passenger’s seat;
I never could ask for a memory more sweet.
Summer changed to fall and I didn’t see much of you.
Kept sneaking kisses in your kitchen, out of your parents’ view.
Fall turned to winter and you were out of reach.
Our fighting got worse, used mean words in speech.
So here we are again, and we’re back to Spring
and you have lost all faith in me.
Thrown our love to the curb, forgot about the memories.
And now here I am, crying on my knees
because you won’t try, won’t even believe me
when I say that I’ll be everything you need.
But don’t you see?
These good and bad memories still aren’t enough
and it’s not that you leaving is just tough.
I can’t forget you or even move on if I tried
because you are, without a doubt, the love of my life.

I will be waiting. Even if it means I wait forever.
Wallamo Jan 2013
Beneath me is a busy street, around me are caffeine fiends, behind me are friends, yet I am momentarily stuck on what I cannot reach. My mind has not left our last encounter.

We were both so still, neither of us knowing how to react, as the lyrics so accurately depicted our feelings toward one another.

Alone, silent, and constricted we listened. I was so hopeful, you were so distant. As we created together your sadness lifted and the air was different. We left our hearts in our heads and explored the humor we've always used. After creating you told me that you felt the only cure for depression was creation. I smiled and felt like crying as I looked at your eyes. I had no response.

"I feel I must be wearing my welcome. I must be moving on. My intentions were good intentions. I could have loved you, I could have changed you. I wouldn't be so, I wouldn't feel so consumed by selfish thoughts. I'm sorry if I feel self effacing, consumed by selfish thoughts. It's only that I still love you deeply, it's all the love I got," sang Sufjan. We so silently listened. We did not look at one another. We were both scared in that moment. I was scared in that moment. I did not expect what I heard, I was scared of what I heard, as he had taken the thoughts out of my head.

Perhaps those lyrics did not strike you in the way they struck me. They were piercing. But I know you; your thoughts wander to places that I cannot reach in those moments.

Your mind travels so far. I used to know where you went, in your fits of silence, but you have changed. I know so little as the direction. East, West, near, far. I can only guess.

Now I sit at the window, silently listening to music that we so recently silently listened to together. Still so accurately depicting how I feel.

You have changed, you have grown, you have shrunk. I have done the same, for better and for worse. Our love is seemingly lost, but still lingers in every conversation and glance and thought.

This same place, where I wrote about you, both good and bad, where I spoke to you on the phone, where we came together. This place has not changed at all. It doesn't know how much we've changed, how much you've changed, or how much I've changed. But in some ways, we are just like this place in which I sit - we haven't  changed. We remain the same.

— The End —