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EFFECTS OF CHILD ABUSE ON PERFORMANCE OF PRIMARY SCHOOL IN KAPYEMIT WARD, TURBO CONSTITUENCY, UASIN-GISHU COUNTY.





BY
ERICK NYAKUNDI
KIS/03013/14




A RESEARCH PROJECTSUBMITED TO THE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY IN THE PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SOCIOLOGY



MAY, 2014

DECLARATION

I, the undersigned, declare that this project is my original work and that it has not been presented in any other university or institution for academic credit.

Signature...............................................­..... Date...................................
ERICK NYAKUNDI
KIS/03013/14






SUPERVISOR
This project has been submitted for examination with my approval as university supervisor
DR. W. O. ABUYA
Signature..................................................­.. Date....................................




DEDICATION
I dedicate this work to my Dad, Mom, my sister Lydia and my lovely brother Dun who contributed in one way or another to make this project to be successful.


















ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to thank all individuals who contributed and sacrificed their time towards completion of this project.
To my supervisor, for the guidance and support in the development of this research project, His advice and criticism made this project what it is.
Thanks to colleagues and friends for their suggestions, advice and encouragement. To all of you may God bless you abundantly for your tireless effort.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents Page
DECLARATION i
DEDICATION ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS iv
LIST OF TABLES vii
LIST OF FIGURE viii
ABSTRACT ix
CHAPTER ONE 10
STUDY OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 10
1.1 Background of the Study 10
1.2 Research Questions 13
1.3 Research Objectives 13
1.4 Justification of the Study 13
1.5 Significance of the Study 14
1.6 Scope of the Study 15
1.6.1Assumptions of the Study 16
CHAPTER TWO 17
LITERATURE REVIEW 17
2.1 Introduction 17
2.2 Common Forms of Child Abuse 17
2.2.1 Child ****** Abuse 17
2.2.2 Physiological or Emotional Abuse 17
2.2.3 Physical Abuse 18
2.2.4 Child Neglect or Abandonment 18
2.2.4.1 Physical Neglect 19
2.2.4.2 Educational Neglect 19
2.2.4.3 Medical Neglect 19
2.2.5 Child Fatalities 20
2.3 How Child Abuse Affects Academic Performance 20
2.3.1 Child Abuse and Academic Performance 20
2.3.2 Child Abuse and School Image 23
2.3.3 Child Abuse and Dropout Rate 25
2.4 Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 26
2.4.1 Role of Public Regulation 26
2.4.1.1 Nurturing and Attachment 27
2.4.1.2 Social Connections 27
2.5 Theoretical Framework 27
2.5.1 Learning Theory 28
2.5.1.1 Relationship with the Study 28
2.5.2 Family Dysfunction Theory 29
2.5.2.1 Relationship with the Study 29
CHAPTER THREE 30
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 30
3.0 Introduction 30
3.1 Site Description 30
3.2 Research Design 30
3.3.1 Target Population 30
3.3.2 Sample Size and Sampling Procedure 31
3.4 Description of Research Instruments 32
3.4.1 Research Instrument 32
3.4.1.1 Questionnaire 32
3.5 Data Collection Procedure 32
3.5.1 Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments 33
3.5.1.1 Reliability of Research Instruments 33
3.5.1.2 Validity 33
3.6 Data Analysis and Presentation 33
CHAPTER FOUR 35
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 35
4.0 Introduction 35
4.1 Background Information 35
4.1.1 Age of the Respondents 35
4.1.2 *** of the Respondents 35
4.1.3 Education Level of the Respondents 36
4.1.4 Marital Status 36
4.2 Specific Information 37
4.2.1 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 37
4.2.2 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 38
4.2.3 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 41
CHAPTER FIVE 43
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 43
5.0 Introduction 43
5.1 Summary of the findings 43
5.2 Discussion of the Findings 44
5.3 Conclusion 45
5.4 Recommendations 46
REFERENCES 47

LIST OF TABLES & FIGURES
Table 3.1 Target population 32
Table 3.1 Sample size 33
Table 4.1 Age of the Respondents 36
Table 4.2 *** of the Respondents 37
Table 4.3 Education Level of the Respondents 37
Table 4.4 Marital Status 38
Table 4.5 Effects of Child Abuse on Academic Performance 38
Table 4.6 How Child Abuse Affects Dropout Rate of Students in School 40
Figure 4.1 Views of the Pupils on Abuse 41
Table 4.7 Proposed Strategies that Schools can Employ to Curb Child Abuse 42





















ABSTRACT
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of child abuse on school performance in Primary Schools in Kapyemit ward, Uasin-Gishu County. The objectives of the study were: To assess the impacts of child abuse on academic performance; to determine the effects of child abuse on schools image, to identify the impacts of child abuse on pupil drop out rate, to investigate the effects of child abuse on pupil transition rate. The study employed a survey study design. The study targeted 160 respondents which includes; 5 Head Teachers, 40 Teachers, 70 Pupils and 35 parents of which a sample size of 48 was obtained from using 30%. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the head teachers while simple random sampling technique will be used to select the teachers, Pupils and parents who formed the respondents of the study. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as data collection instruments. Data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively and presented in form of tables, percentages and frequency. The study helped in the understanding of the effects of child abuse on the school performance, the realization of the roles parents and teachers play in the curbing of child abuse among pupils and raising awareness on the same.

CHAPTER ONE
STUDY OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.1 Background of the Study
Child abuse is the physical, ****** or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children. The consequences of child maltreatment can be profound and may endure long after the abuse or neglect occurs. The effects can appear in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and may affect various aspects of an individual's development (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral). These effects range in consequence from minor physical injuries, low self-esteem, attention disorders, and poor peer relations to severe brain damage, extremely violent behavior, and death. In extreme cases, child abuse affects the performance of schools in the affected region (Daniel, 1978).
Performance refers to how students deal with their academic studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Performance is also the ability of a school to portray a good image which can influence the public (Decastro, 1978). There are several factors that influence the performance of a school at large, however, there is a critical factor that most researchers have avoided to discuss, and child abuse has been a crucial factor that has contributed to children’s dismal performance. Apart from children’s personal intelligence, child abuse is among then key factors contributing to poor performance of learners. Child abuse can lead to school dropping, emotional trauma or can even be fatal, hence destructing or even terminating the educational ambitions of a child. (Harris, 2005)
Worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO, 2000) approximately 40 million children are subjected to child abuse each year. According to Human Rights Watch (2001) about 30% of all severely disabled children relegated to special homes in the Ukraine died before they reached 18 years of age. UNICEF estimates that two million children died as a result of armed conflict during a recent 10-year period and that another six million were injured or disabled. In Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, over 6.5 million children annually are exposed to unwanted ****** materials over the internet; over 1.7 million of these report distress over exposure to these materials. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department for Children and Families (DCF) define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. Child abuse can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with. Each year, approximately one million children around the world are introduced into commercial ****** exploitation despite this problem; these developed countries have put measures to curb the vice. Rehabilitation schools have been formed and introduction of counseling centers as well. Despite the prevalence of child abuse in this developed nations they narrowly affect the academic performance since there are organizations put in place to curb the situation e.g. child associations, guidance and counseling institutions, and school based counseling programs (Giles, 2001)
Concern for victims of child abuse in Africa expressed by the African network of the International Society for The Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) which gave five main presentations of child abuse: child labor, street wandering, ****** abuse, child battering and abandonment (Elma, 1977). Child labor according to the international labor organization (ILO), about 10 million children less than 15years in Africa are in formal employment, working long hours with poor pay and are exposed to substantial health hazards. Wandering of children refers to children, usually unkempt and with delinquent propensities, living rough in town. The reasons for children taking to the street remain poorly understood particularly in relation to factors in the child rather than parental hostility and economic (Dubowitz, 2002)
****** abuse is another. For example, arranged under-age marriages are common in some parts of the continent and doubt was often expressed as to whether a young girl fully gave consent to being betrothed (Galdsone, 1965). Prevalence rates in Africa are very difficult to ascertain because of the fear of disclosure by victims and lack of proper documentation. Most of the girls by reasons of shame fear or surprisingly respect for their usually older perpetrators. Physical battering is also eminent. Physical abuse of children is widely claimed to berate in the third world; however, there are anecdotes from east Africa skeletal frame or localized body areas of all first attendees aged 0-12 years at this hospital during the four-year period 1 January 1987 to 31 December 1990 (Garbarino, 1975). Sixty-nine of these reports reveals evidence of multiple bone fractures wither without evidence of rib or skull fracture. Abandonment of children to roam around the streets in what we call street children is also eminent in Africa, though valid and adequate information on abandonment are difficult to obtain due mainly to failure of offending parents to show up out of guilt, shame, judicial repercussions or a combination of these. However, some euro-American missionaries identified inter alia breech birth. (Erickson, 2003)
Child protection measures in Kenya are currently not implemented effectively and fully (Galdstone, 1965). Compliance with such legislation would increase if the magnitude of the problem and better knowledge about the factors that put children at risk was available. Additionally, involving stakeholders, especially agencies charged with protection, as well as involving affected children, will highlight the issues and thereby promote adherence to protection policies. Kenyan children, child activists and children organizations are pinning their hopes on the implementation of the Children’s Act to improve the lot of the nation’s youth. The Act, which came into effect on 1 March 2002, puts in place full safeguards for the rights of the child. Its passage was a giant stride in harmonizing the national laws with international agreements which Kenya has signed such as the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 2002)
There is hope that the new legislation will dramatically change the inattention, neglect and abuse towards child rights. The Act outlaws any form discrimination of children, and forbids Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child prostitution, and child labor, among other forms of abuse. The Children’s Act has immensely improved the lives of many Kenyan children plagued with high illiteracy levels, frequent **** cases and child labor since it guarantees children the right to health and medical care, provision of which is the responsibility of the parents, the extended family and the government (Erickson, 2005).
Cases of child abuse in Uasin-Gishu region have been so eminent in the recent years ((Kenya Media Report, 2004). In the year 2010 and the year 2011, there was a program started to rehabilitate this behavior. This problem is clearly evident when you first arrive in Eldoret town, it is among the towns in the country with the highest number of abandoned children who keep on moving from one Centre to another seeking help from passersby. Parents have developed behaviors of abandoning their children and deliberately sending them to the town so that they can benefit from their borrowing. So to say this has led to child labor in this region. High profile cases of school dropouts have been recorded regarding the environs of this region. Young school children from different locations in Eldoret converge in town to persuade people to offer them financial assistance. Some attend school in numbered days and decide to spend some good number of days out of school.
The communities and societies around tend to assume this situation and term it as norm. A few who might seem concerned lack cooperation from the rest. This has adversely affected the performance of most of schools, hence leading to poor living standards of the people and a poisoned future of a young citizen. The problem has affected learners in regions like many areas in Uasin-Gishu County. It has really affected child development and affected their attendance and performance in school. Little intervention measures has been taken to advocate the holistic development of the children. It was to this reason that the researcher conducted the research in the named above region
1.2 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following questions;
1) What is the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward?  
2) What are some of the proposed strategies that schools can employ to curb child abuse?
1.3 Research Objectives
The study was guided by the following research objectives;
1) To identify the effect of child abuse on the academic performance of students in Kapyemit Ward.
2) To identify proposed strategies that can be employed to help curb child abuse.
1.4 Justification of the Study
It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate child abuse prevention into separate categories. For instance, strategies on the societal level include increasing the “value” of children, increasing the economic self-sufficiency of families, discouraging corporal punishment and other forms of violence, making health care more accessible and affordable, expanding and improving coordination of social services, improving the identification and treatment of psychological problems and alcohol and drug abuse, providing more affordable child care and preventing the birth of unwanted children.
Very little analysis has been done to estimate the total cost of preventing child abuse and neglect or the long-term social costs of not preventing it. There is now a move to situate child abuse and neglect within the continuum of intervention which addresses multiple aspects of family behaviors. The efficacy of tackling portions of the problem of child abuse apart from broader societal needs is not known. And, perhaps prevention can only come in tandem with efforts to reduce poverty, improve health care and make children’s issues a national priority. However, despite these constraints, evaluations of prevention programs can be improved by coming to terms with definitions of key varia
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret,Kenya;aopicho@yahoo.com)
This essay is based on the observation research that had been carried out  by a social research firm in  Eldoret, Kenya, in the preceding six moths, which has been concluded on 30th January 2014.I the writer of this essay was among the lead team that carried out this study.We unobtrusively observed two thousand University graduates from east African states of Kenya,Uganda,Tanzania,Rwanda,Ethiopia,Sudan,and Burundi plus a few form some parts of Congo .Our target population of two thousand graduates was used under the guiding assumptions that it would help the study to arrive at water tight social conclusions.Our problem of focus was that ;why are male graduates in east Africa not marrying fellow graduates but instead go for marital partners who have substantially lower education qualification and even academic achievement.
The conditions of serendipity was also encountered and taken care of , when we also deviated from the natural social settings and charted with our digital social media friends who were approximately two thousand as well.They were digital social friends from Facebook and twitter digital social platforms. We  posted a thread in question form that ; if you were marrying today , would you marry a girl you graduated with the same year? Eighty percent of the responses to this thread was no , only twenty percent was yes.
The actual situations in an empirical experience is that male graduates prefer marrying ladies who stopped schooling in high school,and male high school or diploma college graduates prefer marrying ladies who don’t have clear high school education.And male primary school leavers prefer marrying ladies with inferior social positions like those who come from poorer families or from different tribal communities that are geographically, economically or culturally disadvantaged.
And in case where a male graduate dares to marry a fellow graduate , the dominantly observed social behaviour in this juncture is that ; the boy will go for the girl in a different school or faculty that is perceived to be inferior within the university academic climate.Like a student of medicine or law will go for a girl doing education or any University course perceived to be inferior.But the observation  produces insignificant cases of where a medicine student daring to marry a fellow medicine student.The minor cases of where a medicine student dares to marry a fellow medic will only take place in a social fabric that the male student at fifth year level will go for a girl in first year.Still there is a social tilt.
When we asked for reasons in a non-obtrusive manner from our unsuspecting respondents.We got both positive reasons and negative reasons.The positive reasons our respondents gave are that in most cases girls who don’t make it to the university happen to be more beautiful or their physique is more sexually appealling than those ladies who make it to the university.when we projected this type of reasoning , we also found that ladies who are in schools like education,journalism or any other school perceived  inferior in the cultures of the University are again more beautiful and more socially enticing than the girls doing University courses like law ,medicine or engineering.One of the respondents made a socially outlying remark by saying that girls at the polytechnic or certificate colleges are usually light in the skin,**** in character and blessed with big or pronounced bossoms than ladies at the university.
When we asked the negative reasons , our respondents argued that  ladies from the university are not controllable,neither are they prepared to be controlled come even the marriage. Further argument for these behaviour by male  graduates is that the University ladies are sexually exhausted,As they usually stay with a man in the hostel or in the cube during the four or the five years of their live at the University. Some even live with different men interchangeably, after which they divorce those many on the graduation day.Another response is that University ladies have a proclivity towards social hangout behaviours like smoking ,pinching or revving in the wine spree and loving the pocket but not the owner of the pocket.
This social phenomenon have imperative concerns that there is high level of genetic mismatch through marriages in east Africa or any other part of the world which east Africa can be socially generalizable to in such particular socialization.Graduate ladies are often forced to marry as second wives , or marry non graduate husbands or stay as a single mother but playing a mistress somewhere, a social behviour described as mpango wa kando or chips funga in the the east African Kiswahili parlance. Such social encounters have a long term consequences of fettering the genetic potential of the family in terms of  academics.When we conform to a warning by an eminent American psychologist that ; ninety percent of academic brilliance is contained in the genes but not influenced by environment we then obviously concur with the findings of this study that if a graduate marries a graduate there is a guarantee for academic performance among the offspring , but where a graduate marries  a non graduate ,  academic performance among the offspring is either mediocrous or probabilistic.The findings of this study also fall in technical tune and intellectual tandem with the observations of Lee Kuan Yeow in his book; From the third world to the first world in which he pointed out that; failure by the male graduates from  Universities in Singapore to marry the fellow female graduates was an impeachment to development as the ultimate consequence of these social behaviours is unnecessary inhibition of good genetics at a macroeconomic level.
The conclusive position of this study is that University leaderships in Africa, with a particular focus on east Africa, must inspire new University culture that has a turnaround effect on this behavioural status quo.The reality is that male graduates behave like this out of a dominance syndrome not out of anything technically worthwhile.Kindly , let our graduates change their marriage behaviour so that we can substantially protect our genetic advantages.

References;
Lee Kuan Yeow; From Third World to the First World
Alexander K  Opicho, is a social researcher at Sanctuary Research agencies in Eldoret, Kenya.He is also a lecturer  for Research Methods in Governance.
Charlie Chirico Aug 2015
The 20th century a new philosophy was introduced: Existentialism.

Existentialism is pertaining to human existence, and finding our ideal self, along with the meaning of life through free will. This German philosophy must have been confusing, because not long after the beginning of the next century, free will showed us that eradication and apathy can be achieved by "following orders" and not questioning the ideals of your country's ideology.

The idea of this philosophy is that humans are searching for who they are and what they will become by the choices they make based on their experiences without the complications of laws, traditions, or ethnic rules. Now, the ivory and ebony pieces that lay atop the granite chess board are one of a handful of acceptable, yet objective black and white cohabitations that can't function one without the other.

Strategically sound is the sycophant. Then in reference to people, how easy is it to spot a Parasite when trying your hardest not to be stereotypical? That is why it's easier to hate a person because the color of their skin rather than their theology and ancestry.

This idea of free will is sometimes misconstrued as a hindering factor in reference to the education system. Our foundation is put in place at an early age; this is our fundamental axis, and this reasoning is acceptable because
of our commitment and trust in conditioning ourselves.

And when you need to teach youth about hate and pass it off as love, you must regulate the educational systems, and propaganda needs to be subtle yet exposed in mass media and entertainment, along with chalkboards and textbooks.

Considering the learning differential, people who use a different side of their brain than a peer have a chance of excelling in their studies of specific subjects; however, this does not apply in all cases. See science and language as objective, and abhorrence as once subjective with an edit and an asterisk.

One factor is assumptions made regarding social structure. And this is what happens when something is driven by an economic imperative. But statistics are heavily confusing and easily manipulated when some groups of people are thrown figuratively and literally into ghettos.

This has made people a taxable commodity, but not one for a universal vantage. The reason for that has to do with the socioeconomic status of certain communities. Then again, when a country is at war with itself, being drafted will provide an individual with the necessary rations, and when you're wearing a uniform, bank statements do not matter.

From this point on we can put people into two classes: academic and non-academic.

None of which matters when you're staring at the barrel of a gun: automatic or semi-automatic.
Free verse poems aren't always enjoyed, and in some cases respected, but it is my favorite way to structure, or not structure my poems. Although there isn't a rhyme scheme there is close attention given to meter and my overall voice. I know that this poem in particular is a long read, as are some of my others, but I believe that many topics deserve length and cannot be expressed well enough in one or two sentences.

Thanks for reading.
- Charlie
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
Ah the persimmon, a word from an extinct language of the Powatan people of the tidewater Virginia, spoken until the mid 18th C when its Blackfoot Indian speakers switched to English. It was putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, then persimmon, a fruit. Like the tomato, it is a ‘true berry’.
 
Here in this postcard we have a painting of four kaki: the Japanese persimmon. Of these four fruit, one is nearly ripe; three are yet to ripen. They have been picked three days and shelter under crinkled leaves, still stalked. Now, the surface on which these astringent, tangy fruit rest, isn’t it wondrous in its blue and mottled green? It is veined, a ceramic surface perhaps? The blue-green mottled, veined surface catches reflected light; the shadows are delicate but intense.
 
You told me that it troubled you to read my stories because so often they stepped between reality and fantasy, truth and playful invention. When you said this I meant to say (but we changed the subject): I write this way to confront what I know to be true but cannot present verbatim. I have to make into a fiction my remembered observations, those intense emotions of the moment. They are too precious not to save, and like the persimmon benefit from laying out in the sun to dry: to be eaten raw; digested to rightly control my ch’i, and perhaps your ch’i too.
 
So today a story about four kaki, heart-shaped hachiya, and hidden therein those most private feelings, messages of love and passion, what can be seen, what is unseen, thoughts and un-thoughts, mysteries and evasions.
 
                                                                            ----
 
 
Professor Minoru retired last year and now visits his university for the occasional show of his former colleagues and their occasionally-talented students. He spends his days in his suburban house with its tiny non-descript garden: a dog run, a yard no less. No precious garden. It is also somewhere (to his neighbours’ disgust) to hang wet clothes. It is just grass surrounded by a high fence. He walks there briefly in the early morning before making tea and climbing the stairs to his studio.
 
The studio runs the whole length of his house. When his wife Kinako left him he obliterated any presence of her, left his downtown studio, and converted three rooms upstairs into one big space. This is where Mosuku, his beautiful Akita, sleeps, coming downstairs only to eat and defecate in the small garden. Minoru and Mosuku go out twice each day: to midday Mass at the university chaplaincy; to the park in the early evening to meet his few friends walking their dogs. Otherwise he is solitary except for three former students who call ‘to keep an eye on the old man’.
 
He works every day. He has always done this, every day. Even in the busiest times of the academic year, he rose at 5.0am to draw, a new sheet of mitsumatagami placed the night before on his worktable ready. Ready for the first mark.
 
Imagine. He has climbed the stairs, tea in his left hand, sits immediately in front of this ivory-coloured paper, places the steaming cup to his far left, takes a charcoal stick, and  . . . the first mark, the mark from the world of dreams, memories, regrets, anxieties, whatever the night has stored in his right hand appears, progresses, forms an image, a sketch, as minutes pass his movement is always persistence, no reflection or studied consideration, his sketch is purposeful and wholly his own. He has long since learnt to empty his hand of artifice, of all memory.
 
When Kinako left he destroyed every trace of her, and of his past too. So powerful was his intent to forget, he found he had to ask the way to Shinjuko station, to his studio in the university. He called in a cleaning company to remove everything not in two boxes in the kitchen (of new clothes, his essential documents, 5 books, a plant, Mosuko’s feeding bowl). They were told (and paid handsomely) to clean with vigour. Then the builders and decorators moved in. He changed his phone number and let it be known (to his dog walker friends) that he had decided from now on to use an old family name, Sawato. He would be Sawato. And he was.
 
His wife, and she was still that legally, had found a lover. Kinako was a student of Professor Minoru, nearly thirty years younger, and a fragile beauty. She adored ‘her professor’, ‘her distinguished husband’, but one day at an opening (at Kinosho Kikaku – Gallery 156) she met an American artist, Fern Sophie Citron, and that, as they say in Japan, was that. She went back to Fern’s studio, where this rather plump middle-aged woman took photographs of Kinako relentlessly in costume after costume, and then without any costume, on the floor, in the bath, against a wall, never her whole body, and always in complete silence. Two days later she sent a friend to collect her belongings and to deliver a postcard to her husband. It was his painting of four persimmon. Persimmon (1985) 54 by 36 cm, mineral pigment on paper.
 
‘Hiroshi’, she wrote in red biro, ‘I am someone else now it is best you do not know. Please forgive’.
 
Sawato’s bedroom is on the ground floor now. There is a mat that is rolled away each morning. On the floor there are five books leaning against each other in a table-top self-standing shelf. The Rule of St Benedict (in Latin), The I-Ching (in Chinese), The Odes of Confucius, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (10th C folk tale) and a manual of Go, the Shogi Zushiki. Placed on a low table there is a laptop computer connected to the Internet, and beside the computer his father’s Go board (of dark persimmon wood), its counters pebbles from the beach below his family’s home. Each game played on the Internet he transcribes to his physical board.
 
He ascribes his mental agility, his calm and perseverance in his studio practice, to his nightly games of Go in hyperspace. He is an acknowledged master. His games studied assiduously, worldwide.
 
For 8 months in 1989 he studied the persimmon as still-life. He had colleagues send him examples of the fruit from distant lands. The American Persimmon from Virginia, the Black Persimmon or Black Sapote from Mexico (its fruit has green skin and white flesh, which turns black when ripe), the Mabolo or Velvet-apple native to Philippines - a bright red fruit when ripe, sometimes known as the Korean Mango, and more and more. His studio looked like a vegetable store, persimmons everywhere. He studied the way the colours of their skins changed every day. He experimented with different surfaces on which to place these tannin-rich fruits. He loved to touch their skins, and at night he would touch Kinako, his fingers rich from the embrace of fifty persimmon fruits, and she . . . she had never known such gentleness, such strength, such desire. It was as though he painted her with his body, his long fingers tracing the shape of the fruit, his tongue exploring each crevice of her long, slim, fruit-rich body. She had never been loved so passionately, so completely. At her desk in the University library special collection, where she worked as a researcher for a fine art academic journal, she would dream of the night past and anticipate the night to come, when, always on her pillow a different persimmon, she would fall to ****** and beyond.
 
Minoru drew and painted, printed and photographed more persimmons than he could keep track of. After six months he picked seven paintings, and a collection of 12 drawings. The rest he burnt. When he exhibited these treasures, Persimmon (1989) Mineral pigment on paper 54, by 36 cm was immediately acquired by Tokyo National Museum. It became a favourite reproduction, a national treasure. He kept seeing it on the walls of houses in magazines, cheap reproductions in department stores, even on a TV commercial. Eventually he dismissed it, totally, from his ever-observant, ever-scanning eyes. So when Kinako sent him the postcard he looked at it with wonder and later wrote this poem in his flowing hand using the waka style:
 
 
*Ah, the persimmon
Lotus fruit of the Gods
 
Heartwood of a weaver’s shuttle,
The archer’s bow, the timpanist sticks,
 
I take a knife to your ripe skin.
Reveal or not the severity of my winter years.
tonight we gather
to mark a
commencement day

four decades on
from a late June
afternoon

exchanging
embraces and
bon voyage wishes

departing a grand
chandeliered Rivoli
embarcadero

bound
to glorious
destinations

our bold sails
welling with
youthful
exuberance
in pursuit of
dreams
and intrepid
endeavors

our life
journeys
are blessed
with rich
abundance,
the grace of
challenge and
the gift of days

this evening
as we reconnect
to share the joys
and wisdom gleaned
from well lived lives
we will also celebrate
in multicolored splendor
the lives of classmates
who have commenced
journeys to other
destinations

though their
earthly sojourn
is complete
passed friends
remain alive
in our memory

surely the spirits
of the beloved
will walk this
room tonight

forever young
their quiet presence
will gently touch
tender hearts

they’ll appear
as they once looked
on their finest day

and as we relive
the bits of our lives
we shared with
one another

we may feel
the grasp of a
warm hand
as we once did
during that
snowy evening
west end walk

we’ll dance with them again
around Tamblyn Field bonfires
gyrating in a shared
ecstatic ebullience

we’ll applaud most likely
to succeed lives
most beautiful smiles
and crack up
to the hilarity of
class clown jokes

we’ll taste the kiss
of an after dark
Lincoln Park
rendezvous

groove to the
rock steady
beat of a
bad company tune  

we’ll submerge again
in a Yellow Submarine
to embark on an epic
Greenwich Village
journey

we’ll roll down
the shore on old
Thunder Road
windows open
hair blowin
radio blastin

we’ll taste the sweet sip
of Cherry Cokes
and Root Beer floats
at Roadrunners

chasing lost love salty tears
spilled over ***** upperclass home boys
and the soft blush sentiment of a
first French kiss

wouldn't it be nice
to swoon to the
fantasy and
winsome yearnings
of favorite
summer songs

filling our head’s
with mind
blowing collages
starring
team mates
drama club
second takes
heady chess club
checkmates

we’ll marvel at the disruption of
premillennial breakthrough science projects
created by pocket protected slide ruling
entrepreneurial math wizards

we'll recall droll gossip
by drab hall lockers
dim gym showers
awkward dances
Yippie people power

patriotic assemblies
cool sharp dressers
right on brother
Que Pasa lil sista

rock and roll album covers
Simon and Garfunkel poetics
Go Go Boots kickin
FM radio psychedelics

Midnight Confessions
emphatically blared
from the cafeteria jukebox
Civil Rights, Earth Day
and righteous
anti war activism

tribes of hoods, Ra’s,
jocks, artistes and tie dye hippies
everything is groovy
lets get a sandwich at Ernie’s

first carnal explorations
Moody Blue Tuesday trysts
man could she speak German
boy do I dig her dress

we did hard time together
at split session detention centers
ate chocolate chip cookies
cracked up to Mr. Thomas’s
Ides of March tragedy

took first tokes and
sips of Boones Farm
we partied hard
and did no harm

admired academic brainiacs
and the civic commitment
of student govie reps
shut down the gubmint
was never a threat 

basketball rumbles
Bulldog football
**** Ludwig soccer teams
nimble cheerleaders

leggy majorettes
kick *** marching band fanfares
compelling masquer presentments
Park Avenue wayfarers

they were
crew mates
on The Soul Boat
rode shotgun
to Midnight Rambler
Doobie Concerts

cruised hard in
the Root Hog
Rat Raced Louie
in tiny white Pintos

we booked
many a mile
with our lost
friends

on the road to
this evening

authoring
volumes of
fabled odysseys
and fantastic
recollections

their stories
are our stories
telling our stories
keeps them alive

some may say
gone too soon
but the measure of
a well lived life
is not counted
in days, nor
accomplishments

but how one has loved
and how much one was loved

quietly there
always with us
forever to be
a wholesome
part of us

as the brothers
from Cooley High
would say

lets tip a sip
for the brothers
and sisters who
ain’t here….

God bless
Godspeed
enjoy the evening
vaya con dios mis amigos

Music Selection:
Pat Metheny
Mas Alla


RHS 74
Class Reunion
Elks Club
Rutherford
11/29/14
Could be I’m on a mission:
Convince the entire world
I am the World's Greatest Living
English Language poet;
Of course, genius such as mine
Goes generally unrecognized until
The posthumous crowd weighs in.
And yet, wouldn’t it be nice?

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Yes, wouldn’t it be nice?
(The Nobel Prize,
Tribute at the Kennedy Center,
A MacArthur Grant,
The Presidential Medal of Honor,
Reverent BJs from hipster groupies . . .
The Poet Laureate in his vicarage,
Enjoying my sweet twilight celebrity.)

(Cue “Guys & Dolls” soundtrack: “What's in the daily news?
I'll tell you what's in the daily news.”)
23: Beheaded at Nigerian Election Rally!
Amanda Knox Gets Away with ****** Again in Italy!
Kung Pow: Silicon Valley Penisocracy Crushes Ellen Pao
German Crash Dummy Co-pilot Flies Jet into the Alps!
Hilary’s Emails Are *****!
Sierra Leone Ebola Lockdown!
Iran: Kooks with Nukes!
Sri Lankan President’s Brother Dies from Ax Wounds!
Saudi Diplomats Evacuate Yemen!
Stampede at Hindu Bathing Ritual, Bangladesh Kills at Least 10!
Simply put:  THE WORLD IS IN A STATE OF ****.

Perhaps it’s time we turn again.
Seek solace in poetry—
“Yeah, chemistry,” insists my Sky Masterson,
My “Guys & Dolls” alter ago.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
All poets are gamblers & moonshiners.
We polish our chemical craft,
Sweet-talking the distillation apparatus,
Getting us, getting at linguistic essence.
Cunning linguists are we.
(Colonel Angus, are you back?)
Oyez! Oyez! The gavel raps:
“The Curious Case of Sam Hayakawa.”
We open this hearing to determine
Whether or not S.I. Hayakawa—guilty of
Numerous crimes against humanity & other
Professional Neo-Fascist “entrechats.”--
Whether or not he merits a kinder, gentler
Wikipedia BIO.
(Wikipedia ( i/ˌwɪkɨˈpiːdiə/ or  i/ˌwɪkiˈpiːdiə/ WIK-i-***-dee-ə) Wikipedia)
We open this forum, focusing on his
Courageous stand against the
SDS & Black Panthers, part of
An unlikely coalition: The Worker-Student Alliance
& It’s rival, Joe Hill Caucuses.
Da Name of the Place:
(“I like it like that!” Hot Chelle Rae-“I Like It Like That” lyrics| Metro Lyrics www.metrolyrics.com Lyrics to 'I Like It Like That' by Hot Chelle Rae. “Let's get it on, yeah, y'all can come along/Everybody drinks on me, buy out the bar /Just to feel like I'm.”)
The name of the place: San Francisco State,
1968-69, the longest student strike in U.S. history,
Led successfully to the creation of
Black & Other Ethnic studies programs
On campuses across the country,
And, one could argue,
Gave the green light to
Osama Hussein Obama,
Our first Uncle Tom President.
But I digress.

ACTING SFSU President, Dr. Hayakawa—
Perpetual audition, the pressure on,
Feisty, independent-minded & combative,
Screaming at that skeevy student mob:
(Skeevy as in “He bought the thing from
Some skeevy dude in an alley.")
Declaring “A State of Emergency,”
Calling in the SFPD, whose
Inexplicable slogan says”
“Oro en Paz,
Fierro en Guerra.”
Archaic Spanish for
Gold in peace,
Iron in war, by the by,
For you holdouts,
Those of you who still
Think the “English First Movement”
Breathes life still.
I’ve got more news for you:
That crusade died long ago,
Locked up, dark & shuttered,
Bank Repo thugs, their thick
Neck muscles flexing from side to side,
Sashaying across the parking lot,
Like John Wayne on steroids,
Right up to the front door.)
The SFPD: San Francisco city fuzz,
(As they were known at the time) &
The California National Guard, as well,
Obstreperously, generously catered by
Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan,
(Early stage, Alzheimer’s at the time.
But still very much “The Gypper,”
Still chipper in Sacramento.)
Ronnie--keenly interested in
The Eureka State’s congressional clout,
Lassoes a seat in the U.S. House of Lords:
AKA: The U.S. Senate, SPQR.
It’s still hard . . .

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Still hard to believe that California was once
Rock solid in the clutches of the GOP,
Gripped tightly in the Party’s
Desperate talons. But the grip slipped,
Slipped in the slip-sliding 1970s.
It got harder and harder . . .

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Harder and harder to remind
Leroy & the rest of his ebony posse,
That it was Abraham Lincoln—
“The Great Emancipator” himself—who was,
Our first Republican President.
The Emancipation Proclamation:
That toothless rhetorical flourish,
Based solely on Abe’s
Constitutional authority as
Commander-in-Chief,
Not on a law passed by Congress.
It was just Abe blowing smoke
Up their ***** again,
Just an egalitarian blast from
His Old Kentucky past,
A youth spent splitting rails,
Busting his *** just like
Any plantation ******,
A stark plebeian commonality,
Too deeply etched to be ignored.
Poor Abraham Lincoln:
Probably a **** Creek crypto-Jew,
Neutered by the opposition:
His very own Republican majority Congress,
Another example of the GOP
Shooting off its own foot, right up there
With Mitt Romney’s "47 percent of the people,”
The rhetorical gaffe which cost him his
Second & final shot at the White House.
But I digress.

Senator Sam S.I. Samuel Hayakawa:
That inscrutable Asian fixer, is now U.S. Senator,
Republican, California, 1976-83
Pulpit-bullying his Senate colleagues,
Fiercely opposed to transfer of the
Panama Canal & Panama Canal Zone to
Panama: a diplomatic no-brainer; Duh?
Their freaking name is on both of them.
Senator Sam, obstinate & blustering:
"We should keep the Panama Canal.
After all, we stole it fair and square.”
And Hayakawa, later the driving impetus
Behind the Far Right “English Only” movement.
His co-founding an "Official English"
Advocacy group, U.S. English;
Their party line summarizes their belief:
“The passage of English as the official language will help to expand opportunities for immigrants to learn and speak English, the single greatest empowering tool that immigrants must have to succeed."
That’s how they sold it, anyway.
In sooth: just old-fashioned nativist
Anti-immigration hysteria.

Hayakawa: always the high achiever.
Hayakawa: The Great Assimilator,
Preaching his xenophobic Gospel:
“Immigration Must Be Reduced!”
Aryan rhetoric, of course,
A bi-product of radical authoritarian nationalism,
A movement with deep American roots.
Senator Sam: a Japanese-Canadian-American,
Always tried too hard to fit in.
Sam, comfortable in Chicago during WWII,
Not personally subject to confinement,
Advocated that Japanese-Americans
Submit to FDR’s 1942, Executive Order 9066.
“Time in camp, will eventually work to Japanese advantage."
Later, during the Congressional debate over
The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 . . .
(Passed the House on September 17, 1987 (243–141)
Passed the Senate on April 20, 1988 (69–27, in lieu of S. 1009)
Reported by the joint conference committee on July 26, 1988,
Agreed to by the Senate on July 27, 1988 (voice vote) and
By the House on August 4, 1988 (257–156,
Signed into law by President Ronald Reagan 8/10/88.
He opposed $reparations for WWII internment:
“Japanese-Americans should not
Be paid for fulfilling their obligations."
Some guys, I guess, would say, or
Do anything for Bohemia Club membership.
Plagued by night terrors, nonetheless,
His Manzanar nightmares, his vivid
Imaginary experience at other Japanese
Internment Sites: Tule Lake & Camp Rohwer.
Stalag (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtalak])
Stalags, infamous still,
“Stalags ‘R Us,”
Still palpable memories for
Issei ("first generation")
& Nisei ("second generation").
See: 323 U.S. 214. Korematsu v. United States
(No. 22: Argued: October 11, 12, 1944.
Decided: December 18, 1944.140 F.2d 289.
The opinion, written by Hugo Black,
Chief Justice Harlan Stone, Presiding.)

Hayakawa: a strange duck, of course,
But we mustn’t ignore his strong credentials,
And I’d like to disabuse anyone here
Of the notion that it was anything
Other than his academic record
That got his case to this Forum.
Oyez! Oyez! The gavel raps:
“The Curious Case of Sam Hayakawa.”
So begins this fractured Pardoner’s Tale,
This petition for forgiveness,
The Capo di Tutti Capi,
Presiding: the original Italian mafioso,
His Eminence--the Vicar of Jesus Christ,
The Supreme Pontiff
Pope Paparazzi of Rome!
Roma: the only venue large enough to
Dispense dispensation of this magnitude.

Hayakawa: everyone says his C.V. is “impeccable.”
But did anyone ever freaking Google it?
Just where did Professor Sam go to school?
Undergrad? The University of Manitoba,
Truly, by any Third World Standard
A great bastion of intellectual rigor;
Grad school? McGill and U Wisconsin-Madison.
He was a Canadian by birth,
His academic discipline was Semantics.
(As in “That’s just semantics,”
That all-purpose rejoinder in any argument.)
Professor Hayakawa, The Semanticist,
He taught us: “All thought is sub-vocal speech.”

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Hmmm? We think in words.
The medium of thought is language.
If you grok this for the first time,
Let’s stop to celebrate our enlightenment,
With a cultural nod of respect,
We salute our Islamic brethren.
Radical Islam: the new bogeyman,
Responsible for keeping lights on in Alexandria,
Paying the defense & intelligence bills,
Sustaining that sinister
Military-Industrial complex
Ike warned us about.
Hang in there, Mustafa, old buddy.
Like the Cold War, this insanity
Will eventually blow over.
Orwell’s Oceania will reshuffle
Its deck of global grab-***, and a
New enemy will suddenly appear.
Big Brother, as always,
In the full-control mode,
Simply put: on top of the situation.
So Hurrah!
Allāhu Akbar. “God is Great!
The Takbīr (the term for the
Arabic phrase: usually translated as
"God is [the] greatest.")

“All thought is sub-vocal speech.”
What a simple, yet profound insight!
Just a short hop, skip & jump to the
Realization that, perhaps, the clarity
& Power of our minds can be groomed,
Improved upon by mastery of—
In Sam’s case, anyway--the English Language.
Was this, perhaps, the germ of U.S. English,
The political lobbying organization
He co-founded, dedicated to making
English, the official language of the United States.
Hayakawa: a wooly conservative of his own design;
No wonder Governor Reagan loved him.

Dr. S.I. Hayakawa, a colorful and polarizing
Figure in California politics during the 1960s and 70s.
Can we forgive his daily afternoon naps.
Asleep on the floor of the U.S. Senate,
Leaving California so pathetically,
So ostensibly under-represented.
Senator Sam’s comatose presence at
Washington-on Potomac; the
District of Columbia.
A long time ago,
In a distant galaxy . . .
Far, far away.

TEAR GAS.
Alas, long before he got to Washington,
Long before ever setting foot off campus,
He called for tear gas to
Disperse those pesky college kids.
I repeat myself for emphasis:
He authorized the use of tear gas at SF State.
Tear gas: a lachrymatory agent?
Actually, a potentially lethal
Chemical agent . . .
(Yeah, Chemistry!
To wit: Sgt. Sara Brown,
Referencing “Guys & Dolls” again.)
Outlawed for use during wartime,
Banned in international warfare
Under both the 1925 Geneva Protocol; & the
Chemical Weapons Convention;
“Tear gas:  a weapon of war against
The people. We believe that
Tear gas remains a chemical weapon
Whether used on a battlefield, or city streets.”

Thus, history will be your judge,
You unleashed tear gas on college kids,
So I wouldn’t expect a rep makeover
Any time soon, Ichiye-san, my ichiban friend.
Mateuš Conrad May 2016
only today i came across what interested Heidegger
after writing being and time, a selection
of essays, revealing that he came to be interested
in language - not knowing this, by mere study
of the introduction some things became apparent -
being quiet democratic in my reading it's a shame
i don't have the academic leisurely pace of becoming
a Heidegger specialist - it's the almost damnable
pulling-apart having to cite many influences and not
focusing on one, but since i don't have academic
leisure, the summary in the introduction
by jeffrey powell (editor) of the book heidegger
and language
will just have to do: apropos this
being an antidote to those bemoaning that we only
write about reading books, carefully choreographic
our lives for mints and espressos and ammoniac
(inhalants in a boxing ring nearing a knock-out) -
hide pretty bird, hide, hide pretty pretty bird
first your song inside a cage, then the cage inside
the heart, and thus the song with the cage,
silenced inside the cage, raging mad inside the heart.
well, the antidote is that i already have some ideas,
and reading the essays contained in this book would
put me off what i was intending to write about,
so, in summary, read the major work, then read introductions
of critical books from those studying the subject,
invent an original approach from that, and elsewhere.
before i venture into the whole affair of having to
reread certain passages from the introduction as to
guide me in this Bermuda Delta i what to do a little
sidewinder interlude:
in chemistry there are two major bonds (for the purpose
of what i'm intending, let us just assume that
we're only talking about π and σ bonds) -
and while psychology dehumanises man to strict
theories without clear proofs to a universal standard,
i want to do what will come later regarding Heidegger's
take on language, for me there's no clear philosophical
vocabulary to be used - i'm not into orthodoxy and
rigidity which says

                piquant sun strokes against
                the bargains of spring's last
                hope for a kept bazaar
                to bloom to then deflower
                petals from trees fall to earth
                like glasses, the tree stands
                as a reflection of shattered glass
                the petals remain the tree intact
                worn at the Royal Ascot
                or in a woman's hair.

obviously something like this is a poem - what i mean,
however, concerning what's identifiable as philosophy is
to me the following:  
                                        blah = monotone x algebraic
                                                    for­ non-differential
                                                    purposes, just filling up
                                                    the page

            blah blah blah blah blah blah subjectivity blah blah blah blah blah blah essentially blah blah blah blah blah blah in-itself blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah thing-external v. thing-internalised blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah metaphysics blah etc.
                      
                          and so on and so forth, a fixation on using a certain vocabulary to be equivalent or justification to be "apparently" talking philosophy... yet still no gain from the words of grammatical categorisation... for me? too many propositions, the basis of what the academic environment deems to be "pure" verbiage, or none (akin Wittgenstein) - that famous quote about a lion and having tea on Tuesday... or as Buddha would say: said so to shatter thus the fear of ketamine thoughtlessness;

but that's beside the point, i want to return to
how any chemist might treat psychology as a science,
keep it up to date, given that psychology likes
to shove its nose in everyday activities for a strict
expression of equivalent rubric that mathematics already
possesses and shoves into a child's brain to make
the child become accustomed to symbol encoding;
so π and σ bonds, let's say between two carbons atoms...
but in psychology we don't have the luxury of
many alternative examples...
me and language: to write in terms of optics,
to encode images rather than sounds,
language as optometry rather than a hearing-aid...
so what "elements" do we have in psychology,
essentially what defines consciousness, its sub-plot
and its unfamiliar territory - the using the dusty
Freudian units, we know the concept of the superman
(superman was a bad bad boy) from Nietzsche
evolved into the super mm hmm, and we know
there are two other units, mm hmm and the id /
it or that? it is for me, that is for scalpel for the analyst,
the prober, unlucky for the person who took to
objectifying himself, but better than being objectified -
still, remember i'm working with language in terms
of optics rather than phonetics - enough organic chemistry
diagrams and you will see that the bonding between
mm hmm, the super mm hmm and the gemini id
(one the patient, the second the analyst) trapped inside
an electron cloud of bio-electric processes is rigid and
stable due to the opposite of π and σ,
i chose the optic route using the bonds δ and ψ -
symbolically δ is the mathematical term for sum -
summation, the total of - currently i have no clue about
the significance of ψ just yet, but ψ is a symbol of
psychology like caduceus is the symbol of medicine;
a brief expansion on the natures of the bonds,
quack-science δ bonds being all alike meaning uniform
meaning holding every aspect uniformly, meaning
that a δ bond is of the same nature between mm hmm
and super mm hmm in a petri dish within the
solvent of the conscious sub-plot, likewise other variations
δ bonds are uniform bonds, i.e. ensuring one detail
is related to the other, and so to others.
ψ bonds, not much expansion here as promising detail,
asthma the highest research of breath, and all
major theoretical squeezing through the Suez -
depending on the measure of breaths, we can depend
on the internal things - but never so much Pamplona encierro
cleaning-up to do theorising an affirmative sound
like mm hmm, or other affirmative synonyms -
if it were can *****, it would be mince rather than
a clean dissection - mince meat, should mm hmm be
not an *****, let alone a body. so many attachments
to mm hmm these days, it should be attached to zoological
studies than activities of breathing: theory as a cage,
one after the over, eventually not even cages but
the caged animal turning into matryoshka doll -
Kant doesn't venture into the dynamic of his thing-in-itself
represented by the matryoshka as ad continuum -
maybe he does, but to me here merely pinpoints it,
coins the phrase noumenon and ensures the thing
is opened, god or nothing is put in it, the thing is
closed, locked and the key to unlocking it is thrown
away and never found (i'll mention a short process of
his argument some other time, most notably his
three impossibilities concerning proving the existence
of god: ontological, physico-theological and cosmological).
yes, i know, when reading these ****** books
i have to paint the arguments, i need to simplify
them, a poet reading a philosophy has to paint
the words - the best poetic technique applicable to
understanding philosophical books is imagery,
not as a technique of for the purpose of writing my own,
but as a way to paint what was written by some boffin -
precursor to understanding the three impossibilities
of proof, i find it strange that such proof is necessary,
what would you do with it? prove it once on
paper, or in your head, show it to everyone and then
slowly everyone is able, then the so called "man in
the sky" - it seems strange that scientific positivism
of the Enlightenment supposed such a proof, the proof
is more implausible than the existence - Bertrand...
just smoke your pipe and sit in the easy-chair talking
******* with Wittgenstein... more on that later.
i promised quotes from the above mentioned book
(heidegger and language)...

           das wort kommt zur sprache,
             das seyn bring sich zum wort.


working from phenomenology, to later reject it,
thus precipitating the school of deconstruction-ism,
and with Heidegger we do get to atomic elements
from words, from compounds, thank god there are
no sub-atomic ventures with language, quiet impossible
to de-construct language beyond this point,
let's face it, if you go as far as:
'as preparatory for raising the question of being...
language is one of three constituent moments in
the analysis of the being of the da in dasein (being there)'
furthered by equal atom bombardment replacing
the un-compounded sein (verb, be) with seyn (conjunction /
noun, being) - this is modern physics to my understanding,
i'm not particularly interested what he's saying,
i'm interested in painting what he's saying -
i'll spare you the details of what philosophical systematisation
is actually involved in: restricted vocabulary -
a certain limit is allowed, rigid meanings are involved,
rigidity of drilling in of non-deviation, philosophical
systems are not dishonest in that they are consistent with
a limited vocabulary - i will spare you the torture of
seeing one ball being juggled - the shrapnel of the English
language makes it even more distracting to understand,
as with the above, another e.g.?
'every saying of beyng is held in words and meanings
which are understandable in the view of everyday
references of beings, and are exclusively thought in
that view, but which as expressions of beyng,
are misunderstood...' of course i could be cherry picking
Heidegger like a Jehovah's witness cherry picking
the bible, but i'm not interested in what he's saying,
merely painting you the picture, to scale then:

books                      -              celestial objects
chapters                 -               cycles of celestial objects
paragraphs            -               prime features of
                                                 celestial objects
                                                 (e.g. Jupiter's red eye,
                                                  Saturn's ring,
                                                  Earth's oceans
                                                  and continents)
sentences                 -              
words                       -
syllables                   -
letters                        -             atoms / elements  
                                           ah, it was going oh so well,
i think i started too big, and went into too small,
which made visualising sentences and words and syllables
hard to compare what could fit between
Australia and and atoms of RuXe - by chance ruxe is
an actual word, no as stated ruthenium and xenon,
although that too, ruxir (ruxo, ruxin, ruxido) in Galician
meaning to roar.
Colt Jul 2013
for Those who eat ramen by choice, or not.*

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by disillusionment,
lacking egotistical sold, dragging themselves through the hip streets at dawn
looking for a socially self-aggrandizing fix.
Poets, as they sit in desks and discuss discourse
about discourse about discourse about discourse,
who fear that thinking itself was buried with Vonnegut,
who are lost in forests of brick walls,
inviting, because they block the wind of dying fall,
who swim in cesspools filled with academic sewage, yearning for freedom,
for truth, as they always have,
mining their minds for images, and searching for words to describe
-a reality which is virtual at its core and each act, another chore./
-a scene of life which reflects all that is poignant and sacred.
Poets seek musicians while musicians seek poets.
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly

These poets who search aimlessly for the feeling of feeling,
who are overwhelmed with meaning to the point where meaning
has no meaning in itself.
Who claim this poem as their own and continuously write themselves into it.
It is those who suffer in truth that live the poetic.
Those who sit in front of space heaters eating peanut butter sandwiches in winter,
who sweat unknowingly in summer, comforted in each’s odor.
Those who open Macbooks while squatting in empty flats.
Signing up, logging in and zoning out, forever disengaged.
Those who type prophecy on keypads and let keyboards gather dust-
stratification, signs of long nights spent in century-old homes still not renovated,
ceilings sinking at the sides while those above pogo to punk rock long dead,
or grind genitals to old soul, simulating all that is sensual.
Those who play archaeologist to their own layers of makeup, grimed on the sink.
Those who share their food with the roaches and the mooches who all have keys,
who use the books as shelves to hold ceramic mugs, stained with a single drip-drop,
who, with arms crossed, watch bands in basements play noise.
Those who replaced their nu-metal records with folk but kept the unkempt beards.
Those who drink stale beer on stranger’s rooftops.
Those who live with bags under eyes, themselves asleep, lacking a body,
sleeping naked together to stay warm,
sleeping naked together to stay sane,
sleeping naked together to stay touched.

Those who leave coffee in unplugged automatic pots, decaying rapidly.
Those who eat pizza for breakfast, cold or microwaved, as an act of ultimate indulgence.
Those who prance about in un-matching socks
from hardwood floors to vinyl floors to tile floors, all under the same popcorn ceiling,
dancing to the sound of rhythmic silence.
Those who fight with lovers about acts, but never once mention the act of love itself.
Those who don flannel plaid in springtime color, constructing Williamsburg,
who consider gentrification a new form of landed gentry,
who live in poverty as if it were a novelty,
capitalist martyrs sacrificing employment to hide being non-hirable,
who shop in online surplus department stores for unique vintage.
Those who, who, who hoot like the owls framed on their walls, eyes wide but beaks small.
Those who are oppressed by nonexistent kings ruling in imaginary suits.
Those who crave something new, not tired-as the form of this very poem-
something which is not-yet auto-tuned.
Those who, faux-hawked and shredded, rock and bop to Bowie doing Lou
on Sunday Morning from Station to Station shooting ******,
who walk swiftly with denim skin on their legs and refuse socks.
Those who, in their rightest mind, are the wrongest-minded.
Those who can reject privilege only because they are privileged,
who, in their uniform whiteness, denounce racism,
who, in their uniform straightness, claim immune to homophobia
who, with their ***** ***** in a row, claim to be feminists.

And those who search for revolution in a time when rebellion is conformity.
Listening to the  pounding sound of blog-protesters typing n o w.
who, in claiming to accept, don’t accept the unaccepting,
who got veggies tattooed on their sides while snapping bacon in their teeth,
who ironically infiltrated asylums and performed madness until the shocks came
and they were maddened, for good, eaten alive by volts resounding
ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Who sleep naked together to be together but end up being alone,
exchanges from lips that move in pretentious drone,
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly.
When the abnormal is normal and the whole structure is inverted and
heaven is here and flames under the soil are no longer hell burning for soles of the
Converse, Adidas, and Nike sneakers on the bicycle pedals of poets who ride at night,
listening to the sound of owls that question:
who?
whoo?
whooo?
Kemy Sep 2018
*** with me is so amazing      
Hey, I’m just Paraphrasing      
However, I was listening to the artist, Rihanna singing this song      
As the song kept plugging along      
Not meaning to come on too strong      
With respect do not get me wrong      
I’ve often wondered, is *** of the body more powerful than *** of the mind      
And no, I do not have a feminist ax to grind      
I will choose my words on this topic and remain kind      
Well, at best that I can      
From my perspective related to this issue between woman and man      
Making love to the female body its ******, it’s pleasurable, and certainly it’s thrilling      
But once nature’s release has been prefilled      
The mind needs a dose of endorphins to be instilled      
Are you still with me on that concept      
I’m speaking for me who needs the combined effect
      
*** WITH ME IS SO AMAZING
With someone capable of emotional grazing      
Blind dates, we talk about our passions or dreams      
Clothes still on, however, he gets what you mean      
Do we take this night one step farther      
We slept together      
Heated and passionate under silk covers, yet, he knew nothing about the weather      
We were definitely birds of a different feather      
His arms were not even that strong      
His brain got duller as the night prolonged
      
*** WITH ME IS SO AMAZING
Sometimes is not all about trailblazing      
Computer Dating      
Keyboard translating      
Breathless words of debate      
Soulful elate      
No physical contact to rate      
But wait      
You can type on computer keys from sunrise to sunset      
If you cannot be bipartisan with words than you can’t articulate      
A break to give since we’ve just met      
Between you and me it’s now mental Russian Roulette      
Spinning my mind landing on red      
Keep your mouth closed as you lay in my bed      
Enticing words danced across my screen      
Pulling me in was all a squandered dream      
We’ll never again experience emotions under the covers      
****** of no analytical bonding from a distance lover      
Once again, a horse of another color 
     
*** WITH ME IS SO AMAZING
In the midst of me praising you as our eyes are glazing      
One night stands      
First of all, you’re taking your life into your own hands      
No commands        
Sedated and scented juices mingling of its passion galore      
Lust filled desires and so much more      
No demands      
Talking on the go, and making no sense, well I be ****      
What a waste of a slam bam and thank you ma’am      
Mental *** on the brain I know it may sound insane      
But my God, it makes me rain      
Intellectual simulations have always been such a turn on      
Take me to task and then I’m far gone      
Rainbow coalitions      
I do not have any petitions      
Never in favor of anyone’s competitions      
Just me, my words, and I      
Reaching for that academic all time high      
Coming at you as I’m ******* with you      
The next morning, I would have told you a thing or two      
Something old or maybe something new      
It all depends on if I’ve pitied a fool      
Not my game, not in my arms      
Not fooled by undercover charms      
Capture my mind until the ringing of my alarm      
Wow, did we really just talk all night long      
Arms were very strong, your mind kept me warm while we discussed society’s storms      
One night stands      
Never with an intelligent man      
He needs a briefcase or a blueprint plan      
He could execute with his own mind      
On his own time      
Using his own dime      
Then he’s ready for my mind      
No prophylactics needed      
Once you gyrate my mind you’ve succeeded      
Feeding me words from the depths of your cerebral cortex to the powers that be      
Lightening my mind up like a Christmas tree      
Now you got me down on my knees      
Thanking you, as I please      
Was it good for you as it was for me
      
*** WITH ME IS SO AMAZING
Mind now resting in a dreamy phase, body has now been thoroughly praised      
Here comes the aftermath of sweet melodies to conversations      
Moaning out all kinds of pronunciations      
Affirmations      
Aspirations      
French words with exclamations      
Giving me perceptual palpitations      
From the knowledge of head ministrations      
Climbing the psychological throne once again      
While whispering words in my ear as my mind adheres      
Once mental energy has been locked in      
Slow dancing, and then a thrusting rush as we begin      
Words of revelations      
Taking my mind beyond the constellations      
To the height of my glorious crown      
I’ve created, rested, and now the essence of my intellect is winding down      
Mental capacity has once again been meticulously interrogated      
Hearts of the minds now segregated  
    
*** WITH ME IS SO AMAZING
Sweet words whispered to your male ego, minds blazing        
Perceptual notations moving inside of me      
Bending me over, as you lick up and down my womanly creed      
A passionate quick kiss as your mind sinks into my intellectual abyss      
From my mind to your fathom lips      
Seductively gyrating my hips      
Raising the nature of your hard ****      
Love and Hugs        
Soft tongue bathing your body, massage oil, and caressing rubs
Innovation comes out of great human ingenuity and very personal passions.

Megan Smith
Lucas William Dec 2018
Everything fell on wednesday
24 books, 7k words, 2 exams.
My phone starts buzzing at 4am.
I shut off the alarm and roll out of bed.
This report wasn't going to write itself
Mere hours to jot down thousands and thousands of letters and make it something passing.
After three libraries and 8 of the most stressful hours of my life I finished it on time.
"What takes these mortals months I made in one morning." I thought to myself, the master procrastinator.

I still had 2 exams to get through.
No appetite food but an extreme hunger to not be a failure
Exam one, finished, killed it.
I had a few hours until my next exam. A great time to go to the cafeteria
Or.. I could sell some blood to fund my **** addiction...
20 minutes later I am donating blood on a less than empty stomach with my laptop out studyig for my exam.
The *****, toothless man next to me was laughing at the sight of a lap top in the blood clinic.
I facetiously grinned back, thinking,
dont become him
keep ******* studying
I studied my *** off, and i was able to finish the exam before the others.

Everything fell on wednesday
Except me.
an0nym0us Feb 2019
Math is witnessed at everything
It is behind infinite things
Capable of solving problems
From simple operations to Complicated theorems.

Math possess a long history...
Once taught by Physiologoi
Improved by history's Philosophers
Now being indoctrinated by Teachers.

Heart of all academic disciplines,
Bearer of intricate formulas,
The key behind all creation
Knowledge passed through generations.

From past mathematicians
To future problem solvers
Math changed through millennia
And so its problems and solutions.

Math can never be removed
It helped the world to improve
All society won't be like this to date
Math helped us all the way.
kattrinsart Nov 2018
The challenges of writing
That are coming to mind
Scale across all subjects
I think that you will find

How to write in sentences
That make sense to me
That make sense to others
With grammar and structurally

I sometime worry about content
If I don’t know the topic well
Because the most important thing
Is not to fail

But then I struggle with time
The little that I know
I make myself so busy
Rushing to and fro

Then I get tired
I run out of steam
I feel like I'm trying
To row up stream

If you write a lot
I know you understand
Whether creative or academic
I'm here to lend a hand

A good method to follow
Is free writing from the mind
Give yourself a few minutes
And see what you find

Write down a few notes
In a method that works for you
You will then see what you know
Its really easy to do

Document your thoughts
That are relevant in their way
Each bit of information
Could be useful in future days

If a structure is what you need
And how you prefer to think
In academic writing remember
Point, evidence, explain and link

In both academic and creative
Being aware is key
Don’t repeat what you have written
Plan carefully

Repetition isn’t good
Unless you link it in
Although creativity allows some leeway
With poetry and creative writing

The best way of
Avoiding all this trouble
Is making sure you plan well
And check it double
Maisha Mar 2013
Dear Charlie,
I assume you may not know me, but I know you. Well, how else could I not know you when your story has been adapted into a book and a movie? You may not recognize the way you can reach me back, because you’re fictional. But I’d like to think you’re real, and that’s good enough for me.
I’ve been reading your letters, just like any other kids my age and some adults who are still intrigued by young adult fiction. You cried a lot for a boy. You were not ashamed of it, too, even when you were with your friends, Patrick and Sam. They seemed to be really nice people, and I learnt that what they did didn’t define them. The fact that they like to smoke and drink doesn’t make them bad people. I like that. And as always, eventually, people stop doing things but their personality stays strong. Who you are comes from inside.
Anyway, yes, you cried a lot for a boy. You were lucky to have friends that appreciate your tears. Sometimes, they would join you, but in cheers. You cheered along, too, but they weren’t yelps or shouts of joy but whimpers of happiness. Crying may seem weak and vulnerable, but I think you didn’t need to stop.
I would like to tell you a story, if I may. Well, how would you reply to my request of patience and lending both of your ears when you’re only inside our minds? However, Charlie, if you were ever alive, I think you would be a good listener. This reminds me of one of the lines in your letter, stating that you’re “a wallflower”. Anyway, now, let’s get to my story.
In a few months, I will be packing my bags then depart to your country, the United States. A few months ago, I was tested whether or not I was eligible to live in your country and represent my nation. I passed. Though I thought that my interview kind of ******, I still passed. After being declared that I was qualified to go to the U. S., I was given a 27-page form I needed to fill. And so I did. The form consisted of student profile, student questionnaire, student’s letter to host family, parents questionnaire, interviewer’s report, medical records, academic records, a photo album, and a contract. I don’t know why, but this form seemed to weigh down on me, even though it shouldn’t feel tiring at all. I had the pleasure of writing my letter to my future host family, because I love writing, but somehow, I just didn’t like dealing with the official stuffs. But gradually, I put up with it and ended my misery.
Today, I gave the form to my counsellor. I was ready to feel satisfied. I was so ready because I had been feeling very ******* of late, and my rage peaked when my mom forgot to print the photos I needed for the photo album for my future host family to see. My anger still haven’t soothed down, though. Which means I am really mad. Little did I know, after all that ice cream of strolls between the school building to the administration to get my academic records and car rides from home to the doctor to clarify my medical records, topped by an icing of stress due to the ignorance in putting the photos together, there was a cherry on top. I had to print another copy of the same form, photocopy my passport photo, get my dad to sign my form, and if all that was not enough, my counsellor poured down a chocolate syrup into my wombs. I needed to refill my medical records which would only mean going back to the doctor for several more times. I don’t want to exaggerate by saying the hundredth time, because I am already tired.
Of course, all I did was put on my poker face for security, even though my mom yelled at me for not telling her sooner about the correct way to fill my medical records. To be honest, that is all I do. Put on a face of a clear expression of unclear emotion. I felt really stupid for not listening intently to my counsellor when we first met. I felt so stupid, I felt like I already wasted my opportunity. My opportunity to be myself to the fullest extent. My opportunity to feel what is unfelt. My opportunity to meet people I have not encountered. My first opportunity to really go.
But of course, that is not true. I just need to do what needs to be done and I’m all good. But I can’t help feeling like a failure. And I have been stifling more cries than I have ever been in my entire life. I wanted to cry when my brother left. All I did was covered my mouth with the bottom tip of my t-shirt and tried to catch myself when I fell. This time, I wanted to cry because I had never been so ignorant in following instructions. I don’t just tell myself this everyday, I am fully aware that I am observant. I see things people don’t. I feel things that people would dismiss. I listen to unspoken thoughts rather than what has been stated. I really like this part of myself. I feel like this is something that makes me me, and when I don’t do well on something simple like this, something has got to be wrong.
The first thing that came up to mind when I was faced with my mistakes was, “So this is my karma.”
I am a strong believer in karma, Charlie. I bet you know what it is. It’s the punishment you get after doing something bad. Nobody seems to know this, but I’m a bad person. I am. I have a bad habit of judging people; of collecting prejudices to make myself feel good; of being good even when I don’t want to; of not making the best of things; of lying, lying, and lying; of constantly hiding even when I have the chance to fully display myself out there; of being a burden to my parents and friends; of being vague about my faith; of not having a voice. I feel weak, but I won’t say I’m a weakling because I won’t make it become me, although all I want to do is to cry all the time because unlike you, I have no idea how to do that.
All I know right now is when I can feel there’s water in my eyes, I blink to dry them out. When my lips seem to turn upside down, I give them a rubdown so that they would look nice and pretty again. I don’t know how to cry, Charlie, I really don’t. I can already see myself next week at school, making an excuse to the toilet, or having lunch with friends and while having a good laugh I find myself crying, and I wouldn’t be able to distinguish my happiness and my melancholy. Neither would my friends.
I’m sorry for making it really long for you to read. I could just make it into several sentences, like, “Didn’t correctly fill out my form. Feeling like a failure. I don’t know how to express myself.” But knowing that you really like reading books as much as I do, I think you would appreciate my effort in writing my story as detailed as possible. I hope you enjoy it, too, no matter how miserable it seems when it really shouldn’t be. But then again, I wouldn’t be telling you a story.
During my inconsolable moment, I decided to make a list of things to remember when I’m an adult. In my mind, I wrote the first one down. I said to myself, “Remember the feeling of holding back.” I muttered the line aloud inside again and again, so that it would feel natural for me when I see someone in a situation like mine. As much as I hate that feeling, I need to be reminded so that others won’t be as miserable as I was. It seems pretty selfish of me, to see other people smile so that I can join them, but if you think again, it’s also for their own good.
The second one is to be sensitive, because it’s the only way you can understand anyone, especially your kids. I feel like people should not forget the fact that others of their kind is others of their kind. They’re not only their fellow citizens, they’re not only what they do for a living, they’re not doctors, or lawyers, or engineers, or archeologists. They are human. The basic form of every occupation. And they have feelings, just like we do. Sometimes we are blocked by the boundary of professionalism that we forget who they really are. There is not a day where we’re not divided based on jobs, religions, races, nationalities, and the list keeps going. But in the end, what we are is not based on those factions. We’re just mortals.
I would tell you more about the four other things I’ve listed, but I don’t want to keep you from doing what you’re supposed to do now. I think there are more things to be listed, too, when my days have moved on. But the four other things I’ve written down are, “Keep in mind Alesso’s quote, that you’re not gonna get any younger”, “Make ‘Listening to Sigur Rós’ a routine”, “Always eat your breakfast”, and “Remember the feeling of being a teenager, because most parents have already forgotten”. I thought that I would erase the last one because it is pretty similar to the second one, but I guess it has a different understanding. I’m sorry for keeping you from doing your job for awhile, whatever it is you are doing now. But I do hope you turn out well.
If you do reach the end, Charlie, now is the time that I thank you for reading this from the beginning to the end. I don’t get listened to much actually, so I think it is very kind of you for having finished reading every word. Anyway, I need to get busy printing my form again. I hope to recognize you in one of the souls I will be meeting one day.

Love always,
A friend
Graff1980 Jul 2015
You put garbage in you get garbage out
Health food fanatics know what I am talking about
McDonalds, Arby’s and all those Buffets
Sluggish citizens working Twelve to ten
And to cover up their poor nutrition
We soup up the brackish black brew
Killing ourselves with more caffeine till
We collapse

You put garbage in you get garbage out
Good teachers with years of experience
Know what I am talking about
The tweet, the face book
Are superficial connections
Binge watching brain-dead reality show people
Speed reading unverified Articles
Peer reviewed paper by academic writers
Don’t get the press the talking heads
With party lines and hateful sentiments get

You put garbage in you get garbage out
Any poet philosopher knows what I am talking about
Flashing screens switching scenes while twitching teens
Sit texting banal and ephemeral things
No grand dreams but to be normal
No expansion of the human potential
Just block and block of picket fence prisons
Dreams are limited to advertised fantasies
Lendon Partain Mar 2013
My world changed.
Now. I. am.
Dis- inherit.

More like the unwanted
guest,
in
a party for yourself.

That un wanted
is always
you.

Banners can say your name.
One thousand times.
Screaming.

Out of skyscrapers, bungee jumping
from space shuttles.

Saltating, from your inner
lung meat.
Banners, with names, can only spittle lies.

Now unwanted I wanna leave,
get out,
only 3 more miserly months
of a kingdom of intellectual
gods and tzars.
screaming my party name,
but I.
I.
gone.


I am sitting
While I'm grieving
and admitting in my seat
clenching to be let out
breaking cracking/gnashing teeth
left alone. all wanted
left to brain rot
but forced to sponge
learning what i want in
learning my ashcans full
i am done
I will. remain. despondent.
I wont apply my neurons
motor-sensory illusion
for math demagogues
what the ****
crust me over
cut my brain-case
destroy all brain
function and matter
grey dissolve to black
and white every *******
shade inside
cephalic
meat bowel

Lifeboats float back up to the top, after
re-inflated, I breathe air once again. My
retinas detect the light coming from
packets of waves emitting from the shore.
I float back up from the cold sea to the rock.
Alive.
This is about my last three months in college. Some of the absolute dumbest people I ever met finished college with me :/ Whats that say about me....

Saltating- Synonym Jumping
Sahaj Sabharwal Nov 2018
ACADEMIC TESTS
Oh these tests,
Superflous academic tests.
No time to prepare
For entrance tests.

Difficult to store
Vast concepts in mind,
Oh how to retain so much
Till marks given and paper signed.

Bewaring that,
The examiner is not blind,
And not our bydweller
That gives marks so kind.

All worried,
Smile crease no face.
Will we get through,
Or falter in this pace.

Parents worried about their carreer
They believe books are nifty,
Smartphones are carrier's barrier
With no sympathy.

Parent's and teacher's
Support and hope is essential,
In order to raise their potential.

                                       - Sahaj Sabharwal©
                                        -Pacca Danga ,
                                           Jammu
sahajsabharwal12345@gmail.com
+917780977469
#sahajsabharwal­12345 #poem #ACADEMIC #TESTS #jammu #India #poemindia #published #copyright
#poetry #writersofinstagram #wordporn #quoteoftheday #writersofig #quote #quotestagram #thoughts #qotd #instawriters #inspirationalquotes #poetsofinstagram #stories #igwriters #yourquote #wordswag #wordsofwisdom #writersofindia #writeaway #writer #poetrycommunity #poet #poem #igwritersclub #quotes #writing #poems #love #writerscommunity #bhfyp
sahajsabharwal©
By SAHAJ SABHARWAL
Procrastination?
What is that I've never heard of such a thing.
But maybe because I'm to busy procrastinating to hear it,
I am mike,
I am not a poet, a leader, a storyteller, or an academic,
I am a dreamer, a gamer, a man of many things,
I would rather let life pass me by and sit in my game,
Than to deal with the drama of reality.
It is not that I don't like reality,
It is that reality is too busy,
With school and work
Facebook and friends
Learning and imagining
Are they even one in the same
I love my games because it allows my mind to run wild
From building empires in Minecraft to taming creatures in Pokemon
Games are a way I can re envision my world
They allow kids to show their creative side something education removed long ago.
So I stand before you asking,
What is procrastination,
I'd rather play my game and imagine.
My life seems to pass by but in my one life span I have lived dozens of others.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
for Jennie in gratitude*

For days afterwards he was preoccupied by what he’d collected into himself from the gallery viewing. He could say it was just painting, but there was a variety of media present in the many surrounding images and artefacts. Certainly there were all kinds of objects: found and gathered, captured and brought into a frame, some filling transparent boxes on a window ledge or simply hung frameless on the wall; sand, fixed foam, paper sea-water stained, a beaten sheet of aluminium; a significant stone standing on a mantelpiece, strange warped pieces of metal with no clue to what they were or had been, a sketchbook with brooding pencilled drawings made fast and thick, filling the page, colour like an echo, and yes, paintings.
 
Three paintings had surprised him; they did not seem to fit until (and this was sometime later) their form and content, their working, had very gradually begun to make a sort of sense.  Possible interpretations – though tenuous – surreptitiously intervened. There were words scrawled across each canvas summoning the viewer into emotional space, a space where suggestions of marks and colour floated on a white surface. These scrawled words were like writing in seaside sand with a finger: the following bird and hiraeth. He couldn’t remember the third exactly. He had a feeling about it – a date or description. But he had forgotten. And this following bird? One of Coleridge’s birds of the Ancient Mariner perhaps? Hiraeth he knew was a difficult Welsh word similar to saudade. It meant variously longing, sometimes passionate (was longing ever not passionate?), a home-sickness, the physical pain of nostalgia. It was said that a well-loved location in conjunction with a point in time could cause such feelings. This small exhibition seemed full of longing, full of something beyond the place and the time and the variousness of colour and texture, of elements captured, collected and represented. And as the distance in time and memory from his experience of the show in a small provincial gallery increased, so did his own thoughts of and about the nature of longing become more acute.
 
He knew he was fortunate to have had the special experience of being alone with ‘the work’ just prior to the gallery opening. His partner was also showing and he had accompanied her as a friendly presence, someone to talk to when the throng of viewers might deplete. But he knew he was surplus to requirements as she’d also brought along a girlfriend making a short film on this emerging, soon to be successful artist. So he’d wandered into the adjoining spaces and without expectation had come upon this very different show: just the title Four Tides to guide him in and around the small white space in which the art work had been distributed. Even the striking miniature catalogue, solely photographs, no text, did little to betray the hand and eye that had brought together what was being shown. Beyond the artist’s name there were only faint traces – a phone number and an email address, no voluminous self-congratulatory CV, no list of previous exhibitions, awards or academic provenance. A light blue bicycle figured in some of her catalogue photographs and on her contact card. One photo in particular had caught the artist very distant, cycling along the curve of a beach. It was this photo that helped him to identify the location – because for twenty years he had passed across this meeting of land and water on a railway journey. This place she had chosen for the coming and going of four tides he had viewed from a train window. The aspect down the estuary guarded by mountains had been a highpoint of a six-hour journey he had once taken several times a year, occasionally and gratefully with his children for whom crossing the long, low wooden bridge across the estuary remained into their teens an adventure, always something telling.
 
He found himself wishing this work into a studio setting, the artist’s studio. It seemed too stark placed on white walls, above the stripped pine floor and the punctuation of reflective glass of two windows facing onto a wet street. Yes, a studio would be good because the pictures, the paintings, the assemblages might relate to what daily surrounded the artist and thus describe her. He had thought at first he was looking at the work of a young woman, perhaps mid-thirties at most. The self-curation was not wholly assured: it held a temporary nature. It was as if she hadn’t finished with the subject and or done with its experience. It was either on-going and promised more, or represented a stage she would put aside (but with love and affection) on her journey as an artist. She wouldn’t milk it for more than it was. And it was full of longing.
 
There was a heaviness, a weight, an inconclusiveness, an echo of reverence about what had been brought together ‘to show’. Had he thought about these aspects more closely, he would not have been so surprised to discovered the artist was closer to his own age, in her fifties. She in turn had been surprised by his attention, by his carefully written comment in her guest book. She seemed pleased to talk intimately and openly, to tell her story of the work. She didn’t need to do this because it was there in the room to be read. It was apparent; it was not oblique or difficult, but caught the viewer in a questioning loop. Was this estuary location somehow at the core of her longing-centred self?  She had admitted that, working in her home or studio, she would find herself facing westward and into the distance both in place and time?
 
On the following day he made time to write, to look through this artist’s window on a creative engagement with a place he was familiar. The experience of viewing her work had affected him. He was not sure yet whether it was the representation of the place or the artist’s engagement with it. In writing about it he might find out. It seemed so deeply personal. It was perhaps better not to know but to imagine. So he imagined her making the journey, possibly by train, finding a place to stay the night – a cheerful B & B - and cycling early in the morning across the long bridge to her previously chosen spot on the estuary: to catch the first of the tides. He already understood from his own experience how an artist can enter trance-like into an environment, absorb its particularness, respond to the uncertainty of its weather, feel surrounded by its elements and textures, and most of all be governed by the continuous and ever-complex play of light.
 
He knew all about longing for a place. For nearly twenty years a similar longing had grown and all but consumed him: his cottage on a mountain overlooking the sea. It had become a place where he had regularly faced up to his created and invented thoughts, his soon-to-be-music and more recently possible poetry and prose. He had done so in silence and solitude.
 
But now he was experiencing a different longing, a longing born from an intensity of love for a young woman, an intensity that circled him about. Her physical self had become a rich landscape to explore and celebrate in gaze, and stroke and caress. It seemed extraordinary that a single person could hold to herself such a habitat of wonder, a rich geography of desire to know and understand. For so many years his longing was bound to the memory of walking cliff paths and empty beaches, the hypnotic viewing of seascaped horizons and the persistent chaos of the sea and wild weather. But gradually this longing for a coming together of land, sea and sky had migrated to settle on a woman who graced his daily, hourly thoughts; who was able to touch and caress him as rain and wind and sun can act upon the body in ever-changing ways. So when he was apart from her it was with such a longing that he found himself weighed down, filled brimfull.
 
In writing, in attempting to consider longing as a something the creative spirit might address, he felt profoundly grateful to the artist on the light blue bicycle whose her observations and invention had kept open a door he felt was closing on him. She had faced her own longing by bringing it into form, and through form into colour and texture, and then into a very particular play: an arrangement of objects and images for the mind to engage with – or not. He dared to feel an affinity with this artist because, like his own work, it did not seem wholly confident. It contained flaws of a most subtle kind, flaws that lent it a conviction and strength that he warmed to. It had not been massaged into correctness. The images and the textures, the directness of it, flowed through him back and forward just like the tides she had come far to observe on just a single day. He remembered then, when looking closely at the unprotected pieces on the walls, how his hand had moved to just touch its surfaces in exactly the way he would bring his fingers close to the body of the woman he loved so much, adored beyond any poetry, and longed for with all his heart and mind.
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
Drinking *** to reminisce about fun times drinking *** and talking about dumb lines where a sociologist posed as an astronomer and took the moniker to heart claiming forbidden foolish nonsense of black holes and super novas and the Goddess that is Neptune. But he also forbade the odes of the old testament, he nicked the hold on my head and soul and feet until I couldn’t walk because I was too busy kicking my *** and licking my teeth with thoughts of dinner stolen from the solemn souls in the coral reefs – those that Neptune created and nurtured with nursing fingers and eyes that hid cruel truth from the water, the creatures that didn’t suffer the bite that God’s daughter took so long ago, but the flow of the current never ceases it never reaches the bleeding feet connecting repeatedly with the bottom that serves me to sit and think or **** about the gospel spilling from the hostel of the professor’s mouth. And I doubt the drought that lifted my spirits out of the well with the spout of Neptune’s *****. These days I’m on it with a sense of self-flagellation that only makes sense in the dimension of my imagination pondering the nation of the brotherhood of stars and heavenly bodies that weigh so heavy on Mars with the clingy core dragging desperate attention from divine inventions of intervention with rats and cradles. Neptune, who’s cradled in fables and left to such imaginations as those. Invention allows the suspension of disbelief and spite if one might rest in humility in face of such things as humanity where miracles are mistreated and under-recognized and falsely advertised as products of greedy eyes that lie in wait to shake the foundation and tune it to the stellar station or broadcast populated by the whispers of holy apparitions misconstrued as static.
Jacob is the heathen with reason to grasp his brother’s heel and deceive him. The treason to sit up to stand down to kiss the hem of the gown of whatever clown performs a pretty act while he’s in town. The frowns expound and expand for the man whose body spans the sand of the holy land.
Larry Potter Jul 2013
I was hungry enough to eat the **** end of a skunk.  I felt like gobbling the whole mound of concrete that is half an hour closer from becoming a part of my room.  Make that a quarter. I guess my tummy has had enough grumbling, like a seething network of volcanoes ready to devour Hawaii.  I am sure as exhausted as a zombie after a “battle of life and death” handling a plethora of carpentry tools which I have managed to rummage from our dismal basement.  I’m quite serious with the phrase “battle of life and death”.  I get to have this Obsessive Compulsive Syndrome which gulps a huge amount of my rhythm compelling me to put things in place especially in my chamber.  At times, a weltered pen could instigate an emotional havoc.  Or perhaps an inappropriate collaboration of curtain hues and mattresses would be ample to spin the color wheel concept out of my brain.  But now, my walls have done it.  Well, it was just a microscopic sight of a divine crevice, but how in the world could that escape my eyes?  Without a second thought, I approved an avid proposal from my subconscious – a full concrete room renovation.  And that’s how it brings me here, smothering the last square inch of the genius blueprint with this porridge of lime and clay, the hell with chemistry!  I have found out that my room has achieved the piquancy of a sizzling summer noon, thanks to the mist of dust and the precipitating drops of sweat that come tingling down my overheating body.  Ah! At least my system tells me that I’m not a promising patient of ****** dysfunction.  When the last patch has been perfectly planed in place, I drew my last ounce of pure strength and plunged into my most formidable bed, congratulating myself for a job well done. Alas! A thirty-minute nap and I’m ready for a superb coffee and doughnut delight.

I woke up from a cat’s screech. I peeped through the window. The nap breaker was a Cheshire, one with a dimmer fur, the stripes of gray suppressing the darker color.  Its tail enjoyed dancing around its rear, connoting either fear or excitement. It sure has a distinctive mischievous grin.  The feline was on the verge of climbing up the roof by jumping from a gutter about five feet away.  It seemed to have slipped but has managed to bring its **** next to the roof tiles. It stared at me with intent, giving me the macabre look from its glaring eyes.  It’s as if I’m being watched, stalked and examined in a way I couldn’t see, bringing me that feeling of guilt, of remorse.  Urgh! That’s why I hate cats.  Though I’m planning to keep one, I’ll reconsider it.  But what pains me more is to discover that my alarm was not able to do the job and so I slept three hours more than planned.  I looked down and saw the city lights flashing one by one, the beams glowing like a barrier of radiance diffusing into the gloom of the night. I guess this was the price I have to pay. I traded my snack with a peaceful hibernation, turning the coffee into a glass of iced tea and the doughnut into a great dinner with me, myself and I.

I have learned to cook since I was ten.  My mother believed that culinary prowess could be inherited from generation to generation.  And so, she put her trust on me and I haven’t failed her ever since.  This gourmet brilliance proves to be very useful at times of solitude when you got bored of ordering other’s recipes and decided to make your own buffet.  I remembered her telling me that all food would taste good if there is the chef’s heart flavored in it.  Cooking is an art, combining the loops and the whoops of seasonings and spices to the medley of meat and herbs.  Tonight, I decided that my dinner would equal breakfast, satisfying the grudge that I got from skipping my  diabetic snack attack.  A beef stew and a side of paella made my stomach die in joy, appeased at last that my gears are energized for my routinely nocturnal bookworming activity.

I normally hide under my sheets at nine but tonight, I shall break the rules. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll fix the rules next time. Just this time to spare for I have gained interest on this book entitled “100 Years of Solitude”, talking about how one could live happily even alone, just by creating the world you have ever dreamed of. Gabriel García Márquez is dumping the “no man is an island” concept which anyway sounds inspiring to me.  Finally, I jumped into bed thanking Him for letting me outrun another day living alone in a comfortable apartment, free from all sorts of vexation.  I wished for a better life at school, which gives me an imagery of dull monochromatic memories.  I am not that famous but I can be someday.

A heavy beam of sunlight pierced through my window, refracting on the ***** white floor and creeping up to the mahogany table just right at the corner.  It intercepted with the glass pyramid and created a beautiful prism that glittered all around my room.  It was a really majestic scenery, one that I luckily happen to see every morning, a good optic background, I guess. Two hours before class time – that’s where my pattern starts.  Take a bath, eat, brush teeth, groom, check the doors and power, then I’m off to go. Everybody follows a certain kind of pattern, that’s for sure. Whether you wear different types of clothes everyday or use competing brands of toothpaste, clothes are clothes and toothpastes are toothpastes.  As humanity finds more and more complexities in life, they become wired to doing the things and involving the events which they think would give happiness to them and simplify their equation of life.

As a proof, there’s Mrs. Lanny Honeycut from the house next door. She usually sprinkles her daisies every ten in the morning, wearing that friendly neighborhood smile. On their patio, you could never miss a day seeing her husband, Mr. Blake Honeycut reading the daily papers with a round of tea, jam and bread spread on his table.  On the busy intersection stands traffic enforcer, Red Mayer, waving his arms to and fro while wearing that aura of valor, never seem to get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. Thousands go out for work and go back to sleep everyday and that's the status quo we're talking about. Even inside the academic arena, you can still hold on to that thought; I mean the size of the population doing the same pattern at the same time – my schoolmates, enemies and… friends? Well, I’m not quite sure with the last one, but it’s this: they all make a fun of me.  They say I’m a dork, a nerd, a geek, a freak, and etc.  I wonder if they mean everything that they say or say everything that they mean.  Either way you put it, I’m not buying it. I am not what they say I am.  I just like being alone and that’s where I do best.

And as always, the school is crowded with busy people rushing through the corridors. Others are beating the deadlines while some are happy they could breathe for another break. But no matter how busy everybody could be, there is always a time spent for “information dissemination” or chitchats. But only this time, the topic discussed is the same.  I could hear it on the entire campus, everywhere in the perimeter. Another student in the university is missing leaving no trace of existence.  It’s been going on like this for over two months now and the university council has taken their best courses of action to unknot this mystery while campaigns have been running on TV’s and vigils were spent. Not that I don’t care but it seems that this is also happening to other places, I mean, this is not the only school where maniacs could exist and become professional serial rapists in the making. By the way, this is already the 12th case on the record. Weren’t people overreacting to the issue? Isn’t the case overrated? Did they reject the possibility that these people ran away because they got pregnant, messed up or something like that? Soon, the university area was covered with security troops roaming around like a swarm of bees, buzzing and sometimes boozing all the time.

I guess that’s what happens when you hang out too much with friends who are just jesters plotting your own jeopardy. I don’t think it would be good at all to be bothered with things like that because sometimes, it’s also useful not to have any use at all.  Like the king being admired by his kingdom amidst his sloth and compromises.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not friendly anymore. Actually, if it happens that I got company, I would magnanimously offer a treat at my place.  But the thing is, who would likely do that? I’d cross my fingers on it.

Wishes do come true even for a loner like me.  I think I have a fan. No, that would be too sublime. She’s hot and she’s hotter when you’ll know she’s so cool. Quite a paradox, but that’s just reality.  We came to know each other on our lab class. Her name’s Athena, fitting for her twisted logic and good humor. It makes me burn a lot of calories when I talk to her more than a 5-mile marathon could squirt. We were lab partners and we get along well. I just couldn’t figure out where she got the courage to befriend me. I do regard myself as unwelcoming species, but I might work on it when someone tries to knock the door. We juxtapose ideas. Yes, that’s what makes our conversations spin like a merry-go-round. But we enjoy it nevertheless, evident by the crescent smile we both generate out of the craziest topics in store. Once, she interrogated my way of settling wars with enemies. Well, I told her it was my habit of treating them to my house and giving them souvenirs to show how sorry I could be. She snickered and her eyes glowed like the Andromeda and her face shun the whole universe. Oh, I can do this all day long, if only I got hold of time and space.

Today, she asked me if it would be okay if she’ll stay at my place till nine when her dad could be home and she would be able to call her and ask to pick her up. She reasoned out that otherwise, the night would be scary because she’ll be alone in their house, no company, no security. I was puzzled how the thought of being alone could scare her. It is like freedom from any constraints, no ties, and no limits. But I couldn’t blame her. She’s too fragile, too vulnerable to handle it with herself.  With the speed of the light, I accepted the favor.  Well, that goes even without saying.

It was past six thirty when we arrived at my immaculate apartment. It’s great to be an“ OC” sometimes, I said to myself.  I thought of a winner dinner, one that would make her visit worth reminiscing. I preferred Italian.  I cooked her lasagna and drenched the dinner with sherry. We talked a lot until we run out of resorts. I guess she planned it, or I planned it, synergy perhaps.

The clock ticked nine and there’s no sight of her father’s getaway car. But there’s no sign of worry in her countenance either. I surmise it didn’t reach her inkling yet to phone her dad.  She was busy dissecting my kitchen and living room with her very playful eyes. That doesn’t trouble me though. That’s just as instinctive as any other first time guest could get. She grappled her attention on my antique collection of prehistoric movies, like the Scarlet Letter, The count of Monte Cristo and the likes. She happened to love them too. Well, that makes her more beautiful to me, other than the satin white dress she wears. Suddenly, she got the impulse of going to my room. She said there’s nothing more exciting to see than a gentleman’s bedroom. I startled from the request, but before I could say anything, she leaped straight to my chamber with the gestures of an imp. It’s weird to be in this kind of circumstance because I don’t often invite a lot of visitants to my room. I ain’t no hotel crew, bowing down and waving his hand to the chamber’s destination and leading the VIPs to their cabins. Yet this time, it’s the other way around: it’s my cabin.

But now it’s too late to stop her. She molested the **** and I giggled for some reason. Finally, the door opened a crack and a bend of light escaped from inside. She stepped in, and I followed. She was filled with awe not because my room is all made of gold nor did it resemble a royalty’s den. It was the exaggerated neatness and order that greeted her. In some unknown vortex of my deepest imagining, it made me feel like I’ve been through this instance before. The flashback is not so vivid as it appears, but something tells me this isn’t the first time. Deja vu could be working on it, I infer,although I don’t really believe in those forms of conceptualizations. Perhaps it’s the sherry’s spell infiltrating my mental prognosis. But something, I guess, isn’t really right.

I caught her opening a red box that was hidden behind my cabinet. I tried to steal it away from her but she fought back and it came tossing down the floor. Numerous items spilled from the case. A purple head band with the glittering initials ANNE, a ruby embedded bracelet, and a Nokia handy phone exposed the secrecy. This isn’t going to go along well and fine, I guess. A strong surge of desire came from my core. It tried to envelop my entirety and control me like a lifeless puppet. I felt the tip of the pyramid glass in my hand and I succumbed to lose my consciousness.

Morning came and it felt better than ever. It was a ***** Saturday. There she lies beautifully on the deck, like an immortal bud of red rose trapped in golden amber. The cellophane fits her well, and there’s no doubt she’ll be complaining anymore. I already prepared a cozy place for her deep sleep: A 5x2 feet wall engravement which I was busy molding last night. It wasn’t easy making her go to bed but still it ended up smooth and sound. I helped her get up and fitted her in place.I turned on the radio as I reached for my dear carpentry tools. The news was still nailed on it. But this time, the missing case struck for the 13th turn. Ahh, the hell with society! They never really get a way to deal with it.

I was busy patching the last mound of concrete that is half an hour closer from becoming a part of my room. Make that a quarter. I guess there’s no end to this divine crevice issue. It must be following a pattern too. But I can handle it, thanks to this vicarious personality. I wonder if I could get the chance to invite another visitor in my place. But if I do, I would certainly offer the best treatment they could ever have.
Victor D López Dec 2018
You were born five years before the Spanish Civil War that would see your father exiled.
Language came later to you than your little brother Manuel. And you stuttered for a time.
Unlike those who speak incessantly with nothing to say, you were quiet and reserved.
Your mother mistook shyness for dimness, a tragic mistake that scarred you for life.

When your brother Manuel died at the age of three from meningitis, you heard your mom
Exclaim: “God took my bright boy and left me the dull one.” You were four or five.
You never forgot those words. How could you? Yet you loved your mom with all your heart.
But you also withdrew further into a shell, solitude your companion and best friend.

You were, in fact, an exceptional child. Stuttering went away at five or so never to return,
And by the time you were in middle school, your teacher called your mom in for a rare
Conference and told her that yours was a gifted mind, and that you should be prepared
For university study in the sciences, particularly engineering.

She wrote your father exiled in Argentina to tell him the good news, that your teachers
Believed you would easily gain entrance to the (then and now) highly selective public university
Where seats were few, prized and very difficult to attain based on merit-based competitive
Exams. Your father’s response? “Buy him a couple of oxen and let him plow the fields.”

That reply from a highly respected man who was a big fish in a tiny pond in his native Oleiros
Of the time is beyond comprehension. He had apparently opted to preserve his own self-
Interest in having his son continue his family business and also work the family lands in his
Absence. That scar too was added to those that would never heal in your pure, huge heart.

Left with no support for living expenses for college (all it would have required), you moved on,
Disappointed and hurt, but not angry or bitter; you would simply find another way.
You took the competitive exams for the two local military training schools that would provide
An excellent vocational education and pay you a small salary in exchange for military service.

Of hundreds of applicants for the prized few seats in each of the two institutions, you
Scored first for the toughest of the two and thirteenth for the second. You had your pick.
You chose Fabrica de Armas, the lesser of the two, so that a classmate who had scored just
Below the cut-off at the better school could be admitted. That was you. Always and forever.

At the military school, you were finally in your element. You were to become a world-class
Machinist there—a profession that would have gotten you well paid work anywhere on earth
For as long as you wanted it. You were truly a mechanical genius who years later would add
Electronics, auto mechanics and specialized welding to his toolkit through formal training.

Given a well-stocked machine shop, you could reverse engineer every machine without
Blueprints and build a duplicate machine shop. You became a gifted master mechanic
And worked in line and supervisory positions at a handful of companies throughout your life in
Argentina and in the U.S., including Westinghouse, Warner-Lambert, and Pepsi Co.

You loved learning, especially in your fields (electronics, mechanics, welding) and expected
Perfection in everything you did. Every difficult job at work was given to you everywhere you
Worked. You would not sleep at night when a problem needed solving. You’d sketch
And calculate and re-sketch solutions and worked even in your dreams with singular passion.

You were more than a match for the academic and physical rigors of military school,
But life was difficult for you in the Franco era when some instructors would
Deprecatingly refer to you as “Roxo”—Galician for “red”-- reflecting your father’s
Support for the failed Republic. Eventually, the abuse was too much for you to bear.

Once while standing at attention in a corridor with the other cadets waiting for
Roll call, you were repeatedly poked in the back surreptitiously. Moving would cause
Demerits and demerits could cause loss of points on your final grade and arrest for
Successive weekends. You took it awhile, then lost your temper.

You turned to the cadet behind you and in a fluid motion grabbed him by his buttoned jacket
And one-handedly hung him up on a hook above a window where you were standing in line.
He thrashed about, hanging by the back of his jacket, until he was brought down by irate Military instructors.
You got weekend arrest for many weeks and a 10% final grade reduction.

A similar fate befell a co-worker a few years later in Buenos Aires who called you a
*******. You lifted him one handed by his throat and held him there until
Your co-workers intervened, forcibly persuading you to put him down.
That lesson was learned by all in no uncertain terms: Leave Felipe’s mom alone.

You were incredibly strong, especially in your youth—no doubt in part because of rigorous farm
Work, military school training and competitive sports. As a teenager, you once unwisely bent
Down to pick something up in view of a ram, presenting the animal an irresistible target.
It butted you and sent you flying into a haystack. It, too, quickly learned its lesson.

You dusted yourself off, charged the ram, grabbed it by the horns and twirled it around once,
Throwing it atop the same haystack as it had you. The animal was unhurt, but learned to
Give you a wide berth from that day forward. Overall, you were very slow to anger absent
Head-butting, repeated pokings, or disrespectful references to your mom by anyone.    

I seldom saw you angry and it was mom, not you, who was the disciplinarian, slipper in hand.
There were very few slaps from you for me. Mom would smack my behind with a slipper often
When I was little, mostly because I could be a real pain, wanting to know/try/do everything
Completely oblivious to the meaning of the word “no” or of my own limitations.

Mom would sometimes insist you give me a proper beating. On one such occasion for a
Forgotten transgression when I was nine, you  took me to your bedroom, took off your belt, sat
Me next to you and whipped your own arm and hand a few times, whispering to me “cry”,
Which I was happy to do unbidden. “Don’t tell mom.” I did not. No doubt she knew.

The prospect of serving in a military that considered you a traitor by blood became harder and
Harder to bear, and in the third year of school, one year prior to graduation, you left to join
Your exiled father in Argentina, to start a new life. You left behind a mother and two sisters you
Dearly loved to try your fortune in a new land. Your dog thereafter refused food, dying of grief.

You arrived in Buenos Aires to see a father you had not seen for ten years at the age of 17.
You were too young to work legally, but looked older than your years (a shared trait),
So you lied about your age and immediately found work as a Machinist/Mechanic first grade.
That was unheard of and brought you some jealousy and complaints in the union shop.

The union complained to the general manager about your top-salary and rank. He answered,
“I’ll give the same rank and salary to anyone in the company who can do what Felipe can do.”
No doubt the jealousy and grumblings continued by some for a time. But there were no takers.
And you soon won the group over, becoming their protected “baby-brother” mascot.

Your dad left for Spain within a year or so of your arrival when Franco issued a general pardon
To all dissidents who had not spilt blood (e.g., non combatants). He wanted you to return to
Help him reclaim the family business taken over by your mom in his absence with your help.
But you refused to give up the high salary, respect and independence denied you at home.

You were perhaps 18 and alone, living in a single room by a schoolhouse you had shared with Your dad.
But you had also found a new loving family in your uncle José, one of your father’s Brothers, and his family. José, and one of his daughters, Nieves and her
Husband, Emilio, and
Their children, Susana, Oscar (Ruben Gordé), and Osvaldo, became your new nuclear family.

You married mom in 1955 and had two failed business ventures in the quickly fading
Post-WW II Argentina of the late 1950s and early 1960s.The first, a machine shop, left
You with a small fortune in unpaid government contract work.  The second, a grocery store,
Also failed due to hyperinflation and credit extended too easily to needy customers.

Throughout this, you continued earning an exceptionally good salary. But in the mid 1960’s,
Nearly all of it went to pay back creditors of the failed grocery store. We had some really hard
Times. Someday I’ll write about that in some detail. Mom went to work as a maid, including for
Wealthy friends, and you left home at 4:00 a.m. to return long after dark to pay the bills.


The only luxury you and mom retained was my Catholic school tuition. There was no other
Extravagance. Not paying bills was never an option for you or mom. It never entered your
Minds. It was not a matter of law or pride, but a matter of honor. There were at least three very
Lean years where you and mom worked hard, earned well but we were truly poor.

You and mom took great pains to hide this from me—and suffered great privations to insulate
Me as best you could from the fallout of a shattered economy and your refusal to cut your loses
Had done to your life savings and to our once-comfortable middle-class life.
We came to the U.S. in the late 1960s after waiting for more than three years for visas—to a new land of hope.

Your sister and brother-in-law, Marisa and Manuel, made their own sacrifices to help bring us
Here. You had about $1,000 from the down payment on our tiny down-sized house, And
Mom’s pawned jewelry. (Hyperinflation and expenses ate up the remaining mortgage payments
Due). Other prized possessions were left in a trunk until you could reclaim them. You never did.

Even the airline tickets were paid for by Marisa and Manuel. You insisted upon arriving on
Written terms for repayment including interest. You were hired on the spot on your first
Interview as a mechanic, First Grade, despite not speaking a word of English. Two months later,
The debt was repaid, mom was working too and we moved into our first apartment.

You worked long hours, including Saturdays and daily overtime, to remake a nest egg.
Declining health forced you to retire at 63 and shortly thereafter you and mom moved out of
Queens into Orange County. You bought a townhouse two hours from my permanent residence
Upstate NY and for the next decade were happy, traveling with friends and visiting us often.

Then things started to change. Heart issues (two pacemakers), colon cancer, melanoma,
Liver and kidney disease caused by your many medications, high blood pressure, gout,
Gall bladder surgery, diabetes . . . . And still you moved forward, like the Energizer Bunny,
Patched up, battered, scarred, bruised but unstoppable and unflappable.

Then mom started to show signs of memory loss along with her other health issues. She was
Good at hiding her own ailments, and we noticed much later than we should have that there
Was a serious problem. Two years ago, her dementia worsening but still functional, she had
Gall bladder surgery with complications that required four separate surgeries in three months.

She never recovered and had to be placed in a nursing home. Several, in fact, as at first she
Refused food and you and I refused to simply let her waste away, which might have been
Kinder, but for the fact that “mientras hay vida, hay esperanza” as Spaniards say.
(While there is Life there is hope.) There is nothing beyond the power of God. Miracles do happen.

For two years you lived alone, refusing outside help, engendering numerous arguments about
Having someone go by a few times a week to help clean, cook, do chores. You were nothing if
Not stubborn (yet another shared trait). The last argument on the subject about two weeks ago
Ended in your crying. You’d accept no outside help until mom returned home. Period.

You were in great pain because of bulging discs in your spine and walked with one of those
Rolling seats with handlebars that mom and I picked out for you some years ago. You’d sit
As needed when the pain was too much, then continue with very little by way of complaints.
Ten days ago you finally agreed that you needed to get to the hospital to drain abdominal fluid.

Your failing liver produced it and it swelled your abdomen and lower extremities to the point
Where putting on shoes or clothing was very difficult, as was breathing. You called me from a
Local store crying that you could not find pants that would fit you. We talked, long distance,
And I calmed you down, as always, not allowing you to wallow in self pity but trying to help.

You went home and found a new pair of stretch pants Alice and I had bought you and you were
Happy. You had two changes of clothes that still fit to take to the hospital. No sweat, all was
Well. The procedure was not dangerous and you’d undergone it several times in recent years.
It would require a couple of days at the hospital and I’d see you again on the weekend.

I could not be with you on Monday, February 22 when you had to go to the hospital, as I nearly
Always had, because of work. You were supposed to be admitted the previous Friday, but
Doctors have days off too, and yours could not see you until Monday when I could not get off
Work. But you were not concerned; this was just routine. You’d be fine. I’d see you in just days.

We’d go see mom Friday, when you’d be much lighter and feel much better. Perhaps we’d go
Shopping for clothes if the procedure still left you too bloated for your usual clothes.
You drove to your doctor and then transported by ambulette. I was concerned, but not too Worried.
You called me sometime between five or six p.m. to tell me you were fine, resting.

“Don’t worry. I’m safe here and well cared for.” We talked for a little while about the usual
Things, with my assuring you I’d see you Friday or Saturday. You were tired and wanted to sleep
And I told you to call me if you woke up later that night or I’d speak to you the following day.
Around 10:00 p.m. I got a call from your cell and answered in the usual upbeat manner.

“Hey, Papi.” On the other side was a nurse telling me my dad had fallen. I assured her she was
Mistaken, as my dad was there for a routine procedure to drain abdominal fluid. “You don’t
Understand. He fell from his bed and struck his head on a nightstand or something
And his heart has stopped. We’re working on him for 20 minutes and it does not look good.”

“Can you get here?” I could not. I had had two or three glasses of wine shortly before the call
With dinner. I could not drive the three hours to Middletown. I cried. I prayed.
Fifteen minutes Later I got the call that you were gone. Lost in grief, not knowing what to do, I called my wife.
Shortly thereafter came a call from the coroner. An autopsy was required. I could not see you.

Four days later your body was finally released to the funeral director I had selected for his
Experience with the process of interment in Spain. I saw you for the last time to identify
Your body. I kissed my fingers and touched your mangled brow. I could not even have the
Comfort of an open casket viewing. You wanted cremation. You body awaits it as I write this.

You were alone, even in death alone. In the hospital as strangers worked on you. In the medical
Examiner’s office as you awaited the autopsy. In the autopsy table as they poked and prodded
And further rent your flesh looking for irrelevant clues that would change nothing and benefit
No one, least of all you. I could not be with you for days, and then only for a painful moment.

We will have a memorial service next Friday with your ashes and a mass on Saturday. I will
Never again see you in this life. Alice and I will take you home to your home town, to the
Cemetery in Oleiros, La Coruña, Spain this summer. There you will await the love of your life.
Who will join you in the fullness of time. She could not understand my tears or your passing.

There is one blessing to dementia. She asks for her mom, and says she is worried because she
Has not come to visit in some time. She is coming, she assures me whenever I see her.
You visited her every day except when health absolutely prevented it. You spent this February 10
Apart, your 61st wedding anniversary, too sick to visit her. Nor was I there. First time.

I hope you did not realize you were apart on the 10th but doubt it to be the case. I
Did not mention it, hoping you’d forgotten, and neither did you. You were my link to mom.
She cannot dial or answer a phone, so you would put your cell phone to her ear whenever I
Was not in class or meetings and could speak to her. She always recognized me by phone.

I am three hours from her. I could visit at most once or twice a month. Now even that phone
Lifeline is severed. Mom is completely alone, afraid, confused, and I cannot in the short term at
Least do much about that. You were not supposed to die first. It was my greatest fear, and
Yours, but as with so many things that we cannot change I put it in the back of my mind.

It kept me up many nights, but, like you, I still believed—and believe—in miracles.
I would speak every night with my you, often for an hour, on the way home from work late at
Night during my hour-long commute, or from home on days I worked from home as I cooked
Dinner. I mostly let you talk, trying to give you what comfort and social outlet I could.

You were lonely, sad, stuck in an endless cycle of emotional and physical pain.
Lately you were especially reticent to get off the phone. When mom was home and still
Relatively well, I’d call every day too but usually spoke to you only a few minutes and you’d
Transfer the phone to mom, with whom I usually chatted much longer.

For months, you’d had difficulty hanging up. I knew you did not want to go back to the couch,
To a meaningless TV program, or to writing more bills. You’d say good-bye, or “enough for
Today” and immediately begin a new thread, then repeat the cycle, sometimes five or six times.
You even told me, at least once crying recently, “Just hang up on me or I’ll just keep talking.”

I loved you, dad, with all my heart. We argued, and I’d often scream at you in frustration,
Knowing you would never take it to heart and would usually just ignore me and do as
You pleased. I knew how desperately you needed me, and I tried to be as patient as I could.
But there were days when I was just too tired, too frustrated, too full of other problems.

There were days when I got frustrated with you just staying on the phone for an hour when I
Needed to call Alice, to eat my cold dinner, or even to watch a favorite program. I felt guilty
And very seldom cut a conversation short, but I was frustrated nonetheless even knowing
How much you needed me and also how much I needed you, and how little you asked of me.  

How I would love to hear your voice again, even if you wanted to complain about the same old
Things or tell me in minutest detail some unimportant aspect of your day. I thought I would
Have you at least a little longer. A year? Two? God only knew, and I could hope. There would be
Time. I had so much more to share with you, so much more to learn when life eased up a bit.

You taught me to fish (it did not take) and to hunt (that took even less) and much of what I
Know about mechanics, and electronics. We worked on our cars together for years—from brake
Jobs, to mufflers, to real tune-ups in the days when points, condensers, and timing lights had Meaning, to rebuilding carburetors and fixing rust and dents, and power windows and more.

We were friends, good friends, who went on Sunday drives to favorite restaurants or shopping
For tools when I was single and lived at home. You taught me everything in life that I need to
Know about all the things that matter. The rest is meaningless paper and window dressing.
I knew all your few faults and your many colossal strengths and knew you to be the better man.

Not even close. I could never do what you did. I could never excel in my fields as you did in
Yours.  You were the real deal in every way, from every angle, throughout your life. I did not
Always treat you that way. But I loved you very deeply as anyone who knew us knows.
More importantly, you knew it. I told you often, unembarrassed in the telling. I love you, Dad.

The world was enriched by your journey. You do not leave behind wealth, or a body or work to
Outlive you. You never had your fifteen minutes in the sun. But you mattered. God knows your
Virtue, your absolute integrity, and the purity of your heart. I will never know a better man.
I will love you and miss you and carry you in my heart every day of my life. God bless you, dad.
Words by T May 2017
Study. Study hard. Study again.
You cannot achieve without some pain.
The pressure to preform
Has become our norm
Our grades are so important
We need some reinforcement.
Pushed to the brink
Forced to sink
Underneath all these books
That we don't even have time to look
At what we've become
Our bodies are so numb.

It's time to see
That you and me
In our minds
We need to find
A way to tell them
To end this mayhem.
We're in too deep
We need our sleep
I cannot go on any longer
It's time to conquer
The fact that our mental state
Needs to rehydrate.

Our bodies are tired
We're no longer inspired
To play this game
Of academic fame.
I was inspired to write this due to the fact that my mental health is no longer sustained due to grade 11
Meztli Apr 2015
Permission to speak, I am the ally of the silenced and unheard.
I am the noise you can't shake.
Two sharp points like the accents I carry on my tongue.
I slither and squirm as I observe what they have done to you.
It's a tragedy what they think of you and how arrogantly they use you for self proclaimed prophecies.
No! I am not that! I yell loudly, but only the echo replies.
Incarceration, deportation, degradation, gentrification some of the words that burn as I spit them out.  
False ideologies are accepted as realities ignoring the facts.
I am not illegal and you don't have the right to label or decide.
I am not a criminal, never was.
Don't obstruct my academic path, I will jump each and every obstacle one by one.
I was born free, you labeled and shackled me with lies and hatred but I broke loose.
With my forked tongue I battle your double sided knife.
I am not content with the destructive pattern that has emerged with your avarice.
I will not **** for you and I will not die in vain.
My snake like tongue has no mercy and will not cease until I see dignity and peace obtained.
Julius Dec 2013
For all the people who tell me I can't be a feminist

My feminism ruins my chat up lines
So much so that you couldn't call them that
I feel pathetic, ironic
Less of a man
Because I haven't touched a girl without her permission
Girls spill their drinks on me in clubs (with no apology), boys don't
Boys ask permission before they touch my entertaining hair
I love women, they're better to be around
I'm not gay, bi maybe but don't stick labels on me
Actually girls do that to me all the time
Literally, they rub their wet hands on my clothes
And stick stickers on me like I'm an object
But no a man is not objectified
Male equals misogynist
Equals creep
I can't criticise a woman's actions, thats sexist
They're in the struggle
This makes me wish I was a girl
I want informal privileges
I'm a ****** is that clear by now?
I don't know if I can **** a girl with my *****
With all of HIStory behind me

I suffer under patriarchy, but not like you do
I understand even non feminist girls,
Or bad feminists,
Still products of this gut wrenching, repulsive system
I'm crying now, an emotional wreck
My mates, some female, will tell me not to act like a girl
But that joke isn't funny anymore
It's too close to home and it's too near the bone
(or *****)
Literally the **** in my trousers is a curse I can't control
An animalistic cage that traps me within expectations
As I write outside a club, three people grab my hair
One male, so I'll take back the generalisation that they ask first. He didn't.
Girls look cold out here
They've come out like this for me
And I shouldn't feel guilty but I do
In the club I'm genuinely objectified
Girls get slurs, sexually abusive labels, they're human there
I'm literally shoved aside like a door by girls eager to look hot at the bar
The only feminist in a room full of chicks

I tolerate this because I love women
Is that sexist?
Is that gay?
If so that's very disappointing
But I've masturbated to **** involving girls
Is that sexist?
Female friendly ****
****** **** - Is that sexist?
I'm academic, I 'get' the gender binaries
Transcend sexuality labels - Is that arrogance?
Why don't these ******* love me?
Note the ironic slur
(Males can be ******* too)
So maybe I'm just the *****
But...I'm sorry
This is poetry, or prose dressed up like it
Emotional inadequacy dressed up like it
I've seen like minded men dispense with the term 'feminism' in pursuit of popularity
That tears me apart because women do the same
I'm not gay
I'm not gay
Stop with the labels
**** me with a strap-on if you have to
Get us back
But I'm not submissive, just overly dedicated
It'll hurt because my **** is virginal
Pure
Sure, I'm a feminist
But stop with the labels
This has become obscene
Put me on page 3 and call me a hero

I'm being sexist here
By noticing gender
Real feminists, please improve me
Fake feminists, how dare you use my views against me?
If I wasn't ugly I wouldn't be a feminist
(Product of my environment and all that)
Like you but with a rather different inferiority complex
As I said, please love me?
Or at least, let me be your friend because the average boy repulses me
Maybe we have at least that in common?
These men cause me to
Try to emasculate me
Women too even but it's understandably rarer
Though on the rise in our modern age
As feminism "succeeds"
But this is my pathetic emotional venting
My male sense of self importance
Or am I too harsh on myself?
Ok so I'll self aggrandise
I transcend your petty, completely logical movement
Look at yourself in the mirror
Metaphorically
(I'm fat too, and some girls make me feel the pain of it)
Yeah I'm a feminist ally
But I'll school half of you

"You've" made me leave the club now
I can't look at these amazing women the same way they want me to anymore
But by 'you've' I mean 'I'VE'
The emphasis is on me to remain rational,
Calculating (my chances with who in the club),
Hardy,
The breadwinner
The one with the jeans
Look, I'd wear a dress if it wasn't for the connotations
Ramifications
I'm ahead of my time, let's agree on what we can
I'm on your side can't you see?
I'm big, I could hurt you and I hate myself
For representing what could be
What is
What my brothers do behind my back
(Because my sickly chivalry would have me try my hardest to pummel these ******* into the ground to protect the damsel in distress)
But I'm not a violent person
As I text, I cant go back into the club but to say goodbye
to my female friend who I came out with alone despite the ****** undercurrent
I half notice two men try to charm this girl
I hear echoes of 'This Charming Man'
(Later I will go and stand on my own, leave on my own, go home, cry and want to die)
These ******* 'gentle' men

But here I'm being arrogant
Self indulgent
Assertive
Typically 'male'
I see a fight break out
The women aren't allowed to be involved
Their voices are drowned out though they push themselves between combatants
Men, we are responsible for wars
**** all of you (*some)
I'd trade social and political male privilege for free 'freedom from guilt'
I'd trade my **** away so I'm not called one callously
(You could even use it as a ***** if you wanted, but its not as big as the shop-bought alternative)
And the funniest thing is, I think my words are important
Think I can say all this and be a controversial,
Exciting
Challenging figure
Asserting my intellectual dominance
Now that's ironic
Ironic to the core that eats at me
That makes me feel like your plaything
Because these ironic jokes like me calling you ******* are too close to home, too near the bone
The bone I gave away, possibly to you (but it hardly matters)
I'm too 'above it all' to be loved or to love faithfully (like Morrissey?)
But all I ask is for your love

That's all I ask
For me to **** on the **** of your respect and trust
Like I did my mother, using her for milk
For sustenance
So my kind survives
And now I go back to the wild,
To the looks that barely notice me as they smash or glance off me
That label me a pig
Or a creep
Or a ****, a *******
Or a gay,
Or a man
Or a feminist

---

So next thing I know I'm with a load of girls again
(Rugby playing girls my mate knows)
I'm the only 'lad' (Irony really hurts)
I'm told my presence makes them claustrophobic
I give them five minutes
(Because my male voice counts for nothing when deciding on a club)
I tell them I'm a feminist
The more honest way out than pretending I'm gay
Its OK now
Thanks, labels.
I swallowed and dealt with the rejection because I'd just had this emotional vent
Thanks vent
And thanks girls for trying to make me feel small and unwelcome at your table
Because it makes me better
Makes me stronger (like men desire to be)
Only I was a step, a poem, a vent ahead this time
So I wasn't crushed or pierced under your high heel
High horse
You weren't willing to flip the tradition on its head and buy my entry to the club
When I couldn't pay
But it's OK.
At least you were real with me
And I'll be there in spirit
In my dreams
Checking you out while you buy drinks
Then wake up and hate myself again

Tears were in my eyes when the girl said that to me
But I, like a true misogynist,
Fought them back and remained a gentleman
Polite and robotically rational
Pliable
But really, how painfully ironic are these semantics?
To 'fight' emotion
To 'fight' honesty?

Like men do, because we're all the same
Walking in a corn field the other day
I came across a scare Crow standing there
His shirt was stuffed full of oldesy maze
A big smile of I'm so beautiful to wear

He had a look of  I'm the only one in life
That knows anything that's worth knowing
Perfectly at home was he with a big stick
Placed well up where the wind is often blowing

Looked as wonderful as he alone believed
Had no time for others that had traveled so
A proud look upon his painted face to wear
Ask him anything and I'm sure that he'd know

Not ever realizing he never knew that grammer
Was a piece of fruit that made the perfect pie
And yes the crows simply adored him endlessly
He was covered in crow calling cards from the sky

But thats his little world and being nice I guess
That's where he'll always be so easy thus to find
All dressed up in his best stuffed shirt of blue
The academic scare crow with little else on his mind

terrence michael sutton
copyright  2018
Larry Potter Jul 2013
A cumulonimbus caused the gloom that day. It went shedding drops of rain that looked like bead of pearls glittering in the grey autumn sky, vanishing as they plunge on leafless laurel trees and solitary cypresses. He watched them dance to pitter-patter on every umbrella that opened towards the heavens, their colors of rich black calling out to such empathy. Finally, the drops kiss the graze of withered grasses and thirsty dandelions, reviving their foliage and greenness. Slowly, the rainfall collect to become one with soil and mud crawled down to the six feet depression where a coffin was laid. It was white like ivory and carved with elaborate insignias as a token of love and undying memories. Soon, it was all covered with crimson roses that carry the last parting words of the bereaved. The priest waved out his hands above with mournful eyes, lisping his beseeching of earnest favors while spades of loam filled up the burrow. He saw faces of despair around the pit, gasping for reprieve and sympathy. If only the rain could also bring back her life, he implored.

This, in his senses, was belongingness. This, in his heart, was death.

It had been two long weeks since Roxanne’s death and Vincent couldn’t get his feet back on the ground. He still couldn’t believe he had lost her and that their seemingly endless love has flown away from him for all eternity. He’d make believe that this was all just a dream and at some point of this nightmare he would finally be unchained and awakened. Days became niches of shackled memories that kept haunting his love-fletched soul and nights were nothing more than a requiem of lovelorn longings that still linger in his mind. He remembers it all, the feel of her name on his lips, the smell of her hair, and the sound of her laugh. Everything is still as fresh as the dewdrops of June and as vivid as the most cinematic imagery a mortal could immortalize. The ultimate fight of this melodramatic transition was to remain whole when all the strength Vincent has built up begins to crumble by a mere reminiscence of the tragedy that gets freeze-framed from beginning to end over and over again.

It was a rainy Friday evening on the 22nd of May and everyone’s feeling the smell of the weekend rush. Vincent was already at a friend's house party and called Roxanne that he’ll be waiting. Roxanne was driving the Lexus behind a small truck that seemed to plod toward the upcoming red light. She was a few minutes late on her way and watching these two people ahead of her jabber away in that truck was getting her out of her ecstatic  mood. The light turned green, but the truck too slowly moved forward. Roxanne became frustrated as the driver fixated to the right. He visibly gasped at what was just about to come into her view. A brand new grey-blue Chevy Silverado blazed through the opposing stop light to broadside his little truck. Roxanne tried to stop, but her car slid into the Chevy's rear side and went tossing down the highway to an explosion.

All these is what Vincent needs to drown himself to agony. It’s as if Atlas gave up the bearing of the world for him to endure. Wretched and perplexed was he, blaming the world for such a prejudiced conspiracy. How could an angel like Roxanne be bound to such an end? How could an invincible love become vulnerable on the visage of death? But then again, his heart starts to concoct a spell of phantasm, bringing back the most prized memories of him and her together, infiltrating his whole system and gaining power over the bitterness and pain. In this test of sensations, he himself wasn’t sure if this two-edged delusion is a boon or bane. But one thing was becoming clear to him-he cannot be like this for the rest of his life. If this nightmare must be proven real, he must find a way out. Whatever may lie ahead, he must keep going, recreate his own world and be able to break free from the fetters of this mishap that surely promises him nothing but living scars, frustrations and sorrow.

Two years have passed and the town of New Hope has undergone a lot of changes. New coffee shops and cafes run down a block away from the University premise as well as convenient stores and parlors. New establishments stood welcoming and billboards mushroomed the skyway. The streets are crowded with more and more busy people, indicative of a metropolitan evolution of lifestyle. Summer has ended and without a trace, the arid autumn and the frigid winter fluttered to oblivion.

The same is true for New Hope University which, in its current enrollment period, has its student population increased by two thousand. The institute’s remarkable performance rating in board examinations and national competitions attracted other towns to invest their education to the latter. It was nearly the start of class and everyone is busy catching up the enrollment pace. But not Vincent, who, in the first day of inception has already completed the enrollment process. He was ecstatic, more of curious how his life as a senior student could turn into this academic year. He met faces of different kinds-some familiar and some entirely strangers. Those he doesn’t recognize would just pause and pay a smile while others he knew jsut pass by and make him feel invisible. On a ledge in front of his course department’s office he sat. He in himself was New Hope town in human transfiguration- braver, brighter and better. He looked from afar, with eyes playing on the nimble of heads and shoulders of people passing through the corridor. He drenched himself to an illusion of how each head turns toward him with a infectious smile, that once in a while, happiness is sought even in the gallows of solitude. Solitude-it wasn’t a strange name to him anymore. It never was. He was entangled with it on that day the sickles of death took his love away. Somehow, through the passage of time, the wound that was scourged deep in his heart has mended and the thought of being alone became amusing that he has managed to laugh about it over the seasons. He is more human now, away from the devious portal of his mundane imagining.

The daydream was shattered when out of the blue a silhouette of a familiar figure took the stage. She was elegantly tall, with hair of pure ebony lolling on her shoulders. Each step enraptures, and each gentle sway of a hand is a compelling rhythm. She draws closer to where he was and he's left slack jawed. She entered the office and he was back to his senses. Maybe not. What he beheld was something farfetched, something that he cannot comprehend. Vincent saw it all coming back to him. A remnant of his long buried love has come to life. It was Roxanne and it is more certain than breathing. He couldn’t explain what he felt. It was a maelstrom of joy and surprise, of hope and fear. It was the face he yearned to see, so long that the yearning turned to hate and despair. But now that it came to pass, his humanity fell apart. Although he is a mere victim of his own circumstances, the serendipity took a shot straight to his heart and there is nothing he could do about it.

Perhaps there is, and he is now pretty preoccupied. He wanted to know her. He must unknot this puzzle that has challenged his whole conviction. He must find every answer and throw all of its questions behind. Whatever there is that the road has in store for him is not essential anymore. He couldn’t care less to fathom this enigma and once more, find something worth living. But now that he is hanging in midair, he planned to fall back. He jumped out of the ledge and headed out the campus, afraid that she might be at sight and all the strength in him shall subside. He was up all night, thinking of how he could get a chance to meet and talk to her. He had thoughts of crafting schemes, devising methods and inventing tricks.

And nothing of it worked.

The first day of class commenced. New Hope University is buzzing with ecstatic students. Vincent giggled with utmost excitement, carelessly bumping shoulders and brushing elbows with other students in the corridors.  He molested his tattered COR and skimmed for his first class. It is in room 101 scheduled 9:00. He reviewed through the digital clock and he hurried as it ticked to 8:58. Luckily, he is safe from prime tardiness, though he seemed to be the last comer. He seated at the back, knowing that after thirty minutes, he’d helplessly succumb to napping since it is his favorite subject-English 8, Technical Writing.

And so she happened.

It was her, Roxanne’s doppelganger who broke the charts. She was 15 minutes late and unforgivably beautiful with her sequined tee and skinny jeans. She realized what she has gotten into and apologized with the kindest gesture. The professor gave her a hand and led her to the seat beside Vincent. She felt awkward. He was worse. They both sat like lifeless puppets with the puppeteer gone until she broke the silence.

“I’m Katherine,” she muttered. “Katherine Evans, glad to be your block mate”. She took it off with a smile that sent Vincent to hyperventilation. He couldn’t shake her hands. They’re already shaking with butterflies. The poor guy mounted his strength. He could not afford to lose the chance. “Vincent, Vincent Smith”. That was all and a nod. It was rare for Vincent to survive the thirty-minute nap attack but he did this time, although the victory seemed unnoticed. They enjoyed the remaining hour sharing thoughts and ideas with Vincent succeeding in all his attempts to stint his best jokes. He has come to know who she is at the basics-a transferee from Dakota University, a cheerleader and an adventurist. He also looks forward to know more about her in the days to come- hoping that she likes cheese, watching live wrestling fights and attending Sunday mass.

Perhaps she doesn't.

Two weeks was enough a time for the two of them to get closer to each other. They were both open to let the affinity they share to grow and blossom. It was very apparent that the two knew where their relationship is going and they both seemed ready for it.

Months have passed and the two were no more than couples. But Vincent was too overwhelmed of what he had let enter his life. Katherine is no Roxanne. She doesn’t like cheese, wrestling or Sunday masses. She was more self-driven, conceited and unwelcoming. Sooner he realized that he isn’t in love with Katherine, nor will he ever be. He just created his Utopia by painting Roxanne’s memories on Katherine’s facade. He believed to have loved again and he believed in vain.

It was a candlelight dinner at Katherine's and it was all set. She suggested it herself. She would always do this, steering their affair on a one man tag and turning the tides whichever she likes it to be. She seemed obsessed about Vincent, about their friendship, about their bond. This was her biggest mistake: to let Vincent get drowned in her self-consumed devotion.

Vincent is on his way. To break her heart.

When he came, Katherine pranced in glee. She presented the menu. And the drinks too. She was on the midst of telling Vincent her summer getaway plans when he told her to stop and listen. He undid it to her gently by taking all the blames, that it was his butter fingered actions which led them both bruised and bleeding. It was a self-defeating battle preordained by the gods. A tear fell down from Katherine’s eyes, and she didn’t want to show him more. She fled her way out the dining room with a tormented soul, like Aphrodite torn by Adonis, and hurried to her room with the banging of the door. Vincent was left with only the deafening silence, keeping his severed heart together.

As he sat out there slowly losing substance, he began to notice a set of picture frames that showed two happy faces, one of them Vincent was able to recognize in just a matter of seconds. But what puzzled him most is the picture's relevance to Katherine. He thought of a reason to make his way out the riddle. He looked closer to the girl beside Roxanne and found a spot of mole that was identical to Katherine's.

Vincent stumbled to a discovery he wished he had never known.

On the night Roxanne met death, she was not alone. She was with company. The girl that happened to live is Vicky Duran, Roxanne’s best friend. She was secretly in love with Vincent. And she was prepared to change her entire life for a streak of a chance that she’ll have what she was living for.

And she almost succeeded.

Vincent, still staggered on how things turned out insane, went to Roxanne’s grave. He shattered from an implosion of mixed emotions and he cried out like a child who lost his treasured toy. He curled on the ground with so much pain and bearing contained inside him. He called out Roxanne’s name with pure longing, bringing back his old self and his memories of that grey autumn, of that unwanted Friday that took her life away.

Footsteps cracked from the ground and Vincent ceased his outburst of melancholy.

“Let me end your misery,” a trembling voice came from behind him. It was Vicky, whose face is neither Roxanne’s nor Katherine’s. It was a face of a hopeless woman, wretched and determined for something. She was wearing rugged clothes and she held a gun on her hand. To Vicky, living is no different from death. She has now understood why the very person she loves has turned away from her when she gave all that she never was. But the realization priced too much of her reality that she cannot anymore take back. She decided to **** him and then take her own life.

She pointed the gun towards Vincent. He jumped at her to take the gun away. They grappled on the ground, the weapon still on Vicky’s hands. Vincent managed to overpower her but she kicked him, tumbling back to the gravestone. A shot was heard from afar with a man’s cry.

It rained that day. Brown withered leaves of tall laurels hovered with the wind while branches of solitary Cypresses dance to every whirl. The breeze whispered to the clouds of grey, a mark of autumn’s return. Vincent crawled to Roxanne's grave. It was a weeping of a true love that echoed away. Raindrops keep descending from the heavens, washing away the blood that kept flowing to the ground of mud.  Perhaps, on the last moments of his life he found happiness, even from a love that was never his to keep.

 

- by Larry Potter
Ayad Gharbawi Dec 2009
THE STORY OF SARA

Ayad Gharbawi


CHAPTER 2: UNIVERSITY

  
  Well, I did study and, I did pass my exams, and I did succeed in ending up in a decent, upper class school!
  How did I pay for it? I hear you ask me?
  I didn't: I got a scholarship!
  And, what a new world I faced!
  What a totally different society I saw!
  I felt that I was in another country, for I never knew that there existed, from my own people, men and women such as those I encountered!
  My studies in psychiatry really excited me: I thought that I would be able to 'solve' anyone's mental problems.
  All I had to do, was to study and study as feverishly as I could.
Studying furiously, and with love and passion, was the key to success.
  Study, and then you pass your examinations, and then you become a doctor in psychiatry - and I would thereby become successful.
  I would then be someone important.
  I would be respected by everyone.
  My life would have a purpose and a meaning because I would be going in the correct path.
It was simple as that!
  And what was the alternative?
  Not to study?
  And what would I do then?
  Go do a menial, low paying job?
  That was anathema to me!
  It made me sick, to even think about that!
  Why?
  Because, I came from a poor background, and I lived in poverty, and I saw the culture and the people who lived in poverty, and by God, I don’t want to ever live in those circumstances ever again in my life.
  What was poverty to me?
  Your house is ugly; your neighbourhood is ugly; your neighbours are the most indecent people you can imagine.
  The area you live in, swarms with people who live their lives in ‘anti-social behaviour’!
  And what’s ‘anti-social behaviour’?
  That means your community is one, where most people are drunks in  public, where fights, with guns and knives, are an everyday occurrence; where the most filthy language is the norm in public; where ******* covers large parts of the town; where vandalism and damage to cars and property is another daily occurrence; where people play ear-deafening music in the streets and there’s nothing you can do – because, if you call the police, they’ll obey, but then they’ll come back and make hell out of your life – in other words, the gangs rule the community.
  Aren’t those enough reasons to get out of poverty?!
  And, then for me, there are other things that are really important to me.
  For example:
  I mean, who is going to respect you, if you have a menial job? Who is going to look up at you?
  Who is going to listen to your words, when you speak?
  And, most importantly, are you yourself going to be happy with your self and with your life, if you had a menial job?
  Of course not!
  To be a fully satisfied human, you need to live in respectable surroundings with a respectable job.
  Otherwise, there cannot be happiness for you.

  Once I joined my university, I encountered mostly upper class students.
  That’s why, I say it was like ‘another world’ for me, because I had never encountered people like that before!
  Their dress was different; their accent and they way they spoke was different; but what interested me the most, was the fact, that their intellectual interests were extremely varied, as opposed to the people that I had grown up with and knew – those people whose only interests, were getting drunk, practicing promiscuity, crime and drugs!
  Now outside classes, I got began to get involved with different groups of academic students – each group held differing ideas about the world, politics, economics, philosophy of life - and any other subject you can imagine.
  I was never interested in what I called the other 'superficial' groups; that is, those who discussed what I considered to be the stupidities of life, such as fashion, make up, cars, sports and so on. No way; not for me, were people like that!
  For I was far too serious for such mind-wasting people, and, frankly life-wasting people.
  No, I wanted to learn; my God how utterly hungry and thirsty and deadly serious about acquiring more and more knowledge on every 'serious' subject I was - so that, one day, I would be a useful and productive human to society!
  If I was not in my classes, and if I was not listening to those intellectuals, I would sit on any desk and search the internet and read endlessly, on any and every 'serious' subject.

With respect to my classes, as the months rolled over, I began to feel, and think, that my professors were not all that smart at all. I began to feel that they were, in fact, quite ordinary, dull people. But then, I grappled with next obvious question: if they were 'ordinary' and 'dull' people, then how come they were professors – and by 'professors', I mean that they must be far from 'ordinary'? Surely, any person, who is able to be a professor, must be intelligent?
  And yet, the more I listened and took down notes from these professors, and the more I analyzed their words and ideas, the more I became convinced at their emptiness and stupidity!
  My God, you must believe me, for they were talking utter *******!
  Well, who exactly, 'made' them professors?
  I began to dislike them.
  Then, the obvious consequences took place in my mind: the more I disliked them, the less I paid attention to their words and that, in turn, increased my boredom in class!
  No, this was a complete and utter waste of time for me. Yes, I would still need to read the text books given to us by the university, and I would need to understand these books in order to pass the examinations.
  But, I was also determined to do my own independent psychiatry studies, in order to find the ways and means of solving people's emotional problems.

I found it really thrilling to see so many students having so many ideas about the world, because, for me it was so utterly unusual to see young people actually caring about so many issues in our lives!
  You had the conservatives; socialists; Dadaists, existentialists, communists of every shade you can imagine; fascists, socialists, liberals, Nazis, monarchists, Hare Krishnas, Hindus, Budhists, yoga-followers, animal rights campaigners, environmentalists, religious fundamentalists, anarchists  - the list was quite endless to the point of absurdity for, within each group, there were sub-groups, that ranged from the so-called 'left' to the so-called 'right'.
  However, in all this confusion and chaos, there were, at least two things, that you knew for certain: and that was, firstly; that no group agreed with any other group, whilst secondly; every 'leader' of any group sincerely and passionately believed that, yes they, and only they, had all the answers to all the questions that faced our dear Humanity!

But with time, it dawned on me that that most of these intellectual students were not quite what I expected of them.
They would passionately discuss any subject and in excruciating detail!
  To me not every subject was worthy of being discussed!
  Everything was criticized in university.
  Everything was questionable.
  Nothing was certain.
  On the opposite these students believed that they had a duty to deeply philosophise and intricately analyse and scrutinize from every angle every subject and issue in our planet!
  Nothing was accepted and nothing was taken for granted.
  And it was exhausting to listen to them!
  I say ‘exhausting’ because after every meeting, I would actually feel emptier!
  I simply did not learn or gain anything from all these endless discussions!
  So they would analyse issues like: what is the soul?
  What is the difference between the soul and the spirit?
  Where is the soul located?
  Where is the mind located?
  What is the difference between bravery and foolishness?
  Are mathematical facts like 1+1=2 discovered or created by mathematicians?
  What does the word ‘the’ mean?
  What does the word ‘a’ mean?
  Who has a right to create rules and laws?
  How much taxes should each adult pay?
  Is the universe finite or infinite?

  And so it went on and on until your brain became numb with the deafening boredom and pointlessness of it all.
  What irritated me the most was that with these groups of students, was that nothing was sacred.
  Nothing was certain.
On the opposite, everything was completely uncertain.


  As for myself, I gradually gravitated to the leftists – that mixture of socialists, communists, anarchists and other such-like groups.
  Why?
  Because to me their philosophy was more or less simple.
  There wasn’t all that endless series of critiques and analysis that so nearly damaged my brains!
  Their idea was simple: we had to removed the oppressors.
And the oppressors was anyone who had power and influence.
  And what kind of society did we want?
  A purely egalitarian one where there would be neither master nor slave.
  Simple!
  Here I found that much needed sense of certainty!
  Here was an ideal, a philosophy that had strict rules that we were meant to follow in order to achieve our sacred aims!
  

  I was immediately attracted to one student leader, Tony, who passionately urged his listeners to use any means necessary – except violence –in order to achieve our goals of total equality within our society.
  He was a tall man of average weight, with short hair – actually, let me immediately stop myself here - because actually there was absolutely and totally nothing remarkable about the way he looked; but what really made him so attractive was in his personal charm, and the way he spoke, with such a theatrical ability, that made you unable to move as long as he talked.
  I can still see him, as he gracefully gesticulated in such an animated manner, giving further power and reason, to every word and idea he uttered:
  "Can't you see and feel what is going all around you? My friends, listen to my words, because we are living in a society that is dominated by greed and ultimately misery and death on an everyday scale. Why is the dustman paid any less than a doctor? Aren't we all human beings, born free and equal? And, so, if you, my friends, agree with me that all men, women and children, are equal, then it should make obvious sense to you that we should all live equally. Do you feel what I am saying to your hearts, or not?!" he would thunder at us, with his face contorting from the passion, and with his ability to be so majestic and, yet, so utterly humble at the same moment!
  Yes, I began to think more and more about what Tony had to say.    Why was there poverty in the first place?
  Where was Humanity?


  Indeed, aren't we all equal human beings; so why this discrimination? It seemed so sensible to me; and yet, what was I, Sara the Nobody, doing about this problem?
  Nothing, of course.
  Yes, I was just a student – but I was not actively working against the dark forces, as Tony was always talking about.
  Tony would mesmerize his listeners, which were usually held in the evenings, at around eight o'clock.
  He always managed to talk to you directly – or so it felt, despite the large number of listeners.
  "There are people who make millions in minutes – did you people know that?  While most people in our society struggle and sweat not only tears, but, I tell you, they sweat blood – yes blood" he would scream at this point, "day in and day out, and getting paid next to nothing, you also have a minority who make millions in minutes!   How can you, yes you, tell me that that is fair? Why do you, my listeners, why do you lamely accept, that we live in a society that allows conditions, whereby the majority, and I say the vast majority of human beings, men and women, have to bleed to death just, to pay their never ending bills, while a minority lead an easy life overflowing with money, glamour, power and luxuries that are indescribable? I ask you again and again to answer my questions: is that fair? And if it is not fair, then what should be done about this sick situation? Well, clearly, we must use violence to take our rights, because no democracy will allow our party to succeed in any election and obviously the rich will never voluntarily give up their oceans of wealth; therefore, if you ask me, what is to be done, I firmly tell you as my response, that we must fight for our eternal rights, and by using the verb 'fight', I mean we 'fight' with every weapon at our disposal – be they words or bullets!"
  I was simply exhilarated by his symphony of words!
  And yet, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something ‘missing’ in Tony’s personality.  
  He just didn’t have that supreme self assurance that others had.
  I guess that was what was ‘missing’.
  I couldn’t understand why he did have that degree of insecurity – because, it seemed to be a contradiction when you are living your life for an ideal, and at the same time, you have insecurities within your heart!

  It was also at university, that I first met Sanji.
  He was a tall, dark wavy haired man with a dark complexion.  His beautifully oval eyes had a deeply pensive look, and at the same time, they were always somehow mired within a sorrowful gaze.
  Even when he would talk to you, Sanji's eyes seemed to be far away, deep in thought, about God knows what subject!
  Gracing his eyes, were beautifully arched eyebrows and the longest, thickest eyelashes I have ever seen, that beautifully complimented those seemingly lonely eyebrows in perfect harmony.
  He was a quiet, soft spoken gentleman, who was the most polite and sincere man I had ever met – I would forever ask myself, how can this man, be so gentle and compassionate, and without seeming to get distressed, angry or anxious?!
  He had such a depth of serenity in his personality – and that trait was something that made so utterly envious of him; I was constantly wishing and trying to have a millionth of that serenity of his.
  He was utterly sure of himself – and not in any arrogant way. He was completely happy and secure with the ideas and principles which guided him throughout his life.
  He had a complete knowledge as to what the purpose of his life was. As a result he knew exactly where he was going with his life.
  There was no sense of being lost with Sanji; for he knew the endless, twisted, meandering number of Paths of Life ahead of him - and more importantly he knew which path he wanted to tread on in his life’s journey.
  He would never use foul language; and would always listen to you with interest as you talked – which is rare in our world.
  And he had that most beautiful ability and talent to be so extra careful in choosing his words when he spoke, for he always wanted to get his thoughts and ideas properly across to you, so that people would understand him well, and so that there would be no confusion as to what he stood for.
  That's why he was so pensive and why he spoke so deliberately; there was never any impulsiveness on his part; he intended exactly every word, and exactly every phrase, and every sentence he used; there never was any carelessness on his part when he would interact with you.


  I never met a man who was so wholly and totally considerate for the feeling
teaching a wild creature to feed from your hand is a feat maybe maybe not Mom taught me from a young age then never let go in June 2013 the estate will cease all the coats hats shoes scarves skirts dresses blouses belts purses from Ultimo Saks Neimans wherever steaks from Gene and Georgetti’s Gibsons whatever will be consumed and she will be forced by the bank to resign her condo on lake shore drive and go live with her sister and i will be left with nothing

nothing feels better than fighting back gathering the strength courage to do that to fight until there is no daylight

the world is a mysterious place it is Sunday December 26th 2010 6AM pitch dark outside in several months daybreak will come earlier a remarkable surprise yet always been this way in several minutes firmament turns light i open eyes stretch legs look out window pink blue gray blue morning skies tree tops mountains watch flock of birds maybe 30 or 40 flying back and forth east west why do they do that how would you like to be one of those birds flapping around searching from above at the earth hmmm what if everyone had a ***** and ****** feathered wings fin distinctive tail floppy or pointed ears what if you could share breakfast or lunch with Kim Gordon Patti Smith work on poem with e. e. cummings James Joyce William Faulkner paint with Mark Rothko Anselm Kiefer play football with Payton Manning Drew Breeze jam with Jimi Hendrix Keith Richards race with Secretariat sniff with Lassie mix with Max Ernst Georgia O'Keefe Donald Judd meet with Gandhi and J.F.K. make love with Charlotte Gainsbourg Kate Moss dinner with John Lennon Friedrich Nietzsche dance with Albert Einstein Isadora Duncan share a smoke with Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) Sam Shepard last drink with Sylvia Plath Virginia Woolf then go to sleep next to Sphinx Pyramids wake with Cleopatra Mata Hari on Bali beach look up at tiny puffy clouds that resemble strange script do you understand the possibilities mysteries of everything

old is lecherous but i’m still trapped in childhood hurting wanting to be grown-up

i think i said i don’t know how to talk i was speaking to this **** greedy landlord trying to negotiate between 2 different spaces long distance and i meant to say i can’t talk right now i’m in a restaurant or shop but instead what came out was i don’t know how to talk he was insulting me bullying hollering at me on cell phone accusing me of dickering about price lease and it slipped out my terror from Dad my childhood fears repression inability to negotiate i froze fumbled finally uttering i don’t know how to talk then disconnected

i’m running scared gasping for breath heart pounding yearning praying crying for love beauty happiness success i’m smart creative powerful yet inept too shy or fearful to know how to properly spontaneously speak in person

what if consumerism is realized as a mental disorder a method to suppress genuine hunger with fetish products

what if money is identified as disease actual legal tender found to source fatal viruses

what if humanity is discovered to belong to an alien predatory race independent from Adam and Eve or monkeys

what if all knowledge is found to be deceptive invention concealing real world truth

what if existence is a chess game or trial enacted by higher forces and your every thought feeling recorded in eternity

what if progress is the enemy and primitivism the remedy

my whole life i’ve learned about infidelity my mom sister dad uncle i don’t understand i’ve never been unfaithful to a girlfriend (one is enough one is more than i can handle) why do people speak those vows then get married only to violate themselves their mates maybe that’s why i am afraid to ever get married infidelity is the most painful betrayal to find out your partner with all your shared secrets compromises them with someone else oh god

April 19th 1995 a bomb explodes in Federal building in Oklahoma City killing 168 people injuring 759 what are Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols thinking did they act alone there are so many lunatics running around out there so much misunderstanding disenfranchisement in America

Arlington Street Asheville North Carolina June 1995 Odysseus and his dog Farina keep mostly to themselves something is wrong with his voice he sounds hoarse when he speaks it is uncomfortable to talk he goes to free clinic and waits half a day elderly doctor attempts to stick long metal instrument down Odysseus’s throat Odysseus gags coughs elderly doctor becomes irritable he warns Odysseus to quit smoking Odysseus wonders what it would be like to be loved possibly married in loving positive relationship to know all the endearing enduring connections between caring couples other people manage it why can’t he? he thinks i’ve never been a good provider nor placed enough value in money i believe in freedom and love i chose to make art and pursue a life of self-discovery experiment dang i am wrong from the moment one’s work hangs in a gallery the artist’s integrity is compromised individuality becomes commodity typically people who buy paintings have so much money they scatter a trifle on art the artwork provides the consumer with a look of ‘soul’ to be shown off to their envious friends the artist becomes needy pet of dealer and client maybe converting one’s spirituality into commercial merchandise is like making deals with the devil he thinks about Native American artists whose work is immediately esteemed and utilized in their culture he has spent his whole life seeking validation in art world he wonders how many other unknown artists feel similarly useless discarded he considers i’m forty-five years old now and i don’t have a penny to show for all my troubles i still believe i have much to give insights to reveal but no practical plan for survival i don’t know how i’m going to get through this existence the world wants young promising talent not some older painter striving for another chance women want nothing to do with an impoverished aging dreamer my dog loves me she knows who feeds her i’ve got academic degrees a long resume of legitimate shows i know how to use a computer solve problems fix toilets sinks strip and paint serve food and liquor but i can’t land a decent job i never learned how to properly market or barter my work and i’m not interested in the position of sacrificial lamb i want a home and female partner like other men have i want to be needed respected loved a creative member of a community instead of an expendable outsider working menial jobs for minimum wage what good are paintings if no one looks at them what good are noble values in a corrupt society the world runs on money and greed not freedom and love
Ryan Bowdish Dec 2010
I'm drawing a blank, here.
Let's spill it all out.
We love everything altogether as it is. Even the things we hate.
We love to hate them. I do. You certainly do.

No relevancy here, please don't even try to understand
This hastily scribbled bunch of swirls
I am just trying to meet my psychological demands
And dance across continental rifts
Deep-sea madness floods

Your brain on the walls
All your memories on my favorite sweater
It's so beautiful to watch your life flash
After your eyes are turned round
And they get all bloodshot
Like my buckshot.


This doesn't make any sense anymore.
What am I doing?
Seriously, guys, what the ****?!

It's so hard to watch the good ones turn sour.
Beautiful and poetic.
"I hate the way things are."
“I cannot but remember such things were,
  And were most dear to me.”
  ‘Macbeth’

  [”That were most precious to me.”
  ‘Macbeth’, act iv, sc. 3.]


When slow Disease, with all her host of Pains,
Chills the warm tide, which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring;
Not to the aching frame alone confin’d,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind:
What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe,
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,
With Resignation wage relentless strife,
While Hope retires appall’d, and clings to life.
Yet less the pang when, through the tedious hour,
Remembrance sheds around her genial power,
Calls back the vanish’d days to rapture given,
When Love was bliss, and Beauty form’d our heaven;
Or, dear to youth, pourtrays each childish scene,
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been.
As when, through clouds that pour the summer storm,
The orb of day unveils his distant form,
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain
And dimly twinkles o’er the watery plain;
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams,
The Sun of Memory, glowing through my dreams,
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze,
To scenes far distant points his paler rays,
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway,
The past confounding with the present day.

Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought,
Which still recurs, unlook’d for and unsought;
My soul to Fancy’s fond suggestion yields,
And roams romantic o’er her airy fields.
Scenes of my youth, develop’d, crowd to view,
To which I long have bade a last adieu!
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes;
Friends lost to me, for aye, except in dreams;
Some, who in marble prematurely sleep,
Whose forms I now remember, but to weep;
Some, who yet urge the same scholastic course
Of early science, future fame the source;
Who, still contending in the studious race,
In quick rotation, fill the senior place!
These, with a thousand visions, now unite,
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight.

IDA! blest spot, where Science holds her reign,
How joyous, once, I join’d thy youthful train!
Bright, in idea, gleams thy lofty spire,
Again, I mingle with thy playful quire;
Our tricks of mischief, every childish game,
Unchang’d by time or distance, seem the same;
Through winding paths, along the glade I trace
The social smile of every welcome face;
My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy or woe,
Each early boyish friend, or youthful foe,
Our feuds dissolv’d, but not my friendship past,—
I bless the former, and forgive the last.
Hours of my youth! when, nurtur’d in my breast,
To Love a stranger, Friendship made me blest,—
Friendship, the dear peculiar bond of youth,
When every artless ***** throbs with truth;
Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign,
And check each impulse with prudential rein;
When, all we feel, our honest souls disclose,
In love to friends, in open hate to foes;
No varnish’d tales the lips of youth repeat,
No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit;
Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen’d years,
Matured by age, the garb of Prudence wears:
When, now, the Boy is ripen’d into Man,
His careful Sire chalks forth some wary plan;
Instructs his Son from Candour’s path to shrink,
Smoothly to speak, and cautiously to think;
Still to assent, and never to deny—
A patron’s praise can well reward the lie:
And who, when Fortune’s warning voice is heard,
Would lose his opening prospects for a word?
Although, against that word, his heart rebel,
And Truth, indignant, all his ***** swell.

  Away with themes like this! not mine the task,
From flattering friends to tear the hateful mask;
Let keener bards delight in Satire’s sting,
My Fancy soars not on Detraction’s wing:
Once, and but once, she aim’d a deadly blow,
To hurl Defiance on a secret Foe;
But when that foe, from feeling or from shame,
The cause unknown, yet still to me the same,
Warn’d by some friendly hint, perchance, retir’d,
With this submission all her rage expired.
From dreaded pangs that feeble Foe to save,
She hush’d her young resentment, and forgave.
Or, if my Muse a Pedant’s portrait drew,
POMPOSUS’ virtues are but known to few:
I never fear’d the young usurper’s nod,
And he who wields must, sometimes, feel the rod.
If since on Granta’s failings, known to all
Who share the converse of a college hall,
She sometimes trifled in a lighter strain,
’Tis past, and thus she will not sin again:
Soon must her early song for ever cease,
And, all may rail, when I shall rest in peace.

  Here, first remember’d be the joyous band,
Who hail’d me chief, obedient to command;
Who join’d with me, in every boyish sport,
Their first adviser, and their last resort;
Nor shrunk beneath the upstart pedant’s frown,
Or all the sable glories of his gown;
Who, thus, transplanted from his father’s school,
Unfit to govern, ignorant of rule—
Succeeded him, whom all unite to praise,
The dear preceptor of my early days,
PROBUS, the pride of science, and the boast—
To IDA now, alas! for ever lost!
With him, for years, we search’d the classic page,
And fear’d the Master, though we lov’d the Sage:
Retir’d at last, his small yet peaceful seat
From learning’s labour is the blest retreat.
POMPOSUS fills his magisterial chair;
POMPOSUS governs,—but, my Muse, forbear:
Contempt, in silence, be the pedant’s lot,
His name and precepts be alike forgot;
No more his mention shall my verse degrade,—
To him my tribute is already paid.

  High, through those elms with hoary branches crown’d
Fair IDA’S bower adorns the landscape round;
There Science, from her favour’d seat, surveys
The vale where rural Nature claims her praise;
To her awhile resigns her youthful train,
Who move in joy, and dance along the plain;
In scatter’d groups, each favour’d haunt pursue,
Repeat old pastimes, and discover new;
Flush’d with his rays, beneath the noontide Sun,
In rival bands, between the wickets run,
Drive o’er the sward the ball with active force,
Or chase with nimble feet its rapid course.
But these with slower steps direct their way,
Where Brent’s cool waves in limpid currents stray,
While yonder few search out some green retreat,
And arbours shade them from the summer heat:
Others, again, a pert and lively crew,
Some rough and thoughtless stranger plac’d in view,
With frolic quaint their antic jests expose,
And tease the grumbling rustic as he goes;
Nor rest with this, but many a passing fray
Tradition treasures for a future day:
“’Twas here the gather’d swains for vengeance fought,
And here we earn’d the conquest dearly bought:
Here have we fled before superior might,
And here renew’d the wild tumultuous fight.”
While thus our souls with early passions swell,
In lingering tones resounds the distant bell;
Th’ allotted hour of daily sport is o’er,
And Learning beckons from her temple’s door.
No splendid tablets grace her simple hall,
But ruder records fill the dusky wall:
There, deeply carv’d, behold! each Tyro’s name
Secures its owner’s academic fame;
Here mingling view the names of Sire and Son,
The one long grav’d, the other just begun:
These shall survive alike when Son and Sire,
Beneath one common stroke of fate expire;
Perhaps, their last memorial these alone,
Denied, in death, a monumental stone,
Whilst to the gale in mournful cadence wave
The sighing weeds, that hide their nameless grave.
And, here, my name, and many an early friend’s,
Along the wall in lengthen’d line extends.
Though, still, our deeds amuse the youthful race,
Who tread our steps, and fill our former place,
Who young obeyed their lords in silent awe,
Whose nod commanded, and whose voice was law;
And now, in turn, possess the reins of power,
To rule, the little Tyrants of an hour;
Though sometimes, with the Tales of ancient day,
They pass the dreary Winter’s eve away;
“And, thus, our former rulers stemm’d the tide,
And, thus, they dealt the combat, side by side;
Just in this place, the mouldering walls they scaled,
Nor bolts, nor bars, against their strength avail’d;
Here PROBUS came, the rising fray to quell,
And, here, he falter’d forth his last farewell;
And, here, one night abroad they dared to roam,
While bold POMPOSUS bravely staid at home;”
While thus they speak, the hour must soon arrive,
When names of these, like ours, alone survive:
Yet a few years, one general wreck will whelm
The faint remembrance of our fairy realm.

  Dear honest race! though now we meet no more,
One last long look on what we were before—
Our first kind greetings, and our last adieu—
Drew tears from eyes unus’d to weep with you.
Through splendid circles, Fashion’s gaudy world,
Where Folly’s glaring standard waves unfurl’d,
I plung’d to drown in noise my fond regret,
And all I sought or hop’d was to forget:
Vain wish! if, chance, some well-remember’d face,
Some old companion of my early race,
Advanc’d to claim his friend with honest joy,
My eyes, my heart, proclaim’d me still a boy;
The glittering scene, the fluttering groups around,
Were quite forgotten when my friend was found;
The smiles of Beauty, (for, alas! I’ve known
What ’tis to bend before Love’s mighty throne;)
The smiles of Beauty, though those smiles were dear,
Could hardly charm me, when that friend was near:
My thoughts bewilder’d in the fond surprise,
The woods of IDA danc’d before my eyes;
I saw the sprightly wand’rers pour along,
I saw, and join’d again the joyous throng;
Panting, again I trac’d her lofty grove,
And Friendship’s feelings triumph’d over Love.

  Yet, why should I alone with such delight
Retrace the circuit of my former flight?
Is there no cause beyond the common claim,
Endear’d to all in childhood’s very name?
Ah! sure some stronger impulse vibrates here,
Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear
To one, who thus for kindred hearts must roam,
And seek abroad, the love denied at home.
Those hearts, dear IDA, have I found in thee,
A home, a world, a paradise to me.
Stern Death forbade my orphan youth to share
The tender guidance of a Father’s care;
Can Rank, or e’en a Guardian’s name supply
The love, which glistens in a Father’s eye?
For this, can Wealth, or Title’s sound atone,
Made, by a Parent’s early loss, my own?
What Brother springs a Brother’s love to seek?
What Sister’s gentle kiss has prest my cheek?
For me, how dull the vacant moments rise,
To no fond ***** link’d by kindred ties!
Oft, in the progress of some fleeting dream,
Fraternal smiles, collected round me seem;
While still the visions to my heart are prest,
The voice of Love will murmur in my rest:
I hear—I wake—and in the sound rejoice!
I hear again,—but, ah! no Brother’s voice.
A Hermit, ’midst of crowds, I fain must stray
Alone, though thousand pilgrims fill the way;
While these a thousand kindred wreaths entwine,
I cannot call one single blossom mine:
What then remains? in solitude to groan,
To mix in friendship, or to sigh alone?
Thus, must I cling to some endearing hand,
And none more dear, than IDA’S social band.

  Alonzo! best and dearest of my friends,
Thy name ennobles him, who thus commends:
From this fond tribute thou canst gain no praise;
The praise is his, who now that tribute pays.
Oh! in the promise of thy early youth,
If Hope anticipate the words of Truth!
Some loftier bard shall sing thy glorious name,
To build his own, upon thy deathless fame:
Friend of my heart, and foremost of the list
Of those with whom I lived supremely blest;
Oft have we drain’d the font of ancient lore,
Though drinking deeply, thirsting still the more;
Yet, when Confinement’s lingering hour was done,
Our sports, our studies, and our souls were one:
Together we impell’d the flying ball,
Together waited in our tutor’s hall;
Together join’d in cricket’s manly toil,
Or shar’d the produce of the river’s spoil;
Or plunging from the green declining shore,
Our pliant limbs the buoyant billows bore:
In every element, unchang’d, the same,
All, all that brothers should be, but the name.

  Nor, yet, are you forgot, my jocund Boy!
DAVUS, the harbinger of childish joy;
For ever foremost in the ranks of fun,
The laughing herald of the harmless pun;
Yet, with a breast of such materials made,
Anxious to please, of pleasing half afraid;
Candid and liberal, with a heart of steel
In Danger’s path, though not untaught to feel.
Still, I remember, in the factious strife,
The rustic’s musket aim’d against my life:
High pois’d in air the massy weapon hung,
A cry of horror burst from every tongue:
Whilst I, in combat with another foe,
Fought on, unconscious of th’ impending blow;
Your arm, brave Boy, arrested his career—
Forward you sprung, insensible to fear;
Disarm’d, and baffled by your conquering hand,
The grovelling Savage roll’d upon the sand:
An act like this, can simple thanks repay?
Or all the labours of a grateful lay?
Oh no! whene’er my breast forgets the deed,
That instant, DAVUS, it deserves to bleed.

  LYCUS! on me thy claims are justly great:
Thy milder virtues could my Muse relate,
To thee, alone, unrivall’d, would belong
The feeble efforts of my lengthen’d song.
Well canst thou boast, to lead in senates fit,
A Spartan firmness, with Athenian wit:
Though yet, in embryo, these perfections shine,
LYCUS! thy father’s fame will soon be thine.
Where Learning nurtures the superior mind,
What may we hope, from genius thus refin’d;
When Time, at length, matures thy growing years,
How wilt thou tower, above thy fellow peers!
Prudence and sense, a spirit bold and free,
With Honour’s soul, united beam in thee.

Shall fair EURYALUS, pass by unsung?
From ancient lineage, not unworthy, sprung:
What, though one sad dissension bade us part,
That name is yet embalm’d within my heart,
Yet, at the mention, does that heart rebound,
And palpitate, responsive to the sound;
Envy dissolved our ties, and not our will:
We once were friends,—I’ll think, we are so still.
A form unmatch’d in Nature’s partial mould,
A heart untainted, we, in thee, behold:
Yet, not the Senate’s thunder thou shall wield,
Nor seek for glory, in the tented field:
To minds of ruder texture, these be given—
Thy soul shall nearer soar its native heaven.
Haply, in polish’d courts might be thy seat,
But, that thy tongue could never forge deceit:
The courtier’s supple bow, and sneering smile,
The flow of compliment, the slippery wile,
Would make that breast, with indignation, burn,
And, all the glittering snares, to tempt thee, spurn.
Domestic happiness will stamp thy fate;
Sacred to love, unclouded e’er by hate;
The world admire thee, and thy friends adore;—
Ambition’s slave, alone, would toil for more.

  Now last, but nearest, of the social band,
See honest, open, generous CLEON stand;
With scarce one speck, to cloud the pleasing scene,
No vice degrades that purest soul serene.
On the same day, our studious race begun,
On the same day, our studious race was run;
Thus, side by side, we pass’d our first career,
Thus, side by side, we strove for many a year:
At last, concluded our scholastic life,
We neither conquer’d in the classic strife:
As Speakers, each supports an equal name,
And crowds allow to both a partial fame:
To soothe a youthful Rival’s early pride,
Though Cleon’s candour would the palm divide,
Yet Candour’s self compels me now to own,
Justice awards it to my Friend alone.

  Oh! Friends regretted, Scenes for ever dear,
Remembrance hails you with her warmest tear!
Drooping, she bends o’er pensive Fancy’s urn,
To trace the hours, which never can return;
Yet, with the retrospection loves to dwell,
And soothe the sorrows of her last farewell!
Yet greets the triumph of my boyish mind,
As infant laurels round my head were twin’d;
When PROBUS’ praise repaid my lyric song,
Or plac’d me higher in the studious throng;
Or when my first harangue receiv’d applause,
His sage instruction the primeval cause,
What gratitude, to him, my soul possest,
While hope of dawning honours fill’d my breast!
For all my humble fame, to him alone,
The praise is due, who made that fame my own.
Oh! could I soar above these feeble lays,
These young effusions of my early days,
To him my Muse her noblest strain would give,
The song might perish, but the theme might live.
Yet, why for him the needless verse essay?
His honour’d name requires no vain display:
By every son of grateful IDA blest,
It finds an ech
Thomas Thurman May 2010
Hallelujah Simpkins, Syllogism Brown,
Wandered up to Barkingside to walk around the town.
Does it make you wonder, when they ring the bell,
How they press the ***** keys and sing along as well?
Syllogism wondered so he climbed the tower to see;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, I know that I am free.

Hallelujah Simpkins, Pendlebury Jane,
Hurried to the hospital and hurried home again.
Does it make you wonder, when they run so fast,
How they know they'll ever reach the hospital at last?
Pendlebury wondered even though she couldn't run,
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, today I have a son.

Hallelujah Simpkins, Academic Smith,
Never et an orange if they couldn't eat the pith.
Does it make you wonder, if oranges can float,
Why they catch the Underground and never catch a boat?
Academic wondered so he went and caught the train;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, and said it once again.

Hallelujah Simpkins, Concertina Flight,
Hear the song the angels sing in Dagenham tonight!
Does it make you wonder, climbing Heaven's stair,
How you'd speak to Hallelujah Simpkins, if he's there?
Simpkins only wondered whom he followed as he soared;
Hallelujah, Simpkins said, and glory to the Lord!
Lenore Lux Jan 2015
I come from South of the border,
just South of Portland with a little West bend
not from the hills of the academic and domestic
Wake up at 1P, M in the morning
ash under my nails smelling errl in my nose hairs
"Hey do you think I could *** a smoke, bro?"
Sure my man I got a spare so don't fret, but I'm not a bro, though"
"For real?"
**** man, I run into you every day do I really have to do this every day?

Life like the industrial companies lining my streets
press and press and I press and I do it all again
but every step might not go forward, I keep
sayin I don't have the reserve to go on like this,
this ****'s burnin me before progress,
can I just make a little bit?
"No," says me, "but maybe you can next time."
Can I get out of bed at least?
"You know the rules," says me, "get to the car and the engine's running."
But man there's a lot of broken glass down there,
painful, diamond shards trailing in with the past down there.
Is this fair?
Okay, don't answer that.

Not raised by a ****-head, thank god, but neglected,
but kept safe in a home offering protection
Mother's broke and mi papi es a ghost
left to my lonesome devilish devices
look it's a **** **** with vicious collection
of debt and death-draw bridged in prevention by vices
smoke till I choke, kid, smoke while I toast
"I became someone so why couldn't you, too?"
****, kid, I just want to see the weekend,
Just want to see tomorrow,
Just want to wake up sometime
st64 Nov 2013
she didn't know..
until she knew
what a curve of learning!


1.
both college-students and real good-friends
he was a science-and-botany buff
            *and the mountain would get a taste of his cells

and she, student of philosophy and languages
            would hear the latent-message from a dozen sources


2.
they shared confidences to the other
things they never told a soul
            he also discussed his theories and science-experiments and projects and stuff
            she told him how slightly-uphill her lectures in Russian proved to be
they'd meet there every Monday.. under the campus-trees
with two hellish-strong espressos
        he remembered her chewy-doughnuts without any snow-sprinkles
        'cause she was given to these silly coughing-fits
        when eating peanuts and pulses
he teased her endless and ragged all her idiosyncrasies
they seemed closer than kin

yet he seemed to remain aloof when she tried to get closer
      he brushed off her advances
      and told her to get lost
then ran off with Lilian on Tuesday
then Zita next Tuesday
then Sumaya the following Wednesday
and Tarryn on Thursday after that
and so it went on for a whole while
the whole academic-year, in fact

yet still
      they studied together
      and swore in debates
      and met every Monday
oh, that was the one day he never dated


3.
on the first day of each month
he'd give her a beautiful clutch-pencil
its casing bled entirely in translucent-fuchsin
and told her to guard well context over content
she never understood this cryptic-crap
       but smilingly accepted each one
she thought them too pretty to use
       and kept them in a special-box
       yet her heart broke each time
he took out a new flavour-of-girl
and shared his tongue with
     Sally and Margaret and Lisbeth and Anne..
     some lasted days, others short-weeks
but they all fizzled out
like the pop that they swallowed
and she wondered if he would ever
              favour her with affection
              give to her what those lucky-gals got
              look into her eyes like that
              whisper sweet-nothings to her
why didn't he want her?

but he was brusque with her and abrupt as discordant-chords
he scolded her like uneven-bricks tumbling down
and yet, it was to her that he played
               his own alternate-ballads on his banjo
               i n t r i c a t e - b e a u t y like living-pearls on those strings
      he couldn't look at her, then
      too caught-up in sweet-delivery of song
and with his eyes closed, her imagination took high-flight
as she was able to stare at him, without fear
                           in wonder
                           in enchantment
and marvel at the mesmerising co-ordination of those busy-fingers..

others passed by, but he did not care.. so giving
she felt so unique
'cause she got what they did not
           unbreakable-bond of
            music and.. talk and.. those clutch-pencil gifts

and for his birthday, she gave him a two-tone pelargonium, potted in cream
left him wordless..


4.
it was near the end of November
(just like now:)
and he casually mentioned of going away
            a week-long hike in December
            with a girl in a group that he'd met, some Sarah or other
and something in her flared and she broke down..
                                                                ­went off the rails

he looked on aghast, in total silence.. half-perplexed, half-squinting
     which disquietened her far more than any outburst could have
he stood there before her, on that Monday
       in the beautiful mid-morning sun
she remembered, to the moment.. how the light caught his eyes
       seemed to be looking right t-h-r-o-u-g-h her
       and almost, she saw the tiniest-trace of something...
       struck by a touch of liquid-vulnerability in his being
but hooded-eyes quick again, typical-hider!

he reached into his backpack
****** her a clutch-pencil
which she almost rejected
but she calmed herself down
and he looked at her once
            turned on heel
and walked to his Beetle
rode off the campus
without looking back

and she kept on wondering what it was all about
       that silent intense-look


5.
news came of a group of hikers who succumbed
from high up
some slipped and
her acrid-tears were not the only to fall
upon learning......


6.
she ran back to her dorm
reached for his gifts.. in full-remorse
and clutching a pencil in each hand
she squeezed and accidentally pressed on the flick-top
and then...............
               (it came out)
i t . . . c a m e . . . o u t . . . ! !

never in her life would she be as stunned
as they repeated their message
     over and over
     in tandem audio-confusion
in all the tongues she had studied
she learns now
of the time he took to delve into her crap to relay his truth through his amazing-invention!


7.
at the interment, she couldn't speak
displacement dipped too deep
she took up one clutch-pencil
      and pressed on the top
      message loud and clear
custom-made brilliance direct from heaven's fingertips

the pall-bearers lifted him up
                 and
out of her life

now this roundabout-present lies in the velours-box
like he does in his



students of learning..
in book.. and in heart









S T - 25 nov 2013
sort of confusing day - yet, clearing tracks can be good thing, no?
yes!


the pen sure be mightier than the sword ~
but life is much like a pencil - ain't nada permanent :)




sub: beloved

father, beloved.. who will care for us?
when you depart for war tomorrow
against the people's will

mother, beloved.. we pray for you
your seven children miss you so
we seek your guidance now

children, beloved.. hark ye well
there be a place to go, when alone
to feed the soul.. go quietly - inside

it's simple-truth:
(when you fail to go within
you go without)
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
She was cold. Not enough layers worn under her coat to keep the combination of sea and mountain air at bay. But the afternoon was bright. A sky-blue Sunday. A day when there was space to think about something other than Martin, her coming week of lectures and tutorials, and ‘the book’, the necessary book on which her future, academic or otherwise, would appear to depend. And what was there to think about in this space? The quality of light, the colour of the sea, her new and still to be broken in boots, Jennifer Williams . . .
     She had arrived one morning at the Department's excuse for an office to find her door open and a slight, red-haired young woman browsing her bookshelves.
    'Have you read these or are they just for show,’ the redhead said, not turning round in greeting but reaching up to pick Foucault's Histoire de la sexualité, III: le souci de soi off the shelf.
    'No, it's just there to impress my students.’
    'Well, I'm impressed,’ she said pirouetting like a dancer to look Anne straight in the face with those dark brown eyes, eyes like chocolate, eyes that were to become Anne’s undoing.
     'Does Michel Foucault interest you?'
      'No, but I like the colour of the cover and the quality of type.’
     Anne put down her bag, removed her laptop, her lunch, an embarrassing attempt at some knitting, her National Trust magazine, and the latest Granta. Evidence of some kind of life perhaps, a statement. Just what does the contents of a bag say about who you are, she wondered?
     The young woman remained still and silent as her eyes followed Anne's 'getting organised for the day' movements around the room.
     'Are you going to offer me coffee?’ said the girl.
     Yes, she was just a girl Anne thought. 'How did you get in?'
     'The cleaner was here, I just walked in out of curiosity.’
     'Really'
     'I've seen you about. On the pier. Walking. Looking sad. Sadly beautiful. I came to ask if I might paint you'.
     Later, when she was naked in Jennifer's studio and she had been touched in a way no one had ever touched her before, Anne said.
     'I hope you are not a student.'
     'No, just an artist who picks up interesting-looking people on piers.’
     'What makes me look interesting?'
      'The way you move, so sadly, as though you don't know what you want from life.’
      'Oh.’
      Jennifer put her red head, her golden red hair against Anne's thigh, and stroking her foot said.
      'I saw you last Sunday all alone, so alone. I've dreamt of you. Dreamed I'd paint you into my stupid life. Be your companion, a dog for you to walk with, a cat for you to come home to, a warm body to hold you in bed.’
     Anne said nothing. She dressed. She kissed Jennifer very gently on her brow and on her right ear. She left the little flat with its view of the pier, the estuary and the mountains beyond. She knew then she had lost control of her life. She could and would from now on be the fictional person she had sought and imagined for so long.
This is from a collection of very short stories and prose poems titled 37 Minutes. This was the time it took to commute by train to my studio. I wrote something almost every day for six months. I've kept about twenty of these pieces.
I am not the name upon the building
There is no shingle hung for me
But, if we walk into the forest
You'll see where it's carved upon a tree

I move in diferent circles
though I like who I've become
While my friends were busy studying
I was absorbing, having fun

I'm wrapped up in a blanket of academic non achieving
Too much time has passed me by to sit here now and grieving
I wear a cloak of non success that is a little worn
And just like me, it's tattered some and in places slightly torn
It doesn't matter one **** bit, I'm where I want to be
Making ripples in the water, that make their way out to the sea

I life life at a different speed
and Time it is my friend
Because just like those who studied hard
We're all dieing in the end

They won't outlive their building
Their name not there to see
But, deep down in the forest
My name's still on that tree

I'm wrapped up in a blanket of academic non achieving
Too much time has passed me by to sit here now and grieving
I wear a cloak of non success that is a little worn
And just like me, it's tattered some and in places slightly torn

They won't outlive their building
Their name not there to see
But, deep down in the forest
My name's still on that tree
G Rhydian Morgan Aug 2011
Ripples running away from me
disturbing the cool water around.
My splash is heard by the trees and the birds
But by none who can offer help.
At first I panic, thrash madly,
as a thrush flutters on the breeze.
More waves are caused by the actions
But still I flap and scream.

Not a soul can hear me;
the woods are a wilderness, deserted.
Everything hidden by the low dense cloud,
It stops my sight short and muffles my voice.
So I wait drifting with the current
no longer reaching for a hold,
Confident I’ll be found and saved
Dried out and sent home happy.

The minutes soon become hours though
and still there is no help.
I give up counting depressing time.
I don’t want to know how long.
My skin starts to wrinkle with wetness
like a dried fruit in a plastic bag;
My nails soften in the water
But still trap **** and other life.

My faith in human nature
starts to fade and recede.
I try calling out once more
A strange fear forcing the action
I now grab, frantic, at anything in reach
Losing what little strength's left
And the weight of the water in my clothes
And body is dragging me down.

Finally I realise what’s happening to me
is I am sinking, drowning - and fast.
I am dying and there is nothing
I can do myself to stop it.
Inevitable, unpreventable death that I
now accept as being my destiny,
I close my eyes and try to help
By thinking heavy thoughts.

Running over in my head all the reasons
why it may be better this way -
As death is certain this is academic
But strangely seems to help.
If one can find the good in Death
it’s not so unattractive.
I no longer worry, I am resigned
It is my choice to die.

So I just lie back and wait for
embrace even my forthcoming Death
And then I hear a sound prayed for weeks ago
But dreaded and hated as I am now
Footsteps coming towards me that I try to ignore
(and ignore their voices too)
And a hand reaches for me, grasps mine
They think I should be happy to be saved

But they cannot see I don’t want to be saved
from the Death I was so close to and wanted.
I welcomed it, I willed it, to
Come and release me from the pain
Now I am safe I must endure once more
the suffering, and accept Death again.
So here I am alive and well
Trapped in the prison of life.
Ceida Uilyc Jan 2015
I know nothing about this discontentment,
This irritation and friction with sanity,
Suddenly it feels like I have not known my sanity,
Ever.
I have a confession to make.
To my parents,
3 decades older than me.
To tell them that I’ve been lying to them,
Lying about my degree, education and academic wealth,
For almost two years.
The fact is,
I had no choice but to tell them all is well
When the awls were pricking into my tender innards.
The time has come now,
Because I can no longer continue telling the untruth,
I tried if I could crawl in the campus,
Under the tag of being institutionalized,
For them.
Every day that I kept a straight face to them,
I trembled and felt the roars of the rising schizophrenic worlds, bit by bit, all around me.
I felt the unknown telugu that I heard in my mother tongue,
In my dad's voice.
Him renouncing me.
Him grabbing his head,
So as not to explode from the dirge of my living dead.
I hear my parents abusing me, in the random shouts of my neighbors.


I saw it all so clear.
I screamed.
I ranted.
But, found no warmth anywhere.
The fear, anticipation and confusion have killed my sanity.

Today, I flutter like a half-winged bird,
In the darkness of yesterday,
That my parents count as lit.
But then I released,
Knowledge is free.
And, knowledge is everywhere.
And knowledge came to me,
not with the stamps and seals of degrees,
But the enlightenment
From a concoction of three snorts of ******* and a dash of a little LSD on a Hoffman blot.
I rebelled mad in my high,
That I will no longer be institutionalized.
That I’m a free soul.
I became sober,
But my interests did not change.
Its been two years,
And I’m still astray, waiting to fully feel the freedom I have opted for.
For the pain of the mismatch I pour into my parent’s ears,
It kills me each day, second and time.
I have the guts to confess to my parents,
With neither shame nor embarrassment,
That my path is true and solid.
I wish not to be trained no more, to live.
I wish to simply live on my own.
I want them to know the truth.
That I have my house.
My kitchen.
My milk pan, mixer and fridge.
Today, if that **** that happened 5 years ago to me,
had happened now,
I know how to stand.
On my feet,
and hand him, my ******,
over to the law's eagle blind beaks sharper than the awl of my gossamer mists. Rather than bend my conviction, arrogance and identity to that ******* of a coward.

I want them to know that this is the only way.
Today,
I earn myself.
I live myself.
I’m free.
I have to be free.
I write all that I will.
And do forever the same.
I just,
Have to be free.
I will be free.
Presently, I have confessed, my dad hugged me and set me free. Assured me that he will be there at every juncture. It was just the 2-years of my poetic schizophrenia!!!
Thanks Pa, I'll stun you someday too :D :-*
To every kid out there, finding his own path, lying to parents, just so that they feel everything is alright, Hon', just keep walking. Parents are one of the biggest mysteries. Don't try predicting what they'll do, 'Cause they're gonna stun you blind. Just blind it all with your searing faith in yourself. So, don't waste any time, run, my child. Run!
Good Luck.
Kyle Dedalus May 2011
This is an ode to Adderall,

that wonderful mixture of

dextroamphetamine sulfate

dextroamphetamine saccharate

amphetamine

aspartate monohydrate

and amphetamine sulfate capsules

that all combine together

to form a prescribable pill

questionably similar to the Schedule II controlled substance street drug

commonly refered to as "Speed."


This is an ode to the children

who are bundles of energy caged in a classroom

incapable of concentrating

on the miniscule tasks given to them

by pedagogical authorities that

promise societal success and economic happiness

to those who complete their work on time

without a fuss or a doubt as to why they're

filling in bubbles on paper in the first place.

The confused children who watch

as others with calmer brains

fixate eyes on textbooks

rather than out the window.


This is an ode to Society

deeming these individuals as broken

choosing to wound then medicate

rather than proliferate.

That took their inquisitiveness

and locked it in a book with the label "DISORDER"

stating that you will never be anything

unless you think and feel the same way we do.

And much like a mad doctor

lobotomizing those whom he thinks insane

they synthesized a pill

to dampen a torrential brilliance

allowing them to place their sedated children

back in the box where they belonged.


This is an ode to the college students

chained by academic standards

expected to excel towards great things

if only they reach that ethereal diploma.

The students who crave the artificial focus

the increased capacity for concentration

with the broadened spectrum of perception

the sense of purpose in the tedium

the ungodly ability to think clearly

and perform the meaningless tasks they expect of us.

The students who go through illegal means

to purchase said drug

to swallow or snort

and dive back into the mountain of responsibility

with a new found sense of productivity and motivation.

An ode to the students

unable to find purpose in studenthood

the ones who find more virtue in watching the sunset

burn clouds into firework oblivion

before then blessing us with uncritical night.

An ode to the students

who discover more education

in climbing to the top of a mountain

and yelling a nonsense decree of passion

just to watch the echo

bounce from shore to shore

in cathartic reverberation.

The ones

for which our pill

is the only possible manner

of assigning purpose to purposeless assignments.

These are the ones

who must binge

cram for days before

the big exams

going whole nights without sleep

or food.

The ones slowly cracking under the increasing pressure of academia

spending more time questioning why they must complete their homework

instead of actually completing it.


This is an ode to my brothers and sisters

who stand in horror at the mold we must fit into

crafted by an unknown unshakable entity.

The ones who lost the appeal of cookie-cutter success

in exchange for a small understanding

of the way things really work.

The cogs that twisted off the machine

and now sit lotus-posed in the corner.

My fellow birds with broken wings

still expected to fly.

My fellow carpenters expected to build their estates

yet not given the proper tools to do so.

The ones of cursed cold clarities

perfectly capable of clutching

those fifteen minutes of dynasty

yet refrain from doing so due to

the immaculate futility of it all.


This is an ode to a drug induced rant

that no one will read

the one that I chose to write

instead of doing my **** homework in the library

like a compliant student.


This is an ode to the pressure-oriented procrastinators

that delay and yet again delay

their petty necessary obligations due to purposeless and exhausted motivation.

Swallowing substances to summon some sort of incentive

to fill in the bubbles

and cater to the Society they find so confusing

the ones who only under influence of synthesized chemicals

find reason to squeeze into that culturebox

that cascades down a bumpy man-made conveyor belt

branding a diploma onto your forehead

injecting an occupation into your veins

transforming your pupils to dollar bill signs

demanding you breed children

to do the same as you have

and you'll never be happy unless you do these things

right?


This is an ode to those who reside in the shadows

of our broken social system

and conjure up great conversations

pertaining to everything and nothing

that are as wonderful and necessary

as the prints of your fingers

caressing down a comfortable torso

just before the sun rises

the untouchable indescribable realizations of life and love

that are completely irrelevant in their eyes

but are entirely necessary for our survival.


This is an ode to the overwhelming feeling of love

greatly exacerbated by a pharmaceutical delight

whereupon connections with other humans

become both incredibly appealing and oddly magnetic

for a few electric hours.

The oxygenating satisfaction felt

the instance just after the small talk architecture masks

fall to the floor

and right before we put them back on.


This is an ode to the minutes before the amphetamine crash

where the world still doesn't make sense

but we briefly don't mind

because a few fleeting moments of energy and purpose

in this otherwise detestable confine of reality

are all you can really ask for

as you complete the assignments

then step outside

to smoke yet another cigarette (they're absolutely wonderful on Adderall try it some time it'll **** you slowly but then again what won't?)

only to witness our Sun

breeding fire clouds in the east

illuminating the Western Abyss into purple-gold spectral oblivion

and in consequence therefore

between puffs of a necessary cigarette

you grin to yourself in quiet victory.


This is an ode to misaligned priorities

to those who when walking to everimportant final examinations

think not of the curriculum beaten into their skulls

but take careful measure to step on every crack on the sidewalk

who stare not towards the future

but to the beautiful reflection reflecting back from the broken mirrors

that are the weary days and weary ways

of this curious existence.

To those when stepping into the absurd spotlight of Society

unapologetically proclaim:


"Though I must play your game,

you will never win."

— The End —