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Sometimes I feel like a participation trophy.
Congrats, you did it.
Here's to commemorate your dedication
Now goodbye, go do something better with your time
Earn something you're not afraid to show off
That's worth more than this five cents of plastic
Unless, of course, you're not good at anything
In which case look, everyone, at my trophy.
I participated in something
That took more effort than eating food or breathing
I showed up sometimes
And did some stuff
And I got this trophy I can put on my top shelf
So everyone can see it's a trophy,
But no one knows I barely earned it.
Not that anyone cares anyway
judy smith May 2016
For the fifth year in a row, Kering and Parsons School of Fashion rolled out the ‘Empowering Imagination’ design initiative. The competition engaged twelve 2016 graduates of the Parsons BFA Fashion Design program, who "were selected for their excellence in vision, acute awareness in design identity, and mastery of technical competencies." The winners, Ya Jun Lin and Tiffany Huang, will be awarded a 2-week trip to Kering facilities in Italy in June 2016 and will have their thesis collections featured in Saks Fifth Avenue New York’s windows.

The Kering and Parsons competition, which is currently in its fifth year, is one of a growing number of design competitions, including but not limited to the LVMH Prize, the ANDAM Awards, the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund, and its British counterpart, the Woolmark Prize, the Ecco Domani fashion award, and the Hyères Festival. among others.

In the generations prior, designers were certainly nominated for awards, but it seems that there was not nearly as intense of a focus on design competitions as a means for designers to get their footing, for design houses to scout talent, or for these competitions to select the best of the best in a especially large pool of young talent. Fern Mallis, the former executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and an industry consultant, told the New York Times: “Take the Calvin [Kleins] and the Donna [Karans] and the Ralph [Laurens] of the world. Some of these people had money from a friend or a partner who worked with them, but they weren’t out spending their time doing competitions and winning awards to get their business going.” She sheds light on an essential element: The relatively drastic difference between the state of fashion then and fashion now. Fashion then was slower, less global, and (a lot) less dominated by the internet, and so, it made for quite different circumstances for the building of a fashion brand.

Nowadays, young designers are more or less going full speed ahead right off the bat. They show comprehensive collections, many of which consist of garments and an array of accessories. They are expected to be active on social media. They are expected to establish a strong industry presence (think: Go to events and parties). They are expected to cope with the fashion business that has become large-scale and international. They are expected to collaborate to expand their reach, and while it does, at times, feel excessive, this is the reality because the industry is moving at such a quick pace, one that some argue is unsustainably rapid. The result is designers and design houses consistently building their brands and very rarely starting small. Case in point: Young brands showing pre-collections within a few years of setting up shop (for a total of four collections per year, not counting any collaboration or capsule collections), and established brands showing roughly four womenswear collections, four menswear collections, two couture collections, and quite often, a few diffusion collections each year.

The current climate of 'more is more' (more collections, more collaborations, more social media, more international know-how, etc.) in fashion is what sets currently emerging brands apart from older brands, many of which started small. This reality also sheds light on the increasing frequency with which designers rely on competitions as a means of gaining funds, as well as a means of establishing their names and not uncommonly, gaining outside funding.

The Ralphs, Tommys, Calvins and Perrys started off a bit differently. Ralph Lauren, for instance, started a niche business. The empire builder, now 74, got his start working at a department store then worked for a private label tie manufacturer (which made ties for Brooks Brothers and Paul Stuart). He eventually convinced them to let him make ties under the Polo label and work out of a drawer in their showroom. After gaining credibility thanks to the impeccable quality of his ties, he expanded into other things. Tommy Hilfiger similarly started with one key garment: Jeans. After making a name for himself by buying jeans, altering them into bellbottoms and reselling them at Brown’s in Manhattan, he opened a store catering to those that wanted a “rock star” aesthetic when he was 18-years old with $150. While the store went bankrupt by the time he was 25, it allowed him to get his foot in the door. He was offered design positions at Calvin Klein (who also got his start by focusing on a single garment: Coats. With $2,000 of his own money and $10,000 lent to him by a friend, he set up shop; in 1973, he got his big break when a major department store buyer accidentally walked into his showroom and placed an order for $50,000). Hilfiger was also offered a design position with Perry Ellis but turned them down to start his eponymous with help from the Murjani Group. Speaking of Perry Ellis, the NYU grad went to work at an upscale retail store in Virginia, where he was promoted to a buying/merchandising position in NYC, where he was eventually offered a chance to start his own label, a small operation. After several years of success, he spun it off as its own entity. Marc Jacobs, who falls into a bit of a younger generation, started out focusing on sweaters.

These few individuals, some of the biggest names in American fashion, obviously share a common technique. They intentionally started very small. They built slowly from there, and they had the luxury of being able to do so. Others, such as Hubert de Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and his successor Sarah Burton, Nicolas Ghesquière, Julien Macdonald, John Galliano and his successor Bill Gaytten, and others, spent time as apprentices, working up to design directors or creative directors, and maybe maintaining a small eponymous label on the side. As I mentioned, attempting to compare these great brand builders or notable creative directors to the young designers of today is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, as the nature of the market now is vastly different from what it looked like 20 years ago, let alone 30 or 40 years ago.

With this in mind, fashion competitions have begun to play an important role in helping designers to cope with the increasing need to establish a brand early on. It seems to me that winning (or nearly winning) a prestigious fashion competition results in several key rewards.

Primarily, it puts a designer's name and brand on the map. This is likely the least noteworthy of the rewards, as chances are, if you are selected to participate in a design competition, your name and brand are already out there to some extent as one of the most promising young designers of the moment.

Second are the actual prizes, which commonly include mentoring from industry insiders and monetary grants. We know that participation in competitions, such as the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the Woolmark Prize, the Swarovski, Ecco Domani, the LVMH Prize, etc., gives emerging designers face time with and mentoring from some of the most successful names in the industry. Chris Peters, half of the label Creatures of the Wind (pictured above), whose brand has been nominated for half of the aforementioned awards says of such participation: “It feels like we’ve talked to possibly everyone in fashion that we can possibly talk to." The grants, which range anywhere from $25,o00 to $400,000 and beyond, are obviously important, as many emerging designers take this money and stage a runway show or launch pre-collections, which often affect the business' bottom line in a major and positive way.

The third benefit is, in my opinion, the most significant. It seems that competitions also provide brands with some reputability in terms of finding funding. At the moment, the sea of young brands which is terribly vast. Like law school graduates, there are a lot of design school graduates. With this in mind, these competitions are, for the most part, serving as a selection mechanism. Sure, the inevitable industry politics and alternate agendas exist (without which the finalists lists may look a bit different), but great talent is being scouted, nonetheless. Not only is it important to showcase the most promising young talent and provide them with mentoring and grant money, as a way of maintaining an industry, but these competitions also do a monumental service to young brands in terms of securing additional funding. One of the most challenging aspects of the business for young/emerging brands is producing and growing absent outside investors' funds, and often, the only way for brands' to have access to such funds is by showing a proven sales track record, something that is difficult to establish when you've already put all of your money into your business and it is just not enough. This is a frustrating cycle for young designers.

However, this is where design competitions are a saving grace. If we look to recent Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund winners and runners-up, for instance, it is not uncommon to see funding (distinct from the grants associated with winning) come on the heels of successful participation. Chrome Hearts, the cult L.A.-based accessories label, acquired a minority stake in The Elder Statesman, the brand established by Greg Chait, the 2012 winner, this past March. A minority stake in 2011 winner Joseph Altuzarra's eponymous label was purchased by luxury conglomerate Kering in September 2013. Creatures of the Wind, the NYC-based brand founded by Shane Gabier and Chris Peters, which took home a runner-up prize in the 2011 competition, welcomed an investment from The Dock Group, a Los Angeles-based fashion investment firm, last year, as well.

Across the pond, the British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund has awarded prizes to a handful of designers who have gone on to land noteworthy investments. In January 2013, Christopher Kane (pictured below), the 2011 winner, sold a majority stake in his brand to Kering. Footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood was named the winner 2013 in May and by September, a majority stake in his company had been acquired by LVMH.

Thus, while the exposure that fashion design competition participants gain, and the mentoring and monetary grants that the winners enjoy, are certainly not to be discounted, the takeaway is much larger than that. These competitions are becoming the new way for investors and luxury conglomerates to source new talent, and for young brands to land the outside investments that they so desperately need to produce their collections, expand their studio space, build upon their existing collections, and even open brick and mortar stores.

While no one has scooped up inaugural LVMH winner Thomas Tait’s brand yet or fellow winner, Marques'Almeida, it is likely just be a matter of time.Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com/short-formal-dresses | http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-sydney
Julian Mar 2019
Tantalized by the fractious limerence of a vestigial habiliment of the old order, we conclude that hypertrophy leads to a limbo where random permutations alloyed by the rickety limits of concatenation subsume concepts that are equivocal but populate the imaginations of newfangled art forms that jostle the midwives of rumination to lead to unique pastures that are intuitively calibrated to correspond to definitive unitary events in conceptual space that sprawl unexpectedly towards the desultory but determinative conclusion of a meandering ludic sphere of rambunctious sentiments cobbled together to either rivet the captive audience or annoy the peevish criticaster when they dare to inseminate the canvassed and corrugated tract of intellectual territory created ad hoc to swelter the imagination with audacious ingenuity that is an inevitable byproduct of lexical hypertrophy. In this séance with the immaterial realm of concept rather than the predictable clockwork reductivism of a perceptual welter that is limited by the concretism circumscribed by spatiotemporal stricture we find that an extravagant twinge of even the smallest tocsin in the interstitial carousel of conscientious subroutines compounding recursively to pinprick the cossetted smolder of potentiality rather than extravagate into the vacancy of untenanted nullibiety can spawn a progeny of utilities and vehicles for dexterous abstraction that poach the exotic concepts we fathom by degrees of sapience malingering in lifeless bricolages of erratic abstraction in manners useful to transcend the repose of abeyance and heave awakening into the slumberous caverns of still-life to make them dynamically animated to capture ephemeral events that defy the demarcations of wistful indelicacy of the encumbered bulk of insufficient precision.

Today we embark on a quest to defile the anoegenetic recapitulation of canon that litters the dilapidated avenues of miserly contemplation that has a histeriological certainty and feeds the engines that enable novelty but ultimately remain rancid with the stench of the idiosyncratic shibboleths of synoptic alloyed impoverishment that leads to the vast wasteland of cremated entropy that is a stained foible of misappropriated context interpolated usefully as botched triage for daunting problems that require a nimble legerdemain of facile versatility that we easily adduce to conquer the present with the botched memorial of a defunct salience. Despite the travail of scholars to retreat from the frontier into the hypostatized hegemony of recycled credentialed information, we often are ensnared by the solemn attrition of decay as we traverse the conceptual underpinnings of all bedrock thought only to dangle precariously near the void of lapsed sentience because of transitory incontinence that is contiguous to the doldrums of crudity but nevertheless with mustered mettle we purport that the very self-serious awakening to our hobbling limitations is akin to a prosthetic enhancement of ratiocination capable of feats that stagger beneath the lowest level of subtext to elevate the highest superordinate categorization into heightened scrutiny that burgeons metacognitive limber. Marooned in the equipoise of specifiable enlightenment countermanded by the strictures of working memory we can orchestrate transverse pathways between the elemental quiddity of impetuous meaning and the dignified tropes of transitivity that bequeaths entire universes with feral progeny that modulate their ecosystems with both a taste of approximated symmetry and a cohesive enterprise for productivity that rests on the granular concordance of the highest plane to the indivisible parcels of atomic meaning that solder together to exist as intelligible if strained by the primordial frictions guaranteed by the brunt of motion incipient because of the metaphorical inertia created within insular universes to inform sprawling conurbations of mobilized thoughts designed to reckon with the breakneck pace of the corresponding reality to which they explicitly and precisely refer to.

We must singe surgically the filigrees that amount to the perceptible realities that transmute temperaments into the liturgy of routine conflated with the rigmarole of neural dragnets of reiterative quips in an elegant game of raillery with our supernal contumacy against the rigid authority of aleatory vagaries mandated by a dually arbitrary universe in a probabilistic terpsichorean dance with the depth of our dredge for subliminal acuity or the shallow bellicosity of common modes of glib contemplation characteristic of the basic nobility of improvisation. This basic interface with the world can either be mercurial or tranquil based on the interactionism of the enfeebled trudge of surface senses or blunt intuitions and the smoldering impact of the vestigial cloaks that deal gingerly with the poignant subtext evoked in the cauldron of immediacy rather than pondered with the portentous weight of imperative singularities of uniqueness derived from the plunge into the arcane citadel of microscopic introspection so refined that the ineffable drives we seek to fathom become amenable to the traipse of transcendental time that rarefies itself by defying the brunt of compartmentalized bureaucracies administered by the fulcrum of stereotypical notions of acquired gravitas imputed to mundane pedestrian quidnunc concerns that defile humanity rather than embolden the subaudition of gritty punctilios that show the supernal powers of the axiomatic divinity of sharpened sentience to reign with supremacy over the baser ignoble components of bletcherous nescience that leads to knee-**** platitudes that provoke folksy peevish divisions. We should rather orchestrate our activity by heeding the admonishment about the primogeniture of poignant sabotage buffered by the remonstration of innate tranquility and finding a whipsawed compromise of rationalization with true visceral encounters with the fulgurant quips of brisk emotions that grind industriously into amorphous retinues of the trenchant human imagination to either equip or hobble the leapfrogged interrogation of veracity and more consequently our notions of truth and fact.

When we see the hackneyed results of default ecological dynamics, we find ourselves aloof from purported transcendence because the whimpered bleats and cavils of the importunate masses result in a deafening din of cacophony because we strive throbbing with sprightliness towards the galloped chase of tantalization without the luxury of a terminus for satiation. Obviously a growth mindset is the galvanic ****** that spawns the imaginative swank of the pliable modulations of our perceived reality that, when protean, showcase the limitless verve of our primordial cacoethes for epigenetic evolution rather than the stolid and staid foreclosure of impervious sloth that memorializes the gluttony of speculation about fixed entities rather than imperative jostling urbanity that dignifies the brackish dance with dearth and the exuberant savory taste of momentary excess because it engages the animated pursuit of limerence rather than the exhumed corpse of wistful regret. Nature is a cyclical clockwork system of predatory instinct met with the clemency of the prosperous providence enacted by the travailing ingenuity of successive cumulative generativities that compounded unevenly and unpredictably to predicate a fundamental zeitgeist calculated to engorge the fattened resources of the resourceful and temper the etiolated dreams of the fringed acquiescence of a hulking prejudiced population of dutiful servants that balk at the diminutive prospects of a lopsided distribution of talent and means but slumber in irenic resolve created by the merciful hands of defensive designs that configure consciousness to relish comparative touchstones rather than absolute outcomes that straggle beyond a point of enviable reference to shield the world of the barbarism of botched laments clamoring for an uncertain grave from the gravity of the orbiting satellites of apportioned wealth both sunblind and boorish but simultaneously inextricable from the acclimated fortune of heaped nepotism and herculean opportunism. The intransigence of the weighted destiny of inequity is a squalid enterprise of primeval abrasive and combative tendencies within the bailiwick of the indignant compass inherent to the system that fathoms its deficiencies with crabwise and gingerly pause but airs a sheepish grievance like a bleat of self-exculpation but simultaneously an arraignment of fundamental attribution erroneously indicted without the selfsame reflexiveness characteristic of a transcendent being with other recourses to clamber an avenue to Broadway without malingering in the slums of opprobrious ineffectual remonstration against the arrangement of a blinkered metropolis of uneven gentrification.

We flicker sometimes between the strategic drivel of appeasement and the candor of audacious imprecation of the culprits of indignity or considerate nutritive encomium of the beacons of ameliorated enlightenment because we often masquerade a half-witted glib consciousness lazily sketched by the welters of verve alloyed with the rancid distaste of squalor and slumber on the faculty of conscientious swivels of prudential expeditions with an avarice for bountiful considered thought and wily contortions of demeanor that issue the affirmative traction of adaptive endeavor to cheat a warped system for a reconciled peace and a refined self-mastery. We need to traduce the urchins that sting the system with pangs of opprobrious ballyhoo and the effluvia of foofaraw that contaminate with pettifoggery and small-minded blather the arenas better suited for the gladiatorial combat of cockalorums tinged with a dose of intellectual effrontery beyond the span of dogmatism rather than the hackneyed platitudes that infest the news cycle with folksy backwardation catered to the fascism of a checkered established press that urges insurrection while tranquilizing dissent against the furtive actions of consequence hidden behind the draped verdure of pretense whose byproduct is only a self-referential sophistry that swarms like an intractable itch to devolve the spectator into a pasquinaded spectacle of profound human obtuseness that pervades malignantly the system of debate until the reductionists outwit themselves with the empty prevarication of circular logic that deliberately misfires to miss the target of true importance because of the pandered black hole easily evaded by creatures of high sentience but inevitably ensnaring the special kind of dupe into a cycle of bellicose ferocity of internecine balkanization. The vainglory of the omphalos of entertainment is also another reckoning because it festers a cultural mythos of glorified crapulence parading a philandered promiscuity with half-baked antics that gravitate attention and the lecheries of gaudy tenses of recycled tinsel alloyed by debased aberrations of seedy grapholagnia that magnetize as they percolate because of the insidious catchphrases embedded in pedestrian syncopation that ignite retention and acclimate to mediocrity the sounds of generations discolored by faint pasty rainbows rather than ennobled by majestic landscapes of ignipotent mellifluous sound that stands a supernal amusement still for the resourceful trainspotter.

Despite the contumely aimed in the direction of contrarians for deviating from the lockstep clockwork hustle of stooped pandered manipulation that peddles the wares of an entirely counterfeit reality, I stand obstinately against the melliferous stupefaction of entire genres of myth and subcultures huddled around the sentimental tug of factitious sophistries regaled by thick amorphous apostates that cherish the vacuous sidetracked spotlight with fervor rather than pausing on the enigmatic querulous inquisition about the penumbras that lurk with strained effort beneath or above the categorical nescience of the shadowy unknown that often coruscates with elegance even in obscurity. I fight with labored words to spawn a psychological discipline that invokes the incisive subaudition of the pluckily pricked exorcism of true insight from the husk of buzzwords that constellate auxiliary tangential distractions from the art form of psychological discernment that predicates itself on the concept that the rarefaction of rumination by degrees of microscopic precision enables the introspective hindsight of conscious events that can be parsed without the acrimony of cluttered conflations of the granular prowess of triumphant ratiocination that earns a panoramic perch with the added luxury of perspicacious insight into the atomic structure of the rudiments of our phenomenological field and the abstractions that linger beyond perceptual categorization. When we analyze the gradients of anger, for example, we can either be ****** into a brooded twinge of wistful resentment or we can decipher that through heuristics designed to cloister the provenance of subconscious repose with ignorance there exists a regimented array of tangential accessories embedded deep within the cavernous repository of memory that designates a cumulative trace of compounded symmetries of concordant experience immediately perceptible because of the tangible provocateur of our gripes and the largely subliminal tusk that protrudes because of primal instinct that squirms with peevishness because of the momentary context preceded by the desultory churn of smoldering associations swimming with either complete intangible sputtered mobility through the tract of subconscious hyperspace or rigidly fixated by an arraignment of circumstances with propinquity to the deep unfathomed flicker of bygones receding or protruding because of the warped and largely unpredictable rigmarole of constellated spreading activation.  
When we examine the largesse of the swift recourse of convenience we forget by degrees the travail that once bridged the span of experience from patient abeyance in provident pursuit to now the importunate glare of inflated expectations for immediacy that stings the whole enterprise of societal dynamics because it vitiates us with a complacency for the filigrees of momentary tinsel of a virtualized reality divorced from the concretism that used to undergird interaction and now stands outmoded as a wisp beyond outstretched hands straggling beyond the black mirror of a newfangled narcissistic clannishness that shepherds the ostentation of conceit to a predominant position that swaddles us with fretful diversion that operates on a warped logic of lurid squalor and pasty trends becoming the mainstays of a hypercritical linguistic system of entrapment based on the apostasy of candor for the propitiation of fringed aberration because of the majoritarian uproar about touchy butthurt pedantic criticasters with a penchant for persnickety structuralism. With the infestation of entertainment with the ubiquitous political cavils engineered by the ruling class to have a common arena of waggish irreverence we forget that sometimes the impetuous ****** of propaganda is cloaked by the fashionable implements of a rootless time writhing in a purported identity crisis only to gawk at the ungainly reflection of modernity in the mirror and remain blissfully unaware about the transmogrified cultural psyche that feeds the lunacy of endless spectacle based on the premise that one singular whipping post can unite an entire generation of miscegenated misfits looking for commonality to team up against the aging generations that cling to the sanctity of cherished jingoism against the intentionality of a revamped system that malingers with empty promises using exigency and legerdemain to obscure the mooncalves among their ranks that march on with quixotic dreams that tolerate only the idea of absolute tolerance and moderate only when feasibly permitted by the anchored negotiation of the fulcrum of totemic governmental responsibility between factions that wage volleys of invective at each other to promote a binary choice of vitiated compromises of mendaciloquence that ultimately endanger the republic with either the perils of hidebound conventionalism and nativist fervor or the boondoggles of fiscally irresponsible insanity cloaked with rainbows and participation trophies. Reproach can be distributed to both sides of the aisle because ironically in a world where gender is non-binary the most important reproductive ***** in the free world is a binary-by-default despotism that polarizes extremely ludic fantasies on the left met with the acrimony of the traditionalisms on the right that staunchly resist the fatuous confusions of delegated order only to the sharp rebuke of the revamped political vogue that owes its sustenance to a manufactured diplomacy of saccharine lies and ubiquitous lampoons that are lopsided in the direction of a globalist neoliberal bricolage of moderately popular buzzwords and the trojan horse of insubordinate flippant feminism that seeks to subvert through backhanded manipulation the patriarchy so many resent using lowbrow tactics and poignant case studies rather than legislating the egalitarian system into law using the proper channels. I myself am a political independent who sides with fiscal conservatism but libertarianism in most other affairs because the pettifoggery of law-and-order politics is a diatribe overused by sheltered suburbanites and red meat is often just as fatuous as blue tinsel and sadly in a majoritarian society the ushers of conformity demand corporate divestiture in favor of an ecological system of predictability rather than an opinionated welter of legitimate challenges to a broken system of backwards partisanship and wangled consent. Ultimately, I remain mostly apolitical, but I am a fervent champion of the mobilization of education to a statelier standard that demands rigor and responsibility rather than the chafe of rigmarole that understates the common objectives of humanity and rewards conventional thinking and nominal participation to earn credentialed pedigree when the bulk of talent resides elsewhere.
aniket nikhade Nov 2015
Once you participate in a race, if not anything else, you know one thing for sure.
Your own calibre.
It's then you realize and understand you need to make an active participation in every race from here onwards.

Your first experience teaches you a lot, since what follows later is an active participation from your side.

Over a period of time everything of which you are part starts changing
Now it's time to look for a better future
Always keep in mind that a secured future cannot be achieved if efforts are not been made
An uncertain future not only remains uncertain, but also keeps the present on hold.

What is thought upon is not the aim, but also the efforts that need to be made.
Always keep in mind take one step at a time while climbing the ladder, then it does not matter how long the ladder is.
The only thing that matters and also will make a difference is when you fall off the ladder.
At that point in time you will have to decide for yourself whether you want to climb again.

It’s not a mistake or an error, something which is done intentionally when you fall off the ladder, since mistakes happen.
Better learn from those mistakes and keep going
A moment in time will come when you will realize and understand how everything started
That will be the great moment in time, since that moment will be important
Till then keep going.

It’s success that everyone wants, but there is a price for everything, which you pay, including the success that you want.
Success comes at a price.

Better understand the outside world carefully and then act according to your own experience.
Once a step it taken, there is no point in looking back
Agreed it’s now or never, but only for those who know what they have been through in the past.

Once decided upon something, stick to the same
Understand and realize one thing for sure, time and tide waits for no one
Always be truthful and honest to yourself, even when you are making all the efforts.
Efforts never go wasted when the right direction is sought.

Compromise and negotiation is part of the game
What’s important to remember is mending your ways for short terms gains, something which remains unacceptable.

Act wisely, but be sure that there is no shortcut to success.

So it’s the passion and desire in you, inside you
The willingness to take the risk and go out for something of which you are absolutely sure.

The never give up attitude in life will make everything clear in mind
Once decided and everything is set and settled in mind, then from that point onwards proceed towards your aim.

Finally all that matters is success.
So don’t waste a single moment in time of your life and act according to what you have planned.
Definitely a moment in time will come when you will gain success and then the world will be at your feet.
Till that point in time comes keep going.
Dorothy A May 2012
Chad looked over at his sleeping son sitting next to him in the passenger seat. This little journey from the airport to his home still seemed so strange and uneasy to him. It astounded him that Ian was now twelve years old, nearly a teenager. To be honest, he still did not fully feel sure about this arrangement, this set-up for him to have his son for the summer. Nevertheless, he tried to project confidence to everyone involved, to his family and to Ian's mom. He kept reminding himself that it did not matter how he felt.

He needed to step up to the plate.

No, Chad Brewster never envisioned himself as a father, never dreamed of it, and certainly never once desired it or would have chosen it as his path. Though some of his close friends wanted or had a family, it was never a part of his plans to ever be a dad. He did not dislike children, but he just never expected he would ever settle down and have them.

He especially never expected to be a father at the mere age of sixteen years old.

The suburbs of Las Vegas were worlds away from the suburbs of Milwaukee. Driving down the desert surrounded streets and highways, sometimes homesickness tugged at his consciousness. At times, Chad’s craved the surroundings of his old existence—the shady pine trees, and spending time at Lake Michigan—and he would gladly trade some palm trees for the some of the pines he was so accustomed to. But this was the life he now chose to have, and he thought he should have no reason to complain or be too sentimental. Many people were not so lucky to experience any refreshing change in their lives, and he was able to have it.

While on the road, Chad reminded himself to give Ian's mom, Becca, a quick call to let her know that they were on their way to his home. He pulled out his cell phone before he got distracted. Ian already texted her a few times to let her know he was alive and breathing along the way.

Becca had her reservations about sending her son off to be with his dad. He had his visiting rights, though, and she couldn't lawfully deny him them. It was a tough decision to send him off alone on the plane to meet up with his father, but Ian had good sense, and he was taking a direct flight to Vegas. He loved to text, and his mother made sure he had his very own cell phone to keep in constant contact with her. It was so hard to let him go like this, for Becca cherished Ian. He had a much harder start in life than some other kids, and she felt partly to blame for it.

Chad got a hold of Ian’s mom. "No way in Hell! You are calling me now?" she angrily accused him, her tongue sharp with criticism. "You know **** well this is his very first plane trip by himself, and I thought you'd have the decency to tell me once he got off that plane! Please! Don't try to convince me that this whole thing is a huge mistake, some major lapse in my judgment. Can you do that for me? You could have at least had the decency! Put him on the phone! Let me talk to him!"

"Look, Becca, he's asleep. It was a long day for him. He's exhausted". Chad was trying his best to hold back any displeasure or to raise his voice, but he expected his calm wouldn’t last. "Don't ***** me out for not calling you the very second you are demanding. You know I would have called in a heartbeat if I felt Ian was in danger. You know I would".

"Oh, I'm really not so sure", she replied, sarcastically. "I'm tempted to fly over there and come get him! I've been sick about it all day!"

"Such a **** drama queen, Becca! Like it or not, the world doesn't revolve around you! You don't have all the control! “ The anger rising was rising up in his tone. Her judgment of him of was so tiring.

"Oh, really Chad?" she replied. "I've got my act together a long time ago, but you...".

"Look, he is my son, too!" Chad shouted loudly. He was fed up of her ****** attitude, ready to hang up in her face.

"You could have fooled me!"

His eyes were glaring as he drove down the arid Nevada highway, just as if Becca stood there right before him, her finger wagging in his face, her other hand on her hip. He pictured her now as if time and everything in it had stood still, and she was before his motionless car and in his face, still in step with time and letting him have it.

This little display was so typical of her. Only Becca Morgan thought she ever had any common sense when it came to their parental abilities. Sure, she was the one who really raised their son, but she never would have pulled it off without the huge intervention of her mother.

Without a doubt, Ian had to admit to himself that he had been avoidant and immature in the past, but Becca did not have the patent on good parenting or on maturity. In her eyes, Chad was never going to be a proper father, even if he proved it.

Chad vowed that he wasn't going to pay forever for his mistakes of being an absent father, far more absent than present in his young son's life.

He looked over at his son sitting beside him. Ian was sound asleep—thank God—for he heard his parents squabble about him far more than he should have. In fact, he never saw his parents talking in a friendly manner. No matter how they began talking to each other, their conversations always ended up with angry words.

Ian must have been dead tired to sleep through it all. He hardly stirred since he fell asleep. If Chad wasn’t driving, he would be studying his slumbering son in peculiar wonder, sitting there for quite some time and thinking how on earth he ever was able to produce such a child, a seemingly healthy and well-rounded boy. It was as if his child was an UFO alien, or something—someone to be discovered for who he really was, and someone to be fathomed with fear.  He felt that uncomfortable about being placed into the role of a father.

It gave Chad's stomach a funny, odd feeling to think he wasn't too much older than Ian when Becca—his loving girlfriend at the time—came up to him and told him the shocking news. It would be the news that would forever change his life, and hers.

She was pregnant. Chad was definitely the father.

It wasn't that Becca did not know what to do about her condition, for she knew what she wanted from almost the very start, and she had settled it in her mind without much inner conflict. There was no helplessness or hopelessness in her, not like some pregnant teenage girls that found themselves in such a predicament. She wanted to have her baby and keep it to raise as her very own, and not for a future adoption—with or without Chad's approval. She did love Chad, but in the long run, she did not care what he thought if he did not agree with her.

As far as she was concerned, this baby was hers.

Chad, on the other hand, was terrified, simply terrified. He did not want to believe the news, hoping that Becca would turn around and tell him it was a huge joke. He would be quite ticked at her if she did such a thing, but also very relieved. He would gladly kiss the ground for it not to be true.

If only it was a joke. Becca was quite serious, playing  no such prank on him, Next, she planned to tell her mother next about her unborn baby. But the first person she wanted to tell was her boyfriend, and she expected that he would be on her side—or at least be won over eventually.

As a dumbfounded Chad stared at her in disbelief and shock—like the classic deer in the headlights—Becca insisted that she was telling the truth, that she was even beginning to show. She could prove it.  Her periods had stopped, and three home pregnancy tests confirmed her suspicions.  Gently, she took Chad’s hand to place over her stomach. Freaked out of his mind, he ****** his hand away as quickly as it touched her belly. His knee **** reaction would always stick in Becca's mind of how Chad really felt about her. It was almost like she had a disease.

She suddenly felt dejected. It looked like Chad would not be on her side, after all.

Maybe it wasn't his? Chad knew that Becca would hate him if he ever implied such a thing. She was crazy about him. Chad knew that. But she had an equal amount of passion to go the other way if he betrayed her. The doubt on his face, and the hesitancy in his voice, did betray him and Becca’s heart slowly sank. She wanted Chad to care, to understand, certainly not to view her as the guilty partner who was ready to ruin his life.

Instead, it looked like the beginning of the end for them.

No way was Chad willing to break the news to his parents, especially his dad, Ed Brewster. He’d rather put a gun to his head than say anything about it. Chad really never saw eye to eye with his father.  Unlike his two older brothers, Michael and David, Chad always felt like he could never please the man. His mother, Nancy, had forever seen Chad as the role that life had given him—the baby of the family. He seemed to have more leeway with her, but not so much as an inch with his father.

Ed, a veteran police officer, wanted all three of his sons to do well in life, better than he had achieved. And as Michael and David were dreaming of such careers as doctors and lawyers, all Chad ever dreamed of was to be a drummer in a rock band. Playing the drums was fine for a hobby, but Chad's father wanted his son to see the garage band he played in as something temporary, something to grow out of.  His son saw otherwise, never seeing himself ever retiring his drumsticks for some job he was bored to death with, or that he hated. He didn’t care if he would never end up earning a dime from it, not playing the drums would be like not having arms or legs. Chad would never give up on his musical aspirations.

One of the first photos that his mother took of her youngest son was him as a baby, sitting on the floor in the kitchen and banging a ladle on the bottom of a pan. At that age, he would much rather play with kitchen utensils, using them like a drum, than any shiny, fascinating toy in his possession. His mom simply thought it was adorable. His father wasn't so impressed, especially since the racket he made was only the beginning in his musical journey of too much noise surfacing from the basement.  There would be plenty of times when Ed would warn his son to give the drums a rest, or he would throw them in the garbage, for Chad could practice for hours on end.

It seemed that music flowed in Chad's blood, was natural to him, but no one in the family had any such musical talents or ambitions.  While his father just didn't get it, his mother supported him with any help she could. When he was six, he was in his glory when his she bought him a child's drum set to bang on. When he turned eleven, she bought him a real set of drums, and encouraged his participation in school band. His brothers' interests were far more typical. They were heavy into sports, and they always had their father's blessings. When Chad kept on doing what he loved, he was seen by his dad as almost a delinquent.

Now that he was an adult, his love of music was paying off. Resettling in Vegas provided many opportunities, plenty of musical venues. With all the entertainment in Sin City, Chad could find enough work playing the drums. There has been a good flow of steady work for him to work in the casinos, and he also played in a local band that did such gigs as weddings, birthday parties and bar mitzvahs. They were a group of six talented musicians that got together to form their own band, and play just about anything—rock, rap, blues, jazz, country and swing. They soon voted with each other on what to call themselves. A good name had a lot to do with if someone got hired for gigs, and nothing they could think up sounded any good.  It seemed like all the great names were already taken, nothing new under the sun. The Sonic Waves sounded the coolest, but since that name was already used, Chad played around with the idea and suggested they call themselves Sonic Stream. That had good potential, and the others agreed with it. He was glad and honored to make such a contribution to his band.        

Chad could honestly say he was happy out here in Nevada. His mother felt like he was trying his best to distance himself from the reality of his problems, especially his strained relationship with his father. Chad disagreed. He just wanted to feel like he could accomplish something in his life, not proving anything to anybody—but to himself.

Would Ian be happy out here with him? It would only be for the summer, but would Chad make a good impression on him in his life out here? Ian glanced over at his son who still slept almost like a baby, seemingly wiped out, though the day was still young.

Several minutes later, Ian called out, "What time is it?"

Somehow awakened, he was rubbing his eyes, disoriented by the fact that he was in a different time zone and in an unfamiliar place. Chad smiled at him, trying to reassure the boy that he was glad to have him here.

“Almost two thirty", Chad returned. Ian moaned and tried to sit up straight, squinting from the glare of the strong Nevada sun. Quite groggy, his internal clock was not sure what time it was.

Your mom called”, Chad told Ian. “You know your mom, bud. She does worry about you”.

“I texted Mom. I said I made it OK”, he replied.

“But did you actually talk to her?” Chad asked. “You know how she is. Unless she talked to you herself, I am sure she was convinced some madman took control of your cell phone and pretended to be you”.

Chad laughed and Ian tried not to act like what he said was that funny, but he shyly grinned and tried to cover his mouth to conceal it. He did have a special bond with his mother, but he knew his dad was right. His mom worried way too much.

“I talked to her just before the plane took off”, Ian admitted.

They drove in silence for a while. Chad had to admit to himself that Ian was looking more and more like him the more he grew up, and Chad seemed to favor his mother's looks—of which he was grateful—for he never wanted to resemble his dad.  Lots of times, Chad and Ian were mistaken for brothers, Ian a much younger brother, but surely not imagined to be his son. Chad felt that Ian was already looking like a teenager, maturing fast for his age, and Chad often was perceived as younger than his twenty-eight years. Ian was growing up so much more than his father could envision, and Chad knew why. It wasn't like he saw his son so frequently that the change was not obvious. Every time he saw him, a big gap had been gapped by growth and change, and Chad was guilty of missing much of those experiences.

Was it that Chad did not really want to grow up? Becca surely accused him of that. His father did, too. Performing gigs in a local band seemed far from a man's job to Chad's father. When he still lived in Wisconsin, he knew he had better learn to have other work to fall back on, for band work did not always pay the bills in those days. That is why he trained to be an x-ray technician. It wasn't the job of his dreams, but it helped keep him afloat when making money from music did not meet his financial requirements. Even though Chad did achieve a fairly decent and respectable job, it did not seem to matter to his critical father.

At the mere age of sixteen, Chad had nothing to back him up against the anger his father would have towards him. He knew he would be knocked down for sure when his parents found out about Becca's pregnancy.

The words his furious father told him stung pretty harshly. "You don't have the sense to be a father! You don't seem lately to have the sense to be anything! You'd ruin that kid’s life, for sure!"

His father had to always play the street-smart cop, even at home, and Chad was fed up as looking like a criminal in his eyes. He almost wanted to cry, but refused to show his father any such weakness. Instead, he gave him the best stone cold, unemotional response that he could muster up. Replying in a monotone manner, though he really feared his father's anger, was the best way to stick it back to him.

"Sure, you're right. I take after you. Bad fathering runs in the family", he said back.

Ed looked like he wanted to punch his son, though he never laid a hand on any of his sons in such a way. Trying to repress his own sense of hurt, and remain with his anger, he replied, "If you were eighteen, I'd throw your *** out right now! Don't push your luck!"

Chad always aspire
Emily N Jul 2012
1.   Stop drinking coffee at levels that promote addiction, and subsequent withdrawal symptoms

2.   Wear your reading glasses like you’re supposed to

3.   Read more contemporary fiction

4.   Don’t lie about reading Ulysses

5.   Don’t bother converting the Mormons

6.  Eat more chocolate

7.  Eat less chocolate

8.  Bring flowers to sick people

9.  Bring flowers to dead people

10. Bring flowers to some living people

11. Don’t frown when people tell you it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile

12. Act as if it is going on YouTube

13. Stop ******* swearing all the time you good for nothing *******

14. Tell him when he reaches the spot

15. Tell the barista that whole milk is always okay

16. Tell the other barista that his beard and love of poetry does not an instant access to ******* make (although it’s close)

17. Stop calling your brother a ****

18. Stop calling people *****

19. Call people more respectable names when you dislike them

20. Give up the self-righteous entitlement that reading theory gave you

21. Keep reading theory while sipping organic tea at Delta of Venus

22. Practice your ******* instruments

23. Practice means learning how to read music, idiot

24. Stop saying the Lord’s name in vain—say it earnestly and vehemently as the biggest condemnation that is publicly appropriate

25. When referring to Jesus, call him the militant anti-family pseudo-rabbi carpenter

26. Stop being a condescending ******* about things like that

27. Stop being a condescending *******

28. Recognize your self-loathing and self-deprecating sense of humor is just a cover-up for how content you are with being a condescending *******

29. Tip more

30. Tip cows

31. Tipper Gore is not your friend; accept that

32. Accept that you will never make it to Comic-con the year you care about the panels

33. Accept the fact that you should not be complacent accepting anything

34. Every birthday, apologize to the poor souls who are also born on the same day, and thus over-shadowed by you

35. Apologize to everyone born on the same day as you for ruining the day

36. Initiate things, don’t be: lazy, scared, intimidated

37. Don’t be: lazy, scared, intimidated

38. Stand up against hate

39. Continue your hatred of popular culture and the mass media

40. Listen to more indie labels

41. Don’t shout at people for not knowing the band you’re talking about—gradually introduce them to a better way of life through an introductory mix-tape with a friendly greeting in sharpie

42. Always keep a sharpie, or any permanent marker (don’t fall for brand-name consumerism) handy

43. Don’t be ashamed of liking classical, bluegrass, antiquated sea shanties, and Eurovision

44. Engage people… happily

45. Don’t force yourself to be happy, that’s too obvious and overt and cliché. Blackmail is the route to take

46. Run daily, whether at the gym or from the law, whatever is convenient

47. Fix the law (“Law”)

48. Fix broken bikes

49. Go to med school and fix broken bones

50. Give up med school, it is not the place for you

51. Find the place for you

52. Search the world like the biggest game of Where’s Waldo for your place

53. Once you find that place, decorate it how you want to, and not how a “TLC Interior Decorator/Stylist” would

54. Don’t ******* listen to television shows

55. Unless it’s Shark Week; watch more Shark Week

56. Leave post-it note poetry for people

57. Send text-version post-it note poetry to people

58. Check your ******* phone more often

59. When you do check it, don’t ignore it

60. Ignore your phone sometimes

61. Ignore Facebook a lot of the time

62. Even if the **** you post on Facebook and Tumblr is ironic and mean, people won’t always get that, so act accordingly

63. Thus: do it more often

64. Eat more fruit

65. Eat more vegetables even though they ******* ****

66. Ask people if they legitimately and honestly enjoy vegetables, as opposed to lying about it to present the image of the perfectly healthy person who inspires irritation in donut-lovers

67. Have a donut party

68. Have more parties for all kinds of people: party people, anti-party people, people for the protection of parties, national society for the party-neutral people, et cetera

69. Since this is number sixty-nine, have more ***

70. But only if you really want to

71. Clean your room and organize your records and bookcase—how are you going to woo him with a messy room, and if you don’t woo him, how are you going to have more ***

72. Be consistent with social-function participation, a.k.a. “stop falling off the map”

73. Wear shoes that have arch-support or you’re going to **** up your feet

74. Do more yoga or you’re going to **** up your back (even more)

75. Visit and use and worship the library more

76. Volunteer if possible

77. Commit to things you care about

78. Don’t take it personally when people don’t care as much about Southern Gothic Literature, or Appalachian folk tunes, or Jacques “I’m a smart *******” Derrida, as you do

79. Don’t let people who don’t care as much as you do get in the way of you caring

80. BE ******* ENTHUSIATIC BECAUSE LIFE IS RAD

81. Even if you say you hate life, know that deep down you feel a boundless appreciation for the awesomeness that is being alive and breathing and sleeping and eating and reading and ******* and eating and talking and singing and ******* and ******* around and jumping and dancing and taunting and laughing

82. Stop biting your nails

83. Start a project and finish it (writing, painting, music ****, etc)

84. Be honest all the time

85. This includes the times when it’s easier to lie to yourself

86. Drink responsibly

87. Be responsible

88. Except for the occasions where frivolity and debauchery and outright irresponsibility makes for a better time

89. Drink hard liquor first, then beer, to avoid a bad time

90. Create a moral foundation that is not based on the principle of an afterlife and stick to it

91. Have faith in the dynamic human spirit

92. Recite William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech daily

93. READ EVERY SINGLE FUCKNIG DAY

94. Don’t cry when people say they don’t like to read, just tell them they haven’t found the right book

95. In the face of what seems like imminent despair and fruitless endeavors, remember “Life, Liberty, and Literature”

96. In the face of what seems like imminent failure, remember **** happens, bro

97. In the face of what seems like imminent awesome-ness, be ******* appreciative, bro

98. In the face of imminent adversity, stock up on coffee and chocolate

99. Be friendly

100.                Live life like a rational, compassionate, free-spirited, opinionated, open-minded, interested, and interesting human being because you know **** well you have the capability to
Sam Winter May 2013
So, this was written to an unnamed ex a while ago. I ran across it the other day, and I might publish it in the collection I'm currently working on. To me, this is more than just a letter, it's a piece of prose. It's a pouring out of the soul in a way that few people take the time to do. Obviously written at a very rocky time in a previous relationship, I enjoy the clarity of thought that's displayed (not as an egotist, but as a stylist), and I enjoy the allusions and illustration. I'm proud of it, if not for the source or the outcome, then for the product of my turmoil. If I were to classify it? I'd label it, now, as a study of the mind. Enjoy it, and, as always, I welcome your comments and criticisms!

-###-

                Before I say anything else, I want you to know that I love you deeply, and truly. I would give anything to make you happy, and I'd do anything you ever asked me to. I don't ever want to hurt you, and I don't ever want you to be unhappy.
                But I am unhappy. I sleep next to a woman I can't touch until she won't notice, who won't - or can't, I still can't figure out which - show me the affection I crave; and when I try to explain to her the physical and mental stress this puts me through, she doesn't understand or doesn't care (still can't pin that one, either).
                I once took a "Psychology of Affection" class. Evidently, the emotion we call "love" is a conglomeration of a number of different, smaller emotions. Chiefly among them are attention and affection. Attention was always defined by my professor as "the willingness of one to give their focus in degrees, and the blatantness with which they are willing to display that focus." He went on to explain that when one is willing to give their focus but not to display it, or willing to make a display but not to give it, then an imbalance is affected, and either one or both members of a relationship become unhappy. And degrees of happiness become apparent when degrees of willingness are shown.
                In our case, I think, I am both willing to give you my attention, and unafraid to do it regardless of place or time; therefore, I think I give you a very high degree of attention. How do you think you score? How do you think I'd score you?
                Affection works on the same principle: willingness to give, and the ability to do so in a way that is apparent to the other party. Along with these two, though, Affection has a third variable: frequency. The combination of these three and the balance that must be kept determines the amount of affection given, and received at an intellectual level.
                I am entirely certain that I have been willing to show you ample affection in any venue, I am quite capable of showing you my affection in a plethora of ways, and I have done so (in innumerable combinations) with staggering frequency, despite the lack of reciprocation that should have left me hopeless.
                Well, right about now, I'm starting to feel hopeless. Any relationship requires two very basic things, hon: cerebral and physical interaction. An intimate relationship, therefore, requires an amount of intimacy in both cerebral and physical interactions. In addition, any relationship, intimate or otherwise, requires equal participation in all areas to continue over any extended period of time.
                I have been trying for God knows how long, to make this explicitly clear to you: I do not receive enough affection or attention from you for me to stay happy.
                I've laid a foundation in a universal truth for you; you have the science of our interaction at your fingertips, now. You understand what I understand, so I'm going to be as forward as I can in addressing this situation.
                In order for me to stay satisfied with our relationship, the amount of affection and attention I get HAS to change. I am, currently, both mentally and physically distressed, and I am at a breaking point. I have tried multiple times to get you to change: I've tried being subtle and hinting at things I like you to do - things I'd like to see more frequently from you; I've tried being abrasive, being a **** - telling you what I don't like, and why; I've tried being manipulative - guilt-tripping you into thinking or acting differently; I've tried (God, have I tried!) to be truthful and sweet and kind - to tell you, up front, what pleases me and what doesn't in the un-charged air of plain discussion. Any, and all (!), of these methods have been met with selfish stubbornness. I have tried, very hard, to convince myself that it's just been me. That it's something I have, or haven't, been doing. That me flipping out so often is just me freaking out. That none of my state of mind has anything to do with you. I dread putting any of the blame on you because...I worship you, I don't want your flawless image tainted by these things! But, at this point, I've done so much, and tried so hard to get you to change, to open up to me, to act (just act!) like you want me in your head and heart and *****. But you've been stubborn and you refuse to change...and it is driving me away.
                I don't want you to drive me away. I know you love me; I'm convinced you think I improve your life. And I'm convinced you improve mine in so many ways. But there is an imbalance.... I've done as much as any man can be asked: I have been kind, gentle, sweet, gracious, caring, selfless, and loving; but I cannot be these things when you will neither receive them nor give them back. My emotion, my spirit, and my love are being swallowed up in a void, and I can feel the light in this relationship fading. I can't stay in this if I'm the only one showing how I feel. If you don't love me, anymore, tell me. But I can't stay here and not know. I can't give you so much of my heart, and not get anything in return. It's my turn to be selfish.
                I am banking on the hope that you want this to work, honey. I am praying to God, Almighty that you would rather change how you act than give me up.
                I have never given anyone I've been in a relationship with an ultimatum before. Maybe that's why I've been hurt so badly before. But I'm not going to sink this ship myself. I'm giving you an honest chance. I want this, more than anything. I want you more than anything! I don't care that we don't earn enough for food, yet. I don't care that you spend oodles of time with your friends; I don't care about anything you do with your life except this. This one thing will solve so many of our problems, you don't even realize!
                My peace...my serenity with our relationship and with you as my partner in life, depends, solely, on how you behave towards me. There aren't enough Josephine Collective concerts or pills, or parties in all the world that will make me feel like you love me more than you showing me your **** self. I NEED this. It is essential to my functioning as your lover and your friend; I can't love a stone. And I can guarantee you, right now, that if you can put aside your insecurities, put aside your "awkwardness" argument, put aside your doubt that I would ever, EVER, turn you away or leave you alone, and just show me every minute of every day that you love me, I would never worry again. Reassure me with a kiss. Say "hello" with a kiss. Warm up by scooting closer. Cool down by throwing off a blanket - not pushing me away. Act like you can't keep your hands off me. There will be no nights where I ask you distressing questions; there won't be times when I'm offended by your going somewhere without me; I will not get upset when plans get upset. If I knew in my heart of hearts that you loved me and you'd make sure I knew it when you saw me, then there wouldn't be room for doubt.
                But right now...I don't know whether you love me or whether you're just going through the motions. My thinking is "if she loved me, she'd show me." But you don't show me. You know this as well as I do! One passionate kiss every couple of weeks is not showing me. A wag of the hips a couple times a month doesn't show me. Part of the psychological validation for committing to a relationship is the fact that your partner's body is yours to use. And it should be a willing use! I am a male. Three-fourths of my interaction with society is conducted physically, or visually. I need to see and feel that you love me. And that's not very much to ask from you, is it? And it's not awkwardness. You've shown me plenty of times that you're not abnormally awkward. And it's not shyness; you've been perfectly happy to make a scene in front of others before. It's not ***, either. *** isn't what trips me up. I'm fine without *** as long as I know you'd give it if you could. If I was confident that you'd jump my bones before I ever suggested it, then it wouldn't be an issue. But I'm not confident. Hell, I could go another three months if I got a BJ now and then.... I'm tempted to say it's pure selfish stubbornness, but I know that's not true. I think you're afraid of something. Maybe of opening up - spilling your guts - for me. Maybe you've been hurt a lot worse than I realize? There are so many possibilities. But you're the only one that can let me in, baby.
                I know it's not your way. That's evident enough from all my failures. But this is beyond "my way versus your way," now. This is essential to our being together. I love you, selflessly and shamelessly; but if I am going to be happy with you, I need to know you love me back. This isn't an option, anymore, dearest. You have to change. I need to know on a daily, hourly, moment-to-moment basis that you prefer me over anything else...period. My heart is breaking because I can't tell if you love me back. So, I'm going to make this easy on you. I've brought this up to you before - multiple times, actually. Each one just as memorable as the next. Each one serious enough to tell you that something has to change. But you don't seem to get it. You don't understand that this is paramount to my happiness...essential to my functioning; and you don't get that yet. You've asked me to do multiple things differently; I have changed how I act - who I am - to cater to your peace and happiness, and I am happy to do so. I have asked this one thing of you and you won't do it? I have asked this one thing because it is the one thing that I need to change. I've told you that. But the day after, and the week after, and the month after I bring this up, nothing changes. I can't handle that. I can't handle that I can be so willing to make you happy...to change my thoughts and actions through my own will to make your life simpler, less worrisome, happier and easier; yet you are so unwilling to grab your own mind and make it behave as you choose to ease my mind and my heart and give me that little validation I need from you so I can tell myself that I am your whole world the way you're mine!
                I will always love you. Always.
                But I can't be with someone who can't show me they love me.
                This is your ultimatum: Change. Put me in your mind. Think about the things you do that make me happy, and do them. Physically connect with me. Touch me on a regular basis. Visually connect with me. Get my attention, and hold it every day. Act like you are my woman the way I try to be your man. And do it now. You do not get a week or a month or a year. I am out of time. I can't wait on this any longer. If you want me here, hold me here with your own two arms.
                If you can't hold me, then I won't stay.

-###-
Matalie Niller Sep 2012
two tales
of three cities
identical
expect that
one was made of straw
tall
he has eyes like nothing
nothing at all
not even extraordinary
actually
very ordinary
so unappealing
but really
****
Slide up, unclip, pull
Discard, repeat, now the belt,
I am almost bare.

You are almost there
Just one thing to go, is it
too much? No - guess not....
Sarah Jean Ashby Nov 2012
My hands are numb
And uncooperative as I struggle to write,
"University Bapstist Church"
On this little piece of paper in my hand.
I'm earning my "Beat Mitt" shirt.
November 6th, 2012.
You bet I did my part;
All 2 1/2 hours worth.
Standing outside of Carver Hall.
Nose running. Hands cold.
Wind blowing. No sunlight to keep us warm.
But I didn't do it for the shirt.
I did it to help make some kind of change.
I know I didn't do much,
But at least I did something.
And that's a hell-of-a-lot more than most can say.
Tamara Miles Aug 2014
Last week, among friends black and white,
among some discussion of protests in Ferguson
and the related looting of stores, I invoked
the word.  It was an admission, in a round
of confessions, of something about myself
that I didn't like:  that I had perceived Michael Brown
in that way based on his possible participation
in a strong-armed robbery.  

When Travon Martin was in the news,
I was inflamed like many others who wanted
George Zimmerman in jail for ******.
The outcome of that trial was an injustice,
I was utterly certain.  Why does this case
in Missouri feel different?  More importantly,
Who is inside me that still wants to rise
in defiance of 48 years of learning how
to be a better person, a person without prejudices,
stereotyping, labeling of others, hurtful language?

Where is the hippie girl now?  How does she live
with this other person?  Am I Sterling, Gibson,
a hater and spewer of viciousness, a lover
of separation and separateness, that I should
invite damage to my own relationships
with those I love and cherish and respect?

What is a **** but a bully, and what is a bully
but someone who pushes words around like
weapons, spits them out indiscriminately,
so that they land on the already bruised heart
and set it on fire.

Whose heart, besides mine, now sits in smoke
and ash, with that word like a brand
still sore and permanent, having been spoken
aloud?
jeffrey robin Aug 2014
(              
)
(        
)
\/
/\
/    \

___

Solitary

The one                      Breath rise
   The one                      Breath falls

YOU !

create the world

••

Truly

Exactly

Purely

///

You are in the world
The world is in you



The eternity
The infiniteness



Love

•  •

Come

Enough of slavery



Wait for who awaits you

Lo  !

Here we all are
Colin Kohlsmith Feb 2010
Disheveled, staggering
Consternation
The debate surreal
The participation
Is optional but I decide
To talk to the man
To hear inside
What do you think
of manipulation?
What causes these
machinations?
Lies to force and to control...
I must admit
He was on a roll
And then the same day
In the eve
With a woman
About to leave
She talks about
This very thing
Same behavior
With a different ring
And then I came
To realize
It can't be hid
Nor disguised
Both fools in rags
And ladies in style
Can spot a liar
From a mile
The light pollution
from the lives of little people
in the big city
reflects off the lowriding clouds,
the same way my knees reflect
in the little puddles
from the big rains.

It hurts my eyes to look up
without sunglasses,
hurts my lips to think of tasting
the subway oil that
drip
drip
drips

I speculate at the transformers,
part automatic, part people
in their pre-ripped jeans,
learning to get their Ns
to drive themselves away,
yarn trailing from their sweaters
like parade float streamers.

Citizens run so fast
to catch the early train home,
freefalling down the stairs  
breathing in the exhales
of the other racer’s exhaust.
Marking their triumphs
with participation ribbons.

The pacific pants at toes,
a puppy that only occasionally misbehaves.
Impatient for attention,
waves wagging back and forth,
up the imitation river,
past the downtown.
Kicking the sea wall with it's gravity boots.


The geese are on hiatus
until they can take back the city.
Making the drains overflow,
creating their own habitat,
they’ll strut their haughty markings,
distinguished from orcas,
away from any saline nonsense.

Were we to retrain the population
to turn blind eyes,
we’d be much more efficient,
stop wasting time contending
to society’s obsession
with documenting itself.
But then, what would we do all day?

Creating light pollution
must give immediate gratification.
Once all the lights are turned off,
the influence won’t continue,
creating a lack of permanence,
making our need to be remembered
seem trivial indeed.
why as a species
have we consistently
empowered the enfeebled
allowed them to lead the way
what does that say about us
when what sets us apart
is our ability to deduce
we need to stop and decide
if we are the right animal
for the top of the food chain
as i suspect we taste
better than we think
Rosie Owen Apr 2015
Marriage is changing, from who can get married (37 states now allow gay marriage!) to who actually ends up doing it. Only 26% of millennials are married, a sharp decrease from 36% of Generation X and 48% of baby boomers, according to the Pew Research Center. But marriage isn't obsolete — in fact, in many ways it's thriving as we re-evaluate what the institution really means to us.

And with re-evaluating marriage comes re-evaluating weddings. The Knot's "2014 Real Weddings Study" found that couples are foregoing traditional wedding customs to modernize their nuptials through their choice of rings, dresses and officiants.

That includes — perhaps most importantly — the vows. Couples today are taking cues from badass brides like Amelia Earhart, who banned the word "obey" from her 1931 wedding vows, and reciting promises to one another that reflect the partnerships they strive for. Here are 12 real-life couples who vowed...

1. "To split the difference on the thermostat."

Why it's awesome: When Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston got married, Pitt pledged to "split the difference on the thermostat." While that partnership didn't last, as we all know, it was a lighthearted vow that highlights a crucial element of modern marriage: compromise. The key to a happy marriage is learning how to meet halfway.

2. "To be a true and loyal friend to you."

Why it's awesome: Marriages weren't always about intimate, caring partnerships between equals. But we know well enough now that the happiest, most long-lasting marriages are those in which partners see each other as friends (even studies have proven it true). Jevan's vows to Alithea, shared by the Knot, are a reminder that the bedrock of friendship is what makes a modern marriage stand.

3. "To communicate fully and fearlessly."

Why it's awesome: Among the traditional promise of partnership and faith, real-life couple Anne and Gabrielle told the Knot they vowed "to communicate fully and fearlessly" as spouses. In our modern world, we have seemingly endless ways to communicate — text, email, Skype, Snapchat — and yet still have to work to connect. Sitting down face-to-face, making eye contact and being vulnerable with one another is still crucial, as is being honest without fear of judgment from your partner. Emojis aside, that's what really sustains a lasting relationship.

4. "To grab your **** even when we're old and wrinkly."

Why it's awesome: As we become more open about sexuality (thank goodness), it's only natural that a wink and a nudge find their way into the wedding vows. In an open thread on A Practical Wedding, Zach and Kate shared their vows, which included the promise "to hit on you in awesome accents and grab your **** even when we're old and wrinkly." This promise to keep the spark alive even years down the line is no small thing. After all, studies have shown that all it can take is a simple touch to maintain a ****** connection.

5. "To value our differences as much as our common ground."

Why it's awesome: Love is a powerful force to bring people together, even when they're divided by cultural background, religion and, increasingly, politics. As society grows more divisive and we hold tight to our views, it's valuable to remember that our differences don't have to actually divide us, as these vows from real-life couple Greta Christina and Ingrid, told to Patheos, show.

6. "To continue to love your children, as if they were my own."

Why it's awesome: A marriage isn't just a vow to one person, it's a vow to an entire family — future and present. In 2011, Pew Research found that more than 4 in 10 American adults have at least one "step relative" in their family, including a stepparent, a stepchild or a step or half sibling. These adults are just as likely as others to say that family is the most important element of their lives. So it's no surprise that people have been adapting their weddings to encompass the commitment to an entire family, as Sara M. did in her vows, shared on Offbeat Bride.

7. "To comfort you when the Falcons lose and drink beer with you when they win."

Why it's awesome: As Mallory summed up so perfectly to Eddie in their vows, shared by the Knot, appreciating each other's distinct interests and actively sharing in them together makes a huge difference. It goes beyond just putting on the Falcons jersey: Sitting down for the game and sharing a beer is what researchers would call "shared leisure," and it makes a big difference for marital satisfaction. That football game is more than just a football game.

8. "To never try to hurt you just because I'm angry or tired."

Why it's awesome: The chaos of our lives means lots of stress, lots of late nights and lots of exhaustion. (Unsurprisingly, Gallup found that 40% of American adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep.) That can actually wreak havoc on a relationship, which is why it's all the more important to anticipate the challenge. Sarah's vows to her husband, which she shared on A Practical Wedding, are a promise not to take out her stress and exhaustion on him. Instead, she vows to trust him throughout the chaos, "even when we veer from GPS directions, schedules, itineraries and to-do lists."

9. "I have called you my life partner, my significant other, my longtime companion, my lover. ... Now I vow to love you always as my lawfully wedded husband."

Why it's awesome: The vows said by George Takei and longtime partner Brad Altman at their wedding, after the passage of marriage equality in California, were unsurprisingly moving, given they were 21 years in the making. As couples, straight and gay, wait longer to get married (and cohabit in the meantime), labels like "husband" or "wife" are less crucial for defining the relationship than the moments a couple has shared. Takei and Altman's wedding was not proof of their commitment, but rather a tribute to the commitment they had already demonstrated — a truth echoed clearly in their vows.

10. "To be your partner in all things, not possessing you, but working with you as a part of the whole."

Why it's awesome: If we're really striving for egalitarian marriages, then recognizing the equal amounts of work required by each half, as partners, is crucial, especially as women's participation in the workforce keeps growing (57.2% compared to 69.7% for men in 2013). In order for both careers to receive equal focus, a promise not to "possess" but to work to support each other is key. Much like Amelia Earhart refused to use the word "obey," real-life couple Alex and Michelle promised to be each other's "equal in all things" in the vows they shared with the Knot.

11. "I will love you no matter what makes my blood circulate, or even no matter what provides my body with oxygen."

Why it's awesome: Traditional weddings tend to be religious occasions, but with increasing rates of atheism and marriages across faiths, religion is taking a back seat to a more personalized expression of commitment. As of 2013, only one third of couples opted to get married in a church, and even more are removing religion from their vows. But that doesn't mean the vows don't appeal to a higher sense of faith — in the other person or in the world, as these scientific, "atheistic" vows, translated from Swedish and shared on Reddit, prove.

12. "I see these vows not as promises but as privileges."

Why it's awesome: Marriage might have been necessary decades ago, but these days it's more of a choice. So it's only natural that the vows we recite — traditionally a list of duties and obligations — actually reflect the happy choice that marriage now is for so many.

Yuval and Dina chose to frame their vows as honors, as they shared with the Knot: "I see these vows not as promises but as privileges: I get to laugh with you and cry with you; care for you and share with you. I get to run with you and walk with you; build with you and live with you." With between 40% to 50% of marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce, it's more important than ever that couples remind themselves that being with their partner is a privilege in itself, and one to never take for granted.

Source: http://www.graziadressau.com
Ronald Jones Nov 2015
a pleasant anticipation they give to your chafing taste buds
for that taste once sampled is forever craved

their shapes beckon visually to
keen designer minds

and their ancient blessings go back to 2000 B.C.
much later, their nutrients American Indians praised

they give veggie hugs to those most in need
of a psychological boost or a tooth's soft sink

when you sit down to dinner and before you gleams their pale green
a smile might open your mouth for the tasty taste of a ....  ....
WS Warner Sep 2011
Against the saturated
Horizon of dawn,
Loitering in the dark timbre
Of emerging consciousness -
Dissipating somnolence
And preemptive despair,
Tacitly adumbrate the
Yawning abyss.
Chastened by the cunning and
Lubricious nihilism,
Igniting fermented provocations,
Silent subterfuge; death,
By mirth - the inane;
Lament of the mundane.

Fallow paradigms, accretions of
The last gasp -
Evaporating empty liturgies
Of suspicion;
Charity and equanimity -
Lost in confinement,
Triumphant avarice bearing
Descendants
Of intransigence;
Wielding imperious
Schemes of orthodoxy.

Pollard fragments of
Silken tapestry,
Miasma draped depression
Abridging;
Conversely,
Permuted flurries of anxiety
Dislodge
The vestiges of meaning
That abide
In brazen equivocation.

Tributaries of dogma reach
Their confluence,
Watershed moment,  
Numinous effusion
Streams naked epiphany,
The precarious vision -
A gesture of providence,
Certainty and contingency;
Gratuitously derivative, life
Equals choice.

Verdant branches of intention;
And opportunity the vine,
Live forward -
The pen, my voice,
Piquant conduit pouring,
Exuberant wine.

Footprints found in givenness
Underline,
Penumbrae of my soul;
Mirrored silhouettes,
Thoughts and words engender;
And in verse adorn
Fecund soil, Line after line,
The cosmos altered,
Continuum of permanence -
Artist’s art articulating
Essence of my imagination,
I proliferate, I design
Phrases unique,
Participation mystique.

Words creating world,
The apparatus of infinity
Heidegger, ontologically precise,
Language -
The house of Being,
Ineffable, Promethean
Literary devise -
Envisioning possibility,
And abundance to allow,
I occur
Inhabit
Manifest
Future phenomena
Experienced as now.

©2008 & ©2011 W.S. Warner
Martial Teacher Feb 2018
Reapers on my shoulders
Heart's racin in public
So much hate and secrecy
You never really know who you're dealing with
Heart's bracin for participation
While you crave my soul
What i want is already yours
And what you want is already mine
Ride away from a false sense of social shame.

Fly away from cruelty hidden behind a smile
Unbridled character with a loose tongue
I can't help it i'm just a failed product
Of all the ******* i have dealt with
People with eyes full of jealousy
People with chests full of hate
Sat back and watch life bring out the
Devil in all those around me.

Ride away from a life of clenched teeth
Just to find a standing for myself
I put my whole **** heart into this
Giving up on dreams to get where i am
All the hours of sweat and reluctance
All built up knowing i'd never be able to achieve it
Heart's frozen but my effort blood sweat and tears
Never lie about the man i am
Given up sleep to push myself till i fell down not getting up
Stubborn to the bones only eternal rest would end my plight
Ride away all that's left is a arrow at the end of it's flight.
JJ Hutton Feb 2018
It was an—I don't know—unfleshing of sorts. There I am. I'm in my old room. My parent's place. And Mom's telling me what all we need to pack up and organize. This place, my room, it's frozen in time. It looks exactly the way it did when I graduated high school. The lime green walls, the Brett Favre poster, a few pieces of artwork my brother did. There are all these medals and trophies for soccer; football; academic *******; and most of it, to be frank, was undeserving. I phoned it in, my education and extra curriculars. Things came easy, et cetera. And the lesser accolades, the participation trophies, for these, Mom hands me a pocket knife and tells me to pry off the nameplates and she'll donate them to Goodwill. It was tangible, right? This erasure. I've talked to you about that before, erasure. I wanted to disappear completely, but there I am in my old room, prying away pieces of my past with a knife, a couple of nameplates popping off and hitting the floor before I can grab them. That sound, dull, empty, metallic.

I'm alone a lot now, you know? After losing the job, entering this funk, gaining weight. I'm in a depressive state. In that room, I felt like I was just further removing myself from the world, like my deletion had gained dimension, it was truly, ****, what word am I looking for here? Help me. Comprehensive. That's good. Sterile and safe for work. My erasure became comprehensive. Ha.

And it's hard to talk about this, depression, erasure. I always feel like a selfish child. I'm perpetually throwing a fit. I won't clean my room. I don't want to brush my teeth. I don't want to help grandma with lunch. Ha ha.

You say that. And I appreciate it. But if I always talked to you about this stuff, you'd stop answering the phone. Or I'd feel so guilty about bothering you that I'd stop calling. This feeling gets you from both sides. It's like that old adage. Never chew on something that's eating you. But that's precisely what I'm doing. In this moment. Outside of this moment. I want to ask you how do I stop. But what could you possibly say. Stop thinking about it. Find a hobby. Exercise. Read. Journal. Go to therapy. You could smile while you told me these things, you could pat my hand, you could finish your coffee, and you could walk out the door to face your own little tragedies, feeling like you'd done something kind today, check the box, score some karma. You see all those recommendations are tired, generic; they're surface level, phony. What would I prefer? I think if you threw that coffee in my face that'd be a start.
Old Deuteronomy’s lived a long time;
He’s a Cat who has lived many lives in succession.
He was famous in proverb and famous in rhyme
A long while before Queen Victoria’s accession.
Old Deuteronomy’s buried nine wives
And more—I am tempted to say, ninety-nine;
And his numerous progeny prospers and thrives
And the village is proud of him in his decline.
At the sight of that placid and bland physiognomy,
When he sits in the sun on the vicarage wall,
The Oldest Inhabitant croaks: “Well, of all …
Things… Can it be … really! … No!… Yes!…
**! hi!
Oh, my eye!
My mind may be wandering, but I confess
I believe it is Old Deuteronomy!”

Old Deuteronomy sits in the street,
He sits in the High Street on market day;
The bullocks may bellow, the sheep they may bleat,
But the dogs and the herdsmen will turn them away.
The cars and the lorries run over the kerb,
And the villagers put up a notice: ROAD CLOSED—
So that nothing untoward may chance to distrub
Deuteronomy’s rest when he feels so disposed
Or when he’s engaged in domestic economy:
And the Oldest Inhabitant croaks: “Well, of all …
Things… Can it be … really! … No!… Yes!…
**! hi!
Oh, my eye!
My sight’s unreliable, but I can guess
That the cause of the trouble is Old Deuteronomy!”

Old Deuteronomy lies on the floor
Of the Fox and French Horn for his afternoon sleep;
And when the men say: “There’s just time for one more,”
Then the landlady from her back parlour will peep
And say: “New then, out you go, by the back door,
For Old Deuteronomy mustn’t be woken—

I’ll have the police if there’s any uproar”—
And out they all shuffle, without a word spoken.
The digestive repose of that feline’s gastronomy
Must never be broken, whatever befall:
And the Oldest Inhabitant croaks: “Well, of all …
Things… Can it be … really! … No!… Yes!…
**! hi!
Oh, my eye!
My legs may be tottery, I must go slow
And be careful of Old Deuteronomy!”

Of the awefull battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles:
together with some account of the participation of the
     Pugs and the Poms, and the intervention of the Great
     Rumpuscat

The Pekes and the Pollicles, everyone knows,
Are proud and implacable passionate foes;
It is always the same, wherever one goes.
And the Pugs and the Poms, although most people say
That they do not like fighting, yet once in a way,
They will now and again join in to the fray
And they
Bark bark bark bark
Bark bark BARK BARK
Until you can hear them all over the Park.

Now on the occasion of which I shall speak
Almost nothing had happened for nearly a week
(And that’s a long time for a Pol or a Peke).
The big Police Dog was away from his beat—
I don’t know the reason, but most people think
He’d slipped into the Wellington Arms for a drink—
And no one at all was about on the street
When a Peke and a Pollicle happened to meet.
They did not advance, or exactly retreat,
But they glared at each other, and scraped their hind
     feet,
And they started to
Bark bark bark bark
Bark bark BARK BARK
Until you can hear them all over the Park.

Now the Peke, although people may say what they please,
Is no British Dog, but a Heathen Chinese.
And so all the Pekes, when they heard the uproar,
Some came to the window, some came to the door;
There were surely a dozen, more likely a score.
And together they started to grumble and wheeze
In their huffery-snuffery Heathen Chinese.
But a terrible din is what Pollicles like,
For your Pollicle Dog is a dour Yorkshire tyke,
And his braw Scottish cousins are snappers and biters,
And every dog-jack of them notable fighters;
And so they stepped out, with their pipers in order,
Playing When the Blue Bonnets Came Over the Border.
Then the Pugs and the Poms held no longer aloof,
But some from the balcony, some from the roof,
Joined in
To the din
With a
Bark bark bark bark
Bark bark BARK BARK
Until you can hear them all over the Park.

Now when these bold heroes together assembled,
That traffic all stopped, and the Underground trembled,
And some of the neighbours were so much afraid
That they started to ring up the Fire Brigade.
When suddenly, up from a small basement flat,
Why who should stalk out but the GREAT RUMPUSCAT.
His eyes were like fireballs fearfully blazing,
He gave a great yawn, and his jaws were amazing;
And when he looked out through the bars of the area,
You never saw anything fiercer or hairier.
And what with the glare of his eyes and his yawning,
The Pekes and the Pollicles quickly took warning.
He looked at the sky and he gave a great leap—
And they every last one of them scattered like sheep.

And when the Police Dog returned to his beat,
There wasn’t a single one left in the street.
RAJ NANDY Mar 2016
Dear Poet Friends, and all true lovers of Jazz!  Being a lover of Classical and Smooth Jazz, I had composed first two parts in Verse on the History and Evolution of Jazz Music. Seeing the poor response of the Readers to my Part One here, I was hesitant to post my Second Part. I would request the Readers to kindly read Part One of this True Story also for complete information. Please do read the Foot Notes. With best wishes, - from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.


THE STORY OF JAZZ MUSIC : PART-II
               BY RAJ NANDY

        NEW ORLEANS : THE CRADLE OF JAZZ
BACKGROUND :
Straddling the mighty bend of the River Mississippi,
Which nicknames it as the ‘Crescent City’;
(Founded in 1718 as a part of French Louisiana
Colony),  -
Stands the city of New Orleans.
New Orleans* gets its name from Phillippe II,
Duc d’ Orleans , the Regent of France ;
A city well known for its music, and fondness
for dance.
The city remained as a French Colony until 1763,
When it got transferred to Spain as a Spanish
Colony.
But in the year 1800, the Spanish through a
secret pact, -
To France had once again ceded the Colony back!
Finally in 1803 the historic ‘Louisiana Purchase’
took place ,
When Napoleon the First sold New Orleans and  
the entire Louisiana State, -
To President Thomas Jefferson of the United
States!     * (See notes below)

THE CONGO SQUARE :
The French New Orleans was a rather liberal
place,
Where slaves were permitted to congregate,
For worship and trading in a market place,
But only on Sabbath Days, - their day of rest!
They had chosen a grassy place at the edge of
the old city,
Where they danced and sang to tom-tom beats,
Located north of the French Quarters across the
Rampart Street,
Which came to be known as the Congo Square,
Where one could hear clapping of hands and
stomping of feet!
There through folk songs, music, and varying
dance forms,
The slaves maintained their native African musical
traditions all along!
African music which remained suppressed in the
Protestant Colonies of the British,
Had found a freedom of expression in the Congo
Square by the natives; -
Through their Bamboula , Calanda, and Congo dance!
The Wolof and Bambara people from Senegal River
area of West Africa,
With their melodious singing and stringed instruments,
Became the forerunners of ‘Blues’ and the Banjo.
And during the Spanish Era, slaves from the Central
African Forest Culture of Congo,
Who with their hand-drummed polyrhythmic beats ,
Made people from Havana to Harlem  to rise and
dance on their feet!      
(see notes below)

CULTURAL MIX :
After the Louisiana Purchase , English-speaking
Anglo and African-Americans flooded that State.
Due to cultural friction with the Creoles, the new-
comers settled ‘uptown’,
Creating an American Sector, separate from older
Creole ‘down-town’ !
This black American influx in the uptown had
ushered in,
The elements of the Blues, Spirituals, and rural
dances into New Orleans’ musical scene.
Now these African cultural expressions gradually
diversified, -
Into Mardi Indian traditions, and the Second Line.^^
And eventually into New Orleans’ Jazz and Blues;
As New Orleans became a cauldron of a rich
cultural milieu!

THE CREOLES :
The Creoles were not immigrants but were home-
bred;
They were the bi-racial children of their French
Masters and their African women slaves!
Creole subculture was centred in New Orleans.
But after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803,  -
The Creoles rose to the highest rung of Society! @
They lived on the east of Canal Street in the
French Sector of the city.
Many Creole musicians were formally trained in
Paris,
Had played in Opera Houses there, and later led
Brass Bands in New Orleans.
Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Oliver, and Sidney Bechet
were all famous Creoles;
About whom I now write as this true Jazz Story
gradually unfolds.
In sharp contrast on the west of Canal Street lived
the ***** musicians,
Who lacked the economic advantages the Creoles
possessed and had!
The Negroes were schooled in the Blues, Work Songs ,
and Gospel Music;
And played by the ear with improvisation as their
unique characteristic !
But in 1894 when Jim Crow’s racial segregation
laws came into force,     # (see notes below)
The Creoles were forced to move West of Canal
Street to live with the Negroes.
This mingling lighted a ‘musical spark’ creating
a lightening musical flash;
Igniting the flames of a ‘new music’ which was
later called ‘Jazz’ !

INFLUENCE OF THE EARLY BRASS BANDS:
Those Brass Bands of the Civil War which played the
‘marching tunes’ ,
Became the precursors of New Orleans’ Brass Bands,
which later played at funeral marches, dance halls,
and saloons !
After the end of the Civil War those string and wind
instruments and drums, -
Were available in the second-hand stores and pawn
shops within reach of the poor, for a small tidy sum!
Many small bands mushroomed, and each town had
its own band stand and gazebos;
Entertained the town folks putting up a grand show!
Early roots of Jazz can be traced to these Bands and
their leaders like Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, Bunk
Johnson, and Kid Orley;
Not forgetting Jack 'Pappa' Laine’s Brass Band
leading the way of our Jazz Story !
The Original Dixieland Band of the cornet player
'Nick' La Rocca,
Was the first ever Jazz Band to entertain US Service
Men in World War-I and also to play in European
theatre, came later.     (In 1916)
I plan to mention the Harlem Renaissance in my
Part Three,
Till then dear Readers kindly bear with me!

CONTRIBUTION OF STORYVILLE :
In the waning years of the 19th Century,
When Las Vegas was just a farming community,
The actual ‘sin city’ lay 1700 miles East, in the
heart of New Orleans!
By Alderman Story’s Ordinance of 1897,
A 20-block area got legalized and confined,  
To the French Quarters on the North Eastern side
called ‘Storyville’, a name acquired after him!
This 'red light' area resounded with a new
seductive music ‘jassing up’ one and all;
Which played in its Bordello, Saloons, and the
Dance Halls !         (refer  my Part One)
Now the best of Bordellos hired a House Pianist,
who also greeted guests, and was a musical
organizer;
Whom the girls addressed respectfully as -
‘The Professor’!
Jelly Roll Morton, Tony Jackson author of
‘Pretty Baby’, and Frank ‘Dude’ Amacher, -
Were all well-known Storyville’s ‘Professors’.
Early jazz men who played in Storyville’s Orchestra
and Bands are now all musical legends;
Like ‘King’ Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Kid Orley, Bunk
Johnson, and Sydney Bechet.      ++ (see notes below)
Louis Armstrong who was born in New Orleans,
As a boy had supplied coal to the ‘cribs’ of
Storyville !          ^ (see notes below)
Louis had also played in the bar for $1.25 a night;
Surely the contribution of Storyville to Jazz Music
can never be denied!
But when America joined the First World War in
1917,
A Naval Order was issued to close down Storyville;
Since waging war was more important than making
love the Order had said !
And from the port of New Orleans US Warships
had subsequently set sail.
Here I now pause my friends to take a break.
Part Three of this story is yet to be composed,
Will depend on my Reader’s response !
Please do read below the handy Foot Notes.
Thanks from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.

FOOT NOTES:-
New Orleans one of the oldest of cosmopolitan city of Louisiana, also the 18th State of US, & a major port.
Louisiana was sold by France for $15 Million, & was later realized to be a great achievement of Thomas Jefferson!
Many African Strands of Folk Music & Dance forms had merged at the Congo Square.
^^ ’Second Line Music’= Bands playing during funerals & marches, evoked voluntary crowd participation, with songs and dances as appropriate forming a ''Second Line'' from behind.
@ Those liberal French Masters offered the Creoles the best of Education with access to their White Society!
# ’Jim Crow'= Between 1892 & 1895, 'Blacks' gained political prominence in Southern States. In 1896 land-rich whites disenfranchised the Blacks completely! A 25 year's long hatred
& racial segregation began. Tennessee led by passing the ‘Jim Crow’ Law ! In 1896, Supreme Court upheld this Law with -  ‘’Separate But Equal’’ status for the Blacks. Thus segregation became a National Institution! This segregation divided the Black & White Musicians too!
+ Birth of Jazz was a slow and an evolving process, with Blues and Ragtime as its precursor!    “Jazz Is Quintessence of  Afro-American Music born on European Instruments.”
++ Jelly ‘Roll’ Morton (1885-1941) at 17 years played piano in the brothels, – applying swinging syncopation to a variety of music; a great 'transitional figure' between Ragtime & Jazz Piano-style.
++ BUDDY BOLDEN (1877-1931) = his cornet improvised by adding ‘Blues’ to Ragtime in Orleans  during 1900-1907, which later became Jazz! BUNK JOHNSON (1879-1849 ) = was a pioneering jazz trumpeter who inspired Louis Armstrong.  KID OLIVER (1885-1938) =Cornet player and & a Band-leader, mentor & teacher of Louis Armstrong; pioneered use of ‘mute’ in music! ‘Mute’ is a device fitted to instruments to alter the timber or tonal quality, reducing the sound, or both.
KID ORLEY (1886-1973) : a pioneering Trombonist, developed the '‘tailgate style’' playing rhythmic lines underneath the trumpet & cornet, propagating Early Jazz.  SYDNEY BECHET (1897-1959) = pioneered the use of Saxophone; a composer & a soloist, inspired Armstrong. His pioneering style got his name in the ‘Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame’! LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1890-1971) = Trumpeter, singer, & great improviser. First international soloist, who took New Orleans Jazz Music to the World!  
% = After America joined WW-I in 1917, a Naval Order was issued to shut-down  Storyville, to check the spread of VD amongst sailors!
^^ ”Cribs”= cheap residential buildings where prostitutes rented rooms. Louis Armstrong as a boy supplied coal in those ‘Cribs’.
During the 1940 s  Storyville was raised to the ground to make way for Iberville Federal Housing Project.
ALL COPYRIGHTS RESERVED BY THE AUTHOR : RAJ NANDY **
E-Mail : rajnandy21@yahoo.in
My love for Jazz Music made me to dig-up its past History and share it with few interested Readers of this Site! Thanks, -Raj
David Barr Nov 2013
In the face of persecution, one can drift away into dreamy fabrications of swishing and gorgeous hairstyles – jealous of the seagull as it dismounts the lofty perch of the streetlight and gracefully swoops away into the distance.
The moment of self-loathing and raging sabotage is nothing more than a serial false loyalty.
I validate your alphabet where there is simplicity within the intricate complexities, and where the yearling suckles the lactations of its mother.
Trauma has pre-natal connections where silent screams ripple throughout eternity. Therefore, calmly observe the stiff upper lip of deluded professionalism, and describe the realistic mirage before you. Participation in laughter is not always rooted in sincerity.
Jarred Stagen Jan 2015
"Who profits more?
The cup that fulfills its purpose?
Or the drinker?"
The students didn't answer.
The bell had rung.
They wouldn't get any participation credit.
It wouldn't affect their grade.
The professor didn't care either.
He was just filling the time.
If they thought about it or not,
He would still get payed.
He fulfilled his purpose.
DC raw love Dec 2014
Rationalization
Participation
Concentration
Manipulation
Devastat­ion
Frustration
Delegation
Completion
Direction
Addiction
Motovation
Contraction­
Perfection
Election
Connection
Commotion
Lotion
Jubilation
Reval­uation
Fibulation
Continuation
Population
Sensation
Complication
­Allegation
Temptation
*******
Proustitution
Execution
Desert­ion
Julian Apr 2019
The inaugural bang swiveled with the vacant expressions of a muted feral crowd indignant about ethnic identity and swift in the recourse of tyrannical thugs pandering withered abuse

I solemnly abided in a chirpy itinerant glower against the exclusive system for stranding the disintegration of lyrical integrity for the Potemkin cheers of the culmination of too many jeers

Withered words for the abeyance of silence I incurred with wistful pleas for resurgent clarity beyond   sheepish fears

So I loitered in the evanescence of words..

Watching with alacrity as the strident ignorance of grafted wretchedness writhed its last mustered exsibilation at the sound of windbags bloviating beyond prodigal extravagance without a visible tweeted word

I measured my pause…..as I considered the heft of poignant exposures to a dismal serenade of miscegenated politics and garbled breaths of wheezy mendicants seeking participation in the trophy of smothered compliance

But I marveled simultaneously at the extinction of the shriveled crowds as they sized up the minutiae of wastrels glamorously inviting a frozen recapitulation of sorrows borrowed and wasted on minced platitudes that swindle still the votive confidence of regimented sympathy pretending empathy for soured hearts professedly defiant at their bereaved will

My pulse I clocked at 120 as I wondered where on earth the 140s and 150s have frittered their patience on with such brazen alacrity for the garish snarl of a sojourn into the ineffable effrontery of aureate mutiny against the tyrant of deaf spoon-fed indignation without the luxury of shared ignominy of memorable cadence for frippery in sparse blurbs registered in braille rather than brawn

Then I remembered my vociferous persnickety temperament and the curdled hatred of procrustean swan songs to an etiolating standard of ethical entanglement in aloof issues delivered with a decisive swoon too swift in earnestness to outfox with a quipped rebuff or a calculus of classical spoof

Then I wondered with a problematic but inherent prolixity…..
I too could adorn the adoring moon with a lyrical lampoon geared for a clockwork punchline or a winsome rebarbative tune….OR…. enchant with an incisive acerbic rant about how pasquinades outstay their welcome because of the clambered insistence of happenstance years ago in a blinkered mirror but never rehashed too soon

But where would affection heap its laurels if I dared to swindle the spotlight away from frisky poetasters who proved a renegade inspiration for fluttered triumph in a seaside tragedy only the crestfallen waves of pestilent Idiocracy could steal from my outstretched tenacity in verse and verve

Boom went a fulmination of hatred at my labored words! And then I swerved to avoid potholes of tenuous gainsay…. and other miscreants littering the world with misappropriated labels for laments belabored with publicity for displaced enmity distilled from a cauldron of mismatched ignorance….tethered to the vagrancy of gripe plucked at the ripe time for a twenty-dollar prize give or take a dime

But that dime separating 1990 from 2010 meant more than anything to a life littered with hallowed word crimes…. against the sanctimony of syncopation with cheap bleats too arrogant to be sheepish at the lavish indulgence of the marginalized wines…. brewed in a castle flickering on fiat worth rather than the simplicities of minutes of warbled time

So I currently warp minds with the proctor of a gamble too garish to finesse the quicksand of attrition but jaunty enough to bypass the limitations of a linear self-referential memorial about the circular nature of irony espoused by divorced rhymes

Now I stand ascendant….waiting for the retinues of retinas to absorb the wavy rigmarole of the serpentine pathways carved beneath the buzzwords of race and division and towards soldered unity with a human race beyond racism…. and a class divorced from socioeconomic crass division

Just then I arrived at serenity…. as I realized that the BAR exams that encage so many aspirant hearts are counterfeit in the court of the highest judiciary art that believes that insidious artifice is an embezzled venture of frolicsome guttersnipes wallowing in division can never revive a lifeless heart…. even if quick-witted credentialism rattles the slaves to vapid artforms that any humanism would never deem smart

Ditch the agitprop as a human frailty indentured to endure the curated disease without a cure to make the snollygosters in Washington ever so cocksure with their cockalorum disregard of the palatable consensus to make news real again….Finally for the fraternity of an enlightened human race in a benighted world of trendy fatuousness that infests the planet with the debauchery of glorified urchins jerking the levers with severed brevity to promote infectious foofaraw with cultural indemnity

I leave you with this

What is ornate complexity without the luxury of concerted beatific bliss that the parsecs that flummox your minds throb vehemently with cohesiveness in my internal design are not remiss

And remember the benighted standards of kitsch for the kitchens of penury bewitched don’t stand a chance against the overriding itch to vanquish mountains one after another to cross them off the list
Matt Mar 2015
Philosophically, Camus is known for his conception of the absurd. Perhaps we should clarify from the very beginning what the absurd is not. The absurd is not nihilism. For Camus the acceptance of the absurd does not lead to nihilism (according to Nietzsche nihilism denotes the state in which the highest values devalue themselves) or to inertia, but rather to their opposite: to action and participation. The notion of the absurd signifies the space which opens up between, on the one hand, man’s need for intelligibility and, on the other hand, 'the unreasonable silence of the world' as he beautifully puts it. In a world devoid of God, eternal truths or any other guiding principle, how could man bear the responsibility of a meaning-giving activity? The absurd man, like an astronaut looking at the earth from above, wonders whether a philosophical system, a religion or a political ideology is able to make the world respond to the questioning of man, or rather whether all human constructions are nothing but the excessive face-paint of a clown which is there to cover his sadness. This terrible suspicion haunts the absurd man. In one of the most memorable openings of a non-fictional book he states: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories – comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer” (Camus 2000:11). The problem of suicide (a deeply personal problem) manifests the exigency of a meaning-giving response. Indeed for Camus a suicidal response to the problem of meaning would be the confirmation that the absurd has taken over man’s inner life. It would mean that man is not any more an animal going after answers, in accordance with some inner drive that leads him to act in order to endow the world with meaning. The suicide has become but a passive recipient of the muteness of the world. “...The absurd ... is simultaneously awareness and rejection of death” (Camus 2000:54). One has to be aware of death – because it is precisely the realization of man’s mortality that pushes someone to strive for answers – and one has ultimately to reject death – that is, reject suicide as well as the living death of inertia and inaction. At the end one has to keep the absurd alive, as Camus says. But what does it that mean?

In The Myth of Sisyphus Camus tells the story of the mythical Sisyphus who was condemned by the Gods to ceaselessly roll a rock to the top of a mountain and then have to let it fall back again of its own weight. “Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn” (Camus 2000:109). One must imagine then Sisyphus victorious: fate and absurdity have been overcome by a joyful contempt. Scorn is the appropriate response in the face of the absurd; another name for this 'scorn' though would be artistic creation. When Camus says: “One does not discover the absurd without being tempted to write a manual of happiness” (Camus 2000:110) he writes about a moment of exhilarated madness, which is the moment of the genesis of the artistic work. Madness, but nevertheless profound – think of the function of the Fool in Shakespeare’s King Lear as the one who reveals to the king the most profound truths through play, mimicry and songs. Such madness can overcome the absurd without cancelling it altogether.
www.iep.utm.edu/existent/#SH2c
Courtney Roy Aug 2015
I wish I could observe life..
Less awkwardly.

I wish I could exist..
Without being remembered as anything.

Existence.. what is it?
Living at
The same pace,
Of dying?

I'd like to coincide with it
To love and to hate it..
But not to touch it.

Never to bother or to be bothered with it.

You see, I wish to be left alone.
Without ever having to be left alone.

I'm afraid of touching it,
In case I make it worse

But I miss it soo bad. I can't stay away.
Jen Jordan Nov 2015
forward forward forward
going somewhere moving forward
whether progressing or regressing
growing or unlearning
coming or going
living, dying
everyone believes they are moving towards something
and as everything happens all at once
each perceptive reality is entirely different than any other
and each consciousness travels, and does, and is.
each consciousness believes it has a purpose or a path.
the purpose is not to see into nor plan the future.

from the civilian to the hero tv shows and movies
have consistently glorified the ability to see visions of the future
generally this is followed by someone trying to prevent
the happenings in said vision from becoming reality
and distinctly failing because they "saw into" the future
that their own energy influenced

but the true super power is to be able to look into the past.
to prevent the omitting of details and data
to avoid a rewrite of our conscious interaction with this planet
not to white out the chapters that bear the truth in the textbooks
to recall history so it does not repeat itself

my question is then
do people disguise the wrongdoings of those hidden by the passing of time?
because they are ashamed of the mistakes of their ancestors pasts?
because they are ashamed of their participation in past consciousness's?
because they are ashamed of the atrocities humans have inflicted upon each other and themselves as well as their home planet since the beginning of recorded time here?

or do those who have the power to omit and hide history
purposely rewrite it?
do they mask the pains of the past so the rest of us will forget?
so that even they can forget?
so their next consciousness can unknowingly, while predestined,
have hand in crimes against the world all the same as committed in the lost past?

how many times has someone written these words
or a similar combination
only to delete the post?
burn the pages?
backspace the message?
stop themselves from speaking them aloud?
cover the symbols?
pass out of conscious living mid sentence?
lose them to a past lifetime?

how many times has this cycled through the same way?
how many times have I been me?
how many times have you been me?
how many times have I been anyone?
how many times have I been?

is there a rhythm or is it all as scattered and random
as the thoughts that bring you
to this kind of an understanding of the habit of misunderstanding?
the kind of thoughts that bring you back to the birds nest because you were too early for even the worm?

they will all catch up eventually
after all they all think theyre moving forward
and they don't even know where they've been.
they don't even know that they've been.
Drew Binkley Sep 2015
Generation self-absorbed
Generation confused
Generation searching for meaning
Generation naïve
Generation uncultured
Generation lost
Generation selfish
Generation helpless
Generation Twitter
Generation Instagram
Generation Facebook
Generation uncommitted
Generation distracted
Generation “Trophy Kids”
Generation disengaged
Generation materialistic
Generation acceptance
Generation open-minded
Generation politically unaware
Generation lazy
Generation coddled
Generation participation
Generation unrealistic
Generation fame
Generation money
Generation status
Generation uninvolved
Generation Netflix
Generation PlayStation
Generation dreamer
Generation translucent
Generation name brand
Generation X-box
Generation immediate gratification
Generation instantaneous
Generation authenticity
Generation untraditional
Generation thrill seeking
Generation skepticism
Generation unorganized

This is what they think
Our parents, our elders
This is the legacy we are leaving
Are we okay with that?
Cedric McClester Jul 2018
By: Cedric McClester

You know he’s full of stuff
When the evidence ain’t enough
And he’s acting like a cream puff
By not calling Putin’s bluff
If I labeled him a scaredy-cat
Or better yet Putin’s new doormat
Would that raise the thermostat,
And flush out that Norway rat?

When the evidence is irrefutable
To the point that it’s not disputable
His response is always mutable
And comes out as most unsuitable
Then his mouthpiece attempts to frame
An alibi, but we’re hip to her game
She can’t absolve him of the blame
Though she tries to just the same

So you better believe and trust
That she looks ridiculous
When she’s being duplicitous
By trying to fool the rest of us
It’s a sin to stand there and lie
But she gives it a college try
Like the mistress of deny
As if the Ten Commandment don’t apply

They interfered with our election
With a clear cut interjection
Of cybernet deflection
Without protest or objection
Two days before his inauguration
He was told of the Russian’s participation
Much to his own consternation
Yet he still voices reservations





Cedric McClester, Copyright © 2018.  All rights reserved.
An Uncommon Poet Sep 2014
Every course should be marked on content.
In todays schooling we ask students to write final essays or regular essays to discuss their knowledge in a specific topic. However, marks are deducted for minor sentence errors, grammatical errors and style errors. But does that mean they don’t have sufficient knowledge about the topic or that the content of the essay does mean standards? No. Students lose marks for unrelated reasons. Grammar is not content. Grammar is grammar. Content could be excellent while the grammar is horrible. Philosophers potentially had the worst grammar ever, however we have glorified their thoughts for centuries.
This is where schooling has changed. And this is how schooling needs to change. Writing an essay is irrelevant to knowledge about a topic. Writing skills and understanding of content do not intertwine. If I wanted someone to apply knowledge they learned from a topic an essay is perhaps a very irrelevant way of doing so. Why judge someone on something that is, in today’s society exposed to interferences? Interferences such as grammatical errors.
If I wanted to know someones knowledge about a certain topic and wanted them to apply logic and theories they learned from courses, why not talk to them rather than using paper as a pigeon to share ideas? If it was spoken I can’t say “you lost marks because you didn’t put a period here and a comma there.” If it is spoken, you will still be able to notice if the student understands the topic. This way there is not interferences. It is strictly about content of knowledge and the students ability to apply what they have learned into specific views about a question I would have for them.
If I asked a teacher to have a class discussion where everyone had input, how would the teacher grade them? On quality of their answer, and clarity. Clarity being their ability to get to the point. However, if it is not clear, can the student make it clear for the rest of the class? Because what sometimes isn’t clear for one person, could be unclear because they are not as intelligent to be able to understand. The other student might not be so stupid because he said it in a way that is unclear. Maybe the listener is stupid because they didn’t understand? However, if the student can make it clear then their quality of the answer enhances and they will receive a higher grade.
For instance, if this was a formal essay that attempted to answer “What is wrong with schooling?” I would lose marks because I asked questions. Asking questions for some reason is not allowed? Is it informal? No. But society tells us we shouldn’t ask questions we should instead assume something and make a statement because that imposes confidence in a thought. But, if I was questioning certain aspects of something would that prove that I have sufficient knowledge towards one topic? Wouldn’t that impose that I have enough knowledge to understand details and question them? But hey, don’t formulate that statement in a question. It’s stupid. Question everything because you will never know all the answers regardless of all the resources.
By discussing a topic, the answers are direct. Content may vary depending on how much the student learned (providing the teacher is good at teaching and the proper course are in place). If the student struggles to understand a topic it will be evident in the quality of their answer. We can still see if the student is trying too hard (which is never a bad thing to set the standard high, shoot for the stars), or if the answer they have is someone else’s because they aren’t necessarily answers that they would have or words that they would use. But that is an assumption. Never assume, instead question. We can still notice if the student paid attention the course lectures and successfully answered the topic question with detail, reference, questions, relations, and application of knowledge that was taught to the student.
Just because a student can’t write a thought out on paper, does not mean they didn’t understand it. **** I used contractions, I would lose more marks there as well. See what I mean, a highschool teacher would tell me that I can’t say “Can’t” I was supposed to say “Can not” because that is formal. What is formal? Who said that is formal? Jim Joe Bob down the road? Who cares, does the student understand the topic or not? Stop docking marks for things unrelated to the subject.
If this was a writing course it would be understood why a student would lose marks for grammar and word choice and sentence structure or clarity. But students lose marks in History essays for word choice, and in political science for forgetting a period and in gender studies for saying “you” in a final essay. These are unneeded reasons for losing marks. At the end of the day does the student understand the historical importance of the topic? Or does the student understand the importance of the judiciary amongst the political system? Or does the student understand that sexism will only negatively impact society? If no, then he or she gets a bad mark, if yes, they get a good mark. Stop making up reasons for bad marks.
However, one will say; “Well what if the quality of the essay is so ****** I can’t even understand their knowledge?” This proves the instability of essays. Don’t ask for an essay. Ask to talk to the student about the topic. You’ll know if he or she understands. Just like when you go to a retail store and ask for advice about a product. We know if the associate knows what they are talking about, if they have no idea or if they are just telling us what they learned from training (which isn’t bad). Teachers potentially train students in a certain area. Why not ask a question which enforces them to apply the knowledge which they gained from the training to their answer? The teacher will know if the student knows what they are talking about (because they paid attention in training/class) or if they have no idea (because they did not understand or pay attention). Even if they retell you everything that was taught to them. Don’t they know something about the answer? Yes, it’s not the most enriched content because it was your own words but the student learned something right? Isn’t that why they go to school? To learn?
Another will say; “But we can’t escape writing. We have to do it everyday. A person must know how to write.” Fair. But why not teach writing in a writing course? One where the student will be marked on their ability to be clear in writing, or their ability to be grammatically correct, or their word selectiveness, or the sentence and paragraph structure. This seems like an appropriate course to deduct marks for incorrect application of knowledge. However, another person will ask; “then how do you teach structure and grammar?” Through exercises. Ask them to write a paper. Go through assignments as a class, encourage class participation and discussion. If the student doesn’t talk, the teacher will know what they understand therefore, how are they to give them anything but a bad mark? It’s at the student’s discretion but the proper systems need to be in place.
An example; how many people have gotten a paper back, looked at their grade and put the paper away? Did not even look at the corrections or suggestions for reasons why the mark was so poor or decent? Every one. Why not give a student a second chance? Why not scare them to do their best? Try this: Ask students to answer a question, any question. Have them hand it in 10 days from the assigned date. Students who want a good mark will use their time wisely to proof read, get the proper references and apply the correct knowledge. Students who want to get by will start two nights before. Once the papers are handed in, edit them. Once finished, return them without a mark. Wait for the students reaction. They will come up to you asking “what’d I get?”, “why isn’t there a mark?”. Tell them that, they aren’t getting a mark, they need to read the corrections and implement them. Have the paper due in three days. Once the papers are submitted, grade them. There will be less grammatical errors. At least for the students who took the time to read the corrections and implement them. The students who did not, will not receive a high grade a potentially face the threat of a failing grade. Hand the papers back with grades. Once this is done, ask for them to write another essay on a different topic. A topic such as “Should capital punishment be reinforced in Canada?” This topic is ok because you can write about any topic, its still writing. Writing is not confined to topics such as grammar, story writing or essay writing. Writing has infinite topic possibilities. But once the essay topic is given out, tell them they have 10 days to hand it in. Once handed in, give them a grade. Don’t give the chance for editing this time, and see if there is less errors for each student, ask to sit down with them and compare the errors that were made. In this way the student will learn and most importantly remember why and why not to write in certain structures while adding certain grammatical content.
With this exercise the student will learn how to clearly write, but it will take a while. It should be mandatory that students take a writing course throughout elementary and secondary school because the statement is true “we cannot escape writing”. Everyone must know how to write. But in society we struggle to remember that, just because someone can’t write something doesn’t mean they do not understand the topic. If I was to ask Einstein to write a topic on the differences of between time and space in APA format, His content would very well achieve high academic standards but his grammar and format would be god awful. It would be horrendous. He did not know how to write in specific manners, he would use his resources to learn but that was because from what we know he wanted to achieve in the highest manner possible. But he understood the content, and isn’t that what is most important? O the other hand, if I asked him to tell me about the topic, would it be more credible? Would it blow someone’s mind because they couldn’t take away marks. He would receive 100% on everything because he understood the content. That’s all that matters. For those who want to write, take writing courses. Or in today’s society, every context course is a writing course, as students are not be graded on their quality, rather, they are being graded on writing abilities. So to conclude, are we teaching history, science, politics, law, child and youth studies or are we just teaching students how to write without expanding their knowledge of the topic. We can’t base content off of what is written down,  interferences are infinite. ****, I used “can’t”. Sorry.
M Apr 2014
you'd like to argue 'no, your grades don't indicate your intelligence'
because you have bad grades and
you don't want to think of yourself as stupid
and now you've settled yourself into a pit of
oh, I have bad grades, but that means
I'm smart in a better way than them,
it's like a smug superior thing,
like 'those people have such an ordinary intelligence'
and 'here I am, someone whose mind
cannot be contained by this fragile institution'
and you've made yourself satisfied with your bad grades
because you think yourself to be unorthodoxically intelligent
and those who have good grades
are boring, pointless individuals.
you don't want to feel bad about yourself
or put in the work to make them better
so you decided this mindset would work best for you
but I'd like to propose that yes, your grades do indicate your intelligence-
it's only a certain kind of intelligence,
mind you,
but it's the type of intelligence we measure
as ordinary intelligence.
if you have bad grades
you
A) don't understand the material
B) aren't paying attention
C) aren't putting in enough effort
or
D) there is no D
because grades are a combination of homework,
tests,
quizzes,
participation,
and projects.
I get if you're a bad test taker.
I personally don't understand how that works-
like, you get the material
until someone asks you something about it
and then you can't communicate your knowledge?
I mean, if you know something, then you know it,
and putting it on a paper, test or otherwise, shouldn't be difficult
if you actually know what you're talking about.
which ties in to A. if you don't understand it,
then actually,
you C. aren't putting in enough effort.
but okay, I'll accept that reason-
even though I think bad test takers are a myth.
you can't possibly be bad at homework
unless you don't put in the time to do it.
projects, too. if you fail those, you C.
and participation is B.
all those are easily solved by hard work if you
lack, for now, the kind of 'intelligence' we measure.
so if you have bad grades, no, it doesn't mean you're unintelligent.
but it does mean you're lazy.
or have reached a point where you don't believe you can do more-
which is a lie.
because you are capable of solving every problem
you believe you are capable of solving.
and telling yourself 'I'm just not good at school'
guarantees that you are not good at school.
if you appreciate your capability
you can go so much farther.
there is a limit to human potential,
but I don't think it is different for everyone.
I think the limit is where you either
cut yourself off
or
the upper limit-
very few people have reached that limit. perhaps no one.
but it is very high up there.
the limit where you cut yourself off
is that imaginary edge of human behavior
at which people say "boys will be boys"
or "evil is human nature"
or "certain people are more inclined to __ than others, and I am not one of those people"
or "everybody's potential is different"
because that is not ******* true
your potential is what you say it is
and the line you draw for yourself
is a wall you can now never cross
because you don't think you can
like 'I will never be more than what I am'
or 'All I can be is me'
or 'accept me just the way I am'
because you can be more.
and as a human being with this amazing power of metacognition,
you are obligated to be more
you are obligated to train yourself and
change yourself
and program yourself into the best possible human you can be
because every action you take builds you higher
and every choice you take breaks down the wall
you just have to make the decision that
you will reach the stars
you will do whatever it takes
because at the top of that mountain
you will realize you can do anything now,
you can go anywhere now,
you've made it all the way here-
now to the moon!
and I dare you to go
because I know you can.
the standards you hold yourself to are not necessarily true across the board. while boosting yourself up, you need to recognize that other people's limitations can be real within their own perceptions. two of the virtues you yourself should hold yourself to should be compassion and understanding- you should try your hardest to love and accept the people around you. when THEY fail to love and accept you, the only thing you can control is your response: whether to forgive or get angry and frustrated. Remember that you can only control yourself and that you cannot expect everyone's consciousness stage and truth to be the same as yours. All you can do is use what you perceive as their failures to train yourself to be better. getting angry, frustrated, or hurting them physically or emotionally because of their failure is only a failure of yours, and only adds to the resentment in the universe. you must fight hate with love.
the above poem is a good, positive way to think about and live your life. this is intended to be motivational and to scratch and fray at the chains we've bound ourselves with. this isn't supposed to be directed towards anyone in particular and was certainly not meant to hurt feelings. If you get offended by this, it's because what I've said disagrees with the excuses you've been telling yourself your whole life and now you've got nothing to stand on, so you want to blame me.
don't blame me. break your chains.
Jamie L Cantore Feb 2017
Counselor asked us how we can change a negative word into something positive...
I wrote on the board "Judge Me N't."
Diverseman2020 Sep 2009
A defeat I can't bare witness
I should have known
The king signed a peace treaty with the enemy
Politics behind our backs
Chancellor's participation
His engagement cost us dearly this war
Poison the king's mind for serenity
Our enemies have won
I renounce service to the king
Nobleman I am
A mercenary life I will live
Payments is my services
Death is thy drink
May the spirits keep me away?
From a nation of ignorance
AnnaMarie Jenema May 2016
Joy planned in order to show appreciation,
A happy glowing room,
filled with 'thanks'
ringing from wall to wall.
One alone,
sitting in sadness,
unsure why these feelings came to be.
Could stress have caused this?
Why must it rain every drop at once?
Rather than a quiet trickle,
of unnoticeable blues and grays.
Kewayne Wadley Mar 2018
We've torn down buildings, and built new ones
Yet we have no foundation.
We are illiterate to what we truly feel and breathe unless,
It is seen else where first.
It too is a reality that we've created.
This feeling that can only be described in Braille.
We too are restricted.
These bumps that go unnoticed.
The mumps in the crevice we band aid until it's too late.
We continue to tear down these fortresses of ourselves.
What concerns most is that I see myself in you.
The same love and laugh that become the building blocks that haults the storm.
Yet we reject each other due to the mentality of our environment.
With lack of understanding,
We fail to embrace choosing the cause and effect of all differential.
We seek to destroy forgetting what's important.
We work against each other doing more damage that good.
We need each other to further emancipation.
To build one another once this storm reaches peak.
As simple as it sounds it becomes more complex.
To build a new building on top shakey ground.
Everything must be cleared out.
The participation of presence
RAJ NANDY May 2017
Dear Poet Friends, I had posted Part One of the Story of Jazz Music in Verse few months back on this Site. Today I am posting Part Two of this Story in continuation. Even if you had not read part one of this true story, this one will still be an interesting portion to read especially for all lovers of music, and for knowing about America's rich cultural heritage. I love smooth & cool jazz mainly, not the hard & acid kind! Kindly do read the ‘Foot Notes’ at the end to know how the word ‘Jass’ became ‘Jazz’ way back in History. Hope to bring out a book later with photographs. Thanks, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.


STORY OF JAZZ MUSIC  IN VERSE PART – II

    NEW ORLEANS : THE CRADLE OF JAZZ
BACKGROUND:
Straddling the mighty bend of the River Mississippi,
Which nicknames it as the ‘Crescent City’;
Founded in the year 1718, as a part of French Louisiana
colony.
New Orleans* gets its name from Phillippe II, Duc d’ Orleans,
the Regent of France;
A city well known for its music, and fondness for dance!
The city remained as a French Colony until 1763,
When it got transferred to Spain as a Spanish Colony.
But in 1800, those Spanish through a secret pact,
To France had once again ceded the colony back!
Finally in the year 1803, the historic ‘Louisiana Purchase’
had taken place, -
When Napoleon First of France sold New Orleans and the
entire Louisiana State,
To President Thomas Jefferson of the United States!
(See Notes below)

THE CONGO SQUARE:
The French New Orleans was a rather liberal place,
Where slaves were permitted to congregate,
To worship and for trading in a market place, on
Sabbath Days, their day of rest.
They had chosen a grassy place at the edge of the
old city ,
Where they danced and sang to tom-tom beats,
Located north of the French Quarters across the
Rampart Street;
Which came to be known as the Congo Square,
Where you could hear clapping of hands and
stomping of feet!
There through folk songs, music, and varying dance
forms, -
The slaves maintained their native African musical
traditions all along!
African music which remained suppressed in the
Protestant colonies of the British,
Had found a freedom of expression in the Congo Square
by the natives, -
Through their Bamboula, Calanda, and Congo dance forms
to the drum beats of their native music.
The Wolof and Bambara people from Senegal River of West
Africa, -
With their melodious singing and stringed instruments,
Became the forerunners of ‘Blues’ and the string banjo.
And during the Spanish Era slaves from the Central African
forest culture of Congo, -
Who with their hand-drummed poly-rhythmic beats,  
Made people from Havana to Harlem to rise up and dance
on their feet!   * (see notes below)

CULTURAL MIX:
After the Louisiana Purchase, English-speaking Anglo and
African-Americans flooded that State.
Due to cultural friction with the Creoles, the new-comers
settled ‘Uptown’,
Creating an American sector separate from older Creole
‘Downtown’.
This black American influx ‘Uptown’ brought in the elements
of the blues, spirituals, and rural dances into New Orleans’
musical scene.
These African cultural expressions had gradually diversified,
into Mardi Gras tradition and the ‘Second Line’. ^^ (notes below)
And finally blossomed into New Orleans’ jazz and blues;
As New Orleans became a cauldron of a rich cultural milieu!

THE CREOLES:
The Creoles were not immigrants but were home-bred.
They were the bi-racial children of their French masters
and their African women slaves!
Creole subculture was centred in New Orleans after the
Louisiana Purchase of 1803,
When the Creoles rose to the highest rung of society!
They lived on the east of Canal Street in the French
Sector of the city.   @ (see notes below)
Many Creole musicians were formally trained in Paris.
Played in opera houses there, and later led Brass Bands
in New Orleans.
Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Oliver, and Sidney Bechet were
famous Creoles,
About whom I shall write as this Story unfolds.
In sharp contrast on the west of Canal Street lived the
***** musicians;
But they lacked the economic advantages the Creoles
already had!
They were schooled in the Blues, Work songs, and Gospel
music .
And played by the ear with improvisation as their unique
characteristic,
As most of them were uneducated and could not read.
Now in 1894, when Jim Crow’s racial segregation laws
came into force,       # (see notes below)
The Creoles were forced to move west of Canal Street to
live with the Negroes!
This racial mingling lighted a ‘musical spark’ creating a
lightening flash, -
Igniting the flames of a ‘new music’ which was later came
to be known as JAZZ !

CONTRIBUTION OF STORYVILLE :
In the waning years of the 19th Century, when Las Vegas
was just a farming community,
The actual ‘sin city’ lay 1,700 miles East, in the heart of
New Orleans!
By Alderman Story’s Ordinance of 1897,  a 20-block area
had got legalised and confined, -
To the French Quarters on the North Eastern side called
‘Storyville’,   - a name which was acquired after him.
This red light area resounded with a new seductive music
‘jassing up’ one and all;
Which played in its bordellos, saloons, and dance halls!
The best of bordellos hired a House Pianist who greeted
guests and was also a musical organizer;
Whom the girls addressed respectfully as ‘The Professor’!
Jelly Roll Morton++, Tony Jackson author of  ‘Pretty Baby’,
and Frank ‘Dude’ Amacher, -
Were all well known Storyville’s  ‘Professors’!
Early jazz men who played in Storyville’s Orchestras and Bands
now form a part of Jazz Legend;
Like ‘King’ Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Kid Orley, Bunk Johnson,
and Sydney Bechet.    ++ (see notes below)
Louis Armstrong who was born in New Orleans, as a boy had
supplied coal to the ‘cribs’ of Storyville!   ^ (see notes)
He had also played in the bar for $1.25 a night,
Surely the contribution of Storyville to Jazz cannot be denied!
But when America joined the First World War in 1917,
A Naval Order was issued to close down Storyville!   % (notes)
Since waging war was more important than making love,
this Order had said;
And from the port of New Orleans the US Warships had
set sail!
Here I pause my friends to take a break, will continue
the Story of Jazz in part three, at a later date.
                                               -Raj Nandy, New Delhi
FOOT NOTES :-
NEW ORLEANS one of the oldest cosmopolitan city of Louisiana,
the 18th State of US , & a  major port city.
LOUISIANA was sold by France for $15 million, which was later
realised to be a great achievement of President Jefferson.
*Many African strands of Folk music and dance had merged at the
Congo Square!
^^ ‘SECOND LINE MUSIC’ = Bands playing during Funerals & Marches evoked voluntary crowd participation, with songs & dances as appropriate forming a ‘Second Line’ from behind.
@ =THOSE LIBERAL FRENCH MASTERS OFFERED THE CREOLES THE BEST OF EDUCATION WITH ACCESS TO WHITE SOCIETY!
#’JIM CROW’= between 1892&1895, blacks gained political prominence in Southern States. In 1896 LAND-RICH WHITES DISENFRANCHISED THE BLACK COMPLETELY! A 25 YRS LONG HATRED &RACIAL SEGREGATION BEGAN. TENNESSEE LED BY PASSING ‘JIM CROW LAW’. IN 1896, THE SUPREME COURT UPHELD THIS LAW WITH ITS ‘’SEPARATE BUT EQUAL’’ STATUS FOR THE BLACKS ! THUS SEGREGATION BECAME A NATIONAL INSTITUTION. THIS SEGREGATION DIVIDED THE BLACK & WHITE MUSICIANS ALSO.
+ BIRTH OF JAZZ WAS A SLOW AND EVOLVING PROCESS, WITH BLUES AND RAGTIME AS ITS PRECURSORS . “JAZZ WAS QUINTESSENCE OF AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC BORN ON EUROPEAN INSTRUMENTS.”  See my ‘Part One’ for definitions.
++ JELLY ‘Roll’ Morton (1885-1941): At 17 yrs played piano in the brothels, applying swinging syncopation to a variety of music; a great Transitional Figure- between Ragtime & Jazz Piano-style.  ++ BUDDY BOLDEN (1877-1931): His cornet improvised by adding ‘Blues’ to Ragtime in Orleans; which between the years 1900 & 1907 transformed into  Jazz! BUNK JOHNSON (1879-1849): pioneering jazz trumpeter, inspired Louis Armstrong; lost all teeth & played with his dentures! KING OLIVER(1885-1938): Cornet player & bandleader, mentor& teacher of Louis Armstrong; pioneered use of ‘mute’ in music. KID ORY(1886-1973): a pioneering Trombonist, he developed the ‘tailgate style’ playing rhythmic lines underneath the trumpet & the cornet, propagating early Jazz !
SYDNEY BECHET (1897-1959): pioneered the use of SAX; a composer & a soloist, he inspired Louis Armstrong. His pioneering style got his name in the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame!
Louis Armstrong(1890-1971): was a trumpeter, singer and a great
improviser. Also as the First International Soloist took New Orleans music to the World!
% = After  America joined WW-I in 1917,  a Naval Order was issued to shutdown Storyville in order to check the spread of VD amongst sailors.
^ ’cribs”= cheap residential buildings where prostitutes rented rooms.
# "JASS" = originally an Africa-American slang meaning ‘***’ ! Born in the brothels of Storyville (New Orleans)  & the Jasmine perfumes used by the girls there; one visiting them was  said to be 'jassed-up' . Mischievous boys rubbed out the letter ‘J’ from posters outside announcing  "Live Jass Shows'', making it to read as ‘'Live *** Shows'’! So finally ‘ss’ of ‘jass’ got replaced by 'zz' of JAZZ .
DURING THE 1940s  STORYVILLE  WAS RAISED TO THE GROUND TO MAKE WAY FOR ‘IBERVILLE FEDERAL HOUSING PROJECT’ .
  *
ALL COPYRIGHTS RESERVED BY THE AUTHOR : RAJ NANDY
Timothy Brown Jul 2013
She made breakfast
of sausage, toast and eggs,
sunny-side up.
With a smile that reflected
my shattered perception,
I scarfed the food down.
It was a pitiful apology.
The toast was burnt;
the sausage cold and
the eggs were runny.
It was a meal put together
by someone that knew
they could do no wrong.
I ate every crumb in a false show of good faith.
You see, breakfast comes every morning
with or without our participation.
The tears on my heart, however,
are only made with her designation
© June 30th, 2013 by Timothy Brown. All rights reserved

— The End —