Tuesday, February 17, 2015

the curse of love

it always hurts.  it never stops hurting.  if it's not one thing, it's another, and worst of all, the pain makes the few times when it doesn't hurt so damn small and forgettable.  like a blip in the radar of depression.  to feel is to feel sad.  happiness is fleeting, and sadness fills all the space in between the times when happiness flits about from one heart to the next.  too much of a good thing is a bad thing.  i don't think it would hurt to feel a little more the good just to even out the scales a bit, but lady liberty is not our creator.

why is loneliness seated so deeply in the core of my being?  angst.  fear.  loneliness.  why are these so inherent?  is existential angst just the price we pay for self-realization?  geniuses are crazy.  maybe we all look like insane geniuses to animals who can't contemplate their own existence.  we're all madmen.  so what's so good about being evolved enough to have regular existential crises?  if not me, someone else.  if not us, something else.  the law of nature--survival.  everything that is to be will find a way.  all that is was inevitable, from the big bang to the death of a loved one.  as it was in the beginning, is not, and ever shall be, a world without end.

my feelings are a yo-yo that keeps getting dunked into the ocean, and i'm running out of energy to gasp for air.

have you ever been so sad you don't want to go to sleep because that means accepting that nothing can make you feel better?  and no one will hold you as you sleep to at least give you hope for tomorrow?  i need more time to be happy.  i feel more and more like i'm running out of time.

i want to trust someone enough to enjoy lying in their arms.  i want to find someone worthy of and desiring of that trust.  i want so badly to give myself to someone, to let go into them and let them let go into me, but no one is around, no one is good enough, no one cares.  everyone will simply take what i give, smash it on the ground, and turn their back on me.  do you have any idea how terrifying that is?  the ability to love is a curse.  a terrifying curse.

Section 8 Magazine, I love you!

I've been published for a third time at Section 8 Magazine, so if you haven't checked out that site/zine, you definitely should go have a look!  My great friend RITuesday was also published there not too long ago.  Section 8 is a huge supporter of emerging artists, and their style is incredible.  I never knew I had an audience until I learned about the Section 8 audience, so thank you to Section 8 and all of my readers!  Go check out "In the Closet With a Ghost" if you have the chance to read a long story by me!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Interruptions

Interruptions:  a phone call and three text messages.  Lately, I've been questioning the accuracy of my memories, not my memory itself as a whole.  I have burned too many holes in my brain to expect my memory to function at its fullest human potential.  I have conceded portions of my past to the sporadic black holes that polka dot my brain's...look up "memory" in the Thesaurus and Google "the science of memory"...interruptions:  three text messages and a cat in my lap...hippocampus, or something like that.  Interruptions:  one text message, dog food delivery, and four more text messages.  This might be the first time I've ever actually tried to distinguish between the different possible meanings of the word "memory," but the definition to which I'm attempting to refer doesn't seem to exist.  Interruption:  two text messages.  Memory is a noun that, by definition, can refer to either our general ability to remember or a specific event or smell or person or story or sensory intake we remember.  Neither of those definitions covers the larger, overarching concept of that which holds all that is remembered and makes the act of remembering possible--the sum of all our memories.

I tried to invent a formula--M = mn, if “m” represents the second definition of memory--but it doesn't account for the first definition:  the ability to remember.  When I think of the ability, I imagine some sort of creature living inside my brain like a big blob with T-Rex arms and a giggly hole for a mouth--basically, a fat, Flubber-like membrane that consumes all of that which my brain, body, and mind experience--or lowercase "m" in my formula.  However, unlike Flubber, the membrane is clear so when the memories are swallowed, they get placed on display within the transparent creature.


Or the membrane is flat and porous, and it grows and evolves and consumes memory after memory, but I'm clogging up my digestive system with toxins and my memories are like premature newborns with fetal-alcohol syndrome--deformed and weak.  They're all faded and slightly confusing.  In the way my nails and skin are developing a yellow tint from all the cigarettes I smoke, my memory membrane is getting cloudy from all the poison, and I'm not going to be able to see my memories at all eventually if the membrane continues to become...look up antonyms for "transparent"...opaque.


I guess hippocampus is accurate scientific name for what I am failing to describe with metaphor...if I want to make this about science.  I wish I could.  It would give me a lot more confidence in my crazy theories.


But my hippocampus has little cigarette burns all over it that have turned into black holes.  However, the remainder of the membrane woven around and between the black, still intact and sufficiently clear, forms a...look up synonym for membrane and search "the texture of skin" on Reverse Dictionary...thick, flesh-like web of patterns, or clues of my age, sort of like rings on a tree trunk.  That part of the membrane is beautiful because it holds all the memories still preserved, or remember-able, and that part of the membrane is becoming an endangered species on my planet.


Interruptions (ignored until now):  seven Twitter notifications and four text messages.


Like a nebula and my little "m" memories are whatever forms the rain inside the cloud?


I went so far off track I almost forgot what I was talking about more than twice.  Interruptions don't help.  I think I've circled around to most of my points except my initial one, though.  You know when you can't quite make out what something is in the distance so your brain sort of fills in the blanks until you get close enough for your vision to give your brain enough pieces to build a comprehensible picture?  What if you never got closer, and you eventually just learned to accept the blanks your imagination filled in as your truth, if not The Truth, if there is even a distinguishable difference?  I am terrified I have fictionalized and embellished and altered so many pieces of my memory simply for lack of a clear enough view of whatever the capital "T" Truth may be, if there is one, that my entire past is a figment of my imagination as far as I'm concerned.


I tell stories around people who were also there to see if they confer or if whatever I'm saying happened only happened in my head.


The oddest thing about not trusting your memory is this--if we are made up of our past experiences, and I feel mine are all nothing but a figment of my imagination, then I am also nothing but a figment of my imagination.  "I think; therefore I am" never made sense to me anyway because lots of things are but do not think, at least not in the traditional sense.  But we arguably don't even think in the "traditional" sense, whatever that even means.


I guess my question is, how does one stop lying to oneself?

Friday, June 27, 2014

"With friends like these, well, who needs politicians?"

Some days (read:  most days) all I can think about is my tiny little world and all my stupid little problems, but my narcissistic and solipsistic proclivities are often just what I need to drive me straight into the heart of social issues like LGBTQ equality and reproductive health/rights.  Pity parties get boring quickly, and today is one of those days where some updates about the fight for social justice and equality are just what I needed to pick me up and pull me out of my own egoism.  Charlie used to talk about "ego death" often, and I think if I could give him anything with the life he made possible, it would be the gift of my own ego death...which is probably a gift I'll spend my whole life learning how to give.  Anyway, digressions...my point is, I just wanted to share some of the interesting news stories I've read this morning with whomever actually still reads this blog anymore, if anyone, or maybe I'm still just talking to myself...whatever.

First, the Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional to stop abortion protesters from harassing women in what could arguably be one of the most emotionally vulnerable moments of their lives.  The Massachusetts law created a "buffer zone" around abortion clinics in which women and other people entering the clinic would be able to escape from the accusatory cries of anti-choice fanatics.  I understand SCOTUS was trying to protect free speech, but I was under the impression "hate speech" was not protected under "free speech."  Based on the history of violence at abortion clinics, especially in Massachusetts, I do not understand how SCOTUS honestly believed these protesters--excuse me, "petitioners"--simply "sought to have quiet conversations . . . about alternatives."

I find it ironic (read:  insulting and disgusting) how SCOTUS can wax on about the unconstitutionality of "blanket bans" while simultaneously blanket banning a law that was made with the sole intent to protect women and doctors as they enter abortion clinics.  Okay, maybe I can't get away with claiming some sort of solely pure intent for any type of legislation, but still, my point remains that SCOTUS proudly and unanimously struck down a law that protects women, reproductive health, and the freedom of choice.  I am not so blind as to not see the point the majority opinion makes about the importance of protecting free speech, but without free choice, I do not see how free speech can truly exist.  I lament the fact that the Constitution does not explicitly protect our right to be left alone or establish a right for freedom from harassment, but I suppose our entire government would be unconstitutional if that were the case.

I lived in Boston for five years, and I know I will not stand alone in saying Boston fanatics can be fucking psycho.  Look at what happens when the Red Sox win--riots everywhere...people injured...property destroyed...and that's a celebration!  Can we all take a second and consider how violent these same people have the capability of becoming when they are actually angry about something?  It's all good and well to protect Constitutional rights.  Of course that's important.  Possibly the only pride I have as an American rests in upholding the Constitution, but I also do not think we can read the Constitution out of the context of reality.  The Constitution does not exist in some sort of bubble, free from actual, human experience.  (Interestingly enough, I have made the same argument about the Bible many times, but that's for another day.)  I don't think I'm jumping to conclusions when I assume the Constitution was written to apply to American citizens in the real world, so instead of sitting around debating semantics, maybe it's time our judicial system stepped into reality and decided a law's constitutionality or lack thereof based on how it actually, as opposed to theoretically, affects people.

Okay, and I really thought my rant was finished until I just went to the bathroom and had another thought:  I have been watching "The Newsroom" a lot lately, and in a recent episode I saw, someone accused the lead anchor of only calling himself a Republican in order to gain enough credibility to criticize the Republican party without sounding like just another bitter liberal.  I thought that seemed like an incredibly frustrating possibility--someone parading around claiming to be of your political ideologies all the while criticizing everything about your political ideologies.  And I guess, without making any clear accusations because how could I ever actually know, I'd like to point out the frustration I've experienced in the media's emphasis on the fact that even the "liberal" Supreme Court justices joined in this majority opinion.  As much as we have seem to forgotten this, political labels do not exist independent of actions.  I can call myself a conservative until I'm blue in the face, but if I'm fighting for same-sex marriage and reproductive freedom while calling myself a conservative, that word means nothing.  Or, to quote Shakespeare, "that which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as [bigoted]."

Eek, I started this blog post with the intent to briefly comment on a bunch of different articles.  Instead I ranted about one for far too long, so here are some links to other articles of current interest for your reading pleasure:

GOP Sen. Susan Collins supports same-sex marriage

One year later, Kaplan reflects on victory against DOMA

Four same-sex couples join Puerto Rico marriage lawsuit

Susan Rice reaffirms U.S. commitment to LGBT rights abroad (although a splinter v. plank in the eye metaphor comes to mind)

And in case you're still there, here's a song that has come to mind:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NaPoWriMo Day 3

Here's my charm poem from the NaPoWriMo Day 3 prompt:

A Charm against Love

Pluck the chin hairs from your heart,
collect the ash of modern art,
extract the pigment from her lips,
and grind it all to little bits.
Then steep the mixture, make a tea,
drink the poison, die with me.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Misunderstanding Mythology

I'm not doing very well at keeping up with my own late attempt to do NaPoWriMo...so two weeks later, I've finally finished Day 2's prompt, which was to write a poem about a myth that is neither Greek or Roman--

I learned about God and Santa Claus around the same time, and I would not be fooled.  I had it figured out—the North Pole just sounded like a really cold version of Heaven, and Santa Claus just sounded like God’s jolly ol’ best friend.  After all, if only God could be omniscient, how else would Santa know which children were good and which were bad?  No, I would not be fooled into believing in a second, omniscient man who lived up North and had magical powers.  The Bible made that clear—idolatry was a sin.  Our God is a jealous God, and I was not about to make Him compete with a fat, bearded man in red pajamas.  So on His right hand sat Jesus, the Son of Man, and on His left, sat Santa, the Ho Ho Holy Trinity’s sidekick.

I misunderstood childhood.

It took me far too long to figure out just how much I misunderstood, and once I saw the error in my thinking, I realized I knew absolutely nothing.  I successfully created blackout curtains for reality, and by the time I finally caught a glimpse of the light hiding behind the thick fabric, I could barely see past all the stories I had painted on the inside of the fort I built around whatever the truth might have been.  In college, I read a poem about all the things one man misunderstood, and I think I might have accidentally made that poem my mantra.  I misunderstood mythology, I misunderstood fairy tales, I misunderstood religion, I misunderstood love, and most of all, I misunderstood every word you’ve ever spoken to me. 

What is wrong with me from head to toe/That I misinterpret everything I hear?

I misunderstood sex, and I still repeatedly misunderstand my own sexuality.  I misunderstand “like” and “love,” sex and commitment, your smile and my butterflies, your eye contact and my delusions, your future and my past, friendship and loneliness.

What you are feeling for me I misunderstand totally; I think I misunderstand the very possibilities of feeling…

I wonder often if I still believe in Santa Claus deep down.  Childhood has proven much more difficult to let go of than I ever anticipated.  No matter how many times I tell myself I will never be a princess, I still cannot seem to stop looking for my knight in shining armor, and I don’t even want a knight.

I probably misunderstand misunderstanding itself.


My misunderstandings become more and more perilous the older I get—commitment, consequences, responsibility, danger, death—and with every horrific jolt of reality, fear creeps further out of the graveyard of my soul to wrap its bony fingers around every effort I make to pull back the curtains and grow the fuck up.  But I used to “Fear Nothing!” and despite all my confusion, it is clear to me how much I miss being brave.  The most confusing part of all is how many times people insist on the existence of the bravery I know I lack, and nothing scares me quite as much as when people quote my own advice back to me and the words sound so unfamiliar I cannot remember who I could have possibly when I said them, not to mention how far I have strayed from her.  So I think what I fear most is how much I have always misunderstood myself.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

NaPoWriMo Belated Day 1: "If"

So I was rather busy with law school during NaPoWriMo this year, but since I have some down time this summer, I decided I'd do it now because better late than never or something like that.  Anyway, I started today, and the prompt for day 1 involved going to Rob Livingston's Bibliomancy Oracle and writing a poem inspired by the quotation the oracle provided.  Here's the quotation I received:

Today, no matter if it rains,
It's time to follow the path into the forest.
"By the Same Author" - James Logenbach

I have tentatively titled the "poem" (or prose poem...whatever) that ensued, "If":

If I am a watering can, the gardener has taken the day off, and the earth does not thirst for my salty poison anyway.  If I am an ocean seeking revenge on an earth that devoured my faithful albatross, the earth is Coleridge's mariner crying his ancient rhyme.  If I am a Biblical wife running from a hedonistic life, the sky is a vengeful God withholding the water I need to melt my pillared soul and quell the hypnotic flames that engulf my past.

But "if" is the biggest two-letter word in the English language, and what if I no longer want to be an overused metaphor indulging in solipsistic pity?

If I am abundance personified, my life is the pain that makes my existence possible, and I would rather swim in blind gratitude for every unprecedented experience than drown in arbitrarily dichotomous qualifications of good and evil, right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, alive and dead.  If I am the road not taken but just as fair, the world is a high school English class forever destined to misinterpret the frost that glistens in the winter of my snow globe memories.  If I am a mirage of a lake in the desert, the earth is a thirsty traveler, and I promise not to disappoint.  I promise to be more than a mere hallucination.  I promise to fill the dunes of sleeping souls with so much water the world can finally wipe the corners of its eyes clean and gaze upon the rainforests that grew atop my cheeks when I was too busy flipping hourglasses to notice.