006p: pen

tried and true,
this blue fountain
pen glides ink
across the lines
of an empty page.
it’s summer–
broad, wet summer,
hanging over us
like an olympic
gymnast ready
to launch into
a routine.
this letter, a
missive to you,
handwritten
to prove something,
to prove my hands
believe my heart,
to prove that
ink is complicit
in flights of fancy.
yet in all these
chicken scratches
no word is suffused
with anything more
than worry and
contempt about
myself; no honor
to you, no love
no decency. i am
afraid, and i
swerve to avoid
it, but the pen
never allows me
to lie.

005p: breathe.

my depression manifests as
“you’re not good enough.”
my anxiety manifests as
“nothing you’re doing is right.”
together they scream
a cognitive dissonance
like a banshee shrieking
into the pit of hell.
one line in a contract
that i agonized over
and was too nervous to
talk to the attorney about
because i ask too many questions,
i am over-burdensome
they are busy and important
and i am nothing.
i should know things,
every thing, all the time.
the sun reflects off koin tower.
behind it a wall of gray
dominion of clouds.
remove my glasses,
pull my hand down my face.
           breathe.
search through the labyrinth
for a fragment of solace
inside myself. something.
it’s friday, at least.
i’ve got that. i can hold that.
“this poem sucks” i think
as i write it. you might agree.

004p: stickums

bright vibrant colors on thin squares
–we draft notes in thick black ink
upon your waifish pulpy paper hairs,
bold medallions of what we think
in languid moments of lucidity,
between the mulchy drone of living,
acting with intense perfidity
to feign a penchant for forgiving
errant thoughts among the turbulence
of being alive. each thought a lesson
brought to you by the letter C,
the number 6, the papal blessing,
a twine-bundled copse of sage set free
with fire and oxygen and astronomy.
      we write this on you, you see.

003p: kissed

i was staring out
at the brilliant
orange sunrise when
i realized i hadn’t
been kissed in a
very long time.
suddenly the dryness
across my lips
felt more potent.
time flies when
you’re depressed.
next thing you know
it’s 2018 and
you glance back
at the hole you’ve
been climbing out
of. you imagined
several feet but
it’s just a couple.
and then, like when
you remember you
have a thick,
muscley tongue
in your mouth,
i remembered the
press of soft lips
against my own,
the half-open mouth
and awkward angling
of two protruding
noses. the innocent
occasional clacking
of front teeth.
the laughter.
the moment in-between
when you lock eyes
and share each other.
i realized i
missed that.
i felt embarrased
by it, like i didn’t
deserve it. tried
to shake it off.
failed.
the sunrise is just sun now.

002p: broke lament

they say
“trust your gut”
and
“travel more”
and
“follow your heart”
these people
born from coffers
of money.
they say
“take risks”
from a trapeze
over a safety net,
each failure
a tumble
into waiting arms,
a brief respite
into a savings
account,
or a desperate
phone call
to a parent.
they get jobs
to see what
it’s like
to be people,
and quit as soon
as it’s hard.
they wonder why
you’re always broke.
no–
not they–
you
always wonder
why you’re broke.
& it’s because
you never had
money to begin with.

2017 state of things

Hello hello hello.

2017 has been a shit year for the world. Thankfully we have Facebooks and Twitters and Tumblrs and all sorts of social media that you can reference regarding that particular breakdown of our country’s fundamental governing. This is my blog, so of course I will talk about myself.

For me 2017 has been more mediocre and lacking in ambition than anything else. There have been some high points: I was in a play, the first legitimate paying gig in like three years. It was a lean cut of Shakespeare’s Troilus & Cressida, done at Lone Fir Cemetery here in Portland, by Portland Actors Ensemble. We had a great cast and an equally great run, and I am thoroughly proud of the production and the people within it. It, for a brief moment, sparked a renewed passion to act again, though to be honest that spark has since dwindled, for reasons I’ll talk about later.

I have a new job, working as a Legal Secretary for the Oregon Department of Justice. My first state job. I started in September and still have a couple of months left on my trial period. To be honest I took a positional hit for this job–I was a Legal Assistant at my old job, though jobwise it was much more on par with being a paralegal1. Either way, definitely a higher position than secretary. I’m hoping that this is the beginning of an upward climb through the state system, either through the DOJ or somewhere else in the state. I appreciate the job security, the benefits, and the ability to get my student loans forgiven.

Also, the Dept of Justice’s online intranet site is called DOJO, which is fun.

In February I wrote some really great songs as part of FAWM, which I hope to throw onto a website this year.

In November I finished NaNoWriMo for the second time in the 15 years I’ve attempted. The book is called Leap Year One and I hope to get it ready for a first draft by March or April or something like that.

So I have a lot to be happy about. And yet so many other things are nagging at me.

(Read more…)

  1. If you’re confused about the hierarchy of these titles, you know how a rectangle is sometimes a square but a square is never a rectangle? Yeah, it’s that kind of confusing.

3 five-syllable sonnets

CCXXIII
dreaded emptiness
fills my vacant lungs
like absent ichor
desperate for nothing–
satiated by
the vacuum of my
loneliness. behind,
an anxious beating
heart continues its
vapid advancement
toward obsolescence.
and submerged in this,
a flailing brain, too
self-absorbed to care.

CCXXIV
indeterminate,
the beats of the heart,
prior to your own
death. impossible
to count, they ravage
onward toward ex-
haustion, and with them,
you. you had no say
in this, no power
over your own heart
and its context. you,
replete with feelings,
destined for the dirt
and meal for earthworms.

CCXXV
happiness eludes
me, perpetual
sand sifting through my
outstretched fingers. i
am obsequious
to lingering doubt,
held in position
by neverending
question, festering
through languid meaning.
i know nothing of
happiness. i trudge
through morose thickets
in eternal search.

the state of things

I gave up my blog for nearly a year so I could write a bunch of monologues. As with most of my ventures these days, it ended with a sense of ambivalence. I wrote some good stuff, I wrote some bad stuff. I pretended song lyrics were monologues during FAWM. I wrote part of a NaNoWriMo novel in first person, pretending those were monologues. I delved a bit into my own battles with depression, a thing I keep meaning to write about but end up not doing because, of course, I don’t think it’s worthy of your time. (Then again, this is my blog, and if you’re reading it then you obviously have devoted time to it.) It’s funny; in my teens and part way into my 20s I spent a lot of time being open and introspective about my own life. I’d write tons of material on Diaryland and LiveJournal–completely open for people to read (which got me in trouble a couple of times). I did it so much that I realized I was being repetitious and I guess I decided I didn’t like that. Not for me, per se, but for you, the reader, whomever you may be. My repetitions were usually negative in nature and being repetitious about how I’m bad at dating or how I suck because I don’t want to go out ever ground me down like a weathered rock on a riverbed. Polished, but dull, lacking edges. Same as all the other rocks.

So later on I just gave up writing things. I decided to be introspective in my own head. Folks, that’s not the best idea. Ideas in your head roll around forever, they get stuck there, trapped in your consciousness until you let them out. And I’ve always been a man who needed an outlet, especially for my creativity, which tends to diffuse sadness or depression vis a vis working distraction. Taking my problems and internalizing them to the extent that I have been has only pulled me down, in ways I didn’t know I could be pulled. I’m still climbing out of that pit. Writing monologues was an excuse to be creative every day, to try and inhabit another person’s mind for at least an hour or two a day. Truth is, some days I forgot and had to make up for them later. Other days I didn’t want to get out of bed. And then around June my job got so busy that I didn’t really have the energy to devote to writing monologues, so I stopped prematurely. Not bothered by that one bit. I wrote 267 monologues! That’s nothing to sneeze at. (Sneeze at? Did I just make that up?)

Point is: I think my goal for this blog now is to continue being introspective, to be honest with myself, and to write about my life in a way that, I hope, is accessible to everyone who cares to read it. Because I always want an audience, but I think the audience wants to see me be honest with them, and not hide. On the other hand: I hate when I talk about what this blog is about. Who fucking cares. It’s a goddamn blog. It could be about my favorite hot dogs, who gives a shit? Just write you big dummy.