Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To the girl I will never see again

I often find myself sad
After seeing a stranger,
And thinking to myself,
There goes another person Ill never know.

I cant explain just what it is that attracts me
to a particular person.
It may not be a physical attraction,
though it often is.
Maybe a girl has an interesting haircut
or freckles
or a scarf wrapped around her head
framing a perfect pretty face.
Those are interesting to me, although those qualities
in themselves
arent enough to make me feel like Im losing something,
Something precious.

People I see in passing
may, in fact,
be someone I could talk to,
someone with something to say,
someone worth a damn.
And I know
I know
looks are deceiving
and sometimes I look for the quiet, unobtrusive ones
the ones nobody else looks to for wisdom,
and wonder if they have a quick and ready laugh
nobody has discovered yet.

You see the problem is one of time.
I approach and talk to a man because of the way he walks
or a girl with elegant eyes
or a graceful, regal nose
and maybe we become friends.
Maybe we never speak again.
How well can you really know someone
In the time you have left?

Maybe I am sad because I spend so much time looking
and no one has yet found

Terrible Secrets

The Ice Age is Now and Forever

True faith, I am convinced,
Happens in a moment,
Like lightning striking
Blue-white out of a tumultuous sky,
Or like madness,
Taking us
In the snap and surrender
Of a world-weary mind.

They are exceptional, the truly faithful.
Like the mad.
Like the sky-struck.

The rest of us, the earnest seekers,
The doubters, the restless spirits,
Ride upon a glacier,
Huddled against the cold.

Some are convinced that we are not, in fact,
Moving at all; others shiver and dream
Of the day when the glacier might rumble
Over the northern cities and into
The sunlit lands.

We are moving and we don’t see it
Or feel it. This
Is not a ship; there is no one
At the wheel. We slip,
Unheeding, over smaller catastrophes.

The Terrible Secret
I wish I could make you sleep a little less well

Lying awake one night,
Unable to sleep,
I discovered a terrible secret.

And that secret was this:

There is only a certain amount of sleep in the world
And a certain amount of love.
So every time you love someone with all of
Your heart,
Somebody else loves their loved ones
A little less.
But they sleep well,
To make up for your restless nights.

And I fell asleep.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

If a man can love a robot, why shouldn't a robot be able to love him back?

The Perfect Partner
You can’t dance because you are made out of meat.

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She likes to waltz
but she can thrash with the best of them.
She is never embarassed
to dance in public
and she never puts a foot wrong.

Any fool can program a robot
that knows how to dance
but she can understand
and appreciate

I have built
the most superb dancer,
the perfect partner.

When I watch her dance
at a club, gliding through the crowd,
shining, brilliant, better than any of those
bumbling meatsacks on the floor,
I start to wonder if it’s possible
to design a robot that could love.

And when I dance with her,
I am perfect. I look into her
eyes, their light reflecting
in the lenses of my glasses
and I realize that anything is possible:

I am a genius.

* * *
He dances
All wrong.

He leads and
I follow,
perfect like
clockwork I
twirl to the
music of
the human

My partner,
is slower
than I am
and his mo-
tions are lack-
ing in grace.

I wish he
would leave me
so I could
be perfect
dancing by
myself all


"I'm pretty disgusted with both parties right now: the Republicans for what they stand for and the Democrats for what they don't." - Jan Schneider, on The Colbert Report. Sounds about right. Fuck those guys.

Anyway! Poems! Pomes! Let's do it!
Water Fountain

I wasn’t expecting much from you.
The kisses of your sisters had been
lukewarm at best and,

But when I bent my head to you,
you were sweet
And cold. The taste of you was

I drank deeply and was satisfied.
Short and to the point? Or does it need something more? Let me know.

Now, a repeat! Revised!
Two short poems linked by theme
I am a misanthrope in the morning

There are some people who have sacred places
Churches, bedrooms, the desert
At night,
Their cars and their music.

There is no place that is sacred
To me.

I seek refuge opportunistically.
I look for places that are sacred
just for the moment
That I need them.

And the rest of the time,
I just imagine places
That I’d rather be.

The most sacred place
To me
Is whatever place
Is farthest away

From you.
Might need a little something. Hit me back. I have four more poems to revise for Thursday! And I have to put them in a book! Ahahahahaha, fuck.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The allure of quintessence

My nostrils burned at the sulfurous stench
of the cavern.
I couldn’t tell if the smell emanated from the chasm below
or from the crooked, smoke-stained pipes
that crowned the professor’s monstrous machine.

Across the gorge, I could see her
capering, frolicking, mad,
delighting in the vast metal engine
which pumped its noxious fumes
into the damp subterranean air.

I could only imagine
what nightmares
drove her to such designs.

“Isabelle!” I shouted. She turned and smiled.
Her android glanced up from its work, but didn’t stop
straightening the twisted wires, its delicate black hands
darting in and out of the sinister engine.

Strands of Isabelle’s hair began to rise into the air
buoyed by esoteric fields of energy
called into being as her mechanical assistant
flipped switches, and pushed buttons
and ran its hands, almost lovingly, over the machine’s
dark surface.

“Come join us,” Isabelle called. She waved toward her machine,
gesturing with obvious pleasure to the almost visible energy
radiating from her creation. I could feel the pull of dark matter,
the draw of cosmic force. I was tempted by the allure of quintessence.

I extended a hand over the gaping chasm and
a blistering cold wind bit into my flesh.
I drew back, as Isabelle beckoned,
her face glowing with light, with heat,
with brilliant energy.

“Come on, Benjamin,” she called.
“We’re creating a new world
where we’ll drink fresh rainwater
and androids will learn how to love;
there will be no more bloodshed
and no one will ever suffer

I began to hear in the hissing and clanking of the machine
a distinct melody. Isabelle, my Isabelle, swayed, dancing
slowly, with her eyes closed, on the edge of the abyss. I sank
to my knees as the sulfurous cloud above the machine began

To morph
Into something
That almost
Made sense
To me.

I stayed kneeling, on sanctified ground,
as the professor and her marvelous machine
sang and danced
and the colors of a new world
boiled out of the abyss.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Misanthrope poems.

Two poems today. Twoave'm.
Two short poems linked by theme
I am a misanthrope in the morning

I don’t have a sacred place.

I seek refuge opportunistically.
I look for places that are sacred
just for the moment
That I need them.

And the rest of the time,
I just imagine places
That I’d rather be.

The most sacred place
To me
Is whatever place
Is farthest away
From you.

I'm also reposting Poem #4 for your pleasure.
Death to Lovers!
Every time two people fall in love, God picks apart a butterfly

Every time I see
A pair of lovers
Walking arm in arm
Or hand in hand,
I steal a child’s balloon
And pop it.

And even if it’s out of my way,
If I see two lovers
Lingering under a street light
I kick a puppy.

It’s about balance.

Your arms, entwining each other as,
Eyes half closed,
You sigh each others’ names,
Are the reason
That I’m killing this kitten.

I set the minivan on fire
You actually went down on one knee
To give her the ring
You disgusting creep.

Don’t doubt my commitment
To balance.

The smell
Of your hair
Used to destroy me.

And I hope that he’ll realize
As I use this tire iron
To destroy
His knee
That this
Is about

I'm supposed to revise these, but I really don't know what to change. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Foreign planets are strange and exciting


The first thing you notice, Dad,
Is the noise.
When you first hear the
Cars dogs people phones
It’s like a wave
Crashing over you and
You fall to the ground

Their food is greasy and indigestible,
But I am becoming fond of cheese.
It reminds me of home.

The smells swell and lift you up
So varied
And so strange.
They make me want to roll around
On the ground, all over,
To cover myself in Earth smells,
But that is frowned upon here.

Humans are pleasant to look at;
They are fuzzy and cute.
But you must never tell them so.

The last thing you notice, Dad,
Is that the stars look very different
From here.
Sometimes I forget where home is
And then it’s like I’m drowning
In luminous green tears.

Let me know what you think.


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This is the only picture I have of Scout. She's the one facing away from the camera. In her old age she spent a lot of time lying down in the sun, and the cats, particularly La Tigra, found that convenient for shade or warmth, depending on the season. Her legs had been failing her more often; sometimes she couldn't stand unassisted. Her eyesight and hearing were going, and my parents think that her mind was going too, but then, Scout was always a little eccentric. I think that with her senses and limbs failing her, she had a tendency to panic more often, that's all.

My parents took Scout to the vet's office to put her down today. As the temperatures started increasing, hitting the hundreds out in the country, where my parents live, Scout was suffering. Yesterday, they tell me, she was so wiped by the heat that she did not move for six hours. This morning they made the decision to have her put down. Temperatures are only going to get hotter, and they didn't want her to suffer through another Texas summer. They didn't think she would survive it. I don't think she would have either.

Now Scout and Max are dead. It's eerie, because I was just thinking of Scout yesterday, and specifically how I didn't want to be there when she died. There was a mote of fear in me whenever I went home and saw her, older, more frail, that she would die while I was with her. I've been afraid of this ever since Max died. I was alone with her when her body started to fail her, and the fear in her eyes...

Max and Scout were puppies together, and now that they are both dead, it's easier to picture that time again, when they were both so small: Max bouncing around with energy, Scout sleeping all the time. Max would lick everyone and everything; she loved everyone. In fact, that's one of the reasons we got Scout: Max wasn't a very effective guard dog. Scout, it turned out, wasn't much better. She was lazy and timid. Max would run up to the gate barking and wagging, Scout would sit back by the house, letting out a high bark every so often, letting her presence be known, but staying where she could retreat to safety if necessary. When she was inside, she would sleep in the strangest positions, on her back and twisted, falling out of chairs, hind end on the sofa and head on the floor. She'd make funny whimpering sounds. We had a German exchange student once who taught her some German.

They were good dogs. I'll miss them.

Poetry later.

For more tears, Google Image search Chocolate Lab and German Shorthaired pointer. I wore myself out just looking at the things.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My decisions really meant something, back then

A Tale From My Youth

It’s a terrible day.
I am alone, thinking.

It can’t be put off;
They’re waiting, downstairs.
They’re calling my name.

Summoning my resolve,
I march to the top of the stairs,
Look down at my parents, my friends,
Their upturned faces
Looking at me,

“I’m sorry,” I say.
“I’m not turning four today.”

I turn away, go back to my room.
They are confused
But a decision has been made.
I’m not growing up and
I’m missing my party.
I’m not turning four today.

This is the poem I wrote at the beginning of the semester, with great reluctance, since I didn't/don't think of myself as a poet. I just wrote this to get a little chuckle, though it's based on a true story. I think it's pretty weak, so I may not include it in my final ten; I can't think of any way to shore it up. But anyway, tell me what you think of this one, and I'll put a better one up tomorrow.


Poetry! This week!

That last thing I posted, which most people seem to have enjoyed - although one person found it reminiscent of Morrissey - was a poem I wrote for my poetry workshop. I'm not much of a poet, my friends; I work in prose. But I've enjoyed some of the poems I've done this semester and may do more in the future.

I still have three more poems to write - by tomorrow - and then I have to revise ten of them to include in a portfolio for the end of the semester. To that end, I'm planning to revise and post my poems, one at a time, on this blog, to get feedback from folks. If you have editorial or stylistic suggestions, please post them. If you just want to say that my poem is awesome, or that it sucks, feel free. If you just want to say that poetry sucks in general, you may do so, but I expect you to elaborate and cite your sources.

First poem will go up later today.