Hey Hi Hello
This is prose at ten minutes to the third hour of the morning.
Tonight, I learned to brew and bottle beer, despite having never drank a sip of it in my life. I learned that tenacity is often enough to capture what you desire, but that kindness is ever the more powerful. I learned that passion is infectious, so much so that you can see it reflected in the pretty girl’s crystal blue eyes as you gaze softly into them as you speak of the future and its potential brilliance.
I learned that I am ready for the most important moments of all: the ones for which you can never properly plan. I learned that even if I am to make millions of dollars in my life, the secret to living a good one will remain unchanged and none the less unpurchasable: simply, that we are to live without excuse for transgression but unfazed due to the existence of grace; that we are to surround ourselves with those who promote life and its derivatives; that we are to make merry and rejoice even in the harrowing shadow of the morning after death, for this life is short yet of the sweetest caliber.
This is prose as I fall asleep, but it is poetry as I dream.♣2
Because I Can Never Really Stay Away
Once a writer, always a writer.
Oh, how I look to subjugate my own will, seek the refining product of distillation to dispel with the fullness in lieu of the extracted essence of living, boil life down to only its essential chemical parts. It is the tempting pratfall of “isolate.” It is wrong. Fullness is right.
My life is not full without the words that must splay across the pages, that must dribble forth from my fingers in a cascading torrent of blurred ink.
So here I am, and I want to wake up one more time. Most of my life feels like waking up, as if my eyes were eternally wet with the thin filmy substance of dreams themselves, jolted awake by life in its raw and yawning iteration.
For a time, I know with conviction that I lived narrowly, a canyon with claustrophobic walls closing in forever until they touched both my occipital lobe and the tip of my long nose. I lived narrowly because I lived safely. I lived like the billionaire who eats his oatmeal cold because he won’t risk the cost of electricity to run the microwave he patented.
But I won’t live narrowly any longer. I will affirm the danger and reawaken the vibrancy in my dancing eyes.
Close your eyes. Wake up.
(Part 1 of a series entitled The Year of Living Dangerously)♣2
I’m back to blogging. This is a song that I think is dandy. I identify with it. Enjoy, and hello to all the patient people who endured my extended absence.♥19
(This is my original short fiction work, which was published in the University of South Carolina’s undergraduate literary magazine, The Lettered Olive, for the Spring 2013 edition.)
There was a wall and its color was vague, because perception of the wall was always based upon a sense of personal projection, a vitality of self that legislated reality. For some saw the hues of a thousand opals when they looked at the wall, perhaps appropriately so because opals are amorphous solids, except for those folks who were born in October, because they probably meant tourmaline opals. And others saw a mirror for themselves, not always a depiction of vanity, but sometimes a portal of hatred or of fear, because they did not understand the greatness staring back at them masquerading as another. And still others saw nothing other than the surrounding greenery or city landscape or busy highway or gently lapping ocean waves that framed it - for the wall weathered years and years amidst the clattering rise and subsequent dilapidation of societies, one by one - or perhaps the wall framed these things. Which is more important: that which impresses or that which endures?
The wall stood there as great orators leaned upon it, peddling their potentially pedantic poetry to the particularly personable public. Sweethearts freshly clothed in holy matrimony danced through showers (and sometimes rainstorms) of rice, leading others, parading in front of the wall. Men bled upon that wall: the liquid seeping through the cracks in the mortar, and - when the wall was concrete - painting murals of force and willpower and disposed dreaminess. The words spoken at the wall’s doorstep garnished the columns (redolent of the Parthenon, once) in a vast web of English ivy, snaking its way to and fro like the living vine of which that Man once spoke in the Book of 66, sometimes spitefully and sometimes in the loveliest of patterns, sparsely creasing the bricks (if and when they were there) like solid pages in a chronicle all spelled out for any pleasant little schoolgirl to read just by strolling from left or from right, upwards and downsides, and diagonals reversed like an encoded lovers’ message telling of ‘just how softly the doves would coo as lips met like the coldest smouldering fire.’ Revolutionary ideals burrowed into the wall like ants, forming great colonies of information: how to hold a hostage, Cogitations and Pontifications upon Saving the Nation, screenplays never written, speeches delivered to the audienceless wilderness (or so it was at a point). Women bore children, winos gave their last breathy tirades against the establishment, ideas burst from their embryos into the glittering world, lemon trees curled up around slowly decomposing guayaberas still stained with the aroma of Havana cigars, life occurred: and always, the wall.
And a single day - mind you, it was neither the first nor the last day the wall stood - came. And all business carried on as usual, or at least as usual as history can unfold, because what day is truly and unspectacularly ordinary? But this day, and I can tell you that this day is today, marked the day the wall changed. One piece removed, by what hand? has any man seen? by the wall itself? has any man seen? by nature or Divinity? has any man seen? a piece removed, one piece. And the wall had always remained erect, a pillar of whatever-you-fancy, a roadblock or a fortress, a blanket in the gleaming twilight - but always the wall and all the rest came after, secondary and tertiary. A piece removed allowed one to see through for the very first time, if his eyes would still behold the beauty no one had dreamed to seek, the marvelous wonder of adventurously delightful discovery, a basket of sound and time and grandiose space woven with care and yet also strewn with senselessly beautiful abundance. On that day - the best day - it came true.
So it was that the wall became a window.♣1
June + July in Just a Few Words
I woke up.
What do you mean? Well I mean that I woke up. I was asleep and then I wasn’t. It doesn’t feel like anything. It just is.
Here’s my life, laid out on a flat surface not unlike the emptied contents of my pockets on the eve of any given weekday: I have a nice job that I really like at a company that chooses to be ethical when it doesn’t have to be, surrounded by people with whom I like to work. I live with my dear grandparents; we watch Jeopardy and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley every night. I’m reading as much as I can bring myself to read in this busy time of my life, and so I’ve consumed Achebe and Ford and Updike and McCarthy and Vonnegut and Pynchon and Kesey and Rand. While I’m mainly known as a guy who likes to tickle the ivory of pianos, my songs have come to life through my Takamine guitar this summer - maybe you’ll get to hear some of my sessions before too long.
I was just given some of the best news of my life yesterday, and finally, I can happily announce that I’m headed back to the Middle East in January for a semester at the American University of Sharjah. Sharjah lies just outside of the wondrous city of Dubai. Life is very sweet.
I’m growing up too, I think. My twenties are here and I’m embracing them as best as I know how. I’m not going to tell you about how I’m growing up though. I deserve a fair dosage of mystery in my life too. You’ll like me more for it. I can guarantee you that.
Let’s keep this short. There’s an endless amount to say, but I’m not going to say anywhere near that much. I’m glad to be back, and let’s see what happens from here, OK?♣2
There is a special joy that enters a household when one of its members graduates into a new journey. Even I have been impacted and can’t help smiling. This family is happy, and my brother is in high school no longer.♣1
A delicious way to spend a Thursday.♥123
Home is always a bundle of contradictions for me, but the one thing I’ve always been able to do here is write good music. This is my favorite composition of recent sessions. I call it Antinomy - which is defined as the mutual incompatibility of two laws - because it’s a percussive and dissonant creation at points, but the song still retains a sense of tenderness throughout. I hope you enjoy it.♥2
You woke up one day, sky no longer streaked but rather smothered in hues of ash and slate. You had often used your own low dreams as ballast for your airy spirits; today, everything is grounded anyways, so that mask can go back into storage for a few moments more. Your eyes had shone with defiance, but your fingers now tremble like static creatures on fire. Crinkled faces, tongues of flame, flicker irregularly in and out of your stupor. When my own craggy-toothed smile crept into view, you asked me to dress you up with effects of crimson delicacy. But I couldn’t give you security with my work; fear still dribbled out of your nostrils, emotional influenza. You are craving rhythm in the mundane, and you cannot slow your heart rate.
Arrangements: if you can only tweak the sequence of ceremony you will then be liberated from the monochromatic dance of time unfurling in a vacant space.
There are two reasons why no one writes in the second-person anymore: the reader is resistant to idly-constructed sermons, and the writer wants only to talk about his own soul. What do you mean, I am deconstructing? Well, you are - you have been since you were four years old and the aura of the fake world cast a funny sideways shadow and the jig has been up ever since.
When you find good things, tear down your sheetrocked walls and record them on the 2x4 supports of your stricken heart.
When you unearth lovely wine from the caverns of her emerald-flecked eyes, you have discovered something hard to find.
This band and their album are everything. So much of everything that I purchased a ticket to their concert in September.♥17