Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Headphones

My headphones are
an escape
from my thoughts
and all the surrounding distractions
of everyday life

My headphones are
the only way
I can
semi successfully
feign deafness

My headphones are
a place to
every where
and when
I've ever been

My headphones are
a waking dream
that Salvador Dali
used to have,
where everyone's
a rhino

My headphones are
a way to
look occupied
as if,
my occupation
was to listen
to wonderful sounds

My headphones are
my best friend
when everyone else
seems unreasonable,
when my strut
needs a little more spice

My headphones are
broken, and now,
the bass is too loud,
and the vocals
are too soft,
the percussion
is uneven
and doesn't
count time no more

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Watch out for
the stingrays
in the night,
they glide
through the seas

They guard the waters,
from all intruding fiends
when the sun
the sea

You're not safe,
You're not safe,
not at midnight,
not in the water

Watch out for
the stingrays,
they strike without warning,
they kill
without mercy
though they hold only
peace in their hearts
and love for the water

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Perfect Spot

   I'm still looking for the perfect spot. A perfect spot where I can relax, and read, and write, and think. Trying to find it only makes me miss Ecuador more, where every step sparked a thought and every bench or hilltop was perfect for sitting and thinking about life. What kinds of thoughts were sparked you ask? While I was in Ecuador I put out somewhere between 35 and 40 posts between two blogs. I wrote some things that I am extremely proud of like "Postcards from Venus", "Just Ring the Bell", and "Into the Tall Grass". And a lot of the story ideas came to me from just walking around. What's surprising to me is that I found time enough to write anything down during our time there when in retrospect it seems as if we were so constantly busy with class and homework and trips and activities. Maybe what I miss most is the ability to take walks and have every turn take me some place I had never seen before.

  I want to climb to the top of a hill and sit until the sun goes down. I want to hike through the woods where the birdsong turns the air warm and friendly. I want to swim into that Great Lake, just to know that I still can. I want a fresh thought and a hand to hold. I'm gonna cook brunch of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, waffles, bacon and eggs, and biscuits and gravy. I'm gonna relearn to stand on my head.

  I'm looking for the perfect spot where its the first day of Spring and yet at the same time always Autumn. the air there tastes like cinnamon and pumpkin spice. There's always a familiar face just around the bend. There the future is never bleak.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Silly Smile

  Though I like you, oh I really do, I can never tell if you are being naive or simply joking around. You've always got that silly smile, a secret joke you won't tell anyone. And then there was that day I found you underneath the cherry tree, sipping iced tea with a bow in your hair and wearing a festive summer dress. You were reading Kafka, or maybe Moby Dick, something that didn't match at all. I laughed aloud thinking the combination was quite grand. I sat down beside you underneath the tree and asked how the book was.

    "Thrilling!" You replied with a wink and again that silly smile played across your lips.

Blue Roses
I Am Leaving

Monday, September 17, 2012

Almost Not Quite 2

Hello again, its time for another installment of "Almost Not Quite". This time I'd like to take a look at Passion Pit's video for their song "Take a Walk". Okay first of all let's start with things that I think the video/song does well. The song itself tells the story of a man who goes from fresh off the boat immigrant to Wall Street inside trader, it shows a ruthless progression, but also conveys hope throughout. Its a fun song, jangly and polished and relevant to our world today.

 The video shows us a sort of tour of America from the point of a bouncing blue rubber ball. I enjoy the slices of life and nature and happenings we're shown in the video, but nothing is really shown for any significant length of time to get any context to the situation at hand. We see a car accident, but how did it happen? Did the driver see the bouncing ball coming from the heavens and miss the bicyclist in front of him? Or there's a girl who spills her papers in an alley, did some ruffian harass this nice woman? Sadly we will never know the truth. I think my biggest problem with the video is that we are given the point of view of a bouncing blue rubber ball, but yet to me, the bouncing mechanics do not seem to have the right feel to them at all. Did they examine how a ball bounces at all before making the video? I understand they needed to cover hundreds of miles at a time, okay fine, but at times we the camera/ball seem to just sail in these awkward arcs that seem as if the ball has grown wings. That's all I have to say, give it a watch for yourself.

Passion Pit
Take a Walk

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Crossed My Heart

I made you
a promise on that night
crossed my heart
hoped to die
as we ate
powdered donuts
under the pale moonlight

I promised I would
follow you,
join you
down the road,
come to remove
the isolation and loneliness

But though I fought
to keep my word
in the end
I failed.
and our promise was broken

There's no pain
or guilt
quite like
breaking a promise
with a great friend

You had gone your way
I went mine
we grew up
and the pain faded
with time

And now I don't
cross my heart,
most assuredly
no more hoping to die
I still try my best,
but I don't give
my word
So I won't have
to break it

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tiger Salad

   Did I ever tell you about Bartholomew? Did I ever tell you about good old Bart? Back when I used to go to the corner bar, you know the one on East St. Peter? He'd always sit off to himself in one of the back booths, usually the one with the flickering light overhead. From afar, from the door maybe, Bart seemed like any other lonely loner at the bar. Up close though...there was something in the air around his booth, a scent sweet like honey and yet spicy like New Orleans in the Fall. He looked like a cross between a washed-up punk waiting for a revolution and a businessman with tremendous style. He'd wear rip torn jeans with ratty converse with fitted shirts with a tie or a silk cravat. His hair was spiky and sometimes dyed reddish-blue.

  The first night we met, I thought he looked like a guy that could use some company so I came over to his booth and asked,"Mind if I-"

   Before I could finish he cut me off with, "Its about time! I've been waiting all evening. Now are you going to have your usual or something different tonight?"

 "Huh..buh...Excuse me, I...we haven't met before, I think you have me confused.", I tried, sure that this man was clearly crazy.

  "No, no, no. You're Mark, yes?", I admitted that I was, "Good, I'm Bartholomew, better known as Bart, but never Barth. Now, your usual?"

  "Sure", I submitted, realizing at this point I was out of my depth. Was he crazy or was I? Did I have amnesia? No that couldn't be. But that was the effect Bart had on people, he made you think that you were the crazy one.

  My "usual" turned out to be a very red drink topped with white foam. I asked him what it was exactly, to which he replied cheerfully, "Red beer! Have a sip!" It was delicious, and beer-like, and red-like. Of course it was "red beer", what else could it have been?

 After taking the sip Bart looked up at me and said just this: "Wednesdays, Fridays and Sunday afternoons"

"Your favourite days of the week?"

   "That's when I'll be here"


     Sunday afternoons turned out to be Karaoke, which I wouldn't have expected Bart to be a fan of. I learned that he sang every week, either "Let's Dance" by David Bowie or "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison. One Sunday I came in, but didn't see him yet, so I wrote him into the queue and walked into the bathroom where I found Bart contemplating the mirror. He said, "You know, I don't believe in reflections. I believe its just an alternate dimension lining up perfectly." Bart paused staring at himself in the dirty mirror then lapsed back into speech after a moment, "I think if I wait long enough, he might leave before I do, but the chances of that happening are very, very slim."

  I told him it was his turn to sing in a moment. He looked at me as if just realizing I was there. "Oh...oh." He left, but for about half a second maybe, his reflection didn't. I swear that's what I saw anyway.


    One evening we were sitting at the booth, me with a red beer, him with his scotch and cigarillo when he said, "Einstein almost got it right, but not quite."

    "With what?"

"His famous theory of relativity. He was close, but he missed the bit about ghosts."

Bart looked as if he wasn't going to say anything more on the subject so I let it go at that, but I was definitely scratching my head through the next few days.

 I tried bringing a few of my friends around to meet Bart after describing him to them. They would say, "Mark, this guy can't be as strange as you're making him sound." And then I would introduce them and without fail a few things would happen: a) Bart would be closer to normal than usual, a little eccentric perhaps but normal and always a perfect gentleman. b) Though he would start some stories at the middle instead of the beginning he always seemed much more lucid than usual. c) my friends would always leave the bar with me commenting, "Bart was wonderful! I don't know why you didn't bring us around sooner!" d) a few days later they would call me on the phone saying, "You might be right...something was off the other night. But I can't quite place my finger on what.."

  And I think the biggest thing that was off in those encounters with Bart was that he wasn't being himself. They got this dialed down version, this other version of a person that they had only heard stories about and their subconscious probably catches it. I mean if you've ever had a friend acting any way other than natural, you know right away. Though if you aren't as close to that person it might take some time to realize that person was wearing a facade at that particular time.

 Or there was the time I joined him at the booth and he was surrounded by a thicker than usual cloud of smoke. I asked what he was up to, he said, "Trying to blow the perfect smoke ring and then replicate it enough times intertwining to create a smoke sphere."

  I liked the idea of it even if it didn't seem entirely possible. I asked him how his progress was so far, he replied, "Not too well, but I'm having a hell of a time. I feel like Edison or maybe Tesla on the verge of a discovery." We sat for awhile like that, him blowing ring after ring and me drinking a red beer. The thing was, Bart actually was making progress with the crazy idea, he managed to link 4 rings of smoke before he ran out of breath and the first ring lost its shape.

  When he regained his breath he put his cigarette in the ash tray to take a break and looked at me with red tinged eyes from all the smoke. After considering for a moment he asked, "Have you seen that new billboard out on highway 34?"

    "No, is for a new restaurant?"

Bart looked a bit disappointed that I hadn't seen, "No nothing like that......They're asking about time travel....."

    "Who's asking about time travel?"

"I don't know, but I want to find out..."


Ladies and Gentlemen, this marks my 300th blogpost, thank you very much for reading. Rock on!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Leaving but Never Arrived

  In the distance I can hear the faint klaxons of the approaching ambulance. I say a prayer that it will arrive in time. Your breathing is shallow and ragged as you lay on the floor broken. I want to do something, do anything, save you if I could...but I can't, there's nothing to do but hold your hand and wait. Each second folds into the next, though the ambulance never seems to get any closer. I'm terrified of what comes next, knowing they won't be fast enough, knowing that you'll be leaving me. The fear washes over me, the horrible certainty and I begin to bawl like a child knowing the world can never be put right again.

   Right then your eyes flutter open halfway. You croak, "Shut up you big dope, its okay. Everything's okay." you squeeze my hand. "I can't do this without you." I argue, "You've been keeping me sane for so long. I'm scared. And I know that's not even fair to you, I should be brave right now for you." Another tear drips down my face. "Hey, I know I would be just as scared if you were the one on the floor right now." You smile reassuringly somehow, "Just take it day by day. Do that for me, please. And tell the drivers that I'm sorry for wasting their time."

   I hear two more ragged breaths and then I know that you're gone. The sirens get louder and louder still, but they never arrive. The whole kitchen starts to fade bit by bit and then I'm covered in sweat in my bed, without you beside me. Its always bittersweet waking up. In real life you faded so quickly, you were practically gone as I hung up from calling for help. These dreams let me believe you're still there somehow, watching me, protecting me, that everything will actually be okay.