with the cover facing the aisle

Sunday seemed like a day meant to absorb curious energies of books. Upon entering the store, Nigellissima was the first book to catch my attention. I flipped through images of fresh produce and divine Italian recipes with occasional pauses to smile in contemplation of the length of time Ms. Lawson used to determine how best to showcase her fondness of culinary art. In seconds a glimpse of figs, though they are quite delicious, deterred my interest in looking any further so I closed the book and shuffled around the center tables to the end of a shelf near a family seeking counsel from customer service. The cover of Barrel Fever caught my attention and my eyes followed a few lines of crafty humor until the absence of caffeine in my system threatened the lighthearted nature of the literary excursion. The energy of the family was pleasant but the noise was slightly taxing on my eardrums so I escaped into a mass of fiction.

Shelves filled with work by authors whose last names clutter the end of the alphabet seemed to beckon my spirit. Within seconds I found The Imperfectionists with the cover facing the aisle, which was copyrighted in 2010 but currently dons a silver Notable Book badge of The New York Times Book Review. The cover also advertised a conversation between Malcolm Gladwell (for some reason I thought his name wouldn’t evoke the red squiggle on this computer) and Tom Rachman at the end of the story. With its speed, detail and humor, Rachman’s method of storytelling immediately enraptured my attention; however, my curiosity of his conduct in interviews bubbled more as familiarity blossomed between Lloyd and myself.

The transcription of Rachman and Gladwell’s conversation unraveled the threads of my creative blanket under which I no longer find solace—clarifying what was meant clouds my original thought—and incited a unique enthusiasm, which sparks, effervesces, and dissipates like ripples in the water unpredictably. When I returned to the beginning of the conversation to read the description of Gladwell’s current activity in writing, he revealed a plan to publish a new collection of old work epitomizing his days in New York. Immediately my mind raced through recent examples of the exceedingly prevalent tendency to collect.

A recent example arose when a friend discussed someone’s fascination for propaganda of the Second World War, which manifested itself in spending a significant amount of money on an original pendant of significant weight strung on a loop of beautifully dyed plies.

Though examples of collecting are visible in front of electronic devices and in personal spaces, I suppose an electronic device could be considered personal space as well, conversations about collecting have been surprisingly frequent this season. In the case one produces an adverse reaction to the habit, if in fact the last word of that portion of the sentence is the appropriate term, the matter of sustaining one’s time with intangible indulgences comes to mind. Then comes the question whether the unenthused party finds a similar release of endorphins when actively feeding their literary imaginations, in which case the degree to which one feels fondly for a book would come into question as they may find solace in continuing the free cycle of textual institutions.

Fiction, how you baffle me. How long did it take Rachman and Gladwell to collect, assemble and execute their fragments of thought?

The story of a more recent thought cloud of mine includes the journey of a gangster princess who navigates through intense circumstances that test her will and courage in ways she can foresee without being prepared to address the issues at hand. For some reason, the theme seems quite similar to the work environment of most recent times. The negotiation process required to get individuals to endorse through taking advantage of an opportunity to lower the amount of money owed to creditors. Perhaps mafia energy of an older generation would fit better in contemporary Detroit.

The first episode could be a meeting where a new alliance with a formidable record in advertising is entertained in order to garner support with hopes of building communities but it’s a trap from an underground force slowly gaining momentum, which is under the false leadership of someone physically unappealing but charismatic. The handsome leader of the rival group eventually makes the acquaintance of the princess after they meet at a jazz club but to her dismay, and before any suspicions arise, his celibacy forces the princess to reconsider how she carries herself in public settings.

So true it is to create a story from immediate mental leaps, one will confront messy and impractical barriers compared to assembling fragments of thought smashed between dull pages of notebooks with varying thickness. At the same time, what becomes of the censoring voice? Goodness.

whose progress

What can be said about the Guantanamo hunger
strike
if information is not being shared honestly
by those who can deem information appropriate
for public consumption? How surreal it must
be to live in a community in which top tiers
of a hierarchy can be occupied only through
hospitalization as a form of identity preservation. 
Are there more examples of working toward self-
hospitalization as we strive in the direction
of goals with fulfillment being the least
contemplated aspect of relevance?

A way to recover from the horrendous facts
of the prison’s deterioration is to celebrate our
purpose, determine how we can share our strengths
and dismantle the umbrellas of power, which create
and bombard chaos. A wave of hope enters the mind as
Mykki Blanco is elucidated as an entity known to
celebrate the self and declare eccentricities as a
culmination of a powerful character. Discussions
of progression with one’s identity, whether focusing
on educative or frivolous tangents, can reap innumerable
benefits for future generations in the realm of promoting
identity awareness and expression but who can think of
the self when prisoners with alleged criminal backgrounds
are treated so horribly as national leaders have yet
to address or implement viable solutions for the violent
treatment of individuals making claims of injustice
with the only tools of protest available, which are
losing stamina to strive as body mass shreds
as quickly as their dignity within Guantanamo?

Do diplomatic responses to troublesome matters
usually invoke questions of societal contribution
to the matter rather than speak directly to the
topic at hand with clear indications of a plan
to address abusive marginalization? Sluggish
resolution with immovable forces seems
strikingly similar, in the midst of conflict
regarding identity especially in terms of
restrictive energy and the absence of viable
alternatives for the security of prisoners, while
progressive efforts are made in expressing one’s
identity. These topics seem so prominent at
this hour, on this day, through these tinted
lenses which conceal a swollen eyelid but why?
Maybe Mr. Quattlebaum’s persona is an epithet
of overcoming trials and tribulations while securing
in space and time an opportunity to share with the
world ideas worth contemplating, much like prisoners
are fighting in space and time to uphold rights
and ethical codes in the face of undisclosed
withering operations whose progress is unknown.

retrospective of a writer’s block

I’ve been told to write. Not think, just write. I don’t know what to write. I’ve been struggling with a writer’s block and have been doing so many other things to avoid the process of writing only because I’m scared of what will come out on the page. But what is fear? An emotion, a thought, a face, a feeling, a hair, a sniffle, a cough, a laugh, a cry, a sound, a glare? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s a competition in the mind but what are the competing forces?
[middle of 2012]

||

The trees blew back and forth just as quickly as the hair on the young man’s head whipped in the air as he rode his bicycle down the street.
[June 2011]

||

On a popular street in the
city of Chicago during a cold
and wet mid-winter evening,
this machine was responsible
for giving souls to objects worn
by enthusiasts of sports.
[early 2011]

||

Isn’t it strange that on a day when the sun peaks through the clouds, the desire to scream and shout can linger upon the tips of one’s toes? The temperature at 3:30 this afternoon was not extremely cold but the wind carried an icy breath that cooled every pore on the exposed skin of my face. I felt the burning sensation still bother the entire surface of my eyes, both exposed and hidden by my eyelids, and I felt the watery mucus drip down my nose before I sniffled it into the back of my throat. Although the cars were passing me awkwardly while I posed as an interesting obstacle since the sidewalks have not been completely shoveled, I couldn’t stop staring at the sky with its white clouds flowing through the air–an interesting contrast to what was left of the dirt covered snow that lingered on the ground. I thought about taking a photo as I have in the past of clouds that bend and break the light waves that shine onto the earth’s surface but then I realized that I didn’t need to capture something that is going to change immediately after grabbing the camera.

I found this strikingly similar to the
[February 2011]

||

Oh how the writer’s block frustrates me! I’m in the suburbs with no other distraction than my job, which leaves enough time open in the afternoon and evening to do the things I need to do. I get out at five
[January 2011]

||

When Allen refers to Goethe’s suggestion to the Earl of Sandwich in 1783, whether Allen was attempting to be humorous or serious, I’m still unsure, I felt like the reference was indicative of something worth taking note. Had I been more proactive in my studies of English literature at the university, I would have felt more of an appreciation for coming across the writer’s name twice in a single day. I ran across the Goethe’s name a second time while I was searching Netflix and found Du levande written and directed by Roy Andersson.

Within the first few minutes of the film, I couldn’t help but identify with Bobbo, the spelling I will need to verify, because I often feel like a bystander of the drama of people around me, not without good reason. For the thirty minutes of viewing and nonviewing, I couldn’t help but
[September 2010]

||

White rice and black beans, my habitual New York caloric consumption, relieved the somber feelings I had when I woke up in the morning. I couldn’t eat until
[August 2010]

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face it

The days I’ve contemplated titles
for projects that have been on my
mind are the days I become so
moved by the imagination, which
takes flight upon visualizing
publication of stories past and
present. The impact they will
have on marginalized and
introspective beings could be
tremendous yet there is a
possibility of the stories
being perhaps too honest, too
insouciant, to a degree of
concern. Oh, bring on the
degree however severe it may
be to the monitored eye.
Enlightenment is desired and
how better provide it to
the masses than with sullen
speculations of a Midwestern
writer? It seems the main
objective of those who
have published their
literary voices is to
explore the dimensions
through which vague senses
of self floats and weaves
belts of connectivity.
These explorations may
be therapeutic for writers
but most certainly
are craved by the audience
for whom the tales and
hypotheses are transcribed
but is it because the audience
is incapable of exploring
within themselves fascinating
themes and questions so far
tucked away into the unconscious
due to overwhelming schedules
and elements of home life,
which incite literary fervor?
Perhaps. I’ve noticed the most
avid readers tend to be some of the
hardest working individuals I’ve
been blessed to have become
acquainted and the more
lazy readers I’ve known are
more noticeably less motivated
to make sacrifices and challenge
their minds with non technological
stimuli. With this thought process, I
hope to de-clutter the fragments of
stories I’ve accumulated in order
to create cohesion in plots and
day bring smiles and laughter,
introspection and confusion, then
enlightenment and hope for the future
but the question of when others may
appreciate such tales of honesty
and betrayal, mystery and self-
loathing, roundabout woes of
contradiction if too they
happen upon such worrisome
avenues of thought also rises.
Hopefully sooner rather than
later for positive changes
must happen with the utmost haste.

so close to multiple zeez

Row, row, row your boat
gently as you scream,
the day will come
no longer young
and you’re forced
to steal and cheat.
The masses are sleeping,
who’s been dreaming?
Humans in control,
a few responsible,
of denying the public
comprehension of the origins
of Gal and Bern.
Such crafty humans
whose actions are riddled
by momentous mistakes.
Who is the fairest?
Neither you nor I,
for we must believe
that things will change
with the help of those who conceive
plans that address marginally grand needs.
But they too are fooled by structural deception,
still the machine cannot change its course,
too many games with people’s familiars
to let stand lonesome and afar.
They sleep, sleep, sleep away pain
because there’re so many times one recuperates
as the world vacuums all independence
and distraction with heavy hands.
Onward you must push beyond
expectations held within.

fascinating times at Common Market

As I transcribe the words
of a person sitting on my right at the
outdoor area of Common Market,
I find the content of his speech
rather superfluous for his companion.
I realize in my desire to capture
distinct surrounding affects,
I need not rely on conversations
of others in order to animate
the mind. Many would likely
avoid wasteful contemplation of
those in close proximity since there
are many who bask in bromidic cordialities
that impede understanding the depths of
consciousness with which we crave
acquaintance. I hate ending a
sentence with a preposition
but the help of this grammatical
crutch can be extremely advantageous.

It’s been over a month
since I arrived in Charlotte
and I am learning my patience with
verbalization, despite the veil
of interest that can be used
to extract what it means
to be, is dwindling.
However, I still crave
listening to stories that
cultivate one’s mind during
today’s economic and political
chaos of American and global
societies. Then again, with
coverage of frivolously
lucrative charades,
political dras, and
artistic hoorahs,
it seems easy to fall into
ignorance of positive impacts
on marginalized and disturbed communities,
which ones who live in bounteous bliss can incite.

As I end my second glass of Merlot,
I find my mind traveling further
from reality while male and
female voices around me
seem progressively foreign.
Perhaps the speakers’ blaring
99 Luftballons alters a comprehension
of brogue more so than Bordeaux merriment.
I also arrive at the point of intoxication
where the validation of inquiring for a
cigarette is inevitable and I cannot
avoid laughing at my laudable
expenses, which contradict
saving money to address
the financial obligations
accrued during unique
educative journeys.

But what of bodies
of legislative, judiciary
and executive exploits, how
are college graduates expected
to fulfill repayment standards
when governing bodies, both
domestic and abroad, seem
incapable of setting
a positive example?
This thought bubbles
after taking heed to the
perspective of a commentary
created by an insightful minority
as does the influence of social
networking on conversations
enjoyed when in public.
How can online sensations
serve as points of elaboration
for those in close company while
jointly transforming into pivots of babble?

First, with how much wine should I fill another glass?