fool who shouldn’t walk the line

[This is meant to be hummed/sung as an exploration
of the blues through an omniscient narrator.
Think Pink Anderson, J.D. Short, Otis Rush, Sonny Terry]

Through the screen of a window, the sun shines brightly
illuminating leaves small and still dangling
from branches reaching far above the lazy streets.
Suddenly, a sweet female voice shouts with fury
to confront a gentleman whose tone’s so raspy.house on Farmington

Their argument resembles the blues
if two voices could be used
to show how emotions
can lead to such confusion.

Words are unclear until the woman exclaims,
“Boy, you’ve got me sitting idly
only to tell me someone’s waiting on you.
I said why you got me sitting idly
when someone’s already waiting on you?”

The gentleman sways his body weight to the other side,
flings his arms up, then loudly declares,
“Now, now, now don’t go chasing me with your insanity
just cause you couldn’t come to that party,
though I won’t deny seeing you then would have been mighty nice.”

To which the woman responds with an extraordinary howl,
“Don’t you dare try that move,
I hear about what you’ve been up to.
It’d be best to use less trickery
so I don’t keep feeling like such a fool.”

With disbelief, the gentleman replies,
“I wonder why you act so funny
but your words show me you misread
why I have to go run and hide.
I guess you don’t, no, you don’t know much about me.”

The woman can’t help but laugh with a bit of surprise,
“Honey, hasn’t there been enough time spent
reflecting on our likenesses?” Even as he nods his head,
with pity she says, “Don’t talk to me
like I’m a fool who shouldn’t walk the line.”

When the gentleman pauses, his eyes widen
and jaw drops so he can express,
“This only proves what wasn’t meant to be.
Damn, now I see what woes may come
in more forms ’an one by over thinking compatibility.”

Hidden behind her hands, the woman gasps incredulously,
“I can’t believe I wasted time
helping you find comfort in being divine.
Oh, why does this happen
whenever I help minds of a new light?”
house and tree on Cass
All of a sudden a car in the distance
screeches noisily to a halt
but the two continue bickering
as though nothing happened at all.

Before the gentleman opens his mouth,
he points to the smoky scene,
“Maybe that’s a sign you ought to consider
in saving some of that energy.
Yea, you may want to learn how to use that energy.”

This makes the woman cringe and reply abruptly,
“You take and take but stand without
any respect for my universal love.
So silly, oh, so silly to think
you’d be there in my time of need.”

Stomping her heel against the ground
making cement seem quite hollow,
she advised him, “Send me no more temptations
to things you know I like to doing.
Time enjoyed was heaven sent, was it ’cause I’m such fool?”

The woman repeated, “I said the time enjoyed was heaven sent,”
then the two said in unison,
“And I’ve met the self I’ve suppressed for so long.
Maybe you’re the reason why
it’s easy for it to be hidden and found.”

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.

finding a voice

“The way you wear your hat, the way you sip your tea, the memory of all that, no, they can’t take that away from me.”

As this song drifts in my mind, I can’t help but think about how to show an interest in the Charlotte culture when I have so many memories of the past floating in my mind’s eye. Everywhere I look, thoughts race through my brain and make no sense as I try to slow the stream. It’s like I’ve reverted to the days I scribbled notes of madness in the journal given to me by my brother as a gift a few years ago. I can’t help but smile and chuckle a little bit because avoiding the mess of contemplation no matter how hard I try to organize my thoughts is rarely a possibility. The pursuit of fulfilling employment has proven vital the organization of thoughts as I search for a space of my own where I can thrive in finding a voice in literary mumbo jumbo.

Twas the night before…too dated and season specific.
As I find myself sitting…too existential.
In all of my days, one never seemed so…I’m onto something.
Slow movement in the right direction never hurt a soul except for the impatient…closer.
Begin with a J and continue with the medicine of frivolous behavior…so I’m Mary Poppins?
Scribble some notes and be on your way, damned wrinkled thing of a brain!…am I summoning Dr. Seuss?
Make the impossible one of reality’s closest relatives…this requires an intoxicant or two.
Find peace in thy mind, twas there no better time to establish tranquility…no words.

After taking stabs at a few voices, I find the challenge awkward, redundant, silly and occasionally enlightening. A balance must be required when trying to rationalize diction, tone, speed and clarity in addition to making characters move through time and space. I wonder though, as I sit in a room with a partial view of the buildings of Charlotte and a rather intrusive view of a living space encased by pink windows, why does this difficulty seem most imperative to resolve during moments of uncertainty, restlessness and debauchery?

[written in February 2012]

with a deep sigh

T: I don’t like it when my apples turn brown.
Y: You don’t eat enough apples to dislike when that happens.
T: But I still don’t like when they turn brown, is that a justifiable statement to make?
Y: I don’t see why not.
T: Oh, hell, why am I even asking you?
Y: Because I’m a figure of your imagination that tells you when it’s okay to think things and when it’s okay to think some things that you would otherwise deem unnatural.
T pauses for a few seconds, stares at the carpet, then at the corner of the desk, then at the plant upon the coffee table.
T: Ya know. This plant is in a very inconvenient place in your office.
Y moves his eyes slowly toward the plant and then moves his eyes back to meet the eyes of his patient.
Y: Is that so?
T: Well, yes. (pauses) You don’t want to block the link between the doctor and his patient.
Y continues to stare blankly at T but T doesn’t notice the absence of interest in the new theory.
T: You see there’s simply far too much to consider while I sit here and think about as you sit across from me. The plant would be too much to handle in the processing of information on either one of our ends!
Y: (with a deep sigh) Ah, yes, well I must say I haven’t considered that before.
T: Why thank you.
Y: What do you mean, “Thank you?”
T: I feel like I just gave you a piece of invaluable knowledge that I should be given a reward for. A thank you will do just fine in this instance.
Y: Right, well, I must be heading out soon and you should do the same if you would not like to be billed for more than one appointment.
T: I see, well, yes, I’ll be off then too. Thank you so much for helping me this week.

A week passes and T sits in the same seat and looking exponentially more distraught than the last visit to the office of Y.
T: I don’t understand why the hell things haven’t been going my way. I’ve read a significant amount of literature about the planets’ movements, have yet to see any negative implications of the retrograde movement of Venus, yet I still face complications with my collection of fruit!
Y: Is this a peculiar habit of yours, depending on literature of planetary movements to address your culinary affairs?
T: Well, I don’t think so but I haven’t taken two steps from my home since I had my last visit with you.
Y: WAKE UP!

[originally written October 7, 2010]

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.

a silhouette ponders love

The smell of nicotine
clouds a room in which
the silhouette of
a masculine body
with feminine features
sits near a window.

Love, how you evade me,
make a mockery of my emotions,
declare me mad when I’ve made efforts
to communicate on levels of unusual custom,
falsify any notion of affection!
Why do I entertain thoughts,
mere fruitless ambitions,
which evoke no promotion
of strong feelings within
the subject of my admiration?
Is this game of emotions,
battle of wits, what have you,
similar to the flight of a young bird
soaring through the air without experiencing
the altitude it strives to achieve?

The silhouette falls silent as
raindrops splatter diagonally
across horizontal walls of glass.

Oh, stop the indecent conversation.
Prepare yourself for instant gratification.

I thought you were to be found
after hard work and dedication?

Only the blind can find
me in such consecration.

Then I beg speak to me plain!
What must I do to forgo lover’s scorn,
admit passion in another, all to
satisfy desires deep within?

Impede such interrogation
for it is not healthy
contemplating that in which
you have not participated.

You ridicule my ineptitude
for this sort of relation?

Dare you question my advice
disseminate from malice?

The silhouette pauses,
taking note of faster raindrops.

I rescind my former inquiry
for I meant no misjudgment.
Please spare me though still,
will I ever move forward
from this frenzied isolation?

Your forward motion is
dependent upon your actions.

And what of these sentiments for,
I must admit, I waste minutes
and hours entertaining the
cruel nature of idle
introspective fervor?

The estimation of your
heart’s movement toward love
and devotion is not a prediction
I am at will to recite.

Then oblige me with
a statement forthright,
will I ever know what’s right?

And with the last word,
a gust of wind whistles
through a cracked window,
forcing the silhouette to
shiver through the night.

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?

on the way to New York

Riding the train is one of the best ways to travel because it forces one to evaluate a forthcoming vacation or move and anticipate the risks and adventures. Before taking a vacation or making a big move, there is one inevitable question that may flee past the corners the traveler’s mind: How does one decide what to wear for traveling?

As I was packing, I found an old purple t-shirt with a few discrete nips in the fabric. This was a practical and comfortable shirt, which hadn’t been worn in a while but I felt like this was the perfect time to test its durability. I wanted to pack a more appropriate pair of shoes for the gray slacks and wear a more comfortable pair for the ride but I couldn’t have squeezed a single sheet of paper into the bag–I was told in Toledo the suitcase weighed fifty pounds over the baggage weight limit. I opted to wear the extra pair in addition to wearing a versatile black vest that I couldn’t bring myself to crease.

I met a very kind gentleman who was on his way to Manhattan to reunite with friends as we were waiting to board the train in Toledo. He exuded the casual energy of someone who had grown accustomed to the art of dressing for travel as he sported a black knit hat, thick rimmed glasses, dark wash skinny jeans and an over sized North Face zip-up, which covered a gray or perhaps beige a-shirt. He regarded himself as someone that wouldn’t wear pajamas on any moving vehicle, rather a traveler that dresses for comfort in lieu of form.

After he took a few shots of my ensemble inside the Toledo station, the battery died so I couldn’t take a photo of his look. Even though electrical sockets were accessible on the train, neither of us had the energy for a even a brief photo shoot but I had a delectable view of the outside from my window.

riding on the Lake Shore Limited

sun on the Lake Shore Limited