Desperation for a nap

While an interior dining space offered solace for hungry companions, the decrepit building's exterior sent chills down Mr. F's back.
While an interior dining space offered solace for hungry companions, the decrepit building’s exterior sent chills down Mr. F’s back.

In the dining area of a building, there were seven treats on the floor ready to be picked up by seven people in attendance. Mr. F watched the first hand grab a treat but he was unsure if he was going to be the next as he noticed no one else’s movement. Restless noises trailed from another room and disturbed the energy to the point when Mr. F turned his head and then faced dark space underneath his desk. A pain throbbed on the left side of his neck while he tried shaking his hands and shoulders awake from an awkward attempt at creating a pillow on the speckled blue desk chair. Its pattern made one feel peaceful in the warmth of a hotel’s uninspiring repetitions of color and shapes.

While he straightened his torso, Mr. F slid his seated half very little into comfort. He hoped no one saw his desperation for a nap in the midst of all the chattering in the hallway as students exited and entered the lunch area. Slowly the paralyzing needles crept over his legs and arms as they came to life. Energy drinks were wedged at the top of his briefcase so he snatched one and tossed it into his left hand, pulled his desk drawer open with his right, patted around for a straw and plunged it in the can after he popped it open. He needed to check the time but the alarm didn’t go off so he knew there was no emergency.

He stood up as though he were just checking his briefcase for the smallest piece of information. Nearly jolting by the memory of responsibility, his eyes moved across paper piles on his desk of grades in need of records. To his left he saw the reflection of students giggling as a teacher scolded them for not lining up properly and quietly. It was amazing how little regard students paid to rules and persons of authority, perhaps even comical on a rare occasion. However, deeply troublesome premonitory feelings arose when Mr. F speculated outcomes based on behavioral patterns, which contradicted great ambitions by some of the most uniquely sheepish individuals.

Who was clumsier, the students who couldn’t stay quiet or the teacher who couldn’t manage a night without something to soothe the nerves? It was a question Mr. F was going to write down for another moment’s contemplation until Principal H entered his room and asked, “Good afternoon, Mr. F. How are you?”

Mr. F’s expression shed light on his feelings about her arrival earlier in his classroom but as he casually responded, she angled her head to resemble pouring out any negativity before arriving just in front of him to continue. “I’m not sure you received the email but we’ll need your help starting this afternoon at lunch in the cafeteria. Could you help us with that?”

“Of course. How long do you think this will be?” he inquired.

“From eleven forty until twelve ten,” she replied flatly.

“No issue, just wanting to make sure.”

“Great, well, Mr. L is there now and I’m sure you’ve heard the students already moving,” she stepped back and into a steady pace toward the door. Mr. F couldn’t tell if the turn or passing students interrupted her final words but he took heed and took a final sip before tossing it in the small plastic trashcan on his way out.

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.”

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.

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]

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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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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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?