twenty minutes

Twenty minutes after midnight
I heard a discussion about
pharmaceutical companies being
under quite an investigative
pressure. I think it was on
91.7 FM and when the subject
was introduced, immediately
my mind went to an appointment
I had with a psychiatrist in
two thousand eight or nine.
He was a person whom I’d
maintain for follow-ups and
refills, however, in the midst
of a very paranoid state I
inquired the possibility of
pharmaceutical companies working
with those in occupations of a
psychiatric kind to exchange
money and promotion of drugs,
to which he responded in a
wide-eyed manner, “If there
were any benefits, I wish I
could use some of them,” and
then remained silent. It was
he I gave trust to intoxicate
my mind with helpful substances
in pursuit of emotional stability.
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|_ife is crazy.
The three words
come to mind often
when there’s difficulty
thinking of something
to say about a topic.
Maybe the habit is
the result of perpetual
side effects of pills
deemed advisable for consumption.
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Do thoughts of what has passed and
what will come in near and far
futures determine what has become
of the present moment in time?
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Only a few
more minutes
until the
clock strikes.

so swift with nothingness

This New York experience was intriguing
though quite unsettling. I lost my phone
the first night of debauchery as well
as a generous amount of almonds and
blah blah. New York is exhausting. I don’t
know why I find it so enticing but I can
see why some are fond of Jersey. It is
such a different pace there I can’t help
but feel like it’s a lovely escape from
the chaos of the city of Manhattan and
its surrounding boroughs. As I sit here
in LaGuardia peering around the tablet
station, I see a woman looking at the
cost of education within the Butler
University website. There is also a
hearing on Syria military action with
Secretary of State John Kerry playing
on the television in the corner of the
large window. I noticed he stumbled
upon his words when responding to a
question about support being provided
by the government. I can’t really pay
attention to what’s being discussed
mostly because of a hangover that
hasn’t really gone away since I woke
up after eleven in the morning and
rushed as fast as possible to Queens
to gather my belongings and catch the
bus to travel for an hour and forty
minutes in order to get to my flight
in time, which wasn’t departing until
four thirty but for some reason seemed
to be sooner than I had expected. This
city does that though—influences a
sense of urgency among its residents
and visitors no matter what the activity.
Even as I sit and wait for my computer
to charge completely, it’s like I cannot
stop thinking about life but that doesn’t
really mean anything. I guess the pace
of my brain is so swift with nothingness
it’s kind of comical. I wish I could take
photos but my batteries are dead. I
thought about purchasing new batteries
for my Nikon camera but my feet are so
tired and my body wants nothing but
cheesy carbs on a level that deems
movement of the body frivolous. So
silly this does feel as I ramble on.

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]

||

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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oh, Gates

What is the feeling one gets
when one feels pressure to do
something in order to achieve
a goal or task, which may have
been acquired after meeting an
individual capable of enhancing
stimulation of the conscious state?
And what is the expression one uses
when one needs to accomplish something
of a strange sort but resources available
somehow obscure one’s comprehension of the
strangeness of that something? While
I haven’t listened to the song yet,
Gates, thank you for gracefully
capturing this debacle in
A Vague Ambition.

[this was recovered from January 2011
but the reference to A Vague Ambition
lyrics was not made until 2013]

how curious

For a reason, season or lifetime
some people say. Seems crazy
beautiful to wonder how
such a grand conclusion
has remained valid since its
first utterance. On the other hand,
how curious it is to think about
the ways one must work hard
to fulfill one’s purpose
and may not realize what could
arise between one’s self and another
perhaps due to the amount of
effort put into respective
projects, which may or may not
exercise a true desire to experience
all possible outcomes with the
distant and familiar who’ve
supported and been encouraged.

tis the season

A woman with dark luscious unwashed tendrils spewing from her scalp walks down the narrow aisle of dark wood tables with hooks on the sides, one of which is occupied by a voluptuous espresso satchel. She slides into a booth facing the rear of the kitchen, keeps her glasses on, then digs in her bag. After grabbing and placing a small black object in front of her on the table, she presses a few buttons and then speaks softly in one end.

“The climate is so strange in this Midwestern humidity. Rays of sun are constantly beaming upon human faces whose bodies have wrinkled as quickly as the leather bags who’ve aged as soon as they leave the department stores from whence they’ve departed in glossy shopping bags. Each day seems to repeat itself and the clouds’ movement never stays the same for more than one hour. I find myself dreaming old memories, which I thought faded into mental peripherals, but am now realizing are being brought to the forefront of my mind as concepts of desire impeding forward progression. Then there’s the issue of style– establishing and portraying a sense of self to the world regardless of the destination or climate. Why in the workplace does one’s style marry regulations of dress imposed by authorities who’ve seemingly not perused the contents of a trustworthy collection of knowledge regarding ideas, colors, fabrics, images, stories, individuality?”

Heavy breathing of the oncoming server comes closer to the woman’s table. “Hi, what can I get for you today.” After a brief pause, the woman continues speaking to the microphone in the same volume.

“As a member of a generation who has grown accustomed to depending on more technological sources of knowledge…”

The server shifts her weight and whispers, “I’ll give you a few more minutes.”

“I’ve found myself dumbfounded by determining my place in the workforce especially when there are influences of my behavior hindering the expression of my self I wish to achieve in a professional and creative manner in more settings than one. Given the vast disappointment in procuring employment with a substantial form of compensation for my time and skill level, I scratch my head in irritation because I know there is more for us in this universe and listen to stories in wonderment of those who simply asked the universe for achievements and happiness, who consequently created the masterpiece of their life’s actions with calling upon the forces of nature to bring favorable results in their directions. Sometimes the greed of it all seems too enticing to explore and discuss with the public but on the other hand, one cannot deny the fun life would be made. What other purpose do humans have except to enjoy the fruits of fervent labor?”

She stops and presses a button to end the recording and sits motionless. To the left of the woman are two young thirty-something year olds. The male speaks passionately as the female stirs her shake slowly. “I really feel like the cosmic forces are telling me to stop smoking. I mean, swiping the lighter was just a last straw kind of sign. If I can’t stop the impulse to retain someone’s lighter or remember money to bring for product I fully intend to purchase, I shouldn’t be allowed to smoke in the company of others or be trusted to handle money. Honestly though, tell me what you think.”

The woman takes a sip from the red striped straw, swallows delicately and exhales, “The last thing you want is to hear what I’ve got to say.”

He replies, “Please just skip the nonchalance with the dramatic sequence of events I’m sharing with you and tell me whether I’m placing too much value in omens or I’m fully capable of utilizing this medicine as a tool for all creative purposes.”

“I think you should focus on why you want to negotiate the possibility of investing time and money on a resource that doesn’t exist in a way that one would imagine…Whatever, the thing that’s on my mind is the way I was smoking a cigarette on my patio last night and heard footsteps nearby. I was too drunk to prop my head up and way too unprotected to combat an assault.”