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.

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]

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.

oh, border patrol

I’m in awe of the treatment I overheard from the patrol officer. I was sleeping in the still car of the Amtrak and then was awaken by the strong male voice of someone asking, “Are you a US citizen? Do you have your state ID?”

I was frustrated because I hadn’t slept properly through the entire journey and finally was able to feel my eyes and body rest in the extremely uncomfortable seat but the questions continued with a persistent tone and despite the train riders’ confusion with what was being asked, the officer offered no other alternative to make his request clear. I continued to close my eyes as I became more infuriated with the way he was speaking to the people on the train but eventually he realized they were in fact citizens of the US and had their papers.

When he strolled passed the next rows of people, the same “Are you a US citizen?” was asked and when he came to my section, I barely opened my eyes and uttered a response in the affirmative. What would have happened had I not admitted that I was a US citizen? Although my attire indicates a very Midwestern foundation, and my ability to improvise a foreign accent is not quite at the level I would like it to be, I wonder if he would have asked for documentation on my behalf or if he would have sanctioned my inappropriate behavior since it would affect the train ride for everyone on board.

After he passed my section, he came to a young student who I remember seeing in the Toledo station. She was very polite, soft-spoken and comfortably dressed in a faded yellow Michigan t-shirt and light sweater with black sweat pants, which were more presentable than the pieces of heavy cloth with elastic. When he asked her his routine question, she hesitated and then made it clear that she was studying in the states.

He asked for her visa documentation (or perhaps something else, I was still quite groggy) and she said she didn’t have it so he asked for her state ID, which she possessed. There was a brief moment of silence and then asked which school she was studying. She named a school in Toledo, Ohio. He warned, “Okay, you should always carry [the name of the first documentation he requested] on you when you’re traveling.”

She responded, “Oh, okay, yes. I understand.” He left with, “Alright, thank you,” and she left him with, “Yes, thank you.” He continued walking down the aisle asking the same question multiple times until he walked through the mechanical door that led him into the next car.

When I adjusted my body’s position in the seat, my butt had no sensation in and around it and I saw a huge part of a train traveling the opposite direction of our train. It appeared old and unused for quite some time but when I began observing it more, my eyes crept along its rusted metal surface and found an interesting graffiti piece behind the ladder that was created align the metal tank’s surface.