The Sign Says, “Keep Out”; It’s Posted Just Inside the Gate.

Congratulations, hapless wanderer of the void, for making your way to my lonely corner of the Internet. You’ve undoubtedly discovered this page through the digital pages of The Rag Lit Mag or its blog, where my poem Inside the Aimless was published in July of 2012. As you can see, I haven’t had much to say to the Internet since then. Other than the 73,300 spam comments that have accumulated in my inbox since I last logged in, the Internet hasn’t had much to say to me, either.

There has been one exception to the stillness at the other end of my line, and for that exception I would certainly cast my thoughts into the ether again. It had never been my intention to reach out, but nevertheless a boy about my age from a few states over contacted me through this page after reading my poem. We started emailing back and forth, sharing our writing, thoughts, and experiences. I realized sooner than he did that the experiences that had shaped both of our writing were eerily similar; I knew I had locked those memories in a poem that was available to the world, and that it was possible for someone to hold the key, but I never considered it possible for someone to just let himself in like Matt did.

I’m grateful that he was so bold and confident in his interpretation of the poem. I’m not sure I could ever have unraveled the meaning of Inside the Aimless as a prerequisite for conversation, even if the person asking already understood in their own terms. I couldn’t even unravel the meaning in my own head, which is probably why I wrote the poem in the first place. I certainly couldn’t do it for Matt, but that didn’t stop us from connecting over the strange little moments that, until we met each other, we thought life had given uniquely to each of us.

For anyone that happens to be passing through, I will show you the same uncommon courtesy that Matt showed to me when he barged into my psyche without knocking or thinking twice: Believe it or not, you are a part of my life. It’s okay if you saw yourself or the world reflected in my poem, because it’s about all of us. If you didn’t, that’s okay too, because I see you whenever I am there. Whether you are shuffling in to smear mud on the walls, gritting your teeth next to me in the pews, or are stuck with the unfortunate souls in the rafters of this proverbial cathedral, I invite you to stay.

Love,
Sam

Inside the Aimless

Echoes we hope were once attached
to a voice continue to bounce
off the walls and pillars of this cathedral.
We found it underground, dormant in the earth,
hidden within the marble slabs, waiting
for man to warp it around God’s shadow.

In the pews the sayers hunch forward
with gritted teeth and elbows on knees,
eyes locked on an empty pulpit
while muted by the pulse of chaos—
whispered by daisies, its refrain is thrumming
from the outside against the painted glass,
and the doers shuffle in to smear mud on the walls
as if in tribute to some prehistoric verse.

And perched in the rafters, hearts pumping in rhythm
with the molten core of an undiscovered sun,
the watchmakers de-feather the carcasses
of wayward birds while contemplating the
apparent blessing of endless job security.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FIRST!

So this is the beautiful blog that Aaron set up for me to post my poetry and my artwork and my what-nots. Paintings and more poems coming soon! The poems will all be backdated to approximately the time they were written so maybe you can see where my brain is going with all of this nonsense.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

From Yours Truly to the Bottom of My Heart

From Yours Truly to the Bottom of My Heart

Is it funny or is it sad
that a once resonant lyric
(like crawlinginmyskin, or
inthememoryyoullfindme)
warbled from experience
compounded by fame
and sold down the line
to youth can be mistaken for
mutual understanding?
A child’s bubble mind
nodding its I Knows
when maybe (determined by
an incomparable acuteness
of vision) there is no knowing
in isolation, only I-Still-Know
once years have passed
and the false camaraderie of
I SO KNOW has fallen
out of currency.
Maybe only the unwilling
expression of freefalling
like a too-taught rubber band
snapped from the place of We Knew**
**(or from point A or B
depending on the trajectory
of your comings and goings
from this once resonant lyric,
but please please please
try to see that point as NOW,
like then and another then placed
side by side on each flap of a
folded-in-half birthday card
so that they’re touching one another,
as close or as far apart as you please,
but never too far apart as not
to see them both at once because
the paper is only as big as it should be,
which is certainly never bigger
than you’re able to hold
in hands or gaze, and I mean that
all the way from Yours to the Bottom)
to the sobbing place
of If without and Then to follow
is what the lyric actually was
to begin with… anyhow,
maybe a blast from the past
is merely an echo fashioned
into a bullet by individual circumstance:
a trigger pulled only when
it has run out of novel experiences
to serve as camouflage and therefore
must mute its wary captives
or else risk being exposed
as the enabler of an artistic thievery
that every victim of inspiration
must reconcile with… Perhaps that is why
that monkey on television nowadays
teaching kids about Spanish and Kindness
has decided to wear boots
and also call himself boots
in reference to his highly visible
and unmistakable yet arbitrary
footwear – it seems that far too often
have metaphors been elucidating
without the ability to act
like men with conscience, who have learned
to lurk far enough below or behind
to avoid the possibility of a future recognition
that is too-far removed from where
they first met our I Knows
for personal comfort or coherence.

PS – wouldn’t it be nice if it were
simply so funny that we cry
until we forget why its funny,
and only when we are tricked
into sadness by forgetfulness
then saved by re-remembrance
does it become perpetually beautiful….

Posted in Poetry | 3 Comments

Spa-Peggy and Meatballs

Spa-Peggy and Meatballs (Mom Stuff)

Sounds kind of like a Thursday thing,
but lately noodles been limpin’ towards the weekend…
Al dente smiles around the dinner table
affirm the unsung religion of pasta in the West-
its luxury is not bound to legacy,
but to the tradition of earth to grain to mother to mouth:
a shimmering chain (or recipe if you’re fond of stirring)
almost invisible around the neck of commercialism
(consumer realism, compliant dinnerism,
chew and swallow, etc.) but apparent in the cycle
of the seasons and in the stitching of children
inside the wombs of women who chew and swallow.

I’d like to say that I’ve never been to Italy,
but since I can’t decide myself and no commercial
can truly tell me if Italy is a country or a spirit
or a notion or some mélange of those things,
that very simple desire is thwarted, as it will be
until that television or your words or some mélange
that our palates can agree upon will stop
confusing classification with specificity…

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Open Letter

An Open Letter to the Noisy Upstairs Housemate

Forgive me if this all seems indirect;
due to the mutual foreignness
and respective meandering qualities
of our native languages (by native
I mean wherever it is you keep your heart,
which in your case I don’t think is too
near your tongue, which could be why
I’m having trouble translating what I feel
when I hear your grumblings and stompings
into what could make sense to your ears),
I thought it would be best to adopt a
wistful and dramatic posture in the following message,
as if I were reciting a soliloquy into thin air
in the way that females have so often been accused of
in their so-called passive aggressive mandealings:

Treating a window view as fiction
only lessens the sweetness of looking out
and letting the seed of that image take root
at first sight, blooming fully only when
one’s words allow facts to be subjective.
Layers of tense glass refract truth
into incoherence, and I am pulled
like a stone on a leash through quartered panes
that could never wish to be broken.
For what purpose does a mirror repeat
what light the skin rejects without judgment,
alarming the mind by its body’s true form
forever hidden to the eye by a reflection,
perpetuating a guessing game made popular
by collective chance misunderstandings?
If only a crystal didn’t separate and isolate
points of light on these colorless walls
and instead could transform
the flow of the attic mathematician’s
steady grind into rhyme, coloring my skull
with melody instead of painting a question mark
on everything I claim to love.
When I am left to sift through the dust
that was once my heart, maybe Mr. Math’s
margin of error will be small enough to
build me a rocket ship sturdy enough
to blast straight through this attic nonsense…

Sigh,
The First Story Inhabitant

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Lethologica

lethologica

Main Entry: lethologica
Part of Speech: n
Definition: the inability to remember a word or put your finger on the right word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5, NIV)

 

Lethologica

Suppose for now the Word was not a word
but dialogue encased in modern swine,
all silent stares out windows like they’ve heard
the slowly speaking heartbeats that they shine

I’ve listened to the star who learned to row
straight through a churning maelstrom’s hollowed eye
as would a flower wrapped up in a bow
awaiting death or morning’s versed reply

Still seems the mother maiden we call Earth
serenely churning through poor Adam’s spade
which in the eyes of those who’ve seen from birth
has burrowed through his home an early grave

Suppose for now those first words were the same;
why couldn’t Lethologica remain?

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

Mastering the Art of the Downward Spiral

Mastering the Art of the Downward Spiral

If only I could touch the disjointed thoughts

that aren’t afraid to weave themselves
into fairy tales then down the drain

like spiderwebs introduced to a vacuum.

Do they come through hardened, bright and clean,
immune to these white wash blinks
between sleep and wake that house catacombs
of story boats like You and I?
Is the moment between a wish and a guideline
a glass cache for the inmate ideas
that light the crevices of line upon line
like the constellations poised against a sparsile backdrop?

The thoughts’ makers scurry towards windows rusted
at the hinges as if a tilted glance through stubborn eyes
slitted by fatigue’s submission to gravity
would scatter and pinpoint their hushed intentions
like butterflies pinned to velvet.

As if sharing their story lines of doubt, remorse,
dissolution, and regeneration after a static stagnancy, accidental,
would grease the very hinges that had rusted over
from staying indoors on purpose to begin with.

I looked up.

Would you believe it was 11:11? (I wish that those
hushed intentions were there to make me wish
for that without knowing the time)
If knowing the exact amount of moments
I’ve been alive, sidereal and otherwise,
weren’t such a math problem away,
I’d entitle this ““Unintentional Ego Demolition
#oftimesithappenedbeforeIdiditonpurpose””,
which probably equates to an undying, barbaric ONE,
but I’d like to be able to prove that
before I give up on magic and wordplay.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment

The Placement of a Sundial

I can feel you in the West;
your heat allows these blades of grass
to stand and reflect green.
Out of season, tiny trees push through
the mossy ground, where in your warmth
even ashes sometimes appear to bloom.

On a rock beside me sits a shadow
purified by Eastern rays
and flattened on a knoll.
It is the silhouette of an old sunset,
perched in ignorance, statuesque.

Under these branches,
fallen silver backed leaves remain
to be crunched or lifted by the endless
to and fro of horses and men.
Their padded landings are heard
by the roots underneath their winter bed,
but are already forgotten by the sun who,
as a stainless cold begins to bite my fingers,
cannot help but to burn.

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment