Thursday, November 11, 2010
What a torture the act of contemplation is, questioning, confusing, causing chaos in the turmoil of heart and brain. Humans require one another to thrive but objects find difficulty in association. Doomed to solitude, and no ability to call it tragedy. An object may be forgotten -- missed perhaps, but ultimately forgotten in principle. A human grasps the minds and souls of others, steals away a part of them, leaving a void that can never be totally refilled. I feel replaceable, unacceptable, false, plastic. A living breathing mannequin, positioned always by others with no mouth to speak and no ears to listen.
But then, what have I to say?
Today, I went to Mom's house for the first time since she moved. It was mostly empty except for a some odds and ends. A TV here. A chair there. Everything looked so much larger than I recalled. It seemed as if it had been abandoned long ago, like hollowness was its natural state. As I wandered I tried to evoke memories of the home I had inhabited for so long, but could not. I felt just as empty as the house itself, a sort of bizarre bonding of likes in their concavity. A poetic blankness weighed my thoughts, searching for words to describe a feeling I did not possess.
Why can I not feel as others do? These false affections are like poison, contamination my head and heart in equal parts. Reality evokes only emptiness. Only fiction evokes the true power of sentiment. It is a torture to know in the end I cannot be happy without the mystery of the unattainable. The struggle for happiness will inevitably lead to unhappiness. Perhaps I was meant to be immune to the real. Perhaps hollowness is my natural state as well. Then the question is: do I accept this or do I change it myself? To remain hollow or to become false? Either way, I am lost.
There is a kind of
in the daylymonthlyyearly revolutions
of a numbing tumbling space.
The dim and shaded Moon can only see
as far as its spectacles will allow.
While Lady Sun basks in the glow
of her own star stuff,
shining to her billion billion sisters,
accompanied and entertained by the endless dance
of her infant planets,
stony and sleek in its spot of sky,
all shady lines and callous curves
with a face ribbed with the wrinkles
of a hundred thousand weary craters –
has only pretty Earth.
set on a path
upon which childish Earth
has come to rely.
She does not see a happiness in Sun.
She sees no vindication
in the permanent desolation
of her sibling rotary stones.
Of all the beings Moon as known,
she has envied none so much
as the comets that blast through black,
leaving trails that slowly burn and fade
like mist against the Sunglare.
All it takes is a single push.
The gentle tug and pull
against all math and reason,
the selfish need for something more
to ease the wantingneedinglonging.
Blue and yellow sequin spills,
amber umber oil paints,
red and violent velveteen
tracing patterns in the ageless brick
of a dying universe.
And while the Lady Moon pursues
a thousand sights of beauty and decay,
wheeling in its glory and simplicity,
forgotten is the diamond Earth,
that subtle pearl,
aching in its loneliness,
and feeding on
itself in search of
these suiting scars
that build a bridge of memory
over ever-weaving skin.
Interrupt the construct
of ugly over ventricles,
of agony in arteries.
The blood is water underneath.
It seethes and churns
like boiled oil in the lungs,
painting course cambric in the eyes,
a veil of dampened requiem.
No. I won't go back to it.
That sullen reply,
that feeble grounding,
that sleeping lie,
that misty reverie
that calls awake the nervous system.
That system which is nervous.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Into something wicked,
Mixed up in all the lights
Of a city slowly dying,
Lying in its waste,
Lying through its walls
Of gravel and bone.
Stuck in the middle
Of it all
With no one,
A moth clinging to the steel
Of a maniac driver's grill,
Invisible to the world,
Nothing but stardust
In the wind.
I see you chase away behind the door,
See your pretty eyes within the lock.
You block my only hint of light in this prison,
But your eyes glint coolly
Like the clouds beyond the stars.
This light is warmth—
And without it I should die.
But your gaze is wanted here
On this poor forsaken wretch
And without it too I shall die,
Another stone to these poor prison walls.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I gaze into a starless sky
As neon lights go sailing by.
Neon billboards, neon signs,
Neon PETROL, neon Christ.
Neon Hollywoods and Sunsets—
Boulevards where dreams are made.
Smoke from late night cigarettes,
Fuming red hot Jags and mags
Draw a blanket through the streets
Of smoke and fog
The stench of the night
Is thick, and rancid—
Music bumps the hazy air,
The heart of the city
Residing on painted curbs.
Saxes singing, feet tapping,
It bounces off the crystal roofs,
Absorbed and drowned
In the ear of a businessman
Fixing his last highball
Of the night.
These towers here are shady and bright,
All sweet illumination,
The stars are dim and distant,
But the neon lights are high
And pretty enough
To be the stars
Monday, January 25, 2010
Streetlights dancing in the rain.
They are but lifeless candles,
Forms we give functions,
For our lives demand it so.
They shudder and shake
Like breath on the wind,
See without eyes,
Uncare without thought.
We pass them by and ignore them--
Like silent gods,
Casting our shadows
This way and that,
This way and that,
This way and that,
This way and that,
This way and that,
And then nothing.
A black void.
We look into it,
Hands stuffed in pockets,
Thumbs picking idly at nails,
Feet on a track that will not stop
That just keeps going
Our former selves,
(our reflective selves)
And forget about the umbra of the rain.
We are home.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I am cursed with the art of purely articulated emotion.
When my heart is glad, it is not merely so. It is joyous. Enraptured. Enlightened. Halcyonic. Contented. Happy. A whole dictionary of words all wrapped around each other like children rolled in blankets. They dance and sing and laugh about my head, pull at the dimples in my cheeks, bubble against my throat, spill bright paints into my thoughts until only the edges burn in gray and black.
In this way I am blessed...
In this way I am cursed, for when my heart is not glad or contented or enlightened it is instead weighted. Caged. Tortured. Ugly. Numb. Lifeless. It is a prisoner beating and struggling against its bindings, pulling and screaming and begging for the mercy it knows will not come, for its captor does not even recall its existence.
And yet, in all things, amidst all words and circumstances, one among them remains constant.
It is a precious word, at once black and brittle and perfect and beautiful. It is the poet's vice, for she cannot live without it, and yet to live with it she must die for it. She knows it is a privilege to be entitled Guardian of such a pretty fickle creature—but what torturous and cruel a thing it is, when all other poets she might share in love lie dead and unburied in its wake.
Must I walk this warpath alone, without companion but for love itself?
Must I sustain such loneliness? For naught?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Word Count = 1759
Total = 2996
“That thing is going to get all of us killed!”
“No! Nothing is going to replace this General, not now, not ever. Especially a hunk of... of... shuttle scrap metal!”
General Joseph Crowell scoffed ferociously like a raging bull about to go charge, and yet the sound was almost comical as if it had come from a little old woman had made it. The short stout gargoyle of a man was truthfully not so far off from the title, waddling his way out of the briefing room with his tight muscled sausages of hands clenched, pristine fingernails digging red semicircles into his pudgy palms. He was a balding man of nearly sixty shrink-wrapped in what was possibly the absolute tightest uniform available for man his size. The bronze buttons strained with each anger-labored breath and shone dully from off a perfectly untainted forest green coat, upon which a set of metals and pins perched precariously atop his chest where his heart beat against it.
A thin and well toned man, much younger and much more the stereotype of military perfection followed the gargoyle dutifully out. Clad similarly, yet not so pretentiously, he too donned graying wisps of hair that seemed to serve as sideburns of a sort and accented the rest of his otherwise rustic crown. Ice cube-thick glasses stayed firm on the hard chiseled line of his nose even as he hurried after his superior.
“General Crowell, he's not replacing you at all. He's merely a... project, for right now. And he's never been wrong yet.”
The General scowled and turned abruptly, nearly forcing the younger of the two to collide into him. His boots squealed against the polished floors of the hall in protest. Through a jungle of low gray eyebrows that bulged obscenely outwards from his face and a net of wrinkles permanently scrunched below, his beady dark eyes glared.
“I don't believe this--how dare you call it 'him,' Stevens,” he growled under his breath with a flustered and trembling point in the direction of the room they had just recently. A few onlookers had gathered there, unwilling to cross the invisible barrier beyond the door frame. Stevens grimaced, hearing their low words. “That's no man in there. Not even the shadow of one. How can we leave such decisions to something that's not even alive?”
“As you always say, Sir,” Stevens replied evenly, “humans are inherently flawed by their own mentalities. We have here an extremely valuable asset—a computer that can physically communicate with us as well as make calculations that any supercomputer could, but on our level, and able to explain itself and make amendments based on our own orders and suggestions. Not to mention he's being given to us as a gift by the government. We can't refuse such a thing.”
“The hell we can't!” Crowell shouted, a little stunned by his own echoing boom of a voice along the freshly painted walls. Stevens peered at him warily in turn. Lower this time, secretive, he continued, “It's not natural, Stevens. I'm telling you, that thing cannot make a proper well-informed decision while having our best interests in mind. It cannot.”
“And yet 'it' has proven itself a hefty number of times, and with better results than ever. Not only are missions being carried out successfully, but also in the most efficient way possible.”
“Nothing a proper high command wouldn't be able to do.”
Stevens sighed in frustration, beginning to lose his patience with the man. He pulled the glasses off his nose with a soft clinking sound and stroked the bridge of his nose. They had been what one could almost call friends for years now, always side by side in the ranks of military astronautics. A strange pair, he knew, but a pair nonetheless it would seem. Some destiny this is, to be stuck with this guy into eternity, Stevens thought, but not entirely with bitterness. This was just another interesting little hump in their bizarre roller coaster of a friendship made for the service.
Crowell's features somehow managed to pull together even further between his brows and around his eyes, framing them once more. His lips quivered as if they were straining to stay firm while being physically forced in to motion by unseen forces.
“Alright,” he acquiesced at last. “Let's see how this... thing works out. It does have one hell of a track record, eh?” The smirk jostled his jowls just so, and Stevens couldn't help returning it. “But if it looks like it can't handle the job at hand, I want it out. Permanently.” He nodded, awaiting Stevens' acceptance to back him up on it, which of course, as always, was not refused.
“Okay. Let's see what it can do.”
They returned to a parting sea of fellow men, who sat silently back in place, but not without a few sideways glances. The General was not one to be questioned or judged too frequently or too extensively.
The android stood patiently and silently like any soldier would before his superiors, and equally as any prisoner before his jury and judge. His face was expressionless but eerily human; they said it was meant for them to look less threatening in everyday life and to put people's minds at rest. Some even went so far as to give them unmistakably human characteristics and aesthetics that were otherwise totally useless to the mechanism. The military, however, seemed to prefer this make— a cousin to man, a friend, but not a man in itself. Cool clear blue silicone masqueraded as the simple face of an average man, nothing distinguishing about him from any other android of his type except for a metal plate that bore his identification.
General Crowell eyed him warily, an opponent's stance resting firmly in his visage. Sync continued to look unfazed, detached, even bored with the proceedings as Crowell approached.
“So, you really believe we should stand down our defenses, huh?”
His voice rang clear and brazen from his chest, and his lips moved smoother than should have been possible. “Yes.”
“And how are we supposed to solve their energy crisis and keep them from firing on innocent civilians with a move like that, hm? Are we just going to let them die there and not lift a finger about it?”
“It's simple logic, actually,” Sync explained. His hands came into motion now from where they had hung at his sides. “We cannot merely pull back from the line itself. They will see it as a temporary retreat, and with good reason. From a such a stance we could easily make room for reinforcements while we wait idly at bay. We would make for easy targets. Instead, by withdrawing altogether, we leave them to deal with their own crises through total detachment. It must no longer be under the supervision of the United States or the United Nations—or any other entity.”
General Crowell's mouth twitched at the corners, unsure whether to be amused or furious with an answer so base. “They'll kill their own. Thousands of their own. Do you understand that? Hm?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Then how will this be favorable for either side? For anyone's side? They'll be out of food, out of power, and out of protection.”
Sync looked a little surprised at the comment. The mild slope of his brow folded upwards above his optical lenses, which shrunk briefly. “Eventually, the upper states too will run out of resources. There are not enough on this planet alone for there to be a monopoly on any one, especially on one of such high cost. Though they may withhold such things from the lower classes, eventually they will be forced to find alternatives, which must either be created on their own grounds or bought from ours. By then I expect our own sources of energy will have far advanced and they will have no reasonable choice but to ask for assistance or else dissolve into history as a dead nation-state.”
“That will take years, don't you realize?” Crowell shouted. Stevens, standing close by, motioned for the two men that had stood abruptly in protest to remain sitting. “Years! The entire population of the lower classes combined might be massacred by then.”
Sync simply shook his head. “My calculations and research have concluded that if this action is taken it will be no more than one year and seven months before their resources run out.”
Crowell blinked, thin eyelashes beating in the silence. “That so? Based on what?”
“Based on their recent actions and military history, standard decay of natural oil and water, weather patterns—”
“And you're certain?”
The General's beady dark eyes regarded him steadily and Sync stared back in his own hollow way, optic lenses gleaming like cameras under the florescent lighting with what looked very close to determination. With a heavy sigh polluted with the slight catch of a lifelong smoker he turned away and, removing the green cap that had been sitting squarely on his head, ran a hand over his near-bald scalp. He quirked his head to the side, a motion for Stevens to approach, and leaned his hands over the oval table. Sync could still hear them clearly from across the room.
“What do you think?” Stevens asked, more curious than tentative.
“It... hmph.” Crowell shook his head at himself, thinking.
“It doesn't sound... too illogical...” He looked up at the circle of expectant faces—some hopeful, some worried.
“Fine. Give it a test run. Something simple. Something fixable,” he stressed, and Stevens nodded curtly in total understanding. “Good. Now get him—it out of here.” And, with a final glance the android's way, General Crowell left, a trail of clones at his back.
Stevens was smiling, arms crossed over his chest as he stood alone with the first military approved robot in history.
“He did not seemed pleased,” Sync commented.
“Don't worry about him. He'll see the bright side of things soon enough.” Stevens grinned as if talking to a child, perhaps his son. “You know, you really are a miracle. You're going to do great things for this country. For the world, even.”
He thought he could almost see a twitch of a smirk on those ghostly blue lips.
“I plan to.”