Sunday, September 25, 2011


Clichés are good, I think. You can say something that everyone understands and lead up to it with, "I know it's cliché, but..." and then no one can make fun of you. Or you can just say it and everyone can laugh at you, but you don't have to use too many words. They're perfect, obviously. I walk around shouting things like, "Ah, to be young and foolish!" and "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?" because we are a cliché. 

But we're also not a cliché. We've a voice of our own, huh? We've words of our own, yeah? We've got a voice on paper, at least, right? We have great word choice, don't we? 

We're something original, sure, but we're also something not.

We're something not, because at the end of the day, we are all ears, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

But mostly we're something not because we still don't know what we've got until it's gone. Even if we're the most original, most alive, most non-cliché people on the face of the planet, we don't seem to notice until we're not. 

We don't realize that we're in love with people until they've packed their bags and hopped on airplanes, or that we like our parents until they have left us to do their job, or that we like books with paper until everyone reads on a Kindle. We don't even seem to see the people with eyes so blue they really should make you stop and stare -- until they've closed their eyes. We didn't pay attention to Kilgore Trout until Kilgore Trout stopped writing. We didn't notice that we liked their hair until they cut it. We didn't realize how much we like being healthy, how much we like each other, how much we like the sunshine, until we were sick and lonely and the rain clouds had rolled in. 

And you didn't love Joseph Gordon-Levitt until he loved Autumn and not you.

We're the elephant in the room. We're the bee's knees. We're unable to fight our way out of a paper sack and we're all bent out of shape. We're the cat's meow and the cat's pajamas and a cat nap and all other cat-related things, too, probably.

We're completely cliché, because after all of these years, we still haven't opened our own eyes to notice the colors of everyone else's, and we won't, until their eyes are gone.

Open your eyes, for heavens sake. Notice the colors. Notice the shapes of the words that you write. Notice the way your overpriced yogurt fills up your self-serve cup before you eat it. Notice the way the bass guitar carries the songs that you sing along to. Notice the way Mojgani's voice carves out his words, because you are his words, and you are my words, too, and everyone else's words, because we're just a product of a whole bunch of words, but you've never even noticed that, have you? So notice it. Notice it because Mojgani's words will be gone. Notice it because mine will be gone and yours will be gone and everybody else's words will be gone, too, and then we'll realize what we had. 

I'd tell you to not let them go, but I if I did that, you might never notice you were holding them. 

So let them go, maybe. Maybe then we'll notice.

"So much in these few words."
All my love,

P.S. Megan B: -- try it. Good pictures. Great pictures. And also dumb pictures, but it's worth sifting through.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Excuse me, Jane?

To write something good must've been so much easier 200-some-odd years ago, don't you think? Because 200 years ago, no one had penned the words, "It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen," or "All this happened, more or less." In fact, at that point, no one had even written, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

200 years ago, you had nothing to live up to. You had nothing to be compared to. The dictionary had only been out for a couple of centuries, so you didn't even have to spell everything correctly, really. Did editors exist? I'm pretty sure they didn't, and if editors didn't exist, you didn't have to do anything right or go through a long, exhausting process in which some well-educated, well-read, uppity businessperson (not that there is anything wrong with being well-educated, well-read, uppity and having an MBA) said things like, "This chapter isn't exactly adding anything to the story, so we're going to cut it," and you didn't have to agree, especially if you were in love with that chapter that wasn't exactly adding anything to the story, because editors didn't even exist yet, I don't think.

Writing wasn't the only easy thing 200 years ago. No one had to reply to text messages from people they didn't like or worry about gas prices. They got to go running through fields to reply to letters! I'm all for advancements in technology, but I'd have no objections to running through fields, replying to letters from people I might marry sometime soon.

(I obviously don't have an editor to tell me that that last paragraph wasn't adding anything to my post. (Because it wasn't.))


The point I'm getting at, though, is this one: At some point, somebody did sit down and write "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth," and somebody did sit down and write, "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show," (see what I did there?) and somebody did sit down and write, "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."

Somebody did sit down, and somebody did write those things, and somebody did it because somebody was inspired, sitting there one day, thinking, "This is not for you."

Somebody wrote it. Somebody wrote it, and somebody's words were embedded in platinum and heralded as a classic.

Somebody wrote it. Somebody wrote it, and maybe that's what's important.

Somebody wrote it. Somebody wrote it, and who are we not to be that somebody?

Carrots help us see much better in the dark.
All my love,

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I wrote this as I thought it. For that, I both apologize and refuse to apologize.


I try to memorize the periodic table, 
but I never can,
so I'm asking for your help,
and in return I'll lend you some words,
because I've got such powerful words,
and with them I can take down small armies,
small armies made of just about anything,
of men,
and of plastic,
and of large molten bubbles,
and armies of other words --
I'm especially good at taking down armies
of other words --
so I'll lend you some of this chaos found inside,
and you can run with it,
if you'll lend me some numbers,
but maybe you ought to stay,
because together,
with my words and your numbers,
we'd be unstoppable,
and I'd be okay with that,
and we could take shelter inside some small Chinese dragon,
and have a love affair with some nice baroque era music,
and I'd get up early,
though I'd want to sleep late,
and you'd tell me you thought this poem --
this one that I'm writing --
was an awful run-on sentence,
and I'd give you a lecture on just why it wasn't,
and that even if it is, 
that doesn't matter much,
because this is free verse poetry,
and in this, 
much like in love,
a person has a right to their freedom.

All my love,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This? Oh. This.

I miss you. I miss the way your eyebrows frame your face and the way your eyelashes frame your eyes and the way your eyes tell the story even more than your lips do.

I miss you and I wish you were here to remind me of what it is like to belong to something. I wish I could turn to you and show you this poem and you could laugh at the way my sick voice makes me sound like a chain smoker. I want to quote lines from songs only we know to you and for you to laugh at my jokes that are so dumb that they've lost their funny and found different funny.

I want you here even if it is just to tell me that this blog post is cliche and that I ought to write something worthwhile, but this is about you, don't you know?

I meant it when I said those words, even though you turned those words into a Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World/500 Days of Summer reference, but then I just meant the words even more.

Without you, I am somehow simultaneously stuck with writer's block and struck with immense inspiration. You have turned me into whatever the noun form of antithesis is.

Did I mention that I see you everywhere? I do. I see you everywhere. I see you when I sing and I see you in the way that people walk and the way that my teachers pronounce certain words. I see you when I wear that one shirt you like on me and I see you when I see babies with eyes that are as large as dinner plates, just trying to take in some small piece of the world.

You are a part of me now. 

I see you, and, therefore, me -- us -- everywhere.

Though as much as I miss you, do not worry about me, for I am fine. I am fine even with this awful head cold sent from the devil himself and I am fine because you left your thumbprint on my soul and even when I miss you, I can feel the ridges from your fingertips and I know that I am fine. I know that you are fine.

So I leave you with 17 syllables, which is exciting, because our language isn't a syllabic language.

This? This is for you. It's by me. I called it "Coming up Empty":

I tried to write this.

But you exhausted my supply.
So I came up empty.

Cough, cough. More Advil.
All my love,

Friday, September 9, 2011

Re: Stacks.

Everything I tell you has this awful little lie as an undertone, you know that, right? If you noticed the incredible literary tactic there, I'd stop using it.

And then I felt like everything was right in theory, but in real life, it was oh-so-wrong.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This happened in the fall.

Remember when you could do anything? Remember that?

Remember when no one could say anything to slow you down? Remember when no one's words surprised you? Remember that? Remember that?

Remember when you weren't nervous? Remember when you had a place? Remember when your knees never got weak?

Remember when you weren't helpless for other people's words?

But then everyone said things that were new -- good! but new. And surprising -- good! but surprising. And then you got over things, but things came back, didn't they? And they were no longer out of sight and no longer out of mind.

And sometimes, things felt better, and sometimes, things felt worse. And sometimes, you ache for the past, but that's fine, I think. 

Are you tired yet? I am. I am tired.

And now we're here. Stuck in this skin we were given and just trying to get used to it.

All those gold leaves.
All my love,

Friday, September 2, 2011

Don't look right now.

Disclaimer: I wrote this as it came to me. It's a bit of a wreck. Don't be surprised if half of it is gone because I suddenly find the shape of what I am trying to write at some later date.

Do you ever think that maybe, if you could predict the future, things might be a little better? Not change the future or live the future before it was time, just know (or even just have a vague idea of) what was coming next, and then things might not be so scary?

But you can't, can you?

You fall in love with people that you didn't know you were going to fall in love with and that's scary, huh. And you get heartache and you realize what you are and are not cut out for and it's all very sudden, isn't it?

Maybe if you knew what was coming, you could emotionally prepare yourself for the experience, rather than have it thrown upon you all of a sudden and feel shakey and scared.

But God or fate or life or whatever hasn't given us that, has He/it/it/whatever? So one moment you think you know the world and understand everyone and everything and then someone turns to you and drops a metaphorical bomb on your metaphorical head-world and you have no idea how to send up those barriers that will keep you safe.

Maybe the idea is that we aren't supposed to have barriers. Maybe we're supposed to get "gargled and spanked and spit out by God" and teach ourselves to deal with it.

Because maybe -- just maybe; I'm not claiming to know anything here -- that's the meaning of life. Maybe the bombs and the sky-writers are the flat-out meaning of life. Maybe the magic, the meaning, the point, is that we don't know anything at all and there's nothing we can do about that.

I'll  be the first one to admit that I'm scared because sometimes the bombs look so pretty when they're falling and they're painted so nicely and read things like, "Love!" or "Money!" or "I'm going to kiss you!" or "New pants!" and I get all excited and then they hit and it just hurts my neck.

But maybe we should stop trying. Maybe we should stop living for other people. Maybe we should dance a little slower and make this moment last a little longer, because maybe it's all we have, because the next bomb, the next war, the next battle, the next earthquake is going to hit any moment now, but we're not going to let it hit us in this moment, because this moment is ours.

And you never know. You don't know about tomorrow or next week or next month, let alone next birthday or next Christmas or ten years from now. Worst case scenario, you won't make it to tomorrow or next week or next month. 

Maybe there's only one dimension.

Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.

I don't know; don't look at me.
All my love,