I almost forgot about this.

I have been a little tired and lonely lately, even as my work, and excitement about it are ramping up. Somehow, even such an introvert as I am, there is a powerful craving for closeness that I’m not fulfilling. I am allowing myself all of the solitude that I require but the balance is off. Then just the other night, I was finally convinced to participate in a non-work-related acidity with my coworkers. A sort of intra-workplace open mic. I volunteered to read a poem, and I did it in the unapologetic way I always strive to read perform speak my work. This has had a couple of consequences. First, and to be expected was the fact that speaking my art made me feel a lot like myself. Second (and this is was not something I thought of beforehand), my coworkers, all together learned a lot about me. And that second phenomenon has lead me to what I had almost forgotten about. People are curious about each other. And in a social way. This is what I almost forgot… making friends. Its nice so far, but I haven’t moved anyone from the “genuinely enjoyable acquaintance” column to the one marked “friend” in a fair while. I’m looking forward to this.This has been a bit of a wakeup call for me. It has been an affirmation. I feel more like myself when I get to speak my art. And having an unusual opportunity now to speak to so many of the audience members after the fact, I have been enlightened to the fact that my self really shows in this work. My greatest struggle has been defining the forms that I can claim. In many things I have been a dabbler, and I have acquired more than a couple of proficiencies, but so far nothing has stuck. I hope that one day I will find a useful convergence of the ways I can express my inner life. That is in many ways the center of my artistic pilgrimage. And today I feel a strong indication that poetry will be an important rabbit hole to follow.

Running Out of Time

I posted earlier this week about feeling out of sync and distracted and unproductive. I have also experienced more migraine events than usual in the last 2 months, it occurred to me last week that I had not been running. So, I finally got around to going out for a run. I took off for 5 miles and came back feeling like a new person. I cannot overstate the strength of the link between exercise and my power to focus. There is a unique thing that happens when one can combine meditative rhythm with natural, enjoyable alterations to brain chemisty.There is a point in my run, usually around two and a half or three miles where all other things begin to disappear. For me it matters not whether its a straight and flat road-run or a narrow, hilly, muscular trail. So long as I am outdoors and moving forward, feeling the ground disappear off the toes of my shoes, I will discover a unique freedom and clarity of mind. When I reach this state there are no stressors, not on my joints, not on my mind. There is a place about ten feet in front of me where I know my body will be very shortly and there is the breath in my lungs. Beyond that my mind will waft from thought to thought, into unthought and back. At times I find I can think about what are otherwise very most difficult choices I face without any of their usual weight. Three miles into my run I begin to see my world as a kind of enlightened spectator. I still hold all the context, but now I gain a special kind of separation that does not limit the depth of my investment, only its ability to blind me.
Running convinces me of the virtue and the attainability of living simply. But simultaneously, it invigorates the creative process which clammors to put more work, and learning before me. Perhaps my greatest lesson from my time spent on the trail is that simplicity and fullness are never mutually exclusive. Even greater than that, simple fullness is downright acheivable. When my run turns the corner from enjoyable physical challenge to psychological and metaphysical exercise, time begins to disappear. Not in an amnestic way but where I feel I could keep floating along on my legs with this lightness of mind for the entire day. In this mental place of no-time it becomes possible to play unabashedly. To play physically, and play with ideas. When I’ve run out of time, there are no pressures, no worries, no concerns, and the world is simple, and my heart is full.

A Goddess Smiles

A Sweet story-poem for those who had the courage to talk to her.  AND for those who are still working on it. Enjoy, and Happy Valentines Day!
A Goddess Smiles

I’m sipping a drink and there’s a flash over there,
a face that I notice
I catch a glance, and I think, I must be Looking Good.
Then I catch another, and I think… I must be kidding myself!
So I look again, this time she’s not looking back so I have time to realize that, I am kidding myself
and I will never be looking quite that good.
Her hair, is playing in the air a collection of curls cooing among cherubim.
Her dress is black, and fits her like something Aphrodite borrowed from Athena because it, “looks better on me anyway.”
Her jewelry, I think is a bit too simple for a goddess but I would think thus of anything set next to this face.
She must be a goddess, she must be, Five foot… two
and she holds a cocktail away from her floating like southern belle with a parasol.
But instead of running with water, or sunlight, or pretension, or whatever,
the libation she holds has got the air just dripping with… sex.
And I start to wonder how her glass keeps from sweating, because If I were that close…
Oh to be a glass in that hand…

But then, just before I look away (because I don’t even know anymore how long I’ve been staring), I catch another glance.
She is across the room, at a party, a bar, a wedding, a bat mitzvah for my second cousin’s daughter, really I don’t remember.
Because in that moment, I had a decision to make,
I could either
A) keep playing this game, and hope that maybe she’s more near sighted than I am and she’ll come over to me,
or B) admit my hubris and forget it,
or C) I could walk over to her and say

I want to be black wool in the winter time
and white linen in the summer, pure, cool and light
I will be the snowflakes that linger on the shoulders of your coat
making the Holidays with your family feel like sumer love on my childhood beaches
till I am brushed away by flaxen hair.
Because if I were a snowflake, I might be fun to bring home with you,
and I’ll roll on your floor,
then I will melt and join caribbean bay water,
I will be as blue and clear as these crystalized rings of thought that are lapping at a white linen toga and I will see the goddess in you every day…
And then my peripheral vision elbows my inner monologue: “I’ve never seen aphrodite in black.”
And I realize that I’m staring… in her eyes.

And maybe I have been for a while, so looks like my Hubris is out of the bag.

But she… is not moving. She just stands there. She must be used to this.
I’m sure I’m just every other asshole right now
because she is not budging.

I go to the bar, get a shield for my hubris, and color my bumbling in valiance.
Maybe I’ll be the guy, who soaring far too close to the sun,
can at least bring back some fiery brilliance.
So I pick up my glass and down it in one,
I stride up to this woman, who towers below me
and say, I’m not very good at words smartly done,
but I really would like you to know me,
because you look like a dream dreamt by thousands of men,
and I know there’s nothing so different that I’d be.
And she puts a finger to my lips,
looks down to her drink, slowly she sips. And says, “Stop apologizing. Don’t try to impress me. Just tell me what you were thinking… over there.”

So I stood agape, and followed my mouth as words began to fall out, I said,
“I was thinking…
I’ve never seen aphrodite in black, with curly-cue cupid brushing her shoulders.
I was thinking,
I want to be black wool and I will be the snowflakes that linger on the shoulders of your coat and make wintertime memories
feel like care-free white linen and love-making in the summer on beaches from my childhood.
And then I remember wondering how your glass kept from sweating like I am right now.
But right now I’m thinking… I’m quite content to be the snowflakes on your coat just so long as your hair lets me stay.”

And then She smiled

Flying in the Morning

Leaving for Norfolk and Virginia Beach in the morning. It has me bleary eyed with excitement beyond my own comprehension. I’m excited to see a dear friend, and a person who spins my creative wheels in happiness mud, resulting in awesome slurry, and finally universe-denting force when the tires grip. It is my intention to arrive home on Monday afternoon a new man. But for now its time for bed. I have a very early flight to board. In fact the prospect of takeoff just before sunrise is almost as exciting as the reason for this business trip. Its time to start budging the really big ideas, otherwise nothing that rolls seems to satisfy. Perhaps I’ll find the time during superbowl score checks or other interruptions of our 72 hour meeting to update again. But most likely, more next week. When I hope to be able to unveil my biggest project yet!