MAGIC LOST (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Magic Lost

Where’d the magic go?

Lost somewhere between the sheets

and the long walk home.

 

Vices

Take another sip

of that poison you cling to.

Tell me how it burns.

 

Intellect

For all our knowledge

we worry about days past

more than mindless rocks.

 

Seabound

If all of the seas

were to close their ports to me,

I’d still wave to you.

 

A Way Out

If they had forced me

to kill someone, I’d choose to

kill them with kindness.

——

 

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FEELING LOST ON THE BEACH

“When did I start walking? I don’t really remember…” my voice trailed off as I looked into the distance. The old man had pulled up along side me just as I noticed the sun was setting. He was a short fellow, but had a certain youthful spring to his step.

“Well, if you don’t remember when you started walking, do you remember why?” The smile hidden inside his beard broke into a laugh. He reminded me of my childhood house cat in that way. He was scruffy, in a well-worn Hawaiian shirt and loose cargo pants, with a deep tan.

“I don’t really remember that either,” I said. I turned my attention to where I was. We were along the beachside, at sunset, walking at the edge of the sand and the sidewalk. The last thing I remembered was tying my shoes in the morning—yet when I looked down to see them, I saw only my bare feet. And had it been this morning?

“Well, you don’t know why you’re here, or how long you’ve been going where you’re going, but you’re still going somewhere. Ain’t that something else? Next thing you’ll tell me, you don’t even remember your name.”

“My name is Adam,” I said.

“Adam is it?” the old man replied. He pulled his beard between his thumb and index finger thoughtfully. “Adam has always been a favorite name of mine. Good strong name.”

“I’m not sure I’d describe myself as a strong man,” the words fell out of my mouth before I had even thought of them.

“Oh,” the man looked at me curiously, “and why is that?” I stared off into the distance again, unsure how to proceed. The relatively flat surface of the beach had turned into an uphill climb as we approached the dunes.

“I’m not sure,” I said finally, “perhaps that’s why I’m walking?” I smiled at him. A look of hesitant concern crossed his face.

“Could be, Adam. It’s no old geezer like me’s business, but I think maybe you’re feeling lost.”

“What gave you that impress—” his tone turned stern, in the way a grandparent’s does when they need to teach a lesson, but without making their grandchildren cry.

“Now don’t go interrupting me, Adam,” he wagged a meaty finger in my face, “I’ve seen boys like you before. Look over their,” he gestured out to the many small silhouettes along the shoreline, watching the sun sinking beneath the ocean. “All those people? They’re going through something just like you. Might be they just got through it; might be that they’re about to run into it.

“But it’s too easy to just walk away from your problems like you’re doing here. Leaving the whole world behind, as if the world did something to you that you didn’t deserve. You’ll keep walking till your feet are blistered, your legs are cramped, your stomach is knotted, and your hair is in tatters. And you’ll still feel lost, because that’s not how we overcome our problems. It’s good to know when and why to walk away, like from some hothead in a bar, but it ain’t no good to just be walking empty headed—letting them bad thoughts cloud your mind and eat away at your soul. You need to stand up, and figure out where you’ve been and, more importantly, where you’re going.”

His hands closed into fists with these last remarks. Then, he put a hand on my shoulder and stopped. I paused and looked up. We were at the top of the sand dunes. The ocean could be seen for miles, and the sun was just a fleeting sliver, before it would wink out for the night entirely. His eyes were full of determination, yet also so full of sadness. Like he knew what I was feeling even better than I did.

“I—” the words wouldn’t come to me. I could feel a tear slipping down my cheek, though I wasn’t sure when it had gotten there.

“That’s alright Adam,” he took his hand off of me, “you’ll figure it out. Just stay here till you do.” And like that, he spun on his heels, and marched off down the hill, while I sat and watched the clouds turn from orange, to pink, to purple, and finally to a deep, empty gray.

——

 

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CANDY (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Adult Content

Being sexual

Is inherently adult

Yet’s called immature.

 

Candy

If you are sticky

And I am sweet, then we both

Will just end up sick.

 

Sight and Mind

We dream in color,

Yet after we are awake

We see black and white.

 

Phantom Pains

My arm is gone, and

Though the pain is now long past

My fingers still ache.

 

Humble

Our humility

Should not force us to a state

Of passivity.

——

 

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PUZZLE PIECES

Life is like a puzzle:

The middle pieces always fit together

In unexpected ways—

Though the edges are clearly defined.

They come in all different styles;

Grasslands, city life, and oceans.

Each its own perfect picture

Filled with little invisible cracks.

But the missing pieces

Always are more noticeable

Than those snugly in place.

 

They are

Like a flash of lightning

In the heart of darkness;

Like blood in the water

Of shark infested seas.

 

They may blind those who oppose me

Or they may tear me limb from limb.

But if I lacked those holes, I wouldn’t be

More than a sack of flesh and brittle skin.

 

And to remind me of my strife,

With its missing pieces and all,

I would frame my puzzling life

As a picture on my wall.

——

 

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THE WOLF’S REMORSE

Lo! Through the years, I’ve become a skeptic;

Rusting unburnished, like th’aged Ulysses.

The sharpness of my mind has turned septic;

The breath in my lungs has become a wheeze.

Yet the strength in my fist still begs to fight,

To once again tear Grendel limb from limb.

The sins of my past haunt me like a wight,

Could it be that I earned a curse from them?

I know it’s sin to commit murder, Lord,

I hold thy commandments by my bedside,

Yet they had caused injury further, Lord,

And so their punishment was eye-for-eye.

 

But now I hear my Geatish men burning

At the hands of an insatiable beast,

And I wonder if these Christian learnings

Are just the ruse of some fraudulent priest.

For it was my will that slayed these monsters,

Not the holy relics of olden times.

Mayhaps it be you were an imposter

To convict one’s enemies of false crimes.

 

But what the truth is, Lord, I do not know.

All that I can do is reap what I sow.

And if this cruel dragon would kill my men

Then I think it’s high time I kill again.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #38 – HELLO

Hello..

I didn’t

Expect to see you

Here.

Or really,

Ever

To see you again.

 

And now that you’re here

I’ve never felt so…

Lost for words.

I mean don’t get me wrong,

You’re still exactly as

 

I remember you.

 

Your hair,

The deep, long

Silhouette

That haunts me

To this day.

 

Your eyes,

Closed now,

But still full

Of so much life;

So much light.

 

Your smile.

The tiny fret

That hung against

Your strained lips,

As you faked it

In front of our parents.

 

The touch of

Your cheeks,

Soft

Against the back

Of my fingers.

 

Oh, I remember you.

 

You don’t look a day older

Than when you left me.

And yet you’ve aged

Like a fine wine.

 

Though your hair has grayed,

And your face shows wrinkles,

You’ve never been more beautiful

Than you are today.

 

And I don’t even know

What I’m doing here.

Nobody knows me.

I turned up because

I saw your name,

Like a relic from the past,

Across every newspaper,

Every TV station,

And every Facebook feed.

 

And you would think

That with all this time apart

I would have found the words

To finally tell you

How much I missed you.

 

Even if you can’t hear me.

 

Even if the last words between us

Were “get out.”

Even if the tears of today do not

Forgive the sins of my past.

 

Because the obituaries

Just see you

For all you accomplished.

They see you

As some of object

For mankind.

 

“Beautiful,”

“Gorgeous,”

“An actress

Like no other.”

“A true inspiration

For women

Everywhere”

 

They never saw

The little girl,

Teary eyed

At her first role

In the school play.

 

They never saw

The young teen,

Frozen in fear

Back stage.

 

Do you remember that?

You don’t.

You can’t.

You were off stage right,

And they’d just said you cue,

And you were stuck there,

Till I pushed you out on stage.

 

And you were wonderful.

 

But they never saw that.

They’ll never see that.

Only I saw that.

And I’m sorry.

I am so sorry

 

That I wasn’t there;

That I put my work

Before your love;

That I put my words

Before your thoughts;

That I put my wants

Before your needs.

 

I’m sorry.

And I just wish

That I could have told you

Before it was too late…

But it is too late now.

So all I can say is

Goodbye.

——

 

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SPARKS FOR A WILDFIRE

Emblazoned, contemptuous, and enraged. The burning anger ignites like sparks for a wildfire. The yelling has stopped—I’ve even driven away, but the red in my cheeks couldn’t be more real. The pulse of bitter sadness and the beat of primal depression brush the needle edge of my consciousness, emboldening the fiery demon within to rear his ugly face; to take flight against friend and foe alike.

Of course, they’ll never see it. The waitress, the passersby. Friends and family, whores and ladies in kind. They all see the practiced mask of smiles, well worn by now, like a familiar pair of shoes. The unexpected cries of children, or the sudden guzzling of a motorcycle are the only moments where my armor cracks.

And yet, even now, they fade away. The fryers, the bustle of children, the lights and sounds and spirits all grow distant to the darkness inside my mind…

Is this why people shoot up schools?

The haunting image of my own tattered self lies dead before me. He’s gruff, bearded, and dirty, like the homeless man I saw off the freeway tonight. His jeans are shredded—not as a Hollister model’s, but as one lost, so worn dry that his bones stand out against his sunken skin, and the depths of his eyes hold an empty black void. A void filled with the same horror that lies within a black hole. His curly hair lies in shambles, down along his shoulder line, and his once proud, fat fingers are stretched boney and pale.

Of course, he is me, and I am him. I sit appalled, as this slump of a dead man sits across from me, his body listing weakly against the red and white diner booth. At once, I am filled with both disgust and jealousy. To die such a lonely, pathetic death.

And yet, to be freed from the world of lies, of pains, and of false smiles. I shift uncomfortably as the envy in me tries to win out. I think it will.

The hours have passed by. The heat of my anger has given way to the frost of my heart. Not the ice I instill on others. I cross my t’s and dot my i’s. I smile, and play along. But the frost bitten feeling within the carcass I inhabit. The chill I feel with each morning’s rise, and each evening’s fall. A familiar sting; one that I’ve made my own. But it is uncomfortable, nonetheless.

The limp returns. A phantom, not unlike my happiness, yet it seeps in to my life in ways the smiles don’t. It’s like an old friend come calling, sapping the life from me. He’s back again to tug at my will, to push me to give in; to bend me till I break.

Remind me again the need for faith and fitness, when we all will be buried in dirt just the same? Or burned, if we are lucky. Turned to trinkets our families can treasure for years to come.

My hand drifts absent-mindedly to my chest, adorned with my golden necklace.

Pages gone, scribbles, failed lines, cliché poems, broken stanzas; a myriad of simile and metaphor, and I am spent. Like the last dollar the single mother-stripper scrapes off the dance floor—too ashamed by the house lights to pick her head up. She fears the sting of her children’s stares.

Spent like the poor aching man, working two empty jobs so that his mother, wife, and children all have food on the table—though he himself is too weary to lift the spoon to his mouth.

Spent like the hearty teenage couple, after their first grip of ecstasy, when the reality sets in that the condom was broken.

Spent like the dimes clattering in the grizzled street musician’s guitar box. The hoots and hollers of drunkards make him wonder what good those years at Julliard did.

Spent like Dante, and Chaucer, and Shakespeare, whose pens all live despite their death. Yet we know not the men they were, just the pages they have left behind.

Pages, like the ones I’ve left you.

——

 

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A quick closing note. They say writing is an extension of self, and this is in no way inapplicable to this piece of work. However, you, the reader, should also recognize that this is a fragment of the emotions we all feel, which I have tried to capture as truly as I can. It does not reflect the day to day world I live in, or the feeling I am necessarily experiences at the time you read this. I could be at Disneyland for all you know! (Ok I mean I’m not but you get my point). Anyways, enjoy this, see the value it holds, and see what you can pull from it for your own well being. 🙂

LIFE AS A FISH

I woke up in a strange skin. I felt slimy, wet, and scaly. The air choked me, and I floundered on the dirt. I had turned into a fish. I had no clue when it had happened—or how, for that matter, but I looked around desperately for a water source. I could feel the heat in my gills as my body began to grow desperate and dry. The cool dirt below me made for a soft landing as I bounced toward the river. I remembering feeling so dexterous—so malleable, much more than I had in my human form. Eventually, after an eternity of struggling, I managed to pop back into the water. As I broke through the surface and into the current, I could not help but stay motionless for a moment. Sinking into the water was like sinking into a chair after a long day at work. All my worries washed down the river away from me.

When I did finally open my eyes, I looked at the wondrous world around me. Perhaps the human eye cannot distinguish it, but under the river looked much different through a fish’s lenses. I could see the water moving, the flow of the current pulling every minuet piece of dirt and rock from the bottom, and down the stream. I could see the moss cling helplessly to its surroundings as this monstrous body of water tore at it, day in and day out. And I could swim! Oh, how I could swim. I felt like a snake, slithering through the jungle. I could list slowly from side to side, as if removed from the current, or dart rapidly around if I desired.

And I was, surprisingly, alone. I recognized this river; it was by my hometown, less than a mile down stream. As a child, I would play there with the vigor of youth. I would run through the trees, to the riverbank, and stare endlessly at the water below. I remember the red, yellow, and grey fish dancing around in front of my mesmerized eyes. As I got older, I gathered the courage to catch one, though I was never successful. My hands would tremble inches from the water, just above my target, and I would spear into the water as fast as I could. Yet somehow, every time I broke through the surface, it was as if the fish had disappeared. By the time the ripples of the water had settled, I was empty handed and there were no fish in sight.

As I looked around me that day, there were no fish to be seen. Not as if they had disappeared down stream when I had splashed back into the water, but it was empty, lifeless, and alone. I waited for hours—though I have found that time as a fish moves much differently than time as a human. Faster. There’s much less to worry about in the mind of a fish. I nibbled about on various things that came down river, hoping that eventually a friend would join me. But the void of the river was silent, save for the whir of the current around me. I poked my eyes above the water briefly, to look around at the world. It looked so different; so dull. I felt a sinking feeling in my heart, like I would always be alone. I would never seen my friends again. I would never see my family again. My home was gone from me, and I from it. And in that mess of doubts, I swam downstream and away, never to return again.

——

 

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FRIEND ZONED

Hello everyone,

 

Today I wanted to discuss the dreaded “friend zone.” Which is a term I strongly dislike, but at the same time have experienced the feelings that tie to what people often deem “the friend zone.” Before I get into it, in case you’ve been living under a rock (or perhaps you don’t really date nowadays), the friend zone is a space in which a love interest of a person does not reciprocate that person’s interests, however both people still want to be friends. I hear this situation come up most commonly where girls tells guys they think of them as a friend, rather than a romantic partner, though that may be simply my experience. I do not hear women talk about being “friend zoned” often at all.

Ok, so I don’t like the term “friend zone” because it dismisses one person’s opinion. I mean, not literally, in the sense that the person in the friend zone is willing to stay there, but it indicates that the relationship is not what that person wants it to be, despite the fact that being friends is what makes the other person comfortable. The friend wants to be able to say to this person “man I’m having problems with a crush,” and not have them say something stupid back, like “well if we went on a date I’d treat you right.” That does not help them. That’s selfish. I think it is reasonable to assume that if they are friends with that person, they probably view that person as a decent human being.

That being said, it is also a reasonable reaction to a situation in this day and age (what, you thought I would just cram my opinion down your throat? Nah, that’s not what we’re here for). Lets think about it. Today is often about being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. If someone doesn’t appreciate something, they should be able to tell that person how they feel. Someone should never feel trapped. There is always the opportunity to leave, but there is not always the opportunity to stay. Let’s take a Hollywood cliché love example. Guy loves girl, girl rejects guy, but he persists until she eventually comes around. I mean, everyone adores Beauty and the Beast, and that’s pretty much how it goes, right? So if this is the rhetoric that everyone hears, then it’s not unreasonable for a guy to be expected to persist, is it? The idea that love follows rejection leads to ignoring rejection. It reduces the “we are not dating” mentality to “we are not dating right now.”

This concept is supported in our culture in all ways. “Don’t give up,” “hard work pays off,” and so on. If a person just tries hard enough, they can be whatever they want. Even happily married. There’s something romantic about crossing a barrier to win over a loved one. Which I think is what the thought process is for those who believe in the friend zone. They think their interest just has not seen the beauty of them yet. Which is a hard thing to disagree with, especially when we aren’t willing to ignore the feelings of others.

——

 

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THE MORNING AFTER

I awoke up that morning aching and groggy. My eyes squinted against the morning sunlight. It was bright out, and likely hot—though the air conditioning of the apartment seemed to be doing its job. For once. I rolled over and stuck and arm out to turn on my lamp. My arm connected with an unknown object, which crashed onto the ground and shattered. The bottles. My eyes fluttered all the way open, and I sat up. The headache surged through my body, like a wave crashing on a beach. I had to furrow my brow to keep my eyes open. I steadied the remaining bottles on the nightstand, then carefully turned the lamp on. The dim light flooded the room. I had bought this lamp specifically because the light was soft enough to not blind me in a drunk stupor. I leaned over the side of the bed to look at the mess I had made

The bottle had shattered on the floor. The translucent brown pieces of glass glistened against the light. There were dozens of tiny pieces, and a few larger ones strewn about on the floor. Beneath them there was the slight residue of liquid from inside the bottle. I reached down, and picked up a small shard of glass no larger than my fingernail. I held it nimbly between my thumb and index finger, rolling it with the slightest pressure. How interesting that this shard could do so much damage to me, yet I held it at a knife’s edge between my fingers without the slightest fear.

My mind wandered as I spun the glass shard. The night before had been long and full of pain. I had started drinking as soon as I had gotten home. That morning—yesterday morning—I had woken up to an empty bed and a note on my dresser. “Goodbye Terrance” it read. I guess she had finally had it with me. The arguments rung in my head like church bells at noon.

“I didn’t fuck her!”

“You piece of shit you fucked her and you know it! Don’t fucking touch me!”

“You’re acting crazy again. If I’m being such an asshole maybe you should just leave!”

“Fine! Maybe I will!”

She had dug her nails into my arm that night till I bled. I spun the glass harder and harder against my skin as I thought about it. I had thrown her off of my, locked myself in our room, and gone to sleep. When she left, I went to work dazed and confused. The phone calls, the paper work, even the conversation with Lucy, the woman we had fought over, were all a blur. Her voice danced against my ears, the flirtatious whisper haunting me. I could still feel the sticky sweet vibrations against my ears; the scent of pink cotton candy perfume in the air.

But come nightfall only solitude was there to comfort me. I turned back to face the lamp on the other end of my bed. Dozens of bottles were stacked haphazardly on the table. I absentmindedly squeezed the glass shard harder as I looked over that side of the bed. More bottles, caught in stasis on their sides, as if they had rolled for miles to stop as they were. A wave of anger passed through my chest. This was all her fault, I thought to myself. Then pain erupted in my hand. I had squeezed the glass shard to tight, and it had burst through my skin. I dropped the piece in my other palm. The brown hue of the glass was stained against the heavy crimson of my blood. I looked back to my fingers, and watched as the pool of blood dripped down into my palm. I carefully removed myself from the bed, taking care not to step on the glass, and went to the bathroom to clean up my life.

——

 

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