RETURN HOME

I really enjoyed writing my fifty-word story last week, so I thought I’d try another this week:

 

The walk home from the winter train station always feels like a Debussy song. Each step through the snowscape is like strolling on a cloud in the summer sky, despite the cold. When I cross the bridge, I can faintly hear them. In the reflection below I see myself smile.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #53 – BLUE EYES

They look like the summer sky at midday

dotted with lazy summer clouds,

or perhaps like the arctic frost in spring

as it sheds from winter’s grasp.

Yet without the warmth of your coy smile

or the hymn in your flowered voice

I can’t shake that the icy glare you’ve got

means lonely nights for me ahead.

Which makes me think to Vivaldi’s Seasons:

that in your eyes I can find life.

That I can find the fresh roots of new spring

and summertime jingles that birdies sing

mixed in with the faded red leaves of fall

before winter comes to bury it all.

And that hidden beneath these vibrant songs

is the love you held for me all along.

Hello there!
I’m posting away from home right now, so I can’t link my normal stuff below!

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LOVE POEM #48 – MUDDY WATERS

The smoky voice, crackling

with the coarse rhythm

of an ancient studio recording,

asked the dimly lit room

to turn the lamps down low

 

and with the smell of

smooth Marlboro cigarettes

lingering after the heat of passion

she felt a quiet flame reignite

 

that she had thought was lost,

burnt out like the kindled fire

that was her first marriage.

 

Their silhouetted figures,

glistening with sweat in the moonlight,

sat sticky against the oak headboard;

limp thumbs tangled together.

 

He ruined that sweet moment,

as most men do,

when he turned to her

and whispered “I love you.”

 

That was all it took for the sweat

rolling down her chest

to freeze to ice, and soon

she was swimming

in muddied waters.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #47 – BLUE LOVE

I’ve spent all this time being midnight blue,

That I have lost my time to be with you.

You, the girl painted American red—

You’re the girl I can’t get out of my head.

 

You, the girl I sat next to for a year.

You, the girl whose smile could commandeer

Every man’s heart from here to Ireland.

Oh, the things I would give to hold your hand.

 

Do you remember that Slim Shady verse?

You’d rap it and be completely immersed,

And I’d almost forget that you showed me

The whole realm of music that is country.

 

You, the girl who wore those star-and-stripe boots

(Sorry if I ever checked your caboose).

You, the girl who loves the Anaheim Ducks,

You, the girl I know really love to…fish.

 

Oh, I know that you do it all the time

But that story is for another rhyme.

Tonight, I’ll lament ‘bout what I’m missing—

‘Bout how I wish ‘twas you I was kissing.

You, the girl with hair colored like a dove.

You, the one that cursed me with this blue love.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #43 – GREETINGS

In your simple song

Was the rising melody

Of a water’s crest.

 

And you were the sea.

At once calm as still silence

And wild as fire.

 

The downpour of rain

Couldn’t dampen your sunshine

When you plucked those strings.

 

And when your song peaked

It broke like a crashing wave

In swift harmony.

 

I felt my heart race

Parallel to your plucking;

Like it was your strings.

 

In blissful release

I felt the song end, and knew

I must say hello.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #28 – MOONLIGHT SONATA

I construct the notes of my piano

To a song that I composed just for you.

It’s about the trips I took through the snow

To see that smoke rose from your chimney flue.

Your dainty footsteps across the wood floor

Are like an angel walking in the clouds

And the white smile you flash at the door

Is like the moonlight peeking from the shrouds.

But as my hands dance on the iv’ry keys

I feel the tune slip to C minor,

Because last winter I felt the sharp breeze

Of your voice calling to someone finer.

I saw your smile in that nirvana,

And hence I wrote this Moonlight Sonata.

——

 

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ONE LAST DREAM

I think I’ll dream a dream tonight

A dream about a magical flight

A dream up to the skies above

Where I can see those that I love.

 

A dream that shows me down below

A dream covered in clean white snow

A dream where Jacque still rides his trike

That’s a dream I think I would like.

 

I’ll dream one last dream ‘fore the end

A dream more sweet than all I’ve penned

‘Cause how on Earth can we transcribe

The beauty that our minds provide.

——

 

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HOW TO FIND INSPIRATION

Hello everyone,

 

I decided to take a break from writing creative stuff today to talk a little bit about inspiration today. If you are a regular WordPress blogger, you probably have had moments where you struggle for inspiration. I didn’t know this, but there’s a cool blog where people respond to one word in a whole blog post, or other ideas. That’s a pretty smart concept. It gets people to interact with their blog and it promote writing. If you need inspiration and are either desperate or lazy, I would suggest trying this out. It’s really good for a one-time fix, especially if you are in a pinch.

However, not everything about this kind of blog is good for you, the writer, or by extension the people who are struggling with ideas in the rest of their lives. Think about it. If you, along with a quadrillion billion million (like my number choice?) other people are all responding to the same prompt, how original can you be? I mean, certainly, your writing may be completely different and exceptional, and that’s wonderful. Yet you are not being truly original. The best a person in this situation can do is defamiliarize something. To defamiliarize means to make a familiar concept different. For example, instead of a plain old rock, the object is a coarse, rough, solid stone that is jagged on one side and opaque on the other. See the difference? Ok, good. This isn’t to say that defamiliarization is a bad thing—I mean, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is made up almost exclusively of stories that he had changed slightly, or told from a different perspective, and it’s one of the biggest pieces of literature ever. Seriously. You can be very successful doing this. But if you’re looking for inspiration, that’s probably because you want to make something that feels original, right?

That being said, this isn’t really “original” ideas. It’s original work, but it’s not something that is going to make you stand out. Think about how many famous authors there are throughout history. Pretty short list, ain’t it? At least, compared to the total number of people that have ever existed in the course of human history. Here’s the difference between Chaucer and an average blogger using this kind of blog as daily inspiration—the blogger is part of a mass, Chaucer was not. No matter how good your writing is, if you write the same thing as 100 other people, you have to beat out 99 other people. Which I’m not saying is impossible, but the higher that number is, the more people you have to beat. I mean, to make this relatable, I have to actively try to beat out other bloggers every day I post. I have to do something that makes me stand out. I have no illusion that I fail regularly on that, even if I check all the marks off and write something perfect. Hence why I wrote In the Dirt. However, most of my work is closer to original, even if it pulls from and alludes to other works, because it is unique. I try to start my work with an idea. A book I’ve referenced before, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, explains this idea really well, and I highly recommend you check it out. I’ll try my best to explain it quickly.

The best way to find inspiration is to look at an idea in a way that nobody has looked at it before. Zone in on one concept, or even a concrete object, so closely that you can have an original idea. Look at whatever is in front of you. Let’s say it’s a wall. Ok, well look at the top left corner of that wall. What’s there? A brick? Ok. Describe the wall, starting from that brick, and go across, one by one. Because that’s how you find inspiration. Brick by brick.

TALKING FAME

Hello everyone,

 

It’s time to vent! Success is such an impossibly hard thing. Think about it. How many celebrities are there? Maybe ten thousand? If we assume all those people are American, there’s roughly a 0.003 percent chance that you a celebrity. That’s astronomically low. Yet in spite of that, we are pressured to look, act, think, and talk like them. Celebrities are what drives our culture, which very easily could be how things have developed naturally.

To expand on this idea, the idea of a worldwide celebrity is fairly new. Barring political characters, one of the first real “celebrities” where they would be recognized on street corners and such, was Ben Franklin. He was what I would call a political celebrity, much like someone like Obama. I mean, he was famous before he was actually directly involved in politics, but still. Anyway, Ben Franklin had a lot of positive and negative aspects to his character. For example, he had a few wives because, you know, he couldn’t really get it right. He also had a bit of a struggle with his son, who’s idea of work and such contrasted with his own. That being said, Ben Franklin is also vastly considered to be one of the spearheads of the revolution, and rightly so. Poor Richard’s Almanac did a lot to wake the common person to the injustice of the colonies.

On the other hand, he also taught us to learn from and idolize those we looked up to. Which isn’t inherently a bad time—I mean, religion has been teaching us to learn from those older and wise than us for millennia. Politics has always been telling people how to live. Regardless, it was different prior to the Internet, as well as the vast wealth and accessibility to knowledge.

Which brings me with my problem with learning and idolizing celebrities—we only see their highlights. I mean, every once in a while we hear the stories of the Peter Dinklage’s of the world. In fact, that’s often the one’s we hear most and expect ourselves to match. Yet there can only be so many celebrities. Can you imagine a world with seven billion celebrities? No. And many people will tell you it is hard work to get there. And I’m sure it is. That being said, it’s also hard work to wake up at two am every day to be at work by four am in order to clean the toilets. And you can argue that this job is some how less important than shooting a film, but if you’ve ever woken up daily at 2 am, you probably know that this is not the case. It’s hard. Your body is tired. Now, I’m not trying to discredit the work that celebrities do, but at the same time can we look at the work of the common man and give them a bit more credit?

Ok, with that off my chest, I also want to look at celebrity faults. We hold any mistake by celebrities at their throats. Yet, there’s so many people who do the same things on a daily basis. I’m not justifying things like saying, I don’t know, Mexican’s are rapists, because that’s bullshit and we know it. But take maybe a questionable aspect of a relationship. Take any heterosexual celebrity couple. If the guy went out with another girl, even in a purely platonic way, the paparazzi would be all over them. And that’s unfair. They should be able to live their lives with a bit more quietness. Or not. I guess their lives are for the entertainment of others. What do you think? Let me know!

CELEBRITY STATUS

Hello everyone,

 

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a celebrity? I certainly do sometimes. It would be kind of cool to have people pay for your drinks, be seated earlier because the whole restaurant recognizes you, and have the general public aware of the good you do in life. Of course, it’s not all perfect. In fact, it’s probably harder in many way to be a celebrity than to be someone more average. For example, because your every movement is tracked, it certainly seems possible that if you ever had an affair that the whole world would know about it. Which maybe is fair, since cheating is a pretty immature thing to do in life.

But lets say its something more innocent, like, let’s say that you, being rich, decide to splurge a bit and buy a fancy car that isn’t the best for the planet, around the pollution levels of an average car, then you are questioned about your commitment to the Earth and its well being. You say you love the Earth and want to see it flourish. A magazine writes that you are misguided and a hypocrite because you have the money to afford a car that will actually help the planet. Now, for you, have things really changed? Probably not, but the world would see you as someone who could do better, but decided not to, simply because you bought a nice car.

It’s things like this that make the position of celebrity a blessing and a curse. Leonardo di Caprio is another example of a celebrity where this is potentially true. By being extremely outspoken about Global Warming and other aspects of society, he puts himself out there to being ridiculed for various issues. I mean, lets say he just goes out with some friends, and one of those friends drives a Hummer. And the paparazzi takes and publishes photos of him getting out of it. Suddenly there’s a whole story about how his caring for the planet is some false public rhetoric in order to gain support for liberal candidates that are also hypocrites.

See how easy it is to be the blame? Some celebrities have accepted this and even embraced it. Take Kanye West, he’s a prime example of a celebrity that has accepted all the hate and shot it right back at the world—calling the screams of his haters his superhero theme music. Then again, Kanye is often seen as the kind of person that we should try not to be. Generally selfish, vain, abrasive. He’s not really a stand up citizen. He is, however, one of the biggest names on the planet. So I suppose there’s something to be said about that. Meanwhile, the celebrities that are doing good for the world—including Leo, Emma Watson, and a slew of others—are kept relatively in the background of the media coverage. So…maybe we should critique the media as well as our own television watching selves, rather than the celebrities? Is that fair? Let me know in the comments!