We sat in the backseat of my friend Sam’s car, Vanessa and I, outside the apartment of a girl whose face I could recognize and name I could tell you, that being the extent of my acquaintance with her. All of us were waiting, all of us being my friends Jason and Sam in the front seat, Forrest between the left-rear door and Vanessa in the middle. There was another car, and inside there was only one person whose name I could tell you, again, the extent of my acquaintance with them. The two cars were side by side, waiting for the girl, both cars with windows down so that arms could stretch between enclosures. The other car handed over a notebook filled with drawings and doodles by an artistically competent person, probably someone in the other car I didn’t know, of a friend of ours, a name I recognized with a face attached, even a personality and humorous anecdotes. The doodles were cartoons, exaggerated sketches of this particular friend killing himself and being sexually used in various ways, all of it so intricately focused with intent by the haikus and mock journal entries that sprung from the same melodramatic, over-emotive teen stereotype. He was like this, I was told, but I looked at Vanessa and we rolled eyes in a classically diminutive way, hoping it wouldn’t register with them how much we wanted to move, get going. We were impatient with hunger and the journal seemed harsh, a going away present as the mutual friend left to study in the UK. They told us he laughed, which must’ve been why he left it behind.
“Do they have food at the Amana Colonies?” I heard Vanessa’s stomach rumble so I put my hand to it, hoping to catch it again.
Sam looked back, at first perplexed by the question, “Heh, yeah, you can get food there.”
My notion of the Amana Colonies was different than Sam’s, his notion having the advantage of being based on empirical evidence. There were certain words that, living in the Midwest, elicited a Pavlovian, impulsive fear in me of any destination they were used to describe. “Historic” was one, “Handcrafted” another, both were used to describe, in some capacity, the Amana Colonies of Iowa. Middle-aged women fighting over who would pay for lunch and a piece of tan glassware, that’s what I saw. My friends invited us along, headed to the breweries and wineries that made the town distinctive, a potentially collegiate destination. I couldn’t drink, underage, and so was Vanessa, the only ones of the group.
The girl came out, apparently, and got in the other car, but I don’t remember her doing so or us finding the highway. Vanessa and I were listening to our bellies roar indistinguishably and letting our heads loll o
Ridiculous instances are my inspiration,close calls reeling kisses blown at yellow lights,I toil with truth tursting too much in its vision,fighting over nothing I live for the fights.Instigate sight my strife inside sighs bored,windows to the soul bore lazily pastthe past enters beast's future manly endeavors,eyes rave with power but always crave more.While raging citizens buy into the pursuit of apathy,children grovel for a better tomorrow,totalitarians tremor and bow to babies in baskets,good samaritans wallow in mortal sins and sorrow.Overweight pedestrians stradling rockets of crotch, the vibrations vicariously leave me asunder,and desensitize, I can smell your perception,refreshing immaturity beckons to step it up a notch.
This started as a writing exercise where a character revealed a secret. I cleaned it up a bit, and is now a really short monologue on having just a bit too much distant affection for another. Also note that this reads a little smoother when read aloud.
Alright, that's enough excuses.
So this is my first daily writing challenge piece. I know it was yesterday's piece, but I started it late last night and was too tired to finish it properly. I was afraid I was going to rush it to the end before it should. So yeah, I'd like to hear what others think about it.
To remedy the Monday blues, I try and keep busy. For me, lethargy almost always manifests itself in the form of disinterest or dissatisfaction, in not wanting to do anything or try anything new. If I'm to counteract this in the best way I can, I try to keep busy, find things to do that break me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes this involves making plans to hang out with someone I haven't seen in a week or two, or getting out of my apartment for the first time in days for reasons other than class or school or work, or finding a new project to work on.
Some of these solutions are more temporary than others, as you might have noticed. Hanging out with someone can keep the blues at bay for a while; usually the length of time that I'm actually spending time with said person. Inevitably, when I'm forced to say good-bye, to go my separate way, I end up feeling a little down from missing whoever it was I was spending time with, or missing the fun we were having.
Getting out of my apartment helps on occasion, but only if I have somewhere to go or some purpose for being out. I like grocery shopping some days, just because it's an excuse to plan a new recipe or, hell, eat something I haven't had in a while. (I'm a broke college student; I can always appreciate good food.) That said, if I'm just wandering aimlessly, I only end up making myself unhappy again. Even if I'm just going to get coffee, or to the local indie bookstore to browse or use up the $84 of store credit I've managed to accrue, I have to have a destination.
New projects can usually draw me out of the blahs--either that or getting re-involved or newly excited about something I've been working on for a while. I end up with more projects--usually creative pursuits--than I know what to do with because there are some days when nothing works, when I try to write one of my old ideas and come up short. If I overload on projects, especially writing-related ones, I often end up abandoning or postponing things simply out of necessity because I can't keep up with all of them, homework, and real life all at once.
Still, nothing pulls me out of my own head faster than getting involved with something that transports me, takes me away from what I've been doing for awhile. If I'm playing my guitar, fussing around with a new song or simply trying to master an older tune, I can easily lose an hour or two. Provided my hands don't start hurting, or the instrument loses its tune, or I fail and screw up one too many times and lose interest. Same goes for writing. If I'm working on something--be it a short story, a novella, or a novel--and the plot's flowing, and the characters are talking, I can lose hours or days to dreaming about what's going to happen next, what's coming up on the outline, or how I'm going to handle these new situations.
Good books will do that for me too. I never used to be one of those people who reads more than book at a time, but I'm currently working on three. I always have multiple things checked out from the library, and the ones that are due first or soonest get my full attention. The second I renew those, I move on to other things.
and it's like a
laundry-list of acquaintances,
name-marked and chilled condiments;
squeeze-filled "hello!" embraces
or a clumsy slumberkiss.
impartial sandman relations and
impact to sway an axis;
care without condition,
unbiased opinions or
a scar-free appendage.
siblings. childhood friends.
a domesticated orca,
a drink void of caution,
a late night walk without keys in hand or
a beach in which to submerge my toes and
those scenarios premiering in dreamland;
a well-paid career [or
at least equal to that of a man's].
life without currencysocietyand
without the mundane, routine progression
of green, grey, gone;
singular sentiment, automated sleep,
parents capable of satiety and
a world lacking dishes and trash-taking.
winter white and frigid,
an early completion;
someone to wait on me
without an inevitable aberration.
the assuagement of afterlife, the
divine intervention of hands
the quiet murmur of ideals and desires within
the ear of some orphic entity
presumed to care.
a kiss clean of guilt,
solicitous reassurance, and
a sigh at the stars in the arms of a
it's like you:
something I can never have.
evinced only by the stimulation in a sway,
in an eventual chafe;
the short-lived breath of renewal passing through.
inoutinout — the wounds reminisce.
they smile wide in nostalgia
and weep a salted pink.
serein, and she remembers.
he had a likeness to sand, slipping
like time; she had a soul like a soldier,
still going, searching back
confidant lost in combat:
I'm making a choice to be out of touch...leave me be,
he said, he said, he said—
but the essence burrowed deeper than realization
could dig, than acceptance could seep;
it stole away like an infidel,
as a memory withstanding
the rotted, pungent stench of
as a hope doused in impossibility, still kicking.
its place of seclusion pernicious to the touch and
thumbed only when honesty supersedes sensibility,
a phantom ache where you did reside:
soulmate, dry your eyes
you were my shadow and now
I walk unbalanced,
the sun ceases to exist as its evidence
and you have outlined my convictions
(I've always been heavily influenced by latin magical realism, but it's a hard form to write. I always end up tying myself back to reason and force my stuff to obey unnecessary rules. This is one where I deliberately forced myself to be non-linear and a bit stranger, and I'm fond of the result. Hope you like it!)
Every seat on the bus is taken and much of the space a person could stand in is filled by something that perspires. There are hands running through hair and gathering wetness, brushing the damp bangs from in front of faces. Mothers, sons, daughters, the occasional father, they’re fanning themselves with whatever papers they have, slow as they can, to draw out every ounce of the cool from the heat that hangs around each of us.
20 minutes ago everyone on the bus was milling around in the lobby of the University of Iowa’s main theater, Hancher Auditorium, trying to navigate crowds and lines and follow signs telling us where we might go to begin the process of freshman orientation. My mother and I had snuck in the side door and I watched, from outside the largest throng of people, the parents with proud, nervous smiles and the prospective students with jittering insides. My step carried a swagger, my hands resting in my pockets, the right corner of my mouth turned up slightly with eyes half-closed to create an all-knowing smirk. But the hands in my pockets had torn apart an old receipt in a fit of nerves and my walk was slow to calm my heartbeat. The swagger didn’t exist for my sake, but for the sake of the several hundred girls my age that, at least from my perspective, encompassed most of what was interesting about the scene.
On the bus there’s a smaller group than there was then and I can overhear most of their conversation. Conversational zones insulate the bus, no one ready to expand out of the immediate, comfortable interaction their families and friends can offer. A boy gets frustrated with his mom for trying to fix his hair, a bit mussed in the heat of summer. In response, she’s wise enough to smile, enough to see her days in his.
2 hours from now I’ll be sitting in a conference room being told what I should expect from my college experience.
The future CEOS, the astronauts, the authors and the entrepreneurs, those are what I see. There are people around me who will fulfill their dreams or won’t. I look over the sweating faces and find it difficult to see the academics and the substance abuse and the quick, sudden expansion of worlds and horizons that I’ve come to associate with college. It’s more, I think, that I’m surrounded by futures. And in this moment I choose to look to my right from my spot standing at the left rear of the bus. There’s a girl sitting down at the back that I can see in between the arms of someone grasping at something to brace themselves for the bus and its nauseating swerve. Their arms form an odd, ovular frame around her face and torso that secures my focus.
this piece is a poetic collaboration between brett & I. we decided to write something free-form, alternating authors every two or three lines.
[more elaborate introduction forthcoming]
This is a poem about my grandma who passed away a few years ago, i usually write a lot about her.