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
I live among you, a beat, fallen man.
To look at myself in the mirror is reason for my stomach to twirl;
force me to my knees and hurl.
Taste the waste that rushes out between my teeth, firing my tongue;
tasting so wrong.
It should make me livid, make me want to go and drown my stupidity
among the narcissi that know no pity.
But take me, my dear lord; let my seeds not already be sown.
O Provider, Provider
Let this not persist, or harm my daughter.
She is tiny and innocent, like no other, may she grow old and bright,
with dreams sparkling alight.
Let her quiet slumbers have dreams masked from violence and hate;
If it is her future that I control, I pray to carry it gently.
To her I will whisper praises quietly.
I beseech thee, Guardian, let my callous feet not falter.
O Protector, Protector
The humble nymph cries out my name once more.
Let her hold no attention of mine, for but a spirit walks in my stead;
forget I ever existed.
She sent love to me, softly handled by wind’s squalling fingers;
My defense cannot be conquered; my walls stretch to the sky, unflinching.
Even I cannot cross; I fear the writhing.
This is a castle of guilt and sorrow from the very core.
O Destroyer, Destroyer
Why continue cry out to this weak man?
Your words; they convey to me thoughts and feelings only foreign how I stand.
They feel like a fiery brand.
Stop, for these feelings are even higher than the skies above.
Why must you love?
You destroy my fortress, bring me to knee, leaving me naked and heaving.
Astounding! Your love for the unbelieving.
My castle is built anew, the way only a master can.
O Father, Father
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.
I’d been tormented for years by a horrible demon. It devoured my soul and filled me with lies of worthlessness and self-hate. I believed everyone had a chance in life but me. At Sunrise I was born, by noon, I’d been given away, and before the sun set, I’d be forgotten. I’ve been told I must have known what was coming because I refused to be born, I came days after I was due and even when they forced the labor, I refused to turn head first or allow them to turn me. Therefore, I was snatched from the wound through the belly and presented to the world against the will of the woman I’d been living in and my own. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for the woman, but she seemed to let me go easily, I never even sampled her bosom for milk; she had no nurturing to give which was something that would haunt me for many years to come. We are born with blessings and curses and though we often get the two confused, life volunteers to teach us the difference. _________________________________________________________________ _________________ This is a story, a story about a girl who learned to separate her blessings from curses and learned to love herself when she thought there was nothing left to love, journey with her.
I don't tend to be a fan of the 'writing exercise', but that's because I'm not sure I've ever written simply for the sake of writing. My journal has always been the place to go when I need to talk about something, and invariably I end up exercising my literate muscles. It's not always emotional, but too often this writing tends to be a bit of a vent. It's a place just to say whatever, whenever, regardless of if it offends someone. There is this idea that writing has to be perfect when it's made public, that it must be lovely and crystal clear. It's this idea that, in the past, really hindered me from putting pen to paper. It causes a hesitation when I've got a pen in my hand and a notebook on my lap. What am I going to write? What am I going to say? Every time. It can get to the point when I just want to toss away my notebook, maybe see if I can score my pen in the garbage can. I'll miss. I always miss. Mocking myself for my poor aim just serves as a short distraction; just as any small thing happening around me will inevitably function. If writing is this hard, then why do it? Writing is, certainly, a fruitless endeavour for all but a few writers. If I were to even think of living off my writing, then that would mean I have to write what someone else wants to read; something in a newspaper, maybe something 'young adult', whatever that means. I can't really do that, though. That's not why I write. What happens when I write is something probably closer to personal therapy. I write my experiences in the form of a story, like I'm cataloguing my misfortunes for future reference. The questions that I tend to receive from this writing can be a bit hard to stomach. "Why?" "Why did you write this?" "Why is it so...depressing/frustrating/harsh?" This critique is especially fun to hear: "Why the hell would anyone want to read this?" That one hits me right in the gut. Ironically enough, despite how much I've studied writing, I tend to get that response a lot. It makes me wonder if they're right, and maybe I'm just continuing to write like I did when I was in High School when I was trying to sort through some frustrating times, trying to make sense of it all. Who wants to read about the personal problems of some random person they don't know, anyway? With that perspective, it ends up being pretty difficult to convince myself that I write to gain readers. If not for readers, then why do I write? Typically, my writing is produced when I'm sitting in my car. I'm parked in some empty lot next to a gas station, my foot sticking out the window. I'm alone, except for whatever voices come through my car speakers, except for the kind of people who tend to hang around a gas station; the bums, the
Every find something you wrote years ago and you wince at how bad it is? Here's one that I thought was just so clever and witty and now....oh dear lord what have I done?
Pretentious note: I didn't copy and paste—I typed every word.