You have entered the realm of a writer.

Welcome to A Writer's Landscape!

You have entered the realm of my mind where words play with the fabric of our existence. This is the map of my imagination: the very foundations of inspiration, musing, and thought splayed for your wandering eyes. Dive deep into the tides of these forces and experience my reality, my fantasy, my world; and if you should be so inclined, share your words with this land.

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What St. Patrick Did To Me

I hear your steps,
your voice whispers in
anger,
Qwo-Li, feeding and strengthening
my will, my spirit,
my pride in self.

Outside
the wind caresses,
touching my hair and skin,
Alive with the comfort form the
lonely indoors,
moving on and on,
open and free.

This Saint, invoking
Green of the living luck,
pushed the worshipers of the
Green of Life:
Snakes upon arms
raised to the
Father Stag and
Mother Moon.

Here I stand
Alone in the halls
filled with his green,
a witch
in Red
against the wall.

Inside the wind hisses,
escaping the metal
violently: move alone, move along.
You don't belong.
To whom it speaks
St. Irish? or Earthen Spirit?

I still hear, Qwo-Li,
passion in the wind, the sky
the Earth of Green.
No Cross will push me out,
beyond my land, my home, alone.

(Written 3/19/09 as a poem inspired by Qwo-Li Driskill)

"Walking With Ghosts" by Qwo-Li Driskill

"Qwo-Li Driskill is a Cherokee Two Spirit/Queer writer and activist also of African, Irish, Lenape, Lumbee, and Osage ascent." His poetry is amazing, inspirational and powerful, wrought with the imageries of a contemporary American Indian life and the struggles of a queer man discovering his identity as a multiracial individual and having a diverse sexuality. Such ingredients make for truly moving and inspiring pieces of art. His words are artistically chosen, phrases meticulously constructed, voice freely given to bear his soul and identity for readers. I was truly touched by him.

"When your hands travel
across my hemispheres
know these lands
have been invaded before
and though I may quiver
from your touch
there is still a war

It is not without fear
and memories awash in blood
that I allow you to slip between
my borders
rest in the warm valleys
of my sovereign body
offer you feasts and songs
dress you in a bloack of peacock
feathers and stars
These gifts could be misconstrued
as worship
Honor mistaken for surrender

When you tast my lips
think of maize
venison
perfect wild strawberries

Notice the way my breath smells of cedar
my sweat flows like slow Southern rivers
and my flesh burns with history

Honor this

I walk out of genocide to touch you"
(Walking With Ghosts (c) 2005, p. 11)

So many levels of this speaks so honestly of the sexual encounters he has had, of the vision people see of him when they finally get to know him, of the struggles a people have gone through in history. He is a truly wonderful, remarkable poet and inspiration. I suggest reading more of his wonderful artwork!

Is Humanity Really This Irredeemable? I think not...

It has been brought to attention the perceived actions of individuals in the eyes of two people recently, and through both of them I became extremely disheartened by their view towards others' actions. I don't believe people are as these two individuals presented over the past twenty-four hours, but it was hard not to notice their emotions and disbelief.

First: Last night a woman came in who was arguably going through the roughest time of her life. Her father had recently had back surgery and lost his vision. She is therefore taking care of him and trying to help him move on with his life, continue to be happy. However, her father's outlook to life has diminished considerably. He is cynical of the world, of what he has lost, of how he is now disabled and unable to do the things he loves without help. He use to be a doctor in Boulder, which might be adding to his frustration in loosing his vision because of a procedure he couldn't perform on himself. Thus, this woman is being dragged down by the almost constant supply of negativity. Her own outlook towards life and humanity seemed to be driven into the depths. With very little prompting, she divulged her disgust at how someone could steal her wallet and take everything she had and how no one seemed to care, no one understood what she was dealing with and how hard it was. The list goes on. One of my favorite customers was in line right behind this woman when she went off. His outlook to life is almost the polar opposite of hers (at least as I perceive it). When the opportunity arose, he immediately began comforting her, giving her inspiration, being there with her and for her; paid for her drink and gave her five dollars to be able to get home or buy dinner or something (regardless his intention was to make sure she was able to get home, able to be taken care of, able to be inspired and happy). When he left, the female customer came over to me, dumbfounded that anyone would do that. She was almost in shock that someone would willingly give her money to help out with something. Her attitude was of denial and of upset that this kindness was 'put unto her,' or something along those lines. It was...strange to hear her speak the way she was. I haven't been around someone so jaded, if that's the right word.

Second: While waiting with the deposit today for work, I heard a man behind me exclaim "Oh thank God! I thought someone would have taken it all..." to which I turned around to see him counting four twenty dollar bills and some odd amount of change he had obviously left behind at the self-check lanes. Arguably, eighty-plus dollars would be tempting to most people, especially if it was just sitting there in the change slot at a register. But my mind process would be to give it to the clerk attending the area, let them know it was sitting there and see if someone would return for it (which he did). I know most people might not thing like I do, but to have someone's day so unsettled by the prospect of losing the money was upsetting to me.

I live in a good area. The crime rate seems low, people are kind and friendly (at least to your face; who knows when they aren't around you). Since the mall was built some six years ago...perhaps seven, I can't remember... the population has been steadily rising and that drives the social dynamics apart even more, bringing in wealthier people and poorer people looking for jobs. And perhaps there is stigma when that happens that my town is suddenly tainted by the poor (I don't hold this belief, I'm just assuming and musing to how people's interpretations of others is. I'm certainly one of these poor people, going to school full time with some accumulated debt I'm trying to slowly pay off working part time at a coffee shop). Maybe, however, everyone's attitude about the economic downturn has turned their thoughts to what money they can conceivably protect.

I have a collective perspective for our communities, nation, world. We must all live together, be a part of a whole which supports and fulfills our dreams and needs. And if there is money sitting in front of me, I'm certainly not going to take it without attempting to find who it belongs to first. If there's someone in front of me who's going through a crappy time in life, I'm going to act like my favorite customer and help her out, try and let her vent and find release from her depressed time and hopefully be able to find a way to inspire her. These situations have suddenly made me wonder how many others would do the same things? Do what is morally or ethically proper and sound? I dunno, but I hope there are a lot of people. I know most of my friends would try, would make an attempt to live in a happier world.

Just some thoughts to think about...

My Addiction

As everyone should be well aware by now, I have a major addiction. It might not be as obvious as I think, but literature is my addiction. Reading it, hearing it, seeing it, owning it, writing it, breathing it...well maybe not breathing it, but words used eloquently, symbolically, and meaningfully are simply marvelous and feed my heart and soul. Even when they challenge my focus, my intentions, my personality; when they present views opposing my own, when they picture dark and depressing arenas, when blood and gore are their focus. It's magical to me.

This is where my problem starts.

I collect books. I've always seen myself as having the library from The Beauty and the Beast. A huge library filled with books, endless and beautiful. Old books, new books, books that can't be touched and ones I've read a hundred times (ok...don't have any that I've read a hundred times... yet...). I'm already amassing this library, in my small ten by ten room at my parent's house. I dare not count how many books I have, but the tale of my collection is easily put into perspective.

In my room there's a queen size bed, a large computer desk (the head of my bed and the desk take up one entire wall), a night stand whose insides are filled with books, and three bookcases filled with books (one of which is stuffed two deep)(these all take up two of the other walls, the final wall is my door and the length of my bed). My closet, which stores my clothes (I don't know how may I add) has a shelf in it, piled high with books two deep. There's also a two shelf bookcase I've shoved in there... and that is filled with books as well, though this one is turning into the school books, notebooks, journals and other miscellaneous books that I'm accumulating with my collection. I had to put up three shelves on the wall in the corner above my desk to put more books on. Add to all this, two under-bed roller-compartments (I don't know what to call them really) which are filled with books.

I have a problem, I know. However, I have an endless supply of entertainment as diverse as the world's history to consume: fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, spiritual studies, classics, romantics, plays, reference books, poetry, collections of short stories, cook books, essays; you name it I might have it!

Books make me happy. My second favorite place in the whole world is a book store; surrounded by novels people poured their souls into, words full of meaning and vibrant lives, messages to learn from on some level. Essentially, I'm in a room full of priceless treasures (if you look into them deep enough). It makes me feel... Helps me escape, gives me hope and determination. And buying books, oh dear! That's where I could get into some major trouble. My new favorite thing to look forward to is the Denver Public Library Book Sale! Books starting at fifty cents! Oh lord help me!

So there we have it: My addiction is literature and its consumption and ownership.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Frou Frou, I love you!

For everyone who knows, loves, idolizes Imogen Heap, and you haven't heard of Frou Frou, I would like to present to you a wonderful spin on the same voice, same symbolism, and very different sound. Frou Frou takes the lead singer from Imogen Heap and adds the beautiful stylings of a french producer/director to create a wonderful child: Details.

This CD is getting me through this day. From the very first track, amazingly exploited in Garden State in the last scene (which totally made that movie wonderful in my book), it sets you on a journey through one relationship, if not more, with amazing electronic/techno influences that set your heart to a different beat, trembling with a sense of love and joy. The lyrics are impeccable, just like Imogen Heap's inspiring words. They roll gently into your mind, spreading like thistles until you're enveloped in a thorny valley filled with magic. The pricks of her words start to drive deeper into your conscious thoughts and reveal so much more about yourself than you thought you know, thought a song could tell you. It's amazing! Please, oh please, look up Frou Frou and enjoy the amazing melodies she gives us. And if you haven't even heard of Imogen Heap... Well then...

'Let Go' from Details by Frou Frou:

Drink up baby down
Are you in or out
Leave your things behind
'Cause it's all going off without you
Exuse me, too busy?
Your righting your tragedy
These mishaps, you bubble-wrap
When you've no idea what you're like

(chorus)
So let go, let go
Jump in
Well, what you waiting for?
It's all right,
'Cause there's beauty in a breakdown.
So let go, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right,
'Cause there's beauty in a breakdown.

It gains the more it gives,
Then it rises with the fall
So hand me that remote
Can't you see all that stuffs a sideshow
Such boundless pleasure
we've no time for later now
You can't await, your own arrival
You've twenty seconds to comply

(chorus)
So let go, let go
Jump in
Well, what you waiting for?
It's all right,
'Cause there's beauty in a breakdown
So let go, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right,
'Cause there's beauty in a breakdown

(Background Sounds)

(Chorus)
So let go, let go
Jump in
Well, what you waiting for?
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in a breakdown
So let go, let go,
Just get in.
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right,
'Cause there's beauty in a breakdown



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cognizance of Adurous Refrain, In Three Parts.

I.
Careful
Thoughts are perilous,
changing every moment of every moment.
Subtle
and treacherous.
My rose blooms where it can't,
where it shouldn't even,
when it wants.
Desirous
blue staring heartily.
Laughter intent for joy
and friendship is all I have
Perhaps.
Perhaps deeper chasms of souls
tirelessly strive for more.
Souls no doubt sing differently
than ever our voices can say.
Tremor
of the Tower,
stability of acumen lost to sea
when I can't help but
wonder
how it could be for me.
Swaddled in new modes of
feeling
where they once slept in water;
dreamt in fantasies of fear.
Could it be possibly
rediscovered
in smiles of friendship where
this is forbidden?

II.
The Mist clings amongst trees,
shrouding greenery with grey.
Shadows stir as footsteps carry
the walker through the pillars
built to support everlasting
growth.
Roots deep within cling
to a past of scarred Earth.
They grow upwards starkly
grasping for air unfettered
by mist.
Sunless glades suffocate minds
trying desperately to understand.
Where do these awarenesses
come
from, to cling to the
bark of obelisks
holding
the baldachin of protection against
sight?
A Torch!

III.
Flaming from eye to mind,
mind to body, body to
...
Inflamed, so overwhelmed
by what is before;
to what is seen and felt
and had,
or not.

Take away what you want:
self, me, love, hate!
Douse the desert stripped bare,
gazing endlessly into the
blue of blue;
the windows to the soul.

Oh soul, take my hand,
take my temple away from
You!
Take away, just take...
Blow far the love that
blooms on cacti
vibrantly erect.

From mind to body,
body to eyes...
Away with you!
With you,
Away.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Twitter Haiku

1)
Mars shines bright tonight
Sleepless are dreams of red times
The heart flower grows

2)
He goes just westward
Mountains swallow the helper
Life is shorter still

3)
Eyes of thought within
Try not to remember you
Tears swell through my eyes

To A Better Life: Choice.

Deciphering the difference between choice and necessity, whether referring to hunger, thirst, work or any determinable necessity, is quite hard. Having such a definition is vital for the perception of actions which, therefore, affect the given mood. Where after this mood is acquired, the procession of the day is thus affected and can either hinder or better life in fragile moments. Can the subtle yet vast difference between choice and necessity be overcome in the presence of adversity, health, disaster and work? It most certainly can, and life will be all the better for it, choosing the choice in actions.

But first must be known the occurrence of the options, in order for perception to be altered. The one lease discussed is when both choice and necessity are hand in hand: jump away from a boulder moving toward at fast speeds. Though this is arguable that choice here still remains separated from necessity, the argument is mute if life is to be preserved (and only when the individual is involved, as this discussion will assume throughout). However, the most influential moments for choice to positively change mood most certainly occurs at work, where the perception of necessity goes only so far as to maintain the employment status. Enlightened individuals enjoy work and thus choose to go through the motions with little hindrance of negativity, though this obstacle still arises from time to time without doubt. Even with the occurrence of negativity the choice remains to acknowledge its presence and influence in life and allowing it to consume or overtake. This is where choice, down to a basic level, has the largest affect over the ongoing relationship with the world. Choosing happiness over sorrow. Choosing hatred over love. Choosing judgment over acceptance. A person's association with another is the catalyst to the availability of moments individuals come across. Most are dangerously short and inspire radical swings in mood. Here enlightenment can dictate the largest difference.

Wake up late from a restless night's sleep, stub a toe on the bed frame, arrive to work where customers are mean and pushy, the computer shuts down unexpectedly, someone berates vehemently about the lack of outstanding customer service provided, drop and break the cell phone that has important contacts on it that aren't easily replaced, get home to cat puke or dog shit in the living room, the cable's out, and dinner gets burned in the oven (and it was a wonderful and expensive cut of meat)! This list of events doesn't provide very much joy in life, and after the first few have occurred it may be harder and harder to find the strength or desire to choose happiness when anger, bitterness, upset and frustration are readily at hand. These are the tests, the items to surmount and leave behind with little scars upon the psyche. This test is passable, even with the trials stacked so thoroughly in almost every moment and aspect of the day. Choose to accept the lack of sleep as an impediment which alters the awareness of the world. A stubbed toe is but a few moment's pain, and subsides considerably as time goes on; even the lingering pain doesn't impeded the normal function of a foot, unless the toe is broken (in which case the doctor's office is an acceptable excuse to miss work which may, in fact, be a blessing in disguise). Viewing customers as individuals full of emotional, mental, physical baggage helps to humanize their responses to the world, and can allow for the acumen that their tone and demeanor has nothing to do with the given situation. Choosing love, in the instances where customers are miserly, will actually have a larger and more gratifying effect on them (usually causing a self-realization which gives them the permission to look at their own actions and influences upon the people around them). The list continues, and constantly has an advantage to the undesirable route.

What if necessity requires an action so disgustingly demeaning that its affect is strongly geared to upset the individual. Name-calling, as an instance, in degrading tones and fashions is meant to inspire negative effects. Having many years of personal experience allows a certain understanding of the deeper reactions someone goes through when a degrading name is thrown at him/her. Choice here is difficult, and takes a calming moment before perspective can be given. After those vital breaths have been taken, the mind cleared of immediate anger, hatred and upset (as there most likely will be), then the choice to acknowledge the taunting person is available. Several options are available: respond in the same fashion as his/her tone and words have indicated, respond in a friendlier fashion which still jabs at his/her personality or reasoning in using such language, acknowledge their presence and walk away, or simply continue about the daily business without any further thought of that particular individual. The actions in this moment, both internal and external, are vital in the procession of mood. Necessity would dictate that the emotion be felt as it was delivered vocally from the opponent. The choice in this case how the recipient accepts such words.

Choosing rather than accepting necessity is an everyday occurrence which changes the perception of daily activities and gives value to the actions everyone takes. The more appealing the activity and its outcome, the higher the chance of happily accomplishing the activity or accepting the outcome. So, choose to do the things in life that are being done! Don't let a job dictate the necessity of the moment. Simply let work provide instances of choice, and choose. Choose happiness, love, joy, acceptance, and everything else that makes enjoyment easily at hand.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Bees

1)
Gold buzzing in ears
Fears arise though warmth is heard
Smilesbright though cringing.

2)
Working hard all day
Flight lost to some so simple
re-blooming in Sun

3)
Stripe along body
Black as gold and traversing
Look at me again

A Poetic Essay on Reasoning

He sat there; quiet, still. The sounds in his life gone, creating a harsh pallet for him to fill. At first, he did nothing. No movement available that could comfort him. Lost eyes gazing through the air, past the carpet, the concrete beneath; traveling beyond the cold earth, arriving in the comfort of space. Without whispers, conjectures, or thoughts of thoughts traveling there, he tried to grasp hold of that feeling of emptiness. For he knew, even without thinking nore feeling it, once light pierced this dark, quiet, desolate place, emotions would come back to his body. Convulsing, heaving, crying would commence again. All for what?

Certainly he knew. Knowledge must be present if the effect is breaking the spirit this much. Oh yes.

Heart pounding, a memory shoots through his mind like a comet crashing into an unsuspecting planet. A simple admittance of truth had crushed a barrier he knew nothing of. "I don't want to go," had brought a wave of tears and despair washing over a darkened forest. The need to go on that journey was obvious: security, advancement, growth, and a fulfillment of one dream should have propelled him forward. However, the desire was broken, shattered like the comet upon his heart. Simply put: his decision was to go, but the choice was to stay; a choice fueled not by fear, but by desire instead. If fear was the only hurtle to cross, the decision would have been solid. But without desire as a sound foundation, no hope could reason for making such moves in anyone's life, and that destroyed him.

Why was this want void in the decision he had purchased? If someone cares deeply about a thing, desires to remain loyal with that thing, hopes to shine and exceed with it, enjoys being with it, then why can't the desire build with the decision? Perhaps the scars still bled underneath the canopy. Five times before had the ground been slapped, five refusals still seeded in his mind. And each time, they planted new hopes and encouragement with "you're our leading candidate." Maybe the overwhelming torrent of the holidays created insecurity with this company. Nonetheless, happiness was clouded over by rain clouds upon making the decision. Declaring the choice brought much needed warmth in an evil way. The evil of it seems to linger with the every day steps beyond it.

He feels regret, sorrow for choosing such. Tears again flood his vision. He wants to know it was the right thing to do. To choose to stay and pursue his larger dream that would be accomplished on many paths. Worry clamps down as well. How can he go on about his work? How can he face his company with such darkness present?

That's just it! True warmth breaks the clammy mist swirling between the trees, darkening all hope of being dry. It can't be done if thoughts persist and remain upon the company and not on the self. So why can't he think of himself? It is not arrogant or selfish to refust an opportunity in hopes that education will endure. If you cut one branch off a tree as it matures, th rest of the tree grows faster. That is what he did, removed one branch from his growing life. And now he must endeavor to find the light in his own life that will help him grow. Focusing on fewer things will allow him to advance faster in life.

His eyes shift, bringing back the sound of a restaurant. Food is already set in boxes, ready to be departed with. The aroma is filled with hearbs, spices; zesty lemon brightly dancing with garlic and basil, an undertone of prawns brings a crisp sensation to the smell. People come into focus, smiling, enjoying life all around him. Glasses of wine clink together as toasts are made in the New Year. He stands up from the table with the one he loves, they grab the warm food and their jackets, ready to step out into the crisp, fresh, clean air.

He stands there, oddly fulfilled. A new sense of strength arises in his will, a determination to focus on his life, his own life finally. Inspiration for more choices in his future clears away the rest of his apprehensions, dawning a new light which brightens the clouds that linger. It is his turn to live and flourish. Enough focus has been deterred from his immediate dream. A writer is reborn.

This I have written.

What Light does it make if that which sees it is blind?

What Light does it make if that which sees it is blind? And ever seen does this light inherit the boldest verity to surpass all dubiety in the situation? For certain is the paramour of paramount ability to supply verve in occasions most darkened. However, to an attention beyond acknowledgment of period pro tem, or any period pro tem sincerely, it's offered a light behind a palm, flickering of refutation but beckoning the hand be moved from place. Then the blind must open, accept and believe in ways of much trouble. For harkened souls to a light such desired, which flickers a dance of passion, seem to falter in the vivacity of Light which pours into existence from darkened places, hidden paths. Does fire exist for life's inner darkness, or is it the warmth of blood trickling from the heart?

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk

I have many conflicted views about Fight Club. It is a very influential novel, filled with many critiques about America's social perspective masculinity, materialism, politics, and disease (and no measure of importance is given to the aforementioned listing). However, with all these wonderful ideas thriving, wildly pushing for attention and understanding, the novel is absolutely disturbing, depressing and disorienting. Fight Club is fantastically written, visually stimulating through prose, unique in structure, voice, and characterization and truly visionary in what it is saying on a deeper meaning.

However, I feel like I didn't miss anything by watching the movie. Everything, except for two major difference (one including the ending) is almost identically the same. The voice of "Joe," the unnamed narrator of the novel and Edward Norton's character in the movie, is perfectly encompassed in Fight Club the movie. The main messages (the easily determined ones at least) are put into the movie wonderfully: masculinity and materialism, as well as the slight political undertones (and can be argued overtones) of the book. As G.H. and I agree, the movie fails to address the obvious homosexual references made throughout the novel.

One thing the novel version of Fight Club has much more effective than the movie version is the foreshadowing of who Tyler Durden is. This, above all else, was done perfectly by Palahniuk. The explanation of his arrival, the symbolism of Tyler Durden's essence and arrival, the way "Joe" handles the realization of Tyler Durden, and the stark duality of the two were all marvelously written.

Another wonderful aspect of reading Fight Club are the prose. Some of these are absolutely wonderful, where some are outright disgusting and make you want to put down the book and go read or watch something fluffy and happy and so far removed form violence, blood, crime, etc. One of these amazing passages, even though it does have some disgusting aspects to it, is:

My boss sends me home because of all the dried blood on my pants, and I am overjoyed.

The hole punched through my cheeck doesn't ever heal. I'm going to work, and my punched-out eye sockets are two swollen-up black bagels around the little piss holes I have left to see through. Until today, it really pissed me off that I'd become this totally centered Zen Master and nobody had noticed. Still, I'm doing the little FAX thing. I write little HAIKU things and FAX them around to everyone. When I pass people in the hall at work, I get totally ZEN right in everyon's hostile little FACE.

Worker bees can leave
Even drones can fly away
The queen is their slave

...

Me, with my punched-out eyes and dried blood in big black crusty stains on my pants, I'm saying HELLO to everybody at work. HELLO! Look at me. HELLO! I am so ZEN. This is BLOOD. This is NOTHING. Hello. Everything is nothing, and it's so cool to be ENLIGHTENED. Like me.

Sigh.

Look. Outside the window. A bird.

My boss asked if the blood was my blood.

The bird flies downwind. I'm writing a little haiku in my head.

Without just one nest
A bird can call the world home
Life is your career
(p. 63-64)
There are many more passages beautifully constructed like this, bringing in such beautiful artistic styling broken by harsh sentences and disjointed imagery. If you're going to read Fight Club, be overjoyed that you get such amazing passages with wonderful prose and the occasional, beautiful, wonderful haiku.

However, don't read Fight Club if you are looking for a novel to inspire you, to make you feel hope and assurance and smart. And definitely don't read this novel if you want to be happy. The whole book is very depressing and makes you want to stay home and never go out and interact with establishments or people again. The ending, though competed in a realistic manner (probably moreso than the movie) is utterly depressing (if I may be a bit dramatic). It doesn't give hope, but tells it how it would be. The movie does a wonderful job at giving a hopeful, happy ending to the characters, where the book does not.

Overall, don't read the book if you don't need to. Watch the movie, over and over again, and you will certainly have the experience well enough. I hate saying this as a writer, as an aspiring author, but it's true. I probably will not read Fight Club again, anytime soon at least, unless I'm instructed to for a paper or a grade or something along this way. Sad but true...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Space Time

When time and space act as one,
and those are lost to both,
what hope remains to see it out
if off away they go?

A mountain there, a river crossed,
the wind will take us far
from egg or den we learn to cal
a home of heart and soul.

And when lost finds a way to hands
surviving over time,
the space between is lost to
sight and our love's gone to hope.

We will meet, even then
a path so far away
where love holds fast and fear resides
of losing time and space.

(Still a work in progress. Any suggestions, ideas, comments, question?)

Many Haiku

There seemed to be a constant inspiration with all of these, and the three of them relate to each other, and stand alone. Hope you find inspiration for yourself in these words. And, are they any good? I don't usually write Haiku but Fight Club has seemingly put Haiku into my mind and now I have this strange desire to create these short, simple, complex poems.

1)
Finding something new
Change your mind about that one
Is love felt after...?

2)
My perturbation
Alone with your ardor now
Begets this one qualm

3)
Bitter wind Eastward
Biting down to my heartbreak
Bit by tears I die

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Quarter Moon

The Moon sits awkward
Sky smothered in wispy clouds
I sleep without dreams

The Show Goes On.

The curtains are still closed before you. Rustling programs and hushed voices of an eager audience are heard through the thick black drapes. You're nervous, like anyone would be, ready to put on a character and play in front of seven hundred peers who might be harsher judges than you truly care to have. After all, they're there to see a production perfectly choreographed and constructed in two month's time by students. These few precious seconds before the curtains are drawn and the spotlight turns on you and the audience's attention snaps into focus, these few seconds are to relax and focus on your purpose: to play a part, to play!

Dimming lights signal the beginning. Senses push into overdrive. The faint smells of sawdust lift to your nose. The plastic overtones of your cakey stage make-up permeate through your skin. Your cloths are hot, itchy, restricting. The curtain's blackness surrounds you. Sweat trickles from your armpit down your side, and you dare not move to stop it for fear of being seen by the audience. "This is your moment," Mrs. G's words say from a distance. "You're ready. I'm so proud of you. Now go have fun!" And the curtains creep open, leaving you alone in front of hundreds of people, your heart pounding against your chest. Even with the fear, your first line comes out of your mouth as if someone else has taken control.

And then you're free, at home, comfortable, alive. The show goes on.

The Changed Earth (Part 1)

The face of the Earth is changing.

Ethan struggled up the slope, gasping for breath and feeling only smoke and soot flow down his throat. Coughing simply to empty his chest of the fowl, burning sensation, he stumbles and falls to his knees. The barrier he constructed moments ago wasn't keeping out the air like it was suppose to. He focused, blocking out the fact he wasn't breathing anymore so he could concentrate on this seemingly simple spell.

Mind clearing, expanding to feel the hill before him, the green grass, the butterfly flitting through the smoke, the barrier and the flames, death, destruction, darkness and despair beyond the barrier; the air around Ethan cleared and was pure once more.

Without thinking, he took in a slow, deep breath. Once stable again, Ethan reinforced his spell at the base of the hill and made sure its functions were doing what he intended for them. He stood and looked up toward the peak of the hill where a tree full of leaves swayed in the gentle breeze within the protective bubble, a sanctuary in a world burning all around him.

Stay positive. There is hope, young soul.

Ethan smirks at the voice of the Earth. "You say there's hope! I tried to give them hope and look at what they've done!" he yells, pointing behind him and all around him where flames licked upwards towards the blackened sky. Black below, black above, black around. "What will you have me do now?" His burnt voice cracks as he shouts at the hill.

No answer came.

One step forward. Another, until he finds himself walking steadily again, walking upwards to what seems like a resting place. Ethan knows, beyond all doubt, this will not be a restful stay upon the hilltop paradise. There is either work to do, or death to welcome. If work is to prevail over the options, then he must hope others of his calling were safe; hope they found some ways to protect themselves from the initial bombardment for which politics ostensibly promoted without worry of losses unfathomable.

The butterfly bounced before Ethan, blue wings flashing for instances before closing once more to push the air away. "You're welcome," he croaks, tears beginning to well as loneliness and misery overwhelm his confidence. Still he trudges upward.

The face of the Earth is changing. Worry no further than your destination; destiny overcomes.

Again Ethan smirks. Destiny, what destiny after this? This is my destiny? And his face enters the dimmed shading below the full tree. Slumping against the trunk, he looks out on all directions beyond the hill he surmounted.

The barrier, flickering purple and blue interchangeably in a domed fashion, held back what seemed like pure darkness. Yellow and orange flames ended in black billows, folding and weaving toward the sky laden with heavy clouds drifting inescapably to the east. What was once green grass, the markers of a forest, the presence of humanity, was consumed by the fires of choice.

Ethan wept. Not for his home, for all of Earth was his home; but for the loss of beauty. Art, literature, music, movies, all of a civilization centuries upon centuries in the making was lost, left to the ever-hungry tongue of the devil. That insatiable mouth of annihilation which man unleashed upon the defenseless mother. Ethan wept.

A gentle touch stimulated the hairs on the back of Ethan's neck. He brought his trembling hands to wipe away the tears and leave streaks of blackness below his eyes. This was a good sign.

Elder? Elder Adair? It was Alexis, his pupil from years ago. She had survived.

Ethan closed his eyes and concentrated on her touch, on her unmistakable presence in the air. How did you find me, my child?

How else; She told me you are. And I listened. I heard Her voice and followed her instructions. She led me to you.

"Thank you," Ethan spoke to the Mother, the Earth, Her spirit.

Are you alright, Elder Adair? Can you travel? Are you safe?

He smiled, her concern was more than that of a simple acquaintance. She loved him, as he loved her, and that warmth permeated the fragile connection. I am well, Alexis. Do you have a plan? I have had little time to think of one.

The billows of smoke swayed in the wind, breaking apart ever so slightly to let a ray of light from the sun through. Just past mid-day; everything had happened in less than twelve hours and the world was all the worse for it. "Forgive us," Ethan whispered to the air, to the butterfly, to the tree for which he rested next to.

A leaf fell gently to his lap. Ethan smiled.

We are seeing who made it through the war, trying to amass ourselves where I am. Can you make it to the Cocos Islands? It is minimally affected here, and we've protected it from any fall-out that will certainly come. There are humans here as well; all fairly shocked by these events, but they will survive.

I shall be there as soon as I can. Thank you, Alexis!
Ethan took a deep breath, and wept again. This time for the hope that survived despite all else. And as he wept, he thought of the steps he would have to take to reach the Cocos Islands.

"I've never been to the Cocos Islands. This shall be a nice visit, I suspect," he laughed at the butterfly still close by. "Don't worry, I'll take you with me, beautiful creature."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Office Full of Coffee

Four business men walk into a packed coffee shop.

They stand in the middle of the lobby searching for an acceptable table to converse at, do business at, assume they will look big and important at...

The situation gets worse: four business men, two tables at opposite ends of the lobby are available, both with two chairs available, a lounging chair tucked away in the far corner is available, and they know a fifth is soon to arrive.

One of the men gets in line to order their long, complicated, girlie-drinks; the three others attempt rearranging the lobby, ever so slightly, so the five of them can sit around twp tiny tables which barely fits four people comfortably with only drinks to fill the terrain. They have laptops and notepads and drinks to situate atop the small landscape at hand. Two tables are placed together against the window in the dead center of the mass of customers already accumulated throughout the lobby. It's loud, it's dirty, it smells of ground coffee and bodies.

And these four, soon to be five, business men who make far to much money to be sitting in a cramped coffee shop dare to feel important enough to rearrange a lobby for which they will leave and not place anything back.

Thirty minutes later, when they decide their business will be better conducted elsewhere, they leave without touching anything they have so blatantly rearranged to impeded every other customer that might wish to sit somewhere comfortable in the coffee shop.

Why is the coffee shop the new office space?

A Writer's Curse

Perhaps it's simply a case of reading too much into a simple phrase meant to vocalize emotions:

"Heart you," he says with a little twist of his head, the sheepish smile of love's giddiness, all wrapped up with the silly, if not childishly, cute voice.

All I can think is You're just saying this to keep hold of my emotions, even though I know he means it. But for seven years now, it has always been "I love you", not "love you" or any other form of this statement. All the sudden, however, it's "Heart you" every day and night.

Perhaps this is a stigma that I've... forced?... upon myself. Even so, I blame the musical Rent for bringing such an odd perspective to the way partners use language with each other. "Pooky." Maureen uses "pooky" as an instrument of deceit, if I may draw my conclusion out a little. Whenever Maureen is, perhaps, cheating on her lover or thinking about leaving this person, she starts calling him or her (she swings both ways) "pooky."

"Pooky."

"Heart you."

And ever since I first saw the musical Rent, when I was perhaps 12 or 13 years old, I started carefully choosing the phrases I use with the people I love. "I love you" is always for true love and honesty and happiness. "Love you," is mostly for friends and acquaintances for whom I truly care about. If ever, oh if ever I said "love you" to my partner there's hell to pay at some end of this phrasing. And in the rarest of occasions, if "love ya" comes out of my mouth, there must be deep consideration of the circumstances in the relationship. Never are these intricacies of interpretation used so deeply with friendships.

This is why I'm suddenly overthinking, analizing, and critiquing the subtle change in a phrase of affection. There is certainly appreciation for the uniqueness he is placing in saying "I love you" by transforming it to "Heart you," but my literary mind reels. It suddenly wants to see the deeper meaning in the change. This is where my curse rests, in words that should express love in a beautiful and original way, that only a true love could use and invent for his or her true love.

I need to work on this, because it does extend, in all actuallity, beyond my love. Co-workers, customers, friends, and family are all seemingly subject to this overanalysis of casual conversation as literature. As always having deeper meaning than the surface intent. Too many psychological implications trying to persuade my everyday life? Insecurities of mine reaching the crest of the ocean and gasping for air?

Regardless of the larger implications, I need to stop allowing my mind to draw conclusions from simple words used during simple times. It is fun and enjoyable to look into the deeper meanings of movies, songs, poems and novels; but everyday conversation between two friends, or two lovers, isn't suppose to be that intense. Here I commit myself to hearing "Heart you" and thinking "I love you so much, every day, evermore!" instead of "Pooky."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Scandalous Scone

It sits there, silent,
unharming,
craving for us to consume;
So innocent and delicious
awaiting our indulgence.

What we don't know, yet,
scandalously,
are the calories it holds;
fattening, unhealthy, friendless,
filled with chatting words.

Dipping into the well, dark,
treacherous,
the morsels salivate our teeth,
driving our craving beyond full
till the scone is gone.

And for the one, creator,
baker,
the scone is no longer hers.
It's at the whim of the eaters,
if wondrous, revealed to more.

(Inspired by a conversation between my friend and former boss, Katie, and me)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Transgender Inspire

Natasha now Tash would let us all be
and welcome us home to a land of the free
where gender is lost and two become one
and never are people aloud be made fun.

The boys will be boys and always the girls
and girls will be power still filled with their curls
where pants are made skirts and blouses are gone
and dresses upon any won't be forced on.

Neutral are visions the sexes who have
embodied the gender of organs be halved
Hedwig who sang of a love of ourselves
pull down these harsh labels like dusty old shelves.

Deep inside types of the sex we can see:
women who walk so delicately;
strength over wisdom with increasing age
for men who berate with furious rage.

That's where Natasha now Tash became lost
in her womanly form that he would accost.
Perilous choices of permanent change
to alter the fixtures of sexes we stage.

The wall can be busted, Tash give us your mind
and walk us to heaven where bodies are blind
where I am not he nor a she but one whole
who's filled with the essence of truth to behold.

(Written 3/19/09)

Thank You Chad

"Tell me a story"

And all I can think is Oh dear lord, a story? He's sitting across from me, staring with a half amused, half expectant smile in his eyes. And as a wanna-be professional story-teller, I should be able to come up with something intriguing, meaningful, beautiful. Alas, the white wall of disparity slammed against my already flustered mind. He knows I've drawn a blank, and not because I have nothing to say either.

I begin half-heartedly. "It was last Saturday, clearly dislocated from any other day of the week simply by the warmth much desired by the unfortunate individuals caught in the cold-front that already claimed a fortnight."

He lifts his drink and takes a careless sip, clearly amused by the reality of my words.

"Night was arriving quickly, sun having set behind the mountains, clouds already amassing over their peaks, and the first hint of stars glinting through the crocus purple already invading the sky from the east. They sat there staring at Jupiter, by far the brightest spec left to the twilit evening. On the hilltop outside the city, Cyndi and Alexi sat on the cold boulders decoratively placed near the sign indicating the distance to the nearest college."

My story, the one he so randomly asked for, comes easier the more I create, and the characters had already formed themselves in my mind by the time I had their names. I say, "But their minds are far away from learning anything new; nothing about themselves, their partner, their life, nor of the world around them. All Alexi and Cyndi wanted was quiet, peace, on a road infrequently traveled.

"'What do you think? Is it something you might consider?' Cyndi asks him, her eyes still gazing at the king of the planets. 'We wouldn't have to tell anybody.'

"Alexi looked down at the road ahead of them, feeling the cold which crept over the open fields. 'That doesn't seem fair to "anybody."' He shook his head. 'I would have to tell my family at least. They have the right to know where we're going.'

"Cyndi looked down the road. 'That seems fair.'"

He takes another sip of his drink. The smile has gone from his face as he sees the woven message I'm laying down.

"Alexi stood suddenly, ready to walk back to their car to continue the conversation in the warmth and protection that lingers in the enclosed spaces that capture the rays of light. 'But yes, I will go with you. We'll experience much. We'll travel far... We'll learn more than we care to learn about each other and the others that will see us together.' He smiled, and Cyndi felt its joy even though Alexi was facing away from her.

"The road they watched ran quietly into the east, no lights came that direction and they both knew their tale-lights would be the only things traveling that direction; past the college and through the plains until the mountains grew around them or the sea impeded their way. And just then, as they both silently watched the stars brighten on the eastern horizon and the full moon rising slowly, they knew they wouldn't speak of such trials until they reached those destinations. And perhaps even then, they would simply deny the truth staring at them so blatantly in the face.

"Cyndi stood and walked to the car ahead of Alexi, opening the driver's down and sitting down as she waited for him to join her. Her wait was short lived, and off they went into the hopes for a new beginning, not knowing how they would end up, or where they might be."

I finish with a little smile at the corner of my mouth. "Thanks for making me do that."

"Of course," he says with his self-assured smile, head tilting to cover most of his eyes under the bill of his hat in that mischievous manner he employs so well.

We sit there for another hour or so, allowing everything to pass between us even without the words supposedly required for understanding. The conversations remain meaningless and shallow, but something akin to friendship forms.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Written Documentation of the Observations Witnessed and Realizations Prepared by Me: A Primate Living, Whether It Were, of His Own Accord

It had been like any other day, swinging freely through the trees, though I must acknowledge these trees had very little resemblance to the habitat remembered by myself. Unnatural, if I may say so, but the feel of their bark (smooth and sturdy) gave no substantiation to my uncertainties. Thus, my arms and legs grasped one limb subsequent to the other and I found my elation returning to me --

-- Until the invisible barrier slammed into me. Simply existing should have been an unknowable admonition to its self, but alas, it sits to this day exactly where I discovered it. Since its invention, for such a thing never existed to my memory (lest it grew miraculously from a new species I've never touched, seen, nor eaten), extraordinary events have ensued.

Fellow mates have arrived, each from a different family and tribe from other neighborhoods of the jungle. So far, nine have been enslaved behind these obstructions (Three others have been discovered while I deliberated over the imperceptible hindrance).

One day, a strangely situated cousin (for he only employed his rear extremities), who seemed to have doffed his fur in bizarre patterns, walked by on the opposite side of the invisible barrier! He paid little credence to our shouting for assistance, and continued on his way (impudent bugger). After the first outlandish one made his appearance, groups filtered by, each drastically dissimilar to ourselves as the former. And their actions, how uncanny! They point and laugh with little regard to our situation. I couldn't help myself: just the other day I threw feces at them.

Not to my surprise...it remains in the air, stuck (as it were) to the impediment which entraps us.

"By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept" by Paulo Coelho

Brilliant. Simply, brilliant.

A novel of forgiveness is a wonderful, awe-inspiring way of setting the readers up to understand the many ways Coelho's novel is to be interpreted. Because certainly there is not simply one meaning in this tale. This is the second novel I have read by Paulo Coelho, first introduced to him through The Alchemist, which made me appreciate fiction as art moreso than any other novel I had read before hand. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept has furthered this appreciation.

Its simplicity in prose allows the audience to dive into the myriad or messages this book provides eep within its words: forgiveness of a love that came around unexpectedly, forgiveness for decisions made in order to achieve love, forgiveness to yourself for losing faith in others, in God, in love, forgiveness for so many things in your past that affect the way you feel and react in every situation. And certainly, I have not discovered the many other ways forgiveness is portrayed in By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.

The only issue I had with this novel, and it is a minor one (one probably meant to reiterate the emotions of Pilar, the main character), is the repition of her realizations: love, faith, understanding, etc. This novel has heavy religious references and perhaps this repition is used to symbolize the Catholic use of 'Hail Mary' and 'Our Father' prayers. Perhaps it is a character flaw that Pilar has of repeating things and this is how Coelho expresses his image of her. When reading this book, it is something to be aware of and try to think little about so the story can still continue without interruption. It is a short novel, so this shouldn't be hard.

My absolute favorite thing about Coelho's By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept is the representation of religion. In this novel, Coelho's writes about the duality of God and Goddess, how they are inevitably one being with two faces (in essence). The Masculine and Feminine, and he goes so far as to explain where in the Bible this is explained and represented. Jesus as the masculine incarnation of God, and the Virgin Mary as the feminine incarnation of Goddess. He also writes about the physical manifestations of both God and Goddess on Earth, and how religion has tried to explain to us how to live with our faith and continue on in life. This seems to be a common theme throughout Coelho's work (having seen a similar theme in The Alchemist and appreciated how he works with the message).

I recommend reading By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept for many reasons: it is eye opening to religion and belief, it gives the audience tools to use when dealing with grief, it is inspiring and warms the heart, and it teaches (as writing should do).

Monday, January 18, 2010

DESOLATION

A light shown into the gloom: dim, vacant, barely visible save for a direct line of sight to its source. Even then, when facing the subtle illumination, it stands alone, surrounded by the depths and drowning in that fullness. When the perspective changes, even slightly, the light seems to mist over and disappear, much like an isle of old full of magic and lore. Such vision envelopes the mind in terror, cascading all grasp of ground, air, breath into a swirling mass of black. Thought, feeble in these instances, breaks apart into falling leaves whispering and screaming in the ear of the beholder: stop, stop, stop; help me; hello; oh God. Prayers to anything real or imaginative to come to aid, but alas, the darkness is lonesome and foreboding. It turns to a blanket which wraps and suffocates and soothes until finally all desire for the light turns to a slack body laying still, lips moving in incoherent tongues muttering about the lack of caring. It deepens, the darkness, into such desolate dreams full of doubt of ever finding yourself again. Then sleep comes, that precious state of calm where the mind is mute and the knowledge of your despairs is silenced in visions carefully played out in the imaginary world of Selene. Awaking the next morning, you realize you're still in your tiny apartment, stranded away from everything you love and care about, chained to a job which strangles your aspirations in a region grossly overpriced; tears don't come in your empty stare into the dark television screen.

(written Dec. 2007)

Early Mornings

The quiet in the air
like so many mornings before the dawn
claims my heart
stilling the waves of closest yawns

The darkness in my sight
littered with stars like shining eyes
stirs my dreams
clouding the thoughts in my sky

The chill on my skin
caresses like feathers of snow in winter
freezes my breath
shivering under the illumination of Her

The quiet in the air
changing seasons like leaves falling idly by
captures my heart
regarding my whims like trodden breaks at night

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Shadowmarch" by Tad Williams

This is my first experience with Tad Williams' writing. The beauty of his creativity and prose are absolutely wonderful, easily matched by his characterization and relationships. However, an overdrawn plot takes away from the magnificence that could have been in this novel. Nevertheless, if a wonderful, creative story is what is desired, Shadowmarch is certainly the right book to pick up, regardless of the length. Don't expect to feel a fast paced plot or action sequences in this novel.


Shadowmarch follows four different plots, which, in the beginning, seem to be closely related. For the most part, three of the four are very closely related, but the fourth prepares the audience for the sequel: Shadowplay. The intertwining of these plots creates exciting cliffhangers between the stories, but the cliffhangers were typically meaningless and ended up as small points in the overall story. This reiterates my main point: read this novel for the beauty and creativity that Williams certainly spent much time harvesting for the audience, for you!

A prime example of this wonder is found on page 365:

"I knew one like you once." Some tone was in the voice that he almost recognized, but in the end the emotion was too strange to grasp. "Long he stayed with me until his own sun had worn away. In the end he could not remain." As the face loomed closer it seemed charged with moonlight. Vansen wanted to close his eyes but could not. For a brief instant he thought eh could see her clearly, although what or who he was seeing he couldn't entirely understand--a beauty like the edge of a knife, black eyes that were somehow full of light like the night sky full of stars, an infinitely sad smile--yet during that moment it also felt as though a chilly hand had tightened on his heart, squeezing it into an awkward shape from which it would never completely recover. He was gripped as though by death itself ... but death was fair, so very fair. Ferras Vansen's soul leaped toward the dark eyes, toward the stars of her gaze, like a salmon climbing a mountain rill, not caring whether death was at the end of it.

"Do not look for the sun, mortal." He thought there was something like pity in the words and he was dashed. He didn't want pity--he wanted to be loved. He wanted only to die being loved by this creature of vapor and moonlight. "The sun will not come to you here. Neither can the shadows be trusted to tell you anything but lies. Look instead to the moss on the trees. The roots of the trees are in the earth, and they know where the sun is, always, even in this land where his brother is the only lord."

Such writing exists throughout the entire novel and continuously brings the beauty of literature to life. And this, above all else, is why Shadowmarch should be read!

The lengthy plot takes a long while to get started. After reading about 130 pages, excitement finally occurs. Before this point, build up of character's personalities and hidden secrets seems to be alive in the words on the page, but action is far removed until about 130 pages in. From that point on, little moments of thrill come, but rising action doesn't appear until about page 600 or so. By this point in the story, I was pretty much done reading the long, imaginative story; but its beauty kept me going (and the fact that I had already invested so much time).

!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!

Now the climax, I must say with all honesty, was very disappointing. Three hundred pages of build-up for a war that doesn't commence, in my opinion, is extremely disappointing. The climax itself seems a set-up for the next book in the series! My opinion is a book should stand alone, even if its part of a series. Completion is critical for a reader to be satisfied with the outcome of a novel, and this book seems to only complete one of the four storylines. Don't read this novel with a hope for an exciting climax with a set finish.

All in all, I do recommend this book if you're looking for a novel to read that is full of beautiful prose and great, creative and new ideas of creatures, magic, and alternate realities.

Darkness in Balloons

Darkness. Existence solely built upon the periods of a battle won eons prior, forcing the ever difference between light and shadow. Condemnation articulated with clouds above, the wall breaking hopes built into twinkles from the heavens, holds apart the joyous rest from ability in present, where the journey home takes precedent to rejuvenation. This is the drive of being, the focus to which takes me away from days of longevity. A path before, which directs the cause, and the time, which focuses attention to where the cause must be.

There I stay, directed in darkness barely illuminated by my charge, eyes determined to remain alive when the light is nowhere else seen or believed. No assistance, save the beats of vibrations, break the desire to fall, though fallen of a sort has taken place thus far. The cherishment in responsibility is grown from boredom elsewhere, diverting the knowledge of happiness into rest while in life. Nevertheless, coordinating levels of wakefulness and understanding helps to sway the ever present doubt that the Fire may be swayed from darkness. I push my headlights to their brightest, allowing for that aid to brighten my path.

Stopping when forced into slower motion, I glance upon the morning horizon, where the Sun will break the night into splendor. The barrier against the stars spreads into a light film, as if the Will of Wind determined the break to occur then. A dissimilar brightness brightened the land around me, in tones of orange and brown: Her power stilted by position and the disgust of fumes hovering in the air. Still I waited at the crossroads to some paths uncared by myself, lest it be the way home. I look away from the sad display and focus on the road ahead.

Movement to my right, an object of dismal size bouncing ceaselessly in a fresh breeze never seen or known when in a position of my own, blocked away from the elements of the world. Glancing to understand teh source, carefully disguising from myself the apprehension felt deep within, a darkened balloon visibly mocked me. Its gallant trod upon the gravel seemed never to disturb its desire to continue. Across the road not traveled, no regards to laws enforced by distant bodies, the balloon danced. With black skin, a new depth in a world full of darkness thus far, the balloon took the beating from gravel and sand without dispersing the breath forced within. My own heart sank, dropping in a pit specifically grown for times such as these.

Drawing out a slow breath of my own, I tear my eyes away from the creature bouncing along with is visible dismay, believing ever that it would survive the night and find itself caught in a bundle of twigs along a brook not far distant. Green light flooded into the space around me, as acceleration enhanced the shortness between home and wehre I was. New clouds rolled in on the east, slowly converging its power over Hers in order to dominate anew. A different war with many battles whose victors hand off the title each different day, not caring of the simple war between Night and Day: the Light and Darkness of a soul bound from gayety. To never fall victim to the predator that remains deep within the chasm of the soul, the heart, the joy, the clouds must part by wind and tone, breaking the Light from its prison and shedding it upon the valley, whether dismal or crisp, so hope may clear the skies to illuminate the home and life of one who treads its path.

But questioning the home and end to a path, should it be stilled or continued for a view of the brook is only that which is made from it, but the flow inherent may be tormenting anew and take the trodden soul down even darker ways into Darkness. A never ending battle within the mind, determined eons ago for a chance for emotions to characterize the experience of life, both Light and Dark.

What is Literature?

I feel like I've been answering this question every semester for the past several years. I keep coming up with practically the same answer. Literature is the written word as art and expression. However, understanding what this definition means varies from person to person (even amongst Literature and English professors, college students, authors, editors, publishers, etc.). What one person sees as 'art and expression' may simply stick to poetry, short stories, and novels (which must be critically acclaimed). I Disagree wholeheartedly with this thinking.

Literature is all writing which holds meaning, beauty, subtlety, and artistic influences; and is treasured by someone or anyone. Literature is created from passion, creativity, history, a writer's soul, a story, or simply a word. Therefore, literature encompasses everything from country music to rap; from music to movies; from scripts to poetry to novels to letters to blog posts and everything in between. It's mainly in the eye of the beholder, to be as cliche as I can get for a simple metaphor. Perhaps you will read this and think "how beautiful his sentences are" and suddenly view this blog as a piece of literature. And if not, that's fine, but you might read some of my short stories or poems and feel the art that I write. That is literature.

Of course, the definition of literature has changed throughout time. Before literature used the written word as its forum, scholars in Greece and other Baltic and Mediterranean worlds memorized passages word for word and passed that knowledge down through generations. Then came the Bible, which was considered, for many many years, to be the only piece of actual literature, regardless of a works age or importance to culture. After the Bible, which was largely only read by old white men, came the old whit man's literature. This reign finally ended with the women's and civil rights movements which forced colleges, scholars, and critics to recognize women's and African American's literature. Within the past few decades, Latino/Latina literature was finally accepted into the cannon of great writing. The next stage of evolution for literature has started within the past five to seven years (I believe) with the great surge in multimedia publishing and communication.

This brings the next question: how far is the art of literature allowed to be interpreted? Will blogs be recognized as masterpieces of writing? Are text messages able to be considered an art form? There is certainly a sub-language in every culture that pertains to texts, but will it be a part of the greater context of writing? Personally, in regards to texts, I hope not.

Asking a few of my friends gave me different perspectives of defining literature. ChiChi says that literature is "words put together to make meaning." This could include the simplicity of a one word sign or an informational pamphlet; reinforcing meaning through words. K.J. says "Literature can be anything from an epic novel to a young child's imaginative story. As long as it is meaningful to the author and the reader, it is a piece of literature." After reading this, I'm interested in what you think the definition of literature is!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blue Snow

Snow continued to fall, even with the clouds revealing blue skies and warm sunshine. With the light, a transformed landscape came into focus: white trees, soft mountains and glassed rivers. It all appeared as a pure dream, deceivingly peaceful and welcoming to even the experienced of travelers. However, a quick look to the sky would remove any hope of lingering.


Between the twin peaks in the distance hovered another wave of snow. It blew upward into the sky off jagged cliffs and seemed to hug the ground it traversed. Ethaen knew this storm wouldn’t end anytime soon.


Summer had changed long ago, bringing a strange cold to these lands. With it, many worlds seemed to come into the same phase.


Ethaen’s a place of observers and watchers of all the others, overlapped with the Human world and Faery world, creating one so different that the complete structure of society had collapsed. Except for Ethaen’s society, who had predicted this could happen. And now it seems to have allowed for a somewhat smoother transition.


Glofhin nudged Ethaen gently with her beak, the warmth bringing him back around to his senses. “I know. We’ll have to go to the human settlement to the west of here before we can get home.”


The hawligan flapped its wings, spreading warmth which instantly melted the snow around Ethaen’s feet. The fresh puddle froze instantly, creating a mirror which stared back at the pair. Ethaen didn’t see the mirror, he saw beyond it.


An ocean danced beyond the shoreline, waving serenely in every direction under blue skies and a warm sun. The Moon shown just above the horizon with a gentle star glistening as a companion. The two slowly took the sky as their own, changing the sky into darkness. The sky filled with brilliant lights, a collaboration of magickal beings all dancing in magnificent colors.


Yet, the ground shook. The sea turned black and swelled with an angry heart. Sprays flew high into the sky, forming clouds over the beach, darkening the land the sky once saw and guarded. Now darkness came, and fires appeared to fight the sudden fear. Fires that spread even across the water to far off places.


Again, Glofhin nudged Ethaen. Shaking his head, he stepped away from the mirror and walked into the west as the new batch of clouds came overhead and began to rain even more snow onto the mirror.


Hours passed, by human standards, and the now standard of the conjoined worlds; mere minutes to the Faery world and a full day to Ethaen’s world, and finally Ethaen came upon the small town. The quiet overwhelmed the peaceful houses while snow drifted to its resting place. Ethaen looked at his hawligan and adjusted his backpack before walking down the street.


Through their connection, Ethaen felt the warmth of bodies and fires from Glofhin. Most of the humans in this town were already asleep for the day, bundled in the heat of their houses. Few were moving around, and even less were outside in this cold. The two that were outside stood farther down the lane, huddled together.


Ethaen hesitated.


A myriad of memories came as warning. Rumors spread that human’s feared Ethaen’s kind, and may soon be forming a rebellion of sorts. The Faery kind feared this the most: prophets and seers heeding only warning of disaster in the future due to the events Ethaen walked through. He personally saw to the peaceful mingling of the worlds, trying to sooth the fear which encased the human hearts and undo the skepticism of the faery psyche. Yet, it seemed a never ending struggle which may have caused even more turmoil.


The Faery kind had always embraced Ethaen’s people, seeing the two wisdoms as equal. Many generations before, but mere years in Faery time, the Faery world and Ethaen’s had already become completely and undeniably aware of each other. Communication found its way and soon they acknowledged the worlds as equal reality, but apart forever.


Until a few years ago, by human time. It was suppose to be winter, in the human year of 2012, and the end of two calendars, one of which predicted more accurately more events than any other in human history. On that day, the three realms merged and created a world that only existed centuries before.


Since then, Ethaen’s people were constantly going about instilling peace. The Faery kind were even so willing as to help and joined in Ethaen’s people’s conquest.


Recently, however, rumors were arising about human unhappiness with the events so geared for peace, and too many unfounded reasons flew with the rumors. With these memories, Ethaen moved forward cautiously, toward the two officers standing before the large building.


“Who goes there?” a commanding voice called through the muffling snow.


“A friend only, and his companion. We seek shelter and food for the night,” Ethaen stated calmly, all the while thinking How primitive their speech is. No sign of mental reaching or physical energy. And always quick to suspicion!


One of the officers took a few steps forward and asked, “What’s your name?” Again, the doubt and suspicion riddled every word.


“Ethaen, good sir.”


Glofhin’s light intensified to brighten the area between Ethaen and the two guards. Finally, recognition registered with the humans and one turned to the other, whispering, “It’s one of those Demons!”


The other stepped farther forward, he was the larger of the two, and called out timidly, “Wait here. We’ll go see about any possible accommodations for your-you.”


“Fantastic,” Ethaen stated good-naturedly. Turning to Glofhin he whispered in turn, though much lower than humans possibly could. “The fear of other worlds has intensified. I hope the rumors are indeed inaccurate.”


Glofhin’s acknowledgement swept through Ethaen’s mind. Then came the warnings: A psychic image, a room, the star, and hatred welling deep in eyes.


“As I feared, dear friend. We will have to watch ourselves.”


Two more images appeared simultaneously: struggle into the room or walking peacefully.


Ethaen smiled. “We’ll cooperate willingly. We’re still diplomats here. We all want peace, I hope.”


A human minute or so later, the two guards reappeared from inside the building. The taller of the two stepped closest again, while the shorter held a gun casually. “We have a room for you and your pet. Come with us.”


The force of the command startled Ethaen and Glofhin, raising the hairs all over his body. Anger had replaced fear. They gained control so simply, even when the control was unnecessary.


Thus, Ethaen dropped his mental barriers, allowing all the energies be seen and currents of every individual and item punctuate his sight. In an attempt to remain amicable, Ethaen created simple talk.


“What are your names, if I may ask?” he probed, for in names lies the powers of control.


“I’m Dave, and this here is Bill,” the tall guard answered.


David and William, the forces and energies told Ethaen.


“Well, it is a great pleasure to meet you gentlemen.” With the chat, Ethaen began to see and fell what the humans saw and felt.


Ultimately, they feared Ethaen. His three horns and two tusks reminded them of an evil spirit known as the Devil, and his face reminded them of a bull. Broad shoulders and stance created an image of physical strength that Ethaen indeed owned, but they didn’t perceive the magick lying well underneath such a fa├žade. His bare, clawed hands struck even more apprehension and his tail fascinated them. Then they looked at Glofhin Her wings glowed like fire, and her beak shined at the tip because of the diamond like callous that formed there. Her feet had sharp talons and the tail a scaled sword swinging from side to side.


Together, the humans thought they were monsters come from a nightmare. Hence their namesake, Demons.


Once inside, the cramped hallways brought much needed warmth. Dave and Bill led Ethaen and Glofhin down a labyrinth of sorts to a door. It was draped with a stained white cloth. The door appeared to barely be large enough for Ethaen to fit through. And he felt the power rising from the door and its frame.


“This will be your room. You’ll have to share with another, she arrived yesterday.”


Ethaen felt the pentacle emblazoned on the door, the binding symbol which the humans used against the Faery kind and Demons alike. Simple, but affective. “Is there no other room?”


Dave shook his head. “No. This is all we have.”


Three down on the left, two upstairs and a basement all empty, the psychic flows stated.


“Very well, we shall be friends then.”


Opening the door, Dave stepped aside to allow Ethaen entry with Glofhin close beside. Ethaen noted how Dave didn’t allow any part of himself to enter the room. A different fear guarded that movement.


Inside sat a woman, dark, messy hair laying down her shoulders and back, dress old and tattered but regal all in the same. The energies inside the room informed Ethaen her name was Alesha the Wise Fire.


The door shut instantly behind Glofhin, who turned and sniffed aroundt eh door. Ethaen paid no attention.


“Good evening, dear Alesha the Wise Fire.”


Her eyes penetrated Ethaen.


“Ethaen Glif. The Prince of Minograthi. Why does one so important find himself trapped with a priestess?”


“Travelling, dear friend. On errands of peace to try and sooth the tensions. Though I feared and knew not of how much worse it has become.”


Alesha rose from her seat, and became, with that one movement, more regal and beautiful then any living creature. “You know what is happening, do you not?”


Nodding in awe, “I do know.”


“There are many of us caught like this. Many Earth moons have passed with more Faery kind under lock and key. I suppose many Ylanths are caught too.”


“I have not heard of this from any of my people.”


Alesha nodded. “Then it is possible you are one of the first.


“Blook will spread upon the pure before the new moon. Life will alter and the separation will once more take place.” Alesha’s voice trembled and she sat down harshly. The magick of her appearance dissipated.


Ethaen stood still, knowing of the priestess trance and predictions it allowed.


Her normal voice returned, “We are doomed. The new moon is but two Earth days away.”


Glofhin returned to Ethaen’s side, her pawing and sniffing fruitless at the door. However, her more finely attuned mind pointed to the two walls with neighboring rooms, both unguarded and no magick inlaid upon them. Ethaen thanked Glofhin silently and layed a hand upon her head, scratching softly at her beak line.


Alesha the Wise Fire noticed. “She has found a way out of here!”


Ethaen nodded.


“Well…Where is it?” Her patience had run out a long time before they had arrived.


“To escape this way would cause much destruction and chaos. We need to resolve this peacefully if we can. And quickly by the sound of it.”


Alesha the Wise Fire sighed heavely. “They do not wish peace anymore.” She looked out the window. Snow still silenced the air, but allowed sight, though much interrupted. More humans were awaking, night slowly giving way to a brighter white then that of night. “T’is morning, dear friend,” she stated vacantly. “What shall we do now? Tonight will be the end.”


Ethaen looked at Glofhin as he went to sit on the nearest chair. What will happen? he asked of his hawligan.


The image of angry eyes appeared again, the loud clatter sounded. Snow fell, covering blood and darkness came over everything. Footsteps drew near, voices: “Now it has begun.” Then the visions faded.


“What does the bird tell you?”


Ethaen looked at Alesha again, feigning confusion.


“Do not play with me and call me friend. I know the powers of all creatures across every land, including Minograthi. What says your bird?”


“Anger will overwhelm someone, which will start the fight. The humans will use their guns and someone will fall victim to death, or perhaps bloodshed. But, that’s what the humans want.” Ethane let his shoulders fall. “Fighting.”


Alesha laughed slightly. “Through all of time that’s all humans have hungered for, fighting. It’s all they know.” Raising her hands. “May the Goddess, with all her many faces, guide us through this and protect us. Blessed be!”


“Blessed be,” Ethaen stated. Glofhin nodded her head.


The rest of the day was uneventful. Snow continued to fall, till darkness descended once more. The clouds moved onward east and revealed a crystal clear night: purple sky littered with stars. This made the snow appear blue.


Alesha started looking out the window more frequently, her eyes becoming more fear filled with each glance. Ethaen began to worry what she saw in the stars with each of her movements.


“What is it, dear friend?”


Alesha looked at the Ylanth with such fear. “They come for us.”


A knock at the door startled everyone. Glofhin instantly jumped to her feet and stood ready to attack. With one word from Ethaen’s mind, she calmed.


The door opened to reveal Dave with three men standing behind him, Bill included. “Come with us,” he stated while wielding his gun towards them.


As Alesha stood, her beauty and fierceness reappeared, but the soldiers didn’t flinch as they should have. Ethaen and Glofhin followed the Priestess as they led the captives outside.


In the starlight stood a man dressed in black robes holding a black book. His eyes were closed and his breathing subtle. Black hair blew in the cold breeze, but he cared not. When the small group stopped in front of him, his eyes opened to reveal black irises overwhelming the whites of his eyes. He grinned a malicious grin in welcoming Alesha and Ethaen.


Alesha the Wise Fire gasped and looked up, a tear falling from her cheek. “Why does the Goddess cry?”


“Because God ordains her a blasphemous creation!” the man called out.


Angry eyes graced the visage Alesha now wore. Her being had once again transformed. Ethaen felt a strange pull of allegiance with this new being, a felling of uncontrolled willingness to help and obey Alesha’s form. Then Her voice came, issuing from Alesha the Wise Fire with tones no earthly body could form.


“Humans and their faith. Binding, restricting. How know you your god? How hath He come to you now, as I to the Priestesses?” Anger took Alesha’s body now, and the men guarding Alesha and Ethaen stepped back in awe. “And you!” She pointed at the black man before them, who stood with book in hand, two fingers raised and a mouth moving with unheard incantations. “Your faithful men dare to destroy the High Priestess. You dare to condemn Me! Forever shall you remember this day, when your hope was lost!”


Glofhin heard a gun click to the ready, sending the sound to Ethaen. He, in turn, reached for his magick, forming a barrier in the air around Alesha the Wise Fire, Glofhin and himself.


The angry eyes turned on Ethaen, though a hint of peace resided only for him.


“You are even good to all living creations. I shall forever be with your kind.”


“Now!” the man in black shouted.


Clatters filled the air. Ethaen’s protection held off the first wave of gun fire, but vanished quickly after.


With that gone, Glofhin leapt to the air, spraying fire down upon the humans from her wings. They aimed up at her as she went over head, but Ethaen knew the tactic well. They were practiced together.


He sent a net of ice magick over the four guards who fell under the cold weight. Then he turned to run behind a building for safety, hoping Alesha was released from the Goddess and would follow.


But that hope was in vain. The Goddess’ rageful force was too strong now; perhaps the humans had killed the High Priestess after all. With Her great power, she held the dark man above the snow, fire encasing his body as he perished.


Ethaen turned on the spot, knowing this would end terribly both politically and morally. He raced for Alesha the Wise Fire, hoping she would break free and stop.


When he reached her, a part of his net broke open. Ethaen touched Alesha’s shoulder, causing the Goddess to drop the flaming man upon the snow. A gun shot sounded, and a bullet found its way into Ethaen’s heart.


“No,” he whispered, always looking into the Goddess’ eyes.


They changed into sorrow.


Another bullet whizzed through the air, but the Goddess raised her hand and built a barrier, protecting the three of them: Alesha the Wise Fire, Ethaen and Glofhin. She knelt down next to Ethaen, a tear running down her cheek.


“I am sorry, dear friend. You, of all beings, should not be paying this price.” She laid her hand on his face. “You are Godly, High Priest forever.”


Blood wet the snow, flowing freely as pain reached into Ethaen’s mind. Glofhin cried out a dreadfully beautiful song. Her own sorrow leaking into the hearts ofe very human in the town.


“Forgive me, Ethaen Glif of Minograthi.” The officers had freed themselves by now and walked up to the barrier. “Now it has begun.”


The Goddess stood, slowly gaining her full height. Ethaen looked at Glofhin. She hovered over him, tears running down her beak.


“Go with Alesha the Wise Fire,” he choaked. “She will protect you. Go to my brother. Tell-“ a cough. “Tell him of what has happened. He’ll know the right cause.”


The Goddess raised her hand and pointed to the sky. “Look,” She said. Even the humans turned their heads up in reverence. Thirteen stars flashed into existence, all in the shape of the hawligan. Ethaen started to cry as his chest heaved violently. “This is in memory of Ethaen!” the Goddess shouted, as if for the whole world to hear her in that moment.


“Thank you,” he whispered with one last breath. His eyes closed. His chest sagged.


Snow began to fall out of the clear sky, sweeping off the mountain top and roofs onto the peaceful chaos which stood silently around Ethaen. No-one moved, everyone watching the sky in awe.


Suddenly, Alesha the Wise Fire and Glofhin started to move away. The four men took notice and issued orders to fire, but the bullets were useless against the Goddess’ barrier. As she walked away, the men turned to alert whoever they could of the disaster and death that had become history.


All the while, Ethaen watched from the stars.