I take my drug
To turn the fears that consume me
Into trophies to hang on a mantelpiece.
I take my drug
To turn the fears that consume me
Into trophies to hang on a mantelpiece.
Self-improvement can’t save us.
Living your dreams isn’t gonna save us from our demons.
Gucci watches won’t prevent migrant crises.
Trips to London won’t lower Earth’s temperature.
Writing and music can heal the heart,
But they aren’t going to break bipartisan gridlock,
Or save the world from the wealthy white man and his irrevocably similar friends.
I struggle to find peace in the wake of every moving part of global calamity I see.
I don’t have the stomach to discover what else plagues a global population.
My words aren’t enough to restore stability to Syria.
My enthusiasm won’t get big pharma to stop the opioid crisis,
It’s helping their bottom line too much.
So the wealthy white man convinces his friends and the people who wish to join the club
How to exchange human lives for profit.
My good intentions can’t un-teach that.
My verse can’t free us of our addiction to winning.
It can erase “cash crop” from our memory,
But it can’t erase slave labor from American history.
I struggle to find peace under every problematic stone I come across.
Guitar fingers can’t take Central Massachusetts out of me.
God save the souls of the folks whose ideologies are less developed
Than the rural denizens of Central Massachusetts.
Lord knows I can’t save them.
My existential dread can’t snap the country out of the thought
That these things aren’t normal.
The bubble would burst and my friends would all fill with an even worse existential dread.
I struggle to find peace in an inconceivably huge world whose heart has crusted over,
So I seek refuge in the small world of a large bowl,
And try to remind myself that tomorrow is a new day.
(Credit to K.C. Green for the most iconic meme portrayal of denial ever made)
Pomp and Circumstance.
On repeat for an hour, one of the most trying performances of high school.
Dragging on and on forever for another to bask in.
What if pomp and circumstance kept on going after our bodies decomposed?
When the soul gets its diploma
And moves away from the little town they grew up with.
Will it ever grow homesick of the solar system?
Things do not die, but no graduation is the same.
Sometimes we think they go too soon.
But we don’t lose them after a funeral.
They don’t become nonexistent, merely
An Alumnus of Earth.
In my dreams last night,
There was fleeting sex with an evil person whose feel I can’t remember,
On the second floor of a bunk-bed in front of a Netflix screen.
I don’t remember courting, nor the catch-up about what happened after doing each other wrong,
Merely doing each other.
There was snow on the ground,
As if this presence passed through my security
Because I never let go of them in the first place.
I do not feel disgust looking at this,
I stare only with blank eyes.
I need to consult this with the film over my corneas.
What are you doing there in the first place?
I look at my bed, empty in reality.
What were you doing there in the first place?
“So whaddaya think of the new head cover?”
He was a sweet man.
Always called you by the name.
A bright smile across his face with the slight corny nature of an aging man.
“TRUMP GOLF” was embroidered, smack dab on the cover.
I worked for a Trump supporter today, and he took care of me.
I don’t know how to feel about it.
Reassuring words of “professionalism” ring in response,
But isn’t that an enemy in the first place?
After 10 years of North Brookfield tugging on my mother,
She finally succumbed towards the middle.
The TV is the lexicon, creation exists in her deft, colorful baskets
But the previous compassion has been weathered away by a decade of mistreatment.
There are good people in my life,
Blessings in human form,
Full of toxins that have deep-fried the azures and scarlets and oranges
From their souls.
I can feel my skin bubbling, and I’m submerged. Back in the first parts of home.
I fear how strong my self-interest is becoming, how it dominates conversations.
Partly because I’m afraid to ask how you’re doing.
I know you’re good. I don’t want to contribute to that rinse/repeat small talk.
But how do I engage outside of that?
I need to kick back. Open the sacrum, see through my real eyes.
Keep reading that Post-Colonialist literature.
Keep writing with the focus of empathy.
Never let the generation of entropy get you down, or be forgotten about.
That’s my code.
Red clearance space lines dot the tags of clothes past their seasonal deadline. Prices start at 50% off.
History books are written by whoever is left to record, leaving out millions of people across centuries of life.
Societally, we’ve learned to discredit the old news. It’s left to newspaper clippings gathering dust on the corner of a fridge.
The luster peaks to brilliance in the present, and dulls back to the past before one can even complete the thought.
Now replaces itself like a second-by-second refresh, and leaves then as one lump-sum identity.
The course of time is a mysterious miracle that makes me think constantly of how baffling “now” is.
The now I started writing today with is different than the now lingering at the end of this punctuation.
And the space of time we populate between “now” and “now” is full of beautiful things.
A Netflix episode? A cycle of the circulatory system. Millions of cells creating, splitting, dying, and replacing all at once in our bodies, trillions of miracles deep.
Like “now,” the processes keeping me full of the blessing of this life never stop refreshing themselves.
Like “now,” the process putting thoughts to words to paper and keyboard never stop finding new miracles to focus around.
Every function dutifully repeats itself, picking up when it falters.
And that’s why I’m a part of this miracle,
Which remains extraordinary even after the period of “now” passes.
The bad news is that it will always pass.
The good news is that there will always be a new now to marvel at.
Don’t let a clearance rack sway your appreciation of the things past due.
Cash in on the bargains, and let the love linger there.
Today, I turned I’ve hours in Wal-Mart into a couple of sizeable steps on my journey.
Thinking in the pouring rain and then the fourth aisle (for the third time), it was a happy Mother’s Day.
In two days I’ll be a happy public servant. My friends have elections to win, and I want to stand helpfully political by their side.
Smoke billows from the incense like dog fur growing,
The diamonds and four-sided stars putter and cough,
As a swirling gale from five feet away comes to snatch the fur in a circling whirlwind.
It hangs in the air and sticks to the wind like glue,
Giving it a definition I never thought of.
I look around my room. Shoe-hangers, instrument corners, and some god-blessed open space.
This place has a definition I never thought of.
Perhaps the elements play darts with the two pairs of flip flops that face
The blusters coming from the open window across the room,
A smidge less than twenty feet away.
A wind spitball hits me as I type that.
Everything’s doing fine.
This isn’t foreshadowing any other June horror stories.
I’ve got my peace.
So maybe I need to run and give it to others.
What was Tim’s last name again?
I can be a nice blue sky,
Waking from a dream in twilight.
The park is quiet, sullen like an old war story
And I’m part of many- lovers, tacticians, fighters, musicians
They’re all coming to the crown in the green grass, this floating tablet
The shakes the earth upon its flight.
My robes are threadbare, but I am garbed in seven gorgeous notes.
The wind scatters myself from the swaying grasses,
All the way up the earthen spiral to our crown.
How did I grow to love you so?
I suppose it’ll only answered in the logic of a dream.
But those seven notes speak it louder than my subconscious ever could.
It’s an unconscious spell,
A lovely incantation on the eighth hour.
“I can be a nice, blue sky.”
Gratitude is a weapon, keeping eyes sharpened to edge and warmth in its holster.
I’ve taken tabletop infinity for granted.
Food deserving of national prestige has become commonplace, valueless as a plastic swipe to forget. Now, I’m hungry.
My love-saturated heart grew weary of people’s attention, and now it starves for it again.
The space I wished to travel across faster has become fixed and cramped. I yearn to let my roots down to spread and paint the room.
The commodities I scorned as Capitalist I see as luxurious now, in this backwater little kind of town.
And how many more are out there? How many more live under heavier blankets?
It boggles my mind.
It feels like there is so little I know, but I know that gratitude is in order.
So I’ll sit back as I attempt to stretch once again into lotus,
And visit the temple I carry in my chest with affection.
My left eye throbs with the weight of observation.
My body aches with the motion of today.
24 well-spent hours and still, little has changed.
How do I make it past this college dream to fight for the right to keep dreaming afterwards?
How can I build this all up if my surroundings fill me with feelings like additional luggage to unpack?
In a nibble’s fraction of my inability to comprehend the universe around me,
I fail to comprehend the totality of life on Earth- in America, Massachusetts, Amherst or No Bro.
So I thank the air that chooses to bend,
And I thank the inspirations I’ve been forced to leave behind.
I thank the people who have taught me patience and the people who have learned to be patient with me.
I don’t think I thank them enough, so I thank them again for the few and far-between.
May the thankful react live longer than Mother’s Day Weekend.
May our collective gratitude burst forth often, like bundles of light to nag us with sweetness.
So we never have the chance to lose our luster.
I’ll keep the syrup of gratitude at a boil,
So it can splash viscous like water across an infinite tabletop of cups running over,
And melt with abundance through the hardened hearts of the people who need it.
That is how I will fight my wars.
Gratitude is my weapon.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Unpacking the car, this is one of the first things I say to myself.
My mind is too wrapped up to sort out the layers of how different the connection between here and there is.
I love my mother. I love my family. I love the life I’ve lived and the places I’ve been to.
I see my mother. I see my family. I fear to see the life I’ve lived.
My eyes strain themselves from looking through their eyes.
I wish for the peace of a home by the forest, connecting and creating ad infinitum.
The conifers to draw and the bird songs to learn.
A little bit of space to sink into, learn, and fall in love with.
I’ve been growing like a sapling in compost towards the sun I feel gracing my pores,
Constructing my layers and growing my frequency to achieve something beyond human.
The life of now isn’t anything the me of sixteen could have dreamed of.
But I’m back again, in the bedroom of the person I tried so hard to escape.
I’m sleeping with the shadows and memories of myself.
I’m falling into the same frustrating cycles with my loved ones,
Knee-jerk reactions of “fine, I know, and okay” come flooding back to my thoughtful head like accidental expletives. There is no accidental expletive, as with any normalized curse.
I can feel my form shrinking, I long for open fields and skies to meditate in an under.
I long to be away from fresh-reintroduced trauma of a past I never lived to know.
But in a matter of time, I’ll be back to forgetting.
I glance across the monolith
To the boy chewing on his headphone cables
And wonder what he’ll end up becoming after his time passes.
Will he make it big in his corner of the world, like I hope and hope I will?
I don’t know him well enough to find that truth.
I don’t know myself well enough to know my fate.
So I agonize over these forces with an imaginary locus of control.
I think of the article I almost wrote. The novel I’ve been trying to finish.
Something clicks in my head, an invisible loudspeaker materializes
With veins bursting in their forehead
Among the obscenities and cuss-outs, I hear this.
“Take it day by day and just fucking do it.”
All of this existential future dread took up the space that my improvement needed,
So I fell off of my rails and succumbed.
It’s back to the poetry. An easy routine whose greatness becomes easier in time. A photo a day to complement.
In a life where time is the antagonist and greatness the ends,
I realize I have nothing but time and greatness is subjective.
Bad people can get what they want and win.
They’re called great without ever being good.
Why put time in energy to compare myself to these vastly differing goals?
I’ve got skills to develop and time
To make my path to a good great.
The reflection in the mirror after 4 years at UMass will not encase me in who I’ll be for the rest of my life.
All we can do is move forward.
What a beautiful gift of a “can” that is.