Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

I am currently “under-employed” and consequently, I am in a state of amusement because I want to be productive. The last time I was in this situation almost seven years ago, I pumped hundreds of poems that I had written into this WordPress blawg because I am a poet. Present tense, I wanted to make the best use of all of this free time, so I spent countless idle hours getting all of my DJ Lurk’s MP3 mixes online, because I am also a DJ. I clearly remember when I dropped poetry as an expression mechanism and graduated to recording sequences of songs because these sonic paintings expressed my headspace much better than writing in spiral-ring notebooks. It’s been a while since I captured the creative expression of my DJ Lurk persona, but it is humbling that I have almost seven straight days of mixes if you play them start-to-finish.

DJLurkLogo

Providing these sounds to the public is a cathartic, selfish action. As a human being that is capable of influencing the world around me, I find it to be of the utmost importance to provide a measurable value: this time, it is DJ Lurk, my army-of-one alter ego that mixes music instead of writing poetry. The technology has caught up to where it is simple to post an MP3 recording that captures a shitload of hard work. I have already spit about how important it is to Press Record and capture your own efforts. This is because you are the product.

Brother-and-Mallory-Battlemat

DJ Lurk’s biggest fans: Brother and Mallory.

There are three types of people: past tense, present tense, and future tense. Everyone can operate within those categories to a certain level of competence, but everyone defaults to their most comfortable worldview. Typically, I am a creature of present tense; however, when I am faced with my own musical selections recorded in the infinitely replicatable format of digital MP3s, they are messages to yourself from the past. No one is a better subject matter expert on this media than I am: what was I thinking? Where is my mind?

It is way too easy to take a shitload of pictures on your iPhone of your children, pets, loved ones, food plates, vistas, and your experiences — it’s now getting worse, turning into videos and Vine loops — and YOU NEVER LOOK AT THEM AGAIN. The social media drive to post unadulterated crap all of the time is horrific. 21st Century humans collect tons of media almost reflexively; it is the art and action of going back through it and framing it with times, dates, tags, and explanations that will make that media worthwhile. Otherwise it is a waste of audience time and QVC will not invite you back as a vendor. You have to manage your own brand.

With my newfound temporary freedom, I have looked back on my output of product, and I am thrilled to build out the DJ Lurk side of this WordPress blawg with all these recorded dreams of being a professional DJ — DJ Lurk, if you will. This is adding hours of product — original content, if you will — to the Virtual Lilypad, and the effort reinforces that elusive immortality sought by the Froggacuda.

At the top of the page, roll over the DJ Lurk item, and explore the madness and mayhem.

It has been a hot minute since I have fired up the ol’ WordPress blawg and wrote myself a letter. This effort has an audience of one: myself, and once you accept that, it gets easier. In this feed- and filter-driven 24 hour news cycle of technology, when you are staring at a blank page, it is asking you to be creative and say something. Say anything. It is much better on a cosmic, spiritual scale to create content than to passively watch the social network feeds go by.

I used to write poetry and stories to capture what I was feeling. This “blog” is full of it; when I was unemployed I kept busy (because ADHD) by pumping tons of those “witless driblets” into this online database called WordPress from a stack of hand-written journals that I subsequently burned in the mountains and the deserts in campfires. They’re all now indexed Internet content and ashes. Ribbit. Fuck you. Enjoy.

Once upon a time I built pages for music I composed, wrote, played, produced, rapped and sang on. Labored over, instead of going to class or doing homework, I caught them on magnetic tape and transferred them to a computer. I figured out how to embed those songs here with a play button. I still have a couple of handwritten cassette tapes I can refer to for source material and memories. That includes a page for M0nster Zer0, a band I was instrumental in–ha, ha–when I was in high school.

I remember making DJ Lurk compilations every year for 15 years, many times multiple disc sets, of my favorite music and giving them out by the dozens for free. Custom, handmade printed paperboard CD case insets, printed on an inkjet, and CD-Stomping labels on them. Those comps keep me grounded, and company, because you should always make your own mix tapes.

I used to record two hour sessions of vinyl-spinning to capture all of my music collection the way that I heard it blending and surfing together. That’s how it was on Pete Tong’s Essential Mix program on Radio One: a two-hour uncensored journey. I made this effort because the Woodweaver gave me a Sony DAT recorder that could do two hours per tape; that was hot tech at the time, and I wanted to use it. There are 12 Essential Mix @ Mordenkainen’s Parlour tracks, labelled with exact dates. They have incredible power to return me to years ago.

More recently, with a MacBook Pro and a shitty pair of USB controllers attached to Traktor, I would record DJing live at the Edgemont Compound, the Isle of Lesbos, Below the Chateau, or at a Dirty Little Mansion. This content has names and maybe rough dates, but I was asked to show up and spin, so I did. I get to wonder who this particular character is, because I can’t believe that I produced that. But it is undeniably The Froggacuda.

So there it is as evidence: a poem, a mixtape, an occasion: captured somehow so that I have to go back and verify that it actually happened for my audience of me. Memories that are fleeting ghosts. Content that is hard and unrelenting to experience again and try to put into perspective in the present tense.

Is this thing still on…?

I.
There was a woman
Who I loved with all my heart.
It’s the only way
I know how
to love.
The problem I have
With falling in love
Is that I just keep falling
And falling on through.
It’s a perpetual autumn;
Storming leaves of memories,
Possibilities,
Skeletal trees.
And turning my collar up
Against the cold of this world.
Holding my hands out
To the warmth of the fire
That we had kindled
To keep the darkness at bay.
Every time these things end
I look up from the glow
Of the smolder, the embers,
For the ignition of a smile,
That familiar, beloved synching
Eyes to eyes:
It’s just understood
We’ll revel in the work
To pile on more fuel
From our common woodpile.
But nobody is there
Across the coals from me;
I’ve fallen through
The bottleneck of the hourglass
Along with all these ashes.

II.
Songs get tied
Like complicated knots
Around my feelings;
They remind me of how
I used to think about forever.
Some are bright blossoms
Stolen from yards
On the way to your window
In the middle of the night
To kneel and present you
With a moonlit bouquet,
My Juliet.
Another is the crosshatching
Of spray painted poetry
Hanging in midair
Amongst the tree branches
Between the shadows
Of the stars that were ours;
Witchcraft and wizardry
For an unrelenting passion.
Tapestries of smoke
And of tie-dyed freedom;
Soft paws of haloed kittens,
The chocolate and the champagne
Of the once in a lifetime.
Threads on a magick loom
Synchronicity unparalleled,
Spiderwebs like a hammock,
An embrace as if I was coming home;
Touch burning like the fire of a faerie,
Or the resurrection of the phoenix,
Tracing sigils in the sky,
Re-ignition of belief
Like a firestarter
Or finding a soulmate.
I am haunted
By the breadth of my music
And the depth of my commitment.
The failure
of my eyesight.

III.
The carnage is absolute;
A battlefield strewn with my corpses,
Beer cans and shrieks and cigarette butts,
The best of intentions and
The stench of taking things for granted.
These raw wounds
I have sustained over my lifetime
Of loving how I should have been loved
Never seem to heal;
They just ooze and pulse
Making heartbeats painful;
A crazy accumulation of luggage
Like owning an airport carousel
Of baggage you can’t strip off.
It just grows with you,
Older and less attractive,
Smelling faintly of urine and gangrene
When you can’t bear
To perform the required surgery.
It hurts too much;
I’ll excise memories I want to keep
Along with the decaying flesh.
Retrospective or post-mortem;
It’s still the death of a relationship
That I thought would live forever
As if I had infinite chances,
Infinite quarters.

IV.
I was pinned to a mortarboard
Like a butterfly from a caterpillar,
When I had to eulogize my friend;
My brother, my partner-in-crime,
Someone who understood
By the merit of not being female
The depth of love and an enduring relationship.
I don’t ever want to do that again.
It is the same with love;
I know I can, and it will be better,
But the pain of losing someone to provoke that work
Is too much to accept;
Besides, who the fuck will do that for me?
The answer is as clear as hindsight:
20-20.
I listened to my voice echo hollow through a church
That he wouldn’t have appreciated
To the people who were left behind,
And became even more haunted.
I did my best to represent,
Tell tales, romanticize, believe
And I went home with ashes in my mouth
To cry, cry out, want to evaporate,
Disappear, erase myself from existing
Because I had lost something precious:
A true friend.
It’s a lot like losing your love
Because you have lost a friend.

V.
The light switch is off.
This is the eye of the storm for me.
Now I deal with the still shatter of leaves,
The cold of being alone,
And shoving my hands into the campfire.
There is no warmth.
This destroys the fabric of memories
That took deep commitment
And sweat equity;
Deeper resources than I had without you.
And I see them all retreat,
As if they never existed;
Vanish into the thin, thin air
That I breathe.
Flatlined.

VI.
To move along,
Because there is nothing to see here;
It’s a pretty penance,
My cross to bear;
One that gets weightier
The more years I carry forward,
This boulder I am pushing uphill.
It’s that lost luggage from the carousel;
It’s those old wounds from the battlefield;
It’s those lyrics of happier times
When I would write, compose, sing
Of how I loved being in love
And how I expected forever
But you only had right now to give.

VII.
Perspective is a function of wisdom,
Which is a byproduct of experience,
That is what happens when you live and die
Through these things.
Perhaps they build character;
Actually, they create defense mechanisms
To try to prevent this from happening again
And again.
Expectations collapse
And you lay bricks and mortar in the fortress
That you think will keep you safe
But not sound;
You all are quite persuasive.
Certainly isolated
In the aftermath
Of bequeathing your everything —
Heart, mind, soul —
To your everything
Around that campfire
And you look up and discover
That she is long gone.

Achille’s Heel

Posted: June 9, 2008 in Poetry
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This is the slow motion
Of my Achille’s tendon unravelling.
Dimly I am aware
of something wrong
of terrible, horrible things impending
and that this is gonna hurt.
Again.

SNAP!
Scream.
Pain and agony.
My leg!
Ambulance on the way.
Stay calm — it’s going to be alright.
You’ll get medical attention.
Sirens and first aid.
Professionals stitching me back together.
Drugs (prescribed) and an IV drip.
Crutches.
Going home.
Rehabilitation and sympathy.
More pain, wearing away like water on stone.
And one day, I’m OK again.
I’ll appreciate my mobility and the experience.

But right now
in this relationship
All I can hear is the snap
And the snake of something crucial
something vaguely central
internal
Unravelling.

Like So

Posted: May 3, 2003 in Poetry
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Like so, breathed from a flute
Or struck from a drum
To hang in the air
And move slow or fast
Pitches as timbre would have it.
Sounded, whelmed, evoked
From skin or wood or brass
Shivers of torchlight drawn nigh by beat
Early evening mists rising
Called forth by the horns of hunters.
Resonation of hearts and minds
Against the thin foil of the ear’s membrane
One, then two, then a cascade
Of arpeggiating candle flames
Coax memories from elsewhere,
Common Akashic visions of yore.
Each strain frozen to fade,
Depicting the potential of now,
Then gone but for the susurrus of reverb
And that, too, away, replaced
By the next clear bells in the scheme
Or sawed bow over fraying, well-worn strings,
A clickety-clack of time on sticks,
The meter of midnight rain
Wet the senses then dries
With the voicelike sound of the rising sun.
Submarine bubbles sign seaward
The motion of all things growing up,
Roots digging deeper.
Life makes a cacophony of sound
But you can hear the symphony of always
And the contributing part you play.

Listening In

Posted: May 1, 2003 in Poetry
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Sometimes I try to identify
The vehicles passing beneath the windows
By the sound their tires make
Through the twin dips of the intersection.
Smooth ride or clanking trailer,
Singing brakes before the stoplight
Or acceleration hum to beat the amber.
Twenty seconds to guess at the conversation taking place
Inside the latest idling monster,
Before the green light sends them away.
A shred of laughter or singing
Leaking from an open window;
The thrum of bass or reggae guitars.
All lives passing on their way elsewhere
Unaware that I try to identify.

Neverlove

Posted: May 1, 2003 in Poetry
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If my eyes are full of stars
Forgive me, love.
This swell of sinew in my heart
Squeezes magic through my veins
With each breath I take
Thinking of you, warm and laughing.
My once resolve to neverlove
Is so many ashes in the seabreeze,
For eager puppy I
Can only long for another look
Another touch that burns alive.