Posts Tagged ‘Fire’

I can’t count the number of times I have exhorted myself to sit down and write on this damn blog. I sit in front of wonderful technology, with multiple screens, and everything that I need literally at my fingertips, and I can’t do it. As I age, I feel myself becoming more careful, more conservative. I think I have figured out part of it: now that I have a platform that is beyond scribbling in a spiral notebook, or sketching on the beach in an art pad; drawing on big sheets of paper while bored in class or even pecking away at a keyboard into AppleWorks, I am aware that I have an audience. And that’s frightening. I don’t want to let you all down.

And that, my friends, is the problem. This is MY blog, and — as Eminem has deftly reminded all of us — I’m not afraid. This is pretty simple to do: just write.

“Write, and be prolific / Not everything written is monolithic” ~Thee Froggacuda, 1988

That is the best two-line poem ever for Michael. And I wrote it. I have ignored this advice from the past me to the future me, and it is powerfully captured as a nine word reminder. I think everyone can benefit from this. It’s a simple distillation of my “press record” rant. Nike has made an entire multi-year campaign out of “just do it” that everyone loves because everyone needs to hear that repeatedly over their lifetimes.

I have a lot yet to be said. I am Thee Froggacuda. Release Teh Tadpoles!

Ho!

once again it's on

So here’s what I did, relatively present tense: I got a little inebriated, put on the new Chicane album “Giants”(reference: Middle Distance Runner), and reskinned my blog to give it a whole new appearance, even to me. After some WordPress admin tweaking to get the elements in the right places, I hit the button labeled “New Post”. And I sat in front of the screen daring myself to write something — anything — and publish it. Tonight.

I am angry with myself that I let the Kanji-Part-1 blog lay fallow in the Drafts folder for as long as I did. I was waiting for the Muse to strike me with inspiration and that’s not how she visits you or I: thou must seeketh out the opportunities, and if you have a fully functioning blog, just write for no reason, any reason, because you are writing for yourself.

That is the point of a personal blog — [insert legal-compliant disclaimer from professional life] — it’s to be able to write; not about whatever you want, but also not because you have an audience. I’m a Libra; there’s a balance to be struck. This gift of a new album from Nick Bracegirdle even has a beautiful song on it called “Where Do I Begin?” Synchronicity is serendipity. I am learning that restraint is not always care; however, baring my soul is not always as simple as it used to be. That’s why there are archives, and I will never regret being unemployed and casting around for a project important enough to deserve all of that free time, and entering all of those poems and stories and rants you’ll see on the left-hand side month-by-month, year-by-year. There’s some good stuff in there; I am committing to digging some of it back out and throwing it in my face again. Here, on the Virtual Lilypad; you can come along and read if you like, but it’s not for you. It’s for me. Because I can’t help but think that I am actually smart enough to code messages into my content for my future self. Maybe it’s a function of being on the bleeding edge of human evolution because I have ADHD and society and civilization have not caught up to how many threads my brain is processing at any given time.

literally -- burning love

literally: burning love. // Jamie Huffman

I am a single human being trying to make a difference with my life. Everyone struggles with this same thing. I write who I am because at an early age I was inspired by Jared D’nofrio to tear out the back of an old math notebook and try to write poetry. Shit, we were studying Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Pope, in school, and if he could do it; why not me? Well, Jared’s stuff was great, and I never thought I could equal that elegance…but I gave it a shot anyways. It was like drawing block letter names of girls I had crushes on and spending a whole science or math period at Correia Junior High School coloring them in uniquely with fluorescent hi-lighters. Y’know what? I just found that I was good at it.

DJing is a lot easier than writing. You get to express yourself with the beauty of other people’s interactions with their Muses. The problem is this: if you are good at something, don’t you owe it to yourself — and everyone else — to share it? That is why I have a drive to capture things in cages of ink and tape and 010010 and MP3. I think this is fundamentally the human condition; interaction is like breathing to me. I have just forgotten that I can target myself, and that I am my own primary audience.

I cannot depend on messages that I have coded myself in the past unless I make the effort to read them again; to listen to them again, to experience them again. And I certainly cannot pass any of my current wisdom on to myself in the future unless I produce content right now. This is the heroic circle of one’s life, Scar.

The Archangel Michael wields a sword. I’m not so good at the martial arts. I promised my ninja-to blade to my youngest godchild, anyways; Belén is going to be a better Samurai than her Unkle or her Father. But this Froggacuda character has a wicked tongue and sharp teeth, and I’ve been representing as Thee Froggacuda for almost 20 years now. Recognizing that you have a sticker that reads PROTAGONIST over the mirror that you never look at, finally you understand: this is the Muse trying to shake you free. The Muse is me. The problem is that I never look in that mirror: my mirror until now been everyone else except me. All of that is changing.

I am Thee Froggacuda. Ribbit; fuck you.

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.

Far Reaching Visions

Posted: December 20, 2002 in Poetry
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Inside, a glowing silver sliver
A secret, a blossom.
Hush now, stop grinning madly.
Cup it, feel it, close your eyes;
Potential beading like dew
On electric arms reaching.
Promises made to be kept
Keeping on, sparks flying,
We reforge the sword
With breath and sound,
Far reaching vision,
Laughter and love.
Wave aside the old firestorms.
Bless their sighs into heat mirages.
An invited return
To my rightful place
At the right hand of the Goddess.

Three nights I have lain awake
Storming through half-sleep dreams
And possibilities, thoughts,
Mental magical carpets,
Half real, half realized;
Doors half opened and swinging
Smooth computers peripherally
Analyzing and verifying
Believing yet incredulous
Of the panoramic impossibility.
The stark lightning of imagination
Energized and rampantly naked;
Leaping obstacles with merry, nimble feet
Barely touching – gracing – the earth.
A sweeping wave of everything
Reconditioning, revitalized
Colorization by raw power
Of a reality as credible as anything,
Dreams of genie lamps opening
Construction paper flowers blooming
Water falling, cities lit by their own fires,
Shadows mocking their creators.
Stories so rich in texture
That you live them overnight,
Morning comes when it comes
With the snap of the blind
And a sense of weariness bone deep.
Aches from riding warhorses,
Twinges from old wounds,
Bruises and abrasions that quietly throb,
That you don’t remember receiving.
Nights pass in a variety of times
Lying awake, or so I think,
Chasing reflections in mirrors,
Tuning in to the colored snow
Falling inside my eyelids.

Hang On to the Rope

Posted: June 26, 1995 in Poetry
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I wish I could string and sell
These beads of sweat;
They keep dripping in my eyes
And leaping
From the tip of my nose.
I can’t stop pulling on this rope –
The mine car can’t slip any further
Down those tracks.
I don’t know why I took this job
But it’s a challenge
And I hurt in every bone.
I’ve found muscles I never knew I had.
They’re singing so they must be helping.
I know I am never going home again.
This firelight and the ring of the hammers
On steel bars punching through the rock,
They dance in the furrows of my limbs;
I’m drenched because my mind
Hasn’t grown into this wiry body.
Veins like gnarled ivy,
Tendons like Brazilian peppers’ roots,
Fingers and arms like acacia limbs.

Fire and Frogs and Falcons

Posted: June 3, 1995 in Poetry
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Oh how I wish I still had my voice
Full of fire and frogs and falcons,
Wisdom, water, and wedding songs.
Something is quenched within me now,
No time for me to find out how,
To prevent this erosion of my character.
Once upon a time I thought I’d never stop
I wrote until my hand would drop off
And the sun rose once again.
I am scared, I am frightened;
I am losing track of me
But I guess, since I have never been here
That at twenty three,
It’s called maturity.

The rain came down
Like cartoon anvils,
Spending itself on the cement
In an assault on the town.

The parachute-less troops
Gathered in the low-lying spots
And took over the streets
In order to regroup.

Rioting raindrops,
Seething and churning,
Swallowing curbs and sidewalks
And the floors of a few shops.

En masse, they moved
Like a swarm of fluid ants,
Chewing up the asphault,
Around, under, and through.

They occupied the intersection
Several steps from my domicile;
A congregation of soldiers
Moshing in misdirection.

The storm drain was debris overrun
By the midnight attack,
Mouth buried in what was handy,
Gagged by the silver-headed ones.

They celebrated down the gutters,
Their comrades swept down from the hills,
Retreating, they left for the ocean
Until their cries became gutters.

Discontent and garbled threats
Of heavy grey clouds yet to come,
Of their shock troops, the hail.
Big drops, little drops; they’re all wet.

Promises of thunder, their drummer boys
Their standards of lightning
And the wind-demons who bear them;
This I hear in the storm’s noise.

I stood in the lee of my apartment
Water draining from my hat and jacket
I watched the fury of the rain banshees
With a certain amount of excitement.

I love the rain and the wind; all weather
Which drives people inside to read books.
They boil kettles and build fires –
An opportunity to be together.

But I like to be outside in the dark
Of wildness and wetness and the glory
When the streets are reclaimed by the Mardi Gras rain
And the world’s turned into an amusement park.