Pall

Riding rough and ragged like a rickshaw on a road
Made of gravel, glass, and cobblestone
Carried on in couples, and in clusters, with companions
To a destination that we reach alone

Where the hills are harrying and harder grows the trail
Weather goes from good to bad to worse
Handing out a solace in the sun before succinctly
Making every second step feel like reverse

Feet and feelings fumble ever forward on a trail
Littered now with nails and faded news
Trudging torn and tired seeking triumph through the trial
Where the end is rarely ever one we choose

Where the mountains mock us like a monster in a maze
Windows turn to doors and turn to walls
Leading us to ladders where we lower, feet so leaden
To a place we never tried to find at all

Vesper

Where the winds were whipping
In the deserts of despair
With balance, ever tipping
Like a set of tired feet upon a chair

Standing so beleaguered
Where the weights were there upon
The shoulders that were eager
To be free and see the weight forever gone

In a room attended
By a lack of anyone
The darkness, now distended
And the pressure, once a pound, was now a ton

Steps without a meaning
And the chair fell with a bang
Now quietly he’s swinging
Like a chime that held a song that never sang

Controvert

Worn away the color at the edges of periphery
With flutters of a lash that tried to bind
Motes of indirection, to a sign that never differs, we
Go searching with a broken magnifying glass to find

Evidence or essence of a meaningful impression
Like the faded notes of lipstick on a cheek
Turning clouds to prophecy and luck into a lesson
Painting vistas out of what we briefly witnessed in a peek

Hauling into focus charcoal valleys called altiloquent
By meanings made to suit uncertain terms
Scrawled to thus assert, by imperfection does the filament
Burn brighter than the light of any opposite could burn

Where the ragged edges that we qualify as needed
Wear away and so we call the journey proof
Mollifying losses as a destiny we greeted
With a signature of blood, upon a parchment made of lies, we swear the truth

Himeros

A part of us cowers
A part of us lingers
A part of us wonders
What happened and how
Did we get so much blood on our fingers

A part of us pushing
A part of us pulling
A part of us hoping
That part of our heart
With our words, we’re successfully fooling

A part of us pummels
A part of us gripping
A part of us standing
Like feet made of ice
As we try to move on without slipping

A part of us breaking
A part of us lying
A part of us holding
The dream of a dream
While the fire inside us is dying

A part of us killing
A part of us keeping
A part of us wishing
The strings of our hearts
Weren’t sad and so silently weeping

A part of us wanting
A part of us needing
A part of us saying
So much that it hurts
But it’s hard to hard to explain why we’re bleeding

A part of us writing
A part of us praying
A part of us thinking
“If only I knew
How to say what my lips aren’t saying”

A part of us mourning
A part of us trying
A part of us tired
And wishing to just
Say goodbye without feeling like crying

Denotation

So maybe vowels were plucked as petals
Left to scatter in the breeze of woe
Landing soft as silhouettes
In alleys dark where time forgets
Which way it came and where it’s meant to go

And lying low like commas waiting
In between the words of now and then
Biding time as if a thief
Where nights are long and days are brief
And where becomes a trade we made for when

But consonants were placed in kettles
Waiting for a flame that never showed
Holding in tomorrow’s song
And whispering, “It won’t be long,”
Like thoughts of rain for seeds we never sowed

And trickling like dots of maybe
Like the last ellipsis of the day
Bound as if an echo cast
Of which, we hope, is not the last
While periods we place as if they’re flowers on the graves of what we say

Recognize

I recognize the look
That says, “I’m looking,”
But I wonder
Is she looking through the keyhole
Or the cracks?

I recognize the shift
That says she’s shifting
What she says
But does she see what I could be
Or what I lack?

I recognize the look
That says, “I see you,”
But I wonder
If she’s ever really seen me
Or she can

I recognize the way
She stands delaying
When I’m near
But does she see me as I was
Or how I am?

Two Years

Yes, yes…let’s all calm down. Hold the applause.

Better…

So, today is my two year anniversary on WordPress.

Two years.

Imagine that.

Or don’t.

You’re really under no obligation either way.

If you think about it (or if you don’t), me being here is like the equivalent of going somewhere with someone, and then, at some point, that person is like, “Hey, I’m leaving.”

And, logically, I should’ve been inclined to be like, “Oh, well…kind of dumb for me to hang out here then. This is your crowd. I only came here because you were here.”

But instead, I was like, “Oh, uh…yeah, ok. I mean, gimme a sec, k?”

And then, next thing I know, they’re gone and I’m still just hanging out like someone in a store that can’t decide on a throw rug because, I mean, will it clash with the decor? What color woodgrain DO I have, anyway? I should’ve taken pictures. Yeah, then I’d be able to color-match more effectively.

But that’s how shopping goes, eh?

I was thinking about something today – and it’s not at all “I’ve been here for two years” related, but I thought I’d write about it anyway.

But then I was like, “I’m not planning on posting anything new until all my old posts are back.”

There’s still like, 700+

It’s ridiculous.

And no one tells you, “Hey, if you pull all your posts and decide to put them back – even with a backdate – anyone who gets notifications will STILL get notifications.”

So that’s cool.

Thanks, WordPress.

Lesson learned, I suppose.

Don’t revert all your posts to drafts unless you’re really committed to keeping them there. Or, as the poet once said, “If you’re not prepared to get hit by cars, don’t play in traffic.”

Someone has surely said that. Or not. I dunno.

So my friend Bella recently told me to watch Outlander, so, naturally, I started watching Outlander.

I’m not going to talk about Outlander, of course. That’d be silly.

I, did, however, notice something while watching Outlander and it occurred to me that I see this sort of thing happen quite frequently: The longer a story is, the more likely it is that a main character/protagonist has money, power, or both. If they have neither, they actually have at least one, but they have it via proxy.

Not a revelation, but something that just got me thinking. And I’m sure there are exceptions, I just couldn’t think of any. Again – this is for long-running stories. Anything that is single-instance (i.e., one movie, one book, a miniseries) is less likely to be beholden to this logic.

Let’s look at Outlander first since I said I wasn’t going to talk about it.

Claire is a nobody…except she had a very rare type of childhood that gave her knowledge and skills that most people never have. They never say she comes from wealth, but it feels like she does. Frank definitely seems like he comes from wealth. They’re on a second honeymoon in Scottland when it starts. Clearly, money isn’t a problem. Time travel! Jamie seems like a nobody. Except he’s not. He’s a laird. But he’s not a wealthy one! Except he has connections with everyone. But then they have to flee the country! Now they’re in dire straits! Except that Jamie has a relative in France…who’s rich…and lets him live in a mansion…and run his wine business.

Harry Potter. Easy one, he’s a wizard. The Dursley’s seem like they’re certainly doing okay. Oh, but they treat Harry like he’s a red-headed leper! But then he goes to Hogwarts, and his parents were loaded, and they left him all their money. Literally, a room filled with gold.

Frodo. He’s a hobbit. Hobbits are the most non-power, non-wealth having folk in Middle Earth. Except he has the One ring, which is one of the most powerful items in existence. And he’s in league with a wizard, of which, in Middle Earth, there are five – and they’re all supposed to be pretty big deals. And then he has an entourage of people who represent nobility in all its various forms. So…nope…still the same thing.

Star Wars? Jedis…I mean, it’s pretty much magic.

Comic book heroes? Money, superpowers, or both. Even the ones that seem like exceptions aren’t good exceptions. “He’s actually just a normal guy!” “So, him versus any of his peers is an equal match?” “Oh…well…no, he’s like, the best there’s ever been and ever will be.” “I see…so…he’s just…inexplicably better than everyone else…almost like…he’s…special…or something…”

Here’s one…the Before Trilogy by Richard Linklater. Now, both characters are no one and I don’t just get the impression that either or both are obviously wealthy. But…by movie number two, Jessie is a famous writer. Boom. Money. Granted, still good movies. And almost painfully honest in their depiction of relationships. But, I digress, it still caters to the “let’s remove this pesky hurdle that is money” construct.

I think that, in truth, this is a go-to element in writing because no matter how much “suspension of disbelief” we can offer up, some part of us might eventually go, “Wait…who’s funding this? How are they paying for that? Don’t these people have jobs?”

Obviously, jobs and bills and taxes and all the day-to-day minutia of life get in the way of a story. So, easy solution, we just…get rid of those problems by going “Yeah, he/she is like…rich or something…and/or has like…powerful friends or family or whatever and like…they’re also a sorcerer with…uh…eidetic memory…yeah. Look, no one wants to see these people worrying about what they can afford at a convenient store, ok?”

It’s the same mental process that finally led to people looking at sitcoms (and, likely, other shows by extension) and saying, “Wait…they do WHAT for a living? And they live in THAT? How’s that work? They should be in an apartment where you can reach the front door while they’re still in the bathroom.”

Shorter stories and single story-arc movies, however, seem more prone to offer up characters who aren’t special. Not wealthy. Not powerful. Not special. Just a person or persons with an interesting story. But we also don’t need to be concerned with a long-running narrative and how it keeps going when this person is obviously poor and has no friends, let alone friends of any real importance.

But it means that a lot of stories are about people who are special. They’re richer than we are. They’re more powerful than we are due to social/political clout or because they are actually supernatural in some way or another.

I’m not complaining about this and I understand the logic. I even do the same in my first book where there is a strong focus on people who are not “the center of the bell-curve”.

Naturally, there is also the obviously psychological element of “People don’t want to read or watch stories about the boring crap that fill their own lives. They want to see people going places that they most likely never will, having adventures that no one ever could.”

I mean, I primarily read fantasy/fiction and a big reason why is, “Why the hell do I want to read stories that are on par with real life? If I want that, I can read the news.”

It’s just one of those odd things, you know? Like, you know that you notice it, but you don’t really pay much attention. And then you’re suddenly like, “huh…that’s weird, eh?”

So, anyway, like I was saying.

Two years.

Imagine that.

Or don’t.

You’re really under no obligation either way.