Thursday, April 14, 2011

star ducst

the interwebnet

i just am probably here one more time to say goodbye to the world of blogging for me.  you may have seen that my blog was down for a few months a while back, and it's been back up as a test run to see if i really wanted a blog.  yeah, i don't really.  apparently, the internet is not a savior.

lately i have been pretty unhappy about the internet.  simply put, it takes a lot of humanity out of some of the most human parts of us.  we are social creatures, women and men; the internet gives us a substitute sociality that is, to my heart, sub-par.  i realized recently that i don't ever just call people up and see how they are doing, but instead, i get on facebook or read blogs about how they are doing.  instead of getting together with a friend and looking at pictures of a trip they went on or a cool thing they did, i write comments under the photo they uploaded on the internet.  wouldn't it be really fun instead to develop photos and bring them around and show people in person?  you can put personality in the conversation, and you know, it would just be great.

i have been using the blog as a place to post my poems.  lately, i have been really wanting to just take my favorite poems and start actually writing them out on paper, maybe with a nice hand-drawn picture.  i also want to hand them out to people- think how much more meaningful it would be to read a handwritten poem handed to you than one posted on the internet.  i don't care how good the poem is (haha that might be a statement worth retracting), it won't mean as much to a person if they can't see or feel that actual human heart and thought went into the poem.  there is something much more meaningful and substantial to paper; maybe it's better at holding souls?

am i soapboxing?  i hope not.

lately, my favorite writing is the kind that makes huge leaps from paragraph to paragraph.  i think thoreau got me hooked on it, but it's a kind of writing where the paragraphs don't actually have a good, flowing transition- they just kind of jump, so your mind has to make the connection, because there is a connection.  it makes the writing seem lighter and it's much more fun to navigate because it engages your mind a little more.

but to all my friends, i love you.  i really hope that it will be okay for me, in the future, to just go ahead and call you and talk to you for a few minutes every once in a while and see how you are doing and enjoy your voice.  i have never been good at that, but i'd like to be. i want to connect with people (that's you again) on a much more real and personal level.  whatever meaning is in life and relations, i would like to enjoy it.  so along with calling, i also want to organize a book club and also throw little parties.  i just want to be around you and have meaningful times with you.

to top it all off and end this exhilarating run, here is my new favorite video of all time.  it's poignant and hilarious- something i thought was impossible to do (oh except for when speed racer and nacho libre did it...)

Zachary L. Johnson (Yabits Wells)

ps. the blog's gone in a few days from now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

speed racer

speed racer, more than any other movie, encapsulates what i am and who i want to be; it delves down and touches my deepest desires.  it is braveheart with goofy characters and psychedelic scenes, and it is my favorite movie of all time...right now.  i love understanding my self better.  speed racer.  go.

this is ironic because of how i have felt for the last two or three days.

I have nothing to give to you
I bequeath of my self whatever you will make of me

In a spirit of uncompromising love,

All the lines
Converge in a single point
When they stretch that far
In a moment of uncompromising joy

but it has, more than anything else, taken the edge off of the desire for what is not important.  i just want to be me.

i have been feeling trapped until today.  i have felt like i need new territory to explore in my heart/poetry.  the thing i realized is that i have never worked on any large scale poems, never covering more than one or two ideas in my poems.  i'm going to try something bigger.  i set some ground rules so i don't get frustrated and give up right from the start.  the poem is going to be based on this idea i started working on today-

I am the water

I am the water,
and I am talking to you

I want to be interrupted by the squelching of the rain

I feel the blood pumping through my veins
a cavern-watcher

Surface meets surface
When I'm talking to you

As my sides well up
and wrap around your hand

Everything is power
It is power, the beast descends

Thrashing in the winds
Carried by a triangle, a blue triangle

Belie belie, the heartiest name belie!
An open boat on the sea

The back of my hands, I am the water,
Expose a rhythm new a

Vision to a nearer vision
And time passes like medicine in a cabinet

But I'm the water
And I'm talking to you

Spindly tidal waves, oceans beyond
Everything is new now,
Everything was gone

and now, i doubt anything has ever made me happier than this.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Remember a Time When Once You Used to Love Me

i love when the universe seems so big but so simple.  like tonight.  tonight, i laid on my back and pretended my bones were really big and heavy, so heavy that i couldn't move.

it's nights like tonight, tonight when it feels like the moon is being orbited by other moons, and those other moons are fireflies around your head, and the air is cool and sharp, and you breathe in something that smells like it might be cold pine needles but you know it's really the smell of tall grass, it's nights like tonight that make me take a step back.  i have so many expectations for my self, but i realize that they don't really matter. What If We Are Not After All, All Destined For Greatness?  it's not about what i want, it's what the universe wants, what nature wants, what God wants.  it's love and it's life.  it's truth and it's inevitable.  and i realize, on nights like tonight, that all i really want is to find the things that really matter.  i want to be my self, and i want a family.  a family is somewhere in the future, and of all the things that matter most, being a good dad is among those things.


there are so many things on my mind lately.

feelings- Enoch, johnson
This is one of my favorite scriptures:

20And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.
 21And it came to pass that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever.
 22And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.
 23And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him;
 24And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man; and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.
 25And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Wo, wo be unto the inhabitants of the earth.
 26And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
 27And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearingtestimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.
 28And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon theresidue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
 29And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
 30And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;
 31And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace,justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?
 32The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them theirknowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
 33And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
 34And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.
 35Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.
 36Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all thecreations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.
 37But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?

God feels.  feeling is a Godly attribute.  feelings are Godly.  we are here on earth to feel.  we are here to feel pain; we are here to feel joy; we are here to feel love; we are here to feel sorrow; we are here to feel lonely.

rodney yee, the yogi, told a story about when he lost his wife for a time.  she left him for a period because they had an argument.  rodney yee said that there is no time in his life that he suffered a worse pain- it consumed him and made him want to die.  however, he said that he remembers sitting down on a chair in front of his fireplace and soaking in the pain and fear he felt from losing his wife.  he stopped trying to run from the pain, and he stopped trying to fight the pain, and instead he faced and embraced the pain, and when he did that, he no longer suffered the pain, but he felt it and experienced it.

there are so many kinds of feelings.  that's why life is so fantastic.  experiencing feelings makes you alive.

a quote i read and enjoyed recently from Dr. samuel johnson says, "nothing can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature...the irregular combinations of fanciful invention may delight awhile by that novelty of which the common satiety of life sends us all in quest; but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted, and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth."

good art, real life, happiness vs. pleasure, these things are what we should seek.

universe- prufrock
i have read and reread this poem.  then i wrote an essay about it, because i can't stop thinking about it.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T.S. Eliot

this poem has made it really hard for me to keep writing poetry.  here is the essay i wrote about the poem- it can maybe shed some light on the poem, and you can see how i feel about it.

highs and lows- coleridge
here is another poem that is hard to stop thinking about.

Kubla Khan
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me
That with music loud and long
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

this poem has an interesting story; when coleridge wrote it, he was apparently pretty dependent on opium (this is the early 1800s).  he fell asleep on the drug, and this is the dream he had.  the second he woke up, he started to put it to paper, but as he was writing, a man came in and interrupted the work.  on returning to the work, coleridge said the vision was gone and he could no longer remember the dream.

there is doubt and speculation about whether that is true or not, but the poem has a really interesting idea.  the poem is comparing sexual ecstasy with artistic ecstasy.  i can't speak yet for the one, but i think i can say i know the feeling of artistic ecstasy.  it is a consuming feeling across your whole being.  it is like every nerve is bent on producing from your own soul, and it feels good.

experiencing art and life can help you have those feelings, too.

in harmful and addicting substances, there is a cheap substitute for the feelings being sought.  there is a form of ecstasy, but it is diluted and cheap and you don't feel better for it pretty soon after and definitely not in the long run.

there is an artistic ecstasy.  this is harder to find.  it is in music- after research and bending the mind and trying to get into the music, it can reveal itself to you and give you that feeling of sheer joy.  it is in books.  it takes close reading and an open mind and an open heart, and it is harder to find than in music, i think.  it is in drawing.  it is in conversation.  it is in theatre.  it is in movies, etc.

there is a spiritual ecstasy.  this one is, i think, the rarest and hardest to come by, but it is by far the most powerful.  it is worth all the sacrifice in the world to experience.

letting go- tv shows
giving up and letting go is something i do when i am watching t.v. or sitting down at the computer.  there is always a moment where i resign to wasting time with something, or else i refuse to let that moment happen.  if i give in to that moment, i am on the computer for hours, having accomplished nothing and probably seeing things detrimental to my sensibilities.  if i sit at the computer with a plan in mind (for example, i will check my email, get a recipe, watch a music video, and get off), then i am better off because i don't give in.  i can then spend my time on things like books and homework (which, for me, is usually the same thing).  it's that moment.

summer things- ideas
ben and i want to abstain from watching movies this summer.  there are other things i am thinking of adding to that list- i want to spend a week where i don't have a phone, a month where i don't watch youtube, a week without a computer, a week without music.  i think it would be like fasting, and i would feel better afterwards.

life is little- eternity, immortality, the things that you start to feel hanging on the fringes of poems are enormous, universe-sized.