Artisanal Love

I mold the heart with these two hands,
’til love is fit for a Valentine’s cake:
almost too sweet to bite into
almost too perfect to cover and bake
but I’ve worked too hard to just forsake
this labor I have longed to do
so I finish what I’ve started here
in the hopes I can have – and eat – it too
but the cost, I’m afraid, comes now too dear
Perfection spoils the True and Real
now hindsight makes it all too clear:
needs sours and bitters in order to feel.
I gave in to daydream’s demands:
I mold the heart with these two hands.

While I’ve never felt much kinship with tight-form poetry, I will say that it’s kinda fun to play with it. So, that’s a sonnet there, but not in any recognizable form I’ve ever heard of (if they name it after me, call it a Rumfishian Sonnet ^_~). Pretty irregular rhyme scheme, eh?

A
B
C
B
B
C
D
C
D
E
D
E
A
A, with the first line being the last line.

Yeah, it bears a resemblance to other forms, and it’s probably just clumsy, and for all I know this is already a style of sonnet, but this is a journal after all. Any time I start to feel too silly or pretentious or blasphemous I can just remind myself that it was never supposed to be submitted to a magazine or turned in for class. Ludicrosity reigns as I make up new words and new sonnet archetypes, and it’s all mostly for fun. There may be nothing new under the sun, and it all may be in tune, but as the Pink Floyd fans recall, the sun ‘s eclipsed by the moon. =)

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Retrofitting

I helped my creative writing club at college put on a poetry reading today, by bringing food, drinks and poems to verbalize. Since the event is fresh on my mind, I’m going to rewrite a poem today from memory that I wrote some years ago (it’s a long one, so I think it makes up for my normal journal entry). It has a blitzing cadence when I read it out loud, see what you think. It’s about forbidden love.

What is the nature of our journey?
What the task we’re set to do?
What the trials we pull through
or failures we keep turning
out?
And who’s to set the number?
What’s the time when time is right?
When am I unencumbered?
And who will pity my plight?

And who’s to judge when love is wrong?
What voice would silence beauty’s song?
And when the day is running long
from night into another
who sits beside me, guiding me,
providing me advice I need
when every time I writhe and plead
I find myself alone?
Who will help alleviate the seeds that I have sown?
Or is it, indeed, even I
who cultivates full grown
the dreams of deeds
falling like beads
down through my mind to find my heart?
Tell me, can it be so
that someone else may have imparting
some of that which has been started?
Every flick’ring glance that’s darted
through uncharted waters
through the coral reefs of terror
as some happy, woeful bearer
of the joy of Zeus’s daughters
finds me always unprotected
finds my heart, so long neglected
this emotion has infected me
down to my deepest core.

Again, I ask you:
is it wrong? This song that I am singing?
And the tidings I’m not bringing?
You are ringing in my mind
my heart
my soul is humming melodies
my soul is humming
fingers drumming
tumbling! tumbling!
and I fight it when I can
and ask again about the ban:
is it right?

It shouldn’t be so complicated
I should let it go, they say
but even so
Yes, even so
I love you
it’s so simple
and it doesn’t NEED explaining
in the time that’s slowly waning
what are any of us gaining sitting here and growing older
while the season waxes colder?
Shouldn’t warmth be what we’re seeking?
Every breath that we aren’t speaking
should be spent together blissfully
not lonesome, far and wistfully
but such is not the case
it is so far to fall from grace.

I find again that I am torn
and every rose will have its thorn
each stabbing sweetness I have bourn
mocks cruelly of completeness
each unruly dream I can’t put down
brings a smile that fades to frown
and deep within my eyes of brown
one looking closely might see you
in more times than a few.

And I’ve made too much of it all,
I’ve paced it up and down the hall
and masqueraded at the ball
for all that, it’s not faded.
I’m no monster,
nor am jaded,
just perhaps it’s all related
but I know that nothing ‘s fated
nothing written in the stone
for the smitten and alone
just a girl to call my own
was all I asked for.

Mocha and Cream


It was inevitable: I’ve started to develop a crush on a girl in one of my classes.

What’s not to like? She’s intelligent, she’s confident, she writes, she has an adorable smile and disarmingly lovely eyes. I would describe her skin tone as “mocha” if I had to come up with a word for it. I honestly don’t know that much about her, but she smiles whenever I catch her eye.

I used to be terrified of asking a girl out, but now I just need to steel myself for a moment and then I do it. I don’t have a fancy preamble, no pick-up lines, just a nervous, vulnerable and earnest question. So why haven’t I asked her already? Well, it still isn’t easy, even though I can do it now. The question is infinitely harder if there’s anyone else within earshot to hear me ask, I always prefer to ask when we’re alone. Trouble is, reality doesn’t always offer such a moment. This means I have to psych myself up twice as much to ask.

I guess I could be a little intimidated by her being “black” but the more that time goes on, the less I see any barrier based on race. I figured there would be some kind of learning curve, much like if someone wanted to start getting into nerd culture (no, seriously, we’re intelligent people with a lot of hobbies that often have a lot of rules of their own or an investment of time, it’s genuinely daunting to outsiders). However, I find that black (or African-American, or whatever might be politically correct at the time period and location you are reading this) culture isn’t so unapproachable or hard to understand. I’m sure I have plenty left to learn, but it seems within reach.

Perhaps it doesn’t have to do with any of that, maybe I just want to have my life in order before I ask someone out. I know there are plenty of people going to college who live with their parents and commute to save money just like I do, but it makes me feel like I don’t have enough to offer in a relationship. Maybe it would be reasonable to wait, but my feelings have never gotten along with my logical thought processes. Why not get to know her better? Why not ask her out?

I look at you
you look at me
it’s too late for subtlety
it’s obvious I looked
at you
to be looking at you;
but you smile at me
I smile at you
as if to say
“It’s okay,
I was looking at you too.”
And you’re so pretty
in that moment
that all I want to do
is to mix the cream that’s me
with the mocha that is you
until we are one drink,
so I can drown
in you.

Waltz Time


We step in three-four time
the beat falls perfectly
the basics being done,
your eyes fixate on me

despite the crowd I feel
we glide the floor alone
we find ourselves adjoined
by rhythm and the tone

I’m pulling now to you
you’re pulling now to me
I cannot help but see,
I cannot help but see

your eyes disrobe my soul
and such is yours to me
I cannot help but see,
I cannot help but see

until the music slows
regretfully we part
I carry off your longing
You carry off my heart.

(This image courtesy of wikimedia commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Waltzing_together_statue.jpg)

Heart-Throb

I see you in the eyes
of most women that pass
nervous girls
giggling airheads
accomplished seductresses
bookish glass-wearers
rough-hewn feminists
worldly wives
omniscient mothers
active grandmothers
budding preteens
empathic musicians
addictive writers
too much sight!
too much love!
and all of it
at a
distance

Female friends

Now, this is really telling on myself here, but it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to and I may finally be getting better at. As the post name indicates, the topic is female friends.

As a guy attracted to girls, I have struggled some with maintaining non-romantic relationships with women (I’ll leave the romantic relationships alone for the moment). The trouble lies with the fact that, if I appreciate a lady for her mind and her persona, it often follows that sparks start striking for me. The most luck I’ve had in the past was when I talk to someone who is already in a committed relationship (i.e. meeting someone’s wife) and is therefore not available and not interested. This flips off a switch in my brain and allows me to talk to her without involving any romantic feelings, I guess it’s a defense mechanism to prevent me from going insane with heartbreak and jealousy, or perhaps it’s some sort of emotional politeness. I feel genuinely sorry for people who can’t suppress the trigger in those situations, because that must be hellish.

If the woman is single and interested in guys, however, there have been rocky patches in my dealings. Is that normal? Suffice to say, I’ve had few female friends. I’ve had pleasant conversations with plenty of women that didn’t turn romantic, but I usually haven’t spoken to them enough to consider them “friends.”

I started writing this post in late July, and I set it aside then, perhaps because I ran out of time one night, or perhaps because it’s a subject I have difficulty putting into words. Since I got this far though, I’ll try to finish the thought. Anyhow, I do have a few female friends. Not many of them are close, where I see them with any frequency or can talk to them about anything freely, though there are one or two who can qualify as the former or the latter. I just wish I didn’t sabotage the process with feelings as often as I have in the past. Should I really feel sorry for being who I am, though? Maybe it is neither a good trait nor a bad trait, simply part of me. Even so, I can’t help but feel dumb for how easily I start falling in love. At least my one-track mind keeps me focused on the woman I’m with, when I have a relationship. I dread to think what kind of drama I’d have gotten myself into otherwise.

Right, I was going to keep this conversation grounded in talking about friends and not romantic relationships. I think I’m reaching the point in my life that I can successfully not make a fool out of myself all the time, and when I do make a fool out of myself I have the good sense to realize I’m doing so and have that be a conscious choice. I sometimes worry I might relapse and make the same mistakes I’ve made before, but I think we all share that fear. Now I can talk to a woman and – potentially – it’s just a conversation. I know the foolhardy romantic is still part of me though, one of the many facets of my personality. Perhaps I’ve traded enough innocence for experience to keep it in check now.

you call me as you come home from work
we talk about our day, our fears
our darkest moments manifest
you tell me you’ve been here

you tell me not to beat myself
it’s nice to know you care
you cheer me in a practical way
commiserate despair

eventually the time runs out
you go home to another man
and I know that I’m okay with this
for I tell myself I can.

Dream

My dreams are weird, but I’m sure that’s true for most of us. I just woke up from some much earlier than anticipated, so I thought I might write about it.

It often involves a large building, as it did tonight. However, this time it took the form of a house with endless hallways and doors. It was full of secret passages that I had to crawl through, there were old decaying areas mixed in with the familiar and suburban. I recall having to escape from a hive of colorless, semi-transparent bees at one point in a run-down part of the “house.” A lot of the dream seemed to be entirely devoted to navigating the labyrinthine building, about finding the next room and the next misadventure I was supposed to attend. Finally, I went with someone else to spy on another faction living in the house, and when we got there we discovered what seemed to be a cult of men in their 20’s. They wore dark clothing and had sharp metal incorporated into their style all over, not unlike a raider from Fallout but more covered-up. They discovered us and I tried to flee, but as I started running slower and slower the fear of capture woke me up.

Ah, dreams. They’re interesting, but I figure if you spend too many waking hours analyzing them then you’re missing the point of being awake.

I stand at the breach
as the light goes out, they turn
metal and sharp smiles

crawling here again
if it is the same building
it spans across miles

in urban decay
still not as terrifying
as rural decay

I poison the hive
but it only kills color
now they’re stealthy bees