One Hundred and Counting

I suppose I owe you all (or just owe myself?) a journal entry, if for no other reason than to commemorate this grand occasion: reaching 100 followers for my journal/poetry blog! I know it’s just a number, and I definitely shouldn’t start trying to measure some rating of “success,” but it feels like a little milestone despite all of that. Thanks to those of you who have put up with me since 2013, and to those who are just climbing on board: these are interesting times we live in.

I feel like maybe a recap is in order, a little summary to help guide you through the tangles and knots in this thread. It might give you some idea of who this Lord Rumfish person is, and with a little luck I might even drop back below 100 followers (I never said it would be good luck).

NOTEWORTHY TRAITS

1. Creative. Whether for good or ill, whether talented or lackluster, I just can’t stop creating things. This tends towards writing and gaming (many various forms of both), although recently I have been dipping into fashion, and even thinking about interior decorating/design and how the mundane spaces around the house could be given an artsy facelift.

2. Quixotic. I am a hopeless romantic, a defender of lost causes, and in many ways a somewhat ridiculous human being. Somehow I manage to balance this with other traits, including logical analysis. Humans are so conflicted and nonsensical.

3. Open-Minded. This stands in for a lot of other labels, things like “bisexual” or “independent voter” or “agnostic” or whatever. Part of having an open mind is challenging your comfort zone every so often; it doesn’t have to be all the time, but you’ve got to practice what you preach.

4. Depressed. Even though I try to see the world through rose-colored lenses, I have grappled with depression my entire life (I have had other diagnoses at other points in my life, such as Tourette’s Syndrome as a child, and social anxiety when I was in high school). It saps my energy, makes me sleep too much, and colors my worldview. If you are curious, I am unmedicated.

WHAT THIS IS

This is my poetry journal, my journal/poetry, my… somewhat-edited thought stream. I let my hair down here, but maybe not quite all the way. I have used this forum to discuss politics, economics, philosophy, dreams, my life (obviously), psychedelic rock, and whatever other interests motivate me such as writing, gaming, or edible wild plants. It’s a hodge-podge of stuff, not consistently one thing or another; on a good day, the “typical” entry would have a journal-y bit, and then a break for a poem that might be related to the journal writing.

WHERE I AM NOW

I am in the midst of a confusing and burgeoning romance that pretty well defies normality. All kinds of feelings are wrapped up in it, and I cannot go into prose detail; I’m likely to write a lot more poems and a lot less prose for that reason. If you like poetry about love, in particular messy forbidden love, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve also been experimenting recently with psychedelic imagery and beat poetry. With any luck I’ll also feel inspired at some point soon to talk about my eternal disgust for Herr Trump, and the impending nuclear winter that will make everything else pointless.

For old times’ sake, here’s a poem.

Half a page, half a page,
Half a page onward,
All in the volley of Dearth
Wrote the one hundred.
“Foreword, the Lord Rumfish!
Charge for the words!” he said.
Into the volley of Dearth
Wrote the one hundred.

“Foreword, the Lord Rumfish!”
Was there a man who wished?
Not though the headline knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs ought to make reply,
Theirs ought to reason why,
Theirs not to do and die.
Into the volley of Dearth
Wrote the one hundred.

Canon to right of them,
Canon to left of them,
Canon in front of them
Follied and sundered;
Stormed at with bot and sell,
Boldly they wrote and well,
Into the jowls of Dearth,
Into the hair from hell
Wrote the one hundred.

Flashed all their egos bare,
Flashed as they razzed an heir
Needling the gun-nuts there,
Heckling an army, while
All the world shuddered.
Plunged in the mirrors-and-smoke
Right through the lies they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the hairpiece bloke
Nattered and guttered.
Then they wrote back, but not
Not the one hundred.

Canon to right of them,
Canon to left of them,
Canon behind them
Follied and sundered;
Stormed at with bot and sell,
While Truth and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jowls of Dearth,
Back from the hair from hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of one hundred.

When can this gory facade
Ease off from Leningrad!
All the world wondered.
Honour the razz they made!
Honour Rumfish’s page,
Noble one hundred!

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Italian Longsword

So, in the last couple of weeks I’ve started trying to learn swordplay, fo’ realz. A more recent friend of mine has made this possible due to having some training equipment ready and having some knowledge of what manuscripts are out there to learn from. We’re basically two interested students with no teacher, so we’re having to teach ourselves. I can tell you that the guard positions have cool names (Half Iron Door and Boar’s Tooth Guard are two examples), and that the footwork is really important if you ever expect to dodge, or to land a meaningful hit; it also helps you to not get knocked over unexpectedly. It’s also good exercise: training drills are one thing, but open sparring? Fighting is exhausting work! I quickly learned that using the footwork properly can reduce my “fatigue expenditure” by easily stepping out of the way of a thrust or swing; also, switching to a defensive posture gives you a moment to catch your breath after pressing an offense. As a side note: longsword in this context means a sword used in two hands (D&D players out there might call it a “bastard sword” which is a modernized name; while it can be used in one hand for some maneuvers, it is intended for two hands primarily). The traditional measure for a longsword was where the pommel of the hilt was the height of the wielder’s armpit when the point was touching the ground; a decorative “claymore” sword that I own is the right height for me (I’m about 6’4″)! I use a sturdy plastic sword for practice at the moment, which isn’t nearly as long but also less exhausting to swing around.

I wish there were better options around Kentucky for learning proper swordplay; groups like the SCA and similar organizations mostly put a nix on learning thrust attacks, which is extremely unrealistic. I’m pretty sure I could beat someone who was only using swing attacks with a long thrust to the belly, neck or face, thrusts are about half of the attacks in Italian longsword style. Also, thrust attacks were used to pierce the weak points in heavy armor, which holds just as true today as it did then (Kevlar is weak against thrusts). I don’t want an artificial fighting experience, I want to learn the practical combat styles people used to defend and kill with in the late medieval period. Either way I would get exercise, but somewhere between the historical interest and my desire to learn “the real thing” I appreciate this more than the other possibilities. I have also seen that friends and acquaintances have had mixed or distant reception from local groups, and that those groups (that are difficult to join and/or elitist) also don’t really have any good sword experts among their number either. I am left to study with my friend John, which isn’t such a bad thing.

I guess the experience wouldn’t be too dissimilar from trying to learn an exotic martial art in an area with no instructor. You learn as best you can, and you know it’s mostly for fun. However, if my life was in danger from anything less than a firearm and there was any sort of stick-shaped object nearby, it could be a practical skill too. ^_~

Step step
don’t cross the feet
step step
and then retreat
step step
don’t get in close
step step
counter the blow
step step
thrust to the chest
step step
Window Guard that mess
step step
thrust to the face
step step
you’ve won this race.

Un-A-Muse-Ing

Hrrmmm… so I haven’t been feeling the urge to write for several weeks now. I don’t know why the Muse assails me sometimes, and other times seems coy. I probably need to have some shift in my everyday life to trigger the writing, although there is plenty I could be talking about I guess. I could tell you about Frank’s wedding, although it was a very casual and brief affair, where it was either crowded and hot, or cold and spacious. I just don’t have that much to say about it… I did notice that a lot of conversations that day strayed toward talking about relationships, past and present.

One of my friends is dating Angie, the ex-girlfriend I wrote about some time back. Life is sort of messy that way: you make connections with the people you know, and sometimes that gets a bit tangled. I’m trying my level best not to be jealous, and I did manage to hang out with them and a couple of other friends without it being too awkward. It complicates matters a bit that that particular friend is the one man I have ever had feelings for; in a way it feels like two break-ups at once, although honestly they might keep the relationship open and casual so that’s not even necessarily the end of it… sometimes I feel like I’m not adapted for this modern freeform dating. In another time period I would have just been straight and never questioned it. Now I call myself “mostly straight,” or that I “prefer women.” I’m also really not sure how I feel about swingers and open relationships, it seems like you are inviting in drama and complication to an already complex social dynamic.

I haven’t been touching this topic for a while because there are some people I know I have never spoken to about my experimentation, mostly I mean family and acquaintances, and those people may have access to this blog/journal/thingy. I am generally happy to live my life as a straight guy, and to come across that way, because I really do prefer women. I’ve had feelings for a lot of women over the course of my life, but only one man. With men it’s more like two friends getting together to have a little fun, who are still just friends afterward. Maybe I’ll lose a few conservative readers after this, but there you have it. I wasn’t content to leave my boundaries unexplored, and perhaps I’m better for it… I’m different certainly.

Oh well. Life is complicated, and I spend too much of it playing games perhaps. I just don’t know how to deal with reality sometimes.

No poem today,
as I have other things to
distract my ego.

Frank’s Bachelor Party

So, this is going to be a somewhat explicit post. I’ve always held that this journal should be a place where my inner thoughts have a voice, and in this case I’d like to comment on my very first strip club experience. If that’s not something you’d like to hear about, please do not read further.

Ahem… the day started tamely enough. My friend is getting married next weekend, and I knew today was the day for the bachelor’s party. Somewhere in the back of my head I had this vague idea that strippers might be involved, although I know that’s sort of a stereotypical trope and we might not be the kind of crowd to go for that. The first event was at a bowling alley… just for bowling (I am no professional: I had a mediocre 94 and a terrible 66). Why must public places be full of such loud music? All the noise, noise, noise, noise! Anyway, that was okay I guess. We met up with a bunch of his coworkers and stuff, so I only knew a handful of people there.

Originally I had heard we would go over to another guy’s house for games like Cards Against Humanity and whatnot, but apparently the plans shifted and suddenly the group was scaling back to those who were willing or able to venture to Platinum Plus in Lexington. More than half of us had never been to a strip club before, and that’s out of the ones that were willing to go in the spirit of the event. An awkward car ride later, and we approached the low dark building with a glowing neon purple light making a subdued line around the outside. They checked our IDs of course, charged us $7 for the privilege of entering and we made our way to a table.

So, was it what I expected? Yes and no. Some naïve part of my brain had this distant hope of some classy anachronistic establishment that only played music specifically for each dancer with breaks in-between (in my head the band is live too) and had the smoky feel of a speakeasy. No, the music was loud and in-your-face much like a bar or a club, although the bowling alley earlier had conditioned me to it a little. There were bars along the edges of the room, seating in the main area, a smallish circular dance platform near the entrance to greet you with a girl who is halfway “cage-dancing” except the bars are spaced apart and made for mini-pole-dancing. A main stage further back had a bit more runway to it and, of course, the central pole (always comes back to the pole eh? Perhaps I should deconstruct the phallic and yonic imagery… just kidding). There were dark passages leading off from here to more private dance areas in the corners. All of the appearance pretty well matched my expectations.

We settled uneasily into our seats as a scantily-clad server took our drink orders (I got a White Russian for a whopping $7.50, and later some of the guys used some coupon to get an ice bucket full of Budweisers). There was a palpable sensation of self-consciousness among us; what is the protocol here? How much do you tip, and in which situations? No one ever taught me the savoir-faire and etiquette of strip clubs! The music was too loud for much commentary, so with an occasional half-shouted exchange I took in the show. Some of the girls… women… ladies… strippers… exotic dancers… *performers* duly impressed me with their athleticism. Seriously, I would not be very confident in my ability to hang upside-down from a pole, sit my torso up perpendicular to it and do much of anything sexy-looking in the process, even if I had training. It must take some pretty serious leg and core/torso strength to do all that. They weren’t all that athletic of course, and the less energetic/talented ones were a bit less mesmerizing to watch (this might just be individual performers, but I found that the more full-figured curvaceous girls had a lot more pole dancing skill and strength than their boyishly-thin counterparts). They would migrate from the main stage over to the little “cage” stage, and that was right next to our table so we spent more time watching those performances. In the meantime, sometimes a girl would come by and sit on a guy’s lap to tempt him off for a private dance. This didn’t happen to me for the first main stretch of time I was there, so I was left with my thoughts and half-shouted conversation.

As an aside, I didn’t have a boner during all this. Between the public setting and the uncertainty of my nearby peers I just wasn’t turned on in that way; it was more of a mental titillation. That all changed when one of the ladies picked my lap to cozy up on. I had been half-dreading the moment (although I would have been disappointed if everyone passed me over): I was worried the experience would come across like some professional porn I have seen, with flat or dead-eyed acting and a plain or lurking suspicion that she didn’t want to be around me. Instead, I could find no trace of disinterest in her tone, she was flirtatious, easy-going, intoxicatingly seductive and her smile and eyes seemed wholly genuine. She commented on how cute my shyness was and what a gentleman I was being, and well… if it was an act I ate it up. I had already halfway decided before I arrived that if the moment seemed right I would get a lap dance just to have the whole strip club experience, but this promised to be more than I was expecting in terms of feeling intimate. She talked with me a little first, harmless questions and giggles mixed in with innuendo, kisses on my neck and a flash of her breasts. It might have been her job, but I realized she might just be enjoying it too, she might actually like me well enough for the duration of our encounter. I really wish I could remember the stage name she gave me, but I only heard it once and that isn’t enough for my memory… I was also a bit distracted at the time between a few drinks and her intoxicating proximity. She made her offer for a lap dance, we ironed out the details of how to pay, and I had her lead me to the ATM to get some cash. It had a charge of $10 to use, but I knew it would be awful and price-gouging in that way and I didn’t care. You win this one, strip club business model.

She led me back to a dimly-lit adjoining room with lots of couch-type seating, where I could see a few other people getting lap dances. I put away my wallet, she had me take off her panties and then the show really started. She was intense, smiling with mischievous eyes and seeming genuinely turned on by me (I know it was working on this end). It wasn’t distant, and it didn’t feel overly routine or artsy (although I’m sure a great degree of craft goes into it); she was *right there* leaning against me, putting my hands on her, coming in for tease-kisses (she said, “I’m sorry, we can’t,” in reference to a real kiss, and her tone seemed to imply she would have preferred otherwise; she came in close for several of those, with me just barely kissing her bottom lip). If it was all acting, she had me fooled; is it really so strange to accept that she liked me well enough, that she enjoys her job? The lap dance was so much nicer and more personal than I ever imagined it being.

So, here is my other personal myth of strip clubs disproven: I always thought the experience of having a lap dance would leave me feeling frustrated since I didn’t get off, so my thought was, “What’s the point?” I can honestly say that’s not how it felt afterwards though. I felt euphoric and wonderful, it gave me the sort of endorphin rush that *real sex* does, I was lightheaded with pleasure and I felt satisfied. While a few of the peripherals of the atmosphere felt a little iffy, I can honestly say that *she* did not come across as “dirty” or “fake” or whatever, it felt like she went out of her way to give me a great experience and had fun herself. Mmm, I can still smell her perfume on my shirt… ahh well, I know it’s a one-time thing and I will probably never encounter her again. It’s been a dry spell for several years since I have been with a woman, and this little break from reality (or is it? It’s real, it happened…) …okay scratch that, this lovely vacation from routine made for such a wonderful comforting moment. I felt good about myself, I felt sexy and desired, and the majority of my brain is disagreeing with the little negative voice saying that it was meaningless because money changed hands. I have no illusions of love, but that doesn’t mean nothing positive transpired.

After the moment ended (it was a three-dance-long lap dance, she had me hooked), the rest of our bachelor party mobilized to leave not long afterwards. I am left with my thoughts, the scent of her perfume, and silence replaces the half-shouted conversation.

In a moment of anxiety,
through a field of the unfamiliar
and hazily half-sexy haunts,
an angel descended,
arriving on my lap
and offered me the very thing
I could not ask for.
She took me into her embrace, smiling
to see such shyness
and unguarded candor
juxtaposed with manners
and sweet desire.
She informed me that heaven
costs anywhere
from $25 all the way to $600,
and I choose an option somewhere between
Puritan and Mormon
as I learn not all price tags
invalidate the experience.

Sweet Dreams, Mantis.

Um… okay. I know this isn’t a dream journal, but I *have* to write about this dream. It is far, far too weird not to. Heads up, it gets graphic. You have been warned.

So, the dream rambled on from one thing to the next, much as they always do. I was with my parents on some sort of vacation or excursion, travelling to a place on the coast. Strangely, I knew I had been to this place on the coast in my dreams before, but never in life. I think we were supposed to be rock collecting, but we ended up getting swept up into some sort of field party with a bunch of people, a few of whom we knew. As it was getting quite dark I launched into a bit of a song (I don’t remember which one) where I sang the melody and two guys nearby started singing harmony, and people started listening and applauding: we became a party hit. As soon as I figured the crowd would start making requests, and the lights died down to nearly pitch black with a few spots of firelight, I saw a girl rise up above the crowd, almost floating in the air about six or seven feet up. In my dream-logic mind I figured she was standing on a table or perhaps being supported by those below, but really she just seemed to be floating. She looked down on me, ethereal and… I won’t say angelic, she was more like the sidhe or some other variety of fey creature… anyway, she said, “It has been so long, and the night is young. Surely I deserve a dance, won’t you dance with me?” The guy next to me in the dream started to respond, but we both ignored him and I slowly stood up and approached her. As I reached out for her, she tumbled down towards me face-first like she had just fallen, but when I touched my hand to her shoulder she was light as a feather and flipped her whole body over to land perfectly beside me. My dream-logic told me she must be very drunk and losing her coordination, but on reflection I don’t know if my dream-mind was correct about that. I took her into my arms, and we barely had time to start dancing before she started making out with me, and I responded in kind, carrying her away from the cheering crowd.

We went back to her hotel room (we were in the hotel hallway as suddenly as a scene transition), and it was clear we were going to have a tryst at her room. Then something very strange happened: I began to transform partially into a praying mantis, but not all the way (my head and hands were still normal, but my torso region was definitely changed). This didn’t stop her though, she went through her door and shut it, but there was a “glory hole” at crotch level and we had sex through the door standing up. I was glad she hadn’t rebuffed me for having transformed, but I had a detached moment of “What the hell is happening here?” while at the same time not wanting to stop. In my mind’s eye I briefly had my camera view come through the hotel door and I could see her during our liaison despite being stuck on the other side of the door. She was dark-haired, kept it cropped short, and she was a svelte little thing, built like a gymnast.

Finally, our sex concluded, she opened the door and let me in. I started transforming back to my normal body, but it seemed that she had had a dangerously capricious mood swing. We kissed again, then she pulled back away from me, with a wild, almost flirtatious gleam in her eyes, and said, “So insect man, what will it be?” Then she pulled a gun out with her right hand and pointed it straight off to the side, into some kitchen cabinets, and she started firing it, shattering plates and kitchenware on the way. I counted the shots, she fired 10 rounds as she swung her arm and hand further towards the front, towards me. The last shot went narrowly by the left side of my head. Then she stuck the gun in my mouth, and I could feel the metal on my tongue before I snatched the gun away from her and jumped back. Somehow I knew the gun only had 10 bullets in the clip and she was out, but I wasn’t about to take that chance with a gun in my mouth.

I said, “This has been great, but now you’re scaring me.”

She seemed tired then, like I had knocked the wind out of her, and she said, “You can go if you want.” So I left then, frightened and struggling to remember what my room number was, striding away and searching my pockets to try to find my room key. The hotel was impossible to navigate, especially in my confused and scared state, and before long I was walking back down the same corridor as her room, and I passed her in the hallway. She looked diminished in some way, like she was tired, sad and maybe upset. She glanced over at me and said, “Goodnight,” and I replied in kind. That’s when I woke up.

…well. If I was interpreting literature, I’d say it’s no coincidence that after partially turning into a praying mantis, my lover tried to kill me. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean though, if anything. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything, but with such colorful imagery I would almost be inclined to say I was invited to a faerie revel. I don’t know how to respond.

Seaside revels change the tide
As two from different worlds collide;
It’s more than never meant to be,
I can’t know her, she can’t know me.

Sing as a trio in rich refrain,
And party in light summer rain;
I find a fan rise over the waves,
And give my visitor what she craves.

She falls to Earth to be with me,
And soon departs lands by the sea;
But this is magic, I’m mortal man,
And I transform beneath her hand.

She’ll have her prize despite my change,
And through the door burn passion’s flame:
She has her way, and when she’s done,
She lets me in and gets her gun.

She playfully fires ten shots to her right,
Puts the gun in my mouth; I opt for flight.
Somehow to her it was only a game,
And when I don’t play she is suddenly tame.

In panicked flight I lose my way,
To her this mantis is easy prey;
But she only woefully says goodbye,
And I find I regret leaving her to rise.

New Year’s Resolutions

Well, my cousin hasn’t left us yet… he seems to be more resolved to do his homework, I guess he’s trying his best to stay with us. There are some resolutions I need to face up to as well, and I started one of them today: getting back in shape.

I know I’ve written about it before on here, but outside of the occasional manual labor or aerobics (very occasional), I really hadn’t worked out for the past 8 years. We have a home gym thing (uses resistance bars), and my dad printed out some worksheets to keep track of what exercises and how many reps we would do (dad loves to make lists and be organized). I found my worksheet, and the last entry on it was dated January 31, 2007. Eight years… that’s a long time of telling myself I’d get back into shape and not following through. The only time I was really in fit condition was when I was 17, after I’d been working out the YMCA for a year. I was at my adult height of 6’4″ and I weighed 175 lbs., which I estimated to be less than 10% bodyfat. I could walk a mile in under 12 minutes, and for the first time in my life I was capable of doing pullups. I never quite reached the point of benchpressing my own weight (I peaked at 155 lbs.), so I won’t say I was an athlete or anything, just healthy and fit.

Now I’m 31, I weigh 209.5 lbs. (I know, not cause for alarm exactly, but I don’t want to develop a potbelly), and when I did aerobics (power walking) on the treadmill I covered 0.725 miles in 11 minutes (with a mix of steep grades thrown in) and I felt like I was about ready to die so I stopped there and caught my breath for several minutes. On the weights, I didn’t back off from the weight and reps from the last time I’d worked out (to be fair, that workout sheet in 2007 was after a long break as well), and I’m sure I’ll feel it in the next couple of days. Who knew lateral pull-ups could be so difficult? Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m too young to be feeling so old and tired. My joints might pop like a chorus of percussion, but being mobile is necessary to a longer (and better) life.

Another resolution is to get a new job, we’ll see how that goes. At least places are hiring right now, unlike the recession. Finally, there’s dating on the horizon… the potentially very near horizon. Wish me luck.

I get out the cereal
and vitamins
8 grams of protein in a serving of milk
250% of vitamin D in this tablet
15% of saturated fat
Omega-3s, dietary value not established
water to wash it down, 0 calories
and I go to the punishment machines.

Machines that remind you of a misspent youth
(and a misspent early adulthood to boot),
machines that make you punish yourself to great effect:
the less pain you feel, the more guilt sets in;
machines that mock your body, your stamina, your power,
yet you want to use them,
anyway:
what clever torturers
kinesthetics
are.

Beginnings and Endings

The hardest part of a story to write is the ending; a close second is the beginning. I live with my parents, and for some months now they have taken on a 13 year old relative of mine who got himself into serious legal trouble. I’m pretty sure he’s in the Asperger’s part of autism spectrum, and I really don’t know if he was abused when he was younger but his behavior seems to indicate it sometimes. It’s definitely been an adjustment with him around the house, even as little as I see him. Once in a while we’ll play a game of Magic or he’ll show me the latest Lego engine he’s built, or occasionally I help him with his poetry homework, but for the most part I let Mom and Dad do the parenting and all that. I don’t pester him, he doesn’t pester me.

Well, he hasn’t been doing well in school; unfortunately, when you’re in legal trouble getting bad grades can mean a potential change of residence. Mom seems completely frazzled by him and the whole situation, and I think this will be the last child she ever takes on to help raise. For whatever the reason, she just doesn’t have the patience or tolerance that she used to; it makes sense she has less energy, that comes with age. Dad is also frustrated in his own, long-fuse anger sort of way I think; partly, I think he doesn’t know how to help him, to break through and get the kid to be more responsible and structured. Anyway, it is looking very much like we might be letting him go, possibly to go into foster care or a juvenile hall, maybe to get foster care from his aunt if he is lucky (and changing states doesn’t pose too many legal problems).

He’s intelligent, but he’s extremely passive-aggressive and noncommittal about everything, often choosing silence or saying “meh” if the conversation turns to anything even vaguely important about him and his fate, his life. Part of that is being 13 (I remember the awkwardness of 13 all too well), but there is definitely a wall built up, to the point that he rarely even displays anger. I remember preteens and teens as, well, volatile emotionally, and prone to rebellious outbursts. Even when you can tell he is irritated or angry he does his damnedest to cover it up.

I think he has improved since he came here though. He’s learned some about personal boundaries, about moderation (particularly with sugary food), about setting a schedule… just not enough. I feel that we’ve failed him in some way, that we weren’t willing to put forth the effort to overcome his learning disabilities (and potentially his past trauma), just as it seems he is unable or unwilling to put forth the effort to dig himself out of the hole he’s in. I don’t like throwing in the towel, but it isn’t my call to make. It could be the right call to make, and some perfect foster family will take him in and give him exactly what he needs to shape up… or it could be a disaster, and he’ll fall through the cracks in the system. I’m thinking about having one last serious talk with him to see if I can get through and get him to start the serious process of change, although I may be too late to save his living arrangement here based on the way Mom is talking.

My retail job has slowed to the point of being nonexistent, with weeks passing by where I am scheduled for one shift, or zero shifts. As far as I’m concerned I’ve been fired, and I may as well move on to new work, which I may find in Lexington. In the midst of this I’ve started talking to a lady (girl? she’s 26 I think) on a dating site just in the past two days, exchanged numbers, and might just meet up in person soonish. Beginnings are also difficult, but I’ve got to give it a fair shot. She’s cute, seems intelligent, and hopefully some chemistry will strike when we meet in person (I feel you cannot know your true reaction to someone without meeting them in person, so much is missing without vocal tone and body language). I have no expectations at this point, I’m going in with a blank slate and seeing what chalks up.

Time to sleep soon; better get that poem written.

Hidden memory,
agenda suppressed:
he rebels
with quietness,
passive resistance
– his insistence –
an inability
to stabilize.

Hardly works,
hardly expresses
his feelings,
day’s duresses,
playing hard
at pointlessness,
hellish judgment
he accepts.

Knows engines,
knows cars,
expecting he’ll
reach registrars;
neutral gear
defines him,
but hopefully
not reverse.

Webbing strands
entangle him,
bureaucracy holds
papers grim;
he retreats,
he disengages:
cocooning death?
Chrysalis stages?

Were I
his father,
I would,
sir, bother.
Were I
his brother,
I would,
sir, suffer.

I am
his cousin,
still better
than nothin’;
one last
college try
before farewell,
good bye.