If You Could See the Stars

Like a nebula you surround me
in a cloak of forming stars,
setting sail on astral vapors
across the heavenscape;
you softly light
in clouds’ delight
a cosmologic scene:
a cerulean sphinx, a verdant cove,
or eyes aquamarine,
a crimson girl with umbrous curls who delves the velvet deeps;
if this be dream,
then may I never waken from this sleep.

Within the deeping pockets,
I can spy chaotic scenes:
as the forming stars are burning,
as the gases storm and keen,
colossal
elemental forces are at work within,
sublime;
and I love you,
every particle:
we are fleeting, and we
did/do/will exist
at every point,
and past
the ends
of time;
my nebula,
my starscape,
my sea of astral rhyme.

In Case You Were Wondering

What essences I have dreamed,
what hearts and souls I have schemed,
What darknesses I have screamed,
I do not know;
what beauty I have made,
what shimmerings in the shade,
what wistfulness I have bade,
oh my soul;
what Whitmans I have been,
Dickinson again and again,
I’ve been wallflower, I’ve been spin,
and this grows;
you don’t drain the Poe out of me,
you give it heart and you set it free,
can I say, “What will be, will be?”
I do not know;
what dreams had I given up on,
how many times cursed the dawn,
now it’s here, and it’s simply wrong,
oh, our souls;
prisms dancing in rainbow hues,
music instead of morning news,
castles crumble for love of you,
this I know;
this is more than exotic love,
or melancholy erotica,
intoxicate me and take my blood,
and this grows;
neon skirt and transparent blouse,
among the stars living hand to mouth,
when we’re together it outweighs doubt,
this I know;
I can touch you without my hand,
I can clothe you in astrakhan,
I can love you without a plan,
oh our souls.

50 Years Late and $7.37 Short, Adjusted for Inflation

Daydream darling,
I decorate a psychic space for you:
this space is filled with colors,
filled with textures
and tastes;
dark chocolate M&M’s
silken paisley, astrakhan
green and blue and purple and black
and every other shade has a turn
on its back.
Rainbows in bottles,
artistic banal
it might be mundane
but I’ll color it all,
I’ll color your world,
I’ll color it all.
Floral prints and gothic refrains
the goal is not to mask the pain
but make it palatable,
a bit more sane
in the madness of our love,
in antique daisy chains;
daydream darling,
awaken me
awaken all
that we could be,
as we defy
normality,
every law
including gravity,
connect and drift
on astral tides,
heal me and
consume my love,
my life.

Take Me With You

Silken joy descends upon me,
black lace love, diaphanous deep,
the night has not been made for sleep
and neither has this day.
Smooth and wet, you whet my stone
and sharpen our desire,
sparks fly when the whet stone meets
such soft and sharp edges
beneath.

We meet in the gap,
an opening
that creates life and love and good,
so fortunate I, tis welcoming
though I am a thief,
a corsair meandering
along this wood.

In mere moments,
unraveling
all the futures I had seen,
replacing them in shades of green
and love.

Disappear,
we are wandering,
two corsairs foreign and far away
together through the mystic days,
unseen.

Affection

I don’t think I am
any less
affectionate now
than when I was 16
or even 10, awakening;
the theoretical model
still seems to ignite in practice.

So perhaps
what I mean
by the shyness you see
is my hesitance now
to unleash the damn thing.

For my love is an ocean,
vast and deep;
my love is an ocean,
ragged with reefs;
my love is an ocean,
with swells and sighs;
my love is an ocean,
you’ll drown in the riptide.

And I don’t mean
– I mean –
but I’d rather not mean…
that my love suffocates,
taking greedily,
knowing there’s a chance
you won’t be here tomorrow,
knowing there’s a chance
you might stay today,
knowing there’s a chance
of happiness,
I pounce;
I give back a stone
if you give me an ounce.

So it’s generous too
(in a desperate way),
but I’m scared now
to show it
to drive you away,
so I linger on
shyly
in glances
and blushes,
a few fumbled words
and long hesitations…
I wait to see
if
I’ll ask for your number,
say my clever line,
forget my failures
and
everything that could go wrong
this time,
long enough for you to possibly be mine.

My love is an ocean,
full of colorful pains;
my love is an ocean,
it could sweep you away;
my love is an ocean,
filling every sensation;
my love is an ocean,
dying of dehydration.

Fortunes and Prayers

I’m often pretty careful talking (or not talking) about religion. I was raised as a Methodist, but even as a preteen I was questioning my faith. I fell out of faith, then briefly it kindled up again around the time I was 16, then flickered out once more. I just cannot reconcile all the egregious details associated with most religions. How much of the Bible do you want to take as strict doctrine? Almost none of it? Literally all of it (pretty sure no one does that, there are some really harsh punishments described in Leviticus for some things we don’t find as death-worthy “crimes”)? How do you, with a straight face, inform the followers of, say, Wiccan faith or Shinto or whatever that they are doomed to an eternity of suffering because they grew up in the “wrong” place and were exposed to the “wrong” ideas? If you start throwing out a lot of those ideas, how much does it really resemble Christianity anymore? What was Christianity even LIKE in 300 C.E.?

Ahem, anyway… ultimately I decided that there were, indeed, many strange phenomena that I could not explain, nor could science adequately describe, nor could any (current) world religion, nor any philosophy. This is why I’m agnostic: I do believe in things beyond our comprehension that may, possibly, be divine (or are so completely beyond our current technology and understanding that it may as well be divine). Despite my belief, I also realize that neither I nor anyone else understands all the elements of existence, so it would be fallacious (and full of hubris) to make any assumptions of the powers that may or may not be.

With that in mind, I sent up a thought-prayer about a week ago, one of the little leftover artifacts of my Christian upbringing I guess. I liken it to sending my thoughts and desires into the Universe, and if the powers that may or may not be see fit, might just grant my request or take it under consideration. My thought was this: “Hey, if you’re listening, I am so very tired of being alone, and I feel like I’m ready for a relationship. If you would like to help me out at all or give me a hint, I’d appreciate it. Actually, nevermind, no rush really.”

So… there’s the ongoing work dialogue with my assistant manager, of course, but it seems like in the past few days women have been looking at me differently. I’ve always seemed to hold some allure for ladies on the plus side; don’t ask me why, it’s just a thing. Beauty comes in all sizes, so I never had an issue with it, more of a curious observation. Recently though, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that a girl working in the Kroger deli likes me, and when I got lunch from a little restaurant at the outlet mall today, one of the greeter girls (the place was a sit-down restaurant, y’know, the type that has some cute young people – mostly girls – dressed in black who meet you at the door and seat you at a table) practically pushed one of the other ones out of the way to talk to me about the items on the menu, like they were both vying for my attention. A more suave guy probably would have flirted more and gotten her phone number, but I was on good behavior, largely because their boss kept hovering around nearby. You still think I’m imagining things? One of them came and brought me a complimentary drink – yes, no charge – while I was waiting for my food. That just can’t be store policy. Hopefully the next time I see her, her boss won’t be around looking constantly impatient.

The logical step to take here would be that I am starting to feel more confident because I have some income, the growing possibility that I could move out if I had roommates, and I suppose a change in wardrobe due to work and more experience talking to the public – especially women – every week. I suppose I could also be misinterpreting the social interactions around me and imagining this flirtatious attention, but I think that’s just my negative self image trying to convince me I couldn’t possibly be attracting the attention of young, beautiful women. The change could all be in my head, my body language, my appearance, etc., or… the little possibility that the Universe heard my prayer and said, “Oh, okay! No takebacksies.”

So, what am I afraid of? That I’ll waste both of our time when she rejects me for currently living with my parents? That she won’t be initially interested and I might have a moment of being embarrassed, potentially in public? No, perhaps what I’m really afraid of is… success. Change, even change for the infinitely better, is still scary. I think I’ve gotten downright comfortable in this rut I’m in, but the means of climbing out is within my grasp if only I would stretch out my hand and take it.

What am I afraid of?

In my lunch, there were two fortune cookies (the place has an odd blend of Asian and Mexican cuisine). The first one read, “A thrilling time is in store for you.” The second said, “This is a time for love and affection.” I’ve never been so inspired by fortune cookie messages before, and I can’t shake the feeling that maybe, just maybe, the Universe might grant my prayer.

A prayer is thought,
and like the banks of the Nile
a fertile flood comes.

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.