abandoned

I find abandoned things from time to time. I have found phones,manuscripts, a box of jello, The Feminine Mystique. I have abandoned things: a slip, a hairbrush, a box of condoms,  self-discipline, a bicycle.

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Tonight I found a single white rose by the trash chute. In perfect condition, fresh and soft, still wrapped in a plastic sheath. It made me sad to think that a fresh rose would be so unwanted. Did someone’s date go poorly tonight? Naturally, I took it in. But I wondered as I set it on the counter, what good does this do? What can I do with a single rose? I suppose I can put it in water and wait for it to die. And then once it does, I can abandon it again. It seems harsh. This is why I hate receiving flowers — there really is nothing to do with them. I wondered if the person who received it went through the same thought process, and decided to get rid of it before the misery began. Obviously, they had some sympathy for the flower, leaving it merely beside the trash chute rather than chucking the whole thing in. So I did the thing anyway, and it’s sitting in a tiki glass on my counter in some water.

A while ago I found what I consider to be a bachelor box abandoned by the trash chute. It was a cardboard box full of packages of Rice-A-Roni and cheap cans of alcohol. I imagine it was someone trying to move beyond a certain stage of life where Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea and sodium are no longer staples. Clearly, I am not beyond that stage of life, and I thanked them for their charity.

I found a break-up box once, too. It was full of sweaters that were nice, but slightly too large for me, unopened tea-tree oil and mint shampoo, and a favorite mug. It was left by the trash chute as well and I waited a whole day to pass of it unclaimed before I took it in. I had a friend, long ago, who after a break up took a photo of his ex’s stuff that he had left behind piled up in boxes by the garbage, and texted the photo to him on his birthday. He never heard back from him.

Lately, I’ve found myself abandoned. You don’t really think you did, but it’s true you thought your life would be better elsewhere and as a result of this I am alone. The paltry words of affection you offer me do not fill the void where you once lay beside me. They do not quell the obsessive thoughts about you, wondering if you are thinking of me, wondering if you love me, wondering if we’ll have a future together. What good does this do? What can I do in an empty home? There is no one to put up my Christmas decorations for, no one to see when I roll out of bed. I suppose I can keep hollowly treading forth, waiting to see you again. Waiting for it to die? I can’t stand that thought, but the waiting feels like undeath. It isn’t living. Obviously, you have some attachment to me or you would have broken it off outright. You say this is for our future, but I cannot see beyond six months from now in my haze. And six months from now you will still be gone.

What is there to do? I have to keep going through a blank horizon before I can reach our destination.

I have to keep going…

and looking by the trash chute

to see what’s left for me…

The Egg and I: e-Publishing and Me.

kindle

What guilty niche fiction do you download to read discreetly?

It would be remiss of anyone who writes currently to not acknowledge the power of e-publishing. Not so long ago, digital publication seemed like a pipe dream – after all, hosting content on the internet is free for anyone to steal or plagiarize, how should anyone know it’s really yours, or how wouldn’t you just be another ignored, unindexed voice on the deep web? The deep web, is in fact, where my long abandoned teenage poetry project lays at rest, undisturbed by search engines, sleeping in quiet shame. No, I didn’t link you to it, that would defeat the purpose of it being on the deep web. You will never know, unless you knew me then, and then only if you cared so much.

But yes, that was perhaps my first, most ambitious venture into e-publishing. I recall receiving a few emails and instant messages, somehow, from people who were interested in releasing excerpts of my poetry in their books, or perhaps interested in using them for studies. I was fairly adamant on receiving royalties back then, and never heard any response after establishing that. Now, I think I’d just settle for receiving a printed copy to show to my friends. Yet, in retrospect I would not want any immortalization of that body of work.

But e-publishing has definitely been on my mind lately; between the absurd trending of dinosaur erotica, the Eight Hour eBook Challenge, and the ability to monetize blog subscriptions on Kindle, the range of opportunities for a writer to release content online – for money(!), seem endlessly full of potential. There is seemingly no content restriction for ebooks, and the only requirement for selling a subscription to your blog is that it have an RSS feed and update weekly. I am considering selling a subscription to my decade old private LiveJournal as an experiment. It’s not a document I am willing to share with anyone that I know personally, but, like my poetry as of late, I find it interesting to get responses on it from strangers.

That reminds me, I haven’t really talked about my current body of work. I am creating a body of work based upon my extensive romantic-exploratory excesses. It has been met by some resistance from some whom it may chronicle, and great interest by others who may relate to it. Either way, it’s not something I could show to my mother, or most of my friends. It’s my first self-critical autobiographical work (not semi-autobiographcal like much of my prose fiction), and it’s been painful and delightful to write and have critiqued. That is perhaps some of why my attention has been taken away from this blog, in addition to its ongoing identity crisis.

I ponder over the profits reaped from dinosaur erotica and wonder what strange niche of material I could someday learn to churn out.  I leave scads of text documents open, with half finished stanzas and paragraphs hoping to stumble into something lucrative. I contemplate how many words I could generate in under eight hours, given time for image editing and formatting for the Kindle. I wonder when I’ll even get a smart phone, much less an e-reader. I wonder if I’d even be able to pay for all the impulse buy fiction I would want to accrue with a Kindle. Then on the bus, I lean into my paper books and become immersed in the sensual experience of pages and ink smells and singular focus — no juggling libraries, no tabbed browsing. I imagine there could be harmony in both.

This is all conjecture, naturally.

Now, to get around to publishing as much as I can, however I can.

Dysfunction.

It would be negligent of me to not write a post before midnight to commemorate the two-year anniversary of this blog. This blog is the longest standing public internet writing project I have ever maintained.

I can’t really say it’s been successful. I don’t have a community that reads it. I haven’t completed any of the projects I’ve attempted here, not that series of articles on language, not even posted another portion of my favorite short story, not NaPoWriMo, nothing.  I wonder if it’s worth the internal pressure I feel to continue to update this blog. Maybe I’ll complete some of those things sometime.

Like I wrote in my last post, I’m having trouble writing clearly lately. I thought the little burst of clarity that my last post had would break through and save me. I thought getting some sleeping pills would save me, or going to a party, or reading a book, or free-writing, or getting away from the computer, or going for a run. Nothing works and nothing matters. I’m experiencing an extreme creative low-point. Even poetry, which always came easily to me, isn’t coming any more.

Is it cyclical like erectile dysfunction, where the fear of not performing makes it harder to perform and more humiliating? Is that even how erectile dysfunction really works? Actually, from experience, that’s sometimes the case. And I wish I could implicate the person I experienced with, but I want neither problems nor to offer him publicity.

Everyone did everything else they wanted: got skinny, made friends, wrote books, got a girlfriend, got a job, moved: successes.

And I’ve stayed in this rut forever. Unable to move, paralyzed with humiliation and shame and repeated failures to dig my way out of it leaving ugly bruises on my raw knuckles. It fucking hurts. And this is the first time I’m going to admit it publicly, my resentment. Granted, no one will read this. (For reference, to my own surprise, I’m even writing this sober.) So it won’t matter that I threw a tantrum on my blog at nearly midnight.

Fuck.

And it’s against policy to delete my posts, so I’m going to have to bury this shame under other failures of posts. Many more, cascading failures. I wonder if I’ve changed, or grown, or even made progress in my life. I’ve been crazy for this long. Whatever.

The Writer’s Albatross

Image

My attention has been everywhere but on this piece I want to publish. I’ve been working on it for twenty days.

I even posted a little hint on Facebook about how it would come out in a few days, and about the topic, in order to publicly pressure myself into finishing it. Instead of writing it, I wrote a comment for a Facebook argument that was 100 words longer than my draft — it was even on a related topic. That comment only took an hour to write, I’d been working on the article for days.

I’ve tried various angles towards the end of completing this article. I’ve tried taking breaks. I’ve tried ignoring social obligations. I’ve tried reading other people’s writing. I’ve tried setting deadlines. I’ve tried working on other writing projects, but that has only made it worse — my lack of focus on this one article has spilled over into all of my projects. Now I have several unfinished projects to worry about, and no willpower.

This failure to focus has rejuvenated some essential insecurities: the shame of so many unfinished novels of my past, the shameful abandonment of past blogs and Twitter, the fear that I am a bad writer, the fear that no one would want to read what I have to say to begin with — that I am uninteresting and indulgent.

No matter what I do, I now have this hanging over my head. Every conversation I have with someone, every time I go out or read an article, I cannot stop thinking about this piece, and how I’m not currently completing it. The option of abandoning the piece for peace of mind is non-existent, as far as I’m concerned. Having work to show for my eight years of studying Creative Writing, and for my lifetime aspiration of being a writer, is the most important thing. It gets tiring seeing friends and acquaintances release pieces and projects and not having any of my own to share or show. That bitterness is likely another obstacle to my writing success –

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

This insecurity accumulates massively over time. I have friends with projects that bore me, who still have followers. What is the difference between me and those people? Simply, they believe someone wants their product, so they put it out there. The sparseness of my production is embarrassing. No one will care about polished content if it doesn’t exist. Further, people participate in less polished content all the time. There exists a niche for everything — but only if it exists. Maybe my problem is a lack of affirmation, a lack of reflection on that niche. I have been told that people are reading my work, often by surprising people. But I do not know what else those people would like to read, I do not connect with an audience, though I would like to.

This is creative constipation. All life is on hold for this blockage.  All senses are impaired by this burden. I cannot taste my food, much less cook it, without thinking that I am doing so at the expense of this article. My dishes go unwashed. It is a wonder I make it to school with this hanging over me.

This is like falling down stairs. You fail one step and then you tumble down more, painfully, and you are disoriented, grasping. But these stairs have not yet ended, and I do not know when I will get up again. The basic failure of completing this task in a timely manner cascades into memories of every creative failure, into acute awareness of all of my shortcomings.

This spills into my personal life as well — I find myself questioning if anyone would even care to listen to what I have to say in a conversation. What do people gain from reading my stories, poetry, articles? What do they gain from even talking to me? My ego is expression.  Stories are my self-esteem and the framework upon which I base the world.  This cascade of doubt is excruciating.

My grandfather just died. Before that, an old friend who had forsaken me died. I dissolved a best friendship over betrayal. I am in cold stasis with my oldest friend, unsure of what direction to move in — to accept loss, to continue the bitter status quo, to hope and wait for better. Someone I wanted to love for the rest of my life has gotten too far away from me, or I have been too inert towards her and lost her forever, perhaps. I had just written a poem about her, when I realized this. I have just learned what would make my mother disown me. I am stranded and dependent, though trying to make a life for myself, and all of these blows have shaken me, and there are likely to be more, because that is how life works.

This blog post is the most focused I’ve been on anything for a while, the most thoroughly invested. I am spending valuable brain power and clarity to produce this post, but then it has seemed a long time since I had any at all. I am hoping that through deciding to create and release this post, I will start the pattern of creating and releasing more things.

Wish me luck.

Modern Love, Modern Life, and Post-Publication Depression.

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It’s been a little over three months since I last wrote here. Not that I haven’t written at all, nor that I have had nothing happen over the last three months. I published two articles at Modern Poly, the latter … Continue reading

Where the heart is; not home…

I have observed on Facebook that many of my friends are becoming comfortable in their adult lives; they might have a steady job and a steady group of friends. This is beyond just that astounding bubble of people who got married and had kids right away — you know who I’m talking about. But rather, this is the bachelors becoming Adult Bachelors, the partiers becoming professional partiers, the couples settling down.

I have a steady group of friends and a place I want to be; it isn’t here. I find myself alienated when I tell people this, they say “gee, I’ll miss you,” and act like the interim no longer matters since I’m not in it for the long run. People have commitment issues, even to friendships, while they’re in this twentysomething phase of life that runs extra committal. Who’s to say you couldn’t come along, if they wanted to?

You are, you who is decided.

You have decided what and where your life is.

In this economy it seems absurd to make a choice and settle down, you don’t have that much security… unless you do. I have friends with steady jobs they can’t leave now, and they’ve never lived away from their parents.

I don’t know; making friends is hard, isn’t it?

But so is settling for less, right?

Some older poems

I need time after
the dust has settled on the bedsheets since you
left; I need time to sit in silence feel
air conditioning on my shoulders, cool sweat on limbs
tear trails; I need time to taste the salt and
wash the sheets and feel air ventilate the room where you
slept beside me, hips jutted out, I clung to the edge of the
bed and slept unsoundly , rushing out every morning
weary and you slept the whole bed taking all my time

I need time after to sleep, sprawled and peaceful
dustless and new and my own, I need time now
to wash away the stains and time now to
chart the path on the map for tomorrow

Female Silhouette

everything:

She echoes in my mind
but all i want is everything
lips eyes and shadows
memories and buildings
shapes, contours, contrasts
but all I want is everything
when she turned on me and
she returned to me and
ghosts and color and want
but all I want is everything and
she echoes in my mind
fading figure, who is she?
she is everything
i don’t mind

Apathy or Forgiveness?

One of the epiphanies I’ve experienced over these last 12 months is that deep down, whoever I am and whatever I choose to do… will be of no negative consequence to someone. Someone, somewhere out there, simply does not care what I’ve been up to. I can write a million blogs, be a journalist, a stripper, and travel the world — and to someone that won’t matter a bit. Other things might matter, like my ability to contiguously attend a job or my ability to commit to a homework assignment. Maybe my taxes will matter to them as opposed to my pretty face. Either way, for every aspect of my being, there is an apathy to match it.
I am not religious in the slightest. I’m okay with that. To some people, that really matters, for better or worse. I’m not a deist — I don’t believe we’re being neglected by a god. I just don’t believe. Just as much as my atheism might matter to you, to plenty of other people it doesn’t.

GOD IS DISAPPOINTED
But yet I find myself questioning the nature of existence itself; and what if instead of being apathetic, existence (a mass perception) is just extremely forgiving. The whole of your existence is like ID photos, no one looks their best, so no one judges you based upon them.
What if we’re all just secretly very forgiving of each other and no one dares to admit it?
I don’t know.

brittle words

Fog in Nyköping harbour

You feel like a lifetime ago
like cobwebs between my fingers
like the brittleness of yellow paper
like the chill of a ghost

I am a harbor of resentment
seething in fogged memories
whiting out the good parts
chilled by your relics

Your ship sunk today, down
down to the pit of my stomach
Ghost ship, never really sailed far, but it
carried your casket away

Kisses like phantoms dwell on my
fingertips, never lifting, ice numbed
Kisses, like forgiveness, only bitterly given over
wounds and scraped knees

Bleeding out the past and
Dressing the wounds in gauze,
I watch the bandage stains brown and your
Scars fade through history