The death of a moon cowboy

I am a somewhat-youth with ideas and thoughts and too many dreams that sometimes overflow as these little dribblings from my fingertips. I guess you can try to collect and capture them.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Never make war with / The warrior

We raise the walls to the wind, standing tall
Striving still to survive in the hills with our wives
And the children are spent in the dens of our tents
While we take to the battlements, take to the battlements

Dust-swallowed air, hallowed earth, ruddy glare
Bearing down on their gowns fallen fast to the ground
And the trampled and few stampede slow to their pews
Spewing prayer to the blasphemy, prayer to the blasphemy

Scream, scatter quick! past the scorched, burning wicks
Fighting tears near the haze where the bodies lie splayed
And the earth in disguise, giving birth to the fires
Eyelids close, silent chest, eyelids close, silent chest

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Emergence of the four of gray

I am 40; I am 26. I have a disturbing fascination with cataloguing the supposed-recession of my hairline, and it's led to the emergence of the four of gray. How could I have known? Was it possible to prepare for this moment, this Vanilla Sky-moment, a pausing in gravity, a perturbation in the natural timeline, a temporary transformation - into the leaping blip of a heartbeat, the startled jump that's recorded on a chart and no doctor understands? I was a bit shocked.

I must be deficient in B12. I had better buy some supplements; it occurs primarily in animal products, you know.

They were hidden, but not well, as their camouflaged toplayer parted to reveal their true existence. Transparency! Ah ha! White! Gray! Death! You four shall be plucked from your impious positions, ruthlessly, painfully torn from your blood-suckling, leeching roots. You are no kin of mine! So I'll have you removed. Surgically, if necessary. I'll do the procedure myself, thank you very much.

Calmly, cleanly, last night the ritual was performed. My stasis has been restored. Now where is my new bottle of vitamin B12?

Audio: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea|Neutral Milk Hotel
Video: Cilantro y Perejil [1995|Rafael Montero]
Text: A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius|Dave Eggers

My word(s) of the day: provenance
[Why: Dave Eggers used it (I think) four times in his book.]

Tale of a frozen mountain boy

Update: This poem placed first in Artella's April 2006 Poetic Idol competition.

--- ---

Two lit offices in the tall romantic tower,
on the twelfth floor, lonely and looming and large.
A lighthouse for the dusk-people--
set aside in their longing, breezing by with the tower--
the only testament to an ephemeral existence.

Down the dimly lit stair with the nearby trees
and their not-quite-midnight silhouettes
that remember Vincent Price.
There's that little city: it reaches, it crawls,
it thinks it's a city and so it is, it must be.

Marching on slush, melting beneath my heated soles,
accumulating in even swaths ahead of and behind me.
Past the Wash Hut where the smell of fresh linen-air
wraps my head in a smoky shawl of lint and fluff
as it rises heavily into the night.

Near the busy doors of Liberty Square, a place I frequented
once, some other life, some century past--the future perhaps.
The sidewalk buckles with the weight of the feet,
those endless feet that trace its cracks
to the dried roots of oak, breaking above soil.

Such an ominous, inescapable mountain range,
it too shrouded in the same clouds wafting out below
from the forgotten chimney-mouth.
World do your worst!--For I shall thaw this frigid permafrost,
my wintry overcoat, my icy skin.

That view, those empty branches framing emptier greys
and the welcoming brickwork all along, near the 1952-church
where I stole a bough of fir just for its scent,
and in return those mountains stole a little of my sanity,
and a little of my little life.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Illuminated liquid concrete

We sat backs pressed against the riverbank
and watched as leaves set sail,
and Fall fell like a tidal wave of sleep.
All three looked at me,
soiled clothes and the rugged smell of it all.
We vagrants call the cornfield home
as the subway
as the mission
as the afternoon dunes
as the illuminated liquid concrete
and the throes of death
and the supernova skies
and the bleating calls.
Though the shores never rose
or flooded with the changing shape of it all.
So we took to our feet as the sky opened wide
and spat out a new day to transform our trails.
The brush made welcome these calloused feet,
and long nails and beards and etched smile-lines.
Those things that precede our procession, each faltering town.
We blend in and admire the life in it all
before flickering by in the night,
that candle--
that sometimes-wish you had never blown it out,
where the smoke can only say so much
and the blur of the water is neither happy nor sad.
We'll wander the river's bank on and on,
through it all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Twenty degrees do away with me

Face. Face. Face. These people must all be 17, 18. I like that shirt. I wish I were thinner, had better-fitting clothing. Was that a receding hairline? Mine's probably much worse - I can't believe I look like that! The air seems much emptier here, I get winded so quickly, being used to oxygen that drips it's so saturated. Face. More faces. There's a belt I like. I never used to be this way, never stared down the passing bodies behind reflective lenses, never longed to jump ship, freefall into someone else just because life would seem so blithe, so much livelier through the vision of eternal youth. Lasting youth. They don't age; these generations don't pass. Just me. It seems I used to walk these halls, these strips of concrete - it was always cold, but was it this cold? I always had conversation, companionship, voices to absorb and ears to speckle - with worthless discussion - but discussion nonetheless! Where are you, voices from the past? Lost in the deep? Chicago? India? Why do you so willingly choose others? - and here I walk among you, entwined within you, the boy-cancer never meant to infiltrate. So many. Face. Face. Face. Smiling face. My left leg throbs a bit somewhere undiscovered, a muscle churned to life against its will, unable to cope. 20 degrees do away with me. There they go off to wrestle the world from its injustices, into its freedoms, liberate the good, endorse the capitalists, hold hands and share warmth, not walking alone, not smiling alone, docked in electronics, paving hot roads to bear the footsteps heaving with supposed goodwill, positive inclinations, sputtering nonsense. There's the door. Excuse me, face. Don't pause; I won't. Step through. It's so cold except for that blinding sun.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I think, therefore I think

I love music.
My eyesight and hearing are both failing me, thanks to genetics and speakers, respectively.
I could eat peanut butter all day long, preferrably the organic type.
I like to stare at the night sky. I'm quite fascinated by it, and I have books and binoculars that edify my near-obsession.
I like old cowboy shirts. Or cowboy-seeming shirts.
I type rapidly.
I seriously enjoy learning. I wouldn't mind going to school forever, you know, taking some classes - becoming Dr. Matthew. (That'd be a good name for a TV show - "Becoming Dr. Matthew".) I think I want to be a teacher. Any grade would do, except perhaps 5th through 8th, the dreaded junior highers.
I like whitewater rafting, and occasionally guide down the South Fork American during the summers of Northern California.
I always carry chapstick with me, and have recently added a sly pocketknife as its companion.
I am a boy in need of a purse-equivalent - or a toolbelt, either the carpenters' type or the British spy type. I carry a large array of items with me at all times, and my pockets bulge.
My favorite color is and always has been black; yes, I do recognize it as a color, not just the presence of all of them.
People let themselves get annoyed too quickly. I like to love everyone. I want to understand everyone.
I am a hypocrite. Aren't we all?
I need to play my guitar more often.
I admire authors. My current favorites' names start with either John or Jack, and the one I'm reading right now starts with Dave.
Driving long distances is much more than a methamphetamine for me.
I have vices. I drink diet soda by the gallons. And there are more.
The right side of my body grows slightly more hair than the left. At least, so it seems.
I write notes on my hands. All the time.
My brain is constantly active...
I work well with computers, and the internet always has something for me to pursue.
I have a vast collection of music CDs. It is ever-growing.
I like to wear a belt, even when I don't need one.
I think soymilk is delicious, even though I still enjoy normal milk (skim or 1%), especially for chocolate milk - with Hershey's Special Dark syrup.
I sometimes like to wear a suit, context permitting.
I really should read more often. Sometimes I wish I did a lot of things more often...
I have alternate selves that seem to develop around my closest friends.
I have a special bond with children that didn't realize itself until I had my own.
I want to travel the entire world aimlessly, an ascetic, a vagrant.
I want to publish books of my own stories and words and images.
I want to release albums of my own creation.
I am less artistic, in all senses of the word, than I wish I were.
And my drawing skills rival those of a two-year-old.
There is a very large stack of books next to the headboard of my bed. It too is ever-growing.
I have (mostly) undying faith in super glue.
My tastes differ slowly over the years, in food, texts, music. But invariably they cling to the basic foundations that were built for me by my parents and the media.
I often feel old.
Yet I still love snowboarding.
And I'm not really that old. Is 26 old? (Recently-turned, mind you.)
Vans are my favorite shoes, tried and true.
I am always, always late. Perhaps due to the fact that-
I love to stay up as long as possible; I like to skip out on sleep.
I am a Star Wars once-junkie, and have 6-8 bins full of 'treasures' to prove it.
I like to always find the best deal. I have a newfound interest in thrift stores.
I don't want to worry much about what I can't control. I keep an attitude of cavalierism in my buttoned-up double-breasted pocket.
My fingernails are trimmed about once a week.
I have too many favorite bands to make a brief list.
At one point in time I had six piercings. Those old holes are all currently vacant.
My sweet tooth owns nearly 90% of the self-control bound to my cravings (it's not really 'self-control').
I loathe shaving, but I cannot grow a full beard, and besides, longer facial hair itches like mad.
Sometimes I feel like I should live in Mexico.