To quote my first post: “I like to read. A lot.”
I’ve enjoyed it for as long as I can remember.
My mom is pretty unique in a great way but one of the few commonalities she shared with most mothers was her habit to horde a huge collection of Reader’s Digest magazines and I believe my love affair with reading began with that incredibly uncool publication.
I’m sure my desire to read at a very young age convinced my parents I was a child genius destined for Harvard Law. I can only imagine the discussions laden with disappointment of what went wrong in the time span between 3rd grade when I decided I would never do homework again based on the grounds that I found it to be unjust and the second time I quit college due to my beliefs that the American collegiate system is flawed.
I am intellectually average if not mildly insane.
Despite my love for reading I’ve always hated English class almost as much as I’ve loved English class.
And by that I mean I’ve had some really amazing English teachers who I loved that unfortunately taught a class that continually tried to make reading as much of a burden as possible.
I had an English teacher who invested heavily in me and my circle of “slacker” friends. She simply met us halfway on the academic battlefield of the war between rebellious youth and authoritative teaching. She would watch the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version of Hamlet with us during her free period if we agreed to watch the Laurence Olivier version with her. She would read Fight Club and discuss it with us if we agreed to do extra reading in the Canterbury Tales.
That type of stuff was cool but she saw us as individuals with unique interests because she took the time to know us and that was enough incentive for us to learn from her. The rest was just a bonus.
Her and I still disagree on the mental state of the character of Hamlet to this day and she backs my theory that Romeo & Juliet was intended to be a satirical, dark comedy aimed at the ridiculousness of teenage romance rather than a tragedy.
She was and still is my favorite teacher ever.
And please don’t fault her for my grammatical and punctuation errors. One day I will figure out how commas actually work.
But despite the awesomeness of any English teacher there still comes with that subject way too much nonsense.
For instance, I hated assigned reading. I don’t think telling a kid that they have to read is unappealing to them as much as being told what to read that ruins it.
I still cringe when someone suggests a book for me to read.
The world of books is a mountain to me. And I am fortunate enough to be alive late enough in literary history for that mountain to be unfathomably massive. It can never be conquered in a single lifetime and that’s all I’ve got. It’s only getting bigger and I have a finite amount of choices of books to pave my way to as close to the top as I can get. So assigned reading or suggested books from others is like someone telling me to take their path instead of letting me find my own. It takes the intimacy out of my adventure towards the peak.
Which may not make sense to you. But it does to me.
However, I am finding that, more often than not, I do enjoy the literary suggestions of others when I do take the risk.
I think deep down I will always hate it a little though.
Please feel free to suggests books to me.
Just maybe don’t ever follow up to see if I ever read it.
Aside from assigned reading I hated nothing more about English class than analyzing poetry and literature.
The idea of critiquing and trying to determine the “why” of literary works written by long dead men and women was absurd to me. Unless Shakespeare, Dostoevsky or Dickinson specifically wrote down the meaning behind their works it is all subjective and you can’t be justly graded on a pass or fail scale on opinion based answers.
I mean I get the intrigue of wanting to understand the inner workings of great minds but only if that interests you. I don’t think it should be required of anyone.
I think art can exist as nothing more than itself. We don’t need the “why” or “how” to enjoy good art.
I think commmentaries can be useful but are never necessary for art to be art.
Art is personal. It means something to its creator.
But good art exists in a way that while distinctly personal to the artist it is indistinct enough for anyone else to get lost in it in their own ways and interpretations.
We resonate with songs that we didn’t write.
We get lost in the poems of others.
We see ourselves in characters created by others for books and films.
This blog is meant to be an excercise in transparency and for the first time that I can think of I am sharing a poem I wrote.
I think. I’m not sure what qualifies a poem to be officially a poem.
It’s incredibly embarrassing but I have a cousin who has been sharing his poetry with me lately and I am inspired by his honesty in his poetry but even more by his openness to share them without fear.
He suggested I share poetry here.
I definitely don’t consider myself a poet but just someone who enjoys words.
I won’t give context to the “why” or “when” or “who” of this poem. Those are mine. This poem is just a cluster of words that at some point in time I placed on paper in a particular order based on emotions I was feeling at the time.
I’m a guy who opens the dictionary and will read pages of it every now and then because I like words.
And I hope you can read this and allow these words to exist for you and shape themselves for your own narrative and emotions and not fixate or look for my meaning in them.
They are/were personal for me but I hope they can be for you as well.
She came like a midday summer rain.
A contradiction in forecasts
That reminds me that the world can never be perfect until it is.
Unexpected, out of place, but in that best kind of way.
Challenging the motionless motif of my mind
That dictates to my heart that the current state of things cannot and will not change.
I cannot stray from the path of the misplaced but realistic notion that love and romance
Are nothing more than a self destructive alliance
Between a fear of loneliness and a slight chemical imbalance.
You can set any scene with a backdrop of precipitation.
Hail is disastrous,
Snow is magic,
And rain gets the unfair reputation of being tragic.
Airborne moisture wet with the woeful stereotypes of dreary and dismal.
Subjected to cinematic clichés that cling to scenes of standing lonely in loss in a forlorn downpour
While flowers slowly lose their own life on a soaked casket at a funeral.
That’s not fair.
If Heaven’s roads are paved with gold
Then the closest thing to Paradise some of us will ever know
Is the reflection of the city lights on a damp with fresh rain street
As we dance and kiss in that luminescent glow .
I love the rain and I’ve always felt comfortable underneath the clouds, drencened in their tears
Until she swept through.
Damaging nothing but changing everything
Because she is a rainstorm dressed in radiance
Rain bathed in sunlight
Exposing the beauty in the lucidity revealed
Illuminating the Light of life and the lies that lie within me
Making it clear that to be alive means choosing which of these I want to live for
Too many paths to follow and pills to swallow.
Up or down.
Red or blue.
I would blindly follow you
Down the rabbit hole
Because you are late, late, late
To being my very important fate,
My meant-to-be guarantee of happiness.
My serendipitous destiny…
I am drowning from the decisions dragging me down
To life’s ocean floor
And I just don’t care anymore.
Let it shine and pour all at once
I don’t care as long as a can shine with her.
She reminds me that I want to kiss someone
Who means everything
While standing in the pouring rain.
Because rain is beautiful
And she is beautiful.
Every drop of her is alive with the death of the future and the resurrection of right now.
She has a name.
It attempts to place a proper noun to the perpetuation of that beauty that pours from her person.
Words can describe anything except for her
But I will roam through mountains of rhetoric forever trying to.
Maybe “hope” is the closest I will get.
And hope is a former enemy of mine that used to course through my veins
Vilifying my heart as a would-be murderer with every pump.
Dangling forbidden fruit just out of reach
And thank God it’s starting to look less edible
As she is making life seem more possible.
There is a throbbing in my side,
A phantom rib I forgot was even missing.
She showers my world with endless possibilities
And she exposes opportunities that were starting to feel lifeless.
Maybe hope isn’t always injected with venom.
It is present in the scent of the air that comes with changing seasons.
If only she would stay.
But the passing rain has it’s own destination
And I am thankful she seeks me out on occasion
Without any invitation
Because I am too afraid to pursue what can’t be forever.
No one can ever be forever and that makes eternity even shorter.
Too brief to enjoy
But concise enough to comprehend that change can be kind,
Kind of fleeting but eternally beautiful.
I hate what I can’t control
And I am afraid of these words for they are a product of how you made me feel
In one surreal and unexpected moment
As if love is indeed possible and real