"Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous." ~Anais Nin

13 December 2017

Poetry Wednesday #65

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
Osawatomie State Hospital
This was written my freshman year. ~AJ

They Said I Was Crazy

Dark, empty halls
     of an abandoned asylum
     black-red with the blood of
     worthless, psychotic humans
     long since gone.
Dead bodies
     piled high in a room
     we can no longer get to–
     too many dead, can't open the door.
Another room filled,
     looking like it's going to
     burst—POP!—like a grotesque
     cartoon
Deep puddle of blood
     to swim in, to use as a pool.

Hotel of dementia–
Only me to keep myself company, and
Shadows dancing shadows
on the walls.
Trying to get rid
Of the souls of the damned,
Voices running past,
Singing their screams into my head.

The grandfather clock strikes thirteen–
That isn't even a number–
The candle brings the shadows and the
Voices again and again and again
And again and again and again and again
And again and again and again and sudden
SILENCE.

06 December 2017

Poetry Wednesday #64

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
By Steve Kaiser from Seattle, US (WTO protests 10) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I had to write and perform a rap for my poetry writing class my freshman year of high school.  This is it.  One day I'll tell you about the difficulties I had with this, but for today just enjoy the poem.  There are pieces here that work, but only pieces.  It's too bad.  Those pieces show promise.  ~AJ

"Cynical"

We live to survive, we survive to die.
We say we don't trick ourselves, but all we do is lie.
Lying,
Cheating,
Stealing,
Conning our way though life.
Running, running, running from death,
And what do we get for our strife?
We were dead before our lives began.
We're all dead before we die.
We were scared, so scared, and so we ran,
Thinking it'd prolong our lies.
As we ran we killed each other,
We killed our home, we killed our mother.
As we killed, we welcomed death,
We beckoned death, we embraced death.
Death scared us, and so we ran.
Running, killing, hiding, surviving,
That's what we do with our lives.
We live to survive, we survive to die.
We say we don't kill ourselves,
But all we do is lie.

29 November 2017

Poetry Wednesday #63

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
This next poem I wrote for the boy I was "dating" my freshman year of high school.  Yes, the same boy I mentioned ever so briefly in the previous Poetry Wednesday.  I gave him my virginity and used him as my inspiration for this poem.

I don't know how I feel about that.  You'll understand once you read the poem.  It's . . . Well . . . 

I'm not sure I liked that boy very much.

~AJ












                Jon
Young girls in pigtails
Small reptilian creatures
Dead metal poles lying on the pained expressions
          of little boys

Healing a timely death
Just to go through it again
Powdered jellyfish in the form of Jesus Christ

Blue-haired women
Settling at a hard life's end
Living one more hour for old lovers' memory

Mud covered prick in a basket
Hungry cat eating the flesh of its master
Roses in an open grave covering the stench of the
           living for the dead

Armageddon and dry martinis
Starving children that could be fat
The rich toasting the depletion of the poor

Words lying sleeplessly on a paper doll's head
A loaded semi-automatic pistol floating dreamily in the air
The dangerous and holocaustal attitudes of opposing forces

A psychopath of 18 years
Graduating into cold reality
Destined to some day rule the world

Death, the beautiful lady,
Creeping closer to oblivion
Screams to hold on to the wounded

24 November 2017

Getting Moving

I like how he looks like he has somewhere to be.
photo by Angell Williams, via Flickr
I didn't sleep last night.  This was mostly due to the fact that I lapsed into a Thanksgiving brunch (because, yes, my family had brunch this year) coma a little after 1 o'clock PM which lasted until about 8:30, totally fucking up my sleeping schedule.  I wasn't tired again until 6:30 this morning, and since I have to work tomorrow and so need to sleep tonight, was not a fucking option.  I'm feeling a little bit pissy, a little bit lethargic, and only marginally homicidal.  Kinda like a big cat at a zoo who's not sure whether to pace or sprawl, and who, yeah, will eat you, but only if you're stupid enough to come near it.  Like, delivery, man, that's all I have the energy to deal with today.

But my brain still works.  Mostly.  I'm a little loopy from lack of sleep, but not severely so.

So, last night, somewhere between marathoning the first 28 episodes of InuYasha and watching the entire 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice—man, I need to reread that book—I made the decision to eschew the internet in the month of December because I need to.  Get.  Things.  Done next year, and it's doing me no good sitting around here waiting for the calendar to turn.  I need to start to get things done now, and my over-reliance on the internet is hindering that. 

Actually, I'm going to try to stay away from all screens.  I have to use a computer for work, but that's barely any time at all.  And I will need to check my bank balance and schedule my bill payments on the 1st of December, but, again, barely any time.  The trick will be keeping myself from checking the blogs and websites that I now do on a regular basis.  Well, that, and keeping off my phone.

My plans for next year require—which I'm not ready to get into just yet; I'm still feeling like I'll jinx myself if I do—involve a considerable amount of planning that I need to get on if I'm going to hit the ground doing like I want.  Along with, I can actually get started on doing some of the things that I know I want to get done, which would put me ahead and increase my chances of success.  Probably.

And I need to succeed.  Even if it's just modestly.  I literally need that success.  It's a huge gamble.  A huge, huge gamble.  One I'm not keen on taking, but the circumstances of my life have forced my hand, so gamble I must.  But I have to do everything I can to move the odds in my favor.  Which includes making desperate bargains with disreputable folk.   Because, you see, my very life is on the line and the conventional route isn't working–hasn't for years.  I'm out of options.

Gods!  It's scary and awful and I don't want to do it.  But I also do.  I want it more than my next breath.  Even if it makes me feel sick down low in my belly.

Anyway...

How will my internet-free month affect you guys?  It won't really.  I've got several scheduled posts to take you into the middle of December.  I doubt you'd know of my absence if I hadn't told you just now.

I guess I just wanted to say goodbye for now.  I'm going to be working on getting shit done.

22 November 2017

Poetry Wednesday #62

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
By Miguel Carrillo Villarreal [CC BY-SA 4.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
The following poem I know I wrote my freshman year of high school, because I wrote it for the first girl I had a crush on.  Laura.

Now, I mostly prefer men, but every so often a woman will come along who is just . . . breathtaking.  Laura was such a girl.  And she was lovely.

I went to an arts school for middle school and my freshman year of high school.  One I sorely missed after my family moved to the Kansas suburbs.  My school focus was writing and drama. I was confident and knew my own beauty in a way I haven't since, but the different arts didn't mix much, and Laura was both a dancer and a year ahead of me.

I never even talked to her.  Just watched her from afar.  I didn't have the courage, or the awareness, I guess.  Besides, I was dating a really cute boy.  Still, even though I haven't thought about her in decades–barely remembered her until I found this poem–I wish I had talked to her in high school.
~AJ


. . . For Laura

   Soft golden ribbons
Floating 
             Falling
                            Flying
Sweetly seductive             dancing
About heavenly shoulders—
      beautiful face
lighten a room
a soft glow of fire
Laughing eyes
Cat-like curves and angles

Grace in motion
      No restraints
Freedom at its finest

20 November 2017

A Future That Will Never Be

I'll add a picture when I'm back on a computer and not with winging it with a Kindle Fire and a prayer.

I wrote earlier about how I wasn't hired for the much better and more interesting position of Programming Librarian at my library.  It sucks.  It really does.  But them's the breaks.  It's fine.  Not only have I gotten used to rejection over the years, but I was expecting it.  I've said before that I'm not well liked at my library, and it's true.  And it's not that they (my bosses and suchlike) don't like me for personality reasons or because I either don't do my work or do it poorly.  No, I'm just overlooked most of the time. 

That's fine too, the overlooking of Amber.  I don't need anyone to hold my hand or pat my head and tell me what a good girl I am.  I enjoy working without supervision.  I like creating and completing my own projects, making my own rules.  The lack of acknowledgments can be irksome, but I'm terrible at selling myself and I know that, so I've come to terms.  That's one of the reasons why I've not been able to find a job.  It bugs me but I'm not that willing to change.  I hate to admit this, but I don't want it enough.

Don't get me wrong, I'd be excellent at it.  Passionate, driven, energetic, creative.  I like projects and that position would be nothing but projects.  We're renovating a new building and the new site has a huge, park-like side yard.  It also has a ton of meeting space and study rooms and the like.  AND a great maker space, complete with a recording studio.

I have this dream of a series of interconnected, intergenerational, and interdepartmental programs spanning years.  Programs that cement the library as a hub of the community, bring in money in the form of grants and fundraisers and maybe even advertisements, though we'd have to be careful with that last one because the library is not a place to sell things – the services should be kept free. 

My dream included a monthly or semimonthly podcast examining the people and the history of the community; library publishes books of short stories, biographies, poetry, etc by our patrons (and done for our programs); a community garden and seed library; plays staged in our park in the summertime possibly in conjunction with the high schools and colleges around town; we could have a farm animal programs and get people to bring their horses and the smaller, more petting zoo appropriate animals; we could do a story corps type thing where people record interviews with their loved ones; we could have a wall of art by local artists for sale and for display.  We could do a thousand thousand things that I have up in my brain, but we can't.  At least, we can't do my things, because I didn't get the job and I'm not going to do anymore programming, not after this spring and I've finished with the programming I already said I'd do.

It's not petty, or not entirely.  It's more a matter of labor and being paid for it.  I'm part time, hourly and doing a ton of work off books for the library with the planning, preparations, and implementation of these programs.  I don't work enough hours to have enough time to do this at work, at least not and still do what I was hired to do.  Needs must, and I'm very against any unpaid labor.  I am worth something, you know?  I deserve to be paid for my labor.  Even if I sometimes give it away for free because I'm excited about something or I'm trying something out, or I think it'll pay off in the long run.

Now, it's not worth it for me.  Now, I'll just focus on doing my job really, really well and managing my money and some of my own projects that with a little skill and a lot of luck will afford me a living.  The big thing is, these projects will be mine and no one else's.

I know I've been down on my luck lately, what with not being able to find a job, but I think that may be because I've been following other people's plans for me.  I never wanted any of this.  I'm chasing a dream that was never mine because other people convinced me that mine was impossible.  Shit, I'm done listening to other people.  The boring future of the really good, but completely unfulfilled librarian died as it was born.  I'm going to try to live for me and my dreams for myself.  Maybe then I'll actually be living rather than being stuck in this fucking limbo like I have for the past 15 years.

Farewell to the future that never will be from a girl who never was.

15 November 2017

Poetry Wednesday #61

I'm bringing back Poetry Wednesday!  For a while anyway.  The next several weeks will feature poems I wrote in middle and high school for my creative writing classes.  Some of these are really quite good.
by A Vahanvaty from Dubai, UAE (Creepy Doll, Barnaul, Russia) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This poem I actually have a date on: May 3, 1996.  So I would have been either a sophomore or senior in high school (I skipped my junior year).  It was originally typed on a typewriter, believe it or not!  There's a note at the beginning that reads, "inspiration-- short story "Miriam" by Truman Capote" It makes sense.  That creepy little tale was a favorite of mine.  Again, I'll try to recreate the formatting here.~AJ

       Miriam

Left alone

     Husband dead, gone. . . an old woman

Who doesn't realize that she is

     Lonely

     Beautiful young girl

          With almost white hair

And large eyes

Knowing, knowing

     Old eyes

Knowing, knowing

And pretty silk dresses

"What's your name, girl?"     "Miriam."