Exposure

Cheap strippers might bare it all for a few bucks,
but we’re artists here–
we’ll do it for the mere exposure.

When empty hands talk
up their “great exposure”
they knock our covers off
and bring us to their feet,
because we know they know we think
to be more seen must be a good thing.

So turn up the exposure:
show your soul and your skin and any dark place in between–
you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t desperate be seen.

Shed another layer, shed another light, shed another tear or more,
until you’re washed out in bright lights
from overexposure.

The Case Against Dreams

Since graduation, people have increasingly been asking me what my dream jobs, dream companies, and dreams for the future are. Which is leading me to realize that I no longer have any. And I say that in the most optimistic way possible.

Dreams are made of ideas alone, floating in a weightless world with no bodies to bump up against them and shake them off course. So they go in straight lines, mostly just up.

But try to follow a dream in a world of matter, and things get far more twisted. You’ll hit walls and laws and ceilings, and have to recalculate your route to dodge, climb, or break them. When your ideas spill onto the scene and cause reactions, they’ll fizzle and change colors and explode, until you can barely recognize what you started with. You’ll collect dirt and leave a trail of elaborate curlicues as you spin your way into places you never planned to see.

And at some point, you’re likely to find that you and the dream have left each other’s sights. You might scan your surroundings, looking for another nearby dream to start your next game of obstacle-tag. It’s a game that can keep you moving for a lifetime, if that’s your thing.

Lately though, I’ve become more inclined to let those naked ideas float by as I turn my sights downward for inspiration, following the landscape of reality itself.

People say that dreams are about imagination, but when I listen to most of their dreams, the scope of possibilities is far more square and narrow than anything reality could devise. In those dreams, you know that the good guys win, and the girl marries the boy and stays that way, and success comes in windfalls and stays that way, and matter is different from energy and stays that way, and everything happens for a reason.

Some people get so caught up in those limited dream-worlds that their imaginations shrink to that scope. And with imaginations so narrow, they can’t envision the full range of reality, even as it stands right in front of them.

If you want your brain to buzz with things you never dreamed possible, try really exploring reality. Run your fingers into the crevices you used to step over, and trace the wrinkled pathways all the way out to the fringes. Look close at the frayed and jagged edges. (Truth be told, it’s all rather broken and messed-up, but so are most things worth spending time with. So are most things I love.) Now stand on the edges, and look at it from far away.

Once, I dreamed I could just spread my arms and fly. So I started running and jumping and falling and building to try and get up there. Until I was just running and jumping and falling and building to get somewhereSo far, that has been remarkably more interesting.

just say no

Okay, this is a bit extreme.

Kill Time.

I’m just here to kill time, I say,
So just kill time with me.
Help me strangle it before it strangles us.
We need to stop its ticking pulse,
So we can play off the beat.

There were futures, but I said kill time with me now.
We’ll twist up its forward and back.
It won’t be easy, but when we’ve made it,
We’ll feel its grip grow limp, its gaze grow vacant,
Its march stumble to stop in the path.

I wanna kill time with you,
And bury it deep in the sand.
They might dig up the fossils one day, I guess,
And think up who did it, they’ll know, more or less,
But we’ve got timeless space ’til then.

So why not murder time together?

Reflections on a New Breakfast Order

You think it’s funny how in the middle of everything, you could have nothing;
How everything embraces nothing,
Or maybe just ropes it in.

But you cut the drama, because you well know that’s not really everything,
And this isn’t really nothing either,
Just different shades of something
Toasted with cream cheese.

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Real World

“Do you know why the sky is blue?” he asked.

“But it’s not just blue,” I said. “It’s a lot of other colors too, if you look long enough.
It spends just as much time in black,
Sometimes with silver freckles sprinkled in.
And in the in-betweens, it phases through strips of yellow/orange/red/pink;
Phases as fleeting as they are eternal.
I’ve heard in some places, it waves electric ribbons of green and purple,
But right now and here, its rather gray with the overcast.
And I’m sure you’ve seen it too,
But you already made up your mind that the blue sky is truer than the rest.”

“You’re not answering the question,” he said.

So I talked about scattering frequencies and passed the test.

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Spectral Illusions

I’m finding it hard to see more than a few feet ahead,
But I have a feeling that the people who claim to see rainbows and butterflies out there are just hallucinating,
Because they never claimed to see squirmy caterpillars and rain.

They never mentioned squirmy caterpillars piling up on the sidewalks in the downpour
For a chance to escape drowning in the drenched earth
With a chance to evade sneakers and bike tires
The chance to fly too wispy and distant to imagine.

 

For all the boys who called me “exotic”

I had heard it enough to know you meant:

That I was desirable so long as I was shrouded in that cloud of mystique
(which was mostly just the fog in your eyes
but I didn’t have the heart to point out the difference)

And your foggy eyes lit up when you saw in me
Some alien freak here to show you a whole new #$@%ing world
So I tried to say that I’m really from this planet
And you’re not really the center of it
And between the deadness of Venus and Mars
We’re all life on Earth just trying to make it

But as you looked down to Earth
All you could see
Was some exotic fruit here for your consumption
To suck on the flesh and throw out the core


Despite my best efforts, I seem to have become one of those people who writes emotional poetry on the internet. Oh well.