Enough

We buy books to fight against our insignificance.

Even if you don’t agree with these words, it won’t stop the incessant turning for millions at the grind, trying to stop the years.

Turning…Turning…Turning…The person I was four years ago did not have this inside him. But the man I see in the mirror is not who I am at all. He is not who I will become tomorrow.

 

We all die. We must. Why is this truth of sociology, biology, theology, a wounding blight?

When will we arrive?

 

Come take my hand and build towers. Be who you want, with your desired hair, cash, and person to lie with in bed. I’ll give you everything you want and open the gate to eternity—your want to have more wants you don’t know. Are you twenty-two? Make it forty. Six O. A hundred years old with a statue next to your three grandkids’ estate and movie deal.

Would that be enough? When we define ourselves, it is peril–like sinking mud in a forest of sweet smells. It is just as brash as allowing definition by another. I prefer sturdier ground when my soul is at stake.

 

(September 27, 2015)

Jessica Jones 2k16

‘Twas the night before election

And all through the states

People pondered results

While Garth kicked back in LA

 

The early ballots were cast

Nestled tight with their votes

And I curled on my couch

Watching Jessica Jones.

 

That pierce eyed beauty

With soot-blackened hair

Prowling each corner

In case Kilgrave were there

 

Neo-Noir voiceover? Lesbians?

Of course–

Don’t piss her off

Or she’ll throw your ass through the door.

 

Alcoholism and PTSD,

Sexual assault and breaches of security,

What better way to forget these election woes

than curling up with an episode of Jessica Jones?

 

When up from my bed there arose such a clatter

I swore to my friends that a protest vote mattered

And my choice with no chance to save his life

His campaign’s deader than Luke Cage’s wife.

 

No idea if anyone will read my absentee

Jeri Hogarth will always be Trinity

Play those four notes up the black and white keys

Binge watching faster than Malcolm gets weed

 

Someone’s having incest down the hall

She’s skipping support group and ignoring her calls

Doin it doggy with a guy she barely knows

What a wholesome program is Jessica Jones.

 

While the rest of the country rattles its final bones

I go to sleep peaceful

In my four-man, one semester only, deluxe food rotting in the fridge, washer dryer but no outlets in the bathroom Mid-Hollywood apartment

Under the nimble hawk gaze of Jessica Jones.

Painted Goodbyes

I heard music again

Walking through the patchwork after dawn

It was a song I used to know

And there was a child on the piano

 

I’m not looking to be understood

Don’t look for codes inside my words

You’d only say I’m being sore and I could

But that scene would have to be earned

 

So I think it’s finally time

To take down my painted good-byes

I’ll try to swallow my pride

Until the moment has died

I’m at the break of a door

And I don’t fear anymore

So I think it’s finally time

To take down my painted good-byes

 

I wrote a song for them

That they will never hear

That they will never know

And now I don’t have to pretend

We’ve reached The End.

 

(Circa October 2015)

To Another Girl

(I wrote this a while ago. Precise dating withdrawn to protect the innocent…)

 

I.

I love you like the brush of a prickled cat’s paw on a glass window pane. You are the canvas on which I paint.

 

Your words are the tearing tip of a blade in the wind of a wild hurricane.

 

We relate like the play of fish swimming in a circle of tails. All the flit of a hummingbird’s dance but no romance.

 

We are the sea and the tide. You’re the thorn in my side.

 

You are full of magic. The type of rare beast that can only love and be loved by their missing piece. And honey, you deserve everything.

 

You and me have all the convenience of dating but mostly just waiting, waiting, waiting.

 

II.

From the moment we met I thought of kissing you, and it was mischievous. Our tongues dueled side over side. Your energy combined with mine to create something truly fleeting.

 

I am the cheddar and you are the slice. A cold cut trap of my own device.

Yet though I speak of prime confection, I believe we shared no true connection.

 

Instead, I turned into Santa Clause

You: the dependent funnel for my affection.

 

I told myself it was only a sham.

I watched another man touch you, and missed my chance.

 

I was filled with responsibility, Suddenly,

the bother of a brother.

I watched over you. But you were never a sister to me.

 

And for the first time at the start you knew everything.

You were the place I trusted my store of secrets.

A complicating feature.

Fearless, You do everything flatly.

But your water runs deep, with billows and leagues

And you shut the door on all your feelings.

 

I won’t claim to know what it’s like for you.

I admire your wit too much to assume

That one day, you’d fall in love with me

But I might take advantage of your naivete.

Or worse, be forced to admit I don’t feel the same.

 

I care for you,

But I care nothing about you.

 

We talk but never pray.

Sometimes I turn focus from your lips and force myself to listen.

What I find is empty dismay.

 

It is so uncommon to look in someone’s eyes and say, “You are like me” and not hate them. But I fear we would grow so bored of each other.

 

If this is my second love end it quick.

But if you’re my endgame, play on, play on.

We would gladly steer our course into the typhoon

For the sake of brief pleasure

A monument to our own narcissisms we built together

And ruin my life for you.

 

III.

This is no pure love.

In truth, we are only friends.

 

And yet…

When you called me just to say goodnight.

Dressed for bed and trust

I can’t stop smiling.

 

I see nothing wrong with you.

My heart fills with that particular joy of choice and value

And my mind fills with “love.”

 

I am in a strange hell, spurned on but knowing our love could never last.

You knew it too, and ended us fast.

And now we walk among the rushes.

That’s the trouble with having lots of crushes.

Diamonds

Stars

Are like fireworks. In a way…

And like poetry…

Because when I see them,

I am reminded of the time

I once watched a fireworks show from my front porch (on the Fourth of July)

I could say it was pretty,

but I wont. I don’t know if that’s true.

I will say I felt so many emotions well from within

that I had to write a poem

Describing it as colored diamonds, lighting the darkness, bursting forth and then crumbling back

or some shit.

Before I decided those emotions were too girly to be printed

And I threw my poetry in the trash.

That is why when I look at the stars now,

they are like fireworks.

Except stars do not go away.

The Place

Have you ever been hiking

and wished you could return to a place

you had found before, and rested at—

A Place of peace—a nice place;

Perhaps a gentle green with or without a trickling brook, cold to the touch

Or Perhaps a Place with butterflies and buzzing insect life, where you sat among them (at first disturbed by the bites but soon immersed, the wild accepting your stink.),

Or maybe a place with trees?

Only to find when you returned you could not recall the way

And if you could, would it be the same,

For now, since you’ve come so far and seen the rest

Once you’re further down the trail,

It might not hold that place within your heart

As when you saw it first—it is that new and jolting stillness you wish to find again.

When Kate walked in the wood she thought of that place she found, years ago, where she could close her eyes—for there was no one there to watch her—and she no longer had to be Kate. She no longer had to be anyone. She could just be.

Maybe she had passed it, Kate thought. Someone might have landscaped it years ago, leaving only a memory.

That was okay, she thought. It might be worth it, maybe not.

But she wished she could remember the way.

Original Introduction to Lock and Key

album-cover-via-lillian

Photograph by Lillian Brisson

Aug. 11, 2014

also known as “That Time I Wrote an Album”

 

Introduction:

I wrote the first draft of my first song ever in ninth grade. It took me until Spring of tenth grade to try again, and then it took.

Over the years, I’ve written songs and poems to help me cope with the various challenges in my life. Sometimes I would only get through a chorus, or part of a song, before I walked away to never come back to it. Still, the words meant something to me, and I was proud of the artistic expression I had accomplished in putting my emotions to some tangible form. When I first started, a lot of my stuff wasn’t very good. So the material I liked, I revised.

When I told this to the friends in my circle, they wanted me to record my work into an album, some singles, or an EP. I’m not going to say we didn’t try to do this, but eventually I realized that the joy of the project for me was in writing the songs–not sharing them. I always wanted to edit again and again to make them perfect. Basically, I wrote these pieces for me. They have music set to them in my head, but some fit more into the category of poetry than musical hits.

Eventually, I had enough collected together that I realized there was a common theme. That theme is security, insecurity, and the various places I found security in my life. Looking back, I realize that now, I’m finally in a different place than when I wrote most of it. So future musical endeavors would look and sound very different from what I was visualizing/audialyzing for this album. But in order to move forward, I first have to publish the past.

Now, I share those songs with you. You can set them to whatever melody you want, but I have added editorial notes to help guide towards what you would hear if the song had been recorded. Most of the lyrics have been left as they were when they were originally written, but I’ve cleaned up a lot of the messier parts because it was important to me that my work be presentable. I also won’t tell you in what order the songs were written, or which parts were added when. Or who/what the songs were written about. That would ruin the fun of the larger piece, because they all fit together as a whole, and that’s outside of specific events. While there are definitely some things I was getting at, I firmly believe that songs have the power to represent different things to different people.

This imaginary album is so imaginary it’s even got an imaginary album cover. (But I’ve got to ask permission from the photographer, who–funny story–doesn’t know it was an imaginary contribution yet.)

((Note: I got Lillian’s permission.))

Please don’t steal my stuff.

I hope you enjoy. This was a long time in coming.

-Garrett