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I Should Try To Be Talented

Quite often, I get the urge to do something. Not just anything, but something profound and creative. I cannot admit to being impressive in either category, however, I do dabble in both- just not simultaneously. The more I read, the more I am inspired. The tragedy being that I read many epic tales of exploration and adventure, and my most recent adventure was walking to Target to get a new toaster.

Now don’t take this lack of writing for a lack of ideas. My mind is filled with plenty of tales, characters and plots. My hands, however, are about as talented as a cinderblock on the high dive. That is to say, unless the board breaks from under me no one will ever know how big of a splash I can make. This time I’ve decided that I’ll go smaller scale, and slightly more autobiographical. A collection of essays and observations can’t be that daunting, can it? I’m fairly stream of thought, and I do have an in with an editor (though I won’t abuse that until I decide to publish a book), my grandfather, William Torpey. I am hesitant to drop this on him, as he probably wont understand many pop culture references past 1965, nor is this the most appropriate way for him to learn I’m gay. I’m sure he’ll be far more upset by how talentless his grandson is, so it might make it easier. I probably should tell him but somehow this seems far more convenient and sitcom-esque.

Now as I thought about how and what to write I’ve realized that no matter what i say there’s nothing new to write, because I’m not making new words, just laying them in a unique order. Only genius scientists or creative literary masters, like Shakespeare, invent new words. That means that Merriam-Webster fellow is a jerk who took credit for other people’s creativity. And we’re just going to assume, for the record, this dude had a bad case of OCD and no job. Don’t look it up, its true.* This revelation has made it far more likely that I’ll get to the tenth page before I get distracted by my next plot. This, however, is more like a subplot. I’m planning on opening a restaurant and gay bar called B.J.’s. This is because of my taste for puns and alliteration. I also love innuendo. The reason this works is because my middle name is Joseph. This might be more feasible if people started calling me B.J., as I was called B for years. Unfortunately I don’t think that nickname will catch on so well unless I become a hooker with a knack for, well lets just call it a specialized field. Similar to auto technicians who only work on foreign cars or heart surgeons. Either way it seems like more effort than its worth (as does making sure to use ‘than’ in stead of ‘then’, especially since I pronounce the former as the latter.)

Even in my laziest attitudes I always make sure to use the correct words, analyzing and editing in my head before I speak them. If its for publication, it will be revisited at least three more times. I always write on paper first, so I have a chance to change it as I type. Then I print for spelling and grammar, and finally I’ll have a professional take a look and tell me how his sister’s niece’s hamster could do better. With this attention to detail it might be considered off that I should try for talent instead of skill. Talent is, naturally, natural. An innate affinity towards doing something. Skill is the product of years of dedication, commitment and effort. An achievement worthy of praise, and an absolute waste of time when I haven’t even Netflixed the first season of Breaking Bad. A show that I assume is an accurate documentary of how public school teachers can afford to survive in today’s economy. I say this because it certainly isn’t by teaching English class. Our vocabulary is so lazy that I used a corporation’s name as a verb instead of saying I had watched Breaking bad through a cheap and convenient subscription to Netflix Streaming Video Services. I bring this up, not because of my love of language (and I do love it) but rather to force a sponsorship so I don’t have to pay for an editor or publishing out of pocket.

It has been ingrained in my head by every English Comp teacher that every essay needs a conclusion paragraph, and I will use this collection to prove each and every one of them wrong. I do this out of spite, because I am a jerk and this is what jerks do. Just this once more I will accommodate them only to prove that I learned and rejected their teachings. I AM A REBEL LIKE HAN SOLO OR RAPHEAL THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE AND REFUSE TO FOLLOW THEIR RULES! I can also be a reasonable rebel like George Washington, but not today. So from my wrtings I can tell my poetry and essays are being written because; I need to come out to my grandfather while doing something worse than being gay so he doesn’t take it so badly; Merriam-Webster is a lazy jerk; I will use whatever profits I get to fund a restaurant; the English language is dying (no, wait- its probably evolving); Netflix should give me money and, finally, I am no longer beholden to the whims of English teachers! Freedom! At least until I meet my editor…

*Its far from true, plus an impressive task. Since I’m sick and today is my day off I had time to figure out that it is three people. Noah Webster, a Jeff Goldblum style scholar was the original author. Charles and George Merriam were two who I assume were a pair of shady businessmen sitting in smoke filled rooms waiting to steal the publishing rights from him. On second thought, this would make an amazing movie and it needs to be made immediately.


A series of poems I call the Aggressives

Before the poems, I would like to just explain the Aggressives. These are no more than one stanza poems. They are just exercises in wordplay and fun. They are meant to come off as rude, antagonistic and witty. Please enjoy.

The First

You stand and complain that i stretch my rhymes too thin
If you’ve got a complaint, go to Twitter and log in
My every line challenges the definition of acceptable, it’s fantastic
So sit your ass down and suck my limerick

The Second

You act as though the written word is dead
Streets littered with newspapers, their ink is blood; read
You can’t imagine a word written that isn’t for a scene
It’s a shame your intelligence is below average when your attitude is so mean

The Third

Go ahead and slam  your door right in my face
You act wit ignorance, but call yourself grace
With each action and word, you try to make me hurt
Language is our funeral pyre, now prepare to get burnt

The Fourth

You ignore everything that challenges your preconceptions, you’re dismissive
For you to learn, the truth needs a chance that you won’t give
You spew your lies, your ignorance, your fear and your hate
When you only listen to your own damned voice, how dare you call it a debate

This Ink

They look at me with pity, as if I had a curse
Every time I dip my quill in this ink the looks get worse
Dark, light, red or even clear will work for me
When the ink is here, there is no limit to what my mind will see

The ink is more than a tool to give form to my vocabulary
Its my own personal rabbit hole; winding, dark and dreadfully scary
“Eat me” and “drink me” on the labels of items that should be shelved
Every act of consumption is a trip to a darkness I wish I never delved

My only failure is the lack of the definition of the word “restraint”
Whether tonight I act as the sinner or the vigilant saint
Without these bottles in my hands, they start to shake
But when I express myself through them, all my emotions feel fake

When I write I act as if I’m on of the best: A Shakespeare, A Dickenson, A Scott Fitzgerald
These words bare my soul; battered, pure, like something the angels would herald
My poetry could fill libraries, every choice of words speaks volumes
But put it on mute, our entertainment is passive, no thought required, everyone just consumes

Bring Envy To A King

Every hope, dream and fear
Every emotion that you feel, all that you hold dear
The laughter in your lips, each tear that you shed
Are for the forsaken, the unyielding and the dead

Forgetting who you are, in the shadows of expectation
How can you see yourself for who you are with out any inspiration?
Conviction is the ground on which you stand
You are more than what you imagine, but never quite as planned

Putting pen to paper, turning sweat into dreams
You patch your torn heart, sewing reinforced seams
You walk these streets, afraid of what each step would bring
But you act with conviction and compassion that would bring envy to a king

You live for today, as though there is no yesterday or tomorrow
You highlight every joy, and remember every sorrow
These words are my legacy to those with pains I dare not conceive
All you have to do to be yourself is aspire, strive and believe

Until The Demons Steal Our Souls

Something’s come over me, I’m fighting every instinct I ever had
Trying to get into heaven, though my heart is for the sinners
Every step I take, though filled with ambition, is detrimental and misleading
I have nobody to look up to, because there are no winners

There’s a pen in my hand because I can no longer hold the bottle
Even though I held it by the neck, I am the one it strangles
It takes everything from me to not take another ounce
My life’s 360, that’s four- count ’em, four right angles

Every day hour and minute is a landmark in my mind
Its a source of pride and I’m almost overwhelmed
It hurts like hell and its tearing me apart right now
But my body’s a ship that Captain Morgan should’ve never helmed

I’m sitting here content because my drink doesn’t need a chaser
My mind is nobody’s firing range, because I’m never taking any more shots
My ambitions are my better angels, there’s nothing to worry about
Until the demons steal our souls and insanity replaces our thougthts

Its been too long

There’s been a long lapse in my creative endeavors, and that’s a very regrettable turn of events.

There is something very cathartic about writing. In reading you are privy to the thoughts of another, though filtered through your own experiences; in writing your imagination and experiences are pure. At times it’s very frustrating to find the right words. Other times the words come easier than your imagination. None of that is as important, though, as taking the initial steps in deciding that what you have to say is important enough to put the effort into. Sometimes, when I write, I can experience a displacement from my emotions. Its as though I can express emotions without subjecting myself to them, and for a man like me that’s a small miracle.

I will try to share a bit more of myself here, not in posts like this, through my poetry, essays and short stories.

The Spaces Between

Beneath my feet, there is something I cannot comprehend
Between my breaths, I have an anxiety that never ends
In the darkness of my pupil there is a reflection of what I’ve been looking for
Suspended on my finger tips is the one thing I want
On the tip of my tongue, its name escapes me

The hair on the back of my neck stands as I feel its breath
A chill like the touch of a boney finger runs down my spine
This experience, for the first time in years, is something new
I can feel its eyes, staring deep into my eyes
I can feel its hand grabbing at what remains of the boy I once was

All that remains of me is a shadow on the ground
Exposed by the light, the man that I have reluctantly become
Does it know what I have forsaken to keep this much?
Can it understand that all that separated us is gone?
Standing here, I invoke in it what it wanted from me

The persistent chill in the air disappears under my breath
The whistle in the wind falls silent in the presence of my smile
The clouds hide the sun, who is too fearful to look
Their tears for you will flow for hours and miles
You tremble so much that I can see your face for the first time

You are not what I expected, but I will not change my response
I am not who you wanted, but my hand holds you back
I aim to disappoint you, even if it costs me everything
There is nothing you can take from me that I wouldn’t steal back
I will have none of this, or it will destroy the rest of me

You look at who I’ve become and you see fear
I look at you and for the first time I see your fear
As our eyes lock it becomes clear, for the first time to me
We no longer have any interest in each other, nor have we empathy
Neither of us is willing to succumb to the needs of the other

You cannot have what is mine, I will protect those I care about
You cannot have what is me, I no longer care to give in
You can no longer have my heart, I’ll never want you again
You cannot come here anymore, You have worn out your welcome
Remember this, there once was a time when we were meant for each other

There was a time when I would have given you my world
Just to watch you take it
Just because I was too weak
You may exist between my breaths, but as long as I breath
There is no room for you here, you are not wanted