If I cared to pray.

I feel as lost as always but these days I wonder with a whole lot more gumption. This little life is as meaninglessly meaningful as you allow yourself to be. We all make an impact (with intention or unintentionally) and by the end of the day we must all live only with ourselves and how we’ve coerced our values and the words we’ve said into the deeds we’ve actually done.

 

When I do whisper into the infinite, “Let me be true to this existence. Please let me find lessons in struggle. Help me rise to be better than I was when I awoke. Help me become one who can challenge positively. Please allow my mind to seek lessons that open it in ways I couldn’t’ve obviously perceived. Please help me be able to protect that which I love and those that I feel attached. Let me forgive and give thanks to those who came before.”

 

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

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Augustodunum

Augustodunum was founded by the Roman emperor Augustus to serve as the tribal capital of the Aedui people, France

I love looking at maps. I find myself entranced by them, human infrastructure, art, patterns, visual history, what’s not to love?

I was looking at one of Augustodunum and it made me think that the city its self must have been a significant investment in land, labor, capital, technology, ect.to make that town happen in roman times. A little Rome in a foreign land for a foreign people and a hand full of Roman entrepreneurs and authoritarians. The changes the city was part of and home to had and impact that lasted untold generations on that area and history.

I found myself staring at the walls that surrounded the town and wondered how dangerous it must have been to identify as or with the Romans in the area around the city, especially outside the walls or in the surrounding boonies. Kind of like the Baghdad Green Zone or our little fire bases that dot Afghanistan. It must be dangerous to work with what’s perceived as the empire out in the sticks where the empire only rules when it is physically present.

I wonder who will occupy the walls and the mounds of mud when we have left in all the places we occupy. I wonder what they will think of us, I wonder what history will say. Will we be spoken of like Rome in myth and power, rises and falls, wars and control or will those who come after have other things to whisper and different things to say about us? How will we be remembered, what will out legacy be?

Knuckles

My fists belong in walls
knuckles cracked and bleeding.
Exposed bone tainted by pumping veins
recklessly repairing pieces of me
that were damaged intentionally.

My mind desires to be in the thick.
Adrenaline whispers rumors of enemies
that are about to pounce and penetrate
my defenses. Fight or flight against
chemical deceit and figments of an
injured mind and broken instinct.

Reason wrestles a flush of chemicals
grappling with phantoms for dominance,
controlled breathing and meditation
only makes me think of shooting.
I want to be left alone, like a hermit
with some cold lie of peace.

My non-violent solution is
damage my fists on non-sentient things

twist my weapons in on themselves,
can’t trust me not to be abusive so
I destroy them so as to never be used again,
except to brutalize my own
fucked up mentality.

Hindu Kush

The Hindu Kush Mountains, from Wikipedia

The Hindu Kush Mountains, from Wikipedia

Here is one of the first things I wrote that I was really proud of.

 

Hindu Kush

 

Broken dreams and screaming cerebration

dismantle my convictions of yesteryear.

Spectres of stalwart foundations whisper illusions

from across the chasm of history.

 

Ancient earth

crushed under the soles of boots,

as indomitable as a Macedonian phalanx

but its soil shifts surely as a routed charge.

 

Sealed in the timeworn mountains

is the blood of invaders

feeding nutrients to violet blooms.

 

Cracked creaking fortress walls

are the exposed strata

of remains from millennia of foreign occupations.

 

Nights illuminated only by stars labour,

Orion’s scowl and the night’s highway

lure hearts to the hearths of faraway home.

The pale pin light hewn sky

is the accomplice to self-examination.

 

Crippled will, worn away from

continuously crashing waves of resistance,

force even the strongest to weep,

to retreat.

 

The perceptions of conquerors may change,

but those mountains stay the same.

Soldiers and Prostitutes

I watch his eyes flash hazel-green
in my direction as he sips cheap
scotch in a fog of cigarette smoke
in front of me.

He thinks about how to phrase
what’s inevitably coming next,
“So, um, have you ever killed anyone?”

I roll my eyes and slide back into my side of the booth.

Trying to find an invasive question
to throw back I say,
“Have you ever fucked for money?”

His fingers flinch into balled fists,

his gaze shifts from mine.
Hazel-eyes jump nervously as he waves down
the waiter to order another round.

Quietly, he leans back into his side of the booth.

We stare at each another
through a fresh cloud of chained smoke.

The waiter drops off the hooch.
He downs his with a raised finger lifted asking for another
and says, “That’s kind of rude, don’t you think?”
I tell him what I think,
“Yours was just as rude.”

He doubles down,
“Show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”
I grin behind my silence.

He takes a big drag off of the cigarette
that’s been smoldering in the ash tray.
Done with the quiet he blurts out,
“Yeah I’ve fucked for money
and I use to make pretty decent cash at it too.”

He told me a substantial part of a life rarely shared.
I listened intently to his tale,
it was in every single way

a human story filled to the brim
with tragedy and laughs, love and hate,
pain and pleasure, bad mistakes and no other ways.
It was about surviving another day using whatever it took.

It was reminiscent of many stories I’d heard,
not necessarily the fucking for money
but the stories that hard-working survivors of interesting lives tell
are my favorites.

Lives lived with a longing to itch that scratch,
to experience beyond where society or culture demands
the lines should be drawn. Those of us who say,
“Nah, I got this.”

Those that do for themselves what they think is right
because on close inspection
the world’s view of morality is lacking,
many of us have been harmed by the touch
of ‘civilized life’.

Lives of those thrown into the muck
a life filled by harshness and bad luck
the beat-down trodden-on soul that refuses to give up.

We harm each other we harm ourselves,
there is no code no law that can’t be broken,

even the ones they say are god’s divine laws can be snapped
easy a twig
as soon as desire or anger or apathy or greed
or anything else human is brought into play.

I asked him if he regretted the shit he’d been through.
He looked at me like a battle-tested soldier,
resolute and strait in the eyes,

“I don’t. All the bullshit I’ve seen made me who I am.

Life throws its punches, I’ve learned
how to take the hits. I ain’t gonna off myself so
I might as well learn how to enjoy this shit and admire
the scars that’ve developed over my old wounds.”

A life in the margins,

what life looks like from the gutters,
living life in a manner meant
to live another month, week, day ,or just
another moment can make life look pretty clear.

We’re all just winging it,
from top to bottom.

We’re all just humans living and breathing, existing and experiencing,
nobody understands the full complexities of this life

or the intricacies of context,
we must just do our best with what we’ve got
and try to make it one more day, so that maybe

we’ll get a break
and be able to try and make it tomorrow too.

Flags

All flags carry with them the shame and pride, glory and depravity carried by those individuals who marched under the flag’s shadows.
 
Let us not have flags represent who we are but let our deeds speak for them selves.
 
There is no nation, nor kingdom, nor belief or religion that’s not gilded in gold by the good they accomplished and covered in the blood of its past. All we create are human institutions and that in itself defines them as flawed.

Soulbreak

I wonder what soulbreak feels like.

Heartbreak is one helluva thing,

it can rip that heart straight out your chest,

leaving you bleeding and gasping for air,

just a pile of skin and bones

all splayed out in the open for vultures to pick at.

 

But heartbreak ain’t soulbreak.

I never want to feel it,

but I wonder what it feels like.

 

I’ve never lost someone I couldn’t quit.

I quit smoking a while back,

a few days later picked it up again.

On again off again diminishes my resilience,

exposes me like a wind-swept hill in a desert countryside,

constant fret over some chemical I need to be rid of

 

but, addiction ain’t soulbreak.

I never want to feel it,

but I wonder what it feels like.

 

Like the “lucky one” who didn’t die in a missile strike

you carry on like you just walked out of a bomb blast. Everything

is ravaged, all outside stimulus is padded, like experiencing life

in a sound proof room, pulsating to the beat of a heart, on adrenaline.

Love is a battlefield they say, but especially the dying part,

the end of something as cherished as life or love, that shit ain’t pretty.

 

But a battlefield ain’t soulbreak.

I never want to feel it,

but I wonder what it feels like.

 

I’ve seen it happen, in movies repeatedly

but only once in reality. Vanished love, leaving a vacuum

for despair and black anguish to flood in, to fill

a missing gap that use’ta be shaped like someone

you cherished even more than yourself. The soul breaks

when you emotionally realize your love, the love, is over.

 

Nothing of what I’ve experienced has been soulbreak.

I never want to feel it,

I’ve seen what it feels like.

 

Luckily, for those that don’t put a gun in their mouth

and pull that tempting trigger, life moves forward

shit gets better, and best of all, them godforsaken memories

that broke your soul will fade. Keep on, one foot

in front of the other, you will find something new

to shove into your chest right next to your heart, that you

can cherish, like no other.

 
 

Post-script

Remembering the tears flood from your eyes and your terrific bemoaning

sends my soul into a rout to this day. I stood in front of you, exposed as

the coward I truly am, for I was frozen and left stuttering in your time of need.

I see you stripped before my eyes as a hero for courageously feeling

without any question of recompense from your other.

Your tears shame me, for I am afraid of a feeling, a feeling you marched into

 

Without question.

 

We never really recover our past in devastating moments. Our shattered hearts

and minds, assumptions and souls just get patched together again only to

resemble the structure that it was once before. But shit breakin’

ain’t always a bad thing. One piece of yourself has already been broken,

might as well smash some others, more likely than not it was shaped by

someone else in your past, then you can rebuild in your own image.

It

Breathing Earth

Sometimes I feel like I get it, some lyrical ‘it’ that few but the dying understand. It whispers at the periphery, it calls to me and makes me feel uneasy sometimes. Othertimes it makes me feel at home, I guess it just depends on which day’s perspective of it we’re talking about.

Right now sitting where I do I remember when I first got it. At first it hurt, over the years it broke me in but eventually it just felt like a well placed callus that you eventually come to appreciate. Sure it’s rough and sometimes it hurts but most of the time, if I notice it at all, it pads me and reminds me of the journey and the places I’ve seen and people cherished.

It’s inevitable you know. I see people flee from it and try to pretend it’s not there but it’s ever present and it could happen at anytime. Why not pursue happiness and fulfillment while you can? It’s just around the corner and every second past this one is just bonus round.

I Wanted to Know

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here is one I’ve been working on instead of studying for finals.

 

I Wanted to Know

 

As a child I dreamt of being someone.

Searching for a semblance of what it all means

wishing to be a part of some bigger human history.

 

Grasping at the lives of the dead,

striving to see the secrets of their silence.

 

When I was young I longed to be in love.

Desired to be consumed by burning passions,

is joys and sorrows, ins and outs, ups and downs

 

I yearned to feel that thing so many sought

to help make this thing seem worthwhile.

 

I always wanted to know what poets seem to.

I sought it love

but in this life I live

its the struggles I wish to be free of.

 

Poetry isn’t love, it’s release.

This page can have my pain,

I’ll hold love for me

and those that share the same.

Do you want to scream?

Do you ever just want to scream

but your loved ones are asleep

and you don’t want to wake them?

 

Or maybe you’re in an apartment by yourself

and you suddenly become aware of your neighbors

behind those fucked up paper thin walls

and you bite the urge to belt it all out.

 

Do you ever just want to scream

but you know someone will ask you,

“What was that all about?”

The reasons are clear in the mind

but it’s so hard to speak them sane.

 

You put a cap on all the rage and

all the pain and the things you have trouble to maintain.

You control what you can and hide the rest away,

because at the end of it all do we really got a say

 

in all the death and damned destruction that is done in our name?

Or the pains we choose and problems we create?

Or are we just living damned near day to day

just hoping that tomorrow will bring easier decisions.

 

Do you want to scream

but just hold out till tomorrow?