declaration, positive, negative, rant , realization

a declaration: I need to organize a new idea for a new, full essay. Ramble more often, yet with defined purpose. Accidental poems can emerge from a daily rant.

positive paragraph: received a “maybe,” a tentative acceptance from publisher in regards to my older manuscript A Gathering Of Stones. At least now I know it has some merit, someone other than myself considers its worth. Foolishly I daydream about it becoming published by this summer. I do have some hesitancy regarding self-promotions once/if the material is in the public’s domain. Let’s put it like this: I have an intense personal life beyond the school, beyond the career as an instructor. Poetry is a personal tool, yes. However, not everyone of my poems are my voice. Not all the material reflects my story. Often I use a persona-mask of an imaginary character, an unknown figure. I imagine him gaunt, with a shock of black unkempt hair, a darker version of myself, a bitterness personified. Still. I would love to sit and hold the finished book. Just hold the physical nature of my book and acknowledge the reality of its existence.

negative paragraphs: I have Roxane Gay’s voice/writing style stuck in my head. Her detailed, and at times painfully-honest insights, the choice of phrases and vocabulary become addictive after a few days of reading her commentaries. This happens of course when you read any other writer on a regular basis: their words become your words, then transfer back to their words. A cycle. Cannibalistic. Vicious. A snake devouring its own tail. A series of negation. An act cancelling itself out. So I keep writing. Avoid the critics in my head. Ignore the dry cough in the back of my throat. Look at what you need to say. Validate yourself.
Recently bought a book off Amazon’s site which offered limited details of the book’s contents. But the cover showed an intense photograph: artistic, graphic. A figure of a man in an overcoat slowly overcome in a gathering of crows. The human element erased by nature. Crows exploding from his pockets and sleeves. And then I read the work. Although I highly respect the intentions of the work, the author’s approach does not mirror the styles I usually read. He takes a severe avant-garde approach that seems too much conceptual rather than lyrical.

Moral: yes. I judged a book by the cover and paid the price. However, now knowing what the contents are, in the near future I’ll give it a second chance a give it a less critical reading—without expectations.

a rant: Earlier in the week with a rare moment in front of the television I fell across a commercial for eye contacts, one of those organizations where you can order prescription lenses and have them shipped directly to your house. Save time. Save money. You’ve seen the product before; you know it exists. Their latest campaign left me feeling annoyed. Which is the typical practice these days. Everyone in the marketing world has learned a new trick: insult the viewers to get noticed, stir up reactions, get the product name known, spiral out recognition. My anger, frustration, irritation stems from their basic premise: by ordering through their services, you can save time, so you can finally read that “great big book” you should have read in college Literature class. Better yet, do not waste time reading the “great big book” rather wait for the movie to be released about the “great big book”— (:/) .

On so many different levels the manner in which this campaign is run insulted me—not because I teach literature and often have to contend with the zombie-dead-look from a few uninspired students; not because I actually like reading large volumes of work of multi-pages; not because I want, crave, desire more personal time to read or write or spend quality hours with my son; not because I need more energy so I can continue reading my collection of “great big books”— what provoked me most is their casual, matter-of-fact attitude which supports a “dumbing down” of society: Just wait. Do nothing. Someone will give you the answer and supply you with all the details which you missed while sleeping in class. Let’s continue limiting ourselves so we can watch more useless programming that does not stimulate the faculties of the brain but only triggers reptilian, numbing of intellect.

Okay. I am breathing now. Moment of rant finished.

a realization: Since the adoption of our boy, the world’s events carry a stronger resonance with my awareness—why this is an epiphany for me requires some examining. By nature I do not promote a callous personality towards world events. Yet, I once summed up global news to a basic cliché: the world cannot be changed. Now, with another major earthquake in the public’s consciousness I grow more cautious, washing my hands every ten minutes, triple checking traffic, confirming weather conditions hourly. Sometimes when I wake in the middle of the night I simply watch Brendan sleeping. Waiting for my eyes to adjust to the room’s darkness and clarify that he is breathing smoothly, his little heart still beating out its rhythms. For his sake I seek a way of altering future conflicts.


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