Monthly Archives: March 2010

fotopass

Tonight I tried to film and take photographs of a band called Copeland. In their early days, I stumbled upon this little group with their soft rock songs, melancholy but hopeful, and something caught my interest. I’ve kept up with them through the years, all the way up until their recent announcement to finally end their long career as musicians, with a final farewell tour to cap it all off.

It was a great show, and for me it was also frustrating. The Glass House in Pomona is a great venue to watch bands, but they don’t make any spectacle of their light effects, and the result on camera is just a bunch of people underexposed against a black void. I couldn’t make anyone look as good as they sounded. I couldn’t preserve this moment. I couldn’t save anybody.

This feeling is what kept me away from cameras of any kind for so long. The feeling that I would have the privilege of seeing all this beauty, pain, miraculous display of a compendium of life, and not be able to do it justice. It was like being asked to write an article on God. We’ll set up an interview with him for you, don’t worry. Don’t worry…

As I approach the end of my sophomore year, I feel the sand slipping through my fingers. I hear them scatter on the floor, and can do nothing about it. Sometimes I wish I could take a portrait of each one. An album of every one, on it’s own, with a group, by itself again, under colored lights, on mountaintop views, entire albums, full length movies, a trilogy…

But I cannot preserve it all, and what I do preserve is imperfect. I am reminded of this tonight. The more photos I take, the more undocumented life I am aware of. The more words I come to know, the more inexplicable thoughts come to mind. I film for an hour and the flying opera narwhals come floating in the minute I run out of batteries. Control does not belong to me. I cannot save anybody.
.
.
.

What I love though, is even though I was frustrated for a while that my article about God was awful… in the end, I’m just glad I got to be in the same room with the guy.

whos afraid of the walking cliches

As a fool I discovered my foolish state
I am told this is rare.
What if this is all I have?, I fret on the way to the library.
Just another young brave with a child’s battle axe
playing false war in Custer’s Last Stand
everyone dying or killing around me
with laser guns of the 19th century.
I laugh at the sleeping men
because I do not understand death,
my sitting bull and I.

The cars stop for me as I wait to cross
and I suspect it is from pity.
Some lady Theresa from Skid Row in the passenger’s seat
tapping her husband’s shoulder, “wait wait
let him pass, the poor thing. Look, his dark glasses,
convinced that a few cold nights and a weekly dose
of Johnny Cash will bring an easy wisdom.
Oh honey, he reminds me of…”
I will look and they will smile, but I don’t notice the sadness.

I keep the street close
trying to feel the kisses of some blurry automobile
full of people I will never meet.
I convince myself, when I am old, I will understand at last
this question, and how to paint on the page.
And all I want, is to keep writing poems of fools
until one day when I am no longer young, and no longer shut
and I paint some kind of song about love
and, by reading those words, some kind of stranger understands what I do not understand
and will find me, changed,
and tell me, it’s you, it’s really you
and we will talk, first behind smiles but not for long
and they will say, in joy,
“You are just a bumbling idiot even now, still,
Scared of dying, unready, keeping rat bones in your pockets,
taking stones for mountains and cloth for steel
but you taught me this secret beautiful thing. Even you,
Can you believe it?”
And my lips will move on their own, “My God…
It’s a miracle.”

.
.
.
.

“Say what you really want to say / and the truest of forms will show / and finally you’ll find your soul.”

– Sleeping At Last

It looks like not responding with the word “tired” to the question “how are you?” in the 21st Century

A new sensation has introduced itself. It is called Not Knowing Who or Where You Will Live Next Year, and is partnered by its companion, But Wherever It Is It Will Be For an Entire Year, who is clingy and smiles a lot but you get the feeling it is just playing some kind of game, and wearing a lot of makeup not knowing what it really wants from anyone. Commitment is what it wants. Commitment is what it’s afraid to give. Sticking to guns of any kind is so scary these days. It used to be normal. It used to be good, and a smart move. Now people just like to commit until something better comes along. Which isn’t commitment in any way, but we all are great at fooling people. I’m there now. I can’t make this decision which was always made for me or made easy for me in the past.
.
.
.

A lot of stories have been happening. I want to hear people’s stories, but there is so much movement, I can’t catch them for a fair minute. I miss everybody and they are all right in front of my face. I miss everybody and they are all a million miles away.
But I remember you, even if you forget.
I remember you, tonight driving down a beckoning highway going to places just to revel in the leaving and the being together and the sharing of air.
I remember you, typing a paper during the hours when we used to meet and speak the real talk, but don’t anymore because of numbers on a planner.
I remember you, making art with many hands at your side, we were all building together. We’d say this is what we were made for, and we’d pretend that it would last forever.
I remember you, with your layered code that you use to keep safe from the world. I know it doesn’t work, and this is why you let me break it. This is why you keep me far.
I remember you, friends before I knew you’d be legends. I still believe it. I still believe even when after it is true you will not believe.
I remember you, friends before I knew you’d be nothing in the books of the world, but everything in mine if I had a fair minute to write.
I remember you, feeling at home in the burning bush. Trying to care less. For me, it is futile.
I remember you, waiting upon the Lord to renew your strength. You are the wings we blind ourselves to see.
.
.

Expect some Anberlin footage soon, you 10 to 12 occasional readers, and 3-4 regulars. I hope one of you likes Anberlin.

Tomorrow I will go to a history class that I have not attended for nearly the entire semester. Will I know what we are talking about still? Will we talk about how the twitter birds destroyed the world?

brethren, come again

I am trying to find my brothers.
You do not have to look like me
or see what I see when we stare at a painting
or love the pen or the shutter or the blended chord.
You do not need to pray like I pray, or spin words like my weaving speech.

A spirit fish in a flooded lake. This is language.
I want all beyond these walls I build daily
“God, give me the All Beyond. And stop cracking my bricks.
Stop spilling my mortar.”
My folly looks like humble logic.
I have to offer my brokenness. Is it a myth?
Brokenness. It has been whispered a past affair.
I have to offer my soul.

You will find me open in time
like a moonflower at nightfall.
Quick and wide, a stormfed river.
I will find you across the open table
and between the same walls, more than wonted.

I am looking for you, brothers, to climb with, to bleed beside in the dark
and to remember what light looks like
to blow it out of delicate twigs
Climbing this rock face stretching out over the ocean
My back facing the waves as I ascend.
I am searching for you, who will go with me
I am looking for a challenge
The blind first will call us brothers. Then the seeing will call us the same.

……. ……. …….


.
.
.
.

.

.
Today I shared hours with three men who carry the fire. You remind me of so many things in a forgetting world, and prove so much in a skeptic’s world. My brother by blood tonight asked me for some songs that would be good for a graduation slideshow. His request reminded me of Mêlée’s The War and how I love it more everytime I listen to it. How I love you all more everytime I listen to you.

Here are my thoughts on my brother by blood, the only one I have, the only one of his kind this world will ever have in all eternity.
.
.
.
.

The Calculated Logic of Whimsy

Hold my hand…
Earthfingers on the waists of grass
tight as the fervid air grips the edges of cracked vases
and brushes hot sand from shards of Roman pottery.
I am a broad cast sword of war
longing to be swept by the forearm of some perfect eternal soldier
to cleave into the flesh of steel and the hearts of men
who have bought the lore of security.
My battered hide, sweep along moss coated stone.
See how the shine lingers as a spice of childhood winters
curled under lighted boughs and a choir on the radio.
As I divorce wind from wind, hearken the trill!
The bearing of my veracity wakes as fine as it lulls.
Out swell miraculous echoes, for I am a cavern with a siren among me.
Again I jaunt to my original love
reeled in gently by prodigal strings
bounding over splintered gates and mercurial vellums of ice,
forty fangs in the jaws of my sunset.
I know the way of ground and wire:
The beating of sunwhippped limbs upon charred and painted roads.
How wrists form a vice with no substance or machinery.
And the signals and knobs, their coded patronages.
But I myself am of cursed dust, and of holy breath;
Ransomed and handed means of discovery.
An abstract compound anomaly of being
like puzzles we make out of colors and cubes
to the power of some endless number.
With harmless bombast I shame the wise.
I make my home in gosling down beds
the same as the dampened shrubbery.
My palms I lay upon the most twisted
My company lies with the perennial, the true.
My jaunty laughter cannot be stopped.
My ardent tears, they cannot be stopped.
My decidedness and resolve, my loyalty to the old and ageless,
they are deeply carved
into wood or stone or the tile of new Eden.
Always I grasp toward the infinites of my allegiance
and until I am satisfied in that jubilant hour
I make light and mission of the heaviest of days.

molasses swamp syndrome

So far, in college, all the film projects I have tried to initiate myself have gone like this:

  • Get idea.
  • Try to get people on it.
  • Find out 90% of the people you ask to work on project have already been asked to work on other people’s hugely awesome projects, which I only heard about just now.
  • Keep searching for people.
  • Get a small crew together almost barely kind of does this count is this crazy? this is stupid! this is stupid but I now have a crew to take care of we have a movie to make what do I do what doIdowhatdoI
  • Crew and I make a film kind of almost barely sort of.
  • Breathe sigh of (***relief??***) and consider quitting film and moviemaking forever for the (***154th??***) time.
  • Reassurance that this will never never happen again no never ever.

Currently I am at step four, and again I wonder if I am the only one. My timing was awful. Why is my timing always this awful? People tell me they’d like to help, but I always end up not helping them help me. There is nothing specific to be frustrated at. You want to quit. You feel beat and want to join their team, anyone’s team, but the spots are already full. You have to do this you have to you have to you have to it’s three o clock in the morning…

This feeling is familiar. I will not get used to it. We will push through and we will come out the other end alive and well like always. Most times, most people have fun along the way. Sometimes I am one of them. Most times I am stressed and sleep weirdly and have frantic dreams that make me feel like I was cheated out of sleep. One day I will understand why God has decided this was the best situation for me to be in. Until then I will have to settle with just understanding why so many people in Hollywood smoke cigarettes.

Something is trying to drown me again. I know it’s ancient name. It will not succeed.

windswimming

Forget in the lettered points,

the lines are to remember.

The space, and the rest between keys.

Memory lies in the trembling breath

of burial verses.

Words merely leave the portrait framed.

In the bland hour, we christen breaks in the pavement

silent and wind swimming up dirty streets,

glass candy figures in a Moses basket,

the weed they took for goddess hair.

There were nights when we spun

entire lives on romanced planets

on the lonely roads back home,

letting every tale escape

when we turn the key- It’s safe now…

A traveler died in the moss, the wonder on his lips:

why God, did you never speak?

You kept not one of your daylight dreams,

He replied. You kept no pause for answering.

Your brothers and their charcoal wings,

they will find their flight in the stillness.

new slang

Sometimes my friends and i talk like this:

travelouge