me, a farmer?

The perpetual nature of the journey, until it's over, can drive us mad. But what I've learned in the last year or so is how the journey goes on despite difficulty and even major error. We have to pull ourselves up a lot of the time - and pull ourselves down, at times - keep moving and keep witnessing to those who always have it worse off than we do.

I think I want to do this, is a phrase often muttered from my lips. And it's driven a few people crazy over and over, when I think it should have been a flame to embellish the embrace of opportunity and ideas I find to be inspiring. If they have been for others, why not for me, I think.I look for signs. And when I see them - and I have seen them, believe me - I talk about them to people who are closest to me. Certain ideas pop in and out of my mind, but a few always seem to persist: more education, traveling to far-away lands to teach, publishing poems and short-stories, and getting married. All these things have been on my frontal lobe for as long as I can remember. Other ideas have popped in and out, some less than practical...and Lord knows I have always urged my mind to veer on the side of that slope, of which I've often failed.

I think I want to be a farmer today. I know nothing of farming, other than growing up near it. And ironically, I'm going back to that land in a few short days (excitedly!). For some reason the continual search for more answers (or shoves) in a direction that would have me tilling gardens and milking cows persists. I see signs to make moves in license plates, dreams of close friends, whispers to recollect of the smell those tilled fields, and a poet whose birthday we will celebrate tomorrow in poetry group at The Center.

Without reading much Wendell Berry, I assess to believe we may have a lot in common and especially with the changing grasp I have held of my own personal-philosophy these past few years (which, I believe, should constantly evolve).


I'm here, you're here; we're here

To you:

When we feel most vulnerable, frustrated, or even excited to the touch - that is the time to note.

Poetry is a gift to the masses from those who see the world with - at least, semi - divine eyes, i was told. The perspective drawn, with favorite words repeated and syllables not always aligning, can be significant enough to break new ground in the mind, and to the soul. The words of a poet speak to us all, without a given ear or eye. The sounds of a poem are soothing, yet off-putting, and it's for that reason we write. To do, what is right.

At the current, nature's break in the cloudless sky has shifted. Taking a vacation the calmness has; to speak without pretension, with the flow of the constant to all things genuine and susceptible.

To answer a question to the uncertainty which draws in what or - more importantly - who we love, we so often have words to allocate. Using hyperbole, and conjugations of emotions relative to our current state of life, we utilize formula to tell our friends and our other friends exactly how and what we feel, albeit with the pinch of doubt in our temples.

To answer a question to the uncertainty which draws us into ourselves when times seem overwhelming, and the game being played is in extra innings, we silence our rational congruence and give way to the emotions and fears, we so-more often press under our pinkies.

Checking for responses to defensive remarks, our mind swirls with worst-case, worst-case, worst-case without ever actually providing the 'what ifs' and the 'of which could happens'. Unlike the times of contentment, we are unable to discern the stems of the plants we normally eat, from those we don't eat of.

Where are the sprinklers keeping those plants alive? And the gardner who supplants those toxic soul-ripping stalks, when we need her/him most?

Kafka died today, and he only made it so far. In the state of mind-current, I'll be lucky to make it there. However, in my right mind I don't believe that. And, I don't believe in luck. Or Kafka, for that matter. There seems to exist a conundrum to the writings from those who everyone insists on reading. A silver line of ignorance runs through novel after novel where the protagonist, and the story holds nothing to be fruitful but elements of a passing world; a passing time.


I watch as the students watch videos never seen by these eyes; certainly not to be witnessed on my daughter's screen. Praying a decision such as this is to be made.



Hope breeds in small touches and glances. We need these stepping stones of our beloved's fashioning. How we ask for them, I'll never know. Nor, will i ask. For a gift given is just that; no conditions, but with the upmost of guarantees.

There i go reaching for a response again. To no avail, but my own. For the wind blows me this way and that way, and I find it worthwhile to close my eyes when fog overtakes the bow, and then the stern; causing me more to yearn.

We haven't gotten to the 'you always' (always-is) or even the 'i wish you would haves', but I'm hoping we do someday soon, while noting the bond experience creates for two people. The assurance to breathe in each other's presence, fully. The willingness to yield all, asking for nothing in return. And the none-too laughable realization of I'm here, you're here; we're here.


State Of Contradiction

It is a state of contradiction we live in.

The recent news regarding the botched executions, stays on scheduled executions, and all news regarding prosecutors who now are staying away from 'pushing' for the capital punishment has me thinking.

And yes, it hurts. But not as badly as the conscience of every state which continues to embrace state-sponsored executions.

Since data has been collected on botched executions at least 40 state-sponsored executions have been acknowledged to have been 'miscarriages of judgement' on the state's part. Faulty research results, less-than-adequate diagnosis of mental illness, and/or misjudgment by lawyers (both defendants and prosecutors) have lead to an unknown number of innocents being executed. And, though some states have jumped on the bandwagon supporting the ban on execution, there are still some states where irrationality makes one think that the faith they so embrace must, ironically, not be sinking in. Yes, I am talking to you Texas.

I was surprised to read in a recent Reuters report that the death penalty has been banned in some states for a while, and in places like Wisconsin since the 1870s...a certain mark of time to make absolutely sure that the state killing its own people is wrong, no matter what the crime.

With the injustice to the sanctity of humanity aside, (though, it's the largest point to the argument) and with more and more uncertainty about 'efficiency' of execution drugs for lethal injections, and more push for human rights violations in all venues other than our state-owned prisons; wouldn't you think the governments, voted in place to represent our interests, would cease to make decisions that would further harm its constituents? And, all politics aside; haven't we reached a point in human history where the state isn't executing people in semi-medieval fashion framed by a modern aesthetic?

Seems dumb, and yet more-so appalling. But, that's the state we live in; where politics is the game, and the intentional killing by the state of its own citizens continues to be a sick reality.


just to be at my side, i said

There was so much chatter,
just so much chatter.
There was contradiction of good and evil, but only good seeing good
evil stuck on what should be good
but blindness
keeping all from seeing all,
and making liars out of good-natured wrist holders.

Where are those genuine hand-holders? Where are those days spent in the sand when land
after land,
…(emphasized pause) after land
is nothing more than a place we were always trying to flee,
but told ourselves time, and again,
that we actually loved it there.
Loved it there, so much that we deny the messages of our God,
Creator of love, who knew otherwise 
and we just spat on the just pamphlet laid at our feet, on sidewalks we should have never walked upon,
holding hands with someone upon which we should never have laid eyes.

There's paint in the middle of the street, and as we walk further and further from where we should (italics) be
I envision, as you talk on and on (so it would seem, though I knew otherwise), 
about falling deep into that paint splatter, dreading nothing
not even darkness, 
I can perfectly well see the light as I stand and bask in it.

Why does distress take hold? Why must I continually call out in the night for protection from
the one who seeks my destruction?
Night after night/day after day
It doesn't seem fair, or even make sense that something so pure and beautiful could be turned into, perversed rather, into
someone/thing (as I refer at the behest of St. Michael) seeking nothing but ugliness and filth? 

I am lost this day, and tortured by the recollections of demons I never faced, never calling upon the angels who were ready
and willing
to be at my side. 
Staunchly, in my corner and going no where unless I command - I now know -
...but not without fire…
again and again
Night after night/day after day
this is the land that I face; the river that I attempt to jump across only to find myself interested in the current
so deep of spirit, and yet so
unwilling to truly jump. 
Make sure that's not you. 

Make sure that's not me.


bad writing and bananas

reading bad writing is the vein
and the rain, and it covers...
spilled out of houses where eaves
called gutters leak, and seep
peek and you'll see that the only
thing that you have when I am not there
is everything.

and reading bad writing is the worst thing I do each day
unless i am not reading anything,
then it's just the only thing I do
and since you left 
it is all I do
it is all I do

and I fall asleep to the memory of rain pouring outside
wishing I would have read a little bit more
a little bit more
a little bit more
the floor looked more appealing
than the peeling of those week-old bananas
we passed out to the drunks and the meth addicts
both of which more needed houses and drug counselors
and recognition of the fact that the people they say 
are really just there to
what they need are more than bananas, 
and I'm no different
especially since the idea of your face close to mine entered again,
and again,
before i realized it's not happenin'
just like my friends;
the drunks, and the meth addicts
who will ne're get what they need. 
but, i will.
and, sadly, I'll ask for more.


Continuing on

Placing my finger in my mouth to get that orange Cheeze-It remains out of the back of my teeth, I became startled. What is that poking out of my gum that I don't remember before? For years I've denied that I, of all people, would require what I just now Google-searched (image and cost)...the removal of my wisdom teeth. From what I read, those darn things that now cost $481/each for extraction (according to some dental academic at a school in Illinois), we have 'wisdom teeth' because our ancestors - and by ancestors, I don't mean Funkhousers and Vances - needed such teeth to eat whatever it is that primordial human-esque beings eat.

You know, it's amazing I thought, how much you appreciate time at certain jobs, but how much more you praise in thanksgiving that you're not doing whatever-that-thing-was-that-you-did, anymore. The text messages, blaming of lack to responses, and the simple nonsense I dealt with (albeit with quite a bit of satisfactory skills training and freedom) is somewhat of a burden on my heart, given the amount of effort I truly gave for those few years. In addition to becoming more assertive, and moving to California on account of the job, I also learned the importance of boundaries, and when and how to call friends "friends" and when not to. Thank goodness I'm not mixed up in that game that pulled me so far from reality, and people - at times - that I'll never be able to explain to those powers-that-still-be, or the people in any circle. However, I can take the gifts earned through those experiences traverse further and further left (or right) and keep moving in this temporal paradise we find ourselves enjoying.

This week is going to be full...Young Life tonight, dinner with one friend tomorrow, dinner with another friend Wednesday, dinner with homeless Thursday, and Friday night...SINGLES ONLY Valentine's party at the Psych ward, a.k.a. our new house. This house, while I'm on the topic is really turning around. If I had a picture (I just typed pitcher before deleting the entire line out of disgust) I would share the floor, now refinished and the living room that is no longer bare but filled with furniture. Soon.

I'm quite content for the first time in probably 10 years. I truly think that given the nature of life, and the struggle that it's been to live out here for nearly three years, I have been given an opportunity to be grateful, and I believe I'm doing a good job.

This month will be an adventure, what with continual renovations, work, and the possibility of being able to finally discern what futures may hold in more grand fashion via opportunities willed out of Grace, more than anything else I can explain. I believe work is going to change, but I'm pleased with the people I get to spend time with everyday, and I'm trying harder and harder not to complain about anything, though I certainly do fail time and again. But, that's why we get up each day; to get better at living, to reap that which we've hopefully sowed in our witness to Truth and ultimate Love through our sacrifices.

Anyway...I hope that thing sticking out of my gum is just a wedged sunflower shell or something.


oh, how i'd do too much to see

suddenly, i digress from that loathsome reality
to love; that Love, that will never be.

Your hair in clasped hands; a sight to see!
an utter visage of our inequity

Those dream filled nights; indecision into reverie
a blood-stained heart; i long to see

i watch a couch arrayed amiss; perhaps it was on Delongpre
Or, was it just the spot of me, in err that you'd truly wait for me?

Green-swept necks; the void they say to see
from what i'll gauge my gracious-laden disparity


"...the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!"
if only J. Alfred, your breeze-kissed lips he'd see.

Among the late evening, Chinatown meals we'd be
or, early market arm brushes; my utter pleasantries


fullness, ours, i realise fleeting; forever'll be
while fear; my constant reality.


frustration around a campfire, or bushfire, or whatever

I will not be told what to do, even if I get trampled by those trying to 'do what's best'. I have yet to sign up for health insurance, though the government tells me I should, err...have to. The centaur-ing of the U.S. government, and bullying toward harmless (and helpful ) organizations, I happen to support, has me also feeling like: Hey! I don't really feel like paying my taxes, either. Reading today; I hear our president - who likens himself more to Stalin than Lincoln, if you read the language of the last year - plans on spending more time talking about marijuana legalization and gay marriage at tonight's State of the Union, than spend on true and legitimate problems like misallocation of wealth, and college debt. The man is a puppet, as is anyone in Washington. And, it's a good thing I've avoided the mid-Atlantic so-so capital of our nation for so long, because I fear if I'd spent 30 seconds in the vicinity of a politician I'd be arrested for having my hand outstretched seeking an answer to the theory if he/she has a pulse.

Lately, in the company of do-gooders and peace makers who flood work space and my life, in this land of dreams and pragmatic relativism, I've come to a point of visible frustration. The offense on wisdom from centuries of research and understanding of natural law, by militant contemporary ideas of do-whatever-you-want, is insulting to everyone - even those stuck in the middle of their own ignorance. The other day, in conversation, the tragedy of abortion clinics closing in Louisiana was brought up as if abortion were a life-giving, and supportive charity service. Isn't it tragic, they described, that a woman can't do as she wishes with a clump of cells in her body, and oh yeah; Planned Parenthood does so much more than provide abortions, they asserted to me. McDonald's got in the business of fast food by doing one thing: making cheese burgers. And, if you ask any reasonable-thinking individual, the same would hold true that what McDonald's does best is make cheese burgers. But, oh yeah! The also provide McFlurries, and ooh! breakfast sandwiches, and on occasion the McRib (to my chagrin). But, McDonald's is still a fast-food vendor with business model built on one key thing: making cheeseburgers. Planned Parenthood does the same thing; they kill babies before they're born, and that's their main thing. You take that objective away, and planned parenthood does nothing different than any pharmacy w/ combined (non-gov't funded) birthing center; which may or may not suggest the idea of less-than-lethal practices than the killing of the 'potentially' human cells.

The inside of me feels like the homeless man who illustrated himself in front of me today, by the gyrating of hips, lips, to the tune of a slew of 'F' and 'C' words, when he couldn't get the someone on the phone to speak more-clear English at the Social Security office. He left in a spat, but I'll see him tomorrow and we'll try again. Frustrated is just a word. And no, it doesn't describe my near disgust with an attitude to help that is more concerned with short-sightedness which almost always turns to harm. The whole damn system is broken, and that's honestly the best part of it all. All this nonsense is temporary, and though we'll be excited one day, and thrilled for victory the next - or swelled by defeat - we'll get up and keep going. Because, that's the moral of the story, or rather; the motivation to be drawn from the story: keep going, and tell people when they're wrong, describe it to them, or just get out of the business altogether if it's driving you mad, because that's what it's built to do. We're intended by the nonsense to lose our heads, and then be the one left in the street feeding addictions of things we condemned with more clear minds.

And, at that point, we'll open our eyes and ask: who is the ignorant hypocrite now?


modern romance

What's romantic about the city life is the constants. There is always traffic moving. You can always hear people talking, or walking. Quickly, oftentimes they outpace those spending traveled time looking up at famous signs, all while speaking languages a Midwesterner can only pretend to guess. But what makes the city, or life living in the city (and especially L.A.), romantic is the constant of ebb and flow which leads to situations that so often happen, and happen with a sort-of divine stepping stone effect, one realizes when reflecting.

The house project is temporarily on hold, and until last week, I hadn't acknowledged - or even thought about - the length of time I have been unable to give someone my address to mail an invitation, card, or even to come by to hang when free. But, one friend suggested his feeling exhausted with being somewhat 'homeless', and at once, I was again pulled into that realization which sat like a dismal, non-precipitating cloud for months. April was the last time I had a place I could have someone send mail. And again, it felt like that had been long enough.

The reality that lives change, and with them plans, came to a head fall when - as predicted by some around the campfire that is our small Hollywood community - we were alerted two of our housemates were going ahead with their move to Oregon. Being that the plan with our partners began to flounder in December, and stagnancy became the theme rather than the progress we'd seen a few months prior, it seemed about right. So, I was not shocked and was passed the 'at-a-loss' stage when self-pity and confusion reign with the sense of uncertainty which can rule your days. At times, knowing the difficulty of having a job which pays little (but still not wanting anything more!) and trying to land a place in Hollywood, it makes a person (or me, in my weak nature) ask again, and again: "what the hell am I doing here, anyway?" But, then the days roll on, and the good-natured people and good-natured conversations, friend's couches and free lunches roll on and you realize that things are never bad with such blessings, and housing is something you ultimately can just deal with later. But, without forgoing the project which we intend to recalibrate and continue, it has come time to move somewhere, or at least unpack my car which has been stressed to the limit by a case of records, suitcases full of clothes, and odds-n-ends for far too long.

Tonight, I'm moving into a place with three other friends - who I had no idea existed when I came to L.A. 2+ years ago. Last night, as we prepped to sign the lease on a house that was formerly a psychic shop, situated 200 feet from one of the most famous streets in all the world, one friend asked: what are you most happy about with regard to the prospect of signing this lease, and moving into this house? At first, using my blinding sarcasm and annoying sense for disregarding significance I said something obscure and useless. But, a minute later I stated something to the effect - as above - of the absolute humbling sense I felt to be able to move into a house I never would have ever imagined being able to live in, with a group of people I love and who were was miraculously placed into my life as I never could have predicted, all together a few hundred feet from Sunset Blvd, again, the most famous bi-way for so many dreams and travelers from all over the world. It is significance; the people we find in the places we never could have forecast living, and seeing the providence of God's true Love for us in connecting those happenings and persons, who and which show you lets you that all is right and all with be right, and God, ultimately, is a romantic as well.

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