I had the honor of being invited to read a poem at The WALL Literary Journal’s event at Saddleback College on October 24. The poem, entitled “Experimentation,” was published earlier this year in the 2013 edition of the journal. I was admittedly a bit shaky going into it, as I had never done a reading in an academic environment (as most of my past readings were conducted in bar rooms, drug dens, etc. to mostly uninterested audiences). What’s more, I had no idea beforehand was going to be filmed and that they decided to headline me, so to speak. Anyways, it was a great time and, in spite of my nervousness and lack of practice (or perhaps because of it), I think I did all right.
What is a eulogy?
A eulogy is a poor summation
of a life far more complicated
and diverse than
words on a page
(even the kind ones
of which you are more than deserving,
A eulogy is a post-dated bad check
passed between shaky guilty
survivor’s hands and
that most crooked and
undiscriminating of merchants.
A eulogy is a love letter
(on the part of the guilty party–
with postage that falls
one cent short
and will always
return to sender.
In many ways, the Acid Kid was my soulmate, a kindred spirit that I ended up sharing a very important and sizeable chunk of my life with. We weren’t lovers, although we spent so much time together that others may have suspected otherwise. We just understood each other on a deep, unspoken level and, moreover, were equally fucked up.
The first time I laid eyes on the kid, he was lounging out in front of the student apartment building I lived in wearing a Velvet Underground T-shirt, a purple baseball cap, high top Chuck Taylors, and Harry Potter glasses. At this point, I hadn’t made a single real friend at Berkeley. I had friends in San Francisco and Oakland, but none at school. That particular night, I had been drinking tequila very openly on the sidewalk in front of the building and hurling drunken verbal insults at every college kid that walked past, half trying to make friends and half trying to get myself expelled from college so I could have an excuse to go back home.
When I saw the Acid Kid though, I didn’t insult him; I told him I liked The Velvet Underground very much and that all these other college kids were into lame shit like Nickelback and Creed and that I was probably going to end up murdering my roommate because he would play said lame shit at unacceptable volumes and that it was cool that at least one other person liked ok music at this fucking university. He told me he played piano and worshipped the Beatles. I told him I played guitar and worshipped The Replacements. We were instantly and irrevocably best friends and completely inseparable for the next four years.
A professor of mine asked the class to come up with twenty-five reasons to drink as an assignment. This is what I came up with.
- Because people understand what you’re saying too easily otherwise, and putting on a slur keeps them on their toes.
- Because vomit stains will give your shoes that artsy, unique look you’ve been going for.
- Because you’re a great admirer of tile, carpet, and wood flooring, and passing out drunk helps keep you close to the things you love.
- Because pants are a prison for your legs and booze will set you free.
- Because dive bars are a great place to meet successful, productive, like-minded people to network with.
- Because you really cherish the engaging, thought-provoking conversations you have with the guy behind the counter at the liquor store as a highlight of your day.
- Because waiting for the liquor store to open at six AM reminds you of waiting for Santa Claus at Christmas as a kid and it’s nice to reminiscence sometimes.
- Because you really want to believe her when she tells you she’s eighteen.
- Because bar fights are a great substitute for cardio.
- Because you want to be the most enthusiastic fan at your kids’ little league games, and getting ejected from the stands for disorderly conduct shows how invested you are in their athletic endeavors. Read the rest of this entry
Love ain’t for the birds, it’s for the kids; love is child’s play, a juvenile affair. It reduces even mature adults to children of sorts, and perhaps it is some ephemeral vision of childhood innocence that lovers seek in one another’s eyes or grasp for in an embrace. After all, don’t we idealize love in many of the same ways that we idealize childhood? The aforementioned innocence, wonder, adventure, the distinct feeling that everything is possible and nothing will ever get old—aren’t these the qualifying features of a worthwhile childhood or love affair?
Maybe it’s not as poetic as all that. Even if it is, there are certainly negative connotations associated with childhood that are just as prevalent in love; perhaps love can just make grown adults speak and behave like children: petty jealousy, baby talk, mild S&M, etc. Unfortunately, I’m not immune to this either, and I’m as guilty as the next Adonis-With-A-Case-Of-Arrested-Adolescence of waxing playground when it comes to romance, dig?
I suspect that love, at least romantic love, is only possible with a child-like approach. In my experience, love isn’t rational or logical or premeditated; one is not afforded the luxury of choosing when or where or with whom they fall in love. It just happens, and then it’s time to play. You might end up with a scraped knee and a bloody nose, crying on the tire swing because your playmate turned out to be kinda mean, but guess what: there are a hell of a lot of other kids on the fucking playground, and chances are there’s at least one that wants to play hopscotch with you without pushing you onto the blacktop.
I was given the assignment of answering the question, “What is truth?” in a paragraph. This is what I wrote, in case anybody wants to cheat off me.
What is truth?
Truth is that which philosophers, artists, historians, humanists, poets, writers, and composers have sought for centuries. It is an elusive intellectual quarry, a topic that is not only difficult to define, but perhaps impossible to fully comprehend. Truth can be paradoxical: it belongs to us all collectively, yet to none of us individually. There is no my truth, no your truth—there is simply truth. Truth is immutable, omnipresent, and definite. Truth is the complete absence of subjectivity: one may not argue with truth, lest they be a fool, for it is a losing endeavor that only a fool would undertake. Truth can not be swayed, it can not be bargained with or bought off or bribed. Truth does not bend to the whims or the aims of mortals; do not mistake the employment of lies, delusion, and treachery with the conscription of truth, for they are not the same. Truth is beauty: unblemished, incorruptible, perfect. Truth is god, and all those who seek truth seek god, yet not all those who seek god seek truth.
So what is truth?
Truth is a perfect chord upon a perfect instrument that can only be imperfectly comprehended by imperfect ears, but if you listen closely enough, you can usually make it out all right— even if you can’t quite put it into words.