Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another New Year

Another New Year

Over the years, I guess that I have made a thousand or so New Year's Resolutions.

For the life of me, I can't remember them at all.

I mean, I guess that I probably promised myself to eat better, sleep better, exercise better, just all around live better, but it seems that I have always fallen into the same old patterns of eating poorly, sleeping poorly, exercising poorly, and so by logical deduction not really living better at all.

Well, it's tough. It's tough to wake up on New Year's Day and just expect the whole person that is you to suddenly be another person that is not you.

After all, just because there's a big celebration somewhere, and just because you have to get a new calendar and remember to write a 2018 on all your cheques and official documents, all that is no guarantee that you're suddenly going to be a different person. As far as I can tell, nobody waves a magic wand and makes you healthier and happier. You just wake up the next morning pretty much the same person you were when you fell into bed the night before. OK, you may have a hickey on your neck, the source of which you possibly have absolutely no idea, but that doesn't really count.

Sucks, I guess. We could all use a little magic in our lives. We could all use a Blue Fairy to swoop down and transform our wooden existence with a little bliss. We could all stand to have a dream come true once in awhile.

Sadly, we are the "stuff that dreams are made on," but few of us ever get beyond continuing to just be stuff — ordinary, everyday people pushing forward while struggling with our demons and feelings of inadequacy.

Still, I think it's great that people are a wishful lot. Day to day, we are hopeful that life will get better. We need that hope, that wonder of better days ahead. Otherwise, what's the point of even getting out of bed?

This year, I've decided to forgo making any resolutions, save for one. I've decided that my one New Year's Resolution will be just that ... resolution.

I must admit that it's a stroke of genius, and you're welcome to steal the whole notion as well.

I'm not resolving to change anything or fix anything, but if something comes up as a bit of a problem, well I plan to meet that problem head-on with all my knowledge and experience that I can muster and work my through it.

Too often in the past, some problems have completely overpowered me and left me sort of drowning in a sea of confusion. Sure I'd look around for help from other people, but usually, the very people I reached out to would smack me over the head with a piece of driftwood and shout in my ear, "Good God, man, can't you see I'm drowning too."

So, no more.

Instead of facing life with the uncertainty of a 36-year-old virgin, I've decided to face life with unrelenting decisiveness and courage.

Say, for example, my doctor were to tell me that I had six months to live. I suppose that I could swoon dramatically and collapse into a state of utter self-pity, or maybe I could smile brightly and say, "Jeez, doc, I thought for a minute there you were going to say I had only three months to live."

You see it's not about disaster. Disaster always comes. You simply can't escape that fact. It is, however, about how you face disaster. You can collapse and crumble in the face of hardship, or you can find the resolve to meet every disaster head-on.

Now, don't get me wrong. Resolution is not a solution. That's why there's that little "re-" preface at the front of the word. I am positive, however, that the word "resolution" was constructed by some quick-witted neologist to suggest that resolution is, in fact, the necessary preface to a solution. Without the resolve to confront a problem, well I guess you're running away from it, and if you're running away from it, that nasty old dilemma will never be solved.

So, here's to facing the coming year, not with a whole laundry list of resolutions, but with just simple resolution. I may not be a "better" person in the coming year, but I will be a stronger person.

In strength, there is clarity. In clarity, there is understanding. In understanding, there is hope ... the very "stuff that dreams are made on."

Happy New Year.


Monday, December 18, 2017

snow ...

snow ...
the winter comes
and dresses the world
in icy wedding veils
draped over the tree break
and cascading down
to the frozen river
all the way to
the bespeckled red farmhouse
where once we lived
and loved
and in the confused white confetti
billowing all around these
remembered paths
i recall the days
we found the joys
of talk and touch
living as we did
not in perfect harmony at all
but more like two threads
of sound
woven into
a single chord
that sustained
a note of
common hope

but winter brings
the rage of cold
that beats and beats
against the heart
and year by year
your eyes became
sharp blue crystals
of hoary frost
that could not see
beyond the moment
and so the future froze
into unchanging spears of ice
that pierced your soul
and stole from you
the promises that
lovers make
and left you helpless
beneath the drifts
of flake on flake
until you froze complete
in the bitterness
of solitude and wasted waiting
and nothing remained
beyond the snow
until at last
in an avalanche of dark despair
i knew i loved you
but i could not love you



Monday, December 11, 2017

carnalval ...

carnalval ...
by chance
or maybe by circumstance
i stood by the Sno-Cone trailer
across from the Carnival-King Waffle stand
and in the bright lights of the midway
i saw you on the Ferris Wheel
cuddled in the yellow gondola
with your new lover
his hands mapping
the hills and valleys and roadways
of your body
and i guess i felt some shame
at being a voyeur
peeking into the secret love
of your secret life
but i had forgotten
what was wrong
and what was right
so i could not step away
from the moment
and was transfixed by the blur of you
reeling through the night
finding such a great height
and then dropping earthward
only to make the turn to the heavens again
and at every turn of the wheel
i became the indiscreet witness
to a simple giddy ride through space
turning round and round
and round and round
until it all became a hypnotic blur
the wheel seeming to pick up speed
turning faster and faster
and opening my mind
to mad imaginings
of the carnal pleasures
you and he shared
the two of you sweating with desire
him whispering wanton instructions
and you coaxing his hard sex
into your anus
while you groaned with obscene pleasure
until at last your groans
became my groans
and my soul reached for you in the darkness
wanting you and wanting you still
but my heart bled blue bits of carrion
my every breath sucked and gasped gobs of
deathly disillusionment
until at last my legs buckled
my eyes rolled and closed
and i fell to the gravel
battered and broken by the realisation
that your life had spun
in circle after circle
across time and distance
so far away from mine
there was only an impossibly vast void
between us now
leaving me nothing but
a nightmare waltz
the impossible stumbling
of amputated feet
losing distance as you
soared into oblivion
and i remained hopelessly
spiraling downward
further and further
into irrelevance



Monday, December 04, 2017

falling apart ...

falling apart ...
these are the fumbled words
trembling on the page
trembling so badly
the best of my thoughts
slip and glide and morph
into an alphabetic deconstruction
these chips of carbon falling apart and
rumbling off the paper's edge
onto the floor
to shatter like icy crystals
into half-thoughts
and pandemonium

oh Lord
my Lord
you said
we would love forever
live forever
and never stumble
but now i have guessed
the truth cloaked in your promises

after all the living
after all the good deeds
and the soft sweep of caring
for so many others
how was i to know
how was i to know
that the weight of the world
was never mine to carry
nor there to carry me
but would be there waiting
to crush me
in the end

oh Lord
my Lord
you made a liar
out of me
by being more the liar
and if i care
if i care
i don't want to know who i am anymore



Monday, November 27, 2017

the rifle ...

the rifle ...
for my birthday
you bought me a rifle
its cold steel barrel
locked into a soft wooden stock
overlaid with a slick bolt
where you said
i should arm the mechanism
with bullets you spilled
out across the kitchen table
and when i refused to take
this killing machine
from you
you laughed at my reluctance
and said something
something demeaning
and made cat faces at me
with pop eyes
and curly fried lips
while you yourself
loaded the contraption
and aimed it at my heart
and for a brief moment
i realised
what your intention was
what this gift
meant to you:
the ceremony of murder
filling the room
with smokey wisps and whorls
of incense
spilling from you eyes



Monday, November 20, 2017

the river ...

the river ...
this is the river
it winds through the ancient poplar trees
splashing over crags of rocks
until it turns into a fury of white foam
and sputters down a fall into
the unknown
and this is the the river
that is also you
that snakes through your body
and sketches the path of your life
and you will say all that
is simply madness
until you wake one morning
and feel its surge of power
deep inside you
pulling you away
from the life you know
and deeper into the forest
and then you will know
how you become
the river
before the river
becomes you




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