Poetry of the broken hearted

I busted a shoplifter last night. On the train ride home I started pondering what kind of day-to-day these people have. The ones who go to department stores with a 'shopping list' and a bag inlined with foil. How their grind goes. When there's no struggle, when comedy and drama and an internal musical score have subsided to give way to the everyday; even if that everyday is a step away from the norm. It's still grey and tasteless, mundane and repetitive, spotted with occasional glimmers of hope, tragedy... whatever.

I imagine it's something like this: get up at the crack of dawn sweating & shaking, grab a cup of coffee and pipe down a half dozen cigarettes, shoot up or pop in or inhale, make some sort of battle plan for the places you're going to hit that day, muster up the courage and hop to it. But after that? What's the grind like for people who are in, but sidelined? The world is faceless and the concrete ever so cold, no matter if you lay down in your own bed or in a jail cell.

A colleague and I got to talking on the subway about the nine-to-five of people on the outskirts. Certainly it differs from person to person, but some guiding lines and idiosyncrasies certainly have to persist. I suppose I was mostly talking with myself in front of a participant, as I was genuinely tripping out pacing through the sights & sounds of this world through the eyes of someone whose viewpoint is so completely askew from mine. They clock in and clock out, but the motions in between are so very different.

We got to talking about prison life, at least in terms of how it's possible to try to relate to it via tv, books etc. I remember marveling at the fact that all the interviews I'd seen with prisoners had a strong, crushing sense of perceived normalcy. That to them, their grind rife with inflexible routine, constant violence, degradation and solitude was utterly and completely unspectacular. Everyday. At least on the surface it wasn't about adapting. It was the way the world around you bound you in its arms - if you stop struggling, you breathe a little easier. I think I said It's hard to comprehend, because to them it's so common. No drama, no bravado, no aesthetic. I felt very naive there and then, but only because I didn't let my thoughts form into a clearer string of words.

I am a stone cold romantic at heart. A poet. I want the morning sun to rip me in two with its beauty. The rain to write arcane memoirs upon the stone it beats against. I want setbacks and disappointments to strike my bones with harsh, resounding impact. For the beast of passion to roar in blissful freedom, with fast feet and unbound. I want the world to be music.

But it isn't.

The grind, the norm, the day-to-day scares, bewilders and angers me above most anything. I've literally had instances where I've felt like a part of my being - something invisible, untangible yet precious and completely irreplaceable - has been ripped from me while succumbing to a life behind the bars of comforts and security. I've been a visitor in the world of normalcy for four years now and the guest shoes fit so well I sometimes worry if my legs will give if I'm barefoot again.

Poetry runs in my veins like wild liquid fire. Or it did. My creativity is growing more and more subconcious and unconcious, and it terrifies me. It paralyzes me, because the hole is getting deeper and I'm the one holding the shovel. The distance feels like an out of body experience because, essentially, I know with every fiber of my being it's unnatural. Creativity is my essence, my license to breathe, yet it has to compete for attention and living space with lesser entities. I hesitate to grab hold for fear of tearing it to shreds. I dread to pull it closer for fear of contorting it into something shapeless by my overpowering grasp. I hesitate to let it wash over me, because when I leave that world and enter the one we co-inhabit, it breaks my heart. Breaks it every single time.

I'm so goddamn tired of being broken hearted.


Truth of the day

Emotional lightweights. Soft skin. Balloon egos. Wave something sharp in their direction and wait for the pop.

Don't read my words if you can't handle my truth of the day. It's a viewpoint through two eyes, ever evolving and furthest from anything absolute. Furthermore, it should have no bearing on your self image. If it does, well, that's your cross to bear. Don't get it twisted - it's all yours.

But don't put words in my mouth or intentionally misread what I've laid down to fuel your own insecurities. That's... unjust.


A signal from the lighthouse

Yesterday gave me insight. Which is why these words stand here today.

Saw an old buddy of mine in a diner around midnight. I'd had a few too many - people to deal with, that is. People and their mediocrity. Beers too, but the alcohol served as little more than novocaine. We danced through the normal niceties, but I was having such a violent reaction to social interaction I barely responded. Feel kinda bad about that. We were very close at one point and I still respect and revere him above most others. One of those prototypes the likes of which you'll never encounter twice. It's too bad we lost touch. It's too bad I'm such an inconsiderate prick.

And I am, you know. Always have been.

I don't know what people expect of me. Nor think about me. I forget to take note, because I don't have enough respect for most to give a damn, even though some days I'd like to claim otherwise. Words flow out of me - that is my gift. Most people tend to read that as the markings of an open individual. I get along with people without having to adjust my wavelength to match theirs. Some see that as empathy. In my case they could be right or wrong. Depends on the day. Seeing the lighthouse from afar doesn't mean the light is warm or that you're welcome on the island it stands on. Sitting in one's living room doesn't mean you're ready for what's in their closet - nor that you'd be welcome to inspect it.

There are so few people who manage to inspire me these days. It's banality upon safety upon triviality upon indifference, and sometimes I have to grip my teeth to stop myself from scolding people for their lack of vision. I will never understand why most settle so easily. They sacrifice dreams, aspirations and curiosity for a life built from scraps. Even worse are people who have absolutely nothing in them beyond their job and routine. I refuse to believe anyone exits the womb preprogrammed like that. I guess there's comfort in regarding life's playground as an arena and giving it leeway to overpower you, but letting the world turn you weary rubs off easily on others. That, if anything, should be way up on the mortal sin ladder. Perhaps I'm as much to blame as anyone. It's not as if I'm nailed down to this course of life - and if I were, it'd be me holding the hammer. But it's hard to find a poet if you live on Planet Robot.

I'm as much an alien as ever to most people around me, but many seem to think we share common ground. That's mostly untrue. I stand on my own ground, generally very happy in my solitude, merely treading as a visitor upon theirs. I guess it doesn't register, as I rarely step on anyone's toes. No need to - rarely do I feel like I'm even the same species as most human beings. We breathe the same air, crave to be touched and our tongues twist in similar fashion to contort thoughts into lingo, but parallels do not signify unity. This is something I've grown to recognise and frown upon more and more as the days pass by. It's like having a food fight with a bunch of monkeys - everybody's happy as long as you remember to throw something once in a while. Visiting everyone's neuroses and shortcomings in a comfortable environment without a true field of depth is bearable, fun even, as long as I don't think about it to any lengthy degree. Sometimes people's warmth towards me sideswipes me, knowing what I know about the guy in the mirror. Percentage wise I wouldn't drop a donut to save most of 'em from drowning. Or maybe I would? We can find out if you want. All men are heroes in their dreams, right?

Reading back what I just wrote emphasises even moreso why I need this. This is important. Healthy and therapeutic, two things sorely lacking in my life nowadays. In more ways than one. I can understand if someone feels insulted, but that is not my intent and is beside the point anyway. Truth tends to sting, but feeling the jolt just means you're not dead inside... yet. The grind will get you only if you let it.

Stay tuned. Or don't. But thanks aplenty for taking time out of your busy Facebook/Twitter schedule to click a link.