Sometimes

Sometimes I feel like I’m achieving nothing
Sometimes I look at my reflection and see endless mirrors
Sometimes I feel desperate for I know not what
Sometimes I get fed up but I don’t know the alternative
Sometimes I tell myself, “This is it!
“I’m going to change my life for the better!”
But I don’t know what’s better

Sometimes I sometimes

And I hold it against myself

Sometimes I’ll hold anything against myself
For no reason at all

I have returned to writing; I also started dancing in public.

Here I am again, trying to get back in the habit of writing every day. I thought I would during February while I was working on the album that things didn’t quite work out that way. Not only was I busy with the album I had a few other things going on in my life. I wasn’t busy flat-out across the whole month, but I was distracted enough from any sort of writing that I started to get lazy.

But now I’m starting to get back into the swing of things again. Unfortunately I had to leave my apartment and go to a coffee shop just to write this blog post. It’s strange how crowd and traffic noise in the background while I’m writing at a table outside doesn’t bother me, but the occasional squeal of a child and her mother’s response in the apartment does. Maybe it’s the apprehension; I’m bothered more by waiting for one of them to say or do something whereas in Market Square the noise is constant. It could just be that I wanted a change of scenery and I was just trying to give myself an excuse. Whatever—it’s a nice night. Once I get back into the groove of writing I hope I won’t find too many distractions at home to get away from.

Another thing I started getting back into doing this week is jogging. I let that go for a few months because of the weather. I toyed with joining a gym for a few months but couldn’t quite swing the membership fees this season. I’m hoping that returning to regular exercise would keep my energy up throughout the week. That should help me focus on any creative pursuits, such as the screenplay. (Fatigue has been an issue with working on it in recent months.) My primary incentive for jogging again is much more vain, however. I started going to dance parties and goth nights in Portland, and I want to be able to fit into some of the outfits that I got over the holidays. I let myself go a little lately, and I need to tone a bit.

While I was on vacation last week I discovered that there is indeed a life outside of my apartment. Aside from a few bars and restaurants around here I rarely go out anymore after work. I went to a post-punk dance party at a bar in Portland on Monday and connected already with some of the people from the local goth scene there. I also went to a poetry open mic at a local bookstore, which I didn’t realize was happening. I can’t afford to go out every night, but I can’t afford to stay at home and vegetate, either. I thought I was getting culture by sitting at home reading or watching movies (and not just light, fluffy stuff, mind you) all the time. I can still do these things, but I need to find time and actually go out among people.

It was weird. People actually came up to me and wanted to get to know me at the goth club on Friday. I was coerced into getting onto the dance floor and actually dance… in public. To a Nick Cave song. I think this might become my regular Friday outing. It doesn’t hurt that the Portland Museum of Art is free on Friday nights. But I can’t go to my favorite pizza place and eat three slices of cheese when I go up that way anymore… at least not when I’m wearing skinny jeans.

Post from Thursday night; little sleep since.

3/24/16
7:00 p.m.
Starbucks, Congress Street Location, Portland, Maine

Yes, with all of my options in downtown Portland I picked Starbucks. I wanted a snack with my coffee and I don’t know who is open this late on Thursdays. I already left one place that closed at seven. I have enough time to stop for a coffee before the Metal Church concert starts, but not enough for wandering around. Besides, it’s below freezing in this city tonight. That’s to be expected; it’s always colder here than at home. But I don’t have to put up with it. I’m not up here to shop around this time.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a metal show. I’m glad these guys came to Portland. I wish more metal bands came here. I love this city. I have a dream, albeit a simple one, that I could finally call writing my job and move here. I like where I live but I’m getting bored with it. But it doesn’t really amount to competition. I fell in love with this city wince I went to college here.

I guess the idea of seeing this band is secondary to seeing this band in Portland. don’t get me wrong, Metal Church is a great band. They’re not my favorite (primarily because my tastes in metal have shifted almost exclusively to the more extreme sub-genres in recent years) but I know I’ll enjoy their show. Honestly, though, I wouldn’t travel all the way to Worcester or Boston just to see them. The fact that they’re playing here was a big factor in my coming here. I admit that the fifteen-dollar ticket cost was a deciding factor as well.

I have to cut this blog post off as the doors open soon. I didn’t bother getting my tickets ahead of time. I hope they didn’t sell out already. Despite what I just wrote, I won’t stay up here if that’s the case. I still have to work tomorrow.

—–

Today
7:44 p.m.
Home

I have more to say about the subject of the show on Thursday night but I wanted to e-mail a friend of mine who also went to make sure I didn’t mishear something I thought I heard. It was a rather unsettling moment that I think should be addressed. However, if it turns out I’m wrong then disregard this as it would give somebody a bad reputation they don’t deserve. However, I’m pretty sure that I heard it correctly.

I did get into the show, by the way, and it was fun. I made it home around one in the morning and then woke up at my normal time on a weekday. I had arranged to go in late to work that day but it turns out that I didn’t have to. Then I went to see a friend of mine and her band play at a bar in Dover, New Hampshire. I had to leave around eleven as I was starting to get too tired to drive home (the three beers I had at the bar didn’t help—I wasn’t drunk by the time I left, but the alcohol made my fatigue worse). Then I woke up at my normal time again on Saturday morning. As I hadn’t had a full nights’ sleep for two days straight I didn’t bother with writing a blog post yesterday. I’ll resume my normal routine tomorrow.

Poem: Fuel the Internal Flame.

At night we have

Sensuous details of nothingness

We destroy ourselves when we

Wake

In the day

We know nothing

We love nothing

Of ourselves

We loath ourselves

Through abstinence

But at night we close our eyes

We dream,

Oh, yes, we dream

We are truly to ourselves

Our thoughts

Our desires

We fuel the internal flame

 

We go through the motions of the day

To get back to the night

The sweet nothingness which we long for

We can not forget

Our dreams

But through our dreams

We can forget

Ourselves.

 

Sorry about the extra space between lines but I couldn’t figure out how to remove it. I was in a rush when I posted this. If I figure out a way to past poetry here more accurately to how I write it I’ll do so in the future.

Poetry in motion.

It’s nothing new for movies, television series, and plays to be based on books. People want to see their favorite literary characters come to life. Novelizations of movies are an interesting reversal of the trend as they allow people to (theoretically) find out what’s going on in a character’s mind as they do the things they do. Movies have also been based on events from real life, comic books, and in recent decades, video games. However, when was the last time you’ve seen a movie based on a poem? I don’t mean a movie based on a poet (such as the one they came out with a few years ago based on Sylvia Plath) I’m also not referring to anything based on an ancient poem that’s so long and dramatic that it’s sometimes considered a novel. Likewise, I’m not going to regard the recent Thor movie as based on Icelandic Eddas. Anybody who suggests such to me will get a war hammer brought down on their head.

I’m not considering length an issue. From what I remember it’s fully possible to take half an hour of an English class in college to analyze a two-line poem. The longer the poem means the easier it might be to make a movie out of it. I can imagine “Howl” might be a trip to turn into a screenplay. Of course I’m writing this blog post without any research, so if anybody knows of such a movie let me know. I would love to see it.

I’m also not saying that the movie should necessarily be the poem itself put to action. When a movie is based on a book, how much of the exposition is left in? When a movie is based on a video game, how much of the game itself makes it into the movie? It would be an interesting experiment to develop a story based on a poem that’s not exactly a narrative to start with. I would love to try to take something that focuses on a thought or emotion and turn that into a story. The short story that I’ve been writing over the last few days runs along those lines, in a way. It doesn’t exactly have the usual kind of story arc, rather it focuses on the emotions of the character as she travels into this strange fantasy place that’s based around a traumatic event in her past. (The first draft is done, by the way. It’s very short at just shy of 4,300 words, but it feels done. I begin revision soon.)

There’s a fine line between “based on” and “inspired by.” Chances are a movie that takes its cue from a poem would fit the latter category. But I think it would be interesting to try to start with the former. But I’m not going to search for a poem to do this with. I’ll just let it come to me at some point. Maybe it never will. It’s been years since I’ve tried writing a screenplay. I understand that I don’t have the proper software now. But this still might be a fun exercise. I could at least get as far as the outline.

I’m keeping this post relatively short today. I wrote this based on a suggestion of a co-worker. Right before I went to lunch I asked him what my blog post for the day should be about. Just then “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby came on. My co-worker then said “Poetry in motion” as a joke. I ran with it. So this week I’m going to try writing blog posts based on memorable lines from songs that come on right before lunch. It may not generate long posts but it will be a fun experiment to try. I just hope they don’t play “Get Lucky” at that opportune moment. I already did that one.

POEM: Seagull Sausages.

Sometimes I think

I’m the only one

On this beach

Without a dog.

Not a metaphor, just a dog.

I could say

I walk this beach alone

But it’s not a metaphor

Just a choice.

Sometimes I am lonely

But it’s not the beach’s fault.

The tide goes in and out

Without me.

The sands sift through time

Without me.

The rocks along the marsh

Erode

Without me.

The marsh itself

Has its own ecosystem

Its own wildlife

It all moves along swiftly

Without me.

So what am I to all of them?

What am I,

In my solitude,

To the flock of birds

Above me, flying south?

What am I,

In my solitude,

To the crabs

That scuttle across the beach?

What am I,

In my solitude

To the dogs with their people,

Chasing tennis balls,

Getting exercise,

While I sit

In the shade of the rocks

With my notebook and pen?

What am I,

In my solitude,

To the Isles

I can make out

In the distance?

I went to one of those Isles once.

It was a group trip–

The last one with

My high school classmates.

I stayed behind and slept

While they went to breakfast

And ate seagull sausages.

I saw some of them

At a reunion not too long ago

(At a beach, but a different one).

They’re all getting older.

I’m not

Is that why I’m

Still spinning my wheels,

Because I’m afraid

Of getting older?

What am I,

As I grow old,

To the beach around me?

This beach is much

Older than I am.

Time here

Doesn’t move along

But goes in and out

With the tides.

I feel comfortable here

Alone.

I don’t need a dog.

When I go back

To the human world

Then I can worry about

Such things.

—–

Then something distracted me as I got to that point in the poem. It wasn’t just that my train of thought was broken. The distraction involved somebody walking by me in a manner that not only drew my attention but related to that last four lines. I looked back at the poem and realized that I did in fact have a good end there. I was then going to write a new blog post for the day. I then realized that even thought the poem wasn’t exactly the same word count that I usually do it took the same length of time and had more of an emotive quality to it (at least in terms of making it) than one of my usual blog posts. I won’t normally throw these explanations on the end of every poem as I want them to speak for themselves. I just wanted to add a note that I know this poem is a first draft. That’s probably all I’m going to add here. I just got back into writing poetry; we’ll see how I feel about publishing later drafts here.

I’m still in the mindset that I won’t really “make it” with a poem if it isn’t in a print publication. I know that’s wrong nowadays but it’s a feeling that’s hard to let go….