We humanize storms by giving them names. It becomes an individual, upon which we can lay blame for destruction.
We dehumanize immigrants by stripping them of names. They become things, upon which we can justify our inhumanity.
A Friend Gone, A Heavy Heart
What’s the right way to pay tribute? Is it a post? Is it a picture? A poem? How should it be done… and done properly? I don’t need the condolences or attention, but I think it appropriate to say something. The world is rife with hate, but when you lose someone you bonded with, even in a most minuscule way, how do you not express the grief? Perhaps a story.
My heart is heavy tonight as the news trickles in. I don’t know who knows what; so, I choose to respect privacy.
Bonds forged in the Army are hard to explain. How did a Fire Support NCO get to be cool with a pilot, outside of the routine, “Hi” or the pilot dreaded salute, that is? My bond began with an ass chewing… an artillery Sergeant First Class getting onto a Warrant Officer pilot for having his hands in his pockets. It’s strange how even the tiniest of friendships begin. 10-12 months after that, while standing in the smoke shack of Iraq with a stogey, this Warrant Officer stands in front of me and starts laughing. The conversation went something like this.
“What’s up, sir?”
“I’m glad to see it.”
“See what, sir?”
*slowly and deliberately, he removes his hands from his pockets and holds them up. And all i could do was look at mine, and start laughing*
“Good to see you finally drank the koolaid.”
I’ll cherish that moment. It’s a strange moment, but as I’ve transitioned in and out of environments since then where hands in the pockets is tolerated, I’ve thought about it. I’ve even shared that story. Now, I sit here rolling into 1SG life and once again yelling at people for having their hands in their pockets. Maybe I’ll lay off tomorrow…. I may even slip mine in there in a sort of strange internal remembrance.
I’m gonna miss you, sir…. brother…. especially as the opportunity to slip in and say “Hi” has passed. My heart hurts right now. Rest easy, my friend.
What Does It Mean?
What does it mean to be an American?
What is this assimilation you speak of?
Why should there be no African- American, Mexican- American, Latin- American, Italian- American, and so forth?
What cultures are we canceling so everyone can be “American?”
Why are my Cajun roots subject to scrutiny if I say I’m part Acadian instead of American?
What is the state-sponsored normal once we’ve implemented this assimilation and canceled all else?
What is American if we are removing everything before the hyphen?
I No Longer Mattered (First Draft)
This isn’t my best work. It definitely requires refinement. However, on occasion, the pen starts moving and the raw emotion pours forth. I don’t think I’ve opened the spigot yet, not at full capacity, but you oftentimes have to let the rust and shit spew before the water comes out clean. I’m no world-renowned poet, which means I can give you a glimpse into this side of writing.
So, here it is: Raw, unrefined, and full of rust and shit.
You were hard to walk away from
Until I felt that I no longer mattered
I spilled and spewed the very depths of my existence,
Revealing the irrepressible nature of my fears and shining light into my anguish.
My naked soul laid trembling in despair as one by one
I stripped it of its armor and exposed all the demons.
I gave you all of my poetry when there was none to write, for you were the first to become my paper with no pencil.
Stripped free, the words poured forth from my fingers to your eyes, my mouth to your ears.
O, and how blinded I had become by the elephant in front of me,
The wrinkled grey of love, overshadowing the world as my face stared in.
The camera pans back, aperture opening, revealing ambiguity.
I spilled to the one while you spilled to the many.
Plentiful are the followers -seeing the images and shielded from inside- full of kind words, infatuation, physical attraction, and regards.
Everyone is there for you in some fashion, showering you with replies and conversation.
I stared at empty notifications -the burden of technology- like the empty mailbox and the quiet phone. The faceless face of passersby, seeing but not.
While I struggled, a gaping hole formed in my mind’s eye, left unfilled by even the simplest daily, “Hi.”
I… the asshole… another who doesn’t understand. Do not speak your feelings, heathen, for it tastes like a wine.
I gave all that you sought, loving compassion and daily attention,
whilst you revealed to be exactly he which you claim to loathe.
What can I believe as the elephant moves farther away and the world around me comes in to view?
It was the game: me being everything you said you wanted… I got too close.
You showed me the one you wished to leave behind.
Oh, yes, you were hard to walk away from…
Then, I realized that I never really mattered anyway.
The Endless Chase
How do I relieve your doubt?
Help you feel the love I feel?
Desiring you ’till time ceases.
I risk my sanity
And give you all
I’ve never been all in.
Always one step behind
Keeping a watchful eye
And still blindsided by deceit.
I forego it all for you.
I walk ahead
Sprinting to that place
You are my wanderlust
The end where it all begins
I forsake my sanity
And offer you all…
All of the world that I can give
And all of me.
How do I relieve your doubt?
Help you feel the love I give?
Swim with me to the depths.
Release your doubts.
Risk the world for love
And give me all
Join me in unabashed release
No longer one step behind
Close your watchful eye
And be blindsided by deep, meaningful love.
Giving way to thoughts of you.
Are they dream carryovers?
The continuation of a unconscious play
Fighting its way into the living world?
The show must go on.
I, sitting on a couch,
Hold you sitting on my lap,
Your legs thrown sideways
With your arms around my neck.
The fingers of my left hand
Glide up your leg
Past the opening of a flower print dress
To the dripping of a pedal.
As smiles and smirks pass,
And loving eyes gaze deeply into each other.
A lower lip quivers as heartbeats quicken.
My right hand disappears momentarily
Until a handful of hair intertwines fingers.
A sharp tug releases a moan
And fingers enter the stream.
Biting on your neck
I search for the artery
Feeling the blood pump with my tongue.
The show should go on,
But the time isn’t right.
The passion burns within
Pulsing around knuckles
And squeezed against the rings.
My ears long for the shrieks,
But children wander the halls
And neighbors are not home.
I want to hear you howl at the moon
Until the night gives way to day.
Fingers return to shore and my right hand moves
To the back of your neck.
You taste the sweet ocean
Until I pull you in to pass it on to me.
Your head moves to my shoulder
And the fire gives way to love.
My fingers interlock
Squeezing you close to my body.
Hearts beat rhythmically
In tune with the universe.
Smiles… genuine, deep, and sincere…
Rest upon our faces
As the desire sustains us
Until the screams can be released.
This show will go on,
And it shall never be matched.
I caught the wind,
If only for a fleeting moment;
Not in my hands-
But in a solitary breath-
Inhaling the fragrance,
Which embedded itself
Onto the very fabric of my being.
Enjoying some treats on my last day in Latvia.