The Experiment, Redux

My day one in the experiment of self control is deemed a success. No alcohol, and less than one pack of cig’s consumed. However, I was still awake until 0330.
Today, my goal is the same, with a slight improvement in sleeping hours. Let’s say, 0200.

The overall goal of this is to break my bad habit of drinking too much every night. This habit has cost me a drop in my grades, as well as a couple of problems at work. Realizing this, I want to break that cycle (which would eventually put me in the same position I was when I went into the military) and get my motivation back on track. I also want to get back in control of my bad habits. I really enjoy going out, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people. But the cycle right now is hurting my goals, short and long term.

Goals, Short-Term:
– Get back in control of myself
– Earn good grades this semester
– Regain control of my finances
– Begin exercising again

Goals, Mid-Term:
Get accepted into UVA as a Junior for BA in English, Creative Writing (apps due Feb)
Graduate, on the Dean’s List, with my AA in Liberal Arts next Spring
– Find Housing and a job in Charlottesville, VA over the summer

Goals, Long-Term:
– Graduate in High standing from UVA, continue on there in the MFA program
– Write a bestselling novel
– Teach University level
– Continue Writing Throughout

Keep On

The current assignment for poetry workshop is to write a free-verse poem that focuses on the sound devices used throughout, without using clear-cut, obvious end-rhyme. This is actually a major revision of a poem I tried writing today, but didn’t come out right, so I started with a blank sheet.

Keep On

Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
trumpet and saxophone circle the other
and dance the staircase up and down
find new and find old and
screech screech screech these high-layed notes
and all the way through that
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
the short-tongued notes roll out the brass
circle the drums and filligree the
drawn-out bass strings
tap out that tempo drummer man
and all the while the
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
but that trumpet-man, that sax-man, all that brass, man
they just go till they can’t go no more
take a breather, man
you know the
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
you know we play on
while you ready the next song
we’ll make sure
that rhythm keeps on and beats on and dreams on.

So… I wanted to capture some essence of a jazz show. A real jazz show, not that crap they play on easy-listening stations. And I am trying to use different rhythms and sounds to convey it, besides the words themselves. So, par example, the “rhythm” lines are a regular, metrical, 4-foot iamb line. * EDIT: So sue me… they are actually trochaic tetrameter, that’s how I scan them anyways.* While the other lines that reference the sax and trumpet are irregular and flowing, and exhibit a lot more differentiality in the sounds of the words.
The last line I wanted to be like a segue between songs that have different tempos. So you get the rhythm and beat shift. Well, rhythm anyways, since there are still only4 feet in that line.

So this version really accomplishes a lot more what I was aiming for with the first attempt, but like I said, I just wrote it, and it needs a lot more attentnion.

Maybe I’ll post the first attempt down here….

And Now, Some In-Class Writing

This is a group of poems we write in class as a 5-minute warmup to get into the mindset for writing and talking about poetry. I’ve tried to place them in chronological order… But maybe not.
Goes like this: 5 words are put up on the board, and 5 minutes are given to write, including as many of the words as possible. I’ve found that even when I haven’t been productive all day, all I need sometimes is a bunch of unrelated words to get me rolling.

29 August 2005

After thunder rolled
through the neighborhood
and passed, with the sleet,
into time, the Grave Watch,
endless, paced eternity at
the horizon, a peach hummingbird,
who glazed slick wet ice
in His lit-lighter-fluid stare.

31 August 2005

The smile in my head
spread more easily than in person,
slow tide waves of ocean,
but her eyes lit
and a blush on her neck
said she often recalled
silk sheets, lavender candles,
and our fingers entwined,
and searching in the bed.

14 September 2005

Turnips, cultivated in rows,
dig themselves into the earth,
pull and grasp the soil
against screeching, raptor-clawed
machines that would exhume
them, and leave the pyracantha
where it stands.

No Date (Sept. 2005)

This creek is not really a creek.
It is a trickle, a sewer a floe
of slow lava erupting from
the underbelly armpit of our metropolis.

Long ago it was a creek pristine,
with wild onions, and dark
woods and fairies flitting about
lone sunrays.

It is no longer a creek,
it was covered and then tunneled then buried
under steel and asphalt and concrete
and earth.

It is no longer a creek,
but a slow sewage-filled
chemical lava
beneath our eyes and tongues and feet.

No Date (Sept. 2005)

The Shibboleth

In our museums, now,
on Mars, and Venus, and Tau-Ceti,
there are old pictures of Earth
printed on paper and taken
from orbit by the swarm
of traffic and weather satellites.

Long ribbons of asphalt aglitter
with pebbles of vehicles, curlyques
sparkle off in various directions:
vehicles numerous as sand
on the blackened beaches.

26 September 2005

It rains into the ocean
the staccato pelting of a piano
played with the mute-pedal pressed
and a backdrop, overpowered string
section of violins and cellos,
violas and basses
all plucked and surging with the waves.

And at this desert littoral,
an oak leaf
dances drunken
in the tide.
The wind carries
the scent of forest
from across the sea.

*Note: aside from spelling, I have changed nothing written or annotated in the original.
*Note: the links to are for my use as well as yours.
*Note: in class, the shibboleth was defined as a practice or phrase denoting that a group of people has been become ‘backward’
*Note: enough notes. I’ll come back to these at some point, and maybe one will turn out good.

Friday Night Rendevous

err… if anyone read this already, sorry I’m drunk…

And so begins the experiment.
Starting tomorrow, a week with no alcohol. Can it be done? Certainly many people do it all the time… Can it be done by me? Well those of you who know me may be laughing your asses off right now……

So the experiment begins… daily updates to follow.

I was a Young Man

My car is in the shop. Off-base, in the shop, and things still have to get done. The Sergeant wants me to drop off digital files at Division print office. These will be printed at something like 3×5 feet, and serve as boards for different things on Field Ops. We have a Fire Mission Board, that tracks up to six currently engaged fire missions. A fire mission is what happens when a Forward Observer (FO) calls in a target. We figure out where that target is, who is in the best position to shoot at it, and what kind of ammunition, fuse, and powder combination is going to get the round on target, and preferably kill the target with the first round. Then we send the fire mission to that battery.

I also have to go to Division Repro(ductions) to pick up some SOP (standard operating procedures) that were dropped off last week.

It is 0645. Formation just ended, I just got my daily assignment, and I’m off. First to the barracks to grab my pack, and then I start walking. It is about 2 miles to the print office, so I head there first, as Repro is about 4 miles. They aren’t exactly in a straight line, but this is the most efficient route, and when you’re on foot, you think about things like that. So I am walking, heading towards the main drag, and up it, towards the Exchange. I get to the Print shop just before 0715, and spend about 10 minutes waiting in line, another 5 explaining exactly what we need with each file, and then explaining that we need it this week.

Now I am off again. The pack is empty, so I’m humpin along, singing whatever song pops into my head, and saluting at random cars. I’m about to enter officer’s territory, where all the bigwigs live and work, so I’m doing more saluting than on an average day. Sometimes, if the glare is right, you cannot see the little blue stickers. So you miss a salute. Sometimes if that happens to be an officer, and he happens to be having a bad day, or if he’s just an asshole, he will actually stop where he is going, pull the car over, and berate you at the side of the road. (This is one big reason I got out) I could not believe that my day was going like this. Not only that, but it is nearly 0745, and I still have a mile to walk, and 4 more back, and it’s getting hot and muggy as shit out here. And now this asshole wants to chew me a new one just for the hell of it. I feel like punching him. I feel like exploding in his fucking self-ritcheous face, and tearing his god-damned larynx out with my hands. I can feel his pulse between my fingers, the sweat on my forehead, and the giving of flesh as my nails bite into his flesh. I feel the gravel under my boots and knee, and the sickening little pop as thumb and fingers meet inside his throat. I see the fear in his eyes, knowing he was an asshole to the wrong Marine, that he’d just made me snap. The glittering arc of red droplets as I stand up with his throat in my hands.

And then he’s getting back in his car and driving away. This is actually a very good technique to master. Helps to keep you from taking anything too seriously.

On to Repro! Moving and moving. I get there just at 0830 (yes he did yell at me for that long) and pause in the doorway to smoke a cigarette. I step into the dim office, and hello, there’s a new lance corporal behind the desk, and she is cute! (not something said about too many female marines, but hey, when all you see are guys for about weeks at a time…) So I give her my unit and she gets the stuff (about 3 or 5 reams of paper worth) and we talk for a minute or two, then I’m off again.

Back to the CP (command post) to deliver the 25 pounds of paper in my pack. So I’m walking, and I decide to walk on the right side of the road as I won’t have to salute any officers, or at least not as many. I’m about a mile and change into my hike back, and it’s 0850, and another car pulls over beside me. I cannot believe it, this is really not my fucking day.

to be continued…

Meet Date Time Sex, Rev 2

Meet, Date, Time, Sex

her hair
her eyes
her lips
her nose
her hand
her fingernails
her skirt
her legs
her sandals
her toes
her smile


the candle
the knife
the fork
the plate
the merlot
the chocolate
the espresso
the hug
the lips
the cheek
the smile


the call
the day
the call
the call
the date
the call
the week
the date
the month
the dates
the smile


her hair
her eyes
her lips
her neck
her lavender
her silk
her nipple
her silk
her lips
her sweat
her smile

Well, this is really an experiment just to see what works/doesn’t. I’m not sure which I like better right now. But these things have a way of being sorted out when you look at it long enough.