This Is the Poem I Never Wrote
This is the poem I never wrote
When sitting in fields of blue
This is the speech I never spoke
While sitting in front of your bed
This is the essay I never heard
When times seemed to be hard
This is the story I never read
Too lost to find the start
This is the ode I never composed
Always wanting something I couldn’t have
This is the show I never witnessed
Far in the back, can’t see the actors
This is the piece I haven’t started
Not that I mind at all.
How to Be Amazing
Being amazing isn’t a skill everyone is born with. For some it takes years of careful dedication to perfecting your skills. And for others it is an innate ability that emerges the day you enter the world. For those of you who wish you could be as awesome as these natural born cool people, this essay is for you.
Step one. Find the qualities that make you less than awesome. Write them on a post-it, a piece of scrap paper, or tattoo them to your forehead. The latter is not recommended to those who want to retain their jobs. These are what you will want to change.
Step two. Write down what you want to accomplish. A more assertive personality, the ability to wield steak knives while drinking Diet Coke, or being able to catch the first Pokemon. Like Dexter in his laboratory, you will spend endless hours holed up in your basement poring over self help literature.
Step three. Go to the bookstore. Or the library. Purchase or borrow (or steal if that’s a skill you want to develop). Go to the self help section. This will be your new home. Read all you can about your topic. If learning to read is it…well…I’m not sure I can help you. This is a help-me-help-yourself paper, and I can’t guarantee I can help you with that.
Step four. Perfect, perfect, perfect. The wind that blows through small trees is only as strong as the first sapling. Whatever that means. You will only reap as much as you put into it.
Step five. Disregard this entire writing. You’re fine the way you are. And you’re foolish for listening to me in the first place.
She is oatmeal and aloe shampoo
She is meeting tourists at the beach
She is couch dinners watching tv
She is orange cat repellent
She is tangled leashes
She is messy blankets
She is clean laundry on the floor
She is returning home from shopping
She is driving to pick up Ciara
She is my best friend
The Rain It Falls
The rain it falls
drip by drip
it silenced hopes
from my heart it’s ripped
drip by drip
the blood rains down
from my heart it’s ripped
a screaming call.
the blood rains down
a warm embrace
a screaming call
slowly controls my face.
a warm embrace
slowly controls my face
into a mirror of hate.
it silenced hopes
into a mirror of hate
the rain it falls.
“Haleakala bottles – $9 (kula maui)
Haleakala dairy bottles w/ 2 silver swords on each bottle very clean”
I write this humble plea from the confines of my home office. I have been trapped here for 2 weeks straight, held captive by Carrie, my wife of 5 years. You see I started on this novel-writing journey after New Years. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and my lovely wife and I decided to pursue our darkest desires this year. Unfortunately hers turned out to include kickboxing and my poor innocent face. Nose job aside, I’m so close to being done!
But neither of us had any idea of the cost of printing such massive amounts of creative genius. I have 20 more pages to go and no money. We’ve mortgaged the house, sold the kids, and stopped eating on odd days. And although our newly trim physiques require less calorie intake and Carrie now believes that full stomachs are for sissies (thanks to her trainer Gus) I really miss the kids and dinner consisting of more than two raw eggs (shaken not stirred). So Carrie locked me in the office until I finish.
When I was but a lad of 23 years my paternal grandparents took a trip to Maui. A corny shirt or postcard would have been appreciated, but they felt the need to bring me back two old bottles. I have never felt the love more than at that moment. I mean, you can never have enough useless junk lying around the house right?
It turns out that at my local Wal-Mart printer paper costs $6.99 plus tax. With my finely honed research skills sharpened from endless nights on Google researching remote rainforests in Southwest Cambodia, I have concluded that I can sell these bottles for $9, leaving me with $2.01 to buy the wife something nice from the nearest vending machine. She is so lucky to have a guy like me. With that 50 pack of crisp white paper I can finish this horror of a project and use the bestseller proceeds to free my children from forced labor.
Like a proper prisoner I have taken to tallying my imprisoned days on the wall via a letter opener and paperweight chisel. She is not going to be happy when she releases me from my wallpapered prison but it makes this feel legit. Like I’m a modern day Nelson Mandela. Or something.
Reader, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this but I am in fact capable of defending myself from would-be assassins bent on locking me in my own house. Or I was until Carrie really started getting into those workouts. In class they learned war tactics that may or may not have been taught to her by members of Spetsnaz. With her newfound aggression she drugged and bound me in the dead of night. Which is why I write to you in the beautiful world of Craigslist begging for a purchase.
So reader, buy the bottles because the world really needs my 5,567-page novel on the dangers of tile flooring. And I would appreciate being able to see daylight again.
I’m sorry I missed class but…
What if my computer deleted my homework?
Then I’d have to lie and tell you I’d do it again later…
What if I tripped walking in the door?
Then I’d be embarrassed and couldn’t pay attention…
What if I got caught cheating on my test?
Then I’d get grounded by my mother…
What if you really liked my essay?
Then I’d feel guilty cuz I didn’t write it myself…
What if I fell asleep during the lecture?
Then you’d know I stayed up late, but still didn’t do my homework…
You see Mister, it’s really best that I didn’t come to class,
And I know you feel the same…
I saw you at the beach last Wednesday too!
There once was a fish in the sea
He only would jump up for me
One day he was caught
And fried in a pot
But, man, he was good with some tea.
The most important meal of the day. Who wouldn’t accept an offer of free food? It wakes you up in the morning. Gives you energy to start the day. And gives you something to look forward to when you go to sleep at night.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Coffee and a piece of toast will do. Or, if you’re feeling famished, bacon, sausage, hash browns…the list goes on. It’s filling either way. It can be fast, a pop tart on the way out the door, or cup of dry cereal on the bus and you’re good. Really doesn’t take much to make people happy. But, it’s different for everyone. Whatever is your cup of tea. Which you could also have. Or you could be nontraditional. Some like dinner food in the morning. That’s fine too. Then there’s the opposite. Morning food at night. Whatever floats your boat.
A crucial part of everyone’s day. Unless you’re a late riser. In which case, you have other options. Without it, you wake up grouchy and perhaps with a headache. That’s no fun.
Once someone eats whole wheat waffles with salted butter and sugar free maple syrup they might just eat that every morning, every day of their life, forever and ever – amen. That’s dedication. And that’s what it takes.
It’s an option that’s here every day. Whether you like it or not. You can choose if you want to partake in it however. But I really wish you would.
Introduction from a personal narrative entitled “Early Memory”
In kindergarten, I went to school in a house. But I wasn’t home schooled.
The play structure. It’s still here, just like me. I don’t know long the school had it before I came along, but the thought of it always reminds me of the innocence of elementary school. Right now it sits next to the outdoor basketball courts on the elementary campus of our current sunny location, but before it was located where the third and fourth grade classrooms are and prior to that, in a tiny subdivision in Pukalani. That’s where I attended my second year of kindergarten. No, I didn’t fail. My birthday is really late in the year, and I didn’t qualify as a student the first time around so I went to Kamehameha III also known as “Kam third” in Lahaina then came here after that. I can remember the layout of the school better than any specific memories of class there. P.E. was held in an open-multipurpose-use-it-for-whatever room, no desks or chairs. Mr. O, the teacher, would have us run from floor tile to floor tile while Space Jam played… (read the rest of the story in the print version of We Digress being released in May 2011.)
This Is a Poem That…
This is a poem that appears
In the darkness of a secret forest.
Because the chirping of the birds told them so.
Because the words of the wind urged it on.
And when enlightenment overcomes your consciousness, you believe.
This is the poem that arrived.
In the mind of a lost child.
Like a book in the hands of a learner.
I had a warthog, it was stink.
She dragged me to the skating rink.
And took my skates so I would fall.
Then made me buy her cocoa at the mall.
Guardrails is my favorite place to be. Here I can see turtles as mysterious and elegant as ballet dancers, coral dying and thriving as a modern city, and surfers as varied in appearance as a fruit salad. I can hear languid waves curling, “stoked” people cheering, and the swish of my board cutting through the water and the swish of my board cutting through the water. I can feel my strangely heavy paddle while I inhale the invigorating sea breeze. I can see, I can hear, I can feel in my favorite place, guardrails.
I’m sorry I ate your rutabega.
I really tried not to.
But it was calling my name from within the fridge
Haven’t you ever heard the call of vegetables?
I wouldn’t expect you to understand
Aren’t you glad it called me and not you?
But that was a really good salad.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s…not that story!
George and Steffie Turner sit on the porch of their farmhouse. They have lived there since before either of them can remember. Which isn’t surprising, given they’re both pushing 90. The power is out in the nearby town of McGee, but this doesn’t bother them, because it’s hard to be bothered by something that isn’t present in your home. They aren’t Amish or anything. Just old fashioned. Both of their children, Samuel and Wendy have long since moved out. They insist often, however, sometimes more than eight times a year that their parents should wire their house like the rest of civilization. George and Steffie politely decline on ever y occasion.
So this night is not unlike any other night they’ve lived through, moving slowly in their rocking chairs, with only each other for comfort (which, if you ever managed to get the truth out of either of them, can get a little boring). You can only reminisce about the summer of ’68 for so many years before the event becomes stale in your minds. All George and Steffie wanted was a new element in their lives, but not some new-fangled contraption like the iPatch or whatever it was called.
Fate has a way of bringing two things in need of each other together, because it was at this exact moment that in a galaxy far, far away a little blue dog had broken the force field of its owner’s front yard and was heading for the roof of an old farmhouse very quickly. The dog had a name, not that it mattered any more because any second now it was going to land in quite an uncomfortable position atop a wooden rooster roof ornament. Hearing a boom followed by a small yelp, George eased out of the rocking chair and moved to a position in front of the house with a better view of the roof.
“Steffie, my dear, I do believe that there is a dog on our roof.”
With surprising agility for a man of his age, George fetched a ladder and climbed to the top. Rescuing the dog from its precarious perch, he tucked it into the front of his shirt for the climb down. He tried to maintain a disapproving face, wondering how they would care for such an animal. But the dog licked his face and he had to smile in appreciation. It looked like this would be the thing to brighten their lives after all these years together.
Blue Like Apples
“Wait, don’t go yet. I forgot to give you this!” the train pulls away from the station and my words are lost to the wind.
They say that everything happens for a reason. First of all, who are “they” and why are they giving such horrible advice? The events of my life come so completely from Randomland that sometimes I wonder if I am just a piece in the universes’ never ending game of Clue. My life is so unfortunately random. For example, this morning I woke up to a cat sitting on the end of my bed. I don’t own a cat. I have two dogs and a gerbil. Now I have a cat however. I think she snuck in through the window last night and my toes seemed a good enough place to warm herself. In the spirit of arbitrary decisions, I named her Fire. She’s white. What did I tell you?
Moving on…today at school I got called into the principal’s office. I didn’t even do anything. Mr. Murphy, the office assistant said I had won an international cursive writing contest. Um, what? I can barely do block lettering, let alone write in frilly loopy run on wording. He gave me an envelope with the words “Blue Like Apples” written in cramped letters in the upper left corner. He told me to take it to the train station at noon and deliver it to a woman in a white hat and red dress at Platform 345. What did I tell you? A train station? I didn’t know those things still existed! Anyway, any reason is a good reason to get out of school early.
Moving through the crowd, I kept an eye out for prospective red dress white hat wearing women. By the time I made it all the way down to the correct platform it was already 12:05. The speakers near the information desk yelled loudly “all trains will leave on time, with or without you on them!” Thanks for the reminder. But, there she was! My red and white savior! But, she was already boarding the train! I ran to the door but the conductor barred me from the door.
“You can’t have everything…where would you put it?” She yelled through the window.
This statement had me dumbfounded for a full 30 seconds until I realized that the train was indeed leaving the station.
“Wait, don’t go yet. I forgot to give you this!”
My life is so random. I figure I might as well take the rest of the day off and headed home. Overcome with curiosity, I open the envelope carefully. Inside? Nothing! There is nothing in this envelope. What did I tell you?
A Train Pulls In
A train pulls in
Cold air swirls around
Worker swarm near the engine
Feeding the coal fire, stoking the flames
Clanging, generating a metallic cacophony
Urging the train to find its purpose and live
And it does
The engine is working
Slowly building momentum
Leaving the comfort of its home
Flying through the country at last
A pen hits paper
A mind is producing gems
Recovering from a rough start
Smoothing out the edges, an idea
Formed, perfect, leaves its inky mark
I find my words
Articulate lost ideas
Rolling, rock down a hill
It’s all about the momentum
Got problems? Write ‘um down.