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    Mar 09, 2009 3:28 AM GMT
    Use this thread to write. Display the excellent grammar and spelling you've learned and prove that the internet isn't being overrun by hacks. Contribute your poetry, prose, shortest stories, confessions, journal thoughts, comedy, travelogue, philosophy, or fantasy.

    This is in the Group Activities forum on a "Gay Fitness, Health, and Life" web site. I would argue that this exercise covers all of the above.

    More later.

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    Mar 09, 2009 4:09 AM GMT
    What should I write??? I have absolutely nothing to write about. Hmmmm....maybe i can write about having nothing to write about. But then that would mean that I actually have something to write about....wouldn't it. That leads me to the question "what exactly is nothing"

    Upon further examinination into the meaning of the word, I find that the word "nothing" is defined as "the lack of anything". Since it is a lack, that makes nothing something. So...this lack of anything, which in and of itslef is something seems to not be a lack even. This then brings into question the whole existence of the concept of the word nothing and "nothingness". How can something that contradicts its own meaning by virtue of its existence actually exist? The concept of "nothing" negates itself, leading me to the conclusion that there is no such thing as "nothing"; thus forcing me to change my original statement that I have nothing to write about. In fact, I do have something to write about and I just wrote about it.

  • irishboxers

    Posts: 357

    Mar 09, 2009 11:49 AM GMT
    Maps are built on insignificant towns, towns whose smaller dots connected by county roads and rural routes form the fabric of a land. There are no historical points of interest in these towns, not many landmarks of note, and odds are no one famous lived there way back when. They are the first places to feel hard times and the last to see the benefits of the new.
    That’s what historians and people in significant towns might say about Edison, Iowa. In that way, Edison is like most towns in America. Local events stay local and anything resembling scandal is usually nothing more than a flashy color of paint on a house or, worse, a lawn flamingo.

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    Mar 12, 2009 4:40 PM GMT
    The Beach

    The Florida coast is a soothing and peaceful place for me. Specifically, Jacksonville Beach, Florida is an everyday vacation which I enjoy immensely. Settled in the northeast pocket of Florida, Jacksonville Beach is not like many typical ‘Florida hotspots’. It is part lazy, southern city and part beach town. Driving home from work is a revitalizing activity for me. While driving the beach road from St. Augustine, Florida to my home, I experience the crash of the waves, the salty air, and the unfiltered light coming through my open car window. Once I arrive home, I go out to my back porch with a glass of iced tea and while relaxing into a good book, I enjoy the salty, windy, air that swirls around me. This is what I call a vacation
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    Mar 12, 2009 5:14 PM GMT
    Stan, please marry me.

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    Mar 12, 2009 5:30 PM GMT
    Technology and art.

    When I think about art, there is little in the realm of creativity that is more compelling than the intersection of technology and art. While new technology in itself is simply a tool, it's seemingly endless applications to the creation of art are astounding to me. It doesn't matter whether it's the artistic creations in the CGI industry that support a movie in such a seamless manner that the line between fantasy and reality is eliminated, or the creation of music with the infinite variety of sound generated from synthesizers for a work of choreography in a live performance. The capabilities of the technology that exists now have only been touched upon. There's a deep blue sea of unrealized capabilities in these existing technologies. All this and more is possible without even considering the possibilities of unrealized developments of technology.
    Yet, these new tools are still only tools. The tool does not create, the artist does. A better tool does not make an artist better. No amount of improvement of a tool, or the creation of a new tool will replace the knowledge, skill, and experience of the artist to create with it. If the artist chooses a natural hair brush and hand ground pigments or a super computer to create, it is still the artist, who's vision is being projected.
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:28 PM GMT
    This Day and Age

    Part 1
    It's the last Friday of the month again; Screening Day as the Government calls it. So stupid!!! They haven't found anything in twelve years that explains nor predicts what happened that day. It's just another system of control, set in place to keep tabs on the remaining survivors.
    I don't mind the day off though; at least I'm not trying to prevent a riot at the slave driving rations line. It takes a lot out of you, trying to explain to skeleton thin men and women that they can only have 3 cans of beans to feed their family of five for a week. When faced with that or a two-hour inconvenience for scanning, I'll take the scanning.
    The Global Government's, Society Protection Agents, more commonly know as S.P.A.’s make their entrance known by a flatbed truck with ten loud speakers magnifying an ear piercing alarm that's similar to the sound of the old emergency broadcasting system. This is our warning. We have five minutes to line the streets and wait for the S.P.A.'s to walk up and scan us to see if we might be the next citizens to disappear in thin air. The scans remind me of the days when I was younger and use to watch my grandmother take her blood sugar. Those of us who would have initially resisted the scanning quickly conformed once we saw the thousands of people who were dragged out of their homes and executed for treason. We wait patiently for the S.P.A.'s, who look like armed male nurses, walk up to us and take a blood sample from our fingers. They'll ask a few standard questions such as name, occupation and so on and if there is anything that does not add up you are taken away for processing; which is a nice way of saying you are never to be seen again.
    As I wait for my scan I think about the last normal morning I had. The morning before the event that forever changed our lives. It was a Tuesday. I'll never forget the sweet, crisp scent in the air that lured me into a false sense of security. I felt hopeful for the first time in a long while. A feeling that was short lived by the event that was soon to take place.

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    Mar 12, 2009 9:48 PM GMT
    This Day and Age

    Part 2
    I was crossing the intersection of Tyler and 12th when I heard several car horns start blaring. When I reached the corner I turned to see what was going on. There had to be at least three to six different drivers angrily honking their horns at the people in front of them. Several drivers started hollering profanities out their windows. Things like "What the fuck are you doing?" and "Get the fuck our of the way asshole." and more.
    At first my attention was on the angry drivers but then it shifted to the people they were yelling at. Several people had just gotten out of their cars and were staring at the sky and mumbling to themselves. They I heard a woman across the street yelling at her husband to "talk to her". When I saw that he was doing the same thing as the people in the street I began to get nervous.
    I peered around and noticed that the drivers, the woman, many others, and myself were starting to panic. Suddenly and without reason these people lost all sense of normal human behavior and were just standing in place, staring into the sky and mumbling.
    There was a man in a business suit, holding laptop carrier just a few feet away from me who was also doing it. That's when I decided to take action. I walked over to him and tried to get his attention. First I tried politely asking him what was happening. He ignored me, but it didn't seem to be on purpose. It was like he didn't know I was there. I grabbed his arm and squeezed as hard as I could to provoke a reaction. Again nothing. The next thing that happened, to this day, has never been explained and was the most terrifying moment I have ever experienced. I had the businessman's arm in my hand. I was squeezing so tight when it happened that when the was over my hand was in a fist. The man's body started to disintegrate like ash. He didn't look like ash, mind you, buy he just seemed to deteriorate. I screamed, I think, it's still hard for me to recall. His clothes, his face, the arm I was holding onto, all of it just gone. Blown away by a gentle breeze that suddenly appeared on a dead calm day, and then was gone.
    Those of us, who were left standing there, were just staring at this nothingness where there used to be a person. I must have passed out at that moment because all I remember was the sound of the woman across the street repeatedly screaming her husband’s name, "Jonas!! Jonas!!! Jonas!!!"
    I awoke to the sound of explosions. Explosions caused by the many plane crashes, gas stations, rioting and so on that was taking place during the panic. You get the idea. The chaos remained for several weeks until our world leaders had restored power, communications and revealed the new Global Government; ruled by the UN before the election of the world's first global president. The end of the world as we knew it, did not come from nuclear war like we thought it would. It came from this event, these random disappearances.
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:56 PM GMT
    This Day and Age

    Part 3
    For months people speculated about what had happened that day. Religious groups called it "the rapture" but now there is no one to defend that theory because there hasn't been an organized religion in 5 years. They are against the law. Some said it was alien abductions, others, biological warfare, there were even theories of alternate universes. It didn't matter, no one knew. There seemed to be no explanation for the event that took place the day billions of people around the world just disappeared into thin air.
    Some scientist even went as far to say there was a temporary shift or break in reality, as we know it and the people we saw disappear never existed in the first place. Explain that to the people who lost their entire families; husbands, wives, children, cousins, best friends all lost in an instant. There was not a man or woman on earth who did not know someone who was now missing.
    The S.P.A now standing in front of me began to ask the routine questions, and I answer without looking up. He tells me to hold out my hand and with a short exhalation of air from the scanning gun and a brief prick from the needle my scan is complete. The S.P.A. reviews the results. It may be silly but I pray every time that database has not been corrupted and I'm to be taken away for processing because of a glitch. It happened to a friend of mine. The S.P.A. vigorously grabs my chin and forces me to look up and into his face. Trying to detect any mark or change in my appearance, his eyes darted around inspecting my face. That would mean a week in the G.G.'s local building for a physical and an updated profile entry.
    "You may go" the S.P.A said.
    A sigh of relief floods through me and begin to turn around and walk back into my building. I stop for a moment when I hear a commotion caused, no doubt, by a negative scan. The S.P.A dragged the woman out of formation and into the center of the street. As I glance over at the incident that was beginning to take place, I see the fear built up in her face. She knows what's to come, and probably wasn't expect the scan to be negative either. It was not her fault but it didn't matter, she was doomed the moment the light on the scanner turned red. She was screaming, crying, begging the S.P.A. to "scan her again" that it was a "mistake". I do a double take and realize I recognize the woman. She was the woman whose husband disappeared at the intersection of Tyler and 12th. The woman whose husbands name was Jonas.
    The S.P.A. who scanned me said if I was smart I'd keep moving. Sadly he was right. As a society we had no way to defend ourselves, the government made sure of that.
    As I reached the door to my apartment building there was a loud pop from the S.P.A.'s gun and the woman's body collapsed on the ground. I pray that she is with her husband now. I enter my apartment and quietly stand by the window watching the rest of the citizens on my street receive their scans. My finger is still throbbing from where the needle pierced it, and I begin think to myself. Pain, makes you know you are alive, and even though life matters very little in this day and age, at least that's something.
    I've often wondered, for those that disappeared that day, did it hurt?

    By Stolenname
    Just bored at work hope you enjoyed it.

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9645

    Mar 12, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
    Ruck over!
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    Mar 14, 2009 1:57 AM GMT
    OK, here's the opening few paragraphs of my entry to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest (as the name implies, it's a novel writing contest sponsored by amazon.com - the quarterfinalists will be announced on Monday):

    I was shoved into this bitter cold life in about as brutal a manner as you can name, one minute floating along all peaceful and serene and the next, yanked out of a nice warm soak and flung headlong into a big wide world of trouble and hurt. Plucked out of my own personal earthly paradise and nirvana right when I least expected and thrown into the streets wet, naked and screaming with nothing to show for it but my poor pink wrinkly skin. Swear to God, she never said a thing about being married. There I was minding my own business stretched out in a tub of steamy hot water giving my tired old prunes a much needed stewing after a job well done feeling like the king of stinking Persia, next thing I know the door busts open and the husband comes charging in and she’s screaming and I’m ducking out the window, bare ass dropping two stories onto cold hard blacktop, chill breeze running up my crack and me still slimy from the bubble bath. Yelling for her please to at least throw down my wallet and jeans but she’s making too much noise and too busy getting slapped around to notice. I never meant to start anything. And what the hell did I know about checking for wedding rings anyway? It was my first trip to the city. I was nineteen years old.

    A lot of options dissolve when suddenly you’re thrust into a strange dark place stark naked. There’s no digging through pockets for car keys or subway tokens. You can’t go calling for help on your cell phone. Most of the old fallback social skills you normally count on to get you through the day either don’t apply or at the very least are severely disadvantaged by lack of a conventional textile cover. Stripped to the skin in an unforgiving landscape of concrete and metal and starched cotton collars and stiletto heels you’re reduced to the most basic of survival instincts, and for whatever reason when you’re bare ass naked in a buttoned-up world the very first instinct you have is to run. So run I did, like the wind, through black oily alleyways and garbage-strewn courtyards, darting between traffic on glaring, hornhonking stoplight streets and down sidewalks bearing the cracks of untold hundreds of mothers’ broken backs. Running like my life depended on it, or maybe like right at that instant running was all there was, all I had in life. Not knowing where I was going, not worrying about getting anywhere, not even thinking about stopping, just running.

    I ran first to escape the mess I thought I might be in and then to give myself something of a franchise, because a naked man running is somehow more socially acceptable than a naked man just standing there, especially if it looks like he’s running naked for the sake of naked running and not because he’s trying to get away from something. And then I reached the park and felt cool green grass instead of jagged pavement under my scuffed-up feet and I ran for the sheer pleasure of it, like a gazelle bounding across the endless Serengeti. I glided over the rolling hills and down lush grassy dales feeling the evening breeze blow cool and steady over my body and the soft green blades squash beneath my soles and poke up between my toes, and I liked it more than I’d ever liked running before. It felt natural, as if there among the grass and trees it was the people with clothes on who should feel out of place, and I slowed to a jog and then to a walk, and stood panting and sweating, letting the cool breeze dry my skin. I stretched out my arms and closed my eyes, savoring the chill of the night air against my flesh and the ground soft and wet beneath my feet and the burning of my blood. For one eternal moment everything was crystal; it felt like I’d found my place and I could stay there and live with the pigeons and the chipmunks and pond ducks forever.

    But my stomach was hollow and I couldn’t eat grass like a gazelle, and the idea of a naked man hanging around city parks at night brought to mind another set of problems entirely. I couldn’t make a case for a sustainable future as a feral primate living in an urban open space. So I made my way across the green, up over the hill, along the neatly plotted blacktop path and back to the streetlights, and worked on my plan to rejoin the world of civilized man.
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    Mar 14, 2009 2:12 AM GMT
    For a *split-second* I thought of quickly pasting my doctoral dissertation in here to see if it would fit...just for shits and giggles
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    Mar 14, 2009 2:16 AM GMT
    RPMSoccer saidFor a *split-second* I thought of quickly pasting my doctoral dissertation in here to see if it would fit...just for shits and giggles

    What about just the abstract? Congrats on finishing your dissertation. Very admirable.
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    Mar 14, 2009 2:25 AM GMT
    Thanks, Rugger...I worked hard on it. It doesn't have much market value, but, I loved working on it. It was hard to give up, actually, hehe.




    R Perry Monastero

    Dissertation Supervisor:
    Dr. J. Matthew Hartley

    This dissertation is a qualitative study of three pioneer-educators who launched nonprofit private colleges in a competitive, mature higher education industry. Since the end of the Civil Rights Era, many private nonprofit colleges merged or closed in response to intensified market pressures (Keller, 1983; McGinn, 2000; and, Van Der Werf, 1999). Evolving labor demands, coupled with rapid development of nontraditional schools, fueled the competition from for-profit and non-degree universities (Collis, 2001; Levine, 2001). Diminishing state, federal, and foundation funding also hurt many private nonprofit colleges (Gumport, 1997; Hodges, 2002; Richman, 2003; and, Van Der Werf, 2002). Despite the environment, college founders established over two hundred new colleges between 1977 and 2002, of which roughly two-dozen were private nonprofit colleges – what I term, neophyte nonprofits.

    This study’s purpose was to understand how an institution’s mission is both created and operationalized – the point at which the institution enters the marketplace. I investigated how the neophyte nonprofit founders managed their niche institutions from an idea to the first class of students during a time of consolidation and flat market growth. To assist in this investigation, I drew from Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s (1972) work on utopian organizations, since I sought to identify how new market entrants generate social support while building sufficient resources to institutionalize. The neophyte nonprofit founders’ challenges resembled those of fledgling utopian groups, and I argue that Kanter’s framework is a useful comparison on mission formation and commitment generation. This study also adapts Michael Porter’s (199icon_cool.gif competitive strategy model to explore how neophyte nonprofits struggle to overcome existing barriers to the market.
    Data collection for this inquiry included interviews, published research and articles, and institutional documents. External organization studies and higher education analysts aided triangulation and analysis. Exploring how successful neophyte schools succeeded may help to explain why market entry was so difficult. This study may lend clues about how the higher education industry’s terrain can be navigated for future neophyte nonprofits.
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    Mar 14, 2009 4:16 AM GMT

    Ok, what the hell...

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    Mar 14, 2009 4:33 AM GMT
    Fine...here goes:


    The moon embraces you,
    Like a wolf atop his peak.
    Oh, what I would give to be pierced by your fangs
    And torn apart by your love.
    The moon's shine is my signal to lust,
    And to meet you in the forest.
    Oh, what I would give to be consumed by your eyes,
    And ravaged by your claws.
    Your smile - the howls of a hungry beast.
    Oh, what I would give to be free of my carcass,
    And not be prey to my insufferable desire;
    To be excised from myself,
    And remain a spirit looking down at the kill.


    Escape from the Moors

    As I look across the landscape,
    The hills bare their emotions.
    The road is unkind,
    The unsteadiness of the sight,
    And the winds and fog as close as America will ever get to moors.
    This is a place so familiar in its sight,
    But so unfamiliar in its meaning to me.
    She died here,
    The grandmother I never knew.
    She suffered her cancer and broken heart on these hills.
    The cancer from her smoking,
    The heart from my grandfather,
    What man divorces a woman for gaining weight,
    Then finds a beauty queen to beat to death?
    He got what he deserved.
    Of course it would've been nice if his blood hadn't splattered onto my father's face,
    Perhaps then I may have known the broken child,
    Perhaps then I would've known his mother,
    Perhaps then I would've known my own mother past the wounds,
    Then maybe these hills would've seemed more meaningful,
    More than hills on the drive to Dallas,
    Or just a hometown to a famous bread maker.
    Perhaps the hills will protect their spirit,
    Or keep out further angst and misery.



    I lied for us, you Slavic wonder.
    We asked each other for our dream,
    And I granted it in hesitation.
    To heal our hearts,
    To open our wounds,
    And scream into the cave of rotting flesh
    That we are united in our search,
    To find a match for our devotion.
    I granted our hearts a time of peace
    While these warring factions deliberated.
    As we walked in fields once covered in blood
    And as we laid under olive trees
    Breathing in the scent of life,
    My wounds began to heal,
    Yours remained open.
    My soul was naked,
    Your soul was chained
    To all the lies
    That left you weak
    To all the generals
    Who embraced your malaise
    And sought only to usurp your power.
    I'm sorry that I lied for us,
    Another wound to heal.
    I hope your battle will wage on,
    I hope you are unchained,
    And that truth will find its way to you,
    As I yearn for more than peace.

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    Mar 14, 2009 4:42 AM GMT
    my musings on dandyism:

    Charles Baudelaire defined the dandy almost arcanely, as one who elevates æsthetics to a living religion; that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the 'responsible,' moralistic citizens of the middle class: "Dandyism comes close to spirituality... These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in and around their own persons, of indulging their passions, of Feeling and Thinking .... Contrary to what many thoughtless people believe, dandyism is not an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his Mind."

    As for the vanity of the dandy, it is vanity on a higher plane. He is concerned with the effect of his superior elegance upon others simply because it is the only test of his success- but his vanity is truly satisfied in his being himself. Dandyism is something more than the art of costume, or a happy and audacious dictatorship in the matter of toilette and exterior elegance. Dandyism is a manner of being, composed of nuances. Its a sumptuous attire masking the futility of life, a graceful and tragic gesture signifying disillusion and boredom with mundanity. Its the championing of beauty in every form, exuberant and subtle, even graceful and grotesque alike, above all else. Its indulgent and hedonistic, cultivating in the self and in every practice all pleasure and beauty; ever refining, ever exceeding, ever pushing the boundaries placed upon us in the name of wit and intellect and the ultimate uselessness of both. It is an elaboration and adornment of the self; an artistic statement of the paradox that self is everything and nothing, God and void, rolled into one.

    These days, in this post-Victorian world of rotting, useless, outdated morals and values- almost post-apocalyptic as regards true personal style, art and grace- dandyism is exceedingly rare. The man who first donned a neckcloth is dismissed with a sneer, while the man who invented the patent machine for taking out potato eyes is hailed as a benefactor of his country. Let them erect statues to the useful citizens who create a demand for useless appliances, who discover a dryer, cheaper form of breakfast food, who add 40 new varieties of pickles to the already superfluous 57. I shall not subscribe. I shall save my pennies to buy a hand-wrought golden snuff-box and, having bought it, remember between sneezes the men who regarded living as the highest Art.
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    Mar 14, 2009 5:08 AM GMT
    Here is an excerpt from my creative writing (poetry specialization) thesis for grad school.

    how to cut off one’s hand…

    the tragedy of iowa
    is that
    it is only an it. that it
    was a glory: a snowy birth
    of vespers,
    but like most
    pronouns, it,
    shifted the contextual meaning.
    an ungendered toy

    played with
    by all the children
    until, it, finally became
    just a dolly
    the girls only would
    touch, it,
    and now, it, was a her—
    except for the few effeminate boys
    that you tried to
    explain in your deepest mind
    were not

    sure indicators of any
    sexuality at that
    young age, but
    still you assumed,
    it, and here you
    are where i would not
    be found:
    los angeles,
    following that thing of a heart,
    it, is only a guide
    like a watershed

    in summer
    ireland comprised of
    darrens that smirch
    as chalk to water.
    how could you leave
    it all—
    the cold?;
    the disparity?;
    the warrant of your education?;
    even the hotttttness of that boy?
    (your words and not mine)
    to be

    writing theme songs
    of cartoons for the
    who would then go to
    iowa and make you
    spend your money
    on their
    on one hand i am so jealous
    you did it all;
    with the other, it, found
    a machete and now
    i bleed.


    boys like me
    we work for tips
    we work our tips right off
    the bat
    the table wood
    carved from
    flesh wood in
    all men’s pants
    fingers planted in sweaty pockets
    fondling the
    bills of washington’s creased
    eyes at your fingertips
    something has to come off
    boys like me
    who cannot come
    the way the other boys
    tip their shoulders
    not to bide
    but the have the men
    jump back
    for more
    and so we posture
    sex for pride
    the boys and tips
    and tricks
    we hide
    boys like me
    can't live off tips
    and so we've learned
    to smile

    the chocolate lab

    jesus watched
    from the eyes of a chocolate lab
    the two of us
    trying to have sex
    the crucifix you positioned over the lintel blurred
    barrels and ledge each time my face
    choked the sheets
    your ass sometimes coming
    into view
    like a planet just arising

    i said i can't get it up with a dog
    circling the bed because he could smell the act
    before we could commit it
    the pre-sweat odors of master and thing
    launching him as a rocket around the bedroom

    so i laid there like wood
    like the fog over a button island
    letting your dick carve your name
    inside my confused guts
    the dog stopped at one point
    front legs pressed on the mattress ready to mount
    pretending he was you
    or maybe the other way around

    the owner now a thing of the thing that bursts light
    from the scattered clouds
    his eyes were palindromes
    the middle unnecessary
    because it was both the before and the after you pulled out of me
    that were the same
    that remained the biggest mystery
    and jesus is the answer to all questions
    that no body asked
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    Mar 14, 2009 5:12 AM GMT
    haha i like the Tips poem icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 14, 2009 5:21 AM GMT
    czarodziej saidhaha i like the Tips poem icon_smile.gif

    Aww, thanks. I love how you know who Baudelaire is. The flaneur is one of my favorite things he mused about.
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    Mar 14, 2009 5:26 AM GMT
    oh my.
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    Mar 16, 2009 11:16 PM GMT
    Hey Stan, great thread idea. Here's mine -- part of a story I wrote a while back.

    True Love: Dialogues of a Divorced Couple

    I think I might fucking puke. This is the thought that keeps going through my head. It’s a cool clear night, and it’s raining stars. Literally. They’re falling from the sky one by one, meteorites racing toward the ground at the speed of -- well, fuck -- meteorites. Noble things, racing toward the earth, burning furies extinguishing themselves in a blaze of fucking brilliance, cascading through the dark and obliterating themselves in the gravity of the parking lot outside my apartment. I’m sitting on the patio right now, the patio of the apartment where I live alone, and -- and fuck, I think I’ve had too much to drink, smoked too much. The sky is spinning and the stars are bursting, and the meteorites are streaking toward my patio, and I really have had too much to drink. Fucking hell, I’m wasted. And it’s all about a boy.

    It’s always about a boy now. The boy, in fact. The blond-haired, blue-eyed angel who loves me more than anyone, in this fucked-up world, deserves to be loved. Possibly the one, if you believe those lines. He’s the boy who would marry me if I asked him to, the boy who might love me more unconditionally than sin if I were willing, the boy who wants to take me to Paris and Switzerland and all the beautiful places in this world. The boy who I was going to break up with last night, but ended up fucking instead. The boy.

    * * *

    “What are you going to do, then?”

    She said this between bites of spinach lasagna at the little Italian café down the street earlier this afternoon, before the stars began bursting from the sky. We went there because it once was our favorite restaurant, because I knew he hated Italian and we’d never run into him there, and because I needed to drink and the place was in stumbling distance to my apartment. The question was clear, to the point, a rational inquiry in a conversation dominated by the inane and sometimes neurotic ramblings and rants and confessions of a slightly drunken gay guy who wants more than anything else in the world not to be a faggot, drunken or otherwise.

    “Question of the year, my love,” I shrugged. “Fuck if I know.”

    “Do you love him?” There’s no malice here; it’s only been four months, almost to the day, since we broke up, and she’s asking as a matter of record, determined to help me sort a few things out. I wonder for the billionth time why I had to be gay and why I couldn’t have stayed happily married to her.

    “I thought I did.” I shrugged again; I’m doing a lot of that lately, it seems.

    It’s a true enough assessment, though. Three months ago, when I met the boy, I thought I was in love again. We hit it off immediately; after dinner two nights in a row and a string of e-mails and text messages, I took him to bed, tried things I’d only dreamed of doing before, and never looked back. That was then, though, and I was new at the whole thing. Newly divorced, newly in pain and seeking solace, and newly euphoric at the prospects of no longer living the lie I’d lived for ever since I could remember, I fell for the blond-haired, blue eyed boy who came up and introduced himself at the coffee shop.

    When you live the better part of your life in denial, when you push away the nagging realization that you’re gay, and when you spend your days trying madly to convince yourself and everyone around you that you’re a normal, functional member of the hetero hegemony, only to suddenly make that breakthrough and realize you like cock, something clicks. It is liberating, finally acknowledging the inevitable. There is peace. There is solace. I wasn’t about to go out and become a rainbow-wearing, pride-parading, lisp-affecting, flaming faggot, but I was ready to embrace that component of my person, I though. And the first boy that came along, that showed interest and compassion and a similar eagerness to embrace that realization, I thought was the perfect match, the perfect completion that I’d been waiting for, knowingly or otherwise, forever.

    And now I’m studiously avoiding his calls. He’s dialed my cell four times this evening already, and left two voice messages. The dog got out the gate when he came by and I wasn’t there, he said, and he spent half an hour getting her home. The dog. Home. It wasn’t spoken, only implied, but it wasn’t my dog, my home. It was a possessive dog, a possessive home, as if he’d already moved in and we were living in a state of co-habital white-picket-fence bliss, and that bugs me now. And he sounded a little snippy in the message, a “hey babe where the fuck are you?!” tone that implied he should know where I was, had a right to demand my whereabouts.

    That’s the heart of it, I guess. He wants in, deeper, and I’ve bottomed out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2009 7:05 AM GMT
    To keep this alive. One of my poems:

    I am Oblivion

    I used to think that sunbeams were beautiful,
    The motes of dust dancing chaos in celebration
    Of vanquishing the gloom with light.
    And then I opened my eyes,
    And saw only the arrogance of illumination,

    And the frozen breath that curls through the shade,
    Where whispers the most primeval of all my fears,
    That mindless terror of utter dark,
    But it is not that of my heart.
    I had nothing to be afraid of, for the fear is theirs.

    For they are puny, the light is mightier,
    And they must perish.

    I used to think that I belonged to the skies,
    Where the sun sails mighty as the world turns,
    A galleon on the oceans of air.
    And then I reached out,
    And found only the damp walls of these hidden caverns.

    And though I long to flee this chthonic hell,
    That freedom I had sought so fiercely,
    Is the delusion of my dreams.
    I had no wings to fly,
    A maggot I had been, I am, and always will be.

    For I am gravity, imploding forever,
    And I must descend.

    I used to see only the shimmer of beauty,
    The mesmerizing spell of perfection,
    And I the mirror adoring.
    And then I peered within,
    And felt only the paradox of self-revulsion.

    And I turned my face inward in shame,
    To gaze solely on my lovely mind.
    For it, alone, is beautiful.
    I have nothing more,
    Inside me I had closed my eyes, and willed myself blind.

    For I am ugly, oh so perfectly flawed,
    And I am narcissus reversed.

    I used to believe in justice and balance,
    Of good and evil; that which sinks, lifts.
    In equilibrium.we all hang.
    And then I weighed myself,
    And found my curses far outnumber my gifts.

    And in the forges of gods they made me,
    Of anvils of sorrow and hammers of anger,
    I have been cast marred, tainted, damned.
    And I am but lead,
    Wanting beside the intricate works of gold and silver.

    For I am worthless, the universe is a divine feast,
    And I the smallest share.

    I used to long for things far greater,
    To be set beside the stars of heaven.
    Distant shining spark, I'll orbit.
    And then I saw the vacuum between,
    And I lost my dreams as I recognized my final haven.

    In that blackness I think of memory,
    Of what I once was and wanted to be,
    For I only am what I was,
    And there is nothing else.
    In this terrible silence, the void beckons so clearly.

    For I am empty, I cannot be filled,
    And my yearnings only echo.

    I used to dream of worlds within me,
    Where we were the weavers of our fates,
    Our music entwined in harmony.
    And then I awoke,
    Opened my ears, and heard only songs of discord and hate.

    And in the cacophony of this life,
    I am but the faintest of sounds,
    Singing alone of better things.
    And no one ever listens,
    And I learned to be mute, for none hears the voice their concert drowned.

    For I am silence, I move not to the tides of this music,
    And my heart has gone still.

    I used to believe I am a child of the day,
    Those who keep in their innermost souls,
    The bright fires of eternal hope.
    And then I found despair,
    And saw that in the lake of diamonds I was a lump of coal.

    And I was but an avatar of oblivion.
    Quietly creeping in the womb of twilight,
    Desperately awaiting the flames of dawn.
    And in that sunrise,
    I shall be burned, my ashes blown away, and I shall die.

    For I am shadow, the night is my mother,
    And darkness is my soul.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2009 5:14 PM GMT
    El eco de su perfume

    Este fue su suéter favorito: el de casimira azul. No sabía que estaba aquí. A él no le gustaba lavarlo; decía que perdía su forma. Habría perdido su olor también, el olor secante de su desodorante mezclado con el olor de su cuerpo. El olor de su cuerpo. Me encantaba el olor de su cuerpo. Muy de mañana antes de que se hubiera levantado, me gustaba ventear su cuello: comerlo con el olfato, dejar que su olor me penetrase.

    Cuándo encontraba a otros hombres con su colonia me electrizaba, pero lo que realmente me gustaba era su olor propio. Siempre le pedía que no se duchara después de ir al gimnasio, que regresara a mí tal como era para que pudiera respirar el perfume intenso entre sus piernas. Una vez perdimos cuenta del tiempo, y la cena se quemó. El apartamento olía a pollo quemado durante días.

    Todo lo que recuerdo del choque es el olor a goma quemada y el tufo estéril del hospital, donde esperaba con él durante toda la noche, donde lo tenía agarrada de la mano. No me lavé la mano durante días después, hasta que la costumbre venció el deseo para los rastros de nuestro olor. Me olía las manos y los brazos, esperaba que encontrara el olor ese. Lo buscaba desesperadamente en nuestra cama, debajo de su almohada donde escondía su cabeza para no tener que levantarse. Se iba diminuyendo con los días. El tiempo todo lo borra. No quedó nada de su olor.

    Pero a él no le gustaba lavar el suéter azul, y por eso me permite olfatear su estela; respirar su memoria; aspirar nuestros recuerdos. Siempre me gustaba robarle la ropa para llevar su perfume, y ahora así me abraza con su fragancia, me tranquiliza, me acaricia con su aroma. No estoy solo. Sus cenizas están en el frío mar lejano, pero el eco de su perfume me envuelve en su calor.

    Él me envuelve.

    This is a translation I just did quickly, but it´s a composition in Spanish, so the english is a bit clumsy sometimes....

    The Echo of His Smell

    This was his favorite sweater, the blue cashmere one. I had no idea it was here. He never used to like washing it: he said it lost its shape. It would have lost its smell too, the dry smell of his deodorant mixed with the smell of his body. The smell of his body. I loved the smell of his body. Really early in the morning, before he woke up, I used to enjoy smelling his neck, eating it with my nosel, letting his odor penetrate me.

    When I met other men with his cologne it electrified me, but what I most loved was his own smell. I always used to ask him not to shower after going to the gym. I wanted him to come back just as he was so that I could inhale the intense perfume between his legs. One time we lost count of time and the supper burnt. The apartment smelt of burnt chicken for days.

    All I remember of the accident was the smell of burnt rubber and the sterile stench of the hospital where I waited with him the whole night, where I had his hand held tight. I didn’t wash my hand for days after, until habit overcame the desire for the traces of our smell. I sniffed my hands and my arms hoping to find that smell. I looked for it desperately in our bed, under his pillow where he hid his head so that he didn’t have to get up in the morning. It got less and less with time. Time erases everything. He left me completely.

    But he didn’t like washing the blue sweater and so I can smell his trail, breathe in the memory of him, breathe in our shared memories. I always loved stealing his clothes so that I could be in his smell, and now he embraces me with his fragrance, he calms me, he strokes me with his smell. I’m not alone.* His ashes are far away in the cold sea, but the echo of his perfume wraps me in his warmth.

    He envelops me.

    *in Spanish this shows that it´s a man writing, and I can´t think right now of a way of indicating that subtly at the end in English.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2009 5:35 PM GMT
    I actually won a poetry contest with this back when I was in highschool:

    I’ll carry.

    I carry your bad decisions,
    I carry your awful calls.
    I carry your broken relationships,
    I carry all your walls.

    But I carry my own problems,
    So don’t expect my all.
    I swear I’ll try the best I can;
    I can’t promise I won’t fall.

    So this is how it starts,
    The beginning of our strife.
    But not with one another;
    It’s the world against our life.

    We met at the Haunted Mill,
    Ate dinner before going inside.
    It may have been cold and dark,
    But my hand yours did find.r />
    Then traveled to a park,
    Spent all day as your best friend.
    But the day was growing late,
    And slowly coming to a end.

    We walked back to my car,
    Turned the key, heard the engine hiss.
    I gathered up the courage,
    And leaned in for that kiss.

    We both rode home in silence,
    We each knew what we had.
    But what I didn’t see coming next,
    Were the beat-down from my dad.

    When I told him later that night,
    The details of what I’d done.
    All I heard were the screams,
    “I won’t have a faggot for a son!”

    I’ll carry my new life,
    And the memories of the old.
    Through all my future adventures,
    It’s your hand I will hold.

    I know we may be fresh,
    We haven’t been together all that long.
    But there is no one else,
    With whom I’d like to sing this song.