I’m currently working on a short story- and by short I mean something akin to my multi-part-tales which I haven’t done one of in awhile.
So for now, here is the first poem I ever wrote; I dredged it up to read at an open poetry, open mic event I go to.
I wrote it when I was…14-16 I think…hence the adolescent title (get it?).
I honestly think me and mine were probably quite lucky, to grow up with the internet in all it’s dial-up glory. I remember being taught by my crush how to ICQ and having my first creepy convo with a stranger. Fist pumping when my download speed hit 30kbps on napster. How carefully I chose one of the precious, twelve songs for my first mp3 player. (I think I picked the real slim shady…).
I believe there is a deeply gauged out line of demarcation (and getting deeper), between a pre-internet and post-internet
society planet, and it’s pretty close to those that were born near 1987. Everything since, and everything after, will, has, and is changing so much. Maybe in hindsight we will really appreciate how far we’ve come and where we’re going. We’re still caught in it though, part of a tidal wave moving so fast that the act of stopping to define it can cause you to be left behind, and already wrong, and irrelevant.
Perhaps every generation says that (though not quite like that). However in this case, if you can read my words, you are a part of the change right now.
A couple of years ago a friend told me that he thought the world was going to hell. Proxy wars between super powers flaring up over energy, dictators continuing the steady march of atrocities, financial institutions and political institutions corrupt, morally bankrupt, and subverted, climate change and all those other horsemen all on his side.
He asked me for one thing that shows things might get better- what could possibly be arrayed against all that?
I said “the internet”.
He said I had a point.
Someone promptly messaged me on Xanga.com after I put up this old poem (OH Xanga…and geocities…and 56k modems…and altavista…and nostalgia…) the next week telling me the challenger exploded in 1986 instead. Shows what I knew.
I was born the year the Challenger exploded-
Child of the green Internet: I
Battle demons and the
Blue screen of death.
I am a partz of the Internet generation(s);
Many bits and bytes and all these conversations
Between Ones and Zeroes I don’t have to
a billion bytes is still too little data.
We are the blessed 1s. (BO’s!)
for us! Operating System-
Windows to our Souls.
Our hands don’t make food anymore!
I knead words with my whitened knuckles,
And the worldz knowledge
At the tip
Of my fingers.
I can see anything with these fingers:
Its a simple search, and then I can hack
My path into even the places
That children aren’t allowed to be.
Because you see,
we were born the year the Challenger exploded,
And we had to ask
Why would anyone need stars?
When you can see them on a screen.
I am for the most part incredibly embarrassed to admit to anyone that I write. It is a far throw from there to claim in any capacity that I am a writer. You see I am terrified like so many others of all the wrong things.
Kind reader whoever you are that has stopped here to peruse these sentences, you would not believe the amount of things I have written, that nobody has read. I mean I will not show people, have not shown people- I am so afraid of what they will think, as if could ever know that.
These things I will not show people fill reams of notebooks. They take up tiny kilobytes of data on old hard drives and USB’s. I do not want to waste people’s times with them- that is what my demon tells myself.
This is one of those things, the poem below.
I have for the most part listened to that demon my entire life. I’ve almost finished my novel, just about written the end, and all the time the demon says: “So what? Who cares?” The demon pokes me and jabs in the early morning with horrible, self-degrading thoughts. It uses fear to keep me in line, prevent me from saying things I feel, or writing down the words and showing them to people.
I’ve learned a few things about that demon, in the process of writing this book. Chief among those things is fact that just about everyone who has ever dared anything has had to face that demon. What seems a solitary fight is in fact a universal one, and this is not a fact the enemy would like shared.
It would much prefer we remain afraid and question nothing.
Funny thing about fear, it can be used against the enemy. All you have to do is follow it back to your foe and you’ll know where to fight, whom to confront. So in that spirit for the few dozen that may see it, here is
The weight of dreams
If I had the power to grant your dreams
I would scoop aside a piece of garden,
A waterfall with singing reeds,
And place a chair and birds for company,
For you to live for an eternity,
In solitude and unruffled peace.
If I had the power to bring you solace,
I would wisk you far away from those that promise,
Tonight it won’t hurt.
I’d build a castle with ramparts strong,
And foundations fair to hold your truths unassailed,
Knights to slay that terrible dragon.
If it were within my grasp to give you,
Love’s weight in gold and comments,
Eyes to recognize your struggles,
Applause for all those secret moments,
A family of devotees that sing,
Your name and deeds If I could bring,
That one back who understood you so,
Revive with music regret’s foe,
Take you back in time to laughter,
Your past and present forever after
One and the same till all became
That perfect day with her again,
If I could grant you some few words,
For the world to pause and your heart be heard,
The fighting to stop the blood contained,
A chance for all to stop and change,
And listen to truths that you have seen,
For all these fools to have never been,
If I could give you the bullets you need,
To drown the evil and end the seeds,
Of weakness and pathetic misery,
Allow you to judge, execute and oversee,
These silly fools born of mediocrity,
Would I grant these prayers for you,
or for me?
If I could surround you with ones dear,
Drown you in sounds instead of tears,
If I could allow you to destroy those near,
That are not who you are nor will ever fear,
The apocalypse slouching so near,
You power hungry fools that never see,
You world burning madmen whose dreams rest,
On pillars on pain for all that fail your test,
The world would collapse under all our dreams,
That war between words, behind eyes, silently,
That wake us to our need to be devotees,
To impose our wills upon all that disagree,
In spite of those that once spoke for Liberty,
‘Tis a word oft spoke rarely understood,
‘Tis a world much salted by spilling of blood,
Till it’s heard softly woken in the tears that should,
Give pause to those who swing their clubs,
Determined to sculpt us all like the mud,
They use to mold their perfect earth.
If I had the power of all your fictions,
If I was your God of violent conviction,
If this lone man was immortal too,
To rip, rend, and tear so many hearts if you,
Prayed to me and demanded solace,
If you frothed for fervourous murderous promises,
If you sacrificed all that was yours and another’s,
I would still rather die than take on the cover,
Of a white beard, a turban, many hands, some weapons,
To conceal your tiny fears and cries for eden
To obscure your eyes from the desert we live in,
To deny another’s attempt to never deaden,
Their dreams in spite of all your lessons,
I would rather stand tall than kneel before heaven,
And evaporate into nothing and embrace oblivion,
For my words to ring however short and silent,
That I am proud to be merely human.
And my brothers are those whose fears bravely glisten,
And my sisters are the ones who stand alone within,
Those sensitive enough to embrace quiet wisdom,
Sagacious and bold to display honest ignorance,
And one day we will rise, we few, hatred’s children,
To hold the line from you priests, you mad politicians,
Be you president or king, lawyer or banker,
Be you teacher or mother or soldier or manager,
You cannot stop the sane few that strive on still,
To dream despite how many you imprison, crush or kill,
We are the future, we are the best of the heathens,
Who carry your heaven inside our eyes and actions,
Though we are isolated, outnumbered, enemies of the destined,
We that walk in darkness, to serve the light,
We are legion.
And if I were your God I would weep for my children.
I’m taking a break from the longer story i’m working on.
So today it’s less than 1k:
And the world
And the world becomes the city leaves on the street swept up by the straw hatted elves.That walk under uniforms their wrinkles visible for a blink. Then the bus roars at everyone and everything from the tops of the canyon walls where people live to the little men on their thin pavement walking to somewhere.
The air goes dark as the street lights change and the traffic exhales like a smoker into your face.
Walking until you cross the wide road to a narrower street and through the crowd come to the hole in the ground. Descend the stairs into airconditioned tunnels and move through the earth that looks like all planets and moons will look when we are through with them. Follow the correct colors or just remember what you already knows till you pay for your ride with a beep like magic you will never understand. And a thousand others step up to the train that you wait for too.
Pass the time by staring or distracting yourself with all the screens in your pocket and on the wall. Gaze at all the other people like you like a tourist. Dream a short dream till you hear the train howling farther on coming closer and you stop and wait with everyone else now patient now expectant. Prepare to board the train till you do and then fill all the spaces with your body next to everyone else till all that is left is people.
Wait whilst hurtling in your tube and distract yourself from the wall of clothes by staring at the screens or listening with your ears to a tiny voice in a tiny speaker. Till the train slows and you squeeze out whilst the mass pours forth and another army swaps places with you. Follow all the metal snaking escalators to the right colors or just remember what you already know till you beep a card in a magic moment and pay for the ride you take every day..
Almost finished you find your way to the place you spend most of your life in currently. Ascend at the foot of the titan you man and enter the last small space for awhile with a few other bodies. Ignore their presence whilst you wait for the doors to open and you are pulled up to your occupation. Walk towards the correct name of the thing as invisible as any God. Find your way to your desk and begin to fight for the thing you serve inside the titan of concrete and steel.
Use the machines that someone else made and someone else realised and someone else understands to make the the numbers go up and down for someone else. Connect with your eyes and fingers and ears to the keyboard and screen and phone and wires all the way around the world and up above in space bouncing your voice all over the globe and building things with words and decisions like the other billion decisions made by the humans you live and breathe next to.
Then stop when the time comes. And find your way through the maze again you’ve learnt so well to navigate. Find your way down then across the ground and under and up till you are back in another cube with no God’s name to mark it. In your cube you watch the screens and hear the sounds that make you want to do it all over again tomorrow next to the ones that share so much with you.
And then you do it again tomorrow.
Later on you die.