Friday, June 25, 2010

William Joiner Recap

Boston was amazing. I want to give a shout out to all the amazing people, veterans and supporters who made our time together so wonderful and powerful. You inspire and enrich me. I am eager for all the awesomeness that is to come from Warrior Writers Boston. I see a chapbook in the future, I'm excited to read it. Please post your writings from the workshop asap so you can share it with everyone and I can get my eyes on it. Ya know, when you can look at something, it settles in a different way. I look forward to it and I'm sure everyone else will be quite pleased. What a great performance we had. Take care of yourselves and we'll be in touch! More to come...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


This comes from a recent Warrior Writers workshop we did in Chicago. It's called "Ghosts."

Infantry boots pound the forest
Heavy from mud encrusting with the
Phantom of their prey

Sand grinds eternally at their soles as they
Kick down the midnight doors of apparitions that
Fall with the dust settling in their eyelets

A stray strand of concertina long buried in the clay
Gouges a toe as they
Run for cover from the shadow of fear

Infantry boots ask no questions on the run
They protect the feet and are each morning expected
To tell nothing of the day before

They are wiped, brushed, polished, shined, and buffed to
Create an illusion of youth, but beneath the polish or deep
In the tongue is always a speck with a story to tell

Saturday, June 19, 2010

familiar taste

Thousands of years of culture-
one struggle after another-
a different way of life.

Bringing back a flood of memories-
my senses alive-
my heart raw with exposure.

The bitter biting flood of remorse;
remembering how wrong I was.

My salty tears as she replies, "I thank God for everything".
The sentiment is familiar.

Hey all, I'm here in Chicago with some great brothers and sisters. I want to take this back and work on it but I thought I'd share it in it's freshness. This was inspired by a dinner prepared for us by an amazing Iraqi woman. Much love people. Holla if you hear me and if you hear me write and share. We need this community.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day

Another thing that I realized recently, something I have done for several years now. I hide from Memorial Day and all Memorial Day related activities. I even avoid people who knew I was in Iraq so they won't thank me for serving. There's some food for my brain thought. I know why I hide from July 4th... its noisy and sounds like we're being attacked a bit... or a lot. Memorial Day, however... I just pretend isn't a day. Its just a really AWESOME Monday. Its a break from Mondays at the office. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I realized over a series of events that comprised my life -- lets call it research that backs my thesis -- that I never want to tell you anything. I write with hopes of sharing nothing.

Scratch that, scratch that. I write with hopes of telling you tiny pieces of truth that are, yes, truth, but they are as truthful as a birdhouse hanging in a hardware store tells the truth about the nests the swallowtail will build for it's young in the wild.

I give you constructions, truths and emotions that I'm comfortable letting you in, sharing the not-so-secret "secret" of generic, shared human emotion. It wasn't hard for me to miss it, what I was doing... after all, it would have taken a very truthful look deep within me to see that bigger nugget of truth, the one that was afraid to let a single soul catch a glimpse, let alone my own introspective one, let alone a probing stare.

After all, what if someone should happen to see me, and not care for it at all? My lifelong terror, my lifelong headlong hurdling tripping stumbling careening RUN away from getting to know myself in order to ensure that no one else could either, and find me lacking, certainly didn't begin as any sort of protective measure against pain from the military and Iraq.

Oh, but how convenient a run that is when you find yourself with people all struggling with healing, all finding different ways to let it out and let it go, and me? Simply so well versed in the honest lie that I didn't realize I wasn't letting anything go.

The cracks have been showing their asses though, friends, they surely have. It slips, in conversation, i get angry, i get passionate, and after I say my piece and slip back into caring, lets make sure everyone feels loved and we all support each other and get along, I'm surprised at myself. I don't know where my anger or my feelings or words or any of it came from, I'm just... astonished.

Its as if lately my soul has been escaping and covering my eyes while it did a dance for strangers and then running back inside to recover.

Something tonight, however, has made me think harder and I'm fine with it. I need to relearn how to embrace my teenage angst in an adult context. High romance and torturous sorrow, check... end of the world, it is not, and there's the verging on adulthood portion of the roller coaster for you.

How does one stop pretending they are letting themselves experience this torturous and beautiful dive bar we live in on this one life we get and find that dividing line between pretending and experiencing?

How do I stop referring to myself like I'm just pondering questions out loud, referring to myself as "one this or that" instead of admitting that it is I, Me, Myself, the Person I Am, the One to Do the Things I Do...

"There's no poetry between us"
Said the paper to the pen
"And I get nothing for my trouble
But the ink beneath my skin"
If your clothes are getting weary
And your soul's gone out of style
Blame the miracle mile
And the bottom of the ladder
Paint your eyes and hide the tatters
What's the matter baby?
...I'm coming too

by gary jules. called "no poetry".

I used to write, a lot. constantly. I recently heard this song and it hit home, and that's when I started wondering where my poetry had gone.

It must have been when I stopped listening to my own heart to worry about your heartbeat, and your smile, and your ideas and your wants and needs... all of that wasn't me.

Lets go back now, just me and me, and figure it out again.

On second thought, maybe I could do it right and "everyone" can come. Perhaps there's more than just me out there that tries to write or draw or let it all out and something just doesn't seem to be clicking; as it happens, no one can take the trash out if the trash is hidden somewhere they can't get at it. I can't eat ice cream I put in the neighbors house either.

Late nights, random thoughts... time to start some things and roll.