[this is how i warm up to write in the mornings. W20 is MIT's student center. the buckles is of course starbucks. --wa.]
here at the buckles in harvard type tapping away, tips and topplings, tenuous at best. rhymes tipping tapwise out of electrical taping. sniffles, snorts, watery eyes, sore neck. thick chest-filling mucus. tv on the radio on the headphones on the computer (and by way of inspiration playing on the PA system here at starbucks, else why would i have turned toward vocal music at all, writing freewriting?).
managed to turn out something halfway decent yesterday, or so it seemed. something and something else put together into some third thing. some goddamn high school girl sitting across from me interrupting her homework to text dispassionately someotherone. maddening to see total affectlessness on another human face. do i look that way? ever? face goes slack, studied indifferent posture. same hands same eyes same dead non-smile. same will to power will to powerlessness. same whatever. every high schooler like every human being is totally different but the normalizing pressure on behaviour is incredibly strong. the ones who escape the orbit of the prevailing culture find something else, some orbital base on one or another poorly-lit basement asteroid playing D&D or punk rock in a twelfth-rate garage band with his buddies or they fuck a lot or refuse to, yes or find jesus entirely or just gesture at being a scientist, write sonnets ONLY I INSIST using elizabethan vocabulary and modern pseudo-psychology of course. 'i am a snowflake melting each morning reforming as new dark ice each night' that sort of thing.
all poems written by high schoolers are essentially the same poem. SOMEONE HOLD ME CLOSE SOMETHING MAKE ME WHOLE SOMEHOW LET ME ESCAPE
dude barking loudly into his cell phone over there in celtics gear and beaten-up brown boots, scars on the back of his arm (burns from hot metal looks like). man with miles on him. frayed edges on his t-shirt, worn jean-hems. earned his age. plenty to be said for a man who lives into his form and fate in this way. look gathering motes of time upon leatherworn skin like the settle of ancient dust, once was skin (all of us all of ours)
every surface edge of you frays and wears with the idiot passing of (we call it) time
commander controller i found you
defender destroyer i found you
dirtly little whirlwind
all caught up in the flesh of a girl
-- tv on the radio
time is a name we give to forgetting
tv on the radio is one of the sexiest bands i've ever heard in my life. ever. i mean i've never heard sexy music that wore its intelligence right on its sleeve like that and dared the listener to find that sexy. the push and pull of carnal and intellectual impulses makes for the music's complexity i think.
ok i think it's time to get down to work. 10:45am, i need to be home by 3pm, plenty of time to nail down the final comments on the four papers. give each of them a half-hour or so. something like that.
ok here we go.
just a little time before meeting agi for the ol' baby-changing-hands afternoon routine. weird being the one to receive the baby at day's end i gotta say. ok let's not dick around too long here. reading D&D shit online annoyed/rattled me i gotta say. the usual annoyance over petty things, aggravated by middle-aged men bitching about Those Kids and the (Inevitable) Decline of Culture. same old shit. no generation wants to be mislabeled that way.
crowded tables at the buckles. like W20 with more attention to paid to grooming. i wish that were something i valued. to be the kind of person who cared about things that other kinds of people cared about. to have that connection-via-abstraction. subcultural membership. only i don't much feel that way day to day. well you can be part of the mythical-alone too, if you like. another subculture.