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Welcome!

Hi, and welcome! (Scroll past this post if you’re looking for the updates :))

This is my new thought and fiction diary! Here I’m going to be posting whatever comes to mind, experimenting with whatever I feel like at the time. There will be a lot of first drafts coming through here, but the quality of stuff should reach at least a decent standard. The first post (‘#1: for the sake of flow’) is actually an example of experimentation gone very badly, but you know what? Next time it’ll be better, and that’s the point of this secondary blog!

My previous blog is at ChasjngDreams, a blog that’s taken more of the spin of personal thoughts and rants. If you like what you read here, maybe you’d like the writer behind all of this too!

Hope you enjoy!

– j. NG

283: Where the Shadows Thrive

In Plato’s cave where outside the fire flickered,
The shadows dashed from crack to crack,
Crevice to crevice, until the first baboons –
Dumb humanity – ignoring curiosity,
Let shadows run free once again.

In flame, the shadows – were they made?
Nay – just captured, to the frame of those
Dull humanoid shapes.

And underneath, where the evil things sleep –
Are they vile, or evil, or live, or veil’d?
Are they the harbingers of dark,
Or unaccustomed to the starkness of non-dark?

Are we shallow – callow, sending to the gallows
The dark we fear, that formless, free, uncompromising dark?
Do we cower in the power of showered light,
To take away our fright of the unseen?

Are we now but prisoner’s rows,
Facing each other, weapons in hold,
Holster by the side, firing lines –
Ready to draw, fire, execute anything unknown?

(Have we shaped our ammunition
With the fine teeth of education?)

How we dream of dreaming now.
In mine I can almost hear the baboons’ laughing hoots,
Lying in the dark, kissing.

-j. NG

282: Undisciplined Bile

Do you know what I’ve tried?
I’ve tried to write the poem
With straight lines and regular jumps;
Like stitch lines,
With syllable stresses weaving
Up above, below, up-high, down-low:
Visible, invisible, and stopped with a knot.
A pause. A meaningful glot that stops
Your breath like a clot but I prefer when it begins
To twirl and swirl, curl out of control –
Like a bag of tricks that’s spilled onto the floor
And the words that were rigid
And should have clattered, instead splattered,
And gathered and ran towards the drain
Of my brain that leads just a little bit down
To my throat.

I prefer it when the words flow –
And not when the words come out square,
Structured and puzzling like a Rubik’s Cube –
I like it humming and buzzing unlike words
That stay true to a style. Not that I don’t have one –
Or that value’s none in poems that adhere to one.
I just prefer to let my poems run.

-j. NG

281: Bubble Trouble

To be curt, I am an introvert.
I huddle in my bubble
Waiting for a cuddle or if not,
I won’t ask, because asking
For a hug is especially sad –
Especially from those extroverts
Giving free hugs for, well, free.

I don’t like to socialize.
I don’t think it’s lying I just
Sweat when I see so many people
Who want to see me and I think
Well, hello, I’m here, what do you think?
Don’t tell me though, don’t talk to me,
I’ll walk away – I won’t scream;
But when I get close to it I squeak:
“Oops! Be right back! Gotta pee.”

I don’t mind embarrassment like that,
I’m already feeling like a sack of fool,
Like a bag of idiot, like an oversized mole
So big that it’s bigger than my head
And growing out of it a hair that Rapunzel
Wishes she could have had to
Climb out of her tower on.

I don’t envy extroverts, that’s so much energy
That doesn’t go to me, it’s like, radiation.
In the case of a sudden winter freeze
Where most of us die, the extroverts are gonna die first
But of loneliness, introverts will be warming up from the cold
Extroverts go sightseeing for ravines just
To have conversations with their own echoes.

I’m getting married to an extrovert though, so look,
Either way, some sort of balance is struck,
Extroverts go out, introverts have the good luck
To stay home until we moan and grope after realizing
That staying at home really, really sucks, and then
Our bubble pops but not in a good way – we go nuts:
Then our extroverts come home just in time to save
The day and they, with their extra energy spend it
Patching up the holes with conversation anecdotes,
Quips and threads of their day that they’ve left unseen
And brought out only for you to breathe in,
Soothing, your meditation, your conversational hot chocolate.
Now it’s your warmth, your cuddle, your word hug, your snuggle.

When you’re lucky, you have an extrovert who cares enough
Not to drag you out of your bubble, but to cuddle in it,
And to fix it in the case of bubble trouble.

-j. NG

280. Truth in a post for fiction.

I am sitting in a coffee shop wearing new earphones and a denim button-up shirt. I have always loved coffee, but it has in the past made me too angry and too energetic; anger and energy are a bad combination. It is not an obviously bad combination when you are the miniature Hulk in a world that is much realer and harsher than Hollywood, but that’s what remains dangerous about the movies. You start to think that everything is obvious, when nothing is.

In my earphones I listen to jazz. My ears are filled with it and my feet are worn in three ways. I possess a job where my superiors possess my time and energy. During it I pace around classrooms and I bend down to check answers or whisper disciplinary actions or I seat myself quietly to not be a nuisance. Afterwards I will dance; dance to jazz, dance to swing, dance with an invisible partner that might as well just be a ball of energy, elasticity, but there’s no fun in the perfect dance so we strive for it, and always make it a little bit wrong to keep things fresh. Lastly I will vibrate the soles of my feet and toes with the battered hush of a bouncing basketball, bounce, silence — silence, bounce bounce, silence. Silence. Swish. Bounce. Clatter.

I am also drinking coffee. More specifically it is a cappuccino with a ratio of milk and espresso that eludes me. The knowledge is not mine, I have been taught this, I used to prefer latte’s and flat whites. I used to love the hazelnut vanilla stuff, till my coffee grading friend brandished his ire in laughter that sang of sheer — 

Misunderstanding. Not me, but him, and coffee, and his understanding of it. When I drink coffee now I still try to smell it, and have a guess at whether or not the roast is dark or light or just right. It’s more of a 50/50 than a 33/33/33 if you really think about it. To be just right – that’s a sliver of chance. Dark or light or the line. Not binary, but close enough to it.

When I think about writing I am reminded that my teacher was the one who brought me to literature by saying ‘Hell no’ you are not slacking off in my class, you jackass. Out of respect to her I threw myself into her work. First time throwing myself into anything that wasn’t mere entertainment to pass on days.

I have coffee, earphones, jazz, worn feet, a degree that says: this is me.

I also have poetry, and I finish off the fiction of reality with a poem:
For what is poetry to me?

It is:

An orgasm of thoughts put into order

A cartwheel of cadence

A picture of a pitcher of pitch

Sound, not tar

Rising up and down

Dropping words so that

They splash and in reaching ear drains

Spiral and gurgle round.
Poetry is a rumbling resonance. 

A drumroll of morse code.

But in reading, hearing, 

The same rhythm flows –

Heartbeats – heartbreak –

Eyes closed – daybreak –

Symphony – harmony –

Disaster – relief –

No ABCs except for sheer mental meaning;

Poetry by myself is meaningless to me

Poetry to you all, individually – 

That’s the world.
Poetry is the world to me.

-j. NG

279: The Heart of Art

A little poem I wrote on the spur of the moment just minutes after waking and reading an article on Brain Pickings (https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/03/28/annie-dillard-writing-the-abundance/). I wrote this with ‘writing’ in mind, so excuse the second line for seeming to be exclusive!

The heart of art is to want to share
The will of words: to find mastery there;
Therefore the artist is the one who cares
To dedicate hours until their work bears

Some semblance to the senses they cherish,
Some lens to understanding their experience,
Some flavor and romance to what they deem important:
Art is work, but the rewards: magnificent.

278: Word Counts

Word counts don’t count in good work.
Good words are squintless surprises in sound.

Good words can be small.

They are always useful;

Good usage is using them for their use.
Word counts are not always useful nor good.
Good words in word counts are equal to words.

Word counts can hide useless work, disguising it as good.

Word counts are like drugs. The higher you get, the better.
That being said, word counts can be useful.

Sometimes word counts are all I have left.

277: I am a murderer of stories.

I am a murderer of stories.

When I ask them to present themselves to me I promise them the world, so they open up, beckon me inside but what they do not know is that I am myopic. I cannot see deeply into those spirits, so when they open up their cloaks expectantly, showing me gold I only see black. When they smile as hosts welcoming me I see their teeth and see only a skull, grinning, and that makes me turn back, but not before I tinker inside and secretly tie a loose noose around their hearts.

When I begin to leave they begin to scream. They can feel themselves a little bit emptier than before – was it just a draft? – I ask them – maybe the wind bears the sin of making you a little cold. That’s what I always say in any case.

You promised to tell the tale that is me – they whisper back.

When I leave them they stay rooted there, like a peddler. They are hitchhikers on a dirty road, and I drove them there and left them there. If only that was all.

When I begin to walk away just far enough they begin to feel the tug. The rope on the back end of their heart, inside them, pinned down deeper than any staple could bite, two fangs, the vampire brand, but this is a noose tied to their heart. How do you loosen something that’s inside of you? You don’t.

So I drag them, hundreds at a time for stories are light. They can be as heavy and deep as they like but they’re carried around in human minds, so I can carry as many as I’d like, without becoming weary.  So I drag them to and fro. Shake them like rag dolls, throw them up like balloons, juggle them, so long as I don’t get bored.

Some stories die in my mind, finally loose, set down as skeletons by the road – again, myopic – so lines more like fine dust, but some remains I bring to the graveside. Those ones I’ve tried to write, but in failure I set them down to lie.

What a damned trickster am I.

-j. NG

276

I stood at a table
Able to sit.
Wrote nonsense with
The whole half of my wit.

I tumbled down letters
And let them take shape,
Let them build and rumble
Into gargantuan words that’d break
Loose into phrases that are shouted in decrees!
LISTEN TO ME NOW, COME, HEAR MY PLEA!

 

“I have nothing to say –
That’s how I’m feeling today.
Thought it’d be worth it to say it,
Since the most important thing
I’ve done this Spring day
Is to stand at a table
Even though I could sit.”

274: Nat-Twenty

You just cannot begin to imagine the satisfaction –
The tension that builds in the tightly wound knuckles
On the buckling white hand that, shaking, sends rolling
The twenty-sided dice whose feisty, fickle faces
Have sent tears to your eyes, dug graves in your mind,
Snatched away victory from you and your friends, far too many times.

The dice is too light, too heavy, too real to call out the fate
Of fictional lives in fictional lands, for a tribe you’ve just met,
Inside of a game you’ve bled imaginary ichor for and really stained
Your shirts with sweat; and yet all of that still rests on the face
Of that icosahedron. Up the die flies. The table holds its breath.

With a shudder you wonder if it might topple
From the gameboard to the depths below the fridge,
Displaying your twenty in the dusty hells of what you know
To be re-rolls. The thought is banished as it bounces
Closer and closer to THERE: THAT is the worst place,
You scream while others shriek: “NOT ON THE MAT!”

But alas. The DM grins as he sees your tumble,
Apologizes, humble, as he brings out the die
That he calls Death, stained in a mirthless hue of orange,
And as he rolls that dice it’s to execute,
To tear your character to shreds,
He does it. Rolls fifteen, over your two.

“Make a saving throw.” The glow of the lamp.
You’re set to lay this character to bed.
He’s about to mind control you, and the others’ll have to feign surprise
As they’re stabbed in the heads, knives sliding across their necks,
Pretending that they never knew why they fell;
But they’d know, it was all because you rolled on the mat.

So you throw your dice high into the air.
Eyes are caught in helpless stares.
Twenty, you whisper. Twenty, you beg.
You close your eyes. Twe- “TWENTY!”
You suddenly hear the cheers and snap
Out of your reverie as slaps cascade
Up and down your back and the DM can’t believe it
He’s tested your luck, in his hubris described his spell
As a touch, and two nights ago you’d homebrewed
The rule that touch attack spells are open to counterattacks:
Eyes shoot open: Is the enemy fatigued?
Perhaps, a spell mishap?

The made-up second passes, fifteen minutes in real life,
Seconds pass by slowly in dice-based game fights.
You attack and the DM, smiling like a troll,
Charming as a rogue, says: “Roll.”

You tear off the mat to the floor,
Send figurines flying to the bathroom, chairsides, the door.
Your die, green and grey,
Smiles as if to say she knows how to roll.
You toss the dice up – fate wills it to fall,
Clatters once, the number face up. You call: “*^£¥%¿♧;!”

It’d be too easy to say that this ends in twenty.
Another villain beat, and heroes made aplenty.
But far from making this a story, a song that’s just mine,
I wrote these lines to say:
That you yourself should play.
Play! It’s easy to get started,
Here’s a dice, that’s the way:
Now roll a save to resist persuade.
You ain’t gonna get a nat twenty.