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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Blue 2

Posted by Keen Observer on October 27, 2015

Sometimes I wish I could turn it off:
Stop thinking, stop feeling, stop caring.
Sometimes I wish i could just stop
living and then it would all stop
and maybe i could feel nOrmAL
and maybe it won’t hurt any more
and then maybe someone might care
that i had a really shitty day
and no one was around to answer
(they all have their own lives and problems and i hate asking for help to begin with for this pussy emotional shit)
my calls for help and to not be
alone and maybe be with me
while i cry, even for a minute
and maybe it won’t hurt any more
because i won’t feel hurt and useless
and unloved and unappreciated
…at least for that minute,
And that might be enough for today.

 

[Blogger’s note:  I’m not suicidal, but I’m not having a great day.  Just a worse bout of depression than I’ve had in a long time, and this was rolling around in my brain-cage.]

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Heartbreak 3

Posted by Keen Observer on July 23, 2015

I haven’t written much in the past months, mostly for good reasons, some for laziness and a lack of motivation.  I might or might not be starting up again.  This poem is a glimpse into the emotional turmoil I’ve been experiencing since April, and more strongly in the past month.


Fighting with Myself

I do not know
What I am
What I feel
Inside
I am both
Full and empty
Paired feelings
Happy and sad
Still and shaken
Calm and afraid
Focused and scattered
Whole and broken
Supported and alone
Love and pain
Appreciated and betrayed
Certain and not
I do not know
How to reconcile
So many dichotomies—
Just that they must be
Or I will never again
Be whole or happy
To love once more
Freely and completely
How I once loved you

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Remembrance of Things Past…

Posted by Keen Observer on November 11, 2013

Nothing to do with anything in this post but the title, but I remember reading some of the above bit of painful prose in the original French. I don’t remember much about it, but I remember reading it, and only vaguely how some things can spawn an “involuntary memory”. The original title is more along the lines of “In Search of Lost Time”, but English editors of French works can be a little pompous and can feel the need to change authorial intent. I was never a fan of Proust, but that little kernel of truth is quite profound, as it relates strongly to interconnectedness.

That aside…

Today was Remembrance Day in Canada and the Commonwealth, and marked in different ways in other countries. Canada uses the day–though not a national, public holiday–to honour its fallen heroes, its war dead, a tradition dating back to the end of World War I. The poppies come out about two weeks before the day. Generally, at no other time during the year is there any mention of such things in the “popular” press, and come the 12th, the poppies disappear from the talking heads on television, and also the public consciousness.

There has been some talk in recent years of a so-called “white” poppy, that’s intended to represent peace, as though the red poppies (there are other colours?) are meant to honour war and killing. People who would believe this tripe are ignorant, stupid, or misled. Or all three. People who think that another type of poppy is needed have no idea what a “Remembrance” poppy represents, and they probably don’t care to learn, either.

War is hell. Period. Some have said it’s the failure of diplomacy, which is probably true enough, but diplomacy is often used just as another military manoeuvre, and is often the opening salvo in the war, or the base causus belli. And sometimes, diplomacy is just another way of saying, “Please turn around, so I can stab you in the back.” Friends close, enemies closer. There are people/entities/national actors in the world with whom diplomacy is impossible, because they are not rational actors. With groups like those, war of some type is inevitable, and it’s harder to fight off, both because they are not rational actors, and because we often give them the means to destroy us.

War is hell. It has a huge cost, beyond military budgets and economic/environmental damage. War kills generations, whether the war is “won” or not. War is a horrible, horrible thing and should be avoided–unless it can’t be. And if it can’t be, that war should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible, to ensure that your side doesn’t bear the cost of it any more than it has to. It should be as nasty, brutish, and short as possible, and preferably destroy your enemy’s ability to make war again for a very long time. People who have studied war’s history, and the history of wars, understand this, more so if they have military experience. Politicians, as a rule, do not, and they are often eager to increase the cost of a war that they do not personally have to pay.

War veterans understand the hellish nature of war at a bone-deep level we “normal” people can’t possibly understand, and for this we should be grateful, because it means that we have not experienced it. And we “normals” have trouble understanding why anyone would volunteer to go out and kill or die to serve a political or necessary end for people they know nothing about. But they do, and they die. It is this that the poppies represent: their sacrifice, not for a glorification of war. The poem “In Flanders Fields” encapsulated this fairly well, which is why it has stood the test of time. They died, that others might live. They died, that those who started unnecessary wars might be defeated in their goals. They died, that evil might be fought to a standstill and destroyed. They died, that people might say egregiously-stupid things about poppies without being imprisoned. They died, and we live. They died, and we wear poppies once a year.

There is a problem, though, in that as we get further away from the global wars of the past, the memories around them fade. And schools slowly stop teaching about the true causes and costs of war. And the sacrifices of the honoured fallen are gradually pushed to the side, so that generations of people grow up not understanding what happened in the past. Memories fade, and people stop seeing the warning signs of oncoming global conflict, leaving us unprepared in the face of existential threats. Memories fade, and people stop appreciating the freedoms they take for granted every single day, freedoms bought with the blood of young generations, something that today’s young generations don’t want to confront. And they fail to see that the price of those freedoms is eternal vigilance, because there is always someone out there who wants to restrict your freedoms, to control your lives and thoughts. Honouring and supporting a military that is the only bulwark against external threats of that type is about the least you can do. And the simplest way to do that is to wear a red poppy on the left side of your chest for a couple weeks around Hallowe’en. If you feel particularly punchy, you can go for a yellow ribbon as a year-round display. But we must not forget. Or there might come a time when we need the help of the warriors to protect us, but they are not there, and this time, it is we who will die, but there will be no one to remember us.

Posted in general, life, opinion, personal, poetry, politics, stupidity, Writing | Comments Off on Remembrance of Things Past…

Blue

Posted by Keen Observer on April 26, 2013

Reviewing history, excising dross,
Cleansing me of my past.
Feelings of blue, kept inside,
Leak out with each memory.
Just like my eyes.

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Heartbreak 2

Posted by Keen Observer on October 31, 2012

My heart yet quickens at her voice,
The sight of her still thrills.
That ship has sailed, transporting hope,
But the heart wants what it wants.

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Inspiration

Posted by Keen Observer on October 27, 2012

Inspiration both confuses and scares me, and for the same reasons:  I don’t understand it, and I don’t know where it comes from.  And I certainly can’t seem to control it.  In broadest form, I get an idea, whose genesis may be known or unknown.  If the inspiration is poetical, I can barf out a reasonably-good poem in a small number of minutes, but it can take longer, especially if the inspiration isn’t completely formed, or I struggle with some of the concepts that result from the inspiration.  If the inspiration isn’t suited for poetry—or my conception of it—then a different course might take place.  I have had “ideas” or “inspirations” that have resulted in an insane amount of writing from me, quite literally in the hundreds of thousands of words in the aggregate.  Some of this I have never finished and doubt I ever will, and it is unlikely to be shared.  Some inspirations have taken shorter forms—equal to a few typed, single-spaced pages.  Some you have read on this blog.  Some are novels that I can’t seem to get written, where I start to get the idea burning a hole in my head out of my head, but then once the form is out and typed, I can’t seem to sustain interest in the project.

I ran afoul of the ex, because she believed she didn’t inspire me, or inspire me “enough”.  Of course with her, that meant the damage was done, because if I tried to show her how inspired she could make me (and I did), it automatically becomes “you’re just doing that because I brought it up…it’s not real inspiration.”  That sort of reaction was just another nail in our relationship’s coffin, part of the no-win scenario I kept fighting.  But she did inspire me, no matter what she might have thought.  I just couldn’t seem to make her aware of it, and so I stopped trying to show her.

Inspiration, though, strikes me at odd times and places and in unexpected ways.  Hopefully, I can remember enough to get it down later, but sometimes I lose the ideas, to my chagrin.  Sometimes, the inspiration doesn’t pan out.  Those are really annoying, because they are like ear worms you can’t get rid of, and then you finally do, and it’s disappointing.  Those don’t happen all that often, but it’s enough to be annoying.  I try to capture these inspirational ideas in some form so I don’t lose them, but I’m not always successful.  Enough, perhaps.

My latest inspiration is an attractive young lady I know who captured my attention in a very convincing way and without really trying.  As a case in point, earlier today something about her caused an inspirational moment to occur.  When I finally got it down later, it took about five minutes, complete, and with which I am mostly happy.  And that’s just the most-recent one.  It’s still awaiting review, so I won’t post it here yet, but I will show another, wherein I attempted to be clever in sonnet form:

“How do I love thee?” seems at this remove
A trite and hackneyed phrase,
O’er-used o’er centuries past
To enumerate the innumerable.

“Shall I compare thee” similarly
Suffering the sin of familiarity,
Performs the oft-requested duty
Of comparing the incomparable.

The sonnets’ sentiments, though,
Inspire lesser poets to create
Words that fail just as well
To contain the uncontainable.

Your essence is too grand to be defined
By mere words writ within poetic lines.

This one I had to finish in a few attempts, but the basic form was there quickly, but because of the rhyming-quatrain form I had originally chosen, it required more work on my part (I mostly work in free verse), and it was late in the process where I realised that “insulting” Shakespeare’s best-known love sonnets would also be best done as a sonnet, even if it’s not strictly correct in form.

Another inspiration from a few days ago (the preceding formed a couple weeks ago) seemed like an amazing idea in my head, but once I started writing it, I ended up disappointed with the result.  The start was really good, with a nautical metaphor:

Your Soul is my harbour’s beacon,
A promise of safety and solace,
Now nearer, now farther, dimmer,
A constant glow on the horizon.

The course I steer I do not know—
Shoals and banks surround me.
I cannot see stars by which to steer
The path I must follow to your shore,…

Rather than working as I had thought, it unexpectedly quickly became self-piteous and melodramatic in a way I was assuredly not trying to achieve.  There are three more stanzas to this poem, and it took me about ten minutes or so to write out.  I’m not ready to abandon it, but it’s simmering in the back of my mind to see if something can be made of it (I hate discarding my work, even if it is bad).

So, I get inspirations, some of which I really like and are really good (in my opinion).  And occasionally, really long.  But I don’t understand it, and that bothers me somewhat  That’s really all I wanted to say, and that the previous post was about my ex, in case that wasn’t clear.  That, and if you like my posts/writing, you are allowed to comment.  First comment must be approved by me, but then you’re good to go.

Posted in general, personal, poetry, Writing | Comments Off on Inspiration

Heartbreak

Posted by Keen Observer on October 18, 2012

It should’ve been louder, when you left,
A horrid sound for a horrid death,
Trains colliding, a building collapsing,
The universe imploding—or a gunshot
At close range. It hurt enough.
Instead, the door severed your life from mine,
Extinguished dreams, hopes…maybe love,
With a simple, quiet click.

Posted in life, love, personal, poetry, Writing | Comments Off on Heartbreak

Expectation

Posted by Keen Observer on March 12, 2012

Rage and anger
Frustration
+++++annoyed
Small changes
Minor additions
Pillows fluffed
+++++expected
Redressed rooms
Inviolable staging
Afraid to touch
Too much stuff hidden
+++++shocked, no longer my house
But damn, it looks nice

Posted in life, poetry | Comments Off on Expectation

What the Heck Happened?

Posted by Keen Observer on March 2, 2012

I’m not quite sure what happened, here.  This was supposed to be a political blog, of sorts.  Observations about the stupidity I see in the world around me.  Bitching and moaning.  And largely anonymously.  What I certainly did not expect was for this blog to be one of the most personal things I’ve ever done.

I am not by nature a very open person, at least not until I get to know you and build a certain level of trust.  However, recent events have me using this blog as a proxy for a friend.  I don’t entirely understand this, but I’m not rejecting it.  It is possible that in future I may return to more topical matters involving politics or other stupidity.  I may not.  But I am going to try to keep writing and see how long it lasts.

So, expect more of the same.  I will not reveal identities most of the time, but I will be showing more of myself every time I post.  Topics will probably not follow any pattern.  Or maybe they will.  There will be essays like the previous ones, and probably more poetry.  There may be short fiction.  I do doubt that I will be posting a lot of links to articles and offering my opinions on them.  But I honestly have no more idea what’s going to happen here than you do.  I just know that I have to keep writing (something I haven’t really wanted to do in a year).  But hopefully, I won’t make any horrible mistakes.

Posted in general, personal, Writing | 4 Comments »

Chapter and Verse

Posted by Keen Observer on February 12, 2012

I feel an odd inclination to write about writing, since I’ve been doing so much of it lately.  I have a nascent writer’s gene in me somewhere, because when I write, it seems to be because of some sort of internal pressure–which is sometimes caused by reaction to an external stimulus.

I don’t edit a lot when I write, unfortunately.  It tends to bog me down.  But on the flip-side, I generally don’t have to.  Prose comes exceedingly easy to me.  I just get an idea in my head, and it wants to come out.  I can write and write and write, until enough of what was in my head escapes through my fingers to ease the pressure to write more.  Occasionally, I go beyond that to actually finish whatever it was I started.  I can completely understand the witticism that “writers write”, because when the mood is on me, it’s hard to stop, even if nothing publicly-viewable comes from it.  It has almost always been like this for me, too.  Writing papers in high school and university was difficult only in terms of amassing the background I needed to compose the analysis required by the instructor.  I almost always went from rough notes to a finished product, but that could sometimes result in sometimes not getting my analysis quite “correct” (that it was my deficiency rather than the professors’ may be up for debate).  Being able to move to a word processor from a typewriter removed a lot of frustration from my process.

Poetry is different for me.  I would never call myself a poet, but I dabble (I’m a writer who occasionally writes in verse).  I sometimes get flashes of poetic insight, but I seem to be almost solely dependent on some sort of inspirational muse to be able to craft verses.  My poetry tends to the very specific and fails in most cases without some knowledge of the subject on the reader’s part.  And with poetry, of course, a reader may see things in it different from what I intended while writing it.

I used the term “craft” advisedly.  Each poem I write is work.  Notwithstanding the original inspiration, however great it might be, it takes me as much effort to write a 20-verse poem as it does to write 1000 words of prose, with very few exceptions.  I work almost exclusively in free verse, which may make things harder on me, but I find other forms too restrictive for my ideas and visualisations.  I occasionally have created sonnets or haiku, or short rhyming schemes, but for the most part, I prefer the liberty that comes with free verse.  My poems are intensely personal, and their subject matter tends to be pretty focused, so free verse generally works better for me, when I start wrestling with the concepts trying to express themselves through me.  Where I share this with my prose is in terms of taking longer to write than I otherwise should, simply because I’m trying to make sure that the words that end up being read are the ones I intended to be read:  I search for the perfect word or phrase I wish to convey my thoughts most correctly/accurately/succinctly/etc etc.

I tell you this not to brag about my writing skills, but just as a reference should I decide to add poetry to my blog at some point in the future, because each one will have taken me a lot more work than anything else I might post on here.  I don’t want readers to think that I can just whip one out and show it off as easily as I can with anything else I write, and so I attempt to manage expectations.

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