Umbrellas Hasten Alone

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There was drizzle and wind, biting. Wintery plague of frost descends upon streets, dense. Crowded with people, bustling. Bodies adrift with fixed stare upon feet, inhaling. Scent of wet concrete, exhaling. Clouds of breath into the cold, evaporate. Umbrellas flower open in array, colorful. Each unaware of the other’s beautiful display, alike. And individuals they will be, oblivious. As cells in a vein, umbrellas hasten alone. They cross the street and rush down the sidewalk in solitary tandem, circulating. 

Sonnet for a Wish

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I know I should aim to keep things current, but I guess I’m feeling a bit lazy working on my academic stuff and so I’m digging up old stuff to bide my time. This is “Sonnet for a Wish” I wrote a couple of years ago.

What more amorous nips may we have known
And fingertip-warm grazes we’d have found
If for another hour that darkness shone
O darkness all-consuming and profound.

What more intoxicating breath be drawn
And your proximity so close remain
If only this phantasm survived dawn
O Sing to me indulgence, a refrain.

What quickening pulse could have o’ertaken
And made one eventide a lifetime long
If our Love the world had not forsaken
O lament our moment’s unsung song

Such moment isn’t now; ne’er to finish
Perpetually bound within a wish.

Found Poem: The SHAPE of Keats

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I “wrote” this found poem a few years ago by combining articles in SHAPE magazine with the opening lines of Keats’ Endymion.  

             A thing of beauty
            15 seconds to sexy gorgeous hair;
            is a joy forever
            NEW! The lightweight makeup
            Its loveliness increases,
            That blends away
            it will never
            pores and…
            Pass into nothingness

One Drink at a Time

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I wrote the following on my first day in the UK; alone at a hotel restaurant I contemplated my surroundings…
In Europe, if you order a soft drink you only get one. No free refills. Just one drink at a time. Knowing this, it was remarkable how much slower and deliberate I was when going about eating my meal this morning.
Also, when you’re traveling everything seems so much more real and immediate. The unfamiliar excites.
More so than usual, I am so happy to be surrounded by humans. Humans from so many parts of the world. A milieu of many varied tongues. I’m sitting here, crossing Brooklyn ferry and admiring each leaf of grass. I’m strolling through book 7 of The Prelude.
In China, I guess it’s rude to finish all of your meal because it implies that the host has not given you sufficient food. Of course, in the west it’s polite to finish all your food because it implies that the Host’s meal was delicious. I’m feeling Chinese today.

Shelley’s “Defence of Poetry” (1821)

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Here’s a snippet of Shelley’s “Defence of Poetry” [sic]. Scholars could have a field day stripping it of its presumptuously universalizing magic. 
But let’s just take a moment to revel in it for what it is: a thing of beauty (as Keats might say).  

“A poem is the very image of life expressed in its eternal truth… the creation of actions according to the unchangeable forms of human nature, as existing in the mind of the Creator, which is itself the image of all other minds… universal, and contains within itself the germ of a relation to whatever motives or actions have place in the possible varieties of human nature…
A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.”

Dark and Deep

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It has been suggested that we are essentially inter-textual creatures (humans). We are, really. When we communicate with people we don’t usually produce anything purely original but rather make reference to other things (or texts); we play with these other texts or reintroduce them, reinvent them, explore them. When we speak with one another, we’re even usually inter-textual within ourselves… that is, we draw upon our own anecdotes or memories/experiences (as texts) in order to communicate. To make a point, we will– often rather than make a pure argument– merely refer to something else that will imply our meaning. Often we don’t even fully understand what our own “argument” or meaning is when we communicate with one another… often we just convey the fragments of our meaning by way of inter-textual reference. Our unconscious seems to operate intertextually in this regard: referring to memories (previous narratives) in order to alert us to… whatever its meaning/message is.
We are linguistic animals. Except, though, when we have mystical experiences during which wordlessness will often ensue. That is the moment of animal transcendence… the moments of de-languaging.
Anyway, from the following beautiful collection of quotes we may be able to infer an intertextual relationship. And they– at least for me– serve the paradoxical purpose of at once communicating their inter-textual meaning and taking me to the threshold of wordlessness. Additionally, their consistent theme and imagery may speak to the trouble of sifting through the fragmentary, inter-textual nature of our unconscious… emerging from places within us, dark and deep.
If none of that was particularly interesting or compelling, then I yield my time to the following authors. Enjoy the beauty:

“‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.”
–Shakespeare, Hamlet Act III.i

“The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing”
-John Milton, Paradise Lost

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
-Robert Frost, “Stopping by woods on a snowy evening”

Footnote 3:
“What dreams may come both dark and deep
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep”
-Anthony Silvestri, lyricist for Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep”