Inner-Space

poetry

Not limited to
three dimensions

Not limited to
photons

Not limited to
this

black
hole

disappointment

Not limited to
gravity

parabolas

Not limited to
correct trajectory.

Not limited to
this

comet
tail

excitement

Exceeding
Six-hundred-and-seventeen-million
miles an hour.

Not limited.

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Reflections on Rochester

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Pain, absolution, pain, catharsis.
chasing that high:
tension, release.
Resist, surrender–
The exhilaration of experience:
an object of desire so abundantly meaningful…
elevated close to total importance
to the extent that the pleasure of longing for it sometimes exceeds the pleasure of obtaining it.

A wise person once said that love can be defined as “the acute awareness of the impossibility of possession”
This is true.
I skirt along the border of attainment,
feeling the thrill of nearly
and the ecstasy of almost.

A Cinematic Forgetting

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Whenever I’ve been engrossed in a good movie or TV show and the credits finally roll, there’s a moment of shock when I return to my immediate reality. It seems like I had been in a completely different time and space; like I had been in the movie. When it’s all finished and I look around me then and see the room I’ve been in, there’s that jarring moment when I remember who and where I am. I’d like to call this a cinematic forgetting.

Being in a completely new environment, a fantastic and inviting environment, I’ve been disappointed in myself when I walk around with headphones, as I often do. I play the music and it’s like I’ve superimposed my own soundtrack onto something else… I’ve disengaged with the environment as-it-is to create a highly personalized and explicitly constructed version of the environment. I was walking to the grocery store listening to whatever it was… “Alone” by Singularity? I was somewhere in my periphery: the recently rained-upon cement and the asphalt roadside, but nowhere in particular… in a music trance. And suddenly a confetti-storm of brilliant yellow leaves fell and swirled from the high trees. I looked up and realized that there was a present moment. I stopped in awe of them. What is kind of sad and ironic is that I didn’t take my headphones off and then I proceeded walking and wondered what the swirling leaves must have sounded like. I think I relished in imagining what they would have sounded like more than listening to what they actually sounded like. And then I felt like a narcissist; like my version of the leaves could have been in some way better than the leaves themselves. I realized that I’m in the habit of indulging a cinematic forgetting. And then I realized that,  perhaps by way of technology and our own unavoidable zeitgeist, we have all come to prefer a cinematic forgetting to what is immediately before us.

THEN I realized that by lamenting the current state of affairs, I was falling prey to nostalgia… like there was an earlier time without technology when we all engaged in the present moment. No, no. If it wasn’t headphones, then certainly is was just plain old egotism. A hyperactive intellect or a hyperactive self-consciousness or other preoccupation that prevented people from being aware of/connecting with their present. It would have been the same egotism without the sexy ubiquity of glamorous music and glamorous headphones. Sexy people selling them to us.

If we attribute our disengagement with our present moment and our environment to some other construct like capitalism, or late capitalism, or you name it, then we’re missing the point entirely. Call me a hopeless Romantic, but I think the Individual still needs to take responsibility for their disengagement. We do have the ability to take headphones off… or, we still have the ability to love yellow leaves despite headphones. It is still a possibility to decline our egotistic superimpositions and embrace or remember the present moment. To embrace the other. We don’t have to be fundamentally egotistical beings. But we can be if we really want to be. I’m not saying it’s universally correct to decline the cinematic forgetting. But I propose that there is a great deal of beauty in the experience of uniting with immediacy and now. Perhaps moderating cinematic forgetting and yellow leaves makes for an everyday balanced diet.        

The Pursuit of Beauty and Opalescence

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In a letter to his brothers in December 1817 John Keats said, “The excellence of every Art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeables evaporate from their being in close relationship with Beauty & Truth.” While conceptions of Beauty and Truth have changed a great deal, and while these categories or no longer generally understood to be universal, I can’t help but agree with Mr. Keats. Perhaps when one discovers Beauty and Truth in art, they are experiencing their own culturally or ideologically constructed version of Beauty and Truth, but there is a timelessness in this construction. If one is to refute the universality of Truth and Beauty in terms of historicisms or constructions along lines of class, gender, or race, then fair enough. But I think you can take all of those things into account in conceiving of Truth and Beauty as eternal… perhaps not fixed as Plato would have them,.. eternally in flux, maybe. But eternal nonetheless. And categories nonetheless. Notions of Truth and Beauty will always exist. Maybe my reader will prefer, allow or even entertain the notion of a fixed and absolute Beauty & Truth. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that a) I’ve done my tiresome academic caveat and b) Truth and Beauty will be considered.

My love of literature is constantly reinvigorated by moments of wonder when I am made speechless— wordless and profoundly silent— by a brief brush with Beauty and Truth. I almost want to describe this experience further, but I don’t. Because I feel wordless about it. I imagine that most people have had at least vaguely similar experiences. It’s partially why art is… kind of a thing. Because it effects us. Today I would like to give you an example of one of these moments I had yesterday.
So YEAH, opalescence.
First of all, savor that WORD. Mmmm. Taste it, hear its liquidity, and feel its rich and luminous sheen wash over you.
I was reading a fascinating and actually quite eerie Gothic novella by George Eliot entitled The Lifted Veil. But there, amidst the dark and strange was this:
“The opal was my favorite stone, because it seems to blush and turn pale as if it had a soul.”

There is was. Truth and Beauty. Played upon my imagination in its own happy (and disruptive) way.

Just thought I’d share.