Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"Darling--I seem to have this rabbit"

I changed my mind. Everything needn't have a meaning or purpose....yet even this is thought-provoking, wouldn't you say?

I do love Thurber.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Why of the Written Word

After reading this post on Jesse's blog, and the comments following, I was prompted to curiosity about the purpose of writing in general, and my own purpose for writing in particular. Of the latter, I have yet come to no conclusion...of the former, I have...well...only begun to think, and my thoughts in this direction are as yet small(ish).

Of literature....

"Viewed through this medium, our narrative--into which are woven some airy and unsubstantial threads, intermixed with others, twisted out of the commonest stuff of human existence--may seem not widely different from the texture of all our lives."

--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun

I like that. I think literature ought to provoke thought...and yet also say something. Let us not create without any purpose but to think and to let others' thought progress in any direction from little things we may have said. There ought to be--oughtn't there?--a point, or points, to what we think...should we be aware of them? For once, I am thinking as I speak, rather than waiting to speak until I have thought. This is different, and not altogether pleasing. I have not yet concluded whether it is best to have a distinct purpose to a thought, or merely to let one's perspective infuse the thought so that it may have no specific purpose, but rather a subtle influence. Ought we to reflect life, or to project into it what we see as ultimate ends or certainties or principles? Are we presenting aspects of Truth, of what is essential? Or are we merely drifting in and reporting of and musing upon and analyzing what we presently feel and experience (or have in past felt and experienced)?

Hawthorne seems to say he is merely reflecting life. Yet his portrait-novels (those which I have read) always have a subtle (or not so much subtle) principle behind them. Painted with eloquent artistry, they brilliantly depict humanity and the consequences of sin, the downfall of souls...and redemption. Is this his point, or his viewpoint? Purpose, or perspective? I cannot say.

Neither do I yet know what is mine.

Well, then...

high-pressure thought breaks a vein
and escapes through the late-
night draining
mental effort/exhaustion
Enough. spoken.

Curse this midnight oil. Why does she burn it? What does she want? What could she possibly gain that would profit her more than the sleep she has lost?

All good questions to ponder... and now goodnight.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Of the Essence

Wondering out of words, I think the broom takes precedence in the wold of enlightenment. Dust to dust to damnable hatred. Red is scintillating, breathtaking in its violence. Bodies breaking on the wall, falling--catch them! Diamonds on the water, it's winter, the snow is falling, like suffocation on the frozen earth. Why am I making sense? Come the darkness, tunnel vision, I'm blind and not blind, I see only what is before me. Periphery is closed to me, perception limited by my will. Unveil the horizon! Tear the curtain down! I pause unwillingly, if I let my thoughts fly at will they would never stop and I could make no sense of them, gain nothing. And if I pause I lose them all and gain nothing. Every pause is another turn of the mind down another path. I'm lost, lost in thought--always vague, always metaphor, by me only half-understood. Why am I not making sense? What is the most essential thing? Who could answer that question? Is it the most essential question?
I will ask it...

Clarity. Take the broom, sweep the dust, enlighten me. This mind is a room, this room is covered with disuse. Uncultivated. I cough when I enter it. The broom must take precedence, then the activity. Use. Production for use. Use for productivity. Hatred burns against what is not done, comes violently, beating anger and guilt into my heart, breaking me against my fears, my hesitancy. I'm losing time-- slipping through my fingers, precious time flying eternally past-- a swift river, yet not eternal. Winter slows every movement; time seems irrelevant when everything sleeps-- but everything sleeps in a prison, dormant, kept until it breaks again free, and spring seems to rush the world again. Time never stops, but it seems to sleep in winter. It feels like a respite from constant falling behind. Winter is my season. I like the feeling of protection, security, peace, patience, constancy, rest, deep silence. Like a reverent reverie, and walking under the stars at night finds a thrice crystal reflection in the earth, in the eyes, and in the soul. On the other hand, clear days are more painful with nothing to absorb the brilliance but the eyes. Back to my room. There is a locked desk, and a key in the corner, hidden by a cobweb hung with dust. No windows here, only the backs of tapestries showing French windows leading out into gardens or the sun rising behind Roman columns. In the center of the floor is a small door with a rusted hinge. I know behind the door is brown darkness with a ladder that leads down, down into black darkness in another room with two windows that scarcely open without a thick multicolored filter to distort anything that might escape and shape it into a safer misrepresentation, for the protection of the deepest chamber. But other windows exist...what is generated in this room, coming up from the deepest chamber, is sent out through strange, dark passages between the walls, and words fall, squeezed through suffocation, from hesitant lips, and words fly, spurred by desperation, from eager fingers. It is fervor and fever. It is must and would. I am helpless and hungry. I am hollow. I am hopeful. I am Halle.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


For some odd reason, I am in eager anticipation of my return to school this fall quarter. I found a website that indulges the spirit of anticipation...counting down the time to the last second, if you wish it. Its obliging calculations are as follows:

"From and including: Thursday, August 11, 2005
To, but not including : Monday, September 19, 2005

It is 39 days from the start date to the end date, but not including the end date

Or 1 month, 8 days excluding the end date

Alternative time units
39 days can be converted to one of these units:
3,369,600 seconds
56,160 minutes
936 hours
5 weeks (rounded down)"

Only 5 weeks? "I feel a scream coming on right now--starting right down in my toes, sort of like a tingling sensation. Now it's creeping up around my knees, up my legs, traveling faster and faster and faster--it's in my stomach right now. I'm afraid it's got me...it's going up and up and up and up--here, it's right in my throat...it's fighting to get out; I don't--I can't hold it any longer--here it goes--" (Tony Kirby (Jimmy Stewart), You Can't Take it With You)


It's near--I'm glad of that; but I don't feel prepared...

(Inter/Intra)personal Communication

Hallo, where is everybody? I know I haven't been saying much, but I'd like to know someone's still there anyway...

If you want to know about my life today, it's here. I'm not opening my heart at present, but I'll give you glimpses of my subconscious from time to time...:)

Dreaming. Pretty boring, really. So how is my life? It's challenging, confusing, a constant warring struggle--not even for survival, but for the very will to survive. I get lazy, careless, numb. And then I am called back to my senses, back to order, by some sweet mercy--until I fail again, fall again, curse myself again. And then I hate it when people ask me how I am and mean it...because I have to tell them the truth. And I wish the truth wouldn't always be bleak. But it never does to wait upon movement; movement is not something that does, but something that is done. Move then, silly girl. Little steps...that's it...don't give up...don't rest now, you haven't earned it...just keep moving--

But I don't know where I'm going...

That's because you're looking around at everything, my dear. Find a focal point.


No! The best quality, the most excellent thing. Perfection.

I thought that was unattainable...

Ahem. Should that stop you?

"To reach the unreachable star,
Though you know it’s impossibly high,
To live with your heart striving upward
To a far, unattainable sky!”

“...And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars!”

Ah, well, if you want to find your philosophy on Broadway...
why not

"...Same old story, what's the use of tears?
What's the use of praying if there's nobody who hears?
Turning, turning, turning, turning, turning
Through the years.

Turning, turning, turning through the years
Minutes into hours and the hours into years.
Nothing changes, nothing ever can
Round and round the roundabout and back where you began!
Round and round and back where you began!"

You just can't win, can you? You just don't want to.

Should I?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Of the Wisdom of Bats and Ostriches

Another dream so logically random that I awoke laughing...

I was working, again. I was a courtesy clerk at what seemed like a factory, but I think was meant to be a grocery. The intercom was constantly blaring that assistance was needed in this or that area, and I was apparently the only person expected to give assistance. “We need help in aisle 2,” a voice shouted over the intercom. I hurried toward “aisle 2", which was more or less a conveyor belt on which an assembly line of bakers was kneading, rolling, and shaping dough–and flour abounded, in dust, in piles, in clouds. “No, wait–I’m wrong,” the intercom announced. “Aisle 2 is the bakery aisle. We need help in aisle 9.” I changed course and headed for aisle 9, another conveyor belt, this time loaded with raw red meat–large pieces of what was either beef or horseflesh, and attended by an assembly line of butchers with white aprons stained pinkish in places, wielding large cleavers. None of them appeared to acknowledge my presence, and I was wondering with what they could possibly need my help, until the intercom voice came again. “Hold on, that’s not right either. We need help in aisle 12.” I sighed and turned in another direction. “Aisle 12" appeared to be a classroom, in which a dozen or so scholarly-looking young men and women occupied small desks, on which were thick, navy-blue hardcover textbooks. One of the female students looked up and raised her hand. Dark hair, fashionable glasses, freckles, an attractive, studious look. I felt suddenly uncomfortable, inferior. What was I doing here? She began speaking what may as well have been another language: “Have you ever noticed the intricacies of sea-snails? As is generally known, the spiral of the sea-snail’s shell begins at the interior and widens as it winds outward, its sepia stripes growing larger in proportion with the widening coil.” I nodded sagely, not understanding a word, hoping she wasn’t intending to ask me to add anything to her observations... “Apart from sea-snails, there are other analogies such as staircases, feathers, and starfish, that would lend meaning to our existence if we would only look for it. Our question for you, is however, pertaining to another species. We were wondering–which is wiser–the bat, or the ostrich?”

I was at a loss. This is the biology aisle, I thought. I have never studied biology. But I remembered that I had been warned that I was never to tell a customer that I didn’t know the answer. When I do not know, I must find someone who does. I was just about to tell them that I would ask someone for them, when it occurred to me that I had some general knowledge about bats and ostriches that, if carefully applied, might satisfy their curiosity. So I began:

“Well. Ostriches, as many know, are of the species of birds- that- cannot- fly. Wherefore they must use all the resources at their command in order to exist and survive. They must find sustenance and shelter, and must be able to avoid and protect themselves from predators. Combine this with the knowledge that they must also be able to protect their offspring, when it is yet defenseless and immovable within the egg, and it is quite apparent that the ostrich must be very wise.

“Bats, on the other hand, are blind. They are also, I have heard, deaf. Yet they operate upon a highly-developed form of...” I paused. “...radar detection?” It was a question. Nds was passing behind me, and I turned and asked, “Is that right?” He nodded and disappeared. I turned back to my audience. “Yes, radar detection. They move within the perils of the night, and manage to exist, survive, and reproduce–yet they are totally deaf and blind. Considering this, I put it to you that bats are infinitely wiser than ostriches.”

This is when I awoke, and laughed. “Which is wiser,” I repeated, “The bat–or the ostrich?” I laughed again, wondering how something so perfectly ridiculous could have seemed so sensible while I was asleep.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Today I'm not thinking

I'm not thinking about anything, today. I have some few household duties to perform, and lots to weigh upon/prey upon my mind...at the moment, however, I'm not thinking. I'm still tired from midnight vigils, staying up just to let out my craziest thoughts to keep myself semi-sane.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Stuff of Dreams...Strange Stuff

I saw somebody on another blog post a dream she had, so I thought I'd follow her example--since I haven't had anything interesting to say for a while.
Dreams are strange and interesting. Last night, for the first time in a long time, I actually dreamed.
Or perhaps it is that this morning, for the first time in a long time, I actually remember what I dreamed.

So I'll type it all up before I forget it, that everyone may see what strange things go on in my head while I'm sleeping.

 I dreamed about murder.

I was in a large park, with brilliantly green grass as far as eye could see, except where it was darkened by the shadows of luxurious oaks and firs. Everywhere
people were walking in period dress (I'm not exactly sure what period, but I think roughly Jane Austen), and all seemed lovely and at peace--
but there was an evil presence. An unknown sniper was blowing poison darts at these lovely people (always while their backs were turned), and I could
see large, dark blots appearing on their backs (not always necessarily where the dart had hit), that would grow larger and trickle down in streams of blood
before the people would fall in an agony of contortions and die with foam on their lips. The scene changed to that of a man, a father, on his deathbed.
As his adult children (and I) watched, his eyes rolled up in his head, and the same white foam spilled out of them and from his open mouth. It was horrifying,
and a mystery, because we didn't know who had done it. Somehow the dream progressed, and we found that two of his younger children, who were twins, seemed
to be not as ignorant about the matter as the rest of us--but they weren't speaking. The next thing I remember is a dark room at night. I think I was there with some of the dead man's children, and I said to them, "Maybe we should talk to the twins. I think they know more than most people." (By this I don't think I meant
mere cognisance of the secret behind the mystery...rather I think I felt they were somewhat clairvoyant.) The next moment, the twins were mewing at the door, so I let
them in. The twins were now a pair of charcoal-grey tabby kittens, whose mother was under the bed. I held them for a while, but they wanted to get away to nurse with their brothers and sisters. While they were nursing and purring, I said: "Yes, these twins know more than the others; you see, their siblings think they're just nursing--but the twins know it's really pate de foie gras." I'm sorry, that's just weird. Afterwards, the kitten twins were singing in very cute gender-neutral child voices. Disturbing.

After this, I dreamed about two fiber-optic chameleon spiders that were out to get me. Actually, they were neither fiber-optic nor chameleon--nor even spiders, except originally; but the combination of ideas is the best I can do to describe them. When I first saw them crawling in the bathroom sink, they looked like miniature tarantulas. One had yellowish fuzz on its head and abdomen,and the other red. I wanted to squish them immediately, but my feet were naked, and I couldn't find any weapon with which to squish them before they crawled out of the sink and onto the floor. This was an unwelcome development. Here they could get at my feet. I think one of them did, because I suddenly had a swollen growth on the smallest toe of
my right foot. As I watched, these spiders (which had now morphed into long, thin beetles--though they were still spiders, of course) changed color. One was a pale blue with a yellow head and a red wavy stripe down its back, the other yellow with a pale blue head and a black stripe...but the spiders changed color slowly, continually, as though they were fiber-optic. Their backs and heads would fade from yellow to blue to yellow, and the stripes changed color, too--although I never saw them change color, I knew they did. I made a move toward the spiders to frighten them, and one climbed onto some pipes and changed into a brown chameleon color (this one looked like a spider again). However, on the floor remained now two spiders, who were making runs at my bare feet. Placing one hand on the wall and the other on the bathroom counter, I lifted myself off the floor-- but I knew I couldn't
stay that way for long....Presently my mother happened by, and asked what I was doing. I told her about the spiders, and their fascinating way of changing color. She asked me why I didn't just squish them.

I think I woke up then, because I don't remember anything more.

I laughingly challenge anyone to interpret these.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Waking up
Fumble at the cup
Blind lips breathing steam
Breaking dream

Creaking stairs
Musical as chairs
Worry deepens dim
Thinking him

Brown and gold
Tangles catch and hold
Stare into my eyes
Dark as lies

Scratching thought
Earned and borne and bought
Silent flows the sand
Moves the hand

Rise again
Laying down the pen
Burying the face
To erase

Drawing close to me
Closer than I dared

Sweetest bliss
This and this and this
Never once again
Now and then

Fly the deep
Boundary of sleep
Dream is all I had

Leaving more
Passing out the door
Fearing now that I’m
Out of time

Cover up
Emptier than cup
Bittersweetest friend
Make an end

Newcome faith
Breaking on a wraith
Dips into a spin
Out and in

Somewhere near
Far away from here
It might be arranged
Something changed

Come again
I can’t tell you when
Hours, days, or years
Blessings, fears

Cast-down glove
I could face your love
And with greater grace
Love your face

Pounding head
Calls me from my bed
Spreading through my feet
Rhythm beat

Dim routine
Travel where I’ve been
Sun, moon, sun, moon, sun
Over, done

Give it sway
Let it have its way
Turning day to night
Gray to white

Flying fast
Try to make it last
Wishing it would dress


I love them. Mine, that is. All of them. I just wanted them to know that. It's a feeling, it's a sense of safety and comfort and gratitude and just wanting them to be happy. It's a fact. Thanks to everyone. I love you all.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Prophecies Self-fulfilled

Depression is a progressive disease with results that are more far-reaching and long-lasting than one would expect. When you hate yourself, you start thinking everyone must hate you. When you think that way, you react defensively, treating them as your enemies. Those who are treated as enemies for long enough will likely become what they are perceived to be. A self-fulfilling prophecy, a damaging disease. It wastes away love...even if the ties are strong enough to survive, they survive wounded and confused. They never meant to be the enemy. They can't understand why you're running away, why you're keeping them at a distance, why you're so angry at the smallest things. I don't know anymore who I was or am or how to be who I should be. I don't know if I ever knew. I'm the child who never grew up, only halfway grew up--and each half doesn't know what to do with the other.

She's lost, again and again.

Dear God, alone saving, give strength to the weakest, wisdom to the blindest of fools. I don't know where to go but You, and I'm forever fleeing my only refuge. I think I'm afraid I won't hear You if I listen, or I won't obey You if I hear. I think I'm just afraid, always. Of everything. Help me to be afraid of nothing, no one but You.

Reconcile me. To You, to everyone.

Do I believe You will? If that's what is meant by amen...

I know all Your prophecies are self-fulfilled. Amen.

Monday, July 04, 2005


I pledge allegiance today...
To God above country,
Joy above sorrow,
Continence above indulgence,
Prudence above thoughtlessness,
Humility above arrogance,
Work above idleness,
Purpose above aimlessness,
Firmness above irresolution,
Courage above fear,
Freedom above slavery,
Law above freedom,
Duty above law,
Love above duty.


Happy Independence Day! For love of and gratitude for our country-- or for a good excuse to make noise, throw parties, get drunk, and play with fire in the dark, we declare today a holiday. We'll sing America the Beautiful and pledge allegiance to the flag. Maybe. Or maybe we'll just make noise, get drunk, and watch the colored lights when the sun goes down. As for me, I'll probably do nothing. Other than watching the pyrotechnics tonight with some friends and family...maybe, I'll just be staying home today with my gratitude and allegiance. My brother doesn't agree with the pledge. He thinks it is an insidious implication of idolatry of one's country or flag above all other obligations--specifically, above God. I tend to agree with his fiancee, that it is merely a statement of loyalty to one's country as opposed to loyalty to other countries or to the enemies of one's country, or as opposed to professed hatred of one's country whilst living in it and enjoying its privileges. As far as allegiance goes, no one is assuming that it means to subject oneself to be obedient to one's country above all other things, mindlessly pledging oneself to follow come what may-- else who even among the patriots would whisper that pledge? We all have our allegiances. Some pledge allegiance to family, some to self and character, some to the service of suffering humanity, some to wealth and pleasure, some to God, some to something different every year. As for me, I don't think enough about where my loyalties lie...so I'll ask you. What's your allegiance?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

This morning: I read it, and down to my soul I was troubled. Every instance, everything I could not answer, weighed heavily upon me. Not a smile, this morning. I sought the comfort of work. Put my hands to a task. Try to keep my mind on my--

It's physical, this trouble. But it's something preventable, not like the last. Does it truly rest on my shoulders--will everything rest upon whether I make the right decision? Is it possible for me to make the right decision? Everywhere I turn I see nothing but trouble, trouble, and more trouble. Nothing I do is or can be the right thing. I feel somehow, though I'm sure I feel wrongly, that this is something I control. Something that is mine to answer, and no other can help me. Not like the last...

The last...there was nothing I could do. My heart was heavy, someone was dying, there was nothing I could do. I found my thoughts on this in an old notebook:

I try to keep my mind on my work. I must do this;it must be done now, or it may never be done. Something is coming that has been coming for a long time, something that will change many things, perhaps even me. I feel the weight of my heart, pulling me to my knees. Ah, but I cannot weep now; I must finish my work. Hands gripping the broom, my eyes follow the dust I sweep from every corner. Would that I could sweep the dust from my faith as easily! Comfort is found in exertion, in putting things in order. A grey veil settles on my mind, a shelter against the inevitable thoughts that would torment my waiting. Peace. Sorrow will come soon enough. The telephone rings--the expected clamor still an assault on my fragile calm. The words come; I hear and answer, surprised by my composure. Everything is quiet, my heart pulsing in a universe of its own. I hear nothing more clearly than my own blood. The thing has come; now I must go to face it. I place the telephone gently on the receiver. I make myself ready. Physically, all is in order. Eyes still open, I extract a prayer from my benumbed soul. It seems dead, a portent for the day's outcome...

I am home again. I did grieve, when the moment came. We all did. The room was rife with sorrow. What of this moment? I am dry and dead...

I pace into my chamber. The service is over; I had no tears. I lie down with my weighty grief, turn my face into my pillow. Now it comes--a prayer falls, with tears. Sobs twist me, crumble me. It's over--it lasted such a short time. This will, indeed, change many things. Will anything change me?

Now, I have forgotten all but this: I try to keep my mind on my work.

Friday, July 01, 2005

There's glory in these fingertips
Not mine, not for my own
There's power in the fear that grips
My mind when I'm alone
There's wisdom in the soul that bares
Its horror to the cross
There's honor in the flesh that wears
Humility and loss
There's holiness in ordinate
Supremacy of God
To hate the insubordinate
Yet rescue them with blood
To love the insubordinate
And rescue them with blood

A Purpose for Everything

What's yours? What's mine? If I told you what I think it is, would you believe me? If I told you that I felt if I actually told you what I believe it is, I would merely be reciting catechism--would you be horrified? It feels like hypocrisy, and yet I don't doubt its truth. Neither do I doubt the truth of what I believe--yet because of my hypocrisy, I doubt whether I truly believe it.

What does it mean to glorify God? I know what it certainly doesn't mean--to seek my own comfort and glory, to seek to put to rest all misgivings about the way I live my sorry life. It doesn't mean to be fearful of every change, to see danger even in the mundane. It means a risk and a security. A laying down of one's life for God's service, and a knowledge that even should one perish, that life is secure in His keeping, and no conceivable power can snatch it away.

It means a daily sacrifice of all that I want to all that He asks. It means a discipline of my entire self to be subject and devoted to the Lord of glory. It means perfect slavery and perfect freedom. It means glorious defeat and eternal victory. It means I am nothing and He is all.

It means...I'm choking on my pride. Defeated by my raging desires. Glory to me! I will rule!

...For what purpose? My flesh has no answer to that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


= despicable. Sometimes I think all I want to do is indulge in my emotions. I like extreme. It lets me feel alive. But my more prudent intellect won't let me do that. I don't want to be extreme. It makes me feel a fool. I want to be fervent, focused, and fenced in. So I pour my extremes into the medium of poetry and let it fly in the terrible deluge of my emotion. This is the only indulgence I will allow, my desperate creativity. Thank God for letters to spell my character.


I was thinking today that maybe I should stop. I'm not really saying anything significant--what am I doing here? Possibly I'm simply mingling with the company I know here, and taking advantage of a means to keep from drifting away from everybody. In that case, I'd better stay. For one so inclined to seclusion, anything that slows her slipping is probably good. Unless y'all want me to leave...

Should I stop?

Monday, June 27, 2005


I wonder...if everyone knew all our secrets, would we all be broken or relieved? Probably.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

What if...?

I worry too much. Why is it that I can't breathe, I feel almost guilty-- as though I am doing something on which society should frown? I can't face anyone until I'm 'safe'--and then I can meet their eyes--all but one person's. Perhaps because my soul knows that it is guilty--that it is doing something of which it disapproves.... It wonders whether it is following this path simply because it is temporarily and comparatively easy, because it delights in the moment, the occasional peace, the haven it finds--and yet it knows that it is disinclined to permanence. It wanders lonely and often, because it is safer that way. Or so it thinks. Nothing is ever safe. This may indeed be the greater danger, wavering on the brink--and then--- No! No! Abandon it! Oblivion awaits...drown it in dreams of nothing. Don't ask anyone to save you. Don't rely on words to dispel your fears. My mind is frenetic, constantly asking "What if...?" Wait--- Today is beautiful. Today is beautiful, but it hurts. Peace, peace....speak your thoughts. Don't hold your breath. It's just for today. Yes, but that's why the guilt. Because I do fear, a little--but not as much, because I know it's just for today. Because I don't have to think beyond that. Because I don't have to dare. Because I think if I did, I wouldn't. Because of this, my soul is saddened and guilty.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Sometimes I feel my heart to ascertain if it is there
And has not vaporized with inattention or despair
And sometimes I can feel it, and I touch it to contain
The pulsing and convulsing and the frothing, aching pain
And often, like the minister, I find my fingers pressed
To cover the iniquity burned scarlet on my breast.

Undone, undone, undone! The minister has left his knees,
The closet of his chamber dark and heavy with his pleas
And bloody with the guilt transferred from depths of burdened soul
Upon a nightly scourge, a penance never paid in full
O minister! Give me thy scourge--lest I should longer brood
On guilt without a consequence, I heal myself with blood!

So tender is the flesh that bears the beating in the dark
So frightened is the mind that it forbears to disembark
From thinking of the horror that it fears may come at last
The moment that it dares to hope the horror may have passed
Insidious inner maelstrom drinks my soul with turgid greed--
Too recent last my scourging, touch my heart and it will bleed.

Always and that is life which breaks me open to their eyes
But death in me will cancel light and close me up with lies
When daily suffocation drives my bitterness too deep
And nightly meditation has been sacrificed to sleep
Then to my saddened soul what haunting vision should appear
But this: that fear is all I love, and love is all I fear.

But I Regress

I found today that last quarter I lost my momentum. Did I truly stop caring? My lowest grades since I have begun this journey---3.1 in Precalculus II. That was a blow, but one I'm sure I fully deserved. 3.5 in Interpersonal Communications. I have never done so badly before in a class that required composition. The problem, as always, was that it also required speech. Another blow, equally deserved. I think I was giving up again. Sometimes I wonder if I've been giving up all along. I know people who stress the importance of belief in one's future--often my future seems a mere myth. It's strangle to relate, I suppose, but it's a fact. I can't remember a time in my entire life when I truly--I mean realistically--believed that I had a future. It's always been a blurry, far-off, unattainable thing. A place I'll never reach. A home I'll never find. A confidence I'll never fully know. Hope is arbitrary, coming and going at its will. O heaven! Not here again! Why should I be too weak to fight my own despair? Why ever should I despair? Simply because nothing ever seems to change? The simple answer to that is that I don't strive to change anything. One moment while I turn viciously on this fool. THOU FOOL! How do I hate thee? One moment, let me count the ways...STOP! Slink not away from me, thou pitiful pretentious soul. No farther! No. Thou wilt hear these words.

Wherefore dost thou flee the light, thou slinking worm, thou herald of blight?
Seest thou not that hope is fair? Pursue thou hope; fly foul despair!

I think I do not understand that it is necessary to chase after hope to keep myself from falling. Do I tire so easily that hope is forever just beyond my reach? Or is it simply that I prefer to avoid hope because despair is an easier road? Easier, and far more destructive.

It is time to stop falling and walk again. Have I the strength and courage? Have I the ambition to cast off these self-dealt blows and stand once again? It's been so long...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

War Words

To war, to war! I march upon the world
Master of nothing, directing the cast-off overflow of my soul
Forming their structure as I spit them, retch them, weep them
And almost from the womb, I thought before my death, someday--
These words will tell me who I am

To battle, blood! I fight against my flesh
That I might master it enough today to give it up tomorrow
Come slavery, servitude, obedience, welcome
The blood I carried with me from the womb is washed away
And scars fade in death and freedom


My feet don't hurt. I played badminton and croquet and got turned down for another job. Opportunity for employment. Whatever it is you call that nonsense. I just have to stop telling people I'm going back to school in September, that's all. For one reason or another, they all want people who can work full-time indefinitely---or who have more experience than I have. It's highly unfortunate for me, however...but somewhere there must be something. It is a matter of must. It will be because it must be, and there's an end to it.

So today... I'm thinking again. I'm thinking that life looks more hopeful now that the power is back on. Yesterday the world was shaken by a powerful wind, and the lights (not to mention everything else in the house not run by batteries) faded slowly out--with lots of dramatic flickering. We were told we might not have power until tonight, so my mother and two of my brothers left to take showers at the church....

Two minutes later....

The lights came on.

(grin) Life looks more hopeful today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Confessions of a Full-fledged Mountain-raised Hick

Today my feet are sore and blood-blistered. Yesterday they went through extensive, intensive "re-training" on a gravel road. I thought it was time I reinforced the leather-like quality of the underside of my feet. I like them to be impervious to pain, so that on certain days when the weather is too extreme to support the wearing of shoes, I can survive without them. Before yesterday's retraining session, my feet were only semi-sensitive to the gravel. They could handle it--walking. Unfortunately, I went a step too far. I was running, and more than once I misjudged my landing point and came down too hard on a few rocks of the not-entirely-or even-remotely-smooth persuasion. Thus my semi-invalid state today. Now I can't wear shoes. They hurt more than gravel. I had to drive barefoot today. Yes, I admit with pride: I AM a hick. My sister may refer to hicks, rednecks, hillbillies and the like with a tone of disapproval, as though they are lower life forms, but I say: (Aside from the fact that she is one herself--however much she tries, she can't get away from it--nyah-hah-hah!) Long live diversity! Hurrah for hicks and hillbillies! May they live forever!...and so there. Ouch. My feet hurt.


As someone recently said to me, he enjoys using the word 'o' whenever possible. I agree, it is an enjoyable word...

O glorious day

O for a muse

O human-becoming

O darn it. (Sorry, couldn't help it--grinning gleefully).....

O heaven! O to be free! O for the wings to fly!

O. It's a jolly good word. Ripping, you might say.

Monday, June 20, 2005

That said...

So if I meant
To write some words
To say some things
To make you smile
Or if my thought
Was to present
A picture of
A part of me
Or if I wished
To part my lips
And speak my mind
And found it void
Until, until
I found this page
This white and clear
Inviting void
Where I could spill
My slowest thoughts
Then here and thus
I would and do
Speak all I wish
To speak in prose
And poetry
And all I know
And do not know
To you

A promise

I hereby swear that, if I can restrain myself, at least every other entry will be in prose.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

On Becoming Human

Inspired by a modern philosopher of English...and by my own state of mind.

O human-becoming, I wonder indeed
What is it that sets you in desperate need
Of someone to tell you that all that you do
Is coincidental, and therefore untrue?
O halfway-to-human, supposing you were
The product of God, if that’s what you prefer
Instead of good time..still, I think that your soul
Is partially empty, and therefore unwhole.
O helplessly human, yet suffering less
Than helpless humanity, would you possess
The key to your being? Much must be begun–
But you are obdurate, and therefore undone.

Another Entry Not in Prose

My speech. Sometimes this is the only way I can fully explain what I'm thinking. I'm afraid many of these posts will find their expression in poetry rather than prose....I think I like its ambiguity. I can be obscure; I don't have to explain myself clearly and intelligibly.


Once again I am constrained to think;
My mind retreats and cowers from the mention of exertion.
Should I begin to stumble on the brink
Of sanity, and overfed complacency – conversion
Of truth to idle fancy – , I should sink
Into the depth I once would not approach without coercion.

Once again I am obliged to move;
My members shift but little, and at this they voice objection
Should I remain unbroken, I should prove
The weakness of my will, and also that of my affection:
This travesty I sometimes call my love,
Between which and its Object there is little real connection.


I've had enough. I probably haven't, really; but I think I have. It's good enough for me. I can't open a hole in this little brain wide enough to see through clearly. Is there time enough to discover truth enough by which to live? More. I want more. More than enough. Don't mind me; I'm just wishing... Three wishes. Fairy-tales. Never, never, never enough. I lived in fairy-tales. I wanted my life to be that simple, that beautiful. I hid from it. Life is but a dream. A dream! That's no life!--But that was mine. It's not enough.

Everyone thought I was odd. I knew I was. I admired them, but I knew I couldn't be that normal. They tried to help me; I kept running away from their kindness until they finally left me alone. Alone. Then I knew how hopeless that was. Always outside, wishing somehow to scratch the surface, to break through the mirror into reality. I could see love, but I couldn't touch it. I didn't know how to do anything real. Me, I was nothing. An actress. I still hate that child as much as I pity her, if not more. Heavens, this is too raw to be public. --Yet this is an experiment to see if I have thoughts, and if these are my only thoughts... maybe someday they'll be different. Maybe someday they'll be enough.

Dearth. That's all I feel. This person is too small to accomodate anything as large as life. So when am I going to stop trying? Isn't that why we surrender into obedience, submission? Isn't the realization of our evil and emptiness the impetus that drives us to our knees, to our faces in perfect weakness and repentance, broken before holiness? Why am I still raging to rule? I know all too well that is impossible for me; and still I am not broken-- only diseased, wounded, crazed. Is there no end to this all-consuming hatred? What in the name of heaven will break me, if nothing yet has done so? Bleed me dry. Destroy this flesh. Blessed are the meek. Oh, how blessed are they. Enough.


I feel like being immature today. Sometimes, my past returns to haunt me...and I shake it off with a shudder of horror. I almost know who I am. I might know who I want to be. I'm terrified of who I've been and who I might become. Mostly I just want to be at peace with all of the aforementioned, and at peace with God.

Why is it I reopen wounds for pleasure from the pain?
Is misery my deepest joy, is loss my greatest gain?
But soft, my heart! Thou canst not know what love and life might be
While thou art spent in raging at thy self-taught misery--
Nay, law shall bind and break thee; liberty shall set thee free.

How dare I to suppose that I am great when I am small?
That I deserve to hope, that I deserve to live at all?
Lie still, thou coiled serpent-mind; breathe not thy breath on me--
Thy poison shall not be my wine, nor bread thy enmity.
O pity! Savior, pity! Heal my soul of leprosy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

This will be me during my precalculus test at 9:30.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


It’s been a longish while since I last saw fortune smile
Or since last I met a truly happy muse
Most think invention trickles from the poison and the prickles,
Which means poets must perpetually bruise
I hate to think it’s true, some may believe my thoughts are gruesome
But the implication striking me with fear
Is that the muse of sorrow might be here and gone tomorrow
But for my eternal strife to keep it here
My soul is what my soul is, and it lowers the portcullis
Fast against the unfamiliar and unknown
The walls remain unbroken, but the smallest of a token
Of a bribe could well endanger any throne
My mind is stirred and muddied and my paper torn and bloodied
With the vehemence of thought and with the ink
That’s pulsing through my veining and methodically draining
From my heart into my penning as I think
It’s slow, convulsive dying and my fingers are implying
That the time has come to end the sorry farce
They tremble with the passion curving them to force and fashion
Alternating morbid hatred and remorse
The raven haunts me pertly, whether subtly or overtly
As a rigid shadow hopeless to defuse
It’s never my intention to usurp this fine invention
Though it lends its jawed projections to my muse
And, like the shadowed creature, I am bending ev’ry feature
Of the light into the darkness of my words
Unleashing temporary warbles from a weak canary
I am caged the blackest, bloodiest of birds
Come hear my singing, singing; see my soul come winging, bringing
Generosity upon the human race
Dig deeply to my nothing and return with utter loathing
Or with pity on my solitary face
I promised something better than a prison and a fetter
But the chains are worn in darkness out of sight
The sting is where the balm is--keep the fetter, break the promise
Sleep the day in dream, awaken to the night
Cry mercy to begin me, I can find no courage in me
And I’m wading through a formula of life
Disquiet overtakes me and defeat unduly breaks me
And I find that my philosophy is rife
With humanistic pleasure and with holes of ev’ry measure
And what truth remains is difficult to find
But mixed with blood and bruises and subjected to the muses,
Truth invents a paragon of poet-kind.

Monday, June 13, 2005

it's true

i don't want to be here. I truly don't. I think I have nothing to say...yet I figure the only way I can find out whether or not I have anything to say is to begin saying some things. So I shall begin in this way, the only way I have spoken openly all my life.

I have what might be defined as the soul of a poet. Reclusive. Introverted. Extremely so. I strive toward excellence in my meager scribblings, but always find them to be no more than that--meager scribblings. I can fool myself for a while, but in the end I know it's only a lot of paper. Rubbish. And my soul is written on the pages--glimpses of it, pictures of it, representations and misrepresentations--that which I see or think I see, and most of all that which I cannot see and long to see. It's all here or there or nowhere. That--this--is my speech. For now. Someday I wonder, will I blink out of this cave into the sunlight? I don't want to be here, and for now I really don't want anyone to know I am here. My words, I think, count for nothing. What can they do? They serve only to explain what is, or to fabricate what is not. I know so little...of what can I speak?

No, i don't want to be here.