Thursday, June 18, 2015

Maybe I should have been a Poet

I have been told that I am a dark person—that my sense of humor is morbid and macabre. I can also be somewhat inappropriate; and, on occasion, just plain rude and mean without realizing. My mouth says what it wants, without considering the repercussions of its actions. My birthright.

Now, me as a writer is not much different, minus the rude. Much of my writing focuses on characters losing touch with reality, murder, death, and just the unhappy aspects of living. One of the first stories I ever wrote involved a husband murdering his wife to create the philosopher’s stone (an alchemy thing). I hadn’t intended on the story progressing that way, it just happened. The majority of my writing turns out in a similar manner, for whatever reason.

Turns out, I’ve been this way since I was a child.

No, I didn’t write when I was younger. I didn’t read, either. All my writing and reading experiences from elementary through high school consisted of the minimal work necessary to pass my classes. That was it.
A few months ago I discovered two pieces of writing from seventh grade:

I then learned after reading there that my . . . odd perspective on life is not an adult evolution, but some genetic anomaly ingrained since birth.

For the sake of concision, I’m not putting up every poem from these two collections, there are just too many terrible terrible terrible poems, like my acrostic poem for Matt:

Matt was
The Olympic

That’s not even a poem. I don’t know what that is.

Also to note, the only poetry I read as a child was by Shel Silverstein. So there’s that.

if you can’t read the poem in the picture, I’ve typed it out following each picture)

There was a creature named Bobby,
he liked to eat frogys,
he eats them up,
all like a pup,
and that's a creature hobby.

Dragons fly through the air,
going place to place.
Spurting out fireballs,
always in your face.
When they're going by like Dragonflies,
they won't hit you in the face.
Shouting out their fireballs,
they'll tare down the whole place.

I was walking through the house,
I heard a mouse, and the came running
after. I grabbed the cat, gave it a wack,
and he ran to the door.


There was a little monster
his name was Fred Onster
he scares you away,
in some hay,
and that's [why] he is a monster.

It's creeping up into the day
killing it all the way
and the night comes to stay.

Do you ever think as the day goes by,
that you may be the next to die?
You could [be] hit by a car,
or smashed with a bar.
So could you be the next to die?

You're in the middle of a town,
far into the future. Cars glide on air
like planes in flight. Buildings tower overhead
with big holographic signs on top for all
to see. People don't look the same with different
styles of clothes and shoes. Above, planes
go faster than imaginable, skateboards and rollerblades
are replaced with hoverboards and rocketblades.
Home has finger scan plates on door[s] to prevent
robbery. Behind this wonderful places is a wat.
Lasers, planes, missiles, and explosions light the hill.
Isn't so pleasant, is it? 

Gasp of thankfulness
his father was still unharmed.
Emory sitting in a chair,
facing two strangers
pointing their guns at his chest.
Jeff's mother pleading them not to

I saw boredom clearly,
She was slender and unrested.
She turned and slowly walked toward me.
I saw her white skin and bloodshot eyes
And heard her mumble to her self
And I felt sorry.


There was a guy named Ed.
His best friend was Fred.
they liked to go sledding on
cold winter days,
flying [off] jumps in all of the ways.
Doing flips, twirls, spins, and other
things like them,
flying high and low.
Poor little fred,
he should have looked,
poor little Fred,
he got hit and booked.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 1112 . . .

It’s been over three years now since I graduated with my Master of Arts in Creative Writing. Let’s do a quick rundown of what has happened in those three years (and I’ll try for a semblance of chronology):

1. The Wife gave birth to the first child (the Chubbs)
2. Taught (very) part-time at International Academy of Design and Technology, teaching English Composition for almost a year
3. Found out the Wife was pregnant with our second child
4. The Wife got accepted to BYU Idaho
5. Second child born (the Little Sir)
6. Moved to Idaho
7. Started a new job at a craft store
8. In the last three years published  28 different pieces of poetry, flash fiction, prose, and non-fiction
9. Designed and hand bound a limited edition book entitled Pieces, a collaboration of five artist published by Copilot Press
10.    Started a literary journal for Sacramento writers entitled From Sac

Those are just the major highlights, but there are smaller pieces to the puzzle too: saw Streetlight Manifesto live during their farewell tour, attended friends weddings, read a bunch of books, camped as much as possible, etcetera etcetera.

I should feel good about where I am. I should be happy with my successes and progress. I should feel that I am growing as a person and moving forward and becoming something.


I don’t.

A lot has happened in the last three years, more than I can remember. Some of it I wish I could forget. Some of it I wish I could relive again and again. And I’m sure there is some I wish I could remember, but will never know. Regardless of what has been, it hasn’t gotten me where I want to be.

I don’t often talk or write about what I want for my life; what my heart wants. I keep it hidden, keep people out of that small space. It’s weak. Very weak. It can’t handle disappointment and pain and sadness and fear and stress and suffering; it can’t handle regular life. So I keep it hidden. Even from myself most of the time. There are few who have seen a piece of it, only just, but never the whole thing. It’s been so long now that I don’t even know what’s down in that miniscule muscle. But this is what I think is secreted there:
  • I want to work hard, I like working hard, but I am unwilling to do work I don’t enjoy, or work for people and businesses that I do not value or find value in
  • I want to take care of my family
    • I want my kids to be happy and enjoy life and not have to worry about life more than is normal, but I want them to listen to me when I ask them to do things
    • I want the Wife to feel safe and secure and to trust me and my work and that I can take care of her and our children and provide a place to live, even though I have shown no evidence of such desires
  • I want the Wife to be proud of what I do and who I am
  • I want my family to be proud that we are a family
  • I want to not worry about the world and its troubles and society and just live without the distractions and complications the world creates
  • I want people to care about each other, to care about what happens to other people; I want to be friends with people
  • I want to live in a house that I built
  • I want to be amazing
I think that’s it. At least part of it, anyway.

The last three years has been rough. Mostly rough. And between the dark a little light peeked through, but not enough to see the future by, or my own feet in front of me.

What I’m saying is that after three years graduating from college, after almost 10 years of marriage, after having children for almost three year, after living out on our own again for a year, after all that has happened:

Nothing has changed.

I mean, I haven’t changed at all.

I’m still the same. I still expect people to do things for me. I still expect my writing to just get published because I submitted it somewhere. I still expect the world to just give me money and love and life because of who I am and what I do as a person. I still get angry when I don’t get my way.
I don’t want to be like this.

I want to be a mature individual. I want to be able to function normally in society, in that I can take care of myself and my family.

The point of all this rambling?

This is where I am now. As a married man with two kids and a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing, this is who I am. A partially functioning member of society who can’t take care of himself let alone his family and wonders whether or not every choice he has ever made has been wrong and is terrified that he has ruined his wife’s life and is ruining the lives of his children but doesn’t know how to change, how to make that hole in his chest go away and be better and grow and work harder and make life how he wants to live and be the person he knows his wife wants him to be, the person his parents want him to be, except all he sees in the mirror is that same face, never changing, only aging, always again, and wondering what the point of all of everything is.

This is life.