Tag Archives: original writing

Endy Chavez in the World Series

I was feeling low

In front of the machine

That’s smarter than me

Watching an old baseball game

In an attempt to subvert

A detailed personal thesis

On all the reasons to panic

Including fears of inexplicably

Eating pen caps, AA batteries

And more generalized madness

Already covered by certain episodes

Of The Twilight Zone

Meanwhile, the game is rolling

And Endy Chavez stepped to the plate

Seeing Endy Chavez in the World Series made me think a lot of things

He made that stupefying catch that time

Defying Sir Isaac Newton and keeping the glove open

To deny that should have been Scott Rolen home run

But that was not the World Series

And the Mets lost, and that kind of mattered

I also thought

Endy Chavez is fun

Graceful, fast, full of effort

He’s a hitter like I’m a person

Good for a line drive once in awhile

Mostly trying to leg them out

The rollers and choppers and quails

That can be stretched for doubles

It reminded me of us

The way we’re fighting to fight

Denying our luck by entertaining the pressure

The pressure I picture as the spike pit from that arcade game

We played in the pizzeria back in ‘95

With our garlic fingertips

Kaleidoscopic child minds cycling candy pixels and floating gold rings

You get older and your head gets filled with other things

The desire for a soul quelled by the rationalization

That nobody has a face in the comments section

That everybody has a personal identification number

And explaining what makes us special

Would make them suspicious

We have appointments to uphold

And a diligent sadness to impart

Through all the love we reserve

And all the words of love unsaid

Hey Endy, do you ever feel the wall with your fingertips

After nabbing one at the warning track?

Ever feel the padding meant to preserve your ribcage?

The warmth from the summer sun absorbed on the wall

Like the tinfoil trapping the heat from the hot dog unwrapped

In the upper-deck

A wall clarifies

This is where the game exists

This is where the game is observed

Outfielders collaborate with the barrier

Their foot spikes leveraging a leap

Against the hot padding

Their bodies rising

Up

Arms extending into the audience

For a moment of helpless waiting

Humans have always made walls into art

Endy and his brethren

Working with the object

Like the kids in the skate park

It’s only supposed to be a railing

It’s only supposed to be a ramp

It’s only supposed to be a wall

And Endy, ever stop and say

I am Endy Chavez, I am a part of it all?

But oneness is elusive

And everyone’s obsessed with protection

I’m supposed to be me, like a shield

I’m supposed to be me

But who appreciates Endy Chavez taking a low and outside fastball

Flipping his wrist to produce fortuitous backspin and whistle a line drive straight above the cap of the third baseman that was ready but unable to counteract serendipitous placement with his own precise muscle memory

While Endy cruises into second base like an assured surgeon

Parking her Lamborghini in the reserved space

Before saving someone’s life in the morning

The mind perceiving the double

Belongs to me

Yet I can’t answer

What that means

Except that maybe an individual

Can be better known

By the specificity

Of what they believe to be

Beauty

So, that’s what I thought when I saw Endy Chavez in the World Series

Texas lost the game

They lost and they could have won

With a little more fortuitous backspin

But hey, they could have not been there to begin with

The Texas Rangers could have been sucked into a state of

Nonexistence due to a reversal of time linearity

Caused by an unexpected miscommunication

Between the offices of the fifth and sixth dimension

About where the meeting was supposed to take place

On May 16th, 2011 when the Rangers Professional baseball club received a complete game from Colby Lewis, who honed his craft in Hiroshima

To bump their record to 22-19

Endy Chavez had three hits, including a double

And compared to a serious mishap

Cosmic or otherwise

Losing the World Series doesn’t really mean anything

Like, isn’t crowning a Champion just an arbitrary demarcation

Separating one season from the next

Partially camouflaging the fact that sport is absurd

And the true pleasure is in a moment of forgetfulness

Instead of everything we want anything to be about?

Control, domination, the victor and vanquished

The disgraced and satisfied

The separation we knife into existence

So I should relate to a shark

With a weeping, bleeding seal between its teeth

Joe DiMaggio played for the San Francisco Seals

Nobody ate him and he had a glorious career

Well good for the Champions, anyway

Good for them and their lucky tongues tasting the champagne

There’s supposed to be a winner and loser

There’s supposed to be Endy Chavez

He’s supposed to do everything Endy Chavez does

And we’re supposed to breathing

We’re supposed to be feeling, too

We’re supposed to be in love, aren’t we?

We’re supposed to appreciate this moment

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This Way

I feared a revolution

For I knew I would be a commander

Intuitively understood I would lead

A legion boot deep in blood

Down a hollowed street

The eateries turned holes

In the walls of a world that

Used to be

 

I feared for losing my bed

And that was natural

I need a place

I need a place to sleep

Don’t come to my door

 

Got kicked in the head

 

They handed me a chain and said

Your game, your time

Stand in line

 

One second follows another second

My mustache is colored gray

My holsters are colored brown

My solution devices are colored black

I mastered those with experience

 

Solutions.

 

I had a memory of walking my dog

Down

a hill and feeling safe

Washed dry

Through the God in her eyes

And the setting sun above the tree line

And the paradise on city property

And the blue blanket of empty

Safety’s the highest priority

A God that gives permission

Was the God I believed in

 

I feared it was always going to be this way

I had to stand above you

And choke the life out of you

To save a bullet

Your skin was forgiving

 

And that old song’s playing

I can taste the vodka on my tongue

A tongue never forgets

And never lies

I used my tongue

To commune with you

All those nights

 

Then, when

It was an explosion of light and noise

It was a fear of women

It was the dance-floor in Miami

Where I forgot my name

It was the promised change

It was peace at the apex

Of a swinging pendulum

Waving hello, goodbye

Hello, goodbye

It was always going to be this way

 

So tell me the dark matter

Holding the universe together

Can take a joke

Because I feared

A revolution

Coming to know

The self


Trick of Light

I was invited down sixth avenue to the dinner table where they were able to determine my past without my permission. I said tell me who I am stranger. But you should know my grandparents spoke a different language. And have you ever felt a summer in Queens? Our shadows always seemed longer in the heat. Shadows like kings. Like the shadows were real and our bodies the trick of light.


Who We Are

 

The Division of Memory

 

It occurred to me… Perhaps everyone has a story to tell… And that the universe… Has been written into our hearts… Like chapters in a never-ending novella… Where page eighty… Becomes page one… Every time a character cries out in… disillusioned existential pain… if every person could be coerced… into a concise response… concerning their presence… on this spinning blue circle dancing… within the framework of a…. incomprehensibly massive… soap bubble… huh… A pure interpretation of life… Perhaps then… the answer would be found… from a billion lips… in thousands of languages… countless voices… even if it were… one… giant… scream… or… a soundless… smile…

 

 

The Past

 

Visiting again? How disappointing. I saw you stagger through the door, searching for old friends amid the ruins of a mirage you never quite understood. Nothing here but broken floorboard planks and the nervous rats scurrying underneath. That old neon sign was shut down long ago, bills never paid. A man in a suit came by and smashed it with a sledgehammer, saying something about brightness paying a price. You want to laugh and escape certain cold questions that have answers deplorable – and rhetorical – this life can sometimes be painful? Good people will often suffer? It burnt upon first consideration, soon replaced by numbness. You began projecting your life unto violent paradox, losing sight of your gifts and opportunities. Hey, this isn’t admonishment, hardly… We all make mistakes. Without them, nobody could learn. But there are no maps here. Yet you come back. You loved this bar. You entered with fake identification, pretending to be somebody else. You liked the intoxicated stranger who inevitably inhabited your body. Your troubled mind became a fading light, insanity embraced, realism replaced. I know; the lies start feeling safe. You can blame, you can objectify, you can idolize, you can falsify, you can patronize. You fancied yourself a libertine, travelling in circles, preaching about how people should never preach, sermonizing chaos. Your emotions have run wild. We all have a bridge to cross, toward a mysterious forest where ideas and perceptions are recalibrated. Those woods have been defined by myth and are shrouded in mist. We can look back instead of stepping forward. After all, it’s easier watching the movie, opposed to playing protagonist. You will remember the past. It can be helpful. But sorry, you can’t live here — Especially without company. I can’t kick you out. But there’s the door. Just past where the goddess used to wait for her prince.

 

The Present

 

You are sitting on a bench facing a beach pondering the current present flow of reality; the past has evaporated into a figment of your imagination. Look straight ahead, gaze at that water, the essential enigma of which we are nearly entirely comprised, sunshine dancing off easy dance waves. The possibilities are infinite yet somehow constrained by an overriding sense of vague destiny amidst chaos created by free will — which without — life would be machinelike and meaningless. And yet… somehow, without feeling that small semblance fate, liberation itself would seem a prison, because some valuable necessities must be predetermined or at least guaranteed on a celestial contract written in stardust by elegant ink bequeathed from the daily pumping veins of an initial thought so outlandishly impossible that it could exist, defying a logical darkness with irrational love. Ah, yes, from the arteries of that unavoidable consequence do our holy emotions pour. Thinking like this is scary. Like the beginning’s sighing over your shoulder, disappointed another one was unable to explain. Relax. Nothingness never existed, because someone was always keeping track. It’s all in your head… while the water flows over the rocks and washes away the imprint of yesterday. Breathe, smile, we have a good view.


Approximate Love

(a short story) 

Late at night, right before morning, the air feels lonely. He forgot how to sleep so long ago. His mind does not stop. When he lays down and attempts thinking of nothing, forgotten memories rush into mind. Old decisions, forming the bridge to desolation, taunt him.

 

There were supposed to be more chances. That’s what he believed, anyway.  When you act like someone else to protect the person inside that is fragile to the touch, that time goes away forever. And circumstances almost never repeat. New situations are different in critical ways. It never gets easy to diagnose.

 

Lies made to avoid immediate pain tend to create distorted realities. He has paid a hard price for learning so much. There are many types of lies. He stands up, sheets still around his ankles. He puts on sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt. He walks out of his big, empty apartment. The well-decorated box. He closes the door behind him, does not bother locking up. He walks down the stairs toward the lobby.  His footsteps echo. The railing gets repainted once every two weeks.

 

 Sometimes he cries when there is not a real reason to cry. He feels a desert in his heart. He feels guilty about suffering when so many people have real reasons. He is lonely and that is not a crime. This may not be permanent. Why does the suffering feel so intense? Lies can come in pill form. They can be shot into your bloodstream. You can take a simple problem and make it complicated simply by not facing it. They told him that enough times and he repeats it to himself. He can deal, today. He can deal. Today he can deal, and that’s all he needs to worry about. Just today. Today, the bagel store, the manuscript. Keep it simple. Focus on the work. No! No italicized inner thoughts Gus, no, no, no!

 

He has not shaved for a long time. His beard is wild, the brown strands dip into the coffee he drinks from the bagel store down the block. Waitresses who used to smile at him now just looked concerned. He can’t ask women out on dates. He is inept, interacting with strangers. And there are so many people he does not know. His father was a military man, they moved often. Everywhere he went nobody let him forget the strangeness. He was always reminded. He was a freak, and he could never figure out why. Was it just because he was the new kid? Was it just because he hummed songs to himself in the back of the classroom because music settled his racing mind and otherwise he might burst into tears in front of the class?

 

 There’s this one waitress at the bagel shop. Her name is Jennifer. She’s a beacon beam. He nods at whatever she says. She knows when he’s been up all night. When his eyes are bright and not beaten down, she notices and compliments him. If he doesn’t love her, it’s at least an approximate love.

 

One day he said, “hey you bought me decaf,” and he said it kind of angry. But just because the Knicks had lost the previous night and he watches all the games because they calm down his mind, so he takes it seriously. “Sorry,” she said. Jennifer had not expected that. He knew she did not expect it. Not from him, of all people. Jennifer did not deserve that. He apologized to her when she came back with his usual and promised himself never to be angry with Jennifer again. That was seven months ago. Things had gone swimmingly since, but the past few times he had been to the shop she had not been there.

 

They had these little tables set up in the corner that only him and these two elderly friends sat at, he remembered that day two years ago when they first put up those tables and the bagel store became his morning hangout, his haunt. He had not called his parents in awhile. They were always concerned. He’s a damn good editor. “They shouldn’t worry about me,” he thought often, “I’m a professional. I work. It’s not fair.” He would tell his mother often, “You shouldn’t worry about me, I’m a professional, I work, it’s not fair.” He even said it to Jennifer once or twice, “they shouldn’t worry about me, I’m a professional. I work. It’s not fair.”

 

A common mistake that most writers make is over-emphasizing description. “Read Hemingway,” he told Gus, a young novelist who he felt like should be his best friend, but one time there was an awkward silence in one of their conversations by the movie theater and he figured Gus realized he was a big weird-o, maybe even gay, and what’s a cool guy like Gus going to hang with a weird-o for? He thought there was nothing wrong with being gay, but even if he was, and he was not, being weird would make it uncomfortable for everyone. So that was that for calling Gus to rendezvous. For all he knew, Gus thought he was a weird gay. One time he told Gus, “Read Hemingway. Subtlety, Gus. You write like your trying to impress someone. You don’t need to impress me or anyone else.”

 

He liked staying awake for a week straight, bringing an author close to the dream of publication. The sun was coming up. The bagel shop was open. He eagerly stepped inside, heard the familiar ringing of the bells, smelled the warm bread, grabbed the New York Times, kept his head down, heard that mean kid behind the counter say, “the day’s officially begun, the beard has landed, people,” and peered up to see if Jennifer would be walking toward him, notepad in hand, taking down messages for God. And there she was, Jennifer. Smiling Jennifer.

 

“Hey sleepy head,” she said. “Before I get you a coffee, I got to tell you something.” His whole body froze. “I googled you, buddy,” she said. “I finally googled you. I read that you are one the best book editors in the industry. That’s what this article said.”

“What else did it say,” he asked, biting on his thumb, voice shaking.

“Oh, well, that was it, kind of, that article anyway. In so many words,” Jennifer said.

 

She smiled. Jennifer. “Oh, cool, cool, that’s cool, that’s cool, that’s cool,” he said. Then, he leaned forward in his seat, “Are things better with your boyfriend,” he asked, not wanting to make their morning conversation just about himself. “Yes,” Jennifer said. “Yes, thanks for asking. And thanks for that advice you gave me. I think it helped a lot. He understood. He’s going to try and be more subtle around my parents.” Jennifer nodded and walked toward the counter. He sunk back into his seat. The elderly friends walked into the shop, arguing about some old ballgame.

 

Google. Son of a gun… He knew he’d be on cloud nine for a long time.


The Sad Pharaoh

I can’t keep anything in perspective.

 

I am either flying high

 

Or coughing up pebble decorated mud

 

Oh, I’m tired also tired a lot

 

I’ve been reading a lot

 

These writers can really write

 

Maybe one day, I can write like them

 

With detail and accuracy

 

I am a work in progress, and I could use more sleep

 

They seem so complete, in my head, awake, too

 

I’m entrapped by this urge

 

To jump off the train

 

As it speeds to my destination

 

Where am I going?

 

I do not know

 

And the unknown drives me to the edge

 

I get so lonesome sometimes

 

I want a solution when my life is bothering me

 

My tunnel vision distractions

 

Easy rushes and fifty flavors of dissatisfaction

 

Do not ease my burden

 

That emerald answer keeps floating further away

 

I get so lonesome sometimes

 

I get so vengeful

 

So mean and hateful

 

If someone I know has a hint of

 

What society has deemed success:

 

I get jealousy woes

 

I feel my emptiness expanding

 

I am a black hole

 

Wishing a similar unhappiness for you

 

Don’t get ahead of me

 

Don’t escape my force field of hate

 

It’s me breathing, it’s me feeling, but it hurts

 

I see a universe written on your face

 

In braille, and I can never touch you

 

My heart desires space

 

And secretly hopes to let you go

 

Allow your planet to float away

 

And be a mystery, like the carousel

 

Of life and death

 

You own your life

 

Your experiences are yours

 

Your perceived success and failures

 

It has nothing to do with me

 

And that’s beautiful

 

But writing lines and thinking thoughts isn’t living

 

And I can’t relate to myself, sometimes

 

When I want to admonish her for flirting with

 

a rapper, instead of yours truly, and lecture her

 

On the true meaning of expression, and own her

 

And control her and eventually leave her coughing dust

 

Swept up from the storm

 

I want her on her knees, thanking me for even giving her a thought

 

This is honest, I’d say

 

Nothing more than worship would do for me, I think

 

As I zero in on the slightest scent of negativity

 

Worship me, I say

 

I say, I am the creative one

 

And be impressed

 

I say I am the attractive one. Be attracted.

 

I say I am the one who understands. Understand?

 

I say I am the only one who ever existed, I share this world with nobody

 

It’s lonely and unholy

 

Am I the only one who feels this way?

 

Am I the only sad pharaoh walking the streets of Manhattan?

 

I say

 

There is no stopping the ego

 

It will consume me, it will ruin me, and bizarrely

 

For it’s every inconvenience, it will occasionally save me

 

With promises of romance and sweet mysterious fingertips

 

Upon my face on a future date

 

I get confused, sure do

 

You save me, in the next breath

 

The person near me

 

Who sent a smooth fire wave up my spine,

 

By my side

 

I want to apologize to my breath

 

For placing my self-worth into

 

Inhuman and incapable arms

 

Reboot

 

I want to say congratulations, to the stranger

 

Who just thought I was strange

 

I was in love, you didn’t know

 

I was strange, I suppose

 

It was all so strange


Barbarians at the Gate

Write write

Keep writing

Lest I sink

Into theatrical destructive fantasy

I have no feeling toward

My imagination, which has me dying

A thousand different ways, palaces of

Destruction, fading to dust every single second

Reborn into something more when I am affected

Why does it mean so much

It’s a complicated question

I guess the first time you get that horrible feeling

That life is so utterly painful and never goes according to plan

That plans inevitably backfire anyway, so even if it worked you are

Left shaking your head in bemusement at what could possibly go wrong

Or that the right doesn’t feel as right as it should be

Such is the arrogance, pathos, ignorance, misunderstanding

Sign language and shattered vessels I love writing about

People swept into a moment they barely understand

Doing what they never expected and thinking about it

In the aftermath as the conclusion plays out suddenly

Beyond the control of the box they drew themselves up in

So what is it, what was your pressing question

What did you want to know, by interviewing me

Did you see some kind of spark of life beyond

Even my interior sight, where I think I see so far

And so deep

Within my own mind

And the unkindness around me

Where oh when did it begin

Maybe it was alone in my driveway

The old house

Listening to them scream at each other

As a kid you ask yourself if

Things are going to last forever

Happiness at the end of fairy tales is eternal

Sadness at them fighting seems like it might

Last forever, so imagination is my refuge

I talk to myself and wear a shoelace around my neck

And everyone on my block may think there’s something off with me

I might be caught by the girl next door acting out invisible action movies

On my deck, all that stuff happens, and it doesn’t bother me long

Because the invisible world makes me happy. And you grow up and

The world presses all this nastiness onto you.

And I ran away so deftly before my teenage years,

but eventually the venomous monster swallowed me too

the hopelessness disease

the culture free suburb where I came of age

with the movie posters at the bus stop and the imitation Chinese voices and the racism and the hatred ignored and pushed aside but said with pride by those who did deride.

And it’s a respectful thing, to be hateful at the barber-shop. It’s respectful to be afraid, because all the afraid people on television are successful, and the afraid rappers make rhymes about killing people and get the girls and the riches, and the commercial says this product will ease the pain.

You drink to numb the truth, because the truth is we’re all alone, sometimes. Sometimes there’s love and sometimes you’re bothered by something that won’t go away.

Whether it’s death or rejection, the pain finds you. And our society has no solution for the pain aside from consumption. So off we go into the rich galaxy, pilled up and high, dissatisfied.

I heard salvation in music, the same way the invisible world was like a warm blanket. I saw God at the end credits of movies I loved. I recognized I was sinking, and I hurt some people, like you often do when bleeding from the eyes. I regretted and tried learning from the regret, but now there’s just this hostility that creeps in. I’m too short, I’m too skinny, I’m not an alpha male. Why, why, why, why? Why? Why am I never good enough? Sometimes I think we’re all running around blind. Sometimes I think it’s all some sort of comedy, best viewed from the distance. Oh, but I can see my senselessness. I don’t always get sucked in. Patience, forgiveness, love, and understanding will rule my life. Even if the barbarians stay eternally at the gate.

My invisible world.

Why does it matter? Because it set me free, free of charge. It did not require a debt. It did not lead me down an abyss.

Laugh with me, at the foot of the great hole that sucks our soul.

It’s all imaginary, it’s all in our heads.

There’s nothing really happening, aside which we believe. What we believe shall define us. Let us be defined by the goodness. Let me be free of the harm, the harm inside, the harm outside, the harm that is not my bride.


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