On these pages I end my day. All I have seen will find its place of rest in here, amidst the precarious workings and re-workings, creations and recreations2 , and the overtly copious grantings of the forlorn pen3. After the languor of the day, a time for recline is in sore need of acceptance. And I shall indulge.
A beginning must be established. But where to begin.4 What staked its claim to jest or endowed the day with color so vibrant? 5 Too many to choose and remember in here that to choose is to sacrifice one for the other.6 Will the notation of a few be just to the many? Will the many be useful to exemplifying my elation for the few affecting themes?7
One way to do best is an absurd idea, yet I ponder what will be if I choose one or the other. Of all that is lost from making selections, one will be gained without motion to form.8
As I stare at this page, the words flowing from mind, through pen,9 onto paper with deliberation,10 a stare of the inner eye11looks at the emptiness of page, with the white spaces pervading through the letters. So much remains untouched by ink. 12 A day, so full of emptiness it seems when written, minute and discreet relations to a day where nothing happened.13
Is that really it?14 So much to say, but bits and pieces are chosen that amount to nothing in the end. Nothing is gained without something lost, so I will begin my account at the time I awoke to the clear sky and the breeze against my cheek. 15
Noon had arrived on my watch that was five minutes ahead the average time.16 The tinted sky, calm and brooding, waned across the sky in languorous waves. And the chill wind kissed my cheek in welcoming me back to this time of the year.17
(End of writing. Nothing beyond this point)18
1 The purpose of the writing is to speak for itself.
2 Reality is a creation, constructed by the world. Each person perceives events differently from the next. Cultures and nations see the world differently as their minds take in each event. Without elaborating on this idea further—as I know I do when I am allowed to write my ideas, and a good journaler (that I am)—our ideas, our thoughts, circle around our understanding of the way things are. They are as we see them. And we see them because we have learned that x means one thing. Learned is a fickle word at describing our understanding. Learned does not me understand to be true, or right, but learned as come to understand in our own way.
3 The abundant wishes of the pen—which are quite pitiful—gives me satisfaction at their development on page, and sadness at their dissolution .
4 Purposely not a question. I am speaking ideas, not asking questions. Later, I begin asking questions. My transformation of thinking is notable, as it appears in just the next line. I am quickly transitioning from thinking to questioning.
This non-question sprouts questions that will shape my thinking throughout the work.
5 I am thinking about my day and trying to find what is important to mention.
6 A big point for the work. Choosing and making decisions are tough. I do not know what I want to choose, and am quite undecided on the point.
7 I have analyzed my day and found what its purpose is. Or have I? I believe I have found the “few affecting themes” that have occurred in my day. While I am struggling with understanding what to do about the rest of the questions, I believe I have found the answer to one.
(First Editor) All of his thoughts are based around this central idea, that he figured out the themes of his day, and he considers everything else is a conundrum. He bases everything off of this one idea he believes to be true.
8 From what is lost, something is gained. If I choose to leave out certain pieces, others are able to stand out and gain importance.
Motion to form–if the form is to remove something to show another, then changing form means what?
(First Editor) Motion to form—what he is saying is skewed to mean a couple things. In his form, he really is moving nowhere with his thinking. He thinks but gets nowhere in his thought. There is no action. That is what is happening as the journaler is writing.
9 Why put “and” here? I don’t like that in here. The sentence sounds better without the conventional triteness seeping into his language.
10 (First Editor) He is taking painstaking care to write his ideas onto paper. And he knows it. Why does he write it? (He is reassuring himself of it. He needs this reassurance; this is his thought process. Why then does he contemplate what to do when telling his story? Good question to follow.)
11 Not to self—Creation of Character in My Entry (I am not myself)—thought arises again in this character’s language. He knows he is taking time to write, thinking about what to do, and now he mentions he uses his mind. He is a thinker, and knows it. We are given those hints to make us thinkers too, possibly. Does he want us to be thinkers? If he does, then he has an audience. Is that his intention? (I have not gone far enough to understand him, so this is a question also for me while I write).
12 He sees all of the emptiness on the page. No matter how much he writes, there is always more that is lacking. He cannot write enough to fill that emptiness.
(Correction: “No matter how much I write, there is always more that is lacking”).
13 Sarcasm. He knows something happened, but he has decided that language is not allowing him to show it. Language is creating this nothingness in his life. (Key point for following my character?)
14 Is this really a question? Debatable. He may be so lost in his mind that this question is not a question. He asks it, but the meaning behind it is lost to him. They are only words.
15 He is finally going to start his story. His reasoning did not help him, and he made a decision after much time, but it is based on nothing. He is only doing it because there is nothing else he can do. Language has forced him to start without providing good reason.
16 The details that he puts into it. Why does it matter that it is five minutes ahead and why does he add “average time” into it. He likes to be early, possibly? Maybe he isn’t, and needs that incentive to be close to on-time. And “average time” may have a meaning beyond this. Details though pop up and are throughout this whole piece.
17 He’s trying to escape his disorder by pretending everything is beautiful. (excerpt from journal)
He describes his day as lengthy and over He calls his day ‘languorous,’ which is tiring, slow, dreamlike. Its purpose is to set up his demeanor—yes—as well as provide a marker for the ending, which contradicts his disposition throughout the piece.
18 (First Editor)—I’m not too sure what you want to do with this. Should we send this in?
Palimpsest was the word for today on the calendar. “Pal’imp-sest’ n. parchment, etc. with writing on top of previous writing.” Useless. When will I ever have the chance to use “palimpsest”? Yesterday’s word had been much better. Palaver. There is a definite lack of palaver in the car right now. Palaver.
It has been seven minutes since we have pulled from our driveway. We are making excellent time. Punctuality. We’ll be at the art gallery soon. I place my hand on Sonny’s thigh.
Sonny is staring vacantly into the side mirror. She has on one of my least favorite facial expressions. The only look more dismal is when she’s crying. She’s probably fixating on last night again.
“Well, what do you think?” Sonny had just finished the final piece for the show today. She stood back, her face speckled with black paint.
I looked at the painting. The series she had been working on was based on the Hans Christian Anderson story, “The Shadow.” She had done the panels in non-sequential order, and this one depicted the opening scene. She had chosen to make the learned man a writer, and I had posed for her at my desk. (I had lasted about an hour, before my muscles had cramped, and she had resorted to taking my photo.) I didn’t care for how my shadow took (there has to be a better word – bogarted? consumed?) two-thirds of the canvas.
“It’s fine,” I told her.
“Why do you do that?” she had asked me. “Why do you use neutral terms like that?”
I had used it because it was neutral. She’s capable of better work. She has more potential than anyone I know, but she squanders it (such a great connotation the “squa” sound has!). Then her work becomes squalid. Then I tell her so. Then we squabble into a squall because she squawks that I’ve squashed her spirit. There should be more words with “squa.”
I blame her parents for her need for unwarranted approval. Their only expectations of Sonny were for her to look pretty and say adorable things. Two things she does well without effort.
“I want to play Polonius,” Sonny said. It was about a week ago during dinner. I remember because the word that day was “turgid.” I was puzzling how to use it in a sentence while chewing on the strange cornbread she had made that night. “Baked polenta with butternut squash and Gouda,” she called it.
I wanted to tell Sonny that she was better suited to Ophelia.
“But you’re not an actor,” I retorted. (Retort? Refute? Rebuke?)
“You don’t know that. I don’t even know that. I’ve never tried.” And then she stared off, biting her lip.
“What are you reading?” she asked me later that night while we were in bed.
“Words, words, words.”
“Why do you do that? Why do you answer with an answer that requires more questions?” Sonny hadn’t gotten the joke. She rarely does lately.
The last time she had been this tumultuous, (I wonder if there is a word with more u’s than “tumultuous”) it was right before she had run off with that idiot. (I should really find an insult with more impact. Douche? No, only douchebags use the word “douche.” What was that word? Gadfly. No, I’ll sound like a prohibition gangster if I start calling people gadflies. Maybe that wouldn’t be so deplorable. Deplorable, what a great word!)
Sonny squeezes my hand. Maybe she’s over last night? I take her hand, growl playfully and bite her fingers to palliate the silence. Sonny laughs. (Facetiously is a better word than playfully.) I growled facetiously.
Sonny is still laughing. I give her an inquisitive look. (Is inquisitive the i’s answer to the u’s tumultuous? If the i and the u were to battle it out, which would be the more victorious vowel? The i has a greater army, I think, but the u has all those un- worthy contenders. Ha!)
“What are you giggling about?” I ask her.
“Pink paisley explosion,” Sonny says. She’s referring to earlier this morning. I had found her in the guest bedroom. I had laid (Laid? Lied? Lain? Why can I never remember the correct past participle of “lie”?) down beside her. It was then that I had comprehended why we never had visitors. The mattress is inflexible, and the wallpaper is, well, a pink paisley explosion.
“Terrible. Just terrible. Who lived in our house before us?” I ask her.
“Homosexual terrorists?” Sonny can be quick-witted (brilliant?) at the most unexpected times.
Sonny could be brilliant all the time if she strove for it more frequently. But she is complacent. She submits to her emotions and admits defeat before she even attempts something.
“Why?” I ask her.
“Why did you sleep in the guest room?”
Sonny isn’t answering my question. She has gone back to staring into the side mirror.
“Sonny, this has to stop. You have to control your emotions. Crying at dinner like that – for absolutely no reason. Why? Why did you cry?”
“I don’t know. I don’t want to cry,” she says into the window, fogging up the glass.
“Well it has to stop, okay?” I have a lopsided smile as I squeeze her thigh.
“Okay,” she mumbles.
Palimpsest. If we paint over the old wallpaper, would it be a palimpsest?
A Heart and Its Home
Discovering love is like playing cops and robbers,
hearts chasing those who abducted their feelings-
putting her into custody behind an abandoned ribcage.
Thinking love is a Manhattan high-rise filled with red
carpeting, when it’s a nap on the couch with John Williams
conducting a symphony of snores in the background.
Mistaking your beauty with a designer dress, when it really lies
in a messy bed at four in the morning. Fireworks
and confetti don’t follow the first kiss, but a dire need
for chap stick. Quotas for restless nights per month.
Many play the piano with their lips. Others hold back tears
like window screens. Some randomly drive to escape
reality like a schizophrenic convict on Alcatraz. I scale
the crumbling mountain in your mind and gather thoughts
like the highest bidder in the emergency room. Tattoo
your face on my eyeballs, so I can take snapshots
of your smile with my right pupil. Soft stares catapult
into ribs, splintered toothpicks break through and inject
the heart with thoughts of you-pirouetting in my head-
like a rocket-fueled carousel funneled into a tornado.
I circumnavigate your lungs like Magellan,
just so I can spend every breath with you.
Voyage across the minefield in your chest; witness
Atlantis breach the ocean’s surface or UFOs breach
the skyline. Load that shot glass with 750 mL rounds
and hunt in that cardiovascular crater. Take shots
at a Grey Goose against chalkboard walls until
the mind is held hostage-like some sick game.
Four knees ground into a burnished red rug
audibly groan under the weight of
wandering eyes, hands
peruse the titles on the bottom shelf of a
dimly lit library
fondling the spines
mouthing the titles—
a moan escapes scarlet, pillowy lips.
Focused only on your words
like a narcoleptic insomniac
I rushed on,
through the pages
indignant that I hadn’t read your work
Before I cut my teeth on hillbilly heroin
before I moved on up to the Devil’s dandruff
before I crash landed face first into an island of
tweekers, speed-freaks and a truly sick junkie
staring back in the mirror.
Maybe some part of my
soul could have been left
unset to the cycle of
Day 4305 was your milestone.
Welcome to Day 534.
(Written in Kansas City, Kansas)
The city glows in the distance,
Burning with the heat of a million
Artificial halogen and neon stars;
They burn away, perpetually,
And illuminate all that might have
Tried to remain hidden in darkness,
But can no longer escape the light—
Things left exposed and bare like wounds,
For the entire world to see.
Even from this distance,
I can hear the angry buzz and hum
Of an endless procession of streetlights
Swelling like a swarm of insects—
A cacophony of static filling the air;
I try to find some darkness in which
To hide, but there is only light here—
There is not a single inch of darkness left,
And nowhere to escape the sound.