March 11, 2021

Lose yourself

Sometimes I’m writing and really get outside the text processor but not quite as far as beyond the screen. I’m dancing on a digital frontier, peeking over the edge of an editor window at the wallpaper plastered behind it.

I open my papers library and furiously start shifting backgrounds until one sticks, then furiously shift again to make sure it’s right. When I’m in the mode to write I need the right environment, and every alteration adds friction to the process. I can never get quite as lost as I want to be.

It’s essential to not have a damned clue where you are when you start writing because that’s the only way you can be sure you ended up somewhere new.

Vaporwave laxatives

Today at the pharmacy I gazed upon brilliant packaging for bowel bubblers. Intestine ticklers. Gut gravy. Inner-abdominal aerodynamics.

So many medications had boxes that would make your eyes bleed so you’d end up with an even longer receipt. Not this one. Something about it was cool. I could imagine Morpheus opening this box over the strobe-lit sink at a rave.

Something about it told me the package designer did not intend for it to be perceived the way it was, and that makes it all the more sincere.

Sincerity in the scaffolding

Some things feel better than others, and you ought to act on the intuition that guides you toward what’s good. Then grab an x-ray machine, laser-splicer, endoscope, and tweezers to take it the hell apart. Ask yourself what makes it better and treat yourself to the answer.

I’ve found it to frequently parallel with the past. How an object, idea, service, sermon, community, or pound cake came about can tell you why it’s deserving of your delegation.

History ain’t ancient and abstract—it’s eight minutes ago when you took a last swig of lukewarm coffee and weaseled your way to this wordstuff.

Motives. Karmic consequence. Momentum. Don’t follow the money, follow the molecule.

March 5, 2021

Golf Shack

there are times when
a blue awning
on a slender pole
far back between two trees
kisses drops of rain
makes hair stand atop the knees
the daisies droop oh dreary day
yet hold their gold
the gold’s to stay
boulders bould and benches weep
bring the night it is to keep


Written c. summer 2014 at a mini golf course I worked at behind the counter, doling out clubs and chipped ice with sugar syrup. I read, did push-ups, and played games on a clunky laptop to pass the time. Some days I’d work with a friendly, weathered woman named Ginger who once traded a cigarette for a boat of fries at the adjoining restaurant.

Many familiar faces came through. There was an encounter with a therapist I’d seen once or twice—I forget why but it probably had something to do with appeasing my mother. We pretended we didn’t know each other, though maybe it was just me pretending and she never even recognized me.

Besides Ginger, there was a college girl named Amy1 who dreamt of working as a museum curator. She’d regale me with historical happenings to help pass the time. It was quite a waste to pay more than one person to work the shack. Today, many years later, I think the restaurant hands out clubs. Minus one summer job for the listless teen.


  1. I’m not sure if I should be using real names. I’d feel bad jeopardizing anyone’s privacy. But the name Ginger is too lovely not to use and perfectly describes Ginger. She was potent and had a definite presence, could calm your stomach and really neutralize your palate. Amy was none other than Amy the Curator. Any other name would be an injustice. And then there was Ben, who I’d been in a musical with in high school. The transient souls of the shack.↩︎

poetry
December 31, 2020

Around the sun

I’ve been dreadfully uninspired, despite having plenty of time to laze about, contemplate, and hit the keyboard. A bout of cabin fever—though an isolated cabin would be much more conducive to compartmentalized thought. The aforepromised deeper-dive will have to be pushed further into uncertainty.

For now, I’m caught with an hour left in this time zone’s slow creak of the fourth numeral. For a few years now, I’ve kept an elastic-bound black notebook containing among its miscellany a breakdown of small goals for the year to follow. Earlier this year, I wrote on self improvement in an effort to get intimate with whatever modest audience might find their way here. In continuation of this effort, I’ll share with you my threefold constitution for 2021:

  • Learn and apply something technical
  • Contribute 250 words per day toward a singular work
  • Meditate for 1 minute per day minimum

The deeper I tumble into both career and hobby, the more I’ve come to realize what I’m doing has been figured out along the way rather than studied and applied. Not sure whether this is an okay application of my ability to adapt or a bold waste of what could be honed execution of tasks—and far more full-bodied results. Either way, time spent is time spent and it’s up to the dissatisfied wedge in my mind muffin to try to apply more strategy and practice in my daily pursuits.

The second goal is a cheat off last year’s mantra to focus more on my book”. It’s a more disciplined refinement that should inspire a modicum of guilt much like that which drives me to the dumbbells on alternate days of the week. I’m scared of the publishing process and of being lost in a sea of internet sludge. Trapped in a lost format fewer folks appreciate. But then why have I chosen to do it at all? For the same reason I’ve chosen to do anything else—it’s a true challenge. Can’t buy a byline.1

Meditation is something I was introduced to in college and was fervently dedicated to during hour-long weekly sessions. Made me feel powerful. Alive. And not in the fake-ass way it’s advertised to you. You don’t need an app to meditate and should never pay a dime to do it.2 I fell off the track and miss meditation. There are no excuses really. I’m getting back on with an impossible-to-evade one minute dose that’s sixty times smaller than what I use to take. An action that’s more about self discipline than immediate impact. Do it to do it. Prove to yourself you can.

And that’s what I have for you. My last words of 2020. I’m sad to let go of its symmetry. It’s a fantastic number to look at. Its fantasticality ends there. Au revoir, friend.

Tom


  1. You can but you’re shit. Like buying a plane ticket to the tip of Everest.↩︎

  2. Unless you buy a song bowl. That’s a one-off that sounds simply beautiful. Well worth it. Pavlov yourself.↩︎