Monday, December 29, 2008

circling around balance

Little yellow squares zip down and down and down. In grid formation they speed below her bony feet and up the side behind her, brushing her long tail. Faster, faster, faster, her feet slam down on the wires. Her running accelerates to fervent leaping. Faster, faster, faster, the squeaky wheel spins. She channels her fury into the repeated motion, even though it leads her nowhere. Faster, faster, faster, her heart pounds. Her efforts are fruitless but she won’t give up.

Finally her legs slow. Squares emerge from the blur. As the wheel stops she rocks back on herself to sit. She looks around and finds herself where she began. Quietly accepting her surroundings, she turns her head forward again. The squeak of the wheel recommences.

We are born. We try to push the path in front of us behind us, but it only goes around us to catch up with us ahead. It can be wonderful because the path is beautiful, but sometimes we move too fast to see that. Regardless, we die where we began. And the earth goes on spinning.

"Sometimes I get overcharged, that's when you see sparks. You ask me where the hell I'm going, at a thousand feet per second. Hey man, slow down, slow down. Idiot, slow down, slow down."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Tickling is strange, because it's a gesture of love that hurts the beloved. The laughter reflex is at the same time the beloved's vice and protection. It encourages more tickling, but it's also the only way to relieve the tension.

Sometimes I feel like my heart is being tickled. When I can laugh, it's not so bad. It even feels good. But sometimes I can't laugh. My brain decides to protect my heart from more tickling, so it hides my laugh where I can't find it. And then there's no way to relieve the tension.

So, I try to fight it. My heart is tough. It can handle poking and stabbing and squeezing and punching. But tickling? I don't have a defense built up for this. It's so light, I don't know how to fight it.

I can't fight it out
I can't laugh it in
So the fingers linger on my heart,
slowly crawling along with painfully little friction
The corners of my mouth rise obediently,
but they wobble on shaky nervous muscles,
which quietly endure the pain

Sunday, December 14, 2008

hold steady

I’ve been trying to pretend I’m past The Hold Steady, but I keep coming back. I’ve been trying to look at angst retrospectively but I keep feeling it. I’ve been trying to call this character Craig Finn, but I keep calling him Jesus!

The Hold Steady makes it okay to feel unsteady. It’s like I’m taking all my insecurities and uncertainties and mistakes and trips and faults and regrets and nerves and misgivings, and I’m packing them into a heavy fist punch where they become righteous and strong and unified.

And everything that is unsteady comes together and becomes steady. And when I look around and see all the fists I don’t feel so alone.

So here I am trying to “reach into the speaker and hold on to the quarter notes” because “certain songs they get so scratched into our souls.”