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Love, Lose, Regret, Move On, Love Again

A few weekends ago, a buddy of mine had brought me six pack of Stillwater Artisanals’ “of Love & Regret.” He knows I love a good Belgian saison. The heather, chamomile, lavender, and dandelion team that makes this Baltimore Belgium-inspired beer dynamic, and the 7% ABV is nothing to turn your shoulder at.

Aside the picture on the carrier immediately capturing my eye, what written upon the side still makes me smile:

l&r

We writers try to create and paint a picture without acrylics or watercolors or oils or sprays or any other form paint can come in. We have our own voices, but we are intrigued and inspired by others; taking this into consideration, it’s about creating our own dynamic work that can inform and entertain. Inspiration is never intended, but hoped. When you write to inspire, the piece loses flavor. It’s the improv artist, trying to be funny instead of organically creating a piece of artistry that has naturally has flavor. It’s similar to adding salt to your food before you taste it. And speaking of palates, oftentimes we try to create something tasteful from something distasteful without losing that saucy sarcasm.

And, damn, it is difficult. How can this difficulty and challenge not be loved? It’s strongly favored that if you can’t embrace these challenge, perhaps you shouldn’t be writing.

This time last year, I was hellbent on writing everyday for this blog. Not once, with the exception for this piece, have I written or updated this month. Then, again, the opportunities and outlets, the hats that I’m wearing, were not available this time last year. It’s a significant improvement, but it should not be an excuse to let this baby of mine go neglected.

The post-Syracuse New Times (The Inevitable Coffee Ring) pieces haven’t been produced in a long while, which adds up to a couple weeks. In “blog time” this is a long time. On the business side of things with Kinani Blue, posts are becoming more and more frequent. So, midst these outlets, come November, I’m going to embark on the daily post mission again.

Hold me to it, hold it against me. It’s game time.  Not sure how it’s going to work out, but it has to work.

The only thing that will prevent me from updating in “No Hold Back” November, is the circumstance of my consideration about moving. Yes, I said it: moving. It’s not definitive, but the opportunities and challenges are not here. We can pretend everything is going smoothly, but the small city that is Syracuse has plenty of wait time. Just like construction and road projects, everything takes longer than it should. And if there isn’t a business that will provide that ideal “funding” (income) for me; well, it’s time to put on the big boy pants and take a giant leap.

There is a lot of inspiration in Central New York. A lot of people don’t look for it, but I personally keep my eyes peeled much of the time, and a pen and paper are within an arm’s length. It’s probably why my Thursday Espresso Shot posts are so intentionally strange. There is a desire to not look at the world with the same eyes as the average Joe/Jo Blow. And the average Joe or Josephine Blow wants to make a name for themselves here, and they grow impatient with being themselves.

There are those individuals who wait for something to happen to jump on the bandwagon with. In one case, a matter I’ve touched on before, the duplicitous mind does what it needs to when wanting to get ahead. In this case, the egoist stumbles upon and takes the original material or an opportunity, sees the vitality of the notion, latches upon it, sucks some blood out of it, boasts the exchange of some saliva and bodily fluid, and the leech can go full-blown parasite on its host. From a hashtag, an obvious and call-the-kettle-black intention is created, and the leech is gluttonous for newly acquired attention. The leech then takes other ideas around itself and banks off of other ideas to step ahead, and this includes materials, social media, images and video, names, and slogans. However, as a reminder, this mentality resides within the disheveled and indolent body.

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Hence, the leech; it just sits there and sucks. And when the parasite actually makes a public appearance, the cuff of the pant is rolled up to reveal its feasting, the slime ball looks as if it rolled over and out of bed.

There is nothing I or anyone can do, but just wait. Just in regard to everything else.

And love — Oh, love! Those matters of the heart pertaining towards those, those who make our hearts flutter and our guts wrench with adoration?

Well, that’s another story. And one must tread lightly, because the Muse is relatively unpredictable. She will sneak up behind you, and sometimes hand-in-hand with “The One.”

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Veil

A couple nights ago, I died in my dream. There have been instances of my being shot, stabbed, falling out of trees and tumbling down hills, and instances of falling out of skies and off of cliffs and down into never-ending pits. I’ve never actually died; well, not an instance can be remembered.

I can remember being told that I was going to die. I was in denial and against it at first, but recognized my death as a good thing, a sacrifice that could almost benefit others if not the entire human race. As I lied upon the table, it was me telling the person — doctor or other — that I was ready. A needle was stuck into my arm, the serum was injected, and my body shut down. My eyes rolled back and my lids closed first. My body slumped, and my arms fell over the sides of the table. My body was felt as it turned into dead weight. The thought that crossed my mind: “This is it? This is dying? What happens next? When do I reincarnate?”

The light wasn’t exactly white, and the dream felt more black-and-white than color, but that last glow was more of a very light, pale pea green that teetered on the brink of being white. Numbers fell down in front of my face, as if Fate wanted to allow me to see the last thing that I could care less about: numbers and code. Sure, this seems very Matrix-like, but a dream is a dream.

***

My dream book was referenced. Decent websites were searched for. Aside a couple of negative elements that insinuate depression and fear and anxiety and simply bad reactions to living in the moment, the sources coincided a lot in regard to interpretation.

It’s about transition. It’s about personal development. Change. Self-discovery. Becoming enlightened and more spiritual. It’s a termination of bad habits and negative ways.

While I can embrace and accept the anxiety, it’s because of growth and changes that yield such timidness and fear. I’m taking on more responsibility, and loving every minute of it despite not getting paid for the vast majority of it. Sure, I could use the cash, but these opportunities and resume and conscience and confidence boosters are overwhelmingly positive to me.

And that’s a problem. As I am out in the public more often, and say yes to everything that is being asked of me, I’m finally seeing a great self-worth. And, unfortunately, current situation/location is seemingly growing smaller, tighter.

***

It’s strange how a loss of a relationship can affect you. You realize how much you care about a person; although, that care was recognized, it’s not after it’s gone that you realize how beautiful emotion is. It’s difficult adjusting to “let’s just be friends,” but there is not an impact that’s negative. It’s fighting and hoping for something that’s not going to happen, and you know it’s not.

With consideration to a once acknowledged muse, her writing and attitude and personality and view of life, all that vitality was somehow transferred to this one person. When the relationship ended. The fellow writer from afar — who knows if this is coincidental or not, whether this was encouraged by the audacity and hand of Fate — posts a photograph of a record player that is boasting Edith Paif’s “La Vie En Rose.” And my mind accidentally drops the thought of “Really are you fucking kidding me?” and, after  being juggled and hitting the sides of my skull, falls and unravels out of my mouth like a spool of ribbon.

And she or Fate reappears relentless. What kind of clue is that? This kind of sick torture is only best, unfortunately. No pain, no gain. If one can’t be affected emotionally, they have no heart or sound mind — at least I have those, and I am grateful.

***

And we left each other with a hug. A long hug. One of those hugs that says “I care about you,” “I care about this relationship, no matter which route or designation is taken,” and it was comforting. Friendship will be worked on, and it will eventually succeed. My mind was at ease and my heart was beating soundly before we said goodbye and ended the evening with driving away. Friendship will be worked on, and it will eventually succeed.

She’s beautiful.

[It's the end of the chapter. Character goes through that rebirth, and will eventually carry on. Meanwhile, he goes back to reading.]

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The Never-Ending Staircase

We don’t constantly think about or put pressure on ourselves to acknowledge our growing every single day; we are going to learn and grow no matter the circumstances. We should not dwell on regrets, but we learn from the past. We often look ahead, but we don’t want to be too specific about quick hard-to-reach expectations. We hesitate and fear about taking risks that will allow us to succeed. Life is like an M. C. Escher staircase: it keeps going despite our continually reaching new personal heights.

And this is what was to be captured in today’s The Espresso Shot at Syracuse New Times.  And this final product was a result of a good tweaking.

After reading a social media post by fellow WordPress blogger, Kerrie, linking to a list of terrifying things kids say to their babysitters, caregivers, and/or parents. This post got me excited, so there needed to be an element in there that really shifted the tone of the piece.

The Steinbeck and Twain quotes were kept to ground the piece a little bit, explain the platform where I started. Plus, there has to be some reassurance that my imagination is pure, and drugs are not catalysts. Mind and body are things that should not be deteriorated as quickly as possible.

And staircases, as I am a lover of architecture, can be a bit creepy at times. The immediate thought of Herbert Mearn’s poem “Antigonish” popped into my head. It’s eerie. When I first heard it, it was over a decade ago in the movie, Identity.

So the desire to rope in life’s climb and progression and adventure into this as a M.C. Escher staircase. The little men, so figuratively speaking, are projections of yourself at the bottom of the staircase and waiting up on the next level, which seems so much greater in height. The post is a bit of a mind fuck. It’s intentionally creepy. Our past haunts us, and our future beckons us.

Without further ado … The Espresso Shot (#020): [Escher]

(Yes, I fixed that link to the post. Thank you, Stef.)

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Writing on the Walls, Pages

Last year — Or what is this year? — a former college roommate of mine posted a picture of his reading a Louise Gluck poem. It’s a powerful poem in my opinion, and it resonated enough and wedge itself in between my mind and skull to look for the book when in a used bookstore. There was much resistance for a while, actually looking for the book, because …

Well, let’s be honest. Can someone really have too many books?

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from Gluck’s The First Four Books of Poems

It will be said again: I love this poem. How it’s read and the aesthetic impact of this poem leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It’s confident. It resonates. And inside my mouth develops an odd taste that needs to be washed out with Listerine or some other alcohol-based mouthwash. It builds slowly and steadily, and the last line — “Love, you ever want me, don’t.” — is essentially the last straw with this torrid love. It’s a wonderful culmination and conclusion; so much is said with so little.

Well, as past practices have proven themselves pertinent, time is taken when reading poetry books. As personal opinion, you can’t read poetry like prose. Some people may disagree. The words and thoughts that make up a poem are often higher caliber, and to really understand — sometimes we may not fully understand, but it does not hurt to try — the meaning behind each piece, a poem has to wordsthoroughly be read and picked apart. But there really isn’t anything wrong with a person’s opinion, deeming poetry good or bad. An elaboration is always appreciated.

The receipt from the book was used as a bookmark; they usually are — recycled for purpose. But then an index card was found snug in between a couple pages and wedged into the backbone. It’s exciting to come across notes

The one of beauties of used books is finding markings, underlined passages, highlighting, and notations in the margins from a previous reader or maybe two or maybe three. The markings may come in the form of statements, questions, assumptions. Passages will be highlighted or starred or have a bracket in the form of one of those old ice carriers, signaling that this part, right here, is too cool to touch.

It interesting to see how others respond, and you get a look into their minds. You see what excites or depresses or stresses them. You wonder. You question whether this was supposed to be read by your eyes or not, if your brain was to cuddle these thoughts. And then you find lines if poetry on a card, lines from poets other than Louise Gluck. Regardless, inspiration is inspiration, and inspiration is beautiful, and beautiful is captivating.

The fact that these messages fell into your possession can be read into, perhaps. That’s up to the person, however. Not too many people write lines out. If quotes are captured, they’re either written to a Facebook wall or tweeted, but only to be lost in the ether of the Internet. With this, you may never know whose handwriting this or how many degrees of separation there are.

Of course, an attempt on my part was made to figure out where these lines came from. There hasn’t been a successful finding with the first passage. The second, however, is a poem by Stanly Kunitz; and it is called “First Love.” Click the link for a read. I enjoy the poem; it’s very fun and airy, whimsical even.

Being an often over analytic person when it comes to finding messages and banking on instances being more than coincidences, it’ll be interesting to see how this card plays out. What exactly is the Why? The card is going to stay in the book should I choose to leave it somewhere, because some aspects should not be tampered with.

Have you received any intriguing messages lately? What is a favorite that you’ve come across in the past?

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Love? At First Sight?

Really? Yes, today, my post talks about love at first sight, relationships, and indirectly reminding you to keep yourself in check.

Please enjoy the piece at Syracuse New TimesThree Minutes of Your Time

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Explanation Shmexplanation

There really isn’t too much to talk about in regard to my posts this week. They are what they are: a restaurant review and a quick thought provoker.

Wednesday night and early-early Thursday morning, I had this whole scenario and post written about about gentlemanly behavior in the downtown-on-Saturday-night bar scene. A guy we had seen this past weekend kept blowing air into the face of his girlfriend/interest. We’ll say “interest,” however. He did it five or six times, and this is not a joke, but she did not reciprocate a slap to the face. There was other behavior that allowed me to ask if the youth of America was truly on the verge of exploding.  But all this sounded too negative to me. It was trashed.

Instead, a friend posted a picture that really intrigued me. It allowed me to create a quick piece about the little things in life. Check it out and enjoy.

 

Cheers!

 

Tuesday’s: Ironwood is Solid

Thursday’s: Espresso Shot (#019)

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My Nomination, Your Explanation

Before I begin today’s night on The Inevitable Coffee Ring narrative poem, something has to get out of the way, out of my system:

I’ve been nominated!

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source: syracusenewtimes.com

 

For the first time since seventh grade, I’ve been chosen to be a part of something that’s awesome. Thanks to you all, those who nominated me.  (In seventh grade, it was the Camillus Middle School Science Fair — I actually tied for First Place.) This blogging nomination an honor in itself. My blog, The Inevitable Coffee Ring, has been placed in the running with four other diverse blogs. It’s an eclectic group, and they all have wonderful content: food, things to do and events taking place in Syracuse, coupons and deals to be found in the surrounding area, and sports. And then there is me, the stream of conscious lifestyle blogger looking to simply entertain and take some risks with writing.

It’s the annual Syracuse New Times Best of Syracuse 2014. The category is “Best Blog.”

Feel free to go to the website, vote, scroll through the pages, and be sure to click “done” at the end. Otherwise your vote isn’t counted.

~~~

Tuesday’s piece on breakfast is what it is. It’s snarky, its supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to offend people a little, but the offence shouldn’t linger for too long. Any great breakfast is the way to start your day.

In today’s piece, The Espresso Shot, the narrative poem is packed with a lot. My primary point was to show that stars can be seen in the Syracuse night sky despite your being in the city at the time. The lights aren’t too distracting, and the quiet nature of the environment adds to a wonderful and almost storybook aura. The emphasis for a life soundtrack is stressed (again).

And with these two considerations, the desire to set up a fictitious proposal was wanted. Let’s have two people, who are briefly mentioned by the narrator, travel through the city of Syracuse. Let’s throw in some music, because it’s (almost) certain, that a guy’s head is filled with thoughts before dropping down on one knee. Music is usually calming and it sets the mood; cue Tommy Dorsey.

The tough aspect while getting through the piece: all the alliteration.

Talk about Syracuse:

  • How dessert and wine bar, Bittersweet, has amazing creme brulee and it’s not “bittersweet” at all.

    Clinton Square

    Clinton Square

  • The Clinton Street fountain, the  fountain in Franklin Park, the fountain in Hanover Square — we have a lot of water sputtering in Syracuse
  • How the city can easily be walked.

Then, I get into the stars, the sky. Here’s where knowing constellations and Greek Mythology comes into play:

  • Bootes, the herdsman, his constellation looks like an ice cream cone. He drives the bears (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor) or plows or oxen across the sky.
  • Circumpolar pertains to constellations that can be seen in the night sky year-round
  • Cepheus and Cassiopeia, King and Queen, are circumpolar constellations. Their arguments make them seem to be bears, or unbearable.
  • The King and Queen are placed upside-down in the sky.
  • Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter, Andromeda, to be the most beautiful women in the land and sea, stirring up confrontation with the Nereids (sea nymphs). Poseidon sends Cetus, his Kraken, to destroy Etheopia.
  • Andromeda is chained to a rock to be sacrificed by her own parents, but she is saved by him as he rides upon Pegasus, the white-winged horse.
  • Perseus and Andromeda are not circumpolar, but they are seen in the autumn night sky.

The characters of the poem ignore — they actually have nothing to do with — the commotion from above and create their own story. He gets over his unbearable nervousness, swoops in for the kiss, places the ring, and that story ends. As the story ends, the song/record ends. It’s someone else’s turn to put the needle down, sift through their nervousness.

And that’s that.

~~~

Tuesday’s piece: It’s Breakfast, You Champion

Today’s piece: The Mischief of Our Stars