This week, I stepped into The Arena, an addressless destination for creative freedom. I entered hoping to find the accountability and grit to grind towards an exceptionally praiseworthy and shareable piece of writing, but stepped away with something even better: the permission to have fun.
I recently purchased the URL and website hosting for this blog, pleasantly and humbly surprised by how many of you read it. As the primary source of proof that I do actually have thoughts, posting here brings me a great deal of joy and satisfaction. It also intimidates me.
Over time, I have come to expect a certain level of writing from myself -- some personal blend of apologetic pretension, mild quip, and weary but resolute optimism. (Perhaps you have come to expect something similar too.) At my best, it comes easily; I am naturally annoying and prone to oversharing, and also believe in you very much. Other times, attempting to write in this particular style of “good” feels so insurmountable that I simply opt to write nothing instead. This seems like a bad system: either continually one-up myself or stop trying altogether. It's just that I respect you so much, dear anonymous reader, and want to deliver you The Best Possible Content.
But ultimately, I know that I am incapable of producing dazzling truths and hot takes endlessly. I can only offer you what I have, and sometimes it will be of middling quality. Kind person that you are, I think you will allow me this trespass, especially if I assure you that I had a nice time doing it.
Here's to finding the zest and sucking the marrow, to playing, to spending a little time everyday just making something. Here are seven poems, one for each day of the week.
when worms have sex
they line their bodies up side-by-side
like twin exhausts
billowing out of a steady plane.
i read webpages about
“segments 9, 10, and 11”
then dug at wet soil with bare hands,
like a pervert,
to see for myself.
the last time you and i
were prone in proximity
i didn’t know about the worms yet.
i was preoccupied with other things,
like the dinner menu
and being loved in grand ways.
i wasn’t aware
that lying next to each other
is a goal of its own.
i envy the worms,
who have less to prove
and get to wriggle peacefully
in the dirt all around us.
last june i made fruit tarts
to mark a new year
and they were "really good!"
except for i underbaked the shells
and couldn’t find peaches
and also the custard
wasn’t as smooth
as it could have been
but no matter
we finished them within the week
and when you said "i love you"
in front of my whole family
i believed it easily
celebrating life means celebrating
moving too fast and
making the best of and
still not getting it right
in the end
my ride home goes yellow, blue, green, green, green
the staccato of life kicks at my heels,
strokes my back in brittle and lustrous chrome
chrome is the third hardest metal
and comes in any color you want,
but carbon on a finger still wins.
i'm thinking of you (and you and you and you)
what we lost to become more complete
now, the parts of us that are taking and
how can i be sure it's a zero-sum game
unless i hit zero?
it does not need to be perfect;
i am driving too fast to see
or maybe i meant the opposite.
i am driving too fast to see
it does not need to be perfect.