Archive for the ‘Poetry’ category

Purchasing Organs and Poetry

February 24, 2012

After a couple weeks of trollingly refreshing craigslistings every day for organs in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston, I think I’ve found something awesome. I haven’t fully lined up the purchase yet, but it is very promising, and I am very very excited. It’s not a Hammond, but it’s a step toward owning one someday.

In light of that (and inspired somewhat by the poetry textbook my friend Tiffany gave me – for lyric writing help) I drafted* a poem this evening:

Hammond, My Hammond

I clicked to tell them yes, “confirm my order” several days ago.
I too should note I stared at screens for months to make sure I would know
that I would have not one regret-
a certainty and not a bet-
as soon as it arrived,
for I will play this Hammond organ till the day I die.

But once I clicked to say “I do” and paid a dowry to the store,
it’s like they took me to the trenches and I’m writing home from war.
My mind can think of only she;
each second is eternity
for I have waited years
to make myself a virtuoso who could hold her dear.

But do you think that over time I might grow weary of her sound?
The toys I wanted as a kid soon gathered dust and lay around…
With her, I don’t think that’s the case-
I’m older! With developed taste…
Whatever does unfold,
I know that she will give to me a music filled with soul.


In Praise of Silence

May 17, 2011

Dear dynamics,

Loud is winning.

But only because we’re letting it win. We let it win when we’re young, when we cry to be heard and then fed. We let it win when we’re a little older, when we pound our chests and sing our songs, hoping to be noticed by someone we love. We let it win as we assert our way through the world, shouting to get our way. We let it win when we can no longer even hear, and raise the volume just to make things audible.

Except… there is also silence.

There is the silence of the curious child, listening to and learning about the world she encounters. There is the silence of the kind young man who cares for a young woman from afar. There is the silence of the hard worker who does not complain, even when the task is difficult. There is the silence of the peaceful passing of the old.

Then there are much more terrifying silences. The silence of the victims, too scared to speak. The silence of the victims who do speak but are drowned out by the louder events around them. The silence of the evildoer who plots inside her own head. The silence of a species when it no longer exists.

Silence will always be there. Taking a silence and making it loud might help one soul. But there will still be more silence.

For silence to win, we must simply always be searching for it. Occasionally, we must search for it so that we can make certain silences louder.

But the ones that do not need to be loud – those we must treasure. The blissfully soft, hopeful passage in a Mahler symphony. The quiet of a library, full of learning. The soundless smile on a friend’s face.

Do not even read this, dynamics. It is already too loud. Let these words simply “be.” They do not need to be read. You will keep being loud and soft and in-between in the way you always have. These words do not need your attention. They are soft enough already.


A soundmaker

I Make Faces in the Mirror

March 21, 2011

brushing teeth takes time
must… find… some kind of amusement

no, not furrowed brow
remove that smile in the cheek
legitimately try to feel angry
let emotion mold the expression

brush brush brush

ok but I don’t want to feel angry
how about shock
eyes wide open
too simple

brush brush

make a presidential address
we will END tarter control!
no… remove the posh haughtiness
have an easygoing conviction behind the eyes


hello sister
we raise eyebrows at each other
she begins to brush too

brush brush

ok, how about the weirdest face imaginable
squinting, toothpastey canines bared
nostrils flared
chin muscles pulled taught


we poke each other
elbowing for sink room
expressing a playful annoyance
my subconscious regains facial control




September 10, 2010

Wynn Nguyen, a nun, & Anna Noonan, a ninny, annoy a union & win an onion & nine naan in a neon inn near Eyjafjallajokull.


July 27, 2010


down that food / around your neck


apart the paper / s running down your cheek


your feet across the floor / and exhale


y day / up the clock


A woman in her fifties was reading the bible. She had out a pen and was pausing at nearly every word, underlining most of them. Was she unlocking new territory at an older age than most, or was she concentrating on a daily plea to the beyond?

A fake book holds instructions to some of the most brilliant expressions. But a person needs an instrument to feel them.

And I click “next page.” There’s always more to think about.

Washington Monument

July 15, 2010

There’s a place
on a highway in the east
of DC
where if you look west
you see smokestacks.

Two white pillars
rising, through the power lines and rooftops.

Far beyond the columns of exhaust
nearly as tall
and of a similar shade
is a needle.

Washington’s memorial
in the distance,
framed by industrial cigarettes,
makes a cloudy day
even more so.

Underrated Song Lyrics

May 26, 2010

The concept of a “lyric” is a very rigid one. It must be made of words. It must have meaning. It must be the most important part of the song. It must communicate the soul of the singer. It must tell an important story or show a novel idea. It must have exact meter and rhyme. It must combine with other lyrics to create a poem of utmost profoundity.

Above all, it must be singalongable.

Exhibit A:

The Darkness – Hazel Eyes

“Girl with the hazel eyes