The Best Years of Our Lives


Driving Us Crazy
January 31, 2010, 12:49 pm
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January 14, 2010

I turned to the person next to me and stared for a long time. I wanted to see if I could make them uncomfortable by smiling too much. I wanted to see if I could put them at ease by talking too much. I wanted to see if I could make them do anything at all. After a while they got up and walked away without giving me the slightest bit of attention. I am not saying that I deserved anything more, but after all the work I put into generating a response, I was surprised, actually hurt that they just got up and left without tossing a scowl, leer or head shake in my direction. Clearly, I was not reaching this person.

I turned my attention to the person in front of me and started tapping them on the shoulder in groups of threes. I did this for ten groups, totaling thirty taps. They did not turn around. I grabbed both of their shoulders and started shaking them and they did not turn around. They were showing me the utmost contempt by showing incredible restraint. They would not allow themselves to be reached by me. I resorted by plucking at their ears, both of them, top and bottom. Finally as my fingers started to tire they person in front of me got up and left and just like the person next to me. They gave me nothing.

I flung myself back into my seat and exhaled audibly. I started breathing harder and the frustration was starting to realty get to me. It was at this point that someone leaned over and spoke to me in the most soothing of voices.

“Would you please stop that? I am trying to enjoy the day and you are making it very difficult for me to do so.”

“Oh.” I said in response.

After a pause they leaned away from me and exhaled a polite, content and satisfied.

“Thank you.”

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Let It Be Known
January 31, 2010, 12:40 pm
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January 13, 2010

Let it be known.

Waiting for the car to pass and it was hours at least let me tell you.
Now they even have stores like that just around the corner.
Occasions like these warrant pauses and considerations.
Let it be known: the cave in begins with you.

Watching for the boss around the corner doing nothing again.
Now they even put their friends in a box up on the shelf.
Times like these make for laziness and procrastinations.
Let it be known: the wash out begins with you.

Pacing the halls of a store with waiting room on every aisle.
Now they even pile the crates in corners behind the open door.
Names like these only confuse and dilute postulations.
Let it be known: the back up begins with you.

Building the set of appliance make shift upright stands tall.
Now they even lay themselves down in a tight ball of smoke.
Places like these help the rest of us face the amputations.
Let it be known: the break down begins with you.

Let it be known.



She Wins
January 30, 2010, 5:18 pm
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January 12, 2010

Same thing happened to him that happened to her.
He had all the experience and she the will.
He walks away wanting peace.
She wants revenge.

Ten years later and she is alive and he is dead.
He died fairly unknown and she leads the town.
He did all he could do, maybe more.
She fights on.

He had seen it day after day and enough was enough.
She had seen it only once and then she began.
On the edge everyday on the edge once.
She can do it.

He is gone, now on to her and what she does.
A case made for both sides.
You do to me; I would have done to you.
Now I can do to you before you do to me.
And you still can do it to me.
Just like you did before.
She wants revenge.
She fights on.
She can do it.



It Was Coming Right For Me
January 30, 2010, 5:16 pm
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January 11, 2010

Turn around and you won’t see what you’re supposed to see.
Stand still and you’ll see whatever you want to see.
Who will pay, who can pay, who wants to pay, why pay?

We can get it here as the exchanges continue behind the door.
Everyone at the party knows what they want behind that door.
Will it open, who will open, when will it open, is it locked?

They accepted the offer and in the end felt like they had won.
They walked away knowing that they had lied and they had won.
I saw them, you saw them, they saw them and nobody won.



Trios
January 27, 2010, 6:29 pm
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January 10, 2010

Three pieces of music. Each of them unique. All passion and pop.
Three musicians foot printing the paper
Three sessions of hard work
Three takes.
Trio

Three sheets of linen. Each of them the same. All tight and twill.
Three weavers painstaking the fabric
Three hours at the task
Three breaks
Trio

Three wishes at dawn. Each of them awry. All safe and taut.
Three movers developing a plan
Three breaths of air
Three clouds
Trio



Come Back Later with Your Radical Art
January 27, 2010, 6:28 pm
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January 9, 2010

I am a hypocrite. I am a fan of the modern once the modern is passé or when the modern dissolves into antiquity. I like artists who push the envelope, but only after they’ve stood the test of time. I am clearly not bold like they are. I wait for them to reach me, sometimes a century or so after the fact and then I reflect upon what they’ve done and usually, if they’ve really separated themselves from the pack, then I deem what they do not only interesting, but damned good.

I stand in front of a painting from 1914, clearly a radical piece for its day and I imagine how it must have felt to create this, display this, view this and then receive this in its timeframe. In most cases and I am very impressed by the artists’ fortitude. I love what they’ve done in hindsight. In fact, even if the piece was embraced and became the norm even mass marketed I am still a fan of the archetype, the original. The first form.

I realize that there are many layers of relativity to “modern” art. In fact, I’ve done no research on the subject whatsoever, but I can see that there are several relative circles to consider. First off, there is the immediate realm of influence of the artist, his daily life and peers. Then there is the broader time in which they created. Then there is the reaction to the piece. Then there is the market. Did a collector and or museum deem this piece worth saving, adding, restoring or displaying? Then there is the circle of influence. Who did this piece reach – artist and audience? Lastly, there is the simple question of: How does it hold up?

A friend of mine and I saw a band on a reunion tour where they were playing mainly from their early, influential and highly creative days. They were in their late 40’s and early 50’s at this point, but they played with all the vigor they had when they were 21 or 22. Their music had influenced dozens of bands and you could see it all through different genre’s of music. Neither he or I saw them when they were breaking ground as band or as a groundbreaking band, but I really enjoyed them play their music. Granted it was somewhat “safe” by today’s standard, but I still enjoyed imagining the reception they received in their day. My friend thought they were boring and through no fault of their own, their influence was all over newer music that he found much more vital and interesting.

Despite the fact that some things do not necessarily hold up or stand the test of time, I still enjoy viewing the radical shifts in visual and audio arts, no matter how mundane they may have become. For me it is still important to remember that at that time, people were pushing things to the edge and over it. The thing is, they still do, but I have no real interest in the “new” cutting edge. Not until its old hat.



Those Squirrels are Too Nice
January 27, 2010, 6:27 pm
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January 8, 2010

I know its cold, but what are you thinking? What has happened to you? Have you really been conditioned to believe that nothing bad is going to happen to you? Sure, you’ve been lucky so far. You’ve been looked after and have avoided any serious danger, but what happens to you when the luck runs out?

I know its cold, but what are you doing? It’s one thing to get all up and close and in everyone’s face only to dart away at the last minute and then run back over in some occasionally cute, occasionally frustrating game. It’s another to let yourself be touched like that, by them. Stroked and poked in front of everyone.

I know its cold, but what are hoping? The drive for food has made you forgo your survival skills. Are they still there? Did you loose them by eating one too many potato chips or corn chips or hot dog scraps? Did you ever have them? Have you always just wanted someone to pet you, no matter how cold it is?