Writing Practice – 2/18/2019

Describe this man…

This man is confident. He smiles as if he knows he is better than you. He holds his hands together in front of him as if he is pointing at you, to say, “You should be intimidated by me, and because of how handsome I am.”

Yes, he is handsome. His hair is flopped over slightly on his head, short, straight, medium-trimmed. It is not close-cropped, but not hanging past his ears, either. This is a look which has been carefully cultivated. HIs cheek bones stand out from the flush of his cheeks just slightly. His ears fall back tight against his head. They don’t stick out, which would give him an idiotic, imbecilic look.

His shoulder, inside his suit, are proportionate, straight level across, not sloping, not stooped. He holds himself this way and we recognize his power, his alpha qualities. We see in his body that strength of authority. Yet his necktie is slightly askew; slightly off at the little crook beneath his neck. Does this imply he’s a bit lax at times? Or just that he wants to appear “approachable”? Like, “Hey, I’m not really a bad guy, you can talk to me. I promise I’ll listen.”

His eyes, half-closed, suggests a smirk with his lips. These tell me he thinks about me; he wants me to come over and gather round, to hear his tale he is about to tell. He wants to hold this audience in rapt attention for five minutes, ten, fifteen, as the crowd at the cocktail party gradually swells, noting the attention and coming to find out what all the fuss is about. And he knows, too, that his story is thrilling, enthralling, so he continues to speak, to add details, wild and exorbitant that bring his audience even more delight, and as new people glom onto the back, they whisper to one another what’s happening, and they hear similarly whispered responses recapping the tale of adventure so far, how he and his wife were driving one night and picked up a hitchhiker, who turned out to be a billionaire, and they ended up at the billionaire’s home, and now he’s telling how there were thirty people in the pool, all in various states of nakedness, “Oh my, can you imagine, I never,” and he’s got this story down, he’s completely mesmerizing thirty or so guests in this new dinner party, he’s the center of attention, and soon he realizes that he’s pushed the limits of credibility to their furthest ends, any more and even he won’t believe it could have gone like that, and so, with a flourish, with a large loft of his glass to toast the room, he winds up the story with a wild “And, so, my friends, to adventure!” And all their cheers resound through the night, and they all drink toast, Cheers!, and then gradually, and suddenly, and middlingly, they distribute, they disperse themselves back out to rejoin the party, [illegible] a man, this strong, confident, Alpha male, remaining behind with his date, slipping an arm around her waist and pulling her a little tighter, sips and finishes his drink, places the glass on a table behind himself, and leaves, to bask in the gazes of the experience, having once more justified, validated, ensconced himself at the top of the social totem pole once more.

Writing Practice – 10/7/2018

Poem a Day Volume 2, p 383 (Dec 16)

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,

Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,

Whose speed is but the heavy plummet’s pace;

Run thy own trail, travel thine own path.

Send to the heavens the shout of a many-breasted warrior strong with the ichor of battle. Let forth a barbaric yawp to shake the hills and rattle the cedars. Share not your victory with those who would have nothing to do with the battle but everything to do with sharing the spoils. For why should their reticence be rewarded, and your valor diminished? Why shall your light hide, as if a reflection upon the surface of the moon, instead of shining bring from the sun’s rays?

Strive, then, brothers in this long struggle, and let it be know that you shall no longer rest in humility as a result of the things you have fought for, sweated for, bled for. But these days shall see a resurgence of your manifest adulation. The righteous praise well-deserved flowing from all of the crowd’s lips to over and above and through you. For it is never enough for just one to shower adulation and praise (except that she be the one, yet that remains a different tale for a different time). It is not enough for a single voice, no matter how powerful or authoritative, to say “well done.”

Nay, it is only for the recognition of the crowd that the warrior strives. He seeks not his own glory, but does so to honor his fallen brothers, to eke out, to draw out from those who remained behind, their praise, their worship, their respect, their fear.

For, if they did not fear the powerful, if they did not respect them at least a little, and in practice a bit more than that, if they did not recognize the hidden, camouflaged power waiting within the army’s arms, if they did not acknowledge the real authority beneath the breastplate, if they did not offer a genuine kudos to their true betters, they know that in a few moments, with a turn of a whim or at the insolence of an unruly youth, they, too, might find themselves a new enemy of those who wield the true power. For true power comes not from robe or treaty or birthright. True power comes from a willingness to fight, to truly fight, not simply argue, to fight and take power, to risk one’s own life in the pursuit. That is power. That is authority. And that deserves respect.

Writing Practice – 4/16/2018 – Please

Please…

Please. Pleas. Bargains. Questions. Hopes. Dreams. Recognition of power. “If it may please you,” means nothing more than “You have the power in this relationship. I bow to that power, and I beseech you to stop down off your throne of authority, I beg you to reach into the cesspool that is my life, I implore you to darken your flesh with the stench of my own experience, I fall on your good graces, I humbly lower my head in shame at what I am, unequal, unworthy, and I place myself at your mercy.”

Please – a simple word, with much power. With power, and authority, and tradition behind it. And it, too, it has magic. Is that not what we tell our children? “What’s the magic word?” “Say, ‘Please,’ and you can have it.” Are we teaching them that we are the authority, or that they are? Aren’t we instilling within them, by our insistence that they say “please” and “Thank you,” that anything in the world can be theirs, just for the asking? What a horrible set-up we’re putting on them. What a terrible failure of expectations they are about to receive, when they get out into the “real world”, (however that may be defined, wherever that really is, whenever that happens to show up), when they get out there and they find their selfish conceit confronted by another, who, just as selfish, just as conceited, has also grasped onto that bright, shiny, attractive thing and refuses to let go.

Now it is a struggle – of wits, of pleas, of “please” and “thank you,” a battle to see who will back down, who will surrender, whose will shall crumble under the onslaught, the greater resolve of the other, finally triumphing, when one finally gives up, gives in, lets go, says, “fine, you can have it,” and the victory dance from the other, the triumphant exultative “Yahaaa!”, the jump for joy, the enjoyment of the shiny thing, becomes a final crushing blow, eliminating any chance of future happiness, because, once and for all, the blinders that we, as well-intentioned but incredibly naive parents installed through our teaching, of “magic” words, dissolve, allowing the poor, helpless, drifting, lonely child to see the world as it truly is – cold, calculated, measured, survival not of the fittest but governed by a different law – “survival of the survivors.” Rough awakening, to be sure. And those who do wake will at least be one slight step ahead of those who don’t. They will need it. They will need all of it.

Writing Practice – 4/4/2018 – Down and Out

Write about “Down and Out”…

Down – because the default is “up”, is upright, is standing, erect, ready, powerful, or at least appearing to be. Up, as in, upstanding, as in, upright, as in, uptight, as in, upset, as in, unsettling, as in, unsettled, as in, resettled, as in, reconnected, as in, restructured, as in, reconditioned, as in, reevaluated, as in, returned.

And. A conjunction. A contraction? No – just a way to connect two things. Thing one AND thing two. Thing three AND thing four. Things one hundred through one hundred ninety-nine AND Things two hundred through two hundred ninety-nine. together. Inseparable. Unbreakable. Once conjoined, never to be individuals again. This AND that. So much power. So much authority through so little an experience.

Out. Not in. Out. not special – not part of the elite, the chosen ones, the unique group of select few who shall become the ruling class after the uprising has run its course. Out. Out of touch. Out of line. Out of the habit. Negativity. Uncertainty; impropriety. Out of control, out of rhythm, out of the box. Anything good begins with “out”? Out of your mind? Nope. Out of this world? Closest thing to a non-negative, and that’s basically saying it’s just neutral.

Down – the low, the fallen, the ones whose position has been stripped of all authority.

Out – those who are no longer part of the inner circle.

AND – Bringing them together. The ones who once were high and now have been brought low, AND they are not privy to the special dispensations available as they one were. Oh, poor, pitiful them. Oh, weep for them, you fortunate souls, and tell your children and grandchildren their tales as a warning, as a behavioral modifier. “Beware, less you fall out of grace, like the DOWN AND OUTS!” Pity them, use them as a reprimand, but do not get too close – you would not wish their taint, their stain, to ruin your pristine image, too. After all, you have the UP AND IN status you have inherited to maintain. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to you. So be careful. Observe, warn, stay away, ensure you don’t catch their misery upon your lives as well.