A lot of big things happened last year. Not nearly all of them bad, but not all of them good either.

One of the relatively small changes was my official end of my New Year’s resolutions posts. I sat there, on New Year’s Eve, wondering what kind of things I wanted to accomplish and looking back at how 2017 had been. And, for the life of me, I could not see clearly the way to move forward. This tradition started for me about a decade ago, back in the days of Myspace (yes, that’s how old this is) and I just wanted to take a break from the poetry and reflect. What it became was a vain attempt at proving that I’m still “doing things” and moving forward in life.

I don’t think I have the capacity to do that anymore.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t be continuing to write poetry (I’m about to post a new poem after I finish this post, as a matter of fact) nor that I don’t think I should take time to reflect. But if I am honest with myself, these resolutions aren’t doing their job.

I haven’t spent time returning to these posts to think about it, or make plans to accomplish even one of the goals I had set for myself. Even coming back to them the following New Year’s Eve, I felt like I would just be making excuses, not actually doing something. It was too vague, and I meant it to be so. Thus, I’m going to stop.

In a way, this is entirely refreshing. I’m in my thirties now, I have to wisely spend the spiritual currency life has dispensed to me. So I sit here, looking back at the dumpster fire that was the year 2017, and I think “Well, it can’t very much get a whole lot worse.” And then I quickly knock on wood somewhere.

Stay tuned for more poetry, and thanks to those of you who have been here all along. Onwards and upwards, friends.

MSBQ

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Americana

October 28, 2017

For a nation born in
Protest and fire, we
Tend to ignore all of
The impossible beauty
Of our promised land.

The muted reds
Of canyons wide,
Or the melodies of
A fiddle at sunset.
The silence of the
Extinct wild buffalo,
Or the shifting lanes
Of corn farmer’s gold.
Our country stands
Atop whiskey barrels
And picket fences.

Not all memories are
Pleasant ones, though
Still they have value.
Our past is mired in the
Coppery tang of blood
Spilled without cause,
Of gunpowder clouds
And the quiet wail of
Lost sons and daughters.

Our liberty is man-made,
The true wealth here
Lies in the soil and the
Spirits who have long
Since fallen away.

MSBQ

Falsehood

April 17, 2014

A once famous Roman
Architect and poet said,
“Only darkness can
Bring clarity.” It seems
Profound until you
Learn that he was
Also blind as well.

For he had seen, unlike
Most, what our lives
Boil down to after all
Is said and done.
He had found that
Behind the quixotic
Smile of men’s muses
Laid a truth about us:
We are no more than
The choices we make.

Our entire universe
Is held together by a
Tenuous thread, woven
By our actions and, often
More importantly, our
Inactions. That as we
All dance in a perfect
And intangible limbo,
The quiet voices of
Consequence play as
Impetus for all we do.
We are endlessly here,
And waiting in the dark.

Blind, but seeing, both the
Beautiful and the terrible.

MSBQ

Symmetry

February 1, 2014

Staring into a
True mirror, spot
Every imperfection
On your real face,
And then realize that
You have been lied to.
What you look to for
Guidance and peace
Of mind every morning
Has oh-so-subtly taken
Your perception for
A fool, and you smiled.

Symmetry is almost
Impossible in this life,
Since every cracked
Surface in our world
Is a ruse de guerre;
A clever disguise to
Hide what lies under
Your skin, my skin,
Smiling back in
Reverse, waiting to
Bring about ruin-
Eyes blink twice.

MSBQ

Man’s Predicament

January 14, 2010

Perhaps you can help me
You see, I find myself taking
Upon my human shoulders the yoke
Of mankind’s most noble struggle
One of my biggest sins and also
My greatest strengths is
My narcissistic and eternal
Quest for knowledge.
Literature, philosophy, history,
Science, law, theology, even math
(When I absolutely must)
And the more I learn, the more
I realize how little I know
How can this be fair?
Justice, her bow in hand
But with an empty quiver,
Stands before me: an
Alternative deity of harmony
When I try to speak, to defend
Myself and my actions,  I am
Quite surprised to find my own
Two hands covering my mouth.
Oh, that you would hear me!
Escape your sedentary lifestyle,
Be free of the shackles that
You have forged for yourself
And live a life of glorious mistakes.
To teach, I have come to understand,
Is to educate and not to school.
Even beyond my man-made constructs
Of poetry and classic literature
There is, indeed, truth out in the
Beautiful world of ours.
We share it. We breathe it.
We invite it into our homes.
We ignore it on freeway offramps.
We cover it up with sacred words.
We scribble it onto napkins.
We play it upon our hearts and minds,
And on strings and through metal
Until it rings clear and bright
Like the first sunrise ever recorded;
It will be marvelous, now and forever.

MSBQ

Truth In Aesthetics

January 13, 2010

One marble column,
Ponderous and smooth
The Artist stands on the threshold
Calloused fingers graze the sides
His eyes reflecting nothing but the
Cold grey and white monolith
No form permeates the marble
Inside the Artist’s eyes, much
To his amateur dismay. He could
Almost hear his professor’s words:
“Only the truth can create the truth.”

A thousand years of art flashes
Before his mind’s eye, cutting his
Feeble perception down to
The golden ratio of thought-
Two thirds reflection, one third concept.
For hours he sat, examining each inch
Of the mineral wall for some hidden
Potential artistic energy
But to no avail.

Art was not a thing to be created;
It lie only truly in nature, and some
Would argue not even there.
His enthusiasm fizzling, the Artist
Throws his hammer and chisel
Out the paned window; down, down
Into the ruddy streets below him.
Tiny shards of sky blue glass lay
Scattered around the floor,
The light of the setting sun cast
An imposing shadow upon the
Hardened marble block.
Maybe nature, after all,
Holds the key.

MSBQ