The Good Word of Sprout

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thoughts on cats

You either identify with a cat's aloofness or you don't. In high school, my phriend Phran used to say that cats are so human, soooooo human, sooooooooooo human. God I hated that. She also used to say that if I had longer hair, she'd be all over me. Yet I never considered growing my hair out. I guess having a mustachioed Korean girlfriend anxious only to defy her parents didn't quite appeal. Now, though, it sounds pretty good, provided she's not attached to the mustache nor it to her.

I'd like to get a cat. I suppose I'll need to get a cat. I have serious reservations. A single man should not have a cat, unless it's a real badass cat or it's a remnant of a previous (human) relationship. Why? A man with a cat gives me pause, claws. I've trained myself to suspend judgment, but between you, me, and the lamppost, there's something unmanly about owning a cat, a cat owning you.

It's probably easiest just to reject binary gender. It's something I've been wanting to do, and besides mythologists, who needs it?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

General advice to myself

When I go to the bar, and it's less and less these days, I like to order my martini "bourgeois." This, I explain to the bartender, means measured by eyeball and served iced in a rocks glass, not shaken, stirred with a butter knife, olive dropped in by hand. I also order wine this way, sans olive, but if they have a fresh berry or two lying there and there's nobody around to call me a sissy...

Anyhow, drink only takes me so far. I need to acknowledge self-doubt and accept it, and to speak with the confidence of that acceptance, those limitations, a man who looks his foe in the eye. My words may be halting at first, despair coursing through my thoughts, unable to articulate why because I don't know why. No one knows why.

Some mock me out of fear, and others laugh to relieve their own anxiety. Laugh, laugh, laugh, I speak to alleviate. Others too speak from that same place. They fear also, the compassionate more so, but they accept it and deem it more important to tell what they see. That person who doesn't fear others' unedited honesty is an idiot or enlightened.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why I like musicians

A song, like an angel, scares evil. A song harnesses energy, living energy, the simple power of dance. A song simplifies living.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No curtains, but respect

I went to the fabric store to pick out some fabric for bedroom curtains. I find the best way to really get to know a fabric is to pull a good portion from the roll and just rub it across my cheeks and get my whole face in and take some good long sniffs and lightly moan and sigh and feel the rhythm of the waves.

To make up for having the police escort me out, the fabric ladies gave me a free sample of a nice paisley pattern to cover the tent in my pants. I really respect that. They must really respect me.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Pen to Paper

Putting pen to paper feels basic, primitive, just me using the cave wall to make sense of the terrible and wonderful world outside. There is so much out there. The possibilities stagger me.

These words are my vitality expressed through my right hand. They are electric signals, the soul's coded broadcast, searching for another who understands. I want my readers to know me intimately, and I want to be intimate with those who meet an arbitrary standard, which is probably wholly unnecessary, but nonetheless there.

This intimacy refreshes my words, giving me a new physical vocabulary -- the rough edges soften, the contrasts shimmer, everything bathes in a new light. There are more textures and temperatures and playful moments.

My children, the words, play from line to line. They are like me, and I hope they grow better than me. They swing together with innocent curiosity, asking what each other means. They laugh about common letters in constant joyful discovery. They ask inappropriate questions and questions that require an honest answer.

Editing means their death, cruel and objective. The word is here, then the word is not. It dies for a reason, and it will not come back, at least not how we knew it, how we loved it. I kill it with my hand, a black strikethrough, nothing noble about it, just human. It's an act of brutality. Why?

I don't know. It's easier to delete on a computer. There's no body. But the word processor (yes, this) processes words as the meat processor does meat, squeezing them into uniform shapes for sale to the undiscerning masses.

"Good words," they say with a mouth full of them.

"You got an 'r' stuck between your teeth," I say.

The word processor is a cold exact machine that does not allow the letters to touch. In touch there is warmth and humanity and imperfection. In touch there is tenderness -- a balm for a world that sometimes seems bent on wounding us as we try to share.

Perfection bores me. I need a challenge. Imperfection makes something worth reading, worth anything. Imperfections, when seen as beautiful, create love, shards of love, weaponized love. Certain unscrupulous people (though not all unscrupulous people) use this weapon to imprison, and the prisoner doesn't even want to escape.

Words have power: the ability to generate emotion, to inspire, to alter the mind, however temporarily. It is important that they be used responsibly and cared for.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Problem/Solution/Com- plication

Problem: Beauty's decay

Solution: Beauty's decay is in itself a form of beauty.

Complication: Grandma's friend's neck tastes medicinal. Her lips taste worse.

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