Abuse, Alienation, Alienation From Self, Art, Life, Marysa, Outstanding Bloggers, People, Poetry, Writing

To a Young Artist — Take Care of Yourself

(About a 3 minute read)

The snow came today and the cold,
The cold came with it so hard
It cut through the walls of my cottage.

But nothing today came colder
Than the news someone once
Had laid you on a white table
And under harsh and glaring lights
Stole your insides with a scalpel
To leave you only with your skin.

I am not a stranger to such things.

I have seen in my life how a man,
A man who can walk into a fire
And live to walk out again,
Can someday be taken up by a tornado
And without reason spun so hard his very self —
Everything that he is — is flung from him,
Cast by the winds so far away
That the man must travel decades
To find a few pieces of who he is again.

And I have seen how a woman
Whose spirit is light and tender,
Whose smile is a warm sun,
And whose laughter is a light breeze across flowers,
Can without warning or reason or mercy
Have molten lead poured into her,
Poured down into her to settle and freeze in her heart
By the man who professes to love her.

By the man
Who professes
To love her.

I am not a stranger to such things.
I am not shocked by the news today.
I did not cry for you when I heard
Of the table or the lights or the scalpel.

I did not cry for you
When I heard once again of the monsters among us —
Of what they had worked upon someone —
And I do not yet know you well enough
To mourn true and honest
Your pain, and your suffering, and your alienation:
I’d be BSing you if I said I could.

But you told your story
With such power and grace,
You told it with such insight
And with such understanding,

That you grabbed my guts
You chilled my blood,
You made the thought of you being abused
Rush through my mind like the broken ice
That crashes down a mountain stream
In the winter.

You can turn words on a lathe, my friend,
Turn them with precision and grace.
You can craft them
Into real and solid things
That punch with images,
Meanings, truths, and insights —
That punch.

There’s something great in you,
A seed at least.
I see it.
Do you?

If not for yourself,
Then for the sake of others,
Take care of yourself:
The world is better
That you’re in it.
Take care of yourself.

Art, Cultural Change, Culture, Dance, Drawings, Human Nature, Literature, Movies and Film, Music, Paintings, Performance Arts, Photography, Poetry, Quality of Life, Sculpture, Society, Theatre, Visual Arts, Writing

Will They Bring With Them the Poets?

SUMMARY: Reflections on the future of humanity.

(About a 7 minute read)

I read a post yesterday on Bojana’s blog that got me thinking about the future of humanity.  That’s a topic that is more or less always in the back of my mind, but which I seldom write about.

I seldom write about it largely because it’s such a complex topic that I’m not sure what can be said about it that might someday more or less pan out as true.  Bojana’s approach to the topic was a pretty sound one — she mulled over her observations of her toddler and his friends as they were playing together.  The future, of course, begins with how we raise our kids.

Continue reading “Will They Bring With Them the Poets?”

About This Blog, Advice, Art, Drawings, Fun, Ideas, Paintings, Play, Talents and Skills, Visual Arts, Writing

Why I Write (And Why You Should be Alarmed)

SUMMARY:  An approach to overcoming writer’s block.

(About a 4 minute read)

Based on the scant evidence available to me, I can conjecture that most long term readers of Café Philos are lured to read my insufferable opinions for much the same reason folks find it difficult to look away from a train wreck in progress.

That statement might imply to some folks that I take pride in the being the blogging  world’s equivalent of a tragic, slow motion collision.  Actually, I do not.  But I’m a realist about these things.

Continue reading “Why I Write (And Why You Should be Alarmed)”

Art, Human Nature, Life, Living, Passion, Quality of Life, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Spirituality, Writing

The Human Need for a Discipline

(About a 5 minute read)

Earlier today, Alice Gristle put up an original, intelligent, and insightful post on her blog about the relationship between a writer and his or her story.  In it, she notes that, when we write a story:

We’re tempted, every one of us, to somehow include ourselves in the story. To make that gibe at the politician we hate, to get our comeuppance on the girl who slighted us in junior high, to put a little salve on our hearts after that smarting breakup.

She notes, however:

Your story is more important than you. You will die and be wormfood, a lump of bones, a smear of ash. Well, your story might be, too – but it might not. Alone of you two, it has the chance to live, to stay aloft on the hours of history, in order to live and teach hundreds of years in the future.

The strong implication is that, for a story to live on past us, we must “get out of the way”. That is, we must put aside our natural tendency to insert too much of our own views, concerns, behaviors, and personalities into the story, least we distract from it and thus weaken it.

Continue reading “The Human Need for a Discipline”

About This Blog, Advice, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Fun, Miscellaneous, Play, Writing

Paul’s Eight Edible Tips for New Bloggers

SUMMARY: Eight tips for new bloggers.

(About a 6 minute read)

If you’re like me, you have noticed that most people now and then say exactly the opposite of what they really mean.  This is no where so true as when people accept excellent advice.

At least, when accepting it from me, they usually say things like, “That’s the worst advice I’ve had since my fiancé’s dad’s on prom night!”, and “Paul, if I had wanted to die young, I would have asked you straight-forward how to die young.”  Meaning, of course, “Thank you for the superb advice!”

Continue reading “Paul’s Eight Edible Tips for New Bloggers”

Art, Humor, Poetry, Village Idiots, Writing

Signaling Jupiter

(About a 2 minute read)

Signaling Jupiter

Her parents had cruelly raised her to believe
She was the adopted child of wandering space aliens,
And not their own flesh and blood, which led her
From an early age to spend nights at her window
With a flashlight signaling Jupiter.  Years later
I found her, still not disillusioned by then, working
The streets as a freelance jumper-cable consultant
Who for a fee would tell you which cable went where.

By then I couldn’t save her from her entrenched insanity,
But I brought her home anyway under the pretense
Of needing a house maid when in truth I was looking
For cheap labor to help me genetically engineer the cats
That I planned to sell as designer pets — once I had
Gotten them to glow in the dark like jellyfish.

Yet, it was not until the months had leaped past nearly a year
Before we became friends, for one night she came to me
Dressed in her tragic aluminum foil hat and pajamas to ask
If I wanted to stay up and signal Jupiter with her.  Better yet,
I said, let’s coax the moon to look in through your window
And upon your white sheets where we’re making love.

The happy years rolled by then
Like plump sausages off an assembly line
Until the day I lost her when
Her aged parents returned to claim her as their own.
And the last I ever saw of my love was her wave to me
From the ramp of her family’s saucer.

Art, Humor, Poetry, Village Idiots, Writing

The Dedicated Blogger

(About a 1 minute read)

While visiting late one night,
She was overcome by the fumes
Snaking out of my empty beer cans,
And tearfully confessed:
Her career as an important social critic
Specializing in scathingly witty and erudite
Twenty-seven word essays on contemporary trends
Meant nothing to her
If she could not satisfy her lust for a man,
For she’d been raised up unholy to think
She was incomplete, scarce half made up,
Without a companion.

Though my heart surged and boiled
Like whitewater at the least thought
Of entwining her nubile body with mine
I could not bring my tongue to speak,
Nor open my arms to embrace,
For I was possessed by a fierce desire
To render the moment as a captivating
600 word blog post, and by the time
I’d written, edited, and published,
She was gone.