billfriday.com

fictionary… 8 megapixel artist… bloody awful poet.

Archive for the category “8 Megapixel Artist”

Wake the Sun

wake the sun PNG

I got to wake the sun this morning,

from my bed of silent dreams,

in the nonsense of my plans

for another day. 

I drank coffee by the window,

unnoticed in my chair. 

Looking back at her,

I couldn’t pull my eyes away,

but she did not see. 

She’ll be busy when she rises,

shining down on others through the day. 

But I’ll remember what she looked like

lying next to me.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Breathing

days PNG

I don’t overshare.

Yes, I have thoughts.  Yes, I have feelings.  No, I don’t put them out there, all heart on my sleeve, for the world at large to see and sift through.  I had that, in no uncertain terms, kicked outta me years and years ago by someone I loved, and that was enough for one lifetime.  Of course now, it’s taken as a sign of unwillingness on my part to be intimate, but whatever.  It’s my sleeve, and I’ll leave it bare if I want to.

A while ago, I mastered the art of Vaguebooking, but was told, in equally certain terms, that behavior like that only alienates folks from getting to know the real me, but for me, it’s easier to speak the truth I know people want to hear, or just say nothing at all.  Again, the feelings are there, I’ve just been conditioned to keep them to myself.

It doesn’t make for many friends or lovers, but I’ve become reconciled with that, believing, until recently, that when it comes to pain in the heart places, less is better.

Yeah, I said “until recently”.

See, I’ve been going through a Fuck Ton of things in the last year, and thought I could poet my way through them.  Thought I could silent my way through them.  Thought I could Vaguebook my way through them.    

I’ve been going through a Fuck Ton of things in the last year, and I had to finally say something.  The only way I know how.

After the fact.

 ***

A friend of mine, a really good friend, recently told me something that, in the moment, froze my bones.  That something was,

“With change comes sacrifice.”

I didn’t say it in that moment, but I truly hated those words.  Things had been changing so rapidly in my life that the last thing I wanted to hear was that, with all this change, I was going to have to “sacrifice” something or somethings I still held onto like a cheap life jacket after the leaky boat sinks.  I was barely hanging on as it was, and NOW comes sacrifice?

***

On a seemingly unrelated note, a few weeks before this, I had begun the practice of spoken affirmations.  Not the kind you might think, but the kind that only I would think to practice.  Notice I did not say positive affirmations.  I began the practice of negative affirmations.  With phrases like,

“I wish I had never met you.”

“I need to get you OFF of me.” 

And most recently,

“You’re somebody else’s problem now”. 

Whenever I began to feel the sink of sadness begin to drag me to the hell of my own dark mind, I would invoke those, and other phrases.  These negative affirmations became my talismans against the feelings that kept me from moving.  They allowed me the freedom of expression that Vaguebooking never could.  They created in me the ability to breathe.  Not in, but out.  And this was important for me to understand, because, in the world of breathing, you learn quickly that your life is only as good as your next breath.  And if you spend your life holding one breath, that breath just might kill you, because you have to breathe out to breathe in the next breath, and the next, and the next.

You have to sacrifice that breath if you ever hope to have another.            

So in my mind, I did.

And shortly after that, I had me a day.  The kind where you wake up one way, and if you just keep breathing, it ends different than you thought it would.

You see, I woke up holding my breath.  Then sometime during that day, I sacrificed that breath for the promise of the next breath, and the next, and the next.  And the words in the picture at the top of this page were that day.  Poeted through.  With the promise that there could be more than just holding my breath, waiting for the next breath to come.

***

Somewhere on Facebook, maybe a little, but not in a way I think will be held against me, I posted these words, and Instagram posts, at the end of that day,

“Today, I wrote myself all the way through a sadness that has hung on me like grave clothes since last fall. These are the trilogy of Instagram posts that were the path for those feelings to find their way out…”

days 3 views PNG

***

There is no snappy conclusion to this post.  One that ties up all the loose ends of all the thoughts I’ve just unloaded on you who read this.  It’s like life, I guess.  It’s just a series of breaths that keep you going along the way to more life, and the next breath, and the next, and the next.  And now that I’ve finally let go of that one breath I’ve held for so long, sacrificed it for the change to come, I know I’m still breathing. 

And that’s living.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Ray Bradbury, Albert Camus, and Me

shadow lines

I seriously just had the most amazing experience.

Reading.

First time I can ever remember a story becoming alive to me from the printed page.  Full of colors, and smells, and stars. 

Then, it merged into another story I had read, elsewhere.  Full of heat, and death, and regret. 

And the two stories became what I felt I’ve been living since I don’t know when.

That’s as deep as I’ve been in a while.

And I swear I have smoked no peyote.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

I Dreamed

dream

I took a nap. 

I dreamed. 

Something good happened. 

I woke up. 

I wasn’t there.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Green Grass

Green Grass png

Silence,

the green grass upon which

every dream of summer rests,

to wither,

lost for seasons,

burnt,

then cold,

unremembered,

until awakening in the

nightmares of another spring.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

No Lie

 

window

One thing you learn as a writer, if you tell yourself the truth, is that writers are really good liars.  And I am a really good writer.

No lie.

I’ve been moved into the new place for a week now, and I don’t think I can handle it.  I know what all my online posts looked like after I got here.  All Zen and peaceful, with a nod toward some kind of “I found myself” vibe since I arrived.  As I write this, there’s a soft breeze coming through my windows with the approach of sunset.  I can see Long Beach airport in the not too far off distance.  I hear birds sing in the next-door neighbor’s trees.  On the quiet street below, a man walks his dog, and the two of them move over the fresh asphalt as if they were walking on green grass in a park.  Idyllic is the first word that comes to my mind. 

Idyllic, if you’re raising kids, or retired, or a lot of other things that I am not.

Idyllic.  And I fucking hate it.

Maybe because, for the first time since I turned my life over, originally to the chaos of separation and estrangement, then to the disillusion of love found and lost, and finally to the desperation of intention and the desire for something more, all that’s left for me to feel is nothing. 

And it turns out that is the last thing I want to feel.

I thought, with all the change I manipulated and moved myself into over the last few months, I would feel that new direction I was aching for.  Feel the purpose that comes with a best laid plan, conceived and achieved.  Feel everything coming together for the first time in the entire time I’ve been alive. 

Just… feel.

One thing you learn as a writer, if you tell yourself the truth, is that writers are really good liars.  And I am a really good writer.

No lie.

At least that’s how I feel.

 

© 2017 William S. Friday

Forty-Eight Beats Per Minute

pick me up

I woke up two hours before my alarm.  The TV was still on, but barely audible, and it wasn’t the thing that woke me.  There was a dream.  There is always a dream. 

I had three messages on my phone from three different people, still accustomed to my old hours.  I’m not up all night anymore.  I’m just as likely now to fall asleep watching a movie before I know I’m even sleepy, and be up before the sunrise, before my brain knows what time it really is.

The only thing that is the same in my very different life is the coffee.  Except now, that first cup, and the time it takes to consume it, is as sacred as the silence that surrounds me as I drink.  Now, the only sounds that keep company with me are the clock on the wall behind my head, my nearly silent breathing, and, if I’m truly still, the slow beating of my heart.         

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

I’m Really Gone

exit

I’m really gone.

Okay, technically, after I leave in the dawn’s early light of this Friday morning, I will still have six-and-a-half hours left to go.  But in a very real sense, the job I’ve worked for three weeks short of nine years is over.

I’m really gone.

So on this last night of a seemingly endless run of thirteen-hour shifts, I said goodbye to some people I work with, in this, and other states.  Officially trained my replacement for a few whole hours (I hope THAT works out for all concerned next week when I’m no longer here).  And I wrote this, to remind myself that…

I’m really gone.

To remind myself, because at a time of night when most decent folks have been asleep for hours, I had a revelatory burst of zero-dark-thirty energy.  Not the “Mrs. Howell on radioactive sugar beets” energy (by all means, find it on YouTube), but the “I just realized how much actual time I’m getting back in my life to do all the things I could only do in my non-existent spare time” energy which, when harnessed, creates its own CERN-level epiphany that years of sleep deprivation and exhaustion can’t touch.

So, though you’ve all seen me around the blogospheric interwebz for a while now, you’re going to be seeing more of me.  Call this your pre-dawn heads-up for all things Bill Friday.  The kind of heads-up where I tell you that when one life ends, another life can begin.  A life where you really can do all the things.  A life where you figure out what works, and do it.  A life where you figure out what doesn’t work, and you try like hell not to do it again.  A life where even the old things feel new again, because this is the exact, right time for all of them to finally happen.  Just like you always wanted them to, but you always ran ahead of God, or the universe, or your own shoelaces, and you tripped and fell every time. 

Until now.

Because now, I’m really gone.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Reading America

Reading America PNG

I have, often wrongly, been called a poet.  I would argue that point right now, but doing so would defeat the purpose of the next 800 or so carefully spellchecked words.  So instead, I’ll say,

“Poetry is not my friend.”

At best, poetry is that crazy uncle who showed you which liquor store would sell to a minor without a fake ID, then introduced you to the college girl who worked the register, and even made sure you left with her number and a twelve-pack.  At worst, poetry is that same crazy uncle who introduced you to the college girl who worked the register and, it turns out, has a boyfriend with two cauliflower ears, an even more twisted nose, and the willingness and ability to kill you before you can even put your pants back on. 

Once again,

“Poetry is not my friend.”

I’ve got more words, so follow me.

While it is harder and harder to call America a country of readers anymore, America does read.  It reads news and fake news with equal ease, it reads movie reviews, and from time to time, it even reads a book.  The New York Times, that thing with all the book reviews on Sunday, is written for Americans to read.  And the New York Times is written on a 7th grade reading level.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that because, for the most part, America’s conversational grade level is in the neighborhood of Cash me Ousside Girl, which is also fine, because America kinda had to read to even find her. 

But here’s the thing.  Remember what I said about how America does read?  Well, there is one thing that America reads better than every other form of the written word.  The one thing that is the most powerful platform of thought conveyance there is.  A literary form so strong, it even got a morally bankrupt, hairspray-wearing, tiny-handed, Alec Baldwin impersonating, billionaire elected President of the Reading United States of America.

America reads Tweets.

Long Tweets, max of 140 characters (not including uploads), short Tweets, soft Tweets, hard Tweets, quiet Tweets, loud Tweets, stupid Tweets, and even… God knows how crazy THIS will sound… smart Tweets.  Tweets are America’s shit ticket to literacy, as literacy is measured anymore.  And America eats this shit up like it’s a dollar dessert at McDonalds.  It is the new literary paradigm, and no amount of MFAs working at McDonalds can stop it.  It is the mint on the pillow of the hotel so good, the first family would rather live there than the home reading America theoretically voted it into.  Tweets are sweet, and don’t even give you the cavities no longer covered in your soon to be lost, affordable dental care. 

Mmmmm, Tweets.

So now, let’s go back to the beginning and review.

I have, often wrongly, been called a poet.  I also know that poetry is not my friend.  It can get you drunk.  It can get you dead.  You know that, while America is really not a country of readers anymore, America does still read.  If you read above a 7th grade reading level, this post introduced you to Cash me Ousside Girl, who probably Tweets, and it taught you that the same Tweets that you can read from her are the Tweets that got a morally bankrupt, hairspray-wearing, tiny-handed, Alec Baldwin impersonating, billionaire elected President of the Reading United States of America.

And you learned that America reads Tweets.  Oh, and that no one cares about those kids in the paper hats with $100,000 worth of student loan debt behind the counter at McDonalds who have advanced college degrees in, well… poetry.

One last thing before the shocking conclusion.

Poetry should be everyone’s friend.

Have you read any Tweets today?  I hope so, and if you haven’t, there’s still time.  I hope so because, if you did, you might have actually read… poetry.

Long poetry, max of 140 characters (not including uploads), short poetry, soft poetry, hard poetry, quiet poetry, loud poetry, stupid poetry, and even… God knows how crazy THIS will sound… smart poetry.  Poems are America’s shit ticket to literacy, as literacy is measured anymore.  And America eats this shit up like it’s a dollar dessert at McDonalds.  It is the new literary paradigm, and no amount of MFAs working at McDonalds can stop it.  It is the mint on the pillow of the hotel so good, the first family would rather live there than the home reading America theoretically voted it into.  Poems are sweet, and don’t even give you the cavities no longer covered in your soon to be lost, affordable dental care. 

Mmmmm, poems.

Poems are reading America’s new literary paradigm, all over again.  And all because, while nobody was looking, reading America was being given an unconscious mind made ready for a brilliance that can be captured in 140 characters or less.  So now,

“Poetry is everyone’s friend.”

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Echoes

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: