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Archive for the category “8 Megapixel Artist”

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

The Gift of Universe Song

the-gift-of-universe-song

Give no love to the poet. 

This frail,

flaming human,

is not the gift of

universe song,

sent to rain life down on

all who thirst. 

Nor the giver,

that he might interpret. 

Flawed,

the object of the

world’s affection,

nothing more than a

splintered leaking bucket in

the rain-eternal. 

Well-placed in

time and space

to hold for a moment,

that which all

who thirst,

find. 

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Heyoka

heyoka

“I’ve been holding up the world too long.”

Those were my words to her, when I finally had the words to say.  I had been in hiding from her, and from the world, for days; short texts becoming longer, until I could not look at them anymore.

“Thanks for having the guts to be honest,” she answered.

There is a difference between being honest, and telling the truth.  One involves not lying.  The other, speaking when it hurts; sometimes to the ruin of those you love, and eventually, yourself. 

I once wrongly believed that my cup had no bottom, meaning I could take into myself all the burdens of those I chose to bear the burdens of.  Sadly, turns out this is bullshit, and you never know when your cup is going to overflow, until it does. 

My cup has a bottom now.  I found it in the place where ego learns the difference between honesty and the truth.  In the same place where you learn that you can’t help anyone if you’re helpless, and the first person you have to be honest with is you.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Life Gets In

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Life gets in.

It is not always beautiful, but it knows that.  It cannot be hurt by your words, but it does not stop you from speaking.  It will not be surprised by your actions, right or wrong, and it will encourage you to be stupid, or gloriously brilliant.

It is rarely fair.  It does not ask for your permission.  It goes where it is not invited, and it does not tell you why.

It blows you back, like wind off the sea in winter.  It burns you, like the desert sun on bare skin.  It falls from the sky, like rain. 

It grows under the hedges you plant to keep it out.  It bursts forth, one day like weeds, the next, like wildflowers.  It shows you its colors, and it does not judge your choices of them. 

Only the choices you do not make, after life gets in.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

You Can’t Say Bad Things about the Good Things

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Some people keep a journal.  I keep notes.  No, literally, I keep things I’ve written… short things, sometimes super short things… on my phone, in the notes app.  Things like the title of this post,

“You can’t say bad things about the good things.”

Well, you could.  But that would make you a real dick. 

At least that’s what I tell the voices in my head, when I’m mocking them.  The voices can be, and often are, real dicks.  Which is why, as I said in my previous post, I mock them.  Because, while these voices deserve to be heard, when they’re done, they deserve to be put in their place.  Most often, that place is in a roaring dumpster fire of mockery and ridicule.

But sometimes, the voices find their way into the notes.

About a third or so of the poems I’ve written for publication began in the notes.  Like I’ve told many people on multiple occasions, I write my poetry NOT on paper with a pencil or a pen, but from beginning to end on my laptop.  I have no idea why.  I just remember the first… okay, probably not the first, but the most memorable… time it happened.  A flash of really shitty emotions, and the worst burst of lying voices I ever heard, and the moment those 15 seconds of hell had passed, I opened my laptop, and wrote.

 

“Brains on the bathroom floor,

gloating

Consciousness above me,

Floating.

Despair at life,

Unlived.

Responsibility,

Relieved.

Bucket made of bone,

a sieve.

Whispers of all doubt,

believed.”

 

In the time it took me to say, “fuck you” to the lying voices, a poem was born in the place of sorrow.  And from then on, at the very moment the voices, good or bad, speak, a note gets made.  And yeah, maybe an angel gets his wings.  I’m really not completely clear on that.  But the point is, whether bad things or good, for this reason, I make a note of it.

It’s these notes, including that almost ten-year-old poem, which became a book.  Notes that are about to become a second.  And so, whether or not the beginning of these notes began as a bad thing, they turned into a very good thing.  And that was the point of all this history.  To remember the good, and make notes.  Lots of them.  Because you can’t say bad things about the good things.

Well, you could.  But that would make you a real dick.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Serialized Cyber Screed

overthinking-it

This is a make or break proposition for me.

You see, I lack the “boldness gene” so commonly found in other people.  Not really sure why.  You’d think some equivalent could have been programmed into me at an early enough age so that, by now, no one would be able to tell the difference, least of all me.

So here I sit, facing a keyboard, words just spilling out of me like raw sewage during a flood run-off, while I hear voices in my head, both creative and destructive.  The creative ones assure me that whatever it is I slap on the page will be something worth reading.  The destructive ones assure me that no one will give a pair of shits about it.

And I know which voices usually win.

But this time, and possibly because of the 11 cups of coffee I’ve had since I woke up today, or maybe because I always feel an overcompensating hopefulness after my fourth and last 14 hour shift of the week, that for right this minute… and this minute only… I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Blog.

I know, if you’re reading this, you probably write one.  I have one, but don’t.  Not in the truest meaning of that made-up word.  Blog.  Weblog.  Serialized Cyber Screed.  Not to denigrate the medium or anything but, as humans, we mock what we don’t understand, right?  We know it’s wrong, but we do it anyway.  Hell, I’m mocking myself, right now.  But as a writer… as an author… maybe the only thing that keeps me from falling into the quicksand of isolation is the mockery of introspection.  Wherein I bang on the keys like I’m having a conversation with myself, and a few friends read it. 

Knee-deep in their own quicksand.

So I’m gonna try this again.  Blog.  Weblog.  Just a conversation with myself, every so often, where the voices in my head battle it out for Cyber Screed Supremacy.  And I have the right to mock them, for your enjoyment.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

In Warmth

in-warmth

I’m sitting on a beach,

an hour before sunset,

in the summertime. 

 

The only shadow on the sand is behind me,

along with every thought and action leading up to this point

in my life. 

 

And before me, only two things show themselves. 

The sun, setting,

and an endless ocean,

with the sun setting into it. 

 

These two are, for me,

not the sun and the ocean, but life and eternity. 

 

The ending of the day, life. 

The ocean,

a soon-black eternity. 

 

Together,

they are all my finite mind can handle,

as I wait, in warmth,

for both.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Dog

dog

I‘m not what people

look for in a blog. 

I don’t write about

my kids,

my wife,

my dog. 

My kids are all grown. 

One has a kid of her own. 

The other is gay. 

With his mother he’ll stay. 

But the dog,

purest love that I’ve known. 

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

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