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fictionary… 8 megapixel artist… bloody awful poet.

Archive for the tag “internet”

The First Cup

nano poblano photo 1

Bill stands in front of a large group of strangers.  They are sitting in a semi-circle on folding chairs.  Each one holds a Styrofoam cup of what looks like coffee.  Bill fidgets imperceptibly as he tries to make eye contact with a few of the strangers.  

 

Bill (to the group): Hi, I’m Bill!

Group (to Bill): Hi, Bill!

Bill: Hey, everybody.  I really suck at this… this introduction thing… so yeah, um, anyway… I’m really bad at it. 

 

Bill strokes his beard, trying to think of what to say.

 

Bill (continuing): So… I’m bad at this.  A friend tells me that I come off arrogant when it’s me and a roomful of strangers.  That I just need to introduce myself first and not wait for others to come to me.  So that’s what I do now… introduce myself first so I don’t look like an asshole.

Group Leader (to Bill): Don’t worry about a thing, Bill.  No one in the group will think you’re arrogant.

Bill (to the Group Leader): Are you sure?  Cause you’re the one who told me that.

 

The Group Leader looks angry, like a hungry dinosaur.

 

Group Leader (to Bill):  I’m sure, Bill.  Go on.

Bill: Okay then.  Like I said, I suck at this…

Random Group Member: Suck at what exactly, Bill?

Bill: I think we established that…

 

Bill squints to read the Random Group Member’s nametag.

 

Bill (continuing):…Steven.  I suck at introductions.  And large groups of strangers.  And interruptions.

 

Steven looks awkwardly at the Styrofoam cup of coffee in his hands.

 

Bill (continuing): Also, I’m probably not going to remember any of your names.

Another Group Member: We’re wearing nametags.

Bill: Yeah, well I’m bad at that too.

Group Leader: Bill, maybe if we focused on why we’re all here.

Bill (thinking out loud): Nametags… Interruptions… Strangers…Assholes… Oh yeah, Nano Poblano.

 

The group cheers.

 

Bill: Lemme start over.  Hi, I’m Bill, and this is my third Nano Poblano.  I guess I’m here for the same reasons all the rest of you are.  To write and post… something… every day in November.  And to be accountable to the group.  And to get to know everyone better.  I hope no one is too offended if I stare at your nametags.  I really suck at remembering names.

Steven: You said that, Bill.

Bill (staring over his glasses at Steven): Yeah, um, Steven…

Group Leader (interrupting): Okay, great!  That’s about all the time we have for group today.  I know each of you has something exciting for us again tomorrow.  Bill, thank you for introducing yourself to the group this year.  I know how hard that can be for some people…

Steven (under his breath): Some assholes.

Group Leader: …some INTROVERTS to navigate in a group setting.  Alright then, same time tomorrow everyone!  Remember to toss your cups in the trash on your way out.

Steven: You mean the recycle?

Group Leader: No… STEVEN.

Bill (under his breath): No… STEVEN.

Group Leader (to Bill): Bill…?

Bill: Yes?

Group Leader: Don’t be an asshole.

 

 *  *  *  *  *  *

 

Every November, a group of strangers gathers in an often scary place known as the internet.  Where, every year, strangers become more than just bloggers or friends.  These strangers become family.  To you, this was my introduction.  My way of saying, “Hi, my name is Bill”.  Some of what you just read is true.  Except that I don’t know any bloggers named Steven.  The rest… pretty much.  And I’ll be around for the entire 30 days, coffee in hand, my nametag on, ready to say hi.

Welcome to Nano Poblano 2017.

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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

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

Baby Face Chinaski

baby fade chinaski

I don’t have time for your shit,

you post-pubescent misanthrope. 

Once upon a time,

when your ironic alter-ego roamed the streets,

and haunted the bars of dirty L.A.

like a piss-stained ghost,

you were yet a regret in your

bitch of a mother’s misbegotten womb. 

Although I don’t think I blame her

for how you turned out,

given how you beg for the teat

in every Facebook post of yours

I have ever read. 

Maybe I’ll listen to you

when you can grow a mustache

thicker than a row of pubes. 

Until then,

I will simply shake my head,

and comment less and less,

because the only two things you are listening to

in these last days of your misspent youth

are your own mewling laments of growing up too fast,

and the hollow sympathies of girls your own age,

who would sooner court the clap

than give you what you think will make it all better

for just one night,

before the sun rises in your sunken child-eyes,

and you post online once more.         

 

© 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

I Raised a Generation

road png

This is my end.  

I raised a generation,

and now look back upon it. 

I raised a generation,

and the next in line to come;

beautiful,

and free from my spotted past. 

And in seeing,

think only that it is to this generation,

and the next,

that I am tied forever. 

One decision,

made so long ago,

that its beginning seems eternal. 

By one decision,

I am now grounded to this earth,

to this very spot on which I stand,

for the rest of my obligation of days. 

I will go nowhere. 

I will not find pleasure,

as a reward for years spent in hopeless,

loving duty,

but in dedication to my craft,

and to my legacy,

this generation,

and the next in line to come. 

This is my end. 

I raised a generation,

and if I am lucky,

one day,

I will know my place,

beneath this ground on which I stand.

 

© 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

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