Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 6

Caked in soot, the turbines lurch to life while I bleed their whir, grass festers at boot heel's caprice. Far above my head my arms cradle the blades, pare away the nickel, incise an anagram. Purple amoebas belch wet vapor beyond the silos. Perspiring icicles I feed them the orange slices, horrified, blotting their acuity. I pace, well aware the sun is tasting my neck, grin plastered with ingratiation. The watch dangles an appendix, informs me it's 12:41 for the tenth time.

Horned lizard chased by unseen forces darts and snakes through brush, corners a raisin, pounces, peels back its skin, devours its guts, sashays away. I swat a fly against my leg. A cloud of licorice and mothballs protrudes. Babbs said he would be here by now. Harvester must have held him up. Bet it was Sandy, another one of his crystalline visions.

A crag slides a wink my way. It's slippery. It sparkles and fizzes within the choked grass. Lunging in vain I rake topsoil, intake a solid wall, fall into a thicket near the bottom of the bedrock, cough grain for five minutes, rotate to shield the gash, expel sandy slugs through the sieve. Minute vine tendrils tighten grip around my ankles, the bush flails into the right side of my skull. Fuck. Too much this time, red and green begin seething, robbing each other of magic, wisps of nimbus begin a tango with the mesa, approaching nightmare, stop balling the jack, you're not Neal and you never were, oh shit the accelerator has been jammed all this time? Behind cacti leer cracked leather windshields, the smacking of their lips stifles the air, for want of any kind of purpose, leaking vats of prattle, eating holes in my frayed jeans, Babbs said he would be here. I begin to miss his commander parlance. Even Browning's foggy machismo. The sky began to bleed into ochre. A halo of ash from the northwestern corner of the map spits all over the turbine, drenches my feet with the ferocity of a marshmallow.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's been a minute, Blogger...

And of course I have nothing of importance to say. Just some more poetry that most people will probably think is lame but that I am quite proud of.

And suddenly the whole vibe has changed
She tells me I’m lucky that I’m alone

I blinked one eye and it happened
Grasped for a tie that could bind
You appeared

Churches are silent tonight
Steeples’ quiet fall
The snow a cushion of secrets
Can you see?

And if you turned a blind eye
Could the sun shine through it again?

Now I sit beneath cloudy skies
And why
Was my mind so awry?

I searched regions unknown
Before sinking alone
The current led me home

You have co-opted my time
Stolen the words right out of my mind


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Various musings on the opposite sex

No girl wants the perfect guy. If you give her her idea of the perfect guy, if you embody it in the way you act towards her and treat her, it will instantly cease to become the perfect guy to her. She will crave something else as soon as she has what she thought she wanted all along. If you treat her like a queen all the time, she will feel unimportant, complacent. She will lash out for a drama, for a good fight. If you resist this fight, it will only fuel her feelings of contempt or dissatisfaction for you. Nice guys so often finish last.

Unwilling to treat her like dirt, wishing only to give her your best, she will grow bored. She will move on to the next jackass in line who’s more than willing to fuck with her head, and then probably fuck her in your stead, while you’re stuck prowling the sidelines alone, wondering what could have been had you just been lucky enough to more instinctively be an asshole.

Girls don’t want flowers. They don’t want romantic dinners and they sure as hell don’t want you to write a song about them. That’s too straightforward and simple – too honest. The fun is in the hunt, they say. When you are just barely out of reach, the prospect of having you consumes her, burns in her heart and courses through her veins. She envisions being able to obtain you all for herself, and she won’t stop chasing you until she gets you.

Some have it lucky enough that they are able to lure men in with this sort of behavior without much resistance, lucky enough that their feelings of longing and desire are reciprocated in full. But this is far too convenient, far too easy and coincidental. The boat must be rocked. Once she has you ensnared in her trap, she no longer wants you. Even if you fulfill all of her desires, she will create new ones you can’t satisfy.

Part of it is a fear of trusting, being genuinely understood and accepted. But a larger part of it is a fear of being satisfied with what you have – a more subconscious and more powerful fear, a fear of actually being content with someone, a fear of not needing anything else or not searching for some abstract idealization of a “perfect” man.

If a man had his way, the game would be over much earlier. The game is fun when getting to know her, but then he’d like to drop the whole charade and enjoy the beautiful company of the other. Girls are bloodthirsty. The chase is so glamorous and exhilarating that suddenly the overall goal of the chase starts to pale in comparison. Suddenly she wants to fill the void with more and more chases with equally gullible men. They’re not in it for the goal like you are – just the journey to it.

Then they regard you as the odd one for not growing bored so quickly, for actually wanting to see a potential relationship through. They make you feel like you’re in the wrong for being satisfied with what you have. For genuinely wondering how her day was, for wanting to know her plans for the weekend, for trying to get to know her just like you had assumed she’d wanted. Then the rug is yanked out from under you and you find her laying it out again for the newest flavor.


Monday, April 27, 2009

The best viral video ever

I may try to embed this directly within my blog, but for now check out myself and James in a video we made for class... on display on YouTube in all its *cough* glory. Click below:


Thursday, April 9, 2009

On disconnect and modern insanity

Flecks of gravel fly
Whisked by wind
to mingle with the dust
boil to shrapnel
assault in the name
of a name since forgotten.
Here a lone cricket can alight
to drink in the unholy draft,
Blanched and barren as ruptured fossil,
Timeless as a stagnant tomb.

Here there is how without why,
A lens but no eye,
a reservoir drained dry,
mired in a quarry of
angular echoes,
content to unhinge
to shovel and bury
the thinning threads
of recognition.


Monday, April 6, 2009

A perfect mirror

"And she turned, swayed slow to one side
And with a glint in her eye
She poured the night out of my soul"


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Greetings from Tampa, Florida

Hello blogosphere. I haven't been around the computer too much this week because I've been busy living it up in Tampa for spring break. It's been a really fun, relaxing, stress-free weekend and accordingly, I've posted some pictures from the week beneath the link below.. More to be added soon.

A couple views from the gorgeous Lopez house

A shot on the way to Busch Gardens. This rollercoaster was called Montu, I think

Alligators at Busch Gardens

And some elephants...

And the Shiekra? I think it was? The new one with the ridiculously steep drop

A couple pictures of the beach at sunset

And the causeway at night. That's all for now!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Review: John Frusciante - "The Empyrean"

Published on March 5, 2009 in The Red & Black


"'The Empyrean' is a story that has no action in the physical world," the renowned Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist John Frusciante wrote on his personal Web site.

"The outside world is only known to us as it appears within us by the testament of our senses. The imagination is the most real world that we know because we each know it first hand."

This bold statement of intent naturally signals an album of similarly ambitious caliber: "The Empyrean," his first solo record since 2004, is his most conceptual yet.

Whereas the majority of Frusciante's solo material was composed quickly (the guy recorded a full six albums in 2004 alone), "The Empyrean" has been in gestation ever since the RHCP did "Stadium Arcadium" in 2006.

The extra time Frusciante spent on the album clearly shows, luring the listener into a mellow, psychedelic journey that oscillates between concise rock songs and elaborately designed epics, which positively boil with emotion.

Of the longer material, "Dark/Light" and "Central" emerge as the album's nuclei. The former features a Gothic choir propelled by a hyperactive bass line and MIDI drums, while the latter layers experimental guitars and keyboards over an otherwise straightforward progression.

Frusciante may not have the gritty, balls-y style or natural instinct for rhythm possessed by RHCP's vocalist Anthony Kiedis, but his own voice is tenfold more powerful and emotionally charged.

In fact, many of the songs on "The Empyrean" center on his impassioned vocal performances - notably "God" and a brilliant rendition of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren."

Not to mention his singing has grown more experimental, evident in the otherworldly vocal manipulation on "Unreachable" and the abnormally low register heard on "One More of Me."

The emphasis here is obviously Frusciante's vocals, but he doesn't let anybody forget the reason he became famous in the first place: his exceptional guitar prowess ("Enough of Me," "God" and "Unreachable").

The guitar melody in opener "Before the Beginning" unfolds and climaxes, like a feather caught in an updraft. But there's also a chance that unless you're stoned it may not be quite as enthralling.

With "The Empyrean," Frusciante creates a compelling landscape that brims with passion, cementing for himself a unique identity removed from the realm of the RHCP.

Oh and for what it's worth...

Happy 311 Day! (Get it, March 11th? Yes, of course you do.) They just uploaded some new information on their ninth studio album Uplifter today on their website. The album's release date has gotten pushed back to June 2, but considering they haven't put out an album since 2005, it's really right around the corner... I'm keeping my fingers crossed for it to be good. If it sounds like Don't Tread on Me I very well may have to officially quit listening to them. And the video clip of their new single "Hey You" didn't exactly help to quell any doubts I already have.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Review: Umphrey's McGee - "Mantis"

Published on February 12, 2009 in The Red & Black


Let me state it as loudly and clearly as I can: Umphrey's McGee is NOT a jam band.

Even though the Chicago quartet's live performances are filled with double-digit songs and extensive improvisation, its music is too advanced and chameleonic to truly be pigeonholed as "jam," bearing a closer resemblance to progressive rock.

Its new album "Mantis" departs from previous studio efforts. This time around, the songs actually originated in the studio, in contrast to the band's usual practice of testing new material on tour.

The result is Umphrey's least "jammy" record yet, focusing on colossal, elaborately orchestrated epics that find the group shifting gears more times in a single song than most bands can manage in the span of an entire record.

The two-part "Cemetery Walk" boasts a slick, gliding groove and the catchiest chorus of the record, while "Spires" channels the clear-eyed Southern rock of My Morning Jacket and resolves it into a mellifluous string-laden coda.

The 11+ minute title track is the album's nucleus. A wildly diverse, multi-movement odyssey, "Mantis" touches on everything from irregularly metered prog-metal riffs to blistering guitar solos equal parts Eddie Van Halen and David Gilmour, hazy psychedelia and arms-outstretched instrumental climaxes.

But Umphrey's McGee tempers its grandiose ambitions with a handful of concise, polished numbers.

Of these, "1348" and "Prophecy Now" are the most successful. The former melds Les Claypool funk-bass with manic, pseudo-Rush vigor, while the latter plays like a reticent TV on the Radio song.

"Made to Measure" struts along to menacing soft-shoe, which makes for a perplexing album leadoff. But the ensuing choir of dreamy, ethereal guitars leaves a disarming impression.

The only shortcoming on "Mantis" is the lyrical content. Frontman Brendan Bayliss is a proficient guitarist, but most of his lyrics are hackneyed and predictable, running the serious risk of alienating potential new listeners.

Carrying Umphrey's McGee further into the progressive realm, "Mantis" teems with musical ideas and diverse styles that should easily please any fan of dynamic rock music.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Review: Andrew Bird - "Noble Beast"

Published on January 29, 2009 in The Red & Black


On "Noble Beast," Bird dials down the volume, exploring a quiet, leisurely channel of songwriting he hinted at on previous albums but never fully embraced.

As the pastoral album art suggests, the songs that comprise "Noble Beast" sport a style steeped in the folk tradition, unfolding at a serene pace.

Unfortunately, this method will not likely capture new listeners' attention, or please those expecting the more elaborate side of Bird seen on "Armchair Apocrypha" and "The Mysterious Production of Eggs."

This aside, the quality of the album's material cannot be ignored. Bird weaves a variety of instruments into his songs, adding subtle nuance. The solemn, elegant "Effigy" begins with tense, uneasy violin that drifts around an accordion dirge, and "Masterswarm" is propelled by a faint Latin rhythm, echoed in the prominent use of the guiro.

Perhaps not the best leadoff candidate, "Oh No" is pleasant but not quite remarkable - its whistled melody not enough to truly distinguish it from the pack.

After a deceptive beginning, "Nomenclature" provides the first truly blistering moment, with strands of distorted guitar and violin tearing through a frantic drum earthquake. After the brief lull of "ouo," "Not a Robot, But a Ghost" stands as the utterly intense centerpiece of an otherwise placid musical tapestry.

The remainder of "Noble Beast" continues peacefully, with the sorrowful, downbeat epic "Souverian" being the most memorable of the cut, and Bird's signature lyrical wordplay finally shines forth on "Anonanimal."

Each of "Noble Beast"'s 14 songs is masterfully composed and arranged, yet so professionally executed that it blends into an immaculate but not quite captivating whole.

But for all of Bird's preoccupations with arrangement and structure - a not-so-unusual trait for classically trained musicians - "Noble Beast" benefits from a natural, almost rustic aura stemming from its refreshingly relaxed pace.