Monthly Archives: September 2005

Experiment, Redux pt 3

Had one beer tonight after work with dinner. Now, granted, dinner wasn’t until 10:45 tonight, but that is just one factor that comes with working in a restaraunt. Speaking of which, there are follies attached to working in a neighborhood one, even a nice one. I won’t go into those now, but let’s just say it’s frustrating.

Anyways, I was going to work on some of those poems, but I am exhausted. So I’m going to bed. Early, I know… But I was up until 2 last night, and got up at 8 this morning. Oh, something interesting about getting up this morning: I had this dream right before I woke up. I don’t really remember it, but I do remember thrashing about in bed like I was having a seizure. That’s what woke me up. I think I was fighting my mattress. Seriously, I think I was trying to kill it. I should really write these things down when they happen, so I remember the dream. I know it was pretty crazy, and that’s about it.

Anyone out there good with dreams? I have this recurring one I’d like input on. Recurring as in once, maybe twice a year for the last ten or so years. Maybe even longer.

Time for Bed!


Notes on Day 2 of Experiment, Redux

Woke up early to write my paper due today. Managed three pages in an hour. Luckily it was just an essay, and not a research paper. Took The Dog for a good two mile walk and about ten minutes of leash free running this morning, too. And not a sip of alcohol today.

I also learned in my Poetry Class why I tend to write in trochees rather than iambs: I grew up with them. I have three names and a surname. My first name, Eric scans thusly:


This is also true for my two middle names. I’ve been saying “dum-da dum-da dum-da dum” for nigh-on 30 years now. Huh. I’ve been wondering why it’s hard for me to create the iambic foot rather than the trochaic one even though I’ve done this exercise before. It just never dawned on me.

At any rate, I also corrected my mistake in the Keep On notes where I called the trochees ‘iambs’.

The Experiment, Redux

My day one in the experiment of self control is deemed a success. No alcohol, and less than one pack of cig’s consumed. However, I was still awake until 0330.
Today, my goal is the same, with a slight improvement in sleeping hours. Let’s say, 0200.

The overall goal of this is to break my bad habit of drinking too much every night. This habit has cost me a drop in my grades, as well as a couple of problems at work. Realizing this, I want to break that cycle (which would eventually put me in the same position I was when I went into the military) and get my motivation back on track. I also want to get back in control of my bad habits. I really enjoy going out, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people. But the cycle right now is hurting my goals, short and long term.

Goals, Short-Term:
– Get back in control of myself
– Earn good grades this semester
– Regain control of my finances
– Begin exercising again

Goals, Mid-Term:
Get accepted into UVA as a Junior for BA in English, Creative Writing (apps due Feb)
Graduate, on the Dean’s List, with my AA in Liberal Arts next Spring
– Find Housing and a job in Charlottesville, VA over the summer

Goals, Long-Term:
– Graduate in High standing from UVA, continue on there in the MFA program
– Write a bestselling novel
– Teach University level
– Continue Writing Throughout

Keep On

The current assignment for poetry workshop is to write a free-verse poem that focuses on the sound devices used throughout, without using clear-cut, obvious end-rhyme. This is actually a major revision of a poem I tried writing today, but didn’t come out right, so I started with a blank sheet.

Keep On

Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
trumpet and saxophone circle the other
and dance the staircase up and down
find new and find old and
screech screech screech these high-layed notes
and all the way through that
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
the short-tongued notes roll out the brass
circle the drums and filligree the
drawn-out bass strings
tap out that tempo drummer man
and all the while the
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
but that trumpet-man, that sax-man, all that brass, man
they just go till they can’t go no more
take a breather, man
you know the
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
you know we play on
while you ready the next song
we’ll make sure
that rhythm keeps on and beats on and dreams on.

So… I wanted to capture some essence of a jazz show. A real jazz show, not that crap they play on easy-listening stations. And I am trying to use different rhythms and sounds to convey it, besides the words themselves. So, par example, the “rhythm” lines are a regular, metrical, 4-foot iamb line. * EDIT: So sue me… they are actually trochaic tetrameter, that’s how I scan them anyways.* While the other lines that reference the sax and trumpet are irregular and flowing, and exhibit a lot more differentiality in the sounds of the words.
The last line I wanted to be like a segue between songs that have different tempos. So you get the rhythm and beat shift. Well, rhythm anyways, since there are still only4 feet in that line.

So this version really accomplishes a lot more what I was aiming for with the first attempt, but like I said, I just wrote it, and it needs a lot more attentnion.

Maybe I’ll post the first attempt down here….

And Now, Some In-Class Writing

This is a group of poems we write in class as a 5-minute warmup to get into the mindset for writing and talking about poetry. I’ve tried to place them in chronological order… But maybe not.
Goes like this: 5 words are put up on the board, and 5 minutes are given to write, including as many of the words as possible. I’ve found that even when I haven’t been productive all day, all I need sometimes is a bunch of unrelated words to get me rolling.

29 August 2005

After thunder rolled
through the neighborhood
and passed, with the sleet,
into time, the Grave Watch,
endless, paced eternity at
the horizon, a peach hummingbird,
who glazed slick wet ice
in His lit-lighter-fluid stare.

31 August 2005

The smile in my head
spread more easily than in person,
slow tide waves of ocean,
but her eyes lit
and a blush on her neck
said she often recalled
silk sheets, lavender candles,
and our fingers entwined,
and searching in the bed.

14 September 2005

Turnips, cultivated in rows,
dig themselves into the earth,
pull and grasp the soil
against screeching, raptor-clawed
machines that would exhume
them, and leave the pyracantha
where it stands.

No Date (Sept. 2005)

This creek is not really a creek.
It is a trickle, a sewer a floe
of slow lava erupting from
the underbelly armpit of our metropolis.

Long ago it was a creek pristine,
with wild onions, and dark
woods and fairies flitting about
lone sunrays.

It is no longer a creek,
it was covered and then tunneled then buried
under steel and asphalt and concrete
and earth.

It is no longer a creek,
but a slow sewage-filled
chemical lava
beneath our eyes and tongues and feet.

No Date (Sept. 2005)

The Shibboleth

In our museums, now,
on Mars, and Venus, and Tau-Ceti,
there are old pictures of Earth
printed on paper and taken
from orbit by the swarm
of traffic and weather satellites.

Long ribbons of asphalt aglitter
with pebbles of vehicles, curlyques
sparkle off in various directions:
vehicles numerous as sand
on the blackened beaches.

26 September 2005

It rains into the ocean
the staccato pelting of a piano
played with the mute-pedal pressed
and a backdrop, overpowered string
section of violins and cellos,
violas and basses
all plucked and surging with the waves.

And at this desert littoral,
an oak leaf
dances drunken
in the tide.
The wind carries
the scent of forest
from across the sea.

*Note: aside from spelling, I have changed nothing written or annotated in the original.
*Note: the links to are for my use as well as yours.
*Note: in class, the shibboleth was defined as a practice or phrase denoting that a group of people has been become ‘backward’
*Note: enough notes. I’ll come back to these at some point, and maybe one will turn out good.

Friday Night Rendevous

err… if anyone read this already, sorry I’m drunk…

And so begins the experiment.
Starting tomorrow, a week with no alcohol. Can it be done? Certainly many people do it all the time… Can it be done by me? Well those of you who know me may be laughing your asses off right now……

So the experiment begins… daily updates to follow.