Saturday, December 31, 2011


"So this is the new year.
And I don't feel any different.
The clanking of crystal.
Explosions off in the distance."

Above is a stanza of the song "The New Year" by Death Cab For Cutie that I resonated with the first time I heard it. Every 365 days I believe that the minute after 11:59 pm on December 31 something magical will take place.

It never does.

Similar to how people talk about the non-mysticalness of baptism, the new year doesn't suddenly bring about incredible things. Usually it brings crap. There is excellence as well, but there is crap too. I always hope that it'll finally be the year I'll discover myself clearly and I'll be happy all the time like all the other people around me seem to be. I know they aren't truly happy necessarily, but I like the idea. I think the problem is that we place too many expectations on the new year. Its a huge responsibility for  people's lives to be great all at once. And of course, that stuff rarely ever changes in an instant.

One of the most depressing things for me is when I'm not accomplishing. Over Christmas breaks or summer vacation I'd set my goals so high that I couldn't ever reach them. They were ridiculous. So when nothing happened at all, I was sad and mad. At everything. And myself. So the New Years holiday has been an occasion to once more set up my pins of expectations and hope I don't roll gutter balls all year. Tis a hopeful time that causes me to look forward to the future and the possibilities therein. And the New Years Day parade is nice.

Now, in my idealistic dreamy mind, I say to myself that I will use my time more wisely this year, accomplish great things, and finally find a state of ultimate productivity for my creativeness. Subtly, I know the truth.

My friend Thomass the Math Wizard would tell me to be reasonable. For being a wizard, he is far from magical. To him, things are black and white. Logical and illogical. Efficient or inefficient. Not my kind of thinker and yet we are best friends. "Its more likely that you'll be productive for a good 12.865% of the year", I'd probably hear. He throws numbers around as if I'm supposed to understand what the hell they mean. But I think he's implying that I won't get as much accomplished as I think I will. He is probably right. So I'll shrug it off, give him the finger, and hope for the best.

"The Darkling Thrush" by Thomas Hardy was a required reading in high school, but I enjoyed it. In it, Hardy tells of the impending new year. He describes himself leaning against a gate and seeing a darkling thrush chirping and singing a cheerful song. The poem ends with him basically wondering if he was unaware about something that gave the bird cause to be happy, because another year was beginning and he felt crappy. He probably didn't have a New Years Day parade to cheer him up. But I totally understood what he felt, as I'm sure many people do. Some days I'm certain I missed an important life memo when I observe everyone around me. How organized, on time, up to date, and informed they are. Whereas I tend to sit, foggy-minded, amongst papers and books, unsure of what I'm supposed to be doing, and unable to make sense of common situations. But more than just an exciting time, or depressing if you're Thomas Hardy, New Years is a time of renewal to me. It gives us the perception of a clean slate. Of course we cannot make right our past wrongs or regain lost time. But we are given 52 weeks, untouched, unused, uncontaminated to try it over again. To use time wisely. To not do wrong.

This reminds me so much of God. A huge part of spirituality that I hold on to is the concept of not needing to be perfect, coupled with forgiveness. We sin. Its a part of human nature that we will never escape until that glorious day. But for now, our only strategy is to hold onto God, via Jesus. We don't have prophets that talk to God for us or priests to offer sacrifices. We are responsible for our own walk with the Lord. In walking, we find that sin separates us from Him. Repentance and forgiveness bind us back. Every day we're given a new clean record and how sweet that is. And yet sad, though, that people still believe they must follow rules and regulations to the tee in order to be saved. Jesus is the answer and He will take care of the technicalities. All we need to do is hang on. When we do fall however, surrendering makes us complete again.

As we again start the grind of 365 (366 for leap year actually) days, every single day we can start fresh with the One who knows no years. He knows no time. I think Ellen White says something about our falling and reconciliation back to Him growing us closer than if we had never sinned. Now that's something to throw a parade about.

I hope that you've all had a great and productive year. May blessings follow you into this next one and I thank you all for your support and positive feedback. "The Pumpkin Patch" has been a huge accomplishment for me and very fulfilling. I look forward to a full 12 months of blogging and interaction with all the readers out there. Happy New Years!

You can read all of "The Darkling Thrush" here if you'd like:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jorgenson's Prison Chamber

Poetry I began writing during Algebra class this semester and finally finished today. Math. Yuck.

His hands are hooks
Try to probe my brain
I hate these books
Reaching the insane
I’m getting looks
Because I’m desperate
His hands are hooks
This entire place is a grave
Only an hour to be saved
Calling out my name
Thrown into your game
My knowledge is nil
The pieces don’t fit
I’m desperate still
Crumbling bit by bit
Chained here until
The board’s wiped clean
My knowledge is nil
A hole made of bricks
The mustiness makes me sick
Sophisticated green stone
Rattles my creative bones
You understand your methods
Now understand my madness
Precise products
Gut me with a ruler
Justify your methods
I’ll justify my madness
His hands are hooks

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Scribbles and Dribbles

A short poem that grasps at a piece of what I think about myself. I haven't ever been suave or sophisticated. Perhaps only in my words can I give a perception of finesse. But for now, the things around me lay in shambles. Alas.

Messy handwriting
Messy room

Messy mind
Messy food

I've never been refined
I won't start soon

My goal is to break 50 posts by New Years. I know, this might seem like I'm cheating...... and maybe I am... But whatever. I like short little poems like this. Not much to read. Easy to understand.

New Normal

Once upon a time, I was born. The point at which I arrived seemed like the beginning of everything for me. Until I got older I didn't think about all the history behind me. I was raised in a Seventh-Day Adventist home; A great environment to grow up in. My parents were always supportive and accommodating and loving. As I grew, it became evident that there were parts of my relative's life that I didn't know about. Mom and Dad also got more comfortable sharing things with Luke and I when we matured.

Over the years I learned about my sexually abusive great uncle, grandpa, and great grandpa. I never thought they were that "great" anyways. In my young mind, those things were distant and not an actual part of my existence. Like the Civil War or Jericho. But in finding things about my mom's abusive childhood and my dad's silent home, it was evident that indeed they were influenced. I consider myself incredibly blessed when I think about how differently my own childhood could have been, contrasted with family history. Selfishness, anger, and alcohol seemed to be the roots in my family tree, with sexual, emotional, and physical abuse being the leaves. Broken homes and broken bottles decorated the branches. My home got hung as a morbid ornament as well when my parents got divorced earlier this year. Tragedy.

It seems strange to know so many negative things existed between people, when you see my family now. My mom's mom and her second husband typically celebrate holidays with us separately from my grandpa, his second wife, and my great grandma. And my other uncle (my mom's brother) floats around between the two. At Thanksgiving, a great thing happened. The two sides celebrated together. Rather than two small family gatherings, one whole family united. I think I was the only one that really felt moved by it. Maybe deep down everyone else thought it was nice, but it especially resonated with me. I wondered to myself how this could happen. I took into consideration the years and years of wrongs accumulated. How could anyone ever want to see their oppressor again? In my mind all I could think about was how angry I'd be all the time. I felt that every second seeing the wrongdoers would be like barbed wire around my heart.

But that was when I was micro-viewing the situation; Seeing all the little details from time long gone. The events and actions that took place I thought I could never forgive, had it been me abused. So I put everything in a different light to try and understand. I stepped back and looked intently at the people sitting around the table talking and laughing. Something clicked. Time had passed. Wrongs once vivid in memory perhaps had become dots in the distance. Like sailing away from a torturous burning island and smoke being the last evidence. Life's journey had rowed them all out of the nasty harbors, on to different waters.

A similar experience took place when my brother got into some minor trouble with the law. My dad drove down from Omaha, where he lives now, to bring Luke up there to stay with him for the weekend. While waiting around till the time he could pick my brother up, Dad, Mom, and I sat around the table drinking coffee and talking. For maybe all of one second it was weird, then the moment turned to something else. After all the crap that I've had to endure the past two years, things felt like they were going to be alright. Different, but alright. Maybe it was acceptance. Perhaps some sort of forgiveness.

What I've discovered in this mess of a life is this: We all experience wrongs done to us by those that are supposed to love us. When this happens, the ball is then in our court as to how we handle things. Sometimes people bottle up the hurt and never let the perpetrator know. Others explode in unhealthy rage. Still others will sever all ties, totally detaching from interaction. I tend to do the latter. Regardless of reaction, the choices remain the same. In the case of my family, they needed to detach... after exploding in rage... from bottling everything up. But as time passed and wounds became manageable, forgiveness subconsciously took place, I believe. And now the two sides of my family can be together once in awhile. This life is short and ever fleeting. We can choose to waste away in our hate and loathing for people close to us or muster up love and courage to carry on. As relationships shift in the tide and our boats drift towards whatever is ahead, we have to continually decide what is more important; The wrongs done to us by people or the people themselves. Severing ties is the best option in some cases. But as the cliche goes, time does heal hurt. Anchors of abuse that once held us down can be broken so we may find a new normal in the horizon's sunset.

Alright readers, my blog as at nearly 1000 views. And how appropriate for the approaching New Year? If you have anyone you think would enjoy visiting the Pumpkin Patch and perhaps becoming a member/follower, send 'em a link! Ever forward! Blessings to all.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Plastic Room

Some part of me is out of balance. Or perhaps it swings in and out of balance, I'm not quite sure yet. I'd wager the latter. Whatever it is, I struggle with knowing what to do at times. Indecision is a common component in my daily speech and writing, if you've noticed. I haven't ever been able to pinpoint what causes this lack of definite-ness. Regardless, its there on a regular basis and usually isn't a huge deal.

Other times it is.

There are days where I'll experience a sudden mental panic. Typically its brought on by many options being presented before me. Just tonight, I made two choices in my head of what I would do with my evening. Get Taco Bell, come home, and either catch up on writing or begin cleaning my room. For those that don't know, my room is a disaster. I'd say that it directly reflects my mental process. Semi-organized clutter, but it nearing a state of crisis every day. The messy room itself is stressful upon my mind, much less the indecision of what action to take. I'll find myself literally standing in place, staring blankly, mind racing as to what the next step is I need to take. Its torment.

Things got worse when I was asked if I wanted to go to a movie. I had to lay down to calm down. The swirling in my skull was too much to handle. It all sounds a bit nutty as I write it out here, so I'll explain. The things that are going on in my head are extremely trivial and petty. But they build up to near catastrophe it seems. I weigh the options in my mind. Writing would seem the obvious choice, beings that I haven't written in over three days. It would relieve certain mental strains. Then I realize that the Mill is closed and my desk is a mess and unusable. So I think to myself that I should just clean my desk and room. That's when I think about all the writing time I'll lose, tidying the desk. I could write in bed, but it makes me sleepy and I don't want to waste time. I ponder the movie, and it sounds enticing but makes me feel unproductive.

Its like a blender in my head is turned on; all these thoughts and considerations swirling around. I panic, and I twitch a little bit. I start feeling like I want to scream or throw something. But that is when I know I need to sit or lay down and let the blender cycle end.

So tonight I gave this all some serious thought as to why I get this way. I think its because I need to write. But not just write. I need to have the special alone writing time I get when I'm in a coffee shop. Quiet. Meditative. Productive. Maybe it is when I don't accomplish anything I'm proud of that I start getting desperate and panicky. Like I'm wasting something. Wasting precious free time that I have while I'm on break from school and work.

I watch the ShowTime program Dexter. He's a serial killer that has learned to use his killing abilities to kill bad guys. He has an inner need, a "dark passenger", as he calls. In order to keep it from consuming him, he has to kill. Its his demon. Some days I feel like I relate a lot to Dexter. Not in the killing sense of course. But in his need to escape from structure. He has a job and family and has to juggle them a lot of times to accommodate his private agenda. I'm always fighting against the schedules and requirements around me to find room for personal time. Time for writing and music and creating. Now that I'm on break, my schedule has been thrown off and time for those things has to be made again, and its difficult.

I haven't ever been an organized person. So setting aside time in advance for activities usually doesn't happen. Its a part of me that I have to keep working on, but that comes with great trepidation. I don't understand why I have to be that way. All I know is that I need to continue trying so I can feed my own "dark passenger", though it isn't nearly as dark as Dexter's. Despite the difference in activities he and I take part in, we both find a level of peace when we do them. Dexter, in his plastic covered room with his evil victim is able to reveal his true self. The prey sees Dexter for what he is; the hunter. In the coffee shop, I can let out whatever it is I am inside. The sanguine. The emo. The free spirit. The psycho. The artist. When Dexter and I are in our prime environments, we thrive. When we can escape the structure around us, we finally find contentment and peace.

Its been about four days since I've written. Sorry to keep everyone out there wondering. I meant to post more for Christmas, but alas it did not happen. I finally hit this breaking point and I needed to just put my fingers on the keys. Hopefully you enjoyed it and you all had a Merry Christmas. Leave comments below and keep an eye out for something about New Years!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cookies, Christ, and Creativity

Alright so today is Christmas Eve and there’s a lot to talk about it feels like. In order to stay true to my goals and ambitions, I need to keep up on currents events and holidays going on, even if that means losing some sleep... Or a lot of it. Yay. So here’s a portion of what I plan to write about. The rest should be on its way, after I catch some zzz’s.

Anyways, Christmas tends to bring up a plethora of things to discuss in different circles. One of which is the annual argument about Santa Clause and whether the ole wanker should be portrayed as being “real” to our children. Some say its an awful thing to ever have kids believe that. Others don’t have a problem with it.

My personal take is that kids should be allowed to think and dream. Don’t force the idea on them, but allow them the freedom to think and decide what they believe in as far as Santa goes. I hear people going on and on about why we should be drilling Jesus as the reason for the season into children’s minds and totally remove Santa because he’s a blatant lie. But again I say, why do kids’ imaginations and dreams have to be squelched so soon? They have the rest of their lives to learn things the hard way. If anything, encourage dreaming and thinking. I’d say that for me, my imaginative mind helps my belief in spiritual things. I naturally want to believe that things better than this world exists. Extraordinary things. Things like angels and heaven and grace and salvation that was made for me even before I sinned.

Therefore Jesus shouldn’t at all be diminished. For He truly IS the reason for this gift giving, snow falling season. I’d say Jesus would be like the Christmas Tree and Santa and all that other Christmas fantasy would be like the ornaments. They compliment the main visual. The gifts under the tree are the virtues and memories we take away from this time of the year. So whether you feel you need to break the news to your kids about the fat red man or just leave unleavened bread out for him instead of cookies, remember: It never hurts to let kids dream a little (or a lot). Let them use their imaginations. Listen to their ridiculous ideas. Brainstorm about the impossible with them. And keep in mind that ultimately it won’t be Santa who’ll help them figure things out. It’ll be God.

Forgive and Forget

Forgive me
When it seems I’m not
Paying attention to you
My brain is a whirlwind
Forget me
During times of indecision
Instances of neglect
The responsibility is too great
I’m sorry for leaving
When things seemed solid
And your plans fell through
Because of me
I cannot absolve it
I regret any hurt I caused
But you invented my guilt
To keep me at bay
On an island
Walking on stilts
Forgive me
If I seem absent
While in the same room
Other worlds are calling me away
Forget me
If I can’t seem to do enough
I understand the frustration
But I can’t give that much

The Crazy

A non-rhyming poem influenced by "the crazy" minds I get a peek into from movies and TV shows (Dexter, The Joker, etc.). Enjoy! Leave commentsssss.

A round of applause for the men in white
The ones in blue were vanquished
They all disappeared last night
I know my apology is one life time too late
But let me attempt to explain
I needed equilibrium
The peace around me was out of place
I couldn’t quiet the swirling in my mind
Things felt like a food fight in my brain
But the truth behind my eyes
Spoke volumes when it finally escaped
A round of applause for the men in white
They’re coming soon to take me away
I hope we can still be friends
Shattered, fractured neutrons and glass
Blown out by overloaded synapses and C4
I had to destroy the world around me
To build myself back to normal
Plagued with thoughts so big and ominous
I was sure I’d explode like the capital’s foundation
I had to lay flatter than the suburban ruins
Just to calm the crazy seeping through
And animating my eye sockets
Three cheers for the gentlemen so pale
Paid to be brave despite
Entering the lair of a mad man
Twas not a personal matter
No vendetta or greed-fueled plight
Simply a vicarious insanity
To force the mental hurricane
Outside of myself
I found a lonely home
Amidst the cranial rioters
Pounding between my ears
A round of applause to the men in white
They’ll be knocking at my door
I won’t have to check the peep hole
I know that my repentance
Is one detonator too late
I needed equilibrium
The peace around me was out of place
I couldn’t quiet the swirling in my mind
I resonated with the rubble
I found meaning in the ashes
Normality in the flames
A round of applause for the men in white
Their syringes clutched in hand
But I’ll be long gone by then
Angsty restless rage
Burned hot inside my veins
Much like the flooded sewer lines
Some would suggest chemical imbalance
Crazed religious fulfillment
Sick monetary motivation
Or vengeance for past wrongs
But this is all my perception
So who’s to say you aren’t the insane one?
Hats off for the scary dreams I experience
They predict the future too well
If the crazy within me prevails

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Curtain Call

The following is a post I wrote today and put up on the MAUC blog site that I used to write for often. This blog has become more like home to me now though.

It has been quite a long time since I have posted on this blog. Things change and life gets in the way and my writing schedules have pulled me in many different directions. But I suppose for now I’m just going to talk about a recent meaningful experience I had.

In order to get to my current story, there has to be a bit of background review. Ever since I can remember, my friends have left me. In retrospect, it wasn’t their fault at all. I never blamed them, it was just always out of our control. In first grade, my best friend’s (at the time) family moved to Oregon to escape the allergies of Lincoln. I still remember sobbing and hugging him for the last time before he had to leave. That same year I believe, my non-blood-related “sister” left and went away to Colorado. A kid named Chris left after third grade as did Casey, if I remember correctly. 5th grade was our class’s highest population. Twenty two students, I think. We were massive, compared to the previous and following years. Many kids only stayed for that one year, unfortunately. Michael and Tommy left for other states and countries. My best friend Nathan left the school system and became home schooled. At least he was still nearby and available to hang out with. Until 8th grade. Then he left for South Carolina. It was a very difficult time for me. Also that year, Johan, our Peruvian classmate who’d come in seventh grade moved to Washington.

Luckily, during my 8th grade year, the 7th grade class was joined with 8th and the boys in the two classes became close. Some of my dearest friends were formed because of the class combination. The next year was high school and our new friends were still up the hill, now in 8th grade. Our freshman class gained a few new students who became some of my best friends. But at the end of Sophomore year, Davis left. For the rest of high school, most of my friends stuck around and didn’t leave. Though, I had a girlfriend in the class ahead of me for awhile that went off to college and I struggled with goodbyes then too.

After graduation, I realized that this time, I was the one who was leaving for a change. Leaving behind my second home and my friends who’d become like family. Everyone stayed here in town for college, so it was just a change in structure.

A couple months ago, a handful of my graduated friends and high school friends gathered at a lake house we frequented during the summer. It was a soup supper and we were all in good spirits. Then all at once we were discussing whether or not one of my friends should go to La Sierra college in California. It came up suddenly and I felt the same feeling inside I always felt when a friend talked of going away. A tight, sick, nervous black hole in my chest that drips into my stomach. Its an awful sensation. But its what always comes over me. No resolution came from the discussion, but the thought kept itself wedged in the back of my mind.

It was awhile after that night when the matter came up again. This time it was laced with other issues and my insides felt like they were melting. I was driving and asking God why these things bothered me so much. My mind felt like a piece of paper being crumpled up, soon to be thrown away. It was about this time that an epiphany struck me. I attribute it to God, of course. For some reason, I thought about heaven and being there. This time, though, I pictured what it would be like. It hit me that my friends would be there. All of my friends, ideally. The ones that have moved away and the ones that will still leave my life. The family members that have and will die. Even pets. Our family’s dog, Tallie, is getting old, and I tear up when I think about her time approaching. Heaven is a curtain call and we’re actors in the play of life. God’s the director and all He wants to do is party with us after we put on the show of our lives. That night in the car, I felt like God was next to me in the passenger seat, telling me that He planned heaven for me (and everyone) even before I was born. Before I grew to love the people around me. Heaven is a reunion of sorts. I’ve heard it called that, but I couldn’t ever relate to it until now. Now it is the best thing I could ask for; seeing everyone I once knew on earth and meeting for the first time the Creator that made us all.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rough Patches

My hands are icy and my stomach speaks
So do my thumbs, all they can do is scream
The stress seeps from a chaotic brain
The rage pours from realms of the insane
This is where I feel my lowest
Upon pointless pursuits
My shoulder turns to ice and vision becomes redder
The boundaries I once kept meet the shredder
Swallowed sandpaper sends scars throughout
Blindly fighting against illusions of doubt
This is where I feel my lowest
Shooting shots at the dark
All I can hear is the *click click click* and tones
Radio-wave mayhem from phone to phone
These are the times that mold and shape
They’re moments that matter, where friendships are made
This is where I rise from my lowest
The path before me returns into view

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Bad" Words in "Good" Writing

Greetings, readers. This post has been written in response to a question/request for blogging. I was asked by one of my devoted followers about my raw and explicit content, in particular the swearing and "unclean" things. And its been asked before, why does my writing have to have those things in it?

The answer was initially easy to come up with, but it took some extra thinking to solidify in my mind. Kinda like Jello. I like Jello usually. Its easy to make, but you gotta give it time and space to finally become a finished product. The typical answer is to say "I like those words". That may be true, but I felt there was something deeper at work.

I began this blog for me. Granted, I love having fans and followers. I greatly enjoy feeling like what I write and create can make a difference for other people. Like they can relate and understand at least a piece of the things I express. I had/have a blog for the Mid-America Union that I wrote for for a long time and still post occasionally, but I always had to moderate content and didn't sense that my poetry would suit the Adventist site. And a lot of what I do is poetry. Self expression and feeling on paper. And as you have seen, it isn't always clean. But then again, neither is life.

Basically all the people I know tend to deceive themselves. I see it especially in adults and I think this is because they've had a lot longer to build masks and walls to keep tender parts of who they are organized. People don't seem to be honest with themselves. I know people and friends who act one way around adults and another around kids. This is understandable, and in no way wrong. My point is that, how is a person to know what/who you are then?

I don't make it a habit to blatantly use profanity for show or attention. These words I say and thoughts I have are a part of who I am. Just like I don't try and make the words I say on a daily basis sound perfect all the time, so I don't worry about what I write. When I sit or lay down to pour out my soul on paper, does it make sense to scribble out things that come from a place of complete honest feeling inside me? Whether its an "inappropriate" word a disturbingly raw phrase or an uncomfortable analogy. Part of being real is acknowledging the things that your mind and heart produce. I've begun to maintain that "heart-product" as I call it, is neither bad nor good. Words that come straight from the heart are neutral, when a person stops worrying about moderation. What a person feels and lets themselves feel will directly reflect what they say and do.

My mom once asked me if the look into who I am people is positive or not, and I told her that is isn't my job to decide that. Whoever reads or hears what I say can make up their own mind on whether it is good to them or not. All I do is open the gate of self-consciousness and allow whatever is trapped inside to go free. By being honest and removing fear of judgement, one can view the true things within them exiting and analyze them.

Recently, I have been finding out a lot of things about myself, my behaviors, and the way I process. I believe that God has been working through my blog as an outlet for everything that gets clogged in my head. My blog isn't a place for me to be right about things and tell everyone the absolute best way to live and love. Its definitely not somewhere I can be perfect. That's just stupid. Its a place where I can share my journey. Explain what's going on in my life, my discoveries, my hopes, fears, and epiphanies.

This is where I can be me, and nobody else.

Hopefully this has made sense to those out there wondering why I do what I do. If things still are foggy, I can try again. A lot of times, the points I mean to make get lost in my cluttered-desk of a brain. But if anybody has a request or a specific topic they'd like me to cover, shoot me an email or leave a comment below and I'll see what I can do. Blessings to all! Thanks for being the fans and people you are. Never lose sight of your individuality. Embrace it. Be you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Life and Such

*insert cliche intro*

Don Miller has become one of my favorite authors of all time. If you haven't read his book "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years", I would strongly, strongly recommend you go out and either buy it or take a trip to your local library and acquire it! I've been writing an article for my college's newspaper, the ClockTower, and it focuses on the impact the book had on my life. Anyways, the book I'm currently engrossed in is the book he wrote before the million miles one, called "Blue Like Jazz". Miller's writing remains simple while at the same time delivering incredibly powerful messages. I relate to him like I never have with another author. The thoughts and feelings he expresses by means of word pictures and such resonate strongly with my brain. If you haven't noticed yet, I think and write in analogies and metaphors all the time. They help me make sense of what I feel.

So in the section I read today in "Blue Like Jazz" (amidst a gold mine of words that left me speechless) he talked about his friend Andrew the Protester who was known for being involved in protests and often experiencing tear gas. He told Miller that what you believe is not what you say. It is what you do. Andrew would also go out and cook for the homeless and those that didn't have food. He'd literally feed the hungry and hang out with them. He would do what he believed.

This made me consider my own lame life. A big thing on my mind has been embracing life and trying to make as many great memories and experiences as I can. Part of that is doing what I believe and such. However, in the daily grind, this becomes difficult. Visions and intentions are lost, put on the back burner. And it sucks. I don't have a rock solid answer of what to do. All I know is that it takes a consistent contemplating. You have to be ready to leap at opportunities when they show up. Of course I'm not telling this just to everyone reading. These are the things I mull over in my own mind and tell myself every single day. It gets old and I ask myself why I make myself "need" to try and do these things. And then I remember... I only live through this life once (Thank God), and I might as well make the best of it. This includes following God's calling and such.

So as I, and hopefully you, Reader, strive to find the big things in life that we're meant to do, keep in mind that the small things matter too. They make memories and keep us young. Whether you're taking a trip on a whim or stepping out of what you're used to, its all important in our grand story. Find something to believe in. What you believe in is what you do. What you do will shape who you are.

Morning of Fog and Grey

This poem is based on eerie feelings and thoughts I've had countless times upon waking to an empty house, seeing nobody walking on the streets, and so on. Typically days like this are dark and overcast, so people aren't out and about the town. The thought that keeps going through my mind is that as far as I know, nobody else exists except for me until I see them. Thus the Schroedinger reference. Enjoy. And just remember, you aren't ever truly alone.

I awake to the sound of rain
Pitter-pattering on the roof outside
Gently tapping like a curious spirit
Long since died
It calls me to the window
I stand there, hands cold against glass
Remaining in place, my fingers numbing
But it will pass
Breathing lightly, I know I am alone
House and streets vacant to my eyes
Yes, the parks and fields as well
I cannot deny
Have they all gone away?
Am I left here to stay?
Confined to this empty world
On this morning of fog and grey
How do I discover the truth?
Is there any life other than me? I insist!
How am I supposed to know
If anyone else exists?
Schroedinger has everything in a box
Locked away from my perception
It is kept out of reach and sight
He cannot make an exception
Is this some sort of silent apocalypse?
Has rapture occurred over night?
Regardless of cause I am here alone
All humanity, out of sight
Have they all gone away?
Am I left here to stay?
Confined to this empty world
On this morning of fog and grey?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Artist's Prayer

This is a compilation of many thoughts I had running through my mind today thinking about the Algebra final I had to take. The ideas and words were foggy within my head all day. But when they're finally put on paper, everything makes sense. Alas, math still does not.

Dear God,
I know what You’ve made me
I’ve discovered who I am
I don’t do well with measurements
The black and white I know
Consists of 88 keys
Things of science and numbers belong to You
You’ve grown me to deal with the heart
To make sense of issues
Deeper than the explainable
Now I am forced to reason
And delve into things I don’t comprehend
Lord, numbers and meticulous organization
Send me into darkness
I only want to live in the light
And thrive amidst my expertise
Remove this ruler and calculator
Put a pen in my hand
Plant inspiration in my heart
I ask only for clarity of thought
And grace to pass the tests required
Take it all away from me
Let me do what I love
Maybe one day in a New World
I can be a mathematician
Or a scientist for You
I, the humble student
You, the Eternal Teacher
Until that day
Prepare my heart
Inspire my mind
And bless my best efforts

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Book

Tis a non-ryming poem that describes a metaphoric book that I could give to people in my life. We're all made from experiences we go through, thus my semi-graphic references to the book being made of the very substance that I am put together with. I literally wrote it in a few minutes, so not a lot of planning. Its one of my venting/half-ass attempts. Comments below!

I wrote you a story
Its the story of my life
Not everything is complete
But someday it will be
Inside it you’ll see yourself
Amongst other people
In the chapters you’ll read
You might discover how much
I loved you
Or hated you
Maybe you’ll see
How you tore my life apart
No matter where you end up
In the story of who I am
Your role has shaped me
In one way or another
Each action, each look
All your doubts
Each moment, each second
All my words
I’ve etched everything accurately
Carved it into my skin
Stretched the skin out into pages
Illustrated the pages with tissue
I cut and shaped with my teeth
Bound the contents with fibrous sinew
Scratched the title with bone
“Joshua Tyler Marshall”, it reads
And I leave it at your feet
I cannot walk away
Or embrace you where you stand
For the leaking volume before you
Is my story
It is all that I am

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So I'm in a shit mood right now for some reason. Its the kind of mood that makes me picture myself just spitting a huge lugee (sp?) on the ground out of disgust over something. So perhaps I'm in a...... spit mood (for the clean mouths out there)? Regardless of the technicalities, I'm hitting a wall as the end of the semester draws to a close. The nearer I get to the end of a line of crap, the crappier I feel. Odd, huh? I suppose that's just how things go.

Anyways, feelings aside, I thought that today/tonight I'd take some time to talk about inspiration. Particularly, what personally influences me, maybe some ways you can get inspiration, and anything else that I think of as I write.

First off, I get inspiration from a variety of places. These places have changed and morphed over the years, but many things stay fairly consistent. An obvious source that echoes blatantly in many of my writings is relationships (etc). I would say that the reason so many things reflect romantic topics is because they are something that I've been confronted with a lot in the past. Perhaps not as much now, or maybe its the same, but feelings like that play a huge role in people's lives. Not everybody may be able to draw upon feelings of child hood abuse or the death of a loved one in their writing. But most people can relate to the stereotypically like/love/hate cycle that many go through. I think this is another reason I tend to receive generous feedback on those types of poems. People can find themselves in the poems (quite literally for certain people) and potentially relate to what's being said. Another reason that the romantic/hurt pieces come through a lot is because they have strong emotion attached to them. Many great poems are laced with sinewy emotional fibers that act as a portal straight into the poet's heart. Love, hurt, hate, they all become major parts of our lives when they inhabit our hearts. They can be so big, it is easy to examine and analyze them. Strong emotions make great inspiration.

Music and movies are incredibly influential to me. I'd say that music inspires many of my words/artistic nature while movies impact my imagination as a whole. Music makes me feel. Movies make me think. And somewhere along the line, they intertwine into one rope that I either hang myself with or weave into something more. I'd compare my creativity to a factory engineered specifically for me and developed over time. Inspiration in, product out. The only problem when the fuel (motivation) for the machines runs out and I'm left with a bunch of inspiration just sitting there. But when I do have motivation, things can run quite smoothly. I don't know how to explain exactly how things work in my mind, or anyone's for that matter, as far as creating original things from another person's work. It just happens.

Inspiration takes effort. Those who sit around and think that a lightning bolt will strike them and they'll have a great idea and become super wealthy or famous from it is sadly mistaken. Things go that way once in awhile. Usually, you've got to try. However, typically when I write, I just do it. People ask me how I write so well and I don't always know what to tell them. On the one hand I could say that I've paid attention in all my English class and taken notes and tried really hard to perfect everything about my writing style. But that'd be a lie. I was born this way. Of course I don't straight up tell them that to their face. I don't wanna be a little prick about it. I believe that there are people just born to do things.

My best friend Thomass (misspelling intended) does math. He likes Harry Potter too. So calling him a math wizard would bring me satisfaction. He sleeps through his college math classes and gets grades I only see in my dreams anymore. But if he wants to write about something, he needs some inspiration. Some motivation to get him going. He'll tell you that writing isn't his thing, and it may not be, but he's written a couple long, great stories based on things that have inspired him. A person does not need to "born a writer" or "born an anything". You just need some inspiration.

The final thought is how you, Reader, if you carrot all (read it out loud), can gain inspiration. The first thing that needs to be established is what sorts of things do you plan on making? Movies? Music? Stories? It all depends on what you hope to accomplish. Secondly, find things in that area that you personally enjoy. Listen to songs you like, watch things that really grab you. Let your mind receive and analyze elements. Next, let your heart in on the action. You've got to discover what you feel. Being in tune with one's emotions is an important thing in acquiring good inspiration. Perhaps I sound New Age-y, but having a connection to yourself is key. When you can be honest about how things make you feel inside, the next step is to let it out. Scribble down the thoughts you have. Whether from media influences or just the events of the day. Let them out. Examine them. Re-examine them. Do something with them.

And what you have to remember, again, is that inspiration takes work. You have to search for what really drives you inside. For the things that churn your stomach. The stuff that makes you light hearted. The twisted sides of life that make you angry. Anything. And after a long time of this, you'll start to get the hang of it. Things might start coming more easily and your brain will start operating the way you want. And one day, that lightning bolt might just strike.

Leave comments about how you personally gather inspiration as well as QCB (questions, comments, bitching)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sucky Story

Alright, so before I start my written ranting, I just wanna get some feedback from those of you reading.

First of all, how are you liking the blog so far? What do you hate? What could be changed?

Second, what do you guys think about me recording poems being read verbally? Reading sucks for some people and perhaps having audio versions would attract more? I dunno. Just some thoughts that have been running laps in my head. Leave comments below, dammit. Thank you *cheesy smile*. Anyways, on with what I'm gonna say:

 So those of you that know me or like to think you know me, may have caught wind of what I've been pondering a lot about recently. You also may have caught wind of me farting at some point and I apologize.

But really, one of the things that has been heavy on my mind is this whole concept of "living a better story". I've been working on an article for the ClockTower, the paper at Union College, where I attend, and its all about my realizations about "story". To put it in simple terms, my main goal has been being to chase a good story. Things that contribute greatly to this are taking chances, risks, being open, being random, doing something different, trying something new, pushing myself, stretching my brain, developing a better character. Think about the oodles of people that live crappy stories. Now REALLY think about it. How many people go through their lives and never become anybody spectacular. I don't mean becoming famous or wealthy. Just as a person, how many people can say they really lived life and took advantage of it?

This has been the burden upon my face for quite some time. Perhaps I'll put the article up on this blog for you all to read, if enough people want me to. It may better explain where I'm coming from, but for now, I think things are easy enough to grasp.

So in the course of trying to be a better person overall, I realized that its not as easy as I thought it may be. Taking the first steps in telling a friend how you feel, for example, isn't all its cracked up to be. Letting them know that they piss me the hell off and reaching some sort of reconciliation is something I'd never experienced before. It was nice. It was a lot better than storing negative thoughts in the back of my mind and secretly loathing them. Beginning to teach myself piano as I had guitar was something I didn't think I'd do. I started accepting the fact that I'd never play. Then I remembered what my goal was. Living a better story. I only live this life once, why not make the best of it?

A couple weeks ago, me and some of my friends were at a Nebraska Basketball game. I'm sure there could have been a part of me that would enjoy watching sweaty men sprint up and down a court, but that part has long since been buried. I've tried liking the experience of live sports, but I'm too distracted and I lost interest. Regardless, I was there with my buddies and we were determined to have a good time. Our Finnish friend, Sam, took a particular interest in the cheerleaders, so we decided to get him on the court to ask for a kiss (thus fulfilling part of his "bucket list while in America"). Figuring, 'why not?', we adventured around the building looking for a way onto the court. Easily finding access, we strolled onto the sidelines after the game, but no cheering ladies were to be seen.

However, it just so happened that Nebraska's very own Larry the CableGuy had stopped in that night to the game. People were taking pictures with him and asking him to talk like Mater from Cars. One of my friends and Sam rushed to get a picture, so Sam could say he saw a celebrity in America. I took the picture of the two of them and Larry the CableGuy and then he continued on his way.

Great story right?


Terrible story from my perspective. I didn't get a picture with Larry the CableGuy and it was my own fault. As nice and accommodating as he was, it would have been easy to ask for another snapshot. I'm not sure what made me hold back. Perhaps I was star struck. Maybe I just wasn't as spontaneous as I thought. No matter what it was, nobody wants to hear about the guy that took a picture of his friends with Larry the CableGuy. Just like it doesn't matter if someone is "really thinking hard about whether or not to ask a girl out". Or the person that "started a great project but stopped for no reason". If nothing happens, if no risk is taken, if nobody every goes all out for something, the opportunity slips away and life goes on as usual. Potentially good story gets lost under the norm.

Now I know that some people don't give an atts rass about doing things differently and making things memorable. But to that I say "Okay, great, now get out of my way while I jump off this building". That's what I say and think, but unfortunately, things are easier said than done. Seems to always be that way. Watching Larry the CableGuy walk away without a better interaction with him gave me a sick emptiness for the next few days and still does if I let myself think about it. Letting a chance like that go by leaves too much room for the "what ifs" and you don't want those. I suppose the only thing I can do is to mentally prepare myself to go all in, next time a similar opportunity arises.

My friend Alex who was at the game with me told me about a show called the Buried Life. Its basically about some friends who think of crazy things to accomplish and they go for them. They've played basketball with Barak Obama, they've asked Taylor Swift on a date, crashed a PlayBoy Mansion party and done many more things that make you go "Wow". They have stories worth telling and retelling.

So I might have fallen down on my intention to grab opportunities when they come along, but it doesn't mean I've totally failed. Everyday is another chance to break the box do something new. You've just gotta choose to try.

The Seventh of December

A poem written in remembrance of that day so long ago that remains vivid in some minds even today.

A harbor of pearls
Taking heat from the west
People trying to do their best
An ocean of blood
New, from petty quarrels
People tangled in the coral
An island of fire
That had risen from the deep
People tucked underwater to sleep
A nation’s pride
Red, white, now black and blue
People unsure of what to do
An enemy, fierce
They’re flesh and bone like me
People, similar, separated by sea
A harbor of pearls
Precious creations by mothers
People still strive to kill one another

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Roses and Razorblades

These are lyrics/a poem that I've had buzzing in my head for at least a year I think and haven't taken time to try writing it until now. It talks about relationships and their unstable nature. It isn't directed specifically to my life necessarily, but more so to the lives of a lot of people around me. The correlation between roses and razorblades came to me when I thought of the extreme emotions the two cause in people. One can evoke such profound intimate feelings while the latter can end up as the product of the prior failing. Broken love leaves scars.

Hang low
Your head looks like a boulder
I know
There’s something wrong here
What can
What can I do about this?
There are
Times when
You just can’t help feeling bad
When we
Fall in love
It follows a trend
If only we could find ourselves
In a single pond’s reflection
We’d avoid trouble and hell
And properly be fit to search for another
And razorblades, they are the same
Love turns into hatred
The ground beneath just fell away
There are
Times when
Cupid’s not a friend
When we
Fall in love
It follows a trend
If we could just know who we are
Discover the person covered in skin
We’d escape the desperate pit of tar
And see things in a different light
Love is
A puzzle to be put together
Keep finding pieces below their waist
Heart strings
Are the fragments that really matter
There are
Times when
People are more than friends
But when we
Fall in love
It follows a trend