Failed Aspirations Sonnet

All aspirations collapse within me
Into tangled wreckage & commotion
They bear all society’s weight and dreams
Destroying my most personal notions

I can’t live up to the publicity
Created by my world’s expectations
My life with its needless complexity
A mendacious attempt at salvation

Deep within this fleshy walking corpse
Unable to lie down dead with my faith
Beats a healthy heart with a moral course
Dragged like a prisoner forever forth

In this corrupt ethical universe
There’s no place for my feeble moral verse

This Morning’s Thoughts

So much has happened! Where to begin. Today I am up with S_______, she slept over for L_____’s birthday celebration. We went to BareBurger for dinner with C______, S______, L______, Linda and Stafford. We came home and had the patented pink cake I made. I went to a meeting earlier, and it was actually the second day in a row I made a meeting. I think I should make more meetings. I would also like to go to the gym more (I’ll stop shoulding on myself now).
Furthest in the rear-view mirror of my recent life is the fight I had with Deneene over facebook. I could include the details, but I will distill it down to the fact she feels aggrieved over something and we got into a back-and-forth “FUCK YOU!” battle over email. I lost sleep over it and wrote a poem or two in the angry insomnia. I have to say that I was feeling pretty low regarding all of this. I mean, I do think that Deneene is being a bitch and working out some sort of something in her life. But I’ve been sober long enough to know that when someone is vexed at you you might have done something wrong, even it it isn’t as calamitous at their anger says it is.  (On a related note, Linda has been vexed with me about me and I think that that is also related to her other outside feeling (which is not to say I am not a living nightmare for the well organized). I wrote a poem about that to to help me muddle through my thinking.
The thing I need to talk to someone about is the fact that I came back in contact with B-19. I saw a picture of her sister S_____ in a yoga pose as B______ B___’s girlfriend. (First I want to say that she dated a guy in ‘88 or ‘87 that I really didn’t think too much of, so it seems Gay [with B______] is a huge improvement.)
So I explained that I didn’t want to be some sort of stalker or “relic” that haunts her. Her response was really sweet.
B-19 wrote “Relic? No way. True friend from the past is more how I think of you.” I have to say that this positive recollection from 30 years ago is the balm that I needed after the ‘Neene thing. I was at a meeting yesterday and a young woman shared on her first anniversary and it brought all of these things together: Feeling like an asshole because of ‘Neene’s noise, feeling low because of how thinly our family nerves were frayed by the kids’ holiday visit and somethings unresolved.
I saw in M_____, the 1-year-speaker, the trajectory of the life I had when B-19 and I broke up (I guess I was readying myself for Linda, whom I’d meet a year or so later). I also saw my older daughter in her. Of course Thing 1 hasn’t manifest any of the shenanigans of the active alcoholic, but she has the determined will of someone sick with this disease, and I don’t look forward to her acting on the “hiding” with something besides overachievement.
So if I wasn’t a creep picking on Teen-Agers, but a man trying to love a woman, no matter how imperfectly, then who am I now? At the meeting I remember meeting B-19 in the hallway of a tenement next door to St Marks, she on her way to a party with Alcohol and me on my way back to the St. Marks “HOW Club” New Year’s fete. I was part of her crazy youth, but I wasn’t a controlling domineering asshole. I wore (& wear) the world like a loose garment. I want to keep strengthening that “mellow.”
I guess if I could change anything I would work harder on getting more things done. This brings me to the iPhone I lose myself in creation with all of the time. I have to say that I like the memes I make and the poems I write and the photographs I take with my gizmo. I don’t like the time I spend checking “likes” and “comments” from people with whom I am not terribly close with. There is a pleasure that seeing people’s lives unfold brings. (Just slipped into FB gossip for 15 minutes because I was looking for a picture.)
I am an imperfect man who enjoys his life as it is rather than trying to build the towers of respect (academic publishing, more long form thought.) I would like to get a little more of my James Baldwin “essay self” on. I would also like to write more fiction (Finish the Kiko story, Life before the wheels, etc). Lennox is up.
Two hours later
While I was washing the dishes I was struck with something else. I can’t remember it right now. This is why my iPhone isn’t all bad, because had I tweeted a note I would have the insight to work on.
I am reminded, trying to remember the thought, of an epiphany I think I first had at St. Malachy’s one Thursday night: “I gravitate towards -and favor the opinions of- people who dislike me: we have one thing in common, we both hold me in utter contempt.” I don’t know if this is self hatred or part of my open-minded desire for self improvement? I think I can make that a haiku:
Agree with haters/
We both think that I’m stupid/
(Only I am right)/
I think that my next “corrective scheme” is that I should dedicate some time to writing on my blog every day. I don’t want to just post poems there, but get into writing some of the thoughts I have when I am walking my dog and spacing out.
I should also find a way to free myself from my iphone.

Little Dreams Sonnet-ish Thing

IMG_3675 @ sonnet little dreams
I make little dreams/
Out of happenstance/
Things, common as schemes/
Not given a glance/

Common detritus/
Tickets and receipts/
Treasure like Midas/
My favorite conceits/

Commonplace transforms/
Into life’s rare forms/

Life’s litter modern/
Starts magic sojourns/

“Assessment Sonnet 8.2″

Beneath the surface of my life
Are the dreams of triumph’s delight
I desire the recognition
By people of taste, intuition

Under the blankets of Facebook
Twitter and my blog where friends look
I wrestle with the well oiled dreams
Youth’s captured & imprisoned scenes

The boisterous life I’ve exchanged
For this security arranged
By profession and family
Sums up life modern life cannily

But I Can’t keep my dreams secret
I must share or live in regret

Grading Research Papers Sonnet

IMG_0714 autobiographies sonnet

Grading Research Papers

Paper after paper, written badly
Sing their author’s personal mistakes
Beautiful lives experienced madly
They tell true stories, not one single fake

Tragedies and triumphs in 12 point font
Murders, suicides & unsure thinking
Documented unevenly: youth’s cant
Rebellion, obedience and drinking

In fifty-odd students, you’ll find it all
Skills, effort (experiences alleged)
Things that make scholars procrastinate, stall
No tabula rasa at this college

Grading research autobiographies
Lets me see my student’s real qualities

•Dear White People• Haiku Review

Saw “Dear White People”/
An interesting film/
Provoked some thinking/

Impulse was perfect/
Execution uneven:/
Some great film making/

The deconstruction/
Of privilege was perfect/
On both sides of race/

At the same moment/
Race was remade and unmade/

The sterling writing/
Couldn’t escape the archetypes/
Make real characters/

The stereotypes/
Of villains didn’t bother/
Flat protagonists/

At the same moment/
“Types” were dissected it showed/
Additional “types”/

Identified “types”/
Though both clever & witty/
Just couldn’t escape/

The Show Me State

(Today’s Haiku Journal on Ferguson)

9. Do white people know/
The feelings Black people have/
When cops just kill us?/

10. Don’t live in ghettos/
Suburban Strip-Mall no-wheres/
Imprisoned by cars/

11. Don’t live in projects/
Lego-stacked suspensions of/
Human civil rights/

12. In our middle class/
Pretentions of normalcy/
Black lives lack value/

13. Our white friends can’t know/
Insecurity we feel/
When Blacks are gunned down/

14. Projects or exurbs/
“They are poor in those ghettoes/
So diff’rent than ‘us'”/

15. But to the dull tool/
Of racist policing we’re/
Just some more niggers/

16. Reduce privilege/
And pay the police much more/
We might get justice/

17. Uneducated/
Underpaid police receive/
Unjust Power’s Pay/

18. We need to attract/
Better people to police/
Not red-necked bullies/

19. The black cops we have/
Absorbed the racist power/
Of job they strap on/

20. But many Blacks fear/
Blacks men inordinately/
Just like the police/

21. White supremacy/
Lies all over our culture:/
Suffocating snow/

22. We cannot see Blacks/
As just individuals/
In racist matrix/

23. “Devil’s food cake” is/
The national confection/
Of America/

24. It’s “our” racism/
Contrary statements of race/
Are simple “white lies”/

26. Race is a prison/
We reconstruct for ourselves/
We need more jailbreaks/

27. Lamenting order/
Over human righteousness/
Suggests racism/

28. Tranquility lacks/
The drama of infringement/

25. “Faith has to [function]/
[For us] 24 hour [days],/
Or we [will] perish.”/
#Haiku 16