5 Pastels – 3

living in a city
can be the ultimate
love / hate relationship —
for little else in life
can simultaneously give you energy
and sap you of it at the same time.

it is equal parts
splendor and squalor,
joyfulness and misery,
brotherhood and animus.

but in the light of a beautiful morning,
both sides of the city, in reflection,
seem to just represent


confidence, that thief

back here, how strange it is, the heart is sore,
as memories like lies, and sons of lies
touch cold bare feet onto a frozen floor
beneath a ghost they sought to idolize

how comforting – the fault was never owned:
there need be nothing learned or set away
or carried into bright and awkward day
from pedestals where they have lived, enthroned

and stories, like a hive, are built and set:
the never-happened, covering regret
encapsulates, and keeps the real world out,
so progress can be stopped, along with doubt.

the old clock ticks, and day soon swallows night,
and never-can-be-wrong is never right

by products

A meditation on our role in the choices available to us

the world’s a store, and
we walk by products that are
arranged to catch our eyes;
our attention often fixed upon
objects not present, the
subjects of our current fixations –

and yet, if economics allow, we often
buy products that we know we may not
need or even want, merely from a sort of
habit of politeness; a feeling that
so much trouble was gone to for us, we
really should show some support –

bringing home these pointless objects, we
find ourselves leaving by-products, traces
of these and other half-optimal choices that
make up most of our days; the things we do, because
we must do something, and so we choose from among
the options available to us

if, of course, by “products” we are thinking of
things like relationship and career choices, this
only becomes more true – and more the
pity, since we frequently either don’t go to
enough stores to provide sufficient choice or
go to stores long after the right choice has been
purchased by someone else

Classical Condundrum

As a teen,
classical music was
my greatest love,
my strongest passion —

But the business of it
was catty, and shallow, and
competitively spiteful:
all I cared about
was the music

So, I elected
to find another line of work,
choosing to continue to play music,
but not be in the grind of competitions
for scholarships, recital time, and so on

And, these days, if anything,
it has gotten worse.

The most beautiful, thoughtful
performances can be found on youtube,
where commenters savage the performers
with the type of criticism that makes you wonder
if almost anybody that listens to classical music
actually likes it

But then, i take a deep breath, and remember:
youtube comment-leavers do not represent all people,
they typically represent the worst type of people:
cowardly, petty, bitter, and unaccomplished, themselves

The wisest choice anyone can make
is to never read comments on youtube

So i listen to classical music,
and continue to explore and
learn to play various pieces:
exploring unknown repertoire,
and enjoying performances when i hear them
rather than criticizing them

I know the critical mindset:
it is simultaneously self-righteous about criticism
and unable to accept any aimed at them

But these are just shadows of joylessness,
and i can pass them by in silence

For the music is the thing,
And always was.

We will always have reactions to what we hear,
we just don’t need to spend so much time
convincing others to have the same one

Because that is monumentally