Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: self-control

Unfree will

Context — We expect much of each other.

 

Perfection was endowed on day of birth,
a canvas sans a single shade or stroke.
Discoveries of childhood left mirth
as sole emotion humanhood unyoked.
The purity was riven when first word
of anger from frustration sliced her ears.
That temperamental outburst overheard
loosed brainstem acid, shame, remorse, and fears.
At once her psyche’s solitude was ceased,
in unlit mental grotto sprouted one
of many goblins yet to be released
who’d taunt her towards what others wanted done.
This bow to crowds’ wants multiplicity’s
corrupting act of all societies.

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Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol 2, #30

Context — There are many kids of intelligence

 

Linguistic mastery is but one face
of all intelligence a body has.
Its kinesthetic face allows for grace
and tonal face births unexpected jazz,
its numbers side perfected by savants
allows near-instantly computed sums,
its introspective side dissects your wants,
and geospatial side makes true maps’ rhumbs.
As many kinds of smarts exist as lives
are postulated for a cat to hold,
yet placement test would eight of these deny
and simply ask retell what has been told.
Evaluations sadly thus exclude
assessment of the boy’s full aptitude.

Ticker tape loops about my neck

Context — Time slips these days.

 

A tick, a tock, an hour, a day, the clock
proceeds, punctilious, precise,
forever filling, never overstocked
through circularity of dial’s device.
Yet inexhaustible rotations wheel
around the watch face numbers’ dozen ticks
each passing promising some fate revealed
while nailing guilts to mind-made crucifix.
For every day that passes leaves the next
its escalating burdens left undone,
so solemn, lifelong problems still perplex
through seasons played on analog rerun.
Cathartically I’d face accrued rue’s vault
had I the clout to call time grind to halt.

Gray rhythms unjustified

Context — It’s winter.

 

My daily life won’t anger me to fumes.
I’m traffic-immunized, at work I’m thanked,
with modest budget can most things consume,
not bound by orthodoxies sacrosanct.
So how then can I justify the trough
I go through when the planets line up wrong?
Affecting all, these doldrums’ throes strip off
quotidian sheen gratefulness, prolong
tectonic grinding gray ambivalence
that every day throws modest glimmers of,
but when of sound mind dam with commonsense,
the knowledge life deserves no dimmer love.
In weeks when mindful light’s gone dark, the gray
dissolves the prided parts of me away.

Tailored shirts covering fools’ hearts

Context — The difficulty of saying is that one cannot un-say.

 

The finest shirt, French cuffed and cotton, pressed,
portrays sophistication none denounce.
Yet when the shirt of thread is dispossessed,
its sole unraveling takes ounce by ounce
aesthetics first, then function, cancer that
a scissor snip can slow, but never stop.
I worry that in world aristocrat
rogue thread is unintended malaprop:
to fly ideas fancifully as if
they came in passing, unconsidered, may
if seen as overstepping, cause a rift
in fabric, as in trust that’s cast away.
The yarn you pull to weave could wreck what’s on
the cloth: beware the heart-fueled lexicon.

Painted faces

Context — Who doesn’t hide?

 

The painted face of clown a frown conceals,
like insecurities from high school hide
beneath the pancake makeup’s rouge ideal
that blends to blandest blank when misapplied.
The painted face of politician shows
a pearly reassurance, while inside
exposure of his costume’s seams’ poor sews
would spew the toxic stuffing he’d allied.
The painted face of me in settings dense
with people who I’ve never met, smile wide
is channel for anxieties intense,
pretending I’ve no fragile underside.
No matter how we try be genuine,
our daily lives at times make mice of men.

Even the happy man searches out his own discontent

Context — Yesterday I wrote about one episode of a persistent searching behavior I couldn’t seem to understand. It spans other parts of my life.

 

I angered at myself when browsing lists
of properties as yesterday described,
and knew not how contentment coexists
in mind with want to greener grass imbibe.
In vein alike, I woke from stupor as
I looked at other job descriptions, not
the man who’s thankful with all that he has,
but rather whose decisions ever-fraught.
Confused I sat, reflecting why lust’s eyes
ranged far into these lives I did not lead,
when daily way I did was optimized
for joy within my means, nigh guaranteed.
The life not lived can cloy the strongest mind
to thinking lot he has wrongly unkind.

Expectations make roads, nobody says you can tread on grass

Context — Quell fear with a rebranded view of the track you’ve been set upon.

You’re born and you become the object of
two overwhelmed adults who’ve sacrificed
their social lives and duties. You’re above
the all of their past selves that they’ve repriced.
And then the race begins: the race to speak,
the race to crawl, the race to walk, the race
to talk, the race of smarts and of physique,
a path dependency that’s you encased.
To view each step as moving towards a goal,
advancing also further from liked paths,
in fear that all your choices are controlled
by choices past is fearful, faulty math.
Days’ supernova possibilities
digested can themselves will your mind free.

People in shells are still people

Context — I can find it difficult to recall that I am fond of humans when I get distracted by startup roulette wealth.

 

Soles standing on cracked asphalt, corner light
turns flashing yellow, white man pops to sign
when blitzkrieg roar of Porsche urbanite
whips up my toxic envy at goldmine
of winnings startup-starting youth had won.
My marched attention migrates inwardly,
from there I search for how to have outdone
my salary’s shackles. Thoughts therein blurred “free”
with jealousy and judgment, vice ascribed,
attached to spoiler matte Carrera choice
that there on pavement rubber burns inscribed.
His car was as a braggart’s pleading voice.
Distaste dissolved now, realize the fault
was mine allowing baseless mental vault.

Knowing not which mountain until crisis

Context — We climb the same mountains relentlessly and blindfolded.

 

I’m stranded on a cliff sans bivouac,
its pockmarked cleft unrecognized, although
I’ve trapped me here before: amnesiac
to past divined solutions apropos.
The cliff of stilted speech, the cliff of stress,
the anxious cliff, and cliff oblivious
stand geologic time, their routes outguess
ascent attempts. They think me pity, thus
presenting selves identically as problems time
and time again. Why must ability
to know I’m back in broken paradigm
lag so behind? Each time futility.
Why must my speed of self-improvement be
so limited to problems I’ve perceived?

Awakening in a disheveled body

Context — Some mornings are tough.

 

No swallows sang, nor jays, nor larks, that morn.
The length of summer drew an early gray.
All signs of hastened sleep on face, thread corn
wedged twice in grin. New creases. Disarray.
The mirror and the demons pitied none.
Why drink? You always fucking drink, you worm!
More often now when audience is one.
You claim that sundown lets the goblins loose,
the siren story pities you repeat.
You turn to words in lamplight, and to juice,
excuse that stupor’s aesthete’s Muse’s teat.
{1}
He churns himself like sausage, blithely mix
his virtues with the vices left unfixed.
{2}
You brilliant sack of shit, you should… you should…
reverberates atop, and masks the good.
{3}
You’re flawed for feeling liquor lights the way
last full-formed thought before the day’s malaise.
{4}
How easy is your love for others deep
yet view of self as wolf, in clothing sheep.

Standing upright under a newfound doubled gravity

Context — we grow into each other, like topiaries into their molding.

 

He knew himself as simply part of her.
She knew herself as simply part of him.
Extenuating circumstance recurred
until their intertwining lights went dim.
She turned to ritual to fill the gap.
He turned to cigarettes and whisky glass.
Identity to both was still entrapped,
assimilated parts of joint morass.
The watch dial’s turn brought purgatory pain
laced hourly with monsoon rush of doubt,
uncertainty as selves they’d overlain
the things interred they’d once seen other sprout.
In time’s avoidance dance they tipped and tapped,
and fell. And fell again, limb with crutch snapped.

The days in which I am an ice core

Context — Some days are just different.

 

Today I’m flypaper without its stick,
attracting all the ice without recourse,
I’m tiny trace of apple arsenic
in skin beside the sugar flesh, perforce.
Today I’m penguin puffed into balloon
who’s waddling away from warmth of peers.
I’m unassailable silken cocoon
that guards as soul itself reengineers.
Today I’m frozen like a fish filet
left ugly when it thawed and then re-iced.
I’m holy wall with cracks from root decay,
chipped barrier to endless poltergeists.
Today I woke up cold inside but sought
not single pleasure heat could me have brought.

Enveloping stillness stills cerebral time

Context — Sometimes we sit still.

 

The air was frozen in a temperate
sensationless enveloping. It left
no sound of sound, its silence’s cassette
subsonic, undetectable in heft.
That purity like vacuum cut the wave
of thought that trickled endlessly to mind.
It left a space like empty pre-dawn nave
where prostrate souls arrive, each undefined.
The unawareness of my body made
such perfect sense in retrospect: become
aware of masks to ruin masquerade,
or words to deconstruct an idiom.
My mind so quiet that I couldn’t know
from where next thought could possibly have flowed.

Traffic is the end of the universe

Context — I used to get mild road rage. Then I realized there were only two consistent contributing factors: an endless number of unexpected things that drivers will do, and me. This is about controlling the second. 27th sonnet, written 11/18/09.

 

When those who meet should find themselves apart,
’tis likely that a traffic jam now springs
upon unwitting streets, metallic art
that stops man’s movement, with it anger brings
a melancholy haunting near and far,
a chemical released when all cars cease
that sucks synapses dry of dopamine,
ensuing blueness then doled out on lease
to overactive vocal chords, face green
with rage shot out the window, on the phone,
to vacuum spaces not inclined to hear
of timing troubles, his and his alone.
Though traffic’s cleared, frustration’s cloud yet steers.
It puzzles me, the depth of woe we feel
constructing problems for ourselves, none real.

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