You’ll find me at a table

At the start and end of everyday. I could say during though my job is not at a table most the time. You’ll find me at a table thinking, discovering, catching up, snooping, trying to get people to like something, creating a digital self and impotently communicating with the people not at my table. I communicate with myself most the time, all the time in a delirium of bouncing whirling thoughts of the usual things such as dealing with the eternal problem of whys. Why haven’t I got a ‘proper’ job, as in a higher paid ‘respectable’ job. Why don’t I ever feel thirsty though always dehydrated. Why does electricity make stuff light up or why am I always tired. Why is my dirty coffee cup round and why am I always tired. Why despite the greatest togetherness of communications and knowledge does exploitation and persecution still exist. Why did my ideas and many rehearsals of becoming a real life Tom Cruise lead me to sit at this table. Despite eating greedily like a pig and exercising hard do I always look gaunt and ill. The only thing that makes me look healthy is a tan which I know is slowly making me look older. Why am I getting slower and achy despite drinking green tea. Why do I flip from one art to another trying to find an answer. I play and sing the guitar trying to be Bob Dylan. I write to be James Joyce. I take pictures to be William Klein. I even think about painting to be Edvard Munch though know I can’t paint, write, sing. Asking why will make me crazy, not asking why will make me crazy. Why after a time, after repetition, after a routine does everything become mundane. We always want what we don’t have and of course we don’t know what we’ve got till its gone just like a big yellow taxi. What makes something beautiful or moreover what makes us find such solace in it. Beauty is not fixed, its forever in a perpetual motion just like boredom. Beauty and boredom are one and all as opposites and intertwined in each other. Something is always not boring to some one, just as beauty diminishes becoming bland. You can only look at Monet or Bridget Bardot for so long. You’ll find me at a table bored certainly not beautiful. I’ll be searching for an honesty, honest in beauty for liberty of the mind and body. You’ll find me at a table just as i’ll find you at a table, working and wondering. Not daring to ask why too often. Forget it you don’t have time or energy. Go on distract yourself with working, marrying, children, providing until you sit another table.

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Charles Bukowski “The man with the beautiful eyes”

the man with the beautiful eyes

when we were kids there was a strange house
all the shades were always drawn
and we never heard voices in there
and the yard was full of bamboo
and we liked to play in the bamboo
pretend we were Tarzan
(although there was no Jane).
and there was a fish pond, a large one
full of the fattest goldfish you ever saw
and they were tame.
they came to the surface of the water
and took pieces of bread from our hands.
our parents had told us:
“never go near that house.”
so, of course, we went.
we wondered if anybody lived there.
weeks went by and we never saw anybody.
then one day we heard a voice
from the house “YOU GOD DAMNED WHORE!”
it was a man’s voice.
then the screen door of the house was
flung open and the man walked out.
he was holding a fifth of whiskey in his right hand.
he was about 30.
he had a cigar in his mouth,
needed a shave.
his hair was wild and uncombed
and he was barefoot in undershirt and pants.
but his eyes were bright.they blazed with brightness
and he said, “hey little gentlemen, having a good time, I
hope?”
then he gave a little laugh and walked back into the house.
we left, went back to my parent’s yard and thought about it.
our parents, we decided had wanted us to stay away from there
because they never wanted us to see a man like that, a strong natural
man with beautiful eyes. our parents were ashamed that they were
not like that man, that’s why they wanted us to stay away.
but we went back to that house and the bamboo and the tame
goldfish. we went back many times for many weeks but we never
saw or heard the man again.
the shades were down as always and it was quiet.
then one day as we came back from school
we saw the house.the man with the beautiful eyes
it had burned down,
there was nothing left,
just a smoldering twisted black foundation
and we went to the fish pond
and there was no water in it
and the fat orange goldfish
were dead there,
drying out.
we went back to my parents’ yard
and talked about it and decided that
our parents had burned their house down,
had killed
them
had killed the
goldfish
because it was all too beautiful,
even the bamboo forest had burned.
they had been afraid of the man with the
beautiful eyes. and we were afraid
then that all through our lives
things like that would happen,
that nobody wanted anybody
to be strong and beautiful
like that, that others would never
allow it,
and that
many people
would have to
die.
from The Last Night on Earth Poems

A Kite for Michael and Christopher by Seamus Heaney

 

All through that Sunday afternoon
a kite flew above Sunday,
a tightened drumhead, an armful of blown chaff.

I’d seen it grey and slippy in the making,
I’d tapped it when it dried out white and stiff,
I’d tied the bows of newspaper
along its six-foot tail.

But now it was far up like a small black lark
and now it dragged as if the bellied string
were a wet rope hauled upon
to lift a shoal.

My friend says that the human soul
is about the weight of a snipe,
yet the soul at anchor there,
the string that sags and ascends,
weigh like a furrow assumed into the heavens.

Before the kite plunges down into the wood
and this line goes useless
take in your two hands, boys, and feel
the strumming, rooted, long-tailed pull of grief.
You were born fit for it.
Stand in here in front of me
and take the strain.

‘Dubliners – James Joyce’

I chose this book as an introduction to the renowned complexities of James Joyce. I was surprised by how short these short stories were, sometimes a little over ten pages though this was not to its shortcomings.

I found that some of the stories based in Dublin, were so rich in prose that they need not continue further, the point was significantly made. Conversely, I found that some of the stories as the book develops became less interesting with slightly on going prose, though the final story ‘the dead’ redeemed any misgivings with wonderfully written sensitive writing that was evident in earlier stories.

After reading each story, I read a brief analysis to fully understand the subtle yet complex themes each event contained.  It is true that paralysis and routine are reoccurring themes of the stories with often sensational epiphical moments that are so intelligently placed, further creates the rich context in which it was written.

Joyce is reluctant to offer metaphoric symbolism yet offers an equally encouraging use of descriptive psychological representative prose like that of Flaubert. This is unlike the recent books I have read, allowing the reader to think more freely into captured meaning. This is not to suggest that the stories aren’t symbolic of Dublin or of the human condition which resoundingly leave you feeling part of its being.

After reading ‘the dead’ it seemed as if the first story, ‘The Sisters’ suddenly became increasingly meaningful and nostalgic where as the initial first reading may leave some questioning.

In summary, Joyce’s Dubliners is a richly intelligent slice of life novel that embeds an unforgettable feeling of realism that leaves you all the better for it.