Category Archives: Writing

Appropriation — What I learned in Hip Hop Theater

This is a poem I wrote in response to the assignment: CHOOSE A PIECE OF TEXT THAT AFFECTS YOU, AND THEN APPROPRIATE IT.  I decided to use the finale scene in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as my starting point.

.

.

 

Cranly, or Convert-i-sation

 

I am not a cradle Catholic,
but I might as well have been.
10 years of education –
of learning my sins
and my time tables
in about the same breath.

Catholic guilt – not a matter
of blood anymore
than it ever was water.

It’s the choice to leave
food on my plate,
to go home with this boy,
to refuse an afterlife,
and always leave
something up to Fate.

He said dispassionately
how super-saturatedly
my mind is with the religion
I claim to have forsaken.

Did the idea ever occur to you,
…that Jesus was  not what he
pretended to be?

So, for me, the problem
was actually
between the altar and the stage:
two dueling devotions,
deifying myself,
missing Church to rehearse.
My mind occupied
with creations ill-defined
as temptations, a devil’s hand
transcribing my ideas
imbibing pure intentions
with dastardly machinations.
Maybe it was divine inspiration,
But I felt so trapped
in my own goddamn head
that it was Art (with a capital A)
or god (with a lower case g)
my pain or my prayers.
I felt frozen, numbed
to both His voice and mine.
Still I genuflect, and receive,
pretend to believe.

The first person to whom
that idea occurred,

was Jesus himself.

Jesus was no actor.
God is no writer.

I am never sure of it.

because you feel that the host too
may be the body and blood
the water and mud
that’s obstructing my vision
of the son of God and
not a wafer of bread?
and … you fear that it may be?

Yes…
I feel that and I also fear it.

I could make a career
out of not believing this.

I will not serve
that in which I no longer believe…
I will not bow
to what I can barely perceive.
I will try to express myself
in some mode of life or art
as freely as I can
and as wholly as I can…
I will try to create
life within art
art within life, for
I desire to press
in my arms the
loveliness which has not
yet come into the world.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Joyce, poetry, Writing

The Dilemma of the Lover in the Digital Age

……….Humanity is sending words over radio waves and communicating in short linguistic bursts. Text messages define relationships.  Hearts break, moments stop, dreams

.

are affirmed in the span of 160 characters with spaces. We begin with “i like u,” and end with “its ovr.” We use texts to infiltrate the conversations of others

.

, to assert our own presence where we are irrevocably absent.
……….It used to be romantic to tell someone “I’ll always be with you.” Now, we are. As long as the phon

.

e is on and the inbox is relatively empty, I can be with you whenever… even if I am just across the room from you. We can relay secrets, and tempt each other

.

to a bedroom or to madness with a word.  Keep me in your pocket – literally. I don’t ever want to be so far from you that you can’t hear your phone beep or feel

.

it vibrate.
……….Would you believe me if I told you that text messages are enabling manipulative complexes to flourish? That puppet strings are attached to five fing

.

ers, that control has never been so easy? That insinuation and context have never been so hard at work? That life clings to carefully chosen ellipses or an excl

.

amation point? I think you might just laugh, and then check your phone.
……….Full sentences and hand-written letters, the old tenants of genuine communication, have

.

been obliterated by the fast-flying-thumbs of the texter. It breaks my heart that I could write you a sonnet, perfectly footed and rhymed, and it wouldn’t fit i

.

n a text.  And thus, would not arrest your heart as much as that buzzing, as much as the pathetic, lifeless versions of words on that tiny screen. Can 160 chara

.

cters with spaces truly communicate my thoughts, my feelings? How do I reach you, if not via text? How do I connect to you, if not through cyberspace? How can I

.

show you that I love you? The power of writing is usually in the showing, not the telling, of something. How do I show you that I care, if not through short bla

.

sts of encouragement and words that may resemble affection?  Humans have created technology that sucks the humanity out of communication. Language has become an

.

equation, a game of reduction, how to type as much as possible without saying anything. “I love you,” becomes, “Love you,” becomes, “Love u

.

,”  becomes, “Luv u,” becomes, “<3 u,” becomes, “<3.” This combination of symbols – ❤ – actually means nothing. Less-than-three should not be synonymous with t

.

he most tender of feelings, with a most intimate affection. How do I tell you that I love you if words have lost all meaning? I can’t contain this to a text.

Leave a comment

Filed under fiction, Writing