Teeth Clack Prayer (Poem)

My little soft bullet is tucked between my lip and gum
Sucking the brass off it, sucking the powder out. Unburned

Saltpeter. Young, when first was I reversed, “old soul”
Felt wrong when all I did was spin like a hurricane
Clothes blown, unhinged closet door, two bulbs out and
Black inside discolored like

Charcoal. I found righteous and I stood beside me
Made-up man with his fantasy plan, role models gone,
Fingering the little triggers that blew up the sun, friends,
Now memories line book spines along book shelves
Line incense burners with nag champa, copal, and

Sulfur. I of my family made and carrying this stained glass
On my back keep track of things that break back to breaking;
Crisp morning day, the tip of my tongue a tiny pin, Round
Little Soft Bullet against
Teeth, saliva-wet staining, aimed at my past, I needed

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Writing to Scare Yourself

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Reading Simmons on the beach.

(Still love this pic. Wish I was still there)

 

I have one finalized and unpublished novel, four finished rough novels, forty eight unfinished projects, seventeen research files, and countless lost projects. My titles are, from my first novel project in 7th grade to now (including fanfic): Dinotopia!, Elementals, Lucky Sevens, Spark, the Mindgames Trilogy, Inhabitability, Infallibility, The Willow and the Sycamore, the seven Reverberant high fantasy novels that followed, the four planned Littrell sequels, Symbiosis, Of Salt and Wine and the six sequels planned, The Acorn King and sequel, David and His Shade and four sequels planned, Pris(m), Alexandrea, Nautilus, and Corpus Paradiso (my NaNo project).

I started my writing life piggybacking off other writers and other worlds, learning my basics by simply parroting. My parents told me my writing work was great. I won second place in 7th grade and first place in 8th for a pair of short stories written across two pages. When I was young and learning to write I was afraid just to put a word down. Words written meant you owned them. They meant you had an idea and you put it out there for others to read.

Continue reading

The Myth-Tree that Grew from Homer

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My brother gave me this tree of Collatz Conjecture, where no matter what number you start with, you will eventually end up at one. (if n is even, n=n/2, if n is odd, n=3n+1) It hasn’t been proven, is mind-bindingly complex when you look down deep, and is a great parallel to what I’m referring to via this post: all texts (I discuss) began with Homer.

 

If you’ve been reading my blog lately you know I’m eyeballs deep in a parallel reading between Homer’s Odyssey and James Joyce’s Ulysses. I’ve scraped together a few previous posts concerning mythology and how certain books play off of others. I am not happy with the result of such a scrape, so I will continue to mold my thoughts around this idea of a secondary historical dialogue.

It seems, back when this book was published, the literature field was very different. So before I go into what inspired the Odyssey by Homer and was inspired by The Odyssey, I must first give a quick, short history of literature from 1920’s to now. Continue reading

Writing as a Defense Mechanism

I am a writer, first and foremost. When (if) someone comes up to me and asks, “what are you?” I say, “I am a writer.”

I am everything else, too. I became a writer because 1) nobody had the time to listen to my daydreams, 2) I found them incredibly important, against all odds of logic, and 3) it became my defense mechanism at a very young age.

I grew up in a world where the internet was too young to raise me, where TV contained mostly instructional, mind-expanding programming, and a personal computer was expensive.

I was born in 1984; I’m not too old to have been spared being raised by Nintendo, or the rise of fast food as a kind-of real food, or the need for both of my middle-class parents to work overtime to keep food on the table and send the kids through college. I had a computer by the time I was in 8th grade, sitting in my room.

I grew up in that awkward teenage-stage between the ’70’s and the information age, where big business still stretched its legs in the newfound, unregulated territory of a world market without a Soviet influence. I grew up during the dissolving of Social accountability and growth of social media. I grew up when journalists weren’t paid off by political affiliations (as much) and people learned mobility through shrinking electronics and growing wireless capabilities.

I grew up reading books. I grew up with parents who implanted violence in my head but demanded physical chastity outside it. Demands were fluid like water. Expectations were lofty and as unattainable as clouds.

They grounded me often. Growing up, I was the “worst of the three,” (including myself and my three brothers), due to my inability to follow basic directions. Sadly, now that I’m 29 years old, I stare at my young self and realize, more than being a rebellious teenager (which I was), I was a confused dreamer that couldn’t find peace of mind no matter where I turned.

Fifth grade. I wrote my first story, about some Home Alone spinoff, based on a dream. Lame, I know, but my parents recommended I get it put in the school paper. I thought it was dumb, even at that age, but I did. They supported it. It was the only thing they supported without forcing me into it. No writing classes, no summer camps, no heightened study groups. In fact, they thought it was a passing craze. I loved science too much. I loved acting too much. Whatever.

So it mutated into a defense mechanism. It was the only thing they didn’t bastardize by stealing away. They never said, “You write because I told you to.” or “You write because I made you.” Everything else, including years of plays, soccer, tennis, golf, basketball, and even Boy Scouts, at one point or another, they took credit for. So it was my child. My baby. Writing was my plaything.

They took it away when I got a bad grade, somewhere in the middle of 8th grade. My computer. So I pulled out a pad of paper and I wrote. I wrote in class. I daydreamed during recess. For so much of my day, I wasn’t allowed to write. I could only daydream.

I’d go home, grounded, and go to my room–shelves devoid of books, as per my punishment, computer devoid of cord–with a purloined pad of paper and write violently.

In this way, writing became some kind of a fetish for me. More than comfort, it made me aroused in ways the rest of the world could not. It allowed me to connect with people–even though I connected just fine–in ways that made me unique. I spent most of my childhood, while firmly on the ground and among friends, with my head in the clouds.

I’ve given up dreams. On dreams. Dreams of being an engineer. Dreams of being a lawyer. A great actor. Dreams of studying biology. Somewhere in my high school, my writing became a catalyst for learning. The subjects I loved most were the ones that directly pertained to my work. The subjects I excelled in where the ones most pertinent to my work.

Math, unfortunately, did nothing for my words. It suffered the most. Sciences, while incredibly insightful and important, eventually bored me due to the lack of creativity and humanity. History, english, journalism, politics, religion, fascinated me. They became my subjects of choice.

And I’ve been that way ever since. I learn well, but I learn best if it fits in the vernacular. Even today, while going through classes eyeballs deep in electrical wiring, circuits, and installations, all I think about is the writing perspective–so I write a scifi. I know, without a doubt, the moment I stop studying circuits, the book will be discarded and possibly never looked at again. As some perverted husk of a hobby, I write as a way to make it mine.

This dream will never die, because it is not a means to an end. It is more than a tool. It is an incorporation of myself into the real world. It is a way of life. Like a religious belief, like ritual, like spirituality.

My books are my religion. My words are my spirituality. Not the content, per se, but the act of writing. Even if it is not completed. Even if it falls away like autumn leaves.

Maybe this is why I’m unpublished. Maybe this is why I know I’ll be published proudly.