J. Barrett

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Two minutes

Two minutes left of break,
Can I write anything of worth?
Do my thoughts count,
or are they rounded to the nearest five minutes?

Fifteen seconds now,
And its done.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Reflections on "A scanner darkly"

Paranoia defines me in a certain way which I cannot describe. I have always felt there was a greater integrity to the evil which consists the world. There seemed to be a greater order behind all the ill doings, whether they be the machinations of presidents or street thugs. There had to be an explanation for it all, in a world which was defined by control. I suppose for that reason, it made sense to me the essential presupposition of comic books, that there were individuals, organizations which were committed entirely to evil, and devoted to destroying all that was good and true and pure in the world. The idea that there would be a brotherhood of evil mutants, or an injustice league was certainly logical, because there was so much evil and injustice in the world. Surely, then, people like me, people who were committed to justice and truth would not cause the evil and death of the world. They could not, must not. There must be others for whom that is their purpose. Like Iago in the Merchant of Venice, they were simply evil, and that was all there was to it.
A peculiarity of the comic book universe was the perspective derived from the trading cards distributed by the card companies: each individual within the universe could be described as a hero or a villain. Occasionally one would switch sides, but there were sides, certainly. Within this worldview, I was naturally one of the heroes, one of the good guys. I labored on the side of justice, and peace. I was willing to fight in order that there would come a time in which there would no longer be a need to fight, a need to struggle. Eventually, there would come a time of peace.
In school, I would often fantasize that there would be an attack on the school, on the students, and for whatever reason, my unique abilities or circumstances would enable me to save everyone from whichever menace threatened them. I would struggle and I would sacrifice in order to triumph over that evil, but I would prevail, and my classmates would join me in the celebration of their rescue, and acclaim me a hero, welcoming me into their embrace and their circles of friendship.
Eventually, this ideation faded, as I grew closer to people in my school and in my life, and as I came to admit my friends and family more deeply into my thoughts, allowing them to influence me and my decisions, I understood that I could simply enjoy the company of other people with the abilities I already had.
I also came to realize that the menaces which threatened the world derived not from those who were built of evil and ill will, but instead from people just like myself, who were trying to fix the world in one way or another, and their way of doing it conflicted with the purposes and designs of people who I thought of as right.
I still believe there is an objective morality. I still believe there are good and evil which can be defined differently form one another. I just know that human beings, being human, get it wrong most of the time.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Unreal objects

It seemed as if the unreal objects would always appear,
would always make us laugh and wince with
their commentary on our foibles, yet they go
as surely as anything else,
leaving us the terror
of sincerity


In the lunar breeze of yesteryear, my true love waits,
cloaked in years of indecision and messages mixed,
confused by so many, comparing her, dividing her,
but within, she is
one, she is,

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Drug as metaphor

I imagine drug as metaphor
a dry red rhythm
a symbol of raw pain,

the need within never met,
only obliterated by the rush
of that nether something

which fills the dark caverns
drowning those who
seek their depths.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rhythm of poetry

My instrument is the pen,
with which I spin melodies of
syntax and verbiage,
and just like my music
the rhythm is

Juice box

Not nutritive
orange flavored

and its even better
than the real thing

Behavior management

Promising frequency
agitated demonstration
stimulating repetition
conditioning behavior

These words cyele through my barren mind
reinforcing the emptiness,

yet with each cycle comes the hope, the promise
of progress, of freedom
from the stifling routine of
behavior management

Monday, June 26, 2006

Concrete angel

In the concrete shimmer of the bloated night I come to you,
reeking of the miasma of garlic and fear,
ready for the smothering comfort of your touch.

I approach my instrument with
the mad passion of the young
for metaphor
and fall headlong against the tangled pain of the original.

I investigate metal for the drunk water angel,
and demand the restless rhythm of the night.

The fiery grace which stops my heart
would smear the surreal pastiche of life
Almost mounting the seceret wish for surrender.

In the concrete shimmer I imagine a balance
while you scream
and demand the restless rhythm of the night.

Whose passion will you see, scaling the barren
fortress of your silhouette?

I suffer rigid music in the glorious waste,
the concrete angel conscripts my soul.
I suffer awful electric sex
as the shard turns deeper

The rage in steel leaves me hollow
and demands the restless rhythm of the night.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Saturday Morning

I guess I don't sleep enough on Friday nights, or something. It's now Saturday morning, and I'm feeling fuzzy in the head, despite my coffee, breakfast, and shower.
I ran earlier, five miles at 7:00 AM in 16 degree weather. It's hard to get there, and hard to run, but I feel much better afterward. If I hadn't run this morning, right now I would probably feel lousy.
It's funny, I run so I will feel good, but now, I don't feel great, I just know it's better than the alternative.