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2/27/2004

rediscovered entry from a year ago 

amid the madness i find my silence. the voices shrink to a nothing, a never, all things absent and irrelevant. alone in a crowded cafeteria i think of what tomorrow might bring, and of what today has shown me, and of all that yesterday i loved -- and none of it, not even her, makes any sense. i want to feel, someone to make me feel. (i hope she is the one because i don't know what else may come to me down the road but nothing looks as good as her.) i realized this before, but only in the silence of the madness did i find the time to put it down on paper.

passionate 

i watched “the passion” last night, and i am still somewhat at a loss for words. it’s a film i’ll remember for the rest of my life.

it’s a film experience the likes of which i haven’t encountered, perhaps ever. the greatest story ever told is cinematically portrayed in a manner that befits its place in the history of man. it’s a beautifully filmed piece that stands on its own and deserves to be recognized as the jewel of cinematography it is.

i should probably point out that i was raised catholic and that i am thoroughly familiar with both the old and new testament. i am aware of the contradictions in some of the books. i understand the underlying meanings, implicit messages and different interpretations out there. i have also, in my recent years, abandoned that faith and decided instead to focus on pure spirituality where the focus is to do right and be right. i am not a holy man nor do i seek to be one; i am merely one of letters who wants to find the truth at all costs. in light of that and of the events currently underway in our own country, there are certain actions of the past month that need to be discussed.

like a large sector of our population, some leaders in the jewish community have, during the past few weeks, displayed the over-sensitivity of a girlfriend during her period. the movie does not portray anything other than the story as it has come down to us via the bible and historical documents. whether it really went down that way or not isn’t up for discussion here. but if we can accept the story one way (written) then we have to accept it another (on the screen) and “the passion” holds true to the truths christians follow in their faith.

secondly, the jews in power in 30a.c.e. were in fact responsible for jesus’s death. they were blood thirsty and their motives were strictly political. they did not want someone else who claimed to be the son of man to come along and relieve them of the power they held over scores of people. now, that in no way, shape or form means that every jewish person would have acted in the same way. just as white people living in the united states today aren’t directly responsible for slavery 200 years ago, today’s jews had no role in the crucifixion. the man who wanted to see jesus bleed just happened to be jewish, they didn’t feel that way because of their particular religion.

i understand the move by some jewish leaders to assert that the jewish population is not to blame for those atrocities. but much like the bullshit we witness in politics today it is spineless and overtly sensitive. anyone who wants to use the film to construct anti-semitic sentiment is an anti-semite from the go. this movie isn’t built to make anyone feel that way and it never accomplishes such a feat. so everyone can rest assured that mel isn’t so evil after all.

americans in general are overly sensitive. too much so for our own good.

with that said, there was some time for personal reflection last night. lying in bed the fact was apparent, the pain that that man endured for the sins of us all can bring a grown man to tears. belief or non-belief aside, everyone in the theater last night was moved. whether you do or don’t believe in christianity the beauty of the act is beyond what words can express. what if he was whom he claimed to be; do men hold the power to kill god? and for the skeptics who might think jesus wasn’t the messiah, perhaps this man nailed to the cross is but a sad example of a fool who actually believed he was the son of god. but even if he was just a pitiable wretch who believed his own madness… does that make his murder any less despicable?

what if the devil comes to me at my stoop as i arrive weary late one night, and asks me to trade my soul for some happiness? what if he catches me at my weakest, when i’m sore and alone? he won’t look like himself, you know? probably more like a skirt i wanna chase. and i’ll be so weak i’ll go for anything her pretty brown eyes tell me. or maybe i won’t.

will i recognize the truth if it’s spoken to me? if it’s well presented i, a man of letters, will surely take interest. let someone whisper a pretty thought in my ear and i am sure to hear it. but if it should pass me by without my knowledge will i recognize it as the truth? time will have to tell because i certainly cannot.

i ask because the medium of 2 extremes can exist only if the 2 extremes themselves are possible. otherwise, it’s merely a differentiation between factual and impossible.

we tend to get lost in extremes because it’s safe there. we act as if it’s because we don’t have time to search for the truth. but the truth is all there is and if we fail to find that what worth is all the time in the universe?

2/26/2004

sweetness 

i wanna be there when you wake up. i want to smell the morning on your skin. i want to understand why you dream what you dream and why it’s never black and white but gray.

you are like a mixture of something divine and something lustful, a marriage between dream and hope. and to hold you is to fear because when you finally have what you want you have to worry about losing it.

you speak with the accent of a natural born and breathe with the ease of the lungs of the forest. i want to be so lost in your trees that i carve poems into the bark. help me find myself in you. help me find you in the madness. and if ever we say goodbye, let it be because a new day has come and not because the night has begun.

gravity baby 

i just wanted to tell you that i still think about you some times. ok, a lot of times. i think of your pretty scent and smile that pulls like gravity. i miss kissing you. i miss having you kiss me back.

i just wanted to tell you that i still think about you some times. ok, not some, a lot. i think of you a lot of times. and some of those times they’re nostalgic thoughts. other times they’re angry, hateful thoughts, as in, “how could you leave me?” but then i revert to the nostalgia of it all because the memory of what was is so much sweeter than the anger that remains.

i just wanted to tell you that i still think about you a lot of times. i miss small shit, like the way you said my name. i play it over and over in my mind, the memory of that sound. so much so that if it were a cd i would have burned a hole right through it by playing it so often.

i just wanted to tell you that i still think about you a lot of times. only i didn’t want to write yet another poem for you so i just decided to post it here, where no one reads. no one needs to know i still need you so. and if the world is none-the-wiser than i can continue pretending not to notice you. not to want to kiss you. not to want to hold you close with one hand while sneaking a feel on your ass with the other.

i just wanted to tell you that i still think about you a lot of times, but without doing it in verse. only i didn’t really tell you because i chose to write it here instead. i hope you understand. i hope you understand without having me say it because you always could see right through me anyway. you knew me so well that you understood i could never be the way i wanted to be. i always came up short of the ambition and that has made all the distance.

2/23/2004

um novo dia 

Não sei o que nasci para ser
mas sei que para ser nasci…

music's in the heart 

last night 20 grown men renounced hbo sunday night programming (mr. big's name is john btw) and huddled in a jersey city recording studio for a listening party. with sheets of paper on which to record their thoughts on the songs being played, these souls wrote on those sheets like school children filling out multiple choice options on a test sheet. sitting, standing, even huddled up in the corner against the wall, they came hoping to say something worthwhile, something to make the music better with something as small as an insight. of late, i have taken to the thought that music isn’t as it was in the past. the magic once imbedded in every lyric has vanished. the good songs being made today are few and far in between. but after being in that room yesterday i challenge anyone who disagrees when i say that music still matters.

2/21/2004

when the loser is the winner (at least in this citizen's eyes) 

it occurs so often now that we’ve become immune to it. brave souls brave unnamed monsters and stand by their convictions only to have them borrowed by others who, while a lot less daring, manage to find the success that so eludes our heroes via the same’s borrowed solutions. they take these ideas and claim them as their own and set sail as if an idea is the same as a raft found on a beach.

howard dean is no more a hero than anyone else. but for what he did in reviving the democratic presidential hopes he deserves a hero’s welcome. he infused the party with vigor and drove it back to the left of the road. at first all were skeptics but once the wheels got going everyone, and i mean everyone, wanted in for the ride. those who want to see a democratic win in october should thank mr. dean for taking a party, and making a party out of it. now if we can have our hats and noise makers, we have one to crash.

i’m not sure who i’m gonna vote for, but had dean remained in the hunt, i, too, might have to take the british method of driving on the opposite side of the road.

2/20/2004

re:verse 

my heart broke, again. i just came across something on-line that completely swept the rug out from underneath my feet. an idea i once thought so clever, so good, so at the heart of what i seek to accomplish with my words, belonged to someone else way before it ever flew into my living room and landed on my lap. my idea for a literary magazine, its title, rather, has already been used by someone else. i saw it just now. i guess it only stings because i’ve been conditioned to the notion that the world runs on ideas and this one, i thought, was my very own. i wanted the rest of the world to see it fly much like i did when i conceived it in that room with the windows open; the same windows it flew in through. but it turns out that this one, like many others i’ve had and will have, is not original but rather one belonging to someone else. their dream now takes flight and i, for one, can only wish them luck. we all know better than to get attached to wandering puppies. they’re just lost, and someone is coming for them.

i wish re:verse had been my hot-air balloon. but it’s someone else’s. and i’m watching from the ground hoping that the wind, and solely the wind, gives me the ability to fly since all ideas, it now seems, are someone else’s.

from the bottom of my heart i wish them the best of luck.

2/19/2004

i made you cry 

one time i read my neighbor a poem i wrote and she cried. not because of any pain it caused her, she said. the poem wasn’t that poorly written! in fact, she called it beautiful even as she wiped away her tears. on other occasions, i have made people cry and the reasons weren’t as noble. there was no verse involved. revisiting a poem that once made me cry i no longer weep, but instead long for the day i first heard the author recite it. his unique accent and soft tone only served to carry home the message; that this pain was his and his wife’s and that we were merely spectators looking in. as he read his poem that night i looked in with closed eyes. i sat there and looked in through the window of his words. and i remember a fog coming over my eyes and me asking him to read it again.

i don’t know if it’s better to cry over beautiful things, whether the tears taste differently. but i do know that it feels a whole lot better than crying over pain, sadness, even regret. there are many reasons to cry, but for the tears you shed last night i am truly sorry and hope this poet's poem suffices. but what if all it accomplishes is to bring tears to your eyes yet again? is there no redemption for me then?

2/18/2004

wisdom teeth and kissing thoughts 

dentist says he’s gonna take out my wisdom tooth. just one. doc says i have a smart mouth, hopes one removal will do the trick. i tell him i don’t really care. just knock me out for the procedure, wake me up when you’ve finished your business. that’s not the mouth that causes damage anyway. the other one is way smarter.

my state of mind is overstanding the underrated, but understanding the overrated proves a tad too much to handle; i’m on painkillers and antibiotics. i speak easy now and choose my words a bit more carefully but don’t care much for either way, it’s all just a way to go to the grave and odds are no one is gonna remember you anyway. and if they do they’ll eventually go as well and the ones left will have enough trouble remembering them and won’t bother to remember what the now also-deceased remembered. eventually we forget everything. everything fades. everyone is erased.

this, mind you, isn’t my mouth speaking. it’s an inner voice that speaks through a mouth with no teeth. i don’t know where it is, but it speaks and i hear it. and some times it makes sense. the kind of sense only a mouth can make since the mind thinks too much. some times there’s no thinking necessary at all. some times that mouth gets more tongue than the one everyone sees because it’s possible, after all, to kiss someone mentally.

troubled man always brings trouble to those around him 

george w. bush might be at the helm, but it’s not his ship. he isn’t taking steps to ensure that everyone’s rights and freedoms are safeguarded, he’s injecting his own personal beliefs into the discussion. they have no business being there. i don’t care what he thinks about the situation. all he needs to do is take steps to ensure that everyone, not just the straight ones, is taken care of.

2/17/2004

when niggas=crackers (the tao of now) 

living in the inner city, the white kids talk like black kids and the black kids don’t care. kids don’t see colors, they see each other. it doesn’t really matter what you are, you’re either perceived as cool or not. and it doesn’t have anything to do with skin color. still, every now and again i witness things that make me question where we are as a society and where we’re headed as a unit.

stopping at the dunkin donuts this morning, 4 high school kids (white) were talking to each other very loudly about stuff that high school kids always feel they have to talk about at full volume. they kept speaking to each other, screaming “nigga this, nigga that,” across the store and i could just see the black guy waiting for his bagel turning around to yell something from his 6’5 frame that would shake these kids into silence.

now, this was a BIG guy in overalls, with oil and dirt up and down his clothes… the type of guy who probably doesn’t take shit from people. this wasn’t some young cat in his suit who didn’t want to spend time arguing only to miss his morning meeting. this looked to be a guy who’s been around the block and seen a few things. the type of cat who’d smack these kids around to teach them a lesson.

i kept waiting for him to turn and face them and remind them with screaming reason about the nature of the word. i kept waiting form him to grow even larger in anger and reason. i could already see him looming over these kids with eyes wide open and veins popping out in his neck. his colossal hands coming down on them to explain what a nigga is and isn’t. but this gentle giant did nothing of the sort. either because of incredible self-control or because of utter disbelief or just a sense of humor combined with a vivid memory of what it’s like to be that age, he just took his bagel and left without hinting at either emotion or reaction. i was dumbfounded. i couldn’t believe my eyes.

i thought of richard pryor and smiled. there is yet time to make a difference, i guess; he ain’t dead yet. and the gentle soul walking out to his pick-up truck was surreal. i’m just so used to people flipping their lid at small stuff that i was sure this incident would turn ugly. i just hope he wasn’t wrong in turning his cheek… what if no one ever talks to these kids? what if people always turn the other cheek until they realize what they’re saying and say it anyway? what if they never change their ways?

i think regardless of what happens to these kids, white people will continue to laugh at richard pryor jokes. i will continue to stop there for coffee or tea. and the wiser of us will still be there, turning the cheek and understanding. and my mouth will always gape open wide, in wonder, disbelief, and the reminder that maybe it will be fine after all.

maybe i just saw more than was there. maybe it was nothing at all and the guy didn’t say anything because he didn’t even hear anything. but the guy behind the counter kept looking around, waiting for something to erupt. nothing did. the kids were none the wiser. i got back in my car and saul williams was pumping on my cd player. amethyst rock star. i still don’t know what to make of it. i guess it's just the tao of now.

a little poetry, courtesy of mr. saul williams 

“we put language in zoos to observe caged thought
and toss peanuts and p-funk at intellect
and motherfuckers think these are metaphors
i speak what i see
all words and worlds are metaphors of ME
my life was authored by the moon
footprints written in soil
the foutain pen of marshen men
novelling human toil
and yes, the soil speaks highly of me
but earth seeds root me poetry”

2/15/2004

to have the sand go back up the hourglass 

i have a beautiful vase. i found it when out shopping with my friend, and while i’m not much for arrangements i bought it.

this vase is gorgeous. beautiful. when it walks down the street heads turn. the vase is smart. it knows 3 languages and has a great job. it has a sense of humor. it laughs at my jokes. and the vase really likes me. but while i like the vase just as much, i can’t make it wholly mine.

see, before this vase and i came down this road my friend deflowered it and left it plain and alone. i had a hand in the ordeal since i told him to. the way i figured, he wanted to, the vase wanted to, why not?

months later i’m in the picture again and the vase is really into me, and i’m really fond of it, but i can’t give in. my friend has been there before. it’s weird to me… i can’t forget what i know and i can’t fake how i feel.

what do i do? i can’t make myself love the vase. it’s shallow and selfish, but so is love. if i loved the vase i would do so because of how it makes me feel, and that’s selfish. if i loved the vase i wouldn’t want it to sleep with my friends, is that shallow?

we can’t erase the past. the architect of the universe has made it so. but if i could go back i wouldn’t tell my friend to take that flower. i’d tell him to stay away, i’d tell him to leave it be.

but that would be selfish, too. i’d do so just to ensure that i’d have the vase to myself and that’s not right either. what kind of friend would I be?

all i’m guilty of is looking out for my friend. that doesn’t make me a bad guy.

i don’t know where to go from here, but the vase is halfway out the door and there’s nothing i can do to stop her.

2/14/2004

everything, hold the anchovies  

during some of my first winters in newark, my saturdays were spent at home helping my mom clean up the house. i was only 10 when i arrived. to me, the time spent with her and my sister in that apartment were beautiful days outdone in happiness only by the time i spent playing with legos and g.i. joe action figures. eventually i grew up and out of playing with legos. the days kinda snuck up on me.

for dinner we’d often order a large pie from tony’s pizzeria. i’d place the call, they’d deliver. we’d tip the guy and dig in.

those days were a whole lot simpler, and i miss them for that very reason.

today is valentine’s day, but cupid’s arrow has yet to hit me. somewhat loveless, i sit here writing, wondering where all the pretty things have gone. the smiles are contrite, almost like an apology for an as yet to be determined offense.

there are more reasons to feel happy, but i do so less often. there are also more reasons to feel sad; there is just more of everything. it gets confusing. there is no good and evil, no right and wrong. back then i knew who the good guys were, and i knew who the bad guys were, and with my g.i. joe figures i always made sure the good guys won.

now it’s all so much more complicated… the world is walking on egg shells. the memories fade. everything makes less sense. i know only that thinking of those days makes me feel better. whole, somehow. for whatever reason, realizing i was once whole soothes me. i can go now. it’s all down hill from here, i guess, and so i won’t be missing much.

at least for this little bit, i spent some time with my true love… the pen. i didn’t get her anything today, it’s always her making me (into) something.

2/13/2004

No Second Troy, by WB Yeats 

on the eve of st. valentine's day, i bring you an intelligent look at love, outdone perhaps solely by shakespeare's sonnet 116.

Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

another me 


i haven’t yet made up my mind about human cloning. i see both sides of the argument but, as usual, i’m somewhere in the middle. yet when the result brings as many smiles as medical advances brought the mother of these conjoined twins formerly joined at the head, it’s difficult to say no to research. these two boys can now have a semi-normal life. i would not be the one to keep them from that.

their new life was made available through medical and scientific research and while stem cell research would not have helped them specifically, it might help infinite others who otherwise would have had no chance. looking into these boys' eyes changes everything.

i’m not a parent in that position, i wouldn’t claim to know what it’s like. i don’t think anyone else should either.

another me might have some insight into this. i don’t. it’s difficult enough understanding my own decisions. often it’s even difficult enough coming up with them. that’s why i don’t understand why everyone is in such a rush to pick a side. wwamd? what would another me do?

he’d probably stay out of other people's business!

2/12/2004

"i have a dream," a wise man once said 

staying on the topic of bias, i want to comment on the current state of affairs regarding gay marriage.

yes, i agree, marriage is holy matrimony. that’s why i think we should eradicate chapels performing marriage ceremonies in vegas. if it’s sacrilege one way, it’s sacrilege the other. period. plus, vegas is for singles anyway.

let’s not kid ourselves here; the issue isn’t protecting marriage, it’s the bias in our society towards homosexuality.

if we were truly concerned with saving marriage we would take steps to ensure it’s viewed and treated as the entity it is. marriage is a union between two people that stands for all the good things in us; love, family and commitment to another human being. if two individuals feel this way toward one another our government has no right to tell them it’s wrong, because by not allowing marriage to occur between two individuals of the same sex that’s what washington is telling the country. it is not wrong!

i am not gay but i see the pain in some of my friends and acquaintances. having already developed a tough skin, some are accepting of the facts and have come to live with the perceived notion of those surrounding them. others are more vocal in seeking out equal rights. if they wish to be able to live their lives no differently from a heterosexual couple they should be allowed to -- not forced to live under the assumed morality of people we have elected to public office. they're politicians, not priests. their personal views should not come into play. it's about ensuring the welfare, security and freedom of the population.

i have one gay friend in particular who i am quite fond of. i am not afraid to shake his hand or embrace him in public for fear of being thought gay. i kissed my father on the cheek when he was alive, and can now tell you i am proud i did while he was still around.

i respect this friend more than he knows. he tells me, “i am beyond reproach,” and in regards to this he is absolutely right. being gay is not a disease, or a malfunction, or even a choice; i wish i wasn’t attracted to some of the women i’m attracted to but i can’t help it. i just am. some of these women i down right loathe. nonetheless, i was intimate with some of them. I wish i hadn't but i did. just goes to prove how we’re but puppets of our own emotions.

it is a joke to say that jennifer lopez can continuously weave in and out of marriage with any man she wishes to wed yet mikey from down the street can’t because he’s a guy. that’s wrong, and it’s embedded in the mentality of many of today’s leaders. even barbie's makers mock the institution.

if homosexuals aren’t allowed to marry then they should also be made to sit in the back of the bus and forced to use separate facilities from us common folk. and if this statement sparks some interesting parallels, it’s because the topic does as well. it wasn't that long ago that many of our bureaucrats thought a certain part of our society second class citizens. we didn't let them make up our minds for us then and we shouldn't now.

race, again 


when dave chappelle returned for a second season, he opened the first show by commenting on why his show is so racially charged. according to him, he wants to express our differences and in doing so hopefully shine a light on what he sees as the matter at hand. our differences, he says, are small. they're just cultural. dave doesn't understand why people are so close-minded in certain regards.

i respect the guy and absolutely love the show. what he does on the show is part of his shtick as a comedian. for years his stand up routine has included, and mainly relied on, racial commentary. when he tells us his best friend is white, the contrast isn't the punchline but rather the stepping stone for some deep analytical insights.

much like in his routine the aside is just a stepping stone for the joke his show is just a stepping stone for my own personal commentary on events.

in today's star-ledger, the voice of new jersey and (for those unfamiliar with me) my employer, featured an article regarding a high school student who wrote a racially charged article. this kid wanted to break down certain stereotypes. she confronted the white elephant sitting in the middle of the room that even our leaders neglect to discuss. how can we move past the biases and misconceptions of a people if we never discuss the matter? shunning it does not work. why should she be punished for giving a name to what everyone keeps walking around?

this kid wanted to tell her readers what dave chappelle told his audience but because she happens to be white there is the automatic assumption that her remarks are racist in nature. that is obviously not the case here. rather, her article sought to enlighten her peers.

i applaud the school for sitting the kids down in the auditorium and allowing them to speak their minds and clear the air. it's hard enough being a teenager, this girl went beyond the call of duty in the hopes of sharing an apparent epiphany she had.

she is a hero for that, but heroes are always the most tormented. i believe she will yet pay dearly, if she hasn't already, for her brave stance.

she already faced down her peers and successfully explained what she wanted to accomplish with the piece. now with this amount of attention brought down on her, who knows what it will lead to?

i guess this is where dave would say, "i'm rich, bitch!"

2/11/2004

a many, many days from now (should i live to see it) 

when i’m older and can barely get out a cup of piss without discomfort, i’ll look back on these days and regret that i didn’t live more recklessly. i’ll regret not having been more careless, saving all my out-of-control behavior for days when i can’t even go a number one or get it up to use it for something else. i’ll regret not having broken more hearts. i’ll regret not having had mine broken more often -- because the heart, while a muscle, is like a bone; the more it breaks the stronger it heals.

i know this because while i was trying to go at the urinal the old man next to me asked me if it was coming out alright. and with me still in disbelief, and, believe it or not, at a loss for words, told me all this. in his wisdom i lost any sense of discomfort at speaking with him during that kind of activity. his piece in his hand, mine in my own, everything stopped. he showed me something i would not have thought of, even despite the suspicions i might have had of that oh-so distant but not that far future.

i’ll look back on these days, and this is where my own thoughts on the situation emerge, and regret being tied-up with an oxford look only to have enough doe to pay for things i don’t need. i’ll regret paying my bills on time, doing the right thing, not stealing, not vandalizing, not doing more to make people appreciate just how considerate a person i am some times. i’ll regret not doing the necessary to allow them to understand just how good i’ve been this far.

i’ve done some bad, but not enough to teach them that i have done far more good.

when i’m older and can barely get out of bed on my own, i’ll regret not having gone to all the places i wanted to go when i could still make it there. i’ll feel a sadness for all the trips i never took and for all the days i spent in ill-advised repetition. what is it all for, anyway? what’s anything for?

when i’m an old, old man, so old that my grandchildren are old men, too, i’ll miss not having gone for more walks. i’ll miss holding her hand in the park, and realizing everyone there is looking at her, and understanding that she’s only there because i’m there. it’s never where you are, but always whom you’re with, that counts.

when i’m old, i’ll forget that i knew this, and wonder how i could have been so stupid not to see it when, in fact, i was just a coward.

big fish 


big i nearly forgot that i fell in love with this movie. i hadn't been taken for a ride like this in quite some time. it's a fairty tale that makes me miss my childhood. home is where the heart is. we can go farther than our legs will take us, but the point of reference is always the same.

2/10/2004

dia de festa! lfb voltou 

sorrí o céu, agora ainda mais, azul. está de volta o melhor escritor da blogosfera. vá ao causa nossa e leia luis filipe borges.

echoing pessoa yet again, i know not what tomorrow will bring... 

i just finished setting up the code to enable viewers of the blog to comment on the posts and the minute enjoyment i derive from seeing it completed is overshadowed by the fear that it will one day vanish. the work put into this site has transformed it into something of a pseudo-relationship. you give and take; give time and effort, take pleasure from seeing your creation reach out in the blind world of the web. that constitutes a relationship. i fear it will end. i fear one day it will no longer be. never considering that as i grow i may very well outgrow it, i fear only that it will leave me beforehand. it’s kinda like the whole girlfriend business but without the sexual and emotional intimacy. it’s the underlying fear of being alone that ultimately leaves us feeling so.

2/09/2004

a year ago i was nearly in love and she was so very jealous of you 

it was cold like now, so we sat inside my car outside the coffee shop waiting for it to warm up. we’d just had peach tea, and we had toyed with the honey dispenser, which was in the shape of a bear.

i wore the outfit i had worn that time that chick said I looked like a drummer in a band. i thought that was a good look. i thought you’d think it was a good look, too. you wore a cute little pair of jeans with rips in ‘em and I loved every last inch of flesh made visible by the absence of fabric. your tan thighs, quad, knee, you look so good in anything and everything, but never as good as when you wear nothing. i think that’s why the ripped jeans worked so well, just hinting at the fact that a naked you existed beneath it all.

you are so beautiful some times it’s hard to breathe around you. you flirt, you touch, reach, tease; you do it all short of loving back, and back then i was too young to understand. too young to understand that you didn’t see me as i saw you. too dumb to see that your tongue wasn’t a destination for me but a muse, a possibility never to realize.

you liked my look but not enough to want to rip it off of me. you’d heard i was a good kisser but not enough to rip my lips open with your tongue. not that it would have been too difficult. it wouldn’t have been difficult at all.

i opened my heart to you not knowing that some men are meant to always love the wrong women. and i was but a boy then, a boy smitten with you.

your best friend had wanted me bad, and you’d wanted my best friend really bad. but now she was no longer your best friend, and him and i rarely spoke anymore. so we sat there quiet, listening to that cd i didn’t want anyone knowing i’d bought. we laughed and stared into each other’s eyes. we talked about the past and the future. and i made you cry when i asked about your ex. and i almost cried when i saw you in tears.

with what was perhaps the worst timing in the history of all moments, i leaned in for a kiss. and you didn’t wanna say no. you just backed up out of my reach and without ever pushing me away you said, “no kissing.”

i carried that kiss with me for years, and i carry it still for, perhaps, even more to come. i never left it home on your lips, and because of that this tongue will forever roam. i will search you in others’ desires, and one day, when the road has brought me back to where i left from, i’ll find you just as i left you; with your lips devoid of my touch and your tan thighs naked underneath it all.

2/08/2004

the death of a book 

i haven’t been this sad upon ending a book in a long time. so long that i don’t, in fact, remember when i last felt it.

“equador” marked me.

it’s a comforting book. in luis bernardo’s pain there is a reassuring nature. it embraces its reader. it makes us feel; some times good even when luis is miserable.

now it’s over, and i can read it again. but even with that, with the ability to read it again and again and again… it’s not the same. the surprise is gone. i know that in this regard, the story is quite dead to me.

for liz, a pessoan gift 

How many masks wear we, and undermasks,
Upon our countenance of soul, and when,
If for self-sport the soul itself unmasks,
Knows it the last mask off and the face plain?
The true mask feels no inside to the mask
But looks out of the mask by co-masked eyes.
Whatever conciousness begins the task
The task's accepted use to sleepness ties.
Like a child frighted by its mirrored faces,
Our souls, that children are, being thought-losing,
Foist otherness upon their seen grimaces
And get a whole world on their forgot causing;
And, when a thought would unmask our soul's masking,
Itself goes not unmasked to the unmasking.

2/06/2004

pineapple boy is ok by me 

watching bob dole on the daily show the other night, i came to the realization that i actually like the guy. he’s pretty funny. when he ran for president he went up against clinton, so that kinda sucks cause clinton is such a charismatic presence.

the other night bob dole made fun of himself by saying that because his wife is now a senator for one of the carolinas (i forget which) he’s running for president of the spouse’s club and (here’s the joke) he’s running against bill clinton.

when jon stewart asked him if the current state of the country could be improved he answered, “of course, by electing me.”

that’s pretty funny for an old guy.

and i’ll tell you this much, i would much prefer to have him in the white house than bush jr. especially after this specific interview where he even commented on his friendships with joe lieberman and john kerry. (he joked that he told kerry not to accept al gore’s support as it apparently is a bad omen)

i don’t usually like or dislike people because of political affiliations, especially since the information we get on most of these characters is shaped by the media, but i must say that bob dole had always struck me as this crazy old man.

i guess i should have known by the viagra commercials. he couldn’t be as uptight as the papers made him out to be.

2/05/2004

o amor é cruel 

o amor é, de facto, cruel. faz-nos de burros. arrasta-nos pelo chão como um tapete. e traz-nos, muitas vezes, a tristeza. lágrimas. dias de chuva que parecem nunca mais acabar.

tenho estado a ler o livro “equador,” de miguel sousa tavares. ontém, já a chegar ao fim, deparei com a cena em que o luís bernardo, ao ir ao encontro da mulher que ama, ann, dá com ela na cama com um escravo que ele próprio libertou. um escravo que ele ajudou a alcançar uma vida em liberdade.

bem, de partida o luís bernardo não pode ficar zangado com a situação já que a ann é casada com o seu melhor amigo na ilha, o david. mas porra, dizer que não dói não passa de uma grande mentira. como diz o miguel sousa tavares, até os olhos embaciam.

a íronia é sempre azeda, e neste caso ainda mais para o luís bernardo. o escravo foi libertado por ele e foi levado também por ele a viver na casa de ann. ainda por cima, luís bernardo só se apaixonou por ann porque os dois vieram parar à ilha de são tomé justamente por causa do trabalho escravo. se não fossem os escravos, luís bernardo e ann nunca se tinham encontrado. se nunca se tivessem encontrado nunca ele se apaixonava por ela. se nunca se apaixonasse por ela, havia de se estar nas tintas para que ela dormisse com um preto ou com uma preta.

este conflicto, dos tais que todas as histórias que vale a pena contar contéem, é inesperado para o leitor. é que aquela puta continuava a enviar cartas para o luis bernardo a dizer que sentía falta dele. nem se fala do facto de terem dormido juntos umas tantas vezes. deitada ao lado dele, a loura anunciava que o amava, e que quería andar pela cidade de mãos dadas com ele. (quase) pronta a deixar o marido, dizia que sentía a falta de luís bernardo… jurou-se sua de alma e coração.

eu sei que isto é tudo fantasia, e que a ann não passa duma pobre mulher num livro. não é como mulheres que já conheci, não tem escolha própria. faz o que o miguel sousa tavares acha que ela deve fazer. mas é que eu já fui o luís bernardo. já me defrontei com a cena mais triste para um homem; dar com a mulher que nos jura amar, e que, por essas e outras razões, amamos, a virar-nos as costas sem pudor.

not so super tuesday  

i’m originally from europe, where parties are so many in number that no legislation gets passed or acted on without the parties working together in some way, shape or form. this causes quite some backstabbing as the delegate who last week helped you get something done is now talking to the media about your incompetence. politics are uglier there, but why do i still feel like that’s the way it should be?

the american system, which i love as a citizen, i’d like to point out, is quite frightening to the outsider. those who haven’t lived in this country and are unfamiliar with our politics and policies are often alarmed at how a country of this caliber can function solely with two parties.

this wasn’t always so. for a long, long time after its inception, this country relied on various parties to run the political wheel. there was then a different approach to politics and, believe it or not, parties of different political dogmas coexisted. while europe tumbled in and out of chaos over war and poverty, the u.s., luckily with a natural oceanic barrier that allowed it to develop in relative peace, grew in both size and power. the political systems in europe that did not get to develop as thoroughly failed not because of inadequacy, but rather as victims of circumstance. the stable american system grew into its own, and, as the separate beast it is, managed to arrive at the end of the twentieth century with only two true parties.

the interesting point here is the possibility that the newer european democracies are headed in our direction. that’s right, there is a direct, and quite probable, possibility that those forms of government will resemble our current one in roughly a hundred years, or so. this is more important on the week where super tuesday has narrowed down even more the presidential options brought forth before the american people.

this year began with enough hope. while our choice come november will still more than likely be between bush and a democratic candidate (we’ll just assume that ralph nader won’t run this year), the wide variety of democratic hopefuls was encouraging.

from howard dean, who brought life back to the party, to reborn john kerry, whose botox injection seems to have saved him politically as well, even wesley clark, who if al gore had won in 2000 would be running under the republican ticket, and always entertaining al sharpton, who i appreciate but wouldn’t want to see run my country; the field was wide and varied.

yet, as soon as the first primary got off the ground, the hopes of those who long to see a system that features actual options fell by the wayside. it now appears as if john kerry will represent the democratic party, and, while i have nothing against the man and his policies, it frightens me that this election might get dumbed down to whether or not bush dodged the draft. that’s a scary thought, as important a detail as dodging might be.

the elections should be about more than that. yes, if proved true, that fact is very important. yet i don’t want to vote for a guy just because he ‘didn’t’ dodge the draft.

i would like to believe that we are on the right course, but i don’t think that is so. we are still the best country on the face of the earth, but if other lands are doing better than us then it is only a matter of time until they catch up. from a concerned citizen, i sincerely long for the days of ralph nader and ross perot, and all the other whose names i don’t recall right now. i want dirty politics! the world is not just black and white.

folklore 

listening to nelly furtado’s new album, “folklore,” i sense that the songs dealing with her duality in culture are the strongest. they touch on sensitive details of coming face to face with a different tongue and ethos and of being made to realize those differences. they are often scrutinized, especially between kids, who can be outright cruel.

for those of you who aren’t familiar with nelly she is a luso-canadian who hit it big with her hit, “like a bird.” her new album sounds a bit more grown up, and deals quite a bit with her experiences as an outsider in an all too anglo-saxon city.

her voice is never bitter, neither are her words. they are the type of inside the box look at a topic that can only come from the insider who has lived it. when she talks about helping her mom clean hotel rooms, and lunch breaks, and the unfulfilled dreams of looking like one of the blonde cover girls on the magazines teenage girls just love, i think of my own stage of adaptation to a new country. i think of working at restaurants with my father. i think of how unhappy i was every saturday when it came time to go work. i think of all the days i try to forget. and i realize how if it wasn’t for the ironbound, i could have written those songs nelly sings.

2/04/2004

harder now that it's over 

it's harder now that it's over. the way the memories come back to me is something i can't describe.

they sneak up on me. like the smell of fried bread when i open the cupboard to get a glass. or when the galon of water is sitting next to the sink, reminding me of how you only drink water at room temperature.

it's tricky, it's not forward or upfront. i don't know how it works, but it does. i don't remember much, and it figures that's why the memories sneak up on me like they do.

realization while falling 

coming out of the house this morning, the icy sidewalk was an accident waiting to happen. it is early february, and the cold is unforgiving. it holds the water still, like stopping time. when i got back to my feet, rather than look around to see whether there were any witnesses, which is my usual reaction, i dawned on a realization that is sad in and of itself: with cupid already circling the area, i suddenly wished it was her hips, and not the cement, i crashed into. suddenly, i wished i'd fallen in love, and not on the ice.

superbly super at the superbowl is only half the half-time story 

in regards to this sunday’s superbowl festivities, the one factor that should stand out above all others in the annals of history is the quality of the game itself. it was an exceptionally high-quality affair between two teams that proved their spot in the final game of the year was well-earned.

but because we are dealing with reality and not the world as we would like to map it out ourselves, the events that took place at half-time deserve a closer look, especially since that is all people want to talk about anyway. the Janet jackson/justin timberlake "exposure" incident, for lack of a better word, only served to strengthen the convictions of the conservative right that our society is going to hell in a hand basket.

during a reprised version of his hit, “rock your body,” justin shared the stage with ms. janet. this must have been an event of significant importance to the young entertainer who has never shied away from admitting his affections for the jackson sister. seldom one to be caught up in the moment, and having already been victim of such by courtesy of his ex-girlfriend britney spears and madonna, the pop heartthrob culminated his performance, which included a long grinding session with janet, by stripping her down to what resembled a bare breast.

censors were too slow to react, moms and dads were caught unaware, and the unsuspecting and thoroughly innocent children of our country are the real victims. maybe the terrorists did win.

the spectacle, which i, for journalism’s sake, have since investigated, is currently under inquiry by the fcc with the proverbial puck being, if you pardon the expression, pushed around. with everyone from wardrobe to the artists being cited as the malevolent conspirators of this evil, evil plot, the attention has shifted, much like this article has, away from the game. yes, there was a game played on sunday, i am certain of this.

what alarms this writer most is the reaction that awakened on the two. as early as monday morning, newspapers and television shows were blasting the performance and citing it as some sort of evil just short of satan himself. i, for one, don’t have a particular opinion either one way or the other. i would hate to learn that children are, in fact, persuaded by this kind of televised behavior to grow into rotten people. but until there is proof of such, damnation of this seems rather foolish.

so, without evidence either one way or the other, the correct choice appears to be the prudent one. let us examine the sub-topics that few seem to want to discuss.

is there any doubt that there is more than just one cause for every effect, with this particular moment in history being no different? whatever led justin and janet to “pull off” what they did is neither here nor there. was j.t. seeking revenge on britney? was janet attempting to cash-in on what was her first televised appearance in quite some time? was it a fallout from her brother’s current legal woes? who knows. who cares (other than the fcc).

if all it took to create murderers and rapists was televised nudity than our society would have a very serious problem on our hands. but because there are infinite reasons and possibilities for and why certain people commit crimes while others do not, sunday’s performance is perhaps not as diabolical and damaging as some would have you think. we can proceed watching hbo without cause for greater worry.

in most of europe it is not uncommon to see nudity (full and partial) not only on television but at beaches and other public places as well (think amsterdam, a city with some of the lowest crime rates on its continent). to the great-satisfaction of some and absolute disbelief of others, topless girls flood mediterranean and atlantic beaches with no second thoughts about who is watching. and aboriginal tribes throughout australia, africa and south america lead their lives in relative nudity before family and foe alike without much regard for how it is perceived. it is not, in their cultures, a big deal.

i’m nearly certain i don’t have to tell you that the rape and murder rate is low with these tribes. just as low as ours, anyway. you will find some variations, some rates are higher, some are lower, but i assure you it has nothing to do with the amount of bare flesh their infants are accustomed to seeing.

so if we can agree that nudity, full or partial, doesn’t necessarily lead to a violent or decadent society, than what is the main issue here? the main issue, i fear, with some, at least, lies in the fact that it’s not morally right. morals, stemming from cultural and religious beliefs, vary from individual to individual. being that this country offers religious freedom and liberty to practice one’s own morals, common sense would hold that this is the one place on earth where this type of thing is more often seen. yet that is not so.

there is a clear and defined limit on rights and liberties and that is that one’s end where another’s begin. so what is the solution here; should janet be forced to wear the proverbial chastity belt or are the parents, those who don’t approve of their children watching women disrobe on television, required to change the channel? someone, i'm nearly certain, has to budge.

in my humble opinion, the true issue here is not that it was done but rather the venue utilized to conduct what took place. “the kiss,” as it has endearingly come to be known, took place at an award show that was televised on cable network tv. this sunday’s “disrobing” took place at a sporting event that was not only nationally televised but also had children in attendance. that changes the scope through which we view it.

as stated earlier, i continue to lack a solid opinion either one way or the other, and if pressed for an opinion that resided solely on one side of the fence I’d be more of a pro than con. but i also understand the worried parents. it was neither the right place nor time. my old man always told me there is a place and time for everything, and on this one i’d have to agree with him, even if not completely.

with that said, all the worried and concerned ones can return to their pg lifestyle that leads the kids to learn about the world outside the home. it’s like throwing them in the deep water without teaching them how to swim. these people can go back to cursing at the car in front of them on the turnpike while the kid sits in the backseat wondering what all the rage is about. at least people aren’t driving naked yet… can you imagine how chaotic the world would be then? we'd have murder on the highway.

i wonder how many parents actually took the time to discuss what happened with their kids. we cultivate a capitalist culture and then reproach those who are more successful than us with three times the tenacity we show in educating our children. were we as passionate about that as we are about pointing the finger who knows what bright possibilities the future would hold.

we are obsessed with what we cannot attain. janet and justin are just better at playing the capitalist game, because lets face it, it all comes down to money. do you think we would be discussing her without the exposure factor? no, we would be talking about the guy who ran on the field naked. it all goes back to that green factor spinning the globe. either way, the game ended with the clock reading zero on sunday night. the extra-curricular activities, for better or worse, seem to be what appeal to us and will go on until we find something else in which to lose ourselves. the nba all-star game is in two weeks.

2/02/2004

goodbye 

can i say hello without following it with a goodbye?

for once, just once in my life, i want someone who will never leave. not for a moment, not for an instant. i want a shadow with a face and mind of its own. i want a Siamese-twin, i want my loves to stay put.

i want, just this once, to have that love be here for every breath, glory and defeat. i want no rest; to stay up talking all night long. i want revelations through the eyes of another. i want a love that will never say goodbye.

i don’t want to be alone, not even for an instant. i want skin on skin and breaths on the back of my neck. i want us to fight for being so close, and to bitch and complain and to say i want you gone without you ever leaving.

i want that kind of security, that comfort. i want your eyes on my eyes and our feet hand in hand. i want you inside of my shoes, in my shirt. i want a love that says hello and never goes away. i want a love to last me for the eternity of all my days.

2/01/2004

e-mail enviado a oscar alho, pateta coitadinho do nosso querido portugal  

é bastante interessante ver que com a nova tecnologia o cíume começa a ter um braço ainda mais comprido. pois então sim, ó caralho, nem depois de tudo que fazemos pelo país temos a vossa solidariedade. é que muita dessa gente com mentalidade de aldeia ainda pensa que quem deixa o país o despreza. tá mal.

o imigrante faz dinheiro e só pensa em poupar para enviar dinheiro para “casa”. o imigrante sente ao ver portugal perder na copa mundial. o imigrante deixa de ter aqui onde vive para poder um dia voltar para o país onde nasceu. faz casa na terra, e gente como você acha-se senhor para poder dizer algo.

lamento informá-lo, mas se há aqui alguém que faz figura triste, é você, e não os que quando podem fazem festas. se quere fazer festas, venha para aqui trabalhar, há vôos diários.

os que vivem fora de portugal não gostam menos do país. também não gostam mais só por viver cá fora. mas o que de certeza sentem mais do que os que ficam são saudades e respeito por quem dá duro no trabalho.

você de certeza que não percebe o que é abandonar familia e amigos para partir para uma terra em que nem sequer conheçe a lingua. deve partilhar dum mês de férias todos os anos no algarve. deve ter 2 horas para almoçar. a vida é boa desse lado do atlantico. mas olhe que aqui trabalha-se com neve pela cintura, e com temperaturas abaixo de zero, e sempre com apetite porque aqui, pelo menos, vê-se alguma coisa pelo suor.

você deve ser daquela gente que goza do alentejano que dorme a sesta à sombra. sem nunca ter levantado um dedo para cavar um pedaço de terra, de certeza que se esqueçe que o mesmo que descança é aquele que se levantou com o sol, e que há-de voltar a trabalhar até que o sol se ponha.

mas eu não quero supor, porque não sou como você. você nunca viveu aqui por isso dá à língua. acha-se superior porque nunca foi “humilhado” como os imigrantes. pois bem, superior são aqueles que enfrentam e vencem. sim, comemos muita merda, mas o que cheira aqui mal não é o nosso hálito mas sim a sua ignorância. se tivesse dito estas parvoíces perante o meu falecido pai nem tinha acabado a frase. mas como está aí bem comfortável à distância enche o peito de ar que nem galo e acha-se bastante bravo.

ainda tem a coragem de nos chamar niilistas, o que por razões bem óbvias pareçe-me aqui o cúmulo. você não tem nada para fazer, ou está em "horas" de almoço?

a única coisa que continua a proliferar pelos quatro cantos do mundo é a ignorância do nosso povo, coitadinho. dá pena saber que ainda há gente assim.

se quiser responder, faço-o em inglês porque nesta língua já acabou a conversa. se os imigrantes são assim tão “bimbos”, veremos então se você passa o teste e se mostra capaz de comunicar noutra língua. vá mas é para o caralho, que pelo seu nome é de lá que você veio.
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