Thursday, February 28, 2013

All I Did Today Was Write Poetry

 It's a fact. Two short poems, a lyric/poem, and some tidbits. Last to first, in that order. 

Beautiful Mind

You have a beautiful mind,
elegant as the first step of a tall heel on a carpeted stair
when the silken hem of an evening gown
ripples around your ankles.
Beautiful, the way a Varga pin-up is,
svelte and feminine,
lady and vixen.

And I,
I want to strip off your logic,
as the saying goes,
and make passionate sense to you
until any facet of the world
that isn't shared between you and me
makes no sense at all.
I want to dive deep in your sensibilities,
until our minds meet and melding our minds
is the only sensible thing,
until we're breathless, senseless, and serene.


I think I know this indecision
this bench seems so familiar
and these dusty roads with their faded signs
are starting to look like a place I've been before

It could be a case of deja vu
but it seems to me I was here with you
once upon a time
and just because the pages took a wrong turn then
doesn't mean our story's over

My bags are packed and I'm ready for adventure
but I've got nowhere to go, nothing to do,
but sit and wait at these crossing roads
for the clouds to clear, the moon to rise
and a star to plot my course by


I long for the days
when you were mine and I never knew
if only because you were forever in my arms
for countless hours I always treasured
but never suspected that you might feel the same.
If I were offered those endless evenings once again,
the chance to wear the signs of our passing
into the hardwood of a thousand dance floors,
I'd take them in a heartbeat.
I'd run to them with all that I now know
and never, ever, let them go.
Copyright 2013 and all that jazz.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Funny Valentine

Dear Eros, Agape, Philia, and Caritas,

It’s Valentine’s Day, and today is dedicated to you. In my life, that’s true of every day, for the most part. But this one day a year, I let out my inner romantic along with my outer one, and boy is the world awash with all I hold inside me. The lot of you haven’t always been kind to me, but I still believe in you and your infinite variations.

Today, and on Christmas to some degree, (you can blame Love Actually for that usurpation), I tie up my apprehension, my fears, my overgrown sense of propriety and bind, gag, and shove them all in a closet for the day. Today is a day to love, openly. That doesn’t mean I run around screaming declarations of love to everyone I love. For the most part. ;) But it’s there, heavy in the spaces between the words I say. Today is a day for love without limits.

As it says in Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. While I admit in my attempts to read the Bible cover to cover I’ve always found myself grounded to a complete, unobjective halt in Exodus, the passage from Corinthians rings truest of any I’ve encountered in the book.

To me, this means that whatever I love I have to give is given freely, without expectation or demands on those I love. Sometimes that’s a little rough on me, because my own wants and desires go unfulfilled, but that goes with the territory. When you love someone, you want them to be happy, even if you don’t get to play the part in that happiness that you long to play. I suppose this is one of the times when there are no small parts, only small actors.

My parent’s and the books they left lying about on bookshelves for a curious child to read taught me how to love. No matter how much of a pain in the ass I was, no matter what money I cost them, how angry I’ve made them, or whatever stress I caused, my mom and dad have found it in themselves to love me, and each other, unconditionally. My parent’s relationship isn’t always typical, since for at least the second time in their lives they are married but living in separate states. But in it I see them talking every day, flying miles and miles to spend time with the one they love, and finding opportunities to bring a romance in their lives that had waned as they finally settled into one place for longer than my mom had ever lived in her life. Yet she says, even to this day thirty-five-ish years into their marriage, that he has always been her white knight.

How could I not want to be that man for whoever lies in my future?

Ultimately, I want to share that love with someone as we build not only a life together, but help support and build each other into better version of ourselves individually and as a relationship, partnership, and friendship.

As I told someone recently, I have discovered what it means to love in a way that all those strange Greek and Roman names I dedicated this Valentine to are so mixed together that I can no longer tell where one begins and one ends. And perhaps this is what it means to mature, grow older and learn what love is. Perhaps it was this revelation that I was waiting for before I actually found the one I’ve been writing all my “Love Song[s] for No One” to. As always, it may be that I haven’t met her yet, or that we’ve just not gotten to know each other on that level yet. Regardless, all the past disappointment will be worth it to love, and be loved as I have grown to understand it.

The best part is that, like a great redwood, love never stops reaching it’s branches into the sky. May my love, past, present, and future exceed the bounds of even those mighty trunks and their leafy shade. I will always believe the heart is a thing of dimensions, existing in terms of universes layered one upon the other, and like a universe, expands at an immeasurable rate. I have forgotten what it means for love to come to an end. Every time I think one is truly past, I find that the door was simply closed, that love just faded into the background to be renewed when the door opens again.

Behind some of those doors you will find my family. My dad, my mom, my half-sister. Behind others, loves thought lost, or simply comfortable friendships that hang silent in the stars like constellations waiting to be rediscovered. You may find some of those universes expanded further than others, loves better understood or treasured and developed for longer.

And then there’s the one universe with a question mark painted on the door. Galaxies swirl slowly in clusters, stars go through their cycles of birth, growth, collapse. Planets spin lazily around their solar systems, their suns, fertile and waiting for a tiny bit of definition to give them life. Sometimes, another universe looks so close to the one with the question mark that I think perhaps it is, but so far, none have proven a perfect fit. Sometimes it is some other gravity that keeps them apart, and sometimes it simply isn’t the right piece to the puzzle. There are so many pieces out there, but only two can make this puzzle whole, and I hold one.

I value love beyond almost anything, and am most inspired by it. I am a romantic and a creator. The creations I love best are those I was driven to create by one muse or another. I enjoy making my art without one, but my favorites are always inspired. It is the greatest gift I have to give, and I give it freely. Those I give it to may never know, and that’s fine too. If it were that important, I would tell them. I know they are loved, and I can show it in small ways if the opportunity presents. Otherwise, I am content to hope for their ultimate happiness.

Someday I hope to find someone whom I love in that incomprehensible mixture of friend, lover, passion, commitment, duty, goal, partner, inspiration and, without asking for that love, receive it in return. We will share our love, the way we’ll share a bottle of wine or two or an evening out dancing. It won’t always be easy, I’m practical and realistic, whether it sounds like it or not, but I will enjoy fighting and working to compromise and move forward with her as much as I do making love to her or making her smile. Yeah, there’s a little sadomasochist in me. ;) I have come to understand though, what the character in whatever movie that was meant when he said, “I’m here because I’d rather fight with you than make love to anyone else.”

This Valentine letter ended up much differently than I imagined, but I think the expression I shared was no less important that for it. I introduced myself to a lovely Valentin Malbec this evening, so I think I’m going to spend the rest of the evening getting to know it intimately. =)

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear, dear friends.

Sincerely Yours,


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Into the Looking Glass

Step one: Looking inward.

* I was going to preface this with, “The most difficult part is not trying to write for an audience.” It may be the best place to start. I always write with an audience intended. I don’t always share, but even then I write to someone. I want to be read, I want to be seen.

* I love the spotlight. Not fame, just being the center of attention. One of the things I love about teaching dance is that I can be the center of that attention.

* On the other end of the spectrum, I’m naturally shy. One of the things I love about teaching dance is that it’s a safe place to be the center of attention, where I’m in control of the situation and as outgoing as I want without as much pressure.

* I prefer one on one conversation to any kind of group. I end up quiet and listening most of the time in group situations. Part of this is due to the emphasis on good manners in my upbringing. One of the ones that stuck with me has always been, “It’s not polite to interrupt.” Most people are so eager to get their words into a conversation that I rarely feel like there was an adequate pause to determine that the other person was done speaking.

* When I was acting in middle school our lighting guy complimented me for always standing in the light. I instinctually stand where I’m not shadowed.

* I am barely capable of being succinct. My closest friend says she starts to worry when my replies get short.

* I love vernacular swing and ballroom dancing, for a lot of reasons. I think I’ll tag some of my other points (dance) rather than list them all here.

* Etiquette is fascinating to me. I have a thick hardcover book of etiquette somewhere and used to read it for fun. Sometimes I’ll read online articles. One of my favorite quotations from The Notebooks of Lazarus Long by Heinlein is, “Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as “empty,” “meaningless,” or “dishonest,” and scorn to use them. No matter how “pure” their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.”

* Time Enough for Love and its intermissions republished individually as The Notebooks of Lazarus Long were extremely foundational when it comes to who I am.

* I try to be a gentleman. I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I like to say, in a more humble way, when someone thanks me for holding the door for them, “That’s what doors are for.”

* Humility is not my strong suit. In fact, on the VIA Character Strength survey (, it’s the last on my list of 24.

* People often think I am arrogant. While I can be extremely confident, arrogance suggests that my opinion of myself is undeserved. I have an extremely accurate sense of ability. I am honest to a fault and no less so in regards to what I am or am not capable of. I am, in fact, harder on myself than anyone else could ever be.

* Much of my life has been dark. I bear self-inflicted scars on my left shoulder from the period of my teen years during which a state of bored-depression lead to cutting. The location was chosen intentionally for its inability to cause lasting damage. It took me until the year I spent working toward a master’s degree to admit I had problems with depression.

* My bachelor’s degree was as much a work of perseverance as intelligence. I failed several classes for a variety of reasons, many of which were probably directly linked to my depression. My motivation is usually the first thing to go. However, what I failed to do right the first time, I did again and corrected the error in all possible cases.

* I am extremely intelligent and intuitive. I am smarter than I think I am. I am also not as smart as I think I am.

* It is difficult for me to connect what I know with what I feel. I carry a lot of the resulting stress in my body. I am constantly striving to balance the three.

* The ultimate goal in my life is to be a Renaissance Man. I have been accused of such, but I think it’s one of those goals that can’t actually be declared achieved until life is over. Most of the best goals are this kind, making life about the journey rather than the goal itself. Reach for the stars, you can’t hit what you don’t aim for.

* I am extremely passionate about Positive Psychology and methods in which in modern society we recognize each other as autonomous members of our community and put trust in that recognition in order to work together to build successful business, educations, individual lives, and societies. Positive psych is a field of study that studies human well-being, not something that encourages “positive thinking” or mistaken egg-shell treading around the self-esteem of our children.

* I have high standards in pretty much every aspect of my life. Socially, sometimes that means I’m pretty lonely. I’m ok with that. There are plenty of people out there who have surpassed my wildest imagination, both in friendship and romantically. I’m just looking for the one who fits both categories and doesn’t think what I have to offer is some kind of dream that won’t last.

* My heart often aches, but never breaks. I’ve watched (not literally) two women I loved to distraction choose to marry someone else. Loving someone doesn’t mean you have to have them. The heart is a thing of dimensions, and while time may shut the door on a heart I gave to this person or that, I don’t stop loving.

* I deserve the kind of love I give.

* That was really hard to say.

* The person I love most in the world is my dad. It’s very hard for me to express the extent of those feelings without coming to tears. When I say tears, I’m not talking about turning into a sobbing, blubbering mess. I mean water pouring unbidden down my face and pooling on the desk or ground. It may be difficult to talk through the constriction in my chest, but I am completely coherent in the moment. It’s hard to explain.

* I do something similar when people tell certain ghost stories. There’s no identifiable emotional element at all, it’s very peculiar.

* It irritates the fuck out of me that people frequently interpret a lot of the activities I enjoy as unmasculine. My love for dance is one of them, which if you think through, doesn’t take much to realize that I dance with women, putting myself in a role that is frequently considered old fashioned in any other aspect of our society. I lead. There’s room for give, take, and self-expression but I guide what happens in the dance. I move her.

* As far as Idaho is concerned, I’m “metro”. I swear I’m one of a handful of men in my small town who actually owns a pea coat. One wonderful old gentleman in Southern Idaho said when we described the definition of metro as a man ‘who dresses well and has good hygiene,’ “in my day we called that normal.”

* A former student once told me she thought I was born in the wrong era. She was wrong. I love living now, being here, doing the things I do. If they aren’t typical of a male in this era, I don’t have a problem with that. There’s a certain irony that things that defined a gentleman in the past are considered androgynous or feminine today.

* I like horseback riding, enjoyed fencing, love dancing, play guitar, write poetry and lyrics to original songs, fiction, and handwritten letters.

* Spring is coming and that means it’s time to start hunting craigslist for sailboats again. Hobie Cat here I come. Weekends on the lake, with a tent, Mira, and eventually someone to lay out across the tramp and enjoy the sun and wind with us. I took sailing lessons in middle school and raced J24 sailboats for a summer two years ago.

* As my mother proudly tells anyone who will listen, particularly women she knows I’m interested in, I never went through a phase during which I thought girls had cooties.

* I have always wanted to get married and have a family. At this point in my life, I’m still looking forward to the former and open minded about the latter. My parents have been married almost 40 years and I would love to follow that example.

* I like shopping with female friends or significant others. I have a highly tuned aesthetic sense for a straight male and an incredible imagination. When I see something on a mannequin or hanging on a rack I imagine how much I’d enjoy seeing it on someone I like looking at. If I’m shopping for myself, I know what I like, I’m in and out, like most men.

* Let’s juxtapose that with the image of me using a chainsaw, which I do frequently when helping my dad bring in wood for the winter. He goes through 6-7 cords or so a winter. I’ve spent my fair share of time greasy and working with construction equipment. I helped build our cabin and worked for two years in an industrial equipment rental yard.

* I don’t like smelling like a garage or having grease on my hands. But when the time comes, you do what needs to be done and buck up and handle it.

* Hunting is not my thing. If I don’t have a personal need to kill something with my own hands/tools, I won’t. Taking the lives of other living things is not my idea of fun. That being said, if it’s me or the deer, there’s going to be venison for dinner.

* Spectator sports aren’t something I enjoy watching. Playing can be fun. I’d rather read a book, play a game, go for a walk, ride a four-wheeler, hike up the river, play with Mira, go snowboarding, sailing, play guitar or sit and watch a fire burn while I drink hot chocolate or wine.

* Men should be imaginative, conscientious lovers who recognize that their partner’s pleasure is as much a part of the whole experience as their own. Not to mention the more excited she is the more fun it is for everyone. I am a good lover. Someone once told me I was a better lover than I am a dancer. Not sure about that, but it was nice of her.

* I have been with. . . enough lovers - 1. Sex without emotion seems fun in the moment, but almost always ends up empty. I can wait. I am in my third run of not having had sex for more than 9 months since I became sexually active at 16.

* I love reading. I read in excess of 80 books last year, though much of that was due to free time at work. I never regret a good book.

* When I was in 7th/8th grade I spent about a year roleplaying in an online chat room called The Graveyard. Everyone who visited imagined they were a character from a gothic horror/romance. I was, of course, a vampire. I was charming, infuriating, and relied on the strength of my imagination and wit. So basically I was me. With fangs. I probably spent more time interacting with those people than I did with anyone in my life in that time period. Moving to Idaho was hard on me.

* I’ve moved an average of once every two years of my life. That includes four states: Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho; four countries: Germany, the US, Belgium, and Japan; and a variety of in-town, in-state moves bouncing around between cities, dorms, apartments, etc.

* My favorite person in the world outside of my family, who I feel almost as strongly about as I do my dad, is my old dance partner. She was first a student, then an interest, then a friend, then my TA and dance partner. She helped me teach my class, paint my house when I sold it, listened when I needed her from another continent entirely, and is one of the most wonderful, loyal people I’ve ever met. She’s also reading this, and probably blushing. She looks good in red.

* I am not a morning person. The dogs and my 8-5 are trying to convince me otherwise, but I really, really like sleeping. If I could give up either eating or sleeping without ill effect, I would totally choose eating. How grouchy I am when woken up depends on how I’m woken. Mira woke me up this morning, but she was adorably cute and cuddly and just made me smile.

* I frequently have dreams with plot lines, characters, and full blown fantasy worlds. I usually am aware I’m dreaming while in the dream and take part both as an observer and player in them. The West Wind is the only story I’ve put down on paper that wasn’t inspired by a dream.

* Many of my dreams are so full of conflict that I’m not really certain I ever sleep as well as I should. It may be a contributing factor to why I like to sleep so much. Zombie apocalypses and being hunted by assassins both make their appearances. Post-apocalyptic mutants have their part too. Strangely, Zombieland and the Resident Evil movies are the only zombie movies I watch and RE 4 is the only game in the series I’ve ever made it more than 5 minutes into.

* That being said, I’ve only had 3 nightmares of note in my 30 years and a few more bad dreams that weren’t frightening.

* When I close my eyes, I see green and blue behind my eyelids. Supposedly most people see purple.

* I keep a tent, sleeping bag, tarp, and tool bag in the bag of my Escape at all times. One of the things I miss most about one of my past “relationships” was going camping in the middle of the week even if I have to get up earlier to make it home to shower and get ready. Mornings don’t bother me nearly as much when there’s a reason to be awake or something to get done.

* I’m rarely this or that. I am frequently both at once, or this in some things and that in others.

* One of the secrets of getting me to do anything is to nod and smile when I stubbornly refuse, then wait for me to get used to the idea. It may take a few hours, or a few days, but in most cases, I’m pretty amiable given time.

* Rules are meant to be broken. . . by people who know the rules, understand the consequences and the risks, and are seeking to speak in their own voice.

* An it harm none, do as you will.

* If you have faith that can move mountains, but not love, you are nothing.

* I am a humanist. To me, that means that morality is intrinsic.

* As a friend once put it, there’s no reason why God would create a universe and set laws of physics in that universe, then flaunt them. If you believe in an omniscient, eternal, omnipotent deity, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that he/it/she put things in order the way scientists have proven them to be. What reason would a timeless entity have to be so impatient as to create a world in seven days and design everything so it seemed older? I don’t mind faith when it doesn’t refuse reason, and while I don’t go, I even kind of enjoy going to church and figuring out what message is being conveyed between the lines. It’s tragic that so many on both sides think that the two are polar opposites.

* I have a tattoo, both my ears pierced and slightly gauged, and I am planning on getting a second, large and quite involved tattoo across my shoulders and down my spine. It is both aesthetic and rife with meaning.

* I want to live and work in England, just for the experience.

* One of my dreams is to be a published writer. Since my ideas come from dreams anyway, they tend to be written in an almost cinematic way. So my ultimate writing goal is to write, publish, and have movies made from my books.

* I want to be in a band and play my original pieces. I had a kid tell me I should put my songs on youtube once, and a group of random strangers came up when I was playing behind the theatre during a Music Man show and tell me how good I was. That was cool.

* Every time I’ve been on stage in the past year and a half, people have told me that I stole the show. I took part in two plays, one musical, and a short film that was, admittedly, terribad, but hilariously so. Theatre is less something I enjoy and more something I just do and do well.

* My favorite literary character is probably Lestat from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. He is unabashedly himself, always. Along with Sebastian from Cruel Intentions, he’s always been someone I wanted to be like. Note that it isn’t their lack of a moral compass I admire. An ex once bestowed on me the nickname “The Brat Prince” because I reminded her of Lestat.

* Twice in my life I went from having no clue how to do something to being magically awesome after not attempting it for years. Sadly, neither of those things are very useful. One is the skillful use of chopsticks and the other some bad ass foosball playing. Not that I play frequently, but I’ve lost twice in since I was 18. (I generally think this means I’m not playing the right people.) =)

* Speaking of twos, there are two poems I memorized unintentionally when I was younger. “The Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll is one. One of the most romantic poems I’ve ever heard is the other, from King’s Quest VI. . .

* I was a backstage technician for a magic show and ran a spotlight for an ice skating show when I was a junior in high school.

* I work to live, I’ll never live to work. I’d make a great rich person, because I’d use my imagination and impulses to bring smiles into the daily lives of people around me. I’m the kind of person who buys flowers for the bell ringer at a grocery store, a gas station rose for the unhappy acquaintance behind the counter at her gas station job, tips generously as long as I can afford to be generous.

* Materialism is not something I’m a big fan of. A guitar or two, my clothes, my computer and my books are the requirements for contentment. Vehicle is a necessity. Sailboat will be nice. Some art to make the room a little more pleasant. I prefer ephemeral, tangible experiences, more worth treasuring for their uniqueness and brevity.

* Diction is something I pay attention to, and I’m usually very aware of the possible interpretations of what I write. Sometimes this is fun. Sometimes it stresses me out.

* The stories I tell myself are often negative. It’s something I am trying actively to change. I worry about terrible things happening to people or things I love. . . sometimes I worry about coming home to one of the dogs flipping out on the other dogs and being injured. Things like that. These days, I am trying to catch myself and remind myself that those are good stories to tell.

* If you asked me to describe myself, I’d like to say I’m a realist. I’m really optimistic about some things and pessimistic and cynical about others. I have my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground and I’m aiming for the stars. The practical romantic.

* Zen is fairly important to me as a lifestyle, but not as a religion. I appreciate many of the concepts and need to find my copy of Zen Soup and sit down with it again. It’s wonderful to keep a beginner’s mind in all things, be compassionate, and let things be what they are. It’s also a challenge. A good one, I think.

* I always want to be a better me today than I was yesterday. There is always room for self-improvement and something to learn.

* Foreign languages are one of my favorite subjects to dabble in. I’m fluent in none but I’ve learned varying amounts of French, Japanese, German, Portuguese, Russian and the one I’m studying now, Spanish. Spanish poetry sounds awesome. Pablo Neruda. Inspiring.

* My top three character traits from that survey I mentioned a long time ago are Creativity, Love of Learning and Curiosity, and Appreciation for Beauty and Excellence.

* I have an incredible amount of self to explore.


Thursday, February 7, 2013


Today has not been the most wonderful, though its events weren’t bad in the slightest. With one slight exception, I had it coming and expected it. This headache was my choice, both the reason I avoided giving up coffee and the reason I am doing so. The cold I woke up with this morning, with my throat swollen so much that I was wondering if I had laryngitis, well, that was a bit more of a surprise. The cold symptoms lessened as the day progressed, but the headache has slowly intensified. Even the Aleve I took is having difficulty holding it back.

The highlight of the day was playing Ping-Pong for an hour during my lunch break with my friend Ben. Last time we played I kicked his butt every game, this time around it was more challenging for both of us. It’s amazing how much exercise it is, we both worked up a sweat. My favorite forms of exercise continue to be the ones during which you barely notice that it is exercise because you’re too busy having fun doing it. Swing and ballroom are of course, my favorite forms, but Ping-Pong is a good time too. Going for walks with the dogs and good company are also fun.

Speaking of Mira, she’s starting to get to the smaller side of massive. She’s eight and a half months old, but I’m willing to bet she’s broken 90 pounds. I haven’t weighed her in a while. I can still pick her up, but not for very long. We’ll see how much longer that lasts. The best part though, is that she is getting more loving, adorable, and cuddly as she gets older. It’s always nice to come home and have a few minutes just saying hello. (I always crouch down to her level to greet her.) While she’s a lot more energetic and aloof as a puppy than I was expecting in a mastiff, she’s still very attentive, usually sure of where I am in the house and not afraid to let whatever she imagines is outside that it had better not come in. I really do think they’re the perfect dog for nerds. Which I have failed to explain in any way at all. Too bad. ;)

Work on the other hand has been exceptionally slow. If I’ve had half an hour’s worth since I got here, I would be surprised. I started rereading Court Ellyn’s Blood of the Falcon: Volume 1, which I read for the first time less than six months ago. That’s me though. I love re-reading good books and reliving the experience. I always read eagerly awaiting the parts that excited me the first time and enjoy them just as much as I did the first time. It doesn’t matter how long the book is or isn’t either. I’ve read Battlefield Earth seven times and A Horse and His Boy at least 15. It’s been a while since I’ve read The Chronicles. I should revisit them and see what they look like as the man I’ve become.

I continued to procrastinate on my writing today due to feeling under the weather. I didn’t really want to come in at all, but it’s hard to waste my PTO when I’m not deathly ill and I know I’m not going to be doing anything exciting in the first place. I continue to not particularly enjoy that part of being employed as I am. There are things in the work though that may change my position and had best result in more compensation. I’ve informed my boss of my needs, not in a threatening way, but straightforward and honestly. Valentine’s Day marks my 2nd anniversary working here and it’s time to move upward or onward.

With Valentine’s on my mind, I am excited. In spite of not having spent a single Valentine’s in a relationship since my Junior year of college, it remains my favorite holiday. What can I say? I am Duke Orsino from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. I am in love in love, just waiting for Viola.

In the last few years I have written a Valentine’s letter for the holiday. Last year I wrote to myself, because I needed to recognize myself and validate myself. The year before was a generic letter to the women I’ve loved in my life, whether that love was platonic, romantic, or filial. I’m not certain, but I’m thinking this year I will write to love. Or perhaps continue the theme that is so frequent in my songs, and write a Love Letter to No One. “Hurry up and get here.” -smiles- Either way, I have a lot to think about right now. My thoughts on monogamy that I shared with Rapscallion at her request may very well find themselves their own entry, and I think I will spend the next week exploring love as a topic in depth. Eros, Agape, Philia, and a slightly less Greek concept, Caritas. Stay tuned.

A word or three, give or take several hundred, goodnight.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tip of the Body Artberg

How did I begin? A moment while I go steal my note back from Rapscallion to reinspire the line of thought I was following.

The aforementioned friend of mine wrote a piece on fashion and its projection of self. (A topic that it notably discussed in David Lodge’s Nice Work, by the way, ma demoiselle). I responded with a comment about my 14 gauge stainless steel hoops, which she was surprised to learn that I wore.

Fact is, I have had one ear pierced since I was 15 and both since I was 19. I actually chose piercings and self-expression over the military. I had my tongue pierced the end of my first semester of freshman year and subsequently dropped out of Air Force ROTC. I kept my tongue piercing for five years, but threw it away on a whim one night. Quite honestly, kissing is much more intense and sexy without it. I would take it out on occasion while making out and every time, (no matter who I might have been kissing at the time), the whole experience just went up a notch on both sides. I miss it at times, but still prefer the pleasure of kissing a woman without one.

I took my earrings out for about 4 years, as I was not allowed to wear them when I worked for the English as a Second Language company in Japan. I’m not someone who changes accessories daily. They’re either in, or they’re out. With the exception of going up a gauge last month, I haven’t taken my earrings out since I had them put back in this September. Unless I’m required to do so for work somewhere, it’s likely I won’t for a very, very long time. I am considering going to 12 gauge earrings, possibly 10, but I would have to see how they looked before I made a permanent decision. It’s unlikely I will go wider than that.

I also have a tattoo on the back of my neck just below the collar line of a dress shirt: the Chinese phonetic kanji for Morgan. In Japanese it is pronounced Makkon. They have no meaning together in either language. One character means “root” and the other is a symbol representing an ancient deity.

This is my only tattoo, though I am currently in the process of working with an artist I am friends with to draw my next and make it an original piece instead of the stiff piece I cobbled together from various designs I found on the internet. It’s going to be rather large, at least in my terms. The centerpiece is a yin yang containing the kanji for yin and yang instead of the dots. Where the white dot would be, the kanji for “light” will take its place and where the black dot would be, the kanji for “shadow”.

Sprawling out from the sides of the yin yang were originally two tribal “wings” of sorts, but I believe we’re working to modify them into two tribal wolf heads that represent Rome and Reme, as I named the wolves of positivity and negativity. A tribal “dragon’s” tail will wind down from the base of the piece along my spine. Ideally the whole image will be reminiscent of a dragon in flight as seen from above, without actually having any draconic details.

Rapscallion commented that she thinks that tattoos and piercings on blokes signifies something raw, primal, and sexual. (She’s British.) Her thoughts lead me to think about how I see tattoos on women. I find myself drawn to them, particularly to the satisfaction of curiosity, I wonder what the whole thing looks like? and always to the art and meaning. My tattoos, the one I have and the one on the table, both are pieces heavy with years of thought, search and the weight of decision. I have a friend who had two Lego men with empty speech bubbles tattooed on his arm so people could write in them at parties. It’s his body, but a hard choice to understand. Every piece of mine has meaning or aesthetic value.

I like women with tattoos, even to the point where I don’t find anything tacky or disturbing about what we call “tramp stamps” here in America. It certainly depends on the tattoo, but if it weren’t attractive, there wouldn’t be such an overflow of them that it became a cultural phenomenon worthy of a name. Personally I think the majority of people who gripe about tramp stamps are much like people who gripe about their “shame” bands. Foolish. If you enjoy something, enjoy it. I enjoy women with a tattoo on the small of her back, assuming the tattoo is well done and attractive in the first place.

Only one lover I’ve had was tattooed and she got hers after I got mine, on a whim. She walked into the parlor with whatever friend was encouraging her to make a bad decision, picked out something she thought was cute and had it permanently set onto her foot. It ended up looking like a bleu cheese moon and star, suspiciously like the star of Islam. She later had it redone and covered after her father pointed that out.

I can only imagine what it would be like then, to lay in bed by the side of a woman with a tattoo like one I encountered recently, which ran from the crease of her pelvic bone, all the way up the side of her ribs to bloom at the top. I know myself well, and I would spend hours tracing every line of ink with my fingers, just as I would her curves as I lay on my side and she on hers. I would be entranced, enchanted, and learn each twist and curl as if I were memorizing the words of a song. I would learn it in moonlight, beneath harsh fluorescence, in the sun on a summer-lush lawn or sandy beach.

It is an experience I would like to have, and a certainly find my interest piqued when a woman has one. Frequently it’s only my curiosity that seeks to be sated, but on occasion I more drawn to someone because of her art. I suppose though, as I am in all things, I’m rather picky about what I admire. I’m drawn to women with taste, and whether it’s is her fashion choices or the art she’s chosen to canvas on her body, I’ll always prefer the ones whose choices will be just as attractive 20 years from now as they will in six months.