The Taste of Language

I am the words that pour from your lips.

I am “Vivacity,” “Capricious,” “Demure.”

I sing through your teeth, tasting of vowels; long “U’s” and sweet “I’s” that are reminiscent of molasses, or warm honey.

I taste of love and of childhood and of every bitter memory that lingers upon your tongue.

I remind you of your own humanity whenever you take the time to notice me.

I remain appealing to the eye through countless ages; unlike you, fleeting lover, I am eternally beautiful.

I form the bonds that tie you to your world, and I give you that sense of knowledge and sentience.

I am the beauty that sets you apart from the crawling worms and howling beasts of the earth, and from the singing, yet dumb, creatures of the air.

I, unlike you, will always know what to say and how; never a word on the tip of your tongue, only to be forgotten, dried up, and turned to gritty ash in your mouth


I am the music for the non-musical, the poetry for the unimaginitive; every facet of me has its own flavor, its own intent.

I am unending, and without beginning.

And I am yours to use, and to make your own.



The water is speckled and moving

as if it giggles to itself

tickled by dainty pinpricks

that pock its surface, rippling

laughing quietly


tittering about some secret

it shares only with itself

it covers the sun

and makes the green among the grays

more vibrant, brighter than the sun

could ever manage

I would think

this makes him jealous

as he tries to banish the clouds away

just to prove

he can make things brighter

with his hot



But I prefer this musk

this haze over the earth

this scent of clean air

and wet soil

of sweet water against grass

as the whole earth bathes

It is washed clean

and I walk among it

also purified

by the happiness it brings me

Early Spring

 Daniel’s name rung out through the cold, stone corridors that had once been his home. These archways and spires were so familiar once. A few birds halfheartedly sung in the morning mountain mist. Doused in the gloomy light of the dawn, seeping through the garden that lay parallel to the abbey corridor, four men, cloaked and hooded in black, bore his corpse through the halls. The funeral procession behind him slowly marched, solemn and silent for the deceased, only the birds to sing his dirge.

 As he walked beside his brother, Ryan thought of what was to become of him. In the abbey, they were taught that a good man was assured Peace and Happiness in the Long Sleep, but nonetheless the young boy wondered. Would it be black and dark like the night? Or would it even be there at all? What if his brother just-… stopped being? Altogether.

 His mind tried as best as it could to wrap itself around the idea of an Afterlife, but an eight-year-old has very little power to grasp such thought provoking ideas with any efficiency. His grief-wracked brain ran faster than he could keep up with, and his heart would speed up and then he would think of poor Daniel and how he just wished his older sibling would just get up and proclaim it was all a joke and they would all laugh and they could be happy again.

 Daniel loves-

…playing jokes.

Then I Watched Mark Whalberg Play Basketball for Five Minutes Before Breaking for Lunch

Yesterday and the day before, I found myself as a hired extra on the set of an upcoming Mark Whalberg film. Our set for this scene was the Galen Center, basketball stadium of the USC Trojans. A week prior, a contractor called my band director, asking if there were any volunteers eighteen or older of the band’s percussion section who could be a part of this movie. Out of the few eighteen-year-olds who were listed, they picked me to help balance out the mostly male dynamic.

When I got onto the set, six fifteen in the morning, I was baffled by the sheer size of the Center. High ceilings and halls with fantastic acoustics. Hair and makeup artists were set up all down the upper hallway.

I was directed into costume and told where to go, and in about an hour, I was in full face-paint, and had my hair teased and styled up into a Mohawk.

What really interested me, however, was the way people looked at me.

Before I was all painted up, just walking in wearing jeans and a v-neck, the people I passed, crew members and extras, looked at me with a keen interest. It was a kind of brief stare that conveyed some kind of curiosity that prior to this kind of all-adult situation, I had not experienced before. I mattered to someone. I became a person in the sight of strangers, and it was entirely liberating. No self-consciousness that comes so often in a high-school setting.

After telling this to my mother, she smiled, a bit of a laugh behind her tone, and said “Welcome to the adult world, and to life beyond High-School.”

Peculiar events. Peculiar feelings. But all felt comfortable, and connected, in a way.

I’m Writing About Not Writing

Sometimes I have some semblance of an idea in my head, and I truly want to be able to flesh it out in a short piece of writing. Except more often than not that sweet milk of inspiration turns into cottage cheese in less than a minute. I get so frustrated. I feel that somehow I’ll be able to make the cottage cheese into milk again by poking at it, but it’s too late. The idea is spoilt.

And oh look, now the crumbly, liquid, gooey puddle is starting to mold. This is just gross now.

I give up and scrap the idea, and feel sorry for my lack of focus for a little while.

But I guess there’s no use crying over spilt milk.


An Autumn Night

It wasn’t often the old man had a chance to freely talk. So rare an occasion was it when someone wasn’t clattering noisily about the inn he had one day wandered into, or wreaking havoc through the kitchens. Now, he had the full attention of thirty six men and two young boys. Women didn’t usually come to the bar.

Slowly, as if some adventurer had discovered his mouth a tomb, and was taking great care not to disturb the dust as he lifted the lid, the old man parted his lips to speak. And with a great preceding breath of dust and age, the bent, white-haired, long-faced, time-harrowed soul relayed to them his tale.

The words flowed forth from his mouth in curling, breathy waves, little splashes of sound accenting his consonants and vowels here and there. His countenance seemed to lift as he spoke, hands clasped before him as he leaned forward with his elbows resting on his knees. The language was familiar to many of them, however none of them had commonly spoken in The Old Tongue in ages. The two young boys were oblivious to the meaning of the tale as it spun from his lips, as the language had been outlawed years before they’d been born, but they listened nonetheless intently, captivated and twined within his intricate web of poetry.

And I sat among them as a stranger, not understanding, but feeling as though I didn’t really need to. His gestures and expressions proved to be enough for him to make me feel what he wanted me to feel. And so i simply sat. And I listened. I let the words of this old Bard twist and weave into a stunning pattern before me. I saw it in the faces of every man in the place. Silently I thanked the gods, blessed to have found this delicate and lasting beauty among what is normally such clamor. And still, the old man spoke with fluidity until it was done. Some men wept, attempting to hide it in their shirtsleeves. The Bard simply stood and picked up his cane. The light emanating from the wall-candles flickered warmly against his heavily-lined face. Without another word, the old man left them in their silence.

His words lingered as a song in the ears of everyone in the room.

By one man, thirty eight found connection.

And I watched him go in peace, looking on as the Bard wandered on into the ringing quiet of the night.

Fish and Band-aids

Despite my having tried to keep it clean, the white interior of the sink is spattered with blood.

The slab of salmon that’s intended for supper smells of salt and water-reek, and the heat of the sun pouring through the kitchen window does nothing to help.

However, though the scent is pervasive and slightly unpleasant, I enjoy the feel of the flesh itself.

It’s a tactile pleasure that one only finds in cold, unprepared meats.

The give and stop of unresistant muscle between my fingers is an interesting sensation.

So I slip off the skin and scatter the scales and slice and slice and slice and stumble with the knife.

The sudden sting in my knuckle is worsened by the fish-juice, and it mingles unfortunately with the blood in the sink.

And I look at the slab and wonder quietly, ‘what kind of sting did you feel?’

I wander away, fingers now redder, and tend to the cut and give it a band-aid; one with little cartoon characters on it from the bathroom upstairs.

Returning to the cutting board, I pause and stare.

My eyes follow the grain of the meat in its beautiful, waving patterns.

Much like myself, with similar, yarn-doll fibers and woven lines of sinew.

The oven beeps to tell me it is heated.

Carefully, I continue to cut.