Never, Ever

Mood: Cloudy with chances of rain
Drinking: Yes

How much is enough?

Really. When does the resting come, with accompanying laurels? When do the questions cease? The nagging needle-teeth of doubt. When does silence finally reign supreme in heads, in beating hearts?

Never. I think that is the answer. Never, ever.

The rule is that you’re only as good as your Last Big Thing. And if your Thing happened in, say, 2005, and the calendar has rolled over to 2006, well, you are old news. You are yesterday’s leftover. You are a rerun.

And if all your work and sweat and toil is cloaked in obscurity, if your fan club numbers in the single digits, if you have no agent, no studio, no publisher and no papparazzi, who then is there to look over your shoulder? Who sends the has-been alert? Who pushes you to go faster, swim further, climb higher?

I do not think I’m alone when I say that I am my harshest critic, worst enemy, loudest heckler, creepiest stalker, fiercest competitor. Everyone who attempts art does so with the fear of failure breathing down their neck. Even though said “failure” is all in your own head. Even if you are the only one to pronounce all your efforts null.

So no matter what my word count is, no matter how many cinepoems created or poems recited, the answer is never. Never enough.

There is always the next one, the next line, the next project, the next concept, the next shoot. And before that’s even over, start planning for the next one. Because the next one will be better.

There are just some of us who will never be satisfied with what we create. With what we have. With what we know. Because you find the answer to a question, you find the line that finally rhymes, you find the stick to scratch the itch, and in the next breath you wonder why. Questions lead to more questions. And, really, that’s the way we like it.

To quote my friend G’s Wicker Chronicles: “Sweet spot? Comfort zone? Boring. Where’s the sour spot? The salty spot? What happens if I set the spot on fire?”

What happens, indeed. The fire burns and your skin sizzles and inspiration flies, phoenix-like, from the flames, and for one brief moment, for one tiny second, your breath comes easy and you watch it all gloriously burn.

But the moment passes and it’s on to the next one. Time to set another fire.

-Lo, whose next “fire” involves following a white rabbit.

The Wicker Chronicles

Mood: Too early to tell
Drinking: Caffeinated beverage

After spending some time reading and re-reading some work by my friend G, I am more convinced than ever that more people should know who he is. Everyone, in fact, should know. There should be shiny hardback volumes with his name imprinted on their spines.

G and I met in the minefield of mid-twenties suburban mega-religion and established a bond over our mutual affection for poetry, snarkiness and the lost wonders of DeKalb.

Upon meeting G, it doesn’t take long to discover that he is a genius. And once he began to share his writing with me, I elevated him to capital GENIUS status. He really is amazing. And although I’m here now and he’s there, he fills my inbox with intrigue every single week, without fail.

This is one of his poems, “Storm”…

“in the sanctuary
hundreds of people open
their good books
and it’s the sound of leaves
rustling in the tops of trees
and all I can think of
is wind and storm,
violence
not love.

the whisper of prayers from
a thousand lips is
a mushroomcloud of moths fluttering
the silver dust from their wings
falling like ash.

the clap of a hundred raised hands
is the distant clatter
of mortars exploding,
all the killing done in
the name of Whatever
flavor of the week
we’re worshipping.

and all the words they use
are bruised and faded,
bleached of worth;
He is hiding in the subtext,
behind tongues,
before birth.

who can hope to understand
the complex mess we’ve made
of earth?

not the books and not the lips
and not the hands

for He is hiding
and is deaf to our demands,

beyond tongues,
beyond death,
such amazing love
to let us live,
breath by labored breath?”

Get more here.

-Lo, who’s getting more G herself very soon. Right, my friend? Dinner. Monday. Downtown.