Monday, August 17, 2015

Negative Narrative Space

don't mean 'negative'
As in pessimistic
Or bad
Or gloomy.

I'm talking about the voids
between the elements that usually command our attention
as the center of illustrative or musical or written creation.

This negative space
is what gives us the two ways 
or more
of viewing this optical illusion:

Source here.


It is what makes the chalice in The Davinci Code movie 
(as well as the book,
presumably,
I imagine in the void of my
own literary ignorance):

Source here.


It is the silence
of a Buddhist meditation.

It is what makes Miles Davis cooler
than what Billy Madison thinks 
because he knows where to

pause

(unlike my own
empty reasoning).



This in-between state is
perhaps one of the only things
that could travel
faster than light



and also hold
the intriguing capacity
of conveying
infinitely more
and infinitely more diverse
messages
than can be confined
in one finite communicative transmission
of any substance.

It's the untold portions of the stories,
the windows positioned within the created architecture,
where we find both
egress from our own minds
and entrance into another world
of multifarious variety.

For example,
I imagine
what Obi-Wan Kenobi ate
all those long years on Tatooine
and how he knew
he would turn a ghostly blue
upon Darth Vader's final hew. 

And I try to feel
the wind through the dry grass,
the accumulating perspective of identity
and its accompanying sense of forboding
that isn't included
in Luke 5:16.


And perhaps if I pause long enough

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Kindest Hacker

A symbol I suggest should signify kindly hackers,
composed of a proposed symbol for hackers (from here)
overlaid with a loving heart (from me via Microsoft Word).

The kindest crook
I ever didn't meet
was the one who apparently
hacked my PayPal account.

The company contacted me
saying any money I hadn't touched
in the last several years
was going to go to some state agency
if I didn't do something with it.

"What money?" I asked.

"The $258 in your account."

<pause>

"Where did it come from?"

They sent me the transaction history
showing companies and entities
of which I had no knowledge,

transactions occurring between a mafia member
and a CIA operative,
I'm convinced,

and out of their sheer goodness
and appreciation for my 
unwittingly allowing them to
achieve their questionable ends
in the safe haven of an
identity-thieved account,
they left me a little something.

Now
I'm left with the decision
of what to do:

Part of me wonders
if it's morally permissible
to take money that isn't mine
in any scenario.

Another part of me says,
"Duh yeah! It's from some jerk
who hacked your account
but wasn't bright enough to clean it out."

But would a second wrong
really make me feel all right?

All this moralizing makes
that part of me that wants
another Weezer album
and a superfluous piece of technology
kowtow to the now growing voice in my head
saying I ought to donate this windfall
to a charity like Kiva
or use it for the family
by chipping away at the mortgage
like a responsible adult.

The possibilities for spending are endless
when it's someone else's money...
or your own,
I guess.

Surprisingly, at times -
but maybe more often than I think -
it's hard to tell the difference. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Attack the Hill

12 years after high school
during this 40-mile bike ride
beneath carrion birds
as I approach yet another
in a seemingly interminable sequence
of inclinations I'm rather disinclined to ascend,
Coach Turchyn's words
somehow reach forward to me
instilling the will to follow still
one of his few but oft-repeated directives:
"Attack the hill."

These 3 words came whispered but urgent
at almost every cross country meet for 
7 years to our cheer-tired ears
as the only audible thing
worth processing and applying,
for everything else is almost automatic:

the pace, 
keeping eyes on the guy ahead,
breathing and stepping,

but

when that slope rises,
the instinct is to go into
lower gear,
attack your competitor,
or attack yourself,
worrying about all the hills ahead;

you need someone there 
to remind you of this
1 task:

to just attack the hill that's next. 




Start of a race.

The high school crew.


Coach T on the right. Coach Mac on the left.