Noteworthy 8.16.19

Hello Void,

Yes, I’m talking to you, that elusive folks in this realm where our digital thoughts and media and memories go float until someone stumbles into them. At first, the notion of calling the internet a Void is to deem it a dark and cold place, but I don’t think that, really. I go back and forth, but mostly, my overall opinion is that the internet is a place where the positive connections will outweigh the negative. This is why I’m here, taking the time to share a few links and things, in hopes that it will spark something to us back to our creative ways.

  1. My wife gifted me a couple of books for our anniversary and I couldn’t be happier to get started on them. I just wrapped up Austin Kleon’s superb reference for artists Steal Like an Artist. If you need a kick up the rear to get going, this is as good as it’s going to get. What a playful, inspiring read!
  2. I love comedians. I love them as practitioners, bohemians, and all of their flawed, weird hilarity. Here’s an interesting conversation between Ricky Gervais and Sam Harris, discussing the nature of all things comedy, social media, and the state of the world.
  3. I’ve shared this before, but it makes my heart soar. My brother-in-law introduced us to this Shakey Graves song when our son was a baby, and I recall playing it on those late nights when scant sleep and long days turned life upside down. My baby would dance and sway back and forth clumsily and gift us a smile. And nothing made me smile a deep smile of pride from my bones and belly and heart than that little memory.

I kind of like sharing three things. It’s short and sweet, and I’m all about saving time. Madd and I will get to podcasting this weekend, hangout with our dear friends who are here from out of town, and of course, the quest to write the latest project is underway. Using Austin Kleon’s calendar advice, I’m going to continue working on my short stories, as well as the children’s play due at the end of September for the Casper Children’s Theater. I’ll keep you posted.

It’s Friday, and burnout is our refrain as we welcome the weekend. Take care of yourself. I’ll try too.

j

Mote and Light (from Prompt 16)

A void of sun, floating in this shineless cavern

holding on to the grip as I held to the notion you would return

to find me

to relieve and relive

the cool spring of our friendship

upon which we lifted

and hovered weightless

at one point in time, ascending

upward and nearing an illumination

that felt like you

and I cherished that hope as a yard void of insects

A continued affliction

that makes your smaller

to mean less

and meaningless

until the limbs

over-extended and distant

from the teasing invitation

so close to memory and artery

now fancies itself artillery

threatening the mote

thinning

weightless

suspended


Poetry and whatever else comes to mind based on my #icprompts on Instagram!

j

Prompt Time!

Time to get the Instagram prompts over to the blog! Check them out if you are in need of of a little spark to jumpstart your creativity. Let’s see how this goes!

“How is it that everything changed when you came down?”

#makeartmakehaste

26

hair-like

roots of string

they had to lie still, to survive

the hope of many

trembling in a tempest

seen from the high branches

little wonders

and hops instead of steps

cuddle close to huddle in the end

a little hide and run for cover

eyes green with the currency of time

delicate limbs in the current

the last moments, a blunt howl

the shattering canopy reveals the burning sun

the rattling leaves

the devastating fear

ripping the seedlings from earth

a coarse malevolence

disgrace of man

tender they seem in this light

the root of the tallest tallow

suffocates the ones in need

and at its most alive

when defending its shade

disgrace in these branches

in the old stoic timber

disgraced by their silence

at the sight of their fallen

the woods at their best

what else did we expect?

j

For you: you are missed and loved and you will not be forgotten.

Charlotte

Daniel

Olivia

Josephine

Dylan

Madeleine

Catherine

Chase

Jesse

Ana

James

Grace

Emilie

Jack

Noah

Caroline

Jessica

Avielle

Benjamin

Allison

Rachel

Dawn

Anne

Lauren

Mary

Victoria

https://mysandyhookfamily.org/

https://everytown.org/

The open cave welcomes joy and everything else.

On a Friday

full of freedom

I sang behind the wheel

The black days now behind me

I look forward to the miles ahead

And as the chorus left my lips

and I waved at the sorrowful faces of my neighbors

I rolled down the window to bathe

in the careless dance of the wind

I held the comforting song

in the cavern of my mouth

This cave soaring

above the speed limit

that held the wonder of my tone

The tune and wind and sunshine were a veil

and it made me feel an endless bliss

Just as the wasp slipped in at fifty miles an hour and into my mouth

and I rolled down

toward the black.

-Jaime Alejandro

91718: to the time I held the guitar for three days when you departed.

I wanted to know why the hands

stopped

yearning

for the strings

they were caked

bumps and callous patterns

not the right

kind of progressions

not the desired ones

yet underneath

the stuttering grip

and the delicate-less

fumble of the fretless

here I set beyond the waking hours

with the deepest of needs

before sunrise

why the strumming

why the strumming

why the strumming had to stop.

-j

Back from hiatus: New Addendum Episode!

Dear WordPressers,

Wow, it’s been months since I’ve been here. I missed it. I started a new job, so it turned the routine upside down for a short while. This whole staying creative while having a full time job and a small business is kinda difficult, but alas, the content is back! I’m so thrilled to start recording again, and equally stoked to share with you the new episode format, as well as musings on how to keep making art as a working class person.

Also, what are you all working on lately? Send me a comment and I’d love to give shout-outs on the podcast!

Make art, make haste.

-Jaime Alejandro

Listen here or check out the Addendum home page for other options (Itunes, etc!)

An American Pastime.

To bury a child is an abomination.

To bury the second is unsavory, but familiar.

To bury the third is industry.

Child burial is a coarse proposition like the rope that lowers the flag

When god used to look, his head would lower too.

Can the father spare thoughts for the republic,

trapped in the eggshell and baroque vermilion of the funeral parlor?

A mother still feels the weight of life in her belly

as she sorts out an outfit for the now lifeless unfamiliar

and the priest decides last week’s sermon fits the bill, again.

And the chorus of retired women ask the bygone men where to go,

because there’s not enough room for the flowers at the foot of the altar,

and they assure themselves no one’s at fault that the modest shrine will just not do,

since they know it could use a contribution or two.

Alas, a makeshift procession of unity swells momentarily;

Petals and voices declaring that spare corner in their respective hearts.

A song of comfort and duty for the child, the one that talked the way you talk.

The one that runs a clumsy touch across your concrete, overworked face.

The one that made your bones sturdy for a brief time on this earth.

The ritual begets comfort, and in turn, rain boils in the heat of silence.

Even as the shovels tap the dirt, atop the soon to be unmarked,

those left behind know the nature of the wheel, and succumb to the spin.

Remorse hardly settles at reckless speeds, and they will even tell you there’s enough room in the casket for liability. Specialists in stasis, the ones truly fit for graves.

But the cowards sending in their stead, this tender offering to the dark.

This constant, God-given, crowd-pleasing, blood-lusting, well-oiled abomination.

-J. Alejandro

How to help victims of the Florida school shooting (CNN links)