Monday, November 8, 2010

Jelly and Mornings

Good morning, faithful reader. I just want you to know that writing just about anything in the mornings is not my style. I'm quite the morning person, don't get me wrong. I love being outside in the cool morning air and getting a jump start on my unproductive days. But when it comes to writing, I just have no thoughts in my head in the mornings. Nothing strikes me as important to write about and I just don't typically do it. The reason I mention this is because upon reading Stephen King's "On Writing," I came across something interesting about his writing. I don't have the book in front of me, so i'm just going to paraphrase here, but basically he says that writing in the mornings is best for him because his mind feels fresh and it's breathing quite well. This struck me as interesting because I'd never REALLY thought about the correlation between the time of day and the way a person's brain functions. Once I realized this, It came clear that in the evenings, I have so many thoughts and passions than I do in the mornings. This became my designated writing time.
So why am I writing this at eight in the morning? Well, honestly, I'm really excited about this here blog, so like a school girl, I can't keep my hands off it. Wait, what? Forget it. Back to my main point: I'm writing this morning because i'm excited to get some of my older poetry up here for you to read. I got a few complaints for the last three poems being too sad and I noticed that there were a lot of grammatical and spelling mistakes. I'll try to work on that a little more so that you're paying more attenshun to that than me. Catch that typo? Yeah, alright you grammar Nazi, get a life. I'm kidding. Stop crying.

So, to go ahead and begin here, this first poem I wrote about a year ago. It's nothing too deep or too serious, simply to entertain. Enjoy. I call it

A Jelly Odyssey

I crawl out of bed like a zombie
The feeling in my stomach screams at me,
"Peanut butter and jelly!"
I walk into the kitchen half naked
The pantry door groans at me
I pull out the jar of peanut butter
Creamy of course.
Smooth, gentle.
I grab the bag of bread
My heart fills with joy
As I read Sarah's name.
My feet drag to the fridge,
Which opens with a burst of cold
The temperature could have been an idicator...
An omen.
Because my gaze inside the container reveals--

An absence.
An empty shell.
I pick up the jar that held the jelly
Grape jelly, my favorite.
First, disappointment creeps into my ears
Then sadness in my heart...
And then a terror drops to my feet.
Realization comes to me.
The realization of a compromise
A trade off
That may not be worth that sweet substance
But alas, I take up my shoes
And I exit the door
Wal-Mart awaits me.

The car rumbles to a stop
My eyes fearfully scan the parking lot
To my dismay, I see many feet
Many bodies.
Many people.
A hot sweat forms under my arms
And I take a deep breath.
A warrior plunging into the horde.
I open the door,
And put my foot on the pavement...
Fear captures me and I pull back inside
Closing the door.
I compose myself
In one swift motion--
I jump out of the car,
Lock it before closing the door,
A war scream exits my lungs...

I calmly walk through the door,
Though my hands feel clammy and cold.
I focus, scanning the signs in the aisles.
I turn down the sandwich aisle,
Wishing life could be more simple.
Avoiding a small child
Who won't look where he's going.

I find the section that has been tugging at my heart.
The jelly smiles at me from the shelf.
The variety is endless
So many colors! So many flavors!
An evil suddenly spills over me...
I stand for a minute,
Narrowing down the possibilities.
After the second minute,
The grape and the black-berry argue in my brain.
I begin speaking aloud,
"Grape, black-berry, grape, black-berry..."
A man in a wheel chair stares at me.
He thinks I don't notice him,
But my pores scream as his eyeballs cover my body.
I grap the closest jar of grape jelly
and make haste to the check-out lanes.

All of the lines contain five or more people
Frustration and anger boil inside of me.
I decide on the third lane,
The people seem to have less than others.
But as I get closer to the belt,
My blood yells at the cashier,
Her five inch nails move slowly over the buttons,
She sluggishly scans each of a bald man's items.
My leg moves impatiently,
But my stomach reminds me why i'm standing here.

At last my turn comes,
And I thank the Lord that I have only one item.
The woman unnecesarily reads me my total.
The same number that is displayed on the screen for my own viewing.
I force my hand into my pocket
To find the three dollars I need,
When a feeling of hopelessness
Comes over my body.
There is no money waiting in my pocket...
Tears well in my glands,
All is lost.
I sadly check the other pocket.
Just in case...

A five dollar bill is folded in the corner!
I grab the bill with vigor
And place it in the woman's hand.
Confusion crosses her face,
But I care not,
For I am victorious.
She hands me the remainder of the money,
I give her a dollar out of joy,
And I run toward the exit.

I did not notice,
A janitor cleaning the bathroom.
As I joyously skip to the exit,
My foot glides across water,
The world turns upside down,
As my spine crashes to the floor.
Pain surges throughout my limbs,
But my concern casues my eyes to search for the jelly,
Which is safely in the bag.
The janitor laughs at me,
As though he had planned it all out.
But it doesn't matter anymore,
I'm nearly home free.

My feet cross the threshold of my house.
I limp from the pain in my vertebrae
Into my kitchen.
I place the bag on the stove,
And eagerly pull out the jar.
I pull out the other necessary items,
And begin construction on my masterpiece.
The most glorious of constructs.
Worthy of noteriety.
I take the first bite.
And the joy travels down my throat.
But a parched feeling soon develops.
So I travel to the cabinet,
And grab a glass for milk.
Opening the fridge again,
I cry out in despair.
Again, something's missing.
No milk in my fridge.

Once again, i hope you liked that one. Comments and referrals to your friends are greatly appreciated. I'm probably going to take a shower now. I'll see you again soon. Until next time,

-Aaron Stiles

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Welcome to My Head

Well, here you are. This is my first official blog. You like it? It's nothing too fancy, or important, but maybe you'll find some enjoyment, entertainment, and encouragement. I guess when starting out in any relationship, it's "best" to get to know the other person, so I'll start by telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Aaron Stiles and I live in a mid-size town in southeast New Mexico. I'm attending NMSU, I live in an apartment by myself that i pay for from work and i'm finally figuring out what being "poor" is, and let me tell you, I LOVE it. I also love to write which is a nice place to begin.
My biggest passion in life. I have this dream of becoming a writer in the future; not strictly one style, though. I want to write screenplays, novels, essays, short stories, non-fiction, memoirs and stage plays. It's also a dream of mine to act in and direct my own films. Which leads me to the purpose of this blog. This blog is simply a place for me to voice my opinions, put up my writing, practice my writing and write what I want, when I want to. So what do you get out of this? Well, I am also going to strive to entertain you and give you a chance to rip me apart publicly if you're not a big fan of mine; I welcome it all.
But, I don't want you to know everything about me all at once. If we want this relationship to be interesting, we have to keep a little bit of mystery present, agreed? I'm glad we're on the same page, I'm thinking this is the start to a beautiful friendship. So, once again, welcome to the first official blog by Aaron Stiles.

Poetry is kind of a sore subject for me. Ever since i've known what poetry is, i've always been so very jealous of the poet's rhyming capability. I've always been able to rhyme decently, but I'd never been able to put words into silly, beautiful and ugly words together and have them rhyme. As a middle school and high school kid I often wrote poetry for girls because i'm emotional and because it worked a lot of times, but i realized that what I really wanted to say about life could not be told in poetry; it just wasn't possible to me, what with the rhyming and coming up with pretty words and blah blah blah. It was just too much. My other negative feelings toward poetry arise from its popularity among stupid teenagers as well. I didn't want to be classified as another over-emotional high school kid who wrote about suicide and murder. I wanted to say something that was REAL. But I'm happy to report that throughout my life I have been educated in the wonders of poetry. Now that I know I can get away with being simple, not rhyming, and writing whatever I want, poetry is therapy for me. My favorite poets include Edgar Allan, Shakespeare and many of my favorite rock bands. For me, poetry is now a quick, pretty, deep way of getting my feelings across, from girl problems to running out of grape jelly. That being said, i'd like to introduce my first two poems.

This first poem is about a girl. Ah yes, let's start our first blog with a poem about things that make you HATE poetry. I'm kidding. It may be too cliche, but it's honest and it helped me out A LOT.

At The End of The Day

It's hard not to smile when I reflect about you.
The nature of us is nothing short of dramatic.
You, incapable of talking about your feelings,
And me, incapable of shutting up.

Together we're a mess.
I talk and tell you I love you,
You stare through me,
Trying to decipher my words.

Your eyes! Your skin! Your very breath..!
These things drive me crazy
In the best way possible.
But closed off from me, you stay.

I sat on your driveway, girl,
When I first got to know you.
I bravely faced your father that day
When he asked me my intentions.

Halloween came around in the neighborhood.
I loved the decorations you made
And the costume you wore.
I couldn't stop staring, no matter how hard i tried.

I sat with you in the sun one day,
Sharing my McDonald's with you
On the sidewalk that afternoon
When you locked yourself out of the house.

I listened to your secret late that night,
I held you as the tears rolled down your face.
And I promised never to tell.
You almost kissed me that night, I remember.

I got too over-eager,
But can you blame someone,
Who believes they're head over heels?
In love with you dear?

We stopped sneaking for awhile,
We grew apart over the months,
but you never left my thoughts,
Not even for a minute.

I've looked into your eyes a thousand times
And i've seen the gold in your heart,
The longing in your legs to stray.
I know you'll get what you want one day.

But what about me, love?
I'm still here at the end of the day.
Only to bring out the best in you,
And to love you unconditional.

All i'm asking is to open your heart
To the person who will always stay true;
The person who will follow you to the ends of the earth;
Who will dry the tears with my lips.

I admit, my darling, you drive me crazy,
In ways that test me
As well as my day-to-day sanity.
But I'd never have it another way.

Please take my hand, let's save each other.
Strive to conquer the world together,
No matter how scared you are.
I'm right here for you.

So there it is. My first poem on my first blog. Whether you like this poem or not, comment it with your opinions. Don't be afraid to be honest.

This next poem is about my father. I've had certain issues with him in the past. He hasn't been around much, but he found me just a few months ago on myspace. The 8-10 years that have passed between the last time he left to recently hearing from him were very difficult. When he left, a lot of things happened to me that confused me and ultimately shaped me into who I am today. I've got some insecurities and some addictive tendencies that freak me out. I also inherited a bit of his anger issues as well, but after some counceling, it's safe to say i'm pretty damned easy going most of the time. So here's a poem about the man who has influenced me most in my life.

My Hero

His face stares back at me in the mirror.
Not like a ghost, not like a vision,
But like a reminder.
A reminder of my origin
A reflection of past and future habits,
A reminder of my natural genetic make-up
In which I've never had a say.

His addiction left in its path
A wake of self-destruction.
Affecting the boy in his pajamas
That 4th of july, beyond comprehension.
Family fights cause children to take sides,
If the bad language and violence
Wasn't enough to fuck them up in the first place.

My father's blood runs through me
Day-after-day, night-after-night
Haunting me, hunting me, hurting me.
Causing attempts to rise above
Mayham, mischief and everything in between.
I feel i'm a strong enough person most days
But the more I try, the more I sink
Into my father's frame.
Ultimately I have failed the boy in his pajamas.

Dad walked out, seemingy never to look back.
The nerve he had shocks me to this day.
Leaving your won flesh and blood seems like a mortal sin,
A selfish fucking act of cowardice.
Did he leave with tears in his eyes?
Or did he keep a straight face?
Looking back, I guess he deserves recognition
For facing me himself.

In the boy's heart is always a place for his hero.
I find it important to keep that boy in mind.
To stay true to his beliefs and dreams
To be the hero to himself that his father never could be.
But it's hard to live in this world
Knowing that your hero never had what it took,
To be a hero in the first place.

This next poem is about a man that I interviewed today at the call center i work at. In case you don't know what a call center is, it's a place where employees call people for whatever reason. Some call centers hold telemarketers, and some like mine call and try to get you to participate in survey's. Today I was doing a survey that asks respondents where they buy certain products, certain services they use and certain television shows they watch. Somehow, this very cheerful, happy man who "Just like[s] to get out and live life" revealed to me that one of his eight children, a son, passed away within the last year. I found his optimism and happiness inspirational. So, I wrote this poem for a man in Oregon.

The Man in Oregon

I spoke to an interesting man today.
At the call center where I work.
We spoke about his daily life:
Where he works, where he shops
And how he spends his free time.
As we talked, I delighted in his personality.
He was friendly, optimistic and cheerful.

On the surface,
This is nothing unusual,
Nothing important.
But just under that,
Is a haunted person.
After a few minutes of talking,
He revealed to me his worst nightmare.

Imagine this: a boy like me
Sitting in an office chair
Speaking to a man who lost a part of himself.
Not knowing what to think or feel,
But feeling ashamed, nevertheless
For bothering an already bothered man;
Feeling humbled by his warmth.

I don't remember how we got there,
But somehow the words came out,
Words that struck like a hammer to the skull.
And motivated me to spread his wisdom,
To those who can't find their way
In a world that isn't fair.
"my son passed away a year ago." he said.

My heart dropped at these words.
It was a feeling I couldn't imagine.
To think this man literally lost part of his life,
caused in me a loss of breath, a loss of words
And a feeling of absolute humility.
But the words that succeeded those
Were nothing but pleasant and warm.

My dumbfounded brain tried hard to avoid the topic
But my heart was broken for his soul.
Maybe he was an optimist,
Maybe he was a realist.
But whatever he was, I know he was pure.
And I know his son's memory lived on in the man's heart.
Like the spirit of a super hero.

I've always believed that the persevearance of the human spirit.
In the idea that we can all find eternal happiness if we try.
This man stands alone in my mind as an example of this philosophy.
His happiness and cheerfulness, despite his loss
Is an inspiration to me personally
As a man searching for eternal happiness.
And I dedicate this to the man who has everything,
Despite almost losing everything.

So there we go. I hope you found something that made you think differently. Or maybe got you to forget about your problems(or, better yet, find a solution to them). I'm going to try to post at least three poems a week. Why three? Because it's a number of completion, that's why. I'm kidding. I'm hoping to be published one day, so i figure I should find some sort of motivation to get better. So, please post comments and give me some feedback. Until next time,

-Aaron Stiles