End of the Semester – Crunch, Crunch, Crunchy-Time!

So, I am nearing the end of my first year of grad school. To be specific, I am 1 20pg. paper, 4 exams, 1 Othello showing, 1 commencement ceremony, and 2 parties away from the end of my first year of grad school.

I have brilliant, interesting posts up in my head – and sticky-noted to my desktop so I don’t forget them – just waiting to be written up and posted. But, they have to wait until I am finished with real-world tasks.

Technically, I shouldn’t even be taking the time to write this very short posty-post. Oh well. I just wanted to give a heads up to whomever in the world might care that brilliant things are coming. Brilliant, I say.

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Thoughts on Grave of the Fireflies

A friend asked why anyone would want to watch something as sad as Grave of the Fireflies.

This is my answer:

It is life, in all its stark beauty and horror. It is humanity. It is tragedy that moves, that breaks the viewer a little bit, that makes you think and breathe deeply and be thankful for the life you have. It makes you incapable of forgetting what people are capable of doing. It makes compassion feel like a gift – one to have and to seek and bestow. It is a truth. It is a sadness. It is a hope for better things.

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― to the Sharp-faced Boy
Ryan’s house, when I was sick

The light from your cigarette
looks good on you,
but I’m not sorry when you put it out.
It is too cold for smoking
and the stench enters my lungs
like a mad dog barking.

You give me blankets and a choice
Soul Caliber or a movie –
which movie? Start ‘er up
and settle down in the cold room.
But your smile and your eyes are friendly
and those are more than enough reasons to stay.

I’m sorry for being somewhat worried
every time you open your mouth,
but your clever head has a habit
of spewing boiling water at me.
How many times have I had to look for aloe
after a conversation with you?

But I have missed this person who
talks and laughs and listens with an
air of interest. We’ll stay away from
God, though. Dangerous ground I wish
I were brave enough to attempt. Wrap
your smarts around something else, please.

Movies and music and books – you
are avid and opinionated (that O’Neal coming through) – spark a
debate littered with swapped insults and mock offense.
I will have to learn better slurs
if I want to keep up with you – your mind
leaps ahead of mine like a loosed kite.


Did you start that fire to show me that
you care? That’s what I’m thinking, but you
never say it, and these little gestures are
almost too sporadic for hope. But you let me borrow
your movies and ask before you smoke in
my car – is this a brother’s way of saying

“I love you”? Well, in any case, come over here
and give me a hug. Smart boy that can’t keep your
brains to yourself and dotes more on a cat than on
any person I know. Don’t look at me like that –
stand up straight, and try to remember,
however sappy it may be, I love you.


This is a poem I wrote a couple years ago for a poetry workshop at USM. Found it tonight going through some old files. This was the first draft, and I’m pretty sure there’s a rewrite floating around somewhere. Didn’t look for it, though.

I should work on this poem again. I mean, I’m one of those horrible (and very occasional) poets that gets stupidly attached to their first drafts, and don’t ever try very hard to edit/rewrite. And changes I do make tend toward the superficial – a word here, a word there. Rarely anything of substance. Bad Charity.

But even I can see that this poem has some problems – awkward lines, jarring sounds, super sappiness. Definitely gotta cut back on the sappy.

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Masking Affection: or conversely, Baring One’s Soul to the Internet

“If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark. There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely- a slight preference is natural enough: but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement.

~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

What a smart woman Jane Austen was. I think I can easily say that I agree with Charlotte Lucas in this passage. And I definitely fall into the category of someone who tries to “conceal her affection.” Apparently that is silliness.

As is, I suppose, the hard-to-shake conviction that there is somehow something somewhat shameful in liking someone.

Apparently I am quite the silly-head.

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That’s what this post is. I know that if I make this post saying that I will come back and actually put up (hopefully) interesting content, then I will be much more likely to do it than if I don’t make this post. So, this is me saying that after 3 months of sleeping, this blog is waking up for another indefinite amount of time.

Anyway, just by way of having a semblance of content, I’ll just say that the reason I haven’t blogged in 3 months is that at the beginning of November I got a weird kind of sick that left me thoroughly wrung out and exhausted, following which I decided to pick up bronchitis just for fun. During that time there were a whole host of papers and exams and things that were very insistent that they were most important. And so by the time I got home for Christmas break I had completely fallen out of the habit of blogging and so didn’t pick it up again even when I had time. Simply tragic. Not that anybody really cares.

So yes, there are things to come. What those things are, I really don’t know. But for sure they are coming. Be prepared. Huzzah.