Sonnet 6 | Something burning (not the gammon)

I remember, in December 1996,
Christmas lights were killer that year!
They overloaded the circuit,
Blew the fuse with high-wattage cheer.
They don’t make ’em like that anymore.
Nowadays it’s those cool, efficient ones that don’t emit heat.
Perfect holiday fire insurance.

Seriously, hazardous things (as pretty as they were),
Lights shivering as if it were winter
Short-circuiting oven before we got the lamb in,
Something burning (not the gammon).
Why – I ask annually –
did we make the entire household trip,
for the sake of something pretty?

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Sonnet 5 | The events in a single literary day

(Written October 21, 2016)

  1. Lotus-eaters on Instagram.
  2. Ampersands in restaurant names.
  3. Indicators at traffic roundabouts.
  4. The events in a single literary day.
  5. The nostalgia of Christmas beetles.
  6. A touch of Google Translate between friends.
  7. A lock of hair affixed.
  8. Cheap wine & chopsticks
  9. Too much feeling all around.
  10. The scramble to reach higher ground.
  11. A sleeping totem above my head.
  12. Imitators under my bed.
  13. Speaking a far more dangerous dialect.
  14. Say with your mouth what is in your heart.

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everyday (I)

sunday’s for mondial mourning,
overripe to shortly empty and fold
to monday’s virtues (sickies, suicides),
until tuesday wedges itself
between malaise and midweek
to inspire wednesday’s thirst,
and thursday’s deepfried wontons
while friday’s saturated bodies and glasses and wallets,
give way to saturday’s sunken ease.

Sonnet 4 | the eternity of jellyfish

  1. The ripeness of bacon.
  2. The bloom of drought.
  3. The leisure of an ocean sunfish.
  4. The whimsy of the stock market.
  5. The glamour of swimming pools.
  6. The stelliform of star anise.
  7. The itch of envy.
  8. The touch of distraction.
  9. The squeak of halloumi cheese.
  10. The pageantry of perfume advertisements.
  11. The color of Black Friday.
  12. The dappledness of cellulite.
  13. The eternity of jellyfish.
  14. The virulence of the holidaying public.

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noon gun

I live in a city where there is a single gun.

Well, actually, there are innumerable guns,
concealed, undisclosed, cocked in the darkness

But there is one,
proud, in the daylight
loud, when it sounds on schedule
as it has done
for two-hundred years
without any motive of fear.

I live in a city where there is a gun
Perched on the Hill, in plain sight
Nineteenth-century smoothbore, flush with gunpowder
more reliable than a pocket watch,
or the sun’s tenuous position,
more operatic than smoke signals
more rousing from today’s late morning slump
than canned caffeine.

Its signal cuts through sharp noon
to deliver that public rumble
boom.

Visitors to this city
jolt from their lunches
turn their gazes to the Hill
thinking it’s violence
(who can blame them, when the world’s on edge about guns).

It’s just the noon gun!
someone cries,
don’t worry about it,
it’s only sounding midday, like it’s always done.

Your life feels like an audience of one
one will not hurt you
criticize you
burst you
one will not shrink you
humble you, like they probably need to.

Don’t tell others what you’re doing
or plan to do.
That way, you are answerable to no one
if you fail.

Your life is a supervised injection site,
a safe-space of confirmation
of do no harm (primum non nocere)
where we practice ego hygiene together
and echoes are the only answers.

-jules

Sonnet 3 | The Weight of Newton’s Gravity.

(Written October 19, 2016)

  1. The logic of doors and locks.
  2. The mindfuckery of keys.
  3. The vainglory of birds.
  4. The sweetness of basil.
  5. The tartness of acetone.
  6. The weight of Newton’s gravity.
  7. The contrivance of Panic! at the Disco.
  8. The consistency of Microsoft Tech Support phone scams.
  9. The flat tummies of ectomorphs.
  10. The vagrancy of socks.
  11. The stickiness of books.
  12. The importance of your thyroid.
  13. The Nobel Prize of Bob Dylan.
  14. The haemorrhage of Donald Trump.

things i’m amateur at

amateur

  1. person who engages in an activity or pursuit, such as an academic discipline, sport, artistic endeavour, for pleasure rather than financial gain;
  2. person who lacks significant experience or skill in a particular activity;
  3. person who admires an activity or has a certain love for it, without the pursuit of monetary compensation.

I am, or have been, an amateur at a number of things. I think you have too. When did we start to disinherit the amateur soul?

In my life, I have been an amateur at a number of things: photography, writing, investing, blogging, sewing, hydroponics, French language, ink painting.

All this means that I do these things in private. Most people have no idea I’ve done them, probably because they’re usually so short-lived. In keeping with the more tainted definition of amateurism, I can’t do any one of these pursuits with great skill, and have never made any money doing any of them.

The concept of 10 000 hours terrifies me.

When I begin one of my amateur episodes, I have great hopes, and for a short time, I am convinced that I’ll make any one of these pursuits into a career. Then, it gets hard – the hydroponic nutrient balance is off; my stocks start to hemorrhage; those French conjugations get too tricky.

My amateur’s soul, like yours, is infatuated with its lack of skill, its impatience to be better, now.  The amorous part of amateurism – the doing for the sake of doing – is lost on me. Without affection for what I do, I enter into a loveless enterprise that runs its rocky course, until one of us ends it.

I have decided that I need to be a more loving amateur. There’s no use in spurning one’s novice pursuits because of an expectation for them to be immediately excellent.

Always starting, never finishing, only ending.

-jules

 

Sonnet 2 | Distort the Truth Like a Pretzel

(Written October 2, 2016)

  1. ‘In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.’ And a crop of many one-eyed agents does not make for two-eyed kings.
  2. The making and staging of victimhood.
  3. I always knew Brangelina was a farce! I was never once taken in by their impossible beauty, humanitarianism and multiracial brood!
  4. Places that sell mature, expensive cheese wheels seem kinda boring inside.
  5. Can I feed that Woodstock sourdough to the ducks, please?
  6. My leather ballet slippers molded to my feet after I washed them. They were so intimate with me.
  7.  I am an amateur at pretty much everything.
  8. Hydroponics is another thing I’m amateur at. Since most people make things in jars a lot these days, like beer, and, well, beer, I decided to grow something that was not so yeasty.
  9. When you Google hydroponics, it becomes pretty clear that you can also grow your weed in there.
  10. I was talking about basil, by the way.
  11. Equivocation, doublespeak, triplespeak, circumspeak. Go on! distort the truth like a pretzel.
  12. Like some Illuminati mess.
  13. And that low, low sarcasm.
  14. Deep breath before the plunge.

Sonnet 1 | Like Dandelion Parachutes

(Written in July, 2016)
  1. Eastern thought wins. Karma’s a bitch or a friend. Keep it good with everyone. Every one holds a piece of you.
  2. Not everyone is a candidate to be your friend. Thank God for that.
  3. Those who were once friends will disappear, like dandelion parachutes. It’s not personal.
  4. Don’t make your words too thick. Keep it simple, brief. People don’t like paying attention to other ideologies for too long. Easily distracted and eager to return to own ruminations.
  5. Mean words often only sound mean in writing.
  6. Confrontation is not the the absolute worst.
  7. Books are getting harder to read.
  8. Frequently mispronounce words. Know what they mean and how to spell them, but evidently never hear them spoken.
  9. Location-based check-ins make sure that no one runs into each other spontaneously anymore.
  10. It’s useful to know where everyone is, so we can make sure we don’t run into them if it’s going to be awkward.
  11. Or that we do run into them if we have something to show off
  12. Why is everyone so terrified of awkwardness?
  13. Why are people chasing Pokémon onto highways and train tracks?
  14. Look up sometimes.