Friday, March 18, 2011

Lost in Words

Have you ever been lost in words?

Phrases flow in flux around me, painting exquisite portraits of nothing.

Dancing and teasing some semblance of meaning but ultimately saying nothing like so much poetic masturbation.

The inspiration flutters and flicks at my senses, but gives me no hint as to why. I know it to be there, and I know it locked within me. An amazing muse in an amusing maze.

This, then, in theory is a thesis of the malleability in meaning and the mercurial motion of words.

Allow me to paint in phrase, and step away from the point. Allow the point to truly be the poetry, and allow me to say nothing for the next couple minutes.

Find yourself on a cracked city street, alone with thought and the wind batting at your face, forcing your eyes half shut in a wave of new perspective. Breathe deep of the oxygen laced with whatever poisons the city holds. Pay it no mind. Allow your gaze to venture skyward , catching flickers of headlight reflections on the posted orders that surround us – slow, children playing, maximum speed 40, school crossing. Let it pass without register and reach with your vision for the stars that have always made you feel so small. Stand, static, stupefied in knowing that, even obscured by smog and light pollution, the few glimpses of twinkling worlds changes everything you sense yourself to be. Exhale with a new sense of inner peace and slip your hands into your pockets, lifting a weary foot from pavement to take you on your way. Cast gazes left and right, passing forgotten creations of humanity, structures of red brick and concrete, split and crumbling, ignored in almost every sense. Take a moment to reflect on the creation before you. Every building put up by a team of human beings, each with a life, a history, some semblance of family, and an infinite span of independent thought.

Now take this feeling. This realization, and multiply it for each building you pass. Catch the faces of the late night drivers, and add them to the equation. Everything you see has nearly infinite history. That napkin discarded in the street came from a factory built and maintained by humans with stories. Everything we experience, and all that our world is connects us all in the most miniscule ways as if to say we’re all in this together. In thoughts and actions, we’re all in this together. We are infinitely huge, in our connections. We are alive on a living planet, and we are enormous. But look up again, and catch that shimmer through the clouds. Vast, and forever, declaring us Lilliputian in scale. We are paradox, and we are without a point. And yet…I’ve never felt more comfortable than I have in knowing that.


  1. I envy your zen, Dan. This poem makes the world seem almost...beautiful, for a moment.

  2. Read this aloud while listening to a song called "Too Many Humans" by Buckethead. I had it on repeat while I wrote this. Perfect feeling.