Ageless wings

My heart is light and hopeful

Like the filling sky with the dawn.

Bees experience knee soreness also

But they fly on.

The heart creates its own wings

Even for the ground bound.

Arthritis has no place,

And Age no sting for those

Who live such short lives,

For those who carry so little lust

Of vengeance within.

I have known a thousand sergeants age,

But I’ve never yet seen a bumblebee die.

Poetry: Inevitable

Not like the way lovers waited
for the end of the war
but like the motorcycle brake
waited for the tire,
the way the tire wanted to feel
itself struggling not to get stuck in the sand
and the way the asphalt craved summer’s heat
at the same time as the tire’s compression.

Even the rain desires to be wanted.
Gravity falls short of satisfying its thirst
but the world needs both whether or not either is fulfilled.
The rain makes the road wet in the middle
of the night, but I needn’t open the window
to know the special sounds of the tires compressing it,
for I have spent many sleepless night listening
as the inflated rings failed to engrave it with sonnets.

A girl once said “I guess” when I asked her to date me.

In that moment I knew exactly how the asphalt felt at night.

Poetry: Elevator Games

We got into separate elevators, her and I.

Two people, in two elevators at 2 a.m.
when nobody else would need either.

Then, we made a game.
We’d jump out of our elevators,
share a quick, passionate kiss between them,
then run into the other elevator before the doors closed.

We got to the bottom. Eight floors, seven kisses,
Laughter, and plans to do it again.

 

#HypotheticalLoveStories

Poetry: Appreciating Sunsets

In the sight’s foreground stood buildings
and power-lines.
But in the background was the sunset,
the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Lava-orange, framed by Earth’s curvature on bottom
and black clouds pasted on the night sky above.

Some people would have called the future ugly:
To-Do lists and routine in the foreground.

Some people would have missed the point.

Poetry: Taylor

A photo of Taylor Swift leans against the wall on top of a cube-organizer.
She sits in a lawn-chair, in a flowered and white dress, surrounded by leaves and vines.
Her hair is beautiful and long, her feet bare.

At her feet sit my half marathon finisher’s medals:
My best efforts lay at the feet of something greater.
Her eyes and expression convey curiosity, peace, but also power and awareness.

She overlooks my living room from the frame, our eyes meeting each time I walk through the door. Her photo isn’t much
but it adds beauty to my living space in a way not yet meant to be otherwise.

Because here there is no company. There are, as of yet, no close friends to be teased by about her photo. Nobody to get coffee with at midnight or run snacks to.
There is simply an unending prison of time, and lots of work to be done while I wait.

Poems Under Memorization 2018

“Under Memorization” means “in the process of being memorized.”

Or simply “Being memorized.”

We poets, however, are finicky creatures, and I like the sound of “Under Memorization” better.

When I was first at K-State as a freshman and was a Music Education major (before I switched to English) I took an introduction to poetry class with a great professor at K-State. She no longer works there, but one of the things she instilled in the young mind of the purely-recreational aspiring poet that I was back then (and still am), was the idea that great poets learn by studying other poets.

Seems like common sense, but I hadn’t taken the art of poetry truly seriously until she opened my eyes to that fact. She also took it a step further, making us memorize a poem over the course of the class. I think she had us orate them as well.

I claim to be someone well-versed in speaking to audiences. I think that class and that exercise were what started it.

In any case, that need to memorize and learn to speak poetry well has never been stronger. So in 2018 I’m going to set about memorizing, and learning to speak well, some poems. These will by my “Poems Under Memorization” as it were.

A couple of these I already know. Still, if you look at the poems listed, I’m sure you’ll realize there’s some ambition to this list. Some poems are long, not all rhyme, and not all are very old by poetry standards, with the younger being written in the late 1900’s).

Here are the poems I’ll seek to have memorized and practiced for oration at a moment’s notice by Dec. 13, 2018:

– Home by the 2017 K-State Spring Dance cast of Courage, Heart, Brains, Home:
 – – – A piece conceptualized and choreographed by Stephen Loch

– Loving in Truth, and Fain in Verse My Love to Show by Sir Philip Sidney (1591)
– – – The first poem I ever memorized, specifically for the class I talked about above

– The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

– Sonnet 148 by William Shakespeare

– If— by Rudyard Kipling

– The Quiet World by Jeffrey McDaniel

– The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus (1883)

– Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats

– Trying to have something left over by Jack Gilbert

– The Abnormal is not Courage by Jack Gilbert

– Dante Dancing by Jack Gilbert

– The Great Fires by Jack Gilbert

– (Something wonderful I’ll write in 2018) 😊

Sorry it took so long to get these up everyone. Have a good day.

Achilles problems: Back to the drawing board

Sunday, I went on what, for recent training purposes, would have been considered a “long” run. It was 3.01 miles, and yet having only done one mile earlier in the week and none the three or four before, I guess it was a classic example of me setting myself up for failure.

This Achilles Tendonitis stuff is no joke. I’ve been working around it since early in 2016. Now I’ve lost all of 2016 and 2017 as a runner, two of my prime years considering I turned 27 and 28 in that time.

Alas, it’s back to the drawing board one last time. I’ve never been great with stretching or icing or doing strengthening exercises, even when physical therapists have given me the plan and instructions for how and what to do. Discipline, it seems, is something you can’t impart on someone. I have been as terrible a student of this as could ever be possible.

But hey, there’s never been a more opportune moment to learn.

I spent 20 minutes icing each tendon (and an hour trying to stay off it so it could thaw lol) twice yesterday. Today I’ll do the same. I’m hopeful though, despite how annoyed I feel even as I write this.

So while I let these damned things heal, I’ll be going to back to those old workout sheets that I know I still have somewhere, and maybe this time I’ll succeed in doing the things religiously over the next month. Meanwhile, I’ll be staying away from running until Jan. 5. 2018. I have some huge, wonderful, exciting athletic goals for 2018 and for 2019, which I’ll share later this week or month.

If I can do the right things and take care of my body the way I need to in that time, maybe I’ll be able to accomplish all of them.

Have a great rest of your day, and as always, I hope you’re well.

Poetry: You Decide Which

I start to write a feature on a place I visited Saturday.

On paper, I see the words I type. They are mine. Indisputably, unequivocally, mine. I see them in my voice.

In my head, when I read them, I imagine hearing Rinaldi.

Perhaps this is a flaw in my creative process.
Perhaps it’s a reflection of some terrifying, mortal vulnerability
You decide which.

That I don’t see myself as fully capable of telling such heartbreaking, inspiring stories.
That I don’t believe an employer will ever truly like me enough to trust me with such things.
That I don’t believe I have much to offer
except a face for radio,
a voice for print,
a tone for silence on a page

and a knack for inventing new synonyms for self-deprecation.

Then again, maybe it’s something else.

Maybe it’s a sign of the vital, youthful swagger
that comes from both expectation and desire
the kind that comes when you believe if you can just work hard enough,
push long enough, seek hard enough,
you’ll find that story and become the best possible version of yourself. You’ll evolve your own voice
Not Rinaldi. You.

Maybe it’s a sign of timid confidence, but confidence.

The kind it takes to think that just because you haven’t risen your voice
doesn’t mean you can’t.
The strongest voices, after all, are the ones that are silent
until they aren’t.
The ones that speak only in a whisper
but whose whisper is loud enough to silence a combusting conference room.

I have railed on, shouting my proclamations for what felt like years,
but for what might have been mere seconds in the development of a writer.
I have desperately preached what I hoped might be wisdom from what I felt were mountains,
but from what might have been merely as high and stable
as sandcastles among the masses.

But maybe what the world
or I… or both,… need more than anything right now,
is for me to be silent.

until I’m not. then

Perhaps not with a proclamation. a whisper.

You decide which.

 

 

 

Fitness Journal 9.12.17

Workout Area? Not today...More Like Library

Our little workout area, doused in the chaos of my second-to-last trip of this recent move.

 

My happy little place has been turned upside down yet again, this time by the second-to-last trip (pictured above) of this move.

Still remaining is my coat-rack, my couch and my shoe-stand, but this…this is the bunk of it. My primary collection of books is back in my immediate possession, though I’ll need to buy new ones, and am still deciding what to buy exactly. Pictured just beyond the boxes in the foreground is my group of my favorites, the rest are off-stage (obviously). Couple of collections of Jack Gilbert, a few study Bibles, a regular Bible, the Alexander Hamilton bio by Ron Chernow, Etc.

But all that, dear Reader, is not why you opened this writing. Nor do you perhaps particularly care about how I took the weekend off from fitness, but got in 35 pushups and 40 sit-ups yesterday.

Alas, here’s what I did today:

Fitness Journal 9.12.2017

– 35 pushups
– 40 sit-ups
– 50 bicep curls with 5lb weight with right hand
– 60 bicep curls with 5lb weight with left hand
— (*Sidenote: Did each set with the other arm holding its allocated weight in Ballet 1st position arms. See this link but imagine that instead of out front with empty hands, you’re holding a 5lb weight between thumb and index finger. Trust me, you feel it).

– 30 Overhead presses with 5lb weights

Stretched my achilles’ in the shower, but felt soreness afterward (as I have a lot lately). So I’m going to start back up on a steady, rigorous ice regimen like when I first injured myself: ice applied via ice-cup to each, 10 minutes at a time, three times a day. That felt great this morning. We’ll see if I can use that to heal up a bit more and build back into stretching. In the meantime, we’ll start finding some core and butt workouts to start sliming down that way and building muscle to support running again once I’m ready.

Have a great day everyone.

Poetry: Let Me Show You What I See

Let me show you what it feels like:
Waking up at 5 a.m., semi-groggy
and going for a drive.
Smell the country, Kansas air
mixed with the sounds of
city. A mixture of smells assaulting the nostrils
horse-manure and diesel engines, united
by country music
in a place everyone thinks they want to get the hell out of.

But I know something they never knew,
like Steven Curtis Chapman dancing with his daughter
I know the oft-overlooked energy
of a place 26,000 strong, going on 100K.
I can feel the energy.
It calls to me on my balcony at 6 a.m.,
in sounds of car horns and air-brake discharges. It invigorates,
energizing the soul like a deep-tissue massage
to the heart.

Yet I also understand Cinderella’s youth
is fading, transient, and prone to missing.
I understand perfection is relative,
and this isn’t always relatively-perfect.
All the while, Chapman knows
what I too am old enough to:
Beauty in the eyes is fleeting,
but there’s inherent humanity in choosing.
To look below the surface.
To be wounded by the flaws
Yet still feel blissfully lovestruck.

By a job.
By a place.
By a person.
By an idea.

To feel i from the Spanish
shouts you don’t understand at a high-school
soccer game, or with a camera
on a sideline, under Friday-night lights.

If I am Johnny Cash
this place is my El Paso.
I don’t know that I always love it
But I hope I’m always strong enough
to choose to.