The cardinal directions to be renamed
Cartographers be damned

Out, circle, in and down
Never again north, south, east or west

Too absolute
Too measurable
To maps and not to mind.

Let me explain.

The compass will now point to magnetic circle,
The natural state of the human mind
Perseveration, obsession and ritual tedium
Keep doing what you've done before.

Down, being the opposite direction will be
The state of noticing you've left your circle
Down, discomfort, disconnect, depression
A basic fear response to change.

Out and in sit on the sides
The coasts ignored for the center
What will you bring in to your circle
What will you throw out
If ever you bother to leave.


Refurbished Device

A villain gives voice for a hero's doubts.
A conflict is a showcase for a story's dilemma.
A plot is a vehicle for thematic content.
An author is a medium for resolving problems.


New way

You can learn from strangers.

I met him outside a convenience store.  He was leaning against the husk of  a pay phone kiosk, checking his email on his phone.  I was waiting for the bus.

I'd been waiting for about five minutes.  I figured he didn't notice me.  I'd dismissed him as just another man drowning in the internet cloud.  Then he talked to me.

"The problem with the bus is that it always goes the same route."

I looked at him, checking to see if he was talking to his phone or someone else I hadn't seen sitting in his carol if he was trying to start a conversation with me.  I decided the words we directed at me.

"Uhm... That kind of seems like the primary advantage, actually."

"Repetition leads to stagnation."  He said it like it was a quote from a movie or something.

"Sounds like you've said that enough times for it to be old."  I liked where he was going but he was also clearly flicking me shit so I was inclined to flick it back.

He laughed.  "Good one.  You take the same way to work everyday?"


"And what challenge does that offer?"

"I want a challenge for my morning commute?"

He paused.  "It'll make you more interesting."

I laughed.  "I'm not sure my boss would approve."

"There's your bus."  He nodded at the bus that was three blocks away.  "You should try it.  Take a new way to work everyday for a month.  See if it doesn't make you more interesting."

I looked at the oncoming bus.  "Sure, but only if you change your hook line for everyone you talk to for the next month.  No more using 'repetition leads to stagnation'."

He nodded.

I got on the bus.


Navel, Navel on the Wall

With care comes hesitation.  With hesitation comes doubt.  With doubt becomes without.

Will observe for art.  Will obscure forms part.  Won't deter prose's arc.

And I sat.  My turn.  When is my turn.  Can I stop listening yet?  Can I speak?  Can I be right?  Can I nail all the heads together with one metaphorically literal hammer?  Watch me.  Are you all as anxious as me?  Are you all sitting still, vibrating inside, like me?

Conclusions arise before endings.  Decisions descend before evidence.  I know I know, call on me, I'm raising my hand the hardest.

I have to start ignoring myself more.


Mirror Hearer


A mirror that neglects to reflect.  A mirror too busy with the task of mulling previous portraits that the face of now, of me, is lost.

This open opportunity to see the mirror honestly,  me free, is a calm and foregroundless painting.  Calmness born of effortlessness descended from monotony and routine.  The face of the child before it smiles back instinctually at any eyes paired with a mouth.  The camera eye refracted from social reflection.

I grin and the mirror still does not see me.  I watch faces drive by me, each driver not wanting to be perceived but presenting make, model and color.  Why would they notice this moment?  Why did I?

Back to work.


Or it doesn't

Fair bear fared fairly well.
Bearing fare only fair.
Fare bear bares it fairly.
Barely fair bear knows fare.

Well, only it knows.


Sew the days
With the threaded threat of pronouns

Yesterday hinges on a mind akimbo
Today swings on a brain splayed
Tomorrow opens on a theater unbound

I hesitate to draw conclusions
You pause to indulge delusions
We stutter amongst clich├ęd institutions