My Words

Understanding the World through words

Month: December, 2013

On The Voice of Humanity: The Voice Of The Many

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Sometimes in life, you run into some extraordinarily meaningful gems. Tidbits of information, knowledge that transforms our way of thinking or it encourages us, because it affirms that which we are doing, is important. In other words, it brings value to our lives. If we are fortunate and keep our eyes open, we can catch these voices and apply them to our personal repository of important information, to be used when the time is right.

We rely on certain voices to help us transition from one place to another. In the most simplistic form, when we are children, the voices of our parents guide our path. These are loving voices expressed in the familial narrative. They are the voices that shape our future, more or less.

Orally transmitted and written words, which I refer to voices, come in many forms; Parents, literature, conversations, poems, religious dogma, all these bundled up into a practical package help define who we are. That is-it helps to define what we believe to be true, is in fact true or not, even if that “truth” is temporary.

The sublime beauty in what I am describing is that simple conversations, quips, the interaction between two friends, two lovers, or the conversation between teacher and student, can bring about remarkable insights which we can apply to our lives. They are the voices that we allow to influence our thoughts and perhaps our future.

How many times have we’ve been touched by a sentence in a book? Certain words arranged in such a way that when put together, speaks volumes to our soul? Like a symphony whose composition correctly orchestrated, brings audible pleasure, mere notes arranged in creative and inspired ways, that magically touch our hearts. These are the voices, the laughter, tears, drama of humanity. Neatly arranged for our pleasure, our fulfillment, our knowledge. Perhaps these prearranged sentences, paintings, songs, i.e., these voices, will help define our future or strengthen our resolve.

The voices which we allow to shape our lives are manifold. They come in many forms which we sift through mentally, which we judge and accept into our mental vault, if its worthy enough.

History records these voices, the voice of humanity. In essence, the historian becomes that epochs voice, disingenuously. I say that with all due respect to the learned. However, how can one mere person become the voice of a generation? So many voices speaking, living, singing, and crying? How can one poet define our humanity and our lives-the multitude of voices, conversations and thoughts?

We’ve been conditioned to think that way. That Herodotus speaks for that distant Greek generation. Or that, Plutarch is the harbinger of our Western grand narrative. The narrative that codifies the many voices into one. The narrative that overlooks the many “other” voices, selecting whose voice will be heard. The  other contributing voices so nonchalantly unaccounted for, its as if they didn’t exist.

Yet we, the many, the individual, now inescapably understanding that others have a voice, made painfully noticeable because of our modern technology. Unfettered and undeterred, how can we exclude those other voices? The ones which have been purposely left out by the historian, by the poet, by modern progress?

History is selfish, it distorts the voices and it clamors for singularity in a sea of many. History is ugly, it champions the voice of the strong. Strength measured by that cultures idiosyncrasies while trying to mold it, like a renaissance sculptor does with the marble of Europe, and calling it universal beauty? How egotistical and self-serving, the historian, the chronicler of humanity truly is.

Not even the revelation at Sinai, that powerful and mighty voice that gave autonomy to the children of Israel, is universal.
It’s a voice, a voice in the sea of voices that we must filter through. Every voice is necessary. Every voice has a purpose to fulfill. Every voice needs to be acknowledged as the voice of humanity.

Cherished And Loved

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Life, I understand
is a gift that needs
to be maintained.
Nothing that is
given, can be left
to itself. Everything
must be overseen,
cherished, loved.

Lesson For Me?

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My controller is lost,
again.
Again!
I’m not sure if there is a
lesson here for me?
This is the second time today.
I live with seven kids.
Yes, they’re mine.
I’ve been working from 9 to 9.
I just want to sit down and
escape.
I guess, I’ll have to do that
tomorrow.
Hawaii sounds good right about now.

Less Is More

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Picasso implied, that
giving someone
too many colors,
was detrimental
to their creativity.

I agree, now that
I’ve experienced
life.

Its very difficult,
to make decisions
when we have too many
Crayolas, at our
disposal.

“Give them three colors”,
I told my wife,
much to her chagrin.

“A famous artist
recommended that,
less is more.”

Less is more, is
the quintessential
lesson in life.

Poetry Versus [Poo]etry

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My wife has a marker for
poetry:

If she likes it,
 “it’s poetry.”

If she does not like it, “it’s
[poo]etry.”

We recently went to a reading,
where some poets in question
were reciting their poems.

The ones who were
outright vulgar,
got the latter rating.

I wouldn’t want to be
categorically included
in the, “[poo]etry”
class,

so, I guess I better start
writing some more

compelling
stuff.

Shakespeare Im Not

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We own our own
prejudices, if we
are smart, we learn
to dispel them.

One by one.

I never met my
Grandpa on
either side.

What I received
was orally
transmitted, anecdotes
instead.   

Of particular note,
One of my Grandpa’s
on my mothers side.

Apparently, he was
a poet whose work
does not survive.

Recently, my
Mothers lack of
allure in poetry
was tested.

When I read her one of mine.

I know she’s read Dante,
more for the context, than
the prose. I saw that book
being read by her while
growing up around the home.

Even so, when I told her
I was writing poetry
her remark was,
“I don’t like poetry”.

I responded,
“I know your prejudice
against poems, Mom”
“But, I think you’re going
to like this one”

“I’m not Shakespeare”, I
said.

I read her my little
poem I wrote about
our exodus from Spain.

At the end of the poem,
convulsing, with tears
running down her eyes
she said,

“I love that one”

Poetry Is

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Poetry is a

Means of pure, self expression.

I indulge myself.

Small Talk

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How can I woo
you back?

I don’t always
want to
write about
Nietzsche or
Existential angst.

There’s a time and place
for that.

I just want to lie
here and look into
your eyes.

Have some small
talk while
I gently
rub your
thighs.

I’d love for
you to enjoy
the simple
things I
write about
too.

Like how
I mismatch
my socks
or how
I crack my
right thumb
at night.

Climb into
this warm
bed with me,

and we’ll
talk about
life
until
we are
both
cozy and
fall asleep.

My Fire is Dying

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The fire is dying.
My tea is cold.
I think it’s
time to go
to bed.

Probing

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I stepped outside
pulled down my
pants and pissed
on the frozen
ground.

The steam rose
from the soil,
it was shivery
cold.

When I was finished,
I walked over
to a roll of foam.
It lay exposed
to the elements,
covered by a ripped
plastic bag.

With my naked hand
I touched the inner folds.
The pressure of my
gentle touch as
I parted the foam,
made a crackling
sound.

The white frost
on the material I
was fingering,
parted and cracked
with the slightest
pressure, right
before my eyes.

I was transfixed
by the color of my
flesh against the
frozen white foam.
Inanimate it lay,
until my warm
fingers probed.