Flies

Please please, pass the flies
Rather pass on the flies
Course was hard, difficult
was the case, to take
Another round, all around
of flies.

———–

Felt like being obtuse.  Some grades are out.  General notes: The more I do not completely suck at upper division physics, the more I suck at upper division bio.  I really should have quit while I was still ahead, but there really is not much I can do about just not really enjoying bio.

I usually wait a tad longer to check on grades.  Prefer to bask in the pool of unknowing for just a bit longer, however this time around, kept going for the jugular.  Figured the results could not make me much more infuriated with ‘life’ than I currently already am.   ‘Life’ as it were.

I wonder if I am capable of pulling it off now.  That which others consider to be my insanity and I consider to be simply operating closer to optimal, closer to awake.  I can feel it, myself, not truly awake yet.  Not enough reason to be.  Even amid all the previous flows of emotions, looks like that part of me still runs on logic.  Comforting?

Red moon last night.  Night hikes by one’s own lonesome perhaps not the best idea, but I find it rather annoying that I am uncomfortable being out late at night, alone, because of my gender moreso than any other factor.  My own feeble strength has only been forcibly reminded of these past two days spent in the machine shop.  I keep needing to ask one of my other team members, both of whom are indeed male, to loosen the grip on the clamps because I literally cannot make it move.  I hate the idea that due to biological prerogatives outside of my control, I will, more often than not, be at an disadvantage.  Really, it all comes down to, I hate things being outside of my control and problems that I cannot solve.

Because I shall not write only of negativity, watched The Nutcracker tonight with my roommate.  A review perhaps will be forthcoming at some point.  Going home for a few days starting tomorrow.  Shop’s closed so can’t get work done anyway.  Got many other things to do anyway.  Like how to salvage my grades and not fail my classes next semester, *bright smile*.  Not sure how much I am joking.  The downside of allowing or telling myself to feel emotions is that they are illogical, unpredictable, and distracting.  And given a few other environmental conditions, oftentimes disorienting as well.

Well, regardless of it all.  Let the insanity ensue!

And we shall see from all this what falls… or flies.

Rhythm

Drum beats on the page
About some new age,
After effects some
Echo like synth drums.

Rum dum didley dum
Now wasn’t that fun?
Keeping everything
In time, for a mime.

Isn’t hard, isn’t
Anything, musn’t
Brag about latent
Powers not for rent.

There being a certain
Lack, pull of curtains,
Quick, hide the machines.
They can’t see the steam.

Out of your head, it
Billows and smokes, bit
Like the rum dum dums
From pulled-pig-skin tubs.

Vats of these samples
Flood all the tables
One after the next
Each just like the rest.

On and on, words fit
To systems, repeat
Call it brilliance, great
Poem, hang up the hat.

‘Til too much too late,
Words flitter at a rate
Monotone. Of late,
words you’ve come to hate.

———

I was having a discussion with a friend today about the virtues of open versus closed form poems. He writes primarily in closed form, I write almost exclusively in open form. By closed verse I refer to when a poem has a specific established pattern; ie. ine length, meter, rhyme, imagery, syntax, or stanzas. Well with that definition, I suppose I live primarily in a region in between closed and open with a heavy inclination towards open.

It is actually harder for me to recognize a closed form poem as good. It is quite easy to tell when an open form poem is not good. Not good is taking a general sentence and inserting white space in between and calling it a poem. That is not a poem. That is just someone who went a bit crazy with the enter key.

Bad open form poems are easily recognized as not poetry. Bad closed form poems on the other hand, are typically still recognized as poem, because, hey, they got the form right. Right?

In the end, I am not entirely sure which is harder to pull off well. I do think it is easier to just make a closed form poem that will be recognized as a legitimate poem. You just need to make sure you fit words into a pattern, a form. You have met the parameters that makes a poem. For open poems, because there is a more fluid structure, it is sometimes difficult to tell if something is a poem, or just prose, or just normal writing strangely spaced upon the page.

I suppose I am biased, however I just do not find closed form poems as interesting. The really good ones, I do like those, but there are (I feel) many closed form poems which really are nothing more than jumble of words in a configuration that works, masquerading as poems. Arrangements of words that… give me nothing really. Nothing of note anyway. I feel that there are more people who write closed form poems who consider themselves poets when their ‘poems’ are empty. Husks, correct in form, but of no further note than that. One of the things that I learned from the first humanities course I took in over a year this semester, is that for every poem, there is a form that the poem wants to be in. And if the form that you first assign it to be in is wrong, then that is the start of the editing process.

I suppose that means that the subjects I choose to write and the poems I write just want to be open moreso than closed.

I do consider myself a poet. I consider myself if not a good poet, a decent poet. I write what I write, in the form that I do, because it feels write. Because it feels like where it (the poem) wishes to go and I but a glorified vesicle for its transfer. *grin* Just kidding, i do feel more ownership than that over my own writing. After all, they had to come from somewhere, right?

Anyway, during the discussion, I realized I really have written extremely few closed, if any of late. I know I wrote more during elementary and middle school when I was first starting to write poems, particularly for school assignments, because at that time I did not truly consider the open-form stuff I wrote to really be poems. With the above as my proof, it is not that I cannot write closed form poems, I just do not consider them terribly interesting. Also, the words the flow into my mind, the poems that want to exist, do not want to be in a closed form. Who am I to force them into such uncomfortable bondage?

As for good poems. I think it is difficult to make a good poem. There are so many things to think about regardless of where on the open to closed spectrum your poem lies. I think that bad attempts at open poetry are more easily recognized as not poems and just all around bad, whereas similarly bad attempts at closed poetry are still grudgingly accepted as poems because they fit the rules of that particularly form. Thus I might be more judgmental of closed form than I am of open form, because in open form poems when I don’t immediately see why the poet chose to write it in the fashion they did, why they chose to have an enjambment before the ‘the’ rather than after, etc, I continue to think about it and wonder if there was something that I missed. For a closed form, if it wasn’t that great the first read-through, it is unlikely my expectations or perceptions will be altered upon a second reading.

Also, this is not always true, but oftentimes I find, among the non-canonized poets of today and days passed, that it is more likely to find a closed poem in which the writer is not invested in the piece. Where it feels more like a piece of mechanization than a work of some depth. Where they were just plugging words into some equation.  Like something written just to get it over with. Whereas even with some open-form attempts that I would not classify as poems, at least they tried to get the thought/feeling/some-oomf across. And maybe it’s just me, but I do think poems and writing in general should create some sort of impact upon the reader. Whether it be thought invigorating or emotionally charged or something else altogether, but it should do something

At the end of the day, I do think that writing good open form poems are harder.  Because you can’t rely on some structure to make your writing be a poem.  You have to be able to hear the internal rhythm, the internal flow of the words and put them on the page in a manner that someone else could also see and hear what you wanted them to.  There is nothing to default to, nothing to refer to as right or not and a seemingly infinite amount of things that could be altered.  A bad open form poem often fails to ever become a poem.  A good open form poem often still leaves people wondering, should that line really have been carried out like that?  Was it supposed to be read this way instead?  But I think that makes it harder to write, harder to read, and all around more interesting.  This does not mean to say that I do not think writing a very good closed form poem is not hard.  Case in point, the longest time I have ever spent on a poem was my first (and currently still last) attempt to write a sestina.  And it is not as if I do not employ some elements of form within my poems.  It makes it easier to rely on some sort of form.  I just like the option of breaking form if I so desire.  But the form is never what makes my poems.  Like the above, I should be able to take this poem and restructure it and if the content is sound, it should still be a poem in an altered form.  Obviously, some forms resonate/work better for a particular poem than others.  But the form is a guide, not the sign that something is a poem or not.

The last poem I wrote for my verse class was a prose poem.  Yes, there are prose that are considered as poems.  I was surprised too.  During the class discussion on prose poems, the main question was whether or not these were just prose or were poems as well.  When we got to mine, I was fairly scared.  This particular work had started out as a short story.  I tend to write with heavy imagery and will at times chop up my sentences in ways that I find to be interesting, but also because it has more impact that way.  It works better.  So was the case with this one, so it was not too difficult to convert to a poem.  Apparently it was clear, clearer than some of my classmates’ works that this was a prose poem.  The point I wanted to make was that this work could have been implemented into a different form, with clearer lines, and it would be more clearly recognized as a poem, but even though it was not clearly lineated and in form looks like a story, it has not lost it’s ‘poem’-ness.  The imagery, the flow of the words, the rhythm of the text, the impact was still there.  Form only gets you so far.

Generally speaking, in the world of poetry, I am just more interested in what people have and are doing with the more open forms. What creativity might flow out of so many minds. What new twists in structure, what new styles people might try. What can be done with using then breaking forms, or mixing them, etc. What can I say? I like the experimentation.

——

Note: The above poem ‘Rhythm’ is composed with four line stanzas, five beats per line, and the last word of every two line grouping rhymes (or nearly so).

Capabilities

In less than the last 24 hours, I have condensed five weeks of macromolecule synthesis into seventeen pages. This is how studying for chem/bio should be like. This is what I am capable of. And I haven’t been able to do this for ages now. I haven’t had good study notes for any of my bio/chem classes for the last few semesters. The last good one was second semester of organic chemistry. I suppose it is good that this finally kicked in again, but really my life would have been made so much easier if I had been able to do this from the start of the semester.

Cannot wait for next semester. My schedule ends on several days before 1PM and that is with no 8AMs. Granted I am on the waitlist for two classes, but there are backup plans. One of the nice thing about being a physics major taking upper divisions is that you pretty much never have to worry about not getting into your classes. First, there is almost always still space in the class anyway. If not, most professors will expand the class to admit everyone off of the waitlist during the first week. Second, even if both are not true, usually somewhere between 10-20 people drop within the first week or two. Hence most professors have no problem with allowing everyone on the waitlist to enroll if they showed up to the first day/week of class. That has been my experience with my upper division courses so far anyway.

Studying Fail

:[

Up-side, I have condensed two weeks of synthesis of macromolecules into six pages. Down-side, there is at least another two weeks worth of un-notated material. Further down-side, I don’t know where the equivalent pre-exam note-making for the previous two sections have gone. More down-side, I have less than thirty six hours to finish going over all of this material, all of the previous material, all the additional study/we-just-wanted-you-to-know-this-as-well-though-it-wasn’t-covered-in-lecture-and-we-told-you-exam-material-only-comes-from-lecture-but-we-lie, and memorize all of my short-hand notes. Yup, kind of hate bio.

To be fair, this is not entirely bio’s fault. I think I can handle bio fine, if it were not for the fact that I am either staying up working on problem sets or staying up/in lab working on physics experiments/theoretical math such that I have no time to review lecture notes or discussion material on a more regular basis and you know, spent all of my time just on bio. Yeah, I think I could do that just fine.

Oh well, nothing I can do now except get back to vesicle transport mechanics and hope for the best.

… guess what? Biochemists study NPCs.
As in nuclear pore complexes. Gotta know exactly how things get in and out of those pores. *grin*

Return of Music Making

My friend the Ghanan is returning! And promises of a new era of jam sessions is in the works. So far, the ensemble is only three-fold: singer/pianist/clarinetist/beat-boxer, singer/guitarist/pianist/trumpeter, singer/pianist/flutist. Should be interesting. I am excited! Now, I just need to get through all these final projects and finals… somehow.

But after this next week is over, comes a break full of making things, machining, and seeing friends of old and new. And included within that is of course music and writing. Here are what I tell myself I wish to accomplish over this break:

Finish an album(‘s-worth) of songs
Perform at a local open mic night venue (this idea still scares me quite a bit)
Edit and make public the writing I did for the last two NaNo’s (first one is nowhere near done and second needs to be edited badly, but I figure this will give me a kick of some sort)
Write a new story (of novel consistency)

The following I have to finish:
Arrangements for Drawn to Scale (awesome new a capella group at Cal)

Non-musical-writing-but-still-creative-endeavors:
Build a four-rotor copter!
Build a RFID reader
Re-construct Physics 111 final project (brain-wave controlled toy helicopter) using micro-controllers

Actual work I must accomplish:
(solar car) CAN to screen display
Suspension machining

Other Random things I want to do:
Make another movie/film
Make a happy movie/film 🙂
Photowalk (journalism style) city scenes (main reason I have yet to do this is I am slightly concerned about safety, particularly because I tend to not notice things like my personal well-being when I am trying to get that perfect shot I can see in my head)
Photoshoots (with people, because I have close to none of these sort of shots (excluding candids) in my portfolio)
Actually showing people some of these photos… there have been some pretty awesome stuff in the last year or two, just sitting around…
Another Exploratorium trip! (Tactile Dome of course a must)
….
Something random?

More things that should be happening. Two ski/snow-falling-outside-cabin trips being independently planned by different friend groups. Philosophy club reunions! Philosophizing and music-making! I’ve know these kids for… over six years now? We are all immensely musically talented (yes, I am including myself, almost all of us compose and/or arrange and are adept on at least one instrument. I have no idea why we have not done this sort of thing before.

———

Just had two fairly successful meetings. Arrangement workshop last night, MUN crisis team meeting this morning. Now for twenty four hours of cramming (and final lab report making). ><

Electric Shocks to the Head

For the few (I only know of a few?) that read this blog of mine.  I do want to express that I am hardly upset/depressed/some other negative emotional state all the time.  Writing is just one of those things that I do when I am upset.  So what I tend to write is sad/depressing/etc.  If anything, that I am capable of writing them out, is usually a good thing.  From experience, there is a level worse than angsty writing and that is internalized, debilitating angst kept to oneself.

I shall see what I can do about writing down some of the non-upset in-between moments.  It is sad to look over past writing of mine and just see a plain of saddening thoughts.  I do have one journal, at the start, I had decided that I would not allow any direct negativity to be written into it.  But is that just pretending too hard?  Pretending works though, to a possibly limiting degree.  Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be. – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

If I pretended to be Not-Myself, would then one day Not-Myself be Myself and this Myself then become Not-Myself?

Just thoughts, no worries.  I have promised not to directly mess with myself anymore.  Or should I say Myself.

Strange, the fog lifted and I could see the sky bridged by beautiful columns of clouds reaching across, and now it is back again.  Misty edges blanking out the mountains, white-shading out trees in the not-so-distant.

Title.  Sorry, my thoughts have become more sporadically tangential of late.  Probably did not help that I got shocked to the head several times on Tuesday.  Was careful yesterday to prevent a repeat experience.  Getting shocked hurts.  Like getting hit, hard, at a very small, precise location.  Like getting shocked by static electricity, except imagine that times ten and the shock shooting into your brain.  If you should ever desire to build an EEG or just ever hook up electrodes to a circuit with live current/+20 volts running through it, do not pull out any wire connecting the electrodes to your head/brain.  You will get shocked.  Every single time.  Sadly, the only consistent characteristic of our circuit as of now still is that it can send electrical shocks to the brain.  That is not the goal of my project, just for the record.

I have decided and shall keep reiterating to myself, but I will be writing a story over winter break.  It shall be my own independent post-NaNo NaNo.  DeNoWriMo?  I will also start editing/releasing parts of my first (not-near-completed) NaNo novel from all those years ago.  Partially in the hopes that it will further cement my resolve to continue working on it/finishing it.  *grin* We shall see!

Here is the first… segment?  It is extremely short for a chapter, but it comes before the first/next real chapter, so let us just call it the first chapter.  Chapters can be short. Right?

From NaNo 2008: Departure

The mistaken taps of mice running was actually the rain falling, in bullets and pleats.  Soft, sporadic interruptions in my not so quiet dreams.  This living farce, I play today a man with a peacock’s tail, strutting for all to see, my long-nosed boasts.  Tomorrow, I am demure, the doe-eyed youth, hair billowing like sails on an ocean.  The day after, the day before, the next one coming, a thousands plays, a thousand farces. Who shall I play, who shall I be.  Day after day, this dragging life fails to garner my own attention, until I am green with envy, filled to the brim with jealousy, of the little white mice running so energetically in an attic above my mind.

Phantom Amongst Us

There are phantoms;
at this hour, people online, yet
they are not.  And I,
amongst them?

But I am here, am I
not?
Electrodes firing, at a rate
faster than resting state.

At zero state,
the phantoms gather
in hordes and stream
leftover, after effects,

phantoms, on my screen.

—————-

I hate this.  Hate these tangled up emotions.  Hate how they resurface, how they render me incapable of moving.  Incapacitated.  That I feel as if I do not want to do anything at all.  Not angry enough to swear at the world, but not sure I would mind if it swore itself.

My hands, they vibrate, buzz.  Miniature oscillations, quavering in place.  But that is not me.  I was known for my steady hands.  How I could take picture, video without a tripod for some time.  How steady I was with the beakers and flasks in chemistry.  I was somewhat anal about precision measurements.  Because I could be.

When did things get so messy?  I tell myself I still can, but can I still shut things out like I used to if I wanted to?

I still doubts about posting things like this as myself.  People like happy people.  We gravitate towards them.  Whyever would we not?  Is it better to hold onto lies that are nice or hold our faces to the dirtier truth if the dirt never washes clean?  I hate being like this because I don’t know when it will stop.  When the oscillations will finally dampen out.

Maybe this is a sign that my original analysis was correct.  That I cannot live as a scientist where my primary occupation is sojourning to the lab.  That I should be in a field that is about people and forces me to be among people.  Because I definitely automatically adapt, re-configure myself to the environment.  It is somewhat annoying.  I feel I am searching for something.  A scream caught in my throat, not fully formed, pushing to get out.  Out to where, in what form, it and I know not.

And I hate that it may be my psychological issues that determine my choice of profession and life goals, rather than actual desires.

I need to do something though.  I think I am not dealing as well with things, as I suspected it might be the case, because I am not doing much to any of humanities.  That the majority of my time is in doing things that involve little to no communication with another human being.  That I have become bad at interacting and connecting with people again.

My mind’s driven state is increasing back to where it had been again.  But I haven’t been able to really use it.  It gets caught, fragmented, distracted.  And I am lost in a dump of increased inputs.  There are two solutions that I have for this.  The first, monitor and control all of the important processes thus preventing harmful threads from occurring, ie thought processes that tend to loop upon themselves because they or not resolvable.  The second, increase the amount of randomness so as to increase the likelihood of random thought processes, that cut across the hue of the others and any possible loops, to occur.

It is quite foggy outside.  For some reason, that makes me feel better.  As if the temperament of the weather is working hard to match mine.  Sometimes it is nice just to know that someone is listening.

I feel, I wish it would stay like this.  A perpetual fog, protecting me from the world.  Preventing the fears, both acknowledged and unintelligible (infantile or animalistic?) from closing in on me.  And through earbuds I hear the sound of rain and outside, the wail of trucks and cars being rushed on by.

————–

Free-falling Parachute Skies

Yesterday,
a thousand blue parachutes, fell
like droplets,
from skies lavender hued.

The day
before, they, were red,
and after, today, white,
not unlike flags of surrender.

Tomorrow,
what color will then be surrendered?
The sky looks heavy,
burdened.

Yesterday,
they fell from the sky, the aftermath
painted upon the ground, today, and
the remainder, tomorrow, know naught but

Free-falling is not always fun.

——————

Yup, still prefer short line poems to long lines.  I wrote a few long line poems for a poetry class I took this semester.  Actually I think my better ones were among the longer lined poems, but I like playing with enjambments.  I am glad I took the class.  I feel I have a more solid grasp upon my own poetry.  It is at the same time more structure and more fluid.

Hmm, perhaps all I really need is a more healthy and regular allocation of time for creative activities such as writing.  I am unsure of whether or not this would be more or less of a crutch with compare to going out and doing more people-related things.