Friday, February 10, 2012

Atlanta Upside Down

there's a strong ray of sun reflecting off the windows
of 20 million dollar buildings
wearing seventeen dollar shoes
it shines on the busy street
six inches deep in sunlight
there are no statues, just moving bodies
and post-modern sculptures, altars to our impatience
as the whores wait in hotel rooms
waiting for the sun to set
peeking through curtains, praying for the policemen
and the church steps are the trailer parks
with mobile home shopping carts
lining walls and industrial air-conditioning units
as the transit system herds its cattle
north to south, south to north
shouting commands in broken language
and foreign language, at that
as it shouts to the world above,
"you are a world upside-down"
and, upside-down it is,
where the dogs are strictly un-nomadic
where the sky holds color
bright greens and dull grays
and cost is always counted
piece by pennied piece
as the governor's kids sleep soundly, thirty miles away
full of stolen wine
complaining, when they wake
about the temperature of their milk
though, the whores complain as well
with the pimps and the police
with the priests and the preheats
with the vagrants and the heroin addicts
they complain about how no one wants to really save them
only to sell to them some hydrating soap
to wash off all of the sunshine

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Must I Write?

"You ask whether your verses are good... Now (since you have allowed me to advise you) I beg you to give up all that... Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it we denied you to write. This above all- ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple 'I must,' then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it."

- Rainer Maria Rilke, "Letters to a Young Poet"

Friday, February 03, 2012

Approaching the End of Things (Springtime Comes Across Several Mediums)

Moving day. One more moving day; the eighth moving day in the last nine months. Transience is a bitter sweet thing. My last nine months of constant movement (ATL, STL, Colorado, Spain and back again) have brought me into contact with some beautiful people. The mountain-loving Texans I met out in Colorado were some beautiful people. My soccer buddies in Spain, hailing from Belgium, France, Italy, England, etc., were some of the most fun people I've ever spent time with. And, they were unbelievable soccer players. The ministry team at En Vivo's commitment to the spreading of the gospel in the most hostile and inconvenient of environments will always inspire me. The guys at Snake Nation, where I've been staying, have an awesome sense of community with one another, and are working to make the world a better place. They're really doing it. I have loved these people that I've gotten to walk alongside over this last season of life.
But, the bitter taste persists. And that bitterness, growing more and more apparent in my life, is ripened by the sense that what I really want is a place. I want to be here, in Atlanta. I want to not be counting down the days or months until my next adventure that will take me to some foreign part of the world. I don't want to have to keep myself slightly withdrawn on account of the immanent coming life shift to the next place. Relationships have not been something I've felt comfortable really investing in at any one stop along the way, because they were all going to have to come to a sort of end once the time came for me to carry on to the next place. So, while my experience has been invaluable, it's been accompanied by that ticking-clock pretense.
Anyway, all of this is to say that I'm so very excited about moving into my apartment where I will be for the next six months. I have a place that I can call "home" here in Atlanta, again. And it feels so good. It's not permanent, but it is temporarily permanent. And I am very, very happy for it. So, bring on responsibility and community involvement and Atlanta Silverbacks patronage and voter registration. I'm in Atlanta now and I'm staying, until the road calls again…

(Priscilla, this isn't my "I have a home" post quite yet. In the meantime, see below.)