Sunday, May 28, 2006


Yeah, I'm arrogant. I walk a fine line between brazen arrogance and extreme humility. Writers and especially poets need to think their thoughts are somehow better than everyone else's; why should anyone read your poems if they don't express something both unique and important? This hubris must be accompanied by another: writers must suspect, even fear their work is garbage. Without this trepidation, we never see the flaws of our work; poets are especially vulnerable to bad writing because we're often considered above literary convention and rules. Personally, I believe poets should break any rule they wish, but should know that rule and have a reason to break it. The rules exist for good reasons.

On a very deep level, I fear my readers. I don't write this stuff for my own personal gratification; that would be pointless. I write for you. I must express myself to you, and I must do it well. Without readers, my writing becomes just another set of emporer's new clothes.

When I review other peoples' writing, I treat it with the severity I love to hear of my own work. If I don't like someone's writing, and I know they just want blanket praise without the intention to improve, I'll say something like "Nice Write" and leave them alone until they decide to be serious. Even if I do like something someone brings me to read, I'll often give cursory comments if the author doesn't want to hear anything but praise. If I give lots of comments, and nit-pick, it's because I like the writer enough to assist the learning process. Any reader is a good reader; I don't write my stuff for a rigidly limited audience. I want anyone and everyone to pick up one of my poems, read it, and like it. I don't exclude anyone from my desired reader pool. My ideal reader reads, thinks, and comments.

My poems are boring, long-winded, and over-stylized. I also have problems with browbeating my readers, preaching, repeating myself unneccessarily, and writing didactically: I have all of these issues with my voice and social interraction. People tend to have a higher tolerance for them in writing.

Talk to me! Negative comments are as welcome as positive ones.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Last Night is This Morning

Last night is this morning. I can't shake the voices. The Choir chants loudly in a language I do not understand. I went to a Church gathering on Friday night. It was ok, but I still felt out of place. Nowhere seems to fit right, at least to me. I'm still consumed by what could have been me instead of consuming myself in who I am. Every night I remember my glances at the summit. I was close, so close I could smell the moss gathering at the very tip of the very highest spire. I felt like I'd climbed Jacob's ladder, but I just felt the slip instead. I watched myself go from Demosthenes the Modern to a stuttering, fixated, obsessive, paranoid joke. My pen is the last option I have to explain myself. Furthermore, it is the only part of me worth explaining anymore. I cling to it; it's all I have left of who I was. I know it can't save my ideas, though. The pieces, be they poems, blog entries, or essays, always take on a life of their own. I meant for this entry to be about who I was before, but I've forgotten so much that I can only expose what I am now. I don't know why I think someone willing to share with me can make me better, even if I'm happier. Every impulse tells me that I am alone. We'll see.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Sleep beckons like a long lost love. She cherishes your memory, if only in the fiction of your desires. There's nothing I want more, but she evades me. Perceptions change in slumber: all things are possible. As soon as I wake up, things are as they will be, regardless of my desires. The morning promises little except a few hours of a journey that never approaches the promises so sure in sleep.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Karyatid Nike

My karyatid angel
Now gone for quite some time
Still haunts the quiet moments
While stalking prayers and dreams.

For each day spent alone,
For all hours and seasons,
I miss a gentle touch.
I miss the warmth now cold.

The strength I thought she gave me
Is fiction, like the rest.
I hold my temple's roof
On very weary shoulders.

The fiction drives my questions:
Will there be another?
Can any pillar last?
Is weight like this attractive?

Suspicions outweigh hope.
I think my solitude
Reserves the weight for me.
No Karyatid Nike

Will help me,
Love me,

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I didn't write on Wednesday because I had a good day for the first time in a long time. I hoped today would follow suit, it hasn't. I slept a lot; yesterday's optimism helped. Still remembering yesterday's feel, I hope I can string together a good week; my brother gets married soon. I don't get much respite from the Choir and the rest. Today they've been on-and-off, not the constant din I've come to expect. I miss yesterday already. It's like a distant memory only several hours old.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Boxing Villains

I like boxing villains. My favorite heavyweight fighters are Larry Holmes and Jack Johnson. Both, I believe, are far better fighters than the public assumes.

Jack Johnson's history with villainy is storied. I love the way he fought; no matter how old he got, even sixty years old in his last fight, no one could lay a glove on him. My favorite part of Jack Johnson is his sheer defiance of a racist world that hated him, and most other Blacks. The whole world, despite raising a worldwide search for a white fighter to beat the Galveston Giant, threw every white boy fighter they could find at him for seven years. Jack Johnson beat them all. It took a huge Kansan fighter named Jess Willard to knock out the great Jack Johnson. Jack Johnson won the first twenty five rounds, but finally succumbed to fatigue in the twenty sixth. Another Black fighter wouldn't be allowed to fight for the Heavyweight crown until the Brown Bomber Joe Louis won the title won the belts twenty two years later.

Larry Holmes fought Gerry Cooney, a white Irish-American fighter with heavy hands and a smaller skill set than Larry Holmes. A still racist America largely supported Cooney. Larry Holmes beat Gerry Cooney, and nineteen other fighters in the greatest heavyweight championship reign since the aforementioned Joe Louis. The American public hated every minute of it. The boxing powers that be didn't like it either. Larry Holmes never lost to Michael Spinks in my observation. He beat that guy up for thirty rounds, and didn't get either decision. After his second loss, Larry Holmes callously said that Rocky Marciano couldn't carry his jock strap. That's not a fair statement taken out of context, and it made Larry Holmes an even more hated fighter. However, consider that the champ has just lost two obviously terrible decisions with no real purpose behind them than to deny the black Larry Holmes the white Maricano's 49-0 record. After the Cooney debacle, if I were Larry Holmes, I would hate American boxing fans, too. Personally, I think a prime Marciano versus a prime Larry Holmes would be an awesome fight; I think Holmes would win a close decision with his incredible jab, the best I've ever seen.

Larry Holmes became a villain largely because he knocked out Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali wasn't a villain, but he played one on TV. Jack Johnson was a Black heavyweight champion first. Joe Louis captured the imaginations of American fight fans of both races first. Come to think of it, he wasn't the first of anything except for the first guy to beat George Foreman. He also wasn't the last of anything. He wasn't the last Black champion to irk a racist American fight fandom in public. Larry Holmes upset white American fight fans when he fought Gerry Cooney long after Ali retired. I put Ali number two behind Jack Johnson on my greatest of all time heavyweight list largely on the opinions of others; I know when my judgment is clouded by emotions. However, Ali was never invincible. He had losses, a lot of them, in the prime of his career. He also received bogus decisions, an accommodation never given to Larry Holmes. I don't think Ali ever beat Ken Norton. He most certainly never did so decisively. Ali also lost to Joe Frazier, Leon Spinks, and Ken Norton. I think the reason I dislike Ali so intently is the image he fabricated for himself. He got away with saying horrible things to Joe Frazier, and draft-dodging because people were afraid to say anything against him, or were so enamored of his image that they'd follow it into defeat in the ring and worse. If a whole country loves you enough to give you decisions in fights you don't deserve, cheers for your every word, no matter how ridiculous, and unquestionable admiration after your last meaningful win in almost thirty years, you are not a villain. You're a popular fighter with too many fans.

If you don't believe me, post a comment on this blog explaining how much you loved Larry Holmes. Post a comment on how your great grandfather cheered for Jack Johnson in Reno against Jim Jeffries. Count those before you post a comment on how much you love Muhammad Ali.

Top Five

My top five most important people in history:

1) Christ: He changed the way people see religion worldwide. I'm a Christian, so he has special meaning to me, but he's important enough to be at the top for secular reasons.

2) Alexander the Great: He changed the world; without him there are no conquerors spreading ideas as well as tax collectors.

3) Aristotle: Alexander's tutor and the man who separated religion from academics. People still seek his wisdom on how to argue and how to think.

4) Muhammad: He changed religion again. He mixes Alexander and Christ in an intoxicating mix of promises, power, and prayers.

5) Charlemagne: His grandfather stopped Muhammad's followers from taking Europe, but he and his progeny were the glue that held Europe together against the Muslims from without, and the chaotic barbarians from within. Like it or not, Europe became the most important continent; none of Europe's success would hold without the secular and religious alliance of the Holy Roman Empire.

Honorable Mentions:

Shi Huang Di
Julius Caesar
George Washington
Martin Luther
Rameses II
Ghengis Khan

There are more, but those are my top five; don't ask me to rate the others.

Monday, May 15, 2006


I'm going to take a lucid moment today to thank all my supporters, especially the ones who comment on my blog. I feel great when people read the words I write, and find them compelling enough to reply. I've got great friends, and a great family. I want you to know that I appreciate you even in my darkest hours of doubt, psychosis, and depression. Much of my life is not worth living, but the hours I find that shine, only shine because you provide the illumination. Thank you for keeping things straight and clear, especially when I cannot.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I set out to write this entry about something with merit. Instead, all I can manage are thoughts centered around the friends and family who seem to be avoiding me. I keep telling myself that it's all in my head: they're fabrications from somewhere inside me.

I doubt as much as Thomas the Apostle. I need to see things to believe or disbelieve them. Please help me.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I don't read, write, or speak Japanese. I think the idea of Haiku in English is quite silly; do Japanese people write poems imitating Shakespeare's sonnets? We have plenty of good poetic forms and guidelines native to the English language without trying to imitate the poetic modes of a people quite alien to ourselves. Could the same be said for my Petrarchan sonnets? Perhaps, but English borrows heavily from Romance languages through the Roman and Norman connections. A Japanese Daimyo never conquered England in 1066 or built a wall to separate the civilized world and the barbarians in England.

So why do English poets write Haiku? I partially blame Ezra Pound. However, I think the blame is best distributed on Free Verse poets who like to pretend they're writing in forms. Seventeen syllables in three lines has no prescribed rhythmn, no rhyme, and no shape aside from extreme brevity. I'd rather see a quatrain in Iambic Tetrameter than a so-called "Haiku" in English.

Once upon a time, I was required to write five Haiku for a creative writing class in college. The results follow:


wasted thought, life, breath
with the amber eye open
but the good eye closed

the phantom fumbling
through the silken silence
night falls on madness

twisting the sharp knife
against tablature of ribs
played like a guitar

horsemen fall westward
like lightning through a thick cloud
a tempest in their hooves

thoughts without logic
twisting with the lover’s wind
nothing but questions

I wrote them half as a joke. Unfortunately, no one saw the humor. There are two ways to look at Haiku in English:

1) This guy has the right idea, but is a bit dismissive

2) For the more serious writer, this explication should serve as a warning to all people crossing vast cultural lines in a very culture-specific field like good poetry.

Write a sonnet, or a quatrain, or even a limerick. We borrow a lot in the English language, but I think Haiku are best left to the Japanese.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bubbles in the Water

Bubbles rise to the surface of my watery lair. When the hours add up during a day, they unleash sometimes worst at night. I'm trying to sleep and pray, but it's not working. I never wanted this, and most of me can't continue. There's no imminent danger, but my suffering continues. A problem in your reality would be easier to explain; you don't live in here with me. I doubt anyone could. I know one thing: I could use a friend.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tuesday's Gone

The events described in this post happened a long time ago. Too long for me to remember them as vividly as I do, but that's me now isn't it?

My life doesn't go as planned. When I was in high school, I became enamored of a woman. I used that as a spring board to verses: high verses. Epics, cantos, quatrains I wrote to what I called love. I didn't even know the meaning of the word. For too many years, I held on to that idea and never let it go. I almost gave up on the idea of love for me to the near-monastic nature of my poetry. Everything seemed set, and I thought I had something real in my poetry to show for it. Every line traced into every other line; I wrote and I wrote beautifully. It takes a long time to get someone so down that good poetry comes of it. Even Mr. Keats struggled with his Fanny Brawne poems in the beginning. I wrote in that tradition. I aspired to Petrarch and his punning with Laura. In Italian, that name shares a sound with the wind and gold. The name of my object of near worship didn't have a pun, but it was surrounded with sunrises, fire, milk, and bright blue like the ocean I'd never seen.

Then everything changed. Someone I've known for quite a while and I got together. The feeling of love that I had was not equal to my poems' aspirations, it even surpassed them. How stupid am I? I didn't consider that putting someone in here with me could hurt, but it did. I can't stand it alone in here, why would putting someone else there make for happiness? The thought never crossed my mind that I was no more able to love than the lonely Petrarch I so long imitated. He and I shared our first love's motivation to write. With our firsts, it was almost totally without lust. Petrarch and I were in a lonely fraternity of poets and artists who let the art get ahead of everything else. We both wrote to the exclusion of life in general.

For a while I wrote her badly. It takes time and practice even for the most important things to get the poetry to work. Near the end, I developed a way to write her beautifully, but like I said, it was near the end. It turned out that she never loved me. I fell hard for her. For years, I'd given up on love for me. I thought it would never visit upon me, and I would be alone. I would be alone with my poems to someone I invented that never resembled the person I wrote for and to. While everything changed, I developed a taste for her and a taste for love. Not the kind of lustless love Petrarch and I came so close to perfecting, but real love. Love with human features and contact ruled my imagination. I couldn't go on without thinking contact is essential for love. I loved holding her, kissing her, embracing and caressing her. Every ounce of my being said "Yes!" from every corner of my writing to every spire of my dreams. Those were my dreams, and my being. She never wanted to be with me for me, or for any other reason I can see.

Now that I have a taste of it, I can't let it go. I go from dream to nightmare to hallucination to poetry to prose to this blog and everywhere else my words can travel, and I can't stop wanting love anymore. I came so close to a perfect and balanced monastic life. I would write, and write more, all with the determination to see myself as something, someone worthwhile. Now I know the truth of it. I live as the worst of my doubts insisted. The same arrogant loudmouth I used to cover me for so many years could continue, but the little guy with his poetry became untenable. He was, is, and will always be alone. He sees his early work as pointless, and his later words as absolute failures. He writes this now, knowing that he might garner a reader and a comment or two, but most likely none of either. Petrarch finally failed me, but the demons in my head always said he would.

I can't go back. I can't erase the things I've seen, or forget the quivering, shaking fascination of every touch. I want to, but I can't. I want so badly go back to my room and write for hours on beauty as I wrote for so long, but all seems pointless. Why should I write? The old ways mean less to me. I mean less to the people of the present. I go ever onward into irreversible madness, and the stigma that goes with it. How many women are looking for a madman with the urge to write that can't even drive more than five miles away from his home?

So I fade. Every day, I get closer to total madness. My relapses are longer now, with less time in between. Happiness and love were there for me once, even if it was only in my own head. Now, those memories of happiness are distant. They've acquired their own mythology. But the memories of touch are as close now as they were then. Every day, I find a reason to go on without that touch, but those reasons are becoming as scarce as my sanity. Every day there's a little less to pull for inspiration, and a little more to lament. I don't think it would bother me as much as it does if I didn't stare into the eyes of finality every time I think about love. Knowing what I know now, there's little reason to love me. Actually, I see none. Sometimes people wonder if I had it all to do over again, would I stay with Petrarch, and make my life monastic? To them I can only say that my life would feel as incomplete without the heartache of knowing that I will never be loved as it would feel with only verses to the distant past in sympathy with Petrarch.

Love is worth the efforts of life. Madness is not. I don't want to go away into the Void and never come back. Unfortunately, I seem to have no choice.

No Complaining

Nothing like that will be in today's entry. I have a friend going through a rough time, and that friend doesn't need to hear my crap. I usually try to hold onto all my friends because I value them highly, especially this one. I'm not going to bring anyone down, or complain about my condition. Sure, life still hurts, but I've got different priorities today that don't center around me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Under the Wire

Looks like I just made today. Tomorrow doesn't promise much.


I don't know why I try. Some things will never change. Words don't do a damn thing, and they're all I have left. Madness follows me wherever I go, and it doesn't matter what I say on my way there. I wish for happiness at the end of my verses, but I can't seem to even put together tonight. Every ounce of my energy is spent tonight, and I'm tired. I'm tired of writing. All I get out of it is heartache and misunderstanding. My verses drive me, but I don't know where to take them. I want my weapon back; maybe then I could do what I want.

I'm dead to most of you anyway. What the hell does the rest matter? Life is pain; is it so damn wrong to want some relief?

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I lurk in water. Drowning, swimming, what's the difference? I drown; I live. I swim; I drown. Every moment is suffering in a world with no danger. That's the best way I can explain it. I am grateful to you all. I don't suffer from want, but I suffer none-the-less. Everything comes from within. It seems like the only way I can find happiness is to inflict myself on everyone around me. My struggle will get more dire; nothing holds it in place. The best chance for me is to distract myself as much as I can, and try to feel useful for the moments in between. There's no end in sight, and no way out of the water. My life is pain; I can only live it. I shouldn't make you watch, but hope springs from this blog and my writing. Solitude hurts me, but I don't know why. If I was alone, bang: no hesitation. Every moment asks it of me. In a world filled with those questions, I deny them as well as I can by lurking in the water.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Heart and Head

My heart and head often serve cross-purposes. Tonight, my heart chooses Oscar de La Hoya over Ricardo Mayorga. Mayorga is disrespectful of Oscar, and a whiner about his money. If the contracts say two million, you get two million, no matter how much your promoter promised you. However, my head thinks Oscar lost a step. He looked horrible against Hopkins and worse against Felix Sturm. Intellectually, I have to go with Mayorga by late knockout.

In my own struggle, my heart and head differ also. My heart yearns for peace, love, and understanding. I keep writing this blog at my heart's behest: I don't want that piece of me to die. However, my intellect says that nothing will come of my writing, or this blog. My head keeps telling me to take it logically and notice inevitable patterns: I will stay alone, loveless, and at war with my own reality.

Tonight, we'll see about the boxing. I don't think anything will change with my struggle, though. Perhaps I'll just stay consistent: I'll see more patterns and feel a little less.

Friday, May 05, 2006

It Doesn't Matter Anyway

Sorry about the last post. Everything caves in on me. I can't stand it anymore. Someday soon, I'll take the only steps to end this damn thing, but I have to make sure I'm right first. I'm too damn blue to write more.

Long and Lonely Walk Through Hell

Every step is pain. It would be better if I thought someone out there reads my stuff and understands, even empathizes. Happiness seems tied to others with me. I can't be happy on my own. If I had no one, I'd off myself in the soonest possible moment. As it stands, I have my Mom, my Brother, and my Dad. I encounter a few others with sympathy on this long and lonely walk through hell, but I still feel like I'm being carried. The people that beat me in my childhood, ruining my youth, have everything I want: success, love, understanding, and dignity. I've lost success in this murky haze I call perception. Requited love seems more distant than even my early past. Dignity is still in the balance; I'm a second class citizen, now, so I expect for that to collapse; most everything in my life goes down anyway.

This is my hell. I'd ask some of you to walk it with me, but I don't think anyone with sense should stick around. I'm too down. I'm too blue. I'm too much the same no matter what happens. I can't inflict myself on any of you in good conscience. It's not fair to you. I only write this as you carry me from round to round, beating me to within an inch of my life, because it helps you gauge your fists.a

Normally, I'd pray for guidance. However, if I kneel, the Many Armed Knight will attack. It doesn't matter anyway. Any thoughts I'd put out would garner responses to protect you more than help me. Tomorrow is another round. Keep carrying me, it seems like good sport to most of you.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I was surprised that I haven't used this title yet. All my posts have different titles; usually I think it's to give a fresh look every time. Perhaps because so much of my problems are the same as when I set out on this blog, I can't admit to myself that all I do is repeat myself. I might say some things that would seem out of character, but I'm too damn tired to care.

I'm pissed off. Call it fate. Call it fatigue. Call it the inevitable conclusion of twelve years of paranoia and misery. Or you could call it the unpleasant truth. I'm pissed off at myself. In a world that's brought me so much freedom and food, I can't feel grateful. All I feel is hatred for what brought me here. I look back at twelve years of this, and I wonder what the hell did I do wrongly? The pain of not knowing has me ground to powder beneath my fractured knuckles.

When I was in fourth grade, and time to time from there, the popular crowd chided me for reading my Bible during lunch. I turned the other cheek. Pastor Updike baptized me when I was twelve; that was a long time ago. We've barely exchanged words since then. I prayed through seventh grade, then had a major crisis of faith: I hated the laughter and derision that came with being the little budding Bible boy. That mindset lasted for a while. I decided to give true Christianity another try in tenth grade; I was reborn. Chapter and verse seemed familiar again. It was like returning to an old friend, and a friend it was. I read Matthew, and thought I understood. I loved the Lord, and I thought the Lord loved me. Through years of madness, forty two consecutive voluntary days at a mental institution, heartache, longing, and writing, I persevered. I determined that I would feel better about myself and my surroundings if I believed, so that's exactly what I did. I didn't do it thinking the world would change around me, but that I would change around the rest of you, and find comfort. I was wrong.

The one circumstance in recent memory that brought me happiness discarded me for all the right reasons. I'm unreliable. I repeat myself constantly. I have more passion in my writing than in the quiet moments alone with my favorite person. For a while, I believed she discarded me and avoids me because of my condition: the first two words out of her mouth were "Your disease." That seemed reasonable enough. Prester Bane ruined things for me in my past, and I wasn't surprised that he caused me to lose my happiness. I was upset, but not nearly as upset as I would become. Slowly, I learned that the illness was not an issue. I found out about my inconsistency and outright failure in life. I found out about the constant string of repeated language that comes out of my mouth, even when I intend to say something new. I found out about my perceived lack of interest in the physical side of love. That made me blue. I found out that Prester Bane wasn't my problem with love, quite the opposite; he is the loved one. I'm the Monster from deep water. My kind of clinching, annoying attention will never work, but that's all I seem capable of doing at any given time. Even when I set out to not think that way, it always comes back to the same.

Then came the death blow: I found out that the worst part about me was my faith. The faith I maintained, despite mental intimidation and emotional exclusion from the rest of you, closed love off to me. I even took savage beatings from my Dad and another close to me to maintain the facade of a good, Christian household. Many years before I took the Smith and Wesson to myself, I heard a voice the night I loaded the Smith and Wesson, lifted the barrel, and thought only of ending the injustice by killing both of them. What the voice said was actually right. I thought it might have been divine intervention for my benefit, to save myself from worldly punishment. However, the motives as I see them now are much clearer. Hindsight is always 20/20. If I had killed Gary, there would be no Gary to complete Quinne, his fiancee; there is no such bond anywhere near in sight for me. If I had killed Dad, I would have made my Mom's extended hospital stay after her heart arrest in 2000 impossible. So, the goal wasn't to save me, it was to save them, so they can complete the lives of the people around them. God has favorites: Jacob now Israel, David, Enoch, Elijah, and a few others. Circumstances evolve favoring his favorites, including the notorious actions of David: He killed a man just so he could marry the widow. Still, David wrote psalms, better than any of my poetry, and led the life of a King to remember.

Perhaps my crime was the crisis of faith. A few isolated years in a sea of faith are still absent of faith. David never doubted God's existence, his authority, or challenged God's supremacy to himself. If I'd done the same, would the outcome still be this endless, maddened misery?

So I've lost love and happiness to my religion. For religion, I lost understanding from those who might try by posting these thoughts so far away from acceptable Christian behavior. Peace hasn't been an option in over twelve years, Prester Bane argues loudest when I pray. The faith doesn't seem to help me. Sure, I'm alive and there are plenty of times I shouldn't be, but it feels right now as if He's carrying me. Just like Jim Jeffries versus Jack Johnson, He's hurting me badly at every opportunity, but not enough to knock me out. I feel like I'm being carried for the audience. Nobody wants to see a first round knockout by quitting; people want to see drama! They like to hear little, day-by-day Improvements, and eventually, a knockout in the twelfth round as time expires. I can't punch, so my fall is what entertains. If I'm destined to be forever cursed with this affliction, is it a little bit too much to ask for an ounce of happiness to go with it? The answer, it seems, is yes.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Just Another Post

I forgot to take my meds last night. Therefore, I felt tired, nauseated, and weak all day. I'm on way too much, but less is not an option. I won't make the same mistake two days in a row.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Am I the monster that I fear? Is every day spent in denying what cannot be described as untrue? I feel like the struggles that I take upon myself by not ending what should be done are just as useless as my unread thoughts strewn about the bits of paper in my typhoon of life. I can't stand being like this anymore; every day is a little worse. When I scream at the night with the words "I am not mute!," how many hear me? Better yet, how many care or should care? My voice is loud, but it seems no one hears me. Sometimes I marvel at the sheer inconsequence of the feelings that I must let others feel through my pen. I never find what I seek, and what I seek never finds me. I'm worse than Palomindes and his Questing Beast; I suspect I'm deep water a monster who will end up at the tip of society's sword.

When this started, it seemed ok. I thought I could handle it. Twelve years later, that idea is obsolete. I can't control the input, and I can barely control my once-free will. It's a contest for prominence: the two camps divide me. I know what Prester Bane and his camp can do: they provide my indifference, my crooked smile, my pride, and my strength. They don't know the meaning of the word quit, and won't stop until they have it all. What I don't know is the poet. The words provide my ambivalence, my true smile, my compassion, and the small bit of me that thinks it knows love. The poet wants an end: love can be found at the bottom of an empty inkwell. Is that love requited? Prester Bane says never, and bids me follow back to the ranks of the loud, infamous and hated. The poet says not now, and bids me follow down another row of seemingly failed verses that leads to more uncertainty and pain. I want to know whether those uncertain verses can end in what I want, or will I always be alone with only Prester Bane and the rest to keep me company? Right now, I only hear from two friends who doesn't know me well enough to stop talking with me, so if you do answer, please answer my questions honestly. Will you be there? Are my words as ugly as me? Am I worth knowing well? Is love out of the question? How much more hurt should I take?