Monthly Archives: December 2011

Count to infinity

“I would count infinity by counting days that I’d have to wait. X = infinity, find the value for x. I’d count how many days I had left of high school. How long I’d have to spend with the girls who had once led me on the scavenger hunt, with boys who made cracks about my stomach, my breasts. There’s that day, and that day, and after that day, there’s another, and after that one, another, I’d tell myself.” – And Now You Can Go, pg. 186

And Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida

And Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida

How many ways can you measure distance? Centimeters, inches, feet, yards, meters, miles, kilometers, and everything else in between, above, and below, expanding across the vacant patches of grass, asphalt, and dirt, to separate living beings from other living beings. Of course, we don’t have to think in terms of length.

Time is so much easier to consider. Five seconds from the bedroom to the bathroom. Thirty minutes on an unheated bus with single-pane windows to a public school. An hour in morning traffic crossing two construction zones, which are marked off purely for show since no work is going on, just to sit in a cubicle and stare at a flickering computer screen for 8 hours in order to keep the lights on another month. Continue reading

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Update – 12/22/2011

I’ve decided to hold off on publishing my two poems based on lines from Guevara’s Poema. I want to give myself time to edit them and make them as strong as possible. In the meantime, I’m going to reread And Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida. That essay should be posted sometime within the next week.

Until then, thanks for reading and happy holidays to everyone.

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The Wire, Chess, and Through the Broken Mirror

“If you’re a pawn, it’s hard to become a queen,” he said, thinking of the world and of the color of her skin. “Most pawns just stay pawns.” – Through the Broken Mirror with Alice, pg. 13

I meant to post this earlier. After reading this, I immediately thought of the episode in the first season of The Wire where D’angelo teaches Bodie and Wallace how to play chess. Since Through the Broken Mirror with Alice is a retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-glass, I assume that David Simon, the creator of The Wire, would be familiar with Alice’s desire to be a Queen from Carroll’s version.

Here is the chess scene from the first season of The Wire:

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Update – 12/14/2011

The new entry based on Through the Broken Mirror with Alice is just below this post. In other news, I’ve decided that I’m going to switch genres from fiction to poetry and read Maurice Kilwein Guevara’s Poema.

Instead of doing an essay based on a sentence, I’m going to use a line from Guevara’s poetry as the epigraph for an original poem. I think it’s fair to aim to write at least two poems, which means that next week there should be two updates, both of them poems.

In the meantime, I’m getting ready to celebrate my 22nd birthday on Friday (December 16). It’s not a milestone, but I’m going to see some people I haven’t seen in a while and enjoy the weekend.

Thanks for reading and take care.

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I am I

“Alice didn’t think that Tweedledee and Tweedledum were listening to the song she had sung to her friend, but they were, for no sooner had she finished than Tweedledee said: “And who is Alice by herself? You belong to your race.”” – Through the Broken Mirror with Alice, pg. 67

Through the Broken Mirror with Alice by Maia Wojciechowska

Through the Broken Mirror with Alice by Maia Wojciechowska

If I speak, I speak my own opinions. If I write, I write my own thoughts. If I act, the actions are reflective of my character. I am I.

In America, we are told that everyone is equal. We are told that within that equality of persons, each individual will be judged by their character. As human beings we are equal; we are never less than another. By character we become unequal; whether we are good or bad is determined by our actions. Continue reading

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Update – 12/1/2011

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to give it another week or so before I tackle the task of doing a collection of poems or short stories. I keep going back and forth in my head over what the best decision is, so I’m going to give myself more time to finalize a thought.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to read a book I told my mother I’d read, which is Through the Broken Mirror with Alice by Maia Wojciechowska. It’s a retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-glass, centered on a foster child from Harlem named Alice. It actually seems like an interesting book and a relatively quick read, so hopefully I get to it some time early next week.

I’ve also decided to drop the “based on a sentence from” portion on entry titles. It makes the titles longer than they need to be and is becoming repetitive. I’m going to go back and edit the titles to reflect this change.

Thanks for reading.

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Robert Johnson wails

“‘But what was this world created for?’ said Candide.

‘To drive us mad,’ replied Martin.” – Candide, pg. 95

Candide by Voltaire

Candide by Voltaire

I used to have a diverse music collection. There was a time when you could glance at the wall of CDs in my room and see Ice Cube sitting next to Bad Brains next to Johnny Cash next to Capleton next to Coltrane. At some point though, rhyme and flow overtook hard drums, Jamaican wails, saxophones, and Southern guitars, so hip-hop dominated my collection.

I offer no apologies for that. I am devoted to hip-hop. If people had a song for every step they took, my steps would be backed by the Zulu Nation, 2Pac, and Mos Def. But when musical preference collapses wholly into one genre, it’s easy to overlook the greatness of great artists–excuse the redundancy.

So here’s my confession: I am 21 years old and I have only heard Robert Johnson for the first time this week. Continue reading

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