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Emergence of Self

So, this semester I took a class called Social Theory, where we studied all of the philosophers and theorists that talk about social phenomenon. At the end of the semester, we were to do a final project that incorporated these ideas into what could be an art project, or a paper if we chose to write one. I decided to write a poem that explored George Herbert Mead‘s theories about the self. I’m really excited about this poem, I haven’t written a long poem like this in over four years. It will definitely be a good addition to my portfolio. I am even more excited about this project because I received a high grade. To quote my teacher, “Really, really beautiful work… You manage to keep Mead at the center of the work without it being clunky or distracting.”

You can view the poem by clicking here, the poem can be found on my portfolio page.

Below (after the jump) is the artist statement for the poem.

Click here and read more after the jump…

Posted in Poems, Sociology by Preston on May 21st, 2013

December 2, 2012

Today a dense fog drifted over my mind and
behind my pupils, my breath
swam through it as I passed blindly over the
moist cracks in the sidewalk. And no
matter how hard I focused, my
lungs still felt heavy and my heart
still raced, and
my legs couldn’t keep
themselves
from stumbling on the thoughts
that flickered through my mind at top speed.
Today, I threw my hands at the
gates of never-never land
desperate to escape, even if I cannot see
the other side, even if these gates
are made of nothing but my own
fear.
I want to scream, “I AM AN EMOTIONAL
MAN,” but there is
no one but the squirrel,
confusing the utility pole for a tree as I pass by.
Today, snippets of joy and confusion and
longing slip in front of my retinas
like water particles
suspended in air. I can feel
the emptiness burn like a fire within my core,
the void that I confused for hunger.
Today, my
eyes see nothing but the tenderness
that lays softly upon my heart, the
longing for
inner-peace that laces my every breath, and the
yes, maybe, someday, love, that echoes in my
every footstep.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a poem, turns out it was rather apropos.

Posted in Poems by Preston on December 2nd, 2012

11-11-11 but really just another day

Leaves on the Hedge  –  Red Leaves

Today, poetry means nothing
as the sun sets, the day
ends, metaphors pass on
the meaning of nothing, and the
meaninglessness of grasping, of
reaching, and trying to get one’s
fingers around it.
Today, the universe is
elusive, hard to put my
finger on, like trying to find
the significance of an old
story; it disappears and
reappears like a mirage even
though, all the while, my heart is
fluttering and aching, passion
dripping from it like saliva, as
I sit, calmly perplexed by this
inner turbulence.

– – –

A poem from the day. Laced with meaning, but that wasn’t even the intention. These poems are usually meant  to be more for me than anyone else.

Posted in Poems by Preston on November 11th, 2011

Cashier’s Conceit

I am a cyborg attached
to a computer by a thick cord
that comes out of my wrist.
I can feel the metal in my arm,
the little divots
that allow it to bend freely
as I twist and move. Inside the cord,
wires spiral into me, around my spine
and into my stomach.
I feel like a rebellious zombie, in
the way I smile
whole-heartedly
at the kids in the stroller,
and the old lady
reaching for two pennies in her purse.
Soup, they all seem to be making,
but I’m just standing here
punching in numbers and
asking the same questions, wondering
whether the universe needs the receipt
or if I should recycle it.

– – –

I wrote this about a year ago, as I was getting settled into working at the Coop. Much of it still has meaning. Though, I assure any wandering eyes that I have no mal intent for the wonderful place I work, and the wonderful people that I work with. I think just being a cashier necessitates a degree of derision.

Posted in Poems by Preston on October 26th, 2011

Bag Poem #1

A little something I wrote back in October.

When the warm July wind shakes the
tall birch tree’s leaves, the firm strong
trunks sway lazily, as if drunk from the
joy of many previous lives; romance running
thick in their veins. Even when the local beaver
comes along, his tail wagging and shaking, the
birch tree does not sound alarm, it does not
quiver. I do not know if I possess such integrity,
yet every day, as particles and follicles fall from my
decaying body, I forget to bask in my own morbid
mortality.

Posted in Poems by Preston on July 10th, 2011

Canadian Radio

There is nothing significant about the title of this post, but it refers to a quiet evening a few days ago, as I made myself a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich while the warm summer breeze fell though the window. The dog came in the room with her tail wagging and she put her nose in the space between the cabinet and the sink to smell the air, the fireflies, and the buzzing of the streetlights.

The radio was tuned to public radio and they were talking about the last few space-shuttle take-offs. They discussed how different songs had been used in the past to wake up the astronauts from their designated sleep-schedule, as the Scientific American reported, “Wake-up music is a tradition that, according to a NASA history of the practice, stretches back to the Apollo moon program. Ground control pipes a tune up to the spacecraft to rouse the crew from their sleep shifts, and often a crew member’s family will choose a song with special meaning for their relative.” This year, people can vote for which song they think should wake up the astronauts.

So this week I second the Canadian choice for the Canadian band, Rush’s song, Countdown, but only because of the feeling of a peaceful summer evening, where thoughts drifted away to less important things for just a moment, where radio entertained instead of sold, where even classic rock felt like poetry.

Rush – Countdown

Countdown

And I also invite you to read my poetry on hellopoetry.com. I have been submitting a new poem every day, a sort of journaling, though more abstract and symbolic. Here is today’s:

This poem goes out to all of the deleted words,
the millions of ideas quickly erased, obliterated
because they just didn’t quite fit in with
the rest of the ideas. Today, I honor them briefly,
but sometimes, life moves by too quickly
to mourn, even when life, true life, is lost.
Today, I sniff the cold, stiff air
and the breeze feels like shivers, covered
in warm, futile sunlight. The short hairs on
my adam’s apple scrape on my collar like
road-gravel on newly built freeways, but
I don’t drive.
Today, momentary friendship is held up
by our busy hands, and even as we leave
we hope that our hope will keep it airborne,
but at least I know that this fellowship
will not break if it hits the ground,
it will always be there to pick back up
at a later date.

Posted in Music, Poems by Preston on September 4th, 2010

This day has ended.

And so I tribute it with a song and a poem.

Since I Fell For You – Doris Day

Since I Fell For You

Feel free to play as you read.

Today felt like a clandestine speakeasy,
smoke in the air warmed spirits
as we pour glasses of burgundy wine
and dance with our arms around each other,
our noses touch occasionally to celebrate
the occasion.
Today, emotions trickled up to the eyes
like a fountain of some sort
wondering if it’s love
or if it’s pain. And instead of tears I hear
laughter and sad jokes.
Tinges of red and brown around the edges;
coffee stains that remind me
of a me that never will be.

Posted in Music, Poems by Preston on August 22nd, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Today, I wrote a poem.

This is the kind of statement I like. It is short, it is easy to translate into different languages, and it is true. I’m beginning to like these kind of sentences more and more. They are free of grammatical errors; they are safe. I thought I’d write a new blog post today, because I’m in the mood for such a thing. It’s sort of like being in the mood for a good cup of tea, or a chocolate cake, but more like the former.

I wrote a poem today. It was about my life. It was about how this writing business can be tiring on the mind that thinks writing ought to jump to the nearest metaphor. Even that sentence right there, the one you just read, I really, really wanted to give you an example through simile, but I didn’t because I just couldn’t bear it.

Metaphors are the writer’s tool, that’s true, but for me they have become almost dreadful things. Perhaps it is because I am afraid of drawing connections between things where I will see one thing and you, the reader, will see quite a different thing. But that is a fear I have about more than just poetic metaphors. Perhaps you know the feeling, like when you have something very sensitive that you would like to say to someone, but this sensitive information carries many connotations with it that are not true. And so this wonderful tool we as a species have: speech, language, complex communication skills; it has all failed us.

You may have noticed this. This is the first blog entry on this site in two years that is written both -about- me, and in first person. This is significant. I want to tell you that I feel like a child, but I know that some potential employer might look at this blog and think negatively on that statement. Yet still it is how I feel. Being a child implies immaturity, unreadiness to join the marketplace; the grown-up land. Being a child implies naivete, or a lack of experience, wisdom, and judgment. Still, when I hear a friend tell me he’s fallen in love, I think back to English class in 9th grade. When I hear a friend tell me how she can’t stand her coworker, I think back to the lunch table in grade-school.

I think about that one boy who thought he might be becoming a man, the boy who was afraid of writing, and I think how how that boy could be me.

I wonder if he has a name. Perhaps I could have tea with him sometime.

You can read my poem here: Friday, August 20, 2010

Posted in Blogging, Poems by Preston on August 20th, 2010