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I am a fucking child of snow.

I flew into Detroit the day before Christmas eve and saw the blanket of white covering our bit of Earth. Veins of streets that had already been plowed and salted and driven over fearlessly. Strong winter people.

I had a window seat and as we landed I watched the world tilt and wrote poems in my head about the lines and the white and the snowy trees; “Thin but sturdy mother fuckers who hold their weight in frost every year.”

No wonder we are better at living our lives than those sunny Californians. Not living through seasons seems like the equivalent of being an only child.

I would like to tell him to stop listening to the songs I sent him. I would like to tell him to forget me. I would like to pretend none of it ever happened. Cover it with snow and let it melt away in the sun a few weeks from now.

I am a strong person. And weak. I am a snow-covered tree.

Seasons are reliable. Unreliable weather is reliable. My memory is bad. My sight is getting worse. I am old and still have no idea where I’m going and it’s getting harder to see.

I love you but it is cold and California is far away.

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1. Do the makers of “Jurassic World” expect us all to forget what happened at “Jurassic Park”? I’m just seeing a remake. How could we ever forget?! Never forget, y’all. So, do you want to go to the movies with me?

2. Keep talking, keep telling me all of your problems and your messed up perspective of the world, you’re giving me so much information for me to use in my future poems about you!

3. I love this song. It’s terrible! It’s amazing! It sounds like this guy has allergies/is crying/is super happy/doesn’t know how to speak English. ALSO, how do hip hop dudes decide on their hip hop names? Because it seems like they draw random words out of a hat. “Chedda Da Connect? It’s perfect!

4. How to win hearts: http://imgur.com/gallery/SDUYW

5. Remember pencil chewers? Me too. Remember borrowing a pencil and holding it in your hand and realizing not only was there no eraser (so therefore the pencil was useless!), but the metal part was all chewed so therefore had been in someone’s mouth!? Yeah.

6. I was sitting at a table full of strangers recently. A few years ago that would’ve terrified me, but these days I love meeting new people. Not, like, talking to them or anything, just meeting them. Which sometimes involves a bit of talking, but, whatever. So there I was, meeting these people, listening to them tell me about their really exciting lives (or their really not exciting lives). This one guy was really outgoing and funny and a great story teller, and this other guy sitting next to him was pretty quiet and mousy and shy. And I remember thinking about this quiet dude, and I compared him to the talkative funny dude, and, even though I am a quiet dude myself, I thought badly of him for not being interesting enough! Even though I was doing the exact same thing! Maybe he has a personality, just not at a table full of strangers? Anyway, what’s the point of all of this? I don’t know. Maybe that I’m a terrible person. Maybe I judged that guy harshly for being a quiet person because I am one. And/or because all of my friends have always been more boisterous than me/I’m usually the quiet person/I don’t know how to talk to quiet people.

7. You can sit still as much as you want, but the world keeps on spinning, with or without you.

8. Small screaming children and drunken old people are pretty much the same.

9. I can’t fix all of your problems/everything that’s wrong with you! You’ve got to do something!

10. You should really focus on yourself. I know it’s easy/feels better to focus on other stuff/less important things/other people/drama/netflix, whatever it is you’re distracting yourself with. (Bob’s Burgers?? No way! I would never.) But it’s really not better. ALSO, you should read this article on Vice; it’s really good and talks about some of the same sort of things. Because no one yells at you enough these days!

 

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The old men in the old country
die with unannounced poison in their bones
cheeks turning red to black,
far past rosy vodka friendliness
whispered slurs of slipping away
wrapped in the same white sheets they were born on
surrounded by ancient grandmother pillars of pillows
soon to be buried next to all previous generations
under neon-colored plastic flowers
and broken china cups of rain water to eternally sip
worn out weary legs bent under hay-making shoulders
rheumy watery eyes and lotion-less skin
big belly gut heaving from the lung stress
sitting splayed on the one one person-sized mattress
thinking of his father
thinking of me
thinking of nothing
semi-encircled by the entire village family
throwing arms in the air clutching vodka swallows;
nothing much is different on this his last day.

There are a lot of really amazing people in the world. There really are. A lot of the time I think that I forget that fact. Maybe you do, too. Sometimes these people are hard to see, hard to find. Most of the people I interact with on a daily basis seem simply ordinary. So many of them – ordinary folk. That’s fine, being ordinary, if that’s what you’re in to. I’m just, well, not. Why live a simple life? Why not do amazing things, see amazing things, be amazing?

I’ve recently started my senior year of Undergraduate school. So recently, in fact, that today is my second day of classes. Fall semester, 2012. Back to school!

I love college. I wasn’t so hot on High School. It is just so different, so restricted. So scheduled. Perhaps: so ordinary. Now, though, I’m a college student, and I love it. Walking from the parking lot to my classroom on the first day back, I found myself grinning. I love this place. I love these people. These people who are striving to be more than ordinary. Who would struggle through college classes in order to better themselves and their lives. Who would pay thousands of dollars just for the chance to become a higher-educated human being.

Students are more than simply students, though. They are minds. They are amazing. They have something to say, something to give. They are people who are excited about their lives and the future. They have dreams, plans, ideas, goals.

This fact, too, can be easy to forget. Another college student is just another college student. My campus is relatively small, yet thousands of students attend classes here. Thousands of creative, interested, willing, capable minds. We come to learn from professors and end up learning from each other, too. We learn math, yes, and science, yes, and French, and how to write in MLA format, and not to text in class, and that our professors really like when we participate, and that the bathroom on the second floor of the English building is always empty, and we learn not to get to class too early, and that staircases really are the better choice, and that not holding a door for someone when they are really far away is OK. We also learn about the people in our communities. We learn about their lives. We see how similar they are to us. We feel togetherness. We feel not-so-ordinary.

Today I was reading through some early submissions that were received by the creative writing magazine I work for at my school. There were only five – I’m sure there are many more to come. I love reading the poems and stories that come from fellow students. I read them anonymously – I have no idea who wrote these pieces – male, female; student, staff, teacher; old, young; black, white. And so, I am amazed. The submissions were good. All poems. All different. Not so ordinary.

The poems were all about different things – crumbling cities, religion, the media, girls, dirt. The poems were good, but it was the realization that I came to from reading them that made me stop, actually teary-eyed, and think. Think that there are a lot of amazing people in this world. That they are hard to see, sometimes. That we forget about them, that they exist. That they are living with us, mixed in with all the ordinary people. We are all living our lives together.