Quitting

I’ve been thinking of quitting ‘storytelling.’

It’s a badge I’ve been wearing since Windows 98,

Since before metal pins on backpacks and graphite horse sketches were cool.

We’ve traded the dial up pace for a cyber-shouting race

And I’m tired.

 

I’m trying on ‘listening and rest.’

It’s nice to not fight for light.

I don’t want the lead role in the spring musical, regardless.

Please. You be Maria Von Trapp. I’ll come and watch your blue dress spin.

I’ll probably cry when your high notes tremble in our hearts, beautifully earnest.

 

When did this thing that I love to do—

Rearranging heart fractures into little mosaics

With dusky hope and shaking fingers

When did this thing that I love to do

Lose its simple earnestness?

The Circle Movie: A Review

Pros:

Tom Hanks. For being Tom Hanks.

The Original Content. I have yet to read The Circle by Dave Eggers, but I have heard many good things about him as a writer. I think it’s safe to assume that the parts of the story that shine are thanks to his original text.

The Warnings of Living Life Online. The television show The Black Mirror probably did a better job of this, more dynamically—even so, The Circle had some potent moments of painting the negative aspects of living life without secrets.

A Decent Portrayal of The Internet Mob. Facebook and Twitter have in some ways become hostile spaces for ideas, instead of a benevolent sharing ground. The Circle does an exceptional job of revealing how the mob mindset can be spurred on by sensational headlines, instant rallying cries, and emotion unchecked by rational understanding and adequate context.

Life at a Tech Startup. Look, they exaggerate things a bit, but you have to admit that they nail a few things about tech startups on the head. There is no life outside of your work life, and the company is certainly taking advantage of your youth and the enthusiasm built around the culture to help you blur the lines between work and play—to where it hurts you. They even make an unforced “drinking the Kool Aid” joke, and aptly so.

Cons:

John Boyega. Not his presence, but his lack thereof. I was legitimately excited that he was in this film, and intrigued that he was to play a heroic antagonist. He was hardly on the screen, and highly underused.

The Ending. Was it a good ending, or a bad ending? Was it supposed to be eerie, or hopeful? I honestly couldn’t tell, because for all the clear problems with living a life fully connected to the internet, the narrative seemed to give no grounded conclusions about how to make that better. This was THE worst part of the film, and made it seem like everything built to a big, whopping Nothing.

Emma Watson’s Accent. She did a fair job of hiding it, but as I see her and think instantly of Hermione, I kept looking for it constantly. Seek, and ye shall find.

The Circle as an Apple-Meets-Facebook. They make a few loose allusions between The Circle and both Facebook and Apple’s corporate offices, including making the Circle headquarters look very much like the new Apple HQ hyper loop. To be sure, I think they’re taking things a little too far by saying a new customer service representative at such a company would have access to things like mid-week raves on campus, or rock climbing walls between shifts. Maybe at corporate Apple, but not retail.

The Treasure

Golden leaves
That freckle tree branches
Have skipped and scattered
Autumn ground
Like stained glass fragments
Tracing truths.

Down vest
Over blue-flanneled chest,
Your dark soles
Crunch the sound
Of hard leaves into soft ground.

You watch the trees
Being dried and stripped;
The acorn under your foot
Scatters it’s brokenness:

A holy seed;
A secret promise.

The wind breathes yellow
Over your face,
Through branches bared:
“It is good.
It is broken with care.”

The Cowboy

You wade through swampland

without insulated boots;

the parasitic silt and black liquid glass

soaks into crusted jeans, as you choose.

 

There’s a fascinating you find

in being intimate with grime–

the water peels past your skin

and your soul whispers “holy.”

 

So. You spend your days

charting slime and specimens,

reveling at microscopic pincers, wriggling appendages…

at the artfulness of ugliness

and just how delicately it crawls under our skin.

Legos

Dad used to own a muscle car.
“A black Pontiac Trans Am Firebird,”
he told me. Those words were legos
built into a boxy body I didn’t understand,
but I sat on the calico living room carpet,
twig legs folded, lip bit, meditating.

Dad bought a broken down Trans Am.
“I’m going to fix it–but never drive it
in the snow,” he said. For months
I spied on him, a wooden doll laminated
by our glowing computer box, one finger dialing the mouse roll,
eyes of glass. Then he’d pace our gravel drive in his cowboy boots.

I used to dangle my naked feet from our splintered porch
and pretend he was there, too, my imaginary friend–
swinging his pointy boots in the yellow tumbleweed wind.

I used to fumble to build a bridge
between us with my lego-words–
but he always hoarded the pieces.

He never fixed the car. A truck towed it
sometime after he didn’t fix his marriage.
Now that I’m grown he calls every few months
to reminisce about the good ol’ days,
but all I can remember
are the things we never built together.

September EP

“Beautiful…inspirational songwriting…her debut EP, Paint by Numbers makes you want to stop and take a moment to enjoy the company around you and the beauty the world has to offer.”

-Shelbie Young, COUFest Photographer, Musical Connoisseur

T H I S   S E P T E M B E R

SarahDinwiddieAlbumCover

____

PAINT BY NUMBERS

Original EP 

____

Writer: Sarah Dinwiddie

Producer: Charlie Ross

Album Artist: Luis Bergos

Editing

image

Black scratch

pen: marking up words,

rewriting history,

scripting loops over misspelled screw-ups,

unwarranted freckles,

happenings.

The word planks, the dotted i seeing and

still bleeding through.

I wish they wouldn’t.

Didn’t.

Couldn’t.

Each pen stroke is a bar

caging half-seen thinks

and scars

into ink.

Each phrase a car full of half-crazed

passengers screaming something

that sounds like truth

and looks like pimpled, braced, trembling youth.

Honest Thoughts from a Wedding

One fresh foam white bodice grew from a chitin mermaid tail;

bride: bliss was the veil fanning from her forehead.

I wear fresh cut hair, short chic on tall chick;

new feels model beautiful—in the wake of bridal bliss, feels magical.

Back of the room view: young men tied to cameras aimed,

clipping moments out of time to hang up and dry.

Preacher strings short thoughts with too-long threads;

I daydream: who is the photographer in dapper threads behind his lens?

Hearts and mouths erupt—“Man and wife!”—now it’s time for cake.

The sun and his moon cut with hands and hearts eclipsed.

Now: Let’s dance!

My eyes lock with a best friend, words unspoken said:

what marvelous mountaintop moments; what handsome single men.

Mass-Produced Reverence

Sound kernels baptized on behalf of holy veterans flick my face,
shot by elastic radio waves,

striking my eyes, stinging sights into a pixely Warhol style of
vomiting violent neon signs—
kosher brands and canvased advertisements,
Public Service Announcements:

rows of SPAM cans burping tobacco spit over the sides,
rows of green gun barrels with purple flowers flailing out and into the mud,
rows of Marine wives and children with faces blue and black and yellow and

CRACK. Another sharp kernel. SMACK. Another automated sentence.

Like postcard stamps punched out
one right after another
sending out to all corners of the States
the message of conditioned reverence:
blessed art thou for being Saved by the Military.

 

For my sister.