Here’s a little poem I wrote for my friends’ wedding. I had the EMT-video game-heart metaphor early on (because it fits them), but it took me forever to actually nail the thing down. I tried so many different approaches, but I’m pretty happy with the final product (and more importantly, so were they!)
I had bigger plans for this that I might revisit when not under deadline (I got back from NYC around 2am last night so UGH), but I was thinking about the idea of “selling fear” and, well, just kind of went with it for this week’s Five By Five Hundred post. So here it is!
So, okay. Lena Dunham. That’s all the Internet talks about anymore. And mostly for stupid reasons. GIRLS is an enjoyable show. Sure, it’s got its flaws, but it always has some realistic depictions of a very particular group of people, all of whom I went to college with. But most of the debate around the show is — in my humble opinion — around all of the wrong issues (read: misogyny towards chubby exhibitionists). Let’s face it, Lena Dunham is hardly the first privileged white kid to leverage Mom & Dad’s wealth and success into her own career. I probably would have done the same thing, if I ever had the opportunity.
And then there’s Thought Catalog. I have plenty of friends who frequently for Thought Catalog, and almost every time I read something on that website (besides stuff by friends, obviously, because the whole point of this is that we’re all hypocrites) I find myself consumed by anger towards the whiney narcissism of my generation. Every post is all trying to be deep and profound and whoa I made this brilliant realizations about being 22 now that I’m older and wiser at 24 and shut up.
Except that every time I read Thought Catalog, I’m like “Man, I totally get this. This is totally spot on.” Which is probably why I’m so angry at it — because it, like GIRLS, is totally cliched, and reminds us all of how cliched we are ourselves.
So, long story longer, this week’s Five By Five Hundred post is all about that, except in some wacky stream-of-consciousness kind of a way (I mean, more than what I just wrote) because I have weird brain things.
(Also it now holds the record for our most popular post on 5×500! So, ya know, that’s cool)
Tearing through my parents’ basement over Christmas break in search of several missing WARHAMMER pieces (shut up), I stumbled across a few notebooks from college. Still a bit high from the fun and hilarity of my MORTIFIED experience this past Saturday evening in Cambridge, I skimmed through the notebooks, placing certain moments back at specific times in my life. (there’s certainly a lot crap, but a bunch of great lines / idea gems in between the crap that maybe someday I’ll revisit in song)
One thing in particular that stuck out to me — pages I have been dying to rediscover since it happened — was a bit of writing I did in July 2006, my first summer spent living in Boston between my sophomore and junior years. 2006 in general was definitely a very significant transition year for me, and while some of that anxiety might slip through here, that’s not really the point. I remember the evening when I turned to my then-roommate, Layne, and said “Ya know, Layne, you hear about all these artists, songwriters, etc. with horrible, horrible addiction problems, but still somehow creating their best creative while completely obliterated. But I’ve never actually done that.” So naturally Layne, being the kind and considerate soul she was, walked directly into the kitchen and poured me ten shots of vodka in a line. I looked down at the counter and looked back at her, eyes wide with fear. “Go,” she demanded, and, well, I did, because Layne was just that kind of person that you could never down on, even when it was a terrible idea (because you knew that her worst ideas usually made the best stories).
So bam. 10 shots of vodka in a row, right down the hatch. No dinner. A quick chaser of Diet Coke, and I locked myself in the bedroom with a guitar and a notebook and a pen. I didn’t even turn the lights on; it felt more poetic that way (whatever man, I was 20), and there was enough light bleeding in through the window from the construction site next door. And I just went, pouring out my every thought in some strange semblance of verse.
Not much time to write again today*, after a busy weekend at New York Comic Con that didn’t get me back to Boston until midnight, so here’s a re-post of an old poem/song I wrote in…I think 2005. Looking back, it’s definitely the product of a 19-year-old, but don’t think it was necessarily awful, as far as the poetry of 19-year-old Liberal Arts students is concerned. Check back next week for something new!
*not that I haven’t been writing anything at all in the last week, which I have actually quite a lot, but nothing that would be appropriate for 5×500 in either form or content. more articles and/or long form works-in-progress.
Not much time to write for FiveByFiveHundred.com today, as we had a big fancy Open House at the Huntington (stupid having to work on holidays* grrrrr). So instead, I’ve re-posted a poem that I wrote about 4 years ago or so, about romance, assholes, and Firefly. Because really, what else is there to talk about?
*All personal moral dilemma with Columbus Day aside.
My newest piece is now live on Five By Five Hundred, a playful little poem about my favorite musical time signature. All you math and music nerds out there should have some fun seeking out all the little patterns that are hidden in this one, just like a good song…
After a brief summer hiatus for some professional and mental recuperation, Five By Five Hundred is now officially back in action! For those of you who somehow managed to find your way here and yet still have no idea what I’m talking about, Five By Five Hundred is a website started by back in April of 2009 by me and my good friend Brian McGackin (of Broetry fame), inspired by an idea from the Internet Jesus Warren Ellis. The website originally featured 5 writers, each of whom composed poetry/prose/whatever consisting of no more than 500 words on his/her assigned day of the week (hence, 5 writers x 5 days a week x 500 words = 5×500 = totally bad pun on Faith Lehane’s catchphrase). The website has gone through a number of writers, with Brian and I remaining consistent since the beginning, and has now expanded to include new posts on Saturdays and Sundays as well (which, with 7 writers, technically screws up the whole 5×500 pattern thingie, but oh well).
My new post on Five By Five Hundred could very well be the greatest thing ever known to man. Check it out:
This has often been on my mind, but the specific inspiration for this piece goes back to the preview screening of THE AVENGERS that I attended. Naturally, there were a lot of people in the audience wearing comic book t-shirts. Because it was a preview screening for an epic comic book movie, and comic book fans (unsurprisingly) enjoy comic book movies (although I suppose “enjoy” can be argued…) and are also the type of people who would seek out passes for a preview screening and stand in line for 2 hours just for a chance to see the movie 3 days before its release.
You know. People like me.
But in any large gathering of comic book fans (more than most other subcultures), I tend to notice a lot of awkward compliments. Kid in the Fantastic Four t-shirt sees kid in the Spider-Man t-shirt while we’re all waiting in line to go to the bathroom, and of course, he has to go up to him and say “Hey. Cool shirt,” as if he’s somehow surprised to see that someone else here likes comic books (or that somehow, someone else besides him has heard of the Amazing Spider-Man!). I don’t mean to be a miserable cynic — I’m glad that people can find those social connections, because it is both comforting, and important — I just find it odd. It’s like going up to someone wearing a Red Sox t-shirt at a Red Sox game and saying “Oh hey man, you like Red Sox, too? I love the Red Sox!” Well yes of course you’re at a fucking Red Sox game.
But I digress.