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    • goldfish
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      • Username: goldfish
      • In response to: "Who are you?" Well, who are you and what are you doing on my profile page?
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    • Bluebird
      • I'm not a big fan of poetry. While I can certainly appreciate the technical prowess involved in writing it, it's rare that I find a poem that moves me. Shakespeare fascinates me. How on earth could he be so damn prolific in iambic pentameter? I'd have a difficult time writing even one sonnet, let alone entire plays in it. Absolutely stunning.

        Until about fifteen years ago, I thought of poetry as a highly skilled art form that wasn't really my cup of tea. I thought of it the way that some people think of ballet... technically beautiful, but boring.

        Then I met Charles Bukowski. For the first time ever, I found that I preferred a writer's poetry to his prose. It's honest and raw. It doesn't rhyme and it doesn't follow any rules. It is forthright and powerful. It speaks to me in a way that no other poet has ever been able to. Even though my life is vastly different than Bukowski's, I can relate.

        Bluebird was published in Bukowski's book "The Last Night of the Earth Poems" circa 1992. It is one of the first poems I read by Bukowski and it it still and will always be one of my favorites. It is part of what makes The Last Night of the Earth Poems my favorite book.

        there's a bluebird in my heart that
        wants to get out
        but I'm too tough for him,
        I say, stay in there, I'm not going
        to let anybody see
        you.
        there's a bluebird in my heart that
        wants to get out
        but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
        cigarette smoke
        and the whores and the bartenders
        and the grocery clerks
        never know that
        he's
        in there.

        there's a bluebird in my heart that
        wants to get out
        but I'm too tough for him,
        I say,
        stay down, do you want to mess
        me up?
        you want to screw up the
        works?
        you want to blow my book sales in
        Europe?
        there's a bluebird in my heart that
        wants to get out
        but I'm too clever, I only let him out
        at night sometimes
        when everybody's asleep.
        I say, I know that you're there,
        so don't be
        sad.
        then I put him back,
        but he's singing a little
        in there, I haven't quite let him
        die
        and we sleep together like
        that
        with our
        secret pact
        and it's nice enough to
        make a man
        weep, but I don't
        weep, do
        you?

      • answered by goldfish on 01/22/2013
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    • Dear Letter Number 19 in the alphabet, after R, but before T,
      • An homage to you without actually utilizing you? Alright then. Here we go.

        Without you, my dear letter, we would have no plural anything. True, there are the kind of plural, like deer and aircraft, that don't need you to prove more than one of them. And the kind that change into an entirely different word when there are more than one, like bacterium becoming bacteria or child turning into children, but generally, we need you to talk about more than merely one.

        Without you, our 19th letter, the upturned comma denoting owner and property wouldn't mean a thing. No one would know which individual, item or group owned what. I cannot write, "Bridget'_ dog Phillip." It would have to be "Phillip, the dog of Bridget."

        Without you, in general, everything would occur in an over and done with way. Hardly anything would be in the here and now. I could not declare, "Bridget own_ her dog, Phillip." Phillip would have to be owned, which could imply that maybe Phillip were no longer around or that Phillip were not currently owned by anyone. Poor Phillip.

        Without you, from my point of view, people other than me cannot be. I can utter, "I am," but when talking of another party, I cannot proclaim, "Phillip i_" or even the grammatical way to denote a preceding event, "Phillip wa_." Not to mention that the female pronoun, akin to he, would be gone altogether.

        On top of all of that, you have a very lovely form with a curve here and another there. You are delightful to behold, number 19.

        A language without you would not be very functional at all. We really cannot do without you. I could not write the title of my blog. I cannot even utter my own name.

        Love,

        Goldfi_h

      • answered by goldfish on 12/13/2012
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    • Nyah Nyah
      • I don’t really care what other people say about me with very few exceptions. A complete stranger could walk up to me and say, “You’ve got a nine foot trail of toilet paper stuck to your shoe,” and I would be ever so grateful to that person. On the other hand, someone very close to me could tell me that I’m being too negative again and I would pause and evaluate my behavior.

        Generally though, outside of “you’ve got toilet paper on your shoe” and “you are subconsciously doing something that I know you hate,” I couldn’t really care less what people say about me. There are very few people in this world that I trust enough to value their opinion. Those are the only opinions I care about. The rest of you, well, it’s nice to hear your opinions, experiences and counsel, and I will gladly lather in your compliments should you choose to give them, but I will continue to do what I think is best regardless of what you say.

        Think about this sentence: I do not care what people think about me. Man, it feels good to say that and really mean it. It wasn’t always that way. When I was a kid, I cared so very much. I lived my life based on what other people thought was cool or uncool. I was so shy when I was a kid that I wouldn’t talk to anyone unless they talked to me first. Considering that I was a big dork with huge bug glasses and a perm (my non-Finnish mother did not understand Finnish hair), the kids that wanted to talk to me were very small in number and incredibly dorky as well.

        My best friends in elementary school were a horse-faced girl with huge teeth and even more unfortunate hair than mine, and the Vietnamese exchange student. The Vietnamese exchange student would ask what kind of music we liked and horse-face would answer whatever was in vogue that week, while I heartily agreed, whether I had heard of it or not. I pretended to like things that I didn’t just so that I wouldn’t lose what little social status I had managed to achieve. I wish I could go back in time and punch myself. I’d cut off that unfortunate hair and tell myself to stop being such a pussy.

        Perhaps it is only because I was so wishy-washy as a child that I was able to slough it off when I reached high school. Perhaps if I had been a little more confident as a kid, I might not have had such a drastic turnaround and it was drastic.

        That’s not to say that it happened overnight. I had to work at it. I had to repeat to myself like a mantra who cares what anyone thinks, so that by the time I reached high school, I was in the beginning stages of being the version of me that I am now. It occurred to me that they were people, just like me, and at the core, none of us was any better than the rest. Sure, there were some that were better at academics or basketball, but essentially, we are all the same. We all pee sitting down or standing up, as the case may be, and no matter how cool or uncool you were, everyone had something of value. Everyone had something they did better than anyone else. I began to actually feel sorry for those popular cheerleaders because what they could do better than anyone else was be popular, which wasn’t much of a skill really. I walked around silently laughing to myself when I passed the popular table in the cafeteria.

        I had essentially turned the world on its ear just to suit me better. I slowly worked on my mantra until, by the time I was a teenager, no one could touch me. By that time, I had built myself enough confidence to tell my mom to shove her perms where the sun don’t shine. I started wearing what I felt like wearing and shaved off parts of my hair just because I could. I really, honestly did not care what anyone thought of me. It was completely liberating entering high school, the age when most kids care the most about what others think of them, and just generally not giving a crap. I was free.


        The older I get, the less of a crap I give. My little self-help mantra stuck with me. I couldn’t care less what you, the general public, think of me because I am living my life the way I choose to and there’s nothing you can say to change that. Nyah nyah. That’s not to say that I’m still shaving off parts of my hair and wearing combat boots (although, I do have a pair from the army surplus store in my closet that I wear when it rains). Nowadays, I wear my rebellion on the inside. Although, I think if you were to pass me on the street, you might be able to see it a bit.

        So, after all that, I guess I didn’t really answer the question, did I? What’s the one thing I hope other people never say about me? “Her hair is awful!” Just kidding. I can’t really think of anything that a total stranger could say to or about me that would hurt my feelers.

        Let’s forget about the toilet-paper-shoe people and focus on the opinions I care about. If one of my closest friends said that I wasn’t funny, it would definitely sting a bit. Humor is how I make my way through life. My sense of humor is not for everyone, but if my friends ever stopped laughing at me, I’d have to drastically rethink my life. I might even have to come up with a new mantra.

      • answered by goldfish on 10/24/2012
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    • Peas & Gooey Cake
      • "Do you believe in soul mates?" he asked.

        She managed to let out a "Hm" before indecorously wrinkling up her nose and fashioning her mouth subconsciously into her best half Billy Idol sneer, which is to say hardly Billy Idol at all. She would never win a sneering contest with Billy.

        Switching from Idol to kung fu master: "In order to believe in soul mates, one must first believe in the concept of a soul." He rolled his eyes. She didn't acknowledge the gesture and continued, "Soul is such a loaded word. I believe very deeply in soul music and there is no higher power than soul food–you have not experienced epiphany until you've had gooey cake–but soul as in a distinct entity that lives within us, our essence, if you will? Well, that's a different matter."

        Taking her deflecting maneuvers into account, he tried again, "Perhaps, as usual, you are over-thinking this." She sighed and crossed her arms as he continued, "Rather than getting into some philosophical, metaphysical, etymological, theoretical, manifest destiny, semantic, hoohah debate, let's simplify the issue. Do you believe that there is an ideal mate for every person on earth?

        "Alright, then. The bite size pieces of that question make it easier to swallow," she made a motion as if she was going to flick a pea on her plate across the table at him, but didn't. "Do I believe in mates? As in one person for every person on earth? Is that it?"

        It was his turn to cross his arms, "Yes, something like that."

        "No," she picked up the pea and popped it into her mouth.

        "Care to elaborate?"

        "I think two people can have a very deep connection indeed, even to the point where they seem like halves of the same person, but I do not believe in only one such person for each person on earth. Instead, I think there are many such closely connected people or 'soul mates' if that's what you want to call them. Think about it from an anthropological perspective. From a survival of the species point of view, if there was only one mate for each person, the human species would never have survived as long as we have."

        "So, we're not soul mates then?"

        She flicked a pea at him, "Let's go get some gooey cake at MP's."

        "Done and done."

      • answered by goldfish on 08/09/2012
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    • Yesterday...kind of sucked.
      • Hm. What can be said about a Tuesday? This particular Tuesday was worse than most. Not THE worst, but not great either. It started off badly because I thought it was Wednesday. Let's go through the events of Tuesday, née Wednesday, and see if we can determine what was best about it.

        I was awakened early due to the impending arrival of the team of electricians who have been teeming around my house since Saturday upgrading my electrics so the entire shebang does not catch on fire, which apparently was a possibility given the antiquity of our wiring.

        The day started out with poop–literal poop since my dog decided to relieve herself on the floor overnight for the second night in a row. Holding a bag full of said poop, expecting to just duck out the front door and drop it in the trash can that lives there, I saw that the can was actually all the way out at the street since it was trash day. Crap. Well, poop needs disposing. I was barefoot, clad in a bathrobe and sporting my best bedhead when I ran into the foreman in the driveway. Good morning!

        I went to work where I was assaulted by a deadline before I even had my first cup of coffee. I did not stop all day. I answered at least fifty phone calls from our inventory department, each one ending with something that I had to do. It got to the point where I hadn't completed the last changes before they would call again. Finally, at the end of the day, I had a handle on things.

        After work, I went out for coffee with the boy and the dog. The coffee shop was out of newspapers so I couldn't read what was happening in the world, but I had delicious coffee. We went to the dog park where my dog ran around like a crazy fool playing with any dog who would play with her. I played with a German shepherd puppy named Mika. I wanted to trade my dog for her. Not that I really would have, but I would have taken her home with me. I told her owners, "If you ever get tired of your adorable dog..." They chuckled. I am a sucker for German shepherds and a sucker for puppies, but both together is just too much.

        We went out to dinner afterward only to find out that the boy didn't have his wallet and the coffee place had neglected to give my damn bank card back. Well, shit. I called the coffee place and they had, in fact, not returned my card and were still in possession of it, but they were just about to close. Good job. As a result, I didn't have dinner last night. Thanks, coffee shop!

        I got home to a total mess of a house, new light fixtures, randomly functioning and non-functioning electrical sockets, no food–I haven't gone shopping because we've had inconsistently available power, and a blinking alarm clock, which I had to set for the fourth day in a row due to previously mentioned inconsistently available power.

        So, let's see, the best thing that happened yesterday... Could it be the poop? The electricians and the general disorder of my house? The constant barrage of work for 9 hours? The fact that a coffee place stole my bank card, thereby making me skip dinner? Actually, I think it might have been the dogs. Or the coffee... hm... nope, the dogs win.

      • answered by goldfish on 08/01/2012
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