Love, Poets, and a Sip of Tea

5 10 2016
20161005_112335

“A Literary Review”, 2016, EIC: Jordan Macklin, A Colorado Mesa University Publication

I was sitting around at school in a chair that’s just uncomfortable enough that it reminds me that I have somewhere else to be eventually.  The reds and yellows of the chairs and floor offset the plain white wall that reach up to the white ceiling.  I’m caught off guard by a brightly colored book.  It’s covered in neon paint splashes.  The top half: a pair of eyes stare out into the real world.  The bottom half: the words scrawled across, “The Literary Review”.  Okay, I’ve got a little time to stall before I get back to work.

I crack open this, what I assume to be freshly printed, book.  It’s published by my school and filled with students’ works.  It’s sorted by sections; Fiction, non-fiction, theater, poetry, etc..  A few photographs and drawings filled in between sections.  Poetry was the first section, and as I’m clearly the kind of guy that does things in an organized matter (that’s sarcasm for those who don’t know me), I started there.  I thumbed through the pages.  It was a small collection, but as I stopped and glanced from poem to poem, I saw the same themes in every single one.  Nearly each containing a regret, a lament, or even a loathing for the world they found themselves in.  I find it disheartening that my generation finds itself lost in uncertainty and imperfection.

“I was built to break.
Not to meticulously pick apart,
Not to solve
Scenes as fine-spun as her.”

Fecundity, Shannon Kay Spoon, The Literary Review, 2016

Poetry and stories have always been a form of self-expression;  whether the intent of the the author is to be as such.  I’ve written some depressing stuff before too, and so I get it.  I get that sometimes the only outlet is to write.  However; there is a pattern here that seems impossible to ignore.  Each presumably submitted as their best works, their showcase, the art that they want to be remembered.  Do we prefer to revel in the darkness and din of our own wandering?  have we forgotten the beauty of life and love?20151006_184804

Yesterday, my mother asked me: “How do you know you love her?” I’d prepared for this answer for months with almost certainty that someone would eventually ask.  With skill and precision and with near perfect recital, having been as prepared as I was (once again… sarcasm), I said: “you know, I can’t really explain it.”  My mom has a cherish-able habit of asking me deep personal questions when I’m strapped down into a seat and unable to escape… perhaps I deserve that fate.   But anyway, there I was, unable to give an explainable answer.  I couldn’t describe it.  I know with absolute certainty that it’s true, and will forever remain so; but I couldn’t explain it.

It seems easier for people to explain feelings of angst and uncertainty than it is to explain beauty or joy.  We’ve become accustomed to analyzing suffering and despair.  People have made livings on telling what’s wrong with the picture.  With answers ‘they’re depressed’, ‘they were mentally unstable’, ‘their environment wasn’t allowing them to succeed’ we seem to have been indoctrinated that in order to be happy we must understand why people are not.  We look at our worldly pains and study them, we adapt to them, and in a sick and twisted way, we’ve melded to them.  The idea of ‘expressing ourselves’ often comes out as “this is why I/the world sucks.”

*pauses… sips tea… resets perspective.

20160704_202807

The Irony in my message today is the bleak outlook I may have painted of the matter.  This is anything but true!  I take issue with this, not because “you’re poems suck, and you’re a terrible person,” but because I know that the world we live in is full of good things.  The words we speak or write need not be tainted with negativity, as our ‘outlet’ to feel, but they should rather fill us with hope and longing to improve our condition.

Take joy my friends.  Dance among the stars! Yes, a moment of grief and solitude may be needed, but don’t forget that it is not a life worth living by itself.  Singers: Sing of the summer rain and the flowers of spring.  Dancers: dance with the heart of a warrior, and the grace of an angel.  Painters: imprint on us the bold colors of life.

Poets and writers, a special creed I offer to you: Loose your shackles of bitterness and regret.  Oh scribes of our souls, heed not the warnings of fear and despair.  Adventure forth into the world, peering into the corners of our furthest hopes.  Grow not weary or disheartened.  Seek through mire of hopelessness.  For all can already see what is clearly in front of us.  Seek deeper, wander farther, share with the world what it does not know.  May your works bring wonder and awe to all who see.  Do not find peace in serenity of hopelessness.  Find it instead in the words of the kind, the brave, the virtuous, and the wise.  Be those words.





Midas’ Lament

31 12 2015
Happy New Years everybody!  Just a quick reminder that as we make our new-years resolutions, to not forget what’s really important in our lives, and of course, to be thankful for what we have.
Midas’ Lament:
By: Kyle R. Zentmeyer
 
Now I have everything I ever wanted.
Now I own the whole world in my hands.
 
But there you stand; a tear of gold upon your face.
In my lust for riches I chose brashly in haste.
Now I know I had everything I wanted.
But now you’re gone, with a statue in your place.
 
Now I have everything I ever wanted.
Now I own the whole world in my hands.
 
Yet here I walk; among the empty halls.
No more servants at my beck and call.
Now I know I had everything I wanted.
But oh what dream hath wrought my fall.
 
Now I have everything I ever wanted.
Now I own the whole world in my hands.
 
Here I now weep; Just a moment too late.
By my own greed have I sealed my fate.
Now I know I had everything I wanted.
Never again shall my measure of riches be great.
 
Now I have everything I ever wanted.
Now I own the whole world in my hands.
 
‘til death now I’m released; my ruin echoes my plea.
Mocked by my wealth, the whole world now to see.
Now I know I had everything I wanted.
All that I want is now to be freed.
 
Now I have everything I ever wanted.
Now I own the whole world in my hands.

 





An Unusual Day: Chapter 1: “As any other beginning”

3 11 2015

Here’s the first chapter of a story I’ve been working on recently.

Read the rest of this entry »





Over For Dinner

16 08 2015

This is a small free writing thing I wrote up one evening when I got bored of writing my script.  I don’t really have a use for this in any particular story, but it was fun to write.  Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »





Memory

1 04 2015

Memory

By: Kyle Zentmeyer

Moon Blossom, By: Kyle Zentmeyer

Moon Blossom, By: Kyle Zentmeyer


             The earie blue light of the moon flooded in my bedroom window.  The beams of feint light only broken into fragments by the large oak tree outside that I used to climb as a kid.  I rolled over in my bed again, cracking open a single eye only to wince at the glaring red printout on my bed-stand reminding me that time doesn’t stop.  Three-thirty-three AM.

I decided to let my mind wander freely.  I had hoped that by freeing it from its chains of reality that it would quickly find itself safely asleep.  But then the most curious thing happened.  It left.  My minds exit was so abrupt that it managed to rip a whole clean through my reality.  It teared through the room looking for a way out… or maybe it was looking for something to latch on to.  Either way, my mind was now free.

So there I was: Sitting straight up in my bed; startled by the shock of what had just happened.  My thoughts, my memories, my emotions bounced out into my room in every color and shape imaginable.  The light quickly faded as the ideas and dreams of my life settled gently to the floor.  I thought this was it.  This is all that there was to my existence.  Every thought and action that I made now lay in front of me as they quickly faded out of time.  Was this what was to become of me? Everything that I have committed to memory simple faded away, with no one but myself to watch?

I blinked once or twice, hoping that the dream would be over, but there was more… so much more.  The euphoric sense of wonder subsided and I now was in my room again.  But wait, there’s still some memories glowing steadily like embers in a dying fire, flitting through the air quietly.  I could almost see through each one, each time my eye followed one images flashed through the room.  A birthday party, vacation at grandma’s house, walking along the old dirt road with my dad, taking my mom to dinner, playing games with my family, going on hikes with my friends.  Each image cast out onto the walls in plain view.  “These must be the strong ones” I told myself.

The room grew darker, and even the strongest memories grew dim.  And that’s when I felt it.  There were more memories in the room.  They was scratching at the closet door, begging to be released.  But how could I do it? I was the one that put them there.  Locking them away hoping that no one would see.  These memories, the bad mistakes, the missed opportunities, the things that can never be undone that I did, all lying in wait, likely to pounce upon me all at once should I open the door.  I battled there in the corner of the room.  Pulling and tugging at my mind, trying to bring it back in… but it was too late.  The door had been opened.

Unlike the good memories, that floated about in a dazzling display that warmed the heart, these that now lumbered about my room, aimlessly trying to find something to devour, were not light at all.  They were neither black nor white nor any shade in between.  They just were.  Big ugly skeletons, each one with their own disfigured, mangled appearance.  I tried not to make eye contact.  Each glance burned horrible images into my eyes, aching me to my very bones.  I closed my eyes to them and turned away.  What harm were they to bring down upon me? What retribution did they seek? I couldn’t stand the idea of not knowing, so I opened my eyes and looked back.  It still hurt.

These skeletons seemed at first to by mindlessly searching the room.  But then I realized, that they were gathering.  Some of them at the door to the outside, and some at the window, that the moonlight had long since disappeared from.  Curious, I very gingerly crept out from the safety of my bed’s comforter, and tip-toed first to the window.  The beasts that had gathered there seemed to be looking out, completely ignoring my own presence.  I peeked over the shoulder of one exceptionally grotesque one.  I could hear the cries of my little brother as I pushed him to the ground in my childhood emanating from the bones of the thing next to me… I had to turn away.  The one I peered over was different.  Different than the others.  It was less dark, and darker and… well… was less of anything.  It felt… alone.  At first it didn’t make any sound. But as the room grew quieter, this monster now inches from myself, grew almost louder without making a single sound itself.

I looked away again and the things in the room continued about their business, still seemingly unaware that I was watching.  I squinted my eyes as I looked out the window.  And that’s when I saw, that I was not alone.  Thousands — maybe millions of skeletons roamed through the world.  At first I saw them down in my lawn and down on the street, but then I saw across the world, each skeleton wandering around seemingly aimless as my own.  Then one of them, close but not too particularly close looked up.

It stared right past all the monsters of my own, and looked at me.  It was not close, nor particularly far.  It was at my window staring down at me with its big blank eyes.  I couldn’t see it, but unlike my own, there was nothing to be felt.  I didn’t understand it but I felt like it was calling out to me.  Was it another skeleton I was about to add to my disheveled collection of my own? I felt as though I wanted to reach out to it.  I put my hand up to the icy window pane, nearly against my own will.  A chill went down my back.  Then I felt something else move again.

From behind me, a creature I knew all too well… slowly reached out over me.  The darkest of them all.  A memory so deep that it’s become an emotion of its own.  I tried to scream in terror, fearing that this was the end.  As it reached the skeleton on the other side of the glass also reached out, mirroring the shadow behind me.  They touched together, where my hand had now been frozen in place with fear.  I gritted my teeth and shut my eyes hard.  If only I hadn’t reached out.

I opened my eyes again.  All the monsters at my window had gone… or… at least they didn’t seem to matter now.  There, on the other side, where a looming shadow once stood, was another person.  Not a whole lot like me, but somehow, I knew this person.  I knew a little of what it was like to be them.  Not all of them.  But I understood part of what ran deep through them… and through me.  I smiled, and they smiled back.  Their smile exploded into a glorious array of light.  Not terrifying, but intense.  It filled my room with memories that I have not yet known.  Each one more brilliant than the next.  Most of them were good, and burned bright and strong.  But it wasn’t over.

I heard a bump behind me.  I turned with a start to see that the rest of my skeletons, still cutting through me like a knife when I looked, leaning against the door.  On the other side I heard shouting, and crying, and could smell the death of the world trying to break through.  More mistakes, more heartache, lurched at its seams.  My skeletons still hideous and unbearable in their own right were pushing back now.  They held strong at the gate to what was now my fortress.  All of my past sins were now pushing back the tide of more trying to enter in.  They had barricaded my soul up to any more out.  These were the skeletons that I had locked away.

The skeletons faded.  The battle had been won for now.  I crawled back into my bed, as the light from my memory filled the room, and colors of every sort danced about me.  “What was to become of these memories?” I wondered.  And as I wondered this a figure glided through my room.  From out of nowhere, the same person that I had met through the window was now pacing about.  And then more figures, all of whom I recognized came in, each going about looking at each of my memories.  The person from my window looked fondly at one that only moments earlier they had created.  They reached out and plucked it from the air, took half of it, and placed it in their pocket.  The other half floated back into the room, unusually brighter than before.  As each character in the room partook in my memory, each light grew brighter and brighter, until there wasn’t a thing to be seen but a blinding light, so beautiful and warm, it made everything else in the room insignificant.  The guitar, the computer, the bed, the walls themselves, all seemed to fade away at the corners of the ever growing light.

My eyes opened once again.  Three-thirty-three AM.  The earie blue light of the moon flooded in my bedroom window.


Thank you for reading.