Ode to a Note

I lay in bed trying to sleep

But the muses,

Those damn beings,

Ring a tragic chord

That awakes me from my stupor.

I grab a pen and a handle of spirit

To write the accursed words

They force me to whisper.

I attempted to write a ballad to commemorate the passing of a man,

A man I didn’t know but watched and listened.

But the words fell like rocks

To the bottom of the sea.

I found

There are no words

That can describe a song

When a single note disappears.

It is a feeling of emptiness:

It is not that a minor chord has rung,

 Or a crescendo has come to its climax,

Or that the last chord has been played.

It is simply that a note,

A little note,

Died, and makes the tune

That less interesting.


Ok tumblr, I know the power of the internet so just hear me out right quick as I ask for a simple favor. See those cereal boxes up there? If you buy any Kellogg’s product with that Free Book logo on it there is a 16 digit code inside your box of cereal. Now, when you get three of those codes together you submit them online and they will send you a free Scholastic book. Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m bringing it up, so here goes.

I teach first grade at a school where the kids have little to nothing. Through generous donations (government, three square, various community partners, etc.) the kids get backpacks, clothes, shoes, free breakfast/lunch, and some school supplies. The school is not in the best part of town. I’ve had students who live with grandparents because their own parents are in jail, kids who have parents that don’t have custody over them for various reasons, and so on and so forth. Now I am trying to get my kids to read books, but they literally don’t have any books at home that they can use to practice their reading. Sure they get a library book from the school library but it’s not the same, you know? They don’t own the book, it’s not theirs. 

Here’s where you come in. If you happen to buy one of these specially marked boxes and don’t plan on using the code please send me that code through my ask box. If 60 people on here send me a code I’ll be able to get 20 books, which will easily allow me to get each of my students a brand new book of their own. I used the Fly Guy books above because my kids are currently obsessed with the character and the book has sight words that we’re working on in class. Even if you have no codes, I’d appreciate the signal boost as well.

So, if you happen to get a code please send it my way. I would appreciate it and so would my kids. Heck, if I get 60 codes, that would give me enough to give each of my students a book and I will gladly take a picture to show you how excited they are to get a book. If more codes keep coming, I’ll post up their thank you notes. They’re seven so expect something awesome. Thanks in advance.


(via benfisher)

A Summer’s Eve

We kissed underneath
the north-lit moon,
your hair gently packed
against the smooth stone;
you looked at me
with a mirror’s intent
and whispered in my ear
of a place far away.
The silver danced
upon the still water
as the wind sung
us a sweet lullaby.
I pulled you closer,
our warmth as one,
as the world around us
dimmed from our minds.
But then everything
came to a crashing
end as the lights 
burned through.
The moon faded,
the wind stopped,
the river surged,
the mirror cracked,
and the world shone
with a purging fire;
the world began anew,
and the dream was gone.

Talks of Ramen

It can be hard to write for performance oriented works. Not because it’s actually difficult to write it, but because when you give it to others to act out problems can arise. Sometimes the actors or directors don’t like what you wrote, and want to change it. Sometimes this can be good. Sometimes it can be bad. Sometimes they want to remove a part of the story or character that maybe in their minds doesn’t work but you know works as a greater part of the structure of the entire story.

It’s like building and decorating a house. You build a column in a prime location because the house needs it for stability. But they don’t like the column, so they want to remove it. And you’re like “No, I can’t do that, you need that column there”. But they insist, so they get rid of it, then later on the house ends up collapsing. And guess who gets blamed? You. Because you built the house.

Mildly Amused

So the other day I had the pleasure of discussing with a friend the…as she called it… “positivism” and “energy” that I appear to lack in day to day conversations.

For those who don’t me, or rather don’t know me in person (which I’m guessing is probably none of you but oh well, for inclusion’s sake), I can be a little a dry sometimes.

Scratch that. I can be dry a lot of the time. Besides the occasional bouts of extreme enthusiasm, my standard personality tends to not have the exciting social traits that my more exuberant friends have. Also, I like using fancy words sometimes, just for the sake of using them, even if I butcher them.

For these sins I admit full responsibility.

But frankly, I’m getting a little sick and tired of the…shall we say the admonishment that I’ve received from people for my making of statements that can be, as I admit, sometimes sounding pessimistic.I even had someone call me a party pooper once.

But come on people, I don’t poop on THAT many parties. And when I do, it is righteous, justifiable, and reasonable poop. Not malicious poop.

“Well still, Alexi, you can be kinder and find a better way of breaching a topic rather than being critical”. This is true. So I thought- what better way to let y’all know what bothers me than a post describing things I feel critical about in a fun, satirical and self-condoning kinda way without ranting off your eardrum? So here it is. A list of don’ts that I’m pretty sure not only I dislike, but others do too, intermingled with explanations. Enjoy.

1) I studied literature in college. I read all the time. That doesn’t mean I’ve read everything, and I’d be the first person to admit my shortcomings. But please. If you’ve read “a book”, don’t automatically assume that you are an expert on the matter. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to listen to people give me their invaluable insight on the thirty pages they read of a book (I totally do the same. It’s disgusting). And then if I haven’t read it, “oh, how could you not have read this book?”. Please. It’s like me going to a civil engineer and saying “I built this birdhouse from wood. What? You haven’t built a birdhouse? How DO you get along in engineering?” Do everyone a favor. If you like a book, just say you like it. If someone asks you more intensive questions, well then by all means, go into your intellectual thoughts. But just don’t open with it.

2) I’m a skeptic by nature. Don’t take my “well, are you sure…?” as a personal critique of you. In fact, I’m only bringing up those problems at the forefront because I want you to be fully aware of the situation you are proposing. You want to write a book? Well sure, it’s a romantic thought, and I love it. But if I ask you if you’re sure and you get upset because I seem to be killing your dreams, then you have a LOT more to worry about than just me.

Now for general stuff.

3) Telling people to calm down. Please, the worst thing you can tell an anxiety ridden person to do is to “calm down”. It will make it worse. Just let them steam it out by themselves. It’s like a high pressure valve, you don’t want to blow the pipes, you want to let it phase.

4) Loud noises at inopportune times. Key-word is inopportune times. At a party? Yell all you want. Public? Go for it. Sitting next to you on the couch? Not necessary.

5) Alone time. I read an article the other week where it described two types of people- people who gather strength from being in a group of others, and those who need alone time to recharge (plus a friend of mine told me about it). If someone needs to recharge, let them. They’d love to hang with you, but just need the time to think.

6) And don’t call them lonely for it. They may have not been thinking about it, but now they are. Thanks.

7) Don’t make fun of someone who typically is critical when they are trying to be friendly. You cannot imagine how hard it is for us to smile and say “oh, sure, I got it” when we want to yell and say “NO I DON’T AGREE”. It’s just how we talk, so give us a break. Just smile back, and we’ll think we are doing well.

8) We are self-conscious to a high degree. Be gentle.

Don’t worry, I like you all. I just get frustrated, very, very easily.

An Unexpected Update

I haven’t written anything lately. But if I’ve got nothing to really say, should I bother? I don’t think you’d want me to say anything unless it meant something. Well, right now, I don’t have anything to really say. Except about having nothing to say…which is usually a sign to stop talking.

Looking Back

So this past month I traveled through Europe with the intent of 1) experiencing unknown cultures 2) meeting new, interesting people and 3)…well…uh… ‘finding myself’. Besides the occasional rendezvous with friends (or non-rendezvous), I decided to take this trip solo. Why alone you ask? That’s a good question. I could lie and say it was because I thought this post-graduation adventure would be more worthwhile for a trip of self-discovery.

But that would be lying.

No, I traveled by myself for a much more pathetic reason; no one wanted to go with me. No one. For some excuse or another, everyone was busy. Some had no money, some had no time, and some quite honestly had such pitiful responses that I seriously considered the nature of our friendship. Now, instead of doing what I typically do when no one wants to do anything with me, which is not do anything at all, I was determined to go so I took a leap of faith and pulled the trigger. I was going regardless.

That doesn’t mean I was necessarily enthusiastic about the whole thing. I was teetering between “I am a fully capable individual who can achieve anything I WANT” and “ehhhh maybe it’d be better if I…”. So preparations were done half-heartedly. My plane flight to and from Europe plus a few other travel tickets were the only things I purchased before my trip. I was under the romantic impression that travelling without concrete plans was the best way to go for a poet and writer such as myself. I had a few hostels and specific travel engagements booked and a rough plan of where I was going, but that was it. I told myself that it’d be easy to book things on the go. How hard could it be?

And hey, the first leg of my trip was relatively easy. This was through Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria, where German and English were widely spoken (yeah, I speak German). Also it was the part of my journey that was the most planned.I met up with friends, went to museums, etc. I did all the excitingly boring stuff. Don’t get me wrong, weird and crazy events happened to me- I had a run in with a coke dealer in the Prague Railway bathroom, almost got ran over by bloodthirsty drivers on numerous occasions, and even went to the heaviest, hardcoreish, Berliner Club I will ever go to in my life. It was stressful as ‘ell, but at least I knew where I was staying, and when my trains were leaving.

It was during the middle of my adventurous trip that things got really hectic. I had booked a night train from Vienna to Venice with the plan of finding a hostel to stay in for the next night while riding over. Lucky for me, it just so happened that 1) there was no wi-fi and 2) I had accidently bumped the SIM card out of its slot in my phone so I had no phone or international service. I thought it was because I was leaving Austria into Italy. And, of course, I was too stupid to check the SIM card. So I decided to sleep now then find a place in the morning by walking around (same logic, how hard could it be?). And how’d that go you may ask?…I spent about 5 hours lugging around my duffel and backpack, looking for a vacancy at any hostel. Stressed out of my mind, I told myself “fuck it” and bit the bullet; I ended up booking the last vacancy at a small hotel for a sum of money I wasn’t so happy about spending. But that’s what happened, and I dealt with it. I learned the hard way. My trip in Italy consisted of this- showing up in a city, and spending the next hours finding a place to stay. It was tiresome, but I was alone, stuck in a foreign country, with a preset flight leaving Rome to Greece. And I wanted time to check out museums in some of the cities, so I did what I needed to do.

When I arrived in Greece, things were a lot easier. I was with family, and they took care of me. Low stress, relaxing, and all the gyro I wanted. Still concerned from time to time but nothing like the previous two weeks. By the time I took a flight from Thessaloniki to Athens for one final day by myself in the country’s capital, I had already booked my sleeping arrangements and figured out how to get there. I had two full days there since my flight was early in the morning of the next day. I thought it’d be smart to save money and just sleep at the airport the next night. I saved money, yes. But did I get sleep? Like hell I didn’t. On the 10 hour plane ride from Frankfurt to LAX, I slept for 8 hours of it, only waking up to eat the free meals and watch an episode of Big Bang Theory (I love that show).

So that was my trip. Well. Of course so much more happened to me (people I met, things I did, things I saw) that would require a whole lot more, but I don’t want to bore you yet with details. This was mainly about the travelling and accommodations, which tend to be the main reasons why people do not do these things. I had traveled by myself through countries unknown with hesitant plans. And I had survived. Did I have fun? Sure. Was I stressed out of my mind? You can bet. But I wanted to go to Europe, and so I did it, regardless of anything else. If you want something badly enough sometimes you have to just do it, even if you’re not ready and it even doesn’t seem like the right time. No friends wanted to go with me, but I did it anyway. I didn’t have all my arrangements, but I did it anyway. I didn’t know WHAT I WAS DOING, but I did it anyway. And now, if I do go back to Europe, I know the do’s and don’ts. I came out better prepared by the end (if by only a little bit).

If it’s worth it to you, you just do it. Especially if you’re a neurotic and typically fearful individual such as myself. It’s not playing the waiting game. It’s making the decision to act that helps you get better. Go do something new, with or without others. It won’t be fun, it may not be done well, and you may even get offered crack for a VERY affordable price. But if you do it, you won’t regret it. You’ll come to love the memory of it.


Tags: reflection