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November 24, 2014 / douglasnyback

Inspiration, in Sparks

Author’s Note:  I’ve been thinking a lot about aesthetic beauty of late.  It seems to be this (unfortunate) keystone in how we view ourselves and the world around us.  I rarely write about what a poem is about, but this one began, at least, as me trying not to look past a stranger’s flaws, but instead into them to find inspiration there.  Perhaps those flaws being the only thing to make us unique.  The only real, true beauty we possess.  But you know, penny for your thoughts.  Hope you like the poem.

By:  Douglas W. Nyback

 

She is,

bent over the bar,

beyond beautiful

her teeth

like too many sharp keys

in a life

played out

in E-Minor.

 

She smiles like she means it.

Because she does.

 

This is

her experience:

good intentions

skipping

from

shot glass    to             shot                             glass

like stones thrown,

with the momentum of childhood

head on a swivel,

her slender body

nothing but laughter

honest and heartfelt

burning bright

behind her green eyes.

 

I imagine how she looks in daylight.

How

the soft light of morning

would cast shadows

across

where her bones end

and where her curves begin.

 

She brightens nights.

She does.

I’d imagine she brightens days, too.

November 12, 2014 / douglasnyback

Who We Used To Be

Who We Used To Be

By:  Douglas W. Nyback

It is terrifying how quickly
and how completely
someone
can
disappoint you.

In the blink of an eye, a Universe destroyed.

These velvet imprints
from the past
crushed
under the weight of
how
what was terrible then
is
somehow
less
terrible
than how terrible things are now.

I think of these Great People
loving the Purest Me:
these
deeply enshrined
Passports
through all the Greater Selves
I’ve been,
loving
me
for who I was
when I was
complete,
charitably.

I used to believe
time was
a
building
block
but
my relationship to age has changed.
Age
is
Gravity
relentless
and
endless
in it’s
pursuit
to

bring

us

down.
And it does
because that’s all It knows
and I am
this close
to being
so deep
into
a buzz that is bringing me closer to
whatever truth
is
bending around
the bent keys of
the out of tune piano
playing over my left shoulder
and
the Singularity that birthed Gravity
and I think
that
that
truth is:

I am slowly being made less.

Say what you can about self improvement
because
decomposition’s a helluva drug.
And
it
will
lure you
into pulling the covers tight around your head
blocking out the dread
daylight brings
and you’ll toss
and you’ll turn
and you’ll let the world burn
but deep under those covers
in the
avenues of
the-sheets-you-shared
are insects
blood thirsty and elusive
and they will
consume
you
until you
are
a puddle,
bed ridden and broken,
immune to Gravity
but
never
quite
knowing
that the Pressure That Makes Us Less
inspires us
to
be more.

If only because
we remember
the impossibility
of
who we used to be,
before.

September 26, 2014 / douglasnyback

Calling It God

Calling It God

 

By: Douglas W. Nyback

 

I have so many memories on these shores,

the same sand

scuffs

nicer boots

as I seek this out,

late at night,

the only thing keeping me from

believing

this is The Void

I am just screaming in to

are the waves

gently caressing the shores

of this urban catastrophe

whispering,

“This is all temporary.”

 

Nature has no use for me.

She personifies Herself, it seems.

 

My idea of loss has changed,

torched,

somehow the kindling

for when

you burned down the forest

to find your path.

I have worked so hard to pick you from my life

our memories,

pills on a sweater

devoured by tweezers,

nothing left but skin,

chunks of myself

ripped free

leaving someone else,

somehow someone less.

 

And I’m sure it is too soon to write about this

and I can’t help myself from tilting this picture

in some capacity

sheltering you,

from the brutality that is my mind

but

I know that

I wake every morning

as if from a nightmare

rolling over

to find you

and that’s the fickle bitch of it all

isn’t it?

Because my expectation and my reality

are not

friends anymore

and my expectation is

this/             /close to

tricking my synapses

into believing that my waking life

is a dream

because my dream

is a softer reality

where

when we kissed

stars were born

and I looked up into the Universe

and saw you

and because of that

this

whole

thing

had some kind of meaning

and now I am just this

tiny dot

on

a

tiny dot

hurtling through space

barely a nerve cluster on the universe’s Achilles

screaming gentle into that goodnight

so I can leave

the world a better place

today

than it was yesterday

despite how

polluted it is

by all of my flaws.

 

And I censor myself.

In this.

Because I am not yet ready to mount a cross

or hammer a nail.

 

But I will say:

 

There was a time the sun rose and set with you

and you are still

the way I wake up every morning and the way I go to sleep each night

but the narrative has changed

like tides shift,

slowly and devastatingly

until what I once adored

has crept into the better parts of myself

eroding everything,

leaving me a shell.

 

There will be an imprint of you

on every couch I ever own

a no-man’s-land

of every word

you couldn’t bring yourself to say

and

the horribly broken parts of me

that allowed it,

and anymore

the only thing I know to be true

is

I wake every morning

as if from a nightmare

staring as hard as I can

into the ceiling,

so I can call It God

and I pray for you.

 

Because:

 

I am terrified I diminished you.

August 15, 2014 / douglasnyback

Cosmic

Cosmic
By:  Douglas W. Nyback

Dylan believed in Cosmic Love.

His mother had never re-married.  As a kid whenever he’d ask about it, she’d tell him that the love she had for his father was cosmic.  She explained:

“Everybody knows we’re all made of stardust.  Billions and billions of years ago the Universe saw fit to explode in just a way, so certain and specific, and your Daddy and me?  The whole thing, the whole damn thing, was all just so that he and I could meet and fall in love, somewhere on this little nerve cluster of what the Universe is becoming.”

And the sicker Daddy got, she’d say:

“And this cancer?  Well it’s in him.  So it’s a part of him.  So I’ll love it too.  That cancer’s stardust, sweetheart.  It’s just your Daddy burning too bright to stay in the world.”

And Dylan would cry, but his mom would gently pull his chin up, so he’d be facing her.  Looking up, just so, with her head framed in the soft glow of the overhead light so he could have sworn his Mother was an angel.

She’d say, “So he’s gonna burn so bright he’s gonna burn through that sick body of his and fly right up there.  Out among the stars.  And don’t you worry, sweetheart.  Cause though he might be busy with all his cosmic doings, he’ll still always be watching you, always touching the same stardust that’s touching us down here.  Ok?”

And Dylan would nod.  His mother would tuck him into bed, with the covers up tight under his chin just like he liked, and for a whole sleep he’d feel loved and cherished and protected.

And his Daddy died.  Like all Daddy’s do.  And Dylan grew up, the only Cosmic Love his mother had left.

Now Dylan was part of a generation that defined itself by nothing.  Every other generation before him had some kind of great event, some monument of historical significance to define itself by, but his was a new thing, a generation left to shape itself on it’s own ideals.  It created a world so intricately linked together, that the very air around them was alive with a universe within the Universe.  Billions and billions of tiny signals blanketing all the people of the planet, a web of communication so vast and all consuming that it could be believed to be a miracle.

But of all the humans on the earth during that time, only Dylan knew what it was all for.  To all his loves, he’d say:

“The reason for all this is very simple.  It’s because the Universe is dark and scary.  We stare up into the night sky and we think it’s romantic, but really, it’s everything else, and if everything else is that big, then we are so small.  So we don’t look to the Universe anymore, we look to our own little universe.  We’re still shouting into the darkness, the only difference is that the darkness actually shouts back.”

And when his loves would vanish from his life, as they slipped through the doors and the hallways of his heart he’d say:

“But what people don’t know, is that we’re all made of stardust.”

But after so much shouting into the night sky, Dylan started to lose hope.  A man can only take his echo being swallowed by infinity for so long.  So, one day, dejected and broken, he turned his face from the sky and opened his heart to the little universe.  He scoured the world in front of him, the information provided by people, and he opened up his heart.  And one day, he found a match, out in the world, a beautiful woman named Ellie and she kissed all the parts of his face, and she tucked him in at night so the covers were under his chin just like he liked, and before he’d fall asleep, he’d look up to the Universe and he’d say, “Thank you, Universe, for Ellie.  She’s the love of my life.  I hope she dreams deep.”

But he was really just talking to the ceiling.

And there was always a part of him that was missing.  She was all there, as best as she could be, but some part of him, something that had been lost for so long was always just out of his reach.  He tried to fill it with her, but in the end he couldn’t and when she left him, he knew that he deserved it, somewhere, somehow.  For try as he might to find that part of himself, he just couldn’t.   So he kept looking down.

And then one day, after the dust had settled and the things they owned were separated he took a long walk.  He walked until his feet got sore, he walked past all the buildings and places that were stamped with the remnants of his old loves and he kept on walking.  He kept going until his shoes were worn, falling apart and his feet were raw and bleeding.

Finally, at the edge of a crystal clear lake, he stopped.

As he stared out over that utterly peaceful water, he saw something he hadn’t seen in years:  The Stars.  For reflected in the water was the Universe.  The actual one.  And tears filled his eyes and he dropped to his knees, because he was so scared and ashamed.

The Universe had been there the whole time.  And the whole time he had been living for something false, something tangible and finite.  But as his tears fell his lips parted, a smile made it’s way across his weary face and he did the most surprising thing; he laughed.  Staring down at the cosmos in the water he laughed and cried until his tears permeated the lake and glowed phosphorescent.  And there, basking in the warm glow of his own sadness, tucked tight under his chin just like he liked it, he did the most amazing thing:

He looked up.

February 5, 2014 / douglasnyback

Unwritten

Nobody tells this story

like romance is a simple thing,

a beast brought on with fanfare, one in six billion

but it’s not.

Romance

I’ve learned

isn’t a catalyst,

we get a lot of those

comparatively,

fifty in six billion

a hundred

a thousand

each time your heart skips

ordering a latte

with a side of the right pair of eyes,

entire zip codes

falling head over heels

with a polka-dot dress and a woman

who spells names wrong

on a coffee cup.

Empty connection

as varied as hair color preference

and a misplaced erection

shot off

past a toilet seat

to someone we’ve never met

beyond

“That’ll be $9.75.”

 

Romance

is different.

It’s the external illusion of stagnation

buried under a two year running thesis

that her eyes change color with every outfit she wears

if I could only

fucking

prove it.

Romance is how I can

trace the upturned slope of her nose

every morning

like it’s the sunrise

because for me

deep in daylight savings

buried in the darkness of winter

she is morning

and I know I will follow her with my heart

all day

like Solaris on it’s arc

until it sets again

within me

darkness prevailing or not

waking myself up

while falling asleep

by dropping

a book on my chest

to her soft, soft laughter.

It’s knowing that every breath I take

is pollution

without her conditioner

and Penhaligon’s Isis Prima

tangling with my senses

so I stop breathing air

and start

experiencing her.

 

Romance is the twists and changes

the dark valleys

that only light up at night

as I weave my way through

the tears she’s crying

and just how horrifically angry I get.

It’s the ice cold meeting place

between her hurt

and my rage

that cuts me through the middle

like lava meeting the ocean,

when I am

so far

past the point

of saying the wrong thing

that it will take years to see

where the chips will fall

because there is no deeper hurt

than a romantic one

no cut, shallower or longer lasting,

the smallest neglect

on par with the broadest insult

each nick poisoned

bleeding us out

until all that’s left is

the blood we offer each other,

our very souls

transfusing

to keep each other up and help each other grow

independent from each other

despite the confusion

of where she ends and I begin.

 

Grudges hold.

Injuries scar.

 

This is what is unwritten

what no lyricist tells you

and there is

no road map

out of here

because you will never admit

that you can love someone so completely

because people will jump in

giving you simple solutions

to complex problems

that might make you

take an easy way out

and ruin the only thing

on this spinning Earth

that you ever gave

more than two reasonable shits about.

 

Because you can’t explain to someone

that it’s this person and oxygen;

the only two things

you’d drown without.

 

It’s not healthy.

But the symptom of life is death.

 

We don’t choose to fall

we choose to land and move forward.

 

Romance is the only choice we ever have, really.

Moving forward.

 

 

 

March 11, 2012 / douglasnyback

Singularity

Singularity

Douglas Nyback

 

It’s an infinity thing

how we learn

to do this

again.

We fall

like a reflection

in a window,

harsh shadows

pulled through prisms

cast

over dark faces,

your old selves

seconds behind.

 

And you look

beyond,

past

the shadows you cast

and

into

the eyes of someone new.

 

I look,

it would seem

and I swear

on

the

perspectives

I’ve changed

that

the inside of your

iris

is

infinity

for me,

a world

a galaxy

a universe

ever expanding

in

my understanding

of the thoughts

that grow it.

 

We fall

how stars kiss,

catalyst and consumption both,

ultimately,

becoming one.

 

 

November 27, 2011 / douglasnyback

Music and Dreams

I wonder.  Who among us isn’t haunted?  I wander, often, and I’m shocked by just how much of my heart belongs to pieces of my past, to people who have taken up residence, perhaps leaving their place in my life but never in the specific ways they’ve helped shape me.

Thanks to the continued inspiration.  You know who you are.

 

Music and Dreams

 

I am standing on the shoulders of giants.

 

More and more

I

look in the mirror

and it’s a man

I see there.

He stares back at me

the way

fire burns

alive,

fierce

like it could consume me.

 

That man

is

what was,

what is

and what will be.

 

I wonder,

sometimes,

if the first love

I had

is

the only love I’m allowed.

 

In my dreams

she dances

to save the world

and I weep

because

in those moments

she is

My World

and when

I

wake,

It ends.

 

She is

a fine bow

pulled

sweetly

along the tender thread

of my imagination

and the music she makes

I

will never forget.

 

Her hair

was the brown

of oak trees,

her eyes

were an ocean,

deep and complex

and she cried,

often,

but

every tear

was morning dew

dancing on the

mist

of

what dawn

does to nighttime.

 

But,

I am standing on the shoulders of giants.

 

You took my heart so early,

my love.

 

 

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