Poetry and Prose

Push

I have this friend named Chrissy
Who has a business selling handmade jewelry
It started with inspirational words stamped on skeleton keys
And grew to rings and other accessories
It’s here she’d want me to mention she’s sold pieces to David Duchovny.
Anyways, back to my story
And, fortunately for me,
The end of this rhyme scheme.
One day I asked her for a key of my own
Something to inspire me when I’m down
On my luck or in the dumps, something
Just to remind me life gets better.
But there’s was one problem, I didn’t know what word that would be.
So, Chrissy, in all her graciousness picks a word for me.
She hands me this necklace with a key as a pendant,
The word on it, “Push”
Nothing else on there but this one word.
Now, I’m a pretty smart and educated man, and in all my eternal wisdom I look at her and go, “huh?”
She looks at me with a grin and sighs, “you’ll figure it out.”

So months go by, and I’m trying to decipher this message.
I keep racking my brain trying to figure it out,
What on earth does she mean by this?
Meanwhile, my life is a mess, and I’m the only one to blame,
I’m not working, and I’m going through my usual rollercoaster of depression,
Only this time it’s one of those slow kiddie rides with no drops,
And it lasted for months.
Disneyland could make a fortune.
Anyways, along comes this woman,
And I truly and completely lost my mind.
I’m ashamed to admit just how crazy I went,
But the whole time, my idiotic brain just heard the word, “push,” and went with it.
I pushed, and I pushed, until I pushed so hard she ran out of my life as quickly as she had came,
And I acheived the unwanted, and embarrassedly emblazoned title of, “That Guy.”
Obviously I’m not proud of what I had done,
So I went to Chrissy.
After thoroughly reaming me from back to front, as any good friend should,
I said, “but I pushed.”
She simply replied, “not like that.”
That’s not all she really said, but she was also more profanity laden back then.

More months go by, and I’m still trying to figure out what this cryptic four letter word is supposed to mean.
My life, still a mess, my love Iife, hilarious at this point.
Once again, I’m dragging my feet through the mud,
Stuck in the same position I was when I got this retched necklace,
But I wear it every day, even through the night.
It’s been the charm that I’ve held close when all the lights go out,
Never yielding in it’s comforting, albeit, confusing sentiment.
I continue on this path for a long while,
Breaking from my depression periodically to keep my life moving,
But still ultimately going nowhere.
I’m stretching myself in every which direction,
Trying to find some resistance in the elasticity of my mind,
And everything I enjoy seems to fall to the wayside,
I continued on, regardless.
Finally, I got to the point where I figured all my pushing was futile,
I went to Chrissy.
I said, “I don’t understand, I’m pushing but I’m not going anywhere.
She replied, “not like that.”

After awhile I finally broke from the constant monotony,
The slowly spinning wheel that always landed with me on the bottom,
And I started to know what it was to feel something good again.
My life, still messy, but more clean than it had been for years.
Love life, mostly non-existent but longed for nonetheless.
I got a new job, working in the field I had gone to school for,
It wasn’t what I had dreamed of when I went to law school,
But it was certainly more fulfilling than the nothingness
That consumed my life prior to this joyous event.
I finally became a lawyer after all my years of patience,
Not to mention the questionable mental state it left me in.
Throughout all of this, I still had that necklace,
Slightly dull and worn at this point, but still
The charm I had relied on for over two years.
It was only recently that I figured out just what it was supposed to mean,
And it was one of the greatest epiphanies of my life.
What I had searched for years to find, quietly found me
When I least expected it, but when I also needed it the most.

So now, I share it with you in the only way I know how.
Starting now, at this very moment,
There’s a little voice inside your head.
My voice, or anyone else’s for that matter.
There’s this voice, and all it says is one word,
Over and over, and over again, repeatedly.
Whenever you feel like you can’t make it,
Or you’re too weak to keep digging
Feet into the dirt, holding ground against the rampant chaos around you,
One voice, whispering a calming chant of singular syllable,
Over and over, and over again, repeatedly.
A voice that echoes throughout the auditory assault
That envelops and suppresses any thought of sanity.
One voice, muting the madness,
Over and over, and over again, repeatedly.
When you feel the world is swallowing you up,
Body aching from the constant toll of crushing,
That voice will salve your wounds,
And prepare you for what comes next,
Over and over, and over again, repeatedly.
A voice that rings true and holds steady
When all seems for not and not isn’t much for living.
That voice, commanding an almighty action,
Over and over, and over again, repeatedly,
One word, one motivation.
“Push.”
And darling, you better keep pushing.

-D.A. Baker

 

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Poetry and Prose

Blanket

I wish to radically redesign the pestilent patterns of my anxiety to something less laborious to console,
To painstakingly and precariously shred the fabric of this extirpated entity essentially quilted as me.
Over the course of excessively exaggerated glass clinking and a slurring of distorted soporific sighs,
Redefine what it means to feel alleviation from the abrasive, tattered swatches of my flawed but humble human life.
I ask you, please take these residual strings of revolting regret clinging beneath breast like vestigial threatening threads,
Please decorously sew them into a creative coalescent patchwork of iniquitously depressive distinctions,
And benevolently shear away the coarse, callousness so I can invariably distinguish the viability of your impressive intentions.
Blanket me in the resplendence of your assurance, so that I may sleep affably in spite of my awkwardly exposed appearance,
For I no longer laconically long to bear this isolatedly laden soul, but to lay unashamedly bare, naked, as an individual, whole.

-D.A. Baker
Blog

Constraint in Art

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Seurat, Georges: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte—1884

Constraints are necessary and unavoidable when producing art. I witnessed this fact firsthand over the weekend, and it unveiled newfound insight into what it means to create art. In this post, I will look at constraints and limitations placed on different types of art, and how, when used proficiently, those constraints can often lead to exceptional works.

Continue reading “Constraint in Art”

Poetry and Prose

Surgically

This dialogue is becoming more like a soliloquy,
Each word forced through anesthetic screaming, obscurely;
Numb to the touch, and verbalized not so eloquently.
If you must slice me open, please do so surgically,
Carefully dissect the heart of this intellect accordingly.
Articulately incise my insides, but only if it’s methodically.

I politely insist you cut to the point of the main artery,
Straight to the uncommunicative cardiac capillary;
Bloodily let this sentiment, but do it ever so mercifully.
As I’m gradually losing sight of my immediate periphery,
Reassuredly inform me I’m collapsing beneficially,
And when you’ve finally finished, please stitch my wound aesthetically.

-D.A. Baker

Poetry and Prose

A Girl

So, it inevitably starts with a girl.
Doesn’t it always?
She illuminates my world.
Color me shocked with dismay.
This is completely different.
That’ll be the day.
I can’t quite place my finger on it.
You’re missing the pulse, by the way.
But it feels so utterly sublime.
How about another cliché?
I mean, I  have to be right sometime?
Tell yourself whatever you may.
You know, I really don’t need this, okay?
Wait, what did you say?
I said, “I’m done being your prey.”
You can’t end this fray.
Watch me as I walk away.

-D.A. Baker
Poetry and Prose

A Beckoning to Hear

To shine in new light, whole, where dark once dwell
Softly caresses what frailty is here.
Serene in sooth sound, calm, raging storms quell.
Breath lost caught still in waves of life held dear.
Slumber of dreams once dreamed true now knells,
Awakening a being at last to peer.
What lies in eyes in place where tears do swell
Does fall from face with borrowed grace and cheer.
Now this, a cure to that where woe befell
Gives pause with cause, hesitation, and fear.
A change for thought sought to break and dispel,
A muse, a call, a beckoning to hear.
 
-D.A. Baker
Poetry and Prose

On Writing

I’m more shameless than an addict,
With a pen forcing my hand out of habit;
Figuratively unrelatable and caustic.
Creative control relinquished to dramatic
Interludes of constant buzzing static,
Arguably insane, but still emphatic.
I’m testing the limits of cause and effect
While pondering upon my intent to affect
Someone with passion and intellect.
Ceremoniously scribing until I’m content,
Satisfied without prejudice or judgment,
At least, until my brain objects.
-D. A. Baker