Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Peak before plummet

I forget, at times,
how much I have already failed
I forget those obsidian depths
at the end
of plunges I thought would break me
Yet it is today and I am here
I climbed again and fell again
and felt again
momentarily weightless
as the world disappears
and certainty is lost
before the long descent begins
Yes, this has happened before
I have entered before
this manifold of dark whispering
bleak wanderings
of the mind unmoored from the
vicissitudes of chiseled time
There's a dreaminess about it all
and has been before
perhaps will be again?
There is comfort in this dawning,
that I was here and I suffered
and that I once lived to suffer
no more.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Sky came calling


"Don't look up", they said
"Whatever's the point?
It's not like you'll get there,
it's bound to disappoint
you, so let go," they said
and then looked away.
I listened, I did,
and heeded for a day.

But everyday since
I can't tear away my gaze
There's a yearning to rise,
a constant malaise.
My feet they will falter
I'm blind to their course
I see only upward
There is no recourse

And I heard them, I did,
So I'll fail if I must
And I'll get there someday
or crumble to dust
It'll tear me apart, but I must.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thoughts with pictures


I will walk these paths of green
with shades of bliss and sorrow
Answer summons unforseen
to inscrutable Tomorrow


Someday I shall fall
Roll away with a touch of air
Disappear into the earth
or burn in the morning glare
But, for now, I stand resplendent
Fleeting yet unrepentant


The world went still and silent
as if time were beginning anew
She raised her eyes to the cavernous void
And the sky came rushing through


Purdue by night
These imposing halls of wisdom
These kingdoms of gaiety
Monuments to discourse
Ensconced in longevity


If I must meet my end,
let me drown in a sea of light
Let me go in a blaze of glory
like the sun, into the long night


Said one, "O brother in arms, if you should fall,
I would shed tears of sap for thee."
Said the other "And I for thee, brother mine,
but alas! It's not in my biology."


Unproductive grad student: 
a haiku
Purdue's dressing up
for new students, but that means
Summer is over 😩


Hiding in plain sight
Sometimes the most unassuming flower
on a familiar path
catches my eye
And I wonder, if I miss
such beauty as this,
what other delights
have I gone blindly by


Roadside Rudbeckia
These lonely streets are thronging
with chattering empty faces
The storms of war are gathering
in some faraway places

And everyday seems closer
Closer to the End

But, for a moment, that feels distant
Banished by this happy display
A little spot of captured sunshine
 that gets me through everyday

Originally published via Instagram profile: eterno_mutato

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


The seconds tick
tock tick tock
on by
and the page is blank
with not a word.
It's absurd.
My roving eye catches
and I see myself
at the bottom of a cup
not a glass, a cup
of coffee.
I know what you were thinking
It's not as bad as that,
not yet;
though nothing's set
in stone.
Like a drumbeat of my being
the minutes tick
tock tick, and 
I feel I should be feeling
but there's nothing.
Not a worry,
tensions blurry,
though they should be
vehement, vivid, vibrant
in my eye
and in my mind,
but there is
It's all slipping away
and I should be
chasing, choking, clawing
it back
instead I sit here
and I write
and I watch
the hours
tick tick tock.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A quest for singularity

Is there a more hopeless fate
than being a human mean?
Not lots or little gifted,
just somewhere in between
She is smart and capable,
passable, competent, fair
Never breached extraordinary,
and sadly is aware
of being merely average,
yet wanting so much more
Trapped in triviality,
for history to ignore
An unresistant speck in a surge,
lost in tide and time
No footprints in the sand for her,
just faceless pantomime
What is she but a footnote
on a swiftly turning page
A mute supernumerary 
in an unfortunate age
Born a century too early,
or a hundred years too late
To be, perhaps, exceptional 
but never truly great.
In a multitude of equals
she draws comfort from none
In a herd of trudging many, 
she but struggles to be One

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thoughts from a Walmart checkout line

So I was in Walmart last week, waiting to checkout on a particularly crowded evening. It occurred to me to wonder whether anyone in the crowd was telepathic (who among us hasn't thought about that one, at least once....right?). I then started wondering how I could possibly tell even if someone around me could in fact read my mind. So I did the only thing to be done, under the circumstances. I deliberately thought "I know you can hear me" very loudly (so to speak) and immediately started intently examining the faces of the people around me. This drew some confused and awkwardly shifting gazes (particularly from the two ladies standing right behind me), but I concluded these to be more a reaction to being suddenly owlishly scrutinized by a dumpy little stranger than proof of thought-reception. Though disappointed it dawned on me that, if someone could in fact hear what I was thinking, they wouldn't fall for the whole I-know-your-secret trick because they'd mind-read a bright red Admiral Ackbar warning right alongside it (it's a trap)! Now this was a real quandary and kept me occupied through most of checking out (I must confess I shockingly ignored the very enthusiastic high school senior manning the counter. Sorry, high school senior). As I was paying up, I realized there's no real way around that caveat so I decided to make one last attempt and leave. So I thought (deafeningly, just in case) "CAN YOU HEAR ME?" and scanned my surroundings.

Right then, I saw this 8 year old (or thereabouts) little girl turn to look right at me. 


And she nodded.

For the space of about 1 second, I felt an overwhelming mixture of disbelief, excitement, guilt (gosh knows what other thoughts I inflicted on that poor child), and a bunch of micro-feelings that are impossible to name. A real live telepath???

Nope. Of course not.

Turns out, the little lady was nodding acquiescence to some request from her mother who was standing some ways behind me. This sad, but also much more believable, truth brought on another barrage of pesky feelings. Mostly embarrassment (accompanied, of course, by an inevitable reddening of cheeks because why shouldn’t my vascular system make things worse when it can?).

It is forgivable, I think, this entertaining of a totally nonsensical notion with some seriousness (or total conviction) for a brief moment in time. Even scientists and academicians and researchers are allowed their own pet fantasy and science fiction hopes and dreams after all, even if they will almost certainly never be reality.
Plus, Walmart was clearly the wrong place to try this. Even telepaths should be allowed to navigate that treacherous quagmire in peace.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New year's dishes

Another year rolling past, 
another digit, done at last.
Changes, hopes, are spoken words. 
Will they come? Be lost unheard?
What has changed? It's a normal day 
What is new, in a real way?
Much to rejoice, much to rue. 
But at the end of the day, I've dishes to do.