Othello: The Devil’s Core

24 03 2005

Note: If you are an English III student (or will be) please realize that (duh) its plagarism to copy my writing without referring to this blog about it. And come on, I know you guys can do better than these essays

Devil’s Core

Iago’s ability to control and manipulate his world does not reflect an arbitrary evil; it instead represents Iago as superhuman. Without regard to the moral nature of his actions, Iago represents the sum potential of control that human beings can exert in their world, uninhibited by morality. William Shakespeare, Othello’s playwright, formulates Iago to be a devil, but in the end exposes Iago to be fully human, revealing that the power that is exerted by Iago is not by some external arbiter of evil, but rather by one who is a human being; not quite deity, but not simply human, Iago explores the limitations of what human beings are capable of doing in society.

**The creation of the devil in Iago occurs straightaway: “I am not what I am” (1.1.71). Iago is here indicating that he is contrast, indeed opposite to God, who to Moses had said “I am that I am” (Exodus 3.14). God, in the Bible, states that he is God, that he is who he is. However, Iago twists this and points that he is the deceiver; indeed we begin to know that this deceiver is the devil.

What does this devilish creation represent? Iago with Shakespeare’s symbolic, direct and indirect, and continual references to Iago elevate (or descend, depending on how you perceive it) Iago to the supernatural status of a devil. Iago is the creation of the definition of evil, the creation of a devil, the creation of an uncontrollable, destructive force in the world. Perhaps the mere fact that Iago lies out of our control, which we seemingly possess nothing with which to combat this relentless evil is what is most terrifying of all. Iago defines fear; fear is what we cannot control, what scares us because we have no control to stop it. Thus with Iago, the fear increases tenfold, for Iago is to be the Son of Darkness, Lucifer, the devil himself, who has decided in his “divinity of hell” (2.3.370) to pummel the people around him into broken men and women; indeed there is a devil amongst us.

And there is not. “I look down towards his feet; but that’s a fable. / If that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee +he stabs Iago+” (5.2.336-337) Iago is human, only human. Othello looks towards Iago’s feet, but does not see the cloven hooves, which by Christian tradition distinguishes the devil. Othello acknowledges that “that’s a fable”, and if Iago were not human, were indeed the devil, then Othello would indeed not be able to stab Iago. However, Othello can, and Iago is wounded, Iago is not the devil, Iago is real, Iago is human.

If Iago is only human what does that reflect on us? How does it change the perspective of the play? Iago’s actions now become human, whereas instead of being a one-dimensional, intrinsically evil entity, Iago is now accountable for his actions morally. Iago no longer retains the veil. His actions incite within us either rage or despair, rage that he chooses to do ‘evil’, despair that we at times, share in Iago’s human choice to do wrong. The question then becomes what does morality matter to this man: “Virtue? A fig! ‘Tis in ourselves that we are thus or / thus. Our bodies are our gardens to the which our / wills are gardeners” (1.3.361-363). Does a ‘universal morality’ exist or even matter? To Iago, morality resides within one’s personal desires; Iago defines ‘good’ or ‘bad’ by the success and failures relative to his personal desires.

Morality, for Iago, is irrelevant, unnecessary, or perhaps his morality is not based on this universal good and bad, but rather like Othello’s militarily based on levels of personal success. Othello, a military general, tends to see everything in terms of black and white, good or bad, success or failure. Othello carefully understands that there is either a true love between himself and Desdemona or there is nothing at all- “I’ll see before I doubt, when I doubt, prove; / And on the proof / … away at once with love or jealousy” (3.3.221-223). Iago cunningly plays Othello’s game. If Othello were to have me “beleed and calmed / By debtor and creditor” (1.1.32-33), to have my position taken by “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine … [whose] mere prattle with out practice / Is all his soldiership” (1.1.21-22,27-28), given to this inept Cassio by “the Lusty Moor/ [that] Hath leaped into my seat [taken his sexual role in his marriage] – the thought whereof … gnaw my inwards, and nothing can or shall content my soul / Till I am evened with him, wife, for wife” (2.1.317-320), if Othello were to so ridicule me, would it not be war? If Captain Ahab can wage war on a whale and call it the fight for his soul, then cannot I, cannot Iago oppose, nay shatter what threatens his soul? “In that ring Cain struck Abel. Sweet work, right work! No? Why then, God, mad’st thou the ring” (Moby Dick, 151). In Moby Dick, a Manxman sailor states that the world is created for conflict; we are meant not to coexist, but to compete. Iago chooses to compete and outclass Othello based on a perceived personal attack on Iago’s character, a revolting assessment of a superior man. In essence, Iago creates his own morality based on Othello’s pathetically limited concepts of morality, and cunningly drives the sword home for a stylish touché on Othello’s own playing field.

Iago’s power over everyone else in Othello may seem to drive himself to his own demise; that the very power he exerts for so brief a period of time in man who has lived “four times seven years” (1.3.353-354), is a personal tragedy because he is caught in the end is just wrong. Iago succeeds, Iago has the final say: “From this time forth I will never speak word” (5.2.356); it is Iago who, in modern terms, has ‘the last laugh’. Iago defines the world he chooses to live in; he plays the game as he wants to play it. Iago is willing to and does make the rules himself in order to succeed. Even his prosecution takes place outside of the play; Shakespeare in so doing reveals its irrelevance in relation to the damage done; what recompense could the world create to rectify what Iago has done? Alas! There is nothing, nothing that is a reversal of the irreversible deaths. Iago is the victor, no one can deny it. Iago revels in his superiority to others throughout the play: 
 “Not poppy nor mandragora
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday” (3.3.379-382);
Iago, who for years has held back his abilities, waiting to be recognized for his talent, finally lets go. To this we empathize with Iago’s humanity; we share in the deep profound pain that is universally human when we are passed over. To be denied desire and choose to perpetuate these inequalities, this deep self-demoralization and breakdown of what in Iago’s terms define our spirit, soul, and virtue- our desires, all this over years of service hardens our hearts. Just as
 “The boy who torments another boy, as we say, “for no reason,” or who without any hatred for frogs tortures a frog, is pleased with his victim’s pain, not from any disinterested love of evil or pleasure in pain, but mainly because this pain is the unmistakable proof of his own power over his victim. So it is with Iago” (Bradley, 213);
Iago acts in order to prove his superiority to Othello, indeed his superiority to everyone in the play; Iago acts to prove not only to the frog, but also to himself who possesses control. Iago is human; Iago shares in a desire to rebel, to shatter the unbroken Moorish towers, to fight with no holds barred, to “be all that he can be”.

The development of Iago as the devil is undercut at the end of the play, wherein Iago’s apparently cruel and destructive actions are shown to be wholly human, thus enlightening the definition of evil, as well as where it resides. Evil is not only external, but internal; our perception of evil does not reside in some immaterial character, but rather in the actions you and I take. In these actions there is no innate quality nor quantity of evil, because the morality of Iago’s (and therefore our) actions are relative to each person’s perspective- actions can never be wholly good nor entirely evil and thus ‘universal’ morality is unfounded- in every action some will prosper while others lose. Iago, then, relative to our ability to our human potential, is not good, but great because Iago can position each of his actions with such poise and precision that each action benefits him. In Iago’s world, seen from Iago’s perspective, Iago is someone to look up to, a sagacious, profound and good man who, without regards to what we (the audience) see as right or wrong, what we see is irrelevant and we cannot judge him on a moral standpoint, because we do not share his desires, who without universal moral regards wins.

My Finite Life Unbound

24 03 2005

I will be beginning a series on posting my essays for classwork… This one is about the human search for meaning in a seemingly infinite world in relation to a small novel Moby Dick.

My Finite Life Unbound

Perhaps the most daunting piece of American literature faced me on one “damp, drizzly November” night. Well, so it wasn’t damp, or drizzly, or even perhaps November, but it was, nonetheless, daunting. Paperback, one inch thick, four-hundred twenty seven pages, infamously complex and dry, this wonderfully wicked wet novel presented to me a paradox of maniacal proportions: on the one hand I was privy to read one of our nation’s most beloved stories about some man who, through some amazing adventure comes across the great White Whale and yet on the other hand lay the fifty-page journal horror stories of last year’s Juniors – a fear only fed by an instinctive, unsaid cry that cautioned me of merciless hours and unknown depths of boredom. We do not read this novel, we face it. And in this confrontation, I realized that this book was both drunk with the gripping story of Ishmael’s out-of-this-world adventure and sobered by its pervasive accounts of whaling and concrete realism. Both existed mutually propelling the importance of each; it was this novel’s intricate blending of paradox, at the literal, physical, and figurative level, that unequivocally led me to confront a question I, frankly, wasn’t prepared to confront. Rather than be confronted with a mere proposition, some unique idea, Moby Dick presented to me a difficult paradox. In life, must we fight to assert ourselves in the face of existence or is it heroic to understand one’s own position in the universe and like a Taoist, allow existence to be? These are two implicitly different ways to view life; and although each appears to make sense, both cannot be true as each directly contradicts the other. In the conscious and unconscious depths of my mind, in the struggle between reason and morality, in choosing an aggressive and a passive approach towards life, I was grounded, lost in an incoherent vortex of heroism, consciousness, and, simmering at the top, the intangible union of paradox. It was me and Moby Dick, and before I knew it, the Pequod had sailed.

Ahoy there, Ahab! Ahab’s “quenchless feud” (152) with Moby Dick is passionate, driven, Promethean, and courageous, albeit arrogant. But this arrogance arrives solely from an assertion of independent existence. Why do I not believe in fate or destiny? Because I choose to believe that I have control over my future; that I am who I am. The unknown future doesn’t only exist for me, but that unless I act, that future will be an incoherent hodgepodge of circumstance and missed opportunity. “I, Ishmael, was one of that crew; my shouts had gone up with the rest; my oath had been welded with theirs; and stronger I shouted, and more did I hammer and clinch my oath, because of the dread in my soul” (152). Undoubtedly, I, too became one of that crew, fearing a pointless existence in my soul, but choosing to find meaning existentially, in what I do and the things that I find give meaning to my life. What power dare Reality have?
“All visible objects, man, are but pasteboard masks. But in each event – in the living act, the undoubted deed – there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask!” (140)

Definitely, go for it. Strike at it. Destroy it! Bring that mask down! Perhaps I wasn’t so fervent, but there is no denying that I was settled on Ahab’s side. If I had had my way, Moby would be nobody by the end of this book. Alas! What does Reality think it is? Am I supposed to sit here and take it? No, I felt. I wasn’t going to be someone’s papier-mâché mask.
Ahab, captain of his own accord, concerned me gravely for the stunning implications of this statement near the epic novel’s end:
“What is it … what cozening hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against … Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts this arm?” (406)

If all exists in terms of God (or Reality) then do we exist at all? I mean are we us; do we exist on our own terms at all? Since we know we have some free will, be it perhaps of immaterial origins, we cannot deny our consciousness and thus our ability to alter our existence. Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am”, implying that our existence is defined by its conscious, rational nature. Following Ahab, shouldn’t we dream to differ from the hollow shell we exist in? Shouldn’t we use that which we know to be true to our individuality, our minds, and construct meaning into our existence through assertion of this individuality? Regardless of the fact that we are, like the whale Moby Dick, Platonian shadows of a deeper existence, meaning can be found through a Promethean fight against God, against deeper Reality, and against anything that inhibits my ability to act on my own terms.

Ishmael is a complex hero; most in my class initially said that he wasn’t a hero at all. His heroism is epic, but subtly so. Melville portrays Ishmael’s heroism as triumphant yes, with its tribulations, but unlike Odysseus who triumphs over many physical ordeals, concluding with the destruction of the Suitors, Ishmael triumphs through his ability to use his mind to understand rather than to dominate. Throughout Moby Dick, Ishmael searches to describe the infinity of the realm of Reality through concrete terms; Ishmael seeks to illustrate an infinite totality that, while at times mundane and seemingly useless, conveys the deep personal struggle to assess and evaluate the undefined Reality. Take, for example, the chapter on Cetology, which Ishmael introduces by stating: “Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harborless immensities” (115). Ishmael acknowledges the profundities of Reality to the extent that these explanations can signify two different meanings and still arrive at the same conclusion. When I read this I thought that he meant to describe the limitlessness of Moby Dick, which I had equated to a physical manifestation of God or Reality. Thus, God (or Reality) transcends the finite boundaries of human description. Later, I realized that my thought on infinity had, in some sense, been quantified; Ishmael only uses whaling and Moby Dick as examples of the infinitude, Melville uses a single real, physical being and shows that Reality is so limitless that all aspects that transcend into reality are only finite constructs of many infinities.

As Alfred North Whitehead stated, “Our minds are finite and yet even in those circumstances of finitude we are surrounded by possibilities that are infinite, and the purpose of human life is to grasp as much as we can out of the infinitude”. To grasp what Whitehead is saying, imagine a walk down the beach. When we lean over and use our limited hands to grasp as much of the seemingly infinite sand, the sand in our hands isn’t meaningless, it becomes ours. Likewise, the sand represents whatever finite amount of Reality that we can possess in our limited understanding. Regardless of the fact that we cannot collect all of the sand, meaning exists within what we are able to collect and comprehend. Whitehead would agree with Ishmael in that meaning in life is not generated from an impossible complete understanding over all the infinite or a destruction of it, but rather found in acknowledging that the infinity exists and understanding as much as one is humanly possible within the limited nature of reality.

Our conscious is all that defines our existence being separate of Reality. As Richard Tarnas writes about Kant, “In the act of human cognition, the mind does not conform to things; rather, things conform to the mind”. Within our processing minds lies the consciousness organizing Reality into a comprehensible reality. It is our conscious nature that allows us to exist independently from this unconscious Reality. There are few courses of action that can stem from a life concretely separated from Reality, and even fewer flower sensible courses of action.

At first, I struggled to understand at first all of the implications of an indifferent Reality when we read the Book of Job. Reality appears to be indifferent – Moby Dick doesn’t attack unless provoked, Job’s God, rather than be kind chose indifference, allowing Job to suffer at the hands of Satan, justifying it solely with “And have you an arm like God; or can you thunder with a voice like His?” (Job 40:9); essentially God can do whatever he pleases with us, just because he’s the higher authority, the creator and the destroyer, the one who wields the hammer and the blade that we cannot see, cannot understand. This was my dilemma: struggle against the power and die trying, or seek to find meaning in other paths of life. “If you do not become what you believe, then you do not believe” – as Soren Kierkegaard said, I cannot believe one and act the other, for that is not true belief. I could not choose to believe that I should live an otherwise meaningful life and think that fighting Reality was the true path for meaning. One or the other.

When I read this novel, I felt strongly that Ahab was right, but that I certainly could not win. However, I felt I couldn’t simply dismiss it just because it was futile. Many things are noble, but perhaps futile such as Achilles’ grand battle at Troy. I liked Ishmael, but that was too passive, not enough conflict, not enough effort required. Then it dawned on me like a cascade of philosophers, sperm whales, and realities on my pool of consciousness: There is difficulty inherent to the journey towards understanding. I surely had not had the easiest ride in dealing with my understanding of God and the nature of Reality; that in and of itself is my heroic journey. My trip to the glimpses of Reality aboard the Pequod, my struggle with Ahab’s philosophy, my toil to understand the integrations of paradoxical realities are indeed difficult and continue to disorient and confound my mind. Meaning in life is found in the struggle to understand life, not in rebellion of God, but rather in the paths we take to learn. The goals have become clearer, the complexity more meaningful, and Reality more beautiful.

Moby Dick hasn’t taught me everything about whales (although I can tell you straight up that it’s already more than I want to know), nor has it taught me to give up and deny God. No, far from it, God exists; and because our unconscious, Reality, God itself, all lie on a different plane of existence from ours, we can find solace with ourselves that we are finite beings continually searching for Truth. Life is not a singular life or death, one-way win or lose proposition as Ahab sees it; no, I venture to say that there are so many more ways to win in life. Ahab, at last I must depart your ship, for I cannot see life as the uphill struggle against God, but as a way to grow in my understanding of that infinite Reality. In truth, the infinity is beautiful; the infinity provides hop that in my finitude there will always be more, that there never can nor will be an end at which further meaning cannot be found. God doesn’t exist to assail us, rather an indifferent God allows us to live positive, meaningful lives searching for an understanding of Reality and of ourselves. Moby Dick is a journey in itself, a disparate paradox that is unified, unraveled, unbound, through understanding, through searching, through living.

Works Cited
Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick. 1851. Ed. Harrison Hayford and Hershel Parker. Norton Critical Edition. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2002
The Book of Job. Literal Translation of the Holy Bible. >.
The Gospel According to Luke. Literal Translation of the Holy Bible. >.
Tarnas, Richard. The Passion of the Western Mind Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View. New York: Harmony Books, 1991.


23 03 2005

Today we saw a video on propaganda in English class. It was very interesting to see how people create enemies. One man wrote on the “convservation of enemies”, in essence, implying that we only create as many enemies as there need be at any time (goes for people, nations, etc). Does the conservation of enemies apply to the “Axis of Evil”? Has Bush created a limited and carefully thought-out attackable, profitable, and rational enemies? Food for thought. Included was old footage depicting 1940’s-1970’s army training videos, which so dehumanizes the enemy that it is astounding. The creation of enemies as abstractions such as the “japs” (in WWII) or the “yanks” (Russia in the Cold War) is even frightening to see how warped that “instruction” was. To connect with Song of Solomon, Guitar dehumanizes Milkman to an abstraction of white ideals, thus now enabling himself to attack Milkman as a white person rather than a black man under the Seven Days agreement. Expect an edit with add the title of the video later.


So tell me why,
Why paint in lies,
Why drive out the sky,
Why fall out of my life?

Where’s Truth Gone?

Where the world ends,
And our bodies lain to mend,
Is where my soul rests,
In the infinite harbors,
Where Truth begins.


I’m sick of playing the fool,
Take his path and be his tool,
Run my road and be mine too.


Choose a state any state,
And I can tell you,
The state of the state,
In color, red or blue.

The reds are the Republicans,
Conservative, and American too,
The mandate they have,
To vote on religious view.

Blue ones are there,
Liberals, with Anti-American hate,
What fools they are,
To keep separate church and state.

The state of a state,
Is simple to see,
Two-tone palette,
Blues hate liberty.


They watched their news last night,
Must have been Anti-American, right?
The news that they watch,
Is completely filtered dirty wash,
I bet they hung one just for fun,

With flint and sticks they saw the news,
Of the hate-America views,
They don’t know much at all,
Of how smart countries play ball,
They cannot see why we should,
But my God knows our greater good.

Those barbaric, unkempt homes,
Must need us to save their soul.
What they watched last night,
Was completely a unforgivable lie.

No American would do those things,
At least the ones that I’ve seen,
And we’re all the good folk,
From southern Texas to northern D.C.,
Espousing red freedom and red liberty.

The Long Day

16 03 2005

Long day today. Actually, its weird. It seems like such a long month. No, I know March is only half done, I meant beginning halfway through February, everything is has become longer. For example, the Literary Magazine work seems like ages ago and so does the Three’s A Crowd debut. Not that I can’t remember them, but my perception of time seems to have changed. Anyways, about today…

In philosophy, we discussed punishment for first time DUI offenders. It was a question taken out of the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (1994?) about how DUI’s in New Jersey cost roughly $9,000 overall for a first DUI, including classes, possible jail time (up to 30 days), liscense points (possible removal), fines in the thousands of dollars, and 9 points on your insurance (which lasts for 3 years). Anyways, the class decided 3:1 that it was too much. However, I disagreed. Perhaps a little too extremely, but I’d like to clarify. What I said was: Because a DUI is deliberate choice to put other’s lives into abnormally hazardous levels of risk, the DUI offender is making an attack on multiple people’s fundamental right to exist. Thus, the offender should as well put his life on the line such that anything under capital punishment is justifiable. Harsh, ya. On an absolute moral scale this works. However, we must factor in that (1) no one died [if so, I think the DUI offender should be as liable as if he were not intoxicated], (2) intent – the DUI offender does not want to hurt other people. Thus #1 puts the punishment at the level of attempted manslaughter and not as a murder. #2 places the punishment below attempted manslaughter because there is no intent to commit murder. However, working backwards from an absolute moral scale, we can acknowledge that harsh punishment deservedly goes to those who drink and drive. Nine thousand dollars is a bargain for the choices made. Notes: Even though this is a first time offense, it is something that we as a collective society must equate with killing so as never to do it. 50% of all automobile-related fatalites are DUI. And to answer your question, yes I would feel that it is right to pay the $9,000 and do the classes, etc. because I did something that should not ever be done because it infringes upon others’ rights to exist and I must repay my debt to society as a whole.

In biology, we had an extended block. Now I know what your thinking, your like whoa look how much he wrote for philosophy, and this is an extended block (1hr. 10 min) plus an early start (meaning we had to come in at 7:30 – 20 minutes early)! I’ll keep it as short as possible. Funny class though I don’t remember all of the jokes. I think I’m enjoying that class as my grades in it improve. Anyways, in the words of Marlin (Nemo’s dad in Finding Nemo),: “Well I do know one joke”. We were discussing the effects of HGH (human growth horomone) where too much can give you giantism (which means you live to be about 20 years old and over 8 feet tall and then die). We discussed it ad nauseum and while Mrs. Ingalls wasn’t watching, Samar turned to Andrew and asked, “Are there really giants?” Samar, to be noted is very intelligent, which made this ever so much more comical. To which Andrew replied in the best straight-faced flat tone ever, “Samar, we’ve been discussing giants for fifteen minutes”. … Anyways, I just remembered another joke. Mrs. Ingalls was discussing how she uses salt (we got off topic about how you need iodine in your thyroid, which you get in salt, which she uses …) to kill snails. Essentially, the snails dissolve. She talked about her *sadistic* side that she commented “had never shown you before”. She then said, “Well apparently Kevin disagrees, I guess I show that side of me everytime I make you take a test”.

Irene made me wonder what was going on in Samar’s head when she said “So there’s *real* giants” …

Like nice Harry Potter giants?

Or mean Harry Potter giants? Yea I know its a troll

In pre-calculus, we learned about using differentiation to solve relative rate problems. Way cooler than it sounds, trust me. Notice how everything in calculus sounds cool: integration, optimization, differentiation, limits, normals, derivatives, even the name calculus itself. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks they’re cool, but so what.

In spanish, Sra. Jacobson was late to class. Very late. So late, that the entire class decided to grab our books and go sit out at the lunch tables (we left a note). Needless to say, we didn’t study. But man, when Sra. Jacobson first turned the corner from the gym, we went into action. We pulled out our books and started reading out the homework. We started on #4 Section 2, you know, we’re not that stupid. Anyways, we thought Sra. fell for it lock, stock, and barrel. Shecame by said good job, and went to her room and we stayed out there sort of indefinitely hoping she’d come outside or something. Everyone thought Shunsuke would go back first (which he did). Anyways, she came out and was waving her arm up and down probably indicating that she wanted us to come there right now. As she turned and returned to her classroom we eventually decided to go back. We all knew how she’d be like. Seríamente! Seríamente clase! (Seriously, Seriously!) … Everyone had said it at least once before we got back and when she said it repeatedly we all laughed. Wasted half the class …

Somos como viajeros sin guías,
En el camino sólo nuestro luz nos lumina.

>> We are like travelers without guides,
>> On the road, only our own light shines.


15 03 2005


Somewhere by the backstop,
In the dirt and on the grass,
The summer’s golden glaze,
Falls upon the lost child’s face,
And is lit to find the smile,
That warms his inner grace.

Today’s the day

So the day will come,
When the world is ruins,
When my bones are dust,
When your money is burnt,
When my school is crumbled,
When your writing is faded,
When my dreams are gone,
But the spirit lives on.

Other Lines

14 03 2005

The Path Through the Ruins

On the path to my dreams
I saw the despaired, the broken, the shamed,
Never could take my shaken mind away,
The dismal, the rich, the lame,
Too sick to bear their cheap goals,
I continued along on my own gold.

On the path to my dreams,
I came across two dividing streams,
One gold and the other clear,
Each one drew me near,
I wanted just one moist sip,
But the drink would cost me
Quite a trip.
For if, with the gold in hand,
I left the clear water in dry sand,
then I would be fully loaded
And with all I need, I noted,
But with the clear water, it seemed,
the path to my dreams grew longer.
I took what I knew I must,
What neither would weigh nor rust,
myself alone, without water or gold.
In these stream’s shallow shores,
My soul lay deathly witness,
To countless lost dreams,
Searching their bodily home.

On the path to my dreams,
I fell beside and kept asleep,
When I awoke, the world had changed,
Or, for my eyes, rearranged.
I continued on my quest,
renewing my promise of my very best.
The labor I learned was one of love,
In accordance with myself Above.

In the Fog

Last night,
I lay awake,
dreaming of my restless state,
With a walk outside,
Called my ephemeral soul to life.
Drawing in the solemn, undying fog,
It was in those dim city lights I saw,
Across the fire’s frozen lake,
The bitter stare,
Of my own face.

Dreaming of the Shadowland

I have dreamt the dream,
of my fallen nation.
The silenced cries of pain,
have axed my patience.
Those who call without their name,
become lost dreams without flame.
I have dreamt the dream,
of the torn, burnt flag.
The blood and the sky,
burning alive,
Consuming each other,
in brilliant light.
I have dreamt the dream,
of the rebel’s cause,
And seen the passion in those eyes,
where change ignites,
The revolution through revolt,
the incandescent light,
The nation, the flag, and the man,
have become the shadow’s wasteland.

Why I’m Boycotting Red Lobster

13 03 2005

… For at least a week:

At 7:00 p.m. my mom, my brother, and I decided to go to Red Lobster. Even though I was food-deprived today, after waking up at 11:00 and getting to practice 30 minutes away with no food and eating breakfast at 2:30 after practice, even though I went like this, I wasn’t very hungry going into Red Lobster. I don’t know why, I just felt blah. Anyways after our name was called the dialogue pretty much went as follows:

Waiter: Table for three for Kevin

Kevin: Could you hand us a kid’s menu as well? (I montioned towards my little brother to indicate that it was for him)

Waiter: (Turns to face me) I’m sorry we’re all out of crayons.

Kevin: No its not for me … (voice trails)

Waiter: (Indicating seating arrangements again facing me) Would you need a booster seat?

Kevin: (Obviously discontent) No thank you.

Waiter: (hands Kevin the child’s menu) All right. Your server will be with you shortly.

—> Laughing ensues.

Menu for 10 and under:

A Literary Litany

9 03 2005

Here’s some stuff I wrote after school today, milling away my free time.All Chosen

Chosen to fall and driven in failure,
We cry,
Bound by our keyless chains,
We try,
Forcing the dreams not lost,
We lie,
Spilling near the rivers of hope,
We die.

Dream the Dreams

Nothing is worse than the dreams not had,
The summers unbroken, unsplintered, undone,
Nothing defiles us worse than ourselves,
The menacing vow we pledge alone,
Nothing describes the world’s cliché,
Wrenched dreams we cannot discard or display,
Nothing is abandoned in hope,
But despair swells the seas of tumult,
Nothing, we say, breaks on these shores,
For nothing alone can condemn these doors!

On the Mountaintop

Not tired of trying, so sick of lying,
Where the woods fall and the seas dry,
On the mesa beyond right and wrong,
I climbed the rocks, and went to the top,
Quickly, I stared down at the burnt sun,
Deep with my eyes, I gazed with passion,
Trying to conquer its cold red eye,
Standing, focused, my defiant sight,
Blinded to see the countless bodies,
Of so many gazing high.

Second Nature

I am second nature,
Calling from your frozen home,
Choosing to find you,
Being myself, losing moons,
I am true, because I am you.

I am second nature,
Lost, swindled from you,
The hope that drives you,
The love that holds you,
And the smile that guides you,
Broken, because of you.

I am second nature,
Missing from the everyday,
Held down in emerald waters,
Drowned in dismal display,
Choose to be me, to be you,
Find me, because I keep you.

Kindness, Justified.

Why does light push dark?
Or is dark afraid of light?
Light can be drowned in darkness,
And the dark eroded in light,
So who can tell is the victor,
Unless there is more of one,
Than the opposing other.

WTC, Room 88.13

In the sterile room, I twitch,
The fury of metal and doom,
Dare approach. I knew.
With only seconds to live,
I question myself, my integrity,
My goals, my fruits, my family.
The impending total silence,
Being so violent, I shed a tear,
Not for the distasteful fear,
But for those I would now leave,
Those that bear the thoughts of agony,
And as the tear ran down my cheek,
And as the window glass shattered,
I never saw anything after.

The last one is about 9/11 and what may have gone on for someone watching the plane come into the building. Reading Time magazine the other day, I realized that 9/11 can be an immeasurable source for inspiration in my generation. The experience that each of us had that day was unique, certainly a day unlike any other. Not since Pearl Harbor (and really not even then) were we as a country feeling so vulnerable, so patriotic, so scared, and yet so comforted by our family and friends. That day, I thought, wouldn’t matter, terrorism is global, we were due for it. Later, however, I realized that 9/11 would not go away, never would, and that the fear that was instilled within us that fateful morning was not a Saddam or bin-Laden originated fear; no, rather for me it was a fear that these type of acts were the beginning of a national debt to our earth, the countless that were always said to despise us. Moreover, I was terrified at being forced to acknowledge how naive we were. How innocent. How even today, we still do not, cannot, fully understand the world’s problems, why we’re hated (though the last few years certainly don’t help our transcript), and what lies ahead in our path towards maturity.