The Wind

28 03 2007

[In a Car]

My vision blurs as your distant words echo on,
My face did realize far before I knew, that this was over,
And you closed the door, our future children waving,
Disappearing into the crack of a light,
Like a wish stored as a dream never remembered.

My heart has a hand with which it reaches to grab you,
My mind has a way to stop these things
And yes, you’re right with the door,
Today it hardly matters.

My driving’s skewed as the road curves strangely,
White lights ahead flash and confuse me,
I can see that foreign creature comforting you,
Inside a car that likely as not is coming at me,
Today it hardly matters.

[Photograph]

Inside a picture there is a handsome man somebody captured,
Looking at it I peer into myself,
Oh, how pretty I may one day be.

[Voices, Children]

Softer the voices cry telling us not to separate,
More quietly they chant about fidelity,
Doubt springs quietly to drown them,
The voices themselves choking children
Not knowing how to swim.





Deborah

23 03 2007

PART ONE

I have spent the last twelve years of my life attempting to understand the events that unfolded the day my daughter, Deborah, disappeared into the Sargasso park near our home. The difficulty has always been in tracking down where she went in the short, unforgiving interval of an hour between picking her up from school and our late-lunch, early-dinner. You must forgive the rather straightforward speech that this text will put forth. I promise that it is not due to the coldhearted prose of a lawyer but instead caused by three years of crying myself to sleep. Years filled with prayer and wilting hope, a heart that has met a cold end, one that I imagine is not unlike Deborah’s.

She was ten years old. She would be turning twenty-two this coming seventeenth of April. She was born during a storm, the largest the state had seen. Hurricane Jamie tore apart the downtown hospital, they sent an EMT to our area to provide relief. Our basement was, as I had designed it, perfectly safe; still we had to abandon it to run over to the mud-covered ambulance. In my wife’s diary was a note: “We were almost hit by a tree the day Jamie was born.” We were considering the name Jamie long before the hurricane, but after a few discussions we settled on Deborah, my father’s mother’s name. This was the first time I correlated sirens with Deborah.





Leverett House

22 03 2007

This is my new house for next year. I’ve officially been “sorted”Leverett





Every Song from 1993

19 03 2007

like a dawn that turns off the lights

I was writing a page in a book that would never be read
Only to think (or dream) that you or me might
Have fallen in love that night on my bed..
We talked for hours about our problems
Trying to forget them through a glass of wine.

My diary reads something about how we
Debated the existence of destiny, and that you won.
I wonder what I meant when I said that
All of us die watching a movie or reading a book,
Because that night I felt so alive,
I canceled a flight and we made love.

Five more minutes of insistent speak,
She crumbles and yells, yes I’m listening,
She’s nameless anticipating my casual refusal
Because while I’m not much to look at,
I’ve been there before, Tom,
And I’ve written too much about Anna.





The Author

17 03 2007

Kevin begins talking, he looks upwards clearly in a deep state of thought. Where do you think our thoughts and feelings go after we say them out loud?

Maddy responds in a similarly quiet, meditative voice as if they are aware that their conversation was scripted. I think they get said and immediately they become a part of ourselves again. When we share a feeling that is a fleeting second or two of what we feel right now, and then that moment kind of passes you know. And eventually, when the time is right it gets said again. They are said because we need to say them; there’s this compulsion inside of us that makes us say these things. Desires, wishes, feelings all of them coming up to the top and when we need to say them we do.

So it’s kind of like breathing or heartbeats.

Maddy misses the small verbal hit. Yes, it’s a cycle. We say it and it comes out and we swallow it back in though we try to share it between us for as long as possible. Kevin, I love you. I say that because it it’s always there brimming at the surface, waiting for a pause in conversation or a dull moment so that all else an be outshined.

Kevin begins talking. And does not stop. I think … when we say something … that what we’re thinking or feeling – it goes to the other person. They own it, it becomes theirs, and we lose control over having said it. And these stores of words representing emotions and thought decay on their own. It is by repeating it that I can make what is said meaningful. I think of love, right, and I see it as this finely tuned garden that I want to maintain. Not just any garden but a Zen sand garden, and there I am with my rake cultivating my sand. My energy goes into it so that the sand and the texture is well-defined, so that the words are clear and the meaning vibrant. I know that what I’ve said to others will erode, but what efforts I make to maintain this garden, this is what defines me. And maybe that’s a part of the reason I don’t tell my friends I love them often enough is because when people meet me I want the them not to browse but to see this one singular part of me, this spectacularly ornate design I have not only managed to make but to keep up. So some of these things I say often so that they never fall apart, so that they never even for the smallest second escape a perfect understanding. Maybe it’s somewhat routine, but there are other things, like telling you how beautiful you are, things that should be cultivated and aren’t. I bet you’re sleeping by now, aren’t you? Maddy is not sleeping, she is smiling, crying quietly with her back to Kevin perfectly still. He begins to stroke her hair carefully with a face that looks up and down trying to recall something. He moves to lean to look at her face; sensing this, she responds:

No, I’m awake. I’m about to fall asleep. She does.

Kevin begins thinking out loud or talking to himself, he can’t decide which and he knows one sounds worse. Why do people concern themselves with profundities? No one is capable to answer anything, only to produce a working model of an imagined solution. An imititation of something imaginary. I need to be in love, or I need to be laid, or cared for, or have a respectable job or degree. I need a family or a few more friends, yes I should spend more time with friends. I should write more, get a novel published. At some point, other people will want to write about me. There’s enough going on in life without contemplating the why. Fuck. The what is enough.

I want to know what it means to be American and also why everyone can lie so much. Or be hypocritical, I’m not sure which is worse. Everyone claims to be American but even though we praise ourselves on the fact that we make ourselves, that this is the closest meritocratic experiment .. whatever, this .. this is boring philosophical things. I should be seeing the bigger picture, getting business cards passed out, being known if not popular. Who cares about popularity. Well, if I want to do politics, I should care. But I’m not charismatic, well. Maybe I am; what about law. You need law to be good with making laws, but then look at Reagan or even that fucker Jackson, both of them weren’t lawyers, though they also weren’t very good people – funny though them not being lawyers and all. I shouldn’t say fuck. It’s out of character. Why do I think of myself as being in or out of character. I am. That’s it, there is no not being me when I’m doing something. Hell, this is the fucking epitome of being me. I need sleep. Or maybe a good movie. Damn this is probably boring the hell out of my roommate. Why do I think out loud?

He opens a computer. The screensaver is an image of a field, vast open, with a small house featured. All is perfect except that there are bloody handprints on the roof. No explanation. He opens a chat dialogue with a “Rebecca.” He begins to type. Maddy turns over and snores semi-loudly. He turns to her and takes a deep breath. She seems to be lying to him. He sends the first real message (after a few hi’s and hello’s).

Kevin: I feel like when she’s sleeping her calmness is a sort of lie. when shes awake shes basically the same.
friend: do you let her sleep enough?
Kevin: she’s not under my mind control, you know. and I don’t mean she’s sedate when she’s walking I just mean she is always calm
friend: so what’s the problem, you’re lucky boy
Kevin: I just don’t understand what that’s like, the security of being loved like that.
friend: you’re sure she’s not just content knowing she loves you. I mean you’re not exactly the reasurring type.
Kevin: you should have heard what I said today. any girl would have fallen in love all over again if they heard that
friend: but you didn’t write it down did you, you forgot, then you complain to me that you’ve got nothing to wirte about
friend: *write
Kevin: let’s talk about something else
friend: okay, about that poem you wrote, the one on your website
Kevin: i write many, be specific
Friend: the one with the tom and anna references
Kevin: maddy i guess in a way
Friend: hmmm
Friend: expand
Friend: please
Kevin: debating the existence of desitny most fitting
Kevin: destiny being real to maddy and not real to me
Kevin: one day though in talking it out with my roommate i figured out that my frustration with a lot of what happened is that i either want the relationship to have a sense of cosmic destiny or i feel it already does
Friend: ah
Friend: i see
Friend: so to you destiny is much more major than perhaps just what meaning you find/are going to find by the end of your life
Friend: but rather
Friend: it going beyond that
Kevin: i feel that destiny has more to do with taking away my ability to excercise free will .. i mean something so special should be pure because it’s the best choice not because so paternalistic deity thought it best for me
Friend: i agree
Kevin: though considering i more or less equate God and love .. i guess having love pick who I fall for isn’t the worst idea

He closes the computer. He flickers the room’s lights repeatedly. He shoots himself. No, too messy. He drinks every ounce of liquor on the fourth floor and dies brazenly holding his beloved copy of Hamlet. No, too pathetic – it isn’t real enough. He falls asleep next to his girlfriend. There, real. Natural, calm. He thinks of something to say to his audience, that burgeoning crowd inside his mind expecting a finale but ultimately prepared for disappointment:

And so the street, being blind, ceased its endless flurry of footsteps for one moment as if it knew that because they shuffled by quietly, a young boy would be able to rest his weary mind; a casual nap, a lenten vacation, a small sanctuary from a long day.





redesign

16 03 2007

redesigned kevinverbael.com





Long Day

7 03 2007

1. Went to sleep at about 12:30 am.
2. Woke up at 4:30am to read a book I was unable to loan out or buy because (it was due today and) there are 350+ people in my class and only five copies in the library at three hour loans.
3. Read, half-awake, half-asleep, half of the book I was supposed to read today from 5:20 to 8:10.
4. Because my phone wont charge properly I had to leave it connected to my computer, coming back before breakfast, I was looking forward to talking with Maddy. I saw a text message that informed me that Maddy’s dad had a stroke this morning, his left side was numb and they were headed to the hospital.
5. Without getting the chance to talk, I had to go to breakfast at about 8:25.
6. First class at 8:30 meaning I ate for about five minutes.
7. Left class at 10 and came back to my cell, no updates.
8. Went to lecture at 11, then over to Sander’s theater for a lecture at noon. Listened to an inane speech that I later summarized in five minutes. He interpreted about 12 clear, well-labeled graphs that-we-had-copies-of for us. Because you know Harvard kids just can’t read graphs.
9. Went to eat again after lecture, trying to beat the 500+ person rush.
10. Came back to my room at about 1:45, packed up some things, no real word yet.
11. 2:00 – 4:00 I had two sections for AP Government (I mean gov-30) and Hist of US Capitalism. I was outspoken. Adamant. Quite notably, I also managed to be awake.
More or less my day…





Harvard is .. Empty?

3 03 2007

So quiet outside, such a nice day