Saturday, September 3, 2016

That Waterpark Kid

It was a long line. Looking up, you could see the many flights of stairs spiraling up to the waterslides. Looking down, you could see the whole indoor waterpark, see people swimming and running and laughing. Sunlight from the glass ceiling pleasantly warmed my back.
I saw a little boy making his way up the stairs to join the back of the line where I was, pulling with him a blue double tube that seemed comically large compared to his small body. He was wearing a turquoise swim shirt and he had dark chocolate hair, and large innocent brown eyes. Coming up behind me, he asked me, "Can you please hold my place in line for me? I need to go get someone." So I said sure and I took his tube in addition to my own so he could dash back down the stairs.
The line slowly moved forward, and the boy soon came back to reclaim his tube, still alone as he didn't appear to have found the person he was looking for. He waited impatiently in line for a bit before he had me take his tube again, running back down the stairs to find whoever it was he was looking for.
Soon I was nearing the front of the line, and I was beginning to worry that the kid wouldn't make it back in time to go on the slide. Finally I saw his face as he made his way back to our place in line, still the other person was nowhere to be seen.
"Did you find who you were looking for?" I asked.
He nodded, but I saw that he kept looking over the stair railing down at the ground, anxiously searching for someone, hoping to see them making their way up the steps so they could go on the slide together.
We got to the top, but still no one had showed up. As I was about to go down the slide, I looked back to see that the lifeguard had taken the boy's double tube, exchanging it for a single tube.
The lifeguard said I could go, so I pushed off and down the slide, crashing out of the bottom of the slide into a wave of water and laughs.
But when I looked back to see the boy come out of the slide after me, his face looked absolutely crestfallen. My heart fell.
I didn't see him after that but I hope he's having a good life.

The Sun Shines the Same Way in All Places

Lost old lady wandering lone
Looking for a bit of home
Soft youth trying to find her way
To each, the other's eyes, they say
Things are going to be okay.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fake Flowers

Fake flowers

Have watched real flowers come and go

Seen their delicate beauty

Smelled their fragrance

And watched them wither and die

And wondered why arrangements of plastic

Should deserve to live for so much longer

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

We're Off to a Good Start

Today I forgot
That I have to write poems
For the next two months

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rock

Hello moon.
Are you waxing or are you waning?
Is it just me or are you sinking?
Are you waxing or are you waning?
I didn't pay attention in science class so
I forgot which direction the light spins
Silver crest, sky smiling far away
I forgot which direction the light spins
But whatever because in the end
Your light tells me that the sun is just
Beyond                    The horizon
Where we pretend things disappear into
A single point or two
But we know the truth, you and I
It's daytime on the other side

Hello moon.
The best flying rock in outer space
Or maybe technically falling in circles
Actually I take that back
Planet Earth is certainly a better rock
Sorry

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Case for Abstract Expressionism

No one really stops to think about art except art professors or historians or museum curators. That's the first thing; when someone criticizes abstract art for being lazy and pointless, I sometimes doubt that they've really tried to examine and study it closely. Maybe they have, but they just don't see a connection. That's fine, I get it. I'm not going to shove art down your throat if you don't get it. I don't get medieval art. It's some of the most boring stuff to me. But let me tell you, you have no right to assume that since you think something is stupid, everyone else should think it is too, and that people only just pretend to like it in a sort of attempt to engineer the type of person they are and that others will see.

But let's be honest. If a person doesn't feel abstract expressionism, I am almost inclined to believe that if they tried hard enough to understand, listen to, spend time with and know artists and art fans, they would begin to see just what it means to those people, and form interpretations of their own. But I mean, just because there's a small chance you could understand it if you really really tried, doesn't mean you have an obligation try. I mean you have a life too. And you probably have other things to worry about, other things that you care about and are passionate about. You can't afford to care about everything.

I'm just a high school student. I know very very very very little about anything. I think about art quite a bit though. I don't expect you to agree with me, but this is my take on abstract art.

There are all types of people in the world. Truly there are people who live out most of their lives in their own heads. I guess some people would say they are unrealistic and irresponsible and they should stop imagining things and live in the real world. But to them, their  mind is the real world. They spend so much time mulling and examining their thoughts and emotions, it's what they know.

All the abstract expressionist artists I learned about in Humanities class were "tortured" artists. These are the type of people for whom most of their lives is focused on an inner dialogue with themselves. (I am not entirely sure if they were tortured and depressed as a direct result of the things they thought about, or if it's as a result of a consequence of being introspective all the time, for example routinely not sleeping enough because they've stayed up all night thinking about the meaning of the universe, because prolonged sleep deprivation really takes a toll on your sanity. Or being bad at making friends and then being depressed because they have no one to share their inner world with. Or, I think simply because they're part of a misunderstood minority of people, or they feel that they're in a minority of people. Because even if 70% of the population was like this, they would all be so isolated within themselves that they wouldn't realize they weren't alone.)

So we have people like this. Do you think they're going to connect well with a realistic classical depiction of a king? Or a mundane impressionistic landscape? (Okay well I was going to say no, but actually probably yeah now that I think about it. I think maybe they could connect with anything that doesn't talk. So I guess there are some details of the "real world" that they would focus on and the rest kind of is a blur for them. I mean they have to have some inspiration of something for them to think about, right?)

But anyways I digress. My point was supposed to be that these artists have so much in their mind and how they see it, there's not much in the real world that mirrors how they feel. I mean, nature is wonderful, but what about the expansive seemingly endless jumble of swirling emotions that surrounds and colors the artist's every waking second? What does one do about that?!? Painting depictions of the real world simply isn't going to do these emotions justice.

When I look at a work of abstract expressionism, I think that the artists are trying to paint their own world. They're creating their own spaces. They're not copying God's work, they're trying to make their own. We've had centuries of trees and people in our paintings. They want to make their own world. These artists, they're playing god. Drawing on the forces inside their heads.

And every artist's work is very distinct. I think that on their own, the art wouldn't mean that much but the artists charge the canvases with their purpose and their life. They make the art, and the art makes them. It becomes a part of their identity. Truly each artist is unique and feels and interprets their world differently.

You're going to look at their art, and you're not going to see the same thing as what they painted. (Maybe you don't see anything at all.) But I think they know that. Maybe they're okay with that or maybe they don't ever quite get past the rift that traps them in their own minds. But anyways, whatever you see in that art is going to say a good deal about who you are, and you're probably not ever going to entirely understand it! Especially if you aren't accustomed to thinking about things without need of words to describe what you're thinking. But for many people, there is something there when they look at that art.

And you know what, it's not that easy to come up with something that detaches itself from the natural world and becomes a representation of a only feeling! Pollock? Check out the surface of Europa. Rothko? There's an endless color field shimmering and shifting its tone to reflect the state of the world and it's called THE SKY. (IMO compare the artist's work to God's work, the artist's work seems crude in comparison.) But anyways, that art is going to have a character that is unique to itself and its painter.

I think it's just amazing and rich, the art. It sometimes kind of hurts though.
So. That's my take on abstract expressionism.


----------------
A CODA
You know something that isn't reflected in nature though? Music. You could say most music is abstract because it rarely ever resembles birdsong or running water. Music is kind of something mankind can boast as its own creation. It's really distinctly human. Although there are insanely ingenious skilled composers who can illustrate a morning or a storm or moonlight with their music, it's a very human emotionally charged rendition. It's crazy, I can't wrap my head around it. The theory of music is really very simple compared to the emotions it can evoke. And the technical theory part of music is already insanely complex as far as I can tell. Like Mahler, Sibelius?!?! Where the heck did you get those ideas?!?! How did you know how to express it so perfectly?! Aaaaaaaah I just CAN'T EVEN. You guys achieve alicorn princesshood. You too Beethoven and Stravinsky and Mozart and Bach and Tchaikovsky and Dvorak and Barber and Marjan Mozetich (srry had to google ur name) and Delibes and Verdi, Rossini, Strauss, Strauss, Strauss. You get cookies AND RAVEL AND DEBUSSY AND LISZT AND VAUGHAN WILLIAMS AND CHOPIN k I'm not going to liszt everybody it's just too much to handel





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Something I just remembered

Back at the end of September, the legacy orchestra played at Rice for their first beginners concert. It was really great to play and see Mrs Fox and Mrs D and walk down the old hallways and visit my old orchestra locker and help stack chairs at the end of the concert. (haha it hadn't even been half a year at that point but I still was really nostalgic.)
Anyways, after all the chairs and stands were racked and put back into the correct rooms and most people had left and the sky was dark purple with a tinge of red, I walked outside to the sound of crickets chirping and a breeze of cool air. I tried to call my mom to pick me up but for some reason the call wasn't going through so I just hung around near the flagpole enjoying the quiet and hoping I wasn't being bitten by too many mosquitoes.
There were some other students and parents talking to Mr. Glasscock who was staying and making sure everyone got their ride home and no one was left by themselves in the dark. Slowly, one by one, all of the students left as I kept trying to call my mom. So then it was just Mr. Glasscock and me, and he asked when my parents were going to come, and I explained that my calls weren't going through for some reason, and I started feeling bad for making him stay for so long so I just started walking in the direction of home and maybe just hide behind the building until he thinks I left and idk? I also just kinda wanted to be alone and yeah.
So Mr. Glasscock walked up and was like you still here? And I was like yeah but I finally got a call through so the two of us sort of just sat on the curb near an orange-glowing streetlight waiting for my parents to come.
Mr. Glasscock I guess couldn't take silence so he was trying to make conversation.

"How's Jasper?" he asked in a tired sounding voice, and I was just like "It's okay."
"Is it harder?"
"I guess, but it's not as different as I thought it would be."
"I have 2 daughters in high school."
[I can't really remember what I said to this, it was probably something lame like oh that's cool]
"How are your grades?"
"Okay. Not good enough."
"What are they, like 96s?" this said with a sort of sad tired laugh in his voice.
*heh heh nervous laughter*
..
"How's your GPA?"
"I don't know, I haven't calculated."
"GPA takes all the fun out of learning."
..
"Yeah."

At this point I looked up to see his face, dimly lit by the orange glow of the streetlamp. His tired face, a face I imagine once glowed with limitless joy in teaching and learning, now just so done and not even frustrated anymore, just tired. Disappointed.

Mr. Glasscock had now gone on to complain about the mosquitoes, but I had the sound of his voice, the look of his face imprinted into my thoughts, where I turned the image over and over in my mind the whole ride back, staring out the open window at the houses going by, glows of orange against the dark sky.