Jay Gatsby

America in a sense is a country defined largely by the fact that its many children have been deceived and robbed.  The allegiance and values we pledge ourselves to are largely the exact opposite principles upon which the country has been founded upon in the eyes of many.  And yet, as ageless now as it was to the distant pilgrims who sought this golden land, the American Dream’s banner still waves precociously and piously over the ramparts of our collective ambition.  If ever there was a mythological literary figure to represent the sheer incorruptibility of the American Dream, it must surely be Jay Gatsby.

Honor, meritocracy, the aristocracy of reason and ambition, are supposedly the principles upon which our spurious democracy was founded.  Yet in a cursory review of the history of our country we find a nation founded upon acts of dishonor, chauvinism, and avarice. Divorced from the past, we still find in the present that the great promise of self actualization and moxie are not the gilded keys to America’s True Promise that we were led to believe as children.  If our National pride is sickly, and our promise tainted, where then does that leave us?

For some this cynicism lends itself to an abject apathy that manifests itself in the proliferation of internet memes and a spattering of irreverent media decrying the death of meaning and utter listlessness of the universe. To others, the truth is a means to take the reigns from the cold indifference of circumstance and plow the solid rock into form and beauty.  This is what separates Jay Gatsby from the millennial, and makes him utterly timeless.  He is at once The Dreamer, and The Dream.

Much of his life in the Roaring 20’s has analogues today, issues over wealth and class, he defined himself by his lack and his desire.  He reforged himself using the very tools that America itself was built on, profiteering.  This is not a slight against the man however, in fact what makes him ultimately redeemable and incorruptible (despite wealth’s ability to corrode) is his remarkably pure vision, one of impossible, all consuming, love and achievement.  He wanted only to afford that which he could never hope to own.  He loved Daisy Buchanan more than she deserved to be loved, not because she was a being unworthy, but because he had already taken her all those years ago and the Daisy he met later was not the same person.  His expectations of her could never be matched because she was Daisy Buchanan and not Daisy Fay.  Maybe Mrs. Buchanan would have had enough of the love he sought, but how many of us secretly love the phantom of someone, still here but long gone.  A dream is timeless, a moment that can feel like eternity and yet fades so subtly.  It is a moment that exists and is real, utterly devoid of any temporal reference and yet it can be something that takes root in us and blossoms through our actions.

If we were like Jay Gatsby would we too be Great?  If we held on to some impossible incorruptible dream, would we too be granted the temperance to seize our success from the acrid slobbering jowls of America?  Or would we too be swept up in the Great Delusion that encourages us to punch in another hour as Columbia and her many confederates pick us like leaves from the Tree of Life to line their laurels?

In either case there is something to be said for The Dream and The Dreamer.  What I take from Jay Gatsby is that we are mortal without our dreams. Not our dreams collectively, but our defining dream.  Our dream is our compass, and our past our sail, it doesn’t matter that its America.  When our dream is impossible to taint, there are no heights we cannot reach, no riches without us, no devil’s claws can latch to our skin.  We can all be Great too…

Like Gatsby.



It’s funny how no matter how deeply we understand a word, phrase, person, or innately stored concept, our attempts to convey said understanding always falls short.  The way we define things is only ever an approximation. The way we use the words we do and why we choose them are mere facsimile when juxtaposed to our innate understanding of concepts.  Even the most eloquent members of our species are doomed ever to build the shoddiest bridges of communion from one seat of consciousness to another.  Despite this apparent gross mishandling of language, we are always compelled to pin our “best attempt” at communication to the surface of another’s perception.  We are like islands of being.  “Good writing gets down to the essence of things,” a good mentor once told me. There is a divinity ceded within brevity.

In The Backroom

Was you a Black Queen in a past life?

Did God grant you a pass like,

From ancestor to grand daughter,

“I got you right the first time,

no added mix to the formula…”

And she said,

“I beat these bruises out my face,

and rub a smile across my lips,

but you can still see the thorns draped around my neck.

So if you think you can just buy my affection,

or spend my time…”

We painted all night in my studio,

She had a candid conversation with my canvas,

As I brushed her skin in candied couture,

Each breath like laughter,

Until honey dripped between her thighs,

The way the flames of another person,

Swallow you whole before you can wade their shallow waters,

I feel comfortable the way we bury our problems in one another.

False Fantasies

I know it, I know I’m wrong.  There’s no way I could ever be right.  Rationally and empirically there is no possible way she could be the right one for me.  Why? Because I don’t know anything about her.  But I know if only my voice could reach her.  Not that I’m afraid of talking to her of course, I could chat up a storm, but better yet I’m a superlative listener.  I just need my true voice to reach her, the one that speaks on first sight, that  speaks of all the miraculous things the future for her I hold.  I know I can be your everything.  I know what I can be. I know it like I know the tenderness of my mother’s kisses.  But I can’t speak of such things, I can’t say how I know I love you.  How you ignite everything inside me and how there’s nothing I wouldn’t give to you.  I know that I’m just caught up in the experience of witnessing beauty something that should be preserved but not possessed.  I know you could be just as broken as me.  And yet…when I see that woman…With the floppy hat, fur vest, skinny jeans, and black heels.  With the black lipstick, pierced nose, soft lips, rich eyes, and deep skin. When I see her…I can’t help but love her.

Quiet…You’ll lead me astray.

The Passion

When you lie beside, thigh running over thigh, arm over waist…

When you touch and clutch, and grip me with your smile…

When your hair rakes me and your fingers take me…

When you sigh and search, whisper with thirst…

When you climb as we grind, skin shining sublime, bodies intertwined…

When you leave nothing of yourself outside my skin, and the Gods above and Devils below call it sin.

I know I carry a piece of you within.

Thoughts Past Midnight Part 2

It begins as such: The sun reveals the truth in the form of all things, thereby freeing beauty.
What beauties from truth will you reveal to me, I’m hoping it’s something more than skin deep.
My virtue to you is the freedom of expression.
Can I be the catalyst to your satisfaction? An ounce of your doubt and a gram of my passion, chemistry together for favorable metabolic reactions. No need to get ahead of ourselves, we can start with subtraction of all your distractions and work our way down to the fractions of your clothes .
Then maybe dispel all your woes as we lie beside each other, confide each other, preside and realize each other.
If you are my truth then my words are your proof, Mother of my “versa lingua.” Unconfine yourself from the rhyme and embrace thy divine.
The gift you take from wine is the presence of time, not temptuous taste…
Be true to your skin…be true to your form. Bless me with your poetry and every letter’s effort. I’m trying to find that sublime selfless. Wrap me up inside you girl and apply that pressure…and we can push through forever together.

Thoughts Past Midnight Part 1

[Once, skin glittered like gold. Words spun sweet to song. Eternity my goal. Light…soft within my grasp, comforting my soul, comforting my soul.]
(What was taken from me is too innumerable to count.
The little left of me an immeasurable amount.
Life to me is empty.
Nothing lies behind these hollow eyes.
Bowed pride, silent cries, shallow skin.
Melanin to marrow, Silence and sorrow like poison on the tip of an arrow.
Meaning in morning erodes, like tides ‘gainst shores that ebb and flow.
Name remains unknown.
Forever listless, ever ahead remains the road.
Destiny neatly paved, restlessness, heart bereft.
Cities composed of shattered towers and empty hours.
False priests minister in the streets.
I know not you, nor much less me,
Relentless pursuit, lay me to rest.
Bury me deep then fade to sleep, pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Just some simple thoughts past midnight, wishing even for broken wings to take flight.
Your will to fill me my greatest fright.
Even shattered remnants of a human being you say are well worth the fight.
Perhaps you’re right, not enough left of me to decide.
Loving me is the most selfless form of suicide.)