Dreams in the Machine (Poems)
Over the years I've had a lot of ideas. I've been writing for a long time, it's consumed a great deal of my free time but the older I get it seems the less free time I have to devote to my own stories and poems. So recently I wrote a poem for every unfinished idea, every unspoken thought, every hidden feeling left unexpressed. Anyone who's ever suffered writers block should be able to relate,
The unfinished story, the unbroken line
The incomplete tale, left frozen in time
I have so many words, stories to share
So much to ponder, the pages left bare
Swirling resonance housed deep in my mind
With a thousand themes that all lead back here
Stories with middles and endings divine
With obstacles keeping them from beginning
Thoughts of beauty blend and combine within
And I shudder to think, if I could only begin
With nervous digits, with my pad and a pen
To tell the tales that swell on tides
It is all so unfocused, like a boiling sea
A cauldron left cooking, now spilling
And how I wish these secrets found purchase
Amongst the minds and hearts I seek to sway
Like shadows of what truly is they stretch
They grow in the light and vanish in the darkness
I see them like ghosts upon the shores of my mind
Haunting the crevices, a home they hope to find
The man is more incomplete than the epic
In it's adventurous waves he hopes to find escape
And ride seas of bravery to a friendlier shore
Where the shadows that hide here can be free once more
Fear keeps the tongue from toiling
And keeps the pen from its craft and its trade
Cowardice traps courage and stifles the truth
From spilling onto pages, and so the words fade
A mask beneath a monster
And a man beneath all that
A shadow beneath Icarus
As the sun melts wings of wax
Self-loathing keeps a bard's hands idle
His lips sealed tight from speaking out
Those who sting left barbs inside him
And venom courses through him now
I hide my face for shame, as the sunsets
Over another day unseized, another tale unwrit
I hide in other stories, in potential unbegot
The stories left unfinished, secrets not unlocked
Dreams in the Machine
It seems like no matter what I tend to return to the same ideas whether I'm writing poems, song lyrics or even attempting a novel.
There are numerous themes touched upon in this next poem but I think the most important is reflected in the line "love the question, not the answer". That idea is something instilled in me some years ago in my college Intro to Philosophy course. The idea being that a true philosopher doesn't just love knowledge or wisdom (as the word philosophy itself reflects) but also loves the mystery itself and readily admits when there is no clear answer. In a sense the philosopher is always seeking but is never satisfied, there is always more to learn.
Dreams in the Machine
Eyes like fire, bleed color into my life
Fragments of a dream, left far behind
Enemies, reaching from memories to torment
No cure in this tortured isolation
I am the foreign body, the germ in the blood
All the pieces fit the puzzle, save for one
That malformed monster in the mirror I dread to see
The one thing that halts synchronicity is me
I am the machine, made to look like man
The alien being, walking alone among them
The inflated sense of animus, of soul and fire
Is it all just an illusion we create with our desire?
Is it I who am the fraud or is the world a fake?
Are we all just dreams, an android's electric sheep?
The shadow-plays upon the eyelids of a god?
Ice cold on the inside with the facsimile of life?
What do I make of her, when she dances in my dreams?
When cosmic eyes call me to ponder what it means to be?
When images the minds of men cannot put to words
Appear to break my mind again in the darkness I prefer.
I am the empty lonely husk, the lifeless storm of atoms
Brought together out of dust, born in the boundless heavens
Given purpose by this life, to seek out love and fire
But in the struggle to survive we see the birth of deep desire
The mysteries of the darkness seen when we sleep
The first creatures to be born that can seek destiny
Beyond the mortal coil, beyond the depth of dreams
Our potential is not limited by the cogs in this machine
And amidst this crowd I'm lonely, with the ignorant and lost
Too busy dreaming to be dying, too worried for the cost
Of turning our eyes from the heavens, from the mystery ahead
To the dying superstitious myths that keep us so limited
Love the question, not the answer, the question is the spark
The mystery's the fire that lights the long dead heart
Love the fire found beneath her, the coals that keep her hot
That light the starshine in her eyes as she dances in the dark
I am the pariah, the voice not often heard
The one who knows the value, of every single word
The vaccine in the bloodstream, the calm before the storm
The cog who doesn't fit in this machine-like world
- Emptiness - A Short Story
Similarly themed short-story.