Show Your Fangs

Standard

Welcome back to the blog, damn. I know I’ve been gone for a while. I was moving into my new place and it took me a while to get internet installed. If you caught the vlog last week, you know the deal. If not I’ll fill you in.

I’m starting off with saying sorry, I didn’t realize how much of a bummer i’ve been lately. Especially this year. I guess things got a little out of my control, I just kept saying “I’ve got it together” and didn’t ever write anything other than that. sooo…. this is the last one of those posts. I just wanted to clear the air a bit before we get going. The rest of this year is going to be much better, cause this whole world is at my fingertips. (The same goes for you, in case you didn’t know, friend.)

I love you guys, always remember, Life is not meant to be awful.

You want to know something beautiful?

You can smile, right now, no matter what is going on. You can peel your lips apart and let the whole world in front of you see your teeth.

That’s damn beautiful.

For those of you who have been keeping up, Noose Ends has been much different than my last few years of blogging. I’ve tried new things, I’ve experimented with poetry in ways I never have, and most importantly I have written differently this year than any of the three before it, which has been great for my creativity.

That’s great, how I’ve done it is no good.

As I wrote this blog post I began to recite to you the things you’ve heard a thousand countless times this year from me, about how I’ve been stressed or working hard with nothing new to show, about how life can feel big and scary and I know for a fact that If I continued writing it out I would’ve told all of you that “you can do it.” Or “you have the power.”

But I wouldn’t mean what I was saying. Not really, anyway.

I was looking back on my previous blog posts from this year, some of them pulled from the same inspiration I once found between two loaves of wheat bread I didn’t have to pay for.

Most of them, came from the darkness inside of me. They glorified the struggles and emphasized the defeat. I wanted to tell you I’m grumpy because of all the struggles and stress and all of that shit.

I was going to play back the ticker tape that I’ve let consume my whole of 2017.

What the hell, man?

You’ve heard all of this shit a million times, but I wanted to rehash it once more here for you because we all have these days. We all feel burdened and stressed and we all struggle. I’m here to tell you, man, you are not alone.

I’m right here with you.

Let me catch you up…

Moving into a new place has been nuts. The A/C unit is busted. My bills are expensive. I live upstairs.

(I have a roof over my head. No A/C has made me step out and enjoy the outside a bit more. I am blessed with a job that gives me money to pay my bills. I don’t have to worry about people stealing my stuff because its that much harder to get to.)

I’ve struggled with quitting smoking, going strong for almost forty days before falling off the wagon a day. Then getting on. Then getting off. Then getting on. Right now, I don’t know whether I’m on or off.

(As many times as I’ve stopped, I’ve started, but I’ve still stopped with the intentions in my mind. Addiction is overpowering, but there isn’t one person I know with more willpower than me. I will run out of excuses to smoke and one day, my lungs will thank me with bright pink breaths.)

I’ve been struggling with music and relearning how to do everything, frustrated that I can’t play like I used to.

(I’ve had to relearn some of my favorite tunes, but damn it felt so good to feel that “first” learned feeling again. I might not play like I used to, but relearning means I get to have a second shot at adjusting my bad habits and making them good ones.)

Work has been a lot to handle, bad reviews seem abundant, customer and employee complaints. Squabbles between coworkers. Some of my close coworkers leaving before I wanted them to.

(I am blessed with a job, for every bad review I’ve received I’ve gotten to talk and commune with six great customers who believe in the message I am trying to send. The complaints only get to me so that I can take them and make sure they get fixed in one way or another. I hate when people fight, but in watching the squabbles unfold I’ve realized the many ways that I can better myself as an employee, a person and as a friend. My coworkers might be gone but I am thankful for the time I got to spend with all of them. Memories have been made with those people that I couldn’t make with anyone else.)

I’ve been too out of touch to meditate, or read, or watch movies. I’ve fallen off of my gym routine almost in tandem with my smoking habit coming back on.

(Being that out of touch has allowed me a moment to step outside of my own head, it’s what allowed me to write this post. It taught me to make time for the small things that I enjoy thoroughly. My gym routine might be on and off, but it comes and goes like smoking. One day soon I’ll be in better health all around. There is nothing to worry about.)

I’ve clicked every button in my head to make me stop immediately snapping out at my friends and family and I always have a shitty grimace on my face. I live during the night and I sleep all day long. My sleep is becoming more important than my work.

In fact, I feel some days like everything is becoming more important than my work.

(This is the biggest one. My temper came from the mishandling of my emotions, but through it I’ve discovered that the way I began to handle problems was unhealthy. I felt as though I had worked them out but truly didn’t, meaning that they didn’t go away at all. I’ve learned through the grimacing that I have so many opportunities to just shut up and smile for a bit. The night air is refreshing, but sometimes I need to step out into the sun to be reminded that this life is a gift. The warmth of the sun is great at sending that message. I sleep more, which means I am more rested. When I am more rested, my mind works that much harder. The creativity hasn’t stopped flowing for days now.)

I grew selfish.

(So I gave.)

I grew needy.

(So I created.)

I became enamored with things that would not reflect my love.

(So I loved more things, with more passion.)

I grew unhappy.

(So I smiled.)

 

You aren’t alone in this, and I’m here to remind you of that. But it won’t be through this silly negative bubble that I’ve colluded within. No politician, no addiction, no stress, no damage will be enough to stain my smile.

Sometimes, that is all it takes.

Smile a little bit and the world will spin around for you. Especially when you are asked to smile. It helps a lot, I promise.

If you missed it, check out the Talking Floorboard post from this week Blessing of the Vampire here or @alvatobiasbooks on Instagram.

www.linmtba.com

Advertisements

In The Ring

Standard

The first blog post of February! This week I’m talking a bit about being angry, fighting, and fighting back. Make sure to check out the recap of the blog that will be coming out tomorrow on my YouTube channel Dyzygy!

I was once under an oath of peace. I took it first on a summer day after I had gotten into a fight with a coworker and told him I’d kill him if he continued acting in a way that would piss me off. The next morning when I rolled out of bed I realized that I was too comfortable with using phrases like “I’ll kill you.” And “I will beat your ass.” I was a person who would make empty threats. I rarely meant what I said, there were only a handful of situations over the past few years which would have pushed me to actual violence, still, I spoke as if I was always ready to fight and in extreme situations, ready to kill.

It didn’t sit well with me. So that morning I sat down at the foot of my bed and really thought to myself about who I was and what I had become. I had allowed myself to turn into the wrong kind of person. I was someone who would resort to violence rather than solving the problem. Then, after two years of my life had gone by in which I never hurt a living being. I didn’t step on bugs, or kill spiders, I didn’t hit my friends when I was playing around. I kept my hands and more importantly, my heart, to myself.

Then in the same day, I stepped on a bug and punched someone in the jaw. After I had broken my oath of peace, I grew bitter because I couldn’t uphold my own virtues. Forget the fact that I had gone two straight years without intentionally harming anything. Human or otherwise. I spent a few months in a dark place because of how hard I was on myself after the fact. The punch I threw was justified. The guy definitely deserved to be hit, but I realized after a while that I didn’t need to be the one to hit him. It sacrificed everything I had built my life around. So a couple months after that I went out to the canyon with my friends and adopted that oath of peace for a second time.

I lasted a few weeks that time. Eventually I had allowed my anger to take control of me and I slammed my fist against another living, breathing human being. That time, because he was “arrogant.” I take these things seriously. So when I hit the next guy, I began profusely apologizing. I had done so well for so long to control my anger. I would vent it into everything I could. My music, my books, my poetry. Somewhere in my storage unit I have a box full of bitter and angry poetry that I used to subdue my own hands and stop me from lashing out with violence, be it physical or otherwise. Somewhere after the second oath, I had stopped venting that anger. I let it consume my heart and eventually it began to show. There was nothing I knew to do outwardly to stop the sudden outbursts and the moments where I lashed out at loved ones.

Around this time, I grew disheartened because a musician who I have looked up to for his positivity for years had changed his style of music and had altered the way he behaved. I put so much weight into who he was to me that it actively changed the way I was behaving. I believed, however foolish that belief might have been, that because he didn’t portray positivity or happiness anymore then I didn’t need to either.

Then someone punched me in the ribs.

I was talking shit to someone and assumed we were having fun, when I said something that was over the line and a friend of mine wasted no time to deck me in the ribs. I doubled over because it had been years since I’ve really been punched. Plus, he was strong as an ox. It set my mentality into the correct scope.

I want to tell you that I am fueled by love and happiness and good thoughts. I mean, all of those things propel me forward. I know that I can utilize the feelings that I get from all of that positivity and it is certainly what I want to spread into the world, but it is foolish of me to think an oath of non-violence can be the magical key that makes me suddenly peaceful and happy. It takes a lot more work than that. There is much more that I am made up of than the desire to be peaceful and happy.

To tell you the truth, anger is the root cause of my passion.

I write because I am angry in the moments I have nothing to say.

I play music because I am angry there are so many ugly things in the world.

I write these blogs because I am angry that some days I feel lost, that I don’t know where to go.

Life constantly feels like I am in a boxing ring, getting my cheeks and jaw slammed into the ground by the heavy gloves of responsibility, creativity, duty as a citizen and so much more. I sometimes feel that power that comes from anger. I know that I am left with one decision.

I can either lay on the ground, sad because I have thrown my own arms to defend myself.

Or I can get up, brace myself for the swings I won’t see, and keep fighting back. I will take all the anger I feel for how unjust the world is, the anger for how broken I can feel some days. I will take it all and I will continue to repurpose it into something greater.

I don’t need an oath of peace or non-violence.

I need an oath that I will always give everything I can for everything I can. I will stand silently, and if in the future I am called to fight.

I will fight like the hell has broken into our world, I will fight like a bear protecting its territory and its children. I will fight.

I will fight for everything that reassures me the world isn’t as dark as it feels sometimes.

If you liked this, be sure to check out my website http://www.linmtba.com for updates on new poems and blog posts! (Along with tons of other stuff.)

Without Honor

Standard

It’s important to me that people stay accountable. I have gone back on my word and I have split my tongue for the sake of getting ahead quite a few times. This is kind of like airing my dirty laundry, this you. If you haven’t guessed. Still. I wrote this with someone else in mind and it became a poem that I am tremendously proud of.

2016.12.21- Without Honor.jpg

Follow @alvatobiasbooks on Twitter + Facebook for info on upcoming projects and the like!