Chained To The Floor… By My Own Will…

If I Only Knew

The panic begins as the thought creeps in
My own heartbeat driving everything
I’m so lost against the sound
I don’t even exist anymore
The feelings I once had I don’t have any more
I see myself slipping down further than I ever thought
Chained to the floor
By my own will
A deep dark hole carved into a home
If I only knew, how could I have known
Always give myself one more day
This life is the longest day I will ever know
And starting tomorrow I’ll only have to let go
My fears are only the will to live
If only I knew, If only I had known
My fears would fade away as the day goes on
Existence an excuse to peel myself from the floor
Depression pressed against the skin
If only I knew, If only I had known
Not sure I would have gone on this long
The voices don’t go away they only get louder
Against the heartbeat of what I have to say
If I only knew, How could I have ever known
This would have all become my home
A grave dug from my soul
Told myself I wouldn’t
Not sure I know the difference anymore

That Wasn’t Flying… It Was Falling With Style…

At the edge, could you tell if it wasn’t for the end
Wasn’t going to make it easy
Wasn’t going to take no easy way out
Even if it wasn’t would anyone have noticed?
A silent prayer, the idea digs its way in
Like a moth to a flame
No one ever said I couldn’t but no one knew I could
Infected with thoughts that need no answers
My will was all that was ever needed
Passive aggressive sitting here with you
My mind feels sick but I’m unsure what healthy
Even is…
A long pause between the letters, between the words
Even if I was to get an answer
It’ll never be the one that I wanted in the end
No one ever said I couldn’t but no one knew I could
At the edge left wondering, same as you
Turning around was all that I could do
No use learning today what I already know
Not with all I have left to prove
Call it what you want, call it what you like
A will to live is no different from a will to die
No one ever asked and I never lied
Define the words for yourself
Don’t give up or prepare to die
Trepidation is the heart of fear
Confused, I don’t get the point either
No one ever said I couldn’t but no one knew I could
Figure it all out for myself in time

That last one was a hard one to put together… with a random title like that though… if you haven’t seen Toy Story… We can still be friends… but know that I am disappointed…

It really wasn’t that hard to put together… I had a hard time trying to figure out how to end it… Had a much darker ending before I scrapped it… a lot of my writing is like that actually… My God is famous for saying…“Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can’t vent any anger against them.”

If I have one weakness as a writer it would be my own self censorship… it holds me back and it is a constant battle in my own head… providing me with plenty of guilt… I think as writer we do face a moral dilemma… at least I do… exacerbated by the this medium we find ourselves in… I think it was easier for our heroes to write with “no limits” given their outlets… their moral compass could be off the rails… because someone else did the censoring for them… someone else was there to say… “Hey, that went a little to far”…

This new generation of writers no longer has that… it is only after what we say is out there… after everything we have said has already been “read” by everyone… that we get any feed back and by then it is too late… what you said is what you said… and what you wrote is how you will feel now and always… it is a challenge we all face in our day to day lives… except fiction isn’t my day to day life… but I have to pretend that it is… through social media… through social existence…

Is what I am saying going to be taken a whole other way?… Did I just give someone the fuel to kill themselves because of something I am feeling or thinking?… Is everyone going to think I am racist… a piece of shit… a horrible person because I used one word over another?… Will they get the context or is it only in my head?… Words are words… Words are weapons… Words could be all that anyone needs… and yet words are all we have… words are what a writer lives for…

Good or bad… we base our thoughts and feelings by how others will take it… In person we have the ability to read a room… for example there is nothing wrong with talking about sex… describing sex… most of us have experienced it and will… it isn’t a big deal… a natural occurrence that most of us crave and think about endlessly… I mean if we didn’t… not one of us would be here… Now describe your sex life with your mother… Ask Grandma what her favorite position is… Ask your Dad what his partner’s genitals tastes like… Too far or only talking about things that exist?… things that many of us explore in our writing?… We self censor in our day to day lives… for good reasons… but as a writer why would I ever?… why should I have too in my writing?… Are you here because the sentences are really put together well… because their not… or are you here because of what I have to say?… Because I don’t hold back?… Because even I hold a lot of things back…

We lose this ability to read a room on twitter… facebook… this website… because there are too many rooms to read… granted we have this problem in print form too… except do we?.. sure I can buy a book from some random person… but I still purchased the book… I went out of my way to obtain these words… I didn’t stumble into a room… flip to a random page… and start reading… Though maybe I should?…

I want to be a better writer… who doesn’t?… but I also fear that I never will based on my own limitations… limits I put on myself… in fear that I will push someone somewhere I never intended… writing is so much more than just something to say… something to shock you with… or torment others with… writing is an art… writing is self expression even when it isn’t… writing is so much more than what any one of us thinks it is… I don’t think any of you are stupid… I don’t believe that a single one of you does’t get what it is that I’m writing about… I also know that I don’t know how to read a room… which is how I got into this business in the first place… talking out of my ass was all I ever knew how to do… I mean writing is all I have ever known how to do… Trepidation is the heart of fear…

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Huffing Glass 102… Titles And How They Can Mean So Many Things…

Seeing how there aren’t actually classes going on… or maybe there are… I have no idea what to expect when nothing is to be expected… 2020 anyone?… has all infected us all… even if you live under a rock like me… going to be honest because what else do I have to offer this world?… I do not remember the format for this type of post… Huffing Glass 101… you can use a search engine… I could too but where is the fun in that?… What I do remember… well what I wrote in my notes… is that today’s… lesson?… discussion?… would be about Titles… obviously not about grammar… Thank God or I’d have to issue refunds for this class… But enough small talk… let’s get into this…

Titles… I love them… possibly my favorite part of writing… wait don’t you write short stories… long ass poems… and most of your website is filled with Broken Thoughts?… Well yeah… but they all have to be titled none the less… for most writers… honestly I don’t know… for most of us… titles don’t come first… for me they do… I get hyped by the title… just as I hope you do… the title reels me in the same way it is meant to reel in everyone else around me… Of course like all things in writing… titles evolve over time… Many of my titles start very long… for instance… my first short story collection is called… Drinking Bleach to Stay Alive… but now I just call it Drinking Bleach… Oddly enough now that I think about it… A Lie… has always been A Lie… I never had more than that…

But what is so important about a title to me?… Why do I spend so much time on something that will only be read and referenced over and over again?… I actually don’t spend that much time on them… most of them are spur of the moment… and that moment leads me to writing a story or concept behind them… that sounds great… now lets go… This is the case most of the time… sometimes I have no idea what the title will be until the last second… usually that involves poems though… Long form stories… I usually come up with a title and then build a concept from there…

My most recent book… Teething On Concrete… was written like this… kind of… granted it is a poem collection so the poems were written in advance… for the most part… nothing is finished until it makes it into the book though… and during the editing process for Concrete… I did tailor the poems to fit this new concept… Originally the book was to be called Black Cloud Rising… before that though it was Fell On Dark Days… for obvious reason I chose to do neither title… but for over a year that was the concept of the book… based on those titles… The only reason any of it changed was because I became obsessed with the title Teething On Concrete

It is dark… check… it is weird… check… it conveys a thought in my head… sold… Teething On Concrete… is more than just three words… it is a concept… it conveys… that something is going on… How does someone find themselves teething on concrete?… Why would someone even do that?… Think that?… Have to read the book to find out… There is more to it then that of course… because that is how writing and life works… but that is the main point of what a title does for me… it guides me to a certain goal… My next two projects will do the same…

My next novel is titled Fuck… I Hate It Here or I Hate It Here… (I’m sure that sentence was confusing with the ellipse in the title… but everything has to start somewhere…) Yeah… eight years into a book… I’m still not sure what the title will finally be… You can guess which one I prefer… but it isn’t testing well around the office… It also wasn’t the first title I came up with either… No… originally it was going to be titled… Chewing On Glass… but it didn’t fit the concept of the book I wanted to create… well it did in the beginning but as things progressed during the first round of concepts… it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go… In case you are interested I’m on concept three for this fucking book… but that is a rant for another time…

Basically titles are fun… should be fun… they should make you want to read the story as much as they should make anyone else want to read your story… in my opinion… I personally can’t pass up a good title… seriously I will buy a book based on title alone… Tortured For Christ… I’m a sad desperate person like that… I love me some titles… They say don’t judge a book by its cover… and I don’t… but I can’t pass up some well thought out words burned across it…

So what are some of my favorite titles that I didn’t come up with but I wish I did?… Well thanks for asking…

As I Lay Dying by William FaulknerQuite possibly the best title for any book ever… also the only book by Faulkner that I have actually gotten through… and enjoyed… Also one of the first books I decided to read that wasn’t pushed on to me by school or an institution…

Though to be fair… I thought it would make an amazing band name… turns out I was right… So I had to read it to see if it was worth naming my band after because of course the press was going to ask me questions about it… yeah… young Ambrose was a dreamer… still is… this was all before I found out that a band already took the name and ran with it… I was pretty bummed when I found out…

I can’t say that I love this book though… the story isn’t for me… good or bad is up to you… what I did take way from this book though… was the concept… to this day this book is one of the first bricks laid in me that I want to be a writer… so again good or bad is up for debate… it is pretty crazy the way we get here… but it doesn’t matter as long as we get here I guess…

Last Exit To Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.Not what I thought it was going to be at all… so much more than a simple title… not for the faint of heart… but a masterpiece all the same… I enjoy the basic title against the complexity of the stories… This title has influenced me to think outside of the most obvious titles… or that a book’s title can mean more about what the book is about than the stories themselves… A title is much like the bassist in a band… it must play along with the rest of the band… but it needs to be its own thing as well…

Astro-Creep: 2000 – Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head by White ZombieMixing it up here… not a book of course… but an influence title none the less… This title doesn’t jump off the page… there is a lot going on here… and that is what I like about it… Rob Zombie does this often… just about every album and I find myself doing the same thing…

In closing titles can mean a lot of things… they can influence the way you read a story… they can grab you from out of nowhere… they can drive you to write a whole book… titles are where it is at… and this has been more than enough glass to huff for today…

What are some of your favorite titles?… What does a title do for you?…

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Huffing Glass 101… Something Different…

I’m not qualified to teach anyone anything… to be fair though this isn’t really me teaching anything… honestly this just seemed like a fun idea… I have done it in the past… kind of… so I thought I would give it a try again in a more formal setting… this won’t become a set thing… because again I am not qualified at all… but I thought it could be fun to learn a little bit about the process… Welcome to Huffing Glass 101… today’s lesson will be about Broken Thoughts… where they come from… how it works… and why it doesn’t… lets talk about writing…

Huffing Glass 101

The first part of the process is pretty basic… write some shit down… have some thoughts kicking around in your head… nothing special about this first part… for me though… a thought can be either a poem… a story… or in this case a Broken Thought…

Broken Thoughts was born out of necessity… based on time and place… I tend to have a lot of thoughts kicking in my head during work… right before… on the drive too and from… sitting around… I’m a thinker… I can’t shut the shit off… even when I want too or need too… nothing special about that either… often I find myself with only a few minutes here or there to write something down…

Before I started using my cellphone to capture these moments… I was all about pen and paper… I had a lot less poems in my bag of tricks then… because well… looking for a pen or a piece of paper when you are stocking shelves is rather difficult… also your pockets can only hold so much cardboard before you start to make everything real awkward… people ask a lot of questions when you have pockets full of cardboard and zero intentions of throwing them away… Switching to using my phone has really saved me a lot of time… effort… and overall comfort in my pants… that sounds weird…

But what to do with these tiny moments… sentences that fly by so quick that I barely have enough time to remember where or how they came to me… you could save them… gather them together… and do something with them later… if you are like me though… my writing is a time and place type of process… I often can’t expand on something if the moment has passed… it is no longer raw… and I don’t look at it the same… so my process is an all or nothing approach to writing… it leaves me with a lot of thoughts all broken up… pages upon pages…

Which leads us to how it works for me… I started this website three years ago… I started off with poems… stories… you probably already know this… well I ran out pretty quick… had a lot of cardboard laying around though… not all of it good… great… or in some case anything I am willing to share… Broken Thoughts was born out of again… necessity… after a while I found that I enjoyed it more than just doing poems… or writing out a story… there is something to the basics of it…

I don’t want to compare my Broken Thoughts to a haiku… because they are not anywhere close to the art of such things… but they are very similar in theory and idea… I don’t have any actual rules to my Broken Thoughts… I don’t have any set out intentions of writing any either… I try to just get the thought out… each and everyone of them so I don’t forget…

Sometimes a Broken Thought becomes a poem… or even a story… sometimes it just is what it is… I try not to shy away from anything… because we never know what it will become… losing track here… so I gather them all together… separate them by months… and then move on…

That’s where the website comes in… I print out my Broken Thoughts… come up with a title for the heading… and then I start the dig… as I stated before… I can’t seem to remember or grasp the same head space as before… so the website helps me rewrite them because as I do… I think of new lines… fix old ones… basically I edit until I actually have something… this sometimes changes the point… outcome… or thought all together… here is an example…

Original Thought

Destroying everything was never difficult
Cutting out pieces of me
Every goddamn day
How much of me is even left
Repetition is the key
Replaying these thoughts in my head
Scream them enough and they
Will become true
Enjoy the logic but the theory
Is too goddamn much
Dragging my soul through each day
Swinging at an invisible enemy
Drowning myself with nothing to gain

(Perfectly fine Broken Thought…)

Rewritten Broken Thought

Destroying everything was never difficult
Cutting out pieces of me
Every goddamn day
How much of me is even left
Repetition is the key
Repetition is all I need (new line)
Replaying these thoughts in my head
Scream them enough and they in silence
They will become true
Enjoy the logic but the theory
Is too goddamn much
For one soul to take (new line)
Dragging my soul self through each day
Swinging at an invisible enemy
Drowning myself with nothing to gain
Fucking hero and villain
No longer see the difference

This one ended up being longer… sometimes they are this long and then I cut them down to a whole lot less… this one could have even been a poem if I thought of more lines… but I wasn’t feeling any more lines.. it is a feeling thing for me… I think that is how I am able to separate the dark thoughts from my life… the “darkness”… depression… doesn’t last forever… it comes in waves… so I’m not always down in it…

Which leads to why it doesn’t work… I’m not always depressed… it comes and goes… so sometimes when I am editing… working with… Broken Thoughts… even I am thinking God damn… but that is where the fiction and the truth of my thoughts rub against each other… I thought it at one point… I felt it at some point… but do I feel it now?… maybe… that can be frustrating because instead of having a poem… I have four lines… that I can’t get in the head space of…

The process also doesn’t work because… I have often have a lot of the same lines floating around… the same themes… so I have days of the same concepts written out… I try to condense them to one single post… or spread them out during a cycle… some I have to save for another time… or the books… because I don’t want to dwell on the same things all damn day… nothing special there either…

That’s the process from thought… to cardboard… to the website… and every where in between… if you take anything from this… it would repetition is key… don’t throw anything away… look at it again at another day… and remember nothing worth anything doesn’t come without work… even the most simplest things… come with a lot of steps to get there… keep your head high and follow your dreams… you will get somewhere someday… just remember to enjoy the journey…

Merch… Threadless… Books… Amazon… Broken Thoughts… Twitter

Next month we will take a look at how I pull my head out of my own ass… just kidding it never leaves… we might do something on titles… stories… or who the hell knows…

New Stories… Never Before Seen…
New Thoughts… Not Enjoyed…
New Poems… Well to Read…
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