Monday, February 27, 2012


by David Lee

God was halfway through a game of Jenga when the telephone rang. Lucifer was calling to complain about the heat again, to ask Him could He please turn it down, because the dials were certainly not down there. While He pretended to send Gabriel to fiddle with the A/C, Man stumbled upon Diety's puzzle game and fell to his knees in wonder. God watched as villages and cities and nations of Man sprung up around this sign from heaven, spreading word of His grace far and wide until all had come to see the marvels He had wrought. God was very annoyed by all of this, of course. There was absolutely no way He could finish His match with the eyes of the world trained there, awaiting His final move.

Monday, February 20, 2012


by David Lee

I am the glue, holding split wood together.
At first I pour over the issue, slipping into cracks and fissures
(Those careless chip-away problems)
And settle, taking my hold on those broken pieces that belong together again.
It isn't long before those pieces forget that I am here
And once again begin to tug apart,
Straining against the weight that they have taken upon themselves.
"More glue!"  They shout.  How can they know
That I could never fix things in the first place,
     Only keep them from flying apart?
I am the glue, holding shattered dreams together,
And I hate it.


It's knowing what they want of me that scares me.
It's knowing, having followed, I must lead.
It's knowing that each person there compares me
To those in my past whom I now succeed,
But how can whatever I do for them now
Be enough?  Be enough?

-"Dance of the Robe," from Aida
    by Elton John and Tim Rice

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Rating: 8 out of 10

Warnings:  This book tells it like it is.  If you are uncomfortable with mention or discussion of sex, this book will make you uncomfortable.  However, the prose never describes the actual act and the narrative focuses more on the resulting character development and choices than the actual act.  Also, this book is about a girl who was raped and murdered.  If that premise rubs you the wrong way, you may have a hard time getting into the book knowing that that particular event may be addressed at length.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is an intriguingly honest account of Suburban Tragedy and its outcomes.  One of the things that I loved about this book is the statement that it makes through the cleverly objective storytelling:  "Yeah, things happen.  Good things AND bad things.  It's useless to ignore them and it's destructive to dwell on them."  Many of the "secret" aspects of suburban life are pulled out from behind closed doors and presented to us by Susie Salmon, the main character and narrator, a girl who was raped and murdered when she was 14 years old.  As a girl who was just beginning to discover what the world was and how she fit into it, the resulting narration is brilliantly unbiased.  For example, one of the characters is described to have felt stirrings of homosexual feelings (It is a brief paragraph that mentions the fact, and it is referenced two or three more times in the novel) but rather than advocate the acceptability of such urges or condemn the character experiencing these feelings, Susie Salmon simply states that this character feels these things.  This and many other story aspects are left open for the reader to decide how they feel about what is going on.  The story does not paint Susie's suburban community as a neighborhood rampant with immorality and sin, nor does it capture the charming sameness that we all expect from developments where the identical houses are lined up all in a row.  It simply tells of life, how it is, how it happens, and how we deal with it.  Any sort of closure that you might expect from a traditional narrative is flipped on its head in this book in favor for action that would be closer to actual events.  The storytelling is almost cinematic, a quality which is a gift from the narrator, who has the unique position of being in heaven, watching the proceedings.  We see things through Susie's eyes, and so we are able to see things from a bird's eye view as well, often switching between plot threads as quick as a scene might change in a movie.  The end effect is that The Lovely Bones becomes a form of visual poetry in print while being a strikingly frank representation of the author's well-crafted world and characters.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is open to a new sort of experience with literature.  It does deal with some deeper things, such as the loss of loved ones(living or deceased), the processes of grieving, revenge and reconciliation, and what heaven might be like.  I personally believe that to soar to the highest heights, or at least to appreciate the view up there, we must be able to make it through the rock-bottoms of life.  This applies to literature as well; in order to reach a hopeful ending with all the loose ends tied up to the reader's satisfaction, the piece should explore and build upon those deeper themes that touch the most guarded parts of our soul.  Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book, and I hope you will too.  Happy Reading.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You Matter

Sometimes when you're least expecting it, the world shows you a glimmer of hope. I was sitting waiting for the bus a few days ago when I saw these two words written in dry-erase marker on the glass of the walls: "You Matter." I'm sure whoever wrote it didn't mean it for me specifically, but I felt like somehow fate had arranged for this message to reach me on a personal level. Later that day the words were gone, which was sad because I think everyone needs to hear that they matter more often than they do. Especially from those who they are close to, who assume they know already.

Today was Valentine's Day, a holiday generally greeted with mixed feelings. I had my own selfish feelings about it, believe you me. But one can only ask one's self why one isn't currently part of a two so many times and still stay sane. Instead, I decided to find another outlet for my love on this day of romance. And then I thought, "Why does it have to be just romantic love? I love plenty of people in a way that doesn't make my heart do triple salchows." There ended my hormonal depression and began a brighter day.

I'm going to quote a truly amazing person, someone I want to grow up to be like someday: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” [Mother Teresa] It doesn't matter what you do, so much as the fact that you actually do something. 'Nuff said.

I know it's kind of a trite subject sometimes and you hear this a lot, but I'm not going to say anything more about it, because I feel that matters of this magnitude should be left simple and stripped of sugar. So here it is: Love everyone, and let them know it.

And if you're reading this, just know that YOU matter. Yeah, you. And don't ever forget it.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 10, 2012

an excerpt from "The Hollow Men"

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

--T. S. Eliot

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Some people say it's foolish or stupid to wish on a star or kiss the clock at 11:11.

What's wrong with wishing?  Sure, you might not get what you want.  But hope is a human characteristic.  Without it we wouldn't dream, and without dreams what could we accomplish?  On a more intellectual note, just saying your goals out loud or writing them down cements them in your subconscious, and that part of the mind can do amazing things.

So I'm going to keep wishing, thank you very much.  But I'm not going to stop working for those wishes to come true.

Monday, February 6, 2012

When You Turn Off The Light

Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We're all the same size
When we turn off the light.

Rich as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We're all worth the same
When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to just reach out
And turn off the light!

-- Shel Silverstein


by David Lee

The numbers count backwards from ten to one
The silver doors whoosh apart.
If it is empty, I can dance a bit
And press all the buttons, and say naughty words
And speak to God, and fart, and smile for no reason.
If someone is in it, I take my place,
A quiet smile assuring the other passenger
That I do not smell anything funny,
And that I don’t mind that all the buttons are pushed,
And that I don’t like to dance.
But how free it would feel to speak to God with a stranger
As we climb the floors, one by one.

Comments I received from my Professor:
(line 2) I can just hear that.
(lines 4-5) very human.
(line 11) is free the best word choice?
(lines 11-12) very nice ending.

Total points:  95/100



This step is once again our first...
We set our feet upon a virgin land.
We hold the promise of the earth
In our hands.

-"In The Beginning," from Children of Eden
     by Stephen Schwartz