writing to know, knowing thru being, being for writing... this is me, writing about the one thing i know, which is myself... and even that is sometimes a mystery...

Sunday, July 31, 2005

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!

since the dissolution of my last relationship, i've gained a new perspective on things. and it's manifesting itself in surprising layers and facets:
i've always told myself i would never let a relationship get in the way of my personal life (which now sounds like an impossibility, as well as a logical fallacy, but really i just mean "personal" as in the life that i have control of... my life, my choices, the stuff i do for myself).
i don't think i could be happy with myself, knowing i had turned into one of those sad, weepy, little girls that define their self-worth and social success by their relationships. i don't know, call me a feminist i guess, but i think that an individual woman is worth more than what she is to a man. and i don't know, call me selfish, but i believe an individual can only satisfy others to a certain extent without losing complete sight of him/herself. i mean, after a while, you just have to stop trying to appease every person that you meet and wants something from you. because after a certain amount of time, you're just going to find out that you had lost yourself in the process and you don't even know who you are, or who you want to be.
so (all of this connects, i promise! just bear with me!), i guess my ideas about love and life finally co-destructed due to recent events. yes, this break-up business sucks. and yes, i find it difficult moving past the constant barrage of thoughts and feelings whenever i'm reminded of the other person. and yes, sometimes, i think that i would do anything to just make things right again so long as i can regain what i had lost. and sometimes i feel like i'm the one to blame, and wish i had done things differently.
i absolutely hate when stuff like this gets to me. i try not to let it, but i'm realizing now: that's just what happens in relationships. you make yourself vulnerable to all the little pains and sorrows that wouldn't penetrate you otherwise. and that's the beauty of it, in the end. you rip yourself open, bear your soul and heart to the open pulsing of world around you, tearing open your wounds and creating new ones so you learn how to breathe and live. it's standing at the edge of a cliff, with the wind swirling around you, threatening to blow you down. but you have to fall in order to soar.
the resulting hole is so easily filled with other things. like being blind, you know, all your other senses pick up the slack so you're fine-tuned to other things you might have missed. i guess i'm just saying it's not all bad. i'm learning to adapt.
and one of the great things i've gained from this is a new appreciation for the film, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. when i first saw it, i actually hated it. in fact, i thought it was unoriginal. but after rewatching it the other day, i realize now the emotional depth of it, the stuff you can't fake with stylistic flourishes. it reminded me of my relationship, but in a positive way, as opposed to a pathetic one. the film is realistic in that respect: it actually portrays relationships in a way that reminds people of the pain and loss, but that juxtaposes that over the joy and pleasure of it all, in a way that reminds us of the close relationship between love and hate, and why we risk the hurt in the first place. so even those moments we regret and wish to forget, those moments that hurt the most to relive, are necessary and integral to the ones we wish to remember and keep, those memories we base all the rest of our lives on.
and this now brings me to a stars song i have learned to appreciate this summer. if you've never heard their stuff, i highly recommend it. it's superb stuff. really.
i'm not sorry i met you.
i'm not sorry it's over.
i'm not sorry there's nothing to save.
--from stars' "your ex-lover is dead"
and with that, i'm moving on. (yes!)
love and hate (and everything in between),
stephanie "o.s." lee

Saturday, July 30, 2005

the piano man

i'm spending most of this weekend writing, reading, and playing piano, mostly learning (and re-learning) radiohead pieces.

so, to help me get in the mood (which isn't difficult considering radiohead is so fun to master on the pianoforte), i've got a prose poem that i wrote after i heard about the mysterious piano man of recent months. (what ever happened to him anyway? did they figure out his story? someone fill me in, it seems i stopped paying attention to it after a while... oops.)

enjoy your weekends. and hey, listen to some radiohead! or, learn the piano. both are equally fine ways to spend one's time.

hasta la vista,
(don't you just hate how every time you hear that phrase you immediately think of arnold schwarz...? it is a real phrase used by real people... it's not a catch phrase invented in the movie. it's still just words that belong to every one else...)

the piano man
enigmatic identity-less stranger
a face with no code
what magic propels your fingers?
what invisible truths sing from your depths?
what vacant stare meets you in your empty mirror reflection?
what do you see when your eyes meet your fragments in the ebony/ivory veneer?
what races through your mind to speak through your fingers?
what conveyance of soul do you project to our hungry ears,
consuming, absorbing, absolving
your ethereal charm-song,
sustenance found only in your miss-story.

Friday, July 29, 2005

ode to joy

so, i realized today that my summer is coming to a rapid close. as of today, i have only 18 (!) days before i head back to school at good ol' miami univ. (in ohio!!), to hit the books again and struggle to define my educational objectives and forge my path in life, not to mention job training (for my exciting position as a writing tutor, for which i am only getting paid a measly $5.25/hr, for what i believe is a really difficult job... i mean, helping kids with their writing can be excruciatingly tasking!). ah, yes, and i must also deal with a horrible break-up and try to get over my ex, trying to basically build a new social life for myself so i can move on. yeah, so suffice it to say, i'm not really looking forward to moving back.

but, with pain comes inspiration. i've had a wonderful time this summer writing through my thoughts and struggles, and out of this project, i've really come to understand myself better, and i believe i've come closer to achieving some bit of clarity in my life. and this is really cheesy (bear with me...), but i think this blog has helped a lot.

so, before this becomes too open-diary-y, here's one of several odes i wrote while walking in the public park this summer.

enjoy, and please have a wonderful weekend.

love and peace in the middle east,
stephanie lee

ode to a paint-truck caravan
o! - the precision it must take,
to drive your crayolalur vehicle,
out-line-ing the path by which we follow,
to pencil in
the route that directs our chaos.
o! - the self control it must take
for you to remain still,
and curb the deviant desire
to swerve madly freely
out of the directive lines of the road
and drive everyone after you
careening, flipping, summer-salting,
uncontrollably, blindly,
an endless line of madness to follow
a vision of humorous precision
an inexplicable perfection
in the natural world (in)order.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

silly, silly poem. please don't read.

so, i apologize in advance for my post today, but i just got back from the doctor and have a bit of a headache, so i'm not feeling really creative or thoughtful. i don't know, maybe it was the fact i found out i have all sorts of things wrong with me (like stress fractures in my shins, so i can't run or play tennis for like a month or so. which sucks, because i love to run around and jump up and down... and basically have a really good time. i mean, the way i figure it, my body's going to experience some wear and tear no matter what happens. i might as well be out there enjoying life, even if it means i incur some injuries in the process. i mean, living = dying and dying = living, right? i would hate to sit around the house moping about all the stuff i could be doing, just getting old and too arthritic and sad to go out and do anything any more.)
i'm rambling and being really silly, so i'll stop now. and leave you with a totally random poem i wrote once when i was taking a shower. i was at home by myself and kept hearing weird sounds in the hall, and getting a little scared... and wondering what would happen if i were killed at home and my parents came home later and found me. it might have actually turned out as a decent poem, had i perfected the art of writing in the drip-drop-y shower, in the liquid water rays of shower-time inspiration.
so, enjoy. i'm gonna go ride my bike or something...

pleading, praying
to the domestic appliance deities
as rainwater spewing from
mouths eyes ears hands heads knobs
cleanses and absolves my wrongs and writes
movie scenes flick-flicker-ing
splish-splash-er-ing in my mind,
flooding my bouyant un-dense
instead of this drowning feeling.
until there's nothing left.
shriveled, prune-y,
sunken, swollen, lathered, rinsed, repeated
follicles, cells, roots, nails, eyes, hairs, pores.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

over-the-rhine and the navigators concert review!

picture from ky theatre's troubador concert series

ok, i have a treat for you guys today: a review of the totally awesome concert i had the unique pleasure of seeing monday night, over-the-rhine (otr) and the navigators at the kentucky theatre.
now, some of you may be familir with otr (or not, hey, it's all cool). but i bet very few of you have actually heard of the navigators before. well, both are great bands. otr hails from cincinatti, ohio and get their name from the district of the same name (where i also happened to volunteer this past november during election week, see my post from that experience). otr, the district, was named by the german immigrant community that settled in the area, and has historically been predominantly inhabited by ethnic minorities and members of the impoverished and exploited working class. yet, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the prevailing poverty in otr, the community has established a surprising devotion to the arts and media-related programs. the community center at which i was stationed as a volunteer in november opens its doors to all members of the community. it's very open and caring, nurturing to the needs and creative strivings of its members, providing shelter from the dangerous, grime-y present day world, allowing strangers to come inside and become quick, close friends.
so, it comes as no surprise that the band otr would reflect this same philosophy in their music. as a conceit for their musical craft, their name speaks volumes. otr manages to construct a home for your heartbreak, a niche for the aching you experience in life, a place for it to grow and bloom, and satisfy your need for some musical comfort. otr's new record, drunkard's prayer, comes forth from a furnace of struggle, wrought with tinges of loss and remorse, pending the difficulties of otr's relationship while on tour. as singer karen expounded during the concert, the process of making this record reflected the process of working through her marriage with fellow band-member, pianist/guitarist linford. it took a lot of devotion, hard work, and apparently, "two cases of wine... one for me, one for him."
and the struggle and effort shines through. while other neo-folk/grassroots/americana rock acts (such as my love, sufjan stevens and indie darlings, okkervil river) produce music suited for broken hearts to mellow and brood to, otr excels in its formation of musical sunbeams and raindrops. though otr's wailing and gentle phrasing echo the craftings of the likes of sufjan, the feeling otr imparts is one more conducive to long cups of tea, an accompaniment to serious bouts house-lounging. it's the score to that week before a break-up, when you sense the inevitable happening, when you dread the future, and are searching for the fight within to stop it. this is a record that cries with you, that wails alongside your troubled heart.
it deals with the unique situation of working through a relationship, the highs, the lows, the soaring and falling in between, the gradual repairing, and perhaps, the steady realization of a loss, and the coming to terms with the inevitable pain and remorse you are left with.
like the moody situations they represent and reflect, otr's music travels the dippings and joltings of love and loss, but with a trace of hope. while other bands may leave you in stagnation, sinking deeper into a forlorn funk of your reliving past, otr lifts your spirits, offers you a glass of wine, and the resolve to peel yourself off the floor and fling yourself back into life.
(check out the woodsongs archive of past shows and to listen to some audio files of performances. hey, you can even watch the broadcasts!)

Monday, July 25, 2005

variations on a theme by brautigan

you're just a copy
of all the candy bars
I've ever eaten."

you're just a counterfeit
of all the dollars
I've ever slaved for.

you're just an echo
of all the past experiences
i cry over.

you're just a smudge
of all the moments
that have passed.

you're just another face
in the infinite tunnel of mirrors
that taunts me.

you're just one grain of sand
on the stretched island beach
washing into the sea.

you're just a moulded duplicate
of your mother
and her mother before her.

you're just a reflection
of all the other people
i've fucked and who fucked me.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

holden caulfield speaks to me through walls of glass

museums are such disappointing,
depressing places.

all that stuff on display,
slowly rotting before your eyes.

they take all the glory and imagination
out of the past.

you realize when looking on them
the undeniable humanity.

and you lose all your fascination and trust in people of the past
for being like us.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


pit pat pit pat pitp at pi tap it pa tip
swish wish ish is i swing wing ing in n swoosh woosh woo oo shhh
thack wack tack whack hac hack ack ac
plshh woooo
tch tck tmnnn treee
wreee splank plank lank ank an k

how to capture the sounds of a saturday stroll in the park,
the whistling wind,
the laughter of children,
the charming of birds,
in words?

Friday, July 22, 2005

a friday poem

the car after a night in the garage.
cool wind shifting
thru open windows.
the humid summer air
your bubble of cool wind,
your car,
as you drive thru the streets of your neighborhood,
you're happy
and feeling like home.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

costco is infinitely superior

just found this article comparing costco and wal-mart, which elucidates another reason why wal-mart sucks: they could be generating revenue in worker-friendly ways, but choose not to. again, it's all about the money for this corporate capitalist money-hungry machine.

give the media a (much-needed) kick in the ass! here's how...

for those of you who might have read my recent post about the newly nominated john roberts, may know that i wasn't quite sure what to think about the news. well, here's an update: i am absolutely stunned, frustrated, disappointed, angry, and afraid.

i am stunned that bush would pull such a stunt. that he would consider rushing his nomination, and make what everyone, both right and left, know to be a fairly controversial choice, in order to draw attention away from his buddy karl's current trouble.
i am frustrated with these political games and powerplays. that roberts is considered a "legacy nomination" really strengthens my view that bush and his administration are striving to mould america into something it isn't, and doesn't want to be. the future is being messed with, and the people of america deserve a say in the outcome. everything that is happening now will affect us, in one way or another, and it really pisses me off that the new nomination is basically another attempt to continue the bush regime further into the future.
i am disappointed that bush decided against nominating a woman to o'connor's spot (even against the first lady's advice and hopes). o'connor was usually the swing vote, voting in favor of women's reproductive rights and being one of the more liberal, reasonable justices. and now roberts? definitely a step down.
additionally, bush decided against making a historical and progressive move by nominating the first hispanic justice, but hey, you can't expect the guy to deviate too much from his already solidly disappointing style and record.
i am angry at bush for letting the american public down. roberts is hardly qualified to become a justice. he has served only two years as a judge, but has served more significantly as a fervent right-wing supporter and bush cronie. he has repeatedly demonstrated a tendency to let his personal views (religious, political and otherwise) to color and indeed, taint, his public decisions. from wanting to overturn roe v. wade, to threatening privacy rights, to supporting the ten commandments and prayer in school, this guy seems to be against everything america stands for.
and, i'm afraid that with the little bit the media is doing to make all this evident to the public, and with the media falling for bush's trap and turning its attention away from pressings issues (such as coverage of karl rove's wrongdoings), that roberts might eventually get through to the court, that rove will get away scott-free, and the public will have no idea how they've been wronged.

well, with all these emotions comes certainty in action and resolve. i ask you, those who actually read this and care to help kick the media's ass, to send a message to your local newspapers, expressing your concern for the current state of things. your focus and determination is just what the media needs.
hopefully, we can actually make a difference!

i've done it already, please do your part as well. write your local newspapers and express your concerns.
and join the fight against roberts' nomination here.

thanks for fighting the good fight!
~stephanie lee

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

wal-mart = EVIL

...well, it's a source of a lot of problems anyway.

as pink floyd elucidated in their song "money," "money is the root of all evil today." and i concur completely. and so, i also conclude that walmart is evil.

which is why i was so ecstatic to receive word of a new grassroots movement to screen a new film, titled the high cost of low price, about wal-mart corporate policy, its exploitation of workers, and its negative effects on communities, the american economy and american people, all for the sake of cheap costs and revenue.

as alternet writes:
"Every new Wal-Mart store creates a ripple effect -- family businesses close up shop, factories shut down, communities get squeezed, and fulfilling careers are turned into nightmare chores. Meanwhile, taxpayers are footing the bill for the healthcare of thousands of Wal-Mart's employees, while the company receives exorbitant tax breaks from the very same communities Wal-Mart will eventually discard. These are blatantly anti-family, anti-American practices."
so, i, being a grassroots-movement-kinda-gal, a fervent opposer of wal-mart, lover of fair trade, as well as being an aspiring media reformer, have decided to sign up to host a screening, hopefully at my school in the fall. and perhaps also in my hometown (which lord knows needs it!)
and hey, you can, too!
sign up here.
and watch the trailer for the film.
have a happy wednesday!
~stephanie "ogbuefi stephi" lee

opinion poll

what do you all think about this? and this?

please leave a comment if you have something to say. anything at all.

because i'm not quite sure what to think of it myself.

(i just hope we're not all screwed, like everyone was expecting us to be when this first became an issue. and i hope i'm not gonna have to do something about it.)

some sufjan for all you naysayers

i've been getting a few emails lately asking me to post some music by my favorite man after my recent laudatory post, so, well, here's an mp3 for you:

all good naysayers, speak up! or forever hold your peace
from "michigan," his first installment in the 50 states project (mp3 hosted by soundsfamilyre)

i hope that helps some of you get through your hump day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

licensed to ill

so, found this today while writing my last post.

and i gotta say, it really makes me physically and mentally ill. to see kerouac's greatness being bastardized and perverted in that way, in a way that goes against everything kerouac, his writing, and his ideology stood for, in a way that supports capitalist consumerism, well...

it's nauseating.

and the funny thing is, it comes from the "official" jack kerouac website!

absolutely disgusting. and a blasted shame.

poetry, lewis carroll, kerouac... oh, and sufjan!

i spent my yesterday at the uk library reading about analogous and pattern poetry. pretty cool stuff...
i've always thought that if i wanted to, i could just do this everyday for the rest of my life. i mean, there's thousands of thousands of book in just this one library. even if i read about a book a day (pretty impossible, judging by the size and depth of the books), i would still never be able to finish the entire library. but imagine if i did! all that knowledge accumulated, it would be tremendous.
anyway, i thought i would share some of the more interesting ideas today, take a break from posting my poetry. (thanks, by the way, to all the friendly visitors and commentors that have been stopping by as of late. i really appreciate your encouragement and insights!)
so, here goes:
analogous poetry (from what i understand of it) basically strives to combine the units of language (as in sound, syntax) to reflect the artistic expression and structures of other art forms, like music and visual art.
so, punctuation marks, spacing, word choice, units of sound, all of these are considered to order and structure a poem's overall expression of an idea or feeling.
in short, using sound to create sense.
tautograms are sound poems in which the sound comes from the repetition of a letter or word. highly alliterative. popular in the middle ages and 17th century (why not now?)
sound poems are poems in which the sound is structured more than the sense, an intermedium between music and poetry (i just love that idea).
there were other pretty cool ones that i never knew of before, but had seen.
like labyrinths, which are poems which intertwine, kinda like the interconnecting knots in celtic art, so that one poem may have several dozen different readings, because you can begin with any letter, or any word in the entire thing, read it in any direction, so the various combinations amount to incredible possibilities in meaning.
another discovery, the code or puzzle poem, which can take various forms, uses a base set of letters and changes them in each line to reveal a different phrase. like this example, which is in a cube form:
manuscripts are long poems in which the shape of the line is used to convey a physical picture (often confused with shape poetry). lewis carroll wrote a lot of manuscript poems, especially for alice in wonderland.
in fact, i was reading one of these poems while listening to a little sufjan (yes, sufjan), and the way the two art forms complemented each other was really quite remarkable. it was totally coincidental, but the sounds and rhythms of the poem and the music were perfectly complimentary. i felt like i was channeling the universal pool of creative energy... or something.
in fact, it moved me to write a kerouac-style haiku:
carroll speaking to me through manuscript
sufjan's wailing in my ears rhyming with the past
as vowels lingered in the air.
well, that's all for now. i gotta do some more reading!

Monday, July 18, 2005

humanity as seen through the eyes of an observer in the dairy queen drive-thru

sitting in a humming car,
listening to wailing high-voiced violin,
the pecking and picking and rumbling
of empty stomachs
hungry minds.

slam of car door.
tap of feet.
drumming of fingers.
rapping of voices and hands and lips
and and and

dark outside
light glowing in through windows
from glowing supernatural
eyes of parked vehicular entities

swift switching of meter

moonlight. lamplight.
speckled through the trees

faces half in light
(en) shrouded (en) darkness

mingling in the line at the dairy queen drive-thru
~may 18th, 2005

Sunday, July 17, 2005

sufjan, will you marry me?

reading over the title of my last post, i can't help but feel i've been listening to a little too much sufjan stevens in the past couple of days.
but i just can't help it, darn it! it's just so deliciously good!

the tasty man himself:

i invite you, too, to "come on feel the illinoise" and go check out his new album and get your dose of his amazing talent. and you, too, will become verbosely poetic and clever in true sufjan-style!

"john wayne gacy jr." is probably one of my favorite tracks so far. the wailing vocals are so haunting and tortured, yet beautiful. and i like the idea he had for the first track, "concerning the ufo sighting...":

"Because America is a nation of immigrants, it seemed appropriate to begin with a supernatural visitation. My parents were certain, in the mid-'80s, that they were Star People. This would make me an alien offspring, so of course I've always been obsessed with outer space. Who isn't?" (read more here)

it's epic, poetic, well-researched, symbolic, triumphant, visionary...

it's simply one of the best albums of the year.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

urban rhinoceros (or, sitting on a patch of grass in the middle of a car dealership lot in the summer, reminded of how much you hate consumerism)

sitting on my island in the concrete jungle,
my hiss-hiss-hiss-tamines
in my swollen, beating, pulsing eye socket
flare nostril-ed
bleary, weary, dreary-eyed
i am the last sumatran rhinoceros
in the wilderness of man.
surrounded by metal traps,
steel cages and glass cases,
walls of stone,
encircled by
linked trappers,
alone in my clearing in the concrete jungle.

Friday, July 15, 2005

surf-god zen

brief break in long line of airplane-related posts to talk about... surfing!
topics to be covered if and when i find the motivation:
  • relation to buddhism (my other hobby/interest of the moment)
  • stories from my many (3) surfing trips during vacation
  • why surfing is good for your mind, body and soul

...hmm, less to post about than i thought. maybe something will come to me. until then, here's a little poem i wrote after my first surfing experience (6/27/05):

surf-god zen

sun glowing thru island-grown foliage

green filtered light warming my salted face

the wind licking my ocean-stewed hair

coarse island grass feeling foreign on my sand-smoothed feet

ah. the waves are high and ripe for surfing.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

hell is found at the altitude at which the airplanes fly

sitting in coach
packed in tight with fellow passengers
thinking "o, so this must be how factory chickens feel"
only my coop is no nest of feathers and the warmth of fellow life
but the cold caress of metal armrest
the incessant humming droning of the airplane's blowing breathing
and the nipple-hardening chill of the frigid cabin
an unwashed coat of everyman's filth fleece blanket wrapped up to my chin
in an incorrigible-piece-of-crap one-foot-each-way hard metal trap of a seat
in this figure from a Wilbur brother's dream
incapable of reclining sliding jumping kicking screaming sleeping eating pissing whining crying
with the complacent glossy eyes of the latest magazing tabloid starlet peering over my seat
pocket flap to glare at me
(the eyes of Jessica Alba are judging me!)
she's feeling reticent today (o, so she, too, has turned cold)
thoroughly frustrated, i notice soft breathing
my neighbors in this floating suburb have successfully dozed off
(o, that's all i really want)
i turn to the window, dreaming of open fields and mountain valleys
places far away, where i might find adequate leg room and ergonomic back support in my
seating apparata
to my surprise i find instead,
below the window pane (next to the emergency exit sign)
scrawled with an unstable hand,
the product of an equally unstable mind,
with rage and spontaneity bubbling forth from the edges of its calligraphy,
"I HATE this plane."
looking at it, i wonder if perhaps it was me.
though i do not find the writing to be strikingly familiar, it is not altogether strange
and i recognize the sentiment as my own
and i remind myself that desperation fuels creative surprises,
that people do the unexpected when cornered
and when you're trapped in the air
knowing you could be on land (or even, in the sea)
knowing you can't get out (you're trapped!)
your legs and arms and neck and back cramped and aching
your mouth parched from breathing pressurized plane air
and tasting your neighbor's confused perspiring
your nose envious from smelling first class's catered kosher meals
and you, so tired exhausted frustrated (your mind searching for words to suit the feeling...)
travelling cranky and hungry and thirsty and too big for your seat and too fidgety for a plane
with no leg room or walking space or ability to control temperature or lighting or food or time
unable to sleep even tho it's impossible to stay awake, even tho it's the one thing you must do to escape
so you pop a couple dramamine (the extra-drowsy kind)
down it with some iced-down bitter orange juice
take another look at the desperation graffitti,
that ghost of fellow human and companion
and take comfort in shared pain
and force a smile as you brace yourself for landing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

continuing with the airplane theme...

so, one of the things i noticed on one of my many long flights this summer was that airlines don't recycle. which really bothers me, because environmental stewardship is an issue really dear to my heart (i read (most of) the future of life last year in school and it really changed the way i thought about environmental issues).
i mean, i am so sick of people not taking responsibility for the earth and for being too lazy to do anything to change. recycling is an easy step that can do so much, so it perplexes me that some people are still ignorant about it. (did i mention that i went to work the other day to find a trashcan full of bottles and cans? i had to sort it all out myself and then set up a recycling center in the office because "no one else had thought about it")
so, finally, i just got so frustrated thinking about all those planes, with their in-flight beverage service, and all those empty beverage bottles and cans being thrown away, that i wrote american airlines a letter... and an email. i know it's not much, but i'd really like to think it will do something. because i just can't sit around with an intellectual frown on my face, only thinking, and not doing anything about it. had i known when i was actually in the dallas ft. worth, tx airport that the am. airlines customer service headquarters were actually in walking distance, i would have physically gone there myself and given them a piece of my mind. i just can't believe it never occured to me before that airlines weren't recycling all that stuff.

so, here's the letter i wrote to aa. feedback, anyone?

To Whom It May Concern:

Recently, I flew from Dallas Fort Worth, TX (which I understand to be your customer relations headquarters) to Lexington, KY on an American Eagle flight, when I discovered that the cans and bottles from beverages served in-flight were not being disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

When I asked a flight attendant about your company’s disposal procedures, she remarked that all trash collected during flight would be thrown away later. Judging by the indiscriminating manner in which she was combining trash with recyclable items, I surmised that this particular flight did not have a strict recycling program. This instant suggests a larger problem, which leads to my greater concern for your company’s procedures.

As an environmentally conscious citizen, I am disappointed to find that a company of your size and prestige is not doing its part to reduce waste and garbage. As a customer and patron, I was disappointed to find that my needs were not met during flight. I personally do my part every day to ensure that I am disposing of my garbage in eco-friendly ways, and I expect, and indeed, demand that this need be met in-flight. As a person, a member of a global community, a child, and a future mother, I do my part each day so that the earth may be protected from what I do to it, and improved and preserved for the benefit, enjoyment, and health of my future children, and all future citizens of the world.

I hope you will understand the reason for my concern and endeavor to consider the immediacy and urgency in remedying this problem. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of recyclable materials are needlessly thrown away each day. It takes thousands of years for one plastic water bottle to decay naturally in a landfill. Imagine the compounding piles of garbage that could otherwise be recycled filling the backyards of future children and families, as we rapidly run out of disposal zones. This is a problem that can easily be solved and even made obsolete, but it requires immediate attention and action on everyone’s part.

Thus, I implore you to consider your role in this process. I ask you, as a consumer and a citizen of the world, to please serve as a responsible example in your industry and contribute your share to reducing global waste.

Thank you,
Stephanie Lee, 19
Student at Miami University in Oxford, OH

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

something about airplanes...

a lot of my vacation poetry was written in transition from one place to another, i.e. in an airplane.
which led me to conclude, that there is something uniquely isolating about airplanes.
they're vessels for transitions and travels through time and space. you're suspended in liminality, between destinations and take-off points, between land and sea and in the sky, consciousness and sub/unconciousness.
don't believe me? well, let's just begin counting how many airplane-inspired poems i have written.
starting with this one...

clouds spread out below me
like a blanket of heaven-rock,
a stretched sea of atmosphere
the sun sinking gently into the west,
fading into fiery raspberry
on the edge of invisible horizon,
wispy dreams swirling pathways
to descent.

image taken from

Monday, July 11, 2005

first post! first post!

o, i am so excited.

because not only did i get my first comment today (thanks, john, for always reading and having something to say...) but i am also going to be posting (and publishing, i guess) one of my first poems.

but, first, a brief introduction. i have decided this summer to keep a poetic journal of my adventures and endeavors and travels around the small world that is lexington, ky, my birthplace as well as second home and summer habitation. insodoing, i find that i have written a great deal in a very short time. so, i will attempt to eventually post all of these, good or bad (horrifically noxious ones will, of course, be omitted for the common good. ;) ). so, i will henceforth be posting poems from this summer, about one each day (i gotta save some of the good stuff for the school year, when i expect my prolific rate will lessen if not diminish entirely).

so, i now offer, as my first poem, something from my family vacation series. o, the anxiety that now begins to attack my person...

love and peace in the middle east,
ogbuefi stephi

i am floating on a cloud
an icy patch of torrential alaskan riverwild
the waters crisp, clear, crystalline
sparkling in stars in corners of eyes
a satisfying quiet
if i were deaf
i'm not scared or grasping worried now
because i am absorbed and absorbing
the shin(ing) of the sun
the glinting off the stones
the only noise you hear
floating weightless
on alaskan riverwilds

Friday, July 08, 2005

battling inertia is the hardest part

so... no visitors yet. well, it is only the first couple of days since i've gotten this thing started, but still, i'm a little saddened by it.
you know, it's almost selfish of me, but one of the things that really bothered me about my last attempt was the lack of readership. i mean, i could lie to myself and say that it's really not about getting comments or attracting a fan base or anything like that. it's really about voicing my opinion and getting my ideas out there and about the beauty and fulfillment of creation and releasing those inner ideas to the public. but honestly, who am i kidding here? it's all about getting a readership. cause let's just be honest here, ok? without an audience, art might as well not exist.
i am creating and generating these ideas for an audience. i want my stuff to mean something. without affecting change, without having my ideas and feelings and creations digested, they might as well not exist. we're fighting solipsism here. i need for them to be torn apart and ripped into and chewed dry, or they will go stale.
creation without communion is naught.

well... perhaps i am being too extreme. perhaps there is some joy and release and solace to be found in generating something, even if it is never shared. all about catharsis, right? intrinsic instead of extrinsic motivation, that's what i should be striving for. maybe after a while i will forget about my preoccupation and concern about readership and audience. maybe i will eventually begin creating these things just for me. but whatever...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

ah, a fresh start...

well, hello hello.
i am glad to finally be back into the blogosphere swing of things. after my last attempt failed to be anything close to frequent and inspired, i decided to scrap it and start anew with something a little more focused (but certainly not any less random), a little more creative (in the artistic sense in addition to being less mundane and rambling), and hopefully something more fulfilling (i hope to discover something about myself from doing this, at an even greater scale than before)

so, this is an attempt to redeem myself as something more than my previous failed attempt at this blogging business, and to rescue myself from the insipid droning of what can sometimes be life in the midwest, attending university.

shitty intro aside, i hope that this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
cheers! (*clinking of cheap wine glasses*)
ogbuefi stephi