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...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

religious epiphany

visiting old churches is always a bittersweet experience.
it's sobering,
makes me serious
and aware of such suffering
and closed-offedness,
isolation and austerity,
discipline and penitence.
conjures the dead,
an awareness of mortality.

all these passed away persons and figures
now fixtures in stone walls,
foundations for the church.
all the blood and vinegar of history
and all that coersion and conquering to establish religion,

so churches could be built
for intruding visitors like me
to feel spooked,
uncomfortable and itchy,
unworthy, hedonistic and selfish.
feeling like a tourist

waiting for the charms of songbirds to rescue me
through these heavy walls
and searching for the sun
to point me in the direction
in which to run away.

Monday, August 29, 2005

adolescence is the real bitch


so sorry to everyone who visits this silly ol' blog of mine for poetry and literature. i promise to return to my usual posting style soon. because its gradual sinking into open diary-ness has been really depressing to observe.

but, i have stuff to talk about. so, please forgive the brief relapse and then we'll be returning to the regular programming...

so, i was called a bitch for the first time in my life yesterday. quite the experience. i like to think of myself as a nice person. i'm generally pleasant to be around, but then, i am obviously biased, so really i can't say this for sure.

but i feel that most people find me agreeable. and not that i believe everyone should like me. that's not it at all. in fact, i would be seriously weirded out if everyone liked me and i had no enemies. but i had never thought that my enemies would make themselves so blatantly obvious to me.

anyway, i went to a community life council meeting yesterday night. i had this idea to run for office. i like western. i like the community. i think i would be a qualified officer. anyway, the person in charge (a cla, aka ra to main campus people) asked me what i wanted to run for. i told her i wanted to run for secretary. she just gives me a cold hard stare and calls me a bitch. just like that. in front of the whole community, too. (i guess she was the secretary and didn't want to lose her job...)

and what bothers me most is that no one came to my defense or called her out on it. now that i think about it, i wish i had stood up to her and done it myself. because community is about mutual respect for your fellow community members. not petty name-calling and embarassing a fellow human being because they unwittingly challenged your position.

(oh, so after she called me a bitch i just kinda said that i didn't know she was secretary already and that she wanted to keep her job. and she said that if i wanted the position, i would have to fight her for it. and i said ok, then i will.)

yeah, i've been picked on before. and i've had to deal with catty girls all through my childhood. i've had groups of preppy pretty girls gang up on me because i was scrawny and not that strikingly gorgeous. but none of that really bothered me before.

the way i figure, everyone goes through trials and tribulations as an awkward adolescent growing up in image-conscious america. everyone has their problems, their silly rivalries and difficulties fitting in with different crowds. this is just the average adolescent experience.

in fact, i'm grateful for my earlier self-esteem and body image issues. i'm happy i was picked on occasionally as a kid. i had it lucky. i went to school in a ghetto and made it out with only a few things stolen from my backpack during gym, or only having a few things thrown at me, and only a few scathing remarks directed my way. i am lucky. i know people who grew up in the ghettoes and who couldn't leave their homes after a certain time of day, who would be accosted by drug dealers on the street or who would live in fear of being raped on their way home from school.

i am lucky.

even with all the problems i had as a child, i never once became someone i didn't want to be. i stayed true to my beliefs. and though childhood memories can be painful to remember, i also know that the stuff i went through helped make me into the strong, independent woman i am. though i may have wished i were prettier or more popular as a child, i now am secure enough with myself, and happy with myself, and will never compromise my true character to suit someone else.

you can't please everyone. and i won't try to. so people can hate me or love me or maybe they couldn't care less, but i don't really care either. i mean, i am happy to know that i can light a room up for some people, and maybe make others miserable, but it doesn't matter, because i am not going to change the person i am just to make things easier for myself or for others.

and so, if this haughty sitting secretary thinks she can call me a bitch and intimidate me out of running, she better have a backup plan. because if anything, she's just geared me up for the fight...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

pick your favorite

hello, loyal readers and new visitors!

i just need a little bit of your help and time tonight.

you see, the open forum, a student-generated literary publication on western campus is asking for submissions this week. and, being the "writer" that i am, i want to be seen and heard, but don't know what i should submit. i figure some of my best stuff has made an appearance on the blog at some point (though some pretty sweet poems are still in the process of being posted...) so... well, that's where you come in!

i want you fine people to submit your choices for my submission from the following choices:
  1. urban rhinoceros
  2. friday poem
  3. variations on a theme by brautigan
  4. humanity as seen...
...and any others you may think appropriate!

thanks in advance for your help.
and i apologize for my lack of provoking posting lately. i have been insanely bbusy! but i promise a change once i become re-acclaimated to school.


Friday, August 26, 2005

a picture's worth a thousand words

so i've not been writing so much lately, and i feel terrible, because i really do miss it.

but, perhaps you can see why i've been so busy. partying it up western style is quite the feat.

this picture is from cotillion, one of many western traditions.

so much fun, dancing in the dark. but smolderingly hot, if not due to the weather, then due to the amazing presence of people (as evidenced by this picture of my friends and me).

o, how i love western!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

my mind is screaming

sitting in english class
feeling sheepish shy
wandering* why
the words come quickly to my mind
where they are missing in the others' eyes
i have stolen them away, it seems
now suffering uncomfortable silence
while the words in mind
are screaming to be discovered.

*i meant wondering, but i realized i actually wrote wandering instead. i thought that changed the meaning and actually makes it more interesting, so i left it as is.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

planning my triumphant return...

don't worry! i'm not dead!

haha, bet i had you worried for a while, huh?
well, these last few days have been incredibly busy and stressful, what with the return to school and all, so i've been neglecting my blogging duties as a sorrowful consequence.

but i shall return... soon. i hope to maintain a more regular posting schedule. and though it may not be a daily occurence as it was this past summer, i shall try to post at least once a week.

until then, here's something to keep you entertained.

much love and appreciation for the continued flux of visitors (i love you guys!)
~stephanie "ogbuefi" lee

Friday, August 12, 2005

for all those i've ever loved

awakened mid-morning
with tears in my eyes
a dream of you and sleeping
lingering with the night.

an image of you
watching me as i slept
a child in your home
an adult in a child's bed.

i wrote words that perfected
the feelings they birthed,
of the passage of time
and love undefined.

you came in december,
your shadow warm by my side,
and stayed through the new year
as i dwelled safe inside.

you reached out to touch me,
and adjust the covers round my head.
you, speaking thru folds
of the sheets on my bed.

and at last you adored me
with your hand you did show,
as you grasped onto my finger,
of your love i now know.

and as the morning's dawning
thru the window by my bed,
i scramble to immortalize
these thoughts and feelings in my head.

for though the tears have dried
and the dream's but a wind lost memory,
these words in back of kerouac will
remain fresh always with me.
~7:05 am 8/12/05

Thursday, August 11, 2005

midnight poem

lying awake in bed
feeling something sad
despondent awful.
shifting to find perfect fit
limbs jutting out from edges
old and aging
aching to sleep
squirming awake
defeated in my duvet
lying awake in bed.

aching with the pains of the day
the weight of time and moonbeams on my head
no force or magic will close these wakeful eyes
though tired with the weary wearing from the day.

all i want is sleep
and yet i dread the parting from the day
as the sun begins to peak up again
i fear i shall always lie awake,
an endless chain of yesterdays and tomorrows
ceaseless in my dreamless state.
~8/5or6/05 12:34 am

the end of a media era

read this on alternet today. thought it interesting. thought i'd pass it along.

i don't know... but lately, there's been this unsettling depression that's settled in my house. i guess my parents were both really struck by the death of peter jennings, more than i was even.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

wednesday evening in the city

one lonely lighted window
in the sky-scraping cliff of stone and glass
as i crane my eyes upwards
to the star-lit sky.

evening in the city.

i am feeling lonely.
--wednesday evening after the show ~ 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

fare thee well, peter

my evening news anchor,
my friend,
the voice to a childhood spent in the living room
watching events on tv screen with parents.
you made me feel safe
though wars and plagues raged in countries far away.

perhaps silly, these tears streaming down my face,
but you were a first love,
an inspiration and aspiration,
a public figure with untainted personality.

you were a model of the perfect past
in a present i barely wish to live.

Monday, August 08, 2005

math poetry / computer poetics

i had an idea for a new form of experimental poetry the other day while at work. tell me what you think:
math poetry, a poetic form composed of numbers and symbols. but unlike binary or L33T, in which the numbers actually form words or language, in math poetry, everything would be math-related, a non-language-referential.
the grammars would be numerical, not lettered. not sentences, but equations. not phrases, but number combinations.
it would be absurd, abstract, just like language. it would be, simply, number groups that make some sort of intuited sense.
6 7 13
6, 7 are consecutive
13 is prime, unlucky
or 4 5 9
this form would also be incredibly conducive to variable symbolic meanings (ex: 7 being symbolically hefty, as it is usually associated with wholeness/completeness/perfection), and a math poet's freedom to switch between various pools of meaning and purpose and intent would be almost limitless.
like letters, numbers generate meaning based on their pairing and grouping with other numbers. but because the majority of people don't communicate language through numbers, there would be less structure and constriction of meaning to each number. that is, more ambiguity, more meaning, more objectivity, more range for intepretation and creation.
language is socially influenced. math, being a science, has retained the most of its objectivity.
but why, you might ask, would anyone want to write something that wouldn't speak to any reader, that would be so general that any emotional/sentimental value would be robbed from it? i mean, isn't the beauty of language and poetry to communicate some feeling to another person?
yes, i would agree. but, i like the idea of math poetry, because it's distilling the process of language into something unclouded by sentimental attachment. it's a sterilized version of communication, which kind of defeats the purpose, i suppose, but that's the fun in experimentation. it's theory in practice.
because in math poetry, the sense would not be in the sound, or the feeling of it on your tongue or in your heart, but the way it plays in your brain. the sense would be in the patterns and realities the numbers generate from their progression. the sense would be in the sense. it would be computer poetics, where the reader's mind becomes what it essentially is, a computer.
it would be taking symbols and converting them into pictures, memories, ideas. creating phrases, sentences, narratives, poems and feelings, out of basic, sterile symbols. and isn't that what language is? is this process not the same as any other act of reading?
my point being, this human mind we possess is so incredible. how amazing this code we call language is, that we can form whole lines of thought to communicate with another individual, using only a basic 26 symbol system.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

conception of a pseudonym


Friday, August 05, 2005

i've been tagged!

so, the zenfo pro has passed the movie tag to me. and now, to reminisce... ah... (cue wavy flashback special effect):

childhood (80's):
  • the usual disney fare, before disney started to suck (sleeping beauty, beauty and the beast, aladdin, lion king)
  • newsies, mary poppins (i love musicals! something about them just makes me so darn happy and carefree. when i was little, i would learn all the dance numbers and do them around my house. i wanted to be a broadway dancer. still do.)
  • gremlins (oh man, this movie scared the bajeezus out of me! realize now it was a comedy, but still, scary shit when you're little!)
  • the beastmaster (oh. my. GOSH. i have memories of watching this movie practically every weekend with my dad, who probably thought it was the funniest thing ever. really. man, this movie rocked. still does. i remember the special effects being really cheesy, and i bet they're hilarious now. my first grade boyfriend was obsessed with this movie. i mean, he actually got so into it, he thought he was the beastmaster. his name was hunter greene (how perfect is that, right?) and he thought he could actually talk to the animals. i have very distinct memories of him sitting on the swings during recess and making birdcalls and running on all fours like a horse, all because of this movie. this movie changes your life, really it does. man in loin cloth with ferret, hawk, dog and tiger does battle with evil witches and sorcerers. i mean, who thinks up this stuff?)
  • who framed roger rabbit? (this movie probably messed me up as a kid. all those cartoon flicks that look like kids' movies but are really intended for older audiences because of their underlying adult themes and ideas did a number on me as an impressionable kid. but i blame this one in particular. because it's good.)
later childhood / adolescence (90's):
  • willow (holy shit. i saw this movie after i got drunk (or food poisoning?) at some weird cheese party. i swear, this is like the perfect movie to watch when you're tripped out and your mental faculties are severely altered. it's got everything: little people, gremlins... and val kilmer. (told you it was effed up!) ...and i just realized when i went to the website that ron effing howard directed it. wow...)
  • hmm... there's gotta be more. willow cannot be the only movie that made an impression on me as a 90's child. i'll think on this and come back to it...

late adolescence / adulthood (now-ish):
  • eXistenZ (saw this in an existentialism class in high school. great film, seems like a predecessor to the matrix. and of course the wakowski bro's borrowed their ideas from, well, just about everybody, so...)
  • memento (love this movie! i thought the concept and execution was just so clever and so very film noir and gritty. i just loved the look and feel of it. no indie movie since has been quite as fascinating to me.)
  • pi (math makes people crraaazy! whoa.)
  • waking life (the film-makers shot the whole thing on digital video, then dispersed pieces of it to various artists, who painted over the film to match their individual visions of the scene. great concept. a little esoteric and pedantic though. it's a shame this project got bogged down with its own creative/intellectual weight, as the vision and intelligence behind it are extraordinary.)
  • yi-yi (one of my favorite movies ever. it's just so beautiful and sweet. it watches like a haiku or a book of poetry. it's tragic and glorious and joyful and triumphant and hopeful all at once. a definite recommendation!)
  • amores perros (love this one, too. it's an interesting analysis of love and relationships that people share with each other, as seen through the analogous relationship of people to their dogs. in fact, i believe the title means "love's a bitch.")

present (recent faves):
  • i heart huckabee's (mark wahlberg's best on-screen performance in recent memory. marky mark, if you're reading this, stop. now. walk out on a high note.)
  • finding neverland (beautiful conception and delivery. it's really one of the more endearing american movies i've seen.)
  • charade (this is my favorite movie. the dialogue is witty, without seeming like the writers were trying too hard. smart writing and directing, and brilliant performances from audrey hepburn and cary grant. this was recently remade into a film called the truth about charlie, starring thandie newton and mark wahlberg. didn't see that one, but the idea of remaking such a seamless, perfect classic, well, that was reason enough not to go see it. sorry, mark.)
  • chinatown (another film that may have earned its place here because of great writing and dialogue. what can i say, great dialogue just wins me. there's not enough of it these days.)
  • lord of the rings (oh. so good.)
  • closer (love=hate=love=lust. great dialogue and music. so stylish and cool.)
  • house of a thousand daggers (beautiful.)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

in need of gmail

i need a gmail account. and, silly me, i thought that if anyone wanted one of these, they could just get one, like any other email account. well, apparently, google is too cool for me, and i can only get one if i'm invited... or something.
so... does anyone have a gmail invite they'd like to send my way? i would be most grateful...
(haha, i feel like i'm in high school again and i can only go to the exclusive dance if i get one of the o-so-special bids. yeesh.)

leave me a comment if you have a plan or something.

thanks and love,

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

fun game! you can play!

so, i've decided to submit some of my writing to my school's independent lit. mag., but, as i have a few friends, acquaintances, etc. (and an ex) who don't know i write, and who are the subjects of some of my writings, and as i am not ready to deal with people knowing i write yet, and because i'm shy and don't take criticism lightly, i need a fitting pseudonym.

something intriguing, but not pretentious. something clever, without being hokey.

any one have an idea? please leave it in the comments section. really, i'm considering any and all suggestions.

here's an idea i had: XO (pronounced "show")
i like this because it's ambiguous, multi-faceted, completely subjective. just like my poetry (...or so i'd like to think).
here's what i think of it: X and O are variables, totally arbitrary symbols, yet they connote a variety of meanings, both separately and together. X and O can mean "hugs and kisses" (or is it the other way around?), or wrong and right, nothing and everything, imperfection and wholeness.
they're unknowns, un-nameables, obscurities, nebulae. they're familiar, but difficult to grasp.

that's what i want people to think of when they read my stuff next year, "i feel like i know this person, yet i can't quite figure out who it is that wrote this." because i want my poetry to speak to multifarious people and experiences. i want it to be universal without being too general for others to identify it with a specific emotion or instant that sparked its conception.

i want people to feel as if anyone could have written what i have written, so that the poetry, and the name, become an aspect of themselves, and an extension of myself.

so, please, comment away. i will gladly consider any suggestions you have, or any thoughts/opinions you may have about the name i exampled above. thanks!
~stephanie "ogbuefi" / "XO" lee

p.s. i realized that XO also looks like a skull and crossbones. haha. i am a pirate...

ode to a summer sunday sunset

here's a reposting of one of my past posts, which was inexplicably lost after spending one day in the blogosphere. :( ah well.
due to the fact that i sometimes rewrite, edit, rethink poems when i am posting them, without making record of changes on my actual hand-written copies, this is actually different than the original. so, we'll never know how the original one went.
frustrated and confused,
stephanie "ogbuefi" lee

ode to a summer sunday sunset
glistening scoop of tropical orange sherbet
swirled in blue/gray icy meringue
a fiery resemblance of snow globe
a miniature city-scape in gleaming inverse reflection
amidst the steel and brick and glass and mortar and
the city's exhaling breath
in which we sit and melt
in the pool of disappearing
raspberry orange breeze.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

recovering the invisible

that's funny...
i believe one of my posts ("ode to a summer sunday sunset") has found its way into a blogosphere blackhole of sorts... as i am unable to find it now.
i guess i'll repost it some other time...

ode to a sundrop primrose

like folds of delicate silk
a calling back to your home in england.
soft, demure, polite,
fragile and shy in your golden yellow.
a floral moistened morsel
of honey-drizzled lemon cake
on a tuesday afternoon tea.

food for rabbits.