7in7 – A Poem about Fools (because I just watched Dinner for Schmucks and because 1 Corinthians 1)

Someday soon, the fool:

Frustrating the foundations,

Making simple the sought-after insights to the universe.

Someday soon, the fool:

Freeing us from falsehoods,

Unmasking the unanswered questions.

Someday soon, the fool:

A stumbling for institutions,

The downfall of death from a deal the deities made with, yes, the dumb.

So today, I:

The scholar, the learned

Man, education my grand golden throne.

Where did I go so wrong?

 

1 Corinthians 1:26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

7in7 – A Poem about Christianity’s Dating Relationship with Starbucks

I am thoroughly convinced
Caffeine makes better Christians

Come to a cafe for accountability,
Like a Catholic to confession

No pious whispers to a priest,
Just smiles and sips of espresso

Fleet Foxes fill the atmosphere
Like foam atop a frappuccino

Coffee makes the Scriptures
Come alive, like the risen Christ

As if bathing your tonsils in blonde
Roast baptizes your body by John.

The construction of community
Cannot contradict the commands

To feed the hungry, live frugally,
Feel for the orphans, finish the race

While we waste away hours and dollars
On overpriced brands and addictions

But who am I to talk?
I’m writing this poem on a laptop, sitting in a Starbucks.

7in7 – A Poem about Waiting for Your Baby to Be Born by Watching the Twitter Feed

“Any updates yet?” I ask. No response.
Inhaling by distraction, resuscitation
By electric charge, I scurry back and forth
Between tabs. Who will know first?
Facebook? Google? Phone bellows from
Beneath my bed pillow – yes, I refuse
To leave. Why leave

The comforts of home

When I don’t have to? Answer: “Hello?”
“Honey…she’s here! I can’t believe it!
Let’s name her Madeline.” “Quick,”
I say to my wife, “Post a photo and tag
Me in it!” But I was not there, I was
confused. It’s a girl? Did I miss
That post somewhere?

Scrolling through feeds,
Could I be so blind?
My only job was to

Be

Present

And I may have mis-
Understood, I may
Be running out
Of battery.

7in7 – A Poem about the Meanings of “Cool”

(adj)

One: Not strong enough
a word to exhale all
that the weather brings
this wintry moment.

Two: Not deprecating
enough to bestow
upon me the truth
of my character.

Three: Not bitter enough
to consume the state
of our icy, depreciating
friendship.

“It’s pretty cool outside.”
“You’re a really cool
person.” “Don’t worry,
we’re still cool.” I’m

not. Sorry. I’ve heard
this all before, but it’s
darn freezing outside,
I’m not all that cool,

and I’m not sure, weather,
you and I will be cool
again. And I am
not strong enough.

To be cool. “The act
of discovering what
is cool causes cool
to move on.”

So keep your cool,
keep your coolness,
don’t get stressed,
listen to the cool

jazz. Be content
that winter came early
and we are friends
no more. It’s cool.

7in7 – A Double Entendre Poem About Honey Bees and Shaker Women

We do it all for Mother

And God, we work all day long,

Just us girls, the work

Never stops. We never

Need anything except for work

And each other

And God, it gets tiring.

Wanting more. Getting

Nothing but the labor of our own

Hands, hands, hands,

We sing together, we dance

Together, always in unity

And monotony, we are one

And I don’t know who I am.

**Authorial note: To read for Shaker women, read “and God” literally. To read for honey bees, read “and God” as an expletive.

The Best of July (with Commentary)

First off, I want to thank anyone and everyone who has taken part in reading and supporting my blog, helping it achieve 1000 views in its first month of existence! It’s been a wild and busy month and I’m almost surprised that I even had time to make these 20+ blog posts. It’s so enthralling and humbling to finally begin to see some sort of fruition of what I’ve desired for my whole life – to be a writer. Even if it’s just a free, self-published blog, it’s exciting to finally put myself out there and to be read. If you’ve enjoyed anything you’ve read, feel free to follow my blog and join me as I continue this adventure in months to come.

Top 3 Most Popular Posts:

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3. Did God Tell Me To Go To Germany?

This post, written early in the existence of my blog, is the one that made me feel like I wasn’t wasting my time – that me dedicating hours writing these posts was actually worth something. Getting to share with all my readers both a spiritual truth and a deeply personal experience of how God sent me to spend my 2013 summer in Germany proved to be the first time readers actually started paying attention to me.

2. A Relapse: My Against-The-Grain Opinion on Jeremiah 29:11

This out-of-left-field post, written slightly out of frustration, could have been controversial, but instead was accepted with interest and open arms as many people seemed to share my opinion and feel the same conviction as me. I’m already excited for the next time I’ll be inspired to write another post like this one.

1. Thrice a Decade Past

This post becoming the month’s highest viewed post (by a large margin) is kind of a dream-come-true, not just because I’m a total Thrice fan-boy, but also because writing about music is a huge passion of mine. In this post, I totally get down-and-dirty with specific details about Thrice’s styles and growth and discography, and people actually read it! But what I think also connected with readers (and gave me joy writing it) were all of the stories within this post not directly about Thrice, but instead about me and my friends and how our lives became interconnected through one band’s music.

Top 3 Most Underrated Posts:

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3. My Reaction to Picasso

I doubt anyone knows this, but my blog began very randomly – as a comment on Facebook. A friend of mine posted a quote from Picasso that I disagreed with. He asked me to explain, so I did, in a relatively verbose comment that I was pretty proud of – so proud of, in fact, that I decided to copy that comment and paste it into this blog! And thus Alexander Machine came into existence. It definitely reads differently than any of my future posts, (you know, the ones I wrote to purposefully be blogs), and it’s shorter, but I love it for this reason; it has a quick, sloppy, to-the-point, stream-of-consciousness feel that I personally find extremely endearing. PLUS, it has Ratatouille references.

2. How Has Music Affected Your Friendships?

Quite frankly, out of everything I wrote this month, I thought this blog would surely, surely be the one to blow up. In it, I shared a small handful of my favorite life memories and also left the blog open-ended for readers to share their own stories as well. What could go wrong? Disinterest, I suppose. But even though I didn’t get the responses I hoped for, rest assured – I’ll still be writing a sequel.

1. Life – It Just Keeps Happening

All in all, this blog just makes me happy. I think it’s great, and it’s really the singular piece that fully achieved my original vision – it mixes comedy with memoir, personal observation with social commentary, musical knowledge with biblical insight. It’s a wonderful mix of things I was thinking in my head and things that were actually happening in my life, concluding with me actually learning something about myself – and possibly teaching readers something about themselves, too.

My Favorite Music Releases:

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  • You’re Always on My Mind by A Great Big Pile of Leaves
    Released by Topshelf Records
    (really great indie pop)

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  • Play with Fire by The Reign of Kindo
    Released by Candyrat Records
    (ridiculously impressive jazz-rock)

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  • In a World Like This by Backstreet Boys
    Released by K-BAHN
    (the most fun release of their career)

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  • Letters Home by Defeater
    Released by Bridge 9 Records
    (super heavy and engaging post-hardcore)

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  • The Blackest Beautiful by letlive.
    Released by Epitaph Records
    (filled with social commentary, the most heavy music I’ll listen to)

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  • Troubled Days by Seabird
    Self-released
    (a super-solid Kickstarter-ed album from a band that has become less musically interesting but more lyrically and spiritually sophisticated as the years have passed)