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"found" - January 1999-
August 2005

I. (a letter to marc)

i have found the hope
that i have been looking for-
it was hidden,
tucked inside a part of me
i had once assumed must be a place of weakness
simply because it was soft-

i have found the hope
that we have talked about-
found it in the places our conversations rarely go-
found alone the point of our talks-
found the reason that
we sat down to dinner
once a month
convinced that if the key to the world we wanted could be found
it would be found by the two of us-
(how could it not?
we both affect too much humility to say so
but finding solutions to problems
is a skill on which we pride ourselves)

i found my path
parallel to your own-
and likely discovered by the same means-
in quiet honesty
on nights when i was not alone-
and i have come to the realization
that the hope we have sought
was packaged with that same honesty
and that it had to be found by each of us
and brought back
to be realized, shared,
and spread like a virus-

i have found the hope
that we have been looking for-
the better world that we have spoken of
all these years-
it is built around honesty
that is inspired by love

there are words that only come forth
when summoned by a hunger that could knock down walls-

there are truths revealed
only through sunrises
witnessed to signify the end
of another night
on which sleep wouldn't come-
fevered hallucinations and echoes of madness
that take one just close enough to the edge
that the revelations can be brought back
to those who haven't yet witnessed them-

i've known hunger, yeah-
and my bed has known its share of restless nights-
i've used them to cultivate my own madness
and done my best
to seek the truth found within-

i've known hunger
and these are not hands
that have never lifted
what did not belong to me-

i've known sleepless nights
and found sunrises not so beautiful
when seen too many mornings
from the wrong side-

i've known madness, yeah-
the kind that can convince you
that moving your hands over a piece
of metal and plastic
in order to evoke lines and curves
onto a page or a screen
will somehow cause them to manifest
into representations
of actual thoughts and feelings-

i've known madness-
been persuaded by it to cut off
the means of feeding anything
other than the neurosis itself-

i've known madness
and believed that the act
of calling forth
the components of a word
was called s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g
for a reason-
i've believed that the feelings represented
by those lines and curves
summoned by the cast spell
were guideposts-
that navigated properly
they could lead one to the truth-

i am still mad-
i still believe this to be true-

III. (a letter to tony)
we reached escape velocity
as if by accident
and found the paths we each maintained
orbited different bodies-

it is important that you know that mine has not slowed its acceleration-
that it was a choice-

and you are my brother-
(i say this now in plain words-
without affectation or metaphor
so it can be understood simply
without the misinterpretation that plagues
people who attempt to say too much in pretty words-
you are my brother-)

it is important that you know this now-
it is important that you know
that i am no longer interested
in hiding my secrets
behind a persona that never had you fooled-
it is important that you know
that i considered carefully the words
that you spoke that day in portland-

it is important that you tell people
when they've helped you shape yourself
into something that more closely resembles
the form you've desired to take-
it is important to leave notes on the cars of strangers
when the actions they have taken as a normal part
of the course of their lives
have led us to new ideas-
it is important to write our secrets in balloons
and send them across the river-
and if such honesty is of value with strangers
its worth must be greater
when shared with friends

i spent seven years
dragging myself across texas-
i was born at eighteen
and measured my lifetime in rivers-
from the rio grande to the san antonio-
stopping at the colorado
and finding a home there,
satisfied for a time,
never venturing a stop much past it-

i was born at eighteen,
poured myself into a mold in the shape of me-
the next year the mold was cast
and the following i was fired-
a halfway point was next
and i marked the occasion
with a mid-life crisis-

i am twenty-five years old tonight
and the parts of myself that i celebrated
have been hammered to the forefront-
the remains scattered,
drifting upstream in those rivers i've chosen to leave behind-

i am twenty-five years old tonight
and i am not mad
at anyone

i have forgiven my former lovers-
accepted blame where due
and moved beyond pettiness-
content to leave them in texas
and texas to them-

i am twenty-five years old tonight
and i no longer seek to escape from memories
by fleeing the places
those memories were built-
america is no longer just a convenient place to hide-
(and it is possible to run out of america-
i know-
i have been there)

i do not seek to escape-
i do not seek to paint with words what i found while hiding-
i am no longer interested in so many shades of grey-

and if i'm running-
if i'm running-
i'm only doing it
because it's faster
than walking-

V. (a letter to katherine)
i have no words for you
but there is a lifetime to find them-

i practiced magic to create new words-
(they call the process spelling)
and arranged them according to ancient rules
to unlock their full power-
a grammar grimoire
speaking of holy sorcery-

i use these words now
to tell truths
i've never before spoken-

i use these words now
to celebrate hope
i've never before felt-

i use these words now
to declare love
i've never before defined-

i offer to you everything that i am-
this honesty my only possession-
and i accept that which you have offered in return-

and if all of these words
are just a means to keep a record
of the time we beat the devil-
if all that i am
is to be given
to create something new-
there is no one to whom
i would rather give it-

i have felt a new responsibility
since the night i kissed you on that hill-
(the second one)
to never be less
than the man i was
on that day-

i have felt a new responsibility
to honor honesty above pride-
to let life write the words
and never the opposite-
i have discovered that the love i sought
is nurtured by the honesty
i too often hid behind bravado-

i have found the hope
that i have been looking for-
i use my words now
to share it
8 defect from the Old ; create the New
tupelo_lights From: tupelo_lights Date: June 26th, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
"i spent seven years
dragging myself across texas-
i was born at eighteen
and measured my lifetime in rivers-"

this is straight out of American folk music and I dig it.
mysterywhteboy From: mysterywhteboy Date: June 28th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It's always neat when people recognize the things you like best in your own work.

joia From: joia Date: June 27th, 2005 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I can relate to your letter to Kat. Thanks for posting those.
blisster From: blisster Date: June 27th, 2005 07:30 am (UTC) (Link)
it *is* important to tell people when they've helped shape you
roobytoosday From: roobytoosday Date: June 28th, 2005 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I cried when I read your letter to Kat.
If you don't mind my asking, are you ever planning on marrying her? Or are the two of you just going to live together?

I also love the rest.
mysterywhteboy From: mysterywhteboy Date: June 28th, 2005 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
We have no intention of ever getting married, no.

I'm glad you liked it, Jennifer.

artmayes167 From: artmayes167 Date: June 28th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I read that section to Erin. "I measured my lifetime in rivers".
And I think "I no longer seek to escape from memories/by fleeing the places/those memories were built" is one of the all-time great expositions of a lesson that takes too long to learn.

You have done well, Dan.
Kat is a gem.

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8 defect from the Old ; create the New