My Heart, My Life

My Life

~ I’m not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don’t prefer one “strain” to another.
I want the immediacy of a Greek tragedy,
its cathartic stab to the heart, the hollowed out,
redemptive exhale. I want to be
at least as alive as the spirit of poetry.
And if some aficionado of my mess says “That’s
not like her!”, screw it! “Screw you!” I
don’t wear brown and grey suits all the time.
I wear men’s shirts and make coffee barefoot
often. I want my skin to be nestled against,
my feet to be bare,
my fingers employed, and my heart —
you can’t plan on the heart,
but the better part of it is closed off to the world. ~

.-.-.   -.-.-   .-.-.   -.-.-   .-.-.   -.-.-   .-.-.   -.-.-

My Heart by Frank O’Hara

I’m not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don’t prefer one “strain” to another.
I’d have the immediacy of a bad movie,
not just a sleeper, but also the big,
overproduced first-run kind. I want to be
at least as alive as the vulgar. And if
some aficionado of my mess says “That’s
not like Frank!”, all to the good! I
don’t wear brown and grey suits all the time,
do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,
often. I want my feet to be bare,
I want my face to be shaven, and my heart–
you can’t plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open.

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change(/)life itself

What’s our biggest fear?
Is it failing?
Regret?
Something else?

Why is it so difficult to love?
Is it warped expectations?
Is it him?
Is it me?

Why is it so difficult to live?
Is it our own fault?
Is it them? The corporations?
The system?

Why is there so much leaden worry lodged in our chests?
Why are there so many big black dogs in our heads?

Why are we not enough?
Why are we flawed?
Why is the world?
Was it the egg or the chicken’s fault?

If we change, will it get better?
Will it?
Do we all need to change?
Can we?

Is that why there’s so much disease?
Is that why it’s so difficult to live? So complex to love?
Is that the reason we fail? Is that the reason for regret? For something else all together?
Is that our biggest fear?
Change
or life itself?

Fog-Cat

~ Cat
The cat comes
on little fog feet.

She sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then skitters on. ~

Fog by Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Murder by Motivation Letter

As standard practice when applying for any kind of position, one is required to write a motivation letter. And one is not amused; be it the person who writes the motivation letter or the one who will eventually get stuck with reading it/them. Either way, having to deal with motivation letters is not time well spent. As Eliot writes in “Prufrock,” it is a time “to murder and create” (28):

[A time] for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of [Valium] and tea
(32–34)

Added to the sheer agony of producing them, the fossilized format of motivation letters is certainly not the medium for the expression of originality or personality.

Not only are motivation letters painstakingly boring to write or read, but they are also a time-consuming and exasperating way of making the applicant miserable prior to applying, which is in itself a brilliantly clever achievement. The bitter taste of rejection must seem much less severe when the applicant has indubitably spent hours of his life paining over a piece of paper and scrutinizing its every word. The compositions reach from the minimum of 500 to marathons of a few thousand words, the sole intention of which might just be – reducing the number of applicants.

The motivation letter, written and rewritten and rewritten, achieves the exact opposite of its intention – standing out from the crowd is difficult when the motivation for applying for a position is probably the same with most applicants. I am not applying for the job of a sales assistant because I would like to better my skills of archery and horseback riding. I am applying for three main reasons which are universally intelligible: I want the job and am qualified, I would like to gain new skills and experience in the field and I need the money. There is no need to write a lengthy motivation letter about it, which will only result in making me the same as everybody else applying rather than setting me apart from the interested-but-not-that-interested applicants.

The reasons for applying for any position are the same and the format of the motivation letter is the same rigid structure over and over again. The language of motivation letters revolves around a few ready-mixed bromides and there is no way of avoiding them. The formulation of sentences from one motivation letter to another is only more or less drab and cliché-ridden. How am I supposed to write that I would like to use this opportunity to expand my knowledge, learn something new and gain some experience without sounding like the rest of the happy campers applying? It is sincere, but Lord save my application if I write it like that.

Filling out the standard application forms, which already provide the necessary information for committees to evaluate applicants, and a motivation letter of a maximum of 200 words should be more than enough to fan out the undeserved in the deciding process. Qualifications, skills and accomplishments speak for themselves; most neatly in the form of a table. Motivation, ambition and desire read nicest when short and sweet, rather than long and bland in a flaccid motivation letter, which is certainly not the medium to impress or to form impressions upon.