Brothers (1985)



Brothers (1985)

Night stalks the city as a predator
Day comforts what is left of the torn spirit
And the two work, as single/simple entities, to make a situation appear.
The glory of daybreak – and the beauty of sunset
Both hiding things from each other like scared jealous brothers
Both losing the battle every time, as the other takes over at the end of a given stay.
The two have matching attributes
But are forever parted by their differences.

A couple years ago a batch of personal journals was unearthed from a box in my parents’ attic, and memories of that time came rushing back. The work above was transcribed from an 87-cent K-Mart ruled binder within the collection. In the mid 1980s I did a lot of free-form writing; not sure if it could be called poetry or even story, but I always had a binder with me. Thoughts were written down quickly with little regard for spelling or punctuation, basically nouns strung together with a few verbs. Because I think faster than I write, my goal was to pen it in before I could forget the thought. The resulting style was reminiscent of singer/poet Jim Morrison, which makes sense since I listened to a lot of music from The Doors.

As I read the journals now, it seems I often used one word to express multiple feelings or experiences.

The subject matter was often about emotional pain, and the word choices – sometimes unusual and on-the-fly – truly reflect what I felt at the time. I was hurting inside; in 1984-85 I lost several mostly-menial jobs in a row. A roller-coaster relationship had taken its toll for a few years. I was questioning my ability to fit into society at all. The mid-1980s was a very low time for me, and I hold onto the good memories tightly…because there weren’t many. My life stabilized in early 1986, and the confidence of my earlier days was finally restored.

Reading those pages is like experiencing time travel.

Thankfully I wrote a date on some of the entries, which places the collection between 1984 and 1987. They help me remember how it felt to be 20 years old – which in one 1985 journal entry I called “A meaningless age between sentences to life.”

“Brothers” was probably written at night, over coffee, and as I looked out the window at a Seattle Dennys on Aurora Avenue and N 155th Street.



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