The Journal of Aaron Blair

02/01/2015 04:33 p.m.
The last poem I posted wasn't properly formatted. It posted as a paragraph, with no line breaks, and didn't even notice until today, even though I posted it over a week ago. Egg on face. Oh well. It's fixed now.

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A Map of the World
12/30/2011 09:49 p.m.
A Map of the World

I made another online chapbook, this one a collection of all my place poems.

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Online Chapbook
06/12/2011 08:55 p.m.
So, because I can, I made myself a little online chapbook on my website. It features a bunch of my ocean as metaphor for inner turmoil poetry, because I had started to think of it collectively, anyway.

The Sea Inside

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Unzip my body. Take my heart out.
07/31/2010 07:25 p.m.

My boyfriend did the actual button-pushing on this one, but I had the camera all set before I handed it to him and I was doing the "art-directing" and trying not to die laughing when he kept complaining that he was going to fall off the bed.

Lyrics from "Ramalama" by Roisin Murphy. Obviously. Because that was the whole point.

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I am so smart! S-M-R-T!
02/22/2010 09:17 p.m.
Vince Blake is now officially my favorite person ever, because his comment on my last poem made me realize, when I went to the page to look at the comment, that I had accidentally copied and pasted the name of the icon associated with the livejournal entry where I originally posted the poem. So that the poem started with "Gareth Pugh Spring 2010". Which was definitely not the first line of the poem.

The poem has a bird theme going on, and Gareth Pugh's Spring 2010 show had feather headdresses in it.

I just wish that the other people who already read it hadn't, now.

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It's not the anonymity. It's the negativity.
02/22/2010 07:39 p.m.
I started to comment on the thread about low ratings in the general forum. Twice. Both times, I got several paragraphs in, realized that what I was saying would probably be construed as argumentative and, therefore, invite people to argue with me about something I didn't feel like arguing about, and clicked off the page without submitting the post.

I can't say that I've never been irritated by a low-rating. I can't say that I've never assumed that a low rating was personal instead of intellectual. I can say that I haven't done either of those things in a very long time, though. I like to think of myself as a person who gets over themselves, eventually. This may or may not be true.

I don't rate poetry, usually. I don't remember the last time I did rate poetry. I also don't comment very often. I know what I like and what I don't like, but I rarely ever have anything constructive to say about what provokes either of these reactions, so I don't say anything. So I'm not coming at this from a defensive place, in which I am upset that people get upset about low ratings because I'm one of the people handing them out.

There are a few basic premises involved with getting upset about low ratings that make that upset hard for me to swallow. The first is that this reaction usually has its basis in the fact that the low rating is contrary to all of the other ratings that the poem has. Almost always, instead of just taking it as a statistical representation of the reality that not everyone likes the same things and that there will always be things that, while lots of people love them, some people don't, they go in the dissent=trolling direction of thought. Because someone couldn't have a reasonable dislike of anything if everyone else loves it. So they must just be one of those people who likes to pick on anything that's popular. Without saying that there aren't any people who hate things based on how much other people like them, because there certainly are plenty of those people, it's still ridiculous to assume that this is the case with anyone who doesn't like something.

Another thing that bothers me is that the general line of thought about anonymous rating is that the anonymity is due to cowardice, that, universally, anyone who won't sign their name to a rating is just afraid to have to explain their opinion, because they don't actually have an opinion, they just randomly hate everything. Maybe they just didn't have anything to say. Maybe they thought the rating spoke for itself. Pathetic.org has an incredibly specific rating system. It's not good vs. bad. It's four separate descriptions for four different elements of a poem. The lowest you can get is one dimensional, lifeless, awkward, and needs work. Um, if you can't extrapolate from that exactly what someone would have said to you had they said something to you, then, well...

Which leads me to the thing that bothers me the most. Why do people act like, had someone left a comment with their name attached to it, even if the comment was incredibly negative and scathing, that wouldn't be just as bad if not worse? On the one hand, you have a rating that averages in with the other ratings on your poem so no one actually knows what any one rate was, specifically. On the other hand, you have someone ripping your poem to shreds in a comment that is forever attached to the bottom of your poem for everyone to see. This is better? This is what people want instead of an anonymous rate?

No, I don't think so. It's not the anonymity that makes people angry. It's the negativity. Obviously, if you think your poem is good and everyone else has been telling you that your poem is good, and someone else comes along and says, "wow, this sucks" you aren't going to be happy. And you probably want to be able to rebut. And you probably want to be able to read what that person writes and see why they think they're so much better than you. And you probably want to think to yourself, whatever, you're a terrible writer, so your opinion is totally invalid, anyway. But no one's ever going to get any brownie points for admitting to buying into his or her own hype or for admitting to wanting to argue with anyone who doesn't like his or her work, so, instead, people say, "I am upset about my negative rating because it didn't come with a comment and therefore the person who gave it to me is a cowardly troll."

Let's be honest. We come to the internet, as writers, with assurances from most people who've ever read our writing that we're all kinds of awesome. And we go to places where we know people aren't going to tell us that we're terrible writers. We have artistic temperaments and fragile artist egos. We're not here to be eviscerated. We're here to share with people who won't be mean to us. And that's fine. But it's not an agreement that everyone on the internet signed. So, occasionally, people aren't going to like us and they're going to let us know. Probably more people aren't going to like us than that but these other people won't tell us, because they're here for the same reason and they don't want anyone to return the favor.

A few months ago, someone left a comment on my blog calling me a cunt, a pseudo-intellectual, and even taking time to point out to me that I'm ugly. Compared to that, I think I'd rather be called one dimensional, lifeless, awkward and in need of work. It could always be worse. Imagine how insulted I would have been if I hadn't already figured for myself that I'm not the smartest person ever or the prettiest.

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pictures of summer
07/05/2009 07:34 a.m.

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I got POTD on my birthday!
06/20/2009 11:28 p.m.
That's pretty awesome.

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After the Snow Stopped:
01/29/2009 12:45 p.m.

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Their eyes were watching.
01/12/2009 10:08 p.m.
Some things I've written about god, in the past several months or so:

It's funny, the things we choose to define who we are.

"Full of sound and fury; signifying nothing."

In 1984, we'll all use fewer words to describe ourselves. The words will equal sounds or sights or smells or tastes that are supposed to mean something, but, in the end, they're just words. Small and inadequate. The name of a band. A book. A candle. It was a smell that meant something about me, a sound. But you had to be there to understand it, and you wouldn't have, anyway, because it belonged to me, and you wouldn't have known the equation.

Last night, I dreamed of praying on a beach, in the ocean, kneeling before god with people who wanted it more than me. Then I made a wave that washed everyone away. I made it by falling into the water. But, really, truly, I was the wave. I was the wave that separated everyone else from their god. And it was an accident on purpose, because I was jealous of the love he bestowed upon their inclined heads. I was the wave that tried to wash the hand of god away. Convinced, as always, that he was not also the wave. That we couldn't both be the same thing. The universe is mysterious. My small, black heart refuses to figure it out.

If you asked me to tell you who I am, I couldn't. I wouldn't. I might want to show you a picture, but who knows what you would see? I am bigger than pictures. I am bigger than words. I am bigger than the sound.


God is the book we write inside of ourselves. The one in which we record all of the ways we've learned how to love. The map to the location of our souls is tattooed on the inside of our eyelids. We see it every time we close our eyes to pray.

I wonder at the sanity and intelligence of people who never question their religious beliefs even a little. There's a god up there with eight arms to hold you. The great blue globe of the world is just a glint in his eye. On the seventh day he rested. Millions of days later, he erased what he had done and started over again. He batted a lash and ruined the world.

We're more than a little overly creative. But a god named Larry who wrote us into a sitcom wouldn't have the same appeal. We make our gods spectacularly ridiculous because that explains why they don't come hang out with us. Why they're so much better than we are. If everyone could be spectacularly ridiculous, the world would spin off its axis, shoot like a pool ball at the sun.

We're designed to question the obscenely different in every day life. But not so when it comes to our deities. Don't question their kingdoms of gold in the sky. Their infinite body parts.

That's pretty stupid. Or crazy. Whichever.


The way Gaius Baltar would have us believe it, truthfully, we only want one thing from our god. We want him to whisper something in our ear when we are sad or lonely or scared. We want him to say "I love you because you are absolutely perfect just the way you are."

Imagine that. Imagine some thirteen year old-boy, grappling with the realization that he is gay. Scared to death of what people will think. What they will say. What they will do. They will try to hurt him, maybe. Wound him with words. Wound him with hands. Imagine at that moment, god reaching out to him, touching his shoulder and whispering into his ear. "I love you because you are absolutely perfect just the way that you are."

Imagine that god. That world. It could be our world. We could live in it.

But we don't. Because there are people who hate that boy so much that they want to use whatever tools they possess to make him hate himself. They want to reach inside of him and write lies inside his book and make him believe them.

Maybe it won't work. Maybe he'll close his eyes and pray and see that his soul is not bad. That he's not a bad person.

Maybe the whisper of god will drown out all of the other voices.

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