David and Nina

With all the usual end-of-semester hustle-and-bustle, an unconventional question, wrapped in song, can't be anything but on my mind:


Or Nina?

'With your kiss my life begins.'


Updates in Non-Poetry Form

It's been awhile since I gave a non-nonsensical interpretation of goings-on.

-In early February, Gamasutra published a piece on the physicality of immersion. Initially it was meant to be the first of three, the second exploring psychology of play and the third exploring a values-free discussion of media effects. I'm still looking at doing some very cool interviews for those articles - but they're on hold.

-I got swamped with teaching. It's been a lot of fun, and extremely gratifying, but was initially given over a hundred students where I'd planned for about half that.

-Today the Games Education Summit accepted a talk I proposed for what I've done with DigiPen's ethics class. In short, I've been using extant media studies work, as well as effects research, to create something I'm really proud of.

-Dating can die in a fiery plane crash, screaming as it tries scooping its metal-punctured intestines back inside. Which I find to be an entirely healthy and productive attitude thank you very much.

-I wrote a novel. I'm still letting that stew before I go to a second draft. Now I'm reading and writing a lot of poetry. Neither of these has helped my writing as much as intently grading about 300 papers over the last 3 months. If your professor friends ever offer to let you grade their papers, I'd recommend you take them up on it. Oh God, please take them up on it.

-I'm working on an ultra-secret project that involves designing something interactive and unlike anything you've ever seen before. But I also have a backup project that involves nonfiction.

That's it. Carry on.


In Burien (Draft)

I’m driving on a thin highway in Seattle
Wearing an expensive black overcoat
And a Hawaiian shirt that’s blue, with white plumerias
I look into the black and yellow of a strip mall at night

There I imagine a young man pushing a grocery cart, a miniature one
He looks and talks like me, but we’re different people
A kindly but large black man asks him for the sixteen cents
Given on the way into the 24-hour Supermarket

From behind, the voice bounces off the black of his heavy overcoat
Then dies as the young man walks away, armored like a tank
A stout woman his age walks a meandering path toward him
As he slips the key into the trunk’s keyhole

He never once looks her in the eye
“This is… weird. I realize this. Look…”
Pop goes the trunk, and the rustle of thin white plastic
“…two kids and we’re living out of the back of my car…”
The expensive shampoo is inside, as are the ice cream sandwiches
“…just twenty-five dollars from having a room for two weeks…”
The bottles of good wine, for the first time in his life
“…this is the most embarrassed I’ve ever been in my life…”

“Don’t be.” He is authority, in heavy black fabric
He gives the dollar that the black man saw
But she sees the twenty
Triads of regret, apprehension, responsibility

Now we all wear black armor
She shivers
He looks away
I drive


I Saw That (Draft)

I’ve seen your poetry
Long vines hanging from eves
I’ve never been able to read it in eyes
Transplant from more arid climes
Glare overwhelms like emerald and ruby
Oversoled in all directions but mine
Rather than grate my eyes or heart, aspirations are picked apart
One of us knows why I am, one knows who
Vines move slow, I stop the follow
I’m well watered while you strangle and dissect, and you are air, and how I’ve slumbered
Can hibernation stretch too long?
Loose the heart as we write along? Pick it up again, in our own prose?
There may be no waking of mind and souls
And what relief

In your eyes I water
The water of life that drowns you
You see the blue distending
You might know I drowned, but not when
Sap the water
But be warned
I may never wake
I may never learn
Your coffee aroma softness in my eyes

And then what would you do?

How would I know?

Except the trail that we all leave
I may love rough brown on canvas
Your petals glisten crimson, long loped vines
Around my neck as I gaze into a you, of, unknown to me:
• Time
• Place
• Context
But it stirs me, like a dreamer on the cusp of waking
Prickle of anticipation for a lifetime changed
I would wake into that you alight
At least I might
So what am I to do with you?
As I cry for the first time in a year (but not much)
As I slide through the wash and tide (but less)
Are your tendrils hailing from dry land?
What can their brail insistence see?
It’s why this poem is really about me
When soil moves round the plant estranged
How it grows when all is rearranged?
Ever temporarily trying to grow arraigning
Storms long gone but the water undraining
So perhaps this is all it ever could be
Your twisting scourge of petals
My limp patch of weeds

And never a moment I’d coax you to my reality.