Saturday, December 31

Text Poetry Translation

In a linguistics class I took as a student at Penn State: Brandywine, we had an entire unit about text-messaging and the impacts it is having upon the English language.  We were challenged to engage in some of the resulting literary art forms, most popular of which had been Texting Poetry.  Below is the translation of a poem I posted to my Facebook page.

Happy New Year!
One more year has ended
One more to start anew
I’m glad your family is good and well
and that mine is too.
May joy and prosperity
mark this trip around the sun
Once again and again and again for always
until our lives are done.

As always, I invite questions, criticisms, and compliments below. In fact, I'll even accept comments that simply let me know you were here! (I am trying to find out how many people are actually visiting). Within the next few days I'll add another poem inspired by my time in Florida.

Tuesday, December 27

Burly Men

While I was on the road trip that I briefly mentioned in my last post, we managed to get down into Florida for several days.  Luckily, we were able to get to the Everglades National Park, Miami Beach, and Key West.  I've decided to share some of my poetry from our time down that way.  These poems are longer than the two short ones I posted about Southern California, so I won't post them all together.  I welcome most compliments and all critiques so don't be shy about speaking your opinion--in fact, I'd greatly appreciate it.  If you find anything here to be enjoyable, I'd love it if you'd share it with your friends, either by copy+pasting it, or simply by "liking" it below!

This poem I don't believe I am yet totally satisfied with.  There are some areas I would like to improve, but I've decided to shelve my insecurities about it and share it nonetheless.

It is with the greatest of confidences
That I walk down these elevated footpaths,
And peer down into the slow-moving water below.
I think I could erect a similar structure,
Perhaps something that will wrap around my kitchen,
And my bathroom to showcase my flowers,
In the garden to which I tend every summer.
Surely it’s no difficult feat of engineering,
Lining wooden planks four feet high,
But I am sure it was a callous-handed professional,
Long-learned in the art of carpentry,
Who designed and installed these sturdy beams.
A burly man perhaps, who takes all comers,
Makes vigorous love and has never cried.
Assisting him, I’m sure, would be others,
More lumberjack types, hairy-chested
Fans of meat and sport who can handle their liquor,
Which they never put on ice to chill.
I’m not a man like those, I regret.
Just an hour ago I cried, thanks to a song on the radio.
I sobbed a little, like their wives may have done,
Upon learning the nature of the work.
“You’ll be killed!,” one may have protested,
Afraid of boxing up her husband like the liverwurst sandwiches
She made for him today, and always.
No, I’m not cut out for saltwater carpentry,
With those manly professionals,
Waist high in waters which are not yet the Atlantic,
Where crocodiles have crooked smiles, and
Bathe patiently as if to say,
“Come on in, the water’s warm,”
Even though it’s clearly not.

Tuesday, December 20

2 Short Poems

During the Autumn my girlfriend, my best friend, and I took a pretty amazing trip.  We left our jobs, brought all our savings, and hit the road.  Driving over 13,000 miles, through 28 states, and stopping in ten major cities and nearly a dozen national parks, we got to see ninety days' worth of the country.  Surely, I can admit that there is a lot left to be seen (and we plan on it!) but, nonetheless, we had a pleasurable and inspiring adventure.  While most of our favorite pictures and a decent amount of trip recall can be found on the blog we kept (at, I have all sorts of stuff which has not been shared anywhere.  

Below are two poems inspired by our time in the Los Angeles area.  The latter is a haikuk depending on how loosely you define such things.

A bright new day in the city of smog,
But still, I find it hard not to sigh.
As after my shift I'm back in the car,
For another five o’clock five-lane gridlock,
And a scratchy throat as I cough and cough...

Sunny, mid-90s
SoCal attracts the world, but
I just like the fish.

Monday, December 19


Everpresent are the chains of life, loudly clanking.  Their clink-clanking drowns out the whispers of freedom.  some of the chains have been unwillingly clipped to us--stereotypes of race, realities of our economic class, perhaps the burden of overbearing parents.  Others we allow to restrict us--the code of our ethics and religions, our occupations, our relationships with others.  combined, these fetters stretch into an ugly, metallic web of arbitrarily constructed limitations.  Like the frantic insect stuck in the center of a spider's trap, we struggle for freedom, for opportunity, for choice.  This struggle is typically short-lived and only moderately passionate--eventually we learn to become content with our chains.  We accept the rhythmic clink-clanking of our iron ropes with which we have tied ourselves to others--our leaders, our lovers, our friends.  We become satisfied simply by laying.  We forget, however, happiness.  The joy of an outstretched arm, the elation of an uninhibited decision! O, how we fret the emotional repercussions others will feel in accordance with our every move.  We have fallen ill and the symptoms are our hesitations and stagnations--we know not the freedom we possess, only the secure and reliable clink-clanking of our bonds.  We must acknowledge the existence of a life without bonds, without the superfluousness of arbitrary, random, pointless obligations.  We must know the beast within our souls, the wildman that yearns for freedom.  If we wait too long, the cuffs shall be too great in number to throw off--the time is now; it has always been now.  Live fearlessly; your chains will be waiting!  Return to your lovers, your state, your job, but first know what it means to live!  Go West--Go Embrace--Go Express.  Carry on not thinking all your chains to be evil, for those bonds can be significant in their own right, but do not ignore their ability, their responsibility to restrain--to incapacitate.  Life existed before all, let it not fall content under the burdensome clink-clanking of your chains.

daniel j taylor                          

9/29/09, the eve of his 21st year