tea in the mic

I just came back from dinner at Harcombe (a fairly unimpressive meal), but the few hours before are what I want to blog about.  At 4:30 today, I went to the Hendrix Center for International Tea and Coffee Hour.  It was pretty neat; I talked to this grad student from Sri Lanka about research he's doing on synthesizing membranes which can sustain hydrogen fuel cell reactions at 120 degrees, I talked to an electrical engineering guy from India, also a grad student, who's working on voice recognition improvements by analyzing mouth movements.  I also talked to a girl from Beijing (her name I forgot, but she told me to call her Summer).  We just talked about tea.

But sadly, I was out of place.  They were all grad students, and they were all foreign.  And everybody asked me... "What country are you from?"  And when I answered, they said "Oh... I thought this was just for International Students."]
What they meant was,
"Oh, you're just a dumb white person."
Well, perhaps that's not what they meant.  But it did feel like it at times.  Anyway, after that, I went outside to lay on the grass and I tried to write a poem for the open mic night tonight.  I started writing several, but finished none.  Here are the ones I had:

The sky was cerulean, that day.
Like the polish, flaking from her fingernails.
But the cornflower and cotton clouds were less kind,
Last night.

Last night started with a bang - not
The fun kind, nor the fucked kind,
But the loud kind, as the
Electric potential ripped down across the mountain.

That one was going to be about my first LEAF, when Anastasia, Catie, Katherine and I were running through a thunderstorm and I remember Catie falling into the mud as we ran.  But I couldn't get the poetry out.  Here was the next failure:

In my world, there are two ways to play the guitar.
You can strum the strings, and
You can sweep them.

The musicians may tell you otherwise,
And the musicians may say "but he doesn't even
Play the guitar!"

And the musicians who do play guitar
Might just scoff and block me out, but that means
That they are strummers.

I learned this in Physics class -
When you play all the strings at the same time
If things are just right, then
You get a chord.

And don't get me wrong, musicians; I love

That's all that came out of that one.  It was supposed to evolve into a piece about both individuality and caring about details, paying attention to the leaf and not just the tree.  But it fell apart as well.  Here were the next two that fell apart immediately:

This is a poem.  As I sit down to wr
Hannah McClesky is my hero.

Both failures in the first line.

The next one had more promise:

My best friend owns a white Volvo.
It isn't brand-new-macbook white,
But it isn't really off-white either, it's just
And you'll have to trust me on that,
Kinda like I trusted him.

I figured that as Jack left for college, he would
Lend me a final
From the white machine,
That carried away,
Half my heart that day.
And he did.  But the first time he came back
The chuckle way changed (but the Volvo was not).

That was going to be a piece on how college changes people dramatically and how you absolutely cannot understand it until you've been there.  That's what I didn't trust; don't think that I lost faith in Jackson's honesty, or anything.

The next one I wrote was pretty sexual, so I won't repeat it.  But let it suffice to say that it also failed.

And that's that.  Dinner sucked.

And now I frankly don't care about going to open mic night, and since I can tell that Karen, Sarah, and Sammie don't want to go either, I probably won't go.  I was hoping they'd come with me, but I won't make them.

And that's that.


  1. sorry about fail
    particularly since i want to go to open mic
    since i was going to go on my own
    and man

  2. it did suck. sorry... i wrote this before we went. I thought you were going to be too busy studying.