Travis Herrick

I am adrift in an ocean of curious strangeness

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So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Follow your passion is common advice, even today. The idea is you find something you are passionate about, then find a career that matches that. This sound good but it not actionable; following your passion is a why but not a how. Passion is about what you want and why you do it, but it’s not what other people trade prestige, money, and great jobs for. If you want a good career that you are successful in and you enjoy doing, don’t focus on your passion. Instead focus on becoming good at your job. Develop a skillset that is unique as possible and is in demand. Realize early that passion doesn’t come out of thin air, but is often a result of the skills you have been building over the course of years. Not the other way around.

So instead of focusing on passion, focus on becoming good at all you do. Your skillsets, connections, and reputations are called your career capital. And...

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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

So I read The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Phillip Pullman and, I dunno. It has the same energy as a newer author writing a short story about Heaven and Hell are run by angelic and demonic bureaucracies, respectively. The book more treats these religious ideas as puzzles pieces to swap around for the purpose of telling another story, rather than engaging with the ideas of Christianity itself.

The premise of the novel is simple; Jesus and Christ are twins born in Bethlehem; they are separate people. Before going on, there are unambiguously angels in this novel; we see them talk to Joseph, Mary’s parents, and so forth; a stranger talks to Christ throughout the novel and the stranger is clearly Lucifer, whom Christ mistakes as any other angel. What follows is a very abridged reimagining of the New Testament; Jesus represents the “Words in Red” part of the New Testament...

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I am weak, and I have needs

The world has changed so much so quickly
and unable to cope with shortages
in this end of days

I go to my adobe
Open storage containers I haven’t looked at for months
pulling things I don’t care about one by one
increasing illicit as I slouch towards the bottom

I retrieve
Like a crime
a lone bottle of Lysol Spray

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It is very important and you must remember
When you are sad
To be sad
in an extremely pretentious mater
And then you can write books

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Burn After Reading

Burn after Reading is a good movie. It’s directed by the Coen Brothers. It has great dialog, is heavily stylized in a good way, and the actors kill it. But in a lot of ways I feel it is more a movie composed of good scenes, rather than a movie that works more as a cohesive whole. Case in point - I wanted to watch this movie because I came across this and this clip. These are hilarious, I love how they feel like they are part of a play, that it’s so over the top and absurd. It was enough to make me curious and go see the whole movie. Having seen the whole thing, these remail my favorite scenes. Now, for these two characters, these are the only time we see them; they aren’t main characters. My overall impression is that if I had just watched the good scenes on youtube, in any order, I would still have a pretty good experience, and about as much understanding of what was going on.


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NaPoWriMo2017 - Day 30

Fireworks in the Fog

The fog has rolled in
the horizon in the hills
disappearing prematurely
the cold is worth braving
because it’s Independence Day
and we are going to
explode rockets in the air
and this is America

I wish I had binoculars with me
I wish I had binoculars
out in the distance a town
which may or may not be Napa
is setting off fireworks
and there are little colorful dots
That I could easily fit in my pocket

We look across the bay
they are lighting fireworks in city
but it doesn’t matter
the fog is too high
it eats the light
We see the bottom half
of the booms
with this the cold
becomes disheartening

But look!
They are launching rockets off the Berkeley peer
I like the noise
I like the way that some of the rockets are launched
high into the fog to create colored lightning
but most of all
I like the smoke trails from the sparks
Invisible until the next explosion grants...

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NaPoWriMo2017 - Day 29

America Day

It is sunny and summer out
I like the Fourth of July
because I need to do nothing
but allow myself
to lapse into pensivity and introspection
I can watch this lazy bee
meander from flower to flower
and just be happy

We are in Tilden above Berkeley
The Wilds, as it were
The only evidence of human beings being
the picnic table and grill
and bathrooms and water fountain
and road and also
the utility pole running through our campsite
picnic site in fact
following these wires
leads to a creek
that fails to lead us to Narnia
yet it is a pretty place to forge friendship

We are cooking and grilling
carne asada
peppers and cactus
tortillas and tomatoes
Marie has made a cake
red white and blue
it tastes better than the poems
we read out of this pretentious book
me and Sean found late at night
in a box on the side of the road
the words’ mediocrity
punctuated by occasional

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 28

The Apple Store

In the city there is a shining obelisk
glass cathedral of light
Mayan geometries
windows to the sun
boxes upon boxes
housing sleeping Things
that wish to wake

Hollow men and women in blue
wear painted, practiced smiles
a bit of her colored hair
a rainbow watch
a chaotic wave of mustache
a daring pair of shoes
a tiny tattoo on an ankle
the only memories
of what they once were

A genius bar
full of geniuses
“What is your password?”
they ask
their lips not moving
They are here to help you
Trust them
give them your trinkets
They can think over the loud music
if you focus enough
the pop songs turn
to distant drums

No one enters the cathedral at night
for it is locked
What is happening in there?
What are those noises?
soothing noises, soothing shadows
Don’t enter
for there are eyes in the walls
that never sleep

The sleeping Things
That wish to wake
have thoughts

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 27

Trapped in the Bird Zone

You’re at a party and she’s just so damn pretty
Wearing a deep red feather boa
like some 1920s dancer
that got lost in the wrong time zone

Maybe you could go talk to her
it’s not far just over that at that table
where she holds a drink not for the liquor
rather she needs to occupy her hands
she twists her feather boa in her fingers
like she does with her long curly hair

But you can’t go over to her
because you are trapped in the bird zone

A Parakeet whom you know belongs to the hosts
host who are hosting this house party
hosts whom no one has introduced you to yet
The Parakeet has landed on your shoulder
you can’t go outside now
what if he flies away?
How would you explain this?

“Hello I am Cameron”
says the Parakeet
he looks out the window
“Man it sure is sunny out”
The girl is outside sitting down
with her wide hat and sunglasses

“It is very sunny out”

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NaPoWriMo 2017 - Day 26


Hey ho hey ho
We are driving northwards
To Tahoe we go
So we can hurl ourselves downwards
off of a mountain
because this is a good idea

Hey Ho Hey Ho
We are driving northwards
To Tahoe we go
hurling ourselves upwards
up up up a mountain
in a metal box
this is also
a good idea

I have never skied
which is the only reason
it terrifies me
not emotionally terrifying
but intellectually so
as to go down a mountain
seems not insurmountable
unless you think about it

There is no chance
that to ski
is scarcely as scary
as it seems
but I feel as soon as
I put on swords for shoes
Immediately I shall careen
into a tree

I imagine that mountains you ski down
consist primarily
of trees
Hey ho hey ho
to Tahoe we go

What if you trip
take a blow to the snow
zipping down a cliff
Coyote & Roadrunner style
kapow triple somersault
into a pile of your
own demise
just for your leg
being slightly to...

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