Rules and Assumptions

by The Last Poems

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released January 6, 2013



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The Last Poems San Diego, California

Spoken word collaborations between the poet and short story writer Last Man Standing and other people.

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Track Name: Natalia Breininger - "Rules" by Last Man Standing

Rules for writing to a free person:

Remember that you are a prisoner. You must always keep that in mind.

Remember that for you, the stream of culture is easily mastered by hours spent watching TV and reading magazines. A free person is too busy, and necessarily swims on the slower periphery of the stream. They will seem behind the fashion. You have the exact opposite problem. Stick to timeless themes.

No amount of prison workouts will make you a muscular writer.

Rewrite until there's nothing left but what you must say. Free people don't have a lot of time and are intimidated by long letters.

Don't ever mail a letter with tearstains on it. Put a brave face on things. You are not in prison to be worried about.

Handwriting reveals character. Try not to write like a serial killer.

Reward a good pen pal. Maybe have somebody killed for them.

Don't be desperate. Remember, letters get lost in the postal system.

When everything's going right in your life, there's nothing to write about. This explains why you have so much to say, and they have so little.
Track Name: Last Man Standing - "Assumptions" by Natalia Breininger
Letters that never reached you ~№1 // Assumptions.

I barely dare to face what we could have. Been.

It’s you. It’s me. I know it. The words spill out of my mouth; there you go, I think –
I think too much.

The spring has arrived with its sunny days and cold wind gusts that usually sneak up on me in the narrow old town streets from the Neckar. Sometimes, during my lost strolls around places my heart feels close to, I keep brooding over the weird sound of German city or river names, and how they fit into the English texts I’m writing. They probably don’t, I fear, suggesting myself fake names that would sound better, or replacing them by simple nouns like „city“, „river“, meanwhile coming to the silent conclusion that I’m sick of replacing things with others that would look or sound better. Maybe… Yes, maybe it’s time to accept the unmatching things in life and the possibility of their –happy?– co-existence. Sometimes, when things get too close to my heart I start crying.
For example, when it comes to my - yes, my - tree right beside the river…

It’s the simplicity in life that makes me go head over heals and strikes me somewhere deep, grazing places I never thought would exist. That’s the time when I normally start wondering: What do I know about life? And normally, my mind gets really confused by this question, listing things I have learned or done which all at once would turn out as totally useless, if somebody had ever dared to prove them critically. Is this somebody me? For you. And vice versa?

Is that why we’re so afraid of each other, I mean, so afraid that we aren’t even able to admit it infront of ourselves, continuing to hide in terms, forms, aquilibrias for each other instead? Forms that would legitimate the eye-to-eye or hand-to-heart contact and at least allow us to keep the other person in our everyday life. But nothing is ordinary between us. I would like to dare to say, nothing is ordinary between anybody, but I haven’t found the evidence of this assumption yet. Nonetheless, I hope I will someday.

So… What am I talking about when I talk about you and me? When I bring new words to my writing and through it to my being, words like… bonds, seing, being, soul connections, pack, stray. Love. Not that love is a new word for me, thank God, no! But it has definitely gained a new dimension since I’ve met you. And I’m not babbling about happy-relationship-marriage-ever-after and pink clouds, the seventh heaven, though I’m sure there are plenty people out there who are in this magical state right now. I know that we’ve gone way beyond this. Neither in a good nor a bad way, I’d say.

I just saw you falling and heard you lying one time too many to put those pink glasses back on again. I know your weaknesses, maybe better than you, I have an unswerving belief in your strength… and I swear, you’ve seen me in states of mind and confusions of heart... like nobody else. More important is though that you were never – not even once – ashamed or afraid of seing me like this. And because of that I learned not to be ashamed of myself. I finally learned to be. Myself.

So, even if we are apart right now and may be apart forever, this essence of our meeting will last. Even if I don’t know who you will be, I know who you’ve been. With me. And who I’ve been. With you.

P.S. Forgiveness ~ is something you’ve asked for, when I passed by, and I’m not sure, if it’s in here, in this letter. Or whether I lost it. Somewhere, between the streets on my way to my 'Kant path' that grazes your house. Maybe… Forgiveness took the hand of your softness – and jumped. Down the irrigation weir into the water. And we were standing there missing the moment to hold them.

But I smile at you and say: I don’t mind.

And I wish you luck for your path that will lead you into forests I might never. Get to know.