Friday, December 20, 2013

Moving Out Day

Poem I wrote about the last day on campus before a break. Particularly useful today, last day of the Fall Semester.


“Moving Out Day” by Danny Gessner (12-27-2012)

There were no leaves when everyone left.
They fell far down at our last respite,
still haunting the ground with a crunched litter
rather than pastel-painting the sky.

The trunks and bare branches still stand,
albeit alone and aloof -- barely swaying,
they still jut against the curved horizon.

A dusty chill crept up the hill
under brittle sunlight that wouldn’t warm
the empty roads. At our hillcrest
the only sound was a hushed whistle
of lake-driven Northern wind.
It beckoned them to leave, leave, leave --
so quietly they all packed
a week’s worth of waste
into unchaperoned sedans.
How mature.

The villagers scurried and fled.
Rushed “home” for the feeding troughs
to “feel” the spirit of commercial bile
(on every channel, now in HD)
overwhelming their nagging deadlines --
at least for another nine days.


I’ve stayed a day too late --
seen what rational minds would flock to avoid.
My perch wasn’t desolate
but I found no solace in
the trifle of tobacco I clung to.

So I tossed half-a-butt off the railing
and retreated back into the
manufactured electric-grey warmth
to compose my over-thought thoughts
before my brain went for another swim.


As I sit back inside, remembers flood in.
My thoughts pervade themselves,
but there is no nature to reflect on.
The only good stares are inside of my eyelids.
We’re not meant to be awake while inside.
Ceiling pondering doesn’t haunt as nicely as the balcony.
It doesn’t force me to think,
it merely allows safe passage.

Inside it’s the people who pervade your thoughts
They become a part of you
you can’t let their useless hashtags escape

But there isn’t any comfort in the warmth.
Not alone. Not with a still-breathing brain.
Stale ceilings and time-bomb ticking.
No inspiration --
an anxiety attack waiting to pounce.

The outside has its pleasure; you think rather than talk.
You forget and then think again.
Thoughts and forgets.

Your mind staggers freely.

Sports Heroes

Heroes and Villains: Fiction For Sport

There are no superheroes in real life, nor in the sports world. Superman is a comic creation, not Shaquile O’Neal’s alter ego. Vigilantes like Batman are given jail sentences, not revered as demi-gods. The Miami Heat are not villains in the sense that they lurk in a dark cave plotting how to take over the world; they are just a group of highly paid professionals, just like the rest of the NBA.

Fun Fact: These two aren't the same type of villain

I believe we live in a world without heroes. The most magnificent people in the world are largely ignored by the public. Good parents are heroes. Teachers can be heroes. Firefighters, police officers, hard-working individuals who risk their lives for a public service. Even then, all humans have their flaws, and just because someone is a dedicated firefighter does not mean that they are morally righteous people. Joe Firefighter might be a convicted criminal who used to save people from burning buildings. Police officers can take bribes. Would we want to call anyone a hero if we know they’re imperfect? And if so what would that say about us? Should we idolize every aspect of a person?

When I was younger my father was my hero; but by the age of 12 we all have a moment where we realize that our parents are human and flawed like the rest of us. I’m about at the age where my parents are becoming more like friends again, rather than the authority figures I hate just a bit as a teenager, because who doesn't?

I don’t believe in heroes in sport. That was broken a long time ago with my first sports hero, Mark McGwire. When he testified in front of Congress, the damning act of his post-career life, 13-year old Danny lost faith in sports heroes, and it’s made it easier to be a sports fan without being obsessed with the individual. Sport is entertainment, both for participation and spectating.

This moment made me stop believing that athletes are heroes

I root for teams, and I use the inclusive “we” when the team loses. When my Mets, Jaguars, Celtics, and Islanders lose games (A LOT OF GAMES) I feel the pain. And I have players I love regardless of what team they play on (David Wright, Aaron Rodgers, Kevin Garnett, Maurice Jones-Drew, Steve Nash) but I take my worship with a grain of salt: I recognize most professional athletes are not morally sound characters, and it’s always a nice thing when they’re also humanitarians of some charity. David Wright’s foundation benefits individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, for example, and Kevin Garnett calls fellow NBA players “cancer victims”. I may form opinions about which one I like better, but I have to expect the bombshells from my favorite players otherwise it’s too easy to be disgusted by athletes.

Good Guy David Wright may have some darker secrets,
but is it wrong to worship him while his image is still squeaky clean?

I have my heroes from the era, and I will be heartbroken when they fall. I love Mike Piazza; one of my first baseball games he hit a walk-off homer against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the 11th. Until he gets into the Hall of Fame, it seems like the opinion is to judge him harshly for steroid rumors. It’s not that I cheated, it’s that someone I believed in cheated. I think it’s more important to only be disappointed in yourself otherwise these semi-celebrities who we actually know very little about can let us down. It’s better to form heroes on people we know, love, and most of all trust. I trust David Wright to hit doubles in the clutch, not set moral standards for my children in the future. I trust DeSean Jackson to catch touchdown passes, not teach lessons about selflessness. And maybe these lowered expectations make it easier to be a sports fan.

Monday, September 30, 2013

An Open Letter to My Congresswoman Nita Lowey, NY-17

Congresswoman Lowey,

I am shocked that I did not hear more about your opinion (thankfully, in opposition) to the latest budget bill to fail in the House of Representatives. I think you owed it more to me, a core young constituent who has looked forward to voting for you for years. I think you owed a wider opposition and more public stance in the weeks leading up to this issue. I am lucky to follow you on twitter and happened to find out how you felt, which I was guilty of having assuming rather than finding out.

I would have felt better if you had told some of my other local voters and rallied some support. An educated and informed population is the key to a great functioning democracy and you owe it to the people who get to vote for your job every other year, and who had just re-elected you along some arbitrarily redistricted zones that were only approved at the last minute, another manner in which we were not informed adequately. Instead I am left disappointed in you, as well as the entire legislative process as it stands currently.

Sincerely disappointed,

Danny Gessner
Registered to vote in
Rye Brook, NY 10573-2908

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Bill of Our Amended Rights

The Bill of Our Amended Rights

Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, unless they are financial donors; or abridging the freedom to censor speech, or to deny access to the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and be beaten, and to file an ignorable petition to the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II - A completely unregulated Militia, being necessary to the security of the NRA, the right of the people to keep and bear the most deadly assault weapons imaginable, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III - No Soldier shall, in moment of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by executive demands.

Amendment IV - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall be violated by wiretap routinely, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon the chance of a possible cause, supported by opinion.

Amendment V – Beware of drones.

Amendment VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a prolonged overdrawn publicly broadcast trial, by an partisan jury of the opposite race wherein the crime shall have been committed, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the raving lunatics against him; to have no witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Incompetent Counsel for his plea.

Amendment VII - In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty thousand dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be denied an appeal, unless based on race or income.

Amendment VIII - Bail shall not be required for business crime, nor fines less than half of income imposed on the impoverished, nor punishments more cruel and unusual than in 2008 shall be inflicted, except at Guantanamo Bay

Amendment IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall be forcefully construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X – Only the Electoral College will be delegated to the States; discrimination will be provided at the will of the people

Now read how they were actually written. What changes do you think most represent our current rights as they are handled by government?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pretense for a Pretentious Writer

Once upon a time
Because that's how all good stories begin
There was a man
Who was struggling to write
About life and love and liberty
And all the in betweens
That never make the final cut
He had plenty of ideas
But they never left an over-filled voice recorded
Because when played back
They sounded like someone else's babble

He sought inspiration
But couldn't be bothered with love
Too trivial an endeavor
It would certainly sully his prose
So he looked elsewhere

He sought meaning in the laundromat
Watching rows of machines
Waste water that someone somewhere
needed much more than he needed clean socks
But he still didn't bother with high-efficiency
It only took that much longer
And he had inspiration to locate

He looked for significance
in the starry starry night
But never learned to paint
So it stayed an image
Forever escaping his capture
And reminding him of his literary inferiority

Because he's a great writer
He ended up at a bar
And amidst a cacophonous din
Located a gaggle of amusement
A friend who said the same word too much
Another who drank to quick
And before he knew it
He was forced into their lives
Away from the solitary society
That a couple gin and tonics would create

He sat alone, pondering the meaning
of a mostly wasted night
There was no epiphany
so he just threw words on a screen
Wishing a typewriter wasn't so damn heavy
But secretly enjoying the backspace

The words taunted and teased
Not making a whole lot of sense
He at once realized a lot of little things
don't add up to much.
Until thrown into poetic verse
Even just a few nifty line breaks
Can turn a rant into a poem
And someone
might think, hey that's pretty good
And he lived to dream of a publisher
Acknowledging his wonder

The End

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Open Cover Letter: Calling All Paid Internships

To Whom It May Concern:

I am very eager to be sending you my contact information, only recently looking into your summer internship program. I realize it may be a bit late, but I thank whomever reads this for listening to my words. Hopefully my voice carries you as well as it does in my own head.

Quite honestly, I am not the most experienced journalist. I haven't covered a baseball game, nor have I taken actual Journalism Classes at my college. But don't think I'm about to be ridiculously humble in this cover letter and hope for some pity. No, I will be doing my best to show you what I can offer to your company. I have a great deal of experience in an office-setting, managing the front desk of my college's career services office for two years now. In that time, two of my superiors were let go, and my workload has increased exponentially since I began. But I enjoy the professional setting and liberty it allows me to oversee the inner workings of an office while helping my remaining supervisor, one of my best friends in my professional career.

But I'm not here to wow you with how well I work well with my office of professionals all while taking 15-21 credits every semester at Ithaca College. No, my expertise and passion lies in writing, I have done a number of professional works through my college, recently editing my department's annual alumni newsletter; this involved an insane amount of hours proofing a dozen 1,000 words articles during Finals Week. All that, and I still kept my academics up, making Dean's List. I apologize for mentioning that, as I try not to flaunt my academics, but I think the situation might merit it.

In addition to this editing feat, I have taken Persuasive Argument (have I convinced you to hire me?), Public Essay, and Writing About Sports (currently enrolled) to fine-tune my writing skills. I think my editorial skills are quite appropriate for such an excellent company and hope that you are able to keep me in consideration.

Outside of classes and work, I am the General Manager, otherwise known as Treasurer, for IC Players, a student-run theatre organization on my campus. I am involved with all their funding and business management, stepping into an executive position in the coming year as I become a senior. I stage manage plays frequently, if not assistant directing for my friend's zombie TV show (Ithapocalypse: or acting in others for the Spanish department's il Teatro Campesino or other TV projects some of my Television-Radio major roommates are organizing.

I like keeping busy, although I'm definitely an organized individual. I have worked two past internships each summer, one paid in an Insurance firm helping them downsize, and one unpaid with a high-brand marketing firm helping set up such marketing events as the Men In Black 3 Premiere in May or preparing our outreach for the RISE Global 2013 Conference in Austin, Texas. Talk about remote conferencing, I swear I talked to more people on phones than in person on a day-to-day basis coordinating that from the Fashion District.

I'm not sure what else to sell myself on. Socially, I'm probably one of the funniest and wittiest people you'll ever meet. I try to flourish my words in speaking almost as much as the words I write. I can probably attest to my dedication to the job by noting that I am composing this letter on my Spring Break: I decided to stay at the college, pick up a few hours at the office, and hang with some of my closest friends. That's not to say I don't know how to have a good time, but I can reasonably distinguish what I want to do and what I need to, and tonight I was so inspired to write this I felt it unsensible to do much else but give this cover letter my absolute best effort.

Well, I'm sorry I've taken so much of your time, so I'll begin to wrap this up. Please hire me, and I swear you'll truly enjoy my absolute effort, which is all I ever give. With greatest regards, and a hope that you enjoyed my letter at the least, I thank you for your time and patience.

Danny Gessner

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter Waltz

New poem I wrote up a short while ago. Definitely not my best piece, but I submitted a bunch to Stillwater, so I'd like them to get first publishing rights.

"Winter Waltz", an epic of personal conquest I crafted on a cold evening's walk
by Danny Gessner

The fields are locked,
they’ve chained the gates,
it doesn’t really feel right for play.
Things have changed,
the cars all go past,
although when i’m in them,
I’d prefer they go fast.
It makes more sense to live here now,
living in the winter's howl.
I don’t think less of the noise that pervades,
so much as the silence invades.

This is not my best poem of thought and time.
Rather, just some old silly rhyme
that i’ll bumble from time to time
and when i need to, make it rhyme.
The lamps grow wan,
disappear for eternity,
inducted into a dreamy fraternity.
I follow them along a path
maybe only God herself could have.
The towers loom, and horizons don’t get flatter
i march, and then again,
see myself in a reflection of hope and prayer.
Pray once again and I will.

Let me know what you think about it. I haven't even attempted rhyme in such a long time it feels so weird to work with all these slants.