Monday, December 17, 2012

(Africa)

A whole tubful of water down the drain and yes people are thirsty in Africa. Can we stop pitying Africa long enough to acknowledge that it's full of some great people and some shitty people just like everywhere and meanwhile elementary schoolers are being shot and we lament lament lament and never talk about the fact that kids die every day in Africa.

What I mean to say is that it matters every day. Today it matters just as much as it does tomorrow and four days ago. My heart squeezes squeezes works to keep, as their faces play across the screen hung from the ceiling while I run and go nowhere on a conveyor belt that goes nowhere it is surreal, blood pumping through.

What I mean to say is that it matters everywhere. What I mean to say is that love is important. I should love a man if he dedicated his life, the whole of it, to loving.




I have straightened the apartment, except for the dishes. This seems to be the way of it. It is growing late and my hair is wet and I am typing on someone else's computer. I will lie down soon, on the mattress, and my hair will be wet on the pillow and when I wake up the fabric and my cheek, whichever one I was lying on, will be damp. 


Once I awoke with twigs in my hair. Once they grew into a bird's nest. Pigeons fought there. I screamed, and plunged my head into the lake. Bloated feathers floated to the surface as I drowned. I dined on marsh grasses and green foam bubbling up from the sea.


Contort me blue crowels hammer ducts slamming into alpine poles and cumming. Crist my limbs and saw through half of my torso. Leave the rest to the birds.

Monday, December 10, 2012

(here is the only thing I can know)

Here is the only thing I can know: What I am experiencing, right now, in this moment.

Even that can be somewhat nebulous.


Right now there is a man wearing a flat brim hat that says "hustle". There is another man bent over tomato soup, toast, fried plantains. Still another man bows to me with makeup smeared across his face. Clothing dries on the rack. I finger a piece of plantain between my teeth. I have started flossing again.

A small boy is rolled into an Oriental rug. Men make jokes about molesting children. My mind works to determine if their tongues tip their cheeks.

What is my moral prerogative. There is a large hole in the right knee of my sweat pants, and also the left cheek. I am talking about my butt on public television.

We cut snowflakes out of construction paper. He coughs. We make popcorn in a paper bag in the microwave. His parents will ship us a tree.

Doesn't that require a lot of energy? Constantly I am assessing some thing versus another. Ecology versus Christmas spirit. I stand with both, though some days for one or the other.




Sunday, December 9, 2012

(I bite liquid and own your flesh)

Vodka takes to my veins. I eat grapes, roasted zucchini, chunks of ginger. I hold your face in my hands and I kiss it, squeezing. We were born from spiderwebs and the foam on the sea. Rivulets. Eddies.

Remember when we were walking. Stopped on bridge stone muck beneath our feet. Egrets once stepped here. Soon the waters will rise, footprints dissolve, mud fill our boots. They will take four days to dry on the cabin's porch. Even soaking in sunlight.

You ready the vapor. I hang scarves from the sofa, tuck plants into jars. I am not wearing underwear.

I am the believer. Vodka soaks through my canines. I bite liquid and own your flesh, the soft skin on the inside of arms.

I fell once, into the river. I had crossed four times with shaking success, heart spilling through my teeth, muscles clenching. Three feet from the bank the slipping, first the branch then body submerging, currents pack soaking through. I walked six miles to camp, laden with fishes.

Friday, December 7, 2012

(I take off my shirt in the light and stand naked in darkness)

I take off my shirt in the light and stand naked in darkness. It's because my elbow flipped off the switch.

I shower in mold, shaking.I don't care what you say I'm a writer. What do I know. I am wracked with ivy and dusk. Pigeons feast on my toes.

His hands, pumas, underneath my shirt. Claws retracted. This is the season of love.


~~~

Yesterday I was a pillar of bees, swelled with the confidence of stinging.

Today I ran four miles in the pouring rain for a moment faster than rivers decades beneath my feet.

I will write her a love letter.


~~~

He understood. The only way to rise is to first go down to the deep. He coughed on his back on the sidewalk, cocaine spit up on his lips.

My favorite movie in this entire world is It's All Gone Pete Tong. He punched that rabbit right in the face.

This violence was the most powerful expression of love his life has ever known. It will save him. Do not tell me things are "good." Not "bad."

I make my rhythms on the sea and ride the coattails of doves.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

(Thursday)

Here is the epiphany I had on the train, late, two nights ago. Sometimes I feel so connected to everything that I feel I am carrying every single ache suffered by every person and leaf and blind shrew shaking on this planet, and it is heavy heavy heavy and I am drowning. I carry these pains and they weigh on me, claw at my ankles, swallowing my lungs. Here is the epiphany part if I am the whole world and all of its pains (if I am not just a mass of ego and narcissism) then if I could figure out how to be happy even while feeling it all then I would be on to something truly revolutionary (and sometimes I am already; I am happy a lot of the time; I am a revolutionary). Then I got to thinking maybe that's the ticket: If every person on this planet could figure out how to be happy despite all the pain that they feel (we all feel), then we'd live in a world full of joyful people-- a joyful world.

It's overly simple, perhaps. It's not a new idea and it's one I've had before, but two nights ago it felt all over again like an epiphany. It all comes back to personal responsibility, as I've been thinking for a few years now. But then of course there's the small issue of being human, the fact that humans contain within us anger and filth and vicious, drunken outbursts from the gutter-- and this is no less who we are nor is it any less worthy of our consideration.

At any rate this evening I dined on rice cakes and salsa and cleaned the apartment but stopped before I washed the dishes. They will wait for another day.

There is a bug or perhaps a family of bugs (I have yet to determine) living behind the stove in the kitchen. So far I am slightly nonplussed when one or the other of them crawls across my fry pan where it sits on the front burner, but invariably the little critter makes the trek back behind the stove before I can find anything with which to entrap it. Besides if I put it outside will it die in the cold? Will it merely find its way back indoors, this time with a vengeance? Is there really anything wrong with sharing my kitchen with a bug or perhaps a family of bugs?

Monday, December 3, 2012

(sentences)

I do not understand on the level on which I take things personally. Beyond that I get it.

There is a fleck of melted chocolate on my left ankle, on my right wrist.

A teacher you've never heard of is changing the world.

I want to be less fluttery than I, often, am. than I often am.

I will take my courage from Nicholas, who bows his head and places his hands in prayer and says, with gentleness and conviction, thanks

someday I want to work in prisons and domestic violence shelters and elementary schools and I want to teach people about poetry. I want to bring people paper and pencils and say, let's go exploring.

somewhere, over the rainbow


Sunday, December 2, 2012

(Sunday)

I am hugely disturbed by TV babies designed as if they spoke like adults. "We don't know how to talk about children any more." 

Today was a good day, whatever that means.

I would like to learn to play the harmonica. I also want to stun people with my voice and a guitar. Sometimes I am driven by ego. Then I feel proud of myself for being aware of the times when ego drives me. Then I have to laugh because this pride also comes from my ego. If I keep breathing for long enough I will touch for a moment that place where I do not feel pride or shame, only love.

When I was in Guatemala I was very sick with a lot of things and I lived in a small concrete room with a thin hard mattress and no windows. I didn't go out late at night because of the men who followed and grabbed at me as I walked faster back toward my room, so I went home after school or after meeting a few friends in a cafe or at the place that sold large bowls of papaya for less than three dollars. I would close the door to my room so people couldn't see me from the courtyard and then I would read and when I couldn't read any more I would write. As I wrote I would grow more and more aware of how sick I was, how scared and alone, and so I would write, over and over again in that paper-blue journal, that I was immersing myself in the river of lovingkindness, that this river is the truest part of this world, that I was surrendered to it and embraced by it and that there was no need to be afraid because I was part of the river, and the river is nothing but love.

I wrote it until I believed it, and then I would fall asleep.Sometimes I remember this river, swimming in it, but I have never been so aware of it as when I lived in that small concrete room with no windows and a thin hard mattress. Also in Guatemala I bought a colorful tapestry from a small Mayan woman and taped it to the concrete wall, the nearest thing to sunshine. I saw her at least five more times while I lived in that country, each time in a different town, an unexpected corner of the city. We would chuckle and smile and shake our heads in disbelief, unorchestrated companions.


Yesterday for the first time since they were put to sleep I cried for my two old dogs, for how young they once were and how young I was when I first held them. They were good dogs, loving and loyal, who would sit with me on the stairs every time that I cried. And such personalities!

Now I am drinking seltzer with fat hunks of frozen mango in it and I am writing after a whole day spent outside, and really I am leading a wonderful life; I am grateful; I am awash with love.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

(Saturday)

I will leave you all behind, and then where will you be? I will enter this here growth of weeds and disappear forever. -zz packer


I go walking. It takes the first forty minutes for me to remember that I like my own company. I haven't been alone in so long.

At the bank, the man standing in line in front of me waves me ahead of him. At first I am touched by his kindness, then worried that in truth he was avoiding the teller with a shawl wrapped over her head. He chats heartily with the other teller as she counts out his cash; perhaps they are old friends. I deposit my check and leave, purposefully winding through the display of christmas trees on the sidewalk, inhaling. 

One mile to the park. A man stares at me at the intersection, says hello with an eager, unintelligible smile. I say good morning and step onto the grass. This is where people bring all of their leaves-- black garbage bags stuffed and swollen, lining the paths. I wonder whose job it is to open them.

It is a miracle that in this over-populated city I am alone in this park. Or at least that I am alone in this section of this park, which is enough for me. It is enough that my eyes pass over mounds of grass and sparsely planted trees and that I see no one, not even the squirrels, and today I do not miss them.

I pass close to the trees and then of course I walk downhill to the water. The river runs high, not angry but anxious, waiting to see if it will storm. I press my hands into the cold metal railing and lean out as far as my body will follow me, feet rising off the sidewalk. Thick layers of broken glass cover the bank's pebbles, greens and blues and browns clanking rhythmically against the large concrete barrier extending from the bank up to my feet. I lock eyes with the seagull standing on a wet rock beneath me. It looks away, regally, and moments later takes flight. I watch as it loops under a pack of its squealing counterparts, ready to catch whatever is dropped in the fray.

An aging man has joined me at the railing, perhaps a body's length away from me. We both watch the water, the sky, the bridge shaking as a train rumbles over it, an airplane flying away. I do not resent his company, nor encourage it. So many times have I thought I was sharing silent companionship with an unknown man, some depth of understanding, only to have him say something about my ass and what he wants to do with it as I walk away. I do not want to make assumptions.

I pass back under the trees. Someone has left seed for the pigeons. Hundreds of them, perhaps, beaks snapping at the dirt, so absorbed in feasting that few even register my footsteps as I pass by. I am grateful; I am, not entirely but to enough of an extent, scared of birds. Not birds themselves, perhaps, but their movements: Unpredictable, dirty wings thwacking. Earlier I watched as a sparrow was grabbed by the wind, caught and twisted and nearly thrown against my cheek.

I walk to the pharmacy. I tell the man I am from Pennsylvania; he asks if I'm Amish. No, I say. But I get asked that a lot. How many children do I have? he asks, nodding at the bottle of baby lotion on the counter. None, actually. I just have sensitive skin. Then he tells me that on account of my childbearing age I should get a flu shot that doesn't contain mercury. I do not tell him that I have never had a flu shot in my life, that I do not intend to. Instead I say Huh, I wasn't aware that traditional flu shots did contain mercury. He nods his head emphatically.

I am cold, finally, and not at all hungry though it has been hours since that bowl of oatmeal I microwaved this morning. I walk another mile to the apartment and take my boots off inside the door. I open the bottle of baby lotion and rub it over and over again into the backs of my dry hands, and give thanks for still being alone.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

(Sunday)

Lately, I have had too much to do and I have spent too much time standing on dark subway platforms praying, after 28 minutes of pacing and being hit on by the young jocks in flat brims and trying to read but getting distracted by the smells and the young women and middle-aged men staring at me and the young jocks talking loudly and trying to impress me, for a train to bring me home.

More than that though I am concerned with how much of my life revolves around me these days. In the past I volunteered multiple times a week and took classes to expand my mind and sought out new activities and kickboxed and was in a writing group and attended Taize every week and went hiking in the woods by myself every weekend (where I met with squirrels and birds and, on one frightening afternoon, three wild dogs) and sang every Sunday with a choir.

These days I don't do much of any of those things. I could blame people or situations or, most likely, deride myself. But mostly I think it's because I'm tired. I'm doing so many new things again and I've already done so many things-- in the past I volunteered and took classes and sought out new activities and kickboxed and was in a writing group and attended Taize and went hiking in the woods and sang with a choir, and I moved once every four months for nearly three years. These days I don't have it in me-- at least not all of it at the same time. Right now perhaps what I need is to not do any of those things, even though a large part of me feels very anxious about the fact that I am not doing enough with my life and I am certainly not doing enough for other people.

If I were talking to someone else I would tell them, "before you can help other people you have to get yourself to a place where you have the physical and emotional energy with which to do so. otherwise, it's not sustainable, and it's not good for you-- and, speaking of doing good for people, aren't you a person too?

But when I feed this advice to myself all I get back is sass and criticism. What kind of friend am I!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

(Saturday)

I have considered it and I have concluded that I accept the both the word "overexaggerate" and the concept behind it. I believe this because as we all know it is possible to exaggerate and furthermore I think it is possible to exaggerate upon an exaggeration, an easier way to describe this being "overexaggeration". At the same time I have decided that I am fully opposed to the word that I was hating earlier, though I am currently unable to remember both the word and my reasons for loathing it.

Fighting brings me back to barricading myself in the bedroom in defense against my mother, crying because I felt helpless against her attacks from the other side of the door.

I want to have a dog named Leo, whose ears will be softer even than the lamb's ear growing beneath my parents' mailbox in whatever season lamb's ear reaches its prime. Leo and I will go everywhere together, and when we don't feel like going anywhere we will lounge about in a king size bed and he will wag his tail at all my bad jokes and I will tell him my feelings and rub his silken ears.

I want too much and too often fail to notice all of those ways in which life brims with abundance. I admit this despite being acutely aware that this establishes me as both a cultural trope and an American stereotype, and with additional awareness of the fact that the phrase "acutely aware" is common and perhaps over-used. Yes, but accurate.

I am getting slightly better at omitting the additional clause or the fragmented sentence at the end of a paragraph. I am getting slightly better at letting the space between have its space.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

(Tuesday)

here I go nearly blowing my ears out because I forgot to turn down the volume before putting on my headphones. here I go preparing to be up late at night, though I had all evening to write.

I don't feel very poetic today, nor loquacious.

The yellow bike is, slowly, being assembled in the living room. It looks like a work of art; it looks like we chose to buy this old bike and put it in the living room of the apartment in order to prove that we are cooler than other people who don't decorate with things like yellow bikes in their living rooms. The bike will carry us to subways faster than would our feet, and maybe the natural food store miles away when I run out of beneficial bacteria, or tofu. That is the purpose for the yellow bike in the living room. It is beautiful.

there is so much water and it did not fall from the sky. wind carried it. I remember teaching middle schoolers about wave action on the beaches of Maine. a thing is changed by knowing about it.

space

If I write about it in pretty ways I can make it sound so perfect. I do not know if my writing is a reflection of the truth that I sometimes fail to see or if it is a reflection of the way I wish things would be or if it is a projection of what I want the world to see or if it is completely devoid of a sense of reality.

She spoke in iambic pentameter of wind and fires and a young man dead. I wondered if all news anchors are trained to speak in iambic pentameter. I wonder if their instructors described it that way. I doubt that Shakespeare did. What I would give to eat at his table! Distaste of so many years turned to grudgeless respect. If for no other reason than the man knew how to play.

I may have overdosed on games of bananagrams. and hurricane coverage on the tiny TV. I care.

I do not have to explain myself, always, though I want to, because I feel my intentions are righteous most of the time and I want so badly for people to know that I'm not coming from a bad place. What the fuck ever that means. Some people do come from a bad place, and they're alright! What are the qualifying criteria, I wonder? Sometimes I think maybe I have, in the past, met them and then I shake off the thought. "No. The truly bad stuff is worse." The ever-present appetite to be more than the lowest common denominator. As if that would make us any less.

The hurricane hit Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic too. We need to care for ourselves first but let's not overlook this. It isn't kind. 

I am cranky this evening, confrontational. I suppose I know why but it still troubles me (why?) to admit that my body has any control over these things. I just realized that I have never read a first-person account of PMS and that this is, perhaps, because it is one of the many other of things that we find uncomfortable, or tasteless, or that we do not want to admit to. And why not. How much a man could learn about me, about any woman, if he listened to this experience. How much women could learn from each other.

Perhaps it is just because I have never Googled "a first-person account of PMS."

Language! I remember the professor who said m-dashes should be reserved for only the most pressing of sentiments. Another, earlier on in my schooling: "Words are so powerful. Use them wisely."

I am perennially a four year old, gushing over flowers and little brown birds in the bushes and asking, always, to the point of annoying other people though that was never my intention (there I go again...), why?

Earlier today he suggested that I take a break from words. I had never considered it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

(Friday)

Today I've decided that I hate the phrase "tickling noses". Tomorrow or perhaps in a week or nine years from now, I may or may not feel differently. Until then I will judge derisively anyone who uses this phrase I have just realized, today, that I hate.

I love this song but I cannot listen to it right now because, I could say most easily, it hurts. I think that's lazy reasoning however, because it's not so much that it hurts as that it is annoying the shit out of me currently to the point of feeling viscerally bothered even though usually I find it enjoyable, aurally pleasing, moving. (I am large. I contain multitudes.)

I do not feel like using as many commas tonight as I, often, do. Small rebellions.

My name was on the chalkboard every day in French class and my Main Lesson teacher wrote home each year about my outstanding obedience. What provokes us to please? To rage against? I liked both of my teachers, equally. I cried when my French teacher left.

I remember when I was going to travel to France. I was going to sit in the fields with thousands of unwashed souls and I was going to sing. To pray. That person seems so distant from me now, like the woman who planned to walk across this country, in her bare feet if it came to that, with nothing but a headlamp and a tent on her back.

I guess what I am struggling with is what to DO with all of these multitudes. I am quite comfortable knowing that I'm full of them but at a loss as to the appropriate response. Do I say to the Buddhist monk, No. Do I say to the high school biology teacher, No. To the nomad? To the leader of young people through bogs and across mountains, who wore earth tones and rarely showered and happily plunged her hands into compost? To the woman who loves so many, who answers to none? To the aunt piloting her plane home from Africa? To the zany literature professor? To the farmer? To the overworked waitress with hair stuck to her cheek? Do I say to the girl wearing all black, who starves herself, who is loved for her poetry and her etherealism, You Cannot Exist.

Who decrees it?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

(Monday)

I promised myself I would write about it I have forgotten it.

What a whirlwind: work and laundry and legs all akimbo. I forgot to condition my hair.

There is a grapefruit sitting on the apple crate. 

God plants, flowers are so beautiful. I have placed them all around the apartment and they shine out at me from every corner, every open surface that is flat and brown and welcoming. He is learning how to make oatmeal in the microwave.

Living together is learning that I am not the only person who matters all of the time and wondering, sometimes, ashamedly, if I am ready to learn.

So we compromise: We listen to Yo La Tengo in the evening when really we both want something different but it is in between and close enough to each of our preferences that it works, even though it is not entirely satisfactory on either side. But the fact that it works makes it satisfactory.

That woman glared at me so furiously I thought she would enjoy watching me die. And all I did was walk into her laundromat. I do not understand but I also remembered this, on the subway ride home to the apartment: I am capable of meanness, too.

I promised myself I would write about it I have remembered it.

I can be mean, too, I am not so special as to be kind, always. I try, and, for the most part, I think, I do okay, but I have felt that anger welling up inside of me so big I have punched a wall, or any of a number of mattresses, or kicked the empty trash cans in front of the garage outside. and sometimes I am compelled, nearly, to say mean things. I have only felt this way a few times in my life and each time it has been in regard to someone with whom I am incomparably close.

I could come up with any number of reasons. Most easily a list of names and a declaration of privacy. Independence. Maybe I'm just afraid. Regardless. I carry the Falcon with me everywhere that I go.


He brings me lifesavers, tofu, organic oats. an inflatable dinosaur. I place it in the bottom of a bowl full of water and wait for it to grow.

Friday, October 19, 2012

if my computer were to die it might be the end of me, at least for a little while.

not the end of me at all, of course, but an obstacle.

nevertheless, this is not an obstacle that I would like to face.


I noticed, looking down at my slim black shoe landing firmly on the sidewalk, that I have grown  less superstitious. It happened gradually, so that I do not know when I was, by definition, a superstitious person, I do not know when I became a slightly less superstitious person, and I do not know when it was I stopped caring about things like stepping on cracks in the sidewalk or the appearance in front of me of a darting black cat. Nevertheless, I do still double-check to make sure the oven and all of the stove's burners are off every time I leave the house. But I suppose this qualifies more as a compulsion, or some symptom of a more generalized anxiety or, in a more positive light, just good common sense, and, as such, serves no indication that I continue to be, as I once was, a superstitious person.

It served its purpose, I think, at the time. I was nervous all over. Now I am less nervous and more worrisome, but not all the time, and in more appropriate ways than I once worried, I think. Now it is less caring about what people think of me and more worrying about paying the bills that come to the mailbox in the front lobby every other day, it seems, each time elating and then dropping from a very high altitude my spirits as I discover what I thought a letter to be, instead, another claim over my resources.

I do not like this pronoun, my, or its variations, most of all mine. They cause such mess. Still I find myself, when I am worried about paying the bills in their crinkly white envelopes, thinking, "goddamn all these companies taking my money." I think this despite knowing that money doesn't really-- existentially-- exist. Then again if I go down the route of deriding money as a "human-made" invention I might as well throw myself out with the bathwater. We are all, to some extent, human made, I want to say-- but then I think of those little baby squirrels raised from day 4 in the hands of humans, still munching down on nuts and sleeping through the day and learning, on their own, at night, to fly.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I want to love people to the point of dying. It fills me up so that I wish I could give it away! But they are not here and I believe in positive energies traveling but I guess not really. It's because my life is words.

I almost fall off the couch. The futon is slipping from the frame I will not re-arrange it. The reality is the futon is slipping from the frame. The reality is I am choosing to make something of it. I have spent most of my life, like this: in a dream where everything mattered, where nothing touched me.

Now I am bumped left and right and sideways by bodies everywhere, moving. Now the sidewalk is hard beneath my feet, the smell-sounds invade me, even the pigeons brush their sickly wings against my shoulders. We talk about mundane things and then we argue and then we watch TV.

I am told this is part of growing up.
I do not want to write things, now, and look back on my writing, then, thinking, she was a child then. It is likely inevitable. I am 25 and I still like my mattress on the floor, frameless. The TV makes fun of me: I am a child because my mattress is on the floor. One day, when I am, actually, an adult, I will not believe it appropriate to put a mattress on the floor.

I don't even own a box spring. I shouldn't watch TV. No shit!


Fall is killing me, with missing Pennsylvania. Fall always kills me. My favorite season.

The point, right? To die, to be reborn. I've read the literature. I've spoken the scriptures with the old women in the church, ceiling high, white, triangular. I've watched plants grow. 

In the dream-land I never died. Or I died all the time; right now I can't remember. In the dream-land I was more or less awake than I am now. I was more or less real. I want to live life, the real thing, whatever that is.


Appendix

We make it, I know. But we do not create something from nothing, physics tells us. Okay then. I want to touch the something that exists before I make something of it. I want that to be my reality. I want to hold it in my fist and raise it up to the trees losing their leaves and say, Here! Yes! I've got it! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

(post-season)

tiebreak inning.

like last night. our hearts bump against our tongues.

Machado is up.I pick up dropped apple slices, slide them between my lips. Chinese lanterns are stark, striking, against brown clay. A fake squirrel sits on the windowsill.

our feet are bumped together; back when we wore sandals. it's colder now, but the grass still green. the trees less so. 

He has flown to Madrid. I met him there, days late, faces bright-- mine from the wind. His because there was brightness in him.

After he left a bird pooped on me by the fountain. I let myself feel the injustice; like gravel scraping my esophagus; I relished it. I missed him terribly but the Lebanese man wanted to dance. He wanted to fuck me, among the pillars. I walked with him for an hour, then went by myself to buy chocolate and churros. I spent a lonely day in the park and walked back to the hostel.

He chews gum so big his mouth must be stuck that way. It's a superstition in baseball, like sunflower seeds and cartoon faces. Meanwhile he eats Mentos with his head on my arm; there are bicycle tires beside the couch; an empty carton of yogurt sits upside down on the coffee table.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

(weekend)

I am tired.

I bought a seltzer yesterday.

I do not know if we are supposed to hurt each other as much as we, sometimes, do.


There are birds above my our the closet.


I ran toward the river, a few miles. I stopped there, breathing heavy. It was starting to rain. The river water slashed at the rocks. Two seagulls perched on them. They didn't seem afraid.

I wasn't, either; just watching. There were other people there, a woman loading a baby carriage into the trunk, an old man strolling, a dog chasing a squirrel up a tree. That they can climb so fast!


Yesterday: another squirrel. It ran up a stone pillar to avoid two dogs and the man who ran with them, straight at the squirrel, for good fun. They lingered beneath the pillar awhile, and the squirrel clacked at them, angry, afraid. Even after they left it stayed there, tail twitching. I worried that it couldn't get down.

I craned my neck to watch from the park bench, as if my watching would be of help. I thought about walking over to the squirrel, putting out my arm like a man to a woman in a forgotten century, saying here. let me help you. But my presence would have scared the little creature even more and this frustrated me. I didn't choose a body that frightens!

Of course, the squirrel didn't choose its body either, but it knew how to inhabit it, from birth and years of training. Of course, when I looked back around (I had looked away a minute, thinking "a watched squirrel never climbs back down a pillar"), the squirrel was already gone.

Next I listened to a young man with a plaintive voice sing derivative lyrics from a makeshift stage in front of a smattering of people, most of them dressed all in black. I was wearing a skirt and it was much too cold for a skirt but I was wearing it anyway because I had changed out of my pants earlier, after having walked down the street and been eyed by too many men. The skirt was baggy and, as such, drew less attention. So I sat on the damp lawn, goose bumps lining my calves, and I listened to the young man sing and I watched another man, beautiful, lie down on his back on the grass. Then I got up, smiling, as some heavy metal youngsters climbed onstage and started making jokes about Fifty Shades of Grey, and I hope the rest of the audience laughed, and I hope the heavy metal rockers didn't think I was leaving because their music was loud, or their stereo poor; rather it was just that I was a little chilly, and that I had already gotten what I needed from the park that day--

a memorial, wind, rocks lining the river bank beneath an old stone bridge and damp earth pressing into my back

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

(last night)

In my dream I had a cleaver. I used it on his thighs. He sent me away from him.

I felt terrible. I cried in the kitchen, knees and hands on the floor, red drops collecting on tile beneath me. I scrubbed at them with a towel. The woman told me not to worry, that I always had a home there.

This did not make me feel better.

I didn't have time to think about it. He was going to kill me.
I didn't accept this at first. I swung at him and ducked his arrow points (he shot short-range, from his seat on the basement couch), and even when the arrow grazed my neck I didn't think I'm going to die. That is when I started to realize that perhaps he was not kidding. If I hadn't moved he would have killed me, then, with a series of three arrowheads let loose straight toward my heart. Either he trusted I would move, or he wanted to kill me.

When the opening came, I didn't take it at first. We both pulled back, breathing heavy, and then I realized it was my shot. My chance to end it, really, and that was the appeal for me-- to stop the pounding in my chest. There wasn't any more thought than that. I realized it was my turn and I swung.

At first I wasn't sure if I'd actually done it; he just looked at me. Then the slice started to open across his thighs, then his eyes looked down, then he told me to leave the room.

I wanted to go back, after crying in the kitchen, to see if I could wrap myself 'round his bleeding thick thighs. Instead I woke up, curved my body around a pillow, thought of bright white towels stained red. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

(in Pennsylvania, reading my mother's "O" magazine)

"Who wouldn't" is a stupid question.

Your anger is a manifestation of frustration and fear. 

Constant sitting will kill you.

Shit.



Her process: Inspiration exists.

Raise the bar! The faster you reach your potential, the sooner others can reach theirs. 

a little fairy tale magic to lure people to her cause (step away from the stove).

How well do you know yourself?

I saw my ancestors calling, Come find me!, across the generations. 

I can always count on my husband to dance.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

writing is the easy part.

it's the drinking that gets to me, all bottoms up and fermented cider. my uncle was an alcoholic, I think. the cigarettes killed him, I think.

what I know is he was magic. he could spin his tongue the whole way around his front tooth.





would she approve?

the oven grows warmer.

he is making beans, he is making tofu, he will layer them under red salsa, spicy hot.

I am drinking cider in the living room. 

I am writing and drinking cider in the living room. I am aware that you will read this.


Dostoevsky was an honest man, a smart man. I know nothing about him.

save that his words excite me. I recognize in him an honest man.


"she's a smart one," they all said, and my parents smiled approvingly. there was a time I resented them for it.

this oldness is new, is strange: I no longer blame my parents for my condition. I am blissfully responsible.



the headphones lie beside the binoculars on top of the quilt. "is this too girly for you" she said he does not remember. here I go devolving into vagaries and the routine run-on sentence. here I go trying to show you I am smart. that I have a heart!

now I will say something like, "it is beating."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

(blue)

I click on the pencil. It is all yellow.

I don't even want to write about you any more.

(I am aware of the hypocrisy,
a biggest pet peeve).

Yes, I know. there can only be one.


~~~~

I ate a fig straight from the tree. Adam gave it to me.

It wasn't ripe enough. I ate it anyway; I had never eaten a fig before. Remember when we were in the Cloisters? 

Remember when I used to be a nun.

So many names people have called me how many have I answered to none.

Remembe when I was going to be a monk. That was a choice and I relished it. I rejected it.

I chose to be torn limb from limb.



I am alive and I savor it. It confuses me. I am calm that I am not calm. I am freaking out inside. Your mother was a horse and your father the butt of a zebra. Don't be crass.

~~~~~

I wonder if I will ruin it. I wonder if that's possible. It's not. I know.

I want to end I cannot end it. Like the labyrinth: we don't know where we are, or where we are going. how to get there.

at the moment when you need it the way appears.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I am scared of how quickly I change. I subscribe to belief systems. They say: all of life is change. Still I am scared. How quickly I change.

first the astringent and then the assuagement. rub your elbow into a lemon. have I been, here?

probably.

your mother was a monster. my mother, a goddess, of the highest proportion.

how quickly things change.

screws gathered loose in the sink, cold running water. clanking. my hands scrub them down. out, out. rust spots.

there is a store where they sell only containers. even its outside makes me nervous. I am scared of change and I am equally, if not slightly more, scared of never-- again-- changing.

we walk to the corner store. he buys me a vitamin water. we scratch our lotto ticket on the sidewalk outside.

we do not win twenty five thousand dollars.

decades-old pigeon poop compresses beneath my cold feet.

they say this is the city of dreams. I still want.

I nurse her words like they're growing inside of me. I mean really look and notice

Monday, June 25, 2012

III.



Do not give all of yourself away. Not even to the person whom you love the most, or the person whom you think maybe you might love the most even though part of you doesn't want to admit that you're not entirely sure; not to the person who says that they love you the most, not even if they think they are telling the truth, not even if you believe them. Save yourself.

Save part of yourself. Not to hoard away in a cardboard box in the back of the darkened wardrobe. but to nurture, so that you can grow bigger, and share still more of yourself, because you are beautiful. and because you know this you will save part of yourself, and you will  nurture it. you will stroke it and call it love-names and clothe it in sunshine and feed it rubies and light.




quote

"The gold staff of self esteem lies dormant in the sun and is used by many primary school teachers as an instructive tool. I hope to die without self esteem, surrounded by mountains."

@fengsunchen

still feet wind blowing

I.

what interesting word choice: rescued. what the corn is growing. the wind moves it. where the sun shines through. leaves parting. where rocks lie, plump and circumstantial. queen anne's lace coaxing up to their sides. the lawn is mown in straight lines. the child's electric car makes slow tedious circles through the otherwise straight lines.

there is water in the pool it is moving. there is water it is moving. there is. water moves. your face is precious to me.

it is changing. who I am to you is what you were, once, thinking. perhaps now I am a radish with a screw loose. you say that I'm peculiar. I make you laugh.

most times, I do not understand why we are joking. still what the corn is growing. the wind moves it.


II.

so much time waiting for a blink.the ding sound signifying. someone is paying attention.

to me, is the whole of it. I yearn yearn yearn then want more of it. crouching in dung at the feet of stern trees. I am a child to them, though this June was a birthday. though, in truth. I feel too old.

the rejected christmas trees bestowed another chance. in this lawn, struggling beside the clover.I want like the wren at the top of the tiny blue spruce: its guardian angel.



above-ground pool

how gross do you think that cider will be, sitting there all night on the windowsill. opened. I need to urinate and do so in the bathroom with the light off. He will not go swimming with me in the above-ground pool even though

It is nice out

even though

It is early evening.

If you are not sure 100% then what the fuck are you doing.
I opened the door. Somebody's dream floated by my left foot.