Tuesday, October 30, 2012


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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.