Sunday, December 27, 2009
Countless people who have never been to New York City ask me if it's really anything like it is in the movies. I always tell them the same thing: New York City can be anything you want it to be. That's the thing about it, the movies can be all right and all wrong at the same time. Of course, anywhere can mean anything to anyone. But New York City is a pretty bold character, isn't he? Isn't she? With so much change going on right in the open and underneath the surface, sometimes you can confuse it with a living, breathing person. Always changing while they're changing.
I came home, took off my boots and noticed I had managed to trash the place in a single night. I told myself, outloud, good. Chaotic. Just like I like it. Then continued to clean up the dishes, my shoes, some clothes and drank water from a wine glass because I liked it like that too. It's cold even though the windows aren't open, and my tan socks stretched over my pleather-covered legs draw the cold in like a drafty fireplace. I drink my water and look around.
I'll get this all figured out.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I laid awake on the small, cramped couch, my feet sticking out of the three blankets I piled on top of my shaking figure, almost kicking the fake Christmas tree. I watched the digital numbers click steadily onward and as the weather threw Christmas rain drops at the windows. Face halfway between my pillow and a couch cushion, I thought of him in bed with her. Each time I blocked out the semi-dark with the permanent black of my eyelids, there they were: having mountain-men sex in my head, all over the pine needle covered forest, all pumping to the lyrics of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan that I loved and have scribbled everywhere in my notebooks, on top of my favorite blanket. It was blasphemous and beautiful, crude, and its everything that I and he ever wanted except it was here it was them, naked, not: me. I never wanted to gouge my mind’s eye out of its socket more. It isn’t the memory of “I love you” or the way he nuzzled my neck: the finding of every text he sent me just before we split, right around the time the conversation was sparse and he could hardly bargain anything but an “Oi! I’m sorry. Call you soon?” No, it is memories of sex in mosquito-ridden tents that kills me, in parking lots, in his bed. That, and ocean-filled kisses we exchanged over the fact that we promised we’d never be like those other couples, tossing a football over the shallow waves. In a lot of ways, we never were. In a lot of ways, that is what made this harder.
If it’s time for me to start being brutally (and I mean, brutally) honest with myself, then honestly comes with a continental lemon, salt, and a lofty price. The kind of price higher than any Anthropologie hand-sewn dress all patch-worked together somewhere in the back under the piano music and above the Indian floor cushions. The kind of price that today made me stare into the beautiful displays of clean white paper and plastic sculptured into a pristine, indoor, oil-heated winter and want only to lay in the display of fake snowballs and never get up again. Most confusing thing about my heartbreak, really, is that it isn’t like anyone else’s I’ve seen. It doesn’t come in waves and it sure plays an obvious game of hide and seek. There he is right in front of me. All photographed, smiling and happy, lips upturned in his permanent smile, his early crows feet locked in his hopeful squint. My head took that still shot, its still up there developing behind my forehead. Only life has taken the largest pair of scissors created and meticulously cut out his shape. Only his dim outline, the lake, and his canoe exist beyond the metal cutting away at his memory. His lack of a presence now becoming a dull throbbing just under my eighth layer of skin cells. All at once I want to write him a thousand letters explaining other people aren’t meant for each other, but we! We were crafted from the same tree, you see, carved with the same knife, and sewn with the same thread. I am the bristly bark, he is the soft chamber of collected rings. And there is the genius of the thing: you think we are nothing alike, but really, we are just different sides of the same sapling. Then I want to take those same letters all made of our tree and burn them all, so I could keep them from being true.
Because they aren’t true.
Just as you and I are not two sides of the same coin, missing you and wanting to forget you at the same time, is.
For months I have stared at my notebook, refusing to write, afraid of what might come out. Lately, I’ve been more prolific. Speaking of lately, I have been thinking deeply about the fact that I have always wanted someone to wear lacy underwear for. I know for a fact that I don’t look like someone who would own any, but maybe that is what makes the idea more tempting. But I would get some for him and he would think it cute rather than sexy because, well, I’m petite and that’s just the way these things work. When I say I have been thinking deeply about this, I mean that in the sense that I wonder what the deeper meaning of lacy underwear could possibly be, and why it is the first thing that comes to mind. Mental hilarity, of course, ensues.
You come to realize that after all this speculation and self-searching, heartbreak is really something ridiculous, poisionious, but ultimately: what could be more neccasary? How else would we build up a certain knowledge of ourselves and of other people, if it doesn't get to be converted into utter shrapnel and we have to start all over, rebuild it again? Thanatos complex aside, that's just it. Those moments when you just want to fall into a pile of fake snowballs, and stare up into the plastic icicles of yesteryear forever, wondering, "how can I ever be strong enough to feel happy again?": those moments, are when you begin to find a way.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
And I refuse to believe that I will be forever forced to fall to ill-fated love. Whether I am comfortably wedged in my warm bubble of denial or not remains to be seen, however, even if the universe owes and will never owe anyone anything, I do know that I will find someone, someday. But that isn't what I want right now. And you claimed that wasn't what you wanted- that you couldn't be with someone even if you wanted to because it would take away from how you wanted to travel, see the world: no one should hold you back. But therein lies your weakness, eh? You claim all these things and are too weak and too abstract to find yourself. You think its better to be a terribly disfunctional sponge that only half soaks up the experience it lands itself in, rather than fully absorbing, or fully squeezing and expelling the world around you. At this rate, by giving yourself no time to be comfortable and figure out how you work, you WILL never be fully happy, not in the way you could be. Not in a passing happy-go-lucky way. You will always be that, I have absolutely no doubt. But you WILL miss out. You will.
Not for a moment would I change the way I truly feel and live every piece and part of my world. Not for a second am I humiliated that you derrailed me, not for a second would I take back the sheer, momunmental amount of construction these past months have made me take on. I don't wish unhappiness on you. I am not bitter. I am shocked, yes. Am I dissapointed? I am MOST of all dissapointed. Because you never admitted that sometimes being hypocrites is alright. Humans innately go back on things they say. But you could never see it that way. Humans are innately just, we can be good for reasons beyond reward, and everything is innately good and wonderful! You CAN'T see things that way. NOT everything is as shiny and magical as you would have it. There is plenty of hate and terrible things in this world, and its in having that dark side that GIVES the world its light. If you refuse to see the darkness, even within yourself, then you will never truly have shine.
I wish you nothing but the best, and I mean that. Can I talk to you anymore. Hm. Would it be worth it? Honestly, no. You are removed from my life and I have spent too long getting by without you for you to leave any more marks on me than you already have. I will not allow you to cause more damage.
But no one can, anymore. Not right now. I'm officially locking up and throwing away the key. No one is allowed in, just as none of my friends are allowed out. I have my loved ones already, my family, my close friends, all deep in my arteries and nothing will change that. But no one else is entering, not for a while. I owe it to myself to be strong for myself, so that I might be strong for others who need me, like my friends, and my family.
He was sent back the institution, for trying to hurt her, yet again. Now he has to be sent away to a home, and his little brother hasn't even been tested for anything. At least, not to my knowledge. I am afraid for young mind, just as I am afraid for his mother's. I would wish to be there in a closer way, but I am afraid, I cannot. It would be a dangerous path to tread. Christmas is going to be a rough one, but when is it ever not for us? I have Mr. Munchie, the diva dog, to tend to on Christmas Eve day and for a week after that. But he is a personality I don't mind traversing 2 subway rides and 2 1/2 hours to spend time with. And that is what we have to revel in, isn't it? What little things that keep us going and all at once remind us that some things may never be okay, while other things always WILL be.
Contrary to all of the above, I am feeling stronger and luckier than I ever have. I have loving parents, a roof over my head, some great friends who I love, other friends to share a laugh or a sigh with, and some futures ahead of me for the writing. I will be bold and the days ahead will be rough, but if anyone will take them on head first,
You bet your fucking ass it will be me.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The snow engulfed the street ahead. We walked in silence, both too tired, knowing that things weren't going our way and that-- and maybe now we could face those facts all there in the fine print-- things won't be going our way for a while yet. Not until this blizzard is a memory. Not until the sparkle and shine fade away down the street drains, and the streets are all reduced to slush, revealing the shattered bottles beneath its glaze. But for now, the white covered everything we didn't want to see. All the ugly parts. All the things about these roads we walk that we can't change, until we learn to chose between our left and our right, instead of considering the forks and divets ahead. Instead the flowing white keeps all the facts quiet, keeps our feet numb, and the miles forever stretching, even if the West Side Highway keeps us from crossing rivers. Even if the wind mixed our hair and the snow and icicles hung from our faces, we trudged on, laughing at the fact of all our facts and at the blank canvas being lain before us, our only job to dirty it with our feet. We lay in the streets, almost anyway, setting down our wings and halos in the snow where cars passed dangerously close.
I lay in the snow thinking about my size and shape: large and all masonry. My corners reaching across the quiet avenues: an empty cathedral, hoping for piety from the religious that walk through her doors, with no religion of her own to fill all the guts. Only the weeping of a sole cellist and the lonesome song of a whale are heard, all wrapped in their velvet depths, all swimming and playing in my echoing cavern. Only the sounds reaching up through the years, echoing down my halls, all ancestral and guiding, ascending and mixing with the metaphysical, could comfort me buried under my dusting of snow under those lit Christmas trees. I lay in the snow, thinking about how under all these layers, be they socks and leggings and jacket and hat or logic, there is love lodged there for you: boy. Something complex and not all at once certain, but it is there nonetheless, it is warm, and it is for you. Lodged where snow glitters under the streetlights and dances around the ribbons all tied up in the hope that this year, that this time, things would work and things would be difference and for Christ's sake we could have faith in something. Love all tied up in trees and the wind whisking our souls around from place to place, our heads all in the clouds and our bodies never once forgetting that we were never of this earth.
But for once, the love for myself is at greater value, and so your love will stay lodged there, all discontent in my ignorance for it, all shriveled and annoyed. I will revel in the cool dissonance in my own voice, in the warmth of my own hand holding my own hand, my own eyes all starry and mystic in their reach for something beyond all of this. In this shining landscape, I find myself all over the place. I am a structure who, for now, will chose to stand ignored. Who will, yes, feel the pangs of loneliness when passersbyes don't stop to take pictures; who all wonder why I am so quiet and such a far walk from the main drag. But these bells will not be forever hushed. One day they will chime, and my love will burst from the doors, leap from the stairs, and my stained glass will light every street, all at once. The time needing to be taken for that instance is now, so that I may open those bronze, heavy doors, one day, when I am ready.
I touched my cheek to the cold of the ice, and breathed myself in, all icy and distant, all happy in my emptiness. I smiled in the beauty of my exactness. For once, no grey.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Out there, people are trying to shake the idea
Of God down,
Make him come out of hiding;
And hope he will illicit something.
I, on the other, or one
Of his or no one’s hand(s)
Stumble across old or dusted fates
Try to decipher, try to
HOW I EVER UNDERSTOOD IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Because suddenly, there is a break
In my wing’s wind
And there is:
My clocks fall from their walls
And I am deep in your hands, in
The mastered clicking, setting, interrupting hands
Displaying our only minutes.
But I will not refuse them our
Presence, here, in the quiet
Between pressing breathes and
The clouds are parting, the
Gods are shouting for our
But we, but I, am too apt
And instead, fumble over
The lightening rods being hit inside
Every strand, every colored vein
In my being when your
Soul brushes mine.
If this isn’t fair to them (to whom? To everyone excluded. To everyone.) and the
Stucco ebbs of pre-war buildings
Fail to house the growing
Pound of what fills my heart
Then so be it that the open sky
With all those
Brilliant, pulsing stars beating
Down on the most beautiful,
Ugly comforter you ever saw,
Be our only cover.
Be it that the trees are the only ones who understand
The way in which I sway.
Be it that the tides are the only
Motion-fueled creature who
Understands my lack of bounds for this.
Be it that every sheer infinitesimal fiber
Attach to every cell of my skin to
The foundry that birthed and forged
Your very being.
Be it that, so let it be.
Please, let that be.
For with every well-composed work
Of prose comes five dirt covered
And with every mussed, dog-eared
My fingers only long to turn
Them over in you more;
Tired of ever counting
Should it be that those
Who believed They were making
Us, made us, then, so be it.
If whatever hands, or no hand(s)
At all, took a handful of
Flower, concrete, and soil and
Then by Them, by God,
Those hands created me.
I dig first into your
(you nipped your lip a bit, and too hard, and so allow the crimson) red,
Fleshy skin, and with my broken fingernails
Softly peel back
Piece by white, smoky, sultry
Underneath, each individual
Pulp converges with the sudden
Gasp of air, releasing also onto
My fingertips their fiery dye,
Running down my palms, to
My wrists, then finally,
To my lips.
Small, teardrop seeds scatter
About, each new, airy, open
Shows the signs of the pulp
It had just housed, now blood let
And without weight.
The inner flesh carries the
Great shape of the inner,
Wonderful, cavernous workings
Of an (artichoke) heart’s soul.
And with each smooth, bulbous, bursting
Pod I remove, place gently,
Let burst suddenly, behind my
Teeth and with my tongue,
Feel sudden, feel tart, feel cold and close
Friday, November 6, 2009
This feels just right.
Let's take it slow; there are many far places that this could go.
(I looked in the mirror tonight and saw a woman so different that she looked like me. And she was happy to see me.)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Brightly colored yarn
All stitched and hemmed together
Leave the rhyme out of this.
The walls, they smell of chalk
And not of you.
Grape seeds and pomegranate leaves
Find your foundries, and leave the
Rest of us be.
And whatever this was that was bothering me inside, has been left to wilt, left to die on the sidelines. Because it isn’t as if I hadn’t been there, been there, been there before. And it isn’t as if, I never will again. As much as we all want to move up and up, ever on and forward, we can’t pretend we’ll never run the same old circles. But whatever good things we have, we can only hold them as tightly as we might moths: however quickly they may lose their shining scales against our greedy, holding shells, oh well, oh well. You tighten, you lose. At least the earth gave them permission to float at all. At least, for a moment, we can say we had it all. Just as lightly green Luna moths dance around in or around my head, the hands of my clocks let lose the blocks they hold fast to and drop. Where is that moon, where is our tide, they ask, at last? Gives us our tides, our ticks, our seconds so that we may continue on our path. But the moon, oh she was so busy, unable to fill up her wine glass. Those days she needed off, she gripped her temples hard and said just leave me alone! But the world it kept on turning, the sun he never stopped burning, and the two danced wildly in dizzying perfection around her. Poor moon, always with no one to toast her a job well done, and all those fans looking up from their back porches asking this is what I want, this is what I want, what the hell do I want? But, no. She has no face, no hands, no wine glass, no state of imperfection. The moon, she is simply the moon, and no latent amount of word and poetry will give that to her. And let that be a lesson, to all of us spending our time groping for the moon: we had it in our possession the whole time, we just mistook it for our shoes.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
It was two summers back that I dug my fingers into the thick blades of grass of your backyard, when that rabbit hopped by. The rabbit that I always told you wasn’t wild. His ears were too long, and his comfort around people was too strong for any sort of natural tendencies. You rolled on your back, donned with your headlamp and raincoat for no reason and claimed that you were ready for jungle exploration. I looked at the grass and asked you why domestic rabbits weren’t enough, but you laughed instead of answering. Two summers. It was two summers ago when I had no job, and you had too many, so that when I came to visit, I would spend hours out on your back lawn, reading books until I fell asleep on the warm concrete, or waiting around on your living room with the thick carpet in-between my toes.
Your house. We were in love, back then, in your house. I never told you, but in the beginning, your house scared me. I watched it from the corner of my eye. Filled with family photographs and other normal things like sewing rooms and toys from when you were six. Boxes of car magazines and assurance that one day you would amount to something. But sometime shortly after we began snapping photographs on the boardwalk of southern New Jersey, I started to love your house. The way your mother’s rocking chair still swung minutes after she got up to cook dinner. The way the house’s floors muffled the sound of a hard walker’s feet. Your room was where I felt I fit into one of the only niches I could find in your life. In the room where the grey walls showed off photographs of bikers, trucks, trains speeding to this country or that. Boxes upon boxes piled up to the sides of your bed, filled with vintage tinker toys; that particular box of old keys you kept on your bedside dresser. Right over the drawer you used to keep our scrapbook, my letters, and my picture inside of. To the right of the corkboard you kept magazine cutouts and photographs of family and friends. Your clothes spewed forth from your closet that was never cleaned, and your bureau vomited t-shirts and dirty shorts from hiking trips. Bike chains and gear parts covered the floor, tripping me every time I walked in the room.
In that room, one night, you pulled out your box of keys and I asked you to tell me which one would be the key to your heart, if it existed. You pulled out the smallest, most ornate one. This one, you said. I put it on the chain around my neck. You always wanted to close two locks around one another, to show the rest of the town we were in love, closed and set. We used padlocks, but combinations for its release were always there. You attach it to the side of a bridge, you would tell me, and then we’d be just as romantic and hopeful as young couples are in Florence: where that mass of locks, all huddled around and among one another, keep people holding hands. We both visited Florence, with different people, different years, before we knew each other. We both wanted to carve our initials into tree trunks, but you wanted to on our college campus and I thought that juvenile. Meaningless. I wanted to carve hearts all over Keene Valley, but you feared for the natural surroundings hikers craved to be unmarked, so in a huff I let it be. And so our initials exist only a bridge in Connecticut somewhere, the same day I told you to pull the car over on the side of the highway: I had lied about something. We could only do things on the run; but serious conversations couldn’t be helped when nothing was meant to matter, and so the sides of roads became stomping grounds for things amiss. Blinking caution lights reflecting tearful conversations, serious misunderstandings, or unzipped jeans.
But that is where it all ended, wasn’t it? Pulled over on the side of the highway, our tears spilling over the gravel. The words were meant to come flooding back, and instead that was where they stayed. Next to your car, on the side of the highway.
With your headlamp on your forehead, you smiled, that day, two summers ago. "Maybe I'll get to go to Iceland this year. Or Prague, or Africa." You smiled at the sky, and even then, two summers ago, you were already gone.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I will not settle for lack of words.
I AM NOT A WORD
I AM NOT A SENTENCE ON A BLANK PAGE
I AM A PERSON
AN ENCYLOPEDIA DRIPPING WITH AGE
I AM CONSTANTLY BEING UPDATED
I AM THE EDITOR,
THERE IS NO WHITE INK HERE
THERE ARE NO DOUBTS TO THESE FACTS HERE
AND HOW DARE YOU TRY TO EDIT ME
LESS CURSE WORDS
MORE GOOD THOUGHTS
AND SO YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD CHANGE
AND SO YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD
AND SUCK AWAY THE MEANING
BUILT BY THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PENS
CREASED MILLIONS OF FOREHEADS
LICKED UP MILLIONS OF TEARS
SAILED MILLIONS DOWN THE RIVER
BUILT PEOPLE TO SHOW PEOPLE TO KNOW PEOPLE TO SHOW THAT WE ARE
WE ARE PEOPLE!
WE ARE- JUST- PEOPLE.
AND WE ARE ALL THAT IS PEOPLE.
WE ARE ALL THAT IT IS TO BE HUMAN
ALL THAT IT IS TO BE HUMAN TO BE WORDS
TO BE CONFIGURED AND STUCK TOGETHER BY WORDS
THAT ARE CREATED IN THE PITS OF OUR STOMACHS
AND PUMPED THROUGH THE WOUNDS OF OUR HEARTS
WORDS ARE STUCK IN THE KNOTS OF MY SHOELACES,
FALL FROM THE FOLLICLES OF MY HAIR
AND WORDS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE SCREAMING
WHERE THE FUCK DID WE GO WRONG?
DON'T RUB YOUR WRISTS TOGETHER
MAKE FRICTION AND TELL ME
YOU'VE CAUGHT MY SCENT
DON'T CRUMBLE PICTURES IN YOUR FISTS
AND TELL ME YOU KNOW JUST WHAT MY SKIN FEELS LIKE
YOU KNOW WHAT MY SKIN FEELS LIKE
MY SKIN FEELS LIKE
I WILL NOT SETTLE FOR LACK OF WORDS.
There are many spaces on my walls that haven't been filled; I feel that someday, they will talk to me and tell me what they'd like to represent them and there's and maybe someday they will be able to tell me the roads they've walked and the families they've started and maybe behind that I'll smell the rot of the concrete and know that one day, one day, a long long time ago, these grains were in the eye of a friend who no longer likes Napoleon because of his terrible taste in clothing; so the grains would will themselves to be flicked away from the forgotten man's tear duct and decided to sail away with the tides just so that they could be here, listening to me now, holding up my walls while I try to hold up mine, while I lick the linens and try to get a taste out of something; anything.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I don't know if I'd have faith in coffee houses anymore if it wasn't for this place. Seems like everywhere else is just horribly half-assed, or simply put, dull. Best damn coffee here, though, really. Rose bought African Dwarf Frogs for our suite. So awesome. Ok, so I'm really going to miss the slowness, the relaxation, the...Ana! of the city! But really though. I like how close she and I have gotten. The city, and Ana, and me. I hope I get my writing groove back. Once I'm at school and am forced to, I'm sure I will. You see, I'd like to be able to set goals for myself for this year, but I can't figure if it's worth it or not. Might as well, I suppose:
1) Hang out with as many friends as possible (within reason!)
2) Do well in my writing classes...well, all of my classes!
3) Get most of my senior thesis out of the way this semester
4) Figure out something awesome either as an internship, or a class for next summer. Bushwacking, etc.
Now, in real time, it is 2:04 A.M. The cabs are whistling, the dump trucks are rumbling, and soon I'll be in a real bed again surrounded by friends and other random people alike. Every year lends new suprises, some very good and some bad, but given that this is my last year, I will try my damn hardest to do my best to make it memorable and generally good. I feel I have surrounded myself with people who can make it that way, though. I feel I accomplished a lot with myself today, even just with walking around, drinking coffee; because when I came home I without thinking researched volunteer opportunities, and signed up for 2. I am also now seriously contimplating taking courses after graduation to work with battered and sexually abused women, because these women need help, and I truly believe I could be someone they could talk to too.
You know, I honestly do not know what I want to do with my life. All I know is I'd like to make my life a good life; and not be a good person because I think others want me to be or because I'm comparing myself to others. But because I simply know I'm an alright gal, who just wants to help people out. I was there once, too, where too many people have been and should never have to be and I know I appreciated the helping hand when I got it. I would simply like to return to the world the favor.
I am here as a consiquence; I only hope to exist here as a favor.
Goodnight, and good luck. To me, and you, and everyone here.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The bareness of my legs confronted the texture of the sheet and my shadows on the bedroom door are orange. The fan forms itself in my silhouette. The streets outside glitter, splash unnecessary light onto the walls, onto my face, onto the week before I knew I could live without you.
My eyeglasses knock the hard tips of my eyelashes, thick with mascara; I wear fire engine red lipstick hoping I can smoke signal you from here (Can you see me?). Those are my teeth buried in the sky, behind the shooters; the quick, flashy, moving stars. Those are my lips signaling sunrise. Red smears across the skyline. But vinyl sleeping bags keep your eyes shut, your head lolled away. Thousands of hundreds of steps of miles of meters away. The idea of stars will catch your attention quicker than the thought of my naked body here, tangerine with the street lights. I’ll keep the extra blankets at the foot of the bed for you. You will forget warmth is where I keep huddled. Instead, I will be forced outside, swiveling my hips in the witching hour air; just beyond the trashcans. Next to the stone steps. Just to the right of the Asian-Fusion outdoor seating. Air conditioners will leak on to the sidewalk, start currents, form rivers under my shoes. The water will mix with leftover coffee from street venders and then you’ll smell me. Somewhere in the stink of pressed coffee grounds and soil thick with the vomit of worms. In between snapped twigs. In between Birch tree bark held taught with paper clips. I’ll just keep singing my song, until your ship comes crashing home.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I gather my statements, poems and lines into a jar.
And they, each running in to each,
Fumble their letters,
All mesh together
As they make their dance like captured
Fluttering, brilliant beetles
Wing’d and no longer lit or free;
With the rubber rim tightly fit
‘Round an old forgotten gospel hymn,
The round glass brims in tight knotted
Knuckle wound rucksacks;
Keeping licked stamp to letters
Asphyxiating and close;
Close enough to keep the soul tied quiet in
A ramblin’ mans’ jib.
The metallic clip
resists the explosion of further reaching
comb binding slews;
Lest the inky pages try and stick too far
Into your ever-soil pressing shoes;
Grasping your ankles and wondering
Where the author went?
Suffocating the words in whole, at last
Compressing and tightening through
the bottom of the glass,
The ethereal lights do dim-
The words left in their own wake to shrivel; make do,
Choking down water before ever escaping the brim.
Reverberating clashes of thunderous flowers
Shake the woodwork of ancient wireless modems
Christening phantoms, and Luna moth wire cutters;
Raking together, scratching and kissing one another’s
Roaring and crackling
To let the glass open wide.
With hesitant fingers I always hope to grip
The thick rippled seal, along all the modern lyric,
Underneath quotes, and definition’s tips
To rip aside the glass and try
A readied apology to the author whose
Personality I had begun to unsuccessfully pry.
But neither the thick ribbed, stained tank top brandishing man
Nor the petticoat, brazier boasting woman
Could take my eyes from off the steadied blaze
The words inside my jar forever will create,
Eternally wafting in and about one and another
In a waltzing, crafting, drunken haze.
And this is one I wrote just now, very tired, slightly hungover. It makes no sense, but it's all that would come out.
Streets lighter than dark,
Though all that could be seen of the glow
Was everything that is, everything that was,
With words ever fighting for right of way out of my mouth.
The seas of streets did pour
And so they will, for endless,
Many decades more;
Assuming its war torn parties will ne'er be washed ashore.
'Til finally, one day, time was tricked
And the assault weapons stopped
The wind died down and the
Ocean failed to rock;
The ship that ne’er do sail,
To seas too far for stronger quells-
There, did the cannons lose their aim,
Did the eye of the storm then rage,
Upon that wasted, evasive,
Lost and holy wave.
To shore, for sure,
Did the wave hope would be its final move
To be in and among, the watery naked dunes.
But the ships that waged their war
Had other plans for the wave to make
For what use is a current calm,
And a breeze far gone
For a ship to cause another to quake?
“Rock, you unholy wave; rock so that we
May be at war again and again."
“Nay,” claimed the wave,
“For it is not me who begs the water churn,
Who stocks the rifles taught
Who nips the light from the dark
Just as a hand would stop naught a clock.”
Monday, August 3, 2009
Even his name bore no resemblance to anything that would suffice a place and purpose. The letters were composed only of the darkest river ever rushing on and on, never stepping inside himself twice; his family genealogy a peoples who lived either here, there, and no where for sure. Ever trudging on despite himself, despite everything and despite nothing. Just for the heck of it- who should ask for more, he begs the question, and asks the priest? Little does he know, oh, for where will he ever go? The little one, not so big at all. Who can find meaning, he thinks, in this world with justifications for action and truth; goodness and wellness? Whatever it takes, he thinks, whatever makes comradery sans whatever takes a commitment and lightness without tears or dark corners. "Whatever is contrary," the river says; "oh, however, to the contrary," the river smiles to the bend.
"I'm a homeless man with my thumb in the wind,
I sure miss my kin, but then again-
I'm on the road with a song for you.
I took a step, I lost a bet,
They cut off my tongue now they're full of regret,
Careful what you say if they ain't gonna listen anyway.
Just make the cash, bet on the past,
Everybody's so afraid to be last,
You can't take back everything you leave behind.
Is everybody so ashamed, for letting it all slide?
Is everybody so afraid, Mr. Dylan's hard rain was fair warning...
That's all 'til I figure everything out again.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
"Is this the place you wanna live, is this where you wanna be?" the Stiff Little Fingers shouts, and I listened a few weeks ago, and that sure as hell was not where I wanted to be. Here I am, figuring out where I do want to be. To be able to live as I should, be who I should be. I have wonderful friends and wonderful jobs going on right now. I need self discipline so I can learn how to behave within my own life. David Daniel said once in my poetry class:
"You cannot always seperate the gloom from the beautiful- you can only celebrate it."
That's what I'm trying to do. Celebrate it.
It's kind of like, instead of trying to cut away all the bullshit (which you never can), avoid it (which you also never can), I'm just absorbing it into the good things and the rest of life, so I can just "celebrate"-in a sense- the good and the bad by just letting it happen and dealing with it with a level head.
And also, listen to ONLY classic rock, punk, or folk music. This indie shit has gone straight to my head. Seriously. I think the second you let your brain "transcend" what music truly is-- music and people-- you start to defeat the purpose and instead get sucked into a vortex of a world that doesn't really exist. Just like Plato and his silly cloud of forms.
I just can't do that right now. So bye, hippy hipster stuffs. So long, 'til a more stable day.
Anyway, here goes.
The New Elwood
Thursday, June 25, 2009
On the night Michael Jackson died, I watched Cameron Diaz do the moonwalk across Washington Square under a violet sky. Somewhere between the vibrant smog and two gay kids vogue-ing to their boom box in the middle of the fountain, the rest of New York City fell into the rhythm of “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”. A woman in a pink dress slid her pulsing body into the shallow water, twisting the music, and throwing Frisbee to the homeless man enjoying their sport. Two, tattooed white men jammed out on acoustics switching from “Hey Ya” by Outkast, to following the Jackson tune. My friend Lydia and I waltzed around the fountain, wondering why there were mosquitoes in New York City, and Was it because of all the new flowers? “Did you hear about Michael Jackson?“ some homeless man yelled, throwing the Frisbee under his leg to a friend. Washington Square is for Squares now, we joked, ever since it underwent construction. Some of the usuals selling pot still skulked the perimeters by the chess tables, but mostly the park was full of the lounging well-paid.
“That’s Cameron Diaz”, Lydia said nonchalantly. We both were not surprised given the world is a stage and actors could be anywhere. We sat beside the fountain and watched as Cameron ran up to a light post and twirled around it, before setting her white purse down on the ground and grooving to the Jackson tunes playing from the two boy’s boom box. She swung her hips and flicked her hair; completely aware she was unaware, and the rest of the city somehow paid her no notice. She turned to where we were sitting and gave a short wink. The two boys with the boom box waded out into the water to stand atop their stage in the middle of the fountain. The sky was purple, and somewhere between that color and the music coming from the boy’s speakers all of New York throbbed to Michael Jackson.
Lydia and I walked to St. Marks, discussing how far away everything had always seemed in walking-distance measurements, years ago, when we first met each other and decided to become close friends who saw each other once in a couple months. St. Marks in the process of turning into a giant sushi bar stared at us from closed down tattoo shops, and stripped vintage CD stores. I decided we should pay our respects to Mr. Strummer while we were in the area, and so we made the trek to Thompson’s Square. At the corner of St. Marks just before the Square, two cars stopped at the light and blaring the same parts of “Thriller”, before pulling away, revealing the pub behind it playing the same tune.
“Michael Jackson’s dead!” a punk kid screamed our way.
We crossed the street, and stood in front of the Joe Strummer mural. People in high fashion pushed by, smoke curling the edges of the building of the bar next door. “Strummer is kind of like a Dylan. More tangible, though, I think,” I said to Lydia. We watched the wall; she trying to read something from the paint, and me hoping I could bring the man back to life.
“It’s strange, isn’t it? Death, I guess,” I said.
“It’s funny that this painting is here, and no where else. It suits him. But we’ll all be there. Behind the brick.”
“Yeah, somewhere. We all get leveled.”
As we walked away I asked Lydia about her relationship with God. In secret these are my favorite conversations to have with her. Lydia has the most beautiful God of anyone I have met. Her relationship with the Man is a vibration, a vibrance, and a heart string tying Lydia to Him and somehow invisibly to each and every thing. The kind of love she feels is the most pure form of love and belief and for that reason her belief is more real to me than anything sanity could teach me.
“How are you doing spiritually?”
“I lost touch with the reason.”
“Doubt has it’s ways.”
We turned a corner near a neon Walgreens, only to find a man lying in the center of the road, a group of men and women with white flowers in their hair on their cell phones. Lydia and I stopped along with another man on the sidewalk, and watched. A car with its hazard lights blinked softly on the normally empty street, hinting it was the culprit of the broken man. “We got 911,” a woman said softly. No one was worried, no one yelled. The man just lay there, unmoving, uncelebrated for its lack of blood.
We moved on.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
There was a strange jelly bean shape on the wall. It looked like a globular cello. I looked around the room, while playing catch up with my friend Zooey. Some seats were filled, others held feet or coats.
My thoughts on the Bowery Poetry Room are mixed. Though I have constantly read wonderful things about it, every time I make the trek over to the East side to get my poetry readings on, there is always some lame jazz band, or 15 dollar cover charge for a no-name comedian. Which would be fine…if it wasn’t…a poetry room. In any case I always seemed to miss the good performances, and so I never actually went in. Albeit why I always seemed to miss the good performances.
So on this particular muggy day, I finally discovered a 3 dollar cover charge for the night, after 10 PM. I invited Zooey along and so we sat in the webbing of overstuffed cafeteria chairs. I can’t say I was expecting anything, I’m not some blind hopeful expecting any backwash leftover from the ’60s beatniks. Instead, these people looked like the East melding with the West- Village, that is- with some, fuck-it-this-was-on-my-floor smushed in-between. No one looked particularly like Bob Dylan’s offspring (probably for the best; I was never particularly a fan of the Wallflowers), or quoted Ginsberg. Instead, (supposedly) true to my generation was the first act: a group called the OMG Girls. I heard the beginning notes of a song, and turned to Zooey with angst. “I swear to God if I hear fucking Bohemian Rhapsody once more time, I’m hitting someone. I love Queen, and I don’t mind that song, but really. Enough for one lifetime”.
When two seventeen year old girls (approximately), climbed on stage, hula hoops in hand, and plastic ukuleles I knew this was going to be…where are the words? They strummed and shakingly sang “Something” by The Beatles (not Queen), one girl obviously star struck by the general nature of it all. I gave them mental congratulation on having the guile to get up there in the first place.
Then a man started up the stairs very slowly; looking around at the stage like something had frightened him deep down in his core, only to start grabbing at his stomach and letting out low grunts. He turned to himself and said, “will you please say what you’d like to say?” He then turned to himself and answered in mostly gruntish, “I don’t want to talk. I’ll talk when I want to talk”. He did this for his full allotted six minutes until the buzzer went off, and he told the audience that this was how he should speak all of the time, because it gets people to listen. Kind of like his landlords, who are all addicts. Of GREED, he told us. The audience hollered in agreement.
Next, an Asian man wearing baggy army pants, a yellow button up shirt, and beige cabbie hat came to the stage. As soon as he started talking, his left arm would start at his hip, then jut out suddenly with his fingers curled and his thumb out like he was busy hitchhiking. His other hand grabbed at his t-shirt, as his mouth gaped sideways as he formed his words like they were difficult to make out, even for himself. “Ome eople caw me cr-ea-eative. Ov-ers caw me duff-ent. Ov-ers caw me, bow-hee-me-an, bow-hee-me-an,” and as he stuttered, the lights flicked off and a spotlight erupted on him in the middle of the stage. “Bow-hee-me-an…WAPSODY!” At that moment Bohemian Rhapsody blared through the speakers, and everyone in the audience was in shock. Rather than singing, the man started to shake his arms wildly, gesticulate, and only half attempt lip-synching. His eyebrows rose and fell, and his arms went out, then back, then out in hailing position again. The audience didn’t know what to do. I knew this was karma getting me back for ever insulting his majesty, but the rest of the audience couldn’t figure out what to do. Except join in.
As the guitar part started picking up to the “he’s just a poor boy from a poor family”, the guys surrounding the bar dove down on their knees singing in time, the lesbians in the audience swung their guitar around standing atop their seats; some quiet bystanders just clapped or drew out their lighters. Finally, after the major guitar breakdown, everyone in the room started head banging. People jumped off of their seats, one girl shook her boobs wildly from the floor, one guy took half of his shot, then let the floor take the other half. Some people leaned into the aisles and did the wave, and other stood in it waving their arms methodically back and forth in a drunken haze. Zooey and I were in shock. I knew the gods would find some way to smite me, but this?! This was too good. I was enjoying Bohemian Rhapsody more than I ever have. Yes. More than when I first saw Wayne’s World. When the song ended, everyone gave a standing ovation.
The guy hosting it came on stage with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen. “Who needs to play instruments, or even sing a song? You just need to emote.”
A younger man got on stage, with torn jeans and an attractive face, but with a lean to his spine that added years. He spoke of all the times he’s been arrested- 3- and how he had to leave each respective country after the happenings. The second time, he told us, was from chalk paintings on a brick wall. 23 hours in prison later, he left France and wound up in New York City with only forty dollars to his name, and the F train to call home. The third time he got arrested it was for lying down on the subway. Its people like him that make me realize how resilient people can be, how much we can put ourselves through, and how much we believe we deserve to be put through. He told a series of New York stories- about the homeless man who asked if he could lick his asshole? And the “woman on St. Marks who was bent over, carefully inserting a straw into her ass;” the guys next to me looked at me and said, ‘Hey, want a sip?’”
Next was the man angry at everything, screaming so loud into the mic that you could hear your internal parts bleeding out. He asked the everyday question of If you ever had the chance to fuck the Pope in the ass, would you wear his hat? The Wicked Witch of the West who had been sitting behind Zooey and I the entire set was cackling away again at everything funny, and everything not even close. He yelled the response: “The answer is as obvious as a Werewolf in a tracksuit in the 80’s. Fuckin’ yeah you would wear his hat.”
One of the women who works at the place came to the mic in just rain boots, sweatpants, a button up jacket, and only a bathing suit top showing off her carved ab muscles. She sang an old show tune, as her stomach quivered in its awkwardly toned quality, making the song better and yet distracting.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
"The beauty of the voice is found in the grain. The shape can tell you more than the purity of the note. Bob Dylan is one of the best singers in the world- always has been, always will be, and he used to be able to hold his breath three times as long."
Woodie Guthrie once signed off, New York City, New York State, New York Everything, New York New York New York. He also liked claiming that this place was the same as every where else, and his songs were everyone else’s song. This was Every place, Every where, Anywhere. Haruki Murakami states in his interview with John Wesley Harding that to him, this is a nowhere place, nowhere city, nowhere street. I’m not particularly sure which nowhere he’s referring to in specific, but still I find Murakami and Guthrie’s words to both be putting a finger to the same point. While I was transcribing Wes’s interview with Murakami, I found myself taken by Murakami’s charisma that somehow transcended the thick, arty pages of BOMB, and stuck to my forehead. I couldn’t stop wrinkling it in quiet shock. After thumbing through the interview, and rereading several parts, I attempted to tack several of Murakami’s quotes to my mental tack board. His views on writing were so similar to my own, it’s as if I accidentally spilled my guts on a chair seat somewhere, and he just so happened to have soaked it up with the seat of his pants and gathered my thought patterns through strange osmosis. I have never read anything the man has written- though I’ve heard much about him- and yet this interview really struck me.
“I can do anything when I’m creating some stories. I can make any miracle. I can say I deal in magic.”
After having to spend several hours pouring over stacks of allotted 25 page manuscripts at The Agency, I am already connecting the dots to what many writers think people want to read about. They all begin the same: the grease spot on the driveway; the sun setting; the abusive father yelling; the criminal whores on the ship bound for Australia praying they’ll be able to ply their trade. Well. After having read one too many stories revolving around honey-thick taboo sexual encounters, coke problems, and music obsessions, I had begun to write most modern authors off as sheer fetishism. Not that you will find me calling the pot kettle black, however; the first complete short story I ever wrote was all about sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. In any case, I was growing tired with this similar string of Hollywood shock values, and found myself secretly wondering when I could sneak another Neil Gaiman book into my agenda to rid myself of the drug abuse and get my fantasy geek on. After reading Murakami’s interview, however, I found that perhaps my draw towards the surreal was not for nothing. Normally a huge fan of regular old literary fiction, my strange attraction towards magical surrealism has been popping up all over the place- from disliking most of the stories Salman Rushdie chose for last year’s “Best American Short Fiction Stories” except for Kevin Brockmeir’s “The Year of Silence” (a piece about short periodical short blips of silence all across the world, suddenly changing the way different people view their lives) to favoring “The Invasion from Outer Space” by Stephen Millhauser (where alien yellow dust falls to the earth instead of green extraterrestrial blobs) over any modern mobster story.
So why this draw to the ephemeral, the changing-and perhaps what some would say, worst of all- the not possible? Murakami brings to light this incredible notion of humans constantly being stuck inside of ourselves; stuck in the habitual nature of our personalities, sometimes never able to break free. By writing, he claims, he is able to step outside of himself; become someone new. “I don’t write for bread and butter,” he says. Perhaps that is why I hold these works so close: what better way to discover new areas of ourselves than by creating fantastical worlds and peoples that can live right out in the ordinary? Truth is stranger than fiction, as everyone loves to throw around; but I feel sometimes fiction can emphasize a truth, and in that regard, perhaps a certain level of surrealism is the closest we’ll ever get to that truth. Reading a good tale that plugs me into the ether and connects me to whatever is going on out there is similar to staring at a Pollock painting. Your not quite sure what is going on, and there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for it, and yet…
And yet it makes more sense than anything else you’ve looked at because it doesn’t make sense. Because it’s in the here and now, and yet it doesn’t partake in time. It’s Anywhere, Somewhere, Everywhere, and Nowhere, all at the same time. And perhaps that’s the closest to the truth we can get. Once we understand the nature of the thing. The thing that is the forging of a truth through pen and paper (or more likely, a plastic key, and LCD screen). The thing that becomes a reality in and of itself without the help of an explanation. Just as life gives no explanation. I don’t want to pinpoint sex addicts, or drug fiends. Not today, anyway. Maybe some years down the road when I’m further from memories of people who have fallen by the wayside, much like many of the characters in books I’d like to someday forget. I want to find a way to open my own eyes up and suggest a new way to find reality within the unreal. I hope somehow, someday, I’ll manage to do so.
“When I’m writing I believe that somebody else can understand my feelings, somebody else can experience those things I’m experiencing. I call it empathy. When I ran the jazz club, customers came to the club. Maybe eight out of ten wouldn’t like my club. But if two people liked my club, they came back. And my club did well. But some people would want ten out of ten people to like their club. I just think two of ten is enough. I can feel somebody will know what I’m feeling. It is a lonely life sometimes, like throwing a stone into the deep darkness. It might hit something, but you can’t see it. The only thing you can do is to guess, and to believe.” - Haruki Murakami
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Probably one of the few things I can still love about New York is the bit of silence here and there that Kevin Brockheimer should and sort of did write a plot about. One of those times was tonight, at the IFC center, when I spent $12.50 too much on a movie I could have easily looked over, or just as easily never paid attention to. “Summer Hours”, a French flick with some actors here and there I may or may not have seen before, in a film that was as climactic as watching grass grow. But when I first opened the black iron doors, there was only an older man in the audience, and after asking if this was theatre three? he promptly answered me yes in a rather pronounced French accent. I sank into a leather seat, and watched. I moved, and put my feet up on the seat. I did because it didn’t matter, and I was too physically and mentally exhausted to care. It's a cold, rainy Wednesday night, and my mom was just in for surgery this morning, and was now sleeping peacefully in a lit hospital bed. Her one savior her morphine drip. I’ll never forget how she looked at me, or how Keith rubbed her head and pushed her hair back, and fed her ice chips.
But the silence.
I walked out of the theatre at 11:50, and for a New York City night, it was strange to walk out into a theatre lobby filled with no one. I went to the bathroom, and felt the silence around my bare skin hovering around me as I peed. I went down stairs and gathered as many postcards as humanly possible into my purse, hooded my head and ambled down the street. Every noise was a rush to my ears, and in that I realized the magic of noise and the random action happening all around me. This is what movies should, and sometimes do, address. The seemingly still chaos swirling around every object thrown into motion, throwing other and every other object into a continual, perpetual swing of knocking into one another, and causing one to say to the other, Hey, watch where you are going! And moving it’s umbrella out of the way, just in time.
In the movie, a family tried to decide what to do with their mother’s estate. At the end of the movie, the daughter had such a unique, beautiful, distantly scultpuresque about her face. I wanted to paint it. The story spoke about these objects being pricey and worth something to collectors. At one point they show some of these pieces in a museum and the main character says, “doesn’t it all seem caged?” and I thought to myself of all the times I thought how strange to think that all of the things in museums have belonged to someone at one point or another, or was set in someone’s living room, or perhaps held someone’s letters. These things are expensive because we put a price on them. Now I am one who is all in love with history, of course, but at the same time, I can understand completely and wholey what the man was saying because really, the person who painted or made these works have an attatchement, and so do their families. Of course museums are great things, but it is interesting to understand that each family has its own internal history that is better represented by this materialistic “residue”.
I ached during the movie. The house was utterly beautiful. I thought how much I would love for someone to delve through my things, after they were gone, and feel energy, feel that I was still alive inside of those panels. Some people should be too alive for death. But I wouldn’t just want it to be me, I’d want it to be my family, my history. I would want it to have texture, and vibrance. I would want it to sing and splash color, and have someone visit it one day and say remember when? But yet. My personality and unsatisfactoion with settling anywhere prohibits me from even toying with such ideas. How am I to own a house with beautiful things and memories, if I cannot have pleasant ones on my own? But perhaps that is my problem. I move about too much, in my mind, more importantly.
But. I also own things that are mostly in the form of paper. Perhaps, one day, I can create my house and build it all out of scraps of sketches, collected posters and various post-it notes. I will build a three story, spacious living area, complete with crawling vines, and gaping windows. Some with amazing cathedral glass. There will be a sprawling paper mache garden, with paper mache fruit and birds to pick at them when they are just about to fall. There will be paper baskets for my kid to collect fruit in, and bugs if her or she wishes. Her/His middle name will be Orion so he/she never forgets to look at the stares, and be humbled by them.
But as for today. Today being the 18th, and what feels like, the 100th day in a row of sheer rainfall. I like when you find that you're smiling, and you didn't even know, and didn't have to try. I just did.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
It felt a bit like prying open someone's insides--stretching back yanked wide skin and needling through the boney bit-- reading other people's manuscripts. Everything all double-spaced and decipherable; just like literature was never meant to be. Never did I prepare myself for neither of such things: One being, that I would be instructed to hold the audacity to read someone's hard work, and deem it invalid. Two being, that I would later be standing in an incredibly large line of people in steamy Postal Office fanning myself with a fistful of rejection letters. If there is another way Agents get off, please do let me know.
Now that I have a couple*jobs* (though the worst of which is the only that pays me, and meager amounts at that. Please, World, may I have some more?) on top of being a *student* (though this would require validating my Summer class as an actual...class, and I'm still not so sure it's qualified), I have become a day-walker to this land of hustler transvestite Teen Sensation citylife. With a messenger bag brusing the upper part of my thigh running to the Path Train, or my boots catching on the cobbled street of Bond, I am beginning to feel more and more like a fraud; having let the city buildings seep into my blood stream and fix themselves under my fingernails.
This has been one of the toughest weeks I've had mentally, on many levels. I revisited many things in my head and really re-lived them a bit, on the train, and suddenly I'm thrown into a whirl-win of confusion. I shut parts of myself out when I don't take to them anymore, and though some of those dusty knobs should never be touched, I still find myself placing my fingertips on the rusting hinges, wondering when exactly I ever buckled myself so tightly. Sometimes I'm not the little girl I thought I was, and at other times I wonder if I'll finally learn to be a little girl. Somehow I feel not many people see the lighter side of me anymore. If they ever did. I don't know if many people ever felt like I was someone they could relax around. But I was always the person they came to for advice. Like I was the wise old tree who had seen many paths and taken many of them. Of course I know this isn't true, and though I have taken many paths and seen both wonderful and terrible things alike, each life is for each to live and for me to be spouting out advice or talking the talk is as similar to telling a wall to simply get up the courage to tell the chair how it feels, and get on to it. Each person needs to make their own way. Follow their own footprints and no one else; even if it ultimately leads them in circles.
Perhaps one of the reasons I fell in love with writing is because I felt it was the only cognisent way I could possibly be organized, in the lightest of terms, within my own head. Though I know the main reason I fell in love with it is because language is one of the only things humans have to communicate and truly connect with one another. Otherwise we are just our own worlds, gravitating towards one another before we are launched back into the oblivion, only to return to star dust when we breathe the heaviest sigh.
I suppose today I just feel a bit like an old cardboard box full of letters and photographs of places I've seen and amazing people I've known-- that I swear I've never forgotten, just mis-placed, if just for a while-- in the back of an attic, feeling cramped and weary. How am I ever to figure where I belong, when I know the gypsy whose spirit embodies mine will never have peace. Unsatisfaction is what drives me forth, and admittedly always will. Somethings about myself will never faulter. And I suppose for that reason, my rambling ways will never quit and I will always find my next road.
I know I scare people, sometimes. I've also pissed a lot of people off. But I only know what I know, and I don't always claim that I'm right. I know everyone is just doing the best they can, and I wish they could tell that I'm only trying to do the same; though the people that should really pay attention to that, never will. But that's always how it goes. In any case, I am what I am and who I am is a person who is perhaps at times, frighteningly independent and not afraid to be herself. My friend Cris once told me I had an "unforgiving" personality. I was also told by my director, Josh, that I was "fearless". I think of all words to be used about me, these two stick out in my mind the most. I won't validate them and stake them as true, because that's for other people to label me with, not me. I don't try to cage my amoebic self into a container. But I like to think they have a sparkle of truth, somewhere hid in their individual definition.
Sometimes I miss the raw, reeling emotion I felt in my younger years. Even though some bits of those constant searches for meaning in life have stayed with me, I still feel I was much more soft to the touch emotionally, and perhaps a bit more permeable. But I guess that comes with age. I don't know that it would be mentally safe for me to be like that anymore.
Isn't it amazing? Only twenty, and already I feel the shifting weight of my life's encyclopedia's starting toward the edge of my shelf. I'll be amazed if my shoulders aren't past my waist within the next ten years.
I just wish I was able to be satisfied and relaxed. More like, I wish that's what I wanted. I never know what I want. I suppose that's the other reason I freak people out. I'm a riddle constantly re-wrapping itself. And when people come to me, bleary eyed, asking what my answer is, all I can do is shrug.
You don't know any more than I do.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
It becomes a whole new world unto itself- a relationship- when you've been in it, and deep in it, for a just a little longer than, "Oh shit I think I love you", and just to the right of, "If you left, I'd have to kill you". Or maybe just to the left of: lock myself in my room, and drink wine until Billy Idol looks attractive again. I realized this realtionship buisness was a doozy today when I found myself checking to make sure he knew where his pants were; if he put enough patches on his hat. Bagpipers played at the ceremony. I squinted heavily in my new jersey-cotton dress trying to find his squinty eyes in the audience. He smiled and gave a thumbs up.
Sometimes, in regards to these "emotion" things, I don't know who I am any more because I can't remember there ever being someone who I gave more of a shit about. His family has even grown on me, in their own ways. But I needed home after two days of someone else's loving and adoring family. Family portraits everywhere. The home cooking. The porcelian plates. The yard in a nice suburban house. The nice family who nicely gets along with the other nice extended family members who nicely remembered to bring the bundt cake. All wonderful, loving people. Just, very; nice. Nice gets tiring, when your used to your own weird family. Tired and expectant of Zoe's (which wound up being postponed to next week), I trudged onto the Hamilton train, and sped for the blinking lights.
I ripped off my dress and dove into boxer shorts and my sporty Dave Matthews Band Winter Concert Tour my boyfriend of Junior year of High School bought me for Christmas of '05 as soon as heard my red door slam. I never saw the Winter Tour. Only the Summer tour, where my at-one-time-boyfriend (drunk, and clinging to my ankle sliding down the mud of the Meadows, with a beer in his hand) was the only person who would even be able to make the case that I did in fact see Dave Matthews Band live once, and loved it. Well...
Buddhas and glass framed bugs stare at me from all sides, as cat hair automatically reaches into my lungs, and yanks out the air. Bones plays on the TV and my guinea pigs run racetrack circles around their pen. I put dibs on Jamal; Little Timmy took first place.
My Mom saw I looked disgruntled, and offered me chocolate cake and tea. I voted cake. Luckily because of Zoe's e-mail, there was a re-count, and after all of Florida's votes were in: cake and tea. She hmphed- as tea fixes everything- and calmly proclaimed she was now going to sleep in a rainforest. I asked whether it was raining in her rainforest, and Keith said, depending, but tonight yes. I watched the bedroom light click out, then grabbed my bunny slippers, shrunk back to the age of five, grabbed a blanky, and slowly opened the door.
Mom in her grey, hip nightgown and Keith clasping a pillow to his chest, the two lay staring up into the ceiling, watching the sounds of raindrops trickle down the walls, small tropical birds flap across the windowsill, and whistling monkies chase the tabby cat out. The two made the monumentous mistake of cracking a joke at my prescense, a mistake which was instantly quieted when I launched myself onto the bed between them like Marmaduke who forgot his size on his Master's lap. Keith fell off the bed. The rainforest hooted on my behalf.
"I also have Tibetan Monestary. Or Aquatic Songs. Or Boat On A Bay."
I heard a click and the sounds of water lapping the sides of our bed boat rocked the three of us into silence. I was on a river in a canoe, the sun shining down on me, and the tall reeds attempting to hitchhike back to Batsto. I heard another click, and whales sang their eerie cello solos through the glittering taxi lights and I remembered why every one should feel small.
Glacier Bay and Bayou were my two favorite CD's besides Shell Silverstein's readings of There's A Light On In the Attic when I was living in my Grandparent's basement growing up. I would watch stare at the light in the hall as it flickered on, revealing a poster of assorted whales, dolphins, fish, eels, and other sea creatures. The whirring of the disc would sound until Glacier Bay rolled over the electronics. Whales would sing their language as violions, bass', cellos, flutes and other animal noise making instruments helped the piece along. I would fall asleep, dreaming of the ocean. Goodnight, peachpit. Goodnight, Momma.
Any car that passed by Keith's apartment in Hackensack would shake every inch of his infentescimal speck of a living space to the bones it didn't have room to hold. Baby birds decided to take up residency in his wall-built bathroom fan, and his downstairs neighbors took a year-round liking to Christmas music. We would stay up watching every James Bond movie, in alphabetical order, until he would fall asleep on the blow up mattress, and I in the over stuffed couch. I would fall asleep, getting swallowed by those couch cushions, the roll and shake of the cars rocking me to sleep. Goodnight, Ree-ann. Goodnight, buttface.
I opened my eyes to the bedroom ceiling as my cat licked my awkward toe that doesn't move when I try to splay out my toes on my left foot.
"I love my family".
Keith and my Mom laughed.
"We think you're weird as hell, too".
Saturday, May 16, 2009
First day back in the city, and already my mindbody is going through detox, and boy is it painful. A city full of people leaving you alone as opposed to a suburban campus full of people trying to grab hold of your buisness and stuff it in their mouths. But my buisness has no grisel, I try to tell the city, you don't even need to use a steak knife. But it doesn't hear me over snapping of photographs and smell of the subway grates, and it just gets distracted looking at the swinging hips and the clinking of purses and coins and the exchanging of left cheek then right cheek kisses. I guess I'm not its type.
The two hour train ride back from Stratford left me feeling even shorter than normal. The windows, I have found, on the MetroNorth transit line are arguably much higher than those in Jersey. Leaves me face pressed against the dirty window trying my hardest to see the backsides of dilapited buildings, snuffing as much recycled air as my borderline asmatic lungs can handle.I wrote for myself last night for the first time in a whole semester. It's as if I haven't had a self these past weeks. It's as if I've been an automated machine working on papers, worrying about internships and people and people's perceptions on me and I on them and them on me on them to the point that I took a raincheck on provoking thoughts for my own sake rather than other's. Not very like me in the least bit. My mindbody has welcomed back with open arms my conciousness; they very much missed one another and one owed the other a sweater.
I have the "Willie" theme song stuck in my head. The soundtrack to that film is so catchy; I watched it with both of my parents today. My Mother hmphthatwascoolprettyinterestinghmph-ed it, and Keith laughholyshitthatwasfuckingawesome-ed it. He got the weird vibe I get from it too, which in my eyes makes the movie successful. You can't forget Willie.I've watched two hours of Current TV-- my favorite addiction and my only TV addiction besides Californication and Weeds (not to be confused with a pot addiction that I don't have, the show just rocks my suburbia awkwardness and has a fantastic array of genres in its soundtrack)-- mostly about modeling in Brazil. Though it did have a segment on the Rio Carnival. I would like to fly there, please. It's okay, I'll just walk; I did buy new shoes today.
My Mom and I passed a terrible accident on the way to Connecticut yesterday. A lady was laying on the road covered in blood; people rushing all around the middle of the lanes. My breathe was short. I kept on singing along to the song playing because I didn't know how to stop acting normal. When we drove by the scene, you could see a Jeep on the opposite side of the highway that had collided with the guardrail; a man lay in the road near the car, and the woman on our side was across the barrier. She could not have been wearing a seatbelt. Two men pressed clothes close to her head, her feet kicking every once in a while. How fragile we truly, truly are. I hope, that they are both alright. We drove on and I texted Doug, telling him I loved him and that breathing is pretty cool after all. Life is so fragile. But its a beautiful fragility, isn't it? Wouldn't life be less beautiful if we all could withstand the sheer force of gravity, of each other's brutality, of nature?Doug's saying on the matter, later, when I rang him: "It's humbling, isn't it? But really, I mean as long as your not lying on the side of the road with a broken back and ambulances all around you, what do you really have to complain about? I mean you're you, I'm me, I love you, and you love me, and thats all we need! I mean what else matters?" And really, what do we truly have without connections to people, connections with animals, with things? If love is all you need and nothing else is worth mentioning, then there are a lot of poor people in the world and money won't cover the half of it. But if being bathed in gold means sticking my toes in gooey algae at the bottoms of lakes, touching every vintage fabric at a street fair booth, and Doug's nose tucked into the back of my neck, then lets get rich and give everybody nice sweaters, and teach them how to dance.
I'm writing a sidebar piece for a railroading magazine about Grampy and his HO scale train set. His journalist friend who loves fish and suds wrote a three-page story on his set and somehow stumbled upon the stack of pictures of myself behind a certain part of his railroad. Every other October since I was seven he's been taking my picture in that exact spot. I was always too short to see the set eye to eye when I was seven. I always liked watching the undersides of the faux mountains; hearing the little wheels along the tracks and hoping nothing would derrail. I stacked piles of the little plastic people onto open air freight cars. Cargo cars. Set them into motion and hoped no one jumped ship. My favorite was the sitting boy weilding a newspaper. "I want my two dollars!" There was no John Cusack figure, to my suprise.I have started Wesley's tour diary, and my favorite bits so far of the 566 pages in existence have been his mentioning of cassette tapes, Willie Nelson in women's clothing, and never having seen a Jam Band perform and getting utterly confused at a"jam sesh".
I have a good feeling about this summer. A warm feeling that smells like inky book pages, has a slightly British sound, and feels like Lally's fingers caught in the net of mine. Possible beach trip Monday, starting Zoe's Wednesday, Adirondacks on Friday. With that I bid the world of interwebs adiu, adiu, to you and you and you. "And here's your bit of zen" from one of my favorite men of science (mostly because it's a compilation of many of my favorite words):
Life...is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast.