Friday, June 27, 2008

I Never Knew

I rode slow moving buses and efficiently romantic trains. There were ticket stubs from planes and boats. Through long roads in the back of a pickup truck and down deserted dirt roads. I swam in warm blue watered beaches and jumped from torrential waterfalls. I searched. In the desert, beneath the blackened moon, I danced with the hope of something more. With every salty tear, I longed for the meaning. The questions? The answers? Someone? Something? I hoped, I knew, I looked. I wandered. I cut my heart to bits in the search from human to human. My little body was propelled by a restless urge. Little feet moved to the song of unheard lullabies. Almond eyes scoured for a glimmer of light amongst the vacant stares and drooling gestures. In the window reflections, with the philosophizing hobos and street urchins. I talked and read and cried. I hoped, I dreamed of the challenge, of the uncompromising, of the unordinary. Of true love. Of meaning.
And as I wandered and stumbled, as I flew and ran and skipped and crawled…I somehow found it. On a southbound train amidst the masses of machines and beneath the heavy burden of mortgages, 401k plans, suits and slumber. I found it. The knowledge. The gate. The signs were black, almost hidden in the night, just a smile and a long white finger pointing to the left.
And it is here, enveloping me. Smothering me, its arms, its tentacles, its heavy clutches are inside, poking at every hole and wound. I am here, I could never have imagined. This is what I desired. This was the meaning for the search. This was my hope and this is hard. Harder than I could have ever imagined.
I am hauling trees, carrying my wounded body. I am in battle. I am my constant enemy. I am my only hope. I am the worker and the builder of coffins and steel cages. Speak to me in the language of feathered friends and secretive cold winds. On the brink of many tears, I spill my energy like wine. En par with careless sorority girls and dirty men. I spill and blunder, staining the marbled floor. There are red footprints, fossils of breasts. In this clear cage, this brilliant cage. This darkened cell. This moment of lightness and love. This pit of self pity and red fear. The words of my parents, the lessons of school and movies. The glances from strangers, the energetic patterns of old lifetimes and meaningless collections of clutter.
I am in this maelstrom. These bits spiral around me in an endless dance. I stare, fear brimming from every hole, tears spilling like the rivers of Egypt. I never knew it would be like this. Never thought the secrets could be so hard. This is it. This is not the liberating paradise, the free-for-all love bash. This is not calm, this is not tranquility.
This is the edge. The place where every fear and sorrow exists, the place where love is easily forgotten, but it can also be Seen. On this edge, it is felt for the first time. This is the building of the Real. Solid and changing. Opalescent and invisible. Cluttered and shifting into nothing. The masks of image dance. They show off in their parades of spectacle and perversion. They feed on my channels of hate. These boats scour the coast side, waiting for a moment; they come often and quickly, biting in hard before I can scream. Huddled and shocked, I lay on the dirt path, just steps from the gate. I am here, filled with dread, filled with fear, riddled with tears.
And there is only one option. I must move forward. The knowledge is nowhere else. The secrets are ahead and about, but they are not free. Each step is a motion away from death, a thousand demons hold my legs. A thousand dirty hands grab the tendrils of my hair. Red marks cover my buttocks, lashings have severed parts of my heart. But there is no turning back. There is a cord, a golden chain that keeps me from running. Tethered somewhere in the distance, I can feel your heart urging me forward. I take another step and try to remember myself.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Strange Birds

Little yellow feathers tickle her neck like the dark whiskers of her favorite man. The birds have just passed, just an inch away from her creamy white face. She is colored by their streaks of movement, the radiance bursting in the form of softness and quill. They came from the mountaintop, a series of strange birds.
Strange to her.
She clung to her whiskered man like a warm stone in a torrential river of dark fears. They flew like a beaked battalion, large and oversized, small and red. Striped and iridescent. Despite the sweat that rippled down her soft contours, despite her stomach-bound butterflies and startled heart, the birds flew past. They delighted her eyes with a rainbowed spectacle of moving fury. The descent from the mountaintop moved like a flash flood of liquid paintings, Matisse, Picasso, Vincent descended in masse.
With their flowing pencils and paints, with their minds and inspiring speckled blood. Their drops spilled and congealed, creating vast empires of dancing swirls and laughing dancers. She still clung, yet not with fear, not with the desperation of a woman dropping from a cliff. She clung with all the force of love that moved like an endless tunnel of delight through the rhythm of time. She clung with wet palms that sparkled even in the night sky. Within the darkness of no moon, she found her way home. Found her way into the arms of the whiskered man.
The sand beneath her seemed to drift, it moved like red waves, the ones she remembered from a childhood of tea parties and silent mixtures. Her cups were always full of red earth, she served herself, her only guest, and swallowed each grain individually. One by one, they made the journey from her cup, to her mouth, down the tight confines of her throat. She swallowed all night, thinking of nothing, feeling only one world after the other enter her.
She was full, carrying the knowledge of the unborn, the undead, the missing words. She held them all. She was bound, she had taken them in, becoming them, becoming all in the process. Red like the light of the October moon. Red like a desire that burns from her dark center . And there was no one else. The feathers bloomed from her ears like twigs from a demented tree. Red, gold, green, shimmering like satin. Glowing like the collection of stars clustered around the nearest planet. Satin trim and soft. Long and stripped.
She saw her reflection in the silver pond.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On The Brink

It is just a string that keeps her from going insane. An invisible thread that ties her to the one more firmly planted. The earth is ripe only when sleep drifts from the eyes of the weary, and she is not yet among those counted. There is concrete and tar, little else. To move in the warm contours of soil and brother sand that exist in brief dreams of almost forgotten rooms. Woolen rugs and tapered yellow candles. Tent flags? Crushed slivery leaves and stone bowls of water. This is concrete, hard and unmoving.
She stands at the corner, undecided about the direction, south, north, east…do they lead to the same place? The streets ahead are gray, slate and drab and littered with old sandwich wrappers and discarded paper cups. The mottoes drift away on the wind, forgotten like each burp and French fry. The gutters are a collage, a temporary museum to the unwitting Mexican artist. The dark roads are long, each one of them marked by sign postings and shiny buildings that reach to the heavens in false praise. Clouds disperse in the wake of their unmoving weight. They move slowly, without care, without emotion. Their form merely shifting for the oncoming force.
A sharp edge plays with the tension in her back. It applies the mute song of a 90 degree angle, talks the only way it can. She gazes in the four directions. A bus baring a thousand Asian immigrants passes, rustling her hair. Taxi cabs, one after the other pass. They are but passing colors and shapes. She sees them as unsentimental players and nothing more. They move and go on command, the drivers, their cars, the lights and roads and all those upon them. She swims with them, a sparkling fish in their school. She reacts with a grimace to the woman on a cell phone, presents a smile to the ranchero. Acting on impulses, she drifts like a kite caught in the clutches of a hurricane.
She walks the edge between realization and death. An elongated honking horn, the stretching music of a car in flight. It winds, finds itself in the coils of her intensities, pulsing with the cold movement of mechanical life. You are here, she hears in the distance. The cries of bats and ocean waves creep in, the screech of old brakes and country songs curl together like strands of DNA. Distortion like no other she has heard. Teetering, she allows the weight of the building to hold her.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Inner Life

Her chest beats with all the vibrations of an apocalyptic earthquake. It slowly began to rumble, only an hour before. Just small tremors at first, she hardly thought anything of them as she lay in the warm folds of her soft bed. Her legs were spread wide, hands lazily splayed over the tops of her pillows. Her hair was a tangled mess, long brown curls lay in repose, covering every color of the soft cushions beneath her head. A barely detectable smile was spread across her face. To an untrained eye, she appeared stoic, but the corners of her mouth were turned slightly upwards and she was indeed relaxed and calm.
As she lay in the sweet waters of stillness, faint tremors began to rumble across the landscape of her mind. Little demons, just three feet tall and covered in short coarse hairs ran across the deserted inner fields. Skipping and dancing, holding carved wooden masks with disturbing upturned mouths, they taunted and laughed. They flashed for barely a second, she noticed them only in hindsight and quickly forgot about their presence as she turned her head to the right to gaze out her window.
There was a bright blue day that moved just beyond the borders of her glass windows. "A beautiful day" she thought with all the openness of a young undisturbed girl, but almost within the same breath, her face contorted as she felt another demon storm across the sweet smelling fields of daisies and honeysuckle.
Its voice was louder than the others that had come before. His voice, she could hear. And his words caught her imagination. She began to think of what was happening without her, upon the bed of her shared lover. A twisted tree had grown quickly to fill the contorting inner space, and the powerful demon lurked near its shade. The calmness of morning fields was quickly becoming overgrown with dark trees and distorted pools of murky gelatinous fluid. She felt these changes, deep inside her chest, she felt the pools turning and twisting, small waves giving birth to larger demons with tattoos of murdered nuns and sharp axes.
The creatures emerged from the dirty waters covered in a shiny brown coating that smelled of rotten inner earth.
She lay on the still soft bed, but she didn’t feel the satin sheets beneath her smooth white body. She didn’t relish the beauty of a morning that held the power of time immortal. She lay, quiet and twisted, wincing and turning more heavy and dark as the moments passed. Her chest turned into a weighted ball of steam and iron, barely able to push the surrounding oxygen in and out. Tears licked at the inner corners of her eyes as she thought of words she could say, but they all tasted of dirty money and copper coins, too ugly to be spoken, too foul to be birthed.
"Take the weight" she screamed, but not a sound moved.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Medicine Wheel

We give thanks to the people of air. The cool breath that reaches across my face, wiping me clean of strangeness and personal memory. With an unthinking motion, I inhale, absorbing cool sweetness, expanding my hard working pink tissues to the brink of collapse; but they don’t, they work without thought, an endless series of mechanical reactions…until the end. Until this body is no more. In this moment, air, the sweet cold air moves upon me. Shocking these cold wrinkled fingers with its bite. Bringing these almond eyes to tears. I bite my tongue to keep from complaining. I need you. And with this remembrance, this most basic of realizations so easily forgotten, I behold magnificence, filling every cell with your grace. The oxygen I inhale, the carbon I release. The invisible substance I move through to place a silvery sage leaf upon your altar. You, who are essential …please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude.
We give thanks to the people of fire…orange sparks burst from the earth as I speak your splendor, surrounding me within a flaming sacred circle. With a roar of delight and crackling embers, I reach down to leave a small plastic fire truck upon your altar. The heat of the sun breaks through the stubborn thickness of clouds and a warm soft hand comes to rest upon my cheek. For your light, for your nourishment, we give thanks. Red and orange tendrils have taken the place of my hair. The flames move like electric snakes on a rampage of destruction, twisting and darting, trashing wildly, but never quite escaping. The people of fire, the light…the energy. Without you, we cannot eat. Without you, we cannot see. For your energy…please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude.
We give thanks to the people of water. I stand before your sacred symbol, attentive and open. My chest begins to slowly sway, evoking gentle ocean movements…I become you…I am you…soft, dark and slow moving. The succulents that adorn our walkways are juicy with your gifts. We drink your seed. We feast on the plants that contain your qualities- pink and orange, red and green, there is nothing without you. We drip with your subtle gestures. Rain. Dew. The liquid in this garden hose. The overwhelming mass of this biological machine. A pile of dust would quickly form, but for your gracious, unending presents… please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude
We give thanks to the people of stone…beneath my feet, you are there, solid and heavy. Red mountains and smooth desert stones that reach with unseen hands to the stars. This orb of soil, rock, and matter. Finely ground into powder, you resemble my ash. You are weight. The ground where we build, the soil we tend. In your womb, we dwell. We rest and love and eat upon you. Seemingly unchanging, but containing all the lessons of patience…for you crack as well. You spew and shift, like all the creatures that sit upon you. Solid and moving. For your home… for the inhabitants that tickle and destroy upon you…please accept this gift as a token of our gratitude.
We give thanks to Spirit. Who runs through and across, weaving tendrils of blue light through the dense world of stone and into the invisible landscapes of air. May the result of this small effort be for the benefit of all beings everywhere.