Sunday, November 25, 2012
The world is not infinite. And that is what I have been saying, but you never listen.
The clouds stomp their feet in prayer and I hold my hands up to them so I can taste those sweet drops of milk. It was like the poem I once read, “her milk created the stars.” The drawing it once inspired. A pink and white breast against a sky of black, a waterfall of white and a sprinkling of twinkling lights. Open up your arms so you may taste the sweet drops of life.
The clouds are there, ready to give and yet we long for the sun, to feel the warmth and hide from the gray rain clouds. We resort to what feels good rather than what is helpful, what will keep these plants alive, what will finally help me to push open the door. We need the rain they shout! Those little tender sprouts looking up, drying to ash under the blanket of blue. Heat drying the land, turning my skin into parchment. But it feels good doesn’t it?
I let that skin go as I crawl over the rocks, I turn red and then black, as devilish as they fear, as conniving as the books and old tales warned. I have a tail and it will sting. It will cover you with bruises and I hope that we do meet, for I need exercise. I crawl, as evil as the men saw, turning from red and blue into clear water, covering the land that refuses to let me go. I will not die.
The world is not infinite, and yet the numbers do not lie. There are a billion micro spaces and I have known almost all. Each story is another chapter, each life another variation of the same old tale. The castles and the caves, the donkeys and their pet mice.
I have known almost all, and still, I am surprised by their little changes. The red flower instead of the blue. The upturned smile instead of the light as I remember, catching her eyes in a moment of thought. Let the thoughts flow out, but stay here, not in the tiny worlds of the market and their petty transactions, let it stay here, on this world.
The micro state of soothing electronic pulses playing a few feet from my head, where the fan whirls continuously, a drone among drones. The plush bed covered in Nordic flannel sheets of red and white, somehow making me feel warm by design, the veined fingers moving fast.
The world. Will I one day know its entirety? How many micro states are there? How many people could be in this room right now with me?
Johnny on the desk, Johnny rubbing my feet, Johnny slapping my precious cheek. The tear can fall by the window, on the sheet and quickly vanish, over my arm leaving a trail of salt. I can see each one and am gladdened by their multitude.
Too soon, this could end. But this will all be back. It will come again slightly different than before. More complex in shape. Unknowable.
* * *
It escapes from you. Or you escape it. For you hide your eyes and go under the covers like a young girl hiding from a dream.
She saw those woods, the coming light of day her only reassurance. But soon it turned to night again and she was scared of the dark branches and the thick trunks and the man who walked up ahead telling stories that terrified her flesh and made her think of death and the iron smell of fear.
Do you hide like that, from the dreams of this world; or does it escape you- running. Does it dance in the corners waiting for a moment of attention, one that almost never comes? How can little girls hopped up on sugar and chocolate cupcakes look into the corners of the room, where the sparking light takes on a multitude of colors, where chairs become vehicles of transportation, not just a resting point for a fat ass. Who escapes whom?
* * *
It is a place that sinks into the ground by the weight, the world on our rounded shoulders. I try to wash it down the drain at night.
I try and let those hands and the dollar bills and the forced laughter go washing down the sides of my wide hips and pass the obstacle of the clogged drain and down into the pipes, flowing to the ocean of salt and silt and all those other nasty things we have tried to bury and hide.
It goes to a land of layered memories and all we need to do is watch the tide come in and look out for its hands. It is never fully buried.
In the middle of the world lies the dusty valley of wheat, rags, boots, brown skin, red faces and dirty blue trucks. A little graffiti done in a rough style, like the young boys still did not know how to hold the canisters the right way, like they had yet to lose that feeling of fear that the cops would show up at any moment- we all know the older boys would go down swinging, even longed for those red and blue lights to turn ‘round the corner, to catch them with blackened fingers and bandanas over their mouths.
And though I imagine you, dust still finds its way into my mouth. The town is covered in it and I choke slightly as the scene passes.
Everything is yellow and tan- a lone young woman sits on a fallen rock by the only mini-mart for hundreds of flat miles. She’s wearing a long dress held up by worn spaghetti straps- her shoulders covered in freckles and dust. My tires kick up dingy clouds as I make a wide left turn and pull into the gas station- a bell rings and she turns her head towards me.
Did I come for the rocks and sausage? Does she wait for the one truck that will come and take her away? Or is she a fixture in this town, like a lamppost or a flag sticking out of the eaves from an old house. Eternity in a body by the side of the road.
* * *
Forests, rivers, tears and glimpses of laughter, overheard from a distance. This is what I see in her eyes. They are blue, I can tell from here. Shaded by the light green awning at the gas station- the girl continues to look at me and I at her.
Soon I will go on and she will stay, warmed and browned by the sun. We will trade places for a moment and I will sit on that rock, letting the world pass by on the two-lane highway not five steps from where I sit.
The days pass slow, the afternoon marked by birds overhead, the cars that I count, the colors that add a moment of excitement to the yellow and tan landscape. The hills behind me whisper to the sun, they match, the colors blending and punctuated only by the sky.
She goes on, taking my car, using the wheels, moving on. The world is shaped like a tilted rectangle if you watch it from above where there is safety. Here there is none.
A part of me longs for what I left, she flies like a bird in a windstorm. There is no end.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Soon the clouds will topple over with accumulated sweet tears and I will be there to drink it in. I will have my pearl goblet embellished in skulls and teeth and the sweetness of sky will move through me, turning me from flesh to air.
Open up and smell the coming rain. Open up and let the walls of your chest creak, they will make a joyful noise and sing with mine as we stumble into awakening.
Like rusty doors in long forgotten castles, the sound is wild and out of place. Now is the moment to take the scuffed up brass skeleton key from the old woolen pocket. It is time to twist, yes, with a shaky hand, and let the gates crack.
Open up and smell the rain. It comes as a gift without words and explanation. The scent of night moves towards us in lustful abandon, coming with its sweet tears. Clouds full of wetness sweep in covering us in newness.
Now take this knife, make perfect slits along the length of our single piece of okra. The glue on our fingers will bind us to the walls and from time to time we can hang from the ceiling and look at the world like geckos.
Or you can take the form of a purple goddess and travel among the trees like the wind. There are no obstructions as purple scented air. You move wildly through thickets of oak leaves, sending a torrent of them to the ground. You bash against the boughs, bouncing and twisting over shapes and continue forward. Perhaps these things will eventually slow you down, all these rocks and faces of matter, but for now you roll over them as purple scented air.
Or you can dance ecstatically without form, picking up pollen and dispersing it over fields and houses. Twisting, twisting, you bend the clouds into mermaids and smiling paintbrushes, an entire canvas of sky all orange and red and glowing.
Or you can lie down and become gold grass. Feel the skinny white roots slowly digging into the soil, pushing so softly past the tiny bugs dwelling in the folds of pungent earth. Feel the sun turning to food on your delicate upturned blades. Can you feel the green of your flesh?
Open up and smell the rain. The clouds are colliding and soon we will be droplets once again. Gold is the sky as we take the form of clouds, there are no obstructions as we take new shape.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The world seemed to open up and I had a bird’s eye view of three people below the roof of a house, a blue and green sphere in the midst of blackness, amidst a collection of sparkling lights.
How strange to be sitting here, talking of myths and words, mostly listening, because I don’t know of these things.
I will forget that we live in the midst of myths, like lights being born of gas and dust, we live in the midst of words and associations and archetypes that rise from our consciousness and reveal themselves like a blossoming flower. Their shapes of darkness and pungent earth, their swirling white spheres of grand-moving strangeness.
Some will paint them as evil, some will call them angels and avengers. And still others will see them just as tales, like the ones that came before but painted in different colors.
The names change from story to book to legend to movie to speech to show to story.
We live in the place of the spawning of myth. The same shapes, the same players, the same figures, the same arcs. Dirt creates them, from the soil they arise, and we are the fertile earth that gives them nourishment and the plowed mind and the twisting energy that creates them over and over, reproducing the same villains and heroes, the same turns and twists, remixing them endlessly, giving new outbursts of detail to the receptive arms of eternal skeletons.
Great journey-makers that come from a land far away on the vast wooden ship Tharnackla. Those anti-heroes have taken a humble nation and turned it into a corrupting evil and death realm where the inhabitants are afraid to love and kiss each other.
But once we cried together, in the arms of each other, just as the myth was born, as the people rejoiced and fell to the ground in awe. The myth was being born, and it was painful and joyous at once.
Tears ran down your face as we felt the sprouting green root take hold, as we felt the archetype of the redeemer claim victory in one shining night under the moon.
You got on top of me and we celebrated with love and skin and soft grunts of pleasure. This was the birth of something, the celebration of a golden legend come home, the beginning of a battle to reclaim the land from sea to mountain and back again.
We sat at a table and the story spiraled between us like falling stars.
And yesterday we laughed. And we lived the myth of us as I saw it from high above.
No such thing as old. No such thing as new.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
All the others have fallen, somewhere between the sea and the desert there are many corpses, brown hair with waves, blue eyed boys who stare up at the sun without blinking, a mother who has lost her young.
They are there, on the land, in the rivers, boys, brothers. And it is me who climbs these cliffs still searching for the one with the golden eye.
Brother or god? Man and lover, father of life and creation.
I scan the black ravines and wonder if he can see me here on this treetop, my strong thighs gripping the bark as I cling and scan and squint. Birds come and perch on my thin white arms like branches, they sing in my ear little melodies of encouragement.
The black streaked ones sing a melancholic tune, and when they sing my body grows desperate. Perhaps he is gone forever, our father and lover, our king and creator, our leader with the golden eye.
Does he run or is he lost? Does he hide or does he wait to be found?
I am unsure as I take each step, not quite able to read my heart in the clouds. The leaves stir on the parched ground, all red and yellow and crackling beneath my soft footsteps. They are of no help. I can't read them, their silent fortunes are obscure and lost to the wind.
I keep walking, I have been here before, so many times on this search.
Brother, brother- I have written about you before. Father lover, I have written of your name and this search. My fallen kin among the seas and sands, I have written of you in countless pages.
I walk clutching my breasts, yearning for comfort, for the mother that is lost in these trees and shadows. I add my tears to the ocean, lending them only briefly to the trickle of the river.
Perhaps in the next world I will drink my own sadness in a goblet of glass. These steps seem like a very wide circle, so wide it becomes invisible.
My brothers are gone and I continue on, still looking for the man with the golden eye.
Friday, September 7, 2012
The taste of mint chocolate ice cream still lingered on the back of her tongue as she wandered the aisles, looking at the assortment of pants and shirts and boots with an apathetic gaze that sometimes crossed over into brief curiosity. She rode the escalator up to the second floor and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirrored pillars that stretched from the ceiling to the white tiled floor.
Bright maroon lipstick over her lips, her wild mess of hair restrained by a furry white beret. Her oversized green pajama pants were tucked into the wide cuffs of suede boots. There she was, allowing the moon to travel above, for the night of blinking stars to pass unnoticed as she slowly walked through the two floors of metal racks and clear plastic hangers and more discounts than she could have ever wanted.
Every now and then she picked up something and held it for a while in her hands. These things were all cheap, her mind would immediately come up with several reasons to walk over to the registers, put them in a bag and take them home. There were lots of reasons: warmth, comfort, beauty, but the nagging thoughts kept coming in.
She looked at the label of the sweater tights she had picked up off the back wall by the shoes: made in China. She had heard a story on the radio seven hours before about the province of China where most of America’s cheap products came from.
As she drove to the warehouse to drop off her leftover pastries and bread from the farmer’s market, she listened to the stories of young Chinese workers whose hands had became deformed after several years of repetitive movement. They made the clothes, the hangers, the phones, every item that surrounded her. They wore out the workers, till death or deformity set in, then got new younger ones to fill the positions. There were just that many people in China.
Hours later she wandered the store and felt the hands of the workers on every item. Her seven dollar tights were paid for by those distant unknown lives. She took the elevator up to the second floor where the household goods were waiting. She picked up a shoe organizer and looked on the bottom of the label: made in china. She looked at a cutlery set that advertised itself as hand-crafted: made in china.
As she walked, looking at the brightly colored things, the shoes and jackets, the rugs and feather pillows, her face sunk more and more. Her feet shuffled along the ground as she began to absorb the meaninglessness of almost every item. The manufactured need, the desire for more and more.
She could feel it inside, she wanted that rug, those sweater tights. She could hear the voice in her head, she needed them to stay warm, some were even made of bamboo, was there really any harm? Did her small almost meaningless purchase really make a difference when there were thousands of stores across America like this one?
She could feel their hands, their eyes, their lost lives.
She walked through the aisles, killing time until she could leave and drive to the house were her friend sat with sweet smelling long black hair and stories of explored language. She walked, sinking, changing as the story she had heard earlier moved through her. She could feel the pull of the American need, the hope that with this one new thing everything would be better and change, change forever, change until she needed one more thing- until she needed that other thing, until a new desire clung to reality just beyond her grasp.
Just as one orgasm was ending she would pause and think about the next time it might happen. There was no rest for desire, for the want to fill it- she could hear the stories of the people in her mind, the deformed hands, the jumpers off the factory roof, the utter desperation to end repetition.
All done so people like her could buy those cheap sweater socks and discounted shoes. It was for her and millions like her. She walked and walked, hurt by what she saw, but unable to leave.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
They sit in a circle in a dimly lit room. Candles flicker on the fireplace mantle and cast shadows from the wiry kiwi branches onto the ceiling. The black curtains are drawn and they are all alone- three bodies who try for a moment to leave the labyrinth and cortex behind, to emerge new from the trappings of intelligence and talk without walls.
She looks at the man in front of her. In most societies he would be considered an adult, a man with graying hair, more than forty years of age. He sits in front of her illuminated in the golden light, imitating her sounds and creating syllables without meaning.
“dooooahhh” she says.
“dooahhhhhhhhh” he repeats one octave below.
“ti ti ta ma to sooooo.”
“ta toooo ta ma to sooooo.”
They all smile. Someone shifts slightly on the futon. A part of her ego breaks off and wanders down the labyrinth alone.
She wonders just where she is and who she’s with. Who is the man in front of her? The man making sounds?
The strangeness of the moment hits her, rustles up against old thought patterns and rubs at convention. Do adults do this? Do they sit in a circle, letting the stars and night turn to day? Do they make sounds and sing together, pushing their bodies beyond normal comfort to remain seated in a circle? Do they breathe loudly, moving their hands wildly as though there were music, though none is playing?
“MUUahhhhh, sahhhh, tiiiii.”
“MUUahhhhh, sahhhh, tiiiiiaaaaaa.”
Her ego searches through the known, all those layers sitting, accumulating since birth, waiting for a moment in the light. “Known” meaning words, thoughts, convention.
She looks again at the man, long wisps of white hair shine in the candlelight.
This is not what adults do, though they could all be considered adults with driver’s licenses, bills, kids, cars, jobs- and yet they are not.
In another space she watches two young boys, both just a few feet off the ground. She is supposed to be the adult there. She feeds them noodles and bananas and makes sure they are warm and dry. She comforts them after a fall and tucks them into bed with a lullaby.
And yet, she does not only do what the other adults do. Before bed she sits them next to her by the computer, she practices her singing while they watch and sometimes follow along, clapping as they sing along. She imitates them in the hallway with her body, stomping her foot when they do, she jumps when they do, yells into the air when they do- they notice what she does and laugh- delighting in the exchange.
But that is not what adults do. Not the adults they know. She is their Other. She is like the graying man, a living signifier for another path.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
They have combed their mind for answers- praying, hoping for a final answer to the questions that keep them awake night after night. It has been years now- years, and the nights when they should be sleeping drag out forever as they adjust themselves over and over on their pillows and twist their sheets and get up for another glass of water or a trip to the bathroom. The nights last forever and the mind races, jumping, searching the corners for clues- something, maybe that one thing they forgot to tell the police. One tiny little detail that will solve it all.
Just what happened to them? They disappeared like shadows.
We saw them leave in the middle of the night and then their car turned up a few days later in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Where did they go?
The night is long and tedious as the questions rise up, over and over. There is no resolution. The wonderful resolution that might be- the death to the constant struggle against wonder. If only the night would end and the day would come and with it, god willing, an answer.
We sit now, around a circular table, we draw out what we know, what we don’t. We search and the more we talk, the less the lines connect. A disjointed mandala appears before us on the tiled table and we tend to grasp at the edges, trying to bring it all around.
Just where did they go in the middle of the night?
My heart starts to beat, not pounding really, but with a slightly sick feeling as it interacts with my chest. This body wants answers, how I want to be that lady who sees the rise of the sun at dawn, light bringing with it the death I seek- those eternal questions that the religions of the world attempt to answer.
All the self help gurus and the multi-billion dollar industry cluttered with sticky-sweet titles like “Being Happy in the Digital Age.’ They want it, we want it- an end to the struggle.
And then I look at my detective. A sly smile on his face. How he skips, delights in the unknown. I follow him down the twisting path searching for clues. He walks slow, taking his time, enjoying the night. The day might never come and he would still walk, soaking in the damp air, tasting it on his tongue, listening to the sounds of a sleeping world.
My beautiful detective. He looks into a hole and sees the endless possibilities, seeing not darkness, but a galaxy of stars. Each one shines from another world, another story ringing behind it.
We walk in the night, picking up clues and storing them in our pockets for safekeeping. And we walk, taking the turns in the path with as much delight as the little things we find under the misplaced stones in a driveway covered with tiny pebbles.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
We are dressed in black today, matching the night. Black holding all our purpose. Every color and shape, each breath taken and lost. For all that were and all that could be.
The clouds have parted, granting my midnight wish and I stare at a dozen silver moons, a collection of aged children of rock and light.
There are a trail of silver dollars illuminating the path from bed to window, from window to door. Each step is first memorized and then taken with care.
There were maps and drawings and we practiced one tiny moment among moments. Bursting, we feed it and the circle grows, a wide band of black holding each moment. We take it in, drinking, lapping up the dribbles along the edges.
It is all here, not one thing forgotten. We cannot list them all and yet their names are etched into the wrinkles and lines, the scars over her breasts and the wisps of hair misplaced.
The boat sails and I remember, a thing in motion is excited, confused and ready for toppling. Bubbling up and spinning, the lights direct my attention, moving from human to bird to car to cat.
You cannot stop me as the colors come and STOP! You don’t witness, you mustn’t.
The tale must be fulfilled as written and the pages are there, may I direct your attention to the dried up hands telling our story. Look into the black eyes beside the window, nothing has been forgotten. Transience, mortality, they are for others outside this space. With the candles lighting our chamber, we sit as the circle. Bodies are the wires for light, light is the shape of ecstatic motion. We are still, silent but for occasional gasps.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
When Ethan wasn’t actually drinking coconut water in Mexico or picking olives in Italy or staring out the window of some meandering train, he would be dreaming of other lands. The carpet beside his bed was cluttered with travel narratives and fiction set in other countries- he thought that every place was more exotic than the west coast and he wanted to see it all: the colors of India, the ocean waters in the South Pacific, the cobblestone and dreary clouds of Eastern Europe.
Occasionally he did go to Latin America for a few months or Europe, but it was not the long term travel he had always dreamed of- the multi-year, multi-continental voyage. The trips were short, and kindled his wanderlust rather than satisfying it. He slept with a map on the ceiling above his pillow and, right before falling asleep (and as he woke up), he would stare at the colored mountains and rivers and all the places he hoped to see.
He always thought back to a particular fall day in Italy. The sky outside the train window was bright blue. There was a bite to the air and all the colors of the rural landscape were shades of brown and beige and fallen twigs. Bright orange persimmon fruits hung on the naked branches of massive trees and they punctuated the world outside the window with bursts of color.
He was alone on a train going south- not alone really, but surrounded by strangers. Without the constant jabber of a companion, he focused on the details that surrounded him. The sounds of the train on the tracks, the deep voice of the man selling mozzarella and tomato sandwiches out of a wheeled wooden cart halfway down the train car.
Everything that day was so crystalline and bright. The miles went on and the train doors opened and closed at each station, offering him the brilliant beginning of a multitude of pathways to places he could not imagine.
He knew he could choose any one of them- perhaps getting out at Taormina or any of the little villages along the way to Palermo. Each one was an option, he could simply pick up his 30lb pack and be on his way. No need for permission or second thoughts or even a look backwards. It was movement without obstruction, as he stepped outside, he could breathe new air and discover the tiny details that only needed a second of attention; there, a delicate gray and white feather drifting over centuries-old streets.
By a series of curious incidents and split-second decisions, he arrived in San Francisco. Six years later, he called it home. His roaming feet had sunk in some roots- those roots had coiled around gray embedded stones in the salty soil.
His heart still reached out- enjoying television shows that depicted the people of Romania and Africa, he enjoyed watching characters running from one part of town to another looking for clues to a puzzle, but he could not picture himself in another place anymore. The desire to hit the road with a single backpack and a one way ticket had just melted away so slowly that he didn’t realize it until it was gone, like some of the baby fat that had once held on firmly to his cheeks.
In the past six years he had begun to paint and draw and make music, all things that he had wanted to do before but never could- or never knew how.
Last Saturday he read a piece of text that he wanted to draw for and turn into a short book. Over the course of an afternoon he read the text repeatedly and each time he imagined a different style of art. He could reinforce the poetic imagery by echoing it with visual figurative images, or, he could do something far more abstract- possibly color fields, or, something neo-expressionistic and more aggressive with thick brush strokes and possibly dissonant images.
There were so many possible directions and each one could take the same text and alter it completely. He imagined himself standing at the threshold of a doorway that led to not one path, but dozens, each one of them branching off into scores more.
He sat at his desk, no plane ticket or packed bag by his feet. His pencils and paper rested in front of him, the light outside the window was changing. It was different than he had once imagined, what he had once thought of as possibilities and freedom- what had once seemed capable only through steps and constant travel and movement now unraveled, revealing itself to be many places.
The possibilities were truly limitless, they were accessible without a step. His chest ached with that familiar stinging excitement as the doors opened towards endless pathways.
Monday, July 16, 2012
For a moment it all felt very cluttered to me- different fabrics, sounds, so much movement and thoughts- I took a long breath and focused my attention. And as that strong moment of attention filled me, I looked from person to person, giving each a few seconds of attention: the bleach-blond rockabilly laughing, the Afghan guy smiling as he took a five dollar bill, his associate smiling as well, bringing his hand to his chest while referring to himself in conversation. A potential customer looking at her cell phone, a small boy eating a pretzel.
All sound seemed to cease. I saw each gesture as a manifestation of a deep habit. Every smile and laugh, every movement and step. It was all habitual and mechanical.
And as I turned from one person to the other and saw each manifestation, I felt apart from them, blocked from them by a bit of gray air around me that separated us.
For a moment, I thought they could sense my difference. I didn’t feel the attention of one person, but I felt as if they knew I was different.
Could they possibly know? Detached perception turned slightly cold in me as I began to fear them slightly, as I worried they would perceive me as other, as strange.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Big pink lips and lusciousness that could only be described by words like liquid and voluptuous and moist.
We looked at her and flipped the pages, there were a thousand more with eyes like feathers.
The words came out of the girl and she knew- there actually could be no asking- it was the center and the center casts no shadows and there just must be a moment when she can let herself feel what it would be like without questions. No answers either, just a place where the Real could come through the window like moonlight and stroke her with the softness of blue wings.
We try to maintain the center.
The windows were open and the bright daylight revealed all their flaws and they glazed over them like pink lip gloss or sticky donuts and their love coated them in candy without hard shells and turned everything pink and wet and ready for something more.
More? Yes, but not then. More? YES.
They sat in the car, sunlight pouring in. She asking the question. The words again.
Snuggled against a wiry beard of black feathers, she breathed in the darkness of a scented garage and oils.
We find the center. Look for it. Walk towards it.
The sunlight came in and she closed her eyes, letting the struggle inside settle. The moon could be there with its jagged edges. The silver light could be there with its calm. It could all happen in that tiny space where his legs could barely fit and she rustled up against him like a pillow. There were rooms with closed doors that she did not need to peer inside, places with more questions that spiraled like carousel wheels.
She let the ruffling wings settle.
Those words, once spoken, fly from the open wind and beat out the story of a new memory.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Which will it be? Pale blue light? Soft yellow?
The tunnels stand, eternally waiting. A choice made minute after minute- for the beings die by the thousands.
I move through the tunnel- I have chosen. A rock, a white house, a dimension where the work has taken root- I cannot tell.
I am folded into the darkness, one with the shadows that hide my lifetime. It comes- it is there, eternally ready.
Fluttering. There is a maelstrom of currents pushing me in all directions.
I am not dying. I am living.
I breathe. But do I live?
There must be more than breathing, simply existing. Must be more- did I chose that place?
The ground is near. I see it coming.
The ground blares even from the tree branch- so far and just a blink away.
I move towards it slowly, I move towards it quickly.
I shudder and I am there.
I turn around and my edges are yellow and red and crinkled.
It comes and there I am, touching the earth once again. swoosh.
I am in the void. The clear light.
Nothing. Nothing. Everything. Nothing.
And then there is consciousness once again.
I look back at the fading clear light.
I am falling. Falling, falling.
Soon I will have to choose once again.
I will be that leaf, clinging.
Soon I will decide.
The tunnel is there once again-
a million of them leading to rocks or thirst, yellow of white, clear or brilliant.
There will be breathing, perhaps life once again.
I am falling, falling.
The clear light is ahead.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
We are twisted
If only it could be one way, then we could rest
If only they could be one way, then I would understand.
The battle for language
It wraps me in its wheel, taking me, taking me
Not, I am not your lover
It does not ask if I can breathe
There is no consent
I am a body, plunging to earth, into the earth
I see my eyes spinning, eyes spinning
The battle for words, it comes through me and out.
If only there was one way to be, then I could know.
If only there was the word, the word, I search for the word. What is this?
What are you?
Who are we together?
I fight for the answer
There Is no answer
The battle for the words,
Take me take me. I am your slave.
Rape me with your contortions and I’ll search the world-grasping for the one thing- only one thing.
The battle for words, of words.
I struggle for the ways to be. Definition, oh it would feel so fucking good. If only I could define this, set it straight, keep it there for all eternity, there are plenty of me- those who would enjoy it. oh predictability, you are my lover.
Take me, take me. There is no asking. Born to struggle in this word game.
My eyes spin.
I see you in my eyes, you are me as she is me as we are all together.
Just as he said- they said - or me, we have no words for this and I am drawn into the pile of shit that would have us all be defined. Oh, it would feel good on that corner of the white hospital shelf, but this is gritty and dark and the fight takes my heart- beating- it feels so good and hot tight in this hand.
This is the battle for words and we are drawn down in its tight embrace. Give a kiss, won’t you love?
Give a kiss, for this is the battle.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
The heart moves like a winged bird- white fluff that dances on the water of the lake. A smooth wind takes it, transforming it into the magic of light and moistened clouds ready to spurt their seed.
There is a man in the clouds, tall and dark and outlined in the golden rays of the sun nearing dusk. A bright burst moves across the sky, fervent in its need to explode outward.
End and beginning are the same. It goes without thought, without any implied intent. It is movement without rationality. Words without meaning.
Their beauty is easy to read, the light easy to spot and wish upon, but there is no reason. No man in the clouds that makes the stars twinkle.
The sand is a bad place for a head- take it out and behold the blackness of space, the limitless that cannot be understood.
It is not for you to comprehend, it may not be for you to know.
Shopping carts and diapers, packed stadiums of hungry onlookers, waiting for a preacher to deliver the message of god. We are a pack of wolves and the body wants the taste of flesh.
Each prayer is an invitation to death, open the book and begin to sing.
What is it that you desire? Maybe the clouds will give it to you, maybe the idol of stone will speak, maybe the invisible which cannot be proven by any measure will dance.
Is the stain on the tortilla enough? The bush that burns? The fluttering heart that can only be described as a whisper?
Sit in the temples, rise and fall at the command of the man dressed in white. Do it because you are told, do it for the children. Do it because everyone else does.
They will mark your house with stones, the windows will be broken, the lawn dug for your grave. There is no choice here, not in this country of laws, not in these places of worship.
Thought is for the heathens, questions are for the devil.
There is only one path and it has already been decided- not by you, but the people before you. The way is cleared, swept by slaves and those already condemned to death, they wait in cages until the flames rise with the call of the chosen.
Your dress will be torn when we arrive, your lips will be chapped, you will be thirsty, prepare for the voyage and bring the book.
Friday, February 10, 2012
The room is condensed and square, it has the stuffiness of an old Soviet indoor pool that has grown stale and humid since the fall. The air is stagnant and unmoving, the concrete walls and floor are moist and wet, a smell of musty water permeates the whole space. Though it is not immediately apparent, the stench creeps in, infecting clothing and skin so that not even a good scrub can cover its heavy perfume.
For all the aura of still-standing water, there is no pool. One wonders just how many years the floors have been slick, and why is the concrete ceiling covered in small beads of moisture, like a blanket of hanging fruit, when there is no obvious water source?
Glenda can only see the sweating walls and the gleaming cement floor because of a few opaque glass covered bulbs attached to the wall behind her. They give off just enough light for the room to look washed in a haze of gray.
In fact, she’s not really paying much attention to the space, she’s aware of the dampness and the air which is hard to breath, but her attention is fixed on the paper bag. The crumpled bag is wrapped up tight in plastic, like someone was trying to make sure the contents did not spill.
Glenda’s punching it, throwing it down as hard as she can, kicking it, stomping it, doing whatever she can to make sure the person she killed and stuffed into the bag is actually dead. Her thick black boot heel slams into the bag over and over.
She picks it up and hurls it towards the wall- the sound of it smashing into the wall is abrupt and ends without echo, like it has landed upon an already dead surface. Another kick. She’s just got to make sure it’s dead, the fear of it somehow managing to escape the bag, coming insidiously to extract its revenge keeps her moving quickly, it provides the strength for another stomp and punch.
As she obliterates the bag, she can sense the shadow behind her, the friend she cannot see. Even if she turned around there would be no shape or color. The dark shadow of her companion he could not describe even if needed, but it is there, filling up the corners with presence.
It is night and there are crickets out in the bushes adding a comforting sound to the darkness. Glenda is in a familiar front yard. This is suburbia, she has been here before, but she could never tell you when, she really doesn’t remember.
The house is twenty feet away and dark, not even the porch light is on, but the moon is nearly full and she can see the carefully sculpted landscape- the trees and the low growing bushes, the decorative grasses close to the front door. She has been here many times and she easily takes a few steps down into the dry landscaped creek that runs along the front side of the property. There is a small Monet-style bridge made of wood that crosses the creek.
She takes the brown paper bag- covered in another plastic bag- and pushes it into a small black space where the earth and bridge meet. She can see the pink of her hand as it pushes the bag into the darkness.
The motel room is drenched in yellow light, looking somewhat elegant as the light plays off the textured wallpaper and the maroon carpet. Glenda’s little white dog is sitting on a fabric covered chair and her dark shadow companion is once again filling in the corners of the room behind her.
It takes her a moment to realize that the dog has found the bag – didn’t she leave it under a bridge? The bag is chewed and torn, little bits of white plastic and crumpled brown paper are on the ground and on the chair seat.
She can hear a voice in her mind:
“The thing you try and hide is the thing that keeps popping up.”
She knows it's there, in the bag, the secret.
There is a central market in the middle of town. Set up inside an old cement building that has survived two civil wars and a host of international conquests (all eventually unsuccessful) is a bustling scene. Instead of concrete, as one would expect of an indoor market, there is black water. It is deep enough water to support all the canoes laden with fish and fresh produce and the giant mangoes that have just come into season.
Whether it is vendor or seller, everyone moves around in a canoe. The water is black with ripples of white reflected from the overhead florescent lights embedded in the ceiling over three stories up. The sound of the market is alive with bartering and the gravely voices of long-time smokers trying to get the best price for their hand-picked crops.
Glenda and the shadow paddle out to the middle of the frenzy, knocking against the sides of other canoes as everyone tries to move around, like fish in a very small bowl limited to the surface.
Glenda picks up the brown paper bag, bringing it out of the shadows by her feet. She holds the bag in front of her, for the first time looking calmly at the folds, the crinkles in the paper now worn and dirty.
Reaching in, she pulls out a long bone with some reddish brown muscle still attached. She hands it to the shadow in front of her. Reaching in once again, she pulls out a similar bone and takes a bite. Together they consume it all until what they hold is white and bare. She takes both bones and tosses them overboard, she hears a splash and feels them descend into the black water beneath them.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Did I make the decision to take it in, or did it chose me? I, an open vessel, lights blinking, looking for port. Did I decide to take it in one day while peeling apples at the kitchen counter, old tiles all stacked full of fruits and old melons rescued from the bin? Was it a choice?
The thoughts roll though me as I stare at the moon. A cool summer breeze full of jasmine and tangible teenage memories of long midnight walks flows past me, igniting the soft skin on my arms. I stare at the moon, awash in its pale calming glow. The lights around blink as distant worlds do.
Do choices begin or are they like stones tumbling in the ocean current, bumping off one red-haired mermaid and another until you find yourself in an unfamiliar house in a foggy city, surrounded by people you’ve known for years but seem like newly-acquainted strangers.
I squint my eyes and look for the trail. Just how did I get here and what is this? I think back- when did the choice come? When the doors opened with a small ding? When I went down, skirting the equator by just a few hundred miles?
I was looking for something then. I searched for it in the eyes of every person I saw, looked for it in unfamiliar cities and in the arms of strangers. When did the doors open? Each choice begets the next and they lap against each other, altering the north wind so that orange butterflies can dance in the hurricane winds of time eternal.
I think back to the night so long ago. A night beside a house on the edge of a hill. On the cemented patio, beside the blue sparkling pool, we looked down at the smog-covered city streets below and sucked on small pieces of tasteless paper.
Those people with whom I attempted to travel, I thought I would always know them, carry their names and numbers with me as the years changed my skin and hair. But that, as all things do, changed. That night we sat in plastic lawn chairs in the summer twilight, watching as city lights turned on and started blinking, talking to us through the altered gray air.
The house, I would later come to understand, was inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, but at the time, I just observed the clean angles, the lack of tightness, the open, flowing use of space. We sucked on little pieces of tasteless paper and as the sky turned darker and the lights started to blink, as other worlds do, the familiar faces and words lost the meaning I once understood as inherent and fixed.
I think back to a day so long ago sitting on the bright grassy lawn of my junior high school, El Roble. We picked small white clover flowers and turned them into garlands. We sat like children, so utterly content to lay in the field. The grass, so much more green. The grass, so much more soft. The sky, so much more blue. There was nothing else to do, nowhere to be, no one else to find. It was utterly perfect, the moment without rush and obligation. That day, so long ago.
When did I decide to take it in? Was it a decision or a series of accidents? Me, or it moving through me? Paper, door, blinking lights, other worlds. The open door, blinking lights, eyes I can no longer remember and black shadows. It can be different. It takes one tiny piece of paper, a little sugar cube, and worlds dissolve in your cup of water. Did I decide to change, or did the change find me after one tiny, tasteless piece of paper?
Saturday, January 7, 2012
I bark back.
There is only one way for a giant to act. I know this.
I have read it in story rhymes,
so many stories, so many rhymes.
Then I finally encounter one, I am offended by what I see.
The giant barks, sitting on all fours.
His sneakers chewed up and smelling of bile.
Where has this creature come from?
Not even the swamp down by Knott’s old road house could have produced such a dank creature.
This is not what I wanted to see this early in the morning. Out for a morning stroll, thinking about a good breakfast, some sausage and black coffee, maybe a smile from Bettie. I wake from nightmares with visions like this, but to see it barking out on Upper West Tollridge like the full moon was out, like transformation is upon him- I must do something.
The giant barks and I bark back. I release my savage dog. The wild rascal I have tamed inside. My skin starts to burn with the boil of hate.
Soon, the night is black, smelling of old rotten things and dark, still waters that have not moved in centuries. I took him by surprise, myself, covered in the scent of fish, of old and new cigars.
When the giant barked, I barked back.