vague forms of punishment

What would possess someone to call my cell phone and whisper I’m in line at sushi land, and then just let the message record until its limit? Some odd amount of orders rolled through the static for something like 3 minutes.


Currently formulating a plan of retaliation.*

*Possibly more evidence that I need sleep. Or that I need to get a life. Or that I need to eat more sushi. Hmmmm.

on taking care

This morning I got out of the shower to realize that I'd forgotten a towel.
Evidence one that I'm not functioning properly.
Swore once. Walked across the tiles -- the carpet -- to the closet.
Came back only moments later and tred straight across the wet floor in my socks.
Evidence two that maybe I'm not functioning properly because I need to get more sleep.
Someone sought me out, specifically, before 7am to have a discussion about the intricacies of the molotov cocktail.
I am not sure of what this is evidence.


Jam Master Jay

don't know what else to say.


and enter, for example,

this process may include downloading or upgrading your software. just do it. seriously.

climbing your way out

N called sometime after 1 am. And things began the way they always do.
I need you.
He said as plainly as we’d just spoken yesterday.
And even through the years that have opened up between us, the phrase immediately produced his image. Dangling far below at the end of my rope as we ascended out and up. Hard rock in every direction. His voice shouting my name. Telling me to keep going. The only way is up. He’d crow.

maybe hiking – climbing – is a metaphor
for something

He began wrapping me up in the planning details of his latest trip. An excitement that I had forgotten at one time always existed in his voice. And I realized that most people don’t appreciate any specific sensuousness with words like: precipice, carabiner, belay, rappel, free rope, peak, jamb.

Knowing every time that we might lose our footing – fall and die. Maybe that’s what made it good. That there wasn’t any room to think about god or love – sex or words. Just the pressure to find the next place to lock in. To keep moving forward. Stand at the top and feel alive.

And as he talked, I thought about the times we made lists of perfect partners. And I said, I’m not sure why I ever trusted you with my life. He reminded me what he sees:

I can carry my own body weight.
I have a large threshold for pain.
I have a loud mouth.
I know when to lead.
I know when I’m not the leader.
I can function for days without sleep.
I know basic first aid.
I hardly ever stop.

And so I breathed deeply. An hour and a half of him talking about mountains and climbs and sweet backbreaking work. I just held my head in my hands and said –

I’m not that strong any more.

I live in a place without mountains.


I do hope that mrtn knows that I made the last post -- with the full intention that it'd make him laugh.

creating distractions

I’ve decided that mrtn hates me.* Perhaps hate is too strong of a word. Dislikes? That might do for now. Mostly it’s because he ignores me. But don’t ask me to trace the causal logic between ignoring and hating. I’m having trouble, actually, uploading the .pdf chart I’ve created to explain it all. I’ve decided that he thinks my blog is rubbish.**

*But I don’t have self-confidence issues or any reason to procrastinate over an assignment due tomorrow.
**Some or all of this post may have been fabricated in an attempt to stir up trouble.

jumping off

colorless days. misty rain and cloud heavy eyelids. days when all i want to do is crawl under sheets. let the heavy blankets put their pressure down. and close my eyes. not to sleep. but to escape among the awaiting images. what i need now is words. words without sound. of flight. meaning flung from the edge of wings. cut through air. to escape the boundaries of space and time. between then and now. here or there. the secret of eyelashes. a cool palm against the forehead. mysterious constructions of the ways intangible moments get stuck. tricked right between the two lowest ribs.

keeping tally

proposals of marriage received today:

sending messages

fired off an email to say --
i've just been looking at an old picture of us together and had this response --
god damn he's an attractive man.

funny that.

poetry interventions

leaving fox
-- lucille clifton

so many fuckless days and nights.
only the solitary fox
watching my window light
barks her compassion.
i move away from her eyes,
from the pitying brush
of her tail
to a new place and check
for signs. so far
i am the only animal.
i will keep the door unlocked
until something human comes.

escaping fictions

“I seem to remember that I went to the new house one winter day and saw snow descending through the attic to the upstairs bedrooms. It could also be that I never did any such thing, for I am fairly certain that in a snapshot album I have lost track of there was a picture of the house taken in the circumstances I have just described, and it is possible that I am remembering that rather than an actual experience. What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory – meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion – is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually with the telling. Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw” (Maxwell 27).

Maxwell, William. So Long, See You Tomorrow. New York: Vintage, 1996.

no matter what --

I hear the voice inside my head say, don’t cry.
But I do.
Because, sometimes, no matter what –
There isn’t much you can do to stop it.
Nor anyone to call to make you feel better – or worse –

And all you’re left with is you
miserable, wretched, disastrous, hateful, specious

I’m ready for this to be over.
To stop standing on the other side of a door that’s never been fully open –
Begging for entry or begging for a way out.
Balancing between reeling and desperate
Afraid of the results of myself

Even after I say no more, at any price
He’s not sure.

vote here

new hairstyle for imogen?

suddenly feeling

strangely lonely
make a cup of tea and put on portishead
hold the mug against my forehead
and listen

some days need soundtracks

mine is filled with grit and volume. hard fast beats. and as much profanity as i can find.
started here and kept on going –

ol' dirty bastard
jay z
fat joe
st lunatics
ice cube
body count
and more and more and more

bad influences

last night, without forethought, I said –
ooo. get you.
out loud for the first time
and felt completely ludicrous*

* not to be confused, of course, with my ludacris impression
[which is also very funny]

other things that are ludicrous

While looking for my favorite pajamas*, I remarked –
You know I don’t like sleeping without pants on.
Guh. Damn all of you.

* that’s pyjama for mrtn ; )

things that could be taken the wrong way

me: (I’m telling a story.)
jules: you are completely obscene
me: right. so anyway . . .

he laughs
and says
you're drunk
as i pour another drink
and i say
but thank god there are people out there who care enough not to care
and he laughs too
as we talk about the span of the week
i think about the people who currenly fill up my life with joy and other unnameable qualities
and he says
you are the most ridiculous person i know
and i take that as a compliment
as much as i know how

on the phone

i tell jay to stop talking
sip vodka slowly from a glass
so that i can listen to the words
All my sins...
I said that I would pay for them if I could . . .

close my eyes
rock my head
and listen to the steel against steel
hold the phone against the speaker
and hope he hears something about what i'm saying
about the truth that can come from in between the silences
and he says if i could be there i would
and i know he means it --

there's nothing like

a photo project

to keep one busy on a friday night.

catch in the throat

When the door bell rings, I immediately go into a thousand pieces. Bounce across the hard laminate floor like marbles. Spinning in inordinate directions. Crashing into – then repelled. He isn’t supposed to be here. I am not ready. There’s been, as of yet, no call.

He stays for several hours. Most of which I stalk nervously about the house. Load my camera with film. Empty the dishwasher. Smile and nod my head. He’s filled with optimism. We’re hoping for the same things – for completely different reasons. I just want him to leave. But I never say so out loud. Instead, take my jacket and go for a walk.

But now we know for sure. Or at least enough to keep the anticipation going. And Monday will hold more of same. The waiting for confirmation. Then his final decision.

So much coffee today that I can’t stop. Anything. My heart’s racing. Ears thumping. Personification of the word buzz. The smell of aluminum stuck in the back of the nose. Caught in my throat.

against my will

my body made me get up hours ago
and i've been sitting around listening to music and drinking coffee
waiting for my mind to catch itself up
finally resolving that this might just be an out of alignment day

i wonder what it means

when we willingly deny ourselves a basic need because of someone else?
compounded and pulled tightly against two very different reasons.

but instead of investigation or a desire to look further, i pick up the phone and dial. first jay. then think better. hang up before it rings once. no. paul. buzz and no answer. ring. ring. ring. until andy finally picks up to say that paul is out. teaching a night class. sculpture. i ask how they’re doing. and get what i’m expecting. andy’s still not recovered from the shock. and as we talk, i try to weed out the pain from the tone of his voice. it’s an impossible task. i say the things we’re supposed to say when people are hurting and need something, anything, to keep themselves from going crazy. and i mean every word. because i need this as much as he does. as much as anybody would. when he asks how i am, i don’t mention the conversation. the forthcoming phone call. i say, I’ve been feeling pretty tired.

yes, he sighs, yes, haven’t we all.

and afterward, i think about paul as a creator. an artist. of the beautiful ways in which he can use almost any material to take shape of imagination. of how frustrating it must seem to be able to produce everything but this.

who needs sleep

we sit in the car in a parking lot. it’s raining and condensation is already collecting on the inside of the windows. he talks at me. about the call. the possibilities that arise. and eats the tacos he’s purchased from the drive thru woman moments before. i look only at my hands. shadowed by the speckled misty glass. because the things in my mind are unspeakable. and the air in the car too hot – too pungent – filled with disillusionment and cheap taco seasonings. too tired to care, i wait for him to bring me home. throw up once. turn off all the lights. and curl into a ball on the couch in my office.

i hate

which is what i am doing now
at the library
half way between the stop
and my office
because i missed the bus
at half a block's view away
thought about running
smiled to myself
and knew it was far too late

it's another hour
then longer to get back home
and so i wait.

strange how
self-reflective our own writing can be
even without clear intention

from a literary study i was doing over a year ago:

As soon as her dissatisfaction returns, she runs away again. Her inability to feel comfortable anywhere shows in her contemplation about staying in Harlem, “No. She couldn’t stay. Nor, she saw now, could she remain away. Leaving, she would have to come back” (Larsen 96).

Larsen, Nella. Quicksand. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1986.

reasons i should go to bed

just spent too long wondering if criticalness is actually a word
then looked it up in the dictionary to be sure
it is

and if i go now, i have a good chance at a solid 5 hours of sleep
or at least 5 hours in a bed
which is, well, something

late night ringing --
means all is not well. and somewhere in the world there are people who need to be touched. and all i’ve got is my voice. desperate words that could never think of being enough. it is paul. throaty and breathless. tone as strained as red vessels in eyes that have long been cried useless and dry. a baby. miscarried. secretive prospective parents. empty again. larger and messier. like a spill that doesn’t understand the boundaries of its imposed borders. i spend my time trying to convince him that these days, these ceaseless painful events, are not acts of retribution for a life once lived. throughout, i try not to let thoughts of my own fertility creep in and take hold. but in the comfort. behind it all. i can hear the years of countless flippant remarks. i never want children. neverwantchildren. until i’m sick of myself. my uselessness. i realize that i don’t believe anything i’ve been saying to paul. that i see much of my own life as a punishment for past wrong doings. but all that matters now is this moment. the stability of paul. and i offer as much gravity as i can find. andy’s locked himself in the bathroom, and paul won’t hang up the line until he opens the door. while we talk about the complexities of klimt’s hope i, i imagine andy, there, behind the door. trapped by the limitations of his own body.

walking transparent

sometimes i can’t get words out of my head. like lines from a poem with a forgotten name. only resounding whispers of a hollow accented voice. not as easily brushed away as fallen hair across the face. through the wind. about birds and man. hope. clarity. understanding. the certainty and truth of flight. there were no birds in the sky today.

(. . .)
I celebrate the sky dance
of gulls and petrels
attired in snow
as though I had
a standing invitation:
I participate
in their velocity and repose,
in the pause and haste of snow.

What flies in me is manifest
in the errant equation of those wings.
-- excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s “The Flight

the snow hasn’t yet begun. the sky is dark. i feel it in my bones.


there's snow in the air
and i'm thankful that dvd helped me find my gloves
it'd be nice to just sit under a heavy blanket
and watch the sky go dark

currently considering

getting back in bed

the only thing remotely interesting

that I’ve written in days:
A snap of memory. Like a green bean into cold water.


inspiration comes from the most unexpected places
and just when we need it

i’m disappointed

in all of you

it's telling

when you receive messages from friends on a fairly regular basis checking to see if you're up (and at the computer) at extreme hours. I missed the one that came in after 2:30. and now I feel like . . . like . . . I should start getting to bed earlier.

will this be all there is?

comovedaic challenge

use the term blenny in conversation.
come back and tell a story about it.

[bonus points for using the variant: combtooth blenny]

unexpected things
that i'm thankful for today --

good conversations

trying to make these days better than the last.


Last night, he took me to breakfast at 7. A consequence of not being able to name the last time I’d actually eaten a meal. It had probably been some time on Thursday. Too much and too quickly to know for sure. And so I sat as still as possible. Drank coffee and wished I knew how to be more insulting. More invisible. The greasy eggs and starchy potatoes looked accusingly in my direction. Like running into old friends I’d been avoiding. I knew that later I was going to be sick. An inevitability with every bite. But generally I do what he says. Right then, he wanted me to eat. And so I did.

We exchanged words. Not conversation, but of the sort where two people take turns making noises with their throats and mouths. Nothing depended on the other. Mostly I just stopped listening. Rocked back and forth in the booth to stay awake. And thought about all the times that my life depended on a greenly lit diner at night, a greasy plate of food, and a general feeling of hopelessness.

These last few days have certainly not been my best.

this morning

wasn't much different than the last
except there had been more alcohol
plus a shower
and a couple of things that might be illegal

some people

clearly know how to rise to the occasion.

in response to the before. . .



the futility of leaving men

Afterward, I call Jay from my office. Embarrassed about not being able to contain my emotions. About not being able to carry out any of the promises I make to myself. All I can do about feeling awful is cry. I sit on the top of my desk and pull my knees in tightly against my chest. Pray my office mates aren’t coming in or have already left for the day.

We go over what happened, and he fills the unusual role of being the calm and supportive arm in our relationship. I tell him about the conversation-cum-argument that’s reduced me to this – sub-human and flailing. This is what I hate most of all – uncontrollable emotional states.

It all started so simply. I led with my case: I don’t understand what you want from me. It was the response, I suppose, that I wasn’t totally expecting. He wants exactly what I always give and doesn’t see the need to give me anything in return. Like always, I had to sit through his creation of some metaphysical space that allows us to love one another. Only for him to contradict himself later by complaining that my presence in his life as a melancholy ghost isn’t enough. A relegation to which I no longer desire being a part. There’s real life and there’s what we have, I said. I think real life has got to be better than this.

What does he want from me? He wants me to love him. To be there emotionally, as I have been, when he needs me. Why does he love me? Because I never ask him to do or be anything other than what he is. Because I don’t expect any more from him than he can give. Because I make it so easy. Because thinking about the curve of my waist drives him crazy. Because I make him feel special in a way he’s never felt before. But what does that mean for me? That question was never answered. And I realize that this situation is no different from any others that I’ve been in. It has less to do with the choice of men that I associate myself with – and more with what I allow myself to do for them – completely ignoring my own needs and stability. The truth is that he will never be anything more than an elusive figure on the periphery of my life.

I’ve never asked you for anything, have I?
No, he said, I guess you haven’t.
I need you to please leave me alone. I can’t be in love with you anymore.
We’ll talk again soon, he said. I’ll come to see you.
No. No, this is the end.

I tell Jules that I meant it. That I don’t want to be at the end of that string any longer. But the truth of it is -- this really hurts. Because I think I’m starting to feel the difference between someone saying they love you and how they actually behave.

could this be my vision quest?

I’ve been avoiding walking down V. for the last few months. There’s something about the grittiness of the street and the hot dirty air from the passing cars that makes the entire journey feel oppressive. And I’ve always been wary of the last few miles along the cement bike path that cuts through the woods. But today I lacked the energy to deal with the extra miles along H. street and finally home.

V. never fails to leave me feeling empty. Maybe it’s the traffic, the litter blowing along the sidewalks, or the constant dogs barking that interrupt my thoughts so completely. Or the fact that I generally feel compelled to cross left, then right, then left again when I match paths with the dead zone. By the time I reach the woods, I’m sucked dry of motivation to continue walking home.

Halfway between the trailhead and the place where the cement empties me back out into the safety of the public view, I saw three figures in the distance. Standing in the middle of the path. All in black. Two men. One woman. And a huge black dog. I cursed my body for being so tired. For knowing that there wasn’t any chance of my responding to the instinct to start running. The dog started barking in huge piercing gulps. Fear became a fist tightly putting pressure against the base of my skull. I looked only forward at the farthest place imaginable – the interstices between land and sky.

They stood and as I passed one said, simply, the bridge is out.
And the dog stopped barking.
And I heard it again in my own voice --
the bridge is out
And I walked as hard as I possibly could. Harder than I thought possible. And I never looked back over my shoulder. But now I’m wondering where’s the bridge? And where’s the way home?

open apologies

for egregious misspellings
and for unknowingly neglecting the y

can you work it in?


follow-up post
[but i'm not bitter.]

on being tired of being tired

I’m tired of receiving messages from boys that begin –
I’ve been unfair to you . . .
or other vain attempts at apology
or redemption
and of the ways in which I allow that to be good enough for me
every fucking time.
because I already know that I’ll respond to say –
it’s okay
all emotional responses are valid
I value you and your feelings.

Even after mine have been disregarded, mangled, and/or misconstrued.

because I am tired of being tired.

I’m tired of all of these
responses to my images.
of being the wrong [anything] at [any time]
of laundry lists of my inefficacy
and this is the end.
I’m sick of living a life
in deference to
in consequence of
dependant upon

things that freak me out

the large amount of phone calls i'm getting
where i say hello
then there's just a bunch of dead air
and i wait. say hello again.
then there's still just dead air
and the other person doesn't hang up
so i do


comment box stuff
and trying to goof off less today

anybody know why

i can't seem to get to the comovedy?
just loads up as a bunch of blank space.
piss. : (

fix it stv-o.

the truth about erik
why i should have been sleeping

maybe in an hour or two
i'll know what i'm talking about

things besides promises that were broken tonight

1 plate, thrown intentionally*

other things flying through the air

1 set of keys, thrown intentionally**
followed by words that sounded a lot more serious than they were apparently taken

* not by me
** by me

right i'd


although not the inspiration for this site name
i do love imogen cunningham's photography
Phoenix Recumbent
is one of my favorites
and for lots of reasons
i needed to look at it today

if you're unfamiliar with her work -- then you should really check it out


last night I call jules. not because I have anything to say, but because I have a desperate need for things to be quiet. because I want the world to stop. my world. because most of the time being here makes it impossible to think.

we talk about relationships and other things that neither one of us seems to understand. until he says quite appropriately:
Do you think you’ve ever had sex with somebody you’ve actually loved?
You mean in a mutual love kind of way?
I mean you were sure you loved them and the act was tied to it.
Not even now?
No. Not now.
Me either.
I might have thought so once. But I was wrong.
Yeah. Me too.
What do you do with that?
We’re fucked up.
I’m being serious. I don’t think either one of us is capable of even addressing that issue right now.
We are fucked.
we talk for a long time about why it is that we’ve been able to divide elements like emotions and the physical. that we’ve been doing it for so long -- neither one of us believes we could find a single person containing both worlds. and other things that seem impossible and that we don’t like to admit.

this morning on the way to coffee, i heard comedown and thought the answer might be somewhere in the voice – the chorus. i took a long time getting back home. thinking all the while about things that heal and words like sanctuary.

the rest of the day (as far as i can remember)

copious coffee drinking (and working)
lots of cigarette smoking with friends and a long debate about literature and classifications and other things that would make most normal people gouge their own eyes out
[i was quite proud of this retort: you are aware that your post-modernist pretentions aren't actually arguable, right?]
[[even better: you're an f-ing asshole]]
more copious coffee drinking (and reading)
[vain attempts at tv watching -- ultimately spoiled by dismal choices]
copious drinking (no more working/reading/coffee)

i need to get a life.

digging for bones

Saturday mornings often find me too early. Today I awoke without cover. Window thrown open. The cold air settling down. Deeply down into my spine. Muscles aching. From the angle of my head and the sun, I could make out the rise of those two hip bones – the skin pulled tight – bruised. The danger of a frame residing too close to the skin. Drug myself up and out. Passed the mirror. Momentarily making out other dark patches. Along the spine. The left shoulder blade. The scale said 115 pounds. I shivered and got into a hot shower.

how does it feel?

maybe i'll tell you later.

what the world needs now

well, that might be a stretch.
trying again

what some people might need now
new crops

[the above combination of letters is an attempt to capture the screaming noise i'm hearing in my head. library research has driven me farther into insanity. blink.]

dvd used the word thud yesterday.

put me on to thinking about other th words.
today, mine is -- thwack

what's yours?

what happens to graduate students who spend all their time in offices, class rooms, and the basement of the library

they get lost on campus and are lucky when they run into one of their students to ask for directions

[but that's strictly hypothetical.]

in dreams jak appears like a bird. huge. black. luxurious. his form originating out of a fire at night. the whispers of water escaping heat and wood become the blinding beating of wings against air. until flames replace themselves only with his image. to rise. part raven. his voice soaks the night in warnings deeply wrought. primal and distant. language renders itself useless. wings swallow the sky. as quickly as a dream. he escapes. in increasingly expanding concentric circles. leaving ash. mythology. and dreams.

[that’s not capturing what i mean at all. might try painting it instead? maybe it’s too difficult to fix the things that fly around in our heads.]

why the coming of a bird can sound like a fire at night

i don't know how to write the rest

overheard exchange yesterday on the way home

“damn she’s walking fast”
I just passed two men. Not seeing anyone else, I assume they are talking about me.
“that sure is a fine ass”
“yeah, she can walk in front of me any day”

sigh. i’m never quite sure how to feel about objectification. it’s probably payback. earlier i had spent time mentally coveting a different man’s body. but that’s another story.

things i need to stop doing

looking up flight information to different cities/countries
but if i just had 400 dollars and a place to stay

light on the path

my self-destructive behaviors are rendering me useless

diagnosis: stop it.


last night, i got up before dawn to sleep for a few stolen hours on the floor of my closet. my body firmly pressed against the closed door.

i’m thinking about moving out.

on layover

I called jules, because the inadequate latte I’d purchased moments before tasted like cough syrup -- still too hot for consumption, because I couldn’t stay awake, and because I needed to tell someone that I felt like a cavern. Not the origin of an echo, but where it might get stuck and reverberate into eternity. Not empty, but a kind of hollow. As if the slightest amount of outside pressure, might leave me crushed like eggshells under feet. Like eyelashes against my skin.

Where are you? He asked through the hum of static and distant jet planes.
Somewhere between you and the devil.
There’s not a lot of room to move there.
I’ve just realized.

He asked me to take another flight. To divert life for the confines of his familiar arms, lips, hands, moments. The words smiled through the digital cross-connects and bit into my skin like sharp feral teeth. He couldn’t have known that he was only just making things worse. Reminding me that I constantly make my life about damaging, disastrous, and specious choices. But I was too tired to keep my eyes trained on the violence of Blood Meridian. I’d rather listen to this and instead of answering, I told him so.

Until the final boarding call, he whispered to me in a voice like fractured sea foam. About soft lingering things like lips on skin. Eye lashes and cool morning sheets. Sanctity. Deference. The eucharist of bodies. Fingertips and rain. Secrets and collusion.

i need something

to stop this constant ache
behind my eyes
ringing in my ears
below my rib cage
in the hollow space between the neck and shoulder
if you've got it
let me know

quite inevitably
I’ve gotten nothing accomplished today.
Strolled back from my morning appointment in the still vanishing morning.
The way the sun bounced off the world reminded me of patina and zinc and other things metallic.
Wondered if all people have to concentrate so hard on just walking -- fighting off the urge to run at full pace.
Had a bloody nose halfway home and considered turning back.
Suddenly all come over -- light headed and nauseous.
Counted out the math on my fingers.
24 hours since I’d eaten.
Longer since I’d slept.
Made it home a bit shaky. delirium.
Still trying to find focus, but I’m having trouble keeping myself reigned in.
My eyes just keep closing and closing.

move along

I’m not sure paul and I ever found what we were looking for during those long days on the streets of Vancouver. Sometimes, when we weren’t too hungry, we’d curl up together in a public park. Let the warmth, the grass, the safety of the daylight transport us to other places. Mine were mostly blank expanding hours that never lasted long enough. Paul dreamt in vivid colors – of violence – of losing me in a crowd. Mostly Paul was going through withdrawal. We had no money and no prospects for making any. After some guy punched me in the face during an attack, Paul got into the habit of telling the other homeless kids that we were married. And I tried to walk around looking as stoned and uninteresting as possible. People mainly left me alone. Besides. We stank. Like humid sewers and garbage. If I were lucky, sometimes the woman who worked the late shift at one of the fast food chains would let me in while she was closing and I could take my time. I could let the water run from the tap over the back of my head and through my hair. Hot water and soap. I wonder if she thought about me after I eventually stopped turning up.

Sometimes Paul slept with strange men for drugs. Sometimes he even slept with women. He never took money in these circumstances. Said that he wasn’t prostituting himself. That it was just about people trading for the things they needed. And he needed heroine. I never said a word and prayed every night that he would never expect me to do the same. He would roll his skinny body into a tight fist against my own wasting frame, and I would cradle him in my arms -- his head in my lap -- smelling of rubbing alcohol and the salty residue of men.

Lester started letting us crash on his floor after awhile. He was one of those older kinds. A drifter. Probably in his 50s. Grey and hard. We guessed he was Canadian. He’d let Paul hustle heroine or coke and then they’d get high together in the room. They’d get high on whatever they could find. Afterward, we’d all smoke cigarettes and thank god we weren’t sleeping outside. It had begun to rain more often, and we were never able to find adequate shelter. There was only one small window in the room. A cot-like bed and the two blankets that Paul and I slept under in the corner. Lester had stolen the blankets from a neighboring room that had been empty for a few days. We felt lucky to have them. At night, if I opened my eyes, I often found him standing over us – watching us sleep. I held onto Paul as tightly as I could.

Eventually Lester disappeared. We waited for a few days, but he never came back to the room. The woman at the front desk who wore bright orange lipstick and talked too loud told us, after we asked, that before he left he had paid for the room through the rest of the month. We stayed inside with the shade drawn tight. Rarely leaving each other for any reason. Wondering when the world might, too, swallow us whole. We slept on the floor under the blankets. Paul worked hard at convincing me to go back to the states. To leave each other room to work on the demons. He didn’t want to ruin any other lives. I caught a ride with some kids who were moving down to Portland. And had trouble crossing over at the border.

miss me

finally back. feet firmly planted on the ground again.
keep running my tongue over the mistakenly swollen place on my bottom lip.
and refusing to close my eyes.

miss you

it doesn’t matter -- ‘cause i’m gone

I’ll probably have time to do some quick checking in tomorrow, but I doubt there will be any posting. Just wanted to leave something here to say – don’t forget about me – I’ll be back – unless something tragic happens – should just be a few days.

Be safe y’all. And think good thoughts for me. I’ll need them.


feeling commentary?

i want to change that bluish greenish accent color in my comment boxes to a more yellowish green to match my site, but i don't know how.


was it something i said?

Things seem to be so quiet today. Or maybe I’m just feeling contemplative about my trip. Causing me to latch on to this penchant for over-analysis and grinding things down into bits. I have a habit of taking perfectly usable items and, with the intention of gaining a better understanding by getting down to their origins, tearing them into irreparable pieces. I used to have a theory that I ruined all things I came into contact with, but lately have been forcing myself to let the phenomenon play itself out unacknowledged. There’s a certain power that can be gained by not naming things. It’s a contradiction. For sure. Like everything I tend to do. Writing things down so that they can remain real. At the same time – trying desperately not to recognize reality.

I went for a walk this morning, and I thought for a moment that some reckless painter had stolen the world – recast it only in various shades of grey. Sublime. The result of thunderstorms that had kept me awake all night. Listening to the rain against the window like scurrying cats on a wood floor. My socks still feel cold inside my shoes from crossing through the soaking grass. I stopped by the river near my house and watched it cut ferociously away. Its sounds drowned out any thoughts that didn’t escape into its depths – they jumped out, down, and were gone. I didn’t have anything more meaningful to throw. And all that remained were the symbols of punctuation.

The monochrome of the day begs me to fill it up with the words and images that get stuck in my head. To clutter it up like a desktop, a bookshelf, a school bag. From the concrete to the sky – suddenly all I can see and hear is El Beso . . . Violets . . . lines and lines like endless avenues . . . and so I sleep . . . and so I eat . . . and so I rise. Tepid water or cool refreshing springs – these kinds of moments arrest the kiss as a dream that I no longer want to wake up from.

. . . i think something has just gone curiously wrong with the world . . .

i'm going into hiding for a few days
jet planes and new places

on the quiz tip

you all get As for the day.