from the building
he follows me home. stuck to my image like a bad childhood nickname that’s never quite shaken away. we don’t say much to one another, but when we do he never uses my name. calls me shortie, which raises certain equal levels of irritation and intrigue. endearing in a very i’m-tryin-to-be-down-middle-class-white-boy kind of way. on the bus, i don’t like the way he looks at me. mostly i stare out the window and wish he’d decided to go home. at my place he curls up on the couch. flips the tv. dozes in front of sports highlights. oblivious and tired, i change my clothes. go for a run. lacking the necessary energy. realize i’ve not eaten all day. turn around for home. he sleeps through my return. through my shower. i put the kettle on for tea and say, what are you doing here? he shrugs his shoulders, as if to say, i don’t really know either, and simply says, nothing. we’re the moment of apathy intersected. mostly, we couldn’t care less. afterward we pile under the blankets and watch a movie. he lets me push my feet under his leg on the other end of the couch. comforting and disheartening at the same time. all i want to do is fall asleep. but i wait for him to leave.

reasons to sleep with the phone: part two


i’ve taken to
sleeping with the phone. if only to avoid rushing through the house half awake searching for the source of the ring. but words don’t always amount to satisfactions. stray syllables passed through the reverberations of tongues and teeth. wires and digital connections. say something i’ll have to forgive you for later, he whispers into my ear in a bed miles from here. i remember reading a poem once that repeated the phrase—i want to be a bad woman, my voice says while i sleep, i want to be a bad woman. we laugh and fill up the loneliness with words, breath, silences.

things i'd normally read into answering machines on a day like this one

Sometimes I think the love I have for you might be like the violence of the sun. Life giving and destructive in the same breath of space. Volatile. Unbound. Ever changing. Even now, I long for the liquidity of you. The way it might feel to pour you into a hot tall glass and drink you down. Savor every last imperceptible moment of the full sense of you. The way your hair might feel between my fingertips like violets. The intersections of the sounds of our laughter enclosed within the walls of the same dark room. Greedy. Palpitating. Lush. This invaluable luster like the memory of remembering.

reading the desert way down

he turns up with coffee
all smiles and haunted looks
underneath a baseball cap and a bag full of books
he stands too close to me in the kitchen
while i make him a ham sandwich
i drink the coffee and read to him
about a wilderness that isn't wild
that isn't anywhere we've ever been
and i feel hungry
hungry like i'll never eat again

mistake (457 thousand, in a series)

just out of the shower the phone starts ringing
i've been waiting to hear from someone
this could be it
jet down the stairs
into the living room
click the line
hello, hello
sales call
look up
only to realize i'm standing exposed in front of my glass sliding door
thinking -- when did i leave those blinds open?

e-driven mindfuck: phase two

yep, indeed.

jay birds and other things slippery like butter and bacon

don't call me for a few days, okay?
yeah, okay.
so let's go to Vegas
let's go to Vegas and get drunk until we're sick and falling down. let's get tattoos and shave our heads and other things that will feel like mistakes later on.

[think i'll just stay home and pretend to be working]

riding the wrong bus home

Sometimes I take the wrong bus on purpose. The one that stops at the Vet’s hospital. Because that’s where I can listen to the best stories. Today I ran into Jody. We’d never spoken before. Usually crossing paths on a different route on a different day in the late afternoon, when we nod at each other in passing. Today he sat down in the seat in front of me. Waited a block. Then turned around and started talking. We exchanged information about what had been spinning in our discmans. Same beats, he smiled. I agreed. And wondered why he wasn’t in school on a Friday afternoon. He’s only 12. He kept messing with a braid that had come loose somehow and said he’d be in trouble for it when he got home. I offered to redo the row. How’d you learn to do that, he asked. And I thought about Jak and the times he asked me the same kinds of questions. I just know how, I guess. He seemed to accept the answer. We talked about music. I noticed that he wasn’t wearing a jacket—that the shoe on his right foot was missing the laces—that his eyes looked like they’d seen more than they should. You’re pretty cool for an old white lady, he giggled as I was getting ready to pull the cord and start the long walk home. You’re pretty cool too, Kid. Take care of yourself. And I smiled. He waved at me—skin and bones—from the other side of the window. I wished I could take him home with me and feed him a sandwich.

realizations on the bus

i am really tired
ran into N on the way to the office
sitting on a bench
smoking rolled cigarettes
and looking like he’d never gone to sleep
we talked about coffee and poetry
agreed we both needed to get some of each
his hands were shaking when he fumbled with the papers
as he held a red jacketless book against his chest
in that free space we sat next to one another
laughter that sounded like too many pots crashing out of a cupboard and onto the floor
we both said fuck a lot

but i was on my way somewhere else

today: things that are supa

the weather
redeeming gift certificates
15 minute miles
iced lattes

this revolving doorway

through the muted sounds of the tv
filtered within the flashing brights of white
into a room with all the lights off
i hear the car doors pop
the drive
the stumbling cursing of looking for the right key
the one that opens the right lock
then the knock
halfawake and fumbling
i see him all bloody and halfcocked
the porch lamp’s out
scuffed knuckles: black eye
from under an ice pack
the getting even point
when i collasped into the asphalt
almost home
trying to run out an unacknowledged illness
and he scooped me up—carried me inside
put me to bed
in my front hallway
he stammers something from beneath swollen lips
that sounds remotely like an apology
but i don’t offer a word
my investment
this open door is not
an entry-way into my life
a silence that says
leave me out of it
he does
clutching my bottle of aspirin
i lock the door
wondering how these situations find me
how i can’t ever seem to find anything in which to believe
how i’ll ever get to sleep

jump on the anti-comovedy-bandwagon

stv is sporadic
mrtn is temporarily defunct
dvd is suddenly unavailable

i'm thinking of starting a boycott

for m, e, e, and p—because i promised i would

because it’s warm enough to be outside without a jacket. i walked. to think about light and love, strength and compassion, and all the things that keep us bound and resolutely send us crashing away. the day smacks gorgeous against the shiny wet tarmac and i went for miles in unplanned patterns. thought about the way his voice sounded after he opened the door when i left and shouted wait against my back careening into the emptiness of the hallway. it’s the closest anyone’s come to touching me all day.

because it’s warm enough to melt the ice. i sat in the union courtyard and ate an early dinner. and thought about the importance of the senses. stared at the sky—at the people—listened to the wind and voices. read collins from the volume lifted off a friend’s desk without permission. allowed myself to feel satisfied by the tastes of food. watched the boys with skateboards hurl themselves from the concrete into the air and crash down again. lean and unrestrained they flew and i envied their abandon and understood their desire to run after something so hard and keep falling and falling.

e-driven mindfuck


the lingering of lonely dry bones

you’re drunk, i say. close my eyes and let my head roll back against the soft cushions of the couch. you’re drunk and i think you should just go home. and i can hear the words floating in the air in the silence of the moments afterward. of him on the floor—the weight of his head resting against the side of my leg. i’d like to stay, his voice comes calm and resolute. no, i offer without hesitation, no, i don’t think that’s a good idea. he unfolds his arms and grabs my hand and there’s pain in it and hurt and anger and loneliness. suddenly, i realize my eyes are still closed.

see you later, we say when he leaves.
we don’t hug each other goodbye.


even though it's still far too cold i packed up my gear and walked through the slush and mud and ice to university because the sky was far too blue and wonderful not to spend as long as i could spread out underneath it--to find that space between thought and numbness for awhile

word of the moment


well said

jess makes a nice point about what draws people in. and i've thought about this concept a great deal over the last few months as well. this place has always been relatively anon. (although there are a sneaky too few of you out there who know more than this page could ever tell or should. and i’ve made the mistake of a stray photo or two.) but the point about it all -- i always seem to get stuck on the word genuine. because the whole concept makes you have to reconsider what you thought you knew about attractedness and what really matters--what actually moves you or gets into those places you never knew needed attention when things like fingers and pretty eyelashes can't get in the way.

turning it back around

tonight i took some good advice
stopped everything and watched a film
and had excellent good thoughts

spinning tails

in spite of myself i pick up the phone and dial
wait long enough to panic
hang-up at the brink of the first ring
full up with words and misdirection
i end up back again
reciting the lines
dressed naked as desire
about the cold strain of fingerprints
the stain of the rapidly setting sun
unbent truths

he says
your worst quality is your ineptitude—your ability to see the good in everyone and everything

he says
you need to learn how to leave things out—you’re way too fucking honest—try some editing for fuck’s sake

probably right anyway

how long did the recipe last?

not very long

current recipe for avoiding damage

hot tea and a nice warm bath

the unceasing ability to do damage

inordinate amounts of red wine
atop days on days of illness
messages on phone machines
plucking into
heavy wet snow
late night knocking
haunted looks
crossed arms
the unforgiveness of not being you
much to be thrown away tomorrow

giving love and feeling love and the intricacies between

more on that later
i need to go throw-up before i meet friends in a few minutes

after the fact

passing the night after exotic dancers lounge
a woman in her forties sits next to me reading an article from a book entitled “wreaths make the seasons go round”
she sees me looking at the picture on the opposing page
aren’t they pretty to look at?
I don’t make them, but I sure do think about it

yeah I say—feverish—pushing my hair out of my face yeah

. . .
after he calls
i pile under the blankets
close my eyes and hold the phone against my lips
sometimes a soft voice from miles away is enough
to recover from days worth forgetting

. . .
this morning my eye was black
swollen shut as if i’d been kissed
by the end of a fist
it’s softer now
but i’m not feeling any less fragile
weak and tired from days of fighting off the results of being myself
and waiting for test results
i’ve walked through the rain
to get out among people
to ignore this constant ache that wraps me up
that feels like home

ping ponging the track back

is this one of those test posts?


what happens if i use the trackback url?

taking out ten minutes to spare

i can really act like a baby sometimes
and i've got too much work to do to be acting this pathetic

but i'm feeling better
i say.
it doesn't matter -- the voice on the other end still tells me i have to come in
against my suggestions otherwise

i'm really not sick

or something like that

no. no. hell no. no fucking way no.
--jay, in response to do you think it'd be okay if i had standby sex with my neighbor

[i wasn't really serious, though. and it was worth the laugh.]

post haste

these aren't actually poems
i say
they're just a bunch of stuff i've written
when i thought nobody was paying attention

if i'm any -ous

it's this one

rare occurances

aside from my shoes, i am not wearing any black today
well, at least none that anyone can see

it's tuesday

and my neighbor offered me a ride to the office
even though he was already late and
we barely know one another
after having waited for the bus in subzero temperatures yesterday for 45 minutes
i got into his warm car
and felt thankful to be alive

because it's tuesday
and that usually means that i'm over-tired
but i'm not there just yet

the best part is--even if i am--there won't be any reasons to apologize for myself

i can’t stop
daydreaming about the space above
the missing acoustical ceiling tile
right outside my office door

do something with


i dare you

everything happens for a reason

i've almost just done something really
stupid and
luckily time constraints intervened
and reminded me that words aren't always the best way to go

things i've said way too often in the past couple-of-three-days

more from me later when i'm not so getting drunk

i've just realized after having one of the best conversations of my life
that there are some people out there who do really know me
and that i trust
that i would give my life for
that i would never try to hurt, intentionally or otherwise
who would never try to hurt me
and who won't under any circumstances stand for the bull shit i often try to hide behind
thank god for that
without a doubt
no question

and there are more of those people than not
that i don't often give enough credit

i've just had one of those stark moments of realization
damn i need to get back to working out regularly

best word of the weekend
via dvd

best song of the weekend
come around

some great recent search results (wish i had what you were looking for)

love have for you insatiable+unbreakable

uncircumcised blog

i love imogen

the contagion of stupidity
i swear to fucking god i made a post at some point yesterday entitled
fuck you, and fuck you too
maybe some posts decide for themselves that they’re better off elsewhere
i hope it went some place nice


i listen to music in an effort not to think
and instead think too much
about time
and listen to a message from jay
sticky with apologies
i'm just so lost
he says
and even though i know

i know

finding your way back

trying to use words to describe what it means. what i think i might not want to know, i drink. undiluted vodka from a clear glass. and try not to contemplate the things i feel or how he plans to fly in soon. arrive at my door to kiss like old lovers. i close my eyes. think about how any body isn’t what either of us need. even steeped in the thickness of friendship, adoration, and time. because there’s more to life than just that. ask him to talk about something else. he wants to know how and i don’t have the words. can’t say that i feel like i keep falling down onto the same miserable patch of ice. that i’m nothing more than a liar. how we run in endless circles around each other. i want to hang up the line, but his breathing fades—the innumerable evidence that there’s someone else out there that could give a fuck in these moments when i’m fading and faded. we’re both full up on bad choices and longing for redemption, i say, all the while meaning it terribly—wholly. he cries when i read this room and everything in it ‘cause it’s the only thing i’ve got at the moment. it’s the only words—not mine—that can describe the way things go unceasingly and without intention. we go our ways. the same useless patterns we walked the day before and the day before that. we promise to change, but we won’t. don’t. i can still hear his words before the end of it all. and i didn’t promise. didn’t feel any need. because it’s not what i need or want for this life or anything like it.

get it

thugz mansion

nothin but peace--love
yeah, dig it.

in the past 24 hours

i’ve been called
sweet ass
sweet princess
closet whore

there are probably worse things to be

finding my own way home

on the bus there was a girl with a black eye
holding a baby
i decided then to walk the rest of the way

upon arrival
on my answering machine
a distant worried voice waited
for words that i’d not yet been rendered dead
by the deliverance of unmediated hands

i hate days
that feel more like roller coasters and other things that spin me into and simultaneously away from myself.
i hate men
who use words and prowess and lineages of oppression to intimidate women
who threaten women with physical harm.
i hate breaking up physical altercations between and in front of young impressionable minds.
violence is immutable
and it makes me feel small and dirty
like a well caged animal
like the corner of a basement cupboard
i hate the way this situation leaves me feeling helpless and sad
as if i needed to apologize for myself
as if i’ve been screaming for years
and never made a sound

i haven’t been sick in weeks. and while i dress. attempt the routines of the morning—the day—he whispers words that make me want to stay inside. that make me want to crawl back under the sheets and hide from the light. say the one about the grape. but i don’t remember all the words. can’t recall any last syllable of how it goes. i love that one. how your voice starts to break when there's something about a moth and a bell.

on a break

we threw chunks of snow at one another. screaming. laughing. playing at full tilt. spied the parking lot sparkling under the night sky – the buzz of the lamp lights – the lure of an unbroken landscape. sailed across the icy surface. fast and dangerous. we ran. and i felt life come in like an inhalation after holding my breath for far too long. every footstep a disregard to gravity – to control. and in that short span – those seconds of abandon, i wasn’t afraid of falling. of getting broken on the way down. chased after it. mouth and eyes wide open. without useless words in the way. ready at any moment to let everything go straight head over heels.

well said

me too

from an email message (c/o excellent good friend)

Hope your loose ends are always tied up. No, thats wrong. Loose ends can be good.

because there’s nothing to hold to tightly

if you’re lost, strayed, or stolen, he whispers. if you’re hungry
and the words bite my skin. tear into the fleshy bits like sharp teeth against my ribs. all i can do to fight the spin -- close my eyes and wait. i’m there. no question. his voice remains like the scar of a once removed stitch.

at some point we have to grow up, i struggle to say the right thing or what i mean, which at the moment feels oddly disjointed. we’re not in that place any more, i posit. we’ve been coloring for too long without any lines. we’re love gone awry. too much history and broken things like hearts and bones and homes.

i soak in the bath.
he plays guitar.

if you say you’re in love with me, i’ll get on a plane this instant and slap your face so hard you won’t be able to remember yesterday.
i know
you’re right
you’re delusional
i know
stop it and act right. stop it and start living your life child. you know this doesn’t have anything to do with me.
and all those times i slept in your bed and we clung to one another like we were some kind of yet to be discovered animal – we were just lonely – maybe i mean we were alone.
it’s all fucked up in my head, baby
no it isn’t. i can’t keep filling my life with smoke and mirrors.
you’re my one true thing


nope. no. i’m your one sure thing. i’m just the person you can bet on. i’m just the person who’s always there when you call. it’s been years of this. we know it. you know it as much as i do. and i love you babe. i love you like some people love whatever they call god. but that don’t really mean anything. it don’t mean shit. it just means i do. it just means i’ll never stop answering the phone.
i don’t deserve it.
maybe not. who does, mahn? do i? and who gets to decide that anyway?
because love means never having to say you’re sorry?
i fucking love you kid. god, i love you.
me too. i try not to cry through the words. no fucking doubt.

and i wonder later after we’ve gone all tired and talked out, while sipping hot tea out of a heavy mug, about the price of love and what we do to ourselves to get it or to avoid it. about feeling ridiculous and hiding away under your own tough skin. and i listen to my neighbors unloading themselves in the parking strip from a late night out. drunk and laughing. i can hear the sounds of them, from their bedroom, through the walls. until i’m sick of myself and my own useless machinations.

maybe not the best line from a student paper ever, but it's still pretty damn funny

Okay, let's be honest. All of that is horse shit, it just feels good.

(Don't look at me like that. I know it's Saturday night, and I'm home grading papers *and* posting about it to my weblog. That doesn't make me a total loser. Right? Right?]

trying again

last night i
unplugged the phone
unplugged in general
took a long hot bath
braided my hair into cornrows
and painted my toenails red

last night i
didn't write a damned thing
not one word