even though i love this place--this space
i think i might be leaving the recimo behind


although i wouldn't mind being considered or even called a 'foxy brit'

i'm still not certain that i'm entirely thrilled about this.

that is all.
[wait, no, i should say that none of those pictures are of me.]

just making dinner at 3 am

i've just used the phrase
in two different email messages to friends
that a sign of something
fo sure

putting myself to bed
et al


[of recent events and all other things that pile up like dirt in the corners of the room]

i've got to get out of here

the dangers of going out dancing

(and even then pans from the oven were still hot.)
the thing is
or so it seems
i've somehow gotten my days and nights mixed up.
go to bed at three
get up around 11
or depending on the damage -- later.
must needs get back on a normal schedule
and soonish.

note to self

even while incredibly drunk
pans that have been in the oven--
still hot

[now, if only someone were here to help me untie these shoe laces . . .]

i want to write a poem that's significantly shorter than its title

not sure why

current lyrics that won't stop jumping in and dancing around to interrupt the delirium

spill myself all over you like syrup
all delicious and stuck on you
--from The Start's "Gorgeous"

What She Said

Before I laughed with him

_____the slow waves beating
_____on his wide shores
_____and the palmyra
_____bringing forth heron-like flowers
_____near the waters,

my eyes were like the lotus
my arms had the grace of the bamboo
my forehead was mistaken for the moon.

_____But now.

--Maturai Eruttalan Centamputan

just starting the day at nearly 6 pm

the mistake came
when i decided to walk to the bookstore
for espresso beans and an iced latte (instore starbucks cafe)
left the store having spent 66 dollars

they don't sell espresso beans

the stupid thing is

maybe or so it seems that lately i've wanted to know that you'll be there in all of those moments that only begin to make up the memory of this life, or something we might create that's remotely like it. when my father called and said he loved me for the first time in so many years i can't remember. when i can't sleep. when my brother's baby is born. when i decide where i'm going to live this summer and what i might do after that. when i meet tobais for the first time. when i step out of the shower. when i read a novel or see an image that moves me in a way that makes me cry. when i walk the streets at night to clear my mind. when i need a quarter for the vending machine. when i'm not sure what shoes to wear. when i need someone to tell me i'm not crazy or that i've had too much to drink.

i want you to be there -- in the corners of all the frames -- when i snap random shots of my family to press between the pages of photo albums.

they call to say

we got married
we got married!
as if i were deaf and hadn't actually heard it the first time
so we had over the phone drinks to celebrate the newly bound couple
and i read new poetry that was written out of context about something that passes for love
they cried and said they love me
i never ever thought i'd get married
it's what we've always said
my only regret is that you weren't there with me -- standing up by my side
love is crazy
and i don't for one minute understand it
maybe that's the best part
i don't mind at all

technicolor epistolary

from these words your resurrection comes
like a flightless bird in winter
text beats the miles
disappearing into nothing
like long distant voices do
reverberations long stopped
in beds while we construct you
evidences of love
three years of telephone charges
your voice caught in our throats
every single time
cease wandering the impossibility
endless planes deliver us to your couch
to write the waiting from a closer view
the wait creates the myth
not you we’ve already decided
regardless of the wires between
in this or any bed
we make you rise
like atlas balancing the world
just enough pressure
we’ll all come tumbling down

things that make me ridiculously happy

the sight and smell of lilacs in full bloom
an unexpected phone call from my father
the delivery of surprise gifts: both given and received
accidentally finding this cool juke box thingy while searching for some son seals tunes
(note: listening to son seals does make me happy, but if you want ridiculous happiness then click on "coffee flavored kisses" by fenton robinson. give it a try and you'll see what i mean.)

moods strike

whever i look at this page i just think--
damn this site looks like hell
too messy
if i were you, i'd never want to stay

usually i'm so full of stuff to say over these weekend type days

i'm trying to finish some projects
(read that: i write 2 sentences in the span of, oh, maybe 3 hours. take a quick break to chat or check my email (usually turns into an hour or two). then check over the two sentences and delete not only them but the last 5 or so that i've written and decide to start again.)

i'm trying not to drop out of grad school

i'm trying not to let other aspects of my life drive me completely and uselessly insane

so i've not got much left, in this moment, for creative-non-fiction-stream-of-consciousness-lazy-diatribes that make dull stabs at prettying up the ineptitudes of my life
but last night i went out and danced to the blues until the wee hours
and tried to forget about the way i couldn't stop from crying when i tried to say i love you
which really meant goodbye
it's strange how the feelings we share through and between and with other people can become like a sacred habitable space
how these moments in time when i'm thinking of you
or the way your voice sounds when we're talking about nothing in particular
lets place loose from previously held definition
and home becomes so clear and simple--
everything that you are

the quest for sweet peas, white wine, and independence

some days we just have to set ourselves down
remember that there were more good moments
than not
and that this ache that i feel deep in my bones
in that unreachable place
behind the workings of my eyes
might just disappear
even if i have to put myself to sleep
curled up on the couch in my office
slow music sliding from these speakers
because i can't stand to even contemplate the geography of that bed
the weight of sheets and the consequence of turning myself over
and against them
again and again and again

not going to say

how i accidentally ended up here

just learned a new word


quite certain i've seen it before
just as certain that i've never taken the time to actually look it up

the wishes at the end of the if evers
--written in the margins of my notebook when i was supposed to be doing something else

instead of this i'd like to
design and construct beautiful watches
take photographs

leave yours after the beep . . .

it was better on dvd
[is that a pun? only if you get it.]

this is good news.
although, i was slightly horrifed to find out that an american version of 'coupling' is already taping
whilst 'the office' seems to still be looking for a home.
i've never thought 'coupling' was a very funny or intelligent show (plus, it shows on BBCA for those of us who'd bother).
can't wait to see what we'll do with 'the office', tho.
not sure it could be nearly as hilarious as watching the original.

showing casey how to blog

i want this

something that evokes a sneeze

i wonder, sometimes, how you'll remember me.

i'm still in the trap of trying to read this novel

it makes me want to tell stories
the kind that i don't want anyone else to hear
but that i still feel a compulsion to set down onto paper
as if the casting of the memory into something that could be held in a hand
could be accessed by anyone
might lessen this sudden and unanticipated relevance
like the pressure of a boot on my neck
and maybe the release is in the control of the words
of making it my story
i'm not afraid
or shouldn't be
it isn't wrong to look at the elements--or embrace the definition--
that make up who we are

putting that study to good use

the stupid thing is
i spent time translating a spam pornography email message
from german into english
just because i know how


being in love with you is like eating butterscotch pudding from a bowl
with my hands


after 15 minutes, i feel dizzy. like i’m being pressed sick by waves. glance at my watch – the sky – wonder how i’ll make it an hour more. i’ve decided to run to university. it’s at least 90 degrees. sweat already drips down the back of my neck – soaking into the cushiony straps of my backpack. my skin under the hot sun rises pink then red. stings with every footfall. the books in my bag crash—the corners dig into my back. suddenly my legs turn to stone.

i connect a string of angry swear words. a cadence to keep me catapulting to a place where i can slow down. the way i feel unsteady makes me think about stopping. instead i think about cool showers and the crisp fresh clothes stowed in my bag. and so i run. until i lose the ability to think clearly. one foot. the next.

but i have to stop when the cut on the bridge of my nose near my left eye opens up and blood won’t stop running down my face. into my eye. like thick clotted tears. realize i’ve nothing to staunch the flow propelled by my elevated heart rate. the blood makes me nauseous. decide to use the only thing i’ve got—my white t-shirt. hold it up partially in front of my face. exposing too much skin. decide to move from the running path to the busy street two blocks over just in case i fall—can’t make it—there’s lots of traffic. somebody would notice.

check as i turn the corner—still bleeding. enter that hazy state where suddenly i’m almost there not quite sure how. it feels like riding a bicycle down a highway in the rocky mountains without ever once using the breaks. it feels like going to the sun.


it's strange how a reference to a long forgotten word like
can bring me back home
remind me what it felt like to run around in my grandmother's backyard
with the promise of some freshly baked treat
and my grandfather's hands, helping mine, to guide pieces of wood through the jig saw
damp ground: sugar: salty heavy rain filled air: sawdust

in all seriousness

i just have to say
that i can't get over how crazy these pants are.

that is all.

green candle on the desk in spring

write haiku poems
lines on delicate paper
flames lick them away

[the way this wind howls: it makes me want to break all the light bulbs in my house.]

oh hear me my wise brothers of the c and m

i ponder this question. how it keeps me up late at night. and so i seek your guidance and your knowing hands.
i'm missing something in my life--
and the only ready conclusion:
surely i'm not giving or getting enough comovedy

but where has it gone? and what, if ever, can one do about attaining that drug like quality that falls neatly somewhere in between? how do we unlock the mellifluent
stuck there in the center?

perhaps this change i feel and hear from you once and likely boys belting your boisterous bwats and swidts doesn’t mark an end or a void, but merely represents a new phase. comovedy has transmogrified into a new sphere of being. and through these border crossings—literal and metaphysical—it must be viewed through a new lens and enacted in uncharted ways.

we couldn’t expect something as complex as the comovedy to remain static. these changes and influences, even very recently, upon its structure are pervasive. however tangentially, the ideology now crosses genders and national boundaries. raising the issue, similarly, of the fracturing of voices and the deconstruction of the locus of power. this decentralization of the comovedic minds thereby lends even greater change to the once collective and collected triadic conversation. this fragmentation of perspectives and individualized concepts of interpretation suggest not that comovedy is dead, but that, just perhaps, we’re moving into a post-comovedy phase.*


* or it could all just be rubbish that i’ve written whilst waiting for my laundry to finish.

[i wrote and then tried to publish this post at around 3:30am, but the bastard system wasn't working. bastard.]

oh dear. ohmygoodnessme.

search result-o-mania:
see for yourself

my response to tc's staccato

late night forays
delving into the bottoms of bottles
my entire world reeks of whisky
too sleepy to work
too much work to sleep
these shots of espresso taste like magic on my tongue

last night i wrote the following in pencil straight onto the top of my desk:

she cut herself shaving
the morning of the first day that they met
a long fine line
like the way a pencil slashes across the page
held in a hand that's fighting sleep

i want to write more
but just now
i don't know how

staccato is a fine word. rich. evokes the sense of distinct plucking. i once wrote a love letter based on the definition of the word crescendo. and haven't regretted it since. but it's legato that i think about, mostly. that i search after. a smooth even style without any noticeable breaks. connection.

things that make me happy

accidentally stumbling across this blog:
jet city orange

great photos
and the furtive and lost hubcap picture series really caught my attention

i remember laughing at that stuff, but now it doesn't seem very funny
or other reasons to avoid blogging when you've had too much to drink
or, or, i was going to delete these last few posts, because i've not written anything worthwhile in ages

this morning i'm wondering when and/or why i:
moved several pieces of furniture in my office
made a batch of pico de gallo
wrote what feel like the opening lines of something new
placed a few online orders

i blame it all on the whisky.
believe that. ; )

5 hours later

we talk while i take a bath and maybe it's the steam--the alcohol--but i feel wholly better. like things are different. like i could turn the lights out and really sleep. but it's late and the sounds coming out of my mouth don't really even sound like words any more. i need to go to bed, i plead. and he begs me not to hang up the line. there's nothing more to say. or that i want to say. all i want is to crawl under the sheets and dream. and he says, turn your body over and place your hand on the space between your lowest rib and it makes me want to cry. but i don't. there's no space for that. there's nothing telling me that now is the time to fall into a million pieces. but soon. maybe. soon. because this isn't about me, at all.

something like 500 dollars
a barrier between.
stupid internet.

one way tickets an other stuff that includes the word 'us' (cause i don't give a shit if you get back)

if you go back -- i'll fly there and kick you in the shins until they're bloody
tell it like it is my brotha
'cause you're happier right now than i've seen you in a long time.

resisting nicknames

i think it's fair to say that i enjoy them,
but i've always hated it that he calls me left nut.
no doubt. no skizzie.

have another double (that's double trouble)
if i don't stop laughing soon, things are going to get messy

we're all prostitutes, man. we all need a little self-promotion.
it was like a 2 foot parrot. swear to god. and it was wide, too. and burly like.
and i made it cry like a baby.
is that like putting a bird on a box?
aw, hell naw. don't even say tea bagging. why ya gotta ruin good beverages?
decidedly bad pick-up lines: you remind me of someone i met in prison.
i've had some funky ass sex dude, but that's just wrong.
foul, dude. foul.
how many people are gonna be amped about shaving that shit?
don't say pootie, man. that's just wrong. straight.

reasons to stop answering the phone: part 457 thousand

i'm cooking dinner when the phone rings. let it go. twice. answer. the familiar accented voice wraps around my throat like two tight hands, i know it's been a long time since we've talked.
i say something that's somewhere between 'what do you want' and 'fuck off.' that i hope comes across more in tone as the latter.
i know you've said you didn't want anything to do with me.
mental response: you're damned right you no-good-crazy-mutha-fuckin-bastard.
yes, i manage to mutter as i burn myself on a hot pan.
but. well. it's just like this. i think about you all the time. i really miss you bela.
how i used to love it when he called me that.
i really wish he wouldn't have phoned. and i tell him so. ask him to get right down to the point: what do you want?
remember that project i was working on when we met? well, i'm headed back to do more research at the british library this summer. and, err, we talked about at one point. before. umm. i want you to come with me. i've talked to my department, and they've said that they would give me the funding for a graduate assistant. and i still have access to that apartment in the city. you remember. and afterward i'm going to visit my father for a few weeks. and i thought you might like to come. i'd buy the ticket. of course. i know it'd be great. remember? are you still there?

i've been sure to turn off all the burners. forgot about the luxury of food when he first started talking. sat on the couch and stared out the window until i was able to hang up my end of the line. afterward i drink whisky from a tall glass and dial jay at paul and andy's. when i can hear his voice, i wish that i were drunk already.

what the fuck dude. could you at least try to find some boys in your own country?
i laugh, even though it doesn't feel particularly funny and we promise to talk more later.

can i just say: what? i mean, seriously, what the freaking hell?

looking for the right word

yesterday, during conversation
i wondered about finding the right word or phrase to describe some sacred act
without delving into the cliche
the common
the comic
the curse

it's something like the eucharist that i was looking for--
a consecrated rite
the act of giving thanks

[update: only to remember that word in context in what feels like another lifetime ago. excellent.
update to the update: maybe i need to pay more attention to my own words (this time it's sanctuary). yeah, dig.]

because when he said 'really' i knew he meant it

the only adequate response

because he'll know.
we know.
something about the sacrament of the three pairs of wings.

sometimes i just think i need something like absolution
or someone to tell me what i've done wrong

bobbing for these apples like cheek bones

between classes i sit in the grass under the warm spring sun and skim a book. it’s playing its trick on me. i’m smiling at coyote. off and on, i write. mostly i just stare at the words on the page. all my thoughts feel smeared. lost in a mediation between awake and dreaming. shook out by his voice.

hey, i’ve read that.
i hold up the book. and stare at the cover. startled at my own lack of speech.
me too. i mumble. squint into the sun—his face.
he sits down facing me without invitation and we have some kind of exchange. of names and reasons we might be sitting in the grass in this particular spot in these moments of our lives. his accent tells me he’s from somewhere else. he tells me to call him ken. but i’m distracted by the extraordinary color of his perfect skin and his messy braided hair. the way he repeats my name after the introductions sounds like setting fire to each one of the letters. draws them up and out into deliberate smoke.
what were you writing there? he motions to the notebook in the grass.
nothing. poetry kind of. mostly nothing. i flip the cover closed.
can i read some? he’s smiling.
no. i say, and i mean it.
we talk about the book.
are you going to be out here for awhile? he’s looking into the sky.
i’ll be right back. he leaves his backpack.
i feel strangely incoherent while he’s gone. contemplate leaving. then wait to watch over his left behind items. realize there’s no harm in a situation devoid of intention. and i’ve got none.
he comes back with two black coffees and some scones.
i hope you don’t mind, he says.
all i can think to say is thanks.
are you always this forward? i ask.
he doesn’t answer, but the way he looks at me out of the corner of his eyes says enough. screams slyly: yes. in bold. and italics. we both break into laughter at the absurdity of the moment. of the whole situation.
i like the way you laugh. he says as he drops crumbs into the grass at our feet.
i should go soon. i say to the crumbs.
and we exchange parting words. i don’t refuse his office number when he passes it to me before i go seek refuge inside. but i left it in my desk drawer. likely to be thrown away without regret later on.
we have to get together so you can read me those poems. his voice sing-songs across the courtyard as i start drifting away.
i stop for a second. wave. head for the door of my building. i don’t look back.

when did i stop
filling in your name on forms as the emergency contact?
wrench open the file drawers and finger through the papers
you aren't on any of them
maybe i always knew, you'd be the emergency i'd need saving from

too much too soon so long forgotten

today i've spent too much time in the past
a frustration spiraling swiftly into an inability to get anything worthwhile accomplished
to listen carefully
long stretches of sleepy silences and the sun floating in against the living room walls

today i noticed that the dark pink flowers that surround the mailboxes are coming back into bloom
and i remember picking a few
to save
before the first snows came
pressed them between the pages of a heavy book
with the intention of mailing them to you
then never legitimized a reason
i probably didn't need one

they were still there
until only moments ago
when i stepped out onto the porch and scattered them into these prevailing spring winds
watched them sail swiftly away
into the changing of the seasons

these cycles remind me that there's life out here to be lived
and that it's mine for the taking

conversations that long for follow-ups which may turn into posts later

rising and insatiable hunger
words i never say out loud
importance of names
difference between the words/concepts: proximity and proximal

there's more to this, but just now, i've forgotten.

sometimes i wonder if i've damaged jules beyond repair

the springs of this fascination with violence

i wake up from a heavy nightmare
on the couch with a book fallen against my chest

tied up in his basement
threatening to set me on fire

maybe some days are just too difficult to keep down

the confidence of the latest empty messages in one day total: 26

inside of which there are two
jules from his cell phone. decidedly trashed in some form or another and largely indecipherable
paul who mutters and stammers at random—seemingly dumbstruck:
umm. hey. it’s paul. yeah, can you give me a call back if you’ve any idea why i’ve just found jules passed out in my bed. i’ve just stepped in from work. [aside to, i’m guessing, andy: fuck if i know. probably the hide-a-key. yep, yep, i bet he knows where it is. pause. well i don’t know i’m on the phone here. just go check it.] sourry. so, i’m not sure what’s going on. and i’m not very happy about this and i’m worried. we haven’t even heard from him in forever. and, there’s . . . ummm . . . doors opening and shutting . . . he’s fucking drunk all the gin in the house. oh hell. just whatever call me. and—right—how are you? i hope you’re okay. we love you here. click.

i don’t call in my biased possible explanation:
that’s the way spoiled white boys behave

do you know what i really like about you? he asks.
and because i've absolutely no idea, i reply, what's that?
it's the way you always touch me when we're having a conversation.
do i?
yeah, when you think something i've said is funny or moving or you're engaged in the moment or whatever. yeah, you do.
i guess i've never noticed that.
but that's what makes it so noticeable--so genuine. you're not trying after anything. it's just your natural reaction. and you don't just do it with me. it's with other people you're friends with too.
it's like your gestures are the non-verbal punctuation of conversations. and i think it's an excellent thing about talking to you.

without thinking or formulating an adequate response, i reach out and touch his forearm. instantly we both laugh at this weird instinctual tendency of mine. and i say dumbly thank you, again.

strange links (notsomuch)

i've just realized, today, that out of the 6 individual blogs i have links to that also have links to me
5 also have a link to not so soft
(a blog i rarely read: that's not a dig: for some reason i just don't)


ranch dressing all over the garbage pail

instead of eating the bag of small carrots i brought for lunch
i've dumped out the contents of the dip
and am now sucking on the corner of the plastic bag


what i wrote during a free writing session with my students (later class)

this space—tenuous. the lack of available capacity as palpable as the noxious gloam of the buzzing fluorescent lights overhead. how we sit and stare at one another feels like waiting for the bottom to fall out of an elevator. until we all come tumbling down from the pressure. crushed under the weight of our own lack of interest or investment or time. sometimes being here makes it difficult to breathe. makes me wonder if i’ve lost the ability to produce sensible speech. these silences cause me to feel dumb—like i’ve forgotten my own name or the names of anything or the need for names at all. sometimes the way your thousand eyes reflect my own image back to me without change renders me lost in a world where i thought i knew my way—leaves me longing for a way to reinvent motivation.

playing games with words (props to the textualized dvd)


i’ve those pajamas
she doesn’t long
maybe several

theme songs o' the day (or maybe just the hook bit)

no explanation for why i've got the notorious b.i.g.'s
i love it when you call me big poppa
running through my head this morning
but it's there

and if you feel the same
* edited 04/08/03 6:59:18 AM

in the midst of trying to remember the way love feels
he calls to hurl insults
get it all out, i say plainly through the pain of biting my lip
a bitch and a range of other obscene gestures that surely don't warrant any more time or thought or any of my space
the way that he shouts into the receiver makes me cringe
reminds me what it feels like to wear fear in the face of the proffers of constancy and what stood for too long as a condition of love
a hoop i thought i was meant to keep jumping through
i remain calm
i don’t want to be part of this anymore.
and i feel tired at the string of apologies that follow
because it’s far too late for those
it’s far too late for forgiveness or forgetting
saying you love someone or something doesn’t necessarily make it so.
and anyway i don’t have the time or the energy to deal with this constant barrage of insults and insecurity. and the after-words filled with moments of sorrow and manipulation until i’ve forgotten what i’ve started out believing in. i’d say this is the end. but the end happened a long long time ago.
when he won’t stop, i hang up the line without regret and don’t pick it up when he tries back again several times.
i throw the dinner i’ve been cooking into the garbage.
all of it staring at me accusingly from the bottom of the bin.
stand out in the snow in my pajamas and wait for something else to happen. when it doesn’t i wander aimlessly around the house feeling like my whole being has been shattered into a trillion particles that might not ever be rendered back into their original form.
i blindly dial the phone.
my mother.
almost feel relief when she doesn’t answer the phone.
i’m almost certain there’s nothing i would have been able to say, anyway.
maybe i shouldn’t feel useless and scared – tired and sick.
and i’m disappointed in myself
in the way that he can still make me feel inadequate and stupid and all the other things that keep me spinning in endless useless circles.

the resolution seems so simple: i need to stop believing (in) the wrong people.

* emphasis added later
* reclaimation: ongoing

what happens to people who don’t realize they’re environmentalists

at the coffee house and ordering a latte
i think first about how i’ll have to come back here to study on early mornings
because it’s quiet and they’ve got cheap pastries
and because i wouldn’t mind this particular barista waiting on me
on a regular basis
grab my steaming cup from the counter
to go cups – horrifyingly – styrofoam

me: hey, if i bring in my own cup next time, can you use that instead?
barista: uh, yeah, i guess so. [awkward silence] is there a problem?
me: [indignantly] yeah, you use styrofoam cups.
[i point at the cup in my hand stupidly, as if he hasn’t been working there longer than the 10 minutes i’ve been in the store.]
barista: uh, okay.
me: well, these aren’t recyclable, see . . . [i start heading for the door.] have a good day.
barista: have a great one.

on second thought, maybe i’ll find some place else to hang out

calling in early favors

only this morning, i wished i had thought to grab my camera
because this world and everything in it
has been sucked into a negative version of itself
and the results
the way the white snow looms under this pale grey sky
how it hangs in just the right places
where shadows would have been
sometimes on sunny days
light and dark in reverse
deliriously gorgeous

only now i’m trapped inside
[even though when i close my eyes i can still see the fabulous contrast of the barely blooming pink of the dogwood trees near the library path against the light dusting of white
they looked like delicately constructed candies--
sickening sweet cake decorations]
where everything falls under the gloam of a noxious green
and where the hum of my computer makes me want to run at full pace
go where there’s an ocean
or a place where i might get some rest

song of the day

as i sit on the couch in my living room and watch the snow fall in heavy piles just on the other side of this thin piece of glass
i rock against the hook
the edge in the voice
and think there's no other perfect song for this moment or the way i feel
i can't stand the rain

snip from early morning maybe not yet half-awake message

. . . maybe, 'cause i've got a pot belly the size of texas . . .


whatever i did with that lost hour
i'm sure it was worth it

ode to the line of transgression on my living room table

because I know he’s likely there and can hear me
I whisper under the cover of too many late night and decadent irish coffees:
turn your body over and place your hand on that space
occupied by the tattoo
just under the final ridge of your left rib
feel the pressure of your own hand
residing on the image
and know that amidst the rough edges
of love and sex and the unknown qualities of women who have gone
you remain
like a battle scar
unique and precious
a jewel of undiscovered capacity
open the blinds and let the world inside
feel the sun against the places usually covered in clothes
love yourself
be yourself
and don’t apologize to anyone for wanting to walk the world clothed only in trueness of your skin

excerpt from an october letter that should have been destroyed, but only yet hasn't

. . . do i dream of you
of what you look like beneath your clothes
or how it might feel to hold your hand
feel the rush of your skin against mine
across a table
filled with late night cold and bitter coffee
and the rustle of conversation
a constant background commotion to our voices
that might still mean everything
and nothing
like these endless days do
the way your words wrap around mine
an endless sad embrace
that leaves me longing for the sound of your voice
and the way it might feel to touch you with any sense of significance
in a way you might remember
in a way i'd hope you'd never want to forget . . .

another old thing posted in december of 2000

from the 13th:
I’ve paid my dues in broken glass and shredded bees' wings.

in the way of a follow-up
to this post

i ran across this post i made at 12:32 pm on December 27, 2000*:

When I was out with friends the other night, we listed books that influenced or changed our lives.
Here are some of mine --

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
Free Fall, William Golding
Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Wild Swans, Jung Chang
Bastard Out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
Condemned to Devil’s Island, Blair Niles
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Black Power, Stockely Carmichael & Charles V. Hamilton

Some alternates that are significant for the time and circumstances under which they were consumed:
Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi
Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny
Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung

wow, that list is in some serious need of updating. maybe soon.

* i honestly can't believe i've been blogging for that long.

crashing out

just at the part when rob’s running through the rain after the funeral near the end of high fidelity, i answer the phone. there’s a strange static silence, during which i feel something wrong. i sit up. and pause. don’t say hello again. she’s gone, his voice cracks. mute the tv. in the silence afterward, i rest my head against the palm of my free hand and rock slowly back and forth within this ephemeral space of time and emotion. glance up—feel guilty for smiling as he runs past the recognizable pace bus sign—decide then to move. i’ve no idea what to say. rather than fill up the empty space with meaningless questions or falsities, i pour a drink and listen to his slow guttural sobs. i try desperately not to cry along. fight off this sick desire to rush in his direction. grab the next flight out just to be there. to yell at. to hold to tightly. to put him to bed. a distraction. i don’t do this distant hurt well. i don’t do hurt well, period. finally decide—whisper, what can i do? knowing the answer full well: nothing. he doesn’t stop crying enough to say anything at all.

i find myself fingering through my cds. internally curse the fact that i’ve found moulin rouge in the led zeppelin iii case. finally locate the actual disc sitting in a pile of other music on top of my hard drive. we’ve still not said anything more. without regard to my neighbors, i put “friends” on to play. he sighs, stop it. i don’t wonder if he means it. i pull my legs up into the chair. rest my head against my knees. feeling helpless and desperately cliché. all i can think to do is play music. bjork’s sultry sad version of “gloomy sunday.” during which he begins to mumble. harmonize. dreaming / i was only dreaming. joni mitchell: “stormy weather.” and i can hear him moving. the sobs, less frequent yet still violent in nature. please don’t hang up, he pleads in tones of desperation i’ve not heard under his voice in years.

god fucking damn it, he shouts into the receiver and into what i guess is probably an empty dark room somewhere within the confines of his familiar spaces. and i thank god there are no cigarettes in this house. i can hear something crash on the other end. feel afraid. do you really love me?, he’s frustrated—angry. to the end, man. to and through all the fucking ends. because sometimes, fuck it, we all just need to know we aren’t hanging on out there alone.

instead of pretending like i’ve anything valid to offer, i read to him from golding’s free fall:

All day long the trains run on rails. Eclipses are predictable.
Penicillin cures pneumonia and the atom splits to order. All day long,
year in, year out, the daylight explanation drives back the mystery
and reveals a reality usable, understandable and detached. The scalpel
and the microscope fail, the oscilloscope moves closer to behaviour.
The gorgeous dance is self-contained, then; does not need the music
which in my mad moments I have heard. Nick’s universe is real.

All day long action is weighed in the balance and found not opportune
nor fortune or ill-advised, but good or evil. For this mode which we must
call the spirit breathes through the universe and does not touch it; touches
only the dark things, held prisoner, incommunicado, touches, judges, sentences and passes on.

Her world was real, both worlds are real. There is no bridge.

for a long time, we soak up the words. don’t say another thing.

hey, i say into this blank moment.
all i know is that i’m lonely, i wail, as low and drawn out and throaty as i can manage.
and I need to be with someone tonight, he responds in his beautifully rehearsed way.
i put on the cd, terence trent d’arby’s neither fish nor flesh
and we pause for the songs we need to hear—i have faith in these desolate times, it feels so good to love someone like you, to know someone deeply is to know someone softly, he joins in for i’ll be alright, this side of love, attracted to you, and i wait for him to bring—i don’t want to bring your gods down—to life, and he does and i can tell he’s losing himself in this particular cd, a soundtrack to all the stupid times of our lives, i click stop when we arrive at . . . and i need to be with someone tonight, because it’s too much. and I know he’ll sing it if and when he can. he does later. after i’ve given up on music. curled up on the couch in my office under a heavy blanket. he takes liberty with the lyrics in ways that feel wholly and satisfyingly appropriate.

he says, you’re gorgeous in ways that i don’t think enough people recognize.
i don’t say anything.
i don’t deserve you, he says predictably.

i don’t remember, now, how the conversation ended.
and i try at sleep
feeling heavy with the weight of why people like us
try at love anway.

for some reason it seems like
i should feel sadder when these things happen
or don't happen (as they do)
but maybe i'm just realizing that's the way of the matter
that even running at and into something at full force
and with intention
still leads to indifference
a slow and progressing sink into apathy
leaving a steady ache from continually crashing into something that looks like it will give
and then doesn't

did i ever say (or maybe i shouldn't)

that at one point in time
i'd developed a theory that
these three people
were actually the same person
pretty sure now, though, that isn't possible. ; )

pondering recent conversation-like-things

ever since i had a great conversation with mrtn about books and reading (which may or may not have been enhanced slightly by the large amount of alcohol that had been consumed that day), i've thinking about doing a post of my top ten favorite books. but then it starts to get complicated. most enjoyable to read? well written? life changing? all that kind of stuff. it's like that conundrum of trying to talk to a film scholar about their favorite movie. they'll likely say something brooding and classic like citizen kane, but when you walk away, you know they didn't actually enjoy the film--it's just what people say because it's such an established piece of film making history and all that bull shit. i'm still thinking about it though. could be something more soon.

ooo, isn't that exciting?

the burning question seems to be

will i break down under the pressure and meet friends later tonight for drinking and socializing (but mostly drinking)?

early morning wake-up thoughts on not being able to get my hands on something that i need

right now, all i want to do is walk to the store near my house to buy some fresh flowers
but i'm not sure what i really want more
the walking
or the early morning air stained with fresh cut blooms

ah, who says it can't be both?

on the way to bed

i fall into the soft cool grass right outside the apartment door
and close my eyes into the darkness and the silky after midnight winds
stay there for long moments thinking about nothing
but the feeling of the tall blades between my fingertips
against the bottoms of my bare feet
and the stars in numbers too overwhelming to count

home early

to the emptiness of seven silent messages on the machine
mess around with a file of words i've been working on
something like a poorly formed letter filled with declaratives i never mean to send
and i feel full of sharpness
vocal tones
the epitome of this razors edge
a restlessness that i can't seem to manage with any amount of black symbols on white screens
delete all the sentiments in spite of myself and the time and investment it took to construct the thoughts therein
who needs more of all that this is
i call the house three times
into the answering machine
i leave no messages
grateful for the reprieve
and for the things i could have said
but won't
instead i count calories
and plan workout schedules
anxious to smash these newly developed
into oblivion