no where near

He calls from the second floor bedroom in the small brick house his uncle keeps that I can picture but couldn’t find again somewhere near London. I can hear him tapping his left heel on the dark hardwood floor in the silent spaces of our conversation. I know it perfectly -- can picture it happening, because it’s what he always does. Slow measured pulls from somewhere deep in the calf. I remember how in movies the constant movement used to drive me crazy. How in bed the rhythm always put me to sleep. I’d forgotten how foreign his voice sounds. The way he clips certain words. Clicks others with his tongue. I’d forgotten how even the most mundane conversations are barely decipherable through his ultra-academic posture. He ignores my sarcasm, the slight mockery of tone, and fails to notice my disinterest. The only time he pauses, slightly, and then scolds – when I call him Professor X rather than his first name – which I’ve always used since the day we met. He never was my professor. Please don’t, he says full of pretension, before moving the conversation along.

He’s wishing I were back in England for the summer, because he’s off tomorrow to visit friends near Oxford. They’re his friends, but during conversation he’s kind enough to refer to them as ‘our friends.’ He says that he misses me. Then, sighs. I realize throughout the entire conversation, he’s been whispering. It’s clear we never understood one another. I intentionally say things that will hurt his feelings, then ask how he got my new number. I tell him that I’d rather he didn’t call again. He’s leaving England for India in a few days. I wish him well. He says he still wishes that I were there.

some days i think that i'll be punished for all the awful stupid things i've done
but mostly, it's hard to even remember what those things might be
if nothing else
the last year has brought me important lessons about looking at things differently
to cherish and nurture what i have that makes me happy
and to step away and distance myself from things that are destructive or hurtful
i know that i can still be a better person than this
that i have so many things that i can write out
that i can work out
that i can leave behind
i'm lucky to have good friends
and to know love
and to give it without hesitation

white cotton robe
just out of the bath
vanilla scented lotion
late afternoon golden glow
pachelbel's "canon in d"
written on the body
the only things missing to make this moment closer to perfection:
a bottle of white wine

word i need new words for


someone has been in my apartment
but the air conditioning problem hasn't been resolved
i throw open the window in the bed room
kick back the sheets
and pace the floor
tiredness escaped hours ago
some place good
i throw up for the first time in my new bathroom
then contemplate sleeping in the shower
i dump the contents of my purse onto the hallway floor
press the cool frame of the phone against my skin
i want to call
then don't
without adequate reason
like the way jules laughs at the end of his outgoing answer-phone message
after reciting some vaguely recognizable keats poem
i drag to the office
last ditch wishes for signs of you
there are none

what my mind decided while walking along a path with a flowered hedge

his hair smelled of rhododendrons
the last time he tried to kill me
it must have been spring
tumbling through those red blooms -- the basement window –
hot air full heavy on displaced pollen
reminded by the sickening sweet scent
i fought until my fingers bled
the next year
ripped that plant out of the ground with my own two hands
every last root

salt reductions

yesterday, in the moments between sanity
which came as sharp and steady
as shouting a curse word to match every left foot fall
of an endless walk,
i realized that it's impossible to separate lives into respective cardboard boxes --
even with the aid of family members,
foul smelling permanent markers,
and endless streams of translucent packing tape.
it's been a long time since i've wanted to curl up in a ball
and let myself cry over the line and into ridiculous
it's been awhile since i've wanted someone to tell me that's okay.

on the block

it's that time again
when words feel all clunky and everything i've ever put down onto paper has that terrible ring to it
like scraping the bottom of an aluminum bowl with a metal fork
when the very whiteness of a screen
the page of a notebook
feels like foolish mockery of my own inefficacy
so, i try at capturing the mundane moments
the fact that i spoke out loud more than once today
that i own a red dress
that the dishwasher is ready to be unloaded

today, i've left my television playing loudly
all day long
and i've never once been in the same room
nor cared to hear
the rattle

it's that time again
when i've got to pack my life into useless cardboard boxes
track across town to some new place
where there's less this
and more that
where i'll be closer
and hopefully get farther away
it's a place that looks a lot like it should be on the edge of the ocean
but isn't

wearing only
my red silk cheongsam
black silk house pants
and sandals
i meet my new neighbors
on the shoulder of the drive
i say hello
i carry two heavy yellow bags
to the dumpster
they ask to borrow a broom
and decline my offer to come round for tea

computer updates

have left me o.o.c. this weekend.
so much for the silence.

well, it worked the last time . . .

i want this

there's something wrong, i say.
what, he asks.
but i don't know.
so i respond with nothing.
over the line i pretend i can hear his heart beating
until i believe the lie of sound i've created
i know it's just his breath
fading in and out
through all this
and between
disappearing into nothing.
this morning was all glorious, i tell, instead.
the world washed in rain
full up greys
the world all muted
it made me miss the ocean, i say.
maybe that's what's wrong, he supposes.
and for a long time
we don't speak in words.

i'm standing on your head
die already

. . . in other news . . .
today, i have eaten negative 191 of my allotted caloric intake
god damn.
god damn.
dog mdna.

there's a storm in the air
wish it would break
i can feel it

still waking up


just a little to the left of the monitor

thanks to dvd
for reminding me how the days after independence
really feel

so as not to get into trouble with this particular british bloke

i've updated the link to his page

compositons and insecurity wrapped conversations

i say, but when i look i think i see an enormous woman staring back at me.
he says, that's an eating disorder.
to which i don't reply.
i don't want to talk right now, i say.
you never do, he says.
the click comes, before he has a chance to say goodbye.

ekphrasis: the relevance of the day and other observational phenomenon

that plastic virgin mary
perched on the porch
some distant neighbor’s door
every time i wave
without recognition
today almost split second conversion
to blink
a move
nothing more
the consequence of physics
bent light on concrete
no great pause
truth only ever is
refracted representations
n = c/v
in which we believe