last 07-07, i wrote; or, [it was enough for 12 dollars]

today is one of those days where the signs are everywhere, but i don't know how to read them. or i've forgotten how. it's a good day. of starting over and standing up for myself. it's one of those days where i'm likely to scream, with or without witnesses, just to hear the sound of my own voice and the volition the working of it all takes.

today the virgin mary had been moved. she stood glaring at me from behind the hood of an oversized suv just at the edge of where the sidewalk ends and the parking lot begins. seeing her plastic form baking in the unbearable light of the summer sun makes me smile in curious fashion. i think about women and power and the undeniably insulting blue of her cloak. allow the texture of the word quetzalcoatl to slide from the back of my throat, through the teeth, into the vacant lot. occupied by a plastic representation of a myth. and me. and as i pass, i wonder where are her serpents and if i've got the strength to crush my own.

[check it. old comments rock it. hard stylee.]

i had one of those panics
between phone calls
and the television
and last minute plans

all long morning. clinging to the weight of this oversized ceramic mug.

i'm doing that thing. that alone-women often do. or so it seems in the cliche image held in my head. the partner gone for some reason. among the missing of miles or ghosts or just a few minutes away picking up coffee and a newspaper. walking around the house wearing little more than a large white cotton oxford shirt. the too long sleeves rolled half-way up and still hovering just around the wrists. buttons haphazardly done. one here or there. only to hold it slightly together. there's no one coming round. just me. and this shirt that probably isn't even yours. but there's a comfort in it. this practice of padding around barefoot. and wishing you were here.

is something wrong with my monitor? no, wait, check the times. the logo on my coffee mug

this morning my vision has gone all smudgy.
wish i could make it stop.

from an emailed reply: just now

I wish I could drum. Could play any vital instrument [I’m really trying desperately not to make a blow-job joke just here] well. I’ve always wanted to learn something emotionally. That had strings. Like the cello. But I gave up piano lessons after two years. Kept having nightmares about the metronome and getting my hands caught in the hinges of the piano bench. My mom’s given our piano away now. I’m not sure that I miss it, really. Never started anything else. But there was a span of time, when I’d always carry my dad’s old drum sticks around with me. In a make-shift pocket in the inside of my jacket. In my school bag. I liked touching them and thinking about the back beats for all of my favorite songs. I probably tapped them out at inopportune times – like during maths class or on the long bus ride home. I think I was probably always that weird kid. Who was doing something furious and unexplained with her hands or feet – in her mind. I think my dad called them his chops. It made me think of those bad 70’s sideburns that my brother and I referred to as pork chops. It made me think about my black chop sticks that at the time I used to eat everything. But I never took lessons after giving up the piano. Couldn’t even play that, probably, now. Even if I tried.

even on sleeping pills: wide awake and crashing through these words like windows

tonight i vow to sleep. i promise myself. no coffee after six. early dinner. enough water, but not too much. low key. no key. a bath. music. nothing. but i'm wide awake. or sleeping with my eyes open. i don't want to talk to anyone. or hear anything. i don't want to feel the warm texture of my sheets or the cool thin threads of the couch. i don't want to wear shoes--don't want to be without them. i can't stop moving, but my muscles ache. there's no reason for anything. it's 75 degrees in my apartment. and i'm wearing a jacket and a scarf. the window open. heat on. there's no [way to end this thought].

my eyes turn a different shade of green when i've been crying. go from cool greys to something more like the cold pacific ocean. breaking in the memories of my childhood. the color might only be my imagination. something i wish on. like stars. or hot chocolate. or the texture of your fingertips against my skin when i'm just falling away into restfulness.

I've checked all the web sites that I normally read. Paced my apartment. Turned the tv on, then off, then on again. Still blaring like a spoiled child in the other room. I've closed the door of my office to get away from the sound rather than just going the extra steps to switch it off. I think I like the contention. Having something tangible to be angry or frustrated about. I slept for approximately 25 minutes, an hour or more ago on my couch, and I believe that might have been the crucial mistake. That or it's the only thing I can name at the moment. I wonder how I can be so terribly and sickly tired and still not fall off that edge that might deliver me somewhere closer to anything that feels more functional than this.

Today was all glorious blues and shiny sun and cool breezes. When I walked the streets of the city. Trying to pound out this insatiable desire that might be happiness. I was tired then. Feet skimming the edges of the stairs as I pushed up and then into my apartment. Ate food. Had pretty conversation. Today I talked to the dogs waiting for homes at the shelter. Their sad eyes and the way they shook behind the confines of their small cages made me cringe. Made me remember a different life of mine. Glassy and terrified. Lonely. But there's no more lonely in me these days. Only blues and sun and enough air to breathe.

if ever, i'd like it, if you did, but you don't have to. it's cool. really.

last year i did that poetry reading thing.
it went well.
the suggestion's been made that i submit some of my writing for an award.
i'm going to do it. there's nothing to lose.
[pride, dignity, self-respect, etc.]

but if you have suggestions. if you can point to a post or two or more that you think might really be worthwhile. that made you feel--something--well, that'd really help me out. i'd like to hear from you. honestly.

in my mind
i'm gone to carolina

thanks to jt and to you and to all the wondeful beautful moments in my life, between the chords, that remind me that i can feel the sunshine and all of the other things that always seem to escape the bounds of my fingers on keys.

it does go on like this forever
and i hope you'll forgive me
when you see the sunshine
and you feel the way you've gone
whatever way that road takes you

in your mind

chasing the train way down

even now i can hear the tones. like the cold wind blowing through my open evening window. it’s like a call to those cool spring days when t. and i spent hours sipping the last tones of our coffees and talking through the disaster of passing cars and the fiendish ways our lives moved in and through and between the madness that makes up a life. these lives. passing even now through the not so fresh air of the window. brings the tone of my discontent. these whistles in the distance only remind me what i serve to represent. the bad luck charm. the something that always proves to offer up a delay. the frustration that makes you wish you’d stayed in bed that much longer. the crack in the sidewalk that made you wish you’d never slipped out from between the sheets to meet the day—at all.

i've not slept in days.

last night

i realized that trying to choose a romantic film to watch that is personally resonant without being completely cliche is actually quite difficult. i ended up with sliding doors for reasons i might develop more later on. but it got me thinking about other movies that might make a list of this kind. films people wouldn't be expecting. nothing like sabrina or anything starring meg ryan.

the red violin
true romance
mostly martha
like water for chocolate

there are more, perhaps to be added when they come to mind.

what would yours be?

is it completely unfeasible to preface a comment to a student paper with. . .

i was getting incredibly drunk whislt reading this theme . . . but in response, half in the bag, i'd like to say . . .


mutability and other things i should never have to say

some days feel completely unhinged. like my clothes are all too loose and too constricting at the same time.
i don't want to be here. and i don't want to justify myself. i want the curve of my spine and my constant
dedication to be enough. i want it all to stand as a letter in bold type face to the world that reads:
our laughter in gorgeous tones spills untouched by human hands--inviolable.

i came here to post something

but now i don't remember quite what it was.

these days have been odd, but mostly cold. there were even numbered days, mixed in between. but i don't like to talk about those much. today, my partner expressed great delight in one of my accomplishments. that felt nice. as if the wind might not be so terribly cold the next time i walk outside. i drank tea. felt fine. maybe closer to wonderful.

i notice, these days, i'm using sarcasm more in group conversations. i'm never sure if that comes across as tersely funny or just stupidly annoying. i'm trying not to add too much. the way too much black pepper can so easily go from spicy goodness to revolting in only a shake or two. probably i'm just tired. maybe only just more self-aware.

i need to read more. i need to know more. i need to stop being such a perfectionist. and such a fuck-up at the very same time.

i wish i were better at representing my thoughts in speech. in real conversation.

in the next few days i'm going to participate in a reading-lecture thing at school in support of gay rights. i'm reading a thing i wrote about my friends b, who shot himself, and p, his lover who now lives in another country, and about shaving my head. it's the same story i always tell. but it's an important one to me. and i'll read some baldwin, of course.

today i am wearing pigtails.

stick it in: and know how to use it

word oft not used enough

i thought you were german, he said. why, i said. because, he said, most germans are crazy.

today, i've been trying to avoid thinking about the cold wind crashing against my window or how much i really do hate living here. today, i've been looking for that thing i wrote about realizing i could no longer see the world only translated first from german.

I had a spade once , he says.

Threw it away.

I had a spade once , his voice says against the flakes of snow and the film of frozen condensed air caked against the small panel of glass that makes a window in the backdoor overlooking the now unkempt winter garden. He thinks about scratching his name into the blurry screen. Would he write it backwards or forwards? The question, like trying to recall the way her tongue always felt sliding down the shadows of his spine—melting and sticky like the soft serve ice cream cones he’d seen himself eating in outdated home movie footage, feels too hard to bear. The right sleeve of his shirt clears the window. He clears his throat. Shuts his eyes tight. The way he used to do when she’d call to him from the bathroom and he knew what it meant. That she’d bought some new outfit as a treat for him. The anticipation of placing his hands on her curves or her smell like warm vanilla and sugar became the thousands of swimming colors he’d see in that dark space of time. Blues and reds. Pinks and whites. This time the sparks don’t bring her into focus. He opens his eyes to the sugar coated shoe box sized window and the smell of the damp back porch. Like wet newspaper. Heavy and cold like the aftermath of bad news.

Last year they watched the full cycle of the snowdrops together in that unnamed way that people have of passing information about their lives without using words. He saw the joy of them in the way she sat close to him on the couch in the evenings with the weight of her body resting against his side. Resting like his new spade did on the stairs in the back porch. He hoped she knew he’d been paying attention to them too, when he let his fingers play out unplanned rhythms on the back of her neck—skimming the thin bones of her shoulders.

His hand reaching to touch her finds the knob. Chilled and stiff like the ache that’s taken hold suddenly across the back of his neck. She wanted to buy the more expensive model with the plate that matched better the exterior of the house. He feels cheap now, not having given her something so trivial that she’d wanted. As if the weight of the money saved and the moments lost might now crush his skeleton—reduce him to a fine dusty powder. Good for nothing. She was always too good for him. He knew it when they first rolled around together in the grass in this backyard. Loving her always felt too decadent. Like an undeserved promotion. Like flowers in winter. Something that could never last. That would last forever.

He lies down in her favorite place. The flower bed, now all frozen. He thinks about tangible things. The laws of gravity. The way ice polarizes itself to the edges of things before consuming them completely under a glassy finish. The way the weight of her head in his lap--when he used to hold her on the couch in the days after they knew for sure—always made him feel sane.

I had a spade once, he tells her. I left it in the garden and it got filled with this stinky putrid goo. He wonders if she can hear him. These mundane things he never would have told her when she was alive. The words catch in his throat like the rusted hinges of the gate just on the other side of the yard. He digs the fingers of his left hand into the resistant ground and resolves to replace the backdoor knob. Clenches his jaw hard enough to feel a spark. After you left, he whispers and his breath freezes and shimmers in the space between his lips and the sky, I threw it away.

public private discourse: cribbing from my own damn tired self

trying to think of my own words to say
then nothing feels right
like i've chosen the best colors, but now the texture has suddenly gone all wrong
and i'm going to have to start all over again
run across the car park and throw the whole lot in the dumpster
you've stolen a glimpse
and now i've got to start fresh
start all over again

what i've been trying to do
god, trying to do for hours
is recall the paz poem 'scrawl'
i'd memorized it two weekends ago
with the intention of leaving the words for you
in a message to be heard at some inopportune time
only now
i've lost them all
can't remember any last word
this empty bowl

there's a poem that begins
'i want to film you in quick cuts and monochrome'
i always tell myself that the next line goes
until a thousand electric eels are dancing on your head
but i know that's the lie i've placed in place of the original
and, besides, it doesn't make any sense

i'm fighting the urge to grab my cell phone and go outside this instant and call you
it's your voice i'm after
the evidence of you
and that you really might just miss me after all

there are two options
i just don't know what they are

things i want: right now

a stiff drink;
to hit someone really firmly in the head

instead i'm going to read a book, underlining all the parts i deem important to general sanity, and finish doing my laundry

11:23 – 11:32

When I was little, I told people that I was going to study literature and that I was going to be a writer. I was sure of this -- as sure as finding my own way home from school when one or both of my parents forgot me there. The way California took me down until I turned left into a hill where I would run at full speed past the massive barking dogs in the yard with the fence that never felt high enough. I wrote about it in my journal just after the notes I'd made about the book Helter Skelter when I was in grade six. Violence and serial killers analyzed and digested followed by sketchy notes from the mouth of a kid about the way her life could unfold if she might just let it. I always planned on living in the Pacific Northwest -- always near the ocean. And I thought that I'd marry the man who lived next to us -- just to the right of the driveway -- Mr. Hotaru -- who always whispered stories to me in Japanese in a way that made me understand -- that made me believe, as a child, that he spoke some secret sacred language only reserved for us and for those tales. But who died at the age of 72 when I was still only in high school. When I had already forgotten the way of the word. Maybe sometimes the choices we make leaves life little room not to violate the things we most desire -- that we thought we wanted to wish for. I'm not where I thought i was going. But, there's no room for forgetting, anymore.

the problem with entropy

I wonder, sometimes, if I'm the only person who writes too many words and takes too many pictures until the world turns all suddenly the wrong way up. Until I realize that no matter what I say or do, it won't be good enough -- most of the time.

best time of the day
tandem hot chocolate drinking

i made a joke the other day
that if i had started a new blog . . .