This morning, I keep thinking about the green heron. The four novels I need to read over the next eight to ten hours. The weight of your hands on my back. Salt water air. The smell of the French bakery on the corner of the High Street. Sawdust. My grandfather. All the names we love that begin with the letter F.
today i read stephen wright's meditations in green. although it doesn't match up with the kinds of writing i'm trying to do about redemptive and reformative storytelling in the aftermath of violence and the relationship those things hold with the concept of placelessness. the concepts are swiftly there. i'm still not at all sorry that i spent my time between the pages. go. read.
it's not something new
but jess has been filling up my head with some wonderful words and images and emotions
as of late
and i'd hate for you to miss it
i've taken to writing down my thoughts in a blank book
the front cover all greys and black and whites
a movement of bicycles that i'll never ride
but the pages are taking me
somewhere far from
but right now i wish that anyone who wanted to could jump inside this body, this head, and feel what i feel this incredible madness that isn't pain or anger or anything that might make you feel like you wanted to throw yourself under a fast moving bus or train because you should feel like the happiest person alive but aren't. that you're happy in a way that would never make you feel like you wanted to throw yourself on a thick pile of splintery wood.
i wish you all could feel it or know it or that i had the sense about me and the skill to put it all into words.
but only now there is this residual lovely madness, like the thick heaviness of a tongue in the mouth after too much red wine, and the way these legs don't feel like they want to run anywhere at all.
once, you sent me a test file. a recording of you playing the piano. and i thought that there wasn't any possible way to love you more. than in that moment. when your fingers stormed spontaneously across the keys and moments later into my ears. and all i wanted to do was cry. greedy tears as if i could cry up a river and then float myself all the way to your door. but there is no river. and i am still foolishly listening to the way you make sounds into music with your hands. some notes sound just like the way your eyes get--smaller--glossier--when you laugh -- or the way your lips feel against the back of my neck when i'm just falling away into sleep.
this man said:
you fucking pussy
and i said let's go out on the stairs
where i smoked a cigarette and said
the only word now
that sounds in my red wine
spilt on your shirt
on my carpet
salty as it is
what ever it was that i did is the same thing that i always do that makes me feel like this like shit like i can't figure out the world or why i don't fit in it so well most times and why you can roll up your eyes and fall into private silences until i want to take a pen knife and dissect my own arm because i am only a bag of guts and there are bones in there and blood just like cows and maybe if you could see it all the pink and red fleshy works of sinews and dead-end maps capillaries and pulsation then maybe i would be more real like a phone bill or the fibonacci sequence and less like what ever it is that i am
i throw up twice into my favorite toilet* in the third floor bathroom
the one with the blue door
*when you get sick as often as i do, you tend to have these kinds of things
There's nothing that I hate more than sitting in my office with the sound of my mother's voice ringing in my head telling me the same story I've known my entire life about how I'm less worthy of her sympathy than anyone else in the world. With the lights out I try to write her a letter. It feels like that Collin's poem did coming out of my mouth. The one about the one-ton bell. And the weight of the tongue. The ring. Instead I write a haiku about this thing that I know about a guy who can never quite find the way to his apartment after dark: people tell stories / robert drunk and wandering / not saying we too are lost from home. I have to go to a meeting without any of these words.
just now, in classic style, i tripped up the stairs. i'd like to blame it on something fantastic and wild like too much drink or being lost in a thought that made me forget my step with time and place. but it wasn't that. never is. only my penchant for being off balance.
so much of the time.
I do remember well. The dream I had about boats. And you shooting birds. Just before you told me that my voice wasn't right for conversation. Hushed the mouth willing to speak.
There are certain things that I just don't like doing. I don't like reading in the bathroom. It seems too much like mixing things that shouldn't be mixed. The passion of my life. Mundane bodily functions. And I don't like putting pens in my mouth. Not because I don't enjoy feeling the pressure of the plastic between my teeth--the slick cylinder against my tongue--or the slight crunch and yellow flake of a nice raw number two pencil. It's not those things at all. It's that when I'm sitting a particular way in my office chair. And because I always need a pen handy whilst reading or studying or doing any kind of thinking at all. And only when I sit in this one particular way. Which is the way I sit often. Legs half curled up into the seat. I stick the pen between the little toe and the next of my right foot and hold it there. I think I like the unnatural pressure it makes. Weird. And the slight distraction it provides. To keep my eyes flashing across these stupid little symbols that end up making words into stories in my head.
We got really drunk and listened to music. It's the same thing we've been doing most nights. Except the one time. When I never came home. I don't remember what we listened to. Exactly. But I do know that for some of the songs we had to sit on the floor. As if the weight of the fall from the chair might have been some equal measure for this devastation.
the waiting. sometimes. too long. holds her head in her hands. the heels providing a providence of pressure that she wishes might deliver her right up into the indefatigable way the word sanctuary gets trapped at the back of her throat in those disconnected moments, disconsolate, when she's trying to dial a phone number or she's forgotten the location of her house keys. chapters. sentences like serpents waiting to gash her skin. and she loathes the waiting. the way weeks work themselves into incomprehensible months and years and lifetimes she's already known that weren't living. she's already ripped them all down. the memories. the pictures posted with sticky tape on the wall. the scent of the word love and how it lives sometimes, just there, out of reach, at the back of her refrigerator. instead of sleeping she opens pop cans. the dumb clicking sound the tongue makes when the tab presses itself against itself reminds her of what life must be. but she always pours that contents out. can't stomach the high sugar and carbonation. she wants life to be what it was when she was small and before the rotation of the world leaned itself so indelibly on her image. she wants to go back and edit out all of the glitches in the film. roll the reel back and let the loose end tick and tick itself until she finally figures out. how to sleep through the night.
today the storm comes. covers the eyes of this house. endless streams wet. containing nothing sacred. repeating phone numbers. like a roll call of summoning up sanity. your face. the day i should have left california--for good. the year we both were graduated. the year he died and left me forever tracing the outlines of the veins on the backs of his hands. indelible fingerprint stains. in my memory. the storm. japan. ted disembodied. too full of screaming and anger. eye. throw up a life i've already come too close to living.