Friday, December 7, 2012

A friend of mine invited me to pay homage to the new moon. For one night, I let it go. I worshipped and I sang; I danced and I pretended I was a daughter of the moon.

Coming home I was just about completely sober, the wine and weed waring off, and I was feeling awful. I needed to confess, to cry, to ask for forgiveness. So when I came home I collapsed on the floor, weeping before God. You come out of the bedroom and see me. You are concerned and kneel by my side, asking what's wrong.

"I'm an adulteress," I weep. I barely lift my head to you as I speak. Your eyes flare up; pain, anger, and hate fill your mind. You immediately stop touching me. You stand, stare at me kneeling there for a second and finally rage takes control. You kick my face with all your strength. I fly back - my neck, jaw, and teeth broken. I am bleeding, collapsed again. You pick me up and look me in the face. My head rolls so you pin me against the wall. I try to open my eyes and tell you, "Nathan..."

You spit in my face, "Don't talk to me."

I don't know what happens next, but I am unable to tell you that I am an adulteress because I cheated on God, not you. The man I love, who I would not hurt, never learns why I sought confession, why I turned to him for help that night.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Toucan bids me Luck

A stretch of land swinging below me offers up sacrifices of pretty figurines molded in plastic. A black Toucan with red and blue accented feathers stands out among the stiff spread of insects, dolls, and animals. Some blankets are empty, but every roof is outlined, making up the grid – a flat game of Tetra, frozen on level two. The bodies I recall the clearest are those upon which I swoop closest to their surface. That black, painted Toucan and the green grasshopper with the broken tail, cracked at the top. They sunbathe indirectly, not quite to the melting point. It just makes sense: the sun is the source of all life and these lifeless creations are trying their best to know it.

Eventually I’m going to have to come down. I didn’t mean to be swept this far over the mountains, over the royal blue waters blending into soft sandy mutes. I run like any other girl driven to flowers, except when I reach that speed that pulls my blouse behind me, my feet forget the round; I am lifted. This day I float too high and I’m scared more than usual.

The last house leaves me flying over industrial lands. I look back at the brick wall sacrificing these figurines to their gods, a disruption in an image that reminds me of my dilemma.

“They are fossils, and I think this map goes with them. See how the skeletons come to life in these drawings. Where did these come from?” I gently land like a goose to the waters outside a concrete garage. I know these people.

Recalling my adventure, I remember ice cream and men - their skins glistening in heat, tight over strength - the ice cream in pints, fed to my tongue. I watch his smooth, plump lips slightly parted to encourage my own. I was there on an errand, yes, still an accident, but at least I was not lost. These men in their bodies knew what I meant and they gave me what I needed. I needed to breathe harder.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bananas Bake in a Window

Last night my dream made me ashamed. If I knew to hide my face in my elbow, if I knew from where to turn I could possibly have avoided my guilt. But none can control what they dream, and dream I do…

A banana bakes in the sunlight screaming through the West-side window. The sun dances in its own heat and teases me for joy. She lures me outside into the jaws of a sharp wind and laughs as I shudder. I return to sit behind glass.

From here I watch someone else hear your smile and feel your laugh.

There is a longing to be seen, to be included because I know that all your jokes are inside jokes – a comedy club one cannot choose to enter. For this, a foundation built on mutual friends and countless hours over three years is eclipsed by distance; those friends are gone and those years fade.

We laughed because you were laughing. It is mirrored in all waters, all glasses; every crystal captures the eruption that is your heart into joy. But now your skin tightens and your sense panics because, like always, my gaze drifts: my attention mocks you with my desire on him. They are traps, those eyes grey like thunder, but I do not want to escape, so I grin and melt that I may be carried in the tank of his car.

His seductive smirk, his innocent cheeks: a child born into sin but precious with the innocence that can only be feigned with the knowledge we have taken. How sweet: a soft pout, a rosy glow, a voice I drink like trickling water, just a baby born with a fool’s wisdom.

That music wraps you tightly; it sticks to your shoes like mud in the cracks - songs you let conduct your life. You’d rather live in those songs than open your own eyes. The shades stay drawn and your notes read sadly. You live in twisted joy found in seeping hearts, bitter brown ice, and vain photos, false faces.

Do you love her because you feel safe to hate her? She won’t notice with your touch so gentle, seemingly timid but deliberately so. I dare not call her a fool for in her I am reflected. I stare at me in her but in her eyes I see mine now pierced by a new light in the center that does not reach through hers. I would show her from where it comes and to where it leads but she doesn’t know we are connected and he won’t tell her.

She holds the porcelain doll cold on her skin, smooth on her fingers, delicate on her hands. To the child it is treasure, the love to call one’s own, to carry with you always. But it will fall and it will shatter - hallow and sharp, you will bleed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Story coming

“Uh Oh, here we go.” White petals fall onto her shoulders, tumble off her budding breasts and float, dreamily, to the floor. Spring sends new green blades to the surface. They push past moist dirt from the center of the earth. Fire bubbles; coal hardens. Missy walks on live round.

Four corners meet at a point. Her left foot stands in snow; icy pillows crowd her leather shoe. Her orange socks are getting wet being bathed by miniature crystals. Her right foot is buried under dry, hardened leaves. They dust her toes and cling to her knee high stockings. Her right hand plays in moist mud, only just warming under a new sun while her left palm holds warm earth, ripe in summer. “Why am I on all fours?” Because she can, she can touch one year at once. Can one get sick from being so close to extreme weather changes? “I was looking for something. Where did it go? What does it look like?” Ticking. Tic Tic Tic Tic. It’s shiny. Perhaps red, but she will look for black. It turns out to be unpainted metal. That makes it silver. Two round faces span an intricate body of dials. Who decided that time moved this way? She’ll hold on to minutes while seconds cling at her fingers.

Ah yes, sitting in bed, how typical. She unburies her alarm clock from between sheets of snow, shakes it off, but it is still wet. The skirt of her dress dries off the self-contained droplets stealing the spotlight from a featured surface. Maybe if I would stop picking my nails after every sentence I would know where I dropped things. The white face shines bright, reflecting the sun into her blue pale eyes. A taste of taurine fills her mouth. “So that’s what a Monster is.” A taste that’s bitter sweet and potent to the senses: tinted poison.

Missy looks up, like usual, she doesn’t know where she is or where she needs to go, but she does need to go. That is for certain.

This would be easier with a pipe.

On two feet she chooses to wait in the third of the year. It is the clearest, freshest. A light mist awakens her skin. The smell of falling daisies recalls her attention and her eyes pop open, never aware that they were closed until color assaults her. She pulls out two eyelashes because the brain is on pause.

Pulsing bodies. “Is that what I saw?” This may all come together. “If I can figure out what I’m looking for, thee clouds won’t seem so ominous.” But they do regardless. “Yes. They were in the window. I saw them in the window.” Those heavy mauve curtains were meant to conceal but instead they drew attention to the moving bodies.

“I hung yellow curtains that they might drip sunlight into these shadows.” Wow, yeah, definitely feeling that Monster. Maybe it’ll come back someday. She used to say that: in every house we owned, yellow curtains in nearly all the windows – except where there were more appropriate moods to conduct, like red in the bedroom. Missy preferred black lace over dull pink in her space. They matched the sleeping dolls, her dreaming fancies - those dolls with their silky tendrils. How she envied their silky curls, pearly gazes and porcelain hands. “Maybe if I draw a map it will point me in the right direction.”

She turns and follows the path between the climbing houses. Peaking Victorian roofs support ornate wooden trellises. Dark bark and pastel side boards, round windows and deep porches – a street of Dancing Ladies. But the house she is looking for wasn’t that memorable. It was down a different street perhaps, more colonial, more predictable, with rigid standards of building. Attics with hidden treasures, just cobwebs guarding faded memories. It was one of our houses. These are only for my visual pleasure – an imagination I indulge. Always.

Her children. “Oh mother, why did you desert us? I am left wandering through transient solids looking for you, a figure without a face. But I saw you. You were dancing with that man.” A youthful party. “I saw music in the lights. “Momma, please, take away this whining.” I want magic. “Take me in your arms so I won’t lose you again.” The macaroni is boiling over. I thought I smelled neglect.

“What am I talking about? It’s just snow crowding my sense. I believe you. When you say you’ll come back, I believe you.” So why is she still searching? She had turned around when the last Painted Lady waved her laced glove and the gentleman car tipped his grey felt hat. Lamp posts gradually warmed a welcomed night sky. Only in shallow halos, fuzzy at the edges and strung together by flying fires – they carry their light in their bellies.

When I can’t talk to him, I feel like I can’t talk to anybody. I want to lift my shirt and smile at your smile. A smooth, continuous line from the chin to the ankle - I ache for you.

She yawns. When is sleep allowed in these subconscious moments? “It was the Monster.” I knew I shouldn’t have said yes. I just wanted to know what it would do. Flies. She forgot about the flies. They connect the strings between obliterated views. Missy blocks an iron gate. A little boy waits for her to pass. His top hat barely allows his eyes to see her cream-colored dress, the jellyfish tendrils that follow her naked knees. When he wakes, he will talk of shallow teal oceans and pink skins dripping pearls. She continues to walk to a simple soundtrack of flutes, a few strings, and percussion in the clouds. She feels neglected but is unaware. “Wait for me. While I wait for you.” She only knows what comes next by continuing an existence. Does the ground float ahead? She sees motion at the corner. Back at the four seasons – a crossroad for choices.

To describe her color: ivory, a shadow set back behind golden curtains. Her eyes are so large – a third of her face easily. One slides down with the pinky exhausting its touch. She wants to be a ballerina. She sits in the cushioned folding chair and drifts off to visit her fantasies. Hello my familiar friends. The moon contained in her eyes. Present are the galaxies and worlds beyond - a blue so complex, too beautiful a face. Return to the golden curtain. She turns her head back East and it swings around her face to hit her nose, her cheeks; she closes her eyes. Here, to the East, into the winter, away from the spring. She travels backwards, so you would think, but her alarm is still ticking as it was. Always.

Her back to Victoria, ahead lies the Colonel. These houses she recognizes. Their white facades offer but a small square window to lead her correctly. Near the front doors are wider windows without shades. Through these does she see the pulsing lights. Grey roofs gently steep over parallel panels, even with their cement driveways. “His only friends were the rats.” Distracted. They’re all the same. This street is falling asleep.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Reponse to a response (Description De L'Egipte)

So why do they buy t-shirts with Mickey’s face on them? This was a memory in the sun, a memory they want to share, to be reminded of, because we won’t remember the important parts if we don’t take pictures and buy memorabilia.

Why did they draw everything? Too much novelty to even breathe steadily. Can’t draw quickly enough, my hand won’t move fast enough. I try harder. The lizard is crawling away.

My family used to vacation every year. Florida, The Cayman Islands, Aruba – my parents went to Atlantis one year but they left the kids in school. Do I prefer to see animals in their natural habitat or in places where they are forced to stay within my view? That seems like an awful question with an obvious answer. I just need these animals to know that I love them. I care for them. They fascinate me. Like that man in the documentary; he wanted to be one of the bears, accepted into their colony. He was crazy, but all I could really see were wounds. He was in so much pain living among humans that he took refuge in these massive creatures. I’d like a teddy buddy too.

The lizards moved quickly. I hardly noticed that they were there to begin with until they moved. When I get my face too close to something I always imagine it jumping onto my nose and so I leap back before I think it sees me.

I bought sterling silver turtle earrings (well, technically it was with my mom’s money, but I didn’t think about those things). We have shirts that said stingray city. It was a beautiful, magical, frightening place out in the ocean. We could feed the rays by hand chopped up squid. Their skin so silky yet leathery. It’s been a joke in my family since it happened, “First one in and the first one out.” I was just so eager to be with them. I enjoy the edge and I was right there, I had to jump. I had to be the little girl who wasn’t afraid. But its fin grazed my leg, like my girlfriend’s tongue on the playground; we wanted to know what they felt like, these strange muscles in our mouths.

So these turtle earrings, these stingray t-shirts, where are they now? Those pictures, my mom’s unceasing camera, where are the pictures? There’s a closet in my parents house with tubs of photos. My mom is as obsessed with Tupperware. She might even prefer to live in a clear, plastic house. Are hours wasted shuffling through photos?

I am afraid I will enjoy myself only for the camera, only for those brief snapshots, so the world can know a smiling face, but it’s not why I’m there. I’m not there to have my photo taken. I just want to be there. I can’t be solid enough because time is always passing. So there are photos and souvenirs. Constricting - I am being crushed! I scream because I cannot taste. I thrash because I cannot feel, my fingertips raw. I gouge out my eyes because they will not remember. These colors these sounds textures and smells, I can’t take them and squeeze them and know them forever. Their memories will fade the second I blink. Like the way I love you. Why we lick and bite. I shake you and squeeze you, to own you and take you, throw you around and smash you into myself just to feel a greater impact. Nothing is solid enough. “I could just eat you!” And it’s true, but even that would not satisfy. Like the gorger I am I have to always be tasting it. I bite and feel juice gush out. My taste buds dance with my saliva. They wrap this treasure and push it into storage. But in storage is darkness and silence, dust and cobwebs. I sit idle on the floor and cry because I’m not there. I am here, on this floor. I am trying to feel. My face contorts in frustrating. I don’t want to be indifferent.

When I hold up those t-shirts or play with those earrings, does it really help me recall? We need something tangible. It’s why we can’t understand God. His memory fades, replaced with painted souvenirs.

Scratch of this Pen

Things that I regret itch me on the inside

That soft under side of the flesh aches from a perpetual bother

Things said and actions passed

Just little nuances – gnats in my face

The worst part might be the fact that I’m the one to notice

An unnecessary addition, just a little too far

I push the subject over the edge and try desperately to pull it back up

But that catch is on a rope too long to see and my arms give out before it’s even worth it

I should just drop it, try again later

But if I knew what I was doing I wouldn’t be here writing

Somehow if I write, the mental bother ceases

That scratching on the inside becomes the scratching of this pen

I haven’t written in a while. Not like this, not with a mean

But something struck an old chord and I’ve picked it up again

Just like dancing without eyes, practice lyric without judgment

It’s inevitable that my mind will wander

It grows on fantasies and I don’t care to cut them down

It may be harmful but it keeps me occupied

Someday I’ll realize what I never knew and I’ll receive what I did not ask for

In Class Writing Excersize

Every 3 minutes:


Blank. I pick up a notebook. Leather bound. Smell the leather. Trace my fingers over its smooth surface and I imagine a piece of antiquity preserved in my hands. Preserved flesh. Open the cover, a crack of the spine, that virgin pop, bring the crease to my nose, like new shoes, these fresh pages mark a fresh beginning.


Smells like sex. I pull the covers over the sheets because I’m afraid someone might know what happened here, somehow in the way the sheets are wrinkled and twisted. Are there two shadows in the pillow or am I paranoid? Do the colors of the sheets give anything away? Standing at the edge of the mattress I fall onto my stomach to recall his feeling. The bed is cold. I am alone again, but not because we want it this way. Someday this bed will be our sanctuary.


Two can share a small space. A single size loft built over another single size mattress. We’re supposed to be best friends. That’s why we agreed to share the second bedroom, letting Danielle have the first for herself. I didn’t even approve of this apartment. She was hasty and nervous. Now I have to leave the house before she rises, so my day isn’t tainted by her voice. It could have been fine, sharing a small bedroom with my best friend. Sometimes we talk. Like sisters delaying sleep.


I close the door behind me and latch the lock. The key will only serve as a souvenir on my keychain, a relic of short visits listening to new music. We could only take as many boxes as we could carry because we didn’t have a car. So the important things are saved: a massive CD collection, reference books (but not the heavy one, the Concordance, the one I wanted), clothes, and his guitar. I should have met him a year ago - no, maybe two months ago.


Unpolished stones stacked three stories high. The arch of a porch opens the cave before the door, for smoking and thinking and waiting for guests when I’m too eager to stare out a window. A red door with a brass handle and a gargoyle knocker. Tall windows on the first floor would stay open in summer or record rain while I’m sleeping.


“The black river of death.” She holds up her skirt baring layers of stockings stuffed into button-up boots. Warily she offers the tip of her shoe to the still dark waters, bracing her body to resist a pull into its depths.

“Ah! It is solid! The river has frozen over!” She squeals at her sisters and jumps onto its surface. Hopping from foot to foot she invites…


“Little boxes on a hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky,” she’s singing as she walks home from school. Green squares of growing carpet preceded every white box on the block. Imagine this a different color: the sky green, the grass blue. She thinks, looking up, that she’d like to walk on that ceiling, like the moon bounce she had at her birthday party.


Divided into four squares. In the center I can touch all four without crossing the street. My left foot is buried in snow, my right foot under leaves; my right hand covered in ants, my left hand sinks in muddy grass. I spin in circles, still on all fours and mix the elements – melting snow over summer flows…


The country lay in shambles. This could be my imagination. The wind gives me a plastic bag, escaped from the remains of a grocery store. At least we won’t have to pay for today’s food, but what about tomorrow? What about the gangs forming to monopolize the goods? We need to work together. Hunger makes us greedy. “Don’t worry about tomorrow for today has enough troubles of its own.”


Separated by customs. Customs held together by policy. Policy made to keep an order. Order intended to relay peace. Peace needed for joy. Joy comes from the heart. Hearts pulse for life. Life is ruled by need. Need drives us to action.


Airplanes to fly, buses to get to airplanes, maybe I can float. I’ve never taken a boat anywhere but around the lake. Europe. Why do I want to go to Europe? If I say I don’t like America am I being ungrateful? Jaded? What do I expect? Just want something new to look at. I want something fresh to smell. What is that smell?


What is that even supposed to mean? Old continent – so is a new continent one covering an old one? I could believe, understand, that every generation lives in a new continent. The one of our ancestors is unrecognizable – except maybe a few things. But even those few things live in new context. So the ancient church I stand in now is altered by perception, by old tradition carried into a new era.


So this land is new because rains have washed away the old. Let’s switch up our style. Let the oceans cover our lands and lets live in the ocean basins. Never matter the impossibility, we’re humans, we do as we please. Would the grounds be softer? Would our houses be multi-leveled? Would we grow potatoes and corn and lettuce? Could I climb up sunflowers to see the top of my car? Roads – please, no roads.


I am thinking temporary. I love this earth, this world made so perfectly. Yes, I know, but it was perfect once. You don’t have to agree. I imagine myself leaning over the edge of a palm, peering between split fingers at a world imploding. A dark expanse would catch the smoke, but this fire doesn’t smoke.


A natural progression would suggest stars and planets but I’ve already been there. What is space? Is there any space? I miss narration. Space holds these figures apart from each other. Space keeps distance between these two lovers. Space curses this love, but then brings it together.