Tuesday, July 29, 2008

freaking_goddam_aannger (not sure what to do with)/almost sublime

My new novel has fingernails now. I can feel it breathing as it reaches out and touches this and that; memories, or, every now and then, when something happens, i can hear it think: oh yes, that one's going in, and so, she's getting stronger. better defined. Of course, what it really needs are some bones, and i need to sit down and sketch it out. For now, here are some of its organs that are already developed:

____-its patron song is a Sunday Smile, by Beirut. Everything starts and ends there

____-it is about heritage, history, how i pay(receive) for other people's decisions- good and bad

____-its about death. which means its about life. which means, it's about everything, which is hard

____-it will have the constant feeling of something being missing of the puzzle. one piece who ought to be there

____-i have some neat typographical/formatting ideas for it

____-distinction will be made between people's minds and souls. (my soul occasionally needs to reassure my mind. my mind typically needs to bemoan my soul. this really happens. i know how to write it!)

____-ghosts, dreams, premonitions, moments of inspiration during prayer, moments of massive discontent, those little moments we die, death death death, rebirth, picking ourselves up, crying in the summertime sitting by pools breathing the summer chlorinated flower filled air- that's all there

____-it is a retelling of the Orestia.

____-it will make my mother cry, as everything does, when it reminds my mother how sad her son can be.get, and how disabled her daughter is

____-it is my novel about happiness. and where happiness lives, and how... silent and modest happiness really is, and how we can be happy for years without ever knowing we are, and all the terrible things that make us sad enough to break into happiness

____-it is about running (away)

____-it is about failure and victory

____-it is about decisions, and how we'll never ever ever know exactly which were wrong, and which were right

____-i saw pictures today. people i used to know. being happy. in a city i wanted to be happy in. i felt left out. small. tiny. uninvolved. unimportant. uninspired. unable. i feel like i am working on fixing everyone else's life, so that eventually, i can get started on mine. It will be about resentment. anger. furiosity. manic rage. uncontrollable stagnancy. desperation. sailing out towards the middle of the ocean, hoping never to return, and then, having to. naked. tired. apathetic.

____-it will be about me. (also Gatsby, who has everything to prove, doomed as it is from the beginning). it will be about me. also Leopold Bloom. (who is also me. who is also Hamlet) (who is also me) also Hamlet. (who is also Orestes) (who is also me) also Orestes. (who is also Odysseus) (who is also me) (who is also most of us) (but no one knows the trouble i've seen)

____-also it's a story about "love drunk crazies" who walked through Asia Minor to find youth prophets, who were then cut to strips and fed to dogs, who then started revolutions, and my great grandfathers who joined in, and were beaten black and smiling, and wore badges forcing them to drink from other water fountains, and eventually, the collapse of an Order, the rise of a diaspora, and a heritage of "love drunk crazies" that led my parents to Congo, me to Israel, and all of us to irreparable misgoodfortune.

____-it's about decisions, those we make, and those that make themselves around us, and lead us

____-it's about the way i felt on the rock beach, besides the graveyard of trees, where mermaids still live, with Martha on the Olympic Peninsula

____-it's a redemption song

____-it's about how much i hate noise. how i want to have children and move them to a small town in France, or Italy, where they'll know what real tomatoes taste like, and what real sun feels like on bare (unsunscreened skin), and what true silence means

____-it's about how Golriz, after teaching me to love rain, taught me to love sun. (and how LA is the only place where i can tolerate summer)

____-it's about hiding

____-it's about homelessness. homesickness. about drifting out to sea, with no way to come back
____-it's about the fear of the future

____-history is a nightmare of myself i'm trying to wake from

____-it's always about me (this time, my parents too. and my grandfather, who i hope still cares

____-it's about the bones of time that line the streets i walk on, the bones of time that sprout from the ground, and are the stems of yesteryear's tulips

____-it's a story about: help__please__fu&*__what now?

____-it's a story about taking now, and making it what i wish it was (could be) (might have been)

____-it's a story about if and if only

____-it's a story about photographs i knew i never should have looked at

____-and something's we're all too young to know

____-i want to explore spirituality from the inside, from the place where it boils, where fervor sprouts, what makes people smile towards their deaths?

____-it's a story about how i ceased to be a man.

____-it's not a story at all. it's a history. a hope. an aspiration. a chronicle. a fantasy. a 'could have been' a please, a shout, a crossroads, another of my failures, another of my victories (and as usual, i can't tell which from which)

____-it's a story about old men with blue eyes that hug us and teach us things

____-it's a story about the person i always wished i could be

____-it's a story about natural disasters

i guess all i need now is a plot, some time, and inspiration. (lots of inspiration)

Marilyn reading Joyce

Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.
____Mark Leyner; My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist

I had the ridiculous good fortune today to read this. My post, whatever it might become, will be heavily influenced by it- and I strongly recommend Golriz to read the whole article, start to end.


It occurs to me, this all began with Ulysses. When I boarded the plane for China: Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed., and so it began. Had I finished it, perhaps this would have all been done by now. The silent hero, we first meet, sitting on a bank, crying, a miniature beached-whale: The grand-strategist, the schemer, quick-minded Odysseus, lost, homebound, failure, loser, hero, anguished, assiduously brave, confused, moribund, stagnant, hopeless, deceiver, liar, adulterer, loyal; midway through his tale, he sits by a bank and cries. (i stopped reading, put the book down and stared at the blue pool. Its color was unearthly, looked more like a slab- a neon spaceship landed/ stared up at the piercing blue-eye of the LA sky/ no clouds/ never a blink to be found/ [sigh], let's try and fall asleep in the sun, (tears still in eyes.

My laptop sits on the book. It's big, it raises my laptop to the right height so i can lay on my stomach and type comfortably. The front cover is a little faded from the heat of the laptop.

The story of a universe in a day, rather:
the whole idea of celebrating an imaginary day -- or rather, a real day in an imaginary world, or, actually, a real day in the real city of Dublin, but peopled by imagined characters and events
____Elizabeth Bachner
constructed out of paper. actually, out of meaningless words put next to each other on paper, like an entire origami parallel universe where things fold themselves into (and out of) thin paper (my copy is as thin as bible paper).

And Odysseus sets his sail for the other side of the unknown world. Passes through nether-death-kingdoms, and carnivorous nymphs, and one-eyed giants. And Bloom walks sadly through his industrial city, a lost man, lonely, sits by the beach and masturbates. And ududQs fights off the shrieks of phonecalls, and doors slamming, and smiles through his cracked teeth and bruised lips, and takes his fallen pride and ties it at top and bottom to make a his sail, and looks for a horizon far enough to sail towards.
I notice that Ulysses isn’t really an odyssey at all, most of the time. Actually, everyone in the book is trapped in a small space, in small lives, in a single, interminable day, and in the nightmare of history from which they are trying to awaken. Homer’s Odyssey of the ancients is filled with genuinely long journeys, and unknown lands, and living gods. In modernity, you can experience exile, and lose your father, and lose yourself, and (maybe) come home, all without crossing an ocean. If Ulysses represents the apotheosis of high modernism, what would an odyssey be like for our new century? Maybe, to be right, it would have to not be written at all.
i turn around and look at my small closet, with the broken sliding door, and nod. Small spaces. Blankets on the ground. bodies lying, and rubbing against carpet. a small pack of tissues. three pairs of underwear. dirty Cons. the smell of dust.


____-grandfather dies, occasionally returns in dreams to warn of various things (HAMLET THEME: check)
____-walks, is occasionally ridiculed, confused masculinity/the too-strong forces of femininity smile and nod and laugh/a matriarchal world is considered and fondled
____-sexuality lays sulking on the dirty floor of a train station girls' bathroom at Roma St. station in Brisbane (MOLLY/BLOOM THEME: check)
____-time stops and mundane minutes grow too long in attempt to parody the haughty pride of the Greeks, (definitely check)
____-the role of the Gods grows, diminishes; the Gods demonstrate a fickle, self-absorbed involvement in the affairs of their subjects; fates are handed and sold and traded for food-stamps and icecream sandwiches and bus-tickets (check)
and I start to get the strangest feeling: homesickness. It’s unmistakable as anything else. Molly utters her final yes and drops the final page at just before three a.m., and as I weave out into the Upper West Side night, I can imagine coming back for this monologue again, for the whole marathon, even, in a couple of years. That’s Joyce’s great, eternal contribution to literature. Homesickness.
(as Molly says in agreement: Yes) Yes. yes. yes. yes. yesyes. yesss.
(and Ithaca ends with the question, the big question: Where?)

and I stop and ask myself:

____fu&*ing WHERE?
____(am I?)
____(are you?, where'd you leave me?
____(where have i gotten to since you?
____(where have i gotten to since i was me?
____(where the fu&* am i?
____even worse: (where am i going?
________holy crap, i hadn't considered that,
________which way is the wind coming from?

and in my stomach, i really just want: a bed. a familiar mug. for someone to still be there when the winter finally washes the dust off all this, Ash and her cold feet, or Mona calling me boy, or Martha looking at me silently. home.
“The only demand I make of my reader,” said Joyce, “is that he should devote his whole life to reading my works.” There are whole lives contained on June 16, 1904 or June 16, 2008. Joyce wrote in a climate that was hostile to Ulysses, and utterly uncomprehending of the darker, trickier Finnegan’s Wake. My wish today, the day after Bloomsday, is that the real poets who are still living will write some real work, however torturously. Work that might sprawl over thousands of pages and change style eighteen times, or work that pierces the heart of a life in a few short phrases. They should go on that odyssey even if it means madness, or blindness, or never returning home.

screw that.
i wanna go home.
(and the only way to do that, is to finish the 336 remaining pages)

I Vitonelli

we find out how electric we really are Originally uploaded by david death

i like that the bumper of your car is held in place with masking tape.
our windows are half down, the wind is perfect.
__we pass filthy burger joints, chic bars with the always too beautiful LA women draped in the line outside for decor.
__two young Mexican men hose stains off the ground at a gas station. they look tired.
the car slides through another green light. __what? yeah, totally. __no way dude, i'm with you.
i don't look at my watch. __i don't think about the date.
__we pass neon lights. a homeless woman that goes into Starbucks everyday between 9-10am sits at a busstop and stares away. __a BMW pulls up next to us at. they look in, we are not impressive to them. they giggle, oh my godd, yes! their world drives on past us.


"what is it with you? your silly pants, and you never shave and you never work, not even that, but nothing works for you, why doesn't anything work for you? And what the hell is it with this stupid music you listen to?, I'd wanna shoot myself too if this is what I listened to all the time- and those stupid neon sunglasses, take them off. __why do you always want to be different?, where do you get this stupid artsy-fartsyness? It's not cool. Stop thinking you're cool. You look ridiculous. You are ridiculous. You're life is ridiculous. You really are a waste of space. Go do something with yourself- why aren't you doing anything? Are you listening to me?"
"perhaps if you did, you wouldn't find yourself in these predicaments."
"do you have anything you want to say?"
"well?, out with it."
"what, you're too coooool to say what's on your mind?, is that it? Your pants to tight to speak?"
"i hope the next time you're really stressed you die of a heart-attack. i hate your guts: FU&* YOU."


which vintage store? no, i haven't tried that one yet, it's good? __past a firehydrant, a man walking a dog,
the signal lights up half the street,
we turn right, carry on __(no one speaks now.
______________________there's too much to think about sometimes.
the lights of a diner, another gas-station, a car full of trash- the driver barely fits inside,
a billboard, a car dealership- they shine in the dark

i get out.
turn around before i close the door
we need to see more of you.
when are you leaving again, it's soon right?
[shakes head. doesn't wanna answer]
fair enough


"hey back there. you're quiet. how are you feeling?"
"seriously, how are you doing?"
"if you could change anything about your life, what would you change?" (laughs)
"i'd shoot myself in the head, here (gestures to forehead) long ago."
"poor baby. you hear that? (other person giggles) No one's had it as hard as you."
"so what are you going to do?"
"whatever comes next."
"this is what we do."
"what? what do you do?"
"what's next."
"i don't get it."
"(shakes head) then stop trying"

Monday, July 28, 2008

I admit to searching myself in google. Though the writing got cut, I finally made it onto McSweeny's, and they changed my title as well (bastards).

(that's all.
i can't think of anything to write about)

(thanks for calling Mar. I miss(ed) (will miss(ed)) you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fuga a 2 voci

mirror seven by shesaskeleton

"you're fu*&ing leaving; __again?"
"yeah. i __am."
"is that cool?, i mean i mean, is that cool? like what you wanna do?"
"__yeah __i don't know. It's just what it is, ya know?"
"sure sure."
[stares at his shoes. they're dirty]
[exhales cigarette smoke. breathes deeply]
[keeps staring at his shoes, not looking at them. not sure what thoughts he's having, wondering about his soul- like a kite attached to his body- he looks up at the sky, wonders where his soul is, what cloud it's with]
"when you think we're gonna get past all this?"
"freaking... i i-"
" you know? like, thursday nights __not being able to sleep, friends and half-friends... and, like like, the other night, at that pub place we were at at
"what about it?
"that girl, that pretty girl... i get all charming, i fu&*ing hate it when i do that. it's not me, i'm not even there. i'm not... i'm like in this black cave in my head jus just thinking my own thoughts. Thinking, 'God, I'm such a freaking ass'. and... what the helll are we doing? like... where are we?"
"figuratively or metaphorically?"
"like... dude, look around you man. how long you gonna keep wearing god damn cons?"
"you gonna diss my shoes now?"
"you know what i mean. Just __life. like... just life." [inhales deeply. stares at cigarette]
[still not sure where his soul is]
"my soul's lost."
"i don't know where it is."
"it's up there somewhere. __doin whatever it is they do. __up there wit the rest of them. you can be sure."
"can i?"
[shrugs] "probably not actually."
"we're doing out best right?"
"we're freaking bums man. __we're sitting out on the front steps of your house on a thursday night. we find streetlights beautiful. the weather is enough to please us... bums have that luxury."
"true dat."
"what happened with Starbucks?"
"nothing. it's going. i told them i'm out though. last shift's next week."
"this homeless guy comes in everyday. __You know, we have this discount, for public servants, like cops and soldiers and stuff... we give them their drinks for free."
"that's cool."
"right. so whenever a bum comes in, i give em that discount."
"what's their service?"
"they remind us about humanity. they remind us about shades and color... all that stuff."
[doesn't say anything]
[stares at his shoes]
"you as scared as me?"
"you as lonely as me?"
[shrugs] "it's better than it used to be. used to be worse. __i dream of white horses. __i hate door knocks. __i feel like i'm falling again, get this... breathless feeling in my stomach, kinda... gagging on nothing, breathing it all in, inhale inhale inhale inhale __hear Shostakovich melodies in my head, __can't walk with my head up, think about kissing women all the time __when i drive, i don't know where i am, can't see anything, am paralyzed. am surprised when i arrive anywhere. how'd i get here? __hey, seriously man, how'd i get here?"
"white horses huh? and a door knocks and they crack into a dozen doves."
"something like that."
"finish it"
"finish what?"
"the dream __pretend it's a dream, finish it."
"____They crack into a dozen doves that fly off. then they grow all blurry, and there's only one kid right, there's this one kid staring at the sky, only this one kid and this homeless guy that sits outside by starbucks, and they're looking at the sky, and they see all these doves slow down in the sky, and grow blurry, and spread thin into these clouds. "
"thanks. heh"
"i don't know what i'm gonna do man." [inhales cigarette smoke.]
[breathes in the dirty air. sighs. ] "we might never make it."
"i know. i'm trying to resign myself to the idea."
"it's true __we might __never."
"i used to be in medical school. did you know that?"
"for shizzle?"
"should have stayed, be all wearing a white lab coat and shouting stat this and stat that all the time. women wanna be with you so they could use for your cheap breast-implant connections and all that. sounds kinda sweet."
"____maybe. ____wasn't."
"you quit on it or it on you?"
"not sure."
"when will you know?"
"not sure if god gives us the recipe when we're done. just a scorecard. so probably never."
"sad thought that one." [exhales smoke]
"__yeah. __now i give bums free coffee at starbucks
"and scab off my cigarette air."
"we're the nothings of this world. you know that? you and i. the nothings"
"yeah. my mom reminds me once a minute"
"ha!" [laughs enthusiastically]
"ha" [smiles sadly]
"freaking funny."
"i was in a room today with five total strangers today. __can't explain why or how though... but like... i felt like i loved them. like... seriously, would have done anything for them."
"don't know, just cause they were, and that was kinda enough."
"what do you think it means?"
"my mom asked me what i'd learnt in the last six months."
"what'd you tell her?"
"i used to hate everyone i ever met. __so __nothing. but i was thinking about that"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

speaking frankly

mémoire Originally uploaded by copyright depuis 1965

I have no energy to write creatively right now. Here is the bottom line:

____- since i discovered copyright depuis 1965 on flickr, i cannot write. her photos say it all.

____- my ticket is all organized. i leave Los Angeles at 9:30pm on the 2nd evening of August.

____(- i stop pause my writing for a moment to repeat Breathe by Sia)

____- i find myself generally unaffected by all this. there are things i will miss (the LA sky, pinkberry, my afternoon walks, Ashtree telling me to GET ON IT), there are things i am looking forward to (my piano, genuine alone time, knowing my way around, and mostly: w_i_n_t_e_r_), "this is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object", the result is no net emotional response.

____- this whole day i tried to slow things down so i could sit alone and pray out of my new paperback (read: i can underline and scribble in it!) Prayers and Meditations of Baha'u'llah. i was not successful.

____- i know nothing about the future; other than it will require much hard work. incredible reserves of patience; and with no easily distinguishable features/victories/achievements. Since this is not too different from the past, I find it easy enough to tolerate.

____- how is it that i can feel simultaneously victorious, and unparalleled loser?

____- this whole day i haven't though about kissing once.

____- i have been trying to gather in my mind a 'list of things i've learnt since February 13th'. i cannot seem to distill anything down that much. we are still too close to see anything clearly. mostly everything is blurred together.

____- i hate that i have become the friend that is always needing attention/an ear/your patience. i used to be the friend that gave an ear/patience/attention... how'd that happen? In any case, if a measure of a man's success were the quality and quantity of his friends, i would be the most successful man to have lived. i love you all.

when i write i always start from a title... or a phrase. something definitive. the germ cell for the whole work- the DNA so to speak. Hallett Cove (a History) may not mean much to everyone, but to me, Eman, Farhat, Farnosh, Ilya, Arman... it means a whole universe. A Sleep with No Dreams, i just mused on that phrase for weeks before it grew itself. Even the larger works are like that- the novel was like that. Grew itself out of just one phrase: Two Days Till Winter. Also, just about everything I write, every post on this blog, every page of every thing has a patron song. The new story (the unwritten one), it's What You Wanted, by Angus and Julia Stone. I listen to it regularly to water my story.
____So, we have this essence. From that comes a kind of inchoate sense of atmosphere. Then phrases start to build up. Sometimes they're things from other sources I've been saving up in my head (a sunday smile) (save the last chance for me) (everyday is better than the next) (a portrait of the soul as a man), other times they are novel lines that i think up for the occasion. From those lines comes clusters of images. the images define the language. staccato- short sentences. legato (longer, softer sentences). From that i can determine characters, plots and so on.
____The reason i said all this is because, Bye Bye LA, which I have staunchly determined to write on August 2nd at approximately 11pm is not evolving as planned. I have some images in my head, but nothing that's going to be enough. I am a little worried.

____- the single most unpleasant experience that i know of is having my hair washed at the hairdresser.

____- i am trying soo hard to speak honestly, and to say the things that i want to say. it is not working. not working at all.

____- why do i crash land everywhere i go, and leave soon after in a big lunatic-asylum-whirlwind, leaving in my wake too many half-formed friendships, books, unkissed conversations sitting in cars outside my house, socks and underwear, flashcards, memories. memories (memories)

____- i watched So You Think You Can Dance tonight, and was overcome with soo many people living their dream, being successful at things they want to be successful at, working towards goals... and felt incredibly... meager. i turned it off and took a shower instead.

____- i am too young to be this old

why can't i write?
if you have suggestions, comments, circus tricks you'd like to see me attempt, feel free to post comments/email me your ideas/questions/topics/challenges, and hopefully they will inspire some better writing.

for now.
let's just forget this ever happened and try and get some sleep.

he closes the door behind him and walks out onto the street.

and as he runs and runs, behind him, open doorways collapse into rubble, gutterways suddenly spew out oceanic waves, birds swoop at streetlights till the roads are covered with yellow bits of plastic and the sky vibrates with hallucinogenic neons reflecting sunlight- __, and glass cracks into spider webs and he passes a doorway from which suddenly erupts an entire Santa-Monica-sky worth of white clouds (and the blue sky is relieved to have finally found its sclera), a homeless man stands on the streetcorner dancing two hands in the air as he hops from foot to foot ranting about Armageddon, mumbling through toothless lips: we are all that's left! we two are all that's left! and he runs right past him and the homeless man breaks down crying (we are all?) and besides that his shopping trolley full of everyone's nothings is knocked over and plastic cans go scattered everywhere, and the wind rolls the along the empty streets and the mild scent of old beer attracts first the cats.

behind them the buildings crack at the hips, and fall down leaving a sky line of jagged acute angles soon to be overtaken by brown dust, and the white Santa Monica birds grow browned and the noise intimidates, and the grass (out of fear) exhales all at once, and the leaves and the flowers, and the wind pushes the grey dust another way, and a billboard falls

(and he runs)
and behind him homes scatter like bushfire flames,
(and all that was in them)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Portrait of the Angel Convinsed She Were a Girl

., by snjezana

Her father had serious ideas about his daughter wearing a tutu when she was little, and he smiled, delighted, to see her prance across soft wooden floors. __Once, she had ran in circles on the grass in the park, occasionally launching into clumsy pirouettes, that with her still somewhat baby-fatted knees and elbows, she imagined were rendered perfectly. For no reason at all, one of her pirouettes found her too far off the ground, and she gasped in fear that she'd fly away. She promised God never to try and escape if only He'd land her safely back on the ground. Upon landing, she would delight her father by contesting him at chess.

When still young, she once found a starfish at the park, and taken out of context, could not understand what it was. She thought it was an alien creature and ran from it.

On swings she closed her eyes and imagined her self as the ocean-tide.

One day she came home from school, and found her mother sitting in an arm chair, quietly crying. Why are you crying? Her mother had gestured, the air. Confused, she turned and faced the room: moderately worn couches, coffee table, awkward television no one liked to watch (I don't like the noise it makes her father would say). She had not understood what of the air. Her mother had laughed once, taken her into her arms, squeezed her into a little ball, and whispered into the hair covering her ear: baby baby, such sweet baby. I'm listening to it. Only then, she had noticed the music, and recognized the song, she had fallen alseep to it when she was younger. I know this, why does it make you cry? Her mother shrugged, and laughed again.

Her first white-dress she had smeared with a green-grass-stain. Her father had shaken his head and said: the angel has painted a small white kiss-mark on perfectly innocent grass somewhere. She had laughed and clasped her hands together. She had felt understood. After cleaning it, she had worn it out on Family-Day-Sunday. Her father had looked straight at her and said: darling, I am unsure if it's fit to wear only a cloud for our outing. She had laughed and stared at the frowns on his forehead.

Already 5 months of the first year of highschool had elapsed when in the afternoon a shy boy attempted to kiss her. He fumbled his lips and for a split second found his tongue in her mouth; then pulled away. Stared at her scared and ashamed. I'm soo sorry had said. Why? He had turned, and walked abruptly away, never to return the same.

Walking home one day a year later, she felt an unusual urge to pick up a dandelion and blow into existence a white dress she remembered from her childhood. She had picked up a daffodil and sucked on its end and plucked its petals one at a time and rubbed them between her fingertips and thought that if she stitched a garden's worth together, she'd have a finer dress than could be made with satin.

The first time she made love it was a kiss on some boy's yellow couch. He had looked at her as though he could see through to the other side of a star. It had been so acute the Sun would have looked down and blushed. She had not. She stared back at him. Smiled. She knew her powers. He had smiled, taken her hand, and kissed the back of her hand. He had stepped in through the gate. He ran his hand up her arm (walked along the outside garden). Had presented himself at the front door (stared at her, lips to lips, let their breaths collide, for moments before he knocked and pressed his to hers. She had waited, eyes open, wondering if he'd run away ashamed.

Life had been occasionally interrupted with the chase for papers and letters and jobs and, when she drove her car, she could never remember how she came to be where she was. She would only see traffic as shapes and blurs of color and strange concoctions of metal and escaped sunlight.

(he had layed his head on her chest and listened to all the things she had saved one day to tell just him).

in silence, he listened, giggling when appropriate. sighing when needed. and communicating through his hand (entangled in hers) all the necessary responses she needed to tell him the whole of her story, from African spiders to green apples.

Her first interstate road-trip alone, she had stopped the car in the middle of nowhere, precisely between noon and sunset, and took a photo of a tree alone in a paddock, the blue sky cutting the green lawn, and, stepping unto the middle of the road, a grey strip halved by a yellow line. Having sufficiently archived her rite, she returned to her car, fastened her seat belt, and drove on.

Six months after being lost in the size of the world, she'd return to the only city she knew as home, knowing for sure that the only thing waiting for her would be a 36" upright Kawai piano, and the thing she loved second-most about life: winter.

The second time she had made-love was with her whole body. He had layed above her, but seemed to dip occasionally into the space she occupied- as though the universe had consented for them to fit neatly into the same skin. She was not scared, but stared only into his eyes, not wanting to lose her way in this earthquake. Behind his ears she could see the lights in the room dancing, the ceiling, and then shut her eyes to kiss. She was then lost, could not determine whose hand was holding whose; could not tell where her legs were; had made a strange noise she hadn't known to exist inside her; and realized outside their bodies the world had ceased to exist and was shaking itself to oblivion and it wouldn't ever matter again.

In Prague the boys had let her sleep in the bed because she had had a cold, and they had wanted her to be comfortable.

One day, she'd walk to her car, and in the middle of spring would find one perfectly aged, perfectly dry, autumn leaf on the sidewalk. She was growing old. And her dance with life would soon lose the count.

(once, when she was still a child, her father had blown on her belly button and she had laughed and squealed and said: daddy, stop that!
ok. all done then. Best get to sleep!
Noooo! I'm kidding!
blrlrlrlrlrlr! [as blows on belly]
no problem!
what happens when we're not people anymore?
We go back to being angels.
Why aren't we angels anymore?
We took a break.
What's your favorite thing to do?
mmm. do pirouettes.
We took a break to do pirouettes.
It's a long break.
Not really.
You've waited a long time to be an angel again- look how old you are.
I promise you, you'll find wonderful ways to pass the time.
What happens when I get older?
(one day you'll look in the mirror and notice you've had your wings the whole time)
[runs to the bathroom screaming] I ddoonn't seee them!
[father laughs] they're there baby face. I said ONE day you'll see.
Can I fly with them?
One day.
Which day?
One day.
When I'm 12?
probably not.
probably not then either.
then when?

She did her family's laundry, and folded everything up into little piles, placed them carefully into the orange laundry basket, and walked back inside to make herself a cup of tea.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

fear and self-loathing in LA

spring hides between petals of flowers, and
a limp shoe sits cross-legged on the floor and stares back at me.
somewhere an underwater current, a dark artery: quiet, turbulent, railroad crossing,
__finds a peaceful spot, and feels comfortable, and raises his head:

(all our secrets disband,
and the lines of foreheads and palms strip off

____and i find a way to say everything i'm too scared to say
__(and too made of nothing to say)
__(and hate myself too much (for) to say(ing)

these coins on the carpet are cold and planetary
when i need them, there are no sounds-
__(i have never been so loveless)
and the session at the cinema across the street already started,

(somewhere a dark muscle presses inwards, and sends streams of warm, viscous, humanity
through tight nooks and cracks, and my head throbs, and my eyes quiver and cannot see
anything that's not a blur,
and all this inside a thin layer of skin that's warm and cold)

someone's kicked a rock.
it rolls to a stop. __finally.
nonmotion. a stagnant potential grows slowly violent, __shivering with frustrated fury
and the rock shuts its eyes and urges herself to grow fingertips
__(and manages at best a salty layer of sweat)

(and floating above my head
are all the things i dare not say

and all the things i dare not hear

and all the things i dare not know

and all the deaths i dare not

And God presses His warm cheek to cold glass,
and exhales a little winter cloud to water His garden for Him.
rubs His too-unslept weary eyes,
and twice-blinks a cat to stroke, a flutist to play, and still feels lonely;
and sighs Cassandra's barren curse upon Himself:

____believe me, it's for the best

(and middle-aged men sit at steering wheels and stare at cement roads and leak their faith out
of unknown springs
(and youths kick rocks and spit His three-lettered-name out their mouth
(and babies stare at rainbows, and watch the Old Man cry in green and violet and blueberry
dews, all He'd hoped we got about all we didn't.

the afternoon kills me.
____Time, Gravity, failure... perhaps success, Faith, disappointment, apathy:
______squeeze my chest tight and drench my limbs with too much red-stuff
________(i haven't breathed in years)

i am all water
____and moon
____and dream
and impossibility.

(i hear a baby cry
____and mimic her voice

(and outlive that too)

Friday, July 18, 2008

let's go

., originally uploaded by copyright depuis 1965.

things to leave behind____________________things to take

__-the one-eyed stare of the LA sky_____________-Emily Dickinson, poems
__-i once lost my soul by the pool..._____________-two full notebooks
__-sleeping on the ground__________________ _-an occasionally sore back
__-the ugliest leather shoes in the world________ _-black Ferragamo half-boots
__-dreams_____________________ _______ __-being one step closer to dreamlessness
__-hopelessness___________________________-a new(er) macbook
__-the anguish of two hours spent on the 405_____ _-a busted ankle
__-pinkberry_____________________________-12 new pairs of black H&M hipster undies
__-the Olympic Peninsula____________________-a completed long short-story.archive.history
__-monz, mar, ashtree______________________-monz, mar, ashtree
__-the future___________________ ________ _-ano(the)r future
__-nearly 500 flashcards___________________ _-knowing the definition of auspicious
_________________________________ __ _ _(and mumbling it to myself)
__-watching sytycd with you__________________-loving dance
__-the last embers of hope.love.life.forever.infinity_ .-the two dreams i(you) gave you(me)
____please.collapse.touch.scent.phone numbers.
____please?. i had for you.
__-my grandfather's body____________________-a new picture in my prayer book
_______________________________________(tucked under the heading: for the departed)
__-too much noise_________________________-a familiar, mild sadness
__-time_______________________________ _-more time
__-pike place chowder______________________-David Malouf, collected poems
__- just put my arms around you (what?)_______ _-empty handed
_ _and hope that i will do no wrong
__-me__Me__me__Me__me ____ ___________.._-__me?
__-Strunk, the Elements of Style___________ __ _-a full head of hair
__-everything i hadn't dared to hope for________ _-two poems martha wrote for me
__-12 empty bottles of water on my bedroom floor _ .-the card my sister gave me yesterday:

_______________________________________Dear Q Jaan,
_______________________________________I want to thankyou so much for
_______________________________________coming to America to help me
_______________________________________follow my dreams It means so
_______________________________________much to me and I know nobody
_______________________________________in the world would do that for me
_______________________________________let alone anybody else
_______________________________________If you didn't come and help me
_______________________________________and mummy, mummy wouldn't
_______________________________________be able to come alone and help
_______________________________________me to follow my dreams
_______________________________________So I want to thankyou and I hope
_______________________________________your dreams come true I know
_______________________________________that you deserve It
_______________________________________I wish you could have stayed with
_______________________________________me in the USA but I am sure
_______________________________________I'll see you again
_______________________________________Love you so much
_______________________________________from your sister

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

odeur de fin d'été


i am dismantling my little temporary nonexistence (yet again).

in the process i am preparing a list of resolutions for the next nonexistence i'll no doubt find myself thrust into.upon.

i am not ready to commit to any of them yet.


The sun has just gone down. I am sad. For approximately 4 minutes, my room was a perfect blue.



She stepped in with no intention of staying for long. It is unfair that she knew how beautiful she was and how everyone would fall for her, and the advantages that such a thing gave her; but nonetheless, she knew. She wore this knowledge plainly, not as a mark of pride or arrogance, but as simply something that was and could not be changed. Thus, she was perfectly feminine.

I, being smaller, meager, confined to my own skin, was simple flattered that she had picked my modest little bedroom to step into. There's a box in one corner where i have stacked some books that are left to be read, some CDs, a few used pens. On the floor are scattered at random jeans, tshirts, a plastic orange laundry basket half full with pale-faced clothes, wires and cables, shoes shoes shoes. She seemed to edge around all these things, handling the obstacles with grace. She rubbed her hands against the chair in the corner where a grey fleece sweater crouches, ready for use. You call this mess home? she said?
no. __of course not. she seemed relieved. she nodded, rubbed her hand along the open lid of an open suitcase that was propped against the wall. She looked in, mostly empty.

The room was glowing, a perfect sentiment, if I could summarize all I wanted to say into one color, she'd have been it. I sat there silently, hoping no voice from another room would interrupt me. How simple she is, made up of this one color, this one quality she lends to everything else, even me, sitting here, simultaneously held up to her breast. And i?_? made up of phrases and insecurities, and my swollen ankle, and my swollen heart, and my dilated pupils, and my exhausted chest that cramps before bed. My malfunctioning machinery. My throbbing brain.

(I noticed her eye grow a touch darker).
All things she started, but I stopped her, i know __don't... there's no need to say anything. She never asked me what i was doing sitting alone, on the floor, in this hurricane room. She never wondered why i sat still as a mouse. she never bothered to wonder about me; a perfect friend. One of us will have to leave soon she said. I stared back. She smiled. In another sense, we'll both have to leave soon. I nodded. She seemed to understand.

I looked out towards the window, but could not make out glass from frame. The light from my screen was harsh now. I looked around, a brutal sort of darkness. Like having been loved and left. Like having been picked- but proving disappointing.

i sigh.
adjust two pillows against a wall.
when i move my pants rise a little and i can feel the bare carpet against my skin.

perhaps by tomorrow i'll have sunk right the way through.

____(one can only hope

Sunday, July 13, 2008

songs of the wayfarer

dry, shesaskeleton

this picture is my desktop wallpaper. i have watched this about 12 times today. i wrote down another pros and cons list for my life; i received a rejection letter about my novel, which makes me happy anyway, i like to imagine a stranger's eyes on me; then i had a raspberry Italian soda. 10 hours later i'm going to sit here and try to summarize.


he sleeps on: __pens __reading glasses
__CDs __washed laundry __wires
cheek to cheek against the carpet.

sunday greets him through a half-opened window.
the green of the trees implies an afternoon walk.
there are answers out there somewhere.

the closet sliding door is never on its rails,
9 months now he pulls things out from suitcases;
books (have followed him across continents, growing steadily)
___fall on his head.

Shanghai's sky is the same color as golden autumn leaves.
LA's has a bright blue unblinking eye.
Seattle, at 3am: one insomniac turns in bed, ____the other rises,
___watches the river try and wash the moon away.
Vienna: i never looked up.
________(i looked back and waited for you.

and my mother says my eyes are grown sharp.
____they are penetrating.

__"i'm happy."
__"we prayed. _,_lots."
__"for this"
__"how do you know?"
__[smile] "those are the rules son"

and on the phone i hear a laugh

__"when do we want to have a normal life?"

__"I promise we're trying!"

i smile.

__"you should see this!, even Q's laughing"

in the Japanese mountains the air feels like spring water
in the LA highway the air feels like napalm
in the Prague winter i breathed in the limbs and appendages of lost ghosts
in the plane to Chicago they crawled back out.

his wallet is stuffed full of IDs, __bank accounts, __arrested futures,

(he remembers the feel of the mug holding hot chocolate in Haifa, where he spooned it in,
Lucerne, where he drank velvet,
Paris, where he dipped a croissant, and stared at the 8am Champs Elysee lie quietly against
__the morning sun and look beautiful)

he checks to make sure his next identity is still valid.

the money's running out.
Time's hands grow long and short.
he shivers late at night, __hugging the carpeted floor for support,
__mumbling the names of his hometowns

__"why didn't you tell me?"
__"you'd want to talk about it._,_ i don't want to talk about it"
__"is it because you feel like you... failed us?"
__"no" [yes]
__"i don't want you to feel like you're a disappointment ok?"
__"i don't." [i do]
__"you tried, that's all that's important"
__" ... " [ ... ]
__"it'll be fine; ok?"
__"of course it will."
__"ok. well then. I guess there's no reason to keep talking about it."

he passes the gnarled roots of trees, __blue buds hanging like too-beautiful-to-forget memories,
a small garden with pink flowers, __a jogger
____how can i put my arms around all this?

your voice
makes me

my bag broke in Prague.
my heart in Chicago.
my future in Haifa.
my past in LA.
my silence in Seattle.
my lungs in Shanghai.

my fingers trembled holding purple leaves in Kyoto.

i've lost control
__i have no center
____i spin away
______(how can i put my arms around this?)
(i mumble to myself quietly, no one can hear, over and over:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

things it's time i said

Goodbye Danny, originally uploaded by sMacshot.

___things i want to say out-loud, A LIST:
fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.... [sigh]

___things i don't know how i'm going to manage, A LIST:
____- this week
____- the next six months
____- the next 3 years
____- the rest of my life
____- people's chatter
____- going back. being back. having to stay back
____- all the noise
____- sitting in cars with people asking me questions and me not being able to walk away

___places i'd rather be right now, A LIST:
____-___(what difference does it ever make?)

___things i know for certain, A LIST:
_______(and gravity

___people i'm going to miss not having near, A LIST:
_______(and surprisingly, since i rarely see them - jamjam and susie.


when i was 16, i first had a vision, an acute dream of myself, as a middle-aged man, having ruined his life, slouching into the corner of a large house he was alone in, staring idly away with reddish eyes, and bopping slowly left and right like a fiend dancing at an OD funeral.

i feel one year closer that that.
__(i wish i didn't know where it was going to end

____(gol, monz: it wasn't the year of miracles afterall. just the same as the last... minus the good things)

Friday, July 11, 2008

From the Archives (an Entropy Piece, Saturday April 14, 2007)

responsible advice for management of days starting this saturday

it’s a tedious process. 
first thing’s first:
confining yourself,
just one room is best.
avoid the daylight,
it’s simply a requirement.
make lists of words
each hour to forget.
it’s good to visualise:
imagine your fingers
shorter each day.
pretend you have
one less toe.
ignore your fingers
trembling; ignore
your fingers altogether.
forget colours first;
then shades, then hues.
aim for a complete
your heart can die
of uselessness or
overuse. pick one
and proceed.
ignore diets, stratagems,
theorems and philosophy.
forget dates.
annihilate names.
unattach your face muscles,
best to avoids frowns or smiles.
its alright to hear cars
out your window.
slow your movements.-
probably a permanent
pause is ideal.
limit your necessity
for air. achieve just
this and you win.
coax your heart
to slow by playing
melodies on the
slower and

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Questions I'd Ask God If I Died: A LIST

  1. how'd i do?, __what's the score?

  2. can i have my ears back?, i didn't realize i'd be here today, i forgot to listen to Don't Smoke in Bed one last time (and Mona says to me: "dude, what's with you and that Nina Simone song?- it's like on every mix comp. you ever made")

  3. what's the trick to cold fusion? __(also inspiration, how do you fit it into us? why couldn't i have had more?)

  4. did she love me? did i mess it up, or did you want it to go down like that? (i can't imagine you did, i've never seen your work be more messy)

  5. why couldn't i have been one of those children that grows up surrounded by nature, learns to love themself through snow and trees and pebbles by the beach, and lives happily as long as it's quiet?

  6. is it ok that i was either unhappy, or gritting my teeth and managing at very best apathy?

  7. med school? _w h a t _freaking happened?

  8. all the times i made the wrong decision... can you tell me what the right one was? (i'm telling you Big Guy, i really did choose as best as i could)

  9. on my new mac they shifted all the Function keys around and so whenever i want widgets i end up turning up my volume __do you know about this?, it's really annoying. (inspire them to put it back!)

  10. can i meet Bach please?

  11. i haven't been touched in soo long... will it never happen again? __(had i known i'd have made love more often. __don't give me that look, you made it not me!)

  12. this place is timeless right?, i really need to sit down and catch my breath

  13. did i disappoint you?

  14. i know about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Wittgentstein's younger brother who lost his right arm in the war and commissioned all sorts of solo left-hand piano works, and Lucien Freud. is that going to be of any use?

  15. no one ever visited me in my dreams. may i please request involvement in the dreamtime-loved.ones-visiting program? __(here is a list of my fav. five to regularly check up on)

  16. is there a pager or something that beeps whenever people pray for me? __(and when they eventually stop, will i become lonely like elderly people in nursing homes no one comes to visit?)

  17. i'm not kidding, it really has been ages, i need a hug (no, a tulip will not do)

  18. why was it all soo hard for me?

  19. in terms of percentages (since we all are willing to take some responsibility) who is to blame? me, mom, dad, or You?

  20. did i ever surprise you?

  21. was this all you wanted of me? i swear i tried... i just feel like... i could have done alot more, __i mean, had circumstances been different.

  22. can you show me what life would have been had i (a) not gone to Haifa __(b) extended another year in Haifa for her __(c) stayed in medical school __(d) if sahar could walk

  23. i have a theory that my life was preconceived in its entirety when my parents decided it was a good idea to move to an unstable wester-African autocracy for You. __am i right? __do i suffer.enjoy the consequences of other people's faithfulness?

  24. is she ok? i just don't get it... really, please be honest, what was the point of all that?

  25. i'm the only artsy-fartsy person in my family (immediate and extended) (no one gets it and they all find it annoying). did something go wrong somewhere?

  26. i've missed you. will you sit with me a bit so we can talk about: eyelashes, solitude, infinity, pomegranate and raspberry yogurt (my favorite), my various car accidents, the fate of the prophets, how Socrates worked it all out, was actually is the best opening in chess?, why when i turned 24 i suddenly started feeling so comfortable amongst trees oceans and skies, gravity, ways not to be crushed by mass socialization, sadness, and... how did you think up love?

  27. the time i dreamt of my grandfather... why couldn't i understand him? what facility do i lack?

  28. as a human... what have i failed to grasp? __will i pay dearly?

  29. what are You thinking when i pray to You?

  30. i didn't eat enough honeydews, can we do something about it posthumously?

  31. i can't decide if it was or wasn't worth it... __i shouldn't even think about that right?, like it's probably just best to forget the whole thing ever happened... __right?

  32. (i miss holding books) __why are they so special? what have you hidden in them?

  33. some of my happiest moments include: sitting in the tiny church in Cortina and praying while it rained on bright-red geraniums outside, the day i spent on the Great Wall in China, the feeling of certainty that is the definition of love, when i was 14 and i wanted to go for a run and Sahar didn't want to be left home alone, so i pushed her wheelchair while i jogged along the pathway in Hallett Cove that led to the train station. __what are some of Yours?

  34. why do i feel soo far away from everything?

  35. have i been here before... it feels familiar?

  36. who messed me up? __no, really, stop with that nonsense. we both know. what the fu&* was wrong?

  37. if i close my eyes and jump from this cloud, will i be a raindrop? an angel? will i be a cloud or a satellite? will i land in a bed somewhere and kiss a dream into someone's forehead? can i please? will i land in my room on Clayton Ave. where i felt most at home?, or... the rock cliff at the end of First St. where i should have realized my life wasn't gonna go the way everyone else's does, and felt ready and excited about it... can i please land on the wing of the plane that flew me into Haifa the first time (it landed on August 31st 2004), looked at my face and how few lines my forehead had. __i miss some things. i miss Richard, what will happen to him? Look out for him, he's a good guy, he looked out for me.
    if i close my eyes and jump from this cloud, can i land as nothing? i can undid your existence? can i go against the conservation of matter/energy/soul?
    (the beach on the Olympic Peninsula, the sharp black rocks, the hills, the strange islands in the sea, the mist that made mermaids exist when nothing else could... can i land there? Laying in the sun silently with Martha taking pictures... __the walk back, what did i call it? __this graveyard of trees, massive white dried up trunks. chalk. all chalk.

  38. why did i have to lose her postcard? the last nice thing she ever said to me? (before her faith in me was depleted) __(i really wanted to keep that)

  39. how did You get babies feet and knees and petit hands and elbows so perfect? how'd You know we'd like them soo much?

  40. did i ever have a chance?

  41. do you mind if i skip the floating thing and just walk? it's not that i'm used to it, it's that i still would like to kick rocks (can it be moondust now?) as i move.

  42. if pronounced properly, is please? the most potent prayer? (did you hear all of mine?)

  43. please?


  44. can i try again? __that time didn't count, i didn't know anything!, i had to learn everything along the way!

  45. am i dead? (at last?) (finally?) (really?) (it can't be... i've never been so happy)

    (not now.__ let me sit here and work out what just happened... __i was never ready to be alive)