Friday, October 31, 2008

On Everything ___(Some Portraits) (Fragments)

Isn't there any body you want back from the grave? We were less generous in our time


Glen Erler from Tiny Vices

On Words

it's easy enough when you deal with truncate, which can happen- say the ending of a story, or...

____- do you mean it?
____- what?
____- what you just said to me, __do you mean it (?)
____- [...]
____- [she looks at him looking at the table top, lost in nothing, just having decided he'd come to the end of something, but she couldn't sense what]
____- [...]
____- yes.
____- then say so.

but dress is a tetrapod. 1. dress me mommy __2. such a beautiful pattern on your dress __3. a tower built of dressed stone __4. we have dressed professional clowns for three generations. But at least it has corners. What about night, what about visions what about (i'm scared to say it, it's too big: love) (time) (history) (gravity) what about them? I have no sense of words, what words mean - it is a morphic heiroglyphics the language of poets and fictionalists- like shapes made of shadows: that come and go and grow sharp and can smile and diminish and be vague and are grey on sidewalks and experience wind all on their ownsome.

when someone says to me "nightvisions", or "i'm gonna fly right through the walls", or "i will, i will", or "i love(d) him.her" or "it's my shoulder blade" or "please?" or "sshhh" i cannot collapse that universe to mean just one thing. there is no such thing as just one thing. i do not know a just one thing, even god can only be interpreted as the whole of alleverything from allinfinity(past) to allinfinity(future) including alltheinfinity(of the present) bar no fly, no kitchen sink, no emotion passing through a dead man's wife at his funeral, no palpitation in the heart of young strangers making out by the grass besides the river, or the parallel fifths of Debussy. i am a failure.

On Life As It Once Stood

i am wearing a tshirt that says ONE PLANET
______________________ONE PEOPLE
_____________________ ___...PLEASE
____ ___ _ _____ ________ __Baha'i Faith
i remember too many things from that day. a long parade. an overcast day. we were tired (the two kids, my cousin and i) by the end of it. our parents promised us burgers if we just got through to the last. Ended finally and there was a Carl's Junior right at the finish line. That was 19early90something, i was a little fat that year and my cheeks were puffy, and my hair was still an unkempt fro. We were a poor family, just returned from Africa. my sister had just been borned (all babies want to be borned) so we were also a sad family. except for me, i wasn't sad, as much as i was... confused. one day i was playing with my yellow (hollow) plastic baseball bat (which was also: a sword, machine gun, a row for a rowboat, walking stick, normal stick, karate stick, electric guitar, fireman's pole, pilot's gear-stick, snake, magic flute) in the quiet living room where no one ever came and the dust was always gold in the air and i'd stare out in front of me and follow them around, perennial falling stars (since i wouldn't see a shooting star for another 8 years), wounded fireflies, or drifting galaxies lingering in gravity's tail end - all silence and sorrounded by the black of a shadow civilization, and my mother walked in red cheeks, puffy eyes and said: Qdudsu, you have to be a grown-up now. I'm sorry, there's no more time for you. and walked off. Which of course made little sense at the time, given that He-Man had just been given the 'other half' by The Sorceress, and must now prevent Skeletor from linking the two halves to gain access to the castle. Unconcerned, i unsheathed my yellow sword and dived back onto the persian rug that bore too many of my tiny sole's steps for those years.

After that there was no Carl's Junior for 19 odd years. When I finally returned to a Carl's Junior, an too, too long night, Monz and J-Bird exhausted from the drive, and me still too lethargic at the realization that i could not just climb under Sunday afternoon and be lost there forever. it seemed smaller, the burger this is, smaller. dripped a transparent oil so we were all a slippery wet by the end of it, lubricated inside and out, and the 2am soft-drink was too sweet and too sharp and felt like a pierced acrid farewell (like the soo too many others i've known, made, manufactured, been happy for, would rather die than have gone through with, died doing, was born at the moment of

________III. Finale, Duetto: Adagio ma non tanto

____- this is what you want?
____- __i , _think , it's ; it is, is , ___for the best.
____- [I did not know death was so strange]
____- hey? ____hey ... you gonna be alright?
____- sure.
____- i... it. ____hm.
____- hey. don't worry ok, it's. ____fine.

I wear it now almost as a joke. I am full of jokes today. I am riddling myself silly. Constantly challenging the who-i-am/who-i-was ,__ who-i-want-to-be/who-i-shouldn't-let-myself-be ,__ who-the-f-am-i frontiers. and mostly, no matter how you spit on it, it got me here.

On Here

the bedsheets are still pink. (today my sister, after seeing the net-link i sent her, cracks up. she has a high-pitched laugh, genuine, absolutely ebullient, are_you_crazy? that's the ugliest car i've ever seen! which makes me soo happy, because she is laughing). i'm not sure what's happening. or true. or... present. where we are (going), if there's any more room to fall, or if it's safe to start believing now in uphill climbs, in altitude, in slow, placid love affairs that feel like feathers (and not semi-trailers), in the concept of future, in meaningness, in floors that actually are there beneath your feet and hold you in place- locked into a certain space and time- like a pivot, in the universe and i's general concurrence.

there are the mistakes of the poet- derived from the multifid nature of some words, and the transgressive, shadowy nature of others. there are the mistakes of the man, derived from steeps and notches of inexperience and miswisdoms and brutal roullette games; and the vague, floating.diving.falling.sinking realms of human whatever-all-of-it is that drips and drops in and out just in time to ignite tragedies, and remind miracles to occasionally show up.

Also, i don't even know what this post is about. I don't know even know what anything is about- but i tell myself it's about tomorrow, which alone is an irrational enough idea, that it just might be worth staying human for.

Monday, October 27, 2008

and but what? (notapoem)

via bigfun

yes, there's that too,
characterizing my voice as winter,
not a single note can be reduced to a blossom,
but crack and sneeze and huddle together like cold lovers
walking down peaceful promenades.

____to constantly
____what i , the point of , saying is :
____of course there's a point to (at which) which
____sensing finally dream from stone , (man alive, what gentle slip is the sun in these afternoons)
____which is diffracting at angles that makes souls (

who is the spark of us?
or what, or where or how can you unlock me from the outside?

____of course there's no point to
____besides the obvious one
____(who's gonna save us? or at least me... who's gonna save me?)

drip gentle somenothing, unravel and decline gently into goodnights
it's not that i wish you were here with me, but that i was there with you,
or just there , and you too just there , and symbiotic -
growing together like

____it is impossible to say what i mean.
____and what mute life is this that i should be soo bound
____unable to describe even its dry hair?
____what am i saying other than i don't smoke, i don't,
____i don't ____(know no no know)

palindromes derived from all sorts of
shantih shantih shantih

____(where there is no peace or transcendence)

(where there is no piece but of transcendence)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

____EE Cummings

avalon 2, tommy oshima

____i. (16 perspectives of )
a long strand of hair, curled back once,
on page 43 of a thin book, a dark-brown bookmark,
a pigeon in time, a proteinous photograph,
the least dying part of you, a flimsy statue,
an unworthy epithet, a prophet's last chance,
can i smell it to find you yet again?,
at every turn you hide: memory history future tide,
my fingertips smile to touch you, the shape of a crossroad,
traintracks, my cold feet as i walked in the snow in prague,
soo many voices condensed, the light of two bedrooms,
the night of two moons.

____ii. (nocturne)
i stretch out at night, inhale persistently - finding newer darkness to reach,
and smelling the rain grass bursts of night fidgeting against pale clouds that pass still by
and hold themselves like teeth, and fade at last stretched so thin into the colors i found always
too deep to contemplate but too apparent to misunderstand.

____iii. (sahar)
the pink sheets, the violet flowers, this bed was made for another person's dreams. no wonder i sleep with unicorns, white bearded prophets, and little girls that only walk or float- but never sit, never in chairs, and never with crooked eyes see a world they can't ever touch.

____iv. (dirge)
i am jealous of the future of my bones since it is the most certain of my futures. solid now, solid then, a slight crack or two does little to diminish the shape of a humorous (and with its gentle bend a mona lisa might be smiling at packing unpacking itself under a tree in a park watching yet another sunset with a stopwatch), and the incus - a tiny shell in my ear that sings the songs of Ocean's too-many lost loves (a starfish clown, a white cloud, and a tattoo bearded sailor) in the slightest murmur, little waves unheard seen or imagined by even the grass's ears: when my heart rests its muscled lips and my eyes sleep under blackest skies, my brain's tenor voice silent does as silence says all is silence not now but then, but then: my bones will mark an asterix of once ribbed cage and once wobbly knees, certain as the sand that will wear them eventually to white dust, finally snowflakes or desert sand or a flicker in a sun's briefest smile. the final echo of the final syllable of the lastest word of the lastest breath of the lastest moment of my lastest death.

____v. (don't explain, by nina simone)
what blue music, your songs always tinkle behind dusty red curtains i see shiver from the sighs of flowers in vases disturbing the air, vacant rooms but for thick air from the weight of dust, palmless pianist's fingers, a darkened auditorium stage - wires leading from shadow to shadow, and empty seats only memory has the patience to recline in, your blue music stares every note back into silence, every rest recedes back into the kiss of yours saved in a dark chest, every ivory key two more centimeters of the width of your ceaseless back, and the sound of footsteps always hovers, delicate clicks like a metronome, all the time in the world can't save the silence you've made in me.

____vi. (prayer)
finally, a moment just between you and i, dear universe, dear alleverything, dear delicacy, dear fragility, dear fallibility, dear so beautiful more than anyotherthing, dear momentary, dear ceaselessly soft, i think of you in simple terms, you feel to me like my fingertips along tulips' petals (butterfly wings, lips, babies fingertips, lover's eyelids, dream's final goodbye!), dear sweetheart, dear love, dear peaceful restful place, asleep in your lap, asleep in your hair, awake hand in hand, awake sun in hand, awake night after night, awake drifting off to nowhere's extended span, dear heavy history, dear bested past, dear gone too fast, dear finally at last, all that's left all that's to come, will soon pass, dreams and tip-toes and tipped frames and shoes in hallways, all that's born dear alleverything is soon to bud, dear deepful thing, when i close my eyes i fall always, gravity is inside me (not out), and all that's out leads back in, home sweet home, dear monday, dear Constantinople, dear friend, all my life's just your hem; dear cosmos, dear infinity, dear maturity, all that's one, all that's one, i know nothing but you and diminish you to color and word and palm-to-breast, forgive me now, all that's left is left to rest, all that's left is yet to test, all that's left is yes and yes.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

on im)possibilities(?

____yes we can.


my thoughts have been with this man these last few days. for any number of reasons. some of them arbitrary. i like his haircut, and think maybe i should try it out. i have been thinking about his grandmother, and how she explained to her friends that her daughter was marrying a very dark man from Kenya. (and some years later, an Indonesian man). i can't say entirely why i relate to the Senator from Illinois on an almost personal level- i almost never relate to television-personalities on a personal level, and least of all politicians. Clinton has way more sex than me, and he's cool. JFK has this ease about him, he always looks like a magazine fashion spread. President Bush is too masculine for me. Committed, personable, jovial. i tend to feel more comfortable around people who see more grey than black&white. (i'm scared if they see black&white, then i won't be visible). But Mr. Obama i relate to. i think in many ways he must be lonely right now, in the sense that... in 10 days (or 9, depending on where in the world you are), he may be the first man in a while to walk on the moon. to find a leprechaun. to breathe life into old i have a dreams. But why should i relate to him? He's... intellectually far superior to just about anyone i've ever met. he's thorough, pragmatic, precise. he carries himself with a modesty that you don't often see. he manages to make plain-cut suits trendy. he loves his wife. he isn't daunted by the things he's being called. if he's sensitive to it, he doesn't let on. sometimes, i think he must get home at night, take his white shirt off (and i imagine him walking around his hotel room in a white, ribbed singlet, his trousers and matching socks still on), wash his face under luke-warm water, and look up into the mirror and think: wtf. how'd this happen? is the world really ready for this? how'd it happen to me? that's the marvel of this, thanks to Gatsby, Hunter S. Thompson, Rovian politics (and a stolen election), i'd more or less decided the American Dream (which, by the way, is the entire world's dream: to live in peace, to be given enough space to speak your mind, practice your religion, love your wife, raise your children, earn a fair wage for a hard-day's labor, and watch your babies grow in a world where their hard-work can amount to success- in whatever endeavor they find fascinating. that's not just an American dream, that's a universal dream) was long-dead. Perhaps once true, but now true only in the minds of Willy Loman, poor kids who haven't anything else to believe in, and the misguided unicorn followers. the rest of everyone knows that poor kids go to poor schools, get poor jobs, and live proletarian lives.

and yet, i can't get the images out of my head. a skinny dude with big ears, wearing a suit that's an inch more fitted than typical (the suit wears a mischievous smile of fashionista in camoflouge, as though it were smiling at the over-sized under-fashioned USA going: admit it, you guys can't dress worth a damn, i prove it) and standing there, dumbing down his vocabulary in order to convince people that it might be true: yes_we_freaking_can. So i sit there and think, well... can i? I mean... really... can i? Can i get through law school with above average grades? can i get a decent internship? can i... be a good man in an ungood world? can a half-black man with an Arab name become POTUS, i mean, are you effing kidding me? these last few days i've been thinking of something Barrack Obama said earlier in this campaign (to paraphrase):

"I am being called anti-American. I am being called a dissident. That's fine. Abraham Lincoln was a dissident. Martin Luther King was a dissident. Having views that are different from those of official policy does not make you anti-American- in those two cases, those men were great Americans"

so i think of the dissidents that i know who might be up in heaven with ambrosia dripped on popcorn, and nectar mixed into their frozen cokes. Socrates (i believe in domacracy) Ghandi (i believe in peace) Martin Luther King (i believe in dreams)... my grandfather, who perhaps didn't care about any of this 'stuff' while he was alive, i wonder if he's sitting up there now too, thinking: dear humanity, this is your chance to be human. this is your chance to dream that amazing things can happen.

i might be exaggerating, i don't know, i am prone to frequent hyperbole. But for some reason, when i see the man with the large ears standing in front of a podium that says CHANGE, i think, 'i can get perfect grades. i can get find a decent car for 5 grand. i can find a law-firm that will take me a few days a week. i can get into Northwestern on exchange next year. i can be more.' i really do. and there's no reason to feel that way, Barrack Obama (as i heard on CNN yesterday "a once in a lifetime intellect, and a once in a lifetime temperament", that's certainly not me, not i), and yet... some part of me wants to whisper, q... yes we can!. and a little buzz passes through my body, like, even though this world is ripping at the seams and cracking at its joins, we we we we we (can!) put it back together. and even though i made the wrong decision and studied the wrong thing and was too stubborn to change and pursued a trojan horse across four years of deserts and then fell into love and fell out of medical school and spent a year lying by the pool in Santa Monica reading Ulysses and prayers and feeling homeless and lost and unloved and under-achieving and under-performing and under-sexed and under-loved and under-a-too-massive-heavy-ceaseless-blanket-called-unwilling-uninterested-make-it-stop-this-is-too-long-now-life,
despite all that... can we (of all people), be of some use in putting the cracked vases back on shelves, and helping the other we-canners stitch sleeves back onto this ripped shirt(everything)? And the thing is...
the thing is...
the thing is...

i really want to believe we can.
and i really want to. (do it)
and i really want us to do it all together.

it's been an awful long time since i had a feeling like this world could change. (and for some reason, if the world is capable of change, then me too, my little puny life, my little puny intellect, my silly unintentional actions, that's able to change too... do you know what that means? it means anyeverything! anyeverything! what else does one need in life than to believe sincerely that anyeverything is possible? just with hard work and a fair go you can do anyeverything. and that... gives me goosebumps.

(because one man could remind a nation that we can all be new (wo)men and together we can do anyeverything)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lay Down Your Arms

the first immediate problem, or at least, the one that's most visible to the clothed eye is a dichotomous schism thing that I'm feeling these days: a very light feeling of hopefulness (like vast cavities of space and time and circumstance opening up inside me, and also outside me, so that world could actually have things in it I don't know about yet... which is a truism, but I don't often feel this way), and a terrible brutal hatred of all that's come before (the vast caverns of coiled up, tortuous highways and byways and chanceways and wronglanes that clog up the greater part of my insides so that my chest is always heavy with past-tense and my lips can grow soo sad soo fast and my eyes disturb me with the things they fail to concede... the heavy weight of myself atop myself, choking me, like Jerusalem, city after city after city built on the same ground so that one can't tell corpse bones from kitchen sinks. In other words, I can't completely lose myself in this (though to a certain extent, I really want to), I'm held in place by a thick string of history. a conscious awareness of all i've wasted, lost, gained, had to go through, lose, give up, give in, give away, to get here (if here is a place that's worth being or not i still don't know).

the second immediate problem (if it's second it's not immediate, i know this, but it's a kinda uber-literary humor thingee) is this freaking annoying song: Lay Down Your Arms. Wanting to be a new man begins with wanting new music. Bon Iver, the Bug, Fleet Foxes, some recent dance music... I was doing well. but it's not esoteric enough. Being the genius that I am, I found a way to crack myspace with safari, and got busy clicking around trying to find the greatest song ever ever to inspire a new century of me-ness (anyone who thinks I am less than a hundred years old doesn't me). Of course I found a few things. Strange things mostly, a band called Bodies of Water that sound like happy Christians (men and women both) singing and clapping and dancing around one of those old-skool surfer V-dubs. But the real mouse-trap of the night came courtesy of one of those soft-spoken, no-need-to-shave man-boys who called himself: Flowers From the Man Who Shot Your Cousin. The song is a lovesong (of sorts) (also, it's an anatomy lesson because it mostly goes through the parts of a woman he'd like to touch: your ankles, your knees, your shoulder, your back). It is infective. I haven't been so sick with a song since Final Fantasy did a charming cover of the Stars' (as Anjie pointed out more than a year ago: the band is Canadian) Your Ex-Lover is Dead. (now that bastard of a song drove me, and probably Gol just about out of our minds). In any case.

I'm currently trapped midcenter of a complicated confluence. Today, in various boxes I found different things: a CD Monz had sent me last year titled 'Truths (at dawn)', which I sat down and listened to. Any number of love-letters that I found easier than expected to dispose of, though the leitmotif my heart which is the preferred closing statement will stay with me too long. Photographs of Martha straightening my hair. Pics of V that I had packed 4 years ago and took to Haifa with me and pinned to the walls of every single one of my rooms. A book called Conversations with Great Composers - Mr D and I spent an entire afternoon in the studio, me reading aloud while he painted and nodded furiously. "more, more". "you sure dude? i've been reading for like an hour" "more, just read the whole chapter, it's fascinating don't you think?" (he's referring to the conversation with Brahms) "it's incredible- it really is" "good. so keep reading" Photographs of too many ghosts i one day knew and i'm saddened to think if they saw me now they wouldn't know me.

This probably isn't a very interesting post is it?

i don't know what to say guys. i really don't. how does it all happen? this freaking song! it cracks me in half so all my themes come spilling out:

____- time (and all its variations and changes of velocity)
____- love (and all its permutations, tricks, sly smiles)
____- gravity (and all we have to lose, find, discover, destroy, in order to be led (lead the way) to whatever it is the final point is

and that's who i am i guess. the trinity. i am my inabiliy to fathom myself. my inability to contest happening from happening. (it just happens!, i don't know how, or where from... )


______ __*__*
________^_ _^^

(she leans towards me, i know she wants to kiss, but i hadn't counted on her making the move. magnets decide these things, no one's really in control- lips lead to lips the same way palms lead to palms. rudimentary physics. join like clasped hands. ___after it's done, i think, how rare it is, something that never existed now does- a whole trajectory, a new byway, a new universe bred into the buds of the hush that comes over kissers. the grass is now a different shape. the sky has a new weight. was your hair always that color? all this, hidden inside the soft sound of lips (like holding an orange segment lightly in your fingertips).
___she wants to move away, i sense that, but i don't want her to. she rests her forehead against mine, so her mouth moves away from me, our noses are spooning. i smile. she's feeling shy, sensing the new universe we now live in, if it's any better than the last ones she's known. i lift my hand out from wherever it's been hiding behind me, slip it past the veil her hair makes, falling over her face, partially pulling it aside in one move and resting my hand against her head, her ear between my thumb and forefinger. i pull her mouth back to mine. it's dark again because i have my eyes closed again. where are we? i say in an unintelligible language i'm sure she can hear with whatever organ conceives these moments. wherever we are... it's never been found before.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

nocturne , lovesong , notapoem

- Originally uploaded by copyright depuis 1965

this dandelion project (blow, wish, and dream sweet aziz),
even in the evening the children believe it, blown and then gone, lost to sight, immediately into the night's night

sshh my dear: in the dark hands find their way best -
___night is an astrology hands navigate alone: slivers under doors (stars) ,
______minor hushes , naked shoulder blades ;
_________breathe my air, i have left little gifts there for you
____________(murmurs my heart spoke
_______________i broke in two
__________________and hid there for you.)

(and if i could, for you, a satin ribbon around this entire night, all evening its own wrapping, squared as a box but still soft around the edges - drifting from eyesight to magic (lines that form these edges grow gentle roots and hold on to shadows like baby's hands to mother's blouse) ______who then? , ___and when , ___and mostly:

my own body schemes a way outside itself,
the inside of my lower lip knows how to find you, it says to me: i live in the dark all day - an occasionally hum or a chew a moment of respite - in this shifting ruse, i can find her

the dandelion's needle-petals slide under closed-doors. in between clasped fingers. beside cold bedside glass. ___lost in windrows of blankets, dreamtime vertebrae lie, waiting for still-awake hands in gentle night to find. ___(the white curve of your back the moon)

have so (are) many of us lost?, oceans or train-tracks behind night's slow gait,
(and still the feel of women's hair is with me in my fingertips.
______being nibbled at all night long-

That thou consum'st thy self in single life?

(or at least, William, just in a single night)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

slow dancing in a burning room, a letter to Amz

__________ Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

______E E Cummings, VII from &, N, &: 7 Poems

Frances Tulk-Hart

Dear Amz,

my favorite thing about Slow Dancing in a Burning Room used to be, and still is, and always will be, the title. (as it was, as it is, as it will be). A fortnight or so ago, I came home from an afternoon walk to find that (though I couldn't recall the guitar riff) a sense of it had woken up and was playing itself inside me. Curious, I sat down and played the song out loud. I don't know what John Mayer is saying, I never have time to listen to him, usually I'm lost in the guitar riff and the song's title running itself over and over again in my head (with the So You Think You Can Dance routine not too far from implicit memory hidden - in the black veins and muscles under my skin - as though we all had it in us to dance this dance).

a few days ago, knowing that i was to leave Adelaide (and my piano), i sat and played through a whole stack of things just for the sake of it. One thing that came up twice (in two different arrangements) is an old song- from a long-ago production of Romeo and Juliet called A Time for Us. I'd never considered its title before, but it has a pleasant enough melody, and I always liked playing it. "A time for us/ someday there'll be". Perhaps experiences to the contrary of that notion (and indeed, Romeo and Juliet, the ill-fated star-cross'd lovers of Verona, would perhaps have hummed it to themselves for solace, but a strange miserable solace - like knowing cancer will win, but still humming it anyway) have with time made the title heavy for me. Experiences that have lined up a string of my dearest friends at the farthest ends from me (geographically)... others that have simply vanished into the caverns of memory and circumstance- once so near, and now, dear but fading. the piece itself i played without incident, but i stood up and thought to myself, shaking my head, there was no time for us. and for us (another us) the time was all wrong. and a third and fourth us - we had our moments didn't we?, weren't they beautiful and perhaps they'll surprise us all by reappearing one day over tea and cigarettes or arguments over whether muffins are appropriate at 4 in the afternoon or to pick me up, looking dazed and lost and half unalive from the airport. All that. a time for that. a time for love - in my experience always too passionate and red and moving at speeds that makes light blush.

the third piece of the puzzle was today, unpacking some boxes - incidental boxes, just things that were in my way, into the one set of shelves and closet that i have. i hadn't anticipated finding a card you wrote to me on my birthday... and suddenly, the three things came together:

slow dancing in a burning room
a time for us
with love, _ _ _ _ _

it is my sincere belief that nostalgia can kill a (wo)man outright - simply tear them out from the inside like a Halloween pumpkin. leaving a gumboot with no ankle. those few of us with intransigent memories, with perennial memory, with long-whispering dreams - for us, it is a hardest thing to manage.

and once they came together, they begun playing on one another:

slow dancing in a burning room: an afternoon- with pink underwear, after your shower, and my hands rubbing lotion into your feet and legs, and the colors of the afternoon shifting from dull haloes after the rain-cloud passed, to a gold that was so heavy it sunk to the floor almost immediately - sharpening the shadows by your bed, and finally, softening to a blue that joined hands again with the shadow, me staring through your hair at the alarm clock by your bed, for no reason at all but a time for us moment - one of the few - one of the only - one of the last - and one of the ones that'll last (too long).

and so papers were found and put into stacks. cards. photographs. old half-dried-up pens. and so clothes were smelled (mostly they were stiff from being washed and not worn, but smelled stale, and so i put them back in the laundry basket). Shirts were arranged. Trousers. Tshirts. Sweaters and jackets. ties. socks and underwear in drawers, since i have too many now (a few pairs purchased at every stop along the way for the last year and a half) i have the luxury of disposing half of them, another drawer for clothes i wear around the house. light green striped calvin klein pajamas. dark blue ones with thin white stripes. a grey long sleeved shirt that reads make love not war. a 30-year old christian dior button up that's been worn so thin and soft i wear to bed (my dad chuckles at this, it was his favorite shirt for years). i don't dare disturb the books, all the books, boxes and boxes of them - but my stepdad winks at me and tells me he has a three-meter shelf set aside in his storage.

time seems to be slowing around me. a river deciding this is a good time to stop and take a breather. the trees, i notice, don't move in the wind. the leaves, flower petals, the centipedes all stop and stare. the ripples in the water slow and slow and start to die down around me. the sunlight seems stalled at a simple dull glow- a burning so distant. (i smelled you after your shower. i got up from my seat in the living room and walked down the hall and leaned on the doorframe of your room looking in, watching you fasten your bra with your back to me.
"are you looking at me?"
"you perv!, go away"
"not gonna happen"
you didn't turn. but i walked in, put my arms around you, my chest to your back (same as in a dream i'd have a year later), and rocked you back and forth, a swansong. the sun slipping past the raincloud, a dull burning flame hitting your funny-toed-feet. "fine then, come put lotion on my legs"

a time for us,


whatever that means.

Best of luck with your massive transition

Monday, October 20, 2008

(More) Very Short Stories

Mask IV, John Stezaker

____1. Lost
As though an inanimate harbinger or ominous token- my left shoe divided itself into two unequal parts: sole and body, separating at the heel, two hours before my flight. Over the next few days, my body followed suit: a dull ache in my left buttock and a correlated sharp shriek in my neck from perhaps reclining in awkward positions for three months of reading in bed like a newly disabled young man unprepared to venture beyond the pages of books or sheets of a darkened room to face a world too bright with daylight, too riddled with change and riddling its memoirs into our moments in ways we'll never spot like Hitchcock cameos, (and here gracious fate, who gave us a small gesture to warn us, turns back towards the camera and smiles mischievously), and the food i consume sits calmly in a pit somewhere in my stomach and i worry that perhaps it is true: there is a black hole in the pit of my body somewhere. I sleep through the whole of the first flight and dream of bedrooms morphing into aquariums.

____2. Bedroom Soliloquy
He is unimpressive. He is quiet, and moves in phases: fumbling his body until he his happy in a position, then he is easily mistaken for a massive seashell. He still is suspicious of us, he is uncomfortable in our comfortable bed (the pink sheets, the purple bedspread disorient him: he doesn't know whose body he is waking up to in the mornings). He stares at the set of drawers, obviously a castaway from a more comprehensive bedroom set. He has a crate lying on the floor, a box, the Art of Algebra and Calculus 8th Edition (which he uses to prop his computer on) and a suitcase of clothes- foreign materials as far as we're concerned. At first we had hoped for a partner in crime, someone we could befriend: but this may not be our man. He is too self-consumed, he cannot be satisfied with us, he hates the empty nails on the walls, he his disturbed by the single half-open drawer (the one on the top right)- but will do nothing to close it. And we are more patient than him.

____3. scatter tinsel from rooftops and see if it's not rain or cotton candy when it hits ground
1) scatter tinsel from rooftops and see if it's not rain or cotton candy when it hits the ground
2) i spoke to your prophet, he assured me- a loss of faith is requisite in determining the precise nature of watch-faces, uneased transitions, brushed aside graces, untied laces, worn-to-nothing braces (the pain in my back) time's ungentle embraces, loved unloved dreamed to undream you to nothing but this mean (average) face that faces me in our faceless transitions from soul to human to soul again (yet not yet)
3) deliver messages you were never given by people who never asked you for anything in tones that make it clear you know nothing but untimed truth (misery)
4) boo.
5) continue to fidget with small pieces of paper (cinema ticket stubs and fat-width.ed receipts) in your hands till they soft and broken and more lined than octogenarian faces, mumble with the wind of the atmosphere that exists there: you are our god and we are geology

____4. gossip boy
"always though"
"everytime without fail"
"you're saying every single time you walk together all the pedestrian crossings go green?"
"and?. And?, you don't think that's odd?"
"what does he think?"
"he barely notices, he just walks, he doesn't even really slow down, he just keeps walking-
"what da ya mean? he doesn't know it's going to go green?"
"it doesn't go green at the same time ya know?, sometimes it's green when we get to it, sometimes we pause just for like half-a-second and then it goes green, othertimes it's already flashing when we get to it- but
"but you always cross without waiting"
"that's it"
"yeah dude. ___every_single_time."
"it is... "
"it is."

____5. fee fi fo fum(ble) future foray
i'm here. i see you're just ahead of me, waiting, you got into the room a second before i did... fine, fine, two can play at that game. two can play at alone-games.

____6. the straighttalk-express
yes i am in gold coast, yes i am was-excited, yes i am less-now because it is soo just is, yes i think too much, yes it ruins everything- everything in fact, and i cannot tame it tame it the brain that needs blood now but dreams of tomorrows i haven't had time to make yet (move the drawers, change the bedsheets, navigate mom's annoyingnesses, get a bookshelf, buy a car somehow decide how much to spend on it because of the great unknownness of not just the future but also future-me, future-world, future-family, future-prospects, all aspects of futureness that make it really hard to manage now, must have tomorrow too), yes i do feel ill in the body- which is annoying because i am trying very hard to be a new man and have postponed it (yet again) until my body feels new to match my shiny new life-opportunity but this wretched stomach grumbling and the lack of movement because no one realizes i can't sit still another moment even now at 11:48pm Monday night it is torture here i must break, make, remake, restructure, organize, list, categorize, construct, analyze some thing, time is running out even now there is no time, why can't anyone see that time is something that we have in unequal amounts and what is ready-to-drink for you is viscous as black-honey to me, and sticks to my chin so i cough and can't get a spoonfull down without crouching over to gag? also, i am living suitcase-style again because i cannot make unstable stable till it is ready to be stabilized and no one's as red-hot as me for this and so i'm all alone in this.

____7. the (more) straighttalk-express
i do not feel like: writing in my notebook on this blog on walls in toilets on the computer at all; thinking; thinking and planning simultaneously; thinking planning dreaming hoping conjuring praying simultaneously; eating; walking; moving; exercising; pondering how to shake the headache; sitting outside; sitting inside; sitting (levitation is probably what i do feel like); reading epic novels; reading blogs; reading anything; looking at pictures; having my eyes open; having my eyes closed; having eyes, memory, body, soul, existence, a disfaculty of time; calling friends; calling contacts; using my fingers to call; using my mouth to speak; defending; attacking; living in other people's homes (the thing i hate most in the whole universe today); looking at this screen; knowing what color grass is; not knowing what color the dust on the moon is seen with real eyes in real time because i'm really there and you'd think it would be so fresh and you could breathe easy there but it's not true it's the most breathless place of all- breathing; not breathing; holding my breathe; showering; bathing; dying; being relieved of life; living life; making decisions; making indecisions; taking a toast (and tea); not eating snacks ever again; swearing alot; using good language; using language; knowing language; being a solid object; being transparent; finishing this list

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


____The eyes are not here
____There are no eyes here
____In this valley of dying stars
____In this hollow valley
____This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

________Eliot, the Hollow Men

it makes it seem innocent, amalia chimera


____- the man is lucky in an unusual way. it only happens when we are walking- when we walk and we come upon a pedestrian crossing, it goes green. everytime. every_single_time.

____- what i had been told was entirely true. this must have been the best use of civic resources in a long time. inside the library three men and a girl sat, of varying degrees of homelessness. Gerald, African American 49, had a home, only that he despised it so much he spent as much time as possible away from it. His wife was Anne, she was one of those nagging creatures, and since he had lost his job in 2001, he hadn't the pluck to 'manage' her. Allain was the messiest of them all. 29, he wore army clothes and considered his life as a person of homeless-leanings to be the greatest battle of them all. He carried a canteen too, though filled with rum- he said 'in case of an emergency', which occurred sporadically throughout the day and usually abruptly ended around 3pm for lack of sufficient resources to continually pacify. Janice was only 15. She'd started coming recently, at first only a few times a week. Soon she realized what the rest of them already knew: home was no place she had ever heard of and school wasn't a place that had heard of her and cared to remember her name. And finally, Jimmy. It was customary to address Jimmy with absurd linguistic improvisations on his name. Gerald favored Jimmy.jummo.tastic. Janice liked Jam.jamster.jay. Allain was classiest of them all: Jimjob. Jimmy was an even 40 years old, once a teacher, twice a heroine fiend, and always a first class intellect. The conversation was exciting and bold and occasionally would get loud enough to warrant the library-staff suggesting that the heated discussion of Bleak House might be better suited to the grass lawn out the back of the premises. There they'd scream and shout, and that failing, would occasionally knock each other about (mindful of each other's teeth they'd never strike for the face- though pulling hair was permitted). Ya mutha fu*&in piece of crap JimmyJobFu&*er- you know as well as the rest Schubert the sonna-bitch was a craftsman of the highest order who innovated relentlessly with both tonality and form! Out of boredom, they had recently taken to sitting in the booths and listening to classical music. At first the practice was sophomoric, and especially Allain who occasionally had trouble sleeping solidly on the streets found it highly effective, but in time, grew rather pleasant. Armed with the booklet notes on the insides of the CD, and whatever books they could find on the subject, the music score and so on, they had become rather proficient amateur music-critics.Occasionally they were banned from the booths, once because Janice lit-up a joint, and twice because Gerald was spotted masturbating, and all three times the quartet was banned from using the music-listening-resources for a full month. During those times they would catch up on their Fellini and Hitchcock in the video rooms, argue about the failures of democracy due to an uninvolved, lazy, and ill-informed citizenry, and decide that Gerald should go home to his wife on Thursday to smuggle out of her kitchen enough food he would hand out on Friday, so as to last them till Monday when they would reconvene.
Suck my balls Allain- what Schubert did was soo preliminary and rudimentary in the greater scheme of things, that we might as well assume nothing got done at all till Beethoven showed up- and not done properly till Wagner and Brahms.

You high again JimJob? You freaking need a canteen break dickface? don't even bring up no bisexual Wagner! that's not even fair, you can't jump 100 years from classicism to chromaticism! that's not even... that's... you're high man!

I had been told, in no uncertain terms, that the library on Santa Monica and Sepulveda had the best educated homeless quartet this side of Stanford goddamn University. I decided to step into the fray with a trick question of sorts, to catch them out:

Hey guys, you have to admit though, the very frequent keychanges in Schubert can be considered audacious and the habit of modulating his recapitulations to the subdominant was innovative-

JimmyJay, you know who this dickhead is?

____- a man named Robert was the first to move there. Promptly following his divorce, he drove out to the frontier-limit of suburban development, then drove on another fifteen minutes, found a plot of dirt and weeds, and said to the agent: "check if i can build on it, if so, let's buy".
____It was a full six months that passed before even the first of them showed up. The first time it was some young kid, junked up and high as a kite and wondered off the highway after his ride decided it had been a mistake to pick the hitchhiker up and had promptly pushed him back out. Robert had been to scared to open the door to him, but in the morning, asleep on the patch of near-red dirt at the front of his place, he decided there was something nice about the kid. Oddly enough, it turned out that Robert's premises somehow made Krow immune to his addiction.
____Before Robert even had time to sort out what he'd do about the new perturbation to his once-perfect life, the sexualists showed up. Sassy Sass and Class Clay were 40 year old swingers who had decided to start a sex cult. Having failed (on account of aesthetic shortcomings) to recruit enthusiastic orgyists, they had packed a suitcase full of leather and whips and toys, and a second of clean-cut conservative clothing and headed out away from the town knocking on doors randomly to make their case for sex-instead-of-religion. They had hoped to find some keen older gentlemen who would let them stay in his home, but it seemed they knocked on the wrong doors. For a period of two weeks they did sleep secretly in the cubby-house of an overweight 15 year old with a seemingly indefatigable erection. Though they had promised to include him in their religion, some legal considerations prevented his full inclusion- though they found other ways of appeasing him in the short term. When his mother eventually found them one day in the cubby-house at 2pm on a Tuesday, while little Marcus was at school, they freaked and ran and took the train as far out as they could in fear of legal tailing and eventual prosecution. Though none of that entailed. Truth be told, Marcus's mother assumed them harmless homeless wanderers and not middle-aged aspiring sexual deviants. Eventually finding their way to Robert's door, he laughed openly at their proposal and blushed (though secretly, worried a little bit that Krow might be taken in by their propaganda). Though Krow was interested, it turned out he was not miraculously immune from his biannual bouts of Hep C on the premises. Robert assured Sassy Sass and Classy Clay they would be welcome to stay in the home for "a while, just until the whole thing dies down", on the basis that they kept the leather and whips and games entirely to themselves. Disheartened somewhat, but with nowhere else to go, the couple opened suitcase number 2, and had been living harmoniously with the other two- though occasionally Sassy Sass would attempt a titillating rendition of Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend during Friday-karaoke in hopes of an all-in romp.

____- i am angry about my past. and need somewhere to vent it. something i've been meaning to write is a strange, chapterless novella cum polemic titled Things I Said At My Sister's Funeral, a Eulogy. Truth is though... i'm not... the point of this work is to deal in a literary way once and for all with my sister's disability. But i'm not ready to do that, i'm too proud of her right now. far too proud.

____- what the left hand said to the right hand while the rest was asleep and the ears were distracted listening to cars sputter past throwing the darkness of night this way or that in scattered fragments of headlight lamps in triangular and pyramid shapes casting doubt on tree trunks and truth on the endlessness of roads that only turn back around when you finally get to the free air of the ocean and make you confront (once you're that far and there's nothing left ahead) the past that's behind and was waiting for you the whole time watching you slide past and thinking to herself: you'll be right back my friend, right back, and when you are right back, i'll be right here waiting for you. and time is an endlessly patient bitch.

____- calamity jane

____- a precocious teenager named Q who read a book called Eroticism in Western Art at age 16 and made strategic mistakes such that at age 25 he was considered 'wasted'.

____- the first miracle i remember about my life (truestory) involves the white plastic rook of a chess-set that i used as a child in Los Angeles. After my parents' first separation (the intermission immediately preceding the final act) my mother packed two bags, grabbed my sister (then aged five she didn't have a wheelchair, she would sit in a stroller) and me, and took us to Australia. In the airport at LAX waiting for our flight, we played a little game of chess. I set the pieces out, but three moves into the game (me, then her, then my turn) i knocked the rook off the board. it fell to the floor and for whatever reason would not present itself despite my most ardent looking. Frightened that i would wander too far and be kidnapped by malevolent men who would rape me or sell my organs on the black market, my mother forbid further hunting for the lost rook and i proceeded to finish the game using a small eraser as a replacement. Arriving in Australia, we were gifted a much larger two-toned check patterned wooden board with green fabric lining underneath so it wouldn't slide around. Rather excited by this prospect, we removed the chess pieces (minus one rook, plus one eraser) into a small plastic container, threw away the cheap plastic fold-up board, and used the new wooden one. For roughly 9 years, across the span of four houses (two of which were homes), two divorces, one marriage, we used said pieces, plus eraser, in a container, plus wooden board for occasional games of chess. Finally, in the year 2001 or 2002, after a good year and a half of neglect, mom decided she'd sit with me and play a game of chess (she being secretly crushed i had grown-up to favor chess to the more Oriental backgammon, or, as mom would put it: backgammon is a game that involves chance- which means it is a game that is like life, chance and skill are needed. Chess is too rigid, there is no chance, it is a game that involves only skill, and so... it is not life-like... it is a false-dream one shouldn't dare to indulge. God punishes people who indulge that dream. And I'd learn about 9 years later how right she was). Opening the plastic container i found i had an extra, unnecessary eraser. Thinking perhaps myself insane, i looked closely at the board: and there, standing proud, 32 pieces, with an ancient eraser in my palm. A full-scale investigation later, no one could account for how or, more philosophically significant: why a rook lost a decade prior in another hemisphere should reappear into our lives. This story is entirely true, and continues to haunt me today.

Monday, October 13, 2008

reclaiming the future

____Come, my friends,
________'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
____________Tennyson (Ulysses)

i have had a few things on my mind. mostly good things. the sorts of fantasies and plannings that make a person feel excited about things that could happen in the future. in short, things about the future i'm excited about.

things about the future i'm excited about, a LIST:

____- since the best hairdresser i have ever been to is on the gold-coast, great haircuts for 2 years.
____- a world-class gym for $88 a semester. this is important, because my pale skin, dark-ringed eyes, and emaciated physique is slowly sagging its way from heroine-chic to homeless-worrisome. i'm hoping after my mother freaks when she picks me up at the airport (even when i'm fit and healthy she freaks), she pumps me full of vitamins, strange powders, homeonaturopathic everywhateveranythings, and usually, my skin goes rosy, eyes settle, and i'll take care of the gym part myself.
____- a sleep with no dreams. i'll feel like this is it. Athena has stepped in, called off the Furies- told Apollo to piss off. Orestes can rest at last.
____- air + light = feel better
____(and my mom's house is on the lake. a gentle sloping plot of grass from the back door to the water. it's a perfect place to lie and read. also, though by temperament i am not a 'live-at-home' person, i detest despotic autocracies, this will be a good chance to save some money, and let someone else worry about the grocery shopping so i can get this education/profession thing wrapped up once and for all! (freaking about freaking time!)
____- make friends. (this did not happen last year, but i find i am not jaded at present, i'm kinda... cautious and careful to make sure i don't repeat the same mistakes. so, this time, making friends will be on the menu, and will be considered important)
____- find a way to get a piano. either move my one, or buy a new one. either way, i'm going to have a piano, it's not negotiable.
____- discover things you need to know about, come to know them. I'm already making vocabulary lists to put on flash cards when i get back. swag, catamites, intestate, bivouack, midden, fey, mire, effigy (i already know most of them from looking them up, but still. i just wanna know lots of big words like anjie and gol and leila)
____- remove things from storage. now, drear friends, i'm a little hesitant to make this claim, because i'm scared some new atrocity will postpone it again... but i think there may be a good chance all my books will end up in a space that is more or less designated to me, displayed for easy access and reference on a shelf. now... don't get too excited, i'll believe that when i see it. but i have made this tentative reading list for the next 3 months in case i'm right:

________- On Democracy, Dahl (this is what I'm reading now)
________- Midnight's Children, Rushdie (when else will you have time to read 600 page epics? better get it done now)
________- the Orestia, Aeschylus (this translation won a bunch of awards, including the PEN/whichever prize- it also has an awesome 100 page introduction and, i'm searching for a new novel idea and i think i'm going to return to my roots and be too-smart and center it on something mythical. deal with it people- elevate your knowledge bases)
________- the Communist Manifesto, Marx
________- Hamlet, Shakespeare (ever since i finished Ulysses i've had an urge to re-read Hamlet)
________- Sonnets, Shakespeare (the Bill Bryson biography had a chapter on them, i'd forgotten how much i enjoyed reading these when i was younger... this will be my next poetry project )
________- the Life of Pi (just to get it done and out of the way)
________- Mary, Nabokov (i'm looking to expand my Nabokov, and this is the next shortest and interesting one i could find. I'm leaving Ado or Ardour for when i have more time, and i'm a little intimidated by Pale Fire, even though i'm obsessed with the title and mumble it to myself sometimes when something reminds me of it)
________- David Foster Wallace (as some of you will know, he was too smart for his body, and recently died by apparent suicide. i read a short story of his and was very impressed. i hear his novel his excellent, and i plan on reading it)
________- the Trivium (actually, this will probably be the first thing i read because it relates immediately to my final . final . final. choice on educational training leading to more-or-less vocation: (oh, by the way guys, i chose door number three, law at bond. i'm starting my JD in January) law. Also, i've been waiting nigh on 4 years to read this thing. literally, 4 years)
________- Poetics, Plato (short but important. also, i wanna make flashcards on this and memorize the basic features needed to qualify as a 'classical tragedy', it's various offshoots and so on. it means i can be a more conscious writer)
________- 'What is Literature', Essays by, Sartre

____- find decent video store. in LA i discovered something really wonderful, and that is: Q loves Fellini. and thankfully, he was reasonably prolific. i've got some work left to do.
____- get new music. do it now. if you dear friends, have discovered things you think i would like, let me know. i'll get 'em. (i haven't really discovered anything awesome since A, Weather- so... i'm way back in the day). Also, for a strange reason i can't quite understand yet, i craved listened to poppy, commercial, fun rnb last night. i haven't hard that urge since i was 15. i don't know what the big songs are... if anyone is into that sorta thing and knows what the cheese i hear on the radio is, give a brutha a heads up
________read, learn, prepare.
________two years to fix this mess.
________fix it.
________(i'll go more into this in another post later on)
____- learn French. there was much internal dialogue over this. i think in a career sense, the smart decision is to learn Chinese. it'll just be soo useful in the near future. but, my heart lies in French. partially, because it was a language i spoke fluently and have completely forgotten (which i have never forgiven myself for), and secondly, i have thus far refused to touch Proust, Baudelaire, and Montaigne, telling myself i'll get to them in the original. Also, i remember deciding that it was important that i did what i wanted in life, as opposed to what i thought was right all the time. so maybe, french is the better option. that's where i'm at on this one, but i feel guilty about it.

now we come to the point of today's picture, fashion.

the other night i was out. a girl walked past, thin frame, white skin. dark hair, in a strange modernist sort of haircut (but nothing insane, just... catchy). she had light eyes, and was wearing a short denim skirt, a tshirt-like-top, had her hair in a pony tail (and i can't remember her shoes). the back of her tshirt dipped down a little, so you could see some of her back from her neck down. her hair was up, so you could see a tattoo of a cross there. nothing too intricate, but it wasn't shy either- it was decently sized, and stood bravely. it was impossible to take my eyes off her. now, to some extent, she was beautiful- granted. but it wasn't that that had me staring at her- it was her 'look'. she had on three visible articles of clothing (shoes, top, skirt). with the tattoo and hair- that makes it 5 individual means of expressing her 'look' to me. it looked soo casual and relaxed, without the least trace of burden or strain or being contrived. i looked at myself- black jeans, once were skinny, now are looser, they come off looking 'fitted'. black cons. i had a black and white striped button up shirt, and a dark blue vest with only two buttons done. i looked like i had tried to look good. i looked fine, but the point was the trace of thought and work that had gone into the look. she was effortless. as though her clothes were a natural extension of herself. that's the holy grail of fashion.

so that brings us to now. those of you who know me, know that there are two looks i do well. (1) hobo bum. this involves me not-shaving, letting my hair look a mess, wearing ugly oversized cardigans, tshirts, dirty cons, and stumbling around a lot. (2) scruffy ivy-league preppy. this involves me making tactical choices to sort of... take away from the clean-cutness of the prep look. For example, soft-collared shirts instead of stiff-collared shirts. small tie-knots instead of big ones. cons instead of leather shoes. no belts. shirts that are only partially ironed. oversized v-neck sweaters that make you look 'messy'.
that's kinda my fashion world- more or less. i'm looking to expand that somewhat now. i'm a little keen for something new, but something that that young girl would look at and think: 'effortless'. Which is why i've put that picture there. that man is as about as conservative dresser as i am. i am conservative- i take the occasional risk, but nothing too insane. his hair is short, as is mine at the moment (and i'm still happy with that decision). He has funky glasses, which i need to get as well cause i'm going blind. it's going to be summer here soon, so i'm going to have to find some looser pants. and we both like solid-colored, unprinted t-shirts.

now, if he was going out on a saturday night, how would he dress to carry that same sense of effortless interestingness with him?

(please forward all pictures, ideas, descriptions, and details to me. here or at my email. there is much tactical deciding about my 'look')

(I may become embarrassed by the fashion discussion at the end of this post and delete it... so... grab it while it's hot)

Very Short Stories

the cat was pleased with her. deigned to reward her with a few moments of eye-contact. smiled a cat-smile she couldn't perceive. stood still and let her run her arm along his back. he could hear her crying about something softly. he raised a cat-eyebrow which she couldn't have known, and considered staying put to keep her company. Outside a bird chirped, and it was clear sunlight was dwindling. the last thing she saw was his tale and ass-hole before her face fell into a dark green cushion that felt gross on her face.

she took her shirt off last, oddly, and lay it down with the rest. her feet sunk a little into the sand so she could see only little spots of bright pink from her toenails when she looked down. she was crossing her arms, even though there was no one around. it was just after sunset and though the sky was partially alight, it was windy. her hair moved around. she reached the water, it was cold. her ankles now (her whole body covered in goosebumps). knees. she turned back, a car was driving past on the road. it was dark and the car was far away, it couldn't have seen her. the sun gave up her last fingertip and went all in under the water. she followed.

it was strange to see her again, they hadn't exchanged too many words, scared of the consequences of anything they might say. "so what am i
_ to you_ now?" she was brave to say that. he kept looking at her, you are beyond words, silent. she sipped. her hand trembled a little. you are the moment, deep underground, under pressure and heat, when rock sediment becomes a crystal... you are the moment memory solidifies. you are the moment of self-fulfilled prophecy, when the Future finally shows himself. He rubbed his fingers on the tabletop, leaving a little streak. "you gave me a box of teas once... remember?" (she smiles for the briefest moment, then its gone. she nods) "right now you are

my name should not concern you, it is of no importance. what is important to you, is that i have the key. the answer. the grail. you see, for the longest time, i, like you, was angry. really angry. then, over-dilated, i was sapped. i felt like saggy skin. all sad, all the time, no breaks, just sad sad sad. i had lost even that animating power that anger brings- the urge to revolt or fight or rebel or at least go to the gym. sadness brought nothing. but now, i've overcome both. i am neither angry nor sad. i am unaffected. i have risen above being human. i am everything you want to be. everything you desire. a perfect canvas. welcome to my course. get a pen and paper ready, your first lesson will begin in 10 seconds (or skip to track 2 now)

the boy comes in everyday, well, everyday i'm here he seems to come in. he sits opposite me, he favors that seat on the end. he reads most of the time. sometimes he closes the book and just looks away at nothing for a while. then he opens his notebook and scribbles... but never for long. i wonder if he has writer's block. he looks like a writer- he must not be very good though. the best writers are the ones you can't pick in a line-up. the ones that look the part usually suck, show-ponies trying to impress women. Though he's never made a move to speak to me, or any other girl that comes in here. and there are a lot of us. students study in here all the time. seems to be something time forgot. just showed up one day, the missing note a pianist's hand missed. someone stood him up maybe and he keeps coming in waiting for her to show, big stack of books to pass the time. maybe he's a ghost, maybe only i see him. maybe he's mine. my special friend who doesn't notice me. and i pretend not to notice him. our silence is our partnership. he turns and looks at me as i abruptly glance away. he doesn't smile. doesn't react. looks back to his book and rubs his eyes. he's been almost falling asleep for an hour. turns his book upside down and goes downstairs to order another drink.

night sat with her head against the glass of someone's bedroom. night had great hearing, could hear him breathing- he had trouble breathing. night wished he'd open the window so she could slide in. she wanted to touch him, to cover his body with hers. to wrap him in a new skin of black that was cooler and slicker and he'd groan for her alone. he couldn't open the window- it was barred. because of the orange curtains (such an ugly color) illuminated from the inside, night could always find her way back here. it was getting warm now so she liked to rub her cheeks against the cold glass. he knew she was out there, but couldn't do much about anything.

"shall i wrap it?", she wanted to say yes, but in the end, said "no". she'd have a hard time explaining it to her parents.

and finally, he had to decide how to move all his books back (again). always with the books. you could tell everywhere he'd been just by following the trail of his books. everywhere he went he left a few, a few that weren't very good reads, or too heavy to carry, or were so old his allergies would play up so he'd sneeze as he read them. people hated him coming to stay, they knew he'd leave behind a few books that he'd never come back for - despite his best intentions to. he picked three and put them in his bag. the other 5 he started to flip through, he was saying goodbye.

- what about love?
- what about it?
- what does it mean to you?
- all the empty space that's left after she moved out.
- literally or figuratively?
(he thought about this)
- it means the piano at the back of the auditorium, and red v-neck sweaters. yellow couches, boxes of tea i never opened. colors... and words and phrases and parts of bodies. tastes and feelings and resistances to gravity. time. space as well. places... and mostly, a great evacuation.
- hand me the spanner.
(he does)
__________ ____ _ _interesting perspective.
(he looks down)

there are a long list of things i've failed at. long. mostly, dear me: i've failed you. i've been unable to... ya know, work it out. i can't determine the right order of things. i am unable to get a grip on my emotions - just... kinda failed at that part altogether. so i'm writing this letter. it's important to get it all down before
__before... before i get on with it. the most important thing to say is this: history has the quickest access to our genes. gets right in there, immediately, even when things are happening, you think to yourself 'i'm a new person. this moment, this second, has changed me. i'll never be same. i'm lost.' (sometimes you're found too). history. all of this is because of things that have happened. anyway, the rest are details, so i won't bore anyone with that.


- why is it that i have to be so sad b/c i tried as hard as i fu&*ing could to make this work?
- gravitational pull. ____i like to think of things in terms of gravity.
- good answer
- (i had a head start to you. i've had a while to ask your questions of myself)
- yeah. _well i'm glad i can ask you these questions
- the blind leading the hopeful.
- hahaha

Friday, October 10, 2008

things, things, things, a preliminary, a LIST:

____- Brown Eyes Girl is what i listen to when i'm happy (wanna be happy) (can't help being happy) (don't need to explain it) (it can be everyanything)
____- California is the lastest place i've left my heart. previous lastest places include: lying on your chest in silence on my yellow couch; my sister shaking her head and saying "and people say I'm a retard!" (and us all cracking up); Haifa walking along the white rocks at 8pm with you; on your doorsteps out the front of your house looking at the nothing of night thinking about nothing and us wrapped in blankets and me chewing an apple and you drifting into and out of the smoke you were either smoking or dreaming or conjuring from the spells only you can cast; when you picked me up at LAX and I thought, 'oh thankgod. at least Monz is here. at least she's here'; stranded with Richard in Prague with no where to sleep and no way to get anywhere else, he made calls. i sat on the sidewalk, crushing the snow as i shuffled me feet back and forth and thought 'thankgod. i can hide here forever'
____- of all the books i have read in my life, i have only ever read 2 cover-to-cover in one single sitting. the second of them happened two nights ago from 10pm-4am. The Road by Cormac McCarthy deserves all the praise it's gotten. It is brutal, harrowing, redemptive, terse, magnificently written, and i am unquestionably more human for having read it (and what more can we ask for from our arts?)
____- it's been 8 years since i've been inside the Adelaide Central Railway Station. i walked down the alley and slowly retraced my youthful steps. For a decade, everywhere i went passed through this building. eventually i made my way to the platforms and watched and listened to the trains come in and out. i thought about catching one back to Hallett Cove and taking a walk... maybe i will before i leave at the end of the week. maybe i never will. something's i can't face ever changing.
____- "One of the many ways that life is an odd proposition is that some people you know you continue to bump into at various junctures again and again. Others, never again. The entire course of your relationship is arrested after that initial experience, delegated to occasional email 'how are you?' status. Considering the extent and frequency of our travels, and my every honest hope to bump into you again somewhere somehow, it seems our relationship is of the second category: Delegated. Nonetheless: Hello. How are you? You are still my friend, in my mind i mean. In my mind you are still my friend. (Did you know that? or suspect it?)"
____- Flying Without Wings by Westlife is one of my guilty pop-song loves. Also: Girlfriend by NSync. And I'll Do Anything For Love by Meatloaf is perhaps the most embarrassing. Your song is Drive by Bic Runga. Your (another Your) song is Gravity by Bic Runga (i find that rather coincidental and odd).
____- he believes in hope incarnated, as though a genetic certainty, or a gospel promise, within life, inside its every happening and event, and believes it so certainly that his often gloomy countenance is read immediately by those who know him best not as pessimism, but a conscious effort at preparedness. He was not an optimist. not a realist, not a pessemist. He was a preparedist. He clenched his jaws and was prepared.
____- outside of California i continue to feel uncomfortable about the signs, symptoms and experience of summer
____- i have a secret belief, that when i'm done (with life), God- or at very least, a white-bearded old man with blue eyes and an infinitely reassuring smile will sit me on his lap, and read me my whole life back to me as a picture book. the two of us laughing at all my mistakes, my failures, my victories- like a coach, or a piano teacher commenting on my recital, and we'd be happy. and i'd feel it was ok. it always takes place under a tree. on a hill.
____- it's not about discovering truth, it's about personifying sincerity.
____- you once said to me: it's so sad we can't marry everyone we love. i've thought about it for 9 years now. it's not a sad thing you know, it's the saddest thing.
____- would it really be a disappointment to anyone if i just stopped writing altogether? i don't think so. i received another batch of rejection notifications from publishers. on the one hand: i sense even in my own work a distinct feeling of unfinishedness. a lack of gloss or shine, that amateur feel of construction- where things hang together not-just-right. It's in the novel. it's in the short-stories. it's in the poetry. it's in everything. this always constant feeling of not-good-enough-yet-ness. (and that means they really are just not that good (enough) (yet)). On the other hand... it is competitive. it is a world dominated by lazy readers and excessive commonisms. and my work is odd. that makes it doubly difficult. blah.
____- It's not a perfect stanza of text i admit. but this bridge (coupled with the music) always almost makes me cry. even when i first this song when i was 12, even then, pre-love, i sensed a sadness about, a sadness i knew it was inevitable i'd come to know. so i felt sad then too- sad in anticipation for what would later come. and has come. and will perhaps come again. and there's no two ways about it.

____And there's no way home- when it's late at night and you're all alone.
____Are there things that you wanted to say?
____And do you feel me beside you in your bed,
____there beside you, where I used to lay?

(it's from Sometimes Love Just Aint Enough by Patti Smyth & Don Henley)
____- you really need to see Rembrandt in life. it's not all brown and boring- i promise.
____- when did i become a person who was soo involved with space- i mean with place?
____- i am racing something. always have been. don't know what. don't know where it came from, or what the consequences of second-place are. or if victory is worse. but it's there. a buzz in the silence. a palpitation of the heart when everything else is easy-going. there's something in the water friends. something suspicious. you can see grey outlines moving under the boat. the shadows are tilting the wrong way. people mouth it to me in trains- perfect strangers. it's all happening. all the time. yup. you betchya it is.
____- i could make an argument that every story written ever ever is a version of the Odyssey, the Orestia or the Oedipal Trilogy- or related to. (just on a side note to this, i can't ever really fathom just how incredible the Epic of Gilgamesh is)
____- he doesn't know the rest. or the beginning. he has trouble chewing just even the present. inputs and outputs. causal associations. relationships, inverse, proportional or not at all. peace and war, and every other dichotomy, bipolar mode (coordinate or otherwise). otherwise and wiser than others. goals and aims and plans and routes and routs and terminology and jargon and labels and taxonomy and all that. (just add spice he says to me and keeps chewing, mixing his plate all together). i worry about this meal. perhaps unnecessarily, afterall- it's just life. and we all know how easy it is to start, and how easy it is to end. and everything in the middle just is. planned. hoped for. (hoped against). willed. dreamed. earned. stolen, lost, found, gleaned. decried. philosophized. theorized. colonized. deconstructuralized. laughed about. made a joke of. enjoyed. giggled through. walked out of. scorned. canonized. all that jazz. all those white horses in the night. all those cafes and baggage carousels and genuine last (honest) goodbyes. (do you ever know which is going to be the last?) (no, of course you don't). (see, hope. hiding in the bookends between time) (nods) (nods) (smiles) (smiles) (c'mon buddy. you really think too much about all this crap. whatdoya say we play video games?) (i... don't know... it's been years since i have) (good. lose yourself mate. it's all it's about).

it's all it's about

(something like that anyway)