Wednesday, November 26, 2008



From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And tender churl mak'st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

____Shakespeare, Sonnets

untitled, Brett Walker

i counted, sixteen roses are as sweet as your toes,

and forgetting my age, in class today, i jumped up and down like a bunny rabbit!! like a bunny rabbit!! with three little-people the size of possibility, which is to say: infinitude

while outside and all around and for all time it rains and grows shades of dark and darker(still)
which proves the queer axiom that winter beds do grow larger and lonelier than summer ones,

pouring tea after dinner
i suddenly missed Martha's tea.
and the sound of the wind as,
wrapped in blankets,
we sat in silence and
made no-sense of all those things
that are clearest in streetlights' view

and finishing my apple,
she doesn't look at me,
but i hear her say:


(and i feel better,
knowing it's ok,
we made it through
another day
longer than the last
longer than the rest)

time to go in.


i close my eyes and mumble to myself the moments i fear i may start to forget soon... on Father's Day, i had Subway with a homeless man named Rolphie, because he approached me (outside) and said: man, can spare some change?, i'm soo hungry
___- i'll tell you what, how about we get you some food, yeah?
___- man, you serious?
___- sure i'm serious, wanna sandwhich?
___- Yes man, you are nice, thankyou!
___- no worries, you'd do it for me.
___- Yes man, yes man, i wasn't always this way, no sir, was not was not always this way
___- i hear you brother, nor was i. ___what's your name?
___- huh?
___- i'm hungry too, mind if i join you?
___- man you serious?
___- if you don't mind, no point us sitting alone at different tables
___- Rolphie. was a veteran, i have the card, let me show you
___- it's ok, i believe you,
___- no no no, i want you to see it it's important you see it, then you know i'm tellin the truth

my hands hurt soo bad. three of my fingers won't really move. my thumb's swollen, cuts across all my fingertips, my palms sore and red and warm. people seem to think it's from removing tiles and scraping cement. i know better. this is what happens when you stop touching people.

___(2) (nocturne)

dear future wife,

dear unbalanced silence,

dear collapsing universe,

dear unfathered children,

dear damaged palm-lines,

dear unfathomable infinity,

dear miscalculated past,

dear myself, called the nicknames only you will think up,

dear untaken breaths,

dear damaged lungs,

dear undisturbed time,

dear alleverything,

sleep softly my dears.
sleep, and let me sleep for once, too.


TITLES &/or FIRST-LINES (for Anjie)

- hello?
- this bastard air of this bastard life,
- (no help from )
- this future's not what i paid for,
- Gossamer
- (and at night, the toxic amber of streetlights hold my hands, leads me out of bed,
- these are not dreams that lead me away, these are not dreams when i drive home
- too late to
- screw up your courage
- (once again)
- and he knew as well as anyone love was all there was worth
- and if you haven't stopped breathing, mumbling fuckfuckfuckfuck quietly to yourself as you reach across for a prayer book, hands trembling and resembling tree-branches, not knowing what else to, then you haven't been dead enough to know what life is.
- please?
- the shifting gravity of entangled lips,
- anti-alacrity
- when we lost the keys on our second date, and we walked in the cold and your stilletos probably so uncomfortable and we found them again and accidentally proved a false-axiom: out of tragedy there is great victory, we were led astray, and all our crying afterwards i blame on those bastard keys for showing up.
- catastrophist
- professional people watching, quiet loving, omellette eating, silent seeking q.
- untitled.
- untitled 2.
- fish, curled to suggest: home.
- the misunderwritings of qdudsu hcialme hankotra
- your head, leaning on the taut seatbelt, you slept almost the whole way to seattle, and we drove through the prettiest parts at night, i remember only the moon and the white specks on the black water, the rest of the forrest absorbs everything we throw at it, moonbeams and prayers and middle-of-nowhere-one-in-a-million-please-gods, while you slept i drove almost 22 hours. finally, while you mumbled more nonesense to me, i said: q, it's getting ridiculous now, let's just stop somewhere and sleep for the night, to which you replied: mmm,yeeahh, sure sure, agree... i agree, yyeeahhh___ wwha?
- and nothing is sadder than distance.

i have no idea what i'm writing about.
i'm sorry for wasting all your time(s).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


  1. i have no titles. i do not know titles. names are beyond me just now right now just.
  2. i'm listening to Paul Oakenfold's Southern Sun, the last time i listened to this song, i fell asleep at the wheel 5am, New Year's Day, 2003, and drove a little blue hatchback full-speed through the intersection of a main road and a 4-lanes-a-side highway, taking out a traffic light and a palm tree. the palm tree later died. i did not. this continues to give me some sense of pleasure (that the palm tree died). (but i occasionally would be happy to trade places)
  3. i know no-one likes to leave comments on posts where i swear, or talk about sex, or people in the nude, but i know many of you secretly like it because it's true-stuff that true-people say and true-people do and true-people fear and true-people want and the things that cause almost all true-people pain,pleasure,awkward isolation,consummate love,entice hatred loneliness fear self-loathing; and at least a few of you are true-enough-people. that being said, she's wonderful isn't she? she's intersting and fiesty and completely self-unaware, and doesn't give a lick about any acheivement but being human and that's the one she has the most trouble with (like me). (but in my novels, everyone is me). the more i get to know her, the more i like her. the more i find with her the world is a war that never ended. and she's soo soft, and soo simple, and soo easy, and, as i read once in the introduction to a book on Lacanian Psychology: the logic of the female is like an underground current, present and certain and ceaseless, and finds its way through any obstacle, and just when it's ready, springs to the surface; no one knowing where it started, how it got there, or why - but knowing its paces were deliberate and certain and the outcome exactly as it should have been. (i have paraphrased the whole thing entirely from my memory of reading something once on a bus in 2002 with dim lights - which is to say: i probably made the whole thing up)

    i am saying all this because: my novel grows. slowly. fingertips. eyelids. slowly features are made clear to me, parallels, things interlock, and i continue to embue it with more and more of myself until i can't distinguish me from the plans in my head - and then, only then, it without warning starts to spill itself onto a page. and then we begin.
  4. i am tired. i have no good ideas to write about tonight. but it's raining, and in order to communicate effectively with the rain, it's important i make a tapping noise, she likes it when i contribute. (I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
    That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
    Darkness there, and nothing more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

this is her. say hi.

So to cut a long story short, when her mother checked into rehab, she checked out of her mother. It all happened so quick, she never thought to offer an explanation; only that there seemed to her to be some ignoble mistake in alteration. She'd grown accustomed to her mother - actually liked the fact that she sat in her Max Mara summer dress, nails hair and eyes done, smoking out on the lawn, the ice of her drink melting.

She cried on the flight - that's when it started - strange bodily reactions she couldn't grasp. On the pull-out tray in front of her, her fingers tapped their way through the first book of the well tempered klavier, the stewardess thought her neurotic. - can i get you a drink dear? - no thanks, just a cup full of ice will be fine. and carried on with the D major fugue.

at the beach in santa monica, she couldn't resist writing on the sand in huge letters: FU&^ YOU, which made a little girl cry. She'd used black nail polish on her fingers that morning, and felt beyond the reaches of etiquette. her apartment was a mess before she even got to it, but decided (that same yearning for the pristine states of things) to keep it as it was; just as she never threw out the picture of her dad in her cot, singing her songs, with his hairy legs sticking out all over the place. she'd brought the picture with her, used a magnet to put it up on her refrigerator, the white of which had grown yellow-tinged, like smoker's teeth. at night, not knowing anyone, she'd taken to drinking herself past the first three vestibules of loneliness and she'd practise being her mother by wearing summer dresses, and stumbling barefoot throughout the house calling her father's name ALLEN! AL-EN, fu^&ing Allen where'd you go? while giggling between shouts so that her downstairs neighbours would later swear that a nice couple lived upstairs.

after she'd spent enough lunchtimes sitting looking lost in the public library, one day she walked to the informationd desk, where a homosexual African-American man asked her why do you think you'd make a good library assistant? to which she smiled and answered fu&^ that, but i'll paint your nails a new color every week, deal? to which his stern (heavily oppressed) face cracked a well-meant smile, honey, it's clear to me you're the right lady for this job. After which she took her lunches out on the grass with a hippie, a homeless drunk, a homeless non-drunk, and an estranged husband who had committed to memory the first 50 Shakespeare sonnets.

three months in, still drinking herself to sleep, she. in a fit of (unexpected) rage, ripped a silver dress and hurled a black heeled shoe across the room screaming at the top of her lungs: i love you i love you i love you and proceeded to empty an ashtray, wash the dishes, vacuum the floor, and put away an army of clothes back into drawers and wardrobes and laundry baskets entirely in the nude, the whole time hoping whatever djinns had taken over her would find it easier to escape her that way (like she'd opened the window for the flies to get out).

once, in the street, despite the black rings of her eyes, her newly shortened hair-length, and her staring conspicuously in the other direction, a too-perfect-for-life blonde girl called after her, i thought it was you!, gosh, i haven't seen you since... since... the New York eisteford, you played the Busoni transcription of the A minor prelude and fuge right?
- hmugh. ___yah.
- i'll never forget it, it was... it was... soo good! what are you working on now?
- now?
- yeah, more Bach i bet right? you're like... Glen Gould or something!
- i'm not working on anything.
- what are you doing?
- forgetting.
- what?
- what. what. ever. forget this, i'm outta here.
- hey -

and when she was far enough that Bridget (that little bitch) couldn't see, her body began leaking again for reasons she couldn't understand, but she fantasized that the tears were a perfect rythmic representation of the opening prelude's chromatic descending subject, and then after buying a 50 cent softfrink from the 99cent store she went out back tipped over a shopping trolley and kicked it for 5 minutes straight, threw the drink at it, kicked the can away (it's black puke.blood foaming all over the place) and walked away huffing and puffing in a mad rush to get home, get drunk, get naked, and clean out her oven.

finally, one day, someone came into the library humming the rondo of Beethoven's Tempest sonata, which made her go to the bathroom (preempting any funny surpises), wait to see if she'd cry, then, coast-being-clear, walked back out, walked straight up the man, and said:

i'm the best pianist you've ever met. if you find me a piano, i'd be your friend forever and i'd play for you whenever you asked.

to which he replied:

i'm a terrible pianist. but if i had a piano, i'd be a better person.

when she went home that night, she wondered why she wasn't in love. she got drunk, picked up the phone, rang her mother's house (which was vacant, on account of her mother being in a plush spa-retreat somewhere getting sober) and shouted at the answering machine:

i. fu&^ (love) you! i. fu&^ (love) you! i. fu&^ (love) you!

only that by morning she'd forgotten having done it, and because her sister had already called that night and left a 25 minute (equally) drunken message about her own wedding preperations, no one ever heard the rhythmic syncopations of her passionate outburst.

Friday, November 21, 2008

a sleep with no dreams

(Running home, running home, running home, running home...)

____For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver

Akif Hakan,

the girl in this photo is someone i need to get to know. she's the last piece i think. i know she has a messy apartment. i know she vacuums in the nude. i think she's pretty quiet, and we'll have to learn to read her thoughts. i know she says:

Lying in that bed it suddenly hit me how far I was from the earth. From soil. I wanted to be close to it but there I was occupying some piece of sky.
(not my words, credit due to the person who wrote them)

i know she thinks the most dreadful saturday night she ever had was the one where she tried to learn to play the guitar someone left behind by herself. the dress she wore to her sister's wedding is on the floor now. i don't know if she's lost home (like Ali) or if she never could hang on to one (like me). she's an enigma of sorts - even to me. i don't know where i can find her. she's not in a song somewhere. she's not described for me in a book i've read, and i think back through my past and think to myself: who could she be? and can't settle it.

but when i know her... then i think i'll be ready. the parts will start to lock into one another. Ali i already know well, and his history's just variations on my own. and me, well... that's easy enough. but her... i want to conjure her. i want her to be mine. i want her to be someone who would like me (not the Q in the book, the Q in life). i want her to be an expression of that female-limbo, which is so different from the male version. a woman's sadness is soo different. it's a whole different season to a man's. has its own ebbs and tides, and reacts in its own individual way to wind, and to words, and to invisible things. But that's not even it, i don't want her to be sad. no one is going to be sad. there is no sadness here. she just needs some air.

talk to me dearest, who do you want to be? what should be important to you? are you sure you want me to make you so... stoic? so aloof and apathetic and distant? that's not you. i know you're not this person. who are you really? what are your stories, where can i find them? shall your father be wonderful?, i think he will be. and your mother too. but she'll die first, and your sister is typical. she'll take it well. and you'll never quite find your niche. perhaps you work at a vintage-clothing store that you run with a migrant-girl from Nigeria. The migrant-girl's parents are wealthy, and they sent her abroad to study. But she's used her tuition money to open this store, and that's where you work. how's that? will that work for you? i'm still not convinsed.

i don't know.


i had promised myself the next novel would be my happy-novel. it will not be. my next novel will be a story about air. about small confined (figurative) spaces. it will be about contortionists in funny poses, stuck in place, and held in place by time and circumstance and finances and family and religion and drink and everything that feeds off us. it will be a novel abou history, which we hold soo dear and hate soo much. it is a story that's soo distant, and soo insipid there's no room for love. it's a dusty life led by dusty, confused people. it's a story about sensed locomotion, but when we open our eyes, we're still right back where we started (at: who?). It's Bon Iver's Re:Stacks as a story. It's about a 38 year old man who smokes on his balcony. and my sojourn in LA. and this girl, who is naked in her apartment, in the sky. and homelessness of course. home, which is where things are supposed to start, and which never ends at. about the multitudes of homes we can't have. about walking down Santa Monica Blvd. at 3am with a limp and your hands soo deep in your pockets you worry they won't come back out. it's a story about being divorced three-times. it's a story about how much i hate family. and history. and the past. and heritage. and how my grandfather did too. how he locked himself in his room for 30 years and would only leave once a week to buy groceries and books. how he waited it out. sat on the clock till it stopped. it's a story about women and how beautiful their knees are. and their ankles. and how the heels of women are soo attractive. and navels. and eyelashes and why do wet eyes feel so strange to touch? it's about being against a wall. it's about Run Orestes, Run! it's about Bye Bye LA. it's about Exile and the Kingdom. it's about A Sleep With No Dreams, and i think, in fact, that's what it ought to be called. because now that i think about it: a sleep with no dreams is as much solace as it is the emptiest, darkest, most silent, far-flung, edge-of-the-no-where i've never had the (mis)fortune to visit.


when i get her down, i think i can start.


DAVID: You see, maybe it’s a boy thing. Maybe you don’t get it.

MARGARET: Well, you know, no, it’s this sort of obsession with sex.

DAVID: It’s a boy thing.

MARGARET: I think girls are obsessed with romance, you see.

DAVID: That’s the difference between us, Margaret.

____transcript: At the Movies With Margaret and David, reviewing Sex ____Drive

untitled, isa marcelli

i am uncertain about happiness. firstly, it's not something i know. is it even a noun or an adjective? why don't i know it?, i feel like i should. it's something we're soo often concerned with, our 'happiness'. certainly i know about all its opposites (and it has alot of opposites). i know about its half-opposites and its nearly-the-same-thing-but-not-reallys.
____every so often, it's important i think to take account of life. and every time, i find the same result: i don't like my life. don't get me wrong, in hindsight i'm always satisfied (enough) with it. in hindsight i even look back on certain phases of it with tremendous affection (and equal loathing). (this is maybe the crux of who i am. the history conundrum is who i am). perhaps only behind the glass of time, bars that prevent me from tampering with it, the folds and wrinkles, the aberations in photographs, sentiment and nostalgia changing the colors, maybe only after all that, am i able to view it, this distorted bastard of myself, this frankenstien stictched together from rainbows that weren't there, and from first kisses that tasted like french-fries and there were no earthquakes at all... the flickering light was just a moth to a lightbulb, making a mild burning noise everytime it landed, maybe after i've dipped it in watercolors and used red-eye-reduction on it, after that, maybe it's ok to look at it. diluted versions of my moments, and think, oh yes, it wasn't so bad was it?

But while i live through it, there is a brutality to mornings. like something being cleaved. i am lonely when i am alone, and more so when i am in large groups. i am unimpressed with women, and them, i think, with me. an impromptu conversation about mathematics algorithms that traditionally i'd enjoy and enjoy i perfunctorily nod and play my moves through. after some digression in our conversation, (we consider: Japan, the Trivium, my Swedish designed wristwatch), i'm invited out. come hang with us, why not? i don't know. but i don't. i can't.

i enjoy playing the piano. it allows me to concentrate on minute movements in my hands. it focusses my body into two palms and i can ignore the rest of it. all the rest of it. i just listen and feel my hands moving. make mistakes. make adjustments. like cooking. like putting a bed back together. i like playing with children. there's something distinctly anti-me about being found on my hands and knees growling like a lion at a 3-year-old. i hate writing. mostly i do not have qualities that i dislike. ("oh, i'm so shy, i wish i wasn't" or... "i must get this whole compulsive-lying thing under control". nothing like that) but i loathe writing. it is after being shot, the trail you leave behind. it's jagged, and imprefect, and never-quite-right, and must be the sort of sickening 'not-again' compulsion drug and sex addicts get before they do something they know they're going to regret. that sort of shaking, 'oh no not now' werewolf transmutation. pains and stretches and aches and reorganization of internal organs.

"What is this thing happiness that I've talked myself out of it a million times and never once in?"
____Jonathan Safran Foer

In the best of times, i still feel as though i am in a dark room grasping for lightswitches. Sitting by banks, waiting for the line to twitch, unable to relax in the scenery. there is something that's missing here. some element that should make Friday night worth its own self.

(but not even once?)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

fragments (things i am looking for)

Everything that happens is from now on
____Re: Stacks, Bon Iver

inceptive notions

(which is to say: the saddest thing about you not being here is: unoccupied furniture. which is sad because there's a chair no one sits in, but also, because you still take up space. my heart is full of your inanimate objects. indefatigable memories.)

(the rest removed by author, in piecemeal fashion, over 25 minutes following initial writing, because it sucked)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

letter to my future baby(ies)

Dear Wonderful You,

it's not raining now, but it has been. i was driving through the storm last night, could barely see five feet in any direction. terrified, i drove slowly in the slow lane, and listened to the sound of an ocean falling out of the sky. this will be an experience you never hear about. i want to apologize to you for all the things that you've had no control over ; for the bundled together experience of your inheritance. how could you know?, you weren't around to see what your mother was wearing that first time, or why i noticed her shoulders, or that she has an odd intonation when she says ye-ah. You're not to be blamed because one day i walked in and saw my mother (grandma) holding my sister (auntie Sahar) up to her chest in a pink room that was colored so brightly and happily and sobbing together - it was like a miracle i was never meant to see - one of those images you never quite sever off again ; and though you're not to be blamed for it, and though you never had a stake in our victories, and failures, and our pains, and our happinesses, here you are: with it all heaped upon your tiny fat-kneed lap. rings around eyes, unslept hands that hold each other and shiver out of fear, and your mother's still panting and can barely sit up in bed. An entire history that is yours and yours for the taking (but more hopefully: leaving), a heritage, a tradition ; that your father cannot listen to you if there's Brahms playing in the background, and that, even now, sometimes at night, he lays awake feeling more lonely than any stone or pebble or detached tree-branch anywhere. An entire history of the only reason your mother was even wearing that dress was because her mother had made her - she didn't even like that dress. Your eyes aren't even focussing yet, so you can't see our ravaged bodies. Your grandmother's (my mother) gained alot of weight. And Sahar is bent all out of shape by ever-patient-gravity. Me and my eyeglasses. and my hair-loss-prevention medication, and my weak ankle, and the dryness i feel when i hold my hands, like two pieces of paper rubbing, and you so fresh! so pink and rosy fingered! and your curious eyes that can't fathom it yet, can't fathom the harm we'll do to you, the oceanic burden of our memories that we'll unload... Stories about how your great aunt escaped Iran through a desert - and in the night, they were being chased by men with guns and huge-torch lights, and a baby escapee was crying and they forced the mother to smother her baby. About the things I saw in Africa as a 3-year-old that i won't forget - it was only a breadcart, and men with axes, for no reason at all, i still never will won't understand , and pink bedrooms and pink faces, and sobbs launched into chests, trying to shake past skin and fat and breasts and speak directly to heart : hear me? hear me? hear me?

hello in there? hi.

you won't understand for years, why your mother likes to sit and stare out the window for no reason when it rains, and your father likes to sit on the balcony with a cup of tea. you won't know where we are. you'll never know what happened for 28 months in a little mountain-town in northern Israel, and why there are a few extra stars in my sky than yours (but you'll catch up in time). You won't understand why, sometimes when i hold you i'll mumble strange words - prayers, and hopes and incantations into your ear, strange sounds ya Bahaulapa that will make you smile and you'll giggle in my neck. See, the thing is, it's not just your mother and i, you won't know about how your great-grandfather was almost arrested, and how he holds the record for 'longest time depressed, male-category' at just over 30 years, and how your great-grandmother is actually insane, and what i wore to his funeral, and that she taught me how to play chess. you won't know about what they would cook for me when i was sad, and the time i fell in a puddle that was deeper than an ocean and i ran home soaked and crying and what they said. the house i lived in for those years will be nothing to you. and other houses, with pink rooms, and highways where during a storm i saw out of the corner of my eye an apparition driving beside me, until i shouted: you freak your headlights are off! while high-beaming him incessantly till the fool realized. Or that your father doesn't sing, but in his BESS class today, a little girl said: i don't know this one either and the other said, Teacher-Michael, sing it with me for her, and so for the first time in my life, I sang 'Blessed Is the Spot' the way my father would sing to me for years without feeling like an out-of-tune cardboard box. And how three lines in, the other joined in, and in a little crack of space-time no one else could possible steal from me opened up, i remembered life is about moments and not seconds. moments and not details. moments and not oceans. moments and not histories. moments and not events. (i wonder how i feel when i sing it for you... )

and, i'm also sorry that you won't make it all better. you won't make it all better. your mother will still throw tissue boxes at me from the other side of the room when i say naughty things i shouldn't, and she'll still shout and be angry because i'm always late, and how even though you're the happiest little happiness ever ever (that ever was), you can't save me from the midnights that are reserved for alone, and even your mom understands that too. you won't save me from all the mistakes i've made, people whose hearts have been harmed, and Time Time Time whose cut me gently and slowly from top to bottom like peeling an orange, you won't save me from that. You won't save me (or yourself) from the times i'm tired and worn thin, and fretted and don't have time to explain to you who Diomedes is, or why i make you write papers all the time and make you analyze your argument. i'm sorry for being older than the other dads. for not letting you take a sip of wine at the Christmas party i hate attending every year. I'm sorry i tell you you have a history to live up, why i tell you that who you are is the pinnacle of all who've shed blood, and shed time and tears and toil so that we can expand the borders of the universe large enough to fit you in it - i'm sorry. it's not your fault. your great-grandfather crying on the plane while men with big guns knocked on his door, and he almost had a heartattack thinking they'd turn the plane around. or your grandmother and i, walking around Congo-Brazaville alone, lost in mudded streets where no one would speak to us and maybe i was just born into loneliness and never learnt how not to be. maybe that's my lifetime's worth of history that you'll inherit, for that i am sorry.

for my own life, which you will pay the price to even, i am dreadfully sorry.
it should never have been this way.
(only that, simply put: there is no other way it could have been. ever. your history is an ocean, and you're the wave that made it to the shore, forgive the demons of your fathers that have landed you here: we have bled and lived this long only for you).

much love

Monday, November 17, 2008

Short & Very Short Stories

I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I've gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each 'I', every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you'll have to swallow a world.

____Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

untitled, _isa.mar

and though it had been coming for months, it was that breath - his three hundred and eighth deep breath for the day that brought with it a jagged pain and a calming; and though he must have clenched his teeth and every muscle that still had pluck left to tense, the ceiling above him somehow was a road he'd walked along the day he lost a blue-postcard (and his final grasp on a chapter of his history), a beach made up of round stones that hurt his bare feet but he ran on convinced this was the place the mermaids were waiting for him - and now, they were, and so he swims (having taken off his light white jeans too) into the ceiling, now the wet autumnal fingertips of bright saffron and vermilion leaves while he kicked rocks and held onto the heavy backpack on his back, where the mermaids wait for him by knee-deep waters, and he can see their red hair and their white skin - and now, it rains and he drives his car, cutting across white lines that mean nothing on empty roads (and the water up to his toes and the mermaids wait) and she says anywhere you want, just keep driving, i don't want to go since they both knew things end when people arrive at destinations - and now his shins grow cold too, and he hears a song hummed by the wind coming through trees and the long red hair blows a little and he lifts a hand from off his chest and lifts it towards them on the ceiling - now his sister, he's on his knees, in front of her wheelchair, and has his face buried in her belly, and she has stronger hands than anybody around his head) and the rain, now a swimming pool, at night a translucent slab of blue like an alien ship he walks around to get to the door to his apartment, and in the daytime he lies there in the sun (the sky an alien-blue with not a single cloud), the LA sky stares back at him with all its focused attention on his sweating and frantic searching for dreams - and now he dreams in odd colors his first car crashing into a palm tree and his body falling relentlessly for months and months in and out of love, and now his feat of levitation, none of the nurses could see, and his hand now touching the wetness of the ceiling, up to his knees he slowly (old joints and all) settles into the river and the cold is up to his waist, and he can't feel a thing at all and the mermaids touch with ice-cold hands his shoulders, and one kisses his cheek and winks and they both look identical and he likes that they're freckled, just ever so lightly, and one dips his head under the water and he closes his eyes and


but he can feel the tide picking up, like he's being carried along, and he doesn't notice he has lost interest in breathing, slowly, he opens the box hidden in his chest, unpacks his wings at last, and dusts them off. all black, and not a thing left to see now, and he floats on. anywhere you want, just keep driving he thinks to himself, and sees her face spotted with the reflections of rain, and yellow streetlights, and before he has time to

It's a mess if you take a wrong turning, that's for sure. He knew that much about his city, God, he'd grown up there, he of all people should have known better. But still, the failure was enough to keep him preoccupied, and he walked right past Belmonte Ave. and kept on walking past Crystal and Carrington and Cardashter too (the three CCCs, which marked the division between where-you-want-to-be and where-you-don't-want-to-be). Easily twenty minutes past, him in his own blurry space sorting out images of lost futures and possible byways back to redemptions, before he noticed he was standing by a dark alleyway with an albino harlequin staring at his black leather backpack. Startled, he jumped back with an audible yelp, and quickly started to cross the street, looking back to see a man in a skin-tight outfit, hood and all, staring back at him walking away without a gesture. Arriving on the other side of the street a short-man pushing a wheelbarrow filled with dirt and sprouting azure-colored tulips reached out for his shoulder, here man, here look at these tulips! fell from the sky this very color, true true - looking back the harlequin, still staring, he couldn't cross the street agian, he kept on walking, where a man had installed a tight-rope (tied around the necks of two very muscly men) and was seated, cross-legged, right in the middle, reciting to them verses from various Holy Books and improvising passages in between, you see gentlmen, life is the most important thing, life and breathing, breathing is important because it happens as naturally as life, once cannot have one without the other, and one is rarely in control of either. breathe now Bruce, if you get tired i'll fall. And not watching his feet, he kicks a Siberian cat, clean and white and well kept who stares him straight in the eyes and reads his mind and being unimpressed with it, says nothing but keeps walking on. Four whores in 18th century costumes, large waists and corsettes and all laugh holding cheap wine glasses in the air and see him coming and shout out rowdy advances, what have you got to lose mister? between the four of us, must be one you fancy huh? more than one? two wrongs always make a right mister, you know that best of all donchya? And a contortionist with his foot in his mouth up to the ankle hums a song to himself, jumping around on one foot, and stumbling past, he accidentally kicks over a bowler hat on the floor the contortionist was using to collect change in. This causes him to lose his cool completely, and he turns, and runs full pelt back the way he came, past whores and harlequins and contortionists and now a cardealer who chases him screaming something about paper cuts and flinging cards at him with impeccable precision and inexplicable speed so that on his first attempt he slices his ear ever so lightly enough for a few drips of warm blood to drip down mixing with his sweaty forhead. And at last, past the three CCCs, left onto Belmonte, and without stopping once for assurance, all the way home, until the door is locked and his shirt collar is soaked in sweat and yellowing blood.

They met. They liked each other - but didn't speak of it - each for their own reasons. He left. Most things were the same afterwards, but not all.

Life has earned this fantasy - for dreams to unravel and conquer. A newer climate: rainbows for leaves and clouds for rocks. No certain thing left.

Sure I realized they were getting divorced, I mean, you wake up, the guy's not around anymore, something's up right? But it's easy to placate a child, in my case, dad made sure the weekends were fun, pizza, movie marathons where we watched all three Star Wars (there were only three then), or the Indiana Jones films, and played poker with plastic little chips with some of my friends we'd invite over, and finally played video games for hours with me saying: nnnoooo dad! you have to press both buttons together. It was a full five years, before I, now in high-school, crossing a busy Main North Rd. the wind from busses and too-fast hatchbacks causing my school-tie to wrap around my neck, already depressed by the thought of the one-bredroom apartment with no light and the man with the long beard and still haunted (and forever haunted) by the memory of his birthday with a cake he bought himself that morning, and a single candle, and us two holding sparklers and posing for a picture i wish never existed, because i wish that day never existed because i wish most of this life never existed all the way back to sperm and boy met girl.

it's grown dark. cold.
________(autumn's last stand.)
still. i avoid going back.
there are two kinds of darkness.
the night i can deal with.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

writer's block

you start to develop ways of dealing with it. in my case, i look through pictures. flip through books of poetry, or magazines and things- see if an image or someone else's work will jog my imagination. contemporaneously with that, i listen to music. certain songs work best: Breathe Me by Sia works really well. Gravity, Big Runga. Spiders and Snakes by A Weather. The songs sift through memory usually, try and find moments i haven't relived correctly yet, maybe i can make them better. maybe there's still some redemption to be found in something of my past. often not though, when you think about, my stories are the same as yours. met person of opposite sex. it was exciting and amazing and tense till we kissed. we rode the ride for a while, through ups and downs. it ends and we're super-duper-sad. (repeat). friends made. conflicts of interests/idealogy/betrayal experienced. friends unmade. perhaps you see each other in crowded places and smile courteously at one another and walk outside and mutter under your breath fu&^ing loser (and take respite in knowing you're being called the same thing). otherwise what is life? lonely nights you wish you were out and partying and younger and cooler and hipper. and other nights you are out and wish you were loved and in a silent place with silent friends that don't demand soo much from you. you want sex you know you'll find dissapointing. you want love you know only comes when it's not called. you want to know how you came to be where you are, how you lost all you did, how lucky you were to dodge the bullets that missed you, express anger at how unfair it was at the ones you got hit by. you want to hold someone by the hand and lead them and point to the ground at the droplets you shed getting through it all. so, here i am, wondering why tonight i have nothing to write about? (now we're listening to Oh My Stars by A Weather, which makes me miss LA, but most songs make me miss someone someothing someplace sometime.

then there's fantasy. there's that. there's no one out there that can ruin that for me. I can write about Odd Orchestras and the characters that comprise them. i can write stories about orgyists and homeless people who swear and argue about Schubert. i can write autobiographies about young men named Dean who dissapear, or stories that end in:

I’ve spent a lot of time here. It has come to be my irrational belief that in everyone’s chest lives a jumble of noises. From the outside, it sounds like a dull thud, a rhythmic dum-dum, ending in a rattle and a semibreve rest with a massive fermata. And then, when the body stops interfering with it, you hear just a few notes, just a few per person, husbands and wives I’ve heard, viola with harmonizing cello… someone buried a baby not too long ago- clarinet… and people’s dreams start to dance, all those things, moments too brief, kisses, and afternoons spent reading alone in rooms we were too young to embrace, all those dreams dance. Three notes here, four notes there. And all the things we’ve lost… left behind, or left us behind, all these bodies; and their final literary efforts




__________NEVER ALONE


__________CANNOT BE LOST


__________MY ONE TRUE

__________HUSBAND OF

__________WIFE & MOTHER

__________SLEEPS HERE



(three notes here, four notes there)


__________SON OF


__________THE BODY OF






(three notes here, four notes there)



and i know most of you haven't read that story, i don't think i sent it out widely because i was never really happy with it. and i'm not really happy with it now. and i'm not really sad. and i'm not really anything, and i don't understand why i don't have anything to write about. i seem to have exhausted: the past, love, the present, hopes for the future, dreams i've had, dreams i hope to continue to have, dreams i recall, translating feelings to words, attempting to dissect myself into being more human, failure. i've drained myself of my humanity for these words. and i have failed on all counts. or as i put it better:



Friday, November 14, 2008


I would believe only in a God who could dance

- what's so sad about it?
- hope?
- yeah, what's so sad about it?
- distance.
- it's soo far. soo softly spoken. have you ever thought about it?, just how lonely hope is. how distant and eerie in any light, and barely... just out-there somewhere, living inside certain preconditions that may or may not eventuate.
- what could be further away than hope?
- i , don't __know.
- exactly. what's further away than not knowing, but wanting?


those who know me, know i can only write about three things: love, history, and gravity (fate/why-the way things happen). i've already witten the love-novella. perhaps it's time to write the history one... a story about our connectedness to the past. that too-tight union, and the borders of it, how far can we escape it before it catches up to us? there is only one title it could have at this point:

______but and therefore or also is so since,__ until

i can see everyone thinking: oh god.
sooner or later, perhaps the rest of it will start to make itself known onto me.


- and it drifts off into the future the way memories linger in the past, not quite there, just... a thing in your head, images and thoughts and all these virtual-senses
- but why sad?
- because it's distance, and there's nothing sadder than distance.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

can you tell me a story?, about love.

____since feeling is first
____who pays any attention
____to the syntax of things
____will never wholly kiss you;

____wholly to be a fool
____while Spring is in the world

____my blood approves,
____and kisses are a far better fate
____than wisdom
____lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
____--the best gesture of my brain is less than
____your eyelids' flutter which says

____we are for eachother: then
____laugh, leaning back in my arms
____for life's not a paragraph

____And death i think is no parenthesis

________ee cummings

from the season in hell by Maxwell Loren Holyoke-Hirsch,
courtesy of my love for you is a stampede of horses

it starts, has a middle, then fizzles out.
usually slowly.
hurts all the way through, but for different reasons.
sinks and rises so that underwater you can miraculously breathe,
and on dry land you sink and cough.
(that's if you can tell the difference, which you usually can't).

you learn to speak to cats,
become soo lonely you want to rub your palms and lips against tree-trunks,
and stay up late into the night listening to the sound of breaths till
you can't tell body from body
(that's if you can tell the difference, which you usually can't)

and in all honesty:
who'd want to?

you were drunk again.
late in the evening you call me, whimpering, guilty sounding.

on the drive back you throw up out my car window.
it's still there on the passenger door the next morning,
in the light it'll look worse.
(history stinks most when it's left out all night)

back home you apologized, undressed,
and made sure i forgave you for all of it.

we've been friends for...
____god, like eight years.
you're one of my best friends now, you know that?
how'd that happen?
________(right, how?

it's sunny.
we sit on a grass hillock.
i stare at your feet,
____when we first met they were younger too.

i'm comfortable around you, that's what it comes down to,
____(time is tideless with you,
you've digested each of my failures as they happened,

the grass leaves marks in my skin,
but you like the sun on your legs.
i lean back.
you look towards me quietly.

yeah, i know.

after the dreams wear themselves out,

news of you dries up too,

so the memories grow brown and yellow,

and make crackly noises when stepped on,

and we walk without really noticing,

and i hope someday, when i look at the moon,

i'll see the moon.

love is a story you tell with your hands, and your eyelids. everyone wants to say the part they remember best: there's the skin behind the ear that knows something about lips, and the shortish hair at the back of the neck that remembers some fingertips and being wrapped and twirled, and there's the buttocks that remember nails and there's the belly that remembers another belly, softer, and belly buttons that remember coming together to form a bubble of empty space amongst a unit of flesh magically bound. it's a story you tell in movement, and dance, and words, and you have to whisper it and scream it and cry it out, and hate it and be angry at it, and wish it all over again, and never hope to see it on the corner of a road in a foreign city somewhere because some genocides always happen twice, and shiver just at the recollection of it, and letters need to be burnt and framed and memories share that fate too. it's a story that can't be told in anything less than a lifetime, and it's the memories that sleep latest at night, so when you lay awake, it's the only song you know how to hum.

and to conclude,
i say this:


somehow don't matter.


i might delete this soon... so get it while it's hot.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nocturne (final thoughts about Wednesday)

in the dim light the veins of my hand
make more sense. 

a few lights: streetlight outside, mobile phone charging, 
mark the course of my soon-dreams like airport lights or

slow slow lighthouses. 
(be gentle dreams, be

i rub my hands across pillow faces
hoping to find even one long herhair to touch. 

not tonight. 
are there rainbows at night? (i wonder)

i think how, for every woman's name
there's a man somewhere in love with one. 

( losing , lose , lost . )

night is a simple shape anyway. 
cuboid. eclipse. schizoid. 

three paces from my bed in any direction: 
shadow... rainbows i haven't eyes to see. 

it rains silently in one corner, 
in another a cat i don't own purrs, 

blinds and blankets and private lawns: 
the nocturnal kingdoms have a hierarchy of their own:

he who breathes hardest, 
loses fastest. 

you win some, 
you lose most. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Letter to Bon Iver

This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization

It's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away

Your love will be

______Bon Iver, Re: Stacks

Dear Bon,

have you proven, as a closing argument, what Bach and radiohead and Nina Simone had proven by way of exposition- that if cut the right way, crack-cocaine can be somehow ingratiated into music, concealed in the invisible wavelets of air vibrating, and sucked in through the ear. it must be that, i can't think of another explanation, not just for wanting to listen to you all the time, but the for feeling i get during.after listening. it's a... a heavy head, a feeling of dizziness. an inability to quite distinguish words, i'm heavy - my body too heavy a burden, i'm mixed and thrown against walls, i'm lost. to what? you are new to me, so i have not cast you into a mould with memories yet, so you bring up nothing from Nostalgia Lane, but you stir up un-named emotions, things that have lived in human hearts (Malouf: a darkness even the waters are not deep enough to hold) without a scientist finding them and naming them, like those giant squids that live forever ever underwater somewhere... the love-stories of pirates and Atlantis's mermaids and gold coins with curses. those unworded consequences that live as crispy dried-jasmine petals in prayers books, purple pieces of paper with handwriting (love's final heiroglphyic clue to me - i threw out all your love letters when i got home this last time), dusk and overcast days when it rains and i drive lost in tortuous grey roads that lead from nowhere to nowhere again, listening to you, not able to understand a word you say,
though in the dark enclaves of my fingertips, in the hollow caverns of my internal organs, the beasts of the sea, of the dark, of shadows and lightless creatures that have evolved eyeless and sightless and dreamless (but for black shadows and black pearls and black meals of black morsels of black nutrients of black men's black hearts) perturbed and finally spoken to stare back trying to discern the shape of things to come. ,
dear Bon, who are you to me?
what is this despaired high you've brought me to?, where i suck you up and fall against the corners of my days shaking and tired and unable to distinguish pain from pleasure (yet again), waiting for some event or occurance to forge you to. so that you can become: Bon Iver, the music of when x & y happened. Like... Damien Rice, O, the music of a train trip form Hamburg to Prague after only just recovering from a 5-day fever because you probably didn't love me; and the music is painted white with snow, and the black trees and electric lines lacerating gashes like stitch marks throughout my afternoon as i cried softly to myself and composed a 6 page letter i regret doing now- because i actually sent it.
What malady or victory or midlove afternoon is going to define you? What good winter of mine are you here to claim? Dear Bon, even your name is a metaphoral dichotomy. are you playing a Shakesperian joke on all of us? Now is the good winter of our good discontent? Are you feeding us black sightless pills that remind us of hollows within ourselves, and clogged arteries in my brain, my circle of Willis traffic-jammed nearly shut with thoughts of blue hatchback cars and girls with yellow eyes and open mouths and the soft purrs of love taken out of hearts and stapled to palms that to other palms can share, or to cheeks can transmit, or to lips or to eyelids? you cannot be the music of my past, you don't know about Adelaide. or, last night, when someone said to me:

so you're back?
yeah. i'm back.
to stay?
looks that way. [for now]
so it's home.
what is?
[um... awkward] um, ya know, like... home. __where is home?
___. has no meaning for me .
the word; it means... nothing. it's a historical term.
[are you high?] what?
it means archeology, or geology or paleontology. [Adelaide, Haifa, Los Angeles... dead things, like Tutakhamon or Diomedes]
hey, that's my friend over there, i just have to go say hi to her.
[thank god. silence]

you are certainly the music of the present. the music of idealogical limbos. the music of crevices and flumes running on empty. the smell of cement warmed by car tires after it rains. the discomfort of quiet men dragged into noisy rooms. you are the music of my phantoms. an archived aural record of my regrets. a reminder of my failures. you are the music of the present, the homeless present, being constantly sapped by my own heavy sense of self-dom, or, again to borrow Malouf:

We are all of us exiles of one place
or another - even those
who never leave home.

or to recount myself:
where have you taken me? what astrology can disentangle this tortuous skein of life that i've made/been given/don't know what to do with? all this tangled skin (see there, between my toes, what a mess). you are a music of Gold Coast summers that are not warm at all. when it rains everyday, and is colored dark grey even when the sun finds gaps to assert itself. you are the music of lost highway drives, round-a-bouts and a life peopled by precisely one person: me. An insular compartment in a dashboard of the world, sitting in modest shadows counting lost and founds, wins and losts, and throwing away hours like wet newspapers, dreaming of red hairs and blue eyes and olive skins and middle fingers and laugh-out-louds and i'm so sorry babys, and will you be okay?s and two tickets to Pragues and my car's been towed.s and autumn on a magical wall in China and walking around Vienna kicking rocks, and walking (soo) sadly home from Brentwood listening to (Not) What You Wanted by Angus & Julia Stone which Monz gave to me not realizing how sad it would make me because it was the theme song for LA disowning me and sending me off and not wanting me to stay with her and her Venice Beaches and her 4pm omelettes and diners and her peak-hour napalm-scented traffic with the venemous red eyes of the BMW in front of you winking so often... you are the music of my alleverything,
you are a gross high that leaves me sickened and disgusted with history-future dread. i lick every stone for a taste of you. i tremble covered in sweat and lying on the floor kick my heel into the cement ground hoping to leave a mark somewhere for someone to know me, and jab every needle into my veins and snort every powder of you i can find. i ... i ...

this morning, with my eyes closed, i tried to recall the feeling of a warm body in a bed. i could recall hands through hair, and lips on eyelids... but i couldn't model the mixing of weights on beds. the changes in temperature, and sounds, and constant collision of limbs.

where does that leave us Bon?

This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization

It's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away

Your love will be

well put. bastard.

Monday, November 10, 2008

arrested development

____MY cocoon tightens, colors tease,
____I ’m feeling for the air;
____A dim capacity for wings
____Degrades the dress I wear.

________Emily Dickinson

8:30 Monday Morning, by Mineral


(deleted by author because it sucked 90 minutes after writing)

____ii. (negativity song)
never not no cannot will-not do-not
unfortunately regretfully inconceivably
impossible uncontrollable misfortunately
blithely apathetic aloof misanthrope
unsuccessful losing lose lost

____iii. (let the mute speak for himself to try and say for himself what himself doth mean)

i tire of normal mental/emotional processes. my body's mutinous organs and sweat glands
and falling hair and fingertips. like if after every 1000 heartbeats or every time i ate i collapsed
out of breath and trembling and unable to stay awake from fatigue. the mental version of that-
a full conversation, 2 decisions, or 3 minor activities, and i fall unable to recover.


(deleted by author because it sucked 90 minutes after writing)


there go the train tracks. safe and direct. if only i could grip a few hands and follow those along...
this is a fake summer - it's hidden behind gusts of wind and overcast skies and seems to me Nature's worried what might happen to me if it glares and unleashes too much of it on me.

i suddenly realize i don't know where i am. the optometrist today declared i'm pretty much blind - it's a wonder you've managed soo long. i think maybe that might explain these last few years. my constantly referring to it as my failed attempts at a grasp in the darkness.

here comes the memories, bringing with them names of old cities, and old friends, and old lives i don't remember burying but whose eulogies i've already written. (time and again) (and again) (and again)

truth is, dear friends, i don't think i'll ever really learn how to control myself. and... i'm sorry to say, i'll always wonder besides the train tracks, sometimes following them just right, and other times drifting off into the green wall, the blue floor, the white cieling, and stumbling bruised and sorry back the knees of the sitting train-tracks that would have saved me the trouble - had i known.

it sounds like maybe rain. maybe wind. can't tell. the Gold Coast is an exotic place, with exotic weather. Combinations that seem... improbable are a daily occurance here. Like cocktails with chilli and mint and raw sugar - or green tea icecream, or pizzas with sweetened plum sauce. on the Gold Coast the weather can be overcast and dark as the day your dog dies, and still with warm wind at a temperate speed. Other days is bright as all heaven shining down like midas just licked his tongue across the whole city- and cold as an Ice-Queen's heart. Strange combinations. strange mixes of color and temperaure and wind and humidity and half the day pleasant and half the day worthy of only measuring your own grave up and digging it in preparedness.

maybe it's just wind. it doesn't have that pointilism effect you expect from good rain. maybe it's just a few droplets. (that's a blurry rain, that happens here too).

Bon Iver continues to make me incredibly, i listen anyway, hopeing to discover an answer there. i don't. Angus and Julia Stone - Chocolate & Cigarettes has been on repeat all evening amongst reading news, and looking for futures, and slowly draining myself, and trying to find spectacle frames online.


Dear God,
i'm in the wrong life again.
your postal service sucks, you never get the message.

sort it out or we're done.
i'm serious this time, no games.

nice job on November 4th by the way, we were all starting to wonder if you actually existed or not.

bests and bests


i cannot seem to say what i mean. i hate it when that happens. it makes me feel mute. and lame. and deaf. and small(er than usual).

don't you love those moments when you realize the course of several years has led you back to the starting point again? don't you feel like you've accomplished so much and done so much and overcome so much? (only to be nowhere at all. just the same place, but with a different doormat)

no more.
i'm done.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Letter to Sandy

--And yet this great wink of eternity,
Of rimless floods, unfettered leewardings,
Samite sheeted and processioned where
Her undinal vast belly moonward bends,
Laughing the wrapt inflections of our love;

___Voyages II, Hart Crane

the fall/the leap, amalia chimera

dear sandy,

several problems. all out of order, (1) am craving some cereal bad, real bad. like. (2) tired, tempted to sleep, and although all the windows in my room are open, the blinds open enough so that people can see me walking around half-naked and also let in some of the breeze (because, afterall, what good are open windows if blinds are closed like it being day time and you having your eyelids shut?) and despite that, and despite new bedsheets that still crunch a little, and dreamy milk-dark night that is gentle and smooth still seem prickly and i wary of night. a little rift between us seems unresolved. and even though i know my dreams are the stuff of vomit and unremembered nights and dust-covered antiques in the back of rooms no one visits and hazy unstructured mannequins and blurrred images of no-ones and no-ones doing nothings and nothing, i still can't find it in myself to peacefully roll over and say 'goodnight you fu*&er Sunday'. (3) i can't don't won't wanna canna finna write somehting to write about. Which has been a major problem for a little while now and i try and try and it's all rubbishy blllaaahhhs what's coming out of my head now. just shadows of the ideas i have somewhere hidden. someone shine a light in my ear, out the other side we might see eclipsed amoebae floating about -

what am i talking about? (am i? (am i? (who?, where?)

tired tired, boredome game, music the same lame,
unfinished cannot tame sunday from monday, shame fear and horrified (the future's upon us yet again and when'd we ever realize the past was too craven to bother with?, too filthy to redeem, to unfinished to hope for - and now tomorrow, it's air-tight cusp upon us like a blow-fish's mouth or the flame of a yet-another morning crawling up the edge of the earth, meeting our horizon in a glaze of bright pink and azure, and the final fleeting phantasms of a night's hazy (unwanted anyway) dreams.

what_am_i_talking about?

i can't write to you right now Sandy. i don't know why, for the same reason i'm not writing to anyone. because i can't write. i can't think, i'm drowning (not enough)(too)(much)(all this air, it's like drowning every breath i take) whatever the mess is i don't know, and cereal won't fix, but damned well i will try - if there's a hole, cereal's the first thing that might clog it back up, and let the mermen gasping on the too much air drift back into oceanic valleys where there's not enough light for them to have developed eyes in the first place,

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

there's all that to compete with too. i concede my words. all of them. i have let them loose just to show you how unfortunate they are at present. i am no man. i am no sentences. i do not know about grammar or rhetoric right now. i do not understand midnight from mischief.

what am i saying?

much love


Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring:
__For I am every dead thing,
__In whom love wrought new alchemy.
____For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness
He ruined me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death; things which are not.

______A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, John Donne

Dakar (Sénégal), by Finbarr O’Reilly, Reuters

there is no dancing here. i just want you to know that straight-up. off-the-cuff. right out there ; _ok?, just want there to be no... mis.non.understanding - it's all out there now. all out there.
And that's pretty much it for rules. you can rest assure, there's no other problems. even when you drink water from clean glasses and your lips leave their little prints on the edge (the fingertips of lips) - that's cool too. all that. and after you shower and the floor's wet for half an hour... often times more. admit it, alot of the time it's much longer than half an hour. half an hour is like the generous estimate. (and that's what we like to call hope. - but let's not get into all that. semantics, and all that meaninglessness stuff. means nothing doesn't it? just words. not a paycheck or a cheeseburger to be found int he whole lot, so why bother says i? why bother?)

Oh, listen, before i forget, try and keep the lights off if you're not in the room ok? attracts bugs, sure sure, it really doesn't matter if you're in there. but, personally, i just keep 'em off all the time. Unless you don't mind sharing with bugs... but it's the noise they make. worse than refrigerators - they sound like static or something, a high-pitched sing-a-long, like fluorescent lights or something, half an hour of that, i'm sure i'm tripping again like it's high-school. No, not me, i never did. No, never at all. Jesus forbid that sort of thing. All the others too, God-people, proof-readers? Prophets. Yes, well that's what i meant. a pun obviously, where's your sense of literatzi? heh? heh? ____No worries, yeah, you can hide your champagne in here, it's just flappy wall-paper, but no one need know. looksy there, the last guy has a candle and a paperclip. damn occultists - everything's a goddamned symbol. huh? yeah, i agree. (damned agnostics, nothing's a mystery to that lot except why there's questions and equal signs and no answers.

truth =
meaning =
alleverything =
if you search for happiness, you might find (at least a part of it, if it can be detached into littler parts) it at =

Listen, if you find that you shed alot of hair, then that's fine. i often think there'll be nothing left of me at all but bones, a handful of white dust and hair that feels unreal soon as it's not on your head. (or where ever else). na na, i didn't mean nothing unwholesome by that. meant the whole lot. whole. all of it, yup, protein's protein. Never. no. leave my prayers by the front door, God's got the wind and the ocean and the damned insects mumbling to him all damned night long - doesn't need me with my last good remaining three teeth joining in that chorus. no sir. my fingers hate the touch of newspapers, and loneliness, and prayer books.

but i'm serious about the dancing, ya hear me now son? keep it to a mimimum, and i mean the whole lot. stamping. jumping-jacks. those seizures you junkies get up to - that's called dancing here just the same as any pas de deux. you try that stunt in here, might as well consider it your danse macabre ya hear me? your tottentanz. (Ophelia drifts past, white as a calla lily or a jasmine petal or 14 white lies told to protect one darned truth no one ought to hear. i'll take all the lies i can get to avoid hearing that other thing just once. just once is bad enough. __You hear it?, yeah it's a piano. No. No piano on premises. not the neighbours either. Anamoly. Time and space disturbances, not to be taken too seriously. think of it as wind, think of it as a dream-catcher - yes, no sir, you can dream in sound just the same as your arm-pit dreams in mould and your penis dreams in thrusts and scratches and freaks. whichever way then, climbing the walls is fine but watch that patch there, there's a cockroach family, honest-t0-god a good famliy, been paying their rent for years, lives under the roof there, see the stain?, yeah, they urinate there. same spot they carry their dead. 12 generations worth now. they cry better than the rest of us - try and keep your head under sheets at night, they've quite a liberal policy regarding privacy space. Anomaly causes the sound, don't know what happens after that. moon's all retrograde on us, like we're upside down all night long, drifting off on boats we never remember boarding.

don't care what you do for decoration, long as you keep few friends, spend too much time alone, waste hours conscious that your skin is being scraped off you and your hair is being detached and in the end you're nothing but nails and bones and calcium patches, you're right for our establishment here.

the piano keys all turned yellow in the end. player or not, they did that all on their own.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

yes we did: A Bold New World

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy

President-Elect Barack H. Obama

_________(from The Man With the Blue Guitar, Wallace Stevens)

_________That generation's dream, aviled
_________In the mud, in Monday's dirty light,

_________That's it, the only dream they knew,
_________Time in its final block, not time

_________To come, a wrangling of two dreams.
_________Here is the bread of time to come,

_________Here is its actual stone. The bread
_________Will be our bread, the stone will be

_________Our bed and we shall sleep by night.
_________We shall forget by day, except

_________The moments when we choose to play
_________The imagined pine, the imagined jay.

I am overcome today in soo many ways. in fragments. different parts of me are overcome in different ways. One thing is, I am full of phrases and lines today. It started first thing, when I saw a clip of Oprah Winfrey walk out onto her show wearing a tshirt that said: a bold new world. It's been swirling in my head all day. Yes we can. I like it when Obama says it. It's not forced. It's not labored. It's not even the chant of a rhetorician working the crowd. He just says it, yes we can, like an obvious fact... like a well underground spring that needs only be dug for, yes it's there.

I am overcome by images too. One often confronts these in picture books and archival film images. Gandhi. Mandela. Martin Luther King Jnr. and think of leadership. How people must have felt to be in those moments. JF and Bobby Kennedy. One is soo often confronted with the phrase 'great leader'. 'important man'. 'history in the making'. Those phrases have all been thrown around alot today. And finally, I'm going to add mine to that list:

dear generation,

are we aware, that this is ours? Are you aware that teeth and bone i have suffered, and you have suffered the confusions and angst of our time for this? That we have tolerated fools and crooks and thieves and isms and Darfur and Rosa Parks and Guantanamo and Rwanda and re-count Florida 2000 and Alabama lynch mobs for this. that this is our Berlin Wall falling. that this is our Man-On-The-Moon.

are we aware, that we did this? all it took was standing in lines. listening to voices. posting forms. extinguishing prejudices. pressing buttons. re-imagining the future. showing ID. braving the cold. discussing ideals. ticking the box. reclaiming the world: ladies and gentlemen of my times: the youth have just inherited the world. and i say this because:

are we aware, that we are not just color-blind, but doubly proud of the achievement of our African-American brothers and sisters? are we aware, that the debt we owe to them, we have just finally initiated a repayment of? are we aware, that their joy makes us joyous? are we aware that we have chosen the best candidate and not the shadow of our evils? are we aware that Yes We Can has just become the mantra of a world's worth of youth, who, sitting at lonely park benches, and listening to the monotonous rattles of trains, and stuck in traffic, and inked and pierced and diced and raw and bruised and cut, have just realized a man of such youth (47 years old!), who is willing to come to us on MTV, will inspire us not to just re-imagine the world, but to reconstruct it in the image of our longing. Yes We Can has just been cast as a fact- not just a hope, a fact... because we did.

are we aware; after i got through crying, and then praying and praying and praying, i stumbled on another phrase lingering in my mind: at this defining moment, change has come, that the world has been in just 18 minutes (the duration of a victory speech) disassembled, revised, imbued with hoped (so long as we breathe, we hope), invested with hope, redeemed by hope, discovered hope still clinging to it, and put back together again, ostensibly the same, but... no. oh no. not at all the same. not the same at all. are we aware these are new atoms we breathe? are we aware that as the remainder of this edifice, this blistered world order comes falling down, we now have a step-ladder to stand on? we now have a new arm, and a just-oiled elbow, and an eager wrist to reach up with? are we aware that we have conducted the first scientific experiment on the hypothesis of the American Dream (the world dream, the human dream), and found, without question, that it exists! that it can happen. that we can do it. that there is worth in aspiration. that there is value in endeavor. that there is truth to opportunity.

are we aware generation, that the burden of gross ignorance, of petty arrogance, of factions and schisms and pro-abort-choice-gay-straight-oil-terror-othercolor-ist is ours to destroy. to expel. Generation, we are Rushdie's Midnight's Children. we are Nietszche's Superman. We are Reverend King's dream. we are the seed of the hope of every prophet. we are a momentary wink of God's rosy cheek. we are the sprinting frontier of the universe expanding- we are the wave that grows and rises and plummets at the shoreline, at the cliff-face, at the jagged rock till we edge it towards us, till we reshape it the way we want, and spit it back out in our image.

for the first time in my life, today, this day, i understood what it is to be in a great moment. not a tragic moment, where you are sickened by your humanity- the stench of your own skin from watching images of Rwanda, Darfur, Sudan, Guantanamo... the filth behind your ears of Abu Graihb, of KKK rallies, of negative-campaign-ads, the boils and lesions of September 11, no, not that at all. a great moment, a moment when skin, and flesh, and hair, and eyes are... (when we are worthy of the bodies we are in) (when we become worthy of the time we have- the Time we are in) (when we are worthy of the task(s) at hand) (when we become instruments of the change we seek). that sort of greatness. For this first time in my life, today, this day, i felt soo near, and so in love with millions of people i have never met, but who are my friends. soo near to me- my team who had helped me accomplish this. my family. my fraternity. i felt soo near to my generation, my lonely, perpetually exiled, dreamy star-gazing hope-mongers, my lovers and brothers and sisters, together based on idealism we proved that race doesn't matter: qualities do. that experience is as important as heart. that we are willing to sacrifice for each other. that we care about our planet... that we are united in our sense of Space, and Time: Change we need. Change has come.

my generation, on this day, we have slithered awake out of our haze of hopeless angst, our muted frustration, our labored castigation of presidents who cannot inspire, of leaders who cannot transgress, of politics that seeks to divide, of civic responsibility that makes us sneeze as dust arouses our asthma, of constantly dividing and ism-ing, and schisming, and scaring and bullying- we have woken up just in time to say, yes we can change this. we own this.

and that's my point generation: we own this. our stinky flesh (rotting prematurely). our lofty words. and only our actions to bridge the gap. this is a day for exultation. the first, clear, defining moment of the start of re-constructing the world. the first, clear, defining moment of our collective, united front against history's slanted view of democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

dear generation, i love you.