Sunday, May 3, 2009

the midnight leprosy experiment

The embrace between faraway, freeway, and very near is air, breath, oil, here.
Mouth and food.Going somewhere you don't want to be. How does the will work. I don't want to be where I'm going!
Peripatetic effusions.

____from Catholic, Fanny Howe

Diane Kruger & Quentin Tarantino - The Call Back - NY Times by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, May 3rd 2009

peripatetic effusions. yes. exactly. exactly. that's why we have poetry i guess. a year ago i lay on the carpet in Santa Monica and stared at the ceiling. by my legs was a brown weekend bag full of mostly tshirts that accompanied me for a year. a small (and ever increasing) stack of books by the patch of carpet i called my bed. i read that phrase and thought to myself yes. yes, exactly.

and today, in a few hours, i'll fly to Adelaide. supposedly my hometown. only, for some strange reason, since i spoke to Ashley the other day, i've had the phrase peripatetic effusions in mind. an inconsolable homesickness. the friends of my youth have slowly all egressed, by geographical migration, by that slow uneventful drifting that happens between people, by time and by circumstance. the bookshops of my youth are now hair salons. the store i spent every afterschool in, trying out different pianos and making a huge racket in, now only sells guitars. DJ equipment. this saddens me most, i don't know why.

so what's home? Los Angeles? Haifa? Gold Coast? peripatetic effusions. i have left a relic of myself everywhere, and find that i am counterintuitively more encumbered.


sex and love are two things i'm going to have to sort out soon. in my head. in my body. i don't even know where their origins are. attraction is an algorithm, i unfortunately know that much. a sequence. protocol. i don't know.

Dear Future Wife,

hi. i hope by the time i meet you i've got it right. by it i really mean me. the whole concept of me. the whole anthropomorphic notion of me. you will, of course, come along and change alot of it- and that's fine. your loveliness calls for the painting of old walls, and the addition of vases of flowers in rooms of old habits. feel free. i chose you because i like your influence. you make air lighter. you are a magician. gravity is less burdensome with you around. and you at least, are nice enough to play with my hair when i lean back onto your knees as we sit on sand and stare at nothing. but i hope i have most of it in place. i'm trying. i swear i am. the idea that happiness is a practise... i am really trying.

there's been a side-effect though. i am unable to endure anything in my life that displeases me. everything must be fixed. every problem has a source in my behaviours or thoughts. there are antedotes to everything. i'm going to tweak and nudge and calibrate and restructure and redesign and relearn and reformulate and construct until i am a utopian me.

i can't believe i'm talking to you right now. this is silly. i feel silly. in all honesty, with passing weeks, i feel your existence less and less.



it occurs to me life is not a thing you 'win' at.
since i don't know what the alternative is...


maybe home is a person. not a place. maybe home is a food. maybe home is laying in laps with your hair played with. maybe home is the smell of a tshirt. maybe home is the feel of a steering wheel. maybe home is a framed photo. maybe home is the sound of someone's voice. maybe home is the ocean. maybe home is the path in Hallett Cove lined with daffodils, where i rode my bike. maybe home is the past. maybe home is the myth of ourselves we've outgrown but can't leave behind.


i think we should make love. all of us. right now. it's an important exorcism. it will bring the rain. it will quench thirsts. it will release anger. it will dissolve cares. we should kiss and hold hands and laugh while we do it too. we should talk and whisper things in each others' ears

____(something i remember, we were talking and she said
____oh you think you're a poet?
____and you can make anything sound beautiful?
____i make things sound as they are.
____what are my eyes?
____you are a bad poet if you can't describe-
____burnt honey. ethiopian gold in a dark cave. the savannah at sundown.
____[they kiss]

was that home?


we who are lost and wander solute you. we who are blind. we who don't know love from affection. we who hate empty beds and hate beds with just ourselves in them (i have five pillows and only one head it seems excessive). we who miss people who haven't met, and meet people we've missed our whole lives solute you. we who can't hug for fear of the electric shock. we who are anomalies. we who are quirky, and larger-than-life, and smaller-than-life, and defeated-by-life, and unconcerned-with-life, we who are stuck in fossilized memories, we who dream our way out of these small towns, we who kick the rocks of our home towns, we who reek of our drowned towns, we who seek starrier skies, we who like to hold kisses too long and hugs forever, we who fail because we cannot pronounce win, we who seek, we who sought, we who fell flayed and frazzled into thursday nights and Monday 3:32 am's, we solute you.


i have not touched women's ankles today. i have not held their feet and elbows in my hand. i have not stared at anyone's eyes. i have not heard Bach. i have not dreamt a dream of Shostakovich. i have not learned about Pericles. i have not looked at an ocean and thought wow. i have failed at being human today. i have failed.


this morning i awoke with too many thoughts. no no no. not one of these, i hate these. immediately i found some odd jobs to do around the house. little renovation projects. if one is concerned with right-angles, with applying silicon to sealing edges, to cutting lengths of PVC to fit, to digging holes and obliterating weeds, one will not be concerned with such thoughts.

too many hours later... the pupil of night has me stuck dead in the water. i can't let the beast go. f*ck i hate these days.

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