What do I say?
Something has been lost here. Great transition is afoot. It's thrilling and terrifying. It is also much needed.
For a long time I was very afraid. I realize that now. And I feel sorry about it, because inevitably it cost me a lot. A lot of time hiding. Tucked away beneath the bar stool. Buried in my thoughts. The hardest part is crawling out of that place. Writing is a tense place for me. I've grown so accustomed to the comfortable ways of doing it. Without certain facets I feel as though I can't get the right thoughts out in the right order to say the right things. My mouth is dry.
I want. I am both hopeful and desperate. A walking dichotomy. Make it well.
A means to the end. I don't serve a god of condemnation. And he is here now. He does come here, to the bar, where I've found myself again. It is not bad. I am not as bad as I was at a time. But I've come here in lieu of a craving. I feel a false safety. I know. I don't want to drink. I crave fellowship. I want friends. And they aren't here. Truly, there is nothing good here. In all honesty, I can here for a hidden, smoking patio. And maybe the charm of the broken folk, like myself. But I am alone, in this place. Because no one wants to talk about god. Or maybe they do. But the only reason I ever came here was to go as far away as possible. To pare my thoughts down the a muddled hum. Something seemingly more manageable. Nasty habits.
It is three pm. The weekends have been beautiful and rough around the edges, so much like myself. The day is charming. Lord. Last night I puked my guts out, and towards the end of that endeavor my nose stared gushing gobs of blood. It was horrible. My body went into shock. I recognized it. And stood in the shower for a very long time handing it over to a higher power. These strange things. Very.
It smells deliciously sweet. The aroma of alcohol speaks convoluted love songs to me, whispering soft hymns of future elation. All creepy-like and dizzifying. Numbs the word. Hush up. I have to keep heading forward. I have always had many friends to drink with. To destroy with. Most anyone will be that for you. It's true. But I don't see them anymore. I think of their familiar faces often. And I miss them.
Grant me excitement for this venture. It is fifty-five degrees. It is March 15th, 2009. It is a Sunday. Tomorrow is going to be a Monday. I am twenty-four years old. And I am blessed.
Process is a portion of the all encompassing organism. It is not the organism itself. Process is the intangible road of thought. It is not action. The internal notion of equation. An emotional path, past and future. But always the flutter of hope for something more. I wonder why the chest flutters. Vagal response.
I am Norwegian. Also Irish. But that doesn't really matter too much, if at all. Sometimes I want to tell the world about all the things I am. Everything that accumulates into the definition of my person hood. Not all of those things are complementary to any life anywhere. And truth be told, none of them make any specific difference. But for some reason, they seem to clothe me. Although, however relevant, this too, is not true, or consequential.
It is fifty degrees. The hail comes down in clicks and pings. at three forty-five on Sunday, march 15th. 2009. I am twenty-four years old. My friends of destruction are all long gone, and I am here now. Alone at the bar. Where still no one wants to talk about god, and we are all drowning. And the only reason that does matter, the only reason that is relevant, is because of process. And because of something infinitely better.
If I am anything at all, it is totally naked. Surrounded by everyone and all alone. The supposed quintessential worst nightmare. But honestly, sturdy relief is impending a much desired substantial humility. Because once my identity is completely stripped, I am divinely handed my actual garments. The ones I am supposed to be wearing. Even now, I am still learning how to best adorn my sacred wardrobe. Occasionally finding myself putting on the old clothes, and every damn time I feel so damn ugly. And I keep forgetting. For whatever stupid reason I am still uncomfortable. Yet this is part of my process. And not the whole organism. I am the entire organism. Naked and awkward and stupid. Always trying. Constantly redeemed. The hail stops. And it is till Fifty degrees.
there is life and green growth in these trees
the sun heats the west side of the house
while I sit facing east, held up in the shadows
afraid of all that good light
it sees me too well
knows when I close my eyes
the flinting mechanism turns to sandstone
melts away with the good feelings
day splits again, a dart through a down heart
feathers burst forth and fly everywhere
great gravity directs me downward
don't let them take me
sometimes I feel an awful enemy exists
studying all these words
ready to shove them back in my face
force them down a vulnerable gullet
it all goes down so easy.
the song shifts
in my heart
we've lost rhythm
we've lost touch
we are lost
great gravity pulls us down so easy.
I know this is not true
only the human persuasion
a simple sooth of false sophistication
professing identities of drought
feeding me a line
when my guard is down
and I have no fight
the greater gravity sings ascent
as bones buckled, white knuckled
forgive me, it is so easy
to confess the sadder bits
the minor riffs of being
remain a simple sinner
good gravity persists ascent
and always does
I suppose I'll tell you a story.
And I'm outside.
But as long as you're okay with that,
I am too.
I feel as though I've lived three lives upon arriving to this shore-less shore.
This plot in the middle of nowhere. An ancient stone house I call my home for now.
Actually this won't be a story at all. I'm just going to verbally vomit for a time.
You have been warned...
I have almost been consumed by a deep underlying anxiety and the stagnant sensibilities that follow closely behind. Within myself and this time I experience the surefire sensation of meaning. It's hard for me to ever feel too far from meaning, I need it. I need to feel like I'm assisting in this story, this plot line, the greater scheme of proverbial things. If this feeling doesn't meet me frequently, I start to lose life. I start to implode and misplace direction. The meaning. I lose the meaning; it's very important to me. Often there are "side-notes" within the further meaning of life, but really, it all fits into the same sacred package of what this existence is all about. Even though I wish so much and so often that I could just live. I can't very easily; I don't know how. It takes time to learn to live.
I am at the place of stillness. My little, red canoe has been rocking violently for sometime. The waters around me, the waves and ripples of thought and breath have been gradually raging, climbing and echoing dissonant, as I'm yelling stop-stop-stop. So they were allowed to stop. And everything got real quiet. Everything became really really quiet. The boat, the life, the breath, all hush. Not even the birds dare speak in times like these. For fear of treading on grounds they don't belong.
I careen down the river. Half awake. Trying to be awake. Awake enough to undergo the process. Enough to comprehend what is happening to me. I feel like a mutant. With unmanageable superpowers. All good life is built within me by other hands. A structure made, infantile and finite. Still feeling out the foundation. But as the dust settles, I know my roots. I know the true vine. That grows up before me, separate from myself, but fused with my blood. And I know that this vine is infinitely bigger than my body as it presses and hopes to burst through my breastplate. That this vine will make the fruit of good good living. And I want that. I want it like the best supper. The truest sustenance. The truth impregnates me.
But I am at a place of stillness. Sitting in my little, red canoe. The world and all aspects within it and without have hushed. Left me alone, to wonder what happens when I decide to allow, or disallow, this life to tip over. What happens when I say, "Ok. ok. Let me tip and turn. Let me plunge into the briny deeps of living. Let me bask in the promised depths. Let me feel that it is so perfect to not know what the murky water looks like as I enter, and simply trust that I am held up within its mystery."
I know I am clinging to the last of all that is my secret self.
The bolts and screws of lesser living.
No one can serve two masters.
This lady surely cannot.
I've been shown and naked a million times over.
I am used goods and loved regardless.
I can't help but feel that this is why I am here today. Why I am writing this. And it took me a long while to come to a still place to write these things. And that is okay. I'm alright with that process. I know the knowing better is best.
This boat is about to tip, ladies and gentlemen.
All these supposed goods are about to splash into a baptism.
That is good. And pleasing. And perfect.
There is little to distract me at the moment.
It's two am. And I am drinking bourbon.
This is a recipe, and I am the Martha Stewart of ill-conceived notions.
A meticulously prepared undertaker of affection.
I could bake you ten cakes in twenty minutes filled with feelings of adulation.
But there's no one here to eat them. These temporal delicacies.
And I can smoke and drink all night long next to hoping,
My best fairweather friend.
Listening to Stevie Nicks spill her guts all over my frontal lobes,
Behind her, thoughts beckon, as to what I do in stead,
What I do after this. The proverbial “then what.”
I've probably felt more alone than this,
The reasons differ,
But not enough to matter.
Nothing about tonight feels especially successful.
This is an absolutely beautiful moment,
In which I have done nothing
My superpower, my kryptonite.
Always has been, always will be.
Since I was a kid and my dad told me to know better.
"Don't let those tears drag you all around town."
Daddy I am trying,
But sometimes life is so alone and I don't know what else to do.
There are babes I wish to kiss goodnight, that don't exist.
And if they did, they wouldn't know what to do either.
“Can the child within my heart rise above?”
Everything within me just wants to wait this out in the wake.
What's the point of sleeping through.
I crave something too great.
I want the ocean.
But all I have is this glass of whiskey.
And the sweet songs of a broken lady,
And what does she know.
I am broken, I know. That thought is rarely far from my mind. And if that knowledge ever dissipates for a moment or two, the emotion I experience in its stead I can only ascribe to the Divine desiring that I would feel as I should indeed feel, instead of how I tell myself I should feel. The problem with me is that I am so often reticent to adhere to what the Divine says. I don't think any of us are, and therein lies the greatest struggle of life. I believe that.
I have always lived in story. For as long as I can remember dreaming through the waking hours, I have crafted a story for myself. The majority of this story lies in my head. But tonight as I was driving through the nighttime countryside, through the fields now devoid of corn and wheat, I tried to imagine myself in a story that wasn't written by me at all. In that story, I had just spent the evening with my dad, watching movies and playing with kittens, and was on my way back to my now deceased Grama's house, listening to Afro-Panamanian music from the 60's and 70's, smoking a cigarette, trekking over railroads and bridges in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. All the while, my mind was pulling so hard at placing me in some other setting. Some other place in time. And I wanted so much to be exactly where I was, knowing exactly where I had in fact been. This is one of my deepest struggles.
There is a constant discussion as to whether or not fate exists. Some of us call it predestination. Most people seem to hold to either extreme conclusion, it does or does not exist. I can't say I can know for sure in this life, but I can suppose that it falls somewhere in the middle. Rather, it is both. It does exist as an inevitable story that has already been written- what is going to happen is going to happen, absolutely. But what inevitably happens in the story that was already inevitable, is still the result of most of the decisions we very freely and intentionally make. Although I will say that in this life A does not always surely equal B, and B does not always surely equal C. This world is perpetually upside down in most ways. So perceiving life as some sort of mathematical equation will certainly disappoint.
For as unsure as I often am in this life, that last paragraph contained a great many words describing a sense of some absolute. But being unsure is one thing, understanding one's lack of control over most things is another. Maybe this is pointless to speculate about or delve into. It seems impossible to try to explain it, and I am beginning to fumble my thoughts. Although, I know I am on to something. A potentially arrogant remark. But saying that now, I believe I am. The fact still remains however, that trying to explain what I am actually thinking is near impossible. My brain just does not carry the words I need at present.
Anyway. What does any of this say about my identity? Not a damn thing. I don't know my ass from my elbow for the most part. And having to travel to Ohio was not something I asked for, although I accept it so warmly. I love that I could spend time with my Grama, live in her house and tend to her things for a time after her passing. It is good healing. And hopefully healing in other ways I can hardly perceive at this point. Life feels so often like Limbo. The whole mess of it, like a free-for-all waiting room. So deciding on what exactly I am going to do while I am waiting always eludes me. And maybe it's my perpetual inclination to feel like I have to decide something, which leads me astray. Heaven help me. This baby's got too many questions for her own good. But that being said, I think we are all crafted in a certain way, specific to a cause, and this is why community is such a gift. I overlook this often. For example, my roommate is a man very different from myself. I believe we share the same ideas of living, values and perceptions on the world, similar interests and hopes, all things to make for an excellent living situation. However, our internal wiring, our synapses, fire very differently, and coming to a place where I have an idea of why he does what he does, or his idea of why I do what I do has been almost difficult. I should say, his persona differs from mine to an extreme. But if it weren't for that difference, I would not have learned as much as I have from him. I can see, where in knowing him, some of the rough inner edges of my heart have been smoothed out. He was placed in my life. And for that I am very grateful. It almost makes me aim to seek others who are so seemingly unfamiliar in thought than myself. I'm not sure if that last sentence made sense. Regardless, it should be said that due to this, any sense I have of my specific identity is irrelevant. Along the road, that is both inevitable and free, I am forever changing. And if I were to decide on several things to define me, some rock solid attributes that I decided to forever follow my name, I would be doing myself a great disservice. Why would I ever want to be so solidly affiliated with anything, save the Divine, which at this point is all I can direct my hand towards when asked who I am. Saying that makes me uneasy. But I see truth in it, which is not to say I won't spend the rest of my life, however long that may be, hashing it out with God. I'm not generally one for religion, but I do wholeheartedly support relationship. Because all humanity was built for it. It's in everything we do. And THAT is something I am going to think about for the rest of the night. And you, dear reader, might want to do the same.
I had no idea what this baby would look like. For the most part, it was a relatively painless labour. At the end of it however, when I look at it, I can hardly see a resemblance between the two of us. I still think, "Hmmm... eh." And I wonder why this baby has so many damn questions. And why she won't shut up.
Giant spider on my bottle of wine. Get outta there.
My brother told me the story of how spiders came to be yesterday.
We were driving to the cigar and wine shop. He was clad in full military uniform, hat and all. He looked real nice. "You see," He said. "In Greek mythology, there was this lady named Arachne, who was an incomparable mortal weaver, and eventually began to boast that she was the best weaver ever, hands down. So. Athena, whose godly domain just happens to include weaving, caught wind of this and got mighty pissed and decided to do something about all this malarkey. So Athena, assuming the form of an old woman and goes to see Arachne and warm her not to miff the gods, because it never ends well. And Arachne is all like, 'PSH! If only there could be a contest, then we'd see who's best." Of course, Arachne doesn't realize this is actually Athena, who now drops the guise of hag, turns back into actual Athena and is obviously super pissed, and it's on, the "weave-off" begins. Athena weaves Poseidon's victory that leads to Athens being named after Athena. Cute. And Arachne, clever girl as she is, weaves the twenty-one infidelities of Zeus. Yeow. Zeus is totally Athena's dad, but Athena doesn't have a mom so it's a tender subject, blah blah blah, long story. Anyway, Athena is super pissed now, with a raging fury, because a.) Arachne's tapestry is in FACT better than hers and b.) because Arachne just knocked her dad twenty-one times. Malapropos like whoa. Athena gets so mad that she destroys Arachne's tapestry and kills her. But then feels bad and brings her back to life as a spider. There you have it. Spiders."
I really liked that story.
I just wrote my Grama's obituary with my Aunt Connie. I think it was most fitting.
day has come to a dark end
I just realized
it's almost midnight. Again.
I kind of feel like a wino today. These nights alone are wearing on me.
I always hear people say that the world lacks wonder, or at least people who wonder within it. I'm afraid I maybe wonder too much. It's important for me to write things down, because otherwise I would just be sitting, anxiously awake and wondering dreamy-like until I realized it was far too late to be doing so and should probably go to bed. I will say however, that I am glad to be here. I suppose instead of wondering about everything else it would serve me well to simply just sit, and be here. So that's what I'm gonna do now.
So, to follow course, here is a list of things I do have, which presently please me: Time with my family, a nice, stiff drink and a smoke, (albeit, gads, one of these days... nevermore.) a lovely sitting space, food in my belly, roof over head, hands, feet, eyes and ears, walks to the river, and a God who keeps tugging at my shirt tails, even though I have the tendency to be an obstinate shit. Lord have mercy, I am a selfish woman. Drawn by the caprices. Whimsy whimsy whimsy. Wondering if she will ever be satisfied.
The phrase that has been passing through my head for the past 34 hours has been "The man who tries to save his life will loose it, but that man who looses his life will save it." It's big, that thought, those words. They mean a lot, and I have been masticating their purpose in my life. My dad said that to me the other day, and I don't remember why. But he has a history of saying the right thing at the right time. 99% of the time.
I'm sorry for getting lonely and thinking too much. I'm sorry for always wanting to be alone and never quite realizing in that moment that it's usually an ill-conceived idea. I'm sorry for currently having a negative outlook.
If I'm honest with myself, all this is very exciting. There is much before me. A smorgasbord of good, good gravy. I can smell it. And it's chock full of drippings. Sit still little mind, and take a load off. Worry is a liar and a thief. And life is good. I'm sorry I forget that often. Such a child.
Part of all of this anxiety is my strong, unending desire to share my life with someone. I know a lot of people don't think this way, or pretend that they don't, but confound it, I sure would like to get married. That just sounds really nice. I have very rarely thought of what that might look like, in the material sense. You know, how girls dream of what their wedding might look like, I don't mean it like that. I just want to dish it out with someone, and fight and love and make chicken and drink water and pull stray hairs and take naps and get pissed and be sorry and tell someone how I'm feeling even though I know they might not get it and have someone shave my legs for me and brush my hair while we watch movies and miss someone and get drunk with someone and sing songs with someone and drive to stupid places and flirt and have them tell me what I'm bad at and bite my tongue and run my thumb across eyebrows and rub feet and kiss shoulders and own commitment and have some kids and be very very very naked in all ways possible. I want all that to play out until I'm all old and ugly, while I watch someone I love get all old and ugly, and love them for it.
My mom says she has some ideas. I told her to pray I don't marry a douche bag.
Sometimes I feel like a sucker. And sometimes I want to live in Mississippi again. Or at least the south. Man, do I like elements of the south, like any other place. But right now I miss Portland. And I have added listening to The Microphones, drink more bourbon and smoke more cigarettes to my list.
These days creep away in slow motion. I feel they get the better of me sometimes.
So this is it. I'm trying to be in the moment. Which has forever proven itself to be difficult for me. It breeds too much intellectual planning and little result. I lay down for a nap next to Grama and the dog. I am so tired and wish to daydream along the edge of sleep. Like a walk on the beach. But that isn't where I am, I'm not on the beach. I'm in the bed I slept in as a child with my cousins. All four of us together, drawing straws to see who received the untimely fate of slumber on the edge of the bed, next to the closet we dredded. It brought us to tears, as it was full of bullfrogs and raccoons. They only came out at night.
I don't think I ever lost the draw, but I usually sacrificed, and took the edge.
Twenty years later I am lying in that same bed. Next to my Grama and her labored, curdled breathing. "I am here," my mind enters the present, and I take its hand along with my Grama's. And we rest for hours.
Upon wake, drowsy I stammer, "Grama... I dreamed I was in your orchard. We were all in your orchard. And there was a handsome man chopping wood. I didn't get to ask his name... But he was so handsome." She smiles and asks for water.
I don't know where this is headed. In some ways I do. Death is creeping. Before I fall into sleep I wonder if He is in the house. If the dog barks at Him. If He is kind and gentle. I look for Him as my eyes close. I am keeping watch.
I sit on my Grama's front porch and she rests inside, along with my mother and aunt. I am trying to move towards sleep. But lately, the laying down portion doesn't come so easily. I am in seven different worlds at once. Leaning on them all for support. And I don't know what I look like.
So let's stop thinking about all this for the night. Let's rest our eyes.
Give Grama her morphine at 2am.
Wake up at 8am.
Have a glass of milk.
Take some pills.
Get her dressed and bathed.
Read her the letters they are sending.
Feed her toast.
Walk to the river.
Read the Bible.
Say a prayer.
Do the laundry.
Empty the dishwasher.
Bake a pie.
Feed the Brothers.
Check the mail.
Take all of this, one day at a time.
Because that's all I've got.
That's all anyone has.
"It's Saturday, right?" I ask my dad as we drive.
"'Fraid not. It's Sunday."
"Really? No way." It feels like Saturday, but then, come to think of it, I don't know what day it feels like.
"Oh it's Sunday alright." He chuckles as the corn streams past the truck like a sea of gold ripe for the plowing. Soon the combines will be out. I can already smell burning leaves in the evening. And the cicadas have all died, their simple songs hushed for another season. It's almost 11:00 am. We were supposed to leave at 10:00, but I took my sweet, sleepy time, still acclimating to the three hour difference. Ate the omelet my dad made, checked my email, took a shower, made some coffee.
The matriarch is dying. And I've come to the Midwest to take part in the reverent process of death. It has a rich feeling. So rich everyone is tired. She looks twice as tired as she did yesterday. Lying in her bed, doped up, adorning silk. The dog sits at her side, staring up at an unfamiliar master. I rub lotion on her cold legs, and she says how nice it feels.
"I've had this movie sticking to my mind..." she says.
"I don't know.."
"Who's in it?"
"I don't know that either, it's just sticking in my mind. It's so lovely. That's the hardest part. Not being able to put the pieces all together. Not being able to connect the dots."
I rub lotion on her feet, and she falls asleep. I kiss her forehead and hold her hand.
"I love you." she says.
The house is thick with family and well-wishers, bringing pies and casseroles. I have known these people all my life. They enter the bedroom and kiss her forehead. They enter the room and say such lovely things about love without talking. The neighbor comes over, the one with cancer, redheaded and eighty-five, "I went to church today, for the first time in 10 weeks, and I prayed and prayed and prayed for help for us little old ladies... you know how much I love you." This love is hushing. It grabs your heart firmly and kisses it with warm and gentle lips. I feel my throat close and I stop breathing for fear of tears. Not yet, I say. Not yet. The grandkids are almost all here, looking at pictures, flooding the kitchen and eating the cookies. She would love it. She would be making us all tuna sandwiches if she could. She would say, "How the hell am I supposed to feed all of you?" and inwardly adore the preparation. That's how she is, absolutely snarky and all love. Don't you ever forget that.
I haven't smoked in a few days. This is my trial for a specific epoch, to quit smoking, to take care of my Grama. But tonight I drove around for an hour, five different gas stations, asking for a pack of American Spirit cigarettes. Driving down familiar back-roads. Everything is familiar and distant when you come home. So many lived and forgotten things. So much silt of memory accumulates and forms a bedrock behind my brain. And presently it is breaking through. Sometimes it seems like I remember everything at once, and I hit it with a pick axe. The scent and sediment of it flying forward so fast into my thoughts. I am struck with such a specific and peculiar sense of living one life. It wells up here, like a dream I know I lived. How much was on purpose, how much was on accident. And where is it going? In this time and place I haven't the slightest idea. I am still so freshly fallen from the world I was living two days ago. A home I enjoyed, a few friends I loved, a man, the music, the food, doldrums of work, too much whiskey and smoke. It feels good to be home. It feels good to have purpose. But it is so very hard to place a finger on life and say, "This is it. This is where we are going." At times that notion of inability makes me wonder heavily, at others, it causes me to stir with the greatest hope.
and this specific tongue exists everywhere.
The world breaths it in.
All the time.
Lately I have been hoping again in the dream of much good love. Heaven help me. There are so many songs about love, and half of them are about fools in it. The majority are lamentations. Sincere beseechings. I often feel my hopes are misdirected.
When the air cools, and the leaves turn, the ebb of summer approaching, I get the fever. A chill of the skin breeds a desire for otherness, closer proximity, a human cloak is my hope. The hairs of my arms stand on end. All the while, a stillness hums beneath my breast reminding me that the fire in my gut can't be quenched. Nothing will satisfy my eternal pining.
Nothing on Earth. Heaven help me.
At present I am sitting in a golden closet.
It is suitable and pleasant. Dim and delightful.
I came here to drink a golden drink
And attempt to make a wealthy worth of lonely thoughts.
Cultivate hope. Press through the longing and the darkest parts of day.
I don't feel much like going home anymore.
There is a handsome man on my mind, often of late.
It is very possible I am just bored.
As autumn sets in, so does the cold and the wanton sigh for warmer hands.
The ones that don't belong to me.
This man I understand little about.
I don't know him, his friends, his opinions or positions on anything or everything.
I'm haphazardly crafting affection for a mystery, simply because it is a mystery, and the warmth of its unknowings soothes me. I confess, I kindle and quell. My heart creates a tide pool of artificial adulation, and as much as I work to fill it, I work similarly to flush it out. For the sake of my sanity. My thoughts, one part whiskey, one part water, plant a kiss on the bank of burdened feeling. Plant a kiss on the hope of my individuality, that a separate mind might take note.
If nothing else, I gladly wonder at God, for creating such a handsome man.
I would love to sit with you.
Just to know.
I would enjoy that quite a bit.
I haven't been writing, because it is so difficult to express myself in ways that don't seem so trite. But come back to the hope, that I can do it well enough for someone to listen. And for the both of us to know I mean for the good of all parties.
"We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently" -Romans 8
It's mostly quiet. The dogs are having dreams.
I've learned to use my dad's cigarette machine. But I pack them too tightly, and they are difficult to smoke. Everyone is in bed by now. My hair is longer. It keeps falling into the glass of bourbon before me; I suckle alcoholic strands, and everything is gold. Everything is quiet, to the point where my ears begin to fabricate cricket fiddles. What makes the brain create counterfeit sound? I did see many crickets today.
Flies are buzzing by my face down here in the basement. I am awake.
I'm trying to be right here. Which is why I must quit drinking. Most days everything within me wants to be somewhere else, a dream, a waking life, the prospects of other places arouse. I do have a real dream now. It pumps through me. It is building an artery beneath my blood, and I have no idea where it will take me. Or how I will arrive.
When I drive through the country I know that I am supposed to be there.
It presents a right feeling. I'm not a city girl. I thought I could be once, thought it would be nice, enjoyable. But I'm not a city girl. I require God's country to tell me what to do, and I will readily bow my knees at the dirt in reverence. At soil's very edge I recognize my size. My minuteness becomes so real, my breath so deep. "Dust to Dust," I think, as though I could dive right in. Here I will lay. Here is where many have found their fleshy rest.
Back to the earth. Back to the bone of creation.
But I must keep this dream in the Really Real.
I can't allow it to be like the others, those imaginative revelries. The fabricated story I wrote on the back of my brain for no reason, save it pleased me momentarily. I can still remember very many of them, the ones that kept hold of me the longest. They never were. I'm almost sorry that I made them. I didn't really need their company amidst this extraordinary life, as simple as it is, as human as it is. I still like it. I'll like it better as I begin to take it up to a higher place. Or allow that Higher Place to lift me up.
Alone in a lonely world the phone rings. Thumbs instigate ignorance. Where is the ache, I say, Leave me be, can’t you see I’m aching? Let me ache. Sorry soul and what a pity, to think that there is such freedom at fingers length.
My Goliath is so tiny. He comes in 12oz bottles and little boxes of twenty. He flits through the spark of ill-conceived synapses. Makes a bed of my tongue, settles in the lung, so minute, like a virus infiltrating the finer fibers of being. I wail, bemoaning all good things, I drown in effervescence and smoke; this dream, this reality. This is my Goliath, too small for me to harness, too chemically immaterial to capture or comprehend. I alone, in a lonely world, cannot.
Here I am and dreaming. And within these dreams, beyond them even, I hear the wispy song of betterment softly purposing my heart; a soothe totally separate, and anything but wrought within myself. And this betterment creates the howl, makes me fondle my Goliath with confusion and awkward love. I’ve written my Goliath many letters on rice paper. Many modest proposals beseeching the relinquishment of my secret spirit. But these letters are burnt up, along with all the oxygen. So I’ll sleep till Sunday, I say, Forget the in between, it’s all over. Am I such a Magdalene, I wonder.
Here, no one can see my sad blood. No one can taste its truest meaning, its insatiable appetite for substance. Tonight I will sing so loudly all my sorrows to you. I will shut all the blinds, turn off all the lights. It will be so unrefined and beautiful. I almost wish they were here to see it. But beloved, you are. And they could never be. It is my dream that someone would, and love me for it. But this time is too raw.
Far off I hear the sounds of fireworks. Later I will wander these worldly streets. Watch the slow and stunning smolder of all earthly life, in great sadness and anticipation.
But for now, let me sing to you.
taken by the whims of the world. by revelry and birthed bad habits. like ugly babies we found and held as if they were our own. we eyeballed each other in the dark alleyways of narrow thought. of hopelessness. on the path I took farther away from the preexisting severed Spirit of divinity. I was mostly formless then. and stuffed this stepchild down my dress. fused it with the breaking bone. sending out doomed synapses to the Spirit. wept and watered till it grew to something. anything at all. what can I make that is mine, I thought. it continues to crave those actions. begs for my breaking body. empties all the cupboards and drawers. of any Larger living. baby feeds me bad breast milk. baby barks out orders. until I'm all emptied out and hollow. everything resonates so loudly, everything gets so damn loud I can hardly hear myself think. this is what I have cultivated and clothed. being wrought in all my most silent moments. this is my form of creation. making it so i can't listen to know where to go from here.
but there became differentiated breaking. the flesh can break itself. and just as much as i shudder to tell myself it isn't cold, I cannot seem to convince the Spirit.
bleeds for Better Love. And breaks by Holy Blood. I have asked, Where is the Master? And I am not it. I don't bless myself ever. I am lazy heart and wanting wanting. I am always the back door of reason. and I don't know shit.
pray for me as a Father. as a Farmer. am I not discouraged? am I not always almost half way there? but forever moving forward. I ache at dislocation. fear the body's malfunction. do doves still coo for me? does the day break on my behalf? my greatest disappointment is no wonder. nor is my eternal enchantment. the magnitude of not myself. there is yet glory and grace in the wilderness. there is the Love letter of day. the soft kiss of sleep. and Everything in between that is not me. this is me. that is You.
I am not home but here. and waiting. learning to not feel this way.
Lord, I want to be so good. And "good" is such an adulterated word. Spoken more from the mind, than the heart, where it should rightly reside. And this ache to be thus has so consumed me in all differing categories of life. It has devoured me like yesterday's fresh baked bread. I am now the partially digested mush mulling around the stomach lining. And I want to purge.
I have seen many things. Ingested life not altogether pleasing. Constantly looking back at these visions in a state of wonder and confusion. Allowing them to hand me identity, sorrowfully wrapped in the funny section of some obscure newspaper from 1998. And I don't get the jokes. Or maybe they're just not all that funny.
Lord, I want to be good. And I look to the future with a great hope of someday this and someday that. As though life will truly begin at that specific fabricated point. After the 400 millionth breath. When I'm better. When all is made right with the body. Or the mind. Or the spirit. And my brokenness is inadvertently perpetuated by all these dreamings.
Life is now, and life is short. And I want to be so good. I am sorry. I am so so sorry. Life has been standing next to me, staring at its wrist watch, pointing to the passing time, while I've desperately tried to collect my things. But keep falling asleep by accident.
Quit early on.
Fairly Fresh gave into distance,
absence, and the Disquieted days of Drought.
captive to Caprices
Spirit became large and ill-proportioned
in all the wrong places
filled by meals of mammon.
bloated on the roadside
still very much alive.
Kisses on the Lips
Supreme Softness came from nowhere.
so sorry spirit buckled,
braced for impact
and burst, bleeding out.
both by my own hands
and the seeking sucker punch of sweet Divinity
I never saw this Destiny,
imagined such reparatory ruin,
or realized those wrought wrists
would also rotate.
while writhing in obstinate prepubescence,
like a drunken leopard,
mauling the freshest Fingers of my Sooth,
spoon-feeding my loose lips the Firstfruits.
daily he came calling
to break all the old bones
and begin to build a new frame.
panic strikes soft
soil throughout withdrawal
we wept together quiet
yet so audibly internal portions quake
with wet kisses to the cheek
a mighty oak palms the jaw line
caressing sickly skin
brought back by the hour
a lost and lonely babe
walking wobbly, the legs awaken
to New Life, after too much sleep.
Actually been so tremendous
as rerouting every burnt-out synapses,
and allowing peace,
being free for the first real time
since a breath caught the lungs.
Until that loss of limb, the old man had been the best Bow and Arrow man the kindred had seen in generations. And taking in Pippipanga, the old man had schooled him in all delicate ways of the Bow and Arrow. Sometimes at night, they would hunt together for the Purple Buffalo living in the forests surrounding their cob structures. Pippipanga was a Bow and Arrow man, but these were the only times he enjoyed the hunts, alone with the old man. When the other men joined, he could hear all the blood among them and the Buffalo boiling in unison. Before the strike he could taste the endangered, metallic viscosity of Life's internal fluid on his tongue, and smell its sharp odor. He did not like it. And on occasion, found himself so intensely dizzied by the experience that he would fall to the earth, only to awaken with the sweet, gritty taste of soil pressed against his teeth and upper lip, the whooping sounds of young men in the distance. He would lay there for a time, the cool dirt and leaves pressed against his beating chest, rolling the earthly essence around in his jaws, scooping it up with his tongue and allowing it to caress the roof of his mouth, until all nuances of its minerals filled his palate. There was such a satisfaction to it, a real history that felt like tasting all the good memories that ever were. And sometimes, due to impact, his own hot blood would mix with this sensational flavour, creating an entirely new and heightened sense of what he could only fathom as a certain love. He felt the soil press into the split skin of his lip, and the brush of legs against foliage would rouse him from this dream, as he rose the meet the clan.
The old man knew of Pippipanga's disdain for the hunt. But neither man made mention of this difference. And now, as the thin web of smoke grew from the hearth beyond the two bodies, the young man felt content with this resolve. He loved the old man, and the way he would delicately direct his arms and fingertips, depicting how to enact the most ultimate precision of the Bow and Arrow. He loved his quiet strength, and to watch the old man in contemplative moments, while they washed wool together. He recalled tepid, autumn days when he and the old man might sit at water's edge, making claims on just how beautiful the day actually was. And all the good thoughts swarming like delicious honey bees turned to stings, as Pippipanga relished these memories so possessively. "But he is mine..." he thought. Of all the old men living in this world, this one belonged to him. This one had cared for him, and when time crept up, the roles reverently reversed. Everyone in this world has theirs to care for, and no one cared for the old man like Pippipanga, so he cannot go, "He is mine."
"Sow the earth," the old man hushed, breaking Pippipanga's thoughts asunder. "Sow the earth, and keep it."
It had been several days since the old man had spoken audibly, not the mutterings of a fever. And at this Pippipanga could muster no response. It seemed a window of his mind had been burst open, and the winds of thought strew all intelligible words and phrases spinning about within him. He took the old man's mangled right hand and placed it atop his own bowed head. Gazing down at the bony chest before him, Pippipanga watched its slow, shallow inflation, the brittle bones partially expanding, then contracting, the sag of pectoral muscles and the wrinkled belly. He imagined a young chest, the chest he had known as a boy, so thick and robust. He thought of how he had soothed the old man's arm with remedial oils after the Tiger attack, how he had cleaned the old man's fingernails around the nightly fire, washed his feet, and watched in devotion as the old man relayed stories of a world still raw and supple, as an adolescent breast. He thought of their hunts, and walks through the forest to watch the yellow thrushes. He thought of the old man's solemn face the day he had returned from his father's fatal hunt. And how as a boy, he had felt his face gradually implode, as the old man placed his sovereign hand on Pippipanga's bowed head.
Pippipanga's eyes pinched shut with such force. The thick summer air filled his lungs to capacity. And he exhaled. Allowing his eyes to burn slightly, then relax into tired grief. The old man inhaled the same as he could, deliberate, depthless. And he exhaled. Pippipanga watched as the breath left the body. So necessary. So fully externalized it became, until the last waft of thin air. He could smell the breath. It reminded him of the ripest apples. And of the earth mixed with honest blood. The old man's oiled skin glistened in the waves of his wrinkled body, so much like the soft moon on a black, silken lake. It reflected the dim light, resonating like such real life rested within. But the blood of the body was already undertaking the task of stagnation, and even if the heart were pumping, the residing spirit had hence departed, making no matter of beating blood. Pippipanga could only imagine in the moist air that release of spirit. It felt very true, and real, almost tactile. His eyes narrowed to a sting and his face fell, while hands became alert with the rite of reverent duty. Sad pleasure welled up in the backs of his sockets, as he combed the old man's thin beard, cleaned his nails and oiled his body, all for the final time. His heart beating hard and heavy as a burial drum.
At last he covered the old man's vacant body in a shroud, then walked to the entryway of their hut. Looking out, he could see the shade of lavender creeping along the crust of the earth. He filled his hands with dewy soil and massaged the richness around his neck and forehead. The yellow thrushes were beginning to sing, melding into harmony with the somber song of the mourning doves, who's cooing had an air of wonderment and longing. Pippipanga's own right arm began to ache, and he gripped it softly, then tighter with memory. The ghostly haze of fog fell over distant furs, and an infant moaned for breast milk. He imagined mother's heavy rising, the plod of sleepy feet, her swollen eyes and body, ripe and ready to instill such nutrients into the mouths of babes. There was a greatness now within him too, fed from someone else, a gift worth receiving, and then giving away. He dreamed of the old man in eternity, the broken arm mended, clutching now a Silver Bow and Golden Arrow, the withered chest filled once again with a form of life. He imagined his own father and the old man together, youthful and laughing. Now the lavender had ascended in the sky, and a pink rim was indicating on the horizon. The din of all natural things seemed to hint at abstracted laughter, so Pippipanga sat, hearing it, all the while holding to that specter of the dead men, and waiting for morning to present itself.
( + )
the unidentified gratitude of days.
a fool sometimes sits outside
embarking on specific delinquent thought patterns
sparked by un-constituted feelings of loss
allowing the presumed bad deck
of dirty cards
to be taken in gusts gradually.
timely winds eat them up
one by one or in handfulls
while the witness stares,
a silent plea bleaches the teeth.
and frustration sometimes wells up
in the eyes
as they dance unaffected
down red brick roads
that fool waits for their absence
and does nothing.
the day dreams dance away
like fleeting physical attractions
they may as well be leaves
let's allow them to be leaves
because in nature
life always comes back around
after a season.
let's pretend they are the leaves.
( = )
these I wrote a while ago. I am supposed to be in a meeting. but I got all distracted writing stuff... it's only a meeting for the school auction. they won't miss me too much. I'm taking a writing class through church. it is good. I enjoy it. I want an adventure... three day weekend. who's comin'?
along with all the others.
a sense resides among the living
that when we are to die
it is notably referred to as
"a loss" of someone
as though they wandered off
into the woods
or sailed into stormy seas,
never to be heard from
or seen again.
and what a wonder
when so often
we will profess
that at the end of life
did we then misplace anyone
or did they simply find
a better life
in losing us