Wednesday, December 20, 2006


at some point he stopped seeing me, if he saw me at all, and I stopped understanding how one could be both caring and uncaring at the same time. to me it was clear how one prevailed over the other.

his show was last Friday. I was there, but not there. ghost-like. a trail grown cold. a memory one goes to less and less. his affection was perfunctory, without recognition. as though we had shared nothing. this is what hurts and what I can't understand, what makes the whole thing feel eerily unreal. imaginary. worthless, yet hard to put down. had it been anything, guilt maybe convenience. want. all in passing.

testing for green belt

This semester ended much the same way my green-belt test ended when I was eleven or twelve taking karate lessons. The test involved performing a series of complicated sparring combinations in front of a panel of teachers. I lost my concentration half-way through and made a few bad mistakes. The more upset I got the worse it went but, instead of dropping out, which would have been natural and less embarrassing (I was red-faced and teary), I stubbornly persisted through to the end. They awarded me my belt not so much for my performance, but for not giving up.

Not giving up has its rewards - artistically, spiritually, etc. Just when you think you can go no further, a door opens. A few days ago I spent the night on the fifth floor of the art and music building at Georgia State. It was just me, three bare white walls and floor-to-ceiling windows. I swept, spread out my work, hung it up, arranged and rearranged it, communed. Alone with my drawings, I was surprised to find I was okay with them, proud even, where before I had felt embarrassed and incompetent.

There's something special about staying up all night - a peaceful quality to the city you can't experience any other time. A quietness. Solitude. Not scary at all. When the streets are empty, what does it matter if I swerve, if I cry, dance and scream? Alone, I draw closer to myself. I remember to listen. I've needed waking lately. I'm too in love with sleep, with fiction and fabrication, expectation, the past. It seemed right to fast from it. And the place and moment were correct, were purposeful. It's hard to find places that are self-reflective rather than imposing but that night, that studio, the walls, the art, everything was me - even the blood red sun as it rose from it's sleep.

sometimes dreams express reality better than we can, explicitly

I had a dream a couple nights ago. I had sought out a famous painter and commissioned a portrait of myself, staying with him for months while he worked. One day I woke to find my hair, which was long, dyed black with vinegar and the portrait finished. I hurried to see it. Unveiled, I was surprised to find it was a picture of a cherry-blossom tree. A tree and an emptiness also, where it looked unfinished. I wasn't in it. The painter, after much personal struggle, admitted defeat; he couldn't capture me - though he had thought he could. I wrote a check and sealed it to the painting, which I let him keep. In this way he'd received payment, but would be unable to cash it without destroying his own creation.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


He produced a rock from his pocket.
He, his wife and two children each got one -
to show that they're still a family.

I understood at once.

At home, two rings are knotted together
one on top of the other -
to show that we're still a couple.

I ran into an old customer at the Perk today. Pain is unmistakable. We recognized it in each other. Our meeting wasn't comfortable, but it was comforting - not to be scorned for being ourselves, for not pretending. I wanted to hug him. Sometimes when you need a hug the most, it's practically impossible to get. People treat sadness as though it were contagious. They see it in you and run the other way. They're protective, scared, stingy, accusatory. God help you if you show your feelings in public. Well, I don't care. I'm strong and sad. I'm alive. I'm not ashamed.

cackling uncontrollably I am the mad woman who sits alone at the blues bar, writes, amuses herself.

Sitting by the door, I noticed a woman carrying a handbag trimmed with fur come in. She seated herself at a table close to me. Her accessory struck me as being a kind of grotesque display of modern fashion. I later rescued it from being consumed/destroyed by Northside's resident mutt (a half-blind English Bulldog), but not without hesitation (he was clearly enjoying himself). It was hard to hold back the laughter after that. It was so absurd - and oddly romantic - I had trouble distracting myself from the image. Intimate, solo blues music..... dog ravaging woman's gaudy purse (guffaw)..... blues..... purse (cackle)..... blues..... purse (snicker).....

tattoo for both palms

We were introduced in tulip fall,
in tulips, after all.
We were introduced
at a salmon cannery
in Scotland. Our hands
were numb and we wanted to die.
You wouldn’t stop talking.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The Viewing

His nose hadn’t been that big. His face had been round,
not sallow and oval. His hands alone were recognizable;
their rough strength had known the way of the soil

And also the Gardener’s secret: casement broken,
the seed is the sapling is the tree is the blossom is the apple
is a glass of spiced cider or Nana’s last jar of preserves.

Of these nothing is lost but, it’s not understood.
We step forward, unsure, are unconvinced by the makeup.
Of the two, death is the greater deceit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

the thirteenth

I have a token in my pocket worth three mints or three packets of hi-c in the psychiatric ward of Grady Hospital. Five days ago that building was just part of the skyline to me. Atlanta keeps offering up new views. I'll only thank it for the privilege if it keeps my friend off the streets.

I've always believed, stubbornly, that my love could change things - that it's strong enough, pure enough. I must be either extremely naive, egotistical, or weak.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

shutters on the fifth floor

Out the window a man sits on the roof of a tall building in downtown Atlanta. He smokes a cigarette, fidgets, stands up, puts his hands in his pockets, sits back down again. A MARTA train slides past in the distance. Grady Hospital. Clouds in the sky. He looks around.

What does the heart see?
What does it tell itself?

It paces. Shifts its weight, listlessly, from one foot to the other. Believes itself alone.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

graphite or charcoal

The need to vent my depression is asserting itself.
Don't hate me because I'm avoiding.
Two and half cups of coffee later: a blank page and I need to pee.

I'm frustrated. I want to create something beautiful but it's just not in me. Bills are in me. The past is in me. The question-mark future. I've spent the last few days looking and am dissatisfied. I've tried to become fascinated by the weather, by my lower lip, tendrils of hair, the circles and triangles of the face, but it's no use; I'm tired of looking. What I really want is to be touched. Rendered. Kissed by graphite or charcoal (lightly then heavily). The closest I get are black smears where I unconsciously swept hair away from my face or set my palm down on a self-portrait. I thought drawing would fulfill some tactile need of mine. Surprise! It's created one instead.

Saturday, October 7, 2006


come and go on the air. smell of oyster water or jasmine. ripen and rot. are fluid and sometimes dissolvable. broken down with the body. grown from the mind as weeds, as holly and oak. are cut down and recycled. shaved off. swept away or let go of. a ring tost into the ocean. a handkerchief. are crippling. chronic. meaningless and undesirable. are electric. holographic. stacks of yellowed newspapers and teacup collections. are alcoholic. addictive. fuel burnt for warmth, for knowledge. for regret. are movies we've seen before and know the ending to. cast us as heroes, villains, scapegoats, revolutionaries, romanticists, whores, great and poor musicians. wear khakis and have hair like your mother. reek of mothballs. of Chanel #1. are dizzying. explosive and unexpected as land-mines. attach as appendages. obstructions. apply makeup before going out. allow the fingers to remember where second position is on the cello and all ten digits of my first love's phone number.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

being laughed at

Happiness is being laughed at by your instructor because you showed up at 6:00 a.m. instead of 6:00 p.m. to practice your cello in the garden. Happiness is knowing that you chose to come earlier because it was harder.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

for my cousin, Sarah

Remember the time we, stumbling, brought out Nana's 70th birthday cake (on fire) drunk on a cocktail of disgusting liquors we stole from the adults? Laughed devilishly for hours on the beach because Ann's spoon broke off in our pint of Ben & Jerry's? Our conspiracy tree and all the plans we hatched there? The time in St. Paul when I fell off the front steps (we were dancing and lip-syncing to Billy Joel's "We didn't start the fire", if that wasn't funny enough)? Skipping stones on Lake Seneca? Your curry dinner in New York. Case of You on guitar. Dakota told me my fortune that night while your mother ran her fingers through Ann's hair. We both had the same cursed front teeth. Tried our hands at cello. Blistered our feet on the bottom of Nana's swimming pool year after year. Our laugh is the same even. I recorded myself laughing on accident the other day. It reminded me of you. Our donkey gasps and witch's cackle. Just thinking about it makes me smile.


I must submit myself to living. I've been struggling against it and nothing could be clearer; I'm losing. I question too much, feel too much. just give me a hammer and a nail. some wood. a sleeve that has neither snot nor blood on it. maybe sweat. you can lose yourself in work or find yourself. either of these would mean relief right now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

not the peacock I think I am

I've been lacking Humility lately. It's no wonder my drawings are falling short, my prayer as well. Paul's looking for artwork that poses more questions than it answers; art that looks and listens, keeps its own mouth shut, leaves its images unsolved, searches for a constant despite the wiseacreing of the eyes. An admission of ignorance is, perhaps, simply more honest. Lines that move (on paper) are beautiful in their honesty. They resist self-satisfaction, the fixedness of dogmatism and the false certainty of subjective perspective. I used to take off all my jewelry before entering Khanegah. I wouldn't wear makeup there either. I didn't want adornment. I wanted to come as a babe would come, naked and uncontrived. The more you try to hide your ignorance, the more naked you feel revealed. I keep thinking I can draw my own face and am consistently embarrassed with the results. Is it possible something I've seen/studied almost every day of my life could still hold its mysteries? Yes, of course.

Friday, September 8, 2006

for touching:

I'm a prickle pear. a pineapple. a caterpillar with feelers all extended. I feel everything and you can't stop me. abuse me if you must but feeling I keep on. the fingers of my heart open to receive. chest bleeding. is heaving. my stomach hurts like hell. all is well and I hurt. all is well and I keep keeping. all is well.

touching: your mouth opened. your heart and nothing broke that wasn't built to break. let us not be afraid. release our untouchables. to touch each other. even though they walk our streets disguised as fears. masquerade as our fathers. wreak havoc. set us to spinning. to building. to hiding.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006


People say that living with others involves a lot of compromise. I learned recently that living with myself involves compromise too. There's a certain amount of self-acceptance I haven't allowed myself to engage in until now. my faults my particular challenges I've tried to gloss over with faith. I've been looking at faith as a panacea for all my other problems Maybe it's not maybe these have to work themselves out in their own particular spheres of existence. the editor. the analyst. the emotional girl-child the crone my ticking brain and its corresponding muscles and joints. wedges of flesh. bones in dresses and highest heels

all these
the shoes I fill

maybe one day I'll glance down and see only one pair. they'll be encrusted with rubies. that'll be the day I go home.

living itself is a compromise

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wet the page.

My pen lifted its leg. I trail behind it with a zip-lock and a spatula. My mouth really is the worst though (with my brain as its accomplice). I'm catching it all the time. It opens and turds come out, weightless and floating, like smoke stacks - except they don't disappear. I'll step in one down the road some other year and try not to curse another one out. And they're contagious too. As contagious, in fact, as yawns. It's a turd epidemic passing from one mouth to the next, especially in large groups.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It doesn't seem right that the world should go on.

My fingernails continue to grow.
Books, t-shirts, CDs are settling into
different shelves, oblivious.
To them it was a move like any other.

When disaster strikes
(the eruption of Mount Vesuvius)
it doesn’t seem right that the world go on-

the expression on the face of our hearts should remain
unchanged from the moment it happened,
our hands still busy with the washing of the day.

Saturday, August 5, 2006


fullness of Love that makes me wonder how I could continue another moment. how my day to day life could survive the explosion. the heat. the gravity. how one could experience divine providence, even for a moment, and ever resume the task of living. pick up a pen or let words pass, any of them. makes you regret the moment it does. presses tears from the eyes. from your gut strings and heart pearls. from the part of you that beats and is still living. to remind you you're living. the string left unbroken. the possibility of arriving still intact.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Our final critique for Drawing I was yesterday. It went well, but one thing bothered me. One of my classmates made a video for his final project. In it, he had a stuffed bunny sitting in the road. Obvious, right? He's going to have it run over and then that's going to be his statement about innocence lost, or the environment, whatever. You see that image and you know the bunny's going to get it. I protested. The basis of my disagreement was that the image was too predictable, but this was only part of it. He told me later that he had a problem getting the shot because everyone drove around it. That's what gets me. That's what made it feel so wrong. People lie, cheat, steal etc. All of us. All the time. Thousands. But nobody runs over stuffed bunnies.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I kept the door open last night while I worked on my art project. I caught the attention of a stray when I first came in. I, on the balcony, she on the ground. We considered each other. It's always been fascinating to me how animals know to look you in the eye. After inching herself closer, she finally came to my door. I gave her scraps of chicken. She ate and dozed in the doorway. I've felt a connection to strays. The black bitch of Mason Avenue, her used-up tits hanging grotesquely. The skinny dog I left on the shores of Valdivia. And this cat. We have an understanding - them and me. I know how not to scare them, myself being fearful.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

You're either with me, or you're a poo stain.

Friday, June 16, 2006


We pay for our words. Once uttered, they live forever; a string of vibrations from my mouth, my tongue, my teeth, my lips, which extend infinitely throughout space. For as many of these as I regret (those dark tapestries of misshapen syllables knotted, inextricably, by time and pain), there are those whose delicacy and light originated from the kindest, most sincere node of my black heart. And as those silvery words (of love) circle and snake their way across the globe, I hope they find you again, and again, and yet again - even if I don't.

Monday, June 12, 2006

how to disappear completely

What the heat has to teach my body - its broken water mains and stagnant pools - with enough heat you could dry up either of these. With fire.

Thanks to a recent lack of air conditioning, I've begun to come to terms with my sweat. I would rhapsodize about why sweat is beautiful; how it's one out of thousands of ways the oceans we contain manifests itself, how we sweat in the midst of pain, of joyfulness, of lust,

but I'm mostly interested in its application to problems. When we say we have to "work out" a problem, we usually mean we're going to think it through. Perhaps some solutions literally require working out - work that is evident only as it appears in beads on the upper lip or forehead.

With this thought in mind, I enjoin myself and others to begin again the hardest work. (I don't have to tell you what it is because you know.)

A humble offering of our water and salt to the fire of recognition, maybe the god of us water-creatures will notice and take pity.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

sweat is sexy

I've decided, despite the circumstances or perhaps because of them, that sitting at a desk in only my underwear and a white t-shirt, smoking a cigarette (while writing and sweating over writing) is, in fact, quite sexy.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

a clear conscience is a soft pillow

Sombebody give me a home so I can find sleep again.

I'm drinking herbal tea that's supposed to induce sleepiness when a shot of whiskey is what I really need. A cure for my sobriety, for worry and conscience.

If I had any poetry I'd write one about us and about how I've let us down. I'd lend some significance to my nearsightedness and this mug of luke-warm tea. I could craft it. I could make it come together if only there were sense to it, to me, but there isn't. These skinny sentences are, therefore, all you're going to get.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

raised from the dirt

Today I ate sugar snap peas and raspberries while standing around, surveying an old man's garden. His spread was admirable. His gifts of zucchini and home-fermented cider, most welcome. (I didn't actually realize zucchini was fuzzy until today. When you buy it in the grocery store it's usually been waxed.) What I mean to say is I want to become a gardener. The process of planting something intentionally, nurturing it, disciplining it, then eating from it once it's reached fruition is special. We all know how to reap. It's what we do. But to know how to plant something with some purpose. To know what it is, what it will be, what care it requires, what tenderness and attentiveness, what love. That's special. I've decided. He'll catch me berry-picking one morning, and that's when my tutelage will begin.

I like listening to the elderly. They have a completely unique perspective on things. They know themselves better than most of us and have fewer qualms with it. Interesting when time is taken out of the equation. Children and the elderly have this in common. One isn't aware of this thing called "future", the other is forced to accept life without it. Listening is so important. But speaking and acting is too. If there's any immediate lesson to be had in the presence of old ones it's that life is short. Too short for all this bullshit we engage in from day to day. Too short for anything but absolute honesty. Too short to lose focus on what's truly meaningful and important in our lives. Too short not to say what needs to be said.

I went with Matt to visit his Grandmother tonight. His Grandfather, her husband for 60 years, died earlier this evening. He had Alzheimer's, which is what my Grandmother died of. It made me remember. Grandpa, with his rough German accent walking us through his three-tiered garden. Playing cards with them both. He used to call her an old cow. These were the good times for them - old age, retirement, but there were worse ones. My father and his five siblings were in and out of orphanages when they were young because Carl and Daisy couldn't get along. The only white children on an Indian reservation in New York, they were called the "dirty Wigger children" because after working all day on the family farm the wash never got done. My uncle, the middle brother, the great artist, committed suicide. The rest are scattered across the U.S.

That's not what I thought about tonight, however. I thought about how, when my Grandmother was finally hospitalized and could neither talk nor recognize people, my Grandfather stood by her, night and day, and cared for her with surmount tenderness. More tenderness perhaps than he had even showed his garden. Later, when I was going through her belongings I found a book she kept of love signs. On the cover it had an image of a lion and a lamb. She had written her name next to the lamb, and my Grandfather's beside the lion. What moved her to do this I'll never know, but it touched me. Although she and I never got to have any "girl-talk", I always felt this offered some small insight into her relationship, or how she thought of it at least.

I come from hard-working people on one side. Farming people. Earthy people. People who toiled and loved, both with their hands. My Dad is embarrassed to talk about it. It's obviously nothing to be ashamed of, but he carries it. I guess your childhood isn't the easiest thing to discard.

P.S. I've decided I would be both. I don't think being a superhero or a villain is a mutually exclusive gig. In fact, to do it right, I think you have to be both.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

why I love Dallas

I was invited to play cello for a televised Sufi celebration in Dallas a few years ago. Play and also recite a Hazrat Pir poem in front of about 500 people. I was so nervous when I got off the plane I had to sit down (and almost vomited). It was an incredible honor.

The night of the performance was probably the best in my life. The spoken word was flawless, or at least it felt that way. And my two cello pieces - some of the best playing I've done. My instructor was there, present with me throughout the experience. I met his wife, his children. I felt carried throughout the night by an unseen force. What needed to happen did without my interference. I had a purpose that I filled and filled well. I even mingled during the reception. I practiced my Farsi. I floated.

That was when it happened. I was standing in line to get more food when a fit of laughter erupted from me. I couldn't stop it and didn't want to. At that moment it struck me how unbearably lucky I was to be there - how unexpected, how beautiful, how brilliant the whole thing was. I was so thankful I didn't even try to hold onto it - any longer than I was supposed to.

That's what love is meant to feel like. Unfathomable joy. Joy you didn't even know to ask for, because you couldn't imagine its existence.

Joy that can't help but express itself in rapturous giggles, even though in doing so it draws stares.

Monday, May 15, 2006

the lonely bones

The lonely bones are what's left over. After we've finished this dish. Some was pleasant when it mattered and some was not. But all was spent towards this aim - the filling of our endless stomachs and sometimes even our hearts. We're old as saints. Young as prophets. We're children at tea time, sipping from empty cups; mother's best china. How long can we keep up this game? And will our plates ever be filled again?

Friday, May 12, 2006


The story of Andy and I is a fun one to tell. In it's retelling, I'm reminded how my life has been riddled with signs. And how, in some ways, I've never been left without internal guidance. It would also serve as the perfect segue between my relationship with David, and what followed. But I'm not going to tell it. Not right now anyway.

Right now I'm interested in one of two or three incidents. This first, roughly five years ago, happened in my studio apartment in Decatur. This time, I was crying because I felt I'd done nothing to deserve all the goodness in my life. I felt blessed but unworthy. Do I deserve it? He didn't say anything but wrote one word on a piece of paper, ripped it out of his journal, and gave it to me. I take that word with me wherever I go. It's become a mantra whose repetition I hope resonates throughout my life. Yes was the word he gave to me because I couldn't give it to myself. Yes - a mighty word. A Godly word. A word of absolute affirmation and acceptance. A word closer to love than love itself.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

on a bus in Chile

Pet Your Confusion

You set bowls of milk out as offering.
It eats, then curls up in your chest.

Every moment I spent in Chile was stolen. Stolen from a life I was trying to hold onto at home. A non-life, really, as the only thing that was missing from it was my self. David, my boyfriend at the time, basically forbade me from going. His jealousy, fully manifesting itself in our relationship at that point, punctured any happiness I had once felt and kept him in a state of suspicion. He had abandoned himself to his suspicion, actually. Our evening phone calls (they were really interrogations) while I was in Chile left me crumpled, wet, and ruined.

Ruined, but free. There's something liberating about being in a different hemisphere from the source of your pain and self-loathing. Especially when you've been swept from the throws of Winter into beautiful, Chilean Spring. Those ten short days abroad were some of the best of my life. I was mopey and alone. I separated myself from the group every chance I got. I picked flowers and prompted a spontaneous daisy picnic. I was so alienated that any openness or happiness I experienced, was an unexpected gift. Was an experience of Grace. Chile was indescribably beautiful and our cello choir concerts, intense.

There was the concert in the rose garden in Santiago, with white banners streaming. The concert in the ruins of Mora(?) Island, where I had those amazing cherry pastries (there were cherry orchards on the island), saw the school-house and its flowers, and got rained on. The stray mutt I left on the banks whose fate was mine, the black volcanic sand of the beach, and our 18 cellos bobbing up and down in dingy boats across the water - some bizarre procession. Eighteen casualties - our instruments in their black caskets.

There was also the concert in the Catholic church in Valdivia, which was magical. We made sacred music there. Music that was careful not to break the silence too completely. And then there was the unforgettable bus ride along the shores of Valparaiso. Window open, knees wedged between my seat and the one in front of me, hair flying, blue skies, water that stretched from rock to horizon.

Moments like those make you beg whatever higher power exists to kill you, right then and there, because it doesn't get better.

I've experienced other moments of joy like that, and gratitude, when my heart asked to lift itself clear of my chest and join itself with whatever lies beyond.

Monday, May 1, 2006

what would break

Our bodies are dark with mystery. Cells, synapses, heart palpitations, electricity, water, inhalation and exhalation, pores, nerve endings, bones, plasma, veins, etc. Everything in our body works in perfect harmony with itself. Perfect balance and unity. All this without our knowing it.

So what would break if we were to open the munitions warehouse in our hearts (the one where we record everyone else's faults) and let it all go? Who would get hurt? Like America, we feel more comfortable from behind a loaded gun.

Monday, April 24, 2006

the science of uncovery

We work at being seen - forging exteriors that mirror an image we have of ourselves, our hopes and desires. We hide the rest. The rest is what I'm interested in. The rest is what makes Psychology so intriguing, and spirituality, and physics. It is also what renders our approach to modern science so utterly inadequate.

24-Hour Diner

I am the old waitress who suffered a stroke and limps and
slurs her speech, the dead bug in my glass and Matthew sitting
across from me. I am also the jukebox, whose songs I've resigned myself to -
as I'm resigned to keeping full that cabinet, my heart,
resigned to death, resigned to the off-beat thumping of fate.
Old fate, dragging her disconnected happiness behind her - working
hard, banging our hearts around, waiting for a tip.


I love breaking whatever social contract binds us to this boring, scripted fucking dialogue.

sit back down

To Whom It May Concern:

You've just been judged.

welcome ;)

As all the pricks stand up to welcome you to your new single life.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

painful admissions

I don't know what I'm all.

Monday, April 17, 2006


When he finally chose to hold me; arms outstretched, fingers open - I slid between them.


I'm not a starfish, I just wish I was.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

bedtime stories

I can't bring myself to go to bed. Some nasty realization is waiting for me there. Sea monsters. Bed bugs. America. When my parents divorced my Dad made my sister and I a tape of himself reading bedtime stories. It's the saddest and most beautiful thing ever. I miss being read to - by anybody.

I'm so tired of taking care of myself. I can't endure my own sanity any longer, and sensitivity. I don't know how any half-sensitive person can withstand living in this society. I need to be touched. I need to be inspired. All you fucking zombies out there depress the hell out of me.

Friday, April 14, 2006

the glooms

Something bad happened last night. I don't want to talk about it so please don't ask. Instead, cast me as the star of your own imaginary movie. The starfish that is - for everyone's internal movie is an underwater one. Split me in two, heart and all. In the second scene I'll grow it back, for mine is the power of regeneration.

sleepless on the corner of piedmont and eighth

I can't sleep. If anyone wants to know what I look like in my pajamas, I'm clearly visible from the sidewalk. Just take about 40 paces down 8th street (towards monroe) and face south. Hi, hello.

You think I'm joking?

Come. We can mouth wordless poetry at each other and imagine the other is saying what we really want to hear.

Come. Serenade me. come. break the loneliness of this city and this street and this darkness. come and share. come. be intimate. come. be honest. be embarrassed. be naked. be ashamed. be joyful. be fucking crazy. be your self. come. come come.

Who else is going to tell you the truth tonight?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fish cont.

The street markets in Chinatown are lined with
baskets of dried fish, boxes of jade ornaments,
meat turning in windows and sugar-sprinkled pastries.
But it's the fish and their many eyes that hold
my attention. I imagine the initial catch - nets taut,
the shimmer and sparkle of movement in the lines.
Will they be used in a soup? Fish broth or sauce?

Edited, I'm Undressed

Drawing in your net
You examine the day’s catch:
Salmon, Pompano or Moonfish.
De-scale and poach with lavender.
Taking careful bites,
Eat what you can of its sweet meat;
Leave the bones.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

10 minutes

They held each other for 10 minutes at least. They held each other, even though their car was getting booted across the street.

When all is said and done, you can tell them how horrible I was - how I made you give me massages and never bought the toilet paper. If you want these mistakes you can have them. Mistakes we make because we're young and we still think all the stupid shit counts for something. Mistakes we make because we're afraid of being vulnerable to each other. Because someone told us love is possession and we believed them. Mistakes capitalism would be proud of because if we weren't preoccupied with having and didn't always want more no one would make any money off of us.

The light is getting thinner - as it does at sunset.
Colors don't actually exist, but we see them anyway.
I'd like to believe in will.
I'd like to believe in self-determination,
but I've got somebody else's gum stuck to my shoe
and all my mother's problems.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

hearts in garlic

Some say blood,
some rust, but none
are as red as me.

I discovered recently I have a fear of the ocean - especially at night. Its abysmal, incalculable depth. The ocean feels hungry to me even on calm days. Some absurd fish I am. Like the tides want to uncover me, consume me and leave the bones. I think I equate death with the ocean. Not death the way I like to think of it/experience it, but soul-less death. Dispersed into thousands of disconnected particles instead of remaining a whole, sentient being.

Or maybe it's the vastness of the ocean that bothers me. My ignorance seeing itself in the reflection of the expansive. I had a dream once I was submerged in it. Below me was darkness and above me light. I struggled upward until I broke the surface and it was at that moment when I woke. I felt calm after that dream, as if in it I had been protected. I wish I could feel that way again.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

love as a

Love exists. Love is waiting only for you to open. Love is urgent as it watches you grow older. Love asks only to be received. Love is transformative. Love opens flowers in the darkness of morning. Love is fire. Love speaks not and thinks not. Love knows. Love I beg not to leave me alone. Love you don't have to deserve but should want to. Love gives everything and takes everything. Love ignites love. Love you have to be blind to see and blind not to see. Love you pray at night to wake up with. Love never grows because it simply is and always was. Love, inseparable from creation. Love as a fetus, a seed. Delicate love. Secret love. Love from behind a veil.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

stake your claim

I met a woman yesterday who told me, with pride, that she finally convinced her husband to "convert" to Buddhism. Not only that, but he is looking forward to seeing his first Buddha shrine during their visit to Thailand. P.S. I should visit her blog.

If only belief were as easy as that - like washing dishes and talking about the weather. If only a shrine were erected, in any country, to any prophet, that people could actually go to and see.

Niche got it wrong. God isn't dead, religion is.


delicate and luminous as the egg moon

My face is changing. I've got crows-feet around my eyes from smiling too damn much and creases in my forehead from frowning too damn much.

If you were to read these lines, like a palm reader, they would reveal a great trapeze artist. I perform emotional acrobatics. Flips, somersaults, etc. - usually without a net (when we're together). When you're with me we move so fast I can no longer tell who's catching and who's being caught. Probably me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

keeping account we
note each cent given to love-
always wanting more.

Monday, February 13, 2006

leaving day

Valentine's Day, for me, is not about heart-shaped candy and kisses, but bravery, pain, loss and personal transcendence. It marks the eight-year anniversary of my leaving home.

Eight years ago tomorrow my mother walked into an empty bedroom expecting to find me there. It took her a while to understand what she saw. I hadn't left a note. I had even "patched things up" before I left. I didn't want them to think I ran away from an argument. I had stood on the line separating our crumbled driveway and the black-top of Sherrell Drive before, and decided then. A person who runs away is weak. Leaving requires courage.

You take everything from your parents. You even take the absence of giving. You absorb everything into your child-heart. Mine had grown too full. It wasn't a crime of passion. There was nothing to be gotten back, no revenge, no point to be taken or made. It was sacrificial. People judge you for the sacrifices you make in the name of life. But to argue responsibility for others over responsibility for ones self is to deny every instinct and every decision a person makes in life - none of which are wholly selfless. I turned eighteen. I packed, and I left them. I was still in high school.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Erin and another blues bar

We both needed cures last night. Me for restlessness and unspeakable sadness. Erin for alcohol-induced ranting and Coke spillage.

Nowhere is the right place to vent your blues. No venue is blues-accommodating. Bars and coffee houses are practiced at alienating you when you need them most. They don't want your sadness, it spoils the atmosphere. Bars and coffee houses are for romanticists and sexy hipsters; realists aren't allowed. The light they bring is too harsh for those places, even with their dimmed lighting and mood music.

This, at least, seemed to be the case last night. So we went where it made the most sense - Northside Tavern (aka "The Blues Bar"). Except they weren't playing our blues, they were playing middle-class white boy wanna be Elvis Costello blues. It wasn't even danceable. And then there were the alpha male pool hall preppy show-offs we had to contend with, who lurked around our pool table as though they were interested in our game. (I kicked Erin's ass BTW)...(fuck you, I'm not a show-off).

I chain-smoked last night and don't even feel it this morning. Normally I'd sound like Betty Davis.

Oh, and Erin, thanks for leaving your half-eaten piece of cheesecake in my car.

Friday, February 3, 2006


I got my Indian drone box yesterday. It imitates the sound of a Tanpura (an instrument like a sitar). I played my cello with it and it felt oh, so good. Harmonizing is therapeutic, especially when there's no attachment to melody or performance. One note, played with complete concentration and submission can be the most beautiful, expressive thing. When it's your heart spilling out and you know it and choose to let it go anyway. You will it to go.

And you're not embarrassed this time.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

mad death

I can't stop dying. I can't wait to stop dying. Maybe healing. Re-creating. Dis-covery. If I were alive I could make some happiness for myself.

He worries there might be someone else because something changed with me, suddenly but not at all sudden. Something broke that was always. There isn't anyone else but it might be easier for him to accept if there were. People understand the language of better and want. They follow their eyes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

bitter as iron
we eat as though it were
sweet and easy

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Dear John:

At first you pack in secret –
Quietly stowing away your happiness,
Then your grief.

Turning to your belongings,
You look at them in a different light;
What goes and what stays,

What's essential and what you would leave
If it were burning. It's me that's burning.
You can guess the rest.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Majda's house

Every time I leave your house it's the same. The same fog, the same wet grass, the same darkness. Every time I try to make a three point turn and almost hit your mailbox. Every time I feel the loneliness. It sets in before I make it past your hedge (monkey grass that gives me goose-bumps when it brushes against my legs in the summer).

Atlanta was a series of headless buildings tonight. Low clouds. You would have liked that. You're all destruction and slow unraveling. I'm veils and burning fields. You make me certain of my absolute sanity. We scare men at Kinkos into giving us discounts. We stink of smoke and coffee.

Your mother campaigns for me to gain weight and does so successfully. Homemade bread and cheese and salmon - sometimes a piece of cake or a hunk of smoked beef. Some soup or other Bosnian delight whose name I can neither pronounce nor find a word for in English. When I ask your mom to make it I say it's that noodle-wrap-cheesy-meat-thing.

You like fragments too.
not to be broken.
We don't pretend

I hope all those fancy schools in New York reject you. I've told you this. I imagine us in Chicago, nursing each other through graduate school. I want to think about that. I don't want to think about the fires we've set to our lives. Maybe it was smoke that masked Atlanta, disguised as clouds. Like I'm disguised as a wife.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

clementines before bed

I'm wearing blue slippers with stars and moons on them. They were given to me in December of 2001 at a company Christmas party. I took off my heels and put them on. I got chided by my boss for doing so - but only because we were at the Ritz.

My fingers smell of clementines because I've just eaten about five of them. There's something about peeling fruit. Oranges, tangerines, pomegranites, grapefruit even. Everything is veiled. Everything breaths, everything shits, and everything has a membrane of some sort.

Burst your bubble.

We often say we're doing something to "get close", but we're usually just talking about physical proximity. Matt wants to "get close" me. I want to "get close" to ____. But I just ate a clementine. What the hell are we talking about?