Monday, November 3

how i write books

close this,
open that.
"write, please."--'--
          pull back.

torch that
torch this
wet nails
dry lips

breathe in,
slash lines.
breathe out,
"next time."--'--

breathe in,



Sunday, August 24


Please make it quick, boys.
Make it painless if you're gonna go.

But go ahead and go
to Cities with lights and
Parties with drinks and
People with something to offer.

[Make it] about someone else-
----anything else.

[Make it] any other way.

Just please make it quick.

Monday, June 30


My friend and I were talking about higher dimensions and moving across time which eventually led to us talking about the multiverse which is apparently an idea that an atom could contain an entire universe and our universe could be a single atom making up something even

The next thing we talked about was that he told me since we kind of figured out where the big bang happened, we could also figure out earth's location in the universe. (It's just in the corner by the way) and there is actually a chance that there are other people out there because the universe is just too big for us to have happened only once. I don't know if we're that special and it's also kind of nice to think about that being the answer to what comes after death. The answer is: just more life goes on somewhere else. It doesn't matter more or less than we do-----------------
-------it's just there like we are. 

"So what if we're an atom making up a infinitesimal part of another universe and then it just keeps going?" --If we found out where we are in our universe why would it matter if we couldn't find out where our atom is in it's universe(and so on?)?-- "Where the hell are we?"

"I don't know," he said. "Just on a rock somewhere." 

And I think that was as good of an answer as any. So.


Wednesday, April 9


I awaken early in the morning, and I'm another person. 

After figuring this out, I move her fingers tentatively and stretch her legs (they're the same size as mine). Her thoughts of morning are about the woodpecker that woke her up and "my hair feels like a halo." She's still sleepy. My thoughts, and some of the last thoughts I will have, are of a rushed goodnight kiss, hot wool socks, and... that I'm glad she's here to replace me. I trust that she'll take better care of my life than I would have been able to.

For the moment, I fight the urge to leave the crowded conscious and try to figure out what actions brought her to me. She seems older and more capable. She has a happier disposition, and it's comfortable. I'm still afraid of the dark so I get up and go to the small, bright bathroom across the hall and drink a glass of water. Then I start trimming the split ends off of my hair.

I wonder how long she can get away with being me before someone says something:
"Are you feeling different?"
"You don't seem like yourself."
"I'm not myself," she might explain. "I'm someone else now."

Then I start to worry if people will be able to recognize her at all.
Or love her...?
Has this metamorphosis destroyed the things that most people love about me?

I experience my job, my boredom, my books, my lovers, and I wake up transformed into someone who is wiser. Usually wiser. Hopefully wiser. Not always happier, but I was lucky this time. How can we expect other people to keep up and love us through [despite] those changes? How can we even be sure that the one we love is not a stranger by now?

What part of her is me anymore?

I've cut a section of my bangs too short, but they'll grow back.

Particular people stand out in the small collection of things that are important to [us]. It would appear that most of my constants are the same as hers. Her hand automatically lifts the glass of water to her face in the way [we] know someone likes. She still acts naturally, but I hope these people can love her the same way they loved me. I hope she still has the ability to love them like I did.

The sun is starting to rise, so I go back to bed to rest awhile more. I'm falling back asleep easily, but before I'm gone, this thought keeps repeating in [our] head:

What if our love is just the space between two atoms? 

I don't know what it has to do with anything or why it makes me feel a little better, but it does.

I'm          gone.


Monday, March 3


        The wind is biting, and I wonder if it's going to snow again. The ornate front doors resist a little as I enter, and I'm greeted with a familiar warmth when I step inside. The worker acknowledges me, and I open the second set of doors to the chapel.
        Art adorns every wall, every window, even the ceiling. It's a bit disquieting, but it's glorious, too. It would take an eternity to sufficiently take in every line and image. In the front and center of the room, behind the pulpit, is an image of The Crucifix. My heart immediately swells with reverence and love. I make an effort to think of Him every day, but this is where I come for some real quiet--real peace--so I can truly worship. I almost didn't notice the young woman sitting in the second pew.
        Most people don't really like to be interrupted in here, myself included, but she doesn't seem to be praying; she's leaning forward, her face in her hand, her elbow on her knee, her eyes seemingly pointed to the floor. I shuffle slowly around the walls, pretending to read Spanish prayers that I don't understand, until I come full circle to sit a few feet to her right.
        "I think it's incredible," I start. She straightens up and turns her head to smile at me.
        "Yeah, it is."
        "This isn't the chapel I regularly attend for mass, but I like this one better because it's prettier than mine," I say sheepishly. She nods and turns forward again. Maybe she really doesn't want to be disturbed, but I'm just so desperate for a like spirit--one that looks like they might be struggling, too.
        "Do you usually attend here?" I ask at the same time as she says something:
        "I'm not--" she stops and says, "sorry." I wave her off and tell her to finish. "Um, no, I don't go here. Not anywhere, really. Not anymore. I'm not really sure why I came here, actually."
        "Oh," I bite my lip. She looks like she might cry, so I ask, "Are you okay?" She inhales deeply, looking up, and then lets it out sharply, filling the cavern with a loud laugh.
        "Yeah, I'm okay," she shrugs and turns to me again. She must have seen my face before I could hide the grimace because she apologizes and puts her hand over her smile. "I'm good," she whispers this time. "I think I've found some peace of mind."
        "Yeah?" I ask, curious. "How?"
        "I've had a bit of a realization within the last week or so."
        "About what?"
        She sighs and cracks a few knuckles, looking uncomfortable. "I just...well, I'm not even sure if I really mean it," she qualifies. "But I realized that I might not believe in god."
        My heart sinks.
        "That is...I'm sorry," I mumble. The aged structure around us creaks ominously.
        "I'm actually okay though," she assures me, slightly bemused. "Maybe I should feel like I'm losing part of my identity, but...I don't know. I guess it's just nice to think about living a life that I can fill with my own purpose. It's... liberating."
        I don't say anything, because I really don't know how to respond. I mean, how...miserable! How terrifying to think about God not being up there, loving and looking out for us. How meaningless to think about not being accountable to Him at the end of the day. How lonely to think about being...alone. "So, maybe you came here as a last resort?" I suggest. "To give Him one more chance to prove Himself to you?" But she shakes her head.
        "I don't think so," she says slowly. "God really doesn't have to prove anything to me if he doesn't want to. I think he might be fed up with me anyway," she says, amused, then adds, "If he's there."
        How badly I want to insist that He is there! He's here! I could feel Him the minute I opened the doors, and I feel His love when I see The Crucifix and think about the sacrifice He and His Son made. For me. I feel Him listening every day as I pray. Maybe I could pray for her--
        "I guess I came here because I knew it would be quiet," she says, not rudely, but as if she could sense my itch to testify. She closes her eyes. Breathing slowly.
        "Me too," I say, because it's true.
        Several moments pass then, and we sit together in this fortifying silence that we came for, each seemingly moving toward different extremes, but both mere enough to appreciate the significance of... "it all"
        Her phone buzzes, waking me from my reverie. She takes it out of her pocket and looks as if she is about to answer it, but then glances at me, embarrassed.
        "I'm sorry," she says, and ignores the call.
        "I appreciate it," I nod. And then, slightly annoyed, I notice that she's started texting instead. I turn forward to relax and focus again. She eventually puts the phone away and begins to observe the vast space. I must admit, it can be pretty unnerving in here. Solid, and...overwhelming. But for me, it's in a good way; the life, lessons, and love of Christ and God come at me from every angle in here, making it near impossible to ignore. A quote from a life-changing book I once read comes to mind:

        "Once torched by truth, a little thing like faith is easy." 
        This is my Truth.
        I look back to her, but she is already watching me. I thought I saw some emotion on her face like longing, or desperation. But she blinks it away and whatever it was is replaced surely with grace. She thanks me for talking to her as she stands and puts on her leather coat.
        "Maybe I'll see you here again," I invite her. She squints and rubs her lips together.
        "Probably not," she shakes her head, and smiles one more time before leaving. A few seconds pass until the wooden doors slam and echo with finality. I kneel down on the stool in front of me, clasp my hands together, and drop my head.
        I thank God for my life, my family, the opportunities I have--I am indebted to Him for all of it. I even sincerely thank Him for the crisis in faith I recently overcame, because I know it will make me a stronger and better follower.
        And then I think about this girl, with her green eyes that I searched in vain for a sign that some light has since left her as she left God. I wonder if there is some other Truth that she has found. I wonder if I should pray for her to be able to find mine.
        Lord, I begin, but I'm undecided. I raise my head to look at a painting of Christ descending from heaven into an exalting world. An endless, giving world. And I think I understand what she wants:
        Lord, You don't have to worry too much. I think she's going to be just fine.


For Tamsin, who is always asking questions,
and David, who inspired me to ask the right ones.

Friday, February 28

The Secret Keeper

I was told a lot of secrets tonight.
And though
I'll make myself forget them by tomorrow,
I just have to find
of mind
fall asleep;

They are what keeps me up at night.
Those are my demons.


for Chris

Tuesday, February 25

The Last Play

How they say, "All's fair in love and war."
How they say, "If you love something, 
let it go."

How he said, "Stop playing tug of war between right and wrong. Take the rope and
drop it."

How I say, "This is the game. And if you're playing, so am I."
How I say, "I will 
turn it off."

How he thanks me.

How he once said, "Be a smart traveller. And come back to the glass cemetery where I will work forever."

How he once wrote, "
Remember me,
In moments of

How I promised.

And how...


Sunday, February 23

porcelain and oak

I'm getting so frustrated with how obsessed we all are with what comes after this.
After "this"...

A zit flares up on my forehead and I see how my beauty will never last
and my mortality is shoved in my face whenever I cut my leg shaving.
        My phone screen shatters and I have an existential crisis.

But this morning, I came to the conclusion (that I hope will last) that
--just our luck--
that's what "this" is about. This "this" at least. This life.

I don't think we're supposed to get hung up on all the details of what happens 30 or 50
or, for some unlucky few,
year from now.
I think we're suppose to pay attention to how easily we get torn up and spit on and shrunken from how painful it is to be breathe and be alive sometimes.
And then notice how good it feels to touch things and love someone and use your feet to get from point A to point B.
Recognize all of that, and adjust your mood accordingly.
Who has time and thought to spare then?

It's a good day,
let myself be happy with what I have right now instead of trying to figure out how undeserving and fickle I might be.
How fragile.

And then, maybe [hopefully]
in the next life, we'll all be a little less breakable and human. We'll be resilient against wind and heartache and loneliness. emptiness--------
Resilient even to the hands of whoever we have to thank for making us this way.

Magnificent and tall and sturdy,
like trees.

        Wouldn't it be gorgeous if we were all trees?


Tuesday, February 11

Nice guys finish last

First, let me explain that cynics are not the pessimists that everything assumes. We are actually hopeless optimists; we expected a better good from the world (we thought the world of the world!) and now we want to get even with it because we feel cheated. The world owed us something:

--A high paying job if we went to college.
--A lover if we followed to rules of romance.
--A peaceful life if we gave back. Paid it forward, if you will.

But it didn't happen. We went to school and didn't get the dream career; we did our hair and didn't get the dream girl; we played our cards right and the world still kicked dirt in our faces.

Then we begin to complain. That angst you hear in songs--read in poetry? It's from a cynic that has come crashing down from cloud nine, and we whine about our experience enough so we can know for sure that we must have been heard. "At least," we think, "I've given them fair warning." Artists and cynics: they're synonymous a lot of the time. Not all of the time, but a lot of the time.

The worst part comes as a realization that as much as we complain about how south our lives have gone, people will move on. They'll sympathize for a second though--or they might look at us like a sideshow attraction, even fall in love a little--but they will move on, and of course they will! What more could we expect from this world? The one that screwed us over...let us full of a species who will take the path that gets them the greatest reward for the least amount of effort.


We followed protocol. Where's our reward?

        So unfair.

Why is it all so personal?


Monday, February 10

between green and gray

        I haven't wanted to be this alone for a long time. Distant. Off. Walking outside in the gloom--I mean...this terrible gray gloom! With bright faces walking to their next class.
My eyes are green, but the rest of me is gray. And I stay----'''__'      'gray.

        When I say gray, I mean it. I'm donning the one pair of boots I'll wear in the winter, leggings that aren't technically to dress code, the white shirt and braided hair that I slept in--all of it doesn't seem gray, but then you look at my slippery knee-length coat that's ruined with paint that I pray to [god] looks better on my friends wall than in does on me. It's a washed out and sad color, and when I look in the bathroom mirror on the fourth floor and wipe off flakes of residual make-up from yesterday, I catch sight of it and put it to my face.

        Maybe...well, some paint might have rubbed off onto me. That would explain the dull color. I rub my cheek. Nothing comes off, but my skin comes to life there. So I rub more life into myself: I slap my face and smooth my eyebrows and bite my lips and scratch my arms. If anything is worse than gray it's pink and now I'm pink and I start to       panic
        because at this point I've been looking at myself for too long and
I stop recognising me--just this raw, hysterical, pink stranger STARING at me! almost pulls her hair out by the roots. this mousy gray-brown hair... disgusting--
        Of course someone walks in. No one is ever in this bathroom. That's why I came here.

        "Oh...are you okay?" They ask. I avoid eye contact and think she must be a professor because... those shoes.
        "it's just my hair and this...goddamn coat," i take it off and drop it and squish my face with my hands
        "Do you need anything?" She sounds worried. And I think that's really nice of her.
        "that's really nice of you," I tell her. But I shake my head and explain that I left my medication at home because I haven't needed it for a really long time and so I might just have to ride this one out without it. ..."alone," I try to hint.
        "I need a minute in here anyway," she says. She takes off her coat, picks mine up and hangs them both on a stall. "This could help." She holds out a little white pill that I know. "Just don't tell anyone." She starts fixing herself in the mirror and I swallow the pill dry.

        I know I should be more concerned with how I come off to people, but it's just not the first thing on my mind right now, you know? And she has my pills so she's probably seen something like this before. I'm sitting on the floor with my knees pulled up to my chin, watching her do her hair. I say, "You're beautiful. Is your hair really that color?"
        She smiles and thanks me and explains that, no, it's not real. Her natural color is a little bit lighter and less chocolatey--"kind of like yours." I start to really cry, and I feel bad because I know it's making her uncomfortable because she doesn't know what to do.

        "Look," she says a minute later. My ears are ringing now and I try to listen hard because I think what she says next might be important. "I don't really want to know what's happening to you...but none of us know what the hell we're doing. And some of us say we know, especially around here, but I think that most of us just really hope we're doing the right thing. I don't buy religion because they all say they're right, but they can't all be right. Maybe it's bad that I'm not trying to figure it out, but maybe it really doesn't matter. I don't know..." she trails off. They were nice words and I appreciate her for trying even though she kind of missed the mark.
"Your hair is beautiful, too," she adds, and, "I hope you feel better soon."
I thank her while she leaves.

        Now I need to breathe and calm down, but I lift myself up a little to peek in the mirror. I'm still pink. Red, even, so I sit back down


Sunday, February 9

Here's hoping you'll forget to ask:

I was told that
it does have a name...
someone who
[un]fortunately possesses the same quality.

Even being one of the cursed,
I have committed
the same wrongs that were
to me.
I have fallen
for those...exquisite 
few and far

By the very person who told me the name,
I'm guilty:I have never been more ashamed
for merely
   ...watching. I was so filled with wonder,
waiting for his next big words
or his next       big shock
(the next big thing!)
That I forgot to be there and love him.

like me,
like she--
--WE can't...have
because they just scratch and
      tch------------'''-' until
they see that
the itch is
not so easy to relieve.

And they         [re]
leave me

The desire
and the curiosity--it can be sated for a moment, it's nature,
it will always
come back

when no one else will.


to those lovely two
(more bitterly)
to those who fell in love, "wised up", and left.

Wednesday, February 5

my stab at enlightenment

so I lie down.
        The first step to *this is knowing how to meditate, by the way. Who actually knows how to really meditate? I think that the kind of person who can be relaxed enough to meditate is the kind of person that doesn't need to meditate in the first place. Come on.

so I lie down
        And try to meditate anyway. My window doesn't close all the way so ugly sounds are leaking through. As I listen longer, I think...I guess...they're not so ugly after all...

I raise my hand to point at something
to look at--I look
at a spot on the wall. A tiny hole.
And I know that if I stare at it long enough, I'll

see the world.

I'll see it in that little space.

I know that if I stare long enough--
the vibrations can push me out.

...they have,
        I'm looking at myself from the side of my bed. I don't realize how my make-up makes my face look--I mean, it's not bad. Just. Huh. Well, damn--so much for being a pretty sleeper.

I think about someone I haven't seen for a while,
and I'm there. I'm in this house.
I remember where he keeps it all--
If I could touch things, I would take everything
into the bathroom
and dump his liquor down the sink
and flush his drugs down the toilet.
No need to be acting this way anymore--
the bad guy is happy about becoming a father.
No need for any of this--
and the good girl...
Well. I'm just sick and hurting everywhere.
"Thanks a lot...good luck." I want to mean it
and write it on his mirror with toothpaste

        I move on. I'm in my house this time. parents house. It's empty, except I know the cat must be here somewhere. Sleeping on my dad's office chair, yes. I'm looking at him. Like, staring at him and trying to will him to wake him up. I thought animals had a sense for this kind of thing. He must be pretty stupid. Then again, he does lick his own ass.

        Next, I end up at a stately apartment building, and I've been here often.
        I walk inside and it's freezing like it always it. (At least, I assume it is. I can't feel anything right now.) He just got out of the shower--the heater is in here--and he's sitting naked on his bed writing something that's making him lean in close. I lean in close so I can read.

And then I cry.
It makes the paper wet. He wipes it away and looks at me:
"Do you like it?" He asks.

I wake up in my own bed,
and I think for a while.
I think, "It's so quiet in here."

*astral projection: an interpretation of out-of-body experience that assumes the existence of an "astral body" separate from the physical body and capable of traveling outside it.
        There was this big black dog on campus early this morning. I don't know anything about dogs and I don't even like them that much but its fur was curly and I really wanted to touch it so I put my hand out to bring it over. It looked at me and lifted one paw off of the ground for a second and trotted past me. Its legs were long and it galloped away. I just thought it was so beautiful.

Wednesday, January 29

My session at noon

        I've been happy for the past two weeks, so I tell my therapist and we celebrate: "Hooray for the moment of peace and relative clarity that we have found!"

        The other day, I spent some unpleasant time in the bathroom with my face pressed against the cool tiles of the floor which are just so dirty and gross because I live with three other girls and we live in a shitty house that we won't clean. I later crawled to my bed and, holding a pillow to my stomach, I tried talking to my roommate.

        "Isn't it dispiriting to know that you will get food poisoning again in the future? Most likely."

        "Dis-whatening?" She's eating a bowl of cucumbers and vinegar. She's a model by the way.

        "Like...who needs that?"

        "I've never thought about it," she shrugs. With her half-shaven head. Perfect lips... damn her and her thigh gap.

        I tell this to my therapist, and she asks me what's really on my mind.

        "Nothing, really. It's weird and fantastic and suspicious that things aren't perfect and I can feel so good anyway. But it can't last." It can't last.

        "No, it can't," she agrees.


        "The sun is out," she mentions, perhaps returning to a possible diagnosis of seasonal depression. Not to discredit the seasonally depressed, but imagine if that were my problem! Please, let me have seasonal depression--I'll move to Phoenix or something.

        "Yeah, that can't last either. It's January."

        " does that make you feel?"

        It's the next day, and I still feel really good, but of course the sky is filling with the promise of a very grey storm, as we both knew.

        It won't last.


Monday, January 20

bored at the café on a slow monday night

It felt like somewhere else
for a moment,
glancing out the front door to see the
police sirens
reminded me of neon lights and advertisements
flashing across a
massive wall of billboards—

New York City was good to me:
with the attractive and superior students
on campus at Columbia…
with the hipsters in Brooklyn,
hustling along and
each other
             as if they were
across the window of a
   moving car…
as if none of these people were
in love with their own neighborhood
like I was.

And I was in love.

Even with the cool kids walking in front of me
puffing from their cigarettes
and blowing into my face,
coating my clothes and hair with
a layer of stink,
I was still in love.

            The next moment,
I turned the corner and was blinded by
Times Square.
My eyes already exhausted
and stinging
from the second-hand smoke,
it was too much for them to take in all the
the neon lights and advertisements
flashing across a
massive wall of billboards,
telling me what I need
and what I want.
And how could they know—?

            I recall all of this,
sitting outside the restaurant
on the curb,
the cold throbbing in my fingers
and my ears,
relieved to find that the
police sirens were fading away.

I guess the lights hurt my eyes.
But maybe Manhattan’s billboards
have a better idea of what I need
and what I want

than I do myself.


Tuesday, January 14

New AMS {vs} 40 Creek

On her 5th drink,
And all she can think
"Pour me another--"
Keep it together.

Make this one stiff,
She'll knock it back quick,
"Pour me another--"
Keep it together.

Keep it together...
If only it'd let her.