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.