i.

i wake in the night to a

different realm; pulled from

 

my fuzzy yellow refuge. the

voices i meet are darker, thicker,

 

carrying something un-

speakably heavy across the

 

dimensions. every one i have

ever known—even my own

 

sisters, mother, father: sleeping

just feet from me—feel thousands

 

of memories away. i alone am

standing watch; am a crumbling wall

 

between what i thought i knew and the

all—knowing—all—encompassing

 

void

 

i don’t know why they are

visiting upon me; but one thing

 

i do know as i crouch in the deep-

dark pockets of the hallway, shaking

 

and weeping and lost:      i am

different.

some nights the moon is a train

it takes me a while

to love things.

 

but then i am

loyally locked in.

 

the colonial blue

house holds the

 

key, but no door.

in the back-ground,

 

the long bow of the

cello sings up from

 

the depths. one floor up,

children grow in their

 

beds. dad used to tease

about putting us in a vice

 

overnight. i took his words

to heart: the dreams that

 

shortened me still follow—

strong shadows of

 

nails and hair; of things

that once lived, fighting

 

to weave them-selves

back in, back to life.

 

some nights the moon

is a train. i am boarding

 

her, i am carrying

alstroemerias, i am

 

smiling as the tiny

gear of a whisper

 

turns. the shrieking,

pulsing, turning to

 

blood is all in my

head; out-side, the

 

view is silent: a giant

wheel of compliance.

 

 

 

strand-ed

i’m just warming up,

and so is the day;

 

sometimes it takes a

few hours.

 

when you can love something at its coldest

 

then you can say

it is real.

 

anyone can fall in love

on a sloppy summer night;

 

but where are you in the arctic light of morning?

we are time less

here i am, perched on the edge of earth’s balcony.

the beach at night—how i’ve missed it, the way the sea and sky merge into one big dark blue sigh;

the way the soft black-blue cushions you, makes you forget your fluorescent fears, makes you let go of the artifice, makes you feel like anything is possible, makes you feel;

the way this buzz goes deeper, into the curves of your being, winding through your veins and vessels and tunnels and channels, climbing through your cochlea with a vibrating message: you are alive;

the way the sand digs into every part of you and forces you to be present, to feel every granule, every atomic angle, measured out;

the way the clouds open up just enough to show you a sliver of moon, of reference and reminder on this glint-edge of spoon;

how it makes you really feel the earth, the roundness, the expanse, the way she takes full breaths, the way you could just fall off the ledge, disappear and be swallowed up into the depths.

we step into the tide and feel the grains and rocks and tease of seaweed and slip-slide of shells. we talk about sharks and the recent attacks and how the ocean is their natural habitat, and we are the real infestation;

we talk about death, and life, and family, and memory, and poetry, and cycles, and the canals we all move through, and the sounds, and the barriers we try to put up, and the way liquid light still pushes in;

i think about you, standing next to me, sitting so close to me in the sand, breathing this same air, sharing this same lens and space, like a kind and sacred hand being offered up for us both to hold;

i think about you, sitting in that chair, looking up at me and into me while i act out my script, play my part in that beautiful-tragedy, soak up your smiles, walk shaking circles around that stage of words.

we talk about how we’ve been here before, and how we’ll be here again, when we’re old and still time-less and still connected.

i slip out of my coverings just a bit and feel the moon and water on my skin, just enough to make me levitate, forget land for a moment, all the ties that bind, all the promises and commitments and labels and losses and lies left—

you, like the night ocean, have that effect.

and in the midst of all this thinking and talking and surging and being—a miracle right at our feet! tiny slippery white flashes of light—riding in on the tide and seeming to fly right off the crest!

like the floating particles in the eye that you can’t really see or look at directly—we try, and then they’re gone.

we squint and bend down closer to try to make out their shape, follow them down the shore, but we can only see faint patches, glimmers of light, scurrying schools of squarish white blobs, round at points, shifting together and then apart—so rapidly we can’t pin them down.

but we know they’re there. we don’t know what they are, but we know we saw them. we’re glad we’re not alone; we have each other as a witness that this phenomenon was real, is real.

we wait for the next sighting, for the next mystery-swarm to come through; we’re amazed and six years old again and true.

we’re glad we’re not alone. we’re glad there’s always a miracle when we meet.

here i am, perched on the edge of earth’s balcony; and the show is free.

red has no regrets

red has no regrets:
suicide is weight-less.

the mess of grief captured
else-where where color is not.

in this giant living collage, the
collective blood pasted together

makes me appreciate
my own need:

slowed down
into stills.

alive & well

20150605_135801

i’m still here,
kicking around,

holding up this
sign of life:

head just above
the black-water.

the anger is the
edge of a red knife

held just below the
surface: aching

tension pulled taut
across too many hurts.

i need the momentum to
shove me into the next day.

is there any other way?

when the doctor asks,
how do you feel on a scale of 1 to 10

i ask, does anyone
ever say 10?

i don’t know what
that would feel like.

it would seem almost obscene.

i don’t know if it’s the inability to feel
happiness, or the fear of

fully feeling it, or the panic
at feeling it and then losing it.

there are moments;
tiny pockets of time

in which i revel, marvel,
spin, float, feel high.

i try to sustain, but they
pass: like seasons,

like heartbeats, like hot-air
balloons taking off without me;

like the many mutable things

i’ve learned to appreciate but
not count on.

i watch for their arrival again
over the horizon, like waiting

for morning to come, to
rescue me from the voices:

dark with teeth like
exclamation marks.

if i can just make it to day-break.

then i crash, unable to face the
sharp light, but still here; still breathing.

i’ve even fallen a little bit in love
with my melancholy; with this collar:

it’s what i know, it’s what i’m comfort-
able with—until i’m not.

it’s why i don’t trust people who are always
smiling; the thick fake lacquer over the face.

friends stop coming around,
stop calling. it’s contagious,

this dread. it travels well
despite its heaviness. it

permeates—
deep and wide.

i try to contain, but the
implosions.

when i can speak, create, connect,
let the shards out in bits into a

willing receiver, i can
breathe again, for a span;

when i can feel a purpose beyond all
this sleeping, waking, dreading, falling.

why this shell? why the merger
of this shell and this soul?

what is this duo supposed to do?
in this world? in this moment?

to be both alive & well,
in this world, in this moment,

is the most i can ask for;
is a gift.

20150603_181517-1

last day of the verb

moon

let’s go out to the country,
get away from the city lights;

sing the song of the mountains,
walk under the satellites;

feel the moon filling, ever-
molting in our sights;

drink up the fog fugue
like a hungry child might;

and remember how the moon would follow us home,
send us lost-dream signals only we could know.

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