REPORT A PROBLEM
3 words 7 dimensions of the universe I comprehend ever so vaguely. 60 seconds in a minute. 60 minutes in an hour. 24 hours in a day. Numbers adding up to Waiting. Until 7 And then a few more piling on each other Until perhaps an afternoon Breaks into pieces of 1, 2, 3, maybe even 4 if I’m lucky. Fading into an evening of How many ever numbers I can lay down Before I lay down And count the contractions of the muscles of my Calves and thighs and butt(ocks). And slip into nothing. It begins again.
This was a failed experiment. So many years of trying to forget myself. Eight years of agony then ten years of purposeful attempts at forgetting. A friend tells me there is no forgetting. No memory. All there is that exists is the act, the behavior, of remembering and this is what we actually study. So my ten years of attempts, perhaps, did nothing more than try to lay a new structure over what was already there. A thin veneer it seems. Or so I hope. As I miss that other self these days. Miss the dimensions I had. Still have.
dance so well
don't you want to dance
you have told me before it is too
much like making
but I know
outside of that, it is something more
than making love. For mere
physicality of traditional making
love is something less
(something more yes I know) than dancing.
Please come to me. I know how
to dance. I want to.
Does anyone else notice when they no longer fit in a certain advertising bracket? It is bizarre, realizing somehow you have stopped belonging to a certain demographic people want you to purchase. It is strange to understand you have yet to ‘fit’ into the next bracket either. So strange. Are those potential mes hanging out on cruise ships? Laughing with a husband (I don’t have), cozying into a red leather chair on a celebrity cruise ship, sipping a cocktail (not the whiskey my husband would have), waiting for our dinner in a grand ballroom with a sommelier sidling up?
to realize once again, despite the feelings I have, or rather sensations I perceive my emptiness has, I am empty. despite all that. happy. maybe? but then, disappointed. hoping that something had fastened hold, finally, that my life was more than this. despite the price I know such a choice, such a happening, such an event will have. please understand, yes is yes. I am waiting, hoping. cannot pray because to pray is to speak to oneself, is to speak to the universe, is, to me at least, to understand none of those exist. and yet this selectionist model persists.
because I will want to remember this. this awful. this nightly death. this silly sitting in a falling apart camping chair in my backyard, held in by a folded metal fence. this desperation for wanting what I cannot, will not have. this angry wiping away of dried out tears and angry drag across my nose, keeping everything closed up in my chest. this drying of salt tightening the skin around my eyes. this teeth clenching deadness. this one more beer, one more cigarette, I can't sleep, I'm so tired fugue playing itself out in my life. punctuated by a sigh.
and in these nights I try to remember what it is that morning holds for me. that pull out of bed too early after I spent a night laying next to insomnia. my alarm goes off, too early. and I hit snooze and every morning think I remember the first morning I let myself hit that button years ago when I made the decision not to just get up when I promised myself I would. now that button pressing is more about tired, physically tired, than that other tired I felt back then. now there is a reason to awake.
From May...Ownership- a strange word. One I’ve been wary of as long as I can remember, but appreciate reframing. To own as in somehow a piece of oneself ends up in the hands of another and the ownership/protection of such a piece is entrusted to someone else’s being. Not a choice. Nor an enforcement. Some strange exchange out of anyone’s hands with implicit trust (hope of trust) built in. Hope of because the sheer force of this gravity free fall cannot be overcome. And I am falling closer to this thing you call “giving up”.
And also from July...
This is just an introduction
The rest of my life will be
Once you leave. So perhaps I should be
You are here
To acquaint me with it. To come back
Each day for a quick
Or touch to remind
You are here. And you always have been.
And if you wait.
If I wait.
You always will be, my silly analogies
Of double dutch, but I mean
It. Please wait for that
Turn of the top rope. Wait
This next time around.
I will remember you saying “remember”, telling me to, reminding me to, and not being sure if you're speaking more to me or you. But I imagine me because in the story we have laid out right now, it will be me who is around to remember. Perhaps you still think I will leave (I cannot anymore than you).
I will remember you holding my face in your hand, lying side by side in spider gift sheets. I will remember leaning against the back of your car with an alarm in the background in an empty parking garage in summer.
I will remember your hands flat against the wood, you leaning against a side board, or whatever it's called, from a past life, your turned down turned head reflected back to me in the glass, your weight divided between your two feet housed in the kind of shoes that tell my father he is in a college town. I will remember your excitement, your bouncing, your irreverence at times peppering what otherwise is quiet, gentle, seriousness and joy. I will remember breakfast at some out of town cafe devoted to John Wayne with dust blowing up at the front door.
zippers click-clacking in the machine
they do so much
laundry. how many people could
possible be living in that
small house. girls come
outside, smoke cigarettes I assume
for why else does anyone come
out for seven minutes at a time.
and the one tells jokes
the other never understands.
the first says "do you
greeted by silence and then
"it's like this..." and the first
laughs then so does the other.
after that their voice grow
quiet and they go
back in again.
and their laundry keeps
my other neighbors,
the ones who really live next door,
(we share walls)
own a television
and out past their screen door
float purposeful sounding
voices from some
the force behind them carrying a level of truth
and surety one does not
in real life. not that
those fictional lives
are any more true than the fictions
we weave for ourselves
to make sense of these
disjointed, continuous experiences
that occasionally seem punctuated
more often forgotten in the
performance of the same
behaviors from the beginning of our
to the very ends of them.
Will my own jaw bone ever be enough to fill the cup
of my hand
A weight I will always own
A handful of mandible
As an inference to the contemplation I hold there
As if neurons could ever amount to more
Than the sum of the mass of molecules.
A summation of an equation
I don’t know the derivatives for
Let alone the real variables determining sums
If such a thing as real even exists.
There in my hand lies the answer.
How to work backwards from it and
Matter even if I could.
I miss writing
I miss the confluence of influence
Filtering down to a hard boiled new idea
I miss not knowing all these definitions
And uncertainties of behavior.
I am like a monk having given up his life in
pursuit of a certain aesthetic
Only to realize there were other rules with which
My former religion crumbles in the wake
Of the new.
And it seems doubtful either one is more true.
Pirouetting in my apartment
By myself, watching gravity take it’s due.
Eternity will not know this flesh as it is.
But that is the way
In this electronic age
We delete ourselves before we see our intentions
A thousand years from now, our love stories
Our hearts’ yearnings will be lost
X’d out in deletion before given the chance for breath
Bound bits of paper wrapped in ribbon
Relinquished to the black hole of cyberspace.
In this electronic age
We will have forgotten how to speak
Communication at the speed of thought a poor
To the earnestness of gaze
We forget what looking someone in the eye means
In the hopes that standardized font formatted
Breech that far away gap.
In this electronic age
My fingertaps will meet silence
Unshared by fellows
Unvoiced, unread, but kept
In a hard drive that will fail.
My words will obliterate past dust
With no record behind them.
Can we even recognize ourselves?
Emotions laid out on a qwerty pad with nothing
But laptop batteries to keep us warm.
My father’s words will be stored in a forgotten
Folder of a forgotten email account
Erased after the prerequisite time of non-
Signature into my account.
Our faces in photos swept away in a digital sea
suspended in some kind of ether.
We will not leave statues or altars
when we go.
Nor monuments, buildings, ink
bleeding into page fibers, letters pressed
into slabs of clay, words carved into the skin of
Nothing but skeletons of metal that succumb to rust
and plastic that holds its form without
And all our ideas and words and dreams
will be tiny bits of metal
Once exhaulted but made impenetrable,
Generations of bafflement. Obsessed with easily
sandworn Squares of oxides and silicons.
Nothing that can be pieced together beyond
A longing for something.
An assumption for desperation of communication
Despite all that is dark, all the waiting, there is so much good in my life right now. The utter delight I feel seeing you play sometimes. The behavior of play not only, but also how your mind flits between ideas, building great empires and structures around you, pushing out at the edges ever further. The grace with which you move in all ways. Are you ready for Tahiti yet? Though perhaps I would pick a different, less often promised place. No matter. The purpose is in the idea, the hope there vested, and I shall cook for us everyday.
There are days I feel so tired, I do not know how I can possibly bear to keep playing this series of games. I am so tired, afraid as the song says 'that's all there is' is a question I will keep asking. So tired, even sleep does not heal it and I awake feeling exactly as I did the night before with only the wisps of dreams that quickly dissipate as a means to sustain me. When all I want to do is take you by the hand, touch your face, hear your breath, take you to my bed.
Please understand when I say these words shall amount to nothing, I do not mean it so. These words, in their meagerness and faint echoing of what is my solid reality in these brief moments of my life, hold within them the greatest gravity I have yet known. Between them strung up in their letters is great meaning. Is a love, an understanding, I did not believe possible. I know what it is to find another piece of oneself now. To, as you say, share a left and a right, without a corpus callosum between them. So thank you, infinitely.
In August I had a series of strange experiences, but I will write about one of them here. I had a wonderful birthday, filled with friends and lovers I cherish dearly. A joyous ringing in of my third decade and the best birthday I can remember in a long long time. Got to spend the day following mostly in the same conditions. What a gift. But I started to feel panic because my heart and mind felt like they were racing a bit. Then my friend pointed out, could it be what I was feeling was happiness? And it was.
Sometimes it simply takes my breath away the experiences that are so foreign to me when they occur, but as far as I can tell are, or should be, the central foundations of a 'human' experience. To realize perhaps I had felt 'happiness' so little I failed to recognize it when it came sometimes? To realize most of my peak experiences in life had been solitary in nature, rather than shared, and now to see how simply delicious such sharing is. To have a friend point out my panic is often linked to these, so much silliness on my part.
It is very difficult to empty my brain of words, to try to get it to slow down enough just to be in the present, to see what I can perceive of without commentary or other ideas, other nows pushing in. It seems there are so many words and ideas clambering their way forward. ones that I do not even know where to place or why they are firing in my brain at that moment in time. But when I can quiet all of these, there is a stillness, a vastness, and an infinite center of being. I find peace.
That I could write 100 words that contain all of what you've given me. The hope. The ideas and vocabulary, the precise language to describe what is happening out there. I learn, please understand. Even if it seems I am bored. I am not. Just traipsing around in my brain, pondering. I thought this would be about the other aspects of learning you've given me. But, perhaps not. This new language, this solving of Babel, is so important. I will chide I have thought of these ideas before, I have. But to have the language, words, to describe is invaluable.
Again, to remember. I will remember the lifting of your arm up from the flat plane of my bed. (that pronoun feels wrong to me now, for it is ours) With the slight twisting of wrist, the fingers outstretched to the sky. Cupping or culling or holding what. Or merely acknowledging none of those things are to be done. There are just gestures in an undifferentiated space, that mean everything, hold everything, and nothing at all at the same time. I found myself mimicking your gesture tonight. In mimicking, I found myself holding you, an arm laid across your chest.
I do like this new woman in my life and her passion and utter certainty in certain ideas. Envy that certainty, that firm hold on such things these days. As fluid and unsettled as I used to think things were, they become more so each passing day. Her certainty that people are not at fault for the impact of outside influences. But yet, even knowing at some level the manipulations at 'fault' for such behavior, still she ascribes an intentionality to these individuals and holds them accountable, bitterly so to their faces for such. A strange fine line we walk
I will leave the light on. I do so daily, even though I do not think you realize I do. As a beacon, as a hope, as as an omen, as a promise between us I cannot break, as a note out to the universe to say I do not just say 'please' I say 'yes'. As an understanding that even if I do not see you, you will be waiting at my door. Please, please, come in. Let us on with this. This permutation of being suffers from brevity and I rather like the forms we both are in.
I don't know if this coming up with 100 words is more difficult or easier than I remember it being. I am no longer sitting in classes with the crossword as my only distraction. I bring a computer with me, which provides new distractions, to be sure. People use powerpoints now, not slides or transparencies or overheads. And students get upset when that material is not made available before a lecture is given. They get upset when they are asked to write an essay and grammar and spelling no longer count. I must be getting old now. Days gone by.
There are some days that are just so brilliantly perfect, despite everything else going on. Days when I wonder at the universe, think, there is no way it could be this kind. To have so much rise out from so much dust in all this absurdity. Set my whole being on fire, make me so excited, so joyful I do not even know what on earth I could have done to deserve even the promise of possibility that seems to be manifesting, let alone the fruition of such. Some days I remember how lucky I am, how much I love.
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