As I spent some time looking through the pages of my notebook this morning, I found an unfinished poem that’s probably about a year old. And, as it sometimes happens with writing, it felt oddly appropriate at this very moment in my life – maybe even more so than back when I first started writing it. So I decided to finish it today. And that’s what I did – here it is:
Piece by Piece.
Words, words, words —
so stuck in my mouth
and then all of a sudden they fall out:
tiny milk teeth, white and edged
I must have touched you
one too many times
lost my fingerprints
all over your skin
they ran out of my hands
like sand out of shoes
it’s the curse old women
have always warned me about
I lost myself –
but does that make me free, liberated?
Now I’m no one
Take my hand, would you?
Or my eyes, my legs, strands of hair –
you can have a piece of me
if you don’t want it all
these are merely moving pictures
and it’s hard to hold on to something
that’s always on the move,
in motion, motion, motion
sometimes it strikes me:
we’re nothing but cold light
we’re already dead
but too busy to notice
My heart is flip book —
First: The obligatory apology for having neglected my blog for so long. It seems, I have been quite the neglecting being lately. I may have been neglecting not only my writing but also some people over the last couple of weeks. My apologies for all of that. I didn’t really mean to, I have just found myself being somewhat – scattered…
Coherence! – an angry voice is yelling, somewhere in the back of my head: Coherence for crying out loud!
A number of thoughts are twisting and shouting in my mind – freestyle – while some are standing by the punch bowl (spiked, f*** yeah…), holding on to whatever there is, staggering, trying not to fall over. Other bits and pieces of me are hiding in broom closets and niches: getting high, making out, writing their last goodbyes before jumping into the darkness…
Coherence! – was lost somewhere down the road.
I’d like to twist or shout or get drunk or get high or make out or write my last goodbye – I don’t feel any need to jump, though. I’ve been collecting my own darknesses in a shoebox since I was four. They come in all shapes and sizes. And different shades of dark. They are, in fact, pretty to look at and feel quite nice. Like tiny pieces of velvet. Coherence! What’s one got to do with the other? She asks.
This angry voice again; it sounds like my second grade teacher who I was scared of.
Shut up! I’m feeling scattered.
Sometimes, it is a nice feeling. Sometimes, it smells of empty roads, summer rain, the sea – of i-can-do-whatever. Other times, it feels heavy, like sinking. It feels like missing a piece, a limb; lacking. Because there are parts of me scattered all over. I’ve been leaving them behind like pebbles – to make my way back, someday, in the moonlight. In spite of monsters lumbering. In spite of the dark.
Coherence! – has been annoying me ever since writing my first essay in second grade for the teacher who I was scared of. Coherence! – is highly overrated, for crying out loud!
I’d like to do a million things at the same time. I’d like to be in a million places at the same time. I’m dreaming a million dreams at the same time.
I want to be there for my friends and family whenever they need me I wanttobethere for myfriends – my family – whenever (Coherence!) I want to be a writer a teacher I want to make adifferencein childrenspeoples (Coherence?) livesatleastforsomeofthem I wanttoteachand notbescaredIwanttoteach and not scaremystudents I wanttowrite astorypoetryanovelabook. (Coherence?!)
I want to be.
Shut up –
I am scattered. And sometimes, it is a nice feeling.
I) January, 8 – in prose…
The New Year (capitalized, to show it’s genuine importance!) is already a week old by now and therefore slowly taking off all the holiday make-up and fancy clothing – a very un-magical moment. It’s always a moment that leaves me missing things: all the Christmas lights, the smell of cinnamon and the anticipation in the air. Because, of course, by that time I’ve already pushed aside the rush and grumpiness of the few days before Christmas, along with the exhaustion of the let’s-visit-the-entire-family-and-all-of-our-friends-in-less-than-24-hours-marathon (while, year after year, thinking: how sweet it would be to catch a ride on Santa’s sleigh). However, what is even worse is the feeling when there’s someone you can’t visit, for whatever reason. Then, the missing hits in early – an even less magical feeling. The least magical I can imagine.
This Christmas season, the missing did hit me quite early, it just snuck up on me behind my back and suddenly there it was, rearing its ugly head out of a pile of Christmas wrappings. It’s been living with me ever since. I don’t mean to complain, I’ve been wanting a roommate since I moved into a new apartment last summer (but I’d really prefer someone less sneaky, Santa must have gotten me wrong there…) leaving behind three roommates (a school, a city, a country) in the process – coming back to what I’d left behind a year earlier to find that I couldn’t have it all back, not the way it was. Of course, you never can – but, of course, you always hope.
I think, it might have been already then, that this idiotic thing moved in with me, hiding in my luggage – the little parasite. Or maybe, I brought it with me from my holiday visit to one of my beloved roommates a few days ago. Anyhow, I’m planning to kick it out soon. I think, it has to go with the decorations and the last bits of candy (ha! I ate the last cookie this morning!). It’s really a poor replacement for all I’ve left behind.
II) January, 8 – in poetry…
I know: it comes like breathing – unconsciously and delicate.
An inflating and deflating, rhythmical, in four-four time almost:
Say, is it dancing, can you feel your heart dancing?
You know, it’s the dance of death, or at least
the dance of coma – a deep delusional sleep:
you’re only imagining things, always.
It’s tiring, truly exhausting – and there’s nothing that can be done.
I’m afraid it’s not a mood, it doesn’t come and go like seasons do.
It’s a state, it’s something chronic – the diagnosis?
Well, it’s not yearning, it’s less dramatic; nothing emotional, I think.
It’s quiet like falling snow and just as cold and it
also muffles all the noise coming in from the world outside:
You must be missing
III), January, 8 – in song (thank you, Miss Madeline Ava)…
Cheers, we say –
to the New Year, and
let’s hope it will be better
than the last one,
crying tears (all in vain, always)
gritting our eyes
with ashes –
No more, we say
as the old year miserably
drowns at the bottom of
our wine glasses –
we don’t even try to save it.
We shoot the New Year
into the stars and say
that’s where we want to be:
Walking through the ashes
collecting our tears in a box
hiding it in a secret corner of the closet
(a secret corner of the heart).
Let’s build new bridges, we say.
But old acquaintances, they forget and
new year’s resolutions hit
the ground just one minute
after midnight, along with
the last of
Cheers, I say –
to an old acquaintance
that forgot, and I
wonder why (after all)
collected the ashes in a box
legs knee-deep in tears
walked right back onto
your last burning bridge
Cheers, I say
drinking the old year
from my glass of $3 wine.
Cheers, I say
looking for you
among the stars.
“You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. (…) [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the other.” – Martha Graham
Whether it’s always blessed, I am not sure – but there’s been a lot of unrest lately. Everywhere. And it still keeps people marching. Often, however, I do not wonder what it is that moves the masses – I wonder what it is that keeps so many in a state of (blissful?) ignorance…how come, there are people that are less alive than others?
Out of Joint
and the scary thing was
not that the earth
would not stop
all the salty
water flooding our doorsteps
and hidden corners of our
hearts (like widow’s tears: bitter. angry).
it wasn’t the nauseating fog that
grew around the city – a second skin
extremities (misshapen or simply redundant or odd)
dreams that lay dead:
– there goes the stuffed bear you just bought your babygirl – it almost seems to flinch…
– there goes your babygirl – motionless like a stuffed toy…
(and all the time this irony, mocking you, a grimacing gargoyle)
– but say, did you hold her too tight so she couldn’t breathe or maybe it was the fog or perhaps…
— there goes the answer…
now, the scary thing was
that still, there were
many that (while
lives) didn’t even
try or seem to
notice they had
Once upon a time: Two fairy tales.
Virginia and the Wolf
She’s so sick of me, still
I stick to her like a growth.
I know she’s been
hating me, ever since I
wormed my way into her.
268 days and 11 hours – nesting,
eating away her laughter, the snow
white of her skin, the blood
red of her lips, the ebony black of her hair –
now all she is: limestone and brittle.
I’m the reason he
left her, she says, I’m the
reason he left, even though she
tried to drown him with her
salty tears, the entire Dead Sea.
You wanted to kill him, Virginia –
almost as much as you wanted to
kill me – and when you couldn’t
you wanted to drown yourself.
What were you afraid of, Virginia?
You carry around these
heavy stones. What are you
afraid of – are you afraid of the Wolf?
Afraid he will catch you on your way back
home while you’re blinded by luna.
There’s no Wolf under your bed –
he sleeps in it. Did you forget
you let him in?
Say, what are you afraid of, Virginia?
I can’t tell.
I used to think the woods
were home to miracles and fairy
godmothers, speaking trees full
of wisdom. Now I know what’s
really hiding in the thicket.
I clutch my basket – it’s
filled with cake and wine and
black roses. I’m leaving, Virginia,
I’m leaving you alone.
I let go now.
You can have the room all
to yourself, I won’t come back.
Now, will you tell me your secret?
What are you really afraid of, Virginia?
Because all I know is –
I am afraid of the Wolf.
On the Road
Out of the dust, a cough –
It soon dies away.
Following into the footsteps of
the great lady, desperately holding up
a little dignity and belief, a lighter.
Finding these faded letters
someone must have lost down the way –
Struggling through curtains, tightly knit, iron-threaded
and then this brick wall, each crack a whisper –
Sinking the enemy’s ship, no one owns me and
this time it’s a different kind of party, pure porcelain singing –
Taking over my seat in the bus, it is mine.
Tires boast –
Crossing oceans and oceans, running after a fire
that burns like hell, the heavens on judgement day –
Staggering, a fallen angel, cut off wings and in search of
a new paradise somewhere between now and then –
Out of the dust, a cough –
Amebas, Cooper says, move
by changing the shape of their body, while
a jaded seriousness plays camouflage with
his black, thick-framed glasses – he’s only seven.
He makes me worry, when he looks so serious,
he makes me worry because I’m a woman and that’s
what we do (all the time), so I worry he might grow up too
fast, out of the dinosaur pj’s and into the wrinkled look on his face.
I worry he might find out Santa does not really
exist, just like that far away land (where gramps
hurts and dreams – wishing he had taken him to that
baseball game that day instead of watching TV, a last game)
I worry he might see that it is not always
death that does part the lovers, but that when he
does part anything, he (a hungry mad-eyed wolf) savors
its prey and there is no peace, no redemption.
I worry he might learn too soon that
people do not always keep their promises
but just cross their heart and then die
without peace, without redemption
not because they are bad people but because
good people do bad things just like bad people do bad things,
the secret (the noise late at night under your bed and in your closet) is
that bad things slip out of people’s hearts each time the clock strikes twelve.
Adults, they keep black, black and pasty secrets in
their pockets (they all do) instead of lollipops and gum and marbles
when they have grown out of their dinosaur pj’s and
into the darkness that hides within dusk and dawn.
But most of all, I worry he might not find out. He
coughs until his face turns nightblue and constellations fall out of his eyes.
Tell me more, Coop, I say, please don’t stop.
Please don’t stop.
There are some odd couples in the history of human relationships: Harold & Maude, Kurt & Courtney, Milli & Vanilli, Chico & Groucho & Harpo (although they’re actually a triple, of course) – the list is endless, really. And not only do they seem odd but at odds, completely and thoroughly. Still, there are some magical, supposedly pink-sugar-iced ties holding them together. I’m guessing they’re pink-sugar-iced, they must be sticky at least. What else would keep them from falling apart? Common interests, common values, common aspirations, a common sense of humour maybe? It’s not common sense, that’s for sure.
Ok, I’m not opening a new frontier here, I could probably do some tie-research in century (or millenium) old literature. But even then, I wouldn’t find the answer – there’s no consensus. It wouldn’t be of any help, because I really want the answer or at least, something that comes close. First, because a writer (even if it’s just blog-writing) always needs the answer. Second, because I’ve been picking and pulling at my very own ties lately. They’ve started to itch. So I’ve been pulling them very close to my smart-looking glasses, trying to examine the material which causes the trouble (Am I allergic? Is it something chronical?). I couldn’t find out.
Your voice dances in my ears, it’s a slow waltz. Your features, they’re painted across my eyes. I’ve collected your fingerprints in my palm: little pieces of velvet, shimmering poppie seeds. And my heart? (Echos: Silence)
PS: Some oddity to watch and enjoy.