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How beautiful this all is — the language between bodies. Not touching, necessarily. Not speaking, really. What I’m trying to talk about is the conversation that falls into that empty ether between human beings. What I love, even more than falling in love, is falling in love with that space — with that quiet, precious, virgin sanctity between two people who are too scared to talk about all the strings that pull them together. It’s so easy for me to fall in love with every human being I meet because there’s just so much there, so much hope, so much untarnished promise. Still gold. Still reflective and new. I am fickle with my heart. My father taught me how to love the best way that he could, and now pain and love are irrevocably braided together in such a way that I can’t associate one without the other. Let me hurt you. Let me love you. This is all so much a dream. The black and white get muddied and now all I have is this grey area. A slush of grey that comes a day after the first snowfall. Goodbyes make everyone sentimental. It makes everyone want to remember, all at once, all in one night, as if we could land on any point in history that we want to remember. Everything is repeating itself and it’s all coming back fast, and past selves keep resurfacing and I don’t know if I like who I once was, or if I like them more than the person I am today. There was Shinji at fourteen who’s dangerous to remember. The one with the pills. The one with depression. The one who no one would tell the truth to, because the truth comes crumbling, and what they didn’t know is that all I ever needed was that. The truth. It’s all I ever wanted. My father showed me the divorce papers over blueberry cheesecake one morning not so long ago, and I didn’t know what to do with both sides of a story. There were so many holes that I kept falling through. What I wanted were facts, for black and white and anything but that grey. What I want is for all of the everything from before everyone touched one another — before we got so deep into ourselves and each other’s skin that we could no longer be alone without feeling a hundred different hands and a hundred different hearts pummeling through our own. I told my mother that I wasn’t fourteen any longer. I wrote her a poem about what she has taught me, and all she could see was how I offended her by saying something that is my truth but not hers. The pain. The love. It’s so irrevocably intertwined. Myself at sixteen fell in love with a boy four years older than me who made fun of me because I couldn’t pronounce almonds correctly. He taught me that it was okay to love my childhood, that it was okay to love where I came from. I showed him the places. The map of my old home. The apple orchards. The prayer rock. Tudor house before it was burned down. He believed in me, and he taught me that it was okay to believe in myself, in my heart and my words and my language and my tongue and I cut off all of my hair because I no longer wanted to hide behind twenty inches of shadows. Sometimes when I can’t write I start all of my journal entries as letters. I was growing so much then, trying on so many different skins. I had just started wearing heels. I had just started to love to draw. I had only started write poetry. And there was a reason, suddenly, to romanticize the moonlight.
The other night I chipped a tooth while biting into a pretzel and I sat, in somber acceptance, staring at the little piece of evidence that my body was trying to tell me something. The space between your ribs is intercostal. I have memorized all the bones of the human body because I need to look at human beings as skeletons and flesh and muscles and veins because if I don’t everything becomes too complicated. Everything becomes too real. When I see humans for what they are — just hunks of meat with misplaced emotions — I can breathe easier. I no longer feel like I have to save everyone’s lives. The first time I dreamed of Mitsuyo dying I couldn’t sleep for weeks. When I told her why I couldn’t look at her anymore I was fourteen years old and she just held me and cried, too. What she knew and what I didn’t is that she was going to leave me months later. Sometimes, the body knows so much more than you. Dreams can become reality. The way I wanted so badly to wear all of my jewelry the morning before I left for school makes me feel that somehow, my body knew my house was going to be robbed before I did. Sometimes, your dreams try to tell you things that you can never figure out for yourself. On Saturday morning I woke up with my journal splayed over my chest, with the words: “I think you’re right. This is all just misplaced energy. Maybe I shouldn’t smoke a cigarette with you” written on a blank page in sloppy handwriting. Underneath, I had written a note: Shinji. Remember this in the morning. This is going to be so important one day. There are so many things. So many words. I don’t want skin as much as I want my vowels to be touched, my consonants to be traced.
People take up each other’s air. Oxygen mingles. Carbon dioxide interweaves. We breathe into each other and everything is the color of what we exhale and I can no longer differentiate between two people. But all I want is that space. The purity between flesh. The virgin intercostal area between your ribs. What I want is for someone to hold me over coffee, to charm me with language, to talk me into their history so deep that I don’t want to escape. Skin is so shallow. Touch is not the intimacy that I want, and I don’t know how to put that into and out of words. I just want to lay here, with the boy that I trust, and not have him kiss me. All I want is a bedtime story. All I want is for someone to give me as much as they ask of me.
Words about She
Her hand falls onto my chest and sends currents throughout my body as if she is the single raindrop disturbing the ocean. I wait for her to open her eyes but she doesn’t. She is the kind of sleep that dares the sun to pull her eyelids open and yawn into the sticky air. She is reckless, tempting natures fluidity and weaving thoughts into my fingers, inside my wrists until I can no longer stand the itch. Her mouth unties the knots and loosens the stitches holding me together, effortlessly pulling me apart. I bleed in her lap and she thinks I’m softer than her feathered pillows and so she grabs me, holds me until my head faints in the crevices of her collar bones. We are small with a big heart in our lungs, rummaging for the breath that won’t give in to releasing. Our arteries suffocate as we feel time slipping in-between our legs, her crescent moon-shaped spine. She is my midnight hammock, hanging me above a hell — melting dreams onto my tongue ‘til I speak of sloppy desires. She kisses like a one-night-stand and loves me like an abandoned child. Her veins are made of elements I don’t know the names of. She is my rocket fire, the language I like to listen to. She is beautiful.
Let me crawl inside your veins, and surface hindered entropy. I have known sadness for far too long, that the image of the man I’d marry, seem to have a cloak and a scythe. I fall deeply into the void of your shallow eyes. Where dreams would drop into a bottomless abyss and never seen again. You take hope within its capture and crush it with your callous hand. I am famished, I hanker for your melancholia. The sorrowful sonata that radiates your aura, where violins and cellos follow you around to inspire your dreary facade. You write about the dark silhouettes of the people. And how they slip away, by slashing their names on their wrists and arms. You said that they know wisdom, than those who scurry time on old dusty libraries. I don’t practice Santeria, but you keep a lock of my hair under your pillow. Maybe that’s why, I can’t stop feeling you around me.
Out of the labyrinth
prompt: write a short poem or a bit of prose about your URL or any of the URLs you’ve had in the past as if it were a character.
Sittinbuddha thought she was so smart, until she walked through an iron gate wrought in vines and roses. The garden on the other side was luscious and green, brimming with flowers and fruit so bright and fragrant she had only seen their like in her dreams.
She walked through paths and danced through orchards so far and for so long, that in the end she lost her way, and with the sun quickly sinking below the horizon, she discovered the garden wasn’t really a garden, but a labyrinth.
With no light to guide her feet, Sittinbuddha staggered and stumbled forward, but try as she might, she couldn’t find her way out. Cold, hungry and scared, she crouched down in a corner, and was just about to fall into a desperate, sad sleep, when the Queen Fairy of the Garden appeared before her.
“What the fuck are you doing, sleeping in a corner? Get up!” she said.
Sittinbuddha was startled, and couldn’t reply. She just looked at the Queen in wonder; at her gown, made of spun sunlight, and at her eyes, bluer than the deepest ocean.
“What the hell is wrong with you girl?” the Queen asked her, hovering over her.
“I’ve lost my way in the labyrinth and I can’t get out,” Sittinbuddha managed to say.
“Pffft,” the Queen scoffed. “That’s impossible. How can you get lost inside something you yourself built?”
Sittinbuddha looked at the Queen, puzzled.
“This shithole?” the Queen said, sweeping her arm across the surroundings. “This is your place. You made this, girl. You wanna get out? Fucking own it!”
And so it was that Sittinbuddha understood. She got up from her corner and approached the Queen, who looking pleased with herself and with the girl before her, raised a hand to offer an enthusiastic high-five, before dissipating into the chilly night air, leaving Sittinbuddha alone in the midst of her own labyrinth.
About the warrior writer woman in you.
She had to hide her true self away. Had to pretend she was a good girl, vanilla and half dead. Pretend she had no need of soul and spice, pretend she had no knowledge of the pleasure and pain brought on by bumping uglies and babies. Smoke it away, run away, drink it down, pretend, pretend, pretend.
It is possible that her only imaginary friend was herself.
Imagining that she was able to love herself into a life she wanted to create. Imagining that she was more efficient, cleaner, happier, more stylish, healthy, beautiful and great. She is all of those things now we imagine.
Regardless, they equipped her with broken tools and blunt objects and then said “fight” and she did, dirty and bloody and hankneyed and always against herself. There is something here in her words and stories too, in this, the written world that she can control. This is the only thing she can control and your opinion is lost on her.
This is not a collective creation, she does not want to collaborate. She wishes to breath life into the sleeping beauty inside of her. Thanks anyway, lame literary prince charming. You with your bipolar pride, thanks anyway, this is her life literary life, her words and ideas, her characters, and she owns them and she will kill them if she needs to.
Killing them will be easy, it’s loving them and letting them live that will be hard.
She saw a goddess, they only saw the moon. She reached high, and tried to take all of the stars that sparkled at night. Instead, she accidentally, pulled down the velvet sky It draped her, like her own sadness. She let it encompass her soul. She was used to dark, heavy, things blanketing her. She climed trees in hopes of being closer to the birds. She would whistle to them, a tune, unheard to anyone but herself, and the nature that surrounded. The month of May arrived, and bought with it, grey, supulchural storms. Mean, angry winds. Cries, calling down from the dusty skies. she saw it as May being a bad month for the earth, and instead of a tornado, she saw it as an elegant tragedy. Instead of bad weather, it was the earth, having a break down. It was the earth, depressed, and hopeless. But when the sun came back out. She saw it as the earth being able to cope, for a while. But, September rolled around, and, the skies became the colour of mud, and the trees began to bend in exhaustion. The air held within it, an edge of icy stillness. The earth was sad again.
In December, she dreamt of the Fourth of July. She thought about the fireworks, and imagined that the sky was actally on fire. During winter storms, she liked to think of the way she would sing Karen Carpenter’s “Merry Christmas Darling” while the heat of summertime, weighed her down. Everyone thought it was an odd thing to do, which is exactly why she did it. When the snow piled high, upon the ground, she thought of it as sugar. She liked to believe that, the earth was trying to make life sweet. But, the sugar only melted, in the hot water of the world. It dissolved. The world, was the solvent, and the earth’s sugar, a hopeless solution. She felt sorry for the earth, how nothing ever worked. Nothing cured the madness. Nothing cured her abrupt break downs. She felt very much connected to earth. The rain, tears. The wind, screams. The heat, anger. The cold, sadness. She always thought that, because nightime was dark, and silent. It was disliked, exactly for those reasons and that, is why everyone slept when it arrived. But, daytime was bright, and noisy. Bees buzzed, and car engines hummed.That is why the world was alive, and seemingly unstoppable, during the day.
On windy days, she liked to close her eyes, and breathe, deeply. It was thought, to only be wind. But she knew that, she was filling her lungs, with the earth’s screams. The coldness within it, its sadness. The strangeness, her imagination.
What We Learn Along The Road
Along the Road, there are many adventures to behold. Many lessons to be internalized. Many that cannot be conceptualized in succinct sentences. And among these lessons is the one about regret.
Everyone has something they wish they could take back or an unanswerable question. Because all the explanations and solutions in the world holds its undesirable factor. The one detail that breaks the deal or makes the hard place just a little bit too hard to move the rock.
It’s the question of bewilderment: “Where did I go wrong?” “How could I have made a mistake so drastic?” “I was so careful.”
Except we never are. We just do things. We’re people. We learn the hard and unapparent lessons by the cuts and scrapes on the Road.
Like learning to avoid low-hanging branches at all costs. Because, depending on the time of year, either snow or parasites will fall down the neck of your shirt.
Or how hard it is to sleep when you’re waiting up for a call from the loved one on the Road. Waiting for the call and voice “I made it.” That one is not a hard lesson, but it is essential.
And finally, when to save something. A birthday card. A dollar. A granola bar or a friendship.
These are the hardest lessons to learn, because there are no re-runs. No take-backs. No fighting the ultimate December feeling after the “maybe-right-maybe-not” final call.
We can only listen to the echo after the November. And hope the Road need not teach the lesson twice.
Gripping the curves of yet another lonesome road, it winds its way up and down the hollow spines of your thoughts of home, taking you through the back country and borderlands of tired memories, but you find a way to soldier on, your fingers wrap tighter around the wheel, and you begin to understand to feel. You keep your eyes open and your wits close at hand, never really knowing where you might land. A lonesome road often hugs you when you get backed into the dusty dirty corners of the past, you get caught unprepared for what you sometimes find, but that’s okay, it’s not a bad thing because it gives you perspective, and sometimes a new sense of direction, go on take a turn for the worst, what could really happen. Are you afraid of a relapse or a crash, pain is good, and revisiting it shines the light on that part you really don’t want to look at. But it’s okay really, you become reacquainted with the past, with memories you knew from way back, that they probably would last. But they were special, moments will come and go, so we linger on, and revisit these old lonesome roads for reasons we don’t really understand, there are no road signs, no right-of-way, no time to yield into the straightaway, you just go, perhaps this is the road less traveled.
A few words that are settling on my mind right now...
Don’t you wonder sometimes what you’re doing here. What any of us is doing here. On this site I mean, or any other social site. With the exception of serious writers who are here to fulfill a need to be read or artists who desire a platform on which to display their work or exhibitionists who need to … exhibit …
I wonder sometimes, why.
I’m not bored. I’m quite busy with work almost all day long and I have extra curricular activities and outside interests (sorta) that keep me occupied as well.
I don’t pay attention to social networks as much as I used to. Though I have found some amazing writers through them who I enjoy immensely. I have a stack of books I have yet to get to if only I could find the time.
I don’t come here to write as often as I used to. I have been journaling since I was a young boy. First in notepads, then on pages ripped from loose leaf binders, then on leather bound moleskines gifted to me by professors who thought they saw something in me. I have always found solace in words.
So … what then?
Maybe I’m here for sanction, or for some acknowledgement by strangers bearing tiny hearts, that it’s okay that this boy, who would appear in real life to have the strength of zeus and his shit solidly together, is, in reality, as frail as a porcelain tea cup, with a posse of demons large enough to fill a small stadium.
Maybe they can see pieces of themselves in him, and maybe, for all of his chips and cracks, they still see him as beautiful, or at least as beautiful as they would hope to be percieved themselves.
Maybe this is the place people come to feel beautiful, even at their ugliest.
Maybe that’s why I’m here.
to the girl I kissed last night
I don’t even know how to spell your name. I gave you my number but you probably won’t ever call, I’m leaving in three months and we were all but drop-dead drunk. you said I looked like one of your past lovers but you were pure sex to me- tall and lithe and gorgeous and I wanted you, I wanted to forget everything but you.
but you don’t know so much: it was my first kiss, my first time in a club, the first time I gripped someone’s waist in passion and not for comfort, the first time lips have touched the skin on my neck, the first time someone else’s hands have entangled themselves in my hair or slipped into the back pocket of my jeans
we were high on youth, just nineteen, naive enough to think that a willing body under our hands would drive away the ghosts of the past
but I’m glad. better you, all smoke and sweat and enthusiasm, than a futile wait for romance that will never come.
It’s that heart stutter as butterflies flutter that reminds you that you’re alive. It’s the tangible tension and wantings unmentioned that sparks a special kind of desire. When you want to breach the barrier and reach across the table to grab hold and never let go. It’s the memories of messages coursing through your veins, words whispered that leave stains on your soul. It’s rereading, replaying, remembering and dreaming while wondering and wishing that you’re not diving alone. It’s the breathlessness upon a subtle graze and suddenly your skin is on fire yearning and burning for more.
It’s a connection, a knowing - a risk worth taking when you throw caution to the wind and jump hoping that someone will be jumping in with you.
Shock Of A Horror
It was one of those shapeless horrors. A mouth full of thickening eyeballs. Teeth growing out of the in and outside of its jaw. It shuffled or scuttled to move, pulling itself forwards on broken spider legs; hairy appendages like a squid going a nightmare of puberty.
It’s body was a slow-bursting pustule, forever leaking its strange liquids as it shed its skin and reformed itself from the inside out. It sweat guttural acids and it had sugary-sweet turpentine for blood. Imagine that, right? This thing’s heart beating some caustic fluid through melting veins.
It sees me and it screams. It wants to rip my guts out and splash around in what’s left of me as I drip away into the gutter. It wants to wipe its ass with my soul.
I curse myself for being a coward, for not being armed, for being anywhere near the lightless catacomb of a hotel room this thing’s been sleeping in. I wish I’d never come here, but wishing’s all but useless in scenarios like this one.
I take a deep breath, and remember the best parts of my life.
When it moves towards me, I feel shock take over.
Shock, and horror.
Smoke over Sound
My younger brother came home from work early last night. He looked like a mess: shaken, red-faced, anxiously pacing the kitchen floor. My old boss Big Frankie put him through the ringer, but my brother’s not the type of person to take the abuse quietly, like I used to. My brother told the pizza guy he felt sick, and walked right out the door.
My parents were clearly upset, but too tired to argue. They stayed in the living room and watched Top Chef reruns.
My brother asks me to drive him out to the beach so he could cool off. I jam my feet into my sneakers and grab my keys. The gas needle seems to go down a lot quicker when it’s your own money fueling the tank.
My brother reclines in his seat, blasting Tyler the Creator on his iPhone. He tells me about his girlfriend and his job and school.
“Frank’s a dick, but I need the money,” he says. “Money means freedom, supporting my girlfriend and getting weed and pussy. I need money and it’s stressing me out.”
I nod absent-mindedly as I navigate the twisting roads. The North Shore’s beaches are on the other side of town with lots of narrow roads lined with trees and secluded mansions.
The beach is empty except for three or four groups of high school kids headed out to the bluffs to watch the sunset. I recognize a chattery group of Koreans from the Prep School down the road. I remember taking the SAT in the Prep School gymnasium Junior Year of high school, anxiously standing outside the big doors as troupes of students in crisp clean uniforms marched past. The whole time I felt like garbage.
We climb the steep sandy incline to the bluff’s ledge and sit there, watching the sun dip lower and lower. My brother produces a bowl and grinder from his pocket.
I can hear laughter from the scattered groups of high schoolers all around us. The Prep School kids are gathered in a circle at the bottom of the bluff, and I glimpse clouds of smoke drifting up as they pass around what looks like a joint. One girl puts her head on a guy’s shoulder. Another group behind us erupts into laughter as a girl shrieks “Spider!”
I hear my mother’s voice in my head: Oh stop being so dramatic, you were fine in high school. I relive snippets of language from college conversations, and I hear myself say I just remember being miserable during those years. I must be awful company.
My brother takes a big hit and stares out into the sunset. Red clouds swirl up storm-like around the fiery yellow orb.
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” I say, gazing out.
The high schoolers around us begin huddling together. My brother spaces out. I look out at the little golden tracks the sunlight leaves on the surface of the water, leading across to the darkened shores of Connecticut. And suddenly, I see my own animal loneliness reflected in the Sound, murky and wide and terrible.
I let a few tears fall, turned so that my brother can’t see, and the sun’s last sliver goes under, and the world resigns itself to night.
Never put rocks in your mother's tea cup
The road wraps perilously around boulders, craters, trees, and comes to an end suddenly at the bed of a river. It is here that my mother has brought me ever since I was young. She said it was a mystical place where the water that sails over maroon pebbles can cure any dis-ease one may feel.
“The terrible road proceeding it is just a deterrent to scare off the unworthy,” she said with an air of righteous piety. The kind that sickens the stomach.
She then took some water from its kin in a cast-iron kettle and heated it over a fire until it was about to boil. My mother lifted the lid of the kettle to free the drink’s airy brothers into the sky to join the clouds. The remaining remnants were poured into a jeweled teapot filled with a mix of green tealeaves and the berries of what my mother claims to be the world tree.
She did all of this as I watched the river’s course, unchanged by what it had lost. The stones at the bottom, so red and pure like the blood of the world, hypnotized me. I tentatively reached through the water to take some in my hand. They were so smooth and soft, like gel, and I turned to put them in my mother’s tea of youth. An experiment.
When the tea had brewed long enough and my mother’s ceremony complete, she drained her glass. She signed in bliss and relaxed her body. Poor women did not know what hit her. She keeled over on the spot. Her heart stopped like a clock.
Never put tea in your mother’s tea cup.
The Onions Were Fine.
Why are people always telling us how good we look in colors we hate or how tired we look after a full nights sleep? Why can’t they just let us pass them in the hallways or stand behind them in line at the bookstore without feeling like they owe it to us to share their impromptu opinion of us?
I drove to the farm stand on the edge of town and I parked in the dirt lot. My shoes gathered dust. My hands gathered beets, onions, red peppers, dark chocolate (shipped in from the city, $1.09). My tongue was covered in the thick fuzz that comes with a hangover.
Why aren’t I as skinny as the teenage hippie working the old-fashioned cash register? Why doesn’t she have to wear make-up? Why do I care?
I set my purchase on the wooden, beaten counter top. She picks up the chocolate first.
How did that get in there? I say. I try to look perplexed. I can feel the crows feet at the corners of my eyes. They’re scratching and clawing me raw.
I try to buff the dirt off of my shoes with the back of my legs. I am sweating and now there is mud. One red pepper has a soft-spot near the bottom that I hadn’t seen before. I say nothing and let her place it into the re-usable shopping bag with the rest. With the chocolate.
Why do we always assume we’re hated immediately by strangers simply based on how we look? Why can’t I buy $10.73 worth of farm stand goodies and why can’t she just ring them up and why isn’t that just the end?
I try to walk backwards to my car so that she doesn’t see the muddy sweat streaks on the backs of my calves. I try to smile sweetly at her while I’m doing this. She is reading a magazine.
How to get the perfect summer body.
Why can’t I tear the paper from a bar of chocolate before the car is even on the road?
Why can’t I have the perfect summer body?
Nine Friends Who Deserve Love Letters
The time has come for you to receive a real love letter. Your world is one of setback and doubt. Although you see the sun rarely shine, there are still visible points of light. You need to know the light you see is shining from you.
The people around you are stealing your glow and you don’t feel the confidence not to let them. I hope you soon realize or believe me when I tell you that those moments of weakness you sometimes feel are not you, not being good enough.
When the snow outside is melting, the world isn’t ending. Don’t feel sad and don’t ever give up because you are not the winter. The sun in everyone’s sky is you. You light the way for the wretched but you do not belong to them. It’s okay to let them go because they will never love you. They will use and manipulate but do not know how to love you or love like you. Your love is a gift not a penalty.
Are you alone in there?
My mind is a cell and I am the creator of all I choose to allow to inhabit it. Inhabit; as if they ever had the choice. They didn’t, I didn’t. It is what it is, a voice keeps reminding me. And there I was thinking we shape ourselves in someone else’s image. We don’t. I didn’t. Yes, yes, we are original. Original in all our glorious resemblance to our failure of predecessors.
My mind is an empty vessel with a crack wide as the universe and everything that slips in eventually slips out. Empty. Useless. Was it supposed to be some other way? Was it supposed to have layers of things and stuff? Useless everyday epiphanies? A record of past mistakes in order to avoid them in the future? A skill set ready to guide me when needed? Oh man, me and my mind have it all completely wrong.
My mind is a concept; the eternal battle between the animal and the person that make me who I am. Should there be more? Should there not? I want you to scream with me; I don’t know all the answers and that’s ok. Scream with me, please. This black hole at the center of every galaxy reminds me of our situation: creating life and giving meaning to our reality only to have it sucked right under our feet…with mathematical certainty on top of it all.
My mind. Well, my mind is not here anymore. I drowned its voice on jin and killed its babies with airborne toxins. All hail my master; cluelessness. Clueless is what I am above all.
Am I alone in here? Can you help me find my way out? Please.
edit: ok, so i just re-read that..I am not referring to religion like at all. Seriously, please try not to read it this way.