Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Stranger (Charles Baudelaire)

Tell me, enigmatical man, whom do you love best, your father,
your mother, your sister, or your brother?
I have neither father, nor mother, nor sister, nor brother.
Your friends?
Now you use a word whose meaning I have never known.
Your country?
I do not know in what latitude it lies.
Beauty?
I could indeed love her, Goddess and Immortal.
Gold?
I hate it as you hate God.
Then, what do you love, extraordinary stranger?
I love the clouds...the clouds that pass...up there...up there...the wonderful clouds!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Listless in Leavey

I've been sitting in this library for 9 hours. I watched the sky brighten and felt my facial hair grow. My fingers are tired and I've forgotten I have feet. My skin looks pink in the dawn. The screen looks the same. Arm hair is weird.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Lifeguard

He was quite unpleasant to look at, his gills contracting and dripping strange lung fluids down his neck and chest. Sometimes the fluid gathered in his whistle and sprayed out onto his face when he blew on it. But he would just wipe the off green muck and keep on staring into the pool. The kids never asked why the lifeguard had gills. They never looked at them either. Pay no attention, mothers told their daughters. Don’t look at his neck, don’t talk about it, fathers told their sons. Just ignore it, lifeguards told other lifeguards. Everyone telling everyone the same thing: if someone has gills, pretend they don’t exist, particularly if it’s a lifeguard. The lifeguard also had 12 toes.

“Why do you have so many toes?” boys would ask.

or

“I’m here to pick up my child. He’s small, with hair, yellow hair. That’s him. Hey, you’ve got more than 10 toes. Two more than ten. That’s two too many. What’s the deal with that?”

and sometimes

“gross”

or

“that’s really gross.”

The lifeguard smiled at all of these questions. “I know, look at what I can do” he would say, wiggling his twelve toes, flexing out his gills. “Wow, that’s amazing. Look Sammy, the lifeguard can move his extra toes.” And some of the Sammys would touch the lifeguards extra toes, but some wouldn’t. “Can you do anything special with them?”
“No, not really.” The lifeguard would say, still smiling and wiggling. “But my sister likes them because there are more nails to paint. I’m supposed to have better balance too, but that I can’t be sure of, because I don’t know of any other kind of balance than my own.” “I see,” the fathers say. “You seem to be standing here just as well as I am,” the lifeguard always willing to continue conversation. “Guess so, come on Sammy.” And that Sammy would say goodbye to another Sammy. Until all Sammys and parents of Sammys were gone, leaving the lifeguard alone at the pool, to sit underwater and wiggle his weird extra two toes.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

creek

i saw you die
some day in october
that felt like august

i only see the creek at night
daytime horrors wear no veil
nighttime is generous with denial

your arm hung like a pigtail
fingers curled and calling me over

the warm red crawl down your cheek
made me think of my birthday party
i hadn't seen blood before
i wanted to see my own
i wanted to know i had some

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Don't Do Drugs

So, often times I'll take ambien to sleep. More often than sleeping, I'll not, but stay awake for the good times that ensue. And sometimes, I'll wake up with drawings all over my arms or I'll have written pages of nonsense. Of course, I have no recollection of writing or drawing, but it's sometimes nice to wake up to productivity. Last night was a productive night of nonsense. I woke up and found this on my computer. For all I know, someone else might have snuck in while I was asleep and wrote this. If that is the case, it's very very scary. But it's not. I was just really fucked up. Don't do drugs. Oh, but if you get a chance, take some ambien:

Wake up, sounds are around you; wake up; wake up. Notice the change: brighter pink lights surround the whites. The whites climb together, like volcanic cubes, slid upwards one, then down and over. The next cube, up. settled. the last cube settles and cannot consider this location. The way that pink and white might want to interact, to be and by being, melt. Melt. Melt. We melt around this madness, this tree branch. Circular swirling turns kaleidoscopic whiteness, mad precisely cut angles of varying degrees. The pieces cut, prepared, presented, to, you everyone. it suddenly opens, slicing in geometric bliss. Angles, sharp angles, make cries and bleed, Acute, Acute, tighter to beyond hope. Bleed into the air, down into a mist, so we can settle and see, for the first time, ourselves: There is nothing.

The trunks come to creak. To break and shatter, and crack the history of their lives throughout, for into this twirling orbit. there is some small pause to speak of trees, living, water, and mortality. Throw them over. Throw them out. We must be whithout them. There is always a darkness; there is no devil. But there is a devil in us when we are in the dark. There must be, we bring it in. We bring it in as one of us. Come, into the cave, darkness and devil await.

And so the bits of cubes, shattered ideas and incomprehensible firefly fight. The heat of battle melting into the snowface. Our powers give us nothing because we didn’t have powers to begin with. The snow tastes like snow, so we dance in it, on it, and, tonight, under it.

It is the snow burying ceremony. Little lines of boys and girls line up. Then those lines line up further, and further still, until girls and boys are scattered around, but standing perfectly still, as if they were in a line, which they are not. No, hello children. Gather close. Closely, I won’t harm you. Look at my toes, let them find you here. Come to them, to the toes. The snow begins to crash and crumble, something is weakening. Something isn’t as it should be, but it is doing what it’s going to do: kill every last one of us. So, children, unless you’re prepared to die, come to me. Come into my arms. They are open for you, they always have been. Come to me. Come. We will be crushed together. But we will die together, you all in my arms, and I will take you into death. And just then a fierce blue light erupted from his mouth with sounds of dozens of screaming eagles. He shoved his head into the ground, and from it the walls became flowered with orchids. The children spent some time, each able to pick the orchid of their choosing, and then went home.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Quicksand

As a child, the beach didn’t need to be understood, just scooped up and dissolved soft between my splayed and curious fingers. Sand was simple when bordered by tide, made wet and dripped into castles, sunrays undulating off the water to blind me, fingers warmed by hourglass insides or flowing silky strands draped across and off wrists— it didn’t take long to realize that feeling feels better when blinded. But those beautiful bits, the microscopic sparkles that once outlined galaxies on my palms, now surround me in infinite dunes, and I can’t help but see all grains at once. There is no water to shine or swell or save me from complexity: hope, an unreachable shimmer, a distant mirage. Something so certain, invisible, controllable, has grown inescapable, and as the damp sand-turned-muck under my feet pulls me down deeper, clings to me desperately and unsparingly, I practice not breathing, close my eyes, and try to remember what it once was like to love this thing that’s killing me.