Friday, April 25, 2014

Moving Day, Clean Your Crevices

So I reap the habits/habituations/habitiations/bibiations of the lives I built hazy in my recollect. Fear me. These dusty whiskey bottles my hollow marrow, these crumplescrawl pages my stained skin, these fossilized cigarette butt my teeth.
Nostalgia drunk pulls my puppet skeins and I lurch but a jerk underneath.
The sun is blooming in all the wrong ways, the roses setting all the right, contained nature hosting a cabaret in noon drag.
I exculpate fractures in architecture I did not birth. I regurgitate affection on the linoleum I ate away. Here to consume the domesticate I did not use the satisfaction of teeth. Of truth. The slow slobber of bittersweet puddled my shape into the beige. Perfect geometry of my armspan pours the dances I sieved around these corners in the dark. How do I explain to the confines of the bedroom what it will no longer embrace in negligence?
Too much has folded. The biology of nostalgia is such that renders inert when the flaps are folded, discounted breathing, comatose hysterical.
This is too many tenses for what I am to be.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The thing about this feeling. This way this feeling, or of feeling. The thing about this is that everything becomes poetry. Or was always already poetry. Blows up.

You are oscillating so hard, so desperate, that you force everything to resonate with you. Like there is the truth. And there. And also there. Suddenly everything means. Or something.

You read Ariana Reines and weep openly. Bukowski takes a crack at you and you are still going. Untitled sonnets. Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. An enraged Facebook post. The Sunday weather report.

Is this artifice or is this everything. And/or all of the above. You don't even want to hear the word anymore, but you can't escape everywhere. Mayhaps.

Open another book. Start again.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hello, space.

Space that is mine, at least in the digitally profiled sense. Space that may or may not actually be me, in the same sense.

It is strange to be here, not just because I have not been here for many months (though I haven't not even a backward glance), but because I've just taken this strange trip down other spaces I had like this one, except before. I would say it was a trip down memory lane, but I neither remember writing most of the things nor have I actually ever stopped living them.

Eventually I stopped laughing and realized that I have a lot to say to my 2005 self. Or very little. Mostly I think just a slow, sad nod. An acknowledgment that ten years are not going to change the type of feelings she/you/I had/have/are having.

Only now she/you/I have to be careful about so many things. And people fake laughter more, but whether or not you want to learn to tell the difference, that's up to her. And you won't eat quite as much Pocky when I am a "grown up".

Don't ever forget what she/you got from the people you love most, but not all of them will stay by your side. There will be many new awesome people. Just figure out how to deal with letting them in.

On the plus side, wine.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A father passes by slowly on the street outside. He is teaching his young daughter how to ride a bike. No, a trike. She is very young. She is a chubby little sprite with dark hair and dark eyes. The kind of child thing that always makes me think of me as myself when I was a baby. I have a picture of myself as a baby on my fridge. I'm not sure why. It was the one put in my high school senior yearbook next to my "grownup" photo, and I just kept it.

I wonder if I need to remind myself sometimes that I was a baby. My mother said I was a good baby. That she would come into my room in the middle of the night over and over to check my windows and make sure they were locked because I was such a beautiful baby that she was sure someone would come in and steal me. I have seen prettier babies but I am too much like my mother not to understand her and to know that I would check my baby's windows over and over again.

The father and his daughter are stopped in my driveway. She has fallen again. I have seen them pass by  for the past three days, and always she has fallen in my driveway. I wonder if it is dangerous. She does not cry, but it takes her a while to pick herself back up. He smiles at her. I think. She smiles back too, I think. I guess at this because I have taken off my glasses. The world is painted in watercolor and vision strain.

They continue on. I wonder if they will be back tomorrow. I pretend they will, even though I will not be there to see them. She will fall again. She will not cry, and he will help her back up. They will continue on. I try not to think of myself as a baby, myself with a baby. A baby with dark hair who is very serious and does not cry often. A baby who pretends to read to herself.

I have half a dozen tabs on my browser open dedicated to freelance writing. I try not to think of those either. They are reminders of what I have and have not gotten done today. I am not sure anymore what falls into either category. The world blurs. I had gone into my office and opened the window to sit at my typewriter and smoke furiously on my last cigarette. I sat with my fingers at the stanza of a half finished poem and did not type anything. I realized that  with the window open the sound of frantic keys bashing would be loud. Too loud for the neighborhood street at late afternoon, when the leafblowers have finally been laid to rest. I do not want to scare the little girl on her tricycle.

I decide instead that the poem is finished, that I am finished for today. Instead I turn back to my computer, the life of the endless screen. I open up another tab. I start typing again.

It's like pedaling on a stationary bike that has one too many loose bolts. A hesitation, an uncertainty, the drive to move even though I'm not sure where I'm headed. Probably nowhere. Maybe to a sudden halt, or the ground. Maybe unexpectedly forward. I don't have a pitch or a cover letter or even a short bio to attach to today. Or yesterday, or the day before. Perhaps tomorrow, but not likely. Tomorrow is back to the long day with marked hours, the day filled with people and determined small talk and cash and credit changing hands.

There is laughter now, echoing from somewhere down the street. Maybe the little girl. Maybe another family come out to play. They are everywhere and nowhere, leading lives on the other side of my window, in their houses and mortgages. Leading lives on channels I'm not tuned into. I don't even own a TV.

There's another blank page lying in wait just ahead, and I don't know what's at the end of it. I don't even know if there is an end of it. I live in the age of endless scrolling, of infinite browser tabs. Hyperlinks and media, always on to the next best thing. Or at least the next thing. I open up another browser tab. Split the difference between two blank pages.

I check the driveway before I close the front window. Empty. But everywhere everything is superimposed. A trike tumped over. A baby that hasn't existed for twenty odd years. Tomorrow's time card. And again.

I lock the window. I go back and check it again, just in case someone is trying to steal me. No one is.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Calm of Cleaning // The False Coin of Domesticity

When I must be by myself but I cannot stand to be with myself. An attempt to subdue, to tame my surroundings, as if polishing into line could make them feel more right, more like mine. Slowly I edge things into their rightful places, and try not to think about what rightful place might mean.

I let my mind run feral. I have tried to soothe it, to sink it into mindful dishwashing or sculpting a poem with thought-words. But it growls. It snaps. It threatens to run me over with chaos. So I let the leash go. I cannot make myself consider what this means, to witness almost helplessly the constant fluctuation between tidy and shambles. To be wiping the coffee stains off the counter for the 1,058th time. Two days from now it will be the 1,059th and there's nothing wrong with that.

But I can't shake that for a substantial handful of reasons my time to make this place a home has passed, that I'm just biding it here now. And as this liminal occupation of space stretches bigger and bigger, it mounts into more of a frustration, feels more and more like a waste. Even though I can't remember, or don't know, what it feels like to be on either side of the threshold, I've been sitting here for so long.

I fold another shirt. Put another book back on the shelf, Creative Mythology by Joseph Campbell. What does it mean to want a home. Dishes go in the cabinet. It is everything about the space and nothing. Take also into consideration sharing it with another human being, one who has an entirely different set of feelings and non-feelings for this same place, and the potentiality of a new one. Empty the dustpan.

Cleaning makes me feel better, and also worse. Like I am tricking myself, it's all a big lullaby. One day mabye I will tame my taming, turn procrastination into zen. That day is not today.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I implode a space. Construct. The only thing living inside this space is myself. The human fallacy. Arrogance of environment mutation. A roof, then walls, then airtight gaskets. Perfection. We breed our own bacteria in a closed environment. I exhale my own shit. My taste buds have adapted to attune finely to denial. My tongue still thinks air is empty space. I hold my breath for as long as I can and do not correct it.  Skin is falling apart every second. It's a habit. Not to be wasted, we decant it like fine wine. We plate  it and spear the flakes on the tiniest of toothpicks. I compare the vintages of myself. None is better. I have an infinite supply. You walk around like you invented circles to pace in. I try not to think of the bottom of your shoe. You hoard my skin there.  I have decided to forgive. My heart still thinks forgiveness is empty space. I hold my breath for as long as I can and do not correct it.  Silence. Another human fallacy. I touch my skin with my skin. Can we remember it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why We Write

You know, I enjoy browsing the community of creative writers. Well, you know, some parts. I like to hear the stories and worries and successes of writers I like, and even writers I don't, or don't know. Then occasionally I'll read something like this article in the Huffington Post by J.J. Colagrande, "The Agony of Creative Writing". And I just can't help but roll my eyes.

Because it's not that it's not true. A writer's life is more than nine times out of ten not the most profitable one in the world. And yes it can be incredibly difficult to find your audience. But... duh? I feel like I've read this exact article dozens of times before. There are more readers! There are more (way more) writers! But the readers read short easy to consume things!  But I'm confused on the whys and wherefores of this transmission of information.

To what audience is this article directed? Other writers? Because I feel like anyone that's dipped so much as a toe into the field is well aware of any to all of these points. And those who have gone to school for Creative Writing have definitely encountered the blankly enthusiastic / enthusiastically blank stares in response to their answer to "So what do you do? "followed by "Oh so you're going to teach?" possibly having to endure the sniping of more "practical" minded family members about how are they ever going to support themselves writing pah. So they know.

Is it directed at readers, alerting them to the plight of the intrepid yet piteous writer? But are their attention spans even long enough to get through the whole article, much less inspire them to pick up and consume some literary work of several thousand plus words-- not even mentioning things like (gasp) metaphor.

I support bringing attention to the plight of writers, I guess, I'm just not entirely convinced that there is a plight? Am I aiming my writing towards the "masses" or the "choir" of other writers? Maybe I don't know, and is that a problem? (For every article I've seen that's exactly like Colagrande's, though, I've seen at least one and a half more lashing out at how insular and incestuous the writing community is, so I guess it can be considered a problem, at lease in some eyes. Everything can be considered a problem though if you're trying hard enough. So there's that.

"But writers knew this, no? Creative writers [hopefully] understood that they were entering into a life of constant rejection and stiff competition; no money for a really long time; an arduous and lonely process of creation and revision that never gets easy; a lifestyle where no one cares if they ever write again; a world where everything gets in the way of writing, including those who love and support them the most; plus, the wackiest business on the planet -- publishing -- gutted by the digital age, where networking appears more important than creating, where writers exhaust themselves promoting work, if lucky enough to find a publisher and agent. Writers understand a minute fraction of adults who read are tuned into the literary arts, yet they carry on. They've learned firsthand that "luck" and "who you know" often trump talent and effort, but they carry on. And they comprehend that the literary arts are drawing the small stick in the reading revolution, yet so what. Like Charlton Heston with a shotgun, you can yank the keyboard from their cold, dead hands."

Ah, do I detect a hint of snark there, Colagrande?

I just am really not sure what this guy is trying to tell me, or what he's trying to tell other people about what my life is like, or if he's trying to tell me about what my life is like?

Do I appreciate this support? Even if it feels a little underminey? If I'm being mocked, either he's doing it wrong or I'm doing it wrong.

I don't really mourn the fact that people, my peers, who were never going to voluntarily pick up a book anyway are gluttonizing Twitter and various newsfeeds. Yes, it bogs down my own consumption of the wider text-based world sometimes, but I'm not writing for them. I was never writing for them, and I will never aim to. Nor, on the other hand, will I force their faces into my writing as it is, for all of our sakes. My writing, hopefully, does not differ for my audience or lack thereof-- my explanation (if there is one) very well might, but I try to keep original generation as an entirely separate thing. I, for one, am reading other creative writers, some kind of on the far-out end of the branch. They can write for me if they feel like it, or if they don't, or if they don't care. That's fine. I'll be here to read it. And that in turn inspires what I write. Which they may read. Etc. I am absolutely okay with all of this cycle for some reason.

Point is, this really isn't the kind of article about the struggles of the creative writer or what have you that I want to read. I just want more, especially if the writer is a supporter of creative production and consumption. There's no real life being pointed to here but  lack of reception, no personality or vivacity to the so-determined soul of the writer. Except I suppose for the mental image of Charlton Heston with a shotgun. And maybe that then is his buried point? We can fight to stay read or even be relevant, but what do we lose by persisting through such desolate adverse circumstances? Character, face, spirit? Feh.

Or maybe I'm looking an honest if bland kudos too far in the mouth.

No compromise! Viva le genreless symbol of ennui!