Monday, November 29, 2021
There’s the somethingsomethingsomething and the windwindwind, the crash of the break, the ocean that opens again and again. I know that an invitation is only that, but I moved in your direction and wrote to you, searching for the joy of a morning below jacaranda blossoms and city smog. I wanted to find the connection between the way your lips opened reading the word you and the way description kept slipping off. The more I missed you the further away we became, and so I started writing to you again.
We fragmented ourselves into scraps of color torn into smaller and smaller pieces. Digital noise or confetti or grains of rice. We talked of metaphors falling off the table and the specifics of our not-yet-garden. We needed a new city to have planter boxes, irrigation, squash blossoms and lemon cucumbers in golden light. The city remade itself many times, and each time I moved it moved with me and each time it moved I'd drop whatever was in my hands. Still no garden, but spring came and in the sweetness of warm wind there was only a chain of springs. A whole season of forgetting.
Pulled along by the wind, the water grew closer. Subtle movements and the possibility of an opening. Let’s go to the going and make something of the sound of opening mail. I sat in the small piece of shade I found and watched the shadows flicker as though they could finish my sentences. The breeze passed through us and the leaves shook and language opened, unfurled like daylong time-lapses of houseplants or an anemone closing upon contact with a finger, outstretched. I spoke to you even when I knew you couldn’t hear and looked towards you even when all I could see was a pale blue wall. I turned from the sea and walked back to the stairway to return my own gaze, thinking I’d notice a presence or feel my own ghost. Each time I noticed the grasses quivering they’d stop, suddenly still.
I dreamt of it twice and remembered it countless times. There was you and me and the thing between us I couldn’t figure out. It kept moving, shifting the way what’s just forgotten does when memory goes chasing after it, unsure of its shape. I brought myself to the edge of the water so you could join. I walked down the narrow line of stones you’d laid out, danced on them, that little stairway, and continued the descent. I even thought for a moment about taking you up on your offer of going back. But who could do that? We both knew that wouldn’t happen. Besides, that’s not how forgetting works. From that edge what had been the morning’s fog resolved into the faded hills I knew lay before the sea.
Thursday, November 4, 2021
From loneliness a strange curve downward, from a place where all that’s left to do is turn from the world. Friends, we made a pact. We said, New York if nothing else. New York if nothing, and if nothing, let’s make everything of what we have together and the things that keep falling out of our way, feel further than they should be, the distance that keeps being drawn again and again. I want to say ink, say pencil, say thin line of graphite drawn around or a small line of salt poured around a home, a line of peonies to indicate something which was never spoken, a wanting-begging-searching-hoping-for. See the back of this page? I thought I’d be living there but it never happened, hasn’t yet—I still have to write it all out, can’t make understanding unfold into the shape of forgiveness, still have to sit in the morning sun on the back porch, find specks of white paint stuck to me. These days I need to remind myself to drink water, brush my teeth, eat some food before the next meeting about making a wormhole out of here. Writing is the strand that walks across the void, the somethingnothing twine of waking up too early and being unable to go back to sleep because it’s garbage day or someone’s drag racing down the boulevard. Writing is the place I asked to be everything and learned it could only be that: words and words. What’s the problem with reading that someone else has the same problem as you? That you have to accept it as real. I don’t want that; I’m a sucker for denial, which might be what this whole process is for me. One of unraveling the strings to accept the beating body and the whole world inside that can’t stop and must be tended to. What shape is that? A loosening. Language being gratitude, air.
Green and green, imagined forests and walks around campus, fantasies of collaboration and struggle, reading for hours, reading until language: green, outside: green, body: green. Growth is an opening I step into to become a follower, knowing how to lead is not knowing where I’m headed, a way of trusting the path that the body makes of itself, figures. Green and green—and behind that more doors, more hands keeping the knives away, more reasons to peer deeper into the space intuition makes, unfurling like a fern over a matter of days. Language becomes a little smoldering pile, marked up with pencil and folded twice over. This week a book of essays kept me at a distance. It’s so hard to stay there, the distance of interest, of curiosity. I want the disorientation inside the crystal ball of it, to covered in the thing. I want the depths of the insides to spill down pages and drip across the spine, onto the floor. Why go if we won’t let some part melt along the way? Why walk if we can’t pause and look down at all the little black pieces of gunk on the sidewalk and think—gum or sap or trash or shit or what—and then keep walking, keep going and still write it down.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Compelled to write like walking, like grey on gray, an invitation to look at the moon and imagine who else is. What’s the still-falling-apart in the ours of muffled guitar? I stopped writing because I didn’t want to be read, stopped for a moment because I didn’t want to mistake writing for that other thing: packing up a life into a few cardboard boxes, wrapped up for a final leaving, and going off, somehow, still not alone—or not that, just thinking it, writing about it in the same place as ever, same week leading up to charcoal darkening the sky, hot pot, a late night screening from the guy who said young people don’t make experimental films anymore. I was pissed about that. I plugged in headphones for the rush of the ocean or the memory of it. Should have said something among all the drafts and drives to the water, feet first in a slow pour. How to keep going there, those people who can walk that edge with you, can look out from a bedsheet and concrete wall pixelized into speech, can make an ours of that. Careful, we closed it off because of rockslides, deep tunnel into half the movies we never saw but were told to. Reformat. We wrote it again; clicked and clicked; played it back from the beginning.
There’s the somethingsomethingsomething and the windwindwind, the crash of the break, the ocean that opens again and again. I know that an i...