Friday, June 11, 2021

11

There are photographs and miles of thread, a needle pushing tiny divots into paper, a vial of blue ink and a video of the sky. Each morning the birds call out into nothing and a huge swath of blue fabric is made out of an endless gray. There’s a geometry that phone calls make, that people do, hands cradled inward, head tilted up, then down, then up again.

Lemonade. 

There are idling cars and cigarette smoke, a man in a dark brown suit leaning on a crutch, a cappuccino pulled close and a gifted tote resting on a bench that’s too short. The birds call out into nothing, tiny bits of concrete are swept off the street, and a seagull appears on the same telephone pole. There’s a space that men make together, gently leaning away, unmasked. A police helicopter flies above, then a seagull, a speck, moves westward.

Lemonade, he says, standing up without assistance, adjusting his belt, and joins his friends for a smoke.

Friday, June 4, 2021

10

Still me, this Friday, getting back into writing like it’s some last resort or the first thing I’ve ever done. And why write anyway? It can’t simply be because not writing is so bad—because quite frankly there are times, again and again, that I disappear from writing. It’s a pendulum, a wave turning into itself only to turn outward. And when I’m out it’s a relief, that not checking in. But it’s a relief that pains me, there’s something that cuts deep about being relieved to not get so deep with myself. There’s another depth there, a doubling of depth and an incapableness to it. When I don’t voluntarily go to the depths, the depths of me rise up to tell me that their hurt by that. The ocean within me that wants to be explored—and it’s the place that I’m always at, because it’s also always me. Agnes Martin says:

We do not ever stop because there is no way to stop. No matter what you do you will not escape. There is no way out. You may as well go ahead with as little resistance as possible—and eat everything on your plate.

Sure, I can keep passing things by and writing with other things. There are plenty of other metaphors that I can use to avoid actually writing: walking, singing, playing piano, reading, sitting on my back steps looking at the city in the afternoon, sitting on the same steps at night, pacing around the back lot of our apartment, going for another walk around my neighborhood, following the same streets, noticing the sparrows fluttering around outside my window and their tiny bouncing dance, standing at the edge of the river watching swallows hunting for bugs, attending another zoom meeting only to be instructed to close my eyes and think about a certain problem I’m dealing with then look to the sky and upon doing so noticing that the whole sky is overcast all the way to the sea. But isn’t it every morning here in Los Angeles? I’m woken up by the sounds of car doors closing, people laughing, and a generator giving my room a subtle persistent shake. The sun comes out around noon and it’s pale blue for the rest of the day.

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that I’ve thought of the last three years as a process of getting back to something I lost, when it’s actually been one of creating that—since the start. I’ve been in it even as I projected it out into the future as some imaginary and into the past as some fantasy to perpetually walk to, call back out to, dig up again and again. Everything is spacial, is a place, even writing. It moves as I do, from one desk to another, from computer to phone to journal to the small stack of printer paper I wrote a poem on yesterday. Lara Mimosa Montes says:

If I am not writing, it is because I may be mortified by my own stupidity. The senselessness I experience upon coming to. A cataplectic swarm. I defer, and make excuses, and complain that I need things like money and time, knowing this is not true. You don’t need a bank account or a college degree to write. But I have these things, and more. I do not, however, always have the words, or answers to the question: “What would help you now to feel more alive?”

This is what I am trying to answer, turning back to writing again and again, printing out the pages of a blog and making them into a hundred tiny books. I don’t want to wait so much anymore.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

9.2

In my dream we always kiss for a specific reason. Each time it’s different and happens at a different place. We kiss for what is there and for what is missing. We kiss to acknowledge what we have and what we have lost. In the dream each place is also a time, and it is all very clear and obvious—why we are doing this and what each kiss holds. When I wake up, I try to tell you this, but it is suddenly so distant. I explain that there was always a reason, but when you say, “Like what?” I can’t name anything. “We would have kissed for a piece of your hair,” I say as an example, but it doesn’t make things any clearer. All I can recall is a series of broken forms that we arrived to and that there were many reasons. We kiss each other and begin our day.

Friday, May 28, 2021

9.1

In my dream I sit at the edge of an endless desert on golden sand. In front of me the sand recedes into water. A sea opens up below a clear sky. There are two sounds: the hum of wind passing across the low dunes and the constant fuzz of waves turning over onto themselves, punctuated by the rhythm of the tide. It matches the pattern of my breath. My friends appear, swimming in the water before me. I watch them, the ease with which they float and are carried by the tide, the way their bodies twist as their heads pass below the surface and appear again, they are in constant motion.

I reach my hands into the warm sand and notice someone sitting next to me. It’s someone I know, but I can’t remember their name. They’re wearing a large green sweatshirt that's too big for them. They feel so close, and even though I can’t place how I know them, I feel an immense comfort in their presence. Their hands are also buried in the sand. The rest of the beach is empty and, looking towards the water, I see that my friends have disappeared. Someone next to me brings their hands carefully together and cups the hot sand. They reach towards me and slowly open their hands. Sand trickles onto my feet. In silence, we watch as my feet are slowly covered.

Someone wraps a black cloth around my eyes. I let them. Everything goes dark. The waves are louder now as we stand up together. I can feel their hand resting on the small of my back. We walk into the water. I reach out and feel the soft fabric that someone is wrapped in, the way it curves away from me and around their side. We walk a step further. I can hear the sound of someone's breath and for a moment I think I know who they are. I am about to speak when the water rushes in, climbing up my legs and towards my waist. Someone pulls a lock of hair away from my face and places it behind my ear.

It nears my stomach, the water, and we continue to move. It is just us in the deepening water, my blindfolded head, someone’s sweatshirted body. We are in the softest ocean or the waters of a bay. The water reaches past my chest and to my shoulders. We stop and the cloth falls away from my eyes, and everything is all bright white for a moment. I look around at all the water and the clear sky. Blue on blue. I realize then that I am alone and my head becomes so heavy. I fall backwards, breaking the water’s surface in a small crash, then quiet.

My legs rise up. I float horizontally a few feet below the surface and look up at a shimmering light. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I spin around, I dive even deeper into the water and rise up again. I realize I can breathe here, or I don’t even need to breathe at all. I want to thank someone for bringing me here, but no one is here. I want to call them or write to them, but I have nothing. I don’t even know who they are. I turn around and around, reach out in all directions, but there is only water. Only water, filling everything around me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

8

Oh, there are so many birds. Blink; Don’t blink! Surprise: Along the windowsill, slatted roof, and metal gate, the patterned concrete pillar, next door’s security camera situation, and the telephone pole I keep talking about. We’re outside, idling the car, just watching. How good it is to make a stop out of joy.

The vines in the living room curl back into themselves while pulling away. Every day a whole life happens in mumbled words and I hear fire on fire, the sky the sky the sky. Here at home, I keep preparing for what’s already happened.

I wonder, with the air conditioner installed, will they come sit above my desk, even closer?

Thursday, May 13, 2021

7

a language of holes, the absence of stone, a patchworked fabric of clouds, dappled grey omen, beams of light, reflections off a passing planes, an answer: a language of openings, a series of concentric circles held together by the wind, the slightest breeze catching on, getting caught up on the fear of falling, finding old notes: a language of possibility, that mixed-up grammar breathed into the air, broken out of, the openings we find, weekend trips, hikes through fields of mustard flower, the smell of persimmon muffins: a language of awakening, descending, each utterance a step down a spiral staircase made of birch, then redwood, then cedar, towards the same room with the invisible door, the small pile of stones, the tiny specks of purple underfoot, an afternoon nap: a language of not showing up, the absence that is made again and again, receding, tide pools and the sea, black ink, a small river of lights, a dream of arriving: a language of unfurling, the thousand-colored fern, the history we have together, walking through a family home, ropes unraveling, spicy fried chicken, internet radio in an hour of traffic: a language of waiting, asking for more, needy dogs, secret dates, leftovers on the second shelf in the fridge, trout roe, birthdays, quiet streets, frames broken just after coming together: a language of constellations, photographs, the memory of an afternoon sitting on the park, leaning towards each other, sitting alone on the grass, the wailing wind, the deep current, imagined wolves: a language of summertime, the same unravelings, new t-shirts, a wobbling ice tray, cancelled plans, missed calls, errands to pick up hard drives, seltzer, hugging goodbye twice, the smallest opening in the clouds: a language somewhere

Thursday, April 22, 2021

6

Quiet, no sound save for paper run along by this birthday gift. “Let’s stay here,” says my therapist and so, I make a pact to again come back empty handed, for what is asked for is an emptying of pockets, of a closet in someone else’s room named mine in the three tree home.

How to learn to follow a quiet shadow the thing in there that makes a place of a little field above the sea.

Walk a little closer, say, “No more,” then walk slowly back again.

When I was afraid, language was not there for me. There are edges that need tending to, missed calls and summertime peeking out somewhere. There isn’t any future, I have to remind myself, no next year, save for the promise of more wind, water lifting itself over and over again, pen and ink and word, pant pockets lined with secrets, notebooks filled with what can’t be held.

Wait—there is still something left to be said.

11

There are photographs and miles of thread, a needle pushing tiny divots into paper, a vial of blue ink and a video of the sky. Each morning ...