Thursday, April 8, 2021

5.3

The hum of things, a dryer, the whole city moving and small flock of birds passing circles around a lotto sign, the billboard where they land after having danced its rounds. A generator or water pouring from who-knows-where, a gurgle below pale streaks of what cannot be taken away, a blue marked with invisible layers of telephone wires, even a blimp. 

It’s been a year since I started saying, hold on for, wait, a future is, wait, hold that lonely days will one day be the answer to someone else’s question, about what—

is unanswerable. When the nausea wears off and the fever breaks, something comes back into view. Some form, a body, music, maybe, and spins. It all spins. I feel it from my concrete balcony, behind my metal white pained fence, the eternal staircase from which I’ve imagined and imagined another me. A building happened. I still live here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

5.2

Mid phone call, approaching home, I started thinking about theology and how to name myself. Maybe what I really wanted was to study ritual and religion... maybe when it gets down to it, I’m not really historically minded... maybe I’m maybe and maybe, maybe. I stayed up watching video after video of chiropractic adjustments until I’d watched every video on the profile and said, goooodnight, along with the woman in the video, exhaling in her just-adjusted ecstasy.

We had our weekly video call and talked about websites, true loves moving to town, and who we wrote for. I imagined another meeting if we lived within reasonable distances of each other, a dinner maybe, or, if that’s too much, a dessert. Just tea. Just us, sitting around a table, sprawled on couches, leaning against a wall, all of us around on the floor. I found there was a whole lexicon of imaginary postures, each only half filled in.

Walking towards the ocean, I noticed tiny purple flowers breaking out everywhere—slivers of pinkblue, all those openings I couldn’t help but land on. Right before 1am, the coyotes joined together and screamed.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

5.1

I said that when I was vaccinated, I wanted to plan a trip to visit my friends in France, and you reminded me that you’d recently visited. After three weeks, you’d gotten sick of hearing everyone speaking French, stick their lips out and exhale language. At first, you’d found it beautiful, but you started to miss the bluntness of English. You wanted words with hard endings—like fuck.

English is like that, a language of bricks, each word overlayed, placed one on top of another. Not that I could, but I don’t want to give that up. I like the way English misses whatever it is it’s describing. The language I have is always wrong, the words pass right by so much nuance, and so to make up for it I keep piling them on, trying always to re-adjust, reframe, make another pass at it in order bring into view what is still missing.

I write with simple words because I think with them. Who thinks with effulgent or gasconade? Yea, there’s a strange wonder to these words, and maybe they could be edited in, but they just aren’t wandering around waiting to be absent mindedly picked up, slapped onto my big pile of thinking.

A website that calculates the readability of a text says that this my writing is readable for a 7th grader, a 12-year-old. The site calculates this with a combination of many different readability formulas, but each involves a similar process: calculating the average words per sentence, calculating the average length of the words used, and calculating what percentage of the text repeats words multiple times. The shorter the sentences, the shorter the words, the more repetition—or so it has been devised—the easier it is to understand.

For me, though, it’s the simplest phrases that are the hardest to understand. After writing and writing, coming up with theory after theory, I was struck by the sheer force of it when my therapist clarified things for me: I miss you. I keep trying to make it more complicated than it is, turn language into some kind of netting, a gauze to place over a wound.

Somehow, complexity seems to mean that something of real importance happened, that the truth could be intricately described—and it could—with thin slices of salami, underripe pear, pork strewing in the pressure cooker, sandals left open and turned over, all that was sweet right before the end. I’d rather turn to that surface, a photo of my countertop with long shadows pulled across the kitchen wall, than sit, silently, with the weight that rests on my lap.

the missing,     the missing,     the missing,     the missing…

 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

4

My whole life I've felt I was doing something wrong. The unlivable world, the not knowing, the ability to fake it being the skill I wish I could let go of. You can be anyone you want, I know. But to be everyone you are -- the parting of leaves, the loosening of the grip, the pulsing gaze into the kitchen. A slip of hair is pulled behind the ear. The seagull is still there, sitting on the telephone pole behind my apartment. Back again because that's what it does. Back, because even if it was a different seagull, I wouldn't be able to notice. I have someone to turn to again. I'm still in no-time. It's still the same day. It's still march and the pink flowers are blooming. All along the boulevard.

Friday, January 15, 2021

3.2

What I say is never that, but something else. I’m walking the molten center, standing two hundred yards away, calling towards the break; Crouching on the floor with the hundreds of letters while windows rattle, screens brighten, the gyre spinning outward; Finding form in so many arms, a momentary dream of becoming a spider so as to open again with that much more, each limb only holding so much; What I say is never that, but something else; The distance of hands, a spine curved just so a chest can fit; What I’m saying is that pea tendrils can be cooked up with lemon and garlic and sit, somehow, on a plate; We fit around each other.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

3.1

We spoke, our last conversation and what we most wanted. I said, to be reached for, and you, to be returned to. Reaching has no prerequisite, it’s movement towards, extending. The approach. There’s always leaving before there’s return. Waves lapping at our ankles. Months later I went to where we’d walked, under the lifeguard tower, and sat in the sand. Some shade in the midst of everyone. I didn’t know what I was doing, then did. I’d returned and was waiting. If desire can’t complete itself, it can be an opening, a slow sweetness before all’s swept back to sea.

Friday, November 27, 2020

3

Attention is paid or given and something is exchanged in the glances that happen through wooden frameworks. Sometimes things demand your attention even when you’ve already given what feels like enough; even when you don’t want to. It’s not always mindful, but there’s always a choice, even in the face of loudness. I keep coming up with names for the sounds I hear, as though that will make them more bearable: nail guns, drills, hammers, forklifts, engines, generators, people yelling, laugher. Everything has a category and can always be described further, given an even more thorough name: a rubber hammer hitting a hollow metal frame; morning conversations happening through the windows of idling cars; rocks colliding with scraps of wood and the metal edges of a dumpster; footsteps of the last person installing cables after dark. Months ago, I recorded the sounds of next door when it was trucks moving in and out and I slowed it down, hoping to find some kind of music. There wasn’t anything there, just the same familiar abrasiveness. We search for hidden messages that say what we want them to, what we suspect but can’t prove. When I get frustrated, I do my own banging, hitting my cabinet doors open and closed so as to at least join in. Sound demands more sound, a response.

5.3

The hum of things, a dryer, the whole city moving and small flock of birds passing circles around a lotto sign, the billboard where they lan...