Thursday, March 21, 2013

Texas, and Paris


It was the last weekend I spent at the Catskill home. It would consist, as it usually did, of good food, being lazy, making fires and drinking wine with my dad (and mom when she could be convinced; since he’s gone she drinks a little more for all the times she missed the fun that her tea totaling half Ukrainian side wouldn’t allow of her).  It was frigid as usual, and there was probably snow on the ground. It was the second week in February, most likely. In this one year (if one takes the year to have the seasonal parameters of an academic year, which one still does even when not in school) I had got and lost a younger boyfriend, become dually involved with one who would be there, less than 6 weeks later, sitting in the hospital waiting room while my mother and I said good bye to my father, and met my best girl friend who was, at the time, also dually involved with the very same person. 

There was nothing unique or memorable about the weekend.   I probably headed up on an Amtrak train, so soft, and warm and smooth, and expensive, or perhaps one of my last sojourns on the metro north to Poughkeepsie – my father most definitely picked me up and drove me back to the house.  I was probably later than I originally said, due to some recent late night or too many (I seemed to hit my wild streak, the first one anyway, at 29/30).  Our car rides were many and scattered across the time, and winters, and reflections within ourselves.  I always updated him on things and my track and what I was ‘trying to do’.  He wanted to help the struggle more, and wanted me to have everything I wanted. I think and hope he knows he gave me more than most.

Somewhere in between the meals and the talks, for some reason I decided to watch a film, a favourite, which I had just purchased – Paris, Texas.  Wim Wenders was one of the prophets to me since high school, and brought me to and between so many beautiful things that came into my mind, and stayed there. I had become obsessed with the soundtrack and still remember seeing the film for the first time about 7 years prior, in New Brunswick, Canada.  The people whose house I watched the film at had the soundtrack on record, and played it straight through directly after we watched the film.  I also reinvigorated a love for Harry Dean Stanton, the dirty, quiet angel, and would later commiserate via this film with my other best girl friend.  The much older man and younger, pretty Nastassja Kinski who had to speak secretly their memories, and love to each other via a cheap plastic phone in a Texas brothel, well, it summed up a lot for her, and later for me too.

My dad was not an arty type; he did not go to museums or read long novels, but most of those limitations were due to language and not interest or thoughtfulness.  He understood the more sensitive, deeper part to things like few overtly educated people did.  He learned English formally, in Croatia and in the US, and studied to be an electrician more extensively than many others born in this country had care to.  He secretly wanted to be an architect, but schooling and language and life prevented him.  It did not stop him from building and blueprinting four houses, and re-working and designing another, not too far from this last house in Catskill.  He used to say he went to bed and worked out his problems in his mind while he slept, that he normally had a million thoughts whirling and spinning between his ears.  I now understand what he was talking about.  I inherited it, full stop.  Still, he loved documentaries, especially about history, and religion, and enjoyed what he called “humanism” – to him, not a doctrine or something anti-spirit, but a concentration of human experience usually through culture and creativity – art, sculpture, music, opera…held in the utmost importance just as it had been in the Croatia that he was born into and raised within. 

We ended up watching the film together…just about all of it.  It had long stretches and a lot of inner worlds struggling to peak through eyes, and experience and some grander sense of feeling.  My mom drifted in and out of the film, and respected it all the same (oddly enough, now that she has been alone the 6 years since he passed away, she watches every art/foreign/dramatic/human film she can get her hands on, maybe to hark back to those times and the higher aspects to ourselves that he always aspired to), but it was he and I that fell into the thing. He didn’t speak much—sometimes to ask a question if a line was too soft, or to mention how Nastassja was from an area in Germany he once spent time living or visiting, or how he enjoyed the sound of Mexican trumpets (he loved Ring of Fire and loved to tell the repetitive story about how June wrote that for Johnny Cash and he added those mariachi trumpets in after dreaming of their sounds), but never allowing the experience of watching the story to not engage him.

After it was all done, quietly and vulnerably as it had played, my mom mentioned something about not really getting it (she would years later to her credit), but my dad let the credits run all the way through, and spoke with the very quiet voice he had (when I accent my voice like his or tell people about him, his Croatian voice to them usually is heard in a harsh, Slavic way – a typical Eastern European article-less speech stomping its primitive wares all over the place.  It was nothing like that.  He was the man that women loved to speak to, and felt safe and treasured around, that kids liked to smile at, that humble, hardworking people enjoyed relating to, and educated people found inquisitive and unique.  It had more of a Slavic-Italian lilt, and though broken in parts, never raised its voice unless you Knew something was Very Wrong.  It was gentle, and thoughtful and, like his mother, spoke when it had something of worth to really say).  At that time, letting the film wash over us, in the warm wine laden late Sunday afternoon at the last house he would ever build, my dad simply said “yep…that’s a real story, of things very deep, human”.  I would never see him alive (really) after leaving when that weekend was over, only in the hospital and I know that story well.  This was the last movie, and last normal afternoon we spent together.  I have geared my mind and heart and aliveness to “things very deep, human” since then, faltering on occasion, forgetting on others, but it’s always right there. Teaching me to get to the crux of the matter, and humming along with those mariachis as they echo past each story in the windy skies above.

M. Lucia

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ode to Carl Jung

Maybe memory feels artificial, or muddled or unimaginably locked away behind a pane of cephalic glass for a reason.  Maybe it’s not meant to be the thing we focus ourselves on.  That being said, sometimes we are only left with memory as we see it.  As we write the story inside the cavities, and down the waterfalls of reasons past, it can never be got rid of, unless our poor bodies fail us as they often do, making us do things we didn’t intend on or think was the direction we ought to go.  Most times memory can wake up the aliveness in us, and it should, but it only should be used in that manner.  In aiding not our capturing of the present for a future memory, wind beating itself wildly yet unable to permeate the sepia glass behind which nothing shakes or is stirred no matter the new force arriving to perhaps join it.  Memory cannot become a parallel falsehood by which we exist only half-heartedly in our lives.    There is a great and immeasurable difference between not fighting the waves -- thrashing about in an open sea when you must see where they take you-- and surrendering to them wholly, offering them up your will as a sacrifice, without care or interest in where they might take you, when your body, when left to its own weighted physicality, sinks like a stone, impermeable and smooth, to the bottom.  Sometimes there lie great treasures at the bottom, but admittedly, as many have said who have been there, it’s not all that easy to push your way back up to the top, to the bubbles of air, the light beam creatures swimming with curves and showing you the way back. 

Memory is caught in all of these places – in the dense waters that are so deep that light and texture don’t reach there, in the picture you painted in your mind to replace the one you see, is it real or is it created by you? What of us isn’t created by you? Is it one single dreamer or are we all dreaming our own tiny little corners of the proscenium and, is there an audience or are we just paddling our tiny boats alone.  One thing I am sure of, a sureness that is felt in the sinews and blood fluids and not felt by logic or fact, is that our world if you will, is exactly what we are making of it.  

It does not, however, come without strands which have been borne before us, which have a pull to more than just our selves and individual lifetimes, but it is never rooted in those strands, or rather it is the opposite – we grow down into them, into earth, dirt, connection and staying in place, but they do not pull us from the sky enough that we are helpless.  I think I really loathe that word.  I can’t say there is a personal why, but it is the case all the same.   We are not parceled and bound and sent off to sea by these puppeteers of the sky trying make a buck and make a name for themselves, no.   It is not just That.  There is also what we do with every moment and there are a million routes here, patterned invisibly in the blue water, which is not blue but a reflection of the sky, which makes us think of when we were 3 years old and we sat on our mother’s lap on a rocking chair and asked her why the sky was blue, and where the universe started and stopped, and what was beyond it and where was God and what happened Before everything was created? There was the same silence then as there is now, as one gets lost in this memory whilst sitting in the same rocking chair, in a place far from that home, looking out at the water and the waves being idled by meandering tugboats – dim golden light in rain, red and yellow and black.  They look so clean from here. 

These memories are a neverending game, and there are more of them every day – more with losses, and lovers, and mistakes.  More with regret and boredom and plan.  We can use them in all their glory no matter whether they really happened that way or we are painting them in this colour, shape and light.  The waves are formless, and we, coupled with some of the strands of our communal past, do the forming.  It is when the idea of memory distracts us from our creation that they become a wider trouble to us.  Sometimes when the boat is sinking, you drive yourself mad looking for all the places where there might be holes.  Doesn’t stop it from sinking, and maybe the thematic understanding of why it sinks is more important than the physical one.  Paranoia sets in.  And then we are lost to fear and loneliness.   We must never let that happen.  Keep painting up to the sky which may or may not really be blue, keep walking towards the ends of the universe, for you may not know what is beyond but it can only be greater than a memory, and those ends are often reachable by sinking, by plodding, by continuing the creation of the world with which you are a part.  An indispensible part.  It is even better to not do this alone, but one memory or another will always have you with it.  You can shatter the glass and let the wind inside, and the rain, and the smelly scales of fish who cannot figure out how, in their own minds, to transform into mermaids – or better.  A thing of beauty not named, because it need be named by you.  There lies the importance, in these rows of boats, and drowning children and those unborn to themselves, memory is simply a living, breathing part of the experience of now – the four corners, the two tides, the coming and the going all at once.  It is a rocky road with a mosaic of infinite roads and no road at all.  It is liquid and it moves us towards each other and into ourselves.  The secrets to this are not yet had, but the picture of memory is only as real as we consider our moment- instant, approaching and out of our grasp.  The warm, celestial water splashes up and kisses us on the cheek and we can only look up and realize our place in the painting.  Searching for a center when it encompasses us with every detail of weather, behind every fold in our skin, and in our selves.  Oars in the water. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Celestial 81

I’m afraid to jump into the deep end from a high place. I talk big talk, and even walk along that edge, but something always stops me from taking That Leap. A fear of heights, of the unknown, of passing through the shadows, the mist getting into my skin, who I’ll meet down there, or up there, or what I’d be inclined to Do. I’m always inclined, and I have Done, but if let loose to do like that, could I find my way back with heart intact or would I just float away in the waves, sopping from my chest cavity and seaweed pulling at my legs? Would that be all bad? Would there be anyone standing on the rock, the cliff, the overhang, what have you, to wait or watch and make sure I was alright out there?

There were fewer questions once. Because, it seems, I was always afraid of this leap. Every summer, once we’d open up our big pool, all built by my father, hole dug, pool placed, small creatures saved and insides cleaned out every single year, I was always afraid the first time. I took to the water as was in my DNA to do, but the deep end was a little troubling, and more than that, the first jump off of the diving board was absolutely frightening. I eventually managed it a few times in each summer, but the first time never failed to wreck my nerves and cause an hours long scene, usually solitary, at the diving board, trying to get myself to jump in, full throttle.

The time, like many, my father was outside most of the day, as he was in summer, and most times in the year, in the place. Time seemed to go slower – everyone says that, but what makes it true? It slid and slowed into perpetual summer for me, or in the realms of mind that remember it so. No matter the season my dad was out there all the time. Around one end of land or house, or another. Some implement at work, but at Work was the key.  Actually, the key really being that he was here, creating ponds and tennis courts, and septic systems, cementing garden steps or fixing roofs or cursing at bees that were caught in the hot, dry flimsy shed structure which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy to be stuck inside in the heat of summer. Oversized baseball hat on his tiny head, the same as mine, v neck undershirt which never started out white, not that I could tell, and all manner of sweat, dirt, grime and sun on it, baking shapes and stripes into his farmer’s tan, different places in the same way. What the hell was 9-5, I wondered? Nobody in my house sure did anything like that. Sure, he went and did jobs but I’ve seen lazy housewives spend more time at “errands” in an afternoon than he did wiring schools or doctor’s houses. His job was outside, and that’s the way he wanted it.  Truth be told, I’ve become really good at staying in, but it’s not in my nature to want it that way.  Something in the air in late summer gets into my nostrils and I can’t seem to back away from it. But once it gets lost, it’s hard to find it again and again.

On that day, he was tending to his roses. To one side of the pool (which was Olympic sized – this he wanted in exacting proportions), running all down the length of it was a dirt hill. A fairly steep one at that, since there was the time my dad was wheelbarrowing some dirt (just like he knew my favourite thing was to be placed into the wheelbarrow (dirty of course) and rolled around in whisk-like circular motions, kind of like the feeling when you jump) and fell back down it and barely hit his head on the cement. He was fine, but there were a few close calls like that. It was late afternoon, the rainbow feeling of the light, and he was near the bottom of that hill, digging up weeds, and re-planting, and picking beetles off of the row of multi coloured roses and dropping them quick as a shot into the glass jars he had leaning every so often in the dirt, filled up with some blue liquid that shocked them dead.  He did all of this with bright eyes, and I am only able to see his always satisfied face in my mind, never anywhere he didn’t want to be, doing and being and striving and being challenged and creating his own world exactly as he wanted it to be.

I was still sitting on the diving board.  It had been too hot to really sit or stand on, but the sun was beginning to fall a bit behind the leaves of the tallest cluster of trees, and I was able to sit, then stand, bounce, then get off, walk around and sit again.  We were talking most of the time, but we could be perfectly silent around each other too.  These afternoons would form the patterns of the late night wine conversations, long car drives from train stations and figuring ourselves out talks with each other during my whole childhood and adult life, and during the rest of his life.  We were so alike in our silences that there was never a need for any forced conversation. We were easy like that. Embodied within our own worlds, and yet alive in each other’s. He would teach me things about what he was doing, tell stories about his childhood, and our family oversees, or just say things which seemed to drop off the dew in the trees like “over your life, you will find that you can count the truest and best friends, people who you love and who are the most important to you on one hand”.  It hasn’t failed me yet. 

We talked then- directly about my fear of the diving board and of jumping into the deep end, and how it happened every single summer that I was afraid this first time. He didn’t prod me, or push, but would work, and listen and talk about how it can always feel impossible when it’s the first time for anything. Even when the first time comes around again like clockwork.  Eventually, I expressed the pinpoints of the fear and how I was afraid that if I jumped from such a height (truth be told it wasn’t very high, but I was short in those days and not very confident in my physical prowess) into the deep, that I would drop too far down and not be able to hold my breath (which I was also nervous about since I still used my hand to hold my nose [I still mostly do in the oceans too]) and how would I get out in time? Then he said it. Matter of factly, in his soft, broken English and gentle Slavic by way of Italian sounding tone.  He either called me Mimi, my nickname, or more likely sweetie pie, which came out as sveeteh pieh…the gist of what he said being, as he stopped what he was doing, put his tools down and stood up, walking a few feet closer with the kind of intent I seemed to have inherited, that if I fell into the water or was in need of help, and he was upstairs in the window of the top floor or even on the roof of the big house, he would jump down in a second and help me.  The emphasis was that there would be no hesitation, that I needn’t Ever worry, that the fear I was having wasn’t necessary, because he was there and always would be.

I clearly cannot erase that moment from my memory bank, nor live without the knowledge of it. This, after all these years, has turned out to be a double edged sword. A bliss/curse, or something. I live to this day with the feeling of protection from my father, for many more years in my life with him in it and the five and a half years with him only in my dreams (where, incidentally, he is always young. I mean YOUNG, as a twenty year old man, in a way I have never known him to be. He didn’t live a second of his life indebted to anyone else and he is not starting now it would appear), he is there.  In the shadows or between the windy currents that blow at the top of the cliff, he is there to say this to me, and I have full knowledge of it. That’s why he was a good father, because he was there to teach me to not fear anything, at least not for too long. And he was a good man, because he was never got down, even when he was. A gypsy with two countries, many lives, the grandest of failures and creations, and a self beating that would never give up, most of all on who he was. That’s who is standing in the shadows for me, and it makes me feel very fortunate indeed. The other prong of this puzzle comes simply from where this fact leaves me now. Could anyone else in my life ever want to do that? Maybe he did it, so no one else would have to, and so I wouldn’t need that of them, and so I could do it for someone else, with the courage that he helped bloom quietly, on each of those summer afternoons when I thought it was finally time to jump off the diving board.

The sum of this equation is written in the form of a promise. I have feared and still will fear, when the height feels too high, or my confidence up or shot aside, sensitivity to light or the abyss, both outside and inside me, prevails…but promises are for people who don’t do anything, aren’t they. I have jumped. I have jumped so far I thought I’d drown, and yet I know more chances are coming, and I am going to have to take them at their word, take off my dress and leap. I don’t wait for the first days of summer, or once a year’s time to do it either. I am and will find myself out there, beyond the joviality of the summer sun, arms out twisting with exaltation, mid-air, as I catch a glimpse of his smiling, independent eyes from just around a corner from my starting point and the sea.

{Happy (81st) Birthday Da.}

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Drop

You know the smell. You don’t know the smell, do you. Why would you. The smell of the inside of the hood is like- it’s damp, feels as if the gross, heavy fabric is weighing down into your face, plodding as if it just came in from the rain, and moulding into the small creases and battered skins of your cheeks, your mouth with its arrogant pleasures, your eyes just tickling the grains of its material with your lashes, fast as a hummingbird, while you try to keep them defiantly open, so you can feel, and taste the oncoming death that has been assigned to you, assimilating its face and yours into a Roman death mask of an Emperor.  But you’re no Emperor, are you. Or are you.

How would I know about the smell anyway? I guess the answer is that dreams are real, aren’t they. The day, the night, naked in your bed or drowning at your desk in a mass of terrible grade B, blank stares barking and walking around you, not even so frightening as sharks, since you’re not dying anytime soon, your blood remains on the inside and you’re not going anywhere, are you.  Or are you.  We have all dreamed of our death, and resurrection- it’s just all in how you read it. Most people don’t read. They are all wearing various hoods of their own; stagecoach robbers who don’t want you to know who they are. Running through a haunted house in the dark and shutting your eyes…this is their life. And they love it, the poor bastards, don’t they! You ask most people to explain a daily ritual or task or some benign process (people love their processes) that they have been made to do, become, are annoyed by, and they will tell it to you step by step, with military like detail…"I have this cup of coffee like this, in this cup, at this time, with the special spoon I like to stir it with..."  [leaving out the bottom half of that, something along the lines of “when I drink the coffee, I am not there. I am slipsliding down the mud in my brain banks, thinking about how I shitty I feel when they treat me that way, how like a fat, unwanted child, how ruined in the heart the hours of my day cause me to be, the coffee, the grind, the taste, the dampness cascading and coating my throat and my wants like a hood, waiting in the dark for the switch to be pulled up, gently and completely…”] They never tell you about that last part. Talking straight up ratios: the outer life for most people is about 1:7 or 1:8, minimally, against the inner life…problem is, the inner life has layers too. Hard to rise above the chatter, into the reeds where the wind plays at them, shaping into notes, and through it sounds your own voice, your own song, the one you don’t let anyone listen to. It lies in wait, hiding under the garbage in your personal streets for you to go to sleep, and for your dreams to start. Once that film gets rolling, under the moon or the streetlight taking its place in amber, anything goes. It dusts itself off, hangs out with the whores, the ones who meld with the visiting missionaries, each teaching the other that both reading words of verse about the blooming of your heart takes its place equally alongside the want to be held at the hips, and fucked like an animal. It’s all allowed in the book. The book we are all writing inside. Some of us keep cage doors or old fashioned keys in between the pages, and the chapters...sometimes you have to close one and start anew, but- the plot is Not the story, and the story allows for all things under and over Heaven, where air becomes atmosphere and you can be all those things.  Most people don’t figure out that they can do it here, on this side of things. Their DNA, or their family histories or resonant emotional states hold them down, else some kind of religious bucket list, or one of the scientific mind, telling them they Must be This Way and live This Life, because…..they never get past the because a good deal of the time.  Swimming far out is scary. It is. There is Always another wave coming, and they use each other to build, to rise, sometimes knocking you on your ass and tearing off your protection and your sense of control. You can see them in triangular fashion, constructing empires against you, but at the same moment, your fear takes hold and something in you is elated, is excited and you can’t pretend they’re not turning you on with their majesty, and power. Dive into the middle of them, right at their heart line, and you will be ok.

She still hasn’t gotten around to changing her alarm clock. It’s been months now. She thought the sound of the waves would be a lovely thing to wake up to, but it’s a cheap alarm clock, and the waves sound most definitely synthetic, slightly static ridden, and that, along with the very manufactured click ON just preceding the sound, did not make her think of the ocean when she awoke, but simply made her thinking of the sound of the ocean as something bad, something that shook her out of her sexually supernatural dreams and told her to get up, get down on that hay coloured rug nearby and do her exercises. Her hip and ass, in tightness for some time, will thank her for it and she can continue to strengthen her center, the solar plexus, the thing that says “I need” and “I want”, along with the power that she had been feeling of late really ruminating and ascending in her hands.  The ocean instead should sink into you, surround you and let you drift off to sleep, wherein you just hear snatches of conversation, a quiet Russian couple speaking and reminding you, in some tones and words, of your parents as they used to talk each night before they went to bed, when in the bed. Your father mostly, he worked it all out when he slept. Solved the problems, created the designs and engineered the next nomadic venture.  She was glad that other than the first, she didn’t have one definitive childhood home. It made her create her own conventions and own corners to work her way around and through.  She thought this, as she sat with her own specifically ailment tailored cup of tea and whiskey at the bar, near the back. View of the door. One hooded salesman after another, reams of printing paper falling out of every orifice, each bag, rippling with insecurity and circumstance. Something like a sin about to occur at every moment. We put words and sounds on all these things and made them belong to us, didn’t we. People can’t seem to back themselves up and see that full view of the place, even for a moment or two. 

She wasn’t sure he’d be showing up. She learned to stop thinking so much about it. Sometimes she wished he would just not show up and tell her he was going someplace else instead. She didn’t really wish that, but the breath in her lungs rose too high up in her chest every time she thought the next person opening the door might be him. There was a lot of good reason for him to show up.  Many of the reasons came from his own lips, but she second guessed them the moment they left his mouth or hit the page, more likely.  She was sure of herself, and what her intuition told her and shouldn’t she be smoking at a time like this? People who smoke look a lot more levelheaded when waiting for something or someone.  Like it’s just coincidence that they happened to be sitting there, half empty glass in front of them, eyeing the door and wrapping their liquored lips around the oral vehicle of their choosing.  She felt herself, but like she had misplaced something. Not lost it, exactly. I mean, it was under safe keeping, she was nearly sure of it. But, it was as if the train was being robbed every day, and she had to re-live that every day, and he wasn’t there to tell her otherwise, or show her the big bag full up of her business, which she kindly delivered and then felt, again, as if it wasn’t invited, or needed. Just when she would give up, he would wake up for a moment out of his coma, into a half dreaming haze state, the kind where you have total and complete clarity, and show her that she should sit there, sip her drink and keep looking at the door. How late would the place stay open, she thought? Would they let her sit here all night? No word, and then so much word and flesh wrapped lovingly in the purest wool, not like the hood of brought upon death, or dream confusion or day to day defensive play.  She looked at her watch (which she kept in her bag, since she didn’t wear one – didn’t like the ticking against her skin and wrist pecking at her pulses and reminding her of someplace else she should probably be).  She didn’t know if he would ever show, ever Really show, or send the other guy again in his stead. She didn’t know just what it was he needed her to be there for, but something told her it was big, and that it mattered more than the words he used and could say.  At least she liked to think that.

She ordered another tea, without the tea this time, and smelled the sweet and dark scent of it moving down her throat. It built protection over the dampness of the execution hood. Now that she heard herself say that in the inside voice, the only one that seemed to flourish, she wondered if we had a choice in the matter, of the death and its manners. We can wear the hood that cuts us off from the pain, the struggle, the depths and the secrets that forced us (or so we think) into that electric chair (or whatever mode you prefer), or we can wear the hood, drier and more constant, as the executioner himself. Mask our weakness and individuality for a moment, and let that ax fall of our own will, as we both bow down to it and ride it, like the tallest, most formative and looming wave coming at us in droves, and whether it takes us down for a spell or dissipates into a low tide of level foam, we are our own executioners and we can choose That over night after night and day after day of the switch banishing us into the darkness of our own fears, about our selves, our wants, our contradictions and our divine likenesses, blood gushing from our loins, excuses bearing down as our heads roll, we shit ourselves, think our last dirty thought and perish. That, though, is when we open our eyes. Alive, and free. Our executioner’s identity safe from our knowledge, he recesses deeper back into us, probably to visit one of our livelier whores, right after she finishes her next chapter and changes her undies again.

"I am free right now”, she says out loud in a quiet voice. “Nearly”, she says to the inside walls again, as the whiskey disintegrates the forms of her ice and she makes it knock quietly against the sides of the short glass. She wonders if he will be wearing his hood, and if so, which role will he chose to play in the end.  Condensation forming upon the front window, a shadow moves just outside, and the door creaks open, bringing with it the slightest taste of a salty ocean breeze. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fighting Cock On The Rocks, in Seventeen Minutes on a Sunday Night

The glass of the window showed her the same exact picture every time she closed in on it. Colours of the sky, the faraway miniature skyline of tiny blurry lights molded into the waters, through the doorway of boats, the foghorn, escaping her again into black before she could figure out the meaning of the puzzle that it captivated, and controlled her by. Some walls hold us in position to await emancipation, and others close us up in the cloak of our own limitations, our silly fucking brains running round us in a right-left-right-left (or right-left-left-right depending on which way you're facing) infinity pattern, distracting us in our own sentence structures and punctuation choices, while it threads itself into our bodies, into our histories and possibilities, and before you know it, you just sit still, because you cannot move of your own volition, cause it turns out all along you had been paying bribes to that fleet of weavers to keep you, fast held and tight, while your thoughts ran races around them and caged them in, and so on and so can get out of the madhouse, says the warden, stinking of joints and cheap beer, you just need 50 or so keys...

Eventually you grow tired of their whereabouts, and the treasure map laid forth on cobblestone streets loses its mystified allure...why wander the streets when you can swim to the shallow, rounded bottom of the amber coloured glass in the bottle that they sell you after hours at the off licence, when you think no one is looking. But, someone always is. They told me that when I was little. Never grab your dress if its caught in the cheeks of your ass, or make an unholy face, cause that's when someone is always looking. I say, let them look. Next time they do, I'll lift my skirts and really give them something to see. I run up and down the halls, dazzling in my own humanity and the chemical combinations that bubble up in me, never to be held down by nobody, seen or otherwise. Blowing kisses as I go, pressing my tits up against the church glass, cause it feels good, and, you know, that's good enough reason for me.  To stand, ass showing, or mouth rambling, eyes look their last, or first, no matter how the divining cards fall around us, with the knowledge that the magic of everything will and must never be denied, brings me good tides as the same tides swallow me up, assassinating the part of my brain that expects, doubts and disbelieves.

I still believe, without the word lie caught in it safe snare, in the beckoning colours and lacy shadows that the sky promises me every night, that I live without crisis, dysfunction, threat or malnutrition of my being, with the laughter, easy as my thighs, that prevents me from taking my mind at its word, because those words change daily, but I am still right here, in the trust that shall overpower the suicidal downward movers, those barnacles on the most grand of ships in my fleet, tear them bloody off of the supple limbs and breasts of my masthead, my girl that wants it all, that aches and breathes, and drinks in everything she can in this moment and the next coming in towards her, one challenge of a wave at a time (swallowing some water never kept her down too long; besides your throat only hurts for a few moments and then, a few more swallows, and the salty rims are gone past your gullet), and in the belief- silly, misshapen, redeeming, denied or otherwise, in the ship itself. For its captain, high up in the fog looking ahead, is the only one who knows where he's going, and where we're going, so we drink and swallow to the new nights and days, and rains and lies, and she smiles (again) in the knowledge of her self, for the captain's clouds keep him safe above, and he ain't talking just yet, so drink up.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3 / Thirteen

Time spins, the clock marches forward, the chimes still me on the fateful road.  The thin, supple golden second hand digs itself into the dirt, inching along each beat of the equation as it adds to itself, additional millions as I step down the street- the sky not pitch black anymore, me not speeding as I have done, simply to realize that I wanted only to get home faster so that I would see you again sooner.  Nothing has changed; only I have. But time has not.

Time outside the place runs just fine.  Drops of rain play inside a well in the murder ballads always finding tune in my often dreadful imagination.  The rituals of morning, evening, sharing with others and sharing alone hold themselves to me, and we walk like that, together in the light.  I love it when the sun shines so brightly, smacking me in the face with its heat so much that, though I cannot see them, I can feel the rays boring through my pupils, my chestnut vision alight with sunshine, yellow seeing right through me.  As I see right through them.  This open plain of sight leading me into its folds.

I live much of my daily life in a golden field.  Streetcorners, hobnobs, kissing a big bunch of fools, and wanting something more...all leave me in this field.  There may be a church nearby -- old, Roman, Byzantine, one of those ancient things that brands me, laughs at me trying to make my way among these moderns, with their minimalist problems, tireless complaints and disconnect from their lives.  I am connected with every noise performing tricks on me, the last one taking me back on the childhood highway near the woods, where the bodies usually are dumped.  I am connected with the slight scent of a man, who doesn’t know I can with scent know everything that he is, moving in and out of frame, with an overly made up woman in a wig, standing nearby him, she who sees me looking right at her as I do.  I am connected when the neighbor’s cat has a seizure, and my heart stops and hands shake until he is recovered, further connecting me to the my mother’s fifteen minutes like that, waiting for the ambulance to arrive when my father was called from the scene on the first day of Spring, nearly five years ago.  Time spins for sure.

Most probably the sorest thought back then in those days, when I was living and breathing through memory alone from the bed of an emotional invalid whose tongue made me happy, along with the vacant want in his brown eyes, which I took for love and a few other things, was that time would never allow me to have my father back.  There seemed logically like there had to be a time at which point <this> would be done with, and he could continue things, perhaps not as they were, but in a new form.  But that time still hasn’t come.  And though I have accepted that tenfold, and try to resurrect myself to him with every dreaming night, with every good intention I keep to myself, with every romantic notion that isn’t clouded by bitterness or regret, with the stubborn belief that I am doing right if I am living true, I still occasionally think for a forgetful moment that he will be here someday, in some form, to see the beautiful place which I have created, the good way I have taken care of things for her (so far), the people I call my family who he would surely enjoy long talks over wine with, the streets and foghorns calling me home every night and how they might remind him of his home.  The soreness of all that just lives deeper from the surface -- not hidden, not pushed under the rug, but just lovingly folded in with the tenuous layers of my life since.  I cannot imagine that fifteen minutes of his shell drifting from her right there as she watched and could do nothing.

I hope she knows that I will never take that from her, or ask her about it.  The stopwatch clicks its heels shut at me every morning at nine and starts back up again every evening about 5:30.  Time does not exist in these hours, and I do not exist much off of the page either.  I want no harm done to anyone; I want no explanations, or growth, or revenge.  I simply want to get back that mass of lost time, when the ticking is silenced, my breathing ceased, my seizure underway.  I am tired of foaming at the mouth every time I feel something inside those walls, that I want to feel outside . . .in that gentle sun burning a hole through my eyes’ experience of it, in that field I walk through in my dreams at dusk, living out the sensations of existences being lived, extinguished and rebirthed - implanting itself together in a kind of supernova of ultimate being.  Where one life does not sting and bleed through another’s action without the inaction of an often unspoken of, third party.  Someone is always pulling the strings, and inaction left to its own devices only leads to circumstance becoming its god.

In the first few seconds of my life when the jumper cables awake it again in the evening time, I vow not to go that way.  Whatever a vow may mean these days- when everything has the option of renewal in its palms.  This has been a hard way to live . . . I know Da wouldn’t have liked it.  He wanted to help me reach that other life; the one of my choosing, of my creating, of worth because I was worthy of it.  I think he knows there are quite a few ways out, and the bases are covered, as they say.  A crack to the timepiece, smothering the foxhole of moments gone and come and here now, always Here Now, shatters and sinks hard into the fencework around my heart, only to realize that blood letting is sometimes the only way to heal up and feed the fire in our belly.

The fire has a great danger of going out, and freedom when not used is the exact same way.  We must be on guard.  We must be vigilant, if only to allow ourselves to keep that liberty, the sort I see spinning like a top in her eyes with such ease of access, as she turnes upward and glances fixted on a curving swoopful of birds descending / ascending.  Truth is, every moment of my life outside of the place I don’t think of the place- of its inhabitants, of its details, of its supposed rules or what it takes, what it is.  It likes to think it is bigger than all of its contents, but as to it and as to them and the whole of its bland and complacent DNA, the only thing I find there which I ever think about when not there, is you.  I wish you could see me when the clock starts up again- every dusk in the field, every night’s dreaming, every morning and day away, as myself. Smiling, supple, soft in the ways of the world flanked by armies of angels at my side.  Crowing their dissatisfaction, the birds in the hourglass toss themselves to and fro, and I’ve a night of life and a morning to fully comprehend, before I shut it all off again and sigh, rumbling and grinding to a halt, as the elevator doors open and I feel it passing from my body, left just visible in the inner recessed of my eyes, where it stays sleeping for the day unless you look in the right place, and I give one more day to the remaining sacrifice I must have some reason to fulfill. 

M. Lucia

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Plague, at Sunset

The overused and over sized mug that made her think of having breakfast in France (more of a small bowl really – to be drunk with thick, misshapen bread, sweet jam and a good read.  Breakfast which was a morning full of quiet semblance, of savoring each and every bite and thought of the day) had dark blue patterns on it, the detail of which she studied deeply.  Anything to take her out of her mind -  her teacher referred to it as a monkey mind, when we let ourselves go off the deep end of recurring, obsessive thoughts, encircling our wares, removing us from our instincts and numbing the feelings of ourselves in our bodies.  She, one time, apologized in that sultry way she had to a lover about being “insatiable”.  He didn’t seem to have any problem at all with it, deciding which way to mount her next as she said it, saying he knew the moment he met her that she was, in fact, as dirty as all this.  As he stroked her neck and back, she turned over slightly, replying in an almost level tone that it was partially the best way to get herself out of her own head, which seemed to resonate with this man, at that time. 

She was as faraway from her body at this moment as she could be, however- sick, at home, her throat swollen up and raw as if she had swallowed a giant cock for over a week’s time (the kind of the size that just wasn’t fun anymore), and not in the usual fashion – just parked there, in the back of her throat, seemingly never to leave.  She couldn’t even say “ahhhhhh”.  Due to this illness, the giant coffee mug was filled not with coffee, but Sweet with tea, the dark Irish sort she was addicted to, along with some sweet honey and cloves.  Her belly, full up with thoughts of swimming trunks and summer lights strewn across green, moist, leafy trees……barefoot, and feeling every tiny knot of the dirt and its ground creeping up around her steps, wasn’t strong enough to even take her usual infusion of bourbon into the tea she drank, though she thought something as manly as that might please the cock in her throat to take a walk, just for a little while, or find someplace more pleasing to go.  She sat there, in the late afternoon blister of orange light that would simply come upon her in an instant, casting its paint across her equally burnt orange walls, forming shadows and shapes that sulked across her home, i.e. sanitarium as sluggish as the actions of oncoming Winter. 

This late day sun actually warmed her face, her brain caught even more so inside the thick skin of her hair and head, in that manner which mainly takes place under the duress of illness.  Glassy eyes, bloodshot, a slow step and absolutely no want or feeling about anything.  Just that the sick left her.  The silent stillness of the moment sat completely right with her, however.  The year was winding down, and her body had simply turned itself on its head, forcing her into this.  She had to be forced into most things, but once she lifted off, there was no stopping her.  Zero to a million.  This was especially true of the lasciviousness of her nature.  More then often to the shock of the co-participants.  You didn’t see her coming; well, that wasn’t true exactly.  You heard her, which she was also known to blithely apologize for later on.  Again, other than being sure she took note of herself and her actions, and let you know that she did, she was light as a feather, above and beyond the realms of shame and regret.  It was quite beautiful to see, reflected back, or so she was also told, usually when her short, but dexterous fingernails did their work, up and down nape of neck, hairline and back. 

She now gently ran her fingernails backward over a small, red scratch on her forearm, forcing it ever so slightly to bleed in one minuscule, round corner.  She loved to pick scabs since she was a little girl, climbing in trees, planting and picking flower formations and fashioning secret symbols out of the chalk from stones on the pavement just around her mother’s clothesline.  She fell down a lot, and was always a quick bruiser.  She never minded, though; as long as it didn’t hurt it was just fine.  The consuming of alcohol, especially wine, had only added to her so called “klutz” factor.  Whenever her hip or knee would catch something, she enjoyed using the line “I don’t know where I end and the <insert klutz inducing object> begins”.   It was Always the object’s fault, as well (Always).  Whatever anger, Mediterranean passion and old-world rage she held fast to, rarely had to do with other people, but most often objects and their not cooperating as she needed them to.  Terrible phrases would emit from her mouth having to do with whores, rape and motherfuckers.  If they only knew what they had in store for them had they been able to talk back, well, then maybe her misplaced rage would have a proper outlet.  Nothing emitted from her now mute mouth, throat cocked closed as she wet the tip of her finger and repeatedly smoothed over the droplet of blood which was just enough to need tending; her minor self mutilation (and the limit of it – she never understood those types.  Hurting themselves so they feel alive…much better ways to experience that, she felt) having reached its peak in her sullen boredom.   She licked the blood off, the rusty sweet taste on her tongue was a pleasant change to the bland, senseless lack of anything.  The orange light dying and shining shyly on her little wound made her blissful as she tried to swallow in vain, again and again.  She sat back on her easy chair (more of a loveseat, or somewhere in between) without formality, with one leg stretched over the arm of the chair, and one tucked beneath her thigh.  It gave her some kind of gentile, flirtatious equilibrium. 

Her father had fallen asleep in this easy chair, and started his dying there, in a somber instant.  After a day of working around the house, projects started but not quite finished, his decades of hard work and fire movement encircling his heart like a band of slaves, needing to put the master down, so they could finally be free.  She knew her father had completely expected it; and yet didn’t at all, or so his face told her mother when he awoke for a moment, grabbed his head and fell back again, into the gaudy mauve fabric of the chair (her mother’s choice), strongly rooted on the floorboards of the last house that he would build up from nothing, from blueprints and the never-ending construction of his imagination.  She often sat here, in these moments and brought herself back again to the place of leaving, when he woke up from his manufactured hospital sleep to say goodbye to her, the last of his fire warming his hands in hers, his smile apparent, his brown eyes tearing, holding her with a force so much greater than that of a dying, old man.  When she found herself back there, she would cry for the briefest of moments, or simply sigh in the belly of the feeling, and let it go, remembering all the love he afforded her, and the most treasured prize: the natural and passionate ability to be herself in all of her darkness, godliness and golden glory.  Like being dropped in the center of the maze, and you have to imagine yourself a way out.  There is no such thing as cheating – you can draw a map, lift yourself far above the aisles and see the pathways, or take the hand of a guide.  Once you could imagine your way out, it didn’t seem quite so fear inducing.  Once the fear of her father leaving her in this life, had, with a kiss and a squeeze of his hand in earnest goodbye and thanks, dropped her there in that maze, it was as if nothing could ever scare her again.  Of this she was most settled, and thankful.  There were parts of her, which he couldn’t even account for, but she was meeting them head on with open eyes and a heart worth hitting the trails with.  She did feel, though, that she held less love in her same roadside heart than before.  That she felt was unchangeable.  But at this rate, she couldn’t imagine being healthy, energetic and not cock throated again, so maybe the fast moving sunset had more in store for her than she could ever imagine.  She was willing to live with that loss of control, and her feelings simply warmed to it, as she enjoyed the paternal comfort of the ugly mauve easy chair with the floral pillows.   Her father had earned his rest in this chair; and she had earned hers here today.  She thought about re-upholstering it, so she wouldn’t have to see it in the very same and direct way, the mauve colour scheme of her mother’s last couch set with him, and she didn’t have to, as she did now, cover it with brown throws tucked neatly and tightly into the folds, the orange top throw too small to not get messed up by the chair’s recipient ass, no matter its size, shape or ability.  No matter how hard she tried to cover it up neatly thus, the mauve bottoms or corners peeked out, and let themselves be known when she’s least expected it.  She didn’t have the money to re-upholster the chair really, but she didn’t want to let it go.  It was a good chair, and seemed to belong in the center of her home.   

After trying to lazily re-tuck the throw just under her ass to hide its messy folds, she licked her little cut once more, and picked up the slim, coloured shot glass of her family moonshine, which she often poured on approaching winter nights such as these (or mornings, or afternoons) alongside whatever other beverage she was working on at the moment.  She sipped her moonshine, letting its lively texture cascade in sumptuous, romantic skips down her tender throat.  If anything would burn away the deep, sharp caverns of her poor, overly seduced throat, the moonshine would.  It had always worked for her Daddy. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So I was falling asleep amisdt blue night stars glistening, sitting with intention at the river, with my leafy viney friend, the physical pain, who was wrapped around the little girl, the one who still hurts a lot.  I let them know it was ok, and there was a ritual afoot.

But --- mainly, within the dream it all came down to the one moment I expelled a phlegm of some sort from my mouth and nose.  I noticed it was dark, murky rich Green.  And I remembered my chinese medicine, the liver, the gall bladder, wood and anger, jealousy and hard qualities, darkness....and also remembered that the darker it is, the better it is, because it means it's coming OUT.  Disgusting a visual as this is, it made me very happy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Three Point Turn

And so the rise and the fall, again.  I thought I had escaped the dark pod, and I did, but I forgot to shut the door.  "The truth will set you free, but not until it is finished with you".  I wish your mind was still sitting patiently in the sun, in the stands watching the tennis, DFW.  You were right.

It's a pretty obvious plot.  I am driving, but have left the main roads, and am lost in a village of which I do not know.  Soon, the car chugs along up a hill, and the tall grasses, weed like and exotic, are all stacked up in the floor of the car, as I move deeper into the seeming abyss.  But it is not an abyss at all, just a patch of deep greenery in an unknown place.  I fear for a moment, that there are strange creatures living in the vines, and now in the car with me.  But I let that go, and I make a very sharp, but slow and calculated three point turn, as I see locals and their lands watching me do so.  Calm, and assured, the car is turned around, and back down the hill I go to wherever is next, and meant to be.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shutterlight in, out

There is ADD in the dreams of late - many, many of them, and just no time to tell them all.

There is a house, in a tropical setting, yet familiar, on a hill.  Outside in the garden there is surprisingly,  a massive serpent.  He is heavy, golden and brown, and there is immediate fright, but also there is the feeling that he is there as a benevolent force.  Bloated, strong, and protective.  People come up to the house via the hill right past him, and they are amazed by his presence, but he does not move to hurt them.  I'm starting to realize he is my friend, and neither my good grace or my worst habits.  He watches without judgment and will be there as my strength and empathy - silent - until the end of the cycle.

I am asleep, but aware of it.  I'm on the table, and the healer is there working around the skin of my left arm, and, as my eye twitches, my heartbeat becomes strong in that left arm, and he kisses my arm and my neck and climbs onto me, on the table.  Benevolence, thankfulness, sex liberated and the ultimate weightless feeling of what healing can and will do, if you let him.

Driving erratically, out of control per usual, but still carting along my favourite family, yet roads are closed, and I cannot tell which direction to go, or which lane I should follow down.  Going up stairs at the wheel, he turns around and shows me the missing piece and says "I don't feel this comfortable with other people to show them this".  I accept it, of course, and keep driving.  Then, a big show and to do seems to be where we were going.  I need a new dress.