BONE COLORED FOG CONDENSES AND DRIPS EVER SO SLOWLY, FROM THE LOWEST POINT OF EVERY ROOF, EVERY CAR, EVERY HANGING BRANCH. MY WORLD IS WHITE, THE BIRDS ARE NOT SINGING, AND WHATEVER SOUNDS ARE LEFT ARE MUTED DOWN TO SECRETS. THE WORDS WE THREW IN OTHER’S DIRECTION YESTERDAY ARE STILL SUSPENDED IN THE HALLWAY, WHERE THE AIR IS SO THICK ITS HARD TO SWALLOW. WHEN I PUT MY FINGER TO THE HUNDRED YEAR OLD GLASS PANES, MY SKIN TURNS TO ICE AND WHISPERS “THIS PLACE IS NOT MEANT FOR YOU.” I ZIP UP MY PUFFY JACKET AND APPLY NEW MAKEUP OVER OLD MAKEUP IN THE BATHROOM MIRROR. WHO KNOWS WHO MIGHT STOP BY. I SIT ON THE COUCH NEXT TO THE GAPING WINDOW THAT’S LETS IN WIDE DRAFTS OF PALE WINTER, AND THE HUM OF THE FREEWAY MEETS MY HEARTBEAT LIKE OPPOSITE SIDES OF A MAGNET- BOTH POWERFUL, BOTH ENEMIES. NOW I GO UP THE CREAKY STAIRS TO THE ATTIC, WHERE ALL THE WARMTH OF THE DAY HAS POOLED, WARM CLOUDS HUDDLING TOGETHER. I SEE THE MOUNTAIN OUT THE BACK WINDOW, WHERE I WALK AND WRITE MY NAME INTO SOFT MOSS THAT GROWS ON THE ROCKS WITH A STICK. THE MOUNTAIN IS SOMETHING I CAN HOLD ONTO, SOMETHING GREEN, SOMETHING I CAN TRUST. I TURN MY BACK ON IT, CLIMB UP THE COLD METAL FILING CABINETS, STEP OVER DAD’S HOMEMADE WINDOWSILL CUZ HE SAYS IT’LL BREAK IF I PUT MY WEIGHT ON IT, CAREFULLY OVER THE BLACK VINYL OF THE WINDOW AND THEN BARE FEET ON ASPHALT SHINGLES. I KEEP MY CENTER OF GRAVITY LOW, NODDING TO THE PILE OF PURPLE CLOUDS IN THE NORTH. I KNOW THE ROPES THAT THE WIND USES TO PULL PEOPLE FROM GREAT HEIGHTS AND I WON’T BE FOOLED. THE SUN IS SETTING BUT NOT GLAMOROUSLY, MORE LIKE STEEL FIGHTING WINE. I SETTLE INTO THE NOOK BETWEEN TWO ROOFLINES AND CLOSE MY EYES ON THIS STUPID NEIGHBORHOOD, THE LEAVES CRINKLING AND CRACKING UNDER MY JEANS AND PUFFY JACKET. I FEEL LIKE AN ALIEN, LISTENING TO A MINIVAN PULL UP, MY NEIGHBOR’S CHILDREN POUR OUT, SPRAYING CHATTER AND UNEVEN SOUNDS. DOORS SLAM, A CHILD CRIES. I HATE IT HERE. I AM FOURTEEN. LATER I MEET KATIE AT THE PARK. WE ALWAYS MEET AT THE PARK. WE SMOKE HER CIGARETTES, SHE TALKS, WE SMOKE FROM A PIPE, AND THE STARS START MOVING ABOVE ME, DIPPING AND SWIRLING INTO A GALACTIC SOUP OF DIAMONDS AND TRAILS. MY LEGS SUDDENLY FEEL LUSCIOUS AND MOIST, AND I UNCLENCH MY TEETH. WE SWING THROUGH THE NIGHT AIR BENEATH TOWERING DATE PALMS AND THE AIR SMELLS LIKE THE MUD OF THE BAY BUT TONIGHT IT’ SWEET AND EARTHY. WE KICK OUR SHOES OFF INTO THE BLACKNESS AND I HEAR ONE OF THEM CLANK AGAINST THE COLD METAL MONKEY BARS. WE LAUGH AND SWING HIGHER. WE TRY TO TIP THE SWINGSET. IT IS BEYOND ITS FULCRUM AND WANTS TO FALL DOWN. WE PLAY WITH THIS UNFAMILIAR COUNTRY, THIS BEYOND SAFE MOMENT, AND THEN WE LAUGH, AND EVERYTHING IS BLENDING TOGETHER AND WE HAVE TO STOP PUMPING AND DIG OUR FEET INTO THE SAND TO MAKE IT ALL STOP.
I wanted to meet Ozzie but I was scared. He was my birth father but he gave me up. My father that raised me could barely say his name. When I told dad I was going to Florida to meet notmyfather I broke his heart and his stuttering words came out in agonizing strain. I caused my dad this sort of pain once more some time after but that's a different story. I found Ozzie in the phone book. Remember phone books? I don't understand why they even make them anymore. Mine are all moldy in the back of the kitchen counter closet. I get fresh ones every year but haven't cracked one open since god created google. Ozzie was right there still living in Hollywood Florida where I was born. So I phoned. He asked me to call him dad. That felt odd to me but he bought me a ticket and I thought what the hell? Florida is hot. A hot I never felt before even in the city. Florida's humidity suffocates you. In Florida you have to walk slowly to conserve energy and take fewer drugs for the same effect. I stayed in his step daughters room who ran away a few months before but that's another story. My stepbrother Rick was cute so while the rest of the family was sleeping I seduced him against his will...sort of. My half brother, who's name I can't recall, must have been dropped on his head because he seemed a bit retarded. And my notmyfather, my birth father, was overweight, sold insurance, and when shirtless sported a gorilla style hairy back. Not a pretty picture. Well he had a swimming pool, money to waste, lobster dinners to splurge and he taught me and my step brother how to Latin dance. Rick introduced me to all his super cute buddy's but that's another story. In truth Ozzie was the father I never wanted. He was judgmental. Straight. Republican. Controlling. And he was never my father. My father is Shawn but that's another story.
What’s in my belly right now you ask? One pink allergy pill and half a mug of mate with brown sugar and cream. It reminds me of reading in one of my water damaged teenage journal pages, the line about nothing but cum and half a can of coke in my stomach, gurgling, crack fizzle. About as classy as the time those fucking ex felons pulled up next to the bus station in front of Northgate mall where I was kind of hovering, wanting to recover, trailing an hour behind me of firm couch pointed at phD, bright lights stinging, and those fucking guys had the nerve to yeah we’re going south, when I ask which way they’re headed, and then I am squished between them all, taking in the scenery of tattoos and muscles and vodka breath, and they get on the freeway going north. Then black girl with toddler. Or was she just very pregnant? Glass bottles clanking. Here take it, talk dirty to him. The white phone and its long white tail suspended in the air, a question mark, a dare, and like a good student, I feel obligated to try, but I’d much prefer diving under something soft and crying. Time stretches. More clanking. My sober brain outsmarts them, I’m out the door, my inner compass leading me, and it works even when I’m crying, wow, who knew? walking over an overpass, hot air and whooshing of freeway cars, grafitti and my stupid words echoing, running down to my feet, stupid, stupid, and then there’s a hotel and I walk up to the lobby trying to look less broken than I feel. Can I use your phone please. . dad picks me up. There is no crying in the Ford, there is no explanation, the van rumbles and I am safe now, or at least in a more familiar kind of danger..
Did you know, you're not lying next to me but with the way I folded to fit inside Tory's spoon? Did you know, you're not kissing me but the inside out of every kiss I've ever tasted? Did you know, you're not talking with me but with the opposition to everything my mother tells me? Did you know, you're not walking with me but with the stride I tampered and slowed so I could smell his sweat? Did you know, you're not holding me because I'm whatever you want to be holding? Did you know, I love you, and it means something different every time?
By the time I've found my way into your crevices, I'm walking in step with you, I'm making some sense, I'll be long gone. I'll be trying to fit myself against another rough, angular shape.
When the black clouds sweep the sky and the storm opens his great jaw to roar, he's not ravaging me but the inside out of the last billion landscapes he's ever ravaged. And when I walk alone, it's not me who's alone, but the incessant buzzing of bees and the timid chamomile buds and the mums and the mallows all brushing sleeves and nodding.
Giggling Flesh, brown , wite every shade in between lumps , bumps , dimples ,flab, curves, sexy , semi sexy, Oh no run bounce bounce
Pine needles , drift wood , blankets, sarongs, blue blue water waves big and strong.
Pink bathing suit blends so well with the butt she looks naked.
People cough, Inhale ,exhale sweet smell or ganga
People discussing vog, cane burning, GMO"s How can you do this to our land ?
People using words like ,"" dude, da kine , check this out "
A girl comes up to me and says ," If you were my mom Id be even hotter than I already am.
My green tongue shots out of my mouth and zappped her eyes balls out If I was your mama Id teach you manners adn how to think before you speak. I darken the eye balls with marker and made them look like olives and put them in my Greek Salad . yum
My bed is full of bugs , creepy bugs with antenin My head is full of bugs too Head bugs . A big tree is growing out of my head Majestic Red Wood tree. birds live in the tree but if a rat tries to climb in I scream
Please see me as I am a person, just a soul growing into a spirit. Im not your mama Please use my name See me flawed, trees in my , brains but not a stereo type as your mama . Call me bug head or batty but not mama
The dolphins want me to make love with them I have to go now .
Signed "Im not your mama."
Walking down the ice cold streets of the city brings out the ghetto in me. Curse words leave my tongue like lashes on the backs of slaves. I pick my feet up higher in an attempt to generate warmth. Walking with Carl a few paces behind me wishing he would find his New York stride. These sidewalks are what my nightmares are made of, grey dirty dangerous. The phone booths are gone but they haunt the child in me. I want to hold that little terrified girl in my arms and promise her a safer life. A life where there are grownups to trust, kids play nice and boys show respect. The cold wind reminds me of mini skirts and open coats, long uncombed wet hair, tights black as well as my boots, a rabbit coat short and opened. Now I am bundled with fur around my neck and a closed black cashmere coat wrapped tight around my body. Carl carries the backpack. Carl carries the weight. Always. He holds me or gives me space whenever I need it. That need changes in an instant. Pulling him towards me then pushing him away. Wanting to cuddle then wanting to stretch out across the bed sideways. Passing studio 54 I can't help but want to go up the stairs and have a drink or two. I miss cocaine. I miss dancing on loud vibrating speakers. I miss my vial of pills. We head to a neighborhood haunt of mine right across the street from my apartment building. Well, not mine anymore but my mom still lives there. Me taking Carl downstairs to the basement to sit on love seats and drink champagne. It's called Flute. The teeny tiny portion of caviar and billinis cost $75. Carl knows I want it. We really shouldn't spend the money right now but I just smile like a little girl at Christmas. When they come I comb out our portions like lines of coke. It's cold. Even inside Flute . But it's really cold in me.
My desires pull me around, sniffing with my head down, oblivious to the world crackling and changing around me. Cut the chord, please, leave me calm and willing like oil, rolling with gravity, never stopping at obstacles but quietly rerouting without pause. I want things like an angry creature with no language, I want things in all cardinal directions and their opposites, I want to be seen but I’m going to choose by who. I want to be a bird with wings so broad one stroke can keep me cutting the blue for hours. It’s safe up there. I’ve always wanted to fly, but I never pulled this through to its conclusion, what I really want is a more graceful escape than running or hiding, I want to fly away, to avoid, to unstrap, disengage, loosen, unravel, unbuckle and disappear. Anything to not look you in the eyes so deep it stings, anything to erase the anger and the uncomfortable moments and the sorrow that doesn’t seem to shrink but lengthens like muscle, I want to keep these things so far away that they ignite when they hit my atmosphere and rain down like dust that makes me sneeze but never cry.
The telephone is ringing. I look at my clock and it says 5am. The dreaded 5 o'clock in the morning phone call It was ringing so loud my ears were hurting so I stumbled across the room to grab it before my daughter and friend wake up. I answer. Hello? And the next thing I know I am on my knees on the floor and I hear a scream and a moan then I realize its me....I was screaming and sobbing...saliva was streaming out of my mouth. I realize and want to help my daughter but I can't I'm paralyzed. My mother is DEAD! and I didn't get to say goodbye. Oh god oh god. My girlfriend calls 911 and tends to my daughter. I see these people in white coats hovering around me. They are working on me but all I can see are faces coming in and out of the picture like ghosts. They must of given me a shot of something to calm me down, put this white mask over my nose and mouth and said breath breath breath. What am I doing on the floor? I could tell I was there because my rug is green and soft like cotten
I don't remember much about that week but I remember my mother and she is dead. And I didn't get to say goodbye. Her blue eyes follow me all the time. Sometimes they're grey. Her hair shown a blue silver grey. She was so good and laughed a lot. She was tall and stately and she was My Mother. And I loved her And I didn't get to say goodbye!
WORK HAS ENDED LONG AFTER IT WAS SUPPOSED TO, AND MY PASSENGER SEAT IS PILED WITH EMPTY OLIVE BAR CONTAINERS AND TUPPERWARE, A BOTTLE OF WINE, MY PURSE, AND A CUTTING BOARD AND TRASH CAN I BOUGHT ON MY LUNCH HOUR. I WON’T STOP FOR HITCHHIKERS AND THEY WILL PROBABLY ASSUME I AM JUST TOO FILL IN THE BLANK TO PICK THEM UP.
THE CAR IS POINTED DOWN KOKOMO, AND I’VE JUST TAKEN IT OUT OF GEAR. IT’S QUIETER THIS WAY. THE SKY IS PINK, THE NEST OF CLOUDS BUNCHED AT THE HORIZON ARE PINK, AND THE REST OF THE SKY DOMES A LIGHT BLUE, AND THEN A DARK BLUE BEHIND ME WHERE I CAN ONLY SEE A RECTANGLE OF SHADOW IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR. I AM LISTENING TO LAURA’S MUSIC ON THE RADIO, A SONG THAT TINGLES ALL THE BEST MOLECULES IN MY BODY, AND I CAN FEEL THEM TWINKLING AND CONNECTING TO EACH OTHER IN HAPPINESS, SCREAMING, WE SPEAK THIS LANGUAGE! YES! AND MEMORIES START TRAVELING DOWN MY ARMS. I SWERVE TO AVOID A HUGE SUNKEN PART OF THE ROAD AND FLASH BACK TO WHERE I AM.
I REMEMBER WITH MY STOMACH SOME SIMPLE TRUTHS OF THIS PHASE OF MY LIFE. THERE IS NO TRAVEL FOR ME BEYOND THE HORIZON I AM LOOKING AT. NOT THE TRAVEL MY BONES REMEMBER. AT SOME POINT THERE WILL BE A HONEYMOON, AND WITHOUT A DOUBT IT WILL BE REFRESHING, ALTITUDES FAR HIGHER THAN I’VE EVER DREAMED OF GOING, AND THEN THE SWAMPY AMAZON. I’M SURE WE WILL STAND OPEN MOUTHED IN A MARKET IN IQUITOS, ASKING THE PRICE FOR THE PAW OF A JAGUAR AND POINT AT A BUCKET OF POISON DART FROGS. WE WILL STAY IN THE FIRST FOUR STAR HOTEL WE’VE EVER BEEN IN FOR AT LEAST A NIGHT, BOUNCING ON THE BED AND ORDERING ROOM SERVICE AND TAKING A PICTURE OF OURSELVES NAKED ON THE WHITE SHEETS, SURROUNDED BY COLORFUL SLICED FRUIT AND BUTTERED TOAST WITH THE CRUSTS REMOVED.
BUT ALL OF THIS WILL BE THE KIND OF ADVENTURE WHERE I KNOW THE ENDING. WE GO HOME. WE PAY THE BILLS WE MISSED WHILE WE WERE AWAY. THE CAT WILL NEED LOVING, THE GARDEN WILL BE DYING IN THE STRANGE, AWKWARD SECTIONS I FORGOT TO HOOK UP TO IRRIGATION. AND WE’LL GO BACK TO STRIVING FOR MORE, GOING TO A WATERFALL ONCE EVERY FOUR MONTHS AND HE WILL HAVE BOUGHT HIS GUN THAT HE’LL KEEP BEHIND HIS PILLOW IN THE NOOK OF THE BACK OF THE BED.
I know these legs seem closed
I know you don’t trust me to follow through
these damaged pathways full of bones
to trip on
to make tense love erupt into pounding rains
I wish you could know the cave where my love imprisons itself,
could see how she decorates her walls...
happier chained to dishes and laundry and bags of boxed food
for another time....
happier in her own shadow
doomed to a life less worthy than your eyes
happier to be scraping the surface
than to let you in
keeping your entry into me at bay.
In your eyes
It might be too late
but one doctor says its not.
One doctor says college and diplomas
and babies and a path not yet taken.
It might be too late
but one voice is singing softly in my cave
through the thick walls of pink and flesh
through the open wound left a year ago
too much blood for a regular period,
stolen from its mother in flight to this earth
she wasn’t ready for the human trip
she wasn’t wanting a body yet.
so she sings into mine
whispers in my dreams
that I am the one
and i’m the one
and i’m the one
to be taken now
to be taken in a hurry
to be taken lightly
to be taken at all.