The writing about was the writing.

Month: May, 2012

a memorial day

This is a forced honesty.

What else today but be in my most comfortable nightgown window open and music on and the hot New York air around the room and it’s as if I’ve been lying on this bed for centuries.

The penned-up July anxiety, and death again from unusual and unexpected corners.

What else but remembering and whispering quietly about what I can and cannot offer. Who was supposed to be listening and how that bridge is incomplete.

So long as gravity remains the only force. Because the body is far from a gravitating body.

What else? Supposed to isn’t relevant it’s been true for months. Each new tragedy pales quickly. There is a reason wounds need to heal. There is a problem I have, the way I circle through each historical cut. The sound of a car hitting a tree a block from a house.

(This is when I start to cave but won’t.)

What else am I supposed to do but keep my words and keep myself and when there is a struggle between the two, try to know what to keep. There isn’t a question.

Still, we are children.

Extinct, which is permanent, or gone which is worse

I am going to write through this: Pulsing tightening string pulling through me. Heavy ghosts hovering.

It hurts me not to be honest. And my definition of honest includes everyone always knowing everything. (I don’t know why.) To some degree, it always hurts. (That’s just the truth.)

Pain: My foot is feeling very real today. The kitten is biting my arm and I absent-mindedly throw him off. Tiny little cuts don’t hurt me.

The cursor keeps disappearing and I have to reset the settings and it’s irritating and coincidentally familiar. But the space bar isn’t sticking anymore, so.

Crying is much harder with glasses. I don’t cry as much as I used to. I was going to write about cliché today – crying is a cliché. (I’ll write about cliché next week.)

I am listening to my Bright Eyes radio station on Spotify to help breath. Music helps because I can melt into it.

E. says writing about Conor cheapens this but I think it’s a matter of cliché, which is a matter I intend to investigate here and therefore relevant.

What I really need is to get unstuck. With the space bar, compressed air. With me, we never know until happens. It usually involves running away or hiding.

The ghosts were forced to hover further, just around the edges, and the string is slack. Am I really talking about myself, and a real panic attack that happened today? I don’t know and neither should you.

What I really need is not possible. Extinct, which is permanent, or gone which is worse.

(Notes on story)

There is in the story such waste. There is so much anger. You dig furiously and think you’ve clawed through the anger as another wall of pain approaches. Or, you throw yourself at the wall, needing to remember that kind of pain.

There is also in the story so much music. Boxes. Porches. There was a room with a teal carpet and it was erased and then demolished. (This is getting very autobiographical which should not be confused with truthful and stops now.)

The heart of the story is another story. Once upon a time, you were not just a recorder of events. A placeholder until everyone is ready to hear the story. Once upon a time, you could at least count on an understanding.

The heart of the story is about what can and cannot disappear. The story isn’t ready and neither are you. The window is cracked open, again. How to ask for what you need and not run away. To settle the question of course.


Like after you see the lightning, you know
The thunder will follow. The sound of the rain
Slamming against the car. The sound of quiet
Panic. The tense humidity about to break
Into the lightening that will lead to the thunder.

You know the thunder will follow, but
It doesn’t always. And the intervals grow longer
And then sudden. You aren’t always aware and
Warning signs are complicated. Foggy, quick
Flash of light. Force yourself to steady, to wait.

(Fossil Recorder)

The moon as a giant tape recorder     the moon as preserver of the evidence, both internal and external     the moon as recording the signals, the distinctive changes carved on rock

There is language, then, even on the moon

If not covered up, the recorded signal is overwritten and destroyed by later events: the coverage of old material by younger material

The moon tries to protect the signal     to preserve the fossil     to develop other processes

The moon, too, buries the record

The immediate result of this coverage is to remove surface material from further processing          from wear and tear          from the inevitable subsequent impacts that will disperse the buried materials

(Previously published in There, Issue 4, 2008.)

Feeling Circles

Shame is something I don’t really care about. It wouldn’t be true to say I have none, but not much. Shame is mostly about other people.

(I spend a lot of time worrying about other people despite being so unapologetic.)

What does it mean that I can remember so clearly and then also not remember at all? I intended today to write only in straight lines but I am feeling circles.

I lost three seasons this year. Summer is up in the air. Time is precious but if I worry about what’s been lost I’m still losing. Don’t think for a second that I don’t understand.

(Understanding means very little for me. I try to accept what I can. I won’t accept what I cannot.)

About intention, there is just no hidden agenda. That’s mostly about other people, and this is not.

July Poem 2011

And this is the night shadow behind every restless waking. And here is July at my back, forbidding forgetting as if the shadow would fold.

And do I recall shaping it, my shadow?

July, I had thought that winter could end you. (Forgetting how a shadow reflects in the sunlight on a snowy lawn.)

But I am marked by my words, of course in sleep, in sun, in skin.

I am not a thing with feathers. I am only a July wildfire, a laughing heat refusing relief.

[Premature] Notes for 2012 July Poem

The writing about is the writing, and I won’t pretend this year. This year will be important, so even though it is always July, again this July will be important and so will the July poem.

Question: Is every July important? Answer: No, but most are significant in some way.

What happens in July, all of it. Will I write the poem at the beginning or the end?

Last year, I believe I wrote it toward the end, near my birthday. Last year in July the sky was just about to fall. Last year in July E. and I drove six hours to see Bright Eyes play in an unbearably, endearingly small town upstate. The band stayed at our hotel. Oh, and the day before we left for the show, I slipped getting on the train to go to work. And then July ended.

Why I am so preoccupied: I don’t know. (These are just notes, after all.)

As for the getting ahead of myself, of course. The only way I know to go. And I’m not apologizing.

Here’s when I apologize: When I feel that I’ve hurt you. Here’s when I don’t: When I feel that you’ve hurt me.

It is always July again, and it has to be. Because I’m, somewhat surprisingly, thinking of Frost; because there are miles to go. And there are fences to be rebuilt.

(Side note: What would happen if I didn’t delete anything. If this were unedited but for grammar and safety.)

Probably before July I should work on translating. The July poem won’t be written on here, but I’ll post it later. Tomorrow, I’ll post last year’s.

What I love about notes, about an outline.

(Skeleton Collector)

The bones were buried years ago/were buried yesterday/were never really buried and now we are digging. We are digging everyday, and someone is sure we’ve dug deeper than the bones were buried but the bones are not there.

The drawer is empty. It isn’t a trick but it isn’t an accident.

She had a special brush            she thought if she brushed the bones
with it and murmured the quiet prayer then she could give
them the answers            she could collect her paycheck
she could go home.

But the bones were not there, and the brush though she’d had it in her
hand just a moment
ago/just yesterday/ten years ago            it was gone.

(Previously published in There, Issue 4, 2008.)

Awake and Watching and Being

I spent an hour lying perfectly still so as not to disturb my watching of the sleeping kitten, who was sound asleep across my neck, despite my being awake and watching and being.

I spent an hour lying perfectly still
So as not to disturb my watching
Of the sleeping kitten, who was sound
Asleep across my neck, despite my being
Awake and watching and being.

What line breaks do.

I still find myself becoming preoccupied with project. I love form but not worrying about it. I wonder whether I was always only going to write like me, like this.

And what I will do with it all.

Last night it poured in that distinctly-on-the-edge-of-summer way that rain has. Don’t ask me if I remember. Don’t ask me about comma choice.

Don’t ask where I am going.

I don’t enjoy employing tricks. I’m an easy target because I won’t play the game which leaves me standing out in the open, ready to be found out.

There is a butterfly outside my window.