and here the ice rattles towards me like a promise. here the tree sparkles its ancient eyes like flecks of gold and silver hulking away from the branch. and here i see you again. and here i see you again. and here the minutes that live inside of my eyes pass like endless webs – like a melody in reverse, back again, back again, the words akimbo, like soft soldiers looking for a war. and here i break towards a new day, towards an endless horizon; here your eyes are like a patchwork of ash and curled nevers; stuck inside the sideways partitions between seats in a row; here you lie inside the little theatre of my heart, forever playing scenes we’ll never write
but the delivery of these half-imagined lines still kills me
DYFS in the dining room. whoever thought my life would get here? whoever thought i would be inside of these kinds of days? whoever thought my life would unfold like this – a bag of marbles and a rolling set of ramps and bridges — i submerge myself in the bathtub, all the way under the water, i know not how this day arrived on my doorstep // i peel back my curtains, i know not what i am supposed to do, but place one foot in front of another forever and ever, thanking each day for each splay of beautiful moments, thanking the light inside Jamie’s eyes for still glowing, thanking my feet for knowing how to walk, feeling my skin getting thicker every year, every day, every crisis / there is always more life coming for you, and there is always more strength within you you haven’t met yet /
i pray to keep you safe, little one, i pray you will not be damaged, you will know wholeness, you will not be afraid, you will not cower, you will not flinch upon approach, i pray you will stay alight through the dark night and all the flames ahead
Halloween. And tumult and trauma and upheaval. Again. And the cycles, the seasons, the endless age of the earth age-ing backward. And laughter and holding my baby tight. But fear everywhere. Fear in the child, fear in me, fear of the future and the steps to be taken. Fear of the words and the truth in between. Where do we go, where do we go from here? Where do all of us go? The battered, the flinching, the scared of the darkness and the light? Where do all the children go that don’t have advocates? That don’t have people speaking for them, protecting them? What happens to all the children’s whose voices are only theirs against an adult’s? I am worried and weary and without a map, but I have my boy, and I have my bravery and I have the light on my side. And I have the light in my heart still flaming. Halloween and let the shadows come. Let the darkness come, let the haunting scare us. We have light enough to kindle. We have light enough to see our way through. Small and only enough to see one foot in front of the other, but we have enough. We have each other.
three years at the same seat, the same pearled purple and green smashes across the glass as the cars wheel by, the midnight glow of horns and guitar strings, some harmonica no one has learned how to stop playing, some amount of neon that always glows — bliss game and a furrow of brows getting older, getting wiser, getting deeper in the depth; in the art of the world flowing by — you tell us you’ve written something new, you curl your brilliance through a voice pipe, out through the parade of bones dancing in the right order, through the finger army of musical esplanade — we clap, it is the only feeble jungle we know how to enter — we know not how to trace the elegant animal from the line of brilliance to the fuse of firelight and kindling, we see only the flame, we eat only light – all evening long we soak in each other’s fever dreams ; we fill up each other’s sutures with imagined melodies ; a wish for an unending splash of fleeting light – the sparkle puddle electrified in the misty autumn pavement rain – the glow of 1am filling the gutters with a gulp of dreamtime nightflesh : sputters and splatters of all the condesencing condensation of the consideration of conspiracy, coalescence and consciousness;; we here keep hearing, keep listening, keep creating long after the night has turned to morning, long after the clock tells us to tuck in for the night; we here keep hearing each other; keep making in the morning light
to many more years of making, and letting the night turn to morning, and morning turn in to new dawns, new dreams, new songs
blue sky saturation to full – the greys come peeling in like mixed-race piano keys, like a fully embodied mirror of the hudson – muddy, murky, mellowing — and here we are, by 5pm the sky has turned mellow in October. by 9am the brisk of the cooling night has only slightly dissipated. and here we are, the time i have with my little one turning timelier and timelier. i’m not okay with the time, apparently. is it not the full flesh of a purpling peach – gathering time at the edges and pointing inwards? will i ever be old enough to love you? will i ever be young enough to know you? and here the pull of music pulls time away from me again, a little tap dance; a little curtain call; a little dream of how we used to be; a little dream that things will start making sense again, the way they always have, though time ticks through them at varying colors and degrees — the way they always have, though time ticks through them endlessly
always the ever-flow of a cup of tiny lights bursting in the atmosphere, hazels and pinks and blues and something like music, is it all a concoction – a confection, a sensory hummingbird humming away at my heart ;; am i a curling page of some unfolding place i am supposed to always be or am i always the ever-flow of an overflow of a cup too small to hold it all in / too small to hold it all in — i runneth over, i, herculean bit of verbal eye language and saturn-ed arm twirl – i turn towards the sun and i let it collect me like light, reverberate me like sound, tilt me forwards towards the tilt of the earth — i try to tilt with it, align myself with the axis, but the thing keeps turning, and the thing keeps turning, and i am too small to hold it all in — and i am the ever-flow of a tiny cup of lights reflecting sound, not holding on to the ground, all atmosphere, all september rain, all cobble-stoned heart and fire-brimmed body – always formed but never finite; always the ever-flow
I do it to make my heart full ; to make the empty spaces full of light / i do it because i can’t fight the love i have for it – because i feel like a whole person when I’m lost in the rapture of the stage / of movement / of colored lights and measured notes / to feel an organ breathing – a dozen people breathing in time, sculpting over a ball of air ; listening to the sound of the universe, responding with something to say, creating in the air – in the space between air and word and intention and retention and tension of musculature and heart ;; i do it because i ache to do it
the days turned in to battered rainfall, your life kept hiding in pattered wings, fluttering about, we’re all talking to butterflies now, my dear ryan.
your heart peels around mine like a curtain, we make promises to the way humidity feels on our skin, i curl backwards through the trees, the hunger for the sun and season holds fast on the leaves;; we take the reprieve of heat, we bottle it, we keep it tucked in our front pocket, we keep all the other pockets free for leaves and acorn caps and droppings of the season coming slowly towards us.
i call towards creation, i wait in the kitchen for it to hurricane over to me – i inspire myself with the movement of my heart towards words laced in love, i follow myself towards something somewhere that can teach me how to know remember how to let go, to find the answer to the questions of the current unfolding ;; of curious and curiouser – of the moments that don’t seem to make sense at all, at the frustration that boils like a furnace — i try to find the silver lining, to remember to flip the world on its head and shake up the snow globe, let it rain plastic trapped bits of white – i try to remember to flip myself, stop thinking of myself, look at the upside down roots of the tree, find an answer that i can live with ;; i wonder whether i’m creating it out of thin air, or if its sitting there in plain sight and my eyes are too weak and narrow to see it yet, curling into the bark – a few hieroglyphs of untranslated answers — i wonder how it all works – me and the sea and the trees looking back / i wonder how i work; my messy brain that keeps misfiring or re-hiring the old tired managers to come send the old foggy neurons down the wrong paths (the paths of least resistance, those comfy, soggy brain paths) ;; i amaze myself at how easily i forget all the ‘wise’ things i think i know at my clearest moments ;; i amaze myself at how easily emotion rips through the new brain paths i try to forge – a little icepick in my hand and a wall of solid brick in front of me // i keep trying, i will keep trying, i keep trying to stay more and more aware, conscious – light that brain up without fear; a glowing lantern leading the way, healing the fray, resounding towards the new day
For my big-hearted Ryan ;
i woke up this morning hoping this was all some horrible dream; My thoughts spiral in-and-out, it’s turtles all the way down, for sure — it comes and goes in waves — I can’t do anything without thinking of you; I can’t stare into the silence without feeling like a zombie ; everything I do is a momentary band-aid ; every distraction only lasts for a brief moment ; I keep hearing your laugh in my head
River warrior; smile-keeper , you were always a fire, always a lion, always full of grace and laughter, generosity and heart; the first night you met me you asked me to marry you; // you were in the room when i found out i was pregnant and waiting for us at home when we got back from the hospital with baby jamie (having fully cleaned our house while we were gone), you were there the night i left jeff; the highest highs and the lowest lows, and always with such kindness and openness ; you were my son’s uncle, his love ; i will miss your smile, your poetry, the love and faith you greeted everyone with, your lack of judgment, your mischief, your bravery, your fight, your spirit
I don’t really understand / i don’t feel motivated by your death yet – i feel senseless and entirely lost for meaning
I pulled the beautiful journal you gave me for my birthday some years ago off the shelf…I’ve never written in it – it was too beautiful…but now the empty pages feel like a promise i should keep…i’ll try to fill them up – i’ll try to keep creating, i’ll try to feel the beautiful day around me and not think about how much you would love it, i’ll try to keep my chin up, i’ll try to see what you saw, i’ll try to find you in the falling leaves, i’ll try to not give in to despair, you were always aglow, always bright enough to keep fighting through ; i’ll try to keep breathing and finding the light…but i don’t understand yet. i don’t understand at all. and i miss you. and i love you very much // i’m not ready for this week. for the facebook posts and the funeral proceedings and the horrible conversation we’ll have to have with jamie // but one minute at a time. one foot in front of the other. one breath then another. i’ll try to turn your laughter in the back of my head into my own. i’ll try, i’ll keep trying. i’ll try to be alive for you, because i know how grateful you were to have to your life. to have your life back. to have had life at all.
in the pine river root – in the gurgle on east hampton, the sunlight streaming through the willow barren weeping branches pointing towards sag harbor – sagging away from the seashell sentience, the sentence searching for the subject, the plan planning on parting away from the partition – the part of the harbor still hankering towards the horizon, words recycled recycled and cycling towards vintage bikes, handlebars gleaming in the august glare, the fire of new york city come to exhale for an inexhaustible moment. oxygen in the waves; oxygen in the air; hungry rock cobbled driveways, curled nightmare spindle drive turns at midnight; satin storefronts, pale in the glow of summer light, pale in the lace framework of bare shoulders and martini glasses, champagne chinking against the sunset, pearlescent laughter giggling off the grass and the grain; the growing, the growing /
oak graciousness;; and here the endless haze of light moves through the wild grasses like a parade of elegance, like a twirl of countless counted moments — sand in the every crack, greens in the fullness of viridian ;; here the little highway splinters through the city’s teeth // a series of bridges and other man-made steel bones — and here the firmament of wealth spills like rubies, like shoes made of porcelain, like cream-rich oxygen for sale; and here we breathe privileged breaths.
and here i am, september first on the dotted line, on the river twine, on the apple-lipped choke of a season about to peel // here i am at the bravery of newness, at the weakening of green, at the hurled invective of the sky about to seize with color and movement;; here i am beginning again, here i am becoming again, here i am – a wish of a new morning
The pastoral past passes through me like a passage of pressed flowers beating like a heart ; like wire ; like strings frayed ; like the unafraid rings of a tree expounding outwards ; like a drop on a pool, on a lake, on a bed of watered flowers spilling over the edge like a nourishment / like a nuisance / like a novelty read for the first time
August hands, and love // i cannot speak of how vast the love, how deep the chasm spills into all the empty spaces; how full you become when you begin to breathe // How all the pockets between your bones and all the chinks in your armor fill with oxygen when you let the carbon dioxide go ;; how all the spaces fill like capsized balloons floating in reverse / how gravity will lift you when you let it no longer be a grave; How August cloudscape will wipe across the shallow frame of your seeing eyes / how unearthed light will fall backwards away from gravity towards the upended trunk of the atmosphere exposing the earth’s rings ; like rings ; like trees ; like water droplets ; like angel breath on clouds // like circles within circles // upside down the light comes spilling through the center of the Earth ; the magma of your heart like a beacon
let words come like a fortune of grass stains ; i am a cupped heart still trying to catch light, still trying to photosynthesize;; always failing in patience, always working towards the right words to fill the right moment with the right grace, but sometimes i am just a little human and my boots are filled with rain and my courage is hollowing through my brain and the only response i have is a messy tumble of emotions that come seeping out between my teeth, and sometimes i try to breathe;; but breath is shallow when you don’t have a belly-full of trust in yourself and lungs are tiny when you feel like you don’t have the time to let them expand // but the illusion of nightmare dreamwork is just frame-work, is just a faded etch around the edges — the door is new, the door is chestnut, you can open it, you have hands. scratches, dings and whistles line the edges like a parade of decadent molding; brain frosting (things still frozen in the ice) still comes on top of every jerked-fear-rattle-response — but your trauma is not your structure, your house is more than wood, your parts are more than math;; you do not need to keep apologizing. you do not need to keep apologizing. you do not need to keep apologizing.
To let the August air waft around me like a thousand brittle eyes:: seeing; everything and nothing all at once ;; to let the windmill of flower scent come petaling towards me like a destination / to say I am here / I am here again // to feel the chips on your shoulders, to let them become grooves, shallow graves for any sense of judgment your ego ever wanted to hold on to ; to release, to always release, to work on learning how to know how to learn how to release ;; Something is always trying to hold on ; something is always trying to let go, to lift the latch up, to ratchet against the gear valve, the jammed wheel screw wrench socket; you have to lift it up before you can release ; you have to push it yourself ; you have to use your neurons to push against the hard iron weight of gravity in your brain ;; The little latch on the gate : you will nudge it, it will budge;, your brain will not want to but you can release it, with a tissue clock force of your mental elbow grease, you can knock it, with the right little left little neuron hiccup ;; little teacup full of fistful full of willpower; full of sunflower ; full of reaching ; full of sunlight, full of brain reaching towards the rain, towards the sunlight;; plants grow against gravity too; you can pull towards the sun like a bulb, like a flash of elegant effot; you can try;, You can try to try ; you can convince yourself you are trying and that is it — that is the simple trick on the latch : all you have to do is try to try to convince yourself that you are trying ; to release yourself ; a sunflower ;; you can breathe yourself there, to a place where you can believe in beginning; you can release yourself there; the valve is a gauge, your heart is an animal, your strength is in the surrender, your power is the willingness to watch the day around you like a masterpiece of air and grass sentience and the sentences in between the trees ; in the breath between your ego and your will, in the life burning in your stomach, and the unrest you wrestle out from inside your soft tissue of a brain puddle ;; and from (fuck the brain) the inside of your chest;; the lacework of your ribcage ; the motor of your lungs ;; you can release, you can release, you’re ok ;; you’ve got it, the air has got you; your lungs have got you
Your brain is just a little thing, you see – and you,, you are a wild thing growing towards the sun