the joke

the only thing i’ll ever need is the 6pm spring light and the smell of the earth baking up from the crust — the warm toffee caress of the glaze of light on the side of your skin — the only thing i’ll ever need is a little bit of freedom and the air wide enough to breathe —


i was struck last night by this lifelong friendship that barrels down the endless curving paths — these people that have become my family; the worlds and ways we’ve all stumbled down, the sorrows we’ve shared together. i am grateful for that. i am grateful for the endless stream of tears that poured out of me last night; the catharsis, the acknowledgment. i am grateful for the beautiful array of sights – for how meaningful the things he touched became / i am grateful for the irreverence and the reverence that his joyous friends showed // i was grateful to be grieving together, all in our own ways, but as a whole, finitely connected in this loss / i am grateful for loss, for the way it wakes you up and shakes you up and gives you perspective on what is important / i am grateful to be allowed to continue to be happy, to be allowed to still find the light / i am grateful for guitar licks and late night laughter and the ring of glasses on black tables – the curvature of light that splinters through the trenton window (which has already endured one shattering and replacement) / i am grateful for how humans find homes inside one another / i am grateful for you, and grateful for your laughter, and your silly ways, laughing at us while a priest tried to barrel his way through the Lord’s Prayer in the face of a bunch of wanderers that knew that the only thing Benny would want would be laughter, a joke, and more music / i am grateful to be trying to still find ways to laugh, and to be able to recognize the joke

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acquiescence

I can’t believe how the sacred finds me. How the sacred colored hues of the earth and the sky peel towards me like an entire history written and rewritten without words. I can’t believe the stretch of ocean beneath my feet. The rattle claw lobster head of the cloud jetty that is seizing towards me on the horizon — the endless sacred unfolding that twirls around in a circle with the rotation of the earth, not forwards on some blind, human line. It goes around on an axis, the wheel of this life, you silly thing. Not a linear line. We need more strange shapes to our stories, words, conscious expressions. We need more of that place beyond the words. We need more of the indescribable color of the history of the world sitting on the horizon each night at sunset. Those answers. Those answerless answers which hug the mystery tight and see the words written right in front of our faces. We need more recognition that we created our language – arbitrary, pulling sounds out of the wind and the way our mouth shaped against the air that bounced off the rocks around us. We need more acquiescence to the rhythm of bottomless song.

tuned in

nothing i can say but a thousand metaphors for my aching heart; the riptide; my savaged insides — the ravaging; the raging /
nothing here but bad poetry; and the outline of your face against mine, just waiting endlessly for the other shoe to drop — and now the shoes – a pile in my front yard / my piercing dreams of you – more real than any collection of coins i’ve ever totaled together
// and ow, again, right through my heart; palpable 

funny how death can make spring feel cold and mute ;; the color is still there but not registering anything // the flowers still beautiful but only registering a melancholy of what he’s missing // the numb impossibility of grasping the present

At times thoughts are very far away from one another; you stare at the ground or out the window with no words coming at all — just blank;, you feel carved from the inside;, your interior spooned out like a melon;, scraped off the sides until there is only shell (and thin at that)

i in the magic gardens;; and the vocal sound coming through the telephone toppled me, careened my body into a fumbling pillar of ice, i trembled in every bone and could not stand for the weight of gravity. and yet somehow, every color turned on – turned alight – tuned in;, every gasping curvature of the creation around me seemed to all hum the same note – all everything, everywhere, creation is alight — all everything everywhere, there is nothing to fear but a lack of love. and where there is love, where there is creation, there is life. and i love you still, in memory and in creation. and love shines everywhere, in every corner, reflects back in the tiny pieces of mirror. creation is just the everything where we reside. in this form. and there you are — in the formless freedom of every light now.

what grief feels like

time slows, wheels back like an accordion, fumbles for the door keys. memories crystallize in the moment, no longer present but past, all changing colors and meaning now, now the only last strands to grasp, now an array in a timeline which has a finite point at the end, now a riddle of human love splayed backward out of order;; the brain is clogged by memory, by questions, by filling in the blanks;; the sounds screech, the colors blow out, the feeling of the wind on your cheek feels immense; tangible — then the crash;; the grappling numbness — a rapture firming inside your bones, dead-faced, stone-cold, energy at an all-time low. molasses feet, your flesh carrying so much weight. then the rippled laughter at some little memory. then the tears just rushing; oxygen, oceanic, somehow endless — how is there this much water in your face? how do your eyes have this many tears behind them? how is it so easy / how is it so hard to stop them // then the guttural sounds: ugly, ratcheded breathing, the ache in the chest, the stomach;; the flipping — the waking up feeling, the remembering again feeling;; then the nagging guilt, then the flashes of anger;; then the wheel repeats. then i feel you in the light, the breeze, the air, the chlorophyll, and i know you’re free. and i know you’re peaceful, joyous, rapturous. but still the endless unreality pierces through the circles and cycles, the unstoppable, unbeatable tears, the swells of emotion, the plateaus of nothingness, the firmness of gravity bearing down on your body. your body. your body. and the rip in our space-time hearts. the searing tear.

no more deaths to drugs. no more lost friends. no more tattoos to keep permanent what has danced in and out of view. no more, no more. friends, where does it begin and end?

and then time means nothing. accomplishment means nothing. the only thing that matters is the grace he gave, the love he gave, the light, the support, the inspiration. and all our ego climbs seem empty and worthless. the number of years means nothing, the endless strive towards the future. all that matters is the present, the love, the giving, the creating of community, the reaching out. and he did all of that. everyday. so there is nothing but success in his story. there is nothing but beauty in his memory. and now we begin the immense climb towards the light. towards the creation of something in his image, with his inspiration. to live like that, to build community like that, to be focused on others like that. let’s try, let’s try.

i love you forever. i’d like to be inside your arms one more time. love never dies. and love multiplies endlessly. you become everything now, you give everything now, everyone should be shaken open by love now. and your work goes on and on. love and community. we’ll remember. and we’ll give it around and around. let’s build. let’s love. forever.

key west, florida

The landforms carve out of the ocean like a ribbon of dotted wishes along the coast. The keys play out of tune and in all the right places. The keys peel off from their country like a beautiful array of fuck yous – a tidy sum of rainbows distancing themselves from the madness of the motherland. The everlasting wind blows taffy hair all about the island – purpled and pinked pops of truffula flowers announcing themselves on the street corners. The wild roosters knowing no bounds. the freedom of the island is implicit – it sinks into the smoke-filled bars, bras and dollar bills affixed haphazardly to the ceiling and walls like a wayward bridge to the endless horizon. Something sacred hangs in the sub-tropical abandon ; in the hard liquor and white, angling 2nd story porches. the pastel creams and lilac shutters flutter in the wind like a wild, peaceful fever ;; the coral bones and chunks of sunken ship debris ; a rebel patch of land floating away from its rebel of a country ;; the half spun dream melody of a twisting madness or a bobbing wonderland

the mythology of treasure, of great men writing in rowdy dive bars, of mermaids and horror stories ; of key lime sweetness and rainbow revelry ;

blue planet

now the pop of palm-tree fizz fades out into the distant atmosphere – the radiant gaze of spinning leaves twirls towards the storm-filled sky — we are inside of the florida haze, the gathering sideways crawl of a thundercloud and a windchime passing through the sideways ball-eye of the great blue planet — a huge bubble waiting to pop in space;; suspended in the great empty blackness — protruded by the delusion of light to cast blues about — the sky, the ocean, the reflections of reflections of hues created ;; how come we call ourselves the blue planet, when all the blue is a mirror image of a mirror image of a painters creation of hue light – striking sunlight through the atmosphere like a promise (to keep reality stable, at the very least) — the blue never leaves, never tilts, never abandons ;; me on the other hand – littered with garbage from past lives and unable to recycle any of these plastics — the pieces of brittle plastic love buried in me that will take thousands of years to decompose. oh lovely, a quick google search reassures me that plastic will never truly degrade. magnificent — chock full of each other forever and forever we’ll all be — so sure in this moment that we want to make things that last forever // so sure that the blue reflection of scattered faraway, ancient sunlight will keep holding reality together long enough for our plastic shovels to be worth it to dig ourselves out of the tiny sand castles we build next to the waves — but the big mirror-blue ocean waves keep crashing like laughter at our small selfish hands ;; the plastic shovels keep getting washed into the unfathomable depths of the ocean — careening about with the deep-sea-black-light-luminescent-magic-seeing-eye fish at the bottom ;; the barely-seeing-eyes that the tiny plastic shovels slide past in the darkness; that never-ending-seeming abyss. but the ocean waves keep laughing. because (unlike space and the endless old sunlight) there is a bottom to the ocean. there is a rock bottom. there is a tub that can be filled. and we fill. and we fill. so sure in this moment that we want to make things that last forever //

the heart that tears at the seams;; peels and purges itself — the heart that batters the rain, weathers the veins of the earth, peers through every open ventricle – vehicular everything;; finely tuned manner of mannerless measurements towards the manic love of living — with fresh air and fresh dirt beneath me

but you, everlastingly in front of me — the pain of the sidewalk everlastingly spreading in all directions

Of course, she says,
of course,
No other way could this possibly have ended
No other way could my heart feel the bitter taste of regret so violently

Other than you dropping the phone at the end of the line,, an endless plastic line of webbing drawing all of the fools to the table

You didn’t do anything wrong, you say; I say

I capsized first you, drawing the end of the life raft towards you like a blanket — I always knew I say;; your words tip like the finality of a star feeding itself with its own fire — the metaphors are strong here, the words are weak; the magnetic force is quantum;; neverending and pink

Of course, my heart would butterchurn and evaporate at the sound of your footsteps walking away- how could I never not always know that? Of course, my mind would splinter cell and cut all the corners ;; how could that not be laced into my DNA?

And this trauma too – will it too be laced into my DNA? Passed down the endless line? When do the chromosomes bend back in armor and fold over in rebellion- new patterns and arrangements the strongest fight there is;; when does it wash out?

topography

my insides melt like acid rain, the fire of being close to the horizon of your love like a heart attack in space — my oxygen like an every present stagnation of brittle air on caustic lungs — the folded lifetime between us getting smaller again — I cannot take this many lost lifetimes, my heart cannot bear this much battering ,; my heart flings clusters of ventricles into the cosmos, into the meteoric heart crash of another one burning up in the atmosphere;; into the radioactive pull of memories ;; the laceration that laughter makes on the atmosphere – the joy that glitters out of pancaked faces and half-guaged jokes at something jarring — an instant; the instantaneous transformation of the climate — the radical shift in the tilt in the earth’s axis when you tell me a combination of simple words ;; the way the ocean floor sinks 500 feet deeper into the earth’s crust every time I remember ,, my little old heart cant handle much more

austin, texas

the words are not what you’d think perhaps ;;

the wind rattles down the texas highway, past the blue bonnets and the highway long grass and the low-laying live oaks stubbling just past head height. the light filters through the shy little spear-leaves and shelters the cobbled grass stragglers at our feet. everything feels the lack of water. everything edges towards and away from the heat.

but the city – is it liquid; flexible; gathered at the edges and perking up at the center — it is rich, local, flavorful, pungent, spiced, metropolized, conscious-eyed and sprawling with creation. the city it is a galvanized portal to seven new realms and 3 recycled ones. the city is a map unfolded in ten hues of gold leaf, ash, soot and metal — patina and reckless abandon — to turn the rust of the south into a subterfuge for society and counter-culture

and me, i feel the sunshine on my skin for the first time in months – i forget it’s blaze and fire-tongue. i forget the way light shines through colors like platinum and endless power. i curl into cousin connection – into the courageous forever of a lifelong friendship // into comfort and endless discovery // i pound my feet into pavement and walk until my feet find my body at the end of the hours – peeling back towards the darkness of twilight gathering on empty branches and i fold my legs inwards towards the comfort of emlyn’s little house rattling in the wind. the wind rattling down bennet and 46th — keeping austin just how you’d think, perhaps — strange, unique, and all to its own, a lone star amongst a thousand others never quite like it in the night sky

i rotate the cuffs of my heart through the paneled glass revolving doors of the world;; through all the plate glass panels playing with my perception. i pummel towards purer perception;;

i close again, a gift;; a loud musical reverie;; of soaring notes and blissful heels pounding the stage; of bedazzled bodysuits and prayers to release the oppressed – of pinks and purples, hues of ancient words and melodies laced on top of one another ;; of friendship and love and labored breathing and long black wigs and dancing in the wing-light of transfixed song wonder ;; of silliness and laughter — of fruition and togetherness — of joy on joy and the gratitude i have once again for the incredible gift of what creations life lets me be a part of

to more creation, more joy, more laughter