slow dance

rowboat of wonder, i am nothing but a tumble of tiny wishes making their way home from war, i am tucked under the sink, folded in the back pocket of a world still blazing; january sings the same song: the warm by the heater, hum under the fluorescent light, tuck inside the moon tonight, wrap yourself up by the light of the fridge, tune your brain to the chime of some electric buzz you cannot place song; race yourself backwards in time, see who finishes first, let the flame spread a little further — i can walk a little farther, i can do it. i am waiting to plant all my seeds. for now i sit and stare at the legs of this chair and admire how the cabinet sings to the tile; how the rug one day will dissolve, all my bits of skin gone with it; how the sky has only 4 moods in the winter, and none of them look like you; how heat like friction will sit inside the walls, fold its hands and dream of sleep ; how the particles outside sit still and wait , some fever dream that never breaks; the slow dance of particles twirling to a silence we cannot hear

i’ve tried to find pretty words about the past week and i just can’t / so i’ll write plain words instead — about the rain tapping on the roof right now, the curl of fake heat that blurs my cheeks apple red – the pummel of news, the shading and shaping of words, the quick click ‘off’ of the tv remote when jamie walks in the room / the weekend spent cutting a hole my house, dragging a 300lb wood stove in and working all day for it to not work, to the click and rattle of rolling about in a circle again, the pull and push of the center of gravity to tug at my over-inculcation with news, with analyses, the inability to drown myself in paint – to curve into the corners of a brush, the tip inside the edge of a wheel and just keep spinning downhill, the joy of getting to take a walk outside with mr. bush on his 70th birthday last saturday, of getting to take home some of his pottery, to place it in my cupboards, my mentor of all mentors, the gift that goes beyond all days — the hunkering of winter, the drill of any screen into my eyeballs, the hush of any quiet memory ; the twirl of a new day, or the same day that keeps repeating, inside out and sideways through

2020

so i squeezed my brain through the loophole/the black hole, the business end of a swift set of ancient eyes glancing backwards at me — so i stuffed my heart through a radiator, i watch it glow from a distance, i am outside my body looking in, so the year has folded me like origami and i am ten feet deep in the tadpole swish of the flick of my own bone; so i washed myself clean of the friction ; i pulled myself out of the water — the water turned syrup and sentience ;; i keep following the words like a rope ,, pulling me endlessly towards the finish line i think is coming just beyond the current heartache ;; so i slip into the river, i pull the winter sky over me like a blanket, i let my nerves go numb from hypothermia, i feel it all — even the rush of cold that turns my skin to silt ;; i slip, silk satin eyes and the stardust wish of the world winking back at me — i will never stop hoping

alright here’s the blasted year in review a day early, with basically nothing at all to report

to the crack into january, the fires raging across australia, the pain of the headlines, the never-knowing-if-you-are-okay, to cabaret and black high heels and ache and sore footed heart, to uno’s, to a patchwork of a handful of memories, tgi fridays or something adrift by a movie theatre that has since shuttered its doors, to thinking i was going to get my tiny house, to the agony of it falling through, to court and lawyers and driving to the lawyer’s office, to permits and licenses and no answers, to new orleans and the thrill and joy of endless celebration, to getting cast at the walnut, getting my first equity contract and then the production being canceled 5 days later, to thinking jamie had off of school for two days to him not going back for 10 months, to the slow realizations we all made, to all of us dipping ourselves into a cryo-freeze chamber; the memories are blended after that, nothing sticks out except what i created at any given time — wool and thread and needle felting, the spring rays, the gratitude to be able to sit with the blossoms, strange news broadcasts and hollow apocalypse feeling ; playing video games for the first time in years, home workout videos and podcasts and youtube and crafts with jamie; my birthday that passed like a dream; mothers day and the sweet gifts jamie made for me; the mind-blowing shock of getting my land, of having it all work out, the back and forth of the bidding war, these large decisions, the wild boldness, my endless gratitude, to pulling it on safely and soundly – to breaking it open and breaking it in and painting and setting and basking, to black lives matter, to protests and unrest and worry and loss, to summer heat, jamie turning 6, walks and hikes as much as far as my feet would take me, bike rides and lost adventures, writing, writing, painting, painting, making, making, to maryland for mom’s birthday, racing across a pier at twilight, to upstate new york and adventures by myself, to the rocks and mountains and magic of escape, to busy busy fall, 5 weddings and so much photography, endless edits, endless shoots, and then the abrupt stop, the silent winter, binging outlander, virtual school, no brothers at thanksgiving, dressing my tiny house in christmas lights, the first snowfall, gouache paint, laughing with jamie, loving the silence, the solitude, no need to socialize, the ability to float in my own head, to focus on my art, to be alone with myself, to flit between the blades of sunlight that fall through the window and to be reminded that that is enough, to slow down, to let it all exhale, to grow, to sit in small gratitudes, to be alive at all, to breathe, and to carry hope for something new, like the only flag i am made of, within my heart

more smoke than ghost

this time of year tends to make me think about you, brother richard / you strange lost windpipe clanging against a telephone pole – you sentient adventurer on your own map entirely ;; i would say we miss you, but rather your absence is so far gone that the space you once held around the table is more smoke than ghost ; more ash than fire ; i don’t even know the names of my nieces — sometimes i wonder what you thought about this movie or that, what you thought of the cinematography, how the music made you feel // i scratch the hollow lottery ticket of our memories and they come back two dimensional and laughing ; drained of color and mute-voiced — the only things i can remember are the memories you’ve probably blocked out ;; the four of us laughing, wild, weird and goofy — chuckling or arguing or being free, the way children are supposed to be ; we’ve been three for so long now that i don’t remember the feeling of four — the way i adored you, came to sneak skittles from your room just to have the joy of opening your door, just to see you splayed over something brilliant, just to quietly sit in awe — the way i’d sit in the corner of your room just grateful to listen // i wonder if you ever think of us, i wonder how you justify it all to yourself ;; i think i miss you but mostly i think i don’t know who you are anymore

christmas still shined this year — perhaps because i let everything glow in my own mind, just to keep myself afloat, i let my imagination run all throughout the house, just to keep the lights from dimming — and because i got to see my son’s splayed open jeweled mouth – missing one tooth now, joyous and laughing and grateful // because i have the ability to create, because i have the ability to give, because i have the ability to breathe, and these things are enough in themselves; these things are enough

bumblebee mind and circumscribed hive of endless habitation — welcome to the neuron rotation of the new day — the incubation of a warm thread of new light cascading on the piles of snow — the reflection back to my eyes too bright to tolerate — the encouragement of the winter to sing, to soften into the side of a riverbank, to glow on the endless branches that reach outwards, ever outwards — to sit with the courage of snow, the blanket of cold, the endless drum of cyberspace, the warm cape of my self-narrative that tucks me in at night; the finality of cold that never lets me give up the fight / the crescent moon tucked over a snow bitten shopping center, a hollow light glazing over the parking lot, shoveled piles of every wish and crinkled starshapes in the ice-tire-tracks / the car will curve and sway with the frictionless frozen carnival on the asphalt, the windowless sky will blink unironically at me as I tuck myself in for the night, over and over an imagination box closing its lid, tightening small narrations of stories into the space between my hair and my head, catching the pillowcase like a dream of cotton snowflakes — placing myself into myself like an endless cascade of twilight seeing itself awake

at the bottom

all the colors have been sucked out of my palette now — the hues a soft cascade of browns and grays; the gradient a soft hint at a winter blue tucking itself in for the season — my body finds itself fitting in to the warmth of the way the chair will hold me ; my eyes glaze wide at the never ending darkness, the flicks of gold through the open window shades — somehow i am buoyant;; i still float like a wish or a dream — there is no fear inside the bottom of this well, there is just the comforting darkness as it comes to cloak me for a long sleep; there is no need to rattle against your own cages, you are safe at the close of day; the twilight that sometimes bleeds into the horizon (no horizon but endless gray), this too holds time like a bowl; shakes and rolls it; settles gently as the first flakes of the first snow of the season somehow find a way to stop time — time curls next to you, wraps you up in its tender coldness; counts the spaces between the snowflakes and maps them backwards, comforts you with math; angular sides of walls, the angles of light that reflect off a table; the slide and seethe of lights on a wet winter road, tumbling about haphazardly; the holiday lights never knowing what they are for — but twinkling nonetheless in chaotic disarray and frenzied attempts to bring back the light ;; our shimmering holograms of electric color that trace our roadways: a prayer to the light to pull itself back again;; and silently, an ode to the darkness that comes to cloak us ;; to accompany us ;; to blanket us in a small, hollow, temple of warmth at the bottom of a well —

despite everything, the warmth of our body continues to glow ; and the light does too, the light does too

thankful

thankful i am, for the swell of the wind, the glow of the atmosphere, the billow of branches — grateful i am, for your little cupped hand, how it fits into mine, the warmth of your eyes as you look in to mine, how your mind keeps growing, how your words keep sharpening, how wonderful it is to speak to you, to hear your thoughts as they get thicker and thicker, as concepts and creations take hold in your imagination, as your consciousness touches the new horizon, and then the next, and the next — grateful for my little home, for the way the leaves framed it with yellow and red before they fell to the ground; for the earth and the wind; for good stories and warm tea; for my ability to create, for the willingness of my art to keep coming; for the space between the sky and the rain; for all the things i can remember and all the things i cannot; for heating and warmth and the energy within my body that has not dimmed; for love and hope and the hope that refuses to die

paper boat

november has slowed to a soft drumbeat — i hear the old songs twirl in the leaves, i always think about the tribes slipping through the breaks in trees at this time; the wild land, the languages lost to the forests, the wisdom lost, the courage laced in the bark, the names of places we have covered over with our brutal words, our blunt hypocrisy, our tall tales, our spinning ships, our tumbled stories that find our way onto placemats and cutouts — 2d drawings of a simple pilgrim’s hat and a feathered band around the head — the only distillation we can swallow, the small, fast print-out of a history thick with complexity, lax with truth, thin with answers — the full-bodied resonance of a bonnet fleshed out of new cotton; something that was so much more heavy than the thin sheet of pressed paper we want to cut out with our tiny scissors; chop chop, snip snip, history is a folded diorama, (you can glue it together at the end — fold over the parts you don’t want anyone to see — as long as the boat floats, as long as it holds water,,,, as long as the boat floats, who cares if it’s made of paper)

blue

Cascade of blue, we fly down the coastline, wiping the map clear of our fervor; our rage and our hope; our joy flies about the streets like a sickness we are all willing to catch;; like the fever dream of a coming future we had yet to imagine; the future splays out to me in different colors now:: different sounds I hear, echoing back now, different snippets of songs :: the future looks brighter now, bolder, older / The world is still thick with corruption, with greed, with illness of morality; the world still sinks without values and drills into the arctic and bombs without care;; there is no but :: there is no excuse ; there is no explanation ; there is only the reaching and reaching and reaching towards the beloved community of tomorrow that we must build ;; there is only the healing of divides, divisiveness and hatred that we must build towards ;; always and always reaching towards the supremacy of love only :: I don’t know what the future holds but I know that it must be guided by love //

day of the dead

Today I crack the door open to all my ghosts; to all those wandering inside the roots and cracks in the stone , the piles of dirt between the plants, and their tiny wishes ;; the veil, the rim, a blushing bride ;; the courage of us all, to keep going even inside of all this darkness and all this death; today I greet the ghosts I do not know, today I think of you, of course, my friends, my dear friends;; I think of grief and how it begins to settle in you;; how the cement begins to set, with all your fingerprints in it;; I think of the coming season — my bones have changed shape just since yesterday; everything rattles towards winter:: towards my fear of it; the long strokes of anxiety that fill my muscles;; the season of golden light replaced so quickly with the bluster and glare of November; of grey and wind whipped streets;; the coming herald of civil war and unrest // 


And then I try to pull that golden light towards me once again ; you wrapped in purple and yellow fabric ;; a glow with a certain kind of smile only candy wrappers can bring // prancing your little feet in boots you’ve had for years now; running through the streets decked with all the human spirit you can imagine ;; inside of all the skeletons and corpses there is the glow of the human spirit trying not to die ;; fiercely reaching towards one another through a mask or a costume or a pipe or a rope and pulley ;; the long glaze of yellow grass, the dotted sheaves of colour sprinkling across the brick; the wide verandahs, the ornate and pastel trim on these old victorian houses, and still your feet dance faster & faster // we pick up speed as you spot this house that one and then the next and then the next;; you tireless joy warrior, proud, and spinning in your frock;; your face in a pile of fallen leaves ;; the street lantern glowing auburn as the light trickles out of this beautiful month for the last time