i, rabbit horn, sea monster, rattle death – i call sadness into my ribcage to light fire to my heart. i mourn the afternoons bathed in autumn light through the rose curtains. i mourn the ring of singing voices in hollowed tree stumps. i fear the bones of winter crackling towards the sky without relent. i fear the branches; the harness of the sky to the earth. i fear myself. i search myself. i become more of myself. i grow in to being a teacher – giving strength, welling patience, harnessing words. i hark to the light. to the purpose that petals my feet forward. i hollow towards the light. i hear my own whispers; i repeat action and action and action and i rest not wearily enough. i hunger, i rattle, i raise. i reach towards the light – i keep reaching.
rattle frames – art museum condenses me into hue – into paint and form / radiance and reflection // little boy rattles the air with laughter, grandfather sits with wise blue eyes, smiling softly, curling hands, 2 flannel shirts stacked on top of one another – warm bones. mama takes our legs through unbuilt houses – heaps of wood and thin board, rattling together like skeletons – november wind whipping through strange windows of rolling plastic sheets: my childhood comes back in an instant – all the half-finished crater houses spelunk-ed in our rapshackle, ticky-tacky development – the only tradition my family had. the only pastime. we’d hobble along the cul-de-sac and curbed, mowed fences to a shamble of bones lying wasted in the winter air – a house being constructed — unstable, something that would rattle in the wind
and here december turns ash of our flame / i was walking up a creaky set of stairs and i fell back in love instantly / and my hands ring around the rosie, and my pockets are full of gaseous and nosey words, and my heart is full of window panes and light-rivers / my school chatters and sings, bulges at the walls and sews together little bits of things lost and remembered / my heart pounds and dashes, dots, dots, dots along the path
and the smell of burning rocks – rocks with fire twisted up inside them / water steaming life from life / words pounded into drums, drums pounded into hearts, bodies swollen with honesty, feet trenched in mud and vulnerability / and the full moon glazing, and the full fire blazing, and the hollow of a hut holding sixteen people tight – and the mountain of song spilling out, and the cheer of bones against muscle, and the sweat – the sweat – the sweat dripping off every curve, every hollow / and the spill of water into pit, into steam, into conscious breath, into no breath possible, into breath into a sweater and stay low to the ground, stick your finger out of the tiny hole in the hut, gulp the winter air onto your skin and the heat – the heat – the heat / and the release – the gash of air tunneling your body, finally, finally – heart melting / exposed, ravenous / blanketed on leaves, naked skin against winter dirtearth – leaf bed, full moon canopy of black-branched labyrinth streaming towards the sky – streaming towards the sky – steaming towards surrender – and the surrender, the surrender, the surrender – the will power, the achievement, the strength – the release of ego – the release – the sweat, the swell, the season, the surrender, the sublime, the sacred, the sanctuary, the summit; the sound of everything
scoop me up, november wind. tussle me around like these burnt, brown leaves. leave me alone, big wind. leave me alone, biting chill, hungry coats, scratchy hats, bottomed out boots and swollen socks. leave me alone, coming cold and bottle necked branch billow breezes
saddle me with love – love the backsides of my knees, the places where my skin curls into freckle, the turn at the base of my skull where hair meets air. and i too, love the minutiae of waking up – of turning on the cellular limitations of liminal space, of devoting myself to loving every day, everyday. to at least attempt to find the glow of love at least momentarily – everyday.
I don’t mind the Instagram-ed glorification and beautification of life (if done right) because it is precisely feeding a hunger our society needs – the sacred versus profane – crossing the liminal space to the magic realism of everyday – providing perspective to the mundane moments of our life – honoring aesthetic everywhere – honoring the beauty of our lives everywhere – finding the sacred in the profane and lifting it up – elevating moments of life that otherwise slip by – consciously cultivating an awareness and reverence towards the formed beauty of our lives splayed out – dabbing art here and there – crossing the boundary lines between prose and poetry; between the pastoral and the profound daily. a meditation, a practice, a transformative tool for creating guerrilla art in everyone’s hands (just please don’t waste it only on selfies, dear friends and lovers)
just show me the way. just show me the way. show me what matters to me, how to attain it – show me what i am – how to be it, how to find it. how to hang holly above the door and bless a space. show me what sacred space is, how to make room for it. show me where my soul is – how to poke it with a stick. show me what i love, how to love it. how to honor it. how to feel it beating inside my chest. how to stay organized, clear, resonant. how to light a candle and let it burn. how to be patient with children who have chaos in their bones. how to quell, how to find that meaningful. how to show that. how to show up, everyday. how to be more of myself. to find more of myself. to not be afraid. show me what i love and how to share it. how to give it. how to become more of myself.
october 17 –
Today was one of my all time favorite memories already now crystallizing in the twilight as my brain chews on it / opening the door to the golden house to see little jamie standing at school with his white backpack and his red shoes and white hair and his brilliant smile. Taking his little hand / little heart of mine in his and taking him into the school with me / gazing sidelong at every other little child, saying his full name with a grin and even occasional ‘nice to meet you’ / His little grizzly drizzle smile and his big mouthed baby words
And the chicory and the Queen Anne’s lace and the wild daisies and the orange leaves singed at the edges with red and patches of green not yet turned
Is there a right way to love the world?
october 20 –
walking into that theatre felt like a waft of warm air hitting me in the face. the memories were visceral – right in front of my eyes, twirling and revolving – the things most tactile were of the season – the heat, the junebugs, the sweat, the swarm of flowers and golden shafts of light…and i thought that was funny, considering everything took place inside. inside a dusty old theatre box glowing with life. rattling with laughter. swelling. swollen. it still wrapped itself around the rafters for me. it still clung in the floorboards. and what struck me too, was the fragile speed with which the seasons change. with which this is an entirely different place now. and the trees, barely hanging on to the little leaves that sheltered us. and the air, whipping in the night as we walk brick by brick. how quickly the seasons change, how wildly the people shutter out the doors / and linger in the pipes, and how words still listen in the wings, and how every word spoken still reverberates – sound isn’t lost, it just gets quieter and quieter – soft waves of meaningful noise dissipating forever. if you listen, with the right kind of ears – you can still hear it.
topsy-turvy world; topsy-turvy month – how have i never had a moment to write? about a new show starting, dance feet aching, old muscles twitching awake. about linger-lacing, finger-dancing dates; about october days twirling in the ache of color. about golden light and warmth of autumn trickling through the trees. about theatre seen and theatres listened to – about laughter captured and lungs filled. about music dribbling; nahko bear and rain-drenched adventures. about jamie learning – going to school – leaps, bounds and buckles. about projects and crafts and thread and wool and breath and school and teacher teaching, bonding burning, friendship rolling, love-lists lengthening, newnesses and newnesses and october settling in the air – cackling. thai food listening and crackle-box curries and molten hot chocolate and yellowed haybales and greened corn maze mystery. and flashlight secrecy – kisses caught on your coat. boots and bumbles and brambles and words. and words. and love. and love. and more love. and light, and life. and october death in the gorgeous grace of gravity.
exhale, little girl, exhale. let the world drain through you / pipe dreams, river songs, musket fire of mosquitos on the lane /
same canal, but the greens have been sapped and the oranges pulled out of luminance – the yellows curl inwards from the edges and miniature piles begin to curdle themselves on the top of the water. things beginning to pool, to flesh themselves out onto the top, to come to fruition and reminisce together. to bask. to release. always, to release.
am i ready for what’s happening in my life? no, almost certainly not. will i rise to meet it? i will try. i will try to release in to it – like the brave piles of leaves that let go.
how can i possibly begin to place these moments in boxes and send them down the river? do i have to? do they flow inwards, towards the ever-present me, perhaps/ and not outwards – endlessly away, as our imagery always seems to say?
the show ended and we hung our coats up and i placed an orange peel on a beige mantel and we peeled our pictures off the mirror (careful not to break the tape) and we wrote out thank you’s scribbled in jibblejargon pen speed and we gave gifts that fit sweet memories and we toasted lines that we were glad to let slip back down our throats and i cherished a few that i loved to spit out of my tongue and little green grapes got gobbled up and bang-crackle doors got closed. and i am grateful once again. grateful for the laughter, for the words, for the challenge, for the spitfire brain focus, for the growth, for the gift. for the gift. always grateful for the gift placed before me.
and michaelmas too – a swing of gravity pulling autumn light towards me – fragile light, dappled, angling, subtle, cool // the marigold dipped silks hanging limp and dancerly on the string tied between two oak trees. the ground splattered in acorn halves, children’s feet and the first few leaves. golden all around, golden all around. and laughter and little eyes clutching at golden light. and apples halves and quartered – and wheat flour floating in petaled clouds under the trees – bread dough rising in the morning – cobwebbed oven burning bright with captured light (fire or glow or autumn heat meeting october in the morning). and child hands rolling balls of dough into beads of bread. and family hands holding graceful lines from sweetness to sweetness. golden light, autumn breath, windly twists of trunks of trees growing tall, little child hands, little child laughter growing tall, little child hearts growing thick with golden light. plant a heart, water it with light, let it turn golden in the oven, let it rise, let the dough rise – do not fear; the days will always glow warm inside the light.
no i can’t write about it
so my arteries are stopped up and my mind is chopped up
life is still hotfoot and flooded; busy / full / resounding
jamie is still pitter patter spitfire and full-blooded consciousness soaring
autumn is still approaching; hands-wide, mouth-open, sky speckled and darting
school is sanctuary ; school is therapy, healing, meditation
photography work is the dream ; challenge, learning, pulling, gripping, capture
music is everything
the play is fire ; fire is igniting me ; ignition is pulling me close
but i haven’t submitted any writing since april and the past 6 months of shows have been consuming and i need a break and i need to get back into my pocket and i need to finish projects and i need to keep tunneling up the mountain and i need to keep writing
and i need to keep my head screwed on straight and stare straight into the sun and not at the moon and not at the shoreline and not at the river and not at your heart just fucking here in my fucking hand and not at the season slowly closing and not at my phone gently vibrating and not at the screen piling pixels at permanence
just ride the bike, just ride the canal, just ride the water. just listen. just pull the trees towards you, tuck yourself in under their branches, tuck yourself in, tuck your self in
she used to be mine – sara bareilles
and now the fall crawls towards me ; autumn hands like bedsheets, like linen and ash and muscle contracting. stone bones curl inwards, hurricane eyes flood skeletons of summer hammocks. the sunlight starts to shiver. the weight of color begins to hunger in the green canopies. bumblebees and busy-ness ; the buzz of horizons burning black. embers now, embers now. remember how to shiver ; remember how to clamour for heat. how to tap your feet together like dorothy in the chilled reminiscence of bare feet.
new words take tumorous shape within my brain now. new play to open, new theatre to prowl, to inhabit, to listen to. and moments and mistakes and retakes and gamble feet talking into focus.
new children who gaze at me sidelong and wide-eyed ; infant-handed and perfect-mouthed. little fears tucked behind their ears ; little dresses approaching their scabbed summer knees. little lives splayed out in front of them like a game ; like a memory ; like a toy ; like a play.
and little me and little you, and little story still hammering at my life like a memory ; like a game ; like a play // like a song.
keep singing to me.
my first boyfriend got engaged yesterday. and Bekah got married. and life rolls on. and youth dissipates. but does not scamper. peels. twists. contorts. and some of the faces are gone. and some of the faces are still there. and the things that endure – the people that endure – there is something wonderful there. about the things that get stuck in the wash. and the things that wash out in the river. that keep floating downstream. the faces of people gone by.
the hum of insect reverie slips through me. i am an opal of heat still rising into september. i am a ball of cotton sopping up humid dreams. i am still summer, i am still green. i am still wild – i still churn onwards.
and the best air is yet to come. and vultures can’t feed on my carcass yet – i am still flooded with fire.
swirl hands/river heart/dig me out of the sea/see me not willing to see myself
we flew through the landscape, fields fragrant and flying by, cities popping out of the hillsides like hungry, electric beasts. dayton swirled around us in a puddle of newness, fake plaster walls and flat, pastured fields. my grandpa sat like a king in his recliner. eyes piercing blue and stories tumbling out of his mouth like a last reprieve. he seemed wild for life, ready for release, longing to stay all at the same time. medicine churning through his blood like fire. i tried to hold his eyes, to stay his hands, to rest inside his brow, release the tension in his forehead. he seemed mountainous, rubied, wise-eyed and well-lived. i was grateful for the moment.
we sailed on, prowling towards pittsburgh. dancing in the grass in the suburbs – hurling around with cousin sprites and backyard bubbling stream. the sandbox and my feet met like wonder-strangers. the city pulls steel out of its spine, hacks at the hillsides for fertile land and pulls every spare root from the crumble of mines gone by. the city curls around the water/the water spins around the iron/the metals hide themselves away – tucked into the earth – prayed into a hiding spot – sucked like miner’s teeth into the open air. they gutter, they sprawl – the hillsides house a thousand lives still marching. warm, working people filled with stories in their own tongues. full of white teeth, shined gleaming by the modern age. the city too, breathes simpler now, shined gleaming by the modern age. the teeth of the hillsides still rattle, though/ ragged breath from mines still dirge-ing in the dirt.
home now and the world twirls about me in a canopy above my head – river road snakes and i funnel down the delaware, light bright in my hair and black coffee singing out of the speakers. i feel lucky to live where i live; to be happy to be home; i have not had a home that i feel that way about…hardly ever. i always had a hard time coming home to kingston. but the trees sing around me with their lush heads and the canal barrels on with thick, clay soil and little streams of water trickle through my toes. the world keeps opening, and the winds keep changing. the chill comes to walk with me in the morning again – but i am not afraid this year. i am huddling with my boy in a nest made of open air and leafy greens and i am afloat. i am a boundless wind, and i change too. i am willing to change. and i am not afraid of fucking anything.