pittsburgh, pa

hollowed city shell, laced with anthracite powder ; the coal sucked out of the ravines and side-stepped hills – heralding houses on houses; pulled, like molten ghosts – steel rapture , wrapping the rivers in a rolling fixation with the resemblance of reliability — this city pulled itself out of the hillsides with tools and black treasure, fumbled its way onto the landscape with sweat and sidelong glances into the future (that slowly but surely peeled away from it) ; rocket teeth, the brick and mortar make-shift rubber-wired splinter cell of this growth of steel and cement curls towards the new century, abandons its skeletons of iron and forge and builds shopping malls and sidewalks – i try to pronounce the native american name of this river in my head like a mantra, try to press that reality back into my consciousness / to honor the way the water ran before it was filled with soot and ash / i imagine , in some part of my brain that works beyond language , the names these hills once held, before they were marked and numbered for the black artificial gold within them ;; the energy it took to pull our country into the modern wasteland — the energy we squealed out of the earth ; the price we paid to lose our own magic \\ and this friday too, singed black on the edges , filled violently with the rage of consumerism bolting ; like the reanimated zombie energy of our black coal hands lighting into the night ;; let the night turn black again – released, gently, momentarily, into the golden endless light of stars laughing at us

like a dream of a static universe

I am chasing this little pink flash across the sky , on this, what is almost certainly a winter sunset now ; I am tracing the outline of the bare branches in the reflection on the water and trying to find the places where I went wrong / where I cracked in the growing outwards of my branches / I’m trying to learn / I am gazing up at what is a quickly darkening haze of hues and trying to place myself inside of my own world / trying to reach towards how to know what it is I need to know at any given moment ; on my long confusing journey towards this endless horizon we can never reach ; that is always just dipping beyond the edge of visible sight ; that is always just meeting the night where the day ends , somehow effortlessly at a fixed point in our vision ; like a dream of a static universe we are never actually standing in ; in a dream, as if time is one small step in front of the other ; and not an endless circling ; and not an endless expansion ; as if the trees are not rooting in deeper and reaching out higher – always for more light, more strength – never a fixed point in the soil, but an endless connection of bones and bloodlines ; like vertebrae through the happenstance little bundle of cosmic rock we happened to bumble out of // Hello sky ; hello to the endless calling out to the sky ; waiting for it to circle back around again

skeleton

radioactive love, this mountain of moving music // the miles from my eyes to yours ;; the stretched distance which becomes thin upon listening / the curvature of sound which never makes it from my lips to yours / the desperation of angled skin cells ; hunting for one another ; like a desolate skeleton of love once-discarded ; always buried ; never burned ; ashen in cruelty ; and firmly, fearlessly;; still alive

the back of your teeth

Because love in its unending rapture fills me to the brim ;; my pockets carved like perfect stones formed out of words still left hanging in the air by blossoms hurling themselves into the atmosphere — like the sound of September sinking in the water // consume, consume, roll slowly, the endless air perfectly round // capsize at the edge of a tongue / the syllable of a sound forming ; word-forming breath ; forming heart-shaped lullabies floating in the air ; capturing love songs like whispers ; like momentary vibrations ; like artery strings (guitar-somethings) ,, the wild assassination of the leaves ,, the blackberry surprise of the day winding and unwinding — the plant sprouting seed-birthing no-seed listening to the end of the season — it’s still tucked tight into the sound your tongue is making against the back of your teeth ;; The firm seed growth pocket in the dirt of your gums – a growing thing;;  I love the words that love to wind their way through the wind;; towards the effortless fist of your heart never clenched

promiselessness

the rich soil of my indignation; the reticence of the new world spinning forward – the force of electricity through my skin – back through underground tunnels from my heart to yours — the burrowing promises / hide in the soil / friendship lingering around the sound of a couple of decades; over the Long island sound ; over the sunset peeking over the top of the horizon ; the waves lap against the side of this promise House // two intertwined in the promised Land.  And now the flash of my everything – purple flower days unraveling like so much September light getting light at the edges ;; fringes turning foggy , Gray good morning dew hustling back the old season and clamoring towards the coldness we all await // the colors receding like so many promises let go

Expectation makes fools of us all ;; makes monsters of us all : it’s the riddled equations between my breath and sunset // the reminder of the promiseless-ness we live in

upstate ny

Upstate;; and the air turns crisp and crinkled at the edges; the hills turn green on their backs – roll over to the blue side – tumble through the cascading hillsides ;; we race the road to where the yellow line meets the side of the endless fog racing down the mountainside // Vermont air mapled and sunning itself on the backside of what is already fall ;; laughter echoes in the alleyway/  love shines on the dashboard / the twist of romance pulls moments out of the sky // fistfuls of hands pulling air out of the sky ; pulling air out of the rustic barn – steel rusting on the side  // the towns that sprinkle themselves out like so much confetti on the twisting roadway / the quaintest sites you’ll ever see ; and the mist gathering around the endless endless boughs of tree trunks and pine needles fresh pressing in to the fistfuls of air // Woodstock splattered like a paint can ; humbled like a reverie;;  a little utopian world sitting on the precipice of a mountaintop ; the brightly-coloured remnants of the Peace we all parceled out for one another – the peace we traded in for shiny things and plastic things and garbled rings and fumbled rhymes of another time for the aesthetic of retro or vintage that we want cling to for the peace we need ;; for the piece of the peace between our fingers – we find it again ; always  ;always in the echo of the fistful of air today , swirling , who is cascading the hills through this fog? lifts , drifting , drifting apprentice , painting its own melodies across the hillsides :: across the hillsides, the fog lifts me and I let it

the resting place of the air

i, savage rapture of my insides pulling against one another — i reach towards the sun, the sun pearls her little eyelashes back at me ;; i raid my memory for all the sweetest bits, the sticky glue to piece myself back together — i peel through every word and imagine it without you, my heart breaks at every small suture; i pull myself apart, i weave myself back together again

I, grown – feel my little life spinning again, feel like my heart has powers i’ve always waited to grow in to – i feel a silent blue light, a permanence of confidence, an unshakeable serenity — i feel i have all the time in the world, little youth bird, little capturer of light and words — i feel the resting place of the air – filled with words and wishes, i know how deeply i need the air and i know not why the universe spins this compass, peels me into the strange directions — i feel the universe in my every thought, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, i am trusting, or trying to, i am resisting, or trying to, i am releasing, or trying to

I love him terribly, terribly // my eyes fill with tears, i love him terribly

Strength is not devoid of pain, of attachment, of fear // love, an endless everything

I cannot loose myself from your sweetest caress, your confident affirmations, your presence and your care, the shelter of your body, your radiant joy, the peals of laughter, the courage and comfort – i love you terribly  

 

We are messy bundles of mistakes we humans, we try and try again, we fail, we grow, we learn, we shape, we fail again, we roll downhill and pick up steam and turn into a better self, if we’re lucky. I want to be a better self, no matter how many times i feel i am cooked – no one is ever cooked, no one is ever anything more than a spinning ball — it helps when i fail // i need to remember to remember to let go endlessly, to need less, to love more freely, with patience and forgiveness for myself, and patience and forgiveness for others — not to never mess up, but to always apologize and learn, always be reaching towards my higher self, even though oftentimes the growth spins round in circles, knocks you off and peels you back up again – the path is not linear, growth is not easy, failing is normal, trying again is brave

we carry each other

raucous the energy; raucous the laughter — the play of the apostrophe of sound, the surly ribbon of action driving us onto the boards – the wagon wheels bouncing under the weight of our pounce, our reticence, our memory pulled in to high gear, the whole organic beast fumbling towards itself;; the summer night peeling against the air – the crickets wandering in and out of the play itself, the wilderness of the stars hunting for us, the crackle and pop of the lights flushing in from the side — the twist and tunnel of movement capturing sound — the native voices funneling through the fingertips — let the band play on, let the band play on —

my whole heart feels visceral inside of my chest, the gratitude – a long step into the darkness, the friendship solidifying, crystalizing – we carry each other, we carry each other – we’ve got each other. we have no fear.

always unfurled

the gripping light – the curvature of rain, always the sculptural feeling of being alive — always the pools of light you find to cup in your tender hands// your burned skin, your bruised thighs, the nationhood of your hair;; the failure of the summer light pooling at the sound of fireworks — the little black den of another theatre, another philadelphia street, a scattered, torn apart city tucked away by shadow and light — the copy of the copy;; the labyrinth– summer heat and the piles of july standing on top of one another – craning towards the sun;; perhaps a perhaps-hand, always a maybe-limb ;; and here another bundle of words wrapped tightly together with string, twine, and the curl of time away from your fingers — always a curl, always unfurling, always unfurled

how big and how small all at once

I gaze into this moment; preschool graduation; their little voices laughing, giggling ; all a-splendor in the june grass and the splay of sprinkler spray // the green leaves, the sunlight streaming through — the patches of rainbow flecks from the umbrella;; I am astonished and humbled and amazed that I have mothered my son to this moment — that my son has grown to this moment // he calls his classmates by their name raucously – he runs on strong galloping feet; he gasps as he dunks his head into the wild sprinkler; he signs his name on the sign-in board on the white concrete wall with the sturdy yellow pencil ;; he has come to know this place – perhaps the first time a place has meant something to him in this way;;  I recognize this as the first of many separations in his life — one so large for such a little life — I recognize the strange gasping at loss in his eyes ;; I wish that I could bear the brunt of it for him – I know that I must not — he carries so much in his little body, on this big day;; this last day of school, this first day of summer ;; this calling out to the cackling world — he splays his hands into a field of rocks ; chimes in to a cheer if he does not understand yet ; he holds his mouth towards mimicking the crowd that is just one year older than him (a huge difference) ;; he stores in his teacher a reverence only the first teacher can possibly have ; he gallops towards the table of unicorn-colored cupcakes  ;; he knows not how to peel the wax paper off of it – but he does know how to stuff it in his mouth and speak with a mouth full of sunshine ;; I praise the small victories in my head ; the ability to hold his backpack on his own two shoulders ; to gather his things ; to wish his friends goodbye ; I know not how we arrived at this place from the sunny morning on which he was born ; i sit astonished at this small milestones and shutter to understand how I will approach all the many more I must greet — I take myself in too — myself as a young mother ; I see myself from a bird’s eye view ; see the youth in my skin; the burnt color of the season starting to change ;; I try to hold the weight of Jamie in my arms and memorize it ; how much space he takes up ; how little his body is still , and how big at the same time ;; this is an endless game with which parents play, is it not? How big and how small all at once? both sides of the time spectrum meeting each other at all moments — you looking from the beginning and you looking from that ever-present end at the singular and ever-folding moment before you