Your mind ratchets like a sprocket
changing gears, ripping seams,
suddenly your mind sees with different ears

Maybe your body too,
feels it – the snap of sinews,
the stretch of musculature,
your chest when my head burrows, neatly into tendon and courage, tucked into your lungs, and the space between your ribcage amd your heart – cells like anything else, atoms like anything else, raging like anything else – a marching band like anything else, like everything else is only a slave to this wizard – this heart creature, swollen and incorrigible
My string of dandelion vertebrae corrode into honey and jam, marmalade words ringed like opals in your eyes
i supple, watering can, grow mountains/ i shed tectonic plates/ i am walking rose bush, fluttered silk/ i am musculature on fire/ i am waterboned and rivergasping
Thank you for this poem of a day, and the way it leaned on me

Hot blooded orchestra feet and a temperament for meat/ rich, waddling, grass-leaved eyes
The answer is I figured out how to unstopper the valve in my head

We live in the literary dreaming

soon, soon, your heart will pump clear blood again. the riptide rumble of toxic funnel will pearl its way out of your veins. i’m sure, i’m sure, love will come running – fire will come tunneling. sun will come hurling like wings. someday, someday, I’ll have enough time to tie myself to something firm and basket-sized. something i can place things inside of. something i can place myself inside of. i’ll tuck myself into bed, i’ll tuck my time under the sink. i’ll clean my blood – my fuzzy edges, i’ll clean my fear. some day, some day, you’ll hear me again – songboat melodymind and riverwide heartbeat drums. do i have love – a place to funnel it? and whose mind is it that i am always searching for?

am i always a river, headed west? will i one day funnel out into the ocean?

happy, i am a bottle of aperture and fstops – with my little boy I am a funnel of tunnel vision – satisfied light captor. i am a lens – photographizing every moment. the way the light plays in your hair. the way the grass sinks into your toes. the way your singsong voice comes thrilling through the air. i am devoted, little one. i am devoted to your heart. that is something that never wavers.

keep pulling the light towards you, keep tugging it tighter. keep walking away from the violence, keep funneling the abuse into something powerful. keep doing it, keep breathing. you have to keep finding strength in his fury. he is a victim of never having been given the tools to process his anger. his emotions. his place as a man in this fucked up patriarchy.

step back, step back. he is a victim of never having been given the tools to process his anger. his emotions. his place as a man in this fucked up patriarchy. i’ll say it again, i’ll say it again, i’ll say it three times too loud – the patriarchy hurts us ALL. not just women. and men get swallowed in the current of not being allowed to be men just as violently as women get swallowed by the back side of the shovel. it hurts us all, it hurts us all. the false pretense of the male form. the false rejection of vulnerability. not giving our men tools. not giving our men freedom. to feel, to understand, to cope. we equip and we equip and we equip women with the tools to learn how to learn how to have emotional intelligence. we practice. we say its ok, its ok, feel, feel. talk about your feelings. honor them. talk to your girl friends about it. process, process. this is part of your gender, this is good. this is good. and then we fucking send three signals three different ways with men. we shame vulnerability, then we shame them for not know how to be vulnerable.

that doesn’t mean masculinity should be shamed. masculinity should be honored. femininity should be honored. and vulnerability should not be relegated to one sex or the other. emotional tools should not be given to one sex and then used to beat the other up for not knowing how to begin to fashion tools for themselves. we feel very comfortable saying that it’s time now to teach girls to be strong, to be empowered, to fight. and we rarely sit in that place of deep knowledge of what it is we must do to better equip our boys. to let them be. strong, scared, vulnerable, manly, light, bright, dark, shadowed, rageful, hopeful, wide-eyed, fearless, terrified. it is not weakness, it is not weakness. to tremble with the recognition of yourself. to survey yourself. to understand your emotions. to reflect. to breathe, to pause. to learn how to open up. these are not feminine traits, nor are they the anti-thesis of manliness. when will we get past this? get past the “man up”, “stop crying”, “don’t be a fairy”. when will we get whole? when will we even recognize that we need to get whole in order to fix the whole problem? stop the cycles. stop the cycles. you want your little girls to stop being abused? give little boys a respect for their emotional life. teach them how to communicate, how to open up, how to be vulnerable, how to process anger. do not glorify a violent response. do not glorify violence. do not glorify an angry rebuttal, a fistful of answers. give little boys questions. and ways to walk themselves into them. to sit with them. to be patient with the confusing tumult of emotions. do not keep convincing them, through imagery or otherwise, that a violent, aggressive, or angry reaction is the manly way. and that apologizing is weakness. and that self-reflection is self-pity. and that strength lies in winning. and that your manhood can be found inside of your venom. suck the poison out. snakes can coil, but do not them choke. manhood lies in something deeper, something wilder, something free-er than the bonds of anger and the simplicity of violence. these are not the brave choices we have been taught they are – they are a trembling animals’ self-defense mechanism. glorify the real man – the new shape of manhood. the firmness of heart, the fortitude of spirit, the ferocity of forgiveness and giving and growth. the strength beyond gender. the strength within gender. the fire banked down deep. the one you cannot spit out of your mouth or cower behind meanness – the one that spills out of eyes – fumbles out of warm hands – curls over a hurricane spine. he a storm, he is a river, he is a meadow, he is a wanderer. he is his own; and he belongs to the world. he gives back to it. he knows what it is to give. to receive. to feel. to hunger. to ache. to make whole. to search. and to find.

let’s glorify that manhood, shall we? and everything in between. nothing is wrong – except the wheel that keeps spinning blood from blood. break the cycle of abuse. we know better now, don’t we?

a poem regarding my anticipation of your coming comment upon my work

do I hide in my words /
do I rest on tropes /are the tropes that I rest on words that seem out of reach or splicing / do I splice myself?
Do I show enough of myself (a comment I was recently given by the aunt) (but what of that comment truly) / am I supposed to show more of myself in my work?
How about this true fear – that if I am to peel too deeply and critique my own process too profoundly that the process itself will walk away from me like an old lover I have only just begun to learn how to lie next to?

Do I feel comfortable with the process processing me – fear not of the ‘you’ processing me – but with my own capturing of the process in my own butterfly net /
is it ephemeral /
is it based on my own strange conscious concoction /
is that why I dropped out of poetry classes in college where I was going to have to stand up and read my work in front of the class / do I believe it is a strange shadow in the corner that comes right through me?
Do I believe that I write or that words just funnel / do I rest on tropes / can there be any tropes after all

This is not to say I feel uncomfortable about the coming words / this is to say – can I make your uncomfortable more comfortable by starting somewhere first / by saying what I think I run away from in my own words /

is it true that you have to pain your way through the process?

Is it organic – the process that I am?

somewhere i have never traveled –
is a forgery of facts
somewhere i am always growing –
and where are you now, and where are you then?

some day may 6 will be a sitting chest of drawers – someday something fervent and replete will greet you – a dove, a perch, a set of pomegranates draped across a lens

What am I supposed to do with this heart that is a mass of messes?

rough and tumble – riptide and rumble, hear me little rain – pour me out again. the spring is come, the spring is come. the rain is washing us, washing us. let me be a hard hunger for words again.

“i wish that i had been there, to save you zack”

I send you love, dear Ryan.

I feel confronted by this event in ways and with questions I don’t feel prepared to know how to answer. The pain, the unnecessary pain in your body that will now become your home, your way of living – I don’t see the silver lining in that pain.

And maybe that’s okay, maybe there can’t be, and shouldn’t be. But I don’t feel qualified to dictate that, or anything really, for that matter. For some reason this seems to shake me more than death. Death I’ve approached – and death I’ve reasoned through, but all this pain. The shattering of a life, of a path, the endless, slow pain. I can’t reason through it. And I know it’s not my sadness to take on, to claim for myself. But I feel existentially confronted. And I feel confronted by how many unnecessary pains like this happen all the time in the world. Confronted in a way that it isn’t just a narrative on an episode of ER television or stories that paint you a picture. It isn’t a glossy story I can compartmentalize and place with all the other feelings of guilt. It is standing in front of my eyes. Too close to be in focus. And I can’t see the picture just yet, I just see your pain. And your derailment from your life. I feel confronted by all the people who fall sick, who deal with chronic illness, with shattered bones, with devastated young lives – with fallen eyes of little ones.

And all this today on this day of the health care bill. It seems a little consuming. A little too dark and answerless – the sky seems unfair to enjoy today. I walked down the canal path – it was lush and glowing and full of life and seemingly unaware of all the hospital rooms and rushing faces and unfair signatures at the end of unfair bills. It seemed incongruous – like the world did not know all it’s parts – only what it wanted to show you. I felt confronted by the ways we so often live our lives with all the shadows of the world eclipsed from ourselves. How are we ever to enjoy a gorgeous spring day in Bucks County when there are so many people falling through roofs in the world? How are we supposed to do it? How am I supposed to be grateful enough to make me allowed to enjoy something that another will never have? How am I supposed to stand in a warm shower letting the warmth glow over me knowing that all the bones in your body are broken and you may not stand, you may not know comfort for years. And how? How can this world be made of so many broken things and how are we supposed to be okay with the perfectly fair wind of a spring breeze in Yardley, Pennsylvania. I feel too entitled in my own body that works and hums.

You can fall through a roof anytime. I feel haunted and unworthy of my manifold riches in this world. My body, above all things, my health, above all things. It seems too decadent – to be young, to have it all work.

I feel haunted and unworthy of my manifold riches in this world. My body, above all things, my health, above all things. It seems too decadent – to be young, to have it all work.

I feel nauseous.

 

Well, there’s something.

 

I am sending you love Ryan, and hoping the path will find your feet again, and let you walk it.

all the years in the world – all the places where our minds meet, where our souls meet, where our stomachs clang against one another’s in hunger. in grace, in anger, in the river, in the river – i am always in the river swimming upstream.

i am a blanket of cold thank you’s praising the world for the strange bucket of lovely it has placed on my front stoop. the love, the wild love. the laughter, the echoing laughter. the friendship – such a thing i have forgotten, i have released myself from – to feel their laughter on the back of my neck again – grace, grace. gratitude and love. worship and magic – i will always worship the love in my life, the life in my love.

with half the afternoon past on an April 28th

sing a little, swing a little – singe my heart, will you?

i never want to take these smells for granted – the conifer russet, the mulch iron, the fuzzy grace of the lilac and the wisteria. i never want it to be anything other than a 3pm April 28th – curled catnap cat napping in the corner of the porch (radiant and perched, he swirls his body lithe). i never want to be anything other than a friday afternoon, deep spring (phase 4 and a half of spring to be exact). i want the alwaysbreath of the willow to lie with me on the days that are not this day. i want the alwayssky of the April 28th to be my horizon, wrapping around me with silver cord. tucking me in to my little garden bed. sprinkle a little soil on my head, and send me on my way. grow, grow, little one – the sun’s come out see you. to let you see. to let you be seen. come out, come out, little one – seeds are only one of the many many’s you are. you will be. you can be.

so sticky, this over-romanticization of life.

and what is so wrong if i want to be a flower? what if, for moments, i want to be lilac-daisy-wilted with the quality of movement as a bourree. do i lose the validity of being a strong modern woman?

it must be my ballet training, it got into my blood and my bones. it makes me want to be sinfully feminine sometimes. and in this day and age, apparently, that is a crime of weakness. so what if i want to be a flower every once in a while? other days i want to be a river. this condemnation of the manic pixie dream girl; this infantilization of the womanhood to a certain set of gruff (near manly) values and qualities. don’t you see how narrowing this is? let femininity be what it is what it is what it wants be when it wants to be a thousand trillion different aspects. wide-ringed thick tree stumps and brave stalks of a flower; everything is planted; everything grows. do not pick the weeds – they are only a social construct.

and men too. when will manhood be manhood be manhood be this and that and a thousand freeing ways to find it impossible to tie manhood down to one thing, one image, one quality of movement. come on, come on, i’m tired of waiting. let’s open up all the doors and let men be vulnerable. and let men be rugged brutes. and let women be flowers. and let women be amazon warriors. everyone all everyone all in the same lifetime, in the same week (or day), sometimes. just fuck it – just fuck it – gender roles and stereotypes and archetypes and qualities and stop fucking shaming the manic pixie dream girl or you will find yourself in the same reflexive judgment pool that you so claim to be 12 feet higher than.


art cannot be a language of decoding. understanding art, understanding dance, understanding poetry, understanding film – these are their own sorts of languages and lexicons, yes. but they cannot only be attributed via a metaphor of decoding or symbols which equal something else in a mathematic, equative way. they are frameworks and lenses and whole sections of mind, they are states of being and raptures and ecstatic portals, they are no longer profane, they are rapturous and they wrap around you. they are a primeval mind state. and a language. but it is not simply decoding. it is a rich language of understanding that goes beyond words and wordplay.


We often fall on such trait resolutions when it comes to evaluating what our emotional signals mean… If we look for more complex ways to interpret and rearrange and deal and adjust to them and learn to be informed by them yet not defined or confined by them then we might find more honest interactions with the complexity of our true selves and our subconscious selves.

Honesty is a hard thing to find… in acting we continually search for this elusive quality – and it’s not an objective truth it is continually in flux; complex; let us always find complexity rather than banal simplicity.

there are just an immensity of pros and cons between city community living and country community living… And I would really love to be able to find and harness a fusion between the two… This will likely only be able to happen after efficient streamlined and clean energy transportation can be truly mastered and movement will be ideal. However, at the same time, there might develop a numbness to the wonders and marvels of travel and discovery. We might reach a state of post-discovery. Which in and of itself will contain its own malaise and disillusion. However, I think people really need to be able to harness all the positives of city communal opportunities and resources and combine it with the benefits of country living. I imagine this crossed in a sort of fusion of successful thriving big-ish small towns that provide the quote on quote Best of Both Worlds…but you will never truly achieve the best of both extremes with this kind of fusion.

there is something vitally important woven into the structure of child raising…Especially with a baby…the contemplative nature and necessity towards grounding yourself; the dwelling in silence; navigating life and providing a new framework through the immense city of silent and foreign experiences. I’m not going to say that everyone needs to have this experience but if you are given the opportunity to find yourself having a baby and can somehow afford yourself this time to be with the baby,  i encourage you to engage with what is presented to you the opportunity to dwell in silence and contemplation.

we keep labeling things in the emotional world as “toxic”. is toxic even the right framework to continually be labeling certain experiences or moments or people? I wonder what the term toxic elicits in us and closes this off to or bars us from. is it inherently too dramatic and psychologically weaponized? Perhaps there is a better word, perhaps not.

And at a certain point in relationships, I think we need to sort of Frankenstein together a network of people that satisfy all sorts of emotional urges within us. What is more toxic (hah) than believing that we are only supposed to be sexually intimate with one person is believing that we are only supposed to be emotionally intimate with one person…what is the role of a relationship then?
Is dependency necessarily unhealthy? Can it be profound?
Healthy? Who gets to divine what is healthy? If I say, Okay, I’m unhealthy – what do I do with that then? Do I only bring myself back to a state of healthfulness and then I am complete until I have rendered myself unhealthy again. Perhaps this terminology or framework presents something that is to objectively simplistic and qualitative for me. Perhaps it is too reductionist, materialist and finite…and I always find it interesting that there are fellow humans determining what is particularly healthy and what is not according their own subjective delineation. I always want to come back to this humility of human frailty, human error and the marvelous missing…and at the same time the limitation of that…and always remember to keep myself humble in the knowledge that we are always constructing everything – constructing our consciousness, our words, our language, our connotations and that we get extremely caught up in the belief that all of these things are somehow objectively true. To believe objectively in our constructed reality is almost to believe that there is something outside of us that has constructed this making it objectively true. Somehow constructing a god. And in fact to continually bring ourselves back to the complete awareness of how constructed our reality is that is when we find ourselves truly in a world that is valuable and real and not deterministic and strangely in our own hands…perhaps united or pulled or one in the same or confined or fused or weave together with a Creator or with a creative force or with the creative force of the universe around us within the universe but still within to some degree our own hands. So if you want to believe in the efficacy of human free will or human existence or meaning beyond simple determinism from an outside objective Creator…continually remind yourself of the constructed-ness of our entire social reality. From our words to our thoughts to our consciousness to every strange and bizarre tradition that we have come to cling to. is there any objective truth that is truth beyond truth? to me what I feel instinctively in my gut and in my heart where my compass guides me to what is true against things such as violence or injustice or meanness…Is this too rooted in the simple ancient line of the history of social construct? Or is it objectively true? And what is that objectivity? Is that God – is that what we are always pointing to? that internal guiding compass and the wonder as to why we all feel compelled towards reaching out towards one another? is that it? all it is? the compulsion to reach out to one another? the impulse to reach out beyond yourself to the other – beyond the narcissism of ego – perhaps that is the thing. that is the thing we call god (sometimes).

wild fire

how do you remain brave enough to feel it deeply, and strong enough to know when to come back up for air?

your skin so luminescent/mirrored pale and reverent/you splay in your car seat staring at the shapes that swallow the sidewalk – we bumble, we rush, we slide through the landscape; the landscape is glowing – satin pinks and lavender spines, trees curled in yellow fantasy. you are humming, your little hairs their own masterpiece. you are mumbling, i am learning always the depth of your spirit and wonder.

little one, i remember when you were womb-swimming and cotton-spun-spinning still, and i worried and i worried and i paralyzed myself with biological thoughts of fear. and the only thing that kept me strong, that kept we away from the black hole of SIDS, of birth defect guilt, of general new-mom psychosis was this image of you that i knew was true. i could feel you out in space somewhere – 24 years old, bold, beautiful, rock solid as an oak tree; burrowed on strong feet; a head filled with ideas; loving someone, maybe; someone loving you, maybe. i knew you’d be okay, no matter what…if i held on to this image in my head of the you that you are. of the life that you’re going to live when your identity is trickled out and seeping/ when you are no longer sleeping by my side. when you are just a memory of a little one and the true, strong picture in front of my eyes can hardly give way to this little splay of muscles and babyeyes. i saw you strong and living – a life of a man (or a woman) huddled on the horizon. i was giving birth to you; but more and less and less about me; more about you; a vessel for your entrance, for your creation. you are your own life, and when doubt and fear swallow me – i see you strong; maybe bigger than me now, firm and wide-eyed; full of wonder and maybe even your own beautiful heartbreak. and your own ways of coping with it. and your own tools, your own thoughts, your own vision. you are a life of your own.

care for children as the deepest souls; the most primal chunks of people’s brain wirings. care for children as magical beings in and of themselves/AND as the primeval seeds of magnificent full-fledged human beings. but they are more than seeds – this image too, is reductive. they are not latent somethings for the future, they are something present here. with their own wisdom, their own existences (fleeting, faster than death; the baby jamie, the jamie at 1, the jamie at 2, all different beings, all one being). they are something here and they are something there. time is a paragon of shapes and keep reminding yourself of the splay of the circle – of all the points laying against one another and not just this one, but how this one fits into this one and this one and this one and that one and how they are all real. they are all meaningful. they are all powerful. they are all magnificent. and they are all people. they are all their own life. not a strange creature come to annoy you or destabilize your precious life and timeline. they are their own life curled around your timeline in the most profound way. the deepest friends. the strangest wanderers. that we will know and know and know more intimately and uniquely than anyone else. because they showed us all the pieces of themselves wrapped inside the other pieces. they showed us the wide open gaseous landscapes of their most honest hearts. their true self within their true self within their true self.

i love children because there’s so much more truth. because social constructs have not begun to constrict and conflict and contort and generally bamboozle the wild fire that sometimes is so hard to feel burning in an adult. whoever said adult life was more interesting than a child’s magnificent world of splaying wonder? fuck the fantasy of adult supremacy – we lose so much when we enter the conditioning treatment of society. and so many falsehoods and so many plays and so much theatrics and so many postures and so much distance we travel from our true, open, brave hearts. for what? for what? the sham of the sham that we all lie to each other and say is more interesting, more true, more fulfilling than the honest, open heart we were born with. we learn to cover, we learn to hide, we learn to subdue, to stuff, to slink away. and why the fuck is that so great? why the fuck?

keep the intellectual growth, the complexity of understanding, the fascinating world of symbols and meanings, but also please, let us learn how to retain the wild fire. please, let us learn how to retain our bravery, our open hearts, our willingness to live, our fearlessness in discovery, our organic and ever-present ability to feel, to commit to feeling. to commit to life.

keep the magic, fuck the pretension. follow the growth – forget the contrivances, the cages, the constructs.

self portrait at 26 of 22

upon being 22
in a nation clean and bright – whistling, courageous but out of step with the sea and the sight of the shoreline
i raged orange peels through paint drips, sallow metro cards, wallowed shoes caving in at the center
i broke my arm in a tiny fissure
i healed my arm on a purpled couch under the overhang of the bypass; painting under the leaky shower where the pink rings stuck on the sink
i tucked myself in to the bus stations; i tucked myself in at night (i fell asleep
in arms or blankets or pillows or on top of the wooden slabs called floor that kept creasing in the corners)
i hurled myself around this suburb called Toowong, i read a biography of grace and goodness traced onto the city steps
i tried to find the culture, sandwiched in between the pacific and the pedestrian – i found my own pretension, i found the pretense that a place is more than a past and present tense
i pressed hard – there was a
road to keep rumbling;
i radiated outwards.
i swallowed donuts/couscous/raw flour mixed with eggs (desperate for cookies but where is the time)/sushi that rolled inside and out

i blend my memories now – toothbrush and horse hair, i swirl them around like a seive
i mirror my memories now – tunnel visioned and circumscribed (i, the scribe, you, the scrivener)
i hunt my memories now – filo-pastry-doughed and fleshswollen – bits of something real comes seeping over the edges of the pot (i always let it boil over, i always let the yeast rise higher)
i bake myself (my self turns brown at the edges if you watch it carefully/burns black if you forget to keep an eye on it/singes white if you remember everything at once)