a staggering compilation

but do you feel stimulated and does the warm air wrap itself around your ankles and whip at your neckflesh and do men hold your face in their hands with tenderness and does the wild eye of the sky keep pouring hot rain onto the pavement? happiness is trite. the world is full of color and turquoise magic – horror terror and crimson hue/blood sad and wet faced worry – do not appeal yourself to the simplicities of what contemporary modern life says is the way to measure your life. you are a staggering compilation of dissonant cells and atomized neutrons and you are a fantastic imagining of clay still fresh and unglazed and you are a parcel of bones strung together and you are a finely laid arrangement of electricity. and do you hear the insect choir on a summer afternoon and does the highway extend out beneath your feet as you fly along and do you have a brain full of drummed thoughts tapping hot and measureless? you are, you are, you are doing just fine. you are doing straight black magic just breathing earth oxygen potion. you are doing just fine. you are everything you need to be at all infinite points on a compass. you are always on the path you are on and that path is always unfolding the only way it knows how to – domino, domino, domino, stange mystery of labor twirling outward – you are always a thousand ways that your cells are not dissolving. you are still held together with invisible electron glue. little gravity sorcery. you are still a phantasm/a creation creating. you are doing just fine. you are a miraculous breathbag heaving. still, still. do not worry about happiness, or silly rulers the world tells you you must measure yourself against. you are a magnificence of electro-magnetism. the world is not spinning you apart just yet. the laws of physics are still alive in you just yet. you are still breathing just yet. you are still filled with hydrogen possibility just yet. you are still a miracle just yet. you are a human being just yet and you are strange and aflame and you are brave for still breathing. for rising to meet the day. you are enough. you are doing just fine. if you are feeling a myriad of things, you are lucky. if you are feeling anything at all, you are lucky. if you know not one thing for certain, you are wise. you are doing just fine. you are doing cataclysmic, majestic things each day. like breathing. like existing. like being.

you are doing just fine. You are alive; you are making magic.

he found his breath

rolling body, my body is a forged steelsmith from the plains of america. my heart is a wheel, i am a firetruck. you cannot always beat the monster, sometimes the monster beats you. and jamie curled himself into the fetal position in the middle of the airport and screamed over and over for me to help him breathe again. it felt like a panic attack. he was overwhelmed and overtired and hungry and jacked up and scared about traveling from here to there to there to there. and i lay on the ground with him in the chicago airport and tried to teach him how to breathe. he looked up at me, eyes all a river and tried to breathe with me. and tried and kept trying and kept looking at me for help. kept telling me verbally that he needed me to help him breathe. and he found his breath, and i held him and rocked him on the ground in the middle of the walkway until he came back up for air. until he found his breath again. and i think this is the only important thing i do with my life. and i think everything else is selfish nonsense, in the end – and this is the only important thing i can do. hold another being until they can find their breath again. teach my son about the waves and how to ride them. how to breathe through them. how its okay to feel. and hold him until he can find his breath again.


 

i am trying to be patient with myself, with my own journey towards finding patience with myself. i am trying to be kind to myself, to my body. i am trying to stay present and i am remembering, finally, what it is to take it all in. to breathe in the moment through your cells. to feel the moment on your whole body. to feel the rush and power of the ocean pummeling you. to feel a vista sweeping around you. to bow your head to the sunset. to take the five minutes to walk through the tree-lined path. to bramble through the roots. i am happy to be back home, to reconnect with my own rituals, my own processes that ground me and keep me sane. i am grateful for the summer night, for the buzz of the insect choir in the darkness. for the warm fluid air that fills and peels.

golden valleys/golden seas

hills of the valley, take my brittle hands and sand them clean – tip the edges of my water to the shore – let me be a tongued wave again. whirling away, whipping away, turning free the roots and brambles of my fears and shadows. let me be the best of myself – let me work towards cultivating the fire bright enough to light up my own cave. show me the shadows, show me the mountain, show me the valley. show me the road, let me keep wandering it. tell me, bones of the earth, are we the hungry mountainside, are we deepening caverns of a cliff-face falling into the sea?

san Diego, we pull through your valleys. we channel over your inlets – the water, the sea, the gravity of the Pacific. the elegance of your rapture wraps up the coastline, tucks Tijuana in for an afternoon nap, soaks California in golden sunshine hum. just humming – sea breeze and cooled blue haze, you do not shout/you swirl, the tipjar of time chimes/bold waves keep racing towards themselves; self-reflecting, self-refracting, self-soothing. you tuck yourself in at night, hungry hallows of san diego – you are self-sufficient. you are the patient silence of the california coast/the whisper of golden mountains and cliff-faced vistas echoing back to the moon like a promise of what life is supposed to be. and the people honor that promise – they honor the gift – they get out and use the magic/they soak up the gold in the air, in the sun, in the streets.

i am endlessly grateful. for the blue turquoise at the edge of the sea/for the curling edges of the coastline that open at your feet/for the hungry valleys of california that stretch out on all sides with wistful, brave flower dottings. for the thrumming song of my little boys joy – splayed out in singsong corridors and billow shake dances. little bent tree dancing. i am grateful for cousin, for brother, for laughter. for strange, unfolding journeys that keep taking me places somewhere i never expected to be/with the wind at my back and the gold of the earth shaking its dust out and dancing.

rockface

But the aching crags that pummeled under my feet – the harkened breath sumptuous in my chest – the curled chill of mountain air twirling my skin – the firmness of step, the grasp of leap, the stumble of jump, the voracity of adventure in your heels, the the quake of your muscles as you lean in to a new footing, as you lean in to a new trust – in yourself, in the rock, in the flow. And the physicalized ritual of confronting, greeting, being with bravery. Testing your own limits, literally challenging yourself, genuinely finding where bravery sits inside your bones and harvesting it. This is invaluable. This is a rockface. This is climbing it. This is coming in to your own strength again.

 

And I say thank you, thank you, thank you again. Thank you mountainscape, thank you stunning sunset that happens everyday – that I miss so many days. Thank you for the opportunity to see it again today. The cataclysm of the sunset happens everyday. It is us, who forget to take notice. It is us, who forget to find the magic, to witness it, to thank it, to receive the majesty all around. Cupped hands, cupped hands, we forget to cup our hands, and receive what is always directly in front of us/behind us/surrounding us. Air, air, and magical mystery.

the 1st of august

i’ve got all of the above inside. i am what i am what i am. my own wounds and insecurities placed just above the ribcage. they sing when they are jostled. i try to play dumb, to slice off my cancer. but hey, if this is your heart in your hands, this is mine too. this is my fear, my insecurity, my bundle of complexes. here, here it is, will you hold it in your hands? i am trying to do the things i said i was going to do when i broke up with ceilidh. i told him i needed to come in to myself, to know myself as a single person, as a person unreliant on another. i need to know my own rhythm, to go slowly, to hold space.

let go, let go, let go. keep trying to find your own rhythms. your own life held in your hands. try to hold your own heart. learn how to hold it, how it feels, what it needs. see if you can give it what it needs.
and i think about you girl, my angel. this day, 8 years ago. your life, your light. the prettiest girl in the world. you were joy, and you are love. you give me bravery, when i am scared. i think about you, what you would have done, and then i fucking do it. i leap in to the cold water. you were bravery and beauty and love and all things bright and worth living for. you are always and forever. keep blowing in the wind, dear, keep crashing in the waves. i’ll keep trying to dive in, to be brave and alive and fearless for you.

purple summer

follow my little trail, breadcrumbs and bones – turn style ribbons/hampers full of typewriter keys/ follow my little footsteps, i am dancing, i am a river.

the sky is purple haze and lilac-cream and the rain is a gentle visitor on my head. the summer is curling outwards and i am trying to remember to take it in. i am trying to remember to take the time to breathe it in, to feel the rain on the roof, the clatter of cloud shapes across the sky. i am trying to remember to feel the grass between my toes, on my back, between my fingertips. i am creating in a new way now – dancing and plotting and graphing and charting and moving bodies in space. teaching and directing and discovering aspects of my own strength i had not yet tapped in to. i am owning my shit and bumbling boldness in ways i did not even know i truly love. i am enjoying a new process, a firm hand, a vast crafting. seeing a show from the other side. making decisions and sticking to them. being clear, crafted, specific. on the beat. inside the sound. with the rhythm. swaying. i am enjoying creating and i am enjoying getting to revisit my beloved soul. this show feels sacred to me. like a carved part of my ancient heart. a ghost that came to sit and heal me at a time when i was broken. a melody that came to sing me out of grief when i was all sorrow and flutterskin. when i was life-shaken and curledfear this music came to sit on my shoulder. to be life-affirming. to sing out the sorrow and show me how beautiful it was. and i could hear it – reflecting back – the beauty in the depth of your sorrow – the beauty in the human experience, the human struggle, the human spirit. the sensory experience of life and living. of finding the light in the darkness. and the comfort of making peace with the darkness, and the glow of holding fast to the smallest of lights – that’s what this show gave me. and kept giving me. and kept giving me. and walked me out of pain so that i could sit with sorrow. and sit with beauty. and sit with joy. and feel the shadows, the ghosts, the lights, the melody, all at once. sit with the autumn and winter of your soul, and languish in the spring and summer of your soul.

and you said the best way to describe me is that i inhabit my body completely. and i have since i was a teenager. and that that was special. and that was a beautiful thing to say, i think.

so let’s sing it – the song of purple summer.

and it is not binary; it is complex. and it is not one season we all endure – it is all of them. and they are all this life. and it is not parts and parts and parts. it is complex. it is not binary, it is complex.

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.