brave little fool

engender my body with gesture – with the movement to move, the courage to soothe, engesture my body with gender // with the firmament to fulfill a role already rolled out of the dice / wrap me up in the wrapture of my hormones; my genital fever ; my general fear of forgetting the way i am supposed to be presenting // present me : the present prescience of my perennial pubescence (the purpose of all that period blood) // hinder me, little wheel looking for a quixote – for the quixotic narcotic of hormone that makes my body moan ; twist ; contort ; retort and rotate and tolerate | so | much | bullshit — give it to me, girls parts ; tutu hearts – too, too heartfelt; too, too full of heart – you feel too much – you feel too much little girl — be like me little girl, stuff it. be like a man little girl, swallow it whole. devour feelings for lunch. let them fill you up with bone and anger and muscle and cartilage and ledges to lean over (not jumping, just leaning, just trust me — not jumping, just leaning; not learning, just pumping, just thumping – just trust me). let them fill you up – you’ll expand; balloon outwards; topple over yourself with musculature and strain; your chest will puff up – puffin-wide and proud – you’ll look remarkable – you’ll look large – you won’t have to feel it at all – you’ll look large – you won’t have to feel it at all – you won’t have to fear it at all – just fill yourself up with it. keep it safe in your intestinal tract. don’t trust anyone, little girl. all the men you see will have a lifetime of feelings bottled tight in their intestinal tract, don’t you see? stay smart. don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. that’s the smart way to do it – you’ll stay safe. you’ll keep everyone out. you’ll keep everyone out. you’ll keep everyone out.

isn’t that quaint – she isn’t afraid to feel. how adorable.

what a brave little fool.

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same canal, but

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.

translation;;

all i really care about is if i can see the glint of 3pm sunshine meandering through the pine needle canopy and how the golden light is pressing itself through chlorophyll on the side porch. all i want at night is to sleep on the screened in porch so that the swarm of insect chorus can lull me to sleep and rouse me with the new light. the friendship of singing swells. all the world really wants me to do is watch it. notice it. be with it. listen to it. and honor it. like a friend. like myself – in a thousand trillion pieces around me. the branch my sister, my friend, myself. and on to itself – the light – the thousand trillion pieces of light dancing rhythmfeet. bodies – like bodies of light // light – like bodies of death and undeath. like dream marbles falling out of the mouth of the sky // like rain bodies finding flight // finding light and light-ness and gravity // like gravity, like autumn, like 7pm, like yearning // like yearning is all we’re supposed to do – the only truth we’re supposed to swallow like light // like darkness is a river i am always swimming, like lightness is not a dichotomy but a body – like my body is always both at the same time – the river, the swimming, the rain, the evaporation, and where the river is a constant in a flood of variables and equations equating signs for symbols — like bodies — like shapes — like translation of form into meaning — like my body translating itself from light to shadow // contrast and lux making imaginary imagery immortal in mortality // like words pressed against one another like bodies // like shapes – you, me and the swell of the sound of an insect chorus in september ;; fading, cacophonous, resonant, signifying everything

no i can’t write about it
so my arteries are stopped up and my mind is chopped up
so what

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

autumn hands

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.

an opal of heat

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.

 

branson, missouri

streaks of pale blue sunset gobble up the rest of the horizon / Table Rock Lake hurls itself around in dream or wonder. my mother played here as a girl, skipping rocks with her grandparents / now the thrill of wild cloud shapes still satisfy the eye. Silver Dollar City splays out like an accordian – banjo fingered inlets and hills dressed in 1880’s finery – swelling to the brim with nostalgia and creation -praying to the past without repent. roller coasters swim in imagined narrative – the pearl of the wild west, of the hillbilly freedom of Ozark mischief murmurs in the mountains, in kitsch shops, in theatrics. we tell ourselves the story of the past, of the wild west, of the way the wilderness harnessed something, the way cowboys grabbed the rocks by the hand and shook them in their fists until america popped out of the stork. but what a tiny sliver of time – and how much time were these lands native lands. filled with a culture beyond hillbilly, beyond rapscallion, beyond outlaw. what do these hills know, what do we let them know, what narrative do we keep clinging to – in a small pocket of history, in a dark and stormy closet of our hearts, of our collective american narrative. the dark, toothless and ignorant outlaw – we keep clinging to this. we keep finding reasons to call ourselves home in this image. and still, too, Table Rock Lake whispers its own journey, sings its own ancient melodies. and still, too, rainbow trout swim in sea grasses, the sky meets the horizon at the breaking place – glows glitter and wildfire, does not adhere to the simple corners of our imagined narratives. rough edged rocks and bark-tongued tree spines – the mountains rise up with their own story. tectonic plates and spring-sourced-water-flows, ancient ridges and eyes rising to the sky. for the violet kiss of the sun on the horizon each night. and we do not own this land. and this land has a secret story all of its own. and our pitter-patter narratives fall like silver rain, and we keep imagining. and we keep dreaming, and clinging to the past that keeps passing us by. and we keep watching the sunset, and we keep imagining it is for us, and not for the lake itself. and we keep writing stories, and imagining we are the only ones with interesting things to say.

flippin, arkansas

we arkansas moonshined down the freeway – signs following us like ghosts, ancestor stories lurking in the hills. we pulled at memories we didn’t have, like teeth splayed out; like ozark rock shining in the glint. we arrowhead aimed for places in time lost, horse-back travelers, abandonment and gap-toothed storefronts. ghost towns ship-wrecked by time, by poverty, by an anchor pulling somewhere deeper than rock – sedimentary and solitary and sedentary.

i thought about typhoid fever taking old aunt lena, my great-grandmother flossie riding bare back in her dress down the middle of the town. i thought about the flu taking grandma without a name. i thought about old grandpa medlock buried in the cemetery; riding on one solitary horse to Flippin, Arkansas; tending the grocery store in town at the turn of the century. i thought about racism embedded in the rocks, the silt of magic baked into the earth’s crust. i thought about the rainbow trout splayed out in the White river. i dipped my hands into the river, imagined the wheel of time spinning my great-grandmother in a cotton dress, on a summer’s day, hands fresh in the water – 7 years old, dripping ghost-fire. brave, strong, full of meadowlight and beauty. i thought about my great-great-grandfather getting dragged for miles by a pack of runaway farm horses; the public hanging in the town square of a stray cowboy for raping the sheriff’s daughter. i felt the ghosts in the air, or the ancestor stories still flowing in the white river. i greeted the strange gravel of time, walked its planks, hurled its seasons onto my back. tried to imagine the bodies, the lives they lived, the stories they breathed. when i silted my hands into the enormous body of the clear river, i tried to feel her hands inside of mine. tried to feel the endless grace of a century or two wrapping around me. the playful stream of lives gone by still swimming in the waters all around us. embedded in the crust of the earth. storied earth, oh wise-old grass; blowing. always knowing things that i will never know. the way my great-grandmother’s hair looked like in the august light of autumn. twirling around ghosts even then. the vision of her dead sister walking up the lane towards her/vanishing at the eaves of the porch. the distant memories of dna laced into our bones. like the silted crevices of the earth encrusted/entrusted with our stories. like rib cages splayed wide in rock teeth/gulping/chomping/keeping our secrets safe/keeping our stories safe/silting out like erosion, the strange ghosts we don’t remember/the old bodies we cannot unearth/the unmarked graves we cannot find/the ancestor songs still swimming in the streams; rainbow trout, or golden oxygen named chemistry. or has the river kept flowing? or has the river kept flowing. and do the rocks dream only to forget?

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.