like a strange bird caged-no-longer

at the end of the play

I sit in the blue light cast shadow darkness gun fire smoke air pocket breath filled moment and I let the huge weight of emotion course through me like a fire / my focus is pinpointed ; I can see farther than the mountains and the horizons and the edges and the spectrums and geometries ; I keep rolling ; I let loose my head – I keep looking at the ground – boring a hole through it – sadness is in every cell of my body – it is not manufactured but it is not my own, it is a strange possession I have come to pick up and let go of again ;;

the strange and wonderful bizarre connection that happens between actors ; between a cast ; between people that meet each other in the dark twilight curtains of the wings ; of the strange breaths between words written by other men in decades past and the affection we have for story ; for meaning ; for the life lifted up ; for the life cast open like a splay of ribs ; the affections we have for one another’s honesty ;; trust and honesty we give to each other’s eyes ; to each other’s hands ; to our shoulders as they stand against one another;  living inside of words ; living on a stage together inside of a moment that never happened in another perhaps-decade in an imaginary world just real enough to touch // and when you slide into those moments carelesly haplessly, hopelessly ; the moment between reality and unreality ; the dreaming and the awake ; the imaginative and the imagined and you are the breath between the words – and you are the text between the lines – when you find yourself inside of the stage light and you look back into your fellow actors eyes and you see them seeing you see the moment and when the emotions floods you after the gun shot and the audience gasps and your breath comes in rattled heaves and you splay your insides out like a strange bird caged-no-longer ; when we do this strange thing together ; when we choose this strange life together ; when we embark upon a strange observance of what it is to be human ;; and we are allowed to share that discovery with others ; when we let imagination carry us /

I do not know what it is that I care so deeply to do — I cannot describe this strange thing called acting or why I do it or why I like to do it even now after all these years , after all the moments spitting words out of my mouth like firecrackers; like a hornet’s nest; like a ruffle of birds sitting on top of my chest; but I know that I can’t stop doing it and that I don’t want to stop doing it and that the love I feel for those around me that want to ever partake in this strange discovery journey are the most wonderful strange birds I would ever like to be splayed out with // Courageous; raw; alive; miraculously strange // and these are the ones I want to find ; I want to laugh with ; I want to hold in the dark after we’ve just cried on stage and give them the touch of another on another ; there together testifying that we still exist — that humans are strange and miraculous and that life and the imitation of life and the observance of life and the portrayal of life and the imagining of life and the dreaming and the play is all worth it ;; is all somehow strangely meaningful ; somehow strangely beautiful ; even if it’s only a play ; even if it’s only a dream ; even when the curtain comes down – something has been stirred up by the words leaving our mouth ;; some vibrations in the air are still vibrating ;; some magic has been concocted ; leaves traces in the walls ; on the floor and the edges of seats ;; is somehow profound in the living moment of it all // and isn’t that life – somehow profound in the lived moment of it all that is somehow all of the moments all at once always playing all of the same time and reflected back like a dream given form that we can see and play over and over again for the joy of doing it ; the joy of feeling it ; for the joy of being alive ; of being a strange human experiencing life with others ; experiencing life through others and for others ;; giving the receiving and being alive and not being afraid to feel it ;; to play it

play it again

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the point of the thing to play

The point of the thing to play, of course; the point of the thing is to play — to discover; to experience; to taste / we are the universe experiencing itself, how many times do I have to tell you // we are experience machines — so experience: don’t categorize and don’t be afraid and don’t be afraid of sadness and don’t be afraid of sorrow and do not pride a lack of emotional life is somehow trouncing your human condition ; experience your human condition and love it and enjoy it and feel it all; That is the play of it all ; Separate yourself from the strange mysterious unfolding of life just far enough to see that and then dive back in to the dream // But grow emotional intelligence like weeds, hear what their roots tell you and watch what you learn from what grows and what stays and what is useless in this day and age and what is still meaningful and feel all the courage and connections and corners and spectrums ;; maybe we’re all on different spectrums of monogamy and traditional relationships and unconventional ones just the way we’re on a spectrum of gender and accept that different people want different things for different reasons and different conditioning and some of it’s logical and some of it’s illogical and some of it can be talked out and transformed and some of it is beautiful and some of it is deeply wired and deeply profound to your person-hood (or not) or your identity or guise of an identity // and do not burn yourself but let yourself burn, and do not learn the dogma but let yourself yearn, and walk not the straight and narrow, but tend the healthy garden that minds its own criss-cross neuron roots; let it be healthy ; Let yourself be healthy and catastrophic and a mess and a bundle of missfiring wires and scars and misinterpreted emotions and resolute consciousness towards becoming more conscious ;; towards becoming a better version of yourself ; towards becoming your whole self ; towards creating your whole self ; Towards forgetting identity ; towards letting go of ego ; towards living past the need to hold on to your ego ; towards acknowledging the beauty of existing inside of a form and creating an identity and create a piece of art and creating a self but also letting go of yourself but letting yourself let go of the world and letting the world create you and letting creation be your master and your masterpiece and your existence and your nothingness

Drive till you run out of fear ;; run till you walk yourself out of your patterns / sleep till you find no need to escape the illusion inside evolution inside the illustration of the dream of awakening ; life full of summer roses and June air breath –  Be an escaped moment inside of a visionary animal ;; Be an animal ; be a creature ; be a stalk of corn ; be a human ; be a consciousness and the dream of an illusion of a consciousness that finds juggled up puzzles and maps and questions and answers and congratulate yourself if you can understand you understand anything at all ;; the blessing of consciousness ; the blessing of being intelligent enough to understand intelligence — how much deeper and richer life with knowledge, with questions ;; congratulate yourself if you are moving outside of the vicious cycles that have perpetuated and perpetuated ; bless the hard road of creating the new road ;  The blessing of getting to be aware — all the agony ; all the vision ; all the tragedy ; all the creation ; all the courage ; all the fearlessness ; all the blame ; all the wonder that lies on the edge of sleeping and awake // be grateful for the opportunity to come awake / to see the world in 10,000 more dimensions and to understand how complicated and riddled with words and weary worry it is / to be able to understand that you understand more than you ever thought you would / to be walking-running down the path that is taking you where your parents never went; where your grandparents never went ; to be carving out the evolved, the emotionally intelligent, the progessive, the patient, the compassionate, the open, the aware, the conscious, the new path — that is flying you faster and farther than your feet were ever taught to run // the strange baffling courage of walking the new terrifying path towards the full-bodied Full-Life ; to be following consciousness to the edge of the water — and starting to swim

the greens deepen

mayfaire comes at the waldorf school and the blossom beads of twirling reeds come spinning through the children’s hair ; the light streams like a never ending resource ; the laughter grows in petals and in purpose – we all gasp at the beauty – the ribbons, the flowers, the aching imagery from some place where the world was whole ; we adults say out loud to each other – it’s like another time ;; I think perhaps maybe we can’t handle the exquisite horror of the modern world, the unendingly banal and mundane ; the vain and heartless bullshit of it all, we ache for something real, for something beautiful, so perhaps we escape reality (perhaps reality has escaped realness) has pushed off from shore ; I feel a kinship with these strange people ; with this band of people that cannot stand the way the world is ; that cannot cope ; sure, i cannot cope, i escape the world, i hide in worlds that make me forget, that make me imagine the world is something different than it is – But I have to – there’s no life out there for me in the real world ; I have to keep my mind full of real reality or it will slip so quickly into the unending tragedy of the world

No, I do not tire of the multitudinous of nature

I will always belong to the wide open blue


so many moments pass me by when i do not write about them ; they slip like ash and blossom, bloom and bud, and suddenly here the roses are blossoming like the world wants to be june already – may plundered the rain from the sky and baked the new green leaves, hurled the roots and curls of vines of tangled green limbs towards one another in rapture ; i sat watching the world wake up, i sat watching the greens deepen, i held baby’s hand as he learned and sang and laughed and slept, i followed a new moon towards a new play, i worked in the hard emotions, the difficult patience of listening and emoting

i follow the sun, i oxygen, follow every bud like a whisper, i tunnel myself through the mud, i find myself over and over again — old friends sitting around me like an undying circle , watching the places where people crease, where they bend, where they curl, how friendship moves through you like a rooted forest, like the cut branch, ash fire of a wilderness that knows how to grow back, it always knows how to grow back, how to sustain // some things get cut away; some things grow higher, get rooted more deeply, don’t need as much tending anymore, but grow on their own


rapture body, i agree to too many projects, i fill in my every minute with too many doings, i make my hands make too many things, i fill, i fill, i am rich of experience and makings and givings, but i rarely can feel the afternoon wrap around me, like a glove, i rarely can herald myself towards coherency, i rush muddle myself, i thorough time taker have not the time for finishing every open door, but i prioritize the mud, the hush of sunlight through the grass, through the wildflowers on the bank, i make time for the goslings to cross the path, for the iris to turn its face towards the horizon, i have to make time for the things that matter, otherwise my matter will forget that nothing really matters – i musn’t take anything too seriously, i must rise like a blade, swallow myself whole like a drop of morning dew into the canal, i must keep watering my garden, i must sit and listen, i must sit and listen, everything is speaking, tiny tongues, shrill voices, hungry songs of hungry leaves, drinking in chlorophyll and sunlight and the shadow of words no longer important to the things that remember how to live all the time, to the beings in silence that laugh at our everythinggrumble; our stubbornness to surrender  ; our inability to remember what matters and forget our own names ; the place where freedom is; the place where light echoes and music sees

oh, oh, i remember now, the place where taste touches and mind mirrors memory without strings, the place where fear dissolves, the place i am always ever going-am.

and here the heron

Gulp in the spring shine in like medicine it’s the only good pill there is ; drive with the windows down ; bike across the dirt path ; Hunger yourself towards the hollow of the sky ; the convex convolution of our reality ; the convention of complexly confusing the horizon for the edge , Let the world spin madly on

And here – this rust mud puddle of a river floating me down / And here, the swelling fingers and toes of the new green leaves still may-colored and honeysuckled / and here my eyes a new ocean / and here the hum of the river, the trill of a bird, the soft hummingbird song of a neighbor’s dog, and here the brash bravery of the flowers perching themselves along the bank, and here the heron, wide and ageless, powering his angling flaps low above the water

I’ll write myself into a disguise / you’ll know where i am / you can find me with your eyes closed

I spotted a Cardinal in the branches ; fire-organ, special, burrowed ; I could not catch him fast enough ;; of course, you already knew that, of course

The curvature of roots ; the ecstasy of blossoming ; the mindless dandelion of wish ; the violence of wind through the atmosphere; The deafening mix of warmth and breeze ; the rapture of daylight spreading ; the hurricane of waking up

the delirium of Sun

But have you seen 6 o’clock may light / do you know what my heart feels like when it thumps against the wind / Am I anything other than the Spring ; does anyone know anything real other than this jubilation ; than the delirium of Sun warmth and soil smell and what the world really is ; of what life really is :: and all the shadows surrendering from all the other surreptitious seasons ; all the false days fading in the may light / All the mayflies casting ringlets in the river / nothing else mattering but this, but matter moving and dancing :: dancing, you imbecile, the point of life to dance ; loving, you idiot, the point of life to love ; To live, goddammit, all the geese yelling at me to live // And the blossoms – each one more ingenious than the next // and sight: a fever to behold

something that can still bloom

how do i write about my cat dying in my arms? about listening to his rattling breath all night, myself aching that he was in so much pain, looking into his scared eyes in the middle of the night, waking up with a dead cat in my arms. dan coming home to say goodbye and having missed it. digging a hole in the backyard. trying to tell jamie something that isn’t horribly confusing. trying to choke down the feeling that the winter was just too long, the spring was just too slow, his poor feet wanted to pounce in the grass and lay in the sun and he waited and waited and waited and the sky stayed gray for too long. where do the words go and where do they return back to? all the confusion, all the heartache. the frustration in my work, the discipline of the sky to return to blueness, the swallowing armament of a healing broken bone. how do i write about the shadow of the season, the warmth of the rain, the circles we walk in over and over again. about your eyes, or mine; or about your heart, or mine

how do i write about the moments in between, the waitings, the wearing outs. how do i write about the exhaustion, or the rhythm, or the sadness in the branches still bursting / how do i eat the sun / memorize the buds on the trees / mold myself into something that can still bloom again?

 

green returning

First and foremost, there is the multitude of light, the branches of sky ceiling that stretch around like crashing bones; secondly, there is the rhythym of words that tuck behind your ear; thirdly there is courage, the firmament of flurried breaths which carry you from one day to the next ; fourthly there is the beckoning forth of the seeds to the light, to the might of leaves to the air, to the resonance of grass to the grace of green returning ; the grace of green returning

Ninthly there is twilight, like a milky sea of froth wishes tumbled out of cosmic memory

I see spring arranged about me like a pearl of courage cracking itself open ; i see a thousand beams of hungry light being themselves wishlesslessly

Yeah me? I’m still convinced I don’t deserve love

the fear of breathing

Life is the courage to breathe which breeds the courage to feel which curls the fear of breathing to the burned ashes to the edges of visible sight ; of visible light

Loving hard as fuck you tell me ;

the edges of the big bang still visible on the horizon, like a capsized circimsition of the derision of the decision to exist here, now, in this crumbled architecture of a why

the underside of the backside of the backbone of visible light still virtual on the tip of my tongue, on the lip of my lungs

the hungry reminsence of my soul on my body

an absence in several places

i couldn’t stop staring at the tiles on the ground. the mosaic-ed black and white checks. my mom on speakerphone with my brother next to the bathrooms at the concert venue. thrum humbling and bum mumbling. i couldn’t pick my eyes up. she told me clearly and quickly that grandpa had died. 5 days before i was going out to see him. now the visit would be a memorial. my brother was right there with me. mama told us to sing and dance loudly at the concert. and then glen hansard walked onto the stage, nearly immediately. bryan said at least we’re at the right kind of concert for this. and i cried my way through his incredible music. the rafters hung on to smokey light, the ceiling fans danced rhythm above us. my navigator grandfather was navigating uncharted waters.

and i think about his life, the kind of life he lived. how unimaginably full his life was. navigating. flying planes. being in wars. working for the CIA. losing his wife at 28. writing a broadway musical and opening it on broadway. working on the apollo mission, drawing the maps to the moon. writing a book. living through the depression. buying a farm at 70 and becoming a cow farmer at that age. herding the cows around his missouri land all through his elder years. out in the cold, fixing the fence, eating his wheatgerm and almonds. unafraid and unstoppable. telling stories, sharp as a tack, witty as ever.


a few muted candles, a towering blue one, a bundle of rocks reminiscent of real ones – a thousand smatterings of light reminiscent of the real one – a trillion spinning ancestors reaching back and forth

we gathered in ohio. i felt the hunger of all the hearts around me, glistening like watered diamonds / we talked about anything other than what we were really there for / somehow the ones closest to him managed the most numerous smiles / cousin held my hand while we both cried, two sad little birds in a shallow pool of water, distracting and distracted / i felt grandma’s heaviness and her desire to not reveal it / i saw my mother fluttering with tiny silk wings / everyone was fragile; we somehow the most

my brothers and i (just two of my brothers, i mean) alone in the car, letting the song finish, refusing to open the door, no one drawing their gun first, no one willing to walk in yet, begging for someone to let us have some catharsis, to have some moment to process (they’re not talking about it, you see, they’re hurrying us along, you see, they’re saying we have to be upbeat, you see, we’re trying not to bring them down, you see) / so we all sit in silence, we all look straight ahead, we all cry silent tears, we all shake our heads when they ask if we’re ready to get out of the car, we all let the song finish // then we wipe our faces and go in smiling, like they want us to, we talk about other things, like they want us to, we don’t presume this weight is ours to carry, we let it slip amongst the clouds ; we do not know how to process, only how to light a candle, and how to blow it out

i feel the absence in several places in my body. oh, a new hole in my chest, goody. i feel the absence in the room, too, though no one would dare bring it up. my oldest brother, missing in action once again, this time, somehow truly incomprehensibly. my father, i didn’t expect to feel his absence here. but i feel strange that he doesn’t get to grieve. and lastly, of course, the resounding absence of grandfather himself. somehow wizened-eyed and smiling behind every hidden word. everything moves very fast, and somehow impossibly slow. i do not feel i have enough time to process, and yet i don’t know what else there is to say or do. i rage against my brother. i rage too, at the insensitive incomprehensible defense of his behavior. i rage at the misunderstanding (and that’s a kind interpretation). i have no more tolerance for this bullshit. none at all. i have forgiveness in my stores, but no more benefit of the doubt. we curse him behind closed doors, 3 siblings that once were 4. we hold close to each other, 3 siblings that once were 4. i revel in the intimacy of touch cousin gives me, the openness of tears. i am grateful for these. and for the humanness we shared with one another.

i think of his life, too and i can hardly find a reason for sorrow. full and deep and smart and vast. sharp, without fail. kind, without fail. always more than you could hope for. i light a candle, i blow it out. i rid myself of fear. i charge myself to live up to his grace. to fly as he once did, navigating in the dark, with a riddled paper map inside his hands. flying, soaring, navigating, charting, finding his way in the dark; fearless and full of light.


 


i collapse on the ground; i splint and saunter, i gather my bones onto crutches, i remember god staring at me with one eye in the waiting room, i remember god in the pain. i remember how god is always laughing. how we believe in mistakes. how small and foolish we all are. my eyes fill with tears when they describe to me how in what particular ways i will be immobile. how i will need help bathing, how i will go up the stairs on my butt. i am frustrated because i love inhabiting my body. using it and rolling about the world. because it is spring now, finally. because the golden curls of the little hairs of the sun stay dripping until nearly 8pm now and she will not wait for me to come play with her. because i cannot miss my appointment with the re-greening of the grass. because the daffodils long for my eyes to see them, because the crocuses are trying to kiss me, and i long to see the seedlings root as much as they long for me to press my skin to the sides of their homes. i am frustrated because i feel bad asking people to take care of me, because i will lose money taking off work, because i worked for months on this show and now i will not be able to do it. because my son deserves to be played with.


one of my most serious ex-boyfriends came out as a woman, and i don’t know how to process this. i don’t know what is not selfish. i feel like i’m not entitled to need to process it. but i do. i’m not sure what reality is, what a person is, what gender is, what memories are and at what point they become something different, or do they? because i had a relationship with a man who was obsessed with working out and having a masculine physique that wanted to marry me in a very conventional way. but she was a woman all along. are there terms for what it is i am feeling? i am sending her love and support, always. but privately, in my own little mind alone, i am trying to understand my own memories like a ghost in a song playing backwards. i know gender means nothing. and at the same time, clearly it does.


ash-white and linen bold, today the calhoun st bridge was covered in a thick 8am fog, like a wind-chime singing in all directions; like a spring breath puffing thickness like a virtue; like the green chipped paint on the old rusting metal was the only bridge between reality and the netherworld. we zoomed, slowly, through the curtain of obscurity, making a prayer to the springtime. bring all your wishes, moonclouds, bring all your dewdrops, i will take them, i will sit in your obscurity, in your april rain, in your dappled showers, i will take it all. i will cover myself in seedling mud and cotton stones of forgotten gardens. if this is what it takes to grow. if this is what it takes to grow.


 

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie the reason you were alive
But you’ll never know

more southerly

it hurts like hell

My chest explodes a thousand times, and ten more; the answers lay like mines in the air, the world sits in warfare; i sip helpings of hallowed love from a shallowed shell – your ribcage laid bare, myself, perched inside it like a taxidermied bird

Just physical, you say, well i say physically there is no way for my body to feel closer to any light more southerly than the north star

I’ll pretend I don’t love it, the fire, the rain, the hurricane

You’ll pretend you can stand the pain, the novocaine, the loss and the gain

I’ll lay my bones out in a circle, a marrow display, the deepests, the furrows, the melted bits

i hold a ball of burning beeswax in my hands; i press honey-ed flame to my lips; i smell, i reek it in, i rake it in – the flame, the flood, the spark, the match, and the flint the match is struck against

and the flint the match is struck against