i try not to let it crack

rattle-roll, i hear the toll of every ticking branch, seemingly seeming to see the end of the season swimming towards us – swallowtail, i swallow the sun in gulps and grants – i grant myself fervor and hot-footed breaths

candlemas, and the turning of the earth towards the light – light, and the turning of the ash to soil once more – and the planting, the thought of the thought of the thought before the seed

a thousand New Year’s days please – the courage of beginning again – the raw heart of a new beginning a thousand times over – in a row, lined like ducks perched everlasting, please – your heart, please, draped next to mine in the cold winter’s night, please – wrapped in a body, a little flesh fragment – a little capsule for a wilderness within 

and you too, your memories reek like rotted seasons cracked at the bark – your skin beginning to crack too, and me, and my memories beginning to crack too – your scratchy, distant face, the way my caterpillar of a heart cocoons itself when it flashes to memory – no longer mine, no longer yours, the frozen thumping of a blazing hot season of youth traipsed over my eyes – forever young, forever frozen in the heat, forever wild, a creature of agelessness / it isn’t that i feel old – it’s that the curvature of time takes you away from me, moves the strange temperature of your soul from a dark blue to a hue i cannot recognize, am not supposed to know how to recognize ; the distance both a time and space – a relativity of distance longer than a word can be described ; a perpetual dying, a perpetual freezing

I find myself literally dreaming about the spring during this season, the goosefeet of mid-march drumming through the rain, the cotton wind of the clouds currying over the hillside, the mist of a meadow that sits somewhere between reality and me – and myself, the virulence of my body allowed to breathe, no longer strapped into sinews of cotton and corduroy – i dream about my flesh touching the wind again, the sunlight touching my hair again, my feet able to run into morning dew, my eyes able to open to the splays of green and yellow – i dream, i dream, i sleep, i hibernate my heart, i try not to let it crack in the freeze, in the ice-sheets blanketing mud, i try to keep it balmed / i try not to let it crack

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perpetually sudden

i think about how I’ve never really known what’s in your head; the grey matter; the fizzing goop that drips through your cerebellum, you strange beast…but that I have seen it ticking from the outside for half my life;; dizzying clockwork and happenstance ticks i know so well ; i see the everything gushing from within some socket – i wish i could plug the dam for you, let you rest in sinewed arms, take away the racket and the rage, let it wash out in the rain, i wish i could soften the gears, release the valve, unfurl the sails, let fly the fluttering eye

// just the right amount of pain, right to the bloodbones, to the corner of your brain still flooded with syrup and cotton

/ my little broken treasure

/ a little puncture in the side of your brain // what is this thing we call a heart; a ball of layer upon hayer of some howling wishes cast together; hot like iron – like glass – like metal – like a forge of something past and present and never fully had

the ever present present unfolding ;; like a little handful of Jack’s ; spiky and round at the same time

/ and you, barreling towards everything as if my heart was just a placeholder / wiping my i-love-you’s off your mouth as if they dirtied your imagination / and me, a sudden gust of wind perpetually blowing; perpetually sudden

hyper-present

And of course I think of a 1000 useful things to say as I drive away

Am I your strangest friend? You ask me / I ask you if I can use that for writing / I curl my way down the little town street, I cannot escape the poetry of a night sky

I remember at all, don’t you? Don’t you swim through the brine ; through the ratted tufts of your brain? I am sorry for my insufficiencies, for my weakness of heart, for my in firmament of mind, for my recklessness of behavior. I am sorry for believing all the tales they tell us to believe. I am sorry the truth is not a clear set of silver utensils to be shined. I am sorry I cannot even set the table.


we let the notes hit through our chests for the last time ; peel through our sinews for last time. the curtain cast its purple side-long gaze at the shadows in the wings, our false eyelashes bounced gluey-wisp replies. we danced to those legendary notes, the drumbeat hollowing in our ankles, the rhythm curling through time. i peeled through all the energy – the layers of light and vision cast about me as i spun about in circles. the stage seemed to morph around me as i moved through it – the cast glaring and leering and laughing and dancing in hopscotch halter moments – frozen bits alighting about me.

it’s something you get to keep / you never have to give it away; the gift you get on the stage; the one that burrows right inside of your ribcage; the one that becomes part of your marrow; the one that continues to breathe with you / you never have to give it away; it becomes part of your weaving, part of your body, it never dies

there are moments on stage that feel more real than real life – more present, more prescient, more alive. as if all the world were a strange synapse dream and here we have remembered that we are always just playing. and we are giving the moment meaning, and attention, and tension, and care, and we are practicing at being present for it, at having it mean a certain thing. the care for the ever unfolding moment – that sometimes reaches into reality farther than the drip-dried dream of our everyday, profane moments. the sacred is reached towards. the holy cathedral of the theatre – the sacred soul box of memories and words and lineage of ancestor tongues and human reflection of reflection of reflection of what it is to be real. and somehow, in this hallway of mirrors, this art at art at real life – reality is punctured like a hollow cloud – and you find yourself standing in something hyper-real, hyper-present, uniquely beautiful and glowing; stage lights dancing about faces of people you are endlessly putting your trust into, and are endlessly catching you.


i am grateful for the hum of guitar chords that still walk me through my life, tuck me inside moments and find me a home inside strange little rooms in strange little cities. i am grateful for the glaze of beautiful eyes that seethe, for the hurricane of emotions i am still somehow able to feel. i am grateful to begin to feel old; to still feel young. i am grateful for you, and i am grateful for you. let me alight, and continue to burn.

where the sky meets the horizon

we are always infinite, and it is a tragedy that we live in a state of constant forgetting. infinite love, infinite imagination. firelight and wilderness.

the snow curled summit of the season keeps swirling around me – sanitized eyes and lacewig goodbyes. i keep dancing – hitting the stage and hoping the moves will move through me. i keep burning beeswax, failing to be my best self, learning through words, wrapping up pieces of myself and sending them away on the digital ocean and knowing nothing at all. believing almost anything at all. inhaling, exhaling, reaching in towards the lit furnace – jostling about my worst monsters and handing fear to the daylight. for safe keeping. for stale cleansing. for stark communication. i keep finding new ways to love my little boy, to stare into his eyes and to keep the moments frozen in time. i keep inventing new ways to breath oxygen into my body and i keep wishing my mind was a little quieter, a little gentler.

we are always infinite, and it is a tragedy we do not live where the sky meets the horizon. live in the state of rain freezing to snow – endless transformation; courage; magic. let us blanket the earth in our everythingrememberance.

ash to charcoal

strange growths in strange places / like unaccustomed travelers to my mind – how to shut it off, how to breathe out, how to remember who i was when i was barefoot and running across a bridge in Australia without a care in the world (and how to stop romanticizing the past)

new hallows now – cold bitter feet; wrapped, warped, bound, zippered, bundled bits of skin and shovels, harken the grey – harken the invisible sunset at 3:30pm where the sky just fades from ash to charcoal without a whimper or a sign to the birds. release me from this frozen tundra, let my skin feel the whip and lash of the sea once more.

slowly, brazenly, haphazardly, we bumble around our four-walled rooms, raging at the confinement of the season. slowly, humbly, mumbly, I curl myself inside out – swollen, molasses-fingered, reticent, fearless and fearful all at the same time.

white to white, the snow centers on our foreheads and presses inwards. white to white, it whirling dervishes around me – a bomb cyclone, a frozen apiary, a burned wish floating, a hungry season rotating towards the sun. white to white, we feel the color in all its everythinghue and silence. white to white – if it’s cold enough, the silence will sing.

2018

and is not the wild world calling? and is not the blue moon heralding – the call of ancient whispers turned anew / is not the world still spinning forward – and will the spring greet you again on the banks of a muddy stream – this is not a question, this is a reply. send yourself out, grow yourself wide, honor yourself truly. be honest. be clear. be productive. but be slow. be slow. be careful. own your shit. fess up, let go of being right. be grateful, be real, be giving. give more. give more. connect always. to the small and the minute. to the wide and the riverless. get oceanic. be wild, be free, don’t fear. hack at your best self with a pickaxe and don’t stop climbing. but climb slowly, consciously. pay attention. pay homage. stay focused. grow up. own up. be fearless. forgive yourself. forgive others. find hope.

2017

2017. And of course you come to my mind. And you. And you. And you too. And the rapturous hands, the wild-eyed stares, the firmament of dreams dizzying into space. And life splayed out in hues and tones – learning and listening and loving and losing and lingering. The fizzle and the pop. I rang it in with Dan and Rose at a Chalk and the Beige concert at Social. I fumbled and fizzed, got my first book published just 2 weeks into the new year. The news just tipped into my e-mail inbox like a little whisper. We marched and we watched the strange man take the strange office on a strange day in January. Then we flew to New Orleans – dancing about the candy-cane streets and soaking up coffee bean trills and trails of haunted alleyways, dissonant paintings, twirling saxophone solos into the night sky. Then to Key West, rising with the sun out across the horizon of the Gulf in the morning as Jamie ran about the porch and gazed over the ocean. And the rage I had at the world, at the news, at the amount of political information I was consuming. I was consumed. We came home to a new home and tried to unpack. Tried to unravel. And unravel we did. And learn about Kindergarten. And sink my feet in, my toes, my hands. And one day, somehow, I thought to show up to little old church in Newtown, and read a part with a man I didn’t know. And we walked to our cars under the little town streetlights and wished each other good luck. And we all laughed our way through the Philadelphia Story. Howling and calling for line and rolling funny words through funny accents in our mouths. The spring burst through the muddy earth – all tulip-tailed and bright-eyed wailing at the moon. The divorce gavel clung and bellowed and we built a garden together. And Jamie and I planted new seeds, and learned how to care for them, what to give them. The season spread and sang and sweltered, we played out our merry play. I found myself in passing memories, sleeping in the sweat of the porch on the couch, every night – just to gather the insect sounds into my brain. I ran about the streets of Yardley, I played on hollowed stumps. I laughed with you, I drank cider down, we curled out memories about the midnight bells of clanging little town curfews. I sang, you sang. I listened to you sing to me all the way home. All the way to your home. I hungered through visions. I kept your heart on repeat. I flew to Florida, I frolicked about with my cousin, we danced daisy-dreams and kept our inner children alive and well-fed. I choreographed Spring Awakening. Guzzling dregs of coffee and sweltering in the sun-fed grass. I drove hours and hours on the turnpike to Wilmington and back – as the summer sun set on the horizon and the toxic glow of heat haze settled around all that traffic-frozen metal. The skyline of Philadelphia in the mid-July heat, from the highway, all plentiful and reflective. I sat next to the cello in the orchestra pit which was 30 feet in the air on the catwalk in a big, resonant theatre in Delaware and felt my heart pound of my chest with this music. This ever-singing music. I remembered to be grateful. I drove myself home one final time and started again. In a little old theatre in a green, lush state park. With one man and one director. With two friends. And one stage. And we walked it, back and forth and back and forth. Getting the words into our mouths, getting our mouths into the space. And we laughed and we read aloud and we sang out loud and we joked our way into relationship. We bounched and lurched to through Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas. I tumbled my way about San Diego and Minneapolis. I pearled my way through the mountains of Pennsylvannia to Gettysburg and beyond. The summer stretched out like a violin – music on every whispered turn. And the leaves turned ashen and blood red, the world darkened with a breeze and a chill, and the yellows and browns came out of hiding. The world kept spinning, the breezes filled with applecrisp and wanderfeet. I found my dancing feet again, I met new people, I twirled about in mystery and confusion. I took new jobs, I shot so many pictures. I loved without abandon.

And here’s to you. And here’s to you. And here’s to standing in the middle of the street under the June moon in Newtown. And here’s to watching The Office on a twin sized bed with no sheets. And here’s to Jamie’s cracked open smile, his wide-lipped words, his knatted hair that dreds and knows nothing but wilderness. Here’s to cobble headed words and stagelights drenching makeup and tights and highheels and fake pearls and trenchcoats and wobble-dresses and fishnets and boots. Here’s to wind in your hair. To Mohonk Mountain and to fresh water spilling forth free-swimming fish. Here’s to roadtripping half-way across America to be able to spend some time with my glorious and gracious grandfather. Here’s to cooking, to making, to painting. To listening. To Nahko. To sweatlodge. To riding roller coasters in 19 degree weather. To fumbling for fingertips interlaced. To kissing on stage. To kissing in cars. To my own book in my own hands. To the snap and click of the camera. To the rage and reticence of never knowing. To the wonder of wishing. To the firmness of time, passing around me like a dream. Like a memory worth having. Like a June worth tasting. Like a December worth letting go.

My life is anonymous. My moments happen on a little street in a little town. My memories are my own. My moments are my own. But they are rich and lush and golden and textured and hued and my life is full of magic and growth and vision and sight and color and solitude and crowds and courage and breath and ferocity and love. And love. And love.

And the world spins on, and my heart furls outwards, and love buries me in a cocoon. And the snow drenches the sidewalk, and the sun searches for surrender, and the earth does her funny dance. I know you now, and I know you now. And I know you now. And I know more of myself, more of the earth, more of this wild unfolding. I don’t know how to unknow you now. I am grateful to know you now. To feel you always in my heart.

And the new year. We all need this, so profoundly. To be able to psychologically start over. It’s a profoundly meaningful ritual for me, and I am grateful we have an arbitrarily agreed upon restart date. For rebirth, for renewal, for release. This ritual is probably the most meaningful holiday we celebrate as a society, for me. Our consciousness matters, and is affected by the silly arbitrations we put on our psychological boxes. The dates, the months, the years. The strange ticking of an artificial clock. Our coding, our ways of compartmentalization and measuring up a life. It matters, it all matters. And I am grateful for the circle, for the cycle, and for the moment in between all moments – to reflect, to honor, to release and to begin again. To try to attempt to do better. To more magic. To all magic. To everyday magic. Always.

And always know that yes, without a doubt, and without a regret: you mattered to me. And you mattered to me. And you mattered to me. And we existed. We all existed together.

And everything always matters.

Everything.

wide-angle

mother and mother and i am always searching for land. for something to dig my soul into.

i walk across the canal – now, a bundle of frozen clay earth and a dimpling frozen waterbed. i catch my eyes on color – i recognize the season’s hues – the reds showing themselves in roots and shoots, the green holly leaves still clinging to branch, the red twinkle berries still round – nothing else abounds. the greens and reds, occasional – markedly hued against the backdrop of brown and greys. i hunt for my footsteps; my footsteps hunt for me.

I think about how badly I want to photograph the moment / I think about focus; about dilation; framing; I think about the shot; I think about my eyes like raptors; I think about the camera angle wrapping around my skin like a pair of claws ; following me / I sit with the desire to document the moment in a way beyond my eyes.  I sit against the canal, back against the woodline ; face against the ice ;  A man walks by with a huge dog on a leash – he makes a passing comment that I am little red riding hood, and he, the wolf.  I laugh / eyelash / I find folk tale tremors on my lips, in the ice in the melted bits of water / are they melted or did they never freeze /  Have they not yet frozen will the Winter freeze them will I be there to see it —  I think of the fairy tales following me; of the toxic romance that gave me a sick and weak heart –  I think about how important the stories are that we tell; how we must find better ones / I think about the reflection of the branch in the icicle spine that is cracking in the ice

And the Sun still warms ;; well not warmth, but light
the light stratifies every plant, every strand of golden hair rising from the earthsoil; the light hits with a different glaze; a different gaze; Winterises my polarized eyes
the cold codifies
the solstice light sinks closer to the horizon – looks for comfort in the mother – tries to cling close to the skirts of the solid – the sun holds fast, dips quickly, fearlessly, runs to the other side of the world – lights up my beautiful Australia with dripping season of color and fragrance – tips the balance, curls the scales, swells mangoes to fall off the branch. the sun plays with me, with the body of the earth dancing slowly; i remember there is no objective horizon, just the closer and closer from the further and further ; just the memory of an edge of a manufactured boundary ; a trick of sight ; a trick of being a flat vision on a round bauble ; of being a tricked one – an audience member — the show is grand; grandiose; full of grandeur. the show keeps spinning – the curtains hold back the tricks – so we can feel the magic. so we can believe in the magic. the funny sideways horizon line – the trick of objectivity, of subjectivity. it’s summer over there, don’t you know – just behind the curtain. this winter spell is a scene. is a song. this cool and icy distance is just a dance. one pirouette away from the swelter of summer. and all its realities. and the earth is dancing the other way round right now – showering my Australia with late afternoon swims and 9pm sunsets and twirling vistas that glitter with warm blankets of starlight. and here i pluck around the reeds and bones of plants gone dry and try find anything that isn’t a casket. and the showmanship of the horizon keeps glaring at me like a finality – like a rule. but i know it’s only the edge of the frame. the wide-angle camera shot set on a tripod, low to the ground, high shutter speed. i know it’s only the shot – the simple, cheap one-camera set-up. the room is round, honey, and let’s not forget that we’re spinning.
let’s keep spinning forward.
“the world is round, and a messy mortal is my friend. Come walk with me in the mud.”

i hollow towards the light

i, rabbit horn, sea monster, rattle death – i call sadness into my ribcage to light fire to my heart. i mourn the afternoons bathed in autumn light through the rose curtains. i mourn the ring of singing voices in hollowed tree stumps. i fear the bones of winter crackling towards the sky without relent. i fear the branches; the harness of the sky to the earth. i fear myself. i search myself. i become more of myself. i grow in to being a teacher – giving strength, welling patience, harnessing words. i hark to the light. to the purpose that petals my feet forward. i hollow towards the light. i hear my own whispers; i repeat action and action and action and i rest not wearily enough. i hunger, i rattle, i raise. i reach towards the light – i keep reaching.

rattle

rattle frames – art museum condenses me into hue – into paint and form / radiance and reflection // little boy rattles the air with laughter, grandfather sits with wise blue eyes, smiling softly, curling hands, 2 flannel shirts stacked on top of one another – warm bones. mama takes our legs through unbuilt houses – heaps of wood and thin board, rattling together like skeletons – november wind whipping through strange windows of rolling plastic sheets: my childhood comes back in an instant – all the half-finished crater houses spelunk-ed in our rapshackle, ticky-tacky development – the only tradition my family had. the only pastime. we’d hobble along the cul-de-sac and curbed, mowed fences to a shamble of bones lying wasted in the winter air – a house being constructed — unstable, something that would rattle in the wind


and here december turns ash of our flame / i was walking up a creaky set of stairs and i fell back in love instantly / and my hands ring around the rosie, and my pockets are full of gaseous and nosey words, and my heart is full of window panes and light-rivers / my school chatters and sings, bulges at the walls and sews together little bits of things lost and remembered / my heart pounds and dashes, dots, dots, dots along the path


and the smell of burning rocks – rocks with fire twisted up inside them / water steaming life from life / words pounded into drums, drums pounded into hearts, bodies swollen with honesty, feet trenched in mud and vulnerability / and the full moon glazing, and the full fire blazing, and the hollow of a hut holding sixteen people tight – and the mountain of song spilling out, and the cheer of bones against muscle, and the sweat – the sweat – the sweat dripping off every curve, every hollow / and the spill of water into pit, into steam, into conscious breath, into no breath possible, into breath into a sweater and stay low to the ground, stick your finger out of the tiny hole in the hut, gulp the winter air onto your skin and the heat – the heat – the heat / and the release – the gash of air tunneling your body, finally, finally – heart melting / exposed, ravenous / blanketed on leaves, naked skin against winter dirtearth – leaf bed, full moon canopy of black-branched labyrinth streaming towards the sky – streaming towards the sky – steaming towards surrender – and the surrender, the surrender, the surrender – the will power, the achievement, the strength – the release of ego – the release – the sweat, the swell, the season, the surrender, the sublime, the sacred, the sanctuary, the summit; the sound of everything