I will be honest. I will not shame myself. I will not be afraid to admit that I am afraid. I will not let my own fear capsize me, hold me down; but i will let it inform me and move me and lit a fire under myself. i will approach the ever changing future with an open mind and an open heart and i will not presume to know that i know anything or that i should know anything or that i need know anything. i will be humble, i will try to be humble. i will be brave in the face of a strange world and a strange life. i am ravaging my own heart like a vulture and i am being a brave band of cells marching towards the summer horizon. july is tipping around me like a ferris wheel and all i know is the air conditioned peace of laughter inside trenton social and the love i have for creating and creators. i know not the haze of chlorine in my hair or the din of 7 o’clock woods drenched in fading light. i have not met the summer by her name yet, i am still twirling around this thing i love to do. and i am grateful for it. i am grateful to be able to do what i love to do. and to meet fellow strange people that have love in their hearts for strange things. let me keep twirling, just a little longer — i have more love than i know what to do with, and more spins to spin out of, and more worlds to build with my ears. let me build this life for myself, maybe this is what i should follow.
the mountain road pulled the sinews out of my bones, peeled back my winter scar tissue and bandaged up my bruised brains ; Vermont heralds like a parcel of parched mountains pointing the way towards the present : the prescience of the prescribed notion that I should piece together my inner peace and place it on the precipice of permanence // the open sky is a mural, a cotton-gauze remembrance of the moment just passing, just passing, just passed // my heart is a tower, escalating, forever young, forever soft marrow // the ancient rockface has a name I do not know, the supple leaves have secrets I cannot speak; the satin sound of the sun keeps surrounding me, I keep melting into the molten misuse of the midsummer heat ;; people in every direction pour patience back at me; purpose in every rock presses back through my toes :: the heat swelters around like a shelter , the bass pumps the through the thighs of the mountain – up the incline — we all camp on the side of the hill, sliding down in our little ramshackle tents, gravity and grace on either side holding us up straight (barely) — we do not all fall down the mountain – gravity maintains, physics maintains, our muscles grope the climb up and down like insects on a mound ;; small we are : the mountain pulls like a raptor, like a father, like a parapet – purposeful in its presence alone
i sat paralyzed through sunday, the wash of glittered june light through the trees a happenstance horror show in contrast to the reticent reality sitting around the edge of my line of vision. too close, too close to home. too real now, too real. a veil has been pulled off and i don’t know how to put it back on. something has been broken inside and i don’t know how to fix it. i don’t know how to heal. i’m not ready to focus on the positives yet. i can’t think of anything but trails of streams of blood flowing through our art gallery, splattered onto the canvases and casings lining the floor. still not okay yet. i’m still not okay yet. i feel gutted that people are continuing to live their lives.
i could feel the tension growing like a circus around me, i told my friends we had to go, i had no idea why, we just had to go. now. a few minutes more and we would have been there. but the carnival of careening and jeering and jolting and posturing and gang colors was flooding the streets, spilling around, about, hopping over cars, each and every side-street i sputtered over to get away.
i am angry at the wealth inequality in this country. i am angry at our justice system – because this man was in solitary confinement for 12 years, since he was 17 years old and it apparently affected his cognitive development. i am angry at our country. i witnessed the police doing the right thing. i want to talk in specifics and in nuance and i want the conversations to be about the right things. i want to focus and pinpoint the enemy at where it truly is – the systematic disenfranchising of the poor. the stratification of class and wealth and the inability to locate a coherent community. the posturing of masculinity, the toxicity of the patriarchy which seethes the need to be tough as a means to appropriate empowerment in a society which gives you no outlets for meaning, identity or empowerment. the glorification of gun violence, of war rhetoric, of violence in general, of solving problems quickly and acting on anger. the great holy upholding of anger and of violence. anything, anything, anything that glorifies or props up gang culture, gang violence. i am angry at the news, the media machine that keeps churning out tragedy porn. that keeps filling our psyches with horror and ratcheting up our minds away from peaceful and calm life-filled moments to the desensitization and normalization of horror and violence.
the next day our art gallery was a crime scene. yellow police tape stretching the entire perimeter of the block, closing off side streets. you couldn’t get anywhere close to it. you can’t pick up your art because now it’s part of a mass shooting investigation. and maybe it’s covered in blood. everything lay where it was precisely at the chaotic peak of 3am – shoes strewn about the block, trash, food, bottles. the scene of a grand party now an abandoned and haunted memory. the way everything changed in a minute. i’ve always thought about what that feeling would be like. because the media is always filling my head with it. the reality of it was ten times heavier than i imagined.
i am angry. i am sad. i am profoundly depressed. i have never felt what i felt yesterday. i have never lived through i what i lived through yesterday. i am angry that i had to. i am heartbroken, for our community, for this city, for people trying to bridge gaps, create art, come together peacefully. i am confused about reality, confronted by so many people’s daily reality, i feel difficulty living my own privileged life, i am at odds with the universe, i know not why humans are so blind. i am haunted by the feeling i had walking around that place just a half an hour before, as the walls dripped with a tension i had never felt before, an atmosphere that felt alien to me. i am grateful for my intuition, but it doesn’t make it better. i am grateful it wasn’t worse, but it doesn’t make it better.
there are so many problems in the world. so many breathed in and breathed out. we can’t hold on to these things, nor should we. but i can’t help feel the brush off; some gang violence happened in trenton and we all move on. this is the way it is. we can compartmentalize it. well i can’t handle it being the way life is anymore. i have no patience for violence. no patience for guns. we are all becoming too desensitized to violence, and we have to be, yes, because the news is too rough not to be…but we are too numb, too complacent, too conditioned.
get me out of this circus.
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
where do you go when the trees speak back and the sap seeps forward and the bridges and built and the bridges are built and the burned char of last year’s ashes have grown new poppies? and where is the light lingering and who owns the smell of the air on the last day of May and whose heart is ever ready for June or the bluster of a summer stinking towards you on the scent of the water — who forgives you and forgives you and who never can? how do you piece it together, and what is the peace for? i think about the end of the world all the time, nearly obsessively, nearly desperate for it / let us stop being afraid // let us keep creating, stop listening to the small voices, to the rage of rhythm not based in reality or reason /
i have difficulty telling children to do things i don’t believe they should have to do / i have difficulty procuring fake anger at a child because i’m supposed to as a teacher if i really think it’s just fine ; i think weening the wilderness out of humanity is one of the biggest things crippling us as a species ; i can’t do the things that we only do to keep humans in line, i can’t stay in the line, i hate the line, i have difficulty telling children to stay in the line — i can give them love, comfort, teaching, humor, explanation, patience, and discipline when i believe it, but there are so many things that i myself say fuck that too and i can’t understand why we tell our children to squeeze themselves through a series of jail bars and that they will find themselves on the other side “more whole” / i have so many questions, so many fine lines, so lack of respect for lines – but i trust my instincts, i really do, i have fine tuned my eyes and my senses and i have remained conscious in what i believe children need and don’t need – and i may be young but i really believe in my judgment — i need to flesh it out, flesh it all out, find the edges and grooves, learn how to talk about it coherently and specifically, and we need to stop desiring to turn wild beasts into mere line walkers – we need something in the middle
that’s my fucking motto isn’t it – something in the middle
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.
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
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
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?
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