It’s been cold enough to see breath.
Their prediction of an epic winter storm never materialized.
I should have known better. California you are a master of hype and fantasy.
The visual meditative state of witnessing exhalation suspends, temporarily,
guilt and reflects action. Traditionally, this form of indulgence is transitory -
for this purpose it feels good to think that transgressions can be forgiven.
In a darkness that only winter can afford, I took a new bus route home.
A route born from too many walks home alone
knowing $2.10 was the price to suspend control.
Transported past houses with illuminated front rooms
I became aware of why deserve has been a triggering word.
Deserve was almost always followed by some form of punishment
or guilt for asking for something out of a range of subjective affordability,
which requires an understanding of intrinsic value. This is a skill learned not taught.
These desperate opportunities of wanting more are not a crime
yet I hold them like a criminal.
Is the tipping point when the perfume on the back of your neck smells familiar to me?
Read this as if you were I: I make myself melt for you.
Muscle memory contains the same difference between perceiving versus seeing.
The pornographer demands uncompromising attention to detail;
we should all be so aspirational.
“But we can not move theory into action unless we can find it in the eccentric and wandering ways of our daily life.” – Minnie Bruce Pratt from S/He
I like how this quote has settled in my mind. I interpret the words wandering, action and daily life to my own understanding of who I am. I linger on the accuracy of eccentric to describe an intent of searching beyond the center and the active practice of valuing differences in order to evolve.
These days, long distance doesn’t have the same meaning. Information travels faster than ever before, even heavy news from home moves nimbly.
It’s important to find ways to routinely calibrate where the center lies; I need to be reminded of how far I’ve wandered. Control is no longer a theoretical exercise lost in mindless wrong turns.
We can’t afford to forget how much we give away. Establishing this habit is how we’ll remember the way home.
San Francisco Aug12
DAY SLEEPER Oct13
The room had been painted a soft pink, the color of the inside of your mouth. A mouth that holds all the words you never release for fear of getting what you deserve; a sensitive fear that is a result of not knowing what you are worth.
We told each other only what needed to be said. I should have asked how you make happiness last and when you knew you wanted more than what is in front of you and when you let go after believing you’d never get it.
There is exhaustion from holding such heavy memories. In the same way light forms around bridges, we move around our own barriers gracefully and with purpose.
This is, and always will be, the art of surviving.
She takes a loaf of bread, the shape and size of a toddler’s skull, and holding it vertically starts to carve a slice two-fingers thick with a plastic butter knife. She stops mid-slice to answer her ringing phone. It was a friend whose name she had forgotten. There was no hello or how are you, just the beginning of a story about watching a man on the airplane lick the inside of a Ziplock bag clean. An erotic retelling of licking the insides over and over in an attempt to taste the way hot plastic feels when it melts from sitting in direct sunlight, an unconscious exhibition of witnessing solid shifting to liquid. She took the moment when breath makes silence to hang up and finished slicing her bread.
Last year I abstained
this year I devour
which is also an art
The blood drops formed a heart on the park bench. It was a sign to take risks.
We recorded a 4-track EP in the just vacated bedroom
that sweltering Ohio afternoon where rhythm and breath
became an archive of calculated structures -
bridges that spanned across bruised childhoods
finding similarity that escalated our emerging independence
Years later as the electric bus hummed
then quietly accelerated
its fading noise triggered new ways to say the same thing:
foggy windows a result of leaving warm beds
spread legs transitioning from suffering to kindness
These quiet disambiguations of faith
and its partner optimism
underscore an intimacy that needs a chorus
and a choir of communion
My mind settles on what it knows.
I hear voices. They force me to
calibrate how often I do not listen.
Separating the personal from perception,
a series of justified decisions, folded
into fixed patterns, flashbacks of dissociations -
Similar to the ways that our attempts
to escape have resulted in capture,
like that summer when the light never disappeared.
Tension born from lust disguised as domesticity
has become an intimate style of familiarity.
Finding peace through erasure is luxurious -
All of this, including what is still yet to come,
leaves behind delicate traces, reminders of permanence,
like faint marks on paper maps and open hips showing scale and
artist: Michal Chelbin
There’s so much going on and still the government sleeps.
America’s culture is the world’s expert in finding innovative ways
to not treat each other kindly.
I am saturated.
This time it is different. I know what it means when stakes are raised.
I want to break through this meta narrative and ask you a question.
Do you know what love is?