happy ending as chaser

To strangers I must seem
alive.

—Jane Kenyon, a line from “Now Where?

I THINK IM DUMB / MAYBE IM JUST HAPPY (creator: unknown)

Based on rumors of math, scientists believe if they move Jupiter’s orbit the Earth will be “more habitable”. I have the same foolish desire when capturing moving light by using future perfect verbs and modified nouns.

What might be translated from the way light sounds after saturating iridescent city pigeon feathers? I think light and time become sacred geometry. Ordinary as questions ruptured clever and bright.

Your majesty is now gender neutral. Please comply. Receptivity remains bearded as you wait for affirmation. That you found lack of detail a form of stillness means I can trust you to keep secrets. Plumb that male gaze.

What are children learning to feel in this newborn century?

analog fever

STICK YOUR FINGER IN THINGS, source: unknown

In a Christian context, responsibility of discernment
makes meaning a gambler’s holdout. I mean that literally.
It is the same mechanics when a moment can be a monument,
dramatic affect to overactive nervous systems—tense:
a knowing. Which indicators of such deception are most valid?
The idea is: what you saw isn’t always accurate.
Are we simply machines preprogrammed to make complexity
out of the simplest of ideas, like wanting to be loved
unconditionally and without remorse?

plastic as plants

A bitter taste lingers—
stringent, punchy
mouth feel—tongue maps.

Rebound special—
I dreamt, again, of moving.
A task of packing things
you forgot still exist.

We lay in bed, innocent
until forced to engage
with the world under a sky
quiet, grey milky light.

NICE KID, June 2014, Portland, OR

In America, I regret to be informed
war and rising gas prices
are equally traumatic. There’s panic
at that trigger-shaped pump.

Some reread biblical stories—
extracted citations of plagues, sin,
and salt. Fear finds us hungry.

Evacuation trails of refugees are littered
with what is no longer essential. Left behind;
rapture. Calculations shape bitter mouths,
reactions and policy becomes oracle.

In America, I regret to be informed
speculative fantasy and prosperity, a state,
are the gospel. Instead, I demand nothing exists.

Some claim emerging trends tell the story,
not knowing all data expires. The disconnect
of what has been with what is becoming unravels—
desperate inflations to make sugar from light.

like a rush

A list, after all, is an incantation.
—Lia Purpura, from the essay “Sugar Eggs: A Reverie”

September 8, 2021, 11:05am PT, Oakland, CA

I almost paid attention every day this just past year. There might not be an instant memory to pull from but I remember:

  • new pages filled: creating a full, whole life
  • [absence]
  • days moving with the sun
  • nothing urgent getting done anytime soon
  • a chain of days: learning

23 February, Tuesday, 2021 — we reached that unimaginable 500,000 deaths yesterday

By April, languishing was declared 2021’s dominant emotion. The experts were specific—we are languishing, a residual and continuously active tense.

But we are extraordinary now, more so than the before-times. Those of us who survived have an understanding, a swallow of temporary obedience, having squeezed through another dimension. In the same way Cliff Swallows, federally protected migratory songbirds, continue to build their nests on overvalued condos built on top of their well-known migration paths, we can claim we too are still living.

What’s next will be found in the ordinary, beyond the cleaved repetition.

manic melancholia

Everything is just enough to be the same—
delusional observation—everything except
for the unwelcome return of an orangered sun.
The sky is no longer a place to look up to.

GOD IS MY VACCINE, Frank Stoltze, LAist (August 2021)

Wednesday news: 34 wildfires
have started in the last 24 hours.
Have started is an example
of present perfect tense.
As in, trees of all types and ages
have started screaming.

WHAT

So many remain illiterate
about events they claim
have never happened—to them.
Blind to the sound of yellow. Deaf
to exploding blues and facile ghosts.
Forgive me, you wanted this memory to be precise.

present perfect tense

bright / waiting, East Bay Times, May 25, 2021

Time is visual—
the sun an arc,
we are the curve.
On the cusp of a new year
time has been absorbed;
last year not yet finished.
Unless otherwise stated,
no one is coming to save me.
Time now swarmed with qualifiers,
its own forgotten circumstance.
Lead me gently back to place.
My tense present perfect—
not yet.

go in pleasure

“There is a sense in which we are all each other’s consequences.”
—Wallace Stevens, All the Little Live Things

DTF, July 2018, Oakland, CA

Every day has been a chance
to live within the margins
that remain and maintain
the rigor of keeping it together.

Some normalized themselves
to a saturation point when
conspiracies’ realities are
unconfirmed real threats.

The calendar says winter is coming.
Where is this god that so many claim?
The one that protects and loves us or
that other one that enjoys mercy.

Queer as feelings, speculation has left
us wild. Go ahead—we might as well
make our own temporal decisions.
Loud, quiet, loud. Fringed dynamics.

The greed of men. A sagging breast.
Haphazardly adjacent as ecstasy.
Our animal consciousness seek
what we recognize, warm refuge.

doing well, thank you

Take fear and call it lust

They’re quiet, the choir, their voices go higher
The choir, the choir, their voices go higher

— Palace Music, “Brute Choir”

WEAPS, December 2014, Oakland

The future is a con. A dream remembered in excerpts: enjoying cigarettes, frayed rope ladders, cubicles. My cat’s heavy metal heart beat when she lays pressed against my head is aggressive. I like my information distilled, fermented, and expansive in perspective. Accumulation drags. Fragments fascinate. What was before and what can I imagine after? Learning language and understanding her partner, grammar, I realized early that words strung properly don’t always hold their power—not nearly as long as when you have to stumble, pause, or outright stop to notice the tender edges of the fragment’s extraction. Disclosure. Do you want me to continue? Broken, then mended. There isn’t a stable subject or am I paranoid? Out of context trends. Passive tense is monetized. You are welcome to take all of this, make what you want, and build from these haunted tensions.