continental divide

“I knew the tension in me between love and power, between pain and rage, and the curious, the grinding way I remained extended between these poles – perpetually attempting to choose the better rather than the worse.” — James Baldwin

May 23, 2017 (9:09am New Mexico)

I read all the names of the sacred rivers and creeks
as roadside memorials blurred into permanent mile markers
horizon x distance = distortion

horizontally speaking it was a longing
pressure folding into seductive resistance
when you knew you were in trouble, what did you do next?

these days and for some time since
I move with spiritual abandonment
neglect now atmospheric radiance

habitual as landscapes
my divided thoughts are pulled to you

credo

The day starts with blessings, with sacred reminders of what I know and why.

I’m grateful for the person who tagged “gender fucked” on the border of east and west bay.

This form of witness bears repeating.

Port Angeles, WA 2007
Port Angeles, WA 2007

I start packs on Sunday, bleed on Tuesday, and plan for French Fridays.

There are four core love asteroids: Amor, Eros, Psyche, and Juno, also the queen of Heaven.

Florence, Italy 2008
Florence, Italy 2008

There’s a desire to write from a place of softness, from sentimentality.

To record; to repair.

Make visible; resolve.

April16
April16

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself,
beloved on the earth.

–Raymond Carver, Late Fragment

op-eds

just because they know your name doesn’t mean they know where you came – cat power

august 13, 2016 7:48pm
august 13, 2016 7:48pm

I rediscovered grace through curated understandings
some spoken, explicit, but most often held in breath
in glances and in rhythmic exchange of metaphors
a particularly classed communion

quiet clung to the lake’s edges
marred only by wandering hymns and mornings with thunder
I thought about all those places that made us
an acceptance of motion as hard-luck blessings and raptured devotion

this is the tenuous nature of belief
in effort, a maintenance of fallibility
oh holy day: in haste, but with love

__________________________________________

in haste, but with love – Raymond Carver’s closing in an unpublished letter to Bob Adelman December 13, 1987

cazimi

Hotel Villa Convento Nov15
Hotel Villa Convento Nov15
“This was love, to be eager for tomorrow.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adochie

I don’t know why we love differently. Why we are still able to find love.

There is an essential unfairness in you not knowing me.

In New Orleans, I observed the tourist’s shoes. There were also discarded squeezed limes, sleeping homeless bodies under quilts, and stray cats eating street meat. How quick things can go hard!

So instead, I collected curiosities like watching her eat giant grapes in half bites.

country

The contents of the detained shipping container
(according to the public news)
were from the 1970s, from China
and filled with spoiled meat.

A story just as true as
finding your way home
after being in between
gone and disappeared.

labor day weekend 2015
labor day weekend 2015

One-sided wind blown trees tell their own version of the story.
The golden slopes another clue to the way force shapes.

What a divine disruption!

A moment when breathing in makes you bigger
full – more – when exhaling makes you smaller, less.

Counting blind spots, your breath, my exhalations
their frequencies filed under proportional commitment.
A revelation when patience for violence wore thin.

bleeding boundaries

there is a futility in capturing light
when all orbits have remained the same

SLT, CA May15
SLT, CA May15

form fitting
(grounded in our bodies)

watching their sway,
thigh gaps, strong arms,
weak eyes

sugar pine may15
sugar pine may15

the golden light was not yet warm
creating fog that caressed just the tips
of downtown, driving west, away from
the dismantled bridge
a vanishing mile marker

emerald bay may15
emerald bay may15

 returning to what we know
a team of horses, a blush of boys
all self-referential codes aside
revision is a type of prayer
a methodological desire for revival

master & servant

that feeling when you are rendered invisible
that process when you have no ability to move forward
that entrenchment when you know everyone is battling each other’s evils
that line around and that territory where power thrives

14th St & Rhode Island Ave NW, DC

cat cafe Jan15
cat cafe Jan15
Norman, OK Feb15
Norman, OK Feb15
ax the rich DC March15
ax the rich DC March15
hot toddy NYC March15
hot toddy NYC March15
xolo April15
xolo April15

head/heart

“A dream is a poem the body writes.” — Sandra Cisneros, Caramelo

Silver Future, Berlin Aug14
Silver Future, Berlin Aug14

I watched a city with over 430,000 trees unfold before me. Routines are similar everywhere, a perspective of work and not-work. Apartment windows half covered with homemade lace curtains watched the moving shadows of satellite dishes and geraniums. The distance between expressions measured the speed of progress, a perspective of choice and learned leisure. I believe all those colorful thoughts were earnest and almost always sincere. The old maps are still in people’s minds was a tension to move forward or remain. It was comforting to witness the efficiency of such intent.

Sandra Cisneros captured the essence of being so far away from home: “hotel rooms were filled with memories of other bodies.” A reminder of the way our bodies arch to say please and then thank you.

5 Euros

In all these ways
we carry ourselves
according to manifested desires
to be taken, wanted,
and to be consumed.
Today I watched the City wake
while clouds slept.
The past few days have been spread thin,
like that space between epiphany and practice,
beautiful.

I have many thanks to give to you, you, and you.

 

mesmerizing

The sunset hit the mountains right where it wanted. Long, slow strokes showing how time moves with us rather than against us. The clouds manifested into curled thoughts: smoking pigs, deformed angels, naked divers, schools of fish with a solo seahorse, dusty cat tracks, dancing rabbits. Cloud shadows performed vignettes on a landscape that, up until that precise moment, had been a light and a topography I had only seen in movies. Swimming to the sound of my breath, I found suffering gave way to resistance and eventually settled on intention as the palm trees swayed to the rhythm of jet trails miles and miles above me.

impacted

There’s no good place to start this except with a quote by Richard Hugo, “You owe reality nothing and the truth about your feelings everything.” I don’t have the right words to describe, accurately, my recent travels back east. The stories are too big, too real.

I tried to make room for these lived experiences in the time found between layovers. All those moving thoughts were supported by the background noise of airports and a soundtrack heard only by me.

I feel convinced by being witness to positive confrontation.

10-33 on HWY140 West artist: Joe Valtierra
10-33 on HWY140 West        artist: Joe Valtierra

I’m storing a memory of the way the drapes, golden velvet from the ceiling to the floor, complimented the Bohemian crystal chandeliers in a room filled with the flurry of selfies and power. A memory heavy with pomp and a lot of circumstances. I want to remember, at will, what it felt like when I belonged and forget about the reasons why I believed I didn’t deserve to participate. Those memories are tender and should be taken seriously.

And the moment when the lights came back on to reveal a staged show for my anticipated arrival? That memory becomes an apt metaphor for this post that leaves me realizing I’ve told you nothing but the truth.

finding the pace of rest

My horoscope told me to “travel somewhere far enough that the air smells new.”

North Bend, WA 2014
North Bend, WA March14

Which is what I did last week –

North Bend, WA 2014 (selfie)
selfie at North Bend, WA March14

there was also “travel somewhere far enough that the light feels soft”

DMV$EL Oakland March14
DMV$EL Oakland March14

which was where I am now.

Adieu Oakland March14
Adieu Oakland March14

Crassula ovata

Walking past the flowering jade trees
recognizing its sign as winter
pulled toward tradition, patterns, order

Tree leaves, yellow and small, fell like snow
as a Santa on Mission Street wore
a red hat, black boots, a Che t-shirt

Habits, a natural architecture
bending to break and holding to form
desires, biologies, structure

Miracles are seasonal rewards
a whole year’s worth of intentional boundaries
shaped by practice, action, effort

you can’t take it with you when you go

I’ve been thinking a lot about: ceremonies, Indian summer, peachy light, witnessing, forgiveness.

I came to hold your effort and left realizing you had none to give. I shouldn’t have been surprised and for that reason I cannot continue to hold these lingering regrets.

Draped flesh, buried sadness, and apparitions of familiarity are now a loop closed. It’s evidence that even circles have sharp edges.

active fulfillment

“This is a map drawn from memory of the specular itinerary of exile.”
The Notebook of Uprising, Carolyn Forché

8-19-12

Orange Sweater, Elmer Bischoff
walls of sound

I wanted glittery waves and that feeling of finishing.

The blueberry pancakes were a natural bridge
between what we have battled and what we face today;
a penultimate debauchery for living an authentic life.

Now I think about catching light and moving forward.

pontifex

I’m writing this from 30,000 feet in the air, literally. From this vantage point, roads look like scars. We are ensconced by a million boundaries.

Pontifex refers to someone who is able to produce a work of enduring stability that spans the distance between two opposites (via Cabinet, Issue 23). The space between that distance is what I’ve traveled within and through this long week.

It was a gamble to bookend this trip with nostalgia. Like the roads seen from such great heights, I acutely saw those evolutionary experiences and recalled all that knowledge gained from each right, and wrong, turn. These are the scars within me.

The payment for this post was worth it.

looking for joy

“How does she get rid of that thing standing between her and what she wants? She says God may show her. But how much more does she need to see? Every day she pulls her chest open and looks at a ruined life. The heart all bloody. What is the name of the thing eating up her only life?”

– Minnie Bruce Pratt Making Another Phone Call

20120302-235127.jpg
Portland, OR 2012

retrograde

A journey home is in my immediate future.

It’s like this …

But actually more like this …

It’s about looking out and seeing nothing and then learning how to dream.

Negative Space

found via unintentionallycreepy.net

A recap of the past negative space*:

Museum of medical curiosities:

Vaginas in jars, human horns, input about the famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng (e.g. they raised over 21 children and maintained separate households), jars and jars of fetuses, a giant’s skeleton, and a history of the forceps.

It was the intimate possibility of how grotesque the human body can be, neatly displayed in tightly sealed jars, that validated my skewed body image – in a good way.

Philanthropology:

Professional development: Relationship building, inspiration, intentional knowledge fortification, and strategic epistemological adventures.

Personal development: Deflections, sidewalk propositions, anarchist bookstore, blue-eyed funk, and missed Amish apple dumplings.

The experience of focusing on the space outside the intended focus provided the best learning. It ended up being more accurate and balanced that way. The undercurrents of access, influence, and unintentional nepotism were the white noise to the dance of my own rhythmic exploration. I’m building my own portfolio of success.

_____________________________________________________________

Change is inherently risky but the alternative is not my modus operandi. Within the next few months, I will no longer be in the same place and that fact is both surreal and acutely corporeal.

As the days grow closer to the launch, I feel more and more like a situationist. I’m constructing situations that fulfill my desires, presently and for the unknown tomorrow. The geography of such an architecture is fraught with dérive but that’s where the beauty lies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Negative space – the space that surrounds the subject to give it meaning and shape

home

summer (photo by me)

Anticipation, trepidation, and a little joy – all the complicated feelings of going home.

It’s been over a year since I last visited the prairie.

Much has changed: the Iraq war is over.

feeling presidential

I did go outside this weekend, I promise.  Today is the first day of summer in the Emerald City which means 10 o’clock sunshine and vitamin D euphoria.

7.2.10

7.3.10
7.4.10

Summer Wish List:

new-found freckles
out-of-body experiences
thought-provoking catalysts

It was a (post)modern wedding


The modern supermarket in the heartland of america. June 2009

A recent “vacation” to my home state yielded this Lebowski moment (photo above).

The trip was a desperate search for non-existent conveniences, engaging in constructed social rituals, and fighting the exhausting battle of biting of one’s tongue. There was love, true, and ultimate satisfaction in remaining true to my belief that I will never get married.