Sunday, November 15, 2009

smoke signals and celebrations

To the sun that woke me this morning with a prayer for grace and patience, I waved a finger in the sky that said- "not today." I'm holding my hand upward as a sign to take a break. I need a moment of silence.

Would the air be so kind as to check for my pulse tonight in my breathing, unconscious sleeping? I sometimes breathe smoke as a signal of fire deep inside, a reminder that there is life in the depths of a forest of trees. See the individuals within a collectivity of shelter giving limbs, those spun through the intentions of spiders and blooming through the broad-back shades of fallen leaves. Send a search party, or learn to read pauses, spaces in between puffs of grey. The blue respite turned dark with the moon, eclipsed by postponed dreams of another.

When is it noon? When does the sky belly house the light of a smile given freely, like the honey bees' overflowing cup of sweet buzzing? Hear the exhale murmur of sparked kindling, popping my ear drums so that my listening speaks volumes around full glasses of everything life-giving.

I've been drawn to energy of similar styles, flying together to the tops of burnt houses, the remnants of charred skeletons that create vantage points of time's progression, visible from feathered bodies, light as the ashes that float like carbonized buoys on air seas, oceans above me. I can drown lakes with the weight of my tears. I did it last night as I heard your words snap my old wooden limb structure. Tree houses are falling from their nails into my stomach.

I didn't mean for this to be a story of decay. The stripping of flesh away from principles of love leaves one feeling naked, brittle, and exposed to the crisp air. But the wind that picks up fans the coals of another year gone by in yellow flashes of smiles stolen by rebellious cells. Bodies attacking themselves like thieves taken away from their own carriages, wheeled into memories to stay before they fade.

I'm learning to let go of material connection. The wish is but a fantasy. I cherish the understanding that comes from simply knowing that you, and others who are siblings to your glow, inhabit the world around me like stars, or pinpricks on the water's skin, a spot reflected on an ocean's tipping wave salutation--hello, good bye.

I recognize your momentary exchange--in light comes, transient like the very breath I exhale into dark grey. At the moment of conception we can celebrate together in the way that we do in midnight reunions. Friendships actualized through subconscious recognition. I see your face transpire in my veins.


Fly me a River in Harrisburg

I walked above the water on a bridge from a downtown to nowhere else. I didn't even make it to the end. My toes almost fell into the slotted square holes-holding tight to the support beams as they danced under the weight of strange travellers' steps.

Or was that the bridge struggling under my feet? Writhing away from the bolts and poles that kept it above the water. Though tied from end to end the center wanted to give in, to bend, to bow, to bathe in the river below.

Or perhaps the undulations were just the movements of the bridge's breathing. After all, it was a live bridge. In the setting sun of an autumn dusk the life lines of bridge weavers became visible. Nearly translucent, but strong as steel, the spiders made that bridge. I could see the beams, wires turned into support structures after thousands of miles of spinning silk dreams into a hard reality.

The currents below my feet and the rhythms of the bridge coinciding with my steps, surrounded by the continued webs of still-alive and pale, yellow sunlight, offered a space to feel like I was flying--traveling to no end, but journeying the sky.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

a year is such a long time, a day is such a gift

It's been almost a year since I wished that I had said something to your face. I don't know what I would have said, perhaps rather I wanted to see into your eyes and hold your hand. The silence has been strange, but it has strengthened my understanding. I didn't say then what could have filled in for the years since that one time when you "baby sat" me. I was too young to stay in a house all alone, but I remember thinking you were pretty cool when you would drop me off at school.

I've grown up so much over the years, and now I can only imagine what it would've been like if we could have been friends. I missed my chance to say something meaningful to you last December. I knew you weren't feeling well, but you left the party too soon, even to tell me yourself that you liked my hair. I heard it from someone else, and I hope they told you along the way that over these past ten months I, too, wanted to reconnect with you.

Since middle school I have learned a lot about life, and with that, I thought I might know a little something about death. But I didn't want to tell you anything about that--I wanted to listen, to get to know you. Our short texts filled in those spaces enough for you to remind me to enjoy every day. I sent emails to you, and sometimes you wouldn't respond--this time I don't know if you even got the one asking you to keep the secret that I am coming home in a few weeks and that I wanted to see you. I signed with, "talk to you soon!" I wanted a day for us to finally talk face to face.

I know I was thinking of you at the moment when you passed away. I took a day trip, gathered some friends, said, "Yeah, I have papers to write, but I'm living my life today!" and I went to Harrisburg to smile and laugh while watching ellis sing. You previously had her quote under the picture of your own smiling face: "What if loving what you have is everything?" But then I noticed just two days ago, when I wrote to let you know that I was coming home, that you had changed that quote to say: "Sometimes we don't know exactly why things happen, or don't happen...just embrace the unexpected details and be thankful for the amazing things we do have...while we have them."

Did you already know?

On this day when I intentionally set out to enjoy the fact that I am alive, I thought of you and carried your spirit along with me. My smiles with ellis's songs turned into tears when she sang about words that you would have said: "Don't let a day go by without a love in your life....I am one spoke in a wheel, one leaf in the tree. I will fall when my time comes, and the snow will cover me." Minutes after the music was over I checked my phone and learned that I had missed my chance to say goodbye. We were months, years too late; this day came weeks too soon. I cried tears into the Susquehanna River--it carried them to some other place.

In the silence over the year, the missed moments to fully communicate, you've been a true friend. I hope you knew all of the things that I never got to say. You have taught me about life, even through your death: May we always approach both with such beauty and grace.

You have been a wonderful gift, Hannah, and you will truly be missed.

Hannah: July 6, 1981-November 8, 2009.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

free write in a falling night

This is going to be another free-write--the truth of my gut feelings can come out freely. I beg for them to reveal themselves and exit my body so that I can clear my head, feel my lungs, taste my breath like wildflowers in the gutter, sleeping in the sidewalks and walking on my bed. These are the hours of conversations on phones, computer screens, living rooms, car seats purged onto pages.

Sometimes all we want is for an ear to hear our silence, for our gaze to speak operas that cry tears at subtle pauses, for our encores to be brought on by an applause of every moon, every morning, every dawn of a new noon.

Sometimes old trees are our best audiences.

Sometimes I wish I could stop thinking strong and start breathing love. Sometimes I wish I wasn't moving already, that I still had yet to begin, that the rest had not already been done; that the lessons were yet to come, that for now I could remain young, that my reflection would not present me with wrinkles of wisdom on my brain; that my heart would still be two-dimensional, paper-thin construction, paper mache, gentle, soft, light and trusting that the wind would carry it away; that my heart would not be afraid that without a solid stronghold it would be blown asunder, crumbled, folded, or framed as an invitation for someone else to be a valentine on any given day.

Sometimes strongholds come in the shape of push pins, staples, wooden stakes, or moving boxes, king sized beds, clothes worn second-hand. Sometimes strongholds can also be friends. Sometimes they are nothing but dreams and illusions.

I wish that the tissue of my young paper heart would not dissolve so easily in tear-water, cried at operas of the drama that seems to fall with the leaves, perennial as the seasons. The colors of autumn were at their height before I could write them tonight. I fear that when I return to read them their passion, their fire, will have already been lost in transcription.

I wish that I, too, could naively ask for another to 'be mine.' Won't you be mine, to have and to hold, to cherish and love until death do we die? What would a vow mean if it was recognized that words are most powerful only in the instant when they are first stated? Is that why we write things down, to have them to hold, to cherish and preserve, so that we don't touch the fear of it dying? Our love. Our life. Our selves. Our truth.

This is my night. This is the noontide spectacle of dark light that struggles to recognize the strength it takes to reconcile the temporality of changes, the flux that life makes as the Earth continues to move, as the leaves fade into the dirt, below my aching feet that sometimes beg to be carried.

Sometimes I feel too old.

Sometimes I wonder what it takes to be fearless falling.
From limbs full of faith. From heaven stripped of grace. From love lost in speech.

Is this what it is to let go--passionately?


my life as a foodie

Finally, with my eyes turned in to see the lines that lay tracks like veins in my body, and my tongue stretched out to taste the sound of releasing, I hear recipes for what it means to be me come out in my speech, through my habituated movements. This is one step in a process of healing.

I remember through meals and tears the moments when everything broke and exploded over how we would ingest our wounds, hand over hand, saying thanks but asking for more grace to carry us to the next room without leaving welts on each others' skin, though we etched marks in our hearts. Keeping score like tally marks on a wall that count the times that we cried over lost appetites, ate in silence over the loudest judgments, the darkest pain of families torn apart and trying to eat it away. But those meals blur the boundaries between us, and those memories are internalized, metabolized, they become us.

If we are what we eat, I wish that those meals would be nourishing, that the tallies would turn sideways and move from prison walls to door frames and serve as markers to show us how we are growing.

There are some memories that I have of us crying around dinner because we were laughing, and when we didn't use a table but ate on the floor to make a picnic in the loft to mimic the pizza in a park that had been shared a decade before. I remember dancing on linoleum tiles in my grandma's kitchen making whatever we could from scratch. Like magic, she would make food out of air and I learned then the power of manifesting what you want to create so that it can be given away. At times I wish I could a bake a cake, if only to let you know that I thought of you today and decided that you deserved a cake in your name, with lots of candles on it to wish upon.

And without me knowing why I'm compelled to put aside some white rice and savor it with just a little bit of soy sauce, or to stuff chips in my sandwich bite by bite, or individually slice a nectarine off the pit, with a towel in my lap, that's the dessert I might still pick, or why I like my tea black, or too much pepper on my hashbrowns, or sometimes why I put thyme on my eggs when I don't even feel like thyme...without knowing why I have these cravings...

I think it is because my family becomes me as I eat. This is my body that has been raised and fed on experiences of love, pain, laughter. My tastes have been cultivated through Sunday dinners and aversions have been sculpted from culture-clashes on my plate. But as I've eaten, I've grown, and I only hope to continue bringing in more, to become more, so that I can cook up and give more.

Let's eat!--bon apetit!


at the height of conception

I have to write when I'm on planes to figure out where I've been and where I'm going. Stuck mid-air in transition wondering who I can be way up here. I'll be landing shortly and have to pretend like I know what it means to have both feet on the ground, to have come down from singing with my whole body in the clouds.

I can see how even my handwriting is changing. It's creating spaces and holes to insert breaths and fingertips to feel what pulsates beneath my words. Perhaps they're minute slits that break dimensions for us to dive in to and seep out through. Or even invitations to reconsider the truths that my body already knows, my hand reveals, that my lips couldn't shape but my heart could hear if only I would trust more in my writing.

I'm writing to make sense of my fears.

I'm writing to connect the drops of my tears into letters from birds on high who sang so softly within the sighs through the night that the dreamers forgot they were even there. I've got symbols around me on t-shirts-they're crossed with screen-printed whales-and dots on my eyes from painting them clear blue and wide like the crispness of your chords drawn tight from your chest last night. It's a story of tempo and rhythm, written on these pale sheets, of inflection and connection between lines and scars on the bodies of silent trees. Like them we grow-even deeper into evil, ever higher into peace; even wiser than recollection, and ever brighter with each cycle of moons and breaths and spirals.

Let us learn to write (to speak).


just like breathing. easy.

It's surprising that I haven't been able to write for seven days now after spending a week's worth of nights listening to your voice and the sounds of my blood rushing past my heart and into my unclenched fists. After seeing how much it means to let go and trust freely, to share the deepest fears and feelings, to be secure with a stranger who's never felt more familiar, I want to give you my breath.

I want you to feel with each exhale the way you are. so beautiful. I want you to catch with each gasp an image of divine light that painfully emanates from one hundred sets of your eyes. I want you to absorb the inspiration that comes with your vision, the vibration that comes at your touch.

With each inhale I wish for you to accept a second body, a second home. To become a wholeness, growing day by day to be able to give in the vein you imagined years ago. I wish for you, with each breath in, to be more present with the love at this moment than you've ever been, to see how incredibly you manifest miracles, you become art, you create magic.

You are that source.

I believe. in breath. you are.



for words that don't come easy

I'm convinced we must know and love one another, and in fact, we already do.

Last night I found you states away feeling sad and confused in my living room. It was 2 a.m. on my end of the earth when communication stopped, and then I heard. I heard your heart explain the strain that feeling disconnected and alone can place on one's hope of ever finding family again and feeling at home. I heard the quiet questions about how sometimes life can go on for ages without a singing heart, and other times, the sweetest little life only manages two days. I heard the worry of what it means to know that when we feel all alone there may be scarce arms to hold tight to, that lives can be predicted to end soon. But soon we recalled (together again) that miracles happen every moment--we simply overlook and forget--like how we manage to connect through our telepathic fingers when our voices are lost.

And I wish to say for others, who at the same time were in the midnight sky on their way to hold crying mothers holding dying mothers holding on to any possible reason for why we are so fragile, know that life is strong. You have found your way to my pages so that we, and I, can be reminded of the power of everyday, the need to say thanks for what already has been and is the case, and to pray for more grace to be able to sustain through the journeys that lead to more questions and confusion. We are all so very young in the end, no matter when it manages to come. But we are all so very loved and connected, and we find our way into each others' minds, each others' hearts, each others' lungs.

Last night we lit candles for peace and justice, for life and beauty, for love and family. This morning we woke with still more faith that the days keep moving on as a testament to our strength. Let us be reminded that the gravity of today is only enough to keep us grounded. Let us feel the weight of our falling and know: Love is what we make when we hold one another with our faith that this is the way....



redundancy: a week of lessons in stages (and long-awaited breaths of fresh mirrors)

I've written more in the recent days than my philosophy could prove, but it's true that it's been a process of building by trusting my failures and mistakes. Patience for the ways I get ahead of myself. Forgiveness for the times I take two steps back. Acceptance of the fact that the days are continuing on through cyclic breaths. And still. The lesson is in finding moments to say 'yes.'


A long list of miraculous coincidences have brought me to a place tonight where, as I prepare for sleep, to be filled with mundanely described dreams, I can accept with a heart full of grace the chance that this day might have been my last and say a happy "yes" to the test that rests on my shoulder. The symbolism need not be fantastic because I'm content by simply wondering what it must feel like to fly slowly.

The chance encounters in pages, on streets, through meetings, beyond expectations and behind planned becomings have been gifts. They've grown through minutes and ages. I might never believe that my skin has been clear enough to reveal the inner-workings of a million plus infinitely more micro-moments of understanding, intuitively perceptive and ineffable revelations! I've remembered once again that what defines me is found through this process of becoming. I become intertwined.

No longer because I'm forgetful, but because I'm more in touch and committed than I have been for months, I wear my ringer finger bare tomorrow as a token of my devotion to the lovers I've taken when my ability to compassionately penetrate reality has left me keenly aware of our fragility. I become a fragmented whole, freely bounded by breathing love.

I know better than to believe in anything called 'perfection,' and I don't think that something 'true' could exist beyond our own experiences, nor could a being of total omniscience determine what is real without me or you and everything that we do to one another.

I give thanks to the pages and the voices therein that sound so much like my own when I recite their messages to my humbly open soul, to the teachers who saw through my skin when I couldn't write myself clearly enough, who hinted at their wisdom and future predictions that I was already more like them--subtleties no mirror could have reflected without the sun of experience having first been trusted and let in. Thanks to the hips that have birthed me over and over again and again through the minutes and ages of life that received my own gifts of learning to laugh and sing with an overabundance of light. (-3/30/09)

If this is letting go, I wish to forever be let free and to release my grip on whatever made me feel like more than a little ship on a tumultuous sea. (3/31/09)


For some reason my writing is halting. I've had lines running through my mind that demanded to be put down lest I forget the lessons I've been relearning over an intensely lively past few nights... [like knowing] that it's so easy to dance when you finally let go...I'm talking about sharing more than I have in a really long time and trusting that the risk will be worth it at some other time, whether that's right now because another life was shown a little more light or later when a stranger picks up the consequences in degrees of generations passed. I'm no longer content with the paradigm of giving and taking since I've put a new frame around sharing and receiving. We do not build through transactions. We become by ex/changing.

I'm trying harder to trust the pace of life and remain patiently open despite my humble ignorance. I don't know anything that hasn't been gifted to me through someone else's fingers and experiences.

Luck will have it that there are no coincidences.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feeling close to death means feeling more alive than ever before in any other instant. It comes with doubts and confidence. I'm only twenty-two. Have I learned to be sufficiently patient? "The revolution always comes too soon." (-3/31/09)


breathe and be free.


Words don't come easily enough when the enthusiasm crowds their entry onto pages. Thoughts aren't understood clearly enough when lenses of doubt and strangeness obscure their meaning. Connections might be made too readily when hearts are hungry and susceptible to clinging. But the lessons are important and patiently waiting to to be internalized into my own being.

I sleep at the bedside of death and wish that I could always be willing to take it's place gracefully, and I wake with newly naked ring fingers as a symbol that my lovers have become me. One more day to breathe less mindlessly. It's a practice towards fullness. Awareness and compassion point me toward greater patience so that I, too, might be a lesson.

I'm learning to trust more, to sun up more, to be still more, to be static less, free from grains of salt that dry out the meat of bodies I long to embrace, free from short-sightedness that blinds me of the eyes that sing of familiarity in a stranger's face, free from the distant goals that distract me from the step I'm currently taking, in the midst of falling apart, into together again, rebuilding what has never left. (-4/1/09)


breathe and be beautiful.


There are times when I try to write and I realize, through tortured halts, that complex thoughts can hardly be communicated adequately across lines in black and white. Times like these make me think that I need some finger paint and jersey sheets. I'd like to have projection screens to capture the scenes that play through the breaths in my chest when I watch the trees swing violently in the harsh gusts of the night, while the light clouds play tricks on my eyes as they frame the dark patches of a bounded sky. Those images are the kind that make me wish I could put you in my mind and have you sing along with my body's rhymes, together resonating with pattern of the stars, so that I could read your eyes more accurately. I wish, too, that my waistline was a text you could wrap your imagination around and interpret everything that lies therein. See the scenes play out on my skin, years of questioning everything that seems to be confined to adolescent boundaries of identity and time, but revealing that the end is not yet determined. A plot line is more beautiful when imperfections come unexpected. (-4/4/09)

-4/5/09 be completed...

To you whom I've never met, let me tell you of the ways I already know you.

I know from the kisses I've anticipated on my neck that you and I have been swimming in lakes on the moon with vampires in the crowd, crying upon the sight of our embraces. Tears and waves have left a coolness on my nape that gave way to the heat of your breath when we locked eyes and fingers at a quiet pace, when we held each other face to face. With your face burned into my memory, my body, I recognize the familiarity of your shine. And what breaks through the cage in my chest is a fire that burns through comforts, destroys preconceptions, and paints masterpieces with grey ashes turned red and amber. Yes I know that your cheekbones are like carved canyons. They echo the laughter that etched character all around them. The same resonances structure the curves of my arches and outline my backbone as the ladder to enter into your highest peaks of spirituality. I've heard your voice ring through the valley between my lungs.........

...There are hieroglyphs on my fingertips that tell the story of your presence...

...The way your knees can bend is enough to question the rigidity of the separation of our bodies...

...You are a spirit, free of inhibitions, full of the sweetest innocence. You kiss the devil in the morning, caress the face of death in the evening, and smile to all the angels during the hours in between...

...You swallow the pains given to you, blown in your direction by the spinning of the earth, and digest them, letting them become the substance of your beautiful body...

...I know you've been playing with your creativity. Experiment with your imagination on me. If you generate a new life within this body, I'll give you the most spirited 'yes' as my blessing...


red deserts. red lights.

I've got a lot of things going through my mind and I feel that the time has been building up by days, by nights, by moments, and by connections made right that it's time for me to write about the things I've been thinking.

It's been a good blend of living as of late. True, there were times when a voice caught me and said, "You've got a lot of other things that you have to do," but I didn't let that stop me from enjoying my day, slowing down my pace, and being around people for three days straight in a row. Every night was filled with positive energy, and last night especially, I had thoughts popping up about truth and loyalty, then I remembered that all of the philosophy is in the service of a cause. So I breathed gratefully for a second, smiled inside, and continued to listen to the conversation around me, in the service of Life.

The lesson I've been relearning recently is that my stress can be debilitating and I'm the very first one to appreciate an hour in bed, air cooled by the night and filled with light of a new day, the calls and songs of one hundred birds hanging out in the trees, narrating my dreams until I decide I'm ready to transition into the next phase.

I'm remembering again that a good life is constituted by beautiful transitions.

Let me pray for grace.

And I don't know what to do about the 'problem of energy.' Again, two strangers in two days mentioned a glow of openness and vitality, and more people than that have tried to exploit me. But I got insight by being courageous. Life gives us gifts that we only need to see in order to take, like a line from an angel that went something like this, "Sometimes the things we try to fix are the very things that make us _______." significant. impactful. effective. pragmatic in consequence. inspiring. motivating.
feel like we should keep breathing.
happy. unique. authentic.

Sometimes the things we try to fix are the very things that make us art.

I'm a work in progress, always moving through transitions, every inhale is the insertion of a new page. I can't change the past, I don't know the end, but the story, that I intend to write beautifully.

This may sound strange, but there was a scene last night:

Red dirt, hotness, enemies, and a whole lot of hopelessness about how we were going to survive. Babies were dying from thirst, and some cold-hearts were so out of touch they were more concerned about putting their contacts in. They stopped our progress of trying merely to survive to put in lenses that still would not be enough for them to see the hardships around, the will to life manifested in death swinging in the sky from the claws of birds of prey, making their kill and waiting for the mothers to also die.

I, too, like someone else who has been reduced to silence multiple times, found my heart align with the animals. The cold-bloods and ignorant narcissists denied life, but with hopeful tears streaming I cried when the mothers and babies were found only to be collecting strength to battle the heat, forage for food, and survive against every pronouncement of finality. It was my head that gave them shade, my cool lips that kept them wet, my eyes that recognized the truth of the hardest night for the one's swinging in the sky, my patience that did not let even the blinded die, and my energy that afforded a morning of writing the realizations that come out of song and strangers. and dreams, stranger still.

I'm a work in progress.

Sometimes I cross out words I've written on lines, sometimes I let it all come out and it flows right. I'm working with a material that's more valuable than gold and whatever I sculpt, it's going to shine.

I've just got to adjust more for the light.



This is a day to remember.

It reveals the complexities of feeling feelings, hurting, crying, questioning,
of being surrounded by friends, by strangers, by neighbors, by family, by community--
anonymous, distant, new, professional, close by heart, close in proximity, close in development

and of being alone.

Being with myself, my thoughts, my words, my calm, my stillness, my upheaval, my relaxing when I don't even feel tense
of feeling deceived, of feeling betrayed, of feeling concerned, terrified, worried
of feeling played.

of hurting from being so o__p__e__n

remembering talking to walls, to machines, to sociopaths, to deaf ears that 'hear'
and recognizing the profound trouble in this.

struggles with the unfathomable

and unbelievable--all of that in pain, in plot development, in human emotion

while still. breathing evenly,
feeling fine most of the time, talking about love, learning, seeing scars of wounds of growth

affirming 'yes' to life even in the most unthinkable of times
embracing demons who pose temptations of eternal recurrence
while still sharing the ineffable peace and beauty with soul mates I've only just met today
or last week

but whom I will love forever.

And flexing my muscles to condition myself
To pump my wings
To feel my blood
To remember the strength of a heart that practices to sing

To be able to say 'i love you' to a stranger and mean it.

In spite of the shock
In spite of the cold mass that struck me, knocking the wind out from under me and sending me into a dive through hell
In spite of the hurt upon months of hurt, the hours of gray between nightmares
and waking wishful dreams
In spite of the suffocation in sleep, the constraint and manipulation of lies, the omission of truth, the exploitation of angels, the abuse of gifts, the rejection of all that is alive, the renunciation of opportunities to thrive
In spite of the mirrors that contain nothing but themselves, fractured and fallen into each other, remaining em____pty, sealing out the air, the light, the music
not even the spirits of truth can make an impression on glass. Mountains, sundogs, grasses, rain, tornadoes, oceans, forests remain all around a self-contained universe of Nothing.

In spite of all of this,

no regret.

Pain, not suffering. Sacrifice, not demise. Hope, but not delusion. Wishes, but not predictions.

Breath: from screams to sighs to inhales.

Breathing to blow out candles, to ignite the base of fires, to cool the sting of scrapes on knees, to tease bodies, to remember the embraces of songbirds, to simulate the birthing of gods, to feed the leaves, to take in the world, to sustain moments of PEACE into eternity...

. . .to repeat. . .

to open up. to embrace the words of demons,






and an angel said.........

A stranger spoke to another anonymous soul and said, "While we plan, God laughs." She attached a disclaimer saying she's not a religious person, and this I simply overheard. But in my heart I've also had questions about what some might call "destiny."

At present, I'm feeling like I've been lifted into hope. The future seems so near I can hear the laughter I'll share with new friends in the coming summer. I can smell the pages of the books I'll have read and feel the pain in my fingers and hand as I struggle to explain the way those books have changed me. I can already see the buds opening to a sun that gathered strength enough to break through after long, cold months of cloud cover, and I can anticipate the deep breaths I will take when I acknowledge the clouds again as I walk down the same old streets I'll have been walking for fifty-two weeks. I'll have walked them so much that they'll have shaped me into part of a community. There are new faces of bright young stars that will receive and transform my wishes for justice, students of life that I will do my best to reach and together we'll draw up a map to outline how one finds a sense of place called "home."

And then there will be nights when my heart feels like its drowning in waves of jealousy, resentment, and pain brought on by feeling lonely. This I know too well for it's an experience that haunts me daily, and soon, I imagine, will perhaps overtake me.

But there are also smiles that will be shared with more strangers as we become characters of what will eventually be stories that we tell to others. And I know there will be love, anniversaries to celebrate, and bonds to create over and again. There will be unknowns that I cannot portend but only prepare to encounter openly with a faith in life to support me. This "destiny" is found in living authentically--and so it will be. Our best hope is to laugh with God, then, and embrace each other always as friends, or angels. This one, today, was named Morgan.


feeling resolute-reflections for a new year


I'd like to write a poems in a new year that remind me of things I need not fear but hold closer than ever before because when times get harder there might be nowhere else to go but home. I want to read between the lines I recite in my mind about childhood and pastimes to find an embrace from my father in the doorway the very moment that I release my baggage, free my hands, and open them to feel a sense of peace. I want to remember that these days are short and you can never be sure when it'll hurt too much to breathe, so believe me, even during the most troubling of days there are still countless reasons to see face-to-face with your blessings. Circling about the sun in one revolution I have the revelation that I've been blind to myself. There are mirrors in inkwells and wishes in frames that situate me in a place to say, "Never again, not even for one day." And as the world remains still beneath my feet I've no choice but to move myself--walk towards the sense of love I taught strangers, write with the heart I received from heroes, believe with the strength of God's mother, and heal with the grace of a caress from a lover.



This time, a year ago, I was a month behind my present state. It took three weeks of unconscious traveling, depending on strangers in foreign cities, and exploring possible futures and homes with potentially life-long friends to remember that the birds wake every morning by singing. Rising to the sun within and celebrating a solstice of becoming, I've finally recovered, one month more rapidly.

It seems that I descend with the seasons and in the middle of winter seek to begin again when the days get longer and the lengthening light allows me to see with clarity, just in time to thwart an ending in darkness. Is it the cycle, without beginning and without a demise, the rise and fall of spirits from earth to hell, from hearts to heads, from lovers to friends and back to strangers? Are our bodies made up of patterns, and beauty of fragments? Or does this reflect the way we breathe through life, through death, into freedom, into art? A process of becoming, always renewed, a spirit of wonder, the start of everything? From out of a cave, out of a flower, into a question, and into another. The path of exploring the meaning of being and asking questions of life and "who am I?" "who are we?" and returning to old truths, four-letter words, friends from distant dreams, and utopian scenes where everything ends by blooming.


to pray for openings

If I knew how to pray I'd pray for openings--I'd pray for my body to open itself up and show off the greatest organs I've got that keep me loving, for the hands of children to be raised open to the ceilings because they know the answers for how to create a brighter future--we start by healing the wounds we've given each other, by opening our front doors to strangers, love letters to ourselves, opening our eyes to the miracle of breathing the air through the lungs of a daughter, opening our throats to the notes of the birds' songs, and opening our ears to hear the wisdom of silence. Peace. And quiet.

I'd pray for openings from the past to reveal all of the experiences that we'd otherwise never know--like the years Russel Jacobsen spent reviving the spirits of little towns in Idaho, the cans someone collected from alleys in the city to make into art, the sun on the Rockies that was warm enough to fill you up. I'd pray that the future open windows to escape through that lead us back home, for some moonshine to spill through the clouds and light up the ground back to something mysterious and beautiful, for nets to be thrown into the open sea to collect droplets of water so that we'd be reminded that the universe contains so much more than simply you and me. I'd pray for pages to open up and rewrite history, to make love through pens, to become my body upon which I write messages to my potential friends without wasting time by breaking the ice. I'd put it all out there on the very first line with something radical like, "I love you."


how to deal with climate change

I'm writing down whatever it is that I am thinking so that other people can know what I am thinking. The only problem with this plan is that I lack the something to articulate.

I cannot explain the way tears slowly find their way from my eyes to the cement behind my head as I lay under pink clouds and wonder if this is an omen for what lies ahead. It's not too far for me to believe because, as I find myself in a state near leaving, I think pinkness is representative of the storm that it brewing within and so many weeks into the future it will become a sign of climate change. I need to get a move on before I get too comfortable with the rising heat.

I once wrote about the winds of change and wish I could now point out the changing winds that halt my breath and keep me guessing when I'll eventually breathe again with slowness, stillness, and content--and relieve myself of the troubles that are beginning to accumulate all around me. I need stronger levees, or taller trees, or an oxygen tank to guide me to the darkest depths of the sea. Maybe those tears are a slow eruption because I find myself in the center of a cyclone. To push in any direction is to question whether or not I can actually handle the weather, weather the storm.

Summer has been bringing so much change that I want it to be winter, where silence dwells in the spaces between the flakes and reminds me to take solace in the moments between my subtle mistakes. The flakes fall gently and life consists of the in-betweens and yes, it's so true, that it's near impossible to live somewhere in the middle. That is why the buddha taught of the middle way and we must be diligent enough to simply meditate.

If I can connect the dots with lines of thought that are not too distinct from feeling, maybe I'll be able to percieve the outline of whatever it is I'm believing. With Time I'll let the colors fade in to see that rainbows are more than illusions, that questions are superfluous with greater faith, and I just need to have faith in reality.

The truth shall set us free and the truth is--some things will always escape me. I can't expect to know what's best or yet to come because, damnit, I'm not omniscient and I've much farther to come along.

So when the rains drop their worries onto me I think I should feel grateful for their honesty. And when I get too close to tearing myself an escape route from the eye of this storm, I think I should feel patient and wait for the moment when I can sink into myself, lay on the ground, and let it blow warm kisses over my body like a ceremonious rebirthing.

I know I'll make it, out, or not, and what others witness of the winds that surround me will be from the outside. But I'm on the inside and I can see that the only options before me are to look up with faith, or risk injury by running into the invisible walls around me.

And that is why the water works its way up from the bottom to the surface where tears can kiss the air, and it says it's okay.

just breathe, love.
breathe, dear.

be patient, my love.
have faith, my dear.


for steve

How many times have we sat on this couch looking forward--out the window? not really, but frequently in the same direction at least, like we would hope for so many. I know the rate of your breathing is twice that of mine, and that when you stretch your neck and back it's to loosen out the questions we both have in mind. But sometimes we are wrong to look for words to give us our answers when we simply reach out and brush hands, or brush feet, or brush hands against cheeks to gather the tears. And we are doing just that. The truth of What Is flows easily, and we should maybe just be content to let it all come in and out naturally. We have the unspoken special something that might be misdirected if we try to speak. Assumptions run the risk of diluting the seasons that we live in, seek at times, but know always. It's a big blue sky, and though it darkens at night, we usually know that when we look up we can see the same thing. It sometimes doesn't need a name, and we sometimes don't need to shield our eyes from that which we try to synthesize into unified theories of everything. This we both know to be true, and though it usually makes little to no sense, we would do well to rest content--thinking strong and breathing love, one for and with the other. As has always been the case this is the source of the love we share, and Time and Space might only elude us in times when we let ourselves care about those difficult topics that, in the end, only require a certain amount of faith.

Dear Steve,

Thank you for everything that has been and will be. I love you immensely.


P.S. Please do not forget.


on fireflies and stars

Too many things to think about and I can tell because I'm forgetting at times where I'm at and why I'm here. I come to a new place on the east and make new efforts to meditate more frequently since god knows I'm going to need a space to break and breathe. This little hill was the warm-up round for life -- where I'm going is going to require much more. But then I wonder, isn't this always how we feel, and so isn't there a possibility to see this differently?

Each day is preparation for the rest of your life, or this is the first day of my life when I knew I was going to die, or I'm already dead so now I'm going to live, or whatever else forward thinking seems to give us in terms of catchy phrases to cope, deal, or apologize for the lives we lead, or who we've failed to lead as we've merely followed. And then we suddenly realize that we've got something more to give.

So actually, I don't want to be looking back on little hills. This is my life--today, right now--and the mounds and dips, troughs and valleys, peaks and the ever-threatening plateaus are all equally places to dwell happily. If you aren't going anywhere then there is no direction; you aren't climbing against gravity or falling into hell. Both options seems so negative anyway. But sit where you dwell and breathe instead for satisfaction with this home, this day. This is the place where you are living.

I'm living on a pad that's two stories, more or less, above the water. My thoughts provide enough surface tension to make me appear as though levitating. Though far off in the distance are family and friends they are all around in the fireflies. It's just a bit past their seasonal prime but I know they are there. I can see them in the leaves as the shadows dance and make speckles of light in geometrically designed veins--a firefly's flight found in the daylight. They're also around in the night, even in the winter though it's still the final days of July, because the stars always shine in every second of the day. And for long periods when I'm unconscious in the darkness or distracted by the brightness of the light, I sometimes forget that they burn incessantly until they die. But even when they've reached their demise there are constellations we see, and trace with our fingertips pointed to the sky, squinting through just one eye, that when connected together help us navigate our souls through the world and find our way home. Or create our own. And those constellations are formed by connections we create:

When two twelve-year-old girls lie on their backs on dirt country roads and swear on a star to be best friends forever.

When a father says, "Son, your mom's eyes were as bright as the sun when she held you for the first time, and I believe her love is so strong that, even though now she's gone and in heaven, the light would be just as bright if you collected the stars. Just imagine the light you could scoop up and hold in your arms. So go ahead, son, look up and be-hold your mother when you feel like you don't belong in the world. It's true, you'll never feel the way that you should because Love told you that you belong among the stars.

When those fairy-tale lovers made wishes to have their stars align just right so that they could finally live their lives as one. They made wishes upon wishes and with each falling star it seemed closer to possible since they both knew it would take a shift in the world for their love to be understood. For the moment, a shift in the cosmos would be just as good.

How did I get from fireflies to stars?

I don't even know what or why I started thinking up, but I guess it's because I'm okay with growing up. And I know I've got an expansive horizon before me. The terrain I will cover might range from rocky to Appalachian, but it doesn't matter because I will always be happy--happy to be walking, happy to be sitting, happy to be breathing with the firelight that comes up inside every time a stranger smiles when I say "hi" and each time you remind me that I am alive.


how to survive grad school (part II)

I'm still not brave enough to write on the first page, but I've gained a lot of courage over the past few days and nights from realizing that they're all that I've got. This is life. Sometimes I forget, but tonight, I know I'm alive. It's been only a month since I've stopped engaging in ways that cause me greater pain, but already I've been gaining more strength, more time, more hope, and more light. I can feel it emanate in rays from my face, and I see the reflection of gleams from my skin in the eyes of my new-found friends. I'm feeling, finally, like I'm settling into a home again. This town may be small, but it might also be enough.

When I think about what I'm doing here it's painfully clear that I am going to school and working harder than ever before to learn. I've noticed my humble wings being weighted with more philosophical humility, but I also can sense that they are beginning to stretch. Opening up feels difficult and terrifying, but also like it's one of the only things I can do at this point to make it feel at all relevant.

So I keep going. I'm trying. And learning. And realizing more and more that when I open up the right book, even philosophers can make me cry tears of joy. I already know the pains they can give me when I try to write, but that may just be part of the process. And it's good to feel like I'm doing something worthwhile, and asking questions that do make a difference, because just in case nothing happens to me and I actually live beyond 23, I'll be happy knowing that by the end it was productive of something positive. That would be a bonus to the life that I would have already lived.

I have to note a shift in tone. This week, the week before that, and just recently life has felt increasingly heavy. There has been death all around me and it feels like it's getting closer. Friends' family members have passed away, then a friend of a friend got killed spontaneously in a car crash on the way to LA, and just today I learned that a guy I gave rides home to after rehearsal in high school, who I talked with about hardships in life, like being raped and finding the means to survive, killed himself this week. I saw him over Christmas break at the gay club in Boise-he looked fabulous, we danced flamboyantly, and I was glad to see him looking so happy.

I talked with my therapist for perhaps one of the last times last week and I said, regarding death, that we make a mistake in our reasoning when we think that we can gauge how near or far death is for each of us. It's not the case that the old and the sick will be next. Nor is it the case that the young and healthy have nothing to worry about (assuming that we fear and worry about death). It's not like we approach it on a linear line, always getting closer and closer the longer we live toward the imminent end. Heidegger said that we are all equally close to our own death. This is true. We think that if we flipped 100 'tails' in a coin toss that surely a 'heads' would be next. Especially another 100 'tails' later, the 'heads' seems more than over due. But this is not so. It's a 50/50 chance the coin will land on 'heads' every time it jumps into the air, and each moment, we are equally close to the mystery of our own death. It's always close. Always near.

And I guess that all of this is supposed to be a reflection that reminds me of how I want to live. Knowing that I could die any second (even though my erroneous reasoning tells me that it's not likely to happen, really) is supposed to convince me to take nothing for granted. To make the effort to have lunches with friends. To take trips. To dance on a weekly basis. To laugh. To put the books down when a conversation ensues with a stranger, or a friend. To look at the clouds, see that the sky is blue. To feel the sun on my skin. To smell the wind bring on the spring. To call my family. To write these things down so that someday, maybe, they will be known by others, just in case I didn't get to let them know myself. To go take a chance and listen to music in dive bars. To meet up with acquaintances for a night. To pour out my heart- it may be the last time it gets exposed to anyone at all. To give. To live. To love as much as I possibly can. To practice. To be the art. Once more. And again.

This means, also, that I should be sure to do my work diligently. It's not the case that I need to forego my responsibilities with the awareness that death could greet me in my sleep tonight. No! Rather, it inspires me to do my work more passionately. To do the best that I can. It may be the only chance I get. And I might not get it now, but if I ever get it at all, I'd want to be ready to make the gift worth it for somebody else. To bring tears to the eyes of another person whose heart responds with a deep 'yes' to certain phrases on bound pages, and who opens them up again for inspiration on nights when the reality of life sets in with ever more gravity. This is precisely what I have done tonight in multiple ways, as I have done on multiple occasions. So if I could be so gifted and talented and privileged to do the same for another person on some other day, I'd like to have proven myself worthy and have prepared for that exchange whole-heartedly.


how to survive grad school (part I)

Long time waiting to write, to live, and I've been wondering what I'm waiting for - is this right? Is this the life I'd want to die for? I question whether the questions are working, and if the work I'm putting in is gonna make it worth it. Perhaps this is the grave presupposition--I'm not following through with my philosophy enough--and so I'm failing to realize if this will ever measure up to be meaningful.

A brief moment struck me as I coughed up some blood: I looked up to the mirror to see my face, dripping wet with sweat or water but that doesn't really matter because my body was saying, "Look. Your heart is crying. It's showing you something real enough that you can feel it echo through the stairwell of those lecture halls, where others feel their feet hit the ground. over and over. they go up and down. over and over. like beats. heartbeats.

How long has it been since you've felt grounded?

You should reflect on your connection to the earth- not just think about it in abstraction- and uncover the reasons why the mother in you wishes you to be well and take care. Your heart's got to be in it, and it is somewhere, but it's also got to beat, and to sing, and without you being able to breathe it won't be right. Whatever you write is got to come from a heart that's alive.

See how your mind is jumpy, your lips are lonely, and your hands dismembered and searching like crazy to pull you up from a handhold on anything, even if that thing is unstable, and the spills that ensue because it's all off balance?

Be like water.

Remember to be like water; if the cup is cracked the water leaks out, it finds its way back to the ground. And if the heat rises too much, to heaven the water will ascend first and fall back again once it's collected itself. Be like water. Soft. Don't force anything. Mold within the confines you've been given but know that your nature is strong and resilient. It only knows one truth- that to make it home is to go towards the center of the earth. Resistance to home, feeling alone, and wandering too far uphill is dangerous.

Be like water."


what i can learn from Heidegger

There are only so many things that I can take on today and the thought of "this life" weighs down my being. I'm concerned with other things--like the leaves that are changing and how I wish to fall lightly upon the street like they do, I want to watch the moon wax and wane as you do when you breathe in your sleep, I want to join you in the dreamscape of an empty stage- without walls, without maps, without paths to get lost, without a way to get back- I want to be already there. Always already there in this day. The 'life' that we lead, I want to live it, not think or dream or leave it. Let's be. there.

But what does that even mean?

I can't describe the way eyes light up when the passion ignites between strangers in a room, how one is left gasping at the beauty of a realization that this is the 'who' of family and me--Community--- We can see what it means to authentically be in the world with arms wide open, heart exposed, the strength of vulnerability in the face of fear and displaced hope---the smell, which comes to me less quickly than what I can so vividly see through the locking of our hands and feet, to put a face to the fragrance of love in the sheets, or the way I turn corners and find myself turned back on the night and looking up to the next rising sun of the moment I discover again and again with each step I take towards here. where I already am. this is the there of being and letting beings be. I already am.


a year in a month

I just need a few more pages to uncover all of the stages of life one can go through in a night. I felt born anew as I crawled in bed and breathed naked next to you. The world was so small then, nothing but four corners and a sheet, and the sun kissed back, so we made love through our feet. I rested upon your chest gaining strength and the courage to grow up just a little more, to try out my hand at being a lover. This is what inhales are for- to fuel this desire, to reveal my world and have it collide with yours, to shake the windows and the doors.

I've never felt so comfortable sleeping on the floor. This is the time where we go down and out of light like living week to week with only the strength of our bodies to support us. And then we were married. You said "yes" and I guess I did too without even knowing what this meant for me and you. Vows were exchanged as I bit your neck, I said I want you to bleed with me for never has there been a love like this.

At dinner we prepared ourselves to finally settle down and silence set in as I slid my toes along your shin. I told you I was just a little afraid. You said, "Baby, don't worry. I've got nothing but praises to sing in your name and I'll give myself wholly because it's worth it just to have this moment right here." So I slept better that night with your breath in my hair.

I woke up in heaven with the blinds bending in the light of not knowing how, why, or where this was going to take us in the end. It was a lifetime in a weekend, and if nothing else, I'll be sure to remember that you're certainly a friend. Already we've endured heartbreak, silence, tension, love, satisfaction, dreams, questions, and the Ultimate in trusting. the truth found in being. quiet now. so silent now. so still.


this marriage

I do.

I do see in your face the countenances of six and a half billion other lovers, all whom I'd love to take. This moment, altered by the vows of what we breathe, share, and pass on 'til we pass on, encompasses the miracles of love and life and living in love, especially in love with life and the lives of all our lovers.

What a gift it is to see you and watch you manifest the unfathomable uniqueness of every face. With each touch of you I accept an embrace from strangers and make new families. This is the way it is supposed to be, and this is my eternal commitment.

You, the one who penetrates reality so deeply, who speaks with tongues from all of history, who grows from the fertile crescent and expands to let me become part of you as you come in part by accident of causal relationships, you are everything, all that I wish to be with eternally.

And I give my solemn word to love you unconditionally--it is not the contingent you to whom I promise this matrimony. It is all that you represent-- the time that goes on to infinity in so many directions it makes me dizzy. The love that I have must be challenged daily because possibility is so big and it can be easy to see this wrongly.

So I vow, to you, to see through you in every moment, to be merry in this minute, and to marry each second with the first breath of the present. This is greater than romance stories could begin to explain because the love truly is boundless, the work is never without end, the universe becomes her, and him, and then there is only being.

I don't know what I'm getting myself into, and in fact I never could, so I place myself in a space for life rooted only by faith that this is true. To you, and the innumerable ones to hear the echoes run through your veins, I love you.

I do love you.

I do.


this is her story, told to strangers

I've been criticized for being too serious, so in all seriousness I'll speak with levity about a lightness that is too heavy to state simplistically. It's about women, or a woman in particular, who with each glance and embrace reminds me of why I'm a feminist. In her face is pure beauty and a smile perpetually gentle, except for the times when she laughs so loud the phallic monuments tremble. They're afraid she doesn't need them, and of course this is true for she has no void or hole to be filled. Completely whole in her pain and incredible grace she spreads love through her eyes and creates space for life so vivid and authentic no sculptor could emulate it.

In her deepness and wetness from emotions and tears, she removes the fears that have been forced into her pores. Such resilience is admirable in a world full of cowards who are too intimidated to speak before this exemplar of forgiveness.

As if her body was not her own, others have attempted to steal parts for themselves, but in some revelation she came to an awareness that it really did not define her self or her form. And from this discovery her body has become a camp for refugees who flee from loneliness and fear. They're frustrated from failing to know those things that she somehow comprehends about a reality that extends beyond our experience of atomized existence. Her holism is truly holy and inspirational to non-believers, the skeptics who doubt that love can manifest in a world ruled by power and hate.

She loves like Jesus and I love her back, partially out of desire, but mostly out of faith.

Rarely do I understand the complexity with which she communicates, but through her kiss and her caress I come to terms with my ignorance-I renounce my abstinence to find solace in her feminine landscape.


it's a good day to live

What have I forgotten? Have I forgotten how to breathe? how to be? how to spread my fingers just to feel the stretch of what it's like to reach? Have I fallen ill to the destiny of scattered ashes that descend to glass-covered grasses? If we don't walk on it we won't kill it---how true this seems to be.

Depending on how the light strikes my eyelashes I sometimes see disco-ball like reflections on everything. In photos these orbs could be ghosts but in real-time experiences their glimpses of hope. The same sparkle exists on the leaves of grass when the glass is lifted. Tiny round worlds slide up and down along stems that penetrate into root-laden ground.

I often imagine what it must feel like to be grounded so that you can never be overpowered by infinite space, like the light of a flame that penetrates the darkness.

My roots would hold me steady and secure. I'd wrap them all around boulders in the ground so when I'm tall and bolder myself I'll be able to give, and sway in the wind, without doubt or the possibility to faulter. The embrace under there-- with the strength of a silk-web netting around a million possible Davids in a block of marble--will carve out a place for me to hold dear, as my own, a place to grab hold of the stone.

Eventually, who knows, maybe my roots will burrow so deep and so fully that I'll lift myself up--that impossible trick little kids attempt to perfect where you hold your own foot and try to step in. Can God create a rock that even She cannot lift? Can one lift herself up and carry her own body? These miraculous feats are the sort of things that make me hope there's a god 'cuz I've never believed the story of picking oneself up by her bootstraps. After all, boots are actually quite heavy.

But maybe there is something to this old riddle, because you cannot go up until you go down. You cannot grow up until you bow down. Be steady with two feet on the ground and all the energy concentrated and connected to the firm, forgiving dirt, concrete, asphalt, even water (I've heard it's possible), just don't look up yet. Linear lines can travel in at least two directions in spite of their conceptual limitations. So reach with me, both in and out. Grab hold of the earth, stretch out to the sky, breathe in with the joy of knowing that you are one with, created by, and birthing heavens through channeling gravity.

I think this has something to do with being One with Nature. If it's true that God created the laws of physics then maybe this means I'm beginning to get it. From my stretching and holding, reaching and releasing, I've learned the true meaning of security. Grab hold of the earth, stretch out to the sky, and breathe in with joy for the ways you are growing.


everyone has a poem about love

It takes so much courage to cry- I know- but it takes so much more for me to even try to be comfortable with the questions I'm working with inside. I'm confused and I know it, but it's the only thing I know very well. "Very well" I should say--it's about time to be living without having it all worked out. But why am I afraid of the unknown if there's nothing to be worried about?

Like I said, I need someone who challenges me. I don't know if I'm cut out for this shit. I want to fall in love, not be forced into it. I, too, want to meet someone like you who makes me think about all the reasons I'm even breathing, who makes me stutter with a simple touch, who makes me wonder what I need to do to make sure global warming doesn't get too out of hand, because damn! I want at least 60 more years in this lifetime with you! That's right--I want someone who makes me want to save the entire fucking world before I even think about saving my pride.

I want someone who makes me see that she's holy, that there are cracks but that's so water can come in and nourish all the parts within that are ready to begin growing. I want to get lost in the forest of her secrets that no one else can comprehend and realize that those secrets are just stories of her life. Then I'll hold them under my tongue from beginning to end.

I want someone who shakes me and makes me work for it! I've got to prove myself worthy for something--the good life was never supposed to be easy (just don't tell my Taoist students I said that). See, I want to be forced to live in contradictions and come to terms with the facts that are blurry. Things happen in two or more ways and I want to feel lucky if I'm even wondering.

I want someone who makes me want to believe that the nerves in my stomach are indicative of love.

I want to run the risk of it being a mistake.


pleas bring in another new year

Teachers have supported my expression through writing. They encourage me to articulate my thoughts and feelings. But my mentors don't know that men tore me in half and down til I learned to breathe through the ground, so I write from the grave that's become my body. I'm buried. alive. but just barely.

The anti-body paradigm that privileges the male mind has left me weak from just trying to survive--fighting off pathogens and sexual pathologies that render me violently victimized and ill. Shamelessly by your hands I've been groped but that's nothing compared to being blindfolded with a knife at my throat or the time I was stopped by a man with what I prayed was a gun under his coat. Being in a state of both living and dying I'd prefer pulling the trigger over being forced to believe that this is how men have learned to express their love, their insecurity.

I hear stories from those who have given up the fight because too many claim a right to life but not for those who give birth to it. Walking among corpses- this is no exaggeration- I go home to a war-zone where strangers sneak through bedroom windows. How unexpected!, he raped her and fled but this time it wasn't papa, husband, or friend. I now realize that I can no longer place my trust in strangers. Anonymity is hurtful, too.

And in the same week, walking home in the cold, I watched the power unfold through a kick and a punch to a woman's gut. He's an expert at this, you can tell, because he deploys missiles where her clothes will not reveal his violence.

With such persistence, perhaps you can understand how confusing it can be to be comfortable in a quite existence. To be alone in the night is a blessing, and no one would get this unless they knew the humiliation we've been conditioned to feel towards our bodies. How are we to speak of such taboos, like what happens to women and girls, when the talk of menstrual blood makes us queasy? The thought of violent bloodshed on sheets and in streets is unspeakable.

These are all true stories that happened this week! Please believe me and don't dismiss me as too radical a feminist. It's true that I am, but you should be, too, because a radical change is completely necessary. And I'm only saying this because I know there are many who would simply rather forget than constantly attempt to make you hear their desperate pleas of "no!" "stop!"

"This can't be happening to me."


the powers that be

I don't want to be that person for anyone, the one who makes another think to herself, "oh please, I can do this better myself so why don't you just fucking stop?" On top of all that shit, which may not be where I belong anyway, I'm afraid of being a disappointment. Sometimes it's got nothing to do with me--I'm just witness to the winds of changing. Fuck the initial memories that won't escape me--the early hauntings that seem to doom things from the beginning. I've got to get over it. This is just an excuse anyway for rarely am I a passive recipient of anything.

If there's just one way that things are meant to work out well it's clear to me that I'm ignorant. The best I can do is love unconditionally but that never seems to work to my benefit, or anyone else's for that matter so what am I to do then?

A long while back I used to be convinced I had a super power that was found in the love I could give. But my senses are sharpening with awareness more recently and I'm beginning to see that this is much less obvious of a quality. In reality, I'm afraid, so it has appeared in some cases, that I deny myself the possibility of being loved back. Or is this consistent?-it's just that my feat is forgiveness, so I only love those incapable of loving me back.

I always thought super powers were easily defined like one who could travel through time so as to prevent those early hauntings from even happening, or the bit of clairvoyance that grants future clarity so that mistakes will be thwarted and hurt avoided, or the ability to speak in many tongues and ride confidently around the necks of gods like Kali and reassure all the ears in history that this is actually part of the creation story-- this pain, this breaking, this crumbling from tall heights, the weight that curdles in stomachs and ferments through the night, the floods that carve pathways to emotional wells that have never been tapped for fear that the pulsating river of something undefinable might actually be real. This is part of creation.

Rest content knowing that you're not the only maker; there's a thousand tiny hands sculpting out of each and every breath, a thousand little exhales molding this life into the next, and the power of knowing what's best is reserved for those left gasping for nothing but the present.

I've been gifted a special talent for unfolding. The creases when exposed leave outlines of my soul like a road map to reveal where I'm going- only I can't see it since reflections appear backwards and I won't trust that anyone has the key to read it. So I sit wide and open and let others explore me- never quite sure if they've ever really known me.

And with all my love to give it rarely travels in from any other sources at all. Now ain't that some shit since I know I'm not a bottomless pit that's capable of perpetually pouring. Naturally, something's got to come in I've just got to be bold enough to swallow it.

I'm no desert scene, black hole, or seething ravine. I've got small hills, round mounds, and golden ponds for sitting around. There's even flowers that feed life somewhere inside and winds that sing by moving the air in the open fields of my heart, the many turns in my mind that turn out to be building blocks to build mountains. This landscape is fertile and might someday reach a balance of feeding the hungry and absorbing some confidence that one doesn't admit a lack of w/holiness if she let's others in, one doesn't deserve an existence without any friends. And both of these are false in that they could happen again because they've only ever happened in the first place. It's never been any other way.

So maybe, my gift is for blindness.

I fail to see the obvious. Put a neon sign in front of my eyes and I sit and deny that there's light. Or if I be romantic I'll say the glow comes from the sun and this is heaven's way of saying, 'it's alright to go on.' But then I'll tell you I'm a materialist and things like heaven and angels don't really exist until you can prove it (and people believe I'm an optimist!). The sign could read "open" and I'd forget what that meant. Is it a command to be something? In that case, I say 'fuck authority' I'll do whatever I feel like. But more likely it's an adjective that simply reminds me that I frequently have channeled some truths fundamental--all I need to do now is remember how I once used to know how to glow on my own.

I've always been too good at forgetting.

Now don't get me wrong, I'd love to admit that I wish this not to be my gift it's just that now, in this moment, there are too many things that I'd love to forget.


"I don't feel like writing this paper on Husserl"

I want to watch the clouds part between my eyes and hear about love that lasts lifetimes. Then I want to love like that.

I want to taste the wind through budding branches and discern the scent of birthing new leaves. Then I want to leave those trees feeling born again.

I want to feel water flow through my veins and color it red outside the lines on the palm of my hand and touch your lips with passion.

Then I want to breathe.

I want to breathe in hope to replace the days that never offer a moment of silence, for the ones that went out with a bang after the debris settled from an explosion on a home full of sleeping dreamers who were dreaming up peace, and I want to place a daisy on the grave of all those moments that were too quick to let out a whimper but instead remain anonymous in the books of my memory.

I want to read up on love and remember that I once wrote it on the streets in an intersection with sidewalk chalk making it the destination where every traveler stopped.

I want love to be that which guides me.

Love, show me all that I’ve forgotten about how colors bleed into each other to make everything beautiful. Remind me how once this ocean was so blue to my eyes but it was clear to my feet, how I felt the world at my fingertips so I made a sign for peace and held my breath until the stripes waved white, how the blackness of your fire created space for light bright enough to penetrate the darkest of minds. Fill my body with memories of tears, soreness, and stomach aches brought on by laughter. Sing away the pain of hate from those who should have known better with an embrace that rocks away centuries of sorrow for those who eventually forgave.

And please bring us words that mend the cracks of war so that we can learn to hold each other.