Allowing an Easement

I had come into my own the day you arrived and said a matter of words that caught me up. Tripped, snagged, trapped. Your eyes were galaxies and I fell heart-first into them. Self-preseveration said pull away. The rest of me said: no way.

Compelling as the event horizon of a black hole. I had no fight to pull my hands, arms, tongue back. You could have pushed me through the seal of universes. I’d have gone with you.

Mistakenly, I thought it was mutual — this insanity.

I was wrong.

I went in retrograde after that discovery. A pale comparison of a human heart with a leaking valve. Not pumping but bleeding out. Gasping for air and I got mouthfuls of carbon dioxide. Straight from your lungs. I didn’t think I could survive on that alone. But it was easy to pretend for a while. Maybe, it was just fun.

I didn’t think too hard. Only tumbled down a long slide that was always going to end in a lonesome night.

That day you left, the sunset was beautiful but the air turned cold around us. And I found myself mirrored a hundred-fold. Different motions, but the same dance. Different keys, but the same song.

So we have the same steps, but can’t follow the route. So we know the words but can’t sing along together. Traveling hearts bound in different directions. Shifting sands blowing every which way but together.

The life you got to live only put into sharp relief the one I hadn’t. Not opposites, but reverse impressions of one another. To be myself, I had to claw my way out. To be yourself, you only had to open your mouth.

I wish I knew what an easy life looked like sometimes. And then I remember the me I was when I did, and I think — no thanks.

This current of my personality only flows with any strength because of the rocks I’ve worn down out of my way. I’d rather be right where I am with the losses I’ve had and the hits I’ve withstood than give up one single scrap of understanding I have.

Ignorance is bliss so long as you don’t want to really live.

I’d rather know the fire is hot because I’ve put my hand on it. Again and again. Maybe that’s why I love these scars. They remind me of the things I’ve learned. A map of all the places I’ve been.

You, on my hip and chest and arm — are another one.

So, you’ve gone. And now the flame has blown out and I am in waiting for another wick. Another spark. Another wandering heart.

It’ll come, crash into my crust and we’ll make brief planetary love. I have no doubts. Only, I need patience to wait this out.

It won’t be that hard.

Frontloading the comedown.

I’ve been playing with words, these days. Pulling context-based imagery together with timing. Strong in one, weak in the other. I suppose what I am trying to do is cram my internal contradictions together. Putting my own letdowns in my face. Calling out my own inherent inconsistencies. Trying to be more, across the board. Aware, intentional, focused, intense.

If I can create a blackhole with the pull of gravity I compel — I’d be down with that.

It’s the season shift, everyone says. And they are most definitely right. I’m floundering where I should be standing erect. Falling where I should be strong. Bending where I should not break.

It’s not a bad thing. Just uncomfortable. Looking for the remembrance of ways I was like guidelines into who I can become. It’s as yet unclear how the snowmelt runs down the sides of my personality. New creases were put there by the year away, by a new name and a new place, by new people with new ways.

Newspace, I could say.

A galaxy, just forming. The worlds are not wholly formed. The sun still bursting in explosions. The clouds of gas still nebulous. But the codes are there to create a diversity of life. I know it. I feel it. Seeds unfurling. Roots uncurling. New shoots testing new ground covered with the rot of the winter, gone.

Anxiety stirs in my images of death and beauty. Hope and failure. Love and chaos. Everything is a dichotomy. And I, the heart that resists everything.

Tell me how to love, and I’ll show you how you’re wrong.
In the winter rush, this was a quiet art.
In the blare of street lights and a late evening sun, it seems garish and illmet.

Like these words with variant definitions I keep mashing up together. Attempts to align some broken shards that in the spring seem less like seeds and more like debris. Perhaps, they are still fertile, and some sprout will spurt forth, and I’ll see what was lying dormant inside of me all this time.

Maybe that is exactly what I’m afraid of.
To find inside the core of me the seed of a monster instead of a true heart.

A myth instead of reality.
A lie instead of truth.
A non-existent ghost where I thought infinity had spread itself.

A deathstalk.

Connection.

A beach made of stones, and there is nothing between the real and not-real but the sound of the sea under a deep blue sky. Stars barely visible for the clouds and near-full moon light. It may be another four, five days until it reaches the peak.

Bodies lay on rocks, close enough to touch. But there are words instead of stones between them. Carved out against the current of the ocean, smoothed by steady wind and a constant tumble against one another. On the shore, in hands and minds, these stone words tumble easily down the side of reaching minds illuminated in bars of sudden unanticipated light.

Blink against the night. Hang in silent suspension. Commonalities cause laughter like the scent of flowers shifting in the air.

Fluency, approach, echo and decay of words in foreign languages. Japanese, 日本語、and more. The struggle for statis, to stay put is less than the desire to push and push and push.

The best kind of progress is the kind that isn’t. Pushing without pushing — but being.

Desperate clinging to the idea of what it could be like to speak with the fluidity of a natural tongue. To match each word’s pace and tone in the depths of a heart. To run without losing breath. To climb without fear of falling down.

To love without bounds.

In the doorway of the innermost approachable room, there’s a gate posted, but the lantern is gone. Once it would have had the kanji for lightning. A test to passers underneath. Are you worthy enough? Enter if you dare risk death.

The caretaker must have forgotten to hang it out. And so, advantageous hearts have passed through without ado. Overcoming, not a paper lantern’s infertile magic but the passion of a careful heart.

Having passed into the dim inner half-light, quiet tongues greet one another wetly. It takes some seconds to get to where they want to be. And hours to get back again.

Pushing, fighting, struggling against the body-cages four-dimensional beings exist in.
We are rushing toward the far end of the universe. Tumbling down a long slide. Crashing, hard into the fabric of everything.

Each manifestation of evolution takes its turn on the top of the world. And when one falls short, we take turns holding one another up. Symbiotic and inter-dependent. We will both hold the ladder and see over the wall. Wer are nothing if not connected. One bolt to the machine. One cell to the body burden of the whole.

Knowing this drives me on.
That and the ability to be more than bodily lovers to one another
— but friends.

This is the highest we can fly without suffocating from the vacuum all around us. The strongest covalent bond of them all. To become known curvatures, familiar scars, remembered and revisited places in the universe. Specific gravity, atomic charge, the way certain chemicals respond. All tested and reaffirmed.

As time goes, the strongest lines become old friends.
And that is all there is.

The sun is coming.
The light, returning.
And the world will, without a doubt, grow.

I can’t wait to feel the pain of stretching my bones.

A room of one’s own

My heart is a house, and in it are many rooms.

Come play in my yard, dine in my kitchen, dance in my entry way, make conversation on my porch. Stretch tired legs out on my sofa, relax sour muscles in my tub. Come play on my cushions and come on my rugs.

I want this house to be full of the smell of human, sex, and love.

Down a long, narrow hallway in the back of the furthest room is a door. It stands locked. The bolt is thick and there appears to be no code, no key, no guaranteed way to access entry. The edges are scarred with signs of once being forced open, old now and rusted over.

Someone with dark eyes and a dark frown stands outside, leaning against the wall. They are no guard. In fact, they hardly appear to belong there at all. Just another guest exploring the tangled halls. But, if you ask, this is what they will tell you:

“This? My guess is no one goes in.”

And like magic, an image is conjured in your mind. The room is small, dark in tapestry and candle-lit. The ground is littered with the ashes of past fires. Incense holders full of old unanswered prayers stand cold and empty, dusted with nothing but the faint memories of having once believed in them. The walls are covered in paintings and drawings of places, faces, colors sometimes vibrant, sometimes monochrome. Each style different, each medium varied, each stroke as if from a different hand.

“The room,” the stranger says as you come to, “needs to be swept out again.”

“Can I help?” you might ask. Or, “Can I see it?”

“No.”

And regardless of which question you asked, the stranger will walk away and leave you to your thoughts.

If only it were this easy.

Instead, I am always fighting internalized co-dependence. Institutional violence enacted on my bones and muscle tissue in ways that cannot be fought, but must be owned.

I have tried to be good on my own. Sweep up my rooms when they’ve fallen to ruin or to mess. I have locked the door of the innermost part of me, sealed it up tight against the world’s attacks. I have tried to be strong. I have tried to love.

And yet, failure is inevitable. Cruel and unforgiving. And before I know what I’ve done, my secret heart is burned out again. Sweeping up my failures, the only ritual I’ve known. Cleaning up the ruined mess – the one consistent act of penance I’ve done.

And yet, for whom do I do?

After decades of dustbins, calloused hands and scraped up knees — I think things need to change. I need a new conclusion. A written  a policy of what success looks like, now. A code to retain, against all weathers and storms, my own core. So that, when I am well, I can laugh. And when I am not, I can dance.

I sometimes wonder, though. Wouldn’t it be nice for a day, an hour, a moment, a single breath in time – for things to be easy? What must an easy, happy life feel like? To see yourself as inherently of worth? To not question your right to survive? To know others will value your insight? To know you were wanted, needed, loved?

Does anyone know?

I wish I knew. I occasionally catch glimpses of the answers. They are like feathers in the air. They alight only long enough for me to realize I have no idea where they come from or where, after this, they’ll go.

Afterwards, I am left with only this: isolation is inherent.

And if I want to be happy — I am charged not only to own it. But treasure it. To quietly keep and tend that one small room on my own. Despite who or what in the past forced its way through. The damage most done was the breaking open in the first place. The lie that I should need someone else to tend to me. That someone else should save my soul.

Moreso, that I had a soul to protect, to wrangle, to tame and save.

I am not a broken piece of machinery, but an animal in the wild struggling against the world for survival. Though my evolution may look different and my skills are unique in some ways — life is all the same.

Live, grow, decay, die.
That’s all I have to do.

What an easy life.

Things I’ve Meant to Write

Notes from [This is that.]

The crackling sensation in my chest is like singing hoarsely.

Cheating during unwinnable games is underestimated.
As in, we have no idea how easy it’d be.[but]
Losing pieces of yourself is not freedom for the people.
The book & the life are slipping your mind, my friend.

Breaking the spell is compelling–
in the way magnetic charges are.
Circles of geometric evolution
are corrupt[?]
But, not so bad.

Breathing in is peacefully expressing:
The brightest colors are
instinctively guiding us
To be alive.

Bright eyes, full of art
are ringing in my ears.


The way I conduct business is drunk and possibly high.

“Making cheese can be real swanky.”
“The food we left out; the problems with eating it are never winning strategies.””Cheap pints are a bunch of selfish shellfish.”
“The drug commonly referred to as [Oxen Train] is not nearly fancy enough.”
“Doing drugs with carnies can be surprisingly…stinky at times.”
“I drank that because you are, like, soooo cool!”

The reason for this fuckery is nostalgic,
like music from your childhood.

[It is poppy and means nothing?]

The culture war was…
easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy.

Riding a skateboard in the rain is
Yesterday’s miracle.
Driving to the matinee is increasingly tangled
& complicated; getting lost
On the way to the mini-mall
[is] unexpectedly magical.

The fluorescent lighting is the best idea
I’ve ever had.
The loudness of the city
is known as a compliment in some places.


That sign in the hallway was a rough start:
{Every other story is the beat of my heart
and the sparkle in my eyes.
<3}

Your shit is going to
leave a sour, ate-too-much-sugar
taste in my mouth.

The way you held my hand,
And then insulted me
was the worst joke.
The last words I heard
were a half-respectable idea.
“All of this ice is like a slow burn to nothing.”

The best form of flattery is ugly
like a brutal fight you didn’t expect
to become life and death.
“My viewpoint on your indie novel?
Could be robots taking over.”

This dance is probably not
the worst image I could have come up with.
My brokenness is not even.
Your [new] lover is mildly irritating.


My hope for our future
Is not as bad as you think.

He/she as a stand-in for gender neutrality
was the worst Xmas present.
This sea-change in society
wil be Televised!

The march of time can’t be helped.
I’m sorry.

(Or am I?)

My whole heart wasn’t so bad.
Please stop crying.
(It’s embarrassing)

 

Stopped, mid breath.

I stopped writing when I realized it didn’t seem to amount to much. When I realized you, of all people, were no longer reading. No longer eager for what I had to say. No longer shared in this unique perspective.

I started up again when I was able to convince myself I didn’t care.

I stopped again, when I was stuck facing the fucked up fact that I still do.

Always will.

Always is a funny word, but I use it a lot. Maybe it’s a sign of the damage that was done. Sometimes, I wake up screaming in the middle of the night for no reason at all, and part of me wonders —

Am I more herb than human now? Am I more broken than okay? Is success just going to be something always just out of my reach. Was I not built right for this life?

The answers are all no. Always no.
Regardless of how you feel.
No.

And yet, I don’t feel as bad as I used to. I don’t cry at scary movies. I don’t sob over baked bread. I still fall apart, occasionally, on my bike ride home. But I think I’m making serious progress.

Ha. Who am I kidding. I’m creating a fucking mess.

It’s later than it feels, than it seems, than it is in my head. The summer is already gone and I don’t know where it went, but I know I wish I had some scrap of it back.

I did the worst wrong when I thought to myself: I have a good plan. And I thought that meant I wouldn’t break.

What a fool.

Always, always, always have a back up plan.
And don’t lay your head on the tracks unless you’re willing to die.

That’s all the advice I can come up with, and at this stage — advice is all I can give.

Haitus, over.

The days are longer and I think I’m back.

Urban chambers of a human heart

Cities are persons, each unto themself. A personality emerges among tangled streets and weaving freight lines that deliver the necessities we all share. What differs is method, mode, route, way. The motions by which these things come to us are the lines in the faces of our cities. I have known many of you intimiately. Los Angeles, Riverside, Portland, Tokyo, Honolulu. The way you wink and scowl, frown and laugh is neverone and the same. Even to pass, you ask your pardons in a variety of languages.

Those whose clothes I did not get off, I have touched at least the skin of. Venice, Seattle, New York, London, Frankfurt, Braunau. You were brief lovers whose rhythms I could but guess at. Moments sparingly passed between breaths in which we brushed arms, touched hands, kissed. I know only how you differed from me. I loved those little things,but never came under your fold. When I left, you stayed a stranger all the same. If I return, it is in the same way I first came. A visitor to your steps. Always, the other.

But I know in knowing that alone what I know of past lovers. The curve of their body around a knot of highways. The bulge of a hip bone where the river turns. The intrusive skeleton of a highrise where the bones of my favorite speakeasy once was. Signs of your aging, your coming or failing, of your hoping and dreaming. Of, in its rawest form, your body.

And you, my cities and moments within them, are forever with me.