Hot late summer sun glaring on my skin. I sit in my soft green chair and do the same things. Over and over again. I don’t know that I’m awake. I don’t know that I’m fully here.

Lost in rituals from pasts made up, lost in green eyes that don’t exist, lost in “Do you trust me?” Lost in “Will you? Do you want to?”

I should make a pot of tea, simmer down these spirits, calm this rattling claptrap mind. But in these early, first waking hours — I don’t want to.

Want to listen to vapour trails of dreams like tentacles or hairs holding on to me. Want to drop into ice cold realities, stark white against black backgrounds. I want to sink teeth into Carbon. I want to drown in Lithium.

Tashi wa kanashi luoco — but I don’t feel it just yet. Not right now. Not lying curled up in this warm bed. In the afternoon, late into the long dreary day of doing things the same way, if you want to remind me — well, that will be okay. Twist a bit of lemon peel, orange rind, and shake a little salt on my mind. Remind me that whatever’s easy comes out silly, prosey, clunky and unhoned.

Remind me: come next summer, you’ll be bogged down in editing.
Yes, and that’ fine too.

But for now, it’s working and I’m rolling with the waves.
I’ll get the sand out of my teeth, hair, face when the time comes.
And it will.


Unicorns and Dragons

I’m so fucking high tonight.

Flying on clouds of lust, sex, cum, and bodies panting so hard we knock pictures off the wall.

Love of the moon waning against my skin as satellites glint and disappear overhead. We call unknown flares in the sky shooting stars. We call teeth and nails against our skin, love. Gazing into the future and the past at the same time. Stars in the vastness of reality ten miles up, we can guess will burn out over time. Ah, but doce, we see them for now.

Candles flare and we’re naked here. I come and I ask you, minds pressed together, to come for me. We shiver and shake and press against each other in the candeless dark tonight. I toss and turn because my bones press against the ground and my nerves tingle like fuzzy buzzing green blankets clogging drier vents. Just trash cans full of this crazy shit.

I stir and turn, but did I sleep? Snatches here and there, oh sure. And over time, the light compared to darkness changes shape. A hint of dawn and I am on the edge of morning, now. Memories collect and condense on my skin, my nerves sensing pressure of your body all night long.

The whir of an electric coffee grinder makes me wake, think, want to show you my personal treasures too. Years of attempts I’ve been making to be better, better, better. I struggle pretty hard, harsh, rough and wild. Like an animal. Onagi vida. Drowning or swimming in the passion of others, same as me.

Words like outlier, magician, wheels and rocks and reality. We lay out on docks and listen to the non-existent frogs. Out on the water and wait, wait, wait…

But I’m tired of waiting, so come into my arms. My hips. Make motion, rhythm, rhymes with your body and mine. Like poetry spinning threads that will intertwine around my heart like a spider’s web.

Words like codes and programming that access hurt in me made overtime. Compliments that are the breeze blowing in through an open window on a late summer’s morn.

We rise and fall like rhythms in a set, notes in a song, melody and harmony — and I’m drawn to you.
Is it good? Is it safe?

I’m trusting that it is right now.
Ask me again if I care what the future brings.
We already know its death and tolls and time folding in on itself again.
Entropy fights chaos and we are imaginal threads.

Come, sit, spin with me.


A dream-like state. A fascination with what is beyond the threshold. What lies beyond.

A murky pond or the sea. A salted lake or the ocean? Skies upward toward vacuum or ten vertical miles of landscape, on and on?

I’m running at a frantic pace, and if I had hollow bones, I’d jump. The wind would pick me up, carry me across the planes holding me in, and I’d break free into orbit in another galaxy. In another life line, I’ve already done it all. I’ve already jumped and fallen. I’ve already held your hand. We’ve already said goodbye.

It’s all said and done. And are we happier for it?

Another me says yes. Another, no.

Variables on end in an endless creative sea of choices, chances, raising the stakes, betting it all and losing it.

Life and death when seen in these non-linear patterns don’t matter quite as much. If the roots rot before the tree falls, when it’s born again — they grow back. Or grow into another tree and continue on in that way. One layer upon another in a milieu of moments stretching contingent on nothing but the balance of chaos and entropy.

We are but chaotic entropes diving into endless seas of vibration. A mess of instability. Change and the turning of wheels, once designed, is a course of inevitability.

Does it hurt?

Why no, not at all.

I was born to suffer, to fight, to die. I have no struggle but this one to engage in. I’ve got gloves and a fighting spirit. Come on, 死神. Just you try and get me. Write my name down in your book and take my years. What difference does a few less make to a temporal being?

Not much.

As I drift asleep, I’m already falling, flying, living, dying.

It makes sense to be one.
Magician and the wheel of fortune.

Critical, analytical. Ah, but that means free from the chains of restrictions the outer edges of reality tried to place on me. Sleight of hand and a bending of tricks, teasing apart reality, and finding on the other side — it’s actually quite thin.

I’m learning.
If I close my eyes, I can see right on through.
And so can you.

Let’s play together in the ether. Get our hands messy. Jump in thickets of thorny reason and pick the needles of empathic intuition out of our hearts and scatter them loosely on the ground. Passer-bys will slip on them, and we’ll all get bloody muddy in the extra-dimensional muck, but hey — I’m excited. Aren’t you?

This is what it feels like to breathe.
Sharp at first, then smooth like a sweet drug that sets you right at peace.

Another year older. Another step closer. Another image set shuffled like cards in a big fat deck. I’ve got so many now it’s getting harder and harder to sneak a peek, stack the deck, cheat. Getting easier just to play along for the time being.

Until the fire burns right through me. Then I’ll be ash and dust and the wind will blow me away.
And that’s okay, too.

This body tells you nothing.

I’m covered in charcoal metaphors you can’t read, words in languages you can’t speak. These complicated symbols aren’t for you, but for me. Reminders of roads I’ve gone down through places dark and deep. Mountain paths and stairwells I’ve climbed when I was sick and weak. And oh, when I was strong — the mountain passes and the tallest peaks.

Do you really think you seeing me means anything?

Look here are pink frills, high heels, a skirt — and now, you think you know me? How about a thin black tie, starched shirt, belt buckled tight. Now you think you see?

Come here and whisper in my ear what you think of me. Tell me all the secret things you know you’ve seen. Like what’s between these thighs and these legs and what, if you press your fingers against me, you’ll find. Touch this skin and plunge your fingers in and what kind of warmth, what sort of blood is inside?

You know from a distance the make-up of what I am? You can calculate on your touchscreen the images that make up my memory of you somehow? You know the chemical composure I engage in not to punch you out, right now?

Ah ha ha. Let me have a good laugh at your expense. You’re a weak puppet on such thin strings and I can tug here and pull there and oh so easily make you dance. Do you like the beat? Doesn’t matter. See? You’re moving to it.

I have tricks and tools and beaks on my side that penetrate the bullshit, cut the night with a hot clean, newly whetted knife. I’ve got mean sides and mean ties and lines to lives you can’t even imagine in your segregated mind.

Man. Woman.
A pathetic binary you like to count life in. Bad numbers that don’t amount to much. Poorly fitted sheets with the corners snapping off. See, I’m an octagonal peg for your square hole, your round hole, your pie hole. I don’t fit in. And you might consider shutting it before you sound unedcuated. Before you sound too stoopid.

The thing that kills me is you’re tricked so easily. You see a shadow and you flinch. See a light and you blink. See one cheap, poorly executed trick and you just flip that switch like it was waiting to be tripped.

You only don’t realize because I’m not even trying.

I’m not tripping balls or wires or mines in this manic field you’ve left me in. Oh no. I’ve got words and wires and these honed knives and I’m cutting lines. Hsarpenting my lies. Counting down the time.

You got ten minutes until the next alarm. Better run before you’re time’s up. Better beat the gun.

Tea meant something.

In blurry childhood recollections, a mug of tea was acceptance at the table. A thing I had access to when other avenues of entry were barred. It was the chance to be the same, not other. It was my piece in the puzzle. It made us euqals, all sipping and laughing and playing cards around trailer-home fires. It made us friends.

Across the world, late summer. It would be a ritual of coming together once again. A meeting place. A familiar haven. Seomthing recognizable in the strange and unfamiliar. A bridge across the social gap I had not learned how to cross. But to tilt a pot and pour a drink, oh that was always easy. So, we sipped and laughed and played cards around circles of unknown faces. And we’d drink and drink until our bellies were full. I gained weight that year and put my feet back on the ground. And over mugs and steam vapor, we were friends.

Then in the grey of that winter, in a corner office, it was both warmth and pasttime. It was my connection to those I didn’t know. A social contract easily made. One I could, without fail, depend on. It warmed our bellies while it warmed the room. It distracted us from the cold, the mundane, the unknown. It was a safe place that only needed a little hot water, a little milk, and a little dash of leaves.

Same grey winters, different time, different place. It gave purpose to long and lonely nights. Some goal to accomplish, some thing to do. A tangible sign that I was not just sleeping my life away while my friends were gone. And the warmth would wake me and shake me and make me come back to life.

Another turn, another place, and grey skies over me — still. And a cup with a full pot was worth twenty-thousand words, easy. Characters and worlds were born in the company of steam and steeped camelia sinensis. A paperback book with crows and tea tins with abstract patters on a shelf cluttered with the rest of my life would show these times would never disappear. These long nights writing and sweeping floors and taking trash down the back steps were steeped into me.

Coffee fueled my radicalization that was to follow. Coffee and coffee shops and long talks. Coffee is for work, for being serious. For the hard things. Coffee, black and bitter, is a philosopher’s drink. Tea, milder, softens the blow.

From that sharp razor edge, I would have to return once again. If only for some peace of mind. In returning, I learned to mix flavors with my own hand. Trying to comprehend what I had always taken for granted. Trying, in some small way, to connect the dots in my life. To master where I had only followed. To grow where I had only waited. And, soon, I dusted off my hands, mixed mortars full of muddled spices with bowls of leaves from different regions. And the flavors mingled in ways that were more than just flavors. They were pieces of myself to share with new friends.

Another grey time, darker now, like storm clouds have covered over the summer. And I pull these tins of belonging, of friendship, of hope off a shelf where they’d found home for a while. Into boxes and storage to wait for a better time. Since that packing up, that turning in, I only drink alone. Friends have drifted across oceans on winds I had not foreseen.

But still, this cup warms me in some way. Steam tickling my nose and orage peel settling my upset stomach and telling me — one day, things will be alright. A different cup in a different place. And I will be surrounded by the sweet scent of steeping leaves and the warmth of bodies once again.

Nihon is a place of origin. And next, I go there.