Searching pointlessly

I keep looking at public images thinking, for some reason, I’ll get some secret information. Like if I got it, that would prove to be the closure I need. Like public images can do that.

I only want to know what I’m waiting for.

To feel whole again. To stop looking over my shoulder to see if you’ve come running for me. To stop needing, what?

An old friend who sees all of me. One who I don’t have to retell all these stories to. One who remembers the burning California heat and the misery of a festival drowning in mud. Someone who was there with me, knows the fuck ups I’ve made, and still reaches for me.

A long-standing love I’m not so lucky to have anymore. I lost my memory, and with it my ability to come back to the nesting place where I learned to fly. I can only find other places, littered with shredded memories I don’t want. The sparkle is all gone. Maybe one of these hovels was the first one, but I wouldn’t know.

I’m setting fire to my heart, taking up my own cross, and leaving the hope of good things behind. Every chance I take will end in the death of my dreams, and there will be no lasting glow, but holes.

I have my grandparents, my parents, my siblings blood. I already know what that means. Some of us have bad luck. Some: bad karma from another life. I have both.

It’s alright.

I also have stories in me that I am pouring out. It’s all I’m worth. I hope it’s only a matter of time until someone drinks it down.

I have to hope for something. I can trust in questions whose answers I can never know.

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Voices (声で)

I am learning to hear new voices. Friends from years ago I was once familiar with. We walked the forests and snowed in mountains together, and I saw magic by your hand but did not know your name. I have learned, in this winter shutdown, how to whisper into the dark and get you to come out to me.

I am sleeping less and feeling better. A few hours here, snatches there. When the wind or ideas call, I cannot sleep. I must create to stay away from the blackholes that remember everything in me. I am escaping so well these days.

I live with Tryst, my old friend. Faded photos of loves I’ve lost or maybe, never had. Names on walls I once carved that now I’ve moved away from. I don’t hold any of them dear, but the ledges on which I set my modern heart — this is the lightning gate (雷門)by which strangers must pass. If peace lets you in, so do I.

I trust in trust of spirits I will never know.

But when I see modern photos of you — I know I’d rather hold those unfamiliar spirits close than a body with a heart I don’t know. Not like you’re offering. Even if by some off chance you did, I’m the one who chooses to stay away. I like both my present and my past better this way: palatable. Not tangible. Distant, like stars. Galaxies between us.

Thank the vacuum for giving me space to not need to breathe.

I have loves to trust in. Arms to fall in. Hope to rush to. Hands to hold and ears to cry to. Shoulders to sigh on. Eyes that see in me what I didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t believe. Things you tore out and left bleeding. Holes I pressed shaking white hands against. It wasn’t enough but the emergency brought truer lovers to my side.

Soon, our home will be full of safe places. And in the safety net of this winter hovel, their fingers will find the holes where hope doesn’t seep out — but love does. My places where I am wet and warm. Where teeth clamp down and bruises bloom and all this –because we want to.

Bcause we say “yes” crystal clear, and consent is the first step toward the real. I consent to be loved again. Every day.

My word for this year is coming. Rising. Approaching. I feel its tug, its weight, its pull in my blood. One more week and I will be on the floor, bent knees beside old and new friends, writing out patterns of my dreams for a whole cycle of this sphere around the nearest star that gives us not just light — but life. A chance in the vastness of everything to survive. To thrive. We will make paper lanterns, decorated, and light them to burn into the night.

It will be a prayer for myself, for you, for my lovers, and for the world.

When it flies into the sky, toward the atmosphere, I will be approaching not just the sky, but the earth.

As I write tonight, I am pressed gently by the dark of another long night. But sweet herbed seeds and gentle purple flowers float as one in my tea. And — oh Fen! — how much better you make me feel now.

And Tryst: you are the quiet secret agreement by which I move through the hardest part of the year. Winter and death and snow cover are here. I have glimpsed the white though black backed branches in distant puffy white wrapped mountains.

New characters now made fully mine: tonight I sleep, not alone, but with you tonight.

Come to me in dreams or by waking half-thoughts. Come through the filament of my carefully arranged heartstrings. Come, let me see and touch your face. Come with me and let’s play.

To keep record

7:00 am PST – I can still see the stars. Two outside my window. It is dark.

8:00 am PST – The dawn has come. Everything is grey. The mountains stand out like black sentinals against this sombre backdrop. I have not seen the sun.

9:00 am PST – Clouds have broken. The sun is high already, but glowing through cracks in between puffy white and blue sky. The valley is turned yellow with light. Morning has come.

Welcome to the shortest day. The first of winter. We come in to the center and get closer, closer, closer to new birth. A new year. A new page of the records we keep.

Winter Solstice (冬至)

The shortest day, the longest night approaches. And this winter heart feels safe. Not because of safety nets and not because there is no fear, no pain. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I have dwelt in suffering, lived lives in dead valleys where neither flowers bloom nor snow covers all. Deserts of heart, of spirit, of bone. I was bleached clean in those over-warm winters without relief. Aggressive chemical washes across the muscle of my heart. I have scar tissue I will carry forever from those days. Days of youth, days of captivity, days of an unknown me.

I escaped but not to a better place. I went inland to an empire of lost dreams. And there, I felt how it feels to starve. Not because of a lack of resources, but because I craved to know. I had an inability to process need and want; I had lived a life of taking, always on the cusp — but of what? Never knowing what desire was because there always was too much.

I drifted from that into the winter white, clear blue sky of the coldest day closest to the sun. I found refuge in the frozen ground lit by  silver light from a misted over moon. I came to love the stars for what they were — pinpoints of a past I could trust. None of this earth-bound emotional rust around the edges of their nebulous forms. They were far off and for that alone, I loved them.

Sitting, long nights, staring into their light made cracks in me open up, yaw like mouths for food I didn’t have. When I looked down at myself, I found my own shed forms lying in the palms of my waiting hands. I stayed frozen, like that, a long while.

Over 20 years.

And one day thought: if I move from here, it is into known territory, coming back down into old ground. Circling round in different paths, again and again, back to myself.

These days, I come and go. And the past, I remember well because I have my own stars, burning. I sketch the shapes of my routes, plot diagrams of their arches in the sand, make maps of them in my heart. I navigate troubled waters with my finger on their ever-changing names.

You, ghost story, were one of them. A star by which I sailed once. I spent a lifetime on your surface. It was enough to learn. To know starvation and pain. To know regret and how it aches. Endless and strange.

In that wake, I became a winter heart. A lake that turned to solid ice, killing all the inhabitants. In the Spring, I thawed but only found the bones of bodies I’d once loved, no longer covered over. By summer, I watched grasses grow and get cut down. Harvest pulled everything in. I could smell the coming death in it. Come autumn, I moved away; came home. And in winter again, set you free at last. I may go cold again, but the remnant moved away long ago. Only a ghost town to freeze over now. And spirits don’t preserve so well, or so I’ve heard.

There are game-changers in my life now. Star systems, ever changing, that pull the fabric of gravity. A variation of color on black vacuum.

And by their shifting light, I sail onward.

I will learn to let everything go, eventually.

secks and pain

If I had a lover chosen by the trust of animals, I think I’d be doing better.

Me, unable to parse lies and process deceit like a scanner that incessantly skips. I skid right past obvious deceptions of those wanting nothing but to derail me. To lay me on my back, shuddering. I know, now (stupid me) that these kinds of “lovers” frequently come to me. Mean spirits full of unseeing. Unthinking biting spirits. Scared to fucking death, scraping for a breath spirits.

And I – cowering, violence steeped, prepped and ready to swallow delusion spirit – forget myself and let them all bury me alive.

Some days, I get caught on pause, stop, and wonder what world of relationships I’m living in. Wonder why some people magically just get it right, but I fall off jagged cliffs all the time.

Is it because I’m too lonely? Bodily craving for the caving in feeling of sinking into another chest, hips, clavical, backbone, spinal chord?
Because I want to sing in between the spaces that only open after vulnerability of a certain kind?
Because part of me is purely physical?

I see the world through rosy red, flushed purple-pink, dark and sweet sex-colored glasses, all the time. It’s not a statement of desire as much as a tint to the world. I can’t help it. I don’t fucking want to. I shouldn’t have to.

Some people tell jokes. Some laugh at them. Some dance and others watch. Some hug, kiss, touch. Some pass without such. I think of fucking, non-stop.

Science at some point said I shouldn’t. People used numbers or test subjects to prove that I did it wrong. In response, I only ever tried to hide myself and get along. Secret documents, stories, songs. Secret longings to give my body up. Secret love for anyone.

These are things I haven’t owned in too long.

Sex, I am convinced, is not a dirty word. And if I’ve worked it into the fabric of my soul, that isn’t wrong. It’s the disharmonic harmonies so many use to play along that haunt me. The sad choruses we create out of betrayal and lack of trust. The bad words we form on lying tongues with bitter spit. The ways in which we bend and wrench. The hearts and intents we break apart. The love we turn to dust and trample under foot.

Safety is a thing I spent most of my life far away from. Consent a whisper on other people’s tongues. Trust a word I didn’t really know.

All I had was a god I couldn’t hear who’s patience was thin and shallow.

Late in life, I learned I was a shadow ghost of other people’s violence done. The end point of a long line of wrong. And I wondered why I felt like I had bad blood. It was more true than you could have, without proof, made me believe. Now I know I am a child of suffering. A surrogate of guilt and shame. A filament through which, god I hope, healing can pass again.

Unthinkingly, in my youth — I did it wrong.
“I didn’t know” is a line that meets up to nothing. How often we pass on violence in ignorant but pretty lines. In wisdom that is hollow but sounds nice. I sounded nice my whole goddamn life. Trained by an efficient hand.

By adulthood expectations, I still had so much to learn. So far to grow. I was late coming to the light, stunted runt, cowering in the corner, pushed away from myself by others fights and cruel words that I — at a very early age — learned. I loved those words because they were power on my young tongue. Of course, I didn’t know what damage they had done.

I was violence, caged animal, ready to claw at the first sign of weakness I saw. I was desperate to get out. To breathe.

Now, fully formed knowing of a guarded past, I live life on the tight rope of unlearning bad behaviour. Positive reinforcement seems to be working. Smiles can be made of more than plastic. Truth can come in many forms. Some smooth, some barbed. Some rich in nutrients, some laced with poison from another world.

There is more than one way to be enlightened and more than one way to fall. More than one route to the peak and even more back down. More than one way to be death. More than one way to avoid it.

I am trying to be a life-loving me.

I am actively learning.

In reading, recall a faded past

I only remember how you used to sit and wait for me because I found pieces of the past on an old hard-drive of mine. I only remember how I was your wife, and you my husband because of art I never knew you made. I only recall forty-thousand words because they shine in front of me. Green on black background.

The same but different from me.

Before tiredness claimed my worked-out brain, I read old passages of mine to compare notes of an older time. Only then did I realize Asher was an asshole who never knew that change was necessary. Brandon was abandoned because Asher was rigid in a fluid world, and Venice put up with that shit instead. Venice grew too late, but Asher was a cut root. For all of them, the world ends too soon.

In other news. Old words call out current problems. You longed for strangers who could only hurt you peripherally, love you accidentally, come in contact with you unintentionally. You loved a city, and that was a poor thing to do. Cities love no-one back and it ate at you.

Asher was a mean-spirit and maybe you, in a peripheral way, saw it, too. I was busy trying to be Brandon and Venice. Neither wise nor changing over time. I was a stone in the forest, one of many my breaking down bike wheels rolled over in the dark.

Why, Portland, did you define so much about those days? And why did the life I lived in you disintegrate when your contours changed?

You are a city and I, too, never should have loved you. I should have learned your bones and travelled your veins, arteries, chambers of your heart muscle. But I never should have wanted, needed, begged for forgiveness or patience from you.

Cold concrete and drenched moss-clotted stones, you were an alien to me in this world. And I clung to your leaf dotted branches in damp autumns and cold frozen winters like a fool. You defined too much of me. But I would learn.

Ashes. A branded scar across my heart. A band of faded love around my wrist. Inky bamboo leaves stretch toward my heart but never make it. Root rot came and claimed those plants fast. But lucky for me, lotus grows best in the mud and bamboo always shoots back up. And I am alive not because of what I am but because of how far I’ve come in toward the light again. Vitamin D is made on my skin in the sun.

The solstice draws close and I am shocked the darkness is over half done. A panic attack in my body, not my brain, marks the starting of the old cycles come back again.

I remember how it felt to live with an edge of being afraid.
I’ll be okay.