いけぶくろ (Ikebukuro) is a pond in a bag?

The moon was honey colored over the buildings of 東京 [Tokyo] tonight. As it rose, the honey dripped in between buildings and flowed down streets. It made some inhabitants happy; made others sick. For myself, it was sticky sweet all over me. But with no lips to lick it off, I only spread my arms to get  covered in confused bees. Humming their tired wings toward the wintry cold sea.

A wind blows that is neither bracing nor warm. I tie ear flaps together to get them from snapping against my neck, cheek, eyelids and lashes. So I can see the way into another wandering night.

But the moon last night, bright white and full, was a perfect guide. And tonight, it came again to hold my hand when I blew out the candle of my phone. Though that burning little box has saved my neck more than once. I can’t complain — but it was nice to be guided like a moth again.

I did not wander but came straight home, bag full of vegetables and noodles I’ve been needing for what feels like 6 days (has only been 2) to buy. 610円 buys me plenty of food to feed myself with. I am pleased to have smaller things. I always needed less, anyway. The carrots and peppers are just two more tangible reminders that the size of this city, this world feels made for me.

As I pick my route back alone from the station, time both slows down and speeds up around me. The blood of 西東京 flows, gathers, ebbs, and moves around me. But the steady pace of the moon’s rise and fall; the earth turning toward or away from the sun — these are guides I know how, at this latitude, to follow. It is dark by the time I find my door. The days were in golden light by the time I left the 学院 [school] with a crowd of others I wasn’t sure I could communicate with.

あの。。。私は幸せです。すごい。

I learn slow and careful, reading lines at home that I missed at school. I sit in my chair and count…

一二三四五六八七球十。

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10.

And so on.

くろしいです。This is difficult.

No, but: I am being strangled to death by numbers.
(Note: This is not grammatical, but a mistake I made in class.)

I spend the night half-studying, half with new faces and possible friends. The barrier is strong between us, but will it break? It can — but the question is, when? Or if.

I prepare for sleep with numbers and 円 (yen) ratting around in my head. Loose change for my dream-state to arrange. And tomorrow, I continue wandering, getting lost, and finding a grounding in things I have before touched. A spark of fire building…but to light what?

わかれません。(I don’t understand)

In the goldening of tomorrow’s trees, I will hopefully have sealed my name. If all goes as planned, which is rarely does. But then, when I turn about, I find myself in temples and shrines I did not expect with faces who find my ignorance something to be forgiven, not detested.I am eager to apologize and bow.

I know. This is not my home.

Though, I must echo so many others and admit: I wish it could be. But that is a dream to big to process in one night’s sleep. A dream to big, even for me. Instead, I set it on a ledge before wind tunnels and storm towers, and I do not look back. For what the spirits do with wishes and dreams is their own business. Mine is of the physical, temporal realm, and a conduit somewhere between it. A filament, if you will.A bulb glowing from the inside out.

I wonder who, if anyone, can feel the warmth or see the light from it.

And if: はい (yes) — then what am I lighting?

More discovery another day.
For now: おやすみなさい。(Oyasumi’nasai; goodnight.)

England, England

I am made up of pieces of everything I’ve collided with over the years. Sentences phrased in ways I’d never have said, images in colors I’d never have dreamed. Words arranged on a stack of pages I sometimes shuffle and rearrange.

What rested, seemingly stuck to the top has drifted below. Names and faces and lusts for things I kept telling myself I don’t need. But did need because the lights of those fires taught me things. But in the shuffle, the exact images always get lost.

This day’s reorganization brings to the surface a line from a book: “You do it by doing it.”

And so, I get up and I do it.
Visa paperwork. New plane tickets. Emails and phone calls to confirm information. And an alarm in a base that doesn’t exist. Two lovers who don’t love, pressed together out of fright, worry, the pressing of the night.

Tomorrow, I will likely shuffle again. And see what scraps float up and what sinks down.
Life is a never-ending shift and I love being tossed in its current. Even in the eventually I get banged up on some sharp rocks and coral. The cuts and scrapes, bruises and scars are what have always made me. I hope to gather many more.

While I do, I float in rivers and bathe in fires and swim with honus, striving just to love what life I touch. I trust canto-yokai in all their forms to protect me. And when I die, to lift my spirit back into to the current of cosmic wind.

Mahalo

Oceanside, and this language and these ceremonies are not mine. But I dwelled in them at the grace of others. I am full of gratitude.

Food was good and my belly was full and I was ready.

We talked story. We listened. We sat in a circle among cracked seashells and pebbly rainbow colored sand. We watched and moon set and voices rose in mysterious chants. Then, we joined hearts and took off.

I met with a gathering of sea spirits tonight. I backed away, thinking only — Oh no, I don’t know these ghosts. But one called to me and said to put my hand out anyway. I could not see what gift I’d received because I wasn’t supposed to yet.

Open palmed, trusting my gift was safe, I washed and beat through a white glowing light that heated a circle of us. Healing, touching, cleansing the land. My heart and chest opened, afraid to disappear, but accepting the risk and letting go.

When I opened my hand, in it laid a lock of hair. And I thought, “Who’s is this? What color? Is it black? White? Blonde?”

Truth like a white razor though my gut told me it was my own. And I knew, that sea spirit I thought I did not know had been there all along. My protector on the balcony back in Belingham. My friend among strangers here in a new land. My guide as I go, through the light, to a new land.

Friends on these shores will drum in the sun and I will be caught up in the air.

Our guide asked, “How old are you?” And later, at the end, said to me, “You have an interesting journey.”

I am accepting of all these things. Of aloha, mahalo, and ha’a. I am humbled and energized and full of a fire; this world as nothing but a star somewhere in the vastness of the universe. I burn orange and warm to white hot. I am a part of what will burn away all of the trash.

I have faith because it was returned. Proof in strands of the past that I was never alone.

Mahalo friend.
Arigato kimigo.

I will do my best to help recreate the ceremonies of the past that humanity has lost. Rebuild what our destruction has wrought. Heal what I can. Stand in the light and share it’s glow.

I will evolve. I will not forget.

No Dice

Pieces of the past drift across the moment, leafs caught in a blustery autumn wind. I watch them crackle across my view, and I am transported in a way I’m not particularly pleased about to another time.

In the phase-shift, I feel again feelings I’ve tried to shed. Shame and self-hate. Zero confidence in my ability to be anything.

I click closed the file. I am happy to have thrown away or burned my copies of those photos. My snapshots of the past inside of me are enough. I don’t want to waste any more time sifting through old me’s and old you’s.

I’ve had enough of that drug. I need to let it be and circumnavigate.
Onward to another life.

Believe whatever makes you feel better.

Legs skinny as spring twists. Toes blue-white curled around a hard, unforgiving ledge. Clipped wings, bones of shoulder blades jutting back under tight, goose-pimpled skin. Chest stretches upward, pulled by the gravity of expectation and inevitable disappointment.

The ocean waves lap far below, taunting. Spray sprinkles shattered rainbow shards through the air. The wind as it twists around jagged rocks and through snakelike holes cries in a thousand immaterial voices, “Fly.”

So you try.

And it’s a long way down, but the time it takes is a breath and a blink before the feeling of freedom is torn away by the lash and crack of the ocean in your face.

Down through a tumble in darkness confused you fall, roll over, and cannot find up. Alone in murky dark, you reach for purchase and find only your own hair and limbs to tangle about in.

You wish a spear of light from the surface would stab through the deep and grab you. Catch you, flailing fish without gills. Drag you back to air.

You are waiting, but this one gasping breath with only last so long.

The dark is closing in.

The end is coming.

And bubbles made of screams will only pop into nothing.

The universe wanted you to succeed? Were you sure you read that right?

Perhaps the universe is indifferent and we are but vibrations with painfully self-aware egos that ache to be more than we know we can be.

Or, maybe you are not drowning but swimming and the surface is but arm’s length away and you have a pretty long reach. And kick upward is all you’ve got to do. Hold your screams in to fight gravity and break through.

Why? Because the universe wants you to.

Passion of a Muse Confused

A stone has been dropped from space and fell in the center of the ocean. Ripples like echoes sound continual drumming fingers and lapping lips against my little craft. I turn my bow outward, Northeastward, and float. I do not catch wind for want of a taut sail. Is it not raised, you asked?

No. Not even rigged. Tucked safely under my arm.

The current of the ripples alone guide me from here. I will drift until I see sharks and dolphins fighting, fins flashing against moonlit water. Until I see honus tuck flippers and drift past my wandering hull. Until I see violence worth fleeing or fighting in. For the moment of adrenaline, I’m still waiting. Out on the bow now, not down in the keep. Watching wary eyes on the water for shadows, ghosts, 妖怪. When the ripples widen over the length of a body, I will know my time has come.

In my stay from the wind, I watched a carpenter bee die. It laid in the wash of the sea. Aboard a narrow craft of a feather it clung and I, the hand of fate, took it to safety of sandy dunes. There it kicked and braced, tucked wing and antenna against a black arched back, sleek and shimmering against the setting sun’s metallic light.

Some stranger called, “What are you watching?”

And I thought “death and inevitability”. But, I called nothing back. The wind stirred and I rose, turned, and continued my journey. In another few moments, I guessed, the bee’s system stopped. I watched until there was nothing to see. Nothing left to experience for me. But death still gripped the bee cold through its useless fruitless struggle.

And I thought — I am nothing but a dying bee. A boat, listing. I exist only as a thread drifting through long contemplative days of painted skies, gathering driftwood and scattered sea life husks of death and discarded feathers like organic trash. In those slow meandering journeys bounded on all sides by salt spray and decaying beaches, I am coming slowly back into my smile and my skin. Only, I don’t know what that means.

Will I shake earth and break mountain with these images being sunk like pylons into me? Will I break barriers, break rules, shatter glass castles with the echo of my words? Will I be a trim-tab on this massive vessel cutting swathes in the sea? Can I prevent our collective crash and burn? Will I be a voice harkening angelic, demonic, prophetic calls into the blackness as we fall captive to our deaths? Can I change the course of anything?

Does any single person ever? Or have our histories and mythologies lied whispers of gods to us? Is every heart, burning or not, only ever a small fish in the big sea? Nothing but the shell of a dying carpenter bee?

What difference does the answer make but to our egotistical desire to be loved, worshipped, held high?

No matter.
Admission is the first step in the matter.

And fuck it. I don’t want to dust the ground forever. I was born with vestige wings and I fucking want to fly. I’ll find my ledge and jump. “Catch me if I don’t catch air,” I’ll say, but there will be no-one there.

Either I will fall or fly. Hit ground or touch cloud.

So it goes.

gods (deny)

It just occurred to me that I’m wasting my time being obsessed with you. Glad I got the hint. I should be able to disentangle myself now.

Lust for you is like a virus and it was devouring me, but my fever broke and I’m getting over it.

And from now on, I’ll fight with teeth bared and claws razor sharp so you won’t even feel the pain as you bleed to death at my feet. I’ll spread my wings and soar on the wind to the echoing decay of your screams. And only the sky will bound me in, and only because I want it to.

But one day, I won’t need these wings and I’ll break gravity.
And I won’t need the air and I’ll break orbit.

It’s only a fucking matter of time.

Quiet Pondering

Lazy day, but I’m making plans. And searching across foam-crested waves and channels for my people.

I learned, today, why the mountains are lonely here. Crumbling and soaking in an ever-changing mist, they are forbidden. We respect the gods by not treading that delicate ground but for the hunt on which we survive.

Or once did.

But respect was bred strong and still breeds. Breathes. And as I approach the edge of a mountain littered with dead, rotting technology from a war that was not their’s and crumpled Styrofoam trash from a way of life that does not belong here — I can only step backward away and say–

“Lam’nasai. Lam’nasai. I mean you no offense,” stepping ever backward and retracing my steps all the way to another land. “I go now.”

New year, new land. New language and a new way.

There, across a stretch of ocean I have never gone, I will find myself bowing more than taking lead. Waiting more than grabbing reigns. Boldness in a different form. The lone sparrow watchful in a way that protects its own.

At the moment, my only “own” is this heart I have and this body that houses it. I will do what I can.

Delayed in writing for the sake of biking

The full moon wears a shroud of white gossamer as it hangs heavily in the sky. Big puffed up billows of cotton drift elegantly across the sky, temporarily masking the moon’s face from my searching eye but illuminating the background like flood lights in outer space aimed at aged porcelain clouds. If I reach too high and touch them, they could crack.

A walk across beach sand in the low afternoon light. The sand is opaque cream, aqua marine, sea foam green, pretty pretty princess pink, eggshell blue, and creamy tangerine. The plastic bits are brittle and they crack in between my discouraged fingertips.

Curious how the color spectrum slants heavily to shades of blue that mimic portugese-man-o-war tentacles. I spot one stretching an impressive length of sand. Two tiny ones entwined like lovers, tentacles tangled inextricably together. Another tosses and tumbles in the foam of a crashing wave and I tuck my legs out of the way.

Funny how I feared these clear bubbled drifters for so long. And the skitter-disappear movement of roaches no bigger than the size of a dime or a bit of lint. I hear they come in massive. I hear they fly. I saw one with beautiful patterns arranged like a black-white-tan mosaic on its back. Mostly, they are shadows and my eye catches them for a second before their whole being disappears. Teasing mushi. The cats come to my calling and try to hunt, but the mushi are gone.

We both stare mystified, and I recall we are cousins.
Amiges.

A coastal ride, sweeping downhill road that greets the edge of the Pacific. green mountains to one side and sandy slant into the water on the other. I climb and the slant becomes a slope becomes a cliff off which I could roll into bunched up greenery. Sleek black wave-washed rocks bathe in the lays sunrays of the day and I am suddenly on the PCH and it is not too far from here to Santa Barbara. I know that dipping hill and those rising peaks — but the ridges are the Ko’olaus are worn by rushing downpour island waterfalls, and the air is ocean tinged everywhere you go. The surfers have different style tattoos and the locals each their lunches different.

The rough pocked road with no shoulder meanders and curves into a bay that could be Bellingham in summer — August, maybe. A distant outline of an island — is it Maui? Could be Lummi or Orcas through a thick fog. And I could be riding the Chuckanuts and dropping into the Skagit instead of Waimanalo.

Funny how all the places I thought of as home feel the same.
Like I was looking for something, and for a brief moment in those places — found it.

It is good to know it is in more than one place, though. Should I feel the need, again, in some number of years, to go. I can journey where the land rises from the water and a bay curves and the rocks are slick and sea-washed. And I will be home.

Dreamcatcher

Dreaming about banging, thieves, and liars in the night. Waking to sounds that make me worry there’s murder, death and gore down below. Under my bed, copper boxes like chastity belts hide wrapped around tummies of monsters who rise from the ground.

Everything unpacked, disorderly in a big empty room. And I’m looking for tiny slips of paper that mean something bigger than just a ticket to where I’m headed next. Like I’ll lose my identity if I’ve lost them.

A hat, in sunlight, that was special and is gone.
A life, in moonlight, that was sacred and is gone. And as leaves fall dying, I lie wishing I could unravel loss like old sweaters and reweave my dreams into new brilliant patterns.

Winter will be both cold and hot on two opposite islands. One larger and one small. Volcanoes and earthquakes may shake me up. Another latitude may take away this lassitude and wake me up.

I want to keep knowing what my dreams are; how bad these nightmares are, how long the banging goes on. Not because I hope to find anything good, but only because I want to know what I’m so afraid of.

Thus far, it’s liars and thieves and people who cage metal monsters in false chastity.
What does it mean?

I’ll have to wait and see.
Tonight, I sleep and I dream again.