Summer in the City

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2:19am lying stick straight on Irene’s couch, having visited all the websites I could possibly visit. I’m finally giving in to talking to myself. On Microsoft Word. A blog is the grown up way of imagining friends: writing out thoughts (talking to yourself) via keyboard. There’s something poetic about writing in a journal, but it’s so much easier to keep up with wide-awake thoughts when each finger can type out a letter.

I keep listening for the sirens I haven’t heard all day. Walking around the Mission District I realized I do love this goddamn city no matter how sad the people make me…it’s so hard to go into the city ‘cause you wanna say, “hey, I love you” to everybody.

I was trying to get my ipod to sing me to sleep:

  1. “anthems for a seventeen year old girl”
  2. “pagan poetry”
  3. “only skin”
  4. “maps”
  5. “touch”
  6. “i don’t blame you”

A lot of people are dying right now. All the headlines read on body counts over 80. But I can’t think about that when tomorrow is Monday and everyone knows how shitty Mondays are without having to worry about deaths and the obliteration of third world countries.

I like robots. They can’t be held accountable for what they do because they’re just programmed to act that way by other entities. They lack free will so I guess that means they have it made.

It’s intolerable sometimes, being awake in the city. My eyes hurt from being tired but as soon as I’m lying in the dark all sleep flees from me. Probably goes to that place where all the left socks go. Probably where anything that we always lose goes. Everything getting comfy with newly washed socks.

I really want to fall asleep with this computer on my lap. Be found by Irene drooling on her Gama-Go robot sticker. This guy looks really chipper and I wonder where he gets all his juice. He probably plugs himself into the wall like I wish I could do. Tired? I’ll just plug myself into this wall, read a book while more juice rejuvenates me. It would be easy.

Or I can just learn to fall asleep standing up or while walking, like Tolkien’s elves.

There’s a voice singing in my ear now: “We all do what we can so we can do just one more thing. We won’t have a thing so we’ve got nothing to lose. We can all be free, maybe not with words, maybe not with a look but with your mind.”

I wish it were that easy.

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organic mechanics in three movements

Organic Mechanics in Three Movements

I.

I took my toric contact lenses

out of my finely red veined eyes

at 12:48 am this morning

after I noticed myself blinking faster than a bike light

eyes more schizophrenically red than a bike is used to

I had also begun to imagine

a passionate,

fuck-me-sideways

affair

between the eyes and the lenses

the bedroom was my skull

and the

knock

of the bedposts against plaster

was angering the neighboring brain

their suffocating,

heated embrace was causing the

thin gelatinous, alphafilcon A

– not plastic –

a substance that reminds me of the

softness of a freshly opened condom

to melt onto the upturned head

of my eye

and I got scared

who wants left over condom melted onto your eye?

So,

I took my contact lenses out

placed them in their watery saline boudoir

A few twists

to the right with my fingers

Closed both bedroom doors

Green door for the right eye

White door for the left eye

I said goodnight

Now they sleep

And when I wake them from their dreams

Their morning saliva will taste like saline.

II.

When I put my glasses on

It was 12:55 am

And before my mind could comment on the sudden refocusing of the eyes

My facial senses balked at the sudden pressure –

Nerve endings twitching

To the crossing of the bridge of my nose

The marching over my temples

I sat down in my favorite chair

In the corner

Just outside the kitchen door

Next to a window

An ashtray,

A bong,

And my dictionary

Holding my hands in a cup

To rub the backs of my books

My glasses kept slipping off my nose

Wanting to dive into my lap

Or into my book

III.

Sofia who had to take a pee break distracted me

and in turn got distracted by a house eating silver fish.

A silver fish resembles a roly-poly if it overcame its cowardice

and chose to stand up for itself,

which is to say: completely vicious.

This new breed of roly-poly,

like Sofia,

may or may not have been on mission: urinate.

Doesn’t really matter because, regardless, it was conveyed into an empty jar

that once held applesauce but now only boasts

two worn down charcoal stubs.

If it had looked up, as I imagine it would,

it would find itself scrutinized by two pairs of eyes.

One barricaded behind glass trimmed in black plastic,

the other barricaded behind fatigue and midterm stress.

Peering down onto the back of the silver fish,

my autumn cold inflicted, heat-laden breath

create droplets on the inside of the glass

before rising up to fog my glasses.

The practicality of micro-windshield wipers strikes me once again.

A pair of impaired glasses can’t stand between this cruel comedy,

Disguised in a feverish science project

who’s posing as a 9 year old kid

on a Sunday afternoon

let loose, finally, on the hot sidewalk

where a Sunday mass’s worth of fidgets

are dying to unleash its retribution on the next moving object endowed with six legs.

No, a pair of impaired glasses can’t be an obstacle,

especially when Sofia has decided to blow two

consecutive bong rips into the belly of the jar.

Pens out!

Paper ready!

New observations are to be had.

My glasses are not only fogged with my breath now

but also dense green smoke.

The silver fish runs in psychedelic patterns

on the bottom of the applesauce jar,

finally coming to rest

perched uncommonly still on the tip of the shorter charcoal stub

like Simba atop Pride Rock.

5 minutes pass.

The rabid roly-poly hasn’t moved any of its six legs.

Its antennae stand at attention.

The fog has turned my glasses

into milky shades

that shields my eyes from the white glare of the lamp.

I hold the jar up to the light

to further my soon to be extensive notes

on the proper bewildering of an arthropod

the size of a micro-windshield wiper.

I take my glasses off before the fog cools it clear in the chill 2:53 am air.

My blue fleece sweater briefly feels the damp on its fibers

before it is coated with dust pregnant with haze.

And in the early morning,

when I tip the jar out into my front yard,

only an empty street will hear my whispered apology.

[Coming Around Full Circle.]

And always in the dark of bedrooms we find each other.  We never turn the
light on
light on.

I want to illuminate the dark gloom of our secret bedroom.

I felt a soft touch on my neck, a kiss on my back
and my limbs wouldn’t hold me up,
so you laid me down instead.

The slithering sheets kissed our sticky skin.
Our soft sighs crashed like waves on wooden floors and walls.
And down the street the ocean was calling,
Calling,
but we weren’t in the mood for hearing.

So, side by side, our bodies lay like
parallel lines intertwined.

Since that one stolen season last year we lay like this in my dreams.
You never knew,
I wouldn’t tell.
Until now.

I felt you wake up in my sleep
and I could feel your breathe on my neck,
my thighs
and in my dreams I begged for you again.

With only soft sheets,
an early morning,
a fat cat,
and your fingers unfold me.

The Capitolianos’ House of Rock.

We’re all sailors in a shivering,
Smoking ship
Where the rafters serve as monkey bars
And the carpet is always stained

Shaking
Our shapeless sweaters
Settle on starkly still bones

There are two rules,
always broken
Wash your dishes,
they keep piling
Don’t smoke in the house,
always abandoned

Laughing in worn down chairs
Huddled beneath blankets that are always too small

We’ve run out
And all the beds are occupied
By groping
Fast breathing
Far reaching loves
That can’t grasp anything
But cold air and rain

And, well, maybe this cat
Who, restless,
Launches herself off couches and beds
And arms
Vainly trying to hold her still

She chases her tail
Claws our chests
Purrs into our necks

So, distractions run rampant in this house
This house
Never clean
Never abandoned
Always realized
And always missed

Reaching for another bowl
Empty yesterday’s compost into
And watch the oily colonies grow
On top of the stagnant
coffee grain stained
Water of a flooding sink

Empty green Sumi inkbottles litter tabletops
Nestling with cigarette butts
And cellophane paper
Broken pieces of charcoal
mark hands and feet
As trampled they lay smearing carpets and jeans

And in the art room
Feet and hands get bloodied
With paint
And breasts press into a free couch
While cups sail through windows
And words rocket through mouths

And all the time music pouring from every room

Competing and harmonizing
Our voices blend to sound like angels
Who’ve drank too many martinis
and imbibed too much smoke
To recount and confess
To a disowned God

Instead,
we pray to the wooden Mama Mary on the table
The goddess who rules our hearts and absent hearth

Who watches with a dead baby in her arms
How we,
her daughters her lovers,
Try to crawl back into her womb.

A cup of coffee started all of this…

…this neurotic fidgeting.

My body numbs with the pain of a thousand angry sewing needles out for revenge because I had dropped a stitch.  One stitch, that’s all it takes for the whole thing to unravel before your tired wakeful eyes.

This morning I woke up gasping for breath.  No one knows and only I can hear how my chest shakes with dry coughs in the cold mornings.

We danced in the rain today, around noon, in the Porter Quad as a tour watched hooded, carrying umbrellas.

I’m obsessed with neologisms.  Hey, sniff, you wanna bum me a square because I’m not yammed up enough to be distracted.

I have a wicked oral fixation.  My mouth doesn’t have legs but it’s always on the run.  I’m on the bound to a destination that is always realized and just as frequently forgotten.  My short term memory has gone to shit.  My ability to care has dissipated with the dust that impregnated the air just before the first cleansing rain.

Everything in sight looks much too bright and clear it’s almost blinding when you realize again how sharp everything is, how rigid the lines, how conforming the contours.  The lavender bushes can impale me if I get too close.  The smell could intoxicate me into oblivion and the next morning I’ll find myself on a cold bathroom floor, while my fingers count tiles and broken glass.

Three Images

#1. The record player skips emitting miniature sonic booms that penetrate the atmosphere of cigarette smoke, dull twilight and quiet laughter in the living room. Sofia, the eldest at 21, picks up the needle and puckering her lips sends the offensive ball of dust resting on the tip of the needle careening into some dark corner. Lennon resumes his interrupted performance as four girls, continue a lazy mind’s stroll down Abbey Road, cigarettes ever ready. Jennifer’s dyed red hair shines like blood in the light of the dim lamp as her thin artist’s fingers, ringed, carefully shuffles a deck of faery tarot cards.  Meghan, stocking feet padding on the paint-speckled carpet, begs a reading from Jennifer. The shuffling of the cards beats out the time as “Something” opens with whining guitar. Four girls chain smoking in a dark room when the beach is just down the street. The Beatles Collection on vinyl, each other’s company – a sacred space. They decide to spend another night at home.

#2. Finger on his left hand gently poking upwards toward the ceiling, Professor Neu emphasizes every point on his passionate lecture on Socrates. Tiny round spectacles cling to a hooked nose.  There is alarming volume and animation in his black eyebrows. Every nuance in speech obviously demarcated by a sudden upward jab of his eyebrows. He reads from his notes, which lulls the students into a comatose state, pens moving in hypnotized unison. Once in a while, Neu’s deep voice cracks; everyone in the room notices but no one gives any indication.

#3. Ripped jeans, white froth of fray around the hole’s edges and a white threadbare shirt cover his hunched shoulders, lifting slightly as his lips gently drag on a Camel Filter. He observes the six girls immersed in their notebooks, pens galloping on paper as fast as his smoke gallops on the air. Brow furrowed he ponders what the girls write. Boys, sadness, strangers? Do they write about him? One girl writes about his cigarette and how the sight of it sets her hands to shaking. He gets up before she can beg one of him. All she has left of an addiction is a paragraph that’s addicted to it.

Birds

The days are sharpening into long dreary halls.
No getting over or under,
trailing fingers along white walls.
The eyes that still hope for better and
the struggle, compressed sigh,
words ooze from under breath.
There is a surprise for the call
to fly.  The wings have been lost.
Do you know why?
They say female birds are bigger,
more drab. They carry so much
weight and it makes them so
bitter and so very very
sad.