all, prose & poetry

Past the pieces

He was a blur of faces, shapes and identities, familiar and half forgotten. His hair, dirty blonde and long, like the shy drummer she met online years ago, whose friendship she lost when they tried to become something more. His eyes and nose like the older all-american boy she knew in college, who flushed his drugs down the dorm drain one day and found Jesus in Connecticut.

His way with words and music, driven but scattered, like the teacher she had an affair with, who threw himself into every creative pursuit, as if desperately trying to draw or compose or write or fuck something out of his soul, always failing to connect that art to other people.

The way he glided out of conversations and spaces, so solid and present one moment, then gone the next, like an old roommate she had a short-lived crush on, who left a tangible, painful void when he disappeared, suddenly feeling so necessary, as though gravity itself no longer worked without his presence.

His voice, calm and thoughtful, with a touch of amusement, a bit like her former boss whom she had always aspired to sound like, and saw through the facade it was for a deeper storm of playfulness and fire within.

She thought about the endless permutations of people crossing each others’ paths, their layers of familiarity and strangeness intersecting to connect for one brief moment or a lifetime. She’d met him before, or pieces of him, liking and loving and hating them, losing them, only to come across them again on another body, in another space and another time. Their kinship happened before and would happen again.

She didn’t know what the universe wanted, throwing her past back at her in this human shape of roads taken and lessons not learned. She tried to see past the pieces she knew but never fully understood, into this abstract of a man, a stranger with a life lived and his own stories to tell of women who came and went, leaving traces of themselves in everyone he would encounter since. But the pieces of others wouldn’t part, his soul hidden safely beneath and out of reach.

“Good,” she thought. “Good.”

This was for the best. She wasn’t one to romanticize the past, painting over anger and regrets with sentimental lies and a varnish of what-ifs.

She closed her eyes and shook it off, all of it, the recognition and the memories he’d brought, the magnetism and the temptation to fall in. She centered on the now, this moment of music and fog and 2 A.M. beers and friends nearby. She let the melody take her over and danced, laughing and spinning. And when she opened her eyes again, there he was, dancing like no man she’d ever met before.

all, inspiration

As I floated 

“The liquid engineers left the pool heater on too long, and at night, chlorine vapors rose above the plant life of the planet, and I imagined my flesh, being inside the pool, being warm, being protected, feeling gravity, but able to mock it as I floated.

Would you float with me now, if I asked you, would you jump in the pool and not even bother to strip? Could I strip you down, remove your clothing and we would fall inside the water together?

It scares me.

I don’t want to lose you. I don’t imagine ever feeling this strongly about anything or anybody ever again.

This was unexpected, my soul’s connection to you.

You stole my loneliness. No one knows that I was wishing for you, a thief, to enter my house of autonomy, that I had locked my doors but my windows were open, hoping, but not believing,
you would enter.”

— Douglas Coupland, Microserfs

all, inspiration

This is how it is

The particles of bright crystals of sound permeate your body and mind from all directions. As a mass of long notes takes shape, there is a vigorous middle note, you can’t catch the melody but can perceive the richness of sounds. It links up with another mass of sounds, intermingles, unfolds, turns into a river which disappears and appears, appears and disappears.

A dark blue sun circles within an even darker moon, you hold your breath enraptured, stop breathing, reach the extremity of life. But the force of the pulsating sounds becomes stronger and stronger, lifts you up, pushes you towards a high tide, a high tide of pure spirituality.

Before your eyes, in your heart, in your body oblivious to time and space, in the continual surge of sustained noise, of reflected images in the dark sun within the dark moon, is a blast exploding exploding exploding exploding explo- explo- explo- explo- -ding -ding -ding -ding then again absolute silence. You fall into an even deeper darkness and again feel your heart pulsating, discern physical pain. The fear of death of the living body is concrete like this, the physical body you failed to abandon recovers its sensitivity…

…In the snow outside my window I see a small green frog, one eye blinking and the other wide open, unmoving, looking at me. I know this is God.

He appears just like this before me and watches to see if I will understand.

He is talking to me with his eyes by opening and closing them. When God talks to humans he doesn’t want humans to hear his voice.

And I don’t think it at all strange, it is as if it should be like this. It is as if God in fact is a frog. The intelligent round eye doesn’t so much as blink once. It is really kind that he should deign to gaze upon this wretched human being, me. His other eye opens and closes as it speaks in a language incomprehensible to humans. Whether I understand or not is not God’s concern.

There are no miracles. God is saying this, saying this to this insatiable human being, me.

Then what else is there to seek? I ask of him.

All around is silence, snow is falling soundlessly. I am surprised by this tranquility. In Heaven it is peaceful like this. And there is no joy. Joy is a side of anxiety.

Snow is falling.

I don’t know where I am at this moment, I don’t know where this realm of Heaven comes from, I look all around.

I don’t know that I don’t understand anything and still think I know everything.

Things just happen behind me and there is always a mysterious eye, so it is best for me just to pretend that I understand even if I don’t. While pretending to understand, I still don’t understand. The fact of the matter is I comprehend nothing, I understand nothing.

This is how it is.

—  Gao Xingjian, Soul Mountain

all, thoughts

Failed to open

We’re skin and bones and arteries and nerve endings, and there are thousands of warehouses and digital archives scattered across the world filled with books written on why we behave how we do, and why we get hurt and how it’s all in our heads or our souls or in our nature as a species or in one or another god’s great plan for the universe, and they’re all wrong because there’s something else that’s deeper than souls and more intricate than nerve endings and chemical imbalances and heredity and childhood traumas that makes us need things, need others, write run-on sentences and long for what we cannot name or describe. We break without it and refuse to glue back. 

But the thought that won’t leave today is that whatever clues could ever exist to questions about the origin of the Solar System, but even more so — of humanity and its infallible fragility, crashed and forever scattered into the Utah desert, among the shards of a 260 million dollar space capsule, which traveled almost one million miles to the place where the gravitational forces of the Earth and the Sun balance out and captured solar wind itself; a space capsule the parachute of which has simply failed to open.

all, prose & poetry, thoughts

Instructions for Breaking Free

Paint nail polish over your broken dreams. The heart, or what’s left of it, should be tied firmly to the rib cage. Use staples and duct tape to hold the pieces together if necessary. Wash out memories in industry-strength bleach. Throw old photos into the rinse cycle. 

Douse your soul in 2-3 liters of alcohol daily for about a week. Follow up with equal amount of tea and juices. Refrain from ingesting food throughout the process. Avoid contact with anyone capable of commenting on how thin, starved and sickly your soul has become.

Drape sexy red velvet securely over stapled, duct-taped heart, and allow beautiful strangers to cleanse your mouth with kisses and body with imaginary love. Wake up, re-adjust drapery, repeat until the velvet sticks permanently. 

Resist urges to indulge in any artistic impulses. If you must create, discard these misguided fruits immediately by fire or nuclear weapon. Resist thoughts of looking back, chopping hair, reading religious publications, lemming/virginiawoolf tendencies, and calling mom. Resist calling anyone, for that matter, as it is crucial from now on to only communicate with those who will initiate such actions. Cross out names of anyone who hadn’t done so in over two weeks. 

Substitute warm couch blankets with fresh, freezing air; rhapsodic music with silence; TV with yoga. Imagine your body as an icicle filled with frozen flowers. Turn your arms into tree branches and stand still long enough for birds to complete a nest between your fingers. Your hair is now a wind-torn spiderweb over a mountain rock. Gales and snow-storms holler among the cliffs. You are now free.