Friday, July 27, 2012

Zombie (relapse)

It wasn't chilling, it wasn't comforting. To realize you had withdrawn from Life years ago. It was just a fact like any other. Still participating. Still helping. Even savoring. But also coasting. Aloof to the point of being uninterested. It had been long enough that you even mistook it for serenity.

You can live happily for a long time without even the desire to live. You can.

Unless that fatal moment comes when the specific monumental happiness you had given up, for which you had abandoned all hope (as the only means of moving on) rears its head. And you reach out your tentative hand. And you don't dare touch it at first, for fear of bursting it like a bubble. Then it solidifies, and your hand rests on it. (Pause. Breathe.) And so suddenly, the tar and ashes in your veins turn back to blood. And the blood turns into light. And for a horrifically glorious moment you realize what ALIVE can mean.

Then, just as you begin the ultimately presumptuous act of making plans, it backs away. Your eyes are closed. But you feel it withdraw. Just to the edge, just beyond your furthest reach, to almost. To just around the bend. To just where it was all those years ago when you decided to turn and face life head on without it rather than reach pitifully into the space between it and you. You spend a moment in denial. You tell yourself you were ready at last. It was your turn. You deserved that specific monumental happiness. Your time had come.

But no.

The denial turns to childish gouts of tears. Sobbing like an infant as you hover over the verge of acceptance again, the vision of it lingering for a moment in all your senses, you know. You know with torturous and perfect precision how it would feel, what it would be like. The full and complete comprehension of it's tender glory washes over you like searing knives of flame.

But this is not the first time. So you can stop short of craving death. Again. You know what must be done.

Slowly, because it hurts to move, you withdraw your hand. Turn in the direction of living. Face it head on. You remember it now. The first few steps are tainted with cowardice. You keep looking back, although every time you do it breaks another bone. Eventually it trains you. You move. You are moving on.

The dull ache is back. Only now you realize it never left.

And this time you know you can live to a point where carrying it feels possible. Half dead will become half alive.

It was worth it. It wasn't. You'll pay--dearly, daily. But you'll walk. This time with hope.

Hope that this will never happen again.

At last: Spinsterhood.

Good looking people make me tired. Tall good looking people especially.

It's draining to look at them. To concieve of their superior genes. To envy their charmed life. To want them.

Eradicating want doesn't make them go away.

Still (part 2)

The sun still rises and sets.

The earth still turns.

The heart still beats.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

cheyenne casebier theater review

Wanted to comment on a recent theater review, but couldn't due to Internet restrictions at the grindstone. Read it thirstily, imagining myself in the audience. (I'm always near the back. Slightly right of center. Gripping the arm rests, so as not to float out of my seat. Gone during the applause or I might never leave. ETC.)
The reviewer did not include sufficient pictures of you. And he failed to use the word "mesmerizing." He did have the sense to be named "Strangeways." And his praise was accurate, except that he somehow failed to mention how the sound of your voice makes it difficult to catch one's breath.
You'd think that would be a necessary part of a review.

We state it here.

If this forgotten corner can suffice.

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Thursday, June 02, 2011


I've tried others, but yours fits best. And yours looks best. And everybody says it's beautiful Even though they don't know what it means.

I've purchased replacements, but yours is time worn, And has a more subtle shine. And good eyes can't help but notice--And tell me what I've always, always known.

That I'm lost and lascivious, burdened and broken down, debt slapped and draped with the moth eaten blanket of screwing up everything, rat raced and in a rut, time bombed and ticking and stuck and still sticking it out.

Because I have a friend that I think of each time I look down at my hand.

Romance is such a waste.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ever Never

It will never feel ok to be apart. But it feels good to wonder about you. To send thoughts out into the pond, hoping they ripple over you, even in some small, imperceptible way.
It will never be ok that I can't contribute actively to your happiness. But it feels good to hope and pray for it all the time.
The hurt never lessens. The wound is always fresh. It can never give the sinewy satisfaction we get from scars. But that means there are poems, movies, books, and songs that will always always find their mark. Their dagger will always be clean and cut right to the heart. Art will always have more vibrancy, more power, to a nerve that is ever exposed, but somehow never dessicated by the elements.
And as there is living to do yet, so let there be life. Dwelling in possibility. Embracing that there is more unknown than known and a forever yet inconceivable.
I'll be fine.
Because I will never be ok. But I will always be at peace.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Closed Letter to _________ __________.


Only because everything is ok. Strange, right? Nothing to repair. Nothing to forgive. We are just and simply present . That established, the news of your recent arrival brought such joy. When I heard, and realized I was rejoicing—unabashed by anything—I felt it might be time.
(Speaking of time, it’s 4 am. Nick Drake is selling Volkswagons on the television. If all you ever did was introduce me to him I’d love you forever. Leaving work I’m often a little depressed. And sometimes he’s singing about the morning as I drive into the sunrise. And I breathe in deep, and fill up with some mysterious happiness, and catch my breath on the verge of mysterious happy tears for something beautiful at the edge of my peripheral vision. And all alone in my car I smile. You brought me this by saying his name. But look at me already distracted.)

Long ago you wanted closure. For whatever reason, we seemed to discover together that for us there can be no such thing. I won’t try to offer it now. But maybe a few question marks can be eliminated, and in doing so maybe a truth or two can receive its due. . .

[this section censored by authorities]

No requests. Not even hope. Except for your happiness, there is nothing I want in this world. I don’t even have to know where you are. Just that you are. And that you know.


Friday, April 02, 2010

The Future

I don't know who said it, but someone observed that two parallel lines meet, somewhere in eternity, and they believe it.

Say yes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

a gift

I have nothing to offer.
Only Love without proof. Which might not even be love.
Only a God damned useless hope.
And thought after thought after thought. A thousand thoughts a second.
A default setting in my brain.
An endless looping prayer for your happiness.
A cloud of words orbiting around a massless center.
A constant need for you that never blooms into action.
A cocoon
Around a wastrel butterfly, whose one wing is the pallid idea that parallel lines meet somewhere.

Which all adds up to nothing.
Yours all yours.
A black hole with a ribbon and bow.

Left on your porch. And again in your mailbox. Your voicemail. By carrier pigeon and internet auction. Nothing touched. Nothing real. A silence and emptiness breathed away in a split second as Nature fills the vacuum she abhors.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

You see why we love him.

"I'm Ok All By Myself"

"Now I am a Was"

"My Life is an Endless Succession of People Saying Goodbye"

"Hold on to Your Friends"

"There is a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends"

"Seasick, Yet Still Docked"

"You're the one for me, Fatty"

"Glamorous Glue"

"I Don't Mind if You Forget Me"

"Lifeguard Sleeping; Girl Drowning"

"I Have Forgiven Jesus"

"Satan Rejected My Soul"

"Trouble Loves Me"

"You Know I Couldn't Last"

"The Last of the Famous International Playboys"

"All You Need is Me"

Even if all we had were titles: Greatness.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I know.
Because what started as Just be what I want became Just be you, which evolved into Just be.

I know because the thought of you ennobles and inspires.

I know because there are only two places in my heart where hope hasn't died, and God is the other one.

I know because so much of what I wanted to believe became impossible, and I still had the strength to go on living.

Because the gaping warehouse in my heart with your name on it never really feels empty.

Because you taught without teaching, and because of you I felt beyond feeling.

Because the Universe doesn't kid around with perfection. When it happens, it is always significant.
And because the essential things in life do not require evidence of the senses. But I knew it with my senses, too.

In every way I can, I know. And Life's only real misery has come because of trying, in the foolishness and pride of my youth, to question that knowledge.

I know--because this is not an apology.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Sometimes, the song that wrote itself for you gets played with a little more power, a little more fervor. And I hang my head, and remember.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jack the Ripper (thanks to steven)

"Crash into my arms," he said "I want you." She couldn't hear over the crashing noises in her own chest. "You don't agree," he said, "but you don't refuse."
She blushed, but it was all fear. All fear. As they both savored it, he could only misinterpret the signal. He smiled, but not his smile. Now he could inject his mind into hers. He could lead her quiet from behind, whispering "I know you."

They walked the maze of alleyways, doubling back and looping, though he knew in his spine they were not being followed. He felt she enjoyed the game as much as . . . she stumbled. He broke in to cut off any tension. "And I know a place where no one is likely to pass." She didn't answer. How else to respond to his hypnotic tone? "You don't care if it's late. And you don't care if you're lost." Here was the door. Time for empathy. Always connect before moving in. "You look so tired." Then clarity: now they were inside, he could flash the smile he had held in reserve. At last. She withdrew from instinct. The fawn from the predator. But this was also the confirmation. He was unsafe, and she still thought she knew what she wanted. And she still thought this was about sex.
Her thoughts were dripping from her, he read them too easily. "But tonight you presume too much." He held her eyes. She repeated, without breathing, too much. He felt their souls connect. He stepped away from the door, to give her one more chance. Now that she knew. He didn't want a caged bird. He motioned to the door as he took of his coat. She didn't leave. But she knew. "No one knows a thing about my life," he said nonchalantly tossing his coat on the table. She nodded. "I can come and go as I please." She half smiled. I could leave too, he thought for her. But she didn't leave. Last chance. Her wide eyes ignored the door. Ignored the whole world outside it. Now it was forever. He closed his eyes for a moment, smiling, deftly putting her at ease as he savored the moment.
Then he rushed her in a flash and pinned her against the wall. Fast enough to make her gasp. With pleasure. He put his lips to hers but did not kiss her. Now. Right now. It could not be drawn out further and remain perfect. At any rate, now it was his heart crashing. Every part of him trembling. "If I can't allow you to stay . . . what if I can't allow you to leave?"

She didn't answer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Recently, my head ached until I couldn't imagine going on.  Twice.  
Like you, I never once thought of anything but living.  And loving life.  
This isn't saying much, really.  There's nothing of note or moment in a simple biological imperative.  

What beauty is there in clinging to the only thing you've got?  

Like when people talk about living for today.  As if any of us had anything else.  

 While living, we suck the marrow out with Whitman and the Soggy Bottom Boys.   That's all there is.  So . . . What?  

Do we join Poe at the end, and rejoice in that as well?  
"Thank Heaven, the crisis, the danger is past . . . the fever called 'living' is over at last!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

La La {blank}

At some point, the old songs, you damn well know which ones, float through your airspace without dropping a bowling ball on your chest and making you want to cry a river.  You thought you wanted that.  But when it happens you realize it only means you have gone numb from Time.  And you have to know that isn't necessarily a beautiful thing.  Pure emotional convenience rarely is.  
And at some point all the old books, the ones that were like land mines you left around your life, almost hoping that every time you stepped on them they would tear you to shreds, are just eloquence.  You can almost say they never applied and recommend them to inquiring acquaintances without batting an eyelash.  You call that progress.  

So you start to lose count of all the ways in which "moving on" is the ugliest, the most blatant and horrifying thing.  And necessary.  
But you can count on one finger the times you've prayed for it all to go away.  For some kind of gorgeously embroidered amnesia to descend upon the collective brain and let you live.  

One time.  

That's how you know you meant it.    

Monday, December 15, 2008

Open Letter to E____ D________ (version 13)

I want you. Here. Pouring into me, liquid glass.

Passing over and through me like the breath of Spring. Trace the outlines of your tiny frame. Nestle into you like bones in a drawer.

Wrapped around.

Not out of reach or out of touch. No more bitterness. No regret or wondering IF. No wishing songs would write themselves. No sneering twists of Fate. No cruel horizon--where the sun rises only almost, and kisses with a promise of heat. Almost. Almost.

So breathe. Be with me in God's full light. Hold, console. Brick by brick I'll make myself into an altar, and our warm blood will run together into the sand.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Everyone who has ever felt great works of art dying inside you, raise your hand.

If you have any strength left.

It drains you. That poisoned well of perceived potential that looms at the edge of your property. Wherein you fell as a child and were sadly rescued. Into whose depths you stare stupidly for hours quoting Dickinson. The echo chamber where words you might have said ring unhallowed and hollow.

You've raised your hand. But you will not be counted.

Because there is no point.

Because Art demands a sacrifice. You are unwilling, and therefore unworthy. The women of Thrace reached for your head and you said, "I'll shut up, thanks."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Coma (song)

You want mush. You don't want any talking back. A steady stream of praise is all that pleases you.

So I'll just hush. I won't put my shade on the facts. I care enough to say exactly what you want to hear.

I care enough to shut my mouth--and keep it shut.

I'll hum into my sleeve. I'll eat my hat. I care that much.

Keep the eyes bobbing. The head nodding. I don't need.

I don't need any talking back. I ate a book for lunch. I'll just hush.

I care that much.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Press Junket

The Tow Truck Driver was, by every indication, skilled and personable. He enjoyed his job and performed it with affable efficiency. Riding with him, your disabled vehicle close behind, the conversation isn't mandatory, but it does ensue with a sort of pleasant social inevitability.

Turns out he is happy. He loves his job. The pay is "shitty." There are no medical benefits. He's always being rushed from one distressed motorist to the next. But he loves it. He loves the simplicity of it. He loves helping people. His conversation reveals him to be a noble, hardworking individual. It also reveals him to be at the very apex of his potential. So he is happy.

You on the other hand fill your head with dreams, which really amount to the idea that you can do better, that you are meant for bigger. Add to that the nagging suspicion that you are not at the apex of your potential, that you are leaving something in the tank everyday. Fuel that should and could be burned pushing you to higher ground. It eats at you. Eventually, whether by pen or piano, it kills you. This is why Thom York said "Don't get any big ideas." They are, in several cases out of ten, poison.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


At first I felt I had stumbled upon something great, and mined great calm from a single notion: I discarded the idea of deserving. It felt true. Nobody deserves anything.

Good or bad, phenomena begin with a bang and end with a whimper--or vice-versa--and it is for us to deal. That's it. I stopped feeling cheated. Injustice disappeared. Neither did the good things spoil me. They just happened, and I savored them.

It worked until I couldn't run or hide from the reality that I had cheated myself.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I treasure qualities the world tells me to throw aside in favor of self preservation.  I honor covenants and am scorned by friends.  I labor for the preservation of an idea that countless voices call destitute and faded beyond worthiness.  

Work until the time and the date escape me.  Run until the air is too heavy to breathe.  Grind myself to a powder.  

For a cause.  

For the honor of steering a sinking ship.  Of being a sinking ship.  

For a dream that in the future, when all is well, a child will rise up and call my name blessed.  

And wondering if without reward I'll say the journey was worth the freight.  If somehow I make land, and the shore is barren, my smile, satisfied for having navigated the straights, will silence those who mock.  Will silence my ridiculing self.  Even if.  Even if not.  

On one hand, I cannot be other than I am.  The other: Nothing is inevitable.  Not even me.  Is that hope?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What It's Like

Like you just swallowed a live grenade.

Your emotional state is predictable. Every moment of every day can be divided into one of two categories.

Either the thing is about to explode, and every moment is thick with a nauseating, relentless expectation of disaster. The ringing phone might signal the blast. A door that opens might trigger it. If you think hard, you think, you might contain it. Concentrate it into submission. Sometimes it works for days--months even. Swallow hard and it will just keep ticking. And the nauseating sense of imminent disaster tries to convince you that it is preferable to the alternative.

Or it has just exploded, and your guts are everywhere. Dripping from the rafters. Which might just be a relief, if only your first and most persistent thought wasn't "now I have to clean this up." Which might be a relief if only it wasn't just a mess that nobody you know wants or should have to deal with. You try to smile and walk among the unmutilated as though everything was fine. You spray the mess down the drain, and the place is left clean, with an aftertaste of bleach and uselessness. Which is certainly preferable to the alternative.

If only you didn't know with absolute certainty that soon enough you'll sit back down at the table for another helping.

Friday, March 14, 2008


"You cannot compare the present experience to a past experience," someone said, "Only to a memory of the past experience, which is part of the present experience."

So on the one hand, it isn't a question of getting over it, because it is unquestionably gone. You are, in a very real sense, already over it.

On the other hand, it is unquestionably part of Now, living and breathing in one of your more vital organs. You will, in a very real sense, never get over it.

Which is why there is a difference between dealing with and getting over. One is a ridiculous conundrum. The other is something you damn well better do soon or you will continue to compromise the future experience.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

She said it went something like this

I asked Her how she knew so well what it was like. She looked distant, with those eyes, like the sherry in the glass the guest leaves.

One blessing had I--than the rest so larger to my eyes that I stopped gauging--satisfied . . .

She called it a blessing, and must have sensed my disbelief. She consented to give what, for her, amounted to an explaination.

. . . Why paradise defer--why floods be served to us in bowls--I speculate no more.

Suddenly the series of dreams, waking and otherwise, that had made me want to die, were bearable. Not quite delicious, but embraceable, maybe, at some point in the future. She had done it again. Guessing she was weary of my gushing, I didn't respond. The silence between us must have been what she'd been looking for, because she smiled.

She was unspeakably out of my reach--but she was mine.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I never followed the back of your head across the courtyard and knew the expression on your face. We never strolled into the trees and stopped time. You never came to me in the night. I wish for sleep. I welcome dreams.

I never cowed from love you offered, or cut to the end of a book I didn't know we were writing together, or waited like a fool for fantasy and reality to overlap. Others hold a candle to you. They do. Not everyone pales in comparison.

It was fair. We had our chance. There wasn't anything left in the cup we left. I don't remember every word. The taste of you leaves me. No shivering as I pass your place. No haunting. No remembering. No dull ache. No draining of blood from my face or pounding the piano with songs that write themselves for you.

There isn't only you.

You never were the love of my life.