Today I woke quite happily to a cathedral sky, arcing blue ribboned white the least white cloud. Soft veiling drifting down the aisle. Getting dressed to Beatles guitar, five songs at once, it’s suddenly the best thing I’ve ever heard. There’s sun peering down in sheets of apathy, I’m ready for a burn.
Thank you laptop for this wonderful gift, the erasing of an hours writing. That’s a fairytale I won’t get back, a love-letter that I’ll never write again, and a piece of my day lost forever. Thank you for your blessed glitch moment, I’ll treasure your plastic hide all the more sincerely.
I’ve been starting to learn how to write with a pen again. Black ink, smooth on paper. I’m finding that my script has deteriorated far more than I expected though my fingers still show the warp of writing, complete with the tell-tale nub on the middle finger of my right hand, so perfect to rest pencils on. Bill, blonde, found me here and now we are to pen-pal while I am away. I’m writing in the black book I got for the holidays as I can take it anywhere and jot with my hearts impulse without crumpling the paper as I used to with stationary. Wretched pieces of paper that I would have to work carefully to spread open. Receipts, napkins, and countless pieces of note-pad, all demolished under various inks. When I didn’t have tree-rags, I would use my clothes or an arm. I want to write while looking over water or under a tree, as if to spite the fact I’m always caught doing so on transit. Miles transcibed in fifteen lines, I’m twice shy of missing my stop for the letters now. Once I circled a thigh, only to go swimming and lose it all to poetic blur.
The ocean is as still as a stone. The sun setting douses the revealing light with the steady horizon, protecting the illusion of waves moving in such harmony as to produce no movement at all. I think of sine waves, troughs canceling out. Hard blue, it’s what I see from the window over the hotel roof, looking like a washing board, like the hair of a thirties starlet, impossibly perfectly coiffed. The science behind it, I want it.
With regards to my correspondence, I’m uncertain what to write, how to splay my words properly on a page. I think about writing of my day, my plans or even fearfully trying to tell a story, nervous because the person I’m writing to seems to know me more than they should be. It’s an odd way to follow a friendship, cherished chance meetings at drunken gamer parties. Not a safe way to judge personality development, the flowering, maturing personal semantics that create a human being, but it’s almost enough. I found out the other day that he thought my extravagance back in the day was on purpose, rather than knowing that I merely didn’t know to hide it, recovering from a childhood tease of dying strangers and hotel rooms. It made me laugh to know that, another puzzle piece to keep by me. I’m sorry I missed years of kissing him on his birthday. I’d write about that if I knew him better, if he ever told me he loved me in sobriety. I’m too young to know anything, but sometimes I think I do. I’ll assume a little bit because I dearly want to. (Fie pleasantly on your religion, lovely, but not because it’s not mine, but because you assume as well. I saw you look at me.). You’d think with the Damocles Sword of 200 readers, I would be a bit better at knowing what to say.
I wish I had a proper pen, a fountain for words to drink from. This ball-point thing doesn’t scratch the way I’m used to. Where’s the sound??
|Doctor Unheimlich has diagnosed me with
|not enough information
|purple hair, dilation of pupils, bruising, sudden metallic spots
|expensive biofeedback devices
Today I’m dreaming of going outside again. I think it’s going to happen, my set-up allows for wet now. The proper codecs were downloaded, the fitting clothes found to scrape the water from my sky-lit waterfall. Drenching waves of downpour have been occluded by practical planning and chipper music. Got to take my victories where I find them. If I make it to the city, that will be one less massacre. I put a gold sticker at the base of my throat to ward off bad luck. A reminder. Honey should not be given to infants under 14 months. I think it might clash with my lace gloves, but I can’t find a reason to care. I’m getting indolent, here in a rainy little town. The transit doesn’t want to co-operate. Terrible little PDFs that don’t like loading matched with useless information pages showing ERROR 404. One more day stuck in this white-washed box, I get on a plane and go back.
There was an earthquake, richter 8.9, there was a tsunami that shifted landmasses devastating Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. There is a rising death toll, currently counted as 52,000 and expected to climb.
Unicef, Direct Relief International, World Vision, and American Red Cross are beginning humanitarian efforts in these areas. Unicef and World Vision take cash donations for food, medical and shelter needs. Direct Relief International takes money and product donations. The American Red Cross is currently only accepting financial donations, but you can donate online or by call 1-800-HELP-NOW. Amazon is also making it easy to donate, with a cross-over with the American Red Cross.
we need to throw the right books,
(like right hooks)
by Joey Comeau
Let’s start ourselves a terrorist cell
and every time we feel like our life might be hell
instead of throwing our coins into that Self-Help well
we will write another beautiful book that won’t sell.
I’m writing a book about leaving home,
leaving bodies in ditches
I’m writing a book about making mistakes and
eating jelly sandwiches
books about apple trees
who fall in love with pretty girls
who fall in love with other trees
that have more squirrels
I’m writing a book of love poems based on my studies
half about lovers with disabilities – half about buddies
thematically I ‘spose you’ll find it a little muddy
two parts limping Audrey Hepburn – one part Al Bundy.
books about forgetting childhood
books about getting older
books about finding someone warm
because the nights are colder
Yesterday Alastair and I took on Disneyland. We drove into a compound, a small city all it’s own, blazoned with brand-name and two curved ears. The parking garages were immense maze-like things, plastered with moderne with trashcans proclaiming WASTE PLEASE on a seventies rainbow background. Everywhere there were speakers with pre-recorded helpful people, “please keeps your head, hands, arms, legs and feet inside the vehicle until it has come to a complete stop.” and again in spanish. The live miked drivers sounded incomprehensible and crackly in comparison, a darling thing when you remember that the park is ringed with private soldiers with AK47s.
In an effort to stop any rumors that Hallibrton will be the only company helping out in the rebuilding of Fallujah, the Bush administration has announced that Disney will be involved in that reconstruction as well… “We are very proud to be part of the re-construction effort in Fallujah,” stated Michael Eisner. “We will do everything we can to make Falljuah a ‘happy place’ again. We are looking into having Mickey Mouse visit not only the troops, once the fighting is over, but also visit the Iraqi homes as ell…” “We hate America but we love Mickey mouse,” stated an insurgent in Fallujah. “My kids like that new movie from Disney, what is the name of it? You know, Finding Osama? I just kid you. Finding Nemo. They love it.“
I’m trapped inside today, held inside by violent rain, serious rain, rain that would not smile at you on the bus on your way to work. Rain with a mission, rain that gusts with intent for drowning. I, being intelligent, failed to bring a coat.
I’ve got Low playing on repeat, as loud as the laptop can sing to me. The rain outside is pounding in heavy sheets of water, occasionally relenting, but not enough to let me out so I’m making cookies. Dancing in black jeans and a pink lace bra, I’m sifting the dry together to top of my voice holiday music, this is so out of place for me that I might like it today. I want to thank whomever it was what sent me this song, it’s been brightening my time stuck inside to a bell peal glow. The train rhythm especially makes me bounce, and the sweetly sung lyrics remind me of back when the holidays meant something, back before my dad lost sanity.
We lived on Grandview Highway one year, over by Boundry. A white stucco house with bright red steps, a plum tree in the back and a two story garage. It’s not there anymore, though the house down the street where the witch lived is still there and the house with the adopted kids. There was a silver flake tank underneath my window which had the most wonderful boom to it, my feet could never move silently on it, (boom-thud-boom), just tall enough to climb. I would sneak out at night and was always amazed when no-one heard me coming home. We had snow that year, heaps, enough that people still talk about it. I think I was six. It was the edge of my fathers insanity, the spring upcoming was the beginning of hell, a foster-home waited, but at the time, we didn’t know that. It was piles of shining white to build tunnels through, to ride my sled down at the park next to the highway. It was the year the elf came to the door.
I was supposed to be in bed, my parents were in the livingroom, maybe with a glass of wine. I was lying in my doorway, wrapped in my blanket, ready to dart into my room the moment they stepped toward the hallway. I couldn’t see them, but I could hear them. I was going to fall asleep there, listening to the low murmur of my family, when there was someone outside. A knock on the heavy door and my father opened it. I crept farther out into the hall to see. A man was there in green, with pointy shoes and a fluffy santa hat. It was a bit unbelievable, I was raised to be a rather adult child, and that’s when I fell asleep. I hid in my bed from my parents, who peered in to peek at me, and didn’t open my eyes until morning. Outside he had a pick-up truck full of toys and holiday goodies. If I think about this too much, I’m going to cry. It was my first real christmas, maybe my only one. We had the tree put up and presents underneath. I woke up to paper wrapped boxes and candy canes. I wonder where the pictures are.
I think now that my teacher must have signed us up for a charity. She as a wonderful woman, and I think about her sometimes. She had brown hair and the kindest smile, the only nice adult at school. I consider stopping by Renfrew Elementary and seeing if I could track her down. I don’t even remember her name.
here, have the song
When he reaches the swings, he merely stands, remembering a girl. She had flaxen hair then, an old word, but accurate. It was midnight when he met her. He was eleven, brave with scraped knees and beginning to believe he was tall. His family had just moved from another city, halfway across the world to this strange neighborhood with foreign flowers lining the walks. His father had built the set from a box brought home from Canadian Tire, the place where they were to get him a bicycle, dad said. It was a hot day, with lemonade and the famous toolkit creating the swing-set like magic from scattered bolts and bars. He had gone to bed sweaty and happy in new Star Wars pyjamas, imagining the kids he would meet.
A sound woke him, it was dark, a blue dark, heavy lit by the moon though the unfamiliar window. The sound came again, blurring oddly from his dreams of being an astronaut into reality. He sat up, kicking his covers off to crouch on his bed under the window. He put his fingers on the sill and peered out between his dirty hands to the yard below. She was there, riding the wind like the purest form of american ghost. A ribbon in her golden hair, amphetamine white kneesocks under a chequered dress, she flew, legs swinging bent then straight to the stars. It was long minutes before he could move again, before he could breath.
He’s out front that house right now, if he looked up he would see the window he watched her from. He hurts inside, thinking how he watched her until she saw him, how she climbed the trestle under his window to whisper to him, “Never tell”, before running away into the perfumed night. His mother is upstairs now, dying. Her skin has grown thin and sickness eats at her from inside. He didn’t have the heart to tell her it was christmas.
Somehow he skipped the holidays this year. No sleigh-rides up the mountain, no reindeer, no red suits or plum pudding, just silence. He’s sitting out front the house, dark shaggy hair with a green t-shirt and stained blue jeans, one hand idly picking at the blue paint peeling off the wooden steps. The rest of the building is white, an old two-bedroom house put up sometime in the seventies in that brief period when striped awnings were chic. To the side is an old swingset, rusty and disused. He looks at it, remembering how the metal would scream when children tried to pump their legs to the sky. That was years ago. It was a horrible sound, like rabbits crying. He stands, scanning the empty street. There’s no-one to see him pick his way through the uncut grass to the angular bars, the neighborhood seeming to collectively decide that this is the hour for turkey dinner in front of the T.V. He feels taken out of time as he walks in silence. He can hear the grass fold like paper under his feet and on the wind is a snatch of bluegrass from one street over, something he knows but cannot place.
My fingers have been twitching, an odd scattershot itch. I think it’s that I’ve been wanting to write. Clatter on a keyboard and let the words spill forth, it’s like the future has been building up, the descriptions piling to topple down with a tin pan clatter. I want to mention the deep appreciation I have for the fellow who painted the bukkake moneyshot graffiti on the face of the too skinny haute couture model on the Venebles Street billboard. I want to share the unbearable wingspan of the local pelicans that stunningly remind me dinosaurs existed, were real, every time they fly. There’s just been no place for writing the past few days, no time set aside for this blessed interaction of flesh and type-writer. I feel tension draining from me as I sit here, curled up in bright green with the laptop on the top of my bended knees, as if poison is being drained. It’s a new feeling, a laid out refusal to accept that I need to do this battling with apparent need. It’s always been a filler-space activity, not anything to seek out. What is the pedigree of such a thing? I’ve been stepped up from hobbiest to hack or from a frying pan into a sinking ship. I’m losing my label coherency, the slick metallic honey taste of certain words are slipping from me. I like it though I don’t know what to do with it.
Lately there’s been a lot I don’t know what to do with and I like that too. I was whored in front of me at the two parties I went to this week, before leaving. People have been arriving, situations springing full grown from the head of Zeus to challenge me and clash shields with the everyday obscurity of my everyday life. If I make it seem dramatic, it may be that it is, but only in that people fill their lives with warm theater, with kisses and muttered imprecations, with saying in the dark, “I need you”, “you make me curious”, “I thought, once, that you had died”. There’s no telling the weary from the wise on a cynical day, but that’s fine with me. Crashing desolation matched with wet comfortable silences make me happy. Signals we can’t duplicate outside out moments with that invisible non-existent fourth wall are inevitable and precious. It’s nice to have an audience with you, so you can talk about it later, though those moments stolen private are the best. I’m getting used to having a secret, but it makes me feel a little blind.
I was discussing such things with the boy yesterday as we drove back from the silliest ice-skating I’ve ever taken part in, a tiny outdoor round and round in Pershing Square, a rather seedy area of downtown Los Angeles, set to a tinny mix of Isaac Hayes and swinging hits from the fifties. The ice was so cut as to be snow, textured like skating on a river thick with leaves and ruts. In my search for the proper terms and responses, I brought up the possibilities inherent in my parallel monogamies and we promptly got lost, he pulling off the organic running freeway miles past our turn. Nails down a chalkboard conversation, the roads conspiring to lead us to nowhere, streets named after companies, Fed-Ex Lane and Tesla Road, not conveying a congenial discussion. Apparently there’s lines been drawn that I was never aware of. They still haven’t been made clear to me, but I have some hopes for further communication. All is not lost, though to some it might seem as such at first glance. We drove a ways, growing more lost with every turn, following detours where the signs petered out just as we hit focal points with our voices. Common sense has nothing to do with jealousy. There are good reasons I worry about my boy. I felt that hate-flare once a long time ago, but once was not enough to understand it. I don’t mind to share, I need to learn what the sit-com relationship desires.
So today it is christmas, the shops are shut and the traffic slowed to a treacle crawl. Another thing where I don’t know what it means. We went up on the mountain and looked down over the miniature city that is Laguna Beach. I can’t claim it was very interesting but for the scrub and teen-carved sandstone. I like evidence of humanity, names and sitting-inna-tree love vendettas left for the elements to erode into history. I’ve been cold today, maybe a little ill with the on-set of the full moon without iron in my diet. This is California, I expected a bit more of the health food fad, but as such, I’ve been missing out as well as on the pretty sunsets. Soon I’m going to assume they don’t exist in the wintertime and scuff my feet in the sand less expectantly. The birds here will make up for it, huge things and tiny. I saw a sandpiper for the first time this week, it’s little legs flashing into a blur beneath its body as it ran away from the waves. An adorable thing, nature playing with design. It’s a bit of an odd release, to understand that I know the names of these things, these odd creatures of face and form I’ve never seen before in person.