from the most precious Dee:
The length about my finger. Reminding me, the ticking clock. I’m wasting time, it’s sorrowful.
So one day I see him and another day I don’t. The mental pull that tells my body what tasks, what tasks do I do now, what tasks, oh his feather and face, his body is warm, better than mine when we’re together, it. Skip, fast forward, the inside of my need is black. How shameful, this tense coil spring around my. Skip, pull on me. Want me too. Do this, believe.
How far around the palm of my hand. Open as conductivity, the electrical sound of that slap.
And every day I can’t stop thinking.
I think I love you.
It’s a good thing they can’t see inside of my head. This shift of weight, it’s guilty, heavy with barbed moments of lucidity. Memory, armor, that little touch of wet tongue to the tip of my. Skip. This devil in me bought with hurting too much, with being too old for all my age, for never getting to just relax.
The distance around my fist.
He didn’t mean to hit me. I didn’t mean to hit him. It was instinctive like the setting sun. Defend.
So I come back to this window, fascinated by unfamiliar fear. I want to be brought in from the cold, but I am terrified to pluck at the blanket. Other side of the glass, I turn and look outside, my vision crowded with every possibility. That one was a drunk, he might be dead. That one, he was ruined when I found him. That one, I was never as interesting as he was. That one, and this one, ten in all. Too far away, oh my bleeding heart. Even a child can count to ten. Even a girl like me.
I’m scared of my second paragraph.
The world gave us snow last night. It paralyzed parts of me. My creature mind went blitzing beyond compare. I wanted to drag my lovely out of bed. Look! I wanted to say. It’s snowing! Come dance with me!
It was rain by the time I opened my eyes again. Another moment lost to the dark.
The last time there was such a snow fall was just before New years two years ago. I was walking to the bus with Adrian from my first time at Rowan and Dominique’s house. He took a picture or two, but they didn’t turn out.
Work has given me extra hours today. I’m going to be working from four until eight. There were no other plans for today. I have no plans all week. It’s surreal, but let me say yes when they asked me if I could come in.
It’s not that I don’t want plans. I have been trying, but I am still somehow unable to find people.
Shane and I have been playing an odd phone tag. Congratulations, I want to say, when I pick up the phone instead of the answering machine. Mercy, I am alive and as difficult to find as you are. Poetry rolls over the line, measured as come play poker with me. I don’t know how and nor do you so maybe we can teach everyone else how not to drink so much. It was cold out. I said no but call me later. He did, but now it was too late. My turn to ring.
What the hell are you up to?
(all the real humans are hiding)
A ghost slid into bed this morning and placed a little kiss on my lips. He was cocaine pale like a stone and as smooth as if water tumbled. I frowned and turned my head, the dead are not welcome in my bed, but he was persistent. My body began to hold the smell of suicide, of unhappy older women trapped in elevators. A long way to hell, I thought. The distance between his chilly hands and the last button of my shirt. The dead are clever, they orbit the lonely like satellites. They are a constant undertow trying to drag dreams too deep, close enough for them to touch. They promise success, but deliver only the cold light of the television. And this one was trying to take off my shirt.
The other side of time, I might have let him. The static song of his seduction was soothing, calming as a technocratic lullabye. Instead I opened my eyes, reached out my hands, and tangled his wings with the wire and string of my hair. Ghosts are small, collections of mental bacteria built up over uninteresting lives. They are usually as romantic to the eye as a plain white t-shirt. Capturing them is only difficult if you believe in angels and I am too old now. All my bridges with mystery were burned a long time ago. Sitting up, I examined the glow I caught. His eyes were a building tumbling down, a video clip on constant repeat, surrounded by a halo of jasper. A city creature then, sailing his ship through history. I wonder if he regrets how he survives. The lives he must have crept into as a memory, the ambitions and aspirations he’d cruelly siphoned off paper hearts to live off. I swear they have intelligence. Some inbred understanding of language, built layer by layer as they accumulate.
she is so pretty, so pretty, yes, like I remember, oh milk, they gave me milk, like pixies, a thousand names, pale like I am now, but to live, oh pretty, fire, flame, smoulder, a lamp dying, oh to touch, rain, blood, she burns, a spoken word, glimmering, pale like crystal, her skin, give me, please, her skin like milk
There are small silver scissors next to the bed. I take them and cut the ghost from my body. It’s still whispering, wrapped in my hair, waiting to wreck the party, but quieter now. I’m beginning to be awake enough to think. I lie back in the bed and watch the steel gray dawn coming in. Last night’s phonecall was me drunkenly walking a crooked line. I remember every word he said, how he’s busy lately, how the world is spinning too fast for a visit. His absence must have been broadcasting as loudly as teenagers flirting at a check-out counter for the ghost to have found me so recklessly easy. It’s either merciful or frightening to think that the slippery sound of my heart is so enticing. Maybe I should use some of those orange pills in the cupboard.
In the kitchen I find a jar the size of a fishbowl to put my new pet into. I spit into it and punch holes into the lid with a fishing knife before dropping him in with a crumpled page from one of my favourite books. The words reverberate and the paper begins to decay softly around him as he makes a little bed. Another happy ending ruined. The idea scrapes at the embers of my ruined evening and fuels my inner annoyance at how easily I push over. If I were a better person, I would stand up for myself, pound on the stubborn shore at the ugly sea that’s been drowning me. This is what I tell myself as I pour myself a glass of water. I pop the pills and notice the ghost is glowing brighter. Feeding him with my saliva was a good idea. Keeping him around will force me to resist the urge to burn this place down.
THE AFRICAN KILLER BEE PORTRAYED IN THIS FILM BEARS ABSOLUTELY NO RELATIONSHIP TO THE INDUSTRIOUS, HARD-WORKING AMERICAN HONEY BEE TO WHICH WE ARE INDEBTED FOR POLLINATING VITAL CROPS THAT FEED OUR NATION.
I may have a new favourite piece of found music, a track to match both Emilie Simone‘s Flowers and That One Guy‘s One. Someone named Selina Martin made this, 11 Ways To Get Into The House. There are some more mp3’s for download on her site, but she does the vocals on the rest of the available music and though she’s very damned nice, she can also be very ‘girl sitting in a tavern making people feel nostalgic for love affairs they never had’, and I’m hoping that somewhere there is more music that feels like a cross between Tom Waits and Ani Defranco.
As a bonus, I’d like to toss in some gothy music I found through Warren‘s Apparat Programmes: Masochist Monkey Circus – You’re An Animal. To get a copy separate from the Programme, I tracked down the artist and groveled a bit. (Same sort of deal as when I was trying to find more from Revporl and Stuart Crozier after being sent the Dr. Thirsty.). He seems like a very nice fellow. I may have tracked down his journal as well, masochistmonkey, but I’m not sure. Only friends can reply to his posts. Even if I’m wrong, I’m leaving them added because it’s a pleasant read. I’m planning on writing him tonight to confirm, however, and to pass on word that I’m throwing his music to the internet winds.
I hung up the phone and ignored the disappointed sting in my belly. Instead, I got lost in my computer and when I looked up, it seemed like there was a wolf in my doorway. A giant gray creature with golden eyes. I considered quietly picking up the reciever and pressing redial, but I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to blink. It seemed the moment I closed my eyes was a precipice hidden in a dark green forest I could tumble down and break my sight like a bone too delicate or clumsy to ever properly set. The wolf breathed out. It stood. I heard paws heavily scraping the hallway floor. One foot swung forward, placed itself firmly on the carpet of my room. I blinked. It was gone.
On the top of something tall, I don’t remember what. It might have been a granary tower or it might have been the apex of a bridge, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I remember looking down at the sprinkle of city lights and thinking, “All of this was made. Every tiny one of a million million details was thought of by someone. There’s no where else for it to have come from. All our civilization, all our languages and ideas and music, it all came from someone. Humans are so unreal. Every emergency room in the country has a diamond tip drill for popping the vacuum when idiots shove lightbulbs into unpleasant places, and yet… those are the same people who created the infrastructure that all the rest are taking for granted. What a containment for disparity we’ve made. How beautiful all that sodium glare.”
Sometimes I’ll wake in the middle of the night, the sky still dark and broken by occasional stars strong enough to shine through to a city. My eyes are blind without my glasses, I can’t see stars, but on these rare times the darkness lets me compensate. Around me might be other people, might be only blankets. I think, “Where am I going to be?” and I feel myself leave the bed, leave my breath and body full of bones and interlocking chemicals systems and slide into the Other City, where my heart resumes beating. I have an entire life there, a place by the water, a favourite coffee shop, but I can never find it on purpose. Instead, it washes over me, into my cells like some illusive memory of being in the womb. Like when the body remains lying still on the bed, but every neuron firing tells you instead that you are weightless, floating in a fetal position, turning in warm black water.
There’s a wonderful music store on Commercial Drive that you should all become addicted to. The staff are friendly, with an admirable grasp of anything pleasantly obscure, and the selection is excellent. They sell odd little instruments in the front window and are always playing something you’ve never heard but instantly like. They’ve been doing it for at least twenty years. It’s like it was created for some warm love-story movie that left them behind when Hollywood knocked, but with less pretension. Aiden and I were caught earlier today by a sale table they had on the street. I walked away with Rickie Lee Jones and I’m still wondering if tearing myself away from the afro-european funk they had playing was the good idea I told myself it was. Already I caught myself singing it on the bus while I was reading my borrowed John Barnes. (One for the Morning Glory is now required reading, yo. Find yourself some kids and feed it to them, chapter by chapter.) There’s the reason I hardly ever go in.
I went in a couple of weeks ago, though. Second time this year. I bought a street kid some guitar strings. His name’s Cody, he’s working at Juicy Juice on the Drive now, (go support him). Ryan and I met him a few months ago, his first day in Vancouver having left him begging for change outside of Love’s Touch. When we ran into him with his newly acquired guitar, I traded it for a joint, man, and he smoked it with me too, so it’s like I traded it for only half a joint, I brushed off my gift by telling him that one-string Deep Purple is a punishable crime. It’s probably true somewhere.
edit for all of you who jumped onto messenger and asked me: I do not, in fact, remember the name of the store. It is on the block across from Beckwomans and the Santa Barbara market, (the place with the orange bags that’s a few shops down from the BBQ place that catered Jenn’s wedding and the bicycle shop), and is in between the Elizabeth Bakery and the incredibly oldschool italian cafe that goes frankly mad whenever soccer/football comes around right next to the equally brilliant bookstore and the nice little laundromat.
In the darkness I came to the mountainside. A red woman opened the door, velvet and calm, cats twining around her ankles. When I step outside of my work, if I escape early enough, and look up into the welcoming sky, the blue looks as thick as a hallucination. I think I cried in my sleep because there’s a light smeary path of leached dye running down my cheek from my right eye. Just enough tracery of purple to catch my eye in the mirror when I blindly brush my teeth. I look like a comic book character. There’s a curl of it on the back of my right hand too, where my face must have rested. A perfect curl describing the bones of my hand in Fibonacci’s most perfect sequence of gold.
I feel adrift today. For the first time in over a week, I have no plans for my evening after work. When eight o’clock ticks to, I will be rudderless. My feet will be wind upon pavement waves and wandering. It will be cold, however, so I will likely go home. Weigh the anchor in folding the laundry that has eaten my bed from under me and tidy the endless small papers that collect in slippery drifts against my furniture. There are flat surfaces here, I just need to find them again under the detritus of never being home. I would rather that when people come in, they don’t take a minute to wonder where it’s possible to sit.
Jacques and I split the money fifty/fifty, (minus Ray‘s personal donation). He broke even and I’m going to be able to pay my transit inflicted debt. I don’t know how many people came. I would guess a number around fourty. It was a room full of eccentric twenty-somethings and middle aged men, a very two dimensional look into my social life. I wonder how much they mixed. People like Chistoph and Will are likely to mingle with anyone, but so far my only word on the party was Dominique calling this morning to quickly tell me what happened after she, Rowan, Travis and Josh left the party.
There is no buzzer for 440 w Hastings, so people took turns in the cold glass atrium, watching the door. On one shift, I invited in two people off the street who seemed as if they were coming to the party. Turns out we didn’t know either of them, but they looked right. Long coats, long hair, a combined aura of geeky conversation. Another shift was twenty minutes alone, wrapped in my shawl against the chill and finishing Douglas Coupland’s Miss Wyoming until my mother came down with my brother Robin. I was glad of the relief, I didn’t want to miss Rowan playing pop songs on his accordion. It’s delightful. An entire corner of the room dissolved into laughter when they realized they were listening to Nine Inch Nails. Anyone who took photographs, I would appreciate if you would send them to me to post, (fully credited), into my flickr account.
KEEP JHAYNE FROM JHAYLE
a party of proportion
#340 – 440 west hastings
The Date: Friday, November 25th (today)
The Time: 9:00 – onward
The Goal: $300.00
The day of the party has woken up. A thick spicy thing, too crisp to cut, with a sky too dull to remember. Another average Vancouver morning. It’s warm, but it’s wet. It’s raining, but it’s held close to our wool wrapped breath. I come home and put Brian Eno and Sigur Ros on to play in an attempt to escape the abrupt mundanity of walking home in the middle of a bland Friday morning full of school kids and transit commuters with sweeping grand songs about nothing at all. It’s that kind of day. (The jury is still out on how it’s working). Part of it is that Dominique kept me out later last night than I had planned and, unfortunately, my weariness has not only continued but spread, creating a fine measurement where guilt, intention, desire, and night come together into one thing. I’m not sure how I’m going to survive tonight. My endurance will be entirely complicit with whoever comes. Mark that file UNKNOWN.
Jenn is coming over now, bringing milk to match my cereal, playing the cheerfully complimentary yang to my still yawning and starving yin. We would go out for the traditional breakfast, but we’re broke, so instead I’m providing spoons and bowls and somewhere warm and welcome. Hopefully, I will have tided enough to make a habitable space by the time she arrives. It’s difficult to clean around a sleeping ferret. It’s possible for the animal, just over a foot long, to take over the entire bed. It’s tempting to simply curl up around him, let the day turn awhile without me, and sleep until the heralding buzzer wakes me up.
If anyone is interested in helping set up for the party, please either arrive half an hour early to the venue or call Jacques on his cell phone at 604.812.1496.
It’s like waking up next to a lion. A lion who likes laughing.
The fog has been here a week now, so thick that it seems almost possible that if could just reach your hand a little farther, you could grasp handfuls of it to eat from the air. Breakfast was a small paper bag of profiteroles from the bakery next to the laundromat. Cold cream explosions draped in dark chocolate. Breakfast was walking through early morning fog, wondering at all the people who were already awake enough to be beginning their day, as if nine in the morning were entirely a normal hour. (Benn being one of them.). Now, yes, I know I used to be like that. I quite liked my nine to five. However, this does not erase the fact that my mind instinctually tells me that eight a.m. should be possibly banned by law. When the sky blushes, embarrassed to be rising so naked, then you should do it the courtesy of hiding your face in some coverlets. Otherwise, disservice and a pox on your house.
I love for the years he has on me, the time he wears so gracefully in his silver hair.
Sara came over after I and I and others went up the mountain, scared for her future. She’s searching for a purpose, just like all the other humans. We’re mammals with opposable thumbs who tell time with blood. In my more empty evenings, I would argue that meaning might be a bit beyond us. There’s people like Katie, who blows stars into being, and I know she’s as lost as the rest of us.
This was in my in-box when I got home:
I walked out, into the cold fog, and looked back.
I always have to look back.
And there she was, the Sphinx standing in the firelight, standing in her cave.
For a moment she was there and then, like grains of sand in the wind, she blew away and I realized that not only had I failed to answer correctly, I had missed the riddle.
She had lain the opium of her body upon my lap, my eyes and arms drew her into my blood, making dreams of my senses and in the reverie of my answered prayers I forgot to hear hers.
reminder: KEEP JHAYNE FROM JHAYLE -a party of proportion- #340 – 440 west hastings, Friday, November 25th, 9:00 – onward
A pleased yet raffish smile deepened the perfectly etched lines around his face, around his closed eyelids. A sigh, and he looked up into my eyes. His own were very light, a sensuous honey infused with the essence of dead cities, empty of orthodox sins, and extremely open in a sense that has nothing to do with age, but with the eternal youth of ancient things. I thought of gods, the old greek imaginings that drove women to madness. I thought of braille and souls.
I could describe him more, but I don’t know if you would recognize him walking down the street. He wears t-shirts and black pants just like everyone else. If he wore his hair unbound, then I might have a chance to let you stop, say hello, and examine him, see him for how beautiful he is under the poorly worn cover of being unexceptional. His hair is an inky explosion caught by a very clever illustrator, someone who fell in love with myths at an early age and let it reflect in every halo they ever drew. It’s exceptional. When his hair is wet, it catches in my throat and fills my lungs with the need to say that I am drowning. Maybe if you saw him in rain, drops caught like cliché jewels in his lashes, there might be a flash of recognition, a glimpse of how divine.
I feel so antique, describing a lover in terms of looks, but I am always transposing feelings, depths of emotion or dialogue, and yet so few ever know who I’m revealing, even when it’s myself. Earlier in the car, when I tugged on Andrew‘s hand and said, “Oh! I have news! Persepolis has fallen.”, he understood what I meant, but Tyler did not. “We talk in shorthand.”, Andrew explained, and it occurred to me that here I write in it. A code of association so baroque that only by reading for any length of time will meaning emerge from the tangle of references. Truthfully, I find myself most comfortable with people who can follow abstract trains of thought without effort, but I’m beginning to question if it’s fair. I’m wondering how often my privacy is misread. (Graham got the impression somehow, in spite of my practically rabid monogamy in the face of people like Dominique and Christopher, that I was promiscuous.) At times, it’s been psychotically useful, but part of why I continue to update almost daily is that I want to explain to my friends and family my keystone ties and transformations.
Matthew hated when I wrote about him but he would never tell me a decisive why. He would spin gluey reasons that would change, but always, (no matter how mutable), they were negative. I think, now, especially near the end, that he was trying to hide his whereabouts and actions from people who might possibly read this. After he came back, he attempted to expressly forbid me from mentioning that I stayed the night, and was upset when I ignored his injunction. (I still don’t know who wasn’t supposed to know this time. Last time it was Sarah. I know his wife used to drop by occasionally to catch up on things, her best friend tried to step in and defend him once from one of his first terrible injunctions against my decency before she understood what my complaint was, and there are other people. Friends, family maybe. I don’t know, they just show up on my counter and leave rare anonymous comments from IP addresses located in Perth or Sydney.) My next closest relationship, they were always delighted when they could find reference to themselves in my entries. It filled their heart, they said. Made them feel exponentially appreciated, like every letter added to their worth. My friend Wilhelm, he complains that he never appears here, that I only write about people I can hyperlink to, but I know that I put his little misdemeanors of complexity here quite often, so how else can I reply except by becoming, if only briefly, a more concise exhibitor?
We used to talk until the sun came up, a confused tangle of how a head will fit into an arm, how the angle of a bent leg will comfortably into the slant of another leg of a different shape. His bed was small enough for both of us, and it was going to eventually be summer. Visits were too rare, for they were addictively pleasant, and I fell very into liking him. His casual strength of thought, his delightful leaps of imagination. Ostensibly, I was living in another part of town, staying on charity at a friends apartment, but as it gradually becoming more intensely uncomfortable to stay there, this small room full with its tiny bed became my home. I would always feel welcome, but an imposition. When I visited, I would stand silent in the street with my terrified heart, trying to collect courage with the pebbles I would find to throw at his window in lieu of a doorbell. Once Loki the cat found me and sat purring at my ankle, almost causing me to cry. I wanted to feel safe, and it was ten feet away, and I couldn’t move. My housemate had pulled a dirty conversation on me earlier, full of tense demands, and I was so nervous of the world that just this little cat being kind to me was enough to unbalance me. When I crept in, quiet as to not wake the baby, I hoped he wouldn’t see my hands shaking.
Loki is gone now, replaced by two cats. One black and one white. The baby is gone and my lover’s switched rooms. His window is an undeniable bitch to hit with a pebble now. I tried the other night, failing, as it turned out, not because of my aim, but because we wasn’t home yet, and I worried with every stone about hitting the neighbors house on the rebound. It didn’t help that my hands were shaking again, my adrenaline screaming at me that I was being an idiot. Years pass and yet I stay the same. He claims it’s brave of me. To do something I’m scared to do because I know it’s the right action, but I’m not so sure. I’m expecting to have to apologise with impeccable courtesy for merely arriving while my heart is craving vindication, some forgiveness for the hour. If I’m scared, then I’m not being brave, am I? Being brave might be writing this down, not knowing what side of the disclosure line he stands on.
reminder: KEEP JHAYNE FROM JHAYLE -a party of proportion- #340 – 440 west hastings, Friday, November 25th, 9:00 – onward