does it start with a key?

Art Direction by Tom Hingston
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

There used to be a story. It was sweeping like the plains I used to drive across with my musician parents. My father would let me steer on the highway because it was so flat. The story was the road, that black line that pointed to a distance I’d never seen before. Yellow dots, cut here. Turn signals and red lights on the tail end of cars clicking their heels together three times. Windshield wipers in time with the rain. I read a lot of books, there in the back of the truck. There were never three seat-belts. When we were pulled over, I would hide. The police thought my mother was interesting for riding a motorcycle. They thought my father was charming and always looked tired. It was the driving. We were always driving.

Refrain, as a verb, asks for a pause, a holding back of intention. He was to call me today. I rang at one thirty, the day has filled up. Tomorrow, that little orange haired orphan doesn’t love you anymore. She grew up in the world of the sugar daddy. His milk is sweeter because he says he loves her and the diamonds on her wrist glitter to blind the eyes. This is the jazz refrain, that impulse to lie on top of the theme with improvisation. There used to be a story, the repetition inviolable. That’s what the word means. Hold one self back, don’t think impure thoughts. Tell the focus to go fuck itself, tell the world that everything is okay with a plastic smile glued to your lips. Learn. Rinse. Repeat.

The easy listening station at work is killing me. I find myself cringing inwardly, holding the product tags like talismans and thinking, “Anything can be endured for two hours. Anything.” Customers are a welcome distraction. They ask questions and I try my best to answer them. Try to be matter of fact about the word anal without the word retentive. My product knowledge is minimal. I don’t have any. When I listen to the other girls, that’s what everyone calls them, the other girls, no matter there’s only three of us who work in the shop and one of them’s the manager, I feel like I’m trying to learn something utterly foreign. The language they speak isn’t mine. This isn’t greek unless that’s what you’re into. The china brush is a desensitizing liquid one paints onto the underside of the head of the penis to sustain erection longer and preclude ejaculation and Leather Cleaner isn’t.

string them together

Adrian’s finally a father. Send tentative moments of nervous congratulation over to him and A.J. They’re braver than the rest of us. When Adrian first informed me at SinCity, almost six months ago, I actually began to fall and he had to catch me. Apparently that was the most popular response.

It’s Ryan‘s birthday on Monday. I had mixed up the date, thinking it was to be on Sunday, September 11th re-wiring my brain for importance. I thought about having party for the Fallen Towers, a wake for the American Empire. Very antique commiserations, a very old world celebration. Fancy dress, champagne glasses we smash in the street, a cake in the shape of a flaming airplane. A toast! Oh land of freedom, we barely had a chance to say that we’re sorry for letting you become what you did.

Out in the real world, the California Assembly has become the first state legislature in the US to pass a bill endorsing gay marriages and pictures of Katrina are finally coming on-line. Someone accused me of harping on about New Orleans the other day, claiming that I was blowing the disaster out of proportion. I have to wonder where they’re getting thier news, because I don’t think I’ve an imagination that could overstate how badly the response was handled, (ex. Hosptial closed for President visit.), even down to the simplest things:“The good news: If you’ve survived Hurricane Katrina, the government will let you register for help online. The bad news: But only if the computer you’re using is running Windows.

transmigrant‘s been posting some fabulous links on the topic, like this short clip available for download.

Carpark North has a video that sequels Human. They’re the same children who work such miracle wonders as love, only a year later. They seem so much older, the wisdom has changed into something far lonelier. I don’t like it as much, I feel it lacks the wonder that makes the first one gasp, but it’s still interesting to see. Click on Media, then Video, to watch them. Human is simply divine. Andrew found a page of films by the same director on Videos.Antville, a multiblog list where people join and post links to “cool” music videos.

As a nice segue, I’ve discovered Sigur Ros‘s new album, Takk, is available for a listen on MySpace here.

Once I thought the world turned without me. I stood still in a small bubble that was coated with my name and no one ever saw me. Now I’m recognized on the street so regularly that my friends don’t act surprised anymore. Last night after work, a tall boy approached us at a bus-stop. “I’m a struggling artist, I’ve just released my first CD.” A familiar refrain, the voice of an indie kid who might not be any good, and we don’t have any money, sorry. Mid sentence he stops, “Are you Jhayne?” Ryan laughed and part of me cursed for not knowing who he was. “We went to elementary school together. My name’s Kyle!”

I blink, this is too surreal. My memories of him are as sharp as lonely knives, I used to watch him to try and figure out how he laughed in such a world. He wore a red t-shirt with a neat band logo on it and won all the racing games in the gravel field. The brightest flame of personality in the entire grade, he’s now unrecognizable. What happened to his smile? Where’s his curly mop of hair? “You were the tallest boy in grade seven. I remember you. You were the only one who danced at our end of year dance.” I told him that I hadn’t any money, but there was an ATM at the end of the block. As we walked, he explained to Ryan how I was the weirdest girl in our entire school. “You read books, well, I suppose you still do, but you were really strange.” It occurred to me that he hasn’t seen me in about a decade but he managed to know who I was. Does that mean anything? There’s a guitar on his back, my eyes passed him over anyway. “Would it be safe to say that you were far more conservative then?” He didn’t have any change, so I bought him peanut butter cups at the 7-11 on the other end of the block, handed him his ten dollars and felt uncomfortably like I was being charitable.

We talked a little more after that and I wished him luck and promised to e-mail him. I’m wondering where this will go, what I will discover about the people who ostracized me when I was twelve. Thinking now, I miss the rare kids who talked to me. I think he’s still in touch with some. Brodie, he mentioned, a boy I knew in highschool who wasn’t that bad. Rather sane, by my accounts. He played Seymour when I played Audrey when we put on little Shop Of Horrors. Our strange plant was a cactus covered in shredded newsprint. Apparently he’s in a band now, the Living. They have gigs sometime. I hope to go.

My ghodmother was over today with her Girl. They look beautiful together like the sun and air.


1. His hair has been as long since the day I met him, a dark sweep of night shot through with starlight. I think of Samson as he hangs up the phone to pick up his plane tickets. Paper printed like money drinking miles like the liquid of lover’s kisses I’m rummaging for answers in my little head attic, colour topped but still blonde on the inside, a box of coffee creamers full to the top. How will I ever forgive myself for subsisting on so little for so long? Drips of milk, pull back the paper, there’s only so much laughter left in the reservoir. I don’t have words to fill it with, I don’t have interaction that isn’t taking me for granted. My den of thieves I kiss at night, opening my lips against those that stay closed on the matters of names and meaning. I don’t have to be chased, but the proportion of need is becoming inverse to my reasons for staying. I swore I wouldn’t do this again.


2. My life is an in-joke. If you stare at my picture long enough, I will crawl out of the screen and try to find where you hid the chocolate. I can’t help it. I like meeting people. I like taking my way in for granted. I tickle hearts and make them laugh. If I could market this, I might have a more interesting job, though mine’s plenty good enough for right now. At last I finally exist. I’ve been awhile without it. This reaction is new and my skin is too tight. Your monitor settings are wrong, they make me twitch. Got to deguass, take a shower, de-recontextualize my prescience with my passions. These shoes are made for walking, but more so are my feet. I don’t have any damned boots, they ran in the water.


3. Growing up strange, I believed that everyone had dreams of telephone poles, of the crackling pop of black wires. The piercing sound that went with them would wrap itself deep within my heart, a thin wire cry that tightened around my ankles and wrists every time my father hit my mother. Dusk a method of being, it helped me dispense with personality. Volatile lately, because I don’t know how to tell someone how to be a support beam, a stationary wall moving in love with me. Childhood never prepared me for faith, that was the story of the monster under the bed, something told only to children on the television machine. Recently, my body has changed, liquefying into a spikier shape. Last week or the week before, I broke a bottle at someone in a bar. There was a chance meeting, his suit ill-fitting. He asked me how I was, and newly holding the jagged mouth of the bottle in my right hand, I told them in a dead voice to ask me again.