Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
I've moved and for the first time delivered a new approach: a genuine attempt to establish my life; to feel at home. There is so much to say. And a novel I am signed up to write by the end of two months. How heroic. In short, I am on my own; surviving, smiling. And I am in the midst of a new site name. I don't know if I will latch on to it or not. For whatever reason, I'm the type, that supposes a new domain will separate me from the associations of what I did and didn't accomplish here.
Monday, September 7, 2009
She moves to find, her body is not inseparable.
Surprised? There was a long way to go.
And at least she’s made it, so far.
Her thinking stills to picture something else: a late night or just later.
No one can watch without lying.
He’ll believe I own only one.
He wants to find it a bit beyond the bed’s edge.
He will wait for me to take him up.
Spiral stairs are designed for someone of distinguishable purpose.
They say you are lucky. But I would never offend you like that.
So go on, show me how it looks.
Show me what it is to have my muse wrapping her body around.
He typed Thinking of you. He sent. And he didn’t touch her on any level.
Should it have been late enough, the two may have gone to bed; planning and not planning to watch a film.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
|And It Came to Pass|
|by C. D. Wright|
This june 3 would be different Time to draw lines I've grown into the family pores and the bronchitis Even up east I get by saying goddamnit Who was that masked man I left for dead in the shadow of mt. shadow Who crumbles there Not touching anything but satin and dandelions Not laid his eyes on the likes of you Because the unconnected life is not worth living Thorntrees overtake the spot Hands appear to push back pain Because no poet's death Can be the sole author of another poet's life What will my new instrument be Just this water glass this untunable spoon Something else is out there goddamnit And I want to hear it
Monday, August 10, 2009
I sense a heaviness; writing with the light pushing down.
In so few hours, she'll have the morning, but not the motivation to ask anything I can answer, agree upon:
How'd you sleep?
It's becoming later all the time.
Next time tell me. I'll give you something to take.
I want someone to have.
There is so little difference.
To you. But for me, all I hear in the night's silence is the difference and after, its impossible repetition.
Well, sorry your night sucked. But time to get moving. We've got a party to put on.
In La Pointe Corte, Agnes Varda has 'him' say to 'her':
The first one who's had enough should leave...if their heart says so.
The heart never tells us that. The heart never gets enough. It's the mind that rebels or the body.And then she tells him at last,
I came to make noise and silence has won.At the party, I didn't want to make a speech, but when push came to shove I had to go on and do it. So I said, I'll sure try to be short and sweet. What I figured is my indifference instead was interpreted as personalization, and more embarrassing as emotion. Was this the truth? I apologized. Blamed my inconvenient nostalgia, said it is a shame. Why? Can't I be more careful, more comforting. Reach for interaction, don't let the city pull you, promise not to loose the adrenaline, but goddamnit slow down. I spoke with one man for the majority of the time. Knew it was easier being myself, than pretending Manhattan and undergraduate is a place I met people, found love. A father interrupted, So now that you have graduated you are fully pursuing modeling? What, no, I am leaving to write. But then, he brought up film and I asked him what his eldest daughter made him watch. (I despise such questions, or rather being put on the spot, but I also despise being taken for a face over my word. He brought up Bergman and call me crazy but I instantly felt safer, acknowledged accurately). See, my humility from not having done/experienced more - being greater - is why I mate in corners, divulge the panic of ambitions, lean forward curious about larger schemes. Once I resumed my conversation, last night some how found its way out of my mouth. Me and all my dreamlessness. I explained the interpretation of my last five years: the ever-evolving goodbye. It would have been hypocritical had I been defensive when he said, You are running away or are you? As if I could finally just break my seal, allow my strength to go collapsing. And I did in ways; in ways that men discover are attractive, as if they too can be listened to. I spoke about love, asked him about his own. What is the lesson in long-distance? He wanted to know how we met - and really, why the hell he wasn't around - said he, himself, sees where the interest comes from. The power of a couple, he made me think, is the fanatic self-other interest, the collapsing of a room, when the outside others are tone and the selves are musicality, an urge, a talent to honor. And this was invigorating. For whatever reason we hugged and said we enjoyed how quickly the party went by. His wife was on a book signing. She had finally come to the point of applause, of readership, of respect. But he hadn't wanted to tell me because 'why compare two stories so to speak'. I really didn't know where to go after that.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sitting in myself
Horrible, this pain and the little you know
Three years back, I spent all my time not writing
This summer has reminded me just of that
Then I had a pardonable excuse:
Those whom are in love don't write down their happiness.
dad's rebuttal: one word (coke) so we shot down Santa Monica, crashed on sand,
drank until we felt the sea came within, settling ourselves, made out black all around.
When I am "living
In love," I don't go just spelling things out.
The feeling of the first time
Seeing myself with
No bruises circling caps
Was a separate sort of arrogance
Women in love keep knees kempt
Before I was whorish
I was myself
When I was a lover
I was a writer who didn't write
(You give me meaning for once).
Monday, July 20, 2009
The story I have told, although made up,
could very well symbolize the plight
of those of us who cultivate the craft
of turning our lives into the words we write.
Here once again the memorable lips, unique and like yours.
I kept getting close to happiness and have stood in the shadow of suffering.
I have crossed the sea.
I have known many lands; I have seen one woman and two or three men.
I have loved a girl who was fair and proud, with a Spanish quietness.
I have seen the city's edge, an endless sprawl where the sun goes down
tirelessly, over and over.
I have relished many words.
I believe deeply that this is all and that I will neither see nor accomplish
I believe that my days and my nights in their poverty and their riches are
the equal of God's and of all men's.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This mind of mine is blank. I think static. Staring me down is an essay by Evan Eisenberg and Jeffrey Fisher tacked to the wall:
There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know." -Donald Rumsfeld.
I don't know whether I have been feeling anything or nothing, which very well might feel like something or another. I do know I need to be stronger for all of us. Is that because I am narcissistic; thinking I can help you, help us. Period.
Point is I have been unwinding on the web for ten years. Maybe once you're netted, your caught for good. Harhar. But really, you can't erase your identity. Can't deny posts were your feelings, is your past. So I snooped around. And on the blog that I was actually drawling in a following - praised and absolutely defaced - website dedications - images generated for pro anorexia and asked to be in a published book - well, I ended that blog with an entry about an autobiography I was having to write at the time for my first NYU class. A few of the questions which were posted (recommendations for me to cover) were as follows:
2007-03-28 03:34 am
you are an amazing writer, so inspirational. and i adore your style. my random question is (i'm hoping you can answer) what are your traveling jet-set necessities? what do you wear on the airplane? i'm just dying to know. thanks!
2007-03-28 01:05 pm
What is your background gave you the innate inspiration to go above and beyond the average person, to make you who you are today. The high goals you set for yourself, is this because of your past or just who you are?
You move from school to school and major to major, continuously creating, is this because you want more? Why? (I think it adds to your character emmensly, always creating in a range of fields) Though I see you as an AMAZING writter beyond all.
Anorexia is linked directly to the personality of an overachiever. (Like myself) Putting pressure on yourself to be perfect, and from what age...? Is there something that brought all of this on? Things that lead up to it?
Good luck :) I cant wait to read it :)
2007-03-29 12:17 am
what were you passionate about as a child? what did you want to be when you grew up? has your relationship with your twin been affected by your modeling? you are a very attractive girl and i can imagine that it must be hard for her (she is cute as well of course), knowing that you are not identical and you have had modeling jobs, to watch your struggle with anorexia when so many consider you to be gorgeous.
am does your boyfriend live in NY? if not, how is the long distance relationship going for you? do you believe he is "the one"?
2007-03-27 09:16 pm
where does your parents wealth come from? do you think it has spoiled you? do you think you would be as interested in fashion if you didn't have the funds to support it?
I only replied directly to the last user: (Once I begin forming the autobiography, I will write detailed answers). But I have to respond to part of this now. I really am not at all that interested in fashion. I am interested in how it is capable of manipulating society. If I were to work in the industry it would be as a booking agent or doing critical essays as Susan Sontag did for Vogue (for example). I wear the same thing every day. And am rather boring in my dress. I have bought clothing once in NYC and woke up the next day wanting to return most of it.
It's a hard call. My life goal is to effectuate a changed vision of one's self starting in youth. And as much as I would like to avoid visuals, I have to recognize that blogs and the media generate larger audiences when they do showcase the exterior. At the end of the day, my previous attention to such medium is why I had a following. A self-induced pressure that probably motivated me to plummet to 80 pounds. Anyway, I am going to look through files for the autobiography. I can't remember it because I hated myself and my blog for what it taught me about myself, and above all my online edited persona. But I owe my present and my future to it. I swore if I ever wrote again it would have to be different. And that difference provided me with two out of four graduate acceptances. And that initial confrontation with myself is what forced me to wake up, to bring whoever I am back to life.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I am twenty-one. At twenty-two I will escape Manhattan to examine myself in San Francisco. After no time, I will have packed my material life and begun hanging myself on vacant walls. Knowing no one will only make me conscious of writing this self. I cannot laugh aloud and alone; such monologue will darken spirit, as well as any brilliance. The opportunity to not be recognized for who I am will cause me to feel most alone, redundant, insignificant, unapproachable, misled, extinct. When asked about lifting my roots, all I can consider or rather care for is the chance to clean up my act. I am twenty-one and have never breathed anything through the nose. My luxury is carelessly scrambling beneath bed sheets and carefully cooing meaning from silence, selflessness. She, a sloth. This does not bother me nor place me in particularly high hopes. I look for concentration, not an honest hand to be held. That is the alibi; my way out. I am twenty-one and as far as now have only wished for the simple and demanded outspokenness. More travels into the girth of these legs than out of my mouth. And when I should have clung I cried, convulsed. I am twenty-one and aging, forgetting what is behind can propel forth to matter as well. I am either too stubborn or determined to protect myself. In other news, I have fallen in love.
written in flight: aspen to manhattan
“Not like anything. This morning, I couldn’t move. I sat on my bed and didn’t have a thought. It was the first time I couldn’t think at all.”
How did it feel?
“Not like anything. I may be addicted.”
“These changes change you immediately.”
“Claudelean, I’m desperate.”
Becoming concerned was a risk from the beginning. But if characters became callous, my story wouldn’t survive. The challenge was to see where we relate. And after all this time trying to be closer, it’s hard accepting that sometimes we’re not enough. I’ve considered replacing characters, but I’m afraid the story will be the same. Afraid this is how I’ll always be, thinking I could do better. Being a writer isn’t as freeing as expected, as I’d hoped. If I were different maybe I wouldn’t depend on words to feel meaningful, wouldn’t need this to imagine I’m not alone. If I wasn’t writing maybe we wouldn’t happen to meet, maybe I wouldn’t have thought we had a purpose. Here’s a secret: nothing in mind hasn’t been discovered in sense. I am not creative. What’s written is what I had, all I know. And in the end it’s because of me we’ve become this way.
I saw you (and by you I mean Gabe, but you will feel more connected if you think this is all about you) for the first time outside the city. Prospect Heights. An accent of spring sun shaded us at an angle. Six strangers sat around a picnic table gargling “mystery juice.” Others grilled portobellos barefooted in the grass, as a handful drenched relish on hot dogs till buns soaked green. I was talking, but never connecting. Engaged, but that was only how I looked. Inside I was waiting for someone to know me, to make this better. I was there to meet a friend’s boyfriend. Well, that’s what she thought. I had my own reason. I came to photograph moments I would otherwise not have; capture character, consider it my own.
Everyone was shit faced. And underneath the sound of fists banging the wooden tabletop, of wrists flinging sake bombs backwards down throats, thumbs rubbing lighters and bongs bubbling filthy water, I could hear myself more deeply. On the opposite side of the bench, you were talking about writing. You felt close, and I was curious. How did that feel knowing you’ll end, be finished? Were you concerned you’d think of something else soon? I can’t imagine. But I’m sure I meant to tell you then. And just didn’t know what would happen, how you’d take me. Anyway, you have to forgive me. There was much to consider. Being a writer. Having the story always in mind. It takes patience, perseverance. I stared, needing to know, to have the better of you in me, to see if what you wrote was worth talking about while everyone became distracted by the generosity of their limbs, appetites to bone.
I took 23 pictures of people highfiving. What were you thinking? Maybe you watched me when the camera was covering my eye and thought I’d be the perfect woman to lie down on the page. Maybe you chose me because your other character, the leading lady, turned uninspiring halfway into the novel, and now you needed a quick replacement, a rush of sensations. Really, I can’t question this if I’m going to be like you. From the beginning I’ve known, a writer’s dream is to become a novelist.
“You’re a photographer.”
“Because of tonight.”
Sure, if you say so.
“What do you want?”
“You’re leaving? It’s barely begun.”
I never said I was ready.
“Then we have some time to make this interesting.”
A bit, I hope. But in the end I want to leave with something I didn’t come with.
“Oh Kid, stay for a moment.”
I didn’t say—
“You haven’t, I know, and I’m interested. Long term, what do you want to become?”
Maybe I’m not following—Have we met?
“Do you have to ask?”
I’m Claudelean. A pleasure to meet—
“Gabe. Probably one of many trying to know you.”
This wouldn’t be the first time.
“But it sounds better if this is.”
You’ll get closer wanting.
To know me.
“And what is it you want?”
I want to become a writer.
“Because of tonight?”
From the beginning, that’s all I’ve considered.
“Well, for starters, if that’s the truth, by now you should be considering nothing.”
I don’t think—
“Good, now, do you write?”
“Well, you’re a writer already.”
It takes more than that.
“Not much. Take my word, Kid.”
Do you really consider me a kid?
“Don’t be so literal, you can tell I want you to stay.”
A bit, I hope.
“Well, if you’re going to, we’ll have to start over.”
Sure, if you say so.
“Now, what do you want?”
It took ten days to call, wanting coffee. There was a pleasure in not knowing what to think.
“Claudelean, it feels like it has taken forever to reach you.” But my voice is always just a phone call away. “What are you doing?”
Fragments toward the whole.
“Come have coffee with me. I’ll give you a plot.”
But it is the character I need.
What do you look like? I’ve forgotten. I rush by the window, unaware you are watching through the glass. You know before me how close we are; I’m not ready to meet you. The coffee shop is nearly empty, but it will fill and we will still find ourselves isolated. You notice light leaking in, as I’m framed in the doorway. This alters your complexion. And I wait, staring again, as you shift uncomfortably, touch the table, move the knife. And for an instant more, with your head down, you appear like you are not waiting or looking for me. If it weren’t for this, I’d never imagine you weren’t ready either. I forgive you. We are all self-conscious.
Have you been here long?
“No, no, not more than an instant.”
Oh god, I’m sorry. Recently, I’ve been behind on life.
“Are you unfulfilled?”
Sorry, I practically ran here. Remind me, what are we talking about?
“Your writing. Your life.”
Oh, yes yes yes, of course. But they are unrelated.
They should be. But my answer is the same. If by fulfilled you mean satisfied. Then yes, I am unfulfilled with my writing and my life.
Help me remember. How did you look? Blonde hair. More dark than light. But wouldn’t that be brown? I’ve never been attracted to blondes. So, okay, you have brown hair. Tall, yes, you are tall. Taller than I was used to, but I can get used to it. I did get used to it. Now it’s a preference. And I remember seeing your chest. Enough to make me wonder. Were you encouraging me to follow you home? I didn’t ask. I did so anyway—on my own accord.
I drank coffee. You had tea.
I thought you came for coffee.
“I came for you, Kid.”
You looked like you hadn’t expected me. Expected me to be. Candid. You were right. I didn’t expect myself to be this way either. But I changed around you. Or rather, I was more myself, which was a change and an accomplishment. You helped me stay inside. Together we communicated that and from there.
I don’t actually act like a kid, do I?
“I wouldn’t be here if you did.”
You may have nowhere else to go.
Then why haven’t you called—
“Because you’re different.”
“Would you rather I name you Angel?”
Don’t you like my name?
“Sure, but you had it when we were strangers. Now we’ve changed. And Kid is what I’ve given you.”
Fine, if that’s what you want.
“I’d like if you didn’t take this so literally. You might have some fun.”
It might be easy if you act like you want to be here.
“Oh Kid, you enjoy hearing me repeat myself.”
I forget easily.
“When we met, I told you right away, that the pleasure is all mine.”
And I thought you’d be seducing me by now.
“Kid, you’re dangerous.”
Should I be careful?
“Not around me.”
Well, I just figured since you’re an experienced man, you would use age, your appeal. You know, to get me to like you, to keep me interested. But so far this isn’t what I expected. I’m not used to being with a writer. Maybe you are only a voice. Completely unaware of your body.
“What if that’s the appeal.”
What if, Gabe. What if.
Remind me of the outside. How you appeared. Your shirt, your skin tone, even the tea you drank. I can’t remember everything that is real. Tell me anything, so the story can be more colorful. Tell me how we were together. When we met, all the talking. In the coffee shop, it seemed we had known each other always. But we knew nothing. We only felt we could, that we were learning, getting somewhere faster than usual.
I wish I could make us look different by remembering your appearance, your mannerisms. I wish I knew what to quote. But whenever someone captivates me they exist as an interior translation. A feeling that provides me with more reason than embellishment. How is it possible to show feeling? How could from a feeling, anyone read me and imagine a face—a face I am not even thinking of, for it isn’t how I remember you. It is your touch I return to every time. So is that what it is? You are unforgettable because I retained the feeling of you, which was immediately intriguing and made me forget to be impressed by your face. Remind me, what did you look like?
“The thing about life is it’s all based on perception. You and I can sit here discussing thoughts until there are no more beans to brew, but we aren’t going to change the ways of the world.”
I don’t know what to do about it.
“All you can do is tell somehow how you feel. Otherwise, you’ll remain the way they see you.”
What if I feel I think too much?
“Claudelean, what if I told you I could talk to you forever?”
And I followed you home. Wanting to know you, discover us, in another place in time. In Manhattan, one of every two apartments has a tenant that lives alone. Once we reached your room, I knew I’d come to romanticize it; the place between ideal and actuality, not where one sleeps but where two try to touch their dreams—see if what is separately thought is mutually true. I have come, we are here, and I know our reason but not what I feel about it. My body was always there. Waiting while you spoke. Touching through silence. For three weeks we kissed upside down. Mouths passing breath between bodies. The rush is unbelievable. And even more extraordinary was what we hadn’t fathomed: we could survive if we were attached and breathing the same air.
Have you ever felt lonely living here?
“People find themselves in Manhattan, so they never have to feel lonely again.”
“I like to think so.”
“Oh Kid, I can’t remember the date exactly. But I probably knew once I stopped changing.”
Don’t you get bored?
But there aren’t any books in your room.
“You’re here. Would you want to watch me read?”
How can you write so much? I don’t understand.
“I use my imagination.”
You make things up?
“I have to or I’ll never finish.”
You became more involved with your novel. Never letting me read it because it wasn’t good enough yet. Lying in bed, you might have seen me finding pleasure in rest. Appreciating the softness. Another skin against my body. With the night covering my eyes, you stared, admiring the image of sleep. The image of belonging to you. During those hours. You blushed, as I never imagined you would. And you’d never want to believe I wasn’t sleeping; behind veiled eyes I was awake, considering who I was to be there, what that said about you, and meant about us—then or sometime ever.
“I didn’t mean to wake—“
You didn’t. I wish you’d tell me how I am to you.
“Me too, but honest, you’re the writer.”
Not yet. Please, this means something to me.
“I wish, Kid.”
“You’re young and curious. It reminds me of how I was in the beginning.”
“Before I became concerned. Once you start, and are closer to the end, you can’t afford to have things changing.”
I don’t understand.
“Listen Kid, when your feelings change you expect the world will, too. And sometimes, it isn’t worth waiting for things to become the same. Sometimes you just have to finish, because it’s time to move on. That’s when it doesn’t matter what you want.”
I want to read your novel.
“Once it’s finished.”
When will you?
“As soon as things are perfect.”
I’d watch you write, and I’d come up with clever ideas. A few lines. How often you used the bathroom. If you ate the moment you woke. Whether you napped on your side. Asked you how it felt sleeping on your stomach.
Were you able to breathe?
“Of course, or I wouldn’t do it.”
I wrote that down, too. Notes and notes. You taught me the time it takes to build a character.
Tell me who you were.
“But I’m not that way.”
You’re missing the point. You are this way because of then.
“I’ve told you everything. I guess it isn’t what you want to know.”
Was the truth that avoidable? One day, you said it made you nervous, that you were becoming self-conscious. But you told me to write with my heart, I didn’t understand how this was different.
I just want to do everything I can to make sure my memory is accurate.
“What memory? Nothing is going anywhere.”
Gabe, I’ve always told you how easily I forget.
The silence was suffocating. Our relationship depended upon what we offered. We were our words, just as you had said at the coffee shop. And each time you left me curious, I felt you were depriving me of meaning, that you were holding me back from what I wanted. You knew I was there to talk. Of course, I didn’t expect us to when we were writing, but you didn’t seem even interested in that.
When we kissed I could no longer feel your lips; our tongues didn’t try. I couldn’t remember why I was there. What made me stay? Did we share all our thoughts and now we didn’t speak because we feared we’d sound repetitious? Seven times during one week, you entered me and I could tell we both knew you were feeling my inside, how warm I am there, while I was only experiencing your outer shell, your unbearable weight. Four nights in a row, I watched the sky become ruby at four. And always wondered whether you liked it better blue. I can’t imagine you could.
“If you could change anything about me—“
“What would it be?”
Your eyes. I like green eyes.
“That’s terrible, Kid”
Teaches you not to ask superficial questions.
“But really, my eyes, you don’t like them?”
What about me?
“I love yours.”
But what would you change?
“How you never became a photographer.”
I said that wouldn’t last.
“Kid, will you remember me when you’re gone?”
I’m not leaving.
“That’s what they all say. You already are going.”
Who is they?
“All of us.”
The night before I left, you asked if I missed you. I said I am always nostalgic. And you asked me to come to bed. We touched each other for the last time. The night was too black. I was afraid. Afraid I finally found time would never help us relate, never relieve the difference. I thought of what had happened. How we fell in and fell out. How love is a story I would never be able to tell. It rushes past. I tried, but maybe I had written down too many thoughts. Maybe I had tried to remember the details and forgotten to isolate the feelings. Thinking nothing had changed, you breathed easily through your dreams. In boredom, I drew an arrow from your navel down, pointing through curls of hair, and wrote, “He’s my only concern.”
In the morning, I woke practically thrown from bed.
“What’s this about?”
I couldn’t sleep. I was restless. I didn’t mean it.
“Of course you did or you wouldn’t have written it.”
Gabe, it’ll come right off. I promise.
It’s permanent, Claudelean. This is all so goddamn permanent.”
And you threw the sharpie against the wall. I left, never really looking back. When I was on my way, I had to keep moving. Two days went by. Ten days went by. I drank tea at the coffee shop. Wrote some lines. Fragments, which made it possible to select my story and turn it into a memory that was bearable if I am ever tempted to remind myself.
On the 22nd day, you called.
“I told you you would leave.”
I did what you wanted.
“I have to see you.”
I can’t, I’m writing.
“You always are, but you still haven’t started your story.”
It’s coming along.
“Barely. Claudelean, please see me. I’ll give you your story.”
But it is the climax I need.
This time you were waiting for me when I walked in. You were wearing all white with red high-tops. Two mugs of coffee were on the table. I have no idea why were behaving this way.
What’s going on?
“Can’t I get a hello first?”
Hi. What’s up?
“How are you? What have you been doing?”
Writing, sleeping around, writing. You know me, the usual. Why, what’s up?
“You’ve slept with someone else?”
If I want to, I can, right?
“How does it feel?”
Erotic. Distanced. Unattainable. Poorly evoked.
It’s fine for now. What’s this all about?
“I’ve just been alone all day. I was alone yesterday, too. And the day before that and the—well—since you left, I’ve just kind of been hanging out. Trying to finish my novel. I was so close to being done. But now all I can think about is how lonely I am.”
What does it feel like?
“Impossible to describe. Like nothing I have ever known.”
Maybe you should be seeing someone.
“I want you back.”
No, I mean, someone professional. Therapy. You even look different.
“Nah, it’s all artificial. Real egocentric. You know, I’ve never liked talking about myself.”
Maybe it will help.
“Being alone won’t make any of this better.”
Well, tell me then, what happened this morning?
“I couldn’t move. I sat on my bed and didn’t have a thought. It was the first time I couldn’t think at all.”
How did it feel?
“Not like anything. I may be addicted.”
“These changes change you immediately.”
"Claudelean, I’m desperate.”
"I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me" -In a Lonely Place, filmed by Nicholas Ray.
* Envisioned after an afternoon and a night with a writer and an actor. Somehow I can only hope this doubles as a thank you for advancing perspective, for adding to the Manhattan experience and - in nature of the roles - depth to the moment.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
We were in early June when he asked.
Well, what are you looking for?
Without depth, darkness isn't imaginable. In me there is feeling only.
slept through then and now.
Afraid I've waited to inhale. Afraid I will always be waiting on myself.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I haven't brought anything to this website, I know. Nothing I can claim - and at best consider - progressive, beneficial, informative, revealing, substantial. Not like I thought, imagined, expected, hoped I would. May and June have left me. And I have forgotten, and I have felt. Time has been here for me to use, but I haven't been able to take it at my advantage. Repetitive voices advising: "Live now, work later, write in the Fall." But what if I forget by then? The story will be different. Less rich, less labyrinthian. (I will retreat to bad habits when I need to delve deeper, be honest, be crude, so even I as reader am shocked by the sincerity. Design less, clarify more). Already, I have forgotten... What he said, why it got me thinking, how his perspective made me see I could be devoted. And those are revelations that need to be captured when they are raw, unmediated. When me, an ever evolving character, is callow, desperate, resistant, horribly paradoxical, sickened and heavy-hearted with elation. Sitting in Yankee stadium on Graduation day, I promised myself that if I could not write nor read the story of another then at least I could react to my own everyday. Worse case, I thought, I begin developing a story that follows the process of falling in love, breaking free of the interior security blanket, the fear of finally living, the panic of happiness, the body's reaction to sex at this level, the emotional upheaval of falling and never wanting to hurt, the plague of moving and having to say goodbye to one more, the one that for the first time I am trying to give myself to even though I have my calling for privacy, even though I/you have our past, my future, and the present which he will come to see me in, see me as, and want me despite of. I think about the beginning, a few months ago, before he was really around me. How he said I am the happiest girl he knows, everyday, smiling, never not. I listened, denying the factuality of his observations, feeling my happiness is circumstantial. And now knowing in this past month or so we have been close, never without, overwhelmed by the effort to be closer and that he has seen me cry after two years of a dry spell, has watched me lash out, change moods, purposefully be unlikable, vague, uncommunicative. Well...
Saturday, June 27, 2009
i drove home, i drove backward. this wouldn’t be my first time trying to peel the day away, achieve clarity on the likelihood of tomorrow. so they say this is her problem. i go grabbing for air with nails. forget i need hips to make a hula hoop spin. i had no time for jokes, small talk. six hours, one of them was counting, then she’ll be gone. i spent “extra” time thinking of men, few that have, and are, creating a changed me. tease a tongue into the mouth, and the kissed wake hungover with nerves. so the sought after always is comparing sense to sex, scraping the dream from her eye. while the lover stays, focusing on film. although ask and he’ll talk about patience, his flexibility as a grown man. we women are expected to thank him. after all how many times has our difficulty been topic for conversation. this means they like us, are thinking. and, of course, their nature isn’t to dehumanize anyone. men need our emotion to blame theirs on. projection!, the transparency. see they love all this feeling, wait around for all that touching coming after. he said i love you when i was in his arms. said i love you as i thought to pull away. said i love you when we had nowhere to go. it was obvious how different we are when i told him he is the best. and i am sure he knew better, recognizing my response did not reflect my reaction. what should have been said? what is it i want? i drove home, i drove backward. and thought of him, how once we separated we were able to quit smoking cigarettes.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Now Grace he said, you must do better than that, we made a bargain.
Yes Sir, I said. But I cannot think of anything.
Then let us discuss the weather, he said; you must have some observations to make on it, since that is the way everyone else begins.
I smiled at that, but I was just as shy.Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, p 67.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
BEING CRAZY IS NOISY
By John Sterns
John Sterns is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (a co-diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), chronic depression and chronic anxiety. He describes a lifetime of fighting demons ...
Special to MORE INTELLIGENT LIFE
I. I hear voices (“auditory hallucinations”, technically). They come from all directions and fill my mind with hateful, self-destructive demands. One comes from above the crown of my head and commands, “You must die”. Another rests on my left shoulder and says, “You should be dead”. A third whispers insidiously into my left ear, “Kill yourself”.
But the most persistent and long-standing of my voices, which began when I was eight years old, pounds on my left shoulder like a jackhammer, repeating, “I hate myself. I hate myself. I hate myself. I hate myself. I hate myself. I hate myself. I hate myself. I hate myself.” It never ends. My response to this particular voice was to develop a permanent cringe in my right shoulder. I am now spending thousands of dollars to correct compressed discs in my neck that have caused me chronic pain for nearly 30 years.
Before my treatment, hospitalisations and incarcerations, these voices were all separate and distinct, with individual sounds, tones, rhythms and pitches. Now they are one voice--my voice. Once a chorus, they have become a soloist, though attacking me with the same message. Treatment has meant that I have finally found a “self”, a “me”, after four decades. But the me I’ve discovered is now my enemy.
II. Not all voices are demonic. I once met a man who heard happy voices. I was walking down the hall of the locked ward in the hospital’s inpatient facility (“Club Head”, we called it) and a young man with dark curly hair approached me, staring into space, smiling, giggling, laughing. He turned his head to whisper to someone who was obviously not there. We passed each other and I heard him chuckle and say, “That’s very funny.” I knew he wasn’t talking to me–I hadn’t said or done anything–and I knew he was psychotic (I recognised the symptoms). At dinner that night I asked my roommate about the young man. “Oh, that’s Kevin," he answered. "He hears happy voices.”
I immediately hated Kevin. I have been tormented with psychosis and delusions since I was four years old. To meet someone decades later who apparently relished the very same symptoms that have haunted me all of my life felt unfair, an abomination. I avoided Kevin. When I did run into him I wished him the worst voices--the kind that would finally push him over the edge. I wanted him to fall into the endless pit of suffering and pain where I have spent nearly every day of the last 40 years. This is wrong, I know, but I do not yet understand how to be both crazy and compassionate.
III. During one hospital stay, we were encouraged to use art to express how we felt about ourselves, our illnesses, our pasts and futures. As a child I hated art classes. I was a disaster: my chronic anxiety led to constant sweating, which caused paints, pens, crayons and coloured papers to smear my young face, hands and clothing. The result was often a sickly green-grey mess, a melted miasma. By the third grade I received a free pass from all art classes through the remainder of my school years.
Art therapy required me to sit around a table with seven other inmates and a social worker, and stare at a blank piece of paper and a torn box of broken crayons. I didn’t want to draw anything. In fact, I didn’t want to think about my illness--not my past, my present and certainly not my future. After an hour the social worker announced that art therapy was done and we had to hand in our work. I turned in my blank sheet of paper and walked to the cafeteria for lunch. I told myself I had made an existential statement. Blank was as good as it gets.
The next day brought another art therapy session and once again I turned in a blank sheet of white paper. That afternoon I was called to meet with the social worker who guarded the art therapy class.
“John,” she began ominously, “you are failing art therapy.”
I misheard her, clearly. How can one fail art therapy?
“Unless you make more of an effort,” she continued gravely, “you will not pass. You will not be released.”
The conversation was obviously over.
I returned to my bedroom and considered this exchange. Being called a failure did not surprise me. I am a failure--that I already knew. It was the "You will not be released" part that grabbed my attention. I wanted to be released. Club Head has its advantages: shelter, a bed, meals and the suspension of disbelief for all the problems I've caused, the troubles I face, and the remorse, disappoinment, disgust and fear I will feel for hurting others. But I missed my wife and son, so I resolved to make more of an effort during art therapy over the next few days.
So I draw. And draw, and draw some more. Colours fill the pages and I am the most prolific crazy art-therapy inmate ever to grace the hospital floor. Over the next two days I draw and colour geometric shapes, which I had calculated would be safely "meaningful". My favourite drawing was a rough outline of the state of Alaska that I call “All-I-Ask-Ya”. It has the city “Nome” plotted on the map.
But at the end of each class, I felt sad. The drawings meant nothing to me. I was not using art to express myself. I didn't even know what that meant.
After three days I was told that I had passed art therapy and would be moved to the open ward. A victory. I didn’t tell them that I still had auditory, visual and kinesthetic hallucinations, paranoid delusions and daily thoughts of suicide. That would mess things up.