November 1, 2012

LOVE (Last Objections Vanish Eventually) [Part XVIII of my "Thinking in Acronyms" series]

A lover’s face drifting across space and time. A wall of water, rippling with implications of truth.
I’m cold all the time now, winter is moving in. The dove blue of a shirt I cannot shake, don’t want to forget. Did I love blue before that moment?
I dip my hand in the water, scoop out a hollow handful and let the drops falling from my fingers tell me if I am wrong.
I’m wavering when I never used to stray. I take each stone from the path I built to walk upon and turn it over, half expecting it to crumble in my hands.
Why do people forget themselves?

Lessons have to be repeated now. As if I wasn’t listening the first time. The church bells ring and summon me to communion with myself. If in the night the light inside goes out, how will I ever make it out of the forest?

As the day gives way and yet begins again far away from here, the brittle pearls of sleep shatter on my bed frame.

The rope is ripping my hands, but no one has told me it’s alright to stop dragging my old selves around. So I sweat and bleed and cry and yet move step by step, trying to catch you and sinking deeper into the mud.

I am surrounded by quicksand. I beckon you to come, yet with every step you take your chances of reaching me dwindle. The impossibility of the road I have laid out for you sends me into a frenzied panic and I feel myself disappearing into the ground I made from contradictions.

If I can’t help myself, then how can you?

I bend and my body struggles to adjust. The knot in my neck, the strain in my knee, the numbness in my fingertips. I notice and hope it’s growing pains.

Outside my window the leaves shed their anchors and are born into the wind. For endless minutes they circle in the sky, back and forth, with joyful flutters encountering other leaves, a raindrop or a ray of sunshine, before finally settling down. I left my tree long ago, I reacted to every breeze, stayed afloat for ages and there’s no telling where I’ve been. The patterns I left in the air might spell a story or be fading disturbances of light.
Oh, to land safely in your hands.

I’m drawing circles in that wall of water with my fingertips and wonder how deep it goes and if I would find stone if I stuck my hand in deeper. Stone to break your skin and keep you out.
The picture through the water is always blurry and my circles don’t help the distortion of the liquid veil. But when the light hits my waters just right, maybe you’ll see the rainbow colors hidden in every drop.

Falling was easy, but no one told me how to prepare for the landing. Now I am waiting for the crash.

“If love’s elastic, then were we born to test its reach?”

October 31, 2012

untitled [part XVII of my "Thinking in Acronyms" series]

My door started squeaking. It, too, can’t stand the constant coming and going anymore.
I’m not Italian enough to eat pasta every day.

Seems the weather report is all that’s ever on TV. Pressure cookers in the sky, boiling eternally.

I am being stalked by the ghost of people who aren’t residents of this town.

August 31, 2010

RAIN (Rest Assured, I’m Not) [Part XVI of my "Thinking in Acronyms" series]

The same patch of road keeps tripping me up every morning. Don’t I ever learn to walk?

Fifteen minutes after it all came to a head there’s the exhale of the machines. A startling reminder of the recent past, when it all should stop in the moment.

Happiness makes me sad. All my smiles turn upside down. Like sand in an hour glass, grains of melancholy trickle into my heart and permeate the texture of my days.

The letters on the poster speak of colors the sun has long taken away. The lifeless people stare out in blue and yellow and dream of greens they haven’t seen in years.

There’s a skip in my step, a skip to avoid the sore spot inside and hide it from the world.
How am I doing? Who’s asking?

Locking up the chairs I kneel so close to the ground and all I am wants to give in to gravity, lie sprawled out on the dirty stones and let it all fall away.

Their poking rods keep pushing me on, stumbling forward, falling behind every timeline. Explosions keep hitting closer to home, people moving on, getting married, procreating, re-enacting. I’d rather see Venice in the morning.

I keep throwing hissy fits and having panic attacks. How do you think I’m doing?

If you can’t get the big pillars to hold, use the detail tacks to suspend your life thread from. Balance the tray well if you can’t balance your mood. Don’t spill the drink in your glass if you have to spill your tears at night. Clean the apartment spotless if everything else is a mess. And just if you could, remember to keep breathing.

The little pains worry me. How my elbow pops when I straighten my arm, that strain in my shoulder when I reach too far, the way my neck can’t stand sleeping on a pillow anymore, the tightness in my chest on Sunday mornings and that sore spot on my ankle from a slip on coastal rocks ten years ago.

There’s never enough time and there’s always too much of it at once. I want to stay lost in forever till yesterday comes back around. I reach across the water and all I feel is a cold, wet hand reaching back, too slippery to hold.

“Just tryin’ to get to somewhere, just end up getting by.”

May 21, 2010


I was in love with you once. I remember it as clearly as a crystal winter’s night. In the popular notion love is fuzzy and warm and consoling. My love for you chilled my very bones. I hated that I loved you from the minute I started to. Everything I ever perceived myself to be froze up while I loved you. There was no movement left, within or without; my soul was preserved in its state and couldn’t evolve while I loved you. Gelid air filled my lungs and I wandered around my own self as through an empty warehouse, my footsteps on cement floor echoing back at me, everything aglow in blue faded light. Dust gathered on the shelves I used to store my feelings on, all the boxes that held my features had been swept to the ground by your consuming nature. For the first time I realized how infinite my soul was and how deep it went. Endless corridors lay adjacent to spacious halls and boxes I hadn’t touched in years – or ever – stood around in disarray. Yet every move I made seemed unsafe, might disturb your curve and so I quickly stopped to stray. You on the other hand had found your perfect playground. You burst through the door and filled the corridors of my soul with everything you were, thoughtlessly opening boxes I could never tape back shut. And while I loved you, silently stood and watched you throw around my childhood memories and my deep contempt for stupidity, I still hated you for being who you were. So selfish and so arrogant, so convinced of your own intelligence and so reckless. I never saw you in the daylight, only saw your silhouette in the shallow gloaming of my warehouse. It was the only way I could stand to look at you at all. And yet I say I loved you. And I do because you, at least, were real and intense. You touched parts of my self no one had ever reached and with your touch gave them life and made me aware of their existence. You made an impact, you moved the boxes, you didn’t just peek into them. You rearranged and reordered and realigned me according to your taste, your knowledge and your pleasure. You put me to use when I had felt useless all my life. Suddenly I wasn’t lonely anymore, there was someone else living inside me, the voice was existent and my questions received an answer. I didn’t want the noise you made to leave me again. Just the sound of your breath next to me in bed was enough to assure me I was alive and this world not as desolate as sometimes it looks in grim daydreams we have.
You took what you needed from my warehouse, carried it around with you out there in the world, never gave some of it back. I didn’t feel like I ever gave you anything. You found all things worth taking by yourself while I just stood there and consciously observed you robbing my soul as if it was just that: a warehouse without an alarm system. You left some things behind too. Going through the boxes now I find them; scattered, useless things you didn’t need or didn’t want anymore, like your nicotine addiction. I couldn’t keep you for long. The corridors and halls seemed endless to me, but you soon found their limits, stood in front of the walls that held in my soul, and decided you needed to break through. I never fixed the hole you ripped for your escape and sunlight is now pouring into the room I kept my dignity in. I stand in it a lot, my arms crossed over my chest, and marvel at the bright whiteness of everything beyond my wall. The light is so radiant it almost becomes a corporeal force, magnetic in its power, and I wonder if one day I will step outside and leave who I was, carrying just one box to my new warehouse, the box I built from dreaming.

None of what I feel today is hindered by the memory of you. I am not bitter when I talk about my love, it left the same way it came in, sudden and without a warning. And in the end it doesn’t matter why the boxes are in different places, as long as the places are meaningful to me. That is what I am left with; I am back at square one. I assume the boxes were in purposeful places before you came and where they were defined who I was. It was a maze and I was looking for the pattern. I have to start over now, the pattern has changed, but the game is still the same. The arrangement of my boxes still says who I am. I just have to read it right, read it better than the coffee grinds left in my cup in the morning. Sometimes I am tempted to test my memory and put everything back the way it used to be, to return to delivery condition. But then I wonder if who I was before was so much better than who I am now. And how can I judge, when I hadn’t figured me out back then and I haven’t figured me out yet? And with each day I wait to convert back to Old Me, the more the memory of it fades and I stumble upon crates and cases and chests and coffers I don’t recall the proper placement for.

Every now and then I attempt to move a box, store it away on the designated shelf, attach a tag and cross-reference it in the index cabinet. I successfully hoisted the box of bashfulness onto the top shelf of the recycling rack. And the carton of cataclysm was lighter than I thought, while the canister of capability took all my capacity to even be moved an inch closer to the can-opener. And did you know that doubt simply evaporates if you lift the lid off its crate? I still don’t know why the jar of jealousy stands next to the flask of faith, but I am sure I’ll make sense of it soon. In the meantime I lavish the liquid in my ladle of language.

As of now my legs wobble with every step I take, they are new to the motion as I am new to every experience post the era of you. But like a child with every stumble I gain more confidence, hone my senses and earn my keep. Strange how nothing has changed without like it has within. I might go and buy a dust brush, see if I can’t get these hallways to shine.

October 23, 2009

SLIDE (Sentience Lures Idle Dreamers Eternally) [Part XV of my "Thinking in Acronyms" series]

In the morning my bed is crowded now. There is no room for me beside the spaces people left. I get evicted to the shower.

Foggy demons enter through the open bathroom window. They come to feed on my warmth, to suck every liquid drop from my naked body.

As their chill hits my skin I can feel them breaking me on the inside. Another cold is sure to grip me, but I don’t flinch. I want to test my strength. Come on, body, fight back!

The least I can do is take on myself and put all the rage to use. Maybe then I can shatter the invisible walls you say I build.

Always at arm’s length. The illusion of closeness carrying me safely across the waters. Grab my ankles, make me drown!

And, oh, of course, the rain of the ages! Never a day too late. My blackboard finally showing the solution, the crying sky rebels and washes the slate clean. The fleeting moment of clarity between vodka and vagary drenched in the common sea of ill-advised white lies.

I glimmer in the dark of night. You cannot meet me in the daytime. If all the days were made of night, I would be somewhere by now.

I kneel at the mess that I’ve made of the strings I attached to strangers’ hands. Some tethered and torn, most tangled and worn, I cry for the chances I’ve lost.

I take a leap of faith and crack my skull open on your shell. Now my mind is bleeding all over your freshly swept floor and sticks to the soles of your shoes. So at least you take something of me with you when you leave.

“We're all souls just trying to connect with someone, but we're all left searching on our own.”

September 7, 2009

MOVE (Mutual Obligation Validates Expectations) [Part XIV of my "Thinking in Acronyms" series]

Men outside my window are digging holes. Deeper and deeper, what are they looking for? I am thinking of joining them, following the Zen mantra to dig a hole and fill it up only when you have found your answer.

They take away my water, I wish more people would take from me.

Men inside the arena fight their battles of egos. Side by side and yet alone. The shine of the new soon wears off and I see them for who they are. Players in a game.

I strike a deal with myself every day, the pay-off is uncertain. I reward myself for not thinking about the future by indulging in the now. Let it roll up, like it always does.

Every morning I struggle for balance. The weight in the back shifts and if I don’t hold it in place, communications will break down. World in a rectangular case.

Oh, how the flood outside makes me rejoice! Without mercy the watery masses pour down, the wind whipping every drop into shape and sending it on a speedy journey down the road. The reckless thunder roaring in between the houses, no special effects necessary. And the lightning bathing the gruesome scene in ghostly white, while the man in the moon decided to extinguish his lantern.

For a second I am determined to run outside and spread my arms, letting the rain hit me with its might. Make me feel something other than this unrest.
Like always, I don’t move.

“Look at me, I’m made of wonderful. I’m all easy breath and steady walk, steady walking. But underneath I’m barely moving on.”

March 13, 2009

FADE (Fabricating Adequately Deceptive Embellishments) [Part XII of my "Thinking in Acronyms" series]

The hallway light is furious. With violent flickers it morses its complaint to the oblivious people passing underneath.

The city’s odor is ever-changing. Walking uphill I smell the burning candles on the birthday cakes of my childhood. A mixture of ashes, wax and frosting; there isn’t anything like it.
Tiny twisted towers of white and color, winding their way to the top only to get burned by the flame.

I teach myself variants of a language that was never mine to begin with.

Unsynchronized turning signals at in sync stop lights send my heart aflutter. Steady footing is rare to come by these days.

I constantly clean my windows and mirrors. Not because I want a better view, just because the glass cleaner smells like suntan lotion, a scent of better times.

I am undefined, indefinite. The jury’s still out on what my name should be.

The strings I wove around strangers’ hands to be carried out into the world are slowly wearing thinner now, my network disintegrating into distant thoughts and memories.
Soon I will be a fleeting thought on a summer’s day, of the bench we used to sit on, of the song we used to listen to, of the woods we shared our only kiss in.

A pool of sweat presents its potential to me. Twice already. Will the third time be the charm?

Don’t let me think now. Don’t let me separate truth from dreams.
Wake me gently, serve me tea and lie to me.

“There are things that drift away, like our endless, numbered days.”

March 5, 2009

"Mayakovsky" by Frank O'Hara

This is one of the best poems ever written. It grows and matures and disappoints you and lifts you up again. It is full of life and full of sense. Enjoy.



My heart's aflutter!
I am standing in the bath tub
crying. Mother, mother
who am I? If he
will just come back once
and kiss me on the face
his coarse hair brush
my temple, it's throbbing!

then I can put on my clothes
I guess, and walk the streets.


I love you. I love you,
but I'm turning to my verses
and my heart is closing
like a fist.

Words! be
sick as I am sick, swoon,
roll back your eyes, a pool,

and I'll stare down
at my wounded beauty
which at best is only a talent
for poetry.

Cannot please, cannot charm or win
what a poet!
and the clear water is thick

with bloody blows on its head.
I embraced a cloud,
but when I soared
it rained.


That's funny! there's blood on my chest
oh yes, I've been carrying bricks
what a funny place to rupture!
and now it is raining on the ailanthus
as I step out onto the window ledge
the tracks below me are smoky and
glistening with a passion for running
I leap into the leaves, green like the sea


Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.

by Frank O'Hara

February 9, 2009

"Meditations in an Emergency" by Frank O’Hara

"Am I to become profligate as if I were a blonde? O religious as if I were French?

Each time my heart is broken it makes me feel more adventurous (and how the same names keep recurring on that interminable list!), but one of these days there’ll be nothing left with which to venture forth.

Why should I share you? Why don’t you get rid of someone else for a change?

I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love.

Even trees understand me! Good heavens, I lie under them, too, don’t I? I’m just like a pile of leaves.

However, I have never clogged myself with the praises of pastoral life, nor with nostalgia for an innocent past pf perverted acts in pastures. No. One need never leave the confines of New York to get all the greenery one wishes – I can’t even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there’s a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life. It is more important to affirm the least sincere; the clouds get enough attention as it is and even they continue to pass. Do they know what they’re missing? Uh huh.

My eyes are vague blue, like the sky, and change all the time; they are indiscriminate but fleeting, entirely specific and disloyal, so that no one trusts me. I am always looking away. Or again at something after it has given me up. It makes me restless and that makes me unhappy, but I cannot keep them still. If only I had grey, green, black, brown, yellow eyes; I would stay at home and do something. It’s not that I’m curious. On the contrary, I am bored but it’s my duty to be attentive, I am needed by things as the sky must be above the earth. And lately, so great has their anxiety become, I can spare myself little sleep.

Now there is only one man I love to kiss when he is unshaven. Heterosexuality! you are inexorably approaching. (How discourage her?)

St. Serapion, I wrap myself in the robes of your whiteness which is like midnight in Dostoevsky. How am I to become a legend, my dear? I’ve tried love, but that hides you in the bosom of another and I am always springing forth from it like the lotus – the ecstasy of always bursting forth! (but one must not be distracted by it!) or like a hyacinth, “to keep the filth of life away”, yes, there, even in the heart, where the filth is pumped in and slanders and pollutes and determines. I will my will, though I may become famous for a mysterious vacancy in that department, that greenhouse.

Destroy yourself, if you don’t know!

It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so. I admire you, beloved, for the trap you’ve set. It’s like a final chapter no one reads because the plot is over.

“Fanny Brown is run away – scampered off with a Cornet of Horse. I do love that little Minx, & hope She may be happy, tho’ She has vexed me by this Exploit a little too. – Poor silly Cecchina! or F:B: as we used to call her. – I wish She had a good Whipping and 10,000 pounds.” – Mrs. Thrale

I’ve got to get out of here. I choose a piece of shawl and my dirtiest suntans, I’ll be back, I’ll re.emerge, defeated, from the valley; you don’t want me to go where you go, so I go where you don’t want me to. It’s only afternoon, there’s a lot ahead. There won’t be any mail downstairs. Turning, I spit in the lock and the knob turns."