Thursday, May 10, 2012

Almost done with this.

As straightforward as we are,
My bewildered brother
[and to separate him so far from myself is blasphemy]
doesn't find in the same light
what the both of us know
to be true.

Or at least good intent.

This makes many things
difficult for me.
His hands are mine
until I paint them another color.
He thinks the best of us
without compromise.
He read all about
you and I, in
the Sunday paper.
What he sees, he sees in the bolded blacks and whites
when all I can find is the underlying
permanence of gray.
Anticipating the inevitable yellowing,
the browns never considered by human eyes
pink young worms eating headlines and compost.

And this is what gets me.
That it mattered as much as anything could,
and doesn't.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Setting Proposal

Rudd gave us a strange in-class assignment today.

We started by writing out images that we connect to a place from our past that we hold familiar. A place we've spent a lot of time with. Then, switching to a place we also hold important to us but have only been to maybe once or twice in passing, we continue writing associated images.

Then came the interesting part. Write a few lines alternating between the first and second settings, and intertwining them together. Making a collective thought out of otherwise isolated parts of the mind. I went for it. Later that afternoon, at a Starbucks, I went ahead and finished what I had started.

I've been having a very hard time lately getting outside of the moments I'm in. At least enough to say anything about them. This exercise was a nice release from that mindset, even if it doesn't look like much on paper.


The Collective of Past and Present Lives I Have and Have Not Lived:

My bar was bare. No child collected
greenglass thinglass liquor drained or half-not
there, in the back corner. Bitter escapism is to be seen, not heard.

Nothing grows down here.
It culminates.

It retracts my sandpaper tongue into the cat's mouth.
(She walks away)
It traded my walls for a t-shirt.
And now I'm looking around this room.
Over the years, it's become as big as I am.
The splinters in my hands
from wooden walls I secretly return to
sink farther beneath the skin
each time I press palms against the glass table,
painting over keratin shells.

Remember that old wooden bar?
The small box dreaming of static snow,
rescued from obscurity to live
in the basement, unplugged.
Moisture over years leaving
a glaze of scum
under fingernails, dust
over collective memorabilia
enshrining 4am prayers
spoken face to face
in warm silence, in waves of blood

And yet...
Touching splintered fingertips to serrated wrists,
it's still hard to imagine being so young
in this place.
So old
in this place.
So tired
so long ago.