August 28, 2009

I'm looking inside myself
for you.
separating the hardened ash
from the sweet pulp.
the lute.

I find a nest deconstructed.
you were born here
in the tornado.

silly string i'm peeling off.
a new moon. paperback.
the scratched surface
of a terrible year.

you have grown out of me
i have not

August 27, 2009

I used to save  
books of matches
horse shoes
hotel keys
birthday cards
christmas cards
valentines cards
ticket stubs
dog tags
hospital bracelets
love letters
hair brushes
butterfly wings
organized somewhere

but now i purge
i erase
i delete
i retreat
i minus
i destroy
i burn
i pillage
i clean
i throw
i let go

my mother told me that i get rid of everyone.

who do i save?

some of them are a choice i can't make.

i don't know what to hold
and what to drop.

August 25, 2009

Amazing Grace
I smashed an alarm clock once... into teensy tiny bits.  It was the same night that i kicked the toilet out of the floor.  I was drunk.  I was angry.  I was twenty one years old and a day.  My grandfather had died that morning... across the country.  He died while fireworks splattered the Santa Monica horizon just before the sun rose to erase them.  It was July 4th 1989, my father had come to Los Angeles to visit and to take me home to New England where his own father was dying.  

The news of Papa's death had come to me as i lay passed out from the previous day's "birthday celebration."  It had been a dangerously exciting day on Entrada Lane.  There was a reggae festival in the Tex Mex parking lot across the road and my best friend and I were determined to party harder than all our boy friends who were twice our size and ten years older. I took ecstasy and drank a case of beer and danced like a madwoman with the Rasta's.  In the early evening hours I slipped down an embankment and the glass bottle I was gripping for life hit the cement below and embedded itself into the palm of my hand... an alcoholic stigmata.  The accident had set off a crying fit and a security guard carried me across the street to my hole in the wall one room apartment and put me to bed where I cried myself from black out to pass out.  

Hours later Kym shook me back to consciousness to tell me that my father had called and that she needed to take me to his hotel so we could fly back to Boston for the funeral. 

 Kym was my brunette twin, we were attached at the hip since the first time we met.  She got me up and packed my suitcase, making sure to throw in my one black dress while I stormed through the dirty beach apartment cursing, crying and breaking whatever I could break.  My heart was broken and I wanted all of my things to also be as ruined.  She corralled me into her car and carefully drove me to the Marriott that my father was staying in.  
These are the things friends do.  

Sometimes i reluctantly recall that weekend. I think of my father who had lost his father...  I think of how i left him in his hotel and tripped on ecstasy and danced to reggae as he struggled with the imminent passing of his dad three thousand miles away.  I know he was there to try and save me.  He had come in an attempt to keep from losing two people he loved that summer.  There was no way to save my grandfather from the spreading cancer and his long life.  But he could save his wild child daughter who was drinking herself to an early demise in sunny california. 

My father and I made it to the funeral.  I sang "Amazing Grace" at the service.  It was held in the Catholic Church my dad had attended every Sunday as a child, a block from the house he grew up in on Russet Rd.  It was ironic as no one would need that amazing grace more than I over the following year. Shortly after the funeral I travelled back to Los Angeles and continued my reckless and relentless lifestyle.  It would not be the last time my father came to try and save me from myself. He came again and again to try and help me. It took another year of near death experiences, alcohol and cocaine poisoning, hospital visits, an arrest, rehab... before I was willing to go home and save myself.  

I was given such amazing grace..  and such an amazing father.

August 22, 2009

i want a free spirit 
but i carry chains.

i want to love myself
but i hide in my coat 

the ugliest mirror.
an uncherished heirloom.

the thing about surrender 
is you can't try.

you give up

August 19, 2009

it's the tiniest call
from the furious raking
from the pit
where you were sure
there was nothing.
left alive.

It's the thread
barely visible
too thin to hold
hover close
it wraps around you
a gentle placing.

i throw myself off things.

August 16, 2009

i pulled my shirt over my head
no i didn't

i imagined it.

i pulled my shirt over my head
no i didn't.

i tore my shirt off
i couldn't.

i pulled the shirt over my head

no i wouldn't.

seven feet away.
his long hot gaze
a new scar.

time tells you things you already knew.

August 14, 2009

Last night i dreamt that i had feathers tattooed on the inside of each of my wrists. they were the palest of little wings..  faint enough to see through to the blue rivers criss crossing just below the surface of my skin. 

There is an undercurrent of sadness inside of me.  a canyon.  a slow and deep welling.  my history, a spark that ignites some simple and tornadic source of emotion... tunneling through the basements of a hospital.  to the cold rooms.  undressed.. a crib in the changing room. tiny marks are made.  cold. metal slides over me.  they leave the room... I hold my breath.  a child and a machine.  God and science.  

A heart is also a heart. 

August 11, 2009

Sometimes when i lie the wrong way on my bed I feel more alive. 
I went to the DMV today to get a new drivers license.  My old one still had my married name on it and since it has been a year and a half since my divorce became official I figured it was time to go brave the line of thrilled and anxious sixteen year olds and get the damn thing renewed.  

As I waited for my number to be called I stared at my current license.  The picture was of a girl i hardly recognize now...  long wavy hair, strange half smile...  a maroon vest she loved and wore every day for a year.  I can clearly remember the afternoon i took that picture four years ago.  I was high on vicodin.. fidgety, chatty and made up for what seemed like a very important moment in my life.  I looked pretty..  but lost.  and i was lost.  and miserable.  I was so miserable then.  

I spent my days pillaging through thrift stores to resell junk as vintage.  In between purchases i would swallow pills carefully.. always counting and recounting to make sure i had enough to get through the day without getting sick.  I was a disappearing act, reemerging every three hours with a low grade fever and the chills and the desperate need to take more drugs.  Drugs that would not only dull the constant ache in my back but more importantly the stabbing pain in my gut that had been screaming at me for years, trying to tell me to wake the fuck up, to start over, to get help, to get clean again ...  The pain was trying to tell me that i was living a lie.  But I was so deep in that lie that there was no voice inside of me that i understood anymore.  I had lost the ability to hear truth from within myself.  

This morning I said goodbye to that drivers license.  I passed it over the counter to the flirty DMV employee and didn't look back.  I took another photo.  I was clear eyed and embarrassed. I left the building and stepped out into the thick Texas heat and in ten or so business days I'll have a new drivers license.  and on it will be a picture of a girl i know well.. a girl who was given enough grace to survive...

I am learning to listen to pain. Sometimes it is the only message I can hear.

August 10, 2009

Aw man...   you mean to tell me that people actually read this blog?  

August 9, 2009

August 6, 2009

a loose cannon 
shy as i explode 
into spectacle 

a fragile bomb 
a wild animal 
drag me back to you 

i've skipped niceties before 
the difference 
is mathematical...   life minus you

your things are in my closet 
you can't have them back 
they are my scrapbook 

what you have left 
your smell your generosity 

rough and scientific 
the addition is 
my dearest...   kiss

August 4, 2009

the deformed moon
sang to me last night
and i knew the song.
from a hot summer
sleeping in the hallway
with my hair too close to the fan
lime green nightie from woolworths
a flammable nine year old
escapes.  she is
walking the streets of a driveway
watching that same moon
waiting for directions.