Where have you been!? Where the fuck did you go? Was that all you had? You spin & spin, you ask yourself as yourself, out loud in the car, in the shower, whisper it in bed. I don't know whats happened, you say, all of yourselfs agree. We are very quiet now. You have been making cuts and we don't mean the bloody kind. You have let go of your sounds to love, a giant offering. Do you mourn for it? You no longer kiss us and words and time get lonely too, dear.
But we can do this, just start at any beginning,
Start at that beginning.
You know the one.
Go, for christs sake, fill up the giant black garbage bags and run. There, start here.
Its only the memories that bite but we know how you love your scars. Start on the cities concrete streets of your very minuscule existence, just begin, you hummingbird. Wake up at that subway station that is outside and still under-ground (where lost girls fall and things rumble forever) Wait for your train. Anoint your expression with your involuntary distracted-by-thought look. Walk with yourself across the platform. Find the edge, apple blossom, where you are not permitted to walk or stand. It is a grime-browning yellow and its surface is made up of thick round bumps. Walk on that ledge, press your feet down on the little globes and think about the things you think about love. Not home, darling: love.
Home is just some slow condensation. it's underground and outside. I can't tell you how dark and deep it goes because no one knows, not really. So do not think on it, dreamer, please, push all your girl-weight down on your feet & step into the jutting yellow earths under them. We are awake and we are dreaming of you. You have no past or present, you are only a roamer, it's simple. In this city we are all native voyeurs and we are all alive. Even keeping very still in this warm womb you remain in fast transit and camouflaged. Peek over, seeker, keep watch for the shining silver beginning tip in the dark sheltered tunnel. Two wide-eyed ivoried lights will appear first. When the train swells forward, breathe hard the hot moving air its silver body pushes towards you. The train will stop. Hear a once-rung bell and an airy pause, a mechanical swish. Your heart maybe flutters the way it would when you'd walk out onto a stage. Faceless and not human but loud: "stand clear of the closing doors, please." Walk inside.
Sit in your new neatly ordered yellow and orange chaired world. Fresh but homesick smells will find you, like old laundromats or bookstores. Foreign faces surround you, belonging to lives that are unknown and are not yours but you make their stories up in your head anyway. Take this train to places. Let it stop at its stops but mostly just tuck up into your brains. Wait to hear nothing. No one can touch you when you're moving this fast.
No one can say a word so don't ever stop going.
You know what they say about hummingbirds.
Things looked so perfect outside train windows, right where they belonged, fast & far away. You used to take your notebook to write and the faster you'd formulate with your scratchy pens the more you felt watched and yet you'd go on, kitten, looking for that you-tailored noise. Find them now, recall it and hold it in your head, earth and all. So many years with your tiny wrists, your forever unclean knees and loaded eyes. That noise you fell in love with in your mind when the world showed you all its disfigured truths.
You were so loud.
Lusty poems that would deafen and peal, Cusses on the high school bathroom stalls all about you, terrible, loud things, ear-splitting louds, little kids sneakers squeaking wild and wicked on a church floor. You wore makeup on your eyes that smeared just so. You were the patron saint of unremovable sadnesses. The portrait of chaos, the graffitied-stall-headliner.
Are you there?
Are you there yet?
You would hush up your heart and it would come whimpering out in public and all your so-called-friends would call you 'psycho' and you'd cry. Listen. This is a story of a girl thats almost woman, halfway human, mostly ghostly, ferociously no ones. Just a creature of that wooded borough with a hungry little heart. You would cry so hard back then, never spoke up or pushed too hard. You'd sip your vodka or drink it fast and watch things take place on the earth you refused to call mother. You'd walk home alone when you could. slow and sweet orange-street-lit-city paces to your house. You'd sit at your giant, amber desk and make lists, put on radiohead & smoke joints outside the fire-escape window. The lists you'd write weren't the usual kind. These didn't want to be lists at all, but wanted instead to be monuments to the things that everyone really thinks about when they make their own. Your grocery list was waterlogged and wheezing, rhythms of a mind parade with marching band drummer fingers, whispered wants and peoples heart shaped noises. Your oversized, white bed was a musical flavor. High and in tune, in that room alone but with everyone there you'd stay up and write down the usually quieted uproars. You were no seeker but a finder and giver of the weird unconscious places of uncommon safety and silence people look for in sleep.
Now, you ripe earth-girl , put the sound in your head, love-maker.
Find whats not bare and get it fucking naked
touch softly the undressed and leafless, open and exposed.
Unplug it all and drown, darling.
Watch out your train windows and come home.
world is sleeping
i play with the moon
dear kerry, it writes, in lit and non-lit alphabets
i know you are listening
so get your dark blue pencil
& tell everyone.
write in the spotted darkest darks
write on your knees
write on the floor under the bed & say fuck off to your monsters.
i always wanted to be colors but
the sky was greedy and all your eyes
had dibs on the ones that mimicked every emotion
i am white and yellow and black, or whatever you want to see
make me look important & use me.
one million years ago i'd sit in bed really late at night or early in the morning and write you long, rambling letters about why i could never really love anyone fully, not for anything ever, i wasn't the kind. i was trying to make you to understand, get it? and then in the blink of someones eyes i was here next to you in this bed, your lips parted slightly for breaths while you slept and i'd stay up and think and worry and think. i'm still up and yeah, fine, there's a very exact time for every task and every token, for every blink you lose a home. for every dream you get ten nightmares and for sleeping in they'll be the kind you know you're in but can't wake yourself out of. for every saint i'll be the sinner. i'll leave. i'll live with you-know-who and i'll just try not to think while he fucks me. and no, i am absolutely not sitting indian style, alone, playing the same song over and over smoking cigarettes while trying to articulate what exactly it is i am missing from myself. i am going to call you. i swear. i am going to call you and i'll say. i'll call you and i'll say whatever falls outof mymouth. i will not say that there is nothing romantic about romance. i will not say there is nothing wild enough in the wilderness. i won't say anything of the sort because it's not fair to life even though life is never fair to anyone. chestnut i said things that were terrible but they were true because i am only good at falling fast, arms flailing and maybe you could put me back and then i could remember how i got here and how to use my hands and head - forget my heart. i have learned that it is yours, there's not a chunk you don't own, i can't have it ever again, not anymore. but it really doesn't matter much, in the end, because everything will just stay forest-quiet, i know, and we'll keep moving and moving, me naked and mentally in pieces and you on fire.
two pills two stories some maniacal preacher on a cocaine buzz in my brain but he sounds so earnest so try i'll and work it in somehow get on your knees and pray we can love you. my eyes are big hazel zombies put me to sleep or wake me up but don't ask me to sing for you i won't. there is a bell outside that won't stop ringing among other horrifying things "such a naughty girl" with inklings to start forest fires and crash cars to get numb and find any way out make it easy on me or i'll make it easy on me i promise you won't feel a thing at least i think you won't. i make wordy diagrams but in the end its not getting what you want and not wanting what you get vs. actually having something you wanted. now you're a needle in the hay remember? i inhabited i stood there, kerry. bruisy and reckless and loud and lovely, i would kiss them all just because i could, because i could make them feel things crowded with color, watch i'd wake sleepers, rowdy and rough-housing, damp sweetnesses, lots of alcohol and trumpet-tounged poetry, sad stories that loved me so good. but now i need you i need now, incubus. i can't remember myself, i'm terrified and misplaced time & air mobilize me like a puppet then casually throw me around i handed over my world and wonder for a flimsy, shiny tin-foil element that bends me and brings me left and lost and empty. it's like, the pain was muscular and trustworthy but trust is now gawking, waiting for the go-ahead and i can't breathe and we'll get bored and we'll be worn and useless we'll wander we'll fall in some hole & never get out think rain forest humidity think packed cars drowning underwater
THERE ARE SMALL AND VERY MENIAL THINGS I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO WATCH YOU DO, TO SEE YOU HAVE. a myriad of random things.
THERE ARE THINGS I SHOULDN'T TELL YOU BUT WILL, FOR THE SAKE OF ROMANTIC COMPULSIONS.
it is intoxicating, darling /
1. you pumping gas / i have a habit of studying you through the rear view mirror it's the specific way you stand and how you maneuver your hands. i watch the way you look off distantly and lick your lips and breathe.
2. you in deep conversation with others / i watch you talk and know that yeah, you're mine and it's very possible that we belong to each other on some other-worldly level that has nothing to do with conversation or politeness or opinions.
3. the way you put your hands in your pockets / you keep them there, showing off your wrists. it changes the way your jeans hug your legs, the veins in your arms pumping.
4. watching your hands when they touch me / there i become less phantom and more girl: corporeal. i'm less brain, mind-melty moments because of two hands and my skin.
5. watching your eyes take in information / they have opinions, those two eyes, and the skin around them. they have control. but it is not just that you are powerful, it is that you exist to hold a whole-worlds power but only over me.
6. watching you unconsciously hold this power / the power is warm. that is my favorite thing about it. it makes the air a song-singer.
7. when your eyes are black, like railroad oil. when your eyes turn crystal green, usually before you might cry. when your eyes turn yellow and i find gold. i promise to keep digging.
8. watching the muscles in your back move like ripply water / i want to swim and i want to go under but all i can do is put my hands there and try to move with you. to move with you.
i'm drunk and my face is puppy-nose wet with tears. it's way up in the a.m.'s and we're sitting here, two red faced animals, angry about being angry about not being angry. this is about a moment. a very precise hot-buzz of a moment that slides sideways into the room where i realize that i have never once hit a man. never in my life have i slapped a man without it being some sort of joke or rehearsed set up, like little kids first kissing. this is not to say there have not been men that didn't deserve it, they did. i still remember. but hand in hand with this inkling, a concept tiptoes along, hinting that just maybe i am hurt and angry enough for exactly that sort of thing and how often do i let anger win? let me tell you, i don't ever. anger lives in the older, atticy part of my brain inside a sleeping bag - those ones that you can zip all the way up. more than that, i know that i could probably slap you right now, if i had the balls to, i could. i decisively want the balls to. i imagine it and replay it, it looks wrinkly and weird in my imagination. right across your face, like in some movie - deliberately - without missing or awkwardly grazing or backing out. this moment then shakes itself off and dissolves into something thicker and much further from me. something is not contained that should be and i no longer have any authority. i try and find it, i grab for the concrete existence of our situation but i feel only a slight air-to-skin-tingle and vast distances. this happens occasionally, perhaps you've found at times, you're not quite sure what it is you might do. i'm watching myself from off on the sides and standing, i see myself want to be someone else, to be somewhere else, to undo some pasts and some knowledges. maybe our emotions get tired of telling us how and when and why and just want us to surprise ourselves. these emotions steady themselves. there is disorder and sabotage. what should be my body and what should be my mind play a quick and hostile game of hide and seek. the mind conjures things up and then quickly retreats from any notions its created while the body grabs the gun. i've never held a gun. i think of your hands on her. just right across your face. your face, my face, that i hold and adore. i think of the two hands you use to touch me, writing to her about your desire to kiss her lips, or anywhere on her. ergo, we pull the trigger. the smack is authentic and loud and somehow it seems to really be my hand and your face. it pulls me, bottom line. loud objects fall from the sky in our little room that only i can see. the slap is the brass tacks, it is how things are, like it is, a crack in lifes pavement. it echoes in my brain along with your two roomy, brimming brown eyes. the bedroom is so hot. i don't know what i am looking for exactly, is the thing, with this slap, but it happens with a cracking that would confuse a tree twig. out of any touched or felt reality, time keeps indifferently moving, shrugging its shoulders. the atmosphere has a hangover and i am very thirsty, my heart muddied and walloping. you just sit there looking at me, with your mouth a little open. i measure the guilt with my chest breaths and try to filter them accordingly. you'd be surprised how much a heavy something can be so inexhaustibly nothing. you get up to leave and i am alone, crying harder now, all dowdy and waterlogged. even my ears felt full of water. i watch the muscles in your back move as you walk away and i know things have been changing for some time inside me, i don't have the same power over myself that i used to. i ache to hold that burst and smack, to scream again with poems. i know you and i are both unlike the other. i wipe my nose, nurse my bruisy heart and face like a kitten with its paws. i know that you are a very far cry from ever being any sort of muse for me, any sort of animus. there are no more whims and rumbles. i fall into a deep drug-like sleep, alone.
mike was center-stage, the nerve point of the body of the road, he was holding a knife the size of his thick, soft arm. it was pre-pre-dawn, the dark air was mentally preparing for the idea of slow sunrise. he was alone, that was visually understood, even though he was surrounded by a scramble of people, watching him like pre-k students breathlessly observing a teacher perform some unfathomable experiment. he was facing me and there was a fury. i was his road ahead and he was very slowly stepping toward me while what seemed to be my body stepped back and back and away, hands up. he'd thrust the knife in my direction, stumbling and then he'd stop and his arms would go slack. no one else moved but him and me. as he walked, he muttered, a debate between hard or soft, hate or love and then without warning his right hand thoroughly and deliberately began to slice each finger off of the other hand with the very large knife. he watched his right hand work as if he was creating a very detailed drawing.
"see?" he said to me. the aggression was full-mouthed and i had nothing to breathe with. i did. i saw. i nodded.
there was a sound for each hack, a sharp symphony of sorts. he barely winced but he was sobbing. when he had gotten completely through one finger fully, it would just fall off the hand like leaves but louder, they laid there bizarrely arranged on the road.
he was talking, it was clear that he was only talking to me, i'm not sure if he even saw anyone else there. in half english he spoke, said my name a few times, the rest of it my head couldn't hear at all.
violence was jiffy-pop-cracking in the air and everyone just gawked, no one said anything, no one, like dumb-found birds. i was crying, tears like your fingers over and over down my face. he would stop between each finger and point the knife at me, quicken his pace, obviously teetering back and forth from mad to madder, self-destruction to the furious preparation to destroy all the parts of me he saw. that is what he came here for, he was there for me, i was the prey, everyone knew it, no one did a thing. i heard slaps of messy sentences when he looked at me, between the sobs and the loud dial-tone throb of fear behind my eyes. ('you did it,' 'did you know,' 'did you know they're not okay?!' 'its not okay', 'never,' 'you')
after the thumb, without thought, he used the knife to cut right through the skin past the hand -- the cartilage and then the very hard bone of the wrist. each layer had a sound. getting through the bone was the first time we saw him wince, all of us somehow surprised at its hardness, him sawing at it like a carpenter. the people would look at him and then at me, maybe for answers, i didn't have any, what did i do, what. the sky was full of heart pinching whimpers, it was like all of the birds were waking up at once. whimpers or birds whimpers or birds, he was shaking very hard now, a bad song. breathing was not an option. it just wasn't. somewhere something had gathered the breaths of all of us watching into a giant cloud and gave it to the sky. i was suspended by the oncoming hurts i could see he wanted for me but still not ready for death. shaking. still though, it sat there, fingers laced and waiting.
i was thinking after all those fingers, the crazily wasted pain, five thin bloody tree trunks in a morse-code line on the road, after all that and only after did he think of the wrist, of the rest of his hand. he removed each one just for the fuck of it, just for the torture of each one. why not the whole arm? all at once? whats never okay? and me?
trucks drove by but the people inside had no faces, or no voices, they'd just shrug as if to say 'i don't know, the kid seems to know what he's talking about,' they'd wave and keep driving, like, 'no, you'll be all right,' but i wasn't.
what was left of his arm hung there while he used the knife in his good hand to split the skin of his chest, from the bottom of his belly to his neck, with a straight deep long dash. blood isn't red, really, like in stories, but black. a sticky black that kisses crimson. he fell over, first on his knees and then face down.
i remember attempting through a petrified smothering air to get in touch with you using my mind. you had been gone for days, you had just taken off. we were in her house before it all happened, your hands were around her waist and the front of you pressed against her back while she brushed her teeth and then you both just left. the house filled up with water, up past my ankles and then people all came. people that i knew and didn't know. they filled the house up with smoke and ignored the water, which was always moving, sloshing room-temperature, threateningly. this is when he showed up, outside, with the knife. the kids looked at me and gestured out to him like i had received some package, like i was before them in line at the movies but wasn't paying attention. they shoved me out there, and his debate began. what i knew he wanted was my hands and my fingers. the blueish blood in my veins jumped startled, aware it was hunted. this is and isn't a horror story. if i pleaded it wasn't with god. they shoved me out there and you never came back.