the seeds, the trees

"But once in a while there's a great dynamite-burst of flying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall and somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by the throat and gently says, 'I will not let you go until you set me, in words, on paper.'" – Richard Bach

Month: September, 2012

Free write

Nectar. Something of the gods. Lands of milk and honey, without roads or dust, only smoothness and gold. Light with clouds; white and blue, the color of nurseries. A paradise for the babies who don’t know any better, who don’t understand night or the people who love them or hands or toes or colors or mouths. They don’t know how sad you can get, driving in a car, anyone’s car, listening to a song and you get it, this world and everything in it. You will never see it all, never hear it all, nothing is good – not all the way through – and if it is, it doesn’t last, because once it’s good, it rots and falls away. Isn’t that terrible? To see it this way? I wish my insides could talk. Not just my silly brain, resting on its stem all the way up here like a king ignorant of his subjects. Stupid, selfish brain. Get it together, you slimy, wrinkled sponge, sopping up everything in your way, squeeze you out, but all the shit remains.

Cornfield

Last night I ran through a cornfield, barefoot and fearless – a savage dressed in flowers. I ran and the stalks turned to felt because I wanted them to, and when we kissed inside the spider webs, the spiders trickled down my back and I was not afraid because I didn’t want to be. It was easy.

Today, in sunlight next to water, I look at my bruised, defeated feet and scratch the spider bites with scratched hands.

“It’s too hard,” I say, afraid again of everything I can and cannot see, and bury my broken feet in the sand.

Green leaves

That tree, that’s the greenest tree I’ve ever seen. I want to peel off my skin and be that green.

Talking to trees

I haven’t cried since I started taking the white pills.

I used to dream of extraordinary things. Now I think of ordinary things.

I tried to tell you quietly why I didn’t believe in our lives anymore, but you didn’t listen. I grew quieter and mad in my towering glower eating the loneliest salads.

The trees ask me why I don’t think they’re different anymore. I see the red one amongst the sticks and it’s so assuredly red amongst the dead and I don’t care.

One day I spread my fingers and yell to them all at once, “Because I am too busy trying to save this drowning world! I am too busy trying to understand why we are starving, why we are thirsting, how our hearts can break and beat at the same time, how we can love so much and be alone. I am trying to understand how we believe we give a fuck when half of us are thinking about lunch and the other half about how wrong we were for doing the wrong things again and again.”

“Shhhh,” they say, “you will never know why you told him to go when you wanted him to stay.”

For the Oldies

On days like this

I feel for the old souls

who want to run but have to walk

who want to walk but have to roll

Please

…let me sit in the middle of everything I don’t understand. Let me live in a tree like we always wanted. Let me just breathe and exist; let my cells grow and expand, become strong and resilient but soft and worn, like water-tumbled rocks in my blood.

Legal pad notes

“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. We seek problems because we need their gifts.” – Richard Bach

Everything we do, think, feel, enjoy, dislike, worry about, cry for – is because we believe in it. I believe I love chocolate and that money will overcome my love one day and that people who make spelling mistakes in text messages are stupid and that purple jacket I have is cool and that yoga can heal.

I don’t know about the rest; what I believe in. Maybe that’s why things are so hard right now. I want to believe…how can I convince myself? I want to believe I can be happy. When I do, it’s real? Our lives are only the skeletons of what we’ve picked and chosen from like pieces of the Bible.

Vegetable

I can’t spell thesaurus, and I want to be a writer. I don’t know which way is west. I want to be a journalist. The world is one space to me. A room with many doors and stairs and pieces of wood that have laid in the sun so long they look like bones and places the sun has never looked that are dark and soft and slimy.

We work in very tall buildings, typing on machines and fixing the machines and talking through or to them and talking through or to each other, working working working, so we can get sushi on Friday night and buy special-print American flag napkins for Fourth of July and drink it all and tell our friends how much we love them, for real.

At the top of the tallest building is where I sit and work, in a room with no windows but lots of doors and so many corridors. I get lost six times a day, choose a door and a corridor, end up in my rightful place, coddled in ugly, blue carpet and wood-paneled walls and bright, circular lights that make everything look yellow and old, especially the people.

Osborne shuffles down a hall looking sick, typing on a typewriter, surrounded by sheets of paper that keep a few sentences, eating ham and cheese sandwiches and drinking coffee with whipped cream.

Carla buys Osbourne coffee sometimes. She was mean, at first, and quiet. She wears a wig and looks like a client at a battered women’s shelter. She told me I was quiet – too quiet, she said, to be a journalist, and it made me angry because I knew she was right. She was surprised when I told her I was a Leo. Too quiet, she said. Much more than the others. I was born on a cusp, I said, almost a Virgo. She seemed reassured. Oh ok, she said. Like it makes sense. I saw her later that day crossing the street to Starbucks and we greeted each other warmly, like old friends.

There is a place…

…where the bees live in nests like the birds,

The birds live in the ground like the worms,

And the worms swim in rivers with the otters

And the otters stay.

Their lullabies play in our heads all day

and we have forgotten the moon but it’s always there.

We have forgotten to care, but we love,

and there are no expectations.

The sharks bask on banks like the crocodiles

and the crocodiles are gone.

We eat mint leaves and spiders’ webs

and the frogs sleep upside down

balancing on lily pads and stones that float on water

that covers the mountains

that never fade.

And everything is this way,

everything is left the way it is found.

The only colors are blue and green and gold.

We no longer have eyes, just opaque orbs

like balls of salt,

And everything smells so good – even the sun –

we said good-bye to our eyes and never cried.

No one dies except when they want to,

and eventually everyone wants to die.

We tell our children as they’re sleeping,

It’s time for us to find the moon,

and when our children awake the sun is shining

and we’re already forgotten,

like the crocodiles.

Fly

There’s a fly that lives in the corner of my left eye.

It flutters in between my outermost lashes when I look in the bathroom mirror or I’m reading and it’s time to go to sleep.

When I first saw it I was scared because I didn’t understand and that is what we do. But we get used to anything, even if we don’t want to. We got used to missing you, and now if you died in Australia or Fiji or something we’re not sure we’d pay $2,000 dollars to see you.

When I was happier I used to see diamonds when the buildings cut the sunlight that hit the leaves hard but delicate like glass,

and the light turned the leaves into diamonds

and man, I can stare at a tree of jewels for longer than I could have ever looked at you.

Now I have this fly. It sleeps in my brain. I don’t terribly mind. I’m clinically unexcitable, the doctor said.

But you’re not here at night when the city lights surround the trees like friends, and my heart swells bigger than my head,

and everything is quiet and simple and good,

and I can breathe and live with everyone dying and dip my hands into bags of dry beans and paint my skin gold and let you go because finally everything has fled from the center and you are just a stick of bone,

pure and white and strong.

You linger in rocks and air and the pond we swim in where you grow like algae and touch our furs lightly.

Acidheads, it’s beautiful, I swear.