Rant and Ramble
taken out of context, i must seem so strange...
i am slapped silent
by the rain,
breath pulled protesting
from my lungs
to hover accusing
and further pollute the air.
the rain runs fingers
down my back
slides into my shoes
pools in my navel
under my eyes
tangles in my hair
slips inside of me,
into pale grey
"maybe we should get a boy."
but none of the boys were home, and both of the boyfriends were in class. therefore, we had only our own resources available to deal with the three mice.
the three mice in the stove.
of these three, two of the mice lay dead on styrofoam stickytraps, and one was well on its squeaking, twitching way.
it should be noted here than neither she
nor i lean much towards squeamishness, particularly concerning mice. we've both owned snakes, and i for one spent a goodly part of the summer pulling spines out of dead rats to feed to opposum babies.
shrieking did occur, as did a modest amount of hand-flapping and theatrical shuddering. but we no longer have dead or dying mice in our stove.
the composition of a very near-perfect schedule
for next term serves only to increase the intensity with which i wish this term to end.
improbable things which happened before nine o'clock this morning:
sat on giant button
witnessed squirrel vs. pigeon fight
was serenaded by large construction worker.
oh, yes and:
woke up at six AM
seems to be the only major station that covered
it, but the inquirer gave us the front page
two hundred thousand people. that's thirteen times the population of my hometown, and almost five times the number of people who showed up for game six of the world series. the crowd screamed as speaker after speaker told us that this
is what democracy looks like - and they were exactly right. the crowd had a good dose the usual white college-aged hippies, but it also included grandmothers, parents
, children, latinos, african-americans, asians, jews, muslims, christians
, veterans, republicans, iraqis, australians, actresses, activists and a former attorney general. it also corresponded to protests and marches in san francisco, germany, denmark, france, italy, japan, and mexico.
if you weren't there, you can go here
and add your name to the list of americans who don't want this war. because only when the people speak up can their voices be heard.
"what color is your joy?"
us, the auditorium bustling with rustlewhispers, cracklecoughs.
"what color is your joy?"
because he had asked them, the innercity bronx kids, who lived in the smell of burning flesh and deep hiphop blood, and they had responded with bright ribbons
that hang now in the tate or the met or some dazzling place. he asks us,
"what color is your joy?"
and i try to see it, wonder what color i would turn if i could be joyful all the way through. pink, certainly, the soft pink of those mornings when i awaken into a cradle of your breath at my neck and your ankles twined with mine, held tight in my trust of you and the strength of love. the curling butter yellow that comes with hot tea and sunlight on water, a shade or two lighter and more creamy than "happy," for the two are sisters but not twins. i think my fingertips would be navy green, feeling the curve of your back and the round satisfaction of running a hand through the discount barrel of beads at the jewelry store. i would be tinted with the warm grey of contentment, a flannel color, thin from wrapping around so much.
my joy requires a small rainbow to be fully articulated, but if i had to choose a ribbon, it would be pink silk.
what color is your joy?
i called my grandmother in california last week, to offer my condolences after the death of her last remaining friend. we wound up talking mostly about my life in philly; after all, monterey doesn't foster much change. as we said our goodbyes, she told me, "don't be sad. you have nothing to be sad about, you shouldn't ever be sad."
daily, it becomes more obvious that much of my strength lies only in the habit of its assumption. tell yourself something often enough and it becomes true, and all that. but i succumb to pain far more easily than i had previously maintained, and the fragility of my defenses seem directly proportionate to the distance from which i recieve the threat.
i don't know if my love for you makes me so vulnerable, that a single backhanded word can run hairline cracks through an entire evening, that the occasional closed door can seem like a fortress. i don't know if the failing lies in my own constitution, if my newly resurfaced sensitivity can't help but magnify the bad as well as the oh, so good.
because i have also been drawn to the smallest beauties - the shadow of leaves on a wall, sweet white sheets in the sun, the dragging flavor of apple cider. it feels as though i have lost a layer of skin, leaving me raw and flinching, feeling everything anew.
deep in my gut i harbor a spreading ache, a desire for wide spaces and soft skies and saturated life, and sometimes the whole ponderous spinning of the world makes me sad. i don't think it will ever be enough for me, nor i for it.
i have, plugged into the outlet at the foot of my bed, a strangelooking device which looks rather like a baby monitor. it emits ultrasonic sound waves to repel pests. gives them a headache, i suppose.
at any rate, i can hear it. especially when i'm trying to fall asleep.
that, and the neighbors yelling at their dog.
and my housemate's tv.
and the toilet leaking in the bathroom.
and the sirens.
and the front door opening. and closing.
and opening again.
and then, only a very few hours after all those noises stop,
my alarm clock.
quote of the day:
"Every president has to worry about oil. It would be irresponsible not to, since we're not going to develop renewable energy." -bruce buchannan, from an article entitled Are other goals behind an Iraq war?
oh yeah... and if you have anything other than IE 5.2 for OS X... how does it look?
my sunday edition of the inquirer
has no comics.
i've gone through it three times, page by page.
my brand-new lamp seems to have a bulb burned out.
it's a compact flourescent
bulb, which has a projected lifetime of six years.
this doesn't bode well for the rest of my day.
last night, the rich scent of lentil soup floated over the house, drawing inhabitants and their guests from all three floors down to the flourescentlit kitchen. we added potatoes and mushrooms over discussions of vegetarianism, activism, and harmony versus melody part, ladled thick brown mush into mismatched bowls. all previous protestations
melted away mysteriously in the steam and the doublebatch left us with very scanty leftovers.
tonight, we opted for vegetable soup instead, sixteen bean though we only counted twelve. zucchini and yellow squash, cabbage, thankful that i am impervious to oniontears.
"i want to be a mom who cooks," i said, "but i don't want to be a housewife."
offered, "you could always be a stripper and cook during the day."
i was bubbling over with words all week, and now i can't find any of them.
i dreamt death last night.
i killed six men, slow hacking deaths with kitchen knives. i placed a foot on his face and relieved him of the burden of his head, three hard slashes with a breadknife
and then a rough sawing through the bone. i licked the blood
off my fingers, slowly. the next one, i stabbed with a steak knife, twisting it to pull out the glistening orb of his eye and then drawing a neat line down his cheek and across his throat. the blood curled like a wave, frothing out the sides of his mouth and from the glaring socket of his nowblindness. i killed one with a table knife under the chin, a quick jab up through the soft tongue, cracking past the roof of the mouth, there to nestle thickly in the brain. he smiled at me blankly as i yanked it free with a rush of strange
clear fluid. one, i gutted with a chef's knife, stabbing him just below the sternum and dragging downwards to the navel, quick arc to the right until i met ribs. i took one from behind, severing the spinal cord so that i could cut his fingers off without trouble. i stuffed them carefully down his throat and watched his eyes bulge as he died.
the last one i'd forgotton about, having cut his hamstrings
sometime near the beginning. he stumbled towards me, holding the breadknife. i found myself blocking his advances with a pillow, suddenly clumsy. i grabbed the knife with a padded hand, and we stood inches apart, sweatmatted hair mingling. he twisted his hand suddenly, pinning my wrist beneath the blade. we stayed like that, breathing close to each other's ears, tiny pinpricks of blood along my blueveined skin.
i woke up breifly, shuddering, and when i fell back asleep, it seemed the dream had gone on without me.
he had me backed against a wall, holding a knife to my throat and pressing. we began to blur, and i could see my terrified face through his eyes. witnessing my fear filled me with heavy black disgust, and i pulled the knife sharply across my own throat. i sank slowly to the ground, and around the dark gurgle of blood i broke the seamless silence, saying, "forgive we our sins, oh love. forgive."
i don't know if the last few
photos actually depict the reservoir
, or not. but, regardless, they remind me of it. we drove along pacheco pass, late summer exhausted and buffeted by winds, watching the hills undulate and remarking on the sharp line left by grassfire.
past the reservoir
trees have grown
far below the edge
that marked high water.
firebruised. i can see it,
reflected in the faltering water,
scarring the soft pelt
of the hills.
i can see
how it swelled,
gobbling up the
asking for more.
first roe v wade
and now this
. c'mon bush, you've got two years left yet. take it easy.
y'know, though, i guess it makes sense. we are down to our last six billion people, after all. wouldn't want to risk underpopulation.
amazing, how many things can be made right with the world by virtue of a single giant pot of simmering soup.
i don't want to be here.
i'm slowly, slowly writing a new song. it started a week or so ago, walking through the garden, humming under my breath as rain fell in fat drops off the drooping trees. i pulled my guitar out from its nook between the too-small bookcase and the wall, and found that my meager vocabulary of chords fit both the nebulous melody of the chorus and my limited vocal range. yesterday i wrote the first verse, skewed rhyme scheme and even a high note.
so far, it's about an old
ex-boyfriend. my stroll along the rainsoaked bit of earth brought to mind the long route of our division: a growing discomfort which ended with an impromptu hike in a sudden but steady downpour. i pulled him through the underbrush behind me as i slowly gathered the courage to tell him goodbye, leaving the trail and becoming lost with ruthless efficiency. we hardly said a word until i stumbled onto the dirt road, and when we could walk side by side i found i need to remove my hand from his. as i spoke, i watched thick rivers of clay slide through the hardpacked sand, rusted orange and veinblue, watched my feet sink into the earth with every step. i tried to make clich�s sound true, catching myself in the middle of the word "friend." i fiercely saw nothing but the rain on his cheeks.
discussions in art history have been reminding me forcibly of this poem
. also, for those who know: imagine that gober has been given a comprehensive knowledge of the history of modern art, and also a good dose of mrs. coulter's favorite fixation. that's my art history professor, except with a more carefully maintained goatee.
oh lord, save me. i'm drowning in metaphor.
i'm angry, so deep in my gut that it's wrapped around my spine. the violet, violent energy of it slicks down the back my legs, right along the bone, puddles in my kneecaps and renders me unstable. it branches up, vertebrae by vertebrae, crawling with sticky fingers through my ribcage and tunneling up behind my eyes. it has taken over my shoulderblades and the tips of my fingers, leaving me poised, trembling all over with the desire to transform this potential into kenetic, to strike, slap, slay. my joints feel unfamilliar, my skin hard and unresponsive. the recesses of my inner ears resonate with the echo of impacts, the blackedout moments of rage.
the clock blazes a sadistic 3AM, and i wake to this - my whole body screaming for a fight, for a death, for a gladiator torn to shreds with tight bare hands. my room leers quiet and dark, and in the four hours before i fall asleep again, i pray for someone to break into my house, give me excuse to release this deafening urge.
at best, we exist as hypotheses, a series of ideas which seem to follow logically to form a whole. at times they work so well that we forget their true nature and begin to believe that we can work in absolutes. we forget that life will never be anything but uncertain, that it takes only one fallen angel to disprove the whole bunch. that sometimes our field of vision can't contain the whole truth.
after all, even an island cannot exist without the sea. sometimes the things we believe most important can be proven futile by a simple glance.
"you gotta have rain in your life, yeah you gotta have some rain in your life, you got to have rain in all your life, to appreciate the sunshine." -essie mae brooks
neither are we accustomed to working in inks.
not even ballpoint; america definitely strikes me as a #2 graphite country, still masquerading as real lead. ink, real fluid bottled richblack ink, requires a subtlety that i don't think we have. it calls for responsibility and selfawareness, qualities that don't usually fly to mind when regarding writing implements. no other way, though, to avoid the smudges, splatters, great dripping blobs. refinement, as well, for this meduim doesn't always stay put, slipping off the brush or careful crafted nib.
but oh, how it loves its world. ink belongs to paper in a way that graphite can't, it caresses and cajoles, nestles itself into the very fibers. permanent. absolute.
that takes the longest to get used to, the reality of it. the pure physicality of shiny black ink sliding from the brush onto clean white paper. engrossed in flickering screens and everefficient machines, a world dominated by the delete button, rewind, redo, apology and excuse, i find it almost refreshing to discover that i have to start all over, an hour's work, because my hand slipped and the perfect circle cut itself in half.
i just painted a triptych
walking home, the three of us, housemates, talking loudly. mostly, we talk about the auditions we've only just left, and in the ten o'clock darkness outside a puddle of streetlight someone walks by.
"hey!" we hear, male voice raucous, and our eyes go flick flick flick and we keep walking.
"hey!" again and none of us even begin to slow.
"hey, kat! tam!" and then finally i turn my head and the voice belongs to a friend who now glares at us for ignoring him. apologies, hugs, and then back into the night where we walk with quick steps and will not stop in the darkness.