THE WORLD & I

a love story

J LASFSR, in no particular order

1.14.2013
it was around the time i told myself to stop flinching at the sound of his biblical name that the garden started to bloom. and the cities i’ve called home taught me how to love, not the men i loved in them. 

New Kind of Light New Kind of Light - Zachary Schomburg

I move my hands
in these woods
to find her sex-parts.
 
We discover our sex-parts
make heat
and blue light.
 
We become outlines of ourselves—
 
long scratches
in the sky.
 
We have a daughter
who was never born.
 
She lives in the house
we never built,
 
but in this new light,
you can almost see
its tattered roof.

Suicide’s Note: An Annual By Mary Karr

I hope you’ve been taken up by Jesus
though so many decades have passed, so far apart we’d grown
      between love transmogrifying into hate and those sad letters
          and phone calls and your face vanishing into a noose that
I couldn’t
      today name the gods
          you at the end worshipped, if any, praise being
impossible for the devoutly miserable. And screw my church who’d
      roast in Hell poor suffering
          bastards like you, unable to bear the masks
of their own faces. With words you sought to shape
      a world alternate to the one that dared
          inscribe itself so ruthlessly across your eyes, for you
could not, could never
      fully refute the actual or justify the sad heft of your body, earn
          your rightful space or pay for the parcels of oxygen you
inherited. More than once you asked
      that I breathe into your lungs like the soprano in the opera
          I loved so my ghost might inhabit you and you ingest my belief
in your otherwise-only-probable soul. I wonder does your
      death feel like failure to everybody who ever
          loved you as if our collective cpr stopped
too soon, the defib paddles lost charge, the corpse
      punished us by never sitting up. And forgive my conviction
          that every suicide’s an asshole. There is a good reason I am not
God, for I would cruelly smite the self-smitten.
      I just wanted to say ha-ha, despite
          your best efforts you are every second
alive in a hard-gnawing way for all who breathed you deeply in,
      each set of lungs, those rosy implanted wings, pink balloons.
          We sigh you out into air and watch you rise like rain.

Poem - Eric Gamalinda

He asked me why I was so distant
and I said it was because of
anti-matter. It’s because I have
x-ray vision or think I do
and the skeletons drive past
in their invisible automobiles
and I am not scared,
I drink the full red grapes
right off the vine, the women
from Guangzhou are counting
all the fish massacred at four o’clock,
and somewhere in the night
God exists in his own mind,
counting the quarks left over
from all the revelations,
true or false. I pray to this space
that opens before me, wider
than my soul can carry.
And in the dark I dream
about nothing, I evolve
into orangutans, my mind wrapped
in the silence before words
before illogic. I am primitive
therefore, I don’t know the signals
for love, I refuse the dress code,
I check in when I want to,
I have an open ticket.
Inside out the world makes sense
but only if you don’t live in it,
the spoons bending in the smallness
of non-space, language useless,
desire absurd. You say evil
and I say no, you say in emptiness
is where you’ll find it and I say
x is not x, my anger is for
all of you, all the self-delusion.
It is not pity, it is real, it cuts me
straight through. I can see behind
the glass. I can stick my hand in
and not feel a thing.
I can fly over the broken world
and never touch ground.

Boats - Cyril Wong

You and your photographs of boats;
that repeated metaphor for departure,

or simply the possibility of a voyage?
What you cannot tell me, you tell me

with a vessel and its single passenger,
eyes fixed on some skylit conclusion.

Set apart and starkly upon a canvas
of tractable waves, brought to still

by the trigger-click of your camera,
like the sound a key makes when it

releases the lock. Your heart became
that lock; these images are how you have

always articulated distance, a withdrawal.
Darling, there are just as many ways

of saying goodbye as there are ways
of letting you go. The boat is narrow

like the width of my heart after
impossible loss, cruel resignation;

this heart you ride in. Love, if this is how
you choose to leave me, let me let you.

The Opposite of Nostalgia - Eric Gamalinda

You are running away from everyone
who loves you,
from your family,
from old lovers, from friends.

They run after you with accumulations
of a former life, copper earrings,
plates of noodles, banners
of many lost revolutions.

You love to say the trees are naked now
because it never happens
in your country. This is a mystery
from which you will never

recover. And yes, the trees are naked now,
everything that still breathes in them
lies silent and stark
and waiting. You love October most

of all, how there is no word
for so much splendor.
This, too, is a source
of consolation. Between you and memory

everything is water. Names of the dead,
or saints, or history.
There is a realm in which
—no, forget, it,

it’s still too early to make anyone understand.
A man drives a stake
through his own heart
and afterwards the opposite of nostalgia

begins to make sense: he stops raking the leaves
and the leaves take over
and again he has learned
to let go.

10,000 Lakes - Carrie Rudzinski

In the miles from your headboard
to your balcony doors
I have spent an entire morning
tracing the sound of you arriving home
across your ceiling.
There is no silence like yours.
It shakes through me
like the blessing of a new apartment;
the anticipation of surviving the night
to discover you in the morning.
In the morning
I watch God paint with his left hand
across an empty sky.
I count seven hundred fish scales
shivering in the breeze,
shaking out my old names,
calling you back to sleep.
They sound like a tired kitchen floor,
this choir, this praise under our feet.
They sound like your chest –
an acre of flight –
crashing into my hands,
wailing,
we’re lost, we’re lost,
we’re lost again at sea.

As soon as he said don’t look down, I look down, teetering on the edge of an airplane ledge 9,000 feet up in the sky. He counts down to 1 and my body plummets towards the earth. I wonder what that shapes of the clouds I am breaking through look like while I tell myself to open my eyes. Open your eyes, Olivia, open them. And in the second I finally did there are pictures of me smiling, falling, inside I’m screaming with delight- total and utter loss of control.

As soon as he said don’t look down, I look down, teetering on the edge of an airplane ledge 9,000 feet up in the sky. He counts down to 1 and my body plummets towards the earth. I wonder what that shapes of the clouds I am breaking through look like while I tell myself to open my eyes. Open your eyes, Olivia, open them. And in the second I finally did there are pictures of me smiling, falling, inside I’m screaming with delight- total and utter loss of control.

Updated, To-Do 2012:

  • jump out of a plane (THIS SUNDAY!!)
  • tattoo 1/26 & 9/26
  • go to Europe: Bucharest & Paris (& it happened so perfectly) *bonus points for an unplanned trip to London, too.
  • go to Nashville, TN
  • watch my sister get married (&not sob like a baby)
  • find something I like enough to keep (that’s you, sf)
  • lose 10lbs/get tone (a lil bit, thank you sf hills)
  • read & write at least 1hr a day
  • cut my hair
  • move to NYC for 1 month(west coast clients on east coast time, not possible)
  • volunteer
  • not lose my wallet & phone (of course I lose my brand new/expensive wallet)
  • ride a horse

….to be continued

—-

During all that I moved to San Francisco, got a promotion, learned how to say goodbye with my whole body.


2 months left of 2012, there’s still time for the rest.