Tag: memories

The Wrong Kind of Luminescence


If I could live inside music I think I might be okay for always. I wish I could sleep in music, breathe in music, and dream in music. Why must I always sink in the cacophony of human voices instead? Hearing the scratching of souls against blank dark windows for someone to open them when no one answers. I hear the caterwauling of pain all the way through the milky way. Why can’t I snuff out the voices full of pain across the world and get lost in the joy of music?  Maybe the pain of it too, but in music human pain is more bearable because it’s being flung outward across plateaus where it careens into lush mountains or across molten plains of wheat and is sheathed in otherworldly light, baptized into something more holy and healing.

I wasn’t meant to live like this, in fragile skin, with breakable bones, and friable teeth. I was meant to be strong medicine, like retrograde Venus.

This is the wrong kind of luminescence. It’s kindred to the death-mask. The last thoughts and prayers that paralyze the dead under cover of arching oak trees.

What will I have left to say when my bullets are drawn? What will I have left to say when the spirits are dry and the party is over? What will I have left to say now that Mattis is dead and buried and his shadow isn’t even pressing into my nightmares with the calm cool gloves of the gentleman’s touch? What will I have left to say when all the smoke has drifted to the heavens and found I haven’t got a place higher than the short English daisies meeting the sea? What will I have left to say when the last of us is slit open in the bathtub of God’s hot water?

Tonight I can’t even put a dying fly out of its misery. And it hurts that its reached its end in my office. Slowly, covering the surfaces of my desk and skin with mirthless determination. It rests just left of my computer screen, gathering the strength to traverse just a little more wood until it can’t move through the light. So we stare at each other and we understand how alike we are in relation to our vulnerability. I’m careful not to set my beer bottle on its exoskeleton. Its not so careful it doesn’t climb my beer bottle.

I miss when I was more in my body, as much as I fear it. I liked the thrust of a sword to express my determination to keep taking up space. I liked the bees crowding the ivy in the light of the lowering sun. I liked when my foil flashed through semi-dark to cut down the last light. I liked when sleep was an exercise in hope instead of inevitability. I liked when I could meet the dawn with the vigor of a resuscitated hero. Now I slink behind my own shadow like there isn’t a better bigger shadow I can  twist into my excuse for everything.

Rise, motherfuckers, like you’re the breath of Christ and God is real. Rise, motherfuckers, like you’re what God hoped for all along.

I may have buried my voice a little so that I wouldn’t be discovered in time to hear the responses I don’t want to acknowledge. I want the fierce writing and self care habits of my past but with the wisdom of my present. I want for all those lessons to have not been in vain. I want for all of that blood-letting to have been constructive, or at least to have meant something. Anything.

Under the Bakelite weight of this phone I can hear the past recalling itself to order, planning its comeback in tight satin pants and spangles.

This slow poison is how I communicate with the devil of my disorder. You can fuck yourself.Whatever voice is shouting loudest in my head right now is the one I pray to. Fuck loyalty. It’s about who can out-maneuver me in my own head, every single time. I’m crippled by my own fear. I was lost before I hit double digits. Lost in the atmosphere of my own bile and quickened heartbeat. The nightmares were brutal and absolute. They swallowed everything before I knew what everything was. There are memories that require quashing. Memories that can never be unburied without complete annihilation of self. And yet, there they are. Like concrete statues of fact shimmering in the corners of recollection like ghosts.


Late Friday Night Thoughts and General Fuckery

music head

It gives me great pleasure to imagine all the gay love songs written in history that straight people have assumed or have been encouraged to believe were for them.

Music is proof that it doesn’t matter what skin is involved in love, it’s all pretty much the most compelling thing any of us experience. Love is epic and as genderless in quality as death is.

I enjoy how death and love are always such equals whether we’re talking about the highest concepts or the lowest of either.

I’m sitting here at my keyboard even though my back hurts like a motherfucker. Advil has failed to alleviate the pain. Took it twice today and neither time has resulted in a reduction of pain. I’ve been icing and heating it for hours and it still hurts. So I decided to sit here and listen to the music of my youth and get maudlin-ish.

Remembering skating rinks, piss-filled public pools, Harry and David fruit baskets, the smell of my brand new plastic Bionic Woman doll I bought from the dustiest shadiest shop in Talent Oregon with my saved allowance, and the smell of lime essential oil in the coolest shop in town that sold David Bowie T-shirts and albums.

I might need, at some point, to admit that my brain is so full of voices I’m not always sure which ones are mine.  This potential admission must necessarily always be followed by the assurance that no voice in my head is compelling me to commit crimes. They aren’t even compelling me to vacuum, so you know it’s for-fucking real.

More and more I see the walls of my invulnerability and simultaneously see how I’m always letting the rot in through an involuntary empathetic  bent that’s as basic as the thickness of my blood and how it clots around my desire for peace and love. Self perpetuating cycle of disappointment and confirmation of distrust of humans.

Now I’m remembering my boring Boyfriend who peremptorily told me he expected his girlfriends to kiss him whether they had lipstick on or not when I demurred at our meeting at the Bart station  because I had red lipstick on and didn’t want to mess it up. I stayed at his house that night in Pleasanton but I knew it was the end because no bastard tells me when I have to kiss him. Fucker had no experience with people with OCD or other afflictions of preciseness. I remember listening to “Wild Horses” that night and knowing that we were pretty much over at that point. We hadn’t gone out more than a few weeks. Par for the course in my experience.

I remembered his name for 20 years but suddenly I can’t remember if it was Jeff or Jason.

What I’ll never forget is that he was a Capricorn like me and we drank Amaretto from his parents liquor cabinet.

Youth is fucked. Old age is also fucked.

Life is pretty much a marathon of pain and suffering with some effusive moments of incredible illumination.

Enjoy what you can of it.

The Death Of Me

All my clothes have holes.  Dark and bitten.  My memory hides underneath the eucalyptus oil on the warm night air.   If I shed my cloth it would cover the earth in black cotton.  Never mind.  Never mind.  The alarms have stopped ringing.  The smoke is nothing more than vapors in ghost pipes.  This airport hasn’t seen more than bones in twenty years and the chattering teeth are nothing but talking skulls.  Don’t run.  Don’t turn away from five am.  Don’t pretend you’re awake when you’re struggling not to bleed out in dream.  I know this sleep and it’s a tunnel that leads into the dark if you forget your body laid out, half under cover and half sprawled into the bite.

The cliff calls almost as loudly as the stripped rusted frame of the crashed Ford full of weeds and branches and restless memory.  You know it called you to the edge where the ghosts dance like punks and never fall.  You know you reached your hands out across the chasm and felt freedom stab at you and you met it with open arms, with the calm hands of suicide.  You can say what you want to everyone but the mountain knows the truth.  It never dies on the trail of grass and spirit.  You have never left it, dead as you were, you will never leave it.  You are recorded through the rocks and dirt and scrub and bush and the free-fall you have been taking ever since you walked away from the precipice.

The tunnel may have been narrow, but it was clean. It was open for the wake.



Inspiration for this piece is “Young Wild Girls” by Bruno Mars

We Are Young

You need to listen to Fun. singing “We are Young” with Janelle Monae because it’s the only reason I’m going to sleep tonight.  Click the following link and watch these two singing.  Watch them smiling and being in the moment completely.  Be young again without having to die a thousand humiliations.  Listen.  And if you hate it, go ahead and play your Iron Maiden.  I won’t be mad if you at least give this link a listen.

We Are Young

Sometimes I feel like I’m chronicling things that will be picked apart by the next generation; by my son and your son and our grandchildren.  The things I remember will be picked apart for evidence of truth, for crumbs of absolution, and for self definition, to prove whatever the young wish to prove.  I feel disobliging.  I worry that the only thing I can prove for anyone is that your truth and my truth and their truths are never going to look exactly the same.  I can’t make angels of devils or pretend that youth is innocent and carefree.  I suppose it was for people with other truths than mine, but youth as I knew it was a painful emancipation from safety, from anything resembling sleep, from all sense of certainty.  Adulthood brought with it greater peace and less violence.

Not sure what I’m trying to say tonight.  I think music is saying it for me.  When I watch  the acoustic video version of Fun.’s song “We Are Young” with Janelle Monae I feel set free of something I didn’t even know was trapped.  It’s an old school anthem of youth, of making mistakes, burning through the morning hours.  The most charming thing is to watch the singers singing it.  They are so clearly enjoying themselves.  They are in the moment.  There is such a simple joy in recording this song.  They keep smiling, especially Nate Ruess, like this moment is the only one.  They are so completely in the present.  I think most performers are, if they’re impressing us at all.

I’m reminded of the night my best friend Carrie and I walked down to the creepy park a few houses down from hers to sing Whitney Houston songs.  She sang and tried to get me to harmonize.  I’m a shit singer.  My voice isn’t bad, particularly, but I don’t have music in my veins the way Carrie does.  She has a gorgeous voice, very full and warm.  I remember seeing her belting out “The Greatest Love of All” and the look on her face was transcendental, both removed and present simultaneously; joyous and soulful, her lungs were full of the future, the past, the minute, the notes, and I just tried to do as she directed so as to keep the spell from breaking.  I wanted to keep her singing because her voice cutting into the dark air felt daring, telling, and free.

We felt something fall on the park like a pall and with the premonition of youth, the fear of colts who don’t yet rationalize bad feelings by jaded doubts, we ran for our lives.  We ran down the street, past her house, past her neighbor’s houses, and when we reached the parking lot in front of  Uncle Charlie’s bar we stopped, breathless, and laughed at the hairs still rising on our necks.

My good friend’s son came home from Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago.  I think he’s done being young in a silly way.  War changes you irrevocably.  I can’t begin to imagine the horrors he’s experienced.  Trial by fire sweeps your soul clean of any pretenses and strips you of your filters.  Going to war is like entering my world through the grisly back door.

We have to listen to music that lights the black tunnels for us.  Your light might be different than mine.  It’s okay.  We don’t have to rise to the same anthems.  We just all have to keep rising.  Find your song for youth, for hope, for fighting the indifferent dark, and light your torch so that I can see it from my own dark night.

I am indescribably happy not to be young any more but I am also engaged in wishing a future for the young that outshines the Aurelius borealis.

Hush: Still on the Other Side

The process of writing this book has been clamorous, boisterous, euphoric, suicidal, and almost the exact length of the gestational period of an elephant.  It has grown a little more quiet.  the wheels turn with less grease now, with less head pounding against my pitifully pet-dirty window pane that looks down on poison-man and smoking-man who only ever see me in my down-trodden pyjamas and ragged sweaters.  They see me make strange gesticulations to the air and make peculiar mad poses as I forget I’m not alone in the world or in my window and pretend to go into my forms positions.  I am as exotic as a plucked pheasant.

Still, I am making something better than myself.  This must be worth something.  I keep thinking of hands.  I see hands everywhere I go.  The same as I see noses and teeth.  The same as I look at the quality of eyes in the light and see what tries to hide from the blind intrusion to the pupil, shrinking, revealing, begging to be let down easy.  I keep seeing hands saying more than mouths, more than eyes, more than voices.  A silent opera of hands unfolds all around me, bleeding baritone velvet and gold frogging.

Hands whose natural tension has been relieved at the wrist with razor precision.  Hands that touch truth and shiver in the cold with loneliness.

In the thick of chapter 12, 3rd draft revision, I am carefully forcing Cricket to unfold her prejudice and arrogance.  I am trying to find that sublime balance between enough evolution and maintaining that reservation we all have to learn at our own pace.  The book takes place over about a month and half period of time, a life can change irrevocably in that time but it may not right itself as easily as summer melted butter.

Tonight I am full of time.  A flooding of memory both sweet and uncomfortable.  What I remember most fondly, that I can share, is this funny little antique shop from which I extracted such treasures as unworn nylon stockings from the 1940’s and 50’s, old screen magazines from the 50’s and 60’s, and a wonderful peach and white gingham waitress dress from the 60’s or 70’s with a silly Peter pan collar, small pockets, cut with an A-line skirt.  I loved that thing.  Loved it’s Laverne charm better than I could ever love a hair locket, something else I found in this shop but didn’t buy.  I wanted light.  Like I always do.  I was hungry for trust, for something solid, for promises in cotton, for the mutual recognition of art, of design, of brotherhood.  I wanted a fireside story of romance to end with old ladies and old men, shriveled with time, but happy.  I didn’t want Romeo and Juliet.  I didn’t want Ophelia or Sylvia Plath.  I wanted something real, but something full of light.  That dress… that dress was full of fucking light and made me laugh every time I put it on.


I’ve never wanted anything different.  I’m feeling the years and the hours and the decades and the seconds in a complete happy jumble of affectionate expressions of time.  Everything I write reflects my desire.  My view.  My search for the same light.  The same dress.  The same corner full of thread and lace, hammers and nails, tea and bourbon.

Arteries still pump themselves down the same limbs and all these years later the razor isn’t much farther than it was before from perfection, from resolution, from expression.  The spread of joy is unequivocal.  It infects where it bleeds.

I was always so separate feeling, outside looking in.  I know now that this was merely how I perceived myself and it lacks corroboration from those around me in the past.  I was touching cold hands to warm light and standing fast to my side of the window because I didn’t know how to come in.  Not even with twenty hands all unlatching the windows to pull me through; I held to my side because I didn’t know how to shut the window behind me.


The past climbs through now.  It speaks in the bright patois of youth, it kisses the dark away and covers pin cratored fingers with the finest beeswax, sops the blood from tight stitches and says to hell with it all!  The pale ghost of fear doesn’t stand a chance against this light of memory.

It colors my work.  It colors the chapters so that each closes with almost the same broken cry I used to let out in my sleep in the dark house full of olive sized spiders and weeping naked Juliettes.  Everything then is useful to me now, tonight.  The feel of yards of cartridge pleated velveteen to the limit of my soul, the candlelight that hid lovers I disapproved of, disastrous assignations, while I took candle to the stars and watched everyone else more happy than myself fall apart in agony.


Cricket will find her way.


What Remains


(in my nightmares)

Parasols of specific and distinct design, navy blue capelets, old men-friends not explicit and yet not inexplicit, missing hats, new entries into China town that lead to Macy’s, lost toddlers I can’t leave parentless and adopt, Chinese salami, and tipping the hat.

My unbelievably gorgeous Chinese American friend Cam who is shocked with pleasure at the gift of half a salami.


(or, rather, much farther in the past)

I’m not sure how this has happened but suddenly I’m listening to The Pet Shop Boys “It’s A Sin” and I am on my dad’s empty wood porch on Paradise Drive eating weird frozen pastries from his freezer because I’m house sitting and have no food of my own.  I’m sixteen.  There is coffee and hairspray.  There’s dancing alone in a posh house I’ll never live in or own.  Views of the bay.  It’s not my life.

“Private Dancer” also played endlessly with the smoking ashtray.

Endless loops of “Meet the Beatles” and strange clarity about my place in the world.

It’s all of a time.


I remember Paris perfume and rides in Mercedes Benz’ through the night, watching the highway speed by and knowing my life was disconnected, knowing my life was going to derail, knowing that the smell of the perfume in the night floating across the leather seats was something that would fade to myth.  It wasn’t for me.  It wasn’t even my own memory to claim and hold.  I let it go, let it aspirate into the rain streaked tarmac.

Somehow I ended up in a light filled apartment on 27th and Geary.  Years later.  It was filled with late night pattern drafting, writing desperate poetry at five in the morning, barefoot runs to China Beach where I still haunt the rocks.  You want to know me?  Go.  Go to China Beach because I’m still climbing the rocks there in my skirts and petticoats, rubbing the care from my feet in the frigid surf against the coarse sand.  It’s where I live.  Always.  I’m still there.

I made a gorgeous cornish game hen I must have tasted, though I can’t remember such taste.  I made it for the original Stallone Pantone whose magnificent nose I put in the first unpublished novel “Jane Doe”.  The game hen was perfect, and even then I hated that I’d cooked a dead bird.  It might be okay for others to do it but I knew I had a secret contract with the other beasts of the earth never to eat them and I violated it to impress a hook-nosed dark-eyed impossibly tall Italian man who told me all old women in Italy are named Angelina.

There is no more complete way to tell a girl she’s circus-ready.

I wore a thin voile dress with a slip underneath it and threw the casement windows open to let in the sultry afternoon while Besse Smith told me how much laundry made her want to kill her man (the “Laundry Blues” inaccurately interpreted by me) and I mopped my forehead with a cooling gin and tonic I wasn’t legally old enough to drink.  I was barefoot and the hardwood floors absorbed my summer skin like a virgin oiling heroes.*

The city roared through the open casement windows.  A hundred years of thick white paint cried out to be writ, to be seen, and creaked and stuck and then gave itself up to the spell of heat.  Always a breeze drifting through the apartment whether lusty and peremptory or gentle with persuasion, the air always moved across the rooms like fresh thought.

The same place was smashed by the Loma Prieta earthquake.  Everything was tossed from the cupboards and crushed across the floor in glittering mess.  Kittens huddled underneath the bed, shivering in fear.  The Cala foods across the street emptied out like a Russian breadline.  People shoved old ladies out of the way.  Once the assholes got away the rest of us out-polited each other and cried because the old girls were so scared.  Those of us not blinded by fear would have given every last can of peaches to the grandmothers who, in turn, wept with appreciation and left blessings in their paths.

I didn’t sleep for a long time.

Back then I knew I was a poet.  Back then I knew that I was going to write and carve a path of words forward that the lost would find and follow.  Back then I knew, with no doubts or false modesty, that I was going to write things that would change the world, would change people in ways they had no idea they could change.  Back then I knew I was going to be something I’ve never become.

I wasn’t a drug addict.  My brief assignation with drugs ended on my nineteenth birthday in a great dangerous debacle of misplaced trust and unremitting unbelievable stupidity I have yet to square with myself.  It was on my nineteenth birthday when I accidentally snorted large quantities of cocaine and heroine.**   I went to a club underwater and was followed relentlessly by a bald bad man who took the same muni home that I did and to this day I have no idea how I finally lost him.  I made it home safe and never did anything besides drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes again.

27th and Geary.  A magical place.  The place I learned to make rosemary polenta.  The place I finally embraced the fact that I am female.  I am not a boy.  The place I finally came to terms with my girlhood by hanging out with three heterosexual men not interested in me.  A magical time in which I haunted the old San Francisco public library card catalogs for undiscovered mysteries.  I loved the stone, the marble, the steps, the magnificent endless isles of books, records, and study corners.

It’s beautiful, this culling of memory.  This brassy etching of time, this furtive collection of images and smells.  What about Steve’s Greek Pizza with the endless loop of bird twitter, the rotisserie shaved animals, the fake grapes crawling the corners?  What about the rent boys and Jack?  What about the bath shop with those lovely packets of scented salts I thought might change the world?

The Polk Gulch.  Panhandling for 40 ouncers which made me want to retch.

Somewhere on a piece of paper I have the words in French to “La Vie En Rose” and I used to sing it to myself out loud.  I used to dream in Piaf.

I’m Bukowski after the last call has been made.

I hope I’m a little prettier.

I hope my hands look like angels.

I hope my life reads less shabby than my dreams.

Let’s speak in quiet parentheticals.  Let’s speak in boxed pasta and cheap plum wine.  Let’s speak in sea water and cigarettes.   Let’s speak in pseudo virginity and how the gorgeous bridge between us  tears like nylon gauze.

Let’s wipe the tears to the floor and take control of this ship!

You, smelling of pine and the resin of sincerity; you wreck every cover and shake down every corner of complicity.

What remains is the smell of Opium and cigarettes at the Muni stop.  What remains is a hollowed out memory of sharp collars and gay room mates.  What remains is the broken glass.  What remains is the ghost of China Beach and the skirts that dragged up the wooden stairs and slapped the pink mansion, knowing the scent there, knowing the spirit there.

What remains is the barefoot girl with the five petticoats stealing reflections in your windows.  What remains is the ghost of your girl, the memory of your sailor skirt waiting on the rocks past midnight, past drugs, past everything.  Even light.

*Okay, I rarely do this but I just have to say that I have no idea what I meant by that.  It simply came out and I’m leaving it because I like it and am intrigued and want to say it a few more times but if I erase it I will forget it and feel I’ve lost something.

**No one “accidentally” snorts drugs (just like no one smokes pot but doesn’t inhale), the “accidental” part was not knowing what I was snorting.  I thought I was snorting speed.  Not particularly noble or safe of me, yet for all I was comfortable snorting some speed back then, I would never have intentionally snorted an eightball nor done heroin in any form.  I think a true eightball is smoked.  I’m not sure it’s called that if you snort it.

Not knowing what I was snorting was entirely my fault.  No it wasn’t, it was my room mate who provided the powder but failed to disclose where he got it until afterwords.

UPDATE: a good friend of mine pointed out that an eightball is a large amount of drugs.  This is true, it can refer to an amount, but way back when I told someone about what happened and about the experience and they called it an eightball.  The slang dictionary gives three different definitions for it and they seem to hinge on how you write it:  eight ball, eight-ball, eightball.  Anyway, for your interest I submit my source:  Drug Slang Dictionary

Wild Horses and the Boyfriend Pariah

The only reason I’m writing at this moment is because I need something to do while I listen to “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones.  You should know that I’m not actually a huge Rolling Stones fan.  I like a few of their songs.  But especially this one.  Wild Horses.  I’m not actually sure if the boyfriend or the song came first.

I am reminded of one of my early boyfriends.  We’ll call him Dave.  It is the veriest coincidence that his name is actually Dave.

I’m wondering if he’s dead.  I think not.  He was an imperious Capricorn who at the tender age of (whatever his age was) already knew that he didn’t appreciate his girlfriends applying fresh lipstick right before he picks them up at Bart station if they’re going to use that as an excuse not to kiss him.  People that commanding don’t just die.  They’re the ones that outlive the rest of us reprobates.

I can never read a horoscope that suggests Capricorns shouldn’t date each other for the sheer boredom without thinking about Dave, the only Capricorn I ever dated.

This song brings Dave to mind.  I can no longer remember whether it was a song on my own walkman or whether he played it on his record player.  (Remember those?)

When I listen to this song I remember feeling completely heart broken by how good it was.  I remember wishing Dave would shut up so I could melt away into the song with my lipstick and my paper and pen in peace.  I remember him being annoyed because I was more interested in listening to the song than to him.

I would have been annoyed with me too.

I don’t know what poems I wrote to this song.  I know that if I was truly masochistic I could spend an exhausting number of hours scouring through my old notebooks to find them.  It would only depress me to see what crap they were, so I’ll float along on memory and pretend they were really important and are lost to the great abyss of the moving van.

There was Amaretto.

I think I apologized to Mick Jagger for writing him off as a no-good slag rock singer.

I knew I would break up with Dave the minute he ordered me to kiss him in the parking lot at the Bart station.

Tonight I release these memories so that this song can be something new for me.

So strange to be thinking so much of old boyfriends this week.

I don’t mean Rufus Sewell, Jon Stewart, or Mathew Macfadyen.

I have no feeling of loss or poignant nostalgia about old boyfriends.  I have no idea why I seem to be congering them up this week.

We had snow last night.  It was beautiful!  It nearly all melted by 2pm today.  I watched unsticking flurries and it filled me with happiness.

I also returned to Kung Fu tonight.  I have to be very very careful of my calf but it was a mellow class where we practiced joint destruction and stick fighting.

It’s almost midnight and I just remembered I have to do a load of Max’s laundry.  So I was thinking while I loaded the machine up how I don’t believe that any of my ex-boyfriends remember me.  I have this idea that the minute I exited their lives I ceased to exist.  If you think about ceasing to exist for someone- it feels like being erased.

Of course I’m wrong because one of my ex-boyfriends tried to friend me on facebook.

I didn’t let him.  It felt like ghosts roiling up from the bottom of the ocean.

Not unsimilar to giant squids.

I’m listening to “Miss You” now.  Maybe I like The Stones more than I let on.

I have returned to my fantasy of leaving the country.

I think “tongue tickler” sounds dirty.

That’s something a food writer said to describe some appetizers.  Every part of me is itching to discuss this with the writer.  I am strong because I am Kung Fu.

I keep doing the Kung Fu.  Against the odds.

I AM the odds.

I’m going to take up the invitation to shoot an AK.  I am attracted to the fierce contrast to my nature that an AK represents.

Gun tease.

I think it must be good to be Mick Jagger.  I’m really happy I’m not having his baby.

I’ve heard a lot of people say “I’m not a political person” and I find I can’t respect a person who isn’t political because being alive on this planet requires any thinking caring conscious human being to be political.  I say this but I know that I will, tomorrow, realize that this is my ignorance pushing through.

Isn’t it?

Like when people tell me I can’t be a responsible American if I don’t read the news.  An accusation I have railed against.  Pushing at the machine.

I just don’t understand how a person can be alive and  not be political.

I also don’t understand how a person can be alive and not indulge in philosophy.  It’s not that I don’t understand how people can not share MY philosophy.  I understand being the opposition, but I don’t understand not taking one.

An attempt to dissolve unions, pushing GMO foods onto consumers with no requirement to label, corporate interests ruling all, corruption, laws, the crumbling of civil liberties… How can anyone not care about these things?

I respect my opposition for having a position even though I think they’re full of shit, obviously.  I have a really hard time respecting those with no position.

I need to plant a garden this spring.  Even if I don’t get to stay in this house.  It’s important.  If you have room to grow food you need to grow food.  Even if your life is transient.  Open pollinated varieties.  The earth is sickening and we must give it hope and vitality with our own hands.

I might have to move in a few months but I’ll be damned if I sit back and let good ground be wasted on lawn and weeds.  Growing your own food at this point in history is one of the most subversive and powerful things you can do if you insist on open pollinated varieties and don’t douse your precious ground with poisons.

The Rolling Stones have landed me exactly where I started.

I wish I could remember what color lipstick I put on when I got off of Bart.  It was almost certainly some dubious tube of Wet-n-Wild from Woolworth’s on Powell.

Whatever color it was, it kicked ass.

Show me your blood, and I’ll show you mine.

I don’t know what kind of dreams a McBurger would inspire.  I don’t know what it feels like to wait in a line in my car to order my dinner from a window behind which an adenoidal teen writes barely coherent notes.  Would it sound like music?  Would it make me feel the wheat shaft brush against my shin as the dry shushing of the grass talks to the fall wind?

When I was five, one of the few memories I have that clings to the skin of my life is of eating a beet straight from my mother’s garden, covered in a sheen of thin soil and tasting like more than a Russian joke of body odor.  I ate it like it was candy.  I was probably as dirty as the beet.  Dirty fucking hippie kid.  Another early memory is of eating an onion raw in front of a baby sitter who looked at me with the same look everyone reserves for carnies; mixed awe and horror.  I ate an onion like it was an apple.  I was somewhere  between five and six years old.  I only know this because we’d left the commune but we still lived a few doors down from the house that caught fire.

I have few early memories.  These are potent earthy markers.

What if every memory was suspended from the pollution of other people’s memories?  Would they be more corrupt or more pure?

I don’t know.  I have so few answers.  There are so many questions they crawl up the walls to the ceiling while I dream of human-consuming worms, house fires lapping up baby dolls with revolving faces in dark play attics, the great tundra of the school grounds across the street whose bushes hid the answers to life in pulpy copies of Playboy and Playgirl, the darker meanings lost on us children.  The presence of evil felt but never expressed.  Wonder and eyes glued to inconceivable contortions of the life we thought was real.

Snails and salt.  Vacancy.  Sometimes the horror of what we found in the bushes was more bearable than the horror in our own homes.  Sometimes the bushes were the safest place to wait for life to evolve, to take us into the future where something was more possible than nothing.

Life is nothing but blood and more blood.  How much you pump, how much you consume, how much you need, how much you’ll lose, and how much you’ll share.  It’s life.  It’s the visceral manifestation of your soul, however you like to lay that out: on bible pages mod-podged to your forehead or pinned to a frame like dead butterflies caught mid-flight and pickled by formaldehyde and ozone.  Life is nothing more than skin and blood and I’ve spilled my share.

Our lives can be measured by how much blood we have to make, how much we have to lose, and how cut up we are in the process of dying before death.  It’s one long continuum of beating veins and active arteries.  I feel the pressure of it in my temple, pulsing like a light tribal drumbeat; I want you to walk away now.  Leave this livid pallor to the rest of us.

None of it matters much if you find your way back to the dirt.  To the beets with the bloom of soil on the surface your teeth grind past and forgive for the sweet-sick taste of bloody earth.  It bleeds all over your fingers and your mouth like a plague of love as frightening as locusts.  You will remember past the Peter Gabriel nightmare in the attic because what shines is this other remembrance, this second life no one can ever say they saw or they’ll have to show you their own blood too.

It all echoes in the underpasses where ghosts like to drift with needles and razors and maggoty boxes of noodle-roni.  It all lives in shadow where the cars are afraid to park, where unspent rage finds purchase in the oil spills and the exhaust drips of tired dry asphalt.  You’ll never see it.  You’ll never know it’s there.  You’ll never see the blood because if you did your whole life would unravel from the navel outwards.

So show me the dirt.  Show me your veins.  Show me your blood and I’ll show you mine.