Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"How does it feel to not exist?"
I had asked the wind.

Only then did it occur to me that
I no longer cared
How the wind felt.

Friday, December 2, 2011

After a long day
Of nothing, even at work,
I ventured out from my cave
To a friend's place
Where drinking was promised
And I expected nothing more.

And that was surely the extent
But then a presence entered
And the presence guided me onward
Into the night
From situation to situation
Leading me into what became
An unexpected renewal of my core.

I have always been fascinated
By those that move freely
Without a care for prying eyes
Or judgement
Or perhaps even purpose.
People that can sense
What the proper movement is,
And then take it without a second thought.

I do not dance, I watch.
But I can smile like a fool
And bob my head with rhythm.
Usually, that's all that's needed.
But a physical pull into the lava
That is a dance floor
Is not something I have experienced
In the way that I experienced it tonight.
My body went numb with surprise,
Sending me flailing backward toward the wall
Like a rat scurrying back into the darkness
After a floodlight has suddenly spotted it
But I enjoyed the idea
That someone would keep trying.
That the best dancer, in fact,
Would keep trying.

And I don't smoke,
But the nicotine ingested
Was the most worthy I've had
Because it was discovered
That we are people of theory
And while my linguistic obsession
Seems almost common,
Hers is rare and truly beautiful to encounter.
Theory in motion.
Theory in use.

The only other person
I've ever met
Who does not yet have tattoos
Because she's holding out
For who will be able to depict
Her chosen abstract theories
To the best of their abilities.

Shock and awe.
This is a fated friendship.
And I am terribly excited.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

If this year has been anything to me,
It has been the development of my ability
To lull
To deceive into certainty
Only to then pull the rug out,
Leaving my opponents flailing
Sadly searching over their mistakes
Trying to find where they went wrong,
As if viewing a caper montage
Near the end of a long, confusing film.

It's been the development
Of my latent ability
To suppress the thought
That my opponents care about anything
Except for winning
And the realization,
In my own victories,
That winning is not everything to me.

It has been the cycle
Of decontextualization,
And reimplementation
Of Others and Otherness,
Of Selfhood and Such.

I have learned
To distrust loops
As repetition is a deadly lie
And to make my moves with discretion,
Pushing for the progress
That one says one deserves.

A careful innocence
Is now tainted
With the ability
To aggressively pursue
And consequently conquer,
To activate
A dangerous edge in me
If need be
As the edge is a necessity.

A hunger for invincibility
Is actualized with certainty
In the self alone,
And only then.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My wheels slid out from beneath me.
I landed with a slide and thud.
Bruises and swelling.
Scuffed new clothes.
No blood, though.
I considered myself lucky and continued with bent handlebars.
I'd lost my name tag, and it didn't matter.
I came back later and found it in the gutter.

After work, I played cards.
And a vintage goth approached me.
There was an immediate attraction.
Her son was my age,
And I felt a reckoning with my past.

But she spoke of healing practices,
As a genetic biologist,
Discussing the importance of Calcium
To balance the Barium
That so brutally saturates this area.
And she hissed against potatoes
For their Solanine and Chaconine
That apparently prolong pain.

And then she spoke of vampires
Saying that she frequented clubs
When she lived in Brazil
For the vampire crowd
And that she has fangs,
With which she can bite,
But was quick to say that she doesn't.

And I didn't believe her.
And she mentioned "the goddess" whenever possible.
"13 is the goddess' number, that's why it's demonized."
I felt compelled to roll my eyes.
It's not the knowledge, but the sense
That I've been here before.

And I was very aware
That the me eight years ago
Would have been in love.
But Wicca is boring,
And vampires are behind me.
I no longer wish to live forever,
Or to be beautiful and seductive to all.
If anything, I've become more guarded than ever.
Reinforcing a wall once broken,
And waging wars with long-distance weapons.

And still there was something very honest
In this small encounter
That made me pause and consider
The possibilities involved.
And the rings in her ears
Swung with every movement.
And she spoke of the multicolored hair
She used to have
Before her colleagues told her to be more professional.
And she gave me a shot of ginseng
That looked like a bottle of insulin
To be treated like a Capri Sun.
And a raw food energy bar,
A flavor of which I hadn't had before.

If I had met this person 10 years ago
I would have fetishized her existence.
And the idea of it made me feel old
While I was aware I made her feel young.
And the old vampiric feelings came creeping back,
Despite my intentions.

She kept telling me that I look tired
Because she saw my fragility.
And I told her I was just sore
And, yes, a little tired.
Instead of depressed and alone.
While she was potentially the only person
I encountered that day
That perhaps wanted to hear that from me
To use it as an opportunity
To leap over my apprehensive walls,
I had lied.

And then there was a nap.
And then a call.
Then a drive.
And finally a bonfire.
Surrounded by card players
Young punks
And vagabonds
Getting drunk, having fun.
I stood alone as a friend made his move
On a girl in one of his classes.
And I watched a boy
Who'd just grabbed my tits
Wrestle a girl to the ground.
And forget my existence.

I stared into those flames and reminisced
On all occasions during which I had stared into flames
And felt lonely, but ready.
For what, I don't know.
And then a girl approached me from behind
With glasses and a very serious expression
Only to state her name.
I responded apprehensively with mine
And as the last letter rolled off of my tongue
She asked if I was lonely.

I stared, then shrugged.
"No, not really..."
"Well, you look really lonely."
And I lied again, and again.
And suddenly she left.

And I only felt tired and old.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Return to greatness.

I have plugged in my guitar.
I have handed in the two-week notice.
I have applied and reapplied.
I have paid to have it fixed.

Progress is coming.
Progress always does.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A humbling continuance.

Shadow sleeps at the base of a chair, curled up beneath the coffee table, waiting for my next movement so that she might carefully track me should I decide to visit the kitchen. She is a scavenger, keeping distance and hiding in the shadows, staying true to her name. She uses telepathy to beg. It's quite effective.

I have been on the same page of a job application for almost three hours because this application asked me to describe my volunteer experience. I usually only mention what I did during college, but lately I've been feeling the need to connect with the greatness of the distant pass as opposed to only ever mentioning what I've been doing for the past few years.

A couple weeks ago, after a long day at both jobs, I ended up at The Brass Rail to visit my friend who works as the doorman for every event. The conversations at hand were mostly about relationships, as usual. It was within that mindset that I was suddenly grabbed by a tall stranger, who wrapped his arms around me as quickly as he'd entered. I realized that both he and the two people he'd walked in with were old, old classmates of mine. I hadn't seen two of them since high school, and the other since the fifth grade. One of the first questions they asked me was if I still draw. I scoffed, saying that I didn't. They looked shocked, then asked if I still sculpt. My reaction was similar to the first.

Then I realized that that was something I had abandoned. A skill set that I felt I had moved away from. Physical art production. I suddenly remembered that they had all thought that I was going to become a famous sculptor. A famous illustrator. I remembered their awe. I remembered my last formal art class, taught by a woman who created boring art and sought to change every idea I produced, who either denied or threatened to deny the A+ I rightly earned during each project. I remembered the sudden feeling that emerged in high school that I would never perfect those skills, and that there was no use in following them if I didn't intend to make a career out of it. I remembered the panic-stricken deadline-chasing and last-minute instructor-pleasing in my high school journalism classes that turned me off to the pursuit of journalism. Then I remembered how easy college felt by comparison. I wondered if it felt easier because I was so much more confident in my skills and purpose, or if it was because it really was much easier, and had lulled me into the state of forgetting my obsessive pursuit of perfection.

In the middle of attempting to answer the question about my volunteer experience, I felt compelled to go upstairs and find my senior yearbook, as I couldn't remember that Key Club was called Key Club. I read the list next to my photo aloud to myself:

Rifle Team 9, 10, 11, 12 (Captain 11, 12); Newspaper 10, 11, 12 (Editor-in-Chief 12); Yearbook 10, 11, 12; Key Club 11, 12; National Honor Society 10, 11, 12; World Culture Club 12; Tutoring 12; Mentoring 12; Speech 10, 11; Academic Super Bowl 11, 12; Band 9, 10, 11.

On the next page, in the center of the senior superlatives layout, I contemplated the implications of having been voted "Most Unique," and thought of other ways I might have attempted to pose for that photo. I had worn devil horns over my cascading long hair, shown in a rare down state and enclosing my frame to the waist, wearing a Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness shirt, strapped with my Ibanez Artist guitar and throwing up the sign for metal, my tongue stuck out and obscuring my chin. I was visibly cocky, but I knew that I deserved that superlative. That photo had found me at the point of comfortable seniority. A point at which I was beginning to accept that I was special, that I had earned acknowledgement and entitlement. Next to me, in a separate photo, was the boy they had also voted as Most Unique, contradicting the title in his very presence, and sporting a nondescript "emo" appearance that was appropriately popular at the time.

Here I sit, once again attempting to describe myself. Once again, noting changes, or expanding upon preexisting definitions. All in the hope that someone will find me worthy enough of occupying a position that would still not produce a yearly income above the poverty line. A yearly income that would be double my current.

I've been aware that I have been significantly humbled in the past year by the hiring process. I only realized tonight how drastically more humble I have become since high school.

Shadow is six years old now. I'm almost 18 years older than Shadow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I still spend quite a lot of time watching documentaries.

The only difference is that now I don't have anyone to talk to about what I'm learning.
I was right. I was so, so right.

I usually am, though.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cock Tales.

I remembered, this evening,
When you asked me out for cocktails
In front of everyone,
Two years ago,
And we all blushed in response.
I stared, dumbfounded,
As you gazed back casually.
I said "why not?"

So, instead of going back to Pride,
Where we'd just finished tabling,
We went to Farm,
And drank expensive booze,
And talked about women.
Almost 20 years my senior,
A seasoned queer woman from Chicago,
And I was never more flattered,
And never more regretful of the horrified look I gave them
As we walked out of Boxcar and into the night.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cache creativity, cache reality.

“To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others.”-Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

I'm struggling against my own creativity.

Every day, it is the thought,
"Today, I need to get my shit together."
"Today, I need to write something. Play something."

And, every day, it is the feeling,
"I'm so tired."
"I'm so sad."
"I'm so lonely."

I'm very inspired.
And very uninspired.

I'm building a collection.
The collection changes from day to day.
But I do not forget.
I do not slim down.
I do not erase.

It is a library of thoughts.
Of regrets and empty experiences.
Slipping interests.
Fading words.

Things that inspired individuals in the past
To write words that became great.
Words that held their meanings through the years.
Words that feel like crumbling, permanent pillars
Of our cultural currency.

I think that part of my problem
Is that I believe the expression of these particular emotions and ideas
Is a cliche in itself.
It's been done before, over and over.
It's useless unless it's totally unique.

I don't want my mansion to look like everyone else's.
I want mine to be unique.
Because we all want to be unique.
Special, every one.
Rich and famous, every one.

It'd be a betrayal of myself
To attempt to publish or present
Anything less than something I can totally stand behind.
Irrational, perhaps, but respectable by nature.
I am my own motive. No one, nothing else.

And it is myself that I conceal.
And myself I will present.
Myself that will conquer.
Myself that will survive.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm still certain that the best revenge
Is the lack of further acknowledgement of past events.
As much as I would like to tell my own tragedies,
It's best that the people involved are just going to slip into obscurity.
Where they belong.
As I've said before, though,
Tragedy is easier to write about.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I still feel like my throat was slit a month ago,
And I've been bleeding out in a serial killer's basement ever since.
I feel like a living murder victim.

I'm stuck in a limbo I didn't invite.
There are days of anger,
And there are days of sadness.
But, all together, there is a lot of nothingness.

I feel like a ghost,
Becoming increasingly inconsequential and forgotten
While in the prime of my life.

All the witnesses of my past greatness
Are scattered across the world.
And the days in which I was celebrated seem to be fading into a distant past.

The search parties,
Try as they might to find me,
To rescue me,
To bring me home to recover,
Have yet to successfully locate me.

Sometimes I feel as though they've seen
But not comprehended
And perhaps called off the search too soon.

And then there are times when the trapdoor is opened.
And the murder site is returned to.
To put lipstick on slimy lips
Or caress the silken, slipping hair of the many trophies there.

My lifeless eyes linger on those of my killer.
Try as I might to forget how I once saw them
And focus on my own destruction's influence on them
I mourn the loss of what I thought was a growing love.

What instead became a slaughter
That rendered my meat rotting and useless.
Which is something else entirely to mourn.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pertinent Premonition.

I feel like something's coming, and I don't know what it is.
It's like I'm waiting for an inevitable turn.
Yet another dramatic volta.
There have been so many in the past five years of my life.
It's hard to imagine what the next is.

Rationally, it should be a physical move.
A personal exodus.
To a trendy but perhaps remote location.
Potentially full of people waiting and willing to embrace me in their community.
A place where I'll again have opportunities to become involved in activities I love.
More opportunities for me to display my self-realized abilities to surprise, inspire and conquer.
More opportunities for me to build and rebuild my empire.
To again rise to the top of my networking game.

All this recent bridge-burning business has made me miss meeting people.
Developing useful connections.
Meeting people that present me with opportunities simply for knowing them.
My utilitarian sensibilities are returning, but to what benefit?
Maybe this is the incentive I need to formalize the plans for escape.
There is a cut-throat business woman lurking somewhere in me.
And I have to get to the people I'm supposed to meet.

I still believe in fate.
Happenstance reason.

My karma is demanding its equal in events.
And it's very, very good.
I'm hopeful, to say the least.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Libraries: the new crisis lines.

During a particularly busy stint in the library on Monday, I was answering the business line because I was the first to get to it. The man on the other end reluctantly asked if there was someone on staff that just answered questions. I told him that everyone else was fairly busy at the moment but that I'd be happy to answer his question. He proceeded to ask for a clarification of the definitions of "bisexuality" and "homosexuality," and what the difference between the two was, if any.

I proceeded to calmly explain that bisexuality is the sexual attraction to individuals of both sexes, and homosexuality is the exclusive attraction to individuals of the same sex.

He then asked what it would be if, say, an individual was coerced into performing "certain acts." I calmly explained that sexual orientation is typically a product of the individual's chosen, natural preference, and that such actions would not matter if the coerced individual didn't want them to. He then told me that he'd recently been at a bachelor's party, where his friends had coerced him into performing "certain acts," and that he wasn't sure of what it meant.

I explained that, again, these actions didn't have to mean anything if he didn't want them to. And if he decided that he enjoyed these actions, he was free to explore more of those actions and then make a decision from there. But that, again, if he didn't want to be described in a new way, that he didn't have to be, because it was his choice as to whether or not these actions would redefine his identity.

He thanked me before saying goodbye, and sounded like he felt better.

A coworker joked that perhaps he'd called the grocery store before that, and I couldn't stop laughing.

But I generally feel really good about what I said.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Tonight I got the first ride in in months.
Ten miles.
It felt easy.
Balmy air makes all the difference.
We rode down the muddy trails.
Through the floodlands.
Past everyone else who felt the need to feel alive.
It was a hard winter, after all.
My dad could only listen.
As I discussed my current thoughts.
The texts.
The bad night of sleep.
Being late to work because I slept through my alarm.
The karmic sadness and frustration I feel because of it.
I was still swollen from crying when I woke up.
Today is the first day my face has felt normal in about four.

We returned covered in dirt.
But I felt cleaner.