Wednesday, January 29, 2014

weather



This weather has cracked me in two. I don't feel like me. As if someone reached into me and tied all of my bones in a knot that is tightened between my shoulder blades. Constantly tense because I'm constantly cold, or getting ready to be cold. The bus ride to work is full of exhausted, bundled up individuals. All indoor floors are caked in salt. Even the stairs in my building that I run during every lunch break, scuffed with evidence of weather. I've started running the stairs again because it makes me sweat, and being hot/sweating is the closest I can get to feeling normal.

It feels like my environment, this unbelievable neverending cold, has dragged everything in me to the surface. All the things crammed down, pushed aside, shrugged off--it all bobs to the surface with teeth and barbs. I haven't seen the grass in a long long time. I'd like to.



The worst is sitting down to write. Every day feels the same--an effort to stay indoors, distracted, warm. Verses are paused in the frozen rivers, in the lake of my gut. Like unknowing goldfish never quite arriving.

The next few days will be in the upper twenties, thirties. This is the warmest it has been in a few weeks. How funny us humans, acclimating so quickly. World let me thaw soon.

Monday, January 27, 2014


busted,
flicker of streetlight
three pm strobe you full gait stride through
(my thousand camera flashes, my
lightning storm alive)
every finger a match letting her hair down
teeth of our knees hidden forever
bass of boots add bad weather laughter
butter-side down on a bare knee
cold
difficult
neglectful in compass
so our aimless grows a grin,

some wings




Thursday, January 23, 2014

deep freeze blues

This winter is breaking me. This freeze with a name, this unreal chill that popsicles my bones. Little things. Like hitting snooze one(or three) too many times because the covers and cat are keeping me warm. The covers and cat are much more kind and sense-making. Little things like the slick slushed aisle on the bus, a rogue footprint in salt bent over threshold. It is the mood of everyone. My shoulders, sore from staying gripped and pitched forward. That cleaver of wind. All of this.

Groundhog Day of my environment. Ice, snow, random rain, ice, snow, wind, snow, ice. Layered cake of sameness, brilliant white of ground blanket blinding me. I stay stuck in the house--I feel too cold to truly be inspired. I've experienced greater amounts of snow, stranger swatches of ice, but this is the roughest winter I can recall trudging through. Saturday will be a heatwave--all of 28 degrees. By Monday the low is back to -9. Surely there are other more pressing things to complain about but with this weather I feel beyond complaint. I feel mostly checked out and bothered, unsettled.

Sweating feels strange and glorious. I bundle up for spin class and it is there I feel free, finally shedding layers and craving the fan. I ride the trainer at home and start dinner immediately afterward, shivering in damp workout clothes as I wait for the shower's hot water to warm up. I go to bed with socks on and always kick them off at some point during the night.

Jon is visiting in 11 days and I've been giving him the play by play on this shitty weather. I hope I can keep him comfortable. I also hope I can sneak into his carry-on for the return trip to Cairo. I miss Egypt so much.

I'm working on new material for upcoming shows. I stop and I start. I spend nearly 2 hours on half a page of poetry. The cold folds me inward, but somehow away from all these veins ready to burst with new words. As if they too are frozen/brittle/broken, as if they've taken on weather.

pictures from the last week, record on repeat/different day for each







draft

stadium tremble
feet all boom-boom-boom
crowd sings
collective sway

go slow
this bed
big enough
both of us

travel-heavy hand roaming
one more time zone
down
latitude
of leg

television glow on skin--that's it;
hip, thumbprint
tongue, buckle
fist of my foot
in palm of your hand

some glory thing
some all i need
some nighttime love
in
full
swing

Friday, January 17, 2014

of things ago

Yesterday was January 16th. For thirteen years now, I've held onto that date. It may never slip my mind. In 2001 I had a miscarriage. I spent a hellish 12 hours in the hospital, had an emergency D&C. I wrote down all the details of the experience but never need to reference it--I know it all by heart. Even now, even so long ago. Long enough that I have to count the years between on my fingers. Yikes--this year, if things went a little differently, I'd be celebrating my kid's thirteenth birthday.

It feels a little strange to be completely thankful that such a heartbreaking thing occurred. Even the sad and confusing can happen for a reason. Considering the chaos I was living in, that loss was a necessary thing. I did not see it then--I was a different person--I was young. I was stuck. I was in an abusive relationship with an unpredictable alcoholic monster. Having a miscarriage might have saved my life, who knows. I don't think I will ever fully understand what I lived through. It is a moment in my life where I can consider the road split, the other direction I may have gone...I can point and say "here is where I cannot fathom." Because I cannot.

I was isolated and alone when it came to dealing with this, which is why perhaps it took me so long to wrap my head around the relief of what happened and not just the sadness. Time healed. Growing up and realizing I deserved better healed me as well. I can accept the experience as a blessing, which is a long, long way from being consumed by loss.

The date stays with me. The recognition, however, has shifted. Perception cannot dwell on the tragic. This life of mine, end to end, is mine. I am thankful for it. For surviving. For growing up. For all of the experiences and moments and lessons. Even the most difficult ones. Especially the most difficult ones?

God it's so weird--looking back on your younger self as an adult. It's not that the story is different. The story remains intact. It is the narrator. It is the heart. It is what we name each chapter that changes.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

scenes from traveling(airports)



The space between movements. Where the waiting happens. Where you end up and where you depart. The anticipation of leaving one spot for another.

Eight hour layover in Paris. Charles De Gaulle airport. Some eyes back home brightened when I relayed this information--Oh go see Paris! Too bad De Gaulle is miles away in a field. The airport is massive, sprawling hangars and wings to get lost wondering around it. Lots of duty free shops and the horrible stench of a hundred perfumes arguing. This is the airport that looks like an airport. This is where I contorted myself many different ways in hopes of the one position that would grant me more than five minutes of sleep. I folded into sharp-armed chairs, draped myself over two when I could find them. When the migraine hit I found a spot away from the foot traffic on the carpet, bag handles twisted around my legs with water by my head and sweatshirt over my eyes.



With so much time one has no choice but wander. I lose my neck pillow somewhere between my gate and the restroom nearby. I get extremely hungry and have to buy a 5 dollar tiny tub of hummus and pretzels in JFK. Back in Paris I sit down to write a quick email and realize the keyboard is different. I hunt and peck for the entire five minutes of free internet. There are places to sit and play Playstation. The carpet is ruby red. The french language enters and exits my head continuously, a sweet melody I can only partially decipher. I check and recheck and recheck that I'm at the correct gate. Or I stand in line to board with a plastic bag open in my hands, legs shaking, holding back the puke building in my throat. Migraines do not give a shit(once on the plane, it takes me a full 15 minutes to convince myself mentally and physically to just let go and be sick--I am so aware of being in public that my gag reflex grew stage fright).



When I feel well enough, I spend my minutes people watching. Airports are fascinating places. I'm surprised by how many people choose to travel long distances in impossible shoes. Maybe they're going directly to an important meeting, the little kid in me assumes. There are children more world-worn than I, spouting multiple languages. One child manuevers a remote control car in and out of standing and sitting legs. The ladies at the bagel kiosk play Al Green and it makes me grin behind the folds of my scarf. In France on my way home, I cry openly in one of the reclining lounges--I cry harder when the man across from me covers his wife with a blanket and kisses her sweetly. I lean against my handle on the tram to my departing gate--the space is tight with people, houndstooth coat so close to me I could stick out my tongue and touch it(I don't).

I listen to married couples argue and teenage daughters sass their mothers. I peek at the book covers in the hands of ten different strangers. I listen to one-sided phone conversations--some playful, some downright bitter. I am soothed by the odd laugh of a french woman to my right as I try to sleep. At some point I fade and when I return she is gone. Empty chairs are everywhere, until they are full again.



I spend fifty dollars(they don't take cash) to sleep in a private lounge overnight in JFK. I get two hours of sleep, tops. I am folded onto a soft leather couch while a dramatic miniseries plays out on the tv to my left. A teen wants to kill himself, his friends race to stop him. I wake up at 3am, wide away with my stomach gnawing at itself. Everything before was thrown up on the plane. I shuffle over to a pile of bananas and peel it bleary-eyed. I have 5 hours until my flight so I take my time getting to the gate. Another row of chairs. A few people are sprawled out on the floor, one person is lightly snoring. A couple sits down and argues over breakfast. The woman wants something, the man doesn't. Somehow this is a dispute. Life feels on pause at the airport, despite calls to my sister and dad to tell them my flight is delayed due to the weather. They stop sending out all flights that morning. Waiting passengers scurry around looking for spare phone chargers--a worker wheels out a cart of free snacks. They are gone immediately and he brings more. The man next to me is talking on the phone about how much he hates our president. I buy a giant donut and enter & exit hundreds of conversations around me. In these places between destinations I do not feel like myself. I do not feel like anyone. A boarding pass, a seat number. Do I look tired? Or mad? What is tired, what is anger? My ears normalize the repetition of announcements. A little boy toddles over to my pile of stuff and playfully knocks over my water bottle, smiling up at me the entire time. His mom seems embarassed but I think it's great. Matter touching matter. An object in motion. In these in-betweens, I can never be still.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

the break

I write my feelings out less and less. Lately I've noticed this. It isn't lack for feeling--believe me, I'm full as a feasting tick. Things are different.



There is a break in my lifeline. I've been a bit fascinated with this since junior high, when I picked up a palm reading book at some random place in Florida. I wanted to figure out who I was, and thought the natural markings of my own body would surely clue me in. The cracked line was my first concern. Palm reading materials define it a few ways--sign of significant change, upheaval, movement or illness, accident. There is also the matter of the state of line itself--how is its terrain? Is it chained, bumpy, smooth? My line is turbulent--linked and scribbled--before the break. After the break the line deepens and it's the straightest one on that hand.

Right now I feel like I'm living that leap--that pause of route drawn. I am mid-shift, off the vault and in the air.

And I'm still not saying my feelings.

I'm eager for challenges. I want the different. I've been restless and spinning in place for what seems like years. Now my wheels are hungry; their teeth want to sink and gain ground. I feel a new sort of fear--the fear of what will happen, the one that influences stagnant nature and apprehension, is gone. The new fear is one that accompanies movement. Transition. It is electric excitement. With it comes tough work but I want it. I've left the gnawed cliff, both feet up on the hiccup of skin, break in line.

I'm so excited for life on the other side.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2, 0, 1, 4.

2014.

I'm calling it.

Year of the sphinx. Year of new work, new performances, new adventures.

More challenges. More sweat. More microphones.

Louder faster harder stronger.


Here. We. Go.