I’m wishing for my own soundtrack. I don’t think I have ever really lived my life. Just stepped through it. Looking backwards, while walking forwards. That’s how I broke my wrist. It was windy at the time.
Do eccentrics have this sadness? Do hermits? Do religious believers? I would like to know. But there are things I can’t change about myself, things I have to accept.
One of those is tears springing to my eyes. I am a frequent cryer at any little adversity.
It’s familiar to shame I felt as a child. It’s a familiar syndrome.
I am wondering about this work. I was driven to this writing by my absolute incapacity to live comfortably in my home, in my relationship, in my own damaged skin. If I am writing, I am not falling down.
I would like to wash my face. I would like to wash my hands.
I haven’t washed my left hand in almost a week.
Yes this was me. I am suspicious of me, what is it. Today spent time in completely anonymous pursuits that will never offer any recognition. I’m suspicious of my name. It doesn’t feel appropriate for fame. I wrestle expectations down and down and down again. Meanwhile, why not call it home? No this is not me. Me so what. I like the universal flux instead, brightened and tightened in a node that is my skin, my wrist. My stinging teeth, my statically electric hair. My shapeless brows.
I want to hug my faith, to cultivate it. Of course, that involves nothing.
Still pain, still swollen, still quite ill at ease.
My shoulders have regressed since the injury. They are back up around my ears. I am waiting for a beating, another blow to fall.
I am waiting for the pain. I like to devalue, much more than most. I do not like children. I am an ana-pest.
My cast smells, a faint rotten odor. A faint odor of rot. What’s rotting? Dried skin.
I have a fear of not being able to keep myself clean when I’m old, old and too proud to be seen.
I can’t scratch my left eye. I can’t applaud. There’s no use applauding now is there. I’ve been in two rooms where applause has been called for, and yet—unable to applaud. No applause necessary. Applaud with aplomb. The plaudits, the maldits, the well-dits. How-do-you-do-dits. This is what we have to say.
My arm’s whine affecting my mind, a slight nausea of thinking—or maybe that’s the holiday?
My hand is almost numb. I have control over muscles on the back of my hand that I can arch and press slightly into the hard surface of the splint.
I am vibrating nervously,
my nerves are twigs in wind.
I have nowhere to go.
I alternate. Surprise me.
My stomach is twisted.
Suddenly I am warm.
Occasionally, I feel something trickling next to my skin.
I am observation.
Phenomenology of poetry.
Aversion of poetry
Resting through aversion
Resting with oily skin
Loving their children
Ready to adopt my own arm, a child with a disfigurement.
I am spoofing on the Beats today. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is. I am after all forlorn, my wrist(s) are broken, I have fallen from my ladder. My phone.
Uneasy, writing in bed on Tuesday.
First, take some conscious breaths. Expel on the exhalation. Expel the instructions. Intentions.
A monument of agendas inside.
Try to arrive. Get here.
Wanted to write my Godamifesto.
Discovering Anne Waldman, turning pages of her Vow with my long haggy-fingered hands and damaged wrist.
Not much can I do. Limited.
I am resting. My arm feels like a brittle painful twig twig of pain.
Pain in my feet. Cramps from the heavy boot. Hair falling down, escaping the barrette in wild strands.
Guilt drinking coffee without Sam.
What I have to say. This weekend I said that I had nothing to say. Now my throat hurts.
My wrist is 90% better, only noticed once or twice in yoga that there was a difference in capacity from right to left.
there are crumbs on my page
small blueberry stain on my thumb
my eyes are slightly sore from crying
yoga this morning—touched a fault line, a fault line in the striving earthcrust. I felt it, almost like a pop, like my back or neck went out, but maybe this time it was my will. A trickle of sadness like defeat (Step 1).
Here I am 5 pm—New Canaan coffee at Zumbach’s. Excellent. Civilized day—work at home, yoga, and quit at 4:30. Intense yoga one-on-one with Chikeola.
So foreign I can only follow
challenge to my understanding
wall, a see-through wall—a screen
No comparisons are possible
Learn to use my body in completely different ways
Part of me will not go back
Pussy willow (weeping) in fuzzy yellow bloom, this is a first—
Struggling with documents
The shop is closed
More reading, more writing. Right now my skin is salty with dried sweat, I’m jittery with coffee. There is no torpor. I am radiant in the fragility of March. The fleeting ice, the flavors in the atmosphere, the thin glittering legs of these lake birds, hunting, hunting. Fish? Wishing for a lot of frogs around the edges of my pond, wishing for a pond. My parents’ relationship with the spring peepers in their backyard swamp. Yes, I have boredom, ill will, yes, and guess what—it is mine. I saw and felt that here just now. How latent it remains, the tendency to blame. Here I am warm and contained, my teeth are singing off the fluid line of ink. The failbetter, the magazine. Lists of objects. A book, over-sized, with heavy plastic pages, inscribed (somehow) with freewrites. I feel breathless.
Chikeola sits there African and deep black and inhumanly strong and flexible. She touches my back, my hands, my feet, guides my elbows into microbends. Thoughts cross my mind—I’m 50, no I’m 51—and this is pretty good, right? Well no, she wouldn’t buy that, would she.
Nothing left to say to you. This is how it feels—a ragged stomach-hole. Some kind of pressure. Some bit of proud that he’s so uncommon. Some bit of fear. Some bit of panic, that I just want all of this to go away and that (my friend), detachment. Hard-hearted. Fuck. Jesus Fuck.
Just three pages, all boiled down to just three pages. My granola stomachache, the dryness in my nose and mouth. Heater ticking next to me, cold air drafting from behind my shoulder. Grayness out the window, brownness out the window, sign saying “wetland preserve” names that small anonymous swampy spot. My relationship with suffering is changing, trying to change. Or is this all in my head anyway?
Dirty wall in the ladies’ bathroom near the light switch. Childrens’ hands. Wondering if I should call my brother. Wondering too long is never good. Stomachache. The regular diary. The jotting. The tendency. Dependent origination. The chain. The wrangling. The striving and the letting go. The seeking a rhythm. Child’s voice behind me. Heater ticking. Draft consistent. Periodically there is a sound of wind.
Stomachache. Did I say searching? Searching for a rhythm? Current, swimming against or with. Wet, water wet. Wet river, muddy. Feeling alone with it, in it. The embarrassment of my rivers series. No, I can’t. I long for the dry bed of lost rivers, Sarasvati. I have no hope. My standard life, a life that’s bled of hope. The philosophy that kills dreams and with them, disappointments, and what’s left—stomach stomach stomachache.
No, not working. The sense of distance, I am not there. I am paddling in the mud, pawing, clawing, mud between my toes. I have itching on my scalp, dry mouth, stomachache. I have to do my taxes. Vague sensation in the nipple of my left breast. Vague irritation in my rectum. Slight sensation of a single hair tickling my right cheek. Maybe there or maybe not. A welling up of anger that none of my co-workers are sitting in a library trying to clear their head with writing on a Saturday. A story. A gurgle in my guts. A restlessness in my legs—why am I sitting still? Sensation in my left buttock/hip, a sensation around the back of my left ear. Mother speaks sharply to her child. Ticking, periodic sound of wind—or is it air conditioning?
There’s no commotion. I have a half-page left. I take whatever happens, but do I even have to say that? Stomachache. I want connection, with Chamunda, stomach-body. I want my ugly greedy demons that befriended me. I want to stop, I want to read a book. I feel saliva in my mouth. I hear the air conditioning alive in these tall ceilings. I hear the heater ticking. Robin out there looking at the Wetland sign.
See the margin where the lawngrass turns to weeds.
Deer in the weeds, robin on the lawn. Jill Chan. The extravagance of the mentally ill. An email—write to Ann. Some stillness in my face, my weary eyes. Persistent nagging from my taxes. Still, a stomachache. Desire for tea and toast. Bird shadow. Ear flick. Plastic bag.
A day of steel-blue rain. A day of falling steel in pellets, grinding up your street, your car, your sight. Falling off the doors and windows, falling under gutters and sewers, falling through your clothes and eyeglasses. Broken umbrellas hum with guilt. Aversion drives us down the street to Kinko’s where I run copies of my tax forms. Out in the steel light of spring. Out to the mailbox, out the splashy windows, down the street. Pain scrawling in my head and neck and shoulders, an accompaniment of cello.
The vast sensation of quietude, not caring. The exhaustion comes from difference of opinions. Some humor on the side, but mostly black. There are no breakthroughs, only cash. Trying to compare my work with yours, the mental striving taking me away, destructive. Well is it destructive. Listening to you better angels, are you out there after all? Lifting up my hands for rescue. Lift me to a higher place.
And yesterday or last week I heard about a service, body washing. Washing the body. I want my body tenderly washed by my faith community. Nothing more beautiful than that. And here I chatted about inconsequences with co-workers and Margaret’s family, while her mother lay in state. I thought—at least there should be silence. We are so bereft. And Poland—what happens when you lose 3 million Jews?
This morning I listened to stories about the golden carp. And stories about stories. And resistance to the fact of stories. And the sources of stories. Beyond. All I can tell you.
You enters shyly. You has been driven away, off the mountain path. You has flown over the cliff in a blaze of herbal fire and lifting smoke. I feel your cloud on my arms. I feel cold leaching down my arms. I feel devils on my arms, in my hands. I feel dust coming up, dust and ash, clouds of smoke from the charnel grounds.
Her laughter—can’t kill herself because her son would then have to kill himself. I listen and might be tempted to be afraid, temptation to be afraid, mentally ill like everyone one. Everyone one.
So here we go—
War—there—you might lose your arms.
Arms are impermanent.
Happily, no arms. Her bruise is permanent, now permanent. Operations that abuse the body.
Seeking something physical, something like sweat. Sweating earlier.
The pale yellow amaryllis photo.
The thin maroon line around the outside of each petal. The curved forms. Not done. Crisp. Pale. Curved.
How are we to have a moment where I contact you? Evening.
I let you alone. Left.
How is this to be done? Radical.
Been a long time. The project is red, as red as the buds. The questionnaire is purple. Disability and rescue. Caught between the acts. You could say caught but there is never any stasis. Rest in flux. The boredom of hostages. Involve your body, musculature, mind, and investigate. Investigate the virtues.
limited expression limited by cloudiness and long fatigue. Unjustified by Sunday’s simple misery. So long, let go,
long song, still flow. Say so, how know, myrrh go, far low. Fairly groveling on the mat, not willing to hold still. The atmosphere changes, the mind follows. The feelings follow, and the feeling tones, a flock of sheep with perfect teeth.
I see your teeth, I see your sheep, your shape, your perfect hair. How adulterous, how adulary, how omniferous. Iron shapes the seedlings, tender iron flowing in their veins, their tremulous simple veins. Hard to know, hard attack,
Simple. Simple. Simple. Sometimes your writing is so simple, you can’t do it, you’re stuck below the rungs of simple with your monkey-loving hands, reaching, reaching, fingerly grasping.
Misconceptions. A tension from upper back through neck and into head.
A sick daring causing stomachache
a slight—what sort of slight
naming what is “hard” obscuring what is “soft” or “easy”
Some problem with the order—where are the 30—were there 30 or not?
honking, rapid, repetitive
see ya later and I got the door
salad for here
sometimes best to disappear
brief thoughts of sex—need for writing about sex—some struggle in the bedroom and some insight—my mother unable to find comfort unable to take refuge—what is my refuge? yes the moment’s smell and that sensation walking on this trail this step-by-step, yes, your shoulder and pow—the odors of your hair sensation pressing mouth into your shoulder upper arm, sensation from other parts of body sensation pleasure from the use of muscles in my limbs with a calibrated abandon—leading okay—leading out of mind—it is a kind of practice—the flexibility to change your frame of reference—to let the body lead (no breath awareness) but—this is something I have learned
Trepidation starting to write—iron chains, bit in my mouth, torture devices all around my head—
wind blows fluff past these windows
it seems ceaseless
I don’t want to be involved—I’m on the plane with you, I’m in the air, I’m living in the braided strands of synapses and emotions in your body—this is oppression—this is not freedom oh Pandavas
tenderness, an inchworm, a pea sprout, a thin stalk of asparagus, the tender impulse of creation, tenderness in documents at work, tender care with headers, footers, table of contents, extending tenderness, your ravaged leaves, your petals bruised and brown, still vines of tenderness, your tendrils, tendrils reaching out, there is a sun of brightness hiding in the data, there is a shadow of creation in the project, the sun is out, the bright light of discovery, the light is beaming from my eyes, my hands, my ears receive this light, I love the light, I am an instrument of the light, an Apollonian, with my seeking tendrils climbing high
just an image
Modulation—magic breathing worked for me last week—breathed through your remarks—the smarting,
the shrinking of my skin—and now, we have the body
and a yoga practice—
how much happiness (smile) is already here
my body might as well be hung with jewels
Mental flexibility—my mind is rigid as a jungle gym—I don’t let go, my wrists are taut and strained and stretched
wishing isn’t easy
This is the long form. This is the long relax. This is the long white whine. Where is the invention? What is the distinction in the roots of literature?
I am sick.
Feel made sick by these studies.
Choking sensation in the solar plexus area. Driving sensation I interpret as a need to be alone. Desire for code, the secret code that expresses how and what I understand. My children are not fat and both are bald. That’s over that’s enough. Embedding secret line breaks in the work. Choking sensation in the lower throat. Anger’s like a cavity in the chest.
Undo, undo, undo. Redo, redo. The present always seeming trendy, up-to-date. My jaw, my gland, my stars. My capability.
I am resting.
Some compression of the spine.
And this morning—wrapped in the cleanest sheets of calm.
And still worms tackling.
I am out of synch, off kilter.
There is some compression of the spine.
Bhikkhu emptiness here in
suburbs son sprawled out
in light at 5 am this is
a ticklish dream wrapped cold
around my torso cold and
drowned around my torso
dog tickling and jiggling
jingling here him sniffing smithing
Sore throat and now nowhere to go with it
no where now here nowhere
now here no where now here
no where now here
okay okay this is a trick of time
Feeling mountain in my legs, train in my direction, gladness in my pelvis.
Feeling oversized, overwrought, overcome. Feeling feet in shoes. Feeling a non-yogic sluggishness, untoned qualities creeping in and the mind is coalescing.
Dreams of misbehavior in the presentation. Dreams of sexual arousal. Dreams of dreams. Dreams of washing, dishwashing a large green rubbery container, unwieldy in the soapsuds.
after all there is no work
or is there only work
I don’t know my bowels need moving
I am obscured by my files
the most salient invisible
Jangling, fried and frazzled dura. Belted in. Car speak.
Feel the sketching in my chest. I am bettled. Belted in.
Hair with comb marks, teeth with toe marks, toes with teeth marks, polished toes.
My teeth will talk to me. Audaliciously.
Here I am watchless ringless braless. Not exciting and no crocheted vest. Divestiture.
Express, maybe anorexia is more interesting. More interesting than hair styles.
Tight, struggle arms, aches slight in shoulders, upper arms and jaw.
Pace accelerated or slowed down, watching mind, allow for the irrational, allow for traveling socks, allow for hairdos, allow for walkie-talkies, long bones, commutes, the military. Allow for focus allow for data entry. Allow for exercise, clichés, and chatter of all kinds.
It’s unusual to have a mustache.
Override non sequitur.
There is a way to hold
the thought of holding something underwater in the light
the experience of holding onto something
holding head or cup or pen
the holding still
hold up hold
are you awake
like the turtle laying her eggs on the beach
trance tears running
trance tears trance tears
your 10-year-old body cannot take it
I can smell my armpits very faintly
hemorrhoid and I miss California
Not a lot beyond the asphalt. Sense of heat. Some heat arising. Hot sun on my foot. Grimy hands, oil of muffin on my fingers. Ashes floating in the air. Smell—coffee roasted black. Harm. Gas moving through my pelvis. Hair strands bothering my face. Dry with work. Wet with love. Sparrow visits.
Some remarks on poetry. Some purity. Some pain. Some stretching.
Low endorphins. Not excited. Sad.
I feel a curvature in my stomach, a sensation preceding tears.
I feel my diaphragm, it wants to contract. It wants to lift up and pull in. It wants to furl up like an umbrella.
jittery buttocks unsettled arms
itchy achey paing palling upset set up
Calendar check 6:30.
Time check 1:30.
Skin check: itchy.
Wrist check: stiff.
Mind check: jittery.
Stomach check: jittery.
Throat check: thirsty.
Mouth check: worried about someone else’s leukemia.
Soul check: distant.
Pulse check: alive.
Poetry check: parallel universe.
Sky check: blue delightful.
Bird check: twittering and cheeping.
Smell check: corpse flowers.
Sound check: birds, flies buzzing, metallic clink, a flagpole, distant pounding, distant humming.
Air check: slightly breezy, warm.
Clink, clink clink.
Cars passing. Thump.
Cedrus Libani, Cedar of Lebanon.
Conversations hanging in the air.
Buzzing plane. Gardens.
Labor hanging in the air, remnants of sweat.
Dry tongue. Clink, clink.
Air belly, squirrel throat.
Darkness behind the eyes.
Uneasy belly. Toast and jelly.
Uneasy eyes, ants and flies.
Uneasy legs, beans and eggs.
Uneasy hands, toast and jam.
Ordered poetry for the millennium. I am not a MicMac, not a Passamaquoddy, not a Pequot. Hanging conversations. I have made up my mind. Corpse flower, cedar needles. Aboriginal gardens. Poisons. Fatalities. Eco echoes.
Afternoon check: summer.
Murderous exhaustion exhaustion of hill climbing exhaust air exhaust
The smog. Bangs. Hairdos. Smiling beggars. Rabid rabid. Tomato. The youth in the closet. Older face and incapacity. As clever as advertising.
This is more than less.
This is a venti no water Americano.
This is a lemonade.
This is without respect.
This is a poetry of abuse.
The abuse poem. The nirvana poem. The well poem, the ill poem.
This is a leap out of poetry the false well.
This is a heartstring.
This is a spoonrocket (K. Prevallet)
This is a landfish (Sam).
This is incapacity.
This is the rest of the beggars.
This is the consistent.
This is the technical.
This is your sip, these are your glasses,
this is your mirror, this is your window.
This is your sudden face,
this is rabid dog fear in the night,
this is jumping flea ukulele.
This is Mr. Killbug, this is a Burgher. This is a Beggar.
This is air, this is male pattern baldness,
this is a reduction, this is avoiding getting organized.
This is not a gnat, this is not a note.
This is the scent of your sweat and a sharp pain behind the eyes,
this is code, this is a tangerine, this is over but not over,
this is ooh and aah
this is lipsynch, this is lip stuck
this is father daughter day
and after all that okay
The hand crawls. Skin crawls.
Standards that we fail to live up to.
Don’t be Stupid.
Don’t be Stupid, Seeker.
Let me entreat Color.
Let me not regret
admiring your forms
Sam naked in the shower
treasure treasure treasure
Karen fat and Karen thin
There are no simple words.
Is there simple love, shy love?
Is there narcissism?
Is there weakness in my forearms, shaking, thunder?
Brilliance, decisions, suffering.
I am aligned, aligned with green.
Light green of lakes, lake green.
Sonor of sounds, radar, sonar,
beeping in my blood.
I prefer emotions in my tail, heartache in my bottom.
Move your bottom, Sam submits, submits to everything.