Sunday, January 30, 2011

seconds

Memoir : chapter 1 



The sound of cicadas is the sound of in between.  You feel the brevity of what seems ongoing, of what you know is a recital of time.  And the cicadas sang louder than usual that day, punctuating and tickling the air, floating a ballad up and around, like the laughter of the boys.  These were the soaring waves of summer, the heights of being recklessly happy.  Adolescent years are pitched with the softest and hardest of times, as in voices changing, going up, going down, so do moments, these seconds in time.

They heard the jeep pull up.  Brice, the youngest, sat in thin pajamas occasionally looking at that guava juice on the nightstand.  His parents would be returning from the lake in about an hour and it’s hard to stay in bed when you’re sick and you’re at the summerhouse.  It must’ve been the mountain air but this was a place to frolic, not sit still.  The house smelled of wisteria and sweet wood, warmed from the sun beaming on the floors and the rooms were small except for the downstairs parlor where everyone liked to be, if you had to be inside at all.  A horn sounded and Axel’s feet made a drum roll down the painted steps, through the parlor and straight out the front door.  “Zoukie!” he yelled out, “Let’s go!” 

Christian followed through the lazy door.  It had a specific noise and swung behind him with an invitation to return inside.  He had a calm stride and was tall for his age- lanky as his rifle in hand.  Christian and Axel were two years and six inches apart- brothers and best friends.  Up in the mountains of Furcy, there was something majestic in the sinking green, something so lush and open, like being forgiven, or an unconditional love.  The verdure was a contrast from the suburbs of Port au Prince where they normally lived, tucked in the nameless hills next door to the Lacombe girls.  Back home, not far away, the houses were colorful and flanked with fruit trees and huge poinsettia bushes.  Cheerful neighborhoods were holding hands.  Here, there was the absence of bustle, of nonsense, of noise.  It was beautifully quiet.

Raised in colonial etiquette, in strict white class, they were on the shy side of the well behaved.  They tried to be cool like the boys downtown, the ones that hung out at the soda shop, but their starched white shorts gave them away.  Christian’s hair was slicked back and kept in check, almost recluse like him, and matched his just-laced boots and tall dark socks.  By contrast, Axel was much like his father: reddish blond with blue eyes, freckled and wide smiled.  The breeze smelled like rain and it was a perfect summer morning: June 1951, and not at all humid like it normally was.  Their father used to say “the air is so thick you could eat it with a spoon”.  They knew exactly where to hunt pheasant- at the edge of the woods by Monsieur Lévesque’s farm where they were the day before.  Yesterday didn’t bring much luck but it seemed the gods were smiling on them today.  It was just their way of being positive when there’s nothing else to do anyway.

Maurice was so proud of his jeep he couldn’t wait to drive it, even if it was just around the corner.  Driver’s licenses didn’t matter much, as long as you could drive, that was enough.  He made another honk, probably just to hear it again.  He’d known the Naudé brothers since just about forever.  Stepping out to help load their gear, he was as excited to hit the dirt roads as he was to go hunting.  They were getting an early start to be back by “5 o’clock sharp”.  Madame Naudé had a thing with being on time, in fact she had a thing with all things.
 
Running in circles around the jeep, Axel clapped his hands on his lap.  He was fascinated by the American cowboy stories he’d heard of, and loved to imitate the gallop of the heroes in his imagination.  “Howdy, partner!” Axel made a funny drawl.   He looked back at Christian, with the admiration of any other day.  His knees were skinny, his shorts fit right.  He adjusted his imaginary cowboy hat and whipped by Maurice leaning on his jeep.

“C’mon we don’t have all day”, Maurice laughed.  You couldn’t help but laugh at Axel.

A goofy smile holds anyone captive.  His hair was sloppy and his knuckles were unusually red.  He never saw himself as others did, as most eleven year olds wouldn’t.  Brice got up from his bed and watched from the window- too young to know what jealousy meant but he sure knew what it felt like.

“Hold on a sec.  I want to make sure I’ve got my….” Christian said.  He was quirky and shy.  Undeniably graceful.  He placed his shotgun on the hood of the jeep to check his bag. 

That moment changed the rest of his life.

And comprehension leapt off the world.  Axel dropped, as if still playing, as if faking.  There was no God watching over them.  A silence filled his shirt.  In countless holes he slipped, with no room for this red, no place for this sight.  Through more holes than years he had, whispers shot out. That mortal gurgle, that gush of goodbye.  In the chords of that moment, Christian also dropped, holding his brother, his love, his pain.  How much could a soul carry?  There is a panic that can resemble no other panic.  He would never remember his words, behind that lump in his throat, that wretched tremble in his spine.  He fainted inside.  And disappeared into the inches between now and never.  He scavenged for time to stretch those seconds, those significant seconds, those miserable, unfair seconds.  Such a delicate and fragile soul holding another delicate and fragile soul: Axel was waiting in his brother’s arms. 

He thought of the past weekend, and looked at the blond hairs on Axel’s neck.  He looked at his faint eyebrows and the light of his eyelashes curled over his closed eyes.  So fine they were.  The unjust silence, the absence, the horror that could never be spoken.  He was so afraid.  And he would remain in that heaviness forever.  He thought of their mother, who made Axel change his shirt last Sunday because it wasn’t clean enough, not pressed enough.  They were on their way to Aunt Ella's house.  Why couldn’t they be right there, right now, yawning in boredom, waiting for something homemade at Aunt Ella’s?  Why couldn’t they be there right now?  The dirt was wet with Axel’s life.  In a delicate breath, he settled like a baby leaf.  His little fingers grabbed nothing.  And he wilted into the desert of Christian’s arms. 

There wasn’t room for forgiveness.  There wasn’t even room for a miracle.  In the faintest, slimmest moment, he cradled Axel.  He couldn’t catch his brother and put him back.  Next to a tiny soul floating out of a tiny body, Christian felt the gravity he would weigh in for the rest of his life: he was prisoner, the executioner, and the jury.  In slow motion, the only thought he could have was to lie right there next to him in that pile of hurt, to hold his own head to death, and to let it take him to the hot sun of hell.  There was no negotiating as he watched his brother’s blood like it was his own blood.  It was a naked pain, and there would be no tomorrow.  In a sense, they were both dead.

He holds his breath on the exhale not to stir any further emotions.  He tries to remain composed- even alone.  Distant trains, distant thoughts bring him nowhere and he locks his hand to his cheek, leaning to the vultures of his mind.  Red nightmares twirl inside.  And he keeps getting caught in the dirt because that blood, that blood, is his own blood, and those hooks of terror, those fangs, those things, are spread everywhere in the dirtiest dirt the slipping dirt and he can't move in shame, in attack, in punishing fear.  Cicadas will sing and distract and he’ll get lost a while, he’ll fix his broken brother, the bits of flesh that have crumbled to the earth, his precious bits, oh my God- those bits, but really it won’t matter when they’re both dead anyway.  His curls are secret and secure.  And no prayer could comfort his arrest.  Not the holiest absolution could free him.  No point to follow through, no point to follow through, no point.  No more can he leave this moment than can he leave his mind, in hell, in guilt and he’ll warp the slightest invitation of anything like love, and keep it far away.  Then drop.  Drop.  This second.  This second he takes guard.  This second he turns into a statue.  Two eyes fix on him, dancing.  He feels blind, looking.  In it alone, he feels a rhythm of truth.  There is no other way but to accept it: death on top of life, life on top of death.  Brace the fact.  And the Upstairs Neighbors might ask you to tone it down, but you’re only getting nearer and nearer and nearer.  Louder and louder and louder.  The angels bang like the cicada’s song, in a last surge of wide-open eyes, and they bring the final truth: this second will last forever.  







Wednesday, January 26, 2011

plans in the dark

You have no plans in the dark
False slippery stars disappearing around me

Scolding me for believing in them
Like permanent flowers that always come around again
Fading to my feet the roots of death give me life
And hound me to rise
When I want to look down because I don’t believe in the stars
I find myself in a forest with no trees
Pleading to please
I wanted to wash them and wonder at them
Those trees that also pretend to be around
Against their own walls of themselves
They fall onto the truth that they’ve never really been there
        
I fall to my own mud
With no one to blame
I have no trees
Because I never knew I was supposed to plant them
I depended on them being there already, like the stars
Great storms bringing me to and from the heights
From my hiding in no trees
This voice has no more to express than a screaming flower
That no one else will hear,
Anyway

I have no map
Because I didn’t know I was supposed to have one
I thought I was making my own direction
A new one every day
A healthy one, a happy one
But the wind brings me back to my own crumbs
The same ones I planted for lovers as I planted for myself
Those crumbs that lead me back to 12 o’clock
Spelling the same life with an older face
Spelling me, haunting me

I have no desire to be cool
Just honest
I wanted to love honestly
That doesn’t work, I see
My feelings strangle me
And flip me like a possessed child in a flowing nightgown
And makes me mouth my hair that dies on my head
It makes me eat my word when I’ve over-served
And after I’m gone I’m still there
Just to bother myself again
And slither back into me

Racing monsters
After they’ve been me
They brilliantly share themselves
For the world to see
Slit throats of animals we eat
Slit words for us to eat
Sharing and cherishing the disgusting
Busting blood and entanglements, godliness
We’ll never keep
Experimenting and excreting the worst of peace
Keeping hold of clouds
And illusion spoken out loud

You have no plans in the dark
False slippery stars disappearing around me



E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on No one owns another
"Being alone in life with God, none of us owns another.  We should be responsible and loving but not possessive.  However, we can appreciate the love others give us, knowing that in its pure state, it is God's love." 



Sunday, January 23, 2011

eating hands

Then the mood settled in
Like the fog
And everyone missed everyone
Everyone of their past that they never let know
Everyone of their past that they hadn’t ever seen again
Everyone that you forgot
That you forgot you forgot
And they pop into your existence like flavors, reminders
Of what you already know

You missed them before you ever met them
You knew them ahead of their current name
You crossed paths in the dirt a long long time ago

And here you are in the 21st century in your penthouse, your dreamfogs, your candlecranes

And you do the long distance
You do the unthinkable
You let your self go
Again
And you’re filled with trepidation
Frustration
Ego filled sandwiches
That you hold onto
And stare at
And gnaw at
Like a bone
The bone filled sandwiches
Eating your own fingers
To survive


La Sultana Hotel, Marrakech 
(sweets and tea they offer you while checking in) 



ABOVE reminded me of a dream from when I was 13 and I was served a blackened hand on a tray.  It was chargrilled, plump and blackened.  This thing was to be eaten, on a pewter or silver dish, also kind of black.  It was dark out.  I was standing with someone else, male, and someone, another male came with this dish.  I looked in horror but hid the horror and did not eat the hand.  I didn’t touch it.  And something recently brought this dream of decades ago back to existence probably for good reason.  I will look into the meaning of eating hands.  Any ideas are welcome.

E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on Life is a School:
"If you can't control what happens outside of you, control what happens inside.  After Job went through all his trials, you know, he was told that "thine own right hand can save thee".  Know what your own right hand can do."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

mistakes on the side

I’m so free I can do what I want.  I’m so free I can’t stand it.  No one is there to tell me no: you can’t do that.  I pull my shades to just enough, a minute past midnight and I know I’m stuck in my time. 

Esalen Institute

1:48 AM 11.14.10
about Myrtle Beach

I see the dark blue walls in the distance of the restaurant, the wainscot whitening the room, the open trays on stands with nothing on them, hollowing to be filled with something more.  And I want to be filled with something more.  Then…in my memory…as I saw it.  I wanted to be filled with love.  My hair kept me company, my yellow shirt- Issey Miyake- crimpled like my dumpling heart and stupid fleeting fantasies and my still-young hands that I look at only because they’re in front of me.  Thunderous noises of strangers among strangers passing orders and receiving them, half or fully satisfied, the black night outside the ocean window and the knowing that you know no one there.  God knows of the fishes and lives that we ate and the yellow martinis delivered and how our hatches clamped and blinked in satisfaction- oh those softly moving jowls, they were even mine, how they thanked and threw at the same time.  I’d rather not be here.  I’d rather be there.  With him.  The invisible idiot.

I left the room around 11.  Mom and Nat were either asleep or in the dark.  I put on my brand new bikini- hours old- and headed for the hot tub.  It was confusing getting there and even after a week it was always confusing on which level to take off to get to the ocean. 

I make mistakes on the side.  And I made the mistake of missing him and missing him as I talked to a couple strangers in the hot tub, thinking about Esalen and our days and nights in the sulphur springs.  It was only weeks ago but I was holding onto them as only hours ago.  Fresh as pancakes seconds old, I was keeping these memories alive, keeping them as bubbles that will never pop.  I recall his last kind words to me: Don’t say goodbye.  It’s astounding to think I will never see him again.  It’s astounding that I could let myself feel so much for someone I didn’t really know.  My “problem” is that I’m a lover.  I’m looking for love and paying for death.  But a broken heart is easier than a broken life.  I recall the story of a woman at Esalen, we were soaking in the springs on the cliff: she took ayahuasca for 40 days and 40 nights with a shaman somewhere in another country.  She lost her soul, lost control of her body and will, even her dreams.  Her story was one of the most catastrophic I’ve heard, really.  She wanted to be invited to a suicide party as soon as possible.  She told us in the dark, in this intense moon conversation.  All I did was lose my heart – drug free – but this sad dolphin lost her whole self.  It took her years to recover.  In this strange way I will thank God for my broken heart, only a broken heart.

You have to have the appropriate competition.  Those who play better seem to have a finer time at life.  And if you get the chance to play with those well-played, your experience becomes more enriched.  So what I’m saying is choose your players in your life carefully.  Those you want to engage with, dance with, speak soul with, share; because that will be the extent of your life.  Those you surround with are your life.  Until your batteries fade, you are parked with those you know, and that’s it.


E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on Be critical within:
"Everyone believes he or she is perfect and has to put up with many people who are not.  But if we ever really knew any person we would never envy them.  Love one another and behave.  Behave.  You all know how to behave.  Don't expect others to behave.  You behave."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

changing colors

1.11.11
11 AM


There are times in one’s life when a journey within is the only place to go.  It delivers you from your repetitions, from your needless and useless destinations. 

I have a habit of going far away.  I relocate in times of pain or times of uncertainty, to try to get away from the familiar, to try to confuse myself in a way.  These are costly distractions because I, in fact, have gotten further from myself.  And it is only when I come back home and look at the honest version of my life that I feel the ability to take a real journey. 

I feel like I’m changing colors.  Changing times.  The only interesting thing to see is with my eyes closed.  There I see everything in an expanse and understanding without words.  I feel like hugging all the people who broke my heart.  I feel like telling them I broke my own.  My interpretation of rejection is exactly that- my own.  And man, do I drag it to depths.  Fortunately now I’m not sitting on needles, I’m sitting on a red velvet blanket, and I’m comfortable in my heart to explore. 

This deep fried blog is to feel it, and not be afraid to share it.  In my dream last night I was sitting in a window, my legs dangling outside, and the stone walls around the window felt safe.  In the distance was a palace and the sun was striking a green roof, the brass gone old, and for some reason I found myself extremely lucky that this was my view.  Extremely lucky.  But I knew it wasn’t permanent, that I was only a guest.  I guess I can compare this to life.  I’m just temporary, and willing to realize my fortune at being here.

I have decided to add a bit of Elizabeth Kelly’s “Spiritual Journey” to the end of each entry.  It is a book my sister Nathalie introduced me to.  It is hard to find, and was a gift to her from a friend.  So rather than paying $250 on Amazon, here’s a little nugget on Be Aware:

“If you pay attention to your life, if you learn to attune to your soul, vast information will unfold to you.  If you develop your devotion, your concentration and your meditation enough, you can open to your own intuition, which is the highest form of knowledge.”


where I lived in Shelter Island- distant deer in the driveway

the smiles of gods

3.18.10
In the royalty of the trees there are no consequences

Tuning in shades of grey
Touching my walls watching me from behind
Quartered lines
Caught in lies
Referring to your Everyday

3.19.10
Through the legs of time a breeze passes in my window
Thinking of her, feeling knowing her, I can only discern Pepe is here
Or is it just in my mind?
Spring is tomorrow happening

Love in a Rush

Screaming conversations
Turning the bed off
Closing your little waiting eyes
Traveling on strangers of yourself
Of the dark
Imaginary pieces floating in the dark
Peeing on yourself in fright
Losing your winnings
Tight to the guess
Yesterday’s afraid animals
Picking up their bodies, their graves and certainties, hours and graces,
Proofing and times of fear
Losing and loving like any other
Doodoodoodling into yourself
Loves lost imaginary miracles
Inside and outside of hotels
Awakened by your Ignorance, the shadows on your eyes
Your hummingbird indifferences 
Hybridize yourself
To become as polyself, lifting in your vehicles
Humming as the birds in tightened comas of night
Remembering themselves in bells
Painted guns
And long lashes
Lefty said he’d clean it
So we can Leave
Leave
Isn’t that what we were born to do?
Frying feelings
And caged beings
Longing to lodge
Into eternity
Entrecotes interdite
In lashes of forever
Lashes to make you cry
Lashes to hold your eye
Keep your lid in your memory
Powdered dried emotions
Sunlit forgivings
 of drownings
and then I died in my thinkings
the beautiful belongings of nothings
the lights the lights the uppings of lights
I had thought this is it.  I’ve grown into me I’ve grown into what they didn’t want me to know
I forgot myself
And left myself for a night
Hiding in the meat like shit and excuses
Blue damians and kudes and lites
Titepoule wanders in body’s birth
Wondering and wandering in the movie of life
First woman pharaoh of Egypt
Only woman pharaoh ever
My bluest truth in golds and yous
Yu and you and yu and yu
Holding my misgivings in secrets of smells
Heats in knives and hooks
Eyes gone wild
I think I can forgive myself of my doubts on Pepe’s death





Dancing fires convivial and contagious
Dare to take the earth
Big and small superegos
Rippling, blaming, showing the waste
Because you say it shows
It shows
And you live in its caves its longings
Deviating from truth- the connection-
An animal wanting to leave the fight

If at this point you didn’t get it,
You never will
There’ll be your past
And that’s about it
Gone
And gone
In backpacks of forever
You’ve lost your finesse
Your volume
Everything you wanted in a wine
Is what you wanted in another
I was thinking-
You.  I’ve lost you.
And I know that is ok
Because you
I have you
Even though I’ll probably never have you
Again

Ok.  That’s ok.  She’s just being nice. 
I understand and that’s fine
A fine mistake

People FAIL
People fail at being linear
At telling the truth or seeing it
Itching to tell their own, quiet in non-recognition
To the grave to the grave to the grave
Sunken silent holes for the ones we’ve adored
Sunken in the Earth we all could ignore

I’m in love with your hard face Elliott
In love with your truth and bone
And I wouldn’t have thought of it
Until someone mentioned it
Truth and bone
I imagined a softer place to land
And I landed in middle hard America
If I ever knew your loss
Pretty face it was my loss
Scarred in the cheeks
In your moves
Looking in your scripts your squiggles your aire
In the space in front
Where no one else goes
Not admittedly goes
Meeting your back
And the smiles of gods
Treating your being
Waiting for your place
Little crystals in drying rain
Knowing the paths of the breeze
Into disappearance,
Crossing place
Forgetting the rules, charming your way

French kisses forgetting the rules
You’re the only one who can paint you
You’re the only one who can finish you







Just the greasy mouths
The reckless flowers of my heart
Keeping me in their snares

The devil doesn’t smile
He doesn’t rest

Just the greasy mouths
Eating wolves or eating wolves
Reminding you to

Be the preserver but not the preserved 




Saturday, January 8, 2011

the good luck men

3.18.10 4:08 AM

To the ones in the front
To the ones most aware of their deaths
I honor and pledge the good luck men
The Frenchified, the dignified, the ones dressed in grey
To the good looking, sounding
Amidst their foreign smiles and miles
I say hello
They continue in their eaves
With interesting names and stories and wine
With loving force and exes and limes
Oh yes to the Anothers
Oh let us fail applause
Looking and lying and laughing and leaning
I shrink to feel my pause
Looking and laughing and loving and leaving
Unsettled in your cause
Let it be let it be let it be let it be
Let it on the loose inside of me
Yesterdays and promises in circles of your tendencies
I hear
More as soon as I’m able
I know of bandwidth
I know of length
And failure
And fixings
And beauty
And strength.
Look at me look at me look at me look
I have a tendency to preclude
Your finishings
Your book

Why not forget me
The one who forgot you
Why not let me go
Stephane, St. Stephane, won’t you let me go?

Your finishings your promisings your lovlings
They all drive me mad
Up in arms of shortbreads and saplings in nature
You still could never let me go
I’m gingerbreading, I’m happening. I am cornering your year
I have had the balls the bruises the callings
All within this show
Inching towards your secrets
Your secure favors and pasts
How I never knew you never knew it could never
Last.

Aw shaw shaw shough shaw
I really have you and have really known you in my pasts
You lied to me by forgiving me you
Never told me why or explained
Why you were mad at me why you
Held back your refrain