Thursday, March 31, 2011

resurrection plants

Looking through the blinds, she said It's ok you can laugh and make fun of your mom.  Titepoule, tell me a funny story.  Tell me a funny story.

When I'm alone, I don't have conversations with myself out loud.  I have them internally in my head.  Then they come out subtly like everyone you know, and I try to capture that, something interesting.  So there’s this lady from London.  She sells resurrection plants, which require no water, no light.  They are an eternal symbol of hope and rebirth, from dry and lifeless to lush witnesses.  They hold onto life forever.  When you're ready for them, and only when you're ready for them, you place them in water and like Lazarus they open to the world of the living, stretching their arms.  They whisper about the long night they woke from about their travels in time about the ballad of their neighbors and how they were stolen, disappeared and forgotten.  And as she stared at this riddle, her eyes began to yap with vivid memories of times, times she felt like that dead plant.  And this was one of those incidents when she switched to life - that second chance feeling - and she said to me the same thing she said to the plant, You are like me, you are starting to experience things that are out of the ordinary.

E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on Exemplify what you believe: 

"Demonstrate truth constantly so that whatever you say comes from the heart.  Consider seriously what you believe, and from that belief speak to others.  From that belief do what is before you.  From this inner awareness, move, live and have your being."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

all the living animals

This, my life, is a thing.  It’s to be used then thrown.  It’s temporal, it’s mine.  For now, then gone.  I walk through the naked streets of New York and I always feel my face, no matter what.  My face moving along one two three sideways, one two three straight, freaking in my own picture of self and when they send me to the death, the end, I wonder if I’ll remember this second, that second, this step that.  Creaming in my own existence I walk I walk I walk I hold myself, the little baby of myself, the little infant, the beloved Pepe the beloved father who both died in their cancer, the one who fell in love. 

I’m all of these things.  I am my beautiful moment.  My devastating moment.  I am this person sitting on the bed looking through the bars of the fire escape past the diagonal man on the street, though the rims of the cranberry car and earphones and new green light, past the moving truck and rolling homeless cart, through the gates of St. Luke’s and up the veiny trees to the arcs and tunnel lights that vanish my view.  My love lives in inches in feet in years in deep, You, it lives in You. 

And I don’t want to be the one who draws the linen shades, the ones that fray.  I want to be the one watching the moving shadows on my ceiling turning flat to flux and I want to be the one to tell you I love you.  

We spoke.  His voice is my drug and my lingering thing.  It’s been years.  I hear him clearly- “are you lonely?” I said yes.  I was living with someone then, but surely I meant yes.  Shelter Island was my place to escape.  I wanted, needed, to get away from the city.  I dreamed of it.  And somehow things fell into place that I could go.  It was summer 2008, a year after the bomb: that summer day he told me he couldn’t do this, he just couldn’t do this.  I’ll never forget he told me “one day you will understand”.  As if he’d become famous and it would be suddenly clear one day as to why, that it would be so evident, so obvious, I’d understand.  Or that one day it would come flashing on my forehead that he was scared. 

I pretended I was alright, alright.  I even didn’t pick up when the fires were burning, when my things were close to singeing in the witch fires of 2007, when I couldn’t bear to pick up the call.  I was in Tahoe, finished, and my stuff was in Del Mar smoking and ashing in the near-fire.  I remember seeing his name.  The phone rang and it was his name.  That’s all I needed was his name.  I didn’t pick up and I lived the rest of my life without him.  I cried from time to time and from the most horrible times to times, how I loved him.  

A year later it got worse and oh my god I needed to hide myself from mankind.  And Shelter Island was the place to go.  I took the ferry I went on the island - it was supposed to be for a month or so.   I stayed one and a half years.

I remember knowing I was screwed, I was over.  How could it be that One Year after his “one day you’ll understand” that I would be worse?  How?  I would hold myself in all temperatures of myself and stay still.  I’d watch the swans from the windows and make friends with the dark, I smelled childhood in that house and trinkets of simplicity, painstaking simplicity, was all around.  There was the bar of glass windows, chock of Waterford glasses, and dimming lights braced those glasses in their own shadows.  It was a dark corner of handmade cabinets, amber lighting and a deep blue oriental rug.  Standing statues were in front of the brick wall, and pewter and porcelain and manmade things bought me back to others’ lives.  And the sink beneath was the home of a creepy spider I’m so sorry I killed.  It was installed like me, just simply installed, and I had no right to kill it right there in the drain. 

Maybe I was extinguishing all the creepiness around me.  But what was creepy, what was creepy was the silence, the darkness.  That more than the solitude.  At night it was pitch black in the room and a quietness melted over me, it kept on saying nothing nothing nothing.  It made sure you knew you were alone.  I’m used to garbage trucks and shaking sewer lids, horns and curses, forensics students smoking and talking, erupt flirtations, homeless mumblings, laughter, and pimp music rolling by.  I used to hear the clop of horse drawn carriages past my window in the morning and I foolishly liked it, until I realized the abuse that NYC horses endure, and that they don’t belong in city traffic drooling behind tailpipes in 0 and 100 degree weather pulling tourists, and they don’t belong in city buildings at night in tiny barracks where they can’t turn around and they don’t belong with their heads tied so close to a parking sign that they can’t even move their face and they don’t belong on asphalt with chains swinging from their foamy mouths 7 days a week in fear of busses and the Russian guy with the whip that doesn’t even pet him.  None of these sounds, liked or unliked, came through the curtains in Shelter Island.  And the only reason I pulled those curtains at night was because the blackness scared me and you never know, someone might row up to the dock in the middle of the night and just stand there at the black window and you wouldn’t even see them.  Sometimes I would hear steps in the dark and in the morning I’d find gobs of black marble shaped feces.  I became a naturalist and understood it to be raccoon.  I took their paw prints on the beach, those feeders, and then one night I saw them like a fairytale- the mother and the 3 babies making their way across the dock.  The fun that filled my eyes.  It had been about 15 years since I’d seen one- it was in California and I heard a screeching noise outside, a kitten being mauled by a raccoon- and I intervened with nature; the kitten was saved, but not from death- it already had an eyeball hanging out and had to be killed.  Marian didn't want to use her shotgun so we put it in a large box with a blanket to spend the night in the kitchen.  My guilt is the hours it took for that poor thing to finally be killed.  I wasn't brave enough and I didn't understand suffering as I do today.  When I found out it was killed by drowning I felt awful that I couldn’t just have taken a rock and finished it sooner. 

Which is why the day that Pepe disappeared in Shelter Island I just wanted to die.  I couldn’t bear the thought of her being mauled by a raccoon or fox.  It was my nightmare.  I don’t know, sometimes it felt like I went to Shelter Island to die.  And that was the perfect day to do it.  The sun was going down soon and somehow she slipped from the edge of the dock to the neighbor’s property.  I went trespassing with intent.  Pepe.  Calling Pepe.  A little boy was in his kitchen holding a black cat.  It wasn’t Pep.  I told him I was looking for my cat, then his sweet mother (who loves blue herons) came out.  She asked for my number- 1966.  Everyone in Shelter Island has the same prefix numbers.  I continued, dying, calling, thinking she’s gone on her senile walk to die in the woods.  But baby, it doesn’t happen like that- you’ll be mauled.  An hour later the lovely heron lady had Pepe in her arms- she’d found her at the edge of her driveway, ½ mile down, walking along.  She said how sweet Pep was, and handed her over.  That was the 2nd chance feeling we all get when we’re lucky.  Like all sins are absolved and the Missing signs on milk containers can stop printing, because they've all been found, alive.  Forget the broken heart- forget all that nonsense- because the most important is that I had my responsibility and my love safe in my arms.  

I think of her coming to the kitchen, woken from my midnight movings, and she’d turn the corner and sit.  I’d never leave her unsatisfied, never.  It was only my pleasure to give her a little something, a little chicken I’d heat up, a little love between, and I’d always be thankful for her presence.  It has been so hard to lose my loves.

S, I bought you a book on the streets of La Jolla- it was called How to Build a Miniature Zoo.  I remember how you liked everything miniature.  I never got the chance to give it to you, and it has now disappeared.  I remember everything about you, especially the silent times.  I know you, I do.  You sometimes don’t like to wear your glasses so you can’t see people looking at you, so you can feel invisible and not observed.  I called you the ice cream man the way you always wore white.  And I empathized deeply when you went through L's sudden death, how I was with you, mourning with you, loving M and wanting to protect her even though I never met her, stopping for her because no one deserves to be motherless.  

The padded elevator we met in was a capsule of time and we could've been anywhere but the Soho House, we could've been in 1800s Normandy, could've told secrets in that elevator that no one would've heard from the parlor to the street, no matter the century, they would stay safe in the billowing tufts of leather walls puckered with buttons, in tightened innocence, as I feel safe in that memory with you.  And one thing you don’t know is that even though it was a hot and sweaty summer, the way you’d come over to my place dripping in your clothes, I felt like it was already winter.  It was the only time in my life that all time seemed to merge- I was somewhere else with you, in all time.  I felt it was winter, I felt the comfort of you.  To my surprise your next book was titled about love and winter.  I recall losing you in the supermarket as you were in search of turnips, and how I was frustrated- I would do anything to be again frustrated by you.  But I don't want to burden you with this love.  I just neatly walked away and let my insides swamp.  I gave you what you wanted, which was not me.  When I watched "Love in the Time of Cholera" in Shelter Island, that was my hardest moment, and it wasn't until the credits rolled that I burst into emotion, and I went out on the dock and stared at the blur of the moon.  It was there I knew I'd keep this silence for the last my life.

E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on Love one another:

"I think most people are afraid of love because it makes them vulnerable.  They would rather not love at all than be placed in that position.  When we accept the vulnerability and just go on, we progress.

The consciousness within us is infinite, and love has an infinite reach...  So hold on with love.  Do everything with love, knowing that no matter how difficult it is, it will turn out in the vastness of time to be good.  It doesn't matter whether we are there to witness.  We are part of the universe.  If we just function well in our little part, everything will be better."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

emotional sandbags

I always wanted to be a dolphin so I could bullet myself into the Pacific, into places I know that wait.  When I was lost enough, I remember saying goodbye- that I was going to go move to the ocean.  And when I got to the ocean, years passed, then I wanted to move into the ocean.  It seemed the only logical place.  Nat and Frank took me by the arms and led me away.  They seemed to know it wasn’t my time.  Drops of suspension, drops of surprise, of emotion and longing for the two children and the life I blessed that first day of May, that day we swung around the Maypole and I wore the borrowed wooden heeled shoes.  Those shoes.  They had white satin ribbons that gathered together and come to think of it they mirrored the ribbons of the pole and maybe the ribbons of my imagination and where I thought this marriage was going.  I play that day sometimes.  It was probably the most beautiful day of my life, if I was forced to state one.  He wore a kilt given to him by his uncle, I wore a 1960s dress from the Third Hand Store in San Francisco.  No one helped me choose.  I was alone in my preparation as I was alone in my separation and I’m pretty good at that.  Doesn’t a dolphin propel alone?  But on the peripherals there are schools of souls and it is among them and with them that I gain my force- even from rows over and in slipstreams past, we are all living the same life.  I am alone as you are alone, and I am crowded as you are crowded in this world of flesh and salt and oxygen.  I’m only writing to help you dream.  And you?  I don’t know you.  Ambiguous you.  But you?  I am you.  Ambiguous me.

Looking for myself after I left myself
In the facts of time when I no longer believed in time
There was a draft in my back
Sitting in my aloneness
In my age in my youth in my oldness
Whistling my sometimes wishes
When I still don’t matter when I still so much matter
To everyone and no one
And what I’m doing here

Usually when I swim so far from shore I get scared
And I remember the time I almost drowned
And how it didn’t matter because I was too young to know
And usually when I have no fear
It’s because I don’t care
And I don’t want to care

Snow surprises in the morning, and I don’t know why
It’s natural.  It’s normal.
But it surprises my eyes for what never lasts
It reminds me of the impatience
Of first my blood
How I wanted it to come so much I ate everything red
And now I could care less
As things come whether expected or wanted or not

Like a child

And on the 2nd floor on the 2nd month I wonder
If this year and this place is mine
Catching myself after I lost myself 

E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on Death isn't all that much:

"Death is no more than an act change in a play.  The story is continual.  There is no way to stop it.  It is in God.  A Chinese proverb speaks of three difficult challenges.  One is to keep a secret.  Another is to bear injustice silently.  The third is to know that someday we will die... 

The Earth is a difficult place to be.  But it is a privilege to be here.  The danger is that we get too attached to the physical world.  This is like getting attached to the third grade classroom rather than moving on.  We should all go forward."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

my spare hands

On the mouth.  That's where I pass my, and take my feelings.  My migrating feelings, around the spheres of emotion then right back on the mouth.  There are little birds that are so alive and so young, feeding in a frenzy, feeding on the morning, and I am with them on the branch of the massive yew, chirping upside down in the fragrance.  I hold the branch with my earthen claws rippled with life, clutching, loving, ever fragile and sharp.  It is here I soak in the seeds of myself, taking them in, in a digestion of self.  And this choice is taken with many thanks to God that I am here, alive, as divine as the tree I thrive on.  Invisible noise passes in the hollows of the yew, sturdy and fresh.  Noise that I know.  They are from a life so much greater than mine, elsewhere, and in this formidable rush we call wind, it simplifies its mystery by repetition blowing and blowing past my little black eyes.

E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on You have the philosopher's stone:

"The main goal is to make yourself what the Hindus call "one pointed."  Kirkegaard explained it as the purity of heart "to will one thing".  Simply put, the key is this: The subconscious mind remembers.  The conscious mind reasons.  The superconscious mind realizes.  If, at these three levels, you think of God, remember God, reason that God is everywhere, and realize that this is God's world - if you can hold this thought day after day, and do very well what you have to do, I promise your lives will be transformed."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


My heart, worst of all, has been harnessed by someone I don’t know, disfigured by the night.  I want to roll right in to recovery but I’m planted in all these decorations, these cute little ones burning at my side- reds and silvers alerting how they work.  I’m tangled in them, darkening tulips standing straight.  I’m beginning like them, and not giving up like them, the flames in their reds, the smoke of their blacks that won’t show themselves on the inside.  The black insides that just hide.  I can’t go there unless I intrude, and I can’t do that.  And I don’t want anyone I love looking at the black of my insides- no matter the intrigue- the interior of a tulip is a precious thing.  I echo this morning.  Adoring profiles and skipping directions, leaving nothing but myself behind.  I throw my voice to no one.  No one but the tulips, and I give them my respect.  I skate my love on their drying wrinkles, their depths and dignity, bunched in common with each other.  No, they wouldn’t be as beautiful if they were separate, lost from each other, no they could never hold up such an impression individually.  Sorry to admit.  But it takes each other.  I love them and want them in my heart forever, to not give up on myself.  And I will place them in me as a promise to love myself, and tower with them in their tenderness.  Towards each other. 

Why this?  Why this attraction to the tulips?  Is it the crack of death that’s coming to them?  Are they quivering, standing still?  Neither.  Their grace humiliates me.  Their acceptance haunts me.  They’re not counting their time in their veins and curling edges in their hours of perfection.  Jesus Christ, they don’t even bother to move.  They just turn on their own like delicate paper dreams…a semblance to catch themselves in their crimson age.  There’s nothing displeasing about wintering thoughts and wintering life.  It’s just a song that must end, calling the distance until the distance is near.  And who’s going to hear that song when it’s over?  I am.  And I’ll be the one smiling, hoping to not be humiliated by the strength of silk.

Sitting in this approaching distance, sitting in this water keeping us all alive, it’s a group hug, and these petal cheeks I kiss like the thin skin of my grandfather’s cheeks I remember kissing when I was 8.  Even then I understood what fragility was- the rice paper of his pink face and silvery lips.  I will never forget one of his few words to me, right there in Ja and Je’s kitchen in Shelter Island, that house with the wide spiral staircase and rails to roll that huge boat right into the house from the beach, and those words came with a slow patting of the air, like pushing down a cloud, he said “Doucement.”  He wanted me to be calm.  Shy me.  He wanted to have me slow down in my approach to him- God knows what I was saying to him.  And by telling me “Slowly”, I understood it as “Stop” and it saddened me, right there in the kitchen by the fireplace.  And so what I did was I just turn around.  The purity in his bones, the wonder in his white clothes, he would have never said anything to hurt me, or wilt me, but it did, in my misinterpretation of French.  It’s an interesting thing that now, 30 years later, people who know me well are often telling me to calm down.  Ain’t that something?  Maybe that’s why I admire the tulips so much, calm in their group hug.  Yes, I push my face right in there with them, rattling their peace, and my God, if anyone saw me, but really all I want is to be loved.

E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on Truth:

"We can only believe in love if we are loving.  We can only believe in kindness if we are kind.  We can only believe in truth if we are truthful.  The tragedy of lying is that we can never believe anyone else."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Seat 11K
Casablanca – NY

She had the look of a waiting donkey.  Not miserable, but in despair, to await carrying a load 3 times her size to what seems from nowhere to nowhere.  She sat next to me speechless, wrists folded atop each other in a black windbreaker holding her yet still in place.  Each small movement made noise, and she didn’t make much noise.

Looking ahead, waiting, her sleepless eyes had heavy long lids and straight downward lashes; they moved in a crowd of lashes as if also being told what to do.  She had no resistance.  Patience.  And her smallest nose poked the air as if not to bother anything.  She was well behaved and well on her way to nowhere.  Her nostrils barely scooped.  She barely breathed.

The two gentlemen in front of me had leg seats.  They were animated, stirring the air in arms and nods- heaven knows what they were speaking of.  The one in my direct front- the conductor- broke into English before takeoff and asked if the cake under his seat was ok.  I made the mistake of saying yes.  And kicked it the whole way across the Atlantic.

The two draped women behind me are older and angry.  The one directly behind me pushed my seat from recline to erect- twice.  The first time I let it go, OK, I said no word as she pushed.  The 2nd time I turned a dirty look and pushed my seat back to where it was.  People will take what they can- she even took my pillow from behind.  Nasty old bag.

Seat 16F 
about to take off from JFK to CDG 

How much can change in such a short time.  I’ve been thinking of P’s prosthetics and not to be in a rush to find a replacement of someone to love.  I agree with him: "Entanglements are warm and comforting but disentanglements leave members in search of prosthetics."  Old stuff.  New stuff.  Old thoughts in new moments- it perpetuates what I know.  I notice I’ve become attached to the past- with justification that holds me there.  I can be justified.  The airplane smells like fuel.  Really gross.  

I just had one of the weirdest things happen to me- one of the scariest moments in my life.  I was standing in line to check my bag at American Airlines and I was suddenly overcome with an ill feeling.  I began to black out.  I was sweating, my whole body wet, my face and I almost fell.  I was wobbly, seeing black, feeling faint, so wanting to sit.  I was 3rd in line, then 2nd.  It hit the worst when I was 1st in line, I thought oh my God I’m going to faint, I’m going to faint right here 1st in line.  And I asked my angels to protect me.  As now this moment I ask during takeoff to be saved.  Liftoff.  In my own personal game I thought to myself whatever I land up writing during exact liftoff would be of significance to me.  And it was to be saved.  I think I need to turn to God.

Lack of tailwinds are getting us there at 11:16AM, 45 minutes late.  I wonder what causes lack of tailwinds?  Is it normal?  Nonetheless I feel I am right on time.

E. Kelly's Spiritual Journey on You can bank on group energy:

"Anchor yourself simply to the search for God, aware that human beings - all of you - are very much like atomic bombs, with enormous power.  You have to know how to use that power and especially how not to use it."

plane tracks, Charles de Gaulle