Meat Blood Brain Stew And You

There are things we sit and think about on cold days by cast iron

These are the things bright screens and listening machines mute and diminish until we can barely see past the edges of our faces and we can hardly hear our heads

Quiet is the best pot to stew wonder

Boil meat and brain and love together and blood begins to flow in our heads once again

Boredom brings us to a human place, a place that is painful and overwhelming

And it brings us meaning and meaninglessness cooked together into a satisfying, delicately spiced dish

I want to live life away from the clamor of this culture, away from positioning and propositions and the ruthless, zealous sport that clings to my clothes

I want to brush it all away and pull a child from under my dress, lifting him into a world where humanity is washed of insincerity

I want my child to produce, to contribute to participate and yet reject large chunks of this haunch presented to him, rare and bloody. I want him to nibble at the meat, cut away the fat and toss it to the dogs

I want my baby to look up at the sky and understand the planets spinning, the pine trees piercing the abyss and acknowledge his own immense insignificance

I want him to understand he doesn’t know anything at all, but that he is an irreplaceable part of this massive mysterious myth, that he and I will end but the universe will continue and through it we are limitless

I want him to discover that the power of his heart pumping is its own universe.

Kablam, I Love You

Her heart suddenly exploded today
Sitting upright in a hard black office chair while
Updating spreadsheets
Numbers ricocheted off spongy grey matter
Enter and delete
Data
Motion, quash, errata

But at once a dripping noise burrowed into her brain
D-d-drip-sssplash
Blue splattered across a grey landscape
D-d-drip-sssplash
Red burst on the scene
Breaths came in short, pained pulls
Primary visual instinctual reactions
Colorful coronary dysfunction
Love
Anger
Sssplash
Longing
Despair
Sssplat
Her heart burst
Kablam

Reality is more than numbers
More than grey matter and black chairs and spreadsheets
Seal it off seal it off seal it
Keep it dry
Try all you want and one day
Riding the bus or tying your shoes
There will be a splat
And with that
Your heart with explode and you’ll know, but won’t live to tell.

Beauty in Order

Thoughts explode on paper
Scattered
I rearrange them
A series of numbers, letters
Code
A language in which you’re fluent
Words leave my tongue unsure
And find structure in your mind

A massive expanse of nothing is swallowed up
As the sun explodes
Complete disorder ensues
Particles of stardust drift through the abyss
Millions of miles
To find a partner with which to bind
Electrons, neutrons, protons
Become birds, boats, lips, teeth, skin
I touch yours and feel electrified
The earth rotates on its axis just so
Summer becomes winter and you need time
The earth circles the sun sandwiched by Venus and Mars
A tiny speck
But here we are
Smaller still
And I wait
A part of the endless expanse
We circle one another, drawn together
Our bodies are comprised of a chemical soup
Our minds a billion neurons firing furiously
But here my thoughts again drift back to you
Another page is structured and sense is made of chaos
Words that float, lost through my head
Are pulled into orbit by your brilliance, the beautiful light of your mind
I place them once more in code
A digital map
And you trace my lines
Pull them in, close to your heart
Where sense is made of senselessness
Entropy is destroyed
And it’s this we’ve created.

Love does not stop either

When death hangs in the pit of your stomach and pretends to move like a baby in a womb, you simply sit up and stand and head out and go. And do this and do that and talk talk talk.

“This sadness is crippling,” she said, sitting on the ground among spoons, shoes, notebooks and long stripes of sunlight.

Breathing had become difficult.

Death is not the bad guy, she said. It’s life that turns on us.

I agreed, but I didn’t want her to believe it. I frowned and said nothing.

I expected the gun shot to my head, but she never did. She sat in a hot car, sun streaming through the windows, talking about the absence of god and how death really isn’t so bad. She could feel everything. She was as bright as the lake as they crossed the bridge.  Her feelings were colorful and the volume of her life was all the way up. She tasted and drank until she couldn’t fit any more.

Death now hangs at the bottom of her belly. It fills her up and there’s no room for the rest.

“I can’t breathe.” Her face was pale and her eyes hollow. “I need a mouth to press to my mouth to bring me back to life.”

I shuddered. Her flesh had begun to rot and I could smell death as I stared at her lips.

Please, take my hand, I cried.

She couldn’t. She wasn’t able to move. Her face did not twitch as she stared straight ahead.

Death filled her and the only movement I could see was a tiny foot that pushed up from beneath the skin of her abdomen. I fell back gasping for air, filled with the realization of life. That life. That death. That love does not stop either.

Lungs make a difference in the long run (and in a fraction of a second)

Lungs inflate with air
belly expands
cold on the throat
and teeth
the breeze
touches the cheek’s soft skin
brushes its fingers through hair
is pulled in
hungrily
absorbed into cells
and expelled
spit out, changed
ready to be breathed again by
living things

-2
ooooommmmmm-
hhhhhhhhhhhhuh

Woodpecker
chips away at a dead jack pine
snow
tumbles under the pressure of sunshine
its presence alters
the earth
as ice melts
and is hungrily absorbed
into dirt

-1

A deep breath in never
released
means death
so give it back
let go
be satisfied

Snow melts
desire melts
air in
altered
released

The sudden, overwhelming realization you are alive.

Ashes

In an unmarked box

IMG_2946what’s the best thing to do
when you sit at the table
among the unpaid bills and credit card offers,
egg cartons and books

But reside elsewhere

IMG_2931what is a body?
the skin, hair, bones and tendons
heart, lungs, brain

what is a soul?
the firing of electrons,
the essence of being

Where does it reside?

When it’s over is it really finally over?
I don’t know what it means.

Whispers in the Woods

Video

This is my first foray into using the iMovie app for iPhone. It’s quite fun! I also used a second app for the filming to give it the bizarre look. Let me know what you think! Thank you to Kathryn Coe for the beautiful calligraphy and Milo for the stellar performance as himself.

Chaos/Breathe

I remember thinking how remarkable it was to take a breath. That everything is so fleeting, there’s no way of knowing when you’ll die or what will happen tomorrow. Faith is beautiful and easy. Chaos is harder to come to terms with.

There are some rules in the world. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. An organism will always act to further its genes. But humanity is utterly unpredictable. It hurts. It throbs with desire. It is self-sacrificing. It is impossible to understand.

Why do we choose to live when life is cruel, vindictive, sadistic? I love living. I love breathing in and out, sitting in silence and letting hurt absorb into my body, deep down into my cells. Then breathing it out, spitting it into the air. Letting it swirl above my head and drop back down on my skin like rain.

The Apiarists

I was sitting on a rock by the edge of the sea, looking up at the moon and howling in defeat. Neither of us knew where we would go next. We sure as hell couldn’t stay there, though. The voices in the sky had grown louder, harsher. We couldn’t keep them at bay much longer.

“If I cross the line between good and evil, will you tell me?” His green eyes glowed like a snake.

“Ha-ha-ha-ha.” My dry laugh rose up into the night sky and echoed off of the moon, gliding back to my yellow dress and shattered against the soft cotton. Askr had been talking about peacocks and bees- living things. I couldn’t figure out how good and evil fit into the equation. I knew I’d heard of those words somewhere, though. I looked them up in the dictionary, but there was only a blank space where the definition should have been.

Someday we might understand. We would buy some big, white supers to house our bees, one queen. Set it all in a field of clover. Eat honey for sixty years then die of diabetes. But here we were now, in the beginning, before the bees. No idea where to turn for the answers to our questions. Such as: how to separate our whites from our colors? Should we wash our delicates separately? I stared at the big, hungry machine and collapsed to the ground in a heap of despair. Why couldn’t I hear the divine commands of the laundry gods? Had I gone deaf?

My green-eyed snake-man was digging his fingernails across his yellowing skin. We jumped into his ship.

“Where are we going?”

“To a land where evil doesn’t exist.”

“How will we know?”

“Embla, you just need to trust me for once.” I clasped his face with my hands and let it fall into my lap. I pushed his head into my bosom. He spit up yellow teeth as he cried on the edge of my gown.

“I’m falling apart! There are my kidneys by the sails! There’s my tongue on the hull!” He was trembling; I didn’t know what to say.

“I’m not good at puzzles- I can’t put you together again.” I’d been working on the same jigsaw puzzle since I was three years old. It was a picture of twelve chubby children with gap-toothed smiles. I still hadn’t finished it.

One day we would own peacocks and their tails would be our one, solid truth. We would stand before them and cry blue, green and purple tears. We would kneel and pray to the peacocks. Peahens would be our saints and baby peafowl, bishops. We’d play chess with them, but they’d keep moving and we would have to start over again, and again.

“If I move my hand to your leg, will you feel it?”

“Yes.”

“If I hold a knife between my teeth and fall upon your leg will you flinch?” His reasoning was becoming too abstract for me.

“Man up! Stop muttering nonsense!” I couldn’t cease speaking with exclamation points. They would fall from my tongue and drift to the ground like orange oak leaves. I’d pick them up and kiss them and put them in my pockets.

Now, Evil was a man who lived in Dallas. He was there when they shot JFK. He was also there when the ticking time bomb left no one to tell the true story. Evil had yellow eyes and a harsh, grating laugh. Nobody liked it when he laughed. Good was Evil’s twin. He went to Washington to get an education when they were eighteen and never saw his brother again. They would show up on our doorstep, never the same day. They’d come in and eat dinner- eggplant parmesan, veal. All we wanted by the time we’d grown old was to be able to tell the difference between those skinny, toothless twins.

We’d been at sea for thirty years. Our bearing was southwest.

“I’ll never be strong again. How will you find me attractive?” Askr was twitching on the hardwood deck.

“I like vulnerable men.” I’d cut his hair and it wasn’t growing back. He’d started to bald. He drank scotch by the gallon and ran his hands over his empty head. I’d drink orange juice and we’d kiss, lips parted, tongues lapping at the edge of the boat. In the water we swam into each other and reached a final agreement. At last we could understand so much more. Good was even more than a peacock tail! Evil was far worse than an empty washing machine! Even diabetes didn’t faze us. We just kept dreaming and loving and swimming without any clothes. Even when our limbs began to fall off, I knew exactly where to put them back on. I used a glue stick and we made a collage of ourselves.

There’s a pocketful of happiness in waiting, but a mouthful of loneliness, too

He is okay waiting. Jumping from one rock to the next under the sun, warm, hungry.

“Creating happiness is like throwing a pot,” he thinks to himself, pausing at the edge of a rushing brook. It runs, jumping, along black dirt, under sturdy bridges where people bring their children to school. It glitters as it flows into a river. Fish smile and run along with their gang. They feel a part of something truly special.

The river winds around like a chutes and ladders board and a dog walks in, up to its belly. Laps up some water with its pink tongue and the little girl at the bank giggles. It’s such an infectious laugh, her father thinks, and a tear slips from his eye.

And he sees it all, resting by the edge of that brook. He drinks all of it down and it nourishes him. He is okay waiting, content.

There’s a pocketful of happiness in waiting, but a mouthful of loneliness, too. He chews at it a while and calls her on the phone. Says, “But the wait isn’t so bad,” and “Happiness is a matter of molding a pot with your hands, then throwing it in the fire.” There’s glaze and paint and other brightly colored things applied. They are so beautiful we can’t look away.

“But,” she says, “Pots are fragile. They break.” She gave up waiting a long while ago. She is inspired by his hope and the sunshine that hits his hair and makes his eyes azure. “But, life happens,” she said and remembered how pots are thrown from the balcony after screaming turns to silence. Only to shatter on the pavement, brown insides exposed, azure and mustard paint glittering under the streetlight as she cries, crouched on the lawn, hoping the neighbors don’t see.

He drops the phone and turns away from the brook. He begins to run, bare feet beating the hard ground. Warm skin stung by the cold pavement. He runs and runs, happy still, heart filled with hope. Little beads of sweat trickle down his forehead and the cotton on the back of his neck is wet.

“Why wait when the time can be now?” he thinks.