Thursday, January 31, 2013

a poem, story

i want out of my own story, uh-huh
out of the grey page and cigarette smoke swirlin
brittle hair rakin fingers and hugs that don't find no home
give me chicken coops and buckets sloshin
give me hallelujah on a pretty sunday mornin
bacon eggs an' biscuits ploppin' rich as wattles
give me children warming hands 'gainst hands 'gainst hands
cute as chicks bustlin with the coil of spring callin
cheeks all lined up for pinchin n kissin'
give me his story or his'n or hers
pants rolled up and history spillin over
long goed out the furrowed fields
not this damn dodge caravan that just won't start, always stallin
mama tight lipped and slate grey, barren cold as steal

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

notes:  explore imagination as a serious articulation of the truth, relying on the fact that we come into existence from the whole, separated only temporarily in bodies, soon to rejoin.  imagination in this way is an exercise in existing, our bodies being the muscle which moves the fabric of energy beyond it, which is perhaps the articulated fabric of all of existence.  story then becomes reality, (like fingers plunging beneath the strings of the cat's cradle holding the form to something which does not exist) even though we know it is fiction, belief becomes everything.

however, this is not dismissive as story, not dismissive as only subjective belief (our articulated reality) but is our temporary being which is derived from the whole, our example, our metaphor. as story we become the door to god's being.

***

something while baking (related?):

what was it?  i'll never know.  i'll never be able to hold onto it long enough.  i want it to be like silk garments that she wore and stepped out of to sing in the holy stripped white light of that room, that simple room, that shabby room, the everywhere/anywhere room.  i want to hold them diaphanous and infused with her essence to my face to smell her, to know her.  but i was a violator.  i didn't know.  i didn't have an invitation.  but how can one deny such a song?  i had only been hobbling aimless and lost in the corridors when i heard her.  later she would tell me she was singing to no one in particular, that she was shy.  she could never bear to sing to anyone.  but it was grander than that;  it was greater.  her song went so much further than any person in an audience.  i stood in the light trembling as i watched her and it was i who became naked.  her voice.  she traveled distances beyond traffic and schedules, over forests and long past the oscillating cell.  i was ashamed and i was saved and i was invited to disaster.  it grew inside me, or rather, the wound that was always there was found and it was funneled deeper, traveled harsher and blacker through me.  her voice both stripped me to find it, to thumb it, and then caused it to heal over.  what was it?  who was she?  i'll never know.  neither of us existed.  never have.  never will.  except that she was special, particular, only.  i named her then inside that brief moment, inside the song itself, from out of my invalid state.  i named her.  and then even the room disappeared.

january 30.2013

everything i say
is only the ego
getting in the way

yesterday i ran ten miles after another foot of snow fell, and then into the freezing rain.  for me it was an epoch, as it always is, in conversation between me and my body, between my body and the world, between me and the world.  it was what it was and it was very, very good. 

but what was more, what was so much more was the rise, the point of elevation, the transcendence of conversation, me rising up high enough to see the world, the world, the miraculous world, the tops of trees, grey, covered in snow, the lines of trees dissolving into the mist over a horizon i can not name, nor do i dare to.  when i could truly see this (truly), i was at peace, put into my rightful place, nearly irrelevant, and there were no questions.

everything i say
is only the ego
getting in the way

what can i do in this life?  i have been in the pain of this question again lately.  how foolish.  again i have been caught low down and inside the confines of ego.  i know these things and yet i forget them.  over and over again i must make this journey, must learn to forget the questions and rather engage in the two true forms of living, in the body and in the spirit, remember that true being is to engage with the earth, what the earth represents, what it articulates, and in being itself.  an eruption takes place in the absence of questions;  love erupts, love and love of being

everything i say
is only the ego
getting in the way

today i was greatly moved by the art of roger dautais, by his time, commitment, attention and physical engagement.  too, his acceptance of the transient nature of his efforts.  i found myself accidentally finding the correlation between my body and the body of the earth, the natural landscape, and my ego wisped away to near nothing.  i must exist and yet i can allow that i don't have to.  in the unfolding of this we made love, meeting at the joyous point of existence and dissolve.  we became a doorway for love; to be experienced ourselves, yes, but also for that thing that can not be named, that has no body and which simply is.  (it is, it is, it truly is, this knowledge existing beyond the tools that we have to recognize or name it.)

i asked, will i now remember?  and james said, no, you will forget, but in time you will remember again.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

yesterday

standing on the side of the winter road staring at the pines, the spruce loaded and laden with snow, staring at the poplar, the birch, the ash, the trembling aspen, the (for me) unnamed plenitude of trees,

staring toward the whiteness,
the silence,
the purity,

one is struck with the distance that always resides between what simply is
and what it is to be human.

the distance between is a void of energy which both draws and repels us

and yet we yearn yearn yearn yearn
standing on the side of the winter road staring.

***

i want to pray
i want to lie down with the foxes and the white birch
i want to swim in the river

but there is no enough lying down
and there is no enough swimming

and so how might i manage to pray, to truly pray,
which is not a yearning for words of reverence,
but a yearning to meet that which i revere?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

like a rabbit strung and gutted hanging from the rafters
or a sac of cheesecloth pregnant and straining against overcooked ripe apples
they immense and unnaturally calling like the raw truth of a boiled pig's head
or bees swarmed so thick to become a body like a bear, never mind what's beneath them
 
story gathers
 
 
 
(if story becomes the corporeal body,
then what is it that constitutes its profound being?

and so is this, the discovering the profound truth behind story,
the reason for writing, the reason for all art?)

non plus

henry and adella were the best of friends, had been the best of friends.  it always was and it seemed always would be between them. it ran through them like the veins in a chicken which never quite disappear, not even long after it has been struck, plucked and sacked, frozen, thawed and hacked and then baked to fork tenderness in mama franka's secret plum sauce (which had nothing at all to do with plums).  you'd go to eat it, you'd cut through the sweet meat to your first succulent bite of sophistication, you refined as a human being so neat and orderly and eager at the table, and there it was laid out, a fine line like a map on your plate, evidence of what it was and where it came from, the clear path evident to its way home, this meat to the living creature it came from.  it was like that between them but even so, adella was happy and henry had no idea what happiness was; adella happy as though happy were her skin, and henry was simply henry.

what should we do today, henry, adella asked, rolling up her shoulders and looking toward the horizon, long beyond the courtyard and the distant coming shadows, loving her body and the sky and everything between them, loving what might happen and grieving a little what might not.

and henry there beside her, his hands in his pockets, in his pockets loose change, a small note of things to gather at the grocery that he would not look at, said, kicking a stone, i don't know

what should we do today, henry, she asked again, as though it should be obvious what they should do, should, you see, as though there were a right path or a wrong path. 

and henry, now with his hands out of his pockets, loose by his sides for some form of radical variation, kicked another stone, this time harder and farther, said again, i don't know

oh henry, adella reached behind her.  oh henry, adella reached behind her.  oh, henry, adella reached behind her closing her hand on his hand, oh henry, come on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

my run, january 22nd, 2013 (((-27 degrees celcius)))

six.black.ravens.sitting in a tree (six, astounding;  black, more and other than you can discern, than you can dream of;  ravens ordinary miracles;  sitting, such an act of revolution;  a tree, another ordinary miracle.)

the sun lifting its weight high enough, just high enough for its light to pass over the tops of black-to-green evergreen pines, to illuminate the grey birch beyond them to full and blasting whiteness

the staffs of red whips latched to the ground and yet lashing another stand of white birch behind them, all the while not moving

my borrowed blue mittens, my burrowed blue mittens, my burrowed blue mittens
the day is as it is, ordinary footsteps and shuffling, doors opening and closing, sounds advancing and retreating
 
and you - somehow - hear my shoulder.  you - somehow - hear the expanse of my neck.
 
never did i know {i} could utter such language.

________________________________________________________________________

the evidence is everywhere

there is a pomegranate scored and bleeding on the counter
a clementine crescent shimmering aqueous on the floor
tristan and isolde rup/ture {en/ter} O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe

love's knife holds me on point at the soft belly just beneath my chin
and i, the world's most anguished pauper, beg for it to enter,
{beg for more, for more} beg for it to come in!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

on suffering

one of the most beautiful times in my life was when i suffered without resistance, suffered deeply and knowingly, suffered...

it was very simple.  i was responsible.  who i was (and am) was responsible.  how i affected others and caused them pain was responsible.  and so i simply suffered.

is it horrible to love this me and to desire it to be me again, always, not so that i might suffer less or more, but so that i might suffer better?

"We should seek neither to escape suffering nor to suffer less, but to remain untainted by suffering."
 
  p. 81 gravity and grace, simone weil
 
i try to visualize who i was then to hopefully realize how it was that i was like that.  i see my physical self quite simply on the couch inside of a normal moment of a day and i try to locate my spiritual side through that object of my being.  what i discover is that as real and concrete, as locatable, as my physical side is through memory, my spiritual side had loosened.  some barrier that had surrounded me, had kept me whole and singular, removed and separate, had dissipated.  i had given up trying to be important, central, or even necessary even inside my own story. 
 
 
in this way i see that i must let go of my self.
 
i read Barthes' camera lucida now and i pay attention to how the investigation of photography is really the investigation of the correlation between our physical being and our spiritual being.  i try to find my true voice.  the irony is to find one's true voice one must be willing to be no one and to let the other voice, which is voiceless really, no words, or all sound and all words, speak through us.
 
 
"I must love being nothing. How horrible it would be if I were something! I must love my nothingness, love being a nothingness. I must love with that part of the soul which is on the other side of the curtain, for the part of the soul which is perceptible to consciousness cannot love nothingness. It has a horror of it. Though it may think it loves nothingness, what it really loves is something other than nothingness."
 
p. 111 gravity and grace, simone weil

Friday, January 18, 2013

as a human being i feel corralled into density

***

cynthia wears a short white dress with tiny button blossoms in red, embedded in the sweetest green leaves. she walks like a lady. what a revelation. how did she learn to walk so? how does any woman? her being is her seduction. it is learned at a cellular level. i watch cynthia's hips as she crosses the kitchen floor. in her hands are the heads of a flower i do not know how to name, the colour between two other flowers i do not know. beneath her hands are their tails, those things which once affixed them to the earth. the sun is beyond the window as it always is, even when it's nighttime or it's buried beneath cloud shadows. how do i know it is the sun? white light shines in the kitchen and raises cynthia up into a dream, making her my memory, but her black strapped shoes with her one inch heals strike the floor in density away from me. oh, cynthia, you can save no one, not even those flowers. oh, cynthia with your calves muscled and exposed beneath your short white dress, even though you can't, try, try try to save me.

***

how this body?

what this body?

the coalescing muscle. the convalescing muscle. the convulsing muscle.

what beyond this body?

anyone who has a cock.  anyone who has a cunt.  anyone who takes a cock in. anyone who enters a cunt. anyone who has a mouth and fingers. anyone who has coalesced.

a baby is born. i practice these words. a baby is born.

shaken shuddered shat through the tremulous tunnel cellular planetary minute infinitesimal and beyond barrier ultra-void to density into life

are you kidding me?

breathing kicking feeling shaking hungry desperate alive

are you kidding me?

***

cynthia and i are lying together, naked.  cynthia is sleeping.  her chest rises and falls but i only know this from memory as cynthia is lying face down, her breasts buried, her face half turned into the pillow, her left arm forgotten like a purse strap across me.  i follow the delicate line that forms cynthia's ear, her shoulder.  i have never been closer to death. 


outside is, i suppose, the sun.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

an important exchange a while back

he is six foot two or three, obviously male but in high heels with fake breasts (i look closely), earrings, make-up.  it could be a joke but i have spent the morning talking about empathy and compassion and so i don't dare assume anything.  i speak to him, wondering about his voice.  it is without affect and seriously ribbed with testosterone.  another man in work pants might not be this gruff.  i look him in the eye as though i truly see him, wanting to truly see him. 

do you need any help, i ask him over the handbags. 

what, he drags out of his adam's apple, his hand behind his ear.  he is hard of hearing.  what, he asks again? 

again i look into his eyes, his face, hoping to see him, do you need any help

oh, no, just looking, he says loudly. 

he is not a very pretty woman but many of us aren't.  he keeps busy in his world being himself.  i go on busy in my world being myself. 

i arrange it so the girl that i have been talking with all morning about empathy and compassion will serve him.  she elbows me at one point and i pretend it is an accident of body.

by accident or design i end up helping him again. 

he has a shawl, a one size fits all blouse and a skirt in his arms. 

the shawl will fit but neither the skirt or blouse will fit him well.  i tell him how pretty his things are as i punch them into the cash.  i make eye-contact again. 

in the aisles the northern men think this is entertaining or something...they smirk with their hands deeply in their pockets.  i do not make eye contact with them.

i've been looking for a country skirt, he tells me, to do shows.  i drive truck but i do shows in toronto. 

well, this should be perfect, i say. 

i do not want this to be an unusual conversation.  i want this to be normal.  this is normal.

ya, my friend does shows professionally and she sets me up when i'm home.

oh, i say, then you have little time off.

well, it's not work, he tells me.  i do this on my own time.  i enjoy it. 

well, then it's play, i say.  good, we all need to serve the self with play.

but i'm not gay, he stammers into the conversation, and my friends aren't either.

well, i'm sure the clothes will help to round out the show, i tell him and i wish him a good day.

the young girl who had elbowed me comes back toward me dogging for a talk.  i say, you know, here we were talking about compassion and empathy and what an opportunity!  this man is so brilliant and brave.  do you know he drives trucks and does shows?  can you imagine the point in his life when he decided to be who he is - what bravery it took then for that transition?

oh, she says.

i wonder why he told me that he wasn't gay, i ask.

i think he was hitting on you, she plies conspiratorially.

well, i said, i'm not available but he seemed like an interesting person.  i'd love to have coffee with him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

i want to shine
like the animal i am

Monday, January 14, 2013

being right, being wrong, on the corner

there is a corner in this small town at which the native people's from the neighbouring reserve hang out at, and invariably, it seems, get drunk.  it has been years of witnessing this and perhaps i as of yet have it wrong. 

once though, a couple years ago, i held the hand of a man who had fallen very hard on the ground and hit his head.  i was out on a walk then, i think, or a run, and stopped and held his hand as he was at first still and then thrashed about. i tried to talk him through things, to calm him, to have him wait for an ambulance that someone else nearby had called.  i think he had been drinking very hard and who knows what, but i could have been wrong.  he might have had a seizure from epilepsy or endured a sudden health problem that he had no prior history of.  other people came and took my place.  i left.

a few years before that my children and i handed out carrot muffins we purchased at a church bake and penny sale.  we simply shared with those around us.  it was very early in the morning and the men were already drunk, or expressly happy like we were in the summer's sunlight. 

this morning as i was about to round this corner a very tall and bright faced native man looked at me and smiled.  i like to think it was because it is incredibly renewed today in its wintriness; in other words, it's bloody cold and yet i dared to go out and delight in my body and in the body of the world.  i smiled back at him and began to round the corner.  there was another man there behind him clutching to the pole.  oh? i wondered.  pissing?  i looked forward to give him some privacy on this downtown corner  but as i passed i realized he was not pissing, he was vomiting.  perhaps he had been drinking.  perhaps he had the stomach flu.  i heard his vomit hit the cold ground in what i knew would be a warm stream.  and then he called after me.  he called through the cold winter air, good woman!  i kept running but raised my hand back in a wave, in a greeting, afraid to turn.  again he called, good woman!  i ran on.

i wasn't afraid of him.  i was afraid i was wrong and i was not the good woman he called to.

42 has nothing on 10, and more about the body

have you ever happened upon a planet that was not a planet but a star burning blindingly brightly on its side on your living room floor and it was so beautiful, such a curiosity, that you could not help but touch it and it burned you because of its incandescence but you didn't mind? ya, my son is like that.

we're on a long car ride home from indiana, an evolution of conversations taking place, us all held stationary and together, the car becoming slovenly, a reflection of our dense bodies. and so it happens...

it begins by accident, in comedy; motivated by musicians we get into a conversation about the possibility of people altering their bodies with hormones, electing for surgery if they feel the desire to become a different gender. i want to help/allow my children comfort in their bodies, their bodies being the window to the world. i do not know their inner workings. i do not know their futures. i try to keep possibility open. and so at first we joke but then i mean to balance the conversation with the serious. my daughter tells me of something that she has seen or read on the internet, which may or may not be true, that is not the point. she tells me of a man who cuts off his leg on the kitchen floor (denying his body) and then later gets a sex change to become a woman. i say, do you see then what pain he must have been in originally? isn't it awesome that science has developed so that people do not have to live in pain just because of the accident of their bodies? i go on, much to my daughter's feigned pain, what if i wanted to be a man? no, no, not wanted, but what if my spirit were a man and i desired the body to match it? i could have surgery and get a penis, take hormones and alter my shape, my voice, my chemistry! my daughter puts her fingers in her ears and playfully lalalalalala's.

i don't remember how it is the conversation gently pivots but my son says something that exhibits empathy for those confused about their bodies. his empathy sparks an innocent and playful teasing from my daughter, what, are you saying that you would marry a man?

my son is ten years old. boys who are ten years old wear their pants a certain way, like video games their friends like, close their doors when they are changing.

the air in the car gets very still and silent for a moment. it might be picked up and caressed like an egg, or even threatened. and then he says very quietly and carefully, perhaps personally invested and perhaps not, but with incredible bravery, i don't know who i might love when i am older.

the conversation continues on, me in an excited manner, happy to have my son bull-doze such barriers and in front of a sister who is only two years older and uses everything as leverage.

truthfully i do not think my son is or is not attracted to boys and this is hardly the matter. the point is twofold: it is that he grows through this life with the energy and work of not creating barriers. and he does this with unwavering bravery.

***

i kiss this body, my body.  i am here.  thank you thank you. 

but my kiss is not enough. 

i ask my lover, i beg him to kiss this body.  i am here.  thank you thank you.

before christmas we were in indiana.  my lover and i made love and the world disappeared.

only we did not disappear to the world.

the next morning my son asked me what all that noise was about upstairs the night before.  he has made reference to certain noises before (which we try to keep to a low rumble:) but i decided on this day to tell him the truth.  it had felt before as though i had been shielding him but from what?  from love?

i told him, son, i said, james and i were making love.

he looked at me blankly.

having sex, love. do you know what that means?

my son is ten.  i had thought that he might become embarrassed or comical in the face of the truth but i was unprepared for his reaction.

he cried.  he cried from an unnameable place in his soul.

i held him.  his head is almost at the same height as my own.  i held him.

were you scared, i asked?

yes, he motioned with his head and then entered a new and deeper wave of grief.

why, i asked in disbelief and from my place of not being able to understand, but he only cried and all i could do was hold him.

do you know what sex is? i asked.

no, he told me by shaking his head.

do you want to know? i asked.

no, he told me by shaking his head.

well, i explained as i held him, it is a good good thing between two people who love one another, son.  and you will know it soon too.  you are changing in your body.  you should know these things. but know this, at least, please, it is nothing to be afraid of. 

we were in a small room off the kitchen.  the sun had climbed high enough that the rays were pointing downward and onto the floor, no longer onto us.  we were standing in shadows.

a week or so later i asked him casually in the car if he would like me to tell him about sex.  again he said no.  i said again, your body is changing, son.  you'll get your fur and all sorts of other new things will happen to you.  you need to know, so i will give you some time to ask me, but if you do not feel brave enough to ask me, then i will tell you anyway.  these are important things to know, things i did not understand as i was growing up.

our bodies are our vehicles to this life and yet we spend lifetimes trying to catch up to them, as infants, as adolescents, as 42 year old women, as elderly and dying, we pick up our skirts and we try to keep up.
 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

before (which is also after)

i am in my room and i am stretching.  i am listening to this music from The Tree.  i raise my arms above my head.  i am about to run, something i have done so little of lately, something i have not let myself truly miss.  i have been in a variety of pain lately but as i stretch and sway to this music i rise above myself.  what of this life?  i have been too densely in this body.  i raise my arms and sway.  something of a shadow of a bird rises out of me like a white page extended up, and infinitely so.  i am assured. 

go, go, go, run through your body and beyond your body.  such a paradox. 

and yet in the potential of white space i am at peace.  no need for anything else.  no need for, what of this life?  instead, be, be.

******

after (which is also before)

my right ass hurts

Monday, January 7, 2013

have you ever stuffed a bag? life itself is a violent action

video


i feel very violent today.  throughout the veins in my arms an energy snakes and threatens to break out. 

it wantsto.  (understatement.) 

if it could it would be an axe to every image. 

and what is not an image?

it would stride down the street black cloaked and assured without moving a finger or shifting an eye, causing buildings to explode and fall down upon themselves ten stages beyond rubble, cause people to pull at their eyes and cry, make love, fuck, flail in their failings, flog one another with arms they have pulled from their own bodies; each tiny black word would be a neat and orderly pile of explosives succinctly tied with a burning ribbon;  ideas would be dime-store fire crackers snapped at the heals until the heals were eaten away and ceased to exist.  to hell, to hell, to hell with the image! 

i feel very violent today.  i am top teeth laid into bottom lip frustrated with this preoccupation of walls and bodies.

alliwant. 

not - all i want...

but    ALL, i want.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

1/5/13

my body is already in the future of its past

Thursday, January 3, 2013

january 3, 2013 10 a.m.

you wore a blue collar
i, a white

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

then arriving at now - and so now what? - this morning there were shadows across the snow in the yard as never before

pressing on toward the new year while still in canada.  one of my last days working:

now that i am alive...  now that i am awake...  now that i know the trunk of the black body...  now that i know the trunk of the white (light) body...

***

in the indiana storm on back roads bringing the children to their father, december 26th, 2012

a terrible contradiction (but is it terrible?)

driving home today through the snowstorm imagining that you might be dead i realize that i then can no longer live my true life and so i resolve to do - to become - to create some-thing that stands outside of me and speaks for my life, the one i can no longer live without you.  you see, in many ways i would already be dead.  the doing would only be animation.

so here we are alive.  no one has died.  and i do no-thing but try to live directly through the eye of the needle throwing down the layers that grow up and around me like a forest each day.  less less less, i say.  i spread my vision.  i cluck my tongue.  i try to call the worms out from inside my real living real living.  what is it then? 

feel the morning.  feel the multitudes of singularities amounting to nothing.  hear the hymn.  witness small twists and turns, beings sectioned off and then ruptured.  drive the roads and note the swirling snow, the drifts in the ditches.  there are vibrating puddles of blackbirds upon going and upon returning.  the day moves on.  the day moves on.  be moved to make love.  be moved to make love so deeply. be moved to know to know to know know know you will die.