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"screaming lovewords at a cement sky"

I have been floated to this life, this hour

9/16/07 04:32 pm

it's still really painful, to think about her, to go through the necessary rituals of returning stuff....blah. i don't know. better to have loved & lost & all that but god, i just don't know, i just don't know. so easy to destroy a past, so difficult to forget it.

9/2/07 01:47 am - with wet fingers, we turn the pages. we are waiting for truth to break through.

This is the first night that there's been a twinge of autumn in the air, that rich smoky chill that enchants the air in the fall. I love nights like this. I loved waking up this morning, with a sweet, sweet wind slipping through my window, the trees shivering, some sort of essence to the day that made me glad to be drowsing between worlds. The world of almost-autumn, and the world of my dreams, where my wishes and needs become convoluted symbols, disturbing in their accuracy. I read somewhere that we only remember the parts of our dreams that don't threaten our conception of reality. The further we progress intellectually, spiritually (the intellect and the spirt are inextricably bound) the more of our dreams we remember, the more we can control them. I've only been able to achieve absolute lucidity when I was on a cruise, travelling tropical oceans, seeing the eternity of stars when they are not drowned out by electric light pollution, phosphorous glowing beneath the crest of waves, a sublime, holy joy glowing inside of my chest. each night as the waves rocked me into a darkness where I didn't lose my way at all. i was so aware of everything i didn't forget who i was, even asleep. so i got to conduct this fabulous orchestra -- i got to weave a universe i could touch, taste, and change. i loved how the moment when i realized i was dreaming, i could look around at the dream-world, focusing intently on each detail, each blade of grass, which seemed much more reach in some way, than the real, waking world. Light was more hauntingly luminous. You could taste emotions in the air. Everyone knew just what you were feeling the moment you felt it and looked at you with a comforting empathy. That's how it was in my dreams, those few times i could control it. the replica of the world i made in my head was somehow more lovely, more valid, more vivid, than the world i was forced to move through when i was awake.

9/1/07 12:05 am - "what crime could i commit to be worthy of her beauty?"

so. life. twenty-three years old. adrift, yet firmly grounded. once i felt like a bird who flew too far out over the ocean -- a bird whose wings were exhausted from flying, but couldn't find a single solid bit of anything to settle down on. now, gravity doesn't make me quite as languid, and the fact that we are rotating around the sun and spinning around doesn't make me dizzy and frantic. i've gone through that lifestage that started at 16 where i couldn't define myself without a messy, tragic, consuming relationship. i learned how to be alone long ago, to just exist within walls, listen to my own thoughts, and take notes when the good bits flashed by. there's been a godawful lot of pain. the girl i started out as -- straight by default, awkward, odd, sweet, virginal, dreamy -- that girl, she's gone. i've died ten thousand deaths since then (each death more desperately metaphorical than the previous one). as ellen miller wrote, and amy was so fond of quoting, "It's amazing how many times a person can die." Also: "I had been aware for years of an important deficiency in the english language: a word for losing something that was never really mine to begin with." And: "I didn't sleep, but I did dream....this is how far I would go to find home." Endless others. The jaded narrator of "Like Being Killed," Illyana Meyerovich, was her alter-ego. When I was first getting to know her she would tell me she did things like go to the hairdresser weekly just to have the comforting contact of a stranger massaging her scalp, which I discovered when I read the book, was something Illyana does. It was a pretty charming thing, really, to read this amazing book and find out what Amy was confessing as her own history was really something she gleaned from the pages of a lurid, modern novel. Well, maybe I should have been more concerned about the deceit of her words, but I was so stunned by her complexity, so dazzled by the whitehot radiance pouring from her oildrop eyes.

So. Me. Now. Well.....how about more memories attached to "like being killed?" How about that I read the entire thing -- the whole book! -- to my ex-girlfriend, over the period of a week, maybe two. Maybe even quicker than that. Extraordinary sensation to be re-reading "Like being killed," and with each word my eyes absorb I hear the ghost of my own voice, reciting it to her, over a year ago...I read it to her to comfort her, that night she spent some time in the land of the dead and was so sick upon her return to the land of the living, where I was so bashfully dwelling. Silly me, I was touched, floored with gratitude, that she had chosen to return to this, to our crooked house with its wallpaper torn from magazines and mythology books and the interior of our skulls.....

books! i love it. and I am finding new ones all the time. It's only arrogance that makes me think I've found all the good ones, and a morbid fear. I can't ever just trust anything is essentially wonderful and unending...and can you blame me, so few things are.....that there are books, and people writing them, and that i may meet some of these people someday, and influence them....that is a miracle to me. lame, nerdy, sure, but also, i think, kind of wonderful. look at this, everybody. i'm having a good self esteem day! that person i was at 16, i was miles and years and scars and traumas away from this kind of self assurance. to accept everything that i've done and had done to me, in full understanding, and to just walk through the world open to connections, listening to the internal vibrations, participating, making an effort....this is also a miracle. sometimes it seems my salvation lies in recognizing these humble little miracles.

remember this one, Marcia -- remember the morning of my beautiful breakfast? it was that dawn, the dawn we spent listening to what -- trembling blue stars? olivia tremor control? metric? my voice cracked with smoking and prolonged use, reading to you "like being killed," that morning, remember? we were really in synch that dawn. we were moving together, and moving towards something. it was lovely. we felt like adults. i had a graveyard shift diner job and i bought us and our kittens (our children) food and we made love with the windows open and wasn't that adult? it was. i felt it, it was exhilarating. i remember the feeling it gave me was like that scene in american beauty, towards the end, right before kevin spacey dies, when the boy and the girl are lying in bed planning their getaway to new york city with rain running down the windows, and they're looking in each other's eyes as they lay on the bed and there's this realization of a deepening of reality -- they are existing independent of their parents, they are moving into their own lives -- i kept thinking of that scene, and it felt really nice, and though we were both a bit brokendown then with our slightly used hearts and boundless love there was that feeling, and even though we ended up in the emergency room at dawn a lot too, that was lovely in its way, wasn't it? i know you felt it too. and you confessed you wanted to tell me that you thought my breakfast was very beautiful that morning. i had brought up wheat toast, fresh blueberries, and a big glass of blueberry juice. it was aesthetically pleasing. it went with the heightened sense of life in us, since you had come so close to total annihalating death, ultimate nihil, the point beyond all points.

so. the present. last week like i wrote i think i went to sisters & woodys with drew. that night the sky misted diamond shards upon us, we wandered down alleys giggling & damp with twilight vapors smoking cigs with a determined delinquent air. i will float through this concrete womb. i will brush up against shadows & bathe in nocturnal heat. music releases us. we spill over our boundaries, searching for a catalyst.i danced until my muscles felt liquid;the music and candy-colored lights making us a hot mess. the bassbeat kidnapping my heatbeat and i recall remnants of the past, a formula long forgotten and instantly recalled....searching for the cadence in the chaos, a nightlight to comfort my turbulent mind.

and there was this daytrip to norristown, the R6 train, the 99 bus, morgan's apartment, a night spent sharing our crazy stories, comparing unbelievable pasts.i left early in the morning as she gathered her luggage, bound for an airport& oklahoma. i was madly jealous, of course. all i really want and have wanted since childhood and will want forever is to travel everywhere always without stop........

i wanted the trainride home to last forever, or at least be slowed down, so i had more time to understand what was happening, there was a mystery there. suburban, mountainous pennsylvania melted majestically and then shoddilly into the slums of northern philly. the land flattened, concrete monoliths emerged, but it was gradual, so it almost seemed natural. it's strange to think of cities as organic, but on some level of my mind i certainly do, cities are entities and have personalities and either hate you or love you...philly has loved me well, and i've loved it back, spectacularly. when i'd get done my shift at johnny rockets i'd go put some of my writing in the wooden shoe for anyone to pick up, then i'd go price out some tattoo i wanted at moo tattoo, then i'd buy a coffee or odwalla vanilla ala mode & go sit in one of the sunny, pleasant, avant garde alleyes connecting south & pine, reading something -- i was reading "the swimming pool library" at that point having found it at the aids thrift shop, and also "the aerial letter" and "the well of loneliness." i remember i found a huge shard of broken mirror and used a sharpie marker to write sam a letter on it about the clouds i saw reflected in the mirror as i wrote her that note. sadly, it was too unweildy and dangerous for her to carry home and we left it in some bushes by the community center's concrete stage where we used to meet all the time after my shifts (she got there by bus, god bless her, she came through camden and dealt with all that, the bus, the outrageous fare, the creeps hitting on her, to come walk around south street and the gayborhood with me, sitting for endless hours in coffeeshops -- we went to that one, with the open-air porch attachment where you could smoke, the village, that's what it was called, right across from that amazing icecream place we always went to -- and i would pause to tear the stickers off news stands, feeling guilty as i secured them in my journal, for i was depriving the world of something beautiful, but i only took those that i had seen a duplicate of somewhere down the street & i loved them so, those stickers, i have them all, in my scrapbooks, and i share them with people, they are not lost, just better cared for.....

8/27/07 02:29 am - the ecstasy of creation is the ecstasy of destruction

well. a crazy busy week. a lot of alcohol and silliness & strange twists & turns. i am trying to take a new approach to life -- more spontaneity, more acting on that voice in my head that urges me to take the plunge.

8/18/07 06:33 pm - we've got no chance of recovery

cigarettes. skeletons. summer. ghosts. the rooms i haunt. up all night brooding in the strong summer reek of the flowers. spectral evenings, vodka & fever-dreams -- here is the world i must face. freezing. naked. alone. august.


"better just to exist through the end of a cigarette."
bukowski tickles me pink. I'm still inhaling death. still interested in the cryptic spirals of the unspooling smoke. well, hell. at this point in my life i smoke. i'm a good student, i just happen to like breathing poison for some reason. subconscious deathwish, nihilistic disregard. walking around in a daze, I think a lot of ruined circuits. my deceit, how deep it goes, my exposed desperation. going to therapy. i dream through the traffic, willfully dislocating my consciousness from the car. disappear into the slideshow, the shadows, the crucified shadows. her arms held me like gold. everything, it was everything. her presence was a balm. something i knew i didn't deserve? love's never truly unconditional. in its aftermath, i feel heavier. i can taste my doom in my mouth. living quietly at ground zero. the utter ridiculousness of the lyrics stuck in my head:  "i am yr girl & i will protect you."


my head vibrates & my skin sings. the lungs are glutted with light. lost in a silver mist, shivering like a beam of light. flaming fireworks, an aurora aching in my bones. i burn under the neutral sky. my hand shakes, my soul cringes. 

a door opening in the snow -- we dragged our drug-twitching corpus about, across lakes of ice, fireballs dancing below the surface -- the contained supernovae i obtain in dreams, down streamlets of the congo, backriver asian shops -- and then there it is, the neon 3d glory of a flowering , flaming nebuala, contained within a glass papeweigiht -- exquisite item i want for my room, naturally. i battle thru the jungleslums, the blackmarket rainforest, treasures concealed in my sleeves...


my shadowy outlook:  a porch in deleware, a flying porch, sailing  thru the seas of my drunkeness, rocks &* pines, beer & fantasy & smokes, some heart-rending images no one bothered to take a picture of -- i stumbled around, giddy & skinny & altered. 3 chugged beers gets me blithered. god, smoke, stars. a primitive theology. in decay. the curious source of hte words. the earth rolls beneath my feet, sloppy, burning, opal light in the sky -- the ocean with its mathematics of eternity. i need to find comforts that don't kill.

8/16/07 09:02 pm - I'se so silly to be flowing but I know I canna stay

music is the best thing. where would i be in my misery without elliot smith? how could I feel expansive and timeless without neutral milk hotel? How could I feel vulnerable & kaleidescopic without coco rosie? where would past relationships have been without the velvet underground and kind of like spitting? how could I ever remember my highschool boyfriend without rancid, the casualties, & leftover crack? drinking's not much fun without murder by death; could i ever have deep feelings for someone who didn't find the fruit bats or regina spektor as pleasant? and if ever i need to feel as if i'm being resurrected, the appleseed cast is there for me. could i remember the dirty thrill of my first trip to camden without ike's horrendous gangsta rap mixtape? and i certainly cannot conceive of god without xiu xiu and the decemberists.

8/11/07 02:29 am - my natural habitat

Right now, I have a ghostly look, apparently. People push plates of steaming food at me, cold imported beer. To put the color back in my cheeks. They smile and buy me cigarettes, with an abundance of mercy and concern. They are alarmed by my freaky staring. I cry most in the morning. Morning is when time cuts like a blade, when awareness is a sinsister Surrealist prank, my fraudulent self mocking my own fragmented self. I realize I am withdrawing and feel ashamed, like they are safe in their circle of talk, and I am out in the open air sipping smoke, leaning against the aluminum siding of the house, wondering how a summer day could be so brutal cold. It's straight gray, they talk about the banality of evil, I cling to legal poisons and smile around my discontent.

8/11/07 02:21 am - old short story fragment

 I know what it's like to anoint my inner tides with synthetic sweetness. I know Valentines Day is a popular day to visit the graveyard. I know what it is like to sleep on my feet, while talking, or even while loving. I know how sleep abandons you after you abuse it, and I know I will never wake up the way I once did as a child, when I was on intimate terms with the sunlight and the natural good and slowly golden rhythms of desire. Instead now I drink my weepy strawberry wine, in the graveyard or the parking lot of a chain grocery store, with boys who rise with the sun and disappear with the dew.

      They say write what you know, but they don’t mean it – they mean write what they know. What do I know, anyways?    I know how to steal. I know how to slip down aisles in Walmarts, malls, and supermarkets, absorbing razorblades and Nicorette gum into my sleeves, I know how to line a bag in tinfoil so as not to set off alarms, I know the exits, I know not to run to the getaway car if I am chased. I know if I am chased, I'm on my own. I know if I'm caught when they chase me they will not be gentle, and they will mock me, and I will suffer all the myriad torments of withdrawal and incarceration. I know if I am thrown in the clink, I will lay there musing upon the beauty of the word “bail,” the bail no one will bother to post for me. I know where to bring the goods I risk my freedom for, the bodegas run by Domincans, Columbians, Mexicans, most of them have killed fiends who tried to rob them, and are very proud of it.


I know I will never again pass a prison without choking on my grief-bloated heart, and tasting the rusty water I sustained myself upon, feeling how I felt when there was nothing to see but suffering walls. I know how to sleep on a rubber mattress on a steel slab, I have known nights endless and bleak my God, nights that stuck in my stomach and lined my throat with bile and stuffed my veins with concrete I will never extricate.

    I mean, Jesus, you see my point? Who the hell wants to know things like that? Such things stumble through my memory galleries, these crippled images, all night long, while the trains sob and the trees wave their arms, in ecstasy or horror, who can tell? My skull is filled to the brim with these orphaned images, so they get into my blood and circulate through my entire being and somehow escape in torrents from my fingertips. So here it is and I’m sorry that there’s so many battered and broken children in this story, but I’d rather you focus on the light that leaks from them instead of their bruises.

        It’s scary and there’s a threatening scent, but I am acquainted with the land of Nod, the land of whirlwinds where criminals and maniacs dwell, the shadowland of beggars and thieves. I will take your hand, and show you where to step -- the boards are dry-rotten in places, you could break through the roach-eaten wood and plunge down into whatever depths dream beneath the foundations of this “city of endless night.” We don't want that. I have something to show you -- I want you to notice what they never did, and what I never did either. I want to show you how I became a ghost who haunted supermarkets and disreputable neighborhoods.

Once I thought I could just take off, but then the morning would be carried up with the birdsongs and hit me like broken glass and flat beer, I’d hear some voice from the previous night: “We can share blood like cigarettes, all shot out, those whom the gods love, die young, there’s nothing here but air to breathe,” etc, etc, etc, and I knew that change was just another delusion. I was spending my youth with the kind of cut-up kids who could find God in a dose of acid, and sustenance within the contents of a shorted Newport and an Olivia Tremor Control song. I’d changed a lot from when I was little but I still took the time to pick up the drowning worms out of the water when the sky got gray and gushed lukewarm holy water.

       Only very recently has it occurred to me that these four years, which have passed in a chemical haze of brutes and bricks and blissless blankings, interrupted by the ugly snarl of sirens and the patient presence of institutional walls, must have had terrible beauty inlaid through it that I, the removed observer of this reality that existed just for me, failed to notice. Now that I've removed the silver layer of charmed sleep from it all, I sense faces rising up through the primordial muck of my mind, through the silt that lines my blood.

8/10/07 08:31 pm - 'get big, little kid'

Strange gray gunmetal cold day, the wind sheathed in a layer of sadness, immediacy as well. A sort of flicker to the air I haven't felt in a while, the sparkle of being alone, flying through space, singular, all that. I choke on grief from time to time but mostly it's just a sort of appreciation for the mechanations of fate, the kind of awareness it brings you to. I need to be more careful with the words I use. Words are deadly weapons, I throw them around, smoking craters ensue. 

"Who am I in this dead city?
I cannot remember either the street
or the name 
of the crazy girl who once loved me."

8/9/07 11:16 pm - massive background noise

Goind through a rough time, reading of course is my relief. The following are passages from "Candy" by Luke Davies, a book introduced to me by the incomparably screwy Amy Renz, in a cinderblock box. I relate to so much of the narrator's lack of sense of self and feelings of extraordinary empathy for the trap we're all stuck in. Here's some that are particularly intense to me, in case you care to bring yourself down. (This is probably one of the most depressing books written, ever. And as a conneiseur of depressing books, you can trust my judgement on this matter.

"In the end, life can be seen to be inconsequential, in the way that nothing matters on some vast evolutionary scale. But everything matters, and we know that most when life seems most horrific, when at each instant of time, all the space around us is everything there is.
    Suppose this, Candy. Suppose all time was not the way it is with us. Suppose its mellifluous curves and parabolas, its contractions and contortions, the furious or sedate blood of its pulse, were of a different mathematics altogether. Or say the eye that views could view with the remoteness and the slowness of rocks growing, continents being born, galaxies roller-coasting through the universe. Imagine if we could stand above the flow of time and look down on it just as we stood on Mount Danenong and looked down on the dots of traffic ten miles away and below.
   But there is a blackness all around. We can't imagine anything. We can't suppose. We are trapped inside the thickest of boundaries.

But it's best not to trust clarity. Better to welcome and accept the mist that seeps into our life, that clings to our clothes, that soaks us to the bone in the scrapyard we are lost in. The mist. Absence looms like a mountain, I tell you.

There is only the relentlessness of coping, punctuated by naked singularities of bliss. In the middle of such moments contentment is absolute; there is only h, there is only Candy, the three of us adrift on the endless sea of love. We carry the ocean within us and with us wherever we go. Suicide is therefore not so much ridiculous as impractical, since Candy and I are immortal. 

Waking up with leg cramps, it is possible to envision a plane of such endless proportions that every atom contains specific scenes of interest. Stone pillars crumble. This takes place over centuries. You have that much time. Follow the path of an eagly, wings spread widw, as it traces in an infinitesimal rate of curvature a swoop of beauty so painful it takes your breath away.
   It is possible to follow this thought through to others (emulating, with some grace, the path of the eagle), even when stomach cramps come on. For a while, in the gray bewtween sleeping and waking, for seconds, or even a minute, it can feel okay to be alive. And then you wake properly.
   And it all comes rushing back. You ask the question, Who am I? And the answer is always the same. I am nothing butn eed. I will hate today like every other day. It's so hard to experience beauty when it all stands in contrast to a great unbeauty.
    Candy is beside me, drenched in sweat. She's breathing gently, long slow breaths. I imagine her soul going in and out:  wanting to leave, wanting to come back, wanting to leave, wanting to come back. The day will soon harden into what we need to do. But for now we have each other.
    We run a bath. In the faint phosphorescent light of the storm, we submerge ourselves to our necks and our legs intertwine. Nothing could ever be this close. Everything is the best, or else, "I can't go on living like this. Oh, God, it's all such a mess." We stroke each other softly and feel entirely dislocated from the earth, which has never existed.

But I think in the end, with all those holes, you kind of do something. It's like you have a container to hold your soul, and you turn it into a colander. So much of you leaks out, until there' barely anything left. And you just keep lowering your standards, to deal with the barely anything.
   You just leak away. And if you're lucky, then one night in the silence ,in the deep heart of the dark, you'll hear the distant trickling of the blood in your veins. A weary world of rivers, hauling their pain through the dark heat. The heart like a tom-tom, beating the message that time is runing out. You'll lie there strangely alert. You'll actually feel the inside of your body, which is your soul, or where your soul is, and a great sadness will engulf you. And from the sadness an itch might begin, the itch of a desire for change."

I got 2 A's and 2 B's for my last semester, my next semester starts September, I have a lot of interesting classes like Hatha Yoga, Intro to Addictions, PsyStress & Time Management, Intro to Human Services, etc, which I can't wait to get lost in. I really wish I had school right now to distract my mind. I'm going to Deleware for the weekend, I hope it won't be too mournful. I'm reading Bukowski, Candy, and Harry Potter all day which is a ridiculous mix. My cousin came over, his summer semester ended well too, so we had a few beers and games of pool with a pretty decent mood. Again, a welcome distraction. The morning's always the roughest for me, I'm always the most vulnerable and raw after waking, so I'm especially careful to do something immediately to divert my thoughts from a downward spiral.  I spend a lot of time writing in my journal, letting all the vitriol just flow out through my fingertips, and I feel cleaner afterwards. A hole in my gut the size of a harbor. Adrift. I wish I knew how to reach the kingdom of invincibility. Clocks run in one direction only. Luke Davies has invaded my mind, summing up all this angst in words far more loaded than my own.

I had a copy of Candy with me at Hampton House (or Hotel Hampton, as disillusioned patients refer to it sometimes) and a girl named Christie took a real liking to it. Everyone was terrified of her and kept their distance because she was a walking skeleton. She was obviously dying of AIDS. I spent a lot of time talking to her on smokebreaks. She was infected by a boyfriend years ago, has a house, wishes her parents would leave her alone. She was not angry at all. I was quite impressed by her composure and strength and wanted to give her the copy of the book, but she refused vehemenently. She said she could do that one thing, buy a book she wanted. She said she hadn't liked a book enough to buy it in a long time and I think it was important for her to do it herself. She resented the gift of the book because it implied that I thought it unlikely she would buy it for herself. I had a copy at a 1/2way house in Lakewood, I gave it to some girl who relapsed and never got it back. I had my jail copy, the absolute most sacred copy I had because it was the old cover, before the movie came out and all you could get were movie tie-in versions of the book. Also it was the book Amy had underlined her favorite passages, flipping to them from memory and dictating them to me with furtive, excited  glances to see how the words were affecting me. That copy got loaned to a young mentally ill girl, who was 17 and 2 months clean at the time. She had the book maybe a few days before she died in her sleep from a heroin overdose. I never got that copy back. It would have meant the world to me and I asked her sister for it but it never found its way back to me. 

Joe's been really nice to me, it's good to have him around for support, he's turning 21 really soon so we'll be able to go out together, which is cool since I have so few friends.

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