Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Untouched Thoughts

I sing to the ground, the cold blanket you claim.
Grass and maggot, your halo-- I press my face against your button, pebbles pock my cheek, we are united like the Sunday comfort of couch and soft snoring.

You were tired then, as I am tired now, but were you so tired of living?

I disgrace your name, the one I hold spiritually between my birth and submission to a life I never wanted. But I hear you always wanted the best, worked to death; now I work to forget that I want to die like you. A reunion in memory of someone I forget. You are no longer my mother in times of anger.

An orphan to time, the way it's stripped me of my youth. I am constantly naked, propped as prey, my only place. I knew you just as well as I know myself. Put together by assumption, my consumption the measure of self-worth. There is no one here to keep my place on Earth. I wonder who will speak for me, as I speak for you. Will they put all the wrong words in my dry mouth?

Perhaps I've mistaken just who I thought you were.

The spirals I hide behind-- peer in, peer out. I hear I have your hair, your shape, the same taste in betrayal and self motivation. But I never want to wake, as I remember your morning routine. Wax on, wax off. The last time I saw you, your body was cast in wax. My lips touched your skin, gritty with morgue cosmetics. I couldn't grab your hand, it was cemented to your belly. I could have crawled into your bed then, like I did most nights, you'd lie exhausted, my memories of you always rushed.

Now I have no bed to return to, so I rush to another's. Pinched nerve, something intimate. I wake with contacts slunk in my sockets, the way another can weigh on your conscience. How heavy and dry has my memory of you become?

I wrote you a letter, slipped it into your casket. Now a time capsule, my roots in the Earth, your box. That was the day I buried my innocence. I live like the bitter taste black coffee leaves on the tongue. Caffeine makes me reel in discomfort, my heart beats too fast. No surgeon's hand could force your heart to start up again, for it was their own hand that stopped it. Their neglect, similar to your lover's.

Didn't you know there were others who loved you? Your own creation, a mirror of self. I hide from my reflection, as if by meeting my own eye I'd have to tell you the truth.

I'd forgotten how to love you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A poet poetizes




Mike Tyler performs.

A poet speaks




Short interview with New York performance poet and songwriter Mike Tyler--old friend of mine, strong influence, impossible to ignore, one worthy mofo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Of Interest

http://www.nfb.ca/film/volcano 1976 Oscar-nominated Documentary on Malcolm Lowry, author of the story "Present Estate of Pompei" and, more importantly, the great, great novel Under the Volcano.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Before

Just tried writing a Petrarchan sonnet for my Adv Creative Writing class-- I hadn't written a sonnet in FOREVER, so this was a pretty difficult one.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out though, and as always feedback is welcome!


Before


I’ve devoured your body every day
from the first time I grasped you in my hand
(your taste can’t be found in just any land).
Golden skin, striking smells, all that won’t betray;
your massive, meaty, and pinkened fillet—
such firmness is always in high demand.
Our love, a blaze, continuously fanned,
or so I assumed until your display.
Scarfing down Wok Chang’s take-out, so slimy;
it drips down my throat, into my hip bones.
Junk that should last for all its rumored flack,
Oily and dense enough to make me weigh
as much as a handful of pebbles; stones
batter against my ruined stomach-sack.


Battering ‘gainst my ruined stomach-sack
remnants of worlds long forgotten crash in
nauseating waves of ripe red, akin
to pomegranate seeds— translucent; black
like the bile in her throat making her crack
and break down enough to manage saimin.
She basked in the haze achieved through some gin
so when he called she did not call back.
The savory smell of an apple tart,
ambrosial steak cooked medium rare,
both of those dishes once tasted divine
before a food-loving boy broke her heart
before, when food could drown any despair,
before, when everything tasted sublime.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cast Away by Alexander Newman


Hey guys, thought I just share with you my latest poem that I did in high school. Quick introductory, this poem is about the moment when I just found out I got into the high school I wanted to go to, but later finding out that my closest friend was going somewhere else. I was completely shocked and upset by that moment, therefore I looked back at all the moments we had together but couldn't figure out why.  But in the end I moved on, and I learned a lot from that moment. So enjoy.

Cast Away

Snow, garden of white tiles,
glow from the streaks of the sun.
The sun filters in the vertical blinds,
stacking darkness into pillars of 
narrow poles, allowing the glow stain
the room into white. I race to the phone,
as my shadow slalom between the lights
and the blind’s shadows.

A fog of sounds, from the phone,
Slither across the room. I pose,
Waiting for the voice to be answered.
My shoulders smiling, right hand
Wrenching the phone, left hand
Possessing the letter and my breath
Crackling through the phone.
Narrow hives, patterned and emptied,
Spits with voices.
Your ears awoke, as they were hiding
Behind the phone, listening for my
Resonating voice.
You finally responded, rippling with
“Hello”
Soon after the talk, I hung up,
Batter the phone, and dash away


I began to grasp for the doorknob with
My hands. The doorknob began to sail
Away, making it harder for me to hook onto
The knob. I began to drown, The door 
Unfolds and exhales a gust of thin air. 

Cold grey rain crashes over the yard, leaving
Stain marks onto the ground. Grey Cloud’s 
Shadows eclipse the sunlight, drowning it
Into the horizon. The scents of burning
Leaves hover over the cold night, sailing into
The sky. You traverse out onto the yard,
Leaving me to a surprise.

Our Feet’s etches onto the rug of leaves,
Hearing the crisp leaves as we shuffle our
Way across the yard. You grip onto me, and
Began to stare.

Our eyebrows are at war, our eyes squint 
with pain, and we are tied together. Your 
sandy hair swings like grass mourning. And 
Your arms tackle me down
onto a piles of leaves.
Lastly, You hover over right next to me
Your face, blooming flowers,
Smiles and began to search up into
The dark clouds and shadows of the sky,
You saw a fork in the cloud, splitting clouds
Into two trails that fades into the sea
Of stars.  I then whisper to you,
 “What do you see?”
You kept your lips sealed, but raised.

You began to untie you hand from mine.
My shoulders began to frown, and 
My hand start to cry away from yours.
Tears flood my eyes, and one then
Release and sail away like a leaf floating
To the ground, as if it was the first sign of
Autumn. I watch you leave, as the wind
Blows you away into dust particles,
Diffusing over the yard,
Casting away from me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Because I'm Insane.

I imagined stabbing his eyes out, cutting off his penis, and then dragging him all the way to Madrid to tie them both together, and light them on fire. I'd record their screams into hell and turn it into the background music of a video installation of me laughing hysterically and dancing. Instead, I punched myself in the face a few times and cut all of my hair off.

This is the difference between men and women: When he's hurt he throws caveman tantrums, I instead turn the anger upon myself. I'm not a passive person, I am not afraid of confrontation, but there is a certain kind of anger that invokes self loathing and from what I can tell that's how women deal with it. One tiny lie, and the chain reaction goes, and goes, and I can't make decisions and I can't turn off my thoughts.

In the midst of the depression he can't understand how one thing can be connected to the other. He lied, and thinks that's somehow separate from my inability to change out of sweatpants, thinking I'm fat and disgusting, and the refusal to wear makeup after sacrificing my hair to a moment of intense hatred. The funny thing is that he lies all of the time, and only this has sent me into a sort of downward spiral. It's the difference between men and women, socially taught, I can see what's happening, I know the cause and effect of the pressure, however I can't turn off the tears.

I've always believed that women are more sexist against women than men. I think it's warranted, women are terrible, and I don't really like them either. They are stressed and confusing, and often confused. However, it's not because we are born insane. The social pressure is much more fierce, and we're raised in a world that doesn't actually exist. Again, I blame Disney. We're supposed to be perfect, sweet, smart, and beautiful. Above all else beautiful. We are supposed to be Madonna and the Whore. We're supposed to be agreeing, and passive, like a pink fucking cupcake with cream filling. We are judged harshly for all of our faults as well as our mates. If a man cheats, we assume the wife was a cunt, if the women cheats, she's an extra cunt.

If that's not enough pressure, while we are holding ourselves to ridiculous standards, we are also seeking out a prince, a knight, someone who doesn't exist. Someone, who despite their ability to have ANYONE, chose us, because we're perfect, we're special, we're fucking fuckable and a member of MENSA. It's a total crockpot of shit and we all know it. But, honestly it's ingrained in us, we're indoctrinated into the love of Walt Fucking Disney. So when you meet Mr. Right, and it turns out he's loved half of the girls he's ever stuck his dick in all you can think is, I'm not the only one? And, what's wrong with me? Lying breaks trust, and when you can't trust someone you are suddenly perpetually re-thinking everything they've ever said and questioning it. "I love you", turns into, "I am saying this because I want something, you're the same as everyone else, nothing special, sorry about that". This still confuses me because honestly I feel as though love is reflexive. People love the way you make them feel, and that's it. There is no real, "love" for another. Sorry Echo.

However, I suppose that makes sense. In exchange theory, everything difficult is valuable. Things that are easy are not valuable. I believe this is the cornerstone of how humans choose everything from shoes to friends. Difficulty. You want someone who is not easy to obtain, because they are valuable, and them loving you makes you feel special, and that feeling makes you love them back. It's all a game. It unravels in the same way.

My friend asked me what it is that women want. It's actually pretty easy. They want a man who has fucked a million women, but hated all of them except for you. I don't want a virgin, I don't have time to spend a year teaching him where to put it and how to do it, but I want to believe that every girl on earth was nothing more than a fuckhole with a head (with an extra fuckhole). It's easy, any time you talk about an ex girlfriend say something like, "We had sex every night, because it was so bad I was never satisfied". Or, "sometimes after sex I would throw up because she smelled like mustard". Why? Because I'm disposable, and I know it, but I don't want to hear it. I know that one girl is the same as the next, with little variation, but in order to have any security at all I need to believe (ignorance is bliss) that it's not the case, just maybe.

And this is how the chain reaction starts. First I find out I'm nothing in particular, which makes me a replacement and replaceable. Self esteem takes a hit. Then, the comparison starts. Despite the fact she looks like a gerbil, I can't help but notice she was thinner than I am. Eating stops. I remember every conversation where we talked about your sex life with her. Sex stops. I remember the locations you said you'd been with her. Cross contamination rules put into place. Going out stops. It goes on forever. And in the end, relationship stops. This is the difference between men and women. Trust doesn't make us mistrust you, more so, it makes us hate US.

Once you feel like nothing, you feel like nothing. Sex doesn't fix it (not even anal...we tried). There is no coming back from being, "one of the masses". There was no "Cinderella number 2, the rebound" though it's more true to nature. I'm trying day and night to realize how insane I am being and to stop it. I know that I'm attractive, I know that I'm intelligent, I know I don't look like a fucking gerbil, but still, for reasons I can't understand, I don't feel any of the things I know. And for what? One lie, about the length of his previous relationship. The moment the story went from "we dated for 4 months and I never talked to her again" to, "I really dated her for nearly two years, right up until I met you", it was finished.

I'd still like to light him on fire. But more likely than not I'll just shave what's left of my hair.

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Reflection.

It's inspirational to talk with friends who had a normal upbringing. They have a confidence and bliss that makes me a little jealous. In their world things are good and people are pretty nice. I'm suspicious of these people, then again I'm suspicious of everyone. This often makes me wonder if the thing I think and feel are real. Is my boyfriend really still in love with his ex as I believe he might be or am I trying to push him away because I don't feel good enough to be loved? I don't believe this, and Freud can kiss my ass. I don't trust him either. It's exhausting being defensive all the time, and while I'd love to believe the world is full of kittens and butterflies I can't. I watch too much CNN, and I read too many books, and I stopped believing in god the moment I realized this "all knowing being" was fucking sexist. I can't believe in a man who hates vagina so much.

This also brings me to my current state of confusion. Is love worth believing in enough for marriage and commitment? I've always thought no. Not even, "no", but, "no fucking way". However now I'm to that age where I'm wondering if it's worth dying alone if I can just stop being a lunatic and let someone love me. All the while I'm thinking, "what does he get out of this, what does he want from me?". Can I just be without thinking? Probably not, but I'm going to try.

During the past week my boyfriend had a group of his spanish friends in town. In general I don't like spanish men, they are sexy and spanish is pretty, but they're a little too scary towards women for my taste. These men were too, but they were amazing to me and turned their tactics elsewhere. It's the first time since living in Italy that I felt completely at home. Despite my disdain for men romantically, I seem to only connect with them as friends. Since childhood my friends have been male, and when home I travel in a giant pack of them. All wild wolves, all protective and sweet towards me. I can be myself without scaring the shit out of them, and they let me do what I want without being judgemental. This weekend, experiencing that, made me want to run from my relationship as fast as possible. Not because I'm attracted to any of the guys, because I'm not, but rather because they give me a sense of security and self esteem that i can't possibly get from a relationship. Relationships are about being, "kept" where lies, bad intentions, and deceit are a part of maintenance, (shake your head that your relationship is different, and you're full of shit). Friendship is about acceptance, because you have to just accept what you cant change, and changing is for romantic love, and applies to no other relationships. I need acceptance. But I can't be accepting. Relationships are also about double standards.

So why is it we can't build a relationship with our friends? Sex. What a bunch of crap. I want to be Bonobo for a day. Pop goes the weezle, but everything's the same regardless. In human relationships this isn't possible. So we have sex and next thing you know you're both confused and saying "I love you" because you're too fucking lazy to look for the next bang-bang. I'm right, and you know it. Sure, feelings are a part of it, but that's really just ownership, and/or a hope for their well-being in general. There is also the, "I love you because I was dumped on my ass and my pride was hurt and now I need to prove I'm still love-able", I love you. This is my boyfriend. Spanish girl dumps him on his ass and he wants to marry me to prove to himself that he's not worthless. I know that, he knows that, she knows that, but I still agree to it because I'm not sure if I'm making it all up in my head to defend myself from something, or because it's true. But I think it's true.

I need a pack of rabid animals called men to befriend. I need to run around and cause trouble with them. I don't need the "I do's" and the, "please give me worth" shit. What in the hell am I doing in Italy where I can't be friends with guys, and where my boyfriend is still jerking off over his ex-girlfriend's fondness for public sex and cum loads in her eye.

Maybe I'm just scared because I'm not ready. Freud can kiss my ass.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Open Destination




The script of this film was workshopped in our class! Excellent work by Kaitlyn Yang. See her blog in the sidebar for a record of the progress and the techniques involved.

Friday, May 20, 2011

cargo

we never unpack

these coffins stapled to my soles

for their contents have gathered such dust

I no longer recognize them

as my own

Friday, May 13, 2011

Unbelievable

Today I saw a man kill himself

I guess I'm unsure of his success
rather,
today I witnessed a man's attempt
to end his own life

As I drove
towards offshore islands
hiding behind the stillness of afternoon haze,
through golden, coastal hills
hovering between blue skies and seas,
there was a truck stopped
on a freeway overpass
facing on-coming traffic

I watched the driver-side door open,
a man in a Tyvek jumpsuit
quickly made his way to the railing
where he tried his hand at flight,
head-first

I made my way over the bridge
passing gawking eyes in idling cars
making frantic phone calls

As I pulled onto the southbound 101
some asshole wouldn't let me merge

I couldn't believe it




>>I tried to post this the other day,
but the internets were all messed up.

cheers.
gt

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lovin' time

We have a big fight that we mend with a smaller one. In the first round I had forgotten my interpersonal communications course from college. I used, "you" language. In the second round I said the same things bit used "i" language. E mia coppa, ma... At the end of round two he thanked god that his girlfriend, me, is so open. Who said college wasn't useful? We fought about things most people, especially women, can't understand, not because they aren't capable, lord knows we are the more capable of the two sexes, rather because we are not cultured in this area.

Im selfish and I don't like the idea of someone wasting my time. In a relationship I don't like investing in something for no fucking reason. Partly because I hate romantic relationships. To tell you the truth it seems like a bunch of bs that two people should be side by side for sixty years without homicide. A sort of convenience is really all it sums up to be in reality. I have a dildo, shopping buddy, drinking buddy, etc all in one. Who wouldn't at least try? The point is that I'm giving it a go, bit I don't want to waste my time. Which means if there is a reason to abort mission, lets get on with it. Now.

I often feel that my personality is a little too thick for most men I have dated. The number of tears that have stained my collarbones while they pumped to the Rhythm of their sobbing should earn me an award of sorts. I'm not mean by any means, bit I'm also not easy. I'm not the type to tell my lover he has a a gifted bat that's bringing me home if he's actually struck out. Im nice, but I'm honest. Too honest. And I know it can eat away at them.i feel more and more that I'm the cause of the depression, his new found preference for grandpa behavior. "You have to leave the house or I can't miss you. If I don't miss you I start taking you for granted. Please go somewhere" I said. I even offered to make prostitutes fair game, hoping it would get him out of the house. Plus, he would give me a break from his non stop advances and prepositions. "If I bring you coffee, will you pee on me?". I'm sure a hooker would gladly pee on him. Whereas even the question makes me a little awkward. Doing it is more awkward, which is why I have only given in once. I think women and men need distance and a taste of loss to maintain that little sense of "lucky me". However he doesn't leave the house.

I asked him if he left the house when he was dating Cristina. That was his gf before me. He used to fuck her in front of people. She's Spanish. He would cum in her face and she liked it. She was probably molested. Her picture is the screen saver on my phone. I put it there to teach him a lesson about giving your new girlfriend, your old phone, with photos of your old girlfriend on it. He was happy and had a life while they dated. Clearly something doesn't work between us. However instead of admitting it, he makes excuses.

I don't particularly want to be dumped on my ass, but I would rather figure out now whether or not it's worth the investment. I don't like the idea of looking back five years from now and thinking, "he knew even then". Time you can't get back, and for that it's worth the argument . However, "tell me if you were happier with her" sounds like a trap to him. He gets defensive and wants to protect what we have. Realistically though, I want to know if there is any need. Am I destroying him? Love is not about the ability to maintain or hold, it's about the ability to let go for their well being. For me it's about saving time and feelings by ripping the bandaid fast before it has the time to adhere to the skin.

Sylvia Plath -- "The Applicant"

An interesting sonic manipulation of a Plath recording from the BBC.

The Applicant by oMa


The creator of this piece, oMa from Chile, would love to hear your comments on his adaptation of the Plath recording--what do you folks think?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Seduction


You lift your head up, closing your eyes because the salty sun harshly attacks your sight. Your dripping skin, sopping wet from its own exhaust, is encased in the static quiet of the swollen air. You move slowly, body beaten down by the heat of a tired army that relentlessly tramples your motivation, step after step, beat by beat. Your only resolve from this undying heat and pounding humidity is to escape into the ocean water, a greater and grander pool of life than the sun or the earth upon which it lays. Standing in its presence is to stand in the company of a giant. You hope it swallows you whole, gently, as you walk into its gaping mouth.

You stride into its vast expanse of a stomach. You dip into its cool glassy liquid. You begin to ride its stampeding waves instead of crashing into them, triumphant and at ease.

“Where do you come from?” asks the blue giant, finally accepting your entrance into its rippling ribs. You close your eyes and let the chilled insides and smooth embraces envelop your aching body, sinking into and in between your every curve and fold, exciting your skin.

“I come from land. I come from dry crumbling Earth--sand, rocks, cement. I come from tense active places, stress inducing, crime producing, smog-ridden lands of waste and toxins drivin by the mundane lifestyles of a society ruled by machines. But it is my home. And I understand it. I am a product of it, and it is comforting.” You float carelessly on your back, gliding along the giant’s skin. Your eyes stay closed.

“Stay with me,” demands the Ocean. “Here you can live happily--free of the constraints of your home. I will take care of you, and give you anything you want. There are many interesting and beautiful creatures here. They will take you into my depths. It is cold there, the sun can’t reach you, nor the poisons contained in the air above. It is quiet, my body is heavy and the pressure will blanket you, protect you. ” The giant re-affirmed his grip on your waist. It now yearns for your presence beneath and you begin to feel a vortex circling your body. It gives you an unsettling tug. “You should come with me.”

“I can’t.” You rotate your body upright and begin to paddle in place, your legs kicking free from the undercurrent, stirring up the beginnings of a plan clouded by desire. “It’s hot, but now I feel refreshed. I should go home. Thank you for letting me rest here.”

“Your home is here now,” whispered the giant. As you kick your legs faster you notice that you’re slowly sinking. You keep kicking into the emptiness that soon loses its substance and begins to pull at your feet. Each attempt at upward movement is futile. The ocean pulls you down, one foot at a time, one kick at a time, it into its body.


by Martyna Alexander

Jack Kerouac on a Saturday morning reading about Saturday night.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Not Even Porn Stars Like It

It had been a month, maybe more. Sometimes I just lose track of the time, and it's too late by the time it occurs to me that I 'should' have done it, or at least let it happen. Once in a while I become disgusted with it after watching something on BBC, or reading something horrific, and all too "normal". I'm often hormonal, and uninterested two weeks out of the month, I only want it 24 weeks per year which really limits the opportunity, however it is completely conducive to the way of biology. According to "the law of averages" and my best friend Nicki, there is only a window about 7 days per month when it actually counts. The rest of the time it's just a "bonus" or extra work after a long day. Nonetheless, I gave into it.

Maybe that's the wrong way to put it and it would be better to say "we" gave into it. It probably wasn't one of the wasted attempts. Evolutionary attempts anyways, we weren't trying anything, because that would be stupid and while we're still human we're of "those" kind that would sooner die off, then create more idiots. We're young minded. I'm worried we would forget about it, and it might drown. Then I would have to deal with the loss of a family member, and manslaughter at the same time. That sounds stressful. I would rather deal with the itching of "false skin", that never feels natural, because it can't. We don't actually deal with false skin though, rather the trusted pull out method. Pop goes the weazle and it rains goo. What can you do?

The blood spot on the wall was residual. The gut explosion of those nasty bugs I smashed six months prior. I stared at it. I can only come once or twice before my mind wanders. Malaria. They have Malaria. I don't have sickle cell aenemia, which means I won't die from sickle cell aenemia, but it also means I'm not protected from Malaria. Catch-fucking-twenty-two.

"I want to cum in your face". He says.
I turn and look at him.
"No. I don't want to wash my hair tomorrow".
"Why no!?"
Then I realize, if I say no it's going to kill the excitement and he's going to take longer to finish. Five more minutes and I will have let my mind wander into god knows what subject and that could be painful for the both of us.
"Oh, I meant Si, Si, Yes".
He speeds up. I can tell he's going to finish so position my feet. I'm a puma.
"Vieni, come here" he says, and pulls out holding his penis ready to take aim.

"No fucking way!" And I leap off of the bed and run across the room.
I turn once I reach the other side. He's laughing hysterically, penis in hand, on his knees. There's spray everywhere. Our puppy has taken his usual shelter under the bed and I can see his eyes poking out at me. My boyfriend, unable to control his balance, his orgasm, and his laughter at the same time, he falls off of the bed disappearing into the small two feet space on the other side of where I stand. I walk over and peak down at him now laughing too.

"I love you." He says smiling.
"I know." Lie down and wait for him to get up. Trying to remind myself that this is why I love him. For the next 200 times I hate the sound of him breathing, I should remember this.

We fall asleep.


You Make Me Feel Like


I’ve been crammed into a flimsy
deteriorating
box of uneasiness
flapping at the insides—
pecking away to make holes
to let the pressure come
bursting out
are the black crows
only to shy away from the brilliant
charlatan that you are.
It can’t be helped:
I’ll have to make my home
amidst this tumultuous nest.

>>Feedback is welcome!


Friday, April 15, 2011

End-of-semester Performance!

We have an official date and time to present our work: Friday during the end-of-semester party, in the Stubbs lecture hall, in the SACI main building, Palazzo dei Cartelloni, immediately after the awards presentations, at 6:35 PM, the Creative Writing course will be performing their texts--come one come all!



Thursday, April 7, 2011

This for my visual artist friends

"Creating does not men affirming creation, but, rather, cancelling it out with the created object, means opposing it to itself where it holds sway, means, as in enamel work, a second firing. Negation always, in some way or other, goes through fire."

--Edmond Jabes
The Book of Dialogue
(Translated by Rosemarie Waldrop) 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Elizabeth

The small girl sits by the sea, listening to waves wash up and die down. Smooth round rocks lull her to sleep as she rests in the red and green rust of her bench’s saltwater legs. She dreams of an orange octopus who reaches out of the sea and lightly touches the tips of her fingers with his suction cups. He lures her into the cool water, tears blending with waves as she sinks to the depths of his home. It is safe. The girl buries her face into the curves of his malleable skin, eyes closed tight to the sea. Her swollen thumbs rub incessantly over a single suction cup, trying to recreate the warmth she knew she had once felt. The sea is cold. His skin is smooth. She does not leave.


The small girl wakes to her father’s hand on her shoulder and the cold wind of the evening brushing her thin hair across her cheeks. “Elizabeth,” is all he says to her. The sun was still up when she had drifted off.

The two walk back to the car where her mother is waiting and Elizabeth sits in the backseat. Her mother says nothing. Elizabeth unties her damp shoelaces and wiggles her feet free from the salty sneakers. She lies down across the backseat. Her mother sighs. The engine starts up and her father begins to pull away from the rocky parking lot. Elizabeth is rocked to sleep by the sound of the windshield wipers and of NPR playing quietly from the radio. She dreams again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

For Jason: Happy Birthday

In the morning she saw the dew and knew that someone powerful had cried a lot during the night. It was enough to saturate the entire city. She liked the tears of the sad soul. Better than the unfortunate bouts of nausea. Mount Olympus had grown in leaps and bounds and lies and lovers. Sometimes they fucked each other for vindication, fun, or reproduction. Some of the children were eaten. But, exactly like Little Red Riding Hood, stomachs were slit and the consumed leapt free.

A life free from consumption and damnation is always better lived.

Happy Birthday.

I love you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

When I Thought She Was He: Preface

The party was relatively successful though my outfit was not. Regardless of how I stood or moved my breasts would not stay in the dress. Nudity was not what I’d intended on giving my peers for a graduation present, I would’ve bought higher heels and possibly installed a pole. Elizabeth, my roommate and best friend had the brilliant idea of hosting the party. Clearly she was better at throwing parties than choosing my outfit.
I tugged it up again; it still refused to cover both my chest and ass at the same time. I bit my lip, took a step back into the shadow of our bookcase to try and adjust it again. Maybe that time I could find a way to stretch it out over my skin in such a way that would hold. It slunk back to its original tiny shape. A force stronger than my own wants me naked. I blame gravity, a persistent, maniacal pervert. I stood up tall, it shrunk down my chest another inch, and eased up my thigh another two. Hands on hips, as dignified as I could fake, I stepped out from behind the shadows of the bookcase, and grabbed my wine from the table full of alcohol directly in front of me. 
I found it counterproductive that I’d worked so hard on an education, while simultaneously destroying my brain cells, though frankly it was that or shoot myself. I’ve survived college but my degree would have to defend itself against copious amounts of retard inducing drink and drugs to be the slightest bit beneficial. I smiled, cheers to that, and raised my glass to my lips. A guy I didn’t know, and didn’t want to, stepped back from his group of friends in a boisterous laugh almost hitting me. I feel old; there are too many damn people in here. 
There were over eighty people crammed into our two bedroom apartment. They reminded me of well dressed sheep in a corral, confused and a little nervous. I’m claustrophobic, and in an effort to breathe fresh, non recycled air I’d retreated to this corner, living vicariously through everyone else. As the room continued to fill up, more and more people were in my breathing space and I was starting to consider opening the window and retreating to the fire escape. I didn’t need to be actively in the party, I was content watching from afar. Real life was better than the movies. Tonight was full of sex. 
The body language, the inappropriate accidental hand placements, all reminded me of the beginning of a frat house date rape scene, of the beginning of a really awkward porno. I kept thinking that any minute after they finished one more glass, someone was going to break out a game of “naughty touch” and it would all be down hill from there. Instead though everyone just kept up their lame pick up lines that all started with how successful they were going to be now that they had finally graduated. 
Everyone seemed so certain of where they were going to be in ten years. They talked about everything so surely, held up their drinks, breaking into explosive laughter as they talked about their futures. The more I listened to their conversations the more certain I became that I had no idea at all what I wanted to do. Why couldn’t I aspire to something simple, yet profitable like stripping? As I tried to picture what I would look like as a busty blonde, one magically appeared next to me.
Words were fired at me in an un-natural pitch. 
“I can’t believe we’re finished for now”, beamed a petite box blonde to my left. I am not a very tall girl, but I had to look straight down to see her. The top of her head was almost a foot below mine; her brown roots were not hidden well on the top of her unusually round basket ball head. I recognized her as a classmate of my roommate Elizabeth. This girl was high on life, which was more obnoxious than if she had shot up before my party. She scared me; her smile literally went from ear to ear, like her teeth were eating her face. I shot a courtesy smile down to her, and after a moment locking eyes I felt forced to say something. 
“Any big plans?” I asked, assuming that like everyone else here she’d planned everything. I was ready to spend the next two hours listening to her tell me the biblical names she’s chosen for her litter. I sighed, and focused on a distraction. 
My wine glass was suddenly interesting and I held it up to inspect it. Wine isn’t usually my choice party drink, but the Italian red in my hand was delicious, a graduation gift from an ex boyfriend who lives in Milan. I swirled the glass, the liquid stained the walls of the crystal momentarily before melting down the sides to join the crimson pool in the bottom. It was like a bathtub murder scene, I pictured the girls basket ball head floating in it. 
Her voice grew louder, “Plans?! No, not any super set plans, well, not really.” That was a bit of a surprise, and then she continued with, “I was accepted into a Master’s program at Loyola in Maryland, I’m really, super excited!”
Unable to control myself I turned towards her copying her tone, and enthusiasm, “Really? That’s super!” I gushed, and then dropped to my normal tone, trying to remember my manners, “you were accepted into their M.A. program? That’s great, congrats”. I started thinking that it would be a good experience for her to move out of Utah, water down the population of her kind in my city, but then again, she would probably freak out and move back when she realized that people swear and fornicate and so on in other states. “Are you nervous” I asked, “or do you have friends or family in Maryland?” 
I looked around the room while I waited for her answer; it was hard to focus with so much going on. I met eyes with Andrew, a boy who was in the Sociology department with me across the room. He was poised against a wall with drink in hand, horse-shoed by half a dozen girls who were talking so fast that they looked like rabbits eating grass. He was gorgeous, and I had a crush on him which gave me every reason to ignore him as much as possible. I could hear his accent from across the room, the English accent which was hypnotic to everyone else annoyed me because it was attractive. That stupid accent is why all of those girls were clustered around him. He raised his glass to me, I frowned and tried to look like I didn’t notice, pretend I was concentrating on the box blonde next to me who was still filling my ears with prattle. 
“So yeah I’m kinda nervous” she went on, “but not really. AND!” she became extra excited, “Elizabeth received her acceptance letter today!” she squealed. I turned to her quickly surprised,
“Pardon? Elizabeth who?” I asked, “the Elizabeth who lives here”? 
“Yeah” she laughed, “your roommate. I saw her mother this morning while I was shopping and she told me. I’m super excited! I mean, we’re not close friends but she seems like so much fun! I mean, just look at this place, this party is amazing, and I can’t believe this is your college apartment! I’m so jealous! Where did you find all of the incredible artwork?!” I couldn’t concentrate on the artwork. I didn’t give a fuck. My eyes started darting. 
I stared out past her head over the crowd. Elizabeth was my last friend still residing in Salt Lake City, everyone else had already moved. She had been accepted to a school on the other side of the country, and hadn’t told me? Seriously?! The room buzzed around me, people were talking in frequencies that were inaudible, like a hive of pissed off bees. I felt like everyone was staring at me, like they knew I was about to freak out. I took a deep breathe. I was going to be here alone? The pending isolation was over-whelming and I could feel my heart speed up. I snapped out of it and realized the box blonde was waiting for me to answer her about the paintings. 
“The paintings?” I don’t care about the fucking paintings! “I’m glad you like them; they were done by a good friend. If you don’t mind I’m going to excuse myself for a minute, I just remembered something”. I had to get away from her, and out of there. Where in the hell was Elizabeth?!
I gagged a little as I headed through the crowd to find her, which only took a moment after-all she’s a striking beauty, tall, with a perfect hour glass figure, long wavy brown hair, huge green, almond shaped eyes, a full mauve mouth, and brilliant white teeth that she flashed every time she smiled. Elizabeth stood across the room clinging to the liquor bar, and a small cluster of men. Because she was beautiful, and intelligent she attracted the opposite sex like light attracts moths. I recognized half of the men around her, they’d been accepted to Ivy League graduate programs, but were in every stereotypical way, nerds. She seemed entertained by the conversation, throwing her head back and laughing as they gawked at her, trying so hard to impress her panties off. I walked over to her and it took but a second for her to see me. 
Elizabeth turned and put her arm around me, shooting a huge smile, “Beeellaaa! My favorite! I love you!”she kissed my cheek. She smelled like a vat of vodka. 
I smiled kissing her back.
“How drunk are you exactly?” I asked, “Recite Dante’s Paradise Lost!”
“Actually, Milton wrote Paradise Lost you asshole…I’m not that drunk”. She pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows to say, “Nice try, but I am too smart for that”. An English major can be tested for toxicity with literature, and tortured by delivering boxes of trashy love novels all featuring Fabio on the cover, to their bedroom doors, which I have a bad habit of doing. That, and starting debates that would drive her mad, “Yes, yes well I like Milton more than Dante; he makes the devil seem so charming, shakes Christianity up a bit by giving good old Lucipher the P.R. that he deserves. He’s far more sensible than God and his broken dreams of impossible Utopia. Voltaire could have learned from that”. 
“Paradise Lost is a piece of literature about a profound moment in a philosophical text that has shaped and changed mankind”. 
“I see. Will that be your thesis at Loyola?” I smiled raising my eyebrows. She cocked her head, her eyes wide.
“Wait…what? How did you know!?” She asked, seemingly uncomfortable. 
“A box-blonde told me, who was told by your very proud, gossipy mum.” 
“Awe fuck! I’m sorry I hadn’t been the one to tell you...” she looked sad. 
“Oh stop that it doesn’t matter. I’m happy for you! Seriously!” And I was, while simultaneously feeling really sorry for myself. 
A huge smile broke across her face.
“I just didn’t want you to have to stress about it, I was going to make you breakfast tomorrow and tell you.” 
I made a scared face, “Ah-ha, I see, I see, so you were going to poison me in order to give me the news. How thoughtful of you. When will you be leaving for Maryland?” 
She let out a huge sigh, and her face lost its glow. 
“Uh….next week. My father has already found me a summer job in Baltimore, I have to start next week. It’s probably good, it will get me acclimated before school starts in the fall.” 
I smiled, nodded, and gave her a hug. 
“We’ll still talk, and I’ll visit, and you never know, maybe I’ll apply to the same school or one in the area for next year”. 
“I wish you already had. . . "
“Meh, you know me, I’m an indecisive person. I still don’t know what I want to do, I’m going to travel and mess about for a while before I make any long term commitments.” 
She leaned in closer to me, “Yeah because you are generally afraid of commitment. It’s why you won’t date, and it’s why you changed your major four times in college despite knowing what you were going to do the entire time. One of these days you will stop being so you about everything. “ 
I waved her off, “Perhaps, perhaps. Apparently you’re taking me to breakfast in the morning, so we can talk about it then. I’ll leave you to your…those.” And I pointed to the guys who hadn’t left Elizabeth’s side. She smiled, “and you go back to your wine and observations, don’t think I’m not watching you take mental notes on everyone…creep!”
I winked, nodded “no” to them. “Gentlemen, continue your hunt, good luck,” I laughed. 
“Cooome oon staaaay” they whined in a drunken chorus. 
“Oooh no, I wouldn’t want to ruin the fun, I’d give away the ending. I am sure you prefer your high hopes and perseverance.” Jillian burst out laughing at this, looking at them and rolling her eyes. I smiled to her and walked towards the kitchen. 
I fell through the double, bar style doors of the kitchen to be alone, to make another drink though I didn’t need it. Regardless of how much I loved spending time alone I wasn’t ready for this. In two weeks everything was going to change. I found the alcohol and hoped that I could maybe force myself to postpone thinking about it for the rest of the night. 

Two shots of tequila and a vodka tonic later I wandered back to the same corner as before, watching the crowd again. They were far less amusing, because now I was in a state of reflection. The four close friends I’d had growing up were the only people I could really relate to, and in two weeks the last of them was moving away. How is it that in a city full of people, in a room full of people, I feel completely alone? I knew that the next year was going to be different, although at the time I had no way of knowing just how weird things could get. In fact, in reflection, it’s nearly unbelievable.