why yes you are splendid- ly sin-drenched in my knee-jerk to glimpses of you stolen in moments distraction from what matters have been trivialized in the wake of your alarmingly arresting attention-thieving suspension of my dreams unraveled traipsed over and through done undone congratulations you have one more captive mind for a brief time now what
will I find in this new dream of mine to keep me from waking behind the walking by of the next fancy passer- by ?
Living in the midst of this bull and his shit, I find myself blind to the crime of all the fine china smashed into shards— fragments of artistry making the point all the more sharply that beauty is a risk. And to move through this beautiful world is liable to split your skin again and again, at each step, until you bleed out all that’s left of all you were…
but to become yourself, empty and clear-eyed, envisioning new ways to ride the waves of blood rushing out of all of us. Tide is rising; let’s swim to the sky! Gonna live high, and not just die trying! Gonna imbibe the spirit of life, so each breath we guzzle or sip will bring us closer to the rest we earn the peace we learn we are observing that every wound we receive becomes, ultimately, a scar.
Is it my fault my best days are gone? That I strive more fruitlessly with every effort? I wasn’t enough. I guess I could have been, if I wasn’t so busy pretending I was good at pretending.
I know you knew — since I’m making admissions — knew I had more to give. Did you know I knew too? I held on to things you wanted. You called them my gifts. I know I’m supposed to be sorry, but I can’t feel anything about that yet. Anymore? There were “gifts” no one would receive, which came first — the questions: “What are we celebrating?” “Again?” “Do I have to?”
Life is hard, I have learned. And I am soft. Or just exhausted. I have found my limit. And even if I defined it for myself, I learned where to draw the lines from you. Did I misunderstand something? Probably, I suppose. Inevitable, with so many questions unanswered… unasked. It kills me,
but softly. It kills us, really slowly, like long drags on short breaks not wanting to rush, tip us off, like frogs in the pot. Nothing to get excited about here. But the heat is on, and rising, like we’ll learn to deal with it, like it’s just a phase and can’t keep going forever…
“My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.”
— Audre Lorde, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”
It’s tight in my gut like I swallowed something whole and have been holding it intestinally, unable to will myself to let go. This grip has grown strong over long years of winding my way of being around and around it — a string of silences balled up, filling my belly with empty
promise. There is no ignorance sufficient to escape the elephant I fear, who walks within me. Obvious and unstated, pressing me out into oblivion, it goes its own lumbering way, without saying so much as, “So what?” Immune to challenge, my deep-seated diplomat swims the river of my life, daily drinks its weight, as I wait for my fear of elephants to dissipate.
I am mourning the words I searched my soul for in vigilant silence, which were found too heavy for a world so unbearably light. They would fail me and fall flat, as their gravity requires. Who would risk being crushed to catch their meaning? Will my writings paper the walls behind the dancing lights, the blue-haze graffiti we graze upon, blindly chewing cud over water coolers and what dinner tables have survived into this new age of reality televised to advise our communal ruminations and measure us into herds until there is only one? Don’t you get it? There is an elephant wading in and damming the river of life that would flow out of me, but doesn’t dare.
July 4 has come and gone again. All day my thoughts meandered through a muggy haze of irony.
Maybe it was the week of increasingly prolific explosions giving suburbia a nightly theatrical production of the dangerous conditions that inspire Syrian and Palestinian families to seek refuge so far from their ancestral homes. Or maybe Continue reading “Living the Lie of Independence”
I’m scared. I have been for a really long time. Reeeeaaally long. I’m scared because my heart is full of desires it seems my head just can’t fulfill.
I’m a grown man, but I fear I’m ridiculously immature because I haven’t yet figured out how to do the things I expect grown men to do, like provide for my family’s financial needs, create the relationships I want, and write simple sentences. Continue reading “This Is for You”