Summertime Madness (audio)

The chirping birds and I watch the world with our beady eyes. In the back of my mind there is a humming that just won’t quit. Anxiety. All the little birds all around and around in the trees which tower and sway and clump together like giant beasts, and the noise which is so relentlessly pleasant it nests in your ears and drives you mad.

You imagine me like a small butterfly in your palm. You watch my wings, my colors, my tiny antennae probing in all directions. At the center of the earth is your heart on fire with a kind of smoldering passion. The dark parts of what makes you up begin to pulse to life. I wish I could write something worth your time. I would like to bring forth a story, a world, conjure something up that fits perfectly into the cave of your most burning desire.

The trouble is when I picture you in my mind, I am always just a little off. I see not you but through you, as if you exist but only barely. Perhaps I am the only one who can see you. If that were true, would I know it? Or would you?

You tell me talking nonsense will only exhaust my thinking and amount to jitters and aches in the end, so instead of taking you too seriously I step barefoot into the garden and light the last cigarette from the pack I swear will be my last but promises are pie-crusted and broken, it always seems, when entrusted to my own hands.

The summer is hazy as it caresses my bare skin. It’s too hot to do much of anything except slink into the cool pool water and stare out across the brittle sweet grass. The clouded sky above me is as blue as a robin’s egg and exactly as fragile. Do you ever find yourself remembering my lips on yours? Sometimes I do. I fantasize about the way you take your time stroking me. Your hands and your scent and my weakness for your impossible strength.

I take a swallow of ice-cold gin, examine my thighs as they part silently underneath the crystal water. My skin is the tension of a cracked eggshell sky, and it all buzzes in my brain like a sunlit agitation.

. . . .

Perhaps not the best recording. I just wanted to open my mouth and feel words come out. It helps me somehow. I guess to feel real. Whatever that means.

The Knots Begin

It’s the part of the morning when the sky is whitish-pink, blush. With a kiss of promise, thin. Fleeting. The knots begin their tightening in my stomach, and I worry: will this be a good, safe day? Somewhere it isn’t. And I am so porous (I misspell this, pourous, and imagine my body as a vessel, emptying, emptying, like a flood crushes stone) I’m not sure I can tell anymore what’s in here, and what’s out there. It’s all come inside, inside and crouches like an animal. Coils and coils of panicked stillness. Trembling hesitation. Everything is covered with eyes, all blinked observation. Everything from all sides, inside, outside, watching. Vigilance without aim is fear. Peach light seeping over the grass, melting wet and buzzing in the trees.

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Photo by Yohann LIBOT

The Beat Goes On

In the early morning light as it cuts corners into stark shapes along the buildings arranged in rows, a kind of hot energy bends and breaks itself upon the edges of the shadows. I hear and see things they cannot perceive and it both drains and fortifies me.

Watch as the sun rises and falls, remember it stays the same, remember it is motionless and without need. White as cold ice melting at the bottom of a late night glass.

As I fold my few things into a suitcase, the ocean plays itself in soft foam waves in my mind. Where in the world can we ever be free? We try and we try and we run the pavement.

He pours his coffee in the kitchen, I hear the mug slide onto the marble counter and something inside of me echoes inside of his daily routine. How do we tear our hearts out of this place.

Sweet froths of pleasure sewn into the pain.

Landscapes, seascapes, the heart is a difficult and unnatural terrain. A summer of protests, the heat of violence, injustice, screaming and wrecking and pleading in the steaming streets.

As I was taking down the words of Janaya Khan, something in their beauty tore a fire straight down the center of me. The Future. Their words full of fists, their soul full of dazzling light. I want to be changed. I want their hands on my skin, my wrists, my face, fingers in my blood.

Don’t let me stay too long; don’t let me stay the same. They say the only punch that hurts is the one you don’t see coming.

Eyes open now, beloved.

Head up now, child.

It’s time we learned ourselves a tough lesson.

It’s time we held each other closer to the flames.