A Day in Bullets

20 07 2012

Another mass shooting in Colorado knocked me off my rocker, and shaped the rest of the day. I read certain things I would not otherwise have read. Built a shrine in my room. Cried in the shower. Schooled myself in a game of soccer.

One of my favorite soccer goal-scoring memories lives just up the road from the theater.

I’ve found lately that I can only take my prayers seriously when recited in a foreign language. There is so much to say, too much for the words of my own tongue to be of any use. No orderly queue here; there’s cutting and quarreling and shoving until all devolves into chaos. Foreign words could mean anything- and so, they can mean everything.


Grief, like the bullets that so often bring it about, is a great leveler. It can unite those who would otherwise have nothing to do with one another. It can also be a force of devastating isolation. The choice is ours.

The Sound of Cry


Impending Doom

28 06 2012

The earliest nightmares I can remember were all of fire. The most vivid played out like an old side-scrolling video game as I scurried through a maze whose walls were all of flame, seeking desperately for my sisters, searching frantically for a way to get all of us out.

Not one to submit to the phantasms conjured up by my imagination and too many episodes of the Power Rangers, I claimed fire as my constant companion. We developed a strong working relationship, her and I, as I conjured her to consume an ever increasing variety of offerings and she teased me with the promise of submitting to my will. I grew to love the flames, welcoming them in to my most holy moments of grief and celebration.

This week I am reminded anew of the terror intertwined with such shimmering, ephemeral beauty. Madame Fire has danced through canyons and over ridges, leaving in the wake of her merrymaking nothing but the skeletons of those partners which could not match her whirling energies. She has come to the garden of those very gods who gifted her upon humanity. We the people flee from her exuberance.

(via: 1, 2, 3)


17 06 2012

Tonight the wind bears upon its back the memories of this moment, and though my feet have touched more foreign shores than thousands of my ancestors and my heart opened to more pain and love than I ever foresaw, the ken is the same. Everything could change in an instant—mundane or magic—meek or malevolent—meager or momentous.

Still, the windchimes breathe for me.


10 06 2012

This is going to be disjointed, for I am dozens of people–each volunteering the other to take the stage, but shrinking from the lights when their turn is due.


(Portrait of Ross)
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996)
HIDE/SEEK exibit

We don’t know how to function, she said, without an enemy.

We cannot function, she said, if we cannot reconcile with ourselves. Own the betrayals, the sabotage, the hate, the men with the guns that spit poison and leave us wasted away. Dying from the AIDS we gave ourselves.

The specter of rejection stands before and behind, we know, surrounding us on every side. It is an emptiness that devours our every ray of colored light. It is insatiable.

It is us, too.

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27 05 2012

Once a woman who had lain naked and terrified in the house of her captor managed to escape. She ran away through the forest behind her prison, though her hands remained bound by the last, unbreakable, chain. At first the trees were wicked, perverted from their natural grace by the evil that emanated from the house. They reached out with thorns and branches to bar her way, ripping a thousand angry wounds in the woman’s tender flesh, but she would not be slowed nor turned aside. As she left the influence of her captor the forest mellowed and directed her to a stream which merged into a creek and then a river that flowed into the sea.

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Dream House

22 05 2012

Most houses reaching this point of decay await only the wrecking crew, though one I have seen resurrected as shrine to our patchwork, violated, seductive, wondrous bodies. I have come in search of my first crush, a relic of the times when familiarity was the only ingredient needed for backyard weddings, and the family cat stood in as witness, maid of honor, and priest. I find the one I seek by following the pointed instructions of cracks slashing across the ceiling like the hand of death come to claim this place. She is kissing another boy.

She was always quick to kiss the other boys.
She was even quicker to dump them.

I help her take out the trash and things are just as they should be: only her, and me, and the dusty jukebox that is the only evidence this house was ever fit for human inhabitants. We dance in the feeble glare of flickering neon lights. This, at last, is paradise.

But peace is fleeting and jealousy always lurking, and I am dogged by the kiss I walked in on – the kiss that wasn’t mine. Never mind that if it had been mine I would’ve been dumped as quick as he, for the touch of our lips would have pulled us forever out of childhood; I wanted her as I had always wanted her.
And as she, apparently, had wanted me, for quicker than thought we are sharing our first kiss, at once tender and hungry.

The cat chose this moment to tear through the room, hissing and spitting at the dog right on his tail, before flying out the door and down the stairs. My first crush and I are quick to give chase. We must rescue our priest if we are to ever have our wedding.

three or one

2 04 2012

This is the worst time of night.

Papers are due. When I try to write them, all I think is—


When I close computer, curtains, eyes, I cannot sleep but am besieged by thoughts of home. Where I will be. Wednesday. Where the battle is brewing. Where Father is finding daily new and creative and vile ways of making life miserable for Mother. With his HR smiles and puppydog eyes and lifelong practice in the arts of blaming others for every despicable deed done; ever and always turning his back on those who need him to be someone else.

On me.

I had a dream.

I was picked up at the airport by Mother and Father. We were in the car: Father driving, Mother in the passenger’s seat, and I in the rear. Mother and Father had no details to them; they were silhouettes within the bound of windshield frame, shadows cast upon the background of C-470 – the road not yet Home but close, the gateway between wherever-I-have-been and where-I-belong. Of course, it is a toll road. You can never go home without paying the toll.

Mother: We’re so glad you’re here, Tom.
Now that the three of us are all together, there are Things we must discuss.

Father: Three? There’s no three here. There’s One, and one, and a therapist – and now he’s going to fix you.

I raged, in the dream. My heart was left behind, dropped from the car, skidding on asphalt, pulped beneath tires of passing cars. All that was left was hate. My words spit like acid, demanding to be known by Father as anything but a tool for controlling Mother. Possibly even as myself.

Awake, I don’t even have that much.

I am a stone. Push me from this mountain peak; I will crash into the valley, there to lie and never be moved again.