to White Post Farms Pumpkin Patch Melville, NY. They had advertised a petting farm so I was expecting a couple goats, some pot bellied pigs, a cow or three and maybe some chickens running around...
A giraffe in a house (a giraffe house) smaller than my mother's
2 zebras on a dirt plot no bigger than a suburban front yard
A pig pen housing a donkey, 2 ostrich, a chicken, and 8 goats
A dog run full of antelope
SO MANY rams on a wooden ladder
Toucans in a small glass cage
Little ponies, like 15, tied up to fence posts and saddled up for rides around the whatever this place was
None of the cages had grass.
I asked someone who worked there where the animals go when the season is over....
They stay there. They never leave their areas. All year round, all day long they are in the same place I found them.
Their coats are matted and their feathers are dull and the sounds... screams and country music and bleating and children and screams and squeals and rattling and hooves on wood...
I tried to replicate (very quietly and under my breath) some of the sounds and I had to stop or else I wouldn't be able to contain the sobs that were forming in me.
Packed in tight to this very small area, they are all fed the same pellets out of ice cream cones and the sounds and the images are swirling... and then you turn around and underneath the booth that sells -
Fuck. I don't even know what the booth sold because it was made out of a glass cage full of rabbits and I tried to get to the bathroom and I tripped over a child as I looked at the birds in the net with the trees made out of plastic and the fake flowers and the fat woman holding two parrots on her hand smiling in the background of someone else's picture...
Old carnival toys everywhere. And bouncy houses. And the pumpkin patch isn't actually a pumpkin patch because the pumpkins clearly didn't grow there they're just scattered on the ground.
Enjoy the photos.
... mostly I'm a realist except as far as inevitability is concerned because I want change to be realer
than fate or humanity (TA would call this "being a toad" or "not seeing the scorpion for what it is"
but he's a cynic so who knows how valid that is) and there are never any patterns -
nothing is the same but nothing is different (this allows for no prescription except unless
you are among the moral then... pills it is!) so maybe it's romantic this need for amorphization
or evolution and I'm no realist at all just a stoic untrusting romantic construction or! a fallen optimist like satan oh god am I satan? (this will make my mother uncomfortable to read) I walked past a little orange haired child being carried in the rain by her daddy in Hell's Kitchen and I said "oh what an angel" and the poet said "won't be that way for long" then I didn't say "we're all just like that"
because I did not want confirmation so I chose silence again (this is my favorite tactic
for avoiding incrimination also for making someone squirm) (this allows there to be less of me
inside but outside "my aura is taking over the room" -some guy from Brooklyn) and thought about the books waiting for me and how the coat on my back failing to keep out the rain (regardless of its being a RAIN jacket) was given to me by someone I love("d") ...
Spent a glass of wine staring at lines, spent a second glass of wine sketching a glass of wine - not a waste but not a production either (bad capitalist!) like the inability to emote in technologically purple hotel rooms because of course, blood can read cheeks and then I'd be guilty of unmentionable exchange (but in the name of poetry!) loud like sirens or change in pockets on the way to the square (I'll make it just fine) but is it walking or Uncle Vanya's borscht that smells sour? It's hard to tell in the exposed hours.
lines expose cunt abnormalities
also breasts resting in different places
I feel better about misplacement -
Seeing figs in their little paper crates at the grocery store makes me light and lusty again. I would have shrieked like a child at the sight had I not put on mascara and been masquerading as an adult already.
There are a few things (the moors in Scotland, real olive oil, Hemingway, black sand, painting wood, figs, strange liqueur, building a fire) that remind me of a time when I lived simpler (No no! of course not a time in this life...) They provoke in me a longing that comes from god help me to find out where. I look and as soon as the scent reaches me it is gone.
When I get home to eat the rich little delicacies, provoking devils, lovely mid-day adventures, I have no time, no patience, to peel the skins off with a paring knife. Instead, I slice them in half and run my fingers over their silky seedy flesh, warm with the walk home in the sun before scraping and sucking the insides from the out. Eating them is like a sigh of relief. They slide straight to the sad spot in my belly and make me easy for just a moment but like the scent of belonging, the effortlessness dodges away before I can call it my own.
Now the longing remains.
The next time I go to the grocery and see figs in their little paper crates I will be light and lusty again, I tell myself. There are fig seasons to come.
I stop myself short. I remind the light in my eyes to dim. Those of us who are familiar with life know that may not be true. Seasons to come are immeasurable, unknowable, and never guaranteed; easily jettisoned or recoursed or derailed; often late or early (timing is a mean old mistress) or not at all.
Though if fig season does come again, I hope I am not wearing mascara.
[On another note: To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian by Ross Gay (here) is absolutely stunning and in perfect time for fig season and read it]
You can't untangle the mess
of your mind.
make a list of the items
to be individually considered.
There is no
your mind space will be
but you could
to tidy up
Everything is in my head.
Well, I have finally done it. I have watched Antichrist. The sounds that escaped me while watching, in the den of my bedroom, surrounded by photos of women I recognize but have never known and charcoals and comforters and candles, my own strange spiritual shrine, were unrecognizable to me as my own.
New choreography. In double the time. Immediately my breath picks up. I am flying up and down and around. It is loud. A chair slams on the ground. My arms are moving so quickly that when I go to place them on the floor, my elbows strike a blow as if the floor should not have been there. "Victim. Perpetrator. Bystander." I still don't know how to say that line. How to say trauma has been absorbed, trauma has been doled out, trauma has been witnessed. Rolling over my body to an upright position I prepare myself for sanity.
100 93 86 79 72 65 58 51 44 37 30 23 16 9 2
But my breath says I am anything but.
"Again," Melody says.
"Here I am and there is my body."
I charge towards the chair and leap. I am no longer looking. I hold a singular desire to fuse with myself. Have I forgotten I am in choreography? I miss the center of the chair, stalling on two legs in the air, at the highest point, I was falling. Slowly, very slowly.
"I am falling."
The cold, hard metal lip of the chair catches the underside of my thigh. From four feet up, I fall straight on my back.
Laughter. Silence. The breath surprisingly still intact. I watch Melody unhinge the cage and peel back the chain link to get to me.
"Lay there. Stay there."
Now it is morning. It hurts to sit. It is a reminder of the revelation that occurred to me while falling.
An abrasion the width of my leg, a bruise beautiful and unintended, asks me why we are so resistant to a reality of our existence: pain. Pain: evidence of our existence. Pain: proof that we are alive. An invitation to feel deeply. But so often we reject pain in the attempt to be comfortable. But when are we ever?
To throw oneself, fully committed into something is the greatest gift we could give ourselves. Stubbed toes and bruises heal. Also things far more damaging. I know this because I have accumulated traumas to the body, the mind and the spirit, like all of us, and I have watched them scar, scab, pus, shape, attack, bend, break, restore. Not everything restores back to original form.
The only way to see what it shall become is to move through time. Time is needed for healing. One thing I've learned in this life, it is that we are not guaranteed that we will ever have the time that makes the healing so. It is not promised. But in these moments of rise and fall, of peak and valley, we can feel our breath, the speaker of our spirit, and our bodies, the cages of our souls, responding to the world around us in an immediate and visceral way.
Is this masochistic? Perhaps. But it is true. Every time I've ever fallen, up to this moment, I have resisted saying, "Don't fall don't fall don't fall NO I'm falling." Yesterday was the first time that I fell with the pure and innocent realization, "I am falling. There is nothing for me to control. Only something to embrace."
As I embrace this beautiful, fleeting pain - the sore tendon on my right hand from closing and opening a human chain link cage a few times a day, abrasions on my arms from asking "How have you inspired this pain?", the tender spot on my spine from rolling my vertebrae on the ground, the bruise from a chair digging into my thigh, the bruise on my foot from playing the rhythm of madness on wood, the bruise on my side from trying to figure out how the fuck to effectively fall on purposed accident, the bruises I cannot explain but discover in the shower - I find that the body is made to heal these small trespasses quickly. I could wallow in their reality or embrace that they are there and use them to inform my next movement. I am obviously advocating for the latter.
I am pleased to know I am fully alive. I am open to fall because that happens sometimes and
everything happens in accident time
where there are no accidents
Quotes from The Sea Inside that I can't get out of my head:
"When you can't escape, and you constantly rely on other people, you learn to cry by smiling."
-You don't like to look back do you?
--No. I prefer to look to my future.
-And what's in your future?
--Death. Same for you."
-There is no freedom in a life that ends itself.
--There is no freedom in a life that ends freedom.
"You either love or you don't. Love can't be reasoned out."
I wish anything could be reasoned out. Everything, including the Seattle ground, is muddy. There is something like a hoard of insects clawing at my head. They are multiplying and slowing me down. I am lethargic, angry and slow slow slow. It gets dark at five o'clock now and that makes me feel cheated out of lightness. If I could find a way to actually relax, to actually calm down, that would be great. Would green juice help? Probably. Would sex help? Also likely. I've got a handful of kale left in the fridge and my hand. Deflating companions. But one must make due with what one has. What a phrase - exhausted and as overused as... my hand. You know you are in a bad way when your metaphors are shit. My boots are soggy. I need to be held. My pants stretched out in the rain and they are soaked up to the knee for dragging on the ground but I liked the squish-swish-whooshing sound the denim made on the pavement under my shoe and what has your life amounted to when you write on the bus even though your ink erratically splatters across the page. Unreadable.
Nothing ever lasts.
I wrote that in a song once.
Do you remember what it felt like to write with J?
Yes, of course I do, don't ask stupid questions.
Remind me what it was.
Okay. He gave me space, he gave me air. He, a glass jar. I, an experiment. I used to ask him to play the same riff over and over and over again until his fingers cramped and he could play it in his sleep and his dreams probably played over the soundtrack of the same chords and pickings on a loop and he only had me to blame.
But he probably didn't.
Yes, that's right. He was too many things to blame me. He was too much of a sound. Very pure like that.
You wish for your collaborations to be that way.
Yes. I wish for words to finally become tertiary because the work at hand is all. The work at hand has made your fingers so numb and contracted and twitching that all of your energy is spent begging them to work. There are words only if there must be.
Do you wish for the gods to descend?
They have no choice but to come down and fight.
Are you prepared?
Well I'm here, aren't I?
That may be as prepared as you can ever be.
And I have prepared the sacred battleground where mortal and eternal shall grapple.
Very good. So do you have any last words?
Well, go ahead and say them.
O gods, if I must go, and I must, make it a poetic extermination appropriate for a conjurer of fire. O gods, if you are to extinguish me, use water. Of course, and here's the caveat, but you know this as well as I: Virginia took the textbook death. Conniving, brilliant mother of my soul, to leave me floppily slopping on living. So, o gods, find another stage picture of similar magnitude.
And Mother! How could you leave me with nothing but your words? I need you to speak to me but I cannot hear or I am hard of it. You know as well as I that my sensitivities, my nerves, as open as they are, are still enclosed in a cage, their vibrations deadened by the enclosure. How can I fight this fight without knowing? Did you?
See that? No answer. Always no answer.
They say that sometimes no answer is an answer.
I say that's stupid.
Any other final words?
Yes. No. My throat hurts.