4.5.19: clementine

I once stood in the blank, sun-white room of a gallery

before an earthy rawhide form,

fashioned into the shape of a jacket

inside the jacket, something red

something striving and small

and shamelessly warm

glowed

I cried, overcome

//

I imagine time as needled thread

borrowed from worn fabric

willed into straight lines

so both ends know the same view

I imagine time as Valentine’s cards cut from construction paper

it folds symmetrically

halves touching

in private, knowing conference

awaiting my arrival

I imagine time curling in on itself

licking its wounds

everything is alive, and wanting to know it is alive

chasing its own image to confirm

that it exists

because it existed before

//

I was on the interstate at night when the rain came

hot red tails lapped the lights ahead

dark blue, and red tails

and a clementine

that I peeled, absently, in my right hand

I split it into three segments

and smelling it, I felt my throat constrict

something shone like a heart

but I swallowed it whole

and felt the hot tears of recognition

I became what I wanted to save

but there’s nothing else

I could have been

2.10.19: flame in hand

I’m sharing something from my yoga + journaling class today. We were prompted to write a poem from the heart without trying to be clever, or lyrical, or rhythmic. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of nostalgia, and the dangers of retroactively constructing personal narratives out of the constellations of our memories. I am not a poet by any means, but I am trying to become more comfortable with abstraction. This is what I wrote.

//

My childhood room had yellow walls, all pale and bare. At night, my dad would fall asleep on the floor beside my bed, because I was scared to be alone.

I would drift off to the sound of his breath—

the sound of a room made full.

I return here when I feel the world is most complicated by adulthood. Little yellow flame. I reach for it when it rains. It is small enough to hold in my hands. A place still quiet and warm, made whole by its simplicity.

Little yellow room.

One desk.

One closet.

One bed.

One patient father pretending to doze on the trim eggshell carpet.

And now, in remembering, me as I am, hovering above,

rendered omniscient,

this memory humming supernatural with my presence.

A scene intact as in a locket,

and now me, me now,

fumbling open the clasp, clumsy fingers on a heart.

Memories keep only so long as I do not enter them.

Doesn’t she look happy? Or is it the yellow on her cheek? Her face is slivered by the moonlight, and one side looks cold.

I can preserve her by forgetting, but where would I go when it rains?

9.3.18: warm glow

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about energy. Where does it come from? How can we generate it?

I have been falling asleep under the orange glow of my desktop salt lamp each night. I imagine that it is imbuing me with some mystic power as I sleep. I imagine that I will awake with new eyes. I rise and press my fingers to it, communing, inviting. I am here. It is warm to the touch.

I park my car and ride the glass-walled Greene Street Parking Deck elevator to the third level Triad Stage staff entrance. Rooftops, windows, and fire escapes are softened and made warm in the early light. It is a familiar orange glow. I feel as though the lamp has opened its mouth and breathed its light into the world. I am here. I imagine that I have carried the light in my belly, from my bedside. It releases behind me like a trailing mist.

Orange is both present and liminal. It is a quiet, attentive listener. It is light in transition. August to September. The first glimpses of autumn. A pillar. Power on reserve.

Magic and pragmatism are at a convergence in my life. I find myself wondering about ghosts. I hold my breath when I pass a graveyard. I make wishes on dandelions. I am also investing in a healthy lifestyle—cooking for myself, eating well, getting in touch with my body through yoga and daily walks. Journaling. Spending time with animals. Sending letters to friends, semi-regularly. I seek tactile activities, opportunities to see what my hands are capable of. I want to cradle what I create in my fingers. Clarity is seeing my mind laid out in front of me. I want to hold it between my palms.

I am working on cultivating curiosity without surrendering my agency. Magic demands passivity. When I imagine brushes with magic, I am not privy to my own power. Otherworldly forces are at work behind my back. I sleep. I avert my gaze. I am chosen. I do not choose.

I am working on choosing.

//

What I'm reading: The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh, Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, Bust Magazine August/September issue

What I'm watching: To All the Boys I've Loved Before on Netflix, Mother! on Hulu, Barry on HBO Now, Crazy Rich Asians in theaters

What I'm listening to: Snap Judgment Presents: Spooked podcast s1 + s2, Up and Vanished podcast s2