Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday (Monday?) Confessional

It's technically Monday here, but it is still Sunday night to me. I have an inexplicable urge to scribble my confessions right now, to secure them with one cathartic click of the "Publish Post" button and hurl them into the blue. Honestly, I'm not sure why it matters. Lately I recall that blog is a 4-letter word, after all. Why must I do it? What, if anything, do I hope to gain? Perhaps I'm writing in hope that someone across the virtual sea will find this bottle and "get me," or perhaps some part of me wishes to record my narcissistic musings in order to re-read them years later and laugh at my puerile notions and awful writing. In either case, this is all rather self-centered. But hey, people are but animals, and animals are selfish bastards by nature.

At any rate, tonight I confess, not sins, but torments, to the Universe:

1. I'm never going to read every book I'd like to read (Duh, right?). This is a truth which causes me irrational but immense anguish.

2. I frequently prefer books to people. Sometimes I don't answer your call because I'm reading. I often disregard the demands of my job, my spouse, my family and friends to spend an evening in rapt conversation with a book. I’m not exactly penitent about this; however, at times I wish I wanted to be less detached.

3. Lately I recognize that half of me, the part that thinks and dreams and speaks en EspaƱol, el idioma de mis padres, del hogar de mi juventud, is drowning in a sea of American dreams. I’m terrified at how much of me I’ve lost already. When I lose half of my words, half of myself, who will I be? How will I find the language to sing the sorrow of losing my language?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Girl in the Red Apron - a memory

The girl in the red apron
And the don’t-fuck-with-me combat boots
Bears five searing plates
Atop the webs of veins and scars
That line her outstretched arms.

As she effortlessly ambles
Toward her party of inebriated bikers,
Three dozen one-dollar bills
And a letter from her lover,
Scrawled on a Juicy Fruit wrapper,
Burn hopeful holes in her apron pocket.

Monday, April 11, 2011

On Hope and Robots

Under weight of woolen sweater sky,
Through streets that stab and scrape my limbs
with jagged fingernails,
Passing drapes and dead-bolts
and Do Not Enter entryways,
Amid the throngs of automatons
who do not read poetry
and cannot make love without batteries
My heart still ticks inside its brittle cage of bone
And pigeons hum the same primordial verse
As I recall that Hope did not escape Pandora’s jar.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The God of Liminal Space

There is a god of liminal space:
Of the black between stars
And the white that muzzles wayward verbs
Of the space between the right lie
And the wrong truth
And the time before that which we remembered
To remember.

This god of threshold
Is no unfeeling Olympian
Nor a martyr for our deliverance.
This god neither confers nor confiscates
But merely roosts atop our tongues and toes
In anticipation of anticipation.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Solipsist

A wary solipsist
has no place in church,
saloon or shopping mall –
though she cannot be sure.
Her only haven
is her goose-pimpled skin,
The only clarion call she heeds,
a snarling belly.  
She trusts the counsel 
of her throbbing wrists
and sage fingertips,
but she cannot place faith
in ephemeral scars.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

When I dream about him

She should be unhappy, but I am not guilty and therefore cannot be unhappy.

– from Anna Karenina

The most vivid dreams happen on the weekend, cheating me of much-anticipated R &R. I wake up gasping at six o’clock in the morning. I apologize loudly, to no one in particular, for the disruptive behavior of my excessively imaginative unconscious.  I pull the aptly-named blanket – the comforter – over the sweat beads on my chest and neck, over my feral, panicked eyes and crumpled brow.  I feign indulgent weekend slumber for a few more hours.
At ten-thirty I reluctantly put on a shirt and brave the fifteen-foot trek to the living room. I scan my surroundings, searching for a sign that my emergence from bed today was in fact a mistake. Yesterday’s soup congeals in a bowl on the floor near the couch. My terrier gives it a few inquisitive sniffs before deciding, like me, that it is hardly worth the effort.
A bra and a raincoat dangle from a wooden chair.  Yellow daylight streams in through the window, illuminating the world map of stains on my dingy carpet. I quickly shut the blind. A spider edges along the side of my bookshelf. I give it a ten-second head start before mashing it thoroughly with a copy of Anna Karenina. I briefly muse that the spider is a despondent Anna, and the book a speeding train.

And in that same instant she was horrified at what she was doing. 'Where am I? What am I doing? Why?' She wanted to rise, to throw herself back, but something huge and implacable pushed at her head and dragged over her. 'Lord forgive me for everything!' she said, feeling the impossibility of any struggle.
I put on the bra without taking off my shirt. I amble to the bathroom and take a pair of jeans out of the hamper. I wrestle my belligerent hair into a ponytail and shove my neon purple-socked feet into a pair of boots. I forget the raincoat. I always forget the raincoat.
I drive hastily through the blinding rain. I know where I’m going. I head to the only three places sure to deaden the lingering sensation of another nightmare. First, to my favorite Mexican fast food restaurant, where I order an enormous smothered burrito and a large Coke, to be ravenously consumed in my car at a nearby park as the rain drums my windshield. Next, to the bakery, where I purchase two chocolate chip cookies, which I eat slowly and deliberately at Destination Number Three: the clothing store. In the dressing room, as I twirl around in gorgeous spring dresses under flattering artificial light, I am at least ten glorious hours away from the specters of my nighttime psyche.   

I buy two dresses and wear one at home as I clean my apartment.

I spend the rest of the day convincing myself that it was Levin, not Anna, who had it right all along.  

'...but my life now, my whole life, regardless of all that may happen to me, every minute of it, is not only not meaningless, as it was before, but has the unquestionable meaning of the good which it is in my power to put into it!'

The world in haiku

Armageddon gives way to
Genesis each day
As carbon begets carbon.