10 October 2007

relocation as dislocation

when you move from your house it is like a giant anvil dropping onto you from many stories up. or more like a giant upright piano because this agony has sounds. and colors. and your old friend writes to say 'i am a married man now, so far away from our days in california' and for weeks you mull this sentence over trying to give it more meaning than you know it has. and the heart is the ocean floor deep and cavernous with ledges that drop off to unspeakable depths. and that comforts you. and when you are lying awake at night you are counting sheep for the first time and naming them and coveting their dirty fleeces.
you saw a movie by yourself and love the feeling of everyone looking at you alone wondering what is wrong or if you are one of those crazy people who wonders the streets and counts straws, steps, and sugar packes. and in a way you are.
and maine smells like apples, applesauce and cider. and you cannot get that smell out of your clothes. you don't want to.

03 January 2007

begging to differ.

it begs you to reconsider...it asks late at night and in the early morning when you are the only one still resting. it begs while you are driving and your mind is wandering. there was a time when other things were possible, when more was possible, when your friend made it clear that he wanted you to stay and you made it clear at the last minute that you had to go...and he walked you to where you were staying. and when you are standing near him it feels magnetic. like you just want that embrace to last longer, to mean that youre not really dead yet. and you thought back today how you were almost famous for sending out valentines instead of christmas cards, but this year you barely did either.

17 December 2006

rebecca one.

we are all here. circling. circled. and rebecca is taking these small quiet hands. olivia and louise are there side by side hands in hands. we haven’t seen them since they could barley walk barely run, and now they are here, running the fields, collecting rocks introducing older cousins.
looking out the window through the laced curtain i only see a sea of faces, of fleece, of forgiveness. woolen hats, handmade, manhandled with the care and ease of a new england knitter. of couples getting back to the land. a hippie. and gay telling me later how they had dug a huge hole to plant a large tree upside down. a practical joke? a pagan ritual? nobody knows, and nobody will.
i watched d from my window, went down for a bit, mingling with a tiny ounce of regret- a tiny ounce of awkwardness usually associated with such occasion's as weddings, births, deaths, and tax collections. less awkward than my normal phone conversation, retail interaction, or first meeting. and that starts to set in. how unawkward death can be. how it shrugs up around us all like a scuffed knee, a lost dog. not nice, but too familiar. i walk out joining the circle. noticing how they undry eyes have aged since i last saw them all together. how rebecca doesn’t really look older after 7 years, but more stretched. more thin skinned. with the redness around the eyes of (somebody who can’t /won’t cry anymore)who cannot cry anymore. and the girls. the girls. so young, so loved here.
gay calls on tuesday to ask how i think it went, the ceremony, the circling. and did i catch alan, and did i catch that look in his eye. the look of grief that cannot be measured, that cannot be spoken here, but which runs as deep as any body of water on this land.
i didn’t see alan. althoughi thought i caught his shape out of the corner of my eye. still long, still spry. herding the children, shushing them with the gentle affection only a father can muster- or get away with. but i hadnt layed eyes on him. i hadn't met his glances. maybe nobody had, maybe nobody dared, especially rebecca, especially now.

And this is the way it went. f rom circle to circling. Down the path and everyone had brought flowers. I went out early this morning hoping to get a look at what gay says is the strong presence of a person. That his ashes spread out on sunday. nine days before are still floating there on the surface of the stream. That they are still holding on there. All i found were the frozen edges of banks filled with the preserved flowers. Our gift to saying goodbye to mark. frozen over now in a icy grave, a place to rest. Still keeping their color. Nine days. It’s roses and carnations and some purple flower i should be recognizing. And it hits me that i don’t know what the ashes of a man would look like hovering over the tides of a cold river.. that i would not recognize them and that would not find them here.


on those dark days, when death seemed to well up all around touching edges, she had all she could do to keep from crying. counting backard in her mind.. the lost time, the missed aquantance, the way things from the past resonated as she touched them. the tiny cracks in old wood, and all of the spaces in between, reminding her of then time before this time. a time in which she was younger- felt stronger, and altogether had a greater time of it. when rand was still her and they were still pushing towards something. the way it rolled in waves in her mind. like riding home in the back seat last night, trying not to fall asleep..preforming all of her small tortures. going over and over what could have been different- what could have been easy, made more sense..made her happy(made happiness last).
and it wasn’t a list of big things,,,it wasn’t like you’d expect..finish college exercises, do waht you love..it was more the minute of everyday and all of the days that had pseed rushing below her like the passamaquatee river. like striaghten up, call back the man who loves you, return your sisters email so she knows you are still out there somewhere..send the gift..the one that has been sititing on your bedside table packaged up and ready to get on its way. send it beacaue if you don’t the tiny hopes have welled up just to die here in the dusty apartment, wrestled away in the all too often changed bed..amoung piles of clothes you knew you’d never wear.
do it. send it, and you never did. and moving out now with your dad driving in the front seat you still cannot rest beacuse you never did. and you feel the soft edges of the padded envelope and you feel the way you preessed letters hard trying to make your handwritting look the way you remember your moms being. and you peel back the stamp marked 25 cents and let it fall softly onto the floor of the car, roll over and chase beads of water collecting on the winow.

08 December 2006

the subway calls, the subterranean,the agean, the age

i forget to write. write the dreams. i was in new york, i really was, but i was in new york in my dreams and steph was saying i can dance and sing and i've learned german good since the last time we spoke. and she put on a small show of singing and dancing and her hair was so short again. and i said i think some one stole the whole engine out of my car. and she said don't say injun. and i walked the streets and allys and parks till i could feel my way from one subway stop to the next just like braille.

and my old friend keeps writing me and he doesn't know how much it makes me.

07 December 2006

grandma's emily

my mind has this way of racing. racing right back into time. and the halls and the walls are cluttered with yous and mes. i dream a dream now that is restless, that is all twisted blankets and the night. i have a warm face and it's close to your cold one, too cold. too close. you have a grave face and it's a watery one. too close and too cool. my face it's a hot one, a warm one. still so warm. the extemes of temepture prevail.
yesterday my grandmother called to say she is stopping giving things away. she kept calling me last year saying "i'm boxing up the tea set you gave me and sending it back, along with the collage your mother made me when she and your dad were first married" and she'd call my brother and say " i am shipping you a box of old year books and text books and your fathers old comics".
she assures me she is going to stop doing this. it is because she explains " since your grandfather died i have been dying everyday, and i'm going to do that anymore."