I put my hands on my body to check that I’m here, that I have not been stolen by dreams, by smiling dogs or children laughing
i saw my guts strung out in the trees like a christmas garland, heart and liver and lungs like baubles, something finally broke me down
yet this body under my fingers feels smooth and solid, another in a swamp of sweating beings pressed together like worms in a can, live bait for nightmares
I tear open holes in the flesh to which I’m bound, let some air in on this thing inside me, though perhaps i should just let it drown
written august 2017
thin: emerging hip bones
fat: leftover tofu pad thai, not cold nor re-heated, found in purse at 4 in the morning and eaten in bed without clothes.
times were fat and so was i, the miserable erroneous life form that was like the others yet different, living on a so-called island (which did cling to the rest of the world with speedy little metal missiles carrying passengers and pirates to and from distant lands)
it was said the island either wanted you, or didn’t: if it did, it kept you. if it didn’t, it kicked you out.
it didn’t want me, and i knew it. but i was stubborn.
my binge-eating habits erupted there, the stress of constant, daily rejection, the sense of not-belonging so great and powerful that it bled me dry at times of the very will to live
each night i sat
taking nervous sips and sweating bites and chewing as if chewing on my problems,
which, i suppose, i was.
sometimes i made myself laugh about it, “twenty-four: the age of hot chocolate at 6 am still awake for no good reason” (other than chronic sleeplessness.) halfway living off garbanzo beans and sticks of imitation crab, spinach and cream cheese and “pan payés” and generic corner-store gazpacho from the carton, never, ever, ever in a cup. every dirty cup and plate was a ridiculous burden on my anxious mind, for this house of mine had very strict rules and there was no room for untidiness
but keeping tidy inside a hurricane mind is not at all an easy task.
he was at once somehow equally handsome and perverse, with a bit of a hunch from habitually lowering his height to interact with those around him. a life full of forced bowing as if bound to some socially obligatory servitude.
yet this servitude to others, it touches us all — forms a grid, a matrix to which we attach ourselves and from those fixed points create an extended reality. we have shaped it upon the play ground which was provided by mother nature. she threw down the backdrop and now is watching the scene unfold. the grand comedy. cheers Ma.
this net above us is held in place by our own hands and those of our neighbors. in public we expect things of people, and we reaffirm these expectations by accepting that things should be expected of us in the first place as a natural reality. we reinforce that reality by engaging actively in it regardless of our stance(i.e. being “anti-capitalist” but continuing to purchase new items)
peer pressure is the weight of the collective stare of a given population as it turns and questions everything about you in an instant. it is heavy. it is painful. It is a weight that serves to keep us in our places by allowing us to force manipulated behaviors onto others: with narrowed eyes we say, “because you are different, i doubt you.” that type of prohibitive garbage.
who knows. cosmic crap. remember to keep in close contact with friends and not be an asshole.
spit them out, these wasted days and wet-green nights rising up from your esophagus to greet against anyone’s will your
lovers and your sisters and your friends and your parents make them
worry for you but never too much just enough to catch a whiff of the smoldering
human brains on stone tiled floors where
cold gets in so easy feel it creeping up the carnage contaminated by the time
it grabs your feet and legs to drag you under
i’m okay, i’m okay — you’re shoveling shouting reaching out to grab hold of whatever’s in reach
creamy rose pink with green sparkles dribbles thick makes you feel
safe watching feel the grip slip this is how we
fight our wars with pink with glitter with ooze like
crying all that bile from your eyes the sticky
worms running playground drills up and down your throat
red rover, red rover, why don’t you come over?
red used to scare you always creeping in or up
more often out
that drip drip down your shaking knees that
seeping out the gashes in your stomach like a watermelon past its prime now just remember– don’t eat the seeds, you can’t afford for anything to grow inside you, and neither can the anything– that environment is uninhabitable
for living things
you are the
you are gone
from my skin
like a mist
or a phantom
you rose out
left some stains
the clouds are red-black
and the wind
cools me down
i haven’t felt
sometimes i know she’s there and i can feel her.
my body feels
shrinking in and crowding us
the two of us
and in this way
i am suddenly a
girl who is also
a sheep-cart towing
two unshorn heifers to the barber
(right that’s where they go tho)
fighting for space and the farm hands are laughing
but those heifers are two feisty
mamas i’ll tell yeh man
now you can bet your bottom dollar
they’re in there hip-checkin the shit out of each other.
a laugh from the rest of the boys:
three girls who couldn’t be alone: some dirty seething tracks in our family line that crumpled us and hooked us on the backs of conquerers for survival. you say I am a free woman but you wonder when the husband’s coming (as we know those tend to wait just around the corner.) the free woman now in the family and finally I have eyes to see, a life spent hiding my head (despite its size) between the thighs of creature comforts to distract from the very illness of just waking. you say I’m independent but depending can keep a person breathing for a while longer if the tank’s still got juice and the tracks don’t run too deep. only me to rely on: a bottle of iodine and a whole lot of gauze to get me through another night as creature comforts just don’t cut it anymore. time better spent on a threadbare single mattress with a hand in your pants and a distant memory of central heating. look out there, see those mountains? men go trekking there alone and do it fine and well. I’d go but it’s too risky for a woman alone so I’ll just keep to this mattress and cooking for one and wearing my underwear inside out because laundry can’t be done for another two weeks (shower wash on a dime with your feet while standing and hang-dry on a flammable heater.) even the best of laundry machines don’t always get the job done, you can’t erase a bleach stain or pretend you weren’t bleeding. the iron stays with you and so do the scars.