Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The Climb

We eventually dug our way out of the tunnel. It was bound to happen sooner or later. If we worked hard enough, we were bound to be successful. We had talked about it long enough. We had dreamt about it for so many nights that were like days, and we had sung about quietly during the days that were dark.
One night we clawed through all the muddled dreams, through the bright geometric nightmares, through unspeakably complex puzzles all made of dirt and branches and dust. And we did it with our own hands and we did it with our own voices and with our newfound language which easily disturbed and broke apart the thick walls of our established identities that had turned into heavy pieces of rock.

I could feel the heavy force of gravity the entire time – pulling us down, down, down. I saw old symbols carved into the walls as we passed by and kept on moving and many times I slipped on the outstretched forms of a few equations and algorithms for which I had no understanding or explanation.

Something may have helped us along the way, something that sometimes pulled us up, something leading us along through barely visible silver threads. But it had no name and it had no voice so we would never speak of it and we couldn’t have said anything about it even if we wanted to speak. We would never acknowledge its presence even among ourselves.

Our improvised songs travelled out ahead of us like guides, then came back as echoes and told us of the future. We wouldn’t let any force stop us. Not fear, not hunger, not exhaustion. Nothing would pull us back, we wouldn’t let anything pull us back down. Sometimes when I looked ahead I saw the same nothing staring back at me, nothing behind, nothing ahead, nothing below us, nothing above. But I kept on digging, and I kept on singing and I kept on speaking.

I awoke on the other side, naked and red with blood and bruises, encircled by cold and darkness. Bubbles clung to my skin, and the past dissolved behind us in a black puddle.

We all walked away in different directions then and I never saw any of them again. I never even tried to search for them. When I think of them now, they have no faces and they have no names. I am not even sure that they ever existed at all.

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Quince Tree

The quince tree stood in the distance,
at the edge of the dreaming desert.
It stood illuminated in the moonlight,
And its fruit glowed from within
like tiny candles in the night.
All around the tree
the ground was dry and cracked and cool.

I had become invisible to those that once knew me.
I had disappeared into the hot nothingness long ago,
into the dry wind of blue and yellow.
I was brittle now, but I was also an explorer.
I would hitchhike on the edge of sentences,
and merge distant worlds for a moment in the dark.
No one knew I was there.

On the edge of the dreaming desert,
I remembered a children's song from long ago:
little darling fruit
you make the perfect pie
I wrap you up in sugar
and let out a little cry.
Little darling fruit.

I was alone now,
a lone dreamer within a vast dream.
The silver light lit the desert floor,
alive with tiny creatures of the night.
The dark leaves shook,
the fruit on the quince tree dangled restlessly.
I felt fear hiding in my body,
in the void explored in sleep,
in the places where words hung suspended
like fruit in the moonlight.

I knew that all the secrets were everywhere,
In every direction
around every corner
all around me
all the time.
So I rubbed by naked body against the bark,
and I lay on the ground.
I closed my eyes and
I was still in the nothing.
Then I felt the invitation
and I let a response emerge
from my mouth.

Two ancient species spoke that night,
And they made a connection
at the edge of the silver light.
I would never be alone again.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Into The Nothingness

He disappeared, nearly naked,
Dressed only in a long white garment.
A white cloth
covered in numbers and geometric shapes.
He slipped into the nothingness,
into some place I will never know.
(If I were to follow him,
the me that can know would have left
and I would be left as naked as he was
unable to understand whatever I was seeing.)
He broke with the language of our world,
and left behind only scattered fragments –
A poetic line
A shopping list
An idea for a story
An argument not fully formed.
He left in a succession of slow breaths
Which carried the old melodies we once sang together,
our voices strong and cracking.
He took with him
A thousand stories we will never hear,
food we will never taste,
so many things I wish I learned,
but I didn't.
His face now appears on maps,
The kind I sometimes look at
but mostly I try to avoid them.
His face is quickly losing its shape
even though the map lines tend to converge.
The story ends
and I cannot contain my wailing.
I am left without numbers,
with only a drone of ongoing pink noise
and a few mechanical glitches
now and then
a kind of broken rhythm,
irregular pulsing.

Thursday, September 5, 2019


when she stopped making art,
she became angry,
anxious, irritable, resentful.

she would watch him draw horned beasts,
using only red and black pen on a white canvas.
she would watch him outside a window
swirling acrylics on metal surfaces.
she would browse through her old drawings,
or find a stray red pencil in a drawer.

what had once moved through her?
and where did it go?

early on, when she had felt the first wave  
she got derailed
trapped by her own need for affection
for acceptance, for love.
she abandoned everything to move in with a stranger
she left for the ocean.

every warning was ridiculed,
she surrounded her thoughts with an iron fence.
her body was burdened,
her lungs were tight and closed,
and the thing that once moved through her
became so small as to be invisible.

she thought about it for years.
sometimes she attempted a small drawing,
but she had lost trust in her own hands.
she judged the lines before they were complete,
saw herself as another would see her,
as another might see her.

later she fled,
or was cast aside.
she escaped the narrow path
of needles and crime,
lies and delusion,
denial and fear.
she salvaged what lay just inside the dumpster
and left the rest
to become a vague memory.

and she found herself in a room,
staring out a window.
how long had it been since she drew?

he said to her:
'if you want to make art, make art.'
and she stared at him
with tears in her eyes.

she thought she had to wait
for something to happen,
for a burst,
for an explosion,
for shapes to break open the gates
and explode onto the page.

she watched him standing in the sun
just outside the window.
he never noticed her there,
just a few feet away.
the canvas was on the ground on a blue tarp.
he let the colors mingle,
then would occasionally move
one side of the canvas or another.

After a while
she went back to her room.