Monday, July 28, 2014


Our lives are libraries and everyone has a card. Some items checked out are never returned. People have their reasons. They forget, they lost it, they planned to keep it from the start. Some items are valuable. Sometimes it's worth it to pay the fine.

Our brains are banks and we're running out of deposit slips. So we slip some money under the table and face the day with the confidence that we can pay without an account. Hiding cash under your mattress won't help if you're sleeping on the floor. Having cash in your pocket doesn't matter if you're standing naked.

And a part of us is a prison, but which part? Our hands, our feet, our shoulder blades when they ache after a night spent on the floor? It's hard for me to locate where we stay locked up because we aren't locked up together. I cannot see you over here in my isolation. How long of a sentence did we give ourselves for committing the crime of being human? How do we punish ourselves? More importantly, how do we redeem ourselves?

Being both the warden and the convict is confusing. We have the lock, but we forgot where we hid the key. Did we lose it? Maybe in an act of desperation we sold it. Some items are valuable. Some items draw more money than the account holds. Sometimes we have to surrender and plead guilty.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I shut out the world because there's another one spinning in my head. Two worlds do not make a right. I have to choose which world I will inhabit. The one inside is full of empty spaces and traces of people stranded in my memory. Their faces appear here and there, but I've become remarkably good at looking away. So you say your world has mountains and oceans and forests? Mine is comprised of filing cabinets and drawers. I receive, create, recall. You create, react, crawl. Who has it better? It's a draw.

But sometimes I find myself constructing rocket ships out of old cardboard hidden behind the filing cabinets. It's a cardboard ticket out of here, a passport to different planets. Is there time to turn the ship around, time to plan a different course? Of course I have my hangups. I have my ghosts that live on the coasts of oceans that do not exist. What am I willing to discard? Who am I willing to abandon?

At night I close my eyes and stare at the sky I've set up. Where do the stars start and where do they end? For now it's still a blank canvas. For now I hoard my cardboard for something better. For now I shut my blinds and wait.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


A diet of expectations and calculations does nothing for the taste buds. The appetite is still there, not satisfied, sitting in a chair waiting for flesh to show its face. Where are you, meat? Don't be a coward. Don't disappear between a bun. Let me tear into you, bite after bite, raw and stripped from the bone.

Because I can't keep existing on air, on what's missing. I can't feast on famine. It's the juice that I need, the thickness of truth found in muscles. Give me proof on my plate. Give me a divine mess.

But in the meantime I'll continue assigning different tastes to different regions, I'll keep certain openings so small so that anything passing through must first dissolve. I won't solve my hunger problem. I will create chain reactions instead.

One day. One day I will dine, relishing in the rarity that has always been. Until then I'll keep chewing on the common.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Every Tuesday night I dream that I am holding myself as a baby. I am a fussy baby. I do not want to be held. But I go on holding and hushing and soon I fall asleep in my own arms. And then I wake up.

On Wednesdays you can get free pie at Village Inn. I used to go there with friends, back when I had friends. We would go after band practice, back when I pretended to be a musician. I only drank the coffee, mug after mug. I gave the lemon creme pie to my mom. It made me happy. I was hungry.

Thursdays are now when we are supposed to look at old pictures of ourselves and share them with people we don't know online for all the world to see, if only the world cared at all. They don't. And we don't really, although we all want to be seen at least a little. We all had bad hair in 1st grade. But let's take a look anyway.

Fridays used to mean something.

Saturdays are either the laziest or the most productive day. Pajamas until noon versus the entire garage cleaned out and swept. Mine veer off the path and lead me to everything sinful for which I can repent in mere hours. That's the way to do it. But let's keep it our secret.

We've all felt the Sunday dread. Whether it's sitting in a pew feeling itchy or remembering that Monday lurks around the corner, ready to suffocate and crush you. But there's brunch. At least there's brunch.

And I didn't mention Monday only because I forgot. I started this with a dream on my mind and dreams don't happen on Monday. Monday has been whitewashed by Sunday. Monday is blank and hanging out by the copy machine.

Lean in a little bit closer and maybe you'll fall into tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


She preferred the tightrope over the feather bed. I do not know her history well enough to tell you if she preferred the knotted rope over the death bed. I doubt that she did. I doubt she found herself locked up in her thoughts with only one grim escape. Because she wrote. She told stories and released the characters of her creation to create their own lives within the lives of others. She knew how to let go, not smother. And she probably wore excellent hats with feathers and ribbon.

And here is my thought: What if I just jot down the pieces and build the puzzle later? I expect a finished product from the start, but that design has no support and will simply collapse under pressure. There will be no picture, only rubble.

I need a net. I need a place to land when my footing is off. I will lay it out and then stand upright and walk. Where I end up, I do not know. It does not matter. The art lies in maintaining balance during the tension. The art lies not horizontal. The art tells the truth standing up.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Maybe I had to be a selfish jackass in my 20s in order to become a loving, sympathetic person in my 30s. You know, get it out of my system. But I'm not there yet. I am still pretty selfish. I am still pretty wrapped up in this persona I've created for myself. I only turned 30 last month, though. Give me a minute.

I've said it before, but I wish I would write more about the mundane details of my day. I wish I'd write more period. I wish I'd get my period. I wish the doctor would call me back. I wish someone would trace their finger along my back when I'm stuck here feeling anxious and afraid. I wish I'd stop seeing myself as stuck, even if I am. Maybe if I can visualize movement and freedom, it will come true? Why can't I find freedom in the stagnant stages of life?

It's time for me to find a lighter collection. Not lighter as in, "Hey, man, do you have a lighter?" Lighter as in weight. The books I have hoarded are my children, yes, but they are stiff, heavy children that do not make moving or the minimalist lifestyle very easy. Maybe it's time I start collecting air. I can capture your breath in vials and let it sit in the sun on my windowsill. I would try collecting light, but it's heavier than books. Don't believe me? Try balancing the sun on your head.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


And boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of books.

This has been my day. I have been going through and organizing my books, feeling overwhelmed, putting them in boxes, feeling overwhelmed, realizing that I will never be able to read all of the books that I own, feeling overwhelmed, wondering how I amassed so many books, feeling overwhelmed, started reading at least seven books while I was in the middle of organizing, feeling overwhelmed, and finally I am taking a break. No more feeling overwhelmed today. I need to go on a cruise or something. Will someone surprise me with a trip to a Sandals Beach Resort? Tonight. I'll go tonight. And why is "resort" such a strange word to me right now? Probably because everything is strange to me right now. Why can't I have just one normal day where I, like, eat chips and watch a sports game? Why must I always assume the role of tortured, outsider artist? Neuroticism was a fun and quirky personality trait to have in my 20s. But I'm 30 now. Bring on the stability and levelheadedness, please.

At least I hoard books, right? I could be collecting boxes and boxes and boxes full of lint or toenail clippings or human teeth. But I'm not. Although the human teeth collection sounds kind of rad. Anyway, I should give myself a break. I should also give away at least a box or two of my books. Any takers? I am a very good collector, you can trust me and my taste in the written word. Just don't trust me to balance anything heavy, such as boxes or emotions.

Now go outside and read.

Monday, July 14, 2014


I wait for the day when I can sign my name into the corner of something. It could be a page, canvas, a stretch of bare sand just before a wave changes my name into nothing. But currently there is nothing. There is nothing I can claim, no solid proof of my past. Will this feeling pass? Maybe I need to let go of the desire to prove that I can produce something tangible, something lasting, something bigger than myself. Maybe I need to figure out my name before I commit to signing it in ink. You'd think I'd have it figured out by now. You would be wrong.

But let me be right for once. Let me write, once, and let it become a continuous beating. Let the words do the work, even while I'm sleeping. Let the story be told through my veins. Let the pulse of what wants to be told heard. Let me listen with ears that do not judge, that do not censor, that do nothing but hear and give space for the placement of my name. Let me settle in, let me begin.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I will be in a much better mood if I can just accomplish one thing. But today has been a day full of ghosts that appear and lead me down dead ends. I'm tired of never arriving and having to turn around and backtrack. I am tired of being seduced by spirits, by the intangible and abstract. I constantly miss something I never had.

And I've been writing again, by hand, in a journal. I can't tell you exactly what it is that I've been writing because I don't remember. It is all so disjointed. A few sentences about my father making Jell-o and then suddenly I'm describing how I wash dishes and what my thoughts are on god. This is normal, though, right? A personal journal is nothing if not a record of one's stream of consciousness. But it still bothers me. But I still crave a structure. I don't always want to live in first person. I want to step outside.

There is more to say about all of this, maybe. This feels incomplete. I've just been whiny and too reliant on contractions. I mightn't couldn't shouldn't wouldn't publish this, but I will will will. I will click "publish" and be accomplished and eager to scratch this off my list.

And she went outside and looked up and her words evaporated into the sky.