"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Imagining Surrender

Sometimes I want to spread my arms in surrender, drop responsibilities like a sack of groceries. I want to lord over them with my arms crossed, stare down at all that mess as if it were someone else's. I would watch the eggs run and marvel at the glorious golden yolk, foregoing any inclination to save them. The whites would sizzle on the pavement as the paper sack reaches....wicking moisture like a parched pheasant at the well. I would not think about salmonella, or litter, or which bits belong in green waste and which to recycle. I would say "Ain't my job!" like I wear a hard hat and drive a back hoe, and anything outside my job description is a union infringement. INFRINGEMENT, you hear me!

I'd wager against my contents and equally for it. I would watch jars tumble and roll...place my nickles against olives and double or nothing for jam. I'd watch the heat mirage against the bread and imagine the mold building a nest of green down, like it's a beautiful thing...like the eggs belonged there and would incubate, grow, be productive members of the coop! I would not bend at the waist, nor use my thighs to squat in rescue, because somebody is coming....somebody else...(as if, as if)

Sometimes I want to spread my arms in surrender, drop responsibilities like a sack of groceries. But my arms are stiff, and muscle has memory, and as I understand it...there ain't no job description.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Dancer in Doc Martens

One day you will doubt your life, and everything in it. You will try on the days like shirts, discarding one after another as an ill fit. You will buy shirts that hang in the closet, their paper tags...scratchy wind chimes against the flit of your hand over so many choices. You won't know your size, or the colors that highlight your skin. You'll choose a peuce silk that clings to EVERYTHING and makes you look ill or pregnant, and wonder how the hell it even wound up in your wardrobe. You'll put on a sweater to cover the lack of tailoring, and a coat to cover the sweater. The day will be hot and humid and you, a wilting lettuce beneath layers that do not belong.

You'll buy shoes....for shoes are always a good idea. But not these. You will put them on - a nurse in stilettos, a dancer in Doc Martens. You don't know who you are anymore. Just a person with shoes. Too many shoes. You'll throw the shoes against the people in your life, rip clothes from hangers and toss them at their feet until they are mountains of questions. You'll strip from your clothes and stand before the naked stranger.

You will question the slant of your eyes and your hair cut. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH YOUR HAIR? You will pin it up and let it down. You will brush it until it starts to fall into cancerous clumps, which you will pick up and hold beneath your armpits. You will hunch over in a neolithic stance, wondering of your age, concerned with where your childhood went and how long it will take to die.

You will run into the yard and lay your naked body down in the grass, center yourself and pray: "God take me", and He won't, because it is the one prayer that goes unanswered. And your tears will fall steady without sobs, just a river of grief with no distinct beginning and no funeral to attend. You will be startled by the grasshopper that lands on your leg, and again when the leaf falls upon your nipple. You will not know if it is day or night, winter or spring. But soon, you are no longer nude. You are clothed in insects and flora, completely outside your own effort. You rise again to the reflection and a glimmer of recognition dawns...something subliminal that feels known to you. You'll lean your forehead against the glass and look at your out of focus face...

...suddenly it all seems clear as mud.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mask of Evil

It's barely harnessed...
this underlying benevolence that leaks out
from the corners of her disingenuous remarks.

It breathes beneath the surface of her deception
and I watch it straining against the leash
bug eyed and wanting.

Fuck how it strains!
Moorings are no match for this evil...
this way that it bloats

Part of me wants to sit court,
wait for the kind arrangement of features to crack...
watch the lava erupt from her boiling core
her face breaking off and carried away
like little toy boats
disintegrating and helpless in the molten bath

But the wiser self knows
I am a paper craft, and no match for fire.
I row my distance and watch her self destruction
with a telegraphed eye.

(Co-workers. Gotta love 'em. Or not.)

Monday, August 15, 2011


In this baptism
he worships the water
small mind knowing nothing but want
his want having no need
for he merely steps off the inkling of his desire
and into the fulfillment,
as if acquiescence were the soles of his feet

He unzips his arms
reveals the cavity of his chest
the waters rushing over the breakers of his ribs
infantile ideas carried on the rapids
churning down into his groin where they stir primal interests
submerge, resurface, bob, sink, drown.

The simplicity of it baffles me.
I want, I take.
I need, I enter...
unaware his joy is witnessed, photographed, journaled.
Man. Water. Baptism.
The ancient combination.

Over and over he enters, submerged and reborn.
A child joins him, sensing a kindred age.
A woman next, tentative against the spray
but his fingers stroke her conviction and she believes

It is said a little child shall lead them.
And so it was
a toddler in the body of a man.

(Where I work, there are several homes for the mentally challenged nearby. I spent my lunch hour photographing them playing in the park fountain. He almost had me. I was one towel away from going in.)

Monday, August 1, 2011


Sorry folks. I need a blog vacation. I can't get to your posts, I can't write, I can't do much of anything but work. Sorry. I hate it when I can't keep up. I'll be back sometime...