Tuesday, November 29, 2011


today i had lentil soup.  i sat down at a table next to an open door.  i felt the cold air on my right cheek and i smiled and the action hurt my face and i remembered that i need to smile more often and i ate lentil soup.

around me there were three boys, three boys laughing in that bright British way.  crooked teeth, wrinkled eyes, they know how to smile. the soup burnt my tongue and they all had heaping plates of tavuk sis (grilled chicken) and the air was cold and so we all kept our jackets on and ate.  people kept walking by and staring; in kadikoy istanbul, we are the only people who speak english.

to say that this has been easy would be a lie. but to say that it is not a grand adventure would also be a lie. i open my bedroom door and step into a mystery. movement is unknown. down this alley there may be apple tea or there may be mittens; to the right there may be the sea or the straight or a mosque or a musician playing eerie twisting tunes, to the left shisha or corn or a rug or a man with bread on his head. but wherever a turn may take me, i must always remember to smile. a cracked lip, a shining eye, i must always smile.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Boy, I wonder where you wander (soft steps, heavy breath) when your icy eyes cloud.  To harrowing depths you descend, sinking for a minute, a fevered hour; shadows and phantoms, what woes reside in this world where you hide.  A stranger (masked, horrifying) incubates inside your skull and sometimes you talk to it, let it play with your muscles, tighten in your fingertips until you slip with shuddering vision and the lightest of heads.  It is all secrets and silence down there; it is not real life, but it is where you choose to live.

And how you push.  All I want is your soft skin and the adventure you once let me borrow.  How we used to play, painted faces, starving minds, we smiled so wide for our camera lenses, a filter and a post.  We walked around in starry circles, tickling the night skies, delighting the dewy grasses.  I wanted to know everything and you wanted to tell me; words fell from our cracked lips as quickly as kisses and we gathered them up and wrapped them in wire and saved them for our rainy days, even though there were none.

I kept telling myself to leap like a flame from my window; the earth and the ethers, your face in my head, my beats paired with yours and I could not, I could not leave you.  Perhaps you are just a rough and tumbled soul, a skinny sapient gambling life and death on a plastered, powdered table.  Or perhaps you are the meanness I hoped could not exist, foolish and selfish, you throw it all away for hours of ephemeral pleasure.  Drain it, drink it, if you can't smoke it, snort it; you work your whole life to keep up, you work everyday to keep your thoughts down.

Boy you were the toughest of loves; a darkness one moment, a tulip the next, rash, mercurial, you and I caught laughing and crying and scraping our knees on a see-saw.  And all I wanted was your soft skin, oiled and inked, and to roll around on your cowboy bed (how bohemian, how bold) with itchy noses and languid limbs, and to run through the soupy gloom, fingers interlaced, our insides all fire and all snow.  I wanted you for two short months.  And I suppose I got what I wanted.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I was a pale girl with golden ringlets, a nose much too big for my young face; my parents called it Roman, and I called it Rhinoplasty (even youth could not hinder my blossoming cynicism).  I was an odd girl; I saw fairies in the flowers and flying fish in the river that swam past our forest-bond house.  My father wove us tales of talking rabbits and read us stories about long, lunar love.  My mother shoved our naked nates out the back door and told us, concisely, lovingly, not to come back in for three hours.  So we ran through the thickets, tanning our hides, stretching our doe-y limbs.  We jumped in the amber waters, reaching our arms for the sandy, dark depths.  We relished in our timbered, lively freedom, our tender years.

In our hidden palace the windows facing the backyard were sky-high, floor to ceiling stoic, staring portals that glowed during the day (a wonder, a spark) and frightened me in the dark.  I would lie facing them for fear of the unknown; in the still moments just before sleep they sometimes showed me sweet, worldly secrets and slipped me into glistening, fancied dreams.

In my eyes (a burst of butter, a mellow green) there is a beach and a clean horizon.  It is the morning somehow, new and fresh and smelling of opals and oceans.  The beach is Odiorne Point; it is small, a tidy corner of the New Hampshire coast, and if one looks out, they might see a miniature lighthouse on a pile of sepia rocks.  The waves here are colder and smooth and unusually clear.  The sand is powder and the air is a swollen skin, sheathing umbrellas and bones in its viscid, shining sinews.

Everything is light in this world; the waves wink and shine and the trees, branch of tinsel, leaf of gold, rise in a slow, glistering gambol.  A rosy vesper, a drop of sun, I am alone with the blankets and buckets of souls past.  A thought, as weighty as thunder, crawls up my neck: how did I get here?  The long grass whispers behind me, an answer and a push: it is mine, this is my world.

In the blushing luster I step forward.  I taste the salt that rides the atmosphere, I see a crest of water.  Rich foam slides towards my toes and I gather it with cupped hands and it disappears faster than I can remember.  My fingers stick in the aftermath and as I kneel, rubbing them in the sand, particles of mountains, through earthen histories piled lightly, I see a flick of red, a glimmer and a flare - in the corner of my left eye, perhaps a trick.  I draw it into focus and it blinds me.  I crawl towards it, hot knees and hot palms.  Tucked in a pocket of shore, before the flutter of my breath, lies a ruby as big as my heart and as small as alone.

I pick it up with a tightness in my throat and hold it with that tightness in my arms.  I stand and the wind lifts my hair around my face, and in my mouth saline strings meet saliva.  The strand in front of me heats with the movement of the planet, the tides, and undulates from the force of feet gone by; moving through the day I see spots of vermillion all around me on the shore, in the rises, between the divots, like cherries in vanilla ice cream, and I collect them.  My dress sags and smarts with the burden of this riddled treasure that is all my own and I stop at the rocks that barricade the sand from the impending water.  With a start and a smile I throw my jewels, my stolen secrets, precious gems, glowing memories into the steel waves.  A mist, and their mass and they are gone.

The sadness that I feel is like the edge of the afternoon, in the receding light when the shadows hold a long loneliness, a knowledge of something you can never have again; I understand now that this world of sultry chance and friscalating, pellucid ethers is nothing but a mirage, an ocular, nocturnal reverie.  The rays dismay me as I lift my lids, and I look at my father who is shaking me and he tells me, with a twist of his lips and the gleam of an eye, that there is no reason to think that what happens in the darkness, inside your body, between the hours, the atoms and your brain, is not real.  Who says?

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It is precisely the fighting.  Broken words and broken hearts, you hold someone you knew in you hands and they are dust; dark as resin, nonsense clings to some intangible and immutable truth.  It is the face of something twisted that hides under seething skin.  Red devil, red eyes, you work your tears through.  It is the question, the battle, the bags of hot malice that I drop on the remnants of a conscience, yours and mine, what we think is past tense.

And the present is hurt, a lock in your chest, weights on your waving arms, heaving and retreating, our glinting teeth are sharper now; I will eat your fondness for what was soft has hardened.  And it is impossible, venomous, vindictive... If only we would stop, stop and drag our dripping cassocks into the river, stop and wash in silence.  Please lets be silent.  Please let us stop.

Et Je me suis trompee.  I have made a mistake, let me take the seconds back and let me turn.  And this is what I told you.  That was my mouth, my muscles moving, my face flashing inches away.  This is the hurt that I have caused.  And this is the pain that shows, now in your elbows, now in your soul.

This is what we did together, this is what we made.  This is the hate, quick, lurid, that we built in our bodies?  our bastion, made of stone, made of coal, our touches, once yielding, are rigid.  What you wrapped around me was a fleeting untruth.  This is what we chose to do, and these are the consequences of our impetuous decisions.

But it is over, and what remains?  A void where a picture once hung... between the yellowed wallpaper, where the full pattern, colors still bold, shows, something good is gone; something that cannot be replaced or reconstructed... for nothing fits the woolly, amorphous outline of a complex and  affectionately singular, now damaged, bond.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


It was all new.  I gave myself to whim and looked down the steps, down the steepest hill, and held my pillow tight, crossed arms, crossed heart.  A haze of midges hangs in the air before the keen, westfalia-bound faces; night is nearing and they gather just over the golden silhouette of exhaust.  Through the flaxen fumes I meet resplendent, radiating Marisha (she has shadows in her eyes) and her lover (he has ice).  We are all in the bus, shining hair, mustard limb... the midges follow our palpitations.

Our arrival brings us neon bracelets and small cups.  We drink from these cups, drink amber liquid in the lilting, April light.  Amidst the cacophony we ripple, hunting cattails, a game of hide and seek.  A wan breeze, the clouds turn to ash, we race through the buttery, black air to our resting places.  A lull, one final hush; we make peace with our bodies.

The sun rises, our honeyed mother, and steams us from sleep.  Enter the day! Quickly ripened, we spin from the earth, our toes just skimming the dust; we are lost among grassy ribs, the curvature of a spine, some faint structure.  A tilt of the head, a twist of the lips, our enemies are our friends, we smile and wheel as petals fall from a tumultuous, bright sky.  This is the tupelo love and no one is left out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


We step out.  Out of bounds and into the streets.  Our glasses clink (clear vials of prized poisons) in the tumult and the sweet perfume.  And who wouldn't want this world?  Secrets behind shimmering slips of hair beside baritone laughter.  Perhaps there are too many of us, or perhaps there are just enough.

We move, all water, all skins, bottles and limbs, lips and eyes, all noise.  Bright lights, bright future, what we move towards.  The silent seconds skim through us, uninhibited by our rollicking joys.  We are spry, and this is our soul, our ego, caprice.

the after-shadows fall on this gypsum city.  with the umbra we sit, legs of sands, eyes of suns.  this is the evening, raven air, pot of dust, what we built is hidden.  we are architects denied our dark materials.  and we are two feathers on one wing

Monday, February 21, 2011


Do not touch the walls.  A clamor, an echo braids the dark.  A door sides open, and another, a screen, a  secret transit, a passage through furnished jungles (floral prints, porch prints) and ebony deserts (a sandbox, two courts, crossing lines); watch the chaise (just there!) and the acorns.  All  inhibitions left in drawers, folded beside bathing suits and linens.  Wiry hair (a lovely triangle, it need not be covered) aged and course, behind downy limb.  Enter the night, roseate ridges rise to meet the satin umbra; perhaps a boy (look down) or a girl child, the gleam of willowed nates, under a clothesline, though a fence, a race, a cry, a peel of joy opens and curls.  More follow, breasts, some heavier with countless affections, legs, a collision (an embrace) and a fall, black swans in dark waters.  Air, teeth, sharp chins, wild eyes ascend.  What's this?  A grey mouse?  Quelle surprise!  Cool synthetic on misty, pearling hides (how precious, how dear).  No running, please enfants!  Michelle!  A metallic groan (no, I protest!); frame after fey frame climb rung over rung.  A bucket, a broken handle.  A pass and a tidal wave.  A world of pirates and mermaids (all nude, all lively) in a ceramic lagoon.  A meteor, a light in a charcoal sky; trains of tinsel fall, on toes, blanched ears.  Steam rises off seraphs, silken skins, sequined waves.  What is this place?  Stained feet, hot stones.  A memory in a gold frame, it hangs in the wooded channels of our minds.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I stare at the light on my ceiling, nacreous, coruscating confetti.  I am rushing across the maps in my mind.  I cannot sleep.

I think of eucalyptus trees, brocaded bark, the softest of yellows; I would braid the branches through my hair.

We drove up the northern coast, through a great divide.  We found a secret bay, a silence, a breath.  The ocean was lost in the land, the waves kissed the banks.  It was raining, wet skin, wet lips; outside it was all eucalyptus.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


My best friend, lost.  Her beauty (she is beautiful): smokey, wholesome, supple.  We did everything together.  What a world we had!  Vanished, spun to darkness, silence.

We were a splendid pair, our lives the bright laces, obtuse, riotous, on the simplest pair of gray shoes, bumping and skipping - oh we dirtied ourselves in amusing endeavors!  We planned everything.   Maps and stories and secrets on pillows, shared slumbers with sugarplums fairies, spoke of stories untold, treasures undiscovered, rubies in the sand, if only we would look closer.  Our procedures measured carefully, written again, strange strategies, only to be crumpled (we are wild, we are whim!) and thrown to the garbage.  As we grew, our plans expanded into others, lovers, lively frames, places rashly trashed, we dove into our grimy bins!  So full, so complex, we were swimming amid white waters and paper fish.  Phantasms and shadows, sharks or spinning blades, of doubt pulled at us; a hint of despair, could it be?  Do we dream differently?

It was a slow process, untying a double knot, loops cemented in one thousand days of clay; one I regret and a regret I live with.  This is life, peculiar and extraordinary... this is what happens, and what continues.

It was a though there was a field; ravishing, beguiling, the slithering grasses, clandestine, whispers of possibility in golden, sinking beams.  We were both drawn to it, curious beings, girls.  It was as though we ran through it, only seeing the space, scarcely conscious of each other, our sister, twin soul.  We ran, hushed, breathless, me for the birds and her for the birches.  The bark on her hands was as soft as the wings on mine.  Flutter.  It was as though, in our rapture, in our release (oh world!  What wonders you kept from us!) we did not see the night come.  It was as though we sat in the snakes and watched each other, our glowing faces (bright eyes, wide smile, ordinary, so natural) wane into a universe we thought was our own.  What tricks you infinite devil!  What temptations! We were enchanted, ensconced in honeyed spells outside of which reality grew, her grandfather ailed.  She awoke, shaken back to sadness, the cold, the salient drip of tears.  I stayed, viscous illusions under my feathers, sticky fingers.  In my absence the old man died.  Our friendship faded beside his figure, wise and comfortable, layered.

It was as though we missed each other, our hands briefly touching as we walked between bodies and pavement, mistaking one-another for a stranger, not even raising our eyes, brushing away wind-blown bangs, to confirm that fleeting, momentary sense of familiarity.  One second, an echoing laugh, a ringing, distant call, gone with the pungent fumes of cigarette, just out of reach, around a sharp corner in time, the sidewalk ending.

Where do you hide sweet friendship?  We will find you.