day 12: welcome in the chaos

There is no meaning without just a little bit of chaos. Gather up your gnawed-at wires and all those batteries scattered around your home like miniature rolling pins for miniature pastries.

Walk inside the worry of a wound.

You’ve thought about this for weeks. No, months. (Years sounds far more dramatic. To be able to leave all your alphabets behind in order to enter a place without baggage. Literally. Of course, metaphorical baggage will travel with you near and far, with and without passport. Chaos is defined as: complete disorder and confusion: snow caused chaos in the regionBehavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions. 

We view this as odd, unfamiliar and troubling. But what if we welcomed in this chaos. If it left you to adventure. If it arrived at the answer to all your question marks. If it encouraged more photographs to be lived out loud, rather than viewed behind glass screens.

This is what I mean: On a long train ride from one part of somewhere to another, a human gets up and begins asking every passenger– one-by-one– how their day went. It went a little something like this:

Chaos Encourager: Hi. (spoken to someone stuffed inside a suit perhaps
more expensive than my rent payment) How was your day today?

Traveler 1: (silence)

Chaos Encourager: How are you adjusting to this weather? Did your
feet stay warm? Today, I thought that if I were to title this day,
I might call it a grumble of shivers. Do you ever think like
that? Hey, I really like your tie.

Traveler 1: (silence, then…looks up from cell phone game with
neon colors) Thank you. Thanks for noticing.

I know what you are thinking. There is no way this actually happened, but it did.

We forget to notice what needs to be noticed. Others. The smell of the air. The instrumentation of the rain outside, which may be a bother because it makes everything wet, but it also sounds like a symphony of percussion.

Chaos just means interrupting the norm. The quiet. The undisturbed. 

What are we so afraid of? What if we were to break these habits of looking away? We forget that if we were to lift our heads from cell phone hypnosis, we might find actual meaning to things.

chaosdisorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, uproar, maelstrom; muddle, mess, shambles, free-for-all; anarchy, lawlessness, entropy.  an order to the disorder.

say something nice now.

This body is beautiful simply because it exists. After the mad, the starving, the sliced open-and-out-of memories, the question marks and mangled screams, this body still wakes.

Today, when you are feeling like the wind is too pushy, bend your way toward a moment of kindness.

The moon is polyamorous and will never run out of energy to love someone new. Give it your phone number. Invite it in. Its glow will remind you how illuminated you are.

Bridges are not just meant for jumping. They guide you toward the other side. From Brooklyn to Manhattan. From one borderland to another. Even with your fear of heights, look down, but remain on your level. It is a curious and brave thing to remain sturdy and steady.

Now, you can love. Now, you can love because you are gathering up letters beside your bed that remind you how necessary you are. These letters exist on paper and etched in your skin. Your silences have grown muscular. With tongue and vocal chord. Your silences no longer want to remain still. Now, you can speak up and love without restrictions.

Give up your hiding spaces. You deserve to be seen. In whatever form you take up and in as many ways as possible.

This body is beautiful because it exists. Because after all this time, it still asks questions and takes questions and has even has a collection of answers now.


and so it begins.

Movement. When I think about what leaks from last year into this one, this is my noun. So is pausing. And remaining.

Dance. Deep inside the cacophony of bones, there is a chorus. It still clears its cellular throat. It is tuning up to see if new strings must be added or any need to be removed. It wants to call itself percussion for its yawn. This cavern is not from boredom, but from lack of breathing. I may have gone a whole lifetime not breathing correctly. Even in all my nudities, there are things I have not shown. I am searching for the flexibility to allow me to see the places on my body that have been hiding all these years.

Locate (verb) / Location (noun). Home is not necessarily a place with windows and rent payment. Let this be a year I find it within myself. All these carvings and graffiti notations. Where does the compass of my body direct me to go.

Love (noun). I know you have been alive in me since I could speak you. But perhaps all these years I have been mispronouncing your syllable. I want to be ready for you when you strike me with your toxins. I want you to be ready for me, so my vocabulary is growing. I am studying the stones of this body for you, love. I am renaming every particle of skin for you, love. I am preparing my stories so there will be no more secrets for you, love. And nothing will be left behind because moving forward means gathering up all the leaves that have left us, flattening them for preservation, putting them away to make room for new birth. 

And so it begins.

for cause of disturbance to lower half of body, see page 394

They’ve begun to run.

Run. Body.
Spandex. Body.
Make a mix tape to scream away those pounds. Body.

Winter wrangles air like an aggressive lover. Ties up ankles and wrists and blows frozen exhales against chin & tongue & earlobes. Whatever is exposed will be taken advantage of out here.

Wallets get stuffed into lockers the size of tin lunchboxes/ while the humans rummage around in rooms where bicycles leave no tire marks/ but miles may be reached just from heavy pedaling.

At this age, I am afraid of breaking a hip.
At this age, I worry the sound of my worrying will frighten the young ones away.

They’ve begun to run.

Because December offers too many options for pie and meat comes in so many different flavors and what are belts for but to encourage adjustments and tomorrow? Tomorrow there will be a cleanse. No dirty foods allowed.

They have begun to run.

See the ones with tattoos over scar marks like shark gills.
These lines are how my breaths escape. These lines are my coordinates. These lines are so I don’t forget what’s inside me.

Oh. Body.
Check out that Blood Clot, aggressively bold and voluptuous.
Check out the Gender Peculiarities on that one. Rub against the blur.
Suffocation through trauma? See pages 91-773

Spill homes into center of floor. Dance.

They have begun to dance. See?

Place do not disturb sign against ribcage or a little lower. A little lower. Lower than that. Lower. Create an infection from dissection of cracks. Of streaks. Of discolored disfigurations. There will be there will be a sequel to this bone structure.

Sneak preview: starvation
Sneak preview: a disrobe.
Sneak preview: an amputation or a haircut.
Spoiler alert: relapse.
Choose your own adventure: an experiment with sexuality.
Cliffnotes: Human runs away the sad off body. Eight marathons just to sweat off ages eleven through sixteen. An addiction to corporate-sponsored-spandex. Diet consisting of sharps and monsters. Socially networked social life. Silence. Harassment of fevers.

Advancement of education or mind bruises into a larger size.

Remark on the gratification of filth.
Cite your sources.
Utilize footnotes.
Keep running.
Or dance.
Include works cited page.
What about a table of contents.
See page. See page. See Body.
Run. Body.
Hide. Body.
Suck.It.In. Body.

For cause or reason for irritation, note all of the above.

when you are left with nothing and everything and that is the truth

I need to breathe out the fumes of some people/places/things.

Body wants to snooze, but mind needs to press itself into vinyasana. Clothes climb on, bones unlock bike, make it move, make it wheeze. I pedal toward a yoga class where I find myself getting turned on, tuned in and unbearably aware of every sigh retreating from me.

I watch the women around me. Gender is difficult to ignore in this tight space. I don’t miss the presence of men and perhaps we are all men trapped inside these soft bodies. Yoga does not really leave room to question one’s current gender status.

I remove my jacket and shirt, and notice the scent trapped inside the hair beneath my arms. I love letting this hair breathe out with me. I love the smell of it, spicy like trapped hours and no air flow.

Watch the others to understand where to put my palms, hips in, arms wide. There is a language to this movement and although I do not speak it, I study the gestures of their bodies and allow mine to respond.

Instructor begins with meditational accordion, squeezing air out of its wooden body as we squeeze air out of ours. There is a chant. Her voice is like an extracted cloud; it is unexpectedly magical.

My first tear drop falls. Several thousand to go and then I am free.

how eloquent is beautiful

I find myself swollen from thoughts of beauty:
what is beautiful/ how to define the identity of this world and its stain on bodies.

Sunburnt man on Flatbush and Fulton does sit-ups on a folded blanket and I watch his abdomen form into six-pack containers.

The need for flattened stomach goes beyond gender and home consumption.

As I wait for 3 train at Nostrand station, notice a young woman with pulled back hair rising from either side of her head like brunette fireworks. She is covering up her face with cover-up. 3 train arrives; we sit diagonally from each other and I watch. Several shades of grey eye shadow layering onto eyelids and thick swabs of ink called mascara to lashes and more shadow to eyes, a liner now. Lipstick, three layers and colors and notice that they shine now.

What hides beneath all these sheets of wax and powders and glitter?

Are we actually hiding out beauty or just coloring it in?

This morning, I close my eyes and find my body. Music pours out of cylinder-shaped speaker box and I think about bursting bubbles with my body. There is a Dancer beside me, far enough to hear but not feel. She tells me to choose a part of the body to notice. Eyes closed, I lift my right arm. It pretends it is in water. It pretends it is newly born. It pretends it is smooth.

I turn and turn and turn and turn and turn and turn and fall. I wash the black padded floor with my skin.

Notice your ribs, she says.

I finger them. They start to shift toward the left, then right. My hips grow jealous; they get involved too. Perhaps there is a kick and another turn. A collapse, then rise.

(I think) I am dancing.

She wants to see my text; this is far more comfortable than my body.

We talk about beautiful.
I tell her I used to live in a city where bodies were like robots, hard and mechanical. Thin. Uniformed.

I want to become fluent in the language of my body, so I can speak faster and fondle the eroticism of articulation.

(this is a process/ beyond single night performance/ this is a movement)