Migration

Against hip, an odometer.

My bones go twenty-two miles above speed limit but no one is watching.

My blood is without signal, so the only music I hear is static and a hum of talk radio.

The check-engine light blinks against my knees and I wonder what would happen if I never turned left or right but just remained forward. Would I fall? What corporate chained coffee shop might I crash into?

It is too easy to write that I am in search of the wild I buried in Nebraska and Colorado.

It is far too complex to mention that I’ve contemplated jumping off a diving board made from rainfall and seaweed.

I threw a party for my feet somewhere between Chicago and South Dakota but they never showed up.

I collected fourteen speeding tickets while living in New York City and I never even owned a car.

When we look up and the moon is being chased by its shadow and everyone from above and below has traveled days just to see it and the one who lives beside me kisses me back into calmness while the earth grows dark like underneath soil and the water still waves even from far away and everything seems possible again.

what do you live for?

(Inspired by my students. Inspired by the writers who don’t even know they are writers, until they write.)

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I live for that line. The combination of words that, when placed together, shake and stir minds. Knowing words are already there, waiting and breathing. Bones breaking and forming until. Until I pluck them from books or mouths and create a combination that unlocks everything.

I live for the moment all my veins and twists make sense to me. The moment my body speaks back in a dialect I can finally understand.

I live for my father, who never closed his door to me, even when I was at my worst.

I live for the book I haven’t read yet.

I live for the books I haven’t written yet.

I live for the moments I have yet to experience. And the art I’ve yet to see. And the border crossings I’ve yet to cross.

I live for my passport, which one day I will fill up.

I live to free the parts of me I have put on hold. To give them time and space to speak up. To give my body and mind a chance to re-introduce itself.

Yeah. I live for that.

is this thing on?

Check the heartbeat of your city. Are the traffic lights stuttering? Is there congestion on its street corners? How smooth is its street-flesh? When was the last time it had a full check up?

I’ve got enough calluses on my feet to remind me that I am city-living. I inhale the beautiful soot of new york and get lost. I travel without electronic directional device, so when I turn incorrectly, I ask human beings: Where am I?

Over ten years minus about six months without health insurance and this earth can be quite scary without back-up sometimes. Several people in my life have told me to intentionally get lost: Go without maps and allow yourself to study parts of the wind you weren’t expecting to meet. Three years ago, a beautiful German with the blondest of dreadlocks told me: When you make the wrong turn, it becomes right.

So I turned my maps into paper airplanes and floated onward. Careful of the cracks and and inconsistency of sidewalks, I lifted up each foot so as not to fall. I wanted to see everything and yet feared falling. Suddenly, I realized I was collecting more fears. Choking and getting sick and infections and side-effects and migraines and whooping cough and chicken pox–even though I received it in my youth and it no longer exists.

I still wanted to be aimless and hippie and hunt and exist, yet I worried about the contagion of city.

Now, I am incorporating vocabulary back into my speech such as: HMO, copay and referrals. I am searching for doctors in my plan. Suddenly, I feel like an adult because I have…..health insurance.

I have deeply mixed emotions about this body I live in. I lost the keys a few times and I’ve had to break in. So, there are cracks and creaking floorboards inside me. There are tiny slits where the mice get in. There are drafts and mold, but it seems to be rent stabilized, so here I am.

Suddenly, I feel like I can address this body in ways I have been waiting to. Ready to see some doctors. Ready to articulate my sick. Prepared to get my heart checked.

forgiving.

on the way to you
was writing verses about you
done with writing realized
was headed in the wrong direction
……Vera Pavlova  (Translated by Derek Walcott)

So instead of inserting your name against the one inch line where words go, I added mine. I have spent these months learning my way out of your presence, but it is my own that has left me this alone.

Last night, I sat beside another and we spoke about forgiveness. When your syllable came up, I could feel the noise of your teeth and spine. This used to make me curdle, but I am learning that to move on, one must move through.

There are humans out there walking out of marriages. Leaving children behind or stains of sterling silver on fingers. A poet recently asked me if I ever wanted to get married again. Again. As though I have already. And now I realize that I have. If marriage is a union, I have engaged in such. And if the opposite is separation, I have felt that as well. So would I do this again? Yes. And no. I am housed inside that no, until I forgive. All this time, I thought it was you, but it’s been me all along.

I need to forgive me.

Years ago, I traveled to the Netherlands, hunting. With weaponry of tiny red notebook (given to me by a handsome dreamer) and black ink pen, I spent every day searching for something in me to care about. I wrote poems with strangers, smoked pot with a beautiful German who gave me strict directions that life is about getting lost. Maps are meant to be written on, not listened to. He told me lost is where one is found. So each day, I hopped buses and walked new streets, misplacing direction. I gathered stories by people in need of sharing them. I ate an expensive meal with a stranger who wanted to know all about poetry and life in New York. I sang a memorial of candlelight and tears in a church. I was desperately trying to forgive all of my selves.

None of this is easy and when love leads us on, it is distracting. And terrifyingly beautiful.

I forgive you.

All this music I distract myself with and the food I fondle with my teeth and tongue and the poems and long walks in cracked air and the conversations with strangers and the ways in which I grow addicted to chaos and grey……..leads me here.

Just a few days ago, I articulated [one of] my trauma[s] into a box and sent it toward the west. I am writing my way out of these bones. Metamorphosing into something I can connect to and trust. All those years I called myself an atheist because I could not believe in myself (so how could I possibly believe in an other).

I’ve inserted my name into this meditation. Repetition will lead me forward…closer to who or what I want to believe in. A different kind of union between self and love.

alligator wine.

clouds drip away from the sun/ crowd of branches like/ skinny shivers of/ summer’s left behind.
One does not need to travel six hours to arrive at an end, but there is something about this clean air that allows room to gasp away these ghosts in my luggage.

On a Saturday night, a human with hair hungry like mine, screams out the intoxicated wails of alligators, drunk on the lust of wine.

I sing about home, harmonizing with the experimental strums of ukeleles and guitar chords.

There is so much beauty in being alone. And this does not need to be about loneliness. In fact, I am surrounded by an audience of stimulants. That grass darting out from beneath layers of snow like green, spiky freckles. That sexy hippie at food co-op. The flavor of this farmer’s market feast. This laughter, contagious and marvelous. An unzipped secret from front pocket because the space is safe now and so are the ones beside me.

On a Monday, I gather inside a room full of queers and activists. I share a story from my past, no longer present but still a part of me. Suddenly, there is a dialogue. Embrace of collarbones and tears. This is why we speak. This is why we create. This is why we travel.

 

gathering of rainbows

Follow the green bus. It has been gutted and gathers all those on the way toward (their version of) enlightenment.

What are you in search of?

Several years ago, I hunched back from weight of extensive backpack full of words and clothes over border into Amsterdam. Met poets and Germans and a beautiful psychology student and a doctor and a lesbian who told me she wanted to write like a writer. I fell in love with the foreign side of the moon. I was searching for closure from love in order to make room for more.

On an evening where everything has been watered from a full day of rain, I gaze into the eyes of a Poet who has just come back from several journeys. He tells me of his desire for lust in all forms and I mention to him my recent wanderings within various humans.

I want to gather myself into rainbows and find a hippie to love, I said. I want to burrow into the soil and smell the layers of earth that rarely get noticed. I want to be kissed by a human that understands all my silences……..

Recently, I re-opened several scars and tripped over some love and lust; there has been blood and guts that decorated many Brooklyn sidewalks. I have poem’d and performed on stages, unwrapping these layers of wounds in order to make sense of it all.

Now. I am thinking about a Canadian waterfall. I am contemplating a meditation of disemboweled behaviors and thoughts. I am considering a train ride to a French-speaking province. Or I just may root right here.

What are you in search of?

timidity of tumbleweeds

A human up north howls on a thursday, slips thunderous moon rocks from beneath tongue into poet’s sockets. There is so much symphony in your satellite, how can one focus on mathematics or meals when you exist. There is no wall there is no lean there is only congestion of solitude. What do you mean you want to slide your memory behind my knees. We walk we walk away we walk around we walk until     until there is someone who meets us  and when that someone is found, there are splinters and cocked mouths. Enter storefronts: speak about what began before the scaffold. Call out a name when you wail against another and pregnant the heart to feel sight again.