spirituality of kinetics

Dear Kazim,

The wind huddled against my back in the earliest hours of morning. I call this an encouragement to remain. Turbine tickles my spine. Tell me about your clarity.

You wrote: “I am a man with many arrows inside me, each pointing in a different direction.”

I wonder how many arrows exist in me. When the wind gets involved, does it dishonor the direction I should have gone in?

Kazim, there is so much lust in me lately. Might you call it impure if it exists for the moon or that banjo ukelele I plucked in tiny music shop off west fourth street? Even this wind raises my skin into an erect question mark. I am unsure of where I should go from here. However, what I do know is that I do not need a home in order to birth these words. A wise human recently reminded me that spaces exist all over this earth to hug me into another sentence or stanza.

There is so much music surrounding me: Howl of wind. Percussion from moon beating against my hazel. You in my hands with your words and hunger– not for food but for more prayer.

Over in the midwest, two lovers say goodnight to each other as they split into different time zones. On the east, a poet contemplates a jump from unstable home toward collapsible tent. All of this is just another page marked as necessary. As you find your way through hunger, I find mine through displacement.



even in doubt there is conviction

Dear Air.

I call you this because I do not see you. And I’d rather call you something that maybe you haven’t been called before. I write letters to you but they pile themselves into my palms and my arms shake. My wrinkles drown beneath the words I do not send you. But if you are all around me then I just may leave these notes on my body. You will find them as you wrap yourself into around me. Forgive my misspellings or unintelligible gasps. This language is heavy and I am tired and I am tired and I am tired. My prayers are edible and I forget to chew and there is choking and sometimes the spice causes me to lose control and when it is bland I rub my sweat into its soundlessness. You will never find me on my knees and my hands do not clasp and I do not wear beads or count blessings. The songs are only about the soil I wish cluttered around my bones because blood is too thin and much more grows out of dirt and clay.

Dear Wind.

I call you this because I hear your hum. And even in my tears, you climb into my salt and press them away. The other day, you lifted me up from path toward underground subway. My toes flew for a moment. If I threw paint against your invisible, you’d be stained glass. You’d be oil slick puddle of rainbow. Believe? Does it matter? I feel and this sense does not need to be in buildings or engage in holy. I do not need to memorize your songs; I have my own. I will not starve or separate or cling. The thing is, I’m still here. I’m still here.

That is enough.

an aftermath of color

What is found outside are car alarms collapsing into sound. An eerily glimpse of sunlight and bird chirp and shadow casting of branch against small rooftop and leaf shimmy and church bell.

What is also found are the wanderings of water with no other place to go than haunt the tunnels and potholed streets and unconscious tree stumps.

When light is taken away, what is left. What may be plucked from the darkness.

*shapes of candle flickers
*tracing laughter with tongue and fingertips
*making love or masking love or marking loath
*words stuck onto unseen walls with spit and torn books for when the light arrives again

* * *

Sirens have been consistent throughout this storm. All this wind. All this name-dropping. Sandy. Sandy. Sandy. When will the humans be allowed underground again, Sandy. Where did the homeless ones go if you’ve added to that number and the shelters are full. Where are we putting them, Sandy? Everyone keeps talking about the food they are cooking, the food they are eating, the food they are stuffing up their full bodies and I wonder how many welcome mats no longer have a porch to nap on. And I wonder how many photographs got washed away.

A woman in Staten Island gives birth as the death toll rises to 50. A new baby fits inside the palm of a young mother’s hand while funerals are planned with no way of getting there.

People wander streets mourning the dead, mourning the corpses left in the street, held captive by police tape.

Say a prayer. One you’ve never practiced before. One you’ve been saving for a time like this. Say it twice. Keep saying it. Stick it into the ground like a rooted seed. Wait for it to grow into something. Like a new house. Or a sturdy bridge. Or a roof. Or a fourth wall. Or a staircase. Or a walkway back to the city that never sleeps that may need a nap after all this…

wind advisory for a tree

Gather your flashlights, candles, batteries, blankets.
Gather your bottles of wine, bottles of pills, push bottles away from windows.

Find enough water to fill your bathtub.

Stay away from your windows.
Stay away from the water.
Stay away from the wires blowing, pulling, sparking.

Publicize all your photos.
Illuminate your suffering.
Compare life to an apocalypse.

As we stay inside our various-sized homes during a hurricane, many of us worry over very different things.

Some may be fearful over losing electricity, internet, the ability to watch the neon haunt of their television screen.

Some may be worried for their babies, children, dogs too fearful to pee outside in this.

There are those that are worried over their property, flooded basements, drowned cars, inability to get to their manicure appointment in the morning.

On day two (or three, if you count the prepping of fear), what I worry about is a tree. The one outside my window with roots of burnt brown and tips of red, green, orange, yellow. Branches so skinny, you could not imagine enough power to withstand this wind. And yet…and yet….there may be strength found even in the gaunt.

Last night, I watched the wind gain power. 30 mph towards 40 and 50. In some areas, it reached 80 miles per hour. This tree, too grandiose to be named, blew closer to my window. There were moments I felt I could touch it, had I opened my window. Had I ignored the rules to leave everything closed and locked.

It bent and swayed. Some leaves were pulled off. Some drowned in the flooding below. Some leapt toward the green fence below and survived the water.

I can locate with my eyes a long branch reaching in various directions. It did not survive. At least twelve people in New York did not survive this. More than fifty homes in New York did not survive this. What does it mean to survive this?

As I write, I watch the sky exchange color palette of grey white white to blue white blue. Clouds are pressed firmly against each other and dancing toward another direction. Who is leading? Cumulo-nimbus or cirro-stratus? And now the blue is getting upstaged by the grey and the wind bullies the tree, pressing it toward the ground. The wind wants the steal this tree’s lunch money. The wind wants to pickpocket wallets out of homes. This wind cannot be trusted.

What does it mean to survive all this?