Think about the organization of the words into the question and what the position of each word says about that question’s true meaning in addition to the definition of the words themselves, individually, and in combination, and the sounds and tones and intentions, as they are assumed, as they, the words, pass over tongue and teeth to tickle thousands of tiny hairs in two pairs of ears, both the listener’s and the speaker’s. Think about the limitations of answering fully and with confidence or at least without stuttering in real time without one complete moment of pause for clarity in which to not only prepare, but to consider all possible options and pros and cons and potential misinterpretations, of both the listener and the speaker and vice versa and with roles reversed, before making noises in response to the previous noises (now gone and without echo), which were made within similar limitations, but with the upper hand of prior knowledge and punctuation. Think about the increasing density of air over time as a room of any and all volumes is filled to burst by complete/utter silence ticking on, ticking on, and taking on a life all its own. Think about that silence broken, not by answers, right or wrong, but by the friction of physical shifts in the position of a body seeking comfort, and think about the collection of those shifts circulating faster and faster and combining with the silence to form a constant aching drone that further increases the pressure the air in the volume exerts on both bodies, unequally, but reciprocally, each second by each single second by each tick by single tick tick tick tick. Think about the continuously circling hands of an endless clock slowing to an almost-stop. Think about action over inaction and instead of words and in response to the words already spoken. Think about the fight or flight response. Think about the Big Questions – Life and Death – and Their Importance, and the increasing size of This Question and Its Importance in relation to those Big Questions and to Life Itself and Death Itself individually and Individuality and Making a Statement and a Good Impression and erase all that you thought and all you thought you knew. With this fresh slate, in a state of forced calm, turn the table – ‘Can you-’

And it’s repeated.

the end of new beginnings – writing w friends i

A bottle of white wine.
Sleeping pills lined in rows.
A count of six by seven doses.
For two month’s sweet dreams.
For a final kiss goodbye*

To whomever this finds, I hope it finds and leaves you well, for it wasn’t all that tragic, this life, except in its conclusions. As I see it passing by, I think I’ve learned my lesson.

The first time I died was with the death of my father. Something had happened just prior. I pouted in the grass contemplating, counting cares. I heard a familiar voice call my name and pretended I did not hear. I heard that voice call louder.

It changes in a moment to become what it will always be. A collapse, a glass shatters, shards and splinters, voices, pained, call out in directionless unison, but none to say goodbye. There were too many broken parts to put back together whole.

Abrupt endings, inconclusion, but expected, nonetheless. The death of a parent to a child hit me as it has hit many, I am sure, and many more still to come. The death of a spouse to a parent is something more unique, I thought. I reasoned*. Still think**. Still reasoning***.

You hear ‘suicide,’ and wonder what you’re missing out on. There is something glamorous to a self-made death. It wasn’t that glamorous. It isn’t. She put a blade to both wrists to see what was inside. Only blood, but less and less. She left no note behind. I, too, contained less, reduced to calm through numbness, time paused, waiting for blueshift.

You move forward,
You create the past,
You move on and on and on.
Forget the words never said.
Forget to say them too.

There were days like this, until there were not, until there could never be again. The crowds were silent with their blended noise, and the air grew still and stagnant. Boredom took over and time began again. One day, I left before the sun rose. To Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, and some places in between. To the Times as They exist discretely, ad continuum.

I continued to leave. I left before too much could start. A pair minus one, Jack high, at best. It was right at the start. She said She would follow, but I couldn’t take the lead. I chose Our paths as They diverged. One Day, I said They would cease to. They wouldn’t cross again.

I left, then she left, then another she left as well, then I left her, and her again, having found another. Then a transfer of work. A quit of a job. A period of utter solitude. Another She, until a Child miscarried. A sentence began, met with writer’s block, never to end, repressed without consideration. Couldn’t utter One Day lies.

Another now,
another still,
another swallow.
Biting tongues,
decide defeats.

I am the sum of those who stand next to me. I am a sum of nothing. The loves in my life are lost, else they have been given away, and the little of myself that is left, I give it all with words, as the memory of voices hangs in the air. Seven by six down to one with nothing more to follow. I’ll think about their voices until I hear them clearly. I’ll say my goodbyes, hope for hello agains.

This is the end of new beginnings.

something to look forward to, a tiny tragedy

A full thought escaped her lips until again she returned to a static like pure silence. It was a blurb. It was one small thought that bubbled over when it became – when it appeared to become – too much to keep contained. It was the unfamiliar furrow of her unmarked brow that struck me as odd before the realization of her words containing meaning. It was this one expression that called my attention back to what was being said. A moment of lucidity, and to think it nearly missed! (I have trained myself to avoid being consumed by too much insignificance). I am remiss to forget specific words and phrases, and to ask would be for clarification on some forgotten fever dream. I am left to use my own twist.

It was something about life…something about life going on without it feeling much like living. It seems she stopped feeling like she was living her own life. Instead, it felt like a series of passive actions starting from the point of settling into this place…starting from the point of getting comfortable in just one point of life. It stopped feeling like living a life and turned into something distinct and different. The motions became the same to the point of blurring, and the days were only known because they continued to be named. The feeling was consistent. It was something to be counted on. It didn’t feel much like living.

Her voice changed cadence and what followed reduced what had just passed to a hardly-ever-there. She planned a holiday. She needed an escape from the same old everyday-to-everyday. I supposed, ‘That’ll be good enou-That’ll be good for you.’ A nod in agreement. A strained but well-meant smile in reply.

I suppose that is enough for some, and possibly for the many, the most, and the nearly all as well. A stay at some resort on some beach, by some different-for-you but still all-too-similar waterfront. I suppose this is enough to remain stably contented with immotion.

She needed a vacation from the place to forget about its stasis. She’ll come back with a tan, and it will say to the world (without additional content) that she had had some recent fun. She will have some fun, and she will take some pictures; I will see them on her Instagram, and maybe ‘like’ or even like a few. She will give pause to the feeling that life is not living, and then return to the static of the contentless chatter, recontented, and, in general, of a brighter hue.

My hue skews too dark. This pause seems like a pacified delay after being condemned to crucifixion. This pause feels like what it is: a way to stay in place. I stayed silent (seeing no point in fueling unlit fires). I stayed in place. I watched the personification of excited complacency making shapes with the features of her face, as her brow settled into its relaxed steady-state, and her eyes lit up to tell me more about the plans she couldn’t wait to keep.

writer’s block

What is on my mind is that nothing is on my mind, and nothing is on my mind because I have grown out of practice. Out of the practice in thinking in words and phrases and meanings. Out of practice in typing words on blank pages so that they say something more. Blank facing blank producing blank after blank after blank. My mind is blank and has been allowed to remain undeterred in its unfocus. I allowed distraction. I forget how to use words.

To forget how to use words – no, not how to use words – but how to use words without abuse. Something more about respect paired with the way language is used: something meant as a commentary that comes off as a criticism: something about the meaning/interpretation deviation as an abuse in and of itself (to the reader, the writer, the language, and (what it always comes back to) time).

‘Respectfully’ is not how We are taught to write, but rather, with technical correctness. I have been reading the abuse of language more than I have been writing with attempted care: I have been editing technical papers. Papers written out of the writer’s native tongue. Papers written in my own native tongue. I am distracted with revisions and I am blurring twisted tongues and I am reconstructing mincing meanings to be left with nothing of my own to say.

My writing is self-aware. It knows it is writing – no, not that it is writing – it knows it is something written. It talks about it openly, to, I think, at times, a fault. I discuss it openly. I make mention of too much that comes to mean too little. I wonder if I am petty when I write too little down. I wonder if I am petty as I read too little back. I don’t think so, not always, but I’ll try to write more.

the jumping off point

I have this dream where I step off of a carousel and watch it burn while it spins. The smell of melting paints and plastics causes cancer in the air. Horses scream while they run in circles. People still queue, not stepping out of line. I mean no harm by this: we were going nowhere. I can only save myself. 

I have this dream of stepping off a train and watching it depart after my arrival. The smell of rain in the air absolves me of my sins. The mud is something purifying here. I begin again somewhere with a name and with memories, neither of which are mine. I mean to make them mine.

I am inspired by the idea of transitioning the not knowing exactly where I am or what I want from the existential to the physical. I am inspired by the idea of focusing on the lower needs of the hierarchy.  Our wings are melting, I gather. I hunt for a solution. The remaining consideration feels like a lingering stagnation. I linger on a lesson in desireless death.

I’ve learned too many lessons and can’t remember to forget them. I remember where I am going and can’t forget what I will leave behind. The taste is basic bitter but to stay is acid drenched defeat. The answer is what seems exciting, not to leave well enough alone. I will leave well enough alone.  

in space

To be here again in this space this same space that I helped him secure so we could move to our separate apartments so we could both get some space. To be here again in this space this space that I carried furniture into to fill this space that I framed posters to decorate.  To be here again in this space with my shoes and my coat on the floor same as before with myself on the floor sitting on the pillows on the floor looking at watching his face. His face. His face is pointed at me and his mouth is moving and I am trying to focus but it is all just a haze. I am trying to focus on his words but it is all just a haze and I have been dizzy for days and it’s all too much right now.

Time is collapsing air is thinning hope remains but I’m just dreaming just sitting here just staring back just trying to listen thoughts fighting back – “I lost you” – I pause at the claim am brought back by this claim back for a minute as I sit there in silence looking startled seen as startled he tries to explain – “…in the conversation. I lost you for a second.” I snap back return to where I am. I start I talk I say keep saying keep looking for some sensible excuse – “I zoned out” – I zoned out I felt weird about it all I had to leave had to leave but did he lose me am I lost? How did we get here does he see me did he see me in the rush?

I’m here right now I am here I am screaming but it’s only in my head and the talking continues just continues all the same just some hip hop talk just some new backwards hat and he pulls it off he always pulls it off. I tell him this I tell him he gets away with it but he always gets away with it he always gets away and it suits him well I let him have it I have to have no choice but to watch his show and tell. I let him go. The new additions the parts I’ve missed what else has happened since I last sat here with him like this on this same floor this very same floor in this very same space that I helped him secure so we both could have some space.

a broken watch

The sun comes up just as I make it through another night. There is not a moment to waste on rest. I am restless. I remember when I used to know which day it was, but I can’t remember how long it has been. I check my watch to see what time it is. Hands point to 2 and 10 without a differentiation between am and pm. Hands always point to 2 and 10 here, but the time doesn’t matter where it stands still.

I think about a fixed point in time. I think about when I decided to move. The decision was finalized with a security deposit; $3,000 is too much to throw away, so I’d have to spend another $50,000 to cut my losses. Every moment after that point was a cost to be sunk. Every moment after that point was in the interim. The decision had been made, but the plans were not in play, and the clock still pointed to 2 and 10 while I prepared to begin again.

I began again. Not everything changes when everything changes: there are remnants tangled to form what lasts. I piled my remnants in my car and drove with them as the sun set, arriving in a new home as the sun, once again, rose. It would be symbolic, but it is only what is true. I am cursed to only tell the truth. I reflect all of the imagery as it plays its proper part, but it is only ever true.

I reflect. The sky is a little bit bigger in the south, than it is where I am from, but the stars are still snuffed out by smog in the city. The people are the same, but the faces are unfamiliar, that is, except for one. The hands on my watch point to 2 and 10, precise in their consistency, to remind me of all that stays the same even though the days are different.