Tuesday, December 29, 2009


There's a tame status quo holding back the inevitable evaporate. Where did the French develop the frantic sense of vintage delicacy? Where did I come down with it? What is it that's impossibly beautiful about Calvin & Hobbes? Did we all live it out? From whence comes the sound of the entire cosmic chorus, and can anyone determinatively fit it into my headphones? Does a whole string of Ys ask or answer? Do you hear the sparkle, and will it sound as swell on the rockabilly revival?

I'm starting to feel the after-malaise spreading through the social networks, enfeebling and surrealing. Can't I call Alexander and ask to do the day all over again? We could strike all the same poses and dance to the same music, and it would be strange and false and unholy. We could look almost the same, and wrap our lips around our teeth like nothing's changed. The months would be almost invisible on our faces, but the growth rings are set in and some things never peel back.

Sometimes, every day, I want to steal back summer downtown and prove how bad I'm willing to keep the dream alive. Why won't I ever have as much to say as Jonathan Richman? Why can't I throw ahead to the overdone and choose again? Why have I had the same breakdown three times this month at least? Call me up and break me out of back-and-forth living miniature redux. I don't know where you keep yourself, so walk me home & far away and take me where the walls are just words and the floor feels like waiting to dance. Stop adjusting to the anti-glorious! Our chandeliers hang in great loose swags of tulle, you're giving up pretense, and I never passed up any show business in these shoes. Blood and onions smell so much alike it's a wonder a vamp like me can keep anything down.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I want to rewrite your brief career in fiction writing. I'm sucking on my pen and sending you back to September, before you'd slipped into something I can't dissuade you from. I fell through the floor of that tower, once, love, and if I know you've the energy to take down cement with your fingernails, I don't know how to talk you into it.

Up all night with the television on won't erase the strain of suspicion all through your tendons. It seeps in instead, greying matters, seeding nightmare and washing out color. I can't stand the awful morning-after, the bleak and the chill that comes of waking early near someone you haven't loved in too long.

There will always be affection, darling. I'm just a girl and you just were. We're both chasing with the boys nowadays, dropping femme for fatale and rotting our teeth on candy before we realize that someday we'll be too old for this. Like as not I'll be chasing you down again, summer and winter after. There's always a season between ours. We can dream beside each other, but I'll never make the trip and you'll never see as me.

Is there a whole coterie who'd take my being? I'm just sitting alone, in bed, breathing away the stabbing pains in maroon felt boots. The rabbit fur is quiet around my calves and I ought to sleep. Facebook wants me to reconnect with a girl dead more than a century now, but Max's problems are enough to keep anyone up at night.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Home Records

I came up with one ingenious solution too late, one too dim, one for the ages and one only as long as the tape stays sticky. I'd like to say I'm flying across the water because it sure feels like there's a much bigger gulf between here and there, but a corner of Lake Michigan ain't really no beach at all.

I don't care that there's only one song I want to hear when I'm cooking alone, because there's only one song for rainy-afternoon crêpe shop and future Catholic-school dropouts, always the kids the most fun to know. Later on it's going to start flooding and we'll all be knee-deep in New Orleans and a few other places besides, but I'm going to curl in Michael's bed and cry and watch college boys sail a kiddie pool through the street. "Do you consider yourself the, the s-word?" asks the other Michael, Michael I'll get yet. The what? Good God, young man, I'm just a jaded vixen.

That was your word, Mariah, no? Tell them I'm jetting off regardless, north to see clean snow and Paul, lamblike, freshly shorn and too deep in grass. I won't be warm again for months.

I changed my tickets to window seats, so I can lean and peer and watch Orion fade away over the lights of the city. I suppose trains overhead could be so surreal if you're not used to getting off the ground, but I am one of all things and for $2.25 I could go, go to her doorstep right from the terminal end of the blue line. This is how a city is supposed to run, you know: bright in the dark, brave in the cold, square on the grid, tall in the wind.

How is it that we come by our sense of height? Is it the purity of the sun, the balance within our skull, or just the clear sky through the glass?
I don't care 'cause I'm by myself
All the dancers left but I can't dance
So I will stay and clean the mess they left behind
But I dream as I set to scrub all the floors, the walls
I'm thinking of a song or two, a boy, a girl, and a rendezvous

- Belle & Sebastian, "Woman's Realm"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Set Free

I got lost in a fifty-word essay and wandered off in the cold. The hallways are high and white and it's like I'm still waiting to come down. "This is the hardest thing I've done all night," I say, and at this hour all I can really do is opt for economy of gesture over overdisclosure.

No one worries about the cracks in windows here, and the North is finding all my weak spots. I'm clinging to the bees in her hair, but it's still yours and you're gone and the ugly shit avalanche is building up again in my line of sight. I have to step out and freeze up before I can confront anything again.

Now you're pouring tea into your peppered eyes, waiting for the bequests to come through, waiting for the the favor to fall on you. It's part hopeless, particularly quiet, still cold but not as bad as it could be. Someday frugal living will pay you back, but until then lies will set you free.

Twisted purple girl, you're just a pale shade of rrrriolet. Don't you ever dare get the wrong idea. Honey, you'll never really know how to make plain vanilla delicious all the way through.
Here comes two of you
Which one will you choose?
One is black and one is blue,
Don't know just what to do

- The Velvet Underground, "Beginning to See the Light"