Thursday, December 20, 2012


It's hard not to feel winter like this, brittle in my hands, silent
— the northern air runs through my thinning hair.
It speaks of things I don't understand.

If I could sing right now, it would sound like the thirty thousand nearly-frozen raindrops
(still resilient, reluctant)
pitter-pattering not quite in sync with the piano strings that throttle my fingertips
cutting into them

grooves in each hammer. This is the symphony of the winter.
Not as much a symphony as a whimpering melody,

trailing off...


Dec. 21st

Autumn leaves us in cold abandon, and I sit hunched

ticking off seconds on the ancient calendar, but where is the end?
There is no fire, no warmth that slowly spreads to your numbed feet,
no storm as they promised, only that same silent

A fist on the window.
Handprints on the foggy pane.
Outside, steady drips.
And the glass is a prison
And I cannot hear


The winter solstice is more than just a tilt of the earth.

Perhaps the Mayans did know.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

When there were no words.

Reading that poem made me weep. 

I could not tell you if it was because I was tired, or perhaps because I was frustrated with myself, or if it was because I was, yet again for the umpteenth time this year, trying to shake off the feeling of being in close proximity with someone I knew yet still saw as a stranger. But those words, they were honest when I am not.

Everyone these days feels like a stranger.

Why must I do this? You lay in bed next to me sleeping, and I stack bricks between us. Cement and mortar, I mix it in the night, and by the time you wake up, you won't be able to see me. Walls to the ceiling, ceiling to the sky, silhouettes cast in dungeon light.
I awaken in robes of thunder.

Do you know?

Listen closely — such things are always hard to hear over the sound of the waves, the miles and miles of waves between where I am and the land that I love, where the hills grip me in their open arms, and then I am
Ripped ruthlessly from its arms and then I am here and
then you are not and then I am

Do you know that my heart is breaking?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Apologies for this blog's temporary latency to those of you who still check it semi-regularly. These days, I have too much to say and none of the right words with which to say it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I step onto the platform reluctantly this morning, heavy arms dragging a heavy suitcase, heavy feet dragging a heavy sleepless head, dragging a heavy heart into the sludge of the morning. A mixture of smoke, sweat, grime, dust.

Industrialization rolls off the gritty wheels of a rickety train car and onto dangerously uneven tracks. It hides in the folds of the women's cheap dresses, rhinestone-studded scratchy faux-chiffon material of clashing bright colors, grating on unwashed bodies. They believe themselves to be beautiful. Ribbons fray on tacky, plastic shoes. They parade around in them, tossing greasy, scraggly hair, speaking in dialects, voices coarse and loud. They know nothing of subtlety, humility. They know nothing of the grace that their ancestors once held.

Rolling mountains turn into concrete blocks, rice paddies into smokestacks. I could be watching a thousand different movies through the window, pieced together into one bizarre surrealist film. And somewhere in the space between the stars and the tops of skyscrapers, civilization is lost.
Eighteen grueling hours on a dirty train remind me of these things, the vastness of a land I call my own, the diversity of the people, the struggles of the people, their blissful unawareness of their deplorable conditions,
how misplaced I am in the midst of it all.

It is with a certain sense of helplessness that I step back onto territory that is so familiar and yet so painfully foreign. I have, once again, left the sun and the sky and the ones I love 18 hours behind me. And as I stuff myself into crowds of strange people and into a strange car, I feel as I imagine these filthy skyscrapers would,
suffocated in the smog of a city that does not yet have enough space for me.

Monday, June 4, 2012


I am not you.

The world doesn't brush against my shoulders, hitting me and rolling off like rain on the sleek fabric of a new raincoat. It does not pass me by, as big open fields would from the window of a train, a quick glimpse, a brief sigh. I do not glide through it, scales on my back, a breeze through the window, the way bees jump from flower to flower, selecting only the ones on which they wish to land.

Rather, I absorb and absorb like a sponge that tries to absorb the ocean. I soak in through the pores on my skin every detail of the sky, every angle of the sun, every conversation that I overhear, the way every smile flits across every face, and they become a part of me, a child that I nurture, a branch that I grow. I tie every word I read to a string in my chest, and I drag it with me wherever I go. And because of it, I am tired. Because of it, I am never alone.
Because of it, I am always alone.

And it is a wonderful blessing and it is
a terrible burden.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Four cups of coffee get me through the day.

Black, of course, because sugar makes me feel sick these days. Just like getting on the gritty subways underground, where grinding wheels carry the dead to white screens, and civilized men turn into half-starved animals. Wolves on the prowl. 

They leer at me, breathe down my neck, sink dirty claws on my shivering skin. I am immobilized. There's nowhere to hide

except in my own head, fists clenched, teeth clenched, wondering through which ring of hell exactly this speeding vessel transports me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Days blend into nights, and nights blend into the winds that sweep the long green beans dangling from the branches of the trees
back and forth and back and forth.

I didn't know beans could grow like that on trees, but sometimes when it's late at night, and I plod heavily back to my dungeon cell, I close my eyes and listen to them sway. They speak to the white flowers that bloom beneath them at night. Moonroses, I like to call them.

I struggle these days. I fight, not knowing what exactly I'm fighting for or against. The bottom of the mountain looks so enticing from the top. Maybe if I let myself lean into the wind, I can fly to it. A deep plunge, away from the stifling heat and the bugs that crawl out of the walls at night. And then I can sleep.