Friday, April 29, 2011

not a night for apathy

The ticking is overwhelming.
His picture perfect broken family is overwhelming.
The mess in this room is overwhelming.
The night outside the window is overwhelming.
Their sickening values are overwhelming.
This movie is overwhelming.
This memory is overwhelming.
These people around me are overwhelming.
Your last-minute desperation is overwhelming.
This inbox is overwhelming.

I can't go.
Not yet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I spent my day finishing a really difficult transcription of this long, French interview while listening to Balmorhea (c'est belle, comme le roulement des bras de la riviere).

And then all of a sudden I didn't know where the day went, misplacing eight hours like I often misplace my keys or my rings or my thoughts.
I went to look for them, but I gave up and put down the heavy wooden oars because my arms were hurting, and I floated,
my sleeping face pressed down on the planks of the canoe.

I woke up with lines across my face and through my chest. Drifting.
Bags under my eyes, time making them sag like wet reeds washed to shore.

Half the time, I wake up not knowing where I am.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rushdie says,

"The lives of artists are more fragile than their creations."

This is so true and beautifully said. But I can't help but wonder which comes first.

Is it the fragility of their lives that causes their creations to be a fragile reflection of it? Or is it the fragility of their creations that causes their lives to be modified in such a way to protect these creations?

Perhaps it's a bit of both, each feeding off the other in a vicious cycle that eventually wears both down.
I don't know. It's interesting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heart full of wine

Every so often, everybody needs to move. Relocate, go somewhere, maybe temporarily, maybe forever. If there's anything at all that can shift perspective, it's the knowledge that you're leaving.

We take time for granted more than anything else. We throw it away, we wish it away.
We settle into these deep ruts where we think for a while that the people around us will always be around us and the things around us will always be the way they are. And the sun will always shine the same way, and the trees outside will always scrape your windowpanes in the same place.

But everything looks different when you can see the clock ticking, when you can feel the little grains of sand slipping through the cracks of your hands.
You're trying to hold on to it for as long as you can, but you know you can't pin down time. It's when you realize that that your actions get more desperate.

The people around you mean so much more, and that little desk in the corner that you've spent so many long, monotonous nights sitting at seems so much more crucial, and every time you enter and leave a room you begin to wonder how many times are left that you will enter and leave the same room before you can't anymore.

When you can see the clock ticking, everything seems more urgent. Your happiness becomes ecstasy, your melancholy is more devastating, your love is more potent and more wrenching. You realize how much you've done, but you realize more how much you haven't.

It's tragic that this is how human nature is. Tragic in a beautiful way.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I'm often torn between what sort of life I envision myself in.

Business suits, five-star hotels in Milan, wine with lunch. High-class relations I use to reap in more money than I could possibly spend on myself and maybe a wealthy intellectual of a husband.

Or ratty clothes and microwaved food, nothing in my one-bedroom leaky flat but a computer, balled up wads of discarded inspiration thrown around, only to picked up again once I'm dead. Perhaps never picked up at all. A life of lonely, self-righteousness. Playing footsie with a world I despise.

Both are equally romanticized,
equally miserable.

Equally ideal.

Monday, April 11, 2011


"It's a luscious mix of words and tricks
That let us bet when we know we should fold
On rocks i dreamt of where we'd stepped
And of the whole mess of roads we're now on."


It smells like honeysuckles outside, so fragrant it burns.

Honeysuckles smell like too many things. They smell like one of the only things I remember from my childhood, how I used to run around barefoot picking them off of bushes and licking the beads of nectar off the stems until I got a stomach ache. It was something I had forgotten about until today.
I don't remember too much about my childhood. I only really remember the bad things.
I'm not sure why.

There is hardly anything more ephemeral than a memory that is associated with smell, as if something flips a switch on for a few milliseconds and then flips it back off, leaving you to grasp at some vaporous thing of the past, trying to pull it into a more tangible form. Sometimes you succeed.
But sometimes you don't. And you're left standing there, wishing more than anything that you could only remember what it was that you almost remembered.
It's a terrible feeling, not unlike waking up in the morning knowing that you had a vivid dream but not being able to recall what it was.


My thoughts are my walls. Tall, unintentionally constructed, engulfing, isolating.
I have an inability to reconcile them with reality, with the world of surface interaction and duty. But what else is there to do? Sacrifice them in order to better connect with that surface world in which I'm forced to play my role in? I cannot do that. I could never do that.

So I have to live two lives.
One in my head, the other in my corporeal form in the physical world. I keep them separate. I spend equal amounts of time in both. They must not touch or collide or coincide in any way. I would not know what to do if they did.

We've been reading copious amounts of literature in class that involve characters whose illusory worlds collapse into reality. They never really end up right. One is usually sacrificed for the other.
Sometimes, I am not so sure that I really am reading about other people.


I talk a lot about why I write. It's important to me.

It's my liberation. I don't often talk that much. I think it's because talking waters down my thoughts. It waters down the power of emotions, it waters down the meanings of my words. There are too many things that are lost in translation when mind waves go to sound waves.

The world is filled with diluted thoughts, some that are half-formed, some that are just not conveyed as they should be. I don't want to be a contributor of these. We humans are capable of so much that we will never do.

Writing is my tunnel between reality and surreality. It's the only way I know how to reconcile the two worlds I'm a part of — the one in my head and the one of my body.
Often, I don't know which one I'm in. And then I become a walking whirlpool of terrible things, anger and bitterness and violent emotions. But mostly of confusion.

That's when I write. Because when I do, it no longer matters where I am.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lag time

There is often a gap, a brief lull in the universe when the planet spins a few milliseconds too quickly

and then everything sits still.

And then your bed feels like a burrow, and the air is quiet, and the second hand on the wall ticks as mechanically as you move. One, two, one, two, tick, tock, left, right.

Then the sky starts to look as glassy and lifeless as your reflection in the morning, and the night has an odd texture to it. Gritty, tasteless. Powdery like the sawdust you eat for breakfast every morning, like the sawdust that make up the little wooden people all around you.

Cheery little puppets, marionettes on silver strings. Uniform smiles and uniform eyes walking around at a uniform pace. And then they move in jerky segments like programmed automatons and speak in metallic voices
and the globe sits at a complete stop on its axis, in its orbit.

And then you're scared.
Because you have to get away quickly before they come after you, or worse, before you become like them. But you can't run so fast when the world is at a stop and each step you take sinks you into the crumbling powdery cement. And then the sidewalk ends and you've got nowhere else to go except backwards.

So you unravel, like a ball of yarn, a roll of paper, film tape on rewind. Faster and faster until you roll off the edge and into space
floating, suspended, and you wait.

You wait for the earth to start spinning again so it can catch you back in its orbit, its arms a cradle for your barren mind.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I write sometimes even when I've been writing all day, when my fingertips feel like rubber and my mind feels like a molten mess of week-old thoughts and leftover brain waves that linger only to recur in my subconscious. It no longer matters what keys my fingers hit, so long as they don't stop.

I wonder if this is anything close to how Beethoven felt, when he could no longer distinguish between night and day, and there was nothing left for him except the keys of a piano that he dissembled, placing the soundboard on the floor so he could feel the vibrations even when he could no longer hear them.
Vibrations produced by his fingers. Music from his fingers.

This is really not that different. My words are my music from my fingers, too. Strange, peaceful lullabies for myself only. Unspoken tunes that flow from my mind, words that I string together quietly with needle and thread to make melodies.
Nobody said music had to have notes.

But perhaps words and notes are the same, making melodies of prose and stories from song. Maybe I'll let my words cascade, trains of sixteenth-notes to pour over my wet skin. Or perhaps they're whole notes I'll hold in my head til the morning when they'll make sense. Or maybe they're staccato notes, a stepping stone bridge to merge two sides. A portal to merge two worlds. Just as Beethoven merged his tangible and intangible with the vibrations from the floor upon which he crawled, desperate to find the reconciliation that this cruel world provides little of.

My keyboard is my soundboard, too, and this is my song.
A song to build a portal, too.
A song to sing myself to sleep.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Story of my life, Hermann Hesse

I am rereading something that everyone should read in his or her lifetime. The book Steppenwolf, by Hesse.

When I say everyone, I don't really mean everyone.
I mean those who understand these words as grippingly as I do. Not those who read it and think well, I guess I've felt something like that before. I mean those upon whom these words resonate so strongly and so profoundly that they are left with a sort of bewildered feeling that anyone could possibly describe so accurately a sentiment that they did not believe was shared by anyone else.

If you feel that after reading this, go buy this book. And then find me and be my friend, if you're not already.


"There is much to be said for contentment and painlessness, for these bearable and submissive days, on which neither pain nor pleasure cry out, on which everyone only whispers and tiptoes around. But the worst of it is that it is just this contentment that I cannot endure. After a short time it fills me with irrepressible loathing and nausea. Then, in desperation, I have to escape into other regions, if possible on the road to pleasure, or, if that cannot be, on the road to pain.

When I have neither pleasure nor pain and have been breathing for a while the lukewarm insipid air of these so-called good and tolerable days, I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my rusty lyre of thanksgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel the most devilish pain burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room. A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to commit outrages .... For what I always hated and detested and cursed above all things was this contentment, this healthiness and comfort, this carefully preserved optimism of the middle classes, this fat and prosperous brood of mediocrity."

I don't expect many to understand this, and I mean that in the least pretentious way possible.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Tesseract

The gods, they wove some sort of fabric, gilded wisps between their fingers. Played cat's cradle with dark matter, spun into the threads of time.
They placed me in one silent corner, kept on weaving for a year. Waves in seas of ticking clocks, and empty space and empty rhyme.
They gave me colors, gave me papers, gave me ink to stain my hands. They gave me music, strong and bitter, songs that no one else could hear.
Then threw me down into the orbits filled with others, flesh and bone. Made a beating heart of fervor when all others were of stone.
Then they crafted just one other, and I tried to swim to you, across the strings and quarks and lights, dimensions I could not get through.
Sometimes when I'm barely conscious, your mind's tendrils within reach, the gods they then fold up the fabric building a small bridge for me.