When it finds you

This boy I thought I loved–
I’ll call him the
patron saint of my unraveling.
A two dollar votive of
La Virgen left to dust the bedside table,
but you should know
he made the wax out of
my hips and two tongues.
And my boy spoke three or four
romance languages, you know,
and one of them used to be me.
He said he felt fluent in the dark
He spoke me into form and
pulled out any mismatched bones.
He took my ribs
and the tiny skeleton in my feet.
I hear they keep you from falling backwards
I don’t know where he hid those bones,
whether he sent them to recycling.
He said those bones would
only get in his way, honestly.
You know, he whispered life in my mouth, once,
I choked, but only a little bit
but only when I said I loved him.

You know, I’m not sure
when he turned my dreams into tangents,
when me made me into angles and right turns.
I used to be comprised of circles, I think.
I could twirl against those radii
without his sneakers and light
to lead the way.
you know, good votives are hard to find these days
And when I danced, you know,
I think I felt beautiful.

Counting the Amorous

“If a thing loves, it is infinite.” – William Blake

The last time we saw each other, we were meandering in the parks lot of a nouveau riche coffee shop. After you hugged me, I cried. I withheld my salt leaks until you were in the confines of your sedan.

I thought the air in D’s car would help, but it left the droplets cold and dry on my collarbone. (I usually reserve shame for car rides and tax season.) At the time, D told me to “nutsack up” and save my tears for something tangible. But I knew then, what I still know now: that if love isn’t broken, or confronted, or dismissed, it waits.

Passive motherfucker.

We interrupt this program

#12: You can tell yourself that 365 somethings will happen.

You can swear against the interruptus that is; hold yourself accountable for future somethings, and nothings, and everythings. In fact, I encourage it. I’ve always had a thing for failure.

For once, I’m just glad my excuse is that I have been living.

Between us chickens, the actual pursuit of life is heady, man. Real heady.

Re(w)ise

#11: “Writing workshop is like cultivating a fire for months or even years and having a bunch of people go whoosh.”

I’ve only been a graduate of my MFA program for six months, but I’ve been out of touch with the workshop game for nearly two years now. I am relieved. I’ve never been able to articulate how I felt about the experience until my friend Daniel gave me that genius little quote. He went on to say that the writing people bring to workshop is often half cocked and barely baked. First drafts, if that, instead of revised work that the writer has taken as far they can conceptualize. The writer has done the composition, but is now in need of a symphony.

You almost never get that symphony. You’re lucky to get a few on key squeaks. Eventually, I thought it fun to see the mythos deconstructed before my eyes, even when the process was painstaking and unhelpful.

And while I often didn’t find the writing or words in the way I wanted or needed, I think I found myself.

Also several bars.

What was this about again?

Words, words, words

#10: I am filled with broken promises.

And after a while, they don’t hurt as much.

Sometimes, I wonder what kind of life I’m setting up for myself.

A world where the minutia feels like vapor; where ‘this and that’ don’t sting, but they should.

Whatever it takes

#6: I’ve seen every episode of the Canadian teen soap opera, Degrassi.

That’s thirteen or fourteen seasons of teen pregnancy, cheating, child abuse, sex, sports, coming out stories, death, drugs, power squad tryouts, school shootings, “washroom” pow-wows, and most recently, its first suicide.

Label it accidental synergy, but I began watching the show during my freshman year of high school. Believe it or not, the program treats the premise of showcasing high school with gravitas. It prides itself for having a revolving door of teen actors (imagine that, Hollywood? Teens playing teens) whose fictional stories and portrayals speak to the most pressing and obviously ridiculous issues of the day. At the end of their four years as characters, the show chooses to be relentless. They never soft shoe on fan favorites no matter how perfectly coiffed their hair. Instead the characters graduate; they disappear into passing mentions until they fade into nothing, shifting focus from old to new.

God bless them, Degrassi gave us the moniker ‘Wheelchair Jimmy’. (These days, I hear His-Most-Sensitive, Aubrey Graham, prefers the moniker of Drake whenever he raps or pines after Rihanna. Whatever makes you fly, bro.)

wheelchairjimmy

Wheelchair Jimmy letting the good times roll.

I often ask myself why and how this particular show has sustained me for so long, as most shows in their genre get trite and a little sad after two or even three seasons. Ehem, Glee.

I’m beginning to think my devotion stems from casual pessimism rather than sentimentality or nostalgia. Maybe a part of me thinks high school never really escapes us. The power structure duplicates like a virus in college. It condenses and morphs to accommodate the workplace. The washrooms are still best place for dirty gossip.

Maybe we never stop coming of age.