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.

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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.

Call 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 on 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 fading into nothing. An honored shifting focus from old to new.

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

wheelchairjimmy

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 this 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 the best place for the dirtiest gossip.

Maybe we never stop coming of age.

We need glitter bombs and shaking hips

#5: I swear on this, no matter how extensive my current musical elitism:

I saw ‘NSYNC in concert when I was 15, and when the lighting went crazy, when the girlish pubescence swelled into a frenzy, when JC Chasez (the specter of my wet dreams) threw a janky sweat-laden towel in my direction, I swear this on my tiny African mother: I peaked. My heart felt it. My body buzzed with approval.

For a few seconds, I had a lived a full life.

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And later, if a person is wrong about that pure feeling, especially after witnessing the scope of a messy, unpredictable human existence, I wouldn’t sweat too much. We should first instinct. We shouldn’t diminish the past in the presence of knowledge or foresight.

One should feel so sure about a moment at least once.

The Workplace Panopticon

#3: I’m in constant fear of getting fired from my new job.

I’ve done nothing to upset the boat (in fact, the boss folk, with their alien boss heads, have seemed complimentary of the current workplace dynamic since my arrival). And yet, I still feel aloof. I crack lame jokes. The air conditioner whooshes “imposter” under the guise of fluorescent lighting.

Someone let me into a secret club that gives money and healthcare and they haven’t yet noticed that I don’t belong.

I have a (secret) tail.

“And now for something completely different.”

My year of radical (selective?) honesty.

365 days.

365 posts.

365 anythings.

Somethings.

Why?

Because I believe in my making myself uncomfortable for the greater good. I don’t stand for much, at least not in the traditional sense that always seems to taste like integrity or some kind of fuck. But I do think finding catharsis in withholding has left me with pieces instead of fortification. And I’d like to think of myself as whole. Or at least weightless.

And sometimes, you do shit… just to do shit. But wouldn’t it be great if you turned out to be all right in the end? Better, even? That the shit led to a sum of all your pieces?

(I think I’m funny.)

Maybe we should think in dreams instead of resolutions. They’re both constructs, but I like how the former has bit of panache. Empire waists and sequins. I close my eyes and they’re still dancing. It is how I know that they are important.

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