"house made of dawn", n. scott momaday

[i should actually work on finishing this, but i remembered that i had just read this one passage and when i was trying and failing to sleep i thought of it]

“She thought of her body and could not understand that it was beautiful. She could think of nothing more vile and obscene than the raw flesh and blood of her body, the raveled veins and the gore upon her bones. And now the monstrous fetal form, the blue, blind, great-headed thing growing within and feeding upon her. From the time she was a child and first saw her own blood, how it brimmed in a cut on the back of her hand, she had conceived a fear and disgust of her body which nothing could make her forget. She did not fear death, only the body’s implication in it. And at odd moments she wished with all her heart to die by fire, fire of such intense heat that he body should dissolve in it all at once. There must be no popping of fat or any burning on of the bones. Above all she must give off no stench of death.”

when i am trying to sleep and there is nothing to distract me i become very aware of my body, of the structure of my bones and the varying texture of my skin. sometimes when i lie on my heart it seems to beat so powerfully it is too big for my body, i can actively feel the blood pounding in my fingertips, in my toes. i think about how i’m going to die, how intricate and fragile the body is. for a long time i would think about what it would be like to be crucified. mostly the bit with the nails in the hands/forearms. feeling the nerve between the bones, imagining the nail going through, how big it would have to be, how the rest of my arm would feel. lately it’s been arrows and bullets, striking me from the back and going through my ribcage, my lungs, how the air would wheeze, what would break and what would not, what would bleed and flood… or passing so easily through my skull, through the mess of bone and brains and blood and dreams and headaches. morbid, i suppose. but incarnation inevitably leads to morbidity. it’s written in every little almost unnoticeable ache.

does it seem strange to you that when we smile we are pulling back our skin to show our bones? our skeleton.

i understand the desire to dissolve, to evaporate absolutely and cleanly without leaving even footprints, going down in flames and up in smoke.

the rumors of your blood. is that a line from something?

should try sleeping now.

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new year, near the creek, going back to school

I am going to teach my hand how to write again.

I so desperately want to let him go, why am I so scared of doing it> I don’t want things to be like before, when I was so scared, when he was more intent on his friends than me. Was it selfish of me to want attention? To want some part of him to be separate from everything else?

The water is beautiful. The light is soft and clear, the air warmer than any I’ve felt for months.

I still miss him. I still miss the way things once were, when he’d rather talk to me than anyone else.

I lived in a fairy tale for a little while. Few people get that chance at all.

I knew about this for so long.

The questions I asked I am still asking. When will I stop falling?

listen

I need to go to the ocean soon.

do I believe in you, God? do you exist?

I want to be happy. Please?

doesn’t everyone?

Happy New Year.

The creek smells dark and earthy and clear.

resolution…

I am going to worry less and write more and do yoga more. I am not going to be so afraid.

It’s so easy to look at the reflections on the water of –

putting the pencil in the waters of my youth

I walk today this warm January day along old paths.
There is the circle of stone where we burned Guy Fawkes in effigy (elegy), twice…
This last time we were both somewhere else. The same place, almost.
Not together.

We both have to grow up, our hearts in the hands of Life.
You are a chapter in my story, not its entirety, just as I am in yours. And I still miss you, the smell of you, the touch of you.
We will remember each other.

I still want to say I love you, but I don’t think I do anymore. …
I have to be whole.

[upon the unpleasant discovery]

I don’t even know what to say now.

In a way it’s a relief to know that I was right to be so worried. In another way it sucks.

And I still wonder what he’s thinking.

Why can’t I let go? Why do I feel like shit? Why can’t I ever make a resolution last?

I keep on thinking that if I were dead there would be no questions. There would be no nameless uncertainties.

There would be none of this unreasoning ache.

Why do I keep breaking?

I don’t want to be like his mother, who is broken. I do not want him to think that pity is love.

I want him to be ok, but I wish that I knew he missed me.

be like the birds…

…find someone who means the same thing I do when I say ‘I love you.’

Please exist.

“to be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle that any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.”
– e.e. cummings

how remarkably lucid.

So here we are, waiting for the plane.

“I only made you up to hurt myself.”

I wonder why I let you haunt me so. How suicidal am I, really? How much of this really is me slitting my wrists over and over again in my mind because I’m too scared to even cut myself?

I wish that I had more control over myself.

I wish for a lot of things…

The Dallas airport is actually pretty nice.

It was strange to see the land from the air – I loved this place when we lived here, so very long ago. We flew over a huge and sprawling lake, with the odd sailboat and a gorgeous coastline of narrow strips of sand and grass. So beautifully minimalistic.

Over an hour until the plane leaves. and… i think i’m in the wrong gate.

The moon is gorgeous, making the clouds milky-dark beneath it. I can see stars, a few of them, shyly beaming from the deep blue.

I wish I could take a picture, or paint the beauty that I see, the clouds rippling below like an arctic tundra or the sea.

… into a deeper shade of blue…

Why does everything come back to you?

All of my feelings are as dark and vague and obscure (oscuro) as the clouds below me.

I think I want to be a travel writer now.

Do I have any stories left in me.

chiaroscuro. help me find that balance.

inspired by brit lit 1, winter break freshman year

“… all mankind is of one author and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated.”
— John Donne

Call us what you will, we are made such by love;
Call her one, me another fly,
We’re tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find the eagle and the dove.
The phoenix riddle hath more wit
By us: we two being one, are it.
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
We die and rise the same, and prove
Mysterious by this love.

–John Donne, from “The Canonization”
—-

[After/while reading Paradise Lost]

What does it matter if your dreams were true?
You know that it will happen someday.
There is no future between you two as a couple.
(You write this, hoping you’re wrong.) [I don’t actually remember who this is referring to.]

I want grace. I want to be free of the vicious cycle of my psyche, of the way the world works.

I am tired of cause and effect and nothing ever really ending, just piling up. I am tired of the chains that I have made and know not how to break.

I’m tired of being lonely.

The fall from grace is the fall into the way of the world, into consequences. If you eat this fruit, you shall die.

And so we die.

But every once in a while we soar above the clouds and see the sun; all the rules of gravity and time and decay are suspended; and we fly by sheer grace, undeserved, irrational in our universe of laws.

By your utter grace.

[After finding things out that I didn’t want to know.]

This is growing up. It is feeling sick with loneliness and knowing that there once were good things that now are no more.

“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.” — William Somerset Maugham

From Fluke, by Christopher Moore

“… comfort fell like sandwiches on the newly bombed.”

“She was just a deerstalker, a calabash, and a cocaine habit short of being Sherlock Holmes here.”

some stuff that i have saved in my email for some reason

From summer 2007:

Listening to: The Chemical Brothers – Chico’s Groove
posted with FoxyTunes

“You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. “

“How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”

–Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

—-
Playwriting Fall 2007 – personal manifesto

I write because I think, because I cannot stop thinking, because I feel, because I cannot stop feeling, because the crux I think of human consciousness and human sadness is that we must both think and feel, every day, all of the time. I write because it is a shame that we live and a tragedy that we can only live once, and writing lets me live an infinite number of lives while still never letting me escape my own life.

I write because I cannot not write. I write because I write because I write because I write. Because I love the sound of words, of repetition and the very delicate line between meaning and meaninglessness that dissolves and reappears and dissolves again depending how you say words and how you listen to them. I write because I want to hear other people say my words, I want to hear how they change character and depth and texture by being spoken in someone else’s voice, in the unique resonating chamber of their body, with the weight of their life and mind and mindlessness shaping every vibration. I write stories because I want to see how they change within other people, stretching fathoms deeper or shallower than I ever anticipated in my own mind, in my own voice.

I write because not all of the things that I want are real, and I write because too many of the things I dream of are.

I write because I have ghosts beneath my skin and eyelids and I think that you do, too, and I think that it’s possible that they are the same ghosts haunting both of us at once.

I write because I am afraid of death even though I dream of it every night, sometimes with longing.

I write because I am a system of chemicals and electricity, a product of biology and physics and accidents, of dependency and attraction and addiction and the flow of hormones and enzymes that I can barely fathom, that I only know in the breaking of my heart and the beating of my blood and the taste of my loneliness. And I write to ask the question, am I alone? Am I the only one playing hide and seek lost and found with myself and everything else, always? And I write to answer these questions because I hope that there is someone else out there wondering the answer.

I write because I like my handwriting, because I like the feeling of typing with numb fingers, because when I was little I was lonely and found more solace in the worlds I could make of paper than the one that I was forced to live in. I write because I care about the rules of grammar, the admonition to not end sentences with prepositions and the protocol of punctuation, and I love to bend these rules to the breaking point.

I write because I am afraid of the impermanence of speech even as I am in love with it. I write because I can always edit the written word, delete, revise, expound, and I cannot do this when I speak. I write because I dislike the sound of my own voice.

I write because the only way I can know what I truly think, what I truly feel, is by listening to the words coming out of my mouth fingers when I tell someone, and when I write I can be telling anyone and everyone even though it is more often no one.

I write because just like everybody else I think I’m abnormal.

I write because just like everybody else I am haunted.

I write because whining just isn’t good enough.

I write because people are always jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge into the Golden Gate, because mothers drown their children, because people lie awake and dying from the monsters in their blood, because such monsters exist, because the earth is tilting beneath me, because entropy only increases, and because despite all of these things trees still grow so I can kill them and write poems to their beauty on their bleached white flesh. Because we are murderers, each of us, because to be alive is to murder. Because I want the spilling of my blood to mean more than hemoglobin and plasma and mess.

None of these reasons are new, or original, or even very interesting. I’m not even sure if all of them are true, or if their truth is like everything else – flickering and subjective (which is another reason why I write). I write because I write, and because you asked me to do so.

Fall 2006, over a boy I thought that I might have fallen in love with and who I then never really saw again:

i don’t have any words. i don’t have any story on the tip of my tongue. i just feel like shit right now. i really want him to find me, to say that maybe he was wrong, that maybe he likes me too, and i know that this isn’t going to happen. i just hope that i haven’t ruined what we had as friends. so instead it’s just going to be time again and the change of the winds and the chemical tide.
god? i’m very tired of this. please make it stop.
how can i condemn others for being stuck in their development? i’ve been making the same mistakes since i was 14.
7 years bad luck…
and i don’t want to walk all the way there in the rain especially in this mood and i don’t want anything, really, except to know that he feels something for me too. why do i keep going over this? it’s no more possible than jenny’s solution.
i have to change again. or accept that this is the way things are going to be. or something.
why did you hold my hand? was it an accident? or just something you thought would make me happy? why did you hug me? why did you say anything? why did you come by my window? why didn’t you speak to me again?

why do i like you so much?

music for walking alone at night

Favorite songs recently:
The National – City Middle
– About Today
– Patterns of Fairytales
David Berkeley – Chicago
Dntel – (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan
– Why I’m So Unhappy
This Will Destroy You – They Move On Tracks of Never-Ending Light

i need to learn how to sleep again.

back to the record

October/November 2005

I feel like I’ve failed, somehow.
It’s been more than a month since I’ve written any real journal entry.
We broke (up). He with me. Because he wants to be single.
And I’ve been breaking and healing and breaking ever since, trying to let go while being so scared of doing so.
Do I still love him?
I don’t know which answer scares me more.
There are so many things that I don’t know.
If today he came and said that he wanted us to be together again, what would I say?
(I had a dream, a week or two ago, in which our faces touched and you whispered that you loved me and I asked you what you meant and you said that you were in love with me.)
and I was so excited waking up until I remembered that it was a dream.
almost completely happy…
have we run out of things to say to each other?
was I really in love with you?
what is going to happen to us?
am I just scared of letting go of the past again?
(because I want to go back in time again to December 9th, 2003.)
do I miss you or the memories?
are we meant to be together?

god.

November/December 2005

I’ve written so little this past year.

I know now that I cannot be your love; I hope I find the strength to be your friend.

It’s over. Understand that. And it was good while it lasted. But it’s over.

And I may dream of things that I wish were true, but I know that reality will not shape itself thus.

Funny. I’ve taken most of the MF’s suggestions in getting over you. Prozac, sleeping pills, trying to fall in love with someone else. [Reference to “I Don’t Want to Get Over You”; at this point have added clove cigarettes, vermouth, Camus]

experience, always experience.
always.

this is the first day of your life (again.)

#449, 1862, 1890
I died for Beauty – but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining Room –

He questioned softly “Why I failed”?
“For Beauty” I replied –
“And I – for Truth – Themself are One –
We Brethren, are”, He said –

And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night –
We talked between the Rooms –
Until the Moss had reached our lips –
And covered up – our names –

learning

One of the things I really, really like about working in the library is that I can see on a daily level what materials we actually have there. That’s how I’ve found a lot of the movies that I’ve watched recently, and been very glad of watching. Flatland, The Andalusian Dog, and now Martha Graham’s Night Journey. It’s a 30 min film of a ballet she choreographed based on the Oedipus myth – the moment before Jocasta kills herself, in which she relives her relationship with her son/lover. And I had never realized before what an absolutely horrifying moment that would be, that process of recollection – realizing what she did and what she should have done, what she had suspected and what she had ignored, what she had wanted, her body’s hunger, and how all that would come back to you after the blind man shattered into her life and said the one thing that would make her so disgusted with herself to kill herself.

Last few days I’ve been in a funk because of, well, all my sins remembered, and this hits me. I didn’t fuck my son, obviously, but the things I did and didn’t do, the things I did and didn’t know and let myself know, and how frustrated I’ve been recently because of what I let happen and now can’t do anything to fix.

Anyway, enough emo. Here’s something by Martha Graham that says a lot of what I want to about dedicating yourself to art:

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

Hung out recently with Godfrey Hamilton (playwright) and Mark Pinkosh (actor), who are an artistic couple (married now, at least in England), that for twenty years – pretty much all of their life together – have dedicated themselves to art. To saying something, and embodying that something said. Their production company is called ‘Starving Artists,’ and that’s not entirely a joke. And for that alone I’d really respect them, but the fact remains also that they do beautifully witty and true work that breaks my heart, because in so much of it there is so much honesty, so natch I hopelessly admire them for that too, as well as for the fact that they are doing what I hope one day I have the discipline and talent and luck to do work like that.

Anyway, Godfrey said that for any one project it takes something like 1.5-2 years to properly complete one project. Then again I know someone who has been able to churn out full-length plays in a matter of a few months, which is frankly intimidating. And when it comes to that I’m not sure if it’s simply that my brain work differently or that I just don’t have enough discipline for this. Both of which are equally possible. Perhaps a bit of both.

I don’t have any truth or beauty bombs left to throw.