Archive for April, 2010

late night.

i remember when i used to point my pen directly at her heart.

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What the Living Do.

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably
fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes
have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we
spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep headstrong blue, and the sunlight
pours through

the open living room windows because the heat’s on too high in here, and
I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street,
the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying
along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my
wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called
that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to
pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss – we want more and more and
then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the
window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing
so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m

I am living, I remember you.


Marie Howe, from her 1998 collection, What the Living Do

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I once had a dream where I popped out of a booth at an arcade and a guy looked at me and I said, “Holy shit you gotta try this one is so great because you start off naked and confused and can’t really tell what feet are or what hands are and then these giant people all coo at you and say words that aren’t real words but are supposed to communicate something until the giant people start doing things like sticking spoons of gooey food in your mouth pretending like it’s an airplane and then you poop yourself and it totally sucks until the giant people wipe it up and it was totally awesome because eventually I started figuring out this thing where one foot steps forward and then another one steps forward in front of the previous foot and I’m sure I would have kept figuring stuff out like how to wipe my own butt but then I must’ve not put enough quarters in because the game put me on a window sill and I fell right out.”

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She said she built a wall against me, dared me to get over it. She thought that was it, maybe.

“I’m just looking for something simple,” she said.

“Amazing how few cars are here at night,” I said. There were four lanes, all empty. I wished the mexican place was still open.

“Is that okay?” she asked.

“Wait, what are you looking for?”

“Love. And it’s not here. I need a warrior.”

I think it’s less about finding love, and more about getting rid of the barriers you’ve built against it.

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“It’s just a transitional time for me,” she said.

And I wondered if I’d ever met someone who’s arrived.

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Texas Rodeo.

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