Front Street

Jul 30 2014

Making sausages.

(3 notes)

+
There is no wise minyan that arrives at the door when sitting shiva for a friendship. Nobody comes to the door with a picnic basket full of fruits and packaged meats and nobody makes sure that the calls are screened or the emails are screened and you just end up sitting around replaying conversations and wondering what could have been done differently.
******
It didn’t used to be this way for me. I used to be able to banish/walk away from someone and never look back at all. I used to cut motherfuckers out like cancer and keep pushing and keep moving and keep trying to find the right combination of factors in the world to keep me swimming.   
Not now, though.
Now that I have gotten older and supposedly wiser, I have learned that friendship is an emotional investment and an investment of time/space/care. When a friendship dies, all of that effort and work and vulnerability dies, too. It just falls into a well and it’s gone forever, all the way to China.
******
I always wear mostly black, so I don’t have to change much to mourn publicly.
Just assume that when you see me in the world, I am mourning.
It’d be best for all of us if’n you did.
******
[This is the part where I address specifics and those specifics are sort of transparent, but this is a kind of letter to the universe and please try to imagine me burning it at the very end to set that energy and emotion free.]
It has been fascinating watching you flit back and forth between worlds and groups of people and ideas and geographic locations—each time you leave these things, everyone else is to blame, even though the only constant is you. It has been fascinating watching you as you try to justify actions thoughtless and devil-may-care flippancies directed toward people who have your best interest in mind—only to hear you talk about how controlling everyone around you is, and how much it hurts you. It has been fascinating to only receive word from you when something is wrong or broken in you, but only to realize when speaking with you or comforting you that the same melody is constantly playing and that melody is just a triad of three notes, bleating over and over again, trumpeting your crippling lack of personal responsibility for anything that ever happens in your world—and then watching as you exploit this melody over and over again, without remorse. It has been fascinating to spend hours and hours and hours of my time trying to be the kind of friend who raises you up, shows you the light in you, tries to listen without judgment, tries to care even when caring is nothing more than coddling an incorrigible and spoiled human being with no sense about the way the world ripples and shakes when you act out, and then have you continually flaunt how little my time and care mean to you when you continue to move through the world like a bird with one good wing and a poisoned beak you keep trying to poke into the eyes of anyone who dares to see you as you.
I only know to write of these things because I have been these things, too. I only know they are hurtful because I have hurt others in this way in my youth, in my drug years, my self-destructive path.
I am nobody’s father.
I was never your father.
I was never even your friend.
******
Right now things are quiet and I am in the dark about you and your choices and your enablers and your movement. I am thankful for right now. I am thankful to be outside of your circle and I would like to stay that way. I would like to no longer have to listen to you as you create messes and leave a trail of broken people in your shadow and never take responsibility for it. I would like to no longer have to stomach your insecurities. I would like to no longer have to worry about you at all.
I would like to no longer have to worry about you.
At all.
******
I wish nothing but success for you, but mostly, I wish for clarity for you. I am leaving you and your cycles and your pettiness and your flitting and your fluttering to you. I am leaving the phone off the hook and putting my time and energy back into a place that appreciates it—my damn self. I am leaving you with yourself.

******

There is no wise minyan that arrives at the door when sitting shiva for a friendship. Nobody comes to the door with a picnic basket full of fruits and packaged meats and nobody makes sure that the calls are screened or the emails are screened and you just end up sitting around replaying conversations and wondering what could have been done differently.

******

It didn’t used to be this way for me. I used to be able to banish/walk away from someone and never look back at all. I used to cut motherfuckers out like cancer and keep pushing and keep moving and keep trying to find the right combination of factors in the world to keep me swimming.   

Not now, though.

Now that I have gotten older and supposedly wiser, I have learned that friendship is an emotional investment and an investment of time/space/care. When a friendship dies, all of that effort and work and vulnerability dies, too. It just falls into a well and it’s gone forever, all the way to China.

******

I always wear mostly black, so I don’t have to change much to mourn publicly.

Just assume that when you see me in the world, I am mourning.

It’d be best for all of us if’n you did.

******

[This is the part where I address specifics and those specifics are sort of transparent, but this is a kind of letter to the universe and please try to imagine me burning it at the very end to set that energy and emotion free.]

It has been fascinating watching you flit back and forth between worlds and groups of people and ideas and geographic locations—each time you leave these things, everyone else is to blame, even though the only constant is you. It has been fascinating watching you as you try to justify actions thoughtless and devil-may-care flippancies directed toward people who have your best interest in mind—only to hear you talk about how controlling everyone around you is, and how much it hurts you. It has been fascinating to only receive word from you when something is wrong or broken in you, but only to realize when speaking with you or comforting you that the same melody is constantly playing and that melody is just a triad of three notes, bleating over and over again, trumpeting your crippling lack of personal responsibility for anything that ever happens in your world—and then watching as you exploit this melody over and over again, without remorse. It has been fascinating to spend hours and hours and hours of my time trying to be the kind of friend who raises you up, shows you the light in you, tries to listen without judgment, tries to care even when caring is nothing more than coddling an incorrigible and spoiled human being with no sense about the way the world ripples and shakes when you act out, and then have you continually flaunt how little my time and care mean to you when you continue to move through the world like a bird with one good wing and a poisoned beak you keep trying to poke into the eyes of anyone who dares to see you as you.

I only know to write of these things because I have been these things, too. I only know they are hurtful because I have hurt others in this way in my youth, in my drug years, my self-destructive path.

I am nobody’s father.

I was never your father.

I was never even your friend.

******

Right now things are quiet and I am in the dark about you and your choices and your enablers and your movement. I am thankful for right now. I am thankful to be outside of your circle and I would like to stay that way. I would like to no longer have to listen to you as you create messes and leave a trail of broken people in your shadow and never take responsibility for it. I would like to no longer have to stomach your insecurities. I would like to no longer have to worry about you at all.

I would like to no longer have to worry about you.

At all.

******

I wish nothing but success for you, but mostly, I wish for clarity for you. I am leaving you and your cycles and your pettiness and your flitting and your fluttering to you. I am leaving the phone off the hook and putting my time and energy back into a place that appreciates it—my damn self. I am leaving you with yourself.

******

(7 notes)

+

lk-shaw:

voicemailpoems:

'PERFECTION OF DOUBT'
by Lucy K Shaw

The taste of red bull in the morning
on my teeth when I haven’t brushed them
The shape of your back when you
crouch over your computer in the night
The feeling in my chest when you say
you are going to meet someone from tinder at 1pm
The feeling in my chest when you say you are going to meet someone

I have to be leaving in order to feel okay being here, I say
In order for you to feel okay
being with me,
we agree

I will complete this isolation-induced superiority complex
You will remember how it feels to live without me
You will die this summer, you say. That’s okay,
I was just thinking the same thing, about the both of us

it is looming, we notice, a little lower than ever before
it is looming, we notice, but we couldn’t call it unexpected

And so together now in this forest of London
I tell you about the drinking tickets of Barcelona
I tell you about the prostitutes in the park of the Paris rain.
You tell me about the email your mother sent to your ex-girlfriend,
five years ago when you broke up

And when I meet her for the first time later tonight,
wearing the same shoes, mine will be much dirtier,
but we couldn’t call it unexpected

I have been looking for a new pair of shoes ever since
I have been looking, vaguely, for a new pair of shoes
that make any sense

for the both of us.
If you come near me, there is a safari park,
If you kiss me, we are already dead

And I can feel you inside of your head
when I couldn’t before
I can feel you inside of your head
when I couldn’t be further away
from wanting it, anyway

you feel relatively certain
we are not the answer
to each other’s issues

And it’s not even a possibility
but we await nervously anyway
Hopefully, some days
for the blood to confirm
the end

It gives us both some
body else to think about


———————————————————

Lucy K Shaw called us from Brooklyn, NY.
More about Lucy.

1-910-703-POEM

[soundcloud] [podcast] [facebook] [twitter]

here is a previously unpublished poem

(46 notes)

Jul 29 2014
+
Jul 27 2014

wendycortiz:

Los Angeles Times today. Dang.

ALL OF THE YES.

(20 notes)

+

Scenes from a life.

(1 note)

Jul 25 2014
Jul 24 2014
The Gracie is being a good librarian today at Mellow Pages. We’re listening to Miles Davis live at the Fillmore and reading each other poetry.

The Gracie is being a good librarian today at Mellow Pages. We’re listening to Miles Davis live at the Fillmore and reading each other poetry.

(14 notes)

Jul 23 2014
Jul 21 2014
Sometimes I do things that appear to be calculated and/or plotted out in some strange way. Sometimes what I end up doing isn’t at all what anyone else thinks it is—the initial idea is just an idea but I stay open for anything and everything that might go down because fuck a life with restrictions and fuck a life with fear—nor is it what I initially thought it might be.
I am at my best when I do not feel safe.
I am at my best when I scare myself.
I am at my best when my chest is an open wound and anyone can see my heart and anyone can see my yearning and anyone can whisper into the hole or leave a tiny and folded note in between the slats of tissue.
I am at my best when I am walking on hot coals.
******
I am not sure what triggered the need for me to do what I did on Saturday night, but I did it and now I cannot go back. I am what I am right now. I am not sure what I am to others who were in the room, but I know that I have changed, molted, seen another me inside of the me sitting still in a chair in a room full of people while my words and memories and ghosts swirled through the air and battered their way into every molecule in the space, every strand of DNA, every page of every book. Two days later now and I am finally able to piece together some things and cogency, ever-late, is emerging.
******
I used to be afraid of my blood. As a child I would get woozy and pass out at the sight. As I aged I learned that my blood regenerated itself, that it wasn’t leaking out never to be replenished. I learned to play with my blood a little, to taste it when it came out from a cut, when I bit into the meat of my tongue, when I fell and drove my bottom teeth through the tissue beneath my bottom lip. In my teens I used to cut myself in secret places and write on myself with my blood. I used to make cassette mixtapes full of punk rock and almost always would I leave a bloodprint on the annotated tracklist I would make to go along with it. now, at the age I am right here, I still play with my blood every day—diabetes made me a person who reads his blood like a gypsy would read tea leaves, like a witch reads arcana, like a chef looks into a dish and knows the balance of ingredients and what may or may not be missing—testing it and rubbing it into my tongue every morning, every night.
Every day is different and every day is the same and every day is full of blood.
******
Deprivation—sensory, in my case—is a thing I am always exploring. Saturday night at a reading I had someone I care about blindfold me in front of a room of mostly-strangers. I sat ever-still for twelve minutes as my voice and sound came roaring out of an amplifier on the floor, the bass turned all the way up and rumbling through the floorboards and up and into every person in the room, up and into myself through the legs of the chair where I sat. Palo santo smoke filled the room. I was in total darkness, still, and inside of my mind as each of my memories came rumbling from the room the movie of myself and the ghost of myself filled my mind. Six year old me. Twenty-five year old me. Broken me. Loaded me. Every me. All of me. Twelve minutes of non-movement. Twelve minutes of me not relying on my physicality to commune with the room. Twelve minutes of my unable to make eye contact to make sure what I was reading was landing, to carve out a plot in someone else’s jungle to set up camp and live. With each swell of the sound my breath would move into different pockets of my body. Hearing myself read atrocities and broken heartsongs from my past and being unable to see any kind of reaction in anyone was disturbing, disorienting.
I am at my best when I am unaware of my body.
I am at my best when I can go away, disappear into nothing.
******
When it was over, when the sound stopped and I allowed my body to relax the room filled up with other sounds—people clapping and breathing—and I could not make eye contact with anyone. I needed to get away. I always need a few minutes alone to reconnect to myself but this felt so much heavier, so different than anything else. I felt ashamed and alive and aware and terrified of myself post-experiment/post-confession, as if I was waiting for discipline from someone, anyone. I wanted to be punished. I wanted to be held. I wanted to be touched but untouched and I wanted to fall into someone or myself or a stairwell or to run as hard as I could for as long and as far as I could.
Two days later, and this is all I can say about it.
Two days later, and I am just now returning to my body.

******

Sometimes I do things that appear to be calculated and/or plotted out in some strange way. Sometimes what I end up doing isn’t at all what anyone else thinks it is—the initial idea is just an idea but I stay open for anything and everything that might go down because fuck a life with restrictions and fuck a life with fear—nor is it what I initially thought it might be.

I am at my best when I do not feel safe.

I am at my best when I scare myself.

I am at my best when my chest is an open wound and anyone can see my heart and anyone can see my yearning and anyone can whisper into the hole or leave a tiny and folded note in between the slats of tissue.

I am at my best when I am walking on hot coals.

******

I am not sure what triggered the need for me to do what I did on Saturday night, but I did it and now I cannot go back. I am what I am right now. I am not sure what I am to others who were in the room, but I know that I have changed, molted, seen another me inside of the me sitting still in a chair in a room full of people while my words and memories and ghosts swirled through the air and battered their way into every molecule in the space, every strand of DNA, every page of every book. Two days later now and I am finally able to piece together some things and cogency, ever-late, is emerging.

******

I used to be afraid of my blood. As a child I would get woozy and pass out at the sight. As I aged I learned that my blood regenerated itself, that it wasn’t leaking out never to be replenished. I learned to play with my blood a little, to taste it when it came out from a cut, when I bit into the meat of my tongue, when I fell and drove my bottom teeth through the tissue beneath my bottom lip. In my teens I used to cut myself in secret places and write on myself with my blood. I used to make cassette mixtapes full of punk rock and almost always would I leave a bloodprint on the annotated tracklist I would make to go along with it. now, at the age I am right here, I still play with my blood every day—diabetes made me a person who reads his blood like a gypsy would read tea leaves, like a witch reads arcana, like a chef looks into a dish and knows the balance of ingredients and what may or may not be missing—testing it and rubbing it into my tongue every morning, every night.

Every day is different and every day is the same and every day is full of blood.

******

Deprivation—sensory, in my case—is a thing I am always exploring. Saturday night at a reading I had someone I care about blindfold me in front of a room of mostly-strangers. I sat ever-still for twelve minutes as my voice and sound came roaring out of an amplifier on the floor, the bass turned all the way up and rumbling through the floorboards and up and into every person in the room, up and into myself through the legs of the chair where I sat. Palo santo smoke filled the room. I was in total darkness, still, and inside of my mind as each of my memories came rumbling from the room the movie of myself and the ghost of myself filled my mind. Six year old me. Twenty-five year old me. Broken me. Loaded me. Every me. All of me. Twelve minutes of non-movement. Twelve minutes of me not relying on my physicality to commune with the room. Twelve minutes of my unable to make eye contact to make sure what I was reading was landing, to carve out a plot in someone else’s jungle to set up camp and live. With each swell of the sound my breath would move into different pockets of my body. Hearing myself read atrocities and broken heartsongs from my past and being unable to see any kind of reaction in anyone was disturbing, disorienting.

I am at my best when I am unaware of my body.

I am at my best when I can go away, disappear into nothing.

******

When it was over, when the sound stopped and I allowed my body to relax the room filled up with other sounds—people clapping and breathing—and I could not make eye contact with anyone. I needed to get away. I always need a few minutes alone to reconnect to myself but this felt so much heavier, so different than anything else. I felt ashamed and alive and aware and terrified of myself post-experiment/post-confession, as if I was waiting for discipline from someone, anyone. I wanted to be punished. I wanted to be held. I wanted to be touched but untouched and I wanted to fall into someone or myself or a stairwell or to run as hard as I could for as long and as far as I could.

Two days later, and this is all I can say about it.

Two days later, and I am just now returning to my body.

******

(17 notes)

Jul 16 2014
Wild feelings riding goofy on wild breezes. Rain with big thunder. Lightning not lightening, forever and ever, more, amen. Misguided guidance and misunderstood understanding. Sensing the nonsense before the scent.
These are a few of my favorite things.
******
Cannot even begin to express the gratitude and shock and glow inside of myself in regard to the reaction the tiny-tiny bite-sized excerpt from my book has done to my heart. So many kind words. So many I cannot waits. So many when does it come outs. So many tiny messages made of hope and full of glow. Never enough thank yous for this. Never enough.
It is happening and coming and coiling as it uncoils and soon it will be a real thing for hands and eyes and coffee drips and nacho crumbs and toilet tanks and to-to-tote-bags and unmentionables drawers.
Future Me loves Future You for being rad rightfuckingnow and rad in the future.
******
Received an email from a former sig-oth/lover yesterday. She wanted to know the details about the book: the when, the where does one get getting, etc. She also asked if I had written about her in the book and then went on to say that she wanted me to know it was okay for me to do so and she just wanted to be sure I had changed her name and that she was interested on my take about what went down between us. I responded quickly, because I know that putting oneself out there like that with someone with whom there is a shared experience/past/sweat/fluids/disappointments/elation is a very precarious and scary thing. I let her know that I had indeed written about parts of our life together when we were together and also let her know that all names get changed and I can and will change the name attached to the her who lives in the book to any name of her choosing, as an inside thing between the us that is no longer an us and hasn’t been an us for longer than some lives. Then I told her this—
“I work very hard in my writing to never judge or condemn or make anyone else out to be anything other than a human being having a human experience and I am almost always the villain, because I was. I was not the person I am now. I was there, but buried underneath a lot of pain and self-doubt.”
—which is goddamn true and real and something I am always thinking about. Memoir is not meant to be a tool wielded by the broken or wounded to be used for debasement or deflection or running from emotional responsibility. And if it is them there things for you, well, goddamn maybe find another emotional outlet or a new therapist or volunteer to walk dogs at a shelter or something.
She totally got it and it felt good and true to me, I felt right as rain for being honest and trying to reassure her. I also told her she never did anything wrong, which is true to me, but then she fired back—
“Eh, I’m aware of my faults too. I was really messed up. I was in a lot of emotional pain and wasn’t on meds yet. It’s ok to be honest about me. Just change the name is all.”
—which made me feel things and think about things and love her and feel good for her and feel good for me and feel good for humanity as a whole because holy fuck we need to feel good in this world.
Try to feel good more often.
******
My last blood is fighting right now and I am proud of her and scared for her but mostly proud. No disease is allowed to live in us, to hurt us, not after the losses diseases have given us. I meditate for strength and calm and relief for her every morning. Every night before I go to bed I whisper her name into my dog’s ear because I feel like my dog is closer to any god-energy than I actually can ever be and she can relay the message. A friend I love mentioned her name at a ceremony with the sun and it still stuns me that it happened and I still wish nothing more than I could have witnessed it because I cried so hard and it felt like I had. I text my last blood every morning after I meditate and tell her that I love her and that her strength is infinite and her glow is forever.
******
Last night in my dream I saw the children of the desert and they were not pleased and not in any kind of mood for any kind of dream things.
Stop dropping those bombs, already.
******

You know you’re the asshole when you get left behind.

Wild feelings riding goofy on wild breezes. Rain with big thunder. Lightning not lightening, forever and ever, more, amen. Misguided guidance and misunderstood understanding. Sensing the nonsense before the scent.

These are a few of my favorite things.

******

Cannot even begin to express the gratitude and shock and glow inside of myself in regard to the reaction the tiny-tiny bite-sized excerpt from my book has done to my heart. So many kind words. So many I cannot waits. So many when does it come outs. So many tiny messages made of hope and full of glow. Never enough thank yous for this. Never enough.

It is happening and coming and coiling as it uncoils and soon it will be a real thing for hands and eyes and coffee drips and nacho crumbs and toilet tanks and to-to-tote-bags and unmentionables drawers.

Future Me loves Future You for being rad rightfuckingnow and rad in the future.

******

Received an email from a former sig-oth/lover yesterday. She wanted to know the details about the book: the when, the where does one get getting, etc. She also asked if I had written about her in the book and then went on to say that she wanted me to know it was okay for me to do so and she just wanted to be sure I had changed her name and that she was interested on my take about what went down between us. I responded quickly, because I know that putting oneself out there like that with someone with whom there is a shared experience/past/sweat/fluids/disappointments/elation is a very precarious and scary thing. I let her know that I had indeed written about parts of our life together when we were together and also let her know that all names get changed and I can and will change the name attached to the her who lives in the book to any name of her choosing, as an inside thing between the us that is no longer an us and hasn’t been an us for longer than some lives. Then I told her this—

“I work very hard in my writing to never judge or condemn or make anyone else out to be anything other than a human being having a human experience and I am almost always the villain, because I was. I was not the person I am now. I was there, but buried underneath a lot of pain and self-doubt.”

—which is goddamn true and real and something I am always thinking about. Memoir is not meant to be a tool wielded by the broken or wounded to be used for debasement or deflection or running from emotional responsibility. And if it is them there things for you, well, goddamn maybe find another emotional outlet or a new therapist or volunteer to walk dogs at a shelter or something.

She totally got it and it felt good and true to me, I felt right as rain for being honest and trying to reassure her. I also told her she never did anything wrong, which is true to me, but then she fired back—

“Eh, I’m aware of my faults too. I was really messed up. I was in a lot of emotional pain and wasn’t on meds yet. It’s ok to be honest about me. Just change the name is all.”

—which made me feel things and think about things and love her and feel good for her and feel good for me and feel good for humanity as a whole because holy fuck we need to feel good in this world.

Try to feel good more often.

******

My last blood is fighting right now and I am proud of her and scared for her but mostly proud. No disease is allowed to live in us, to hurt us, not after the losses diseases have given us. I meditate for strength and calm and relief for her every morning. Every night before I go to bed I whisper her name into my dog’s ear because I feel like my dog is closer to any god-energy than I actually can ever be and she can relay the message. A friend I love mentioned her name at a ceremony with the sun and it still stuns me that it happened and I still wish nothing more than I could have witnessed it because I cried so hard and it felt like I had. I text my last blood every morning after I meditate and tell her that I love her and that her strength is infinite and her glow is forever.

******

Last night in my dream I saw the children of the desert and they were not pleased and not in any kind of mood for any kind of dream things.

Stop dropping those bombs, already.

******

You know you’re the asshole when you get left behind.

(16 notes)

Jul 15 2014
Jul 13 2014
My sister steps into a hole in the ground in the yard and the bees swarm out and start to sting and attack her and she is shrieking and my mother runs over to grab her and everyone else scatters but I stand and stare at the welts forming where she has been stung and then my father pushes me out of the way and pours a can of gasoline into the hole and calmly drops a lit cigarette into the hole. I watch as bees fly up and out of the hole in flames while my sister screams and my mother screams and my father nods his head at me and says quietly, only to me, ‘burn anything that ever hurts you.’

(9 notes)

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