Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Speak for Yourself pt. ii

Untitled Something no. 2

The first time you said you loved me you asked if that would scare me, and I said that I’m tougher than I look, which was the wrong answer, although it is true, and here is what I should have said: Darling, I love you like fireworks, like honestly and like cat calls, like fast cars, more sun than usual, like inhale, exhale, make my heartbeat get normal again, and darling, your lips are like an empty guest bedroom but a car in the driveway, but stop making assumptions about what that means. I love you like Independence Day, ironically enough. Me and you, we’re two racing hearts and two narcissists with four sweaty palms and twenty tired toes and you’re lovely even when you lie to me.

The night you wouldn’t kiss me I said, “Take it or leave it,” but I couldn’t walk away. You couldn’t take it, but you didn’t leave it, so I just stayed.

We are made of broken things. You are built on broken families; I am built on broken promises, and because of that, baby, I miss you in a way that makes me want to never let you hear this poem. I wish that was a secret, but I am The Cellophane Girl and The Cellophane girl wears her heart where it belongs, right behind her rib cage, but she may as well wear it on her sleeve because The Cellophane Girl has see-through skin.

They told you, they said to you, “Sink or swim, kid,” but they didn’t know you could walk on water, and you went running.

I can fly. I can tell you about it, and when you listen to me talk about flight, by listening you have taught me about standing still.

We talk about horror movies and when we do it goes like this: You are quiet and I mumble something like, “Pay attention to the way blood bleeds. You’ll learn something from that, I bet.” Neither of us knows what I mean by that. I mean nothing by that.

I ask too many questions and you whisper, “Chew your food, darling. Stop swallowing things whole,” and both of us know what you mean by that. You mean everything by that.

When I look at the Tokyo sky I whisper things across the miles to you. I whisper things like, “The poetry about this place practically writes itself,” and I’m sure that you hear me, because we are watching the same sky tonight. Everything is foreign here, and it reminds me of you, which is ironic, because I know you so well. I know the shape of you and the smell of you and the curvature of your lips and the oh-so-parallel lines of your hips, and I whisper to our sky, I whisper, “There is a city in the sky, and everything about it, all of it, everything is enormous and very small in the same moment” – you make me feel enormous and very small in the same moment – “You’d appreciate the lavender staircases and that one orange-tiled building that was skinnier than I am, especially after I got my hands on ramen houses.” I hear your laugh across the miles.

We think about art across the miles. You’re a minimalistic masterpiece. You’re something Warhol. I am The Birth of Venus, and I am Cindy Sherman. We are not the same, but we still fit inside an art museum. You tell me that’s all that really matters.

I think about God and the two titans of the twentieth century and the way I’m sure they built this city. Picasso shaped these buildings and Matisse grabbed his paints and God shoved them close together, breathing his prayer into them, breathing his prayer into us, me and you are leaping across telephone lines, gathering speed, soaring through the clouds, turning into the skyline, shattering laws of matter, laws of thermodynamics, but I was just dreaming that, which makes more sense than anything has ever made to me.

I wore the fabric of us today and suddenly you are back, you are whispering that it looks nice on me, that it suits me, and I joke, saying, “Take it or leave it,” and then we are living that midnight one more time, you are kissing me in the street, kissing me goodbye, kissing me goodnight and the salt of your tears screams just how human you are tonight.

Sometimes, I think I can hear you praying for hope across the sky, and I whisper that I hope your deity grants you that. I am not lying when I say that, but I hope I am lovely even when I lie to you. You are lovely even when you lie to me.

Please understand my poetic justice, but know that darling, these days, I see right through your poker face, and that I think you’re lovely even when you lie to me.

All my love,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Speak for Yourself, pt. i

If you were there last night, I can't thank you enough. We had a really great time and I'm so honored to have shared the stage with Angie, Tim, Matt, Avery, Soleil, Roah, Jake, Cody, Mr. Nelson, and Jesse. You all blow me away. Here's my part one (of two).

Our Favorite Food is Formaldehyde or The Tribute Poem

Look: We were absolutely glorious. We were absolutely glorious and we were nothing else. Everything we had was rimmed with some sort of light, telling us we'd gotten it right for once, just because we'd found each other, and that was enough for us. All we really wanted was to glow, you know? We wanted the sun at our backs and the moon in our eyes, and then we could really be something.

We reeked of fame and stardom and said things like, "Paul McCartney told me not to namedrop!" We knew about love and we knew hatred and we knew about what it was like to be not liked, but it felt almost endearing, because at least we weren't liked as a whole, because at least we were a whole.

We smelled like flames and beauty that bleeds, and you wouldn't believe the way we gave gifts, like Trader Joe's, but better, like the entire nation on Christmas, but better, because we were the ones that were giving them, and that made them absolutely golden.

We were shaped like somebody that somebody else might long to be, like beautiful long limbs and shiny long hair and glory, and when we walked through the door, nothing else mattered. We owned the place right then, no matter who was paying the mortgage.

In those months, we tasted like perfection, like a weird mixture of Carmel Apple Cider and Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate and Chai Tea and White Mocha and Cat Cookies, which sounds like it wouldn't be tasty, but it was tasty because it was us.

I wish you could've read us, back in those days, we were the YA section one moment and the philosophy section the next. We were gender studies and classic fiction and the interesting part of the nonfiction section. We were Ayn Rand, we were a House of Leaves, we were daunting -- Look: We were the whole library. You'd never run low on us, never run out of us, 'cause in those stolen moments, we were forever interesting, always something to talk about, always something to cry over.

The sound of our voices was something else, "We're getting the band back together," we'd rumble, nothing short of thunder, our glow turned to lightning. We were truth like the Bible, brilliance like Shakespeare, we were somebody's love child, and you heard it when we talked, it was there, you didn't even have to listen closely hear it.

We dwelt in our own devastation. We were stunningly worldly, surprisingly materialistic, and shockingly honest about it. If we were ever going to kiss again, we'd kiss each other. Our favorite food: formaldehyde. We tasted dust Monday mornings, but we built an amusement park with our bare hands in a single weekend. We were dead set on catching up with the moon, and when we did, we were the prettiest things to have ever set foot in that place.

And The Man Upstairs, He gave us one year, said, "Be back by September," and we slipped out of the cracks in the foundation, timid, contemplating veganism, illiterate, freshly-washed. Tomorrow, we'll saunter back home, carnivorous, well-read, sweaty. Look: There we'll be, absolutely glorious. He'll ask for a report and we'll show Him our palms, an almost gory allusion, but He'll understand. God always understands. God will laugh. God will say, "I hear the whole of you was so bright it got you kicked out of business class seating." We will laugh. Someone will make the obligatory "smoke follows beauty" joke, and God will pat us on the heads, and this is what He'll say to us: "You are here now. You are here now, and now you understand."

But the best part is that last night, we realized the pains in our backs were only because we've been sprouting wings.

Speak for Yourself.
All my love,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Itchy eyes, why we really went to the dollar store.

Here's a thing I learned today, on the day my yoga teacher promised me "high vibrations" would make something exciting happen: When death is on the line, nothing really matters. The Bachelorette doesn't matter and dresses don't matter and nothing matters except everybody you've ever loved. All that really matters is watching your kid graduate or walk down the isle and how many days you spent with your family before you couldn't do that anymore.

You have to realize that -- you have to realize what's important before death is on the line and you're then required to realize it in the scariest, saddest way possible, but it doesn't even matter that I'm saying that to you right now, because you won't realize until you have to. That's the way it works.

What I'm saying is that sometimes, when someone says, "Drive out here and do sidewalk chalk with me," that isn't what they're really saying. They're saying, "Listen, we're going through this thing, and you're not going to come down here and talk to me about it, you're going to come down here and just be with me because we haven't done that enough in the last year, and you matter to me."

Tread lightly.
All my love,