Thursday, June 30, 2011

A most perfect unpetalling



[jasmine tea and vanilla-lemon cupcakes with my sister at a dessert tapas cafe in the East Village]

I am in the middle of a very difficult journey. It's a spiritual, emotional and practical one, that requires more strength than I thought existed in my little soul. Basically what happened, is I found the man of my dreams. His name is Nick. I realized that all the men I dated before were because I was hunting in them, to find that tiny little fraction, and now I have found the man that is the summation of all those fractions. I may have dated one man because he had the perfect sense of humor I was looking for, another because of the physical attraction, another because his intellect was beautiful to me. I found that one quality in each man, and it sustained me for a short while, but now I realize what I was doing all these years. I was collecting pieces because I could be temporarily happy with a small piece of my perfect heaven. Now that I have found the man who is composed of all perfect pieces, it's a little overwhelming, something my brain has trouble processing. How could I have found this person, it almost seems like he is something I manifested? How can someone fit so ideally into what I want? I've ended up sabotaging things tremendously, and am no longer with him. I refuse to sit around crying about that though, because I've realized that the world sometimes throws hurdles at me to make me prove that I really want something. I can be such a passive person, and don't fight for things, and take a different road often when the road is unbearable. But this time, for the first time, I'm going to fight.

The most beautiful splendors are for the most beautiful of fighters. Wartime is just another way. When the blood is outside of our bodies we realize with a shock that we are human. And sometimes at that point, after the knife wound, it is already too late. And we can only have a few minutes of watching our life pooling at our feet. But sometimes instead: we heal and recover, and continue on, finally human. I think that true living happens only once we have almost lost it. And that must be the same with loving.

I never really believed in past lives, but I have the strangest sensation that I've loved him in a past life. And I know that I love him in my present life. And suspect I will love him in all my future lives. To know that I have found my soul mate is at least comforting a little. If I cannot be with him in this life time, at least I know I've found him. And at the very least, in one of my future lives, I will have him completely, and he will have me completely. I'm learning slowly, to be patient with things.

I went to see a very interesting, old jewish woman last night. She is able to read souls, and she sat across from me, stared into my eyes. After saying a number of startlingly true things she said "Okay, let's get to your love life now", looked into my eyes again, and then said: "Nicholas."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Finding a way out of the ocean




This is a photo of a man kissing his girlfriend during a riot in Vancouver. She had been knocked down by the armed men storming in, and he bent down to comfort her, and all he could think of was to kiss her.

Sometimes, when we are very lucky, love is a thing of instinct.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boxes filled with various, precious things

I spent much of yesterday in the ER, though not for my own ailments. Now, I know. No one is a fan of hospitals. But I, due to many years of being a delicate child and young adult, have gone to the ER several times a year for as long as I can remember. I got used to and started to enjoy the system-- i'd bring books and magazines, apple juice always, a change of clothes and anything else I might need should they ask me to stay the night. It was always interesting for me to be in an environment with such intense experiences going on all around me. People on the verge of death, people in dark places, or people just like me. This time however, the moment I walked into where people were being treated, I felt overstimulated with all their pain-- their moaning and the limp way their bodies stagnated in the cheap hospital carts. Half of them were drunk or delirious, most of them were catatonic. There were police scattered all about to keep watch over certain patients, which I found unsettling, as they obviously must pose some danger. And perhaps I did not enjoy it because I was worrying about someone else for a change. But, since I am a creature of water, I adapted to the environment after a few minutes, and was fine from there.

So in the supermarket today I had an interesting idea for a new cupcake, and this is inspired by my darling E since she drinks these, and I am always thinking of ways to make things that would delight her. I found this beautiful bottle of grenadine syrup, and thought to make Shirley Temple Cupcakes: A poundcake as the main cake, with grenadine cream frosting and filled with a maraschino cherry filling. Charming, no?

In other cupcake endeavors, I've realized how much I enjoy sculpting fondant into pretty particulars to place atop baked goods. It is such a relaxing art form-- I spent hours last week making a single key: tinting it to the perfect shade of rusty brown, kneading it smooth, indenting grooved marks and etc. It is very satisfying for me to create digestible art, i've realized. By that I mean, poetry is easily 'digestible'-- you can read it in a few minutes and get some pleasure from it. And cupcake art is the most literally digestible, as it is consumed and goes through the body and becomes, in small part, a part of the body.

I watched Gattaca again this evening, and it's interesting how this world is likely going to become like that pretty soon. When I was in Disney World a few months ago they had you scan your fingerprint to gain entry into the park, and it was a big problem because my fingerprint wouldn't scan. After trying several fingers we found one that worked finally. I was very embarrassed, but I've known for a long time that my fingerprints have been disappearing. I feel I am slowly leaving the world: the realistic goals, the 9-5 working hours, the cut throat business agendas, taxes, rational ideas of romance, networking and appropriate social etiquette. It is gone from me and I am almost gone. I have a few fingerprints left before I become a ghost, and when that happens no one would be able to find me. Then perhaps I could finally go off and live in a cottage in the woods and write poems and bake pies all day, and count stars and play records all evening. And no one would bother me or ask me to be "sensible" or "rational". And I would not have to worry about people I have hurt because they would be very far away, and I would not have to worry about looking beautiful for anyone but myself, so my beauty would become a pure and honest thing.

The other day I broke down, swallowed my pride, and asked my mother if I could live in our old home, which is currently abandoned, growing weeds and collecting chinese food menus. I want to disappear, and where better to than the house of my childhood. I love that house because there is a sunny porch room where I would sit and write poems in, and a big backyard with a hammock that I would sunbathe in some days, and sleep in some cold and distraught nights. There were so many places to go to in that house. But she told me that I couldn't move there. She wanted to sell it because when she goes back there to maintain it, she hears a ghost hollering my fathers name, constantly.

When Buddy came home tonight we got into a long talk, as usual, and decided to do tarot card readings, which we haven't done in ages. I asked the cards about my love life and this was the solution card:

"A dead end. Stagnation. Hidden undermining forces are at work. Something is desperately 'kept under a lid'".

After discussing things a bit, Buddy told me about how much she had to rely on her gut instinct to keep me around. She said that when we were younger, I hurt her on many deep levels, and constantly frustrated her and treated her badly. But, after the 'divorce' she said it was as though I were the pheonix rising from the ashes, and was given to her as this precious "prize" for her responsibility to take care of. And she has not flinched from the responsibility since.

I was re-reading "Ordinary Genius" by Kim Addonizio this morning. and came across this passage from "Letters to a Young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilke:

"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is the question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even realizing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day."

And then Addonizio goes on to talk about this idea of "living the question": and mentions about how Keats called the ability to 'live the question': when a man is capable of being in uncertainties. Mystery, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.

So perhaps we oughtn't be so terrified of what is on the other side of the ocean, after we have done our laboring swim across. Or of what is on the bottom of the ocean floor, or in the bellies of the fish, or back at shore, or anything at all.

Also today I cleaned the top of my desktop, eradicating about 80% of knick knacks. I'm not a fan of them, as I think the more precious something is, the less abundance there is of them. And so I am in one of those moods to get rid of all excess, and only hang on to the things that are terrifyingly important to me. So because of that I throw away a lot of momentos and letters and etc. but I keep a trunk filled with every article worthy of being saved from every romantic relationship. And it is kept locked up and things only go into it once the relationship is completely, 100% over. And I thought something today: I have a trunk filled with all of you, boxes filled with some of you, a heart filled with only one of you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness."

[Title of post from 1984 by George Orwell, said by O'Brien to Winston in a dream]

When I open a particularly fizzy bottle of sparkling water, I like to watch it effervesce. It is like looking at a window during a rainstorm, but instead the rain is upside down.

I spent the majority of the day running errands in my car, and went to one of my favorite places in New York, my Hideaway. I'll not name it by name because I go there to be a ghost, and as much as I adore everyone who reads my blog, I do not like running into people, especially not there. I sat in the bookstore and read the current issue of Poets & Writers, because mine has not yet come in the mail, (which defeats the purpose of having a subscription, quel dommage!). Among others, I read an article by Joyce Thomas, one of the Why We Write articles, entitled “The Word in the World”:

“I like to tell my students that only the letter “l”--that bare alphabetic Maypole-- separates word from world.”

As I was reading the magazine I noticed my reading habits: there were several articles or excerpts that I half-read and then moved on. Sometimes I would not even finish the paragraph, or even the sentence I was reading. I feel ravenous for beauty, or brilliance sometimes, and like I am a raccoon digging through trashcans. I'll tear the lid off some things, chew through others, give some a sniff, but if I do not spy any magic in the writing, or any promise for it, I move on quickly. There is so much to read out there, overwhelmingly so, that I do not understand why anyone would waste a second on something just for the sake of “finishing the article”.

My screening process for novels is two-fold: 1. I will read the first page of the book, and decide at that point if I'd like to continue to the second step. Then, after purchasing/borrowing/etc. 2. I will read up to page 60, even if I have to trudge through. Even I, who is among those who crave immediate gratification, can understand that a novel takes a bit of time to set up before we are invested in the story and characters. The page number is a bit arbitrary, as I originally chose it when I was in high school. I was reading 1984 and my reading of it was labor until page 60, when I became enraptured. So now, if I reach page 60, I know whether to continue on or abandon the book to the sad stack I exile to the hidden corners of the bookshelf, to grow a skin of dust and my disdain. If I decide on the other hand, to continue on, then I'll carry it with me everywhere I go and sleep with it under my pillow or tangled in my blankets.

I've met a few people in my life who tell me that if they start a book they always finish it to the last page, even if they are not enjoying it in the least, and this makes me terribly sad. But I have a bit of respect for that behavior too: it sounds to me like going to the funeral of a person you were not too fond of, just to pay your respects.

Also, I want to check out this book: “The Chameleon Couch” by Yusef Komunyakaa. Here are the opening lines:

“Because I mistrust my head & hands, because I know salt/tinctures my songs, I tried not to touch you/ even as I pulled you into my arms.”

This evening I made basil-infused olive oil, and it is the loveliest, liveliest color, and made the kitchen smell like summer. I tend to go a bit mad in the summertime, it is always a difficult time for me, and I'm sure this year will be no different. But that does not mean I don't delight in its traditions and the wondrous little gifts it brings.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Come live in my heart and pay no rent"

Summation of my day, in color form:

Blue: lights from the empire state building that I could see from my rooftop
Grey: puppy paw prints embedded in the staircase between 4th and 5th floor of my building
Green: juice I fixed for breakfast
Pink: highlighter used to mark up to-do list
Red: my cheeks after a solid jog
Yellow: notebook I wrote in
Black: bottomed feet from running around barefoot
White: wine I had leftover from my BBQ that I indulged in a glass of. Just one! My doctor will be delighted.
Leopard: print broom from sweeping up.
Polka dot: sunglasses to shield my eyes from the sun

The words I've spoken aloud today:
1. thank-you's (for doors held open, cashiers ringing me up)
2. a 5 minute conversation with my father about impending travel
3. a few lines sung along to depeche mode

N brought me back a book of Russian poetry her relative wrote. I've been asking for this for over a year, and she finally went to visit them in her old country. Every time I would appear excited about receiving this book she would remind me that I do not speak russian and would not be able to understand it. What she does not understand is that poetry is not like other forms of written text. You can drag your tongue through a completely foreign poem's text and find rhythm and meaning in sound. You can look at how the words fall down the page and understand whether the poet is expressing anger or delight. A love poem is obvious, it is usually very small or cannot stop from going on and on. It has soft syllables and urgency in cadence. Or at least it should. All love should be urgent, irrepressible, something with too many words to fit inside your mouth all at once. No love should be expressed too easily.

The majority of America dislikes poetry because they don't "get it". What I think everyone's issue is, is that they are trying too hard. It should be a very simple act. Of course you can spend hours, days, decades deciphering certain poetry, but the most important interpretation is the one you get from the first instant you meet a poem. This is why I like reading foreign poems of a language I don't speak, because: language will not distract me from the meaning of it.