Monday, August 31, 2009


There are rainbows burning under this chandelier, playful as lemon, shouting through the evanescent smoke.
There are words that drip from cuts and clouds, sugared as roses, singing as they sweat from the earth.


"[Most people] gaze at the world through the clear window-pane of language; poets are those strange, socially dysfunctional creatures who never cease to be fascinated by the minute warpings and convexities of the glass itself, its coolness to the forehead and slithery feel to the fingerpads."
-Terry Eagleton

"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with words."
-W.H. Auden

and, of course

"All bad art springs from genuine feeling."
-Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"net" poem.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the
star to every wandering bark,
Whose Worth's unknown, although his height be taken
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his
brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved

inspired by

Sunday, August 23, 2009

man, i love college.

and reading ahead on the poetry class syllabus.

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

--sonnet 73

Thursday, August 13, 2009

best day ever?

soooo this was sitting on my doorstep yesterday, in some rain-drenched cardboard:

definitely the best going-away present i've ever bought myself. i'm taking it with me everywhere. everywhere.

actual summer reading is done.

"She was history knocking on the door of the heart, and when she came knocking, her message often was opaque, symbolic, evocative. I was left to make of it what I could, but I could not escape the intrusion."

"Don't get too attached to places in life, Peter."

"You see, my dear, the poet has taught us that the abyss is the gateway to man's imagination, and it's imagination which gives us power over ourselves."

"I believe that Saroyan, like all Armenians, was a natural utopian. We have a dream instead of a country. Because territory has eluded us, we have a freedom to invent that most people don't. The more our geography shrinks, the more our imaginations expand, the more we're like owls flying in the dark."

"Because totalitarian regimes always find poets the most dangerous of people, they are often the first to be executed."

"True forgiveness can be granted only after the perpetrator has sought and earned it through confession, repentance, and restitution. If the perpetrator government stalks the victims in an effort to prevent the victims' acts of commemoration, there can be no full healing. The victim culture is held hostage in a wilderness of grief and rage, and is shut out of its moral place in history."

"Numbing, Robert Lifton suggests, is a process by which the self distances itself from traumatic experience. It is not repression, which excludes and denies the past, because in numbing one still has the potential for insight and some reclamation of the nightmarish past."

"But the old mind would not smolder in ashes. Once on safe ground, the old mind would reemerge with new vitality."

Black Dog of Fate, Peter Balakian

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ode to bagelboy.

Stomach to stomach, heart to heart
Breathe in my passion
Trying to live, breathe, feel at once
Wonder if you can see where my eyes are
Stalking the clock, not looking down
I smell of your hands
I shudder and look down
Where is my heart at?

Friday, August 7, 2009

summer love.

"There's no art
To find the mind's construction in the face."
-Duncan, I.iv

"Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see."
-Macbeth, I.iv

"False face must hide what the false heart doth
-Macbeth, I.vii

"O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!"
-Macbeth, III.ii

"We are yet but young in deed."
-Macbeth, III.iv

"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
-Macbeth, V.v


Saturday, August 1, 2009

so long ago.

The bright tin cover punctured, and offwhite goop gushed forth. Surprisingly, the odor was not unpleasant. I'd become used to the bittersweet taste of natural yogurt, so I actually found the whole thing undaunting, except for the fact that the chunky smooth dairy juice stuck to my hands and to the grocery store floor. She cleaned it up herself. She was a good sport, even though she knew it was my clumsy hand that tipped the little carton over the belt, causing it to splatter onto the ground. Just one of the exciting perks of being a cashier.

time capsule.

I don't know what's been lingering up here for all these years, besides our memories, of course. The pink flowered quilt is still the same, with the comforting lumpy patches of soft cotton. The select stuffed animals have lasted the true test of time, not having been donated or handed down. Everything has happened as we said it would. I'm here now, ready to tear into the bright red wrapping paper in which we strategically snuggled the box containing our deep secrets and creations. Yes, everything is in place now, and I eagerly eye the parcel, not knowing how to start. I've waited for years, always peeking, always tempting myself to peer inside the little compartments, but never actually doing it. We were so young when we put it together. It was in your room, and then I transported it safely onto my old bunkbed in the storage room. I've always had the nervous thought that some strange person might impinge upon our creation, that unknowing eyes would prematurely reveal our secrets. We were inventors then. We were true artists, each putting the important pieces of ourselves into one creation. The date so neatly printed in our best lettering once seemed so foreign, as if we never actually knew it would come. The days have been passing so quickly though, and the mysterious numbers crawling past me finally have significance. I've caught up to them. The green card declares: "Open on 1/16/09 - To future Us - I love you - Good luck." Yes, everything is still, surprisingly, the same, although the hands that reach for it now have been broken in with experience. The box sits inside the only home it knows -- the red wrapping paper, with the green pieces of construction paper taped to the sides as compartments, the crumpled purple ribbon around it that has been flattened from the long anticipation, the two still sparkling bows, and the green construction paper card. Everything is in place except, of course, You.


"Do you think we'll still be friends in four years?" You asked as we sat on your carpet, throwing all our precious memories together. Writings, pictures, drawings, letters, anything we could find.
I had what I now call trust issues, and you were the best friend I had at the time. We were underdogs, but we had each other.
So I answered, "of course."
And it was easy for a while, communicating as frequently as possible, going places together. But eventually, the hallway greeting transformed into a smile, a smile into a nod, and a nod into some indistinguishable glance that was barely acknowledged. You'd gotten your nose pierced, I had found out. I had been with my share of silly boys. You had the same group of friends, always growing. I had myself, and I was happiest that way. I often wonder if you remember anything about that day, those days, this day. But it doesn't matter now. I tried to have someone else take your place today, because this is still weird for me. What if I've been expecting too much? What if there are no secrets of the beginnings of an artist or philosopher? Yes, those are lofty expectations, but it's been so long that all I can do is make my own fancies about what this box may contain. Fancy... that was our word. And so was "awkward." And we were awkward, pretending we were fancy. I saw You today, but I still wonder if you saw me, too. You were laughing. Maybe I just dreamed you up. Anyway, I think I'll do this now.


The paper ripped, and the crackling noise tore the space between fancy and reality. I wanted to cry to feel something again, but, simultaneously, I made myself sick in the stomach and shivering in the hands from anticipation. I carefully released the letter, and all its secrets. It was written on floral stationary, addressed to "Your one and only Me." The language was simple, the simplest I'd seen, and yet it moved me more than any bombastic prose could. You wrote things like, "I'm so glad we're friends," "God, I don't know where I'd be without you," "You've changed me as a person so much," "You are such a great writer, singer, and one of the best friends anyone could have." But the part that really struck me was where you wrote, "I want you to know that I'm always here for you. I love you. You’re an amazing person. Don't ever change!" And the last part:
"I couldn't ever imagine life without you. When we get old and have children, I hope that we will still be as close as we are now. There are no words to describe how much our friendship means to me! I'll always be here for you."
(Was it all true? Did you really change, could I have really meant all those things to you? I suddenly find it difficult to imagine your inability to express your love in words. Is it because it didn't exist, or was your sentiment merely a stale form of expression used in place of accurately describing some higher emotion?)
But now, in your place, I'll read the message I wrote to you, lost eternally in my hands only.


I remember my fourteen-year-old lips pressing against the back of that sweet little envelope, then my attempt to draw those lips and write "sealed with a kiss." I remember. Mine was more difficult to open, the glue stuck more firmly, perhaps because it knew it was not meant to be touched again by my fingers.
The first thing I noticed is that we both used the word "journey." When did our journey end? Now I remember all the things I ever wanted to say to you, written down and sealed. I underscored the "always" when I told you "I'll always be here for You." Yes, that guy is still on that show. He's not as attractive, and he's not married. No, our fantasy games never caught on, yes, I found some good boys, you've found one, and no, I can't say we're still friends. I told you to change for the better. If only you had read my letter years ago. I listed my promises, and when I shifted to cursive, I knew I was winding down my final thoughts, so I ended by telling you, "This time capsule is a promise. You have my four-year promise. You have my forever promise that I'll still be here for you." Well, I'm still here. It's just a little more silent on your end.


At first, I thought you looked the same in those pictures as you do now, but, upon reflection, I realize that you've grown so much. You're not that little girl anymore. I'll admit you're much prettier now. I still listen to the same music; according to the CD we made and stuffed into the back compartment. I wonder if you're predictable now, also.