Where have I gone?
So far from you, into this night of beer and streets
and now this day
of scarves pulled tightly around throats.
And now this day—
The horses feet never touch the ground.
Round we go…
Where have I gone?
Breaching these academic fairy circles,
Hand-fasting in the library,
I look for you.
This exhaustion has a German root.
If I pull my face taught,
turning beneath the colored lights,
smiling for the windows—
And now this day—
Another like all the rest,
So uniquely its own tangled set of limbs.
And now sunlight, raw,
The Tempo, she has no regard for feet.
Round we go…
Where have I gone?
Do you still see the empty space?
I have forgotten the time and the day
I think maybe, turning under the colored lights,
You might be here,
You might be here too. Only never.
Oh never, no never!
And sunlight raw! And sunlight bleeding
Through the blinds.
And now this day—
just so far from you. So far,
I have gone.
I pull my face taught—
No need, no need, oh never
The name of this story is “Chekhovian, Ohio.” The face of Sherwood Anderson told me to write it. Also never to get married. Odd fella.
The town is gray constantly. I am glad to be away for so long. There is a building that resembles a large soda can where they…
I’ll be honest. In the beginning, I stared. When you gave a relevant comment in class, when you waited for the elevator, when you first sat down and your perfect hair bounced in just that perfect feminine way that I will never master. I wondered, just as those two slacker dicks did:
“Hey, do you know if she…?”
“I don’t know man. I tried to look for the Adam’s Apple. But…I don’t know. And her figure, too, is kinda…but I dunno know.”
I flinched then. I stopped peeping out of the corners of my eyes, and brought my mind to the forefront; I began to really listen to you. Listened with everything that I had. Your presentation was everything that mine was not. You had a way about you that was effortless, confidant, crystalline and dark. I never said a thing. Not even when I realized how much I had come to esteem you, a perfect stranger.
What I should have said all that time ago, whether classmates were around or not, was:
You are beautiful. Please, I’m not trying to be weird. I just had to say it; you’re absolutely beautiful. You might be the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. And it’s not just because I can see it in your skin, your hair, the way your lips move—there’s something else. This unnameable thing that radiates from you that I wish I had, that I’ve always looked for and never known it. And I know I’ll probably never see it again, because it is so unique to who you are. That’s okay though, because I’ve seen it now. I know that I will never really know, and I am awed—I am struck. I do not call it love, because I imagine to love you is a completely different phenomenon that would most likely destroy me in the most wonderful way; I will not do you the disservice of assuming that loving you would be easy. You are both wave and particle, sea and sand, and it’s enough to have glimpsed you once. It’s enough.
Volunteers and villains alike, gather round the Springpole, for the False Spring Queen is giving away this beautiful V.F.D. pin or ring to one lucky winner!
Here are the rules:
- Enter by reblogging ONCE. Multiple reblogs will not give you a better chance. Likes do not count.
- Must be…
There’s the sound of grocery bags in the kitchen; shopping done, a benevolent soul opens the fridge.
I haven’t showered, and the blankets are all tossed around my feet. I write, because I’m trying to figure out what it is that I’m attempting to say.
Thomas Wolfe is sitting next to me with his fire and his ‘O Lost.’ Fuck, how could he say so much, and how can I say so little? Am I just not tragic…am I just missing out on some inextricable beauty…have I just not lived enough…
I laugh over Whitman because he seems to have managed to be exuberant without every being happy, if that makes sense. I need to read ‘Leaves of Grass’ now that the spring is coming.
A big dog barks next door, with a hoarse, chained-up kind of tone. I can feel him in my voice sometimes. I wonder if I open these curtains, light spilling in, I will finally loose him. I’ll just stare through the cool pane, and see a dog like any other dog on a hollow porch.
I have developed an incredible fondness of tomatoes in their absence. I want the acid, the slight sweet, the seed, the rind. I want the red in my mouth to be full and bursting forth in summerness. I want there to be basil and salt to chime in when necessary.
I love this water that I have pooled in my green cracked mug. It tastes clearer than twice-boiled ice to me. Maybe if I drink enough I can make that clarity join with me, so that my body might become these refracting crystals that separates out all the color-some troubles and words of me. I will refract them onto the page and let them burn to life. Burning Burning Burning. Here.
I would have said it was her plan if Mia had ever made any. To live as she did, without intention but always affect, was the most dangerous, innocent thing. I will never meet another like her, which makes sleep come easier, but the days so much longer. I saw her as Thoreau saw nature, until of course…
She slammed the door of the rusted, gray, Jeep and let her arm hang out the window—all tan and no sunburn. She smiled at me as though I’d come to see her off to a place where all her cares would be swept away with the sun at dusk. I was merely watching in that masochistic way that you do when something awful and inevitable is happening from the inside, out. I wasn’t thinking anything of the kind at the time; I was just incredibly, aware—as if my goal in life was to be a lens, solely made to perceive. Marcel swore at the radio as the sound of static spilled into the air. I knew I had seen that particular smile before.
“Don’t mope,” she said, “You know you’ll hear from me on the road.”
“That’s okay,” I said, “I don’t think I love you anymore.” Such are the ridiculous things we say when the light hurts.
“You wish,” she laughed and winked at me. I wanted to say that, in truth, I’d never wished for anything so badly.
The Jeep lurched forward and slid out of sight. I watched until they became a black pinhole on the horizon and disappeared. All at once, I felt cleaved open as dust, wind, and ruddy light poured into me. I took a breath so deep it stung my eyes. The world was salty, the cracked sidewalk seemed to tell me so. I could taste this highway town through my feet, and the girl with a hundred names was gone. So, I used my last five to buy a chocolate milkshake from the derelict diner that she had tried to hustle before Marcel swaggered in with his wife-beater and Northern accent. I left all my change in the tip jar; the blue eye-shadow the waitress wore was the saddest I’d ever seen.
I hitched a ride home on a produce truck—I don’t recommend it. I got back to my apartment around 3 am, since I had chosen to get out and walk the last four miles. I was relieved that my landlord hadn’t changed the locks while I had been away. Though he had left me eight angry voice messages. The last voice message, number nine, started just as I had thrown myself onto the couch and was beginning to fall asleep:
“Holy Shit! Jess, you won’t believe it! Well, I don’t know, you might, but seriously! I did it! I finally did it! Shit! It’s fucking beautiful. You are an asshole for not being here..”
After some muffled laughter the message cut off. The next morning, the county was a-buzz with news of the most destructive case of arson ever witnessed. Fire departments and response teams were struggling to keep up with the speed and fierceness of the fires. It was currently being blamed on gangs, or was it satanists? They hadn’t found the responsible party and wouldn’t.
It wasn’t until four weeks later that I heard from Mia—a postcard from Texas, saying she had shacked up with some guy named Miguel, (no word on Marcel or his Jeep—she had a way of forgetting people) who thought her hair was worth all the gold of the Aztecs, and that I should come with them to Mexico next week to visit Miguel’s family. I responded, but I can’t remember what I said. I do know that I drank a lot afterwards. Sometimes, as much as I wish I didn’t, I miss her. Like she told me once, there’s something about the flame that makes you wish you were the moth.
I found my window and I pulled me through. I can write now. It’s strange because it makes me happy in a way most people would not describe as “happy.” Digging around inside brings out my voice and a lot of other uglier things.
I drank some cider that stung so sweet I feel as though someone threw a honey crisp apple and hit me between the eyes—a kiss.
And I have a fern now. This little living thing on my windowsill that grows. I’m afraid to touch him, because I know my foolish hands will feel a pulse. I hope he is warm.
On my way home,
The cracked narrow path
Rushes with rivulets of rain,
The grass is gray as the
Golden dusk is hastily brushed over with black,
My steps take care among the bruised, brown leaves—
Like floating crusts of bread, and
I, their companion,
The amber duck scuttling through the green pond.
The sudden small song of
My lone window’s yellow light,
Standing naked before the howling wind,
Shyly, amidst the cold poplars,
Its soloist tune calling,
Like the Song of the Lute,
Plucking from me the ardent memories
Kept tucked within—
Like the snap of a dinner tablecloth unfurled,
Hovering, then sinking, in soft waves onto polished red wood,
And so, I too, sink beneath
Those wistful threads,
The weft and warp of my longing,
Of warmer nights, made softer by sweeter company than
These slated poplars and weeping grass—
Like the growing flicker of a candle
Exhausted too soon
A gilded silk tears in two—
I quietly borrow Po Chui’s
Wetted blue coat.
I stood so still in expectancy that I hardly breathed.
Your two small hands pressed against the hair that hung short on either side of my face.
Your soft, urging breath tickled; I bit my lip to keep from giggling.
Then again, you were laughing a little too.
The words came slowly; every vowel and consonant reaching for each other as if from a long distance. Your earnestness carefully stretched each bit out so I wouldn’t misunderstand.
It was so long ago, two bright heads bent towards each other, drawing a part only to look for eavesdroppers and laugh.
Curling affectionately into corners and places we thought we were alone; speaking in confidence,and sharing what we would never dream of mentioning to any other soul.
Like I said, it’s been awhile and neither of us really have anything to whisper about anymore, but I have never forgotten those soul-bearing moments and knowing looks; in my heart, with each surging beat of my pulse, a few of your words murmur quickly of all that once was. They echo through my blood and veins, reveling in my nervous system until my fingertips prickle with the joy of it.
I stand still when this happens, unconsciously smiling in that certain way that hints to the world you have a secret. In my mind’s eye I see us again, looking very much like little monkeys with our sparkling eyes and mischievous looks, grins peaking through the curtain of our fingers due to some wonderful private joke. These are the moments that I may never truly share with anyone else; they are me and you. This is my last secret and my best one yet.