Friday, December 21, 2012

metal lover

You're the only person i know
who plays in train grave yards
who loves the touch of metal

i see you in
             wind chimes
             bike frames
             door knobs
fire arms

On the days when you're not
mechanical with your feelings
i imagine you find purpose in
              record players
               bubble wrap
sand storms

But on the days when you are
when you are mechanical with your feelings
do you ignore the city lights
within the fences of your finger prints?
do you stop hearing
the ocean in your veins?
do you bend paperclips
to fill these spaces?

            does anyone
have motive?
Do you look for these answers
in train grave yards?

Friday, December 14, 2012


(While I have been working on a few different things this week, I couldn't really get anything to stick. I wrote Sponges about 8 months ago in my last semester of college, it's gone through a few versions and been turned into a half spoken word piece but this is the first-ish draft. Figured since noone but my classmates had read it, it would suffice for this weeks posting, enjoy.)

Your cancer turned us both into sponges. We picked up everything, contempt, submission, distraction, scars, skeletons, grief; everything. This was partially because we didn’t know how to ignore it but mostly because we didn't know how to prepare for a permanent goodbye. Our eighteen year old selves, face to face with odds that could leave you behind heaven's gate, like jail bars and me hugging your casket like a tree. Your doctor explained the 50/50 survival rate, your life became a coin toss. You used to promise me you wouldn’t die; wearing a smirk on your face and every good intention in your heart, but you still had your epitaph written out and I still got on that plane when you needed me most.

Earlier that year, I made your 18th birthday card out of the movie ticket stubs we had gathered over the last two years. American Gangster was your favorite, Lion King 3-D was mine. These were the days when you would walk me to the bus stop, fingers interlocked like shoe laces, only for me to ‘miss’ it just to be together for another 20 minutes.  These were the days we couldn’t see beyond each other, when we made life plans but still had a curfew and allowance. We treated each other like privileges.  

When I got to college you had just finished your chemotherapy treatments. The desks I sat in never quite felt right knowing where you were, where I should have been or where you would have been if it weren’t for black lungs and paling skin. I blamed it on the distance but death was always much further away from Seattle than New York City. We were still like sponges, just separately and secretly. You hid the emergency room visits and the treatment plans; I hid the booze and failed classes. I would find out weeks later about “close calls”, you would find out months later I had lost my scholarship. You kept me out of the loop but I pushed you out of my heart, both thinking we were acting in my best interest, as if I was the one who needed to be saved.
You were scheduled for surgery one day before your 19th birthday. You said there was no need for me to come home, you promised to live. During your six hour procedure I walked circles around campus. It was night time but it felt more like a shadow.I talked to you through the constellations that watched me, knowing that if you didn’t make it you would become them. I waited for my phone to ring like it was a pregnancy test.

“They wheeled him out and he gave a thumb up”, your Grandma told me.

When I came home for break you had my name tattooed above the scar on your chest. You were happy and eager. I was transparent and lost. The problem was I loved you before I knew how to. My ears were too small for your heart.

This is an apology letter to the both of us. I never meant to quit so easily and I never meant to leave closure’s door open. Cancer never deserved you, but I’m not sure I did either. Today you turn 22. With miles of silence between us, I can't help but wonder what you regret most; the tattoo or our relationship.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

You make me want to...

You make me want to high five strangers.

You make me want to have a versatile underwear collection...even though we both like lace.

You make me want to be Fun Size, and fit in your pocket. I want to be what you feel for when you're nervous.

You make me want to be an unsolvable Rubik cube. The one exception to your sense and order. A challenge. You make me want to be your rule breaker sitting by your guideline.

You make me want to drink Makers on the rocks.

You make me want to leave every space where I can't have you in the capacity I want you. Those spaces aren't worth it.

You make me want to go on a date. To Costco. Sample eating and shit talking. You'd agree to this. If not because it would be awesome than because I'd ask you to.

You make me want to remove the word disappointed from my vocabulary.

You make me want to send obnoxious, confetti filled Thank You cards to every man that led me to DC. To the Red line. To the NoMa stop. To Quincy Place. To your mini couch.

You make me want to listen to Lauryn Hill. Unplugged...for the rest of my life.

You make me want to come out of retirement. Put my jersey on. And be somebody's number 1 draft pick. Not somebody's. Yours.

You make me want to be unapologetic about every filter I don't have.
You make me want to call a spade a spade. And a train a train.
You make me want to interrupt you mid sentence and tell you what we should do...the same thing you told me we should.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving and Missing

My grandmother never sat at the head of the dining room table. She never started the political debates instigated by wine, and she never challenged my grandfather when he'd turn and say, "Well light of my life, I think it's time you take me home". She did always make 10 pounds of heavenly mashed potatoes. And stroke the upper right corner of her place mate while listening to political debates instigated by wine. She did always make a point to ask me about school, and compliment my jewelry, from Claire’s, while her original pieces hugged her chest. She never sat at the head of the dining room table, but she was the table. She still is the table.

She has been cut down and sawed through, polished and marveled at. A matriarch beneath an ironed ivory cloth, my grandmother is our base. Her water marks and veins like half-finished crossword puzzles. She's been scratched, like elementary detention desks and they shine, even in the shadows. Her stains, all the same texture, all different road maps. My grandmother, was my family's best kept secret. Partially because we took her for granted, but mostly because she never told a lesson, she showed it.  

I can't remember my grandmother ever sitting my cousins and me around, telling stories. She never discussed the times when it was illegal for her to sit at a bar. Or how she flipped her car off the road to avoid hitting a dog. Or her radiation treatments. Or the deep purple, crescent moon indents on her shins. She never told us how she signed every card to my grandfather with "I.L.Y.M", I love you more.

Her stories were in the goofy purses she would make out of jeans. Or the collages aligned throughout the hallways of her home, cruises to Monte Carlo and Liverpool. Her stories are the treasures she found at garage sales and the luck she sought out in blue beach glass.  Her stories are in her keepsakes, the belongings sifted through after she became an angel. Along with every makeshift book about cats I had written as a child, was a watch from my grandfather, engraved on the back "I.W.A.L.Y.M", I will always love you more.

After 62 years of watching my grandmother make the 10 pounds of mashed potatoes, my grandfather was able to keep the tradition going. His tears were the salt in the boiling water, the skin of the potatoes through the ricer, and the froth of the melted butter. When he wept over his plate that first Thanksgiving, it was silent and expected. Just the way my grandmother had taught us to love.

When we gather here, around my grandmother, my fingers graze the wood maybe as I would have her casket. Or maybe as I would have her high cheek bones, the same ones I have. The same ones my granddaughter will have years from now, when I am just a table.

When my grandfather is ready to go, he looks at the other head of the table and says, "Well Richard, I think it's time you take me home".

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why this is happening...

I am making a conscious effort to honor my craft.

Almost every writing course I've taken (including University of Phoenix's online 'Advanced Creative Writing' course --> shoot me) has ended with Professors discussing the process of getting your MFA and to keep writing. One popular suggestion is to make a blog and tell your friends and family about it, and let them hold you accountable for a weekly posting. So here it is. Hold me accountable.

I was always told "no disclaimers" when it comes to writing. But people are judgemental. So here is my disclaimer. Not everything I will post is going to be warm or soft. Not everything I post will make you happy or is dressed in ribbons and sprinkled with glitter. Truth is this is 100% for me and I am shamelessly selfish about it. This is entirely for my benefit. So yes, I am using you but perhaps you will gain something out of this also. I am making a conscious effort to honor my craft before it gets too far away from me...and I need you to hold me accountable.

These posts will be short stories and poems and lists and thoughts and free writes and entirely made up and entirely my life (and more often than not will probably have grammatical errors). Enjoy the ambiguity, don't read to deeply into anything. 

If you're reading this changes are I love you dearly or at least respect you enough to share these pieces of myself with you. Or you stumbled upon this and that's cool too. I hope you enjoy. And if you don't, don't read it. Hate not.

Thank you, I really do appreciate your time and support.

All my love,