create_destiny: (Morning Glow)
If we could see Japan from outer space right now, with eyes we've never known, we would see a brilliant burst of lotus flowers hovering over the devastation, each one opening and giving birth to another. We would see this because the creative power that Dylan Thomas called, "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower" is violent and holy and terrifying and the fractals of beauty that arise when life is torn open by Life is likened unto a woman going into labor when she doesn't know she is pregnant, doesn't know what labor is, the concept of birth utterly foreign to her. Her body seemingly betraying her, her agony unbearable, her suffering seemingly meaningless. She despairs of God, despairs of Love, despairs of Light, until the giraffe of new life stumbles in the room, blinking on wobbly new legs and the continent grows hushed. Everything pulses with a soft pink light and her sorrow is transformed into inconceivable joy, rippling out into eternity.

Eons later she whispers to her ancestor-sisters on the earth, "Don't despair of the labor. Wait for what is to come."
create_destiny: (Default)
I remember the anticipation the most. I was sure he would come. And when he did, the times we'd have. Crazy, dancing in the summer rain times, his spirit ever buoyant, ever bearing me up, eating ramen noodles with fried eggs and salsa at midnight, our only car on the blitz and it didn't matter. We would laugh hysterically on the kitchen floor because I thought for a moment it did.

The degree of passion adjusts itself to match the passion with which it is met.

When the day would begin anew, the commuters would congregate in cement buildings and push imaginary numbers around with pencils and adding machines. It seemed better to call in sick and go canoeing.

Whenever I felt nervous or ashamed, I would remind myself that there are black holes in the universe and unimaginable light pouring forth from unknown stars and those caught up in cares about college transcripts, car registrations and credit scores clearly weren't seeing the big picture.

On the lake, reflections of clouds and maple trees and lily pads made everything look like Monet breathing. We'd sing Beatles songs while gliding under the channel vines that formed anarchy symbols, the effervescent bubbles of our youth fizzing up into bliss. We thought it could always be like this. We didn't know, even then we were dying.

The day after we moved into that old house I had such a sense of déjà vu when I peed in the upstairs bathroom while you made coffee and sang, Good Morning, Star Shine, the way those milk crates were stacked in the hallway, the way the light fell on the checkered linoleum, your burgundy tube socks with yellow stripes flung next to the tub, one inside out, the faded yellow curtain moving slowly in the late morning breeze, the sound of a dog barking a few doors down. I'd been here before. I knew I would marry you.

We'd have two girls, or maybe life would surprise me and we'd have a boy. The girls we would name Bridget and Charlie. Or Katie and Sam, but Sam we'd always call Pooga because of time she got pink eye and reminded me of the pink pillow cat I had when I was a kid.

As the years wore on, we'd somehow let ourselves get sucked into that world of imaginary numbers and we'd fight about car repairs and credit scores. You'd start drinking and eventually cheating. I'd have another one of my famous breakdowns and the kids would go stay with my sister for a few days. We'd pull it together, the way people who feel they have no choice pull things together and we'd manage. We'd get by and by and by until you died.

This is the road not taken.
create_destiny: (Default)
I dreamt the fire crackled down the mountain. We ran up the foothills to a friend's house to carry the things he could not bear to lose. When we looked into the distance the fire rose up behind his house. Rivers of reds, violets, yellows, blues, burned brighter, then darker, breathing, luminous, vivid, pulsing with color. We froze from the beauty of it and could not turn away.

I took a book of poetry to the grocery store with me today---Louise Glück's The Seven Ages. Just in case there was a poetry emergency.

Damn you nature documentary makers! I wept and writhed in my sheets all night, tortured by images I've seen in your films years ago. And Goddamn you, makers of steel traps! May you spend one thousand years reincarnated into animals caught in the works of your hands. When the earth is made new, may you then be forgiven. And please tell me, camera men, that after you got your horrific footage, you turned off your cameras and put those poor animals out of their misery, even if it meant beating them to death with your own gear. If you packed up and walked away, may you eat the bitter bread of seven-fold suffering and when the earth is made new, may you then be forgiven.

Saints Peter and Paul had a little tiff. I don't know the details but I'm pretty sure I would have been on Peter's side. Paul could be such an asshole sometimes.

I've drunk-dialed God hundreds of times. Mostly I just hang up when I get his machine (it pisses me off when he screens his calls). Other times I rage or sob hysterically, "You said you'd have mercy! You said you'd never forsake me! Give me my fucking Miles albums back!" More times than I care to admit I've shown up at his house, undignified, at 2:00 in the morning, hurling my dirty mary janes at his window, screaming, "I know you're up there with her! Be a goddamned man, come down here and face me!" I stuff my underwear in his mailbox and leave obtuse letters written in angry lipstick and nervous-breakdown eyeliner under his windshield wiper---Patti Smith lyrics, snippets of Plath poems. After all he's put me through, I still want him. How can I forget the time I was ravished with fever, delusional and frothing at the mouth? He came to my bed and put his bloody palm in my mouth. "Eat this," he said. I woke to a soft New Mexico dawn, put on some Grateful Dead in the kitchen. Feeling forgiving, and what the hell, it's almost Christmas I baked him some pumpkin muffins, left a message on his machine, asking if we could start over again.
create_destiny: (Road To Karma)
At the forehead I said, "Father."

I was standing on the side of the highway when the explosions started. To the south, in the distance I assumed to be Sacramento, enormous poppings and booms were heard and towers of black smoke darted into the sky. I instinctively began to make the sign of the cross, slowly at first, whispering "Lord have mercy." As the explosions increased in intensity and repetition, so did my prayer and the rapidity with which I made the sign of the cross. No one knew if the explosions were caused by bombs or an industrial accident of some sort. As long as the explosions sounded I did not cease my prayer. The valley sky darkened with soot. My arm grew sore from the fervent, repeated motions and my throat was parched by the hot air.

At my lower intestine, the seat of the passions, I said, "Son."

Earlier that day I had retreated to the last stall in the women's restroom at the data-processing center where I work. Hot, desperate tears spilled silently from my eyes. He only weighed one hundred pounds, she was only 32.

At my right shoulder I said, "Holy."

Seven hours later as I drove home from work I saw a bulky man jogging with a small, caramel-colored terrier sprinting ahead of him on a long leash. I was amazed at the speed with which the small dog propelled himself along the sidewalk. He was not trotting, but leaping. I laughed with a buoyant and unexpected joy in my heart. It was a much needed respite from the every day road kill that would always bring a lump to my throat. By the time I reached the next stop light I was weeping, again.

At my left shoulder I said, "Spirit."

The boys who had left him naked and bleeding in a cornfield did not feel any remorse at what they had done. When someone suggested they apologize to the victim's family the boys became indignant. "This is the truth of how we felt at the time we kicked him in the head," they scoffed. At the trial, the defense called upon a bio-anthropologist from the university to testify to the irrepressible, primal instincts of alpha males and the innate, biological urge to eliminate weaker members of the pack with whom they compete for food, jobs and trucks.

This was the beginning of the time when the bees began to die.
create_destiny: (Default)
P1010495

I dreamt it was 1991. She was still alive. We could still take guitar lessons in the spring, learn how to harmonize like the Indigo Girls. I'd beg her not to go to Texas. We'd drive to Alaska in my Ford Escort, end up working at a resort for minimum wage. Exhausted in the evenings, we'd put down our cigarettes and pluck out teenage dirges. (I wouldn't make fun of her poetry this time). We'd sing Harry Chapin songs and Simon and Garfunkle songs. We'd write goofy songs about a yellow tabby with a million nicknames, songs about rocks we found along rivers in Missouri, songs about the stormy Indiana summer nights, how we ran barefoot in the downpour, the pavement still holding the heat from the day, how we skipped and twirled on the soft, wet grass between the Esplanades, the sky cracking open above us.
create_destiny: (change)
On Trinidad Beach a fat-bellied rock woman sits and keeps watch over the Pacific sea. Sprigs of black huckleberry sprout from the back of her head. She has a name, I just don't know it. During storms she dances to the drumming of the water on the shore. She lunges into the tides, weeping and laughing for the earth, remembering the dark ocean floor before the ecstatic earthquakes, her luscious birth.

Trinidad Beach near Arcata, CA

When the nights are thick with fog she plays the samisen. Her song is the song God played when he created the world. If you were to hear it your heart would dissolve into lye and your bones would pancake into flat red and white stones, perfect for skipping on still waters.
create_destiny: (Default)
[this is the fifth installment of an on-going story. To read this story in the correct order, scroll down and begin with "Part I" and read your way up. ]


The day Kurt Cobain killed himself I wasn't feeling too well myself.

I was sitting cross-legged on Dee's couch in Fresno, drifting in and out of shock and trance. The timing of Cobain's demise was significant for me. His life was significant for me. As the tv flitted through the events surrounding his death, I sifted through the mental debris of my own collapse. Stunned, not by Cobain's death but by the events that had transpired in my own life. Sorting through shards of what was once faith, faith! in the black hole universe. Chucking broken hunks of useless hope into burn piles. Sweeping glassy shards of love into the trash. Laughing, weeping, screaming over the ridiculous and terrible ashes of who I once was. Repeating that cursed mantra known to all mankind, "How could this have happened?"

Fucking Nutmeg. Little country punk piece of shit genius poet boy.

When the police responded to the 911 call, it was determined that Nutmeg Boy would be best served by going directly to the nearest hospital, and then transfered to the "mental" unit. He couldn't speak. He could only flit his eyes around manically, terrified by something others could not discern. His mind had disintegrated. He was gone. La-la landish, cuckoo cuckoo for cocoa puffs even. The doctors were unable to determine what had caused it or if he would ever recover.



*This line is possibly stolen?
create_destiny: (Default)
This is part IV of an on-going travel story. If you'd like to read this story from the beginning, scroll down to the entry dated April 30, read that and scroll up from there to follow the story.

After he lost his mind and "found God" it was too painful for me to speak his name so I began to refer to him as "Nutmeg Boy" or just "Nutmeg."

It took months, years even, to piece together the events that culminated in his disappearance. Even today, eleven years later, we don’t fully understand everything that happened, mainly, whether it was an allergic reaction to the nutmeg or some kind of mental breakdown or the gnarled finger of God.

But what we do know is this:

On January 10th, 1994, at 2:00pm, he mixed three heaping tablespoons of nutmeg in a glass of orange juice and choked it down, something he had read about nutmeg inducing an altered state of consciousness if consumed in large amounts.

That night I dreamt a gun salesman broke into my house while I was sleeping, only to demonstrate the need for his product. His sales pitch was so convincing I woke up wondering if I should get a gun.

This was only the beginning of the unravelling; a foreshock really, a minuscule premonition of things to come. He disappeared for three days, apparently wandering the city in a tortured, psychotic frame of mind until a woman looked out her window and saw a man kneeling in the snow in her front yard and called 911...
create_destiny: (Default)
My ch'i is all in a damp, rashy bunch and I don't even know what that is. I flopped around on the couch, pitching a fit because it's getting hot here. I said I was in the mood for a violent movie, but then read an article about a woman in a small town outside of Chico who had been attacked by a stranger in her home. Stabbed repeatedly in the face and neck, raped, stomped on with heavy work boots.

And survived.

***

I tried honesty once. It led to a major nervous breakdown--an earthquake of the soul, the rug of my life jerked violently out from under my feet. I could just come right out and tell you the truth. But it's offensive. Jesus Christ, it's offensive as hell. I might as well stab you, rape you and stomp on your face with steel-toed boots.

***

Confession:

I wanted to hold hands with him in the cornstarch. I wanted to tell him I had known him from when he was the Elephant Man and I was his nurse, from when he had been Atom and I had been Eve. I wanted to collapse back into his ribs and weep in gratitude of our miraculous recognition.


***

I pulled off the interstate in Bakersfield, filled up at a seedy gas station and used the payphone to call my friend Dee in Fresno, to let her know I was almost there.

My best friend Dee had managed to escape from Indiana a few years earlier by marrying Fafaz, an Iranian man she had met at the university. We called him Akbar, The Interstate Nomad because he could pass semis at 80 mph while steering with his knees, rolling a joint and laughing like a deranged terrorist just to scare little spurts of urine out of us. I eventually started wearing panty-liners whenever I got in a car with him.

Dee was a blond bubbling brook of bright-eyed wonder and arm-pit hair. A spontaneous free-spirit with a penchant for believing in every conspiracy theory that came her way, a kind, light-filled soul who brakes for butterflies, both real and imagined and never stops wondering if she is being followed by an undercover DEA agent....
create_destiny: (Default)
Months before our band “Egg Bag” was born, the lead singer and I experimented with hallucinogenics in my studio apartment. We stood for hours hunched over my kitchen sink playing with cornstarch mixed with just the right amount of water to blow your mind.

There is something primordial about cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water, nebulous but on the verge of forming into a fundamental building-block upon which we could get a leg up, but then dissolving right there in our hands before we could speak its name. Fucking Zen.

By the time I reached Arizona, I was playing Dinosaur Jr.’s “Out There” over and over again. He was gone (had lost his mind in a nutmeg haze), I was gone (had lost whatever cornstarch-based faith I had before his nutmeg-Christ-revelation), and whatever force had set this whole wrecking ball into motion was apparently gone as well.

I went to Sedona because I had read that there were powerful energy vortexes there that had mysterious, healing powers. Following a bad map in a new age book, I hiked into an alleged vortex to ask the asshole universe to restore me. But what I didn’t realize was that there was a negative energy vortex forming in my heart and when this vortex came into contact with the vortexes in Sedona, it caused me to lose my balance and fall down a steep, red incline. I limped back to my car feeling more cynical than ever.

When I reached the California border, the sun was beginning its descent and The Grateful Dead’s “Estimated Prophet” was coming in clearly on the radio. Golden shocks of light danced on my windshield and gave me a renewed sense of hope for what this long state might bring.
create_destiny: (Default)
I was in a band once when I still lived in Indiana. We called ourselves "Egg Bag" and I played the drums. We were together for two days when our singer found Jesus and quit the band. Later he realized it wasn't Jesus, but an allergic reaction to nutmeg. But it was too late. I had already fled the Midwest before Jesus could find me too.

If my life were a movie, the soundtrack for my childhood would include a montage of Harry Chapin songs, songs from the album Free to Be You and Me and Queen’s “Don’t Try Suicide” all of which would be played while a ten year-old version of me stared uneasily at a framed print of Pavel Tchelitchew’s Hide-and-Seek which still hangs in my parent's house today.

The song that bests suits the period in my life in which I fled the midwest would be P.J. Harvey’s “To Bring You My Love” which I played louder than my crappy speakers could handle as I drove through the hilly Missouri countryside, simultaneously cursing God and finding a strange comfort in the wavy, tar-filled lines in the highway.

She made her mind up and up and up---
     sideways,
          all ways,
              70 West
billboard whispers, I am the Way,
I am the Truth,
I am the Life
Yes I am pushing
forward into thick Missouri fog
having only faith the road continues
merging drawn up into moonlight

      I'd go like this for you.

REALITY IS A LIE!
Her life spilling
into ghost towns
rock shops
truck stops
appliances on the lawn
Indiana to Texarkana

      I'd go like this for you

Road Kill, Road Kill,
icky, sticky Road Kill
.

I thought Houston might be my final destination, but I was wrong. I was wrong about a lot of things in those days, including my brother-in-law Bill, who turned out to be a good husband to my sister.

But Texas wasn’t for me, so I kept on going. It took the better part of two days to get out of that state. When I got to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico I couldn’t decide if I wanted the Truth or the Consequences, so I kept driving until I got to Albuquerque.

create_destiny: (Default)
This is a fictional letter loosely based on a letter I wrote to my parents when I was eight years old. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.


Deer Mom and Dad,

I probly mite be dead when you find this letter and you’ll NEVER, EVER see me agin.

I’m RUNNING AWAY because I know yo dot love me. I know you love Phillip more than me just because he’s little and never does anything wrong and if he does it’s OK because he’s only two years old and he can poop in the stupid retardo potty pot now. HA HA!!! That’s stupid retardo bull crap!

I’m also running away because I told you a JILLION gaZILLION times that I’m NOT the one who taught Phillip how to melt Star Wars action figures with a can of Aqua Net and a lighter. I didn’t!!! I was just sitting there innocently watching TV when I saw Phillip with a lighter and then dad’s recliner was on fire and stuff.

I thought you’d be happy that I dumped the fish tank on Phillip TO SAVE HIS LIFE since his hair was on fire too, but NOOOOO!!!!!!!! Alls you care about is how Phillip got burned and how the whole house could have burned down and how everything smells like burnt hair and dead fish and blah, blah, blah, blah and stuff. You don’t even care about ME!!!

I’m sick of always getting blamed for stuff when it’s Phillip’s fault. You guys are always like, "Oh he’s just a little BAY-BEEE! He’s soooo innocent and poo-poo special!!!. Well he’s NOT innocent! He does a lot of wrong and evil stuff that you guys don’t even care about. Like the time he found grandpa’s AK-47 and was showing off with it in the basement when Jimmy and Carl were spending the night. And I got in trouble for it!!! It’s not fair!

I know you guys would be a lot happier if I just ran away to the woods and got shot by a hunter or attacked by wolfs so that’s what I’m gonna do. I probly mite get so hungry I’ll have to cut off my legs and eat them but that’s ok as long as you and Phillip can be happy!!! I’ll just use my arms to dig myself a grave. When I’m dead you guys can have some kind of poo-poo potty pot picnic party to celebrate. I just hope you guys realize the TRUTH about Phillip someday!!!!!!

Good-bye forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your son,
Donny (the FALSELY blamed one)

P.S. Please tell grandma that I love her and that I was serious when I said I’m not the one who putted that dead bird on her pillow.

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