Oh pretty, pretty, I’m aflame.
books about UFOs by Hüsker Dü
where can I sing this at a karoake bar after imbibing enough to sing in front of strangers? someone make this possible.
Every tomato, a world:
with room for grace and disarray,
traces of memory and desire.
THIS IS THE BEST
There is bare rock
between here and the end.
There is a burnt place
in the silence.
maria, which has got her heart completely fucked up by dianogah
Because that would be when I keep having prophetic dreams about ice that moves only once I am above until I am under: right then. There are people in that area code I want to hear from so I answer in hope but know the minute I hear the hesitating noise that a mistake was made. Not changing my cell phone number since high school is always a mistake. I should amend that but I haven’t yet so in a way I got what was coming to me. Some nice, mostly bad. Mostly bad in how easily memory works sometimes, how quick and severe a feeling can reprise simply because of an image recalled or a night discussed. Sometimes I curse my preservation, how I can find a page or print or object inside of a purple wooden box and remember everything except the smell.
In the last spring there, I would drive more and more around the outer parts of town, following the Iowa border until I reached signs for Lake Thunderhead and would turn back . I’d often be listening to the same radio show I did months before on roads that spliced between aged pavement and gravel. The only time I would stop would be at a small pond around fifteen minutes outside of the city. There were caves south so at dusk you could see the bats feasting. There were often deer, alive and dead on the side of the chalky parking lot. There was no path, but a small worn trace in the grass of an unofficial guide set forth by other shoes. There was a small stone set up like a bench, a resting area next to the water and far away enough from an abandoned shooting range whose name I don’t remember because I never thought to write it down. Funny how that invisible detail upsets me.
Reading that essay that was both about pizza and how sadness finds you was a mistake too, how Lia Purpura recalls the images themselves as motive for creating a thought that perhaps does not exist for some, perhaps exists more than we can realize. Making those jokes earlier, mistakes; not saying what you actually mean, mistakes. Remembering the opening bit from “Glaciology” by Purpura, “Poor sorting: I like that: that it all gets dropped, the big stuff enmeshed with the grainy soft stuff. The indiscriminate mess. That it forms a long train, so that seeing it all, one can trail events back. Guess at them. View time. And by way of the whole scattered and shifting pattern, by the gathering eye, make something of these loose details, collecting.”
I wish it were easier to sift while looking back, to take out the pieces that get in the way of my current path because of doubling back to examine them already. I wish I remembered all the names, the way he smelled the last time we said goodbye but all I can remember was how the carpet felt on my face, how my friend grimaced when I described what had happened the day after he explained three years in one sentence, how it felt to sit and read outside even when it was cold and the wind would circle around and around, how I always save the maraschino cherries for last in honor of sitting on the porch and eating the jar which was the last thing left in my refrigerator while my fully packed car waited three spaces down the block.
Above the Law, 1988
sometimes you are in the perfect place just as the sun is right above and your jacket is open enough to let in the breeze without making you stop pedaling to keep from getting a chill. these things too: first sunburn, remembering the first time i thought about spending multiple summers with him, finding a book of essays that i’ve been meaning to buy, and picnics next to pink and blue fowl.
Superkilen Nørrebro by BIG, Topotek1 and Superflex, Copenhagen.
biking in this neighborhood was the best thing.
Tonight on the train ride home, a woman began to seize. I’d noticed her, like I habitually notice everyone around me on the train. I deliberately sat next to the CTA employee riding home and playing on his phone with a cracked screen and she was adjacent to me, tucked into one of the cove like window seats. She was wearing a mustard yellow sweater, clutching her black purse, a small red suitcase tucked snugly next to her legs. She had set curls, and skin that wasn’t taut but wasn’t loose. It was just older skin.
So it started, she was still sitting on the bench so the CTA employee and I helped lift her to the floor. I remembered all those things I learned in CPR for babysitting, umpiring, reffing, health class: remain calm, make sure they continue breathing, if they’re having trouble roll them on their side, remove any objects that could harm them (like her purse that she still rigidly held). Then it was over. She was awake, alarmed but aware and apologetic. Somehow no one hit the button to alert the conductor and she refused for anyone to call for a paramedic of any kind, explaining that it was something she was used to and was triggered by flying.
This seems an odd thing to recollect here, to gather up and write out but it felt important. I also didn’t tell anyone about it, I just walked from blue to orange to bus to six blocks and home. I let my dog out, chased him a bit as he doesn’t do well when there are one of the alley cats out. I got a letter, from a letter service that I really adore from The Rumpus. It included a quote from Dickinson, “This is my letter to the world/That never wrote to me.”
I don’t feel this way all of the time, that my words fall on ears unfaithful or lost. But there are times when the moon is branding the sky with a warnings of loss and growth when I just begin to panic because the sky feels like an echo of my own worries.
I made about twenty of these small books. Most are full, almost all of them are about living in Missouri that all have some numerical organization to them so for the most part they are acerbic and abrupt. I’ll be sending them off to a dozen or so people that responded to my offer of sending them out. It’s horrifying, to send something that is such an intricate part of my past that also is part of my contemporary interest in making books by hand with red and white string and simple white paper. There is no way to end this ramble, beginning with a concrete and visceral story about illness and here is me once again representing anxiety with a sigh so I’ll here is one of those books.
Six Twenty-Three: I-55S —> I-72W —> US-36W —> US-63N
I would take this route around two dozen times, driving from Chicago to Kirksville. The land surrounding is flat, some hills dotting Western Illinois and then you reach the Mississippi River. After that, you are in Northeastern Missouri. The most you get to view are the Angus cows. For three years this was my route. Those cows, corn, soybeans, and construction never became comforts to me as some familiarities can. Every time that 55 turned into 72, the CWLP smokestacks had their continual thrums set to low. Every time I would stop at the Starbucks just before this noise because their bathrooms were clean and driving in flat darkness is much easier highly caffeinated. Soon after it would get dark and darker until the only lights were from your lamps, the louder than necessary radio with that album fueled by satisfying hunger, and newly uncovered stars. The route gradually became an automatic response, the time (including bathroom break, caffeination) every few drives there would be something different, something somewhat remarkable. But actually these events (clipping the right rear leg of a buck, being followed by a car with flashing interior lights from Jacksonville to Hannibal, the ever present temptation to keep driving instead of returning to a town full of strangers/emptied via bi-annual convocations, repeated meetings with a floral construction of Mark Twain, reminders of Lincoln, 11 pipe organs in Jacksonville, Macon mounds, La Plata named after a linguistic error for “the silver river” and finally the spot I didn’t want to be where in 1899 a tornado carried a piano half a mile from town but dropped it in working condition) always passed within those six hours, twenty-three minutes. The panic and wonder would fade, then I’d wait a few months and drive the reverse route.