Tuesday, December 28, 2010

on finding


While outside leaves and empty beer cans play catch in the whirl of wind, we stare at a white wall and think back on the days when we were children.
I don’t remember how we met, but every night after going to the store to buy bread for dinner he and I would skip down the hill with full speed, our spleens filling up with blood as we chased after the wild geese. And we looked and looked for traffic lights and signs but they were all long gone.
He was the fastest runner there could ever be on this planet, with muscled body and nothing to hold it back. I heard the wind beside my back fly by. It slapped my face as the ground trembled with the thought of bane when his feet stomped the warm asphalt underneath.
He is mute, and I – blind
I used to see though. When I woke in the early mornings he would be sitting outside on the bench behind the fence where raspberries lay over swollen with the fall. He’d just stare or poke on a green leaf he’d caught before it fell on the ground. He hated being alone, or at least I believed so, because the very instant I struggled to open the door he looked up and told me (I’d learned sign language from a lady who gave out flyers downtown) to come out, and take a walk with him to the forest where last night little children played hide and seek and lay in the wet grass to laugh at the misshaped stars above.
We went to school in the morning. Sometimes we stayed after all classes were over to relearn our lessons. I read him a new story and he thought me a few new moves on the basketball court – now abandoned and lonely, except for a few gulls that begged for our candy bars and negative attention. They wanted to be kicked and chased after.
I was delighted at the innocence of his character and just what a normal 12-year-old boy he was from the inside, with a mask to cover it and mechanical flaws that have rusted a long time back and now it was too late to fix them. It made me very sad to look at him finish a book and start to try sounding out all of his favorite moments from the story, the people, the scenery and then more scenery. He opened his throat wide as a sparrow, but nothing came out. In his mind the characters were alive, the grass swayed back and forth and its soil was awake. Things happened in the book, as things happened in life before and were recorded for the sake of false theories. … (to be continued)



Friday, December 17, 2010

You resonate
Like a guitar string
That has been struck
Left alone
To fill the air
With whatever is left of its history

It takes a million years
To unlearn to be wild
And only a second to memorize
The intensity of rain clouds
Passing through
Above
Too high for them to matter
It won't matter if they decide to fall
Because you give me time to run and hide
And I give you space to build a bridge to cross to where it is dry

Someone pressed stop request
In the middle of the bridge

You're beautifully old,
There are parts of you
No one has invented words for… yet
Parts of you no one can claim

I want to give you snow
I'll carry it in a metal case, from far

I love you strangely...
Strange love too is love
I think I forgot to say sometimes
I chase you in my dreams
My shoes are worn through at the heels
You’re too quick to catch

I do want to hold you
But better not -
I am reckless

Sunday, December 5, 2010

on love and remembering

this is an older poem, a bit revised:

i remember feeling like children do
When digging with a spoon in the dirt,
Digging to get to the world
Their own secret way
i remember milk weeds soaking in the light
A city gives off
i remember the Roma mothers in their red slippers
As if escaped from the page of a book
Strolling through town - gently
As if the weight on their backs
Was not weight
i remember catching a glimpse of my grandfather
Staring out at the water, belittled or fascinated
Outstretching his arms like a boy that doesn’t know
Exactly what he wants, just knows he wants
i remember water to be a religion
For my non religious family
i remember the perfect stranger - a neighbor
Who when he wasn’t himself
Was a fisherman
And i remember his treasures he left behind for us kids
To find: wooden statuettes, coin collections,
Bones, fishing gear, sepia photographs, a key
No one cares to know what it unlocks
i can’t remember you the way you remember me
But we are the color of butterflies when
We hang on to each other
We protect each other from the storm by being
Entirely immersed in it
i hope you remember me
When owls stop to breathe
In the middle of their flight
i hope you still remember me
When i am just a part of the Atlantic
i remember being a code on the back
Of some skin, people trying to figure me out
Poking through with chemicals
Until i am useless or exactly what they have been
Needing to find
i remember wanting to scream
But forgetting how to
i remember being a newspaper
Melting in the rain
Word by word
Article by article
Page by page
People’s lives being taken away
From them for the second time
And still i remember you dancing
In the dark
i want to remember the world
The way it was days ago
Forgiving and curious,
Willing to give up parts of itself
To make space for everyone
For the scattered ones
For the ones wearing blood on the outside
For the butterflies that fly for hours on end
To get to where they can die in peace/peacefully
For your crafted fingers resting on the edge of the table
For your voice showing me what it’s all about
i will remember that it takes a lifetime
To unlearn to love you (though I see no reason)
Just as it would take a lifetime
Knowing the color of the sea, when it
Wants to be blue, then green,
Then black or pink, then invisible
Three small holes
           -in memory of J.L.
You have three small holes: one for when you sat wide eyed in the night (the musty garage was your refuge) and you glued together shreds of glass until they became an image – the face of a mother you never had; one for the constellation you kept recording over and over on journal pages, waiting for a star to die, or be born; one for the people you left behind to claim your dreams in cardboard boxes.
No, nothing is permanent, but you.
You become like a stain nobody else can see, but those who too are stains.
He carries you on his conscience and it’s heavy the way rain is heavy after months of drought.
They need you, but the way birds need their chicks after they have been taught to fly or the way divers still need the sea even in their sleep.
You were sunlight landing in through dirty windows that would never open. I hate that I can’t cry for you anymore. Just wear your temporary name on my chest and scream and tear old notebooks of childish dreams and try to break through the door but never quite succeed.
I hope there are no quadratic equations in heaven; just soft backed chairs and bears like you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Life through children's eyes
                                 - for my little brother

I want to understand life
And its jumbled abstractions
I want to be a page in your book
Of superheroes
I want to be a four – leafed clover
And be lost and found again
I want to be the cane
Leading the way for someone
Who returned from war
I want to remember this sketch
Of the sea, and your hand
Holding the brush, finishing it
I want to be a jellyfish
Discovering
Sand, shore, toes –
For the first time

Monday, November 29, 2010

ode to love

the density of your eyes lingering
like traces of sugar on a child's fingertips 
the smell of dirt, or motor oil, or clotted blood - still sleeping on your skin
you're like a weight i'll never get tired of carrying
love 
you found my voice in the midst ofd a corn field
in the crackle of a telephone line laid bare on the ocean floor
you will cover her uneven beautiful face
in coins and stretch your arms outward
and try to forgive the bastard who left you on your own again
you will yell into tunnels or empty cups
and the echo will become my dream in a night of no sleep



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Old friends

My friend David and I went to watch this action movie with "The Rock" but instead had to see one about a runaway train (really stupid plot but pretty good acting) because I didn't have a proper ID. So much beurocracy now days. Anyway, we played video games and shot hoops in the Metreon waiting for the movie to start. We were laughing like crazy remembering good old Mission High times and the people in the theater who were sitting next to our seats kept turning around to flash us their annoyed faces. Then we walked to the Saint-Francis hotel and rode the elevator up and down like crazy. Then we had another heart to heart conversation, over Panda Express chineese food. He walked me to the bus, but forgot his phone charger in my back pack so he was chasing after it. Ha-ha. "until next time" we said and he hugged me like he's not going to see me ever again :D What a fantastic day! I hope everyone is blessed with at least one good friend, somebody to make you laugh until you cry, somebody who just gets you, somebody you can share your darkest secrets with and know he/she won't ever judge you, somebody in front of whom you never have to pretend... It can happen in a matter of seconds, but friendship lasts for life.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Learning pronouns


I scalded my throat on the heat of the ocean
Swallowed my childhood up in a second
And wanted to keep it
Like a selfish lion-tamer
Sleeping at the foot of the animal’s cage
Feeding it star light/galaxy light
With a spoon
You’re like the ink spreading inside a pen
Waiting to gush out, to become distorted,
Waiting to touch all sides of the world
You’re like a dictionary of words
Everyone wants to own
He is playing chess with the rain
The roof of a car is an audience
He might have been made to invent names for colors
But he will never know
He might be let loose and lost
She fell in love with a box of charcoal
WIth her fingers dipped in ash – she planted
Headaches in her garden,
Her broken ankle healed as she looked to the top
Of the mountain through her basement window
It is a world of walnut shells and
spider nests, lost keys and found smoke
it spins faster than a laundromat
Nobody knows what to call it
So it falls to the ground with a thud
Nobody keeps it entertained so it falls asleep
And stays asleep like a stainWe burry our eyes in sand
We make forts out of blankets and heavy
Ancient books and hide from our flesh
And blood to hold hands in the warm dark
And to kiss awkwardly
You were only you
Now you are what everyone wants you to be
They punctured pomegranate seeds
And taught each other how to let go of fish
without hurting their mouths
they held each other clasped
tight like particles of blood

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In his younger days, my grandfather was a merchant ship mariner. He sailed half way across the globe and found ivory pipes, whose tips had once been touched by the lips of African kings; he found wood statuettes [which are now frail and wobbly] of women carrying children on their backs; he drank pulled tea with his newly found Arabian friends. My grandfather discovered the true nature of the hawk, whose claws he cut off after its death. The bird flew with the ship for weeks across the Atlantic, never straying too far from the enormous masts; entertaining the crew.
At nights, some times, enthralled by the light of the fish net, my grandfather would surrender his body to sleep. [I am reminded of this years later, when my little brother is falling asleep on my lap, gently pulling at the sleeve of my jacket (unconsciously), his body uncontrollably shaking to the rhythm of his dream]
About two years ago I received a call from my grandmother, instructing me, her voice lagging behind her words, pleading me to give my phone to my parents so they could talk. A few days later my dad told me that his father had died. Surprisingly, I found little change in his voice. Based on the symptoms I’ve been told, I figure bone marrow cancer.
I wish I knew him better than the stories he told, or the box of post cards he’d sent home. But when I did get to spend time with him, my grandfather and I rarely spoke. We walked the dog, he pushed me on the swings, thought me how to fish. Every morning when he was shaving I would ask to watch, knowing he would pick up the bottle of cream and smear it all over his face then all over mine for no reason, just laughing and laughing. My grandfather would take his jacket off his back to cover me up when I was shivering like a soaking dog, while we watched the cars pass by on the balcony and drank coffee from small cups. I miss not having to talk, not having to pretend all the time.
When I moved here to the U.S, I would call him over the phone, interrupting his mechanical speech he had to repeat over and over because it was part of his job [he was then a parking lot attendant] and picture him breathing a sigh of relief to hear my voice again. I would say: “it’s me grandpa, it’s indi, I miss you very much, and I love you every day”. he would always say: “I love you more, my girl” and make a kissing sound which almost always blasted my ears and filled me with an overwhelming ache because I wasn’t there; but at the same a vibrant joy.
He did not die alone, but I think he was lonely. I think he longed for the past and yearned to see his comrades once again. I think he was afraid, like most people are, not knowing about this place we go to when our breath is long gone. I wish I was there, by his side, reading to him like he read to me when I was little.
My grandfather used to pour liquor on the floor, telling me it’s for all his dead and dying friends. I would do it with him… now I do it for him, just the taste he’d be thirsty for.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I went to my old professor’s open studio today, it was really nice, we made art out of eggs. Definitely check out the events around the height ashbury if you are into things like that! Then went home to tidy up my room. I listened to PHOENIX and sang like no one could hear me, it was fun. Then after I was done my brother and I played soccer in the rain and fought in the wet grass, dropping each other on the ground over and over. Over all it was a good day!!

Some poetry lines:

We are scavenger birds,
Finding the weakest point of the shell
It’s so easy to slip
An old man places his memories
Safely away for the winter
He dresses them in flames
So easy to forget
A girl hides her understanding
On top of a dusty lamp
But every body looks up every once in a while
I can still remember
The indent of your foot in the grass

yours,
back_2_back

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yesterday, one of my best friends manuel hernandez and i went to Macy’s and tried on literally almost every pair of shoes, even the ones with high heels shhh!! lmao; then we smelled perfumes my pockets are full of paper cards I was sniffing on the way back home. We jay walked a busy cross section of market and went to the library to look at photography books by Gordon Parks, splashed in the fountain on UN plaza, had Italian soda at brainwash cafe [which by the way will be the venue for my fav band STONED ON SUNDAYS (this is going to take longer than a page for me to tell you how great they are) , you know just reminding ya'll, they are gonna be playing there on the 30th!!! Woo!] and finally took the "F" trolley car listening to the same song on his ipod over and over until we got off. LOL.
sometimes words are unnecessary. just being there for each other is all that matters. And for a fraction of the day neither of us felt the need to look at our watches, or to send text messages or even to notice how tired we were
Ok… changing the subject… how incredible and indescribable it feels to have a special someone who can’t wait to see you the next day, someone to help you overcome your fears, make you feel extraordinary and perfectly human at the same time; someone to hug you all the time and tell you you have beautiful years. I never thought I would find out, but I am starting to. Thank you, to (you know who you are) for fulfilling my life, for being your awesome self and many many other reasons, there is a part of you that will never escape me.
Today, I slid on a water slide that dropped me in a part of the pool which was about eight feet deep. It took me 10 minutes to build up the courage to try it. I felt like I wanted to scream but nothing came out. It was scary and fun at the same time! J
I realize this may be too long of an entry for a first blog, but I haven’t written in a really long time so this is coming welling out of me…
Almost every night after my parents come home over dinner, my brother or I share the day’s experiences and always wind up being lectured on life afterwards. Literally yelled at for not making the right decisions at the right time, for being disorganized, for being na├»ve. Thanks to our parents, we know every single thing we are horrible at, but they never once care to remind us of what we are capable of. They say we both have potential, we have gifts but we are so scattered and distracted that nothing can come out of us, of these gifts. I am not trying to say our parents are mean, or discouraging. They love us, and we love them. They just never take a second to consider our entirely different life styles; they want what’s best for us, but I feel like they don’t know us in order to tell that. I hate that they think they are always right and I hate that neither of us when the moment is presented can think of a really smart argument to rebut lol
I think that’s it for today, more to come on the weekend!
Thank You! Yours truly,
Back_2_back