Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Prospect Park - DDATHTL


There are no words to go with these tonight.  It's just me and the ol' girl roaming.  Maybe if she's tired out she'll have good dreams.  It doesn't work that way for me, but maybe for her.  

It's time for a change of scenery, I think.  The old ghosts out here are wearing me out.  The new ones have grown tedious as well.  The ones that come around at night are troublesome.  I have to believe that a change of scenery might give that lot something else to talk about.  I have to believe something.  

Orange is the new...


I guess Michael Stipe isn't too pleased that this song has brand new relevance.  I'm not either but it's all I've thought about since November.  I hear the tattoo of the drums at the end of the bridge like machine gun fire, right behind my eyes.  Right beside my head.  I was never afraid of overkill, you know?  Burn the planet and everyone goes at once.  It's watching things crumble that hurts.  It's watching people suffer.

Brooklyn Goes Hard

via paradise_plus_nyc

And in these troubled times, those who stand out... those who survive... will be those who stepped out onto the edge and dared to love.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Heavy ~ Hieu Minh Nguyen



The narrow clearing down to the river
I walk alone, out of breath

my body catching on each branch.
Small children maneuver around me.

Often, I want to return to my old body
a body I also hated, but hate less

given knowledge.
Sometimes my friends—my friends

who are always beautiful & heartbroken
look at me like they know

I will die before them.
I think the life I want

is the life I have, but how can I be sure?
There are days when I give up on my body

but not the world. I am alive.
I know this. Alive now

to see the world, to see the river
rupture everything with its light.


Copyright © 2017 by Hieu Minh Nguyen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 27, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Ugly Ducklings


The ducks and geese swim in tight circles when the water gets cold, presumably to keep the water from freezing.  The swans come in close also, no real friend or enemy to the ducks or geese but there is strength in numbers and nobody should ever forget that.  

The Ugly Duckling... it might sound corny but whatever, that story always resonates when you're one of the kids that feels like one.  If you're the slightest bit self-aware you let it sink in and just hope.  You hope there's a shot for you yet and that one day people will look at you in admiration.  It may or may not happen and you may or may not get over it.

I think most days I am over it but every so often it sneaks back in, that doubt.  Mirrors are not your friend every so often and neither are checkbooks nor close looks at your life.  

And The Crocodile says, "let go or be dragged, pigeon.  Let go or be dragged."  

Thursday, January 26, 2017

She Said - DDATHTL

You're wasting your time, she said.  You're shouting into the wind.  You're casting pearls before swine.

Then she laughed.  Her laugh was so fucking annoying that it bounded back around the bend and it made me happy.

Just write, MacGregor.  It's the only way out.

Okay. 

Okay.

I will.

What up?


No really... what up?  A morning needs a soundtrack.  I can say that much.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Missing Vulnerable Adult

First subject line in the inbox today... it sure didn't take them long to realize I was gone.  Kind of funny.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Skin Deep

via Witchoria

Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune.  Something to make us all happy.

That line doesn't mean what it used to.  I honestly don't know what it used to mean to me but I knew just enough to know that it meant something.  Was it merely a case of waiting to find something, a feeling maybe, to attach it to?  My brain works that way sometimes.  It catalogs phrases and images for later reference, not unlike how it took me years of hunting and gathering life experience to even come close to understanding books I read over thirty years ago.  

It's only struck me that recently that Dear Mr. Fantasy implies that "us all" are pretty damn miserable if they're imploring someone to take them out of the gloom.  They're not just hanging out there biding their time. They're looking for a way out.  

Live and learn (another catchphrase that's gathered meaning as time passes).  

So then there's this, a photo by an artist that makes no bones about feelings, or the desire to be without them, and artist who just goes there and goes in deep.  Skin deep.  This is a jarring image.  There is no description really and one might like to believe that the imprint of the letters is the gift of Photoshop.  I think I'd like to believe that but then there is the other voice in my head hoping that it is real.  Hoping that someone would actually go there.  Morbid curiosity.  I could write the artist but maybe I'll stick with the doubt.  Not everything has to be named and/or explained.  Sometimes it's better to just sit in the feelings.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Insomnia ~ DDATHTL

And dogs do dream; it's easy to see.  It's nice enough to think she dreams of me all the time but that's not reality.  No more than you or me always dreaming about those dearest to us.  
 
It does happen.  Just last night one of my late dearest visited me several times.  We sat and spoke like nothing ever happened.  Like cancer never existed.  That was all forgotten.  She was with me.  It was real right up to those final minutes when it occurred to me that it was all a dream.  Still no cancer though and when I woke up I reached for the phone to text her and that's when it all came back.

Jane was on the quilt next to the bed, immersed in her own dream and it didn't sound like a good one.  Perhaps ghosts had come to her bedside as well.  Just maybe when she woke up she realized also that she never grieved properly and hence never found peace with it.


It's still one of the most profound moments of my spotted, sordid life.  We weren't lovers.  It wasn't like that at all.  What were we? 

We were friends.

It was a gift to share those most vulnerable moments, from the diagnosis, through the first treatments and losing the hair and the fear and frustration.  It was a gift from her to me.  How does one come to entrust another person with those moments?  Where do you begin to choose the people to travel that road with you?  That's still somewhat of a mystery to me.  It feels right, I suppose, and then you may still be wrong.  Hit or miss maybe.  I just don't know.  She said she came to  me because she trusted that I wouldn't infantilize her, and because I wouldn't lie to her or "spout pollyanna bullshit."  She said she trusted that I could just sit in the feelings with her and just "be."  

I suppose that's just what I did and mostly it was because I didn't have any words that sounded true.  I thought hard about what to say and repeated lines over and over in my head and they all came up short of truth.  The fact was that I was selfishly afraid for me and my impending loss.  We sat together and gave it over to forces in The Universe greater than ourselves, and we went shopping and bought wigs and drank beer and Ensure.  We watched comedy shows and listened to music and read from a stack of New York Times best seller list selections.  We held onto each other and didn't tell any lies.  

It was honest.  That's all.  It was honest.  

It was more honest than I've been with myself since she died.  It happened and I hit the ground running and ran straight for 2 years before slowing down enough for it all to catch up and that's when the visits started.  There was one morning after two years when I woke up and actually dialed the phone because I had forgotten the most important detail for a moment, and then I felt foolish and sorry for myself, and then angry with myself and angry for everyone else who dared say anything that didn't ring true to me.  Then when the anger wasn't sustainable I pushed back down too and set to work on other things about myself and came to peace with many of those things, and every time she showed up again I put the pain back on the shelf to save for later.  

Things come back around in their own time and demand resolution.  You can't run forever.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Prospect Park - DDATHTL


A year here now on the edge of The Great Brooklyn Wilderness.

A year of tribulations.

A year of joy.

A year of growth.

A year of growth?

I can't really deny it.  It's been a year of growth too, but the soles of my feet are itching.  It's time for something.

Something.  

Whole heapa tings a gwan.

And yet something isn't quite right yet.  Nothing is settled.  Decisions have to be made.  Grown folk shit.  A friend suggested the other day that... wait... a friend?  Yes, a friend.  A friend suggested that perhaps I get along with children as well as I do because I am still a child myself, and swore up and down that it was said with the utmost love and more respect because not everybody has to be just this or that at any given age and that it's a shame everyone can't be valued for their strengths.  I'm been feeling "some kinda way" about it but maybe because I don't know if I can deny it.  It may actually be the plain truth of the matter.  There are many other ways it could be phrased.  I might have said that the world of adults became very clear to me all at once one night years ago and that since then I've never been able to un-see the truth... that all this grown folk shit is really for the birds.

Random.

Almost random.

Certainly artificial and just random enough that many things about it could have been a certain way but aren't and because of that there are just things about it that I've never been able to reconcile.  I've never been able to find any redeeming value in much of it.  Much of it just seems mean and dumb.  So that just leaves the question:

What is true?  

True is the lake, despite being manmade, but the ducks swim all day and night in it anyway.  It's what they have even though it's not a real lake.  It's dirty and not a nice shade of green and it's foul and if I don't want to swim in it.  I wouldn't even want to fall in it by accident, but it's the hand the ducks have been dealt.  It's what they've got in lieu of anything else in the world.  Some animals are extinct, and hell, bumblebees are on the fucking endangered species list.  

The ducks have their lake, and they share it with swans and geese and turtles and the odd fish and people gather around on warm days and ooooh and aaaah and it's what those people have in lieu of anything else in the world to ooooh and aaaah at on their days off from jobs that they may or may not like.  

Sound familiar?  Ducks have the lake.  I have the lake.  We share it, and I think the ducks probably think about a better lake, at least from time to time. 

What else is true?

The white hairs on my head are true.  There are an awful lot of them and there were some before but many showed up in 2016.  I'm not young and this time thing only goes in one direction.

The white hairs on my dog's muzzle are true.  She won't be around forever either.  I'm not being morose.  It's just true.  She won't be, though she may just outlive me.  Maybe she'll end up getting rickety with someone else and she'll love them and come to dream about them too, the way I'm told she might just dream about me.  

The decisions I make will be for her also, and I can be grown up about that.  She deserves that.  

She deserves that.  

Selah.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Prospect Park 1-12-17


This time last year it was all about packing big boxes into little cars.  It was about a new place.  It was about Evan moving out and a big empty space that opened up.  It was about my big, fat, broken heart.  It was about... change.  

Just change.  And of course nothing changes if nothing changes.  Get through it and find new this and that and move on.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trans-Soviet Express


A tongue-in-cheek tribute to Vladimir Putin and the KGB stylings of the 80s.  He is doing a pretty good job (and this isn't a compliment) of gaslighting the supposed, presumed most powerful nation on the planet.  Who really knows up from down anymore?

Prospect Park 1-10-17

Post-tantrum now, where do you take feelings?  Where do you take conflict?  What can you do but take it out for a run and try to get a step ahead so you can leave it out there?  So it can't follow you home...

I don't even want to hear more about it, this rough beast slouching toward Washington to be...

Born?

The stuff I posted last night even embarrasses me but I'll leave it there as a reminder.

Feelings.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Donald J. Trump - Golden Shower of Hits

Just going to get it out of my system now.  The latest allegations on this one are piss parties with Russian prostitutes.  True?  Stay tuned.  Who knows?








10 more days...

There have been points over the last 8 years where I wanted to choke this man out because change wasn't happening fast enough or he didn't go at things they way I would have preferred, but I learned sometimes it just works out that way, despite anyone's best efforts.

I cried the night he was elected in 2008 and I cried tonight as he gave his farewell address.  I don't known if I'll live long enough to see a man as decent as him back in the White House, but my kids will .  I know they will.

That's going to have to do.

Truth in advertising

Robert Montgomery

Monday, January 09, 2017

Prospect Park - DDATHTL


And all she asks is that we play harder so while everything else is freezing solid, she is not.  

That's it.  

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Wicked Gravity

via Miguel Marquez Outside

It feels like I was just carrying on about gravity.  About how heavy I feel some days and it's even worse now that I know what weightlessness feels like.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Never say never.

“They say we have weak wills. Do you know about the two drunks who went to the film of The Lost Weekend. Came out staggering. "My God I'll never take another drink," said the first. "My God I'll never go to another movie." How's that for commitment?” ~ John Berryman



Sweat - DDATHTL

It's 29 degrees fahrenheit (sp?) and I'm sweating.  Is that normal?  It's not from exercise or exertion.  It's just there, and it's sweat.

That's not normal.

What's normal anymore though?  I'm not the right person to ask.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Resolute - DDATHTL

Maybe it's the weather, or maybe some kind of emotional hangover.  Healthy food seems too healthy. The weights seem too weighty.  The track around the park seems too long, with or without the trusty hound.  There are new people out there.

The New Year's Resolution People.

The Resolved.

The Resolute.

Perhaps something in me is broken but I have no resolve.  I have a craving for cigarettes.  Perhaps it's a case of Seasonal Disorder.

I miss the sun.

My dog misses the sun.

Maybe I should have spent more time reflecting on the previous year, or maybe reflecting on my entire life.  Every time it feels like I've laid to rest all the things that need to be laid to rest, some doubt creeps back in.  I said it just recently.  I could pick any point in the timeline of my life and come to the same conclusion, that there is unfinished business.  It doesn't make any sense does it?  That's a lot to carry around.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Prospect Park - DDATHTL

More ghosts.

Not mine, for once.

They found another young man floating out there along the south end of the lake on Monday night.  19 years old is too damn young to be "found."  Unless it's hide & seek in which case it's too old.  I'm not being funny.  It's just sad.

They found him by the lean-to I was re-visiting last week, ruminating about my ghosts.  It only just struck me tonight that the lakeside must be crawling with ghosts.  I heard a story a few months back, when they found the last boy floating, that this dopefiend in Windsor Terrace used to drag people out there if they overdosed in his apartment, to make it look like... well , I guess they didn't always to toxicology analyses, right?  Heroin doesn't exactly engender loyalty.

Ghosts, though.  They must be piled up around the lake like a Coney Island beach in August.  Kind of makes it less inviting.

Wet

Monday, January 02, 2017

Choban


CHOBAN from Matija Pisačić on Vimeo.

Hotlanta indeed!

X-rays

Add a bee or two on each bloom and that's a fair approximation of the inside of my head on a good day.  Not being melodramatic.  It just is what it is.  The New Year doesn't seem to have given me any greater a facility for words.  There are strobe light images accompanied by stabs of pain, but not much in the way of a discernable, translatable language. 

Fuck it. 

A snapshot in a family album

My siblings and me with our pet pony.  @1972