Small Hearth

6 Feb

Sometimes all you’re allowed to have is a small fire.  So small, it’s mostly symbolic.  Some days the elements don’t cooperate–cede only the most petit of ember pockets.  Where does more kindling fit in to metaphor?

I’ve been feeling like a small flame–unable to deny my burning nature and yet so quickly suffocated.  But with the right flow of air, I could steadily catch your eye all night.

Here’s some photos.

 

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Insomniac Chronicles

2 Nov

It’s 02:30 on a Friday morning which means it’s the perfect time to release this.

Below are some pages of material penned during hours of restlessness and a written word portal into the deep throws of insomnia.

In 2011 and 2012 I experienced several months of the inability to sleep (at night).  The feeling is maddening, the result is worse.  When one has been deprived of rest, all other problems become insignificant and the only thing that matters is finding even just a few minutes of slumber… a few minutes of respite from anxiety-driven endless internal monologue.

Insomnia may be one of the hardest things to explain to someone who has never experienced the condition.  I used to cry over the frustration from being awake for so long.  I used to get out of bed and bake really bad biscuits.  Then I would eat them since I still wasn’t sleepy and it was almost breakfast time anyway.  I’ve lost jobs from sleeping in because I couldn’t sleep all night, and once I finally rested there was no sacrificing that rare and blissful rest.  It is a hard cycle to beat, but insanity often breeds genius.  I enjoy reading these passages from years ago, especially when I’m up late at night, flirting with sleeplessness once again.  I hope that this helps you, restless one.  I hope that this helps you feel less crazy.

***

 

Insomniac Chronicles


October 8, 2010

I am hurting and I need to be soothed

To have my head dipped low below the cool spring of your voice

Like a stroke of fresh paint, press your palms against my back

Whisper me a prescription to hush the worried pangs of dismal dreariness that have gripped the kitchen of my soul

I am hurting and I need to be soothed

Like the pop of a cork letting breath into a fine red

I need to be purged of this wretched guilt that has split my seams and let the worms wrestle their way to the ground in front of me

It’s shitty

It’s shameful

It sucks

I long to be cooled and submerged in something blue

To have a fluid essence tingling my lips like mints in the ocean

Something to make peace with this monster that has dug its hole inside my chest cavity

It tunnels and tunnels and tunnels

And leaves me thirsty

Smokey

And hurting

To be soothed.


March 12th, 2011 03:32

-Is the water warm enough for you yet?

-This is my third shower today.

[-There’s always another layer of skin to scrub off.]

-And now I’m just here.

-Starting to see the shadow people; must be getting late.

-Love tortures me most.

-It rains, and I open the window.

-But there we were, chasing the edge of the universe.

-Then I returned the library book.


July 14th 2011, 05:05

I dreamt last night …

That I was pulling bones out of the palm of my hand,

That I had been wounded.

Perhaps some kind of bite,

Or a spear

That pierced me

 

I stood with it

Coming out

Either side,

And with tweezer-like precision,

I extracted splintering

Bits

 

Someone was doing the same to a dog

Who I was in command of–

A dark grey pit

smiling a wide pit grin as

her paw was inspected

I have to tell myself no more crazy writing at 5am if I want to get anything done in this town.

Rita was cleaning the deep scrapes on Adrian’s face, and we created waves in corrugated steel to listen to the radio as Avery Monsen organized a Corona heist performed by tiny people in striped pajamas.

///

I suppose it’s easier at night when you don’t have to look anywhere but up,

Singing

LET ME BE YOUR EVERLASTING LIGHT

To the stars

 

It’s easier at night when

We can’t see the immense amount of land

Pressing in on all sides

 

..and I relearn an appreciation for alcohol

 

We conducted electricity tonight

With our shoes off

Buzzing each other crippled,

Finding it again

In our fingertips

Sucking it from

The sides of the Campillac—

A modified 1954 space boat

Complete with gas stove and typewriter—

Passing the currents

Right into the other’s …

Force field

Shocking!


July 28th, 2011 04:50

lately,

i can’t fall asleep.

 

i can’t fall asleep

unless I’m held

 

…and lately,

i can’t even wake up.

can’t wake up til evening,

when I know

right where the sun is going–

 

lately,

my hair’s not short enough

or my skin smooth enough

and lately,

i can’t seem to get enough,

find enough,

or sleep enough,

 

lately’s been way too long,

it doesn’t ever stop,

lately

it seems it won’t ever start

-comes in twice

and doesn’t ever call

 

and lately still,

troubles sleep

vandalizes mood

aids insanity

 

i can’t even

pretend to

force fake it

or smile,

lately

 

it’s just been

sleep

money

make it

by,

lately

 

lately, I just close my eyes and listen to my own head ache.

I flip like a filet

and huff out

curt sighs of

 

helpless. fucking. insomnia.

 

 

lately,

it goes until sunrise.

 

 

I

CAN’T

TAKE

IT

ANYMORE,

lately.


July 26th, 2011 04:16

Today I drew the Ace of Shields.

and the Maiden of Pipes.

“Ambitious, aspiring, and enthusiastic

to the point of irrationality.”

…if only the deck understood

pipes the way I do.

The inhalation.

With nothing better to do

In the desert than measure

the night in rises + falls

of the chest cavity.

I’ve seen the sun rise

too many times before sleeping

Quantifying the heat by

the hairs

on my back that stand up,

ready to leave, in protest.

I toss like a raffle ticket,

weaving through

my sheet, avoiding a growing

blue dawn behind

breezing curtains.

And the noise.

The damn noise in this town.

An unwarranted

education in pop music.

Mixed with drunk screeching

and 6 inch heels

snapping over the cracks

in the side walk

Ass cheeks clapping by, peeking

out under various

tight patterns.

I’ve seen it all because

I’ve seen one.

The Ace of Shields, promising

wealth and new beginnings, only

begs me to follow wayward desires

and start

driving again.

The second that deciding

penny rolls in, as soon as

the cash is stacked high enough,

relocate me.

Give me the Big Easy.

Take me from under this

desert magnifying glass.

I sleep to escape–

too sucked out and broke

to drink anything but black coffee.

…Songs of California come

in through every speaker like

a courtesy call, “Please pick

up the nearest traveler and

book it.

There’s no reason for you to

die of thirst.


November 27th, 2011 ~06:00

It is so easy to sleep in Madrid.

To sleep at times you never thought were possible.

Madrid is a dreamed city.

With walls on every side so high you can pass your hours relatively unaffected by the sun’s course, and go about tunneling madly through the city’s divine and narrow passageways that spit you out reversed and on the bottom side of wherever you thought you’d float up, all in just a block’s distance.

And you can pull down the industrial sound-proof shutters over the double windows to black out in your cold tiled room in the middle of the day in the middle of a building that is a fortress against light and wake.

Then it seems everyone must be on this schedule too, when you’re on the metro leaning, drooling on some handle, going to work at 7 in the morning (not having slept the night before, because the night is for sangria and poems, not closing your eyes and snoring).

The young men burp “¿Quepassaa?” as you side-step past them through the jump and jolt train doors, and you begin to wonder, How the hell does this city operate in such a manner and not turn itself inside out?

But somehow they do it, the Spanish. They do it sleepwalking. Dreamwandering. They riot out of the bars at 5am and spill into the cafes, freshly opened like a pastry box with untied string, seeking plates of small sandwiches and more contact high and more beer, for heaven’s sake! More! More! More!

And this morning? This morning at 06:19? What are we faced with this morning? This arid cold Sunday morning, again, with no sleep preceding sunrise… what are we faced with?

Oh God! The market!

To the market, for the love of the virgin, to El Rastro.

To hold your nose and breathe as you submerge into the crowd and swim between Spanish bottoms dressed in feather-trimmed suede, psychadelic billowing genie pants, or smart blazers covered wrist to waist with clever buckles.

Something is hot and steaming in these shop windows and warrants strange shouts from passersby as they do a sort of shuffle dance in a long slow processional river movement through the seams of La Latina.

 

Maybe it’s time for another coffee. Wouldn’t you say?

Something, anything, to take the edge off before you go gasping in again, flailing between tents and stoops and drummers, feeling all the plants with your face to breathe in the life one more time before you stumble up the stairs into your cold dark hibernation chamber again to sleep sleep sleep until you’ve lost all your senses of time and space and reason.


21 December 2011, 1:08 am

A letter to you, my lover.

 

If I could be under you while the earth was burning—

Curled up with this book you gave me, I press it close to me, imagining your presence, warm and seducing. It’s all I have, this book, and it is the best thing anyone’s ever given me. I read it slowly, not wanting to finish the future memories you’ve delivered within its pages. Somewhere, we could be smoking spliffs, barefoot with tea and a Barcelona breeze flirting with us, whispering into our necks.

It is amazing the way I ache for your body, your voice and your habits. I know one day our third eyes will no longer be able to look anywhere but at each other. Life will be nothing but the songs we show ourselves and the poetry we breathe into one another and the hundreds of books we collect in a balcony flat filled with plants and colorful rugs that we fall onto, laughing and barely touching but sending every message of our desires through our finger tips, passing, slowly, and quietly over this curve, and this stretch of perfect skin, created only to be softly felt by our own anxious hands and lips.

When I see you again, where will it be?

Without you, nowhere is sweet enough, deep enough.

I hope I am in your dreams tonight.

It is everything unknown that keeps me awake in my love for you. Waiting, knowing, that something perfect will be.

May you hear this when you are walking at night with millions of strange flowers opening for the moon and every star winking at you as you breathe in the fresh foggy air from the Bay and feel at peace.

You are what I listen for at the end—


January 5th, 2012 04:43

Oh, what a block!

What a road block//

cemetery wall

That stands fixed between myself

and the movement//

uprisal//

production of

Creativity,

en masse.

 

Oh, and how this insomnia

Creeps back up

Like a runaway train

And forces me to lay underneath

Between the rails

Squeezing shut my face

And holding my breath

Until it’s over

 

I’m pretty sure this is the opposite of health

And discipline

 

I’ll try again tomorrow

 

To live on the bonus level

The life that I know I want

///

Exactly how rock bottom fucking insane do I need to go before I can convince myself to turn this fucker around?

I binge eat.

I starve myself.

I don’t sleep.

I sugar.

I sleep all day.

 

I want dive to the bottom and crack my head open before I can motivate myself to start swimming.

 

It is so easy and so beautiful.

It’s like I don’t want myself to be happy for some reason.

What is this dark menace that is winning?

Why is it taking over my production of beauty?

I must allow the light to flow through, even in this dead winter of hibernation.

I must allow the light to flow through.

 

I don’t even need to remind myself what I must do.

I know what it is, it is so natural and it is what I love.

Yet so shy to take hold.

 

Let the spirit imbibe me once again

Please

Let it.


May 25th, 2012 04:02

It’s funny how things haunt you

Preoccupy you and rob you of sleep

Make you as restless and tumbling as

An empty paper cup in the parking lot

Of a concert arena whose last show

Was years and years ago

 

Just to play a song over and over again

To maybe wring it all out

Find some truth and resolution

Pressing out of the same words

Like a frustrated secretary

Flipping with quick nimble fingers

Through file cabinet upon file cabinet

For one small note that explains it all

I know I put it here, it’s just got to be here…

 

But somehow it takes months and months

Like laundry hanging in a rainforest

To dry out completely

So you can fold it neatly in quarters

Flat and accounted for

And file it away into a drawer for things of its category

 

Months and months

To be able to see right through the stains

And knots and wrinkles

Into the deep blue wash and true patterns and dyes

So that you know exactly where it came from

And can return it to its rightful origin.

 

Because there’s no sense in crowding your line with heavy elaborate tapestries when you live only in naked summers and all you need is a place to spit your sunflower seed shells.

The Wedgewood

 

 

 

 

I should write something —

18 Oct

This is an open call.

Bring your semi-thought out funeral plans.  Bring your hardened, foolish heart.

Our judges are looking for creative expression in any medium — work that focuses on commiseration in the times of love in the times of capitalism.

To submit, take off your clothes and cover your face with a hood.  Get on your knees.  Blindly select your instrument and send to The Office for Late Stage Affairs in Oakland, California.  Include one thousand dollars and a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Applications accepted until our planet warms beyond a state of habitability.  Time is running out.  Send it.

 

***

6/16/18

KILL YOUR FEAR

To do or not to do; the point is to write.  On task or relevant is obsolete–the point is to write.  Because it’s all relevant, it’s all work, it can all lead into itself.

To an actor, nervousness is just another form of fuel.  To imagine the finished product would only limit your potential.

“For the Wild”

15 Sep

Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, and Nevada Counties.

Growth after wildfires, forest defenders, cows, and banana slugs.

California Ramblin’ Sept’17-June’18

1 Sep

San Onofre – Oakland – Ventura – Mendocino – San Jose – Humboldt – Los Angeles

moody summer, b/w ’17

1 Aug

Shasta – Puerto Escondido – San Francisco – Los Angeles – Oakland – Idaho (solar eclipse) – Nevada City – Riverside

Europe, summer ’16

1 Aug

Germany – Netherlands – France – Spain – Sweden