September 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s the anniversary of your father’s death. You go into your room and you paint the paper cadmium red. The bristle claws through the fibers, but does not tear. She is aggressive, but stops just short of pain.
I am her audience. I can sit next to, or miles away from, her and still feel separate while she paints. I can listen to her heels lifting while she leans, in, away. She is miles away from her body.
She sees something that I don’t. A body is not a lake. Red is not fire and the green is not where you used to belong. That line delineates nothing. It is the eyelash of an old lover.
I can sit at my desk and chew on the pith of an orange and still taste it. There is nothing left on this fruit but a little white sponge that wets the throat with its aromas. I can sit at my desk and imagine that this is the feeling of loss.
September 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
August permeates by afternoon sunlight. It refuses to let up, refusing to disappear behind the crinkled shade.
Waking up, drenched in the geometry of light on the walls above the bed—it is a way to see the morning from a short distance.
I constantly question whether I am arriving at sleep at all. Or if I’m walking, sprinting out of sleep into an empty room where I see myself pushing shapes around on the wall made of fire.
Firefly, fly her by, letting it go into a fine ash; that is what flickers against the bedroom wall. Not the sun.
June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Our Pastor, he charmed them snakes.
Mostly copperheads ‘cause they just small enough to
Wrap your hand around them necks all the way.
Yes, he was real well liked in our
town. ‘Cept for the ladies who always shrieked
like pigs in the slaughterhouse when he reached out to shake
a hand. They’s always ‘fraid of the venom comin’ out
of the snake’s skin,
thinkin’ that if he ever carried ‘em too hard
they coul’ be squeezed like a lemon,
poison runnin’ down, down.
The Bible says the Serpent is the Devil.
‘Course no such thing coulda happened ‘cause
them copperheads, they poisonous,
but only by the mouth.
“Stay away from him, y’hear,” all the
ladies would yell at the chil’en.
But they don’ care. They knew the truth
about him and the snakes.
It sure ain’t somethin’ you see ev’ryday.
Last Sunday, though, the Pastor brung his
snakes out. He sang the hymns without
The choir practices in the basement.
One snake, it jus’ lift its head up from the ground,
stretchin’ its body up to the Heavens. The snake sway
back ‘n’ forth with the skinny river birch. Pastor hums
the end of the verse and hold his hands over his thighs.
We all jus’ stare at his eyes, Close’ Eyes. His eyes close soft and
he stop singing. The snake at his feet, ‘tached by the mouth.
The men stomp that snake to death before sun down,
and throw him in the grave. No more shriekin’,
‘less the pigs getting killed.
April 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
My favorite thing is seedless melon. It’s like cherry coke in a glass; it’s like a cigarette butt still burning in the ashtray, like mom and dad fighting with the doors closed.
Plugging the mouth shut with a slice just as wide, I get my incisors to stick while the juices flow into the throat. What a treat it is to not have to feel around for seeds, to not swipe the tongue from side to side, moving saliva, diluting the sugars.
Deep breath, and plug.
Shut your mouth when you chew. Reprimanded through sheet rock and asbestos, my mom has the hearing of a tiger. She can hear me when I’m collecting seeds underneath my tongue. She’s purring on the bathroom floor, painting her toenails red.
My dad doesn’t say much because he still chews with his mouth open. I am a lot like him and people notice that. It is not just in my nose, either. Me and him, we have a strong bridge, but my mom’s nose is soft and comes out of her face gradually like a buoy surfacing water. I imagine myself with her nose: I push my nose cartilage down but instead of submerging into my face, it does nothing. Instead of moving with the height of the wave, it juts. It always juts.
What are you, anyway? It would take fewer words if my face were more discernible.
It would take fewer muscles to chew a seedless melon. I could do it lying down.
March 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
This show is based on a compilation of fictional writings that I have done over the past year about the meaning of “home” and some of its mutations. Each piece is psychological fieldwork in studying inhabitance and what subtleties grow between people when daily life is shared.
Each story is inspired by both internal and external experience. In the process of composition, it is crucial to me that in the matter of observation, I fuel each new perspective with my own personal history. That being said, the stories are not retellings; rather, they are my own reconstructions of specific voices across communities. That is why perspective has been so clearly established—that these voices are heard but also so clearly from my own throat.
The conventional experience of writing is hardly physical and yet every day, we are recording our histories beyond intellectual decision. The way we remember and store the memories of childhood, a new relationship, the proximity of death of a loved one, are embedded in the built spaces around us. We are so closely related to our environment that it may well be the most intimate of all; without expectation, the walls around us, the smell of our terrain, the sounds of others in our community, offer us the power to decide that these are mine. This place is mine. This is Home. It is perhaps the only fact that I am assured of daily, knowing the place that both belongs to me, and that to which I belong.