Tuesday, October 30, 2007

this is halloween

we all wear disguises: which one is yours today: a spooky mix volume two:

the whole mixed zipped

all my friends were vampires

be my victim, darling: be my vampire, baby: a spooky mix volume one:

part two coming soon: on halloween

Monday, October 29, 2007

wait, don't let your dreams just pass away

keep art alive; art by trevor brown

the last few years have been more than a bit rough, and often i feel like i am more lost than found, and that i am still swimming around in this life trying to suss out just who i am. some days are clearer than others, some days i can breathe underwater and see everything as it swims by; i always have swam with my eyes wide open. other days i feel heart hurt and lead heavy, sinking beneath the surface, gasping for air. music helps, music always helps. as does the company of friends. ones who sit bottles of wine out and make you laugh so hard you ache the next day, who sing loudly along with you in the car, and who tease you because they know you so well. and, friends who know how to make me smile, who know how to speak to my heart in ways i thought were impossible, and who help me believe in the possibilities of life again. it is no wonder i have such a connection to water, and feel the nearest to peace by the standing on the ocean's shore, as my two dearest friends are water signs, and though they may douse out this aries' flames some days, most of the time it is a stirring of souls and the balance of heat and cool that gives the gift of balance, bliss and the kind of bonds that feel forever.

i have a lot of work to do, a lot of change that needs to happen, but some of it is finally coming into focus for me. i stayed home today due to not feeling quite right, and i think it was one of those rare occasions that i listened to that voice inside myself and took care of me for a change. i love immensely, and without borders or restrictions or walls. i know the price i've paid for giving so much in love, but i am realizing that i am willing to be wrong in love, but that i am not willing to give up who i am in it. there is joy in the giving, passion and desire fulfilled, bliss in that feeling that i would give the world to those i love - and i like that i am that person. so, if it means that i have been wrong, and that i sometimes find myself taken for granted, i just have to persist in love and trust that there are those who will love me back for who i am. i do not know what has changed in me, but something significant has. i feel like i remembered how to breathe again.

nothing is fixed exactly, and there are things ahead of me that i fear, and i still feel like quite a mess of a girl; but something inside has shifted. maybe it is my lightbulb going on, or the end of the year looming in the distance. or, perhaps all this digging and peeling back of my layers is finally shedding lights and shadows over some of my reasons why. i am still hurting an awful lot, i still have not managed a day without tears, but there is also laughter, smiles, song, and love. i have friends around me that i want to keep, i have children so amazing that i would want to know them even if they did not belong to me, and i still believe in love. i still struggle with trusting my heart, trusting others with my heart, and feeling secure in myself in any of it. i am still puzzled at how i ended up where i am right now, how i turned into someone who gave up so many of her dreams, and settled for an existance that is less than getting by.

i tell my children that it is not the failures and mistakes, but what you do with them, that matters. how you take responsibility, how you take on things that you know need to be changed, how you survive. and, i need to do that, too. i need to embrace my own words. and, there is more i could say, but i won't right now. there are things i have yet to understand myself, much less paint it all in words. thank you for those of you who inspire, who are open and honest with me, who make me laugh and cry, who reach out when they do not have to, and for those who know me well enough to just know. you know who you are, and how i feel. thank you.

water, so much water is under the bridge

Saturday, October 27, 2007

words fail me today, so i guess sarah is singing my words for me

hold on
hold on to yourself
for this is gonna hurt like hell
hold on
hold on to yourself
you know that only time will tell

what is it in me that refuses to believe
this isn’t easier than the real thing

my love
you know that you’re my best friend
you know i’d do anything for you

my love
let nothing come between us
my love for you is strong and true

am i in heaven here or am i...
at the crossroads i am standing

so now you’re sleeping peaceful
i lie awake and pray
that you’ll be strong tomorrow and we’ll see another day
and we will praise it
and love the light that brings a smile across your face

oh god if you’re out there won’t you hear me
i know that we’ve never talked before
oh god the man i love is leaving
won’t you take him when he comes to your door

am i in heaven here
or am i in hell
at the crossroads i am standing

so now you’re sleeping peaceful
i lie awake and pray
that you’ll be strong tomorrow and we’ll see another day
and we will praise it
and love the light that brings a smile
across your face...

hold on
hold on to yourself
for this is gonna hurt like hell

hold on ~ sarah mclachlan

i’ve had enough of trying everything

funny, how it seems that all i’ve tried to do
seemed to make no difference to you at all

path of thorns (terms) ~ sarah mclachlan

you deserve so much more than this

hey your glass is empty
it’s a hell of a long way home
why don’t you let me take you
it’s no good to go alone
i never would have opened up
but you seemed so real to me
after all the bullshit i’ve heard
it’s refreshing not to see
i don’t have to pretend
she doesn’t expect it from me

good enough ~ sarah mclachlan

Friday, October 26, 2007

for you

and the songbirds keep singing
like they know the score
and i love you, i love you, i love you
like never before

you said something: words passed in carefully folded paper: a mix

enough to see your light

well i held you like a lover
happy hands and your elbow in the appropriate place

and we ignored our others, happy plans
for that delicate look upon your face

our bodies moved and hardened
hurting parts of your garden
with no room for a pardon
in a place where no one knows what we have done

do you come
together ever with him?
and is he dark enough?
enough to see your light?
and do you brush your teeth before you kiss?
do you miss my smell?
and is he bold enough to take you on?
do you feel like you belong?
and does he drive you wild?
or just mildly free?
what about me?

well you held me like a lover
sweaty hands
and my foot in the appropriate place

and we use cushions to cover
happy glands
in the mild issue of our disgrace

our minds pressed and guarded
while our flesh disregarded
the lack of space for the light-hearted
in the boom that beats our drum

well i know i make you cry
and i know sometimes you wanna die
but do you really feel alive without me?
if so, be free
if not, leave him for me
before one of us has accidental babies
for we are in love

do you come
together ever with him?
is he dark enough?
enough to see your light?
do you brush your teeth before you kiss?
do you miss my smell?
and is he bold enough to take you on?
do you feel like you belong?
and does he drive you wild?
or just mildly free?

what about me?
what about me?

accidental babies ~ damien rice

no hero in her sky

keep art alive; art by joshua petker

i am not sure when it began, or what started me believing that in love i had to give everything that i am in order to deserve to be loved back. not that i do not think that love should be about giving, but somewhere along the line there was a disconnect inside of me that transmitted this message that i was the one that needed to give, and give until i had nothing left, and that i should not expect to ever receive anything back. that love, for me, was about taking care of the other person's needs, wants, and desires; that if there did not exist this neverending list of needs to fulfill, and issues that needed my care and attention, that i was not needed, or i suppose deserving, of love.

for a girl who swore up and down that she would never be a mother i certainly spent even my formative years trying to mother the boys i chose to love. i look back at my past relationships and it is so glaringly obvious that i would come into their lives and slowly but surely become something they relied on, and unfortunately ended up taking for granted. i do believe it became such a part of who i am that it showed on my skin, on the way i put myself out into the world, and in the way i interracted because every consecutive relationship seemed to become more and more of this situation. bring me your wounded, your broken, your addicted, your mentally and emotionally unstable and i will put on my best nurses dress and break out all my glue sticks and transparent tape, and i will fix you.

what becomes of the nurse in this, though? what becomes of the mothering lover who later becomes an actual mother? and, what happens when she breaks? i have learned to run this race of being everything to the other person in a relationship that it has become a default, an auto-pilot setting, and as my dearest friend told me this morning it becomes part of the system. and, i know some of this goes back to never really feeling mothered myself, that i took on that role of caretaker even to my own mother before i even reached adolescence. somewhere along the way even the family i was born into weaved together expectation with love.

this is where it gets tricky, though, as i sit here trying to sift through my definitions of love; because honestly i think that giving is intrinsic and vital to love. i do not want to veer so far from who i have been that i do not still long to make another person happy, fulfilled, possibly better. but, all these untouched parts of me, all my own gaping holes of want and need, they are so neglected that now they are charging forward in some kind of emotional revolt. and, i do not know how to deal with them, i do not know how to manage anything that i want myself. all i seem to do is collapse a little bit more everytime anyone even reaches out a hand, or mentions the way things could be. the smallest things, the most simple acts of kindness, they bring me to tears.

there has to exist this combination in love. i know i have found it in friendship, and in that realm i seem to be able to accept it so much better. but with love, the idea of not being the one to give and give and give, to even think about allowing someone to give to me anything - even the things that seem small and trivial, it opens up this gulf of vulnerability deep inside. but, i want it. i want to be loved in the way i love, and i want to be able to embrace that in my life. i just wish i was not so scared of accepting it, of changing that part of me that blocks it so often, to learn to actually feel like i deserve to be loved - because deep down in those parts of me that i do not share often, and that i do not exactly understand - i do not believe i deserve love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

realize your fate

i'm keeping you i'm keeping you
i'm keeping you so realize your fate
i'm keeping you i'm keeping you
i'm keeping you so settle down now

you landed here from inner space
you landed with that screwed-up look on your face
i wanted you from way back when
i wanted you for years, then years again

i'm keeping you i'm keeping you
i'm keeping you so settle in now

my return to wildlife by satellite
by beautiful moon-shining girl
whether by hard ground or splashdown
we're safely back in the world

my heart's not new
i'm not like you
i've loved and been loved well and badly too
my body's been through everything
i've used and been used
i got over it
there's something that you learn on a tightrope
just outside the spotlight there's a big net waiting for...

my return to wildlife by satellite
by beautiful moon-shining girl
whether by hard ground or splashdown
we're safely back in the world

i'm keeping you

keeping you ~ tanya donelly

you're liable to figure me out

inspired by honey don't think ~ grant lee buffalo

story re-writes

beneath the surface of love
interlocking webs lie
tangled and varied in direction
latching on and letting go

sometimes the synapse fires
inducing benevolence
at other ends the water leaks in
laced in doubt
as we begin to sink

miles pass between us
even while sitting side by side
and the soul is seen waving
mailing a postcard home

then we struggle upstream
break the mold while wet
and we carve our initials in
glue up the cracks
from the fall

the fog will return
our feet slipping off stones
and on better days
the parachute opens

no one ever said it would be easy slips
because some cliches write themselves
so we memorize and fluctuate our tone
remind each other
we are electricity

that we begin to connect when we let each other

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


"i'm not a concept, joel. i'm just a fucked up girl whose looking for my own peace of mind. i'm not perfect."

clementine, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

now i stand here waiting

and i thought i was mistaken
and i thought i heard you speak
tell me how do i feel
tell me now how should i feel

blue monday ~ flunk

everybody's gotta learn sometime

i am having a rough time of it today. between the fires everywhere and the passing of a friend, and just this general feeling of frustration and sadness in my own life; i am struggling with not wanting to burst into tears and hide from the world.

i feel like everything around me is screaming "temporary" and i like to keep reaching up, and moving forward, and believe that there are reasons i am feeling this way. most days i'm better at it, at sorting it out, and recognizing what i can and cannot do. today i'm not dealing well, at all.

i was supposed to be in school right now working towards my teaching degree. that was the plan. to finish school, work part-time, have some time with my writing, and more importantly with my kids. i gave it up so quickly, and i know the reasons i did, and i do not doubt their validity - or the reality that i had no real choice; but i am hurt by it all the same.

i was not supposed to still be having these fights every weekend, the promises that were made were about partnership and responsibility to each other, and to the kids. i believed in it, and i realize the stupidity in that, my ever misguided naivete, but i did believe.

a year ago i was doing this on my own, and now i am back here again, wondering how i managed to go backwards, how i tripped over myself this badly. how i have let myself settle for less, for less than less.

as for my heart, if it only had wings of it's own, or a magic carpet. i feel like it is cracking today, though; splitting apart from the inside, and there really is no glue to fix this right now.

whatever, right? who needs a heart anyway, who needs to be truly loved?

i have watched too many movies and read too much, bought into the linklater, crowe, hornby, believed in too many possibilities. i wanted a love like jacob grace and trixie, lloyd and diane, clementine and joel, jesse and celine.

and, my music obsession, it just hurts along with me. did it come before my lonely and broken heart, or after? does it really matter, we hold hands together and feel this kind of ache.

this should be tagged please disregard and delete. sorry, i am usually not this messy.

so, what's the point of robbery if nothing is worth taking?

raised on mtv: part three:

stand and deliver, from the prince charming album, hit the u.k. radio charts in 1981. it was sometime in 1984 that adam and the ants, and the prince charming album, had it's impact on me. i was at lisa's house when i first saw this video, lying on the floor of her bedroom, her television right under a full-size poster of mr. ant himself. i remember back then that lisa would sign all her notes, passed to me in the hallway, as lisa ant. lisa, aimee and i used to walk through the hallways at school, with our arms linked, singing stand and deliver, your money or your life; aimee always making the distinct drum roll sound, as we sang.

perhaps it was the appeal of the new romantics, which is ironically not so different than the scene kids that julia associates her style to, that had us girls swooning over adam. or, maybe it was the appeal of the pirate lifestyle, the libertine code of conduct, the undertones of moral rebellion. stand and deliver was anarchy with eyeliner, and it was sexy, and appealing, to a group of parochial school girls in the midst of adolescence, and sexual awareness/awakenings.

and, it was a really keen song to dance to.

i spend my cash on looking flash and grabbing your attention
the devil take your stereo and your record collection!

we'd lose our minds in tiny bars

babe, let's move to sicily
just you and me
and the mediterranean sea.

i work on a scallop boat
that would keep us afloat
the sun would burn my throat.

you lie beneath the shade
writing songs all day
into the summer haze,
and in the evening
we go stealing
out beneath different stars.
night would hold us
and gently fold us
we'd lose our minds
in tiny bars.

we never argue
'cause with just us two
there'd be no point to.
they need a surgeon
'cause in this version
we become one person.

and in the evening
we go stealing
out beneath different stars.
the night would hold us,
and gently fold us,
we'd lose our minds
in tiny bars

sicily ~ youth group

Monday, October 22, 2007

love is not a victory march

keep art alive; art by joshua petker

life is this way, you wake up one morning with your day planned out, and all those stresses and plans they all spin around in your head. you know what they are, how they look and feel, we all have them. all the problems in your life always weigh heavier than they may actually be if you only took some time to change your perspective; to take a step back. when you breathe for a moment, park your car on the side of the road and maybe write something down, turn the radio up, spend an extra few minutes on the phone with a friend - it changes it, doesn't it? it makes it all so much more bearable - this living a life.

through it all we have these interractions with people, whether in the flesh kind of meetings, or otherwise. i think sometimes we take for granted that the people who matter to us will always be there, and that those other ones, the ones we are either just getting to know, or only know in a seemingly small way - well, we think there will always be time to connect. we live our lives in a pattern, a routine, and sometimes a rut. we complain to each other about what we would change if we could, what we wish was different, what we really and truly want. and, the best of us - the truest of us - we listen to each other, we hold each other's hands, we believe in each other's capacity to be more than we are. and in that, well, sometimes it is the smallest of words that make all the difference.

chris (crash pryor) told me recently that i would be okay, to not let the bastards get me down, to not let someone else's issues cloud my own, and to never stop writing. when i told him i was in the midst of drama he laughed and said "drama? been there, done that, have the t-shirt and the soundtrack," and in those words i gained perspective. i took a deep breath and in his words, and the support and love of a few other important people in my life, i decided where i would leave, and where i would stay, and who i would refuse to give up. i am not sure that i ever thanked him for it, either, but i think in some way he knew. we had meant to meet-up and go out for drinks. we had crossed paths through work and home, in proximity, and in certain circles in both professinal and personal realms. we never did.

in this life we really do believe there will be another chance, another moment, another time.

even in his death i feel like he is teaching me about perspective, and i wish i had the opportunity to thank him, again. there are people in this world that mean the world to me, and i am grateful that i have never shied away from telling them that. if i love you, i will probably tell you often, and repeatedly; and, for me it does not cheapen the emotion. if i tell you i love you i mean it.

the perspective shift i feel right now, though, is an overwhelming feeling of not wanting to wait any longer to live, to change, to love, and to be in this life. i know it is a sentiment that most likely many people feel when hit with an unexpected death, but i do not think that cheapens the meaning of that, either. i suppose i just want to remember that there isn't always more time, that putting off being happy is a ridiculous thing, and if you want something to change in your life maybe you should do it, even if it is scary and difficult, and even if you might get hurt in the process. and, don't let anyone scare you off of what you want, or allow anyone else to tell you what it is you know to be true. trust yourself, and your heart, and don't let the bastards get you down.

thank you, crash. you will be missed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

like the world is ending

this is the first day of the future,
and all i want is you.
i wear a pair of socks you left here.
but i know, i know, i know, nobody could ever fill your shoes.

i can see so clearly when your smoke gets in my eyes.
please me with your promises and hurt me with your lies.
baby can you hear the message i am sending?

love me like the world is ending.

this is the last day of existence.
and all i want is you.
there's a certain sadness.
but i know, i know, i know, the sky is what makes the ocean blue.
i can see so clearly when your smoke gets in me.
please me with your promises and hurt me with your lies.
baby can you hear the message i am sending?

love me like the world is ending.

and they all say to pour it has to rain
so don't complain if we get wet in the deep end.
i can see when your smoke gets in my eyes.
please me with your promises and hurt me with your lies.
baby, can you hear the message i am sending?

love me like the world is ending.

love me like the world is ending ~ ben lee

more than i could ever promise

if you were falling,
then i would catch you.
if you need a light,
i'd find a match.
cos i love the way you say good morning.
and you take me the way i am.

if you are chilly,
here take my sweater.
if your head is aching,
i'll make it better.
cos i love the way you call me baby.
and you take me the way i am.

i'd buy you rogaine if you start losing all your hair.
and sew on patches to all you tear.
cos i love you more than i could ever promise.
and you take me the way i am.

you take me the way i am.
you take me the way i am.

the way i am ingrid michaelson

Saturday, October 20, 2007

it is all of these things, and more

like a baby in your arms
be gentle with me
i'd never willingly
do you harm

are all you seem to get from me
but just like a child
you make me smile
when you care for me
and you know

it's a question of lust
it's a question of trust
it's a question of not letting
what weve built up
crumble to dust
it is all of these things and more
that keep us together

is still important for us though (we realise)
it's easy to make
the stupid mistake
of letting go (do you know what i mean)

my weaknesses
you know each and every one (it frightens me)
but i need to drink
more than you seem to think
before i'm anyone's
and you know

it's a question of lust
it's a question of trust
it's a question of not letting
what weve built up
crumble to dust
it is all of these things and more
that keep us together

kiss me goodbye
when i'm on my own
but you know that i'd
rather be home

it's a question of lust

they had nothing but each other's love

what would you do,
if you were me?
when its suicide to stay,
and murder to leave?

thank you, kateherself, for the song.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

she sends her regards (part one)

[something i started writing back in 2003 that i am re-visiting and re-working. i forgot how personal it is. it is not my story, per se, but there are interwoven similarities, and people i have known in life are borrowed a bit, and sometimes blended into characters. and, yeah, i named the girl lucy back before i went by it as frequently as i seem to now. i feel like i have these unfinished pieces of writing lying about that could be something more, so why not pull one out and try to make it into the ever-illusive "something more". this will be it's work-in-progress home. comments are appreciated.]


chapter one: she's lost control (august 1991)

fifteen minutes left. i count them on a salvation army man’s watch, scratched on the face. sometimes i pretend that it was his. sent back from a war, or a peace march. contradictions aside, the impossibility prevails. that he exists at all, past faded photographs with ruffled shirts; prom night tuxedo, and that big hair picture of mom, looking younger than eighteen. he had scared as hell eyes. i was his little girl, once. waiting by the screen door, pleading for his arrival. my knuckles bleeding and raw, after he stopped coming home, at all. she insists that everything healed up fine, that i was better for all of it. the leaving, the going on, raising her on the way. band-aids over failed marriages, a baby brother. breakdowns. break-ups. drunken calls from i don’t know where i am. an adolescent raising an adolescent, in reverse.

this band is worn. it leaves stains on my skin sometimes, when i drive home with my arm out the window, capturing wind waves, with the radio turned up high. at the spin of a bottle, the turn of a dial, i could just keep driving all the way past the familiar off-ramps. there is nothing waiting at home for me, at least nothing unexpected, or new. his breath on the back of my neck, hot and stale, smelling of motorcycle gas fumes, marlboro reds, and late night bottom of the pot denny’s coffee. lying opposite his face. lying. away. i watch the shadow of false dance on the wall. i can count to ten once, and then backwards, flutter my eyelashes, three sighs, and it's done. then he’ll pass out next to me, snoring too close to my ear, as i teeter to close to the edge of the bed, gripping the sheets to barely hang on. this is as far as i can go without giving notice; two weeks, or otherwise. i stare at the wall still, sleepless, my legs sticky. if i move to take a shower he might wake, or i might just let myself slip down the drain, and empty out into the ocean.

i turn the page down. he tells me that dog-eared books lose their value. that people will notice the carelessness when they borrow a book, or just pick it up and page through, that they will see. but, he’ll never see this one. i can hear in my head how he’d scoff at it, shake his head and say that this is what too much television will do to you. he'll hand me yet another copy of crime and punnishment, pat my head; only two years younger and still i’m supposed to play the role of jake’s little girlfriend. as if he can read the abandonment in my eyes, that need for a father figure, twisted and recalled, recoiled. the fact lost on him that sometimes i read trash like v.c. andrews because i need that taste of poison to fill in the empty spots, to make my own family attic look clearer, saner, less cracked and torn. the page rips as i fold it, my hands betraying me again. i check for scars, for the story they tell, i see nothing.

i walk outside, fish my sunglasses out of the bottom of my bag. where is my lighter? the pink one with glitter. the one i bought this morning. that guy behind the counter wears too much cologne, i think. he smells like the guys who work downstairs, or the ones who dance at rage. (he never wore that much). he said to me, with a smirk. “you like the pink one? not black?” i laugh. roll my eyes. palm the green one, also with glitter, on my way out. he doesn’t notice. his eyes are locked on my breasts the whole time he talks to me, watching the rise and fall of my breathing, the noticeable cold morning air that my sweater cannot disguise. the lighters remind me of mixed tapes. all those trips up the coast, the way robert’s tongue felt in my mouth; ever promising things he would never deliver. i can almost hear the way our voices intertwined then, all those secrets kept, and shared. and, the hiccups of betrayal, just like these petty theft lapses of mine. his predilection for giving blow jobs to boys was right there with my constant study in the arts of denial. i’m still good at it. lying just seeps out from my pores.

i was supposed to forget about him. i was supposed to have left all that unopened hesitation behind me, like the abandoned blank walls that i stripped the posters off of, leaving only that sticky tape residue behind. i packed up all those boxes, loaded them into the borrowed office furniture truck, take them to his apartment. i knew that i was leaving pieces of me in the floorboards of my childhood bedroom, and in the back seat of my broken down first car. a hundred dollars from the junk yard was what offered me for her. “but you’ll have to drive it here yourself”. drop her off and walk away. might as well have pushed her off a cliff with me tied to the back bumper. the rear view mirror pops off easily, i should have told them, and has razor blade scratches, unique grooves in the glass. i wish i had a line right now; that familiar burn.

maybe i could pack everything back up and just say i changed my mind. take back the middle of april, too. jake’s birthday present. how i had faked it even back then. his hand yanking my head back, my hair rough through his fingers. i had opened my eyes wide and focused on the pain, the map on the wall, that faint smell of burnt toast. i could hear his mother in the kitchen. he wanted the escape hatch, too. the reason to leave.

my lips feel chapped. raw. i bite down anyway and taste the metallic sting of blood. count to ten and its over. happy birthday, baby (he isn’t you). i sit down against the wall, run my hand slowly across the stucco, feel the slight tug on my skin, the rough exterior pull. how easily we can tear, bleed, and heal over again. i'm an expert at looking good as new, at least on the surface. i pull my knees to my chest, rest my chin. my torn black stockings show from the small gap between skirt and boots. i picked them up off the floor by the window, had slid them on with shaky hands. the gentle grasp required for fabric so vulnerable, sheer, fragile. my fingers could just push through, and rip everything to shreds, even if my nails are bitten down to the quick. my finger tips always have that slight pink tinge of abuse. my zipper catches, snagging, another run up my leg. but, no one sees it. i pull the edge of my skirt down lower and fold my body up closer into myself. inhale, flick. i’m tempted to touch my flesh with fire just to feel something besides this lump of doubt in my throat.

the weight of not saying anything is like the nagging sound of an invisible clock, ticking incessantly. as if that big clock in peter pan was buried in the deepest parts of my insides. big ben, yeah? i forgot my pixie dust along the way, though. i have forgotten how to fly.

he will tell me this is just another way to prove my immaturity, that it is so ordinary to stumble this way. to have this conversation at all will seem so unnecessary, to him. we just unpacked, hammered nails into the walls. hold it still, lucy. stop shaking. not there. here. didn’t you study the floor plan i drew up? pin your hair up next time. you know how it makes your neck look longer. now this picture over here. the couch there. i am just part of the drawing. the sketch of a life in his black bound book. journal #26. "you are in these pages, don’t worry", he assures me in that lowered tone. through his own puffs, and exhales. he will say there is no room here, for this. that’s why my desk had to go, my school schedule, and my college education. school is just someone else’s view of the world, we will make our own; the two of us. i’ll show you how it will all work out. my own design. his own design. his. the two of us. two.

standing up i feel slightly dizzy. this skirt is perfect for spinning, hands behind my back while i let myself go. i can hear the music swell in my ears. close my eyes and i can feel the sky dim, turn itself into night. the stars dot a path, carve out a perfect space. my heart pulses as i let the imagined thump of music course through me and thin my blood. my feet just walk forward, though, even as i try to grab onto the nearest lamp post, phone booth, stranger’s arm.

i need that kind of darkness that a small club with a membership desk at the front gifted me once. i long for that sort of anonymity, and knowing. the kind of trouble I could drum up back then didn’t play out like this in the end, the screen flickered and reflected back these easier to mend snags, and missteps. i would turn myself inside out and back again. find a pathway, a bathroom stall, a reflection, a new song. passed red cups from the door staff after hours, and black lipstick kisses. i suppose it was just a different scent of deny.

she would know how to write this, but my hand slips when i pick up the phone, or when i try to bring pen to paper. there has been this pause, a button pushed before the end of the song arrives. i walked out of the room during a commercial break, and when i stepped back in she was gone. we were gone. maybe it was too much to keep my half of the bargain. the reminders of him painted boldly in black and blue, on pale skin, on the street lines, the call boxes. i didn’t know how to spell out help. push me back under, love; water my eyes, my nose, my lungs filling until i can no longer take in air, or anything. then pull me back out. my heart racing, my expression wide and wild. she would do this now, give me her answers. but then I’d have to embrace it, hold it away from me. recognition of something that will soon be impossible to hide.

the ice swirls. i spin and shake the straw, pull back the lid, slide ice chips into my mouth, between my teeth. i think about how carrie would laugh and say, “you know what chewing on ice means?” but this is far past sexual frustration. this is about breaking something, even if only the enamel on my teeth. it is about creating noise in my head as the ice cracks. how it delays the whispers in my head, the words i’m choosing again to ignore. one more day, one more hour, one more second. maybe if I keep chewing, keep walking, keep reading grocery store last minute decision aisle novels. keep memorizing the lyrics to ‘she’s lost control’. watching his fingers on the strings as he showed me the bass line, telling me how easy it could be if i just tried harder. how he taught himself to play songs like this. how new order progressed the sound of joy division. that i needed to grow past my death rocker tastes and sensibilities. stop wearing so much black, lucy. drown out the words as procrastination takes her predictive place in line. take the stage, front and center, arms in the air; now spin.

i light another cigarette.

but, my waistline was beginning to betray me. my hand rests on my belly. i mouth “i’m sorry", to my reflection in the store window, and "i can’t do this” i whisper out into the air. i pour more ice into my mouth. i count the steps back to the second shift. he is late again. i look at my watch. i put my weight all on my toe tips, up and down, lift and decline. he knows how much i hate it when he’s late. i could go back in and unlock the gate, call him from inside, wait for him there. but, that would mean alarm codes, closing the gate again, writing down an explanation for re-entry. again. i know joe is going to start wondering. i see the way his eyebrow raises when i come in, the look of distrust. i’ve seen it before. like he knows about the stolen pens, and the ten dollars that one time when my gas tank was empty, and i ran out of cigarettes. it all paints this pink glow to my face, guilt. my eyes invariably darting back and forth, and my lies never taken in clearly, misunderstood his second-language english. i know he watches the way my hands shake, and how i’m always too quick to volunteer for anything.

so, I guess I’ll stay put. stand here and wait. my heart skipping a beat every time i see a car, craning my neck to see if this one is finally him while nightmare storybook pages float through my head. i play act shock and surprise when they break the news to me. a car accident, a failed robbery, a stabbed victim bleeding internally. i try on how my mask of sorrow would look, practice hiding a momentary buzz of relief, and freedom. these were the tales i played in my head as a child, too, while i waiting in a deserted playground. mom losing track of time. i would stand there watching every child wave from a car window. ice cream and daddy’s dream, they all were. the mad array of violent endings i saw, that i almost hoped for, just something she could us to explain, to somehow make the forever waiting worthwhile; and not just me as a forgotten errand, an afterthought.

i loathe these inner folds of me. the hushed side of who i am. i know most people are fooled by my good parochial school past. the way i can write a perfect essay, play a good game. they laugh at the trappings of a girl gone bad, the witch’s cackle, the smeared kohl under my eyes. thrift shop garb in fifty five shades of black. they think they can look right through me, as they nod in this smug way as if to say “you can’t fool me”. like i am just a naïve little thing underneath it all; bright and shiny, sewing paths to a happy ending in some optimism overdrive fairytale. they all stand in line to walk across me. as if i’m a damn yellow brick road.

if they took off my clothes they would see the indentations, the boot scuffs, the notches and nicks where the heels dig in. they all think I love it. dig it. dance a tango to the beat of give everything to everyone. the never ending needy bring their shopping carts to me, park them in my driveway, just up and under the eaves, or in the stairwells. they come tuck themselves in next to me as i sleep. steal the good blanket, and push me to the floor. they would all run and hide for cover if they saw beneath my skin, the gore, the doubts. the pathologic writer of tell-tale explanations. i spin better than a spider, but no one squints hard enough to notice the web.

maybe tonight I’ll tell him. throw it out there over a plate of fries, right before he pulls out his latest scheme dream that will be forgotten in a month. his plans used as rolling paper to smoke one last joint. “i produce more when i’m stoned”, he says this from the couch, where he’s sat for the last twelve hours. paging through the free press, the want-ads, the lost and found. he asks for another five cookies, always better to polish off the whole row, then the symmetry is complete and intact. and, in his bakery goods order, or despite it, the space between us widens. some day i’m sure one of us will fall in, disappear.

maybe this will do it. the words will spill out and a portal will open up in the sky, pull me up by my ears. he’ll just see my feet dangle for a second before i’m gone. he’ll still have that look of shock plastered across his face, the circular twist of argued perspective and reasons waiting on the tip of his tongue. i am ever holding my breath while he readies his army, lying back as i let them march on over to me; his hostile takeover. his words shake me until i’m blue in the face. but, i’ve beat him to the proverbial punch. i'd be gone then, taken through the space portal. he can just sit back and waft in the titles and role models he'll swear i could have been. or maybe he'll just take that waitress girl’s obvious pass at him, bang her in the bathroom stall, right next to i heart gene loves jezebel, and adam lies, with three exclamation points. her face pushed up against the chill of the metal door, the latch barely holding them in. lipstick pink smear smudge leftovers and wrinkles smoothed out of her brown corduroy skirt, placating her way back to work, fixing her hair in the dessert glass. don’t mind me, i’ll just be floating by, watching. she sighs a little quieter than i do. the staccato one two three a bit too rushed. but, it will all help him forget. let go.

i hear the brakes squeal. i recognize the impatience even in the way he drives. somehow the story will reverse and back-up into me. responsibility pinned to my sweater, stuck sideways and in through my flesh, and back out again. i slam the door a little harder than necessary. sulk into the seat. somehow my body has twisted and turned itself into adolescence, again. i can almost hear my mom telling me to sit up straight. to project my voice to the back of the room. to lose ten pounds. to go to more parties. to kiss more boys. all the expectations she never voiced, but just threw at me without words. how she longed for me to fall, to fail. ditch classes, earn a reputation, open up my legs, break curfew. anything that would bring me to her with tear stained cheeks and choked-up pleadings. she would bravely hold my hand at the clinic. wait for me with a magazine. and the looks of admiration from the other scared girls who couldn’t tell their own mother, she would bask in it. how they would tell her i was the luckiest.

maybe she would hold my hand now, eight years too late. can i cash in a rain check for my teenage rebellion? i press my nose into the passenger window glass. breathe out hard. blowing. i watch the hot air fog block my view. i’m tempted to etch help with my fingertips. i remember doing that as a child; smile faces, dogs, my name. mom would yell back at me “don’t write on the windows!” and i’d deny it, forgetting that it would stay there, even after days went by. you’d still see the image, taunting me with it's existance, chiding and singing at me liar liar pants on fire. aother knot in my stomach, tied in a bow. even though she wouldn't remember telling me no.

i rest my head on the glass now, feel the cool shock to my system. michael penn is singing about blue jeans. we just passed a 7-11, and i can almost smell the inside; old hot dogs on that continuous roller thing, with one always left in the back, all shriveled up. the bleep blips of video games, the warning labels across the magazines, 18 and over or this is not a library. the whir of the slurpee machine. i want to shringk three feet and walk through the door, quarters stashed in my pocket for ms. pac man, and enough money for the biggest size, my own suicide in multi-colors, a cola and wild cherry death. that big straw with the spoon on the end, michael tried to see how far up his nose it would go when he was ten, i was twelve.

i catch a young boy staring at me from his back window. his own breath shield is almost completely hiding him, except for the eyes. we make that quick contact, that inner register of i see you, you see me. i don't even turn around to look at him then. he is driving, humming to the radio, when the words finally come out.

"jake, i'm pregnant."

warm as yellow

i stare out the window
watch the fog turn to haze
as it paints its way across the city of chaos
if you stare hard enough you can see the wings of passerbys
some of them dirty, tattered,
shrouded in the rips and tears of life
others are taped on,
stolen from someone unknowing,
a robbed soul wavering unsteadily

i lose myself in a trance of storytime tales,
there is magic there,
squint your eyes to see
we lose sight when we see things too close,
when we try to define every moment
some things should be left to mystery

i want to write secret notes to strangers,
tell them they are the beauty in the grey
the delicate balance between breath and beyond our hollow words
stand at the start of an ordinary day and dance
wear striped tights and bells,
paint my face, my hair,
my reckoning
be a part of the wild side of things,
the opposite turn of a page
a magazine read backwards,
upside down
arms raised high and eyes closed,
while i tumble down the edge of the world

you are not a failure to the plans you drew up
they were yours to create,
and destroy,
and rewrite
the dreams are worth more than the actual outcome of a single day
more happens on the flipside of nine to five,
and you know it
yes, you know it

tie that ribbon tight around your box of wisdom,
strike a match,
burn the headlines
light a candle and sew it back on
you can steal back what you think you lost,
or we can make a new set
take an oak branch,
a sycamore,
sew in ginger and glitter and kindergarten glue
leaves and flowers that your children drag home at the end of a walk

stop reaching for what is simple and convenient

i will sketch you a plan for today,
and not tomorrow
open the blinds and stare off in the distance with me
i will make a yo-yo out of your past
a stuffed fish out of disappointment

see down there, the smoke is clear
you can fly

wipe away the night in your eyes

woke up in a daze. a glaze. a superficial glossed over roundabout pretty nice day kind of luck. i wish i had a box full of sweaters. i feel cold from the inside out. i'll go sleuthing out a knitted retreat. later. today. although, by then, the sun will be parting the overcast sky and dancing about. pouring on my skin, like honey. a silver laced solvent. i wish my head would clear. that the numbers would add up. that my fuzzy ruffled heaving breath of lions, and dying leaves, would wink back knowingly. you know i miss you.

never believe it's not so

keep art alive; art by tara mcpherson

"maybe magic is just love. maybe genies are what love would be if love walked and talked and lived in a lamp. the wishes might not come true in the way you think they will, not everything will be perfect, but love will think they will, not everything will be perfect, but love will come because it always does, because why else would it exist and it will make everything hurt a little less. you just have to believe in yourself. look your demons right in the eye. set your angel juans free to do the same thing themselves."

missing angel juan ~ francesca lia block

magic ~ pilot

it was a good start

you're one with the burdon of intuition.
you're one with the freedom of a blank stare.
you're one with the best friend you lost,
you wish was still there.

you're one with the dust on that old piano.
you're one with the strings on your new guitar.
you're one with the wind through the open window,
you are.

it was a faint line that brought you here,
and a pulse that kept you in time.
it was the comfort of a tradition,
like the few that were not that kind.

it's a shame now, baby, you can't see yourself,
and everything you're running from.
and it's the same world, honey, that has brought you down,
as the one that's gonna pick you up.
and pick you up.

you're one with the echos of conversation.
you're one with the strangers you overheard.
you're one with the lesson that was the best one you learned.

it was a faint line that brought you here,
and a pulse that kept you in time.
it was the comfort of a tradition,
like the few that were not that kind.

it's a shame now, baby, you can't see yourself, and everything you're running from.
and it's the same world, honey, that has brought you down,
as the one that's gonna pick you up.
and pick you up.

it was a long, dark, sleepy morning walk.
you fell down, case and point.
it was a good start.
it was a good start.

it was a long, dark, sleepy morning walk.
you fell down, case and point.
it was a good start.
it was a good start.

it's a shame now, baby, you can't see yourself, and everything you're running from.
and it's the same world, honey, that has brought you down,
as the one that's gonna pick you up.

and it's a shame now, baby, you can't separate
yourself from where you stood.
and it's the same world, honey, that made you feel so bad,
that makes you feel so good.
feel so good.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

the whole wide world

or maybe she's in the bahamas
where the carribean sea is blue
weeping in a tropical moonlit night
because nobody's told her 'bout you

i'd go the whole wide world
i'd go the whole wide world
just to find her

when all this gets old will it still feel the same?

raised on mtv: part two:

love is a battlefield was released in 1983, on the album live from earth. it was a rainy afternoon, and my mom was in one of those moods that meant grab the keys and her purse and head to the record store. we did not always, or even often, veer into each other's musical tastes, but this album was on of the exceptions. i played it more, though, and it ended up in one of my milk crates full of vinyl when i eventually moved out on my own.

i used to keep these composition books full of songs, and later videos, that i loved. this was one of the videos that i drew a star next to, and that played in heavy rotation in those early days of high school. some of my favorite videos are the ones that tell a story, and that play out like a mini-movie. there was strength that i perceived in pat's runaway turned taxi dancer/los angeles street hooker; and she was more than a bit appealing to a girl who also lived in a dysfunctional household. i loved the sisterhood implied in this, the costumes, the survivor spirit that was woven into all of this.

my perception was skewed. i failed to recognize the desperation and sadness, from the family and the runaway. and, to be honest, this is in no way a realistic portrayal of living on the streets and selling your body in order to live. at that time, though, i saw it all through adolescent eyes and a restless, and ready to run, heart. i wore torn up fabric in my short dyed hair, dancing around my postered bedroom, trying to breathe in some of that bravery i thought i saw.

i remember my mom watching the video with me once and saying to me, in a very serious tone, don't ever say that to your child no matter how upset they make you. don't ever say they can't come back home. for some reason those words stuck, and i tucked them away in some recess of my memory to pull out if i ever needed to; though i cannot see ever being pushed to that with my children. but, those words are with me, all the same.

julia and i watched this video recently and she asked me, with laughter, so mom, is that the scare away a pimp dance? shake your boobs and raise your hands in the air? we both ended up in a fit of laughter at this, and gave did our best impression of the scared pimp, and the scare away dance. actually, watching it again right now i'm curious as to whether the same choreographer who worked on michael jackson's thriller did this one, as well. i mean, look at it? just paint up the girls as zombies and there you go.

again another halloween costume idea springs to mind...perhaps i should just throw an eighties party one of these days.

we are young, heartache to heartache we stand
no promises, no demands
love is a battlefield

izzie + george

because i'm losing my best friend, and it's not fair. it's just not fair

when you were mine you were kinda sorta my best friend

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

but there was everything

let it be printed
let it be known
i`m leaving you
i`m going home

and all you can do
is just watch me go

i've put you down
i've talked you up
defended your honor
and packed it in
and picked it up

and all you can do
is just watch me go

from the eastern seaboard
the land locked midwest
the keys the alps the black hills
and budapest

with my heart in a sling
tail between my legs
i`m sorry for leavin'

but when the palm trees bow their heads
no matter how cruel i've been
la, you always let me back in

and you can bury me when my body breaks
in the earth that created me
in the golden state
my mama and her brother
and their mama too

cause i had a dream i was carried on backs
of a thousand green birds
and they carried me to a place without words
and there was nothin'
but there was everything

but when the palm trees bow their heads
no matter how wrong i've been
la, you always let me back in

but when the palm trees bow their heads
no matter how cruel i've been
la, you always let me back in

rilo kiley, santa monica civic auditorium, october 15.

and i promise you i'm doing the best i can (a review)

the very first time i heard rilo kiley i was driving towards the airport, on my way to pick up a good friend who was coming to spend a week in october with me. we were first and foremost music friends, the kind of connection that initially began in the trading of mix tapes and snippets of lyrics; anyone who veers on obsession with music will know what i mean. i had made a mix of music for the drive, and for our subsequent time together. it was a blend of favorites, with a few new discoveries peppered in for variety.

i am not sure where the rilo kiley track came from, whether it was off of a mix someone else made me, or if it was one of those random gems you sometimes stumble across. whatever the reason, it's a hit made it's way onto that cd, and as i drove on the los angeles freeway i listened to it for the first time, hitting repeat four or five times, until i finally let the next song play. for the rest of the week i kept coming back to that song, until i was singing along, windows rolled down, belting out my best car concert voice. it was this catchy pop song that swirled around as if it were all sugar and honey promises, but the lyrics were laced with the grit and skinned knees that living in this city sometimes marks you with, and jenny's voice - it was this delicious mix of jaded dismay and hopeful restlessness; a holiday for a hanging, indeed.

last night rilo kiley opened up with it's a hit, and at that moment i thought to myself that this show will be a moment for me, and like all incredible music, a piece of my life will be saved tonight. it was just the start, though. i would need the scabs ripped open a few more times, the tears to fall, my voice to go hoarse from screaming and singing along, and the last song which i still do not think has left my bloodstream.

jenny lewis' voice reminds me of old hollywood starlets, a grand ole opry era patsy cline, and a streets of los angeles girl grown up with broken hearts and hardluck stories tattooed in places hidden from a passing eye. you can just hear it, in all those hope(ful)less love songs and shake me loose but drag me back ballads that she has stories; and i stood there taking them in, mixing them with my own, thinking that perhaps it is something hidden in the leaning palm trees, or washed up on the shore of the pacific ocean, that makes los angeles - and those from it - so beautifully broken and chaotically put together. she has strength that just crackles and pops off of her, and when she had us all holding our arms up, and singing along, for with arms outstretched i felt inspired, a little healed, and a lot less alone. she made me wish that i had learned to play guitar, that i had turned my words into lyrics, that i had run off and found myself a band to join.

silver lining was my first favorite off of under the blacklight. it is the kind of song that on first listen creeps into your subconscious and has you singing along for days. the song feels like veiled optimism, the feigning for self, and the change of definition and perception that you invariably have to take on as your own when you finally let someone go. recently julia came to me struggling over a boy who she thought she fancied, but who she was beginning to realize was looking to her to be all his hope and a life jacket to pull him out of depression, and that his way of showing love was through jealousy and too tight of a hold on her. she told me she was never one to let go first, that she hated to hurt anyone, and that breaking up with someone was really touch. i held her hand and told her there is a lesson here, beyond the obvious ones, that perhaps you can see that the clumsy break-ups boys have done with you, including the one who said nothing, could have been because breaking-up is hard no matter if you are the breaker, or the broken. we both agreed that no one likes letting go, even when you know you have to, and that sometimes you have to let yourself be gold - for yourself.

close call was seedy, desperate, tragic and sexy as hell. all the boys with crushes on jenny lewis, yeah, i get it. again, there are stories behind the voice, and inside the reverb and chord progressions, that i would love to peal off in layers and discover. but, then again, in my possibly selfish way of taking in music, i like to think some of those stories reflect more than a few of my own. i suppose that is the stumbling block for me in ever writing a so-called proper review; i have a hard time not taking it all in so personally. and, with this song, i may not have traded money for sex (in the most blatent of ways), but i know too well of the trade offs and consequences, and the almosts that almost take us down, for good.

i have said before that jenny lewis, and rilo kiley, tell the tales of los angeles that only someone who has really lived here can completely know and understand. the bitter taste that the city leaves on the tip of your tongue, the way it can strip you of the things you think you believe in and dirty them up like some stepped on star on hollywood boulevard, and how sometimes all you can wish for is a quick escape. that said, there is something about the city that holds your heart, that calls you back, and that forgives you in a way that only someone broken can. it is with bruises and smog-made sunsets that we find a sense of redemption, and maybe it is what makes us stronger, more open, strangely beautiful even with pollution in our lungs. when jenny sang her ode to los angeles, i felt it in that yes, i have ran before, too, kind of way. i have messed up and made mistakes, and when few seem to be able to forgive me, los angeles, and those that still hold my hand in parking lots overlooking the water - they always seem to take me back, too.

i never was breathtaking, 15 was delicious - jenny being playful and a bit naughty - a song that reminded me of kate at that age, and the boy who went on to write music about her, who fell for her when she was at that just a little too young for this age: a little blue-eyed soul for his black and blues.

and that song, the one i most hoped for - does he love you?, closed the show (pre-encore) and brought tears and much needed release. music is healing, breathing and pretty much always just what i need; i will never not believe this.

the final number, with blake sennet up on the top of the high side stage platform, losing himself in the guitar - it felt like we were collectively sharing a dream actualized. you could almost see him as a teenager playing guitar in his bedroom hoping to someday have that moment, and it gave me chills to see it, even if it was just my interpretation, because i do like to believe that people get that someday - all of us - a moment longed for, realized. it was a spectacular view.

the venue felt like a high school gym decked out a bit for one of those first year welcome dances. when we first walked in i told blair i half expected to see all the boys on one wall, all the other girls on the opposite. but, by the end of the night i hardly noticed, and the long lines for drinks and the weird guy who told kate, maggie and i that we looked like medievel times seemed to matter not one bit. rilo kiley at the santa monica civic is in my top ten ever gigs, if not in the top five. it really was just that good.