burn burn burn

before I was a star girl I was a child wearing plaid, floral, stripes and polka dotes at once. one day vogue said skinny girls with wide eyes and milky skin are in. suddenly I was a lolita, awkwardly trying to make my long limbs move in time with the rest of my body. being stared at and asked for sex by men twice my age before I even knew what blow jobs were. I was thrown into the galaxy, held only by a string tied around my wrists with a label that said, will likely die.

Written in April, ‘Love Notes to Ghosts’

Today, I am seeing ghosts.

Waking to the blurred face of a man I can’t quite recognize.
Hearing footsteps and a long breath behind me as I walk down Scarth st.
But, turning to see no one.
Then every ageing downtown crazy holding doors open for me this morning.

I am struck by that feeling of proximity.
Ache heavy like the weight of a warm body heavy on my chest.

I’m thinking that the hologram of a man watching me wake had a beard like one my dad grew once, when I was around 6, right after he broke his hip.

I’m remembering the sound of his scowl in the wind, the sound of his sigh.

And with them, come memories of his smokers laugh, his story telling voice,
his groan when interupted from the newspaper, a ramble, or a nap.

As I heard the wind sighing this morning on Scarth I was about to say,
“Hi dad. I can hear you.”

But instead just smiled silently the way I have been for two days thinking,
“So I guess you heard!? I got into to art school!”

I think of how he was always so adament about university because he’d never gone.
I think of him at my age, of the life he lived before I met him.
I think of his friends telling me he would be so proud.

I think of 35 year old gossip and when C said,
“Your dad was a pretty big deal, wasn’t he?”
While we drank tea on my couch this Tuesday,
and I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant by it.

Shrugging and saying only,
“Yeah, I guess so. Mr. Charisma, my father.”
meant sort of as a joke but also an impulse.
(now hoping he wouldn’t be insulted by this comment, he was a “big deal” based on tallent and kindness and important work in the arts, as well as charm)

C didn’t respond so I continued on a little jokingly about what I know of his love life before my mother, about the woman he was dating when he met her.

Then saying that sometimes C reminds me of him,
just in little snapshots like the back of his head, his shoulders in that jean shirt,
his scowls and sighs and story telling voice.

But, most do after all.
Thinking that if I added up all of the men I love, then picked and chose, I could compile the personality traits and physical feautures of my father:

From my friends the charming up-and-comers,
to the unshaven slender men wearing hand me downs that haunt bus stops,
to every dirty artist I’ve wanted for a minute or a year.

And then, sometimes everything can remind me of him.
Little bits and pieces spark up from everyday life.
From the sound of a drum circle or the smell of pot.
From making snow forts and spagetti and pancakes shaped like cats,
to every one of his many friends, to anyone with a kind hand and a passion for cooking, music, art, gardening, performing and/or people,

they are all him to me.
Today, I am seeing ghosts, but only slightly more than usual.

Hi dad, I can hear you.
I love you, thanks for the visit.

List of names for artwork drawn with words:

kissing older boys in cold cars.
concussion worthy.
blushing fire.
the pigeons are falling and the sky closely follows.

these unfinished stories.
anniversary of awkward.
season of spilling.
get me more wine.
holidays are for encounters.
our breath in all the hair.

butter, coffee, chocolate, sugar, salt.

how it tastes to be twenty. 
“she knows lost.”
wine and laundry.

the summer of lost boys.
spin gold from this.

“please wait in line and take a number.”

riding the train of circumstance.
“who is that creature?”
the way his glasses match his underwear.
teach me your ways of disconnect.

passive productivity. 
radiance derived from absence.
daily grind erodding heart.
I have been known to love you.

kissing, biting, breathing, humping.
“I heard you giggling in the morning.”

knowing exactly where my fingers go.
almost, almost everytime.
like children playing house.
this is called flirting.

film to finger, four eyes to mine.
blood wine drank.
The shape of his face.
all forbidden all the time.
why be jealous boy.
intellectuals just give better head.

feeling like a deep breath, so full.
this home swaying.

painting ceilings gold.
noticing the patterns of mornings.
antique mall mondays.
Slow and small and soft.
the sounds that adults make.

Lip biting. Neck biting. Hair biting.

first kisses only after fondles.
adolescent pile up.
the habit of anticipation.
cascading in consequence.

conversations smart like sparks but needing foundations.

soon lost in imagery.
apocalyptic romance.

“you look like a painting” she said. colorful and coloring.

I don’t know how to dress.
dreamt of silicone statues and tafeta.
dreaming of handfulls filled with skin.

Sitting on the rooftop of the pub and,

unable to think about anything,
except how easily it is that we could die.

and that,
yesterday,
or what was today,
in another world,
while I was sitting on a rooftop drinking bottled beers,
named ‘dead guy’
my dad would be turning 61 years old.

but not in this universe,
not in my world,
where I am a singular pro-noun,
sitting on rooftops.

and remembering that lately,
I’ve been so sad.
and
angry,
without a knowledge of why.

and,
without a knowing of why lately,
I have never remembered these such landmarks,
until they’ve passed me by.

happy birthday dad.

i had a daydream that taught me this.

daily grind eroding heart.
the young loving older because they are what they long to be.
the old longing for young because they are what they miss.
innocence is lost not in trauma,
but in the steps taken to overcome the ache.
suppress it or embrace it.
the sheer act of living will age you.

So I’ve been writing a lot of poetry lately.

I think of them as edited ‘stream of consciousness’ pieces. I’ve been told that it’s ‘prose poetry’ but it’s written without an intended style in mind. Essentially I write and write and write and then edit the dumb parts out. Some of it is pretty R rated but mostly they’re just about relationships, social situations, observations and connections I like to sew between things. You can read them if you wanna,

Tis the Season
monday (R)
Does it count as morning pages if I just haven’t been to bed yet?
Romantic about Romance
Chomp Chomp
The Only Word Our Generation Seems To Know
the cycle of holding (R)
Thursday Thoughts (R)
Performance Perception
tell me something new

(and also tell me what you think, if you want?)