12 December 2000

Delete Key

I’m enamored by the delete key, it’s such a happy function. Look, poof, that didn’t exist.

06 December 2000

Intelligent Trash

“What do you mean by intelligence?”... “The possession of the means of coercing things or men”... “Each time he asked this question the other person, no matter who he was, would answer by producing the image of his desires.”

I whisper to you, woo you, sing you sweet poetic melodies and yet you leave me dry and alone. Sleep, I have never been so shunned in my affections and left horridly unrequited. Cold winds blow strong through this narcissistic city of power. From my hotel room window, here at the Park Terrace on Embassy Row in the heart of DC, I watch newspapers dance furiously beneath streetlights. Words, words, words announcing tragedy, fortunes made and broken, the debutante’s coming out and yet under this light and at this hour, it just looks like trash.

On the airplane I conspired about the life I will lead. Amusing myself with the notion of early morning coffee, a heater in my study, time in the middle of the day to paint water color pictures and the idea of buying a plant – a real live plant. The answer to every problem? No, not exactly. But it’s a start – a first step in a new journey down a road that makes sense. Perhaps it leads to paradise.

Perhaps it leads to paradise but the airplane still touched down in DC. It stayed its course where men and women wear long black wool coats and scarves and carry brief cases. There’s nothing mysterious about the airport, the taxi and hotel lobby. Nothing wondrous or delectable about the room service menu or the faux satin chairs by the little round table in the corner or the two full-sized beds with floral print spreads. But there is something slightly delightful about the daily news dancing furiously under the soft glow of the streetlights. I must admit, even though it’s just trash.

What is intelligence? It is the ability to find beauty and meaning in gestures and silences. It overlooks what’s unpalatable to find redemption in the way the boy in the corner of the bar fidgets with his hair or the way the girl at the counter is crossing her ankles. It’s in all those little, real, unconscious gestures that give people away, reveal themselves, despite themselves. It’s seeing the more in the less and setting aside personal judgment in order to see it. It’s surrendering to that beauty and finding a way to sit with it, be with it, soak it all in. Intelligence is feeling the wonder of what far too few people even pay attention to – the nuances of the environment. It isn’t in all of the things you have to say, the facts you can spew off your tongue or from your photographic memory. It’s in the place that you hesitate, touch your head, breathe irregularly or fumble ever so slightly. It’s the way you place your hands on your legs to steady them and keep yourself from floating away. That was smart. That trash was the most intelligent thing I saw all day.

04 December 2000

My Pulse, My Pulse, My Pulse

Feel it. Here. Ah yes. Right there. Yes. Right here. Deeper. Go deeper. Beneath this pale skin, behind my blue eyes. Through to me. As sacred as a prayer. With the intensity of a quivering soldier. There’s a reason why they tap the magazines against their helmets. (For safety, my dear boy.) Kneel with your soul and lean in against my shoulder. Cry with the laughter of just having almost fallen. Catch yourself and my breath.

The world is changing. There’s far less poetry in it. But there is. But there is. It’s my turn. I’m tired of mountainous facts that lead nowhere. Yes, I have ambition. Does it have to make sense for it to make sense? Fuck you then. Fuck you and your words and parts of speech and simple narratives that get you everywhere and empty all at once. I stopped sitting tortured at the base of those glaciers long ago. With so far to walk.

But I don’t mind walking. In fact, I like walking. Go ahead and walk that way, kicking the blooms off of flowers and stomping all your angst into little places. I follow at my own pace and make something of those trampled petals. The world was made for so much more than what you’ve made of it. No one will accuse me of making that same mistake. No one will say of me, “she forgot to live.”

I’ve seen Paris, Moscow and Leningrad before the fall of the Soviet Union and Berlin before the wall came down. I sat on the steps of the temple to Minerva in Assisi and I was not unmoved. I slept in the park behind the bullring in Pamplona during the Festival of St. Fermin – the time when young boys run with the bulls to get favor and closer to God. I lay at midnight under a blanket of stars on a terracotta-tiled roof on Majorca de Palma while the warm winds of Africa blew dust across the Mediterranean sky. I turned twenty-one in the back seat of a rental car in Liverpool.

Even I will admit, even now, that it was only in doing something extraordinary that life became ordinary. Can you go any deeper than that? Even I, on a janitor’s wages, once wrote reams of poetry, fell in love and had my heart broke over and over and over again. Right here. Behind my pale skin, beneath my blue eyes. The spaces between the words we don’t say to one another. The deafening scream of the bathroom tiles. My pulse. My pulse. My pulse.

01 December 2000


Still waters, really still waters, aren’t clear, they’re murky. It’s movement that maintains clarity and I’m so conflicted by the desire to just sit back and rest for a spell. And I ask myself what I hope to accomplish by sitting idly in a garden or staring into a tide pool for a fortnight and then some. What I hope to accomplish is peace and perspective, finding a wellspring that satiates and strengthens. And then what? And then to walk boldly toward destiny as it presents itself. (But destiny, my dear, is always looking you in the eye and whether you believe it or not you’ve always the capacity to face it.)

Destiny, you are not my enemy. You are welcome in my home and at my table. Come, let us break bread and commune, set aside our differences and make peace.