Category Archives: scenes

You Are Easy To Love

We are very careful. About what we eat, some. Nothing that spills or with crumbs, nothing that will make a mess of the bed where we live since I turned and said we shouldn’t leave. It was the best way. 

To be careful about ourselves we move enough to keep the currents running. Or would, until it was instead a metric of when there were doubts: how the movements were greater when we fought, to be sure we wouldn’t be humiliated if we chose to stand and leave. Terribly, when we argued about the garden, how it wasn’t practical, but the thought of our bed in tall grass was there already and we fought for days and stretched for hours, threatening. 

Though it didn’t matter. I’ll dream of growing trees, splitting the ceiling, and the noise is so loud I am awake and know that this is where my blood will stop flowing. And, since, we only move together, shaping spaces into the mattress that map this kind of sedentary love. 

This is the easiest thing, think, and that I am swelling, or swallowed. 

* * *

Always roaring.

April? Still? 

Not much to be done, though. I have a thing that is being worked on between increasingly equally* *ish matched office v. non-office hours, equally* dark  (it’s a heat wave! we turn the lights off! then, this weekend, it rains, and yea, power grids move upon the face of the waters). Not cruel, really, this has all gone very well, I think, minus those few mishaps (1) illness (2) lapse in judgment (3) repressive measures [200 dead on both sides, unsparingly slaughtered].

(“A thing is being”? Getting as far away from this as we can, we are. Ten-foot pole. OR longer? Oh hush. Sea change=death wish: look, it’s right here: 

“Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change,
into something rich and strange…” 

Those pearly eyes we dream of. Hey: image search versus: Pearly King v. Pearly Gates. We have a clear consensus on the winner, and I don’t even know you. What’s ultimately weirdest about this is that the pearly gates were each made of one single pearl, so sayeth the verse. Tiny gates or giant pearls? From that giant-ass clam Venus came from, maybe. Relocate your swine, please.)

Anyway, a thing becoming. Soon it’s a-maying, and April won’t be any longer. We’re wringing our hearts out over here, sun-dried and ready for something slightly more open to swiftly churning tides. That, friends, is the sound of a coming victory. You and I vs. this silly stagnant pond. 

* * *


I am at the door even if I have not come to the door, or while I’ve made it to the door and done the things to open the door when I am there I am instead encountered. Or when you’ve entered the door and you’ve poured a drink I will have been by the sink where I have been drinking, where I am told I have been unreasonable. Or in bed where it is like a thread has unwound from a mouth and I have been coiled, and I am unable to unsnare all four limbs and am told It is in the right place, your heart the same way as They are by the door, the keys. And when you are near the sink and the flood and I am blamed I will have turned the faucet handle one or two or three times, and you have left five, or six, or seven. 

* * *


A million years later I’m off the couch, stealing spotty internet at a new place with two floors and an impossible parking space. I have a view from this deck now of an old hotel which is mainly why I’m here, and in my head moving means playing music too loud and drinking beer and standing in empty spaces: enough empty space, I guess, for all this romanticism to echo wildly off the walls. It’s like inhabiting an expectation.

This view, though. The moon hangs right above the ancient sign for the hotel, named less an actual name and more just a string of nouns– a geographic term and three different words for buildings. Too there’s a mosque and a mostly empty parking lot and my neighbors have a garden. It’s space.

On my lunch break today at the Galleria a pigeon flew from one side out the other which isn’t weird because it is a kind of open-air version of a strip mall/food court and so completely plausible, but it is weird because that’s straight out of Bede. A bird through the mead-hall. Life as the brief period of light between the two windows. It’s a perfectly fine metaphor except for how airy it sounds: a bird through the mead-hall leaves out the massive pile of stuff being accumulated, stuff I’m currently moving up three flights of narrow stairs.

“You are sitting feasting with your ealdormen and thegns in winter time; the fire is burning on the hearth in the middle of the hall and all inside is warm, while outside the wintry storms of rain and snow are raging; and a sparrow flies swiftly through the hall. It enters in at one door and quickly flies out the other. For the few moments it is inside, the storm and wintry tempest cannot touch it, but after the briefest moment of calm, it flits from your sight, out of the wintry storm and into it again.”

* * *

In two years

Today’s news is that the world may be a giant hologram, and this is fine. The world like that is fine because we’re all here.


I haven’t caught anyone by surprise for the last six months. Last week, tonight, sometime, I’ve done unspeakable things, surprising no one because I may be some other kind of projection. Lights reflecting an older surface. Everyone who sees me sees me in two years.

They react to someone who has already done the things I’m doing. I imagine in return they see a reaction back of someone with whatever expansion comes with two years’ time, hear words with two years’ weight. But I am here, at twenty-two, and have not done those things or said them. I am, then, behind myself always. This is how it feels to perpetually wait.

I wonder about my spit; is it mine now that I swallow or mine in two years, or is that the same.

Less than eight months ago someone else washed my hair, and I was a child projecting someone older. Hands that weren’t mine, and a room not ours, but I was a child pretending this was not the most intimate moment. In the elevator I said unreal things and was an adult projecting childhood.

I am waiting, now, for three phone calls, for two persons. They will never call because they already have, and I have already made these decisions. We have and did, but I don’t know, and it is the heaviest fog to wait like this: to somehow catch up. Because we can’t wait for things that have already happened.

* * *

Couch dwelling

The New Yorker’s recent Shouts & Murmurs piece is on being a house guest:

It took me a long time to even find the coffeemaker. It didn’t look like a coffeemaker. It looked like a rocket ship. I kept passing it by on my tours of the counters, thinking it was—I don’t know, I didn’t think about it too much, but something complicated: a crème-fraîche-culture incubator, maybe; a sorbet churner, or a homemade-bialy steamer-cooker thing.

This is uncomfortable houseguesting, which I think is the way a lot of people see it, imposing and tiptoe requiring. If I had complete control over my brain I would treat going to everyone’s house like going to a foreign country, because houses are weird, and fascinating, and educational. Ms. Allen’s version of a house guest is the intrepid kind, the kind who sees the Parthenon but mostly eats at McDonalds and is always wary of public transportation. It can be, though, more like the really proactive trips of European kids on gap years– building houses or teaching English during the day and then getting drunk with the locals at night. The latter is best for everyone. 

These are my top three couches: 

3. Early this year; unidentifiable house in LA: This was not at all a comfortable couch, but it is included on this list for sheer novelty. There were probably five couches in the living room, and while I was undoubtedly the tallest person in that room I was still left sleeping, limbs splayed, on the smallest couch. I did not fit there but the whole night was an experience. (China)

2. My parents’ couch, circa 1999: I had minor insomnia in middle school, which I’d typically try to solve by waking my parents up and complaining until they explained to me that this did absolutely no good for anyone. Eventually I learned to grab a blanket and head to our huge L-shaped couch with built-in recliners, where I’d stay up watching tv. The whole night would be mindless, and I’d wake up in the morning dazed and disoriented, wondering where I was and why I had goldfish cracker crumbs in my hair. (The Netherlands)

1. The current couch I’m sleeping on: It is exactly the right length and in the morning I wake up to fresh coffee. Also, the couch’s owner will participate in Ginger and Red Wine Poached Pear galettes with me while we talk alternately about the one time I met John Hodgeman and how hard it is being aimless. (Italy)

The first rule of couch dwelling is to always get drunk with the locals, and then in the morning wash the dishes. The second rule is that if you’re going to make a list of the top couches you’ve slept on always always make the one you’re currently sleeping on the absolute number one.

The third rule is to move, eventually. Get your own room, and a mattress. Slacker. 

* * *

Rat, iron, taks

Box to box to box, and then here we are, going to empty them out. Ghost Town: Suburbia, admission one dime

So the flood: to the cities? A country like a constellation. Connect the dots to where the people are, with lights that shine from the teevee. Make a trade to smaller boxes. Stack em up line em up.

I think, though, I’d rather move to the mountains, where the tree-eaters were. I’ve always lived off the land: about eight centimeters off, the thickness of the carpet and the floor. Learn a trade, learn to fish. We could begin to name things again. You are That-Which-I-Am-Not. Chiefly.

When I think depression I think a thumbprint in clay. 

* * *

As lively, and as vigorously productive

They’ve replicated fireworks on my drive home. On displays placed high on poles, the lights in the middle begin to heat and then the lights surrounding do the same outwardly, then retreat and repeat again: a simulated explosion. It isn’t an occasion but a constant thing, though we make of these things what we want.   

A light bulb is a light bulb to prevent oxygen from reaching the light source, while explosions exist because of oxygen and mean to only last for seconds. Pretend what it was when you turned on the light was instead a little display, a tiny detonation we could watch while it fades. It isn’t making lightening but using gunpowder, and it’s very dark here but something spectacular. 

Three hundred years before the light bulb it was a single violet transplant; five years ago it was fifteen minutes on the floor of this store downtown. Why do we make this about electricity, as though we’re conducting, as though it’s currents or charges. Self-immolation is what it was. We lit ourselves on fire. 

And you live like this, ignited, and then one day you’re only repeating this spectacular thing, without oxygen.

* * *

Benign Fascination Syndrome

The diagnosis of exclusion means to rule everything else out first: A) We are not friends. B) We are not related. C) We do not want each other.

D) Muscles twitch from over-exertion — eyelids spasm from not enough sleep; lips twitch from too much use; legs from standing; there have been documented cases of it in the tongue. So: the part of the brain spent on you is over-exerted, causing frequent spasms of fascination. 

We watch a drop of paint from the top of the canvas that moves slowly down. It will, eventually, reach the bottom, we think. It is yellow; we strain our eyes to watch. At the bottom it will have made a whole line, which would feel good. Instead it dries inches from the bottom, which stings. Layers upon layers, and we will always be drawn to the part that never finishes. 

The muscle spasms — they go away while doing enough of the opposite: close your eyes, sit down, rest your tongue. Conflicting treatments, then, because that’s exactly when the brain works you over the most. 

* * *

A man on TV said this was a “no man is an island” situation

Here is why I don’t believe in having fish as pets: I do not like to own things I can’t hold. I told the neighbor I named the fish that lives on our dining room table Sarah Jessica Parker because it was frivolous, and he said “exactly right. Sarah Jessica Parker is why we are in this mess right now. And also all of those teenagers who owned Mercedes in high school.” He is a financial analyst and walks worriedly now. If we’re being honest, the only thing that happens to that fish is I eat in front of it and poke at it, which would seem like the right thing to do with Sarah Jessica Parker in a bowl. 

So anyway that’s why I paid my credit card bill in full today. Also I didn’t leave the house so I didn’t use any gas. That’s two things I did to not contribute to impending world crises. Three if you include not showering. This does not make me feel all that great. 

Only people who are really happy or really sad stare at normal things with abnormal attention: I’m on vacation and this abandoned house is special; I am in love and these old christmas lights are beautiful. Today I marveled at the one pound of canned crab. Marvel is such a stupid way to say it but I think that’s what I did. It would take me hours to get that much crab out of actual crabs. A lot of cracking and twisting and pulling that I have completely avoided today on September twenty-ninth two thousand and eight, which feels like its own little tiny crisis. 

We used to catch crabs on the beach, very small ones that I can’t remember ever eating. At night we’d go out and look for where the tiny bubbles came up in the sand and then dig and dig. We’d put them in buckets. It was on the sand that squeaked when you walked on it, not the sand of this side of the continent. Sometimes you’d catch the bigger ones crawling across that sand and you’d follow them with your flashlight while someone else ran after them with a net. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d like to be right now than on those shores with impossibly white, noisy sand catching ghost crabs. That’s what we were then: a piece of the continent; a part of the main. 

* * *