Contour

There is a kind of Thing you cannot speak about. “Cannot” not as in “not allowed”, but as in “not possible”. It’s risky to be writing this because if you talk erroneously about these Things they become even more elusive. See, I called them elusive just now and they’ve already gone a bit.

It is mostly hard to run from Words. As soon as you experience something, a sensation or feeling, they start sprouting in your head. Too Much Ginger? Salt? Sketch or Poetry? Fate or Chance? Desire or Curiosity?

It’s quite the opposite with these unspeakable Things.

In my experience, they can only take the denomination of “things”, and only barely. Tie them up more and they’ll slip through your fingers like air. Then again, it’s too much to even say that they “slip”. It’s too much to even say that they are. Because they are not, oh no. Not in the sense of being that we know, the being that is minded, shaped and pageable.

These things… They don’t mind it if you close your eyes and dance under their shadows, or if you rinse your face with the water of the river upon which they reflect their images. They might let you grope or fumble away around their homes when the lights are off. But that’s as close to pinning them down as I’ve managed.

Nevertheless, “happiness is only real when shared” and I’ve been desperately seeking a way to share the Things with Others. I’m pretty sure I know sharing is inherently incompatible with them but it’s hard to accept that whole bullshit of “it’s about the journey, not the destination” when it comes to communication of the Things. Maybe one day I’ll find a language.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll settle for a contour.

I do need birdsongs.

I do need birdsongs.

I do need flowers

And the sound dry leaves make

When I step on them.

I do need smiles from strangers on the street,

The noise of children playing,

Coffee with a friend.

I need the quiet melody of nature

And looking up at the sky.

I need shouting at concerts

And hugging my brother.

I need little puppies,

Art museums,

Lying down on the grass

And people to understand me.

I need Sunday mornings at my dad’s house

And getting books through the mail.

I need running,

Crying copiously over a beautiful landscape,

Breathing deeply,

Feeling strong and feeling weak.

I need ipê trees in bloom

And Chopin’s preludes.

I need honest poetry,

Old people’s advice

And climbing trees.

I need ruins,

Stories,

The stillness of mountains,

Rooftops,

And grains of sand.

I need my sanity,

My voice,

My legs,

Hands, to write and to hold,

The sun,

The moon,

Foreign lands,

Memories,

Mud,

Rain,

Thunder,

Freedom.

I need the truth, so I’ll take the ephemerality.

I need to love these things deeply

And when they go,

I need to let them.

 

 

phony buddhist

I could try and turn this confession into an enigmatic poem stuffed with visits to thesaurus.com, or I could throw some paint onto a canvas and pretend the results satisfactorily spill what needs to be spilled out of me. The truth is I’ve always had some trouble outwarding what I’ve inwarded. I’m quite proud of my ability to process the things I inward but truly, isn’t the outwarding part of the processing too? I’m afraid I might blow up at one point if I don’t find a reliable way of spilling. Anyway, I’ve chosen to write this in the pre-teen’s-diary manner that comes to me most naturally. Here goes: I feel lonely. I feel lonely for the first time ever. You know what else? The only thing that seems to ease this loneliness of mine is to see that you are still online on Facebook. I want to kiss you right now, just because you are still online on Facebook. Ha! You’re still online! And now too! And now! Fuck, you’re the sweetest, doing me good even when you ignore me completely. I guess it’s good that I’m holding on to the love I feel for you rather than the gaping hole you’ve left in my life. Nevertheless, I feel lonely. I don’t want to process things deep inside anymore. I don’t want to risk leaving things behind, hidden in corners of my mind until they have joined up into a gray cloud, attracted to each other like magnets. I still can’t figure out whether they get more impenetrable when I fight them or when I don’t. What I do know is that up until now I have tried very hard to need nothing. I’ve surrounded myself with people I don’t particularly care about and wouldn’t mind losing at one point because I’m afraid to suffer when the ones that matter have to go. It has been like using plastic cups because I don’t want the beautiful china to ever break. You are still online on Facebook. I’ve been afraid of feeling deep happiness when my mother hugs me lovingly because what will I be left with once she’s gone? I’ve been afraid of saying I need music because what if I go deaf? I’ve been afraid of putting makeup on because what will I do once I’m wrinkly and people don’t tell me I’m gorgeous? I’ve been afraid of needing people in general because what if there is a gigantic natural disaster and I’m the only survivor? What then?! I’ve been confusing detachment and unattachment in every relationship I’ve had except the one I’ve had with you. I won’t say it was easy to let you go or even that I’ve accomplished it completely. I am, however, proud to say that your absence no longer feels like an eyeball-cutting sandstorm. The beautiful memory you are, the only person I couldn’t help but need, is maybe the only thought that can alleviate my loneliness. You know what else? I’ve come to the beautiful decision that I’ll leave my computer on open on Facebook tonight because maybe you’re feeling lonely too. I’m about to “press publish” and you are still online on Facebook. If you suddenly appear offline my body might succumb a little bit. Quite frankly, though, I don’t think that prospect scares me as much now.

Though he in me has never been more alive

Yesterday, at 11:50 AM,

A great hero of mine disembogued.

Since then I have been offering him some glories.

I know how it frustrated him that he’d

“Never seen anyone offering the souls of purgatory

A sonata by Mozart

Or a poem by Pessoa”.

I hoped that wherever he was there were kaki fruits there,

And I ate two for dinner just in case.

I listened to water dripping in my hands and

Remembered reading him on the plane,

Tears soaking the page as I saw myself

Being taught to awe for the first time.

I can almost see him through my bedroom window now,

Spilled across the sky with the stars.

I close my eyes and the confirmation smiles me.

He is in this sky too.

To the people who think I’m a free spirit.

Sometimes when I stopped, I could feel my heart beat in my extremities.

Occasionally,

(And it still pains me to say this)

I got angry at it and wanted it to stop immediately, after all, how dare this heart beat without my permission? How dare it not quiet down when he held me in his arms and to my deep despair and humiliation got to feel my humanity?

Even when I danced,

Even when I thought my movement was pure and real,

A discreet alarm went off, alerting the context hunters to come out

Without me even noticing it.

I’ve had this heart since I was one with my mother.

I’ve had this heart since I couldn’t say “I”.

I had this heart when I was first taught that everything didn’t actually belong to me.

The world was its own,

And I started differentiating Me from Not-me.

As so many other things came to surround me,

My heart remained.

Beating uncommanded to my displeasure.

Sometimes when I stopped, I could feel my heart beat in my extremities.

When this happened,

I immediately got up and tried to distract myself from this corporeal defiance,

Terrified at the paradox that the only way there was to stop it

Was bound to the stopping of everything else.

I told my heart I just needed some peace of mind to figure things out.

How could I focus to become who I in fact am if this absurd pounding in my chest wouldn’t stop for a single second?!

I put the verbs above in past tense,

But I don’t expect it to have passed already.

What 17 years of construction have taught me

Is that those who seek meaning miss beauty.

It takes a while, I guess,

But I’m surrendering.

I’m surrendering to planes that crash,

To waves that splash,

To lions that roar,

To people who don’t love me anymore.

I’m going back to the beginning.

I surrender to this world

That just won’t

Stop

Spinning.

Striptease

One time,

her eyes lifted from page 186

and drifted horizontally through the bedroom.

She wondered how many of those things

she had surrounded herself with

were just distractions

placed with unconscious caution.

Her incense,

art books,

orange curtains.

Maybe even the throbbing in her neck.

What would be left if she meticulously got rid of them all?

Truth?

Or just her pretentiousness?

Let me tell you about aphrofaults.

THINGS THAT ARE NOT APHROFAULTS:

paint with canvas

dirt with moist paper towel

nail with plaster

tongue with foreign tongue

THINGS THAT ARE APHROFAULTS:

paint with dirt

canvas with nail

moist paper towel with tongue

plaster with foreign tongue

 

It should be clear now, what an aphrofault is. If not, that is an aphrofault happening right there.