Obviously, I associate the act of writing with anyone I’ve written about, so just holding a pen is a great way for me to inundate myself with painful/fond/weird/scary memories that both pleasantly feed my nostalgia and wreak havoc on my conscience. Writing the “old-fashioned way” is fantastically effective, not only in reminding me how much I love ink on paper, but also in reminding me of the myriad mistakes and little successes in my love life. This piece is mostly a reflection on that. It might also be some sort of apology; I’m not quite sure yet. Don’t listen to me. Just throw rocks.
(Below is the process by which this piece came to be; it’s the first one I’ve written on paper in a couple months so I thought I’d include scans because NO ONE CARES. Note how consistent I am with my scratching out of words)
Portraits for Sails
A river called Endless flows between your fingertips It speaks in muddy banks, it tells of how you float; our eyes connected by a common wall, separated by a distance greater than any canvas-- Paint that reaction, trace that incision like carving through rocks Line up your legs for a trim; take off a foot or both; Just paddle around in circles Breathe in the water, choke on the shallow end because you're a shark fin away from a bad tide; a rip curl from a good night's rest-- You're a dream, a monument sleeping through its own demolition, you're such an imperfect sculpture, a pretty faulted picture, an underwater pastoral scene on back of a dead man's grayscale milk carton-- Call this an ode to all the sunken parts of me that were submerged in the deluge of yesterday's debts-- stalled near the moment of impact but shipwrecks usually end up here so those time pieces aren't very important That frantic inkling on the back of your paper neck is not much for a warning; your perforated, tearalong spine rhymes with Denial-- like a frayed frame for a decayed painting It speaks in muddied patterns, turbid waters in the eyes of a guilty midshipman and oh, do I have a tale for you, Undertow It's an upstream story about a failed waterfall; it's not an anecdote-- It's a canoe ride spent recounting the many ways I've drowned; remembering the lungs that gave in (she never painted me gills) I've seen countless drawings-- some wore themselves into the shore, left the Ocean wondering just where this aptly named Hurricane came from She built herself up on her way back out to sea She waved goodbye with her hundred faces and taught me to swim I taught myself to sink; my head taught me to sit; my heart taught my head to wait; the weight taught my heart to hear; I'm still learning-- A castaway student stuck between continents Drifting from the surge, rippling retreat; kissing that flood and naming it-- A Swell to Call Home And to think, it all started in the ebbing of her hands