I ran it over filthy palms
and let it gather rivers
over red and black stained fingertips
down the bathroom sink.
It separated in marbled forms
spirals, globes of pearled gloss
a film of ruby blood
floating on my reflection.
And there it mingled still
amidst the chemical bath, of salt
and fury, and the image of my face
very much like yours
but framed with curled copper.
And so started the canon:
Longing for the man
The anguish of that August
And the mania began-
Oil, blood and crimson
memories of madness
resurrects the dead
the artist of the flesh
wears a crown of red
In its infancy it sat and shuddered, burnt, vitriolic and expanding riding the crimson blood-splashed rapids, It curved and wound, spreading agony without discretion, cruising on a tidal wave of endorphins and plasma till I found myself embraced in the torment of my own aesculapian understand of my eventual demise. Now let me be our guide:
There will be a piano there, a blanket with holes and a stamp, illegible, faded and clutched many, many times. You will ignore it other than to observe the hole with contempt. It is imperfect. You will have a bed, with a curtain that pulls down easily on a little round-about-track. A set of drawers with a code: epinephrine, haldol, diazepam, lidocaine, within. They will not let you walk, so you will write furiously, fingers sliding across thoughts and paper manic yet restrained, little finger smudged with black as it slides across the cool slips, rationing ink and pages because soon you'll run out, time will be up. You'll feel the needle in your arm shudder as you breathe and the skin on your ribs crawl back, pull away. Away is exactly where you want to be. And knowledge goes from being power to being simply horrifying. You'll see more here than you wanted to. You'll wonder when they started counting you as a number rather than a girl. You'll miss drawing and oils, photos and acrylic. Canvas stretched tall and looming, industrial against brick walls in a dimly lit studio, dancing to a beat, laughing with a friend at midnight and painting while being, and just being while doing, and just feeling as one should, downing coffee, singing late into the night, not feeling your skull shatter when you laugh. And late, late at night you'll sneak out from your bed and walk the hall up and down. You hallucinate paisley patterns on plain disinfected tile and you delight in the creations your brain is painting. Feeling that acid wash though your veins when you smile and feel it turn like a diamond edged record through your cerebellum. Prayers will turn wicked- Glass in the bloodstream, a violent artful death.
I know that sickly pull a retched twisting clutch rendering strong and controlled form a pool of chesnut agony Cold and jagged fragments icy, bloody bites slicing flesh to ribbons memories and nightmares moonlit cubes sliding in still and terrorfying calm across and up the walls. Loss and fear and agony a hollow, hungry place filled with pearly tablets the burn of canned heat- medication for calamity. I know that cavernous space below the bony arched cage where beats a worn and withered heart that simply seeks resolve. Death is our keeper and we are his progeny.
Blue ribbons How you shape me Bees in my skull Bees in my skull Seven stone makes me lovely Seven stone makes me loved
Bones are waves And I am an ocean Blue, blue ribbons Make me a puddle A glint in a raindrop A tap on the asphalt Unnoticed and icy Impossable weight
Scales are for fish Pale, boney fish And I am an ocean A deep, bitter ocean Seven stone makes me lovely Seven stone makes me loved Bees in my skull Ribbons and raindrops The sea is full of fish Humming bees in my skull
I did not mind the blush of copper wickedness swirled in your eyes, or the wild wind that caught your hair and made it dance and dance. I did not mind the calloused tips fingers around the neck, giving strings their humming voice Causing pale skin to blush, and a lasting chill to run, vertebrae to vertebrae along an instrument in song. I never failed to walk with you, the movement in your voice giving color to the earth around and painting a portrait of light.
In silence I screamed for a time and brushed fingertips, blue over my new, re-sculpted form. They danced for a moment there, unfeeling yet sensing that something was not right. Another one down twenty to go a exclaiming burn in the ribs, A hallow place full of obsession a black ink polluting the blood, And under it all, bones begging to rise to broadcast a shriek to protest suffocation. Today I was reminded that sometimes counting counts.
The trapdoor at the bottom asks questions round and round and in a creaking tenor, calls to a tatterd collage, made from bits of cloth that sits below the varnished wood worn from dancing days. And there, the shattered form of me bent and fallen from glowing sunlight summoned to those fading photographs Pulls about a rich black agony heavy, sweet and cold. When I find some light to hold and memories melt to dust, your fading face persuades me to slip between the floorboards and find a blacker place
Snapdragons, marigolds a tangerine sky dripping with low hanging mist Checkerbloom, starflower from these I fly catching the steps that I missed Violet, tidy-tips Fleeing the sun Creeping up into the blue Larkspur, meadow grass each new day I die and reborn, start running anew
I found a gold-green feather tucked within my sleeve
as a deafening tempest raged from above,
I saw another fall from the sky
and the taste metallic carmine slipped across my tongue.
Down down down it came.
A bird rendered flightless
A uncurable mess,
I felt a new wind coming.
Last night in restless weaving from fragile light to darkend lids You entered my room in silence And led me to the rooftops. We sat under the velvet tapestry Admidst a foggy urban glow and dipped our hands into memories that swirled about our fingertips cold and somehow distant. Earl Gray was a friend to us then, bergamot and oranges, the day we took the bridge to Manhattan to photograph the downfall in shades of black and gray. How early morning, our breath rose small clouds that made us laugh as they found the darting rays of light and played there, in the sun. And you, with your dark smile would, make magic come from six old strings a melody from nowhere that made dancers of us all. The way we painted, feverent nights, The maddening rush of it all, The way we'd wrap our icy fingers around paper cups, our coffee black Like the center of that concreat gray from which you viewed the world. And as we sat, old friends again the moon smiled a wicked crescent and a coldness from within me sang, that this was just a dream.
Thursday I walked, Hood high, pace quick kicking waves within the gutters Sending tree fallen sailboats rushing from my feet. I have a novel in my pocket and another one to write, on things a girl can learn when she stands outside the pale. My film, it keeps on running Through chemicals and fog the substances that pulse through the channels in my mind. Observations of mortality, desolation, sin and grace sit wrappen within the gray, the filter of my view. Photographs and memory words and written things, create archives of insanity I cannot forget
A well polished blade razored ribs lurking below the pale Inhale, collapse and hold. Beauty's in the details fine lines and parallels, that run, tangled ribbons in a shadowcast design. Ana was yesterday and is still perhaps, tomorrow. Every moment sculpting scraping away the excess of shame and guilt Between my ribs she gave me, a hallow sort of place. Ana's blade was carving, And from her bones she built a puppet out of me
Visions of rubies, light caught in the sun, the corner of seeing, the damage's been done In spreading at sunset, in darkened expanse a moment of blindness, a paralyzed dance From minor to major, a musical riddle steady and low, a bow on a fiddle A sightless musician, a dancer gone mad playing a song to a dream she once had In puddles of moonlight, and flashes from storm in candlelit puddles, where images form moving in shadows, and fleeing the light the blindness of music, dawns in the night
We plucked cherries in the garden
overstepping rows of earth
where mama planted snap-peas
and blackened soil gave birth
Us muddy girls, we tiptoed
past the grapes, the appletrees
the strawberries we planted
admist a humming cloud of bees
Sweet pale girl, Sakura
I her twin, the cherry red
dancing under August lightening
tiny arms widespread
Caching rain upon our shoulders
Ivory fingers well entwined
My sister, you have left me
with Sakura on my mind
Now is when I think of you When summer clapped its broad wings high above the horizon and painted pale blue sky a heavenly shade- as night fell, Orion rose, hunting amidst the stars. I crushed grass, crisp and cool beneath my feet and ran in moonlit spirals We embraced the summer nights- they were old friends to us. Orion drew an arrow, a placed it in his bow And from the northern sky he faltered. A solitary gleaming arch, a glowing point, a collision between the constellation in your mind and the archer high above. Once the moon has cast its blanket Hatsya is at my throat so summers heat I wrap around me its all that I can do
I found God in the trenches when blinded by some crime I know not what I committed for I sin all the time The fear of losing vision has brought me to my knees with hands clasp, head low bowing, singing to the breeze: If I could find redemption If I could live to See My prayers and my salvation Would bring God back to me So I'm a gypsy trader Bargaining with fate singing in morning till the day grows late Casting stones into the river Casting nets into the air Begging god to bring me vision lest I parish with despair And my traps, they bring me courage I catch stars within their nets and place them where I see them and reflect upon regrets I've found God in the trenches when blinded by some crime I know not what I committed for I sin all the time.
Washed upon my dress lifted, worn and pale a spray of blue or seafoam caught the eucalyptus breeze- a zephyr of your breath. I clambered up the cliffs in heels you chased in boots, laughing and caught my hand, spun a dangerous midnight chase. CliffHouse, ruins, seaside you in your ambition stole sixteen years of purity in one consuming gaze. Beneath the watercolored moon you pressed emeralds, gold into my palm folded me into your arms and beneath your black coat I found a sure and steady warmth.
In dreams memories announce their identity without words. Color is louder than voice and shades are indelible as emotion. In the dreams of my youth New York was a song and the minutes of the day changed their lyrics, and never repeated them. The freedom to see clearly was my wild and uninhibited dance, and I saw clearly that there was only beauty. In wakefulness, I've viewed distinct shades of night creep across my folded hands repeat a simple verse and take away my voice
His eyes were a shade I'd never seen before. They shone out against the paper mask, a kind yet glassy copper-brown reflecting orbs of radiating white that shown down in tear-inducing sheets. The lights were far too bright. I inhaled and felt it rattle within me, a mechanical lifeform, my lungs withering with some unnatural strain. Panic. These were not my own. I fought to speak and felt consciousness slip, the grasp a silk thread on my tongue. A word! It rose dry in my worthless throat, azure, indigo, cobalt, kyanos, see me! I slipped further, faded to a blur. Brown eyes froze, stepped towards me and took my hand, pressing my fingers to his palm. Tilting his eyes to my face, he revealed his voice to me as sirens filled the room. 'Blue,' he said addressing white coats, bodies filling spaces, honey to my soul, the word 'and blue Means she's not breathing'