Saturday, May 31, 2008


I'm pulling things together, hoping to start compiling a memoir - or perhaps it will be two memoirs: the two closest people in my life thus far whom I've lost. Jonathan, and my mom. It's strange. I hadn't gone back and visited that insane year of 2003 in a long time, in my livejournal, in my journals, all the e-mails, the IM conversations. I have so much of it saved. And I hadn't looked at it in a long time. I finally came across the last "chapter" to the memoir, about Jonathan, that I had been writing for my individualized writing class. Ha, he had even written a letter to the other students in the class, thanking them for being interested in what I had to say. He was a wonderful friend.

In 2003, in the span of nine months, I both met and lost a very close friend of mine, whose face I never saw, whom I never met, even though so many nights he would be sitting in the next room, just out of reach. It's the craziest story I've ever heard, and I'm even in it. That's why it needs to go on paper. When, when will I have the courage to pull it all together? The fear, the mysterious letters, the late night conversations, the games, the hiding, his agoraphobia, our loyalty (the "posse," he called us), his and Bonny's tumultuous affair and marriage, the brain tumor, the blackouts, the tranquilizers. That Josh Groban song that still makes Megan and I cry our eyes out. That memorial service, when hardly anyone came, but we didn't care. We had his violin on display and a million words on our hearts. So let the world not believe that he existed. We knew he did.

And now? Now, who remembers? Bonny, Megan, me. Who else? Who else remembers our affair with the agoraphobic, the technical genius, the phantom of Judd Theatre, the Black Rose?

Today was the first day I've cried over his memory in many months. It's hard to face death, and realize you'll never stop missing them, when they're gone.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I am a Rock

I recently purchased a Simon & Garfunkel album, forgetting how much I loved listening to them. There is one song that has always been a favorite of mine, though now I feel it holds a special resonance with me at my present state in life. At least, at times, I feel this way:

I am a Rock
(P. Simon)

A winter's day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock;
I am an island.

I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.
I am a rock;
I am an island.

Don't talk of love,
But I've heard the words before,
It's sleeping in my memory.
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved, I never would have cried.
I am a rock;
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock;
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

God of Letters

These bones and sinew
God of Letters, don’t spell me
Like l-i-f-e spells life – because
Life in all its letters spells
Existence for everyone who reads it,
And b-o-n-e-s could spell anyone.
Even my name, each letter sounding out
A word I’ve heard in my ears
These 23 years, would do no more on a page
To reflect who I am, my own identity,
Than c-o-l-o-r reflects the brown of my eyes.
No, my letters and my names are not
What define me; but these words that I am writing,
God of Letters,
Spell out my soul in immortality the way
It did once for Shakespeare when he penned
Immortal words: So long as men can breathe,
or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this
gives life to me.


You and I talked about death over cake and hard liquor;
You’re to kill him tomorrow –
The beeping machines and IV piggybanks

attached to a name that will be too hard
to pronounce when you pull out the tubes.

He’s not yours, no, not like you are mine,
but week after week someone else captures
your heart, your sympathies, and

Week after week someone else has
to be let go; to move on, move away

and will it always be this hard
each time? You ask –
I couldn’t say –

I’m only the poet, you’ve told me,
and all I know to say is words

never get easier, names never get easier
to pronounce when they’re forgotten,
but emotions can look just as strong when

they’re staring back at you between
lines of ink on a page.

Those who understand will read this
and cry with you,
and nothing will ever get easier.

April '08

She's Gone Now

I've been searching through old journal posts in hopes of compiling a memoir. Of course, I read through all that I wrote when my mom passed away. I found this, which I wrote three hours after she died:

The wonderment of life.
She left, and I was still thirsty
Body-ment, hungering, searching
I was the beating, the heart
Thumping, mellowing
Feeling, touching, I was left
And something shadowy touched Me
and all around we
Crouched, we kissed her feet
We cried
Bayed to the moon of our hopeful
Wishes still left for her
But prayed in her peace
As she found cooling-comfort
For the burning world
That still revolves
Even in the empty space
Of her radiant absence.

Friday, May 23, 2008

To Smaller Cities in Northern States: A Letter

I am not of your world, with its cold,
its gardens, small towns, and independent coffee shops.
Of course, we have those, too, but I never knew the
owner by name, nor could walk down every street
at night feeling safe inside my own skin
inside my own city. Your world has snow;
My state tries it, every now and then,
and people still freak out as if it's the
first time they've ever stepped on ice.
The wind can't make up its mind, either,
and while I could imagine you have cold
wind, too, there is always the added
element of demons from hell that accompany
our winter wind, which makes it one hell
of an attraction. Pun intended. No,
I don't suppose you'd ever want to come
back to the land of wind and dirt,
But if you did, I'd attempt to find
the most beautiful flowers and loveliest
fountains, to prove that even in one of
the largest cities in the middle of
nowhere, people like you and I can still find
beauty, and maybe that was meant to impress
you, but it's enough for now just to call you
friend from a distance and wait a while
longer before I can show you my side
of Oklahoma.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Medusa

I wanted you
to know, Medusa, that I had nothing
against you, or your attempts at love and
conversation. I never meant to
look into your eyes in the first place,
or promise myself to you, because we
never should have worked out from the start.
Is that what they said would happen? What was
it they said that our love was supposed to be,
Medusa, my twofaced, snake-charming sweetheart?
Did they say it would be like us, like this,
our wounds still bleeding from our last battle?
Or did they just simply forget to give
me my mirrored shield, my rite of passage
as a man, so that I would have to
look at your screaming face and let my heart
turn to stone like this, against you?
You were beautiful once, too, my Medusa,
beautiful without love, without my sword
piercing your body, but now you’re headless,
your hair misses your body, and I am stone.
I wasn’t prepared to protect myself against you
and I destroyed you in the process.

Monday, May 5, 2008

God of the In-Between

This post will reveal things of a personal nature I have not yet shared openly with most people. Be forewarned, I'm not going to spare words:

I have to write. I have to write it all down. How else am I going to remember? To be able to look back at this time and understand myself and my journey, who I am? And who am I? I oft feel like I’m not a “me,” but a “him,” as if either this confusion, or my attempt at being objective about this confusion, has caused me to completely “other” myself into some disconnected third person. That can’t be healthy. Is that a sign of something? I’ve found myself asking that question more often. Too often. I’m looking for signs everywhere – I don’t know which way to go. As the ghost in one of my dreams the other night asked me … “which way?” That scares me – that even my dreams are echoing my confusion. Ghosts. Rooms. Doors. Three main occurrences in my mind at night, as of late. Tormented, trapped, wondering which way to go, which way to God, literally. Does God sanction both paths, both choices I have? Half the world says “yes”; Half the world says “no,” and here am I, caught in the middle. In between two worlds. Am I schizotypal for thinking it all rests on me? But it does, in my mind, doesn’t it? If I deny my own homosexuality, say it’s unnatural, aren’t I condemning massive hordes of people? And if I embrace it, aren’t I saying that everything I was taught, the world in which I grew, was wrong? One half of me is wrong, one half of me is right. And what’s interesting is, in the choosing, in the in-between space, no one is wrong. In the liminal space, no one goes to hell. All are loved by God. Isn’t that right? Believing in someone’s condemnation is the same as their being condemned, am I right? If I believe someone to be going to hell, hypothetically, then I know they are going there, and in some way, am in control of their fate – in my eyes, only, of course. But in my perception of my faith, my eyes equal God’s. We can’t deny that. As Descartes (a Christian) said himself, that’s really all we have to go by, isn’t it? Of course, there’s a God outside my mind, but I also have to take into consideration that I must use my limited mind to contemplate and make my own judgments about God. That’s what makes religion and philosophy so debateable. How could no one else see that? The arguments arise because we see ourselves as right, so then we are right. But with so many view points, whose right is “right”? Isn’t the act of agreeing with someone the act of taking some other’s view for our own? How do we reconcile that? How do we commune with God on our own, without outer interference? Without people saying “no, that’s wrong”; outside of the noise, what is God saying? God, who is a god of the in-between, holding the Universe together. The moderation of it! The balance of it! The beauty, the beauty! He is the glue, Wordsworth’s Universal, Coleridge’s Incomprehensible, Poe’s non-matter (that, if not scientific, I believe to be aesthetically accurate). We know that there is space between every single atom that is holding us together – so how do we not fall apart? Because of God – the God of the in-between! The God of Unity! Or by natural laws, some say – but that, too, is God! Science is God – what else could it be? How do people not see that? Our God is both gray, and black-and-white, because He is all things. We come to Him differently, each of us, because we are different, each of us, but He is unchanging, as Science is unchanging! He and Science are both was, and is, and is to come, because He is unchanging! Of course, granted, God is so much more than just “Science.” He’s in-between Science. “In the beginning was logos (logic, reason, order), and logos was with God, and logos was God” (John 1:1).