Thursday, December 18, 2008

I make these gasping attempts at doing what I know is me: writing small bitter poems, rantings at the world, singing full-voiced Opera that bursts through my apt windows...

But then what? I get sucked down into nowhere land of TV, of trying to manage the clutter that grows like nail fungus over my countertops, my fridge, every available table is ugly with loose toys Chinese from Egg Chocolates, a million post-its: one recipe for play dough, one post-it with a grocery list, one small starting of a poem I'll never finish.

I start to crack under the bits of nothing that I never can get rid of but that somehow ruin my self worth.

With shit like this to distract me, how can I write? Sing without clenching and knotting my jaw? How could I write a song again like I did so many years ago? How was I ever that brave and stupid to wring out my ugliest insides and present them to all?

Those poems and all that music poured out of me in, yes, great storms. The ions from the lightning kept me up late and shivering.

I painted on my walls and my arms in deep red oil paint. Woke up the next day and went to school like that.

I walked around my high school singing to myself. In my broken mind, this protected me from stares, this was my shield against all the slow-headed kids around me all day. I must have seemed crazy. Of course I did.

Shit, I wish I had pictures of myself.

I went to my prom as a silver alien: bald head, silver shiny miny dress, huge silver platform shoes, sparkly tights. My date: Zaq. His shoe soles, flapped as he walked. He wore a small red bow tie, impossibly crumpled.

Don't we all want another better version of ourselves? We fixate on that one year we were the perfect weight, had the perfect lover. When were you your perfect self?

I was my perfect self when I was most unhappy. When I spent hours and hours scratching poems into my notebooks, when I would sing just for sound.

I had this friend, Zaq. God, he was lovely. Had those glossy eyes of a Krishna devotee and just KNEW me. From the moment I saw him playing the pots and pans with old pencils outside the Wendy's on the 16th St Mall, I knew he would bring me joy.

So I joined his band. All I did was shriek into the microphone. I would trance to the shitty electric guitar and awkward bass line and brilliant bright light of his metal drums.

Eyes closed, I entered the dark place and tried to piece myself back together by singing out the confusion.

Now, what do I do to build a more perfect me? I am thinking of the Obama sticker I got in the mail: Working toward a more perfect union. I dream of a more perfect me, one that finds who she is and can translate all that I see into words and song.
God help me if I continue to fail.


renmckay said...

I feel that I am always searching for my writing voice as an adult, a mother, a teacher... as well. Sometimes it feels impossible to find...

dan said...

Sometimes it doesn't help, but sometimes it does help to go back to the beginning.

Doing that is the only reason I wrote anything at all this year beyond random bukowski-like text messages.

but if not, then perhaps it will help to find a web to get stuck in, a room empty enough to allow for one's vastness or conversely the attention to see/imagine the vast significance of the everyday and mundane. Or simply to rip up one's habits -- even one's writing habits.

Happy New Year!

Krissyface said...

That's a beautiful post, MC.
I wish you'd write more often.


Unknown said...

Read your most recent post and remembered a day on a bus, more than fifteen years ago -- me off to hear Sandra Cisneros, you to something bigger -- and how strikingly beautiful you were, and a night wandering around among train tracks when you were nearly run down by a crazy idea, and then a night before a younger me left to Louisiana when I felt that the whole trip was lost because I already wanted to come back.

And I remembered how seriously you took the wildness of youth, and how much I was scared and intrigued.

But best part of reading your post, were all the years between which I forgot. For a moment. Thank you for that summer fifteen years ago and the flicker of it now, I hope you are unchanged.

arroww1979 said...

i remember you then.. and have thought about you ever since. i'm in ny for a little while. are you here too? --jessica from dsa cr class all those years ago