Desert Trip

The moments are slow when daylight rules and regulates with its majestic restraint and royal logic but

They were driving between canyons and she thought the sky was hers

Imagined she was immortal

Dreamed she had him once

Held a piece of his existence closely, secretly

After traffic had dulled the senses she found her body blissfully floating in a courtyard pool in the middle of the desert while her heart sank to the bottom like lead and when he reached for her hand there was a terrible haze of fragmentation

And she thought

If only this was the expected collapse into a high-density oblivion like before stars explode, a symphony of destruction, and I would still have you and you me and I could catch your scattered pieces of celestial ash in cupped palms grateful that you have been constant through my graceless passage into years

 

 

Irvine II

she was walking and the paper bag was ready to tear out of her hand from the weight of the hard rain and daydreaming she absorbed the whole cosmos of the winter day into the folds of her brain, streams of hot hatred searing through sulci and gyri until she walked through the double doors of home

found her place before her computer and received communications in cold flashes from an old high school friend who had killed over 50 people in Iraq. because of the lack of tone she could not tell if he was bragging or repenting but she suspected he enjoyed it and thought of his nondescript, beady eyes, slightly pock-marked face, slender frame, easy demeanor, as she knew him before, and shuddered until she closed the laptop lid and infused into a quiet suburban memory.

she had stars and moons in her pocket and a dull tomorrow which promised to lose itself in a mad Los Angeles rush, broken light slipping through cracks of graceless nights, vanishing with feckless abandon and levity into the thinnest dust on its final course

and he had dead bodies rotting eye sockets and a putrid childhood left in a foreign land.

Alcohol IV

Jack Daniels in hand she wandered to the boy who had insisted on following her about like a puppy dog all night took a lock of his hair between two fingers and told him his shaggy, dirty blond hair was cute. He touched her lips once and she ran but he kept calling her at odd hours. The night was a lonely stereotype so she poured herself Jim Beam and he was there, dressed in all white while his friend analyzed her eyebrows.

Later she felt her veins glowing and clutched his hand, pressed her palms into his bare shoulder blades and had daydreams of a false prince.

Boy

He puppets her so that she flushes every thought from her head and

Forces all other sensations from her flesh

Until she falls asleep against his warm chest

She would see him in heaven if she were allowed in those ranks

But one’s own destruction is always more invigorating than another’s

So she continued drowning Tuesday in a silver pool of bitterness and bottled disasters and

In time she will find herself swimming to him, a red salamander in her nostalgic pond

Rural Town II

She grew up in a place where the wind sang at night and

Oppressed inhabitants during the day

With vigor and slight cruelty

But sometimes she would remember the damp southern grass crawling on her skin

And fireflies dancing in sticky summer heat

With fondness for the backbone of her suburban dreams

Alcohol III

Johnny, Jack, Jim, and other insidious lovers waited restless and lonely on the shelves

Until they came to the rescue with acts of self-sacrifice

Painting the night into an unforgivable haze

After scouring the concrete wilderness all evening

Swimming in people and singing of death

She awoke next to a boy and the night had been thick and hot

He had called at 3:00 a.m., said

Of all the carousers in Los Angeles, I had a feeling you would be up at this hour 

The many hours of semi-consciousness and flirtation with a demoted deity were questionable

But she sensed in an alternative universe her other self was trudging in dark blandness and purposeless amnesia

Drowning in indifference

Meeting On a Street Corner

Someone told her there were a thousand trillion neutrinos zipping through her body at this very moment, so inspired

She fluttered down the sidewalk until she was face to face with him and

He pulled her into a kiss on the street corner to mark his territory

Puppetted her with small dances while the warm waves in her veins bubbled to slow vibrations of the skin until

She thought she could fly

In the morning when she has to leave she becomes paralyzed with wrath and decay and remembers the hard plague

Again she is a small ghost in the Californian sunshine, wandering unnoticed, forced to walk to the sound of angry music over and over

Bitter Heaven

There was the distinct morbidity of childhood, then before she knew it, she was knocking on heaven’s door with a baseball bat in one hand a bottle of Jack Daniels in the other. How nice that you believe in an afterlife and will have a warm home basking in the glow of god waiting for you when I continue to be lost, burnt, stubborn, clinging to vacuous resolve, stale romances trailing close behind. The scent of the night before is still in her hair and the beautiful Greek god saw her cynicism running down the length of the closet mirror. She was the most reluctant witness to the pieces of the day: cheap guitars, fake aspirations, imaginary men.

Here she thought she would find his closeness, everlasting regression, and sweetest harmony written in stardust by the purveyor of perceived eternity but he was not there, and in his place was only a fanatic disintegration.

She had ended gracelessly in an anti-climactic fade, swimming in her own ashes so she had no choice but to welcome futility. She hypothesized that sleep is parallel to death.

Alcohol II

Winter broke her like a disease.

That night, someone confessed to wanting to be an actress and fucking minors. Does it make you feel younger? She asked. Tonight, our wrinkles will be deferred by cheap whiskey, this magic bottle of fluid gold. They wasted time because they did not know.

There was something romantic in her mythologic desperation, the sword in her body and her premeditated funeral pyre but the modern parallel was wrong boys wrong times, pathetic and humiliating mistakes. She fell to the waves of his hair breaking on her fingertips and became perpetually afraid and thought that when her bones had disintegrated into the earth he will have died in her thoughts an infinite number of times.

They yelled at each other in the hall and she said it would be his loss. Almost asleep, he murmured that he was up against a wall and had nothing to lose. She tapped on his chest, demanded to know what he meant but he was silent.

Still,the sunshine liquids diluted to a romantic translucence made waves in the head, the concrete pond became an ocean, and in the fluidity of night they rolled heads and senses and fell unconscious together, pleased with oblivion, pleased with each other, and awoke to monotony disguised as something novel. She dreamed she was 14, fearing her petals would be cruelly torn off.

The Week

Monday she woke up still drunk at 11:30 and called people to confirm her friend’s brother had indeed showed up at her ex-boyfriend’s door and together they finished the Johnny Walker Red, spiked a carafe of orange juice at Denny’s with cheap vodka, the color of light sunshine for a heavy heart, bottled oblivion. They stumbled around the lake until the sun came up and she would not see the brother until her friend’s wedding over a decade later, when she was slower and less angry. She was not old enough to have hangovers but the day was restless and heavy and she let it slip by at Vincent’s house in the form of a horror movie; 10 years later the plot would suddenly surface in her mind, while the name of the film remained elusive.

Tuesday she complained of transience, and dreaded Los Angeles’s siren song of hazy nights and rushed minutes. She declared selfishness a virtue some 12 years before she read Ayn Rand’s so-titled essay. Ex-boyfriends fed her conceit and let her talk up storms of emptiness as cigarette smoke floated by on the cafe patio. The day was gray, and the skinny blond on telly condemned the rest of the week to rain. Her friend came by wearing an expensive pea coat and she vaguely felt she would like a boyfriend who favored pea coats.

Inner Senses.

Wednesday, she wore angora and hoped it had not necessitated the killing of rabbits. She misplaced her journal and thought she might die without it. She was frantic and tried to steal books at the bar, but Chad stopped her. A Georgian told her Southern Californians were cold, suspicious, and self-involved. She laughed and told him to get used to it. She left the bar with Tuesday, put her hands around his neck, and afterwards her hands smelled like boy.

Thursday, she skipped Astronomy class because whether the white-haired, bearded man’s description of burning blue stars and fiery planets was fascinating or painfully dull was always a gamble. She watched Tuesday sleeping next to her and imagined swift irrationality stirring and boiling over like coffee. She slipped out of his bed. Her temporary preoccupation paired well with the pulsing in her head and she walked slowly to work.

Friday, her ex-boyfriend lectured her about being devious and self-centered but she only cared for her coffee and bagel. He left her on the patio in the rain and her prideful, clear nights opened the skies and gave way to the heaviest deluge, despondent clouds, and wet wretchedness. A stranger, a Geology major, shared his umbrella with her and she was grateful as she watched the sloppy crystals fall out of the sky, blurring her vision. When the kind Geologist and his umbrella left, she considered her numbness and her alcohol-based romance: 3 parts booze, 1 part unspecified attraction, drowned in slate.

Saturday, she ran in the rain while thin shadows of trees chased her. The city was drowned in the angry tears of some heartbroken god and it came down so violently she could barely see. At night, after the torrents receded, she sat on a large rock, hiding under a tree, and waited for him, her toes grazing a pool of ivy. He came stumbling around the corner shortly, and she remembered that when she thought she’d lost her journal she felt she would die, her trite thoughts floating among the unknown, abandoned in the corner of a bar, pages disintegrating and burning in golden whiskey, but her friend had sneered.

She blinked, she melted, she slept soundly in his bed, and it was Sunday again.