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“[...]yo escribo porque el druido, / bajo el rumor de sílabas del himno, / encina bien plantada en una página, / me dió el gajo de muérdago, el conjuro / que hace brotar palabras de la peña. / Los nombres acumulan sus imágenes. / Las imágenes acumulan sus gaseosas, / conjeturales confederaciones. / Nubes y nubes, fantasmal galope / de las nubes sobre las crestas / de mi memoria.” -Octavio Paz

April 4/9, 2014

Aleiluya

O’ Mexico

Comet O’ Mexico!
A terrifying grace A ruin of blood

The crow from the distance
hunts my thoughts in the trees

The windows reassure me very little
as he charges the air, tumbling by

The hummingbirds are spies
flitting between open hands, colors

given over to sudden torrents
of sound, splashing fitfully and discontent

from the walls enclosing the sidewalks
Here knows I will be away-

ing for a time and pushes me
like a broken shopping cart,

wheels askance and agitated
and creaking over the pavement

When a place agitates so much
as it is left

what is travel but a loving placebo?
what does it accomplish but to bring us back?

6 days ago
1 note

March 28, 2014

From the desert to your home

Brief flowers

The desert is the only beautiful thing.
Because its ocotillo arms bleed

us dry of feigned sentimentality-
because it burns away what should have

never been. Sun stunned and sore,
we join Algoberto’s ranks- this is no Gonzo

taco; that’s down the road, where they belong-
and quickly back away from this boxe

d in social services shit-show.
The particularities of a new place bleed

brief flowers among spines- I can’t see
the light so much but I can feel it

cutting my ribcage to remove my breath
and make angels of my immediacy.

We barely squeeze by their blockade;
we, bare, squeeze life from the brocade

2 weeks ago
6 notes
Whether you acid-kick your spirit into some trance of the star-stuff of your imagination, or study each of the languages of the seven continents, or hideout for months in city or forest reading the major books of western civilization from the Old Testament to the Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson, or you fashion new theories about theism or atheism, or refashion the old ones, or hold a newborn in your arms just once in your lifetime and weep with gratitude or raise an entire household of determined children long into their own adulthoods, or from Mondays-Fridays at sundown sharp you lift a jam jar of fine twelve year old whiskey to your lips, and whether you listen to Rimsky-Korsakov or the Ramones, prefer Jackson Pollack or Norman Rockwell, Babe Ruth or Ken Griffey, Jr., Batman or Superman, John, Paul, George, or Ringo, you’re going to find yourself beginning every poem with the same nearly unanswerable questions, questions that get at the nature of being and being a poet.

March 18, 2014

I wrote this on tablet but it refused to let me share it

Fractures

Fractured   throbbing light walls
Television  money doesn’t ruin the wash
Screens   with sharp model edges, darkly
At least anymore   degraded rubber world ovoid
Set lower than    can any war hound cite avenue
Misappropriation something disobeying disconcerting
Indent.     Indent.      Indentations in my temples
Throbbing, flowering, fracturing

3 weeks ago
7 notes
Escribo como siempre, por lo de siempre: me estoy ahogando.
Alejandra Pizarnik, Diarios, 25 de Diciembre de 1955  (via ovariosviolentos)

(Source: unmardepasiones, via cempaxochitl)

1 month ago
1,179 notes

March 6/9, 2014

Been so long, been so long

Spring afternoon picnic settings in the desert

Nothing has been written
in so long, an age
of parsley and Cubans

Symphonies of empty, bronzed
chairs toeing the line
between midday dinner parties

and gatherings of screeching
gold-leaf parrots (with the brass
section done by bastions

of fresh green grass, superfluous
oasis kept watered in the desert
that’s slowly drying us all out

of houses and inkwells) No-one
seems comfortable with stopping
next to this neat garden of catering

clusters- we can all tell that
it’s un-natural in its symmetry
When this flock bursts in

front of me and I’m full of words
again, almost aggressively,
and a cacophony flock was hiding

in this well-water picnic
in eighty degree spring
and although now the flock is gone

the cardboard headstones mark
where I must begin
to sow it again

1 month ago
10 notes

February 14, 2014

they sell whiskey in grocery stores here

Cleaving

So much of my push dries up
and invades me from the bottom

of a clink- ice left over
from a drink it never had

to melt in to just cool down
These vapors, these desert

sandspout dervishes with grit and
quartz and bone are pure laceration

and leave my splitting tongue
bloody and confused

between sour and bitter
it can’t decide on its age

nor its direction and it straddles
the frontier as tempestuous a whiskey

benediction as any anyone might
at any moment swallow igual a

zopilotes volando alrededor
de la hueca mia en la

cual se contienen los huesos
de un escindimiento al fondo de

lo que yo sé jamás volveré
a ni girar ni tirarme away

1 month ago
2 notes

no one ever told me that with growing older came the burning ache
of knowing i’d never be whole again -

i was never warned that as i traveled the world, suitcase in hand, i’d let little droplets of my finite, finite love fall to the ground and worm their way into the soil to take root,
or that with every friend whose hand i shook, i would be willingly giving myself away.

i wonder if when i am old i will be entirely empty, or if i’ll only regain myself around the people i have left,
or if i’ll have learned to handle this like a grown up
and to miss people properly -
that is, to miss without spreading myself so thin
because with every goodbye, another limb drops off and i
have to learn to walk and then to run without it, and

and now?
i am beside myself and begging for someone to divide my body instead of my affections,
to let me be everywhere in more than just spirit
or to let me be nothing.
i hate to think that i can be torn apart by nothing but distance and time,
no matter how far-flung my head is from my feet.

March 25, 2014

Donner Family Diaries

I hung myself
from the tree of life, for you

I guess I didn’t have too
much to complain about-

Yggdrasil smells lovely
in the spring time,

like a kitchen window in Pompeii
The street lights have nothing

kind to share about their
towering cousins over

the baseball field- blow hards,
tellers of tall tales-

and the patio heaters scorn
them all as shallow

It makes sense that people,
stranded in the desert,

turn to eating each other
I barely resist eating myself

for the haughty glory of the pines,
for as much as they may water this pit

it’s damn sure a desert- and you
look good enough to eat

3 weeks ago
5 notes

March 22, 2014

Writing in a bar- backdating

Peen and quartz

"For a long time now I
haven’t been I.” It seems

and has seemed,
for a terrible span,

a fools errand to seek myself
in my own words Even

in the words of another,
more steeped in this disquiet

than I Bones seep through
the space between them Unavoidably,

these beautiful francophones call
the desert wind that rattles what

there may remain of footprints,
heels, spittle against the dawn

rocks that shatter in to grey
shards of disappointment-

there was contained nothing more
brittle and fleeting than granite

sherds- hard, unsettling and common
Only what you’d always find between

things- peen and quartz, time and
the slow drip of wounds,

the bottom of a glass and quiet
subservience to where you are

I has been lost in desert
stones now for some time

and they go shattering,
disconsolately, seeking me

3 weeks ago
3 notes
Survival, not quite the opposite of melancholia, but what melancholia puts in suspension- requires redirecting rage against the lost other, defiling the sanctity of the dead for the purposes of life, raging against the dead in order not to join them
Judith Butler, The Psychic Life of Power
4 weeks ago
2 notes
Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write.
Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge
1 month ago
3 notes

2/16/2014- Or evening, drinking, post Valentine’s Day

Biographizing:

So I’m the kind of person who goes to bars alone. Not to meet people, not to garner sympathy, not to stare longingly at couples or groups or strangers, which is not to say that I don’t appreciate a long sip of someone beautiful that walks through my view, but usually just to read. I don’t know if this is something that I will every be able to explain but, while reading alone makes up an unbelievably large part of my life (remember, I am a PhD student), there is something unwaveringly comforting about setting awash in yet imbalanced life while sorting through a book. It reminds you of the recursive, reflective process that is writing and reading and living and being lived and being and knowing that all of that is happening at any one moment. Which is how I spent most of the evening.

And I can’t understand if that is strange or not. I overhear such astounding conversations- from the most mundane monotonized relations of life to the complaints of those who follow and clean after the monotonizer (remember, I also speak Spanish and live in SoCal) to the most frustrating and directionless juegos machistas that can only serve to show that you know and want to know nothing of the people around you- that I usually can’t even when I’m in the company of my friends and colleagues. Where does anyone learn this and how do they come to think that instead of showing the boundless love that they have for their friends, charmed as they should be just to have them, they should strive to be so much more….intimidating? than them?

I am fortunate enough to teach (for my pay as much as my tuition) Spanish to undergraduates and on Friday, the poor things, I gave them a test, the third out of four excluding the final. I had intended to write them little cards deprecating the sheer audacity and artificiality of Valentines Day but didn’t have time. So, instead, I bought them chocolates and simply told them a bit of what I think. Celebrate what you choose to but, remember, we should always-already be loving everyone in our lives. I am bad at this, because I am a hermit, but I love all of you. And everyone else, regardless of whether or not they may read this. I feel hateful and violent and angry more than I’d like but, when I am calm when I am centered when I am thinking and when I am not, the core is always love. And I told them as much. We should always love everyone, every day, without Hallmark telling us to. And if our love can fit in a card without surpassing so violently its boundaries that the entire gesture ends empty then I fear we have done something wrong.  

I don’t usually know what to say. About most things and to most people. I am shy and I am depressed, more often than not, but I am in awe of all of you. So much manipulative, poisonous capitalist nonsense has become so much of our lives that I am so afraid to just tell strangers that I love that they spoke to me that it makes me sick. Every little piece of what we live is so regulated and watched and belittled and categorized that I can’t get past the fact that the best part of the evening was that I had a longish conversation with someone who I see weekly, when I buy beer from him, and that it was something I hadn’t done before. Why do we let this biopolitical oversaturation of our lives ruin us? How is it that we are so willing to be consumed by our glimmering, backlit future that we can’t stop to question why this deaf progress is so important to us?

I realized long ago that, when I write, I am trying to define-by-encompassing a throbbing hole in the center of me. It’s no lacanian desire, nothing that I spin frustrated around- rather, it’s something that I am constantly reaching through towards other people that spin around it with me. It is me and every time I try and touch someone near me I must reach through it but I want to know what it is. I want answers. I want what it gives me to try and overcome this alienating neurosis and hold someone else. I want you. And I want to know what I am. And so I write because the best way to paint infinity is to paint everything that is infinite because, when everything is painted, we can see what isn’t there.

And I guess that’s been on my mind. And I hope you’re doing so, so, so well. And I love you. How are you?

1 month ago
9 notes