26 October 2012

House on a hill/San Francisco

Half staring out of the window.

Green tablecloth. Green tea bag. Memory of green eyes.

Perfect level of breeze. Everything is soft and sweet. Music at a perfect volume.

Hills proliferating from here on up, houses spread haphazard but of course not really. Towns and spaces have been carefully planned and petitioned for. This is no slum. Hill houses in Jordan and Mexico aren’t like this. Hills there are to be struggled up and balanced down. Not prime real estate. Here the roofs point perfectly up, windows promise expensive views. Slope up and down in beautiful slants, simple as breath. Colours are nothing to be scared of. But there is a muteness, something traditional lurking, something silently agreed upon that fears deviation from deviation. Something agreed upon as modern and open minded. Something that makes me want to only wear black in the sunshine.

What is behind each window? What allergies, fantasies, letters of complaint, drawers of vitamins, ulcers, sunscreen, junk mail, photographs, pets, doubts, desires, clothes that don’t fit, barely tolerated people, books? House guts. Inside the black bags of Tenderloin’s homeless. Street kids’ rucksacks on the Haight – memorabilia from the family homes they run from and to. Surprise that everything is the same – something to wear, something to drink from. Joy that everything is the same time and time again. And equally different. And what really happens is only ever between people – but again, the same and again different.

From the outside a kiss is a kiss and a kiss only.
From the outside you are unlocking your front door and nothing else.
From the outside a face is gaunt and lost and only that.
Every dot is the present point of an infinite line stretching back and reaching forwards into an infinite web.

Betrayal. Actions mean as little as words. But what is produced? Languages where there are five words for one. Shades. Infinite manipulations. Repeat prescriptions. Memes. Saying I love you one million times and it being the same and different every time. Hundreds of windows and hundreds of tea cups and hundreds of pleases and thank yous.

So if not action and not words then what? If what I say and do do not match and what I say and say do not match and what I do and do do not match then everything is an anomaly, anomalous, unmappable and you will have been right about chaos. But patterns emerge. Habits too but patterns are more interesting.

A house on a hill. A leaf on a tree, a house on a hill, a kiss on the forehead, a leaf on a tree, a house on a hill.

Branches of chain stores all smell the same.

The thousandth time I’ve heard this song.

Turning to you in the morning.

The pitch of a bark.

Recognition. Strangeness. Remembering as tool. Context. Points in space. Another cup of tea. Another inhalation. Boredom. Exhilaration. Everything all at once.

16 October 2012

15 October 2012

Morning, about three weeks ago, Italy

It is just me wondering about irrigation at this time in the morning. How can this damp ground explain itself?

It must have been E who left an overturned tumbler of wine out here in this patch. The sun has made it viscous and blood-like. I pour the drops out onto the cracked land and think of Bible landscapes full of ritual and miracle and life coming from nothing. Distant train sounds like locust swarms.

I check on my trees. I pretend they are mine. I have not yet learned how to surrender my possessive urges. Anagrams. Figs black and withered in rings around the tree, telling time and age. Some small, hard and green, waiting for rhythm. Some, very few, purple and ready - but ultimately lacking heart. I stand in the kitchen and peel the skin, I tear it open and study the inside for as long as I can stand, I eat it up, eyes closed, back to all doors, remembering the sound of cars on the roadside and being invisible and knowing how to use it. Not about meaning. Never anymore about that – experience. The first part of the day. Silence, water, silence again.

A wasp and two giant ants delving into the decapitated head of a silky silver anchovy. Raw on the white plate, twelve fishes, iridescent, sleek as cars in traffic jam sunshine stretching back for miles. Metaphors metaphors. Always a crutch, never exact, never right.

I trap an ant under my mug and immediately let it go. Someone, perhaps the only person I’ve ever hated, did that once and I swore I’d never do it. He caught the ant in the dip in the base of his wine glass and dragged it across the table cloth. The ant died and smeared all over the white paper covering and the man talked and talked and wouldn’t shut up.

Strange sleepiness and pain contributing to this arrangement of thoughts. Still something I can’t understand. Hate hate love and hate again. Sleeping back to back, gorging on hot skin, thin white sheets, green lights.

Things dissipate as people wake up. I am still hated and loved. Other consciousnesses bustle and rise. Mine flips and starts and stalls. Anchovy head still shiny but eaten from inside. Looks the same but feels all different. Others eat up your insides. The wasp curled right into its neck, precise and nasty, knowing the value of what it had. I feel for scavengers though. There is something in that. Being lazy though I’ll never really know or try to find out what. Bed beckons but my thighs are hot and I want eggs. I want a perfect spreadable yolk and a slow morning fuck.

13 October 2012

Fractured West

I have a very short story in the latest issue of Fractured West. It's called 'The Family Cat'. Read it!