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and the moment i slept i was swept up in a terrible tremor

(though no longer bereft, how i shook! and i couldn't remember)

2/28/07 05:10 pm

i stare at the body while everyone else cries. my hand is still on the arm, but this isn't her arm anymore, this is an arm and that is a piano and outside there are rocks and she is somewhere else or gone, i don't know which and i suppose i never will. my mother cries and kisses the cheek and it seems absurd to me, but my face doesn't show it because it is slack and numb. the mouth hangs open and i can see into it and it is grotesque, rotted holes where rotted teeth used to be, everything will rot now, i am rotting, i will die, and i wish i could talk to her about it because i know she would have something brilliant to say but she is somewhere else or gone, i don't know wich and i suppose i never will. i am suddenly overwhelmed with contempt for this shell that used to house her, that burdened her for so long and i recoil, my hand snaps back to the rest of me and i resist the urge to spit on it. this is conficted, of course, by my urge to bathe in her slowly thickening blood and build a monument with the drained body impaled at the top because these shells are all we have, this is all i have left of her and something is better than nothing? but it will burn just as she wanted, it will turn to ash and they will run a magnet through the remains to remove any of the metal from the heart's accessories. the funeral director comes and i am the only one that loved her remaining in the room as they switch the body from bed to gourney. the head clumsily drops to the side and the body is jarred when they place the body down and finally cover up the body with a sheet and wheel out the body and i think good, be gone, she's better off without you.

2/25/07 11:30 pm

SIMPSON
ELIZABETH ALLENE (COVENEY)
At her home with her family by her side on Thursday, February 22, 2007. Elizabeth Allene, age 88, of Windgap. Beloved mother of Mollie (Fred) Sam; gramma of Rachael Sam. Mrs. Simpson was a retired Montour High School Teacher. There will be no viewing. Friends invited to a Memorial Service in the First Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights, 50 Stratmore Ave. Crafton Heights on Sunday at 7pm. Friends received at the Church from 5pm to 7pm. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the A.C.L.U. 313 Atwood St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

2/15/07 11:46 pm

there are spaces between my fingers where
i keep your apologies
and space behind my ribcage where i keep your heart
and space between these words for things left
unsaid

were i to read this to you i would pause between each word
and even more between each line

not for emphasis but because, when provided a script,
i still don't know what to say

in the morning lazily tracing the curve of my breast and yawning
you are feline
you are beautiful and i love you most

and when your voice quakes
and i ache and cry

and when my eyes narrow and arms cross (they are
defiant
all of me is defiant
please don't ask me to not be defiant)

28 cigarettes and i am still
here
you are still there
snow falls and water turns to ice

but slick city streets can not hold out sleeping cargo
on fast trains

2/15/07 10:40 pm

from the top of the flight
of the wide, white stairs
through the rest of my life
do you wait for me there?

there's a bell in my ears
there's a wide white roar
drop a bell down the stairs
hear it fall forevermore

drop a bell off of the dock
blot it out in the sea
drowning mute as a rock;
sounding mutiny

there's a light in the wings, hits this system of strings
from the side while they swing;
see the wires, the wires, the wires

and the articulation
in our elbows and knees
makes us buckle as we couple in endless increase
as the audience admires

and the little white dove
made with love, made with love:
made with glue, and a glove, and some pliers

swings a low sickle arc
from its perch in the dark:
settle down
settle down my desire

and the moment i slept i was swept up in a terrible tremor
though no longer bereft, how i shook! and i couldn't remember

then the furthermost shake drove a murdering stake in
and cleft me right down through my center
and i shouldn't say so, but i know that it was then, or never

push me back into a tree
bing my buttons with salt
fill my long ears with bees
praying: please, please, please,
love, you ought not!
no you ought not!

then the system of strings tugs on the tip of my wings
(cut from cardboard and old magazines)
makes me warble and rise like a sparrow
and in the place where i stood there is a circle of wood
a cord or two which you chop and you stack in your barrow

and it is terribly good to carry water and cop wood
streaked with soot, heavy booted and wild-eyed;
as i crash through the rafters
and the ropes and pulleys trail after
and the holiest belfry burns sky-high

then the slow lip of fire moves across the prairie with precision
while, somewhere somewhere with your pliers and glue, you make your first incision
and in a moment of almost-unbearable vision
doubled over with the hunger of lions
'hold me close', cooed the dove
who was stuffed, now, with sawdust and diamonds

i wanted to say: why the long face?
sparrow, perch and play songs of long face
burro, buck and bray songs of long face!
sing: i will swallow your sadness and eat your cold clay
just to lift your long face

and though it may be madness, i will take to the grave
your precious longface
and though our bones they may break, and our souls separate
-why the long face?
and though our bodies recoil from the grip of the soil
-why the long face?

in the trough of the waves
which are pawing like dogs
pitch we, pale-faced and grave,
as i write in my log

then i hear a noise from the hull
seven days out to sea
and it is the damnable bell!

ad it tolls - well, i believe, that it tolls - for me!
it tolls for me!

though my wrists and my waist seemed so easy to break
still, my dear, i would have walked you to the very edge of the water
and they will recognize all the lines of your face
in the face of the daughter of the daughter of my daughter

darling, we will be fine, but what was yours and mine
appears to be a sandcastle that the gibbering wave takes
but it it's all just the same, then will you say my name:
say my name in the morning, so i know when the wave breaks?

i wasn't born of a whistle or milked from a thistle at twilight
no, i was all horns and thorns, sprung out fully formed, know-kneed and upright
so: enough of this terror
we deserve to know light
and grow evermore lighter and lighter
you would have seen me through
but i could not undo that desire

oh-oh, oh-oh-oh desire
oh-oh, oh-oh-oh desire
oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh desire

from the top of the flight
of the wide, white stairs
through the rest of my life
do you wait for me there?

-joanna newsom

2/15/07 08:34 pm

2/2/07 02:49 pm

the longest i've been away from pittsburgh was seven months. from here to baltimore is only a 5 hour drive, and with holiday breaks from school and dropping out of school and christmases and easters and mononucleosis and "this time gramma is going to die" moments it was usually only about two months before i'd end up back on my parent's porch smoking cigarettes and looking at orion's belt like i did since i was 11. i'm not sure how that seven month fluke happened, but it went by mostly unnoticed. and then i was in the car, near the end of the squirrel hill tunnels, with cancer in the shape of a boy sleeping in the passenger seat, telling him to wake up wake up the city skyline is just around this bend! and he didn't care and i realized, for the first time, that i didn't care that he didn't care and when i saw that skyline my heart damn near fucking burst.

do you have a home? i do. i spent 3 years away, sleeping on uncomfortable dorm room couches and floors splattered with gesso and stained mattresses that suspiciously came with the apartment and in the beds of boys who loved me and in the beds of boys i wished would love me and in the beds of boys who couldn't love me and in the beds of girls i wished didn't love me. i paced across carpets and hard wood floors and linoleum and tile in search of a small corner or hallway to sit in and find comfort. i stared at white walls and orange walls and blue walls and exposed brick walls and walls covered in charcoal drawings and peered out of windows at highways and trees and corners and bars and architecture and people, so many fucking people, and wished it would all just spontaneously combust and burn to ash.

when i put my cancer and my pillow back into my saturn and drove away after that visit that was seven months coming i had to pull into a rest stop just after getting on the turnpike and i cried and i didn't want to leave. my hands gripped the steering wheel and my knuckles turned white and of course i couldn't say anything, couldn't say "i don't want cancer and i don't want alien skylines and i don't want to get lost on my way to the post office." we switched seats and he drove the rest of the way back.

tonight i drove over the west end bridge and that beloved city skyline was just to my left. and i looked at the way that the moonlight hits the ppg buildings and smiled. here i am at peace whether i'm sleeping on a friends floor after a party or on my terribly uncomfortable twin bed in the attic. every step i take in crafton heights or lawrenceville or oakland or downtown feels familiar, even if i've never stepped exactly where i am before. this is my home and, although i may leave, i refuse to let seven months pass without a cigarette on my parent's porch again.

1/23/07 01:38 am

here's to trust (and dodging big, ugly, boy-shaped bullets).

1/17/07 04:32 am



please tell me where i can find these shoes. as in RED reebok freestyles. i don't care if they are leather or canvas. i am really close to resorting to craig's list.

1/14/07 09:25 pm

on february 17th, ben and i will be staying at the luxurious Fort Pitt Motel. it is very close to the airport. we will be drankin and smokin and fuckin next to one of these:

(and making s'mores)

and in and around thisssssssssssssssssssssssss:


and my first day of work didn't even suck. my life rules pretty hard lately.

1/12/07 11:28 pm

sunday at noon i have plans to learn how to use the cash register at a place who's store sign looks like this:



part of my job is buying and selling used porn. woah.

the discount is pretty good. it is right on the main stretch of forbes in oakland. i'm pretty sure it's the only used store in oakland and with all the students and such it stays relatively busy but i would still highly appreciate it if you would come in and smile at me and assure me that my soul is still in tact. and i need lunch friends. just don't ask me about video games. i will probably be the short little number swearing under her breath at the register wearing a luxurious navy blue tshirt that says "sell me something" and a headband. i'm actually not that mad about the shirt, it means i don't have to buy work clothes. i will abuse my discount for you, promise. even and/or especially for porn. although i recommend disinfecting it first.
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