Sunday, February 18, 2007

Un-fruthered and furlong

Sometimes, rooftops strike up their own mindsets, and produce cotton balls out of the sky - it's really much nicer than we think, but bad music still bothers me sometimes. After a while though, bad starts sounding like more syllables, stars look moving, and there's an owl up the top, heavy, fake, false-toothed, without a grin. I wonder, if people are watching me through it as I dance about with less care than you need be aware of, less flirt, more appreciation of the lack of modesty nobody really has. I wonder, if anything ever went on, or wrong. If anything ever actually ever evered. Maybe Eve would know, but she appears quite dead, if ever existent.
I am sure missing cannot be a described emotion that doctors give you- what do they know, them crackpotted plants. Quotes don't come so easily these days - but I've found your perfect replacement. Although in truth he isn't, he doesn't know how, he doesn't know why, or who the pictures say you are, or me, really - we're just tangled in bad singing, and Lou Reed, and how he sings worse than Bob Dylan, and me, and me, and I. And I sleep while dreaming - awake and loving a giraffe. We have no babies, and hell if we can make them. Or up.
Sometimes, I believe that these days do not exist. You are not here to validate them.
I am not - knotted to the noteworthy nightingale, who doesn't sing in the desert, or here, or here in the desert - I never liked it anyway, damn birds - they're all yours, all yours, I just want to keep breathing in their rain, and my cancer.
Carolyn Forche has cancer. Maybe that's the way all poets have to go. We take little care. I'm not a poet, either. I'm not either either. I am dangling off a lampshade, hoping to reach the switch, but like Sysiphus, I am just a bit too tricky.
I hope one day, I will write to you with just the purpose of saying I'm in love.
For now, I keep feeling little, but complacently so.


Response by Claire Shefchik:

There are times when far is the best one can do under a circumstance that by no fault of its own allows closeness to cloy. These are as follows, on the queen battleship on the waves' crown, in the cabin, and at the gold-leafed station of the heart. I take everything with me. The rolling, the rolling, the rollingstone. And a mossy pebble for walking. A birch cane in the toad-hole.
Some days there are so many streets in foreign cities I picture us walking on that I can do nothing but eat a bowl of chili. Winter is a winner here, a frozen panting sculpture of a swan that you can buy in stores. It's the beginning of rest, the buri-ment of anxieties and insecurities that are hidden in the place below that it occurred to me once last week will be always.
Last night our chef went to Tucson and I cried for her to be there. And that could only be mine, mine to miss and win, and to admit that there are things that can be both, the jeweled scepters from the horseshoe times. And until I can allow, one autumn, to cry for someplace that once long ago was new, there will nothing heal. And right now in southern times there is sun and girls are singing there next to cacti and bicycles and young unicorns with ruby eyes, and all this is on what I have closed my eyes, and yet I know that I am capable of making at least one decision that I don't regret, rue or lament. So from the stone circle I have returned to winter, and this is the best I have done.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Once upon a sunday times.

My sunburn is a thirty nine year old Jewish man from Tacoma, who wants
to meet me while I play guitar. What have I come to, I ask and there
is very little I can not answer, just this, only this, only how many
rings can one finger bear, how many ear-drums will pop before I know
it. How many times underground philosophers lick the floors of their
respective buildings, sweep away the dustpans, kiss women of their
You haven't a clue either I assume, so I'm counting, one, two, three,
and up to eighty-seven, up to when the number is ahead of my
grandmother's age, and I can stop quoting song lyrics, although I
haven't even tried.
Only answer what you can behold, only what I already know. Look upside
down when you do, and eat bagels with low-fat Philadelphia™ cream
cheese and lox. Don't call it salmon. It is not fish. It is my tribute
to bacon, just more expensive, more and more, only when I would like
to cut down on my forks. On the gas miles of the bicycle I don't own.
Theme songs are ordinary. But then again, John Williams is still alive.


Response by Claire Shefchik:

I'm not sure I know how to sing anymore, but still my voice comes out. A classically-trained gift with no practical use, it sits in the sun, drinking it in, producing oxygen like a plant. I once had a heroine who did that, and she loved someone I still do. But he's not anymore, he's dead and gone in almost every way someone can be-- in paper, on the ground, under a tummy, deep in the synapses I keep snapped shut. I'm trying to improve my vocabulary, but I have nothing to talk about. Can you help me tell more stories that never tell the story? I have too many not to arise and come out. When did paper become my only medium?
Last night I revisited my thirteen-year-old meditations. They evolved from hurt and angst, to puppy love, to meditations on faith and survival, to hope. They lasted until someone arrived that made me hope for something different, a new file, under a changed category. Strike me and melt me on the floor, that growing girl's been struck. Have you gone down to the cellar lately, or the caves? Have you lit a candle for the past? It was really more like a dream than anything else, minus red, minus costumes, minus that twisted take on ancient Rome I stole and never gave back. They were all there, again, with a crowd, not quite on the stage, but not off it, either. Half the living cast. And I sat on the bar and was the heroine again, regressed, the ingenue kicking my sandal feet, watching. Sixteen.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Witness (by Claire Shefchik)

I've been sifting and measuring down on the windward side of the mountain. Flagstaff is not in Arizona. Flagstaff looks like West Duluth on an Easter morning, with wooden-porched houses and German short-haired pointers in front. I am trying to be alone; I am trying to remember what it was like to be alone in a place nobody knew. If you are in a strange place, you need to come home and show me why. If this goes, I have broken that tenuous link between the new place and the old, except that maybe having a past there is actually that bloody badge of legitimacy and nativity I've been craving. I need you to greet white monuments for me; I need you to gobble up stone for me on the steps of la Scala. I won't ask for anything. I'm tired of asking, but most of all I'm tired of getting. If I faded into a cairn at Newgrange, maybe they would no longer see me; maybe my breasts and lips and legs would turn as hard as the stone; as the earth. And quiet would return. And how to return there, to see a place I know but have never seen? My mother told me it was OK. My mother told me I was fine. My mother told me that I might have to break free. And you would witness another new cradled stage in me; the one that only looks backward, at what I cannot keep but cannot discard. In the fall, in the bed, in the garden, in the house, you would witness.



Response by Marina Kaganova:

For thirty seconds I thought nail polish covered my fingers in blood, but then I woke up. I only find that amusing when someone asks me about poets and countries. In Austria the cardborad cut-outs of Mozart holding his candy balls cut me open, even if I was smiling. I could have waited, and I could have tried to only go to three cities, but I could never pick them out of the crowded map. Your mother and mine might have met, but they never did. Shame, but maybe at one of our weddings. I think of these things now, and how you can occupy your place in mine, should it happen, should it happen late, or should it be sudden. I think of how mixed things always are. Will we ever be filtered, or is it always someone else? Bad music can't even answer to itself, let alone me, let alone you, even if we are both there, and my journal is floating up and down a cold stream in the middle of a furry forest.
Someone will obviously become wiser and see more things. But for now,
I'm filling up my ashtray, and hoping more of it is leafy.


Noticing things.

While I have been absorbing the tedius nature of romance novels, I
realized how much I appreciated Virginia Woolf. I plan too, for better
days, although they generally seem to swallow each other, and I like
it that way because I need the encouragement. I do agree, of course,
although noseplugs tend to break - so you gotta make sure to have as
many as possible. Canada sounds like a can of soda. In fact, for all I
know it may barely exist and be exactly what I said. Yes that's right,
the grand ole city of Norwich is even bigger.
Bigger then my bright red earrings, of course, and hell, but your
birthday present says it has never been touched by your hands before.
One day, when I stop listening to depressing music, I will probably
see canaries in the sun, but for now, I can just jump in my seat in
terror, although I never move at all.
The more likely it is that the bus is empty, the more I dread it,
although I must admit to telling myself I quite like its rickety
danger-line, and how the layer-cake of the ladder-clad bus almost runs
over those cars in the front window.
It reminds me of those times when doves flew into our fron windshield,
and we pretended not to notice.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's not really Horace that makes me wonder, it is Martial, I swear. Part III.

If I had known that two days kill cheap journalists in practically no
time, I would have probably let them go. Screaming is a synonym of
being complacent. Drying your hair in public is the same as licking
blood of a papercut and smiling about it.
I like getting lost in the city, and trying to walk down all the
suspicious alleys, hopeing something would never happen, although it
How is the eyeshadow going, how are those worhtless little bobby pins
doing in your hair? Have you tried stuffing them in somebody's nose
I think I would. I think when we were asleep one night, there was a
thunderstorm, and it made me like white wine over red.
I miss my guitar, and something to play. I think that there is no
value in sleeping past noon, but I do it anyway, until I can't close
my eyes anymore.
I miss the sounds of disagreement. I miss the gloves thrown at my face
and the invitations to the duel. But I will find them here too,
perhaps at a meetingplace.


Response by Claire Shefchik:

My accomplishment for today is discovering the cheapest package deal for a heartbreak weekend. Why have I begun to conduct my life without breathing when I'm between itineraries? I like layovers, and for once I'm actually going to find you in a place I didn't invent yesterday. Cable cars should replace taxis in all instances, and I hope you agree that sleeping on the floor of a Roman hostel is preferable to jumping into Lake Tahoe without a noseplug. Where should we meet? Like Canada, in a place with generic rocks and trees, capable of being painted red, or more likely purple as you wish.

What am particularly reminicsing about right now is the way you used to get me the hell out of here, to touch trees and wade through bogs full of drowning mayflies. Most of the time I would have preferred Ballycastle, or failing that, the Painted Desert. But everything can be portrayed accurately by a good slap of kid leather.

You aren't eating too many porkpies, are you? Because that would be something I cannot endorse, especially when they're overbaked. And just to warn you, you won't be able to find corn syrup anywhere.


It's not really Horace that makes me wonder, it is Martial, I swear. Part II.

Don't you remember those cute brainwashers - god I wish I had one, but
then again. You know how you're a virgin the same way my father is
Lenin although I suppose all could be and when I feel that people hate
me, I just stare at my fingers - and I actually cut one. It doesn't
hurt of course, but all I've had to eat is seventy percent chocolate.
A pint of Grolsh went down into me after a gin and tonic, and I told
him all I was thinking and how I don't care that she's cold because
she's the one who refuses to wear things, not I, not I, never I, but
why is it always me?
He got real sad and hurt and tried leaving but I said stop and i said
no we shouldn't be like that, and then we weren't. Sometimes I wish I
loved someone and got distracted, so lost and away that I would give
less than a threepence about making everyone happy.
We're going to listen to jazz tonight, and I'm going to like it, even
if I am just eighteen.


Response by Claire Shefchik:

If I were you I'd like to dream about jazz for three nights out of five, and take the empire builder across the other ocean. I discovered that the only sign of real rebellion is to keep my hand down when the professor asks who is rebellious. However it does not make me popular; rather intensifies all hatred for girls who wear pink across their faces and are smarter than me in spite of it.

If only I could share all my knowledge of ancient Greece and the women who moved it, I might be able to get a good meal for once. I am the directress of the class today, watching my love story stabbed on the screen amid laughter.
Walking home crying will do me no good. Tonight I defended the placeyou camped in the spring and thought about moving back. To starve is to live in Europe; to go west is to know nobody.
And if I try to talk about Ireland it comes out in tongues.


It's not really Horace that makes me wonder, it is Martial, I swear. Part I.

Actually, you know what's indulging?
Well, I couldn't tell you even though chocolate soymilk sounds good
and as long as I've got me some Baudelaire I should be lovely.
Everyone's named Clive if they have grey hair, and if not, well they
should be Clive anyway, because I say it sounds advanced, although
In any case, it's been rolling like a gel-pen, and nobody really wants
to know the goings-on of my whereabouts.
Jane Austen wrote some long novels, and for the sake of having
half-blooded Americans in a class in Britain, who cares if she could
have been a midget?
To the extent that I am shy, I suppose I can buy books and throw them
into toilet paper bins. God, I cannot write prose for the life of me,
especially if the guy's name is Jack.
I think men have died off, and I should stop running to the red phone
booth at four in the morning.
Forever is only a measure when I say I like crumpets. Peanut butter
sometimes is just too pale. Although other times, it doesn't go with
grapefruit marmalade - but does it ever, really.
Sometimes, if I were posh, I think, I would just screwdrive the wine
coolers into people's skulls, and stop them from drinking Budweiser on
a good day, although it does rain a lot.
I have a pan now!
That gives possibilities that you probably don't comprehend, mainly
because I do enjoy omletes, and to tell the truth, I am tired.


Response by Claire Shefchik:

From the time of eight seasons, there's never been a day when I haven't been working. And always there are foreign voices outside the door; up the stairs; some kind of Slovakian box social that goes on without bending; and I'm hungry. Don't ask me to explain my hang-ups about eating; drinking is acceptable; sex does not exist. I am a virgin a virgin a virgin. And I would do anything for a lobster bisque.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Let me tell you, sister.

We're not eleven these days, I'm not seventeen either, although I guess you were around when that changed. Maybe there's not much I need from you to be a warm buttefly, because here's the truth: I probably just don't. I've gotten by and by, and I know where we're riverbanks. You like fairy-tales and mischief. Call it vengeance or mysticism or even romanticality if you can. I am addicted to this bore, the reality of wherever. I breathe it and I hope I never escape. There isn't a good morning coffee in bed in here, not yet, and I am getting tired.
Listen: I am Kurt Vonnegut, even though he's an old man by now, and he's an actual writer. That's not the point though.
I tried hugging the grand scale of things, but it slid out because it was just too big. I even tried selling my ears to the joker, but I found hearing difficult that way. You know, maybe we're just sailing along, and it's time to look out for roaches. Maybe when we saw that sunrise we didn't really get it for what it was. It was Nut swallowing Ra in his little boat, and giving him birth again in the dark. We could've known just then how easy autumn leaves are when they fall. Although so many never saw that.
We do know more about snow than most others. We've tasted it too, with our separate buds, and I suppose that's enough for our smiles.
Paris is a city of heretics, and for sudden girls like us, it's really no place.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I Enjoy Colors.

The title has nothing to do with me, and everyone's updating like their mothers' socks, so here I am, and I'm not giving up. I thought weekending was a hobby, but it's turned into a pass time for the elders. I like rambling, but I bet you never knew that.
Did I mention that personal statements are a bitch but as long as I'm writing I'll just keep going with it.
Asking me questions is probably not a good idea, and I would like to be a make-upper, although that's probably lower on my scale of engagements for the undead.
I enjoy ridiculous nail polish. Yes indeed, that and the color of my blander jackets, although I can never name it.
You know, I don't think we're anything closer than little jellybeans on a frying pan, but who knows. They can melt together too, as much as I hate when that happens.
I am pretty sure most people forget what they're thinking before they open their mouths, hence the lack of coherent judgement, but I do the opposite and the result is still much closer to the burnt candle on the verge of corrosion than I would have liked.
What's there to consider?
I'm just a bright green snowflake in a glass of lukewarm water.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Grammar is My Pony.

I think that there's gotta be some radius deficiency somewhere, but you never know
and I don't eat enough anyways, nor do I drink enough water, but what's there to do about that? Maybe I can spend my money on a body builder boyfriend. Fuck him.
I've planned more than your grandma's brother when he was getting married and spilled soup all over the maid of honor - who was a man anyways - or at least will be for me, and I just want to stay in and be alone. The minute I do that though, and VROOM I'm fucking lonely and crying all over the dashboard to happy songs.
What is wrong with me? I have absolutely no clue and I suppose, screw it, although all I really want is a love letter.
I am not very career oriented, and I am sorry, because no accomplishment brings me much pleasure, just bragging material. And I don't even give a shit. Smile at your table and I'll roll on and see if I can get to my car before you call me.
Looks like I'm always winning.
Goddamn orange peels.