I can’t help but think of her when I braid my hair. And the day she taught me. Or the day she read me an angry poem about how I was stealing her identity. Funny how the interweaving of hair strands could arouse in her a fear of enmeshment. Meanwhile I was desperate to braid my hair every day. To give to myself what she could not: togetherness.
A summer had gone by since she’d written in the book, since she’d felt even the smallest glimmer of desire to look at it. From spring to autumn, it sat on the shelf hosting dust mite symposia and nothing else. More than a few of the mites had, in the process, acquired a deeper sense of meaning in their tiny lives just by perching on the cover, gnawing through the title page, while others still found simple contentment floating mindlessly in the sun beams that poured through Anna’s bedroom window.
It was November when circumstance finally pushed her back into the writing chair, when the silent approach of winter hung still in the doorway. Fall had come in a flash, almost without salutation. All at once the leaves yellowed and the skies grew awfully grey.
The day she returned to the book the weather proved rather mild. The wind moved like laughter through the air. And the moon had come out well before curtain call.
By this time, the Quartet had left House du Petit, no doubt in search of warmer climes–more specifically the climes of an invisible Hawaiian island, where, according to Anna, a stale apple pie spoke at length of humanity’s worst mistakes, and the honeybees were as big as your fist.
Meanwhile Anna had returned to the Midwest, hoping to lead some semblance of a normal life. The Shaman saw to it that she wouldn’t–and it was precisely his interference, an ongoing and increasingly vivid campaign of dream transmissions, that prompted her to sit down and finally write once more.
After all, the Book of Pie would not finish itself.
It’s sunny out.
As I am not especially sad today,
There is little impetus
For the written word.
But to look at suffering,
I say this,
I have allowed too many strangers
To find their way into my camp
Familiarize themselves with my altar,
Lay their heads upon it
And turn my crystals to ash,
My shells to dust,
My idols to emptiness.
When they leave,
And I peer upon the ruins,
I see only the sad remains
Of failed attempts
At true love.
When praying goes wrong,
And my words fall on deaf ears,
When the sacred soft animal
Of my body is desecrated,
I must offer grace.
I must heed the words
Of that still small voice,
Which tells me to stand up
On the porch
On a sunny day like today
And give thanks for this life,
Rather than rage,
Rather than ruin.
My altar is not for stomping,
My heart is not for dragging
If you will not hold it,
I will gladly take it and place it once more
In its right position,
At the center of me.
Now is the autumn of my discontent
My being I
I being this ailing world
And within it
A speck called me.
Browned in vein.
To the tired earth.
The grey sky looks blue when you’re yellow.
I hope the rain cradles you
And makes you new.
Want to know something about the Shaman?
He’s not Jesus. He’s just a guy who stumbled by accident upon the waters of eternal life.
Making pie is not about immortality.
It is about leaving his burdens behind.
Getting out of his mind.
Away from himself.
From his sins.
But his past isn’t going anywhere.
It’s as present as the noon day sun hanging over the Pacific.
He wakes up and faces it every morning.
It’s his cross to bear.
And Anna has not come to set him free,
Nor has he come to enlighten her.
Of this we can be certain:
The two have things to learn from each other.
For they are more alike than either know.
I could be
Visions of suicide
Take me away
Help me erase.
What else is there to say of this world? It could be said that Italians do not eat peanut butter, that love is not what we think it is, that sex and music are humans’ two greatest languages, that blackberries have no qualms with blueberries, and spider wasps provide great metaphors.
It could be said that magic is real, that a girl with loose auburn curls and the smile of a child could easily arouse it in your life, but that it takes considerable effort and intention to arouse it within yourself.
It could be said that a cherry pie knows everyone’s deepest secrets and still has room left for filling, or that hamsters — given the right diet — could make an entire island invisible.
It could be said that the Shaman is actually the second coming of Jesus. But it could also be said that he’s a lunatic with a weird grin and a past too sad for movies.
It could be said that a caterpillar must become soup before transforming into a butterfly, that disrupting the process could ruin everything.
It could be said that she is happy, and fulfilled, and that you have no idea what’s real anymore.
It could be said that the wheel is finally grinding to a halt, and that something else is there winking at you.
It could be said that I am not a writer at all, but an animated clump of flesh that will one day make a great dinner for a family of worms. And that any attempt I make to articulate the seering mystery of things is about as useful as a carton of old milk. It’s not going to do you any good for me to tell you how to live your life.
I was a child once.
Big nebulous dreams
Some of them nightmares. And that child has grown into a tangled mess of paradoxes. She’s basically a box of Christmas lights wrapped in garden hoses. She’s basically the human version of an alien. Her curls have been known to pick up radio transmissions from space, and every one of them sounds like Don Knotts playing the washboard.
Zero is more of a number then ten will ever be.
Twin flames are real but that doesn’t matter much at all.
Sometimes angels will tell you important things but you’re addicted to your cell phone so you’ll miss most of it.
Sometimes you write in the second person when referring to yourself.
I could be