A Final Note

Harboring a twitch

And the jangle of a charm

The wind chimed in

With a long, hearty sigh

A sigh that swept over the river bank

Where I hid something for you

The spire of a pink jute

Its pretty aperture

Of creekbed purple

And the gay flap of petrified mycelia

The shake, rattle, and roll

Of some crooked sycamore

Hanging over the water

And the haw-haws 

Of three wise crows

Wings black as umbra

Their flights, graceful and delicate

A rising and a falling.

I sat down there

On the deck

Just waiting

I could have sworn I heard you

Whisper my name

Behind some thin rusted veil

Like mice in the wall

A murmur

A squeak

A chasm between us.

A restless clamoring

Of heart beat,

And the trembling steam of peppermint tea,

I spent my day like this

Down at the farm

Where I hid something for you

A note

Somewhere between the rocks and the reeds

But to be honest with you

The river may have swallowed it whole.

Sorry.

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I AM WHOLE. I AM WHOLE. BY FUCKING GOD I AM WHOLE.

She was a tender angel with a pouty lip. A little cutie baby with a name she didn’t know yet. And that name was Zoey….

Something feels different today. A shift has occurred.

I feel lighter. I feel intent on my purpose.

I feel beautiful. And cute. And kind. And open to growing and learning from my mistakes.

I feel love from within and without.

I ran through the woods with the doggies, dodging from tree to tree as fast as I could.

I felt like a child. Like a beautiful, whimsical child. Something beautiful is happening to me.

I can feel this little girl inside of me blossoming into a young, self-assured woman. And I just can’t begin to describe how that feels.

Tonight, the sky was a purple ribbon. I pulled it down and tied a neat bow in my curls. I am one with the Moon. I am one with the Sea. I am one with all things.

I am really happy. And maybe it’s because I have reached a new level of depth and beauty in my personality. Maybe it’s because I sense that I’m growing, becoming whole.

I was on a walk today and I felt something creep in: a touch of magic, a taste of the divine, the world grew larger in my eyes and I felt my skin expand to new lengths; lengths that engulf all things around me: dogs, shrubs, oaks, moss, lichen, birds. Everything.

There are books in my future; financial security; and good good love. And boy am I excited to leave the past behind; always honoring the wounded girl from whom I have evolved.

She deserves so much love. So much care and celebration. What an incredible girl she is. So creative. So cute. So caring and kind. Such a big heart. My mother’s heart. She has my mother’s heart. And my father’s bravery. She is as big as the Moon, and bright as the Sun. She is the well from which I drink. The spring from which I spring. The source from which I leap into the cosmos, into my place in the Tapestry of Life.

Gosh.

I’m not going to cry because it honestly feels so good. But listen you guys. I have strived so hard to get to this place. I have sacrificed so much. Let go of so much. Allowed so much psychic pain to flood through me. And now here I am. Alive. Beautiful. Confident.

On the precipice of my great girlish dreams; the ones that filled my heart and imagination as a child, as a young girl who didn’t even know she was a girl; a girl who had accepted all that the world placed upon her small shoulders. But what a cutie. What a big lover. What a poet and a dreamer. What a whimsical little lady. What eyes she has for this world.

And I am her, and she is me. And the Child and the Adult have, after so long, become one.

Tonight I danced in the wind. I laughed to myself. And told the doggies I loved them. I am growing into a strong young woman of trans and queer experience.

And here’s another kicker: I HAVE THE GREATEST COMMUNITY AROUND ME.

My friends are all lovers. Lovers all friends. It manifests differently in each relationship. But the consistent force is an undying love that refuses to remain static, a love that grows from itself, that remains open and flowing. A love capable of smashing all barriers and engulfing all the shadows. A love that extends outward in all directions. From me to you.

And here is the simple answer to the modern problem of differentiation, resolved after so long spent searching: love yourself so deeply you are willing to go far into discomfort, into the darkness, into all the places inside of you that go bump in the night, all the places you have refused to explore. Love yourself so deeply that you are willing to be completely transformed by the sheer force, the sheer breadth, the sheer magic, and the sheer terror of the world. Allow yourself to learn and grow and change. Give yourself the gift of taking things slow. Of not rushing. See your beauty as it exists beyond the realm of productivity and finance. Be willing to speak your truth. AND EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, BE WILLING TO QUIET DOWN AND RECEIVE OTHERS’. This will transform your life. This will bridge the gaps of difference. This will enable you to see the Divine in all beings and to evolve your state of mind until it is pregnant with as much understanding as one brain can possibly handle. 

Listen:
Self-love is not easy. For it begins in the realm of uncertainty. It begins with acknowledging that you’re not quite sure how to do it. You’re not quite sure what it means. And if you are, oh my GOD I am SO proud of and happy for you, because there is no greater blessing than to know you are capable of growing, of humbling yourself, and feeling real, visceral love inside your own body.

Listen:
I am a woman. I am trans. I am queer. I am non-binary. I am androgynous. I am spiritual. I am revolutionary. I am ME.

And oh my gosh, my loves, it feels so effing good. Like, what the heck! WHAT. THE. HECK!

So GOOD!

I would not be here now saying this without so many (too many to count) people inspiring me, informing me, impressing me, influencing me, giving of themselves and their genius to me, showing me the way forward simply by the virtue of being fearlessly their own people. WOW. WOWIE. WOWIE. WOW.

I am so blessed. So fortunate. And I am privileged (I do not so much celebrate this privilege as I do seek to understand it as it relates to the world, as it relates to those who do not have the same privileges. And insofar as I see my privileges and am willing to use them to help others, I believe it is important to recognize what I have received in this life; and there is no shortage of them, I recognize that. And I also recognize that every day those without these same privileges struggle to reach the same clarity because they literally don’t have time or space or social resources; they have families, and bills, and so many forces bearing down upon them and it is for them that I write; that I seek to become better). I am privileged in my skin color. I am privileged in my physical attractiveness. I am privileged in my ability to pass as cisgender. I am privileged for having been raised in the third wealthiest county in America. I am privileged for receiving a high-quality, top-notch private education. I am privileged for graduating high school and being able to afford University [and for the financial support I received from my family]. I am privileged for my intellect. And my ability to communicate. I am privileged in my strength. I am privileged in my familial support (BOY AM I PRIVILEGED THERE! Thank you so much to my family for supporting me. You may not understand me. You may look at my life and think, gosh do I not have the slightest clue what she’s doing but I know she is pursuing her happiness and evolution and that makes me happy. I cannot ask you to understand what you have never experienced, but I can thank you for a. trying and b. for accepting me regardless.) I am privileged in too many ways to count. But I will try to count them. And I will try to use each of my privileges in ways that build the bright world I have dreamt of since my earliest youth. I will use every bit of what I have been given to help manifest that utopia. I believe it is possible. Sure, Earth is a big place. But I believe that every human being, given the right circumstances, can find happiness and community. Sure, sure. Maybe there are exceptions (psychopaths, people with Antisocial Personality Disorder, i.e. people who are literally incapable of knowing their pure baby hearts.) But with the right circumstances, anyone can find their way to the path of love. It is only a matter of creating those circumstances (assuming you have the space to do so, and if you don’t, fight nonetheless; KNOW YOU ARE WORTHY OF IT); it is a matter of extending your platform to those whose voices need to be raised higher than yours. It is a matter of knowing you are just one small part in a much larger machine, a beautiful, beautiful, and slightly terrifying machine.

Now. This is a revelation. I feel beautiful. I feel creative. I feel held. I feel celebrated. I feel loved. I feel anxious to meet my future. But! There is a turning point in my life that involves the acceptance and dissolution of self-doubt; a turning point that involves me trusting what it is that I am capable of, what it is that I am connected to. And guess what?

There is a whole world waiting on the other side of that. There is a whole world of learning, and listening, and growing, and growing, and growing, and helping. This is all I want for the world. And for myself.

Something feels different today. Something has shifted. Something new is creeping in, enlarging my heart (not literally thank god, but spiritually, emotionally.) Something powerful, something I have been seeking tenaciously for so so long, is crystallizing inside of me, emerging from the murky muck and the cold depths, rearing its gorgeous head, shouting into the void:

I AM WHOLE. I AM WHOLE. BY FUCKING GOD, BY FUCKING GODDESS, I AM WHOLE.

And insofar as I am whole, I am healthy, I am hallowed, I am holy, I am home. Thank the Beautiful Divine.

I am Home.

A fourth note

There, in the dreaming house,

The wasps played against the window.

Rewind.

To the chicken coop,

To warm eggs fresh from the cloaca.

To coffee on the deck,

When the river was soundless

And the dogs were pancakes against the wood.

We took a walk in the forest,

And bounced on beds of moss.

Does existence precede essence?

You asked,

Among rocks splattered with lichen

Like old dentures drenched in spearmint.

We watched cows pee standing up,

As they are wont to do.

And when the Sun fell down,

I left a note for you

Hidden along the pasture’s edge.

Last I heard it was lost in the bonfire.

Sorry.

 

I’ve Got My Eye On You (An Excerpt)

Willis K. Wheatley, standing on the side of the road with his semi-flaccid penis plopped in the pool of his palm, a steady stream of urine arching up then down into the Earth, smiled the kind of smile you’d see in a Colgate commercial, smiled the kind of smile you’d see on an old man staring down the pink petals of a twenty-year old girl’s rainsoaked garden. But he was not looking at a beaver. He was looking at a magpie perched on a slender slumping tree branch hovering over him like a television microphone. The microphone, positioned as it was, picked up the lazy summer notes of the jibberish-inflicted tune springing from his lips. Mr. Wheatley, a vocalist of highly abstract character, preferred the liberated movement of songs whose lyrics more resembled the rainbow wax scribblings of a six year old than the calculated lines of a Da Vinci.

To the layperson, walking by or perhaps crouched in the bushes beyond the counter-tenor’s line of sight, the jingle would have sounded like the warbled murmurs of a sleep-talker tonguing the folds of his pillow. But it would have felt like a sweet cream trickle of rum raisin in the gut—like a cocoon exploding butterflies in the brain. To Willis K. Wheatley, it was the jolly song of creation, a high and spiritually nuanced expression of his love for the magpie-encrusted forest before him. So locked was he in reverie that the sound of approaching sirens could not disturb the joy of his afternoon micturition. And a joyous relief it was! Though he’d find the comedown less dazzling. So locked was he in the subtle flow of urine-soaked endorphins pleasing his pituitary that he didn’t think to shield his shaft from the acute view of a single police car pulling off the gravel road and parking alongside him.

It took a total of ten minutes for the officers to stuff the counter-tenor into their backseat, cuffed and grumbling, still half singing his tune, secretly hypnotizing the cerebral hind-quarters of his captors. The other quartet members didn’t call him weasel for nothing. He simply had a knack for weaseling his way into your subconscious, lulling you into the lukewarm tides of trance with his glittering vocals. And he had a way of weaseling out too. The cops would soon learn of this, though by the time of their realization Mr. Wheatley will have already made off from the jail with a haughty bag of Columbian fish scale, a fat elbow of Afghan haze, three bottles of Kentucky moonshine, and a corn cob pipe confiscated from a delirious blues musician who spent the days before his incarceration living in the forest, sewing daisy chains into his dreading beard, serenading beds of moss, and bathing dead squirrels in the shimmering stream. Don’t ask why he went to jail. Or how he got his hands on the squirrels, or how they died. It wasn’t made clear in the police report.

Though I suspect that this lack of clarity was owed to the fact that he was simply being a nuisance, and the townsfolk had grown wary of the late night skulking and the muffled wails of his harmonica. And in his delirium the cops found it rather easy to coax him from his forest sanctuary. It’s also possible that he, like Mr. Wheatley, had been rudely interrupted mid-piss and this was reason enough to arrest him. Needless to say, the counter-tenor found no traces of dead squirrel in the evidence locker, much to his chagrin.

Anyways, by the time the cops realized their prisoner was gone, it was far too late. Upon their return to the station, Weasel in tow, the smallest of the three cops, a fat, balding constable who clung to the six wisps of hair that still fell over his forehead, processed the prisoner and pushed him unceremoniously into the seven by eight cell, and said, “I’ve got my eye on you.” When they found he was gone, they were dumbfounded. Having been sitting in plain sight of his cell, discussing what to do with him next, he simply disappeared. After an hour of squabbling over whose fault the escape was, the attending officers decided not to blame themselves. Instead, they consulted the security footage, which they should have done an hour ago. The video, grainy as it was, showed clear as day the counter-tenor sitting pensively in his cell one moment then vanishing the next. Without a loss of frame, he was gone.

“Now you see him,” said the short cop, “Now you don’t.”

What the vertically challenged constable did not know was that immediately following the disappearance, Willis had slipped through the iron bars, climbed onto the cop’s desk, unsheathed his cock once more and rested it gently atop the constable’s polished bald head. Before climbing down, Willis laughed and said, “I’ve got my eye on you.”

A Normal Day (An Excerpt)

For all intents and purposes, it was a normal day. And normal days, as well as abnormal days, tend to start the same way.

Open your eyes, Anna. The waterfall isn’t real. It was only a dream. And this is a normal day. A day like any other day. A day that takes its coffee black. A day that walks its dog to the park and back. A day that has yet to discover its purpose. And one might suppose that a normal day, as well as abnormal days, indeed has a purpose.

Okay, you’re awake. Good. Now wiggle your toes, Anna. Look out the window. There’s a green warbler on the branch outside—it’s got a song for you. Down the stairs, a record is spinning. It is not Lil Richie. And it is not Neil Diamond. And it’s not Velvet Underground. Down the stairs, there’s a plate of eggs sunning on the table. Would you believe your friend made it for you? Would you believe she awoke with your smiling periwinkle eyes twinkling in her mind, and thought she’d do a special thing to make your eyes smile wider? You’re a lucky girl, having friends like that. And she made the eggs just the way you like: a light shower of shredded Colby jack and a quick pinch of picante? Scrambled to milky perfection. A little fluff goes a long way. And so do good friends.

Life is a series of cycles.

We’re born alone. We grow up in a family, a tribe. Then we find ourselves itching for differentiation, a new name, and a vein of expression that is wholly our own. We find ourselves wanting to stand on the feet our mama gave us, prop ourselves up like flamingos in the waxing surf. We find that the pond—this pond that once seemed an ocean—is no longer big enough for us to stretch our big ole fins (to mix metaphors). So we head out. We pack a rucksack. No more sack lunches. No more notes from mommy. Who’s my sweet girl, Anna? I hope you have a wonderful day at school filled with learning and laughs. What a sweetheart that mother of yours, Anna. What a sweetheart. Let’s forget the time in fifth grade when Suzie Bondalucci looked over your shoulder at the lunch table as you exhumed that note from its brown paper confines and read it in the shadow of your own curls.

Oh wait. You didn’t have your curls then. You were too young to know you wanted them—that one day they would become as integral to your identity as your journal and signature space pants. You were too young to shuck off the husk of other people’s ideas to assert your own truth—the truth that one day you would grow out your curls and never look back.

So anyways there was Suzie Bondalucci sniggering over your shoulder like an invisible goblin with a lit candle up her butt and a donut in her hand. And there you were, stricken with a mixture of affection and embarrassment. The latter of which was only exacerbated by Suzie reaching over you, snatching the note from your hands, and reading it aloud for the entire cafeteria.

What a bitch that Suzie was. 

Anyways now you’re in the car and the sky looks like a half-finished Jackson Pollock. The highway overpass looks the same as ever. Droll. Drab. Dreary. Gray. Stone. Slats. A rumble of cars passes beneath it like an anthill built dead center between a troll’s legs. The troll in question—the overpass—is collecting its toll as usual; nothing material, simply that for brief moments, drivers have to subject themselves to the possibility that the troll could choose to pop a squat right there on the highway, or perhaps, a car—your car—were to fly right through the barriers as if mimicking its favorite Michael Bay scene, as if rushing to greet the vehicles below, as if smashing like a child’s toy Pontiac into another child’s whole collection of coupes, sedans, four-doors, SUVs, trucks, and go-carts, Lambos, Porsches, and Ferraris—too many foreign cars to be occupying the same roadway at one time unless we were in Italy, on some sundrenched coastal town sliced up by cement serpents rushing toward the sea.

But we’re not in Italy. We’re in America. In Kansas. This is prairies, and foothills, and too many pro-life billboards to count. And it is mundane office parks. And it is suburbia. And for a girl like you, it makes no sense. You stick out like a sore thumb at a pinkies-only party. At the mall, you catch a few too many stares for one human to be justifiably comfortable. Fortunately, you’re not in the mall. You’re in your car. And you’re crying. And you’re thinking about driving your car right off the overpass into westbound traffic. Of course, you’re too afraid to do it. But you’re thinking about it.

Giraffes (An Excerpt)

“If you’re going to get into a fight, you’ve got to do it in style,” Willis once said during a particularly inebriated evening on the veranda of the riverboat. The Moon was a silver dollar fallen from Heaven’s pocket. The coin purse of the cosmos had spilled all the over the good sheets. It was a mess. A beautiful, beautiful mess. On the shore, swaths and swaths of trees trembled amidst roaring waterfalls of wind. They seemed to be celebrating some ancient and heretofore hidden secret, and the time was nearly upon them to share what they knew. There were no giraffes roaming in the dew, but Willis spoke of them anyways. “Giraffes fight with their necks. Did you know that? They use their heads like rocks in socks. Like wrecking balls. Like yoyos gone mad. They’ve taken the head butt and made it into an art form. If you’re wondering who the Leonardo DaVinci of fighting is, it’s not Mohammed Ali, and it’s not Bruce Lee. It’s giraffes. Sweet, sweet giraffes. Stylish all the way through, and when it’s over, it’s over. There’s no contesting, no recounts, no trifles. Can humans say the same?”

At the completion of his monologue, he looked around to find the others had dozed off. Anna had returned to her quarters to read Tolstoy, or was it Dr. Seuss? And the cook was snoring loudly enough to wake the nonexistent giraffes.

Masculinity is an interesting thing.