Friday, November 8, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

on yeast and death

There are three objects decaying in my apartment as I write.

One, a plant that has long since perished after a summer apart and the resulting dehydration.
Two, a jar of sourdough starter that has since developed its own malignant growth.
Three, a pot of chicken pho that was already in the process of decomposition before I started it.

The plant I received as a "feel better" incentive from my parents, who listened as I wailed into the phone after my first lover left me for the second time. Or at least, that's how I tell the story. The Truth of the matter is probably a bit different, but recall was never my strong point, that, plus a few shades of rosy nostalgia and now the photographs exude more blush than sepia. It sits on a wicker side table next to the television. I think that one day I will dispose of it, and I thought that day was long ago, but there it sits, next to the TV, fading into the backdrop of my quotidian life. Except for the times I remember to look, and there it remains, dead. Perhaps the holding on is about a subconscious belief that if I wait long enough it will come back to life.

The jar, a relic of another lover, carried across country with the hope that life could persist despite the distance. A spreading of spores--selective migration--diaspora.  Fed and furnished for the first several beats, the starter grew in size, expanding, in(corp)orated its surroundings, turned raw material into and onto its body. However, forgotten in the far corner of the fridge, what used to fester with potential lied dormant for a year, before two, expiring for lack of air, lack of care, lack of attention to the signs that time was working. A streak of black marks the side of the jar where a new life grows on from the inside, visible to me, but now inextricable from the death of the life that birthed it.

The pot of pho will soon be tossed out. Ignited from the remains of a previous performance, the pot marinated bones of fresh flesh, a charred root of ginger, the singed outer layer of an onion, and a few stars of anise. The bodies that seeped into the surrounding waters. The comfort in a familiar scent. The warmth as I drank you in on this brisk Fall night. Garnished in fresh scallions and cilantro: there was life here. But leaves wilt, fat floats, and I am still hungry for more.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


you looked at me like fall light
always askance, never direct
with a warm golden linger
that relieved the harsh summers
and so I always seemed to warm to you
golden by refraction, diffuse.
you fed me through hibernation
folded into me like the break
rushing back to equilibrium
in the wake of a gliding sailboat
dynamicly cresting and enveloping
the hiss of evening.

in silence we buzz
in stillness we crumble.

And soon it will be winter in your heart
and too in mine
and it will seem serene
blanked over in fresh flakes
a canvas for angels
that mask the ache of decomposition
festering below on concrete
before melting into sewers
into ocean
into spring.

and still
when I hold my breath long enough
if i exhale I still smell you
coming out of me
and in the sweaty mingling of other bodies
i taste you still
it's been two full moons since
we've connected
but i've counted the time
you've been gone in blood shed
from body and onto sheets

and still
there are people on the train
that if I squint my eyes hard enough
and remember how to dream
I see you
in the myopic horizon
where eyelashes flutter
and perception is truth.

And the fog rolls in
with the dewing of the dawn
and the rain begins its fall
and a single leaf will tremble
shaking silence with its shiver
as it learns to let go--
to fall/light
And I swish coffee around my teeth
turning them the color of the ground
the gutter dribbles
as I swallow
and think not of you.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

dead plant.

there is a plant that sits on my coffee table.
it is the plant that my mother sent me
when you went away.
she thought that i needed to take care of
something else
so that I could learn how to take care of
myself again
She did not realize that I had lost myself in
taking care of you.
surprisingly, it lived for two years
through a few hurricanes
though it stayed indoors,
mostly, i think it was resilient
because it was a hefty plant to begin with
had a lot to give
even after losing a lot--
kinda like my very own giving pot
but this summer when i left it
the sun became too hot
it was sucked dry
and now all that's left are a few dried leaves
splayed out in their final moments
looking for sun
but the pot still remains
though life has long left it
and though I have learned to care
for myself again
looking at that dead plant
is somewhat comforting
and I can't seem to shake that feeling
or seem to want to.

Friday, July 12, 2013

things i would tell you if we were speaking:

1. i'm sorry.
2. i miss our conversations
3. you should read about Buber and I and Thou, it would make for good research for your book.
4. your sister emailed me recently. did you know?
5. i might be ready to speak to you again.
6. actually, not, probably not.
7. it's because on some level I know I still love you.
8. maybe i always will?

if i lay here
if i just lay here
would you lie with me
and just forget


last night i could hold you
even though i knew i couldn't hold on long
there was while when i held you
and you fumbled reckless in my arms