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tangled up in blue
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 12:13 pm
A Sad Child

You're sad because you're sad.
It's psychic. It's the age. It's chemical.
Go see a shrink or take a pill,
or hug your sadness like an eyeless doll
you need to sleep.

Well, all children are sad
but some get over it.
Count your blessings. Better than that,
buy a hat. Buy a coat or pet.
Take up dancing to forget.

Forget what?
Your sadness, your shadow,
whatever it was that was done to you
the day of the lawn party
when you came inside flushed with the sun,
your mouth sulky with sugar,
in your new dress with the ribbon
and the ice-cream smear,
and said to yourself in the bathroom,
I am not the favorite child.

My darling, when it comes
right down to it
and the light fails and the fog rolls in
and you're trapped in your overturned body
under a blanket or a burning car,

and the red flame is seeping out of you
and igniting the tarmac beside your head
or else the floor, or else the pillow,
none of us is;
or else we all are.

     —Margaret Atwood

Best you can do is put a leash on it and take it for a walk when it comes calling. Least you can do is put on a warm jacket when the fog comes rolling. Sometimes you can see it from miles off, a dark speck in the distance coming closer, a dampening of clouds on the horizon, sky growing grey at the edges. Other times, all you get is a rustle in the hedges.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/226535.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 07:01 pm

The first cell felt no call to divide.
Fed on abundant salts and sun,
still thin, it simply spread,
rocking on water, clinging to stone,
a film of obliging strength.
Its endoplasmic reticulum
was a thing of incomparable curvaceous length;
its nucleus, Golgi apparatus, RNA
magnificent. With no incidence
of loneliness, inner conflict, or deceit,
no predator nor prey,
it had little to do but thrive,
draw back from any sharp heat
or bitterness, and change its pastel
colors in a kind of song.
We are descendants of the second cell.

     —Sarah Lindsay, Poetry Northwest, Spring & Summer 2012

It is in the nature of multicellular organisms to be divisive. We divide into you and me; the world is us and them.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/226059.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Tuesday, April 02, 2013 @ 05:27 pm
Tree House

Start with a tree,
an old willow with its feet in the water,
and one low branch to let you in
and a higher branch to let you
and a lookout branch to show
how far you've come
(the lake before you,
the woods at your back),

and now you are close
to those who live in these rooms
without walls, without doors:
one nuthatch typing its way up the bark,
two mourning doves calling the sun out of darkness,
three blackbirds folding their wings tipped with sunset,
twelve crows threading the air and stitching
a cape that whirls them away
through the empty sky,

and don't forget the blue heron
stalking the shallows for bluegills,
and don't forget the otter backpaddling past you,
and the turtles perched on the log like shoes
lined up each night in a large family,

and don't forget the owl
who has watched over you
since you were born.

Be the housekeeper of trees,
who have nothing to keep
except silence.

     —Nancy Willard, from The Sea at Truro

"I can't decide whether you should freeze or fry," sings the weather. And though the tune is catchy, the wind whistles its verse too loudly to bear, it stings my ears.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/225807.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 07:44 pm
New Religion

This morning no sound but the loud
breathing of the sea. Suppose that under
all that salt water lived the god
that humans have spent ten thousand years
trawling the heavens for.
We caught the wrong metaphor.
Real space is wet and underneath,
the church of shark and whale and cod.
The noise of those vast lungs
exhaling: the plain chanting of monkfish choirs.
Heaven's not up but down, and hell
is to evaporate in air. Salvation,
to drown and breathe
forever with the sea.

     —Bill Holm, from The Chain Letter of the Soul: New & Selected Poems

Sometimes you meet people and their sudden presence in your life makes so much sense that you wonder how you'd ever gotten by without them. In that moment, a curtain is pulled away from a window you hadn't known existed, and the bright vistas revealed look like home.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/225598.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 02:09 pm
Like every other human being on this planet, I have issues. Trust issues, confidence issues, body issues. They're as much a part of me as my physical attributes. One could argue that they're more a part of me than my physical attributes; my legs never advanced my career, my lower intestine had no part in choosing my friends (though it has done its part in keeping them, considering the culinary capers I've endured with said friends).

I'm an introvert. Some people might view this as an issue, but it's just how I am. The first time a classmate asked for a playdate in the first grade, I said no. I have very little recollection of my grade school years, and I doubt the girl who wanted to be my friend back then remembers the incident either, but my mother does. She'd found it embarrassing. My classmate found other friends. I found that I preferred books to people. I found that people made me uncomfortable.

I made a friend in the third grade. She moved away two years later. My parents sent me to a week-long sleepaway camp to force me to make friends. It was a camp for Chinese kids, a camp for kids who had a hard time making friends, whether it was because their classmates thought they looked funny, or because their parents disapproved of the friends they tried to make, or because, like me, they didn't feel the need to make friends. These are the friends I've kept; at first out of solidarity, now out of habit. I have friends from high school and friends from college, and I can count the ones I'd call from both on one hand.

Needless to say, making it into my friend zone is difficult. The screening process is rigorous and the rewards are kind of meager, given that I decline most social engagements involving people outside of my friend zone and/or occur in places beyond the reach of public transportation. This doesn't mean that I don't value my friendships; it's just that I find social engagements exhausting. I've spent most of this past winter in my house. I make bi-monthly excursions to Harvard Square, but haven't ventured out into Boston proper since maybe Christmas. Winter is my time of insulation.

I'm safe in my house. I'm comfortable here. This is where I know who I am. This is where my books live. That's what makes a home to me. In a world of constant flux, the words in a book don't change. This isn't to say that I'm afraid of change or afraid to change; I'm well aware that change is unavoidable. At some point, I need to move out. At some point, I need to break this holding pattern and set a course. My sister would say that I'm past that point, but she's impatient. She thinks that leaving the comfort zone is a thing that adults should do on a regular basis. I think that the comfort zone is a thing that you should maintain for your own sanity. Mine is small. Every time I leave it, I come back shaken. The risks I take may seem insignificant to most people, but to my perspective, they're magnified. They leave me breathless in a bad way.

I don't believe in pushing. I believe in living at your own pace, and leaving others to live at theirs. I prefer going slow, because it allows me time to think, to consider, to evaluate, to change course if necessary. I wish that more people understood this.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/225474.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Monday, July 02, 2012 @ 01:14 pm
Summer is a full house, siblings home, cousins visiting, aunts and uncles adding to the dinner table. Summer is too much time and not enough energy to deal with it. Dry season and my mind wants for thought. Space for rent; previous occupant melted out ear canals. Time enough for all the things I said I would do, want to do, but the heat rises, asphalt waves cross my vision, and fuck it all I'll just lie here until I die, it's too fucking hot.

It's too hot for people. I don't want to see anyone. It's too hot to think, much less talk, much less remember what to say, what comes after "How are you?" and "I'm good." Casting for conversation on a day so hot fish won't even move to take the bait.

I've been starting awake at 6:30 am. The sun angles itself between the blinds and lights up my sister's sleeping form across the room. It's blinding after whatever dreams I've had in the dark. I don't like this reality where I have to be awake. Lucidity seems overrated when all you do every day is sit and work and pretend that you're doing something worthy, doing something right. You might as well sleep. At least dreams are interesting.

Suffice to say things are back to normal. Same old, nothing new, borrowed smiles, feeling blue.

I'm back to solitary walks along the waterfront and aimlessly wandering the city. I've decided that I prefer being alone. I don't know what to do with people. They're strange and full of expectations.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/225163.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Monday, April 30, 2012 @ 01:46 pm
The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The first track still almost swings. High hat and snare, even
A few bars of sax the stratosphere will singe-out soon enough.

Synthesized strings. Then something like cellophane
Breaking in as if snagged to a shoe. Crinkle and drag. White noise,

Black noise. What must be voices bob up, then drop, like metal shavings
In molasses. So much for us. So much for the flags we bored

Into planets dry as chalk, for the tin cans we filled with fire
And rode like cowboys into all we tried to tame. Listen:

The dark we've only ever imagined now audible, thrumming,
Marbled with static like gristly meat. A chorus of engines churns.

Silence taunts: a dare. Everything that disappears
Disappears as if returning somewhere.

— Tracy K. Smith

Hope dashed like a deer across a clearing.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/224773.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Sunday, April 29, 2012 @ 11:49 pm
Modern Love

And what is love? It is a doll dress’d up
For idleness to cosset, nurse, and dandle;
A thing of soft misnomers, so divine
That silly youth doth think to make itself
Divine by loving, and so goes on
Yawning and doting a whole summer long,
Till Miss’s comb is made a pearl tiara,
And common Wellingtons turn Romeo boots;
Then Cleopatra lives at number seven,
And Antony resides in Brunswick Square.
Fools! if some passions high have warm’d the world,
If Queens and Soldiers have play’d deep for hearts,
It is no reason why such agonies
Should be more common than the growth of weeds.
Fools! make me whole again that weighty pearl
The Queen of Egypt melted, and I’ll say
That ye may love in spite of beaver hats.   

— John Keats

It is often late.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/224739.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

The eyes look front in humans.
Horse or dog could not shoot,

seeing two sides to everything.
Fish, who never shut their eyes,

can swim on their sides, and see
two worlds: blunt dark below;

above, the daggering light.
Round as a burr, the eye

its whole head, the housefly
sees in a whizzing circle.

Human double-barreled eyes,
in their narrow blind trained

forward, hope to shoot and hit
—if they can find it—

the backward-speeding hole
in the Cyclops face of the future.

— May Swenson

Bacon and Beer Fest: unbelievable. Missed Harpoon's bacon bock, but the Notch coffee milk stout release at the Lower Depths was amazing. I love beer. Wish I could've taken more photos, but it was difficult enough juggling tiny plates of food, a tiny tasting cup, and one spork without having to juggle my phone as well. Bacon chocolate milkshake, bacon ice cream, bacon cotton candy, chocolate covered bacon, and straight-up bacon with some kind of crazy amazing sauce on top. I have some business cards but I can't really remember what I ate, because I drank a lot of beer. Then we went for nachos at Sunset and I had a whole pint of Rapscallion honey ale. Good stuff, Rapscallion. There was a decent Irish stout at the fest, but I can't remember where it was from...either High & Mighty or Revival. Pretty sure we missed about half the breweries, but hit 3/4 of the food. Not bad for two hours. Crowd was massive and pushing through it was hella hard.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/224266.html because Livejournal sucks at life.
tangled up in blue
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 11:51 am
The World as It is

No ladders, no descending angels, no voice
out of the whirlwind, no rending
of the veil, or chariot in the sky—only
water rising and falling in breathing springs
and seeping up through limestone, aquifers filling
and flowing over, russet stands of prairie grass
and dark pupils of black-eyed Susans. Only
the fixed and wandering stars: Orion rising sideways,
Jupiter traversing the southwest like a great firefly,
Venus trembling and faceted in the west—and the moon,
appearing suddenly over your shoulder, brimming
and ovoid, ripe with light, lifting slowly, deliberately,
wobbling slightly, while far below, the faithful sea
rises up and follows.

— Carolyn Miller

I could love rings around you, let your gravity pull me apart and scatter me as glittering dust, casting shadows on your face as you tilt toward and away from the sun.

This entry was originally posted at http://bluebombardier.dreamwidth.org/224062.html because Livejournal sucks at life.