i thought i had it but it went flickering off and on again like shoddy electricity or a super big storm. you can have something and then lose it. it’s disturbing but it’s true. so i glued it to the wall where i could keep my eyes on it. i posted it on the mirror, after the glue wore out and it dropped behind a stack of books and papers. i brushed my teeth to the sound of it, foaming at the mouth. one night it swam down the drain. i broke it out of the plumbing system, what a messy affair. i let it dry beside the jade tree, on the windowsill, hoping against hope it would never leave me again. but it fled underground, planting itself beneath the jade. i watered her faithfully, against the wishes of the jade, until the roots took it up and brought her back to me, a flower. i smiled. i picked her off and thread it into my hair. everyone commented how pretty we were, together. then, that spring, the wind carried her away… when i listen very close, i can still hear her calling, my voice, calling for me. that’s when i know i must be alone. and write. -katya mills
trouble pushed a curse off the edge of a busted lip. didn’t care. got home after lights out. escaped into comic books when bliss blew up again. was secretly oversensitive and cried himself to sleep. only little sister knew. courage was taking the brown glass, pushing skateboard through alleys to the vacant lot. smashing bottles on the old brick wall. broken feels so good. all was left of home. all the necessary rules lying there in liquid and why not? culture never did nothing. some day with little sister’s help he would write a letter. hitchhike outta here. find a paper route and a giant wave to surf. santa cruz will do.
tiles hold the sun. skin absorbs the heat. there are patterns in the floors but only the colors make any sense to me. i cannot feel a pattern. i can only hear the music in the colors. i only feel the sun inside my feet. i am july. on my hands and knees. i am not enough without the sun. on my belly. laughing into the pores of earth.
relocating yourself is hard. i was all wound up and so tightly there was no room for a catch, twenty two, or a finger to inch its way between the string and the spool. the risk was decapitation of an innocent digit, say number two, flat on the ground without its curly-q. the tale had a tail. i saw the end of it, too. it was bushy like a cat’s just washed, having dried. the cat was my tiger approaching me now on the bed, after another long night moving more stuff from point a to point b. all crying in his cage earlier, soaking wet. feeling scared and mistreated. now it was long after my usual bedtime and i was the one hurt and crying after the longest of days. finally lying down @ point b. suddenly letting go. the wind took the kite and all, pulling the spool and the string right out of my hand. now we are free. my tiger and his brother approach me. blondie comes up and nestles his head under my ribs. his brother, pitbull aka bunny, settles down on the blanket by my feet. these are the only kids i have. i am suddenly unwound and so happy. the breeze draws in from the window. we are home. we are flying.
I believe it is good to be part of what is to come. Always a change. When you become it, staying exactly with it, they see you embody a movement and you can be credited, thus, you are the movement. This is not without dangers. You may rise and fall. You may lose yourself somewhat. They may disinherit you when the fashions change. I tend to shy from movements which are both conscious and public. I may identify with some, partways…yet I like to create space and step aside into it. I prefer my own rhythms. My own movement. Yet even personality is perilous. Life will go on so — become.
i wrapped my mind around a tree, fell ona bent knee. thoughts illogical, disorganized, scattered within a quarter mile radius of me. i would have to grow the circumference somehow to find some leniency of space. there were harleys, semis, and el caminos blasting through the place. i got tickled by the pavement, sandblasted in the face. i finally had enough. i stood up proud and centered myself, and left my thoughts beneath me. i walked into the middle of this four lane highway crossing a fourteen county spread. all the cars and trucks agreed to stop for me and the gray rabbit, the brown frog, the yellow duck, and the unnamed holy one. when the engines all cut out, we came to understand. we are all in this thing, together.
when all seems lost i look for four walls, some light, a wooden floor, my kittens, a wooden desk, my machine which connects me to the universe. when all seems lost i eat a salad, read a book. i lie to myself that everything will be okay. i get outdoors and stare at the sky. i go to work and get sucked inside office politics. i cherish everyone, especially the ones i least like. when all seems lost, i talk to my friend whose a painter. or another writer. or someone who cannot sing the alphabet. i try not to think. maybe i pray. all may be lost. i write a book about it. all is lost. i don’t care. all is lost. i don’t care. nothing is lost.