the days unsparingly dull
then when they lay down to rest
the dreams like a thriller
replete with all the life they could not have
encouraged to be somebodys
project dependent and broken they
the best about them
self what was 4 keeps
you cannot know them
sealed inside an envelope they
will cut you like paper they
are shredded beyond repair
you wish you could reach them you
wish to have them for tea
locked inside a trauma they
will cut you by accident they
are secretive. precise with words
senseless must they be
i am walking home before midnight
the city crackles with explosives the
heaviest ones shake the ground and
resound against the pop pop pop the
whistling with definite small caliber
gunfire shot off by the rebels
among us. the powder and sulfur
permeates the heat my old traumas
are resurfacing the anxiety is only adrenaline
lit like a fuse. you cannot cancel the fourth
of july. the wonderment in kids faces beneath the bloom
a full moon. ascending receding
block after block. the river the
only stillness tonight. its reflection
captures my imagination
i had to learn how to live all over again, after the trauma. i didn’t completely lose my ability to write or speak or communicate, but it did something to my nervous system, and i could not think clearly. my thought process was fragmented and tangential. my moods stood me up and walked me into altercations. my thoughts put on a show, racing recklessly into the night. i lived this way for several years. 7 years later i am doing well. i am calm and charged and can talk to anyone and look you in the eye. i am not easily triggered into fight or flight or freeze. i give thanks. i dedicate my life to communicating some hope to those who feel hopeless in the world.
why you were left alone so long only the spinning world would know. by now. you know it hurts looking back. you made friends easy and what friends. a formula for trouble and trouble looks like anything but trouble at first.
The right is preaching morality again. Not that the left isn’t. This is not news. The right is taking sides again, damn it. They are halving these lemons with merciless stainless steel knives they sharpen behind smirks and glassy eyes, listening to Limbaugh and talking about handicaps. They are crying now, the right, crying while their daughters work their confidantes into friends into acquaintances and phone lists to drum up a ride to the clinic and some cash for the procedure. Its outpatient. Its dire. It has been weighing on the young girls’ minds for longer than necessary. And the tears fall at around the same time. Early afternoon when the lemons are being spruced up and gutted of seeds for the marinated mountain trouts. His eyes are stinging and he’s crying and laughing as the compatriots rib him over it. Like they always do. Grown man crying. She’s sedated but still more aware than she would like. The nurses told her best to take a mild sedative not a deer in the headlights dose. Why?
Now she knew why. They were right. Because hey, she was still in her body afterwards, and though the seconds were hours, they were gone like seconds and she found herself looking back into the outpatient room almost as though it were too soon to go, unnatural so. She was saying goodbye to the nurses, now. They were trying hard to smile. They were doing it for her. Focused on minimizing the trauma. No one wants this. No one asks for it or deserves it. The right was wrong. The far right. The crazy deadstare lifers with their deadweight x-rate images no one should ever be forced to see. The deadend lifers dead to the daughters of the invisible American family experience. The parents whose lives have turned a difficult turn again, and no it’s not the best time to share. Not the best time to care.
Will it ever be? Maybe. Maybe looking back ten years gone, looking back and apologizing for being absentee to the emotional discord, the spiritual movement flexing inside a young bright star, young girl got screwed and screwed up, misjudged the guy, misjudged the timing, got drunk with her friends and got stupid. Lost alertness… lost a whole lot more. Even with the benevolence of the nurses, the nonjudgment, the suspension of judgment, the carrying out of reduction of harm. The understanding the psychology of trauma and loss and grief. The grounding the girl’s process in smiles and facts and exactness of protocol so as to provide a tight container of love or compassion for someone so young and asking for help, and still learning to love self through the madness of all the bad shit we do and see and have done to us over the years. Some to survive. Others to survive longer. And all of us to endure that steady certain suffering in whatever dose we can take, and then working to stem the tide with our pharmacies by our sides. Crutches are good for a while.
What kind of world could be more intriguing than this mystery mansion with its dead ends and distortions? We witness ourselves and one another, going through contortions.
If the universe is ever expanding then let us be expansive, too, in our generosity and openness, seeing each sunrise as an invitation to explore our communities and discover. This is hard to implement after trauma. I looked inward and outward and realized: becoming bright and friendly and inquisitive, open-hearted again, is one of my secret projects and clocking several years now. The world does not need me. But I am better off in circulation than out.
Those who survived terrific and terrifying scenes of yesterday, survived simply in some cases today and tomorrow by not telling. Like authority or ego outgrowing itself — the truth was irrevocably exposed, and one could feel so out of place. Not making sense, all sense falls away…no grammar, no ruler, no rules. no meticulous edit. no beta.need.care.anymore. without any closure you-they-it has and have found recourse to-from…above-below…this. the very end. the beauty in live-to-tell was not in the telling. it was in not telling. or. surviving and not needing to tell. for now, you and all you have been through are known if not cherished.
another loss -ii
We stayed up all the night long tradin’ EDM cuts and smoking, and kept mostly quiet about all the damage our exes done us, knowing in our hearts the damage we done them, too. This here was as close to the street as I ever got, out of luck on the room I had paid for every week for several months, (someone had spotted my cat and complained, again, pets were not allowed) with the half-promise of a room in West Oakland, from the mouth of a corrupt attorney with one foot in the dope game and high all the time. I had no other recourse, none at all! This was twenty eleven. I had only to be willing to scrub and paint a small room full of furniture and covered in multiple cat stank, and I could stay there for the summer. This was the house of a second attorney, an alcoholic moonlighting as a cat doctor at home, who got in over her head on Magnolia by DeFremery Park. The day I met her she asked if I wanted to make a quick buck, and walked me downtown while instructing me how to serve papers. I remember hesitating as I approached the window, a government agent behind glass, and looked back to get a nudge on from under the wild gray-hair, permanent slouch, and a wandering eye. She offered me a drag off her pint of Southern Comfort on the way home. I was fifty bucks richer, cash, and desperate. My unemployment had finally run dry in this boarding house on 28th @ Telegraph, telling time by Kojak episodes, and my friend whom I shared a room with finally got sick of me or spun out, and bailed. By that time I was already sharing a bed with a punk I met, upstairs, and not around much anymore. On my bicycle most of the days, a Motobecane i had mail-ordered online several months ago, and always brewing pots of some of the finest grounds from Indonesia I procured from Sweet Maria’s down the way, a local coffee distributor a stone’s throw from the Port of Oakland. Didn’t have a job and wasn’t really looking most of the time. PTSD was my common denominator, and divided up my senses, hanging them far and wide by the neck, until dead…
Having to make meaning in life can be hard and worrisome, but if you think about it as a creative endeavor you can get excited and maybe transform the worries and pretrauma of knowin our bodies can only hold us for so long before they wear out, into higher energy feelingstates. Living itself need not be impeded by worry thoughts and despair. So scoop up that pancake and flip it over. It is bubbling and ready. I will sit here, waiting for you, and write a story so simple there are no names.