Friday, September 01, 2006

ghost on the wall

ghost on the wall
Originally uploaded by equusignis.

The Promise
by Sharon Olds

With the second drink, at the restaurant,
holding hands on the bare table,
we are at it again, renewing our promise
to kill each other. You are drinking gin,
night-blue juniper berry
dissolving in your body, I am drinking Fumé,
chewing its fragrant dirt and smoke, we are
taking on earth, we are part soil already,
and wherever we are, we are also in our
bed, fitted, naked, closely
along each other, half passed out,
after love, drifting back
and forth across the border of consciousness,
our bodies buoyant, clasped. Your hand
tightens on the table. You’re a little afraid
I’ll chicken out. What you do not want
is to lie in a hospital bed for a year
after a stroke, without being able
to think or die, you do not want
to be tied to a chair like your prim grandmother,
cursing. The room is dim around us,
ivory globes, pink curtains
bound at the waist—and outside,
a weightless, luminous, lifted-up
summer twilight. I tell you you do not
know me if you think I will not
kill you. Think how we have floated together
eye to eye, nipple to nipple,
sex to sex, the halves of a creature
drifting up to the lip of matter
and over it—you know me from the bright, blood-
flecked delivery room, if a lion
had you in its jaws I would attack it, if the ropes
binding your soul are your own wrists, I will cut them.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


some days the fabric of my existence is like the surface of watercolor paper, it is rough, fibrous, dry and is tortured into thousands of little divots waiting forlornly for the moisture and pigment of color. when i cannot find my own words and hues to fill this pulpy desert, i turn to others. i turn to the thoughts, words and visions of others like a surrogate embryo looking for a host, looking for something that will nourish me in my moments of barrenness.

on days like these, i lose myself in the streams of images of others, wander through the labyrinths of words and sentences of long dead poets and writers, peer back at my scribbled drawings to see how i might have escaped this sort of black hole in times past. moments of comfort come and leave like tides, shifting the willing sand around my mind's ankles. i stare blankly for long expanses at the rippled sand the water leaves behind before i remember that this is normal, that this too, no matter how strange or uncomfortable, will pass, really.

so again i pick up the brush or the quill and start the cycle over, lay down the washes of pigment, scratch lines into cotton pulpy boards and find myself somewhere in the mix of colors – somewhere between burnt sienna and alizaron crimson. and when dusk comes i'll find bits of myself in the hues of the dying day.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Room of My Life

the room of my life

The Room of My Life
by Anne Sexton

in the room of my life
the objects keep changing.
Ashtrays to cry into,
the suffering brother of the wood walls,
the forty-eight keys of the typewriter
each an eyeball that is never shut,
the books, each a contestant in a beauty contest,
the black chair, a dog coffin made of Naugahyde,
the sockets on the wall
waiting like a cave of bees,
the gold rug
a conversation of heels and toes,
the fireplace
a knife waiting for someone to pick it up,
the sofa, exhausted with the exertion of a whore,
the phone
two flowers taking root in its crotch,
the doors
opening and closing like sea clams,
the lights
poking at me,
lighting up both the soil and the laugh.
The windows,
the starving windows
that drive the trees like nails into my heart.
Each day I feed the world out there
although birds explode
right and left.
I feed the world in here too,
offering the desk puppy biscuits.
However, nothing is just what it seems to be.
My objects dream and wear new costumes,
compelled to, it seems, by all the words in my hands
and the sea that bangs in my throat.

Monday, August 28, 2006

blue woman with turban

Originally uploaded by equusignis.

the stranger came to my dreams again. this time she wore a cerulean turban.

"...I have tried obeying and not obeying laws
and neither has taught me how to climb.
Neither and both are guidelines.
Neither and both will ever fit.
I push words around; the clouds
won't remember it.
Their shadow spreads over other cliffs
and I see someone else on a climb.
She makes it look easy, far away.
Does she claw as I claw? Is this even worthwhile
to do? It's always more full of doubt
and harder
when the climber is you..."

– Susan Minot. FromThe Cliff Crawlers