New York #6

origin

“I will not walk backward in life.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin

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“brought my drafts today”
My sister stopped wiping down the counter
And looked at me
“What is it?”

“Just a story about some teenagers who run away from home,
Find a body in the woods;
“The sleeping american”
And they wake him up by playing
Led Zeppelin”

She shook her head
“I don’t know if this is good or not”

I sighed
And kicked my vodka back, straight

“What am I supposed to write about?
9/11?? I could do that you know”
“I know”
It was annabel carrying boxes from up stairs
“You could write about the animals that go out in space
Or about a house haunted by a cat
I had a ghost cat once…”
“I don’t know anna That’s a big deal…
No one may like it”

“Well it’s gotta be better than writing about all your exes like Taylor swift”
I looked behind me
And saw Sara walk in carrying her boxes of alcohol
“Maybe”
I started helping my sister clean off tables
And looked outside at the street
I wondered how much
Of our lives would be the same this time next year
New Years
And I wondered if any of us would be
Published yet
Sara was putting film in her camera,
“We have to be a success guys we have to hit it in this decade…”
I looked at Sara and scratched my face
When it hit me …
“What else is there?”
Everyone stopped and looked at me
“There’s nothing else for us
We’ll make it …this is who we are
What else is there?”
And then everyone started laughing
With relief

-end

New York #5

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Origin (unknown)

After Laura’s funeral
I couldn’t write
I couldn’t eat
It was like
I just couldn’t function
I suppose
No one is easily
Prepared for loss

I had all of these drafts
Ready
But I couldn’t turn any of them in …

There was this one lunch
Sara and I had
Sitting in a cafe
About 3 months after ….
The traffic moving outside
I just grabbed a piece of paper
And started writing
And slid it across the table
To her …
She stared
And then wrinkled her nose
And covered the paper with her red hair
Blocking my view
And slid it back to me

This was a lot like texting
I guess
But closer
The time it took to write it out
It felt …closer
And we went on like that
For the course of the meal
We never said a word
We just slid that paper across the table …
and somehow
It was like
A dam broke
And I was able to breathe
Again
For the first time
I cried right there
Beside that old stop light
Where the bbq hut used to be

And Sara walked with me to the
Theatre
where we dropped off my drafts
And then we went home
climbed in bed together
And fell asleep
Nothing else
Just …sleep.

Layers

Is there words…
for a feeling?
A season?
The one where
everything
Comes back against you
Like a tide
that in-between
Of not knowing
And you hold your breath
And you clench your fist
And you look on
Against the sun
Standing on the ledge …
But it doesn’t change
The gravity in that step
Does it?
Where you go from
Not knowing
To knowing 
Or from knowing
To understanding …
What I found there
Was called growing
And the realisation
That
You make me brave

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Your weekly update

I saw my brother
At his job
He’s so in love with that place
I asked him how he was
And he said
“Oh I’m just dying from anticipation
Of Black Friday
I can’t wait
I’m counting down the days
In fact
I found out what I’m
Going to be doing,
Working in electronics”

I looked at him
And said
“Hey that’s great!
Nothing exciting ever happens
In electronics
You’ll see hardly anyone”
He’s probably going to see his dr though,I don’t know.

I went to my Dr recently
I love him
He’s great
After two years maybe three
I have come to the understanding
That I am his youngest patient or client
Everyone else is
just breaking a century
Sometimes
I like to sit there
And pretend I’m Benjamin Button

My Dr is hilarious
He asks me random questions
With a fake amount of concern
Such as
“Oh my
Have you always had that nervous tick? I notice
You have a lot of nervous energy
When you’re sitting..”
And I’m like
“Well yeah doc
I’m an anxious person
We’ve been medicating this for two years…it’s kind of one of the reasons I’m here…remember.”
And then he asks me how my depression is going
And I’m like
I don’t sleep
And he says something like
“Well what about what I gave you for that..?? Did it help”
“Well I kind of quit taking it
But I wasn’t depressed when I took it”
“Well you see it was an anti depressant,so if it was helping…(dramatic hand gestures)
You should probably keep taking this medication you stupid man
What’s the matter with you?
(Fake slaps me)
This is generally how we get along

And then I leave
And as I’m leaving
I hear a voice
Not just any voice
But the voice of a relative
A distant relative
We’re close
Like real close
Like Alabama and Minnesota
The earth and the moon
He is always waving dramatically
And declaring
“That’s my cousin!”
Now I don’t know this man
I have never seen him
I’m sure we must be related
But it’s not a mutual feeling of excitement for me
I try to be social
And nice
But it comes across about as well
As a public stoning

So I just keep walking and wave
And just as I’m walking out the door
I hear
“That’s my cousin!”

Here

feel the light
In the room
Fading
As she stands
In the door
Your heart goes down
In her waves
under her eyes
A lower lip ,
Pulling ,
Two hands together
Sunspots
Burning
In her waistline
She is here
And there is time
And there is space
And there is light

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Portraits Drawn with Tea, Vodka, Whiskey and Ink by Carne Griffiths

New York #4

Artist
It’s said
Always want one thing
We want to be heard
We want to be seen
We want to be understood

we say we feel things
Differently
We see things differently
Things coming together
Just to come apart
Like entropy
The only difference
Between us
And everyone else
Is that we not only see it
We feel it ….
And we are jaded
Sometimes before it even
Happens

A stair case
A closed door
Snow coming through the window
Paint chipping on the walls
You see it all
But you’re outside
Standing with
Sara telling you to go
Take a chance on
Laura
Even after your fight
Your drop down drag out
Fight

God Laura …
Her blonde hair
Pulled back
Her hoodies
And loose clothes
Her violent schedule
Working with
Local theaters
And dance studios
And writing her
Screenplays
You could see the
Scars along the inside
Of her arms …
The first time we slept
Together
She was nervous
It was like a map for me …
Pieces of doors and windows
That only she could open
If she wanted to
Tell the stories
Behind them

But the staircase
And that door
My heart didn’t feel right
There was an echo to its beat
As I walked in
The fan (spinning lazily with a slant)
The heater (burning)
I could hear the shower
On the other side of the door
I opened it…

Doors like boxes
And safes
Hide things
But it’s really just a psychological
Thing because we have the ability
To look inside them
there are always secrets
There will always be secrets
Your father wasn’t the guy
You thought he was
Your wife is a lesbian
Your boss is actually into
Hard core porn
And Herion ….
Secrets are little rooms
That we have a hard time
Opening
But when it opens
It’s open
And all you can do
Is read it
Even though
It sometimes
More often than not
Is like the aftermath of a storm …

the shower (steam and water hissing)
The mirror (fogged over)
The curtain (torn from its hangers)
And Laura …
on the floor (facedown)
Naked
Trapped between the toilet and the sink
She’d suffocated from a seizure ….
No one there to help

It’s been said that artist
Always want one thing …
Sometimes all you have is
The need to be seen
I guess that’s what we have
In common
That need …
Artist just say it louder
We feel it
Maybe or
Maybe we keep it in….
like Laura
Who never told me about
Her epilepsy
It’s just a room
Waiting on the
Courage it takes
You to open it
With files and folders
we foolishly think only
We can read
but it’s there

It’s not a door
It’s our lives
It’s a window
And everyone is looking

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image origin

New York #3

Right here
At thanksgiving
It’s freezing
And all I want is my muffin
That’s it
But a hand flashes in front of
My face
And takes it from me
“Hey!”
It’s Rachael
jumping ahead of me
With my muffin
All full of energy
She owns her own
Gym and nutrition place
Or thing
It’s very foreign to me
“If you want it
You have to work for it
Come on!”
She’s laughing and running ahead of me – backwards…
“Dammit…” I breathed
“Shhhhit! Come on its negative 20 out here ! if I move I’m going to tear something I much rather prefer
Slowly freezing with my muffin.
It’s more acceptable than breaking
Like porcelain ….”
She pouted,her nose crinkling
With disappointment
“Oh fine Achilles …have your muffin
You are quite the warrior”

“I’m Not laughing,I’m not laughing…
I’m ready to get to the bar so we can eat Annabel’s food and wrap things
Can we do that? Let’s do that.
No one dies from death temps
And exposure.”

“Oh christmas it’s overrated
I hate the cold but I still run
I make this body what it is.”

She was messing with me

“Listen you communist,I love Christmas and muffins
And fires
I like the cold
I just happen to be aware
Of when my blood is
Frozen,chipping
Like ice…
Where’s your american spirit?
This is a time for sleeping
And getting fat
Not running and health.
Indulgence! Dammit.
That’s euphoria!”

“Yeah,sounds like diabetes
and no sex to me..I don’t like it”
She laughed and ran
inside my sister’s bar …
I sighed,Jesus I need to find some dudes to start hanging out with…

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image origin

Reagan,ehh

IMG_5184.JPG(photo-that time I met batman and robin)

I’ve written about children
Earlier today
And as you know…
I have a brother
Named reagan
Whom you all love

Reagan is like a bundle of energy
He drives me up the wall
And yet he’s a lot of fun too
Just the other day
I went to have breakfast with reagan
He likes to introduce me to his new projects …
Volcanoes (real volcanoes,violent, that he made in the out of doors)
Legos (not the kind you grew up with.the kind that cause dementia)
Books (real books,like the diary of a wimpy kid and other stories that are similar…)

But recently
Recently
He’s taken on a vocal challenge

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For example
On his first hayride
He yelled out
“Oh noo,we’re coming too close to the wood!”
Just like that
“The wood”

And then
At breakfast
He looked at me and laughed
With his very chipmunk like laugh
And said
“You were trying to be funny,ehh?”
Just like that
In a very Canadian way
My brother continued
To harass me with the best
Sarcasm I’ve ever experienced
In my life
It is Genetic
It skipped me
I am simply a very vain smart ass
But he and my older brother
They can cut you down
“You are 25,ehh
so when are you going to find a lover and get married like Jonathan,ehh.”
“You really have a fancy beard,ehh?”

It was like some kind of witchcraft
I cannot explain it
But it was hilarious
I don’t know where he met a Canadian
We live in Alabama
And he is homeschooled

Maybe in a video game
Maybe on tv
Who knows
But he’s hilarious
And also 10
So I thought I would document this