Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Recuerdos de Tejas

Tejas, te extrano todo mis dias. Here lies a late-night sentiment to my friends back home.

I miss you.

I miss those hot, sweaty
dirty Texas nights
Boots stomping on sawdust floors
Singing songs in the graveyard
Fireflies till morning,
mosquitoes all day long.
It was coffee, breakfast, music;
then biking to the river,
to ease the stifling summer upon our skin.

In the evenings we'd drink tequila
and go out dancing,
Singing heartily along with our friends
in half a dozen languages.

Later still we'd wander off
on some latent adventure
Or fill a room with smoke
as we nursed a whiskey bottle
And piece by piece,
after all those years
my soul came pouring out
in vast channels which flooded my sight
But you,
with grace and tact,
became the valley which calmed the roil
Your voice and your eyes
were the eddies in which the deluge pooled,
rested a while.
When the moon had all
but disappeared,
you reached out your hand
and pulled me from those yawning depths.

And so I find the hours imbued
with the echoes of your memory
The sun charts its path across the sky
and I recall so vividly
the light upon us, day or night
That crackling spark

O god...
and the flowering pink crepe myrtles.
And the shade of the fig tree.
A haze of smoke rising from the patio.
Hidden in shadows,
when first we looked upon each other again
Beyond the storm,
in that moment
I could not remember ever having lost you.

La manana

Good morning. Goodness, but it's been a long time since I've written here. Here is a, um, very sad excerpt thing from recently:

These days nobody sings me to sleep.
These days I miss all the sunrises
and sunsets,
I count the clouds as they go sailing by
Until they become a thick blanket,
hanging low over the hills
These days I am a goldfish.
And the light seems further away
each passing week
And the mountains laugh at my loneliness,
the rivers mock my anger
I can't agree with myself much
I have burned all the memories I could find
But the sadness of you remains a great weight.

You refuse to shoulder the blame,
and so
it's lodged itself in my spine.
Well, it's nothing new,
I suppose,
though it's been a while
since I've felt its sting.
The whiskey helps,
the howling of the desert wind -
when I can find it -
but you're lost in the lie.
I hope it's every bit as awful.
I hope you ruin your boots
and knock out a couple teeth, at least
falling down the mountain you built.

I'm ashamed to think I ever loved you -
the coward;
the manipulator.
You thought money and silence could stand in for love.
You're still the selfish teenage boy
I'd always believed you'd grow out of.
But you can't trust a fantasy -
I've learned that enough times over.

I hope that deceit serves you well.
You know, when you don't treat your wounds -
they fester.
and you bring your insides into plain sight
Where the day spills its truth on you,
you cannot hide.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Got back from a super fun, whirlwind weekend in Tucson late Tuesday night. I went with a few folks who became really wonderful friends over the weekend, but who I didn't know very well at all before we took off. We camped, we hiked, we skinny-dipped in freezing cold river water, we played music on top of a mountain! We got stopped by border patrol and got pulled over by a sheriff at 2 in the morning, we bought copious amounts of gems and found piles of quartz in the hills beneath the saguaros. I pulled cactus spines out of TJ's leg after he refused to believe that chollas were soft and fuzzy instead of being needled devils. I listened to Manu Chao incessantly and we did some chanting with the Hare Krishna weirdos. Here's some photos:

a trilobite (?) at the gem show.

Singer! The cutest dog who howled along to all of our songs and snuggled like so into my accordion case.

Za'aki and I. I love this fella.

On top of aforementioned mountain climbed.

Sunset over the Coronado National Forest (Tanque Verde).

This river was SO COLD and we all went in it butt-ass nekkid.

I met this fellow on top of a mountain; he played banjo and harmonica and gave me an absurd parting gift.

It's good to be home but I do miss the desert terribly...sand in every corner of my existence, getting high off the sun and the wind and the dizzying views, the silence and the swollen moon rising over jagged violet peaks in the distance. Coyotes crying, owls questioning the night air; the sounds reverberating off the canyon walls and seeming to come from everywhere at once. I'll be back soon enough.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Calm, clear times in this fair city lately. The weather, as usual, has been a crazy mix of freakishly beautiful (especially for January) and sort of cold. It's overcast now, threatening rain, but the sky makes these empty promises so often, most of us have learned to ignore any warning signs of drizzle until we're knee-deep in a tremendous thunderstorm. We had one last week that rattled our windows and flooded our yards; it was raining so hard and for so long that it would have been foolish to go out in it. I remember one particular clap of thunder that shook me to the core; it felt like the sound went off right next to and inside my head at once, and I felt that terrible primal fear buried deep within us all.

Still, the day after the storm was cool, damp, and beautiful. You could feel how desperately the earth needed the saturation, how much we needed it to bring everything full circle, to wash away all the ugly things that have so far stayed stuck to our shoes in the new year. The sky may be gray, the gathering wind may be murmuring at my door, but my heart is full of hope. I feel strong, honest, clean, and peaceful. It has been a long time since I have taken very good care of myself, and this week a simple contest with some friends ended up changing everything. Once again I find myself nursing my wounds, crouching low inside a soft nest, quieting all the strange and unwelcome demons which have, of late, had a strong hand in running my life. I feel no sorrow for myself, there is no time for it and it would not make me any more productive - today I am simply grateful for the beautiful life which has been gifted me and I vow to pay more attention to it, be more aware of it, and do everything I can to embrace it. 

How nice it has been to catch up on sleep! How nice it has been to spend hours falling into a book, or playing music in the sunshine, riding my bike miles and miles, taking Seamus out for long walks. My days feel longer and fuller, my head feels clearer than it has in months. I'm utterly cheerful and energetic.  
I'm not sure what took me so long to figure it out. I suppose I know from experience that one will often go to extreme measures to avoid dealing with their problems, taking what seems to be the easy way out but which only brings one more misfortune down the road. I think I once again took that road further than I should have, and now I'm backtracking to when my mindset was much healthier. I think it will take time yet, but my faith and belief in myself has been renewed, and I know this is something I can do. I'm determined to stick to my word this time. This week has been a relief and a blessing. 

I got invited to go to Tuscon for a few days next week to spend some time in the desert. The timing couldn't be better. I really hope it works out so that I get to go. It would be so perfect to have nothing to do for a while, just hike and explore and relax. I would cross my fingers but it seems like a lot of things have been working out in my favor recently so I think I'll just trust that it will happen if it's meant to.

Here is a picture of what I did last night when I got home from work. My dear friend Stacy recommended I read Edward abbey's book Desert Solitaire, and I've been positively drowning in it, it's so good! It inspired me to break out a couple of other relevant books, and before I knew it I had a big ol' geek-fest on my hands and it was fucking delightful.

On the agenda for tonight: more Desert Solitaire, accordion, maybe going over to a friend's house for tea and chats. Cheers to this week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Once again I fail to update this thing on any sort of regular basis. Once again I promise I'll try harder...ah well. For now I just need to ramble a little before I go rinse off my wounds.

It's been a long time since I've had such a rough couple of weeks. I think I've remained in pretty good spirits throughout, but I'm simply mystified by the amount of weird/bad shit that has been occurring in such a short time span. The last two weeks have seen: first one dog, then both dogs, get out of the yard and run away (on more than once occasion);  me get the flu; a crew of men digging an enormous tunnel under our house at 8 in the morning multiple days; me lose my voice for some unknown reason; and finally - I got hit by a car yesterday. 

I've never been hit by a car before, but most of the cyclists I know have some pretty scary stories. as far as accidents go, it was one of the best I could have imagined. The man who hit me stopped for me, as did two other people who helped clear traffic, get me out of the road, and called the police and paramedics for me. My bike was unharmed, I did not break any bones or hit my head (definitely will be wearing a helmet from now on though). The EMT who looked me over was a sweetheart. Everyone was so nice and I really am not injured at all save for some road rash on my left side (which is admittedly, obnoxiously painful). The man who hit me was a pastor... I could tell he sincerely did not mean to hit me and he felt really terrible about it, but I was so completely terrified over what had just happened and what COULD have happened had things gone much worse than they did...I have no interest in pressing charges or getting any money out of him, but I did give him fair warning in my hoarse, raspy, cracking voice to just please, please be careful, to slow down and pay attention to the road at all times. It is so scary being hit by a car, even though I escaped unharmed, I never EVER want to experience that again, nor do I want anyone else to. I can hardly even explain the sensation. I was just riding along in the right hand lane, with my lights on, moving slower than usual due to the heavy load of groceries on my back. The next thing I knew, I felt a huge rush of wind, and in the split second that it took for the accident to occur, I remember thinking that something was wrong, but I didn't quite know what. Before I had time to understand what was about to happen, an incredibly fast-moving car was making contact with my leg and my handlebars. The handlebars swung to the side, my wheel spun out from under me, and I went down hard on my left side. I had COMPLETELY lost my voice and could not even speak to the cashier at the grocery store, yet when I found myself on the ground, stuck under my bike, and heard horns blaring behind me, I fuckin screamed. It didn't take long for my instinct to kick in and tell me to get the fuck out of the road, so I slowly pushed myself up on my free arm, untangled myself from the bike, and started dragging myself toward the curb. a man who had stopped behind me in a minivan put on his flashers, got out of the car and started asking me if I was okay. I told him hoarsely, "I think so," and he kept telling me "don't move, don't move." 

By the time the paramedics arrived I was standing up. I didn't hit my head or my face or break, strain, or fracture anything. I landed on my side and my outstretched hand. My knuckles are bloody, my pant leg was torn and my knee and elbow scraped open, and my wrist is a little stiff, but other than that I am unscathed. after about a half hour dealing with police and medics, I was unable to get in touch with anyone who had a car, so I picked up my bike and my groceries and began the walk home. I had kept it together pretty well up until this point, but as I walked/limped home by myself in the dark, bloody and shaken and with a big heavy bag on my back, I lost it. I cried halfway to my house and cried again when my roommate gave me a big hug after I told him what happened. I'm getting teary writing this right now. I think what scares me more than what happened is what DIDN'T happen: how many things could have gone wrong. How many ways I could have been seriously injured. How I could have been killed on the spot. I am terrified that it will happen again, but I don't want to give up on riding a bike. When you fall off you're supposed to get right back on again, right? I think it will take a few days for me to feel confident enough to do so, but I can't imagine not getting back on my bike. To complicate matters, the bike I was riding, a vintage cruiser (which I am totally not used to), is not my bike, it is my roommate's. My road bike's rear derailleur is bent, and I have not had the money to attempt to fix it in the last month, so I've been borrowing the cruiser when I need to and walking everywhere else. The cruiser has back-pedaling breaks and no gears and is wobbly and difficult to ride. I sort of wonder if I might have been better equipped to avoid the accident had I been on my bike, but there is no telling.

after I got home last night I went about my business like nothing had happened. I made split pea soup, rice and shrimp, drank some wine and smoked some pot with my roommate before she left for a friend's house. Then I found myself alone in the house, and I was suddenly overcome with intense paranoia. Now that this has happened, I thought, what if I've become a magnet for bad luck? I don't normally believe in such things, but after having so many shitty things happen, well, it's not really that much of a stretch to imagine that someone will break into your house and rob you or murder you. Obviously, I made it through the night just fine.

I think I've by and large been depressed and unmotivated since I got back from my trip. Lots of wonderful things have happened - new house, new job, new roommates and sweet new friends, plus getting to see  some of my favorite people ever - but I feel like I've been wandering through a thick fog. I've not been taking very good care of myself. I've been trying to change those things but every now and again my attempt fails and I wake up in my clothes, reeking of whiskey and with a complete uncertainty of what happened the night before. The other day, a friend of some work friends died unexpectedly. 25 years old, he went to sleep one night on his friend's couch and never woke up. What happened to him is a complete mystery at this point. This and last night's event are alarmingly loud wake up calls. Life is precious. Be happy, be safe, surround yourself with love. These are things I know, and have always known, deep down, but for some reason they become harder and harder to recognize when you are drowning in sorrow and uncertainty. I do feel that things will be different from now on. I am trying harder than I have in a long time. I am hoping that the loneliness that I feel will be sated, and that sincerity and friendship will win out over manipulation and lust. For with the season change can only come good things, and even if not, it is almost a new year already.

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16th, 2011

This was my day today.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

For Love of the River

O, sweet Blog! I've neglected you once again. Please accept this small token of apology: a Blog Entry.

This is a song I wrote on the banks of the Salmon River in Idaho, on august 5th...

a half-moon winks above me
The wild river crashes below
Trains go bellowing past us in my memory,
The sight of them out of your little window

Unsafe on a riverbank in Idaho
Don’t let the wolves trace your scent
The sea wasn’t ready to let us go
I couldn’t tell you Love was what I meant

Drown your eyes and damage your lungs
Fill your belly with liquor and glass
You’re clinging to a ladder of watery rungs,
it disappears into the tides of the past

Your kiss still on my lips,
You’re curling your fingers ‘round the mountainside
Roused from slumber by my favorite lover
I have half a wretched mind to stay inside,
Under the covers with you
as you dissolve me with your fingertips

Deciphering dreams in a darkened haze,
a voice is calling out among the pines
I’d not let you go for days and days
Exploring the curves of this tender maze
The sun pours its light on your lovely face
and I drown beneath your gaze

There’s water all upon us
at an unspoken hour
Our soft laughter as we overlook the river
You are soaking wet and lovely
as you send me into shivers
Close your eyes and sink yourself into me
Beneath the moon, below a tree