Wednesday, February 04, 2015

a notice

A small, hunched over black woman parked her car, windows down, singing along to Carrie Underwood. "I doooooon't even knooooow his last name!" she warbled. As she got out of her car, she started talking, real loud. "If I can find a man, then I can be free to do what I want. Stupid bitch. If I can find a man, then I can stop doing whatever a man tells me to. Ha ha. Stupid bitch! Stupid bitch gotta find a man!" She went on, and on, and on like this. All in the same vein. She was shouting it like she was trying to get me to hear.

--

His hands as he places them on the steering wheel are very beautiful. This is the thought I have, noticing them. The smoothness of them, the perfect color of the skin. He's talking and I keep wondering what are you afraid of and if you weren't what is it you want.

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Across the street from my apartment, a man moved onto the sidewalk. He has a radio and sofa chairs and a homemade bong using a soda bottle and a long, tall straw. There's steam coming out of it and I can smell the grass. He has all kinds of possessions, and he's arranged everything like a living room on the sidewalk and ground facing an empty lot. He sings real loud, but I don't recognize the song.

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I'm holding pre-made salads and I'm laughing. At myself, at my feelings, at my imperfection and my desire.

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She wrote to her friend in Africa, and I tried to read the message over her shoulder but it was in German and the only word I recognized was gut. If we go it's because of a book and a man and a game he and I played two new years ago. Trisha brought Filipino pastries from a bakery in Eagle Rock and they were sweet and soft and strange-tasting. I mean that as a good thing. The grapes Brett and I bought from El Super were the size of eyeballs and crunchy with seeds.

--

Everything moves so fast. There is so much to be paying attention to. There is not time to be distracted. Concentrate: an audition, an interview, a date, volunteering. Notes, feedback, reworking, new working, editing, meeting, making, shooting. Print something, read something, think about things. Call people and make music. Co-create, make sure she gets how much you mean it and are behind it. Go to parties, plays, see your father, do your homework, do your taxes, check your tires, go to work, taste things, cook the fresh vegetables that sit in your kitchen and eat the fruit. Not all poetry is useful poetry. Mandy Patinkon said it: I don't know, I don't need to know, forgettabout it, just shut up and keep swimming. A song plays: what a beautiful life, what a beautiful world.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

merely players

Speak Easy Mag is a (fairly) new online journal, and they’re awesome, and they just published a personal essay I wrote last summer about acting and theater, but/and/also the ephemeral nature of everything, of which theater is just an amplified microcosm. We have our exits and our entrances. It goes on, until it doesn't. Things are there. Until they're not.

(perfect gorgeous illustration by Rachel Wheeler)

Monday, January 19, 2015

We lost it up there.

We lost it up there. You said “the woods clear my head,” but when we came to the cabin, cold and dusty-empty a mile from the lake, nothing shifted. In the morning, frying omelets, we fought. To add chives or not. You grating cheddar over bubbling yolks, oil popping spitting gurgling, trying in its small way to interrupt the grate of our own voices.

I was thinking about what it had felt like, seeing you for the first time. Memories like that seemed more real in a way than what was happening now. It was incredible, to be this angry over a stovetop. I thought this calmly, even as you gripped the frying pan’s handle, even as the muscle in your arm arched lifting it. The thought came to me: how odd it was for us to be here at all.

And by “here” I meant life, or earth, or the universe. This was my failing (you informed me) – my inability to focus on what really mattered. I had a habit of slipping into awe and bewilderment at the magnitude of the universe and ourselves scrambling around in it. Eggs, chives, breakfasts, you – at any moment, anything and everything verged on becoming either utterly inconsequential or monumentally important, depending on the shift of my gaze.

The oil was hot when it hit the freckles on my face. Your face was red as you stared, fist wrapped so tightly around the wooden handle. “Is your head clear now?” I screamed – ludicrous, sad, in retrospect – but you could not make a sound. My next scream was one of pain and still you stood there. You looked lost, like a small child who has lost sight of their mother in a crowded shopping mall. Helpless to move. Looking around for somebody to help.