Archive for September, 2009

[under a cushioned sandal on my feet]

A cherry crushed on the sidewalk

and a chorus of Spanish in the background.

Its flesh softly flattening under the ball of my sandal,

Emitting a sound like the rare puff, or POP of a small

bubblegum bubble

-wilting- but thicker.

Popping like a bubble full of marshmallow fluff and crisp




At the orange line in Chinatown,

every language but English being uttered around me.

Not for lack of English-speakers but perhaps

the English-speakers stay silenced.


Anyway, the cherry POPPED

under my sandal and gave way to a subdued explosion.

That deep, mauve-ish moody color

a melody

rich treachery and indulgence spreading out beneath it in a heavy ink cloud of nectar,

swilling with the July rain.

A stem, strong and capped,

reaching, angle-stretching forth –

Standing strong like a sword above the speared carnage of the body of the bleeding fruit.

A crimson cadaver.

Fresh. Flesh.

Sweetening and saddening its cool, sopping and indifferent basement of cement.

Spanish floating all around

– song for this romantic war scene.

A gloried, sorrowed death.

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My body’s constantly wearing a fluffy flesh-colored sweater full of sausages.

Do you know how it feels to be over-sized?

The mirror’s been surprising me the last three weeks and the waist of my work pants feels more fitted.

Why don’t I look like myself these days but a paler, more bloated, unhealthy version of me? I feel like myself internally but my skin’s certainly not mine. And this layer between my organs, my bones, and the not-mine skin certainly does not belong. I do not own it. I am not connected to it. It may as well hang there loosely as many turkey necks, swinging and making walking near impossible.

Yona’s hand is on my stomach his mouth is calling it soft and I’m sneaking glances because I can’t imagine what it is it looks like. I know there’s more there than perhaps before. I know its a pale gelatinous mass of self-loathing. “My tummy needs love.”

In my mind’s eye I’m an amorphous blob of impossible age, dark circles, and lukewarm tepid pallor blotched with masses of imperfections. Imperfections riding on imperfections! A gluey goo of an old woman. A hag in distress.

So the mirror, it surprises me. Because it does not match this monstrous image I constantly construe of myself. Yet also I don’t see the me I can usually view in that mirror these days. It’s some in-between wretch-ed guest altogether, how bewildering.

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Abyss of Whats Next


I’ve officially been accepted to Warren Wilson College for the spring.

Something’s making me feel sick and it’s either thoughts of going or thoughts of leaving.

Get me?

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Today I..

..said “Fuck You” to a stranger.

I didn’t even see her face. But my heart was pounding and my skin was blazing and I’d just hopped my bike to head home in a fit of pure agonizing anxiety. She nagged me, a woman she’d never before seen, that “cycles aren’t allowed on the sidewalks.”

FUCK YOU. wasn’t a thought, it was some measured reflex and said just as deliberately. I didn’t spit it out. There was no exclamation and the words reflected no hate. Just a simple statement encompassing things like:
have you ever ridden a bike in a city in your life? I’m doubting it, because you wouldn’t say such a thing if you had.

can you even begin to conceive how I’m feeling or what my experience is right now? Again, you have no idea.

what is going on in your life that makes you feel as if you must lecture a stranger who isn’t harming or inconveniencing you in any way?

That last question completely hypothetical. I was so hot and wrapped up at the moment that I wasn’t capable of caring for what her motives or intentions were.

So I said “Fuck You” to a stranger who did me no harm. And as a cool-minded and emoted person generally, I can say I’ve done that maybe once in the past. I generally consider it unnecessary and antagonistic to say such things,

but today I wasn’t about to take some dim-witted lecture from a strange woman who felt entitled (as a “citizen of Cambridge,” most like) to speak down to me. So today, fuck you, strange woman.

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[Scene] Virginia, in uniform. All black polo shirt and dress pants, hair harnessed up in a ponytail like an afterthought. It’s eight-o-clock in Massachusetts morning and she’s readying the outdoor section of the restaurant she works at. Nine metal tables go out on the patio, accompanied by nineteen metal chairs, to be followed by nine sets of sugar caddies (a rainbow of yellow Splenda, blue Equal, pink Sweet-N-Lo, white sugar, and brown Raw Sugar in each), nine pairs of salt and pepper shakers, and a silverware-napkin roll-up per chair. She’s moving slightly slower than usual this morning. Just warming up, mirroring the day.

The tables can be found in a hallway, stacked on top of one another. Not heavy, but slightly precarious, she takes them down, carries them approximately ten feet, and lands them in their home for the day. Five tables and eleven chairs properly placed. She enters the patio carrying the sixth of nine tables. As she lowers this table onto its place, a man is walking by outside the patio. He gives his best stranger grin to the girl and says giddily:

“Shouldn’t a man be doing that?”

A wink.

Dumbfounded and still fuzzybrained with morning, Virginia sputters for a minute and says softly but clearly:


The grin grows quick and steadily. If he’d winked again it surely would have been deeper a wink than the last. She might have been surprised if his entire eye didn’t collapse in upon itself.

Loudly, with a faux-air of being impressed:

“Strong, strong!!”

He whips away with his briefcase and muted-colored button-down shirt off quick as he came towards his stagnant deskjob and she snarls under her breath.

“Fucking barfy boring-shirted idiot.” Why should a man do it when I am perfectly capable. I do this on so many mornings. And furthermore, why was that statement made in such a manner? The man was very clearly using flirtatious techniques. A playful tone of voice, playful facial expressions, winks. He tossed around his short statements as if he were commenting on universal facts we both, we all, knew to be true. Number one: girls are weak. Number two: men are strong. Number three: girls are not as capable as men in terms of lifting heavy and/or precarious objects. Number four: girls, or at least me as a girl, would really prefer it if men just did all the physical labor, because it’s just such an inconvenience for us and we’re/I’m surely better at other things (like maybe sewing).

That’s just the way it is, we all know that and I’m going to joke about it with you because obviously we’ll understand one another and be on the same page.

Heavens, he didn’t mean any harm by it.

Except that everything involved in that exchange was about hierarchy in terms of his power over me. I can do nothing but agree with his statement that a man should clearly be carrying these chairs – my response [“No,” a man shouldn’t be carrying these chairs] was glossed over with sarcasm and ignored as if I hadn’t said anything at all. And by his rules (which are really a reflection of our greater society’s rules), I should both expect and be grateful for his flirtatious advances. Why does he feel it acceptable to wink at me? I do not know this man. Why does a strange man wink at a woman he has never met or seen before? Does he expect her to enjoy it? Grow, learn, or gain from it? This strange man’s wink does not make me feel worthy. His wink does not make me feel sexy or beautiful or smart or whole or empowered. Just the opposite, his wink is very clearly demoting me to the position of someone who can do nothing but accept this advance. Crucially: his wink does not make me feel like an individual. His wink (especially when combined with his patronizing statements) places me in the role of girl. Female. His wink recreates me as an object or idea rather than the whole woman I am with a soul, brains, interests, talents, personality, family, past, et cetera. Very clearly the picture emerges. He is a man, I am a woman, I am lesser and will submit.

Virginia, brain now warm, uses her untiring strength to place the last three tables where they belong. She deftly sets them – sugars, saltpeppers, silver – and waits wearing black in the emerging morning for her first customers to arrive.

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A good friend of mine I unfortunately don’t see much of anymore. I believe he’s a crazy creepy genius and this experimental electronic music video is a precise testament to his life and personality. Watching it makes me feel empty.

He and a few others are playing All Asia next Tuesday, September 29th if you’d like to attend.

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Blotchy Spots

I’ve got a strange sweat starting and my insides are cheese. Processed white pasteurized American cheese, the forced chemical kind that never comes in a wheel. Never full circle – too many skipped steps.

My face isn’t my face. There’s a clog in the bathroom sink. I don’t want to wear makeup don’t want to wear makeup today I want to keep the flaws, cradle, and hold them gently but I have a feeling I won’t have the strength. Today.

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