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Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

lightening house

Forty years.
Forty frosty, colorless years where which the silence had built, grown, & settled upon them like a heavy, deep-season blanket.
Forty years.
Forty of them; where the walls observed no good morning, hello, how was your day, did you hear about this, did you hear about that.
No congenial exchanges muttered.
The couple passed each other in the hallway, or might occasionally find themselves waiting for the frying pan, the television, or shower to be ready for their own use, impatiently. Wordlessly.
The beginning of the descent into the static, mute, existence resulted from no particular fight, but more of a long, blue-hot-burning that built, seemingly to the point of no return, & a terrible, despairing feeling of being stuck together in the house of pulled, private shades & blackened, hollow photos.
The house with the yard where the neighborhood children wouldn’t fetch their balls from. The house of anger. And the house of dashed dreams.
Throughout the time of the Big Freeze, one had taken up quilting. The other had become an origami savant of sorts. One had developed a fancy for cherry everything: pies, ice cream, liquors, preserves… The other: a determined reader intent on hungrily devouring all on the topic of the Ottoman Empire & it’s collapse.
Still- no sound uttered.
Their love for music had once untied them. United them.
Like sun slathered honey, smelling of dewy mornings, feeling like cut-back-fresh wisteria vines pointing & sun bound, they’d  listened with their then-warm-hearts & looked with soft-watery-eyes to the other half play. Nimble fingers. Fluid attachment to sound, to manipulation of keys, breezy build ups, unpredictable yet so-good-wow-crescendos.
Life times had come. Gone. Come. Gone.
There they were, embroiled in a semi-coexistence where none was to share any thought; the icey quiet had crept into all the pockets of possible return, all too long ago.
But. If. Ever.
And never with a nod or a pre plan- they were ever to find themselves on the porch at the same time…
The music. The sound generated. Together by the dueling keys. The compliment of their knowing hands crashing down upon the ivory.
Creating the wildest, sensible cacophony of exquisite sounds, speaking leagues through keys into the sky; could’ve convinced the ethers to rain. They would. They wanted.
Would have the porch sitters abandoning stoops.
Would stymie the squirrels in their gathering.
The birds would settle in. And watch. And absorb. And the music was goddamn living.
All the lives that were tampered down & tucked in & brutalized with nothingness through out the years.
There & then.
Life.
And then.
Without nod, or gesticulation, the songs would conclude.
And the door would creak open.
The floor boards would give their predictable sighs.
The television would roll on in careless fashion.
But those: the only sounds that remained.

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A walk around the blocks.
At night.
When the lights are on in apartments within eyeshot bright enough revealing each illuminated box of walls, furniture, and lives taking place.
Where conversations abound, or peter-out.
Where honesty lays across the table, or secrets stay tucked under lightly-used to heavily saturated napkins.
Where sauces boil
and bubble and forgotten pies burn crisp.
Where old shoes line the entrances and extend into halls, tripping the innocent,
and plants curl yellow in the condensation of windows.
At night.

Where sounds of closing car doors echo louder in the hush.
And cats scramble with their better, dark-favored vision to the other side of the road. And skinny rats develop false confidence, obeying their hunger, scampering out of dirt holes to snatch fallen promise-crumbs.
Where people sleep in dingy, unforgivingly-hard, once-lustrous-marble doorways beneath blankets that once belonged to generous beds; and dream of colorful fantasy pictures, or terrible monsters, or vacations that they’ll take some other life time, or things that they’ll have forgotten by morning. Bother not.

Where pasty, sun-deprived gamers sit in fluorescent, 24 hour donut shops tactically moving board pieces, tantalizing early onset diabetes -dirty flirt-, gorging on fried-sugar-dough, systemically solidifying certainty of never getting laid again beyond glory-holes. Where cups of stale coffee tip and splash spotty pants from shaky hands, and ashy floors, and blurry eyes and sour breath.

Where new couples cruise the banks of the lake, holding hands, kissing at each bench, butterfly bellies.
Where cargo trucks roll about, containing clandestine items of unknown sourcing to half of the drivers. Do tell do tell.

At night.

A walk around my neighborhood.
Around blocks that have begun to encircle a sense of home.
At night where my dog and I walk in wonder.
And contribute to the spectacle of the quite observers observing.

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What’s the method to your madness? You know- the one where you pick at the scab or reactivate the cut again again, or bang your ever forever perma-bruise; only this time instead of puss coming out you get a fine, silky, viscous magic thread of your own musical splash.
Splash splatter shit.
All over your walls.
Hope your carpets’ not too absorbent, ma’ dude.
This welcomed mess; The kind you’ve been keeping your chin up for and doing all your positive visualization practices and your “this too shall pass” breaths. You’re totally pumped because boOm- your muse showed up just when you were trying to name it and give it form, and now all you want to do is make it suiting, stitchy clothes and dress it up like an angel. But it’s no angel, darling. You traded your soul for you art. And you knew that already.
Why do artists carry the cross? Why so encumbered? So fickle and burdened? I’m feeling a Stevie Ray Vaughn song coming on… something about sales… so dust off the wax and we can get those memory cells back on board. I don’t know that you’ll need them if you’ve got the right momentum, but a brain buzzing and flexing with optimal potential only services the rest of us too.
Good luck riding the rocket. And naming the fuel source. And being aware of when you gas up. Because the moon- she waits and the broom is busy.
Draw a picture for me when you get a second. I’ll be here trying to identify my own individual sound. For now all I know is that it’s likely set in minor chords… and probably a really sexy rhythm section.

ed40

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Some people will never know peppermint tea.
There will be a wedge between them and this.
These are the same people who seldom see downy pillows, subject to innocent giggle-moment feather loss where that one puffs out. Where your head lays down, and then out it comes, or put on a fresh pillow case, and out it comes. Hardly a thing to notice; yet a subtle representation of rest and comfort. And it falter-sways to the floor. Maybe it’ll attract the curiosity of the nearest dog, causing a little head cock, that feather.
Perhaps these people saw and knew those pillow-feather moments once, but that was a long time ago and many trades have been made. Far, ever farther from places with such bed-luck.
The people of no tea. On land where whistles represent alerts grander than hot water proclaiming readiness. More of a can-cup, heat sourced from over shabby fire scraped together with treated lumber that busies itself turning concerning hues. The tea peace idea replaced with Jimmy Dean’s neans with factory in Milwaukee, where disgruntled employees full of creaks and muscle spasms (who also remain in the dark on peppermint tea) slowly mill. Replacing tea-soft-moments in nuzzling chairs with pink cheeks, down the line to dusty denim around the fire and hardened cheek bones. And scrapes and scratches and scars. And hobo songs. And plastic bottles and hooch. And whiskey-wet ground in respect to those gone before.

Hobo hobo hobo song. A life unknown and not very long. Plenty adventure, enough wrong. Find a quick home, then move along..

Where hopes of red headed waitresses taking orders in diners in light blue dresses for 3 lucky dimes worth bring steaming cups of bottomless black coffee and extra sugar packets in the next town- soon to dream about her on the way to the next one after that. Though no rush of course, though not slow enough for that dern peppermint tea.

Tea has to be held just right. Tea is open wide and higher maintenance than one might realize without being given the right platform. It’s booze that comes in a bottle neck. And it’s booze that warms longer. It’s swishless. It’s tip resistant. You can’t hold tea in an open train car. The racket movement that stays rumbling in kidneys even with two feet on solid earth. Tea wouldn’t know how to act. The stars governing the sky with exposed souls beneath it, roofless, riding rails, bargaining, whittling, asking for mercy, sharpening shank, or challenging the night’s deep abyss with a staring contest.
Tea wouldn’t know this life. Too soft and soothing. Never told in conjunction to characters like Nebraska Pete or Bozo Rider.
Some people will never know peppermint tea.
There will be a wedge between this and them.


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I thought I told you not to ask me twice, because I blush when I can’t recall your birthday, or to ask about how your knee is feeling today, or if you worked out your most recent car issue…
It doesn’t stick and I have never known myself to be less invested in  someone I do care for, and it frightens me about myself- making me like you less.
I can sense your hands extending my way even when they are busy making lumps of your pockets, or interlocked, white-knuckled, behind you. I can feel the buzz of your questions, when your mouth forms a perfect, airtight  line. Your eyes- a welcoming brown and asking of me things that I can’t & won’t promise.

You ask me to be honest so I do and I am, but keep digging you do. You forget my humanity, in beta, treating me as though I tuck a cape secretly into my dresses; forgetting that I can only love you when you are happy in full & not look to me to fulfill this unspoken, expected duty to make flush your holes- pocked with insecurity. You forget how hard it must be for me to tell you constant disheartments, lest you never remembered- let alone realized.

Hurting the kindest person in the room. A bee stinging a bee. Squash blossom strains cross pollinating: creating a mealy, deceptive, lackluster hybrid. A dog, a tail: perpetual circling.

Your accolades stroke me, cocoon me, croon to me, make me sweet on you when you are not light enough to blow off the tower in response to my altered breathing. Your enviable sincerity. In my mirrored comparable to you this would equate to ghost netting/ nothing to show.

But love is it’s own world that hasn’t handle bars; and to grip and grasp- a fruitless way to hang on. Because it all boils down to feeling. Feeling with out the illusion of urgency. Feeling and truth commingling. And the foresight to not fear your intuition.

I disappoint myself in light of you. In your shadow I cannot commit and reciprocate. It’s tragicomedy. To want love so bad/ and be incapable of return. I do love you, but not how I would if I could.

glow hand

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So here you are. You picked up and you moved. Finally. You finally moved- (Good job.)
Something you’ve been talking about for a thank-goodness-noone’s-counting long of time. Three years? Four? Enough time for change to brew to the point of the bubble over. So you ride out in the cascade, thinking of the times where you were so detached from holds and your spirit was far freer, though before you left, feeling tied-down you did not. You just felt… cozy. Comfy. Copacetic. And it’s those C words that can be dangerous.
Because that’s no place to stand.
So you took off in the name of new C words, like new conquests. Like crazy. Like can’t stop won’t stop. And it can all just be so fun. If only you let it. And if only you can conceive of it. Or perhaps just let. it. go.
So you done gave it all up. The pretty house. The fun & loving social circle. The sweet man. The main income sources. In the name of…?
And you’re not quite sure, when people ask you this every-day-question, of quite how to respond to it. The answer varying, dependent on mood, on weather, on wind velocity, or based upon the most recent strangers’ interaction. All in all it is hardly surmisable.
It is the untouchable. And it takes focus to remember that not all is to come with a black and white outline. And it is to show that sometimes you gotta pull that thread from the old sweater. Perhaps those tired sleeves’ll fall off. Or it’ll just keep going until your left with a new ball of yarn. And you can be kind and donate it to the kitten company, bringing them a smile to wiggle their whiskers. Or you can go yarn-bomb the town.
And that’s California, man. The land of possibility.
The golden state, for it’s expanse, and so-many-subcultures, museums & eateries, everywhere art & art galleries & feral or lawful graffiti, mania, excitement; native pride & alcatraz take over; animal parades & freaky carnivals, pop-up-shows, seedy establishments, fresh-fortune cookies, raw struggle & swollen riches, lawlessness, confusion, and contagion, and on on on.
And ocean.
And green; for dripping night-blooming-datura plants; massive, shedding, fragrant eucalyptus, girthy taproot, secure base; established, luscious thick, envious jades; swishy, flirting-with-blocking-the-moon-palms; nooks and crannies: a dream for sleepy monkeys if only one would escape it’s captivity, or the ideal habitat for weary squatter and mangey pooch.
And brown; for trash upon trash in the city parks, don’t-drop-your-keys-in-the-gutter-because-how-dirty-streets; filthy, creepy alleyways where you must pretend not to have a smart phone or sucker you might be; curbside furniture left for days, covered in soot; mysterious weaves on the ground; white bums with black hands.
You might not have realized how grimy it could be. And how distracting, to boot.
But that’s ok- it’s your renaissance.
On your time. And you made it.
You are in charge of celebrations.

Viva su revolucion!

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The more practiced at life you get, the better you know yourself. You know your limits. You know things to do that could make you feel better (nibbling chocolate), good (sipping whiskey), and even great (submitting and going for a run), and conversely you know how to get your panties easily twisted, freak yourself out, and how to board a quick train to Bumsville…. Right? Aka: what to avoid.
For me, I know better than to listen to frightening stories at night, or watch the news too late, or  involve myself in basically anything that is fear based or anxiety inducing. I’ll clench my jaw all night long and wake up nervous, intermittently. I need a fine buffer of sunshine coupled with a generous amount of well-lit hours to help process the shitty feelings, evening them out by when darkness falls. Like a cow with four stomachs, digestion needs its time.

Last night a wonderful terrible thing was brought to my attention. This wonderful terrible thing involves, I warn you: laughing at the expense of others while simultaneously likely losing hope for a significant portion of the American population.
I know- heavy!
This wonderful terrible thing is the stink-fruits of labor of a person from internet-land who compiled an entire tumblr site dedicated to collecting OK Cupid profiles of Juggalos. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term Juggalo, you can go ahead and click on the word and take a trip to the wikipedia link that I provided because I’m fancy, or you can sit tight for my half-assed understanding while I work it out for ya.
My disclaimer before I launch into a description of this underground phenomenot is that I have never been to a Juggalo’s festival, seen the Insane Clown Posse, nor have I ever even met a Juggalo. HOWEVER I am fascinated by all walks of life and such a distinct subculture definitely merits attention. Basically a Juggalo is a dude who paints his face like a scary clown in black and white, listens to the group mentioned above primarily, is generally overweight and dismissive of a healthy life style, generally tattooed, generally white (trash), (just insert generally for the rest of what I say) poor, uneducated, and drinks a lot of Faygo- the band’s brand of soda. Apparently they spray it on their fans during concerts. A Jugalette is a lady Juggalo, also known as a Neden. At the Juggalo gatherings, an annual occurrence, many people trade in their names for their true calling of Juggalo names. For real. They have a lot of their own ((cough cough) mind control) lingo. They say “Woop Woop!” and this often causes girls to show their ninnies. “But Juggalettes ain’t no hoes.” I’m not one to judge someone one their sexual proclivities, that was just a direct quote and I loved it for some reason.

Here are a song for ya. It’s really hard to stop doing the Dougie after. Am I right? Guys?

You can see where that came from in their promo video posted below for their gathering this summer. I really recommend watching it. In spurts.

Learning of the tumblr site spiraled me off into the outer lands of information gathering in order to present a fair piece to you here. I scoured the website of ICP (Insane Clown Posse), as well as tons of splintered youtube footage to learn more of the Jugallo lifestyle and ethos.
The FBI designated Juggalos as “a loosely affiliated, hybrid gang in 2011”. Watching the videos and listening to the rhetoric I would move to say that it’s as much a gang as it could be seen as a cult following situation. After all, the two leaders of ICP are business men, appealing to an under represented drove of people in the Midwest. It promotes violence, drug use, and blatant disrespect towards woman, calling us “bitches” & “hoes” and the usual misogynistic baloney, and as far as I can see- the only positive message that it stands to offer is that they are all one family. The narrative repeated is that they are do-gooders when they are Juggalos and Jugallettes and they are all friends and fam.And it feels nice to fit into something larger. Seriously, I know this. I looked at enough videos now to where I’m no longer the same person from when I started. Eesh. There are all these other bands that have come out like little minions of them, promoting the same speak as their predecessors. Like worker ants. Little followers spreading their scary, misspelled gospel.
Anyway, it calls to the lonely who work minimum wage jobs and live in towns where there’s nothing going on.
I am now extra grateful for where I grew up.

Looking at the OKC pics made me wonder if people dumb themselves down for this. Truly. It didn’t seem cool to spell things correctly, way beyond cheeky abreves. Down with the man and educational pursuits? And it seemed cool to not give a *$^% about your appearance; teeth, weight…
Are all these people really excepted? All I need is a little face paint and a wet T-shirt to find some lovin’?? Well haaay. Maybe it’s not so bad? My yoga membership is expensive!

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Imagine if my article helps these angels get laid. I wouldn’t be mad about that. I mean, I still want people to be happy. And use a rubber. Oh God use a rubber.

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Read this article, enjoy it. Watch the videos! It’s a trip. Just don’t do it before bed. Our natural levels of cortisone are down at night and things hurt more.
My mistake.

http://okcupidjuggalos.tumblr.com/

p.s. Gilbert Gottfried will be among their featured comedians at this year’s  gathering.

 

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The kind of rain that made everything a deeper shade of green. A jungle catalyst.

The kind the seemed to pour right directly onto my heart and please my head just so.

On the contrary, the sky had seemed nauseous, welling up and vomiting it’s contents in taunting fits and starts, but my skin- my gracious, valiant, outer layer must’ve been in it’s best filtration mood, because by the time it reached my innards- it was the most beautiful thing. Simply put. And everything glowed.

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Can I ask you some questions? Would you be so kind as to take a moment to reflect for me? It’s about you. It’s for me… well, for now. But I have ideas OF COURSE. So if you prefer, you can answer anonymously. You can even have my personal email: thelighteningcan@gmail.com and I will respect your privacy when I reiterate. Though, I don’t think you’ll be feeling too exposed when you get right down to it.
I want to know 3 things.

  1. What makes you unique?
  2. What makes you special?
  3. What makes you fortunate?

I have answered these questions with my own brain to provide a template of depth I hope to find, verses some topical answer. Answer in one part, two parts, three parts… whatever. Get loose with it!

Baby L (me)

  1. What makes you unique?

a. Often- I’ll see people that seemed deeply embroiled in a heavy make out session, all intertwined and public. Then upon further inspection it turns out that it is in fact just one, solitary obese person.
b. A new vocabulary word that I have never used before will be on the tip of my brain upon wake, awaiting its debut in my conversations perhaps.
c. I dream about water bodies in some capacity every night.

  1. What makes you special?

I care deeply for justice and work towards it in some way almost every day. I have wired my life around it.

  1. What makes you fortunate?

a. I am fortunate because I have creative, tireless brain that when on the right trajectory has the capacity to produce beeeaaauuuty! And crazy drive. I am constantly getting new, cool ideas for art on a larger scale. I’ve always been dipped in some form of self-expression.
b. Also, I have parents that have been supportive of my zany ways that differ so strongly from their approach at life. We love each other.
c. I have a beautiful house and beautiful friends.
d. I’ve been granted with an overall positive disposition.
e. I consider myself pretty self-aware and am always striving to be my best self.
f. I got rhythm for days and I ain’t afraid of no dancefloor!

So there it is. Spice it up/ break it down. I’m listening. Sock it to me (((please!!)))!

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Her favorite name for candy was Starburst.

Her favorite name for a recycling company that she had recently taken notice of was Cloudburst.

These expulsions. They could bring her to her knees; drive away demons. These slightest of suggestions.

Days where everything had meaning: Lights turning green were indicative.
If a dog barked twice.
For a tangerine peel to come off, maintained in one connected piece without coming undone beneath her fingers.
If the penny tossed while feeding the meter turned up on tails. Everything told something.

Everyday she wore items that fit the same description. Khaki shorts, tie died shirt of some sort, gauzy white scarf. A purposeful precaution should she turn up missing, she’d be easy to describe. Her fears over-arching; ever present. That head of hers- full of responsibility. Slippery shaped thoughts akin to greased palms, just as hard to hold.
Thin veil between psychedelic induced psychosis and one slipped into her drink. So suspicious. She could be found on the beach, laying in a tangle, trying to distinguish between which kind.

Luckily there were the calming elements. The source could be from a passing truck with the simplest of messages. Or the cold-awake-wide-open feel of ocean. Ocean. Ocean. It’s own sentence. Paragraph. Novel. Her biggest self. It tousled and it soothed.
And snails. How she loved them. The time they took. The swirl continuum. The iridescent remnants. Did they even have a destination? A model, indeed. “Be more like the snail”– something she would breathe and drive into the bottom of her belly. Someone had to own the mantra. Be more like the snail. Time is on my side. Even if this was said in rushed fashion it provided a balloon’s worth of weight off her back. She had these things. Palms unneeded. It could be nice.

This woman was the first person to be recognizable in containing a purposeful aimlessness. What an achievement. Her town’s people thought she a gentle kook: All weary smiles. She knew they knew of the springboard that lay within. Of this she was sure. Unhingable at any moment sans notice.
But what are their skeletons? She wondered often.
A good question, though not everyone’s dance like hers.

A doe-eyed doctor once told her to give up the sauce. She had taken to drinking spirits because of the name implication. The potentiality of unknown company. Another soother. Absinthe was a no-go, of course. Too close. Too witchy. She knew the limits. But challenge herself she did, and lessen her mania she had, when it came to cutting back on such a vice. Good job good job, said the voices from her sidelines, despite her bag being no stranger to a buttery cognac. Remy Martin just sounded like such a protector.

The sound of things. Eyes being the first line of defense, only once approved would her mouth take it on.  No sense in tempting fate.
Explosions always on the horizon, lest they be unuttered and ignored.
Only a sunburst could make way.

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