Tuesday, November 27, 2012

my baby's in the morgue tonight
my baby's in the morgue
are her ears full of the fun i made?
is her throat all swoll'n with scorn?
are her eyes covered by the ferryman's fare,
which now must need be worn?
my baby's in the morgue tonight
my baby's in the morgue

my baby's in the ground today
my baby's in the ground
the latin prayer with which i'll send her away*
is the one by which her i found
although i'll still be walkin 'round
at her side i shall always stay
even though she's the only one put in the ground today
oh god, my baby's in the ground

(and the strangeness and strain every recent time we parted
never was derived from my wishing we had never started
there's a silent emptiness now that i never felt before
wish i could lift my voice to you but i don't feel you here anymore
my sweet tristan off to neverland, but how did you forget to steer?
how could you have just left me here?
i can't believe you left me here...)

my baby's in the sky tonight
my baby's in the sky
and i shan't see our Cross'd Stars
should I begin to cry
and so, with unwetted eye,
i'll heave an unending sigh
toward my baby in the sky tonight
forever in the sky

ad te suspiramus,
gementes et flentes in
hac lacrymarum valle
eia ergo advocata nostra
illos tuos misercordes oculos
ad nos converte

(To thee do we cry
weeping and mourning in
this valley of tears
turn then, our advocate
thine eyes of mercy
toward us)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Certains jours... on se sent tres seul.

I wrote about it once, how as a girl just stepping to the precipice of adolescence I found myself walking behind the others down Av Kléber... I suppose we were going toward L'Arc de Triomphe- either coming back from or toward an afternoon perusing Champs Elysées. Trying to enjoy myself, I took in the city smells, the dirt between each old brick, water stains, moss, maybe, too, and felt so at home in a place so far from where I was from, and seemingly even more so, now, while the rest of my familial party walked boldly up front, in disgust of the European dirt and scum of the street. I liked it.

Feeling strained and sort of alienated, as I almost always did during those years of my youth, I, without words, sighed and asked for some sort of sign. Then, before I knew it was happening, there were tiny papers everywhere all along the sidewalk, handbill-sized, that I'm sure the rest of my party stepped upon, kicked through there, but I stopped and knelt down to read what was written upon them.

In lovely cursive, I believe in a red felt-tip, was written crisply and then photocopied on white paper, "Certains jours... on se sent très seul."

I haven't much to complain about, really, and, tonight, hunched over and defeated, I tried to remember that. Looking up at the half moon, not a crescent tonight, I thought, "You're okay. Your dog is alive and happy. You have people that love you. You make art and only that... for now." Although I admit, a moment before I hoped with each passing car I might be stung by some stray bullet, through my heart, hopefully, but my shoulder or some limb would do. Just a little blood to remind me of my mortality. Instill a little panic, maybe, any kind of affirmation of life.

Just then I heard a child screaming from the house a few lots over from us. In the lot to the right of us our landlord is about to set up another double-wide, just like ours, and rent it to some more white kids, probably, and "bring the value of the neighborhood up" a smidge. There's a structure next to that that must be a duplex, or at least, a few little units under one big roof. At first the child seemed upset (a trip and fall, a short moment of silence, and then the big payoff? as kids are wont to do) but then there were some sounds I found familiar. Doors slamming, an angry parent screaming, "get over here," and whipping noises. A wooden spoon or a belt maybe? A hairbrush is what some prefer, as I've seen from my own experience. Whatever's nearby, I guess. I know my caretakers at least put a little thought into it, usually made it a spectacle or ceremony of it for my brother to behold and for me to set the example.

And here I was on the flip... did I just become a bystander from my own past? Am I just a neighbor now, unknowing the context, praying the child would be okay?

I think about you, and even more lately since you've reached out. I wonder what it might be like if we were to meet again for coffee, or a drink, like we did the last Christmas Eve I was in Los Angeles. Make small talk before the big reminiscing with which our night would eventually end. "What's the craziest thing you've done since?" My imaginary you might ask. My imaginary me answers, "What does it matter? It's all one heartbreak after another."

Once we met, I was terrified. I was able to breeze through less serious connections, but you were different. And you were far away, and it would actually take, well, work, to be close to you. You didn't want to just admire me and... I didn't want you to just admire me. There were going to be serious decisions, serious consequences if I acted on the feelings I had. I don't regret any of them now, but, at the time, I pushed you away at first because I was afraid of being loved, of having something I knew I deserved but had no proof that I did. On the night I tried to break it off, months before we dove in headfirst, you were devastated, and rightfully. Later, once we made sense of it and I faced "us," you showed me what you had written about it, and said something about how I was like a doll in a window you passed... wanting me so much more because you could not have me... "but it [was] so much more visceral than that."

How could either of us have known? How could I have told you that once you made me yours, that once you really got a hold of me, my little broken doll bits would crumble in your hands, that my spineless little doll body wouldn't be able to support my huge beautiful head? You did your best. You kept me together for a while anyway.

The wounds didn't show so much in my face then-

While I regularly lament that we found each other at the wrong time, I think now how impossible it would be. You got down to the bottom of me while the wounds were still fresh, before almost a decade of my experimenting and numbing out, before I had these years to harden.

And by hearing the kid next door and not feeling much, by not flinching at the sounds that might horrify others, I know that my time in the kiln is not near done... that I am still a small girl that doesn't know what she's worth.

And I know that, although there are certain days that I feel very alone, there are days when you're thinking of me, despite that I am just a crumbling doll you once wanted to possess. That's worth more than a parisian street cluttered with signs, worth more than a half-moon, worth more than a few pages you wrote forever ago, even... that that is my biggest affirmation of life, right there.