Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vinegar, my head

Who knew that soaking my feet in vinegar would clear my head -- maybe this is the answer, whenever I’m falling apart I can just rush to the corner store and get a gallon of vinegar and pour it into a basin, and then everything will be fine.

Except then I leave the house for a walk, and the walk isn’t working. I mean I’m tired again. If only the streets were filled with vinegar, I could take off my shoes and walk walk walk with a clear head instead of this thing falling down, my body, my body needs to rest again.

But then there’s the rest, which leads to a head filled with everything I’m trying to get out, first in that wired manic way which at least doesn’t clog my sinuses and then in the way in which everything clogs my sinuses. Why are my allergies worse in my own apartment, shouldn’t it be better here? Meanwhile, another walk, this time to Goodwill where I get distracted by things I don’t need but at least they only cost three dollars, and then back at home I’m ready for more vinegar.

Lostmissing #15

Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

And here's what lostmissing #15 says:

I’m sick of thinking about your glassy eyes I’m sick of thinking about calling you in an emergency any emergency and you would always respond. If you could. How you rarely called me in that way except right when you tested positive and then I remember your glassy eyes again. I’m sick of thinking about the way you used to hold me and how safe it felt. I’m sick of thinking of things to tell you, random things like the beautiful clanky messy song I want to dance to right now even when I’m thinking about you and the original it’s covering and you would know the original. I don’t.

I’m sick of thinking about what to say when I run into you, if I run into you, and how I’ll feel crushed and usually I want to express exactly how I’m feeling but then I end up acting like I’m okay even if I’m saying that I’m terrible I don’t want to act like I’m okay but it always ends up happening. I want to go right to the feeling not hold back, especially with you who I’ve trusted for so long for so long I’ve trusted you even in my body with you I could go right to the feeling.

But my anger turns so swiftly to sadness and it’s not the sadness I want to show you. You already know about the sadness. But what makes me sad now is that I don’t think it’ll feel good to express my anger. And maybe you won’t know exactly what it means but you’ll know that I never get angry that way and especially not in public. And maybe when it shoots to my head and I say something like I can’t believe how you’re treating me it’s disgusting, maybe instead of the distance I’ll just feel rage which is a kind of closeness or if the rage crashes fast then at least it’ll happen after you’re out of sight. Or maybe it doesn’t matter whether you’re out of sight. Maybe all that matters is that then I can go right to the sobs that place where my whole body collapses and I know that it’s something that can hold me. I haven’t gone there yet maybe the sobs are the most important thing even if it’s the anger I’m trying to express.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Color, yay for color!

The trouble with the future

The trouble with the future these days is that it lacks imagination. Not true then, not in the ending days of the sixties. Imagination, ideas, those were what was real then, not like now when you need technical training for them.

-- Adam Fortunate Eagle, from Heart of the Rock: the Indian Invasion of Alcatraz

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A surprise review of That's Revolting (or at least a surprise to me)

I especially love this quote:

The essays reinforce that being queer is not about sameness; it’s about beading the fault line, being a part of the state of emergency, refusing the assimilation that disenfranchises that volatile power of difference which invokes change.


Here's the rest...

That beat

Usually I like to rush outside to experience daylight sometime before leaving the house for longer, but today I just don’t care. I mean I’m too exhausted. I’m leaving the house for feldenkrais around 6 pm anyway -- it will kind of be light then, right? These days I’m more sensitive to the sun it seems, sitting on the fire escape in 50-something degree weather at 4 pm the sun still feels oppressive, when it goes behind the fog and doesn’t stop the chill then it’s okay. I’m feeling worse and worse, that’s what I’m realizing today. What I realize on other days, but it’s hard to tell what means I feel terrible and what means I’m sinking further into something I can’t overcome. I didn’t even sleep badly last night, and today I feel so disoriented and overwhelmed, sinus bruises and my head the wrong kind of cloud more like a mop when it gets all straggly and you can’t get the grime to drain. It’s pretty outside, that’s what I see through my mop the sun filtering through the pollution blue-purple sky. I’m thinking about the way that sleep feels like the only way out but it’s not a way out, not a way out at all.

Earlier someone mentioned getting cocktails at some posh corporate bar with a view and I thought why on earth, I mean really why on earth? But then I realized oh, the view, and the things cocktails enable and I thought maybe I should drink cocktails. I guess it’s been eight years, I mean I don’t really have any desire to drink cocktails except at those sudden moments of alienation and distance like comfort. I don’t have a rule against it necessarily, I mean my rule is that if I eat something and I’m not hypoglycemic anymore, and then I think I oh, cocktails would be a good idea, then I can get cocktails. But once I eat something, I never want cocktails, so it sort of is a rule, but maybe it works better than something more clearly a rule. I mean the last thing I need is to feel worse, right? Worse from that wrong moment of escape.

There’s this incredible sense of invulnerability that comes from the best building knock-you-down clank bang boom bring it on hit me with it yes hit me with it it doesn’t matter nothing matters except that beat. Maybe that’s why people walk around with headphones glued to their ears, the only time I do that is when I’m on the train otherwise I always say I want to know what’s going on. Maybe something exciting will happen, although it rarely does. Or something horrifying, and I want to know that too -- I mean, it’s better to know when someone says die, faggot, isn’t it? But maybe I just need the surgery, permanent headphones over my ears it doesn’t mean you can’t turn them down it just means that whenever you need it you have that beat.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Better late than never?

Of course -- lostmissing milk -- dairy, or dairy-free? (thanks, Gina!)

A great new review on the Rumpus which reminds me that the final event for So Many Ways to Sleep Badly is on Thursday!!!

First, here's the review, "Remembrance of Things Fast"...

And, the details of the event:

Guillermo Gomez-Peña + Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore -- a match made in heaven/hell!
Thursday, February 26, 7 pm
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia Street (at 20th)
San Francisco, CA 94110

Come celebrate City Lights as Modern Times' Independent Publisher of the Month with City Lights authors, editors, staff, and refreshments…

Lostmissing #13

Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

Here's what lostmissing #13 says:

It’s amazing how something so simple as a voice saying hello can calm me, just hello, hello from the distance I wasn’t sure if the distance was the phone or you or both of you, but that’s all I got. Hello, and then. And then I called back, before I was so sure of things I wanted to say I mean I didn’t know what I wanted to say but I knew that I wanted to express my anger but then after hello, just hello, I don’t know what to say. I say: did you just answer? I guess call me back, if you’re calling me back.

So now I get to sit here and guess some more, guess whether you hung up on me because for a second you didn’t remember my number and you just answered out of habit and then oh, you remembered, and you hung up on me. Or maybe your phone went dead. Pretty doubtful, but this is how my brain works: I’m filled with doubt. Not in general, but maybe about you, and our relationship, and its sudden rupture. It’s funny how I feel calmer now, when the phone was ringing I felt all that dread and nervousness, especially when -- hello -- and I paused, didn’t know what to say. I guess I’ll have to call again.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Volume 9

Waking up there are a few moments when I’m laughing so I figure that’s a good sign, today will be the good day yes today. But then I’m so exhausted from a casual phone conversation with a friend that I almost feel like I can’t go outside, I don’t understand how something relaxed and fun can break my heart so quickly. The shower helps a little bit, warm caress, moisture for the sinuses, outside to the longest, slowest bus ride ever, standing up and breaking my body the whole way to get a haircut of course I’m already too tired I was already too tired before I left the house now looking for music I’m crushed again, why not sit and eat Vietnamese spring rolls the one thing I’m not allergic to in this restaurant, just rice paper, rice noodles, lettuce, basil, sprouts, carrots -- ginger tea and lime to help with digestion, water with no ice -- but why that floating away while I’m eating why that floating away? Oh, the rice noodles, right the rice noodles something about white rice processed in this way that makes me lean back into oblivion but there’s a bus to wait for, or wait I can run and catch it, then another bus to wait for, and another bus to ride. At home there’s a moment with the new music, even at volume 9 why not louder it’s still early but even at volume 9 Josh Wink makes me ready for the world of body to sky but then there’s the falling place, I look at the clock or the counter or the display, whatever it is, two minutes and 35 seconds. Time to cook again and my head’s glazed over I can hardly even read, get ready for another day when I can hardly even read.

Lostmissing #12

Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

And here's what lostmissing #12 says:

One day we have a friendship of 16 years a relationship a commitment a dream a hug a conversation, and the next day it’s gone. Your commitment, your dream, your hug your conversation.

Or maybe it’s not gone; you just won’t call me back. I want to call you, but I’m not sure whether I want to talk to you. I want to call you, just so you’ll say: I don’t want to talk to you. And then I can say: how dare you talk to me like that?

Maybe one of the things that scared you was that I said you were the most important person in my life, not just that I was still angry for those five years when you lied about everything but because I told you what you meant to me. Probably what I meant to you too and maybe that made it scarier. I still wake up and think of things to say when I finally see you, I want you to know how I’m feeling or at least the anger part. Probably you know the rest.

I wonder if I’ve let go too easily, moved all my sadness and overwhelm into this project which actually gives me hope, this project of writing to you but not to you, writing to the world and with the world and in the world and all over the world. Maybe that’s what it means for me not to give up. It’s like all of these gestures can hold me in the way that you won’t. But I keep thinking about you.

I wonder what you’re thinking now. I wonder what you would think if you read this, if that would change what you’re thinking now. I wonder if this change would make a difference, a difference in the way you’re thinking. I wonder if you care.

I know you care about what you’re thinking. I wonder if you care too much about what you’re thinking, and not enough about -- okay, I might as well just say it: I wonder if you’re thinking about me. If I want you to think about me. What I want you to think about me.

What you want. It always comes back there. I wonder how to get away, to get away from what you want. Maybe we need a confrontation. A confrontation you don’t want. Maybe I’ll call you right now, I’ll call you right now and see what you’re thinking.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lostmissing in Rockville, Maryland!!!

Have you called yet?

His grip

The best escape is sucking cock, that’s what I’m thinking. Or maybe it works better this way: sucking cock is the best escape. Not thinking: that’s the point. Or wait, I’m thinking, but it’s slower, more directed, physically-induced. But I’m getting ahead of myself: first it’s why am I so edgy in Lafayette Park, Buena Vista is so much darker but maybe in Lafayette it’s the shadows from street lights and buildings and everything closer. Buena Vista almost isn’t a part of this world of city and street in Lafayette that’s me up ahead with incredibly tall legs like I am on stilts, moving side to side across the branch and also because there’s no one around, just that shadow up ahead just me.

But you already know there’s someone else, I mean I can’t suck my own cock, at least not yet, probably not in Lafayette Park unless I become a newly-minted gymnast when it’s been raining so much I have to step over branches and into the remains of puddles to get to the end where I think I saw someone, right I saw someone not just that tall shadow, right? First I stop and look down at the grand old buildings the yellow light and it’s amazing how far a car’s headlights can take you.

There he is, I’m studying the signs of age and wondering about the creases to the sides of my own lips, maybe I’m not attracted to him as much as I’m attracted to the idea of sucking his cock something I wasn’t even planning I was only looking for air or maybe not just air but I wasn’t planning on finding so it’s more sudden: I sit down on the bench and look up, he caresses the side of my cheek really a caress and I start fondling his dick through his pants, taking my time and then why not unzip, no underwear, pull it out and I’m wondering what his clothes smell like no smell at all that’s the way I like it best. It’s enough to get my head to that familiar yet uncomfortable no comfortable no uncomfortable angle but I don’t want my knees in the dirt until the moment when he starts groaning, hands grasping my head instead of just a tease I mean I like the tease too but when he grasps I realize I better switch to face forward okay I can squat and wow it’s like a whole different world here with his hands really holding my head that’s the support I’m looking for. And yes I’m holding his legs, strangely no hair everyone’s shaving these days but mostly the pubic hair so the thing protrudes further out or at least it looks that way I don’t need that to give me awe I just want the pressure into throat those hands gripping the side of my head gripping the side of my head keep gripping with those hands I don’t care if my throat gets all sore if my neck is off for a week if my knees sink into the mud if I slip afterwards and roll down the hill if the hill ends and then I’m in the street and there are cars to greet me please just grip is what I’ll say to them, hold me just keep holding and pumping and holding and then he pulls away I’m not sure why but he pulls away, thrusts and groans and glistening to the side that’s okay I’m still looking up.

He zips up says thanks starts to move away and turns back to say you have to be careful here, they patrol the park between 10 and 6 and if they catch us you get a ticket, a fine, and a court appearance. As he walks away I’m pulling my dick out to jerk off I say thanks, wondering about the us part and the charge of his grip fades and I realize I don’t need to jerk off, everything’s fine already.

Friday, February 20, 2009


My wrists hurt. I’m sick of talking about how my wrists hurt. I’m sick of thinking why did I put that piece of art in the frame, that’s what hurt my wrists. Or: why did I read too many pages? Or: why did I make that lostmissing poster, that’s what hurt my hands. The front door lock, it’s stuck -- can’t they fix that fucking lock, that’s why my arms are a disaster! Or: never mind. Maybe I need to take a shower to relax my body, although yesterday I realized I hold my shoulders up in the shower and that ends up hurting more. I was just glad to hear the word atheist, Katia on the phone saying she wants to review the psalms she just read the psalms for the first time, but as an atheist. People don’t use that word enough, anymore.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This paragraph

I fall asleep on the stretching mat, just like that I’m listening to a feldenkrais CD I guess it’s good if you fall asleep it means your body is letting go and I still have my produce delivery on the kitchen table, waiting for me to move each item to the refrigerator and my sinuses hurt, that nap hurt my sinuses it wasn’t supposed to be a nap I better check and see if there’s enough water in the pot of lentils. Ouch my whole body hurts -- so much for falling asleep on the stretching mat and then it’s the next day, I’m sick of this struggle just to have enough energy to do anything, right? I don’t even feel like finishing this paragraph.

Realistic, not fatalistic

On a good day, when I get up without trying to get up for too long or trying not to get up for too long, then I’m awake to dense clouds suddenly sun then softer, whiter clouds and rain with the sun and then just rain again but luckily that stops too, I like the sound but I’m on my way to do an errand, almost, and then onto the Geary bus for the picture frame store where they’re very friendly and I get a pink mat, maybe I should just go home is what I’m thinking, maybe I should just go home because I actually feel okay. But down the street is Green Apple, literally two blocks away I can’t miss an opportunity for Green Apple so then I’m in the poetry section, looking at books I’ve heard of but I’m not that interested in, just to see if maybe I’m interested in them, and books I haven’t heard of, to find the ones I’m really looking for. I get excited about this search but then my hands are starting to hurt from turning the pages and I’m getting hypoglycemic while sitting among all this dust on the floor but now I’m hypoglycemic so I can’t leave until I find something I actually want, which actually happens and then I’m in the queer section, which they’ve moved again, they’re always moving the queer section even if they don’t call it that.

Outside into the air and luckily I can piss behind the port-a-pottie around the corner since Green Apple will never let you use the bathroom no matter how long you sit on the floor in the poetry section but luckily I know where I can go in the neighborhood, back onto the bus and I’m so tired I don’t even feel like eating. I’ll take some amino acids and meditation like a nap and then I’m home, a smooth enough arrival and departure without the pouring rain which I love except it gets into my shoes and how to get them dry. The other day when I went to the laundromat to put them in the dryer and someone said you need a large blanket or they’ll kick the door open, he meant the shoes, and this woman said here, you can put them in the dryer with these blankets, really my shoes in her dryer which was really her dryer for work she said I don’t care, the shoes aren’t dirty, right? Maybe I can just keep thinking about moments of shoes in the dryer with a pile of someone else’s blankets keeping me warm, that way I don’t need to wonder about turning the heater on, destroying my sinuses I won’t. Move the books to the other side of the table so I’m not tempted to read, my fragile hands. The squash is in the oven no it’s on the oven I took it out, long enough to make it dry like a pastry I prefer the moisture. But let’s stay realistic, not fatalistic, as if there’s a difference -- I’m trying to open the packaging for the frame and the knife falls to the floor, sure it’s the small knife with the wide handle but I better pick it up right away I can already feel it slicing open my foot.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lostmissing in the Hudson Valley -- look at all this color!

No more music

That’s the beat you want that beat yeah that’s the beat you want that beat it’s how my day starts the good part of my day after lying in bed thinking I should get up, how do I get up? I should get up, how do I get up? Sometimes I think my apartment is a reverse nightclub, the music is the loudest right when I get out of bed and the sun shines in through the wide-open windows or if not sun then the rains shines in, as the day progresses the music gets quieter and instead of drugs to keep me going I’m serving steamed kale, black-eyed peas, millet, always trying trying trying to take care of myself but my head is closed without that music until later when it opens so briefly then closes again no more music.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lostmissing #10

Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

Where did this palm tree come from? Who put this palm tree here? Why haven't I noticed it before?

Like usual again

I wish the shower could just be relaxing yes this hot water yes this hot water and cold air yes this hot water but then there’s always the chance it’ll just stop, just stop like that and then only cold air and that’s not relaxing. Let’s go back to the rain yes the rain the sound of rain the air but not while I’m in the shower. I want this other rain, warm calming my body but whenever I start to calm I wonder if this is the moment when the shower will stop, I mean the warm part. The manager says it’s the water pressure, but somehow the cold water pressure never seems to be a problem.

Then there’s my bed, never a problem by itself except there’s me, me in the bed and yes that can lead to problems. Lately I’ve started to think maybe I should get up at that point when I’m wired, that point when I always try not to get up, not to get up at all it’s just a delusion but then I push push push myself back to sleep and when I finally get up I feel awful anyway so I wonder if I would feel better just getting up earlier. Until today, when the wired part doesn’t happen until later almost late enough to get up except I can sense the falling apart already so I stay. Then I’m worried I stayed too long and then I sink into a soft dream about yes, Derek, but somehow the dreams are calmer then reality and then it fades to a woman with curly hair on a screen or maybe a silhouette and somehow that means it’s time to get up, now that I notice that I’m sleeping but then I start to get up and no, not yet, let’s just listen to the rain, and then there’s that moment of calm but I waited too long so I wait again and yes, here it is, and I stand up into the cold.

When it’s raining during the day I can walk further, further because the air isn’t as polluted or I think that’s why. Back at home, today’s a better day than usual that’s what I’m telling Gina but then as I’m telling her I realize I can hardly think I’m so exhausted, did I just get this exhausted or did I just realize? There’s always that tension between inside and outside, either it’s inside I’m falling outside I’m saying it’s fine or not saying it I don’t say I’m fine I say I’m a mess but still in public I have this need to keep it together or else why public? But at home, inside it’s okay and then outside? Wait, what’s going on? Because now there’s someone here, someone to communicate with, and I start to communicate, better than usual is what I say but then I feel like usual again.

More lostmissing, more Berlin -- more lostmissing in Berlin!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My hands

Today my right hand is causing me problems, it’s like it’s twisted one too many times inside and then when I do too much of anything it starts hurting but I can’t figure out how not to do too much of these things: cooking, the dishes, eating, clicking the mouse, turning pages, using a pen. It’s hard to figure out activities that don’t use my right hand at all, and then when I use my left hand for the things I can do, like holding a fork, then my left hand starts to hurt too.

I’m trying to decide whether to go to the bar with a back room tonight, actually that’s something that would be perfect for my right hand, something to forget the pain for an hour or so because that charge of desire makes my body stronger. But not strong enough to deal with people hiding in the corners to smoke cigarettes, or the fog machine creeping downstairs. It’s pretty amazing that my sinuses haven’t felt so awful lately, and now it’s raining which means the air is clear and fresh but also that people might be more reluctant to go outside to smoke, there’s always a bad side to even the best of news. Today I was walking uphill as the sun was going down, beneath the clouds which were still giving rain so the light was soft and white almost, white with the clouds and a few glimpses of yellow or gray and the city down below starting to sparkle one of those moments when I know why I live here although sometimes the sparkling of the sun over sky over hills over buildings seems like a strange reason for me to feel like I’m sparkling too, even if just for a moment, before heading back home to figure out what to do about my hands.

Look -- a chandelier, really a chandelier in my apartment!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A souvenir from the best sex I've had in a while, I do mean a while always I ask why so long, and how much longer? (yes, it's a designer water bottle)

Lostmissing #7

Lostmissing is a public art project -- I’d love it if you’d participate.

And here's what lostmissing #7 says:

There was a time when rage felt so powerful and intimate, right after I escaped those first 18 years, maybe. Rage at the world but I didn’t necessarily have control over it maybe we shared that rage it was something that connected us. When you’re really young, no one notices, they just stare down at you and say enjoy your childhood, enjoy it while you can! Finally I could make people notice. But that didn’t last, a few years and my anger shifted to sadness and exhaustion it’s so ironic that you stopped talking to me because I said: I feel totally confident about the longevity of our relationship and our trust and intimacy, but I never feel secure. I even said: you’re the most important person in my life. Even if I didn’t want a most important person in my life I was trying to say what I felt anyway. I thought you’d offer something simple like thanks, I want you to feel more secure. Thanks, I want you to feel more secure. Thanks, I want you to feel more secure. It sounds simple, right?

Instead you said you were a different person, a different person reacting the same way you did when you were a disastrous alcoholic, a different person I guess I was losing in those moments maybe already losing with your different allegiances I’ve always had friends in so many different ways but I think you wanted to get rid of me in order not to feel guilty about changing.

Maybe it’s ironic that I’m talking about your anger and how you expressed it in ways that scared me, even while I’m talking about my inability to express anger. Sixteen years is a long time, a long time to lose just like that. I want to treasure everything you gave me, even as it turns to grief, does that mean I want to treasure grief? Of course there’s much to say about the gems tears create, even when they stay inside your eyes there’s that soft sheen.

Wait -- I did spit in someone’s face once, in that angry way. It was a cop.

Back then I used to say that cops weren’t human but of course they are and that’s part of the problem. But where were you during that protest? Maybe you’d moved to Philadelphia. But actually I don’t remember you from any of those protests back then when protests were the most important thing to me, didn’t matter I wanted to make sure that I didn’t think protests should be the center of everyone’s lives. Or at least I was trying.

Ten years later we were at one of the antiwar protests and something happened you got angry, you said you’d been marching all day and I’d just gotten there and I couldn’t believe it, all of those years when I tried so diligently not to make you feel guilty about not attending the protests I worked so hard to create, all of those years and here you were giving me attitude and I remember I got upset and it was a rare moment of friction between us I mean a moment when I expressed it. But what did I say? I left you there and walked home, walked home with my bag that before you were carrying but then I decided not to go home and we ended up at the same place which was that squat on Market Street and maybe you apologized I think you apologized but I’m not sure if you knew why.

But the way memory works, then we’re walking up Hyde Street after something in the East Bay, maybe you’re walking me home but you want to go to this party this party where you say you’re not going to drink you’re not going to drink because you’ve had enough you just want sex and I know why I’m remembering this walk home with the aftermath of that protest, not just because it’s the same walk a different night but because it’s another time when I got angry, I mean I got angry and showed it. I said I know you’re lying to me it’s not like I’m fucking clairvoyant just tell me the fucking truth and you tried to defend yourself because we were there with someone else and I didn’t even need to hear the stories of you tumbling to the ground in liquor delirium macho get-some blackout grab-for-it I always hated you that way. It’s funny how, maybe a year or two ago we were chatting and I was trying to remember why, even back when we met and we both went out drinking, we didn’t go out drinking together, and you said it was because I couldn’t deal with your aggression. You said even back then, 16 or 15, 14 13 12 years ago, when we would run into each other at bars I would say hi and then stay away. Maybe by reminding me of that you were trying to be accountable, accountable from the distance of a decade and more, maybe that’s what you were trying to do without naming it, tell me the truth but shelter your feelings. A shelter I helped to create, even though it was everything I didn’t believe in.