Terrarium

terrarium art

Bear. Bones sheath skin that barely knows itself. Coming to terms with what is, under sheets of what is not. In humbled greetings, bent backed… Tired. . .Grateful. . .Pensive. 

I am more than parts of the alphabet put together in the callous rhythm of My Name.
Am I.
Shame.

The fugitive inside me scampers in distress, as insides smoke a clear poison of Truth.Truth.

I am smaller with this dying all around me.  Recoiled and revealed in sweet syllables of calming sadness. The wound breaks outward in grief. Raw.

So raw it hurts. The observant tilt their heads, gauging the difference. Toes remember last scrapings of leaving earth in nails. Arms comb through breeze, of Earth and still Unearthly. Floating.

I taste mud between my teeth, filling up the empty slots where lies once cavitied my gum. I am flying.

Changing. Moving. Grieving un-tethered.

Shifting pebbles in this terrarium. 

Ode. .Ode Unfinished.

I don’t know where to begin. Fiction was your tool, and I struggle to hide between sheets of emotions, all too real. If ever there were a need for alternate universes, alternate realities, now would be a good time for a God, any God to oblige.

For This cannot be real.

How do I confront this reality. One where you once were, and time will pass, and empty pain will flow silver hot into the gaps you’ve left behind.

This cannot be real.

I inch outside the far edges of “this mortal frame”, licking the air in a desperate attempt to sense you here, somewhere, with us, with all of us. And all I feel is your absence loom like a gaping truth around me. So fucked up, this.

Sometimes the realest things are the hardest to believe.  Like the fact that you were here, that you saw me, that you wobbled clumsy white clouds into my blaring sunlight, and gave me just the kind of weather I love.  Knowing you existed, soul-friend, heart string, writer, dreamer, wanderer and all; made life so much sweeter.

2000 kilometers made nothing.

Now your letters remain the only extension of you I can keep. And that humongous hole you left behind, the only thing that proves you were real.

For you were real. And how utterly humbled I am to have known you, loved you and been showered in your bitter-sweet dilemmas with life, and how we, us common folk, (so unlike you), live it.

You, fool you, you big old Velveteen Rabbit, waiting to be real.

I guess the sweetest tragedy in all of this, is that you had no idea how real you were; to me, to her, to us. To all of us! Your clueless heart galloped on, so unforgiving to its imaginary flaws. I wish you saw how flawed we were too. How flawed we are. But you never did.

Your quest was left unfinished.

I want to holler at every staring face to “cry with me!”  “Don’t you see what’s happened! My friend. . . he’s gone. . .and he’s taken something warm and fuzzy, and innocent with him.”

“Cry with me!  He’s gone. . . and something wonderful has gone with him.”

Unfinished.

She Loves me. .

She comes back to me in flashes. Like 3 am dreams I can’t unmake, and uncomfortable nights between the past, a present I miss, and their battle in the silence. She comes back to me in flashes.  Like a whisper I wont let myself forget.

Her towering frame folds into me in overlapping heaves of quiet madness. And her eyes flicker and move and her lips churn in voices I can no longer hear.

. . .But she loves me.

Her love nooses around my neck and marks its territory. It twists into these contours and walks with me. It gullies through my quiet thinking and chokes me. It bangs against these aching walls, and haunts me empty. 

But she loves me. . .

I dream of her love in dreams I will not dare to have. In them, she captures me whole and eats me.
I cannot un-break and still, she breaks me.  She has programmed me to succumb. 

. . .But she loves me. . .

She loves me enough to steal the only blood I know. She wants to keep me. She wants me to herself so she sits by me as we watch the thing we love the most destroy itself with her wizardry. 

She will have the best of me. 

The world cheers on in celebration, not wanting to be reminded of the places I have been. So I masquerade between their world and mine, part losing myself in this make-believe. 

Sometimes it strikes me weak. The memory of her death punches through the atmosphere in a gasp that swears to swallow me.  

So I weave curtains with these tears and paint patterns with these stories no one else can understand, and drape them around me.

In life, she made nothing of me. In death she makes me strange.

But she loves me.  

Year

 

You started like a whirling at the pit of a perceptive gut. Grey, open-skied clouds closing in. You stared dark and unblinking like an old-timer by the fire remembering mangled relics from a time that can never be touched again. . .But the madness lingers.

I saw you in the distance and my callow heart skipped at the thought of some soothing rain; you see these old gashes and scars, they burn, and only the sky, and the moon and the Gods in between can quiet the screaming.

So I twirled in the fading sunlight, in anticipation. But by the time the rickety circle completed around me, my pit matched yours, and there, our eyes met.

Soundless thunder.

The vibrations rattled your hoary clouds and my bones shook in a desperate prayer. You had found me.

Year. From the moment our eyes met, it was blood and smoke and an eternal scrimmage underplay.

Savage. You picked me up in your palm and made me look up in prayer to find ‘carnage!‘ painted across the heavens in breath-taking hemic hues.

But I fought you. I broke down the laws of the Universe and I breathed you in so I could spit you out like crippled phlegm- un-welcomed and unwanted.

Year. You rolled waves of madness in, and there, riding at the helm of the fleet was Alastor, and so my final battle began.

His demon arms reached and pulled and tested every gene passed down these generations; from father, to daughter, to hers.  You gashed out the sand bags and let the flood pour in, you. . . Emptied the cup.

And then you stood tall, Conductor with baton in hand taking control of it all- the keys, the drums, the colors and the sounds. Year.

Now I can’t find the music. I search deep and mad like a wordless poet, and the melody flickers lifelessly.

Look what you did to me.

You took everything. Your storm wiped clear the only past I knew and now I stand in the aftermath, cleaned. I walk back, and move in circles because I cannot find who I once was. These unpainted nails are smeared in dirt from the frantic dig for my roots, and I found none.

Year. Where do I go now. What anecdote from the past do I pull out to make sense of this.

Year, you bind everything in time. So I’ll give you this: I can package the grief for later, and time-table back to life. I can forgo the answers, eat the riddles. I can smoothen out the edges and make-believe a new canvas of this emptiness. . .

But Year. . . Who can tell me who I am?

 

Love. . .

. . .You could be an aching in my soul so deep, that the hollow you leave behind could consume me. I smile, a smile I don’t even know exists; when it’s your face within these eyes, no matter how many times I blink.

I don’t understand it. Love, your memory could burn in my chest like a concentric coal on fire in a desert storm. No one would know, and in the heat, and the dust, and the silence, I could burn away.
You intoxicate me. Your memories laser through these still growing bones, and shatter me into a still. Something so old, to this new.

This madness debilitates me. There are days when my body makes nothing of the urge to survive, and threatens to stop pushing. To stop pulsing. To stop wanting anything more, unless you appeared, and time undid itself. While I, I simply give in.

What is this?

Love, all logic leads to nothing, all meaning always ends with you, coursing through my scientific cells, questioning the very core of these laws I uphold with pride. Laws. You break the barriers of science and make a mortal wish for another life instead.

I fear us.

I fear being caught up in something old, as a pill for our something new.
I fool myself into a someday, I won’t ever utter, so I drag through a NOW that quicksands time around me, never moving, and so fucking strong it hurts to wait another day.

But I’ll never say it. So won’t you?

Love, I’ll wait for the day you’re ready. Wait for the day you return to claim me. Wait for the time your heart gets braver than mine and looks right at mine, in one, endless knowing.

Love. . . You could be an aching in my soul so deep, that the hollow you leave behind could consume me, and it does. So between the moment you come back, and the moments we’ve left behind, I’ll spin a totem in our name, and let you decide if it falls.

It’s true, there is a price for everything.

A Mosh. So Far.

I lace the tray with comforting butter and grease my palms with laughter. But can you taste my sadness? I rake these pasty leaves after rain and watch still, as the sun warms their shivering frames into a mold of forced coupling.This solidarity is a lie. Meaning pastes itself to a corner in the wind. The cycles churn unexpectedly.

But. . . Can you taste my madness?

Yeah. I wait for us to miss this. So easy to forget, the letters wear themselves out like a rainbow in the storm.
Is that the colors you chase, so broken in the sand like a thousand dreams cracked under the raining sun?

G,r,a,n,t,e,d. We took us all for granted. The syllables preach like the violet, blue, indigo we childishly gallop toward, through our glass ceilings in the sky.

Everything looks better from a distance. These distilling layers we seek can make sunshine of summer, and dancing rivulets of the sea. Everything is extraordinary.

But can you smell my blindness.

It stinks like a passionless pit untouched by humility. So pregnant, these eyes refuse the very blessings it seeks. Faithlessly you dedicate yourself to life. What’s the point in that?

Does it make you weak with gladness? Or does it fill you with an intimately gaping hole to know how fantastically contorted we all are.

If you broke us down, the ingredients would overwhelm you. The cinnamon rips through the air like cupid’s arrow, missed to a determined fall, yet the inching haunts you. The octave changes but you still won’t stretch your ears, so caught up in the tragedy of it all.

?

The octave changes

Can you taste my sadness? I lace these trays with comforting butter and grease my palms with laughter, but can you taste my madness? Can you see how strange we all are? Me, you, and she, and he, and him, and her, and this bunch, this contorted, contorted bunch we call friends.

Do our flavors tickle you?

Break us down.Test us. I know you want to test me. There’s an air of cinnamon plaguing your unkempt pancreas of assumptions, and opinions, and pride. And I thought you were the adult.

Your weakness strengthens me. Not because I’m better, but because you grow so smaller in your petty.

You don’t realize you lost us.

So I laugh at you tonight. And brush you off like an unnecessary flake on my otherwise wealthy shoulders. You’re intelligent you say?

Well I am the alphabet. Assemble me. And there’s always going to be an arrangement you miss.