Sunday, January 29, 2006


(again, I'm experimenting...thoughts are appreciated)

Blessed art thou, for thou knowst not what thou creates. Seven days and thou brushes thine hands-ist off-ist and leave-ist thine children with only questions.

Why do we have that “hangy-ball” in the back of our throats? How do we know when to accept and when to question? What is the dewey decimal for life’s manual?

When do I accept it on faith? Where is it made clear? Who can identify truth and grant deliverance? Who’s your daddy?

Forty years, a fortnight and an eternity. Scroll to scroll, cover to cover, palm to palm and cheek to cheek. God bless us, someone.

Friday, January 20, 2006

None of us

He said, “None of us is smarter than all of us.” He meant, “No individual is wiser than the people as a whole.” Or maybe, “The absence of an opinion is truer than the collective decision.”

What then? Black is fuller than white. Dark is brighter than light. Wrong is better than right.

The decision of the collective none – an ethical big bang – chaos holding power as the sea holds a bottled message.

Or maybe, “I am stupider than all of you.”

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blink. Breathe. Hold on.

Light reflects off of sequins into a black mass which roars for its offering. Hands reaching, seeking. Give it something.

Bound by wire and electric tape and addiction on a four foot pedestal. Perception dulled in the pounding. Felt through head, feet, chest, soul. Inhale.

Invisible hands tug forward. Peering down over a sea of grinning chaos. Open wide. Thighs sore from pumping in a savage dance. High heels first out of place and then kicked aside. The sacrifice is made.

The beast is satiated, yet the victim, panting and slippery with salty fluid, needs more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

First Encounter

The first death a child has to deal with can be confusing and terrifying. Every moment that follows will be forever altered.

Malebeka was her real name, but all of the kids called her Sonu. She lived across the street from me. She was a sweet person with a bright smile. She still had some of her baby fat. Sometimes she really got on my nerves.

Sonu about a year younger than me, but we were in that phase of life where all of the kids on the block would play together. When it snowed we alternated houses to pile into for hot chocolate. We'd happily gulp and chat while we waited for our snowsuits to come out of the dryer.

I remember one time it snowed and then rained so that a layre of ice formed. Our neighborhood turned into a giant ice-skating rink. We spent hours skating, falling and laughing. I can't remember if that was before or after Sonu died.

Sonu went to a private school so she rode home on a different bus. She was the only kid at her stop and she had to cross the street to get to her house. One day she was hit by a van. I remember hearing how she was propelled across the street from the strength of the impact. The man driving the van didn't stop for the school bus. He didn't even slow down. He was in one of those work vans that had the bumper sticker that said, "How's my driving?" and provided a phone number.

I was furious. I wanted to call that number. Sonu was being flown to the hospital in a helicopter. She was in critical condition.

I didn't know what to do that night. She had to live. Kids my age just didn't die so suddenly. I supposed I should just go to bed.

My mom woke me up. I have no idea what time it was. She told me that Sonu had died. I still didn't know what to do. How was I supposed to feel? Nothing seemed different. I figured that my world would turn up-side-down when I heard news like that. Nothing. I was just shocked.

Stunned silence eventually turned into tears. It was never the way they portray it in the least not for me. I didn't beat my fists on the floor and scream to the heavens. I just cried. Quietly. I felt bad. I didn't like Sonu all of the time. Was I allowed to be upset that she had died? I felt sad and I felt guilty.

The next day at school, the guidance counselor took my group of friends into her office to help us handle the grief. I felt guilty for getting out of class when she wasn't even my best friend. I was so upset though. What was going on? What was the right way to feel? How could I have ever thought anything bad about a girl who was dead?

We went to her wake. I went up to see the body. A lot of people were there and some were touching her. I wanted to touch her hand. It felt like a hand. She looked like Sonu. I found it hard to cry. Her parents were so nice. Why were they standing there talking with people? Shouldn't they be screaming and crying? They were crying, but it was so polite. Again, my image of the movies was shattered. They weren't hysterical. Such kind people they were to hold it together like that. How could I be more upset than they seemed? I wasn't. Not right then.

A few months later the neighborhood got together to plant a memorial garden. Her parents and baby sister moved away. I guessed that the memory was too hard for them. Maybe it was something else. I'll never forget it. And I'll never forget that damn bumper sticker.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Mother's Lament

I promise that I will write more after I have returned to school for the spring semester. Until that time, please enjoy some lyrics that have had me chuckling for years.

Mother's Lament as performed by Cream in Disraeli Gears

"A mother was washing her baby one night;
The youngest of ten and a delicate mite.
The mother was poor and the baby was thin;
'Twas naught but a skeleton covered with skin.

The mother turned 'round for a soap off the rack.
She was only a moment but when she turned back
Her baby had gone, and in anguish she cried,
"Oh, where has my baby gone?" The angels replied:

Oh, your baby has gone down the plug hole.
Oh, your baby has gone down the plug.
The poor little thing was so skinny and thin,
He should have been washed in a jug, in a jug.

Your baby is perfectly happy;
He won't need a bath anymore.
He's a-muckin' about with the angels above,
Not lost but gone before."

I love this band. I have no idea where this came from. The only writing credit listed on the album is "traditional." Anyone know?