The Place Where No One Else Goes

I

I went to the place where no one else goes and though it was lonely, that is to be expected. What caught me with my pants down was just how cold emptiness is. So cold I couldn’t tell if I was frozen or burnt or if I just didn’t love all the way anymore.

II

There were echoes so faint that they might have been the laughter of children who didn’t know why, or the cries of the desperate who didn’t know how. There were shadows that disappeared in the light and others that were lost in the dark. There were shadows that were thrown by emptiness.

III

Prisons with bars are the simplest kind.
At least you know what you are up against
Wars with dead bodies make some kind of sense, at least to themselves.
I promised myself
That if I ever
Make my way out of the place where no one else goes
I will do the one thing that I need to do

IMG_1857

Where the Oysters were Poisoned

I

We looked at the past – at lamps, rivers, and drawings – and imagined the future they’d bring. We traveled down highways, up mountains, down waves and found ourselves in the place we had once called our home.

II

We called to the captain, “Change your course! We’re heading for the end of the world!” But he was too drunk, more even than us, and could only hear the sound of himself

III

We drove to the place where the oysters were poisoned, carrying our most precious cargo, hoping for the worst but fearing the best.

We watched the ice descend.

IMG_20140921_151558

The silence that Tuesday night brings

I

I went to the place where blisters were blooming on fingers that felt pride in putting them there. A woman named Mary provided a fishbowl, a backdrop for dreamers, and pint after pint. There were masters of melody, rakers of rhythm, and teller of tales about freight trains and fears. It’s easier to listen to strange-sounding strings than to suffer the silence that Tuesday night brings.

II

When the tables were turned and the clouds were behind me, the strangest illusion of calmness I’ve known washed over my nerves like a musical blanket or the last acorn to fall from the tree. Not even fear itself could frighten away the creatures who gathered to feed it to loneliness.

III

I said I don’t usually do this
I said that you’ll soon find out why
I said that I love you, again, without fear or regret, except one: that it can’t be returned.

IMG_3438

Up The River

I

We came to the place that was founded by men who risked and lost lives in the mouths of great beasts whose fat was burned to light the page and warm the bones of men’s children. Presidents came, and prostitutes too, in days best remembered in drawings and the fading photographs that line the entry to the place built to house weapons that is now home to books.

II

We walked in the shadows of Martin Van Buren and waded in puddles of forgotten tears. We listened to stories, with rhythms and melodies, borrowed and plundered, of fathers and kings and lovers long gone.

III

We answered the questions as well as we could, not knowing how honest or accurate we were able to be. We waited for sunshine and cried for the past and we buried our gold in the hungry dirt of Finland.

IMG_3425

Like the back of my hand

I

We came from the place where they mold your dreams into memories that do not fade. We walked along the river that flows both ways until the machine ran out on us and the molten rocks flowed down the hills. We talked with the man who taught one of us how to swim and invited him out for a meal.

II

Before we could eat with the man who taught swimming we first had to eat with the next generation, growing and laughing and eating their fill with appetites we will never know again. We also partook, in one place or the other, in rituals of celebration and remembrance.

III

On the way home from both of our meals we took local roads past the place where the wolves prowl the rails and the snakes draw the innocent out of their shells and into the woods where it’s easier to feast on them. I’ve come to know this place like the back of my hand.

IMG_1851

The Place Where It Started

I went to the place where it started for me and spent time with half the people I’d known there. It wasn’t the way it used to be: it’s harder now to find some words and too easy for others. There are holes in places that used to be solid. There are flowers where there used to be trees. There is death where there used to be laughter, and knowledge where there used to be dreams.

The dark room showed violence, but not too much, and it also showed patience and grace. The room by the water showed the shockwaves of nature and the art that is hidden in food. The room meant for living was filled with opinions – ideas and voices and anger and hope. The room meant for sleeping grabbed me and swallowed, and groaned before hiding away. The room that keeps moving carried a box of silence across state lines where it was opened ceremoniously and out popped another fresh life.

chair

The Light

We see ourselves through the eyes of those we love. 
We are bound to like some of the things we see and dislike others. 
We see our character flaws in their eyes as clearly as we see our physical ones in a mirror. 

Did you ever notice how much better people look in direct sunlight? 
There is a warmth in that light that draws out our best. 
Love does the same thing. 
Even our flaws can be endearing in the light of love.

The Light – by Regina Spektor

The light was shining in my eyes before I closed them
And all the dreams I had the night before came back
The faces that I’d seen looked so familiar
But they’re just strangers, I haven’t met them yet


I know the morning is wiser than the evening
I know that wrong and right can sometimes look the same
So many things I know, but they don’t help me
Each day I open up my eyes and start again


The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes


So many stories I want to tell you
I wish that I could show you the many things I’ve seen
You and your daddy, you both look like poets
Your eyes are open wide while you are in a dream


I know the morning is wiser than the nighttime
I know there’s nothing wrong, I shouldn’t feel so down
So many things I know, but they don’t help me
Each day I open up my eyes to look around


The sun comes shining in my eyes
The sun comes shining in my eyes
The sun comes shining in my eyes
The sun comes shining in my eyes


Are closed now
Count the stars inside your mind
Count the breaths, count heartbeats
Count the sounds of life


The light was shining in my eyes before I closed them
And all the dreams I had the night before were gone
The faces that I’d seen looked so familiar
But I forgot them all when I saw the sun

I know the morning is wiser than the evening
I know that all of life just happens in between
So many things I know, but they don’t help me
Each day I open up my eyes and it begins


The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes
The light comes shining in my eyes

The light, the light, the light, the light
The light, the light