I – ON THE ISLAND
Each day you grow further;
You stir the still air across the ocean
A sweet sigh in a pounding collision
A soul drifts
Bashing against rocks and colliding back into my memory
II – ON THE ISLAND
As you fell you grew dimmer and dimmer
A light in my head,
Stolen by the ocean’s empty swallow
What you knew
What we knew
Faded in that sliver counting.
I was tied to you.
I can forget
Every word we spoke
Every glance we made
Every touch that grazed between us,
But you find me here,
Wading in the untouchable state.
Could I reach you?
If I dove off mountains and stretched my palms
could I touch you.
Clasp you frozen
Flawless for a second in my mind
Seeing what you saw in the seconds before.
Grasping at nothing.
Soft wind and stammered exchanges,
Chance slams us between her spokes.
I am haunted by something I never understood,
A moment’s feeling stretched to days of unease.
We were ours
In the air
We were ours
Burning with it
We were they
Passing in untouched seconds,
Beautiful in the center of a lagging heart.
III- ON THE ISLAND
They will not find me
Here with you they cannot find me.
My heart is open and they may feel love,
But they will not understand.
I am not theirs.
I can fool
Laughing with the broken
Tender smiles to fragile faces.
But I am the snake,
Slipping through empty arms,
Misunderstood and scaling rivers to escape;
To find you.
I run it through my mind again
Kissing the sun
Exploding through clouds to touch sky
Playing with the wind as it turned the mountains below us
Everything fell away in that moment.
Everything we were,
It was enough.
And the beloved,
They will never take me.
IV – ON THE ISLAND
Why does my heart drag
Picking up the asphalt and grits from the road
Rolling in pieces you left me
I never knew you.
I knew you, never knowing you.
But there I am, pulled along by the strings that tied you over.
In my mind filled gaps and stories
Never knowing you I knew you
Your face, hands
I can barely remember
Barely feel your breath on my cheek
Happy, Blissful happy
Did it mean
I never knew you
But knowing you I knew you.
V – ON THE ISLAND
Do you remember
Salty ocean air
I on your shoulders and a whole sky below us.
I remembered you and tripped
Caught by the strings in your hands.
VI – ON THE ISLAND
The sky was unforgiving.
No longer alone,
The island had fallen for you,
The ocean had touched your skin.
Daedalus had warned of the youthful fire
Melding the wax as you punctured the sky;
But she had loved you;
Feral and manic;
In jealousy she struck you down.
With passions too fierce
Wrapped you in her arms,
Pressing you to her body as your wings crumpled around you;
The ocean heaved in remorse.
The island took in your breath as it rattled from your lips.
A body broken in tangles of stone and salt,
You were encased in the rocks that you loved.
The sky howled.
The faces recalled.
You loved her.
Remembered. You love her.
VII – ON THE ISLAND
In another life
Phosphorus and copper
Green as day and mossy
The strings suspended
Ropes and threads of gold
Insect wires through glass threads binding
Glass case unfolding
A slap with you smiling
Blue eyes like water
My eyes in your hands
Holding us in air roped around you
My friend, you were everything.
VIII – ON THE ISLAND
If I closed my eyes. The salt. I would feel it biting my hair, turning my cheeks sticky with the residue of sun and the pacific. I would be there, soaring with my hands bound to cords. Your hands guiding me to guide us. Spinning. You took me spinning in sky. I was flying, free from everything. You love it. I saw. Passing, you made your way through.
IX – ON THE ISLAND
Like a child I cling to your shirt
Smell the scent of sun on skin,
I hold you as a doll holds its mother.
Did you hear me?
My voice was eaten by waves;
I forgot you.
When you passed I had forgotten you.
I forgot you and you left
She took you.
The island with her stormy voice.
I kissed a child while you broke in half
I touched snow while the heat bit your skin
I smiled as her jaws ripped through you
And the island exhales laughter.
The longing clapped,
I lost you, and without knowing, you were gone.
X – ON THE ISLAND
No words can bring you back,
No wishing or soft whispers.
In honest, simple truth,
You are gone.
XI – ON THE ISLAND
What did she know when she saw you
What did she sew with the back of her thumb
Writing on the skin of your shoulders
Writing to find you
I tell you that I love you
Boiled in ink and heat like aching metal
I love you,
A memory, not a man,
Stinging the imagination of longing the living
That’s all that’s left.
You held me once, stroked my arms and pulled me to you.
There is nothing here.
And still, everything depends
Caught in your hair
Eyes like spilling water
There is nothing left:
A makeshift man of memory.
XII – ON THE ISLAND
I saw home in you.
Safe, heart beat fast
Quick and soft
Warm sounds in the hall,
Craning my neck to see
The quiet creaking.
Half smiles and light windows.
I saw home in you,
Never knowing and finding you here.
XIII – ON THE ISLAND
Here, snow couldn’t fill the gap you left
Deftly floating sharp through a passage of
Rough colored mountain brick.
Sticking to the inside of the thin white membrane
A brain filled with fatty tissue
Skewed from fictitious accounts of normal aspirations
I left you as I left you
Folded with arms like paper sheets,
Sleet formed as water makes skin transparent.
Legs apparent and damp with salt, We left
Halting like a car on a road filled with
Still glass on wibbling carpets of
Dove colored asphalt; I left you there.
Chicago seems so far away as I cling to the blue sand between my elbows.
It strikes you
holds your chest like aging iron
Sagging with the weight of water pressing down on its hips.
To be alone
There is a hole
Careful and thick like humid air
Attacking the lungs and pulling the body down,
It breaks you.
Where there was you
There was ice
Comfort cooling the fire that ate through us
Melted to a puddle at the base of the chest.
Anchors pulled tightly at the lump between these ribs,
They dragged you from the neck through the lungs.
I feel it tearing
The tissue gasps as the fibers break.
Loving too deeply the water ruptures through it.
I am dry like desert to open sand.
It is nothing.
I hold you and my lungs,
Clasped between your fingers,
Claw and crack;
I am cold and the coarseness of my breath breaks against yours,
But I hold you.
The silence sways me,
The skin in his stare
And the embrace in the space between us,
But I hold you and it is nothing.
Do you hear the caving in my chest?
The break of ribs that sing in the exhale–
And the air,
Shaking with the weight
of water and bare legs between us,
Holds me to you.
Somewhere there is warmth
And the wax that slides from my shoulders
And the shame that pins my eyes
To your open face.
I have done nothing.
I have done nothing and the lack sears my empty grin.
And the empty untouched space
There were cold birds.
Talking herds together on wires.
Words forming riots of ink on
Sturdy chain linked fences.
Tight white knights riding
White faces on
Stain satin silk sashes
Sashes for my lady
Turn the page,
Satin soiled silk
Singing sullied guilt
It stings and I sing to sink
Stretched out on shards of slate
Slash slash slash
Wind in wood
The cracks–there’s the
Out of hell
Have you seen my lover?
Shaggy, dirty, everywhere
I lost him
I – A FIRE BURNS
The smoke gathers and weaves in tangles,
Spiders of black on red brick.
I saw him once, vague shadow
Holding my heart to keep from breaking,
The day is gone.
Nothing could hold you
Charred glass and bitter brick
Nothing could hold you
In palms of red salt.
II – A FIRE BURNS
It drowned me
Fire licking my tongue
Water breaking the bones and beams.
Somewhere flesh rots,
Fur and sunken sockets;
I hear wailing and the walls are black,
But who could hear us?
Caught in anxious waiting.
Shaking limbs staggered through the ash,
Black like tar these lives went down.
Somewhere life rots
Our hair hides burning cages
III – A FIRE BURNS
There’s a hole ahead,
Blackness covers it,
Curled drywall makes a grin,
Everything is black
I smell it
BA VCS THESIS
-An interdisciplinary exploration and analysis of identity, gender, and representations of the body as reflected by the common social practice of naming and anthropomorphizing erogenous body parts.
*Archived Copy in the Flaxman Library
*(April 30,2011) Excerpt presented at the SAIC BAVCS Thesis Symposium:
Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Wing
For me, writing is cathartic. It's a healing process, regardless of whether or not the words themselves are kind, angry, sad or joyful. The power is in the process, though in the end, I hope the results of that process can resonate with and heal others, too.