note

I apologize for earlier. I’ve been sick, as I told you, and it made me irritable, perhaps irrational. Probably it would be best for me to take some time away, as that will also give you some space. I’m aware of your stresses—to an extent—and don’t want to add to them.

Passed notes briefly with Derek, who says we can stay at his new place come Jan. 17-20th, if you’re still interested.

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Fix the sink

These are the strange hours, in the middle of the night like this. It’s like I’m holding my breath, hoping I’ll pass out, and when I wake up, I’ll find I’ve been transported. Some hope they’ll die in their sleep like that. Maybe I do, too. If I pass out and wake up in mid-January, how cool would that be…

The holidays are painful only because family is all about pain. Just setting foot on their premises, their words cause me to cringe, they’re so stupid. No other way of putting it. It’s as if being in their presence, or thinking about them, writing about them, you experience loss. Driving back home, I realize it’ll take some time to recover, and that it’s a good idea not to get back in touch with them for awhile. When they get ahold on you, the first thing they go after is your time. Wastage is what they’re all about.

Once out of bed, I want to write, watch words form one after the other, make discoveries. At this hour, it’s a series of questions springing up, a prodding of the soul—”Come on brother, say something, say something, won’t you.” A library, a sidewalk, a haiku anthology, a temperature drop, a mystery.

We want to be entertained. We want new entertainment, what we feel is new, but dabble in the past and what comforts us. We want companionship and the things that are forbidden. We want free living and not to be told we are less. If we happen to be gay, we are told by the front man, our president–Tough fucking luck. We won’t sanction your marriages. That’s the kind of control we have.

In Roanoke, the streets are blocked off because a tree is on tour. This very tree is hauled around in a truck, and when it decides it’s done fucking around, it’ll make its way up to DC and be lit in front of the White House. While casual Roanokers are honored, thrilled, elated, a friend and I joke that we should plant in it a timed ex-plo-sive.

Quiet as all hell. I should not be complaining. I read some more about the Spanish Civil War in George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, based on his experiences with an anarchist militia of the time. Now he is writing about the smells, the severe cold being the thing both sides were worried about. It was so cold, he dreamt about it, feared it. His side was so unprepared and unskilled and young. A boy of around sixteen came running to them, pouring blood from his head—his own gun malfunctioned and tore his scalp into ribbons. “This was our first casualty.”

My thoughts flip around inside this apartment that is a comedy. It’s hard even for one person to look after. The cats are not fond of housekeeping. My stack of books, they attack them, topple them, while I’m sleeping. After a certain point, I decide just to let it all be. Make peace with the fucking mess everyone else is so intent on. Besides, too much cleaning at once and my lungs go on strike.

he is new
to poetry
excited as hell
spends the
dull moments
reciting, memorizing
what he wrote
pulls notebook out
as he’s
walking to work
random lines
jotted down
soon he’ll
be ready
for the
well-lit stage

we talk
he asks me
advice
I say this
has been
my thing for
some 10 years now
off and on
and while I
say what I have
to say, you’re gonna
have to decide
whether any of it
is workable for
you or not
don’t take it
absolutely
I’m discovering
growing
myself

of course of
course

Elsewhere, a pathetic lot of people. I say that, but see in myself what is pathetic. Yet that is a strength. See whatever is there, work on it. Be less dependent on others. Learn, in fact, to renounce them. Yes, that’s one powerful thing I’ve learned in eastern philosophy—renounce as much as you can. Most things in this world sink you. The same can be true of people. And it might not be the people themselves. It might just be in the way that you come to depend on them. And so you sink.

wow, I think I flunked this test. haha

Disorder Rating
Paranoid: High
Schizoid: Moderate
Schizotypal: Very High
Antisocial: Moderate
Borderline: Very High
Histrionic: Very High
Narcissistic: High
Avoidant: Moderate
Dependent: High
Obsessive-Compulsive: Moderate

Personality Disorder Test – Take It!

Paranoid
Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a distrust of others and a constant suspicion that people around you have sinister motives. People with this disorder tend to have excessive trust in their own knowledge and abilities and usually avoid close relationships with others. They search for hidden meanings in everything and read hostile intentions into the actions of others. They are quick to challenge the loyalties of friends and loved ones and often appear cold and distant to others. They usually shift blame to others and tend to carry long grudges.

Schizoid
People with schizoid personality disorder avoid relationships and do not show much emotion. They genuinely prefer to be alone and do not secretly wish for popularity. They tend to seek jobs that require little social contact. Their social skills are often weak and they do not show a need for attention or acceptance. They are perceived as humorless and distant and often are termed “loners.”

Schizotypal
Many believe that schizotypal personality disorder represents mild schizophrenia. The disorder is characterized by odd forms of thinking and perceiving, and individuals with this disorder often seek isolation from others. They sometimes believe to have extra sensory ability or that unrelated events relate to them in some important way. They generally engage in eccentric behavior and have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. Their speech is often over elaborate and difficult to follow.

Antisocial
A common misconception is that antisocial personality disorder refers to people who have poor social skills. The opposite is often the case. Instead, antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a lack of conscience. People with this disorder are prone to criminal behavior, believing that their victims are weak and deserving of being taken advantage of. They tend to lie and steal. Often, they are careless with money and take action without thinking about consequences. They are often agressive and are much more concerned with their own needs than the needs of others.

Borderline
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by mood instability and poor self-image. People with this disorder are prone to constant mood swings and bouts of anger. Often, they will take their anger out on themselves, causing themselves injury. Suicidal threats and actions are not uncommon. They think in very black and white terms and often form intense, conflict-ridden relationships. They are quick to anger when their expectations are not met.

Histrionic
People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers. They need to be the center of attention all the time, often interrupting others in order to dominate the conversation. They use grandiose language to discribe everyday events and seek constant praise. They may dress provacatively or exaggerate illnesses in order to gain attention. They also tend to exaggerate friendships and relationships, believing that everyone loves them. They are often manipulative.

Narcissistic
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by self-centeredness. Like histrionic disorder, people with this disorder seek attention and praise. They exaggerate their achievements, expecting others to recongize them as being superior. They tend to be choosy about picking friends, since they believe that not just anyone is worthy of being their friend. They tend to make good first impressions, yet have difficulty maintaining long-lasting relationships. They are generally uninterested in the feelings of others and may take advantage of them.

Avoidant
Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by extreme social anxiety. People with this disorder often feel inadequate, avoid social situations, and seek out jobs with little contact with others. They are fearful of being rejected and worry about embarassing themselves in front of others. They exaggerate the potential difficulties of new situations to rationalize avoiding them. Often, they will create fantasy worlds to substitute for the real one. Unlike schizoid personality disorder, avoidant people yearn for social relations yet feel they are unable to obtain them. They are frequently depressed and have low self-confidence.

Dependent
Dependent personality disorder is characterized by a need to be taken care of. People with this disorder tend to cling to people and fear losing them. They may become suicidal when a break-up is imminent. They tend to let others make important decisions for them and often jump from relationship to relationship. They often remain in abusive relationships. They are overly sensitive to disapproval. They often feel helpless and depressed.

Obsessive-Compulsive
Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder is similar to obsessive-compulsive anxiety disorder. People with this disorder are overly focused on orderliness and perfection. Their need to do everything “right” often interferes with their productivity. They tend to get caught up in the details and miss the bigger picture. They set unreasonably high standards for themselves and others, and tend to be very critical of others when they do not live up to these high standards. They avoid working in teams, believing others to be too careless or incompetent. They avoid making decisions because they fear making mistakes and are rarely generous with their time or money. They often have difficulty expressing emotion.

stories strewn about

when a
young man
reaches again
speechlessness
he can
reach back
to the artform
of broken
down car
parts
of verse
and
get his
hands
dirty

a crossing of
the street
vulnerable
nakedly
he stares
at the
ground
where he
places
sad steps

when people say
“you’re in a rut again”
does that include
sleeping
in the fetal position?

flowers
killed
by the cold

did
what
he was told

chairs with
rollers
time to kill

at least I
finished reading
another book,
he said

he sat down and
wrote a story about
staring out the window
and unexpectedly being
shot in the back
of the head and
how all his plans
were blown out
the window just
like that so
to speak
so it goes

life is beautiful
life is also slow
like stagnant water
for awhile
not
everything
can be
so exciting

a blank page or computer screen with words coming out onto it, a journal of events, emotions, all the guts becoming exposed.

he said democrat when he meant to say diplomat(ic) and slipped on a banana peel. the school was properly peopled all except for the rioting that continued springing up. “we shall change your student IDs into debit cards. hope ya don’t mind.”

he wrote about trying to write a story but got on the phone before finishing, and said, I’m going out of town for a few days, can you bring in my mail for me and feed the cats? the cats weren’t pleased with the whole debit card thing. they spoke in English and Chinese and said in English you better not be gone long.

he looked over at all the books he had left to read. he cursed his body for all the sleepiness, the sluggishness, the depression that fell on him heavy.

a pattering of bullets dropped. bombed area. plans have changed.

he left the scene but left behind a few fingerprints. they, the authorities, visited him later and asked how he kicked so much ass with what seemed to be merely microwave popcorn. I cannot give away the house secret, he said. and he broke out of there.

like in
the movies
fingerprints can
be removed
with a file

ki,

would be nice to hear from you one of these days.

anyway, here’s some bill info:

I don’t know why this shit has not come in, so I’ve decided to call around to the companies and get the balance directly. I suppose you have Providian under control, if not the most recent statement says a bal. of $64 is due.

looks like Apple needs $31.66 for a finishing off.

cox comm. i have just paied $50.11 myself, because it was due just a couple days ago.

verizon I’m about to check into, the current bal. and their fuckups!!!

you should probably pay electric the same amount you paid last time.

Best in the ‘verse

Essay. Essay for teacher and to be paraphrased in class. The paragraphs alter slowly like the phases of the sun during the day. I have stared so long at my slow moving prose, blindness starts creeping in. Sitting at home, the pangs of loneliness jump out of the drawers and cannot be scared away by music or a television turned on. It is safe to say I just need to lie down and take a nap before I lose any more of my marbles.

People ask. I say, Oh life? Life is life. I’m experiencing growing pains with it. Lumps. One lump, or two?

Life. If I were to stop loving and feeling so intensely, then what? I don’t want to. Even if there’s nothing around to love.

They may move at their own pace. Like I’m giving them permission, right? No, I’m just letting go. And I’m not screaming. I’m breathing in and out like a Buddha.

I say, I know you think I can be fanatical. I can just tell that’s what you think of me. You’ve never said it, of course. But laughed when I mentioned it, as if, “I’m not gong to say…” So I’d like to stick up for myself here, just a bit. I’ll say, I’m enthusiastic. An idea seizes and excites me. I seize and ignite a flag. It’s in my blood. I was born to protest, storm about, mosh, stomp, charge, scream. “Your ballot boxes are too small to hold our dreams!” On a good day I burst at the seams. We shall divide the class up into teams.

The crowd goes wild. That’s what they want to do, whether they’re prompted or not. They’re like a pack of jackals, them and their voracious appetites for violence, downfall, and cruel digs. Cruel digs, like vultures hacking up a carcass and carrying it away. This is your captain speaking . . . Complaining inside the freedom of the ‘verse.

Sanity as Currency (fiction)

She seemed happy, more than I would be after having stabbed a motherfucker. It was contagious. Through all of it we were happy and enjoying each other’s company. Unbelievable.

So, how it goes is, when I opened the door of my apartment, my cat ran in covered in this man’s blood. The police interviewed a whole bunch of people who acted like they forgot how to speak English. Later I found out it was a man who broke in and assaulted a woman outside of her apartment, and she was able to kill him by stabbing him.

I met her and she admitted to me she did it. And her secret was safe with me. Except I told one other person and word got back to her. She was not upset. After some soul searching she decided she was going to turn herself in. She thanked me for “opening her eyes.” I had gotten to know her in her ramshackle apartment where I sat on a couch as if was being pulled back into the earth after a long battle with gravity. Figures in the shadows were grabbing at every reachable object and pulling it down in.

Like someone’s unfinished basement during a war, it smelled of mold, like someone was gonna start playing Bee Gees 8 Tracks. Yet it was more of a room in which music had been staved off, to which only a washer and dryer were to be put in—to break down over time and be forgotten about. No sane person would survive this occupancy. It was practically falling off the back of the building.

Her friend, this woman, came over and they both spoke Spanish in a blur. And she seemed happy. It was contagious.

I stared at the couch some more.

How much time would you get for admitting you killed someone with a knife? It was in self-defense! Wouldn’t they let her go? Latino. Probably hold that against her. Motherfuckers.

1 year. She went and they said, come back in 1 year. Before she went she told me she loved me. I told her this, too, and meant it. After one day it had happened. Funny how in one moment you’re lonely, and in the next you feel so much excitement in your bones you feel like you’re on fire. A non-dancing man wants to jump around. Hurrah!

Oh, hola! I’ve learned to say hello in another language. I’m starting with the small words and moving on from there. No. That means no in Spanish. This is going to be a blast. 1 year to go. You can learn a lot in one year. Funny, that.

ki, part ii

Ki,

Here’s another Sunday letter, coming to you in the night. Had a good day today. Dinner with the fam was relatively painless. I must be on my grandmother’s good side these days because she again brought up the idea of paying for me to go to Spain a little bit. At this point, I’m thinking I want to, perhaps some week or so in December or, I don’t know. I don’t know your schedule. You will have to tell me what would work for you, if I’d just be in the way or not, if there’d be an affordable place for me to stay over there, or a squat or whatever… When it comes down to it, I could make the thing work, we would just have to go over the details and see if it would be practical for you.

My health is improving on the meds. It’s important that I stay on them. A big discovery is that I do well on cough drops, actually—when I get coughed up at night and am in need of tea. The cough drops do me right.

Liz’s cat is ridiculously big and fluffy for two years old, my God! Very sweet.

Okay sweetheart. Hope this small note reaches you in good morning spirits. L, g.

ki!

Ki,

I miss you so much this weekend. I hope you are doing well and are getting through your school work okay. I’m plugging away through mine, albeit a tiny amount compared with yours, I’m sure.

The cats are doing fine, and miss you, too!

Love, g.

Thursday morning

Mom calls early about my grandmother who is complaining her stomach pains are worse, that she was unable to sleep all through the night. She says she will call back when she knows more. She calls back talking a mile a minute. My grandmother has changed her story, “I’m just sore. I couldn’t sleep only because I couldn’t sleep…”

The two of them fight back and forth and curse the doctors. I’m glad I’m not in the middle of it. They create so much drama around them it’s ridiculous. They want to color every page of the coloring book.

I don’t want to say much more. It’s been a habit, a bad one, to talk ill of them when asked. “How’s your mom doing?” Oh, well, she’s a pain in my ass. And so on.

Better get back to bed and let the medications do their work. Take advantage of sleep while you still can. Go for extended periods. In quiet, mull over what you want to write next. Mull over what you just read in a book. Admire from afar. Admire at close range.

Chain lock on the door.
List of groceries on the floor.

School. Cool. Fool. May people stop rhyming these together. If you wanna be cool, don’t be a fool, stay in school.

Yak.

“May experience grogginess…”

Tired today. Groggy bastard with the new meds. They’re to clear my chest up, free it, free my mind. Liberate. One can hope. I’m reading, leaned back in my chair, thinking of things. It’s not easy focusing on any one thought drugged up so sleepy. My grandmother is going in for an operation on the 18th. I have an essay due. Mother’s birthday, Sunday. Feeding a friend’s cat next door. Chest hurting from dust and smoke in the air.

Another friend is going to vacation to his native Egypt. I envy travelers these days. “You should write about what it was like for you the first week your wife left,” he suggests. Right now, right now I would say, thinking back to it, it was like a death, a great emptiness opening up, and that first night getting into bed alone was terrible. The following weeks have forced me to adapt. I feel more my own person now, which of course I’ve always been. But I see how we carry each other.

Little Kalika comes to visit me on my lap, swivels her little head around looking at stuff. She is a house of sensory curiosities. I love to sit and read in a chair with breathing in tact.

Just remembering now, I dreamt of being at the ocean. Later, someone turns the waves off and I realize I’m at one of those amusement parks in Jessup, Maryland, or somewhere like that. But I love the water. The waves came crashing over me, pushing me forward. I was body surfing, like in India. That as years ago. I kick myself for barely having written anything down then. That was even before Journal of Thought, my first “real” magazine.

. . .

It’s getting colder now. You can really feel it. And the news is turning up all sorts of talk about global warming these days. Very scary stuff. I don’t know if any of it can be reversed at this point. I don’t know what it will mean for us, exactly, if we’re going to get wiped out very quickly, or if it will be more of a gradual thing. It’s strange, though, that some of these November days, have been t-shirt wearing days.

I go all the way down
4th street
until I can
overlook the highway
and I say
yep, that’s the
highway
and I look
at it for a
little bit
and get bored with it
and then
cross back
over the patch of grass
looking
at the houses again
the old lead painted ones
and it is cold at this time
7 A.M.
a cat starts to run out
into the street
and I’m on
stand-by
ready to jump out at cars
saying, “Slow down!”

single/world body notes

Things are better after having gone to the emergency room for a Cortisone shot in my hip. This was to quell the respiratory infection incurred by seasonal change and the build up of a common cold. The shot was atrocious, felt as if someone pummeled my ass out in the schoolyard. I hobbled back to my car and made it home all in one piece, sore as hell and practically screaming from the pain.

I had told the nurse it was worse than I expected. “Yea, well,” she said, “it is a shot straight into a muscle, unlike a vein in your arm.”

At home, I’ve been resting up, listening to radio shows and reading. A fun, free life with it’s ups and downs (as can be expected, a doctor would say).

I find the few Anarchist revolutions in history very interesting. Many who doubt that Anarchy is possible, if they’re serious, would do themselves right by looking into it. Of course my own thing is, once I learn more, I’ll begin to write about it in my own words and put it down here.

New favorite link: Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

health update

Ki,

How are you doing, sweetheart? I’m missing you a hell of a lot.

I’ve had not such a wonderuful day, myself. The cats are doing fine, but I came to a point where I thought I was going to die with this cold and asthma combined, and talking to Robin, she urged me that I should go to the emergency room, and so that’s what I did. Nearly in a state of collapse, I sat on the hood of my car outside the place, and considered if I really should be going in or not. I decided I probably should. It’s a good thing, too. They told me that I have respiratory infection. They gave me a shot cortizone in my left hip that kicked my ass!!! I was barely able to walk to the car (it took about ten minutes to hobble across that parking lot), and when I got home, it still hurt for like an hour. Finally I was able to get to sleep, and even now as I write this, the pain is still there, but lessened in a major way. The main thing is that my breathing is wide open.

The doctor was telling me how important it was for me to stay on my meds. Funny, just this morning I went to get a new batch and the pharmacist told me I needed to reschedule with my doctor on Monday. Motherfuck. Singulair in particular is the powerful drug here. Anyway, he was saying that it’s not addictive because it’s going towards the lungs and I’m basically breathing it back out, etc. Interesting.

Oh, I got everything taken care of at school — I’m registered for Spanish in January, starting on the 10th, just about a week before you’re to come back to me!

No bills, as of yet. That’s all for now, Small Ki! Love you!

asthma and mucus combined

so sick with this cold
I feel my
body is
going to
drop dead early

I hate
being sick like this

I walk around
the block to
be closer with nature
to try and get better

returning
sneezing my head off

the incense I’ve lit
have made a thick air
open the windows
and cough, clear
the throat
mucus hell

wheezing
is getting bad
I have not rested all day

a cold
watery eyes
boiling water
on stove
a fight lost against it
wheezing
goddamn it
frustrated so miserable
kicking shit around
throwing down
cough cough

panicking

car bombs
essay on a walk
stream of consciousness
poem from a university

so I come back to my big love
writing

nothing else is working
I practically fall asleep in an
upright position
and would
except my breathing has
gone out to lunch

I’m losing it losing it losing it

Awake early

Up early with the asthma and the cats. This has been steady for a couple weeks now, that I can only sleep in 3-4 hour stretches at a time. Oh well. The job search goes the same. I send the resumes out and everyone is quiet. Roanoke is dry and shriveled up to graphic designers. Friends ask me how I’m doing. I ask myself the same. I think I’m doing alright. There have been some serious gut wrenching moments, but those can’t be fended back, really. I’ve made it through, sometimes on the help of others. Other times, my own.

Convictions and old ideas reemerge as new. They are new. A common sense tidbit comes into focus, and this time has handles and can be steered. 2002-03, there were no handles.

Rudra continues to heal, sits on my monitor in front of me, his tail hanging down over the screen. Much of the blood from the car accident is still clogged up in his nostrils; his breathing is still striving. Kalika hisses at him less day by day.

Reading mostly Anarchist websites these days, knowing for sure that this voting shit is, and always has been, superfluous. Kerry winning the election would not have significantly changed anything, a state which suffers from a hierarchal, overbearing structure. I refuse to participate in it. We need to take power and responsibility for ourselves, as adults and amoebas. More importantly, we need to reconnect with each other, break the outsider mentality—and unite as families. Shift around musical chairs on that level.

Music here in my room: Since By Man, R.L. Burnside, Rumplestitchkin, Al Green, Tom Waits, Instruction, Pitch Black, Call Me Lighting, U-God, Saul Williams, Mos Def.

The sun is coming up. The winds slosh around.