Tag Archives: lover

selections from Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“She’ll come back and be a serious Americanah like Bisi,” Ranyinudo said.

They roared with laughter, at that word “Americanah,” wreathed in glee, the fourth syllable extended, and at the thought of Bisi, a girl in the form below them, who had come back from a short trip to America with odd affectations, pretending she no longer understood Yoruba, adding a slurred r to every English word she spoke. (78) Continue reading

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half of what i say is meaningless

three more days of work. less than three weeks until New York.

then: more than half a year of walking.

now? every moment a melding of dream and reality.

my lover lies at my side sleeping. i am in her bed, our bed… in her house, my house. we are not married nor engaged, and yet i have never felt such strong conviction in my love. if possible, it is deeper or more all-encompassing than conviction. it is decision, resolution, revelation.

the past few days, i have been moving so many boxes. boxes of records, boxes of clothes, boxes of bullshit. so many goddamn boxes. the modern age is all about acquiring things and putting them in boxes. in fact, we adore boxes so much that we live in boxes ourselves. and yet we wonder why cats care so much about boxes.

after leaving the office today, i boarded a railbound box headed downtown and immediately recognized a pretty little lady sitting near the window. she smiled at me and i smiled back almost laughing, wondering whether she would come over for a chat.

“Julia?”

“wow, you remember my name.”

“ronny.”

“oh man i was gonna say ‘ron!'”

this simple dialogue is a big deal for me. i can remember names. Julia’s a girl from Ohio who’d recently moved to San Francisco. i learned this when, a couple months ago, i caught her eyeing me on the same muni train after work. when i asked what was up, she confessed her admiration for my reading Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” almost word-for-word in the way that other girl once talked to me on muni about my reading Einstein. in any case, Julia and i talked about a bunch of things that first time, including how i should listen to Lauren O’Connell and read Aldo Leopold’s “Sand County Almanac.”

in today’s encounter, things went even deeper. in less than ten minutes, we went from Emily Dickinson poetry (because of the book in my hand) to feminism. we talked about how women in business try to speak in lower voices so men take them seriously and we talked about why guys don’t wear dresses. and we talked about how those things ultimately represent the next great hurdle in gender equality. so far gender equality has been about bringing women to the same level as men… but… what if that’s incredibly short-sighted? what if true equality requires a complete rethinking and restructuring of the way the world functions, from business to culture to art? perhaps we shall never know harmony until we understand and appreciate the beauty in both femininity and masculinity and how to entwine the two, instead of just focusing on granting masculine powers to feminine beings.

Julia wrote her mailing address on a post-it note so i could send her postcards from the walk. i predict she will be a beautiful, wondrous friend for the future. i hope!

last night, four whole nights after discussing the nature of lucid dreams w friends, i traversed a vivid dream world. the beginning, or what i recall as the beginning, took on the tone of a gory bloodbath from a Blizzard game. except i, sword in hand, experienced the grotesque, poisonous attacks of mutalisks in the first-person. what seemed like an era later, i found myself at the very same site of that battle as it appeared at a later, more peaceful date. it was now a mansion surrounded on all sides by walls of junk. i wandered among the dusty corridors a warrior still, and attempted to scale the junkyard with a trusted German Shepherd at my side (who in the dream i called Kaiser though he looked more American than my dad’s dog).

in the morning, i awoke to birds chirping “Goodbye Blue Sky” from their digital prison in my smartphone. Continue reading

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Ἄρτεμις Ἀγροτέρα

i used to have recurring dreams about tidal waves; now i dream she doesn’t love me anymore. Continue reading

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honey, he’s a friend of mine

four Mexican beers down the hatch and not a single BART train left to catch.

on the long bus and walk home, stoned inspiration strikes my skull. it’s already 0300, but nothing can stop me. up and down the stairs, skulking through the hallways, dragging black monolith speakers, assembling the altar, feeding cables electricity, executing my addled genius silent as a mouse.

i jerk off and pass out.

in the morning, i check my phone in a bleary panic. 0900. i fall back asleep for a couple minutes and then check my phone again. 1100.

blended black tea dressed with a teaspoon of orange blossom honey and the slightest splash of half and half. that’s real fancy talk for a little drug called caffeine. my roommate partakes, and the music starts. breakfast consists of defrosted hash browns, fried eggs, and pork so good it must’ve come from the devil’s factory. Xanthe and i clink our mimosa flutes and chow down while watching Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise take turns playing Thalia and Melpomene.

Cameron arrives looking hungover or depressed or both. i think nothing of it. the music goes on, the champagne flows. Ted is dead.

i never met Ted. i hug Cameron. i hold him. i don’t know what to say. i never met Ted even though Cameron insisted a hundred times that it needed to happen. i don’t know what to say. i wait for Cameron to say something, but he is stunned. he is a cauldron of emotion. i turn the music down or let it stop or something. i don’t know what to do or say. there is nothing to do or say. we drink.

the music returns. Cameron requests a dirge, so i let Entrance sing them Grim Reaper Blues. but i’m left by myself, so i scream and jump and play air guitar oblivious to the fact and consequence of death. i am dust.

Shannon. Lizz. Nico. Neko? Niko? Nico. Chris. Mark. Natalie. old friends, newer friends, lovers, sometime-lovers, one-time-lovers, all-time-lovers, all family, all drunk fucks.

my cousin hops on the decks and starts slinging cocaine funk delivered straight from the Rick James estate. it is 1980something, the snares reverberate, and disillusion is making itself incredibly comfortable. you can hear it in their voices. you can hear JoJo and Cheri and Candi and Maxi and Prince Rogers and Trent and Dave and Martin and Joshua and Charles, they all sound so coked up and dead. death. there’s that grim reaper again. where the fuck is Cameron? sobbing on the edge of my bed, locked up in my bedroom. on and off the phone. who is he talking to? margarita. big beer. drinking, so much drinking.

let the Golden Age begin. bleego hops on the decks and sonically programs artificial intelligence. it’s weird. on tv, Ziggy Stardust says good night mere moments before a bunch of space cadet apes wake up in the middle of bone-dry Africa. ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space.

how many pop culture references can i make before my writing becomes as worthless as the tobacco in a swisher sweet?

as the sun sets, i continue force-feeding everyone pop muzik, and then suddenly turn the music down low on a couple of whacked out loops to ask nobody in particular how long i could leave the loops loopingly looping looping looping looping looping looping looping looping until we all went crazy. somebody said something. something drinking something. and so i blast Kylie Minogue for a swan song.

power everything off! with tons of friends still partying, i say a thousand goodbyes and then fly away. best way to end a house party.

K to the Castro, two double illy espressos, and my love and i are back in the game. first up: dinner and drinks for her sister’s 21st birthday. Abigail rolls in wearing a sash like she’s in a beauty pageant and a face guaranteed to win it. radiant beauty of a birthday girl, she flutters around her long table of friends chatting about nothing and deflecting as many fireballs as she can.

sushi sake sushi sake sushi sake sushi sake sushi. that’s five sushi for every letter in the word “sushi” and four sake for every letter in the word “sake.” words words words words words.

the several hundred dollar bill settled, the crew bubbles around Kim “Abi” Kardashian as we make our way up Market toward extensive tracts of heavily eroded, uncultivable land with little vegetation. just kidding, we went to badlands. i withdrew $60 only to spend $50 instantly at the club on three entries (Abi, Natalie, me), three drinks (adios motherfucker for Abi and whiskey for Natalie and me), and then three more drinks (long island ice teas for the three of us). obviously we had not been drinking enough yet.

goodbye Castro, hello Cameron. he wanted love. Ted is dead. to Oakland then. goodbye Natalie. she storms off in a drunk, silent fit. i shrug.

down down Market.

stumbling drunk ass fuck into It’s Tops Coffee Shop, completely deserted except for the token pretty white girl waitress in her stupid 50s pink waitress dress. i drunkenly foam at the mouth some incoherence that amounts to “may i please just have a cup of coffee?” to which she responds by swinging ’round the counter and pouring out dregs of mud from both pitchers—the caffeinated and non caffeinated. in between drunken swallows, i murmur some philosophical question at her, but she’s tired and wants to go home, and that’s exactly how she answers. i understand, down the rest of the mud, and fly out the door.

down down Market.

i convince a cabbie to drive me to Civic Center so i can catch the last train east. so aware, so alive, i bolt out the doors onto 12th St. in Oakland, drunkenly rushing up the escalator and eating shit, scraping my stomach and foot (i discover later). i look around to see how embarrassed i should feel, but the lady behind me wears a face that says, “i’m just tired and want to go home,” so i shrug, pick myself up, and bolt anew. i race the two and whatever miles to Cameron’s house with cool Miles jazz billowing from the phone in my front pocket; i’m like a man on the run in a black & white French New Wave film from the 60s.

at the house, hugs and laughter and death and comfort and… guess what? more drinking! because, i must repeat myself, again, obviously: we had not been drinking enough. fernet and coke and tequila and non-vegetarian Chinese food and Courtney on guitar and sleep.

in the drunken haze of morning, i squeeze Courtney’s boob and immediately pull my hand back while apologizing. she laugh. i don’t feel too good about it. but then i wash a household of dishes and sweep the floor while Cameron details the stove. and when i fail to find a dustpan, i simply crouch down, scoop the pile of dust and kitchen debris with my hands, and throw it away. Cameron laughs, calling it the most humble thing he’s seen in years. i feel good about it.

a few moments later, we’re suspended like the helicopter string quartet between peace, humility, suffering, and passion.

“this is the worst one,” he says, “the worst death. i like nothing about this one.”

he wants to cry so badly but has already sobbed so much and the sobbing had solved nothing. i fight back laughter because the minute leading before we’d been saying some really silly, funny things and just roaring laughing. the giggles honor not even death. Continue reading

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Wasted Cinders

we’re just doing, not being. Continue reading

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if you think everyone’s crazy, then you’re probably the crazy one

early sunday morning, the lavender grey sky leaked slight raindrops into my lover’s backyard. i lifted my eyelids, early as it was, and murmured some sunrise nonsense in sunrise glee while in my sunrise mind imagining my sunrise naked self … Continue reading

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love to love you 2013

feeling melancholy, feeling unsure about 2014. Continue reading

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love to love the stark reality of you, baby

the canvas is revealed, and instantly my own words come to haunt me:

i think writers love writing way too much sometimes.

do i stand by it? Booker’s bourbon deep within me or not, i do.

pasta sauce is on the stove, Tina’s yowling for dinner eleven whole minutes early, and here i sit, listening to strange jazz funk for those who were children in 1970. perhaps i was a child in 1970. perhaps i am a child in 2013.

immediately, my mind races to Natalie. lover, mother, sister, daughter. lover, liver, other, udder. lover, liver, killer, wanted. dead or alive, the love of my life.

i spent the past weekend not just with her but with my whole family. wedding #3. the best wedding, i would argue, but i’m biased because i love beaches. there we sat, taking up five of the nearly 40 chairs, on the beach in Avila, watching the two lovers dedicate the rest of their lives to each other. meanwhile, girls in bikinis, young girls, young boys, older boys, men, women, couples, swimmers, bros, volleyball voyeurs, everyone… looked on. it was us and it was them, and i certainly felt like them.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 7.52.52 PM

the night before, Natalie and i had stared at our beautiful naked bodies in a giant mirror that took up the entire wall. while doing so, it dawned on me that narcissism was not reserved merely for individuals.

consider: a boy staring at his beautiful body in the reflected pool is narcissism. granted. likewise, a girl staring at her beautiful body in the reflected pool is narcissism. granted. however, the boy looks up and sees the girl across the pond, and he dies. struck with such immense beauty, an infinity times greater than his own, he stares and stares and stares and, at just the right moment when she felt his gaze, he looks away, only to look back and see her locking eyes with him. lust, granted. they edge the pond to share a conversation. the conversation leads to love leads to a later meeting leads to love leads to more meetings leads to love leads to… their becoming something of a unity. with or without marriage, granted, they become something of a one. this one finds themselves lying naked staring at themselves in a giant mirror… is narcissism. granted?

alas, as with the crashing waves parallel to my pupils, the tides do turn.

in the wake of the rainbow sand ceremony we had just witnessed, full of love and hope and happiness, i found myself plunged into the darkness of a quarrel with my love, who had found fault with some stupid words i spoke in the morning. i had apologized then, legitimately, but through my own prodding about some other subject after the wedding, had dug a hole that opened up the very same cavern of despair that i thought had been buried earlier.

but did this cavern really need to be so big? need the flames lick so high? need the darkness pitch so deep? i didn’t think so, but she did. but this writer had had enough of words. hopeless, stupid, careless, useless words. meaningless, pointless, hopeless. impossible.

so i stared at the ocean.

i stared.

and i stared.

and i gazed.

and i loved.

and i breathed.

and the mind wandered as it does but without words.

just breathing.

and loving.

gazing.

staring.

the waves crashed as they have for all time and as they will for all time. beautiful Avila Beach waves. beautiful.

stunning. impossibly perfect, gorgeous, crashing, perfect waves.

starry. star-struck, i was.

in love, i was.

i was.

i was, when my lover–now relegated to my periphery–caressed my face.

and at that very moment, i walked into my living room and threw Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” on the turntable. if you turn it up real loud, i realized then, you hear breathe in deeply before she starts sexily singing, “ohhh… love to love you baby.” Continue reading

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The Last Waltz

just two posts in blank verse, and it’s already difficult to write normally. every sentence i write–nay–every insignificant gathering of words renders in my head a certain rhythmic value. a-SIR, ten-RHY, thmic-VAL, you see? Ovid has volleyed me off my whatever rickety rocker i had left to lean on.

thankfully, i’ve finally finished reading his Metamorphoses. it’s a bittersweet feeling. sweet because after reading fifteen books, a thousand lines each, about the creation of the universe, the turning of the sun and the moon, the war and peace of brother and sister, the wailing of bloodshed, the blossoming of milk and honey, the reasons why there are birds, the reasons why there are beasts, the madness of men, the madness of the gods… you start to get a bit worn out. bitter, though, because it’s the finest fucking literature i’ve read since i left Oscar Wilde a few months ago. and it’s easily the best poetry i’ve read in the past year.

you know it’s been 2,005 years since the thing was originally published. i mean, Jove!

i feel so peaceful, like when rosy-fingered Aurora first rises in the dawn, but Ovid can’t be completely to blame. Muddy Waters neither. my bass neither. no, the reason has been written on this thing before, and i’m almost afraid to talk about it.

how many times can i talk about it? how many people can i tell? i need a meadow. i need a pasture to wander, so i can sit on stumps, and proclaim my love to any daffodils that would bother to listen.

“there is a girl, my friend,” i’d say, lifting an errant lock of hair away from my face.

“oh?” the daffodil would reply.

“yes, yes, there is a girl, and i do believe i love her.”

“and how is that?”

“well, when my eyes meet her eyes, it’s as if though the skies have fallen to the earth–rain, aether, stars, gods, all–banishing every disharmony in the universe into a puff of nothing that never was and never will be.”

“my!”

“yes, and when i wrap my arm around her little light waist, light as a breeze in golden summer’s heat, the waves sloshing inside my veins tune together into a perfect symphony, beating, racing, pressing on in perfect time.

“i do enjoy a light summer breeze!”

“yes, and when i press my lips against her lips, two eternities of poetry pour from our eager mouths, unheard by neither but felt by both; it is divine, little daffodil, it is divine poetry when we kiss.”

“there is a girl indeed! but i have a question.”

“what is it?”

“though you truly adore this girl to such fiery, passionate ends, how can you stand these moments away from her love?”

“ah, my pretty friend of a daffodil, you funny thing. my love for her knows such great bounds that it rebounds and resounds throughout my life, wherever and whenever i may go. at night, when i bathe alone, dipping my toes into steaming water returns me to her feminine warmth, encircling me like a sleepless lioness in the savannah. in the afternoon, when i bite into the juicy nectarine delivered to my beggar hands by Gaia’s grace, i taste her love. in the morning, when i wake from life-stealing dreams, i breathe in the day’s first breath of life, that is, her love. even now, sitting upon this simple stump in this ordinary pasture, i see her radiant peace resting upon your yellow face.”

“me!”

“yes, you and the grass at your feet and the soil beneath and the rock further down and the blazing core and burning Helios in heaven and the bright eyes in the night sky and the air we breathe and the water we drink are all otherworldly manifestations of my one true love. she is my death every night and my life every day.”

sometimes i get nervous because i imagine the only people reading these words are either ex-lovers or my lover. if you’re an ex-lover, just know that i love you still. if you’re my lover, ignore that last thing i said.

this weekend, i’m doing that thing where i drive to the suburbs to watch over my friends’ dog and house. i will drink water, eat food, read poetry, play bass, listen to records, savor the hot tub, and hopefully love my love of loves. flying the suburban spacecraft solo is a trip, but i don’t do it solo unless i have to.

this past monday, i bought a Technics SL-1200M3D, meaning i now have two wheels of steel. sunday, i helped plan the next Daft Brunch, our (apparently) quarterly disco party in the Mission sun. saturday, i digitally djed a coworker’s wedding in California wine country. friday, i spun vinyl at a strange “underground” party in the Sunset.

based on this series of events, i’m starting to think i’m actually a dj.

oh yeah, i’ve also decided to host (and dj) the family new year’s party at my house. didn’t really consult anyone but my mom and roommates on that one. it just makes sense. that, as i explained to Natalie the other day, is part of what i consider being a dj. some people might define it as whipping out a laptop (or maybe some other equipment) and combining a bunch of tracks together over some duration so as to make a mix of music. maybe some would take their definitions a step further and declare the purpose of this being to make people move their feet against the ground. it’s so much bigger though. first of all, you’re correct, we’re all djs. anyone that’s ever plugged in their phone in the car to play songs on a roadtrip. hell, anyone that’s ever sat in the back on the roadtrip and said, “please change this piece of shit song.” if you’ve brought speakers or guitars to the park or if you’ve made someone a mix cd, you are a dj. but more… there’s more… if you’ve ever opened your mouth to make a sound, you are a dj. if you’ve ever walked around or brushed past a clangy fence, if you’ve ever felt the wind against your face, if you’ve ever breathed, you are a dj.

we’re all in this together, spinning subtle space tunes. Continue reading

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