Monday, February 12, 2007

to M [if you ever look for it.]

one of the hardest things when i first moved home was watching my grandparents interact. they were horrible to each other. they would lash out, unprovoked. they would needle mercilessly over the very trivial. listening to them would stir up my sense of unfairness and injustice in a way that it hasn't been since i was fourteen, arguing myself bloody against the wall of my dad. but i rarely interrupted their dialogues, partially out of discression and partially because neither of them actually appreciated my interference. this is how my two years of talking less began. no action seemed like a good action, so i listened, and what i heard is that when two people have been married for sixty years, no one else knows what it is they're saying to each other-- even when they hear it, even when it's "please pass the syrup". every word is so full of old meaning. no word is innocent, and it's impossible to know what compliment is a provocation and what slur is a coded endearment. i might as well have attempted to mediate an argument between two people speaking portuguese. i hope that i never talk to anyone the way they'd talk to each other, but i don't know anything about what it's like to be at the end of my life, stuck in a house with the person i've lived it with, and if i judge them i judge them gently.

i've come to feel that most relationship, at least the vital ones, are a little (or a lot) twisted in ways that it's easy for casual observers to disparage. life in the world is ragged and impenetrably complex, right, and so are we, and so are the ways that we relate to each other, and so are the circumstances that we find ourselves in when we go to relate, but i don't think that it's therefore best to abstain. the judgers don't know where it's all headed any better than anyone else, let alone where it should be headed or how we should get there.

some circumstances are particularly ragged, and anything other than cutting one's losses looks imprudent. but i don't really give a fuck how this looks. it's not ideal, but nothing is. i'll navigate any circumstance with you.

Monday, February 05, 2007

the hush of the very good, by todd boss

You can tell by how he lists
to let her
kiss him, that the getting, as he gets it,
is good.
It's good in the sweetly salty,
deeply thirsty way that a sea-fogged
rain is good after a summer-long bout
of inland drought.
And you know it
when you see it, don't you? How it
drenches what's dry, how the having
of it quenches.
There in the grassy inlet
where your ocean meets your land, a slip
that needs a certain kind of vessel,
when that shapely skiff skims in at last,
trimmed bright, mast lightly flagging
left and right,
then the long, lush reeds
of your longing part, and soft against
the hull of that bent wood almost im-
perceptibly brushed a luscious hush
the heart heeds helplessly--
the hush
of the very good.

[this poem is about sex, yes, but also something else, maybe the opposite and/or antidote to what i've been thinking about all day, reading philosophy and wondering how available dispassion is to human beings as a tool (a lever, not a hammer, please), so of course it's the first thing i turned to, browsing some journal that i have no business reading, while taking a study break, waiting for my tea.]

Saturday, February 03, 2007

life comes down to: the itch and the scratch. only the itch and the scratch, but occuring in so many shades and degrees and combinations. itches run from tickle to hurt to our hearts exploding, and the scratch can happen or the scratch can be delayed, for pleasure or to our detriment (or both), and we can scratch til its gone or scratch til it hurts or resist scratching, for a minute or forever (although the desire to resist is just another itch that's hard to reach, maybe).