Night Water

 

— Screw it.  I dig up this saved draft, this language from some months ago I’d been reticent to share but now it’s wrapping its arms around a sleepless night and my travel bug, that escapist impulse to jump in a car, on a plane, a train, a boat, anything.  It’s just got to be said.  So, here.  It’s October.  All that really needs to escape is that toxic tendency toward self-censorship.  —

Writing is still elusive.  Writing involves so many organizational challenges I often can’t handle it without also making visual art.  Words have felt like pressure cookers, images like rivers.  It’s said that words are limited and inadequate – but which mode of expression isn’t?

Which is why writing, too, sometimes happens by surprise in the midst of creating art, out of a sudden desperation or exasperation that just can’t be expressed immediately enough without switching mediums and turning to words.  Out of recognition that there’s things that pictures just can’t do, can’t show the same way.

Then there’s the times none of it seems to satisfy.  The moment’s too raw so the only thing to do is keep going.  With the current project, with any project.  It might make you feel better, or just more like crap but you don’t stop.  I feel strangely serene now in the face of intensity.  Its presence doesn’t scare me as it once did.  As if my brain partitioned into two coexisting sides of reality, dark and peaceful.

I imagine some of the reactions and opinions each piece could incite and retrain myself to believe the one truth I can count on which is that it really doesn’t matter anymore, it matters less and less.

Mixing beige paint in my room and laying it over black I contemplate my favorite person to be with.  Wanting this man is futile.  Will you leave once again and call me months from now, and what will I say then?  No more?  I love you?

An inescapable fact, love.  Even the worst of you could not make me cold for long.  I want out of here, too.  Out of all of it.  It’s the middle of the night.

I toss this whole situation into question.  My job, my expensive life here in Oakland.  What am I doing?

This art.  These photographs.  This writing.  How much could I sacrifice to be able to do this all the time, nothing but this for as long as it takes?  Almost everything, I’m thinking.

What if I just said, everything?  What would everything look like?

 

 

 

 

Freedom In Constraint

You have said something about them, you have tossed pennies into the fountain in far off fantasies in your mind after all they’ve done, you have gone to pick up your image in its water somewhere beyond sensible and wasted yourself incautiously dipping your hands into its greenish mud puddle feeling the mossy bottom and the stone underneath it, wasted yourself watching a kaleidoscope of colors swirl around your wrists, watching green diamonds and blue gems morph to purple and magenta on the water’s oily surface in the angles of sun around tanned arms and through reflective fingers, and you’ve fallen behind the others, picked up incomprehensible images from exotic pools to sink yourself into and create yourself from, not borrowed from your own origins as you should, not done what you’ve been called upon by those who brought you, instead you have pulled out a starfish inedible and invasive multicolored and textured and other vain nonfunctional fascinations.

You have picked flowers all day.  Rearranged letters of the alphabet all day.  A candle left burning in your room to follow the mazes of wax and the loops of smoke taking your attention, then the fan left on for a clearing.  Trails of warm lemon juice cleansing negligence, you have sprayed perfume yet left no scent.  It was you who did the leaving, you who did this to them, you whose body is too soft to resist the most simple attraction and mind not soft enough to yield controls, you who betrayed trust by telling stories, who let yourself be eaten by worms of curiosity, you who gulp foolishly not more than banal beauties and ugliness.  To squander yourself insulting those who brought you, you who created universes invalid from real pennies and distorted realities from nebulous transparencies.  You are the kind who survives on chocolates.

You hearing them rehearsing, how could you do this to us?  How could you do this to you also.  You have said something, you have seen something.  Stuff that doesn’t matter, waste like this.  Crap like this, let it go and the box flies open.  Make your mistakes for they call them mistakes not choices.  Let it all out of the trap, let the mystery of this trap triumph if you absolutely must play so rough but don’t ask us to look, don’t ask us to see, don’t ask us to hear, don’t ask us to act.

Heirlooms are survival too.  You are too green for us, too blue, too purple, too much for us.  You haven’t done enough, organized enough this territory, you will never catch up.  You do this to us, do this to yourself, look.  Listen.  You’ll see, you’ll hear this.  You do this.  To us, to us.

You.

 

 

green light version 4

 

You

 

green light version 3