Insomniacs

Oh lookity look, it’s you, delicious you, all sparkle-eyed smiling and up to no good and you’re wondering about coming in (of course) and sure it’s later than I thought it would be but when some come there’s no thoughts of sleeping (and lately I’m never sleeping) and the interruption of nothing with something is sigh and smile and relief. Head and heart operate in full agreement that star chart spells churn from waking fingers, which means sleep has to go, and since when did it need more of me than three?

you say tonight you’ve been wandering too long with nowhere to go, thinking to follow bliss before the script flipped and your star was left stone suffocated. then you tracked the moon on the hunt for her tail or at least some uncharted chunk of cheese debris, and after circling and wandering there was nothing but midnight then more walking and head-scratching and suddenly me. Sounds alright. Half-asleep, restless, brain gurgeldy-blurgey, can’t think of a better blather banterer than me.

in this dumb we say everything obvious, these are fingers my fingers your fingers twenty fingers, these are your eyes my eyes twenty eyes between us. We draw new constellations from leg bruises, you ask questions about angry faeries and phantoms with poor communication skills and worry that I really want to marry you. I tell you no one ever says what they mean, and when they do the listener never believes them, and that’s why the knot in my throat is coal-to-diamond and resurfaces no matter the mining.

And no, I don’t want to marry you.

All around us a chorus of spirits dance and exchange wise cracks and high-fives and drunken obscene gestures, all flicking tongues and crossed eyes and uncovered erections. even the demons who duck behind books with bad titles and pull cat tails and faeries who only slow the bus down for chewing gum manage to get in on the action, making faces at my eight active eyes, teasing me with what to them is obvious: you can’t see them. Nyah nyah.

and then it’s all dish smashing sheet tugging art tearing confetti throwing paper burning lifemare, let it all fall away let it all fall apart, what exactly is there to be afraid of anymore? shouldn’t we be more afraid of death than love, shouldn’t we not be afraid of death at all when it operates as entry to where we’ve already been? why the fuck do we ruin our lives and wonder about curtains and fences when we could be all eyes and laughter and layers of scent? Why do you fear me most when I’m fenceless?

crying. door swinging technology tickle. fingers evolve to wires.

3AM. no one invited. everyone shows.

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Merlin and Nimue

He says: Let me tell you about spending several hundred years drunk on the memory of your body intertwined with mine, drunk on a something that might have never happened – the fable has fooled me before. I’m more than one snake, I’m two, chasing the same tail and never coming close – just choking.

I say: You’re babbling. That’s the thing with you – always babbling.

And then he really gets going: Oh, this is nerve wracking. Can you feel my hunger crossing mountain ranges, crossing city roads with skid marks scarring dashed white lines, crossing daylight and night time and time zones and time changes, circling setting sun, circling, always circling? Can you feel me, lone crow in a murder of pairs, the one you almost don’t notice on the wire, wandering eye scanning for something or someone, can you feel my eye from the wire?

I say: Can you feel my eye roll, my exasperated sigh?

Then he says: Ha. I’m laughing. You could always get me laughing, but there’s no squeak to your sneak, and there’s no oak tree or tower or prison you’ve carved that can muzzle dark arts into rabbits and hats. Through the crack in the face of the full moon I come. Through the grey clouds that curtain your city I come. I arrive in August hailstones sliding through openings in clothes that leave people screaming “goddamn it!” I arrive like an airborn virus, drilling into your bones, leaving you weak and chicken soup starved, or perhaps on the hunt for something processed and vegan. I hear people are into that now.

Another eye roll: You arrived by bus.

This doesn’t slow him down: I’m glad you brought up the bus, because I was standing on the bus when the person to my right sat down and peed. It was a committed pants pissing, body toxic in an instant, air stinking of ammonia and humiliation. Someone said no fucking way and someone took a picture and someone said oh my god I’m getting off this bus and the driver said what the hell is going on back there? The man’s eyes were focused on a far away place no one can enter without trauma and toll. He kept looking at that place, digging in his pockets for change and map, and when the bus stopped he shouted back door and left, urine tracks haunting invisible snow. I got off too, stumbling on the last stair and the jolt reminded me of my own urine tracks, my own mission and time-honored tax. Autopilot pulled me after him, all the way to a taqueria where tacos hold meat and are cheap, and you were in the doorway and I looked for your eye handshake but instead pupil to pupil tripwired lost time and two ancient souls exchanged whispered oaths, and the truth: “This is no place for magicians.” We’re both drugged with faery blood and capable of colorful things that inform treasure hunts and tower falls and fairy tale shivering.

I clear my throat twice, then three times, and say: It’s good seeing you this lifetime. I’m sure we’re both lonely-busy, stuffing pamphlets in doorways, launching flame wars on blogs, going about the business of starting wars and making kings. But so you know that this loving isn’t occupied alone, I’ll swear my head only comes out of the water for you.

He grumbles: I’ll wear you like a hat. Press my body to your window until the window cracks and the glass scars my flesh and my blood coats your feet and floor. I’ll claw at your ankles and you’ll kick at my face, so I’ll dig my nails in till they brittle and break, then I’ll cry in this clotting crimson heap until the stench drives you mad and my whimpers disgust you, and still: I won’t go away. I’ll never go away, this obsession is timeless, there’s no curse you can cook to dissuade me. Just like then. Just like now. I’m smiling. I’m smiling.

I say: ever the charmer. You’re not one snake, you’re two.

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Lookit

Hive. New. Over. There.

http://amandasledz.com/hive/

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moon

begging my brain to let you go and latch on to someone or something else, really this is ridiculous, clogging my own drains. Sick sticking memory of you and your old growth smell and your dance around yourself, this memory i color myself with, that i drape all over. in the dirty remains a single close-up of face and hands and their route, and i wonder if in a future-something i’ll still have that memory, buried in my unnamed insides to unearth whenever hormones and weather and a single fingernail of overhanging moon bring my selves just aligned.

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Drinking Games of the Future Part 4 – Present Tense

Sitting in my own lap, thumbing through messages dispensed from self ankle-deep in almost-sleep. Dreamy awake state summons her most dignified 1940s radio baritone and announces: Present. What about the present?

Hakim Bey and Robert Anton Wilson and Carl Jung and Frederik Van Eeden and a thousand philosophers and dreamers and writers and dead white guys have argued that there isn’t any becoming, you already are, as a means of pressing face into the dog pile of present.

Of course, reading is not comprehension (remember those separate scores on standardized tests?) and I’ve never been the sort inclined to let others figure things out while I take them at their word. Especially dead white guys.

So: 14 hours of trance space and free writing. 150 pages scribbled and scrawled reveal Not Much in the way of worldly reflections. Instead somber mug slapped by sitcom, MadLibs filled in with fart jokes, ancient gods warning the studio audience when to laugh or clap. Still I probed for something nothing to do with me or any BECOMING.

Myth figures are stubborn.

Presently, my dear, you’re supposed to have fun. Shenanigans and giggles, Sour Sally! Look, that trumpet was blown years ago. Made a sound like ArrrrroOOOOO. End times take time. Mind yours. All you can alter is your here and now. Yours. The star of handwritten myths.

Awake. Present. Now.

Now: pressing finger to swollen spider bite, the first of the season but not the last, angry against sun-starved skin. Eyes rise to giant trees with turned down tops circled by hawks hunted by a furious murder of crows.

Present: dancing with other women conjuring maiden-mother-crone, and feeling shoulders previously trapped in permanent curl mimicking Lake Erie’s summer storm waves release and puddle floor, feet stomping memory and mist. The alchemy of sound and internal waterfall frees golden wings, and in a burst my howl unseams. The whole room is active alive and partly cloudy, Oregon’s always skies.

Awake: interacting with Named Trees, skin meeting familiar/familial bark. A message from the sticky top branches: why should dead gods and fanatics have all the fun? There’s plenty of story. What is your super power going to be, maker of legends, creator of myths? What will it be, today, for me?

Dream: speaking an alien tongue punctuated by clicks and intentional stutters, sliced by extended hums and aums that roll teeth over tongue. Charcoal stained hands hover over a table while giant cards slide and form towers and pyramids of cups and swords.

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Drinking Games of the Future 3 – 2013

Just like sci-fi authors thought cars would fly but mimeograph machines would crank out purple tinted sheets of paper forever, our predictions of maybe-tomorrow are likely wrong.

Envision the world noticeably not ending in 2012: hundreds of thousands of saluting citizens standing holding hands on the edge of a cliff, eyes closed and breath held, waiting for the kick from behind…only to find that time is passing and their hands are getting sweaty and they have to breathe and let go, and well…get some sleep. The alarm is going off.

The calendar rolls over into 2013 and everyone stands around, nail-biting directionless, hoping for another apocalypse promise potent enough to renew the tail chase. Monday morning splinters every survivalist dream: garbage trucks feed the landfill; mail trucks drop-off garbage; the bus driver is in a bad mood; the passengers stick plastic devices in ears and hunt for a glimpse of future happiness through the window; the passengers leave the bus and walk through doors that automatically open and tightly suck-seal behind them. Later the same passengers don’t enjoy a miserable ride home, where they log in to their computers and social network sites and update their statuses, maybe with a solid sentence of abbreviation. In 2013 words are officially inconvenient.

2013: an unended world leaves everything ruined. Hundreds of thousands of former college students receive love letters from the number one unstoppable apocalypse cockroach, Sallie Mae. Great Idol of Whoops-What-Was-I-Thinking, she hovers above the growing broke class with her hand out, the smirking Statue of Liberty officially christened her mascot. Boston Harbor fills with box upon box of useless degrees, delivered to students in unopened cardboard tubes. The government huffs and balls up tight fists, raping checking accounts and tax returns, directly docking pay. Former students fire back by paying off student loans with credit cards prior to declaring bankruptcy, or asking to be paid in cash, or ceasing work all together, electing to erect tent cities or be perpetually in motion, running away from the empty expectation that the dollar would ever inflate, allowing us to earn more or at least as much as our parents. Burn the whole thing down. Tent cities. Forest Park.

Meanwhile, somewhere on universe-earth, one or two rogue citizens stand on front porches, contemplating the existence of kindred spirits, or maybe wondering about the last time they physically touched someone in a way that didn’t feel hurried. Then it digs deeper and they wonder what it would be like to love without caution, and each thinks that they could probably do this now, because fuck it, what better use of time than that, exactly that. It’s the only thing worth throwing at the stars. Then each one of them sighs, and opens a battered library book to read until sleeping – both certain that no one else living and thinking could possibly agree with something so beautiful and reckless.

2013 could mean anything for me, perhaps sitting underneath a tree transcribing the events of the latest war between the angels, different sides this time, but mountains still tossed while the powerless messenger cries and outlines the speeches of Lucifer and the violent retort of a sword swinging Michael. I could be pushing a shopping cart stuffed solid with bean-guts stuffed animals and empty cans of whip cream, muttering about how something was supposed to happen, on August and the Day of 8, in the 20 and 10, the 20 and 11, the 20 and 12. In 2011 there was supposed to be a tsunami and a wave from an earthquake offshore, the dam was supposed to break and flood the river, Portland was supposed to be underwater. And the green turned brown was supposed to turn to ash, and all of the mountains were supposed to start speaking, these mountains that are really volcanos, seconds from being burped awake from some new magnetic pull, and all these auroras were supposed to speak to me, to wrap my head in a multi-colored cloud during some lost Sunday morning.

Or maybe I’ll have a family passing strangers label “nice” and someone somewhere will color me a “good person” over coffee and inside my burning ears will be the faint tingle of satisfaction. When my head hits the pillow I’ll summon sleep in an instant, and my dreams will be fields of flowers and a gentle hand tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear, in a sensation so far beyond soothing my deepest sound rings true, if detectable only by bats. I don’t know.

I don’t know.

Somewhere in 2010 reality revealed itself to be a system of mirrors arranged to pull me deeper into maze. In a blink I switched the maze to corn, so the aliens can leave a footprint, you know, if they want. Then I peeled off my skin to activate, to consider the possibility of love as LOVE, of human as super, to embrace what never comes next. The only thing worth throwing at the stars.

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On Dreaming (1) – No Pilot

Waking hours I am conductor, coaxing independent instruments with wandering keys and reeds to crash into passable music.

Asleep my head is pure unfiltered noise, now with more pulp. Reckless unarmored, a slow motion owl-masked me stencils the first truth: hell is empty and all the devils are here.

No: come on baby light my fire.

No: so quick bright things come to confusion.

No: will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?

No: O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!

No.

No, it’s not noise, it’s the complexity and conspiracy theory of a $20 bill, occult symbols clunking up against the head of throwback Jackson keeping scholars and hobbyists and anyone with a reliable internet connection busy for years. The decoding will continue until children are hatched, or a UFO lands and offers a cheap hands-in-the-air ride before fucking up LA, or they simply run out of time.

At night my head is two shotguns pointed at each other, distracted by a toddler with a fistful of daisies and a ring jumping dolphin that alters aim.

My head is a mirror in a mirror in a mirror, a single spinning prism twisting out rainbows and confusing the faeries operating (just) underneath.

My head is draped in white and black and purple and violet then white and black and purple again.  Seven veils, always aware of their presence and the buffer they grant my six eyes from the light of Waking World. Six and Seven is a Longish Story and zero is a better place to start.

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