Bread and Roses

Location: Southeastern, United States

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Now Exiting Stepford.

Pool parents. Pulled-together parents, intimidating in their two-tone khaki ensembles and full makeup in the middle of the day. County parents, big and brassy, with tans and cleavage. Local parents, on the other end of middle age, wrinkly, buff, PhD'd. Parents with dyed hair and tattoos. Parents who may be rock stars.

It's strange to be back with the Kid. There's no taking up where we left off; it's been a year, kids grow up. He's mellowed; the baby's grown more obnoxious. That's okay. They're good kids. I'm just nervous trying to talk to them.

That's about it.


Sunday, May 29, 2005

citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate.

3 12-oz cups of sprite while working basketball concessions = 500 calories of high fructose corn syrup.

I coulda eaten two slices of cake for that.


Friday, May 27, 2005

"I will remember to stay in the two feet and I can float now and I will not drown!"

- four year old I babysit. Thanks, kid!

don't let them take you ALIVE.

I meant to write this, too. The new kids at church are so hipster-ish, so ready to go, it's so good to look at the middle schoolers moving up and think, hell yeah you've got your problems. You're a unitarian kid. You shine. You believe in turning this world and yourself inside out a thousand times before you graduate.

It's painful for me to be in that building, too. I'm trying to pay attention, these days, to the bodily sensation of emotions, the pain in the chest, the lump in the throat - being in that church hurts worse than breaking up with the Him did. It's so wierd to change.


I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering.

(- the clown, All's Well that Ends Well, Act 5 scene 2.)

There are good things about being sick - third-world water kind of sick, trespass not in the bathroom kind of sick, going to sleep at six in the evening kind of sick. I found - I am better now - that during the three days of my isolation, my senses were amplified. I could smell not just the tree but the bark and flowers on the tree; the sky was many colors crossing, not just blue. Vicarious senses worked overtime too. When the Gilmore Girls sat down and shared a box of donuts, I could taste the donuts, I could feel the powdery sugar under my fingers, I could smell them and feel the weight of the person sitting on the couch beside me eating them. My first response to illness is usually a profound oversensitivity - for the first day, I didn't know what was wrong, only that the slightest breeze or the touch of my shirt hurt my skin - but this is the first time it's been so interesting.

The hitchhiking boy, unafraid of flu, came back through and slept at our house last night. He also smells good, of sweat and bikes and a little exhaust. One thing that I miss about Boone is people who smell like people, breathing their pheremones, all those mammalian senses - are they well? are they stressed? that are so crippled in the deodorant culture. People just smell so good, and it's spring and is supposed to be about smells, flower smells, earth smells, human smells.

A minor perversity: I am now down to my first target weight. I will try to maintain it, then. The fact that I'm still too queasy to eat regularly should help.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

I am in love with a three hundred dollar dress. Also, I have decided the following: tans are cliché. What is not cliché, and could in fact be fashionable in such a dress, or in good clothes in general: pale, freckles, good tattoos (none of this clipart rose-on-the-cleavage crap), mocha-latte or creamy or very dark. In short, natural skin tones or artistic renderings are in. I have seen enough terrible orange tans in the last so often that I have decided the profound tan is not really highbrow.

love and shallowly yours,

I've got a two hundred megawatt pulse cannon in the forward cargo bay that says otherwise!

1) The dog picked a fight with a rabid racoon yesterday. Flashbacks to Old Yeller aside, all this means right now is that the vet came by and stuck her with a needle and she's now lying prostate on the floor trembling and looking at me with the how could you do that to me??? eyes.

2) Flu thing? Who knows!

3) Was supposed to start working today but have not as may be contagious with flu thing.

4) Thinking I might link up my old blog and this.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

For no man well of such a salve can speak,

That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace:
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;

1) The He (he deserves better from me than to ever find his name on the internet) believes that it's my parents that drove us apart. I realize that this is probably because he has to assign blame somewhere besides me. I also realize that while it is nice not to be villified by an ex, there is no possible relationship with someone who feels antagonistic against my parents.

2) My mother said a good thing. She asked me how I would want to be treated if I was in love with someone who wanted to move on. I realized that I am wracking up the relationship karma here and that I am old enough not to want to be strung along.

3) It breaks my heart to break his. Here is proof of how 'breaking up and staying friends' sometimes means that 'breaking up' just doesn't stick. I am sick of doing this over and over.


Saturday, May 21, 2005

Que le vaya bien, amigos.

Friday, May 20, 2005

hineh matov uma na'im...

The Wataugans are headed out tomorrow. Important discoveries: first, that I like having them in my house. It's that feeling I used to have last year when Laura and Anna were making tea in the bathroom before I woke up; that feeling of an old marriage, of comfortable company. Second, no ideal can stay, but my roommate and I are friends for ever or a good long time.

We had a good conversation walking into town, I want to remember that. B was antsy the whole day; turns out he wanted to be on the road (be where you are, B; tell people what's going on, B.) It's nice to have him here, out of context, without the sometimes suffocating structure of Watauga around. It's also nice to acknowledge that not only are people not what you make them to be in your head, they have no responsibility to be. I am glad and I honor him. (I am also sad, because I always want to be the center of the universe and SOMETIMES I'M JUST NOT. Okay I don't have to be the exact center of Watauga, but I don't like not being a part of the pull, a part of the solar system.)

Of my roommate J, I don't think I even realized what a friendship we were building. It is extraordinarily good to see her. I am pleased.

I am also tired and sad. I have liked having them in my life here. To them this a stopping place between events; to me, it is the event. That's an important distinction.

Nonetheless, I have had a little bit of Watauga, I have kidnapped it (stolen it rather, whole minutes of it) and held onto it for myself. I will not let the slight bitterness I feel at passing back out of the orbit slow me down.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

cover the light of open months with your aroma

The Lovies are here, two gangly, smelly, tan people from my dormitory, arrived on bicycles, departing on bicycles. brave, in love, nowhere. They make me feel adventurous, quick, loving, even though my last year in that dormitory was cowardly, and closed off, and slow. They remind me that I can be something.

It really is like a visit from fairyland. There is always this fantasy, this dream I have, that down in the basement, up in the attic, over that next hill - always over the next hill - lies some extraordinary world. They are living in it, traveling in it right through the center of my house and onward. They are just two twenty-somethings, tan, dirty, full of muscle and sinew and heart, full of infatuations, foolishnesses, love. That's all.


Monday, May 16, 2005

A i mohio a Hohepa ki ona tuakana, ko ratou ia kihai i mohio ki a ia.

I refuse. Take it back. I will not look on your face, I will not stare into your eyes. You are the beloved alien. The touch of your hand, the minute vibrations of your voice makes my skin crawl. I will not be torn from myself. I do not believe in you; I am not of you.

I refuse. Take it back. Maybe I have to be practical; maybe I am twenty, and sensible, with a housefrau bun and modest clothing and a habit of working too much. Maybe I am accomodating, bourgeoise, counter-revolutionary. Still, I refuse. There are more things in heaven and earth and the human soul, Horatio.

You brothers, you Americans, you soul raised close to mine under the shelter of the same flag - I will not let your fundamentalisms tear you down, and I cannot stop loving you, beloved other, American, brother. I cannot argue with you wrapped in that flag. I cannot look you in the face as you advocate a world without hope. I don't know what to do, brother. We are from the same people.


Friday, May 13, 2005

alba, banksiae, carolina, centifolia, parvifolia, pomponia, mutabillis.

There are two ways to eat the nectar of a honeysuckle: first, to pinch the green remnant of stem, and draw out the stamen through the base of the flower, glistening with a single droplet of sweet. Second, to bite it off at that basal neck, whole handfuls at a time (an exotic invasive, strumpeting itself across the neighbor's shrubs) while the sister waits, foot tapping, for you to finish.

There are two basic kinds of roses, the old rose and the tea rose. Over the juniper bushes at the base of the hill grows a rose - old or new - with vast red blossoms the size of saucers. When fresh and tight, they smell of grape kool-aid. Exploded open, they smell like the meaning of wine. Wine-roses.


de Alto Cedro voy para Marcan...

This song sends chills up my spine. It makes me want to lift myself towards Nicaragua, wrists-first, in love. It makes me feel every strength and beauty of my body and life as a reflection of gasoline dust and graffiti and palm trees, mango trees, open against a Nicaraguan sky. I want to love the world, from the front porch of a house in Montesteppe. I want to love the world. I want a third-world world of just enough, of bags of rice and beans in every kitchen. I want a third-world world of southern light, of lamplight against sweating concrete, of worlds within worlds on the shadowed illuminated porches. I want a third-world world of education and vaccination and hope, and none of this twentieth-century nonsense of frozen dinners.

I want to lift myself towards the hero-body, towards the hero-soul, towards the socialist martyr woman, Elaina with a face beautiful and stark out of a Leninist poster. I want to lift myself towards the prayer-faces of the dreadlocked saints, towards the water ever running through the dry land. I want to pray, I want to pray and sing and lift myself wrists-first towards revolutionary dawn. I want to believe.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Tatter and lime

I will hold onto the last frayed remnants of myself and my love and the sky shooting down rain brilliant over the city. I will hold onto myself if it is the last thing I do.


vaster than empires and the sound of box fans.

Poems are born of this, this (before the storm) heat, this box-fan-rattling heat, this sound like the musty hotel rooms of the world, rattling down a Managua dawn, rattling down the smell of Chapel Hill traffic, rattling down right here right now in a bundle of words and a bouquet of wilting agrostemma. Poems are born of this right here with the possibility of thunderstorm drifting peaceful down the spine and the heavy beautiful sound of the world waiting. waiting. I wish the world would wait for this.


So Watauga.

A kid from my program just signed an email to the entire Watauga class - "missing you like the desert misses the rain".

I was never that in love with the place, but there's that part of me, that excitement in my chest, that wants the pagan dance amidst the trees of the mountain, that wants the long soft summers. People fall in love with Watauga their freshman year. I have been there two years; it has been the major relationship of the last two years of my life. It wasn't everything I wanted it to be. It wasn't perfect.

Last night, I dreamed that we were down in the dining hall, and it was that moment in the music when someone decides, heck, we may as well dance. And I was going to join them - three years of Wataugans, whirling across the dance floor - but I thought of my absent boyfriend back in the dorm, and the moment died in me, and I didn't dance.

When I return it will be the pagan dance in the mountains. It will not end.

Some part of me is seperate from this family and this place, and also free from my classes and the unhappy strain of that last year of school. Some part of me is free to see beauty and be transparent/reflective to it. Some part of me is missed like the desert misses the rain.