Monday, April 16, 2007

You could not have made a better sanctuary
than the ages of you
all tucked underneath.
From the darkening depth of them in a stolen gaze
to the glimmer of still childish eyes you look at me
all years at once.
I suppose I could see it in anybody
if I stopped looking for it.
And I’m sure if you saw me
playing in the sandbox with plastic Soviet toys
in a playground,
in the South-East Moscow,
outside of the apartment buildings and before my English lessons,
when I still took English lessons,
before the first Mars bars had been imported
or western cartoons on TV, or advertisement,
and before I liked to draw with markers, because soviet markers weren’t
as exciting or colorful as the ones from Poland that I had later,
before I liked cheese, because there was only one kind of it around,
before the time I can describe with memories and not conjectures,
when I was four or three—
you’d know me.

Except warfare of days, which make boredom
such a flattering leisurely wealth in comparison,
has brought troublesome skill to you.
You can look at me ageless, corneas icing over quickly with glass,
and I can no longer tell if the shimmer in them might betray stalling tears
or the gloss off irrelevance.
You look blind underneath that distracting glare,
with no life to remember,
no moment I’d know could only be yours had I seen it,
like that photo you have of yourself as a kid,
with your eyes cupped in the shadow of your hands,
to hide from the camera.

Fatherless Sons

This is an ancient pain. Ancient and frothed into the insides of our stomachs,
awake, carved into where there are no scars that tell a story.
You hold me like I’m a kid
But your hands are stroking up and down my legs,
and I can feel your heartbeat aching
to deny what you say,
to overtake me, warlike and whole;
fling into an existence that might season
slowly, like tendered flower gardens and winters
that expand as though there
is no expansion to return from
or run.
On to find out what is this pain you give away
to me you think of leaving. When at the time it seems so easy to return,
Reign, like a paradise falling on,
the ages you’d been drying out.
This is the pain that crusts people
into wooden statues of what once was their charisma.
Go on, turn your eyes away,
A boy that wants to
not be angry
You hold me like you never let your mother.
You hold me like you squeeze a pillow when you nap aimlessly.
Like you hold a rock you want to throw at every window, but don’t.
You keep it, always.
There are bags of them inside your muscles.
Your back remembers how you sit when you don’t want to cry.
And mine does too.

February, 2007

The Sentiment of Soothing Return

Crowded in the screech of Soviet metro I
stood intaking the absorbing lull.
It rocked me gently to the long forgotten standpoints,
to the starts of what has been concluded,
hovered me between the state of holding on to
a metal bar with one hand,
a beer with the other—
and an indeterminate motion towards
a memory of standing
in a gentle rocking,
bulleting through the immense Moscow
a million times before…
recorded in the bones that still make me.

I could have taken ages of this.
People around me stumbled in and out of their hell to stand beside me,
stuck together
with a viscous demand of unquestioned
adjacent realities.
My old friends stood telling me stories
and catalogued the stations we passed and streets
with orderly gossip.
Moscow was village like, aged
by the ease of endless fateful encounters
and ligatures of unabridged confessions over wine.

I could have stood there by you, on an ugly balcony of soviet sleeping district,
watching over the rain collecting on the roofs of stores
remodeled now to sell imported cell-phones
and other sleek,
top-of-the-line electronics in demand,
... watching over the puddles
people jumped across on their way from the metro station.

Metro was always so conveniently close—
in walking distance from the playgrounds
rebuilt over the fields that took my early wars,
in walking distance from the rooms where you and I would stay
with lights turned off,
from schooling, and from pets and their version of Moscow,
from nighttimes that encrypted motions of us,
younger, from room to room, mid-flirt;
and from this singing I could hear from the apartment now...
just like the kind I used to share with you quite effortlessly,
the singing that was mine
and now, as I hear it
kept on like a heritage,
it's anthropologically curious….

There, by your side,
you and I not speaking of the years we spent apart,
I could have stood for ages,
watching a cigarette fall down eight flights to the ground,
because you’d taken it out of my hand
and threw it, telling me I shouldn’t start.

March 6, 2007 (Edited November 2013)

Worry Long Gone

You didn’t say much to me afterwards.
Summer was rotting forgetful
and delirious, and
your silence was
a windmill of mad mares in gallop on my diaphragm.
Riding them insane, circle after circle,
was the sound your steps never made across the battered carpet of a Friday.
Amid the scrolling Heinekens and after-work salsa droned,
shots downed, and fertile laughter, all in dance like valkyries clubbing,
the sound of you coming closer
I didn’t hear.

Ten thousand women raged inside me. I was all wall.
You talked to girls. They said your name,
They said your name again.
And I no longer had a stomach.
I had no neck.
My sides were callused effigies, the ache evolving through a timeline of styles.
And hour upon hour I walked between beguiling looks,
and drinks, and grinding, cheating couples, sweethearts apart, flirts and skirts, love trailing on the thighs.
I watched your arms and counted the advice of every bottle
and in eloquent avoidance of dialogue
I mazed my way into the car.

You stumbled into the backseat,
talking to everyone with words, but not to me—
And dying of your leg so close against mine,
I listened to you
say nothing of my comments,
Watching suburban lights stroll by discretely as to not interrupt
my hurricane
with images of families sleeping.
Then you put your head on my shoulder.
Dead agony suspended in half whisper,
All I could feel was your cheek.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Headache Material

Cannot write a poem again, but I have to. I am already a few weeks behind on the poetry quota for my English class, but sometimes I just can't get words out of a headache. The truth is I actually wrote a pagefull today but it is no good.
I haven't been writing emails either because frankly I am sick of them. It's that kind of stage when I am very happy to have facebook. Because it organizes things for me, much better than an email inbox. There will come a point when I will want to free my life records from the influence of the software I use for it, but right now it's just nice to have things in place somewehere and accessible. This isn't mere complaining, I am actually thinking of a form of narrative that would be appropriate for the content and I am not even sure whether it should be one big project or a combination of little ones. Should things be left to the style of the era they emerged from, or should they be revisited? And how introspective should any of this even be, when there is a need for looking outwards along with the inascapable innerness in art...

I guess it is the problem of having developped a recognizable focus on autobiography in my work. I'm not sure if I can ever escape that or whether I even want to.

Ooh! But Alex just came by and got me some chocolate. And now everything is better.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A very jounaly journal entry

I am now in Boston ready to go to bed and get some rest before tomorrow's Photoshop World Exposition. And even though such an adventure is much too nerdy for some tastes... it's a good chance to see my brother, Dinah, and learn a lot. I'll be bringing some materials back which are basically quite advanced textbooks on CS3. Very fortunate to have gotten that for free. And it is very nice of my brother's in-laws to let Mitya and me stay at their house. Also, very nice of Alex to have given m a ride.
Eh.. very nice! Very nice...
Mitya has a recording of a weird retro Soviet song about Lenin always being young on his cell. Bizarre lyrics.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Bart. Pictures by Timmie Holmes

Garden Path

Alex's Return

This is a picture I drew very quickly in the AFO computer lab, where I work, to commemorate Alex's surprise return to Richmond.

The Honeydew Discrepancy

You know that words escape me, kind of, lately.

Things of awe have succumbed to breakfasts and dinner plates, roach traps in the corners of the swept up floor, utensils for cooking and drawing materials.

We have collected quite a jarful of beer bottle caps and jokes about the IKEA catalog on our coffee table. Laughed amid the teacups and lips the quintessence of reality so desertless.

The burn of things just isn’t as dire as in the more unbearable times. Perhaps because the fires are calming to an end, and a rain is to be brazenly in the colors of children’s cartoons, wherefore joy is a bold season, and scars have no guard from illusion. There is nothing to say that undulled innocence cannot be born into this garden of ours. There is nothing to make such brightness false.

Spring cooks us with the freshly picked sun through a morning window.

The nights breeze through warmly, as though walks are just walks.

I have cried for nothing but pollen in an indistinct while. When the seasons reversed I cannot quite place. This all happened discreetly, without much tribulations or fanfare. Old decrees my body lived by released into a painless renewal, with much politeness authored by no one so as not to disturb the thickness of this noon, the old heartburning tragedies glazing over with our molasses life.