carrie

I’m making a pb&j at midnight because I live alone and can do this kind of thing without arousing suspicion. I haven’t eaten a full meal in a week. The world has made me sick.

As always when I’m sick and tired I think of you. How it’s been almost three months since we last spoke. Almost eighteen since we kissed. How when Death came for me my mother turned you away from our doorstep and how I am glad and resentful for it. How you went from being the woman I wanted to marry to a bullet grazing my cheek en route to elsewhere. Late nights like this the scar stings. I do my best to soothe it with hamfisted metaphor and flourishes but I always fall short.

I always fall short.
*
I never read the letter you left on my nightstand.

But then you went and gave my mother a card for me in the wake of my nearly-dying. A card full of hallmark sentiments about freedom. “You just crawled tooth and nail from your death bed but don’t you remember how I broke up with you? Aren’t you happy I let you go free?” I’m paraphrasing but that is the spirit of it and I wish I’d never read it.

Would you have said the same thing at my funeral? Eulogized not my corpse below you but our relationship? Waxed poetic about the crushing kindness you did me by breaking my heart?

As if I would allow you to speak at my funeral.
*
I think I understand what happened now. When your feelings fill your lungs like tar you don’t know what to do about the slow pain of drowning. You wheeze about your selflessness and sacrifice and the undying love you bear others and never manage to cough up what’s eating you.

Lucky for me I’m not dead and I only miss you like this when I’m tired and hungry. Maybe that’s what drove you away. I smother the things I love when there is no clear line at the start of no man’s land.

First come the smiles, then the lies- last is gunfire.
*
Here we are. Alive and full to bursting. Me with cheap metaphor and you with unspoken tar.

Tell me, how does your freedom taste?

rlb 8.18.17

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East Berlin: An Oracle from Audre Lorde

Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

5ab655e9615f266f4579275b9f630879You are wondering whether or not you will have to punch a Nazi.  You are wondering how these Nazi’s got so much political power in the United States.   As always, turn to the Lorde.  Audre Lorde responded to Nazi violence in the streets and in the legislature in Germany at the end of her life with protest and passion.  This is an alphabetized oracle (proper nouns mostly excluded) from her poem “East Berlin.”

For a longer article that contextualizes this within my research on Audre Lorde see my piece over at Bitch Media: https://bitchmedia.org/article/andre-lordes-abcs-fighting-facism

To activate the oracle think of your question for this political moment.  Choose a letter of the alphabet that you associate with that question and scroll down to the relevant letter.  Meditate on the words, create your own poem prompted by them, do what feels right to you.  If your letter has no words in this…

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Let’s Talk About Death, Baby

On the off chance you haven’t noticed yet, let me be the first to tell you: I write about death a lot. A lot. So muchguys.

Sometimes I write about her directly, sometimes less clearly, but I write about death as often as I pick up a pen it seems. Death is even a major player in the scifi-fantasy epic Moira and I are writing, turning up as two separate characters with two distinct, vital roles. So what gives? Why am I so obsessed by death?

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Death, Baby”

Quarters

Paying in quarters makes it less painful. A step closer to actual bills than nickels and dimes. Heavier in the hand to remind me of what I’m giving up. The price of bread, milk, tea, dinner for three off the dollar menu at McDonald’s. It’s harder to spend quarters frivolously and easier to keep them clenched in my palm until the hash-marked edges leave dents along my lifeline that won’t fade for hours. I think I can still feel them days later. The ghost of change where it would be a gift to be able to think of anything except how it might be to afford to leave town and never come back.

I know a rich boy. This rich boy is older than me but he acts four years younger because his parents are a doctor and a hedge fund manager and when his hours are short at work he’s gleeful. He’s never counted quarters to figure whether he could afford to spend time outside with his friends in an overpriced coffee shop at the expense of bread.

His life’s goal is to make a million dollars. Mine is to pay my bills on time, own a greyhound named Tilda, and have a savings account with more than $5 in it.

Funnily enough I’m closer to achieving mine than he is. Guess which one of us is happier.

rlb 7.12.17

Apple Hits Taiwan. Journalist Hits the Hay. (Journalist thinks up better title while brushing teeth…?) — scribbles

I took a risk by coming here. I can only say three things in Chinese: Hello, thank you and help! I’m hoping to expand that last phrase to “help, I’m a tourist and I don’t know what’s going on. Where can I buy dumplings, please?” It’s going on a 16 hour day. Despite the jet […]

via Apple Hits Taiwan. Journalist Hits the Hay. (Journalist thinks up better title while brushing teeth…?) — scribbles

impatience

Thursdays are a liminal space. Obligation without motivation dragging on forever in the way nothing seems to stop stinging the cut on the back of my thigh. My garter did that. I don’t know how it managed; they’re supposed to be soft backed with rubber, kind to those tender places that never see sunlight. Some people have no sense of propriety.

5.23.17 rlb

Write

The button at the top of WordPress’s dashboard is always so commanding. “Write”, it says. Demands.  Usually, I avoid it by having a goodly stash of pre-written works that I paste into the text box, format, and schedule before pretending I won’t have to look at them ever again but all things must come to an end and here I am having run out of pre-written musings. I think I did pretty well, skating by on somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 original works for the better part of two months.

The trouble is that now I have to find that misty place full of doggindales, sit there in the pine barrens and and write what I can see and hear and bring it all back to the world outside. It’s less that it’s a mysterious place and more a frightening one. Who knows whats out there in the dim?