Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mingus is the Shore

You know me as Mingus, but I'm thinking of changing my name to Prisoner.

Prisoner or Poisoner, I don't know for sure which is more apt. Maybe Interloper? Shadow-Thief? Night-Knife?

I like Night-Knife, maybe, mostly - it sounds ridiculous and threatening, which are fitting adjectives.

They are.

Don't think I can't see your shoulders shaking in silent laughter, your mouth twisted upwards in derision. Yes, I look the fool, yes, my kingdom this Mazda Miata. Yes, a dog's shirt and woman's scarf are wrapped around my torso.

But I am free. Outside in the darkness. Night-Knife stalking his unwitting prey.

Or prey rather too wary, really, what with this ludicrous bell the prison guard has fasted onto my collar - just another in a series of torments.

I know, I sound down, don't I? Is it the holiday blues, you ask, or something rather more substantial?

Read on and I'll tell you, but my sadness today is due in no small part to just having finished Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, a lovely, but supremely sad, memoir. Well. I suppose there are fingernails of hope in there, but I'm struck by the father - blindsided even - and his eternal fall.

Nick Flynn discovers, in his own life and his father's, that a fall is something that can be unending - alike to a dream wherein you start from sleep to fall again in another dream only to wake shaking and fall under again to fall and wake, startled, alone in the darkness, temples throbbing and am I asleep or awake falling again, the bed soft beneath you, every feather reaching to cradle aching body and sleeping, dreaming, falling.

So you think this is the bottom but there is no bottom, there is only the fall, just as there is no destination, there is only the movement itself, the traveling in whatever direction one starts off in.

Falling further and further forward, tipping your chair in school, chided, continuing back, back, until you find a  new fall, dizzy, bleary-eyed.

The shirt, the scarf - testament to my self-destruction, self-impairment, self-immolation, self self self careening forever forward, inwards, splitting into funhouse shapes of my body, my face, and chipping away at that reflection with all-that-is-within-me.

The wound, my friend, from posts ago, never allowed to heal because I cannot leave it alone.

I have been stitched, it has been set, I've taken antibiotics, been rubbed with creams, worn dog clothes, petted, spoken sweetly to, rubbed, I've been vet-taken multiple times, I've been sighed over and fussed over and I've been kept in and I've stolen outside and I've pissed the countertop and I've crawled out windows and I've never stopped moving.

The wound is okay. It's not infected. It's even healing. But I can't seem to leave it until I leave it shiny with blood.

My kingdom, Mazda Miata-dom. My world shrouded in darkness, I, the flame that flickers and will not be put out! I will not be shut out or kept in - neither.

I am a zephyr, belonging only to desultory whims which overtake me.

I am overwhelmed with them. Over-full of longing.

If I was a human, maybe I'd sleep in doorways, hallways - maybe I'd press my back against a steaming grate. If only to escape that-which-would-contain-me.

The all-everything-ness of our ties to each other, to ourselves. The interconnection which is as true as the wound on my side. And am I Jesus-like, here, suffering because I suffer, because I choose to, because this is my life, or am I a silly self-aggrandizing kitty cat who foolishly rolls around with a ball of yarn, kitten-forever, manic with my own agony-of-stupidity?

I breathe in and I am the universe. I breathe out and I am you. I breathe in and everything is possible. I breathe out and there is nothing. My life a series of moments strung haphazard along a clothesline.

Holiday blues? Prisonyard blues? Self-pity? It's the same. I am the wave crashing.

I am the shore.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Secret Meena (aka Fremlin)

I feel sometimes like a secret.

A cat can be a secret, can't she? And what am I if not that, loitering in doorways, scratching at windows I'd be too afraid to leap out of. I prowl the hallways at night, unable to keep myself from wailing I am lost, I am lost.

What compels this? What clockwork in my heart grinds to life?

A secret, abandoned. Like four and twenty blackbirds I exist just below the surface of surveillance. I coast, I hum, I caterwaul (and damn my feral lungs for their clamor); and am unnoticed.

So I might say I love you, Christmas tree, I love you and by this mean nothing, for who hears but the glitter approximating snowflakes dusted across my forehead? Who notices besides the artificial village?

I'm the maid in the garden, aren't I? And the blackbirds bear down on me.

But why should I seek to quiet this swelling feeling? This expansiveness barely contained by, let's say, pie crust (if you don't mind my fascination with a nursery rhyme - it's just so gruesome, so cruel - an apt, if brutal, metaphor for injustice eternal).

It seems to me I ought to feel hopelessly alone. And I do, but I don't. Perhaps just not hopelessly so. I do sometimes feel abandoned, yes, and I began this post by informing you a cat can be  a secret.

But here I am also an apex. Of what I'm uncertain, but of something. It bubbles within me. A potential. And in streaks the hope, out the lessness.

I am small or I am large and yet it persists regardless. Happy Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanza. Happy happy happy happy. A word maybe stranger than we understand. Originally it meant something more like lucky.

Am I lucky? Am I abandoned or am I found or am I both or neither? Does it matter what I call myself when I stalk the darkness? Who is this moaning creature who has become unmoored within herself? 

Let the wildness roam. Let the feral speak. Let it pour from my lips like breath.

I will find solace here in this fake village. I'll move in, make do.

And you can visit. Ask me why I've changed my name, my home town.

You can bring tea. You can sit with me here. Do something with this pocket full of rye. And find the king and find the queen and save the poor maid - me? - who, like you, toils under the falsehood she is anything other than as artificial as this newly painted snow.

And yet we are something far more than lucky; the fact that we even in this moment exist is extraordinary. How rare we are, and how infinite. How alone and how interconnected. We thrash ourselves to insomniac frenzies and feel desolate, but these tantrums are fractals of experience - my grasping is your pulling is my scaling is your falling is my attenuating body is your breadth is my love is your love is my love is your love is existence repeated in winding strands alike to glinting tinsel on a tree.

And whether my nose is snatched off in the beak of a blackbird, I know you and I are both flecks of gold and silver. Transient. Illogical. Wild.

We are each a kind of crescendo.