30 October 2009

grading life.

I've just spent the last six hours working on Amnesty stuff (and not getting too terribly much done; mostly officer job descriptions). I should have spent it working on my two papers due...last week. Luckily there are grace periods, but I still shouldn't have wasted all that time.

Is it a waste? Maybe Amnesty will grow because of all the effort--and save lives. That's certainly not a waste. Or maybe it will do nothing to eliminate apathy--and then will I still feel grades were fine to sacrifice?

29 October 2009

Lady by Regina Spektor

Lady sing the blues so well
as if she mean it
as if it's hell down here
in the smoke filled world
where the jokes are cold, they don't laugh at jokes
they laugh at tragedies

corner street societies
but they believe her
they never leave her while she sings
she make them feel things

she says "I can sing this song so blue
that you will cry in spite of you
little wet tears on your baby's shoulder
little wet tears on your baby's shoulder

and I have walked these streets so long
there ain't nothin' right, there ain't nothin' wrong
but the little wet tears on my baby's shoulder
little wet tears on my baby's shoulder"

Lady lights a cigarette, puffs away, no regrets
takes a look around, no regrets no regrets
stretches out like branches of a poplar tree
says "I am free", sings so soft as if she'll break

says "I can sing this song so blue
that you will cry in spite of you
little wet tears on your baby's shoulder
little wet tears on your baby's shoulder

and I have walked these streets so long
there ain't nothin' right, nothin' wrong
but the little wet tears on my baby's shoulder
little wet tears on my baby's shoulder
but on this stage I've learned to fly
learned to sing and learned to cry
little wet tears on my baby's shoulder
little wet tears on my baby's shoulder

but now it's time to say goodbye
some might laugh, but I will surely cry
little wet tears on my baby's shoulder
little wet tears on my baby's shoulder"

Lady lights a cigarette
puffs away
and winter comes
and she

27 October 2009

Building by Audre Lorde

Gloria has a permit
to change the earth
plucks flies
from the air
while discussing
is taken for local
in a lot
of different places.

26 October 2009

She sat kitty-corner in a coffee shop

You roll your eyes. Conspicuous yet subtle with blue cloth wrapped around your head.
“Don’t stare at me. I’m just another American,” says the secret language of your body
The way your accent lies flat—Nebraskan.

A stranger at home.

I don’t know who you worship. Is your head covering called a burka? Are you hindu?

I keep my eyes downcast. Locked to the keyboard.

Your conversation with a normalboy seems a normaldate. You hate the way people watch you as if your entire existence is abnormal.

I wonder if your name is Abby or more exotic. What counts as exotic?

Again, you catch my eyes wandering
You are a picture from national geographic, stuck on a seat in the local coffee shop.

You hate that I stare—and we’re aware of each other. No attraction, no beauty—just cold difference melded into curiosity.

You consider yourself the curiosity, and have little patience.

You must not watch the gossiping eyes follow me to the counter. My head covering, betraying me another stranger at home, is shorn close to the sides.

Lesbian. Hindu.


You think I stare because we are so different.
And we are.
(thank you Union College.
thank you WASP community.)

But appearances are deceiving.

You roll your eyes.

Spoken Word

How many steps do I need to take till I touch you?
Till you and I are on the same page,
reading the same novel about a girl and a girl,
or a boy and a girl
or a boy and a boy?

Alice tells me we’re all connected,
six straight lines pulling taut the names of would-be strangers.
Facebook groups claim
there are six acquaintances between me and the president.
Alfred, dear Kinsey, described six degrees of sexuality lying between me
and Billy Graham.
But who can say for certain that we're so different?

And who can say anyone else is a stranger? We could share a mother, somewhere along the line—even if it’s not ours.

But we sit far apart in wooden chairs,
opposite sides of the same room.

Your eyes are closed.
Not noticing colorful auras not in contact with your own
Not noticing disease drifting in through broken windows—
until it climbs, harsh and quiet, into the dark cavern
of your cousin’s lungs.

Your best friend died last week.
But I didn’t know her.
I don’t know you.
I am resting in the world, the rest of humanity
Tell me why should I care?

Why shouldn't I exclaim,

“That retarded, gay, lame test just raped me. It was a massacre.”

How can a test be mentally challenged, homosexual, disabled?

Please explain how a piece of paper can strip me of my freedom, put the mace in my bag, lock my doors, lock my legs, lock my heart, break the barrier held up against horror.

Tell me how an examination can murder—not be the motivation, but actually hold in its non-existent hand a gun to my twenty-year-old head.

Tell me how a series of questions for a college level course can do the damage of Hitler. Tell my grandmother, who fled before Jewish Germany became Nazi Germany. Before millions invisible and unknown became millions dead.

Yes, we say, that test was brutal.

And these are just terms, slang, no real slurs. There is no malicious intent. No one I know can be hurt by them.

No one I know.
And I don’t know you.

You're not in my world,
the tiny realities each of us are trapped in.

Tell me how many stories, details about your life must be told
before I begin to care.

How far away from me do I need to get till I can love you, a stranger?

Tell me, how many steps do I need to take till I touch you?

I hear it’s just six.

Beautifully by Jay Brannan

Well, she'll burn that bridge
And build a house
And swallow the smoke in her mouth
She'll feel the burn
And then make the choice
To put the fire in her voice

Dinner at the Who’s Who by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

amidst swirling wine
and flickers of silver guests quote
Dante, Brecht, Kant and each other.

I wait in the hall after not
powdering my nose, trying to re-
compose that woman who’ll

graciously take her place
at the table and won’t tell her hosts:
I looked into your bedroom

and closets, smelled your
“Obsession” and “Brut,” sat
on your bed, imagined you

in those spotless sheets, looked
long into the sad eyes of your son
staring at your walls from his frame.

I tried to smile at myself
in your mirrors, wondering if you
smile that way too: those resilient

little smiles one smiles
at one’s self before facing the day,
or another long night ahead —

guests coming for dinner.
So I wait in this hall because
there are nights it’s hard

not to blurt out Stop! Stop
our babble: Pulitzer, Wall Street, sex,
Dante, politics, wars, have some Chianti...

let’s stop and talk. Of our thirsts
and obsessions, our bedrooms
and closets, the brutes in our mirrors,

the eyes of our sons.
There is time yet — let’s talk.
I am starving.

25 October 2009

I can't articulate my thoughts right now.

It's 11:16. I just found out that Harla died earlier this afternoon. I don't know how to feel. And no one told me. I saw it on her son's facebook status. I knew she had two weeks to live--but it hasn't been two weeks yet. And the cancer hadn't seemed real. Harla hadn't felt real. She was my childhood secondmother. It's been a long time since my childhood. And now, now that I cannot say goodbye, it's all coming back. In her passing, she's re-entered my life.

She's my mom's best friend. My childhood best friend's mother. My cousin's best friend's mom. How do I say "I'm sorry for your loss" without sounding trite, without betraying my own tears? How do I express my own pain when it's all so distant? Years. Miles. Hugs. Truth.

My facebook status, left over from another day, is a quote from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

"[We don't wait.] We Breathe. We Pulse. We Regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. Thirty-seven seconds, well used, is a lifetime."

I hope her last thirty-seven seconds felt like a lifetime. Why is it her lifetime has ended a rough decade after thirty-seven?

Why don't I ever say goodbye? Doris (another childhood second mother). Grandpa. I knew they had limited time. But I can't say goodbye. I can't aknowledge what's happening--until it's over. Until I am powerless. Yet I always wish we'd been given a warning with Estrella. Would I have found it in myself to do anything even if we'd been given the time and date of her accident?

Justin never got to see Harla before she died. Her oldest son. The one in jail for a crime he never committed.

I don't know what this means.

Do I cry for myself? For the family? For Harla? For my her best friend, my mom? Or for the thought that this could be not my childhood second mom, but my real mom? That one day it will?

I'm lost.

Chelsi is here. We're going to go watch The L Word. I'm going to get lost.

18 October 2009

This makes me sick

Texas man faces execution after jurors consult Bible to decide fate


Written weeks ago

I lie in a bed of pages, texts, and fiction
overlapping to create a pillow.
In this fortress of solitude, I touch the lives
of a thousand heroes
of a thousand victims
finding refuge in type writers,
keyboards, and pens.
Surrounded by sturdy walls created
by strangers' displaced passion,
I am safe from love.
Your words cannot reach me.

16 October 2009

I let my fingers ramble--this is what my mind looks like:

I'm going to let music seep into my spinning skin, tingling like my toes do in the face--no, eyes--of excitement and sheer terror. Is terror ever sheer? I think it's dark and tangible, slipping wooden coils (because fear can create such a device) over the bitter throat of any sort of harsh word. In the end, evil in the guise of ignorance and hate, jumps off the block that looks just like the tops of heads belonging to a million of shapely (and not so shapely) blonds (I'm not stupid, they cry). Not shapely? How can they have blond hair while lacking any sort of discernible shape? Maybe they're the dark matter of the universe, screaming loudly that YES THEY EXIST. But who doesn't exist? You can't answer that, because--well, try naming someone who has never been born. Orphan Annie? Yes, but she was born into the imagination of Harold Gray who probably stole her from some other mind or some other woven basket. Isn't the world woven (just look at the concept of wormholes), and every new thought just a disgustingly lovable regurgitation of past ideas?

I'd like to continue this. And dammit, why didn't I do that case study for PR Principles instead of blog random words that actually make (much more) sense to me?

What do you C?

Life has been pretty interesting lately. Then, again when isn't it interesting? Even if I don't always find it fascinating someone else I'm sure is. Life is life, no matter where you go.

Anyways, enough ramblings (or maybe just time for a ramble-subject-change). Me and C are back together. I'm not really getting too emotionally attached (and hey, the whole bathroom stall instance inspired a new poem I might perform. Maybe I'll post it sometime).

Last Friday, I was preparing to leave town to visit some summer friends. While trying to secure a leave request ("we don't just let people go visit other colleges"), I was called into Linda Becker's office. Of course, I was very very confused. The first half of the conversation had nothing to do with the leave request (so ended up making more sense).

Pretty much, Linda (and Dean C) just wanted to let me know that they know that I'm gay. Well, I already knew that LB knew but I suppose they couldn't have known that I already knew (these last two sentences have way too many variations of "know" in it). I guess they also wanted to say more than just that, like the whole bit where I'm not allowed to try to turn anyone else gay (laughter much? YES).

Overall, I was actually impressed with how they handled "the situation" (for lack of a better word. The only time I'm a situation is when I don't have my morning coffee). They were supportive of me (not saying they endorse homosexuality, of course--don't want them getting in trouble with "good" Adventists), kind, DIDN'T KICK ME OUT, and just wanted to make sure I knew that I couldn't be having sex all over campus. Of course, when they talked about expecting the same thing from heterosexual and homosexual couples in terms of not having sex outside of marriage I couldn't help but think "riiight, because I actually have the option to get married."

Anyways, over all it was a pretty positive conversation (and LB kept saying nice things about me to soften any negativity or possibility of hurt. YAY COMPLIMENTS!)

This usage of the term "LB" reminds me of Jordy's exgirlfriend (LauraBeth or something?). I miss my summer friends. I got to see Dani, Michelle and Kyle last night. Why does everything change?

When I met that crowd in the beginning of summer, it was solid (at least in appearance--and to a new-comer, that's all that matters at the time anyway). Jordy and Kyle were dating. Dani and Cooper were still best friends. Michelle was pretty darn happy. Alexa was still around (with made for a happy Kyle). Then there was Leise and her infamous porch. Everyone that sat upon it were friends (or some variation). Tight.

Why do relationships always splinter like cracked wood? I'm not even sad about this enivitable change anymore.

I remember my first recognition of the fact that things between people always change, and you can't go back except in falsely-bright memories. I don't remember how old I was. Sam hadn't yet joined the Marines, and Paul was living with us, I hadn't left for Academy yet. I was probably around 12, and we all played Dark Age of Camelot (yes, my first recognition of loss, nostalgia and change concerning friendships involved a computer game. Shut up.)

My brother was part of the Society of Merlin, a guild in DAoC. My dad, as usual, had his Vindicator's guild, but for some reason I was drawn to SoM (not to be confused with S&M). I vividly remember the guild leader Solarene, the interplay between the members (it was small, tight-knit group), and being the guild's "favorite daughter."

After a time, I stopped played and probably switched to another game (I played way too many MMOs growing up--thanks Dad). At one point, I returned to DAoC (it still remains the only MMO I actually wanted to play solo--all others, I would only play if I got to play with my family members or friends). I returned to Society of Merlin.

Everything had changed. The new members didn't know me. Old members were few and far between, and even their presence didn't help things much. My young self felt a sense of loss I was unfamiliar with--a desire to return to "the good ol' days."

Sure, I laugh now at the sheer absurdity of it all (not to mention how stupid this makes me appear as I blog about something so nerdy). Yet, as I travel through life's cycles of friendship the lesson I learned as a nerdy kid keeps presenting itself with each new "season" (whether this an actual period of time or just percieved).

Nothing will ever be like the the past (family holidays when I had yet to be as tall as my grandma, my super secret gift club with childhood pals, the CTT, Kalvin, watching Stargate with my dad, being a cowgirl with my mom, cooking with Kaley, everday chats with Todd, late night conversations with Tiff K, getting ready for Friday night Vespers with the girls from Wisconsin Academy, the list is neverending).

I get nostlagic.

Yet, I find all these new adventures much more condusive to personal growth and mostly pretty darn awesome (not to mention, I wouldn't be able to hang on to the past even if I tried--might as well go willingly).

I wonder what current new experiences and environments I will eventually become nostalgic for. C? The Mill?

When it comes to C, I'm not expecting for it to become relatively long term. One of my friends asked why decide to date her then. Just because you may miss something (or someone) in the future, is not a good reason enough for me not to pursue said thing/person.

A book on psychology that I'm reading encouraged me to appreciate (and seek out) intensity in life--not always just things that promise longevity. After all, nothing really can ever promise longevity.

Besides, I'm living now--what good will living in the future (or past) do me? Our life is made up of tiny "present" moments...and darnit, there are so many thoughts floating around right now that I can't seem to find the proper words for.

Maybe I'll continue trying to describe the birds flying circles in my brain some other time.

04 October 2009

The Worlds in this World by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Doors were left open in heaven again:
drafts wheeze, clouds wrap their ripped pages
around roofs and trees. Like wet flags, shutters
flap and fold. Even light is blown out of town,
its last angles caught in sopped
newspaper wings and billowing plastic —
all this in one American street.
Elsewhere, somewhere, a tide
recedes, incense is lit, an infant
sucks from a nipple, a grenade
shrieks, a man buys his first cane.
Think of it: the worlds in this world.

Yesterday, while a Chinese woman took
hours to sew seven silk stitches into a tapestry
started generations ago, guards took only
seconds to mop up a cannibal’s brain from the floor
of a Wisconsin jail, while the man who bashed
the killer’s head found no place to hide,
and sat sobbing for his mother in a shower stall —
the worlds in this world.

Or say, one year — say 1916:
while my grandfather, a prisoner of war
in Holland, sewed perfect, eighteen-buttoned
booties for his wife with the skin of a dead
dog found in a trench; shrapnel slit
Apollinaire's skull, Jesuits brandished
crucifixes in Ouagadougou, and the Parthenon
was already in ruins.
That year, thousands and thousands of Jews
from the Holocaust were already — were
still ¬— busy living their lives;
while gnawed by self-doubt, Rilke couldn’t

write a line for weeks inVienna’s Victorgasse,
and fishermen drowned off Finnish coasts,
and lovers kissed for the very first time,
while in Kashmir an old woman fell asleep,
her cheek on her good husband's belly.

And all along that year the winds
kept blowing as they do today, above oceans
and steeples, and this one speck of dust
was lifted from somewhere to land exactly
here, on my desk, and will lift again — into
the worlds in this world.

Say now, at this instant:
one thornless rose opens in a blue jar above
that speck, but you — reading this — know
nothing of how it came to flower here, and I
nothing of who bred it, or where, nothing
of my son and daughter’s fate, of what grows
in your garden or behind the walls of your chest:
is it longing? Fear? Will it matter?

Listen to that wind, listen to it ranting
The doors of heaven never close,
that’s the Curse, that’s the Miracle.


Wow. Whoever this Laure-Ann Bosselaar is or was, I'm falling head over heels in love with her brain. It's like she stole my thoughts and notations (on the worlds within the world) and tied them up in a pretty little wordbow.


I was not looking forward to my 3 o'clock guitar lesson today--scratch that, I was dreading it.

These once per week guitar lessons sounded exciting when my adviser first explained how they could fulfill needed credit hours. After the first lesson, I remained stoked and eager to practice. For all of one day.

Two Sundays ago I showed up at my teacher's door and explained that I hadn't practiced at all the past week (and I was very, very sorry). He complimented me on my courage for admitting that, and said we could forget this class period and just meet next week.

3:30 a.m. the following Friday, I sat waiting in the dorm f0r my flight to Wisconsin (congratulations big brother on the wedding). I realized I hadn't practiced AT ALL (again) and so played for about a half an hour.

Sunday morning I flew back to Nebraska, exhausted from a weekend with the family and little sleep. At noon, I gave Brennan my guitar to switch out strings and took a nap. Naturally, I missed my 3 p.m. guitar lesson and didn't wake up till evening. Go me. I either slept through the alarm or forgot to set it in the first place.

Today, I started to freak out as I realized this was week three of not practicing. Sure, I went over to the music department a half an hour before my lesson to try and figure out what the heck these notes on frets were all about--but I was supposed to be doing that a half hour each day not a single time just before the lesson. I debated checking the calendar and seeing if I could drop the single-credit "class." How was I going to make it through this awkward upcoming class period, much less catch up from the three weeks I hadn't been practicing?

What was my teacher going to say about a) missing class last week (and so not having a lesson in over two weeks) and b) my obvious lack of practicing?

I stuffed my nerves somewhere deep inside where they couldn't show, and began to play. So far so good.

"Do you find this too easy?" my teacher asked.

I shrugged, and flipped some pages. "It get's harder over here," I pointed.

He laughed, and flipped past chapter after chapter. Finally, he found what he was looking for near the middle of the book and began playing.

It sounded like real music! Not like the boring la-la-la crap from the beginning sections. Even better, he wants me to try playing it (even though I haven't even learned all the notes for it yet) because apparently the other stuff "wasn't challenging enough."

I got giddy all the way down to my toe tips. Who doesn't like to feel special or feel like you've actually got talent? After everything that went down last night, I really needed this boost. It's helping me be more optimistic about not only the guitar lessons (I guess I won't be dropping them), but all the other homework and classes I'm either behind in or simply working hard to just stay afloat.

This last week I was distracted with C, and let some stuff slide. I think maybe I'm meant to be single--at least right now. I feel more centered. And maybe even a bit musical.

English Flavors by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

I love to lick English the way I licked the hard
round licorice sticks the Belgian nuns gave me for six
good conduct points on Sundays after mass.

Love it when ‘plethora’, ‘indolence’, ‘damask’,
or my new word: ‘lasciviousness,’ stain my tongue,
thicken my saliva, sweet as those sticks — black

and slick with every lick it took to make daggers
out of them: sticky spikes I brandished straight up
to the ebony crucifix in the dorm, with the pride

of a child more often punished than praised.
‘Amuck,’ ‘awkward,’ or ‘knuckles,’ have jaw-
breaker flavors; there’s honey in ‘hunter’s moon,’

hot pepper in ‘hunk,’ and ‘mellifluous’ has aromas
of almonds and milk . Those tastes of recompense
still bitter-sweet today as I roll, bend and shape

English in my mouth, repeating its syllables
like acts of contrition, then sticking out my new tongue —
flavored and sharp — to the ambiguities of meaning.

"I have learned kindess from the unkind"

I've learned that the truth spoken does not always mean honesty.

I've learned that the person said to be the most jealous can be the one with the most decency.

I've learned "we talked" does not always mean "communicate with words."

I've learned allowing myself to like someone when warning flags flare is still a bad idea.

I've learned bathroom stalls paint pictures like heartbruises.

I've learned it doesn't really matter.

Last night, I walked in on the girl I was seeing screwing around with someone else in the bathroom--after a week (and night) of convincing me she "likes me way more than her." Way to go miss "Oh yeah, I'm definitely a one-girl kind of girl." You should have been named Gabby Deveoux.

On a positive note, the person she was messing around with (who supposedly disliked me) came to talk to me, apologized, etc. Major (to use a sexist term for lack of a better one) balls. Have to say I respect her more than the girl I actually liked/trusted.

Now that it's morning and I've gotten sleep, I'm not distraught about it...well, as distraught anyway.

Paint me a picture with hollowed out bones
dripping with blue, mimicking tears left
untouched in my eyes.
Ask me what I love about you,
ask me.
I can hear only the silence
whispering like muffled kisses.
I wonder why Silence has pants
and what she's doing with legs
twisted 'round yours
in a lonesome bathroom stall.
Lies can put on such a prettier smile,
too bad you broke the mirage in my eyes.
Too bad you left your lips in another girl's pocket.

32 Flavors by Ani DiFranco

squint your eyes and look closer
I'm not between you and your ambition
I am a poster girl with no poster
I am thirty-two flavors and then some
and I'm beyond your peripheral vision
so you might want to turn your head
cause someday you're going to get hungry
and eat most of the words you just said

both my parents taught me about good will
and I have done well by their names
just the kindness I've lavished on strangers
is more than I can explain
still there's many who've turned out their porch lights
just so I would think they were not home
and hid in the dark of their windows
til I'd passed and left them alone

and god help you if you are an ugly girl
course too pretty is also your doom
cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
for the prettiest girl in the room
and god help you if you are a pheonix
and you dare to rise up from the ash
a thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
while you are just flying back

I'm not trying to give my life meaning
by demeaning you
and I would like to state for the record
I did everything that I could do
I'm not saying that I'm a saint
I just don't want to live that way
no, I will never be a saint
but I will always say

squint your eyes and look closer
I'm not between you and your ambition
I am a poster girl with no poster
I am thirty-two flavors and then some
And I'm beyond your peripheral vision
So you might want to turn your head
Cause someday you might find you're starving
and eating all of the words you said
fuck women.

01 October 2009


I met someone... AT UNION COLLEGE. Yeah, I didn't expect it either. We had briefly met the beginning of the year, but a mutual friend did us a huge favor and coordinated a re-introduction. I'm all giddy, because...well a) she's awesome and b) she goes to Union.

Enter, my hesitation (stage left).

Are we attracted to each other simply because of the setting (aka, nobody else at Union we could be interested in)? If we met randomly downtown, would we still be as interested? Even if we would not have naturally gravitated towards each other elsewhere, is that necessarily bad? Does this mean a potentially successful relationship is doomed?

I'm not sure, but I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. I need stop over thinking this (and life in general) and just say que se ra, se ra--whatever will be, will be.

Despite my mild confusion and questions, I got sidetracked during Rhetoric class with thoughts of her.

Lips. Smile.
Flashes of identical white stones
polished to a sterling gleam
Do you clean them with purity
found in an open mind?
I never saw vices that looked
so much like virtues
as we sit on the box
our souls used to sleep in.
My fingers are pieces of tangled rope
drawing conclusions from the tilt
of your head.
What does it mean to be
the only apples on a tree?
The names and offenses screamed
by whispering leaves
leave bruises on our skin.
We find shelter in the unlikeliest of places
watching smoke drift like
possibilities through
our parted lips.