23 September 2006

when did i love you become hard

Helena found Sam on the side of the house, sitting on a rock and smoking a joint.
-What are you doing? I made macaroni and cheese.
-Shhhh, he said, and motioned across the lawn, to a lit window. In the window was a woman, late 20’s or early 30’s. She was facing away from the two of them, standing in front of a mirror and concentrating hard on lacing herself up into a black corset. She tugged at the laces with red fingernails, then twisted to try to see her back in the mirror. Tug, twist. Tug, twist.
Helena sat down next to Sam and they watched together for a moment in silence.
-That looks difficult, said Helena.
-She’s been at it for 10 minutes, said Sam.
The woman was pretty, as far as they could tell. She seemed nervous.
-Have you spoken to Pierce? Helena asked.
-Pierce. Pierce. Don’t you ever talk about anyone but Pierce? Said Sam.
Helena turned to look at him, his profile lightly lit by the streetlight. He put the joint to his lips and took a long drag, making the tip glow bright like a lightening bug. Then she followed his gaze back to the window. The woman was in the corset now. She put her hand down the inside of the front and pulled up her breasts, adjusting and pulling until she had two perfect half circles spilling out the top.
-I just thought you might want to talk about it, she said.
- Well, I don’t. He’s not interested anymore. Meesha said she saw him dancing for hours with some undergrad, then they disappeared, said Sam, between puffs.
-That doesn’t mean---
-That’s enough, ok? Please? Sam reached down to the grass and pulled out a clump, letting it slip through his fingers back to the soil.
The woman disappeared from the room for a moment, and came back with a big glass of dark red wine. She stood in front of the mirror with the wine glass in her hand, leaned forward and said something to her reflection. Then she leaned back and laughed a little, took a sip of wine, and posed with her hand on her hip.
- I’m going to Nashville next weekend, said Helena. I’ve got work there. I won’t be back for a few days. Can you water the plants?
-Do you love your plants? said Sam.
-Love? My plants? said Helena.
- Yeah. Do you love them? Sam chuckled a little at the corset clad neighbor, who was frantically fluffing her hair.
- You are being ridiculous, said Helena. Why are you watching that poor woman?
-Why are you? Sam asked.
- I asked you first.
- It makes me feel real, he said.
- Don’t give me a film school answer, she said. That’s such shit.
- It does, he said. I think I love her, he said.
-Love her? Said Helena. That’s news. You’re changing sexuality by the day now?
- I didn’t say I want to have sex with her, he said. I said I love her. I don’t want to have sex with everyone I love. Do you want to have sex with your plants?
- Umm, I -
Helena didn’t finish her sentence because a car pulled up in the street and a tall, lanky man emerged. He had a grocery store bouquet in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. He walked to the door, rang the bell, and the woman jumped. She had been alternating between talking to her reflection and putting on mascara. She hastily threw on a short black dress over her corset and stockings, and ran to the door, disappearing from view.
- I think you should know that Pierce called me, said Helena.
- Oh, said Sam, who couldn’t think of anything else to say.
- He misses you, she said.
- Oh, said Sam, who couldn’t think of anything else to say.
Suddenly there were two people in the bedroom. The man had removed his jacket and the woman was pulling him by the hand. She went to her dresser, where she had left the big glass of dark wine. She lifted up her glass to him, other hand still holding his, and said a few words before he leaned in to kiss her. He reached his arm around her waist and put his other hand behind her head. She dipped. She stood back up, secured her wine glass on the dresser, and unzipped the back of her dress. The top slid off to reveal her carefully laced corset and carefully positioned chest.
Helena reached for the joint.
The man looked at the woman, took a sip of her wine, and then turned off the lights. The room went dark and so did the little pool of light that had shown on the grass in front of the glass. Helena sighed.
- Fucking romantics, said Sam. They spoil all the fun.
- I think the macaroni is getting cold, said Helena.

the only living girl in new orleans

Everyone is really unhappy when they are drunk.
Dot felt sick in the car and Anne said “I called the Christian hotline once when I was drunk. They said $4.99 to pray for me. They asked me for my credit card number.”
by the way he had looked at me I know he is thinking about sheets and pillows.
and casseroles, and flannel pajama bottoms and late mornings.
The bouncer told me he has a masters degree in sociology
And Anne called the Christian Hotline, so we know…
The kids. and me. Hookah café. friday night. grumbling and black heels and french quarter frustration. And sadness in the cockroach cracked streets.

At the german party
It was 4 AM
And one of the hosts told me ‘someone threw up in my sink, brandy’
The look on his poor face.
-‘I’m sorry honey. It wasn’t me.’ I was sober. (the only one)

Lovers making out on the balcony but I want to leave. I tell her five minutes and go back inside.

And in the living room
No furniture but a futon and folding table with a laptop
Wobbly disco ball and sappy love song
It could have been atlanta or paris or stuttgart
The beautiful two are slow dancing, pressed, high heels on big toes, kissing collar bones, oblivious
Not everyone is sad when they are drunk

11 September 2006

old poem new language

La robe courte

des baisers humides

Mon corps trahit
ses hanches :familier

cheveux tordus draps blancs
un désordre négligent

08 September 2006


“I’m just looking for some understanding” she shouted across the parking lot, at the man walking away away away. Apathy. Her own Kitty Genovese. From him. From everyone. From the women with the lettuce heads and chocolate bars. She should have known. His hair swished toward her. Waving. The lights glared on her. Harsh. Restrictive. She cried by the car, hard. She felt it. In her hands and her ankles. It was hopeless. She cried by the car. Hard. Hard. He didn’t even know who Baudelaire was.

06 September 2006

on my voicemail

"i'm glad that the
butterflies came.