kid a

The first moment I really listened to Kid A, I was resting on my twin bed, in my old room with light pink walls. Maddie had burnt the CD for me. She loved Radiohead because her brothers did. Mostly I remember her listening to 104.5 in her room, texting the kind of boys I never dared approach. Their house smelled peculiar, like wood and laundry detergent.

She burnt me all of their albums. But it was Kid A I always returned to—the second track to feel sadness and yearning, then Idioteque to feel possibility, weirdness. I’d never heard anything like these songs. They made my heart rush with adrenaline as I dreamed of different worlds, other lives, the potential for life to hold anything it pleased. To gaze up at the ceiling in bed, as a young girl, to think of life beyond girl-ness and boys. This is what Radiohead taught me: to think of the thing itself.

When I told Maddie of another musician I discovered who made me feel this way, she looked up at me from her silver flip phone: “Her only good song’s Hide and Seek. Everything else is crap.” Later on I discovered the origin of her opinion—one of her brothers, the youngest of the two who wore a runner’s watch and liked math. I smiled, elated by my own wisdom, knowing even in my youth and inexperience the cheapness of pretension. “I disagree.”

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an utterance

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fire, water, air, earth.
a retrospective, a dance, a method, a plight.
bear with me, i say, it’s been awhile. it’s been some time.
a profound change, newness, a difference, carve the way.
prepare, renew, admit, recede. it’ll take some time.
this openness, this beingness

to hide is no option. it is me and the words, the sky.
observations fresh—bursts of experience—but mostly reflection,
mostly repose.
isn’t this what i always said is more pure,
maybe,
more pure than experience itself?
the iteration of it.

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ring of fire (reprise)

Estranged but no alien
I regard my lethal trance
To return is to play with fire
I fear not death but dying again

Double vodka soda please
Yes, the usual (a lemon and a lime)
This time, the madness arrived
By a well of cheap poison

It tripled in size, threatening
Never to cease—a promise
(Heartbreak turned existential)
Of unrelenting pain, violent loss

Estranged but no alien
I regard my lethal trance
To return is to play with fire
I fear not death but dying again

“I would get up if I were you”
The warmth of the concrete
A cradle in my drunken haze
He had free reign to hurt me

I wanted him to hurt me
Everyone to hurt me
I thought I’d reached the end
The climax: my final act

But I didn’t act I ran
Home to my empty apartment
There—at least—was the semblance
Of what used to provide comfort

Estranged but no alien
I regard my lethal trance
To return is to play with fire
I fear not death but dying again

ozzy osbourne

You made us this way
Uneasy, tempestuous
Crazed and searching

But never finding
Within ourselves that which
We sought from you

We seek from them
As if their love
Could make us whole again.

You never understood
Love unconditional
Only the bawl of midnight drunks

The look from your father
That made you shiver
With cold, wet fear.

With us you tried
To heal your wounds
Cherishing your favorite

Because tenderness
Was something you never knew.
So you made love conditional

Something we had to prove
To fill that hole in you
Creating two holes anew

being vs. self

I have glimpses, at times, of truly limitless being—of what it would be like to live without fear. It is always when I let go of my self-constructed narrative, the pain that was crucial in making me. I feel the bloom of freedom in my chest as I forget myself. I am mere consciousness, breath. The earth around me fades, my personalized view of reality disintegrates—I transcend time, space, bodily existence. I relinquish my role, the fervor with which I cling to identity construction and authentic expression.

I aim always to capture the truth of being and of feeling, the hidden meaning behind what we say and how we perform our roles. Through the active, performative iteration of my Self, I believe I can awaken the construction of the self in others. But the self is separate from being and from true humanness. The self is merely a guise we subsume, a costume we don as we wake from our dreams.

summer haiku series: cancelled / postponed

Just dropping in to say that I’ve decided to withdraw from my Summer Haiku Series. Perhaps I’ll pick it up again next summer, but for now, the form feels more constricting than freeing, and since this project was self-imposed, I have the freedom and the right to abandon it. I realized quickly after starting the series that limiting myself to a topic per week inhibited the free-flowing creativity I experienced with my haiku-a-day project. It felt too academic, too restrictive; I want my writing here to feel not like a chore but a portal through which I can escape—detach from the cruelty of the world to explore fully the wildness of sentiment.

And that’s what I plan to do, what I will do. But I will do it in the form I feel most in the moment. I have the rest of my degree to abide by imposing rules. So, to the few of you who visit this online diary every now and again, you can expect more prose and longer poems, short reflections, recapitulations of memory. I might also share some photos I’ve taken, and although I’ve just spent a paragraph griping about it, a haiku or two. It was through this form, after all, that I rediscovered my longing to write not only creatively but consistently.

summer haiku series: nature

I intended for this category to be about the natural world, but somehow it morphed into a reflection on human nature.

I.
July’s sunshine blinds
Cloaks me thick like muggy fog
I melt, gleam, glisten

II.
Sensitivity
By nature consumes me whole
Alone I am free

III.  Smile
The predator hunts
The prey cowers, then defends
Don’t be a rude bitch

IV.
Two generations
Of drinkers course through my blood
Second day sober

V.
Outstretched before me
The skinny shadow beast glides
Son of the stark sun