Friday, December 17, 2010

I would love you, even in that light
that brings out every bump and fold
in the skin
that stretches over your rounded, thick bones.

I would love you, even if every hair on your head
to ash,
making you bald and vulnerable.

I would love you, even in absolute blackness,
in blindness,
in doubt,
your likeness dependent only
on the confident baritone of your voice.

I would love you, even if shallow crows
called my love
for you

I would love you, even if more than a few paved streets
separated us,
if miles, miles, miles
or past loves, covered in soot and asphalt stood
between us.

I would love you, even if it meant giving up
my former life,
to lose myself in your
cynical brown eyes.

I would love you , even if you said I was
that hideous word
that places doilies on the heads
of all those that earn its title.

I would love you, even if you called
afraid that I was conning you
with my romantic verse.

I would love you, I do love you, I will love you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chapter 6 1/2


“What an indelible look you’ve got going, you son of a bitch,” Caleb said, drawing out each word as if it might be his last. He was partially right though, I was still clinging to the freshness of a Spring that would never flourish in our grey city, with my intentionally dewy skin and white cotton sheath. As often as Caleb now got drunk, I never discounted his words as if they were any less true. Even though I hated nearly every word that came out of his mouth, I knew he never lied. (That’s probably why I hated his every utterance) I had lived in flophouses and pseudo-crack dens so I was able to tell when someone was speaking an undeniable truth, even if it was provoked by an otherwise foreign substance.

“You’re fucking bitch, you know? I would do anything you asked me to, you selfish fucking bitch. But you, you just want to go out every night, licking the side walk, asking strange men to take you back to their apartments that they share with equally transparent assholes that don’t care about your college experience at some private school in New England.”

I wouldn’t cry before Caleb; he wasn’t a Buddhist alter or a burn victim. I furrowed my brow, unconsciously and deep, and sat down on a stoic wooden chair, my ass perched on its edge. I was ready to escape at any given moment.

“I think I’m sorry,” I said, ruffling my hair like I was tossing a garden salad. Really, I wasn’t sorry, but I thought that some added volume to my roots would increase my chance of making it out of Caleb’s apartment alive, or at least half-conscious. “I should have warned you months ago that I was only, you know, sleeping, sleeping with you or something.”

My vocabulary had been reduced to that of a horny sixth grader and I also noticed that I was stuttering slightly, a habit that Mrs. Habbitz had allegedly done away with when I was eight. I glanced over to my right, noticing a fish enclosure that only housed water turtles. Each of them was using their pathetic fins to try and climb their way up the algae covered glass.

“Yeah, well, I figured. I just don’t know what to say to you Violet,” he said, in a startlingly optimistic tone. I stared down at the floor as he gazed at me with his eyes that had always looked dead to me; eyes that belonged to a mummified ice man.

“Why did you even come over here?”

“I wanted to make sure you were okay. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, whatever.”



The shuffle of my feet on his bubbling linoleum floor.

“No,” I said, not sure where I was going with my argument.

Caleb looked at me, more intrigued than startled.

“No, not whatever. I’m so tired of this bullshit nonchalance. Obviously you really care about me and the fact that we don’t feel, I don’t know, the same, makes you upset. That’s why you left everyone last night and left us all searching the city, looking for any sign of your survival. I know I’ve been terrible to you. I know that I’ve used you. But, that doesn’t mean that you’re  allowed to terrify every member of our group of friends. It doesn’t  justify this transition you’ve made from a saintly, sane do-gooder to a self-indulgent asshole who’s obsessed with creating as much havoc as he’s endured. It may be fair to me, but it’s not fair to my brother, or any of your other friends. And what about your real family? Why the hell should they have to put up with your newfound addiction to grain alcohol and self-pity when all they’ve done is send you your monthly check so you can afford to live somewhere other than the streets? I won’t try to convince you that you deserve what I’ve done to you, because you don’t.  But I will say this; everyone has their heart broken Caleb. Everyone. I know that you like to think you’re different than everyone, that you’re better and somehow less deserving of romantic anguish, but you’re not.  Plus, this melodrama is just making you like every other sad, pathetic lovesick guy who whines about the girl he lost, or never had to begin with.  And isn’t that your worst fear? To be like everyone else? Please, just stop. I cannot handle this guilt trip jihad you’re on.”

“What the fuck do you know about my life Violet? What do you know? What do you know? WHAT DO YOU KNOW? Just cause you’re pretty doesn’t mean you have psychic powers. It doesn’t mean that you can read my mind. That doesn’t mean you have the right to as-s-s-s-s-s-sume you know what’s going on up here (using his index finger, he pointed to his temple). I love you so, so much. All I ever did was good. I did good Violet. I was honest with you. YOU. I was honest. To you, for you, by you. And you fucked me over. You lied to me. You said you loved me when you were busy fucking every other guy that looked at you. Well I don’t have to stand for that. No sir. No.”

His anger and sadness seemed to be making him even more drunk than he was when I had first arrived.

“Caleb, listen to me. I never promised you fidelity. I never promised you security or some everlasting fairytale tryst, okay? I’m not capable of that and I told you from the very start that I wasn’t. Hell, I told you point blank that I’m practically a con artist when it comes to deceptive abilities. But you want what you can’t have and that’s not my problem.”

“Even after you told me allofthat I loved you because you are ama-z-z-z-zing Violet. Or you were amazing. Now you just look like every other shallow, commitment phobe to me. But with a great ass, at least.”

“Shallow? I’m shallow? You’re the one who would rather opt for relationship with surface appeal than actually connect with the person you’re with,  as opposed to the fantasy girl you have on a marble pedestal in your head. That isn’t real life, Caleb. It’s funny because you’re the one always going on and on about reality and accepting life for what it is. Accept this! Accept it, please, so I can go back to being myself and you can go back to laughing at the Friday night stumblers, with their brown bag clarity. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

“Supposed to be, huh? Did you ever think that maybe I’m supposed to be with you, Violet?”

“Exactly my point, Caleb. It’s all about you. Did it ever cross your mind that maybe I’m not supposed to be with you?  That your happiness is contingent upon my misery, and always has been? You would honestly rather me be miserable, caged, and suicidal than myself? Because that’s the choice you’re forcing me to make.”

“Oh come on, you weren’t miserable when we were together.”

“Yes, yes I was.”

“But you told me all the time that you were happy, that I made you happy.”

“I’m a LIAR, remember? I’m a soul-stealing liar who has a thing for instant gratification. I liked the way you smiled when I said it. That doesn’t make it anymore true.”

“So you’re saying that every time I kissed you and you said you loved me, you were lying?”

“More or less, yeah.”

“I won’t accept that. I won’t. I fucking won’t. No, that’s not possible.  What the fuck is the point, Violet? What’s the point of lying about something like that? I don’t get it. Make me get it. Please. Help. Me.”

“I couldn’t tell you if I tried, Caleb. It’s just something that I’ve always done. I’ve tried since the time I became aware of my own behavior to change it, but I haven’t been able to. Hopefully I’ll find someone I don’t have to lie to in order to be with. But let me tell you, that is not you. It will never be you.”

“Fuck you. Really. Fuck you, Violet. Get out. Get out! Get out! Get out!”

He kicked a piece of cardboard in my direction and swayed momentarily, unsure as to whether he was going to fall or not. I shook my head like a nun who has just found porn hiding in the textbook of one of her pupils.

I left, hoping and praying with all my might that Caleb wouldn’t try to extend some romantic gesture my way, knowing that I’d probably fall victim to his whiskey lips, if only momentarily.

Thankfully, he remained in the place that I left him, looking delusional and buoyant.


I did not say a thing to Caleb for three months.

An Open Ended Love Letter

It's strange to think of you sitting in an Ikea office chair, face aglow with the blue light coming from a computer screen. It's easier to imagine you etching prose into the stone walls of a cave or scrawling upon half-burnt papyrus. You aren't ancient- by standard or spiritual means. But, you seem to know so much, much more than me, much more than anyone I know.

I can see you hunched over a typewriter (missing the letters q, w, e), kissing the rain goodnight with your flamenco lips, raising a glass to the creaking floorboard above you, drawing pictures in the dust with your spiked heels, culminating your tribe of dutiful followers with each sentence.

I want to tell you, you're one of two.

Two: the number of women I find myself pining after, strictly (but not exclusively) on a literary basis. To say literary almost implies that you're dull and wordy, when you are nothing of the sort. To me, you're life, the partisan of FUCK YOU's, and the mother of youth. I cannot tell you how many times I've caught myself trying to look at my life from your glitter-impaired point of view. Basically, I've been your shameless, silent protégé while you've been shamelessly praising the ills of city living.

Courtship has long been dead. But, for the sake of paying honor where honor is due, I would travel cross country, through fields of boredom and the slick deception of the bayou, to fall before you, mud-caked notebook in one hand, candy rosary beads in the other. 

Show me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm ashamed that I've been so indirect
when it comes to this.
But here I go again, wooshing right by the truth.

I like to play games.
I like to be frantically clandestine,
imagining I'm some turtle-necked, finger-snapping venus fly trap
who speaks only in whispers and never smiles (or God forbid, giggles)

Now I am ashamed.
Ashamed that instead of telling you who I am and who I desire,
I've told you what I've heard people say about me, echos of my past, a reflection of my perpetual present.

Stories of closets and paranoid suburban housewives.
Stories of winks and notes and tangled limbs.
Stories of heart palpitations and laughable accusations.

I never speak with my own voice.
She said, she said, he said, he said.
Well, now I want to look you in the eye and tell you
I say.
I say.
I say,
that even if The Magi appeared before me now and told me that my universal attraction is something false, I would tell them to continue on their way.