should ever anyone see fit to make a book from me, it will likely be comprised of final journal entries.
i suspect i ought to start choosing shorter journals.
can see the light but well out of the sun. piles of rarely worn clothes just at the periphery.
a girl i consider but never call.
a girl i considered but never became.
we've spanned two and a half years, 2/9/2009 to 5/3/2011, in our relationship. i have taken you twice on an airplane but not once home to my parents. i received you at home as a gift from my parents, that was where i had you ship when i bought you as a gift for myself. my mother unwrapped you, packaged you differently, and wrapped you up again. there is an element of our relationship that will always be circular, coming back to the buyer who has surrendered her ownership, sold you to a loved one to be returned as a gift. there is an element to my journal-keeping that will be circular: i return to the subject, the insight, the sorrow. i return with a familiar perspective, uncanny mirror, the spots corroding in silver nitrate. i return and return again. however the trail overlaps itself, however it keeps an unsteady line, it's never quite the same approach. you have nearly encompassed my full tenure at the craft store--you might still, yet--but have seen no change, no prospects of change in my living situation. perhaps you have nearly seen marked degradation therein, but that's no one's call to make.
when i started you, my married sister lived in her own house. she'd begun the affair that would destroy her marriage and put the house into foreclosure perhaps a year, maybe a half-year earlier than would have otherwise been the case; now her ex-husband visits my parent's house like one of her old school friends and the man who fathered her second child believes buying one pack of disposable diapers constitutes a viable contribution to his daughter's long-term well-being. when i started this journal, i rarely, if ever, heard from my sister. months gone without a changed word. now when i call my mother, my sister answers. no sense of where the situation is going, my sister's daughter lags the expectations for language and motor development. the caseworker is concerned. my mother is tired. my sister gives her daughter a bath and loops a housewide production of putting her daughter to bed three times before the door stays shut.
in the time since i've started writing here, i've accumulated seventy-two books. i've piled up albums, in jewel cases or mp3 files. i didn't know about celer when i started writing here. voice of eye only had the double album and it wasn't available to me. when i started writing here, i barely knew anne carson. there's the one title i'd read years ago and a vague sense of gleaming. i hadn't ordered a single title from greying ghost press.
i still trekked loyally every tuesday and thursday to the morgan state radio station and waved my hands frantically from the other side of the glass when my boss didn't acknowledge the countdown. swiping in to the communications building parking lot. sprinting to the studio doors to let our headlining guest in two minutes into their segment. opening this book for the first time, i hadn't yet been to cape henlopen. if i'd seen the ocean since coyote and i summoned the apocalypse off a pier in cape code eleven years ago, it was only in photographs. twice to massachusetts, without ben and with ben, walking around boston that one day in september while my surroundings came in and out of focus, where i realized how boston had gestated in my dreaming, and the mediterranean restaurant that was still there, materializing before us just in time for lunch. that day in salem with coyote, months earlier. ceramic shards amongst the shoreline stones. how we sat at the coffee shop drinking nepalese tea. coyote taught me to knit and i relearned it every time until my eyes buckled and warped like a pane of glass under pressure. i stopped short and sat down just off the doorstep of the celtic bookstore: that was still there, too.
how i would have liked to fill you with mysterious and lovely imagery, with unexpectedly harmonious prose. how i would have liked to integrate more in the way of capital w writing, daubs of work, workable pieces i could pluck from your pages and parade by the editors of small press publications. how i'd like to be publishable, have any degree of cohesion to what i put down on paper and what i piss through time thinking about. at the start of 2009, i still needed instructions and a map to get to the business park where my partner works. i'd head out to the expressway with that black spiral notebook flipped open and rustling past the page with my directions, or the business card with the eight line map and star. sometimes after my visit, if my visit didn't entail leaving with ben, i'd indulge in a trip to the bookstore, buy something to read in a waiting room, or instead, still myself in an aisle of blank books. blank books, generally, serve as a powerful calmative. potential encased in craftsmanship. the unborn dreams of strangers. looking at a blank book, i intuit that someday it will be filled with the sorts of words somebody, anybody, maybe even me, would like them to be filled. a story, maybe, or prose fragments. journal entries or poems. sketches. couplets. dreams. letters the author has no intention of sending. dreams: what will be between those covers is so perfumed with interest i can sense their vibration from years in the future. if only i could cross the twilight, bring them back to themselves, make them known, make them whole. pages and pages of uncensored curiosity, passion, unbridled pretentiousness, incoherent ranting, words and words and words, gorgeous mistakes.
i am not the poetess with a lipstick smeared napkin crumpled in my coffee cup. my right stiletto does not rise and twist into the checkered tile. i am not beautiful or stylish. i am not educated or desirable to educational institutions. i bruise my hips on doorknobs. i forget what i'm saying halfway through saying it. i have little and owe much. i will not have a three story house full of my shapes and smells waiting for me this saturday when i get off from the bookstore at eleven; but, still. i'll turn out of the parking lot onto the access road. i'll turn off the access road onto a side street. i'll exit the side street onto the expressway. i'll listen to voice of eye or low or the fey crossing mix or a stick and a stone. the air will be humid but brisk with night and spring. the headlights will compliment the street lights in that particular way they do outside a city at night, the exit signs will be there as they've been there before and will be again. i'll be driving and some frail glass bubble thought may well swell up in my heart with a passion i'll never get down on paper or some tragic rehash of self-analysis, psychological yard doughnuts i'd never dare put down on paper because i think it too much as it is. i'll drive, there in the farthest right lane, not fast or sure enough for most of the people in my history, but fast enough to get home.
i'll wonder about things i'm not sure will happen or feel anxious about things that recently have and i'll know something then i don't know now and i'll have forgotten something i wanted to remember and i know, then as now, now as before that there may not be a point to any of this but that's the only certainty i have: there is no destination. it's all temporary. it's all contingent. getting there is all there really is.