Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Those poems

Sometimes, thoughts sound better
broken into tiny phrases
on many different lines.
Two full sentences
stroll between bland and brilliant,
collecting their pieces,
tripping onto a side.


I’m suffering
from block
and maybe rotten cheese.
Not writers block,
I'm not a writer,
but can be fixed
with inspiration.
And maybe better cheese.
Inspire me, Marina
I'll get new dairy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

You're not a doctor. I'm not a professor.

Of course they’re right- hatred and fighting are passionate, indifference is stronger. Verbose, self-important exchanges, reinforcing the crux of the problem (I now realize), gradually shrink into distant small talk, until, as if driving away toward a sunset at the end of a movie, the interaction becomes a tiny dot.

When it's more than just a drifting away, more than a subtle and unintentional, but also unopposed divergence of lifestyles, geographic or otherwise, nobody has to hear of it to know it happened. All it takes is asking the right questions, or noticing the right absences- which, incidentally, I rarely do. And your perspective on the final outcome becomes irrelevant; the label mustn't be specific, because the situation isn't novel once out in the open. And, then, you have lost not just the friendship, but also the sanctity, if I may dramatize for a moment, of the process of parting itself. From that point on, it doesn't linger in your memory in quite the same way. It becomes a fact, and just as weak as one, in personal relationships.

But if divergent definitions of friendship are the cause of its end, let’s say it never really was one. A friendship, that is.

File the procrastinatory tv and chocolate and sleepless and apple tree nights, and drinking and dancing, and the surfaces that were danced on, and ending up at home nights, or ending up in St. Luke’s or taking a limo back nights, or first to walk on the just-fallen snow at 3am after a house party of random Europeans nights- all in the “fun” folder. Add birthday celebrations, smoky behind-the-school upstate moments, and the development from Aubar to Alphabet City. I’m referring to the development itself, not just the experience, but don’t stress the distinction.

The heart-to-hearts and conspiratorial gossip and conspiratorial conspiracies go in the “females in close quarters” file; the disruptive laughter in classrooms, and in rooms with fascistically enforced silence, the college suite experience and the dissolution of the suite, the passive-aggressive fights, the yelling screaming slamming doors one, the petty and not so petty misunderstandings, the eventual, and eventually incomplete makeups: make those fit in this folder as well. Some edges will just have to stick out, get wrinkled, or torn a little. At some point, we’ve all had a similar-looking notebook.

File everything else under, “right place at the right time.” Life makes paperwork disorganized, it’s ok.

"smoking kills," the cigarette box says

“Do you have a light?”
“Nope, sorry.”

I thought that was a decent answer. Polite, direct. The guy behind me answered, “No, I don’t smoke.” Is that necessary? He could have paused before and stressed the “I,” creating admonishing undertones in his answer. At least that would have had a point, albeit an unsolicited and poorly targeted one. Otherwise, he might as well have said, “No, my shoelaces are untied.” The relationship between one’s smoking status and lighter ownership is, of course, stronger than that between one’s shoelace status and lighter ownership. But both comments are equally tangential to the fact of the matter. “Smoker, regardless of what I am, what I am NOT is helpful to you in lighting your cigarette. Now here is some information about the contents of my pockets.”

Fine. After a few reps of my mental eye rolling exercise, I realized the guy's response could have been his version of friendliness. An attempt to reach out and offer something extra, a personal touch in his brief interaction with this stranger lacking fire, standing outside a bar on a drizzly Chelsea night.