Aug. 9th, 2017 04:35 pm
redrover: (Default)
The light is a good place to be.
If it found you, if it grew from the
with high vibrations and purity,
you've been fortunate.

Not every woman lives in light.

For some, the dark calls through cracks in the doors.
They relax into the night when it hides for them
the things they work so hard to hide in daylight.
The monsters are companions,
the demons are friends.

Their defenses are curses cast onto midnight breezes.
Their prayers are whispered to stars.
They read their strange messages
in the patterns of moonlight through the leaves.
The dark seeps into them.
The shadows blanket them;
shadows hide secrets,
and secrets mean safety.

The light is a good place.

The dark is a safe place.
redrover: (Default)
I have never:

been a friend when I could have been more.
No one has ever hurt for lack of my love.

given grudging, bitter consent
pressed against a mattress,
head turned and eyes screwed shut.

been raped,
never had my sovereignty broken
by a man's violent takeover.

been catcalled on the street
or hastened my stride past a stoop full of
stretching hands
sharp voices
greedy eyes.

been afraid in a shadowed lot
fingers clutching keys against helplessness
while counting the steps from door to car.

been tested in any of the dangerous waters
that lie between a girl and a boy
when I swam too far from shore.

been deemed too pretty for education,
too feminine for masculine,
too form for function.

I have:

called myself lucky
while wondering what's wrong with me.


Jul. 31st, 2017 03:56 pm
redrover: (Default)
i feel like the roots of the earth have reached up today
and that they're dragging me down into a peaceful lassitude.
a deathlike calm settled on me at 2:45
my fingertips went numb
my palms felt like strange fire
the soles of my feet itched to run
or maybe to be still
i never could tell the difference
my shoulders are cold where invisible hands lay on me
they pull me towards liminal space
or just downward
there's no orpheus with a lyre to guide me back
but there's a distant song in my head
if death is peaceful like this
i guess i could try it once
i'll try anything once


Jul. 21st, 2017 12:00 am
redrover: (Default)
Poems I Managed to Choke Out

Last Time - July 2017

Cemteries Untended )

Who )
Untitled, 2010 )

Last Time

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:34 pm
redrover: (Default)
Let me tell you something about time:

Time isn't your friend.

Time ran out on you when you were sitting down to a nice dinner,
leaving you to pay a bill that somehow included two extra bottles of wine.

And may I remind you:
When you said you wished you had more time,
It turned up stick thin and starving,
turned the bananas black and the bread green
and shut off your morning alarm before sneaking out through the window.

Maybe it didn't take your last twenty dollars on the way out,
but it made you forget where you left your wallet.

When your best friend's birthday rolled around,
Time had nothing interesting to say for hours
The last one to leave the party
(Remember, it arrived an hour early, while you were still trying to get dressed
You had a million things to do
And then you also had to entertain the concept of Time
like some kind of existential crisis
that couldn't even be bothered to run the vacuum for you while it followed you from room to room.)
Its midnight date came and went while
Time droned on and on
and you looked around for any escape from the monotony.
You had to be rescued.

Time was a little kid dragging its feet
When all you wanted was to get from Monday to Friday
From a morning at work to an evening having fun
being young, being in love, being drunk, being new
But there it was
Making a ticking sound every second for no other reason than to make you
Moving, then
Slipping off behind some dumpsters on Friday afternoon, vanishing for the whole goddamn weekend and leaving you wondering where it went.

Time plays tricks on us all, but maybe you more than most.

It sure moved fast enough between spring and fall, too. You know:
When all you wanted was for time to stop
And maybe let you enjoy that vacation that you arranged down to the minute
Time delayed your flight, lost you your reservation, and spent the whole trip
Pretending to be an Olympic sprinter -
Ruined all your plans and
you wished you'd had more time.

Time was always running out, wearing thin, growing short, growing long, on your hands, on your mind, eating at you, fleeting, flowing, too much, too little, never exactly what you wanted.

Never enough.

I wish you needed me
Like you said you needed time.
redrover: (pic#10444942)
So I'm in my Drawing class, where my professor has us set up to draw the same still-life for six hours (two classes.) This isn't an easy ask of new students: we're all standing and working on one picture for three hour stretches with no breaks, and none of us are particularly accustomed to doing this. In my previous class, for example, we spent half the class or more listening to a lecture and then the remaining time, whatever it was, was spent on drawing.

Personally, I can get into my work, but after a while I needed to eat and have some water. I ducked out after two hours to take a breather. When I came back, I girded my loins for one more hour.

What we were drawing was a pretty conventional set-up. We had a large vase, an ear of dried corn, an apple, and a teacup, and then some fabric in the background. I'm chugging along, starting to get down tone and detail, and from behind me I hear a deep, masculine voice going, "I hate this fucking vase."

A few minutes go by.

"I hate this fucking vase."

I glance back and see the ex-Marine sort of stooped over his easel, a look of intense concentration and frustration on his face. "I hate this fucking vase."

I finally interrupt his efforts and suggest, "Why don't you go out and take a break, get some water, and come back and see if you feel better about it?"

He huffs out a sigh kind of like surrender and goes, "Yeah, you're right."

A while later, after he has come back and attacked his vase again, the professor advises him that he's good to start working on tone. He's as thrilled as one can be without actually enjoying the process. After a few minutes, he suddenly goes, "...I know what it is. The vase is crooked."

I look over and see that he's right. The fucking vase is crooked. I now have to go back and fix my drawing. I grit my teeth and decide not to put my easel next to his when we start figure drawing.

I spend the rest of class thinking, "I hate this fucking vase."
redrover: (pic#10444940)
My husband's boss paid for us to take a tour of the Grand Canyon. I want to lay out really explicitly that I am so grateful for that opportunity. I had a lot of fun, and it was an amazing experience.

But I'm not me unless I have a laugh at my expense, so I'm going to talk about the really shitty parts of the tour.

First off, let me set the scene: To start with, the trip began at eight on a bus that took us from Las Vegas to Boulder City. From there, we hopped on a plane to an airfield near Grand Canyon West, then got on a helicopter, which took us to a boat on the Colorado River, and then back to the helicopter, then onto a shuttle that took us to Sky Walk, then to Guano Point, and then back to the airfield where we took the plane back to Boulder City. We're a group of six adults, one five-year old, and a very small infant. I say "very small" because all infants are in fact very small.

I don't know much about babies. I don't want one. They seem like a lot of hassle, they don't have a whole lot of personality, they don't do much besides be small and constantly in need of care, and there's something a little horrific about always having a tiny person wanting to latch onto your nipple.

This baby in particular was just not having a great day. He cried a lot, and to be honest, I don't really blame him. It was hot, his schedule was jacked, and on the boat they put a life jacket on him. I suspect if I had a limited vocabulary and an inability to comprehend the situation into which I'd been placed, I'd be fucking done, too. Social anxiety disorder being what it is, I can completely understand the desire to cry when I'm uncomfortable.

Of course, I'm a person who doesn't like or want kids, so it was pretty trying. I suspect it was trying for his parents, and they probably did want kids. Don't get me wrong: this isn't me throwing shade on the baby or the parents. (Who throws shade on babies? Who does that?) I get that there are babies in the world and they cry, and I need to suck it up. It's just a stressful thing and an important factor in the story.

I mention this baby specifically because he is a major player in the events of the day.

Okay, so the trip:

I have never in my life been on a Cessna. This one was an eight-seater plane that made me very dubious just looking at it. I was more dubious when I got on, hit my head, and had a panic attack during take-off. Now, I'm not an infrequent flier. I've traveled a lot for work reasons. I've never gotten sick - in fact, the only time I've ever felt queasy is on a catamaran out on the Pacific Ocean. But man, this plane fucked me up.

I did not want to do that again. I managed to keep it down, but spent some time bent double and deep breathing when I disembarked.

The helicopter was amazing. I have never been so stoked to do anything in my life. We got up in the air and I was literally the smiley emote, humming the Jurassic Park theme, just having a blast. They could have left me in there for the rest of the trip and I would have been gold. I don't know how much helicopters cost, where I would keep one, or who would fly it, but I want one.

So we get off the helicopter at the bottom of the canyon and I see stairs. Lots of stairs. I'm admittedly not great at thinking ahead, but at this point my spidey sense is tingling. We have to go down those stairs to the boat. It is 109 F outside. I don't think that helicopter lands anywhere else.

Well, it'll be fine, I think to myself, and skip down the stairs because damn if I don't like boats.

We get on the boat and the guy running the operation offers a life jacket for the baby. I'm thinking, "Oh, this is going to go great." This kid's already pretty pissed off and now they're going to put a tiny, bulky life jacket on him in this heat?

I was right. They put it on him and the baby's world ends. He is done with this shit. It's hot, he's cranky, and now he looks like Fester Addams. He screams until they finally break down and decide the potential risks are outweighed by everyone's sanity, including the baby's. They take off the life jacket and suddenly it's a peaceful boat trip again.

And oh my god, it's gorgeous. The canyon's towering over us, the sky's blue, the water is...well. Brown. There's sage growing along the banks, we're snapping photos, it's great.

And then we get back to the dock and I remember the stairs.

Have you ever seen something loom? Because these stairs loomed. We have to climb them to get back to the helicopter, and I'm thinking...maybe I can just live down here. Maybe I can be that weird tourist who just decided to build a little lean-to at the bottom of the stairs and never left.

By a small margin, returning to civilization wins out and I make the climb to the top again. Barely. Miserably.

The helicopter ride back is a little less enjoyable because the poor infant is still in a haze of misery. We did betray him, after all, by putting that life jacket on him.

His brother, however, seems remarkably chill. He's just letting it wash over him as though he mastered the art of Zen. Five year olds are pretty cool people.

We get on the shuttle, get to the glass bridge Sky Walk thing, and that is where I have panic attack number two for the day while simultaneously discovering I am terrified of heights. But I walked it. I don't remember much about it, but I did it.

We had a very brief lunch at Guano Point and had to hurry on to get back to the airfield for our return flight, and I do have a lot of complaints about how the tour company planned that, but it's not really that big of a deal. The important thing to focus on here is how fast we had to move to finish the tour, and how stressed out everyone was getting between having to hurry and trying to keep the baby calm. All this kid wants is to be with his mother, which is stressing her out because carrying a kid for hours in the heat isn't fun, and it's stressing the baby out because as much as he wants to be cuddled, it's hot and he doesn't want to be touching her.

And the only thing he knows how to say to convey what he wants when he's unhappy is "Up, up, up," which is probably not going to get him whatever he's hoping for. He's smart enough to be really frustrated with his inability to communicate. The baby is having a horrible day.

So eventually we get back in the plane, and by this point I'm hot, I'm tired, the baby is crying, and this one guy in our group has not stopped talking and ramping up my anxiety past the breaking point. I could deal with the crying baby. I understand the crying baby by this point because I've watched the progression of his day and seen just where we adults failed him.

But I can't deal with people who talk through their anxiety. I can't deal with adults who can't shut the fuck up.

So. I'm done, and I have to get on this Cessna that has so far not been my friend. I know as I'm getting on the plane that whatever happens next, it's not going to be pretty.

I was right. Ten minutes into the flight, I feel It. You know that feeling. The sides of your throat feel like your rectum. Everything on the inside sort of slides down like it's winding up to throw a fastball. By this time, I kind of want everyone to stop talking and just let me try to talk my body into calming its tits, but my husband's boss is a really loud man, people are still amped from the trip, the baby is crying and repeating "Up, up, up," and the only chill person on this flight seems to be the five year old.

I start hurling.

For a moment, there's silence on the plane with the exception of me, upchucking into a paper bag. Then shit goes nuts.

Bossman scrambles for a plastic bag and has a second paper bag ready when I inevitably fill the first one (props to him). He takes the baby from his wife while she goes searching for wet wipes and tissues because moms have everything in those diaper bags...

The infant starts screaming. Whatever is happening to him, he doesn't want it to be happening. All I can think - as I'm bent double, trying to aim into the tiniest barf bag in the world while the tiniest plane in the world bounces its way across miles of n o t h i n g - is, "This thirteen month old kid is voicing my innermost feelings in a really spiritual way. I can relate to the baby. I, too, want to scream."

This is the only time I've ever really connected with a baby.

At this point, all I want is to stop throwing up, but the wailing is hitting a nerve that keeps activating my gag reflex. I didn't know that was possible, but it totally is. In between gags, I manage to tell Bossman to give the baby back to its mother, and instantly the crying stops. So does the vomiting. Chaos has left the building.

I lean back and sit in a stupor until we land, and from that point I have a very vague memory of buying a sports drink because I was convinced I "needed electrolytes". When we got on the bus back to our hotel, I promptly threw up the electrolytes again, so I must not have needed them that badly.

At the hotel, I remember my husband telling me we should say our goodbyes to everyone, and then turning around and saying really loudly, "Bye," before barreling through the Mandalay Bay lobby to the elevators, possibly knocking over a club promoter in the process.

I woke up at about eight completely naked and dying for water.

Update #1:

The plane cursed me. I can't drive a car now without getting carsick. I blame the plane.

I blame the plane.

Update #2:

After discussing this experience with my French professor, I have been given some new perspective on the Cessna flight: I may have been upchucking, but at least I didn't have to pee.
redrover: (Default)
It's always an adventure when I use air travel.

Many people will remember what happened the last time I moved internationally: during an effort to clear up some issues with the legalities of my visa, I was detained by UK border patrol and then redirected to Italy, where I was temporarily arrested by the Polizia di Stato.

On all subsequent flights into the UK, I have been detained while they figured out why I was detained in the first place.

On one notable outbound occasion, I sat next to Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon a Time, Breaking Bad, and Revolution) and talked to him about his family and the documentary he was filming.

At least... )
redrover: (Default)
I'm able to remember that Men in Black came out at the same time as The Lost World (which is the sequel to Jurassic Park). The reason I know this is because a friend and I went to the theater to see The Lost World, and at the box office, she had second thoughts.

Her words to me: 'I don't know if I can see this. I need to pray about it.'

Unsure what to say, and unwilling to just go home and wait for her to get a direct line to God to talk about the potential pitfalls of seeing fake dinosaurs and how this might apply to her religious life, I agreed to forgo the experience and we saw Men in Black instead.

(I think it's important to note here that I have no personal issue with this sort of religious fervor. If she really felt she needed to pray about it, I am absolutely, one hundred percent fine with that. I just think, were I in a similar position, I would have had that particular conversation with my deity before putting on my coat.)

Skip forward to 2012. I recount this story to Steph and Kimtoo, who proceed to create a Tumblr post with "I can't watch Sherlock Holmes. I need to pray about it." They tag it with the Sherlock BBC tag.
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