ornithology

the rain fell so steadily today, and I raced back and forth from my office to the parking meter standing watch over my car all damn day, collecting raindrops all along the run.

melancholy is my mood, my magic, and my melody.

she is the root of all my art and the foundation of most of my understanding. my compassion, too, is all too well-connected to the quiet, dark place in my soul.

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haiku

The boys marched and played
at death among bushes marked
by metal monsoons.

The Tumult of the Time Disconsolate

there is purgatory. and then there is hell.

purgatory is the student health center line and waiting for 3 and a half hours to gain even the simplest of understandings as to why an infernal medical hold has been misplaced on my student account, preventing me from registering. purgatory is the 45 dollar parking ticket surely awaiting me on my return to my lovely nissan, earned because to leave the health center, thereby losing both my place in line and my ability to re-enter the building again today, was a fate I was not quite ready to face. purgatory is the hu beauracracy, beating down we humble and humiliated students, year after year after year after year. purgatory is the bullshit forms. bullshit lines. bullshit shots. and bullshit people in lab coats who clearly have no reasonable business interacting with the public. purgatory is a tuberculosis scare, and expired tests.

hell is bonita perry, who drove all the way from mobile alabama (she says) to atlanta, whereupon she took a flight to dc to share her words with us in line, to talk and talk, about absolutely nothing of any worth or substance. with her spellman t-shirt, her 44 years of life, her 4th from the bottom of page 8. and no, you cannot film us for your home viewing enjoyment, miss perry.

and I promise you, purgatory ain’t got shit on hell.

What Is Past

two, sitting. me in the chair now fairly coated in the earthly and earthy sacrament of our lasciviousness and sexual creativity. you in its gorgeous, timeworn, five-dollar, multi-slatted cousin, across the hardwood floors adored by nakachi. scribbling furiously in our respective symbolic notebooks (the 800 lb gorilla in redmond calls them, collectively, “notepad.”) fucking frantically sans fighting fanatically? phenomenal, filthy, fun, and fantastic. turkey & provolone on panini? well, sadly, only passable. coffee? bitter, at best. tag-team flirting? enjoyable, to be sure, though I am afraid diane wasn’t quite my type. better epilogue? how ’bout the smile on your face, teeth bared shown clean to the world, as we absorb the melodies escaping the ruby red sony on top of the dvd rack? or the spontaneous hand-dancing session that erupted during smooth grooves 4: a sensual collection‘s selection of betty wright’s “tonight is the night?” no, far, far better was the harmony of our voices in duet.

“…there will still be music left to write…”

so having shared our bodies so hungrily, completely, and furiously, we shared, together tonight, our hearts, with equal vigor, for the first time in many months. i missed the completeness of what we have to offer each other. and it hurts that our stresses and tests often obscure the miracle of what we are and should be to one another.

I had intended, in all seriousness, to write this with great beauty, poise, discipline, and wit…but instead, now I am choking back tears, and like a beautiful woman, the words with which to end this appropriately remain just beyond my extended hands. so with resignation, I surrender to the slumber that calls me, and to the woman just beyond my reach.

Born With No State of Mind

they sat there, perched delicately on my eyelids, trapped between each eyeball and its respective lashes. the tears should have overflowed on the spot, but instead they remained fixedly in position, awaiting some new catalyst to initiate the inevitable deluge. I tried, seriously tried, to distance myself as best I could from my old wounds. the darkness caught up with me, though, hard as I tried to outrun it.

this was a hard weekend.

In My Mind

“hello, and thank you for choosing greyhound, my name is david, and I will be one of your coach operators for today. there is to be no smoking on the coach. if you do not heed the restrictions on smoking, your next driver will be a state trooper. there is no drinking alcoholic intoxicants of any kind on greyhound. if you do not know what an intoxicant is, that includes st. ides, mad dog 20/20, gin and juice, and apple martinis. if you have already drunk an alcoholic intoxicant, than please go to sleep, and we can all have a nice, peaceful ride this evening.”

a cacophony of conversations. accents. personalities…and most importantly, characters of every sort. The 50-ish british woman, who continues to swear up and down that she knows nothing of prejudice or white supremacist patriarchy, because she was so ready to befriend a pakistani girl she met in grade school, when no one else would volunteer, despite their instructor’s entreaties. my, isn’t she liberal? “I usually take a plane,” she exclaimed upon commencing her rant. and she is telling this to? light-skinned, wavy-haired hybrid boy in his early twenties, new yorker, with timbs, maurice malone denim, a burberry head scarf. yes, if you missed it, go back, and read that shit again. a burberry head scarf. across the aisle sit two elderly women, from columbia, who insist on angrily heckling the driver as he proceeds up and down the coach – “I guess I woulda had time ta get that water after all, huh? tol’ ya so!” up front is carrie, who, she assures me, shoots back. that’s why “them arabs don’t dare” mess with her, and why new york is safer than charleston, even after september 11th. 4 rows back, to my right, a little girl babbles on inanely- the self-same little girl who screamed at her brother, prior to leaving the station, “that’s why I hate you, perry!” a holy terror, that one, aged 3. 2 rows up, right, the older gentleman who keeps staring at my shirt. next to me sits a bag, a book, and a butterfinger. wait. the old women to my right just began singing gospel songs, interspersed with dry, harsh, hacking coughs. I wish she had gotten that water, dammit.

a litany of lunacy is carolina trailways, or peter pan, or greyhound, or whatever the little changling demonspawn busline wants to call itself. so here, riding on my second incorrect schedule, and not knowing whether I am still on time, I ride. at night, on a bus with no reading lights. and a rude, silly ass driver (see the above quote).

to put it more succinctly, foolishness and freaks a go-go.

On 27 Years and Polite Company

I envied him most especially. the little african boy with the charcoal gray and fuschia trimmed two piece starter™ sweatsuit, hopping about madly on the metro’s tiled floor, little dreadlocks flapping along to the rhythm. he couldn’t have been older than 4 (couldn’t have been), and I? damn near 7 times his age, now that this date had made it official. he screamed and gestured wildly as the greenline, bound for shaw-howard and points beyond, finally arrived, to carry my tardy ass to the birthday party being prepared (with alacrity) in my absence.

I hurriedly trekked home to love and an evening of friendly faces. home being a funny word for it, being that my bed is elsewhere, and my birthplace another, but my heart, well, that’s where it resides.

so I hurried. and the evening, well, wonderful is only one word, and the up and down, from no people for the first few hours, to two for another 60 minutes, to the sudden swell of 30 close friends and friends of friends, is probably best described with several. maddening. depressing, at first. elation. rapture. joy. cool. delightful. exciting. comfortable. and most importantly (and for the benefit of anthony’s favorite reader), sexy.

thank you. thanks to my friends, for coming, getting along with each other, and only making a little bit of fun of the massive number of white candles that oppressed my chocolate cake. thanks to my parents, for giving me this day to call my own. my sisters for always being there to remind me how glad I am that I left home. my boss for not coming to the party. and finally, thank you, baby. you made my day.

happy belated birthday to me.

Sweetheart, Goodnight

drenched in the dim light of the bustling images on the omnipresent screen, she slept. I laughed aloud repeatedly at the rerun, hoping she wouldn’t awaken, and between my buffoonish guffaws I turned and stared at her fixed and closed eyelids (just looking) as I watched her collect the covers over on her side. she used but a small corner of them, but miserly horded the lot anyway, as if somehow to punish me for not joining her. sooner.

Fuck a Perm

fuck law school. fuck my job, my roommates and sprint pcs. fuck b.e.t. fuck critics of b.e.t. who aren’t even fuckin’ black. fuck essentialist notions of blackness. fuck copycats. fuck dreadlocks. fuck stupidity, bullshit and selfishness. fuck weird girls and fuck plagiarism. fuck mayor williams. fuck verizon and fuck bank of america. fuck 65.207.0.#. fuck 205.247.35.#, too. fuck exes. fuck american idol, fuck mr. personality…matter of fact, fuck reality tv, reality movies, and reality all around. fuck living in a fantasy. fuck charles and ray eames. fuck being the “black” anything. fuck the police. fuck being different for no good goddamn reason. fuck being just like everyone else. fuck dichotomies and duality. fuck yin, and muthafuck a yang, too. fuck both sides of the coin. fuck art with a capital a. fuck filth. fuck jim crow.

fuck president bush up his fuckin’ ass. fuck iraq. fuck iraqi most wanted playing cards, and fuck the moron that invented them. fuck the new graphics every network created for the war, and while you are at it, fuck the networks. fuck jingoism. fuck the abc/tnt/espn troika for fuckin’ with the nba playoffs so regular people can’t watch any goddamn games if they don’t have cable. fuck lazy fuckers. fuck the sacramento kings. fuck tim duncan. fuck jay-z, ja rule, nelly, celine dion, 50 cent, erykah badu, kelly clarkson and clay aiken. fuck the new black. fuck fantasy sports leagues. fuck shitty websites. fuck self-proclaimed creative types. fuck my landlord and my boss and fuck massa. fuck scalia, thomas, and rehnquist.

fuck the bad economy. fuck the digital millennium copyright act and the sonny bono copyright extension act. fuck dial-up. fuck allergies. fuck bean sprouts. fuck tuna fish and all other canned meat products. fuck spam. fuck spam. fuck spam. fuck penis enlargements, secret nigerian financial scams, and unsolicited pornography. fuck tellin’ em’ why you mad, son. fuck overbearing people. fuck suffocation. fuck immediately. fuck early. fuck often. fuck this, fuck that and fuck you.

and most importantly, fuck haters.

Tryin’ To Get A Clutch

so this is the song we play. here is our dance. you look at me, innocent as a new lamb entering the world. tell me you love me. kiss me goodbye. hang up the phone. then you scribble some little angry remark and post it. and I? I look up at you and smile ever so sweetly as you mill about the room, or eat the sandwich that I, for the hunger of my love, rescued from the jaws of lame co-workers, and its my turn to hammer away at the keys like liberace on speed, playing out my angry tune as retort. they say that call and response is a fundamental part of black music, it’s at the root of who we are as products both of africa and this “new” world [thank you, mr. baraka.]. who knew it would pervade our love making as much as it does our ass shaking? (of course you know, I took liberties with that last sentence…parallelism above all things, mi amigo…I never met a trope or a scheme I didn’t like)

Unless You Plan to Bang

1

her hair streaked down her face
like sleet on an early march evening
the night walked in her shoes
and mocked her brisk gait
the old girl’s heel scuffed
by the tiles with
each quickening bootstep
she moved hastily
dressed in darkness
easing past me
through the metro doors

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The Hotness

would that I could write on command, like so many wannabe starlets can call forth a deluge of tears on a whim for the delight of the ad and the cinematographer. alas. I have held back my words and thoughts and poorly strung together phrases for long enough, however, so I now feel compelled to hammer out some few simple words here on this rickety keyboard, the one with the “a” softly disappearing into the wilderness. yet and still, though, I have nothing of worth nor interest to say. shame. It’s not as though nothing has happened in my life — looking back, the tumult of the past few weeks has overwhelmed me. it’s just that I have no way of cribbing all those experiences, the life and meat and blood of the world, into something palatable for the devouring. something all of you out there can digest with ease and alacrity. alas. give me time, though. I am working on it. furiously.

The Circumference of Your Activity

12:37 AM. so I sat next to her in what we politely call a bed, through this day of snow and cynicism, these final moments of the month dedicated both in antiquity and by the current administration to the god of war, and felt easily more alone that I had ever felt since before we were together. and like the naive little fool I am, I told her so, and she got more distant. good response, I thought, that should help the problem. I only barely stopped myself from saying those very words. instead, and wisely, I too quieted myself and chose a spot in the goosebumped ceiling to stare at with varying intensity until something else was said. preferably by someone other than myself. eventually it worked its way out into the increasingly colder air that trapped us in The Light Blue Comforter That Martha Would Disapprove Of. “I feel bad,” she said quietly, half to me and half to the pillow, “and I don’t know what I can do about it.” simple acknowledgement of my feelings. validation. even just some idea that that I have been heard. that she was still alive. a fucking nonverbal cue. anything. finally receiving this, well, it was at least a start. even if it did take a half an hour.

so why am I sitting here typing alone whilst she reads downstairs?

Progress

*sigh* I wish I had more to say than that, but this weekend–no, more specifically, this day–has been one of myriad ups and downs. pushing and pulling. pots and kettles. plus no one has visited my page today. not even my girlfriend. for the non-narcissists out there, I forgive you for failing to understand why one may be somewhat, oh, how to put it, well, wounded really, by such a thing as the lack of random people to fall ever so consistently into my rabbithole of a site. its not your [the non-narcissists] fault, really, you don’t need the constant attention we self-absorbed millions require. scratch that. make it billions.

of course, all this ranting and raving is most likely a manifestation of my own profound neediness, and the lack of reassurance from within or without is guiding my hand as a type each pixelated pontification. but whatever. it could just as easily be a lack of food that is causing this ridiculous emotional harangueing. so fuck it…I am going to go get a butterfinger.

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