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8: A Collaborative Hypernarrative Fiction

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Collaborative Hyperfiction written between 02-SEP-97 and 31-AUG-1998

8 is a spontaneous work of on-line interactive fiction. 8 is the brainchild of chris abraham. chris has been involved in online discourse and collaborative communication since 1993 and interested in hypertext and hyperfiction as a collaborative endeavor since being part of my name is scibe in 1994.

currently, the hyperfiction is in development. the site is being developed around the text, but will not be exclusive to it. originally, the text was itself titled coelaboration, but after securing the site space and the domain name, it became apparent to me that coelaboration is more of a way of doing, of being -- essentially everything i want to be and to create.

as a result, i have changed the name of the work from coelaboration to 8 as eight is the number of the item in the meta network conference called artist which resulted in the interactive responses that you will see here.

although this work is spontaneous, it was very much facilitated. if you look at the dates of the responses, you will notice that this was an ebb and flow project. well over a year elapsed between the inception and its completion. the cessation of the exercise was completely arbitrary.

8: A Collaborative Hypernarrative Fiction

8:0) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 3:58 

Coelaboration
The small apartment smells a little from the windows being closed against the
humidity. I don't have any place to put the butts from the ashtray and I
really don't want to waste my time doing domestic things anyway. Time seems
too valuable for that. But the job of cleaning now has become overwhelming.
I hate living in an apartment and not on the road because messes remind me of
stagnation. I am stagnating and the garbage reminds me, the ashtray, and
the clothes I have to smell before wearing. This is wearing thin. My
writing is going just fine, but I am not following Eastern Daylight Time, but
Hawaiian Time. I have been away since bright and early at 2:30pm and shall go
to sleep in an hour or so, around 4:30am. Its certainly the typical hours for
work in downtown Honolulu. Maybe Los Angeles. Okay, LA, but I'll never
admit to having to do anything with that place.

8:1) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 4:17
Seattle then. A place called never never land. A place so unlike
Washington. Washington looks so deeply into the mirror. Washington is
like a teenage girl. She notices every flaw and every ounce gained; she
worried about everybody's opinion and fears rejection, always believing herself
(no matter how gorgeous) to always be the homelier. New York is her older
sister, the prom queen, the forever more popular to the studious insecure
Washington.
8:2) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 4:18
Seattle just is. Whether the mecca for new technology or sustainability; or,
as it is better know, for the romper room of the Generation X (and also the
Generation Why as well as for Old Hippies and middle-aged Punkers). Seattle
just is. The people explore their own trendiness with great seriousness and
commitment. Whereas people from the seventies laugh off their bell bottoms
and feathered hair, Seattle youth of the nineties (much more so than their
Suburban "Club Soda" brethren) shall be unable to secret their past shame in
the attic, but shall be wearing it across their backs in inky faded wings. Or
in a tribal tattooed arm band, in the scar of a clitoral piercing, brands,
scarification -- this is commitment, this is power.
8:3) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 4:18
But here, Washington looks at herself in the mirror and doesn't want to be
one-hair out of place; she doesn't want to stick out; she doesn't want to be
snickered at by her friends. She doesn't know what she is missing, the
freedom of showing off the downy gleaming blond hairs of the tummy, the ellipse
of the navel; to show the movement and form of the breast; to let the length of
the body move under sunshine, under rain, beneath the incessant tirade of
base and guitar. Pressed and exposed; excited and rosy from the blood
coursing in the veins, breaking near the surface of the cheek.
8:4) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 4:19
And the ashes are constricting my chest. The smoke is no good for the chest.
Seattle is cast under cloud by day, but at night the mist is nicotine and
clove. Seattle is a Camel town. New York is Marlboro. Washington is a
Marlboro Light town, by default to New York.
8:5) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 4:19
The pale flanks of Seattle, tight from starvation. Striations of muscle, the
glint of the rings, the glitter of the disco makeup, the high camp. The
bell bottoms taken for a steal at a flea market, from the folk's attic. The
nosebleed platforms and ubiquitous coffee jitters.
8:6) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 4:19
Dimpled erotica painted on flesh with needle, wrapped like tentacles along the
arm and down the back. Once, my head way held tight during a freedive. By a
giant octopus, I shit you not. It took hold and its eight tentacles, each
as big as my wrist. The suckers reeled down my arms and bare back. On one
breath, I fought it. I used my knife to tickle it away and it disappeared
in a cloud of ink.
8:7) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 4:20
I had been hunting for him so it was a fair loss, but when I arrived on shore,
there were terrible welts where the genius had taken hold. They were red
and indelible for quite some time, having broken the blood vessels, creating
bruises.
The Mark of the octopus from that day were as flowing and dynamic as the
patterns dancing on the flesh of the Seattleite. Half-shirts, tank-tops,
halter-tops, no shirt at all. The dancing of the image on the flesh; the
tinkling of rings and jewelry. The clicking against the teeth as the boy
absentmindedly plays with the silver barbell in his tongue as he pulls you
off a shot of espresso.

8:8) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 4:20
Where can you get a good cup of coffee at 4am on Capitol Hill?
8:9) Hope O'Keeffe 02-SEP-97 10:36
She wonders at the different worlds. She has been this weekend in the
world of a family, 66 names of children, grandchildren,
greatgrandchildren painted on a wooden box made from an old hutch
cabinet, a box of 94-year old ashes buried by a family with stories and
songs. They'd left the shovel leaning against the boxwood, scooping dirt
into the grave with bare hands, a last gift. All the stories are true,
but they aren't all the stories, actually, and afterwards the cousins sit
until 4 in the morning telling the rest in those soft working class
Boston accents.
She craves them now, those accents she tried to hard to lose, folding
around her like an overwashed comforter, tucked about sleeping babies on
the couch. Instead there is the blinking cursor and the ringing phone,
and outside the window the last of the summer tourists, sharing the
Washington sidewalks with lawyers and bureaucrats and bagladies and
t-shirt vendors, 3 for $10.

8:10) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 11:48
"Chocolate City" t-shirts. "3 for $10," Hope reminds me. Thin transparent
cotton dishrags with "Washington Blues." Sadly, Bart Simpson is suffering a
decline. His "Don't have a Cow, Man," used to be a classic, used to make young
children smile when your returned home from Washington. Such a wonderful
momento along with the foil packet of astronaut freeze-dried icecream one dad
kept hidden after the boys had eaten all their before even leaving the
Smithsonian. That one packet shared together at Walt Whitman rest stop way
up I-95 on the way back to Queens.
The freeze-dried ice-cream reminds me of my father's ashes as I emptied them
from an oak box into the midnight blue sea off Waikiki. The freeze-dried
icecream reminds me of the ashes held tight by a Boston family for all to share
later, when everybody has all but forgotten.

8:11) Hope O'Keeffe 02-SEP-97 14:25
The gravestone had waited for thirty years:
McLaughlin
John F. 1893- 1967
Gladys E. 1903 -

At the end she'd said she wanted to be buried with her parents instead.
And then with both her parents and her husband. "You can't do both," they
told her, "unless you're cremated." "Oh, how wonderful. I can be
scattered to the winds." Or, more precisely, "scattuhed."

No Waikiki seas for Gladys -- just the box with Dad in St. Joseph's
Cemetary (the stone filled in at last, 1903-1997), a bit under geraniums
with her parents, a spoonful sprinkled over the Wishing Rock at 41
Addington Road (the room above the porch haunted, the present dwellers
tell us, in the house that is always home in our dreams), a thimbleful on
White Horse Beach, a pinch or two set aside for whenever her Mt. Shasta
calls.

And as we spread her dust, we brought our own to her, small baggies of
dirt
from our scattuhed homes, emptied into the grave. And, of course, a
handful of M&Ms for Dad.

8:12) chris abraham 02-SEP-97 14:46
The dive boat we had used since he and I took our course through PADI in 1985.
I was almost 15. Tom Yoho was always our captain. They were always
different boats, but if Tom was there, it didn't matter. It was a consistancy,
one of our few traditions -- to great me whenever I deplaned in Honolulu
International Airport.
The boat rode low, there were so many people chain-smoking Viceroy Golds and
drinking scotch out of tiny paper cups. Little chips of ice rachetted at the
hollow plastic bottom of the several ice-coolers on the boat.

The lights of Honolulu and Waikiki sparkeled. On clear nights, it always
appears that lava is rolling down the mountains from the Koolau mountains, down
Manoa Valley, and along the ridges of Pacific Heights and Hawaii Kai. The
light of homes along the ridges mimic this flow. The coursing streetlights and
the softer lights of the homes, of lava hardening.

Inside the oak box (there is no gravestone, no marker except in our hearts, in
his images) I was surprised to see a gray platic bag. I felt strangely like
a consumer as I untwist the wire and tasted the ash as it wafted up from the
brisk tradewinds off shore.

We held our Glasses high, some of the amber fluid leaking. Someone wanted
to pour some whisky into the box. Some wanted to give the ash a cigarette.
I kept the box close and insured that the ashed where deposited into the sea,
none of it to be kept. I gave the box to his partner. My mother looked
quite affronted by the burial. Not by the burial, but rather by the drunken
dandies and hussies making such a spectacle of themselves, offering booze and
smoke to the remains, the ashes of a man who had died.

All the while a gentle breeze, the flowers riding the waves having been thrown
in after. The leis slowly wilting on the string: carnations, orchids, tube
roses. Thrown to the waves and little fish, the eels, turtles, anemonies
taking the ash into their bodies. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

8:13) Justin Sacks (Pell) 03-SEP-97 0:34
I sit at my desk, on the top floor of Vine Alternative, Called KAMSC by
some. The teacher standing in the front smiles enthusiastically as she
animatedly explains a concept that I had mastered five years ago. My gaze
slowly unfocuses, and my head droops downwards towards the table, as honolulu's
sparkling lights play out their gentle dance across an unfathomably tranquil
sea. My friend, Holly, digs her elbow painfully into my side. She always pays
attention. "pay attention" she whispers harshly. I don't see why, but I shake
my head and rub my eyes, trying to clear out some of the sand that too many
late nights and early mornings bring. Abstractedly I reach down into the
paper bag beside my chair and bring out a plain bagel. Still slightly warm from
being baked that morning at Klein's... a bagel store just across the
street... and four stories down. I begin to eat as I try to force myself to
hear the teacher's inane chatter. She is still smiling, apparently enthralled
by the subject of
8:14) Hope O'Keeffe 03-SEP-97 9:53
That yellow bus, the transportation between worlds. For the five year
old, a magical chariot to unknown, exciting universes. For the fifteen
year old, the too-slow escape from the drudgery of those same universes,
grown cold and small with repetition and dust.
8:15) chris abraham 03-SEP-97 12:55
TheBUS. The city bus in Honolulu. From 6-11, I lived across the street
from my Elementary School, Aliamanu Elementary. At 12, we moved downtown,
miles away. I was a crossing guard for JPO (Junior Police Officers) in my
school. We never told the school district we had moved. I had to be ready
as a guard at 6:30am, in an orange tunic and an aluminum pole with a red "STOP"
at the end. I took the public bus 5 miles every morning to school during 6th
grade.
Bleary-eyed, out the door, an hour early. Pre-dawn. Dawn. My backpack and
the quarter for school lunch. The paper bus pass. Walking from the apartment,
down the slope of Punchbowl. Even Honolulu is chilly early. Rubber
slippers, backpack. Waiting there at the bus stop before the eternal flame
(for the dead men of the war).

Hawaii is blessed with the most wonderful bus system. The fares are cheap and
the people are all friendly and bright and the bus driver always takes care
of the kids. There are always very young kids taking the bus to better schools
away from their area, supplying addresses from their auntie or cousin as
their own -- anybody who lives in that school district.

I was lucky that my bus drove straight to Salt Lake, where the school is. And
then Walked down the small slope and to the little orange room where we
picked up the reflective tape and vests, silver whistles and batons for
stopping traffic for the kids coming to school hours after we did.

No, I never took a yellow bus, except when going on field trips to the
Aquarium, to a theme park, to the youth symphony. Funny, I took TheBUS
everywhere, even earlier than 11, but commuting on the bus at 12 seemed very
menacing and awfully mature. I loved it and it excited me to no end.

8:16) Susan Galleymore 08-SEP-97 19:47
Ah, the memories of the yellow school bus . . . My brothers and I commuted
20 miles each way to high school -- from our rural home in eastern South Africa
to the big city. The bus was generally full of kids and during the afternoon
ride home -- it took almost two hours to deliver everybody and we were the last
stop so we saw it all -- anything could happen. Like the time the "big boys"
dropped a stink-bomb and all the passengers fought for a window to hang out of,
laughing while sucking in huge gasps of fresh air. The bus driver was furious
with us. The next day, probably because the first time had been such a big
hit for all of us, they dropped another stink-bomb. This time the driver
screamed at us and intimidated us to such a degree that we were too terrified
to open the windows, then he drove to the nearest police station and got out of
the bus himself while forcing us to suffer through the long, smelly moments.
Finally, he got back into the bus and drove off with all of us in dead
School life and the life carried out on the yellow school bus was very
different there . . . .

8:17) Justin Sacks (Pell) 28-SEP-97 18:07
I've wandered off from camp and am sitting around the ashes of a long-dead
fire with my friends. It is late at night and we all look down at the ground or
the starry sky, absolutely gorgeous when viewed so far away from the harsh
lights of the city. Its fascinating, beautiful, spiritual, indescribably
peaceful. Song is discussed, and the singers in the group break out into
their own rendition of "Amazing Grace" and "The First Noel". The ringing
tones of their voices fade into nothingness, blending beautifully with the
eloquent silence that surrounds us. Lying down on the logs that surround us,
I join them in the contemplation of infinity while staring up at the
wonderful sky above us. So untouched by the impurity of man's habitation. There
is no moon tonight, but so many stars blend their light into something that
even the moon's smooth silver cannot touch for sheer magick and splendorous
subtlety. We talk, God being the subject. It seems so natural, on this night,
at a time like this
8:18) Hope O'Keeffe 28-SEP-97 19:25
In the morning, I wake just before sunrise, wriggling quietly past my
gently snoring friend. The canoes are lined up along the riverbank, a
few yards down from the gentle ripples that on the quiet Shenandoah count
as rapids. I flip over the nearest one, wade it into the shallows,
trying not to splash and wake up anyone in the small humps scattered
around the clearing. I pause a moment, tiptoe back to my tent and grab
my daypack, a water bottle, a couple of granola bars. They'll probably
figure out where I went.
8:19) chris abraham 29-SEP-97 0:02
The blue plastic kayaks are perfect percussion instruments. The nudging
of a log, the tap of the oars, the lapping of the cool morning waters. I
usually sleep late. I usually wait until the morning is long past and the
day has bugun and has moved closer to evening than the crack of anything.
But the morning haze. Is it fog? It shrouds the river. The water fowl
come to sight in grand grey silhouettes. the icy dense humid air swallows
the songs. makes morning even earlier.

The yellow of fog lamps. The hong of a horn. The wail of a siren. Only
these abominations remind me of rush hour.

These and the bloated grey carp, their bellies cut and rotted, bobbing
along with the current. The knives cutting, the singles pass. I am not
ever certain if the racing shells are physical or am I seeing things.
They never make any noise. When I rowed in an eight, there was grunting,
there was a coxwain and a cox box and a coach in a skiff and the clank of
the oar in the oarlock.

But not these singles. These knives. They are to electric cars as eight
man crews, the sweeps, are to the inefficient inline eights of the old
american gas guzzlers. Faster, yes, but an inelegant gracelessness.

8:20) Hope O'Keeffe 07-OCT-97 12:40
On the high cliffs beside the falls, watching the kayakers swept
downstream, rolled over, battered against rocks, muscling again and again
through the swirling white. The park ranger explains to the gawkers that
the idea is
to catch a standing wave, balance on it long enough to inch upstream,
circling one eddy after the next, eighteen inches forward for each foot
back.
Why? From the high rocks, we can only imagine: the stretch of muscle and
wits. The adrenaline. Dancing with the
river gods, and with the half dozen ghosts reborn in this gorge every
year.

And, of course, feeling superior to the rock people, who will turn away,
soon enough, to the tug of a small hand: "Can we go now?"

"Soon, soon."

8:21) chris abraham 07-OCT-97 16:16
There is magic. I have never doubted it. When I
saw my first exorcisim, I couldn't believe what I
was seeing. It really didn't appear possible to
be taken by a deomon. Demons are not for real.
The other night, running through the close boughs
of the forest, the fingers picking at my clothing;
the bugs biting through skin and into vessels, I
caught sight of several irridescent beetles darting
several steps off the trail in a small bright
clearing.

I changed my course, away from the strong river,
and came upon wild mushrooms formed in a circle.
The bugs were gone and the trees were still. Even
the birds had decided to zip their mouths.

8:22) Lavinia Weissman 05-DEC-97 21:54
HOw do I describe where I create. Hmmmmm.....at present I have a room that is
a bit stark and it houses all my books
and treasures.
On my wall is a drawing of my dream corner in Mill Valley where I hope to
dance over the hills into the headlands and view the bay and San Francisco.

Right now I am working on a retreat to Ogden, Utah where I am conversing
iwth a real estate development project on how to thread a sense of community
and health. I should be landing there some time in the next 2 weeks and
maybe get my first real peak of snow in 6 years.

8:23) Hope O'Keeffe 06-DEC-97 19:40
Dancing over the hills into the headlands...watching the bay and the city
spread below... too distracting? I wander back over the hills and climb
the narrow stairs to my own room, oddly shaped, perhaps with slanted
ceilings too low for a normal person. Shaped, undoubtedly, by a
childhood stereotype of an attic garret to starve in. There is a
skylight, and I can see the stars and the moon. I have seen this room
for years in my dreams, with a desk full of cubbyholes and layers of
paper on the floor.
But even old dreams evolve, from ruled pads and pencil, to notebooks and
fountain pen and inky fingers, to typewriter, to this keyboard and carpal
tunnel twinges. New to the dream, along one wall there is a low table,
with a row of paintpots. No brushes. On the white walls I have taped my
fingerpaintings, and my images and words are starting to dance together,
like the lights of the city over the waters of the bay.

8:24) chris abraham 07-DEC-97 1:43
fellation brass axe shitake falling away into and running with the entire
concept of the boy finally reaching sweet sixteen blowing oh so sweet woo
woo cat melodies into the center of my head thick pressed paws thump beat
honk of geese in the small floating room below the exit sign before the
moving leaves and the red light the red burning eye. the. the. the. he
bought me a drink but i was afraid to drink it, there might be something
in it, might be something else but the boyman drinks from the brown glass
condensed hoping. hopping. jiving grooving saying its me i am doing i do
not i try not. i do not. buzz buzz. the strain and staring into the
mirror for five under stalin red budsign loo loo skip to the loo loo loo
skip to the loo my darling and the window to the soul the man with the
cruel face the cruelty hidden hidden and the slash across the face, that
which i knew before but without the beard even more cruel like sneer and
dogs jowls rabid slather pores wide fixed and moving, eye/eyes/eye/eyes
dark cruel sanitary tp tp wiping the water wiping the water mine eyes mine
eyes leaking leaking -- watering. bad choice... all choices. exhilarated
glide on wings to nest here dishrags making pruned paws clean pieces steel
glass gyrating oregano, basil, hemlock, hem. lock. hem. locked. ahem.
8:27) chris abraham 03-JAN-98 17:31
The summertime wintertime in densest el nino washington here on the
potomac cleaning cleaning the homely scum of the sink shitty shit in the
bowl and getting down on the scabby knees from being aggressive n the rub
the brown rug before the fireplace. i don't really need the fireplace
today -- it is an absurdity just like the dust floating in my air
passages. Watchng breathless on the telly. missspelling simple words
simple ideas and putting off the easy task of writing the letter of intent
to hopkins to get that place in the masters program. funny, hopkins does
not have an mfa writing program. they do not so much consider writing a
fine art so much as an art -- good for them. one of the oldest. rejected
the ivy -- doing heroin instead, anyway. and the people i was with almost
missed new years -- almost forgot about time with the mousy ivy, the saucy
femmes tout en noire, the large vat of simmering meatballs and nacho nacho
taco shell melody. asshole bartender -- some kind of complex.
and there is the time of the day when it is already spent and you call of
the dogs and make sure you're set up for the next day for another time
with other people. did i miss not kissing this year. no. did i miss not
fighting? no. being with the people was all it was about this year.
seing the two sets of lover kiss. good enough for this bechelor.

want the scene from harry met sally. want the tuxedo and the lbd, want
the cold NY apt and the balcony or the roof. want the brownstone. want
the flights to paris. want the seine. want the metroliner and the
washboard stomach and the dresses that press and pull and move and
restrict and the touch of lips, the sharing of wine through the lips.

the saline solution of love. the movement of timespace thrugh the veins
and out the skin in a musky agent. the attraction unexplained or
explained matters not. the soft but firm flesh at the hip, the smooth
hairless skinn looked at scrutenised -- there is always a peach fuzz. it
can be seen after the body is lovingly painted in watersoluble paints
under a high sun.

8:28) chris abraham 03-JAN-98 17:49
This small apartment. Can't see through the bay windows. The rental
company never has them come to clean. Things break. I read about
schitzophrenia. Symptoms look to me like enlightenment in a small
apartment in a small townhous on a small park in a small neighborhood in
a swampy city in the usa.
as the night effects not the room but inks out the windows i listen to
music telling me it'll be okay. the screen on the telly is blue. the
vcr isn't feeding tape. if it did it would be the film _Breathless._

new york herald tribune! new york herald tribune!

bugatti said, "cars were made to go not to stop"

i talked to a photographer today who told me how to sue based on
copyright infringement. the song is over. i believe its going to be
okay because it always has been before and 1998 is cake. and at least i
am not hearing voices.

8:29) Hope O'Keeffe 03-JAN-98 18:59
i am hearing the voices, but maddeningly enough, they're mumbling and I
can't quite make out what they're saying. In the background, Han Solo
looks for Luke Skywalker on the planet Hoth. We look out the window,
past the Christmas lights, for the pizza guy.
8:30) chris abraham 04-JAN-98 0:23
pizza enogh to fill the belly? well, if I were to start a pizza company
it would also give direct in-the-face advice for the little homes.
Instead of the readout telling only of the telephone number, there would
also be a background check and the dire straits of the houshold would be
on the screen so that a divination would be easily forthcoming for the
occupents:
"clean up you pad for your guests. good call on the gift for mum -- she
knows you love her now that you finally gaver her the movado. the useum
watch, the love, the swiss movement and the battery that has to be changed
in 2000. clean the wndows alone, do it and realise that everybody but you
has the style enough to collect all those matchbooks begotten at the
restaurants and arranged into linedry art long the walls. then you will
be able to invite guestst over to enjoy the brazillian collection of
music, the eddie murphy album, the vynl and enjoy the love affair you
devote to a happy despressive blonde. the blonde who lights up your
life.. the boy who perfoms the spear chucker dance as the music from
brazil which sounds more indian or thai than anything from a portuguese-
speaking south amaerican nation has the right to.

"my name is not noraa and i want to see you again soon; my name is not
noraa and I want to see you again soon; my name is not noraa and i want to
see you again soon. I dvorce you; I devorce you; I divorce you. Three
strikes and you're out.

8:31) Dirk Flinthart 04-JAN-98 18:40
The shade of Stephen Dedalus sings to me from the screen. Sometimes I wish I
smoked. It's a lot easier to be tired, world-weary and cynical with a cigarette
spiralling blue in the corner of your vision.
Truth is, I'm deep in the heart of deadline deadlock. Can't quite remember the
last night of uninterrupted sleep. Reality sidesteps, tangoes with Harry
Houdini, and suddenly the only thing left is the keyboard and the screen.
Everything else is smoke and Swiss cheese.

It does take over, you know. No matter how prosaic the task of creation, still
it calls your all to the fore. Artist's joy, artist's terror: while you are
an artist, there is nothing else you can be. Not friend, nor husband, nor
lover. Not neighbour, not enemy - nothing but a font. And one can but hope that
the water is untainted.

So this is where I am. Trapped rabbitwise by the headlight white glare of
the square eye. Outside, in the world my imagination paints there is a sun that
shines, there are insects chirring in trees I have created especially for the
day. There has been sweet rain, and the air is fresh. I have friends not far
away, dancing in sharp wine and laughter.

If only everything remains when I have done.

8:32) Ginny Little 04-JAN-98 18:47
but i am transfixed by my muses, writing in my head, but when pen meets paper,
hand meets keyboard, it becomes invisible ink, eluding like a cleverly coy
mistress. there is a ringing in my ears and i wonder if this is my body telling
me to slow, deafened by chaos and deadline and pressure to perform my art. i go
for a walk, drink in the sunshine, float in the womb of the warm salty
buoyant sea, and the light dances with my mind. i close my eyes and float. i
observe the thoughts come in and drift out. i feel the sun penetrate and
soothe. i awake to light rain sprinkling over my hot skin on the beach chair,
liquid sun relief. i reach for my journal.
8:33) chris abraham 04-JAN-98 19:21
ulysses. square eye similar to the one-eyes snake. mine eyes be square
for they are always looking towards and through squareness. no wonder i
am becomming decidedly L7. Slides, theur 35mm image smooth and shiny and
then dull and emulated otherwise. ulysses. young stephen lost me every
time and it is in a world not unlike his in which i feel the need for life
for living for the odd sophistication that would make me finally to wake
up next to a lover.
head full of cleaning fluids. the oven still leaks brown fluid from the
clean. spray foam all over inside of oven, starting at the top, and close
and leave until morning. wipe with warm water, repeat.

two women coming. no deadlines except one. hopkins wants a letter of
intent from me. only 2 pages long but my how I have avoided it. masters
in writing. masters in baiting. cleaning the sheets, keeping the wndows
open for the air outside mirrors closer than not the fine breeze of dirk's
summer. T-shirt weather, 4 Jan 1998. Stayed inside and mucked around.

writing to me is just as it said. the pressure of the journal's leaves
and where to make another mark. pencils like to break off their leads and
although my pelikan writes smooth on the cotton bond, the days of movement
empty fountains into you pocket or all over the pages.

spilled ink and blotches, rubs and smears make a journal. and this little
lcd screen looks up to me in its grayscale. begging me to return to pen
and paper. wondering what I should do with my manual typewriter and would
it be pretentious if I tried writing on it? Tried starting a novel in the
most novel manner?

a surprising number of contemporary authors still use manual typewriters;
a sizable number of writers still use their old reliable selectric II.
And how is that direct response of paper and wrtten notes and white out?
Is that more real and if proust and joyce and hemingway and fitzgerald
could hobble along on their enameled portables.

just ordered the complete poems of hemingway. what an odd thing to buy.
i have zero exp[ectations. and radiohead is speaking to me and saying
that I should fade out again; and fade out again. the words fill the
townhouse and i am so wanting the neighbors to call the police. it has
been a boring day.

8:34) chris abraham 04-JAN-98 19:37
my skin crawls. the hair is greasy and falls well without a comb.
wearing black is the answer. scrubbing out the white stains from rubbing
a morning mouth. seeing the hours pass. immoving. orangina and viena
sausage. i'm on a rool; i'm on a roll this time. i feel my luck could
change. 1998. the time is exactly opposite in OZ. pull me out of an
aircrash. i am your superhero. we are standing on the end. lyrics
spinning from the large speakers. _The Breast_ is the name of a novel.
it sits beside me. I wrote the number of a woman into its inner back
cover. a 212 number. the breast. a man wakes to discover he has become
a breast. he is placed in a sling which looks remarkably like the cup of
a mansized brazziere. suck my nipple. lick my nipple. its all he can
think. he think he's insane. thinks his woman will leave if all he wants
or needs in his life is to have his enormous red nipple incessantly
molested. thank you mr. philip roth -- we indulge ya something awful you
brilliant son of a bitch! orangina. javascript. hopkins. wintel.
somethings when i think about the way my mind works caught up in this
parallel processing mind of ours looking for pi, searching for the ideal
form, realising that no matter how well turned a foot, no matter ho tight
an abdomen, no matter how arched a back and how pert a breast, this is but
a shado, this is but an insult to the form. and then i ask, as might have
stephan, what in hell are we going to so as to turn our back and bear the
light? in photography, the only thing one can capture while facing the
light is a silhouette! no matter what, even when turning towards the
ideal form, one may only still glimpse the outline filled with ink. fill
flash. pop. but that is part of you, now --pushing your own waves and
particles so its not parfect any more. evian. high and dry, radiohead.
don't leave me high; don't leave me dry.
two jumps in a week i bet you think that'[s pretty clever don't you boy/
flying on your motorcycle watching all the ground beneath you drop/ you
kill yourself for recognition you kill yourself to never ever stop/ you
broke another you are turning into something you are not/ don't leave me
high don't leave me dry/ don't leave me high don't leave me dry. drying up
n conersation you will be the one who cannot talk/ when all your insodes
fall to pices you just sit and wish you could still make love/ they're the
ones who hate you ... lost the lyrics -- cant keep up...

8:35) chris abraham 05-JAN-98 8:48
I walked along the yawning streets. Wearing a tweed sportscoat, kakhi
trousers, and a yellow tie, I moved towards the train without needing an
overcoat. They say its to be 70 degrees today in Washington. In my life, dead
soldiers refer to the paper cups which are beginning to collect on my desk. In
my office.
The sky is clear and there is the notable warmth. El nino. The Child. I
smelled vomit in many places and am wondering if it is me. Am I decaying? The
black children stand near their intermediate school on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE,
near the Eastern Market. The low morning sun paints their smooth skin yellow.
I envy that yellow. My face will always looks jaundiced under that light.
Their faces, golden. It takes evening light, the light from a red orange
sunset to paint the white face gold.

The funny thing about the group Radiohead is that whenever I have an
epiphany (for the past two years), there is some semblance of their album
"The Bends" playing.

Especially that song I insisted on transcribing from the live broadcast on
99.1FM, "Just Passing Through."

"two jumps in a week i bet you think that'[s pretty clever don't you boy/
flying on your motorcycle watching all the ground beneath you drop/ you
kill yourself for recognition you kill yourself to never ever stop/ you
broke another you are turning into something you are not/ don't leave me
high don't leave me dry/ don't leave me high don't leave me dry. drying up
n conersation you will be the one who cannot talk/ when all your insodes
fall to pices you just sit and wish you could still make love/ they're the
ones who hate you..."

When I was younger and was first initiated into magic, I really needed a level
of guidance my friends in college couldn't provide. As a diver, all my
metaphor revolved around the sea. When I plunged deep into the depths of my
mind and my not mind, I would swim energetically as deep as I could and the
quicker the better.

Sometimes, I would be abandoned at that depth. I would get spooked and
would kick off the floor (or rather, merely a ridge -- I don't think anybody
has really plumbed it truth depth) and shoot like a missle towards the
glimmering dapple of the clouds.

I would feel the bends. I would feel as thought the pressure inside me and
the surrounding environment were imbalanced. I could feel the fizz in my
blood, an opened bottle of seltzer.

I would panic. I would realise there were only minutes until the air would
form bubbles large enough to block a vein, to traumatize my brain.

It was times like these I would really unsderstand what panic was, what
vulnerability could be.

8:36) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 05-JAN-98 9:11
Back at school after a long coma of talking to the voices in my head in the
confines of my house. The temperatures of the classrooms vary here in my
school, because the teachers fix the thermostat according to how they're
feeling. 1st hour, lazily warm and comfy, like too many blankets on a rainy
Saturday, I couldn't concentrate on the government exam review sheets. 2nd
hour, cooler, crisper, like going outside after being in all day. The pace
faster, quicker, more focused, being a journalism class. Even after 3 years,
now being a senior, provailing over all underclass, I fade away into the
artwork on the bulletin boards, the lockers, the murals in the hallways. This
ghostly vision that pushes past everyone to get where she's going, whom is
struggling to really be someone. But everyone only sees the little girl they
ignored when they were growing up, tall and blond even then. Kalamazoo, what
a zoo, what a trap to still be in. What does she have to do to see different,
be different, hea
@!KAT

8:38) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 05-JAN-98 22:47
Ah, back at home, oh safe haven from staring eyes that give you a quick once
over and go on to the next victim. I have grown almost oblivious to them in
three and a half years time, but I still get the urge to look away like a
convicted criminal before the jury.
At the turn of the year, I made silent vow to myself to find some actually
organization and focus in my disorderly, turn-of-the-adult world. Funny when
I think about it at times of reflection, I can picture the world inside my head
rather ever-changing. Light and dark, cool and warm, more like the weather
around this ZOO in the 'Zoo. Lime greens and bold purples, then soft blues
and homely yellows, circular dreams and square realities, vines of the jungle
among the cobwebs of my inspirations.

Home among my books and summer weather in my un-insulated room and spring
weather in the backyard, the tarot cards and cd's, candles, many, many
candles and dark panels. Here I am safe and here I am me.

@!KAT

8:39) Ginny Little 06-JAN-98 12:33
being me is so elusive like trying to catch a rainbow in a photograph, vivid
colors, but transparently changing even as i watch and grasp at illusions.
the color is drained from the landscape now, in winter. outside my window
bare trees beckon, a stripping, a solitary unmoving solitude and
resignation. tangles of branches, grey mist, dirt streaked windows, stills
my hand.
8:40) chris abraham 06-JAN-98 12:53
home, safe haven. work, accidents always happen mostly within ten miles of
home. home is elusive. used to think that hope is where your hat hung.
well hung hate. fedora. baseball. ten gallon. skull capped with a
browning 9mm. drinking at mickey's last night, finishing off with mack, when
we drank two shots of tequilla each and talked about how our jobs where alike:
i am a data plumber and mac plumbs pipes, lead, filled with immovable shit.
my data collisions and his turds. the a/c, the turd, urine filled vats
yellow viscous and stinking.

a boy told me he must suffer so suffer he shall; a boy told me his life is
gravy and delicious and it is it is. poor fools poor fools but i cannot
blame them because look at all their friends and parents and world and school
and look at the darkness of the clothing.

rather, vivid colors. rather, catch a rainbow. rather, embrace the vibrating
illusion. i won't accept your downer bullshit cause it might infect my sunny
disposession.

8:41) Ginny Little 06-JAN-98 18:26
no downer, just a cycle, a circling round, a pause for breath, a look at
shadows in the light, offering contrast, offering calm resolve, as people die
on skis on slopes i have traversed, so i pause, and i wonder a bit, and i don't
say much-the silence comforts and words capture nothingness.
8:42) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 06-JAN-98 23:07
Late at night, on break from the pile of homework that still eludes me...had a
glimpse of the "adult world" today in the registering of college. Funny how
when I reach the end of a stage, I always look to the next steps as being
wonderful and transforming. Funny, isn't it...
Late at night, the only thing alive is my mind and my writer's voice,
sometimes a whisper at the back of my mind, other times a shout I turn
frantically for but no one else hears. House settling, vent rattling, clock
chiming the hour, quarter after, half-hour, quarter to...every fifteen minutes,
part of my life is gone away. I used to waste away the hours, no one to share
them with, why do anything? Old habits die hard, as I now have many people, I
still sit alone when they are not there. alone, together, flip-sides of the
same mirror. When you are with people, you long to belong, when you are not,
you still wish to be with them.

Tick-tock....tick-tock....tick-tock....mind shuts off and soul uncovers the
cloth...

Sometimes, I just want to dance. I want my feet to jump and sweep along the
old carpeting of the confined space that is my living room, feeling my arms
stretch out and my legs twirl me around and around. I want to move my arms
and legs and twist about and feel graceful, feel immortal, with my dreams
hanging in the ceiling and my fallings-out in the basement, forgotten for the
moment. Sometimes...

@!KAT

8:43) Ginny Little 07-JAN-98 12:35
i think about somedays. someday i will...
8:44) Kathy Madden 08-JAN-98 19:56
Dance, dance, dance....those who feel the desire should never repress it. ON
Ooopw---on 5the other hand, only dance with those who understand you and
then, the dance should be in some format that *demands* more! ;)
8:45) Ginny Little 08-JAN-98 21:26
dance on ice, dance naked in my living room, dance in time with the symphony
of the wind...
and fly..

8:46) Dirk Flinthart 08-JAN-98 23:01
Somedays turn so swift to yesterdays if you don't watch carefully,
carefully. Hand in hand we watch brave deeds unfold before us, turning, turning
in the gyre of quickstep 2/4 time. A step out of time and your place is lost,
whirled away by another, swifter in the dance.
Wait your turn. Never miss your mark.

8:47) Phillip J. Rhoades 09-JAN-98 10:42
Wait, so much time waiting that I've forgatten the steps. The musice cascades
across time's dome and I have lost the rhythm. The dance is nearly over,
I'll to wait until the next.
8:48) chris abraham 09-JAN-98 13:46
again i am in my shirtsleeves. thank god for IT. i believe its the geeks
who made casual friday the success that it is today. its grand for ladies
looking for their mate because on casual friday its less of a no-brainer than
the suit is. the suit can be a copycat thing. You can peg the poor taste on
the fridays, and if he is too neat, he is porbably married or gay anyway.
anyway, off to the ground level, the surface. ate a tuna sandwich. a pickle.
some chips. an herbal tea drink. still had 40 minutes left. sunny day but
its raining. spritzing. clear sky. where's the rain coming from? no answers
but refreshment and a prize.

a double rainbow loomed above the city, causing people to stare dumbfounded
into the sky. the sky behind the bow was almost purple. i could have sworn
i could register ir, uv.

people in suits stood stansfixed. people in skirts stood transfixed. the
site seduced me away from the route. i walked up 15th street, towards
mcpherson square. the bow topped my present movements. drawing me from NY
towards K.

sunny's surplus; espresso; soft spray of rain from a cloudless sky. woman
in earth tones. her long skirt sliced up to the hip. the most aluring tease
of movement. the shiny leather heel, the sheer stocking, and the slit, the
thigh less visible than in a pair of shorts or a swimsuit of the most
conservative cut. less is more. less is more, and its all in the delivery.

that thigh was absolutely desirable. more than an exposed breast, more than
bending from the hip or the low cut shirt, more than the minidress or the
daring lbd, more than sheer or transparent. the quick peek of the knee, from
the heavy wool skirt wrapped like sarong, falling to the ankle. rushing the
light, the soft white dough of the inner thighflash thighflash until she passes
from view and i sit and compose, sit and compose.

the fire is usually dead until spring. the weather of winter ala el nino is
stoking flames better left deep within the protective bog of the everyheating
compost heap.

8:49) chris abraham 09-JAN-98 15:46
the small of my back. its where everything sits. sometimes the shoulders,
but not this year. the weakpoint of me. i have not received a massage from
anyone in well over a year. to think that touch is such a distant concept in
my life at the moment. i remember the nights in uni when all there was was
touch. since when is fucking considered touch? there does not need to be much
of anything in this sharing. hard pressure, hair in hand, arched back,
ankles and hands and hot breaths. tongues. pressure, heat, gripping, nails
tearing long red lines down the flank, down the back. rushing under water,
holding onto the wall, pressing the nose into the pillow. pressing the body
against something firm to support the shock of the blows. hiding the bruirranbr> under coverup, like the hickies you hid in the world before the drama, before
you knew that she liked to be fucked up against the wall or that you loved to
feel the razor tips of the bloodreds in the place where wings would sprout were
8:50) chris abraham 09-JAN-98 16:36
i sit here alone. the cd whirs, the other cube has a person in it. i only
hear my own voice yabbering on, with the echo effect presseded past the
reverb feedback and its me at the bottom on a hole 555 feet deep. the martha
washington memorial. alone. thinking maybe i am ocd. seeing the way i can
waste three weeks cleaning up a 1br pad for the visitation of one cool chick
and a finnish femme formidable for the space of but a couple days. need booze.
need ash trays. need fresh oj. cereals: muesli, grits, bran. fruit for the
juicer. wine. whisky. lighters. shampoo. its funny when the decision to buy
condoms enters your mind. since i have made a vow of poverty and celibacy it
always seems the furthest thing from my mind but it isn't. i always wonder what
it would be like to make love to every woman. any woman. no men. if i were
bi, says woody, than i could have twice the opportunity and double the people
in my dating pool. some say the male to female ratio in dc should me
8:51) Ginny Little 09-JAN-98 21:03
i am too tired to think of sex. i curl up to a warm body and am glad to
hear his breathing sleep. don't stay too close too long. too hot. butt to
butt. dream and wake and ponder, and dream and wake to turn on the news to see
how thick the ice is and if schools are closed, or if i can venture about.
sickness abates and has come just to remind me to be conscious of health,
that when i was in my 20's i didn't have to think about. youth is immortal
and invincible. age teaches humility and awakening and pay attention,
stupid. used to have sex for hours in showers, on floors by fireplaces, on the
kitchen table. now i bathe in the shower, read a book by the fire, eat at
the table. and it's a lot more calm.
8:52) Red 10-JAN-98 1:01
And then there are people like my mother, who never grew up in that
respect....(groan) not that I criticize the woman, and I applaude my
step-father for keeping up with her...but there are things I did NOT need to
see and/or hear...
then again, when I hit fifty...I'd like to be as energetic as they are... ;)

(: RED :)

8:53) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 10-JAN-98 1:44
quiet now, after the return of what i call my "learning experience"...last
night, fatique drenched over me, i could hear the rain on my ceiling, thin as
it is. in the dark, layers of covers, just the shadows and me, listening to the
rain on my roof. if only it wasn't cold, i'd go sit in it...have it engulf
me, soak me up until i became whole...
tired again tonight, but a craving to write burns bright inside me, so bright,
it's a dancing temptation. a curse for the uninspired, a blessing when in
need of self-expression...sex, sex, sex...seems the word is all i hear and
never do, but 'tis not a bad thing. when i lie with him, when he touches me,
when we hold each other, kiss, hug, caress, massage, we make love...just not
the scientific definition, just our own.

@!KAT

8:54) chris abraham 12-JAN-98 15:58
today i find it hard to breathe. i huff. the galoise blonde, a gift from
marlise. today i find breathing difficult. tonight i see an old teacher, a
man from hs; tonight marlise is making us food. i think we have enough wine; i
think we have enough to drink. today i drove to work and the fumes from the
cars kept me doped all day. i can barely move today. sleep is what i need,
vitamins fix all.
8:55) Hope O'Keeffe 12-JAN-98 16:20
So hard to sit back and watch the Galoise Blond, the Marlboro Red and not
attack with a water pistol. I remember writing about it, watching myself
almost slipping into the haze of Camel filters and the wrong man:
camel haiku

Smoke curls, like kisses,
gather dangerously... Then,
slowly, I exhale.

 

8:56) Phillip J. Rhoades 13-JAN-98 9:31
Sex is such an odd thing, sort of like saying "can I put this part of me
into that part of you, and then we'll be happy, right?" I don't know maybe
I'll have sex someday, but for now I prefer cuddling, kisses, reading by each
other. I enjoy long talks, short strolls, and the occassional mindless moment.
Sex can wait, right now I want to make love.
8:58) Hope O'Keeffe 13-JAN-98 18:53
sex; touch; the weaving of love. Each to its place and time, and yet I
would not dismiss any of them:
numinous mornings
intertwined dreams, and dreamers
septisensual.

8:59) Red 13-JAN-98 19:22
But sex is easier. And it feels good, and it satisfies all the hormones raging
through your body. Sex is something of an illusion really, at least, for me
at this point in life. You feel like you're getting attention and affection,
without actually having to talk to that person cept for the occasional "Oh
yeah!", "Harder!" or "A little to the left!"
(: RED :)

8:62) Dirk Flinthart 16-JAN-98 9:32
Sex and lovemaking; I suppose they can be divided, but nog fr me. And who
would wish to do so anyway?
8:63) chris abraham 16-JAN-98 11:39
the evening passed on my dry elbows, before a dead fire, next to a monitor
playing reruns of the x-files. before the lcd playing the words of a former
mistress, a milky little doll with a blunt bob, rosebud breasts, and a penchant
for wearing dkny under the hawaiian sun. or showing off a tummy above
hiphuggers and below a jogbra, black.
her words on the screen. x-sender. x-reply. x-header. she at work, me
putting off the rower. the words. "how can you remember all of this?" she
asks, "or a you making it up as you go along?"

8:64) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 17-JAN-98 19:22
Arising from under the waves of deep sleep, I rose in the morning to an
empty and cold house, dirty dishes and food in the kitchen and the living
room in just as poor condition. Another night my sister had a friend over, I
could see. Then I think for the hundredth time: I gotta get outta here.
Arising from beneath the cool water, I splashed and held my breath inbetween
moments...at a pool in January. Stress of exams over until thwaveades arrive at
my mailbox...

@!KAT

8:65) spaceboy 18-JAN-98 3:24
i grab a jelly donut (cherry) and sit in the tub, the bubble bath surface
tension fingers pruning to rubbery stubs. mmmm, donut.
8:66) spaceboy 18-JAN-98 3:45
report card, hey tcpip... january rain swimmingpool cherry jelly donut.
x-nutsack: x-bozo: x-girlfriend return tcpip dkny.

communication; communication. i wonder as i masticate in the tub how your eyes
at this moment look -- irises lashes lids heavy lidded soft dusk. how
insesnitive playing, stereo. how can i remember all this? remembering your
orgasms, how can i forget?

hmmmm, donut. jelly.

8:67) Ginny Little 18-JAN-98 11:01
my bones feel only the lingering of illness now. all the toxins have gone,
or almost. still a taste of insipid infection in my throat and a dry cough.
fret about smoking and wonder if i can ever stop. get up and take my dog
with me into the shower. an hour later she's still shivering and i am the
enemy. i cover her with blankets and rub her all over. she sleeps. i think
about omaha and injustice and kids and teaching and questions, endless
questions, and what can i do, how can i be in a way that will change things.
who am i to make the world a better place? only a girl, one with
candleflames dancing in her heart.
8:68) Hope O'Keeffe 19-JAN-98 13:39
Chicken boiling for soup on the stove; sourdough rising in the oven. The
baby is sleeping; he's good for another hour or so. I look around at the
little-kid clutter of four days in a stir-crazy row at home, nursing
the boys through viral bronchitis. (Listening in the night for the
wheezing, and the coughs, so deep for such tiny bodies, and the steroids,
and antibiotics, and that horrible breathing machine again, their small
faces pressed behind a green plastic mask. The vapor creeps out the
ventilation holes: look, Mom, I'm breathing smoke like a dragon!) I sip
at my coffee and contemplate
taking down the Christmas decorations. When is it, exactly, that I
turned into my mother?
8:69) Ginny Little 19-JAN-98 17:06
i go to see the film titanic and i vicariously live a time of ostentatiously
glorious chapeaus and dresses adorned with detail that flow and accent
feminity...the impact of the event and the lives lost becomes a momentary
reality that then lingers in the back of my mind, some sadness that pervades.
mike reads a book. abbey sleeps on her favorite pillow curled into a ball of
white fluff next to him. i reach through the wires wondering what part of my
presence adds to the beauty i find here. feelings of unworthiness,
inadequacy always walk in my hand clasped with sadness.

and then it turns to just a feeling of being blessed, to know warmth, real
love, new and lifetime friendships, what else is there to happiness?

it is grey outside for another day. it wraps round my soul.

8:71) Dirk Flinthart 19-JAN-98 20:38
It's those moments that things go into overdrive that I hate. The article
has to be done yesterday. Nobody will develop slide film in time. The
photographer can't make it. We'll change the location, and make it the
California Cafe instead of the Breakfast Creek Hotel; the Creek's been done
to death anyway, right.
But what about the rewrites? And it looks like three of the nine chapters
didn't make it through the e-mail gauntlet, but that's all right, because the
printer in the publisher's office is down for the count, so you've got at least
five days. To put in that extra 15000 words you really wanted to.

And don't forget to show up for the publicity shots on Friday, oh no - front
steps of the Art Gallery, you and Birmingham. Trying to look cool in black in
the heat and glare from the too-white angled concrete wasteland of the Museum
complex, and meanwhile Natalie's on night duty, so no sleep by night, no
sound by day, and I just remembered, only just now that on Friday I will be
thirty-two years of age...

8:72) Hope O'Keeffe 19-JAN-98 21:59
A stranger dies, known and cared for only through these wires; his friend
writes that ""All good things come by grace and grace comes by art and
art does not come easy" -- Norman Maclean." At my goddaughter's birthday
party, an announcement: in August, she will be a sister. I have read
earlier of
my friend's friend's death; perhaps that is why I feel darkness instead
of joy, or perhaps it is because I have just watched her father spank her for
jumping on the couch out of sheer birthday exuberance: "It's the only way
she'll learn." At bedtime my son snuggles in, talks about death, wonders
if the sand will fall into his mouth when he is buried, thinks that might
not feel good. He says "I'm not sad about death any more. It's just a
part of life. I know I hold her in my heart, but I still miss Grandma
Gladys." He asks if they took good care of her, if anyone kissed her
goodnight. I say that someone was there to hold her hand and tell her
it was time to let go, and remind him that he is special, that we were
the last to see her, and help sing her home. We sing "I'll love you
forever," and he drifts to sleep, that heavy wheeze making it that
much harder for me to stop holding him tonight, to stop my shivers.
8:73) Dirk Flinthart 20-JAN-98 9:07
Art is truth of spirit, not the literal truth of the common herd. Sometimes,
the 'whoppers' are all we've really got going for us.
8:74) Ginny Little 20-JAN-98 12:55
do your taxes, wait online for the overcrowded server to respond and try not
to scream before throwing your computer through the window, just for fun.
dissertation lays on the floor in piles of manilla folders and i wonder how
to translate what i do, who these brilliant students are, how i ignite their
passion for learning, to others. it seems too much. kid in the middleschool
blows his head off, leaves a note. parents divorcing and he shoots himself with
a gun purchased for him for hunting at christmas. black kid in lousianna is
shot down in the street during a martin luther king, jr. parade, the
spokesman for non-violence, and it is a black man who kills a black child and
they are turning in on themselves, and who can blame them, and did anybody hear
my heart shatter this morning in tiny fragments of crushed glass, tinkling
after the explosion?
van to take kids to omaha is cancelled, it's always something, wood burning
stove needs so much clearance in my new home office it now stands in the middle
of the room and will scorch me if i light it i am sure...too much heat in my
life. dust is everywhere, in my eyes, choking the breath from my throat, my
lungs wheeze and i think of the vaporizer and its calming shoo, shoo, i slept
to all my life as a kid, and i miss it's comforting sounds, and i imagine
hope and her children singing...and i want to be a child again, with someone
rocking me to sleep, feeling safe, warm, loved and unworried about deadlines or
dead pets, or dead children, or building inspectors or superintendents who wish
to ooogle my office tomorrow.

it is still grey, but grey fits and strangely comforts.

8:75) Red 20-JAN-98 16:55
I was told I was too bitchy today. So I'm sitting here, trying to figure
out just exactly what I said or did that made me "a big bad bitch"....I spoke
to loudly, I guess...and I answered when he asked "What's wrong?"..didn't
realize that he didn't REALLY want an answer....but then why bother asking
the question? I'm a whiner, he tells me on the bus, without looking into my
eyes. He can never meet my stare, which annoys me, but I never said so before
because I didn't want to seem "bitchy"...thinking of all the times I held my
tongue, just so he wouldn't think I was complaining...thinking of how I tried
to conform to him...become what he wanted me to become...
He's complains that I am not nice enough to him. I took his coke at lunch
and wouldn't let him have any..he never said "please"..he just grabbed, as
usual, only this time, it was the coke bottle he was after, not my ass.

But I'm not his slave, not his whore now. I won't give him the coke, and
scratch him to the point of drawing blood when he tries to take the bottle from
me. "Fuck off! It's mine!" We sound like preschoolers in the middle of the
cafeteria.

He claims that I am immature....I'm not nice to him....I'm a bitch.
Course...I'm 15 and I smile broadly as I think, "I could land his ass in jail
if he's not careful."...I'm a bitch


(: RED :)

8:76) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 20-JAN-98 17:07
tears i have been trying to hold back all day flow freely down my cheeks
now, hopelessly devouring my calm appearance. nothing goes right, no matter
th hope, the planning, the desire to do something right for a change and then i
stop for a moment. why am i so afraid?
day of new classes, confrontations, work and coming home to realize no one
cares and i am alone in this fight for who i am. why are the simplest things
the hardest to accomplish? i try to do it my way and you come home and tell
me i'm just wasting my time. how many times have i longed to pack up what i
need and leave, hitching to another place, only to drown the thought in a
corner of mind out of fear of anger and resentment because i did what i wanted.
why is frustration so hard to overcome? why can't i make myself understand?

why do i cry so hard?

@!KAT

8:77) Phillip J. Rhoades 20-JAN-98 17:44
Every tear I've shed has watered my dreams, and they've soaked it up and
grown. Soon they will flower and bear the fruit of reality. They have drank
of my pains and fed on my struggles, and now they will give me a good harvest.
8:78) chris abraham 21-JAN-98 10:55
i am not bitchy enough to be a man. i have so much rope here that hanging
is certainly a possibility, wordwise that is. i have not cried since 1994.
and that was uncontrolable catharsis. and my lover called her mum, a nurse, in
a panic. her mum told me to stop. if a man starts truly crying, he'll never
stop.
"challenge your man," she told her child, "with crying. tell him you will not
feel truly close to him unless he takes you in his arms and has a good cry.
comment openly on the president as he cries -- mention how real men cry, and
how crying is healthful and removes all the toxins that lead to premature
heartdisease. you'll catch him, sooner than later. if he does, if he really
lets loose beside you, clutching to you and holding you tight enough to bruise,
he is weak. he is a weak man and he will never stop once he has started. wait
for a stoic man, a man who can be more of a rock, more of a safe harbour within
which your family is secure."

8:79) Hope O'Keeffe 21-JAN-98 12:54
Long, long ago, wrapping my arms around a friend, sitting outside on a dark
night, as he cried and cried. He shook and wailed and clutched me tight enough
to bruise, and I never even knew what it was about, that night, just that I was
desperately needed.
And I spent twenty years being the stoic one, sane and stable through the
tears and the euphoria and the rages. I made, by sheer force of will, the safe
harbor, the secure family.

Now it's safe for me to cry, and I no longer need to.

8:80) Ginny Little 21-JAN-98 13:27
i can taste the salty remnants of sadness in my throat. i feel like crying
sometimes and don't, other times blubber without always knowing why, it just
comes, too easily, too swiftly, without warning...maybe just in response to a
toilet paper commercial, for chrissakes, what's up with that? menopausal, yea,
so they tell me...and that is too soon too. but all things in their time.
so i just watch and listen and hope.
8:81) chris abraham 21-JAN-98 15:03
hysteria, the madness of the womb. dora. dr. freud. a case of hysteria.
for me to cry, must i have a womb. i have a belly for sure. bitch. slap
my bitch up. a song. bitch, witch, witchy woman. an article.
"Now it's safe for me to cry, and I no longer need to."
". . .a toilet paper commercial, for chrissakes, what's up with that?"
"Every tear I've shed has watered my dreams,. . ."

every word has brine infusion; every desire we feel comes from sadness. i
know i am melancholy no matter what anyone calls it. people say the word
"weep" too often, it has lost its meaning, like the word "love." what does
that word mean?

can we trust the tear? i know people who can fake it.

"seduction," sayeth beaudriard, "is a forever-changing dance: first one
lover leads, then -- given one misstep -- the other."

what i want is a love relationship with someone who will allow me to not
have to fight for lead but also not shirk from my desire to be lead. i am
a damned good harbour and will be a fine husband to a wife and kids, but i
don't want to be afraid that this is all i can be.

the day is bright. the calves of city girls flash in my mind, from behind
the slits in the stretching fabric.

i have been accused of loving all women. was this a compliment or a
warning? i have been told i must be gay, is that because i love all women?
i have been told i am a womanizer. i have been told i am a lover of women,
all. i have been told i have been antisocial. i have been told i am too
social. i am told i am confidant. i have been told i am hung up. i have
been told i am insecure. i have been told i am an eccentric, but mustn't
someone be much older and richer to hide behind this label. merely mad?
sainted? creative? all these monikers both blessing and other. what is
there to believe?

8:82) Red 21-JAN-98 16:13
I refuse to cry. I hold it in as long as I can...I broke down a few days
ago, after a call from my dad saying that they were going to put my dog down
sometime that week...I wouldn't talk to my father about it and changed the
subject...but as soon as I hung the phone up, I started sobbing..and the sobs
turned into convulsions and finally, I went into the bathroom and threw up....
Then I cried on Saturday, when they put Rufus down. I got really drunk that
night, cause my folks were having a party for my step-syblings and no one
noticed. I called my friend Justin and he came over...I collapsed into his arms
and cried until i nearly fell asleep. He took care of me, and made sure that
I was ok before he left...
I don't cry unless it's something really, really important...i can't, I won't.
Crying is a weakness, and I don't put up with it at all..

(: RED :)

8:83) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 21-JAN-98 18:35
Lazy days make me wish for more hours in the day...maybe a 30-hour day to
think all my thoughts, cry all my tears, laugh until my stomach bursts into a
thousand pieces inside of me and to try and understand philosophy.
Watching, thinking, listening makes me realize my own inadequacy in
thought...how can one make the mind understand all these wonderful things
that it refuses to decipher? How does one go about disciplining the mind from
thinking what you don't wish to think? Sometimes I feel I am to burst out
crying thinking of all I lose every second and other times the frustration of
failing makes me want to run through the walls.

Ahhh, sanctuary in the arms on a couch, trading stories of learned trials
and crafted art. The one thing I miss during the long hours of conforming
hell is the way I am when surrounded by those arms, those thoughts, that
laughter, those eyes and that smile.

It's when I realize everyone else, that I realize how small and average I am
and how much learning I need to do of my own and not that of textbooks.

@!KAT

8:84) Dirk Flinthart 21-JAN-98 21:05
Red - better a moment of weakness that passes as the tears dry than days of
the pain and effort it takes to conceal the sadness. Once you've wept, the
tears are gone, but the struggle not to weep binds you for long, long...
8:85) Red 21-JAN-98 21:25
When I get on the bus, he's in my seat...AGAIN...the seat I ALWAYS sit
in, he's decided he likes. Part of me says "he's flirting, flirt
back"....the other says..."he's flirting, kick his ass." I toss
myself into the seat across the way, grumbling to him that he's taken
my seat for the second day in a row.
"I know!" he says cheerfully, grinning at me, his large eyes shining.

Freshmen....

I pull out my walk man and start to untangle the headphones. He
reaches across the aisle and snatches the machine. "What are you
listening too?"

"Alex!!" I whine, reaching for it. "Give it back!"

He grins and sets it back on my seat and sits back...so he wants to
play...damn...

It's not that I don't like him, I suppose...he had really long hair at
the begining of the year, so April and I always called him Pretty Boy.
He's 16, runs track, was on the wrestling team too...he wears shorts
in the winter and falls over backwards into the snow on purpose when
he gets off of the bus, just to make us all laugh.

"Here, this is what I'm listening to." I toss him the head phones.

"Lemme guess," he says excitedly. "Manson? ICP?" I shake my head.
"Both?"

"Nope."

I press play and I can faintly hear the beginings of Nine Inch Nails
intro to "Get Down, Make Love"...and original song by the late Freddy
Mercury of Queen...but an excellent remake all the same.

Pretty Boy puts his bag on the floor and I slide across the aisle
without Mr. Walker seeing it.

"It was so weird seeing you in the hall today without all your hair."
he says, as I pull off my hat. He reaches up to touch it, then thinks
better and puts his hand back down. He cut his hair off shortly after
getting on the westling team..April and I were very annoyed...but I
was even more annoyed...I loved his hair that way...


We talk as usual, about anything that comes to mind. He tries to make
me laugh and I frown until I can't help it anymore and burst into
hysterics, calling him an asshole for making me lose control. He
thinks it's great and does it again, just because he can. What a
bastard... but I;ve never meant it seriously....

"I'm tired. I'm going to sleep!" I announce suddenly, and lean my head
against his shoulder.

"Ok." he says. I was expecting him to shrug me off...

After a few minutes: "You're shoulder isn't very comfortable." I
murmur softly. He drops his shoulder down a bit and says "Better?" in
a low murmur...what the hell? I nod. He's looking at me funny, so I
close my eyes and pretend not to notice.

We pull into the trailer park that's his stop. I sit up and let him
out of the seat. He hops out of the bus and then, standing in front of
my window, he flops over backwards into the snow, looks up at me and
waves....

8:86) chris abraham 22-JAN-98 9:21
synergy moves across the fields like wind. this most basic of needs, the
building blocks of community, caresses the husks old grain stalks.
dirk consoles red; red flirts with pretty boy; never enough hours in the
day, says kat.

i raise my hands, unable to delete any more, anymore. words are words and
editing is not the proper way of the white man to remember history.
herstory.

"He thinks it's great and does it again, just because he can."

email and _bound_ all evening with a former lover. the woman hurt me, but i
asked for it. now her friends root for us. i haven't been an us for a
long time. emails back and forth, telephone rings past my bed time. i
answer, its she.

_bound_ -- she and i are attracted to the same women. I say this, she
replies for me to be careful she might be jealous.

virtual girlfriend. the woman who broke my heart, the woman i broke my
heart over. blunt bob, thin features, smooth lithe cream skin. creamy.
little, better say petite. elle est tres petite.

She is C&S.

"He thinks it's great and does it again, just because he can."

Dirk says, "Red - better a moment of weakness that passes as the tears dry
than days of the pain and effort it takes to conceal the
sadness. Once you've wept, the tears are gone, but the struggle not to weep
binds you for long, long... "

I say, there is always an ember you can ignite if you have the patience and
are willing to spend the vital energies.

i remember: the line of her body when first i removed the clothing. the
place behind the pillow where she kept her pajamas. the crooked back from
the scoliosis. the little fingers little hands. the firm budding. the
blunt hair, hark and rich.

a friend told her, "he cared for you, pimples and all."
this friend is "rooting for us, for you for me."

ben and jerry's is an ice cream store.
they sell ice cream to women
they sell ice cream to hope.
in an old post office
next to the pennsylvania
river...

"saying that they were going
to put my dog down sometime that week"

8:87) Hope O'Keeffe 25-JAN-98 21:37
"And this one?" she asks, and idly traces the faint white mark on his
forehead, with the gentlest of fingertips.
"I ran into a wall when I was a baby. Really freaked my mom and my big
brother out, but I don't even remember it. Now, where were we?"

I hold him down in the emergency room, pinning his trunk and
legs with my body. His arms are wrapped in a sheet so that he can't
flail, but his small fists are clenched. The nurse
holds his head while the doctor slowly, so slowly ties those precise black
knots, five of them, one after the other. And he screams, and screams,
and screams,
his face purple, and the doctor blots the blood.

"I don't even remember it. Now, where were we?"

8:88) Red 25-JAN-98 22:18
When I walked into the house, he wasn;t there to greet me. I didn't hear
the familiar clacking of his nails on the lenolium flooring of the kitchen.
So he really was gone.
They had put him down last weekend. My dad had called to tell me Saturday
morning that they had given him a sedative and that he'd gone peacefully.
He was old. His time was near. It was the right thing to do....yeah...

I know. I'd had him since I was seven years old. Rufus, a 45 pound red
whippet, almost the color of my hair red. He slept with me everynight and
often tried to bulldoze me out of bed when I was younger and smaller. Once
he managed to dislodge my head from the pillow and I awoke with my head in
the wasterpaper basket beside my bed.

But he wasn't there now. He was dead and gone and there wasn't anything
that would bring him back. The other two dogs came close to me and I shyed
away from them and went upstairs. He wasn't on the bed, like he should
have been...the bed was neat and made and no one had touched since I had
last been there.

I went downstairs to fix something to eat. I wouldn't touch either of the
other dogs. Didn't acknowledge them. I pulled the quiche out of the fridge,
careful to avoid looking at the photo of rufus on the freezer door. I was
standing at the microwave, humming to myself and waiting for the quiche to
heat up, when I felt a familiar nudging at my foot.

RUFUS!!

But when I look down, it's just Mario. I withdraw with a hiss and start
backing into the corner.

"Go lie down Mario." I tell him harshly, but he's not listening, he wants
to sniff my feet. I keep backing up until I hit the corner. "Jesus fucking
Christ, go away!" I'm starting to shake. I don't want him to touch me. I
can't back any farther. I'm trapped. "Go lie down!" I yell. He's nearly
touching me. "For christ's sake, go away!!" I shriek at him.

Just then, my step-mother comes in and grabs his collar. "Common Mario."
she says light heartedly and leads him out into the living room...


I relax a little, open the micro wave door and start devouring my quiche..

8:89) Dirk Flinthart 26-JAN-98 6:27
Sometimes I can't remember who I'm supposed to be. Sometimes there's nobody
around to remember for me. Forgetting is like letting go. It's like the comfort
of the carousel, as the ever-familiar unfolds infinitely in front of you,
becoming strange and new again with each turn of the wheel.
Who am I tonight? Who will I be tonight? Who will give me a name?

Listen... I think I can hear them now.

8:90) Ginny Little 26-JAN-98 11:09
you will be a little girl lost spirout the comfort of her dog, a mother who
cannot explain the fear and pain of a hosptial room and why she's a part of
it as she restrains her child, a poet with muses who taunt and tease elusively,
an energetic woman whose body has decided to call for rest because she
refuses to listen, a migrant child who plays while his father works, and
never complains, just amuses himself quietly, a teacher with many questions, a
man searching for streetlights and tears to match the rain, letting go only
in words.
8:91) Aaron Webb 26-JAN-98 12:28
Or a lazy teenage boy, watching sadly as the work and shit and drudgery and
messages pile up. He watches his planner fill with ink, and overflow onto
the already messy bedroom floor. He hides in sleep, somehow. The guilt of
going to bed with applications undone on the desk next to him used to keep
him awake, but now he just sleeps, the desire to work decreasing as the need to
work increases. At this rate, he'l just not end up at college, or at least not
at his first choice, or at least without money. Grades fall, as he falls
asleep.
Today, probably spurred on by the memories of a loved dog, his mind wanders to
his last pet. His only pet really, a small silvery goldfish stuck in a foot
high cylindrical plastic bowl. It swam back and forth, around a green
plastic plant for almost two years. I fed it irregulary, assuming, as I do
today, that it was more natural. I cleaned the tank three times. Only when it
died (by hang it self by the gills on the sharp end of one of the plant's
branches while I was at school one day) did I realize it existed.

Fish ain't cuddly, nor good companions. Lucky Me.

8:92) Hope O'Keeffe 26-JAN-98 12:50
I began keeping fish when a friend was arrested. Four years of dealing
substantial amounts of cocaine, and I never connected the dots. I couldn't
take any of his dogs, or the new puppies, or the cats, and it was rather too
late to try to take care of my friend, so I took his fish.
They died, of course, as fish will when you don't know what you're doing,
and I bought more fish, and they pretty much died too, and I learned a bit
and now the fish mostly stay alive except when they kill each other or die of
old age (how long does a fish live anyhow?) or splashing toddler fingers and
gifts -- a stick of bubble gun, a walkie talkie -- tossed into the tank, or
benign neglect brought on by the passive aggressiveness of knowing that when
I leave my house I will leave the fish behind. Just as I close the bathroom
door so I can't hear the incessent dribbling in the bathtub that will no longer
be mine, so too I let the algae and the nitrate levels grow unhindered, and
feed them just often enough to mostly keep them alive.

8:93) Ginny Little 26-JAN-98 17:42
and my plants droop from neglect until i hear them screaming quietly, water,
water, light. and it echoes my own cries in the stronghold of winter. and then
it starts snowing big flakes in sheets of white, outlining the black of the
trees, the crevaces and i wonder if the squirrels shiver in their nest. i tilt
my head upwards, stick out my tongue, feel the freshness of clean white cold
air-renewing as well as any spring. the hot water of the jacuzzi bubbles round
me, the steam healing air passages, invigorating. my puppy barks at the sky,
not knowing snow.
8:94) Red 26-JAN-98 22:17
Listening to the lament of the Irish people on a television program in the
other room, I nearly begin crying, though I won't let myself. I don't need
anymore headaches. Not today.
The stories of starving, fighting, drinking, singing Irish families..my
families. I hear the names of familiar towns that great great grandmother's
hailed from...I can see where I get my violent nature from, my wit, my
insatiable tendencies to drink, the stubbornness...or bitchiness, as people
like to call it...my fondness for dancing... All from these people.

I listen to their history, my history, while typing idlly at a computer
screen...over 100 years later, this world is so different, and I am so the
same.

(: RED :)

8:95) Dirk Flinthart 27-JAN-98 7:47
I have been Irish. I know the sound of the uillean pipes and the hum and thump
of the big Kerry bodhran. I know the warmth of stone walls and fires of
stolen peat, the wag of tongues and the fireflash of the heart, quick to
wrath and quicker to laugh.
They say all my fights are merry and all my songs are said, but the dead are
always the same when we carry them home. Near a thousand years, now still
carrying the dead home, where they crowd the rafters, tittering and giggling in
the smoky dark above the lanternlights.

How many dead? How many for Brian Boru? How many for King Billy? How many
for Bloody Liza? How many for Black Cromwell? For Pearse and Collins and de
Valera? For the Green, the Orange, for the North and the South, for our wars
and for the wars of the world? How many for the year our crops turned black
in the fields? How many?

And all over the world, the sound of pipes, and flutes and drums. And all over
the world, we carry our dead with us, crowding the rafters, playing
catch-as-catch can with our shadows, dancing through our stories and our
songs until there's no more room for the living, only the endless procession of
the dead...

8:96) Hope O'Keeffe 27-JAN-98 11:07
From Angela's Ashes, the definition of Irish Alzheimers: you forget everything
except the grudge. As my grandmother lay dying, my mother asked the nurse
why she could no longer speak. The nurse looked startled. "She talks all
the time! Mrs. McLaughlin, how are you?" And my grandmother, her eyes
closed so that she did not see her daughter, started chattering away. She
was speaking, just not to her family.
I wonder, sometimes, at the power of this remembering, this taking the ancient
grudge out of your pocket every so often to pet it a bit. It's rather like the
old songs and jingles that clutter your dark recesses, slipping out every so
often, completely beyond your control. Back, back, foul demon, to the pit that
spawned you.

8:97) chris abraham 27-JAN-98 13:06
phlegm. yellow sometimes, clear. usually the color of what i just drank.
morning's oj, the cafe au lait. this is an irish story, it doesn't have a
happy ending. my great grandma read tea leaves. she was blind. described
to me as a jigging oracle, reading leaves before the dark and listening to
78s on the record player late unto her twilight.
i have faced my deamons, i am sure that's more than many of you can say.
we work along the same roads now, the low road, the high road, and I don't
know if the point of the game is to exorcise but to cohabitate. been told
the deamons are self. reading a book on seth. seth. seth.

"irish catholic boys from RC school
are rife with just a host of delicious
hand up hung up fuck up and amen"

Hope wrote, "'And this one?' she asks, and idly traces the faint white mark
on his forehead, with the gentlest of fingertips,' and I could feel the
finger. The fingertip, the tenderest pad of sworls.

The vortex, the complex. the tampex. being told how much the period can
hurt, how the woman is hit up for $250/month while men are charged but
$103. That's what my insurance charts say.

in saint petersburg, babuska would approach holly and beg her, child, to
get off the ground, get off the cement child, the cold rock -- it kills the
womb, it injurs the uterus.

a land that treats woman.
women are not men with breasts, boys.
can they not be equal if they aren't?
hat only equal if men with breasts?

expand.

my copy of _ulysses_ was signed by the poor trinket salesman in county
galway. important to me. galway kinnell was named after galways and i
love james joyce so it all seemed to fit like pieces to a cliche.

dunn, judge. county mayo, county cork. the high street, dublin.
the darned green busses in dublin's fair city, where the girls are
so pretty...

"no nay never no nay never no more..."

some of these irish pub, who's meme took hold in Baltimore and Houston St
long before they arrived here, are more irish than ireland; some of the
french cafe's here are more french than in france. some say, french
baguette: gone to merde.

merde. ) Re

divine grace.
my most important concept
at the moment.

divine grace
or just grace
i muse upon it
as a romantic
thinking it
will fix everything.

to be graceful
to have grace in
word and touch and
response and tongue.

divine grace as
came to amy in chasing
amy, so I am told in
a nyt review.

director smith says
he is "really into jesus."

Hope said, "I wonder, sometimes, at the power of this remembering, this
taking the ancient grudge out of your pocket every so often to pet it
a bit."

yes.

i was told my a wise man:
always forgive, never forget.

The body flails;
the uterus spasms;
the labia are pink
or painted with
stick; the cigarette
burn still shows
the phlegm is page
the work is easy
the tongue is green
and there are odd warts
in back and the auckland
chinese herbal doctor told
me i am strong and there is
luck there because one day
i will not be so strong and
i will be taken by the
power of my ignored
fevers.

8:98) Ginny Little 27-JAN-98 13:53
i too watch the historical documentary on pbs of the irish, remember the
children on the west coast, dark-haired, blue-eyed, freckled-like siblings,so
many brothers and sisters and knowing from whence i came, and my love for
potatoes and story. The poets were the historians and held in highest esteem
as the knowers. the oral history passed from generations from parents to
children round fires in darkened rooms-small pleasures as people lay dying
and the stench of blackened potatoes suffocated the air. i remember the bullet
holes in the walls of dublin and a skin-head who walked me home too late at
night for me to walk alone, he said, and he held my arm with barely a touch. i
looked at his piercings and bald head and his eyes spoke caring as we walked
over wrought iron bridges and through alleys with late night windows lit with
warm greetings as we pass. i belong. i dance till wee hours, walk Green
Park, Grafton St. and feel a coming home. My grandmother was a farmer, and
we ate o
8:99) Dirk Flinthart 28-JAN-98 5:46
When the hero Cuchulainn learned he would die in that final battle, he did not
turn aside, but dressed himself in his finest wargear, and bade his
charioteer Laeg to do likewise, and over the weeping of his women, went to war.
Amongst the men of Maeve, who came as foes to the fief of Ulster, where the
Hound held his home, there were the sons of the Wizard Calatin. Many were they,
yet one. And they bore with them a bright-bladed spear, with weal to work.

When the wild warcries rose about them, the sons of the wizard Calatin gave
the spear to a warrior, and spoke: "This spear shall slay a king," they said.

"Well it shall be," answered the warrior, and the spear was cast at
Cuchulainn, the Hound of Ulster. But the spear did not hurt him, striking in
his stead his great horse, the Grey of Emain. Hardforged steel struck true
the steed's heart. Bright blood burst from his mouth, and the Grey of Emain
died there on the field.

Then the warrior retrieved his spear and turned to the sons of the Wizard
Calatin.

"Now you have slain the king of horses," said the Sons of the Wizard
Calatin. "Cast again. You shall yet slay a king."

Once more the bright spear flew at the Hound of Ulster in his chariot, and
again it turned aside from his battle fury, cleaving the chest of the
charioteer Laeg.

And again, the warrior recovered the spear.

"Now you have killed the king of charioteers," spoke the Sons of the Wizard
Calatin, "but cast again, and watch! You will slay a king indeed."

A third time the spear flew, and this final cast was more true than those
before. It entered the belly of Cuchulainn, and it is written that all his
entrails fell into the chariot at his feet, next to the body of his charioteer.

But the battle-fury was upon him, and Cuchulainn cared nothing for the
wound. He took up the spear and cast it back, and the warrior who had first
thrown it was driven into the earth by the force of the blow.

Even the Hound of Ulster must know his death wound, though, and even thus it
was with Cuchulainn. Gathering his entrails into his body, he took up the
body of the Grey of Emain, and his second horse, the Black of Macha drew the
gore-stained chariot to a nearby lake.

There it was that Cuchulainn washed himself, and combed his fine, black
hair. And when he was again clean as a warrior should rightly be, with a belt
he bound his body to a stone that stood on the shore, and with sword in hand,
waited the will of his foes.

They were not long in coming. The host of Maeve gathered around the body of
the hero, but none amongst them dared come close. About his head the hero-light
yet played, and though his wound gaped wide, his eyes were bright and the sword
was steady in his hand.

Then at last, a crow landed upon the white shoulder of the Hound, and with
courage no man yet knew, plucked an eye from its place in the head.

Surely the Hound of Ulster was dead.

8:100) Dirk Flinthart 29-JAN-98 4:42
I know where I'm going
I know who'll go with me
But the Devil only knows
The one that I will marry
Some say that he's black
And some say that he's bonny
But the fairest of them all
Is my handsome, winsome Johnny...

8:101) Ginny Little 29-JAN-98 13:38
oh johnny boy....i still dream of you and you are a ghost come to visit in the
shadows.
8:102) chris abraham 30-JAN-98 11:35
the opportunities crash like waves, yet theu catch my ankles
and bring me with them.
The brine cleanses wounds, softening scabs, making skin prune.
the hair dances on the scalp
fish bite the end, cutting off split ends.
the twilight sky ghouls the underworld.
i see a pacific green sea turtle
its shell is rich and woody, smooth and polished.
the beak touched the prune, never slicing.
it seems to move between the night and light,
and i have to concentrate between breaths.
long deep-diving fins thrust me
my legs are strong
the water rushes
my concentration
deceives me into following the
kelp, mistaking the
coral for the turtle,
its smooth fins angling
the jewelry of the tag
the quick movements,
odd for a cold-blooded
reptile; the turtle, a reptile.
reptoid.
more like a puppy, like
siren, luring my in my breath,
into the green waters,
edging me farther away
from the beach where the
air is more plentiful.
my lungs are clear, the
doctor said, the lungs
are clear --
was all
so a couple minutes
distracted.
told: the body begs
for air by pissing itself
the body begs for air
down in the velvet waters
at night now,
haven't done more than
sip the night sky
and following something:
i have lost the solid
form of rubbery scales
and hornrimmed hull,
the slashing fins,
mine blue; its green.
into the rush of the
wash, listening for the
movement, seeing more
of an aura, more of a ghost
than the solid skeleton,
strung like drum, the
pacific green sea turtle.
water, thermoclines, rushing
blades on outboards, butting
flanks like mine, like its,
like manitee, dugong intercoastal,
like whale, sperm, right, mink,
killer orca fine slow . . .
my hide, my skin, and the
preassure against my mask
the ache of the legs, the
prune of the fingers gripping
the coarse ache alivedead
coral.
into the dark velvet the
terrible chase, the loving
guide, the wraith, the
aura, the energy, the reptile,
moving under only several
breath, trunks, the long
freedive fins, a weight belt,
a breath held, a breath held.
8:103) Ginny Little 31-JAN-98 17:00
and the blue guitar sings from the rhythm of his lousiana and down home
chicago roots. he leaves the stage and suddenly appears in the balcony where i
always sit, since jr. highschool when we hunkered down in seats to kiss in
the darkness, to stare at the pinpoint lights and moving clouds that create the
ambiance of a theater older than my grandparents. i don't have to close my eyes
to imagine i am in venice, or prague, or paris. the architecture, the
lighting, the overhung balconies, where we once watched bonnie and clyde and
romeo and juliet when they first came out. but it is the flutter of my stomach
as the boy took my hand and kissed me long that i remember, so long ago? and
lonnie brooks comes up to my world and sits in the chair next to me, whining on
his blue guitar, sweat beaded on his black face, play for me big daddy. he
plays with his tongue and the women all look at one another with mouths open
and we all know what we're thinking. and i laugh and he laughs and the cr
8:104) Ginny Little 01-FEB-98 12:43
turtle carries her home on her back. Turtle Island is the home in the UP of
Michigan where my native ancestors lived I hear Tokeina Nasudai WaWa recount
as i sit cross-legged on the floor. she wears a turtleshell totem pouch and
tells me the story of each sacred item within as she turns them in her hand,
eyes wistful and voice softly melancholy. she dances to the drum in the
pow-wow in handmade beaded dress. Turtle grounds, lives close the earth,
moves slowly, withdraws from too much sunlight or intrusion. she is protected.
She hears the strum of the blue guitar and the drums of time long ago when
all lived in balance. she is ancient knowing and i am just dust.
8:105) chris abraham 01-FEB-98 21:29
true romance and told stories insult the living.
what is the romance i suffer
and i have had many
many and yet where
have they gone?
the moment in the corridor under a skirt
skin red with blood, the blush of lovers
the fingers working, the waves rushing
against the hull, the whine of hoover around
the corner, breath, breathing and the tilting
of the pelvis against my hand, feeling
the fine blond hairs of the skin, the pitch
of the ferry, the cleaning lady around the
corner, behind the hold, the quickening
until only breath and the cold of skin braced
by north atlantic ice -- the sija from helsinki
to stockholm, the brace of cold, the icy thighs,
the turning hip, the light field of blond hairs
found on bare skin, which tightens and catches
the cold, making skin brace brace, the hairs stand on end, the
breath, the breath, huffs of breath from the
mouth then more shallow, tighter and the stomach,
the muscles tensing, the slick space the
movement the way we moved on the deck to the
music from the band, after we had the drinks, the
cigarettes, the courting men, the rich Norwegian
thwe young texaN and it was i who took her hand, and we rushed
the deck to cool the sweat from the dancing, the
the movement, the bodies pressed and moved, moving.
the thick scent of her body and the perfume, the
rich techture of the auburn hair, the dancing and
Finnish music, the oompah oompah and her father was there, looking
after her, looking after her, but we ran off ran off
to the deck, to freeze under the dark sky, the milk of
a cloudy night sky, mixed and velvety. the milk of
her and the nuzzle where my face was, looking for warmth
in her, looking for something to make the night last another
day, but then it couldn't, there was extenuating
circumstance, so we just hid amongst the corridors
and pressed agains the railing, listening to the rushing
waves on the big white ferry, the ship filled high with
trollies, lorries, truck, cars, mail, papers, cargo and us.
the touch of her hand in my heair, the press of the body, hot
and panting, the and the sweep of the minutes then the hour and
until the summer saw us tired and towards our rooms, having saved
ourselves through innocence. there was no place for us to hide,
so we scurried about the boat like children, like teenagers,
finding our little quiet dark corners, a place and hand might
find a dark spot, might steel a kiss, might sneak a touch
and allow the ship to be the third, the movement and the pitch, the
night, then the walk, hand in hand, our bodies aching and
fatigued, the evening clothing, the dress, the jacket, and then sleep
enough to close eyes, splash water, and listen to the announcement,
to feel the dull thud of the gin, and then the port, the landing, the
deboating and a final farewell as though we had barely met, such
knowing glances away from the old man, away from the common
friends the friends in common, a coffee and goodbye.
8:106) Dirk Flinthart 01-FEB-98 22:26
And it's a long, slow, Sunday afternoon on the verandah of the pub. Underfoot,
the wooden floor worn to a gloss of ages by countless scuffing boots. Slow,
drawling speech and flies under the brim of the broad, battered hats while I
and mine take a table to see the sea, faraway blue in the east.
We are well and living comes easily, with the blood young in our veins and the
good malt and amber beer cold as wickedness across the questing tongue. We
sit in comfort as the breeze comes from the west with the breath of mountains
on it. The talk is bright and laughter comes freely.

We plan the overthrow of the state, a movie starring Kiefer Sutherland and
Michelle Shocked, the downfall of world capitalism and a comic novel about
Elvis. Mountains move as easily as flowers before our grain-scented words. In
the strength of youth and health and friendship, we fear not fire, nor foes,
nor yet what lies before us.

But all as the sun walks west across the wide blue world, somehow I hear a
distant drum and know the fear of flags.

8:107) Phillip J. Rhoades 02-FEB-98 8:10
The sun went for a walk?
That would explain
why it's so dark.
Oh well I suspect
she'll come back soon enough.
So I'll wait a bit
and play my little drum.
8:108) chris abraham 02-FEB-98 8:50
come they told me pa rump pa pum pum
the boat rocked like elvis.
even in washington, the state
means nothing to me. when i am
stirred up, when i am frenzied
i cannot easily consort with the
boring, with the concerned.
the miniblinds striate light
thinking of the yellow morning
on black faces, up turned.
seeing the dc as cc, seeing the
day as night. seeing lovers
blush from touch, in the parks,
when i never notice the noise
around, never concern the people
and their picnics and children,
not a concern the riff raff in
my periphery.

"the train leaves in an hour,"
she says as she reads from the
schedule, "do you think we can
make it?"

we were to rush to gretna green,
nearby enough in scotland, the vegas
of britain, to become wed by a scottish
elvis, maybe in a gingerbread house;
perhaps our nuptual bed would be 90%
water and in the shape of a jelly donut.

"love, do we have enough time?"
in my head, she was the brave,
she willed me to decide, she needed
me to make the call. she 19, me 21.

i remember words,
"We were in Summer-heat, that Winter.
Me, freshly free from another
Dog-house stay on Valentine's day . . ."

8:109) chris abraham 02-FEB-98 9:09
i was 21, and with no degree yet,
and with no money, and with no
certain great expectation, in my
heart of hearts i believed i was
protecting her when i said we couldn't.
i was protecting myself, i was frightened.
i was spineless. i was jealous of my future.
there was nothing to be jealous of, its real shite.

in my arms, this rose anglais, this petite femme.
blond, gangly, smooth-bodied, limber, flexible,
bright, quick, sensual, bilingual as we worked
together in the half sleep of lovers, in the
student cell in the narrow attached student house.

in the uk, it is easier to bathe than shower
in the uk, it is easier to take cold water than hot
in the uk, tea warms better than the showers,
little electric kettles on the wall, heating
the trickled shower spout, heating enough not
to make so much sick, but sickly -- or strong.

in the attached student house, the cell, the bed.
her hair up in a bun, her pale soft british thighs,
rich white chocolate made of cadbury,
pressed to the wooden chair, the soft cotton
pj's, the little bears, the little figures,
the sweet innocents of soft cotton pajamas.

working on german trans; EUR, the school.
scratching alien words on alien landscapes.
showing me the english, showing me the words,
jumbled from her lips, like tossled blond hair.
the german verbs, the heavy haze of sleep, the
soft lilt of the voice, soft lips passing thick
aryan words, passing like fire hose pressure.

sleep and her voice, sleep and her words,
"what? what was that?"
"you're not listening are you?"
"Yes of course, i just missed that, what you said," i lied.
"its almost valentine's day"
"yes, its almost valentine's day."

8:110) Ginny Little 02-FEB-98 14:05
he is the craftsman,
building a home from so many boards
of wood,
each carried on his back,
until suddenly a form takes shape
with stained glass windows from an old church in Paw Paw
and a bath that runs the entire length of the house,
and a new painting for the bedroom, half naked woman
from the back,
fashioned after DeGas
by a pregnant woman in Seattle,
and he felt his first womb, placing his hand on
her stomach
as if it might suddenly break to his touch,
gently, like a small child himself,
wide eyed and wonderful in that moment.
The hammer pounds,
the years fall away,
but for now,
he is the craftsman
i am the artist,
and together we make a home.
The only thing missing is the Child,
Jose is a migrant worker.
no, jose, i don't mind if you bring your son, Noel, to work.
he plays with the puppy, eats a sandwich with me at the table, i cover him
with a blanket
on the couch,
and watch him fondly as he sleeps.
some dreams are borrowed.

8:111) Red 02-FEB-98 15:51
I'm almost sorry...sorry for what I did. It was wrong to bring the fight
into public...he tells me he dispises me now. Hates me because I embarassed
him. Because no one likes him now, because I told. Cause I said why I was
unhappy. Why it hadn't worked...I didn't use his name. I never told anyone
who he was. I didn't do anything wrong...
But I was baiting him the whole time. Hoping to hit a nerve. To make him
angry, to make him hurt like I do.

And how would you react to someone emailing you and telling you, through a
machine, that you were a mistake. He loved someone else and that everything
that had happened had been a bad call. Funny, he seemed to enjoy himself at
the time.

I almost feel like crying, but I won't...I can't. Not for him. I can't feel
bad. I had reasons. I was justified. There are a thousand and one terrible
things I could do, to ruin his life right now, much worse than having a dew
people email him and tell him what an asshole he is...

And he deserves it. So many lies, all of which I swallowed obidiently, so as
not to upset him, are being wretched up. So many of the things he did justify
everything I did. He dispises me, he was embarassed...

so why do I feel so sad?

8:112) chris abraham 02-FEB-98 16:56
the word hate. it is a nice word to say. its the strong tee at the end,
its an ending word. its a word with commitment. its both a child's word and a
word that no amount of maturity or wisdom can erase. a blade of grass is
stronger than the oak, for the oak breaks under the storm whereas the grass
bends to the winds. the grass is stronger. in the short run, might makes
right; to the vistor goes the spoils. although, didn't gandhi topple an empire
and send the brits a-packin'? my pager sends me notes, one of which states
that the autralians want to kick queen elizabeth on her ear. and, "genius is
1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." tomas edison was a real prick, what a
liar. what a wanky american positivist! i am a watermelon: green on the
outside, red on the inside and the pits, man! a woman who barely remembers
me send me words. she loved my friend, she loved my freind, she loved my
friend. she loved my friends, either love or lust but remembers me only
vaguely. only as a memory. i told her she has always been in my fantasies
-- even still -- but i barely remember what she looks like, and what i do
remember: the curved young body, the quick-bounded step, the red lips, the high
cheeks, the trundling brown hair, the small feet, the narrow waiste, and the
smooth talent and bright eyes -- may be infected by other models, other
women, oblique faces, taught bodies, round buttocks, brighter eyes, smoother
calves, actresses from merchant ivory films, women from victoria's secret
(laetitia casta, whomever), people in the magazines, on the television. easily
saying, "doesn't she look like A?" "Chris, if she looked like A, I wouldn't
have broken up with her/I would have taken her and never let go!" Hmmm.
8:113) Dirk Flinthart 02-FEB-98 17:55
Queens and Kings and strange idols, forgotten loves and lovers lost. What
endless courage it takes to be reborn upon each new death. And who guards the
paths? Who holds the roads for all the countless pilgrims?
There are those that watch. There are those that care. And yet -

Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

8:114) Phillip J. Rhoades 03-FEB-98 8:05
I watch
I care
And look for something to do
But I can't do anything
Because the best thing
The only thing to do
Is nothing at all
At least for now
8:115) Hope O'Keeffe 03-FEB-98 9:23
The only thing to do
is to pull up the duvet
curl into your back
and bury my head into the pillow
for just another five minutes
please?
8:116) chris abraham 03-FEB-98 10:08
sleep comes to me, under the feather duvet, in waves. the athletics of my
early
evenings make my body tired, allows me showers in the evening. the tight
slender
forms around me, running on the tread mill, pedaling on the stationary bikes.
cnn on
the monitors around the room, captions for the running impaired. despite
all my
rage, i am still just a rat in a cage. the heady smell of body. the stark
form of
body under thin fabrics: lycra, cotton, jogbra, muscle t's, shorts, ankle
socks.
calves flash, flesh grinds against the machines, the weights. pulling hard at
the
catch, the concept ii rowing ergometer. pulling while watching the soft white
hamstrings of a redhead on the stairmaster. the translucent skin starts on
each
step. there are people with discmen, there are people watching the news,
money line.
there are people lifting hundreds of pounds of weight for no other reason
besides
because. in emulation of the greeks, in emulation of the romans. gymnasium.
ad
nauseum.
in bed, the clacking of steam through floor vents. the miniblinds closed to
the
street light blinking in the alleyway. a smile on my face from the voice of
the
petite woman who wants to share my bed, my life.

how many licks does it take to get to the center of the tootsie roll tootsie
pop?

the duvet, the maroon cover, the pale blue fitted sheet. the bottle of
evian by my
bed. the copy of aureole, by carole maso, dog-eared on the night stand.
the slight
smell of chris having returned to the gym, the odor of chris reclaiming his
body.
bringing together the divergant team of mind and body.

the blue kayay. the red girl. the careful boy. the autralian pilgrim. a
land
rejecting a queen. a california covered in H2O. a boy, el nino -- the child.
a
washington. a petite woman with heavy black hair, with a smooth belly, with a
curved
flank, with a downy touch, with a past and a desire for a future.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?"
"I'm almost sorry...sorry for what I did."

I always sleep for an extra 5 minutes

"so why do I feel so sad?"

8:117) Shawn Nicolen 03-FEB-98 10:24
FLOOD
the waters rise
The levies fail
The sea has overstepped its bounds
I've often thought I'd never fail
But for the flood

(by Shane McDonald)

8:118) chris abraham 03-FEB-98 11:47
the wolf men. the hair gene. faces covered with hair, a small tribe in
mexico. looks like a poodle. freak shows in the carnival. people who work
for carnivals are called "carnies." when i look at your belly, pressing the
abdomen with my palm, softly, wondering at the womb, wondering at the organs so
small to fit in the little spaces. the warmth of the belly. the way your face
gets red when there is a gurgle. the way you love me to lie there with you
in my arms. rubbing your belly. it soothes you, it helps you digest, helps
you relax. the brown belly, the fine down of yellow hairs that cover the
entire body. except where the razor has been. the sheets feel smooth and cool
on the shaved leg. some shave below the knee, others take it up the thigh.
i shave your legs sometimes. the brown legs. the fine down of yellow hairs
above the razor line. if you cannot see the little hairs, look closer. when
you walk under the sun, the jeans low and the top cut above the hip, i watch
the fine yellow hairs catch sun at the small of your back. sometimes these
fine yellow hairs stubbornly stick to a knee. the knee, both front and where
the leg folds, is so very hard to shave, so very hard not to knick. many women
have scars on their knees, on the ridge of their shin, from where their
knicks have added up. in an attempt to remove those tiny yellow hairs. you
tell me about your bikini line. you are proud of yourself -- how prepared
you are for the beach, for the narrow swaths of fabric you parade on the beach.
the high cut suit, the french cut named for the way it accentuates the
short-legged french women's long torso, the way it makes the legs look
longer, more elegant. it make the hip part of the leg. i watch the tiny
yellow hairs sparkle at the spine, between the shoulderblades. i walk over and
run my finger down your back and you shudder, turn around, and embrace me. i
feel the sun in you, you are infused.
8:120) Ginny Little 03-FEB-98 12:38
I saw the monkey people on television too. discovery or learning channel,
and i think yes, this is how we evolved, but have we really? or have we
regressed? are we so different than animals, attracted by smell, by subtle
nuance of movment, by physical prowess? be my lion. be part of the pride.
return to days of indigenous balance. monkey mind? wild mind. connected,
grounded, big sky mind..no time to think logic or rationality, only intuitive
existence, and knowing is but a part of it all. pull back the covers. stop
hiding. you won't be sad. it's the comforts that you think protect you that
smother what's real. The ice in the air awakens the senses. Get up. Wake up.
Get out of bed. Plant and forage and create. no need for the gym then.
watch it grow.
8:121) Aaron Webb 03-FEB-98 16:16
I met my great great great great ... great grandfather. He sat on the
ground under the tree, softly munching on the leaves. With a concerned look
for one of his lairmates, I know he loves. With a cry of pain brought about by
a stinging ant, I know the savage feels. A bow of the head to a leader in
the pack demonstrates humility, and a low moan in the morning shows hunger.
I know he lives, I can tell that he knows where he is, and the purpose of
everything around him. He lives, and he knows it. Do I?
My emotions
that little warm ball of fluff
come out on this cold febuary monday
sniff the air
peer at the ground
before turning with an annoyed grunt
and returning to their burrow
signifying another
lonely Valentines Day

I stare up at the night time sky, letting my eyes slowly adapt to the
darkness. Over an hour, I discover the universe, wandering from Ursa major, to
Canis Major, down to Leo, over to Auriga, and across Gemini. Suddenly,
appearing in the sky somewhere around the Pleiades and shifting through
Orion, is a dull red ball. It isn't blinking, so is probably a satelite.

Somewhere, a young woman watches that object with the same amazement- a
curious appearance to an untrained eye. But as she does, she wishes that she
had someone to share it with her, curled up here under the stars. An extra
pair of arms to hold her, an extra body to keep her warm, and a chest
containing a rapidly beating heart as a pillow. Maybe she thinks of me.

Who saw it all tonite
but just for a second.
Hawking, Einstein, Newton
all satisfied and smiling
While the white rabbit with his watch
shakes hands with the
Catapillar and his hookah
and laughs.

Time, space, and energy
all shifted into a simple
beautiful
picture.

The answer to it all is "How many..."

I roar with rage at the alarm clock's sneering cry. I walk over to it's
leering face, hit it once and sink back on the bed. All that remains of my
dreams is a heart filled with vast lonliness, and a stomach lined with
melancholy.

8:122) Dirk Flinthart 04-FEB-98 1:44
Once I saw a gorilla who had been taught to speak in words of the hand. Her
sad, gentle face gave no hint of her heart, but she spoke of love, and lies,
and her long strong fingers were swift as any human.
Now they are bringing her a mate, and she will bear young. Will she teach them
to talk? And if she does, how will we feel about all those gorillas we keep
in cages?

8:123) chris abraham 04-FEB-98 8:40
We feel nothing in our hearts.
We do keep people in cages, we
spend billions of dollars keeping
black men in jail. leaving black
women behind. who's fault is this,
this high percentage of men of one
"race" who have been, are, or shall
be incarcerated in the penal system.
the united states with the largest
sum paid out to the prison systems
are texas and california.

we have no problem, we people, of
placing old people in care, we have
no problem putting people with really
radically different POVs into cages
filled with leather straps, padded
cells, straight jackets, cups of white,
pink, mauve, blue, red, green, yellow,
pills.

we feel not alot about the people who
are in their own cages, prescribed by
a doctor, in a bottle the aforementioned
little pretty pills, like a little girl's
painted fingernails. bright. garish.

detox, rehab, looney bin, clink, home,
hospice, home arrest, jail, prison,
juvie, death row, prozac, cuffs, anklets,
orange jumpsuits, pink clovers, blue
diamonds.

let the gorillas rot, club the seals,
put down the lame curr, pick off the
eagle, rape the forrest, net the porpoise,
eat the red roo, ranch ostrich, take
drugs, put orangatans in movies with
burt reynolds, toss dwarves, bomb clinics,
eat shit and die, kiss your first cousin,
lie to the jury, sleep with an intern
(or don't sleep), get away with murder,
sell crack, share needles, eat shit, get
on prozac, start smoking, drink and drive,
eat shit, wear pink, kick ass, spit, swear,
curse god, deface churches, sacrifice lambs,
sacrificial lambs, (Apes and monkeys sleep
about 10 hours a day, by the way -- lazy ass
life forms, deserve to either be poached for
archaic chinese remedies or put in cages for
our amusement) inject Karla Faye with some
Texas hospitality, listen to the European
squeal, listen to the pope pious, listen
to the ape ape the ape, showing love and lies.

8:124) Dirk Flinthart 04-FEB-98 9:46
In days of once-upon-a-time you were most terrible of all.
Greyest of rogues, more evil than sorcerors; Mere devils dissolved to
nothing at your touch.
There were none so strong they might resist your grey-tongued onslaught.
More fell than steel, the deadly drone of your dust-dry catechism, pitilessly
reasoned genocide.

One by one, or in their numbers banished. Jack himself fell prey when you
abolished all his giants, live and dead alike.
And Arthur: hauled from unsuspecting glory in far Avalon.
Excalibur could not cut your chains.

Whole worlds. Barsoom and Shangri-la Hy-Brasil and Lyonesse the Lost, and O:
the towers of Tir na n'Ogth, the golden spires of Atlantis, spurned beneath
your heel.

Careless of your conquests, you made no shift to save them, throwing dust
across their shattered lovely bodies as you passed, relentless in your massacre
of innocents.


One by one, or in their numbers gone forever: bright Dragons, brave tailors,
wicked witches, talking beasts.
Condemned all frogs everywhere never to become princes
Unhorned the unicorn, drowned the mermaids, wrapped everything, cutting
corners, edges neatly trimmed,
in precise and mathematical shrouds.

And in your wake we picked amongst lathe and tinsel, cut glass and tin,
thick-stringed puppets sagging on the tawdry stage. Clockworks, drunken
whirring innards splayed.
Springs unwinding: tick-tock, tick-tock tik-tok to stillness.

8:125) Phillip J. Rhoades 05-FEB-98 8:14
The clock it bothers me
the impatiant prodding beast
tick-tock-tick-toc-tock
Pushing me to move
Forcing me though life
I'd like to smash its cogs
But its ticking is my heart
8:126) Ginny Little 05-FEB-98 13:55
i run into an old student who has made it out of jail and now is 30 and has
3 kids of his own, separated from his wife on saturday, and i think, where have
the last 14 years gone since i last saw this boy turned man? he tells me about
another boy, now dead from drinking, and i think how short his time. the clock
ticks differently for each. the new man tells me time incarcerated was
surely slow. why'd you go? didn't like checking in with probate. isn't it
better than doing time? yes, but i didn't know that, at the time, or didn't
care. time to go, time to languor, time to reflect, time running out, time i
wear on my face in laugh lines, and sadness, time to quit smoking, what time is
it? how do i know? time to move on? time to relax? time to let go? times i feel
my heart be crushed under hurtful words, when i try so hard, all the time.
time travel. timeout. time released, no time at all.
8:127) chris abraham 06-FEB-98 11:11
et, while on the stationary bike, speiled its victoria's secret fleshpots
and then a story on leonardo dicaprio. his first major film project. a
young fellow. an independant film. the volume was down in the gym, the
captions were on. the film, according to the captions, was about the young
homosexual french poet, rambo. i was the only person to laugh. i belly
laughed and almost fell off of my bike. the sweat of she rolls down her neck
like the fronds of some art deco palm frescoed on some german gymnasium. we
read from the pages of rambo. the man on et must have had excellent french
because the pronounciation was spot-on: rambo.
8:128) Ginny Little 06-FEB-98 13:58
time well spent, time travel, time waits for no man, timely response, time and
time again, father time, stitch in time saves nine, time after time, internal
clocks tick. the tick tock treadmill of time.
8:129) chris abraham 06-FEB-98 15:01
boris, the young frenchman, a new face at the world bank, tells me -- after
laughing with me at the rambo/rimbaud fiasco, mentions that at 25 rimbaud
took up the fine metier of 'arms dealer.' he died at 27. rambo he was. boris
mentioned that rimbaud was a better poet than he was a mercenary.
8:130) chris abraham 09-FEB-98 9:49
the weekend. i am a working man. sleeping. feeling the exhaustion. the
sheets, my alibi. valentine. st. vitus. dance. hallmark. chocolate.
les roses. long stem. 12? 24? 6? doing the dozens, the waxy faux rose,
dowsed with a spray of mist to make the velvet lips stand out, to hide the
thorns with baby's breath. breathe. breathing like a lover. breathing like a
diver. slow deep breaths. sipping. buzzing, humming the breath away, sipping
the air. like single malt. not malt liquer. a held breath can rupture the
lung. the air collects under your skin and crackles under fingers. air
embolism. going too deep, sucking the air, watching the guage sweep. sweeping
water, deep blindness. nitrogen narcosis. to be narced. the effect of depth.
mixed gasses. even air becomes toxic. even words of love can hurt.
8:131) Ginny Little 09-FEB-98 10:46
lst year valentine's day, i met you in DC. remember? oh, and yes, it
prompted impetuous kissing, to show the young ones how. laughter and dancing,
and new friends and one turned 18 and what a party because it was all a
coming together over food, story, and virtual becoming real. i remember it
fondly. it didn't hurt. it was a moment of beginnings, a journeying come
crossroads. and here we are, at the inn. fire warms, tea kettle sings, hearts
join, pull up a chair.
8:132) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 10-FEB-98 23:40
the rain came today...little tears, little aches and little wishes from the
sky that no one ever used...they make me think...they make me feel...i don't
feel.
deep down in the caverns of me, whoever she is, this nameless being i inhabit,
i feel a hole. i feel a road underneath my feet as i walk to school, to
class, to the car, to the parking lot, to the bathroom, to sleep, but it's
taking me somewhere else, somewhere i cannot imagine.

once i am there, if i ever arrive, will i have all the answers to my
questions? will everything be worth it? will life regain the meaning i
thought it had? or will it return to being the everyday sort of thing that just
appears now and then? oh, i forgot-that's life.

maybe i will break free from this illusion. nothing can happen to me...i'll be
fine...i'll graduate, i'll get the marks, go to the college,
become...something...i'm invincible-i'm eighteen...maybe i'll finally realize
that eighteen doesn't equal invincible...say, when i'm 28.

oh, how i have missed.

@!KAT

8:133) Shawn Nicolen 11-FEB-98 12:42
There is an endless quality to life. Nothing and Something defining the
universe
over and over again like strings of 1 10 11 100 101 110 111 1000 1001 1010
1100
1101 1110 1111. Endless cycles of joy and sadness, of living and realy living.
Of woman and man complimenting eachother, of woman and man apart making this
great emptiness inside. A chemically induced dream of joy of something you can
never have leads to the truth about the way things are. Animals in a dance
ages
old with big brains looking to apply mathematics to something too complex to
be
broken down with human understanding, but we still try because it is in our
nature to defy our nature. Pain and love and pain and something and nothing
and
together as one and laone as nothing. There is an endless quality to life.
eeven
words of love can hurt. Even words of love can hurt, so try to never speak
them
ever again, but you can't, but thats life.
8:134) Ginny Little 11-FEB-98 13:39
there is no arrival. it's all in the traveling, here to there and back
again, circling, sometimes spiraling out of control and i am just happy to be
looking out my window with fingers that move on the keys and feel the tap, tap,
tap. it's life itself knocking. the rain makes tiny circles in the puddles
formed around the trees, melting frozen bark and sleeping flower bulbs and will
i live to see spring? it's a possibility i hope for, and in the moment, i am
glad to watch the drizzling melt of life.
8:135) Ginny Little 12-FEB-98 11:06
and then, as i work at home, knowing that comfort, only possible through the
way technology transforms, and understanding the irony of remembering not so
long ago when i pledged my faith to my typewriter, not believing a computer
to be anything more, only less, another machine, and my dread of machines.
and at home, i see Jerry Springer, wondering if it's an aberation, or a
frightening icon of the chaos of the times, number one in the daytime
ratings, that i would never know if i "went" to work like most do. wondering
about the others at home who watch and those who throng to display the
violent confusion that composes their way of being, the degredation, the far
stray from value or sense of self outside of the outrageous screaming, we
need to feel loved. and where and how did we all get so lost, or is it all, and
how and who does it represent, it makes me quaver, and it kills princesses
who survived monarchies, but cannot survive the times. is it a ripple from
the social revolution of the days i have lived, the aftermath of an attempt
to cry out against wars without cause and the rage against a seemed lack of
meaning..and now, where does it bring us? i worry about the feeling that we
are lost in the fog, forgetting home we ran so quickly thinkig it was a place
we needed to escape..still hoping upon return to find our supper still warm,
our teddy bears still a not forgotten friend we missed, waiting on a cold
pillow. and i often wish i could sleep whether in a remote forest alone, or
in my bed at home, without the plague of an artist's mind that never stills,
even in sleep, dreams. scarecrow, which path do i follow, why can't you tell me
more than, well, you could go this way, or this way as well? is there an answer
anywhere? can we ever really "know"? ironically, no one can ever tell me
how...muse of the morning, but no dawning...always just beyond my reach.
8:136) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 12-FEB-98 13:58
answers...the one thing always searched, strived, desired for and never really
achieved. seeming so simple, but we make it so complicated.
warm crystals falling from the sky, almost like the earth needed a bath,
according to the sky, or maybe the heavens are crying for us. rain finds the
quiet in me, i feel still, solemn, actually divine when it rains. people in the
hallway stare, friends ask what;s wrong; nothing, i reply, slow smile. it's
just the rain.

one year this week...how to explain the feeling i still have for this one
person? every day, thoughts rush into me, just marveling, just amazed to have
someone, to be with this person, to have all that we have together:
friendship and relationship, friends, writing...each other.

@!KAT

8:137) Shawn Nicolen 14-FEB-98 12:03
Sometimes I find my words where i didn't put them. Thoughts written by someone
I
don't know anymore. Eulogies for someone I hadn't realized was past. Someone I
admire for their ignorance.
8:138) Sarah Neyaz 14-FEB-98 16:21
As i see people pass me by in the shopping mall. I stop As i stare into the
eyes of an old woman, resembling a rotten prune, the wrinkles on her pale face
so deep, each one has a story to tell. Her eyes, so magical. I look into
those crystals, i can see the images of her life,the secrets never told, the
hands never held, scars never healed, bruises by someone she never knew, the
anger held back inside. She strolls away in her wheelchair, passing me by
with a smile.
8:139) Hope O'Keeffe 17-FEB-98 12:27
It is one of those chance encounters in the mall. A young woman glances at
me; I catch her eye. She is so, so young, and her pity washes over me.
Can't she see my life's richness? The giggles I shared with my kid sister in a
long ago attic, moonlight and stars twinkling with us through that small
window; the tiny baby fingers, smallest of miracles, wrapped around my thumb
when my first daughter was born, and then my grandson; the laugh crinkles
around my eyes and the corners of my mouth; the unexpected gifts, like a wink
from a handsome stranger that I still remember forty years later, as he rode
down and I rode up on passing escalators; the joy bubbling over, so strong
sometimes that I can shoot it from my fingertips like lightning. I flash her a
grin and wheel off giggling to myself.
8:140) Shawn Nicolen 17-FEB-98 22:04
I lay on my bed arms akimbo and wish I was someone else.
8:141) Sarah Neyaz 02-MAR-98 2:32
my bed is empty, I can't sleep today, i couldn't sleep yesterday. So, here i
am, Could i be somewhere else? I always wanted to see the world through someone
else's eyes, to see what things would look like.. I've spent time trying to
be like someone else, i discovered i should be who i am. Sometimes I hate
myself, sometimes i love myself, i could be another but i'd rather be myself.
8:142) Hope O'Keeffe 02-MAR-98 4:00
my bed would be empty if it weren't for the two sleeping children, come
to snuggle in because they coudn't sleep either. My head spins with work
undone, life
maintenance tasks undone, promises unfulfilled. My eyes itch; even my
hair is tickling me. I finally shrug into a robe, stumble downstairs,
replace those tiny snores with the bubbling fish tanks and the click of
the keys. My rationalization for giving up was that I'd work now, but
instead I'm sucked into the dancing monitor and all those voices out
there, friends and strangers.
My real life is a perfectly good one; today was quite magical, ambling
hand-in-hand through the city through alternating warm driplets and
sunshine after we missed the matinee. And yet, I cannot sleep when the
voices call.

8:143) Ginny Little 02-MAR-98 12:13
those voices, a phone ringing in the middle of the night, an old boyfriend,
and my most passionate love. he's drunk and bitter. his words crush me and
my stomach knots and i wonder how i still love him so. it echoes into the
morning. "you taught me to hate."
8:144) Sarah Neyaz 02-MAR-98 17:17
we sometimes begin to hate the ones we loved so much. With some,love only
lasts for a few weeks, a year, or a lifetime. Some find out that it was too
dificult. Tired of compromising, and listening to whose fault it was, gettin
sick of each other, and deciding who caused all the problems .Sometimes the
things people say may not be what they meant. Temporary anger makes us say
things to people we never really meant. I listen to what i said, and wish i
kept my mouth shut. After i had hurt someone i then realized, what i had
done. I coudln't take it back until it was too late The hate had overtaken
the love.
8:148) Hope O'Keeffe 09-MAR-98 10:24
We drink coffee on the glassed porch, cup after cup in the quiet of the
dripping rain. No words; we are mesmerized by the river through the fog, the
birds diving and skimming just above the grey water, the occasional gentle
caress to the back of the neck. He is such a gift, this man; I bask in the
sheer wonder.
8:149) Shawn Nicolen 09-MAR-98 17:51
Ice ripping into my skin through a feeble spring coat that offers little
protection. Almost didn't make it out of the driveway this morning, cars
tires spinning faster than my eyes can keep track, burning the snow into ice. A
short ten minute drive turns into 25 minutes. Five accidents on a short
drive, flashing lights and a stray dog wondering what happened to the grass.
People forget that icy roads are dangerous. Calls come in.. why does it tell me
all circuts are busy? ...Call the telco. Look out my window and see the
Kalamazoo Building.. hope Ginny is all right.. Hope the trees don't fall.. I
wonder what ever happened to that stray dog?
8:150) Sarah Neyaz 17-MAR-98 15:29
I look around myself, and i'm trapped in a tiny room where there are no
walls but there are people all around me instead, making a wall. Some holding
me back some pushing me too far. When i've felt like I can't take anymore i'm
so frustrated, i can't even cry, and no one undertsands what I'm going through.
All the so called 'walls' enclose, as i become smaller and smaller, and
become less noticable. Maybe it's better taht way so they'll leave me alone.
People ask me what's wrong but they don't even care to listen to my answer, cus
they're so wrapped up in their own little worlds. People keep demanding more
and more from me, when all i have left is nothing . Can't they see it through
my eyes? feelings of insanity rush through me, cus i know there's no chance
to break free.
8:151) chris abraham 17-MAR-98 15:52
there was anger on the wall. there was a word there, placed by a weak hand, a thick marker, the kind they don't sell to kids any longer. the wicked fat one that smells like sniffing glue.

 

8:152) Dirk Flinthart 17-MAR-98 17:37
Sometimes I have found myself wondering at the colours and the skills and
the images upon our greybrick walls by the steel river klickitiklick.
Considering Pompeii. And if the hammer falls tomorrow drowns our world in
fire and ash and if they come and dig us up again with brushes and picks and
cameras and if they find our walls and not our books will it be these poets who
are remembered to stand for us all?
8:153) Hope O'Keeffe 18-MAR-98 10:39
A home of my own. Walls to wrap around myself and my family; a porch swing to
glide on and call to the neighbors ambling by; a fireplace to bask before, in
the long winter nights, with my love. Huge old trees for swings and houses,
sunny spots for daffodils and tomatoes, the tiny patio garden for sage and
lavender, forsythia already blooming along the side.
Walls, walls and windows, for paintings and photos and crayoned graffiti and
pencil-marks measuring growing boys and for letting in sunshine and the
breeze and keeping out the rain and cold.

Real walls. Of my own.

8:154) Ginny Little 18-MAR-98 11:31
first time a house has felt a home for me. a year and one month and counting
in the creation. inspectors and high paid workers who don't take pride in
workmanship. stairwells and drywall and paint and saw and hammer. i touch it
with my own art, perwinkle blues and butter yellow, black wallpaper with forest
ivy vines, cherry red woodstove. my oils lean against walls, next to black
and white faded family portraits and i know both my artist's heart and the
heritage i come from. i hope they are watching. i miss them and sometimes
hear their faint laughter. i paint old medicine cabinets blue grey and white
liking new brightness. we survive the noise, dust and mistakes, only yelling
when we are too tired, and we lay in grandmother's bed at night and look at the
church stained glass window over the stairwell, and the expanse of creation. i
know the trees curves and the feel of bark and where the crocus will bloom.
abbey plays in the front yard in the mud, white face black. i hear the train
whistle in the distance that i heard from my grandmother's back yard at
night, along with grasshoppers through the open summer window. i have
finally come home and i will not move again. but i will always wander.
8:155) chris abraham 30-MAR-98 11:09
mark suggested i kiss her mouth. i asked him. "when i go to meet someone
at the airport i always feel shy. I stand there and grab the bag. i fear
rejection." "kiss her right away, hold her right away, break the ice, she
feels as fearful." she was the last person off the plane, behind a troupe of
ukulele players from o'ahu. here for a yuke jamboree in florida.
8:156) Justin Sacks (Pell) 07-APR-98 8:27
Off the plane... thank god. Seven and a half hours of mind numbing torture end
with a few steps. Sighing as I heft my bags bouncing them into more comfortable
positions. With a great sigh, I move forward down the ramp and back into
michigan. Memories and dreams of italy follow me as I step back into reality.
People surround me, some I know from ten days of gallavanting around europe,
some remain a mystery to me still. Customs is coming up... I hope they don't
check my bag... I forgot to declare my two pound bar of chocolate. Welcome to
michigan, U.S.A.
8:157) Hope O'Keeffe 07-APR-98 9:35
My Aaron's been gone for five days, off to Disney World with his grandparents.
They fly in at midnight, insist that I not meet the plane because I'd have to
bring his baby brother, insist that he stay overnight with them because I'd
have bring him back first thing in the morning. It's all eminently
practical, but doesn't quite satisfy this yearning to touch him, smell him,
make absolutely sure he's safe. So I get up extra early to go over and watch
him sleep, kiss him softly, whisper in his ear that I love him and I'm glad
he's my son. He doesn't even stir, but maybe he smiles a little.
8:158) chris abraham 07-APR-98 10:17
onto the bike. stiff-framed. steel. slick tires. bar ends. bar cut two inches. running the asphalt. back and forth to work. right pant leg rolled up, bag over my shoulder. this time, shorts, t, movement of my body through traffic. of course, never a helmet. brain bucket. never had any brains in the first place. up 11, left onto mass, then to k and then finding mark and the walk to frank's where the blue plastic kayaks -- matching pair -- lie waiting for our shoulders, to be taken down to the water, placed in with the waveletts slapping the hull, lower down, push away and pull through the smooth glassy ripples away from georgetown and towards the lincoln. tour boats with spot lights. delicate singles like waterbugs. the rower is incidental. a training barge for paddlers in the tradition on hawaii. one paddle two paddle three paddles four to take me home, fourteen on the left fourteen on the right, take me to hawaii-nei, no ka best. and the shoulder don't let me down. and the arms are like steel springs. the back is straight. pulling me strongly. watching the herons pass overhead. the lincoln is lit, the stairway into the potomac brilliant in the indigo of evening sky over rosslyn's affront. brilliant blue clear cold sky, landing lights queued up into the distance: infinity. slap slap, thonk thonk. the water sounds. river water feeling bright and clean streams down my arms from the blades. my blue plastic canoe. mark to my right. head to head. last summer i trailed his strength from health and me the sickly giant, the wheezing zeus. now, the fire rekindled. love? gym? confidence is a part of this, and the beauty and cool air of the spring with the spires of gt, the span of key, the grandeur of memorial. arlington cemetery. rcs bldg. macnews bldg. tour boat, his light scanning the shore, like on the seine. on the seine, there are lovers to spy on, but washington has no lovers, save one and he is awaiting is other.

8:159) chris abraham 07-APR-98 11:19
leigh words, not chris words: i had a massage sunday evening. church. shadowed light planking in low through a cracked half-shaded window, north dupont circle. wafting incense, softer wafting classical compositions. i was a beautifully threaded bead necklace. all my parts differing sizes shapes colors, all strung together limpy together in his hands, lying atop the table as if atop a dresser, dangling comfortably around the neck of the world as i departed.

8:160) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 10-APR-98 12:01
cool rain drizzles on my bare head, old shoes slap cement while i walk back to
school for a softball game. in the locker room, that forever scent of sweat,
old, molding uniforms, dirt from the field stuck in my cleats from practice
yesterday. i dress quickly, hotshort to keep my arm warm, sliding shorts,
shorts, uniform number 10, knee socks, cleats...helmet and glove and now in the
rain again, drops kissing my face. jagged shoes dig into grass and mud of the
outfield...but i can't play today...and someone else goes into my position,
center field...and I'm green when she catches the ball, makes the throw, runs
back for a deep hit...i'm green that i can't race the ball.
@!KAT

8:161) chris abraham 10-APR-98 13:28
sport. sporty sport. sport-ready. a girl in jog bra and short shorts walks a black dog with white marking, white sock. sniff sniff sniffing down along the bark of trees, under the afternoon shadow of the diamond head. the field. the drummers and the shell, where the kodak hula show amuses and the public can watch watch watch people move their pelvis back and forth. the the girl walking quickly swinging hips, tight black under shorts: sometimes lycra and close-fitting, sometimes baggier, often black, the pale tummy, the crescent navel, the contour of the ribs, the slender paleness of leg-above-sneakers. a leash. a leash law. the piss that burns grass, the scent of other canines. alpha dog. alpha male. heat. spring. sunny. after work business, rushing in a car for the two miles. in the center of the park there is a diamond, there is a pitch. hotshort, sliding shorts, shorts, uniform number 10, knee socks, cleats...helmet and glove and now in the rain again, drops kissing their faces. jagged shoes dig into grass and mud of the outfield... she, the walking girl, the hawaiian girl, the girl with her doggie dog, tight-fitting black lycra life, is a beautifully threaded bead necklace. all her parts differing sizes shapes colors, all strung together limpy together in my hands.

8:162) chris abraham 10-APR-98 14:28
the subtle innuendo ending all innuendos. she is the only friend of yours,
red, who thinks you're good enough for her. she is terribly beautiful and
where were you all day. down by the river, with me. on the shiny miniscus
skittering like a waterbug, the oar legs the hull the awkward bodies,
pressing out and over, making wakes enough that their dancing plays the
pond's ripples into a watery fractal. watery fractal. dowse. how clean is
the clarity? this water in which my oars dip. the water through which i
cut, the water which slaps the hull like a drum. playing my vessel. a vessel.
to be in a vessel, to be your vessel, to let you be my vessel. to enter and
expose, the folds of flesh opening and closing around like the water taking
in my oar, like the water boueying my blue kayak. slapping its hull,
slapping its hull, playing like rythmic drum beats in various paces, various
movements with the wakes and infinite universal effects of some butterfly or
another. the long white translucent fish bloated on the surface. the foamed
water way up the source, the warm water running down my arms as i move the
oars through the clarity. how clean am i? how clean is this? the pizza i
consume, feeling grit on my hands, in my mits, from bike grease and potomac.
will i die? will worms form. yet the way the soft fleshy folds of the river
take me into her, slap against the bow as my arms strain towards the
limestone granite white hallowed hollowed monuments washed with evening light
and the inert gassy spots, the indigo, the saphron, the blues and yellow of
my living.
8:163) Ginny Little 10-APR-98 16:05
i paint eggs with color sponges, bright spring blue, yellow and lime mixed
in purple. each one different. pile in some jelly beans, a strawberry candle
like my brother always got for my mom on easter, a CD of old jazz tunes, a
mystery book, chocolate bunnies. For my mom. fresh flowers from my gardens
form a wreath around the edges of pink grass. i paint the ladderback chair
in primary colors for outlines. The chair was my father's as a child. i
paint and i know how the world has painted me. ritual love. i am content. the
sunshines through my dirty windows. the house is thrashed in every room. the
smell of paint on banister rails permeates and gives rise to a small headache.
i am tired.
but it is spring and time for renewal. each day is closer to something.
order? new project? more chaos? i laugh, because i know i will create some if
there isn't any. and yet, my day is simple. painting. making baskets.
looking at the trees. typing. storytelling. loving.
8:164) chris abraham 13-APR-98 11:04
easter. on the phone with mdn, and it was not great for her: tiles, barracks, linoleum, beer, bbq, schofield, military, comingling, easter is made for the east coast, even the mid-atlantic. i look at the picture of me in Paris when I was mid-twenty, 1990. even then i knew that for me, europe was hollow alone. i saw the sites like i was preparing my life as a tour guide for her, for she. for the partner who would like to travel with me, to allow me to show her the paris jewish ghetto, the little gay neighborhood, shakespeare & co. the evening light, the wine, the bastille and its opera house. people on the rue, on the walks, crowded in pens of cafe tables. le louvre. the centre george pompidou. even lyons, cherbourg, around and about. the buzzing enduros and our buzzing, our own humming. paris not as a romantic destination but as a place to be, as a place to enjoy to just enjoy each other. no real sight seeing for us! now, its all about being there together not sigh seeing, not walking our feet off, not climbing the radio tower just to see the grim tops of the low low old town-cum-city. no, instant intimites, with friends from Uni and the night clubs costing US$30 for the unsuspecting. the turn of her hip, the way paris invites a woman to walk, a woman to dance, the way she eats her strawberry or touches the silk scarf around her neck. the way she touches me, each other, kissing like school kids along the seine as the voyeuristic dinner show barges barrage us with spotlights, illuminating out expert hands. our knowing touches. this is the paris for which i was prepping, the paris exposed in trite editorials in the new yorker, the same paris eaten in gulps by hemingway. not the ruined paris -- we shall ignore her ripped tights and smudged lipstick -- but the youthful daring city, ripe and flush, breathing heavy with a bountiful chest and apple ass.

8:165) Red 13-APR-98 23:30
He says "the eyes are the windows into the soul"
That he gets lost in mine
they're so deep
and for a moment
he's someone else
Not the slow witted, forgetful jock I fell into amusement with
It's times like these that make me forgive him when he forgets to call I
"I forgot."
he'll shrug and apologize.
No excuses
He just asks forgiveness without any bullshit

He says "the eyes are windows into the soul"
That he gets lost in mine
they're so deep
Funny how I've never taken time to look into his

8:166) Hope O'Keeffe 14-APR-98 11:32
The eyes are windows into the soul.
Into them float tiny grains of pollen -- tree pollen, grass pollen, flower
pollen. Oak, cherry, maple, hickory, apple, zoysia, fescue, Kentucky
bluegrass, crocus, daffodil, tulip, windflower.

My soul is sneezing.

8:168) chris abraham 14-APR-98 11:35
"the eyes are windows into the soul." no truer thing has been said. i can read
minds through the eyes. i can read your mind. some attribute it to the
shape of the eyes, the emotions found in the curve of the brow, the wetness
of the eyeball, the lust in the half mast, the fright in the wide eye, the
sadness in moistness, but these are safe havens. "the eyes are windows into the
soul." its the scsi. its the port. its the serial connection. the link, the
ir port. why are all of my references made in computerese when when i look
into your eyes is see myself reflected, i see ourselves reflected, i realise
that no matter what say my friends or familia, it is in fact your eyes, "the
windows to the soul," i believe. she gets lost in mine. we get lost. the
words -- even with me a silver tongued devil -- are static handshakes, the
communication unspoken. "the eyes are windows into the soul."
8:169) chris abraham 14-APR-98 13:30
she sat next to me and gazed into my eyes. 'i see myself in your eyes,' she
said. the source of light behind me was stark. her face bright. my face in
the shadow. my eyes, wet & brown, too dark to see into. reflections of self.
reflections of she in me. her face with its large eyes, its thin nose, its
fine features, dark shock of hair framing. the face. in my eyes. her in me.
and there was a communication there, wasn't there? not just a play of the
light?, not just the moist of my eyes?, not just a looking glassiness.
8:170) Ginny Little 14-APR-98 14:48
i squint my eyes and look sideways at the knower thinking he knows what's
known. do we meld?
8:171) chris abraham 14-APR-98 15:07
'you should know. i shouldn't have to ask. you should know if you love me.'
maybe i didn't love you. maybe that is why i didn't know what you wanted, i
didn't care what you needed. maybe the unspoken words where being sent to me
in meaningful torrents of telepathy and i wasn't chosing to support your
protocol. i support her's, she mine. the male to female connectors. the data
handshake, the error correction. sharing packets. checksum. if we were to
challenge convention, i am sure we could even download upload transfer exchange
envelop develop. 'can you read my mind?' 'yes.' 'be kind to me, i am feeling
a little delicate.' 'okay, i promise.' this, without words.
8:172) Aaron Webb 14-APR-98 21:35
met a girl in Italy. Acually re-met one. Casual aqaintance from Grand Rapids
who is a Michigan Junior Classical Leauge colleauge... We re-meet during a
tour of the ampitheatre where Spartacus once battled as a slave, literaly
bumping into each other. We talk briefly.
I don't really recognize Her, the real her, since it's not the MJCL President,
cool, professional, and charismatic that I met before. This is Kira,
smiling, friendly, alluring. Tour guides move off in seperate directions,
and we part ways with unknowing smiles.

Another chance meeting on the balcony of the hotel the next night.
Conversation about nothing and everything for an hour while we watch the
twinkling lights winding around Vesuvius, and busily ignore the gaggle of
British 12 year olds.

Meet briefly next two days, hand slaps of recognition seem to linger a bit. I
decide to start looking. More conversations, drinks with friends, more smiles.

As we load buses on the last day, I fumble out a half-excuse about why we need
each other's phone numbers, scribble mine on a scrap of paper, and wave good
by.

Her phone number is sitting on my dresser now, watching me pace across the
room. Should I call? Was there actually something there? Or was I reading
too much into the whole mess( as a lonely mind is wont to do), and guilted
her into exchanging phone numbers? What business do I have getting myself
involved with a girl an hours drive away anyway? What's worse: abject
rejection, or thought's of what could have been?

8:173) chris abraham 15-APR-98 10:46
two people sharing europe. only to return home seeing the sparse rankor of
home. even if one lives in hawaii, a grand cityscape make the impression of
a life time. nobody at home, in this, a pharmecutical town of delusional
grandeur, will understand she, nobody will comprehend the bubble of love, the
amphitheatre, the verandas, the fumbled shyness of the telephone request, its
innocence in a land wherein the men buzz vespas in two or threes, making eyes
at the pretty blond american girls. tight white shirts, evocative levis,
leathers and brylcreamed pompadors, their tanned cheeks and their roman noses.
kissing, sharing the international language of lurvve! 'i know not much
english...' yes, don juan. and here, the boy with his brash firey tongue,
choking on his silver tongue before the girl with whom he has shared europe,
shared italia, bella italia! and then there is the issue of two people sharing
intimacies in formal latin. what could be more arousing to a woman? what
could be more arousing?
8:174) chris abraham 21-APR-98 13:28
a warm call under a warm feather
duvet worn like a lover a full
half hour before the alarm
sounds its ghastly racket. a
portable phone flexing its
900MHz across the thousands of
kilometers spanning the skin of
my duvet, the space of air to
the base, and the grand land of
the New World, the Peaceful Sea,
and a POTS, copper wire, fibre
optics, satellite, spread
spectrum, repeaters, switching,
bandwidth, international subset,
substrate, irradiating the
rubbery leather of the Sperm
hunting the giant giant
prehensile squid. where the
pipe is laid, where the optics
chirp their handshake, their
telephony, their protocol, their
laser beam words. enough to
convey softness the same way it
was harsh before, the way it
conveys sadness and apology the
same way it was hurt before.
complaining about the static.
complaining about the clicks of
the rushing pod of porpoise and
the moaning of the migrating
humpback as it tries to sing us
back to sweet sleep.
8:175) Hope O'Keeffe 21-APR-98 16:57
Grounded, I wriggle my toes deep into the rich brown earth, spreading them
through its warm clumps. Tentatively at first, I thread roots through the
topsoil and then the subsoil, twine around rocks, explore the dark crevices.
Invisibly, I send out a network of capillaries, gather in the sweet water.
How parched I was!
8:177) chris abraham 21-APR-98 17:15
must nectar be sweet? must it be sticky
and viscous? is it not the sweet waters of
the small towns far away neither invaded by
toothpaste nor the pomade of rich black
hair. the flushed rubber.
must nectar be sweet? must it pulp and
leave residue? must nectar be squeezed or
blended, must it be diluted before the buds
of the tongue can enjoy? what is this
nectar and why must it be sugary, that the
diabetic must beware?

no, it is the sweetness of the waters
downed in large gulps from the cool tap in
a far off place. lapped from the hands set
deep into the kitchen sink when mom isn't
watching, when the girlfriend is in the
other room, taken in big guilty draughts
from the pitcher in the cooler, taken with
a squeeze of lemon, with or without ice,
but cold and most certainly flavored not by
citrus but by earth and molecules.

8:178) Red 21-APR-98 17:37
I saw the scars on her arm.
Red splotches
concealed under layer upon layer of clothing usually
but today she wore a tee shirt.
I saw them,
sprawling across her skin for an
instant
before looking away

She wore the usual long sleeved shirt today
But I could still see them
I had memorized their places

She wears them with shame,
unlike the other girls who make it public their abuse
"My mother did that to me."
one proclaims proudly
pointing out a thin white line on her upper arm.

But she hides her skin
wearing jeans in the summer,
while I walk around
shameless
in my low cut tank top and shorts.

Does she grow green under her layers
when the rest of us show off our bodies
or wear our abuse like a crown jewel?

I saw the scars on her arm
and burnt them into my mind.

8:179) Hope O'Keeffe 22-APR-98 10:10
Bath
my sister's razor
clogged with armpit hair
how beautifully the blood
obscures the water

8:180) chris abraham 22-APR-98 10:20
the hand was far off.
the ember freshly
glowing from a drag.
the sweet of burning
flesh and a little
smoke. the hand,
far off, resting on
the cocktail table,
formica in wood grain.
stigmatum on a vein
received as a blessing
of the spirits.
8:181) Ginny Little 22-APR-98 11:49
i ride in a lift to the top of the roof to sign my name
on paper, soon a copper sunburst will cover?
who will ever see it, and why does it matter?
whoever takes this down a hundred years from now.
i wonder if they will wonder
about who i was,
way back when.
now.
8:182) Hope O'Keeffe 22-APR-98 12:13
Stripping down the wallpaper in my grandmother's house, we would find the
scrawled, dated signatures of aunts and uncles on the cracked yellow wall.
Lois loves Wally, Millie loves Jim. I make pilgrimages to 41 Addington Road
when I'm in Boston, reach through the back fence to touch the wishing rock
for luck. The new people (there for twenty years now) say that my
grandfather's room is haunted, but he's friendly, and giggle at the discovery
of the layers of graffiti, sole reminders of my grandmother's insatiable
penchant for redecoration.
In my own house, cracking paint over peeling wallpaper over creviced
plaster, layers over layers. Who knows what signatures lurk beneath? In
demolishing the upstairs walls, the carpenters find a worn 1920's dime (a
serious loss back then), a box of shotgun cartridges, an editorial extolling
the virtues of Calvin Coolidge and predicting that the roar will last forever.
Just like Lois and Wally.

8:183) Hope O'Keeffe 23-APR-98 16:37
One by one, I wrestle them to the curb: six upholstered armchairs, a daybed,
two mattresses, a boxspring, two campbed frames, some curtains and rods. These
are the ones that the local furniture bank, the one that provides furniture
to newly-unhomeless families, didn't want. They are dusty, worn, ripped,
with fifty or more years of living in them.
I remember when, after Grandfather died, the family all gathered in the
small living room, eating deli provided by the place down the street that
Grandfather helped finance because they had proper thick boiled Irish corned
beef instead of that transparent New York stuff. There, in the center,
Grandfather's chair. There were perhaps thirty of us there, sons and daughters
and grandchildren and friends, mostly stnading, a few on the couch around
Grandmother, a few on the dining room chairs. But no one else had ever sat
in Grandfather's chair, and it sat, empty, all afternoon, yearning for a good
cigar, three or four newspapers to swear at, and a lightly chilled manhattan.

I sit on the porch, watch the forlorn chairs, all lined up along the
sidewalk for tomorrow's trash pickup, hope that some one of my neighbors will
take them home. A homeless-looking man and woman pushing a shopping cart
that already has a scavenged chair stop by and look them over, take only the
curtains.

I think about Grandfather.

8:184) Ginny Little 24-APR-98 13:39
I look outside past my computer monitor and see my grandmother's bird
feeder, now turned squirrel feeder in my front garden. Mike is out weeding
round the flowers. I think of days in Grandma's back yard in lawn chairs
drinking pink lemonade from a glass straw. She wondered about how long it took
for squirrels to have babies and only saw them mate once in her lifetime.
She spent countless hours staring out her kitchen window at the animals and
birds. They always bathed in her bird bath, but won't come to mine. Yesterday I
missed my grandmother as I listened to my mother complain. Grandmother was
complacent and simple and I was more like her, which always hurt my mother's
feelings.
8:185) Hope O`Keeffe 28-APR-98 11:10
On Saturday, there is a yard sale next door to my sister's house. John
McLaughlin is moving into a nursing home, and his life is on the sidewalk.
I buy a bedroom set -- two dressers and a bed -- and an extra bureau, and
split a dining room set with my sister. I take the table and chairs, she takes
the hutch and credenza. We write checks to her neighbor Benny on the other
side, a lawyer who's always seemed tough and cynical before. Today he is
near tears, talking about Mr. McLaughlin. He saved a secretary, just in case
Mr. McLaughlin recovers enough to move to assisted living.

My grandfather (Dad, who haunts 41 Addington, not Grandfather, who sits and
smokes cigars in an empty chair) was John McLaughlin too, dead thirty years
next month. I remember introducing Ruth's neighbor to my grandmother: John
McLaughlin, this is Mrs. John McLaughlin. They both cackled.

How much for the dining set?, we ask Benny.

I dunno. A guy told me it was worth as much as $800. I was hoping for five.

Done. We'll pay six.

I like writing checks to John McLaughlin. The bed is too small, the table and
chairs not my taste. And I don't have either the space in my
construction-zone-house or the money. But it feels right.

8:186) chris abraham 28-APR-98 13:47
My father's entire estate, his entire life, was sold in quarter bins in a
garage in Manoa Valley. Expensive flashes and JOBO developers were let go
for a song.
The bins were full. Filled with black bellows and boxes and film canisters,
large mylar sheets and silk parachute fabric. Enormous black and white
construction paper seamless rolls and the eccentric Japanese men came out of
the woodwork: the local amateur photographers with penchants for antique 4x5
cameras and silver oxide processes. The rank sting of blix in the trachea.

Mark and Tomas, collecting fist fulls of dollars and the odd check and it
was a profitable afternoon for the salesmen, but then I found a box filled with
original proofs, expensive and silvery, the smooth rubbery face of a bottlenose
dolphin.

To be sold for $35 a print. Not one was sold, but my heart broke when I
considered his last images passing into the homes of these nerdy little men,
into their scanners, onto USENET, into any number of home pages, and then I
kept them close. I wonder which was the right thing to do?

8:188) Aaron Webb 03-MAY-98 18:49
A light flicks on over my bed at 1:30 on a sunday afternoon. The light is
enough to send me up through the hazy layers of sleep back into reality, back
into the now. I groaned, regretting the loss of some very pleasant dreams.
My mother's voice chimes pleasantly as she opens the shades covering my
window. "I know you didn't get back home last night until late..."

"six"

"Whatever. You need to get some homework done."

I moan a bit as I shift noncommitally under the flannel sheets, so I can watch
my mother pick up the pieces of the rental tux which are scattered over the
carpet. "What movie did you see last night?" she asks as the strap-on fake
bowtie falls to rest on the hanger.

"Les Miserables" I reply. "They did a pretty good job, but nothing stood out.
Kira liked it." Kira being the girl I met in Sorrento, who was suddenly my prom
date a couple weeks later.

My mom turns toward me, a thought cued by my last comment. "Was Kira wearing
any of that glittery make-up. There was some on the seat in your dads car."

"I guess so."

My mom squints at me, and adds with a voice of surprise thinly veiled by the
tone of motherly concern that "There is a bit of glitter on your face too."

I respond with a nonchalant "Huh." resonating with the wonder I still felt 7
hours after a friendly post-prom embrace at her Grand Rapids home suddenly
shifted into a long, tender good bye kiss filled with love and hope.

With sudden energy, I slide out of bed, grab the robe off the back of the
door, and head downstairs for breakfast. There, while stuffing spoon after
spoon of Cheerio's into my mouth, I ponder my first real kiss, the end of my
life as a high school student, hopes for the summer, and a still rising long
distance phone bill.

8:189) Red 03-MAY-98 19:19
"Happy Birthday!"
sweet sixteen and never been kissed...

hee hee hee...what a crock. It all started at 7:40 this morning. "Happy
Birthday!!"..."thanks..".. back to sleep.

"Where's the birthday girl?" my mother says, coming through the door concealed
behind a vase of 16 blood red, long stem roses. All for me. "Happy 16th
birthday!" she sets them down by the bed and kisses me. The clock screams at me
that it's 9. The smell of fresh roses hits me just before I stumble back
into sleep.

The phone keeps ringing. At least once an hour. Can't a girl get a decent 12
hours sleep around here?

"Happy Birthday!!"....

gee tha-...

I get up around 11, take a shower with the music BOOMING. Dry off and put on
my "bombshell" dress. Hell yeah, I look good...I also look about 21, and my
mother tells me to put a sweater over it before my father gets here. She
doesn't want anyone dying on my birthday this year.

Then there's the usual cake, ice cream, prezzies and the lot of "Happy
Birthday, sweet heart! My, she looks so grown up now."

Then I say good bye to my daddy and he walks out the door to drive 5 hours
back to Milwaukee. At least he came...

Then it's off to the hot tubs with my boyfriend. First time having
sex...legally. Coming home and falling asleep in his arms until one. Then he
has to go home.

Funny, I was so tired before, and now that he's not here, I can't sleep
anymore.

(: RED :)

8:192) Shawn Nicolen 06-MAY-98 12:54
Whipflash lightning snail pace of educational technology takes it nowhere
but into circular arguements. How is it that so much gets accomplished but
nothing gets done? I yawn as I am running down the stairs. Need more hot
chocolate. More Rootbeer. Everything seems so far behind; dragged down by the
weight of an ill-respected institution. I feel like i need to be
institutionalized. Need some changes made to the web site? ... Lets Rock and
Roll.
8:200) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 23-MAY-98 18:07
I find it strange that I feel the most confident, the most energetic and
beautiful at home by myself. I lay around the house in whatever was on the
floor when I woke up and do what I need to do around the house all day in the
same clothes. Listening to my recent fave CD, going online, making
invitations for my grad party, just relaxing. Getting strange ideas for
writing, thinking about trying a sculpture class, thinking about shaving my
hair really close to my head so I never have to worry about brushing it after a
sweaty softball game again. Just being me and not worrying.
@!KAT

8:202) Sarah Neyaz 27-yes.98 15:33
Worrying, worrying, worrying. That's all I've been doing. High school exams,
life, friends...and more. The pressure of my parents expecting me to be as good
as my brother in school. My brother The Doctor, that is. Can't I be myself,
Why must I always be compared to him? I'm expected to be someone i'm not,
someone who i'll never be. I want to live my own life, where no one is
comparing me, and I AM myself.
I'm sick of walking in my brother's footsteps. I want to walk on a new path,
on my own path, my own way, away from all of this.
8:203) Hope O`Keeffe 27-MAY-98 16:44
Always the comparisons. Why can't you be as popular as Ruth, as
entertaining as Tom, as outgoing as Ed? And for them, why can't you be as
smart as Hope? Parents, grandparents, teachers going through the litany of
names before they got to the right one. (The hardest for Tom, I think -- how
the class laughed when his teachers called on "HopeRuthTom.") Ruth
inevitably dating boys I had crushes on. It took adulthood to realize that
we all have the same genes to be smart, popular, entertaining, outgoing. Too
many years to break out of the boxes they put us in. (And still, when Ed's
wife and I were due at the same time, it was so important to Ed that his baby
be born first: "Just once I'd like to beat you.")
How do the boxes get built? I watch my boys, so very different. Aaron is a
firstborn: manipulative, creative, cuddly and fiercely independent, deadly
serious yet addicted to puns and wordplay, swinging between wildly outgoing and
neurotically shy. Jeffrey is the baby: athletic, easy-going, fearless to
the edge of recklessness, quick to see the humor in any situation, stretching
up his arms to any smiling stranger for a hug.

Aaron is my miracle boy, born after years of infertility; Jeffrey is heart
of my heart, the chosen baby at a time when a baby made no sense.

"Who do you love best, Mommy? Me or Jeffrey?"

"I love you because you are you. I love Jeffrey because he is Jeffrey."

No boxes.

8:204) Netiva Caftori 27-MAY-98 18:07
As a parent I do fail many times and compare even if not in words. Carolyn my
youngest is as smart as her 2 sisters but doesn't care about grades and
assignments are the last on her list. We, her parents, don't understand that.
We tried everything: sitting w/ her to do homework, reminding her, leaving
her to be, punishing her. Nothing seems to gear her toward trying to be a good
student. Your note Sarah is reminding me that maybe she can be different and
beat her own path...
8:205) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 27-MAY-98 18:30
I have been forever boxed in by my classmates as the girl they met 3, 5, 8, 12
years ago, depending on who you talk to. Thinking about graduation and how my
life is going to change and be my own has changed me just by thinking about it.
I've become bolder, shedding my self-consciousness like a snakeskin, finally
being who I really am. Finally freeing myself of my own box that I let them
trap me in.
@!KAT

8:206) Red 27-MAY-98 20:14
I think the most endearing trait he has is that he never wants to let go. He's
the one who holds on to ME in public and kisses me and wants everyone to know
"THIS IS MY GIRLFRIEND!!". He tells me how good looking I am all the time,
how he misses me.
He acts like a three year old. He curls up between my legs and rests his
head on my stomach while I talk on the phone to a long lost friend,
occasionally flipping channels, or lifting his head to say something to me that
I don't pay any attention to. I stroke his black hair and smile indulgently
at him and try to keep him under control in public, as I have often seen
mothers do with young children. He makes me feel wanted.

and needed..

just a little. He works in the deli at Hardings, and everytime I come to see
him, he smiles his little boy smile, full of slightly crooked teeth, wraps me
in a sweaty, bloody hug before returning to wash the dishes and sweeping the
floors. They always let him off early when I come around.

Even when we're just walking to his house, or to his friend's house, he
keeps his arm around my waist. He insists he owns me, and that I own him
right back. Perfectly fair. He likes to be submissive and doesn't mind it
when I playfully bite him on the neck. He wears a collar I gave him that says
"SLAVE" on it and my ring and boasts to his friends about me.

He makes me feel wanted...he calls ME everynight, instead of me always
having to hound him. It's nice for a change...

(: RED :)

8:207) Dirk Flinthart 27-MAY-98 21:46
Uh-oh...
8:208) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 27-MAY-98 22:49
There's a connection there I never thought I'd have with anyone else. He's two
in one body and still nowhere near perfection. But, somehow, I love him.
When I tickle him playfully, his face turns a rosy pink around the cheeks
and he grins this broad stroke of a grin across his face that he hides from
everyone else...he always asks me why I tickle him, because to him it's pure
torture, and I always answer 'because you look so cute when I do.' But
secretly, it's to unearth that smile from where he keeps it buried. He fights
to tickle me back, but I hold his arms down and then he gets exasperated and
tells me I'm too strong, which I love. Normally, I doubt any guy would admit to
being weaker than a girl, especially his girlfriend. But this is only one of
the few things he admits to me. Trying to see into his mind is like peeking
through the keyhole of a locked closet and only seeing a few rays of light
coming from the keyhole. It can hurt that I tell him everything, I unlock the
chest of my mind and pour forth my jewels and gold, the treasure of my
deepest thoughts and he doesn't blink at the brightness nor seem enraptured.
And I have to push and twist at the knob of his mouth to get him to release
even the smallest private thought.
But, somehow, I love him.

@!KAT

8:211) Hope O`Keeffe 28-MAY-98 10:13
We do not talk much. I revel in the long silences.
Words are too easy, analysis too facile. I will not put this great gift of
a man into a box of words.

"Talk to me," he says. "Tell me what you are feeling."

"I am feeling," I say, "beyond all words."

8:212) Michelle Nolan 28-MAY-98 15:52
feeling...all I have been doing lately is feeling. Feeling love, feeling in
love, feeling excited, feeling scared, feeling anxious, feeling sad, feeling
the thoughts. Thinking that I am leaving Hawaii. Thinking that I will miss my
office, with a door I can shut, missing the pictures on the walls I have put
up. Missing my colleagues, missing the beach, missing the sun, thinking that
my future will be better than what I have now. Thinking and feeling ot I am
proud of my decision. Thinking that I am moving on with the rest of my
life. Feeling like the shine of Tiffany silver, feeling damn excited!
8:213) Red 28-MAY-98 16:17
he said, today, that he thought he was falling in love with me.
I laughed.

From the hurt tone in his voice, I must have laughed too long and too loud. It
hurt him a little, that I didn't take him seriously.

He always lavishes compliments on me, even when I try to laugh them off. but
today, I think I hurt his pride a bit. When I was finished laughing, he said
quietly "I'm serious."..And almost immediately I felt sorry..

it would be nice to believe him....

(: RED :)


8:214) Elizabeth Lower-Basch 29-MAY-98 11:30
I think the best thing we ever did was make up new words to replace "love."

We didn't mean the same thing by "love" and so we kept on hurting each other.
I said "I love you" and I meant "I have given you a part of my soul and you
will have it forever, an intangible connection between us, whether we remain
lovers, remain friends. If I never see you again, I will always have this day,
these dandelions, this dizziness as I roll down the hill." He heard "I want to
be with you forever," and was scared.

My word was "shike". I think his word was "pash", but I don't really
remember, because by the time it mattered "love" was good enough.

8:215) Sarah Neyaz 29-MAY-98 22:43
He said he loved me, then he fell in love with someone else.
He said he'd be with me forever, then he was with someone else. I've learned
that Nothing lasts forever, we all know hearts can change. Everytime, i 'm
always the one who loses in the end, I always end up getting hurt no matter
what. My hearts been broken, been squeezed so many times, that there's
nothing left. I don't think i can love anyone anymore, I don't think I can ever
be so close to anyone because i'm so afraid i'll lose them the minute I turn
around. I choose to live this way, to live this lonely life of mine, cus
anyways i'll always end up being alone.
8:216) Ginny Little 30-MAY-98 11:35
I treasure my alone time, away from the fears and accusals of autocratic
administrators, the smoke and mirrors, the sounds of hammers, real and in my
head. We only pass each other in the hallway now and kiss as we're saying
goodbye, instead of hello. He drinks in the other room alone. I read in my bed
at night till my eyes are tired and then I light a vanilla candle. I stare at
the flame dancing and then out the window at trees dancing in the wind of
summer's air. I hear a screech owl screaming for food. I hug my pillow.
8:217) Dirt Flinkhart 31-MAY-98 9:34
Madriffing, sadriffing, badriffing dammitohell, I don't like being angry. It's
the blood in the eyes, the tolling of a deep, deep bell behind my skull
somewhere. Quiet tension. Bitter peace. The knowledge that unless I step
carefully, unless I walk gently within this fragile skin, someone stands more
than a chance of being hurt. Mayhem and madness; I know the owl's screech as my
own. I know the taste of electricity. I know the secrets of knife-edge and
needlepoint. I know the solidity of wildfire.
It's a whole new me, dark and broad and heavy-footed. I keep him
jekyll-and-hydden away, but he's down there, oh yes, down in the cellar where I
can hear him breathing and feasting on rats and spiders and the scent of sweat.
Never knock on his door. Never rattle his windows. Never shorten his sleep as
you value your life.

I do not like being angry.

Nobody else likes it very much either.

8:218) Ginny Little 31-MAY-98 18:12
Even the trees blew angry last night, with tennis ball sized hail and the
wind, oh, the wind ripping, blustering gusts up to 90 miles an hour. I lay
in my bed listening, watching, wondering what karmic wrath tossed those trees
like blades of grass. I opened my windows as wide as they could go so I
could feel as if immersed. Dead calm and suddenly, frighteningly strong
bursts, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHH, through the side forest and across to
the back and bending and shaking and cracking of limbs. What forcefulness. But
the trees lean into the wind, do not resist, and make chaos into dance. Some
break. Some remain tall.
I lay in my bed listening to the scream of trees in the late of night to early
sunrise. I cannot sleep. The phone rings in the dark,

"This is the Sheriff's Department".

 

8:219) Shawn Nicolen 01-JUN-98 21:46
Sometimes I think we have finally found eachother, but then she gets quiet and
sullen. It worries me, but she says that there is nothing wrong. We watch
movies together, take walks; but oddly, we don't talk like we used to "before".
I miss knowing her, even though we are closer than we have ever been.
8:220) Red 01-JUN-98 22:56
He talks too much. About the future...OUR future...together. I cringe each
time and tell him to knock it off. He insists he loves me. Thinks about me
all the time. That's how he gets to sleep at night. He thinks of me...and NOT
in a sexual way he assured me today. He knows it's love because the only time
he can stop thinking about me is when he plays pinball..which isn't often and
when the quarters run out, his mind wanders back to thoughts of my beauty and
the way I smell when I'm lying in his arms....
(: RED :)

8:221) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 01-JUN-98 23:35
He doesn't touch me as much anymore. It used to be, I see him, he sees me,
"Hi" "Hey" and a hug. It used to be an easy smile and watching his eyes
brighten when he saw me and we drink each other in, forgetting everyone else
and just concentrating on the pull we have on each other. I used to feel
appreciated, nice to be with...now I just feel like something to do until
something better arrives or someone else turns his head.
I hate being put on hold while he double-checks his records...

@!KAT

8:222) Elizabeth Lower-Basch 02-JUN-98 14:04
It's too hot. We lie in bed next to each other, but not touching, and
fantasize about cool breezes. The sheets stick to my bare skin.
8:223) Netiva Caftori 03-JUN-98 17:37
I'm lucky in love i think. I can love easily. I just look in his eyes, get
in his arms, and shiver all over when he kisses my neck. Ya, my neck is the
password to my body...
8:224) Hope O`Keeffe 04-JUN-98 13:34
I close my eyes and feel a breath, a brush of lips, the trace of a finger, the
tickle of letting down my hair, at the gateway between body and brain...
8:225) Shawn Nicolen 04-JUN-98 18:12
I still remember that night well. I was crushing over a girl pretty bad.. life
seemed
like it was all misery and wanting what you can't have. I decided to go and
find
soemthing to distract me, so I went to visit an old friend of mine. Has was
having
some friends over that I didn't know.. and I felt somewhat the outsider. He
saw me
and asked what was wrong.. so I told him I was a bit depressed about life.
He looked at me and said, "Shawn, the thing about life.. well, life is
*wicked*, man."

8:226) Firth Drinkhart 04-JUN-98 18:58
Well I remember that still night. I was over, crushing a bad, pretty girl...
misery seemed like a life of having what you can't want. Distracted,
Something decided to go and find me, so an old friend of mind went to visit.
Friends I didn't know were having him over, so I felt Somewhat - the
Outsider. "What was wrong?" I asked when he saw me, and he said he felt
lively about depression. He looked at me and said, "The life of a thing is
wicked."
8:227) Netiva Caftori 05-JUN-98 16:40
Wicked, wicked, are we wicked? All we want is love...
8:228) Hope O`Keeffe 06-JUN-98 3:44
Under the floorboards upstairs, the construction crew has found a worn
black notebook.
Most of it is lists of accounts, the costs of bread and coal in the
1920s, monies owed from the boarders, all in picil. A woman's hand, I
am sure.

But on the flyleaf, in pencil, it says:

Birds I saw at the birdbath Saturday May 1930

Tanager, Robin.
beautiful longtailed brown thrush
Smaller speckled thrush bathed and preened his feathers
2 catbirds. Blue jay.
I can't imagine a place being more heaven than my front porch, morning,
afternoon or evening, in May. I wonder if there is such a thing as being
too thankful. Seems I was before I lost dad and I was so thankful. It
seemed I had come to rest.
Even when your body sits still and rests your mind goes on automatically
thinking dreaming wondering ---


****

Later, on the same page, in ink:

This house is cold. Why? Oh I think winter is the time to visit. Of
course one does not have the comforts of home. If I go some where or if
some body comes here we don't find it like home in any way, and of course
we are bound to howl. But since howling is our nature, why not?

***

There is no more.

I MUST find out who this woman was. And, of course, I must build a pond,
if only as a birdbath...

8:230) Katherine Blanke (KAT) 07-JUN-98 0:47
She remains such a mystery to me, even though I've known her for so long.
Why does she do the things she does, why did she do the things she did?
@!KAT

8:231) Netiva Caftori 07-JUN-98 16:04
History facts should be reported...not just the price of bread that is
documented but especially the names of birds that passed by in the 20's....
this is more than a legacy to Hope, but a legacy that should be shared w/
everyone...
8:232) Red 07-JUN-98 19:12
The only one. I'm the only one for him. He says it so confidently. I put in
his CD, to his favorite song and felt bad.
I love you. He says it almost everyday. hints at it, sometimes comes out right
and says it directly. I snapped at him and told him to knock it off. He sounded
so sad on the other end of the phone.

I wore his shirt today. The track and field one from Parchment. It wasn't
the same thing as him, but it was better than nothing. I was warm even though
it was cold outside.

He said he didn't want to fight anymore, about whether or not he loves me.
He didn't like to fight with me about it. It mad him sad that he said it and
all I did was yell at him. He didn't know how I felt. That's when i started
crying.

Ozzy is not a good thing to be listening to right now.

Why can't he be like the other ones? Why does he have to insist that he
loves me? Why can't he just take advantage of me and leave, like everyone else.
It's only been two weeks...it feels like years...or at least more than 14 days.

"..Time after time, line after line you broke my...."

She called today. Mortality had slapped her in the face. Skin cancer. She said
it so matter of factly, as if it wasn't the important thing. It's just there.
On to the salvation of a community that was nothing without her. I wrote it out
and posted it like she said. No one else seemed to notice either. Maybe not a
big thing, since it's so easy to remove...but still... I felt as if I was the
only one crying....

8:233) chris abraham 08-JUN-98 10:47
The rumor mill hit me upon arrival at work. "He must have a trust fund." "He
must have a silver spoon in his mouth." "He must have another income, how else
can he take 21 unpaid days off of work and miss nary a step?" The rumor mill
as filtred through a colleague who knows me as chris and not Mr. Abraham. A
friend. She told me of the prying questions asked, the threats and the
posturing: "I have been working here for almost 10 years and have never taken
off three weeks." They call it my vacation, but it was not that. It was a
crusade for a holy grail; it was not unlike a quest. It was for love. That
sounds terribly cliche, but there it is. The grail, love as pesonified by a
woman, as personified. Moving. Flying. United. Hawaiian. A dog named Suzi,
a roomate, Bret, a friend, Bryan, and a smallish ramshackle wooden house in
Kaimuki. Housing a wonderfully complex flowering woman. Yes, the silver of
rings. Yes, the alien weighing my hand, pressing my finger, signifying m
Where did those three years go? Where were you? Where was I? I really
cannot account for 1997. I am sure it came to pass because this is 1998. I
know I was on a plane, living off of stock returns and a passport, in 1996.
1995 was a year of change, a year of mourning, a year of sickness and
madness, or tight body and crazed eyes. A dark time. 1996 was a time of
embracing and hurting and the bright wet red pulpiness of open wounds --
spittle and puss, healing this way and that, showing jagged scars and a rough
wound. Words of death, of love, of melancholy intercourse abroad and
cigarettes, wine, whisky, debauch, poetry, ashtrays, trains, ships, planes, and
whatnot.

1997. fuck. don't know.

1998. Bob's death day passed and on that day I made images of Willow with
Mary, a friend of Bob, and held my love in my arms, held her and rejoiced.
Never really mentioned it, but writing words for Bob is meaningless. Burning
film, flexing the Nikon, shooting a model in Honolulu, being with Mary,
making image is the way to go. Let go. Remember but let it go. Feel and
release.

But to love. To care only of the future, to feel the present completely, to
feel touch, to hear word, to see body, eyes, hair, nose, brow, teeth, chin,
tongue, chest, shoudlers, back, arms, legs, feet, hands, fingers, ring. Let
the past go. Be egoless. Be selfless. Love for love's sake. Expose the
belly, expose the neck. Sleep soundly. Love completely. Feel the ring on the
ring finger of the left hand and let its weight and silver circle remind me,
enamour me, seduce me, excite me.

Appreciate. Explore. Want. Desire. Know. Enjoy. Love.

Wednesday afternoon, I shall embrace a roomate soulmate partner lover love
girlfriend friend into my washington, into our apartment.

what luck, what a lucky fuck am i!

8:234) Barry Bluestein 09-JUN-98 23:53
There was no doubt, the Boy had it bad, real bad.
8:235) Aaron Webb 24-JUN-98 23:24
If there were ever the perfect place to test all
your thoughts about humanity, it is the subway.
Tribalism, cunning rivalry, racism, love,
unexplained hate, all in abundance, and exposed
by and eye which is bored for the wait for the
next stop. I sit down across from a man dressed
like a nice guy. In his hand, is a brocure he's
reading. A retreat for quakers or something
like that. Suddenly glances up from his reading
and catches me watching and examining him. He
glares through thick glasses at me, and I drop
my eyes in the age old instinct of animalistic
submission. His pinkish hat says "friends".
A man is sitting a couple seats behind where I'm
going on the subway. He is obviously retarded,
eyes uncrossing and crossing at my entrance to
the almost empty car. He grunts and blinks as I
smile and nod in his direction as I do for
everybody who I see. He talks to himself loudly
throughout the ten minute ride,but all I see of
him is a brief glimpse over my shoulder. You're
not supposed to look around you see? I risk
this subway taboo, making an exception for this
odd man. In his hands is a small coupon
advertising an ornamental knife. His eyes widen
slightly when he notices what he is holding. He
smiles slightly, and smartly flicks his gaze
toward mine. I turn as he drops the piece of
paper onto the subway's carpet.

As I sit, the subway stops and lets in a new
batch of passengers. A young man walks in. He
is about 6'1" and obviously is very strong, with
muscles straining at the seams of his shirt. He
twirls his bloated wallet apon a pivot created
by his thumb and middle finger. As the train
screams toward the next stop, he notices me
stand and gather my things. I meet his gaze,
instead of dropping it like I had for the
'friend'. His answer to my instinctual
challenge? To step over to his left one half
step, into the space near the door, insuring
that I would have to break into his personal
space to get near the door. As the door opens,
he steps out, and up the stairs without a sound,
probably subconsiously satisfied that he had won
that battle. I catch myself doing the exact
same thing seconds later in line for the
outbound side of the ticket processor.

On my way back home tonight, I saw a couple
kissing as they parted on the train's doorway.
I yearned to ask the next attractive girl on the
subway 'where you from?' 'where you going?'
'whatch up to?' as I had with the girl in
Sorrento, and the fellow freshman at western
who's room number now burns insistently in my
back pocket. But on the subway, I know the
answer. She's from the last stop, she's going
to another stop, and she is busy playing the
sport of solitude in the big city.

8:236) chris abraham 21-AUG-1998 10:38
living underground is not like
death. it does not have me feeling
maggoty or decomposing. better,
the feeling is like hibernation.
or burrowing like the way she burrows
into my chest or the way I burrow under
the duvet, into my sleep. in a world
wherein i am all abuzz, where i feel
always pursued by madness, success, failure,
expectations, and need, telling myself that
the bedroom is the place for peace, for
sleep, for solace isn't nearly enough.
when i open the wooden gate and lock it
behind me, i must pass pots of budding
plants. consciously toeing into the
stairwell, squeezing past the a/c, standing
before the glass-faced door.

always cool inside. always dark and quiet.
always getting light from above, always seeing
designs on the floor from branches moving, people
passing, rain falling.

the dark, the quiet -- never enough O2, always
a little sleepy. If we were to ever leave on the
gas after making a stir fry, we would be goners,
my shell and i.

have yet to turn on a PC; have yet to login, check
in, read in, jack. just touch. just looks and seeing
and the warmth of cooked food, the cold of perspirant
class, the slickness of body aroused, the tightness
of tired bodies looking for the sleep, protected from
the EMF, protected from the sirens and public passions
of trumpeting city busses, ambulii, engines that could
and doo.

soon, a dog named sue; soon, soirees and whole food and
the slickness of body aroused; the harsness of a body
aroused, the swallowing of self: the gate swallowing
you and me; the stairs taking us, the coolness of under
ground consuming, the sheets, the bed, the eating,
matications, taking onto lips into mouths, the flick
of a pink tongue, and then the swallowing only to merge
and find not death but restful sleep.

8:237) Hope O`Keeffe 28-AUG-1998 15:23
He bleats a bit, and I switch him to heart-side. They swirl all around us
in the underground food court: sunburnt tourists, field-tripping boy scouts,
office workers skipping out for a Friday afternoon break. I dunk my thumb in
the cup of icecream and he slurps it in with his small pink tongue, confused by
the new sensations -- cold! sweet! sticky! He sucks with tiny furrowed brow
and enormous concentration.
Patrick Martin Thomas Langello is three days old. The cycle begins, and ends,
and begins again.

8:240) chris abraham 31-AUG-1998 16:41
the stories cannot be confirmed or denied.
what is an history? what makes things
act yoo al? versus fick shi nall? after
three years of knowing, after three years
of following and exploring the truth, here
comes the vulgarity and yet there is no way
to know for sure -- no boner fiday way of
knowing the incessantly sworling swohrling
whorling whoring debilitating mesmerising
destroying supporting mucous memories of
times past, of inebriations or was it getting
toked on hiphop jes grew jes grew it in the
back behind the rosemary, behind the Oray
Gan Oh (oh, to pronounce certain things like
a brit, oh to know smugly what it is to be
a man who is from hawaii who attended uni
in a small campus on a small bit of land by a
lake in farmland in norwich, norfolk: oraygahnoh)
corgettes. rahthah. so, where was i:
the slipery eel reality, the cumstained rag
of memory: is it mine, is it yours, is it
swimming with virus, are there pieces of baby there
is there you or me, was it him? who's baby?
was there shaving cream involved? was there a
state of undress? what does a state of undress
look like when you stumble upon it as a cleaning
lady in a swanky resort and country club -- and
moreso, what is the number of jc? wwjd? wwjd?
writhing, writing, pawing, slippery majesty and
playing the horn, rubbing the nub, eating eating
out eating out necklace de perle. perle. wipe.
cumstains show up elegantly as ghostly white under
the sweeping arc of the black light, the UV bulb.
ghost white. used at rape scenes. looking for the
came and went; he done cum and went, where dat bleeding
black light. the biograph was never illuminated in
blacklight because the seating might have shown like
the galaxy: innumerable white flecks upon a dark field...

Aug 31, 1998 04:40 PM