This is gushy so you should probably look away, but..
In stale leaves and crisp covers
Fall, books, beds-
Like whitewashed walls, bathroom stalls ammonia-bleached, a raw wood table:
Flat light falls.
Homely, it shines discreetly-
Tiptoes into the room,
Smelling like wet-cool Sundays, cafe mornings, a deep breath out.
It’s easy to rip out metaphors from magazines, poetry read in middle school, from gilt designs on leather bindings that sit underneath a blinded window at ten to noon. Humbly, though, do feelings root in empty rooms, heedless, needless, silent.
Today we lowered into the ground a man in a casket. As if a casket could contain him. As if earth at 72 cubic feet could suppress human life any more than the five letter simplicity, death. Death is a funny thing. Maybe because it’s supremely unfunny, and because I, like most people with a healthy survival sense, hold it—its entire nothingness— as clawing obsession.
The man we lowered into the ground was a great man. Not a good man, but a great man. The kind of man whose charity and steadfastness couldn’t be thwarted by mortality. His true legacy thrives as a waterfall, a community of perpetuation, where kindness breathed by one body takes on the aerial view through decades. He planted mustard seeds, the kind that do the most growing.
Now his hair and skin reflect chapel lights in a warm, rose-scented room. Now the preacher speaks of returning to the fold; now in folds of creased skin hides shadows of stories, of smiles, of loss, of a life once cherished and now obstinately still. Not resting, like Newton’s rule: An object at rest will remain at rest until acted upon. Push and pull if you like, against the stiff suit, the starch, the maple wood box.
Now we carry him outside; sunlight warming the skin under black wool, as the memorial guard fire a veteran’s salute. Go out with a bang. How hideous the throbbing life and thought that dare impinge headstone silence! Funerals are for the living, whispers some mother or cousin on the astroturf above the dead grass and Sunday-finest bone. Now we leave. We leave the man in the box above the ground. We grab coffee and fast food. We move, all of us, to cars and homes, a scattering of dust on water. He, remains.
Grackles caw as the man in jeans loosens the crankshaft. I am in the old house touching the walls and clicking against the nude floor. The box sinks into the marble vault, the lid subsumed into earth. They’ve painted the blue room white, and the creaking playhouse still has wasps nested in its corners.
I stood in the entryway by the grandfather clock to see again the backyard symmetry of pool, shrubs, and stairs. Balance broken by pool-framing planters, one in sunset, one in shadow, facing each other but always apart. There is no understanding the unreachable. But even the sun can’t stop its setting, and the heavenly perpetual motion propelled me forwards, beyond the door of the white house on the hill, far beyond the plot so near to the ground where, eventually, I will be lowered in a polite hush by a stranger with a hydraulic wench.
so i met the kind of person that could change my mind about the whole dating thing. i guess that’s a factor i should have thought about earlier.
last night I dreamt I played darts with Oprah through the doors of a church while they were doing some kind of silent mourning thing. Oops.
Some design I’ve been working on. To see the website and rest of the project, check out this link.
I’m going to finish you. I’m going to fuck your shit. I’m going to edit you so much that the very idea of editing you will be inconceivable because all 115 pages of you will be perfection. Each word of your stories will be as carefully chosen as a fucking haiku, each syllable, so raw and heartwrenching and true that the overarching themes and layers and motifs will literally sink into the reader’s heart by the simple sounding out of the words in their minds.