Red

Feb. 22nd, 2011 01:27 pm
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Stuttering against my teeth, my tongue catches words
Some of these are not real, others flash as flashcards
In the theater of my mind, I see pictures and faces
They do not speak, it is my nostalgia that speaks
Opens their eyes to the depth behind them in life

When in reality, nothing much lies behind pupils
Besides more black, yet blindfolded I can feel
The speed bumps of thought, the inhale-exhale
I know what you will say, so I am not interested
In your future, your predictable hunger and cold

Something protects me from surprise and boredom
And they are the regularities of this line, this stanza
Filling in incomplete thoughts in the space after form
Calls for more, the finishing touch, one last push
To finish and listen for the pleasure of writing poetry.

Just keep writing and the mysteries will reveal
Play on whatever level you can, subterranean
Motifs the mud, lofty ambitions red blossoms
I have no love for mud, swollen like fat flash
Squelching under my foot, it wants to pull me under

My skin color is freshly fallen leaves drying
I see the lines running through it like veins
Gravity and I am green, hiding red underneath
Blood and flowers in the day under white sun
White purists dangle lowly for midnight moth

But it cannot have me, I am red and it is green
I may camouflage under wrinkled leaves
But my flushing blood tells me I am as rare
As the red blossom, and my wounds tell me
Slipping away, blood tells me I am not infinite

Crimson is my flesh, I am closer to fire than sun
I am unleashed with kerosene and flint,
It is the tinder, browned my skin, woody monoliths
I am the lightning, the spark of flame,
Like treachery and destruction, inhumane

I am red, the deepest slowest of the colors
I am scarlet, tinge and rouge, glamorous
I am crimson screaming murder, seductive
I am incarnadine, the tragedienne singing
Of her torrid affairs in the infrared desert.
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This Thursday began as the tiredness rolled over from Wednesday, when I missed both classes in which assignments were due. An essay inspired by The Dreams of India by Eliot Weinberger, and the Day in the Life oral presentation. It sucked to miss those and I felt stress weighing on my shoulders like I haven't had in a while, along with the lack of response from those articles I wrote for The Bottom Line made the future ones I was about to do seem like a waste of time. So I didn't go to class Thursday morning either, or afternoon, missed both classes and stayed at home instead. I showered and felt compelled to dress as in a costume, then wrote a poem about my father and mother.

It changed something inside me and afterwards I got dressed up wearing purple and makeup to go see W.S. Merwin at the CCS Art Gallery. I got to shake his hand and exchange a few words, which I had been too excited to enunciate, but it was fine. I also got to talk to the first time with Alyssa Ogi and Teagan, who are my two favorite poets in the class and it made me feel accepted, validated even. Merwin was friendly and signed my notebook, he somehow knew exactly where I wanted him to sign even though I presented him another spot... Afterwards, I rode quickly over to David's in joy and announced that I'd just met the Poet Laureate of the United States! Nikki was there but she wasn't excited for me. She had had a fight with David. After she left, I made conversation with Derrick and Kaushik and the four of us were able to coexist as I played on the Indo-board, which absorbed me. I'm able to balance on it for a minute and it helped to recite a bit of poetry to keep my mind calm.

Then David and I left to see an Art showing at the Coffee Collaborative by Caitlin and it was stuffed full of people. The food was incredible, especially the kale chips. I loved the piece of the banana with "100%" and the piece of the IV parks was incredible as well. I saw Andrew from EAB by the door and gave him a hug. It was good to see him, I'd been meaning to get more involved with EAB. Lo and behold, innermore towards the back was David Porreca looking sharp with no mustache, talking with such animation it was splendid to behold. I waved excited at him, and his eyebrows popped into his forehead and said, Ah! Darice! He introduced me and David to the two guys he'd been talking with and one of them recognized me for my poem about my visit to China. He said he enjoyed it! I also saw Ashley who introduced me to two other girls she'd brought along and for a while all four of us stood in a circle, eye to eye and I suddenly became abashed that I was included in this circle of beautiful women, but we stood eye to eye, enclosed in a circle. I also saw Brieanna though we didn't have much to say to one another, though I told her she looked beautiful. Then Brianna Flores appeared and we exchanged exclamations of delight from across the room.

David and I left shortly after to get some wine from his apartment, but we ended up staying there with Catharina, Kaushik, Derrick, and Jeremiah, playing drinking games with vodka mixed coke. It was rowdy, full of yelling and laughing. I told stories too, and got people to laugh. Victor and Yvonne also came, and I smoked my first cigarette in over a month, a Camel Menthol. We danced the Bernie, ate deep-fried tortilla chips that David made with chili, drank and danced. Eventually it was 2 in the morning and David was passed out on the couch. I awoke from my drunken stupor unable to fall asleep and feeling restless, needing more excitement. I wanted to see Ashley, I imagine her nightlife to be amazing, but I took a walk around CBC, passed by 26 where David and Jameson used to live. Then to amuse myself, I took photos of myself and of the apartment until Kaushik and his friend Ashley finally unlocked the bedroom door.

In the morning, Friday now, I was still excited and looking for adventure. After getting up at around 11, I helped David clean up his apartment a little and then we made a breakfast of champions. It was delicious and I melted into the couch around him, told him, truly the way to somebody's heart is through their stomach. We were watching a movie for his class when Jeremiah and Victor joined us bringing a lot of weed. I smoked some too but it just made me unsociable and bored of myself. It was the night of Vagina Monologues and I wanted to change, freshen up before going so Derrick gave me a ride home. Because Susan had already left with my car, I had to ask him to pick me up afterwards too. He was quietly generous, and I was grateful.

First though, dinner that David had made: homemade hummus as appetizer, and pasta with chili and tomato sauce mixed together. We watched democracynow.org while eating too. It was picture perfect domesticity, and the food was so delicious. The heavy rain had stopped just in time as well. But once we were at the ticket office, we had a problem-- it was cash only. We also ran into Grant and Andrew which was great but they didn't have cash either. Luckily, Michelle had $15 and Nyx had $5 so after a bit of waiting and shuffling around we got our tickets. David, Michelle and I sat together to watch The Vagina Monologues, which was an absolutely terrific show. I was impressed and moved and felt womanness elevated to a whole new honor and art. Susan was terrific, her Not-So-Happy-Fact gave me shivers and vivid imagery, it left us stunned. The main monologue was done magnificently by Laurel, a tall, gorgeous red head with long, glimmering hair. Afterwards, David and I biked to Hootiez to grab a Neuro-sleep and two It's-Its then Susan came to pick us up from his apartment in my van, which was packed with people: Grant, Andrew, Sophie-Ann, Nyx and a bike in the back.

The car ride was loud, full of joking and bickering as I tried to finish my It's-it, which is far too decadent! Then back home, socializing in the living room, Ro and three of her friends came home too. At this point, I needed a distraction as I was getting bored so I made coffee, then drank Neuro-sleep since I felt like I was hyperactive and too talkative. Then I smoked with Susan and was conflicted over what to do as David wanted to watch Collapse like we said we would, but I wanted more stimulation so we watched Bad Lieutenant for a while, but I grew bored of that as well, then went to bed.

Luckily, when I awoke, David was already awake and tender, not pissed at me so I apologized for being such a brat the night before. And we talked a bit, I read to him the poem about Los Angeles. I dropped him off then came back to eat breakfast with Susan, Sophie-Ann and Nyx. We spent the afternoon chatting and reading. I got through a chunk of The Myth of Sisyphus, which illuminated me and my mood. When Susan and Nyx left to take Sophie-Ann to the train station, Grant and I watched a video of Terence McKenna talking about 2012, psychedelics and the I Ching, and this sparked a fascinating conversation about the emotional hook and integrity of art, chaos and fractals, the opposition of human reason and the unreasonableness of the universe, and so forth.

I made some curry with rice, carrots and sausages for dinner, then went to my room to watch Once, which I didn't care to get through. I was talking with Grant in the living room when a bunch of people all come in at once, Ro, Eric, Sean and two other friends of hers, Susan and Nyx. We split off into two card games but Susan, Nyx, Grant and I first went to Albertson's to get a fifth and a twelve pack of beer. Then commenced party! We played 10 9 8, took shots and drank beer. Nyx and I exchanged glances every so often before bursting out in laughter. "I think we have the same mind sometimes" she said, to which Susan replied, "Is that why I love her so?" and I blushed violet since I was already beet red. After throwing up due to the beer I'd chugged, I went to bed around 2 without changing.

Sunday morning (that's today), got up at 8, went outside and saw Grant passed out on the couch, glasses everywhere and it was so messy! I tidied up a bit, ate breakfast. Watched a bit of PS. I Love You, but it was rather trite and campy at times. It was a beautiful, sunny, crisp day and I wasn't about to sit much longer on the couch. Just as Ro's family entered the house, I left to go hiking. And the expanse of the highway, the mountains clear as day in the distance, the speed of my travel, the sunlight after so much heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail--! Freedom, once again.
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Every monday is bean night though the beans
have since been replaced with pot luck
bikes on the lawn and cars out into the street
dozens of people holding instrument cases
the kitchen by the sliding door
has paper lanterns hanging from string
the living room is breathing coloristic muse
metallic tassels from New Orleans
sweat dripping from eyelashes on the west wall
across that to the east is powder azure sky
massive hand pointing at a brain
technicolor fingers of god and Adam blend
above the open windows and the seated crowd
OM tapestries and Beatles posters
paper carpets zooming across the ceiling
the organ, elephant supporting leaning
towers of piano keyboards and guitars
couches, hair on three faces of the room
combed through by legs squeezed knee to knee
the night begins past nine, names float
on the sign up sheet orderless vapor
Lisa, dark eyebrows and pixie dancer
performs new song on keyboard, You Crazy Man,
a silent evocation of deep breathing
chasing feather in storm by tall Broadway
obsidian African, ship of sardonic song
sails across guitar blues of the Atlantic
Brieanna belted dress, wide eyes meet smiling
I sit on the bottom bunk my printed soul
on the pillow bedfellow with my friends
turn's up, I sit on a red velvet foot stool
My name's Darice, this is my first time
performing-- the crowd roars for virgin blood
like we always do and I enter, my voice
trembling with pulse, I receive, my chest
fills, awakened breath carries rhythm through
I lumber back to my seat deaf to applause
until seated I hear its last calls
echoing the silence of what I've become
drums, throaty and deep like the elementals
paranoid guitar, electric fusion jam
Eliot Smith cover and her lover's comedy act
David's prelude, his cousin's egg shaker
all stand up for the midnight goodbye
all instruments in for No Woman, No Cry.
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Me: Hey!! Let's listen to jazz at 3! Nolan Gasser chief musicologist at Pandora is playing from SF

David: Woah kool beans fuck yeah lets do it two salt shakers to hash out and with jazz music lash out

Me: Word up thats wazzup got jazz muzak on veeday like doves and gimme that sax as sexy as ecstasy and black white piano keys

David: Made of ivory don't you see this day is one made for you and me put aside the pamplet then eat around the clit and start sweating to the music burn away the calories

Me: Fuck, me-- hard, I just. Had a // P, B & Jay...

David: With bananas better believe were no longer in Kansas were allowed to do shit that uncle sam would have censored he doesn't agree with these sorta senses. he'd throw us in the dunk tank well tell him were drunk off life already much thanks.

Me: Joie de vivre a la carte blanche and symbiotic growth of souls! oui oui merci Sam, which Sam is and I am, not! Freedom to be not-sam is freedom indeed

David: For my feeble mind this idea is far too above flying with the dove mentioned prior my point is to punch out rhymes yours is to explore mine is just start creating you take the creations and make go further than before

Me: And you are wonderful too wonderful to adore you kiss me with ecstasies and symphonies of your trips flying around riding your bike with no handlebars

David: Come over after class I'll have lunch waiting.


Valentine's Day was one of those days that turn out to be amazing with no plans whatsoever. Sunday night beforehand, I went over to David's apartment though I was in an odd mood equivalent to insomnia but I was happy to see him. We read each other poems, ate chocolate and cuddled to sleep. In the morning, he made breakfast. It was some of his mother's cooking, with toast and delicious. He let me borrow his bike to school since my tire was flat. It's a great bike, sturdy, fixed gear with a comfortable seat. After Essays, in which Ellen brought cookies her mother made for us, I ran into Dale and she looked beautiful, smiling and calling me. Then Chinese class was just a presentation of Chinese cuisine and every slide gave me wonderful reminders of my trip to China. Valentine's Day coincided with Meatless Mondays, free PB&Js in front of the SRB. The bread was delicious and one of the guys tabling was cute as all hell, slightly Asian. Then in the restroom I ran into Michelle, which made me giddy. In Poetry, I had a poem for workshop, about my father, and it went well. Afterwards I biked over to his house for lunch and I heard Ashley call my name as we biked in opposite directions, and I called her back. At David's, he was preparing this falafel burrito with guacamole and vegetables. Nikki was also there, and she was excited to tell me that David Porreca was back for a while. When David brought a water bottle for me, that was simply icing on the cake. I got up to him, saying "You're the best!" and gave him a kiss. He simply glowed after that. We went to see Nolan Gasser's lecture on Jazz as a bike and skateboard duo, where he gripped onto the frame under the seat and I pedalled us there. It went smoothly like teamwork and on the way I saw Matt walking towards Pardall Tunnel and I called him too. We were slightly late to the talk but we didn't miss any of the music. It was breathtaking symphony. The complexity of the music, the drum and the metal feathers, the dexterity of the bassist and the small auditorium... well, it sent shivers all throughout my body in tremors and whispers of delight. We held hands and I couldn't help smiling. Afterwards we went back to his apartment, which was practically empty and we were interrupted many times. Jeremiah visited, with his childlike bulk and said he saw us on our way back. But when Derrick came back from trying to get his paycheck from Hootiez, we went into his bedroom instead. A few hours later, he went to Bean Night but I opted to go home. Andrew, Grant, Jen and Susan were all home and it was wonderful to walk into a busy house. Before bed, I wrote about how much I love Holidays.
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The throaty beats of Derrick’s drumming and the gleaming melody of Kaushik’s electric guitar greeted me as I stepped into apartment 6. Yvonne, standing by the door wearing a hat and a black off the shoulder shirt over a white lace camisole, slid her arm around my waist to give me a hug. I introduced myself to her best friend sitting on a chair, who wore a flowery tank top and a flared ponytail pulled to the side. I had on a red top under a black collared jacket cut at the waist, with teal and black khakis and ankle-high combat boots.

David’s in the back, Derrick told me over his drum and then called for David, who yelled back from the bedroom the three guys share. I step over the amp cord and walk into the room where I see David and Talia sitting on the floor with cups by their feet. Leaping up onto his feet, David grabs me into a hug and asks how I am. I reply, great! As he carries me up and slings me over his shoulder, laughing and kicking.

Back on the ground, I greet Talia, a cousin of David’s I’d met last night, or rather earlier that morning. Naomi, Talia’s younger sister who goes to UCSD, appears from the restroom and sits on the arm of a couch as the two girls, Yvonne and her best friend, also come in. The music from the living room suffuses the room dimly lit in warm colors, reflecting David’s red bedsheets. Christmas lights hung from the top frame of a bunk bed, a light-up Santa face smiled over one of the faces of a movie poster.

The music pauses for a moment and we clamor for more before Kaushik comes over to the door of his bedroom, comments that there’s too much estrogen and resumes jamming with Derrick in the living room. We girls talk about Los Angeles, where some of us are from and where two of us will be moving to, after college. West Hollywood, we agreed, is a wonderful place to have a great time, where the restaurants and clubs stay open past ten or two, where there is so much to do.

David comes back in with a cup of red wine for me. He is drunk and joyous, stretching out his long legs on my lap. I give his foot a squeeze. Easy conversation passes amicably, then another outburst of motion: David leaves to get more wine, and Derrick enters, sits on the leather desk chair. We look up at him as he talks from the floor and his eyes are smiling when he lowers himself onto the floor muttering, I don’t feel equal. We sit Indian style.

A tall and gaunt guy wearing athletic clothes then appears who I’ve never met, but he sits down too and he’s got a turquoise blue pipe and plenty of ganj. Kaushik and David come back in to a full floor, David wedging his cream corduroy legs between me and Derrick. Kaushik sits on the chair, towering over us but nobody minds.

David’s drunk and the word we’re using to describe him is belligerent. Charming belligerence is a muscular guy not accustomed to his own strength with a tendency towards clumsiness. We’re passing the pipe around and I finish my glass of wine.

Kumar, a short and dark neighbor with long, oily black hair sweeping into his face, joins us a little later and the conversation turns towards music, the clique-iness of Biko, the pyrotechnics of Rammstein.

I talk with the tall and gaunt guy and find out we have some things in common, went to high school around the same area. People from Los Angeles tend to find each other.
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“Understood the poem” for the first time
and the three hundred sixty degree
sphere around me collapsed with
the chanting spoken in silence
incanted by transmission of
word, but how silent the momentary
blast when all violence is frozen
as the remembered moment before
everything changed. “It was as if
it became altogether intelligible,”
poems and jazz and expression
and pleasure intrinsically seeded.
Like all poetry blossoms from an
internal spring, how it touched
my lips in weeping, in honor at the
crumbling facade, at the dignity
of the mountain goat, chewing
not heeding the dark poison of ink.
But these are what fell away,
the steepness and treachery of the mountain
gave way to a lightness of being
“a feeling of transparency” of all
human endeavors to be alike in their
common enemy of failure and death.
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Hot Springs

The warmth of sulfur springs wafts from your towel.
The silk of black, magnetic rocks crawls under my fingers
when I touch the back of your neck, and you the nape of my throat
where the pulse of “Love Life” carved on the boulder still ring.
As the melody of the words spoken underwater
the pious touch of my feet on your chest
and the candlelit ruckus all around us
dissolves you into plasma,
melts me back into spring.
Still, unclothed you smell sweet, as from afar, or below
the moon shining through iron-willed curtains,
then to waste you lay barren souls, and let the old
skin erode and the youth erupt.
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If we flew over the morning dew
and waded through the midnight sky
we would never know what it is to die
yesterday was just a dream in a cocoon

tomorrow we feast on leaves in the blue
today we take our time and nothing comes too soon

a little girl she dances on the street
with the man busking on the guitar
their eyes never meet and her smile will fade
but her grandfather with the hat
will remember the way she twirled
and the joyful rhythm of her feet

one day she'll sing and dance again
in harmony with the love in her hands
yesterday was just a dream in a coccoon
and tomorrow would only come too soon

The Fields

Jan. 6th, 2011 08:44 pm
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In the fields
stranding together a headdress of flowers
white clovers
to catch your daydreams

In the fields
blowing dandelion seeds apart
white parachutes
dispersing them all grants you a wish

pluck effortlessly
weeds from the ground that easily give

In the fields
lying spread among stalks of your fingers
white fragrance
your teeth in a sweet mouth,
I pick a flower to me

nip the stem with two nails
a little sap caramelizes the petals
its veins golden

In these pages
drying and pressed between
white paper
you've strewn petals cleaving to my spine
holding onto our story.

IMAGO

Dec. 25th, 2010 11:00 pm
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Underneath a mulberry leaf, a worm spins
two hundred thousand times, thus begins
a twelve day long metamorphosis,
one strand to enshroud itself in a chrysalis.
Inside the cocoon permeates a deep dream
that dissolves the worm's outgrown scheme
its lengthy abdomen shrinks and its jaws
dissolve as destruction brings to growth a pause.
The imago emerges as caterpillar foretells
from the memory of a few remaining cells:
discs containing the whole of its becoming
the catepillar had carried all his time being.
Latent inside the current skin sleeps infinite
choices the heart can make, and to unite
with the One beyond its many faces of expression
is the highest aspiration in living intention.

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