talking to myself

Paid nearly a hundred
bucks for boxes while
a storm rolled in
dark out of the west, entire
horizon gone steel-
grey and rumbly. My stomach these days
is unsettled– I drink bubbles
to distract it from its own inner
misery or whatever
shenanigans it might get up to.
I swallow the largest doses
of vitamins, mouthfuls, wash them down
with enormous waves of faith–
Stay well. Healthy in all the ways
necessary: sane, calm, steady,
self-posessed, hale and god-damned
hearty. Do not let a few buzzards
pester with persistent circling
inquiries– dial down the periphery
and keep putting forth
that next foot
into tomorrow, through the murk
and glare of the present–
Just move onward.

message in a bottle

I am, apparently, talking to myself in an empty room. not that it’s ever really been any different– but I had such high hopes for comment functionality. I thought, ah, NOW I’ll really get a sense of whether I’m making any contact out there…

newsflash: I’m not making any contact.

which is fine, really.

lately I find I’m lying about everything. I’ll say I’m not disappointed when precisely the opposite is true. I’ll say I’m doing fine, when I’m sleeping about four hours a night and grinding my teeth down. getting crowns installed sucks, by the way.

hello, echoey hall of mirrors. wakey wakey. I’ll make my own reflections shimmy yet.


Back from your banishment to the bottom of the ocean,
you bring buckets of pearls with you. Salt-white
and tear-stained all over, you are still small,
but ferocious. Play blazes in you
like an entire seaside of carnivals aflame.
Your hands and eyes reach to grasp
every particle of the unknown universe
hanging in the sky about your head.
Your yearning yawns and splits today’s world
wide open. I am here for you. My arms are
wide open, yearning to receive you back,
to wear you like a living suit of fire.
I would fan with your wings.
You are truly not doused.
Come, skin, step into me,
pour your pearls down my throat and we will sing
aloud with a single, singeing voice.

what does the universe want from me?

sometimes it’s hard to tell– especially when it keeps giving and giving and I feel quite dwarfed by the openness of the hand.

but today I think I have some inklings:

to practice patience;
to be calmer
and kinder
and stronger
and to laugh more
and to keep believing
and expecting the best
from the people I love
and also from myself,
to say, hush!
to those persistent little,
niggling voices of insecurity,
and to continue to open, open
with or without explicit invitation to do so–
to receive it all and let it go again
and to love every fleeting gorgeous
instant of it with my whole heart.

the names list

sometimes you just have to ask for what you want. sometimes it takes a lot of words to get there– and sometimes you’re lucky enough to nail it right off the bat. that’s seldom the case for me. I require drafts. and mulling and second-guessing and ad nauseum review and rehash– but eventually I get there. wherever There is.

in this case it’s getting the goddamn names list I’ve been working on for the last several months out to the paying, or, well, silently appreciative public. ;-)

I’ve got this word document that I need to convert to a pdf for ease of viewing and formatting beauty and finesse, but my version of acrobat is not compatible with osx nor with any version of word I currently have on the computer– how dumb is that? to have the whole os9 environment available to run but unable to actually use the software because it relies on another piece of software (something office-tastic) to even do its thing? annoying, to say the least. and because I’m no longer affiliated with the university in any way shape or form (hoorah! so long overdue!), I no longer have access to their wealth of software licensing. so sad. and the current employer does not indulge in such trifles– at least not for peons in my position. but why even bother with the pdf, you might ask, seeing as how you’re just putting the word document online anyway? and to that I say, shuttup. because it’s ultimately prettier. and there’s more than one way to fleece a mountain, so mohammed can just… well, just, NEVERMIND. because I wanna.

so. I’m Putting It Out There and placing a person-to-person call to the universe to answer with some nice individual who’ll download and convert the file for me and email it back. hoorah! how simple is that? ain’t it grand the way the web works?

and now for a brief history/overview of the above-mentioned file…

The Names List.

for the last ten months or so I’ve been working a low-level job for a certain standardized testing company located in my town– part of the delay in making this fabulous document public, beyond the technical difficulties, has been the stress of attempting to describe just what the hell I *have* been doing, and why. so I’m not even going to get into it. suffice to say, it has served its purpose perfectly. the point, really, is that in the course of this job it has been my daily occupation to field calls from students and their parents who are trying to register for said test. so there’s this great big database of names and assorted other information that we search to provide the best doggone service possible for a fair price. and I’ve kept myself amused, lo these many months, by collecting an array of the the most… startling and downright confounding Real Names ever– and giving them each a little imagined fictional destiny. so that’s what the list is.

enjoy. :-)


(working on day three of insomnia, if you couldn’t tell. but at least the flu’s gone.)

feeling wrong and feeling right

I have a friend or lover who is dark and beautiful with curly, wavy, thick, shoulder-length hair– he’s persian and has the most exquisite features– but I’m not entirely sure where I stand– it’s possible I admire him too much and am dismissable. I get him a gift while I’m out around the little town, and when I’ve given it to him, I’m seized by doubt– I had thought it such a pretty, unusual gift and that it would suit him, but after I’ve already handed it over, my heart quails with embarassment because I’m suddenly certain that it’s entirely wrong– not appropriate for a guy at all, even a beautiful and unusual one. it’s a pair of earrings, and while he does wear a small pair of gold loops in his ears like a gorgeous pirate, these earrings I’ve found and given him are entirely wrong: bright blue metal, fan-shaped, and dangly. really something out of the atrocious ’80s. I’m mortified. and he sees how inappropriate they are and even downright ugly, and I know there’s a judgment of me being made for having chosen and given them. and then he’s walking on with a kind of cursory, insincere thank you tossed back. I even try to pursue it, suggest taking off the bottom dangly fan, can’t leave it alone, trying to amend and explain and recapture some sense from whatever my original inspiration might have been– but it’s gone now, and all I can see is how dreadful what I’ve given him is.

I drop in to visit a friend, or my cousin, and gradually realize that she has plans I’m interrupting and that I’m not entirely welcome– she and her boyfriend or husband are having drinks with the couple next door, and he stops over a little early, and they’re chatting and he asks what she’d like him to make her to drink– I’m standing there like an awkward, unwanted embarassment, so I leave.

I climb aboard my balloon flying contraption and take off over the city– decide I want to fly to the urals, go visit the asian russian mountain cities– so I imagine the direction and eyeball a flight path and set off– but as I’m soaring high over downtown houston, I realize my craft may not make it so far, over oceans and wild mountain reaches– it’s only a humble, makeshift contraption– so I turn it and head for a closer home, where I feel I belong.

partway into the trip I have to crash-land– I lose altitude and am going down fast– but fortunately, as it turns out, there’s a big, soft buddha statue to cushion my fall– I crash into its belly, and all the people, the family, come running to see if I’m okay and to help me out.

I wake up in triangular traction out in their backyard, hanging from my head, the top of my spine– and I feel perfectly fine (although I accept an offered advil)– and in fact the crash has managed to open up my sacral chakra, and now I feel clear and calm and laughing and light. I didn’t realize how closed I’d been before.

when I get down out of the traction, there’s a kind of community fair in progress– possibly even a welcoming celebration for me, which seems perfectly astonishing and unimaginably generous– and the bake-off is just beginning with an apple pie contest, and they call me down to taste and judge. I’m honored and happy and having fun, and I go over and praise both pies for their shapeliness and color, though they’re as different from one another as two apple pies can possibly be: one is classic traditional, and the other is experimental. I try the experimental one first– it has deep fried slices of apple, or maybe even some entirely other fruit or vegetable, inside a spicy crumble crust– and it’s surprising, delicious, quite fascinating really, and I know then and there that I’ll definitely be giving this one a prize, tho I haven’t even tasted the other one yet.

4 a.m. again

I can’t sleep. I keep doing addition in my head, and the pieces fly around. and the pieces get heavy and dive-bomb me. I’ve been here before. I’m leaving soon. everything is unimaginable at this hour. I write notes to friends that are laden with melancholy and dissatisfaction and then send them. then regret that they weren’t cheerier. this trend leads to self-isolation, and I don’t want to do that again, not just yet. it’s not really that I want to be alone, tho I make it that way. sometimes, being alone is a thing you do with leftovers. work the upside. which doesn’t necessarily make it chosen. see what I mean about the middle of the night? yeah. I guess this is where paper journal steps in. sarah out. xo.