Musings

We often think of liminal space as location, or lack of location. If, in the Irish mythos terms, these are ‘thin spaces,’ then who’s to say that a person cannot become a liminal space of their own. Consistently on the move, never staying with one person or in one place for long, can a human adopt this wavering reality for themselves? If life never settles down, can a consistent feeling of liminality be considered a thinness of reality any longer? When the transition is never finished, and a person becomes the transition permanently, does that erase or indulge the theory of liminal space and time? If I am consistently in transition, can I truly be between two stages when my single, sedentary state is a lack of sedentary life? Or is life, in its entirety, a liminal space between before and after?

[Written August 8th, 2016]

When your parents sell your childhood home, have a drink and write about it.

“Are you sad about the house?” my mother asks in a faraway voice that has a pleading undercurrent equally torn between ‘I-don’t-want-to-be-the-one-who’s-caused-you-pain,’ and, ‘please-ask-me-the-same-question-because-I’m-devastated.’ I pause, mulling over my answer as if it’s a bitter piece of my dinner that I can’t quite swallow. Of course I’ll miss the house, I think, I grew up there! But I think of the fact that, little by little, the house I remember so fondly slipped away more and more each year. When  I was little, I would chip at the paint on the pole of the basketball hoop. The rust underneath was of no interest to me, but the oil slick rainbow of colors on that lead-filled, poisonous chipping paint was like treasure to me. I’d pick and peel away for what felt like hours, always in secret so my father didn’t catch me at it, and then I’d run it down the street to my hideaway in the trees where I’d bury my spoils. The house was like that paint. My first cat Milo, just six months older than me, lost his mind and attacked me on the stairs when I was 14. The old tree branch I would sit upon to watch the neighborhood dogs walk by was cut down when I was maybe 15. The basement I found solace in had its carpet ripped up and furniture removed when I was 18. Every few years I’d look around and find that, after the paint had chipped away, the house was mostly rust anyways. But it hurt to leave the shards behind. Of course it hurts to think that concrete evidence of 19 years of my life is gone. But instead of saying all of these things that I know will burn my mother like acid, I say, “Yes, of course I’m sad. But I’m ready for something new.”

[Written October 19th, 2016]

On the subject of jazz and the human condition.

The dull ache of winter weighs heavy on my chest and constricts my lungs
or maybe that’s the packs I’ve smoked over the past few days
waiting for my voice to sound husky and sultry and cracked,

My chapped lips bleed blue-collar aspirations and imported ideas of enlightenment
sitting on the stoop and listening to my mother cry in the kitchen
while I sing along to Sinatra and wait for my father to come home,

Baby sister stumbles up the front steps with liquor in her eyes
she watches me for a brief moment before lighting up a joint
collapsing on the cement next to me like the broken doll she aims to be,

We sit together discussing what we once wanted to be
if only to muffle out the sound of our mother’s heartbreak and bond in our estrangement
laughing in the face of every shrink who ignored our wrath in family therapy,

“Do you think he’ll come home?” I find myself whispering into the smoke
“Sissy,” she sighs and throws the roach into the street
“I don’t think I want him to.”

[Written October 11th, 2016]

All Hallows’ Eve

At the witching hour I dig my knees into the forest floor, I let the ox blood pool in my cupped palms, I crow to the red moon as the she-wolf in my chest rips herself apart. Was it her who pushed too far, or did I test the devil myself, facing his divine rejection? The taste of iron curdles in my throat as my mouth gives birth to heart palpitations and wine gone bad. My ravens rot before me and I watch, rapt, as they swell and decay while time takes charge and slips back and forth. My head swims with the power of an unforgivable sacrifice and your face rises from the ashes, bursting into angelic flames and forever imprinting your well-lit hatred in my vision. “What have I done to you?” My voice is half rasp and part snarl, my tongue fighting against the sharpening teeth. The trees watch from on high, finally taking everything away from me once and for all.

[Written October 31st, 2016]