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Kitt 6d
Somewhere in town,
a dog licks at the hand of a child.
a man with no shirt plays hacky-sack alone
The stalwart city has come crashing to her knees,
and so against his own he kicks the bag
again and again
as if he could raise the razed ground
with the power of a child's game.


By a fountain on the curb
men with long hair and guitars sing together,
only strangers before today.
a woman who saw someone
gasping in vain for smokeless breath
inhales deeply from a cigarette.
A saxophone sings out sweet and low,
his melancholy tune sung
for everyone who can only hear
the screams, long gone silent save for in memory,
where they pierce as loud as sirens.

a boy walks to the movies with his mom
and asks her what the sign says.
she reads to him:


and, baffled, he cannot understand why
a free movie
and a sugary drink
and a tub of popcorn
brings his seamless mother to tears.
Exosphere Aug 22
I’m just gonna say it
I hate the subway
it’s hot, stinky, and *****
there’s too many people
but you can’t stare at them cause that’s rude
so you just have to stare at the walls
while crammed into a tin can shooting way too noisy and fast through the dark subterranean landscape
while disconcerting looking people roam from car to car
imploring you somewhat incoherently for money or attention or food
or some scrap of human connection
which is literally and existentially the most  terrifying aspect of the whole experience

as an urban planner by profession
I worry
this makes me an egregious hypocrite
though perhaps it’s just the gross density of humanity to which I object

I did, after all, enjoy the bus,
the train, and the walking walking walking
walking walking walking
walking walking
Anais Vionet Aug 13
Peter, Charles and I were jetting our way to Paris. I’d just woken up. I had to *** so badly it woke me up. It was a medical emergency. I stretched and everything hurt, I felt like I was 30.

Peter was sitting next to me, on the aisle, reading. When he saw me stretch, he said, “Hey sleepyhead.” Ok, I didn’t actually hear him say it, we were all wearing noise canceling AirPods. I read his lips. I motioned that I needed to get up and he probably said “sure,” marking his place with his index finger and standing up in the aisle. I saw Charles watching us and I gave him a sleepy smile.

I’d made the Paris trip 20 times, at least, and I carry an indispensable little travel ****** bag. I removed my AirPods and put them in their case to recharge and used Neutrogena cleansing wipes before I splashed water on my face. Then I spritzed my face with Biologique L' Eauxygénante moisturizing mist. Finally, I applied Clinique lip balm. When I was done, I felt human. My watch said I’d slept for 2 hours.

On my way back to my seat I dropped by Charles, one row back from us and across the aisle.
“How you DOin?” I said.
For some reason Charles and I always greet each other like we’re the Sopranos. “I’m DOin’ ok,” he replied, giving me a little toast with his coffee cup, “You slept?”
“2 hours,” I said. I nodded at his coffee cup, and he handed it to me for a sip.
“Mmm” I said, handing it back. “It feels odd not sitting with you,” I told him, because, well, it did.
“Go on,” he said, giving me a little shoo-away gesture. “We’ll catch up in Paris.”
I gave him a gentle, backhanded tap on the shoulder as I left.

When I got back and Peter and I finished the whole seat-hopping bit, I tilted the book he was reading to see what it was. The title read ‘Thermodynamics and Control of Open Quantum Systems.’ I pantomimed a yawn and he smiled condescendingly.

I put my AirPods back in and the annoying, but necessary, jet noise vanished. The little jet on my seat display indicated we had about 5 hours to go, but I had my Kindle (500 books), my iPad (games, apps, the slow Internet), my Nintendo Switch (Animal Crossing and Zelda), my phone and, of course, the movies and series offered on the seat panel in front of me.

Then, I remembered the two Cinnabons and Honeydew melon Boba Teas in my backpack. The flight attendant passed and asked if we needed anything.
“Can I get a large cup of ice, please?” I enquired. She nodded, making a ‘be right back’ finger motion.

It’s not like we have to row this jet. Why do people complain about air travel?
Anais Vionet Jun 14
I’m laughing this morning, spontaneously. We’re not studying anymore. Our sophomore school year is over. I’m giddy, giggling, like a 9 year old on sugar.

I think I just finished the hardest class that I’ll ever take - my last pure-math class, ever - and I got an “A.” Just barely - by two-tenths of a point (.2). That’s by the skin of a bacteria, the thickness of a sigh or the weight of a glance. Yeah, and I’ll take it very much.

We’re gathered, with two extra-large NY Pizza Supremas, around Lisa’s parent’s long, white kitchen island. Lisa and I parked on tall bar stools and Peter, lounging on a nearby couch. The playlist we’d had going, had just ended. We’re looping a lot of T.Swift because we’re going to see her in concert in TWO days (May 14th 2023). Leeza (Lisa’s 13 yo little sister) is here too - but she’s in a mood.

“You know what I want to hear?” I offered.
“What” Peter asked.
“The other side of the door” I said. Leeza groaned.
“OH MY GOD,” Lisa squealed, “ANAIS, Anais!!, I KNEW I loved you, I already knew!
Lisa turned to Peter, “Anais and I we, we have this string - some might call an invisible string”
“Yeah,” I laugh. “tying us to each other,” Lisa continued, laughing, “and sometimes I get so shocked when she reminds me it’s there.”  “right,” I agree.
“And you’re so real for that - it’s so true.” Lisa finishes by starting the song.

“Taylor Swift’s  “the other side of the door” plays, Leeza stomps out, taking half a pie and when the song finishes there’s silence.

“Wow” Lisa said. Peter looked up from wherever absurdly boring physics article he was reading.
“Sorry,” I told Peter, fanning myself, “we’re recovering. That song has the best outro in the business.”
“Cause you just expect a song to end on a chill fadeout” Lisa explains, “and end nicely.”
“This one just ends, BAM!” I laughed. “BAM!” Lisa echos, laughing as well.
“It’s trenchant - the little black dress - you just have to shake your hips every TIME,” I say.
“It eats, it eats every TIME,” Lisa agreed.
“It eats so much I forget he cheated on her!” I laugh, “I don’t even CARE!”
“I don’t even care,” Lisa chuckles, “in the outro,” she tells Peter, “she’s takin’ back her man because he got with some girl in a little black dress.”
“It’s a hard lyric,” I say, “the beautiful eyes, the conversations, the lies, are all I can think of.”  
“I like Taylor’s version the best,” Lisa said, “you get the emotional maturity and her voice is more mature.”

“Of course,” I said, “I grew up with that album - I think it came out in 2008 (I was 5) - but I remember, about two years ago, maybe three, I was in high school, some friends and I were driving to the lake and it was a full-on Swift-sing-along. We finished singing it, and I thought, “WOAH, that song EATS - how had I missed that?”
“I know,” Lisa echoed, “her music just hits at different stages of life and still comes off fresh.”
“Like someone discovering the Beatles,” Peter said, “who were - 60 years ago?”
“Yeah, or David,” I said. Peter looked confused.
“David - from the Bible?” I explained, “THAT was a long time ago too. Have you Godless Californian’s ever read any of the Bible?”
“No,” Peter said, sarcastically, going back to his reading, “but I saw the movie.”
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Trenchant: communication that’s strong, clear, and perceptive.

eats = fully enjoyable, it slays
camps Jan 14
words on paper airplanes now stalled out
in an electric stasis
shocking like when your blue eyes peered out
and made me realize that

holding hands on twenty fifth felt warm
like morning coffees pouring blessings
the lotion dotting sleepy faces
hung pretty as art on empty walls
trails of roses shaping your lips red
marked the rooms so stuffed with memories
the spasms in your sleep would cry out like
crackles of fires burning bright for us
brushing your hair with lamplight so sweet
showed the comfort of nights staying in
for you these eastern trains voyage north
and surrender to the belonging

you didn't just feel cozy
you felt so much like home
alyssa | nyc
Anais Vionet Nov 2022
Leeza (the 13 year old sister of my roommate Lisa) and I are in the building 220 lobby, heads-down on our phones, waiting for Lisa and Peter (my BF). The lobby is huge and deserted except for a lady concierge at the front desk, a security guard and the doorman - all far away from us. This is by way of explaining that our masks are off - mine hanging, useless, on my left ear.

When this unmasked guy, I was grazingly introduced to at last year’s 220-building Christmas party walks up to us and says, “Anais, Hi. You’re back!”

I flinched. I know a lot of people are over the whole mask thing and the covid thing - and have the temerity to risk it all, but I don’t - did I mention flu season or covid variations? Someone unmasked getting unexpectedly up in my personal space is jarring, rude, and on several levels dangerous and scary.

“Oh, hi,” I said. I vaguely recognized him, but I couldn’t remember his name. He’s one of those guys who’s cutely strange looking. He’s short (5’4”) (nothing wrong with that, short kings, you’re valid), his hair’s dark at the roots but blonde tipped (beach-hair?) and when he smiles, and he smiles a lot, his smile looks too big for his face. I remember he’d seemed socially awkward when we met, and Lisa had said his father is someone important.

“Yeah,” I said, with a shrug, “Holidays again.” I briefly bob up on my toes, to glance over Leeza’s head and to my relief, I see Lisa and Peter coming out of the elevator. I decide to mask up and seeing me do it, Leeza does as well.

“I’m sorry,” I said apologetically, “I remember you, but I can’t remember your NAME. I’m an idiot.” I give him my best, ditzy shrug.

He reintroduced himself, “Merritt,” he said, offering his hand and smiling again, still unmasked. As I shook his hand he twisted in Leeza’s direction and said, “Hi Leeza!” She gave him the smallest possible 13-year-old’s courtesy nod.

Peter and Lisa arrived, having masked up. “Merritt, hey!” Lisa said, greeting him warmly. “Have you got senioritis yet?” she asked, cheerfully. “Merritt’s graduating from Brown this year,” she announced, turning to include us all in the good news. “Public policy, ya?” She followed up.
“That’s it,” he confirmed, beaming.
“Congratulations!” I said, nodding.
“Way to go!” Peter added with a “yes” nod.
“Merritt, this is Peter,” Lisa said, taking charge. “He belongs to Anais.” she reported, as they shook hands and exchanged nods. “Merrit,” Lisa said, in a disappointed tone, “I hate to rush off, but we’re in a scramble for a dress fitting,” she lied. Lisa can lie like a politician.

And just like that, in something like 45 seconds she shook-off Merritt - who seems like a very sticky guy indeed - without resorting to mace or anything - Lisa’s got charm.

Thoughts about charm..
My grade, in physics 3 (an A-) was 2-one-hundredths from an A+. I almost certainly (like 85%) could have charmed the professor for that tiny bit. We’ve all seen it done - you put on a self-effacing smile and say, “I’m so close, is there something I can do for extra credit?” But I can’t DO it, physically, I can’t say the words and beg for grades. It’s like I can picture my mom watching me having to beg for something she earned, and I’d be mortified to even try. It’s my small disadvantage, a self-imposed handicap.

Besides, if I did betray my code, there’s the awful chance the professor might say no - and that would **** me.

Lisa, on the other hand, wouldn’t actually have to charm. She’d ask about her grade, periodt. The teacher, seeing there’s something he or she could do for this goddess - would just do it. With no asking involved.

Imagine you’re an airline agent and Beyonce´ stepped up to your station. She has a little problem you could effortlessly fix with a click of your mouse. Would you, do it? Hells-yes you would and before she even asked. “It’s already done,” you’d say - just to have Queen Bey smile at you.

The rest of us have to work at it (sigh) - and take our chances..
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Temerity: "a foolhardy contempt for danger”

periodt - an absolute period - there’s nothing else.
Anais Vionet Nov 2022
It’s Tuesday morning. I’d thought, until Leeza corrected me, that Thanksgiving was today.
“Thanksgiving always falls on Thursday, dorkus,” Leeza said Sunday, at breakfast (extirpating my hopes). “Besides, notice we haven’t been cooking?” She added.
“Good point.” I chuckled disappointedly.

Later, Lisa, Leeza and I had just got back from the pool where we saw John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. Leeza told me that Paramount studios has a condo, somewhere - on the 29th floor - where celebs stay (When you don’t know where something is, it’s on the mysterious 29th floor). Peter missed it. He didn’t join us because it’s a saltwater pool and it stings his warm but delicate, deep brown eyes.

I wondered what Peter was doing - push-ups on the balcony or something probably. Who knew he exercised so much? There’s a whole state-of-the-art gym but he likes exercising outdoors. I checked and yeah, there he was, on the balcony in the 46° wind, doing curls or something with elastic bands.

I sipped on some of Karen’s (Lisa & Leeza’s mom) nummy cinnamon-apple-cider and watched him for a few delicious minutes. Peter really is kind of fire, I decided. Then I popped my head out, “Come shower, Lisa wants to go out,” I announced. He just nodded and began packing up. I ran for my room to shower first (we share a shower).
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Extirpate: “to destroy completely,”

dorkus = clueless *****
fire = hot, exciting, greater than normal great
Anais Vionet Nov 2022
Last night, Lisa, Peter, Leeza and I were in her father’s 50th floor study watching New York City. It’s a corner room with glass walls from floor to ceiling. He likes to watch the city himself and has a small, 5 seat sectional couch facing the view.

The left wall window looks across Hell’s Kitchen to exactly where Sully Sullenberger crash landed flight 1549 in the Hudson river (it was 3:31 pm and no one was home). The right window overlooks Central Park and Upper Manhattan. Lincoln Center, almost dead center of the corner, looks like part of a toy train-set.

The view is a wheeling, ever changing and mesmerizing panorama. Well lit ships, barges and boats move glacially against the ink black Hudson. Jets in expressway-like holding patterns (Newark Liberty, and Teterboro airports left window - LaGuardia, right window) blink, like waving angels, helicopters buzz below like insects and the traffic, far, far below, forms a living chain of red and white lights which can erupt with nugatory hues of police blue at any moment.

While we watch, we’re playing a game of “Would you rather.” It’s a game of situational trade-offs, like “Would you rather listen to the same 10 songs forever or have to watch the same 5 movies forever? Of course, most people say the movies - because they last longer and there would be fewer repeats.

We take turns asking these critical questions - pausing, occasionally, to point out things below.  
“Would you rather be in a crowded elevator with a bunch of noisy high school students or pinned in with a bunch of judgemental, middle aged men? The girls chose the students, even though high schoolers can be mean. Peter chose to be with the men.
“Would you rather find your true love or a suitcase with 5 million dollars?” We all chose love.
“Would you rather hike or camp?” Both were unpopular if they involved going to the bathroom outside - which creeps the girls out.
“Would you rather give up your computers or your pets (forever)?” THAT was a stressful one.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Nugatory: “of little or no consequence”

My movies: Clueless, Rushmore, Moonstruck, Shakespeare in love, Dr. Zhivago
Anais Vionet Nov 2022
We’re on-high - in Lisa’s (parent’s) 50th floor penthouse in Manhattan. The sky outside is a cloudless, blinding powder-blue, infinite and reflective as liquid. A TV news helicopter flew by under her window a few minutes ago.

If you don’t feel God-like looking down on the world from her living room, then you’re probably an atheist. Peter was with us and as we stood, looking out on Central Park and NYC from her balcony, he was suitably impressed by it all - from the chopper ride in from New Haven to the opulent digs.

Peter’s a poor (he exists on a meager stipend) doctoral student from Malibu, California. He grew up simply, in a rustic, one floor, three-bedroom cabin that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. He never had a smart-phone or cable TV growing up and only got glacially slow Internet in high school. He says he really lived in the ocean. His most prized possession is his 70s “Bing Bonzer” surfboard that stands, like a priceless, Egyptian relic in his dorm room.

We got a vibe switch when we came inside and 2Pac’s “Hit ‘Em up” was absolutely airhorning from the stereo system. “Westside, Westside, Westside,” Lisa and I joined in the chorus and clumsy-danced by reflex. Leeza, Lisa’s younger sister, saw us and ran over for a group hug with Lisa and me.

Lisa’s little sister’s 13 now and boy, is she a new-teenager. Her long, deep-red hair, which now has fluorescent blue ends, is tied-up in a ponytail revealing a buzz-undercut. Leeza had just gotten home from school and had already changed from her school uniform to ripped jean shorts, white socks and a black, 2Pac sweatshirt - which her mom reported she wears every single day. When her mom manages to launder that, Leeza rotates to a Jets hoodie - although she’s never watched a football game in her life.

“I’ve got a worried mind,” I confessed to Peter, later, as we were scrunched together, me half on his lap in an easy chair. He gave me a consoling hug.
Our grades came out earlier today and I got an A- in Physics 3. I crumbed in the face of classical mechanics. Is an A- who I am? Yeah, I guess so, and I’ll have to give myself an “F” for dealing with it. I suppose I’m acknowledgeably challenged.
“Can you appeal it?” Peter asked, he was trying to be supportive, but he knows that’s a ridiculous notion.
“It’s a male professor,” I said, “maybe I could send him a voice message and cry,” I updog.
“That would be HOT,” Peter said, in a dream-like whisper.
“Uhgh,” I groaned, “It’s emotional manipulation, it’s NOT ******,” I explained, creeped out.
I haven’t talked to my parents yet. They’re in Poland and don’t know my life is over.

“You deserve to embrace your awesomeness, stand up for who you are and reject the status quo.” Peter offered, “I dare you,” he finished, unable to keep a straight face. “But seriously, you’ll fix it after the break,” he offers in hope.
“Yeah,” I say, somewhat unconvinced, “I know.”
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Crucible: a situation that forces someone to change.

updog = when you supply your part of an ongoing joke
Anais Vionet Nov 2022
Midterms are over
I’m coming up for air
now that they’re done
I’ll admit I was scared
- that physics three -
was nearly the death of me.

What comes next?
The Manhattan express
for November recess
some November excess
with Lisa, my BFF princess,
my doughty, NYC adventuress,
I’m blessed, she’s the best.
Ooo! and some turducken bliss,
much needed rest and time to de-stress
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Doughty: “brave, strong, and determined.”

A Turducken is a dish consisting of a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, further stuffed into a deboned turkey.
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