mommy I was born with the taste of blood in my mouth
tired from the moment i touched your arms
from fighting the fact that i already knew
i wouldn’t live to their expectations
i was raised with a fist made with steel
that came down on me in waves
mommy please i told you
i was tired from the fight
mommy dearest you are a fire bleeder
a destroyer of all the things i held close
i just want to sleep mommy please
Non ti preoccupare, mio dolce amico.
Saro sempre con te.
Ti aiutero a raggiungere i tuoi obiettivi.
La nostra amicizia e eterna!
When the ebon evening is spread out against the landscape
like squares of wheat-fields laid down, coming in from mainland Dublin.
Let you, an adorable penguin waddle through fully-deserted glaciers,
squawking Penguinese words of wisdom.
Of restless, sleepless, blackstar nights in weathered, crumbling caves
And restuarant-like lakes that serve salmon.
Glaciers that morph into another bigger glacier, roads that do not end.
Roads that ask you questions, questions that deal with faith, questions that only God knows the answer to.
Roads that lead you to a truly satisfying answer.
Do not ask 'What is the answer, friend?'
Come, let us finish our journey
...The best of friendships that are formed are
ones made on a journey...
The emerald and mauve flicker in the night sky
reflects on your snow-like, paper belly.
I light an sunset fire as I sit close to you, feeding you fish.
The solitary, saffron smoke shines on your Stygian eyes.
The fire lingered, as it cooked and prepared my food.
Let the beautiful, blackstar sky comfort you, my friend.
As we need our sleep! But, do not worry, pal,
indeed there will be time for stories. And indeed,
there will be time to wonder about lady-penguins,
and think 'Do I date?' and 'Do I dare?'
We walk on the night-roads, but I know all of the roads, I know all the roads.
I already walked down every road before, I'm your guardian angel.
I will promise to protect you from predators, pal.
Somebody as cute as you does not deserve to die alone
You will grow old.... with somebody, my friend.
Until then, I will be with you
untill human voices wake me up to the icy, twisted reality
I need to be in.....
You don't know this yet,
but I'm gonna meet you
in a few days
and on the 13th of December
you'll let me be yours
My mother will hate you
for a couple of years,
but I'll leave the house
i grew up on
just to be next to you;
all the hard work and sleepless nights
will be worthwhile
Sixty months after that,
we're going to get married
on the 18th of June,
and our children will be happy,
I'm aware of all this stuff
because, twenty three years later,
I'm still in love with your laugh,
your jokes, your rants
and changing moods
I'll always be thankful
for that first conversation we had
eight thousand, three hundred
and seventy seven
Sometimes I Shazam random songs.
I don't even have to like'em or anything..
I just do it.
Press the big blue button and wait for it to do its job.
I'm always sad when it says it's sorry and returns no result.
"They didn't quite catch that. Try again". Who does?
Sometimes I Shazam random noises on the metro,
Hoping it will pick up the coolest soundtrack of a movie I'm in,
Just before the credits,
When everything goes dark - but not because of a random suicide bomber that hates life and wants revenge or something.
It returns no results and the TV suddenly goes louder in my head and there are 23 victims and we're all posting kittens on Facebook to show that we're not afraid.
Sometimes I Shazam my parents voices
while they're telling me how their day went
and I discover really cool indie artists
that make me listen to their work in a loop.
Once, I Shazamed your heartbeat while you were sleeping.
It returned my name.
Can't remember the album, but it had a nice cover photo.
I never Shazamed my own voice, nor my heartbeat.
I'm too afraid it'll show nothing worth listening to.
The house I grew up in is bent,
It's always been bent,
Leaning against the earth,
Against the wind.
Against empty promises
That now cave in
Under their own weight.
Sad little house,
With its sad little windows,
Like eyes that've seen too many
Bad days and now they're
Dirty with knowing.
I hardly ever go back inside.
My dad lives there.
He defines himself
By how well he hides.
Hiding in the bedroom, usually.
Leading his secret life
Behind the closed door.
He is alone for the most part,
But he still has the kids.
Though, I don't like
For him to think that he does,
Lest he should grow too comfortable.
Most times I just stand outside
And stare into the family room.
I try to imagine the five of us
Surrounding the television set,
Tuned into some black and white
Classic, smiling honest smiles
And not the thin, fake fucking
Smiles we wear now.
But when I watch television now,
It's always something that's in color.
Black and white hurts my eyes.
Too much contrast.
And when I think of home,
I do not think of that sad, bent little
House on the hill where I was born.
No, I think of somewhere else.
Somewhere I haven't been yet.
Somewhere where lies can't just
Hide in the bedroom.
Every day I've lived my life
You've been there by my side
Through hugs and hopes and dreams and fears
When I've laughed and when I've cried
I have such happy memories
Of beaches, rock pools and sun
Of too much ice-cream, camping in the rain
Of long summers full of fun
It hasn't always been a breeze
There've been downs along the way
But you've always smiled, no matter what
And kept those clouds away
So thank you for the work you've done
With tired nights and long drives alone
It's meant we've always had a house
A place we can call home
35 years you've been a dad
You're a pro after all this time
Though I'm sure you've had a bit of help
Either from Mum or from the wine!
Of all the dads in all the world
I'm so proud that I can say
I've the best dad there's ever been
I love you, Happy Father's Day!
Your da was in a mood
he'd received a letter
from the nuns at school
that you'd been insolent
and had been
punished for it.
Can't understand ya
a good Catholic
and you behave
I'd give ya
but I don't think
it'd be any good.
He stormed out
to the garden
and took it out
on the vegetable bed
with his spade.
Now you've got him
in a mood
and it'll be me
that has to get him
your ma said
just because you
want to act
the big lady.
She went into
pots and pans about
and moaned to herself
to your room
and shut the door
feck the nuns
and lay on your bed.
You had Mary
on this bed
a week or so ago
you and she
your da's eyes
pop from his head
and his jaw
a dead donkey's tool.
You kissed your arm
pretended it was Mary
she lying there
her snugly body
close to yours.
My father’s name is Adam. As in apple, the core stuck to a throat halfway, jutting seed.
This is the middle name that the business world has no whereabouts of. It was bestowed upon
him, this name, I imagine like all things; deliberately searching the scaffolds of the bible with apprehensive sweat trickling through brown sugar colored foreheads. However there’s nothing
biblical about this man. He has six children, the most unlucky of all numbers.
Thus, I have 5 half-siblings. Each with identically strange sunken eyes and tired skin.
The same kind of shared headache. Like being submerged for too long. Like too many mistakes and too little oxygen.
I am unlucky number 6. An omen-child. Not the settling of dust but of the silent movement before
it was ever frazzled by frantic feet. The calm you don’t want to realize exists.
3 daughters and 3 sons because he was compulsively articulate and clean; a nasty habit of OCD that was coddled by the women that washed their hands twice and bit their nails until they bled.
You see, I never speak of them because they do not speak of me.
Memory is tricky. Sometimes you remember the smell of fried pork in hands that have known hard
labor and other times you recall perfectly the pirated DVD’s sold for a dollar down the street of your neighbor’s apartment. The distorted graphics on the front, the headline in Spanish and despite how many people are there buying these illegally distributed films you wonder why you feel ashamed and embarrassed when you tell your friends, if you tell your friends but you don’t.
I know of their existence, of where they are located and could be found easily, their names and what they do but if one was to ask me, I would not know their personalities, how they react to bad news or if they are fulfilled, whether they know that our psychological genetics are cloudy and erratic and that is why Sundays always feel sacrilegious. They are faces in a picture that I never had a need to frame.
Despite having the same father, we do not call the same man, dad.
There is a brother that lives by the beach with a guy twice his senior.
They share martinis and aged bottled wine talking about social movements and Bill Clinton.
You see, he chooses to cohabitate with a man he knows is living his last few years and not a person that tied his shoes until he was 7 years old because he was too busy making time for other kids, stretching himself for everyone else that he had time for no one. There are certain unforgivable things a parent can do, like leaving too early, taking off 5 minutes before when he could have waited 10, turning the lights off when they should have stayed on, always. Yet there is a certain kind of pressure that is put on someone that is no less human than anyone else. Someone that can draw architecture and buy ice cream on days when limbs are too heavy to go to school can’t be all bad. Despite the entire trauma, you still pray and rescue wounded animals and that is something that can only be taught and not learnt.
So as these estranged family members disintegrated and gathered informative pieces about me through loose lips curious to see if I would fail, ravenous to know inevitable tragedy.
I unflinchingly understood the arbitrary imaginative reel of what is to be alone. To grasp all things violent and horrific to witness and endure it with closed fists and well-aware eyes. To go on vacation trips and enjoy the sunburnt noses of tourists waving their flyers in the air like flamingos flapping off the insects from their pink wings. Instead of playing in the sand with a second pair of hands and having inside jokes there was a long inspection of scars and the way adults consulted with other adults by trying out different words like masks hoping to impress and even humiliate the other with their colorful lyrics but after all only jargon.
My father’s name is Lazarus. As in open tomb, cheating death with the sweet victory of another pulse.
I often dream about his funeral. The day when there is no father to blame, no man to pin my overzealous heart of anxiety. To face a family that is neither welcoming nor reproachful but is always silent. Just dagger glances, fang and hiss. I wake up in sweat. Sometimes it is because I am there and the casket is open but he’s laughing and no one showed up, there is no wind and my legs feel like a tube of jelly, microwaved honey. I try to say the things I’ve always wanted to tell everybody that has ever had anything to do with me, the apologies I shouldn’t have handed and the truth I should have had memorized anyway. But I just end up spitting seeds, a million of them flowing out of my hands dragging me out like a million wingless flies rejecting the tears that I cried for all the wrong reasons.
Other times it is crowded with people I didn’t know about, wasn’t aware of like searching through a private drawer and finding sex toys or things you wish you hadn’t discovered and the casket is empty, there is an imprint of a body but no one resides inside until the floor drops and there are stairs I’ve seen before, somewhere at some point. When I get to the bottom there’s a whisper
“where can I find you if not in here, on skin that is my own, on a forehead where no one asks if it remembers Chinese food and the pinch of birth.”
I love my father but I would never tell him no not directly.
I love him to death and am relieved to know
I will never be a dad.
Never be a forced hero.
Never proof of something that wasn’t trying to hide in the first place.
This is a letter to strangers, a dissertation, repertoire
to people I have known but have not fully held
to the ones that I am bound by blood but would not
recognize in a crowded room
out of all these ambiguous characters
I am unlucky number 6. An anomaly of chance girl. Not the settling of dust but of the silent movement before it was ever frazzled by frantic feet. The calm you don’t want to realize exists.