Monday, December 30, 2013

here and there




christmas in tennessee and georgia

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Thursday, December 12, 2013

on the last hot day we piled into tamara’s jeep and drove down south to the carnival. a massive ferris wheel growing larger and larger as we neared the parking lot. i sat in the back seat next to L and S. our elbows knocking.  a bottle of rum sweating between L’s legs. she took a sip, tossed in a few salted peanuts, then passed it to S. the plastic rim smeared with two different shades of lipstick. i smelled my hair, which smelled like their perfume. 

a moonless night. we snuck in, climbing through a hole in the chain link fence. outside the funhouse, tamara said catch me if you can. this was no ordinary maze but a labyrinth of mirrors, darkened corners, secret passageways, and trap doors.  L and S trailed after her while i waited by the front flap watching two kids score big at skeeball. both former lovers of tamara, L and S saw no humor in their getting lost, neither finding her. tamara emerged laughing, head titled back. her tight denim jacket made crunching sounds when she walked. in the fortune tellers tent, i sat on an elaborately embroidered silk cushion. the room lined with velvet tapestries, hazy from half-burnt champaka.  she read the stars, not crystal balls: as an aquarius you must do what you need instead of focusing on others.  i had hoped for more exotic advice, but nodded my head yes.

standing in a grassless patch of dirt, tamara threw a softball over and over, hitting bullseye every time, sending the clown sitting atop plunging into his tank. she laughed too loud. her glee at winning embarrassing everyone but her.  we walked on, past carts of cotton candy and teenagers kissing in between sips of cherry slurpees; past a man on a motorcycle riding round a metal cage shaped like a giant egg. the heady smell of his exhaust hung in the air. i breathed deep. tamara walked next to me, her arms swinging loosely beside her body. relaxed. it was not always so easy to feel so good. L handed me a bag of tortilla chips crusted with cinnamon and sugar. her fingers sticky on my wrist: look. amateur fireworks, shot up from the sand, shuddering above the ferris wheel, reflected back by the water. purple light falling over us all. i wanted to take a picture but instead just looked. 

for once i fell asleep within minutes of shutting my bedroom door.

Monday, December 9, 2013

sky sapped of light by 5pm. no need for overhead fans. we pull fat cotton quilts from closet shelves, shake out the moths. on the fire escape, we sip hot spiked cider while the cat with the tuxedo face noses through the trash. thick slices of ginger bread sweetens our breath. in bed, we rub noses, toes. through the parted curtains, i can see the first snow soft on the mountaintops. a big, fat moon even if the stars are blown out by the streetlights.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

i don’t sleep more than six hours in three days. i read summer of hate all night. i watch documentaries about football players and their blown bodies. mike webster, old iron flesh, so fucked up he had to taze himself in the thigh every night to sleep. at dawn i eat homemade almond cookies, crumbs stuck to my lotioned chest. i must look into the mirror at least once a day or  else i forget that it is me inside this body. in the morning i yell at M for not wanting to talk about books, or the weather, or anything at all. i want to talk through time, its true. of course i want to be good but it is hard not to act like a shameless cunt when a woman in a BMW honks at me for pedaling too slow on my bike. in times of economic crises, you must be very happy that you have a boss, even if they call on yr day off can you cover tonight’s shift for tiffany? i always say yes. if i could stuff my duffle bag and steal away for a few weeks, sob alone in a strange bed, amongst the crush of pine trees, i could remember how to be nice. if i could sleep at night, i could dream. it might all be different.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

sunglasses smudged with rain. the reek of wet concrete sends me. glazed roads. girls in galoshes. their frizzy hair pulled into discreet ponytails, unruly in the breeze. on the stoop i do not think about palliatives for ingrown hairs or john kerry’s botox-blown mug staring up at me from every riven sheet of newspaper: we can’t turn a blind eye on evil deeds even if we are fatigued. but i do. lost in my boxy sweater, buttoned to the neck, my pink umbrella spread, high and haughty against the wash of grey.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

before it gets too cold

manhattan beach

manhattan beach

manhattan beach

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

palos verdes. peninsula in the fog. brian disappears behind a oily black boulder, climbs to the jagged top, sits legs crossed, eyes closed. i must squint to make out his form in the viewfinder; his cream t-shirt almost indistinguishable from the sky so full of weak white light. M overturns pebbles with the edge of his black boot, scours the sand-less beach for driftwood, tangles of thorns, bleached branches we bend into makeshift crowns. we pose and preen in front of the camera. we wade in the water, crowns slipping, falling into the foam. we watch for the quick swish of a baby jellyfish, sea snakes twice as poisonous as river moccasins, or so brian says. when i slip on a rock, M catches me, steers me back to shore, two fingers wrapped around my wrist. we unfold a blue quilt on a hillside of sage scrub. no need for shade. the breeze blows our cloth napkins away. bean sprouts stuck between our teeth. salt and vinegar chips. i wipe potato grease on my dress. nipples poking through the thin, red paisley print fabric. i snap pictures of brian laying legs akimbo, hands folded, hidden behind his head. “don’t,” he says. i click, click, click. the sun sinks low, brushing the horizon, teasing it. this image is all we get: the fog rolls down from the hills, snuffing the highways.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

an interesting article about the funding of keystone opposition groups like, etc

The Keystone XL campaign, stage managed to appear grassroots while completely avoiding grassroots direction and controlled by massive foundation funding (the largest philanthropic foundations in the US now funnel their money through the Tides Foundation– and Tides has managed to garner complete control of the funded anti-tar sands movement on both sides of the border, while Rockefeller is the primary millions of dollars funder for is now wielded by power to keep us busy. [....] 

Hydraulic Fracturing, or “fracking,” has become so widespread it even threatens to shadow tar sands– and given that the climate is planetary and knows no nation, fracking is now competing with tar sands around fossil fuel extraction, and the resultant emission damage as well as fossil fuel expansion. There’s a part of this story you likely don’t know, and people like Bill McKibben [of]– as well as Canadian public figure Tzeporah Berman– (who runs an outfit that legally exists as a project of the Tides Foundation called the North American Tar Sands Coalition, a secret outfit that determines both strategy and funding for literally dozens of environmental NGO’s and community groups across North America) would prefer it stays that way.Many of the largest foundations now have a policy that they simply do not spend money opposing natural gas, even the natural gas that is fracked. [....]It goes deeper than that; First Nations who have campaigned against tar sands pipelines and development in Western Canada can not receive funding if they also publicly state opposition to natural gas/fracking pipelines– even when there is reason to believe that the gas feeds the construction of tar sands.

READ MORE from "The Problem with Bill McKibben and John Kerry," by Macdonald Stainsby in Counterpunch.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

end of summer

palos verdes

palos verdes

palos verdes

torrance, ca

palos verdes, torrance, long beach

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


today the sun on the sill is not enough. or the too blue sky. i need oranges hidden in my skirt. a hillside to hike. the shock of a puffy pink scrunchie felted in the sage scrub. something i can reach out and touch. mostly, the quick slip of yr hips brushing against a squat yucca. small pleasures. cause there aren’t any others. eat quiche on a bluff half-shaded by stately cypresses. mistake a sleeve of snakeskin for a sequined headband.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

we drive. car chugging along the crush of waves. not far but far enough to forget long train rides, arraignments, parking tickets, overtime, “designer vaginas,” and early-morning cat callers. amongst the eucalyptus and low hanging orange trees, we spread a purple quilt, rub coconut sunscreen between our toes. a bee lands on yr checkered shirtsleeve; you sit very still. i smear sunscreen on my shoulders, neck, and face till i smell good enough to eat. the bee, eyeing a split piece of fallen fruit, flies off.  all the snacks we packed: devoured in the car. nothing left for us to do but lay down, let the heat turn the pages of our books yellow.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

all this crazy gift of time

the short shorts go straight my head. i wear my itty bitty corduroy cut-offs on the train to hollywood. i press my face against the hot hot glass. sun wet on my thighs. eyes closed. light show on the inside of my lids. on the roof of tamara’s condo, we brush our hair, eat tortilla chips sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, lick each other’s fingers clean. in a stone bowl, we crush basil leaves with gin, blend with over ripe berries. “straws,” tamara says. “we need straws.” she runs downstairs to the kitchen, returns breathless. “no straws.” no matter. we drink our gin slushies, flaming purple moustaches crusted on our lips. “what do you want to do tonight,” tamara asks. “smoke cigarettes.” mitch knocks on the door, a bag of vegetables tucked under his shoulder. his tan, corduroy pants all but slipping off his hips. when he hugs me, his grey t-shirt lifts, revealing his pale, almost silvered skin. “look at you,” he smiles, pointing to my shorts. i twirl. lean in to whisper, “look at you,” tracing the outer ridge of his abs with my finger. we split a cigarette. my first in months. i cough. tamara slaps my back: “you’re losing yr edge.” i wonder why her breath smells like tequila. mitch suggests we play truth or dare jenga. “loser cooks dinner.” i always pick truth. tamara dares. mitch refuses to answer so he can spend twenty minutes massaging the frilly green leaves with olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes. we eat as the sun sets. stars obscured by the brackish glow of a towering lampost. “dominoes?” tamara asks. instead mitch spreads five blankets out on the ground, layers them in a criss-cross pattern, forming a giant starburst. we lay down in the very center. tamara holds his hand, rubbing his palm with her thumb. i twirl her hair in my finger, noticing for the first, a single grey strand amongst her otherwise meticulously manicured blonde locks.

Monday, April 15, 2013

witchy weather. grey clouds seal off the edges of the sky. i refuse to think about anything deeper than whether i will wear light or dark rinse jeans. cupcakes for breakfast. kale salad for lunch. in the afternoon, margaritas mixed with cheap tequila and even cheaper tripel sec. watch every episode of devious maids. smirk at a slide show of mischa barton’s gravest fashion mistake. i am so chatty. but the apartment is empty. the cat asleep.

Friday, March 1, 2013

swirl of sun, just enough for me to sip my tea and read about john brown’s noble hanging. i’d like to read on, through the sunset, till the last fingerlet of light dies, but instead i lug my body over to the computer and type up notes for a commissioned essay i fear i may never finish. oh god how i crave a long, luscious walk in gold dusted dusk, snapping pictures of all things pink: moist blooms, a waxy starburst wrapper, discarded ankle socks glowing against the dirty yellow grass. or maybe i would drive to the canyons, echo mountain, stand beneath that trickle the state of california calls a “waterfall” and shoot myself half-nude. my glorious youth. instead, i stay inside.
take a shower to feel closer to nature.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

driving to valencia this afternoon, flying through the san gabriels at eighty-five miles per hour, i saw a little black sports car on the opposite side of the freeway drift, ever so effortlessly, into the mountainside. the car slammed into the rocks then bounced back into the road; luckily, the other drivers swerved to miss it. the impact of the car against the mountain was such the windows and tires blew out, at the exact same moment. the driver died instantly.  no screeching tires, no swerving, apparent loss of control. the car looked so peaceful as it soared straight into the mountain.
later, another crash, on the 5, headed towards los angeles. a minor fender bender but still. my heart lurched as i drove by. usually i would be simply annoyed by the traffic delays. today i said a little prayer. many little prayers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

moody for days. the usual sadness. i don’t fight it. i watch lots of netflix. cupcake grease smeared across the bedsheets.
last night i had dinner with my friend  P who is majoring in philosophy at ucla, writing his thesis on zizek. “already? he’s big enough for a thesis?” i asked. “he’s the elvis of cultural theory.” a phrase i never understood—how can an intellectual be a “rock star.” a rock star is a rock star. a popular writer is a popular writer; ain’t never gonna be cool. however, I wouldn’t be surprised if z shared some of elvis’ sexual proclivities.

P was originally from new york, and as such, took great pride in his taste in restaurants on both coasts.  last night we dined at a little french bistro. i could not read the menu so i let P order. was willing choke down whatever, including a crisp bottle of sauvingon blanc. he ordered seafood. very delicate seafood which i ate in very small bites. its been months since we first hung out, yet i still cannot figure his angle—that is, why he invites me to dinner at all. our nights almost always end up in a fight. and too much alcohol. last night was one such glowing experience. as we switched to pinot grigio, he said of  a friend’s new poetry collection, which features short epiphanic poems, “its as if she licks a tree and has an epiphany.” i wondered—at first with horror then delight — if had i fallen prey to the same writerly crime of finding meaning in everything and nothing in my clit book. but there are worse things than a pussy epiphany. few things sweeter.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

day of rain. m’s LA mix washing over me. driving in my big blue car -- as if staring out a glass marble. lee hazlewood’s drugged out vocals woke up sunday morning my mind all in a haze. intense cigarette cravings. the world, unrecognizable in the utterly unfamiliar drizzle. i imagine the sewer rats washed out to sea, triumphantly riding a crest of polluted rain-water. this morning the concrete was so fragrant with the dawn showers i actually bent to sniff it, there on my knees,  ignoring the fat clumps of lavender and various herbs that filled my neighbor’s window box.