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A Reading

This Thursday, June 2nd, I will be one of the featured performers for a pride month reading of poetry and storytelling at Vinzi Rast. The event is hosted by Hint. Wien and will have readings in English, German, and Hungarian

Doors open at 18, the event is free, drinks are available on a pay-what-you-can basis.

Info for the event and how to access the entrance can be found here:

https://www.eventbrite.at/e/colourful-narratives-for-vienna-pride-kunterbunte-erzahlungen-zum-pride-tickets-344438905037

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Haven’t Given Him a Nickname Yet

Life is as ever full of adventure and affection and the adamant hearts of men who it seems would chase me all the way from Antwerp.

You can tell a man likes you when he sends you a photo of the window view from his train.

It means,

I saw the horizon and thought of you.

It means,

I am going somewhere,

And I want to take you with me.

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Vienna kept reminding me I had to come back to her. So I did.

I visited Zurich last week and found myself accidentally in love, with an old home. With its garden, actually. With the bench there, where I plan to spend the rest of my days sitting, writing.

Sure, to be fair, the home, the castle, it’s in disrepair. The garden is overgrown, the basement full of ghosts and antiques, of mold and precious wet cardboard and chandeliers missing crystals and so much rusted metal, so much cracked paint. But, the steps-  the glorious steps- which led to nowhere but a better view of the sunset over the lake, and the trees are almost blue from way up here

and the world is so quiet.

The limbs of the weeping willow hang so carefully over the entrance to the garden that it’s clear from the first moment: you are safe here. I don’t know why, with my absolute lack of a green-thumb, with my hatred of dirt and uphill climbs and cracked paint, this house called to me so. But, it’s as haunting to me as the overturned wooden rocking horse I spied through the cobwebbed window. This decrepit box of junk has stolen my heart.

It would be so much more simple if it were a man, or if it were about a man. The man who took me there had no intention of showing me the house, but I fell for it from afar, at first sight, I was entranced by the willow tree and already singing Camelot show-tunes in my head. Follow me, follow me, follow me…

Perhaps, in the end, I just miss my mother. I just know that she would have trespassed into the garden the same way. She’d say how you could stand on the steps and sing, how you could descend the stairs into nothing but a pile of overgrowth.

She left me to sit in the weeds, to be overgrown. I don’t know how to love anyone that clings to me with anything less than the determination of ivy.

This home,  this castle, the back corner has stone once so overrun with ivy it ate into into the cement, scratching it away. I was raised surrounded by love so lush, so green, so gorgeous, that it hid its mark.

I am a building, bitten by weeds, gnawed at by beautiful green things. I am covered in scars that reveal I was once desired, once clung to. I am still standing. I am a bit crumbled, a bit painted over. I am full of meaningless junk and chipped paint and my mind is nothing but a stone staircase which descends into nowhere, but it offers a better view of the sunset.

I found my own reflection it the house, it seems. In the wishing well in the backyard, covered by a dirty green tarp. I long for it to be loved. Who knew I could be so tall? Who knew I could weep so beautifully? That I could build a fence so ornate it’s both inviting and terrifying?

My god, what an object in disrepair it seems I have been.

My god, what a gorgeous lush thing the warm weather has invited me to become.

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For G.

I would have liked a chance to decide if I loved you outside of an emergency,
But everything got pushed forward,
The calendar came for us, bearing its claws,
With sudden weddings and far more sudden funerals.
With visa expiration dates and,

I knew when I met you that your father was dying,
But we were both under the impression he had a little more time-
That we had a little more time.
I had hoped, time enough,
To figure it out.

I knew from the beginning I could be yours.
I just needed a minute to figure it out.
I stopped wearing my watch when you left,
I couldn’t take the notifications about my heart.

I would have liked to evaluate the quality of this whole thing
Outside of the fact that you know what I look like in a gown,
That I know what you look like in a black suit,
Or that I know your taste in engagement rings.

I would like to have, for once,
Loved a bit slower,
Been a bit lazy about it,
Seen you once or twice a week,
Kept you on the back burner deep into summer.

I would like to have kept more secrets, to have spent evenings
With men, ignoring them
In favor of thinking about you,
And have told you nothing of it.

I would like to have spent these
Unexpectedly warm May evenings with you,
Overdressed and sweating into the sheets,
Complaining about the heat.

I’d have liked you to have seen me
In such exaggerated misery,
Begging for an air conditioner,
Being an absolute nightmare.

I always liked how you said you woke up hot,
Thinking about me.

I’d have liked to have let your affection for me cool slowly,
Grow a moss of resentment,
For you to have learned firsthand
All the things about me
Worth hating.

But I gave you the best of me,
And you said you loved me,
Or, specifically, you said,
“I have something I want to say to you, but I am worried it will scare you away”
Then you said,
“But it starts with ‘I’ and ends with ‘you'”

And I said,
“I know what you’re saying, just don’t say it yet, but I can see it too, I can see the horizon from here. I am falling for you.”

So, you said
It-starts-with-I-and-ends-with-you
And you left anyway.

I would have liked to have ended things better,
Perhaps with our clothes on,
Perhaps before sex.

I am glad you fucked up so royally in the end,
After treating me like a princess.
It makes it a bit easier.

I would have liked this to be easy.
Liking you was simple.
Resenting you is tricky.

I wish I could hate you, that I could scowl at you and say,
I have something to say to you
It starts with “I” and ends with “you”

I wish I could wish you anything but well.

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