Monday, August 31, 2015

two nights dreamed of tall water.
the first, riding atop the tallest waves in train cars, saving the people and carrying the cats in boxes. gracie lou who close to my chest, while i call orders over the tumult.
and the second, on the tallest balcony, the tidal wave encroaching, worrying over the people and herding the cats into tubes. willikers the prominent tuxedo in a tunnel of black cats.
and that night, in the dark of the conscious world, the saloon deck of the ferry to manhattan, leaning over the railing, willing myself not to drop in.
and then the train with river wild, and finally seeing rex across broadway, in front of roma's pizza. we dance the distance until the lights change. our reunion on the streets and at the overcrowded dyke bar, cash only. but friday night and too many straight boys and overpriced weak whisky pushes us to the corner store, the tiny park, the street. rex doubts his inner queens compass and modern convenience leads us astray. we never do find the water, let alone the pier. what we find is a strangely deserted bright street with a rock. without protest, the rock lets us talk and sit and drink and piss and nearly fall asleep right on it, until rex gets us going, back to the subway and the walk through the garden apartments to the cluttered cozy jackson heights townhouse where we can whisky steelie sleep through the morning. except that rex has a bus to boston at dawn, so i oversleep alone, try to slip out quietly, but am thwarted by his mom, nourished with apple fritter, sweet talk, and decaf. the journey back to staten island takes two meandering hours, and the ferry is soothing this time.
ganas is a strange green maze with its own sidewalks, raised up from the street; is this the real city? there is a palpable tension between old and new, the steadfast 60s communards and the invigorated younger set, fresh for revolution. "it's time to turn, to revolve, it's always time," we say, as we huddle on our porches, sneak a smoke, scurry when we hear them coming.
and look, we do share the bounty! from the house pantry, jaclyn makes tunafish pizza with bacon grease white sauce, plus tomato cheese just for me. the days drift in the green heat; is this city real?
wednesday rolls around and i still don't make it up in time for the 730am planning meeting, especially not from the extra house at the bottom of the hill. i still can't handle time, i'm one step slow all day, and even run late to rex's show at the new york city bureau of human services queer division, and the building was even more swanky than the name. everyone is beautiful gayz and i'm so proud to see rex his cap his bow tie his perfect poems and py arrives right at the end, during the glitter rap dance party, the queer cafe unsure how not to shake. pyrite is a vision in the village, vegetarian and mostly sober, until we spot the stella. "it's the gay beer," we're told. we fold into a flock, a glistening smoking parade brigade, back to the dyke bar, cash only, whisky bourbon on special.
i'm sorry if i rambled your ear off, spun off too far, gave you too many smokes, spent all yr money on drinks, spit your powdered supplement on the ground, cried on your shoulder, hugged you too many times, kicked you for old times' sake. but we did laugh, and we remembered the ghosts, and we almost walked that secret path.
but it twisted and you left us underground in the sick yellow light, where we continued to follow that dolorous brick road through the tunnel, to the dive with the whisky and the filthy foggy back room. it's no wonder i can't remember what was said. but we make it our home, for now, and i could live here forever until rex persuades me to leave, he in his infinite wisdom, with his mind on new york time, and again quit my pointless flirting and i'll hold my brother's hand on the train to queens, and again i'll share your bed until morning, but this time i have a bus, and two ferrys, and ten trains to catch to make richmond tonight, where i'll hitch a ride to twin oaks with comrades, albeit strangers, friends who have never met.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

i feel like i may have broken your heart without even trying, without doing anything, and it kills.
don't you know that my bones are crying, that i ache with loneliness too? that i hate it?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Keep is a bright and cheery collective house in one half of a three-story duplex in DC's Park View neighborhood. With only six bedrooms, at first the place strikes me as a little small for a commune, but with a spacious kitchen and common area for the entire ground floor, I soon see why this is the Point A DC headquarters. The eight members of the Keep are young, vibrant, beautiful folks, bubbling over with sexual energy and crazy infectious laughter. More than a few of them went to Oberlin College, and it turns out there are mutual friends among us. It seems so silly to realize that the world is so impossibly small, but then again, of course it is.

I arrive just in time to be whisked away to a sold-out punk show, where two of my newest favorite bands are playing, and these kids just happened to have one extra ticket.... fate! A local electronic artist opens the show, followed by Girlpool, a duo who appear to be barely out of high school... reminds me of my first tour with SV way back in the day, in the summer following our senior year. Frankie Cosmos closes the night, the first show on her tour, so the band seems a little wobbly and still getting into a groove, but they still sound great to me. I buy their CD and the six of us somehow stuff ourselves back into Feonix's compact car to be driven back home....

"Home," rather, as I'm only here for a week, and the little patch of this place that is "mine" is a piece of memory foam mattress on the floor, in a row of mattresses on the floor, in a ridiculously low-ceilinged attic with no AC. This bizarre room is known as the Garret, an almost-4th floor, and it's where most of the Keep's numerous guests stay, including me and GPaul. Upon arrival, you will be ushered up the three flights of stairs (the last one little more than a wooden ladder) and you will hunch, crawl, or scuttle to the floor mattress of your choosing-- the ceiling is only 4 feet tall. But there are clean linens, towels, and condoms, all provided free of charge by your generous hosts. In the morning, you'll see there is one skylight window, higher the rest of the ceiling, where you can stand up to put on your pants. You're the last one awake, so turn off the fan and be grateful that even without it, this feels better than Austin in August.

The sunflowers sway in the tiny front garden, and the Keep is its own little universe in what is otherwise a pretty rough, run-down neighborhood. The world beyond the porch is a harsh one, and at night, we hear the people and the sirens screaming in the street. At night, the rats come out, and I see who the sunflowers really belong to.