Thursday, August 25, 2011

pack up, don't stray.

Amongst inevitable sunburns, a new and necessary addition, lack of sand dollars, and solitude only the gulf can bring, my father told me as a kid he tangled kites around the power lines in Asheville. I hope Samantha sees their strings. They’re near the home my grandmother lived in and barely remembers, before she told me she hoped my life was bright and shiny, with a few teardrops here and there. I wish I could have cried for something different. It’s getting hard keeping all the things I don’t know inside me; they haunt me. Yet summer taught me things I know too well: I miss my loved ones even when I am with them, people are impossible to trust, and apparently, so is my judgment of character. However, most importantly I've learned beginnings with endings are better left indefinite. I still believe in God, but I don’t believe in karma anymore.

L.B. Cowman, “We cannot help others who suffer without paying a price ourselves, because afflictions are the cost we pay for our ability to sympathize… we must be willing to face the cross.” I'm struggling with whether or not everything happens for a reason. Aren’t there easier ways to learn? Regardless, I thank God for the blessings in my life. I am thankful for the people that love me, thankful for 859 miles, thankful for the catharsis of cinders on concrete tables, for the VSC in Orlando, thankful for whatever growth may come.

To avoid drifting, I keep drawing maps in my head, on my hands, where this part of my life might lead, what darlings will be in what cities with me. Where will all our heartstrings collide? Will the yarn connecting our pushpins on maps make a constellation? Orion won't be transatlantic jjj, you have to come home. I can’t help but think I am pretending when we plan, because I’ve got so much ahead of me, and yet I am overwhelmed in love. How many more places will I call home? Boston, Philly, staying just outside DC, here in Alexandria, where I am reminded of the beauty and nostalgia of a white brick home on Cherokee Place, but even more cozy and quaint. I’m loving this place so far, my pretty white linens that cover me as I sleep in the middle of my bed for the first time in my life, these hardwood floors, a color called blissful blue, a lyrical voice and its guidance which alleviates the intimidation of everything unfamiliar, being chilly at night in August, not needing to drive, small town feels & big city thrills all in one.

I'll hold fast hope. I always do, always will.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


the magnolia trees in the yard of the house where i grew up bloom at opposite times of the year. i will never figure out which was planted in which season or first. their leaves never look the same. while one is barren, one is buxom. their inversion is constant. they are home.

lizzy, 35mm, double exposure.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

accepting whatever comes

asheville, nc

punkin patch

i am taking the GRE tomorrow morning. my stomach has been summersaulting all sorts of ways for the past few weeks. i don't think i am actually nervous about the exam itself, but because this is the first tangible part of my application process for graduate school, which scares me because everyone seems to be taking a year off. and my portfolio is only 70% finished, and i want to have this all ready before christmas. eep. entonces, i am trying to be unafraid.

on the bright side, my grades this semester are the best they've ever been, living with people i LOVE in casa de color/babe ciudad is so much fun and everything i need, mariposas, and i just spent my birthday with ALL OF MY BEST FRIENDS in savannah/asheville/hendersonville/atlanta. still intoxicated with autumn colors.

can't wait to go home to be with all of my family, be vegetarian on thanksgiving, and visit the ringling. hehe yay

my punkins



frost, hendersonville nc

triple falls, hendsonville nc

Monday, November 15, 2010

for my friends on the west coast

San Francisco

I used to think California was the Florida of the west coast,
but snowbirds don't flock there, your summers are cold.
Your city name christened Yerba Buena, (the good herb, what irony)
Or perhaps from Saint Francis of Assisi.
Are there stigmata in your hands? In your bridges? Have you ascended yet?

Or are you lost in the grime near the Victorian charm,
where the unique boutiques are really all the same,
but far enough from the trap of the barking on the wharf?
Can you find the piss scented jardín de zapatos, on top of Alamo Square?

Did you know my mother's kin is in the top room of City Lights,
the one with the chairs worn smooth from the bottoms of the beatniks?
"An individual spiderweb identifies a species," he wrote;
his audience heedless to his Identity in a tiny, seed studded town.

But you, your seeds are now in nassella pulchra, and in yellow poppies,
(I plucked one once, it closed in my slumber,)
in impossible heights; in points and hills:
Presidio, Portrero, Parnassus, Portsmouth.

At the north end of the Golden Gate, take the exit at Alexander Ave.
Apparently the colors are best in winter, high as redwoods, wide as the bay.
Cartier-Bresson, voyeurism, and Thiebaud's Three Wind Toys,
the print I thought wouldn't fit on the plane.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

sometimes catharsis is a double standard.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


being something scary/bloody/gory for the first time beats dressing cute/funny/skanky.

happy halloween punkins

Monday, October 11, 2010

the cat's pajamas

the cat's pajamas, colored pencil on paper, 9x12, 2010.

you told us there was nothing greater than a husband,
until you have children.
nothing greater than children, until you hold your first grandchild,
because your grandchildren are the cat's pajamas.

but grandma pauline, your crooked fingers,
that once delicately ran over white and black,
that studied at Juilliard, that taught, that held,
that mixed banana and mayonnaise behind an art deco countertop

amidst an olive green home, (a color i will never understand why was popular)
with the clothesline in the backyard,
in between the double beds in your room, beside the train set downstairs,
when it was always fall in Asheville,

exist more in my mind than you in your wheelchair
always waiting at your door, your abanico in hand,
the humility that has finally replaced your frustration
at being ninety three with early dementia after multiple strokes
and not being able to come over on sunday anymore.

i remember those things, that old musky scent
and the way you still smell like jergens lotion.
the way you tell us not to run through life holding umbrellas,
with much repetition, out of so much pride and joy.

you are the cat's pajamas.

my assignment for atx this week was to draw a person we love, and to write a corresponding poem. this is my grandmother pauline, who is 93, and who i am blessed to have still living so close to my family's home. "the cat's pajamas" remains one of her favorite (and most endearing) phrases.