concretekiss: (Default)
[personal profile] concretekiss
In my yoga class I keep my head down. I don't make eye contact or try to start conversations. Things are intimate enough, all of us attempting to loosen the daily debris of stress caught behind shoulder blades, in the muscles of the neck, heartbreaks rusting the jaw shut, all in front of eachother. It feels as though I am letting strangers watch me pray.
I go because I need the classroom atmosphere to spurn me into finishing the hour. It would be easier to get tired and turn a video off in the privacy of my own home than it would to abashedly pack up my mat in front of a bunch of people, because I was too weak or lazy to complete the class. Yes, I am using humiliation as motivation.
After and before, the students congratulate one another, talk about their favorite stretches, the returning pains they intend to conquer. I peek at them, without getting caught. I have learned many of their faces, having been to this class so many times I've lost count. But I feel it is best I keep quiet. I get too passionate. I blurt. My filter is faulty. I don't know how to speak to someone without them eventually coming to the conclusion that I am "weird," and not in some cute or good way.
A close, very tolerant, very kind friend tells me I don't make efforts to cultivate a social life. I wait for others to call me. I reach from where I stand. I come when called, but I am too nervous to risk approaching someone without express welcome or enter a life without having been invited first.


We are losing our beauties from the 30's and 40's. I have begun to collect them. At the flower shop I save their photographs from the obituaries. The senile stars of their eyes cold as granite. Lush filigree curls lap at their island faces. Their crimson grins so slight if at all.
In photographs from the early 20th century the smile began to emerge. Before then, camera shutter speeds were so slow that subjects shoved broom handles down the backs of their gowns to keep from slouching as they waited in the cold or heat. To hold one's face in rapturous repose for very long was so exhausting that one risked blurring her features if she attempted to do so, thus possibly ruining the only chance to have her image recorded.
Families were told by photographers to relax and let their expressions fall into their natural states, which were often wistful, stoic, prohibition, WWI, 19th amendment, recession faces.
I imagine the obit photos in the years to come of pretties in their primes will bloom with grins, wily, confident, curling like coffee cream, fibonacci, expanding with the years.


At the age of 7, I met a long whipping switch of a girl. Our mothers would visit eachother to share plant cuttings while we went looking for paint rocks and fossils, or we would soak her mother's hallway with soap and water and slide down it cackling like maniacs, deep south snow sledding.
She ended up my oldest friend. Neither of us was strange to the other. For ten summers I rode my bike to her house, my skinny black mutt trotting along side. In high school she wore drawstring hospital pants she found at the goodwill, because they were "comfortable." On the bus once, she beat a boy with her lunchbox for thumping me in the ear. When we were 15 we walked out of school and ran away for three days, sleeping in cardboard castles behind furniture buildings, stealing flowers from old ladies' yards to weave through our hair. We made our small town news and everything. We only came home because it rained so hard the streets flooded til stray dogs paddled through them. We lit cherry bombs in redneck bars. We sat in the bathtub tripping, taking turns pouring water over the other's head, feeling like candles, warm wax dripping down our necks. We were so brave we were fools. We lost touch.
I ran off to Georgia, grew up, knocked up.
Today, from all the drug use her skull is gutted like the burned house we trespassed through in our adolescence. Eyes blown out like the windows, throat clogged with ivy, dusty sink hearted. And I am the only one left who remembers our renaissance, building forts in the forest, picking wild black and blueberries from ditches, sailing paper boats in puddles, passing notes with pictures drawn on them of boys we loved, wearing crowns or horns.
I called her my best friend many years after she could no longer recall us, years after I became a vague stranger to her. My memory can be so precise and merciless in detail that I envy the forgetful. They heal so fast. They relinquish so easily.


I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows as a child and coming across a bit about how you can catch a raccoon by carving a hole into a fallen log and driving nails into it at an angle. You then drop a piece of cheap, shiny tin or plastic into the hole and the raccoon will come along and try to grab it out. Once he makes a fist around the bait he is caught. He will starve and howl until the trapper comes to kill him. The nails make a barbed funnel, and will not allow him to get his paw out unless he releases the trinket, but he won't. It's too lovely to let go.

Date: 2009-11-19 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You just blew my mind again. You're as terrifying as you are wonderful.

Don't let it go.


Re: you are honey

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Re: you are honey

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Re: you are honey

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Re: you are honey

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Breakin' Hearts, Raccoons

Date: 2009-11-19 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you are weird in a way that is both cute and good, and more good than cute, even.

Anyhow, let's doubleteam Dolores!
From: [identity profile]
you think that because you are probly some kind of wiccan. <3

you really think Delores is the prettiest? i mean she IS fetching, but her eyebrows are like the birds i used to draw when i was five.

it's Gloria. she has lovely light eyes, and songs with her name in them!

Date: 2009-11-19 06:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry about your friend. My sister's best friend from childhood went the same route, and it's just heartbreaking. I have many sentences of empathy but none of them make it better, I know. It's just a loss that sits there, a heavy stone.

Date: 2009-11-19 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
yeah, i was really proud of us and our time together. it's a shame, because it feels like if we hated or wronged eachother, it could at least be a more substantial reason to forsake a friendship. but she still has friends, they are just a whole different kind...i guess you could say we grew apart? i don't know.

you amaze me

Date: 2009-11-19 06:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I continue to eagerly await your first novel.

mutual amazement

Date: 2009-11-19 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i got yr book of poetry in today and woooooah.
your imagination is so unique and luminous.

Re: mutual amazement

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Date: 2009-11-19 07:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
1. You are awesome. Don't ever change.
2. Perhaps your crystal clear memory of your friend could become a book, a monument. Those memories are valuable.
3. Violet is really hot.
4. Red Fern deeply affected me and traumatized me a little. My fingers fondled it last week at the used bookstore but my fingers left it there.

Date: 2009-11-19 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
1. i cain't! i've tried. :(
2. i have so many of these memories on bits of papers and random books. i get overwhelmed to think of organizing them all
3. i KNOW. she looks so brave, and aspiring, like an airplane pilot
4. aaah, you know, not to say i want to traumatize my boy, but i think i'll get that book for him for giftmess.

Date: 2009-11-19 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh lady, I'm like that with friendship too, just like that racoon!!
This post struck right into what I'm dealing with right now...

Date: 2009-11-19 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Edited Date: 2009-11-19 01:37 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2009-11-19 09:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
please, please write a novel and publish it. your words are so delicious and they break my heart right where it needs to be broken.

i don't let go, either.


Date: 2009-11-19 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i think i might try one day, but i'm so fussy i probly won't be finished til i'm 92!

<3 x 3948234

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Date: 2009-11-19 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I saw an old couple in a picture and thought of you, that maybe you'd like it, or them. I know them both. The body language is curious. It always is. They are an ageless hippie couple. They work with clay and are both potters. The thing is...they are both strong individuals, and everywhere else I've seen this they spin themselves apart after a time. They are still together.

I look at obituaries and feel loss for strangers. A whole life there in one column. I try to read their faces. It's like a supernova...where a whole system of stars and lights are going out in an explosion.

Being weird ain't so weird at all.

Date: 2009-11-19 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
it's true, their whole life in a column, and written by someone else.
obits are haunting, esp the ones that allude to tragic or untimely deaths.

Date: 2009-11-19 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Woah, LJ hasn't been like this for years.

I don't even try and understand what people mean by "weird". Do they mean interesting?

I'm going with Dolores, too, or Violet. What great lives they must have had.

Date: 2009-11-19 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
but they don't say "weird" in an "i'd like to learn more about you" way. they say it like i grew a hairy arm out of my forehead.

both those girls have such unflinching and intense gazes. i could wonder all day what they were thinking at the moment the shot was taken.

Date: 2009-11-19 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
social life, anti-social life, two sides of the same coin, yo.

Date: 2009-11-19 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
that's an interesting thing to say, yo.
tell me about this coin.

Date: 2009-11-19 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember when LJ was like this too. I wish it were like this all the time.


Date: 2009-11-19 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ppl just ramblin on about raccoons n dead chicks n shit.

virginia looks exactly like sharon stone

Date: 2009-11-19 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i like ruby louise the best. she looks like a dreamer.

o man you are exactly right!

Date: 2009-11-19 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
yeah. she has the softest, sweetest face 2 me, and there is some sky in her eyes.

awwww SIGH
From: [identity profile]
Never been a fan of having my picture taken. There aren't many of me out there, you'll note, if you look around. Though I've many issues, one of the biggest is the Fake Picture Smile, the one most people drag out when they're photographed. Digital cameras have exacerbated the lunacy, forcing folks to freeze their freaky masks for 30 seconds or more. Ugh!

Been toying with the idea of just not smiling when photographed. That's what people look like during the majority of their lives, right? The photos above are lovely: Women as they were right at that moment. Glammed up, yeah, but frozen in a much more honest state.


Wrote my initial comment after reading the obits part, then read the rest. I feel like an insensitive jerk!
From: [identity profile]
freeze their freaky mask. lolololol

my little brother is a staunch anti-smiler! i have to act a fool to get some sort of grin from him, but at least it's real.
and my daughter often does that stiff fake smile, basically stretching her mouth across her face. luckily i can make her laugh too. i do impreshuns!


pshaaaw, always feel FREE to comment on any part of any post. i know i tangent off, but it doesn't mean you can't land on one thing and share your observations. i'm always grateful for any interpretations.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2009-11-19 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand

all sappy-juiced up

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2009-11-19 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand

sap happy

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Date: 2009-11-19 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lord but you are talented. I love this. And I love you, so a two-fer!

I'm weird, I suppose. I am awkward with people I don't know because I'm too outspoken or large or whatnot. An old boyfriend once told me to not speak first when meeting new people, so they wouldn't shy away. And I don't like to share much, because the risk of being too well known lurks. I don't understand it and knowing that makes me feel like I'm broken a little, but here's what I know: if you and I are the same weird (or similar weirds) then I can stop feeling broken (even a little) because you are extraordinary.

Date: 2009-11-19 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh muffin, i can tell we have alot in common, by how long we chatted it up on yr hotel bed. and i always relish in what you have to say, so you keep right on talkin! i think yr old boyfriend was an a-hole to say that, and he and others are intimidated by ladies who think all for themselves.

but i know the broken feeling. up into my teenage years i began to kick myself for things i would say, in reaction to the looks i would get. i find old notebooks where i scrawled "shut up" to myself.

let's build a fort together.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2009-11-19 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2009-11-19 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think a vibrant memory is what separates
us from the people who can just forgive and
forget. A lot of people on my Flist seem
to be cursed/blessed with those attacks of
remembrance and nostalgia. They also make
really good writers, a lot of the time.

I'm sorry your friend has forgotten you.
That's one of the saddest things I think I
have read.

Date: 2009-11-19 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
sometimes i don't know if it's worth it to be a decent writer in exchange for a ruthless memory.

well, she remembers my name n stuff and my face. but not much of the friendship that she worries about staying connected. she's kind of prodigal now. i worry what i will hear about her next. she's not headed in the best direction.

Date: 2009-11-19 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
you're my shiny piece of tin, you're too precious to let go of.

Date: 2009-11-19 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

i sent a cd to you last week! i guess you never got it? I AM HEXING THE PO!

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Date: 2009-11-19 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
tears. tears of knowing and not knowing. of wishing i knew more and wishing i didnt know so much.

you are amazing. this is beautiful. you are beautiful.

Date: 2009-11-19 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
aw, shucks. i'm just spillin my guts.
i din't mean to make you cry, lovely.
From: [identity profile]
Dangerous as such a wish might turn out, I would like it if you lived much closer. I would call & call you up to talk about nonsense and silliness until you got the idea through your outsider skull that it was ok to call me back. I would ask you to join me on excursions. And I would introduce you around to my friends, with a certain degree of pride & pomp, this is someone you really should know.

They would doubtless adore you. We're all dorks, vulnerable and entirely too enthusiastic for the queerest things.

Memories are the stones we use to build the rickety towers our lives stand on. It's hard to do without them ~ we can see a little further to the horizon, reach a little higher. But they are such heavy stones.

I want to agree with the people who await a book. But I don't think it will take organiztion, or a plot. You could call it Things I Noticed In Passing, a month's worth of observation, and bring the nation to joyous, epiphanic weeping. You've already done the heavy lifting. You have the most integrated soul of anyone I've ever known ~ sweepingly creative, insights wider than eyes, gentle, melancholy, a heart suffused with a vast, abiding love that is beyond both hope and fear.

You're magnificent. I admire you so.

for real to the max

Date: 2009-11-19 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
my closest friends are the way you describe. they know me enough to call first and that i'll always be there. but i'm too silly to initiate excursions myself, i don't wanna be a boooother.

i was joking to my honey today that my first book will be called How to Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New By Assuming You Will Fail and the first page is gonna start "You're never gonna finish this book. It is very long, not very well-written and kind of boring." :D

but i DO like yr idea better. you're very encouraging. and i am honored and proud that you think of me the way you do. maybe one day we will have the pleasure of meeting. :)

Date: 2009-11-19 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I peek at them, without getting caught. I have learned many of their faces, having been to this class so many times I've lost count. But I feel it is best I keep quiet. I get too passionate. I blurt. My filter is faulty. I don't know how to speak to someone without them eventually coming to the conclusion that I am "weird," and not in some cute or good way.
A close, very tolerant, very kind friend tells me I don't make efforts to cultivate a social life. I wait for others to call me. I reach from where I stand. I come when called, but I am too nervous to risk approaching someone without express welcome or enter a life without having been invited first. "

you took this so straight out of my life that i cried when i read it. i mean, i'm crying right now. i haven't even finished your post--i'm going back to finish now, i just had to tell you i get it, i get it. and how many times have i said that to you already in this short time we've "known" each other? blah.

Date: 2009-11-19 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
we are vampire bunnies! you got to invite us in!

it's so funny, but not really, i was gonna say well at least we aren't alone in our social reclusiveness, but we KIND OF ARE!! AH LOVE YOU!

Date: 2009-11-20 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You never cease to amaze me with your beauty. This made me cry.

Date: 2009-11-20 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
don't cry, pretty! come see me in a-town. we can fly kites in the park!

Date: 2009-11-20 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I went to Whole Foods recently and only as I was paying did I realize I hadn't met anyone's eyes in the entire store. I looked around and was amazed at how interesting the people looked. So many! People! Quite the teeming mass of humanity. Then I put my head back down and fled before anyone tried to talk to me. I am the same way. I want people to come to me. Usually they don't. This is the down side of my plan.

Date: 2009-11-20 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
aw, i do this always in public. festivals, parks, hiking trails, i pretend they don't exist. or only see them in periphery so i don't run into them. blaaah, i'm like fuckin, edgar allen poe or some shit. high 5!

this was a Kung Fu episode 12 times

Date: 2009-11-21 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
(deleted comment)

letting go

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2009-11-21 03:17 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2009-11-21 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fuck. That last segment killed me.

Date: 2009-11-21 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
now you are a zombie grl!
braaaaaaains. <3

thank you miss

Date: 2009-11-23 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh wow, that is amazing!
i can't stop staring at it.
what a strange world we live in.

Date: 2010-01-09 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I come here every once in a while and sit transfixed till I read what has been written since my last visit. Though I am not qualified enough to comment, I do believe your current job is doing wonders to your writing. So precise, exact. There's so much blood, sweat, guts, and grief in what you put here, so much mud and grime, that one needs to wear boots -- nay, galoshes -- in anticipation of the terrain you are bound to drag us through. I love it. Thank you.


Date: 2010-01-12 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
this is one of the nicest things anyone's ever said about my writing.
i do appreciate it so much.
thank you.


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