Smoke Signals

Here I am
fidgeting with the force
of wanting to talk to you

So I hope you like drama
and adventure and mystery –
I burn my words and send up smoke signals

Perhaps you will see them
from your ivory hill
Little boy with beetle-black eyes

You will trace the smoke
with your intelligent ink-stained fingers
finally curious

about me.


Conversations With Myself

me: Hey.

me: Hey.

me: Do I have a fever?

me: Fuck. Yes.

me: Ugh. I hate fevers.

me: Me too.

me: Remember that one really weird fever dream I had? Where I bought a stadium or something? D’you think they’re supposed to be prophetic?

me: What mumbo-jumbo. No Interpretation of Dreams shit here, please.

me: No, no, not like that. See, its kind of boring if dreams are indeed just random re-hashed fragments of thoughts from my subconscious. that’s…too mundane. Also Brian Weiss writes reasonably reasonably about dreams.

me: *scoffs* So you mean giving it some sort of order, structure and meaning, therefore taming the untamed, makes it less boring?

me: Uh.

me: Argued myself into a spot here.

me: Hey listen. Shut up, okay? I was trying to sleep.

me: I was?

me: Is it weird that I interrupt myself?

me: Yeah, a very cool kind of weird. *high fives*

me: I wish my consciousness was as still and clear as a kung-fu pool of water.

me: Then I could be like Jackie Chan.

me: Somehow I never figured Jackie Chan as that meditate-y sort.

me: Me neither.

*moment of silence*

me: My feet are cold.

me: Why are my feet always cold?

me: And wrinkly?

me: And don’t forget ugly.

me: I am never taking my shoes off in front of a guy I like.

me: Agreed.

me: Yeah but what if he comes to love my feet because they’re, you know, my feet?

me: That doesn’t change the ugliness of my feet. Its his perception that’s changing. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Ever heard of that?

me: Yeah. Too fucking depressing, actually. It just means that nothing actually changes, except for perception. And human perception is incredibly and perpetually biased. Makes me wonder. What is beauty, really?

me: Oh please, no. I am NOT in the mood for serious aesthetic discussions.

me: Remember this song?


#hey I just met you/ and this is craaaazy/ but here my nuuumba/ so call me maybe#

The Consummate Commuter

I am the consummate commuter.

I stand stoically in crowded buses and trains
calves crying out to be seated
shoulders aching under a backpack
and earplugs trailing like string.

I spy a vacant seat.

I sit, but only if I am dignifiedly close enough
not to have made an embarrassing scramble.
Once seated I am relentless –
I will fight for elbow space;
if squeezed in between two seats
I will push back and lean on the backrest.

Seats are rare.
And rare things need a keen searching eye.

Or physical intimidation.

The other women drape themselves on the poles
I grip an overhead handle with a no-nonsense air
“No, of course my biceps don’t hurt”
I pretend this is a workout for my flabby urban upper arms.
I try to look as capable and ruthless and confident as possible.

I am closer to the seated passengers than the pole-holders
although the poles are easier, far easier on the flab, to hold onto.

Punishing my 5’1” frame is worth it
when I slide into a vacated seat
with an unspoken air of
“Yes, you were saying?”
And proceed to blow my nose unselfconsciously.

But the Consummate Commuter
is a hard identity to keep up.
Falling asleep and missing a destination
is quite un-consummate.
I jerk awake
(how could this happen ~
the shuffling of people ready to de-board usually wakes me)
and proceed to look as unruffled
de-board hastily at the next
station, as if this one was mine

Change platforms
not looking guiltily behind (mentally, yes)
Course correction complete.

10 minutes wasted.

A broken nail
on a model’s hand
sign of the loss of control.

The Consummate Commuter is down, but not out.

We will meet again.