January 5, 2014


I want to stir the river of the past, urge the silt up from where it is resting, surface it to light.

I want absence filled with grainy recollection.

Every poem takes the lost moments and rebodies them into something new.  Apply a little lightning, a little music, voila, the past lives again, new.

A few new year's eves ago, I was alone in a Spanish city.  No, I was not alone: I felt alone.  I was with a sonnet of people, 14 of them, each with their voltage of wants.  I was in love with one of them, though it was ending, had ended.  My grandmother was newly dead.  (That phrase, "newly dead," kept perch on my brain, edging closer and closer to the end of the ledge it wanted to throw itself off).  I drank and smoked and went out into the public square, dressed in drag.  Each of us in the cold, in a wig, wearing sequins and curls.  (I looked like Large Bo Peep).  And everyone in the square wanted our picture; cars slowed so passengers could properly capture us, their little beacons of joy.  We stayed up until 6am to watch the ball drop in New York City.  I was alone but on the edge of something raucous, something cheerful and welcoming, and it ostracized me more.

This year:  the two of us, in a house out in the woods, isolated, away from civilization, on the couch, his feet up in my lap, mine in his, looking like a human-infinity-symbol, spilling memories.  The quiet around us.  We should have felt alone.

But we had the whole world with us then.

Happy new year, unaloneness.  Happy new year Valencia, which was called City of Sands and City of Valor, but which I know as a city of memory, stowed on the shore, where the waves bring back all you thought lost.

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