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I’d forgotten how hard blogs are. There’s a story to tell and I keep thinking it’s about Nepal. I should be writing about Nepal. I am supposed to be writing The Nepal Story, after all. So, why can I not write about Nepal?
I was once told by my mentor to trust my instincts when piecing a narrative together, meaning I shouldn’t be so arrogant as to think I can manhandle an experience if I don’t let it unfold. My story hasn’t even unfolded yet. I want to write a redemption story that hasn’t happened, so it’s no wonder I can’t write about it. Truth be told, mine is probably not a redemption story anyway. Deep down, I know Nepal as a requisite transformative experience will be dark because, when reduced to its smallest divisible parts, Nepal is all in my head.
And there’s a writer in there, too, who refuses to shut the hell up.
From a distance, a shadowed mirage is waving at me like a summer heat reflection on hot pavement and this passage comes back to me:
Despite our best intentions, we forget the dead.
Do they forget us? Jane Summer, “Erebus”
So. Leigh “Bindo” Binder*, if you refuse to die, I’ll just have to kill you off in a mediocre poem that’s an apology as much as a lament.
When the stem drooped and the petals died,
Sleeping beauty sleep
I awoke to gold
Light too bright
You offered me a dim corner
You and I shared caramelized melancholy
Like cotton candy
Adolescent sweetness, the things that grew in our heads
Restless dreams like your cigarette smoke
From a few thousand miles away
Choke me awake
Weighed together like stone
Bound and pull down like some English great, we weren’t built for this life
But mostly: Have we lived our eternity?
*Leigh Binder was a friend and fellow writer, who died two years ago leaving only his writing and YouTube videos (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-43KL2khFHhJ-LmRqA-y2A) to haunt me.
Draft came in whooshing the warm away but my hands were warm to the touch and tangible impossibility what I feel is relief it turns out I’m still alive after all I turned the corner the door was cracked where I’d left it for hours I left it loose on its hinges I I let the wind do what it does let the ghosts do what they do find me find the weak places in my defenses in my genetic code the lapses between my synapses where my biology isnt fused with my fragile psyche the draft deep down I can hear the hurt an audible clinking like a wind chime harbinger give me life let the ghosts do what they do haunt my halls my hauls of good faith and warm hands and so cool to the skin the draft comes in.
The future is right in front of you
Yet I feel almost hopeful
And will this be the worst year of my life?
–worse than 1995 (or was it 1996)
–bad times you swore you’d never forget, dates you thought would be seared in your mind drift away slowly, slipping passage of time
–worse than April 8, 1990
–or that one dreadful July
–worse than the worst day of every year
But the when’s are determined in advance
A seating chart and priorities numbered and neatly ordered
When I don’t know how to finish
I finish first
My breath bated
sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad
13s are symbolic,
The Greeks or some other dead people said so,
Maybe it was just rhetoric from the OMEN
It is not Halloween: it is not make-believe
I have a large flowering tree
More than I can count
Pink blossoms, thin and bursting,
Centers dark as poppy hearts
They drop to the ground
I’m disappointed in their ordinary deaths
Until I see the blooming petals
Fall onto a smoldering pile of dog shit
It’s then I think maybe life is good after all
This poem was inspired by another bindo conversation….Purely in jest and more than a little gross, but I’m grieving…such things are excused.
there will be no licking of my dead toes
I have the exact opposite of a foot fetish
and would prefer socked or brown house-shoed feet
unless I’ve recently had a pedicure
but still please no licking
if that’s alright with you
I’d be happy to be dead and gloomy for all eternity with you, dearest dark one
though I hope there’s a smoke-free section in hell
since I have terrible allergies
Not even two weeks ago, Leigh Binder (aka Bindo) died. It was sudden and has left me heavy – hearted and revisiting our past conversations, wondering why I wasn’t better at keeping in touch. Bindo was a brooding, ridiculously sarcastic writer. I’m not sure if he’s really left us or not but I feel a great loss.
I’m posting this conversation again because I think it sums up our rapport and the heyday of this blog. We were golden…tarnished but fucking happy.
MedicatedLady: who let the dogs out, bindo?
Bindo: I love dogs and sunshine and butterflies. I welcomed the sun’s light this morning and rejoiced in the sound of birds’ singing.
ML: What? Are you okay?
B: I love puppies!
ML: You’re using exclamations points these days?
B: For the sake of puppies, yes! You have a right pretty Poppy-dog.
ML: Thanks. Are you planning to murder puppies?
ML: Come down from the roof, bindo. You don’t need to do this.
B: Don’t make me do it because I will.
ML: Just calm down.
B: You drove me to it. Fine, here goes, I’ll say it. I’m a reasonable facsimile of happiness.
ML: You disgust me.
That’s the hardest part
Picking through the rubble to find scraps of once-yellow note pad paper written and abruptly, rudely, ended:
Birthday card for —
The hardest heart catches itself before it does what it made to do: lie or die. (And flower and a cake for –)
Again with the ending. Before the card, there was snow. Glowing snow but the ice was better. You’d sprayed painted it gold and silver and a tie dye of the other primary colors , which ran and pooled at our feet. The flakes and shards died a hued death.
Still the ending.standing at the top of a great mound that once was not a welcome to the White Ones.
They welcome you. The hardest part, you accept.
I don’t have to wonder much bout the answer to life’s questions or the ones that haunt me in my head. That’s because all the answers have been told to me in detail as a result of Dhyan’s (Guy Traiber) new book, “The Zen Pocket Book of Irrelevant Answers.”
As of today, I have everything I need to be happy. Important answers follow.
What’s the purpose my life? I close my eyes and flip the pages of this compact written mecca of meaning. Page 53: “night time.” YES! That’s what I’ve been trying to say for years.
Which way is the nearest discount store? Flip. “Before he was five.” Yes!
What’s my sweet dog Lucy thinking about? Page 22, “black.” And what of my Emmie’s thoughts? Page 23, “not black.” Yes, Jesus.
I’m so very blessed with this book and you should be, too, dear reader. While you’re at it, support a writer’s work. It’s hard as hell.
I’m not flashy
I’m broken in pieces
Buried and lost
Buried and found
By the softbodied me
On a crowded beach
With no relevance
Aside from being a part of my whole life
My words are not flashy.
They are broken
but they are mine.