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The ground is uneven everywhere I’ve ever lived pt 1

In 100, by Nora on November 22, 2019 at 7:02 pm

The ground is uneven everywhere I’ve ever lived. Today with inappropriate city boots, I stumped through the grove of sparse and craggy northern california oaks, my re-soled heels finding no purchase against the miniature rolling foothills beneath them, blanketed in dry-yellowed, spiny oak leaves, crisped from their sprawling, just-dying california summer. Jurassic-smooth bone-bleach dead palm tree fronds, feet long, litter the ground like the carcasses of our mesoamerican, ohlone, spanish, gold digging, frontiersmen ancestors. I miss running around barefoot til I was nine basically, feeling the stolen sandstone gravel, the geology and archaeology of my birthplace, through my thickened soles.

diebenkorn pt 8

In 100, by Nora on November 22, 2019 at 6:49 pm

I was only thinking of this as a running prompt, a way of thinking about my move with the healthy distance of my training in art history, interpreting through painting, inserting an object between me and real life. But there it was: a real Diebenkorn painting, closer than I thought, right on my campus, my old playground, the bruise-berry-blood blue of water damage seeping where smooth white wooden window frames meet dun colored, textured stucco. Flatness and distance. Ocean and asphalt. Many edges and the never-ending-ness of each edge. Color is light made solid, or air made liquid. welcome back.

fuckin spiders

In 100, by Nora on November 21, 2019 at 12:11 pm

I’ve never been afraid of snakes. their slick, waxy scales running over smooth, powerful bodies, contracting and stretching, flowing over and around obstacles. spiders, though. motherfuckers! even the little cute ones: HOW DARE YOU TRY TO DISAPPEAR AGAINST THE WALL BY BEING NEARLY TRANSLUCENT? California houses, in my experience, are full of spiders, jittering, jerkily folding and unfolding crooked legs, always showing up in the corner of your eye, in the corner of the white-painted molding, the long crack hair-splitting the curved Spanish colonial entryway, the blue-enameled edge of a terracotta pot. This I had forgotten in New York. Fuck.

under water

In 100 on November 21, 2019 at 12:02 pm

i am underwater underwater waving seaweed darts hitting me from every side i hate being here i love being here i don’t have an identity my back hurts i paid too much i give too much i don’t get what i need i’m selfish i’m selfless i give i give i take it gets taken from me the rope the darkness the edges the hot soft wet water over my head normal treading tread water forever never stop never float tread hard pump your legs kick hard harder than ever but from the top it better look like water ballet

A funeral

In 100, by Wyatt on November 21, 2019 at 6:11 am

Stasis, perhaps. Or familiarity. It was unclear what they mourned, standing in their dining room huddled over an alter of beeswax candles and repotted grocery store basil. Their black skinny jeans and organic cotton henleys crinkled each time they shifted their weight.

Their eulogies were bursting with celebration, intensity, levity and mourning. What a time it had been. How to honor it, and move on? Each song on the meticulously curated playlist coaxed new emotions to unfurl.

They hugged, wept, smiled. They were scared. And excited.

“Each of us comes first.”

When it was over, they cooked okonomiyaki and danced.

there and back again 2009 / 2019

In 100, by Nora on November 19, 2019 at 10:26 am

spent my first night in NYC on ambien watching the patterned wallpaper wave beautifully in underwater wind (after my first cockroach incident and because anxiety, need to sleep well for college move-in next day) and here I am ten years later three ibuprofens and the diazepam they forced on me for my IUD because my neck and arm are immobile with fire pain but maybe it’s psychosomatic the pain of leaving New York but probably the pain of moving 70-plus-pound bags either way I am loopy crazy both coming and going and i still feel i’m moving through a fog.

Religion

In 100 on November 19, 2019 at 4:35 am

I decide what this cult means to me

I cradle the tender seeds

Incubate them in my core

En route to an alluvial plain

I aspire to love enough

To walk into the forest

Amongst tattered flecks of lights, untethered  

I ordain to fill your vessel

To gift you polished stones

Put the cool flesh on your tongue

I cultivate reverence for life

So I take the dragonfly to the glade to die

Near tannin water, the beginning

I bow to the sanctity of the earth

Worshipping dew drops

Because if you only look

You see the prism, then melt

Bits

In 100, by Wyatt on November 18, 2019 at 8:22 am

My mind cannot fathom you.

You’re not your mischievous eyes.

You’re not your reckless laugh.

You’re not the crease between your butt and thigh.

You’re not your letters, meticulously stashed from meteors that shot into and out of your life, brief sparks of connective love.

You’re not your scent.

But I can’t hold all of you from here.

I can only hold your bits. One at a time.

I pick each up and treasure it.

Then I put it down before grasping another.

When I hold you in person, forgive me for collapsing under your magnitude.

Your wholeness is blinding.

Ray, On Writing

In 100 on November 17, 2019 at 8:36 pm

Ray says I must start with life, to bisect my animus and delve deep into the love and hate. I need to collect my most percipient memories: the moments that define my gradients and what I spit.

I have many.

I have held the warm hand of a dying man who held his consciousness so acutely. I have the knowledge of how after someone dies, for a time, all new moments are painted in an oily sheen of grief. For the greater the love, the greater the inevitable collateral of loss: by the laws of nature someone must die first. 

Singularity

In 100 on November 17, 2019 at 10:32 am

I.

It is diminished

In frost

Sometimes, moods recede

In tandem

Everything glacial, awash

In argentine

II.

I embrace the sun and conserve it

I possess a cloak that fights poison rays

I soak

Fearlessly

I am

A nurse shark’s pelt, without the glitter.

The pit of a peach. Involute.

Kindling.

Summer remembers my essence is gold

III.

While my true color is 

The Clear Light,

I relish the months when

I don’t feel like half of anything

On the surface, I have absorbed the universe.

And atop a foundation of gypsum,

I have created a color

That is mine

diebenkorn pt 7

In 100, by Nora on November 16, 2019 at 3:07 pm

as the temperature drops, i’m thinking about earning spring. after huddling through another persecutory winter, you feel exhausted, relieved accomplishment at that first above-45 day. i hate that watery wishy-washy waste of a temperature, the 50s, the 60s, each new cheeky green bud a miraculous gift, when you just want to be fucking sweating in your cutoffs and birks again.

now i’m packing my things, preparing to spend my first winter in ten years in a place where it seems to be perpetually spring: the coolest warmth, wind-bitten sunlight, a pastel diebenkorn-color temperature, all greens dampened with fog dew drops.

Life is brutiful

In 100, by Wyatt on November 15, 2019 at 3:44 pm

“Life is brutiful,” she said. Her mouth tasted like his mouth, only someone else’s. It felt strange to make out with a friend.

She continued, “Sometimes it sucks so much I can’t breathe. Sometimes it’s so fun I never want it to end. What?”

She smiled tentatively. “I’m being cheesy, shit.”

“No, you’re good,” he said. “Brutal and beautiful. I feel that.”

“Then why the face?”

“Nothing.”

“You were about to laugh.”

“Promise you won’t hate me?” She nodded.

He whispered in her ear, “‘Sucks and can’t breathe, so fun you don’t want it to end’… that’s what she said.”

a few new words

In 100, by Lara on November 14, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Podimania: The creepiness of seeing too many of something when only a one or a few is usually tolerable, even desirable (e.g. ladybugs).

Embrick: When two or more people go in for mismatched physical greetings (e.g. handshake and hug).

Symtocks: When your pet licks their butt and you feel a tickle in your butt.

Cafulaggio: A savory sunset.

Paraductive: Putting off work by unnecessarily organizing the way you plan you will do work.

Flashmom: A mom that loves flashmobs.

Mispagatic: When two or more people believe they reach a point of understanding but a third party can see they haven’t.

Drought breaks

In 100, by Wyatt on November 14, 2019 at 3:13 pm

“Are you awake?”

“Shhh what are you doing?” She asked.

Smirk. Was this what a smirk looked like. He hoped this was what a smirk looked like. “You tell me.”

This definitely wasn’t what a smirk looked like.

“You’re trying to make out with me,” she said.

Explosions. Maybe the smirk worked. He needed to say something. Now. Anything.

Silence.

“So, kiss me,” she said.

He swallowed the Mediterranean Sea pooling by his gums. The taiko orchestra in his chest roared for blood of war. Every nerve in his lips had put its fork in the toaster. He leaned forward.

C train downtown platform, 23rd street

In 100, by Nora on November 14, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Three E trains have gone by. A frumpy middle-aged white man on the uptown platform opposite is singing Elton John over his standing keyboard, voice sweet and clear

I hope you don’t mind

I hope you don’t mind

and I’m just listening, only listening, between the wild racket of each passing train. A Chelsea native behind me calls: “BEAU-tiful!! Play it again!” So he plays it again just for us. Trains stop,  disgorging busy be-headphoned people. At the end, the old queen and I clap and a couple tears dry on my cheeks as I step onto the long-awaited C.

Afar

In 100, by Wyatt on November 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Steph was moving to France. She wasn’t happy about it. Her parents had found good jobs there, so she had no choice. It sucks to be the hot girl, viciously uprooted, suddenly alone.

They had been talking every night. First using text, then recording their voices in bubbly snippets of raw emotion. Maybe eventually they’d have a real-time phone call. It was impossible to fathom meeting in person. Nauseating. Electrifying.

“You won’t be alone,” he typed. “I’ll be here.”

“My friend Olive has a thing for you,” She replied. “Do you like her?”

“She’s great,” he tried. Not you, though.

Back on land

In 100, by Wyatt on November 13, 2019 at 4:45 pm

“Kary said you two were going out.” She looked down at him with her beautiful, confused eyes. “Are you really?”

Horror surged. “No! I mean, we chat. We’re friends. But no, we don’t… go out.”

Because I want to do that with you. He couldn’t say.

Her expression was dubious, quizzical. “Okay. Help me put this canoe back up.”

He reached down and they lifted the fiberglass frame onto the rack. Her tan, lanky body glistened in the fluorescent light. The sun had set, and it was getting chilly in the scout hall.

“See you next week?”

He nodded, destroyed.

dark too early, too late

In 100, by Nora on November 13, 2019 at 3:15 pm

i’ve watched the sun set from this 5th-floor tribeca window so many times: when it’s 4:30 and i’m already dreading walking home, bone-shattering cold, bumping along canal; when it’s a totally reasonable 6pm, either cozy fall or bubbly spring, ready to pounce on some oysters and unearned spritz drinks; when i’m isolated in a whirlwind of ineffectiveness and motivated-drained boredom; when i’m hours-deep into furiously buying, cataloguing, shipping, and framing an artwork worth more than my entire lifetime net worth; when it’s bruise pink and champagne clouds; when it’s snow barreling in from jersey; but this time it’s the last time. 

monday evening 11 november

In 100, by Nora on November 12, 2019 at 12:46 pm

leave the tribeca edifice, one gutted and then filled with wafting palo santo, pothos and late-capitalo-feminist yogis, trace Broadway up through new corporate “artist” markets that used to be pearl river mart and real paint stores, the cast iron facades encircled windows that used to open onto the essentialist squats of artists, now squatting finance bros, left on Spring past croissant-hybrid-hyped bakeries, past four separate parasitic weworks, up Hudson through the resolutely neighborhoody part of the village, with real old people, real low-rise brick townhouses, unlimited nearly-nameless bars line small streets, arrive in japanese-american highball bar, order an ume-flavored sake.

my lucid dreams could be bigger, but they’re still pleasant

In 100, by Lara on November 11, 2019 at 4:27 pm

This time it happened to be a music festival on a sunny day. Green grass, big stages with impressive displays, and miscellaneous colorful art pieces. I immediately manifested the perfect group of people, but had to socialize with no more than three at a time. We were also all wearing overalls and able to go to the very front of the stage. The music was no louder than was safe for our ears and no quieter than was fun for our limbs. Abundant space to dance. No elbows, no shoving, no tall people. And clean bathrooms accessible a moment away.

Animal Style

In 100, by Michael on November 11, 2019 at 10:34 am

Animal style is being active, every day. Move by default.

Animal style is spending time barefoot.

Animal style is moving like a cat, working like a dog.

Animal style is eating only when you’re hungry, and then eating well.

Animal style is eating meat, not donuts.

Animal style is instinct and intuition. Use the thinking mind to train your animal mind, but never lose your animal energy.

Animal style is quick, strong, relentless.

Animal style is relaxing and recovering when the hunt’s not on. Animals sleep well.

Animal style smells a certain way.

Animals style is hanging with other animals.

True proof

In 100, by Wyatt on November 11, 2019 at 8:54 am

here are all the reasons why biscotti is a vegetable

  1. it is mostly butter
  2. butter isn’t meat, therefore it a vegetable
  3. there is flour in it too
  4. flour comes from trees, which are vegetable
  5. cranberries are in biscotti
  6. cranberries are a cousin of rubies, thus vegetable
  7. also pistachios
  8. pistachios come from nuts
  9. biscotti tastes good just like vegetable also does taste good
  10. it is okay to eat unlimited biscotti same as okay to eat unlimited vegetable
  11. too much vegetable makes you sick, just like when i eat the whole box of biscotti
  12. i’m proud of myself when i eat biscotti

natsukashii no kogarashi

In 100, by Lara on November 11, 2019 at 5:51 am

There’s a word in Japanese for the wind that welcomes the winter (kogarashi) and another one that means nostalgia but in a broader sense of the word (natsukashii), And I find myself these days in a complicated déjà vu of the start of this season. The first time I expected winter, my apprehension was so gradually coated by the darkness. The days got shorter, just a few minutes each day – such plausible deniability for any extreme. And it wasn’t until the frost broke the following May that the coat lifted off and my shoulders felt surprisingly light. Winter is coming.

How did you get here

In 100, by Wyatt on November 10, 2019 at 4:21 pm

Her body rocked with jagged sobs. This was an acute sadness, triggered by primal, ancient fears.

The forest can swallow you whole if you let it.

Behind each tree might lie clarity, or at least calm. Movement is progress when you’re under fire. But where were the hidden brooks, or a secluded glen, or the birds who would chirp the sun up? They were nowhere. All she felt was the cool damp darkness cloaking her in its heavy folds.

Brace for the journey, she told herself. Each step goes forward, each breath makes you stronger. Somewhere nearby an owl hooted nonchalantly.

diebenkorn pt 6

In 100, by Nora on November 10, 2019 at 9:59 am
hills surround the bay, making visible its form; even from the abstraction of childhood, i understood it. my grandparents were always driving us up and down hills (Zelda blasting old tapes of Gilbert and Sullivan operas from her boxy green Saab, Da and Mennie singing along to the Beatles). From the botanical garden, from zen museum cafes, i could see how the grid was lazy, grid but counterculture, grid but protests and runaways and the haight free clinic and 1968 student protests, a diebenkorn grid. i’ve seen them auctioned in new york for unethical sums; there its the entanglement of life.

job description

In 100, by Lara on November 9, 2019 at 10:22 am

[insert company name] is on the cutting edge of [insert industry that needs disruption]. Be part of the revolution!

Job title: Pick one of each — [senior / junior / lame] [strategy / product / typing] [manager / analyst / meatsack]

Responsibilities:

  • Disrupt! Do anything to disrupt stuff. Innovate. Interrupt meetings. [insert color] post its!
  • Work cross-functionally with teams to [action verb] the next big thing.
  • Get shit done. Easier to use that acronym than SIO (spell it out). Explaining is time and time is losing.
  • It would be cool if you picked up lunch.

 

how i am a slob

In 100, by Lara on November 9, 2019 at 10:10 am

Folding laundry but not putting it away
Using the dishwasher at less than maximum capacity
Wearing the same sweatpants two days in a row
Making the bed but not tucking in the sheet
Reading articles that “could” be seen as advancing my knowledge
Putting the rest of my hot cheetos in the fridge for future me
Leaving a greasy pan on the stovetop for the next fried egg excursion
Reusing the same tea bag five times
Hanging my jeans on the radiator
Googling athleisure instead of going to yoga class
Rewatching episodes of The Office at 1am on a weeknight

Finally

In 100, by Wyatt on November 9, 2019 at 9:35 am

At 1 & 2’s House

3: “You put it up!”
1: “Hi you! What are you working on?”
2: “She’s painting a still life of her bedroom! Great light.”
3: “The shadows aren’t quite right yet. What’s new with you?”
1: “Oh, work, trivia nights, camping trips, you know, hanging up a painting that my ex just gave my roommate of her new hot boyfriend.”
[Beat]
3: “It’s been two years.”
1: “I know.”
3: “I thought you and I were good.”
1: “We are.”
3: “I’m sorry.”
1: “Look. It’s a damn fine painting. The subject matter’s just a little tone deaf.”
3: “I thought it was funny.”
2: “Tea? Anyone? I’m making tea.”

 

Avoidance

In 100, by Wyatt on November 9, 2019 at 9:18 am

2: “I love the colors.”
3: “I’m trying to capture the light’s softness before the days get shorter.”
2: “These shadows are so cold. And the sun on the bed, here, is so warm.”
3: “I’m not happy with it yet, but thanks.”
2: “Thank you for our painting, by the way! Such a lovely birthday present.”
3: “I’m pleased with how it turned out! His flesh is so… fleshy.”
2: “Such a juicy butt.”
3: “I was worried you’d think it was weird, but it’s the only painting I’ve finished.”
2: “It’s great!”
3: “I’m getting a beer, you want one?”
2: “Sure.” [Texts 1: “I can’t tell her! Can you??”]

diebenkorn pt 5

In 100, by Nora on November 9, 2019 at 9:18 am

at least, up at the top of the long, proselytizing trail of the camino real, california was a colonial backwater: the forced labor and conversion inflicted on the ohlone was exquisite, but not the elaborate, rigorous casta system of the spanish viceroyalty. though the dutch of new york massacred the lenape occasionally, they were not the slave plantations of the british caribbean, the portuguese extraction machines, but rather a free-wheeling mercantile port. i guess neither were so free as the french, who lost new orleans for 19 years along the banks of the mississippi, while gambling and smoking their little cigarettes.

Gifts

In 100, by Wyatt on November 9, 2019 at 9:04 am

1: “It’s unbearable.”
2: “It’s not that bad”
1: “I can’t believe she did this.”
2: “It’s kind of funny.”
1: “What do we do now?”
2: “I think we have to keep it!”
1: “For how long?”
2: “It’s ours now.”
1: “Well. Do we have to put it there?”
2: “Where would you like to move it?”
1: “I don’t know. The basement.”
2: “No! She’ll come by and notice it’s not up!”
1: “I don’t want it here! This is my home!”
2: “Our home. And I think it kind of matches the furniture.”
1: “I can’t believe she gave us a painting of her naked boyfriend.”
2: “He has a good butt.”

Onwards

In 100, by Wyatt on November 8, 2019 at 1:39 pm

Back home. Drenched in it.
Cultivating one reality costs another.
Both cannot be held simultaneously.
Pendulums swing one way first.
They pause. Then they return.

These words are already old.
Even as I write them.
Pen in hand. Sipping chamomile.
None of it is static.

Yesterday’s mind is already gone.
Perfect! A fresh mind today.
Continuity is a sweet adaptation.
A new day, never done.
The only one like it.
It will never happen again.

So glide, my pendulum. Venture.
The world vibrates. Dance along.
Gently sometimes. Sadly other times.
Hopefully, most often with joy.

Be a flash of lightning.

So long, so brief

In 100, by Wyatt on November 8, 2019 at 1:35 pm

You can’t expect enlightenment always.
Perhaps, don’t expect anything, ever.
How pretty this leaf is!
Even pain can be joyous.
It’s a reminder: still here.

Sunset’s reds will fade away.
Teacups will be sipped dry.
Geese will honk during silence.
Winter will descend. Then lift.

A phantom shinrei bell tolls.

Perhaps rocks contemplate their existence.
In any case, we do.
Let black holes lament loss.
Your task is more urgent.

Find a way to live.
It’s all there for you.
You must never stop looking.
Shooting stars travel so far.
To look pretty for you.
A streak of light; done.

 

How did that get in here

In 100, by Wyatt on November 8, 2019 at 1:26 pm

First there was only energy.
It was all the same.
Matter formed and spread out.
Some grouped itself into stars.
Some stars exploded into planets.

None of that needed anything.
It simply was. No reason.

Some chemicals formed into chains.
Light linked the chains together.
(Everything was still just energy.
Now dressed in fancy clothes.)
A grand dance of transformation.

Some chains grew into us.

***

I just rescued a moth.
A random, emergent matter chain.
Just like myself, only smaller.
It clung to my hands.
We want to continue dancing.

We call it being alive.
Energy calls it simply being.

Boundaries

In 100, by Wyatt on November 8, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Rocks don’t need an ego.
A rock doesn’t need anything.
Waves don’t need an ego.
A wave moves with wind.
No wind, no wave. Done.

Things that need, need egos.
Deer need grass, water, air.
Grass needs sun and soil.
Humans need other humans too.

All our bones are rock.
All our blood is water.
Stand next to a deer.
Each breath, you exchange bodies.
Your air becomes its air.
Its exhaled oxygen enters you.

Eat it, it becomes you.
Die, decompose: you become it.

You are not a deer.
But you’re not not one.

Remember, you both are chemicals.

Me/Not Me

In 100, by Wyatt on November 8, 2019 at 1:12 pm

I don’t blow through trees.
Only the wind does that.
My breath bears no resemblance.

Cedars groan against each other.
Our knees crackle as one.
Though we’re sitting, not standing.

The moon illuminates this paper.
I don’t shine at night.
Words may peer into hearts.
But I see no similarity.

Clouds cover the Milky Way.
A glimpse of dipper glimmers.
Lucidity eases in and out.
Instant of insight, then gone.

Perhaps I am the wind,
The trees, moon, and stars.
What else could I be?

We were all thoughts once.
Soon we will be again.
But now we are here.

First Day

In 100, by Wyatt on November 8, 2019 at 1:05 pm

I feel unsafe. Out deep.
Where are all my people?
My rocks, who harbor me?
Am I alone, my people?
Only one who cannot leave.

Tattered truck covered with spackle.
Under that paint, it’s crumbling.
Or perhaps, not yet built.
What is my paint/spackle?
My loved ones? My ego?

Now I strip myself bare.
Winter howls into my bones.
The past holds no answers.
The future is a delusion.
So right now, I shiver.

What identity must I lose?
Which answers lie in waiting?
Trust the process: just breathe.
Find joy in my fear.
Worrying means I’m still alive.

Mo(ve)ment

In 100, by Wyatt on November 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Listening to tiny waves lick the rough edges of rocks on the shore of the lake is as delightful as hearing children giggle. Each new ripple bumps into, cascades over, bursts forth across the tiny stones in a joyful plink of acoustic kisses. You stare out at the water and watch one ripple advance closer. But when it reaches you, it may sound like all the others, or may be silent. In the mean time, you sacrificed enjoyment of each wave that had already arrived. The sweetest tune is heard right now, attending to the ripples laughing at this moment.

Salt

In 100, by Wyatt on November 8, 2019 at 12:56 pm

There was a train, and it rolled along many beaches. Sandy, deep, ocean-facing, resort-riddled, you were there, with a collection of fancy friends all dressed non-ironically the same way as me, but I did so in jest: with a blue and white tutu and a big bow on my chest. You fixed my hair and cried when I told you something. It was lovely to look at you, exciting to be with you, and fulfilling to hold you. But ultimately I hopped back on that train to lie in the arms of the woman who knew how to hold me.

With You

In 100, by Michael on November 8, 2019 at 10:10 am

With you, I walk in curvy lines, not straight lines. When it’s just me, I go from A to B. Walking with you, we slow down, we stop and hug, we riff back and forth, we decide to go to C instead.

With you, there’s open books and sweatshirts and little notes lying around. Home feels lived in.

With you, I let go of control. We’re figuring it all out together.

We share food and stories and moods.

We play Whitney and Elton John and Mozart.

We go to the same cafe again and again and it never gets old.

anniversary

In 100, by Nora on November 8, 2019 at 8:55 am

i noticed the brown paper bag crumpled in the corner of my kitchen floor; i had stuffed it with recycling (magazines for long-gone former residents, mom-oriented flyers, hopeful mailings for theater-minded people that i somehow attracted by once attending that avant-garde show in that cavernous space on the upper west side). emblazoned across its front, in their punchy graphic font, it said ” DOS TOROS – CELEBRATING TEN YEARS,” and i realized. we shared our new york anniversary exactly, this berkeley-originated burrito shop and i. me too, i told the handleless bag, made to carry burritos home. it’s time. let’s head back.

too many noodles

In 100, by Lara on November 7, 2019 at 3:30 pm

each strand creating another dependency that make the combinatorics of possible decisions too unwieldy to pick up with a single fork which is what I need to do if I’m going to have a fighting chance of eating this bowl of nonsense well not nonsense when separated and untangled but together yes complete nonsense coiled and knotted yet somehow they each still manage to evade my grasp, they are so slick with oily sauce that I sometimes just wish I could stab the core of a single length but my tines aren’t fine enough, blunt instruments and too many noodles.

are books objects? or thought?

In 100, by Nora on November 6, 2019 at 6:19 pm

objects are important to me. they mean things. they are my identity, which is mutable, which rearranges itself, reflecting years of experience and considered growth and also they are messy, unaware, unexamined, dusty. arranged just so for some nonexistent viewer, and then ignored, left that way until they attract attention again. but books. are they objects? fabric covers; softening, pulpy paper particles settling and dispersing into flakes in the air; graphic logos and designs. but the words inside: they are meaning, which shifts with each new reading, they carry my selves as well. can i leave them, of all things?

Daylight Savings

In 100, by Lara on November 5, 2019 at 3:14 pm

She wakes from a terribly unproductive nap at 4:30 and it is already dark. Daylight savings is so arbitrary, she thinks to herself. But that awareness doesn’t change its stubborn impact on her mood. She grabs a pack of granola bites from the lounge and slips a dollar into the tissue box. They really cost two dollars but she doesn’t have anymore change, so she guesses this is where her ethical integrity breaks in favor of small human needs. As she walks to her lab, she takes one more look outside. She won’t see light again for two more days.

diebenkorn pt 4

In 100, by Nora on November 5, 2019 at 10:54 am

the cracking-paint shabbiness of haight street and telegraph avenue; of musty incense sticks sold by aging free-lovers, their splintery white hair and beards stuffed under knit caps or ponchos; of amoeba peppered with neon sale-price tags on slightly scratched CDs; of beat poet-era bookstores stuffed with concrete poetry novellas perused by the be-fleeced and be-flanneled: those were the city senses of my childhood. ten years now i’ve been losing that parched, pastel smell behind the contradictory bougieness and rankness that is the bowery and atlantic: impossible stilettos, sweating-hot trash bags, newly-chromed corporate slickness and subway-dense diversity warring and interweaving thornily.

diebenkorn pt 3

In 100, by Nora on November 4, 2019 at 3:31 pm
my beloved new york grid plan hides something chaotically male and european: the rigidity and rightness of geometry, the evil rationality of the enlightenment, which allowed the triangle trade to weave the “old world” and the “new” irrevocably together. we are told: men plus science equals the enlightenment; science plus women or people of color is witchcraft.
in california, the breathtakingly longitudinal camino real is the single-mindedness of catholic proselytization, pioneers bursting through gaps in the sierras, the forceful importation of chinese to build the railways at all costs, eisenhower freeways built for deploying missiles and the car-drunk american dream.

Scripts

In 100, by Gracie on November 4, 2019 at 10:25 am

I started a new dosage of anti-depressants this week.
Two times what it was before. Don’t worry,
I am not embarrassed to talk about medications. I have been prescribed something
that doesn’t naturally occur in my body since I was 19.
It took a while to find the right concoction. One dosage made me hungry.
Another exhausted me to an existence that required me to nap at least once a day.
With sometimes a surprise 15 minutes of rest during class.
There’s nothing about the actual drug that gives me pause, but the growing pains,
those hurt like a bitch.

lafayette ave nov 3 noon

In 100, by Nora on November 3, 2019 at 11:38 am

the steady loudness of the watching crowd floats through my window from lafayette avenue, from early morning through the afternoon. the marathon runners are a never-ending stream of new york humanity, urged on by kids and friends and strangers and running enthusiasts, by signs and gatorade and slices of cantaloupe and a tambourine. an aging black man, his bib tacked to the back of his inexpensive black vinyl wheelchair, pushes himself backwards with one foot; two helpers in neon vests walk alongside, shielding him from the stream. a little bed-headed child holds out his cardboard sign and they high-five, joyously.

diebenkorn pt 2

In 100, by Nora on November 2, 2019 at 3:53 pm

even the low-slung scale of the houses in this leafed brooklyn hamlet was dragged across the water with its first white settler inhabitants. the lenape were here first, and didn’t mind that first couple, marking out a little farm. the farmhouse’s squatness came not from their own rosey-cheeked memories, they being a pirate named Joris and a prostitute named Catalina, who outfoxed their life of squalor by volunteering to colonize Manahatta. so they traced what they had seen from a distance back in amsterdam, smaller and lower than it needed to be, play-acting middle-class comfort through step-gabled peaks and brick.

//prompt.02 – “lightweight entities”

In 100, by Gordon on November 2, 2019 at 8:44 am

we lightweight entities arrive, from that place beyond distinction to here. a matter of matter. we move together. apart. and against. we dance, come close, rise and fall.

we and the leaves are heavy. those little temples burn, falling for their idols, reverent for a persistent order. I burn, too.

everything heavy must go. ditch the luggage and chuck the furniture. we were meant to be more than comfortable.

i’ll burn for that. or less. pile it all on my pyre, but be sure to burn all of me.

i never liked loose threads or second takes. —G