not just circle
daily practice

Wednesday, April 30, 2003  

Next to me on the plane ride home from Georgia?

A big midwesterner. Blond with bright, glittering blue eyes and a strong jaw, good teeth, and the thick, heavy hands of a farmboy. His hair was cropped short and shiny, as golden as his skin and the soft beard that burnished his cheek; a fine piece of meat. His physical superiority is undeniable, and made somehow even more persuasive by just a hint of the primate in his full lips and thick forehead. He is the possesor of rare and epic natural beauty.

Originally from Stillwater, Minnesota, he tells me that he hates being home, and can't wait to return to Hollywood, where he is an actor and a model. "I don't really have the drive to do film," he tells me, "I'm trying to break into commercials."

In high school, he could not have been anything but worshipped by the girls, and I can imagine him in a football uniform, a flawless, all-American midwestern boy. I can picture a teenage him drinking a glass of milk in a well-kept kitchen while his well-kept mother looks on. What an inheritance! But, he has exchanged it for the life of a model and would-be actor in Los Angeles, and is scraping for work amid all the other pretty boys of Hollywood, who are a dime a dozen.

He tells me that it's a rough business, and since he's always gotten by on his looks, he's finding it hard when there are so many who can match him, that his looks are almost a detriment. They agencies tell him "We have too many like you."

He has been in Minnesota for a wedding, and the time back has made him long for his whoredom in Babylon. His jeans are expensive, and distressed by design, with strategically placed holes and fadings, he wears thongs and a grey hooded sweatshirt - a study of Hollywood's self-consciuos casualness. He's got a tattoo on his left bicep - ocean waves and japanese characters. He is a golden boy, and when he stretches, he rubs his meaty chest with his big heavy paws.

posted by ~ | 3:21 PM

Monday, April 21, 2003  

I'm in Savannah, Georgia, and it's beautiful. There's lots of picturesquely peeling paint and mineral stains. It's got a lushness and sense of climactic effulgence that is going to be bully for my skin.

As usual, I'm staying in a hotel that's literally crawling with guys who are either wearing lycra, or are very accustomed to it.

On the plane over, we made a first stop in Minneapolis and I sat next to a delightfully sweet midwestern couple. They were plain. Plain folks. He has just 'stache and a baseball hat over a sandy brill of hair, a beer belly, and the rough skin of a blue collar man. She had a worn face, very sunburned, and with shoulder length and absolutely perfunctory strawberry blonde hair. He kept his hand on the inside of her short, plump thigh while she slept with her head on his shoulder. They were the parents of freshly beautiful high school girl with impossibly clean skin, who was looking forward to her boyfriend Matt's next game, and talking about an injury that keeps her from twirling baton for the marching band.

Good stuff.

posted by ~ | 1:10 PM

Saturday, April 19, 2003  

I'm going to Georgia for a week on Sunday with my bike boys. I love them, but in some ways I know it will be a lonely trip. Last year, there was that sense in which I had a pursuit... someone I especially preferred to see, and now when I go on these junkets, I feel the loss. I wonder if it's him I miss, or just the mitigating factor of there being a grown up on the team - a sharp minded adult. Maybe its just the sharp mindedness I miss.

At any rate, I hope to really find the reasons why I want to be there instead of getting hung up on wondering why someone left the fratboy joke tap running.

Oh, and the new Radiohead record rules, by the way.

posted by ~ | 12:38 AM

Tuesday, April 15, 2003  

I've been reading some poems I wrote when I was a teenager, and every last little thing was so vivid, and buzzed with significance. I was so emotional all the time, always fretting; always so fraught. Those days are so fast moving and the changes are so rapid. That uncontrollable feeling of stimulation and scratchy vulnerability is not something I miss now, but I have had glimmers of that sensitivity, in times of real engagement with one of my projects, that feels less drunken and richer, and like something to strive for.

Here's one from when I was 17 that even now, I like a little bit:

Heaven in that body
and my body just
Sweet soul music on those lips
and my lips just

Everyone knows my rain day.
Love that ranges over the ferris wheel
with the muse of lyric poetry,
what strange days. Smoking
clove cigarettes while
the delicate surface of my age
chases me down the street.
Grey sky, yellow moon,
spinning colors and clear eyes;
and an angel over my shoulder
with the instruction from heaven
to this body.

posted by ~ | 10:18 PM

Friday, April 11, 2003  

Right Now

My backyard is covered in dry fallen leaves from the Avocado tree. We've had to cancel the services of our beloved gardener, Oliverio, because even though his fees are modest, we are too broke to pay them.

It's my son's last day of school before spring break, and as usual, there was an assembly in which the children presented some of the things they have been working on since the last break; just some songs, poems, and tongue-twisters they have worked up for all of us to see, and as usual, it was much more affecting than I ever expect. The littler children did some Japanese animal songs, the older girls sang romantic songs with just a hint of maturity and pain, and my son played beautiful, lilting tunes on the recorder with his class. Their sweet, safe lives are so undisturbed by the things that plague me.

A man I know from my yoga center has a child in my school, and when I saw him, he gave me the namaste hands, and a blissful, yogi smile, and I just felt grubby and tired remembering that feeling of awareness and consciousness that comes of a daily practice. One day I will return.

posted by ~ | 5:19 PM

Thursday, April 10, 2003  

He's Moving...

...and while I don't really feel miserable, there is a vague sense of being bereft that is seeping into everything. It's not like I have any real claim to stake, except that he is so often the bright spot in dreary days. He's cranky, demanding and terrible, but he makes me laugh and I look forward to seeing him more than almost anything else. He lives near my office, and just knowing that when I crossed over to the westside to go there, I was nearer to his house made it seem just a little less torturous to work for the man.

Now, he's moving to the desert and will be hours away, living in solitude with his dogs. He says it will be good for his writing, and that he will be happy, and I hope he is; but I don't know what possible excuse there would ever be for me to drive out there to see him. I mean, at that point I may as well just come out and admit that I am hopelessly devoted.

We'll talk or exchange e-mail everyday. There's always lots of excuses for that - business to take care of, things to do... but, he's moving, he's my favorite, and I'm sad.

posted by ~ | 7:34 PM

Tuesday, April 01, 2003  

A few thoughts I've had lately:

Richard Wilbur's poem Love Calls Us to the Things of This World is such a favorite of mine.

Boys will be boys... especially when they're 19 years old, or when you get them together in groups. It's not altogether bad.

Love has to have a body.

Even bad Japanese gangster movies can be good if you go with the right person.

I am beginning to understand Camus' "great sob of poetry" that wells up and makes one forget the truth that doesn't need you.

Time is on my side.

posted by ~ | 4:17 PM