Of the Icebox

Words about stuff and sometimes things

When happiness is a tree, you feed it to your children — June 3, 2018

When happiness is a tree, you feed it to your children

One day, you’ll realize that you’re not born with an allotted amount of happiness, that you can keep stretching it, keep growing it, keep pushing the limits of conceivable joy until you understand.

When you realize that the price of happiness is patience, you’ll plant a tree to watch it grow. You’ll count the rings, the branches; one year, you’ll even try to count the leaves. You’ll see limbs overtaken by tiny insects. You’ll see the tree expel a branch to save the trunk. You’ll climb up, sit beneath, walk around the seasons and at some point, after 30 years, you’ll realize deep in your bones the appeal of cyclical timelines. You’ll love every season, even the barren Winter because you could use a rest and the tree grants you permission.

You’ll dance when you learn the roots are growing into your foundation. You’ll cry when the doors start sticking. You’ll stand dumbstruck when a lightening storm breaks a branch over the roof of your car. Even more dumbstruck when your kid drives into the tree — a learner’s mistake—leaving behind a barely perceptible tilt that it never cared to correct. But still, you trust it to support your grandchildren through stories so wild your ageing mind struggles to jump from myth to myth. You trust it remain patient enough not to collapse into your house until you’re done using it.

And at last you’ve learned the secret to happiness, you’ve earned the right to claim it. So when your daughter decides to throw her failed attempts away, you drive her to the arboretum and you tell her that lasting happiness is never stumbled upon, it’s been built out of all the days you waited, out of all the days you sat in the driveway and decided to return. And when she rolls her eyes and curls against the door, you get out, buy an oak tree and tie it to the roof. One day, she’ll understand.

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Destinations made of tin — June 1, 2018

Destinations made of tin

I watched as words strangled. I listened as nights buried. I walked every route back to you but I was always a visitor. Forget the journey, it’s the destination I’m afraid of.

When they say it’s not about the destination, they’re trying to tell you that if there is such a thing as destination, they have never found it. They’re trying to tell you that you will spend your life walking, that stopping to take in the scenery sometimes includes building a house, that building a house sometimes includes pacing empty halls.

To house your sorrows, I have walked. To escape my own, I have built a house from dreams that hardened into corrugated tin sheets. Not my own, these dreams. Not yours either.

 

Nip the Bud, Shoot the Kid — May 24, 2018

Nip the Bud, Shoot the Kid

Woman things happen to me and I speak of them and they call me a feminist.

Woman things happen to me and I don’t speak of them and they call me strong.

Some woman things:
bleeding,
learning to fear the night,
learning to hear the whispers,
writing in emotions.

Resistance is for feminists,
speaking is for feminists,
writing is for men’s education,
women’s edification.

To be identified is to be empowered, to self-identify is to debase, devalue, deflower.

I have been deflowered, little girl, I asked him to nip the bud of the flower.

Some girl things:
bleeding,
learning to fear the night,
learning to hear the whispers,
writing in emotions.

I am not a dirty feminist. I am not a clean woman, that is, a man

with the addition of two letters. Fuck, me-

n are more than the subtraction of two,
more than tools for staunching, more than fearless nights,

more than the roar of the whispers, the erasing of the voice
of emotions. I am not a cunt, bitch, douche container of womanhood waiting
to be expressed, raw sentiments waiting for a close shave, a hipster beard.
A loud quiet loud person once said it is brave to speak up, wise to sit down.

Bliss is living without doors — May 23, 2018

Bliss is living without doors

Let us live as if it were clear
Even if we do not know what clarity is,
Even if our clarity is thick
With sounds that don’t know how to stop
Occupying space, let us cease wearing ponchos.
I want to become bloated absorbing the clouds.
And if the sun shines for you
No brighter than the moon, let us drink
Of its craters, become the pores
Of its ancient rivers, fill our hearts
With a primitive devotion
And not feel less for our chosen ignorance.

When I am silent — May 20, 2018

When I am silent

And you ask me where I am,

There is a red umbrella and a green raincoat and a naked sky and I walk inside these boots that never understood breaking in as a process and I keep asking myself if I am too full or too empty but I can’t ever tell.

And you ask me where I am,

There is a ball of letters and a history of abusive suffixes and I mention your name sometimes as a swear word and sometimes in sentimental revelation and I keep asking myself if you are too good or not good enough but I never have been certain.

And you ask me where I am,

There is a fuck you for anyone who claims they have figured me out and a fuck me for anyone who has and future disdain for a past self that required impulse purchases and self-help books to understand happiness and I keep asking myself if I have become a stagnant pool of grievances or if I have just begun to heal but I never can tell.

And you ask me where I am,

There is a small glass of tea and a large puddle of sugared love and my mind is dancing on the barstools because the tables were unsteady and I keep asking myself if others think I am strong or if they think I am insecure or if they don’t think towards me at all but I’ll never know for certain.

When I am silent and you ask me where I am, I smile politely as though you are a stranger, I grip your hand as though you are a confidant and I look away as though I belong to myself. It’s all very civil.

 

Something you should know about the gypsy spirit — May 2, 2018
Forever Growing — April 29, 2018

Forever Growing

Between the two of us there are stories shared, built, hidden, treasured, forgotten, forgiven, forsaken. Stories to build a love, stories to fill two inexperienced hearts. Stories to remind us things are better now, we have made them better.

Hieroglyphed on the walls of my ancient cave — April 18, 2018

Hieroglyphed on the walls of my ancient cave

This word: Alone.

Every resting stop after has been a conscious turning away from that first home. Every commitment is a rebuttal to my understanding of where life started and where it will end. You can bury, you can bow, you can dig the word away. It’s fine to avoid. It’s fine to be afraid. It’s fine to create seventy years of distractions. But it’s not fine to want it. It’s not fine to prefer it. It’s not fine to cut it out of the wall of your cave and carry it like a mezuzah, ready made for every home you enter thereafter.

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Cities Don’t Break — April 14, 2018

Cities Don’t Break

When I leave your city and you tell me, “You’ll be back,” I don’t take it as a haunting, as a spirit drawing me backwards like the demons that forced me out. I take it as an uneasy blessing, an acknowledgement of all that has gone wrong. And since space wasn’t strong enough to fix us, you hope that time will be stronger.

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