Cut here.

November 7th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

The other party can be cut and pasted. There is a roughly person shaped space, like a clumsy toddler, I try to stuff you and you and you in it, and then dust over the rough edges, stone that barely kisses stone.

Now that I’m not trying to make you fit, I’d prefer to excise you completely. Pretend you are only a memory, one that can be pushed and pushed and pushed off the screen. The whole illusion shatters when you wave to me from a truck or I run into you at Grumpy’s or you pass by SCRATCHbread, friend in tow. The towers of sand, time, space, denial– an avalanche.

If I pathologize our years months moments together, I can cure it. I can cauterize the wound. You were wrong, I was wrong, we were wrong. It wasn’t going to work.

Because if I admit that this is exactly how I needed it to play out, if I admit that this pain is the reward… There is no “next time,” no future someone I’m getting better for– I’m working my way up towards– perhaps that person is me. Perhaps my edges are softening so I fit more comfortably into this existence, into myself– not so I fit better with you, future you, past you.

I’m uncomfortable with how much I wish you all are hurting without me. I am hurting without me. I am hurting because I am constantly trying to run away from my own feet. If you hurt without me, I must be worth hurting for.

I think about the love I have for my friends, for strangers. How beautifully their lives unfold, how heartbreaking heartwarming how touching how special. I assume I must be the only one who sees the progress of others– and that idea causes me to search and search and search for the person who watches me.

Does this mean anything at all if it is not read? Not watch, noticed, heard? Maybe I don’t get to know. Maybe I am seen, but I can’t know by who. I’m tired of waiting for someone to try on those eyes.

I will be the seer, I will be the seen.


The Next Thing

November 4th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s hard to believe I’m back here again, accompanying my mind as it falls faster, faster.

In Brooklyn, after Audrey and I broke up, and I started Al Anon, I was a walking bruise. Every moment hurt, like someone was flicking the wound with their fingernail. There was a world of ideas to let go of— future plans, compulsive behaviors, disappointment, anger, self-hatred, fear— and each one shattered me.

Mourning is a dramatically slow movement through time. Even the word itself is slow to roll off the tongue. It’s not as crisp as grief, although just as heavy. I am mourning. Mourning.

It shocks me how much time I spend with myself. Do other people spend this much time with themselves? How do they possibly tolerate it? It’s the same conversation every single day, the excruciating monotony of emotion and thought. The only time I feel truly out of body is when I am creating. And then the rest of the time, at least as of late, I am mourning.

And for how many years? I mourned so much last year. It feels like I cannot possibly mourn anymore and here I am again, mourning New York City and all of the people I left there, plus a brief relationship I started and ended here in Nashville. Mourning is monotonous. I will feel sadness today. I will feel like I am losing too much weight too fast. I have little desire to eat anything but Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but I can’t tolerate more than two without a self-induced migraine.

And here the anger flares up:

You can go fuck yourself. But behind that thought lies its truth-telling twin: Allie, how could you let this happen again? I didn’t want this and I wanted this so badly. I knew I would break my own heart. And I want to blame them for it. It’s not their fault. We both were trudging through life and for a brief moment, being in a relationship with them made me lighter.

And here, the disappointment: Allie, how could you?

Returning to grief is terrible. The heaviness is heavier. The effort is greater. I feel like I’m running a three legged race, in high tide, with my own mind. The worst (perhaps best) part is: this will not kill me, not even close. I know enough to know that there is no doorway I will step through and be out of the woods. The trees thin out before a clearing, the wave breaks on shore, before receding. I want to punish, I want to yell, I want to close up shop. I’m in the fucking thick of it.

With time, I will be able to look back and see why this had to happen for the next thing to happen. I am struggling to believe that I could possibly want The Next Thing if it is not a thousand people clamoring at my door telling me how irresistible and mysterious and perfect I am, tracing my breasts with their fingers, holding my head in their hand, sweetly remarking on my every move. But one drink is too many, a thousand isn’t enough. A thousand is not enough.

Here’s what I would tell a friend: Sit through it. Wait. Keep moving. Take plenty of water breaks. Cry it out. Stay open, so open that it hurts. It is bold to live with an open heart. It is even bolder to stay open when you want to retreat. You don’t have an audience as you struggle to concentrate at work or pick up the phone or know what the hell to do when you get home. There’s no one watching as you make a particularly delicious sandwich or cuddle your sweet pup. There is no one to remark how clever, how cute, how smart, how sincere. Nobody but you. Let yourself admire it. Let yourself be the one to love you. It’s exhausting to spend every waking moment with someone who’s not that into you or who critiques your every step.

Mourning is indicative of loss. Love is measured in loss. A great loss means a great love. Meaning you are capable of great, incredible love. You know one, you know the other. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Either way, your heart is a resurgent country.

So here’s what I would tell myself.

Some Container of Life

May 23rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink


I’ve noticed the
Objects have shifted since
You’ve come and gone
Unlocked themselves and
Left home

For instance,
The underbed storage
Was empty
Then it was full
Now it is empty again

There will be something
To fill it once more

Contained life is
Empty, not empty.

But wait–
Here, corner-pushed, has
The Almost Gone collected:
A lonely aspirin,
A tear of paper,
Smattered blond threads
From a shaved head.

Could we call that empty?
It is empty enough.


The Land of Heartbreak, 2007

April 16th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

I just found this poem in my old email. From September, 2007.


The Land of Heartbreak


I am writing from a place

Of heart break.

A thousand beats away

I lie to you

Between sheets of golden grass

Wrestling with my heart’s infidelity

As blades bend beneath my weight.

A river runs between (us?)

Separating Routine from


The tumbling waters drown

My apology.

At the bottom, graying with decay,

Waits a young heart.

Watery beats count

One, two, three,


This is the land of heartbreak.

(This heart’s on fire).


April 11th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

guessin I’m gunna miss
your eyes first
if I had to choose

or maybe the soft spot
on your heart
wheres you let me
curl up and rest.

no– your hands–
which carried you
to me.

shaped, pressed, curved
your way through time
carved out your place
in dis world.

in me world
you were center
and I grew to you
(but also away)

all growth moves us
toward and away

here we be
closing with soft press
and deep ache.

just as I always
have and always will
i still be ever reachin
toward (and away from)



My family.jpg