scott street cycle

monday 23 july 02001 11:25am
chapter ten: reasons to live, from waking to now

- as i begin to rise from dreaming, stretch my legs toward the end of the bed. warm soft resistance, and thunk. opening my eyes: the blanket taut between my feet, a paw thrown up over the edge. po purrs. the vibration rises in my feet.

- jim heavy in sleep beside me.

- the stillness of morning.

- a single tendril from the neighbors' vine has snaked across the porch and has begun to wrap the base of ganesha.

- larry's email contained the phrase: "i've fallen into the sky and i can't get out!"

- moving in yoga, and stillness there.

- jasmine tea.

- lush alkmaar soap.

- apricots. the weight of them. the soft plush flesh. the give. the juice.

- the pleasure of language. of trying to put experience into words. like stuffing the sky through a keyhole.

- this.

tuesday 10 july 02001 8:56am
chapter nine: in which the tree is named, and not

pittosporum. sounds like a disease, doesn't it? or an insult. the variety is harder to pin down. i think it is pitosporum undulatum. undulatum is nice.

common names: mock orange, cheesewood, victorian box.


i think i will continue to call it the tree outside the window.

friday 29 june 02001 8:52am
chapter eight: scent wafts in thick as butter, and sweeter

i thought trees blossomed once a year. winter sleep, spring blossom, summer fruit, autumn decline. this was memorized from laminated paper cards that hung on the walls of a classroom decades from here, on the shore of another ocean.

i have lived on this shore now a quarter of my life. it still feels new.

then again, so does this life.

the tree outside the bedroom window was blooming in april when we moved in. it is coming into blossom again now.

i ache to know its name.

sunday 17 june 02001 3:19am
chapter seven: home again, home again

there was lying in bed, but i could not sleep.

i was in the sky today

i was in the sky today and the clouds were around me, like...

in the place where my grandparents live, there are many deer. nearing dusk we saw nine at the pond, then ten. the clouds have stillness majesty fleetness like the deer. like watching the deer i felt in clouds both that i was interrupting, overstepping my place, and that it was impossible for me to do so. saying that being in the clouds is like being in music is trite. it is sad when the language for a meaning falls short of the meaning itself, when we try to so hard to say being that we wear the words out. but it was like that. vast and alive. symphonic.

the clouds are vast and silent entities. i was up there.

ineffable is a word that i am fond of. ineffable.

when the sun set it was not at the edge of the land that i saw it, but at a point in sky, mountain ranges of clouds and fire.

i was in the sky today. does my body know that a few hours ago it was going five hundred miles an hour? is that why it will not rest? or is it that where i was this morning, it is morning again, even though where i am now, the sun is not and we call that night?

or the thoughts. doubts and details bubbling in the mind. having been away, the habits of this place settle around me like a cloak. like birds on the wire after the winds dies down. wanting to burn it all. to live free of habit and pattern and every tie.

i tried holding jim. having jim hold me.

tried "om mataji, jaya mataji, sri mataji jaya om..."<

i considered the magic wand.

i decided to write.

saturday 2 june 02001 9:23am
chapter six: night of the living

during lovemaking I ask him "when my eyes roll up to the top of my head, does it make me look like the undead?"

he replies, "in the best way possible."

saturday 19 may 02001 10:09am
chapter five: in which dahlia wonders what is real

there was a dream, and in the dream i was hurting. he had hurt me. i woke, hurting. looked at him lying sleeping beside me, knowing that it wasn't him that had hurt me, telling myself it wasn't real. got up and began my day but there were rocks in my chest i could not get rid of. telling myself it was just a dream. but i was there. i felt it, the hurt and things that happened. why is that not real simply because i was asleep?

i knew that he was not responsible. i was not angry at him. but the rocks were lingering so i woke him.

"baby, i had a bad dream."

"awwwww...." pulling his arms from under the covers toward me.

i tell him the story. he pets me, murmurs sweetness at me. falls back to sleep. so quiet. when he is asleep, he is real, the dream he is having is real and this place is fantasy. or maybe when he is dreaming, this place just isn't. it isn't the place that is. when he is asleep and i am looking at him, he looks real, is the stone at the center of the world and everything else just wind, i am sunlight flitting across the room. when he is asleep and i am looking at him, all the world is solid and real and he is something else. i could put my hand right through him. i don't.

that evening i said thank you, apologized for waking him. he had no idea what i was talking about.

was he awake or asleep when he comforted me?

if we experience something together, and only one of us knows about it afterward, is it less real? if one of us experiences us both somewhere but that one is asleep, is that less real?

when any one thing happens, how do i know whether i am asleep or awake, and therefore whether it is real? when i am awake, i think i know that i am awake. that i am real. that everything else is real. when i am asleep, i usually think that i am awake. that i am real. sometimes there is a sneaking suspicion, but then again, sometimes when i am awake i think i might be dreaming. and the pinch is not a reliable measure of reality.

when i am dreaming, am i real?

in my dreams, i have adventures. lovers come to me and things begin but almost never come to fruition because through the veil of sleep i recall my promises. in sleep i stop, try to remember if i have permission. even in sleep my heart is true.

the dream i had was earlier in the week. i mean, i remember it then, and i feel awake now, so i am going on the assumption that things are real. that is really the best one can do.

i never remember the poems i write in my sleep, though i remember writing them.

still don't know what the tree outside the window is called.

thursday 10 may 02001 10:40am
chapter four: the entrance of po

jim snores lightly in the bed. the one called oh is out on the porch chasing flies. po is perched on the edge of my desk, waiting, again, for breakfast. the endless morning. again and again and always i am here at my desk, jim asleep nearby, the cats awaiting breakfast. po is furry and small beside me. he yawns sweetly, his jaws part, revealing long, sharp fangs.

wednesday 9 may 02001 9:05am
chapter three: time and space

i am amazed by the shortness of a year, the length of an hour. yesterday was the first day. i am walking in the street with him. up a hill. i have just surprised myself by blurting "i think i'm in love with you." yesterday... was almost four years ago. he has shared my bed for almost four years. and yet five minutes of watching his chest rise and fall as he lies asleep in that bed, what was once my bed, a bed i bought on the street and stripped to bare metal, five minutes of watching my beloved live, sleeping. that is forever.

every time his chest rises after falling, falls after rising, i am elated. his chest. i marvel at it, the size of it. a barrel. my beloved is barrel-chested. when i watch for a while, his chest becomes the world, and then i wonder how on earth i survive in my own chest, so tiny compared to his. how does it all fit in there?

the cats are stalking about the porch. into the sun, out of the sun. into the sun, out of the sun. nibbling at the orchids to irritate me into giving them breakfast.

dappled sunlight from the tree outside the window moves across my desk like a breath, like breathing. i do not know the name of the tree. what is it called? i must learn this.

saturday 5 may 02001 3:11am
chapter two: the entrance of oh

the cat is on the porch eating orchids. she lets herself in and out through the cat door now, as long as we keep it taped open.

friday 4 may 02001 12:00pm
chapter one: in which he sleeps

it may be that i love him best in the mornings. quiet soft when he is asleep. when i touch him to wake, he does not close, does not draw out of dreaming, simply rouses enough to throw an arm around me. draws me in.