Ode to Insomnia (#4)

There’s the sleeplessness that comes from a 6pm coffee-

And another kind when a bed-mate snores

There’s the 5:30am walk around the block kind of sleeplessness

During which you worry how your life will turn out and whether or not the one-armed guy is following you.

Then

There is the sleeplessness that makes you climb out your window

Up your fire escape to the roof, a pillow under you arm.

The kind that makes you lay out and stare at a starless Manhattan sky- 

You note the hums of occasional planes

The orange glow haze of cloud cover and city lights

There’s really nothing to see.

And yet-

It’s just you and the city- and it’s kinda sweet

You stare at the orange blank sky

You wonder whether your neighbors can see you and if you look insane

You run your hands along the gravel roof tar. 

You wish you had brought a blanket but you don’t dare move.

And then 

inexplicably

you and the city and the orange haze and the plane hums and the pillow and the walks and your crowded heart and the coffee and the worrying and the man with one arm

you finally

simply

drift away.

staff:

Today’s the day. The day you help save the internet from being ruined.

Ready? 

Yes, you are, and we’re ready to help you.

(Long story short: The FCC is about to make a critical decision as to whether or not internet service providers have to treat all traffic equally. If they choose wrong, then the internet where anyone can start a website for any reason at all, the internet that’s been so momentous, funny, weird, and surprising—that internet could cease to exist. Here’s your chance to preserve a beautiful thing.)

Taking a break from the feely poems. Tumblr is a rockstar company for going to these lengths. They helped me call my senator and lend my voice. Go Tumblr!

FOR BUZZ

Ben moved to Marfa three days before I met him at an art installation inside the old ice factory right by the railroad tracks.

He’d been a high school math teacher in Connecticut but quit abruptly, moved to the West Texas desert and started going by Buzz.

'Why Buzz?' I asked

"Well, actually I named myself Buzz a long time ago but only put it out in the universe recently"

"That’s fantastic"

"Today actually. I think I just got the courage today."

"No shit. Why today you think?"

"No clue" 

"Really? You moved across the country- maybe that has something to do with it. Re-birthing yourself. Starting over-"

"I dunno Molly, some days are totally new worlds for no reason at all. Even if everything looks the same…"

Buzz and I went to the only coffee shop in town which is inside the only laundromat in town.

We talked and talked and gave quarters to folks who were short and laughed and ate and talked and talked

Buzz reminded me of my father, who used to call me Chewie, and I thought for a split second about starting to go by Chewie-

But who was I to steal Buzz’s life changing non-special day?

Maybe I’ll wake up one morning and be Chewie- because I simply can’t not be Chewie any longer.

That morning I’ll think of Buzz out in Marfa- or wherever- and maybe he’ll think of me- or not- and the world will be different somehow-

Without anything having changed at all.

Ode to I’m-Not-Sure-What-But-Maybe-Just-Space-I-Guess

It’s funny-

I’m one of those people who feels at home on the water

Something about how full and empty it is at the same time-

My mother’s given name is Coral Beach

and her parents lived on a boat named ‘The Beach House’

It’s genetic

And it’s funny-

As I sit on a rock in the desert

(the surprisingly green West Texas desert)

with not a drop in sight- just land and brush and snakes and sun and sky

I get the same feeling 

The one that spreads out along the horizon and makes my feet both swift and anchored all at once

And I laugh because nothing is really all that different from anything else I guess

And I can’t figure out if that’s comforting or not-

But still here I am- 

With my 2 gallons of water for the day

Just the vastness and me-

(and too many hawks for comfort)

Old time genetic partners

Doing the dance once again-

My Essay 'Two Victors' published by The Hairpin

MALKOSH

In olden times, I temped at a financial office in midtown Manhattan

A soul crushingly boring job whose only redeeming quality was a magical computerized coke machine with seemingly infinite flavors to choose from in the company kitchen.

Each day at lunch I would concoct a new fantastical elixir- diet cherry raspberry ginger ale- vanilla orange coke zero- it was a soda stream heaven.

 

On my last day- while killing time before lunch

I read about

'malkosh'

A Hebrew word

That translates to “last rain”

It’s meaning can only be truly understood in places where there is a stark difference between the wet and dry season

And- only in reference to the past

You see- the idea is-

When the water is falling, you can never know that those are the final drops of the season

It’s only after time has passed- when the clouds have cleared- that you can look back and know that

that

Was the ‘last rain.’

 

So lunch time came

I got my last salad and my last bag of peanuts for later and I skipped giddily up to the kitchen to the computerized coke machine-

Only to find it broken

"Out or Order. Will be serviced tomorrow."

I gasped- My God-

Yesterday’s chocolate lime diet root beer

Was my last soda.

 

After a slightly heartbroken pause, I grabbed a bottle of water 

I marveled how you can read an article

And then it just appears before you-

I unscrewed the cap

Took one more gaze at the soda machine

Then headed back to my cube

Dreaming of my fizzy ‘malkosh’ 

The entire way.

 

One Day While I Was Assisting A Semi Famous Old Director I Had To Tell Him We Couldn’t Get A Certain Set Piece And Then He Said This

I had a friend who was working on an Orson Welles film- some independent thing that was never released- He was Welles’ assistant.

And he was Houston’s assistant too. John Houston was in the film. And my friend’s job with Houston was to bring him a fifth of vodka every morning. It was always gone by the end of the day.

So my friend’s job with Welles- they were all alone in the desert- the Mojave desert in California and they were staying at a motel with a huge pool. And Welles looked at my friend and said

“Get me 17 hippies”

And he had to do it- none of this “There’s no one out here” “How would I do this?”

So

When I ask for a smaller table for the castle stage left, I don’t want to hear any bullshit about it.

Molecular Memory, 2009

I’ve been told one’s life experiences

can imprint themselves on the very makeup of our DNA

Stress, Fear,

A life’s diet—

all passing from one generation to the next, seamlessly.

A child afraid to fly—

the pit in a small stomach

inherited

from a Grandfather’s near death experience.

A mother’s trauma changing her eggs forever

mapping out the course of an entire life.

 

I can only hope that when my great great granddaughter hears the ocean breeze

and smells the Gulf salt

She’ll feel the love of many women.

Her mothers’ first dates in the sand

The waves that knocked them off their feet,

Nights spent trying to distinguish the ship lights from the stars.

 

I hope this love compounds over time,

Multiplying each time it passes from one

sea drawn girl

to the next.