Did you read a lot about transcendentalism in high school? I did. Thoreau, Emerson, Krakauer’s Chris McCandless story, but why? Was it a warning about living a life of “quiet desperation,” or were all of these trascendentalists, in fact, also men leading lives of quiet desperation, even in their silent reverie?
I first learned the word facade/façade in middle school. We were learning about French art and architecture. The teacher put a slide of a church on the overhead projector, one of those crude, cumbersome machines with sheer printouts. She explained that the church had a false front or a façade. I remember thnking to myself (I wasn’t vocal in my younger and more vulnerable years) “why not make something through and through? Why put up a facade?”
Sometimes I have a dream that I’m laughing
on white sheets in midday
in the room I grew up in
with the sun striping every shadow from your face
you pull my leg over your hip
and I say, “how romantic”
We both know the meaning
of white and light
kissing without tongues
laughing without jokes
dreams start and end like men
out of haze into haze
starting life without a shadow on your face
ending life under the cover of sheets
One of my favorite poems is a song by Leonard Cohen called “Going Home.” It was published in The New Yorker when I was in high school. I cut it out and pasted it into a diary.
sitting under a magnifying glass is only fun in the twilight
you can see the beauty of an iris
brown golden rays beaming from
pupils darting back and forth
surveying your every wrinkle
condemning your every flaw
tapping on glass is agony
and sunrise is a death sentence
nothing but coals and scrutiny
Today I am visiting my grandmother in Chesapeake, Virginia. A county whose welcome sign ought to read, “Population: Questionable.” My grandparents moved to Virginia from New jersey over 40 years ago so that my grandfather could work for a chemical company to make bug spray. My grandfather widowed my grandma when she was 35.
The preparation for this hearty task begins hours before your actual flight. First, forget to brush your teeth. This will surely repulse the person next to you when you repeatedly try to make friendly small talk. Now is also a good time to drink coffee, monster breath.