Coping (even after spilling the coffee)

spills coffee (5 a.m.)

          No coffee, no party!

But at least you can never spill the sea

It greets you
, never leaves you           you’re the one who leaves it
Either bathes you in the best colors
Or chews you to pieces and spits you out on the sand

he tries out alliteration; tried out surfing for the first time (12 years old)

          Soaking with saltwater, I’m soaking with saltwater

Still tasting it on his lips even after peeling off the sealskin

cheese-pesto bagel with cream cheese (9 a.m. from brother Altair)
surprises you with his choice; an inside joke

          Wait, are you having a Strawberry bagel?
          I don’t discriminate
          …Against…Ginger bagels?
          Even though they do have no soul

Deciding you will gather up yourself in blankets since the sea kissed you cold–

          Artemis, you’re a really cool person

there declares Jupiter in the doorway (9:15 a.m. even though he knows you have a hard time taking compliments)

          I hope you have a nice day today

exits Jupiter

later in the sunlight (11:10 a.m. barely casts your shadow on the dirt)

, spark-eyed Kairon single-handedly power massages the sore spot below your shoulder blade
Before resuming the walk to work

None of them know it’s the little things that help you cope


What Jenny Holzer Said

          Artemis, Artemis, where are your sisters, punk rock
          band huntresses, wolf
          pack nymphs of fang-
          footed fame?

It is Eris,
bastard girl Strife –
my beloved horses, she drove them hoof-wild,
I could not soothe them to stay;
they trampled the gates to
stampede the winds,
wanderlusting their manes to the furthest corners
of South Dakota and Starbucks,
of Kronos and Chicago,
of Shooting Up and American Dream –
beyond my reach.

          Artemis, Artemis, where are you running, chipped
          nails laced-up Converse, tossing
          up your keys in pavement-pecked and
          punched jeans?

It is Eris,
bastard girl Strife –
she hound-stalks my scent,
as if the very shadow sewn to my feet,
she stirs the rivers to hostile froth,
even sunflower faces bend askance –
I’ll run through the woods alone,
make the moon mine to behold;
I’ll paint myself over in darker shades,
to keep her away,
keep her from flaying my skin.

…the Remaining Engagement with φιλια (cont.)

Chapter II. ευδαιμονια

And I speak of this φιλια, that is my sacrament. What I hope to become, to engage, to embrace; inextricably We. Not only regard, but hold out my hands aware with faithfulness, empathy. Keeper of virtue so that between You and I comes We. That I would speak, write letters out of my head, call out of my shell, and make my bed there under the sky. Doors wide, arms unfolded, ears open. So we shall sit in hours of bright, in hours of dark; in watery eyes, in full, in empty. Carrying our bones. Together, in stasis, in motion; to Pass That, whatever it is. To reject Reciprocity, aim for such καλοσ. This is true Justice, my δικη. And so maybe I can speak of this φιλια, my sacrament. And perhaps I can speak of this φιλια, my ευδαιμονια.


ευδαιμονιαThe flourishing life
καλοσ–Pleasing beauty

…the Remaining Engagement with φιλια (cont.)

iv. A Third Interlude

But Samuel told me a story, of two brothers whose souls were knit together.* And Jonathan loved him as his own soul, he said. Dear Jonathan, the way your David tore his clothes at the news,** remembering when he last saw you, and your last words to him; before he ran for his life, remember? And wept with one another, David weeping the most. Then he said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.’***  Samuel finished, sat back in his chair, a bit distant now. How extraordinary, he said, eyes misting over.


*1 Samuel 18:1
** 2 Samuel 1:26
***1 Samuel 20:41-42

An Engagement with φιλια: Part C

A Catalogue of Things Regarded Important
for the 
Remaining Engagement with φιλια

Chapter I. Sacrament

I speak of this φιλια, that is my sacrament. A pursuit. But maybe I should speak, that my throat is often weary. That there are letters I’ve never sent, unstamped, written in my head. This I know, that I am born, but still I wonder Who am I when I am in my shell and the crust is thick. When what goes on inside of me is not always the same as what I do. This, my confession: utility and pleasure, they seduce me. This surrounded by a shell of lip-licking self absorption, and the crust is thick. My pride negates the iron bar I’ve driven through my neck, compounded by the effort that I constantly regret. My eyes focus nearsighted. Yet with moments of clarity, I beseech my eyes to see. This I know, that I am born, and hope to break my shell. To love my partners in crime, my wolf brothers, my glowing sisters. Mea culpa, dear ones. If you still want to love me, it won’t come without a cost; the fight to be much better is a fight I’ve often lost.* 


Mea culpa–“through my fault”
*Showbread, “The Prison Comes Undone”