Saturday, May 29, 2010


a simple title. don’t you think? but this is what i need. i need simple. i need to look at the sky. and the earth below me. and to smell the lovely air. i need to take long walks. and listen to beethoven. and vivaldi. and chopin.
i need to look at my face. and remind myself of me. i need to tell myself:
i am alive.
i am alive.
i am alive.
i need to tell myself:
i am nevine.
my mind is working overtime. my heart is dry. my soul is riddled with gaps.
it is time to take the time. much needed. to tend to me.
time to read t.s. eliot. and drink warm tea.
time to watch movies. and eat ice cream with my fingers. not with a spoon.
time to cook. and bake. to stick my hands in thick dough and struggle to pull them out. and to laugh at my frustration.
time to run. and scream. with thrill. and elation. like a child.
time to go swimming. and exercise. and write. without thinking of posting.
to write.
and write.
and write.
to laugh. and smile. and maybe even cry. why not? crying is good.
time to take naps. and relax. and breathe.
time to listen to my silence. and hear what it has to say.
he says. he. eliot. poet of my soul. he says: there will be time... but the time for me is now. now.
this is what i need. i will be back soon. i will be back. i just need some time.
…be back soon…
…go do it, vina…

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Card VIII from the Rorschach Inkblot Test

You’ll have to sit down. This may take a while.  He lowers his gaze. Shuffles some papers. You know that every few months I have to re-administer your tests. He pauses. Then. We’ll start with vocabulary. I’ll say the word. You’ll say what you think it means. Here we go:
MELANCHOLIA            and she says a sad indisposition?
Indisposition? he says. You meant ‘disposition,’ maybe? Indisposition is wrong. Incorrect.
But she believes she has a right to her incorrectness. On some level. It is hers to defend. She feels that when one is sad, one is INDISPOSED.
IMAGINATION, he says.                        and she says bright?
But, why the question in her voice? Though he doesn’t interrupt her this time. He is getting lost in his thoughts of how he had labeled her on the last battery of tests he had administered – NO AFFECT. ANTISOCIAL. ANOMIC. APHASIC. DEPRESSED. DISSOCIATED. HALLUCINATING. INSOMNIAC. LETHARGIC. etc. etc. – and of how it is all applying beautifully to what he’s doing now. No. Not APPLYING. CONFIRMING. Ah, yes. That’s the correct word.
            a blooming flower, she’s saying
     but not fully bloomed      ‘cause then she’d be dying
              just a little bit       every moment that passes
And he has to look back down at his test manual to remember the last word he had read to her: IMAGINATION. And what else? he says. And she says
            a change            but a good one                       
                  like sun after rain
And he says, How about a specific example? SPECIFIC. Like a geographical exactness. Like a point where latitude and longitude cross. But he is speaking inside her head. It is one thing to speak about what is misfiring inside someone’s head. To speak so clinically. So whitely. So crisply. But it is quite another to pinpoint the actual location of that
            to go deep
                         inside that deep winding deep winding
                grey organ
                              deep and riddled with networks
only half able to
or even function on a superficial level and
                    how would he determine the dosage of
             would he know how much of it would be needed
          for her to begin to redistribute her
ANIMATE OBJECT              is that the person that lives inside me?
INANIMATE OBJECT            is that the same person but quieted by meds? the one that is like a wild animal hunted and stuffed and mounted on a wall?
GENE                                    is that the legacy of my parents? is it the kingdom of my diseased mind? am i answering the questions correctly? am i giving you what you want? are you happy? am i happy? can one emote with a diseased mind? and is it the heart or the mind that feels emotion? or is it the soul? is the soul an organ? can they EXCISE it? EXORCISE it?
DIRT                                    filth            squalor            
            a skeleton in a closet
                        a dirty skeleton         dirty bones
Her mind is porous. But she knows this much: if a surgeon were to open up her skull, her brain could possibly. potentially. disintegrate. in a zap. if her brain were to lose its container. if touched. it could fragment. just like that. fragment and become fragmented grey slop. but if handled carefully. with caution. it would be kept all fresh and beautiful. intact. like a peach with its skin still on. like a relic. preserved. FORMALDEHYDE. then. later. when they were good and ready. they would take it out of that fluid. slice into the grey matter and take a SPECIMEN that they would then MOUNT on a GLASS SLIDE and STAIN so they can see it clearly and they would cover it with a COVER SLIP and shoop they would whisk it under the MICROSCOPE and all of a sudden a piece of her brain would be captured like a photo. EXPOSURE. but how would they then reconnect all that dead tissue? SPLICE.
And he says, I’d like for you to look at a few images. Look at each one and tell me what you see. Card III. What do you see? And she says
      two people?      tearing a brain apart?
            tearing a heart apart?
                                   with blood?
           blood between them?
                        blood behind them?
And he says, Card IV. What do you see? And she says
         a huge beast?       with the biggest feet ever?
And he says, All right, then. Card VIII. And she says
               an animal?        and its mirror image?
     looking into a pond?       so sparkling and clean?
Interesting, he says. But why do you say your answers like you’re asking a question? Are you unsure of your responses? But she doesn’t answer that question. And his eyes are fixed. Fixed on her unmoving lips. Now unmoving, now trembling. Fixed on the shiny sweat pouring off the side of her face. And her eyes are fixed, too. Fixed on the image in Card VIII. It
                                off her eyes
into the back of her head
        into her throat her breath
                                              that catches with
muffled cries she wants to both
             inhibit and inhabit
    and the dream enters her and she
enters the dream
           and they take her back
           to Ward 9 on Floor 6 along with
      all the others that are like her and they
give her 30 mg of Oxazepam
                                30 mg crushed and placed
            on her tongue
the bitterness covering her eyes
         in floods of oblivion
delaying thoughts
               delaying the world as unchaos
so the excess of it seeps onto her pillow as
         vomit blood phlegm bile
and though she sleeps she sleeps
                    the sleep of the troubled
and her dreams form lesions in her
           that she dresses with
     maternal coos
                          cushioned by the
         because she knows the light would blind her
with the brutality of its unbearable reality
DESIRE            he fires at her in her dreams. And she says, Something I will never feel. But this time the vocal inflection suggesting a question is gone. And she says, You can take that word off my vocabulary list. You can use NEED or NECESSITY or even WANT. Just not DESIRE. And can I ask you a question? When I am old, she says. When I am very very very old… will I still be here?

Saturday, May 15, 2010


 "Red Couple" by unknown artist

in your absence
in my imagination
i dream of you
i beckon you

you come to me
you enter me
you invade me
you pervade me

and as i lie in the stillness
i feel you inside me
and hear your whispers of
love in my heart

Monday, May 10, 2010


first she hears the clack
 of his shoes
on the porch his legs wild in their
 to fling themselves around her
then the rusty doorknob screeches

and twists and he rushes inside so
with wanting with waiting he has
nothing in his pockets dry hunger
in his stomach undressed he leans
over her
touching arms and waist and
back he kisses her in the wrong places

he’d seen her at a general store
staring at an old woman who
prayed for invisible graces
her mouth open and silent
her tongue dry as the sahara

now she hears every sound desire
sighing from dustwebs light touching
gossamer curtains rain gliding from
the slanted rooftop in winding silver
threads – she feels helpless – hands
bound above her head he sees her wet
thirst flow between her breasts he kisses
their ivory softness they taste of famine
he thinks it is her dreams that keep her
yearning she thinks it is his face that is
hard to read or maybe it is her ineptness
at discreetly perceiving indiscretion

but there on her wide bed in her
shadowed room she floats above
her own body and his and finds
that she – always coldly faithless –
believes with zealous ardor in sin

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tokens of Awakening

I Am Earth by unknown artist

On this spring evening I am in my garden,
Remembering spring in that other garden
            that used to be mine.
Did I think it would last forever,
All the time that was, once upon a time?
I know it no longer exists for me.
I know Someone has replaced me.
But do I stop existing… simply so?
That soil bears tokens of my onetime presence,
Fallen hairs and nail clippings and
Champagne corks and lost buttons.
It is not by Serendipity’s Hand that
            these tokens are there,
But by the purposeful action of my hands,
And this while I contemplated the open sky
Of a single season that was Summer
And Autumn and Winter and Spring.

I opened up the earth for tender roots –
            Lemon and Daffodil and Lavender and Rose.
I opened up the earth for these, My Tokens.
I was Mistress, Master, Creator Without Rival.
I opened up the earth and the earth I opened
            no longer had a past.
And I know... ten years from now, someone
Will pick a lemon from this tree. Someone...
Or Someone Else… Someone That Matters…
Or Someone That Does Not Matter.
The trees and the flowers will survive my absence.
They have, already.
They have grown, and they have changed –
            placed in the earth by my hands,
            now firmly rooted in the ground.

And I am where I am.

I thought I knew myself, back then.
I thought I knew that image
            reflected in my glass door.
And the bushes and the flowers
And the grass and the sky –
            I thought I knew them, too.
I pretended I was setting
            each monument –
            each moment –
                       in stone.
But even stone erodes and crumbles
And becomes the old within the new.

i may blindfold the bushes
            but they will still find me
i may blindfold the flowers
            but they will still find me
i may blindfold the grasses
            but they will still find me
i may blindfold the skies
            but they will still find me

Is it my agitation that gives me away?
My delirious air of insecurity?
The devotion in my clamoring eyes?
The beating of my persistent heart?
Is it my cry, stifled and scarred?
Is it my ghost, silent and serene?
Move aside, she whispers quietly, My Ghost.
Move that I may see you better.

We have beautiful hands that with their beauty
Birth beauty in Beauty’s Womb.
I stand in the presence of thoughts
            filled with other meanings.
And I smile – because it is good to smile.
The soft and balmy air of dusk kisses my face
And tells me it comes for me –
            among all others it comes for Me.
And the labyrinthine smell of the breeze tells me
That the hour when I am most alone is at hand.

Can I encapsulate this moment
            in words?
            in feelings?
            in blossoms?
Can I describe it
            to Someone?
            to My Self?
            to My Ghost?

Shall I go inside, now?
But to linger with Earth... 
                                       is so divine.

I am neither refreshed, nor dampened,
            But rather, awakened,
By this Awakening.