The house had the look of drunks about it, the left behind, random disorder of things not put away, fallen on their sides, not cared for. Light bulbs, plush toys, DVDs all sharing the same shelf by the stereo speaker. A collage of stains on the carpet, continental divide, land shifting underfoot. The music too loud and not quite right. Lights too bright or absent, mumbling in the dark we have to remember to blow the candles out later.
Forgetting about the kids, remembering the kids, the kids not noticing. Taking a cold shower, cutting my neck with a razor, freaking out in the mirror. Making bad art, shameful art, still better than no art. The tangled web of devices charging in the kitchen, smoking cigarettes in the corner and leering at us, conspiring among themselves. Blowing fuses with the Christmas lights, the cookie iron, the vacuum cleaner hung itself in the closet, blew its bearings out.
The way people drive will drive you to drink or get a gun. A woman in a mini-van I will hate, want to kill or scream at in front of her kids. Christmas is not a four-letter word. Writing poems about the gray bugs that just show up one day in clumps around the porch light, how they take on an elevated look in the filtered light, could be a metaphor for souls.
We argue over who has the better voice, Jeff Buckley or his dad, Tim, and I cross-fade between the two and start crying, realize I’m depressed, decide on a walk because I’ve done everything else, and the lake is milky gray with what little light there is from the sky, the stark bleakness of it reflects back on us, inseparable.
How houses take on the same quality as their occupants, the residue left by candlelight, their spirits cling to the inside of the glass. On my back with hands clasped losing track which is which, the right or the left, it just stopped moving.
The mind observes all this, the body, regards itself with cool disdain, the same look made by mammals in the wilderness, all this for the newborn that nearly killed me coming out, how I will keep it alive now. How that could come from me, and disgust me at the same time, this bad, shameful art, still better than no art at all.