Friday, February 27, 2009

rustle and sigh and dead leaves falling

The sweetest decline is always voluntary. I remember how she gave me the keys and let me drive. how she put her arms around me like they belonged there. I kissed her hard and deep. drunk on her youth, sick with our disaster.
In case we don't make it back. i say
Earlier on the phone she asked me, Do you remember how to get here?
me with the knife, me with the gun, me who drives miles and miles, to her anxiously awaiting. hell fast and filled with random thoughts. her heart, her body, now the keys,
that's trust baby. with bruised lips we now depart.

skin the color of snow, her hair- darkness, sunshine, ginger, apples- I just wanted eat her cold white skin.

I pull over under a lemon tree or orange tree. something citrusy and sweet. a rest stop with vending machines and clean rest-rooms. fat squirrels beg near a garbage can. 18 wheeled truck noise from the highway. somewhere train tracks and power lines run parallel. I just assume.

At the car, we're both back from peeing.
how was it?
, did it burn?, If it did, I'm sorry.
she's funny too. i like that.
No, I could hardly keep from moaning. it was almost orgasmic. do girls get like that?. does peeing feel that good for girls?

No. I'm orgasmic for some foods. and sex. mostly anal. and older guys.
more jokes, more good times, more somethings to remembers.

she's done being witty or bratty or both.
she climbs over top of me.
okay, baby, you drive for awhile.

random, grasshopper thoughts. honey and sliced orange. come stuck from the tip of my dick to the inside my underwear, it rips away with a slight move. pain, but not so bad that it's almost erotic. I drifted. hardly aware she was in the passengers seat. legs slightly parted, crumpled skirt, eyes closed. I was inside her not just .... how long ago?. mile markers have past by, my foot to heavy. intoxicated. sex dizzy, road dizzy, brain tumor. something.
I play god behind the wheel, i play a detective on t.v. In real life, i think she just loves me.
Do you remember how to get here?
right before i came, she called me daddy. petrol and go- go juice. motel neon and greasy spoon diners. There are parts of me still inside her.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When you call my name it's like a little prayer

At catholic school, a priest would come around to each class and rub a cross of ash on our heads.
i'd walk around the rest of the day on my high horse feeling both holy and dirty. It doesn't work if you wipe it off or something, that's what becky said and she had hers so i had mine too.

"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return"

The priest says this before he presses his thumb to your forehead. As if i needed to be reminded about death. I had trouble sleeping as it was, night after night instead: flashlight and comic book, listening to crickets in silence, country music on a static filled radio station, and my favorite- face down rubbing myself into the mattress.

It's why i did the bad things i did. The cursing, the searching for dirty magazines in the woods, the touching myself. I was a kid but i had to be reminded I was this ash on my head and in the end I'm going to be dust. when was this end? tonight? tomorrow? So, I rubbed myself and hard and if it was a sin it didn't feel like it. It couldn't be. I wasn't dead. I wasn't dust. I was sweating and thinking about girls and the way their bodies must feel and i couldn't wait to.

All that ash and stained-glass settled in and now it reminds me of short skirts and panties and the mother mary is pale and beautiful.

In the beginning of lent we were supposed to give something up that we liked very much. There is this excitement at school because everyone is trying hard to be good and you know it makes things worse. It was always between ash Wednesday and Easter things got interesting for me. It was as if every temptation was thrown at me or maybe i was just more aware of them. It was when girls started to notice me.

Becky shows me her days of the week panties, it starts on Thursday. blue. I never see Saturday, but i do Sunday. white. my favorite pair being Monday. pink.

Bunnies and eggs played a mixed up part I'm sure, but it started with the ash. The dirt that was dust and the dust that I'm to become.

Monday, February 23, 2009

All is wild , All is silent

It's what i asked for because all my friends had one. My Dad didn't think it would do any harm. Me having a bb gun. So on my 10th birthday i unwrapped my first gift, a heavy little tube filled with bb's (ammo) and so i knew what the oddly wrapped item was leaning against the wall.

All those bb's I shot back home, there must be thousands of them still stuck in trees and buried in dirt. shooting up bottles, paint and beer cans, paper targets, i got to be a really good shot. Sometimes, i got the urge for something more game, more alive and i would take aim at a small animal. Directing it in my sights my finger pressed to the trigger the thinking in my head being fire- fire- fire. But, I'd suddenly be overcome with guilt and horrible sorrow. Instead id shoot the dirt and scare the animal away. life and death in my hands with no one looking but the sky and the holy ghosts. It was to much for me to handle, the temptation and not knowing what death really was. It would have been so easy but it so wasn't easy. Something to beautiful always stopping me, the fur of a squirrel, the feather of a bird and although i wanted to see it up close, make it still to study it- feel what dead was. I was to scared.

My father would tell me stories of killing in the war, somewhere over in a hot jungle and that when he was only 17. My grandfather had stories too, but he was on a Navy destroyer ship shooting down dive bombing planes. Being a kid, i only assumed id be in a war too. I'd have to kill an enemy like my father had and his father and his before. War, i thought was a part of a man's life. Killing didn't seem an option and i would sit up nights thinking about this, wondering if I could kill or how it would feel if i were to be killed. what is it going to be like?. why did i have to go kill and what if i didn't want to?. I went to catholic school where they told me killing was a sin.

I shot in the air not really aiming at the bird, but shooting anyway. I thought the bird to high, to far away, to fast , to anything until i saw it helicopter down. Until I ran over to where it had fallen in the grass by a tree. It was broken. The bird was shiny black with a beautiful red. It's eyes were open, there was no blood but it was death quiet and still. looking in it's watery eyes with my watery eyes. It was a mistake, i didn't mean to. I wasn't aiming.... i wasn't really aiming. I prayed for forgiveness. I dug a hole near the tree. I carried it over, it felt light in my hand. I covered it then made a cross out of sticks and placed it on top of the dirt. It's where i buried my shame, my mortal sin.

It's where i left my gun against the tree, out in the rain for days and days. Where my Father found it all rusty and I got yelled at for ruining it. I was hit and punished for not taking care of my things. For not caring.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

a little hymnal about hearts and secrets

and what was it that she gave me?A Valentine card with some big lie written in it. here i went and made her my own card and folded the paper to razor straight edges, a certain amount of words written because if the count were uneven it would be bad luck. Fuck, I even included glitter. her problem was she couldn't see my art was the gift, the clever word placement a puzzle to my heart. in my mind she was the only one holding the pieces that fit. i was sad to find it laying on the black-top still unopened. Even as a kid i had a dirty little mouth, i remember mumbling the F and B and C words to myself the entire walk home from school. my little kid jaw clenched and hands balled in fists. I decided to hate everything Valentines from then on. I even hated the stupid way February was spelled. I put the hate on Valentines.

Until 10th grade.

It's not enough for a girl to be just cute, there is something in her i have to see, untapped potential and i know when i see it. this girl in my marine-biology class, she didn't know i existed until the 14th of February.
That's fairly typical for me. I seem come out of nowhere or she does.
"I really find you interesting."
and she's like "you're the boy who never talks and sits in back? next to the jellyfish chart right? I see you get up to sharpened your pencil a lot, is that like an OCD thing? it's, okay if it is, it's kind of cool actually ..... i mean that you re weird."
" No, I get up ONLY so i can walk by you, exclusively. I mean, some is OCD, i guess... that's why ummm 3 times and let me ask you Sarah, you haven't noticed me licking the electrical outlet near my desk, have you?.. no, oh good."

This time no glitter or pasted photographs or words i thought she may have to piece together. My Valentine was simple: " i really like your hair - oh, but I love your face " why waste words when all girls want are the 3 chords of knowledge. punk-rock.
Meaning, i learned to lie, play guitar and spit. I had been mistaken early in my childhood that everyone thought like me. still, I couldn't hold back sealing the envelope with a garbage pail kids sticker. Something really gross and bearing her name. how charming - Snotty Sarah. I held the card up to the light the purple colored note seeping through the delicate white envelope. if this doesn't spell all that L O V E shit, i don't know what does.
"Oh by the way, my name is Christian." i handed it to her and walked away.

Don't ask me why but there is always a horror movie playing during Valentines day weekend and that's where we went. She liked the sticker i used on the envelope and said my handwriting was ridiculous, but cute. I bought her a candy bar and a cherry Icee, I held her hand, i kissed her neck. I pretended i had done this all before. There was screaming, blood, murder and mayhem on the screen. The moving pictures reflecting red light across her face. her something shined. I can make this girl glow, I thought. I will play her the 3 chords on my guitar. Later, we crashed her car into a light pole. Her scream just before impact was slightly bliss. everyone was okay. Hey, Valentine, in the end we all are.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Interview: Cari Ann Wayman (yyellowbird)

Amongst the ruins of abandoned houses, the wilderness, carnivals and interiors of apartment buildings. Cari Ann Wayman appears to us a lost girl found. At only 20, her photography has already begun to inspire and awe those who visit her yyellowbird flickr site. The Chicago native who says she didn't speak until she was 12, is clearly being heard through the camera lens. There you will find her with maps, birds and struggling between industrial city scape's and nature. In hushed whispers and soft tones she shows us abandonment, loss and secret places. Cari Ann's photos display a raw-talent and subtle beauty that exceed her years. There is much still to discover.
I'm happy to present my first interview here on Good Winter, with the keeper of secrets, known to the Internet photo world as yyellowbird - photographer\model\artist Cari Ann Wayman

Good Winter (GW) what do you love about photography?
Cari Ann(ca) haha, everything i guess. but one thing, well, i like that i wasn't immediately good at it. i like that i have to work it at it, and it's a challenge --unlike art like drawing or painting, which i was always a natural at --i like that i can see progression in my own work.

GW: Tell us where you grew up and what you like about living in Chicago?
ca: well i was born on the south side of chicago, but i moved out to the country when i was pretty young. i went to school in a declining industrial town called rockford. and well, i don't like the city that much actually. i'm moving as soon as i can, haha. it's too busy and crowded and i really don't like people very much. and there's no abandoned houses! but i guess i do like all of the museums. and all the sparkly lights at night.

GW:What's the best trait of a midwestern girl?
ca: we look good in plaid.

GW: Would you share a Valentines day story with us?
ca: uh, er, well i have a horrible memory. and i always have nice valentine's days, but nothing too memorable ever happens, really! the love stories in my life are often somewhat unexpected.

GW:What do you eat for breakfast?
ca: i am a fan of sugary cereals such as captain crunch berries or reese's peanut butter puffs.

GW: what movie haven't you seen that almost everyone else has?
ca: titanic.

GW: reading any good books lately?
ca: i'm re-reading extremely loud and incredibly close by jonathan safran foer. it's one of my favorites. i just bought the collector by john fowles, so i'll be starting on that one next.

GW: Have you ever seen a ghost?
ca: no, actually, which is surprising considering the locations i frequent.

GW: Favorite ride at a theme park or Carnival?
ca: carousel.

GW:What makes you crazy?
ca: like, what drives me crazy? i hate being around lots of people or being forced into awkward and uncomfortable interactions with others. i hate parties. i also don't like when doors are unlocked, when glass breaks, babies, and bells, alarms, or ringing sounds.

GW: what items are high on your want list for your apartment?
ca: i need bookshelves. terribly. everything is all over the floor, ha. also a turntable. also my boyfriend, but he's moving in soon anyway. also a puppy.

GW: Do you play music when you shoot your self-portraits?
ca: yes definitely! it totally helps.

GW: Whats currently on your playlist?
ca: this time of the year i always get into quiet, sleepy, nostalgic type stuff. yo la tengo is one of my favorites. i'm really into beach house's self-titled album right now. also, woodpigeon, vetiver, twin cats, meg baird, and alela diane. oh, and ryan adams is one of my all-time favorite musicians, and i've been listening to his "suicide handbook" album a lot lately.

GW: What is the most important element you look to capture in your photos?
ca: ah, it varies. i just really want to keep in the realm of my particular aesthetic. i want people to be able to look at one of my pictures and recognize that it belongs to me. i really want my work to be particular to me.

GW: Has getting your "look" down using photo-editing (which you do very well) made your work harder or easier?
ca: both- in a way. obviously it helps because i know what i'm going for, but that can be a hindrance too, because sometimes i feel like i've run out of ideas and i'm not progressing enough. i'm really trying not to plateau. i always want to keep going forward and coming up with bigger and better things, all while continuing with my "look." variations on a theme, i guess.

GW: How bout something off topic, like what character from Wizard of OZ do most associate with?
ca: dorothy i suppose, though honestly i only saw that movie once when i was very little because i used to have a pathological fear of tornadoes. but dorothy, you know, being a lost little girl and meeting wonderful people all the time. though i don't often wear red shoes. i prefer combat boots.

GW:Do you have any favorite photos or photographers from flickr?
ca: oh wow, that's hard. there's so many people whose work i really admire, though i'll admit i don't get the chance to look at others' work very much. i'd like to, but i try not to let myself be too influenced by outside sources.

GW: why don't you let anyone else photograph you?
ca: i do! haha. i mean, if people want to. i actually just got back from a photo shoot with saverio truglia. he's a photographer here in chicago and he does some amazing work. he even shot andrew bird (the musician, if you know him) for rolling stone! i modeled for him, with some giant albino ball pythons. it was amazing.

GW: do you look to create recurring themes in you photos? and if so, what are they?
ca: not really. i mean i have vague things running through my head, but most of it is just sortof instinctual and i don't know, i'm not a very "conceptual" person i guess.

GW: In what direction do you hope to take your photography?
ca: well i'd like to go professional one day, obviously, haha. maybe do some fashion-related things. on a broader scale, i'd like to make a difference with my work, putting back honesty and simplicity into art, taking the complication out of beauty. i just want people to be able to look at my work and feel something because of it. i really don't like most of what's prevalent in the art scene right now. it just feels so contrived and forcibly stoic to me. i think every one's trying way too hard, haha. i don't know if i'll ever be super rich or famous --i don't think i fit in well with the "art world" --but i just want to make people feel things when they look at my art.

GW: dream location to shoot?
ca: pripryat, in the ukraine. it was a city affected by the cherynobl explosion and now it's all abandoned and amazing and gorgeous. there's even an abandoned ferris wheel! also, gunkanjima, in japan. an abandoned city on an island! also, the tyersall house in singapore. a palace abandoned in 1904. it's beyond gorgeous. and maybe some of those abandoned amusement parks in japan and korea. and i've always wanted to shoot in an abandoned mental hospital, though so many are getting torn down. basically anywhere in the world that is abandoned. :]

GW: If you could photograph anyone in the world who would it be?
ca: oh, haha, i just like taking pictures of myself.

GW: rank the following: Bird - Jellyfish - crystals - maps
ca:they all receive a ranking of awesome.

GW: most prized possession?
ca: camera, duhhh. or computer, duhhh. but a not-obvious item, probably my big (fake) fur coat. it's in a lot of my pictures. i've had it for so long it's sortof become an extension of my personality.

GW: favorite part of the day?
ca: early morning, when the sun is coming up.

GW: tell me a secret?
ca: there are too many. and not really any at all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poetry is not a luxury, it's how I'll break this home

a burning black witch candle
from halloween.
I play our sad music
we are in the dark cutting out
paper hearts.
be careful not to slip
be careful not to cut me deep.
go on and say something you don't really
or you do mean
or you are mean for saying it.

listen to me
ramble in the darkness about
my secret love affairs
about a heart that stopped beating.
about being broken.
I'll tell you about what it took for me
to pull myself back together.
how hard it was
how long it takes
how fun and necessary
and how much it taught me.

barely breathing
i focus my eyes on the moon
on snow
on blood
blood on the snow
those are just lyrics,
things i write for you and things i felt for you.
I pull the blanket up over our chests.
it's cold tonight.
have you forgotten me yet? have you ever gotten over it?
I call to you in my mind as if you can hear me
and maybe you do. Sometimes i think you do.
like now.
like always.

when i hear your name.
I buzz like power-lines.

i use my mouth. I use it all over your skin. I use it up and down and i taste honey and stars. I want to know your body and how can i know it if i don’t lick you head to toe?
she says "stop. you' re gonna eat me" and i say "but baby, you taste so good."

when i was a kid i put things in my mouth. I tasted paste and the barrette from Becky's hair. It fell on the floor and she didn’t notice me pick it up. After school i took it from my pocket and put it to my nose and it smelled so good. Strawberries. It tasted like dirt - mixed with strawberries.