05 January 2014

lisina, reina de reinas

[Elisa nos ha dejado esta noche, muy tranquila y con mucho cariño. Mañana estaremos en el tanatorio de La Paz en la salida 20 de la carretera de colmenar (sentido Madrid-Colmenar) de 11h a 19h. Gracias.
Elisa has left us this evening, very quiet and with much honey. Tomorrow we will be in the La Paz funeral home at exit 20 of the road from colmenar (Madrid-Colmenar sense) from 11 h to 19 h. Thank you. (Translated by Bing)]

elegy for a queen
reina de reinas
i can't write for her, about her, or of her
like that
like her mother or her brother can or ex-lover ilya can
or her best friend guille can
or her country can
in recent years
i took to taking a gander at her facebook page every day
i would aggregate what i could from her sophisticated spanish and would keep my eyes peeled for words like "ánimo," o "fuerza" and its variations, "fuerte," q seas fuerte, tal y tal, y tal, siempre tal
us impotents, posting out of love, yes. and wishing and hoping, yes.
she, posting from the hospital with a feeding tube down her nose
me thinking, "shit, it's great she's in spain. she can stay in the hospital as long as she needs to." 
fuuuuuuuck, this, SHIT!
me, obsessing about how she was getting along so bravely, as if we have any other choice, do we?
mas flaca que nunca, it was another woman that day, i remembered, parading down the middle of JFK Drive in a Hawaiian shirt in May, her Ray-Bans and red wig were visual markers of the path ahead.
they partied every fucking night
in costumes and gowns and sequins and glitter
because this was san francisco motherfuckers
i have not one pope to answer to!
they did not would not could not stop. i watched in awe.
english class was a visa joke, they all knew english already.
once, i heard guille say to an argentinian, "why are you fighting with me? we created the language that is coming out of your mouth right now so calláte."
but she never said anything like that. she was the queen of the apartment, the only one i could have befriended had i not been in a daze or in a job i hated so deeply or in everything else that felt wrong about those years. unf, que grey cloud tan horible (me).
once she came into my room to help me 'feng shui' the furniture.
it was small, i had minimal things
knowing i would leave again, knowing no one would share the twin mattress with me, knowing i didn't need a real box spring, knowing i was just passing through
these shoes this room these clothes these moods
all the rest of it, too.
"Guapa" was posted frequently on her page. i don't think she knew i was looking but that doesn't matter. i cared. these things can take any turn at any point. 
no one knows anything, really, which is why we are so scared. this is why we drink too much or settle or run away or check our phones or fear what we love or hold it in or second guess ourselves or doubt our vitality or create roadblocks, etc.,...you know all of that.
while i was still on crutches i read something she wrote the gist of which spoke to being ok with any kind of cold wind or air or temperature blowing on your neck, any kind of discomfort, on you or in you, because that is, at least, one of life's many signs.

i took that to heart when i was hobbling around on one crutch down the frustrating staircases of the subway, wind wooshing from my back to front because obviously i was the slow one but no, mm mm, i'm not falling down because you got a 10 am, no sir. i fucking love this speed. this is me, all day every day, you can walk around.
i'm going this pace
this pace exactly
and this pace alone.
she said this, "Es increíble como funciona el ser humano.... A pesar de todo y a día de hoy sigo viendo pisos en idealista..." 

and her friends responded with: "calla, calla, calla..."

25 December 2013

painted onto, painted gold

pop took this photo of me when i was 19 and sick, visiting him and his now ex-wife somewhere in the english countryside. we took some photos that visit that were in line with our traditional sitting. i recall the roll of film that i got back, having not yet declared my own interest in photography. in the photo i have of pop he wears a salmon colored shirt and charcoal jeans with wellies. he is fiddling with his glasses when i take the photo. behind him is a bright green field. the sky is grey. it is flat and underwhelming. as with most years documented after a certain age i recall the size and fit of the jacket i was wearing, the pants, the buttons, etc. the general 'era' of the photograph conjures up for me things so mundane that i don't really understand how they had such a profound effect on my day to day. with distance, i see that i never really looked so much different from myself in any other year, and yet in the every day i was so far removed from myself that i was on a daily basis having a somewhat out-of-body experience, meaning: anywhere but here.
here i see a face, swollen and sad. pained, and now painted. i know the face to be the SOS of a person removed, bushwhacked, uncertain, lost at sea, falling under, overwhelmed. what was it i could not carry? i know the face to be sitting against her will, i know the face to be trying to put forth, but not that cleverly so as to fool a few functioning adults. whose responsibility am i, at 19? my own, i always thought.
i wasn't seen entirely, here. and if not seen, then life can be avoided. the logic is a labyrinth and it is flawed.
{once, when i was 4, my mom brought me to a tap dance class. we were late. i recall the rows of excited young gals lined up in front of me. i would not let go of my mother's leg, though it was really more of a could not, i could not let go. i believe now that she relished me holding on to her}
{later, much later, i moved closer to the mirrors and ignored the rows of excited young women around me}
{later, much later, i go to most things alone. it's on you, i will tell you}
{every woman is only looking at herself, they ain't lookin' at you, i said, and thank god for that}
lastima lastima,
la hermosa
la niña, forever la niña.
no doubt paused in time. that shit remains difficult, remains the conversation, remains, though i can call the art my own, and acknowledge the vessel simply with bare feet on studio floors. in recent years i have rejected conversation that needs me, simply because i apparently have come so full-circle that i don't want to be needed, if this is what needing is. i have always been a judgmental confidante, but was painted as a good listener. as a child i owned the masters, but couldn't make any sense of the content or the edit.

24 May 2013

this is osquito. he lives over a broad, broad, broader than broadway street in the bronx. his subway exit is the size of an underground stadium. urban underground sprawl. the details of who he lived with was completely unclear and actually still remain unclear. just details, i guess. from his window the intersection seemed full of nothing, but you know how when you first see a place if it doesn't dazzle you it sort of just is. then later, as you traverse back and forth, lugging this or that bag at this or that time the place begins to relay its nuances to you in a way you were unable to receive when you first saw the place. i bet 245th street in the bronx is like that; i bet it opens up a bit after you've decided to look at it. osquito works where i work, in the same building at least. what strikes me is how much easier it is for me to speak to him, or Cy, or Kiko, rather than the suits on my floor who do or do not say hello to me. i don't really care, to be completely honest, for in fact, those office lines and office-isms and office-dronery is still very much alive! and i would almost rather have a conversation about drill bits than be in another elevator, talk about how cold it is on the tenth floor, or hear the words 'circle back' ever again. yes, why don't we talk about drill bits - at least its very short, but hard assonance is interesting! (drilllll-bitttttz). osquito works in a blue shirt and black pants and often has to wear a black hat. his smile is broad and he walks with confidence. he is going to be an accountant, after 6 years of working for this corporation, he is off on his own. i owe him these pictures and more, of course, but so far every time i see him downstairs i go "ahhh oscarrrrrrrrrrrrrrr i have to buy a new hard drive and then i have to scan the negatives but soon i'm so sorrrrry!" and he is still that patient gentleman who walked me to the train station after the shoot and i find myself to be the same hectic motherfucker i always was running around from here to there, with a curly pile of beginning sentences and 1/2 phrases, comebacks, regrets, book cover ideas and titles, and rooftop fantasies of mine playing out in my head, a never ending film spool spooling shit out of my proverbial bag - all at the same time, everything always, everything always at the same time, for christ's sake. . . seriously though, i will scan those negatives for you soon, son. i know that the photo of you by the window with the cross on the wall behind you is all i need to know about your history right now. and your bed, dark thoroughbred brown, veneer plastine, like one of those fresh from the furniture depots on broadway under the J-train, next to refrigerator row! the furniture depots that look as though they never sell anything, to anyone, ever...and where every piece comes already built. but fuck, here is one of those beds. . . oscar and kiko and cy are the real stories in this building. the stories are not about how to get a flatter tummy in 8 minutes or how to cook a sirloin steak, no maam. the stories have nothing to do with 'looping' me in, about transitions, page views, acquisitions, or users, no maam. ugh, every ugly word lives in this building; they interact all day and make fucking ugly phrases, boring ass babies, irrelevant strings of words aimed at no one coming from no mother, ugh, every ugly word in the air, all day, in here. rather, the stories are on the 3rd floor with kiko and cy and osquito, whose very faces imply america in the realest sense. it always amazes me who i can or cannot, talk to. in every town of every year it seems to be the same.

every few weeks i see a sign in the lobby that says "blood drive today" and i scoff audibly wishing i could talk to someone about this. i, sahara borja, am going to give you my blood, in exchange for ningun pinche health care plan? incredible. blood drive! this is charity for whom by who for why? i am going to give you my blood?! i think this is incredible - does anyone else? i still scoff, and i spread word of this ludicrous suggestion over dinner with friends. blood drive. i can't get it out of my head! ! ! my blood! ahahahaha MI PURA SANNNNNNNNGRE! don't think so, william randolph. regardless, we are all embroiled and tangled up inside here. we leave and we make b-lines for our real lives, fine. to be expected, the usual, etc. osquito and cy and kiko and i work in the same building. i have a camera that they let me use to take their photos. it is not just that i am more able to speak to them than the suits on my floor who do or do not say hello to me, it is that they actually said hello. 

18 April 2013



in the hospital i had a cellphone and diego's camara, pero sin ningun puto rollo, oh well.