Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Afternoon Light, December

We walk along
the marshy path
to find faerie woods
where hardy vines
have kept their green,
it's warmer here
than the rest of the land
as the hills block the winds.

Ice is wrapped around
the base of a plant,
the water folded upon itself
to create loops of ice.
They shine where light
skims the outer face
and we are unable
to translate it onto film,
where the magic disappears.

Milkweed blossoms
glide lightly on the edge
of air in natural motion,
the monarchs who feed
upon it have long ago
departed south-bound.
Crimson and golden hues
brighten a brown stark path.

The frosted earth
crackles beneath our feet
and you are lost
in thoughts of departures,
unable to break away
from the afternoon light.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Piece about Space

A physical space, four walls, some windows
Mine. My own. It was up there, on the last floor
overlooking Inwood park. A studio, enough room
for a bed (that converted to a sofa), a red desk with
its red chair (facing out the largest window), four book
shelves and two media shelves heaped high,
spilling over with music and books.

Today, on this day, my space is down there, beneath the earth,
a basement room without windows. It is dark, very dark and I lose
track of time. It encases the same desk and the same bed, that's all
it can manage. My footrest is a stool where my fat black cat sleeps.
My desk is heaped high with books, files, papers and a laptop, hidden
beneath precarious piles. It's mine, my very own but I have to creep
around late at night so as not to wake up the folks. It’s a tight fit as
the whole house rests over my head.

A notebook and a pen is all that's needed. The room,
the physical space is a luxury. Time is a luxury.
Steal moments, and hours, and seconds, and minutes
between classes, between jobs, between sleep
to gather up nomad phrases that ruminate
and hum in the background. Pick, pick, pick the fruit
of the tree. Take nibbling bites, gaping bites, hoping to encase
the phrase before it drops away, back into the landscape.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sing into the blank woods

do not expect answers
on high holy days.

I wonder about you
as I write letters in my head.
Have you received them yet?

Do you hear the noise pursuing us down the page?

Between us there is perpendicular space.

Portals without keys keeps you at a distance.

This is what we look like when anger burrows holes in our hands.
This is what you look like when you’ve swallowed your head whole.

Your pious ways reminds me of passion wrapped up in wooly blankets.

Cookies in ziplock bags
break apart into rocky bites

Empty apartments are seeking buyers.

A writer uses buttery prose across the page.

I cross out your name every time I think of you.
My page is filled with Xs.

This above all else is not about you for a change,
instead it’s abut me not thinking of you changing.

I come up against your language,
the camera is pointed away.

Gritty days have devoured your smile.

We ride elevators holding our breath.

There is a convex curve to your prose, untamed in its ways.

Massive data flows in chunks filling up hardware.

A frozen shoulder aches in cold weather,
something to do with how we hunch for warmth.

Perhaps I long to write better when I’m sleeping.

I remain stormy in my words because connections get in the way.

Some careless writer catches palindromes in the preface of essays.

Your thoughts mangle steel in bursts.

The papyrus tatters.

I wrote about this place, about this time without soul
only remnants, pieces of what it is, what’s the what?

We came home tattered at the edges, drunk, and listening to music that sing in our bones. You forgot how to dance with heart.

It explains the hole in the wall the size of your fist.
It explains the song beneath your mouth unable to crow.

You are sultry only because you are stupid.

You can bring your dog over, I’ve had my shots.

Crystal structures do not shatter in reverse order.

You are my destiny so stay in the corner.
I like your voice from here ‘cause I know where it’s coming from.

The mermaids have private thoughts,
I think we’ve intruded upon them.

We have a weakness for each other
but your coda of love is syncopated

You are obscured in the constant speed heading in one direction
and my path is a steep threshold waiting for me to cross over.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Untitled #14

How deep sorrow feels, beneath wet feet
on wood planks, splinters off
into various directions, composes
single tones of unequal measures.

How deep guilt clings, beneath red hands
on warm skin, impales,
weakening momentum, yields
forward velocity into a fixed point.

How deep desire sinks, beneath dry tongue
on thick lips, leads off
anywhere, spiraling inward
fluid elements have an angular velocity.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Untitled #13

I've managed to compose your verses
in a poem of single lines
that do not connect
with one another
in the wake of your departure
by way of the fire escape.
You have stolen my last bottle of corona
a pack of cigarettes, a pink lighter
that I've noticed so far.

I've managed to compose some lines
that do not rhyme
nor kiss your temples with praise
we do not connect
in the wake of your departure
by way of the window.
You have left behind letters, the t-shirt
you wore last, a pendant
removed from your neck.

I've managed to set the letters,
bundled in your favorite t-shirt,
on fire, by way of the window
with little praise on my lips
and lines that have retired
into the licking flames,
in the wake of your departure.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Untitled #12

You carve out birds from my waist,
spill, not blood but, embryonic fluids
into the descending sky, and earth
receives damaged plumage in reprisal.

No father will greet us at the door
in such damaged condition, the porch-
light will switch off as water seeps
into those red canvas sneakers.

You were never hungry enough,
undertones were colored indigo hues,
seconds spin around your face,
cravings emanate in song phrases.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Untitled #11

I laugh at her behind my teeth
keys slide across the desk,
a discordant sound

she pulls and push
her complaints for pity
in long vowel accordance

thin veneers of polished bones
scrape the inside of the cheek

a gravel voice obscured on deaf ears

cut fingers leave blood splatter lines across the door

a dead mouse dies beneath a chair
and I wait for someone from building and grounds
to remove the corpse.

we have lost our religion
beneath our untied shoes
and under our desks.

there is willful ignorance
drowning on the borders
between life and death.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Climbing Shrub

The sun has swept
through the sky clearing
a path for a full moon,
the scent of night jasmine,
white moths flutter around
the bare light bulb. Smoke
snakes away from a cigarette
and your exhale is drawn out
catching my attention
from the corner of my eye
as if you have something
on your mind, ready to say
as you change your mind
yet again. Your somber
mood dampens the chill
night air, I hold my breath,
wait for the impulse
to pass. You exhale,
smoke coats your clothes
and all I can do is draw
close, inhale, and prepare
myself for roaming words
that swirl in circles, feet
planted on the stairwell
to steady the vertigo
as your hollow life
craves much more
than what the night sky
and its stars has to offer.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Untitled #10

How you wake me up, take me outside
with a slender hand, call me curious
when I peek from under my eyelashes,
you spill secrets on the pebbled beach
let the crabs scoop them up, and hide
them away in the long grass. An elegy
to our moment that stands in the distant
harbor, you keep walking bridges
and losing track of time. How can you gather
symphonies when your hands are picking
sweet cherries?

How you rise out of the earth, shake off
your life and walk silent against the sky
never to belong to another, years after
the salt waters have folded back.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Untitled #9

Kate stands at the door
her vision blurred
with downy feathers,
a rolling fog holds her still
she leaves behind a map
with thumbtacks and string,
a hotplate and a shelf with only
her favorite books (a dozen
or so) to keep her mind
company on the winter nights.
Half the world is asleep
the clouds bring her
their sleeping sounds,
blotted and restrained
with storm cloud static.
Her open hand catches on
the ivy that covers her
front wall and the stones
hold back the ocean
a precipice, a light tower.
Here at the end of her dream
caught in a white blindness
only spindly vines color her red.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Untitled #8

Here, they greet Brooklyn mornings
with a tall cup of foamy coffee,
in an intolerant belly
that rumbles and grumbles
along with the steel rolling cage.

Below, the water keeps rising
we can barely hold it back
as it seeps and floods the tunnels
causes delays and detours.
Where did we leave our wings?

Today, tourists sit on double-decker bus
looking down upon the natives
in the ritual of caffeine-on-the-run.

Tomorrow, our streets will run with water
the bulls would have long since drowned
in the white-wash of financial matters.
An imperfect reflection of the sea devouring
our coastline and shifting seeds to higher ground.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Untitled #7

On this cold day in October,
the walls of my house envelope me,
where afternoon light startles me blind,
fresh ginger slices boil in water on the stove,
and my brother and father flip channels
between a Yankee's game and a Jet's game.

Someone forgot to mention
how being aimless can make numbness
flower from your belly outward
as my brother and my father
eat a bag full of peanuts
piling up high, shells on a napkin.

The husks look like empty insects,
we look for fishhooks to bait.
I have plans to kill a scaly creature
but a raven's caw warns against the season,
death trappings binds one to a soul.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Untitled #6

Her voice is a plum fruit
filled with anxiety. The rest of the time
she sings songs without melodies.

She loves me in a punch-drunk
kind of way. And the hangover is blinding.
My cat perches on the edge of the sofa,
and puffs up when she enters.

She is not under contract,
threatens to leave once a day,
The cage door is left open,
she dances on the doorstep.

I keep hiding her in a box,
but she refuses to stay locked away.
Instead, we spend most of our time
looking for each other.

She is a messenger from the heavens
who has forgotten her speech
Her uneasiness makes holes
past the wall, against the stones.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Untitled #5

Your sisters are gypsies.
I race down the stairs,
down to the subway
as they chase me with their knives
looking for a cop or a priest
whomever will save me
from their screaming facing.
They bury their secrets
in the hollow of a tree
in my backyard, fresh cut
burial plot, squirreled away
alongside their money.
Their greedy fingers
slide along with the earthworms
pointing accusations of thievery.
The angels bury themselves
in their wings and sleep.
My dreams are flashing
red moons and winding stars
against the pale night
in the underground
concrete meadow. Iron trains
run past holding up skirts
and flashing legs in purple
stockings. Your sisters
catch up and pass me red wine
I drink long because I am thirsty
and my life is frozen
at the bottom of the cup.
They laugh and they laugh
as I watch their red lips and
their white teeth come closer.
No one is left inside of us.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Untitled #4

The way of the stream can lead
a senseless soul to an outstretch
of land where effort is made
to bear fruit in an altered way.
The martyrs have been silent
against the wreckage of a coppery
existence. A bone was buried
beneath the roots of the tree.
A breeze in a grey hue,
imposed by the heavy clouds above,
and the open mouth of the lake
can only yield to the intersection
between water and earth.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Untitles #3

Our grandfather gave us chocolates,
soaked in rum, with hard white shells
me and my sister gathered them
like robin's eggs, hid them
in small wooden boxes. He thought
we loved them and we did, but not
to eat. The bells for the flock
would ring across the valley of lights.

Our grandmother made us scrambled eggs,
nopalitos in red chile sauce, refried beans
with fresh tortillas from her blue-tiled kitchen.
The memory of the first bite of sour and spice
still makes my mouth water. She broke open
an aloe leaf and bathed my sunburned back.
The bells would ring across the valley of lights.

They never told us about martyrs or read us
bedtime stories. Instead, the waters flood down
the mountain when the earth split open
and the horses were swallowed up whole
and the bells continue to ring across the valley.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Untitled #2

The seconds here, wasp's wings and inverted
dead spiders gathered by the corner
of brick and grass. What's left of us
when the peaches have dried up (or left stolen)?
No fruit was safe when the squirrels were gathering
for their winter. No barking dog deterred
the furry thieves from their feast as one-by-one
the green peaches were picked away in an early harvest.

The hours here are measured by the wind
and the brittle leaves gathered in the corner
of brick and fence. What's left of us
when the roses have died on the vine?
No petals were safe against the cold autumn breeze
as the hand of winter began to turn the page.
No prowling cat could scatter enough birds.
What's left now in this cruel hour of morning sunrise?


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Untitled #1

We have ways of exposing tender skin
at the most inopportune time only to find
white scars blending into the pigment.

Long grasses moving against the wind
create hollow sounds of running water
the din of city traffic is washing out. 

We have ways of pulling ourselves into tight knots
in the early hours before dawn only to find
unraveling threads being picked apart by nervous fingers. 

The crowding bodies impose themselves
and young girls with round eyes look helpless
against the tide, they slowly blend in and fade.


We have ways of staring at dark matter
and not even notice that we've lost parts
of ourselves in the sky-spanned tango.


************
These pieces are all in their draft phase...the next ten need to tweaked.
Also working on titles. 





All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Highline in NYC

The day was overcast with billowy clouds above. The wind picked up and the long grasses rubbed against each other creating the sound of falling water. Groups of tourist walked around in packs, moving and looking in the same direction. Sounds of foreign tongues scattered amid the traffic noises wafting from the West Side Highway. 

Red nettles and yellow flowers interrupted the greens and browns of the brush. The concrete rounded up to prevent humans for trespassing past the path. Folks tripped over and over again not noticing the edges. 

One place beneath a building there was an intersection between the planned beauty of the landscape juxtaposed against the crumbing walls of a building in disrepair or construction. Red exposed bricks behind netting. Careful to cover the ugly from prying eyes. There was beauty in that exposed raw wall.

The underbelly of this concrete plane and this metal scaffolding holding up this natural element, there are layers of humanity and nature, hand over hand, creating spaces, to live amongst the natural world in this urban environment. We appropriate natural landscapes, delineate space, keep on the prescribed path and then wonder why we trip over raised edges. Our natural inclination is to get closer.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Compression

We are in the land of wandering vagabonds
compressed upon each other
disintergrating into the earth
while Jupiter watches on.

We are unstable when our footpaths
lead downward into the gaping mouth
of screeching beasts that snake
underground; only forward momentum.

A current of bodies carrying flint
in pockets, tinder-flame sparks
light the way, a grain of salt
in a concrete land, reaching skyward.

A current of electricity, lighting matches
combustible air, we can only move forward;
the past has already disappeared
down the throats of stark seagulls.

We are in the land of twilight
waiting behind glass for protection
if we do not bend, we break.
Let the waters wash over us.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wanderings

Bits of dreams stray into my waking day
a woman's voice singing into my ear
that I am neither asleep nor awake
reminds me of weeds creeping past
concrete. I await the cue to speak again.

There are vultures tapping on the door.
Their eyes slide across the edges
of the tempered glass, peeking in,
mouths open wide, like baby birds,
in anticipation. Don't let them in.

Six ravens fly overhead, black wings
against an October sky. I listen to her voice,
against the guitar strings, talking about an
ordinary day as I thread the needle to sew
the tear in the back of my mind.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What’s wrong with gaps and odd corners?

At night Petra wanders around a sleeping
house looking for a corner to fill. She lights
candles and considers poems on dark pages.

She does not pray to her father’s god.
They have not been on speaking terms
for quite some time now, her mouth is empty.

Stuck between a screen and a door, a narrow gap.
She stands in the middle ground encased behind
glass, the door is locked and no one is awake.

Her humid summer leaves bedclothes damp
against her skin. She sings to herself
but the song leaves bitter drops on her tongue.

She stands eating cold cherries out
of a bowl and cracks a tooth on a stray pit.
An avocado seed splits open exposing tender leaves.

The night peels her skin back and her bookmark
has pressed a reminder space upon the page,
better than dog-eared corners and an empty grave.




All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Coins and Stones

You are careless with your eyes
and speak without candor.

You hide apples beneath your pillows
only to taste sour vowels on your lips.

Beneath your bed is a garden of smooth
rocks to weigh you down when you sleep.

Beneath your tongue is a coin
you dare not swallow and choke.

You are biting the edges of your hands
the teeth marks remind you of your childhood.

Your vowels are stuck around a staccato sound
but you can’t find the right word around your next line.

You have one song that you hum pieces of all day.
You have one song where you know only

the words of the chorus and sing the same two
lines over and over again.

You are careless with your words
and hide your eyes when you’re ruthless.

You invert your notebooks to shift
your perspective. You pretend it matters.

You count the coins in the glass jar
to remind you of your value.

You empty the coin jar and leave feeling hollow.
You pretend it doesn’t matter.

Beneath your bed the stones have turned to sand.
Beneath your tongue the song has turned sour.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Father On That Ladder

My father is up there, on that ladder
smoothing, the underside of the deck,
rusty metal, with sandpaper in circular
strokes, his face peppered with red bits.

He dangles in odd angles, holding on
to beams for support, precarious balance
of feet and faith sharpen beneath his breath
as he talks to himself about what part next.

My father is up there, on that ladder
scraping the sky, protecting the rest
of us from weakened metal and devotion
as he prays to himself about what’s next after.

He dangles in odd angles, holding on
to keep the sky from falling upon us
as he primes the metals and coats the
rust with paint and worship-words.

My father is up there, on that ladder
holding up the sky for us, a precarious
balance of feet and faith and whispering-
devotion, clinging to mortal angles.

08.18.09

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Flowering Temperment

I.
A chaos of nettle and weeds
chokes the garden
tightens the earth

II.
A prickly nettle clears
her throat when she
announces her scream

III.
A spindly nettle obstructs
the view tamping down and
holds the house hostage

IV.
A nettle attached to a linen
skirt tangles her up and trips
her down in consecutive order

V.
Nettles and weeds blossom
whilst impulses flower
and burn in sequential order



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Masa

she moves so fast she is motionless
--Ilya Kaminsky

The hum-lull of a quiet house in a cool morning hour,
Mami lies in the maca, in the backyard, hums a ballad,
her legs dangle off just enough to keep her swinging.

“Which song is that?” “I don’t remember”
the notes hang in the air between us
like a held breath: Mami hums

yes here, as in childhood,
she never strays too far from her life
a long day from yesterday she made

tortillas from scratch, working the masa with her hands,
rolling balls of dough, flattening them with the press
between two circles of Wonder bread plastic

heating them up on a flat skillet with bare fingers until
they puff up, hot air billowing out and softening
between the dishtowels. I draw a line between the melody

She untangles tomatoes from their vines, rinses
them off with water and takes a gaping bite
to see her, over sixty, humming a long-forgotten

love song, Mami who keeps Spanish on her tongue
and English in her pockets for safekeeping.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Elegy to Youthful Notions

You have colored my eyes blind
and abandoned a shivering animal
cloaked in a barefoot dream
that led us into a dense poverty.

Your fury and my grasping Eros
left us swirling in embryotic
fluids. You have lost yourself
between the breath and stars.

An apartment and an inside out
sofa—Bull ripped out the stuffing—
suffer the footsteps and a heaving
stomach on to wet pavement.

You are a wolf in sheep’s skins
and I am a traitor to your tasting
tongue. There were red apples on
the doorstep and poison on my lips.

I have loved you, yes. Washed my
hands in the grains of rice and left.
Gathered the scattered seeds and
ceased to be visible in the early dawn.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Litany

After the music has stopped
you betray us with crescent
speech and dandelion whispers,
ever aware of the familiar
chasm that lives with gangly
feet over the hand rail.
Invert your body for
that junky loving feeling.
Make believe that I love you
for nine more days and
offer up an elegy in its wake.


****

this is a bit rough but there are phrases that I enjoy.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ode to a Feckless Life


A cardinal chitters warning cries
entangled in the rose vines.
She is out of work as she lies
against the wasp’s wings.

Where do you seek your inspiration
with an empty sky and a prickly sun?

A black cat stalks a cricket’s cry.
Prayers slip through the wooden
cracks. Write in short phrases while
walking barefoot in the backyard.

A beetle’s wings buzz and contracts
his iridescent body glints. She reads
a book of poetry on a metal staircase.
A smell of burning wood skims the air.

There was a spark on Venus, a flicker
of firelight, when you stretched across
the ocean. I miss you only
when you are unfettered memories.

I read the clouds and the pouring rain.
You, in the middle of your exile, speak
fluid language. The leaves singe when
white butterflies flutter a lonely ballad.

A cold sour lemon for a wet tongue
and an empty page. This is how we
survive a flock of seagulls fighting over
slippery bits of fish.

There are thick I want phrases that touch
minds and skip off lips. A laundry of damp
towels wave off a melancholy mood.
At what age do we stop asking for penance?



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pitching Matchsticks

The meaning did not stick to the roof of my mouth.
There are leftovers of corn tortillas and slimy
nopalitos. The scent of hot wires and jalapenos
made our eyes water. You've burned our lives down
and have empty shoes to prove it.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, July 6, 2009

07.06.09

I sat in Bryant Park writing in my journal
watching well-dressed people pass by
and wanting desperately to be someone else today.

I walk from Bryant Park to the Chelsea apartment
listening to angry rock songs pressed into my ears
the sun is prickly hot against my skin
and sadness suffocates me today.

I walk past well dressed high-end windows on Fifth Ave
and no retail therapy will fill this lingering void
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI...


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It’s strange now to think of you…

when the night vibrates with intangible
rhythms and I read Bolanos, Savage Detectives
to dumb down the cruelty that rattles in my bones

how we weep for each other—
only to hold the withered versions of clanging dreams
die in the sunlight
streaming through half open windows
as warm air hits a hot naked torso

and phantasms flower and burn
in raging bloodless captivity--
And today the bed is unmade and
words slip into a melancholy mood
behind closed doors and a lonely quiet apartment

there is a sound of a brown paper bag scraping against the asphalt
pushed by a warm wind that hovers for a moment
and the mewling of a restless cat pouncing on her partner
time contracts and expands like a living creature
and there are books stacked on the bedside
and mosquito-bitten flesh to douse in anti-itch spray

five hour spells of sleep and wakefulness
drinking cups of warm water that does not soothe a cold thirst
and Michael Jackson is dead--
a cut-open corpse being autopsied
and keys jangle in shallow pockets
as I walk in the dawn air looking for a deli and a bagel,


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, July 3, 2009

07.03.09

I fit into a thimble today.
Folded in upon itself, contracted and restrained.
Pulling inward in sharp gaping breaths.
Otis lies on the desk stretching himself long, his claws tug at my forearm.
A black cat with white paws who eats so fast it makes him puke
The sky is taking on the appearance of another storm.
I am listening to the song That's the Way Love Goes by Janet Jackson.
A list of toiletries to buy is sitting next to the computer.
I've resorted to reporting the lethargic machinations of the present moment.
PJ Harvey is wailing on her song, The Dancer
her screams make a wide open plain.

****


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

07.02.09

Today S broke things off. It was the first thing I read this morning and that is how my day started.

I began to move, I got up and fed Pandora, took a shower, dried my damp hair and packed a bag to stay at K's place. I kept moving, I dropped a note to T telling him it was done and kept pressing on. He wrote back and told me to keep writing. I wrote a quick note to mami with instructions for P and grabbed my bag and an umbrella and walked to the train station. I arrived just as the train was pulling in and headed into Chelsea. I arrived at K's apt and greeted only T-Bone since Otis was hiding. Her white head rubbed against my black t-shirt and left white bits of kitty hair on it. K left me a birthday present, Lonely Planet's London and I burst into tears.

I wrote a quick note to S and left to go meet Vick for lunch. We ate meek Mexican food and both cried into our salty margaritas. We won't got back to that place. We walked straight through Washington Square Park and parted ways, she went back to work and I went for a walk. I walked to the Strands bookstore looking for an out of print title...but the place was crowded as usual and I couldn't take the meandering tourists today. I walked over to Forbidden Planet...usually the best geek sanctuary but the chick with the attitude at the info booth rubbed me the wrong way so I left. Someone please teach her how to spell. I stopped at a card store looking for a moleskin book but they didn't have any in stock. I wanted to buy an iced coffee but I was afraid my bitter tongue would make me wretch.

Sometimes you just have to be in the right mood...and I wasn't. I kept walking...and kept an eye on the heavy green clouds overhead. I passed a guy eating frozen yogurt with bright red strawberries. I passed a woman who looked like a model, we had the same bangs...she looked better in them. I walked out in front of a car by accident and had a DeNiro moment, I'm walking here. And faster and faster I walked, not wanting to stop, not wanting the crying spell to start. I made it back just as the thunder rolled in and the clouds poured down and I sat in a chair and let all this flood out.

*******

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This...

This is what I show you: I am self-sufficient and I don’t need your help, (but I do), your words do not hurt (but they do), that I can maintain this perpetual state of stasis with you (but I can’t), I’ve moved on (but I haven’t), I will always love you (but I won’t be able to keep it up for much longer), you are enough (but it’s only an illusion),
you fill me up (but you leave me worn thin), you make me feel better (but you drain me), I can’t live without you (but I can’t keep lying to myself), I am strong (but I give over and it renders me powerless), You think you know me….


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

06.30.09

I can't sleep. My brain won't turn off and it's too hot in my room. Which makes for a very cranky version of me, up at 1.09 am.

Almost as soon as I started to write these words my mind turned off.

It's a fine line between giving my brain a chance to get things down and out AND forcing sleep upon it.

I'm restless...I don't know what I need...I don't know what I want.

I even walked 3 miles today just to tire myself out a bit. That plan did not work.

I'm in that weird space of wanting to quit. Quit school, quit classes, quit working on my writing, quit having ambition for it, quit the uncertainty, *sigh* I know I'm whinging. I can't help myself when I am tired and frazzled at the same time.

A mosquito just flew by my ear...which means I will not get any rest until it's dead.
Even the presence of it makes my skin itch.

I know this is all minutia but it can't be helped. As long as my brain is on auto-pilot, this is my version of just sitting with it.

I've run out of things to say and I'm staring blindly away from the bright computer screen.

Damn, I just got stung by the mosquito....argh! Sleep is a losing battle tonight.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, June 29, 2009

06.29.09

Today, on this Monday afternoon, I am tied up in knots inside. I am joking around with classmates that I'm giving myself two weeks notice and that I want a vacation from myself. I have this odd anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach now that classes are over for the summer. There is space to breathe and I don't know what to do with myself. So I sit here in the writing center, writing it up on this blog.

I joke around about having a personal assistant. Someone to make decisions for me. Someone who is highly organized and can take care of all of those little details that I let slide, like working out and having fun. Hehehe. I know it's all very absurd but I have forgotten how to have fun. How to manage a little levity in my life. It's been about school and assignments and internships and graduate assistantship and doing laundry and it's gotten a bit boring and a bit blah << that's the technical term.

Don't get me wrong, I've had a laugh going out with some classmates and having a beer or two...or three with them this past Thursday. But...but...I am always a little afraid when I don't have some structure in my days. I feel like I will flounder and waste time. And I can't afford to waste time, I feel like the white rabbit, "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late for an important date." There are things to get done, plans to think about, a thesis to work on, and really things just feel so up in the air lately. How do I ground myself? I already know what T is going to say, "Just write Lily." I get that and I am...see me writing on my blog right now...but I feel the worry in my body. I feel it welling up in me and making me twist and writhe.

Perhaps, I need to create a schedule for myself. Like make an appointment to show up for working out, taking a swim, writing, etc. Good Lord! I could use a swim in the ocean, getting some much needed sun right now. The weather is heating up and my body wants to MOOOOOOOVE. Yikes!

So, I have an hour left for this place and then I'm going to walk home, perhaps pass by the park and enjoy the breeze. I don't think I can bear getting home and having a group of screaming, crying toddlers at the moment. I don't want to hide from them...just don't want to deal with a house full of children. I'm praying for some patience and some guidance.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Waiting…

Daybreak looms in the horizon. Why agonize over running out of time? Drag out the seconds by repeating secular Psalms. The candlewood is burrowing a hole in my hand. A counterfeit life has taken on a favorable margin. Don’t write it down, the promises may expand.

I envy the way you welcome pleasure. Everything stays the same in this letter to you. We’ve repeated the same patterns for quite some time now. Break apart my skull and glance in, I think something is jammed. You wear your grumbling mood to protect yourself against me. Isn’t it time to flip the script yet? Speak softly if you want to charm me back into your decent graces. I think something is jammed. Quick, break me open and repair the broken bits. We’ve repeated the same patterns for quite some time now. You enjoy life so intensely I envy you. I think something is jammed. We keep meeting at this intersection. Speak softly…the charm is starting to wear off.

We wait at the crossroads with a snack and an umbrella. Multiple waves of chimerical visions wash over us. You lose sleep over wasting time. Remember to pack boysenberry jelly sandwiches in case we get hungry. The clock on the wall has knotted up its hands into a clamped fist. The apple has a worm. Can you tell if you’ve eaten its head or its tail? How long should we wait for the storm clouds to gather? The sands continue to sift through slotted eyes. Neither one of us has a chance against the distortions.

You cut the dragons loose and left us unprotected. We have ten conversations between us to wrestle loose from each other. The signs have been collected, weighted, and dispatched via messenger. We have waited for the thunderclap to kick us into gear but we have not taken refuge. Instead, we stand there in the green light of a pouring rain, getting soaked to the bone, looking to the other for shelter.

***

Again I've been reworking some of the smaller pieces I finished a month ago and trying something out. Hmmm. Several lines surprised me so that's always exciting. Enjoy!

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brash howls the nighthawk

Brash howls the nighthawk. Thin branches bend in a penitent way. Night sets in an unforgiving fashion. Fall asleep at the wheel while indigo visions tunnel me blind. We are never far from our true nature despite evidence to the contrary. Drama manuals are drawn up on crisp white linen sheets. Bedstead rules break while wearing maroon fingernail polish. Your sex is distracting me from ending things between us. Pylon pieces smash upon the hearthstone. If you happen to pass my life on the street, grab her and drag her home. I believe in terrible ghosts from strange places and the paper monsters that dangle from string. Your frailty skim my hands and I believe in my foolishness to make you burst into laughter. If you look out the window, a hovel burns down the stretch with licking flames. Your departure has left careless marks against my questions. Snail-slouching murmurs gather where raindrops have pooled. A metallic taste lingers on the tongue when there is talk of kinship. Thoughts hunker down; silence floats freely along an undercurrent.

*****
My thoughts:
One of the things I've been contemplating is the fine line between short versus long poems. This piece is an experiment of taking lines from shorter pieces and mixing them up together. Lewis gave me some decent feedback about the prose poems I submitted and I find the way these lines mash-up against each other working in a way I hadn't thought before. So if you recognize lines from earlier drafts you know why. Poets recycle, recycle, recycle to mine those gems.

****
All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

06.16.09

Ai-ya-ya-ya

Two more weeks left of summer session classes...
two more books to read...
one more 2-page journal entry to write...
one more creative piece to muster up...
6 more writing center sessions...
and then I'm off.
I mean completely free to work on my thesis.
Hoorah!
I'm sure I'll whinge away at being bored in a couple of weeks but for right now...
2 more weeks is my light at the end of the tunnel.

Tunnel me blind baby!


******
All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, June 1, 2009

06.01.09

I've gotten home at the very early hour of 3:33 pm in the afternoon.
Lying on my belly on my bed as I write this freewrite.

Pandora is gnawing on the leathery parts of my black suede sneakers and I'm just not stopping her. She wants me to feed her.

I found a sunny spot in the Writing Center to do some journal writing...summers are slow, we've had three students in two weeks. I enjoy the hushed tones of the place. The quiet space to think and write.

Bleu is in his room strumming chords on his guitar and I can hear the children in the backyard yell and roar and cry as they play. Mami and Magdelena are chatting in Spanish while they keep an eye on the kids. Mami sings to them "suve a mi moto" didn't Menudo sing that song?

My 5.30 date with S. has been cancelled so I'm here trying to rev myself up to do work / start homework / do some reading / write some poetry / work on a scene for my playwriting group / clean my desk / write out my to-do list or at least figure out what needs to go on a to-do list.

What I'd rather be doing is chat with Sam, watch back episodes of Eureka on Hulu, go to the beach, go for a swim, go for a walk, listen to music, sleep, hmmmm.

So I lie here on my belly...watching the clock tick tick tick away. Why do I feel like I'm running out of time?



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

05.31.09

It's been a month since I last posted on this blog and it feels wrong to have neglected it for so long. I thought once the Spring semester ended, I would have a little more breathing space. But that's not really what came out. Instead, I went into the first summer cycle of classes and it's been kicking my butt...trying to read everything I need to read (which I really don't mind...since I love to read)...but then having to come up with something fairly intelligent to say about it (which takes a little more brain power than I have at the moment), then come up with creative work inspired by the readings (really?!...which in most cases would be fun but fried, frazzled me can't seem to find the fun)<<< oooo alliteration. I can stay here and whinge away all day but I have quite a to-do list hidden underneath a pile of paper on my desk. So....sort out papers to find to-do list...then work? Or just work on what I know is pressing against my brain at the moment and find the list later? Or slip under my duvet and call it a day at 12:57 pm on a sunny sunday? My lips just twisted up into a weird half smirk 'cause I know that ain't happening.

Tony says that it's called transition....argh! Why must transitions be so uncomfortable? I can sit with it and let the waves of being overwhelmed wash over me but there is a part of my that just wants to get things done and out of the way. Everything feels so obligatory at the moment which makes me want to rebel in the worst way. I mean, there is a part of me that just wants to procrastinate until it's 1 am in the morning and I cant sleep bc I'm stressing about the reflection paper that's due. *sigh* What is wrong with this picture? When did life become so hard to manage?
And really it's not that serious...it's not...it's just the way I am handling it...it's the way I'm looking at things. I would like to shift my perspective a little since it's slightly skewed...

Hmmm all for now...got to get on with it.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I was a dreamer...

Images come in waves stranded on
a damp shoreline. Prayers under
breath, innumerable possibilties
linger calmly against the rocks
exposed to the elements. Wood
and flesh, bone and ashes piled
as an afterthought. The metallic
taste of blood lingers on the tongue
when there is talk of kinship.
Thoughts hunker down
and silence floats freely, pulled
along by the undercurrent.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Squint

It began with a blinding day and that's where it all started going wrong.
How often have I changed your mind? Oversize canvas bag slung over shoulder and rested upon a hip. Who's going to break the fall when the stars have slipped. The path of least resistance is catching up. Stutter stops the heart again. I wish I could wake up beside you. Let's go back to the start. Science and progress do not speak louder than the heart.

The second hand speeds up to catch up to the seconds. Through tinted windows there are odd shadows. She watches me move and I can't think straight. How often have you changed your mind? Your emotions echo across the space between us. A strong hand reaches over to give support. Wild hair curls around fingertips. Snail slouching whispers where rain has gathered. Nicks against the grain, initials carved in.

¿Que te importe que te ame, si tu no me quieres ya? Spinning words to find the proper sequence of events. Time is neither linear nor circular. Your departure has left careless marks against my questions. Apologies cannot erase being viciously unkind so I squint my eyes when I face the sky.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

04.19.09 v2

I find academic writing restricting to the point where I find myself closing in on myself. Although, I've taught undergraduates how to write research papers in the past, as I go through the process I find myself scattering my energies and my ideas across the sand. How do I reign it in? What was my initial point?

I'm writing this blog because I needed a break...I take it too seriously. Instead, I should laugh about it...it's only a 15 page paper. I mere drop in the ocean of writing. So now I am playing 80s music to loosen my grip. The Police is singing "Don't Stand So Close to Me" in the background. Appropriate enough since I may bite someone if they ask me how far along I am again. At least, I don't want to cry, so that's a good sign. Oooo Peter Cetera popped up and I'm going to wail along to "Glory of Love." I know it's cheesy...but cheesy is good on stupid working sundays. Trying to wrangle the right passages...trying to make the appropriate analysis so I sound like I know what the hell I'm talking about pertaining to Derek Walcott's epic poem Omeros.

It's a beautiful piece. I actually like writing about how classical western literature is used in his work. But then the self doubt creeps in and I second guess my train of thought. Seriously, it's not hard...I am making it so much harder than it needs to be. Besides, it's not James Joyce's Ulysses. Now that book and those papers almost broke me last year. Hehehe. Those papers made me cry real tears of self-pity. I wore my pity-party dress and everything.

Ooo "I Just Died in Your Arms" by Cutting Crew popped up. This is taking me back to high school, driving over the Brooklyn Bridge at night in R's car, and both of us singing at full voice.
Paul Simon and Chevy Chase singing "You Can Call Al"...it's a fun song as I hop around my room to the beat. Hehehe. Okay I'm starting to feel sane again listening to these songs. : )


It's 6:23 pm and I have quite a bit of work ahead of me. Hmmm. Do I listen to more music or do I try to make more of a dent in this paper? There is, of course, other assignments that I should also finish. Perhaps I should address my other deadlines? Not to mention the reports I need to write up for my post in the WAC office...argh! When did I get so behind? It's amazing that I could be the most organized person for someone else but try to do that for myself and I let things slide...unintentionally of course but dammit if that's not the most frustrating thing.

Oooo I feel the stress creeping up again. I think I am going to avoid my paper for another hour and write up some of these reports. Seriously....it's an icky feeling --That's the scientific term for wanting to throw up all over my keyboard from the stress of writing this paper.

Nightshift by the Commodores....okay now that's going way back...but ooooh eeee. Groovy tunes. "Gonna be some sweet sound coming down..."

Off I go...

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

04.19.09

A paradigm shift betrays internal itineraries. The house felt empty with teeth. In dreams flowers grew long stems through an icy lake. Out of the thorns, calla lilies unfold. Lost in the ashes of time, cut space into the wider shadows. The veils sweep gently against the floor bathed in blue light.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

04.18.09

If you happen to pass my life, grab her and drag her home. Just be careful with her claws, she may leave behind thin wounds. Thick round shoulder can bear larger burdens. The house burns down the street with licking flames. All the love falls down in spark ashes and cinder pieces.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, April 17, 2009

04.17.09

Thin bare branches bend in a penitent way. The world owes us nothing on this day. I wonder if the questions fill your head. They say do it for fun and do it for the joy of it. What’s that like?

No need for words when the odd directions come indirectly. The city sets around me.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

04.16.09

Drama manuals are drawn up on crisp white linen sheets. You want me to fuck him only so you can watch us. Break bedroom rules while wearing blue fingernail polish. Who left the light on, while I ran around? You left feeling less than perfect. Puzzle pieces smash to fit into the sentimental heart even though the shape has long since been changed.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

04.15.09

Love will come through, wait at the crossroads with a snack and an umbrella. To escape from you, it comes in multiple waves of denial. There are layers of lies creating the illusion upon the wall, a shadow losing sleep over wasting time. The sands continue to sift through slotted eyes. Remember to pack sandwiches in case we get hungry.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.
Publish Post

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

04.14.09

Cover her with compassion there is a war inside with a new broken song. All you worry about is how you are running out of time. Deadlines loom in the horizon. Drag out the seconds by repeating the secrets. The candle is burrowing a hole in your hand. Don’t write it down, the words may expand.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, April 13, 2009

04.13.09

I envy the way you enjoy life so intensely. Can we trade skins and lay our burdens down at the foot of the bed? Everything stays the same in this letter to you. We’ve repeated patterns of words and anger and words and tears and words the same way for quite some time. Break apart the skull and glance in, I think something is jammed.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

04.12.09

Her posture these days resembles a concave mirror in its distorted shape. A book of dissent sits behind yellow caution tape. Her anger resides in thin plank veneers beneath her skin. Tree rings encased by a textured bark. A serpent skin forgotten in the yellow laundry basket lies beside a satin shift. Push a cart among the temple ruins and hands will burn against the metal cage.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shades of Temper

It is strange to read someone's
past vibrating across the written words.
A sliver of incandescent
moment touched momentarily
transcends the page across time.
Turn the leaf and uncover
the sensibility of weakened attachments
let loose by the cadence of many moons
Tremble through and betray confidences
whisper in shades of temper
what you crave is what you spurn.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

04.06.09 v2

Something is stirring...in the back of the brain
a thought has passed too quickly to grasp
voices resonate across the expansive room
dull murmurs, walkie-talkie static, phone rings,
doors open and close, open and close

Ants find breadcrumbs in the bedroom
first there are a few and then there is a swarm
tramping through this space

eyes are drifting...drifting close
are we done yet?
'cause somebody is ready to fall sleep
'cause somebody no longer wants to talk
it is better to sleep than to record thoughts
it is better to sleep than to tell the truth
it is better to sleep than to say good-bye
it is better to say good-bye than
fix a point of resentment

point the way, show us the place of
disturbance on your person
the check has been cashed
the players have gone home
the day is starting to close
and you have yet to dismantle
your altar to your goddess
as she lies dead across your arms



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, April 6, 2009

04.06.09

There is nothing left to say today. It's quiet inside.
The calm before the storm
Stumble and stumble to cope with yesterday
Defense mechanisms are up and holding steady

There is nothing left to say today
Wrench the tendrils...free up
Reality check handed over
That's one way to maintain arm's length

It's quiet inside.
Heavy-handed poetry with thick words
dark, red-rimmed eyes of good-bye
soften the blows, soften the crash of illusions
The sound of glass breaking

The calm before the storm.
Howl, howl, howl in the distance
away from the pelting rain
softens the blow, softens the clash
of a struggling reality
The sound of silence...

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

there is something about a quiet moment in a frazzled life
that hits the right spot
it's almost as good as taking a swim in the ocean
on a hot summer day
it's just enough to remind me that there is space
to breathe deeply

i wrote to someone that my ex was making me
into a beautiful mess
she wrote back, "can you keep the 'beautiful' and dump the mess?"

ah, if it were that easy i would scarcely know what to do
with myself
the days are getting longer, the wind is getting milder
the changing of seasons is helping me crawl out of my shell
i've been hibernating too long and my body is ready to move again.

how do i know?
the muscles in my legs contract and relax...readying to spring into action
anticipating a run or a kick...waiting
how do i know?
i stretch and i stretch and i've yet to feel satiated by the action
perhaps a long sequence of yoga moves may help
my body screams for yoga...or karate...or swimming
my body screams to move fast/er
my body screams as i sit on this chair and write these passages

i woke up this morning wanting to be someone else
i woke up this morning wanting to be someone
i woke up this morning wanting to be
i woke up this morning wanting to
i woke up this morning wanting
i woke up this morning
i woke up this
i woke up
i woke
i

can you tell when i am lying?
is it the hesitation in my voice?
the lilt of my speech?
the avoidance technique?
can you tell me when i am lying?
i've built up the wall so high
that i've forgotten what i look like
past the rocky exterior

messy poetry is all that seems to come out lately
the words are random bits...issuing forth without an editorial eye
really i am just blank and empty
nothing in there
can you hear the echoes?
hello....(hello)....(hello)...(hello)
see what i mean?
i don't make this up
i seem to be running around
skirting the issue
and pinning me down
is like pinning mercury
isn't mercury toxic?
gasp...
pinning me down
is like holding water
in hand
mostly it's a trickling mess

i want to write...* hopping on one foot and then the other *
i want to write about stuff
about important stuff
about relevant stuff
but how do i pin down the experiences
when there are so many aspects to it
gathering sand one grain at a time
and feeling the impossibility of it riding up my spine.

i want to play
but i've forgotten how to
play...play...play...play
nope, nothing yet
if i say it enough
do you think it will come?
the reminder
the know-how
if i repeat the word
will it manifest in my life
if so, what will it look like?
and who will i play with?

hmmm how did i get here?
right, i was writing about writing stuff
bye...


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, March 30, 2009

03.30.09

The last couple of days have consisted of boxes, packing and unpacking, breaking down boxes and moving an apartment's worth of furniture into one room. Not possible. Not even close. So bits and pieces were dispersed to my generous sisters who helped me move. I already miss my penthouse studio in Inwood. Not that I don't appreciate having a safety net with my parents but having been independent for so long it's an adjustment.

That feeling of having to negotiate a space that is not necessarily yours. To navigate and reassess what will fit and not fit. Nooks and crannies, drawer-full of stuff, everything just seems to be stuffed to capacity and I'm feeling a little claustrophobic. Wait, not just a little. Sunday I could barely cope and quickly fell asleep for a cat nap. I thought I would sleep for an hour...instead I slept for four hours. I woke up feeling more myself. More grounded. More in my body. That's such a strange phrase...where else can one be but in one's own body, no?
I guess I was sleep walking through the day...people were talking to me and I could only hear scraps of conversation. I was having a Charlie Brown sort of moment, where they were talking and all I could hear was WAH WAH WAH WAH.

Ah well, it's Monday and I'm feeling out of sorts. Don't ask me why? I'm almost done unpacking. There is a research paper to be done. There is prose poetry to attempt...there is four weeks left of classes...perhaps it's the calm before the storm. And not sure I have the energy to get me through. All I can do is take one task at a time. But I can see the tidal wave on the horizon....gathering strength.

Hmmm, I can feel the contemplative face taking over. I want to sit in a quiet place and just gather myself up before class. I'd almost rather skip class tonight but I may need that absence for another night.

Off I go to find a quiet spot...to read...perchance to sleep.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, March 23, 2009

03.23.09 Renee Gladman

In class tonight Renee Gladman poet and fiction writer came to talk to our class about her writing process. The discussion at the beginning was heady and abstract...needless to say I LOVED IT. I was furiously jotting down notes trying to keep up with the kind of discourse she was putting out. Some of it definitely went over my head...and I'm not going to try to pretend that I get it all yet...cause really she's in another league when discussing her thought process. She reminded me a little of Akilah Oliver because of the way in which she communicated some of these ideas. I want to write them down here to help unravel some of the entwined thoughts.

Renee talked about a relationship to language and how she has become more conscious of the potentiality of the moment of writing ....(my handwriting looks like chicken scratch...can't quite make out the rest of that sentence. ...) let me try this in a different way...

how in the impulse to write the thought there are infinite ways in which to convey/communicate the experience. But language...the translation of those thoughts onto the page turns into something narrow. We write in categories...in linear/logical ways while our thought patterns are more expansive than that.

Establishing a philosophy of time and experience.
The logic of the grammar tells you what to expect.
The logic of the content that can be in opposition.
The logic of the problem which can be ambiguous.
How can you get these three conditions to occupy the same space at the same time.

Can you gather the experience in the breadth of a sentence?
Conceptual way of thinking about narrative.

She creates a condition in the logical flow of the sentence is breaking down on the level of the content.

Prose as a place of experimental narrative
She is conscious of language and sound.

Brings you back to experiences
How do you grasp the experience and make it coherent.
What experiences are accumulated?

She enjoyed Henry James because he circles vague spaces.
He would write about things happening but difficult to pinpoint.

Present tense captures the ongoing-ness of being in the moment
and in the acting.

Being enacted as the narrative is unfolding.

What does prose breach that poetry does not?
Poetry as a genre is not interested in character or turth or lies...
that's not part of the discourse in poetry.

Fiction to be better needs to be more complicated.
The language has to be....

She likes translations of European fiction writers
because of the awkwardness and formality of the language.
Feels the writer interpret and re-envision
sound of translation

White space on the page is a way of framing the language
Part of the conception

Her narrators in her work tend to be slightly confused and on the periphery.
They embody that state of irresolution.

We went back to talking about how language narrows the experience.
You can only write one thing at a time...
However, if we were able to write 8 things at the same time this would approximate what the actual experience is truly like.

How do you translate the many things into one thing?
What does the order in which you tell it... tell you about the experience?

There is a lot more but this was at the core of what I wanted to record on this blog.
Because in these fragments of ideas that I was able to scavenge...something...clicked.
Something about this information gave me an A-HA moment about writing.
It hasn't quite sunk in yet....or it hasn't quite taken root...but.....



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

03.23.09 4:02 pm

I have a hard time asking for help. I really do.
But when I ask for help and it doesn't come through
I feel like a petulant child about to pitch a fit.
I mean...full-on red-face, crossed-arms, ready to
stomp my foot making my pig-tails flip up. What
is it about this academic environment that makes
me regress? I get this head of steam out of pure
frustration. I need help and I can't do this on my
own and... I can't keep asking only to find more
rejection. You would think after all these years
I would have learned this lesson somewhere along
the way. Apparently not.

I have to write 250-words on what my research topic
for my Methods paper will be. That's all it is!!
I have done basic writing exercises to help me
narrow down my topic but I don'tquite have it yet.
I get that in the grand scheme of things
this is not really important....I do understand that.
There are more dire matters out there in the world
than this stupid paper. But right now, as I sit here,
writing about it...I can feel the desperation clawing at me.
I am being completely serious...look into my eyes...do
you see the "crazy" swirling back there. You see it, cause
it's there...It's 4:02 pm in the afternoon and I've been
working on this problem too long. Two weeks to be exact
and being no closer to the topic that I want to write about
makes me feel a little nutso. Yes, you read right, I used a
Fonzi term. Damn, I'm old. Okay, that just made me
giggle. It did, 'cause it's all so stupid...even writing on my
blog about it. COME ON! It's not that serious.

All right, back to work. I need to make some headway
before I get to class tonight. I'll work on it some more
when I get home. I just want a running start before I
get there. Better to have something than a whole lot of
nothing, right?


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

03.22.09

Today it's about fragments and words,
post-it notes and colored flags.
Random research bits and messy poetry.
I want to write about s.e. but that would mean
wearing my heart on my sleeve
andI'd rather lock it up tight in a box.
Lock it up and throw away the key.
Even cliches...are thrown in for good measure.
There is nothing new to say...it's all been said before.

I spent the day in silence...reading texts, poetry, essays.
My eyes are weary, my notes are mounting and my brain
won't stop going to the past. Trying to decipher between
history and myth. Trying to make sense between poetic
license and actual memory. Strands that bind.
Knots are unraveling. Who writes when the poet sleeps?

I can't remember my dreams these days
and that always puts me out of sorts.
No sudden movements.
I keep trying to write about the past
but there seems to be a strange wall
that I keep hitting my head against.
Do you think if I keep hitting it I'll
break through? Then I wonder why
my head aches and why my heart
breaks. I held on too tight for too long.
So I spend a lot of time alone
because I have no patience for
I-told-you-so's that seem to echo...
adding salt to the wound...
they say time heals all wounds...
but when exactly does that happen?
how long does it actually take?
can someone give me a time line
because I think I'm long overdue.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Steep Embankment

relentless upheaval
implode in a wheat field
absorbed into the sky
yellow tumultuous landscape
fierce in t
he contempt
restrain the birds
press hard and break wings
feathery-down graves

the sound of water
a beautiful voice
the stars are blind
grasp ribbon-tails
visitors need not attend
deliver the pleasure
in memory of
a smoky illusions
wafting in
a languid reverie

thrash about like pantomime
splayed about in an irreverent
manner, muttering fragments
beyond surface appearances
losing sleep over
tinges, pings, plucks, aches
brooding in dark corners
a preying mantis


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, March 20, 2009

03.20.09

There is a curving
artifice to the slanted
smile. A yearn runs
deep when momentum
strikes in opposite
directions. Discordant
notes play a thin
melody, reminders
of vanishing indigo
fantasies. Inside-out
exposure to find
tenderness lying
stripped clean.
These bites barely
show teeth. Discard
the skin.


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Subtle Presence

The night trembles
shadows skitter
across the earth

Heaven is in the simple
things, wind caresses
naked branches

Empty space
creates lonely sounds
in paper-thin tissues

Subtle light and dark
morph grey
charcoal sketches

Lines weave and tangle
into blossom knots
creative nest

Seedlings tumble
and part the earth
in pin-prick slices

A catch in the night
air
keeps
disintegration at bay.



All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

03.18.09

I am having one of those moments...when I am writhing in my own skin.
When the glorious mild March day is wasted away on this abject bad mood.
When the writing is not coming along and anything I'm reading is barely delicious.
When there are things to be done and errands to be run and I can't face it...any of it.
I want to scream from the top of my lungs because it's the only sound to slice through this meekness.
There is raw tension along my jawline and I want to press it away.
There is tension held in the back of my throat....it's like an ache...right before a good cry.

It's frustrating. It's like losing a sense of one's self.
Turning myself inside out and wondering why I feel so naked.
Perhaps I take things too seriously...this is what I hear from friends...I think too much.
Really? What does that mean anyway?

Perhaps, I am too close to the material.
Perhaps, I don't know how to create enough distance between who I am and what I write but that's where I am right now in this process.
To try to break that enmeshed reality is to try to pry it apart with a crowbar.
Dents in the surface. Deep cuts along the bruised ego.
Damn ego needs to go.

*****************
Jumping ideas....because really this is the way my brain works:

I've been reading Wetlands by Charlotte Roche and it's strangely fascinating. At times it's too gross for my very sqeamish stomach but it makes me laugh out loud at the strangest times...for the weirdest reasons. I understand the dichotomy of this modern world and ultra-cleanliness and how this book is breaking all the boundaries by using bodily fluids in direct contrast throughout the narrative. The main character Helen just has a unique way of interacting with the world. All messy, naked and spreading her bacteria all over the place. Ick!


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Monday, February 9, 2009

02.09.09

Today I woke up at the time when the universe sighs...(2:30 am) and I wrote for a couple of hours.
I had been writing and re-writing a monologue in my head for about a week and the impulse was too great to ignore. All I could do was wake up and write. There was no question, no argument and no resistance. Just the rest of Jamie's monologue.

I went back to bed and tried to read but I was too tired.
I tried to watch tv but I was too tired.
I tried to go back to sleep but I was too tired.

Then it was 8 am and then the day became doing and moving.
It became:
mascara on eyelashes, liquid eyeliner on eyelids,
shower and brush teeth
changing bed clothes for street clothes
socks without holes and sneakers
layers of sweater and coat
snatch up phone from a red side table
lock the top lock
push elevator button
walk through the park on a cold crisp day
take train to school

answer e-mails
create new e-mails
answer questions
answer phones
buy tangerines
drop them off

sit in on a class
watch students
walk to the Grind
buy a Mountain Dew
walk to office
sit and chat
before head to workshop
hand out sheets
pass attendance sheet

time for class
discussion
questions
answers
laughter
he reads
class over

hop on train
home bound


All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

02.08.09

I haven't posted anything on this blog for quite some time. The winter has left me hibernating under my duvet. Sometimes I put this pressure to come up with quality writing only to find myself dwindling in my effort to even try. The effort to write feels hard and taxing. A big black chasm of nothingness....where do I start?

This past week has been a particular difficult one for me. I spent more days near tears despairing over how uncertain things are: writing, creative life, home life, family life, relationships, finances, etc, etc, etc. Only to discover there are no guarantees, there is nothing to cling to for reassurances.

Then, I went to see this amazing play last Wednesday, Ruined by Lynn Nottage. It touched me the way nothing else has for a long time. She had some beautiful lines, some heart-wrenching moments and an ending so positive and life -affirming...it gave me hope. It rekindled a light within me. The actors were amazing but the language/the text was there to help them soar.

So I've decided for the next while to write, in this blog, a bit about process, to write about craft, to share images and text that inspire me until I am back in the flow. This blog will be part of my process to keep an active mind/heart on my artmaking. Eventually, I want to see a small part of my writing soar.




All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2009 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.