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Once from China - by nate


[open letter to this girl i saw on a subway car in tokyo]

so you're sitting across from me on one a the blue lines eventually suburb bound, with this redheaded schoolmate a yrs whose voice is really high + the backs a whose knees are fucked up (i learn this later) + who's quite pretty in her own right (you guys are wont to cluster) and it's your bangs that do it more than anything else, tussled over your eyes like cat power (a good cop) or one a those girls from wong kar wai, who's all about hiding the eyes (lai and lin's and his own sunglasses), but more than just the concealment, the making me guess, is the very tussle itself, the twist of it, the gloss of it in the sicklight a the subway car, looking and looking, wondering if my stop is yr stop, my stop the last before the length to the burbs, you say yr goodbyes to yr friend with the knees, + she goes, and i go, it being my stop, and you away on your train my gaze now preoccupied with such pragmatisms as watching where i'm going lest i trip + kiss pavement in public, thumbprints printed in sweat on the black a the back a my subway ticket, legs still sore from the hours a hoofing it.

i dunno. i'm not looking for the words "he's tall, kind of, he's got hair, + he wears t-shirts, sometimes" to come out a your mouth. hell, y'r in high school. if you take yr school twice as seriously as i took mine then all the english you know (spoken only in english class oc) is "fuck this shit," which obviously does not include the "he's tall, kind of..." thing. but there's, there's this need to say deliberately, to not only form words out a the fleeting pockets of electricity that comprise what we call thought, but to do so as if saying (to say nothing a thinking) might mean something, that is, that it might make a difference. there's this old intellectual fallacy, fantasy, among men a letters, that says that knowledge is power, that the word might make the world in its image, that man might own + render subset the material conditions that are his superset, given the word articulate + sufficiently pronounced. the ki o tsukutte that slays one's foe.

but like i said, i dunno.

a lot of it, a lot of it is biting your fist. punching walls. throwing chairs.

but doing so in 12pt arial, helvetica, sans serif.

a lot of it is absence. evoking mneumenon in lieu a phenomenon, homer the blind he sings a troy, milton he sings a things with wings, whitman with his cock in hand (psychologically speaking) sings a himself, i sing a nothing since doors closed between us.

walking up the stairs, your friend threw a bag behind her legs, thinking i was staring up her skirt (or at her knees), instead a closing my eyes, remembering yours.

you had bruises on your legs, brownish to yellowish as the eye moves center to out.

delicate fingers.

lips more visible than eyes, fuller than breasts.

mamonaku. + doors open. + doors close. + such is life, the incessant partitioning of what you have from what you want.


the clank a closed doors.

the everyday under foot as i walk away.

the stairs and the light.

and so you know. yo.